Opinions & Ideologies

Buddhist community cuts festival expense to aid Rohingya refugees

The Buddhist community in Bangladesh has declared that they will forgo parts of their festivities for Probarona Purnima, their second biggest religious festival, and donate the cost of a major event for the Rohingya refugees who have recently arrived in Bangladesh.

Community leaders announced this decision at a meeting with senior Awami League leaders at the party president’s Dhanmondi political office on Wednesday morning.

Bangladesh United Buddhists’ Forum Chief Convener Ashokh Barua said: “We will not celebrate the lantern festival this year during Probarona Purnima. The expenditure of the festival will be given to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to aid the refugees.”

Probarona Purnima festival, marking the end of Vassa, a three-month retreat, will be observed on October 5. Traditionally, the Buddhists celebrate the day by flying numerous paper lanterns or Fanush, among other rituals.

Earlier, the Buddhist community had announced that it will refrain from the lantern festival to protest the violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

The Rohingya, who are mostly Muslims, have been facing persecution in Myanmar for decades. In late August, the Myanmar military began a violent crackdown on the ethnic group, leading almost half a million to cross the border into Bangladesh.

“The government will ensure all kinds of security for the Buddhist community,” said Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader, urging them not to consider themselves as a minority group in the country.

Awami League joint secretaries Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Dipu Moni, Abdur Rahman, General Secretary of the Bangladesher Samyabadi Dal Dilip Barua, and others were present at the meeting.

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The last formal war that the world witnessed was in 1991 when US led coalition forces clashed with Iraqi army after the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. Ever since, it has only been conflict between communities or between armed forces and armed groups and no formal war between armies of two or more countries.
Yet the scale, spread and devastation by violence we are experiencing today is fast approaching the dimensions of a World War and nobody is realizing that the world seems to be already in the middle of the Third World War- being fought on the basis of identity differences or issue of access to resources between communities or between armed forces and communities (at times instigated and supported by other countries) even though there is no formal declaration of war between countries.
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Is Nazi Germany being played on World Stage today??

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