‘Priya Saha discussed in foreign secy-US envoy meeting’

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 03:30, Jul 24, 2019 | Updated : 12:53, Jul 24, 2019

Screenshot of a video of Bangladeshi minority leader Priya Saha speaking to US President Donald Trump, which went viral on social media on Friday (Jul 19, 2019).Bangladesh Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and US envoy Earl Robert Miller held a meeting on Tuesday (Jul 23), when the issue of minority rights activist Priya Saha’s remarks to the US president on alleged persecution of Hindus were reportedly discussed.
Ambassador Miller explained the US’s stance over the issue at the unscheduled meeting at the foreign ministry, according to people familiar with the matter.
The US envoy, however, declined to comment to the media following the hour-long meeting held after the office hours.
Saha was among five Bangladeshis and two Rohingyas the US Embassy in Dhaka sent to the meeting with Trump last Wednesday.
A video of the meeting subsequently went viral on social media and sparked widespread controversy back home.
After identifying herself as a Bangladeshi national, Saha was seen urging Trump to help the religious minorities living in Bangladesh. She claimed that 37 million people of minority groups have “disappeared” from Bangladesh.
She also told the president that her land had been grabbed by Muslim fundamentalists and sought his help so that minority groups could live peacefully in Bangladesh.
Saha was a participant of the Second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom held at the US Department of State in Washington, DC from July 16 to July 18.
The Bangladesh government strongly condemned the remarks and described it as 'blatant lies' told by a leader of a minorities association.
In a statement, the foreign ministry said it appears that there was an ulterior motive behind Saha’s absolutely false and concocted stories that were targeted to malign Bangladesh.
“Government of Bangladesh would expect that organisers of such a big international event would invite responsible individuals who would objectively contribute in promoting the true spirit and value of religious freedom,” the statement read.