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Our [defense] extends to certain individual members of the cathedral and their personal entitlement to justice and the rule of law, personal liberty, ecclesiastical immunity and privileges, and control over their geographic jurisdictions…. The conflict, hatred, and ill will that exist now are a sign of the great malice of our times, [especially] considering…some persons have been held prisoner…and others cannot come into the city, cannot go to their personal homes, and cannot even perform their customary religious duties.

Further, it is apparent that earlier this year when Archdeacon Rodrigo de Carvajal exercised his ecclesiastical authority in the defense of church properties—for some time he was forced from the city and physically not allowed to return. These injuries and others continue today. The village of Trujillo is located 80 kilometers to the south of Plasenica. Among the Placentino Carvajals that called Trujillo their childhood home were Dr.

In its place, he offered Pedro the city of Plasencia. The allied clans had invested significant human capital and energy to garner control of the cathedral of Plasencia—a lucrative prize that offered access to church positions and valuable church assets. The clans likely feared that they would no longer be able to maximize their dominance on the city council to support their cathedral operations. In December of , King Juan II communicated the extent of the political and financial deference he expected the Cathedral of Plasencia and the city council to extend to their new count.

Toggle navigation. Agriculture Conglomerate Defence Education Energy. Government Asia-Pacific Bangladesh. Dipu Moni Minister of Foreign Affairs. Bangladesh, because of its geographic location has so much potential to play the role; it can be a bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia. Both are very fast-growing regions in the world and in the context of Asia definitely we have a role to play and now in the context of connectivity within Asia.

Bangladesh is being seen as an important piece in that whole scheme of connectivity. Being a South Asian country also has its benefits. If you look at our history, you see it is not just geography but also history binds us with Southeast Asia, with China and also with South Asia. Buddhism spread through Bangladesh to Southeast Asia. If you look at the Buddhist trail, Bangladesh would be an important piece in that trail. I think in the Middle Ages we had some 32 universities or something.

Now it is very difficult to even imagine. These connections are very important. We were part of the silk route as well, at one time. If you look at all of these old connections we were already connected to the Far East and also with the Middle East and beyond. Bangladesh even in those very old days did play a role.

We get from all the travel logs or old books written by the famous historians or travellers, the account that we get of Bangladesh is a very prosperous kind of country where people are very hospitable. We had exchanges with the rest of the world. The Portuguese arrived at our shores years ago, so we also had this connection with Europe. Taking that all into account, I believe and we all believe that given the kind of melting pot that we are, because not just in terms of having people from all religions in this country, but also because it is a delta-plane and we have mostly homogeneous population it has still been a melting pot of all kinds of religions and cultures.

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We have been very receptive and we have engaged with the world around us with lots of enthusiasm, always. Even 2, years ago. When you think about all these things: history, geography, our culture, the kind of people that we have been, I think all of these give us huge potential, to do that again, And continue to do that.

Economically now, financially, we are engaging with the whole world, Europe and America and Southeast Asia, South Asia, Far East and there is continuous engagement with the world, so I think we can do a lot. We are doing a lot, but we can do much more. The potential is huge. You were mentioning about the refugees. Bangladesh is so open to different religions, such a secular country and at the same time has so much respect for religions.

What role would you play with such strong fundamentalist occurrence going on in the world? What example can Bangladesh be? When we talk about secularism, we were born as a secular country. At our birth in we declared ourselves to be secular though the majority of the population was Muslim. Why do I think we did that? Because to us culturally we are Bangladeshi first and then we are Muslims, Christians and Buddhists.

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But we are a very religious people in Bangladesh. Wherever you go you will see that people take their religion seriously. They practice it with the utmost sincerity and seriousness. But, we have lived in harmony for thousands of years because as I mentioned before, Buddhism actually flourished here and then travelled to Southeast Asia. Then we had Muslims come in.

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Muslims ruled this part for about years and then in the middle Christianity arrived here. Hinduism was here before that. As I said it was a melting pot. We were living in harmony. But in when the India partition took place and Pakistan was born the only thing that was common was religion. Everything else was very different. Our culture, our language, our food.

But even that religion, the way we travelled, and practiced was different. In Bangladesh it is more of Sufi Islam we have been heavily influenced by Sufi Islam, it is much more tolerant. Islam is a religion of peace but even within that, in Sufi Islam it is much more. It is living in harmony with everyone else. Islam itself is a religion that talks about tolerance but Sufi Islam probably practices it much more effectively.

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Within a very short period after the formation of Pakistan, people in Bangladesh, the present Bangladesh people here in East Pakistan realised that independence was not going to give us anything. We were the majority, but even our language, the right to our mother tongue was being taken away. So we started our movement very early on. We struggled for 24 years within the Pakistan framework for our rights. Rights to our own language, rights to our own way of life, our culture.

We struggled and our leadership, our father of the nation at one point in gave the six points programme because there was so much discrimination, especially economically. We were producing everything. We were the main foreign currency earner but everything was going to West Pakistan and with our money, money generated and earned by things we made in East Pakistan, things were being built in West Pakistan and we were deprived.

In when there was the India-Pakistan War, we were left totally unprotected. Then people felt it much more strongly within the Pakistan framework that Bangladesh did not have a place. East Pakistan did not have a place. Also in when the huge cyclone hit us, there was nothing. The government did not stand by us. So in the elections Bangladesh Awami League won a landslide victory. They got everything except for a few seats. We had a feeling.

We were given it as well by the West Pakistanis that we were being oppressed in the name of religion. They were using Islam as an excuse. In the elections when Awami League won the election. Before that election in the campaigns there was this huge thing that if you voted for Awami League Islam will vanish, be totally destroyed. People from all religions will have equal rights under this new disposition.

In Bangladesh people from all religions will enjoy equal rights. When we talked about secularism it did not mean not having any religion, it meant every religion would have equal rights. As such we have kept our relationship with everyone. Also our foreign policy motto by the Father of the Nation is: friendship to all and malice towards none.

That meant we were working with everyone and we are prepared to work with everyone. Rich countries, poor countries, Christian countries, Muslim countries, Hindu countries, everyone it does not matter. Having respect for other people, other cultures, other religions. Something that I find remarkable about this foreign policy motto is that in many spheres, Bangladesh seems like a poverty stricken nation. What would you say are the main lessons of this legacy that Bangladesh can give to the world that the world should acknowledge? There are so many things that this country has done and has shown to the world.

The indomitable spirit and the resilience of the people, it is just unbelievable. The people can be happy with so little and can build life with so little. This country has a very rich culture and a long heritage. Even in terms of innovation we have done so well. Just think about porcelain, something very small but having profound impact on humanity all over the world, saving millions of lives every year and that was done here in Dhaka.

When we all talk about Gandhi and his nonviolence. In for the first 25 days of the March at the call of our Father of the Nation what our people did was a nonviolent movement to establish our rights. From 26 a genocidal war was thrust upon us. In that we fought with very little against one of the most well-trained, well-armed and well-equipped army in the world and we defeated them within nine months.

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That is because of the unity, the resilience, and as I said, the indomitable spirit of the people that we could do that. In this country we have a long tradition of women participating in politics. Even during the British period, there were women who led anti-British movements and were martyred in that movement. Then in our language movement, women participated in a big way. In our Liberation War women from all walks of life participated. Not just as helpers but also as freedom fighters, they fought in the war. In the past 20 years our women have not just contributed a lot, but also have taken responsibility for doing so much.

April 8, 2012

A lot of it has been consolidated and given an expression in the past 15 years because in when our government came for the first time after 29 years Sheik Hasina for the first time broke the glass ceiling for women. For years there were no women in the highest judiciary. We did not have a high court woman judge. That was the first time that a woman was appointed in the high court division.

We never had a woman ambassador. That was the first time we had a woman ambassador. We never had a female secretary to the government. That was the first time a woman was made a secretary. Women were taken into the armed forces. We had women in the police but we never had women in the armed forced, and now you see them as lieutenants and colonels in the Navy, Army and Air Force. It has changed so much. That has changed the face of politics in this country. Then in the last election it was the first time that any party nominated so many women in the direct seats.

Eighteen us were nominated, 16 of us got elected.

A chunk of it is through reserved seats but still we never had so many and we never had so many elected women in the parliament. Sheik Hasina has done a lot in terms of women empowerment and having the right policies in place, putting the right policies in place, giving them their rights, creating opportunities for them. Also social safety net programmes — giving cash allowances to widows, old women, abandoned women, street children, freedom fighters, all sorts of people. A huge number of people are included under these safety net programmes and the cash transfers, maybe they are small, but they help in a big way.

You can see that it has a sort of chain effect. The girl gets married at a later age, rather than at an early age. Child mortality and maternal mortality goes down. There is more of a chance of the next generation getting more of an education. It is a chain of events that happens through investment in girls. Investment in education as a whole. There are many of these things that Bangladesh has done and has done so well.

Maybe some other countries have also done it, but Bangladesh has done it so well, especially in these sectors despite the poverty and the challenges. This country is so densely populated. One of the most densely populated countries in the world. I do not know whether I have mentioned this to you before, but to have our kind of density you would have to put 7 billion people of the earth inside US territories.

Only then would they have our kind of population density. Managing that is a huge thing.


They say that Bangladesh is sort of a question mark to the world, how does it survive with so many natural disasters and so many people? Our disaster management. In when the big one hit we lost about a million people. In we lost around , people. In , I think about 3, All these three were of similar intensity. How did that happen? That happened because of our intention, because of our experience in Very early on we started working on this area and then in when there was a huge flood.

The BBC predicted that 20 million people would die. No one died. No one died? Well there were natural deaths, and a few here and there by snakebites and whatnot, but not a single one because they starved to death. A few cases of drowning but that happens during every flood, especially with children, any where in the world. No one died because of starvation. Then the agricultural rehabilitation that took place, it was unbelievable. We developed a standard operating procedure at that time in that we have now formalised.

It works so well, and so smoothly. Any time that there is a disaster everyone knows what to do. The warning system works so well and it is community based. People listen to the radios, people go on bicycles, raise flags, do all kinds of things. Now especially with the Internet and mobile phones it is much better. In the old days it was not as easy, but still people did it.

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Just think we are a very small country in terms of geography. It is only twice the size of Ireland and there are only four million of us. And we are million yet we are still able to feed ourselves. That is an amazing achievement. We doubled the population in 40 years. So when the population doubled land became less but we still grew more food, and more and more. We first became self-sufficient in food between and when Sheik Hasina was Prime Minister.

She said, unless we are self-sufficient in food we are not going to be able to do anything.