Lib Dems launch Friends of Bangladesh at Victory Day event in Tower Hamlets (16/12/18).
Liberal Democrat London Mayoral Candidate Siobhan Benita has hailed the launch of Liberal Democrat Friends of Bangladesh at an event to commemorate Bangladeshi Victory Day on Sunday 16th December in Tower Hamlets. The new organisation, launched at the event, will foster understanding and support between the Liberal Democrats and Britain's Bangladeshi communities, many of whom live in the borough.
Guests at the event were introduced by Chair of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Bangladesh, Muhammad Abul Asad (also Vice Chair, Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats and a former councillor). As well as Siobhan Benita (Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London) they included Councillor Rabina Khan (Liberal Democrat Councillor for Shadwell) and Elaine Bagshaw (Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Poplar & Limehouse), plus Bengali academic and educationalist Dr Hasnat Hussain who gave a keynote speech reflecting on the Bangladesh British diaspora and the history of the liberation war.
Muhammad Abul Asad reminded attendees of the origins of Victory Day in the ending of the Bangladesh Liberation War and the 1971 Bangladeshi Genocide. As Tower Hamlets is home to one of the largest Bangladeshi communities in the world it was fitting that the area celebrated the birth of one of the youngest countries in the world. The loss of life of so many people created a great passion for democracy, a fundamental belief of the Liberal Democrats.
Siobhan Benita, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, said:
“We remember the many people who lost their lives in this brutal conflict, and the impact this has on communities and on a nation’s identity. It is important to build policies that nurture wellbeing, so we can lead free and prosperous lives. London is the greatest city in the world, because it is so diverse.”
Councillor Rabina Khan said:
“It is important to remember the systematic murder and abuses by Operation Searchlight, and the liberation war each year. Bangladeshis and Pakistanis lived together in harmony and this was ripped apart by the war. Now we are looking to a brighter future. The door was opened by those who lost their lives in the war, and we must remember them. Today is a very poignant moment for us as a Bangladeshi community to remember our past but also look to a greater, prosperous future.”
Elaine Bagshaw, Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Spokesperson said:
“2018 has been amazing for the Liberal Democrats in Tower Hamlets, with Rabina and so many people joining to help ensure that the party truly represents the local community. I am very proud to have the opportunity to launch the Liberal Democrat Friends of Bangladesh. The Lib Dems are forward facing, we are open, we are tolerant, and we are very welcoming of diverse communities.”
Photographs available at:
For more information contact
Councillor Rabina Khan, 07944 790383, [email protected]
Abdul Asad, 07944 292903
Ed Long (Chair, Tower Hamlets Liberal Democrats), 07896 536869, [email protected]