Webinar on 50 years celebration of Bangladesh independence and constitution held at UAP
Department of Law and Human Rights of University of Asia Pacific in collaboration with Bangladesh legal aid and Services Trust (BLAST) and UNESCO Madanjeet Singh South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies (UMSAILS) held a webinar titled “50 years celebration of Bangladesh independence and constitution: Ensuring access to justice of left behind Minority Community” on November 4, 2021.
At the outset of session, Chairman of board of Trustee, UAP, C.M. Shafi Sami highlighted the spirit of the constitution framers of the nation in formulating a brand new constitution within a very short time after getting independence whereas Pakistan and India took time of nine and two years respectively to launch their debut constitutions.
Dr. Kamal Hossain, chairman of the constitution drafting committee and senior advocate of the Supreme Court opined that one of the principles of the constitution is secularism, which yearns us to maintain zero-tolerance against any kind of communal violence. The constitution was framed and adopted by spirit of the liberation war to restore equality, justice, and non-discrimination in all sphere of independent Bangladesh. He also urged to be united to establish the inherent ethos of the constitution in national life.
According to Dr. Sultana Kamal, Human Rights activist and chairman of Manobadhikar Songhskrti Foundation; our liberation war holds a unique feature, it is not the only expression of political determination but also it has social, economic and cultural aspects. It can be considered as an exposed symbol of women empowerment as well which was manifested in bold women’s participation in the liberation war. She also opined that existing anti-constitutional laws are fading away the main spirit of constitution. Barrister Amirul Islam, senior advocate of Supreme Court emphasized on the spreading of awareness programs by civil organizations to establish a holistic constitutional society.
Taqbir Huda, coordinator of Justice for All Now propounded that Bangladesh is recognized as middle-income country, it should accelerate its investment in justice sector, pass anti-discriminatory, and witness protecting laws. He added, “A National compensation fund should be incorporated for victims of various crimes.”
Muktasree Chakma, founder of supporting people and rebuilding communities, addressed the issue of communal violence and its investigation procedures. She expressed that it is not the sole duty of human rights activists to monitor communal attacks and violence, the state has a massive role to protect human rights of every citizen. Human rights agencies can only assist state in this regard.
The session was moderated by Dr. Faustina Pereira, senior fellow, Centre for Peace and Justice and professor of BRAC University. Among other participants, Acting Vice Chancellor of University of Asia pacific, professor Dr. Md. Sultan Mahmud, faculty members, students from different universities, academicians, prominent activists, and notable practitioners were also present at the event.