Ansar Ahmed Ullah
To safeguard the interests and rights of Bangladeshi ex patriates across the world a new platform ‘Connect Bangladesh’ was established as a collective democratic voice of Bangladeshis living abroad.
17 & 18 September witnessed a two-day conference of ex pats in Frankfurt, Germany discussing various issues that affects the community. The conference decided to give a formal structure to the newly formed organisation.
Prior to German conference, six months ago, a seminar was convened in Paris, France attended by Mansur Ahmed Chowdhury from France, Syed A Mabud, Dr Gias Uddin Ahmed, Shibbir Ahmed, Nazim Chowdhury, Nurul Amin and Syed Shah Salim Ahmed from London and Habib Ullah Babul from Germany followed by a Paris declaration asserting the rights for ex pats in a united platform that led to the process of forming ‘Connect Bangladesh’.
The Frankfurt conference was attended by former government secretary Abu Alam & his wife, a large contingent of freedom fighters and third generation Bengalis who pledged to assist and work with Connect Bangladesh.
On the second day, the conference adopted resolutions (1) to form co-ordination committees in France, Germany, UK, Switzerland and Italy in the next three months, those given the responsibility for forming the committees are Jafor Azadi in France, Shibbir Ahmed in the UK, Akhi Seema Kaiser in Italy, Shah lam in Germany and Kazi Asaduzzaman in Switzerland. The second resolution (2) is to organise Connect Bangladesh’s next conference in Switzerland or in Italy as an alternative venue within the next six months.
The organisers of Connect Bangladesh said that the organisation will not be identical to any other welfare organisations, nor will it be associated with any political party or carry out political activities. It will simply uphold the rights of ex pats, connect with Bangladesh and promote Bangladesh positively amongst the young.
Participants attending the conference supported the view of national identity cards being issued and renewed by High Commissions & Embassies, to take out clauses that are detrimental to ex pats in the suggested dual citizenship act and to appoint ex pat representatives in various departments of foreign ministry.