Interfaith Council in Bangladesh Expels Activist Priya Saha After She Met Donald Trump During State Department’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom

Bangladesh national Priya Saha shakes the hand of U.S. President Donald Trump during a meeting at the White House in Washington, D.C. on July 17, 2019. | White House

The Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council in Bangladesh expelled one of its organizing secretaries after she told U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office that 37 million people have disappeared from the Asian nation. 

The HBCUC, which is established to protect the rights of religious minorities in Bangledesh, temporarily ousted Priya Saha for “anti-disciplinary activities” following a meeting of the organization’s standing committee on Monday, according to the Dhaka Tribune.

“She has been temporarily ousted for breaching discipline,” the council’s general secretary, Rana Dasgupta, was quoted as saying.

Saha, a Hindu who directs a rights group advocating for disempowered minorities called SHAREE, was among the nearly 30 survivors of religious persecution that met with Trump at the White House last Wednesday while in town for the U.S. State Department’s three-day Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

Saha was also among the few survivors and advocates granted the opportunity to have a brief exchange with the president about the persecution taking place in their countries.

“Sir, I am from Bangladesh. Here is 37 million Hindu, Buddhist and Christian are disappeared,” Saha told Trump during the meeting. “Please help us, the Bangladeshi people. We want to stay in our country. Still, there is 18 million minority people. Please help us. We don’t want to leave our country.”

“I have lost my home, they burned my home and they have taken my land,” she continued. “But no judgment has yet taken place.”

Trump followed up by asking Saha who took the land and the home.

“The Muslim fundamentalist group,” she responded.  “Always, they are getting the political shelter. Always.”

Saha’s brief exchange did not go over very well with the HBCUC or the Bangladesh government. A statement from the foreign ministry slammed Saha’s claims as “blatant lies.” The government also accused Saha of having an “ulterior motive” and said that it expects the U.S. organizers of the ministerial to invite responsible individuals.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith