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No nation can survive in isolation: Pope
Visiting Pope Francis on Thursday said no single community, nation or state can survive and make progress in isolation.
“In today’s world, no single community, nation or state can survive and make progress in isolation. As members of the one human family, we need one another and are dependent on one another,” he said while addressing a meeting at Bangabhaban here in the evening.
Recalling the role of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Pope said Mujib envisioned a modern, pluralistic and inclusive society in which every person and community could live in freedom, peace and security, with respect for the innate dignity and equal rights of all.
Noting that the future of this young democracy and the health of its political life are essentially linked to fidelity to that founding vision, Pope Francis said adding “for only through sincere dialogue and respect for legitimate diversity can a people reconcile divisions, overcome unilateral perspectives, and recognise the validity of differing viewpoints.”
Because true dialogue looks to the future, he said, it builds unity in the service of the common good and is concerned for the needs of all citizens, especially the poor, the underprivileged and those who have no voice.
About Rohingya crisis, Pope Francis said in recent months, the spirit of generosity and solidarity which is a distinguishing mark of Bangladeshi society has been seen most vividly in its humanitarian outreach to a massive influx of refugees from Rakhine State, providing them with temporary shelter and the basic necessities of life.
But he did not mention the word ‘Rohingya’ during his whole speech.
“This has been done at no little sacrifice. It has also been done before the eyes of the whole world. None of us can fail to be aware of the gravity of the situation, the immense toll of human suffering involved, and the precarious living conditions of so many of our brothers and sisters, a majority of whom are women and children, crowded in the refugee camps.”
The Pope said it is imperative that the international community take decisive measures to address this grave crisis, not only by working to resolve the political issues that have led to the mass displacement of people, but also by offering immediate material assistance to Bangladesh in its effort to respond effectively to urgent human needs.
President Abdul Hamid also spoke at the meeting.