The treatment of Buddhists by the authorities, and whether Buddhists, especially in the Chittagong region, suffered any attacks by Muslim extremists or members of the Jamaat-i- Islami (JI) (January 1996-June 1999) [BGD32121.E]

Little information on the treatment of Buddhists by the authorities and on whether Buddhists have suffered attacks by Muslim extremists or members of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

The November 1998 Bangladesh Country Assessment report by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate of the British Home Office in London states the following:

5.3.3. The Government allows various religions to establish open places of worship; train clergy; travel for religious purposes; and maintain links with coreligionists abroad. Citizens of the country are allowed to proselytize. (Although foreign missionaries may work in the country, their right to proselytize is not protected by the Constitution.) Dates of religious significance in the Muslim, Hindu, Christian and Buddhist calendar are observed as public holidays.
5.3.5. Some members of the Hindu, Christian and Buddhist minorities continue to perceive and experience discrimination towards them from the majority community. However, discrimination against religious minorities is not widespread or a result of any systematic campaign of persecution.
5.3.6. ...The BHBCOP [The Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist and Christian Unity Council] believe that conditions for minorities have improved under the current (Awami League) administration. The BHBCOP also believe that the state-sponsored persecution of minorities, mainly Hindus, has now stopped and a greater number of positions in the public sector are being filled by members of minority groups (14).

Additional and/or corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted.
Brief mention of the situation of Buddhists in Bangladesh can also be found in

Country Reports 1998.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Home Office, Immigration and Naturalization Directorate, London. November 1998.

Bangladesh Country Assessment.

Additional Sources Consulted

Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK)/Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST)//Odhikar. 1997.

Human Rights in Bangladesh 1996.

Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK)/Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST)/Madaripur Legal Aid Association (MLAA)/Odhikar. 1998.

Human Rights in Bangladesh 1997.

Amnesty International Report 1998. 1998.

Asian Survey [Berkeley, Calif.]. Monthly. January 1996-January/February 1999.
Bureau of South Asian Affairs, US Department of State. June 1998.

Background Notes: Bangladesh.

Coordinating Council for Human Rights in Bangladesh (CCHRB). State of Human Rights in Bangladesh. Yearly. 31 January 1996, 5 April 1997, 30 April 1998.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1998. April 1999.

Dhaka Courier. 26 December 1997. "Chronology of Events 1997."
DIRB. January 1997.

Bangladesh: Human Rights Situation.

Human Rights Watch/Asia. June 1996.

Bangladesh: Political Violence on All Sides.

Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (JSAMES) [Villanova, Penn.]. Quarterly. Spring 1996-Spring 1999.

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. Monthly. January 1996-March 1999.

Resource Centre. "Bangladesh" country file. January 1996-present.

Electronic sources: Internet, IRB Databases.

Non-documentary sources:

Unsuccessful attempts to contact 4 oral sources.