Sir Frank Peters :: Congratulations are in order for Cardinal D’Rozario, Archbishop George Kocherry, (the Apostolic Nuncio, ambassador), Bishop Shorot Gomes and their team on their great success in bringing Pope Francis – the world’s biggest pop star with over 1.2-billion devout followers – to Bangladesh.
Now that His Holiness has departed from Bangladesh, those involved in the gigantic operation can accord themselves a BIG sigh of relief, experience an intense feeling of happiness, and enjoy enormous satisfaction in the knowledge the operation went as smooth as silk.
This Roll of Honour also includes Inspector General of Police (IGP) AKM Shahidul Huq and other Bangladesh security forces, which executed their duties impeccably and showed to the world their security measures are second to none. A job, well done.
While the Pope’s visit may not resolve the Rohingya crisis in itself, a near-to-impossible task, the visit of His Holiness would undoubtedly have catapulted their plight to world attention and given the unfortunate, severely distressed Rohingya people hope of a speedier solution and given them the knowledge they are not forgotten.
The Rohingya people are as synonymous with Bangladesh nowadays as they are with Myanmar. When the Rohingya crisis is reported in the international media it is impossible not to mention the compassionate and noble work of Bangladesh in its efforts to help the refugees and give mention to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has offered succor to the refugees, as the people of Bangladesh would wish. In so doing, she has done the nation proud and elevated respect for Bangalees worldwide.
This international respect in turn will greatly assist the tourist industry, and project Bangladesh as a compassionate friendly warm-hearted place to visit.
While it is early days yet with still a lot of road to travel, the Noble Peace Prize does look as if it is beckoning and might have the name Sheikh Hasina inscribed on the medal and diploma. If that comes to pass it would be an exalted honour not only for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, but all Bangalees, individually and collectively, to celebrate, treasure, and share with pride.
(Sir Frank Peters is a former newspaper and magazine publisher and editor, royal goodwill ambassador, humanitarian, and a foreign friend of Bangladesh)