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Nixon faced five demands from World students Union in 1971

By Asraful Huq

DHAKA, March 11, 2015 (BSS)- Student World Concern (SWC), an
international student organization dedicated to eradication of
social injustice, put forward five-point demands before the then
US President Nixon including stoppage of killings of innocent
Bangladeshis during the War of Liberation in 1971.

The demands also included stopping of all kinds of assistance to West Pakistan, increasing donations of international relief organizations to reduce the plight of war affected Bangladeshis and issuing suspension of interest rate on debt taken by Indian government for one year to create pressure on them for helping the refugees.

The organization demanded giving assistance of 250 million US dollars to India and build pressure on President Yahya Khan to stop unnecessary killings and allow continuation of distributing relief unabated.

The students' union with branches in 19 countries started functioning with the motto of letting the pride and politics, bias and greed be set aside to ensure a better world thwarting the growth of deprivation and oppression.

It had branches in Australia, Canada, England, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, Uganda, the United States and Zambia.

The SWC had also played a significant role in resolving the plight of refugees who took shelter in India immediately after invasion of Pakistani occupation forces in Bangladesh.

They had collected donations from different people and organizations to help the refugees and published a brochure titled "Plight of Pakistani Refugees Worsens".

The union expressed grave concern over carrying out 'Operation Search Light' on March 25 midnight in 1971 and killing of thousands of innocent people saying, "They (Pakistani occupation forces) wasted neither time nor bullets. Summarily executed doctors, teachers, writers, scientists, and artistes by thousands."

Pakistan Relief Centre was formed by the union to help resolve the plight of around one crore refugees who took shelter in 160 camps in West Bengal, Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya of India.

It blamed the atrocities of Pakistan on Bangladeshis as the reason of the refugee problem, saying, "One crore people (Bangladeshis) were made refugees. It is like half the population of California had been forced to go into exile." It also criticized Pakistani occupation forces for the killings of lakhs of people.

Noted historian Professor Dr. Muntassir Mamoon in an article "Biswa Chhatra Parishader Ahbban" (Call of World Student Council) in his edited book "Muktijuddher Chhinna Dalilpatra" narrated the role of World Student Concern.