Mr. Speaker, Bangladesh became a country after a war of independence that began about 40 years ago.
After many challenges in the early years, the restoration of democracy in 1991 gave hope to the people of Bangladesh for a better life for themselves and their children. That is why it is with grave concern and great sorrow that Canadians have learned of recent arrests of journalists, in particular Mahmudur Rahman. Hundreds of members of Canada's Bangladeshi community have written to me asking me to share their condemnation of these arrests.
As a sister Commonwealth country, Canada will always have a keen interest in what happens in Bangladesh. A vibrant and industrious Bangladeshi community that shares the values of democracy, freedom of expression and freedom of the press is asking the Canadian government to take note of these disquieting developments and to do whatever it can to avoid a slide back from those values.