Large Anti-war Protest Held in Bangladeshi Capital

Around 300,000 people held an anti-war march in Dhaka on Saturday to protest the US-led invasion of Iraq in the biggest demonstration in the country since the war in the Gulf country began.

The protesters carried banners and posters with anti-war slogans.

A small boy carried a poster reading "Peace, no war." Others read "Hands off Iraq," "Save the world," "Stop killing women and children in Iraq," "Withdraw US bases from the Middle East."

The protesters shouted slogans such as "Down with imperialism,""World's people be free" and "Disarm USA."

The organizers of the protest march included Bangladesh's majoropposition the Awami League of former prime minister Sheikh Hasina,some religious parties including the Jamaat-e-Islami, a partner ofthe four-party government of Khaleda Zia, and a faction of Jatya Party (National Party) led by former president Ershad.

Before the start of the march, the parties held rallies where the speakers asked the people to raise their voice against "the US-led aggression."

An "Anti-imperialism" dais was set up in the main road junctionon which pro-Awami League literary and art workers staged an anti-war street corner drama.

Various professional groups formed human chains against the invasion of Iraq.

Meanwhile, the government announced on Saturday that Bangladeshis ready to send doctors and nurses "to serve the Iraqi health sector during the post-war reconstruction."

People's Daily Online ---