Asian Leaders Express Shock at ‘Attack on Humanity’ in Paris

Kate Beddall
2015.11.14
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151114_PARIS_IN_620.jpg An Indian sand artist finishes a sculpture in Bhubaneswar in tribute to the victims of terror attacks in Paris, Nov. 14, 2015.
AFP

South and Southeast Asian leaders on Saturday expressed shock and condemnation at terrorist attacks in Paris the night before that killed at least 128 people and injured scores more.

In a statement reprinted on the website Jihad Watch, the Islamic State (IS) said eight of its members had carried out the shootings and bombings at a concert hall, sports stadium and restaurants in the French capital, attacks which French President Francois Hollande termed “an act of war.”

Speaking in London, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the events in Paris were not just an attack on French citizens and France, but “an attack on humanity.”

“It is an attack on humanitarian principles; that is why all the powers that believe in humanity have to come together to condemn such attacks. All pro-humanity forces should unite to defeat anti-humanity forces. They will have to fulfil their responsibilities,” Press Trust of India quoted him as saying.

Modi made the remarks during a ceremony to inaugurate a statue of the 12th century Indian philosopher Basaveshwara on the banks of the River Thames in London.

“It is unfortunate that I am unveiling the statue of Basaveshwara ... at a time when my heart is filled with shock,” he said.

‘Outrageous’

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, leader of the world’s most populous Muslim nation, rejected the attacks.

“Deep condolences for the victims of violence in Paris. Terrorism in any form or for any reason cannot be tolerated,” Widodo said via his twitter account.

“The government and people of Indonesia strongly condemn the violence and the atrocities that happened,” the state-run Antara news agency quoted him as saying during a press conference at Halim Air Force Base in Jakarta, prior to his departure for a G20 meeting in Turkey.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, already in Turkey for the gathering, said he had raised the matter in bilateral talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Saturday morning.

According to Najib, Erdogan said the G20 meeting would discuss how to enhance cooperation to combat such violence, the Bernama news agency said.

“Malaysia condemns the outrageous multiple terror attacks in Paris today on innocent civilians. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of France,” Najib earlier said via Twitter.

“I am shocked with what happened in Paris but we must remain united in the war against terrorism.”

About 514 Indonesians and up to 100 Malaysians have traveled to the Middle East to join IS, according to counter-terrorism officials in those countries.

At least 14 Malaysians have died fighting under the IS banner, Royal Malaysia Police counter-terrorism branch chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said early last month.

Malaysia's landmark Kuala Lumpur Tower is lit up in colors of the French flag in solidarity with France following terror attacks in Paris, Nov. 15, 2015. [AFP]
Malaysia's landmark Kuala Lumpur Tower is lit up in colors of the French flag in solidarity with France following terror attacks in Paris, Nov. 15, 2015. [AFP]

Malaysia's landmark Kuala Lumpur Tower is lit up in colors of the French flag in solidarity with France following terror attacks in Paris, Nov. 15, 2015. [AFP]

‘Together’

From Bangladesh, where IS claimed the recent murders of two foreigners and an unprecedented bombing on a Shia Muslim gathering late last month, President Abdul Hamid condemned  the terror attacks “in the strongest terms,” Hamid’s press secretary told BenarNews.

In a statement released by the Foreign Ministry Saturday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said: ‘I am deeply shocked by the series of terrorist attacks in Paris that killed so many innocent people and left many injured.

“We are together in our fight against terrorism and violent extremism. Terrorism and terrorists irrespective of their color, creed or religion must have no place in any civilized society.”

“I, along with the people and the government of Bangladesh, strongly condemn these acts of terror and stand in solidarity with the people and the government of France.”

Thai Prime Minster Prayuth Chan-o-cha joined the chorus of outrage.

“I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the explosions in Paris last night which resulted in many casualties,” he said in a message to the French government.

“On behalf of the Royal Thai Government and the people of the Kingdom of Thailand, I wish to convey our deepest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families that have been affected by this tragic incident.”

Sompoch Samutavanich, a worker in Bangkok, recoiled after hearing one of the attackers invoked the name of Allah during the carnage.

“It is horrible for such thing to happen. Religion can never be exploited as a ploy to kill others.”

French nationals hold candles during a vigil for victims of a terror attack in Paris at the Alliance Francaise in Bangkok, Nov. 14, 2015. [AFP]
French nationals hold candles during a vigil for victims of a terror attack in Paris at the Alliance Francaise in Bangkok, Nov. 14, 2015. [AFP]

Kamran Reza Chowdhury and Pimuk Rakkanam contributed to this report.

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