2202Published on September 24, 2018
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the killers, money-launderers and oppotunists became united against the Awami League government and feared the country will be destroyed if they could come to power.
“These characters will plunder national wealth, destroy the country and become cohorts of the anti-liberation forces if they come to power. So the people will have to think about them,” she told a civic reception hosted in her honour by expatriates Bangladeshis living in the USA.
The premier harshly criticized the formation of a new anti-government alliance led by Dr Kamal Hossain and Dr Badruddoza Chowdhury and wondered how they will fight corruption keeping corrupts elements along with them.
“Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman were convicted in corruption charges and we’ve brought back the money they siphoned off abroad. Now Dr Kamal Hossain, Badruddoza Chowdhury and Mahmudur Rahman Manna will fight the graft taking these corrupt elements with them,” she said.
She wondered that former caretaker government adviser Barrister Moinul Hosein and BNP leader Barrister Moudud Ahmed too lent their support to the new alliance and recalled that both were convicted previously in graft charges.
The premier said Moinul Hosein was convicted in the Sazu Hossain versus the state case for grabbing of a house in city’s Kakrail area and Moudud Ahmed was convicted in a graft case but military dictator H M Ershad pardoned him and subsequently inducted him in his regime.
AL Presidium Member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and AL’s Office Secretary Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap spoke at the function held at Hotel New York Hilton Midtown here on Sunday evening, while US chapter AL President Dr Siddikur Rahman in the chair.
PM’s Energy Adviser Dr Towfik-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and AL Joint Secretary and former foreign minister Dr Dipu Moni were present on the dais, among others.
Sheikh Hasina also expressed her skepticism about Kamal Hossain and Badruddoza Chowdhury’s leadership and feared that the country would be exposed to plunderers and looters.
She recalled that Hossain appeared failure in running his own party that he formed quitting Awami League while Chowdhury was forced to quit presidency and subsequently “had to run along the railway tracks being chased by the BNP activists”.
Another figure of the new alliance Manna, she said, was elected DUCSU vice-president as he was in good book of General Zia and Ershad. “(Yet) I want them to form a party and contest the polls . . . if they get peoples mandate they will come to power but I thank them as at least they got united at one place,” she said.
But the premier said their call for toppling the government appeared weird saying “what is the fault of the government (when) no sector remained undeveloped” as the incumbent government ran the country.
She simultaneously said BNP-Jamaat terrorists killed 500 innocent people and 28/29 members of law enforcement agencies through clandestine arson attack in 2013-2015 forcing the government to take steps to expose them to justice.
“Cases were filed against the BNP-Jamaat cadres all over the country for their heinous acts and when the law enforcement agencies round them up, their legal actions are described as political cases,” she said.
The premier added: “These are not political cases, rather these are murder cases . . . they are being arrested for killing people through ‘fire terrorism'”.
Sheikh Hasina her government was still working relentlessly for the peoples and country’s welfare that yielded launching of the construction of mega projects like the Padma Bridge which “we are constructing with our own funding as the honesty is our biggest strength”.
“The power is not a thing of enjoyment to me, rather I see it’s the instrument to serve the people . . . If the people want me we will remain in government, otherwise not,” she said.
Turning to the discussions and criticism on newly enacted Digital Security Act, the prime minister said everybody was now using digital devices like mobile phones, laptops and tabs and the technology has “both good and bad sides”.
“To stop misuse of the (digital) technology, we passed Digital Security Act,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the journalists were spearheading a massive campaign against the act “but I want to clearly say that they are seeing their own interest, paying no attention to the social problems being created with the misuse of the digital devices”. Sheikh Hasina pointed out that the devises were used to spearhead false propaganda of vested quarters which was clearly visible during the recent student movement.
The premier said the number of newspapers now being published in the country were highest ever as the government policy was to facilitate freedom of expressions and “the private TV channels that are running in the country also were granted licenses by the incumbent government.
Highlighting the country’s tremendous development that took place in the last 10 years, the Awami League president urged the people to cast vote for the party in the next election to continue the development.