In the wake of massive blasts in Lebanon’s Beirut, Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader on Friday urged the authorities concerned to work sincerely for protecting the interests of Bangladeshi workers staying in that country.
In a statement, he also expressed deep shock over the losses of huge lives, including that of four Bangladeshis, in the Beirut explosions.
GM Quader, also the deputy leader of the opposition in parliament, prayed for salvation of the departed souls and conveyed profound sympathy to the bereaved family members.
He also wished early recovery of those injured in the blasts.
“The massive devastation in Beirut caused by the horrific explosions was unexpected and tragic. Bangladesh will stand by Lebanon in such a disaster,” the Jatiya Party chairman said.
He called upon the international community to help Lebanon overcome the catastrophe.
At least 157 people, including four Bangladeshi nationals, were killed in two massive explosions in Lebanon’s capital Beirut on Tuesday.
Besides, over 5,000 people were injured, while nearly 300,000 left homeless following the blasts.
Also read: 100 killed, 4,000 injured in Beirut blast
Trashing media reports on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s observation over the formation of Jatiya Oikyafront, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, ahead of the 11th preliminary polls, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday said there is no room for confusion about national unity.
"In the evening on the Eid day, we, the members of the standing committee, went to meet madam (Khaleda) at her Gulshan residence. Now, a few media are creating confusion in public mind by spreading completely untrue, fabricated and baseless reports on that meeting,” he said.
Talking to reporters over the matter, Fakhrul said, "I want to make it clear there’s no scope for any confusion about the national unity. Such propaganda and misleading news have been published only to create confusion about the national unity.”
He said their party thinks a vested quarter is conspiring to tarnish the image of Khaleda Zia and BNP by providing wrong information to people.
BNP standing committee members met Khaleda on Saturday night and exchanged greetings with her on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha.
Some newspapers, quoting anonymous BNP standing committee members, reported that Khaleda Zia told them at the meeting that BNP made a mistake by forming Jatiya Oikyafront under the leadership of Dr Kamal Hossain who has personal enmity with Prime Minister Sheikh Husain, but holds the same ideology and always talks about his leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Protesting the reports, Fakhrul said they only exchanged greetings with their ailing chairperson Khaleda Zia. “We just shared our joy and sorrows.”
He also said Khaleda only gave them a patient hearing, but she did not make any comment in support or against their remarks.
The BNP secretary general hoped that the media would provide authentic information and publish objective reports.
On March 25 last, Khaleda was released from jail for six months upon an executive order considering her age and humanitarian ground.
The government passed the executive order for her release on two conditions -- receiving treatment staying at her Gulshan residence and not leaving the country. She has been staying at her Gulshan residence since she was freed.
Khaleda was sent to Old Dhaka Central Jail after she had been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by a special court in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018.
BNP on Tuesday alleged that the government is trying to mislead people with its ‘false’ claim of keeping the corona situation under control though the virus has now spread to rural areas of the country.
“Obaidul Quader has said corona is under control. But the reality is the virus has spread badly across the country, including villages. Ruling party leaders are making such comments only to hush up the real situation,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Talking to reporters while distributing corona safety gears among journalists at Kurigram Press Club, he said Awami League leaders are trying to appease the Prime Minister with their ‘false’ assertions and ‘fabricated’ information about the virus situation.
The BNP leader said corona would not have spread so alarmingly across the country had the government taken adequate preventive measures at the early stage. “The government didn’t sincerely work to contain the virus. The government has completely failed to control the corona situation”
He said many people, including prominent persons, died of the deadly virus, but the government is not letting people know the real situation of the virus outbreak.
“People could have made aware of the corona had they been provided the genuine information about the country’s situation. They (govt) still can’t realise its consequences,” Rizvi observed.
As floods hit different areas amid corona infections, he said, people are going through serious miseries. “The flood-affected people are crying for survival amid food crisis. Many of them took shelter on roads. But the government has not taken any step to ease their sufferings. The flood victims are not being given relief and any other support from the government.”
Urging his party colleagues not to get frustrated, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday said their party leaders and activists must organise people to bring about a change and ‘restore’ democracy in the country.
“There’s no room for frustration. The desired change must come and we’ve to work hard for bringing that change and restore democracy in the country,” he said.
Speaking at a virtual discussion programme, the BNP leader also said BNP, as a political party, has the biggest responsibility to organise and mobilise people. “We need to organise people who are angry at the current awful autocracy and fascism. We’ll be able to restore the rights of our people only by organising people.”
He called upon BNP leaders and activists to work hard for uniting people and actively participate in a struggle to defeat ‘fascism’ and ‘restore’ democracy.
BNP arranged the virtual programme in memory of Swechchasebak Dal president Shafiul Bari Babu and party’s assistant organising secretary Abdul Awal Khan who died recently.
Fakhrul said their party has long been carrying out a struggle to restore democracy and people’s ownership of the country. “Most people support this struggle. They want to bring back their rights, including the right to franchise. But a force has kept them suppressed by usurping power. So, we need to think about how we’ll overcome this situation.”
He said it is not an easy task to get rid of the current situation and bring back democracy without sacrifices. “We’ll have to make many more sacrifices and pay a heavy price to achieve our goal.”
BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said their party suffered a big loss through the deaths of two promising young leaders Babu and Awal.
Recalling the contributions of Babu and Awal to their parties, he said they both worked dedicatedly to strengthen the party by facing many repressive acts.
Mosharraf urged the party leaders and activists to get ready for making sacrifices for the party and making it stronger further getting inspired by the activities of Babu and Awal.
Jatiyatabadi Swechchasebak Dal President Shafiul Bari Babu died on July 28 after suffering from lung infections while BNP assistant organising secretary Abdul Awal Khan died of coronavirus on July 28 last.
Condemning the killing of a retired ‘Major of Bangladesh Army on Marine Drive road in Cox’s Bazar’s Teknaf, BNP on Monday demanded that the real culprits be identified through a credible process.
In a statement, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, “The brutal and premature death of a former army officer has once again made people aggrieved (over the extrajudicial killing). We strongly denounce the incident.”
He said, “I also strongly demand the government identify the real culprits in a credible process and bring them to justice immediately instead of resorting to an eyewash in the name of an investigation into the brutal incident."
Retired Major Sinha Md Rashed was killed in police firing at Baharchhara police check-post in Teknaf on Friday night.
The government has already formed a probe committee to look into the incident
Besides, 21 police officers, including the in-charge of Baharchhara police outpost, have been suspended in connection with the killing of the retired army major while two people were arrested and two separate cases filed in this regard.
Fakhrul said ensuring the rights of every citizen is the constitutional responsibility of the state. “But under the present government, the state has been continuously failing to ensure this fundamental right for the last decade.”
He said the government’s statement over such deaths of thousands of people in the hands of the Rab and the police have already been established as a state-sponsored lie in the public mind.
Fakhrul said their party is committed to people to end extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, murders, and inhumane physical and mental tortures. “In light of this commitment, BNP will continue to play its due role together with people in building Bangladesh as a humanitarian state.”