Dhaka, Aug 28 (UNB) – Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader on Tuesday said BNP’s demand for the trial of August 21 grenade attack is a ‘cruel joke’ about the barbaric and brutal killing.
“The patrons of August-21 killers want the trial of the killing. The BNP leaders want justice for the August 21-killing incident. How can you describe it? It’s a cruel joke about the barbaric and brutal killing incident of history,” he said.
Quader, also the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, came up with the comment while speaking at the concluding discussion of the month-long programme of the Mourning Month of August at Mohanagar Natya Mancha. Awami Jubo League organised the programme.
On Monday, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at a press conference said, “As in the past, we still condemn and protest the brutal incident of August 21 grenade on an Awami League rally in 2004. We want the trial and exemplary punishment of those real offenders responsible for the attack to stop the recurrence of such a ruthless incident.”
Reacting to Fakhrul’s comment, Quader said it is BNP’s dirty politics. “They (BNP leaders) can kill on one hand and seek justice for it on the other and they can indulge in corruption and seek justice for it. Even, they can pretend to be innocent after being convicted.”
He alleged that Awami League’s ‘masked enemies’ are now very active to spread propaganda against the government. “We’ve veiled enemies. It’s the masked enemies, not BNP-Jamaat, are now very active. They’re spreading rumours and propaganda. Their existence is there both in the civil society and the mass media.”
Quader urged the ruling party leaders and activists to remain united as the conspirators are trying to oust the Sheikh Hasina-led government by creating chaos in the country.
Dhaka, Aug 28 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said the citizens of the country, irrespective of their religions, will enjoy their equal rights as there is nothing like ‘you and me’.
"You, the people of the Hindu community, will live here with your own rights. This soil also belongs to you…there’s nothing called you and me here, all citizens of Bangladesh have their own equal rights," she said.
The Prime Minister said this while exchanging greetings with members of the Hindu community at her official residence Ganobhaban on the occasion of Janmashtami.
“In every sphere of life -- socioeconomic, education, healthcare and religious rituals -- all have the equal rights," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said as the head of the government it is her responsibility to ensure the equal rights for all. "And we’re performing our duty."
Referring to her government's philosophy of ‘religion is for individuals and festivals are for all’, she said the people of all faiths had fought shoulder-to-shoulder in 1971 and embraced martyrdom to liberate the country.
During the great Liberation War, the Prime Minister said, people from all religions under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman participated in it and sacrificed their blood for the country’s independence.
"People brought Independence in lieu of their blood…so, this country is for the people of all religions," she said.
Giving importance to maintaining communal and religious harmony in the country, Hasina said every religion preaches peace, fraternity and tolerance and it is the important aspect of religion.
Describing the leaders of the Hindu community as the sons of this soil, the Prime Minister called upon them to work together to develop Bangladesh with the Liberation War spirit.
Pointing out the law enacted by her government for the Hindu community similar to ‘heba law’ of the Muslim community, Hasina said her government has done this to facilitate the transfer of property of the Hindu community members to their close relatives without any tax.
She said the government always tried to make sure that every festival of all religions is observed in a festive mood. "This is the beauty of Bangladesh where people from all religions participated in every religious festival."
The Prime Minister extended her greetings to members of the Hindu community on the occasion of Janmashtami saying Sri Krishna had preached the message of love, justice and affection which all should promote.
Hasina said Lord Krishna was born to establish brotherhood among the people through ‘Checking the wicks and nurturing the goods’.
Religious Affairs Minister Principal Motiur Rahman, leaders of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Committee, Janmashtami Udjapan Parishad and Mohanagar Sarbojonin Puja Committee also spoke on the occasion.
Leaders of Janmashtami Udjapan Parishad, Bangladesh, Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad and Mohanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee greeted the Prime Minister by presenting bouquets to her.
Earlier, a one-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and other martyrs of the August 15, 1975 carnage.
Dhaka, Aug 28 (UNB) – The leaders of Jukta Front and Gano Forum sat in a meeting here on Tuesday night and discussed various issues for foraging a greater national unity ahead of the next general election.
The meeting began around 8pm at Gano Forum president Dr Kamal Hossain’s Bailey Road residence and continued till 9:45pm.
Apart from Kamal Hossain, Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, its general secretary Abdul Manna, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) president ASM Abdur Rob, its general secretary Abdul Malek Ratan, Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna and pro-BNP intellectual Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, among others, joined the meeting.
Contacted, B Chowdhury’s press secretary Jahangir Alam said Jukta Front presented a seven-point proposal on which the national unity will be forged.
He said the meeting accepted the proposals and agreed to make the unity based on those.
The proposals include forging a unity of all like-mined, non-communal, democratic and pro-liberation parties except Jamaat-e-Islami and other anti-liberation ones, in the national interests, ensuring freedom of speech, press freedom and freedom of association and meetings, establishing the rule of law, ensuring the independence of the judiciary and holding a neutral and acceptable election.
It also proposed ensuring a balance between parliament and the government to stop political obstinacy, announcing an election roadmap through discussion with political parties before the announcement of the election schedule, dissolving parliament and revoking the cabinet, and not arresting activists of any political party until the end of the polls and releasing all the students and political prisoners before the announcement of the election schedule.
Earlier on August 20, Dr Kamal Hossain and Jukta Front leaders had a meeting at B Chowdhury’s Baridhara residence.
The Kamal Hossain-led Gano Forum and newly formed Jukta Front, led by B Chowdhury, have long been trying to forge a national unity to hold the next polls in a fair and credible manner and bring a positive change in politics.
Khulna, Aug 26 (UNB) – Awami League candidate Abdus Salam Murshedi, a former national footballer and ex-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), submitted nomination paper for by-election to Khulna-4 constituency as a lone candidate.
Murshedi submitted the nomination paper to Md Yunus Ali, returning officer and also election officer of Khulna divisional regional election office, at noon.
Though today (Aug 26) was the last date for the submission of nomination paper, two other intending candidates who collected nomination forms did not submit those.
The by-election to Khulna-4 comprising of Rupsa, Terokhada and Dighalia, was scheduled to be held on September 20.
The Khulna-4 constituency fell vacant with the death of AL’s three-time MP SM Mostafa Rashidi Suja on July 26 last.
Beijing, Aug 27 (AP/UNB) — A top Chinese leader has called for "advancing anti-separatism efforts" in Tibet, in a sign of continued high-pressure tactics in the Himalayan region.
Wang Yang, the ruling Communist Party's No. 4 ranking official, was quoted Monday in state media as stressing the importance of tight control over Tibet's Buddhist institutions, urging "preparedness and precautions for danger in times of safety."
Religious figures must "be courageous to battle all separatist elements" in the name of preserving national unity and social stability, Wang was quoted as saying in Tibet's regional capital of Lhasa during a visit there on Sunday.
Beijing's forces occupied Tibet shortly after the 1949 communist revolution and security there has been ratcheted up significantly in the decade since anti-government protests spread through Tibetan areas in 2008.
The tactics in Tibet are largely aimed at reducing the influence of the region's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India. China claims Tibet has been part of its territory for more than seven centuries and regards the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist.
Many Tibetans insist they were essentially independent for much of that time.
Wang has broad responsibility for religious policy as head of the government's top political advisory body. In his comments Sunday, he also echoed Beijing's calls for the sinicization of religion, shorthand for adherence to the dictates of the officially atheist party.
Among recent tightening security measures in Tibet, students were required to sign agreements to "not take part in any form of religious activity" during the summer school holidays.
Young Tibetan monks have also reportedly been forced to leave one of the biggest monasteries in a Tibetan region of western China as part of a drive to replace monastic life with secular education.
Recent months have also seen sweeping crackdowns on traditional Muslim culture among the Uighur ethnic minority group in the northwestern region of Xinjiang and among Christians in eastern China.