State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Tuesday said the government needed to inform foreign missions in Dhaka that there is no room for “misinformation” and “confusion”
“It is nothing new. It falls within the normal diplomatic practice as we always do that and keep all informed when something major happens,” he told reporters, noting that BNP’s plan to create anarchy centering its December 10 rally “didn’t work”.
Alam said BNP is spreading propaganda at home and abroad and they had chosen December 10 as major countries announced new sanctions on December 9. BNP tried to block major Dhaka streets from December 7, he added.
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The government will not allow deliberate violence and vandalism that are threats to public security, the state minister said.
He said BNP invested millions of dollars and pounds on lobbyists who assured the party that there will be more sanctions.
“Centering this, they were in a celebratory mood and wanted to prove that the government does not have any friends,” Alam said.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) offered BNP the permission to hold their public rally at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan that has enough space for a large gathering.
Alam said that BNP did not accept the venue, as it did not go with their spirit, and they did not have the ability to bring people in large numbers.
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He said politics is “not like a picnic” and it is not acceptable to block streets and disrupt public movement.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on December 12 shared a “non-paper on recent political situation in Bangladesh” with all foreign missions and office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka.
Assessing the possible implications on security, public safety, safety of properties, public mobility and overall law-and-order situation in the capital ahead of Victory Day on December 16, the historic Suhrawardy Udyan was offered.
“Presumably, BNP leaders wanted to make a political issue out of the venue. Their objective was to create anarchy on the busy public street as they did in 2014 and 2018 before the national elections,” the MoFA note reads.
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It mentioned that the BNP wanted to take common people under hostage situations to make their unlawful demand.
BNP plotted to use the constitutional right to peaceful assembly with unlawful and violent intentions, according to the document seen by UNB.
According to police, cocktails were also found in the BNP party office.
The circumstantial evidence shows that the actual plan of the BNP was to occupy the street forcefully and unlawfully three days prior to the scheduled public gathering, according to the MoFA document.
Later BNP agreed on an alternative venue (Golapbagh Math) for their December 10 rally, and the meeting went peacefully without any major incident.
“This reflects the government’s willingness and efforts to ensure freedom of expression and assembly,” reads the document.