BNP ployed to press for right to peaceful assembly through violent means: Foreign Ministry tells diplomatic missions
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. Read more: Tension over Dec 10 rally: Momen says govt doesn’t want conflict, will maintain maximum restraint 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. Read more: US Embassy issues alert for its citizens in Bangladesh 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. Read more: UN reminds Bangladesh of commitments to free expression, peaceful assembly 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.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said the planned visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Japan would be delayed due to a number of reasons including political situation in Japan and restricted mobility due to Covid-19. "They have invited us. We are observing the situation," he told reporters at a media briefing at a hotel in Dhaka. Momen also referred to resignation of three cabinet members of Japan and hinted that Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida might face more questions. In a separate briefing, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Thursday hinted at the possibility of rescheduling PM Hasina's planned official visit to Japan. Read more: PM’s Japan visit will happen soon, Shahriar Alam says "The visit will soon take place. We have not made any official announcement regarding the visit," he told reporters, noting that the date will be announced later. After his meeting with Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Takei Shunsuke, held at InterContinental Hotel, Dhaka today, Shahriar interacted with journalists present there. He said there are many aspects in diplomacy and changes take place even at the last moment. "You heard about a date but the visit is not taking place on that date considering the current perspective," he said. Shahriar said there are some agreements and MoUs which will be signed during Prime Minister-level talks. Earlier, FM Momen told the media that the visit might take place from November 29. Read more: Bangladesh seeks direct shipping connectivity, PTA with Sri Lanka On Wednesday evening, Momen said Japan is ready to receive a Bangladesh delegation led by PM Hasina to further deepen the relations between the two countries. "Bangladesh-Japan relations are very deep. It will further be deepened through the visit," he told reporters. Momen said Japan is keen to elevate the comprehensive relations to a strategic one. "We like each other."
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh, Ito Naoki, met BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir today, a day after some leaders and activists of the party were attacked in Dhaka and Cumilla. The meeting which started at 10 am at BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office ended around 11:30 am. BNP standing committee member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury and organising secretary Shyama Obaid were present at the meeting. Read:BNP holds candlelight vigil amid attack in city Talking to reporters after the meeting, Amir Khosru, also convener of BNP's foreign affairs committee, said Bangladesh-Japan relationship is long-standing. He said they discussed various issues of bilateral cooperation between the two countries alongside the latest political situation in Bangladesh. Asked whether the latest attacks on BNP leaders and activists came up for discussion, he said, “I have already said we talked about contemporary political issues.” Read: BNP's candlelight vigil in Banani attacked by ruling party activists Last night, some BNP leaders, including standing committee member Selima Rahman, joint secretary general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, organising secretary Shyama Obaid and executive committee member Tabith Awal, suffered injuries as ruling party activists reportedly attacked a candlelight vigil of the opposition party on Kamal Atartuk Avenue, the main thoroughfare in Dhaka’s Banani. Tabith, a BNP foreign affairs committee member, was admitted to United Hospital for treatment with a head injury. Earlier in the day, four people including BNP Vice Chairman Barkatullah Bulu and his wife, were injured in an attack by miscreants at Monohorganj upazila in Cumilla. Read Japan seeks stronger cultural ties with Bangladesh engaging younger generation