Attendees tight-lipped on inter-ministerial meeting to tackle propaganda, misinformation
The government has decided to deal with "anti-government propaganda" at home and abroad in a "coordinated way" and fight against misinformation by presenting correct information. Representatives from the relevant ministries and departments will sit regularly to find effective ways to present correct information about Bangladesh against fabrication and misinformation. The decision was taken at a meeting held at State guesthouse Padma on Sunday with Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in the chair. Law Minister Anisul Huq, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and representatives from law enforcement agencies were present. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will coordinate the work. Asked about the meeting, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam said it was a closed-door meeting and there is nothing to share with the media. Read more: Misinformation, fake news a grave concern, says Md Shahriar Alam
Israeli filmmaker at IFFI calls ‘The Kashmir Files’ a ‘propaganda’; ambassador apologises
Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid, who criticised “The Kashmir Files” as a “propaganda” and “vulgar film” at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, today (November 29, 2022) received harsh criticism from the Israeli ambassador to India. In an “open letter” posted on Twitter the day after IFFI jury chair Lapid criticised the movie at the festival’s closing ceremony, Israeli envoy Naor Gilon also expressed his regrets to India, NDTV reports. The 1990 migration and murders of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley is the subject of Vivek Agnihotri’s film “The Kashmir Files”. Since it was released in March, it has been engulfed in controversy. Read: ‘Wakanda Forever’ review: A king-less kingdom mourns, rebuilds The Israeli ambassador tweeted this morning: “An open letter to #NadavLapid following his criticism of #KashmirFiles. It’s not in Hebrew because I wanted our Indian brothers and sisters to be able to understand. It is also relatively long so I’ll give you the bottom line first. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED. Here’s why:” Ambassador Gilon claimed that filmmaker Lapid had exploited the judges’ panel invitation from the film festival in India’s Goa in the “worst way”. He wrote: “In Indian culture they say that a guest is like God. You have abused in the worst way the Indian invitation to chair the panel of judges at @IFFIGoa as well as the trust, respect and warm hospitality they have bestowed on you.” Read: Iranian who inspired ‘The Terminal’ dies of ‘heart attack’ at Paris airport “I unequivocally condemn such statements. There is no justification. It does show the sensitivity of the Kashmir issue here,” the Israeli ambassador’s tweet read. “From your interview to Ynet the connection you make between your criticism of #KashmirFiles and your dislike to what is happening in Israeli politics was quite evident.” He further tweeted: “As a human being I feel ashamed and want to apologize to our hosts for the bad manner in which we repaid them for their generosity and friendship.” Gilon claimed in tweets directed to Lapid that the relations between Israel and India are very strong and will endure the “damages” caused by the latter’s comments. Read More: In Kashmir, ‘conscious music’ tests India’s limits on speech Israeli filmmaker and IFFI jury head Lapid yesterday (November 28, 2022) remarked that “The Kashmir Files” movie “disturbed and shocked” the festival jury members. He said, “That felt to us like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival.”
People who engage in anti-Bangladesh propaganda abroad to be punished, PM tells JS
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday told Parliament that the government is working to punish Bangladeshis who are engaged in propaganda against the country and the government abroad. “The government has been working to bring those…to book and punish,” she said. She said those people are engaged in anti-government activities and they regularly make provocative and fabricated statements from abroad. Read more: Opposition out to destabilise politics amid crisis: PM tells Parliament The PM made the statement while replying to a question from Awami League lawmaker Nur Uddin Chowdhary Nayan (Laxmipur-2) during the question-answer session in the House. She said the expatriate Bangladeshis brighten the name and image of Bangladesh through their positive activities in the host countries alongside sending remittance. They can play role to protect the interests of Bangladesh, staying in the host countries, she added. “Alongside playing the positive role by the expatriate Bangladeshis, unfortunately some people among the expatriate Bangladeshis are engaged in propaganda against the country and the government,” said the PM. She also mentioned that steps have been taken to brighten the image of Bangladesh and stop propaganda abroad. Read more:Do your best to boost food production to keep Bangladesh free from famine: PM Hasina urges youth Hasina said regular efforts continue to publish factual news stories and articles in international media for depicting the positive image of Bangladesh and facing propaganda. If an untrue and propaganda story is published in the international media, the public diplomacy wing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sends objective and factual rejoinder to the news outlets, she said. The fabricated and baseless social media posts of those who spread propaganda are under watch, said the PM.
Give fitting response to propaganda against us: PM to expat Bangladeshis
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, on Saturday, urged expatriate Bangladeshis to highlight Bangladesh’s development journey and give a fitting reply to the propaganda abroad against the country and the government. “Give fitting response to propaganda against us,” she said. The premier was addressing a civic reception, accorded to her by the Bangladeshi community in New York, US. Read:PM: Returning from UNGA with friendship for Bangladesh She asked Bangladeshi expats to convey a true picture of the country’s unprecedented development that transpired under the Awami League government, and move forward with dignity and honour that Bangladesh has earned.
Momen seeks united efforts to deal with anti-govt propaganda
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Friday alleged that a vested group got engaged in spreading propaganda against the government in many ways to undermine its pro-people initiatives and sought united efforts to deal with that propaganda upholding the truth. He said they (who are spreading propaganda) are trying to bring trouble for the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by creating confusion among the people. Foreign minister Momen urged the Jubo League and Chhatra League leaders to deal with that propaganda by showing that people in Bangladesh are doing well compared to other countries amid the Russia-Ukraine war. He was speaking at an event organised by Sylhet District and Metropolitan Chhatra League marking National Mourning Day. Read:Momen retreats into full 'blame the media' mode
Vested group spreads propaganda over electricity-energy: Obaidul Quader
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Monday said an identified group is carrying out propaganda and spreading confusion purposefully saying that the electricity and energy crisis will prolong in the country. He urged the people not to be misled by the motivated propaganda which are being carried out by those who want to see failures of the country, not its development and who are patrons of communal ill-forces. The minister made the call while briefing reporters at his ministry’s office, said a PID handout. He said the world's energy supply chain has become unstable due to the Russia-Ukraine war during the global economic recovery from coronavirus pandemic, which led to an abnormal rise in fuel prices in the international market. Quader, also the general secretary of Bangladesh Awami League, said more than 90 per cent of the countries across the world depend on imports for primary energy. As an energy importer, this situation has had a negative impact on Bangladesh as well, he said. Now almost all countries of the world including Europe and America are facing the energy crisis and they have drastically reduced the consumption of electricity and fuel in a bid to tackle the situation, he said. The minister said the government of Bangladesh has taken various preemptive measures to face the negative impacts caused by the Russia-Ukraine war, resultant economic sanctions, as well as price hike of fuel, gas and fertilizers in the international market. He said the high inflation rate in the developed world indicates the severity of the global economic crisis. June last year, the inflation rate was 9.1pc in the United States, while 9.4pc in the United Kingdom, 8.9pc in Germany, 15.9pc in Russia, 78.6pc in Turkey, 9.4pc in the Netherlands, 39.9pc in Sri Lanka and 21.3pc in Pakistan, he noted. But the inflation rate was 7.56pc in Bangladesh in June, said the minister, adding that many quarters are trying to mislead people by talking about only Bangladesh inflation. “In Bangladesh, the situation remains relatively tolerable due to the precautionary measures taken by the Sheikh Hasina’s government,” he added.
Govt using foreign missions to conduct AL propaganda: BNP
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday accused the government of using Bangladesh embassies and high commissions abroad for conducting Awami League’s ’s (AL’s) propaganda. “It’s the responsibility of all embassies/missions under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to protect the interests of Bangladesh in different countries of the world. The state bears all the expenses of those missions with taxpayers’ money,” he said. READ: Revoke decision to hike in LPG prices: BNP Speaking at a press conference at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, Fakhrul said these missions are being used against the interest of people in a shameless and unprofessional way. “These organisations are being used to spread lies and deceive people.” He alleged that Bangladesh mission in Washington distorted the statements of US Congressman and Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Gregory W Meeks who talked about the sanctions issue at a fundraising event in New York’s Queens area. "By distorting his (Meeks’) statement and creating a smokescreen in the local and foreign media, the Washington mission has not only deceived the conscious people, but also has utterly humiliated Bangladesh to the United States," the BNP leader said. He said Congressman Meeks himself has already rejected the press release of the Bangladesh Embassy and presented his statement in the international media, on his own website and on the website of the US the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. In the statement posted on the website of the US the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Fakhrul said Meeks clearly backed the US sanctions on RAB and some of its current and former officials. “Meeks said he strongly supports the Biden administration's decision on the issue of human rights violation. He also said he’ll work to help Bangladesh address the human rights and democratic challenges, including ensuring that the next election is held in a free and fair manner.” Besides, Fakhrul said a press release was issued by Bangladesh’s embassy in Brussels on the basis of a private press conference where the statements have been presented like that of an active worker of Awami League. He said the press release was published in various media. “This is the proof of turning the embassy into a propaganda institution of the Awami League instead of the state. The BNP leader said these activities of the two embassies are the latest proof of the government’s ‘evil’ efforts to destroy the state institutions. READ: People to turn down search committee’s recommendations: BNP Politicising Foreign Ministry Fakhrul alleged that the Foreign Ministry’s officials in different cities inhabited by Bangladeshi expatriates, including the Middle East, are behaving like the ruling party workers by regularly attending Awami League’s functions. "It has tarnished the image of the Foreign Ministry. Though the professional officers and employees have become angry over the matter, they’re being forced to remain silent.” He said though the Bangladesh embassy in Washington has already withdrawn the press release containing distorted comments of US Congressman Meeks, the Foreign Ministry still did not remove it from its website. “This is a digital document and shameless proof of how the Foreign Ministry has been politicised. These incidents are also exposing how the fascist government has turned entire state machinery into its weapons to hang onto power,” Fakhrul said. He urged the government to take steps for holding a credible election under a non-party neutral admiration to ensure people’s voting rights, shunning all evil efforts against the country and its people.
Dhaka smells more ‘assaults’, wants to counter propaganda abroad with facts
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Saturday urged the patriotic citizens abroad to put in their stronger efforts to counter conspiracies against the country’s interest, noting that there might be more “assaults” on the country and its interests based on propaganda and disinformation. “It seems to me there might be various types of assaults and conspiracies against us in the next two years,” he said urging the activists of Bangabandhu Foundation abroad to take a stronger position against such attempts centering the next national elections. The Foreign Minister, also the President of the Bangabandhu Foundation, said each Bangladesh Mission abroad that runs with the country’s taxpayers’ money is the number one lobbyist of the country to uphold Bangladesh’s interests. Also read:Sheikh Selim slams US for sanctions on RAB He hoped that the people associated with the Bangabandhu Foundation abroad will help the missions abroad with the information regarding any attempt of conspiracies against the country as in some cases missions may not get access to such information instantly. Dr Momen was addressing a virtual discussion titled “Lobbying conspiracy that started centering the 12th parliamentary election and steps that Bangabandhu Foundation can take” as the chief guest. Pointing finger at conspirators, the Foreign Minister said the country’s interest and people’s welfare should be the priority if anyone wants to get involved in politics. Referring to the letter written by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Ivan Stefanec to High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, Dr Momen said, “When I was reading the letter, I felt that I was reading about another country as the letter’s content doesn’t go with the situation of the country.” He said there is a possibility that the opposition parties might engage more such people to write against Bangladesh. Also read: No impact on European business interest in Bangladesh, says EU envoy about sanctions The Foreign Minister said the Awami League has continued its efforts to make the election process transparent which needs to be highlighted. “We’re lucky that we’ve got a transparent, very committed, firm and very strong leadership, and we hope under her leadership we’ll build Bangabandhu’s Sonar Bangla,” he said. Central AL leader and Bangabandhu Foundation General Secretary Md. Nazrul Islam Thandu, Foundation’s Executive President Adv Moshiur Malek, Rashida Hoque Konica and Engineer M Shakil Khan also spoke at the event.
Journo Kanak Sarwar's sister held for spreading anti-state propaganda
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members arrested Nusrat Shahreen Raka, sister of controversial expatriate journalist Kanak Sarwar, for spreading anti-state propaganda. Raka, 38, wife of Nasir Uddin Majumder, was arrested during a drive of Rab-1conducted at city’s Uttara area early Tuesday, said a press release of Rab Headquarter. RAB members seized a mobile phone set with anti-state contents, a passport and some Ice or Crystal Meth from her possession during the arrest. Also read: Block seditious contents of journo Kanak Sarwar's YouTube channel: HC During primary interrogation of Rab, Raka confessed that she is an active member of a group which is involved in spreading a anti-state propaganda. Raka used to spread false, misleading and defamatory information about the state and important personalities of the state through social media to disrupt peace and discipline of the country, according to Rab. According to her statement, several members of the group are involved in various spreadig propaganda against the state through social media staying outside the country. She also said she used to assist her brother Kanak Sarwar and other equal-minded peoplw in this matter. Legal action will be taken against the arrestee, said ASP (Media) Imran Khan of Rab headquarter.
Nagad is a service approved by PM: Secretary Afzal
Brushing aside the recent propaganda about Nagad’s partnership by a vested quarter, Posts and Telecommunications Division Secretary Afzal Hossain on Sunday said Nagad is a financial service approved by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In a video statement, he also said it is known to all that the Posts and Telecommunications Division and Postal Department have partnership over the mobile financial service Nagad. Read: No room for confusion over Nagad ownership: Postal Department “It’s a well-known fact that the Honorable Prime Minister has approved this service and she herself started the transaction with BDT 10,000. So, the Prime Minister’s approval of the service is there.” Earlier, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar and Postal Department’s Director General Md Siraj Uddin, also trashed the propaganda, in separate statements, and they said there is no room for confusion that Nagad is a service of the Postal Department. Echoing them, Afzal said, “The Postal Department and Third Wave Technologies tied up and started their journey in 2017 with the Nagad service. Nagad has gained a significant position now in 2021 by overcoming obstacles with the passage of time.” Stating that Nagad will serve extensively for the wellbeing of the country’s citizens and will contribute to creating a cashless society in the coming days, the Secretary said, “Nagad is an exceptional service among all other financial services of the country. Both the Nagad’s customer base and profit are increasing day by day." He also said, “Nagad will turn into a complete information-based technological service overcoming all the obstacles in the future. Now we’re at the second position, and I hope very soon we’ll become number one and serve the country and its people better.” Read:Nagad to issue BDT 5 billion zero-coupon bond On March 26, 2019, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Nagad service officially. In the past two and a half years, Nagad has developed a customer base of 5.5 crore with a daily average transaction of more than BDT 700 crore. Nagad is playing a vital role in the disbursement of the government’s donation, stipend and financial assistance with transparency and with extraordinary innovation in account opening, he said.