Information and Broadcasting Minister
Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud has been elected unofficially in Chattogram-7 (Ranguniya and part of Boalkhali) constituency for the fourth consecutive time. Assistant Returning Officer and Ranguniya Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Raihan Mehebub announced the results on Sunday night. Polls transparent, free and fair: Foreign Minister He bagged 1,98,976 votes while his nearest contestant Islami Front candidate Advocate Iqbal Hasan earned 9,301 votes. Independent candidates Azad, Nixon win Faridpur-3, 4 The voting in the 12th parliamentary election began at 8:00 am and concluded at 4pm without any break amid tight security in 299 out of the country’s 300 constituencies. Mashrafe secures victory from Narail-2 again
Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud said on Thursday that as the left leaning parties don't have noticeable voters it won't affect the elections whether they boycott the elections or not. “I respect my leftist brothers as they are pro-liberation forces, and socialism is also one of the main pillars of our party. For this, I also support many issues coming from them. But, it is a sheer truth that they have no public support. So, there is no impact on whether the leftist parties are joining the poll or not”, he said. The minister made the remarks while talking to journalists at his secretariat on Thursday afternoon. Awami League comes to power to serve: Law Minister He also said that the BNP recruited some Jewish agents to spread falsehood against the January 7 election after being rejected by the people. “People have rejected the BNP’s call of resisting the poll. Now they are urging to boycott the election and have recruited some Jewish agents including David Bergman to make the election questionable,” he said. “The BNP-recruited lobbyists are writing articles in different foreign newspapers. But there is no benefit of their evil motive,” he said, adding that Begum Khaleda Zia also had written article in a US newspaper by her name against the country. Sheikh Hasina does not care about threat from foreign powers: Quader The information minister said it is nothing new as the BNP can do anything against the country. Even they wrote articles forging the signatures of congressmen and presenting a fake US president’s advisor before the nation, he said. He said the BNP also had spread propaganda that Indian Home Minister Amit Shah phoned them. By doing this the BNP has made itself “a fraud party”, he noted. He also said that the countrymen are now rlrction-oriented and the election will be held in a free, fair and festive mood. Awami League president Sheikh Hasina to address nation this evening The European Union, the US, SAARC countries, OIC and other countries have already sent their observers to monitor the polls. “It actually proves that this election has been widely accepted by the international communities,” he said. “The BNP's anti-election campaign is baseless.”
Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Thursday said the BNP is conducting arson attacks in the name of anti-government movement. "It is not the work of a political party. Those are activities of terrorist organisations. So, please take the pen and write against their vile activities" the minister said while speaking at a cheque distribution programme of the Journalist Welfare Trust at the Information Bhaban Auditorium in the capital's Kakrail. Cox’s Bazar Express Train: 115 tickets reserved for Ctg sold within 30 minutes “On October 28, 32 journalists were beaten and injured during the BNP's rally. Of the injured journalists, more than 20 were from the BNP beat. They were familiar faces to the BNP men, yet they beat them. It has never happened before that so many journalists were injured in one day in Bangladesh,” he said. The information minister said the BNP-Jamaat killed journalists whenever they were in power. About 14 journalists including Humayun Kabir Balu, Manik Saha, Saiful Islam Mukul and Shamsur Rahman in Jashore and Khulna were killed during the BNP regime, he said. None will be spared if attempts are made to destabilise rice market: Food Minister Regarding the BNP’s central office, he said, "It’s not police or any government agency but the BNP leaders who keep their office under lock and leave. BNP leaders have lost the courage of opening their office. How will they do politics?” “During the BNP's regime, police locked our office, I was there, we broke the lock and entered,” the AL joint secretary said. Referring that the election will be held on time with the massive participation of the people,Hasan Mahmud said, "Let's move the country forward together. Save the country from this incendiary-anarchy, the government is determined to eliminate the anti-state forces that created this incendiary anarchy.' Bus set on fire in Dhaka’s Bijoynagar Regarding the Journalist Welfare Trust, the Information Minister said that this trust is a unique example of how much the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is journalist-friendly. “Today Journalist Welfare Trust has become a place of trust for journalists. “ The minister handed over cheques worth Tk 1,53,50,000 to 186 journalists and their families. Earlier, the Information Minister inaugurated the new office of the Journalist Welfare Trust on the second floor of the old DFP building at the Information Bhaban complex. Presided over by Journalist Welfare Trust Managing Director Subhash Chand, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists President Omar Faruque, Secretary General Dip Azad, Jatiya Press Club president Farida Yesmin, general secretary Shyamal Dutta , among others, were present at the event.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud met with 13 journalists from Asia, Europe, and Africa at his office in the capital Monday. The minister informed them about the overall development of the country, including the mass media. He also replied to their questions. Journalists from Algeria, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Vietnam are now in Bangladesh at the invitation of the foreign ministry. They already visited the top tourist spots in Bangladesh and the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar. Read more: 10 journalists win UNICEF award for outstanding reporting on children’s rights in Bangladesh
Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Wednesday warned that the government will take stern action if the prices of essential goods or transport fares are raised unnecessarily on the plea of hike in fuel prices. Taking the recent fuel price-hike as an advantage, some unscrupulous businessmen have increased the price of goods and also the transport cost to enhance their profits, he said while exchanging views with journalists at the Bangladesh Secretariat here. Read: AL won't let BNP set the stage for another August 15: Hasan “It (irrational price hike) is in no way acceptable. Our government is monitoring these and I hope business organizations and leaders will play a role in this regard. If needed, the government will take strict action against them,” said Dr Hasan, also a joint general secretary of Awami League. Replying to a question about the Hartal (strike) called by the left-leaning alliance to protest the price-hike of daily commodities, the minister said there is high inflation throughout the world. He said the inflation is 8.5 per cent in the USA, 9.4 per cent in the UK, 25 per cent in Pakistan and over 9 percent in Australia. But the inflation is 7.5 per cent in Bangladesh and was below 7 per cent till May last, which is lower than many countries, he added. The AL joint general secretary said the left-leaning alliance is a pro-liberation force and this is why he respects them, said a PID handout. The Information Minister requested them so that anti-liberation forces including BNP, anti-state force and militant groups would not be benefited with their activities.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud said the level of relationship between Bangladesh and India is incomparable to that of any other country and relation with any another country won’t affect it. The minister said this while talking to reporters at the ministry on Monday. Bangladesh inked several cooperation documents with China during the visit of the Chinese Foreign Minister on Sunday. Also read: Fuel prices lower than neighbouring countries even after hike: Hasan Mahmud When asked whether the visit will affect ties with India he said, “Our relationship with India is written in blood. India and its people’s assistance during our Liberation War will remain as long as Bangladesh exists.” He said China is a friendly country to Bangladesh and is country’s development partner. “They (China) have assistance in our development projects and their officials work in our country. We follow our foreign policy of ‘Friendship towards all, malice towards none’ and as a friendly nation China can make any proposal they want,” he added. Regarding BNP’s reaction on fuel price hike Hasan Mahmud urged the party to look at global situation and abstain from the politics of misleading people. Also read: Hasan Mahmud to BNP: Don't play with people's lives “Last year the government provided subsidy of Tk 53,000 crore in energy and power sector. It is not possible for Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) to provide Tk 100 crore daily subsidy anymore and it is impossible for any other country,” he said. “It takes a month or two to see the result after prices of fuel decline in global market. After that we will readjust the prices in our country,” said Hasan Mahmud.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud said BNP is afraid of EVM as the party wants to sustain the bad culture of vote-rigging and capture the voting centres at night. He made the remarks after inaugurating the Islami Banking wing of Bangladesh Commerce Bank at a city hotel on Wednesday. Bangladesh Commerce Bank Limited’s Chairman Rashid Ahmed presided over the programme while its Managing Director and CEO Tajul Islam, among others, spoke. Hasan said that none can capture state power with muscle power. Those who do politics for the people never think to go to power by force. It was BNP’s founder Ziaur Rahman who had captured the state power by force, he said. Also Read: Abandon those who want to make Bangladesh a communal country: Hasan Mahmud In contrast, he said, the Awami League has come to power with the mandate of the people. “We won in the last three national elections and formed the government,” he added. He said elections are being held across the globe through EVM including India, the United States, Germany, France, Australia even Malaysia. If another party other than Awami League had proposed EVM, “I think BNP would have liked it.”
Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud said it is becoming clearer that sabotage was behind the recent fire incidents including at BM Container Depot and a moving train. The minister said this while replying to journalists at the secretariat on Monday. Hasan Mahmud said he was saying from the beginning that investigation is needed to identify whether there was any sabotage behind the container depot fire. After that fire broke out inside a moving train in Sylhet from the toilet and another train caught fire in Khulna. Also read: Online news portals cannot legally broadcast talk shows, bulletins: Hasan Mahmud “The sabotage conspiracy has become clearer gradually. Actually these incidents are being planned to fade the celebratory atmosphere prevailing across the country by spreading panic,” said Hasan Mahmud. “The matter is under investigation and it will become clearer after getting a report. I personally believe there was sabotage behind it.” Earlier, Association of Television Channel Owners (ATCO) leaders handed a a memorandum with six demands: to stop online video broadcasting of newspapers, stop broadcasting news on IP TV, full implementation of clean feed, launch of TRP service, digitization of cable network and imposing special tax on companies producing advertisements with foreign models. Also read: Journo Fazle Elahi to get justice: Hasan Mahmud The minister said, “The online versions of newspapers were registered on condition that they will only upload the contents of the newspaper. Online versions of newspapers and news portals don’t have legal approval to broadcast talk shows or bulletins.” ATCO’s other written demands will be tested by the ministry, he added.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud has said online versions of newspapers or news portals are not legally allowed to broadcast talk shows and bulletins. The minister highlighted the gazette guideline in this regard on Sunday to journalists during a meeting at the ministry. “Recently Association of Television Channel Owners (ATCO) leaders brought the matter to our attention that online versions of some newspapers and online portals are publishing talk shows and news bulletins for which they don’t have any approval," he said replying to the questions of journalists. Also read: Journo Fazle Elahi to get justice: Hasan Mahmud “We have skimmed through the laws in this regard and found that they cannot publish any such contents according to the subsection 2,4, and 6 of section two of National Online Mass Media Policy 2017,” said Hasan Mahmud. "In the digital age, providing relevant video clips with news is not a violation of the rules, but the policy does not approve of broadcasting talk shows or news bulletins at all," he said. "The online versions of the newspaper were registered without any investigation on the condition that the news published in the newspaper would be published online, which should not be different," he said. Also read: Hasan trashes RSF report on press freedom as malicious & unacceptable If ATCO gives a written objection in this regard, we will inform the concerned authorities by mentioning the sections and subsections of the law, said the minister.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud on Wednesday came down heavily on the organisations like Amnesty International, RSF and TIB for what he said their biased reporting on human rights, press freedom and corruption in Bangladesh. “These organisations have lost their credibility because of their partiality against Bangladesh,” Hasan told the members of Overseas Correspondents Association Bangladesh (OCAB) in reply to a question. He said that the Bangladesh branch of Transparency International (TI) issues statements like a political party instead of any research on an issue. Also read:Hasan trashes RSF report on press freedom as malicious & unacceptable In support of his criticism the minister cited a couple of recent examples such as TIB’s statement against the railway minister on the ticketless travel by three of his relatives and allegation of corruption in the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Bangladesh. Hasan said TIB’s allegation of plundering about Tk 23,000 crore on Covid vaccines was baseless and a misreporting of what the health minister said. Turning to the Amnesty International (AI) the minister said it was silent when BNP launched the petrol bomb campaign against the government in the name of agitation. It, however, was vocal against the trial of the war criminals in Bangladesh. “This is how Amnesty International has lost its credibility here,” he observed. The minister once again rejected the latest press freedom index published by Paris-based RSF (Reporters Without Border) in which Bangladesh slipped 10 notches to 162 among the 180 countries of the world where the survey was done. How one can trust an organization which places Bangladesh behind even Afghanistan, not at all known for press freedom and security of journalists, he asked. Responding to another question Hasan said Bangladesh Press Council and Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) have been asked to prepare a data base of journalists in the country. This, he said, is aimed at identifying the genuine journalists so they get security in carrying out their work and keeping the job. When done the proposed data base will also leave out those who are not journalists at all. Hasan reiterated that the Digital Security Act (DSA) has been made for the overall security of the people from digital harassment and assaults on their dignity and privacy. “This is absolutely not against journalists,” he reaffirmed though admitting abuses in some cases. He said there have been some abuses of the law against journalists and the government acted to stop it. Also read: Info minister considers legal action against TIB for lies No case under the DSA can be filed now without permission from the police and no journalist can either be arrested in sweeping action, he said. “The interests of journalists are being protected,” he said. In his opening remarks Hasan highlighted the achievements of his ministry in safeguarding the interests of journalists and creation of an environment congenial to their work. He especially referred to the formation of Sangbadik Kallyan Trust by the order of the prime minister and distribution of about Tk 23 crore among media people since its start in 2014.