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Quader asks people not to get confused by communal forces’ propaganda

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Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader today urged the country’s people not to get confused by the deliberate propaganda of communal forces.

“The communal forces that want to see the country as a backward one are carrying out intentional propaganda against the country. I am calling upon the country’s people not to be misled by their propaganda,” he told a press conference at his secretariat office here.


Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said the Bangladesh government has taken various precautionary measures to address the negative impacts of Russia-Ukraine war, economic blockade and the price hike of oil, gas and fertilisers in international market.
 
Many countries across the globe are struggling to deal with intolerable and skyrocketing inflation, while the inflation rates in the developed world are showing the severity of the global economic setback, he said.

The AL general secretary said there was inflation in Bangladesh was 7.56 percent in  last June, while it was 9.1 percent in the United States, 9.4 percent in the United Kingdom, 8.9 percent in Germany, 15.9 percent in Russia, 78.6 percent in Turkey, 9.4 percent in the Netherlands, 39.9 percent in Sri Lanka and 21.3 percent in Pakistan.

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Many are trying to mislead people inside the country by talking about inflation, he said, adding that the inflation remains at the relatively tolerable level in the country after the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina government took precautionary measures to contain it.

Quader said an identified quarter is spreading propaganda saying that a power and energy crisis grips in the country. In fact, he said, the world’s energy supply chain has become volatile at the time of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war after the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Stating that over 90 percent countries of the world depend on imports for primary energy, the minister said as an importing country, this situation has put an adverse impact on Bangladesh too.

Energy crisis continues in almost all countries of the world, including western ones, at this moment and they have drastically cut energy and power consumption to cope with the situation, he said.

Power production has also declined in many developed countries resulting in an inevitable impact on global economies and production systems, he added.

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Referring to a recent headline of UK-based daily – Evening Standard – that ‘London narrowly avoided blackout as electricity prices surged last week’, Quader said the report of the newspaper highlighted that the UK was forced to pay 5,000 percent higher than the typical price for electricity to prevent a power blackout in south-east London.

He quoted a statement of New York City mayor Eric Adams as saying “We are in a financial crisis like you can never imagine….Wall Street is collapsing; we are in recession”.

The AL general secretary paid tribute to all the martyrs of the August 15 carnage, including Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and remembered the memory of all the martyrs with due respect.

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Politics

Vast majority of Bangladeshis want good relations with neighbours: FM tells South Asia Correspondents

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Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud has said the vast majority of the people of Bangladesh now understand that it should have good relations with neighbours – for its own prosperity as well as that of the region.

He said his party (Bangladesh Awami League) is painted as a ‘pro-Indian’ party but AL is a pro-Bangladeshi party.

“There are anti-Indian elements. We specifically see this issue during elections. But the anti-Indian sentiment is gradually diminishing in Bangladesh,” he told the members of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia during an interaction in New Delhi on February 9.

The Foreign Minister said the tablet or capsule of blaming Awami League as a pro-India party does not work anymore like the past.

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“Today, the vast majority of the people understand that for the prosperity of Bangladesh and the region, neighbours should have good relations,” he said while responding to a question.

Asked about balancing relations, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh-India relationship is not comparable to any other relations.

“Bangladesh’s relations with India are bonded by blood and shared sacrifice during the War of Liberation in 1971,” Hasan said.

He said although China is not Bangladesh’s immediate neighbor but it is a neighbor and a development partner of Bangladesh.

The Foreign Minister said they face a lot of challenges due to the wave of fake news. He said this is a problem even in Europe and shared how fake news was spread during Covid-19.

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He mentioned that this is an area where all need to work together. “We can work together to fight against fake news.”

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Last national election was open for all AL members for sake of democracy: PM Hasina

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday (9 Februay) said if she did not allow her party members to take part in last month’s election as independent candidates the democracy of the country would have been snatched away.

“If the election was not open for all (AL members), then not only the election would have been stained, the democracy of the country would have been hijacked too,” she said.

The prime minister was delivering her introductory speech at the extended meeting of Awami League at her official residence Ganabhaban.

This election was important to maintain the country’s status as a developing country, she said.

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“We should not forget the election manifesto that we announced before the election to retain this achievement. Every year during the budget formulation we follow the election manifesto,” she said.

Hasina, also the chief of ruling Awami League, said that her party has also opened the upcoming upazila elections for all her party members to make it participatory.

“It will also be scrutinised how much work has been done for the common people in the last 15 years while in power, and who could not deliver. Through it we will see who is accepted by the people,” she said.

She issued warning against any sort of confrontation in the upcoming local government elections.

“We do not want any kind of confrontation. Stern actions will be taken against the individuals responsible for it no matter who they are,” she said.

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Claiming that the 12th parliamentary election was free, fair and impartial, Hasina said that those who want to dispute the election, they must give clear evidence.

She said that elections have been held in many developed countries of the world, but these are yet to be accepted by their opponents.

“Even the post-election violence has resulted in murders. But the election in Bangladesh was very fair. Public administration, the armed forces, law and order enforcement and all those involved in the election have performed their duties impartially,” she claimed

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Political crisis nearing climax: Rizvi

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The BNP today said the country’s long-standing political crisis is now nearing its climax as people are taking to the streets risking their lives to resist a one-sided election.

“The chief election commissioner surrendered to Sheikh Hasina instead of protecting the interests of the people and taking proper steps to ensure a free, fair, and participatory election,” Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, senior joint secretary general of the party, said in a virtual press conference.

The BNP leader alleged that the EC announced the schedule for the next election ignoring the continuous movement for free and fair elections.

Rizvi also alleged that the commission announced the election schedule on the instruction of the government, ignoring the appeals of the country’s civil society, the international community, and foreign diplomats.

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“When the CEC announced the schedule, he should have also mentioned the time of voting, whether it will be at night, or during the daytime, or early morning.”

The BNP leader said the government has established a regime where those who demand free and fair elections are being attacked.

He said their ongoing movement to restore the power and rights of the people will be a warning for all the autocrats.

Rizvi said the BNP leaders and activists are being arrested indiscriminately. “If they [law enforcers] can’t detain them, they are arresting their fathers, fathers-in-law, younger brothers, and even women in the house.”

He said law enforcers arrested more than 12,900 leaders and activists in 289 cases across the country since October 28.

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