“Birthday Celebration is Meant to Hurt Us”
Awami League president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina said, “Khaleda Zia cuts the cake to celebrate her birthday to undermine Bangabandhu and thus hurt us.” Hasina further said, “She does it on the day we mourn our loss, the day we lost our father, mother and brothers.” The prime minister also added that since this is the month of August and Khaleda’s son, who has died, was born on August 12, she had no choice but to give up the plan to celebrate her birthday this month, and it was not because of her political goodwill. Hasina made her remarks on August 16 at the Krishibid Institution Auditorium.
Calling Zia the “First President”
Awami League lawmaker Shubid Ali Bhuiyan has denied that he called Ziaur Rahman the “first president” of the country. He said the media has purposely published this false and fabricated news. Bhuiyan wanted to make it clear that he never said anything like that, and that nowhere in any of his comments did he ever say anything like it. He also vowed to quit politics if anybody could prove that he had ever said anything like this. It can be mentioned here that Bhuiyan called Ziaur Rahman the “first president” during a meeting on August 17 and it was reported in the media quoting more than one witness present in that meeting.
Bangladesh Nasty Party
Shipping minister Shahjahan Khan does not believe that it will be a mistake to say that BNP stands for Bangladesh Nasty Party. He said in a discussion held on August 19 in the capital that this BNP has created many examples of burning people to death and torching buses, trucks and shops. Khan said no religion encourages burning people to death and it is not supported by any society or democracy either. He also added that BNP had done such lowly things and even carried out an attack on the Shaheed Minar, which is the symbol of Bangladesh’s existence.
Feels like Committing Suicide
While speaking about the road conditions in his constituency, Salim Osman, the Jatiya Party lawmaker from Narayanganj-5, resented that he feels like com - mitting suicide when he finds men lifting their lungis and women their sarees above knees while walking on dilapidated roads. He said he has been observing that the repair work for the roads only starts but never ends while foreign money comes and the work progress remains slow. Osman gave his remarks while speaking at a program marking Bangabandhu’s 41st death anniversary on August 15.
Exploiting Instead of Eliminating Militancy
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has claimed that militancy is on the rise in the country because the government is exploiting militancy as a weapon against the political opponents instead of eliminating it. He said that there is no democracy in the country and the real culprits are still at large, thanks to the government’s intention to use militancy to hurt the opponents. And that is the reason why militancy is on the rise in the country, Alamgir told journalists at the mausoleum of late president Ziaur Rahman on August 19.
Neither Unity Nor Midterm Elections
While terming BNP a "patron" of IS and militants, com - merce minister Tofail Ahmed emphasized that there cannot be any unity with them. He said that many BNP leaders are asking for midterm elections but there will be no such elections before the scheduled time. Ahmed also compared the “conspiracy” of former president Ziaur Rahman to assassinate Bangabandhu in 1975 with the grenade attack on August 21 which he said was carried out by Hawa Bhaban to kill Sheikh Hasina, but that plan did not work. The minister said it while speaking at the Shilpakala Academy on August 19.
Could Not Save Bangabandhu Because Hands were Tied
Former army chief and chairman of the Sector Commanders Forum, KM Shafiullah, explained that the day of Bangabandhu’s assassination is a painful day for him and he cannot hold himself on this day. He further added that he could not come to Bangabandhu’s rescue on that day because his hands were tied from all sides. Shafiullah said it while speaking at the National Press Club on August 14.
Conspirators in Important Positions
BNP’s standing committee member ASM Hannan Shah commented that those who are conspiring to break BNP have been placed in important positions of the party. He said those who spoke ill of Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman in the past, conspired to break BNP and hung around Mannan Bhuiyan, have got important positions in the new committee while the dedicated and qualified people have not been duly evaluated. Shah said all these at a meeting held on August 13 at the Dhaka Reporters Unity.
Sector Commanders are Cowards
Former president of Chhatra League Nur-e-Alam Siddiqui said the government is now surrounded by the Gonobahini and leftist party members who killed Bangabandhu. He said these forces had taken the government into their grip. Siddiqui mentioned that Bangabandhu had called major general KM Shafiullah three times on the night of August 15 but he did not come to his rescue. He added that Bangabandhu had also called sector commanders and Rakkhi Bahini but nobody came to save him. While addressing a meeting organized by the Chhatra League Foundation on August 19 on the Press Club premises, he urged the prime minister to revoke the titles given to the sector commanders because they proved to be cowards.
A Cent Percent Dishonest Society
Former justice of Bangladesh Supreme Court, Syed Amirul Islam, said, “We are living in a cent percent dishonest society and we do not do what we say.” He said words must be matched with action when it comes to defeating militancy, and the country has to return to the four principles of the Liberation War. He said these at a discussion meeting at the BILIA Auditorium held on August 16.