America Runs on Our Tax Money
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh has to pay around USD850 million in taxes for exporting its goods to the United States. She said that means the United States runs on the tax money paid to it by Bangladesh. She was speaking at the inauguration of Dhaka Apparel Summit-2017 organized by BGMEA on February 25, when she observed that in 1996 Bangladesh obtained the tariff- and quota-free privileges in the European Union, but the United States denied those privileges to Bangladesh. She also mentioned that Bangladesh was denied those facilities by the United States despite the fact that Bangladesh deserved them as a least developed country.
Revolution is Inevitable
BNP’s standing committee member Dr. Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain has said to the government that it still has time to think, but a mass revolution is inevitable if it does not take precaution. He said that a political compromise is unavoidable to return the voting right to the people, which needs an election-time government. He cautioned that if that does not happen then people are not going to sit on their hands and the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, will have to bear responsibility for the chaos and anarchy that might be created by this situation. Dr. Hossain made his remarks at the Dhaka Reporters Unity while addressing a meeting by Jatiya Gonotantrik Party on February 22.
Betrayal of Language Martyrs and Freedom Fighters
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has accused the government of betraying the blood of the language martyrs and the freedom fighters, because it has destroyed the spirits of the Language Movement and the Liberation War to establish the one-party rule. He was speaking on February 20 when he said that the rulers always fail to understand the language of the people and they eventually become detached from the people. He stated that in 1947 people had voted for Muslim League but that same party was made extinct in 1954. He said a government is bound to become extinct like that whenever it fails to understand the language of the people.
Search Committee to Blame If EC is Not Good
Badiul Alam Mazumder, secretary of Citizens for Good Governance (Sujan), is of the view that if the right people have not been appointed in the Election Commission then the Election Commission is not to be blamed for it. He said the blame has to go to the search committee that found the commissioners. Mazumdar said it at the regional planning meeting of Sujan held in Barisal on February 18. He said the eminent citizens had suggested to the search committee to draw up a short list of likely candidates and make that list public for the sake of transparency. The citizens even asked it to hold a public hearing if needed. The Sujan secretary also said that the search committee should have exercised maximum honesty, caution and consideration, which they did not do.
Age Does Not Matter for Men
Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad believes that age does not matter for men and what matters instead is their mental strength. He said some people say that he has grown old, but they should know that age is not an issue for men and what is more important is their mental strength. Ershad was exchanging views with his party leaders in Rangpur on February 22 when he further said there are no bullock carts in the country now because people are reaping the benefits of the road development done by Jatiya Party. He expressed his gratitude to the people of Rangpur, because they elected his party candidates to 21 parliamentary seats in 1991 and Khaleda Zia would have hanged him if his party had not won those seats.
People are Captives of One-Party Rule
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia lamented that the dream of Ekush has been overcast with darkness. She said foreign aggression on our language is an outcome of the subservient mentality of certain quarters. Khaleda made her comments in a statement issued on February 20. She said the people of this country have been made captive to one-party rule so they will never be able to raise their heads. She added that the undiminished spirit of Ekush would inspire us to resist all conspiring hegemonic forces and the sacrifices of the martyrs would encourage us to regain our democratic rights.
Information Minister’s Sycophancy
BNP’s senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed has called information minister Hasanul Haque Inu’s comment on the corruption case against Khaleda Zia as sycophancy. On February 20 he said in a meeting that the information minister took three leaps after the prime minister’s statement to emphasize that Khaleda Zia would be definitely punished. Rizvi Ahmed also said that there is hearsay that the information minister was involved in the killing of Kazi Aref Ahmed and people have not forgotten that. He asked the minister to keep that in mind before he says anything. He accused the minister of speaking a great deal of nonsense just to please the prime minister. He also said that those who are involved in such pleasing business do not last long in power.
Disciplining a Member of Parliament
Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader explained that he had merely disciplined parliament member Md. Sanwar Hossain and it is an internal matter of the Awami League family. He said he had the right to do so as the general secretary of the party. Quader said it on February 19 while responding to the news that he had slapped the lawmaker from Tangail-5 constituency during his visit to the district. The minister said the news was published in newspapers but the lawmaker has not complained to anyone about it. Meanwhile, parliament member Hossain has denied that the news of him being slapped by the minister is true.
Big Names are Involved in Pilkhana Tragedy
Former BNP minister and vice chairman Hafizuddin Ahmed has insisted that many big names as well as a neighboring country are involved in the Pilkhana tragedy. He said that every mutiny was crushed in the past but the Pilkhana mutiny has been an exception because its planners had already met with the Awami League leaders in their homes. Ahmed said that the state should have observed national mourning over the Pilkhana tragedy that took place on February 25. He was speaking at a meeting organized by National Awami Party on the 8th anniversary of the Pilkhana tragedy when he quipped that the ruling Awami League was not interested in mourning for anyone but their own blood relatives.
Politics is Now a Part of Business
Economist Rehman Sobhan has claimed that current politics of Bangladesh is a part of business. He was speaking at a conference for South Asian economists on February 18 held in Dhaka when he said that although politics was once concentrated in the hands of the lower middle class, it is now a part of business. He added that people having money have become associated with politics, who are investing to have a role in the government and they expect return on that investment. He also said this has created many irregularities in the society. He further said that commercialization of politics has now spread all over the country, even in the United States.