Politics of Killing and Election
Ruling Bangladesh Awami League president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina has urged her archrival Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia to “return to healthy politics”. She said, “We want that the democratic trend should continue uninterrupted. We also want that BNP should not repeat the mistake of boycotting an election like last time.” The prime minister further said that she expected the BNP to contest the next election and let people decide who should come to power. While speaking at the City Conference Center in Stockholm, Sweden on June 15, she asked BNP to “quit the politics of killing” and participate in the election.
“Now I Sleep on the Ground, On the Floor”
BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed claimed that he has been sleeping on the ground, on the floor ever since he was evicted from his house. The minister added that he would sleep in bed once again after his bed is ready. He made his comments at press conference held on June 15 at the Supreme Court Lawyers Association auditorium. When asked where he was staying after the eviction, Ahmed replied he owns a flat and is waiting for his carpenter to fix his bed which was broken by the evictors.
The Government As a Pickpocket
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has compared the government to a pickpocket after it imposed additional taxes on the people in the proposed national budget. Mirza Fakhrul made his comment at an iftar program held by Jatiyatabadi Praktan Chhatra Parishad on June 13. He said this budget is meant for picking the pockets of ordinary people and filling the pockets of the ruling party leaders. He also accused the government of destroying the economy of the country in a planned manner, subverting the framework of the state and knocking down the pillars of democracy.
When Organizations are More Powerful Than State
Chittagong district deputy commissioner Md. Zillur Rahman Chowdhury calls it an inauspicious sign that the organizations in Bangladesh have become more powerful than the state. He said the doctors are defiant and they cannot be punished because they threaten to go on strike and this is how the departments win. He was responding to complaints lodged by people’s representatives on June 18 regarding absence of doctors in their places of work. Chowdhury added that it should have been the other way around, the organizations should have been subordinate to the state.
“People Worry More for Their Goods than Their Lives”
While talking about the recent landslides that killed over 150 people in the southeast region of the country, relief and disaster management minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya commented that people were alerted through public announcement system for two days and still they did not bother to come to the shelters. He said people are more worried about their goods than their lives and nobody wanted to leave behind their goods. The minister said it while addressing a press briefing on the landslide at the ministry on June 13.
“Plunder While You Can”
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia said that she would ask the ruling Bangladesh Awami League leaders to plunder as much as they can because they have only a few months left. She told them to leave the country afterwards because they will not find much time to do so. Khaleda told them that it was the time to leave and added that 2018 will be the year of people, democracy, development, and peace. She said it while speaking at an iftar program organized by Jatiyatabadi Muktijoddha Dal on June 11. The BNP chairperson also said that the government does not want the BNP to come to power because they know what consequences they have to face if BNP returns to power.
Unscrupulous Businessmen Have Ruined Health Sector
Pran Gopal Dutta, former vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, complained that the health sector of the country is now controlled by unscrupulous businessmen and they have completely ruined it. He referred to Nobel laureate Amartya Sen who said during his visit to Bangladesh that when education and medical care turn into commodities, they lose their standards. Dutta said unfortunately the government has turned medical care into a commodity in this country. Dutta made his remarks at a seminar organized by Consumer Association of Bangladesh on June 18 at the VIP Lounge of National Press Club.
Only If Chhatra League Members Pass the Written Tests!
Ruling Bangladesh Awami Leaue (AL) general secretary Obaidul Quader has assured Chhatra League members that he would try to find them jobs only if they pass the written tests. He said he would do so as per the instruction of the Netri (AL president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina). He was speaking at the extended meeting and training of Chhatra League on June 12 when Quader also urged the Chhatra League members to do good work and concentrate on their studies. He asked them not to engage in such behavior or activities that should hurt the image of the party. He also asked them to stay away from extortion and tender business. He also promised to help them if they need money.
Those Who Have No Social Security Protection
Agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury has criticized the additional excise duty on bank deposits. She also said that she was against the proposed reduction of interest rates on saving certificates. He said even at 10 percent interest rate it will come to 10 billion taka but hundreds of thousands of people will be its beneficiaries. The minister added that those who have no social security protection cannot throw themselves under a truck or beg from others and many of these people are senior citizens. Chowdhury made her remarks at the budget discussion in parliament on June 15.
The Government is Neither Deaf Nor Dumb
State minister for finance and planning M.A. Mannan said that the Awami League government was neither deaf nor dumb. He said the government hears everything and also makes its own assessment of what it hears. The minister said even the writings on the walls do not go unnoticed. He said in response to queries from students and journalists on June 13 during a discussion held on the proposed budget at the State University of Bangladesh.