Plot to carve Christian state from Bangladesh, Myanmar underway: PM Hasina

NEWS DESK

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday alleged that a plot is on to carve out “a Christian state like East Timor” taking parts from Bangladesh and Myanmar.

She also claimed that she was offered a hassle-free reelection in the January 7 polls if she allowed a foreign country to build an airbase in Bangladesh territory.

But she did not mention the country’s name.

Hasina, also the Awami League president, was delivering her introductory speech at the 14-party meeting at the Gono Bhaban last night. It was the 14-party’s first meeting with the AL president after the national polls.

The premier said she faces challenges both at home and abroad and the conspiracy is afoot, reports UNB.

She said, “Like East Timor … they will carve out a Christian country taking parts of Bangladesh [Chattogram] and Myanmar with a base in the Bay of Bengal.”

Hasina mentioned that business activities have been going through the Bay and the Indian Ocean from ancient times. “Many have their eyes on this place. There is no controversy here, no conflict. I won’t let that happen. This is also one of my crimes [in their eyes],” she said.

About the proposal for airbase, the premier said, “The offer came from a white man.”

“It may appear that it is aimed at only one country, but it is not. I know where else they intend to go,” she said and stated that this is why the Awami League government is always in trouble.

“There will be more trouble. But don’t worry about it.”

“If I allowed a certain country to build an airbase in Bangladesh, then I would have had no problem.”

She alleged that the BNP had conspired to prevent the election.

Hasina also mentioned that she made the same reply as she did in 2001 when the US offered to sell the country’s gas to India.

She also said, “If inflation can be reduced now, people would be relieved. Production is sufficient. There is no shortage.”

Hasina said foreign exchange reserves of many countries are decreasing, including Bangladesh. “There is no need to worry about the reserves if there is food stock in times of emergency.”

CLOSED-DOOR MEETING

After delivering her introductory speech, Hasina held a closed-door meeting with the partners of the 14-party alliance where she said conspiracies were being hatched to topple the government and she might have to face the same consequence her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman faced, sources said.

However, she said conspiracies did not bother her and she would never bow down to pressure.

The premier told the meeting that Bangladesh will not purchase anything from countries that impose sanctions on it, a top leader of the 14-party quoted Hasina as saying.

As leaders of the AL’s partner parties asked whether the alliance was relevant, Hasina replied in the affirmative.

Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon observed that extremism and Salafism were rising alarmingly while Samyabadi Dal leader Dilip Barua said Bangladesh was on course to become an Islamic republic, said insiders.

Dilip further said a section of AL leaders questioned whether the partner parties were popular, even though the 14-party alliance was formed amid political necessity, not on the consideration that the parties would attract more votes.

He pointed out that Bangladesh Kalyan Party was not very popular and its chairman Major General (Retd) Syed Mohammad Ibrahim was still a lawmaker, said sources.

“Why couldn’t some top leaders of the 14-party alliance win and not get Awami League support during the January 7 election?” he asked.

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal President Hasanul Haque Inu said 14-party partners supported the AL through thick and thin, even during the political changeover of January 11 in 2007, when many AL leaders betrayed Hasina, Inu said.

Tarikat Federation Chairman Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizvandari said he filed cases against Jamaat-e-Islami and the AL benefited from it, but he and his party were “nowhere near power”, said sources.

He blamed a section of AL leaders for forming several “king’s parties” ahead of the January 7 election to compete against his party.

Communist Kendra leader Asit Baran Roy told the meeting that Bangabandhu dreamt of economic freedom for the people, but the country is not free from corruption and fundamentalism.

Rather, economic and social disparity widened, he said, expressing concerns over the rising price of essentials and demanded the government’s step to bring the prices down, said the sources.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 + 6 =