Diplomats not convinced | The Daily Star
12:46 AM, August 20, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:12 AM, August 20, 2013

Diplomats not convinced

Dipu Moni justifies arrest of Odhikar secy

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Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday briefed the foreign diplomats in Dhaka, saying the next general election would be held as per the constitutional provision.
Dipu Moni also ruled out any possibility of amending the constitution to restore the caretaker government system.
The government would not budge an inch on the constitutional provision, she said.
Responding to a query from an influential country's High Commissioner as to whether there would be any flexibility on a polls-time government, Dipu Moni answered in the negative.
But she added the door was still open for talks in regards to the "composition of the interim government".
The foreign minister also briefed the diplomats on the arrest of Odhikar Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan and also about the garment sector.
Diplomatic sources said diplomats were not convinced by the government explanation about Adilur's arrest.
Diplomats also expressed their anxiety over a conflict in the coming days because of government's firm stance over an election-time administration, added the sources.
The US, the UK, China, India, Japan, Italy, Netherlands, France, Australia, Pakistan, Switzerland, Germany and the EU sent their deputy chiefs of mission.
Sources said some of the ambassadors are on vacation while some others could not attend the briefing because of their preoccupation.
However, ambassadors and high commissioners, including that of Russia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Nepal and Indonesia, attended the briefing.
Foreign ministry sources said some ambassadors skipped yesterday's briefing as the ministry on Sunday abruptly postponed the pre-scheduled briefing. But by that time, some foreign diplomats had already reached the ministry and they then had to leave the secretariat.
At yesterday's briefing, diplomats from Canada, Korea, Switzerland, Norway and the EU asked questions on various issues.
On Adilur's arrest, Dipu Moni told diplomats that detectives arrested him on specific allegation.
After the meeting, she told reporters that the diplomats were convinced by her explanation on the issue.
But a diplomat of a European country, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Daily Star that diplomats were not at all satisfied with the explanation.
Another European diplomat told reporters that she asked Dipu Moni to create an atmosphere where civil society organisations can operate freely, especially before the general election.
The diplomat said the government must give enough space for the civil society.
Meanwhile, several diplomats expressed their dissatisfaction over the postponement of Sunday's briefing.
Talking to this newspaper, they said the foreign ministry called the briefing in a short notice but then suddenly postponed it when most of them were half way or near the ministry while several diplomats  had already reached the venue.
“I am very disturbed since my appointment in Bangladesh over the last two years," said the ambassador of an influential country, adding that his job was not to serve his country alone, but also to serve Bangladesh.
But cancellation of a briefing in such a short notice was disturbing, he added.
He said he also had experience that he could not attend a foreign ministry programme in time due to traffic jam.

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