Killers of children to be punished
Voicing serious concern over the sudden rise in child killings, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday hoped court would hand down capital punishment to the perpetrators of such crimes so that no one dares to harm children.
She urged people to be vocal against oppression of children and help law enforcers arrest the oppressors.
The premier made the call in her speech, wrapping up the 9th session of the current parliament with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.
Hasina, also the leader of the House, slammed the BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami for “carrying out terrorist activities” to resist the 2014 national election, and for post-polls violence in 2001.
Labelling the BNP as a militant organisation, she alleged that the BNP and the Jamaat are involved in militant and terrorist activities and resorted to destructive activities in the name of anti-government movement.
"Whenever police arrested militants or terrorists with arms or explosives, it was found that they had ties either with the BNP or the Jamaat.”
The PM thanked members of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for their ceaseless efforts to curb militancy.
Hasina also highlighted her government's development activities.
The country's poverty rate dropped from 56.7 percent in 1991 to 22.4 percent last year, while its per capita income has now gone up to $1,316 from $543 in 2005-06.
On the government plan to set up 100 economic zones by 2041, she said the foundation of 10 economic zones has already been laid and the zones are expected to fetch $40 billion a year.
Referring to freedom of the media, she said the government didn't impose any restrictions on it. "I have created all the opportunities for the media, but I am its worst victim."
The PM came down hard on The Daily Star and Bangla daily Prothom Alo.
"These two newspapers have been writing against me over the last 20 years. I don't read any of the two since I was released from jail in 2008.
"Even when they wrote something good, they said something harsh at the end of it. If I read those, I may lose my confidence. What is the point of reading those? I know very well that whatever they will write, it will be against me.”
The PM said an editor of a daily had to admit recently at a TV talk show that "whatever his paper wrote to brand her as a corrupt person was provided by the DGFI".
"The two newspapers are The Daily Star and Prothom Alo. Their names are beautiful. Daily Star means a star in the sky which is seen even during daytime. The other is Prothom Alo that means the light of the day breaking. But they do deeds of darkness. And what is that? It is publishing writings from the DGFI."
"When they published the news items [about Hasina], they didn't attribute the sources."
Pointing to the last caretaker government, Hasina said the main task of that government was to hold the elections. But instead, it hatched a conspiracy to stay in power permanently.
"I was the first to be hit by their conspiracy. Why was I the first? I was not in power; I was the opposition leader then. But I was the first to be arrested.
"During the BNP government's tenure, a dozen cases were filed against me. The caretaker government also lodged 5-6 cases. And before the filing of the cases, these two newspapers continuously published false news reports against me. And the false information was supplied by the DGFI. Who were in the DGFI then... Brigadier Amin and Bari.
"Nobody was spared from their torture. Teachers, businesspeople and politicians -- nobody could escape.
"Then what relations did the two editors have with the two DGFI men. I ask this question to Mahfuz Anam of The Daily Star and Matiur Rahman of the Prothom Alo. Can they answer my question? Why did they have so much closeness with the DGFI?”
The premier said either the two editors were involved in a deep-rooted conspiracy to implement “the minus-two formula” to banish her from politics or they acted as agents of the DGFI on its payroll, or did they do it in exchange for money.
“If they were not involved in the conspiracy, why did they publish such false information,” she asked.
These two editors were patronised by Brig Amin and Brig Bari. “They [the editors] were the stars and the light of Brig Amin and Brig Bari," she said.
Hasina also alleged that the two editors always try to create an “abnormal situation” in Bangladesh. It means they would get importance if anyone comes to power through an unconstitutional way.
“They feel suffocated in a democratic environment. They don't want democracy,” she said, urging the two editors to float political parties if they wish to assume power.
The PM also talked about an eminent person, who is a Nobel laureate and was the managing director of a bank.
She said the person used his friends in the US to stop the World Bank funding for the Padma Bridge over allegations of a corruption conspiracy.
Hasina alleged that these people are still conspiring.
She is confident that nobody would be able to hinder Bangladesh's progress.