Caretaker govt system to stay
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said her government has so far no plan to scrap the caretaker government system.
“We did not think about it,” she told a 'meet the press' interaction at Bangladesh Permanent Mission Monday evening at the end of her nine-day visit to USA to attend the 65th UN General Assembly in New York.
Hasina, however, said everything would depend on the desire of the people.
The premier said a parliamentary committee, was constituted a few months ago, to suggest constitutional amendments in line with the two landmark judgments of the Supreme Court declaring the post-75 military regimes illegal. She said the committee might have its own observations about the caretaker system.
Replying to a question about the release of corruption suspects, who were exposed to trial under the emergency rules of the past military-backed caretaker administration, Hasina said they were released under court orders due to technical faults in filing those cases.
“The Anti-Corruption Commission is working independently, but the main opposition party is out to save them,” she added.
Asked about the perpetrators of 1971 crimes against humanity, she said it would not just be a token or symbolic trial. “The war criminals will be tried under the law following investigations,” she said.
Hasina said the trial of war criminals is a continued process like the trial of the criminals of World War II, which staggered over decades to expose to justice the perpetrators wherever they were found.
She said after the independence the Bangabandhu government sent 11,000 suspected war criminals to jail to face the trial while charges were constituted against another 22,000.
She reiterated that after the August 15, 1975 carnage, the military regime of General Ziaur Rahman had freed the collaborators under martial law proclamation and scrapped the entire process of trial.
About a demand of Bangladeshi expatriates in USA on resumption of Biman's Dhaka-New York direct flight she said it will resume by 2011 after adding new aircraft to the Biman fleet.
Asked about the government's plans to ban religion-based politics while the trial of war criminals is underway, she said the two are separate issues. “Bangladesh is a secular country---the Election Commission has the sole power to decide which party will be competent to do the election politics,” she said.
Earlier, Hasina spoke at a reception at the own building of Bangladesh permanent mission in New York, which she had opened on the same day last year.
The PM said the expatriate Bangladeshis are the true friends of the country. “We get your support to resolve all problems the country faces,” she said.
She requested the expatriate Bangladeshis to invest in their homeland.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Planning Minister AK Khandaker, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and Chief Whip Abdus Shaheed, among others, attended the reception.