Blockade aims to save war criminals: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has blasted the opposition for enforcing countrywide road blockade programme yesterday to save war criminals.
She also said the blockade was observed at a time when the nation was in a mood to celebrate the series win over West Indies in ODI cricket.
"We achieved another win in the month of victory over the formidable West Indies. Today, the opposition parties are engaged in setting vehicles afire instead of celebrating the victory,â€ she said.
The premier made the remarks while addressing a function marking the distribution of the Begum Rokeya Medal 2012 at Osmani Memorial Auditorium yesterday.
Hasina mentioned that the blockade had restricted the people from coming out and holding "jubilant processions" to celebrate Bengal Tigers' win over the one-day international (ODI) series.
"It is unfortunate for all of us. One question stirs my mind: what does the opposition want?" she said.
The premier also said the road blockade was also enforced on a day when the nation was set to observe the Begum Rokeya Day.
â€œThis showed (the opposition's) utter disrespect to her [Begum Rokeya]. I will request all to show their utmost hatred to the opposition and denounce their move," she told her audience.
Hasina reiterated her firm commitment to eliminate all kinds of injustices to women, saying that her government is implementing various measures to ensure equal rights for women.
She called upon the private organisations and individuals to come forward to supplement the government efforts for improving the lot of women.
The premier recalled the supreme sacrifices of two lakh women during the Liberation War, saying that women directly fought against the Pakistani occupation forces, supplied food to the freedom fighters and finally snatched the independence in exchange of their lives.
She mentioned that Rajakars and Al-Badr Bahini during the war committed crimes against humanity including the torture and abuse of women. â€œSo, the trial of war criminals will certainly be held in the soil of the country.â€
Hasina said that despite being born and brought up in a conservative society in the 19th century, Begum Rokeya was the pioneer of women education and their emancipation.
â€œBoldly facing all the obstacles of a conservative society, Begum Rokeya felt that only education could ensure their self-respect, their freedom and ultimately women empowerment.â€
She said the present government, following the path shown by Begum Rokeya, has been implementing various programmes for women's development.
In this context, the premier mentioned the formulation of Women Development Policy, 2011 and enactment of Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, 2010.
The present government has also ensured strong representation of women in the judiciary, executive and parliament as well as in the army, navy, air force and police force, she told her audience.
Earlier, the premier distributed Begum Rokeya Medal 2012 to two erudite women for their contributions to establishing women's rights and socioeconomic development.
The medal recipients are Syeda Zebunnesa Haq and Prof Mahfuza Khanam.
State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, Secretary of the ministry Tariqul Islam, among others, addressed the function in the capital.