Plot on to tarnish country’s image
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said people who do not believe in Bangladesh's independence are out to tarnish the country's image at home and abroad by hatching conspiracies.
"They are the enemies of the country's people," she told a reception accorded to her by the US chapter of Awami League at New York LaGuardia Airport Marriott Hotel on Friday night.
Joining the reception virtually, Hasina said some elements staying abroad are indulged in plotting against the government to taint the country's image at a time when it has taken Bangladesh to a dignified position.
The premier, also the AL president, called upon all to remain alert so that none can play ducks and drakes with people's fate.
Politics is not meant for enjoyment rather it is for sacrifice, she said, adding Ziaur Rahman, HM Ershad and Khaleda Zia never thought about the welfare of the people, rather they touted power as "a means for enjoyment and making some quick bucks".
Highlighting the country's stunning development, Hasina said Bangladesh has become a role model of uplift before the entire world due to the relentless efforts of her government.
Referring to some elements who are calling the AL government illegal, she said, "My question is how they get the chance for uttering those words?"
The AL chief said they are getting the scope for criticising the AL by taking advantage of the "Digital Bangladesh vision" which was materialised by her government.
"If they had an ideology, they could never do that. They are basically criticising the government after being paid by the BNP-Jamaat clique."
Hasina said military dictators Zia and Ershad had come to power by violating the country's constitution, and the court declared their governments illegal.
She said Khaleda Zia was jailed for embezzling orphans' money, while her son Tarique Rahman was convicted in the 10-truck arms haul case and the August 21 grenade attack case.
The FBI of the United States had revealed the information regarding their involvement in corruption, the PM said.
Hasina said the BNP even paid money to kidnap and kill Sajeeb Wazed Joy in the US.
She said the people of the country have voted AL to power boycotting the BNP. The premier urged the BNP to take part in the next general election if they have faith in people's mandate.
Hasina said when the AL came to power after 1975, the people of the country first realised that the government is for serving the people and for the welfare of the people.
"Whenever the Awami League remains in power, Bangladesh continues to march forward."
The PM mentioned two reasons for her travel to New York by a Dreamliner of the Biman Bangladesh Airlines with the first being giving money to the state-owned carrier instead of others and thus keeping the money at Bangladesh's hand.
She said her government is pursuing a process to resume Biman's flights on Dhaka-New York route.
Hasina said, "A section of people is spreading falsehood that sacks and trunks filled with foreign currency were brought to New York by Biman aircraft."
She asked the rumour mongers to say "where those sacks and trunks go".
The PM reminded all that BNP chief Khaleda Zia went to Saudi Arabia taking 150 suitcases full of money when she was in power and kept those by hiring lockers there.
She also said then (state) minister of Khaleda Zia's government Babar was held with several lakhs of US dollars at a US airport and he was later released following the intervention from the local Bangladesh embassy.
'INVEST IN MOTHERLAND'
Speaking at a press conference after the civic reception, the prime minister urged the Bangladeshi expatriates in the US to invest in their motherland taking the opportunity of her government's attractive offers for investment.
"You, the Bangladeshi expatriates, along with US nationals can invest in Bangladesh," she said.
Hasina told the expatriates that her government was offering attractive stimulus packages and advantages to the investors from home and abroad.
PM REACHES WASHINGTON DC
The Bangladesh premier reached Washington DC yesterday morning (US time) from New York, wrapping up her week-long official visit to attend the 76th United Nations General Assembly at the UN Headquarters.
"A VVIP chartered flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the premier and her entourage members landed in Washington DC at 10:03am [local time]," PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told BSS.