“Opposition getting scope to hold protests, let them”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (August 14, 2022) said that she is fully aware of public suffering due to the record fuel price hike and load shedding, and completely empathises with them.
"We are aware of and fully understand the suffering of people," she said while speaking at the meeting with organising secretaries of Awami League from eight divisions at her official residence Gono Bhaban.
Hasina, also chief of Awami League, assured that her government will surely cut down the fuel prices when it will come down in the international market.
Referring to the ongoing countrywide load shedding, she said that people have to endure this pain for some more days.
"When the coal-fired power stations go into production, our energy problems will subside," she said.
"Our opposition is getting a scope to hold protests. Let them do that. I want that too," she said.
In this connection, she said that today she has directed relevant authorities to allow the opposition to continue their agitation and not to arrest anyone.
"If they want to besiege the Prime Minister's office, let them do that," she said.
She also said that people know very well that her government has tried with utmost sincerity to tackle the fuel price and electricity production.
"Opposition will try to utilise this, but if they do anything excessive, people will ultimately suffer more. They have to realise that," she said.
PM Hasina blamed Ukraine-Russia war, the subsequent sanctions and counter-sanctions for the current economic problems of the country that hit when it was turning around from the grip of pandemic's impact quite well.
"USA and Russia gain the most from the sanctions and counter-sanctions as the prices of US and Russian currencies have gone up," she said.
She also said that middle and lower-middle class people around the world are the worst suffers of the war, sanctions and counter-sanctions.
The premier came down heavily on a section of people who increased prices of essentials, taking advantage of war and fuel price hike.
She urged the people to increase production and produce whatever they can.
Recalling the August 15 bloodshed, she said she wonders why they killed her father, mother and brothers. "What were their faults?" – she asked.
She said that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman tried to establish a pro-people administration and decentralise the power to the grassroots of people.
"It seems that whoever wants to play a role in developing people's lives in this country have to face a cruel fate. This is the reality," she said.
She put emphasis on strengthening the party and its activities, and to stand by the people as it always did in the past.
Hasina said Awami League always believes in democracy, principle and power of the people.
She said that military rulers Ziaur Rahman, HM Ershad and ex-PM Khaleda Zia of BNP patronised and awarded the killers of Bangabandhu and granted them immunity from any court trial.