Violence worries EU delegation
The visiting European Union parliamentary delegation has expressed concern over the ongoing political violence in Bangladesh.
The EU delegation was in a meeting with eminent civil society members and representatives of different UN bodies in Bangladesh.
The meeting was held at the EU office in the capital yesterday. It was part of a series of meetings that the delegation members of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights are holding with people concerned in Bangladesh.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Transparency International Bangladesh Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said the EU team wanted to know how the political crisis could be resolved.
Responding to a question from a newsman, he said, "I don't think the delegation would put any pressure on the government to hold dialogue. Rather, they are thinking of finding out a solution [to the crisis]..."
The EU team also discussed how to overcome the crisis and their probable role in it, added Iftekharuzzaman.
“I told the meeting that cent percent people want dialogue, but there is no atmosphere for dialogue. It is the responsibility of the two major political parties' chiefs to create an atmosphere for holding talks. If they are cordial, the problem would surely be solved,” he mentioned.
Issues including deterioration in the rule of law, impact of political confrontation on public safety, security and human rights, economics, trade and investment were discussed in the meeting.
The potential rise of militancy and extremism, taking advantage of the use of violence as a means of realising political demands on one hand and the excessive use of force to control it on the other hand also came up for discussion, Iftekharuzzaman told The Daily Star.
Adilur Rahman Khan, secretary of rights body Odhikar; and representatives of Unicef and UN Women were present, among others.
MEETING WITH SHAHRIAR
Earlier in the day, the EU team had a meeting with State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam at his ministry office.
After the meeting, the minister said the EU delegation did not express any concern about the human rights situation in Bangladesh.
The EU members were informed that the law enforcers have been put on alert to maintain law and order, Shahriar told reporters.
Prime Minister's Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam and newly appointed EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Pierre Mayaudon were present.
Shahriar said the EU members were mainly concerned about the progress in implementing government's promises to improve the working conditions in the RMG sector following the Rana Plaza tragedy.
The team also visited a garment factory in the city yesterday and expressed satisfaction over improved working conditions there, he added.