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AL depends on people, not outside force: PM

AL depends on people, not outside force: PM

DHAKA: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her party would remain in office if the people vote it to power in the next election while it does not bank on any force abroad for retaining power.

“We depend on the people, not any outside force to remain in power,” the prime minister told a press conference at her Ganobhaban official residence on her return home from the UN General Assembly.

The premier’s press conference was also largely featured by the issue of the Digital Security Act while she said no journalist sticking to objective journalism should be worried about the Digital Security Act.

She said if a journalist or newspaper does not publish false reports against anybody or mislead people should not be worried about the law.

Sheikh Hasina said the provisions of the Digital Security Act are the same as they are in the CrPC. Only the use of digital devices was included in the new law, she added.

“Rather, Bangladesh law has a lacking compared to England,” she said adding that like England a provision of punishment needs to be incorporated into the new law for publishing false news and also compensation for the victims.

“Only those journalists who have piled up false news against us and are waiting for releasing those one after another after announcement of election schedule should have to be worried with the law,” she said.

“If anybody has no ill-motive, intention or plan of doing any offense in future should not be worried,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina alleged that many newspapers published false news against her when she was in jail in 2007 and subsequently those proved false. Those newspapers were not even ashamed of publishing false news against her, she said.

All those cases filed against her for purchasing MIG, Frigate and in connection with the Padma Bridge proved baseless. But some newspapers very enthusiastically published fabricated news, she added.

Those newspapers did not take our mental pain and harassment into consideration, she said adding that “journalists are worried, but who will look into our worries?”

Sheikh Hasina said her government has repealed the provision of arresting journalists without warrants for publishing reports.

The prime minister hosted the press conference on her visit to New York to attend the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. However, all contemporary issues, including the coming election, Rohingya repatriation and cyber security came up for queries.

The prime minister said the government has enacted the Digital Security Act to address the dirty practices of a section of people in social media, protecting the society and families.

Cyber Security has posed a serious concern across the world, creating social and family problems in many countries and giving indulgence to militancy, terrorism and destroying moral values, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said no world leader has given her any advice on next election. Rather they wished me to come back to power again and meet them in next UNGA.

Replying to a question on a facebook post of cricketer Liton Das, the prime minister said Bangladesh believes in secularism. But, she regretted, a section of radicalized people is out to destroy social fabrics.

“Actually those people are mentally perverted and have no ideology. The society should be more careful to resist them, she said urging journalists to play vital roles in this regard.

Replying to a question on how much she was hopeful about repatriation of the Rohingyas, the prime minister said Myanmar has signed the agreement to take them back and consultation is going on to this end.

Every country in the world is giving pressure on Myanmar to take back their nationals from Bangladesh, she said. The government has prepared a livable place in Bhasan Char for Rohingays to help them lead a healthy life, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the government didn’t do any wrong for which it should have to be ousted from power. Rather, Bangladesh is one of the few countries in the world that achieved unprecedented development in recent years, she added.

Bangladesh has never seen such envious pace of development after independence barring the period of Bangabandhu, she said adding that but Bangladesh always experienced conspiracies as a vested quarter never liked the people to live in peace and become economically solvent.

The prime minister said the countrymen want election and they are eagerly waiting for the polls. But, it’s the decision of the political parties whether they would come to the election or not, she added.

“However, I hope that every political party would take part in the election,” the prime minister said.

Sheikh Hasina said she wondered to see the concerns of some journalists about the participation of a particular political party which, she said, was squarely responsible for killing people resorting to arson and bomb attacks.

“How the political leaders who could not control their greed on orphans money would run the country,” she asked.

Sheikh Hasina said people of the country want continuation of the development and they believe that only ‘boat’, election symbol of Awami League, can do this.

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