Dhaka, Aug 9 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said her government is working for strengthening democracy in the country and accelerate its development.
She made the remarks when visiting Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland met her at her office in the city.
PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
The country’s GDP growth is now 7.78 percent, while the inflation rate 5.5 percent, she said adding that her government is working for women empowerment at the grassroots level and now a large number of women is participating in socio-economic development.
“We’re encouraging young entrepreneurs -- both men and women,” Ihsanul Karim quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
About the Rohingya issue, Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is having discussions with Myanmar. The biggest worry for the government is safety of the displaced Rohingyas who took shelter in Bangladesh.
She said the influx of 1.1 million Rohingyas has created burden on Bangladesh and local people are also suffering as the Rohingyas occupied their lands in Cox’s Bazar.
Turning to terrorism, Sheikh Hasina said her government has successfully combatted terrorism and involved the people from all walks of life in the movement against the social menace. “It almost turned into a social movement. We don’t want to allow our children to indulge in terrorism.”
Talking about the election, she said more than 6000 elections – local body polls and parliamentary by-polls – were held during the current term of her government and all the elections were free and fair.
About sports, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh Women Cricket Team has recently clinched the Asian Championship, while the Bangladesh National Cricket Team is also doing well. The government is promoting sports as a whole, she added.
Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland stressed the need for trade facilitation among the Commonwealth countries.
She said it will have to reduce trade barriers among the Commonwealth countries and enhance the connectivity for the SMEs network.
Patricia Scotland said the Commonwealth is ready to extend cooperation in upholding the democratic process in Bangladesh.
Talking about cricket, the Commonwealth Secretary General stressed the need for creating Commonwealth Cricket Club and introduction of Commonwealth Cricket League with the participation of both male and female teams.
“We should create Commonwealth Cricket Club...and introduce Commonwealth Cricket League,” the PM's Press Secretary quoted Patricia Scotland as saying.
She said the participation of women in the Commonwealth League will enhance their confidence and determination.
Patricia Scotland highly appreciated the women empowerment in Bangladesh and said women should be involved in trade. She also suggested engaging women and girls in the SMEs.
Mentioning that the displaced Rohingyas are burden on Bangladesh, she also praised the Prime Minister for hosting 1.1 million Rohingyas calling it a 'great compassion'.
Scotland also appreciated the role of Bangladesh in combating terrorism and presented a copy of the Commonwealth Charter to the Prime Minister.
Principal Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office Md Nojibur Rahman was present.
Dhaka, Aug 9 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday provided Tk 10 lakh as financial assistance to the family of Joupurhat Jubo League (JL) leader Towhidul Islam Sabuj who was brutally killed by BNP-Jamaat terrorists in 2013.
Victim’s father Afzal Hossain received a cheque for the amount from the Prime Minister at her office in the city.
Sheikh Hasina also handed over cheques for financial assistance amounting to Tk 60 lakh to four other individuals.
Sabuj was the organising secretary of Matrai union Jubo League in Kalai upazila of Joypurhat.
BNP-Jamaat terrorists armed with lethal weapons, including knives and pistols, stormed his house around 7:30am on April 7, 2013 and set the house on fire after vandalising and looting it.
Later, they picked up Sabuj and killed him beating him in broad daylight. They also cut his tendons to confirm his death.
Sabuj's family is facing financial crisis as his brother Rezwan Hossain, 25, died in cardiac arrest in 2016.
Besides, the Prime Minister gave financial assistance of Tk 20 lakh each to former national footballer Jalal Uddin Molla for meeting his treatment costs and Shabrina Khatun, wife of late Upazila Nirbahi Officer Ramizur Rahman Molla, for meeting education costs of her children.
Sheikh Hasina also provided Tk 10 lakh each to Farzana Yeasmin Merry, wife of late BCS cadre Mohammad Nazrul Islam for meeting livelihoods and educational costs of her children as well as Sultanara Begum, wife of freedom fighter Amir Hossian.
Jalal Uddin Molla hails from Boalia upazila in Rajshahi while Shabrina from Boraigram in Natore, Merry from Motijheel AGB Colony in the capital and Sultanara Begum from Madaripur.
Dhaka, Jul 28 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said initiatives have been taken to construct underground rail lines, elevated ring roads and waterways around the capital, aiming to ensure better transport services.
"We’ve already started a feasibility study to construct the rail lines," she said.
The Prime Minister said this at a programme after inaugurating the Badda U-loop (North U-loop) under Hatirjheel integrated development project.
She also said there is a plan to construct elevated ring roads around the capital city to ease communications.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that the government will go for dredging the four rivers surrounding the capital so that the city dwellers could get a better commuting service through waterways. "We’ll dredge the rivers to restore their navigability."
She also said the small bridges over these rivers that are hindering the plying of water vessels will be removed through constructing new bridges which will not create obstacles. "We’re taking a plan for that, too."
Talking about the Hatirjheel project, the Prime Minister said the government will create a link canal with the project for linking it with rivers.
"If we excavate the canal, the water of the Hatijheel project will remain better. Another plan to that end is also underway," she said.
Hasina said the previous governments constructed box culverts over the canal and that decision was just a blunder. "As a result, the waterlogging in Dhaka is increasing day by day… constructing box culverts is not a solution."
She said if the Awami League is voted to power in the next election, it will demolish the box culverts to open the canals, not in Dhaka city, but also across the country.
"We’ll construct elevated roads over the canals, if needed. The canals will remain open…it’ll be helpful to remove the rainwater quickly," she said.
The Prime Minister said the government will renovate all the canals, beels, rivers, drains and ponds across the country. "We’ve already taken projects for this."
She said the aim of these projects is to make the country more environment-friendly one so that the people of the country could get an atmosphere to live healthier life.
Hasina mentioned that traffic jam is not a unique matter in big cities, and the government has taken numerous steps to reduce traffic congestions in capital Dhaka.
She reiterated that the government will introduce high speed or bullet trains from Dhaka to Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Barishal-Paira and Kolkata.
The Prime Minister said the government has been able to carry out marked development across the country as people cast their votes in favour of Awami League for two consecutive times.
"As we’re in power for two consecutive terms, we’ve been able to complete our development projects," she said.
Housing and Public Works Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Local MP AKM Rahmat Ullah, Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed and Hatirjheel Integrated Development Project Director Maj Gen Abu Sayeed Mohammad Masud also spoke.
Dhaka, Jul 27 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday said the BNP-Jamaat clique will just destroy the country with their unbridled looting and corruption if they return to power as they did in the past.
"... they’ll just eat up the country through their looting if they get back to power…there’ll be no change in people's fate," she said.
The Prime Minister said this when leaders and activists of Swehhasebak League met her on the occasion of the founding anniversary of their organisation at her official residence Ganobhaban.
She said Khaleda Zia could not restrain herself from embezzling even orphans’ money. "How they’ll give anything to people returning to power…they won’t be able to give anything to people, they’ll just engage themselves in looting and corruption."
Sheikh Hasina, also the President of the ruling Awami League, mentioned that the BNP chief is now in jail for embezzlement of orphans’ money. “We didn’t put her in jail for political reason. Had we wanted to do that we could have done that in 2013, 2014 and 2013."
She said the people of the country have no trust and faith in the BNP-Jamaat clique. "This has been proved," she said.
Talking about the unabated corruption and money laundering during the BNP-Jamaat regime, the Prime Minister said these have been proved in the USA, too.
She also said Awami League brought back the confidence of people in government after its return to power through the 2008 election.
"If anyone does politics for personal gains that politics cannot give anything to the country, and that person takes everything for himself or herself…history never pardons such person," Hasina said.
The Prime Minister also said if the politics is just in the interest and welfare of people, then the politicians can give something to the country. "And we’re doing that."
She said the main aim of the Awami League is to build the fate of people, not its own. “I’m not there in politics to make own fortune… I just want one thing—to change the fate of people."
Hasina said the government has already ensured food security in the country and want to make it a poverty-free one. "We’re implementing programmes to that end."
She mentioned her government wants to make Bangladesh a poverty- and hunger-free country one as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
AL general secretary Obaidul Kader, Swechhasebak League president Advocate Molla Mohammad Abu Kawsar and general secretary Pankaj Debnath also spoke on the occasion.