DHAKA, Aug 16, 2022 (BSS) –
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said that the countries which teach lessons, raise questions about human rights and impose sanctions have given shelter to the killers of Bangabandhu and most of his family members.
“They (countries) give us lessons (on human rights), but they are protecting the killers of my father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, my mother, brothers, women and children,” she said at a discussion meeting organized by Awami League (AL).
Sheikh Hasina, also the president of ruling AL, chaired the meeting held at city’s Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC), marking the National Mourning Day and the 47th martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“Where are our human rights? What answer would we get?” she posed the question.
“They (countries) are busy with the human rights of those who nurtured killers, human rights violators, murderers or some militants, terrorists,” she said.
And BNP is their patronizer and nurturer, she added.
Sheikh Hasina asked those raising questions to the government about human rights – “Where were our human rights after the August 15, 1975 killings? I’ve lost my near and dear ones. They were my father and mother”.
“We had no right to seek justice. Even, I could not file a case (due to the indemnity given to the killers),” she said, adding: “Why couldn’t I seek trial (of the killers). Am I not a citizen of this country?”
AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, MP delivered the introductory speech.
AL Advisory Council members Amir Hossain Amu, MP and Tofail Ahmed, MP, AL Presidium Members Begum Matia Chowdhury, MP, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Abdur Rahman and Advocate Md. Qamrul Islam, MP, AL Joint-General Secretary and Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud, MP, AL Liberation War Affairs Secretary Advocate Mrinal Kanti Das, MP, Dhaka South AL President freedom fighter Abu Ahmed Mannafi and Dhaka North AL President Sheikh Bazlur Rahman, among others, also spoke.
AL Publicity and Publication Affairs Secretary Dr. Abdus Sobhan Golap, MP moderated the discussion.
At the outset, one-minute silence was observed to pay tribute to the martyrs of August 15, 1975.
The Prime Minister also came down heavily on the then Awami League front ranking leaders as they didn’t protest and talk against the brutal killing of Bangabandhu and his other family members.
She said, “There were so many slogans, where did all those people go? There was not a single person who would have come in front showing courage, there was not a single person to protest that killing, why they couldn’t do that?”
Sheikh Hasina said Awami League was a huge party, there were so many supporters and leaders, but not a single person showed that guts to speak against the killing.
She mentioned that the body of Bangabandhu remained laid down on the floor of Dhanmondi 32 number house from August 15 to August 16.
“He (Bangabandhu) didn’t take anything with him, rather he gave everything for his people, he gave a country, a nation, identity and self-identity for the people,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina, the eldest child of Father of the Nation, said that the “kafon” (shroud) of Bangabandhu was prepared with the relief clothes which were supposed to be donated to the poor persons of the country.
She, with an emotion choked voice, said: “My father, mother, brothers and sisters didn’t take anything with them,” adding, “Even their namaz-e-janaza was not held.”
“I have a question – many leaders are here (at the BICC), Father of the Nation phoned many of them, what they did?” she continued.
She mentioned that everyone remains beside a person alive, but no one remains beside a dead person. “That is the burning example… don’t expect anything.”
The Awami League president said that her prime task is to bring smile of the faces of the mass people of the country which was the dream of the Father of the Nation.
She alleged that the killers of Bangabandhu were awarded by giving impunity through the Indemnity Ordinance. “Even, we were not allowed to seek justice in the courts,” she said.
The killers were even given jobs in different Bangladesh missions abroad by the military ruler Ziaur Rahman, she added.
“If Ziaur Rahman was not the killer or conspirator, why did killer Mustaque make him army chief, and why Ziaur Rahman did shelter and pamper these killers?” she questioned.
Sheikh Hasina also criticized some countries and human rights organizations for not questioning those countries still sheltering the self-proclaimed killers of Bangabandhu.
The Prime Minister said killer Rashed is in the USA and the government talked with the country to bring him back to Bangladesh.
“We’ve talked repeatedly with the USA, but they didn’t give killer Rashed to us,” she said, adding, “Another killer Noor is in Canada.”
She said, “It’s ironic that we have to hear lessons from them.”
Sheikh Hasina also expressed her gratitude to the Awami League and people of Bangladesh as they gave the opportunity to stay in power for three consecutive terms since the 2009 election.
She said, “We did not only hold the trial of Bangabandhu killing but also the trial of war criminals.”
She added that simultaneously they brought back the ideology of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman through which Bangladesh became independent.
Mentioning that her father, mother, brothers and other relatives sacrificed their lives for the country, the premier said, “I can’t forget this and that is why I think it is my responsibility to stay beside the people of Bangladesh.”
She said the killers wanted to erase the name of Bangabandhu forever but now it is not possible.
“This name is now acclaimed globally. ‘Joy Bangla’ slogan returned, while 7th March speech was acknowledged internationally,” she said, adding: “No distorted history, the world is knowing real history.”
The Prime Minister said the Coronavirus pandemic that created economic recession and the Russia-Ukraine war, sanction and counter-sanction of the USA and Russia caused price hike of fuel oil and other items.
“It is an unnatural situation,” she said and added that the government was compelled to increase the fuel oil price.
“I know people of the country are facing difficulties, I can realise their pain, I understand their pain, for that we have taken some decisions,” she said.
She mentioned that the government is providing rice at Taka 15 per kilogram to some 50 lakh families and one crore special family cards will be given so that they can procure rice, lentils, oil and sugar at a fair price.
“We are taking those steps,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that food scarcity has been seen worldwide, footsteps of the famine are being heard, and the developed countries are facing serious troubles. “So, we have something to do here.”
“I urge the rich people to help those passing their days in misery in your surroundings and in your village areas, the government will do whatever is needed,” she said.
She also asked her party men to stand beside the distressed people.
The Prime Minister reiterated her call to maintain austerity in using power, fuel and water and utilise every inch of land to produce something, whatever it is.
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