Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ruled out the possibility of recurrence of 1/11 in the country, saying that the government is taking stern action against corruption earlier so that repeat of incident like 1/11 could not take place.
“I can say it (clearly) that 1/11 won’t happen again. If any irregularity takes place, I’ll take action, we’ll take action and whoever might be, even they belong to my party … if I want to try the corrupts, it’ll have to start from own house,” she said on Sunday.
According to a BSS report from New York, the prime minister was addressing a press conference at Bangladesh Mission here this afternoon on the occasion of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen was present on the dais, while Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen delivered the welcome address and PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim moderated it.
Sheikh Hasina said some people are becoming owner of huge wealth by taking scope for distribution of money from starting of preparing projects to get the work of schemes.
“Money have been kept in sacks to hide those (money) and we’ve seen it after the 1/11 changeover,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said that it is a nature of some people to show off their wealth that comes suddenly. “We need to give a blow to this part of the society,” she said.
She said that she does politics for the people and came to power after being elected by the votes of the people. “I always think about the well-being of the people,” she said.
“We have to look after that no bad effect falls on my party or in the society due to staying in power for a long. I have to also tackle this. For that I’m conducting this drive (against the corruption),” she said.
In this connection, she said that some people may become unhappy on her for the drive. “But I don’t bother it as I don’t have any fascination for power and wealth,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the drive against graft is underway and it will continue. She, however, said there is no need to form a special committee in this regard.
“Whenever we get allegations about corruption, we take action against it… we’ve formed the National Security Cell and are giving directives on time.
The drive is continuing and there is nothing to be worried about it,” she added The prime minister said she wants that each and every person of the country will lead a better and beautiful life. “Taking this chance, a few number of people will toxicate the society, this is not acceptable to me. That’s why I’m taking the action,” she said.
Saying that importing of sports goods is very good for development of sports and games in the country, but it was unimaginable that equipment of gambling would come in the name of importing sports items.
Sheikh Hasina said the government had conducted drive against terrorists and militants to prevent creating any type of anarchic situation in the country.
“Drive against the narcotics is going on and we’re almost a successful in it. Now, we have started drive against corruption,” she said.
In this connection, she said that the government is working tireless for the economic development of the country and preparing many projects and allotting fund for the schemes.
“I want that every penny of that fund will be used properly and the project will be finished smoothly. If there is any irregularity, it will hamper the uplift of the country … the way we’re thinking to develop the country, it will not happen,” she said.
Replying to a question on the Rohingya issue, the prime minister said Myanmar has created the crisis and it will have to bear its responsibility.
“Whatever words they speak, Myanmar has created the problem and they’ll have to resolve it,” she said.
Turning to the comments of the Myanmar leader in the 74th UNGA in which he described Bangladesh’s demand for creating safe zone in Myanmar for Rohingyas as baseless, the prime minister said it is a matter of shame and dishonour as well as weakness for Myanmar that their citizens have taken shelter in another country as refugees.
“It’s our biggest question why they’re not taking back their nationals from Bangladesh,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is continuing discussion with Myanmar on Rohingya issue while the international pressure is being created on them.
The prime minister said Myanmar should create confidence among the Rohingyas so that they can return to their homeland. “It’s a matter of shame for Myanmar that the Rohingyas have no confidence in their own country,” she said.
Handing over letter to Trump:
Responding to a question, Sheikh Hasina said that she handed over a letter to US President Donald J. Trump during the luncheon hosted by the UN secretary general.
About the content of that letter, she said that the government is trying to bring back the killers of the Father of the Nation who are staying in the US.
“Basically I gave him the letter regarding this issue,” she added.
The prime minister said that the USA is always very much vocal about the human rights issue. “Then how the killers of the Father of the Nation, women and children could stay in this country,” she said.
In this connection she said that one of the killers is staying in Canada also. “Killers of Bangabandhu are staying in different parts of the world, so we’re requesting all to send them back … these murderers are not good for those countries also,” she said.
She said that if those countries extradite the killers of Bangabandhu, it will be possible for Bangladesh to execute the verdict of the court.
Loan default and stock market issue:
The prime minister said it was military dictator Ziaur Rahman who initiated loan default culture in the country.
“After capturing power illegally, Ziaur Rahman had said money is no problem and he started the culture of not repaying loan,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina went on saying that the government is taking adequate steps to free the country from this culture.
Pointing out high bank interest, the premier said it is not possible for many to repay loan due to high bank interest. “As a result, they become loan defaulters,” she said.
The prime minister said that many think there is no need to repay loan. “There are many companies who run business after taking loans, but they’re not repaying loans,” she said.
“You’ve seen recently that what Grameen Phone is doing. They don’t pay tax and when the tax stands at huge amount, then it says that let’s do negotiation. You can do this one or two times, but can’t repeatedly,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said there was another problem that when emergency was declared in 2007, many businessmen became loan defaulters as they were arrested or fled the country during the time.
“We’ve given a scope to them so that they can run their industries where thousands of workers work and trade and commerce are not hampered,” she said.
The prime minister said the government is taking special steps to bring discipline in the banking and financial sector, and loan defaulters are not created.
“We’ve already given directives to bring down interest to a single digit and the state-owned banks are following the instructions,” she said.
About stock market, Sheikh Hasina said those who are involved in it will have to invest in stock market very cautiously.
“They will have to see that which shares are profitable and which are not and in this way they’ll have to purchase shares,” she said, adding the government has given many facilities for stock market traders.
In this connection, the prime minister mentioned that stock market in the USA crashed many times. “After that, the market turned around,” she said.
Opening Bangladesh missions:
The prime minister said after assuming office, the government is making strides to construct own mission buildings at different places.
“Despite resource constraints, Bangabandhu had initiated the plan and we built chancery building in Washington … we purchased a building for New York mission, while steps have been taken to set up consulate office in New York in our own building,” she said.
Earlier in her written speech, the prime minister highlighted her participation in the 74th UNGA Session and different side events as well as her meetings with world leaders including UN secretary General Antonio Guterres, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Thai premier Prayut Chan-o-cha.