Patrons of militancy must face trial : PM
WASHINGTON, Sept 29: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has reiterated that BNP-Jamaat and its leaders must face trial for patronising militancy in the country by providing money and giving orders, protecting war criminals and burning innocent people to death with petrol bombs.
"These are not political cases... these are cases of burning people," she said while speaking at a meeting of leaders and workers of greater Washington chapter of Awami League at Ritz Carlton hotel in Virginia on Wednesday (local time). The Prime Minister said cases were filed against BNP-Jamaat leaders and they must be put on trial. "The guilty, whoever they are, must be punished. Those who nurtured offenders, made war criminals ministers should face trial," she said adding that BNP chairperson have to face trial for her misdeeds.
Sheikh Hasina also ridiculed the BNP leadership for relying on foreigners and making complaints frequently without any substance and said they have no confidence in people's strength. About her birthday, she said, "I don't like cutting cakes to celebrate birthday...My only motto is to complete the unfinished task of Bangabandhu to bring smile to the faces of downtrodden exploited masses." The Prime Minister who turned 70 and observed her birthday in low-profile manner.
Hasina said she learned the lesson in her childhood from her late parents to sacrifice for the welfare of others. Members of her family never celebrated their birthdays in a high-profile manner when the people of Bangladesh had to struggle for food and shelter in those days.
The Prime Minister flashed back on her painful experience of her life after the assassination of Bangabandhu and her family members on August 15, 1975, and said she had led a refugee life for nearly six years abroad.
After returning to Bangladesh in 1981 as the President of Awami League, she said the ordeal did not end as she had to face various obstructions by the military junta of general Zia as well as internal conflict in her own party.
"Awami League leaders and workers always stood beside me in my difficult time. Big leaders make mistake but grassroots workers do not," she said amidst cheers from her followers at the meeting. Referring to the capture of power illegally and formation of BNP by General Zia, Hasina said Zia violated the army rules and the constitution. The party that was formed through illegal way cannot do good for people, she said.
She also alleged that Zia's son (Tareque) laundered money which was proved through an FBI investigation. "We do not traverse through dishonest ways. We don't think of making our own fortune. Our thoughts always guided us how to do good for people," she said. On the rule by the post-75 rule, the Prime Minister said the Zia, Khaleda and Ershad regimes were the weakest governments as they never dared to raise the issue of implementing the Land Boundary Agreement with India or to resolve the maritime boundaries with India and Myanmar. The Prime Minister said it is her government to resolve the long-pending issues of enclave exchange after long 68 years with India and maritime boundaries with the two neighbours of India and Myanmar peacefully in the international court, creating a history in the world. She urged the expatriates to remain vigilant against violent extremism that claimed many lives of Bangladeshis in the USA.
"The killing of Bangladeshi expatriates here is not acceptable...terrorism is everywhere, so remain careful," she said. —UNB