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Myanmar wanted to engage us in a war, says PM

Published : Sunday, 8 October, 2017 at 12:00 AM  Count : 561

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said Bangladesh her government evaded war with Myanmar though the country showed such an attitude that they would engage in a war with Bangladesh.
"During the Rohingya influx, I alerted our Army, BGB and police not to get confused in the face of any provocation and wait for my orders," she said.
"Various quarters wanted to create a situation to divert things in different directions (but) we were very much cautious about that," she added.
She said her biggest achievement is the love of the people of the country.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh took an appropriate position to draw international attention to the Rohingya crisis also compelling Myanmar to open discussions on the issue.
"Now everyone is sympathetic, everyone is extending their hands and everyone is coming forward to help the Rohingyas," she said.
Sheikh Hasina expressed
her gratitude to the people for extending their all out support to the government stance in providing shelters to over half a million victims of forced exodus from the neighbouring country.
She said for natural and humanitarian reasons Bangladesh offered the Rohingyas shelter as they were exposed to brutal atrocities with their women, children and elderly people being the worst victims.
The Prime Minister said the hapless Rohingya people who fled to Bangladesh will be relocated from Cox's Bazar to offshore island of "Bhasan Char," also known as Thengar Char.

*    I alerted Army, BGB, police not to get confused in face of provocations.
*    Padma Bridge is a befitting reply to those who insulted us.
*    She said her biggest achievement is the love of the people of the country

Sheikh Hasina said she and her sister felt the sorrow and pain of the Rohingya people from their own experience of leading a refugee life after Bangabandhu's 1975 assassination.
"Ten million people from Bangladesh were forced to take shelter in India during the Liberation War when the Pakistani occupation forces launched a massacre in 1971," she recalled.
On the Padma Bridge she said her government gave a befitting reply to its detractors by constructing the Padma Bridge on own expense. The installation of the first span on the bridge made me cry, she added.
"We gave a befitting reply to those who had heaped insult upon us and undermined our ability to go ahead with the construction of the Padma Bridge," she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League President, said while addressing a reception programme organized to accord her reception on her successful participation in the just concluded 72nd UN General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York.  Awami League hosted the reception at the VVIP Lounge of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport as she returned home wrapping up her three-week visit.
Mentioning that constructions of the bridge with own funding was a big challenge, Sheikh Hasina said, "It was a tough challenge for us as ill attempts were made to malign me, my family and the government. Vested quarters also stigmatized us with false allegations of corruption."
"My family members had to go through mental torment when the international agency brought allegation of corruption. Everybody at that time used to see us in such a way as if we did a great misdeed," she said and added, "But I had the confidence that no corruption took place in the project."
The Prime Minister said massive propaganda was spread by vested quarters and some over- enthusiastic people mislead the people on the issue.
"I asked the agencies to prove the allegations but they could not prove it. Rather a 40,000- page report revealed the name of the person, who was most vocal in this matter," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said many did not believe that her government would be able to construct the bridge with its own fund and even some cabinet members could not believe it.
"But I promised that we would construct the bridge with our own finance," she said.
She along with her sister Sheikh Rehana spent a sleepless night in Washington on the day the first span of the bridge was installed, she added.
"We both cried when we heard that the first span of the bridge has been installed," she said.
About Rohingya crisis, the Prime Minister said that

Earlier, the leaders of Bangladesh Awami League, 14-party combine, eminent citizens and professional leaders, cultural personalities and business community leaders greeted the Prime Minister by presenting bouquets.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister and Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader also spoke on the occasion.
Minister Tofail Ahmed, Syed Ashraful Islam, Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain, Hasanul Huq Inu, Rashed Khan Menon, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Qamrul Islam, Shamsur Rahman Sherif Dilu,  Asaduzzaman Noor,  Prime Minister's Advisers HT Imam and Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury,  also the Daily Observer Editor, among others, were present at the function.

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