She stated this while distributing financial assistance to 113 journalists in need
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday urged journalists to play a constructive and responsible role to develop the country, after reiterating that the government firmly believed in freedom of the press.
"But attention needs to be given [to the fact] so that no one could use this with a childish attitude," she said at a program at her office in Dhaka held to distribute financial aid among journalists from the Bangladesh Journalists' Welfare Trust, reports UNB.
Regarding criticisms against her, she said that she cared little about those who write against her. "I think little about who writes in favour of me and who writes against me. What I always think is whether I have the confidence to take my decisions and whether they are the right ones.”
Hasina said that everybody had the right to speak and the government always believed in the freedom of newspapers and journalists. "No one can say we ever stifled anyone's voice; we never did that, and we don't do that either," she added.
Rather, she said, the government has done whatever necessary to establish the freedom of press.
She said the government has been working tirelessly and with sincerity for the development of the country.
"The people will judge how much success I have achieved and how much service they are getting. But for me, serving the people is my duty.”
At Wednesday's function, the prime minister announced that Tk20 crore will be provided as the seed money for the Bangladesh Journalists' Welfare Trust and requested the owners of media outlets to come forward to enhance that amount.
A total of 113 journalists, suffering from various diseases and financially insolvent and family members of newsmen who died in different incidents, were given financial assistance.
Chaired by Information Minister and the welfare trust’s Chairman Hasanul Haq Inu, the event was addressed by the prime minister’s Media Affairs Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, State Minister for Information Tarana Halim and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Ministry AKM Rahmatullah, among others.
Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists President Molla Jalal and Secretary General Shaban Mahmud, Dhaka Union of Journalists President Abu Jafar Surjo and General Sectary Sohel Haider Chowdhury, Information Secretary Abdul Malek and Press Institute Bangladeshi Director General Shah Alamgir were also present.