PM Hasina: BNP, Jamaat cause misery for the people

The prime minister urged the people to vote for the boat symbol for the trend of development and democracy to continue in Bangladesh

Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday slammed the BNP and Jamaat for causing misery for the people, stressing that her government has been squarely focused on mitigating the woes of the public.

The premier also inaugurated a slew of new development projects and the International Fleet Review (IFR) 2022 on her first visit to Cox's Bazar in five years. Sheikh Hasina formally opened the IFR at Inani Beach, before addressing a grand rally at Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium.

“Arson terrorism, killing, murder, looting, money laundering, smuggling the country's money abroad, smuggling … this is all that [BNP and Jamaat] can do,” she said while addressing the massive rally.

She mentioned that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has been convicted of corruption and had embezzled money from an orphanage.

“[Khaleda Zia's] son Tarique Rahman, known for siphoning off the country's money, has been convicted for seven years and charged a fine of Tk 20 crore,” the prime minister added.

She also drew attention to Tarique's involvement in the 10-truck arms case.

“I do not know for what purpose he brought those arms,” PM Hasina said.

She recalled how she narrowly escaped a grenade attack orchestrated by Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman on August 21, 2004.

“A total of 22 Awami League members were killed and numerous people were severely injured. I narrowly escaped death by the grace of Almighty Allah,” the premier said.

While the BNP focuses on conducting arson attacks, the Awami League only cares about mitigating the sufferings of the people, said Sheikh Hasina.

“Bangladesh is being transformed into a developed and prosperous country. We will reach that goal by 2041. In Bangabandhu's Sonar Bangla, no person will be homeless,” she said.

She highlighted that 73 development projects, including 12 mega projects, were taken up in Cox's Bazar since the Awami League came to power in 2008.

“We have already completed 29 projects. If Cox's Bazar International Airport, railway line, and Matarbari Power Project are completed soon, the people will be able to enjoy significant benefits,” she added.

Focus Bangla

The prime minister urged the people to vote for the boat symbol for the trend of development and democracy to continue in the country.

“From 2009 to 2022, there has been a democratic process in the country, and it has led to unprecedented development. Bangladesh has achieved recognition as a developing country,” she said.

The prime minister declared that the next general election of Bangladesh would be held in the first week of January 2024.

The rally, organized by Cox's Bazar Awami League, was presided over by its acting president Advocate Faridul Islam Chowdhury.

At the outset of the rally, the PM inaugurated 29 development projects, and laid the foundation stones of four schemes involving Taka 1963.86 crore.

Earlier in the day, while inaugurating IFR 2022, the prime minister said her government is working to ensure a safe and secure sea to safeguard maritime resources and marine trade for economic prosperity.

"Our government has taken robust measures for the marine sector's development considering the immense potential of marine resources. But a prosperous economy only comes when we can ensure a safe and secure environment in the ocean," she said.

She added that her government is working to enhance the capability of the Bangladesh navy, turning it modern with quality development programs over time to protect the marine resources of the country.

Focus Bangla

The four-day IFR began with participation of navies and maritime organizations from 28 countries, including the USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Turkey, and the Netherlands.

The prime minister said the safety of the seas is essential for ensuring free international trade, as 90% of global trade is conducted through waterways.

“The strategic and economic importance of the Indian Ocean has greatly increased in recent times,” she said

The premier said Bangladesh had proved its capability through successfully organizing the IFR.

Sheikh Hasina also inaugurated the 1km-long BN jetty at Inani Beach alongside the IFR. The jetty will provide large ships with an anchor point in Cox's Bazar for the first time.