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Dhaka Tribune

PM to public unis: No fund if provocative acts do not stop

The prime minister said this while addressing the 13th council of Jatiya Sramik League at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka on Saturday

Update : 09 Nov 2019, 09:55 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the government will stop providing funds to public universities if their teachers do not stop provocative activities that lead students down the wrong path in the name of movement.

"The government will stop all funding. Why should the government provide funds... these are autonomous institutions? Now, you have to think, what you will do," she said.  

The prime minister said this while addressing the 13th council of Jatiya Sramik League at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka on Saturday, reports UNB.

"No one will ever accept taking students down a wrong path through provocation and uttering crunchy words,  she said adding: “If it’s done then (you) have to find your own funding, you have to manage your own salaries, you have to bear your own costs for study." 

Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, said students of the public universities can pursue higher education as the government allocates funds for their universities through the University Grants Commission (UGC).

"No country in the world provides higher education at such a low cost… it’s true the autonomy is there but who’s providing the fund? It is the government," she said.

Sheikh Hasina mentioned that it is the government that provides salaries and wages for the public university teachers and tuition fees of their students.

"How much does a student spend on his or her study in a year? It’s hardly Tk150. Is  possible to get higher education paying this little amount of money?" she asked.

The prime minister asked the students to go to private universities to see how much they spend for just one semester. "The government spends Tk2-2.5 lakh for each university student. The amount is higher for engineering and medical students. All the money comes from the government." 

The premier said discipline must prevail in public universities, students must get their due and appropriate lessons and they must build their lives in a better way.

"We seriously want that, but we see some people saying we don’t understand public universities. As if it is they, who only understand it and they ensure indiscipline," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said this section of people is destroying the academic activities and working hours of the students engaging them in strike for days. 

“All the money will go from the government, all the development activities will be done by the government and this section of people will feel very good accepting that. And the government will not be able to take any step…this is not acceptable at all. There is a proverb, freedom is good, but it is not for the boys," she quipped.

About raising allegations against anyone, the prime minister said as per the law it his his/her duty to prove it who raises the allegation, and if that person fails to prove that then steps can be taken against him as per the law.

Turning to government steps taken for development in different sectors, Sheikh Hasina said that the government has changed fate of people implementing massive programs for the welfare of the garment workers, labourers of industries and farmers of the country.

She said her government has so far raised wages of the workers by 380% three times increasing the amount to minimum Tk8,300 and it is rare in other parts of the world.

In this regard, the premier called upon all including leaders and workers of Jatiya Sramik League to work unitedly for establishing Bangladesh as the most developed and prosperous country in South Asia.

Chaired by outgoing Jatiya Sramik League President Sukkur Mahmud, the function was addressed, among others, by Labour and Manpower Affairs Secretary Habibur Rahman Siraj, State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Munnujan Sufian, International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Director Tuomo Poutiainen, General Secretary of the ITUC Asia-Pacific Shoya Yoshida and General Secretary of South Asian Regional Trade Union Council Laxman Bahadur Basnet.

Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader was also present at the program.

Outgoing Sramik League General Secretary Sirajul Islam delivered the welcome speech while Executive President Fazlul Huq Montu read out the condolence motion.

Earlier, the prime minister inaugurated the council of Sramik League through hoisting the national flag with national anthem playing. She released pigeons and balloons and also witnessed a colourful cultural program.

Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman founded the Sramik League in 1969 aiming to protect the rights of workers. 

The last council session of the Jatiya Sramik League was held seven years back on July 17, 2012, when Sukkur Mahmud and Sirajul Islam were made president and secretary, respectively.

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