DHAKA: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday slammed Bangla-language daily Prothom Alo and described it as “an enemy of the Awami League, democracy, and the people of Bangladesh,” reported bdnews24.com.
She criticized Prothom Alo for acting under the “cover of darkness” after a seven-year-old child was encouraged to tell a lie about food shortage.
“Those who speak out against corruption are now talking in favour of the people who are convicted in corruption cases,” Hasina said during a session in Parliament, reported bdnews24.com.
The MPs banged on their tables in agreement with the prime minister, saying ‘shame, shame’. They also sounded their support when Hasina described the Prothom Alo as an enemy of the Awami League, democracy and the people.
“A seven-year-old child was encouraged to tell a lie by paying him Tk 10. And that too for a statement like — we need the freedom to ensure meat and rice [food] for everyone. They published his words. It was all done by a popular daily. The name is Prothom Alo, but they act under cover of darkness,” said Hasina.
She also slammed Prothom Alo for talking in favour of an unelected government for an interim period, asking them to think who had benefited from such a government during the 2007-2008 period.
“With a heavy heart, I must say that they never want stability in the country. They were elated when an emergency was declared in 2007. It was then that two newspapers rolled up their sleeves [to achieve their goals],” Hasina said.
The prime minister told the countrymen that they can better realise who is favouring an unelected government, adding that those who fear to face the people and know that they will not be voted to power through elections are out to destabilise the country through different means, reported bdnews24.com.
Sheikh Hasina, also President of the Awami League, said the then caretaker government had been forced to give an election (in 2008) in which Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) got only 30 seats out of 300 while her party-led grand alliance won the remaining ones.
“They got only 30 seats (in the 2008 election) and how will they get more? We have gained support from the people through work and this is not our fault. We will continue to work for the people’s welfare,” she added. She said in continuation of the election, her government has been in power since 2009 to date through the people’s mandate following the democratic process.
“They are trying to eliminate democracy and introduce a government that will not act democratically. It will be an undemocratic action. Some of our intellectuals, who live on selling their intellect, keep licking the boots of those [corrupt people] for a little money,” Hasina said.
She also slammed the US for not practising its democratic norms beyond the Atlantic, reported bdnews24.com.
“Does the definition of democracy change when it comes to the (countries on the other side of the Atlantic)?” she said.
The US lectures Bangladesh on democracy to the cheers of the opposition parties, she said. “They are lecturing us on democracy and human rights. What’s the situation in their country?”
“It has the power to topple the government in any country and the Muslim countries, in particular, are experiencing a tough time.”
“They are trying to eliminate democracy and introduce a government that will not have a democratic existence. It’ll be an undemocratic action. Some of our intellectuals, who live on selling their intellect, just keep licking the boots of those [corrupt people] only for a little money.” (ANI)