Bangladesh to fight legal battle: PM

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said her government will fight in the Canadian court for the deportation of Noor Chowdhury, a self-confessed and convicted killer of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“We want to execute the sentences of the convicted killers as they are curses of Bangladesh,” she said.

The PM was addressing a reception, organised by Canada Awami League, at Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Sunday, reports BSS.

Her comments came hours after she reiterated her request for Noor’s deportation during a meeting with her Canadian counterpart Justine Trudeau.

Meanwhile, in a meeting with Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar Bob Rae, Hasina yesterday said her government was aware of the intrusion of many foreign nationals into Bangladesh in the guise of relief workers which might lead to trafficking of children and women, sexual abuse, terrorism and many other social problems, reports UNB.

“The government is issuing special-category visas for relief workers to address the problem,” she told Bob when he met her at her hotel suite in Toronto.

Speaking at the reception on Sunday, Hasina said Bangladesh would become a failed state if the anti-liberation elements and the patrons of killers returned to power.

She said Bangladesh was marching forward and the trend should continue. “The country can’t be developed unless there is continuation of a government.”

About her party’s election manifesto, she said they did much more than what they wanted to do. “As Bangladesh is making progress, it now gets invitation to join the G7 Outreach Session.”

The premier said her government was working to ensure the development and welfare of the country’s people.

The AL government placed a Tk 464,573 crore national budget for the 2018-19 fiscal, but once the budget size was only Tk 61,000 crore, she told the reception programme.

In the past, the prices of essentials used to go up with the announcement of national budget, she said. “But now the prices remain under control as the present government has been able to bring down the inflation to 5.6 percent.”

Coming down heavily on BNP, the PM said they did not see any development of Bangladesh, but they enjoyed the benefits of development.

About Khaleda Zia, she said the BNP chairperson was convicted at the court after the trial had continued for 10 years. “But the leading lawyers failed to prove that Khaleda didn’t embezzle orphans’ money.”

“A comfortable environment has been arranged for her in jail. I have no right to release Khaleda Zia from jail as it is the jurisdiction of the court. Their [BNP’s] leading lawyers should solve it by moving to the court,” Hasina said.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and AL Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif also spoke at the programme.

BOB RAE MEETS HASINA

The Bangladesh PM yesterday urged the Canadian envoy to bring to the government’s notice if there was any difficulty in getting visas by foreign relief workers for working in Rohingya shelter camps.

“The government is cautiously dealing with the matter as many foreign nationals are working in the Rohingya camps after coming to Bangladesh with tourist visas,” Hasina said.

PM’s Press Secretary Ehsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting. He said Bob informed the premier that he has prepared a report on his last November’s visit to the Rohingya shelter camps in Bangladesh.

Hasina and Bob discussed the sufferings the Rohingyas might face during the upcoming monsoon as their sheltering place was prone to natural calamities, including mudslide and flood.

She informed the envoy about Bangladesh’s disaster management preparedness, saying a trained group of people along with law enforcement agencies, border guards, army and political party workers was ready to tackle any situation.

Later, Deputy Premier of Saskatchewan and Minister for Trade and Export Development Gordon Wyant, and Minister for Immigration and Career Training Jeremy Harrison met Hasina at her hotel suite.

A business delegation, led by President and CEO of Commercial Corporation of Canada, also made a courtesy call on the PM. The delegation included some Bangladeshi-origin Canadian businessmen.

Hasina urged them to invest in Bangladesh taking the opportunities of the country’s very liberal trade regime.

‘DEPORT NOOR CHOWDHURY’

Hasina had a meeting with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau at his residence in Quebec on Sunday, reports UNB.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, the PM’s press secretary said the premier requested Trudeau to take immediate actions on the deportation of Noor Chowdhury.

Expressing his compassion to Hasina, Trudeau said, “I understand how painful it is for you. Noor Chowdhury has no citizenship status in Canada…he is not a citizen of Canada.”

Pointing at his country’s legal system about the deportation of a death row convict, Trudeau said Canadian officials were quietly engaged in dealing with the issue.

Hasina thanked the Canadian government for extending support and assistance to her government on the Rohingya crisis.

She said Myanmar signed the agreement with Bangladesh for the repatriation of Rohingyas, but it remained silent when the question of implementation of the agreement came.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman and Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque were present at the meeting.

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