DANISH MINISTER SAYS SOLVING BANGLADESH’S POLITICAL CRISIS ‘POSSIBLE’
Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
The visiting Danish minister for trade and development cooperation has said the ongoing political unrest in Bangladesh can be solved, but has not said how.
“It’s my hope that the political unrest you experience in Bangladesh is possible to solve,” Mogens Jensen said at a press conference on Thursday.
He said the solution was “crucial” not only for attracting foreign investors but also for the people of Bangladesh.
He came to Dhaka on Mar 17 to attend a high-level conference on Bangladesh’s ready-made garments industry held on Thursday.
On the sidelines of the conference, he also met foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali.
While briefing a select group of journalists, he underscored Bangladesh’s development and long-standing Danish cooperation.
He made the remark on the current political situation in reply to a question.
The BNP-led alliance, which boycotted the 10th parliamentary poll, has been enforcing a violent blockade and general strikes, demanding a snap poll under a neutral administration.
The minister said in a statement Denmark, as an old friend of Bangladesh, was “deeply distressed” and keenly watching the strife and violence currently affecting Bangladesh.
“Denmark encourages all political stakeholders to consider confidence-building measures in the greater interest of the nation”.
Replying a question at the press briefing, he said it was “very essential” for a developing society to have full democracy with media freedom, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble and the freedom for NGOs to work.
He said criticisms help governments to develop.
“You’ll try to do better when you have someone always snapping at you. It’s crucial. That is very important to develop society”.
He said human rights were the fundamental to Danish development policy and the issue was raised in every country.
“So we do it here in Bangladesh as well,” he said. In the next three years, they would work on ensuring human rights of workers, women, and indigenous people.
The foreign ministry said during his meeting with the foreign minister, Mahmood Ali informed him that minority communities were “safe” during the Awami League rule.
In response to a reference on the political situation in Bangladesh, the foreign minister said that the BNP and its allies’ actions since Jan 6 this year were “not political activities or movements”.
“They are purely acts of violence and terror that killed innocent common people,” Ali said.
He said the situation had returned “to near normalcy and would be absolutely normal very soon”.
The Danish minister thanked the Foreign Minister for his presence in the conference.
He said that Denmark would like to expand the existing cooperation between the two countries, the foreign ministry said.
MARCH 19, 2015