Dhaka, Friday, April 20, 2018


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Khaleda Zia has no ability to build Padma Bridge: PM

DHAKA, Jan 4, 2018 (BSS) - Coming down heavily on Khaleda Zia for her comments about the Padma Bridge construction, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said making this nonsense remarks, the BNP leader has understood that she has no ability to build such a bridge.

"Any person who has a little bit sense and who has some knowledge in his or her head must not utter those words. Making this nonsense remarks, Khaleda Zia has understood that she has no ability to construct such a bridge," she said.

Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, was addressing a function at her Ganabhaban residence when the leaders and workers of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) came to meet her marking the 70th founding anniversary of the organisation.

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at a discussion at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) on Tuesday said that the under construction multipurpose Padma Bridge is risky to get on as it is being constructed of patchwork.

"The Padma Bridge won't be constructed during the Awami League's rule. Even, if they somehow construct the bridge, please don't get on it as there'll be huge risk," Khaleda told the discussion.

The prime minister said that if Khaleda Zia has some knowledge in her head she might know how a bridge is constructed.

"Some knowledge which Khaleda Zia has are used for making money through embezzling and stealing, burning and killing people, and she can only do these evil works," she said.

BCL President Saifur Rahman Sohag and General Secretary SM Zakir Hossain also spoke at the function held at the west lawn of Ganabhaban, while AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader was present on the dais.

At the outset of the function, the BCL leaders greeted the prime minister by presenting flower bouquets.

The prime minister said the World Bank put corruption blame on the government regarding the Padma Bridge construction.

"But we had challenged the World Bank's allegations, saying that no graft took place in this regard ... we could do this as we've honest courage," she said.

The AL president said Bangladesh earned independence through the liberation war and under the leadership of Bangabandhu. "So we don't move bowing down our head ... we always move keeping our head high," she said.

She added: "We came to power for not changing our own fate, we came to power for changing the lot of the common people."

Sheikh Hasina directed Chhatra League leaders and workers to pursue education attentively, saying that education is very much necessary for giving leadership to the country.

"You'll have to pursue education of all disciplines like science, technology, literature and culture ... nobody can develop himself or herself and the country couldn't be built without education," she said.

The PM advised the BCL leaders and activists to take forward the country holding the main principles of their organisation. "You'll have to advance towards peace and progress by holding the torch of education," she said.

The premier also asked them to literate the children who remain out of literacy. "While going to your villages, you'll have to encourage the illiterate children in study ... it's my request to you on the occasion of the Chhatra League founding anniversary," she said.

Referring to unbridled corruption, looting and money laundering during the BNP-Jamaat government, the prime minister said the BNP-Jamaat nexus established a reign of terror during its five-year rule.

"They could not do anything for the people. They only developed their own fate while in power," she said and raised questions how they could advance the country as they can not do any welfare of the people.

Sheikh Hasina said the corruption of Khaleda Zia's two sons was proved in US Federal Court and Singapore Court respectively. "Tarique Zia was sentenced to seven years jail and fined Tk 20 crore for laundering money and we've brought back the money siphoned off by Koko from Singapore," she said.

The premier said the trial of the BNP leader is being held for embezzlement of the orphans' money. Pointing out the arson attacks and burning people to death by the BNP terrorists in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the AL president said women, children, teachers, students, drivers, helpers -- nobody was spared from their terrorist acts.

Referring to inhuman torture on and killing of leaders of Awami League and Chhatra League by the BNP in the past, she said they brought in the power war criminals, rapists, killers and those who had handed over the mothers and sisters to the Pakistani occupation forces.

Mentioning UNESCO's recognition of Bangabandhu's historic 7th March Speech, the premier said it has brightened the image of Bangladesh before the international arena.

She regretted that generation after generation could not play the historic speech as the number one speech among the most inspiring 41 speeches in the world as well as one of the best in two thousand and five hundred years had been prohibited for a long time.

In this regard, Sheikh Hasina called upon leaders and workers of Chhatra League to uphold the international recognition.

Mentioning that Bangladesh Chhatra League has glorious past and tradition, she said Chhatra League had played a crucial role in all movements of the country.

Highlighting her government's various steps for development of education, the premier said her government has given the highest importance to education to develop the country further. "No nation could achieve its desired goal without education," she said.