Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hasina alerts govt high-ups

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday alerted her cabinet colleagues that the opposition might try to destabilise the country within the next couple of months in a bid to foil the upcoming trials of war criminals, according to highly placed government sources.

The premier issued the warning while chairing a weekly cabinet meeting in Bangladesh Secretariat.
Hasina, also the president of ruling Awami League (AL), directed ministers, state ministers, lawmakers and other authorities concerned to alert the people about the threat as well.
"The opposition was saying that they will launch a movement after the Eid. We will have no objection if they do that staying within the legal bounds. But the fear is that they might carry out destabilising activities in a planned way in the name of a movement," the premier was quoted as saying, by a cabinet member.
The sources told The Daily Star that the warning came following information from different intelligence agencies at home and abroad that an attempt on the prime minister's life might be carried out between this month and November.
The intelligence agencies also said simultaneous multiple sabotage might be carried out as well during the period by the anti-liberation war forces, in collaboration with an Indian separatist organisation and different local militant outfits.
They said the opposition might take the chance to mislead the people about some of the government's major initiatives including the move to try the war criminals, according to one of the sources who had talked to the prime minister recently.
AL insiders said before the premier departs for the US on September 18 to attend the UN general assembly, she might brief some of her close aides about the latest situation of the country and their tasks.
Mahbubul Alam Hanif, a special assistant to the prime minister, said Sheikh Hasina's life is under threat at all times.
The defeated forces of the liberation war, the killers of the father of the nation and their collaborators, the masterminds and patrons of the August 21, 2004 grenade attack, and the international arms smugglers who tried to smuggle 10 trucks of arms and ammunition through Bangladesh the same year, might try to assassinate the premier, he said yesterday.
"As she is the leader of the House, the prime minister, and the president of ruling Awami League -- the administration, and the law enforcement and intelligence agencies will take all possible measurers to thwart any attempt on her life," he added.
About the ruling party's preparation to thwart any such attempt, Hanif, also the acting general secretary of AL, said they will organise rallies at district headquarters, and grand rallies at divisional headquarters to mobilise public support for the government's move to try the war criminals, and to counter the opposition's anti-government propaganda.
Welcoming opposition leader Khaleda Zia's statement that they want to help the government, the AL spokesperson urged her to join the parliament to criticise the government.
"But the people won't allow any movement to save the war criminals, and to cover up the corruption and misdeeds of the Zia family including Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko," he said.
He hoped that the opposition leader will understand the pulse of the people, and refrain from engaging in negative and destructive politics.
-Daily Star

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