Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today heavily came down on the BNP for its silence about heinous Israel attacks on the innocent Palestinians, saying the repeated strikes on Palestine can’t be tolerated anymore.
“Many (BNP and its allies) remained silence (against the Israeli attack on Palestine) fearing that they, who commit such incidents, may be upset on them. So, they have no courage to say something for the repressed people,” she said.
The prime minister came up with the statements while inaugurating record 150 bridges in 39 districts of eight divisions in a single day at Sarok Bhaban in Tejgaon here.
She said BNP and its allies don’t say anything about the Palestine issue. “But, they are doing movement calling for resignation (of the current government),” she said, dubbing BNP’s stance “most unfortunate”.
At the function, the premier announced that Bangladesh will observe one day state mourning on Saturday commemorating deaths of Palestinians by Israeli attacks.
On the day, the national flags will be hoisted at half mast, she said.
She also asked to offer special prayers in all mosques accross the country after Jummah Salat tomorrow and other worship places at their convenient times seeking eternal peace of the departed souls and quick recovery of the injured Palestinians in the Israeli attack.
The premier said they have already denounced the attacks on a Gaza hospital killing over 500 people including women and children and injuring a lot of people.
“The repeated (Israeli) attacks on them (Palestinians) can’t be tolerated anymore. We can’t tolerate it,” she said.
Referring to her yesterday’s meeting with the OIC member countries envoys at her official Ganabhaban residence here, she said, “We (Muslim Ummah) have to work together to realise the rights of Palestinians.”
Sheikh Hasina reiterated Bangladesh steadfast stance in favour of Palestine, saying, “We are always with them (Palestinians).”
She said Bangladesh will send medicines, dry foods and other necessary items for the people of war-torn Palestine.
“We will send medicines, dry food and necessary commodities for women and children. We’ve taken this step. We’re always beside the distressed people with whatever resources we have,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina said she already asked the Health Ministry to take steps for sending medicines to the Palestinians.
The prime minister also reiterated her call to the global leaders to stop the war and arms race.
“Use the money, which is being expended in producing arms and in destruction, for the health and education of the children, through which they will get fine and beautiful life,” she added.
At the function, the prime minister, as well, unveiled a mural of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and planted a sapling on the Sarok Bhaban premises.
Of the inaugurated bridges today, 40 are in Mymensingh division, 32 in Dhaka, 27 in Chattogram, 22 in Rajshahi, 12 in Khulna, eight each in Barishal and Rangpur, and one in Sylhet.
Earlier, on November 7 and December 21 last year, the premier opened 100 bridges and 100 roads and highways across the country.
At the same function, she also opened 14 overpasses on highways that will help ensure road safety and laid foundation stone of two major bridges, Kewatkhali Bridge and Rahmatpur Bridge over the Brahmaputra river in Mymensingh.
It will cost Taka 3263.63 crore to construct the Kewatkhali Bridge which is set to be the largest steel-arch bridge in the country while the construction of 1471-metre Rahmatpur Bridge will cost Tk 358 crore.
The construction of the bridges will be completed by June 2025.
Among 14 overpasses opened today, eight are in Rajshahi division and six in Rangpur.
The projects have been implemented under the Roads and Highways Department (RHD).
The premier also launched the automated Vehicle Inspection Centre (VIC) for five years at a cost of Tk 105.23 crore in the capital’s Mirpur; a newly constructed building of Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority in Tejgaon, and BRTC’s bus depot and training centre in Mymensingh.
She, as well, introduced the compensation programme for road accident victims by providing Tk 7.08 crore as compensation to 162 road accident victims or their families.
The premier also unveiled the cover of a book titled “Unnayan Darpon” featuring the development of the road transport and bridges sector by the Awami League government in Bangladesh for the last 15 years.
Earlier, on her arrival at the Sarok Bhaban, the prime minister was welcomed with dance performance by a group of children.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and Road Transport and Bridges Ministry’s Parliamentary Standing Committee Chairman Rowshan Ara Mannan spoke at the function
Road Transport and Highways Division (RHD) Secretary ABM Amin Ullah Nuri and its Chief Engineer Syed Moinul Hasan also spoke.
Local public representatives, noted personalities and commoners got connected to the programme from Mirpur BRTA in Dhaka and Mymensing Circuit House Field.
A video documentary on the development projects to be inaugurated and laid foundation stones was screened at the programme.
Sheikh Hasina, also President of the Awami League, asked the countrymen to remain alert about terrorism, arson attacks and destructive activities in the name of movement.
She also asked all concerned to bring to book the culprits who will be found involved in such heinous attacks taking the advantage of the technology.
“Take legal actions against those who are out to set fire to make sure that no harm is caused to the people,” she said, reiterating that she has no problem with the peaceful movement of the BNP.Terming the BNP as a terrorist and killer party, the Prime Minister said they did nothing for the welfare of Bangladesh and its people, rather transformed it into a country of militancy, terrorism and corruption.
“The BNP in the past had created Bangla Bhai, militancy and terrorism in the country. Make sure that such a situation never comes back again to the life of the countrymen,” she said.
The BNP is now waging movement to topple the government on the plea of free and fare election under non-partisan government despite the fact that they have destroyed the system, she said.
BNP wants to dislodge the government, but the people of the country are with the Awami League government, she said, adding the masses are the strength of her party.
The Prime Minister said the BNP-led 20-party alliance had secured only 30 seats in the 2008 national election.
“This is their (BNP and allies) strength and acceptability to the people and they are now talking about free and fair election,” she said.
Those who came to power illegally violating the constitution after 1975 did not want Bangladesh to march towards prosperity independently.
Briefly describing her government measures in building the road network across the country by constructing roads, highways, bridges and rail bridges, she said that they have a target to link Bangladesh with the Trans Asian Railway and Highway.
“This will help strengthen the regional connectivity between South and Southeastern Asia and boost trade, business and economic activities among the countries,” she said.
The Prime Minister said her government has so far constructed 1131 small and large bridges across the country.
She continued that they have built the Padma Bridge, Bangabandhu Bridge over the Jamuna River alongside constructing other major bridges such as Modhumoti Bridge, Payra Bridge, Ruspshi Bridge, Dhorala Bridge, Meghan Bridge, Shitalakhya Bridge 1 and 2, and Gabkhan Bridge.
The Prime Minister said they are not only developing the road network, but also developing the railways, waterways and airways.
“In this way, we are working to develop the country,” she said.
The Prime Minister, however, asked all including passengers, drivers, owners, laborers and passersby to obey the traffic rules to make sure own and others’ safety.
“The drivers would have to stop completion on the roads for sake of safety,” she said.
She suggested for giving the physical and mental training to the drivers alongside giving the long route drivers time to take required rest while driving.
The premier asked the drivers to obey the speed limit and traffic rules.
“Road accidents not only cause sufferings to passengers, but also to the drivers,” she continued.
Against the backdrop of the global economic recession and food crisis, the Prime Minister once again called upon all to bring every inch of fallow lands under cultivation to boost food production.