Friday, April 20, 2018

Joy sees ploy in autocracy tag

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy has swatted away a German-based group tagging Bangladesh an autocracy and said he sees "intentions" behind the label."Where were they in 2007-08 when military generals were in power?" he asked during an interaction with youths in Dhaka on Sunday. "They did not make any report at that time (in 2007-08) when the autocratic government was in power.

They have released the report now when the parliament is in session and elections are being held," he said. "So it's totally premeditated." Bertelsmann Stiftung put Bangladesh among five countries that are no longer meeting minimum standards of democracy in a recent report on a study from February 2015 to January 2017. BBC Bangla ran a report on the study last month, reports bdnews24.com.

The ruling Awami League has already dismissed the report and said the label was an outcome of jealousy as the country is being praised worldwide for uninterrupted development.The opposition BNP, however, hailed the report and said it was a 'global recognition' of what the party is claiming.

But Joy said, without citing any names, "maybe the report was managed by money".The son of the prime minister added the freedom of 'speech is prevailing in Bangladesh'."Show me a newspaper where the government is not criticized," he said, adding that every night the government gets censured in television talk shows.

In his words, the Awami League does not fear criticism but "loves to respond" to it.Awami League-backed think-tank, the Centre for Research and Information or CRI, organised the interaction under its 'Let's Talk' programme in which it connects youths with politics and policymaking.

The youths were mostly from different public and private universities, and they asked questions on a whole range of issues from his personal life to Bangladesh's development.On being asked, he said the Awami League government has established "good governance" in Bangladesh, and strengthened the Anti-Corruption Commission, citing instances of party MPs landing in jail."How can we build Padma Bridge with our funds if we had no good governance?"

-AA News Desk

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