Statements by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the alleged enforced disappearances:
- Many countries are eager to gain access to Bangladesh, which is in a good geopolitical position. So they want to take advantage of it by putting pressure on the country.
- Many people on the missing persons list have drowned in the Mediterranean or are hiding inland.
- When police searched the homes of those presumed missing, they were accused of harassing their families.
- A meeting will be held where family members of the presumed missing persons will provide information about them.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said there was no “enforced disappearance” in Bangladesh and that many people presumed missing drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, while many others hiding inside the country.
“We don’t want a single person to go missing in the country. We want to bring the perpetrators to justice. Terrorist groups often commit murders and enforced disappearances. Compared to any other country, it is the lowest in Bangladesh,” said the Foreign Minister answered a question from reporters after a meeting titled “Branding Bangladesh” as part of “World Conference Series 2022” on Saturday.
The meeting was organized by the Center for Non-Resident Bangladeshis at the Sonargaon Hotel in the capital.
Asked about a list of missing persons sent by the United Nations (UN) to the country, the minister said that the UN itself had not sent any list, but that an affiliate of the world body had. sent.
The minister said the UN agency was not conducting any research in Bangladesh. They sent the government a list prepared by a biased local organization. After investigation, it was learned that many of the people on the list drowned in the Mediterranean.
The minister said that some of the names on the list are known, and there are names that are not so well known. When the police raided their homes, they were accused of harassing their relatives.
The minister further said that the police had been asked not to investigate the matter. An initiative is being taken to arrange a meeting with the family members of the presumed missing persons, during which they will provide information about their family members.
The Minister said: “Every year in the United States about 1,000 people die without trial – the police kill them. In addition, hundreds of thousands of people disappear. We have no headaches about them. We don’t want a single person to go missing in our country.”
Affirming that there is no minimum link to human rights behind such allegations, the Minister said that these allegations are made with the aim of gaining benefits by putting pressure on the country.
“As we are in a good geopolitical position as there are big and powerful countries around us, many are eager to gain access here. That is why Bangladesh is an eyesore to many,” the minister said.
“Their real motive is not human rights or justice regarding enforced disappearances and killings. Their real goal is to profit by pressuring us,” he said.
The minister said many people were spreading propaganda that Bangladesh was falling into the Chinese debt trap.
“A country falls into the debt trap if its loan exceeds 40% of its GDP. The country’s debt amount is only 15% of GDP. Most of our loans come from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF). After that, the highest loan comes from Japan. Only 5% of the total debt comes from China,” he said.
During the broadcast, the army chief of staff, General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, claimed that there had been no incidents of human rights violations in the history of the army. Bangladesh Army.
He said: “People are brutally slaughtered in some countries. A lot of people are killed that way there. They don’t care about human rights. History and documents show that there are no incidents of human rights violations by the Bangladesh Army. proud to be. This is how we marked Bangladesh. “
The Prime Minister’s Economic Affairs Advisor, Dr Mashiur Rahman, The Minister of State for Planning, Dr Shamsul Alam, The Prime Minister’s Personal Physician and Professor Emeritus, Dr ABM Abdullah, The Director General of the Office of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET), Shahidul Alam among others also spoke at the conference, which was chaired by the Chairman of the Center for Non-Resident Bangladeshis SM Shekil Chowdhury.
During the event, 15 banks and financial institutions and a number of individuals and institutions were honored for their contribution to the development of overseas Bangladeshis.
Experts call for improving the condition of migrant workers
Shekil Chowdhury cited harassment of migrant workers at the airport, lack of skills of migrant workers and uncertainty about their profession as major obstacles to sustainable development. He also recommended increasing their social status.
BMET Director General Shahidul Alam said, “More than one million people have been going abroad to work per month for several months now. If this trend continues, a large number of new workers will be employed outside the country.
He also said more people could travel abroad due to the speed with which the Covid-19 vaccine is being administered and an increased demand for workers in destination countries.
Emeritus Professor Dr ABM Abdullah said non-resident Bangladeshis have played a major role in procuring vaccines, ventilators and other anti-Covid-19 materials during the pandemic. He demanded that specific measures be taken to reduce harassment of expatriates at the airport.
The Minister of State for Planning, Dr Shamsul Alam, said Bangladesh moved from a low-income country to a lower-middle-income country in 2015, according to the World Bank. Moreover, in two consecutive assessments, the country has qualified to move from the list of least developed countries to developing countries.
Commenting that Bangladesh has gained recognition as part of its continued success in the socio-economic index, he said, “This is the biggest brand image for the country.”
He further stated that there is a plan to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 by implementing the second perspective plan. If this plan can be implemented, per capita income will exceed $16,000 by 2041.
However, he said some people are active in negative branding against the country because they don’t want it to improve. He urged everyone to be aware of this.
Dr. Mashiur Rahman said expatriate remittances play an important role in bridging the trade deficit in goods and services as well as maintaining foreign exchange reserves and exchange rates.
Dr Mashiur Rahman suggested creating a “future fund” with the earnings of expatriate workers as they lack job security. He also urged relevant authorities to make arrangements to establish migrant workers as entrepreneurs if they return to the country for any reason.