Eastern times Special Correspondent, Dhaka, 15 September:In Bangladesh, dissidents are being trampled under the steamroller of the Hasina government, said Tarique Rahman, acting chairman of the country’s main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party- BNP.
He said, “Millions of BNP leaders and activists across the country, including the uncompromising leader of the restoration of democracy, the BNP chief and former prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia, have been subjected to horrific imprisonment and torture by the government in the path of restoration of democracy.
Many have been disappeared, many lives have been taken away, many have been crippled. Not only leaders from the BNP, but also other dissidents are being crushed under the government’s steamroller.”
He said these in a message on the occasion of ‘International Democracy Day’ on Monday.
On the occasion of Democracy Day, Tarique Rahman greeted the people of the world and said, “I express my condolences to all the people of the world, including Bangladesh, who have sacrificed their lives for the establishment and restoration of democracy. We fought the war of independence with the aim of building a happy and prosperous Bangladesh through democracy and economic liberation. We are still working to meet that goal.But it is a matter of regret that democracy has been sent into exile in Bangladesh by establishing fascism through depriving the people of their rights. The Awami League government, during its long rule of 13 years, has established a new one-party Bakshal in the country by snatching the freedom of speech and expression of the people.”
Tarique Rahman further said, “Democracy is a system of governance where every citizen participates in the policies and activities adopted by the government.The country is run by the will of the people. Democracy is one of the universal unique achievements of mankind. Democratic society and state are the criteria for the progress of human civilization.
All citizens have equal participation in proposing, formulating and drafting laws for democracy.The running of the country by the elected representatives of the citizens is the guarantee of the legitimacy of a government. But the path of development of democracy is being obstructed by the authoritarian rule in many countries. The people have been imprisoned in many countries through dictatorship and one-party rule with the cruel fence of the state apparatus to hold on to power forever.”
Son of Khaleda Zia said, “Such a horrible regime has engulfed Bangladesh too. Voting takes place at night instead of day, or people’s representatives are elected by non-vote. I think the democratic development of the state is ensured on the basis of inclusiveness, equality and participation.Let us pledge to reach the ultimate goal of restoring democracy in the country through the joint efforts of all.”