‘The pace of development cannot be sustained if there is no political stability. In the last 10 years, we have seen incredible development in the country but this has to also benefit the poorest of the poor’ said Khandaker Muniruzzaman, Editor-in-Charge of the Daily Sangbad. He was speaking at round table where editors and journalists were invited to speak on “Democracy and Development” organised by Dhaka Tribune at Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden. He said the government’s actions ahead of the polls has not been expected, while the Election Commission needs to apply its full authority to stop violence.
Editor of the Dhaka Tribune Zafar Sobhan said, “BNP boycotting the last elections served no one. But this time around there has been some positive signs with talks held between parties.” Sobhan said the electoral process is not perfect, but the question is more about good election time atmosphere. “Problems do not imply that we cannot hold an inclusive election,” he said. “There is still one week remaining.”
GTV Editor-in-Chief Syed Ishtiaq Reza said a culture of retaliation is embedded in political parties. “After assuming office, the ruling party questions the legality or necessity of the development projects undertaken by the previous government hampering the overall growth,” he said. He said attacks on minorities plummeted significantly over the last 10 years while they were under immense pressure during the BNP-Jamaat regime. Claiming that the media is now working independently, he said: “Even the government is criticised in TV talk shows.”
Mahjabeen Khaled, an Awami League reserved seat lawmaker said her the government was trying its best to maintain a level-playing field for the next general election. She alleged that the BNP-Jamaat alliance is behind the ongoing violence across the country. “BNP always wants power,” she said, adding, the ruling party wants a free and fair election.
Farhan Masud Khan, head of programmes, UK-based Channel S TV, said the British Bangladeshis are proud of their origin and it is high time they were given the scope to return to the country, contributing to its development.
Duncan Bartlett, editor of Asian Affairs magazine, said Bangladesh successfully managed to keep warm bilateral relations with major economic powers including the US, China, the UK, Japan and India, proving its diplomatic capacity.
Matiar Chowdhury of NBB, UK said London is being misused as the stronghold of BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman and Jamaat, from where they are circulating propaganda against Bangladesh.
The event was addressed by UK correspondent of The Daily Star Ansar Ahmed Ullah, managing director of Ananda TV Hasan Taufique Abbas, freelance writer Sebastian Dunn, London-based photographer Kois Miah, and editor-in-chief of shottobani.com Syed Anas Pasha, amongst others.
Source: Dhaka Tribune