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EP not concerned about HR situation, claims Shahriar

EPState Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Wednesday said the visiting delegation of the European Parliament (EP) Subcommittee on Human Rights has not expressed any worry about human right situation in Bangladesh.

He also said the delegation members will continue to call upon the BNP to sever its ties with Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami what they mentioned in the resolution earlier in the EP.

The State Minister said this after his meeting with the delegation led by Christian Dan Preda at his office at the Foreign Ministry.

Prime Minister’s political adviser HT Imam and newly appointed European Union Ambassador to Bangladesh Pierre Mayaudon were present.

Shahriar Alam said they (govt) have willingly shown a video documentary on the terrific violence carried out by the BNP-Jamaat, and they will use it whenever it is needed. “We’ve also given them a publication on BNP-Jamaat’s violent acts.”

Responding to a question, Shahriar said it is not for them to make any comment on what was discussed with BNP.

He also said there was no discussion on dialogue issue and the EP delegation did not seek political dialogue.

Shahriar said they wanted to know how and when the ongoing violence will see an end, saying that the government remains cocoon as law-enforcement agencies are active to keep highways functional, while normalcy is back in trade and commerce.

The State Minister said claimed that the EP delegation has understood that people rejected the hartal and blockade as they have shown them the scenario of hartal in the past and present trend of hartal.

BNP on Tuesday told the visiting EP delegation that they are ready to sit in dialogue with the government to resolve the ongoing political crisis.

The party also told the EP team that the government is carrying out subversive acts with its agents only to malign opposition’s ongoing movement.

Shahriar also said they visited RMG factories and witnessed the working conditions there.

He said their key focus was on the post-Rana Plaza disaster, and they expressed satisfaction over the progress the sector has so far achieved in ensuring workers rights and safety. “They’re happy to see the progress.”

The delegation also discussed the issues related to labour law, especially introducing trade union in Export Processing Zones (EPZs). “We’ve informed them about the steps as the government is working on the rules and guidelines.”

Shahriar said Myanmar refugee issue also came up for discussion and the government updated the delegation about the National Strategy Paper about it.

He said they discussed international fund flow for the NGOs to check terror financing as the delegation wanted to know the reason behind amending the act related to foreign funding.