Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the journalists to find out the persons behind the publication of the autobiography of former chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, saying that she already knows about it.
“I know about it, but I won’t tell you … (rather) I want to know about it from you and I want that you will expose that who are behind the publication of the book,” she said.
The prime minister was addressing a press conference at Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN in New York on Friday morning local time.
The press conference was convened to brief the media about her participation in the ongoing 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly.
An autobiography of justice Sinha, now in the US, came out recently where he wrote different reasons for his stepping down from the post of the chief justice.
Lalitmohan-Dhanabati Memorial Foundation holds the copyright of Sinha’s book titled “A Broken Dream: Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy”.
The publication ceremony of the book is scheduled to take place in the US capital of Washington on Saturday.
Sheikh Hasina said the journalists will have to unearth that how many times the script of the book was taken to Bangladesh and whom it went to.
“Please unveil that who are giving money for launching of the book and whether any journalists like you or any newspapers are involved in it and what amount of help they are providing,” she said.
The premier said: “You will have to find out that whether any big lawyer is correcting the script or any newspaper or its owners is patronising it.”
Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali and state minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam were present on the dais, while Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative and Ambassador to the UN Masud-Bin-Momen gave his introductory speech.
Prime minister’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim moderated the press conference.
In reply to a question about purchasing of a house in the USA in the name of Sinha’s brother, the prime minister said it is not difficult to buy a house in the United States.
“But it’s difficult in Bangladesh as the price of the house is huge … in the United States, anybody may become owner of a house if he or she deposits money,” she said.
“I’ve no information that who and how purchasing a house. You find out and provide information, then action would be taken if anybody is found guilty to this end,” she added.
About the polls-time government, the prime minister said there is no definition of the election-time government.
Sheikh Hasina hinted that a government may be formed with representatives from the political parties having representation in parliament during the next general elections.
“I talked to the opposition leader (Raushan Ershad). If they want, they can join us,” she told the press conference replying to a question over formation of the interim government.
“If all political parties having representation in parliament want, we may form a government with representatives of the parties – no matter whether it is ruling party or opposition. But there is no definition of the election-time government here,” said the prime minister.
In reply to a question about the Digital Security Act 2018, the prime minister said cyber crime is now an issue of discussion across the world as all the countries are affected due to it.
“We’ve enacted the law against the cyber crime not against the journalists,” she said, adding that the cyber crime has emerged as a global problem after terrorism and militancy.
Criticising the journalists, Sheikh Hasina said, “You are only seeing one side of the law that it will gag the voice of journalists. In fact, there is nothing to choke the voice of journalists.”
Noting that cyber security was also discussed in a segment of the UNGA, she said all are worried about the cyber security as different social crimes, terror and militant acts are provoked through cyber means.
The prime minister questioned whether it’s not essential to check various offences in social and digital media when all from minor children to youths are going to the wrong paths or lose mental balance.
“If any journalist practices fair journalism, why he or she will be scared?” she asked.