Russian ambassador’s speech similar to AL and unwarranted: BNP

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The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Friday issued a statement criticising the statement of Alexander Mantytsky, the Russian ambassador to Bangladesh.

The party termed that statement as unwarranted and similar to the Awami League. Key opposition BNP also alleged that the Russian ambassador’s speech has hurt the democratic sentiments of the people of Bangladesh.

The party’s senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi issued the statement in this regard to the media in afternoon. In the statement, the BNP requested Russia to show due respect to the aspirations and interests of the people of Bangladesh, including democratic values, determination for independence and great sacrifices to that end.

The Russian ambassador last Wednesday termed BNP’s statement about Russia’s role in the recently concluded 12th parliamentary elections as “misleading and false”. He urged all not to believe such statements.

Earlier on Saturday, BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy at a party programme stated that the government of Sheikh Hasina is not of the people of Bangladesh; rather, this government has been formed by India, China and Russia.

Today’s statement, signed by Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, said that they found that the Russian ambassador stationed in Dhaka, Mantytsky, termed BNP’s statement as “misleading and false”. He (the ambassador) further claimed that the people of Bangladesh elected the government in the parliamentary election and 41.8 per cent people cast their ballots. Most of them voted for the Awami League.

The statement mentioned such a statement of the Russian ambassador as unwarranted and similar to Awami League. It also said that the Bangladeshi citizens who are outside the political circle of Awami League are subjugated in their own country losing their rights and freedom. People of all walks of life have been subjected to discrimination, injustice and oppression due to the corruption, misrule and repression carried out by the anti-people government for the last 15 years.

Claiming the 7 January election as “farcical” and “dummy”, the statement also stated the objectives of the election did not reflect the wishes of establishing the people’s right to vote or aspirations.

Mentioning the opinions of various countries and international organisations regarding the election, the statement claimed that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed disappointment over the announcement of the predetermined results of this election by arresting nearly 25,000 leaders and workers, including the top leadership of the opposition party. The European Union regretted that all major political parties did not participate in the election . They also called for timely and thorough investigation of electoral irregularities. The United States expressed that the election was not fair and free.

The statement also stated, BNP believes that Russia, India, China or any other country will not unduly support the anti-people misrule of the Sheikh Hasina government going against the expectations of the people and their aspirations. Likewise, BNP believes that long-term diplomatic success lies in building bridges of friendship between the people of the two countries.