Sunday, August 9, 2009

Build nat'l unity on Tipai issue: Speakers at dialogue asks govt, opposition

Staff Correspondent

The government and the opposition parties should forge national unity against India's proposed construction of Tipaimukh dam, said speakers at a BBC dialogue yesterday.

Besides, they noted, the country should be bold in maritime boundary talks with India and Myanmar to protect its marine resources.

The speakers criticised the government for delaying holding the trial of war criminals and politicising withdrawal of the cases filed for “political harassment”.

They said the government is withdrawing only the cases against the ruling Awami League leaders.

State Minister for Law Quamrul Islam however dismissed the allegations.

He said that on the basis of the expert committee's report, the government will take every step necessary to stop construction of Tipaimukh dam and protect marine wealth.

He said the administration is taking time to begin the war crime trial because it is cautious to avoid any setback in the process and ensure international standards.

"We are pledge-bound to hold the trial of war criminals. We are gathering evidence and mobilising international support and expertise in this regard," he continued.

The government is facing no pressure from any country on the trial issue.

He also said the cases against the opposition leaders too would be withdrawn if the scrutiny committee finds those to have been filed for harassment.

Former BNP state minister Mirza Fakhrul Islam, principal director of Angikar Bangladesh, a non-government organisation, and Amena Mohsin, professor of international relations at Dhaka University, also spoke at the dialogue arranged by BBC Bangla Service at the city's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.


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