Sunday, September 6, 2009
National unity against Tipai Dam stressed
Speakers at a discussion yesterday laid emphasis on greater national unity among political parties and civil societies to resist India's move to construct the Tipaimukh dam.
They also called upon the government and the opposition to discuss the Tipaimukh dam issue in the parliament.
The government is yet to take the Tipaimukh dam as national issue rather than political one and it needs to demonstrate rightly on the issue, they observed.
They said that a national consensus is needed to resist India from constructing the dam since it will bring a disastrous effect on the country's economy and environment.
Their observation came at a roundtable on 'Tipaimukh Dam: Overall Impact on Bangladesh' at a local hotel in the city. The Centre for Human Rights organised the function.
Barrister Abdur Razzaq, general secretary of CHR moderated and Justice Mahmudul Amin Choudhury, former chief justice presided over the programme.
Speakers also emphasised the need for a joint impact assessment by India and Bangladesh about the Tipaimukh Dam.
They also suggested the government to go for a third party mediation regarding the Tipaimukh issue.
Former VC's of Dhaka University (DU) Prof Emajuddin Ahmed said SAARC should be compelled to resolve the issues among the countries of South Asia.
M Asafuddowlah, former secretary called upon all to be united and suggested the issue should be discussed in the parliament.
He strongly criticised the government for its reluctance about the Tipaimukh Dam and said it was not understandable to him why the present government was so silent.
"Is this part of their gratitude to India for bringing them to power or gratitude for helping us during the Liberation War?" he questioned. "Given the track record of India, there is no reason to believe them."
Professor Muzaffer Ahmed, president of TIB stressed the need for forging a national consensus and stronger diplomacy regarding the matter.
"Indian government violated various international laws and treaties since they moved ahead with its plan to construct the Tipaimukh Dam," he mentioned.
Mostafa Kamal Majumder said if India constructs the Tipaimukh dam, it will bring a great catastrophe than Farakka barrage to the country's economy and environment.
Rouf Chowdhury, director of FBCCI said Bangladesh's weak foreign policy has prompted India to undertake a project like Tipaimukh Dam. "All governments after 1997 are responsible for the Indian plan to construct such a dam," he added.
The river Meghna will lose its navigability by 5 meters if the Tipaimukh dam is constructed. "Thirty percent of Bangladesh will turn into a desert in 30 years if the dam is constructed," said Dr SI Khan, a former environment management planner of the United Nations.
Prof Moniruzzaman Miah, former VC of DU, Abul Hasan Chowdhury, former state minister for foreign affarirs, Alamgir Mohiuddin, editor of the daily Naya Diganta, Prof Asif Nazrul of DU, Engineer ANH Akhtar Hossain, honorary general secretary of Institute of Engineering, Bangladesh (IEB), Prof Mahbubullah of DU, journalist Mahfuzzullah, Shamser Mobin Chowdhury, former foreign secretary, M Mahmudur Rahman, editor of the daily Amar Desh, Mostafa Kamal Majumder, Prof Mohammad Abdur Rab and Prof UAB Razia Akter Banu of DU among others, spoke on the occasion.