NEW YORK, Sept 29, 2018 : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has hinted that certain quarters were backing former chief justice SK Sinha with particular motives as he launches his autobiography titling it “A Broken Dream: Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy”.
“Please unveil who gives money for launching the book and if any journalists like you or newspapers are involved in it and what quantum of help they are providing,” she told a press conference in New York late yesterday in Bangladesh time.
The premier also asked newsmen to find out whether any “big lawyer” corrected the script or any newspaper or its owners patronized its publication.
Sheikh Hasina said she expected the newsmen to unearth as well “how many times the script of the book was taken to Bangladesh and whom it went to”.
“I know about it(the answers), but I won’t tell you … (rather) I want to know about it from you,” she said.
The premier’s comments came in response to a question as the press conference was called at the fag end of her US tour coinciding with the 73rd Session the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
Sinha, who is now in the US as well, is said to have described in what situation he stepped down from the post of the chief justice as he came up with the autobiography with Lalitmohan-Dhanabati Memorial Foundation being its copyright holder.
The book is set to be launched in Washington later today.
Asked for comments over a report about the purchase of a house “in the name of Sinha’s brother” in the USA, the premier, however, expressed her unawareness saying “I’ve no information that who is purchasing a house and
“You find out and provide information,” she said adding appropriate actions could be taken if anybody was found guilty of corruption involving Bangladesh in procuring the house.
The premier, however, said in the United States anybody might become a house owner, which is difficult in Bangladesh because of the price factor.
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.
PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim moderated the press conference.
Polls time government
Asked what would the outline of the polls-time government, the prime minister said “there is no definition of the election-time government” but hinted it could be formed during the next general election with different political party representatives having representation in Parliament.
“I talked to the Opposition Leader (Raushan Ershad). If they want, they can join us (and) if all political parties having representation in Parliament want, we may form a government with their representatives – no matter whether it is ruling party or opposition,” she said.
Replying to a question on the Digital Security Act 2018, the prime minister said the spread of cyber crime as a global phenomenon warranted her government to enact the law while it was “not against the journalists”.
“You (journalists) are only seeing one side of the law fearing it could gag your voice. In fact, there is nothing to choke the voice of journalists,”
said referring to the journalists’ campaign on the issue in the country.
The premier said cyber security issue also featured this year’s UN General Assembly as every country was worried that terrorism and militancy could pave their way using the ICT alongside different social crimes.
She also questioned if it was not essential to check various offences in social and digital media when everyone including minor children were stepping into the wrong paths or losing mental balance due to lack of cyber security.
“If any journalist practices fair journalism, why he or she will be scared?” she said.