Bangladesh: Hasina appeals to fight poverty

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina waving at delegates at the 20th council of the ruling Awami League

By Mizan Rahman/ Gulf Times

Prime Minister and Awami League president Sheikh Hasina urged ruling Awami League leaders and workers to take oaths to stamp out poverty from Bangladesh, asking them to make lists of the poor in their respective areas for their rehabilitation so that they could live with dignity.

“Make lists of the poor, the old, disable people of your area who are living without any shelter and livelihood. We will give them home without cost and take measures so that they can live with the dignity of human beings,” she told the inaugural session of the 20th council of the Awami League in Dhaka.

Hasina expressed her firm determination to free the country from poverty to materialise the dream of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“The Awami League is the platform of masses. So it’s the responsibility of the party leaders and workers to dedicate them for the welfare of the people … no poor people will be there in Bangladesh if we can do this job properly,” she said.

Amidst rapturous applause of thousands of delegates the prime minister announced that “Bangladesh would not go back. Bangladesh would not remain stagnant here. We will go ahead for which we liberated the country”.

In presence of a large number of leaders of different political parties from abroad, Hasina reiterated her stance against terrorism, saying none would be allowed to use the soil of Bangladesh against any country.

She said Bangladesh will be the most pacifist nation in South Asia and act as a conduit between the East and West for economic prosperity.

The two-day council of the Awami League, one of the oldest political parties in the subcontinent, began in Dhaka yesterday with about 6,000 delegates and several thousands of local and foreign guests at historic Siharaward Udyan, which was decorated tastefully for the occasion.

Hasina recalled the glorifying long history of the party founded in 1949 saying Awami League was the main political platform through which people of Bangladesh achieved everything what they have earned so far.

Ahead of the party’s president’s speech, Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam presented his report while presidium member Mohammad Nasim delivered his address welcoming the delegates and guests.

Leaders of different political parties including those of the 14-party ruling coalition joined as guests at the opening session of the council.

Around 60 delegates from different political parties of Australia, Austria, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Russia, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Italy and Canada joined the council.

Congratulating the countrymen alongside the party leaders and workers on the occasion of the council, Hasina said their immense sacrifice has made it possible for Awami League to take a long journey over the decades and come to the present stage.