Date : 2006-05-07BMLA supports establishment of relations with Israel
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, Reporting from Dhaka

 

Dhaka, 07 May, (Asiantribune.com): "Some Islamist extremists are advocating in favor of not establishing relations with Israel, which is the only democracy in the Middle East," said Advocate Samarendra Nath Goswami. "But, in today’s world scenario, it is important for Bangladesh to follow the examples of Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey and many other Muslim nations who already have established economic and diplomatic relations with Israel for the good of their own country," he emphasized.

Commenting on rise of Islamist terrorism, Goswami said, Bangladesh is already attacked by these elements. Now the entire society needs to raise voice against the rise of Islamphobia in moderate

Bangladesh. He said, some Islamist extremists are advocating in favor of not establishing relations with Israel, which is the only democracy in the Middle East. But, in today’s world scenario, it is important for Bangladesh to follow the examples of Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey and many other Muslim nations who already have established economic and diplomatic relations with Israel for the good of their own country.

Bangladesh Minority Lawyers Association organized a discussion meeting to mark the World Pres Freedom Day on in Dhaka.

The meeting was presided over by the Chairman of BMLA Advocate Cyril Sikder and was participated by Advocate Samarendra Nath Goswami, Alal Chowdhury, Sadequr Rahman Khan, Advocate Ali Ashraf, Freedom Fighter Padma Rahman and a number of socio-political figures in the city.

Advocate Samarendra Nath Goswami in his speech said, repression on press has reached an alarming level in Bangladesh. State machinery is engaged in taking various attempts to suppress the voice of journalists.

He said, a free press is the best guarantee of protecting the individual citizens and their rights from tyrannies in any form and in the exercise of democracy in every strata of society. This is because a free press can expose corruption and other malpractice as an ally in promoting economic development and good governance. Therefore, citizens' forums and other bodies need to concert their activities and step up the demand for full freedom of the press, if they are really interested in promoting their own rights and are sincere about democracy being firmly established in the country.

Sadequr Rahman Khan said, to ensure a sustainable democracy, it is foremost duty for the government to ensure freedom of press.

In his speech, Advocate Cyril Sikder said, the occasion could not help but recall to some the horrific treatment of sports journalists at Chittagong recently. Sadly, some months ago, the media came under scathing attack by a few prominent members of the ruling party in reporting events and developments in what was actually a balanced manner but not what they deemed to be in their favor.

Advocate Cyril Sikder added , of course, it is to be noted that this loss of temper has happened in general with some members of the governments that we have had in our country so far. Sometimes various disguised attempts at gagging the press ensued, expressing hostile attitude. Hence it needs to be noted that freedom of the press is indispensable for providing that unhampered objective expression of news, views, etcetera; which is necessary for pressuring a government to mend its ways, to become responsive or perform to people's expectations. In the process, people's welfare and their democratic interests are served.

Cyril Sikder further said, the latest disclosures about the state of the freedom of the press in Bangladesh that was prepared as part of a bigger report on the human rights situation in Bangladesh by the US State Department, is disappointing to say the least. The report gave a telling exposure of the attacks on the journalists. There have also been quite a few cases where newspaper men were brutally assaulted by elements of the underworld for reporting bravely on criminal activities. Journalists have been murdered in Khulna, Jessore and other places for fearless reporting on crimes. False sedition charge is lying with different courts in Bangladesh against a number of senior journalists. All these proved to be great constraints in the working of a free press in Bangladesh.

He termed the situation as shameful, saying, where a free press can not exist, democracy will automatically collapse.

- Asian Tribune -

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