COX'S BAZAR - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today issued a strong warning against trading of contraband "yaba tablets" in Cox's Bazar saying drug peddlers would be dealt with severely as they also earned a bad name for this southeastern sea resort district.
"Cox's Bazar earned a bad repute as that yaba (tablets) are supplied all over the country from here. Its supply must be stopped and those who are engaged in it must be punished," she told a mammoth public rally here this afternoon.
The premier added: "They (drug peddlers) won't be spared in any way.
Sheikh Hasina also called upon the people of all spheres to save their children from onslaughts of drugs, saying "it destroys family and life of the people (and) when a man takes drugs he loses his potency and thinking ability, gets sick and dies".
"No parent wants their children to step into the path of premature death and be ruined in this way. So I would like to urge the people of all strata to save their children from the curse of drugs," she said.
Bangladesh Awami League Cox's Bazar district unit arranged the rally at Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium coinciding with her visit at the country's premier tourist attraction.
Sheikh Hasina also reiterated her call to the countrymen to put up a strong resistance against militancy and terrorism. "Militancy and terrorism won't be allowed and these social vices would be clumped down in iron hand," she said.
AL Presidium member and Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon and Publicity and Publication Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud spoke at the rally, while Cox's Bazar District AL President Advocate Sirajul Mostafa was in the chair.
The prime minister said her government wants everybody to pursue education, be a good human being and lead a better life.
"We're working to achieve the goal," she said, highlighting various initiatives for the development of education.
Describing again Islam as the religion of peace, harmony and brotherhood, Sheikh Hasina said there is no room for terrorism and militancy in Islam.
"There is no scope for committing suicide and those who think that they will go to haven after committing suicide act, they would go to hell, not haven . . . the holy Quran and our great prophet (PBUH) said it," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government won't tolerate defaming Islam by unleashing terrorism in the name of Islam. "So our children will have to be protected from militancy and terrorism," she said.
While talking about her government initiatives for providing certificates to the Qaumi madrasah students, the premier said there was no arrangement for giving certificates to Qaumi students and there was no specific curriculum for them.
"But our government has constituted a committee to specify their curriculum and we have also made arrangement for providing certificates to them," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the present government has also set up a separate Arabic University so that madrasah students can get education of life and livelihood and stand their own feet.
"We want to create scope for all so that they can get job at home and abroad." The prime minister said: "We cannot push 14 lakh Qaumi madrasa students towards uncertainty.
They're children of the country and their life will have to be developed and we have taken measures to this end," she said.
Mentioning that her party has been working relentlessly for changing the lot of the people, the AL president said the government has made arrangements to improve the living standard of the ethnic minority community as well as bede and hijra communities.
The prime minister said the people of the country earned independence in exchange for blood. "So we want that the people of the country would live with honour and dignity and we are running the country to achieve the goal," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the aim of the government is that there won't be any homeless and bagger in the country. "We are working to build a poverty-free country," she said.
While talking about development of the country, the premier said 80 percent people have been brought under electricity coverage. "There won't be a single house without electricity by 2021," she said.
The Awami League president urged the people to keep up the trend of development of the country by winning the AL candidates in the next elections. "We hope that you would cast vote for boat to make the Awami League candidates winners in the next polls," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the boat is the symbol of the people and the countrymen got independence and scope of speaking in Bangla language by casting vote for boat. "The country is developed whenever boat gets vote," she said.
The prime minister also criticized the BNP, saying that the party didn't any work for the welfare of the people. "They don't stay beside the country during bad time or development," she said and cited example of the BNP's negligence after the devastating cyclone in 1991 that hit Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and other coastal regions.
The prime minister also elaborated the BNP-Jamaat atrocities that took place in the country in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Sheikh Hasina spelled out her government's steps for the development of Cox's Bazar district. "We didn't come to Cox's Bazar in empty hand, rather we came here with a number of gifts," she said.
In this connection, she mentioned upgrading Cox's Bazar Airport to an international airport, setting up Chittagong-Cox's Bazar rail line and exclusive economic zone and tourist zone in Cox's Bazar, and establishing international cricket stadium and constructing Cox's Bazar-Teknaf Marine Driveway.
The prime minister said the government has taken a plan to set up a deep seaport in Sonadia and a modern football stadium beside the cricket stadium in Cox's Bazar. She also announced that Chittagong-Cox's Bazar highway would be upgraded to four lanes.
Earlier, Sheikh Hasina inaugurated Cox's Bazar Medical College, 100-bed dormitory of Cox's Bazar Government Women's College, academic building cum extension hall of the Cox's Bazar Government College, two-storey academic building of the Bangamata Fazilatun Nesa Mujib Women College in Ukhia and Moheshkhali-Anwara Gas Transmission Pipe Line by unveiling their plaques from the meeting venue.
She also laid the foundation stones of Cox's Bazar Airport Development Project (first phase), 595-meter long PC girder box on Bakkhali River at Khuruskhul point, Cox's Bazar Medical College Hospital, two floating LNG terminals, installation of single point mooring at Moheshkhali, Naf Tourism Park, academic building of Kutubdia College and office building of the Cox's Bazar Development Authority.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)