Newsmen approached the premier with different questions after she delivered a written statement in her first press conference since the coronavirus outbreak which she joined virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence.

LDC Graduation Challenges:

Asked for comments about impending changes after attaining the LDC graduation challenges, Sheikh Hasina said her government took all required steps to uphold the newly achieved status under a well-devised plan.

“We will have to uphold the status of a developing nation and will have to make it permanent and sustainable … We have plans and preparations,” she said.

The premier simultaneously urged the countrymen to perform their own responsibilities with sincerity and honesty for sustainability of the nation’s enhanced status so Bangladesh could move ahead with head high and self-esteem, depending on its own foot.

She said the government mechanisms worked well in combating the coronavirus pandemic though many feared it could lead the country towards disarray while Bangladesh in reality moved up to this stage largely due to sincere and combined efforts of all offices.

Covid-19 Vaccine:

The premier as the nationwide first round vaccination campaign was underway her office issued directives for procurement of another three crore doses of the COVID-19 inoculates and in case of unavailability of the jabs from outside Bangladesh itself would produce the vaccines.

“I already asked our pharmaceutical companies which can do it (produce vaccines) to get prepared while we are seeing whether the vaccines are brought to the country …” she said. Asked when she herself would receive the jab, Sheikh Hasina said she will certainly receive vaccine but before that she wanted to bring a certain number of people under the inoculation coverage.

School reopening:

The prime minister said the government wanted reopening of schools and other educational institutions ensuring their safety measures and directives were by now issued to provide vaccines to teachers and employees of educational institutions in line with WHO guidelines.

“We want to bring the academic environment back in all educational institutions by reopening those as early as possible,” she said.

Al-Jazeera Report:

Asked for her reaction to a recent Al-Jazeera report, the premier said she had nothing to say to this end and preferred the people of the country to judge its merit and authenticity alongside the motive behind the documentary.

But she hinted it was outcome of outrage of Bangabandhu’s assassins, people who wanted to kill her and 1971 war criminals and their relatives as they were out to tarnish the country’s image and obstruct its development as they were exposed to justice.

Digital Security Act:

Replying to another question regarding debates over the Digital Security Act, Sheikh Hasina said her government was obligated to ensure the digital security since it waged the massive Digital Bangladesh campaign reaching the ICT facilities at grassroots.

“We have to ensure digital security so that no one can be derailed or none can be involved in terrorism and militancy or any acts that goes against the people and the country,” she said.

The premier said those who opposed the law were criticizing it without realising the ground reality that misuse of the technology could cause harm to the country and its people.

In an apparent reference to the death of a suspect under the Digital Security Act in judicial custody, she said nobody’s death was desirable at all, but there is nothing to do if anyone died being sick in jail.

“No one’s death desirable at all . . . but at the same time, creation of anarchy centering the death is also not expected,” she said.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)