POST TIME: 5 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 5 July, 2018 01:47:55 AM
Bernicat reiterates call for ‘fair polls’
Diplomatic Correspondent

Bernicat reiterates call for ‘fair polls’

Against the backdrop of criticism by the senior leaders of the ruling Awami League, United States ambassador Marcia Bernicat has reiterated her call for a free, fair and credible election reflecting the will of the people.

“This year the world watched as Bangladesh, with the support of NASA and SpaceX, launched Bangabandhu One—opening a new chapter in Bangladesh’s rapid acceleration toward becoming a middle-income country.  The Bangabandhu One satellite is a true testament to the remarkable will and innovation of the Bangladeshi people,” she told a reception at the US embassy on Tuesday evening on the occasion of the declaration of the 242nd Independence Day that fell yesterday.

“I believe it is this will, this ambition for growth and progress that unites Americans and Bangladeshis,’ the envoy told the programme attended by foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali as chief guest. A few ministers and senior leaders from all the major political parties attended the event.

She went on to say, “Enshrined in both our constitutions is the notion that all people are created equal and, when given the opportunity and freedom to think, invent, and express themselves, the potential is limitless.”

“Later this year, both our countries will put these values to the test.  Both of our countries will ask our citizens to head to the ballot box in the truest expression of self-governance,” Bernicat said.

“So as I conclude my time here in Bangladesh, I ask the government of Bangladesh and the people of Bangladesh for the same thing I ask of my own government and my own people: We have to support non-violent, free, fair and credible elections that reflect the will of the people. The wisdom and determination of the Bangladeshi people created an independent, secular, and democratic nation. Forty seven years later the same wisdom and determination launched the Bangabandhu satellite into space. I believe the same wisdom and determination will fulfil the dream of a Sonar Bangla for future generations”, she said in broken Bangla, but later translated in English.

The envoy, who is not at the end of her tenure in Bangladesh, said, “While I’ll be sad to leave Bangladesh, I already know I will return.  When I come back to visit, I expect to see a dramatically different country.  A more advanced and developed Bangladesh.”

“But a Bangladesh with the same determination and passion for liberty that has endured since 1971,” she added.

Ambassador Bernicat said that the rights and founding principles set in the declaration of US Independence Day, in many ways, connect Dhaka and Washington and serve the common welfare of our citizens and the world.