Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphatically dismissed any possibility of selling St. Martin’s Island and reaffirmed her unwavering commitment to protecting the country’s resources and sovereignty. Speaking at a press conference held at Ganabhaban, the Prime Minister addressed concerns raised by the opposition party, BNP, accusing them of attempting to gain power by compromising the nation’s assets.
Protecting national sovereignty: A non-negotiable priority
In her address to the media, PM Hasina categorically stated, “BNP came to power in 2001 by giving an undertaking to sell gas. Now they want to sell the country. They want to come to power by undertaking to sell St. Martin’s Island.” She firmly rejected the idea of selling any part of Bangladesh, emphasising her role as the daughter of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Her resolute stance sends a clear message that compromising national sovereignty is not an option under her leadership.
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PM Hasina’s reassurance: “No Problem to Hold on to Power”
Displaying confidence in her ability to lead without resorting to detrimental measures, PM Hasina stated, “Now if I say that I will lease out St. Martin’s Island or our country, there will also be no problem for me to stay in power. I know that.” Her statement serves as a strong reaffirmation that she is committed to serving the nation’s interests while upholding its territorial integrity.
During the press conference, Prime Minister Hasina expressed her determination to prevent any misuse of the country’s land that could compromise national security. She asserted, “We’ll not allow any act like carrying out terrorist activities in any place or attacking anyone by using the land of my country.” The premier also expressed that she remains steadfast in her resolve to keep the nation secure from external threats.
Embracing peaceful cooperation and diplomacy
PM Hasina emphasised Bangladesh’s stance on peaceful cooperation and its commitment to diplomatic resolutions, even in the face of challenges such as the Rohingya refugee crisis. She stated, “We believe in peace. We believe in peaceful cooperation,” underscoring the government’s approach to resolving conflicts through peaceful means. The Prime Minister highlighted that Bangladesh has continued negotiations with Myanmar on the issue, reaffirming the policy of “Friendship to all and Malice towards none.”
During her visits to Qatar and Switzerland, Prime Minister Hasina actively participated in international events focused on economic and social justice. Attending the Qatar Economic Forum-2023, she sought avenues for economic collaboration and investment that would benefit Bangladesh. Furthermore, her presence at the “World of Work Summit: Social Justice for All” organised by the International Labour Organization (ILO) highlighted the country’s dedication to promoting social justice and workers’ rights.
To end, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s resolute declaration rejecting the sale of St. Martin’s Island serves as a clear indication of her commitment to preserving national sovereignty. Her statements at the press conference emphasize her dedication to protecting the country’s resources and maintaining its territorial integrity. As Bangladesh moves forward, the Prime Minister’s unwavering determination to safeguard national interests and ensure the security and welfare of its people will continue to shape the nation’s path towards a prosperous future.
Photo Credit: Yeasin Kabir Joy