Special Correspondent from Washington, Aug 21 (Just News) US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells said the United States certainly always encourage the Government of Bangladesh to fulfill its commitment to hold fair and credible elections that are contested and reflect the will of the Bangladeshi people.
The US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary made this remark to reply a question on Bangladesh at a briefing on “U.S. POLICY IN THE INDIAN OCEAN REGION” held at the Washington Foreign Press Centre on Monday.
At the briefing State Department Correspondent and Just News editor M Mushfiqul asked, “Assistant secretary, you are closely monitoring the situation of Bangladesh. As you visited Bangladesh, you met with the ruling prime minister and the opposition leader, who is in jail now – it is widely believe for political reason – and government is not giving any space for democratic practices, though U.S. is urging for free election in Bangladesh. The Ambassador Bernicat, she’s urging for the democracy voting rights, and you are closely monitoring the situation, but ruling party is accusing Ambassador Bernicat for ‘conspiracy’ against the government. So what is your observation of recent activities in Bangladesh in terms of democracy and voting rights?”
In reply Alice Wells said, “Bangladesh has an important role to play in the Indo-Pacific strategy. As one of the countries with a growing economy, a dynamic economy where already Chevron is the single largest foreign direct investor, the interest in developing Bangladesh’s energy resources, the connectivity potential between Bangladesh and India and other countries, and what’s going to fuel and further fuel Bangladesh’s success is the deepening of its democratic institutions and governing structures.”
On democracy and voting rights the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary said, “We certainly always encourage the Government of Bangladesh to fulfill its commitment to hold fair and credible elections that are contested and reflect the will of the Bangladeshi people.”
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary added, “I think we saw the student protests recently, which really are sort of the purest manifestation of democracy, where something happens, and citizens rally, and the government responds to effect reform. And so we continue to welcome the ability of all groups in Bangladesh to participate fully in expressing their viewpoints and participate fully in the political process, whether that is to campaign, to hold peaceful rallies and meetings without intimidation or reprisal. We certainly condemn anyone who would use violence as a tool in the political process.”
“ But our message is that the stronger and healthier Bangladesh’s democratic structures are, the more appealing the country is to American investors and the more scope we have to be able to deepen our partnership, which is very much our goal.” Alice Wells said