Report by Humayun Kabir
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat on Monday said , It is inspiring to see so many of you – prominent leaders – representing different political parties. Your presence demonstrates your commitment to promoting peace, tolerance and democracy in Bangladesh.
She said ,Today’s event is the result of great partnership between the U.S. Government, British Government – and all of YOU – our Bangladeshi partners. It is the will, the ambition for growth and progress that unites all of us. Enshrined in 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. I hope today’s event will motivate us all to an even greater commitment to keeping Bangladesh peaceful, and ensuring that all citizens enjoy the right to freely express their views and also to participate peacefully in the coming parliamentary elections.
Marcia Bernicat added that ,Together, we can contribute to a peaceful and prosperous Bangladesh, through our collaborative work with the government, political parties, civil society, academia, media – and most importantly – the people of Bangladesh.Free, fair and inclusive elections are important for a democracy – especially, for one, which is on track to become a Middle Income Country.
She said , All parties, groups and individuals should be free to participate fully in the political process leading up to the vote. Individuals from different political parties must be free to express their political views, to campaign throughout the country and to hold peaceful rallies and meetings without intimidation, reprisal or arbitrary restrictions.
US Ambassador added that , Political parties must accept their rivals as legitimate participants in the political process and as potential leaders of the next government, even when they disagree on issues or policies. It is essential that Bangladeshis urge nonviolence by all actors at every stage of the democratic process, before, during, and after the election. Violence serves only those who wish to undermine the democratic processes and interest of Bangladesh and its citizens.
I wish everyone present here today – every individual representing different political parties – success and commitment to continue promoting Shantite Bijoy campaign during the election period. I look forward to our continued partnership as we work together to help you build a bright future for Bangladesh.