No false news, do constructive criticism: PM to journos

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday urged the journalists not to publish any false and fabricated news, and do constructive criticism for the sake of continuing the democratic process in the country.

She also sought cooperation of the journalists in continuing the existing democratic process for the country’s uninterrupted development.

“We got the democracy after passing a long bumpy path, we have to continue this democratic process,” she said while distributing cheques of assistance at her office (PMO) among sick, distressed and accident-wounded journalists as well as the family members of the journalists killed in various incidents.

Hasina urged the journalists for doing constructive criticism of the government as false and distorted news might bring immense sufferings to the entire nation.

She mentioned that media in Bangladesh are enjoying the highest freedom and her government wants to make them more powerful. “But”, she said, “There’s also a responsibility along with this freedom.”

During her 1996-2001 government, Hasina said, they had given permission to private television channel for the first time and this time permitted 15 more private channels along with private FM and community radios.

She called on the media to play a more responsible role in consolidating the hard-earned democracy.

Hasina said her party always tries to help the journalists whether it is in power or in the opposition.

About the measures taken by her government for the betterment of the journalists, the Prime Minister said the provision of issuing of summons instead of arrest warrant against journalists has been introduced through amending the criminal code of procedures to stop the harassment of journalists.

She mentioned that she asked the Home Ministry for taking measures for holding the trial of the killers of journalists as the government wants to ensure justice. In this connection, she requested the journalists to provide information for the speedy trial of the cases and ensure justice.

The Prime Minister also mentioned about the formation of the Eighth Wage Board for the journalists.

She urged the journalist leaders to inform her about the miseries of sick and distressed and hapless journalists who live outside the capital city.

The premier assured the journalists that she will extend her cooperation for the continuation of education of their children, no matter whether she remains the Prime Minister or not.

Referring to the ongoing floods in some parts of the country, Sheikh Hasina said experts are apprehending more floods this year and her government had necessary preparation in advance for the distribution of relief materials and the rehabilitation of the victims.

In this context, she mentioned advance miking in Bandarbans to shift the people living in the areas vulnerable to landslide.

Earlier, the Prime Minister handed over cheques among 61 journalists and their family members.

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad, Information Secretary Hedayet Ullah Al Mamun and BFUJ president Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury spoke on the occasion.

BFUJ secretary general Abdul Jalil Bhuiyan, DUJ president Omar Faruk, general secretary Shaban Mahmud, DRU president Shakhwat Hossain Badshah and general secretary Sajjad Alam Khan Topu were also present on the occasion.

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