by Staff Correspondent,
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday told a visiting junior minister of the United Kingdom that Bangladeshi media enjoys total freedom.
Once there was only one state-run television channel, but her government opened television channels for the private sector, she told Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK’s Minister of State (Indo-Pacific) of Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.
Trevelyan is now in Dhaka on an official trip to Bangladesh and called on the Prime Minister at her official Ganabhaban residence.
Hasina told Trevelyan that there are 24 private television channels in operation and more channels are in the pipeline. International rights group criticize Bangladesh over restriction of freedom of speech after the government enacted the Digital Security Act in 2018.
During the meeting Hasina and Trevelyan had discussion on issued including Bangladesh’s upcoming general election, slated for voting early next year, the Rohingya crisis, Bangladesh’s economic development and the challenges in the post-Covid-19 period.
Hasina said Bangladesh’s election commission is totally free to conduct the election. “It will conduct the next general elections,” Hasina was quoted to have said by her Press Secretary Ehsanul Karim.
Prime Minister said Bangladesh follows the Westminster-type democracy. “Our main goal is the welfare of the people,” she said.
The UK’s junior minister said the next stage of development is very important for Bangladesh on the way of its graduation from the member of a least developed country.
Trevelyan said she visited the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar and appreciated Bangladesh for sheltering the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals.
She also praised the administration for handling the recent fire incident in the Rohingya camp that rendered homeless thousands of refugees.
Ambassador-at-Large Mohammad Ziauddin, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Secretary Mohammad Salahuddin and UK High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson were present at the meeting.