Amu wants presence of prominent citizens in dialogue
Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Staff Correspondent
Awami League presidium member Amir Hossain Amu on Monday demanded that representatives of different professional bodies should be present during the proposed dialogue between the government and political parties to ensure transparency of the talks.

He also demanded live broadcast of the dialogue and urged the government to announce the date for the dialogues immediately so that it can be completed within March.

‘Complications centred on the dialogue have already risen. We want transparency of the dialogue so that the participants cannot blame each other if it fails,’ said Amu at a press briefing in his Eskaton residence in the afternoon.

He said that the country’s people would get indications of the nation’s future by hearing the dialogue directly through the mass media.

‘The representatives of different professional bodies including the business community, BGMEA, lawyers’ association, teachers’ community, civil society and student leaders should observe the dialogue as witnesses so that those who are party to the dialogue cannot accuse each other for its failure,’ said the AL leader.

He, however, said that the AL wanted the dialogue to succeed and would not impose any conditions before it is held and nor should the government.

‘We will not participate in the dialogue if any pre-conditions are imposed,’ Amu said in reply to a query.

He said that the dialogues should be bilateral and the government should sit with political parties individually in presence of the leaders of professional groups and people’s representatives.

‘The government is calling itself a caretaker government but is doing many things that are constitutionally beyond the jurisdiction of a caretaker government,’ said Amu, adding that the government seems to be very reluctant to talk with the political parties.

He said that the government has finally agreed to hold dialogues with the political parties in response to the AL’s acting president Zillur Rahman’s and acting general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam’s demand. But why suddenly preconditions are being talked about is mysterious.

He said that various issues like abnormal price hike of essential commodities and the post-cyclone rehabilitation programme might be also discussed, in addition to the political crisis, in the dialogues.

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