EU envoy hosts dinner for AL leaders, discusses ongoing violence

Staff Correspondent

Head of the European Union Delegation to Bangladesh Pierre Mayaudon on Thursday hosted a dinner at his residence for a delegation of senior Awami League leaders headed by law minister Anisul Huq discussing among other issues the current political situation prevailing in the country.
Awami League leaders Suranjit Sengupta, Abdul Matin Khasru, Shamsul Huq Tuku, JP leader Tajul Islam Chowdhury,MP, Majid Khan MP, the high commissioners of Canada, Australia, the DFID country director, residential coordinator of the UN and USAID official attended the dinner.
When contacted the law minister told New Age that they exchanged views on the draft foreign donation act approved by the cabinet in June last year.
‘This was the single issue we discussed. There was no other issue,’ Anisul Haque said.
Asked if the prevailing political situation came up for discussion, he said it came up informally when the diplomats expressed their sadness over the chaotic situation. ‘They gave us an understanding that they do not like the activities being carried out by BNP,’ he said.
Asked if the question of dialogue was raised by the diplomats, the law minister replied in the negative. ‘There was no proposal or request whatsoever,’ he said, adding they did not also speak about dialogue.
Suranjit  Sen told New Age the diplomats  sought peaceful solution to the present situation and ‘we said how could there be peace if BNP continues with violent activities.’
The draft of the Foreign Contributions (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Act 2014 seeks to eliminate militant and terror financing and ensure a terrorism-free Bangladesh by 2021.
The new law is to ensure more transparency when non-governmental organisations receive foreign contributions, as well as in their activities.
The draft Act says no NGO can receive and function or carry out its activities without taking prior permission from the NGO Affairs Bureau. The NGO also has to be registered with the bureau. After taking the opinion of the home ministry, the NGO Affairs Bureau can issue a licence to the NGO for a period of 10 years, according to the draft law.
The law minister said the ambassadors and the high commissioners present at the dinner gave their opinion on the draft act. They earlier met with the law minister and Suranjit Sengupta, who is the chairman of the standing committee on the ministry of law affairs.

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