Vol. 5 Num 1023 Wed. April 18, 2007  

State of emergency cannot remain for long
Butenis tells Rajshahi chamber leaders

US Ambassador in Dhaka Patricia A Butenis yesterday told Rajshahi businessmen that the state of emergency was necessary to tackle the chaotic political situations but it cannot remain for long.

She was speaking at a meeting with the leaders of the business community at Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Industries (RCCI).

"I think it (state of emergency) is not viable and democracy should be the ultimate destination", Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Director Kabirur R Khan quoted the US envoy as saying while seeking the opinions of the businessmen.

Bangladesh seems to be back on track and there should be a time frame for holding elections, she added.

"We told her that we are happy with the current government activities that are helping speed up economic progress", said RCCI President Hasen Ali.

RCCI Directors Khondokar M Hafiz and Fazlur Rahman were also present at the meeting.

Earlier, Butenis visited Sarada Police Academy in the morning where she delivered a speech for trainee police officers and teachers.

Academy Principal Mokhlesur Rahman said the US envoy spoke on developing the academic curriculum and use of modern equipment in training.

Butenis also called on Rajshahi Divisional Commissioner Anis Uddin Manjur at his office. They discussed about economic development, smuggling, trafficking, security situations and terrorism in the region.

The US envoy enquired about people's feelings on current emergency situations in persons and expressed her concern about trafficking.

She also visited Barendra Research Museum (BRM) and the bank of the river Padma.

Rajshahi University Vice Chancellor Prof Altaf Hossain and senior RU teachers accompanied her while visiting the RU-run BRM.

"I find amazing, amazing collections, you should all be very proud of what you have there (BRM)...the beautiful sculptures of Hindu, Buddhas and some Muslim period pieces... These are just among most beautiful pieces in the world I am sure", said the US envoy on her BRM visit.

Meanwhile, the government is taking some 24 BRM treasures to France for giving these a global exposure in an international fair at Guimet Museum in Paris later this year.

Butenis is scheduled to meet a number of political figures and visit Rajshahi University and a local NGO today.