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Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday, January 25, 2013
Front Page

PM pointer to Star’s 'ill motive' and our humble reply

It is embarrassing to have to point out factual errors in what a Prime Minister says. It is more embarrassing when the PM herself, while making the error, hints of wrongdoing by this newspaper in the press conference on Wednesday “as to how a particular daily newspaper could publish the letter sent to Anti-Corruption Commission before the Commission, the finance ministry or I got it”. She then asked the journalists to “…please make an inquiry to see if there is any ill motive or purpose behind it”. She was referring to the letter, dated 9 January 2013, sent to the ACC by Luis Moreno Ocampo, chief of the World Bank's external panel, following his teams visit to Dhaka.

This newspaper was the only one to get a copy of the letter and publish in full. So it is obvious that she meant it to be us. She also said, “There was an understanding between the external panel and the Anti-Corruption Commission that nothing about the investigation would be disclosed.”

According to the press briefing held on 14 January 2013, by ACC Commissioner Mohammed Shahabuddin, “The Commission received this letter three days back”. It means that ACC got the letter on 11 January and we published it on 15 January, along with the contents of what the ACC commissioner said. So the PM's claim that we published the letter before the ACC got it is not factually correct. The ACC must have sent copies of the letter to the finance ministry and the PMO immediately. If she or the finance minister were unaware of it then they should blame their respective officers and not us.

It is in the nature of governments (all governments, and in all democracies) to shut out all negative information and only reveal those that put them in a favourable light.

Contrarily, it is in the nature of the media to dig out what a government wants to hide and inform the people of everything that is of public interest. That is precisely what we did. Everything about the Padma bridge project is of public interest and it is our sacred duty to inform the public about it. We promise to continue to do so.

There is no motive here, just commitment to public interest. Every newspaper worth its name would have published this letter if they had got it. It is to the credit of The Daily Star reporter that he could do so. It is called a “scoop” in media parlance, and only very competent, hardworking and professional reporters can do it, and the people of Bangladesh are the wise for it, for they know the truth.

If we had not done our job then only the ACC version that the “WB Panel is happy with our work” would have been known. The truth, as we know, is otherwise. We served the truth, and truth often hurts.

That is why media is always very unpopular with the “Power that be”.


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Excellent reply, TDS. And, truth really hurts those people like PM and her deputies who possess ill motives.

: Truth Teller

Let us put few things straight. The DS is one of the friendliest newspapers to present government and if they had to listen lectures and receive threats from this government, you can imagine the situation of the others.

: Jumana Sarwar


  • ask
    Friday, January 25, 2013 12:33 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Keep up the good work. Government all over the world blame the media when the news goes against the wishes of the government. You can hold up your head with pride and not submit to pressure. By now we ass know that the PM often speaks before looking at the facts. Her claim that Bishwajit's murder was not carried by BCL cadres goes to show how she defends her party by bending the truth.

  • tuhin
    Friday, January 25, 2013 12:36 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)


  • gaji
    Friday, January 25, 2013 01:02 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    I appreciate the initiative of The Daily Start to publish this kind of news. I also dis-appreciate Prime Minister's Comments.

  • Akhtar Hossain
    Friday, January 25, 2013 01:19 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    I truly commend The Daily Star for their bold reporting. People of Bangladesh are tired of cover up and lies. People of Bangladesh wants truth to be exposed. The Padma Bridge fiasco seems never to end. To cover up and shelter one person Abul Hossain the country is deprived of the huge infrastructure project. It is a shame people of Bangladesh are missing out on an opportunity to leapfrog. It is a SHAME. It is indeed a very sad state of affairs.

  • shad ali UK
    Friday, January 25, 2013 01:33 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Well said. This entire government is so childish beyoned belief. Why would the WB release any information to the press before informing the party they are lending the money to. Also the Finance Minister & PM are pushing the WB to make decision or they will seek finance eleswhere, they seem to have short memories and forgotten what happened last time they tried the ame approach

  • Nasir Tarafder
    Friday, January 25, 2013 01:45 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Dear editor, thank you so much. You not only did the very RIGHT thing by publishing this letter, you need to write more vigorously about all the misdeeds of the government, such as Secret Arms deal with Russia (even the cabinet was not aware), Padma bridge, Hall mark, destiny, share market scandals, cancellation of Caretaker government system, division of Dhaka city, failed to hold the DCC election and so on and so forth. All these actions have ill-motives, and now it is your, (media) secret duty to expose these malpractices of the government to the public, so that the people of this country at least know their true face in the name of democracy. Thanks, want to be anonymous.

  • hasan
    Friday, January 25, 2013 01:46 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Thank you Mr Anam, right reply to the PM.

  • Shadharon Nagoric
    Friday, January 25, 2013 01:59 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Only time a politician tells truth is when he/she calls other politician a lair.

  • Jaman
    Friday, January 25, 2013 02:30 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Bravo for standing up for the public interest.

  • himukala
    Friday, January 25, 2013 03:40 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Not only PM, many have this doubt now. And Mr Muhith did not say anything wrong suggesting Goldstein to join politics in Bangladesh. She herself made those popular political statements which does not fit her professional position. In fact we need a Wiki-leaks on last one year's communications between WB president, Hilary Clinton, Dr Yunus, Lavalin administration and some BD agents to find out the real story behind this Padma Bridge loan conspiracy.

  • Mohammed U.K.
    Friday, January 25, 2013 03:44 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Humble reply was most appropriate and wonderful 100% to the point. It is a befitting reply. Truth is always bitter to some who are afraid of the reality. The PM should do her sums well before she speaks out before the nation.

  • naharin
    Friday, January 25, 2013 04:01 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    It is the sacred duty of The Daily Star to set the sail along with the favourable wind. Did they ever say anything about Grameen Phone? No, it is because they get forage from the multinational who is said to be siphoning off a huge amount of money from our country. So, writing against them is against the newspaper's interest. It is, however, a false claim that the star writes for the people's interest. They do write for their own interest!

  • Mortuza Huq
    Friday, January 25, 2013 04:01 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    You are absolutely correct Mr Editor in saying - Contrarily, it is in the nature of the media to dig out what a government wants to hide and inform the people of everything that is of public interest. That is precisely what we did. Accordingly I think Amar Desh is 100% correct in publishing the Skype scandal. You must strongly support this position and fight for the freedom of the newspaper editors.

  • Javed Helali
    Friday, January 25, 2013 04:18 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Keep it up DS. You are finally showing that you have a backbone. Thanks.

  • A soldier
    Friday, January 25, 2013 04:18 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Well, won't our PM like to see free media? Keeping quiet does not mean people of the country are blind. She should not side with falsehood.

  • Protik
    Friday, January 25, 2013 04:24 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    PM may dictate ACC & SC but not honest press / journalists. Welldone DS keep it up......

  • Khan
    Friday, January 25, 2013 04:50 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Well done! Awesome reply.

  • Shafiq Ahmad
    Friday, January 25, 2013 04:56 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    A lame excuse and unwanted explanation.

  • Barkat
    Friday, January 25, 2013 05:11 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    With no active opposition to check the ruling party, the PM is intoxicated with absolute power. She firmly believe that every fact can be hidden with false spoken loudly. The Padma Bridge is very essential subject of all Bangladeshi's and every citizen have the right to know the truth and nothing but truth. Since the PM will not reveal the truth that harms her, so it is the responsibility of media to bring the fact and truth to the citizens. Every healthy democracy needs non- biased media to keep track of government wrong doings. All praise for Star to bring the truth to light. And indeed a disgrace that a PM of 160 million highly talented people prefers falsehood and arrogance instead of truth and repentance.

  • Selma
    Friday, January 25, 2013 05:29 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    DS, we salute you.

  • neutral
    Friday, January 25, 2013 05:36 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    The problem is perhaps more depending on hearsay of the people around than fact checking. It is necessary to get to the bottom of the truth and not follow egoism with mistakes or misinformation as the case look like. The politicians have the liberty to change opinion, view and even facts. But they are expected to be answerable to ethics and moral of their own. The only opinion one can pass about the role of the DS on Padma bridge is, negativity and fault finding with the government action to respond to the numerous queries and conditions of the WB. It sounded that the WB did everything following their ethics of corruption hunting and the culprits are the government of Bangladesh and famous 'Abul Hossain'. Perhaps Bangladesh could have received a little more moral support from the leading English daily to withstand the pressure of the WB which is putting the present government in defence because of the corruption drama being played day in and day out since the loan cancellation happened and re-opening green light was given without opening the actual account in operation .

    Taking into account the role of the government, the WB , Canadian police and the media with relevant news flow since starting of the problem to date, I am convinced that nobody can tell with authority what actually happened and who payed what role and even the current status of the corruption case in Bangladesh and in Canada. The bride has cost the present government heavily politically. That is the bottom line. We hope one day a third party might found out who were at fault and unveil the truth.t.

  • Sawgat Chowdhury
    Friday, January 25, 2013 05:36 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Keep up the good work!

  • Bihari
    Friday, January 25, 2013 09:09 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Bravo DS! Serve the Truth. That is the only way to serve the country. We must remember that people come and go. But the country endures. So the loyalty should be not to persons or parties but to the country.

  • Anwar Hossain
    Friday, January 25, 2013 09:29 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Our political leaders are liars. Telling lie is a regular practice of them.

  • Asad Zaman
    Friday, January 25, 2013 11:17 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Though this profoundly strong response from the Star Editor is based on valid argument, it seems to be too puritanical, as if media always serve the truth and public interest. The world however knows that millions of pages were filled with such “scoops” by media to indicate or prove the ‘existence’ of Iraq’s WMD - which the government wanted to hide and the media dug out. Dear Editor, please be assured that no one is totally clean and everyone makes mistakes including the media, government, WB or its external panel.

  • Ahmed Sharif
    Friday, January 25, 2013 11:57 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    A brave effort by The Daily Star, which is highly commendable. Obviously it meant a lot of risk to the newspaper, yet they decided to got for it. But the newspaper surely lost the publicity battle with this rejoinder; because the PM's words are on all newspapers and covered by all TV channels, whereas the DS rejoinder only reaches to a few. Most people will believe what they have seen or heard if they do not see any protest against it. Truth, it seems, sometimes has a hard path to travel to see light!

  • rani
    Friday, January 25, 2013 07:10 PM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Excellent letter written by the writer.

  • M.A.
    Friday, January 25, 2013 09:27 PM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    I am feeling a slight hope towards bright future of Bangladesh even continuous gridlock between two desperate parties as major English daily can publish such bitter but correct report every day. When this kind of article will disappear from the paper, then Bangladesh will surely fall into black hole and never revive.

  • Vampire knight
    Friday, January 25, 2013 09:28 PM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    The reply is done appropriately with utmost professionalism and I believe most of the readers should like it. In fact on 14.01.13 press conference ACC has given us a different view.

    Mr Jumana Sarwar has rightly mentioned the situations that other newspapers and media are encountering.

  • HasanUlMokaddes
    Friday, January 25, 2013 09:59 PM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    It is often said lies may hurt but its truth that leave a scar but in this case, there is no evidence that there was any intention or ill motive, people of Bangladesh have the basic right to know the truth; its a freedom of media and rightly said so by the editor the sacred duty of the media to shed light where the truth is hidden due to political gains.

    and it is with all the good intentions that i thank daily star for doing whats right and humbly request the political parties (all political parties) to let the media do its work

  • Siddique
    Saturday, January 26, 2013 12:18 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Madam Prime Minister, do you really want to talk about “ill motives?” Then please explain why an openly corrupt politician is protected while the most important infrastructure project in Bangladesh is held hostage to this standoff? Do you really believe that our national pride is enhanced as the whole world snickers at the allegations of graft at the highest levels of your government? If you do, I have a bridge in Brooklyn which I can sell you for only a few million dollars in cash.

  • Siddique
    Saturday, January 26, 2013 12:20 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Kudos to the Daily Star. We need a leading indicator to highlight a dearth of journalistic integrity. How about questioning the integrity of any newspaper the government likes?





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