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Today: Jun 14, 2024

Bangladesh doesn’t need any country’s interference in its internal affairs

6 mins read

By: Mashrur Siddique Bhuiyan

Foreign diplomats are becoming active day by day about the upcoming parliamentary elections. US Ambassador Peter Haas, British High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson, German ambassador and other diplomats continue to talk about the election. They are going to the Election Commission. Meeting with various parties. Elections are internal affairs of the country. The interference of foreign envoys in the internal affairs of our country is unfortunate.

Russia and the United States are involved in a ‘strategic’ debate over the situation in Bangladesh. Both the superpowers are speaking in turn from their respective national capitals. Moscow says that the United States is interfering in the internal affairs of Bangladesh using human rights as a tool. On the other hand, Washington has expressed concern about the security of US Ambassador Peter Haas and embassy staff in Bangladesh. At the same time, the United States is commenting that it wants free and fair elections in Bangladesh.

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow, highlighted her country’s position on the situation in Bangladesh during a regular briefing last Thursday. Maria Zakharova’s speech was broadcast on Sunday by the Russian Embassy in Dhaka. It said, “We have noticed that the activities of a local organization against the visit of a missing leader of the opposition party in Bangladesh to the US ambassador in Bangladesh have been promoted as a threat to the security of the ambassador.” That incident was the expected result of the US diplomat’s actions. He is repeatedly interfering in the internal affairs of Bangladesh by talking about rights. The British and German embassies are also engaged in similar activities. They are also publicly commenting that next year’s parliamentary elections in Bangladesh should be transparent and inclusive. We believe that such activities are against the fundamental principles of interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country.

On the other hand, US Ambassador to Dhaka Peter Haas visited the house of missing BNP leader Sumon in Shaheen Bagh on December 14 and an organization called Mother Kanna formed a human chain outside. Ambassador Peter Haas then rushed out to the Foreign Office to complain that he was very concerned about his safety. When a crowd gathers outside while he is having a meeting, his staff tells him to leave quickly. Peter Haas’s men also feared that those men might besiege him. Because of this, he expressed concern about security.

The matter escalated to Washington. US State Department Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman telephoned the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. To Shahriar Alam. Sherman expressed concern about the security of US Embassy personnel in Dhaka at this time. He expressed the hope of the United States for free and fair elections in Bangladesh.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement in Dhaka that they discussed the mutual priorities of bilateral relations. Their negotiations included the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs strongly reiterated that Bangladesh is determined to ensure the security of the diplomatic community. Adequate security will continue to be provided to ambassadors. The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs also said, ‘Ambassadors need to know about the political history of Bangladesh before commenting on anything.

Bangladesh is always connected with the country to strengthen relations with the United States. Communication is happening every day at some level. There has been no change in Bangladesh’s policy of ‘friendship with all, enmity with none’.

Basically, Bangladesh is unhappy with the activities of some foreign envoys posted in Dhaka. Dhaka termed it as interference in internal affairs. It is said that these activities are in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Etiquette. Amid such accusations by the Bangladesh government, Russia openly expressed its position against the United States. Moscow and Washington have essentially engaged in an ongoing ‘strategic’ debate between themselves over the Bangladesh issue. The debate between the big powers on the issue of Bangladesh is not what Dhaka expects. It is not the policy of Bangladesh. However, Russia has been self-motivated and presented its position.

We don’t want a debate between the superpowers about the internal situation of our country. “We are against this kind of heat.  We don’t need such repeated comments from them. Both parties need to be told to shut up about us. We have to solve our problems. We have to be more focused on solving our own problems.

We, Bangladeshi people, are also in favor of fair and peaceful polls. A new independent and impartial Election Commission has already been formed. Everyone needs to have confidence in that impartial Election Commission. There is no opportunity to bother with foreign envoys’ comments in advance. Foreign interference in the politics of Bangladesh is an old phenomenon, especially after the assassination of Bangabandhu, what to do and how to do Bangladesh, all the instructions kept coming from abroad.

Even though money was provided for politics from some foreign countries. Although the picture of such interventions has changed somewhat, it cannot be said to be decreasing. It appears that foreign ambassadors have been commenting on election management, election fairness and impartiality in view of the upcoming national parliament elections. we are responsible for such a situation. We are giving opportunities to foreigners to speak. Whenever the politicians of this country are out of government, they appear to foreigners with ‘complaints’. This is the political reality here. Interference in internal politics by ambassadors is unethical. But just as diplomats are responsible for conducting unethical activities, the lack of coexistence between the conflicting political parties in Bangladesh is equally responsible.

Some vested political parties have practically embarrassed the government by seeking the cooperation of other countries for the upcoming elections. Several leaders of the ruling party are making such complaints.

Instability is not new in our political arena and that instability is caused by outside interference. After the fall of Ershad government and after 1990, this scenario has been seen repeatedly. That scene is now being seen again. Bangladesh has progressed a lot now, there has been a lot of progress in economic and social fields. So, we need to respect ourselves. There will be problems and they have to be solved through discussion and protest among themselves. All political parties and groups need to get out of the political system of defaming or complaining about the internal affairs of the country. So that foreigners cannot interfere in our internal affairs. Institutionalization of democratic system requires coexistence of government and opposition political parties. Our responsibility and responsibility for our own mistakes and misdeeds is ours, and it is also our responsibility to correct them.

The activity of foreign diplomats in Bangladesh increases during elections or anti-government movements. Sometimes it goes beyond diplomatic etiquette. Elections are internal affairs of any country. Bangladesh will decide how the elections will be held. The ambassador of Bangladesh in Washington will definitely not say which party will participate in the US election or which party will follow which policy.

And even if the ambassador talks about it, it will not be reported in any US media. Because prying into the internal affairs of a country is a sad and unjust practice.

And in our country, we call foreigners and ask them to solve the problem. It is solely our responsibility. Some foreign ambassadors and Dhaka chief of international missions have started false propaganda against the current government. Shouting in the internal affairs of Bangladesh in a disgusting manner.

We oppose politics on human rights. we oppose the two-pronged policy. We oppose the fact that foreigners are interfering in the domestic affairs of Bangladesh under the guise of human rights.

Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Conduct states that a diplomat shall not meddle in the internal affairs of any country.

In addition, the International Court of Justice in a 1986 order defined the non-exercise of rights as a characteristic of diplomacy. Despite this, foreign diplomats in Bangladesh disobeyed both orders. Sitting in Bangladesh, they fought with the anti-national forces. They act against local and international law, which needs to end.

Democracy has come a long way in Bangladesh. But powerful ambassadors of some foreign countries do not take this progress of Bangladesh into consideration. Rather, they emerged as promoters of democracy, which in some ways hampered the progress of Bangladesh’s development. As citizens of the republic, the people of Bangladesh are the owners of the country. They have the authority to talk about the country’s own affairs. No foreign power has the right to talk about the election or democracy of Bangladesh. Still these foreigners keep talking, the government should take strict action against them.

As the government should take action against these, the diplomats should also understand that they cannot go to any other country and practice such nosing.

Above all, we want to attract the attention of our politicians. They are insulting not only the country but also themselves by calling foreigners. The onus to stop, it lies largely with the politicians.

The writer is Development worker and independent researcher in Dhaka, Bangladesh.