B’desh tells 13 foreign missions to refrain from “undiplomatic” behaviour

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The Bangladesh government has accused 13 foreign missions, including the US and the European Union, of violating diplomatic norms by issuing a statement here over the attack on Ashraful Hossen aka Hero Alom, an MP candidate in the recent by-polls for the Dhaka-17 constituency.

The government iterated its stand by summoning the chiefs of the 13 foreign missions at the state guesthouse Padma on Wednesday.

Briefing the media later at the Foreign Service Academy, State minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam said such behaviour without objectivity and impartiality and bypassing the government will create a crisis of mutual trust and foreign diplomats were requested to refrain from such “undiplomatic” behaviour in future.

The by-election to the Dhaka-17 constituency was held on July 17. A group of people wearing the ‘Boat’ badge (boat is the symbol of the ruling Awami League) beat independent candidate Hero Alom outside a polling station in Banani minutes before the voting ended.

Saying that the 13 foreign missions issued a joint statement violating ‘diplomatic norms’ following the “unwanted” incident, Shahriar Alam added, “We called their diplomats and informed them about our discontent over their behavior violating diplomatic norms.”

Shahriar Alam said, “We have told them that this was a separate incident and it would not be right to evaluate the free fair and peaceful voting of the entire day.”

The minister argued that Hero Alom visited various centres freely with journalists on the day of the election. He didn’t face any untoward incident or raise any complaint either till the voting ended. No other candidates also raise any allegation on any kind of violence or irregularities, he added.

Shahriar Alam said, “So, several diplomats highlighting a single incident that took place at the last moment of the voting cannot reflect on the peaceful election of the entire day and the diplomats did not give importance on the objectivity of their evaluation properly in order to issue a reaction hastily.”

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