Tipaimukh issue can be resolved thru’ talks: PM

June 30, 2009

Khaleda seeks Hasina’s assistance to send BNP team to dam site
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has said the problems posed by the controversial Tipai-mukh dam project by India could be resolved through bilateral discussion .
“I believe I will be able to resolve the problem through bi-lateral discussions.”
She accused the main opposition BNP of making an issue of Tipaimukh dam in her speech on the proposed budget in the parliament on Monday.
Opposition chief Khaleda Zia earlier in the day sent a list to the prime minister containing names for a six -member representative team to visit the dam site..
Hasina said, “I have heard of a letter being sent to me before coming here. I do not know what it is, but I will go through it.” “Every problem needs everyone’s assistance,” she added.
UNB adds: Reciprocating Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s overtures, opposition BNP on Monday submitted its separate six-member team’s names to her for sending to the Tipaimukh-dam site for a spot visit to assess the Indian mega-project’s impacts on Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her address to a function marking Awami League’s 60th founding anniversary on June 24 proposed that BNP should send a separate team, in addition to the government-formed parliamentary delegation, to visit the site of the dam planned on the common river Borak. The six names of the proposed BNP team were sent to the PM in a letter signed by party chairperson and opposition leader Khaleda Zia, also a former prime minister.
A three-member delegation led by BNP joint secretary general Nazrul Islam Khan carried the letter addressed to the Prime Minister and submitted to the PM Office around 3:45pm, party leaders told UNB.
On the delegation of emissaries were BNP office secretary Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal president Barkatullah Bulu MP. Prime Minister’s Assignment officer Monoj Kanti Baral and Protocol Officer-2 Prolay Kumar Joardar received the letter from the delegation.
The proposed team’s names are divided into two categories-MK Anwar MP and Maj (Retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed in the category of BNP representatives while M Asafuddowla, ex-Water Resources Secretary, Prof Dr Moniruzzman Mia, former Dhaka University Vice-chancellor, Sharif Rafiqul Islam, ex-DG of the Water Development Board, and Prof Dr M Abdur Rab, water expert, are taken as technical experts.
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in her letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said they think that it would reflect national consensus towards this national problem if all, including technical experts, could visit Tipaimukh together.
“But, without doing that, you proposed to BNP to send a separate team to visit Tipaimukh. We are agreed also to your proposal for national interest. We want to send a delegation comprising technical experts on Tipaimukh trip,” she said in her letter to Hasina in proposing the names of the members of the BNP delegation.
The ex-PM observed that Tipaimukh barrage is a national problem and it should be solved nationally.
She said BNP sincerely wants that another life-and-death situation like Farakka Barrage is not created for Bangladesh through constructing Tipaimukh dam.  bdnews24.com, Dhaka

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