Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of submarines BN Nabajatra and BN Joyjatra on Sunday, she said: “Our foreign policy is to maintain friendship with all and hold malice towards none. However, we will give a befitting reply if someone dares to attack our country.”
Bangladesh Navy acquired the two submarines from China last year and they were commissioned – officially placed in active service – at the Issa Khan Naval Base in Patenga, Chittagong on Sunday.
With the addition of the submarines to its fleet – the first in the history of the country – Bangladesh Navy has now become a three-dimensional force, the prime minister said.
“Bangladesh has never had any submarines before, so today is a special day – not just for Bangladesh Navy or the armed forces, but for the entire country as well,” she added.
“Not many countries in the world can use submarines. Now Bangladesh belongs to the group of very few countries who can use submarines,” the premier remarked.
[caption id="attachment_52171" align="aligncenter" width="900"]
Naval officers line up on the newly commissioned submarines – Nabajatra and Joyjatra – that were added to the nation’s naval fleet at Chittagong Port on Sunday FOCUS BANGLA
She urged the crew of the newly commissioned submarines to become experienced in their use and get ready for real-life operations.
She further said a good number of warships, maritime helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft had been added to the naval force during the tenure of the present government.
“Apart from expanding the naval fleet, we have taken all-out measures for the infrastructural development of the force. The construction of a different jetty for the submarines is underway,” the prime minister said.
She also said: “We will not allow our territory for any terrorist activities. After coming to power in 2009, our government has been working to establish regional peace and security.”
The prime minister handed over the commission forms to Commander KM Mamunur Rashid, commander of Nabajatra, and Lt Commander Mazharul Islam, commander of Joyjatra.
The ceremony was also attended by Cabinet members, lawmakers, chiefs of the armed forces, naval commandos of the Liberation War, senior civil and military officials and foreign diplomats, among others.
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‘Negligence in development work will not be tolerated’
The prime minister on Sunday warned that she would not tolerate any negligence in development projects.
Speaking at the inauguration of a water treatment plant at Patenga Boat Club in Chittagong, she said: “I will not tolerate the slightest negligence in development work. I did not come to power to allow room for corruption or business. I will not spare anyone who is found involved in illegal activities,” she said.
Saying that the Awami League government was sincere about Chittagong’s development, the premier asked the city authorities to send proposals to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec).
“Send proposals for the development of Chittagong to Ecnec; I will approve them. However, after the proposals get approved, I will not tolerate any unnecessary delay in their execution.”
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Expressing resentment over the dilapidated airport road of the port city, the prime minister said on her way to the event, she saw for herself how bad its condition was.
“Both the LGED office and Chittagong City Corporation are responsible for the maintenance of the VIP road. I saw the road in a broken state when I visited Chittagong two years ago. I hope I will not see it in the same condition during my next visit,” she added.
Speaking of the water treatment plant, Sheikh Hasina said it would help to resolve the perennial water crisis in Chittagong.
“Purifying water involves a huge cost. So, we should be careful and economical about the use of water,” she added.
Hasina also stressed the importance of saving the Karnaphuli River from pollution.
“We will not let the Karnaphuli River to suffer the fate of the Buriganga,” she said. She then asked government agencies concerned to take immediate initiatives to construct a central sewerage treatment plant in the city to save the Karnaphuli from pollution.
The inaugural ceremony was also addressed by Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, Chittagong City Corporation Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin and Chittagong Wasa Managing Director AKM Fazlullah.
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