Former caretaker government advisor Advocate Sultana Kamal made the comment in an interview last month with international broadcaster Duetsche Welle (DW) in Netherlands’s The Hague.
“The argument we hear from the government’s side all the time is that the daughter of the Father of the Nation will not do anything to harm the Sundarbans,” she said.
“I do not believe that either. We do not believe in any conspiracy theories.
“There must be some policymakers within her inner circle who have some sort of personal gains to make from this project and they have formed a bubble around her and not letting her hear anything,” Sultana said.
“We have placed scientific, environmental, social, logical and civic analysis about the negative impacts of the project, but they have not paid attention to our findings, instead claiming that we are talking from a place of emotion,” she said.
The activist argued that protesters against Rampal had found that the government’s claims of reducing the harm to the Sundarbans through the use of Ultra Super Critical Technology did not hold up to scrutiny.
“We have looked at the project’s purchase plans and the equipment they are buying are not going to make an Ultra Super Critical plant,” she said.
“Also, Ultra Super Critical Technology is more efficient, but it will not stop the emission of pollutants and the risks of transporting coal throught the Sundarbans,” she added.
India is doing ‘Dadagiri’
Asked why the government’s ministers and lawmakers are calling the anti-Rampal protestors anti-India, anti-liberation and anti-development, Sultana Kamal said the Save Sundarbans Movement was not anti-India but it could be forced into such a position.
“If they can show that I have been against Liberation at any point in my life I will leave this movement,” she said.
“My brother-in-law is under-treatment in Kolkata, but the Indian government did not give me a visa to go see him as I am against the Rampal project,” said Sultana, stressing that India’s interests in the project can be demonstrated by this “petty vengeance.”
“If India will interfere in our sovereignty and create unexpected situations when we talk about national issues, then many people will go against them gradually. Their aggressive and illogical ‘Dadagiri’ attitude will turn the public against them,” she said.
Asked by the interviewer why the ruling Awami League was so pliable to the demands of the fundamentalist group Hefazat-e-Islam, Sultana said the same question was on her mind.
“Why the pro-liberation party, founded by Bangabandu, is bowing down before fundamentalist sentiments against the spirit of Liberation is a question that needs answering.
The pro-Liberation party was in a strong position under the strong leadership of Sheikh Hasina, she remarked.
“But I think the situation has been created as politics has now turned into an election game. It is not people-centric, it is election centric,” she said
She expressed the hope that that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would not “let Awami League turn back into Awami Muslim League.”