Dhaka, May 22: Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Friday said the bold leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina contributed to minimising the loss and damage caused by cyclone Amphan.“It was possible to minimise the loss and damage in cyclone Amphan due to the bold leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he said.
Hasan, also the Awami League joint general secretary, made the remarks while speaking at a coronavirus safety gears distribution programme at AL president’s Dhanmondi political office here.
He said once a disaster hits the country, the prime minister passes a sleepless night, and there was no exception when cyclone Amphan hit the country.
“The whole night, she (the premier) monitored the cyclone situation. And it was possible to minimise the loss and damage in the cyclone due to the bold leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” Hasan said.
He said the way the prime minister addressed natural disasters involving all in Bangladesh has become a rare example before the world.
On the other hand, one dozen fighter aircraft were affected in the 1991 cyclone for lack of BNP government’s decision in tackling the cyclone, he said.
In addition, many ships were affected as those were not anchored in upper areas, Hasan said, adding that after the cyclone hit, Begum Khaleda Zia told parliament that casualties in the cyclone were fewer than that of prediction.
About the role of media, he said the journalists of mainstream media have been playing an important role in preventing rumours in the country.
The information ministry is working to register the online news portals and this process will be completed soon, the information minister said, adding “At the same time, actions would be taken against the fake news portals which spread rumours.”
Noting that journalists have been working as frontline fighters in the COVID-19 crisis, he said the Awami League always stands by journalists and will remain beside them in the future.
Hasan said as per the instruction of the prime minister, the information ministry has decided to provide Taka 10,000 in cash to each journalist who is in trouble due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The process of cash distribution among the needy journalists will begin after Eid-ul-Fitar, he said, adding that the journalists’ unions will decide who will get the cash assistance.
AL joint general secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim, organising secretary SM Kamal Hossain, relief and social welfare secretary Sujit Roy Nandi, former president of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) Manjurul Ahasan Bulbul and Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) president Rafiqul Islam Azad, among others, spoke.
Bahauddin Nasim said the owners of many media outlets show less willingness to give salaries of journalists but it is not right at all.
Bulbul said alongside the government, the way the ruling Awami League stands by people amid the coronavirus pandemic is really commendable.
DRU vice-president Nazrul Kabir, its general secretary Reaz Chowdhury and chief reporter of Dainik Bartaman Motahar Hossain were, among others, present.