BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said the government's silence on the Saint Martin Island issue is tantamount to a servile attitude. describing it as an expression of the regime's knee-jerk foreign policy.

The BNP secretary general was speaking today, Saturday, at a discussion on Black Day for Press, at the National Press Club in the capital. The event was organised by Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and a faction of Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ).

“The newspapers have reported on the crisis in Saint Martin's Island. A tense situation prevails there. It’s regrettable that we can’t go to our own island. What a failure of this government that we’re being shot and killed from other countries when we go to that island,” he said.

Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader lamented that the government had still not issued any official statement on such a serious matter.

“The Home Minister said there’s no such situation that has arisen yet where we would give a statement or say anything about it. This regime is so subservient that it can’t say anything about a country like Myanmar. How submissive can its attitude be?” he observed.

Calm returns to Teknaf border as gunfire in Myanmar subsidesCalm returns to Teknaf border as gunfire in Myanmar subsides

The BNP leader criticized the Awami League government for not registering any protest when Bangladeshis are killed along the border (with India) and when the country’s people are deprived of their fair share of water from the common rivers.

“There’s a food crisis on Saint Martin's Island. Hundreds of people are in danger there. But the government is least bothered about it,” he said.

A faction of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club, marking the Black Day of Newspapers.

On June 16, 1975, the then BAKSAL government shut down all newspapers, except for four. That is why a section of journalists has long been observing the day as Black Day.

Fakhrul called upon journalists to be united and restore democracy by defeating the current fascist regime through a strong struggle.

“We must unite and awaken the people. There will be no democratic movement without the people. We won’t be able to establish democracy in the country by exploding two or four bombs overnight,” he said.

The BNP leader called upon the younger generation to come forward to save the country from misrule and restore the rights of the people.

He appreciated journalists for working with courage and unveiling the corruption and misdeeds by influential people, braving various obstacles and challenges, at a critical juncture.