5:16 pm - Thursday May 24, 5551

Japan for peaceful, inclusive polls for better Bangladesh interest

Japanese Ambassador to Dhaka, Shiro Sadoshima urged all the Bangladesh political parties to engage in a constructive dialogue to find a mutually acceptable solution for holding the coming general election in a free, fair, credible, inclusive and peaceful manner in the interest of Bangladesh’s future.

In a statement on the political confrontation and recent violence in Bangladesh, the Japanese envoy on Monday called upon the political parties to end violence for creating an environment for a peaceful election.

“We urge the leaders of all the political parties to take all possible measures to end violence,” the statement said.

jp-bdJapan, as a long-time friend and important stakeholder of Bangladesh, strongly condemns any kind of violence and destructive activities that seriously affect people’s lives and development of Bangladesh, the Japanese diplomat said.

“Echoing the concern expressed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, we’re also deeply grieved at ever increasing violence in Bangladesh.”

Earlier, at a function at the Japan Embassy here, the envoy hoped that there will be a peaceful and timely implementation of an ‘all-inclusive’ general election in Bangladesh.

“A credible electoral process is integral to the advancement of democracy– we’re happy to be able to contribute to this end,” the envoy said adding that he sincerely hopes for a peaceful and timely implementation of an all-inclusive general election.

The Japanese diplomat made the remark at a grant contract signing ceremony for a project at the Embassy of Japan in Dhaka, according to a media release issued by the Japan Embassy in Dhaka.

The government of Japan has decided to donate US$ 121,514 to FEMA under ‘Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Projects’ (GGHSP) for the civil monitoring of elections, including the 10th parliamentary election of Bangladesh.

Japanese envoy Shiro Sadoshima and FEMA President Munira Khan signed the agreement, reports UNB.

Through this project, FEMA will mobilise a total of 1,550 observers in 300 constituencies of Bangladesh.

Training programmes have been designed to train observers to monitor whether the electoral process is in line with the legal and administrative frameworks.

Besides, voter education and information dissemination campaigns will be conducted to facilitate the Bangladeshi citizens’ participation in the electoral process.

FEMA also monitored past parliamentary elections, City Corporation elections and several by-elections.

Munira Khan said this project will enable Bangladeshi citizens to peacefully and meaningfully participate in the electoral process.

She stressed that this assistance will also support steps to enhance the electoral framework and process beyond the next general election.

Japan has been providing assistance for the good governance of Bangladesh and supported past general election.

GGHSP was first introduced in Bangladesh in 1989 with the primary objective of supporting development projects that enhance human security at the grassroots level.

To this date, a total of 178 projects have been funded through this scheme, amounting to US$13,671,246 in grant.

On Sunday, Navi Pillay voiced deep concern over the rising level of political violence in Bangladesh and urged political leaders on both sides to stop their ‘destructive brinkmanship’.

“Whatever their differences, political leaders on both sides must halt their destructive brinkmanship, which is pushing Bangladesh dangerously close to a major crisis,” Pillay said in a statement issued from Geneva.

The High Commissioner pointed out that Bangladesh is a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.  “In other situations, we have seen cases of political or election related violence where the perpetrators of such acts – including political leadership – have faced prosecution,” she said.