BD News | Mon, Feb 9th, 2009
CPB speaks against ’anti-people’ trade deals
Dhaka, Feb 9 (bdnews24.com) — The Communist Party of Bangladesh has said it will protest any kind of "anti-people" agreements including a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the US.
"We’ll not support such agreements," the CPB president Manjurul Ahsan Khan told a seminar on the proposed TIFA agreement at the party’s Mukti Bhaban office in the city on Monday.
"In the past, we have opposed moves that went against the protection of our gas and other national resources. If the TIFA is going to be signed, we’ll oppose it too," he said.
He demanded all such agreements already signed be published and discussed in the parliament.
Visiting Indian external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee earlier in the day signed two deals to boost trade with Bangladesh but said the huge trade gap tilting hugely in India’s favour could not be offset.
Richard Boucher, US secretary of state for Central and South Asian affairs, during a just-concluded two-day visit said on Sunday the US would not press the TIFA deal with Bangladesh for now.
But CPB’s general secretary Mujahidul Islam Selim said on Monday: "It’s been heard that the TIFA may be signed in two months when US secretary of state Hillary Clinton is scheduled to visit Bangladesh."
Selim said signing TIFA "would only chain Bangladesh tighter to capitalism".