March 20, 2008

Taming foreign diplomats

At last The Bangladesh Government criticized the "renewed perceptible tendency" by some foreign diplomats to interfere in Bangladesh's internal affairs.

Recently US Charge d'Affaires Geeta Pasi's meetings with political parties ahead of year-end general elections and Indian high commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty's comments on the delay in rice shipments from India sparked protests among many.

However according to BDNEWS24 :
Law adviser AF Hassan Ariff has said that speaking of the country's internal political matters by foreigners during their visits here on tourist visa is not in conformity with law.

"A bit stronger stance has been taken now," Hassan Ariff said in his weekly briefing.

"Foreigners are not being allowed to talk to journalists on political matters of the country. Anybody coming on a tourist visa cannot talk about Bangladesh's internal politics. If we go to any country on a tourist visa, we don't speak on that country's internal matters. And we can't."
Is this true? Is he referring to publishing journalistic comments in newspapers or personal opinions? If its personal opinion, shouldn't that deter one's freedom of speech?


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