Cablegate: Media Reaction: Dr. Rice's Reported Comments On

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.






E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Media Reaction: Dr. Rice's reported comments on
Bangladesh; Dhaka

Summary: English language daily "New Age" op-ed says that it
is quite clear that there was no specific mention of any
Indo-US joint initiatives with regard to Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi political affiliation is so blinding that one
does not even hesitate to condemn the entire nation and rip
asunder the country_fs image if it is convenient to a
partisan political agenda.
Dr. Rice's reported comments on Bangladesh
"Motivated Journalism Troubling Bangladesh "
Independent English language daily "New Age" op-ed
(03/29/05) says:
Be it politics or the press, political affiliation is so
blinding that one does not even hesitate to condemn the
entire nation and rip asunder the country_fs image alongside
that of the government if that is convenient for partisan
political agenda.
An example of such journalistic bigotry has been the recent
coverage given by a section of our press to the comment on
Bangladesh made by the US Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza
Rice during her visit to India on 16 March. I browsed the
official websites of the US State Department, the US embassy
in New Delhi as well as the relevant Indian and Bangladeshi
press sites and found some interesting twists to the whole
episode. For example, Bangladesh was mentioned not even once
in the US State Department transcript on the joint press
conference in New Delhi (16 March) attended by Indian
Minister for External Affairs Natwar Singh and US Secretary
of State Dr. Rice. The same was true in case of the
statements issued by the US embassy in New Delhi. But
surprisingly, the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) circulated
a news on 16 March quoting an unnamed senior US embassy
official as saying that the US had suggested that the _etwo
countries work together in Bangladesh_f in view of the
_egeneral deterioration of security_f in Bangladesh. _eThe
official was referring to the spiraling violence and the
growing assertiveness by fundamentalist groups in that
country_f, so said the IANS dispatch. Judging from the
anonymous nature of the source, it is most likely that the
Indian news agency had merely cooked up the story to satisfy
certain hostile quarters that find it advantageous to
stigmatize the Bangladeshi nation as well as its
democratically elected government.
It is quite clear from the foregoing that there was no
mention of any Indo-US joint initiative on Bangladesh. But
on the basis of the above transcript, the first line of our
BDNEWS story published by the leading national dailies was
_eUS Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said,
Bangladesh is becoming _equite troubling_f and there is more
that the USA and India could do_f. What a distorted
presentation of facts! A section of the Indian and Western
press may be justified in forever seeking holes in the
social and political fabric of Bangladesh, but it is beyond
comprehension why our very own press should go out of the
way to put slur on the Bangladeshi nation.

The latest twist in this whole string of anti-Bangladesh
propaganda centering on Dr. Rice_fs visit to India was the
UNB (United News of Bangladesh - a private wire service)
story published in the national dailies on 22 March. The
story says: _eThere has been no development of specific
initiatives on US-Indo cooperation on issues pertaining to
Bangladesh, a spokesperson for the US embassy told UNB,
responding to a query about what US Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice had stated in India about the US-India
initiatives to deal with the security situation in
Bangladesh_f. If the story had ended there as an admission
of earlier reporting errors, that would have earned kudos
from the adherents of ethical journalism. But the story
continues with another round of vitriolic utterances on the
state of affairs in Bangladesh: _eThe US mission in Dhaka,
along with counterparts of other donor organizations, are
concerned by the deterioration of governance in Bangladesh -
especially by political violence and the law and order
situation. The spokesperson said, _eThreats to, and attacks
upon the press, the political opposition, cultural
institutions, and minority communities are all causes for
concern." This is what we call motivated, partisan and
unpatriotic journalism.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Covid: 250 Groups Urge WTO Chief To Ditch Pharma-Friendly Approach And Embrace Vaccine Patent Waiver

by Jake Johnson, staff writer An international coalition of 250 civil society groups on Tuesday urged the head of the World Trade Organization to embrace a temporary suspension of coronavirus vaccine-related patents, warning against pursuit of a voluntary ... More>>

Samoa’s Stunning Election Result: On The Verge Of A New Ruling Party For The First Time In 40 Years

Tamasailau Suaalii Sauni , University of Auckland and Patricia A. O'Brien , Georgetown University Samoan politics is on a knife edge. After the country voted in general elections on April 9, counting so far has resulted in a dead heat between the two ... More>>

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Awake At Night: S3-Episode 21: There Is Hope

Brazzaville visit to CSI Pilote du Diabete with Health workers at a local government clinic. 2018 - Photo: ©CSI/Dr. Soumya Swaminathan 'When it comes to a pandemic, it really needs global collaboration and solidarity because the pathogens and viruses More>>

UN: Growing Calls For Revamping Development Financing To Ensure Sustainable Global Recovery From COVID-19 Pandemic

Forum to highlight new initiatives to tackle inequalities exacerbated by pandemic With many economies reeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as inequalities continue to widen, world leaders will discuss options to unlock concrete investments ... More>>

How Can We Vaccinate The World? Five Challenges Facing The UN-Backed COVAX Programme

The aim of the UN-backed COVAX scheme is to get two billion vaccine doses into the arms of around a quarter of the population of poorer countries by the end of 2021. What are the main challenges that need to be overcome, if this historic global effort ... More>>