Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said the government did not restrict broadcasting of any foreign channels in the country and agents-operators of the foreign channels have stopped broadcasting as they could not have air clean-feed programmes.
"The sky of Bangladesh is open, any foreign channel can broadcast here but it must abide by the law of Bangladesh," he told journalists as speaking as chief guest at a discussion meeting marking the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's 75th birthday at Chattogram Shilpakala Academy auditorium in Chattogram on Saturday.
Bangabandhu Parishad Abu Dhabi Central Committee organized the function.
President of Bangabandhu Parishad Abu Dhabi Central Committee Iftekhar Hossain Babul presided over the function while Chattogram North District AL General Secretary Sheikh Ataur Rahman, vice president and Rangunia Upazila Parisad Chairman Swajan Kumar Talukder and Chattogram Expatriates Welfare Association President MA Salam, among others, spoke on the occasion.
“As it is the responsibility of the foreign channels to abide by the country’s clean-feed law, it is also the responsibility of the operators who air foreign channels here,” he added.
“According to the law of Bangladesh, foreign channels cannot show any advertisement in Bangladesh. The same law exists in Europe, America, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and other countries of the subcontinent,” he added.
He said that foreign channels were broadcasting advertisements showing thumbs to the country's law for years. As a result, the country is being deprived of investment worth around Tk 2,000 crore every year, he added.
All including Television Owners' Association and Broadcast Journalists Forum welcomed the government steps in this regard, he said, adding, "We hope that foreign channels will send feeds to Bangladesh without advertisements very soon.”
“We have reminded them several times and finally, we took the decision after holding meeting with the cable operators, the television owners and representatives of the foreign channels here, to implement the law from October 1. As per the decision we have been operating the mobile court from yesterday.” he added.
He said all the foreign channels that are running without advertisements are airing programmes as usual.
He also said that Sheikh Hasina is the image of Bangladesh. “We are on the way to fulfilling Bangabandhu's dream today under the dynamic leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina,” he added.
“She (Hasina) has taken Bangladesh far ahead and put it on a dignified position in the world," Hasan said.
Dr Hasan, also Joint General Secretary of Bangladesh Awami League (AL), said BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has been speaking for the last few days that they will bring down the government by uniting all the parties.
“While making such remarks, the Khilafat Majlis announced that they are no longer with BNP. When BNP is failing to keep the unity and the parties are leaving them, they constantly threaten to overthrow the government,” he added.
“By saying so, they have actually brought themselves down,“ he added.