Agartala, July 26: Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar appealed to the Centre to take a “broad and liberal” view of the Padma bridge tangle in Bangladesh in the wake of withdrawal of financial assistance by the World Bank.
“The World Bank actually stands for American imperialism which is trying to impose a new imperialist order across the world; Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken a very good stand by declaring that her government will build the bridge across the Padma,” said Sarkar, addressing the audience at an exhibition of paintings by artists of both Tripura and Bangladesh at Nazrul Kalakshetra auditorium last night.
He said the Centre should take a “broad and liberal stand” on the issue, which would strengthen the Indo-Bangla ties of friendship and co-operation.
Sarkar also expressed grave concern over the recent initiatives of the US imperialists in Bangladesh.
“The US imperialists are trying to strengthen their presence in Bangladesh with hegemonic designs on this country as well as on bordering areas of the Northeast,” said Sarkar. “Obama has advised us to open up our markets for multibrand retail trade; it is clear what Obama wants,” said Sarkar.
The chief minister also appreciated the initiative taken by the artists of both the countries for organising the art exhibition and said it would be desirable to expand the cultural ties between the neighbours.
“In case differences of opinion between leaders of both the countries persist, the people on both sides of the border can force their respective governments to reconcile their differences; we cannot erase the border but we can come closer in mind and heart if cultural ties are strengthened,” the chief minister said.
Renowned painter Israt Jahan Kakon from Bangladesh said after coming to Tripura, the artists from Bangladesh were overwhelmed and have realised that art and culture unite people.
He also appreciated the painting exhibition, which has been organised by Samskriti Samanway Kendra (Culture Co-ordination Centre) of Tripura and Chhabir Haat, a cultural organisation of Bangladesh.
“For us, this is a landmark event. Such events and initiatives also bring people on both sides of the border closer to each other,” said Kakon.