The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State’s eventful visit

Donald Lu, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, visited Bangladesh from January 12 to January 15. During his short stay in Dhaka, he met the Prime Minister’s advisor Salman F Rahman, foreign minister, and home minister of the country. He also joined discussions with labour rights activists and some eminent citizens.

He conveyed to the government that his country wanted the next parliamentary election in Bangladesh to be free and fair. He also expressed concern over the misuse of the Digital Security Act 2018, a draconian law the incumbent government exploited to suppress freedom of expression in Bangladesh.

One noticeable update during the visit was the departure of a Russian ship from a port in India that came all the way from Russia to supply crucial equipment for a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh but was not allowed to dock at the port due to the U.S. sanction. Though it was anticipated that the ship would be able to unload the goods in India and India would supply them to Bangladesh, and even a senior Indian politician confirmed it, the ship had to return to its home country within two days of the visit.