Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon has criticised countries that have issued travel alerts for their citizens planning to visit Bangladesh following the killing of two foreigners.He said he believed a ‘conspiracy’ was on to thwart Bangladesh’s progress.“As if the sky came down on us after two foreigners were murdered recently,” Menon said at a discussion in Dhaka on Saturday.Several countries issued travel advisories for their nationals following the killings. “But what happened in those countries was more serious,” he said.The Workers Party leader said Australia called off their cricket team’s tour citing security reasons but a day later, two people were shot dead in Sydney in a shooting in front of their police headquarters.“The US issued the alert too. But in that country many were killed in an indiscriminate shooting in a school,” he pointed out.
Italian Cesare Tavella was shot dead in Dhaka on Sep 28 and Japanese Kunio Hoshi on Oct 3 in Rangpur in a similar fashion.Tavella was killed amid Australia calling off its cricket team’s Bangladesh tour. Several countries, including the US, UK, and Canada advised their nationals to limit their movements.Bangladesh’s export-oriented readymade garment and tourism sectors have been hit by the development, as many foreigners cancelled their visit following the incidents.Tourism Minister Menon said Turkey had told Bangladesh to stop trying war crimes suspects.
“At least 95 people died in bomb explosions there,” he said, referring to last week’s twin blasts at a rally outside Ankara’s main train station.“Are these countries safer than Bangladesh?” He asked.“I believe conspiracies are on to halt Bangladesh’s progress,” the minister added.