State Minister of Information Mohammad Ali Arafat commented that it is necessary to suppress disinformation along with full freedom of media. He said this in response to a question from reporters at the secretariat on Monday.
Arafat said, ‘The mass media needs full freedom, no one in this society has any disagreement about this. At the same time, disinformation needs to be suppressed. There is no disagreement about the fact that misinformation exists in the society. If this is true and if we agree there is a way to suppress it, why aren’t we all finding out? So many of us are saying one thing in front, and another thing behind.’
The state minister said, ‘what we say must be said equally before and after. Then professionalism and transparency can be brought. At the end of the day the decision has to be taken in the greater interest. What’s good in the long run, in everyone’s interest. We cannot make everyone happy with any decision. In some places I really want to make fundamental changes. Since I got the chance.’
Claiming that the ‘contortionists’ are spreading misinformation, Arafat said, ‘I will think from the point of strategy. The kind of attack that is coming on my country, the kind of disinformation spread by the Morals… what are they doing? First they will give money to some NGOs. They will do some so-called research with them, from there they will hold a press conference and bring some information. Their investment will create some outlets in the media. From there it will create the reference again. Doing so will create a negative image. By doing that, they will decide again and impose sanctions on you.’
The Minister of State for Information said, ‘We are in such a cycle (chakra). What I am telling is not a story. I can tell you the details, we have the evidence. I will find them out, or I will get my head into small decisions.’
Arafat said, ‘Many people say, you became an MP twice in a few days. He was in the central committee of the party. State Minister. I said – I don’t care what position I am in. My fight is in one place, I am Bangabandhu’s soldier, I am fighting for the spirit of liberation war. In the Cabinet meeting today, the Prime Minister said that a few days ago, some Congressmen had given a huge number that so many opposition leaders had been arrested. We will ask them how they got this number.’
The state minister also said that the public relations officers of various ministries will be trained in social media management. He said, ‘The Prime Minister said, I have also thought, we will arrange a training for our public relations officers. I spoke with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology about how to handle social media in today’s reality. I want to create a cooperation structure between the public relations officers of different ministries. So that we can exchange information quickly.’