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PM urges opposition to withdraw blockade, hartal

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Staff reporter
Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina on Saturday urged the opposition leader to withdraw the blockade and hartal programs showing respect to the great South African antiapartheid leader Nelson Mandela as a three-day National Mourning is going on in the country.
"Withdraw the blockade program as the government announced a national morning over these three days to show our nation's respect to this great leader," Hasina requested the opposition party in a statement signed by her press secretary Abul Kalam Azad.
Hasina hoped that the opposition leader would pay heed to her call putting aside partisan politics to show respect to this great leader with the whole nation and the people of the world, and thus save the people from miseries by withdrawing the blockade and hartal programs.
She termed the blockade and hartal during the national mourning as unwarranted and undesirable and inhumane. “Such destructive, violent and terrorist activities will not only hamper the national mourning, but also show disrespect to the undying memories of the envoy of the world peace.”
The government is observing a three-day national mourning from today (Saturday) to pay homage to Mandela who passed away on Friday.
The national flag is flying at half-mast atop all offices of the government, semi-government and autonomous bodies as part of the morning for Mandela.
The BNP-led 18-party opposition enforced a fresh 72-hour spell of countrywide blockade at 6:00am today demanding cancellation of the schedule of 10th parliamentary elections, restoring the caretaker government system and releasing their leaders.
The Prime Minister said the people of Bangladesh are deeply mourned and shocked as people across the world at the death of the antiapartheid, real friend of Bangladesh and Nobel laureate.