Bangladesh media hails PM Narendra Modi on LBA but concerned over Teesta impasse

Bangladesh's mainstream media hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for finalising the much-awaited LBA however, lamenting the lack of "definite progress" on the contentious Teesta water sharing issue.

By: Press Trust of India | Dhaka | Updated: June 7, 2015 5:40 pm
narendra modi, PM Modi, Modi in Bangladesh, Modi bangladesh, LBA bangladesh, land-swap deal Bangladesh, Teesta water issue, India Bangladesh deals, India Bangladesh water conflict, Narendra Modi Bangladesh visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina shake hands in Dhaka, Bangladesh. India and Bangladesh on Saturday finalised a much-delayed land swap agreement to settle a long-running border dispute. The deal, initially reached in 1974 but only recently ratified by India’s Parliament, calls for the transfer of 111 border enclaves to Bangladesh in exchange for 51 that will become part of India. (Source: AP)

Bangladesh’s mainstream media on Sunday gave front page coverage to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit here, hailing it as the “dawn of a new era” in bilateral ties while lamenting the lack of “definite progress” on the contentious Teesta water sharing issue.

READ: Line of credit will create export opportunity for Indian firms 

“The New Horizon in relations”, read the headlines of mass circulation ‘Prothom Alo’ newspaper, with the report highlighting that the visit had yielded 22 agreements and MoUs to take bilateral ties to a new height.

READ: PM Narendra Modi assures Bangla on Teesta, trade

In its main editorial, the newspaper said, “for different reasons, the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be remembered…the visit is going to resolve the border dispute and enclaves which was pending unresolved for nearly seven decades.”

READ: I’ve got a nation. It comes at the end of my life, still it comes: resident of a Bangladeshi enclave

The widely circulated ‘Samokal’ carried the headline “Friendship in new height” and highlighted Modi’s comments in which he paid tributes to Bangladesh’s founder and his counterpart Sheikh Hasina’s father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It also highlighted the Bangladesh premier’s priorities for enhanced connectivity.

READ: Modi, Hasina see ‘new dynamism’, promise more on Teesta, terror 

Leading English newspaper, ‘The Daily Star’, carried the headline, “Dawn of a new era”, with its subtitles saying “Hasina, Modi, pledge mutual growth; land deal documents exchanged; 22 deals signed; USD 2 billion fresh Indian credit.”

In an editorial titled, “No breakthrough on Teesta”, the newspaper, said, “we did not expect the (Teesta) deal to come through on this visit but had certainly hoped for some definite progress in the regard.”

The Financial Express newspaper in its headlines said, “Modi assures fair solution to Teesta, Feni river waters”.

The headline was followed by a sub-heading which read, “Everything to be done to bridge trade deficit, he says”.

Modi, after holding talks with Hasina yesterday, had expressed confidence to have a “fair solution” to the Teesta and Feni river water sharing issues with Bangladesh “with the support of state governments in India”.

The Teesta water is crucial for Bangladesh, especially in the leanest period from December to March when the water flow often temporarily comes down to less than 1,000 cusecs from 5,000 cusecs every year.

The New Age, widely known for its anti-government stance and bias towards ex-premier Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), carried the visit as its main report, saying “Modi gets transit boost; He pledges fair share of Teesta water, Hasina for fulfilment of commitments.”

“India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh is, indeed, important, for both the countries, in
areas such as trade, internal peace and communal harmony, investment and development,” an article in the ‘The New Age’ daily said.

“India has a long and vital list of expectations from Bangladesh and Bangladesh too has a long list of dues,
appeals, objections and accusations to deal with India,” read the article titled, “Modi’s wish list and peoples agenda”.

Major Bangla daily ‘The Jugantor’ carried a headline saying, “Hasina-Modi mainly remain vocal on ‘connectivity’; red carpet reception to Indian premier in Dhaka.”

“Let a new horizon of relations be opened,” read the headlines of an editorial the newspaper carried.

The Bangladesh Observer carried the headline of its main report as “Modi confident of ‘fair solution’ on Teesta”.

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  1. Hemen Parekh
    Jun 8, 2015 at 10:07 am
    Bangladesh - Redux ? After 44 years , India and Bangladesh have settled their boundary dispute by exchanging a few thousand acres of land Hopefully , this will end illegal migration / export of militancy etc , besides giving legitimate citizenship to 50,000 , so far stateless , persons Will this settlement lead to , > huge economic loss to either of the countries ? > increase in terrorist activities / illegal infiltration ? > significant reduction of national security ? Clear answer is : NO ! If anything , it will vastly improve neighborly relations and benefit the people of both the countries Why can't we resolve our " Kashmir Border Dispute " with stan , in a similar manner ? By both countries accepting the Line of Actual Control ( LaC ) as an International Boundary ? In the past 60 years , I remember only 3 Indians to have the courage to suggest / support such a solution ( not counting insignificant , myself ). They were : > Vasant Sathe > Faroukh Abdullah > Prashant Bhushan Reason is simple as to why a military action to regain lost territory ( both sides claim to own the entire Kashmir ) , just won't work for the following reasons : > An all out war will cause loss of millions of lives on both sides > Intervention of UN / America / Russia / China will create a fresh limbo ( political stalemate / comma ) without a permanent resolution > It may end-up creating an independent country of " Kashmir " - something that neither India / stan want, nor will help the Kashmiris If this is so crystal-clear , then what is stopping the politicians of both the countries to pursue this path ? Simple ! Lack of courage due to fear of losing power ! Unless Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Nawaz Sharif muster the courage to tell - and sell - this bitter truth to their countrymen ! What next ? Arunachal Pradesh Vs Aksai Chin ? --- hemen parekh B2BmessageBlaster 08 June 2015
    1. R
      Jun 7, 2015 at 4:35 pm
      Modi's external policy is first cl. But is domestic reforms can be better, a lot better.
      1. R
        Jun 7, 2015 at 7:30 pm
        You must appreciate that he proved the mettle in a year. In India, reforms process have been initiated. We lack count of it. Often we can check with Rahul hi to know what is missing or dela. Means that the rest go good.
        1. Syed Muniruddin
          Jun 7, 2015 at 6:37 pm
          India should link Teesta water deal with improvement in the state of security, well being and non harment of Hindu minority in Bangladesh.