Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, who came under fire for his remarks about Bangladeshis being in "heaven", said the media has twisted his words and practically devoured him with scrutiny.
The foreign minister said this during a meeting with the United Nations Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet, who is currently visiting Bangladesh, at the State Guest House, Padma on Sunday (14 August).
Momen clarified his comment saying, "I did not say 'heaven' in the true sense. Just a figure of speech. But you all devoured me."
Momen said, "We are doing better than other countries. We are in heaven compared to them -- this is what I said."
Earlier on Friday, during an event at MAG Osmani International Airport in Sylhet on Friday, Momen said, "The people of Bangladesh are in heaven compared to other countries going through global recession."
"Panic is being spread that Bangladesh will end up like Sri Lanka. It has no basis in reality," he said.
The minister has been on the receiving end of massive backlash from critics. Even BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir made a remark on Saturday, "While the people of the country are constantly suffering and becoming miserable, the foreign minister said that people are in heaven."
The foreign minister said, "After all, I am a public figure. Of course you can criticise me. I don't mind."
"But be careful in the future. I am an open person. I am a teacher. I say what I think openly. I have been chosen from my team. So, it is necessary to speak well from the position," he added.