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Upazilla Election: 1st Round February 19, 2014

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The first phase of election in 97 upazillas held today with the participation of all the parties that is a major difference from the Jan 5 general election. The result is coming out with opposition BNP leading with a narrow margin over AL.[1][2]

An ordinary citizen
Follow up
21/2/2014
Turnout is 62%
হোঁচট খেয়েছে আ.লীগ, খুশি বিএনপি-জামায়াত
Jamaat’s gain: Whose loss?

Partisanship corrodes bureaucracy February 16, 2014

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Partisanship in bureaucracy has resulted in the creation of a never-ending cycle where the latter’s standards and morale keep spiralling downward, states a Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) report said.

An ordinary citizen

Transition of Power is always difficult in Bangladesh March 29, 2013

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transfer of power-2After liberation in 1971, it was Awami League that formed the first government as they got sweeping win in the general election of 1970 and led the liberation war of Bangladesh against Pakistan. Father of the nation Bangabandhu Shaikh Mujibur Rahman after coming back from his captive days in Pakistan, became the head of the state of Bangladesh. In the general election of 1973, AL again got absolute majority and continued (more…)

Bangladesh at a Crossroads March 21, 2013

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bangladesh-6BNP, the largest opposition took a hard stand against the government and stood by Jamaat to call hartal on the streets. Jamaat-e-Islami is fighting for the cancellation of the war crime tribunal and release of their leaders. BNP is trying to press the government to agree for a caretaker government for holding a neutral general election which is due to be held by the end of this year. But the government is also non-compromising in its stand. They are hard on the the war crime trial and also determined to declare verdicts on half a dozen cases before election. Government is also not in mood to accept CTG as an interim way to hold the general election for transition of power. (more…)

Verdict, Violence and Bullets March 15, 2013

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Saydee-1After the announcement of verdict on Moulana Delwar Hussain Sayeedi by the International War Crime Tribunal on 28th February 2013, Jamaant Shibir activists reacted with violence in different parts of the country. They called 48 hours of continuous hartal on 3rd and 4th March 2013 followed by dawn to dusk hartal throughout Bangladesh by BNP and its allied parties. (more…)

Tribunal Declares Capital Punishment to Delwar Hussain Sayedee March 1, 2013

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Sayedee -2International War Crime Tribunal declares capital punishment to the Moulana Delwar Hussain Sayedee,a popular islamic orator and a senior leader of Jamaat-e-Islami on 28/2/2013. The tribunal considers 20 accusations against Sayeedi, 8 of which was proved as claimed by the prosecutors, death was pronounced in 2 of the accusations. But the defense rejected the verdict and said that they will appeal against the verdict in the supreme court. (more…)

Shahbag Square-losing its apolitical character February 26, 2013

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Shahbag movement of youth had started with the promise of a non-political platform to protest the judgment given to an accused in the war crime tribunal. In early days, no political figures were given the premise to express their opinion. Important political figures were refused and harassed on the spot.

Prime Minister express her support to the demand of young generation at Shahbag. The members of parliament expressed their unity with the Shahbag Square. (more…)

Shahbag Square -Enters into Tragedy and Controversy February 24, 2013

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Shahbag-7One of 12 bloggers, who initiated the youth upsurge at Shahbag Square,Rajib Haider met a tragic death on the 15th February, 2013. He was killed by unknown assailants near his house. Jammat-Shibir was blamed by the online activists and the government ministers.

A grand nanaj-e janaja was held in the shahbag square to give farewell to one of their comrades.
But controversy arises with the publication of blog writings of Rajib Haider in some dailies. It is found that his writing contains full of hatred against religion and Islam, his language is unreadable and he showed minimum respect to the Prophet of Islam (sm).

An ordinary citizen

War Crime Tribunal and Game of Politics February 17, 2013

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Shahbag-4International war crime tribunal now the main focus of attention of politics in Bangladesh. The present government after they came to the power in the end of 2008, open up the tribunal to fulfill their election pledge of trying the war crime criminals.The pledge in the manifesto was the most important agenda that motivated the young voters to put their faith on the party and to elect them to the power. (more…)

International War Crime Tribunal Verdict Frustrates All February 8, 2013

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International War Crime Tribunal pronounced its verdict of life sentence on Kader Mollah on 5th January 2013. It is the second case that the Tribunal gave the verdict.
Kader Mollah 3
In its first case on Bacchu Razakar it rendered capital punishment. Bacchu Razakar was absconded and probably left the country before he was arrested. But there was none to defend Bacchu Razakar and no political party reacted to the verdict. But in Kader Mollah’s case, Jamaat-e-Islami and Shibbir took a strong position to protest. They were staging violent protests on the streets and against the police. Even on the day of verdict, they declared dawn to dusk hartal. They threatened endless hartals if verdict goes against their will.
The verdict was declared at 12 noon on the day amid tight security at the tribunal and protest in the street. After the verdict, people from different stages expressed their frustration.
The Jamaat Shibir also rejected the verdict and increased their agitation on the streets. They clashed with police at different places of the country and resulted in death of atleast 5 people.
kader mollah 4
The presence of Bloggers at Shahbag is gathering momentum. Thousands of people of all ages are coming to the square to transform it into a sea of crowd. They are gathering to protest against the verdict. Their demand is the capital punishment for the offenders of war crimes.

An ordinary citizen

A Murder, Lies and Media December 16, 2012

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Bishwajit 1A youth of 24 years, Bishwajit, was murdered on the street of old Dhaka on 9th December 2012 by the gang of so called political activists on the day of ‘Aborodh’ or street blockade called by the opposition. He was just an innocent guy like thousand of others who was passing through the street at that time to attend his small business shop. But at that time, a procession of opposition lawyers was paraded the street and then a group of pro-government students armed with lethal weapons started to chase them, 2 cocktails burst near the procession. The activists ran towards the direction and chased Bishwajit to a dental clinic in the second floor of a nearby building. He was beaten by sticks and cut mercilessly by ‘chapati’ or butcher’s knife and when he came out of room and in the street with blood all over his body, he was chased by others with sticks and rods. He fell on the ground and was taken to the hospital by a rickshaw puller where he embraced the death.

The dead body was taken to the village home and was cremated the same night. The parents dare not to file any case against the miscreants

The TV channels showed the scene vividly on their screens and people thundered seeing the barbarity on the streets in broad day light in front law enforcing forces. There were lots of people near the scene but were helpless.The print media published the news in the front pages. People from all walks of life condemn the incident.

Bishwajit 2The Home Minister MKA said that the culprits do not belong to the student wing of the ruling party, either they are ousted from the party or only ex-worker of the organization. Police Administration in defense of their inaction said police were busy taking care of the injured lawyers. Home Minister declared that every culprit will be arrested and proper action will be taken.But police and HM was differing on the number of arrests. In the backdrop of mental anguish, the Prime Minister office declared that the culprits are in no way connected with student league, the student wing of AL, the party of the government.The communique also asserted that it is found that the murders are relatives of BNP Jamaat men. The assertion was criticized from different quarters and media and citizen groups demanded that it is essential to arrest the murderers whatever political linkage they have. The Home Minister also is accused of encouraging the murder by ordering the party student activists to actively prevent the opposition.

People are waiting to see what actions are taken by the government. The incident reflects the political unrest, conflict among parties, poor law and order situation in the country. The incident also exposes the human rights situation, partisan role of police and lies among politicians.

It is the media that play a professional role in the current event and exposes the situation in its true perspective.

We hope that everybody will learn the lessons from their mistakes and do justice to the people and to the country.

An ordinary citizen

Garments, Fire, Politics and Compensation December 7, 2012

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, INDUSTRY, POLITICS.
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Ashulia 4'About 111 workers were burnt to death in a garment factory in Ashulia, 30 km from capital Dhaka , where most of the victims are young girls, many of whom are mothers of children. The news also spread like fire and telecasted in the media of home and abroad. The scene was unthinkable, unbearable to see and beyond description. The immediate reaction of the people was of awe and their hearts filled with sadness.
It was heard that the fire broke out from electric short circuit in the ground floor where piles of cotton were in stock . The fire alarms were ranged but it was at the same time announced that it was a false alarm. The gates were kept closed . The fire and fumes spread along the stairs and spread to the other floors. There was no way for the workers to escape from the disaster. Some of them managed to break the windows and jumped to the ground and to the adjacent roofs and many of them survived but many died and injured.
There was none found to take the responsibility. The owner was nowhere to find, no executive to respond to the need of the hour. The burnt bodies were lined up in the corridor of a school, relatives tried to identify their dear ones. About 55 were remain unrecognized. Their DNA samples were preserved and buried by numbers in a common ground for future identification. The injured were taken to different hospitals. But they found little support from the authority or government initially.
Ashulia -2
The government, the business leaders and citizen groups all felt concern for the situation. PM announced that it is an act of conspirators but citizen groups preferred to wait to the end of inquiry.

Business leaders discussed ways to limit the future damage and coordinate compensations for the workers but they found no fault on the part of the owner.For the survived workers it was hard to accept the fate of their co-workers. They engaged themselves in daily agitations in the industry area. Workers from other industries also joined them to show their sympathy.

At one time 3 executives for Tajreen Garment were arrested but the owner remain free.
ashulia 3
After 6 days of fire, PM handed over cheque of Tk. 6 lac for each dead workers. But those who missed their relatives there were no soothing words for them.
The money was contributed by business associations, financial institutions and the government.
Tazreen Garment was declared closed but other garment owners took initiative to accommodate the left out workers of Tazreen.

But if such disaster cannot be prevented in future and if the plight of the workers cannot be changed, the lesson learnt from the incident will not be completed.

An ordinary citizen

Banning Jamaat Shibir November 25, 2012

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In the backdrop of widespread violence created by Jamaat Shibir in the country, demands arise from different quarters to ban Jamaat -e-Islami and its student wing Shibir. Government Ministers and party leaders demanded ban on Jammat. The MPs in an unscheduled discussion raised their voice against the Jamaat. Left leaning politicians also in a round table conference demanded the ban.
But the Law Minister Barrister Shafiqul Hoque said that it is the Election Commission that will ban any political party, not the government.
Jamaat-e-Islami is so far a registered political party with the election commission. It had contested in the last election and have few seats in the parliament. It is in political coalition with BNP and fought the last election under the same banner.
But in a recent communique, BNP disown the violent activities of Jamaat-e-Islami.
But JI tries to defend itself saying that government is preventing it from exerting its political rights by not allowing it to bring out processions, arranging meetings , opening party office etc. Government spokesmen are saying that Jammaat is trying to disrupt the trail of war crimes.

In the meantime, our Home Minister MKA is trying to contain Jamaat and Shibir by employing pro-government political activists in support of police. He also urges the people to co-operate with the government in this regard but people are still acting as onlookers of the confrontation. The image of the police is also a little distorted from a servant of the state to a cadre of sitting government.

People are in dilemma whether Jamaat should be banned or not. Government may be also in dilemma, that’s why they couldn’t come to a decision yet.
Some people are also in support to keep Jamaat in open politics. They fear that an underground jamaat shibir would be more dangerous than the open jamaat.

An ordinary citizen

Trial of War Crimes and Politics of Jamaat-Shibir November 17, 2012

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, JUDICIARY, POLITICS.
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Trail of war crimes is continuing and it is expected that judgment on a few cases may be announced by December. The country is also witnessing a sudden rise of political violence on the streets of Bangladesh from capital to district towns. The shibir activists are likely involved in this violence. They are suddenly attacking the police on duty in groups with bricks and sticks. The attacks continued for about a week injuring 200 policemen in different parts of the country. The last attack took place in the heart of the city in the last week where they even attacked the protection cars and car of APS of Law Minister. The police were mercilessly beaten. The police looked helpless. Hundreds of people observed the scene as bystanders without coming in support of the police. Shibir activists only left the scene when police forces were reinforced.

The government showed sharp reaction to the incident. Home Minister in strongest language condemned the attack and declared to punish the culprits. He asked the AL youth wing-Jubo league activists to come in support of police though Juba league president didn’t accept the request saying that it is the duty of police and not of Jubo league workers. Home Minister also dismissed to have any form of dialogue with Jamaat Shibir in reply to the appeal made by US ambassador. He commented that we can’t compromise with decoits and killers. Let us first suppress them , then we shall talk. PM said that time has come to think about the religion-based politics in Bangladesh. She also said that the attacks will also accelerate the war crime trial. The AL leaders also blaming BNP for indirectly support Jamaat-Shibir attacks.

BNP recently declared that it no way owns the responsibility of attacks made on police by Jamaat-Shibir.

The objectives of the attacks on police is not clear. It is stated by neither Jamaat nor Shibir. But it is assumed that the attacks are made to somehow interfere the war crime trial. Jamaat was trying to project the trail in and outside the country as biased and not of international standard. In support of their demand they tried to organize protests at different times and different parts of the country, but those attempt were foiled by police in the capital and elsewhere. That may be a reason why they attack the police in desperation. It may be an abnormal expression of suppression of their political rights.

But is the way justified or logical in the context of judicial framework and political reality? The attacks may embarrass the government but it will at the same time distant them from the people and it will jeopardize the political existence of their party.

Government also make its position complex by starting the war crime trials not in its first term but a decade after and let Jamaat-Shibir to spread its root deep in the society, jointly conducting movement with Jamaat in early 90s for caretaker government, by not making the International War Tribunal international in standard and not independent in its procedure and inviting blame on itself to use the tribunal for its political ends.

It is difficult for an ordinary citizen to clearly visualize the days ahead but he can feel that the country is going through a very difficult phase and only hope that people would survive the crisis.

An ordinary citizen

Talk Show, Ministers & Code of Conduct October 27, 2012

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I missed that talk show. But the next day it became not only talk of the town but also talk of the country. The show was on RTV on before the midnight on 22/10/2012 and was conducted by Rubayet Hussain. The guests were among others Shahjahan Khan, Minister for Shipping and Barrister Rafiqul Islam, an Ex-Minister from BNP. But the talk show rather than an intellectual debate turned into a quarrel. But even then it crossed the gentleman’s limit and one of the speakers lost his temper and used abusive words that one never heard in talks before. The talk show host compelled to stop the show which was telecasting live.

The incident creates a nauseating condition among the viewers. There was something wrong in the process. The talk show may be a wrong exercise as the Prime Minister herself blamed the show as a means to cut throat of the government.

One thing is clear that talk show is not for all. Specially it is not a good platform for the politicians. Talk shows are designed for more tolerant and logical approach. The parliament would better suit the politicians. People also like to see them in the parliament but that is conspicuously absent for long time.

It is also difficult for the talk show moderator to regulate events in hard hands. He has no power like that of speaker. He can only be careful not to call the offender for the second and to be careful for his next guests.

The channels should also develop code of conduct for the guests so that this art of intellectual exercise can continue unabated.

An ordinary citizen

TIB and Profile of MPs October 24, 2012

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Transparency International Bangladesh recently published a report on the performance of MPs in Bangladesh. It was observed that 149 of sitting MPs representing 97% were engaged in negative activities. and 70% of them were involved in criminal activities and among them, 53.5% MPs are directly engaged. Of the 149 MPs , 141 are male and 8 female , 136 from Treasury Bench members, 27 are ministers and state ministers and 13 opposition law makers.

The negative activities include influencing administrative works, interfering developmental activities, misusing developmental funds, being involved in or support the criminal activities, influence the purchase procedures, break the electoral law, grave plots etc.

The report added that people are little satisfied with their role in fulfilling electoral pledges, representing the locality in the parliament, participation in the developmental works and communicating with the people.

The report pointed that the causes for involving in negative activities are using the MP post for earning, structural limitation such as obligation to the party, extra-administrative responsibility, not oblige to disclose information, absence of punishment specially of the government law makers, lack of exercise of democratic values.

The report also recommends increasing participation of the lawmakers in the parliament by freeing them from administrative and developmental works, abolishingg the provision for boycotting the parliament, cutting the leave of MPs from 90 days to 30 days, not to remain absent for 7 days at a stress, giving the opposition their due share, electing deputy speaker from opposition, resigning of speaker from the party and making provision for electing him uncontested in the next parliament, abolishing clause 70 of the constitution and making the MPs free to vote on different issues in the parliament.

and to discourage the negative activities the report suggests framing rule of conduct for the MPs, taking actions against negative activities, publishing statement of income and expenditure, wealth, loan , income tax, criminal cases, development allotment etc, to aware the public about the duties and responsibilities of the law makers by the media and election commission etc.

After the disclosure of the report the citizen groups and common people found the report reflected their views but the government reacted sharply to the report. They view the report as incorrect and as a conspiracy to encourage non-political transition of the government.

The officials of TIB rejected the objection and argued the report is based on actual perception of people.

An ordinary citizen

Reference Link: Report of TIB on MPs

Destruction at Ramu October 13, 2012

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Bangladesh awake with the news on the morning of 30th September 2012 that organised mobs attacked the Buddhists establishments including their temples, pagodas, shops and houses mainly at Ramu, a small town near Cox’sbazar. The mob ransacked and burnt 12 temples and monasteries including 3 pagodas, 50 shops and many houses. Many valuables and historical documents were destroyed in fire.
The incident has taken place as a reaction to an uploaded picture disrespectful to the Quran in the facebook by some Uttam Kumar Barua.
On the day of event, on 29 September 2012 people gathered at Ramu from 8 pm protesting the said dishonoring of the Quran. Initially the number was in hundreds and people from all walks of life were there from all walks of life including the AL activists. Then thousands of people came from different areas most of whom were unknown to the locals. It is found that police and Administration were informed but they didn’t appear in sizable number in the scene. The mob started to attack, ransack and burn the Buddhist temples and other targets. The mob used gun powder, small concretes which seems to be already collected prior to the attack. All these indicates to the planning and organization of the attack.

The new Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir visited the site immediately after. He expressed his sympathy to the victims, declared to punish the culprits and pointed his finger to the local MP of BNP for the massacre. More than 100 people were arrested in this relation. A government inquiry committee is also formed.
BNP rejected the government’s assertion and declared to have their own inquiry on the matter.
Chairman of the Bangladesh Human Rights Commission Dr. Mizanur Rahman visited the site and seek apology for the atrocities committed to the Buddhist community.
Prime Minister Sk. Hasina jn her meeting at Cox’s bazar blamed BNP and Jammat for the crime. But many of the members of the affected community didn’t attend the PM’s meeting as they said many of attackers on the temples were present in the meeting.
A delegation from Citizens group went to the site and opined that communal sentiment overcame the political identity in the incident.

The tension of the Buddhist community is not yet over.
The people are wailing for a full inquiry, an acceptable explanation of the lapses, exemplary punishment to the offenders and proper security to the community.

An ordinary citizen

Talk Show -Citizens’ Parliament October 3, 2012

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Talk show is gradually becoming popular in Bangladesh. Talk show started in Channel Eye with Tritiya Matra (Third Dimension) hosted by Jillur Rahman, a young innovative media journalist. Tritiya Matra recently observed its anniversary. The get-together was attended by leading talk show experts of the country.
Tritiya Matra for long used to arrange talk show between elected members of the parliament. The idea was good but I could seldom enjoy the quarrel of the law makers. I was not impressed with the level of intellect they exposed in their deliberations.
Gradually other talk show expanded in different channels. The subjects also extended from political quarrels to constitutional, business and academic issues.

Talk show is now second to News in popularity. Every channel is telecasting multiple talk shows on different subjects. Among the subjects political issues drawing maximum viewers. Many experts draw the attention of the people by their critical analysis, independent opinion and sharp comments. Many of them are quite regular, others come occasionally. They are from different backgrounds-university teachers, Journalists , lawyers, politicians, business leaders etc.
etc.
Political issues touch all the important events- some of the recent topics include Padma bridge, Hall Mark scam, caretaker government, Share Market crisis, Bank liquidity crisis, Grameen Bank, Dr. Yunus, forced disappearance, extra-judiciary killing etc.

One of the sad scenario of our time is that though their is an opposition but there is no participation of them in the parliament. Somehow people are getting glimpse of debate on important national issues from the talk shows.

Many expert opine that the talk shows become the alternative parliament and it becomes the citizens’ parliament.

An ordinary citizen

Judgement on Caretaker Government and Crisis in Politics September 18, 2012

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Ex-Supreme Court Chief Justice revealed his full judgement after 16 months of disclosing initial report on the caretaker government. The judgement expressed explicitly against caretaker government.

To come to the judgement, the Supreme Court also taken the opinion of 11 Emirates Curie, 10 of whom advised for the continuation of caretaker government. The High Court also in its judges supported the caretaker government. 4 of the 7 judges were in favour and 3 against the verdict.

The experts and lawyers are expressing their mixed reaction to the judgment. A major complain against the judgment that supreme court tried to solve a political issue in the court. The other complain is that the ex-CJ served the purpose of a political government. A citizen in TV complained that the verdict will divide the nation. An opposition leader predicted the CJ will be condemned in the coming history for the act.

The opposition is pressing for next elections under caretaker government. They straight forward rejected the judgment and announce protest against the judgement. They declared that the election will occur only under caretaker government, they will resist any attempt of election under the political government.

To general public, the general election is a very important event. The people of Bangladesh are politically very conscious people. To cast their their vote freely and fairly is very important. They know that they get only a single chance to reshape their fate after every five years.

They are supposed not to accept any attempt from any quarter that will bleak their chance of free choice.

An ordinary citizen

Extension of Ministry, Refusal of offer and Reality of politics September 15, 2012

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, POLITICS.
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Present Government of Sk. Hasina incorporated new 5 ministers and 2 state ministers. 2 of them , Hasanul Hoque Inu and Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir are known but other 5 are virtually unknown. Inu is from from AL coalition partner and the other 5 are from AL itself.

But 2 important leaders of the coalition , TofayeL Ahmed and Rashed Khan Menon refused to accept the offer. They have their explanations. Tofayel, a great student leader in his time and veteran leader of AL said that he is not mentally , socially and politically prepare to accept the offer. He is not blaming anyone or his party. It looks that he has an unexpressed emotion in his heart.

Rased Khan Menon, also a well-known student leader in 60’s and a leader of AL coalition partner was more expressive and said that the offer was not made in proper way and from the proper authority.

The refusal got more coverage in the media than the expansion of ministry. The refusal is of first of its kind in Bangladesh and one termed it as historical.

An ordinary citizen

NB : the cartoon is taken from Daily Star

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