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On dialogue January 20, 2008

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After the Chief Adviser expressed the intention of the Caretaker Government to have dialogue with the political parties in his address to the nation on 2nd January 2008, the possibility of it become closer.

Recently in a round table conference organized by Prothom Alo, different political leaders and noble citizens put their opinion. The Talk Shows and Interviews in the TV channels are vibrant with the ideas and possible agendas on the dialogue.

One of the issues of discussion is what should be the agenda of the dialogue and placement of any precondition for dialogue from either party.

The main agenda of the dialogue would be the election- the timing, the creation of necessary environment, the lifting of emergency etc. But the discussion must not contradict with the issues that are under the Election Commission’s jurisdiction- such as registration of the political parties, precondition for registration, rules of conduct during election etc.

Rather conduct of political parties under democracy may be discussed- role of the opposition, role of government, making parliament functional, avoidance of hartal, dtrike or aboroth, stopping the student politics’ and teachers’ politics from the campus etc

Continuity of the reforms so far taken by the CTG in the Election Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, Public Service Commission, Judiciary etc should be discussed and a consensus should have to be developed to ensure the continuity of these reforms through the next political governments.

Reform of the political parties which was expected by this time but not happened may be discussed as no true democracy one can expect from the present structure of the political parties.

The political parties are already started demanding the release of the top party leaders to participate in the dialogue but it will better be left to the judiciary to take the final decision regarding their fate.

Control of price of the essentials may come up in the discussion and suggestions may be sought how to control the prices in the present context.

Is there any scope to incorporate the political parties in running the government to give a broader base and to facilitate the transition to a political government?

Dialogue must be open one. There should be no precondition. There may not be consensus on few points but we should come out in unison on major points.

It shouldn’t be unnecessarily lengthy, must be purposeful and must produce some results which would be good for the country and for democracy.


An ordinary citizen


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