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Care Taker Government and Supreme Court Judgment May 23, 2011

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Supreme court in a judgment declared caretaker system illegal in Bangladesh. It is to be noted that Bagladesg has introduced caretaker government system to hold national elections under a politically neutral tenvironment. The care taker government instituted for 3 months following the tenure of the elected government is over and headed by the immediate past chief justice. A group of advisers among the non-political personalities from the professionals are selected to support him. The CTG is basically assigned to hold the general election and to maintain the general administration. They are nor empowered to formulate any major rules and regulations and will not change the constitution,

Bangladesh virtually hold 4 national elections under the CTG and all of them were accepted by the people as fair and neutral. In the history of Bangladesh, these elections are best of its kind.

But to influence the composition of the ctg with an aim to influence the result of the ellection, the elected governments had tried in the past to promote their loyal judges to the post of Chief Justice, superceeding the seniors. This attempt has been made in 2001 and 2006 . In 2001, the cj didn’t fulfil the wish of his mentors.In 2006 , the oppostion to the manuever lead to the formation of a caretaker government headed by the president, who later had to handover the charge to a new set of advisers led by Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. This Ctg stays in power for long 2 years and tried to reform the political system but at last left the scene by holding an election in December 2008 in which AL gained a landslide victory.

Controversy arises on the tenure of the ctg and the manipulation of the promotion of the judges ? .

Supreme Court took the opinion of the Amicus Curiae. Most of the americus queri except one gave opinion in favour of CTG. Citizens groups also favour caretaker goverment.

8NP expreesed its opposition to any move form the concept of caretaker government. Ershad hails the idea. Jammat is not in a postion to say anything on the issue. Their top brasses are in the jail on the charge for crimes committed during the liberation war.

The issue will be discussed in the parliament. The motive of AL is not yet clear whether they will prefer a caretaker government or switch over to other form. The judgment of the supreme court open up the dual opportunity for them. They are tatking time to come to a conclusion.I am also suspecting that they will linger the discussion close to the end of their term and on the political reading at the last moment they will come to a decision.

People still would prefer an elelction under CTG. The alternative is an election under an independent election commission. But political government does not yet able to develop the confidence to conduct an independent election under an election commission.

Any attempt by the government to manipulate the result will bring no good to the government.

An ordinary citizen

A new Private university ordinance is approved November 26, 2008

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The Advisory Council of the Caretaker Government has approved the Private University ordinance. It was long overdue. The first ordinance was promulgated in 1992. It was revised in 1998. Even after the second revision, there were loopholes in the ordinance which was utilized by the owners of the private universities and transformrd the sector into a profitable business rather than to be worthy supplement to the exiting public education.

The ordinary citizen had the opportunity to look closely into the affairs of a private university and observed how the sponsors exploited the weakness of the UGC and government in monitoring the affairs of the private universities to earn money for themselves in the name of serving education to the community.

It is reported that there are 51 private universities by now and only one has got the permanent certificate to run the university. Most of the other universities couldn’t fulfill the conditions set by the ordinance even after 5 years of temporary permission.
In the new ordinance , it is said that before getting permanent registration, no private university will open the outer campus, will not make any agreement with foreign universities and even will not provide any distant learning.
Expert said it is a weak ordinance. People who want to dodge the government, will able to do so and more rules and regulations will be required to make it effective.

After the Ministry of Education circulated it through gazette notification, the ministry will start the formulation of the regulations.

One of the important addition of the present ordinance is the required experience and qualification for the VC of the private universities. One must have 20 years teaching/administrative experience or 10 years teaching and 10 years administrative experience.

Many of the private universities have no respect for this academic post. Sometimes businessman or even politicians hold the post on the wish of the sponsors.

The ordinance also suggests modification in the Trustee Board which will include representative from the UGC, educationists and professionals. The Syndicate and Senate will be headed by the VC and he will be the chief executive and Academic officer.

The number of the regular teachers should be adequate and the number of temporary teachers must not be over 25% of the regular teachers.

There will also be provision for ‘accreditation council’ to improve the qualities of education and there will be indication for the ranking of the universities in the ordinance.

No new permission will be given to the upcoming universities till the ordinance is implemented.

As per latest statistics , the number of students in private universities is 1,24,267. [Source: Prothom Alo , 26 November 2008]

An ordinary citizen

Post script:
6 January, 2009
Government has promulgated the ‘Private University Ordinance-2008’ with effect from 30th December 2008.
The full ordinance is available at http://www.moedu.gov.bd

‘BNP will harm more to itself than to the country if it does not participate in the election’ November 19, 2008

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The quote is from Dr. Akbar Ali Khan, an ex adviser of the past caretaker government.

The date of election remain unchanged on 18th December 2008 as the consensus couldn’t be achieved among the major political parties regarding shifting of the election date. The option of the CEC to shift the date from 18th to 28th December 2008 was not accepted. With this the ultimatum of Khaleda Zia to accept their 4 point demands is over.

AL retaliated that they are ready for election on 18th and their party is busy to select the nominations of the candidates for different constituencies. It is time to see how BNP react to the situation arises with the loss of the last hope of accepting their demands.

Khondoker Delwar Hussain, Genaral Secretary of BNP condemned the government decision to hold the election one way without taking into cognizance of the demands of BNP. He said that BNP wants to be in the election but government does not want it to be. He, however, said that BNP will seat with its alliance tomorrow and come into the decision regarding the participation in the election.

The ordinary citizen/s will be happy if BNP come to the election and participate in it with full vigour.

There are difference between 1/22 & 12/18. In 1/22 people were not ready for a general election and the situation is totally reverse now. People are ready for an election to have a leap to democracy and they are waiting how the parties behave.

It will be wise for BNP and its allies to participate in the election even though many of their demands are not fulfilled.

An ordinary citizen

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My favourite character-Dr. Akbar Ali Khan January 28, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, GOVERNANCE.
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r-akbar-ali-khan.jpgI came to know him only when he became the Adviser of the last Caretaker Government in November 2006. From his resume, we are informed that he was secretary of different important ministries including finance and cabinet.

It soon proved that he was one of the influential Adviser the last CTG. He is outspoken and impressive since then.

I am impressed when I heard that he was a freedom fighter. Probably that has given him the confidence which is visibly expressed in his deliberations.

Only few weeks after joining, he resigned from his post of adviser along with three of his colleagues on policy difference as he explained it. It would have been better if he predicted the inevitable before joining.

Though he resigned, he attained a public image by that time. He turned himself as an expert to the public eye on present political issues and in short time he became a media personality.

He almost always is a guest of honour in discussion of different forums, in round table conferences and in talk shows. The opinion expressed by him always carry weight and is given good coverage by the media. Now, he is one of the most quoted men in the press.

Because of his experience and authority, he is taken up by the present Caretaker Government and is made the chairman of the Reform Commission. The Reform Commission is formed to rectify the age old regulations that hinders the business, service and governance as a whole.

In a meeting with Chief Adviser of the CTG recently, he suggested to publish the recommendations in the website so that people and experts can participate in the process.I personally liked the idea very much but the government didn’t materialize it so far.Dr. Akbar Ali Khan recently threatened that if the government does not publish it, he will publish it by himself.

I never heard whether a Commission can publish its recommendations without permission of the government by whom it was appointed.

He cares little for his bosses. He is the boss himself.

He recently said that the tenure of CTG is only of three months according to our constitution(which may embarrass the government) which is in contradiction to the opinion of other legal experts including Dr. Kamal Hussain. He also suggested that the CTG is a non elected government; they should not stay in power for longer period and they should hand over the power to the political government as soon as possible.

Is he a left or right or in between? A man of his stature should not be judged by this simple labeling.

Is he in the government or outside? Is he for the government or against? One may feel confused.

But I still like him.


An ordinary citizen


Perception of corruption in the minds of politicians January 18, 2008

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After 1/11, when the present Caretaker Government (CTG) started arresting the politicians, most of them were from BNP, AL appreciated the move of the new government. When the CTG started arresting a few leaders of AL, AL tried to explain to the public that government is trying to balance the sheet.

BNP took the move as an attempt by the new government to crush the party.

General public was also under the illusion that the new government is more anti-BNP than anti-AL. The illusion was created more because of the speeches of the Chief of Army where he expressed his intention to declare Sk Mujibur Rahman as the Father of the Nation and set the history in its true form.

The new government continued its arrest spree and more and more AL leaders were arrested along with BNP leaders, few businessmen and some beaucrates. Government reiterated its stand that it is against all sorts of corruption by the politicians or by anybody else. As the advisers told the politicians are the leaders of the country, they are mainly responsible for the corruption prevailed in the country and they had created the environment for others to compel to adopt the corruption for them.

Government gradually increased its pressure on more powerful and son of a prime minister was arrested.

When allegation of corruption floated against the ex-prime ministers, one was heard to say that she had enough wealth from her parents and she didn’t touch any money by herself.

The political parties they belong also couldn’t accept the arrests. Acting President of AL Zillur Rahman many a times told that Hasina can’t involve in any corruption. He also told that arresting her is a conspiracy.

BNP leaders though took measures to reform the party and to make some changes in the party constitution, they also didn’t speak anything about the corruption of the party leaders. None of the factions told that there will no place of the corrupted leaders in the party. Rather strong allegations of corruption are there against the top leaders of the two factions.

Recently I had a talk with a close associate of a top party leader. He said that as there was corruption, there was flow of money. All the parties of a business deal would have been benefited from the deal. He asserted as there is no benefit now, the ADP is minimally implemented in the FY.

With the perception, politicians are above corruption and corruption is a necessity, how Bangladesh dreams of a country free of corruption in future?

An ordinary citizen

Beginning of second year: compromise or consolidation January 13, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, GOVERNANCE.
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Caretaker government falls into second year of its governance after passing through a year of ups and down.

The year started with great hope and some reforms  have been done in different sectors but failed to control price of the essentials within the reach of the common people, the inflation increased and investment decreased.

Government kept continued their drive against the corruption amid opposition from political parties and had to arrest hundreds of political leaders including two ex-prime ministers.

It had to overcome two massive floods and one devastating cyclone, in each occasion with little political support and each time with chance of failure on the side of the government.

And government also had to overcome a student unrest which arises out of the clash between the armed forces and some students in the Dhaka University where the teachers also become involved.

It had also changed its strategy to deal with two ex-prime ministers and ultimately put them behind the bar and legal procedures are gong on against them.

Government also overcome workers unrest in garment sectors through negotiations and timely intervention and the labors dissatisfaction in jute mills didn’t turn into violence.

Though the 6 JMB leaders were hanged, no untoward incident occurs in reaction and Special Forces were active against the Islamic terrorist through out the year.

But no political reform took place in the parties and continuity of reforms and continuity of campaign against corruption remain uncertain.

With an experience of one year and a little maturity, will the  government follow a policy of compromise or consolidation?

But government must be tactful in its approach to deal with different issues. One of the issues where government should be more prudent is about the university issue. The arrest of the teachers and students diverted or submerged the issue of teachers and students politics which was more important to be addressed by the caretaker government.

And Government must keep the economy it its control and not burden itself with new agendas.


An ordinary citizen



On the prediction of the causes for resignation of the advisers January 9, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, POLITICS.
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No cause was formally mentioned for resignation of the 4 advisers except ‘personal reasons’.

None of the four advisers acknowledged anything earlier as their failure or any policy difference with the government which led them to resign. Rather all of them gave this aura that they tried to the best of their capability to serve the government and the country. They were busy to the last minute with their schedule of the day.

It is in contrast to the resignation of Ayub Quadri, Adviser for Education and Cultural Affairs who himself acknowledged the blame for the theft of the artifacts at Zia Airport and resigned

Then why the resignation

So it could be predicted that they resigned not by themselves, they were asked to resign.

Why they were asked to resign

Dr. Akbar Ali Khan said that changing the advisers is a routine work of the government. He is sure that it is not due to policy difference and he thought either the advisers resigned by themselves or they were asked to resign which a government can do. He also said that he is not worried about the resignation of the advisers rather he is worried about the attainment of the objectives for which the government came to the power. He opined that a non-elected government should not stay longer than necessity and holding a fair and free election should be its objective. He insisted that this government shouldn’t be failed.

Media are pointing as the causes of their resignations to the failure on the part of the advisers to improve the situations in their respective ministries and controversies they have created by comments on different issues

As for Major General (Rt) Motiur Rahman there was no major change in the set up of the ministry of health and its different organizations and there was lack of efficiency the management of haj pilgrimages this year .

For Geeteara Safiya Choudhury, media is pointing to the decision on the closure of the jute mills. But the decision of the closure of the jute mills was a policy decision of the Caretaker Government which followed the policy of the earlier governments on the advice of the Word Bank and IMF and for which an individual adviser should be blamed. Her comment on the scarcity of the fertilizer resented the media but not enough to be the reason for her resignation. The cause may be rather her depth of efficiency in the overall management of the ministries she was responsible for.

The major failure of this government is to control the price of the essentials and to ensure food security. One shouldn’t blame the Food Adviser Tapan Choudhury only for this failure as many more factors are integrated with this state of the market. The situation is more related with the ministry of finance rather than ministry of food. But the comment Adviser Tapan Choudhury made on the price of the rice in the recent past in the backdrop of food crisis was really embarrassing for the government.

The case of Barrister Moinul Hussain is a little bit different. He was virtually the speaker of the government policy and programs to the media and to the public. One of the major achievements of this government of separating Judiciary from Executives was done under his direct supervision. He was also an outspoken proponent for the campaign against corruption; he was against the old style of politics and political leaders and for reform in the political parties. He was also rigid to try and then to consider the university teachers who were arrested in relation to the DU violence. He was strongly against the trial of the war criminals during the tenure of this government on the argument that this will overburden the government and deviate it from its main objective of holding a free and fare election. For all his stands and speeches, he was much discussed in the media and much criticized from different sections including the politicians. So, with his departure will there be any major policy change in the government?

In conclusion

The major shake up of the Advisory Council may be an attempt to face lift by the government. Any change by itself does not mean good unless it could bring positive result.

The criticism of the government will not be lessened with top party leaders in the jail and will continue until the Caretaker Government handover the power to an elected government.


An ordinary citizen


Tsunami hit at the Advisers’ Committee of Caretaker Government of Bangladesh January 8, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, POLITICS.
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Breaking news flashed the TV screens of Bangladesh in the afternoon of 8th January, 2008 : ‘Four Advisers’ Resigned.’

top.jpg Four Advisers from the Council of Advisers of the Caretaker Government(CTG) of Bangladesh have resigned on the same day and all for ‘personal reasons’.

They are Law Adviser Barrister Moinul Hussain, Energy and Food Adviser Tapan Chowdhury, Industry Adviser Geeteara Safiya Choudhury and Health Adviser Major General(Rt) Motiur Rahman.

Few days earlier, Education and Cultural affairs Adviser Ayub Quadri also resigned taking the responsibility of the theft of the artifacts from Zia airport on their way to be displayed in Guimet Museum at France.

Newslink: BDNews24.com breaking news

An ordinary citizen

Price hike of essentials: a continuous challenge for the Care Taker Government January 5, 2008

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The price of rice, the most essential food for Bangladeshi citizen , had been rising continuously in the last few days. There are reasons for the price hike but one cannot explain all by visible theories the steep rise of price only in a few days period. The reasons for the rise are the effects of 2 floods and a devastating hurricane, rise of price in the international market, the diminishing stock in the local market, sudden declaration of price rise by India from 425 US$ to 500 US$. But the most panicky impact was created by the comment made by the Food Adviser Tapan Chowdhury when he said that the government has nothing to do with the price hike. A buying spree and a frustration gripped the common men and long queue has developed in the controlled priced shops of BDR.

Government tried to correct itself. The Finance Adviser declared that there are still many options left for the government to do. The Advisers’ Committee hold special meeting and discussed means to overcome the crisis. They met with the ambassadors and representatives and appeal to the friendly countries and donor agencies to extend their support in this crisis. Some countries responded especially Thailand and WFP is also responding encouragingly. New LCs have also been open for import of rice.

Food Adviser declared OMS (Open Market Sale) to start immediately. The BDR shops for selling rice at reasonable price have been stepped up their service. Suggestion has also come to import rice and other essentials through BDR. The Chief of Army Staff has declared the price hike as a catastrophe for the country and requested all to come forward to overcome the crisis.

The political parties have taken up the issue and are blaming the government for its failure to control the price. AL is even demanding to handover the power early by bringing the date for national election 6 months earlier though it is doubtful for the voter list to be completed by that time.

But the most dramatic comment came from Akbar Ali Khan, an ex- Adviser of the immediate past Care Taker Government, ‘Government should feed 15 million people free’. The immediate past CTG miserably failed to hold a peaceful election.

The Anti-Corruption Chairman Mashud Chowdhury said that unusual price hike is a matter of corruption and they will look into the matter and find out the persons who are liable for this.

The control of price of the essentials remains a challenge for the CTG even after one year of its governance. Natural calamities, high price in the international market, continuity of reservation of the businessmen, adversity from the political parties etc make the task of the government difficult.

But as Professor Wahiduddin Mahmood said if the CTG fails to control the prices, it will be difficult for them to fulfill their other objectives.

An ordinary citizen