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Bangladesh

Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia remains obsessed with an army role in constitutional politics. One certainly understands her preoccupation with the idea of democracy, but when she insists at every given moment that the military must have a role in the determination of the nature of present and future governance, she gives citizens cause for worry. Her camp followers will of course argue, in her defence, that elections cannot be fair in the country without the soldiers being around.

 

Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani’s finest hour came in the final phase of the mass upsurge against Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan in early 1969. As the struggle for a restoration of democracy intensified in what was yet a united Pakistan, Bhashani took charge of the movement and demanded that the Agartala Conspiracy Case be withdrawn and that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman be freed without conditions. He vowed to lead a march on Dhaka cantonment, where all the accused in the case were being tried, and compel the military junta to accede to the popular demand.

 

Just this year, around 36,853 new tax-payers got themselves registered in the tax fair. Some 195,000 tax-payers paid around Tk213,000bn in income tax. Apparently, a feel-good factor comes into play on such occasions. However, have we ever wondered if our money is ending up in good hands?

 

Kudos to Mayor Annisul Huq for his move to take over the illegal part of the land of Pakistani Governor Abdul Monem Khan. In the midst of such a move, demands have come from Ghatok Dalal Normul Committee to seize all properties of war criminals and other anti-Bangladesh entities. This is perhaps a demand made late, but we can still bring it to fruition.

 
 

The attacks were set off by outrage over an image on Facebook depicting the Hindu god Siva at a Muslim holy site in the city of Mecca. On Oct. 30, hundreds of angry Muslims ransacked 15 temples and the homes of more than 100 families in a Hindu neighborhood in Nasirnagar, northeast of Dhaka. The police did not intervene. Other attacks on Hindus took place across Bangladesh.

 

The triumphant AL of the post Council 2016 era is looking worse for wear within a month as Nasirnagar and Santal “genocide”, as Sultana Kamal has called it, hits the government. One had thought that nothing could disturb its image in those heady days, but Nasirnagar alone has cost the confidence of most minority citizens and the Santal pogrom has given it a stamp of pattern. 

 

Recent revelations related to our surge in economic growth have underlined its inter-active engagement with poverty reduction. 

 

One of the most pressing items before the United States Congress in its upcoming lame-duck session, or at the onset of its new session in January will be the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which was signed in February this year by 12 countries in the Pacific Ocean Basin.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already invited President-elect Trump to visit Bangladesh to witness the “phenomenal development” that has taken place in recent years. While the new president’s schedule may be too busy for that, it at least signals the government’s desire to talk business.

 

It has now become apparent that the hard right religious groups are not the only danger to free speech in Bangladesh. The main challenge is now coming from the members of the mainstream political establishment who are sworn to defend it, yet seek to restrict it in practice.

The main challenge is now coming from the members of the mainstream political establishment who are sworn to defend it, yet seek to restrict it in practice.

 


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