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Bangladesh

We have termed the Padma bridge project the ‘dream of the nation’. Our longest bridge, expected to stretch 6.15km long, would connect the south-western parts of the country with Dhaka and save hundreds of thousands of working hours and transport costs. Apart from offering such facilities, the Padma bridge is also expected to change our south-western region’s economic landscape to boost the national economy.

 

The former military dictator Ershad has dared the ruling Awami League the opposition BNP together to prove their popularity in a presidential election. Since such an election is against the spirit of constitution, he has even suggested that such an election might take place under an amended constitution.

 

The silver lining surrounding the reciprocal call for dialogue between the ruling Awami League and main opposition BNP appears to be fading out with BNP sticking to their gun.

 

The country is passing through a delicate stage of identity. On the one hand we have a group that believes firmly in the principles on which the country was founded. On the other we have a group that wants to reestablish an ideology that led to a failed nation. 

 

One piece of news about Rana Plaza tragedy did not find proper place in the media coverage. The media was busy covering the deaths and other aspects of the horrendous tragedy and did not highlight the fact that the BRAC Bank that was located at Rana Plaza had asked its employees to stay home because of the dangerous crack in the nine-storey building. What BRAC did would be normal and rational for any business establishment anywhere in the world because of the value of human lives and to do the contrary would be blatantly criminal. The five owners of RMG factories in Rana Plaza instead forced their workers to their workplaces and thus to their deaths. The government and the opposition that does not agree on anything were in agreement here on a core issue. The Minister of Information called the Savar tragedy, a case of murder. So did the opposition Leader Maudud Ahmed.

 

Bangladesh is no stranger to disasters, both natural and man-made. Still, this is one of the saddest chapters since we won our independence in 1971, precisely because the tragedy could easily have been prevented.

 

The Savar tragedy is another sad episode in the chapter of our garment factory disasters, which has once again sent a loud and clear message to the world that Bangladesh is not a country of chaos and corruption only, but also of man-induced tragedies.

 

Violence and vandalism in the name of politics continue to increase, tears and blood are shed, sufferings of people continue. Leaders have to open a dialogue and mutual understanding that will contribute to the reconstruction of a mindset so vitally needed for an authentic road map for Bangladesh's journey towards a better future.

 

The trial of war criminals was a long-pending issue in Bangladesh after it won its liberation war from Pakistan in 1971. This issue re-emerged on the eve of December 2008 elections when it was prominently raised by the civil society, especially the freedom fighters of Bangladesh. Seeing popular sentiment in favour of trial of war criminals, one of the main political parties in Bangladesh, the Awami League, adopted the issue on its own agenda.

 

The acting President Abdul Hamid is all set to become the 20th President of Bangladesh as no other candidate has submitted nomination papers to join the presidential race. He has filed nomination paper for the April 29 presidential polls on Sunday, the last day for filing nomination paper with the Election Commission (EC). This means he would be declared elected uncontested to the presidency by the EC on April 24 following the scrutiny of his nomination paper and when the deadline for withdrawal of candidature expires.

 
 


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