Friday, April 20, 2018

Skip Navigation Links
 
link
 
link
SUPPLEMENT

Visitor Login










Is Bangladesh moving towards one-party state?

Shakhawat Hossain

The “controversial” jailing of former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and the state persecution of dissent have raised fears that the next parliamentary election could turn into a violent sham, according to a recent Al Jazeera report.
The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) boycotted last elections held in 2014, demanding poll-time government for free and fair elections. The next election is due in December 2018.
The Al Jazeera report titled “Is Bangladesh moving towards one-party state?” said that there is widespread concern, even among the common people, “over what lies ahead in an election year”.

Full Story

Shakhawat Hossain

The “controversial” jailing of former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and the state persecution of dissent have raised fears that the next parliamentary election could turn into a violent sham, according to a recent Al Jazeera report.
The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) boycotted last elections held in 2014, demanding poll-time government for free and fair elections. The next election is due in December 2018.
The Al Jazeera report titled “Is Bangladesh moving towards one-party state?” said that there is widespread concern, even among the common people, “over what lies ahead in an election year”.

Al Jazeera reported that the ruling Awami League (AL) government faces allegations of a “concerted persecution of its opponents”.
In support of its report, Al Jazeera also gave the reference to German think-tank Bertelsmann Foundation’s report that listed Bangladesh as a new autocracy.
Al Jazeera has quoted a Bangladeshi women working with a multination company in Dhaka as saying that the Awami League already suppressed all dissent to such an extent that she doesn’t think “anyone would dare to protest against them”.
Hasan Habib is the owner of a real estate company based in Dhaka. He says “the enmities between the two leading political parties” have made the voting process “a nearly impossible task”.

Enforced disappearance
Since the controversial imprisonment of Bangladesh’s opposition leader and three-time Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in February, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to reject allegations of turning into an authoritarian regime, observed Al Jazeera.
Although Bwegum Zia was granted bail by the High Court, the country’s Supreme Court stayed the bail within a week “without assigning any reason”, effectively putting the 73-year-old leader in jail till the next hearing on May 8.
The BNP alleges that over 500 of its supporters have been killed and nearly 750 “abducted” by the police and thrown in various jails since 2014. The party claims around 150 more of its missing workers have either been killed in extrajudicial encounters or have been forced to disappear.
The main opposition party says it has not yet decided on a plan of action following the Zia verdict. The party has largely resorted to non-violent protests against the crackdown on it. However, as permissions for political rallies are denied, many in the BNP are losing patience with the strategy of holding peaceful protests.
The spectre of large-scale violence now threatens to destabilise the parliamentary elections in the country scheduled to be held in December this year.
The German think-tank Bertelsmann Foundation recently released a report that said the country is now under an autocratic rule. Listing 13 countries “where the political situation has become significantly worse”, the report said in five of these countries, namely Bangladesh, Lebanon, Mozambique, Nicaragua and Uganda, “democracy has been gradually undermined for years” and that they no longer meet its minimum standards.

Scepticism over elections
In 2014, Hasina had returned to power for a second consecutive term through a controversial and bloody national election, which was boycotted by the centre-right BNP.

Police and judiciary used as tool to suppress
In her 10-year tenure as the prime minister of Bangladesh, Skeikh Hasina has been accused of using the state’s law enforcement apparatus as well as the judiciary to suppress the voice of the opposition.
Rights groups, both local and international, have reported a deteriorating human rights situation in Bangladesh in recent years.
Bangladesh rights group Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) says as many as 519 people have allegedly fallen victim to enforced disappearances since 2010 while over 300 people are still missing.
“My father has been missing since December 4,” said Shabnam Zaman, daughter of former Bangladesh ambassador to Qatar and Vietnam, Maroof Zaman, who was accused of sharing “anti-government posts” on social media and was allegedly scooped up by unidentified abductors in Dhaka in December last year.
“The police stopped their investigation when they came to know about the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of my father,” she told Al Jazeera.
On March 13 this year, Jakir Hossain, a leader of Chatra Dal, which is the BNP’s student wing, died in police custody after he was allegedly tortured by the police.
A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report last year said the Bangladesh government had secretly arrested hundreds of people, mostly activists and political figures, opposed to the Hasina government.

Complete freedom, claims government
Government denies all allegation

The Awami League government, however, dismissed the allegations. When Al Jazeera asked Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu about the political persecution as alleged by the BNP, he said the opposition party enjoys “complete freedom” in its exercise of the democratic rights.
“But that doesn’t mean the law enforcers will not check their activities which may harm the common people,” Inu said.
When reminded of the controversial 2014 national election, which the BNP had boycotted and which has renewed fears of a similar undermining of the electoral process in Bangladesh, Inu said; “The 2014 election was held as per the constitution. The BNP’s decision of boycotting it was a political decision and they now realise it was a wrong decision on their part.”
The Bangladesh minister also rejected the German think-tank report that called the AL government autocratic as “intentional” and “baseless”. He said he was eager to know what data Bertelsmann Stiftung had looked at.
“All the arms of a true democracy, including the judiciary and media, are fully independent in Bangladesh,” Inu said.
Senior Awami League leader Faruq Khan told Al Jazeera the rights groups’ accusation of human rights violation in Bangladesh is not true.
“Our government has, in fact, set up an example before the world of upholding human rights by giving refuge to a million Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar,” Khan said.

‘Dangerous sign in a democracy’
But the experts and rights activists are not buying the government’s defence. Meenakshi Ganguly, who is the South Asia Director of Human Rights Watch, says Bangladesh may have won international praise for its humanitarian response to the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya by Myanmar but the domestic human rights situation remains a cause for concern.
“The government continues to deny enforced disappearances … It must release individuals taken into custody by the security forces. Many of those disappeared are linked to the political opposition,” Ganguly told Al Jazeera.
Ganguly said Bangladeshi journalists and activists operate in a climate of fear, while many citizens have been slapped with cases for criticising the government on social media.
Ali Riaz from the Illinois State University in the United States told Al Jazeera that the current political and human rights situation in Bangladesh is “not suitable” for holding an election, let alone an “inclusive” one.
Riaz thinks if the beleaguered BNP is forced to boycott the next national election, along with other parties of the political alliance it leads, the election will be “hollow without any moral legitimacy, just like the 2014 elections”.
“Continued persecution of the opposition is not only unwise, but also counterproductive. There is a tendency among the ruling parties here to forget that,” said Riaz.
Asif Nazrul, a professor of law at Dhaka University, said that the government denies the BNP and other opposition parties permission to hold rallies and processions “on security grounds”, while it continues to hold large rallies in the run-up to the elections.
“It’s a government and a political party which believe that they are not accountable to anyone. It’s a dangerous sign in a democracy,” said Nazrul.

Bangladesh listed as new ‘autocracy’
It is noted here that a study by the Bertelsmann Foundation had earlier found that Bangladesh is currently an autocracy. The ruling party rejected the findings, although experts say one-party rule and political instability are major issues.
The BBC report quoted German firm Bertelsmann Stiftung as saying that 58 countries in 129 countries are now under dictatorship and 71 countries have been described as democratic.
Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation published its “Transformation Index 2018 (BTI)” on March 22, 2018 and 58 out of 129 developing nations have been rated as autocracies. Bangladesh, Lebanon, Mozambique, Nicaragua and Uganda are considered by Bertelsmann to be “new” autocracies.
“Due to the worsened quality of elections, the formerly fifth largest democracy is classified as an autocracy again,” the report said about Bangladesh.
“These developments are worrying for citizens because corruption, social exclusion and barriers to fair economic competition continue to be more prevalent in autocracies.”

World communities sees autocracy
The BTI has measured quality of democracy, market economy and governance in 129 developing and transformation countries since 2006.
According to the study, democracy has been undermined in these five countries for years, and it is often the shortcomings in the quality of elections that tipped the balance.
“These five new autocracies have crossed a threshold that the defective democracies of Honduras, Hungary, Moldova, Niger, the Philippines and Turkey are nearing, though to varying degrees,” the report said.
The study was conducted on 129 countries. The assessment period was from February 1, 2015 to January 31, 2017.
Based in Gütersloh, Germany, Bertelsmann Stiftung is an independent foundation under private law. It was founded in 1977 by Reinhard Mohn.
The average quality of worldwide democracy, governance and market economy fell to its lowest level in 21 years with much of the decline happening in free societies, it said.
The report categories 58 countries as autocracies while 71 as democracies. The last survey painted a better picture with 55 autocracies and 74 democracies.
In the democracy index, Bangladesh along with Russia ranked 80, out of the 129 countries reviewed.
“Only Burkina Faso and Sri Lanka were making significant progress towards democracy,” says the report.
In South Asia, the position of Pakistan is lower than Bangladesh. Pakistan ranks 98. “It is not so much the slight increase in the number of autocracies that is worrying. More problematic is the fact that civil rights are being curtailed and the rule of law undermined in an increasing number of democracies as well,” the report noted.
Commenting on the findings, CEO Aart De Geus of the institution said, “Many rulers try to cement their claim to leadership through repressive measures. However, in the long run, ruling by coercion and not by dialog always leads to a dead end.”
The research group that has been regularly conducting survey since 2006 excluded from its study mature democracies of North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and elsewhere.
Only Burkina Faso and Sri Lanka were making significant progress towards democracy during the period under review. By contrast, there are a total of 13 countries, including Mozambique, Turkey and Yemen, where the political situation has become significantly worse. Five of these 13 countries no longer meet minimum standards for democracy: Bangladesh, Lebanon, Mozambique, Nicaragua and Uganda, where democracy has been gradually undermined for years, are under autocratic rule. It was often shortcomings in the quality of elections that tipped the balance,” reads the report.

Bangladesh government rejects findings
Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League Party has rejected the study as baseless. However, the main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), claimed that the report reflects the true nature of Bangladesh’s current political climate.
Regarding this report, an adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, HT Imam said that the study is motivated and baseless.
When questioning him about the report, HT Imam said where did they get the information of the report based on the survey? If the report is based on the information taken since 2015, then the incident happened in Bangladesh.
HT Imam said that anyone who works in democracy or election in Bangladesh has never heard of any such study from anyone.
In the context of the question that has been asked in the report that Bangladesh is not being protected from the minimum standards of democracy, HT Imam said, what criteria should we learn from the Germans? Hitler‘s country?
HT Imam claimed that the parliamentary election of 2014 has been accepted by all the countries in the world.
He said that the election was done properly, everyone took part. If this study is done after the election, then it should be understood that there are other reasons behind it.
Responding to the question about the freedom of citizen rights and freedom of expression in Bangladesh, HT Imam said there are more than three hundred daily newspapers published from Dhaka and the government does not interfere with the freedom of speech.
Abdul Matin Khasru, a prominent Awami League member, told local media in response to the BTI that the country is a “100 percent democratic country” and there’s “no option to question its standards.”
“Maybe the Germany-based think tank collected information from wrong sources who had no connection to Bangladesh or from anti-Bangladesh and anti-Awami League people,” he reportedly said.
Robert Schwarz, a project manager for the BTI at the Bertelsmann Foundation, however, recommended that Bangladeshi politicians read the report before commenting on its findings.
“The authors of the Bangladesh Report highlighted that both the government and the opposition have contributed to the incremental deteriorations in some democracy indicators,” he told DW.
Schwarz added that the report highlights positive developments in the economic realm in terms of economic output, macroeconomic stability, market-based competition and private enterprise. It also includes negative developments in the political realm such as free and fair elections, the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary.

Less Democracy, More Development
“Kom Gonotontra, Besi Unnayan” – Less Democracy, More Development – is the new motto of the Bangladesh Awami League, Bangladesh’s ruling party. Led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the party has decided to embrace the path of “soft dictatorship”.
Across the country, the party’s workers are rigorously touting the benefits of the new motto, an attempt which appears to be working with the general public.
The common citizen prefers to worry about bettering their standard of living rather than their freedom of speech, expression, or other fundamentals of democracy, which are usually taken for granted unless their absence begins to make life unpleasant.

Desire for a life-long power
The ruling party’s new propaganda is not something that it recently discovered, but a carefully-drafted strategy since the party came to power in 2009– after the rule of a military-led caretaker government.
The first step towards establishing a “soft dictatorship” was taken in 2011. Sheikh Hasina made amendments to the Constitution and abolished the caretaker government system.
General Irshad took control of the country’s government from 1982-90 when he removed the democratically-elected president, suspended the constitution, and declared martial law.
Hasina has tightened the noose around Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) to remove the most significant hurdle to her goal of holding office as long as she lives. The former Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition party, Khaleda Zia, has already been prosecuted in multiple cases related to graft and abuse of authority during her tenure from 2001-2006. Already convicted, Begum Zia is now in jail for over 5 years and likely to be barred from contesting the next general elections in 2018.
Zia, former Prime Minister of Bangladesh, is among the four accused of embezzling funds in the case filed by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in 2010.
She has also recently been prosecuted in connection with instigating a deadly petrol bomb attack on a bus last year during an anti-government protest.
Zia’s elder son and the Vice Chairman of BNP, Tariq Rahman, has been living in forced exile in London since 2008. He has also been charged in multiple cases related to corruption and money-laundering. Her younger son, Arafat Rahman Koko, who was also convicted in a money-laundering case, died of a cardiac arrest in Malaysia in 2015. Other local leaders of BNP have also been convicted in various cases or have been assassinated.
Sheikh Hasina seems to be following in her predecessors’ unfortunate footsteps. Whether her new ‘policy’ brings about development remains to be seen, but this much is clear: the path she has chosen is detrimental to democracy and Bangladesh may soon be led by a dictator.

Progress made, but concern remains
The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has expressed concern about repeated reports of shrinking space for human rights defenders, including journalists, trade union activists, civil society activists, and for dissenting voices in general.
It voiced concern about overbroad restrictions on the activities of rights defenders imposed by certain provisions in legislation or proposed legislation of Bangladesh, including the draft Digital Security Act 2018.
The Geneva-based committee recommended ensuring a safe and favourable environment for rights defenders, reviewing the legislation, particularly Section 57 of the ICT Act and similar provisions in the draft Act and repealing the Special Powers Act, 1974.
It, however, lauded Bangladesh for achieving progress in poverty reduction, gender equality as well as attaining qualification for graduation from LDC to a developing country.
The committee on April 3 published its findings on the civil and political rights records of Mexico, Niger, Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Spain and New Zealand.
The UN body expressed worries about the pervasiveness of corruption and its devastating impact on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, particularly by disadvantaged and marginalised individuals and groups.
It also recommended improving public governance and ensuring transparency in the conduct of public affairs by making sure that anti-corruption legislation is strictly enforced and that all those involved in corruption, particularly high-level officials and politicians, are prosecuted without exception and also by enhancing independence and efficacy of the Anti-Corruption Commission.
The committee said it was concerned about the absence of explicit constitutional and legislative recognition of the rights of “tribes”, “minor races”, “ethnic sects and communities”.

Corruption still a big concern
The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UNCESCR) has also expressed its concern over the pervasiveness of corruption and its devastating impact on the disadvantaged and marginalised people in Bangladesh.
It also expressed concern over “widespread clientelism”, which manipulates allocation of public fund and services, and the Anti-Corruption Commission’s “inefficiency” in combating graft.
At a press conference, Human Rights Forum Bangladesh (HRFB), a platform of 20 rights and development organisations, on April 5, 2018 highlighted a set of concerns and recommendations adopted by the UN body during its 63rd session in Geneva on March 12-29. The forum members include Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), Nagorik Uddyog, Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) and Steps Towards Development (Steps).
The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UNCESCR) has expressed concern over the pervasiveness of corruption and its devastating impact on the disadvantaged and marginalised people in Bangladesh.
It also expressed apprehension over “widespread clientelism”, which manipulates allocation of public fund and services, and the Anti-Corruption Commission’s “inefficiency” in combating graft.
Bangladesh became signatory to the 1966 covenant in 1998. The government submitted the initial report in June last year. In the UN committee session, a 24-member multi-ministerial delegation, headed by State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, represented the government. An HRFB delegation attended the session, and submitted a “shadow” report.
UNCESCR recommended that Bangladesh take concrete steps to improve public governance and ensure transparency in the conduct of public affairs, she said.
It also recommended that the anti-corruption legislation is enforced strictly and all, including high-level officials and politicians, involved in graft are prosecuted without exception.
It further recommended that ACC become more independent and efficient. The UN body suggested that Bangladesh should fully incorporate the Covenant rights into its domestic legal order with a constitutional rank equal to that of civil and political rights, and that these rights are applied by the local courts at all levels.
Expressing concern over the accreditation of National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh with a “B-status” by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, UNCESCR called for strengthening the commission’s independence by allocating adequate funds.
It also expressed concern over repeated reports of shrinking space for human rights defenders, including journalists, trade union activists and civil society activists, and dissenting voices generally.
The UNCESCR recommended that the authorities ensure safe and favourable environment for human rights defenders and hold close consultation with them with a view to removing restrictive provisions, including Section 57 of the Information Communication and Technology Act and similar provisions in the draft Digital Security Act, 2018.
In fact, with the help of opposition free parliament the ruling Awami League (AL) is anchoring Bangladesh towards the one party dictatorship.
Prior to the 2014 sham parliamentary elections, all the opinion polls indicated that the incumbent AL would lose to the BNP in a direct contest. Anticipating the defeat in the elections, ruling Awami League party led by the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina amended the constitution to abolish the law to hand over power to a non-partisan interim government or a caretaker government to conduct the free and fair election. Thus, unchallenged national election had already turned world’s third most populous Muslim nation into a repressive, de facto one-party state.
Holding free and fair, multi-party election is the basic tenet of a parliamentary democracy, the last parliamentary election was neither free nor fair, and off-course not the multi party. It seems that Shiekh Hasina government is determined to continue to shut all the channels for democratic participation in the country. She appears pretty determined to carry on with the same anti-democratic autocratic approach in the scheduled parliamentary election to be held in 2019. Hence, she is hell bent for a long haul for one party dictatorship in Bangladesh.
It is quite obvious that Sheikh Hasina government has proved her governance as most intolerant in the history of Bangladesh. By usurping the rights and freedom of Bangladeshi people; she wants to reinforce one person dictatorship in Bangladesh rather than one party rule. She has made her party subservient to her whims and wishes as she did with the police, judiciary and other state organs. Such situation only leads to mass uprising which is presently contained with her suppression policy but that certainly cannot be contained for long.


Login to post comments


(0)



QUOTA REFORM
Movement suspended as student leaders wait for further action

Faruque Ahmed

Quota reform movement in government jobs launched by young graduates and university students remained temporarily suspended but not resolved. Meanwhile it has come under the line of fire from the government leaders and various quota beneficiary groups blaming it as an agitation fueled by ‘children of Razakars and Jamaat Shibir men’ aimed at challenging the spirit of the liberation war.
The movement launched by common students and job seekers to protect their right to government job appears to have taken a dangerous turn to further politically divide and add to chaos to an already divided nation.

Full Story

Faruque Ahmed

Quota reform movement in government jobs launched by young graduates and university students remained temporarily suspended but not resolved. Meanwhile it has come under the line of fire from the government leaders and various quota beneficiary groups blaming it as an agitation fueled by ‘children of Razakars and Jamaat Shibir men’ aimed at challenging the spirit of the liberation war.
The movement launched by common students and job seekers to protect their right to government job appears to have taken a dangerous turn to further politically divide and add to chaos to an already divided nation.

It appears the Prime Minister’s announcement in Jatiya Sangsad on April 14 that there will be no more quota in government job has temporarily clam the situation as student leaders have suspended the agitation waiting for gazette notification  While the Prime Minister is away from the country the delay in the notification is creating misgivings.
Student leaders on Wednesday issued a fresh ultimatum on the government for five days to release their arrested colleagues in police action in the campus on April 10 night and now charged for attack on the VC’s residence. They said they will give call to boycott classes and examinations in all public universities and government colleges if their demand is not met by this time.
What is noticeable is that students wanted reform of the quota system — not entirely scrapping it — but the Prime Minister’s announcement that she will abolish the entire quota system has evidently further complicated the situation. 
The blindfolding of three student leaders by plain clothes police last week as they were picked up from in front of Dhaka Medical College Hospital and took to DB headquarters in the city meanwhile came as a big shock and also threat to safety of the leaders of the quota movement.
They were released after a short time but the message was clear as they claim they are  receiving threats from many quarters. Police said they had picked them to take their help to see some video footages to identify some people who had attacked the VC’s residence.
They were not harassed but victims said they were bundled in the police vehicle in an abduction drama, blindfolded and were forced to put helmet on their head. Police however said it is case of misunderstanding.  
Police last week picked up the father of one of the student leaders to local police station in Jhenaidah to verify his political link. It occurred following a report in a national daily that his family had Jamaat link. But it didn’t work.   
Observers fear the politicization of a common cause has perhaps become a strategy of some government leaders to put resistance to the movement to kill it. There is no doubt this is a big challenge to the political system the government has developed to continue in power. It also poses to add big risk to the ruling party in this election year.  
After agriculture minister Matiya Chowdhury’s condemnation of the movement as the work of the children of Razakars; Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan last week similarly made it clear that ‘anti-liberation forces and children of war criminals’ have launched the movement to create chaos. He said such people have no right to job in the government services.
He led a procession and held a rally last week in front of Jatiya Press Club under the banner of National Ferry Terminal Workers’ League in his capacity as president of Bangladesh road transport workers federation.
He also rejected the demand for recruitment in government service based on academic merit saying, “the first merit must be the spirit of liberation war to be eligible for government job.”
Muktijhudhya  Santan Command and several other groups linked to the ruling party also held a rally last week Shahbagh point and in front of Press Cub in the city asking the government not to give jobs to anti-liberation forces demanding their removal from service and forfeiting their assets. “They have no place in this country,’’ speakers said.
Students on the other hand said 3 percent of people can’t take 56 percent reserved seat in the government service narrowing the space for competitive entry for general students in the government service. The system must change. 
The fact is that the government is dubbing the common students as the children of Razakars although the elders of hundreds and thousands of students were also freedom fighters and many of them have even shed their life in the war. The government leaders say Jamaat-BNP have infiltrated the movement, but the reality is that it is free from any political agenda except to secure opening of bigger access to the government job.  
Thousands of students of Bangladesh Chatra League (BCL) – the student wing of the ruling party Bangladesh Awami League —  are also equally taking part in the movement.  Their leaders in all educational institutions and all over the country, except few are also taking part in it.
Many believe blaming such movement as the work of anti-liberation forces may further isolate the government from the greater students’ community.  Women are also protected by quota system, but female students in thousands joined the movement saying quota is also harming their cause as the selection is misused in most cases to give favor to a political choice.
The government recent announcement that children of the quota beneficiaries will continue to enjoy it over the next generation was not a good news to common people agitating to bring change to it. .
Shajahan Khan has announced the holding of a mass rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on April 30, besides a month-long countrywide programme from district and upazila level including a gathering of freedom fighters on April 22 in the capital and a national convention on May 5.
t appears that the government is prepared to break the movement at any cost and one has to keep watch how the students are going to calibrate their movement over the next few weeks. The major factor is how the government is going to implement the Prime Minister’s pledge.
Earlier reports said the government used some BCL cadres to break the agitation. They attacked the general students taking side with police to disperse their gathering at Shahbagh intersection and from other places in the campus. It remains to be seen how leaders of  the ruling party backed student body would react in case the agitation flares up again.


Login to post comments


(1)

Comments: Right from creation of Bangladesh we used to hear about district quota instead of merit quota. Merit and merit alone should be the first and foremost criterion for selecting a candidate. This so called district quota used to sound so funny and unheard of. That itself used to express the quality of our leadership. This has divided the otherwise a united nation. That was the starting point. A good Government must create jobs and eradicate unemployment. We see total mismanagement and dirty politicisation. A large number of Govt employees have been declared osd and replaced by politically inclined employees to ensure loyalty. Then retired employees are on extension on political consideration. Its a waste of national wealth. Then again a good number of serving employees are deputed to civil jobs thereby restricting the number of jobs. Where as basic policy should be one person one job only at a time. needless to mention so many other unwanted consequences.Then in service first and foremost criterion should be seniority cum fitness But in our system it is of no consideration . Only the choice and whims of a powerful individual is final and is the last word. This is detrimental for A young rising nation. Unlike India minority should get jobs as per their percentage of populations. This looks so complicated .ALLAH knows the best
Commented by : Bashar, Surrey U.K.



Rape situation in India: A national emergency

Special Correspondent

A Nobel laureate, and a children’s rights activist, Kailash Satyarthi, has called the rape situation, “a national emergency.”
As India seethes in pain and anger over the rape and murder of 8-year-old Muslim girl Asifa Bano from Kathua, news of another 8-year-old girl being raped in the country’s northern state, Uttar Pradesh, has surfaced.
The girl was attending a wedding with her family in the Etah district where her body was found limp next to an 18-year-old unconscious drunk man, who was arrested onsite.

Full Story

Special Correspondent

A Nobel laureate, and a children’s rights activist, Kailash Satyarthi, has called the rape situation, “a national emergency.”
As India seethes in pain and anger over the rape and murder of 8-year-old Muslim girl Asifa Bano from Kathua, news of another 8-year-old girl being raped in the country’s northern state, Uttar Pradesh, has surfaced.
The girl was attending a wedding with her family in the Etah district where her body was found limp next to an 18-year-old unconscious drunk man, who was arrested onsite.

“The girl is about eight-nine years old. She was raped and also she was strangled to death. The accused was nearby, he has been arrested,” police officer Akhilesh Chaurasia said, NDTV reported.
Members of her family said that while they were busy the teen took her to a nearby half-built home, where he reportedly raped her.
“He took her inside and raped her and then murdered her. At 1:30 am, some function was on. He took the opportunity to drag her some distance away and rape her,” said the child’s father, according to NDTV.
Earlier this month, an 11-year-old girl in Surat was raped and murdered by strangling and her body was dumped. The police report said she had 86 injuries and was also brutalized with blunt objects. The post-mortem report suggested some wooden object was used to cause the injuries.
“Going by the nature of the injuries, they seem to be caused in the period ranging from one week to one day prior to the recovery of the body, suggesting that the girl might have been held captive, tortured and possibly raped,” the Press Trust of India, quoted the doctor involved in the case as saying.
The latest child rape news comes as Asifa Bano’s case has sparked nationwide protests, where thousands of people have taken to the streets to denounce the heinous act, demanding the government take action and bring the culprits to justice.
Bano was abducted and brutally gang-raped for three consecutive days by two to three men from the dominant Hindu sect, in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, in January.
Commenting on the cases Tuesday Nobel laureate and children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi called the rape situation “a national emergency”, with nearly 100,000 such cases pending in the courts.
“Each time a daughter is raped and killed, India’s soul is raped and killed,” Satyarthi said during a release of a report which outlines how long it would take the courts to process cases of sexual abuse against children.
According to government figures, nearly 18,862 child rape cases were registered in 2016, meaning over 50 each day. This amounted to nearly half of the total 40,000 cases of rape reported that year, up from 25,000 in 2012.


Login to post comments


(1)

Comments: The tragedy is this that a strong group of educated Hindu lawyers aND OTHER ACTIVISTS OF bjp WERE BLOCKING THE PROCESS OF LAW TO STOP POLICE FROM INVESTIGATION CHARGEHEETING OF THE CRIMINALS BECAUSE THE VICTIM WAS A POOR MUSLIM CHILD.BAH WHAT A GREAT DEMOCRATIC INDIA. EVEN AFTER 71 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE THEY COULD NOT BECOME CIVILISED AND REMAINED HARD CORE COMMUNAL. OUR AWAMI POLITICIANS SHOULD DRAW THEIR LESSON AND FREE BANGLADESH FROM THEIR UNDUE INFLUENCE.
Commented by : Bashar , SURREY U.K.



TRUMP: “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!” —REALLY?

Mumtaz Iqbal

Tactical bravado within a strategic vacuum generates lopsided rhetoric. This is manifest in Trump’s tweet on Saturday 12 April morning, following 105 missiles launched by US, UK and France against Syria’s chemical production facilities in Damascus and Homs on the night of Friday 11 April Washington time. The words in the tweet indicate Trump’s fondness for the ocular over the cerebral, trite over substance.

The tweet started out with a self-laudatory “perfectly executed strike.” Big deal! Firing missiles safely from distant warships and warplanes outside Syrian airspace against a near-defenceless adversary incapable of retaliation symbolises the contemporary western way of war following the post-Cold War revolution in military affairs.

Full Story

Mumtaz Iqbal

Tactical bravado within a strategic vacuum generates lopsided rhetoric. This is manifest in Trump’s tweet on Saturday 12 April morning, following 105 missiles launched by US, UK and France against Syria’s chemical production facilities in Damascus and Homs on the night of Friday 11 April Washington time. The words in the tweet indicate Trump’s fondness for the ocular over the cerebral, trite over substance.

The tweet started out with a self-laudatory “perfectly executed strike.” Big deal! Firing missiles safely from distant warships and warplanes outside Syrian airspace against a near-defenceless adversary incapable of retaliation symbolises the contemporary western way of war following the post-Cold War revolution in military affairs.

This calls for massive use of technology—basically, air power and precision guided munitions—over boots on the ground to avoid casualties. Vietnam wedded the US public and Pentagon to this doctrine that maximises Washington’s comparative advantage.
Trump then waxed enthusiastic about UK and France’s roles, praising them “for their wisdom and the power of their fine military.” Would these western allies behave similarly against a more robust foe?  Ukraine and N. Korea suggest not.  NATO has shown a penchant for fighting weaklings: Serbia, Afghanistan and Libya. In Georgia, it behaved with realism, acting the paper tiger before the Russian bear.
Trump indulged in further self-congratulation, proclaiming the missile launches “could not have had a better result.” His objective in attacking Syria’s chemical facilities was to punish Assad for allegedly using chlorine and sarin against civilians at the Damascus suburb of Douma on Saturday 7 April 2018, resulting in 70 deaths (WHO estimate). Distressing pictures were shown of children and adults being treated but the swiftness of their coverage in western capitals and media raises questions about their origins and authenticity. The allies attack destroyed buildings and warehouses, but apparently caused no civilian casualties. To that extent, therefore, Trump’s assertion is not without merit in a technical sense. The world is probably astonished at but grateful for the allies’ “moderation.”
The western governments especially France asserted, based on unreleased evidence they claimed to possess, that the Assad regime conducted the toxic attack. Why would Assad do this? With Russian and Iranian help, Damascus has steadily gained ground using conventional weapons against the rebels. Those in Douma were on the run from March 2018. How would Assad benefit from using gas, knowing that this would invite external especially western condemnation? It would have been judicious had the three allies awaited the findings of the intergovernmental global chemical warfare watchdog group, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. They didn’t.
But like Alice in Wonderland, things got “curiouser and curiouser.” On 15 April, France proposed a UN investigation into the Douma gas attack. One would have expected such a proposal before, not after, the bombing. Descartes must be wondering at Quai d’Orsay’s logic!
The western allies hasty attack can be attributed partly to Trump’s retaliatory tweet on 11 April that taunted Moscow: “Get ready Russia, because they (missiles) will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!” To save face, Trump had to attack. And London—Washington’s most allied ally—and Paris—recalling the imperial ghost of its interwar Syria mandate—joined hands, ostensibly willingly, but not necessarily eagerly, a dichotomy that time will probably reveal. All three powers waxed eloquent about Damascus’s illegality. And yet they are silent on the ongoing Yemen carnage. The Arab League’s ambivalence and OIC’s silence shows their irrelevance. Poor Ummah. The continuing Mid-East instability enhances Israel’s hegemonic ambitions and interests underwritten by Washington. Saddam and Gaddafi’s destruction followed this plan. Iran’s humbling will climax this endeavour. Trump’s content with mayhem in Muslim lands, a policy likely to be exacerbated with ultra-hawk Bolton (pre-emptive war advocate) and Pompeo (anti-Muslim hard-liner). For all the rhetoric on Syrian peoples’ suffering, the US has let in only 11 Syrian refugees in 2018 so far. Leading from behind and by cruel denial?
Trump concluded his tweet with the stirring words “Mission Accomplished.” This was the theme of George Bush’s televised address on 1 May 2003 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln regarding the illegal Iraq invasion that, contrary to his hubristic assertion, lasted till 2011, when the GIs left Iraq. It’s difficult to understand what Trump means by these two words since he has not explained his mission, except to give his military some target practice. Trump’s foray into missile militancy reflects the edifice and scaffolding of his presidency: it lacks a blueprint and is impetuous. His spontaneous and bellicose anti-intellectualism, however, resonates with his white tribal base, some of whom may experience buyers’ remorse but have nowhere to go.
Trump’s attack evidently was an attempt to distract from his mounting domestic problems (Muller and Cohen). Pursuing this distraction strategy could see him turn his attention to Iran after pulling out the 2,000 US special forces from northern Syria; this would provide one less target for Tehran. Trump can’t contemplate a similar withdrawal in S. Korea but may reduce US troops in Seoul in return for a calibrated nuclear freeze by Pyongyang. If so, this may represent both movement and progress of sorts in the frozen peninsula. A clearer picture will emerge after Trump’s May meeting with Kim.


Login to post comments


(0)



METROPOLITAN
EDITORIAL
COMMENTS
INTERNATIONAL
BUSINESS
INFOTECH
CULTURE
MISCELLANY
AVIATOUR
LETTERS
LAST WORD
FOUNDING EDITOR: ENAYETULLAH KHAN; EDITOR: SAYED KAMALUDDIN
Contents Copyrighted © by Holiday Publication Limited
Mailing address 30, Tejgaon Industrial Area, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh.
Phone 880-2-8170462, 8170463, 8170464 Fax 880-2-9127927 Email holiday@bangla.net
Site Managed By: Southtech Limited
Southtech Limited does not take any responsibility for any news content of this site