April 2007


Storm 1991 victim

I was a student of Chittagong medical College, when the cyclone of April 29 hit coastal Chittagong. It was drizzles all day, winds were gaining momentum as night fell on Chittagong. When I came out of the library building around 9 PM, the winds were quite strong, campus was deserted, and hospital lobby was empty. I had to stay over in the hospital that night because the road connecting the hospital and the student’s dorm on the other side of the hill was too unsafe for walking in that storm. Falling trees, flying debris were everywhere. As night progressed, storm got fierce and fiercer, as if the immense 6 story quarter mile long building will fall apart. As I took shelter in a bed at the sick student’s ward, it was a scary sleepless night. We, half a dozen stranded souls, kept waiting for the morning only to see utter devastation of the medical college campus. The beautiful hilly tree lined campus was in ruins, 50% of all the large trees were uprooted, and power lines were all over. The hospital, the highest tertiary healthcare-trauma center for all of southern Bangladesh was totally ineffective as the fallen trees completely blocked all the roads including that to the emergency.

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Amazing things are happening. Compared to even one week ago, the changes are quite dramatic.
1. Politicians are talking quite loudly. Neither the ban on indoor politics has been removed nor has SOE been lifted. Surprisingly, these same politicians were stone quite even when there was a dire need for them to speak out. At that time they cited the ban on indoor politics as reason of their silence.
2. Media has opened up. There was no one to participate in Tritiyo Matra last week. Tritiyo matra started taking single interview of unknown persons. At one point they had to do a program with Singer Shuvro Dev and ex cricketer Raqibul Hassan debating. Suddenly politicians are returning and talking evil of current government. No more SMS about Sheikh Hasina statements. Hasina-Khaleda’s pictures have re-occupied the leading first page spot where CinC’s picture has moved downwards.
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The plan A against the two hated/beloved political leaders of the country has apparently failed. This failure has not only derailed the efforts of CTG and their backers to redesign Bangladesh politics, it has exposed the lack of coordination, lack of planning, chaos and restlessness within the government.
This failure could be a lesson to learn from.
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But I doubt the backers of the CTG will take lesson from the failure of plan A and I feel they will now try heavy-handedly to impose plan B.

I suspect that the plan B of this powerful quarter to get the country rid of these two major political party leaders will be to implicate them with corruption/violence and blackmail them into jail sentence or worse. And news items in today’s newspapers like this one reporting inquiry of these leaders’s bank account suggest that the steps towards plan B have already started.

While Plan A was conceived on Pakistan-Musharraf-Benazir-Nawaz model, Plan B will be totally based on a domestic model. The model in this case will be our good old H M Ershad. I feel per this plan B, the two leaders will be subjected to a litany of corruption cases similar to what Ershad endured. And the plan B authors also believe that as Ershad was controlled with the stick called jail for long fifteen years, these two leaders also could be managed with the similar jail fear.

However, a very publicized and failed plan A has weakened the prospects of a plan B. Specifically its credibility will be questioned from the start. Now any corruption case against these two will be taken with a grain of salt by all parties concerned (This same thing could have been extremely popular one week earlier). There will be more international scrutiny and invigorated domestic resistance to prosecuting these two leaders.

The irony is that if the plan B was attempted immediately post 1/11 and not after a failed Plan A, the chances of prosecuting and crippling the political prowess of these two leaders would have been much easier. And a big portion of the general population in Bangladesh would have supported this plan B, but now they would rather be a cautious observer while there will be another large chunk of population who will dare oppose this publicly.

For more on these two leaders, especially why they are unfairly and wrongly treated as dynastic despots please read this post.

While the nation is watching the drama surrounding the efforts of the current military backed government to oust the two major political leaders off the country, let us dive into the past to review how did these “Two” became what they are now.

KHaleda_Hasina

After the killing of Bangabandhu sheikh Mujibur Rahman, his extended family and 4 other senior leaders of the party, the then ruling Baksal party’s main component Awami League became leader and radar less. A big portion of the surviving leadership immediately switched allegiance. Within the next few years, several leaders tried to revive the party. Notable among them was late Abdul Malek Ukil, Late Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury and Mr. Abdur Razzak. But during those days, the rebuilding process of AL was seriously hampered by the feud between these three leaders as AL quickly broke into two groups led by Mizan and Malek. And in Malek AL, there was serious feud between Malek And Razzak. At this point, another person, returning from Europe, joined the foray. He is Dr Kamal Hossain. His efforts to take over the leadership of AL faced heavy resistance from feuding Malek Ukil, Razzak and Tofael Ahmeds. At this juncture when the party was about to face another split during the party council of 1980, Dr Kamal Hossain placed the ultimate trump card. He put forward exiled daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Hasina’s name as the party president. Until that point Sheikh Hasina was not aware of any of these developments. Although in the long run Dr Kamal Hossain’s plan to run AL via Sheikh Hasina didn’t work, it was probably the most crucial move in revival of Awami League. Sheikh Hasina, slowly and steadily united party, re-mobilized the party base and brought the party back to power.

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It is not the fashion of this time to talk about Hasina or Khaleda. Let me be a little unfashionable and again talk about Hasina- Khaleda.

Sheikh Hasina has been denied entry into Bangladesh. Governmnet took all possible measure to keep her out of Bangladesh borders. As Rezwan reports, ” Two BAF F-7BG AC will escort out the aircraft from the BD airspace to further south towards the Bay of Bengal. ”

And after doing all these, on the same day, this same Good Government has issued arrest warrant against Sheikh Hasina showing her as a fugitive.

Is governance a joke? Is our current CTG making fun with the nation?

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Latest Update on the drama

It is being reported that ex Prime minister Khaleda Zia has already been or in the process of being deported out of the country with her family members. If it is a rumor only, my apology and this post will be taken off. And we all know the drama that is taking place with other leader Sheikh Hasina in London, UK.

There is absolutely no doubt in anybody’s mind that the exile of Khaleda Zia is mere blackmailing a mother using the safety of her sons.

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Thank You Mr. Mannan Bhuiyan for assuring the nation of your ability to talk. A nation and me, being a member of the nation, were worried about your physical and mental health in terms of your ability to speak.

Why should not we be worried about?

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Maj General Retd. M A Matin is a person of versatile quality.

He and his close ally Maj Gen Subid Ali Bhuiyan were instrumental in thwarting the coup attempt of Gen Nasim in 1996. Gen Matin wrote a huge size book about his role on that failed coup. And at his request, Professor Moniruzzaman Mian ( A former VC of Dhaka university) wrote the preface of his book. Definitely General Matin held Prof Mian in high esteem at that time.

However recently, in a changed environment General Matin’s respect for Prof Mian has apparently vanquished. Otherwise why he, a sitting advisor/minister would publicly call Prof Mian, a minister ranked anti corruption commissioner, a clown?

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Sayed Eskander is Khaleda Zia’s brother. During the 80s, Mr Eskander, along with his family used to live with Khaleda Zia in her Moinul road house. An extention was built in Moinul road residence to accomodate this brother, who after a failed business deal could not afford to feed his family and children.

Time has changed since then. Sayed Eskander is now a business tycoon as well as a parliament member from Khaleda Zia’s constituency and he was also the chairmen of the all powerful standing committee on defence purchases.
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How far we are now from an otherwise impossible meeting between the two ladies in the picture? I do not know. But I can guess, for sure, this meeting will be held outside Bangladesh.

Hasina Khaleda

And once this meeting happens, and the phoenix rises from the ashes, will our ten Dhaka club elites and 3 more powerful unknowns have the luxury to keep searching people’s liquor cabinet?

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Barrister Moinul Hossain is kinda the spokesperson of the Care Taker Government. He and general Matin apparently are working hard to outdo each other in their media mania.
Barrister Moinul is now very critical of dynastic politics and apparently spearheading a drive to cleanse Bangladesh of familycracy. He has been very vocal against the people who becomes top party leaders from mere general membership position only because he is the son of the previous leader.

Barrister Moinul probabaly need to look at himself in the mirror before proceeding further. He probably forgot how he became the editor of Daily ittefaq after his dad, the then editor died. Just out of law school, he became the editor without any newspepr or journalism experience.

And when his younger brother wanted the same job, he pitched in a fierce battle with his younger brother, lost the battle and became the Editor in Chief with no say in editorial policy.

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Khaleda Zia is a single mother for the last 25 years. When her husband was killed, in addition to holding the helm of the party her slain husband founded, and launching a movement against a military dictator, she also raised two teen age boys. Probably she was not the best of the mothers, providing the children with best of academic, moral and social rearing. But she was the Mother. In mother-child relationship, there can not be any grading. A mother simply can’t be a less affectionate to the children.
So, Khaleda will react, naturally like any other mother when she finds her sons in trouble. Apparently our current government of insurmountable moral standards is well aware of this phenomenon. That’s why they resorted to the “perfectly moral” trick of snatching Khaleda’s remaining son from home at the middle of the night; pressurize her to leave the country holding the son as a pawn.

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The evil empires are gone. Defeating the dishonests and corrupts, now the country is ruled by the knights of honesty, barrons of morality.

Lets sing the song of the successes of this honestocracy at this 3 months anniversary.

1. During the rules of the evil empires last 15 years, the judiciary was not free. The supreme court was tainted by influenced judgements.

Now, the judiciary is absolutely free. People get bail solely on the merit of the case, not at the direction of the joint forces command. The supreme court righly threw away the highcourt decisions declaring some detentions illegal.
And now you are allowed to protest against decisions you don’t like by vandalizing the court premises.
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Update: Murder charges have been filed against Hasina
and Nijami

Sheikh Hasina gets a hit too, exactly identical to the hit that went to Tareq Rahman. The accusation, language, villain (Or the accuser), the context are all the same. Only difference is in how the “You know who’s” wanted to fix the price tag for Sheikh Hasina and Tareq Rahman. SH is apparently 3 times more costly then TR ( 3 crore Vs 1 crore extortion).
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Your Highness General Moeen U Ahmed

I will not start by thanking you as you are being thanked by a lot of people everyday in Bangladesh. I hardly see any newspaper who will dare write anything about you but some glaring words of adulation for all your great deeds since the day you helped impose a state of emergency in Bangladesh.

Honorable Chief of Army Staff

Lately I hear you lecturing the nation on the misdeeds of our politicians and hear you talking all the popular talks about how much money being funneled out of the country and how we discovered the mine of relief CI sheets. Sir, while you make all these political talks, the people you are talking against are gagged, incarcerated without any opportunities of self defense and any chance for bail. You talk about restoring civility and a rule of law. But what kind of rule of law is it where you can make advance judgments on cases yet to be prosecuted by the legal system, without letting us hear any view from the opposite site or see any exhibit in favor of your judgment?

Your Excellency
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1-hanging

I tried very hard not to watch the TV footage of Saddam Hossain being hanged. I failed. Apparently my sorrounding world is so eager to see and show that killing, I had no way but watching Saddam Hossain in Hangman’s noose. I do not like to watch taking a life. This disliking started with the shocking NY Times first page picture of Col. Nazibullah, the ex Afhgan ruler being hanged in a lamp-post by the Taliban.

And then, just these days, the media forced me to watch the faces of five of the six hanged militants.

Bangla vai’s body was not shown. It was reported that was done at Bangla vai’s request. But I don’t believe that authorities will not let a vital accused like Bangla Vai not photographed and publicized.
An interesting news came out in Ajker Kagoj newspaper on the day after hanging. According to Ajker Kagoj, one of the six hanged militants, Bangla Vai, got decapitated while being hanged.
I do not recall seeing any denial of this story.

Decapitation is not so rare complication of hanging. A similar decapitation of Saddam Hossain’s half brother has just reminded us of this potential gruesome complication.

Before I go ito whether Bangla vai had the same fate or not let me first talk some scientific stuff about hanging
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