September 2007


We’ve heard so many mishaps regarding voter list all these years. However, a death from a voter list fiasco has been unheard of so far. And that just happened in Bangladesh.
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BDnews24.com reports, and ‘surprisingly’ no other newspaper reports, of the death of Tamal Kumar Das of Sitakund, Chittagong at the hand of security forces who were reportedly trying to quell a brawl (?) near a voter registration center.

This incidence again sheds light on the questions raised about using the armed forces in strictly civilian jobs like voter registration. This incident probably is an early reminder of a major problem we have invited in by bringing army out of the barracks for serving some political purpose. Tacit has a brilliant piece with a bigger picture of misplaced use of the armed forces in Bangladesh for political gain of vested quarters.

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Details on the event and more on Burma in mash’s blog.

1972
As a consequence of the Jamaat e Islami’s active support of Pakistan army during the 1971 liberation war, and in forming death squads (al badr and al shams), all Islamic parties are banned. The first Bangladesh constitution lists “secularism” as one of four founding principles.

1973
Daud Haider publishes poem in ‘Sangbad’ literary section where he allegedly insults Prophet Mohammed, Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha. A college teacher files a case in Dhaka court. Protests ignite, and Dhaka sees first Islamist procession since 1971 liberation war. Haider is taken into protective custody and moves to India in 1975. He later migrates to Germany.

1974
Social worker Engineer Enamul Haq publishes a leaflet which contains reference to the Prophet’s wives, although Haq says it was not meant in a negative way. Death threats and processions are brought out, but the protests diminish as the government of Awami League dismisses the protests as “politics of anti-liberation forces”. Haq spends time in protective custody but is later released.

1978
After a military coup, General Zia ur Rahman removes secularism from constitution. Article 25(2) also provides that “the state shall endeavor to consolidate, preserve and strengthen fraternal relations among Muslim countries based on Islamic solidarity.”

1988
After a military coup, General Ershad passes a constitutional amendment declaring Islam as state religion. National protests are quickly suppressed by the military regime.

Based on the new constitutional amendment, legislation is drafted to declare Ahmadiyas as non-Muslims.

1989
In Md. Jamir Sheikh v Fakir Md. A. Wahab, Magistrate’s Court issues arrest warrants under sections 295A, 298 and 109.
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Professor Aftab Ahmed was an exceedingly talented political scientist and a scholar. Anybody who heard him talk extempore for hours together on any issue with his very dramatic style, can’t have any doubt about his depth.

A leading freeodm fighter, he is credited with first articulating many famous slogans like ‘Tomar Amar thikan, padma meghna Jomuna’ or even possibly ‘Joy Bangla’. After independence he became a leading intellectual dissident of Awami League government and was one of the designers of Ziaur Rahman perceived Bangladeshi nationalism. He is the author of numerous authoritative text book on Political Science and Bangladesh.

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Latest update from New York. Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed’s talk tonight @ Asia Society is sold out.

Security  blanket has been announced.  Part of the audience will be moved to a different room and watch the event via satellite fed. This is in anticipation of trouble– either in form of questions or protest. Attendees have been told they cannot take  photos.

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Thanks to 1/11 style honestocracy for 38 years, Burma is now at the bottom of Transparency Internationals CPI list. In Bangladesh we thought a poor CPI was because of those two ladies and their thug followers.

And Burma is raging tonight.

With politics systematically destroyed, only political leder ( Another dynastic despot !) under house arrest for almost a decade, Burma has none but the safron robed monks and nuns left to protest on behalf of the suffering 50 million people. And who are guarding the monks by forming human chain along the streets in Rangoon? The poor marginalized street people. The educated, well fed happy middleclass however remain gleeful and contendedat the continued good governance by the junta.
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