There were at least 3 interesting news in yesterday’s press. Looks like nobody is at all bothered about these new developments. TV chattering class is busy competing to be more pro-government, Op-eds are quite toothless and blogospehere is veeeeeery quiet and content.

News 1.

One high court senior judge resigned of unclear reason and the president accepted the resignation in lightning fast speed. News have been out there for quite a while that some judges will get tea invitation at Bangabhaban and will be forced to resign. It is very possible that Justice Badrul Haq has been forced to resign. What was his fault, weakness or crime? We don’t know.

The problem is in this part. If there is any allegation against any judge, let’s look for the remedy in a proper way. Let’s call supreme judicial council and maintain some transparency in such proceedings of extreme national importance. How would I know that government forced him to resign because he refused to be influenced by the government in his judgments?

It is clear the government is at its wit’s end in legal handling of the cases it is using to keep political leaders behind the bar. One of the government major weapons is the anti corruption Commission (ACC).  Ironically ACC has so far lost all the cases in the high court division of Supreme Court.

Is government trying to seal the fate of Bangladesh by re-forming this top judiciary with some friendly and obedient judges? 

News 2.

UNDP country representative in Bangladesh, Ms. Hua Du, hosted a grand gala party yesterday to celebrate 50% completion of voter list. UNDP or other international and foreign bodies may support the election commission with logistics etc. But who they are to celebrate 50% completion of the voter list while there are rising concern in the country about different voter list and demarcation procedures? And how do they know that the list is 50% completed? That will only be known once the listing would be completed. Lately the UN and different international bodies are involved in mindless and reckless meddling in solely internal matters of Bangladesh politics. The biggest example is the bizarre UN letter dated 1/11/07 which was issued by UN country representative of Bangladesh.  It contained grave warning to Bangladesh armed forces that they would be disbanded from all the UN peacekeeping jobs if Bangladesh armed forces support Bangladesh government in holding 22nd January election!!! It was later learnt that the letter was written at the request of Army chief general Moeen U Ahmed so that he could show the letter to convince  the GOCs and other senior military leadership in supporting his 1/11 coup.  The Army chief was, however, very careful not to mention that the country which has all along been the top contributor to UN peacekeeping forces is none other than military ruled Pakistan. And nobody cared to confront the UN station chief with the fact that it is UN which needs Bangladeshi soldiers more than Bangladesh needs some UN peacekeeping jobs.

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Photo: JaiJaiDin

Very naturally, among the celebrities present in the 50% completion gala dinner was no other than General Moeen U Ahmed, his top three commanders, ATM Shamsul Huda, Shakhawat Hossain and Suhul Hossain. 

News 3

While the news of Mr Jalil’s departure to Singapore, (through a cordoned off airport) was overblown in the media, almost hidden was the news of recent refusal of the authorities to have Sheikh Hasina see her physicians. And missing in the news was authority’s refusal to let Khaleda Zia choose her physician.

I do not understand why Mr. Jalil’s Singapore trip is such big a deal, why media and government is so crazy about it. And why there were thousands of police guarding ZIA when Jalil was flying off. And I still do not have an explanation, several months ago while still imprisoned, how could Jalil give interview to NTV in front of DIG prison or why government will computer compose his political letter and send it to the chief advisor and his wife in a lightning speed? 

And while all these take place, blogosphere remains muted, op-eds keep on gloating how this government has done the greatest ever thing by separating the judiciary and the newly prominent political leaders keep on idolizing General Moeen U Ahmed.

Among all the content voices, at least Frahad Mozhar reminds us what Gen Osmani said about Ershad when Ershad was poking nose in daily country affairs and re-affirming that he had no intention to join politics. This is what Gen Osamni said,

Should any serving officer or servicemen feel he has the acumen or experience or ability to give the country a lead or improve the quality of the country’s government, his correct course is to retire or take release (if on short term engagement) or resign and join politics to serve the country, setting a correct example and not set a bad example by trying to indulge in politics in uniform. – General (Retired) MAG Osmany, Weekly ‘Holiday’ (January 3 and 10 1982)