September 2008


— smell a rat : to have a suspicion of something wrong [ Merriam-Webster Dictionary]

There is an extremely foul stench of rat I smell in the activities of the RATS (Razzak, Amu, Tofael and Suranjit) faction of Bangladesh Awami League. If we look back in recent history, this group joined hands with the military regime which illegally occupied the governance in Bangladesh. They have been the major accomplices in ‘now notorious minus two’ plan of this regime. Their intention was clear. Go to power by an unfair means, through the back door of conspiracy. Their two other plan was to get rid of Sheikh Hasina in from Awami league leadership, thus exerting control over the party. And their third goal was to eliminate politics of Ziaur Rahman from the planet.

All their plans failed miserably. Unlike BNP’s turncoats, they however have been shrewd enough not to get ousted like Mannan Bhuiyan gong.

Now as there appears to be a U-turn in Bangladesh politics, this quartet started their second phase of conspiracy. Any politically savvy person will know that unity between political parties is vital for restoration of democracy. Anyone really wanting to get rid of the hidden martial law would do everything to prevent going back to the confrontational politics we’ve seen last 15 years.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that the RATS do not know/understand it. But their activities of last few days raise serious concern about their real intention. The comments of all four of them, esp. those of Razzak and Amu from yesterday were exceedingly offensive, unsuitable for a senior politician, divisive and unhealthy.

It is a shame that how these, once respected politician, sold their souls and became petty and cheap foot soldiers of a military general. Awami League leadership esp. Sheikh Hasina must be very cautious of this ‘gang of four’. For the sake of democracy these four scoundrels must be confronted and stopped.

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Two news item in yesterdays newspapers say it all.

Daily Prothom Alo broke the news to the nation day before yesterday. The news was that BNP leader, Khaleda Zia’s heir apparent Mr. Tarique Rahman resigned from his party post and has retired from politics. This news surprised many political observers and to them something did not sound right. Khaleda Zia herself mentioned that her son would not be able to be involved in ground political activities in Bangladesh while he undergoes treatment abroad and this treatment be as long as two-three years. But a formal resignation and faxing it to newspaper offices after midnight was rather unusual.

Anyway the uneasy political analysts did not have to wait too long. This news item published in the New Age mentions how an ailing and hurting Tarique Rahman was virtually held hostage at ZIA airport by members of military intelligence, DGFI. Here is how New Age described it,

…Tarique was made to sign a paper, which he was very unwilling to do, by members of the intelligence agencies at the Zia International Airport, according to sources in the airport. ‘They threatened Tarique Rahman that he would not be allowed to fly unless he signed the undertaking,’ said an airport source. ‘The word “undertaking” was, however, replaced with “statement” as he was unwilling to sign the paper,’ he added. According to the text of the paper written in incorrect Bangla and carrying Tarique’s ‘signature’, which was faxed from ‘SIG CEN DGFI’ through the number 8752921 at 12.34am on September 12 to New Age and some other newspapers too, he ‘relieved himself’ of the charge of senior joint secretary-general of BNP and retired from active politics…

This is a copy of the Undertaking statement (Undated and in plain paper) published in Daily Amader Shomoy. Amader Shomoy also published the news item without mentioning the name of DGFI.

From the above incidence, one should rest assured that General Moeen and his con men in DGFI are still very much active behind the scene. They are still breathing at the neck of Bangladesh.

And one also should wonder that while this government came with all the indignation of righteousness and despite the fact that they claim themselves bunch of honest, educated “do-gooders”; all they did in last two years are nothing but dirty politics.

People in Bangladesh won’t need to be reminded how ex-prime minister and leader of the most organized and one of the largest political parties in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina was arrested hours after she dared criticize DGFI for it’s illegitimate activities.

Generally the question will arise that on what ground DGFI has to poke its nose in partisan politics of the country. Who they are to take undertaking from politicians whether he/she will do politics or not?

Those days are coming when the DGFI and those few generals also have to sign another undertaking. This undertaking will be given to the nation that they would refrain from illegally poking their nose into jurisdictions which is not their mandate.

Since 1/11/2007; the activities of the army chief and the leadership of DGFI have seriously undermined the integrity of these two institutions. Never in the past, had an army chief (without holding any administrative leadership role like CMLA etc.) abused his post so much for petty personal political gains. Same thing is true of DGFI, which has ventured way deep into a territory which is definitely not their jurisdiction. DGFI was a fine institution and this organization was built by hardworking members of Bangladesh armed forces. And the truth is that an overwhelming majority of the members of these forces do not support the current activities of DGFI. One army chief and some of his con men generals have used this organization for their personal gain and vendetta. If a democratic government is allowed to take over after a meaningful election, there is no doubt this fine institution will come under the wrath and may even be stripped off essential fund and authority. This will be a loss. Weakening of armed force definitely does not serve the national interest of Bangladesh.

3 days after 1/11, on January 14 2007, when a significant portion of the country was in an euphoria that some Godly intervention finally helped the nation get rid of BNP-Jamaat stranglehold, I wrote this post called “What really Happened?”. The post was really an analysis and translation of what Daily Prothom-Alo editor Mr. Motiur Rahman wrote and was a very clear testament of the truth that 1/11 was nothing but a military coup d’état.

Nearly 20 months later, we are noticing a slow motion reversal of the coup d’état of 1/11. Although unlike the coup d’état of 1/11, the reversal is not as surreptitious; the reason of this sudden U turn of the ruling authorities remains a matter of great speculations. Also missing this time is the running commentary by Mr. Motiur Rahman. As I do not have any editorial or editor’s commentary to analyze to find our answer, lets speculate the potential factors behind the perceived failure ( at least in the short term) of 1/11 military-civil society take over.

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Since I last wrote a blog post, the political landscape has changed dramatically in Bangladesh. My last real blog post was around the time when former PM and Awami league leader Sheikh Hasina got parole as a result of an executive order from government in response to an application made by Mr. Wazed, Mrs. Hasina’s husband. At that time, thanks to the after-hours operation of Bangladesh court system, the night time release of Mrs Hasina, the rushing of four advisors to meet her at Sudha Sadan, the 20 minute telephone conference with chief advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed and quick departure of Mrs. Hasina from Bangladesh., there was a wide speculation of a deal between Awami League and the military government. Only one person, who could refute the allegations or make the political observers believe otherwise, would have been Mrs. Hasina herself. We all expected her to ‘be herself’, ‘be critical’ of the atrocities of the military regime. She was only expected to continue expressing her dislike of the military government, she did before she was arrested. Unfortunately she did not do any of the above. She remained unusually muted and refrained from repeating her criticisms of the government. Moreover, to all political observers dismay and awe, she was heard repeating general Moeen’s buzz word’s (e.g. mid income country by 2020… etc) verbatim.
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