Daily Star does not mince words: Closure of Amar Desh is a Threat to Free Press. One can imagine Mahfuz Anam clenching his jaws while he wrote this; Mahmudur Rahman delighted in levelling personal attacks on him. However, to his credit, Anam does the right thing: “difficult at times to appreciate the brand of journalism that the Amar Desh was pursuing” … “[government] action is coarse manifestation of intolerance of unpalatable views” … “government must withdraw the cancellation of declaration and let Amar Desh resume publication.”

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad said “country’s media is enjoying maximum freedom comparing to even the western media.”

After the tragic raid on the HR flotilla that left at least ten aid workers dead (a news that has been grossly under-reported in the Bangladeshi media), Haaretz headlined “Seven Idiots in the Cabinet.” Ours contains too many to fit into a headline.

Update I:

New Age: [Government’s] animosity towards the newspaper apparently peaked when the latter ran a report on the alleged involvement of the prime minister’s son in high-profile corruption.

Naya Diganta takes the long view and asks the state to be a better parent to us.

Update II:

Prothom Alo editorial correctly notes that the government has created the controversy about the identity of Amar Desh’s publisher through its own negligence of duty.

Mohammed Jahangir wonders why Awami League is so scared.

Update III:

Mahmudur Rahman’s last talk-show appearance on live television with Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir on RTV’s Road to Democracy.

Update IV:

James Moriarty drops by to see Sheikh Hasina. Hasina says press in the country is “enjoying highest freedom at present.”

Syed Abul Moqsud ruminates about the dreaded F-word (hint: think short German man with comic mustache). He also unequivocally calls for the release of Mahmudur Rahman as well as the resumption of Amar Desh’s Publication Declaration, something many others noted above did not do.

Zafar Sobhan is “decidedly uncomfortable.” Them’s fighting words, Mr. S. What’s next? Shahnoor Wahid will be “generally nonplussed?” Syed Bardul Ahsan will express “guarded dissent?” As a statistical analysis, Sobhan’s percentage of words criticizing Awami League to words expressing distate at BNP and Mahmudur Rahman are about 67% to 33%. Which is, you know, a significant change from his usual percentage of 0% to 100% in these matters.

Actually, Syed Badrul Ahsan does not dither: “What is a newspaper if it does not berate a government over its perceived flaws?” Thank you sir.

Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters. Barrister Rafiqul Huq says the ghost of 1/11 is possessing the Awami League government.

Update V:

Shahdeen Malik talks about immigration lines, books, dams, and Baul Samrat Shah Abdul Karim. He also has a message for Awami League.