Not a mindless atrocity but an atrocity of ‘war’

Death relieves his pain |  www.thedailystar.net

Death relieves his pain |
http://www.thedailystar.net

By Shafiqur Rahman for AlaloDulal

The boy Monir died at last after three days of indescribable pain from burning of 95% of his body. The whole country silently prayed that Monir die sooner than later, prayed so that the merciful god takes Monir in his peaceful embrace and deliver him from the hell on earth called Bangladesh. We have seen the pictures. Monir sitting on the ground with his whole body blackened with third degree burn. Monir’s father carrying the charred but still living body of his beloved son. No words can convey the thoughts and emotions that go through a sentiment human when watching these images. Continue reading

Seasons (aka Election 2013: Focussing Our Minds – III)

We have had seven multi-party parliamentary elections since 1970.  All of them were in dry seasons — 1986 and 1996 in the summer heat, the rest (1970, 1979, 1991, 2001, 2008) in cooler months.  We have had three (1973, 1988, 1996) one-sided elections — all in spring.  We have had one aborted election in the winter of 2007.

Reading ADB5’s pieces, it occurs to me that we have never had a parliamentary election in the monsoon.

Continue reading

Sheikh Hasina: Compare and Contrast

Jyoti Rahman has asked, compared to what? He is speaking, in this particular instance, of the disappointment expressed in the latest ICG report. However, I suspect that he is giving voice to a deeper thought that is troubling a lot of our citizens. Is this current government of Sheikh Hasina really so bad? Is it worth our time to get agitated against their daily-growing list of mis-steps and mistakes?

Unfortunately, taking the long view indicates that this second government headed by Sheikh Hasina may potentially undo any gains in democratic governance that Bangladesh has achieved in the past twenty years.

Continue reading

Election 2013: Focussing Our Minds – II

In a recent meeting, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has clarified that elections don’t have to be held three months before the parliament is dissolved. Rather, the preparation for elections shall begin three months before parliament is dissolved. A look at the relevant part of the Bangladeshi Constitution affirms this:

A general election of the members of Parliament shall be held-

(a) in the case of a dissolution by reason of the expiration of its term, within the period of ninety days preceding such dissolution ;

Therefore, the dates mentioned in this post need to be extended by three months.

However, the meeting produced its own set of interesting questions.

Continue reading