Mahmudur Rahman’s Arrest and Various Playbooks

Update 1: Mahmudur Rahman remanded for 13 days. Usually CMM grants half of what police ask for. In this case, police asked for 24. So pretty much consistent.

Update 2: Police raid Amar Desh press. Raid being led by the great Biplob Kumar Sarkar.

I’m not going to begin by condemning Mahmudur Rahman’s arrest. As someone who has been campaigning for the arrest of others for exercising their rights to free speech, his own arrest, due to exactly the same reason, is more ironic than sad. It is also probably exactly what he wanted. But instead, let’s take a look at what’s next for the Bangladeshi political landscape.

Screenshot from Channel I

Screenshot from Channel I

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New York: Those Protests outside Marriott


It started as a carefree walk through New York’s Times Square to unwind after a long day. Then, far off in the background, I thought I heard sounds I hadn’t heard for years and not on this side of the planet. The pulsing of slogans, and high-pitched oratory that once seemed so impressive even if one disagreed, but which now represents sclerosis, fatigue and frustration. But, that is back “home”, not here in New York, surrounded by skyscrapers and tourists.


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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.

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আলালের নজরেঃ আওয়ামী লীগ, বিএনপি আর ফরেন friends

It was interesting to see that Khaleda Zia could manage a nearly hour long audience with newly appointed Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz during the latter’s visit.  With King Abdullah’s deteriorating health, Salman is most likely to be the next King. Nayef was not going to  make it too long as crown prince anyway. Everybody knew that.
But this is not surprising given BNP’s historical links with the Kingdom. What was surprising was Khaleda’s  hour long chat with Clinton at her home. During government talks, Hillary even did not use the napkins provided by GOB.  Apparently she brought everything from USA, even water bottles. In Government meeting with Hasina/ Dipu moni Hillary did not touch anything. But when Hillary visited KZ, she ate rosogolla, drank coconut water etc. Hillary is a master of body language. Continue reading