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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ভাবমূর্তি is in the eye of the beholder…

… as is hackery.

Take Khaleda Zia’s Washington Times article for example.  স্বাধীনতার স্বপক্ষের শক্তি sees Khaleda’s article as extremely dangerous to the nation’s ভাবমূর্তি .  They want her tried for treason.  Unfortunately for them, Judge Manik was not available.Continue Reading

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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Bangladesh @ UN: Photo of the Day

Seated front Row from Left 1. Prime Minister of the Country 2. Foreign Minister of the country 3. Putul, Prime Minister’s daughter – a Canadian resident, 4.  Sleeping Man, 5. Unidentified

Back row seated from Left 1. Foreign Secretary Mizarul Kayes 2. Unidentified, 3. Unidentified, 4. Unidentified

Q: Where is Bangladesh Ambassador to UN Abul Momen?

Sathi Chakma: After Rangamati, Questions that need to be answered

Questions that need to be answered
by Muktasree Sathi Chakma (Sep 24, 2012)
While my 68 years old father and my 65 years old mother remained awake for the last two days in fear that some of the Bengali settlers (who can kill people only for the reason that you are indigenous) would attack our house, I am attending a Human Rights training and learning how to be a human rights activist. What an irony, isn’t it?
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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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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.

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