Vol. 4 Num 34 Mon. June 30, 2003  
Letters to Editor

Hasina snubbed by the US

It was quite entertaining to read about how the US embassy and State Department officials kept the Leader of the Opposition party in limbo regarding whether or not she would be granted a session with Secretary Colin Powell. I believe embarrassment such as this one would finally help open the eyes of the opposition party and make them realise what an ill conceived idea it was to hold a hartal during the visit of a foreign dignitary as important as the US Secretary of State. It is even more of an eye opener if news reports are to be believed that the AL leadership was requested to drop the hartal as a sign of respect to Secretary Powell who would have then offered Sheikh Hasina a short yet politically significant meeting in return. If such a powerful diplomat had indeed met with the opposition party leader, it would have been a huge coup for the AL, who could have flaunted this meeting as proof as their importance as a viable and powerful opposition to the ruling party. But as usual, they managed to shoot themselves in the foot by refusing such an offer.

It played right in the hands of the ruling party who now have factual evidence of the disruptiveness of the opposition party and who can now take the moral high ground. Unfortunately, given the intelligence quotient and leadership calibre of the AL, I am afraid this is to be another wasted lesson.