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Volume 2 Issue 9 | November 2007



Original Forum Editorial

Month in Review: Bangladesh
Month in Review: International
The dilemmas of rural finance- - Akbar Ali Khan
On agflation--Jyoti Rahman
Political failure of the state as a chronic infection-- Afsan Chowdhury
Trying to remember, refusing to forget-- Tazreena Sajjad
Of coups and killings, of hope and despair-- Syed Badrul Ahsan
Aristocracy versus meritocracy-- Akhter M. Choudhury
Photo Feature Poverty amidst plenty-- GMB Akash
Inner wheels-- Gazi Nafis Ahmed
Pakistan's mercenary elites -- M. Shahid Alam
Reforming the political parties--A.T. Rafiqur Rahman
Responsible tourism-- Md. Anwarul Islam
Writing Pakistan-- Kamila Shamsie
Long summer nights-- Rumi Ahmed
Science Forum
It's No Joke


Forum Home


Month in review: Bangladesh


Jamaat denies history

Speaking to reporters following a meeting with the EC, Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid claims that Jamaat did not work against the Liberation War in 1971 and states that there are no war criminals in the country. "In fact anti-liberation forces never even existed," he adds, flatly denying the well-documented history of Jamaat collaboration and atrocities. The statements set off a firestorm of controversy, leading to calls for anti-liberation forces to be banned from politics and for war criminals to be tried at long last.

No to presidency

In an October 16 press conference at the Bangladesh high commission in London, army chief General Moeen U. Ahmed dismisses speculations about his becoming president, saying that he has no such intentions. General Moeen, who was in London en route to the US, also reiterates that the priority of the incumbent government, of which the army is only a part, is to restore democracy through free and fair elections and transfer of power.


Drug bust

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) initiates a serious crackdown on the flourishing illegal drugs trade, with a series of raids that succeeds in netting a number of the city's prominent drug dealers and seizing massive quantities of dangerous drugs. The nation is shocked to learn the extent of the trade and the fact that drug addiction is apparently so wide-spread among the affluent sections of society. Law enforcement authorities vow to continue with the crackdown until the top king-pins are nabbed and the illegal drugs trade is decimated.

Truth commission


The government announces on October 3 that it is going to set up a "truth commission" to handle confessions from businessmen accused of corruption, with an aim to settling the charges against them without putting them to trial. The announcement comes as the government is pondering over giving corrupt businessmen a chance to surrender their ill-gotten wealth or pay financial penalty and thus avoid arrest or trial.

Admin officials row

About 600 administration cadre officials from across the country gather in the capital on October 21 at a seminar strongly opposed to the stripping of their magistracy power and the process of absorbing BCS cadres in the judicial service, and demand deferment and review of implementation of separation of the judiciary from the executive. The action prompts popular condemnation of those involved for their lack of professionalism. In a compromise, the government on October 23 decides to permit executive magistrates to retain temporary judicial powers in certain cases.

DCC under fire

As part of the caretaker government's drive against institutionalised corruption, a task force begins looking into the activities of DCC on October 22, amid allegations of massive corruption and irregularities. The task force is already looking into the activities of Rajuk. The task force will investigate whether there were corruptions or irregularities in tender processes, purchases, setting up of flyovers, management of graveyards and terminals, and implementation of other DCC projects.

Rain-fed calamities

Tornado, mudslide and boat and trawler capsizes kill at least nine persons and injure over 100 across the country as heavy rainfall caused by a well-marked low in the Bay inundates the Chittagong region on October 16. The low pressure developed in northern Bay of Bengal and started moving towards the shore in the evening. Maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Mongla are advised to hoist cautionary signal number three and all fishing boats are advised to stay in shelter until the storm passes.
Gatco case goes ahead

The Supreme Court on October 4 stays the High Court order granting bail to detained former prime minister and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Gatco graft case. Following an appeal of the ACC, the full SC bench headed by the chief justice also stays the HC decision staying proceedings of the case against Khaleda and her younger son Arafat Rahman Koko and 11 others. Following the SC order there is no bar to continuing the proceedings of the Gatco graft case filed by the ACC.

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