and Words are all I have…
Rahman, the country's high-flying finance minister (FM), is
blessed with the gift of the gab. The beleaguered Chartered
Account got another chance to showcase his prowess at a press
briefing last week. The prime minister had issued directives
for Bangla Bhai's arrest, he said with a Claudiusesque zeal,
when he was asked about the government's inaction in arresting
the leader of the extremist group. But what we see in reality
is something different altogether-- when the FM keeps himself
busy with making such innocuous remarks, Bangla Bhai and cronies,
with the active help from the state, have been killing and
maiming innocent civilians in the northern districts. Police
are not equipped to prevent targeted crimes like the attack
on the British High Commissioner, he reasoned. What is turbid
to the general public is why the government did not take proper
security measures in and around the Shrine while there was
an impending threat on the envoy's life. Any comment Mr Know-it-all?
Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh has unleashed a reign of
terror in the northern districts of the country. Ten people
have so far been butchered by these self-styled vigilantes,
while the government and the police remain indifferent to
the killings. Bangla Bhai, the so-called operations commander
of the butchers, remains at large even after the Prime Minister
ordered the zealot's arrest. Local dailies are littered with
news of the local administration's tacit approval to the killer-group's
activities; some have even blamed local Bangladesh Nationalist
Party (BNP) MPs for actively supporting and, in cases, patronising
image of Bangladesh as a moderate Muslim country seems to
be getting blurrier every other day. The extremely image conscious
government however takes every opportunity to deny any such
possibilities. The fire of communal hatred, which has so far
been confined to members of the Hindu community, seems to
have enlarged its circumference. The recent inclusion is,
of course, the Ahmadiyyas, who have been for the last few
months, at the receiving end of communal violence in different
parts of the country. Even the ban on their religious publications
-- an absolutely unconstitutional and arbitrary decision which
the government claims, was taken to maintain peace, could
not pacify the religious zealots who wouldn't accept anything
less than their demand of declaring Ahmadiyyas non-Muslims.
They are continuing their agitation, the target of their latest
attack being another Ahmadiyya mosque in Chittagong. On May
28, a few thousand zealots under the banner of International
Khateme Nabuat Movement Bangladesh armed with hockey sticks
gheraoed Baitul Baset, an Ahmadiyya mosque in Chawkbazar.
On top of the mosque's original signboard which read "Ahmadiyya
Masjid Baitul Baset" they put up another sign saying
"Kadiyani Upasonaloy" (place of worship) warning
Muslims not to be tricked into thinking that this was a mosque.
Interestingly, the police, led by Mian Lutfur Rahman Chowdhury
DC (North) CMP, who thanked the agitators and asked them to
go back peacefully, supervised the entire name changing ceremony.
film tops Cannes Awards
Michael Moore's controversial anti-Bush documentary Fahrenheit
9/11 has won the prestigious Palme d'Or best film award at
the Cannes festival.
It was the first documentary to win the top prize since Jacques
Cousteau's The Silent World in 1956.
The film received a 15-minute standing ovation when it was
screened on Monday.
Fahrenheit 9/11 explores the Iraq war and alleges connections
between President George W Bush and top Saudi families, including
the Bin Ladens.
The documentary uses Moore's customary satirical style to
accuse Mr Bush of stealing the presidential election in 2000,
ignoring terrorism warnings before 11 September 2001 and fuelling
fears of more attacks to secure Americans' support for the
war in Iraq.
The critical reaction to the film has generally been positive,
with praise coming from The Washington Post, Time Magazine
and British newspapers including the Independent and the Telegraph.
However, others have been more critical of the film. The Hollywood
Reporter said Moore was "pioneering a reality film as
an election device." And trade paper Variety described
it as "rather less incendiary than expected" and
said it was "a blatant cinematic 2004 campaign pamphlet".
Fahrenheit 9/11 was competing against 18 other films for the