'Assertion' in the UN
In a seminar of the United Nation General Assembly (UNGA)
the Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan addressed a number of
issues close to the heart of Bangladesh. Not only did he pledge
staunch support for the international war on terror but urged
the UN to combat the root causes of terrorism. "The disturbing
experiences, including the rise in senseless terrorism, warn
us that failure in development is an option and that poverty
can breed terrorism."
marked the need for a better management of the water resources
of South Asia drawing on the problems caused by last week's
severe floods. "In the final analysis it is the long
term rehabilitation and reconstruction measures that also
require international support."
the summit, which took place last Thursday in New York, Khan
spoke of the omnipresent troubles in Iraq and Afghanistan
and called for a UN central role in the democratic and reconstruction
processes in both countries. With reference to the ongoing
problems in the Middle East, he was in favour of the two-state
solution whereby an independent Palestine would be created
with boarders based on those created before 1967.
Minister also said that Bangladesh would support an international
programme of disarmament on all levels as the threat of nuclear
weapons remains a grave concern to the country due to its
geographical location in South Asia.
current discussions concerning reforms of the UN General Assembly
and the Security Council, Khan said that instead of being
founded on the "perceived interests of the few,"
consultations should, on the contrary, be broad-based. He
continued in this line saying that membership to the Security
Council should be established on equal geographical distribution,
contribution to international peace and, furthermore, on being
a partner in development. "Any reform exercise should
be based on enhancing the Security Council's credibility and
democratic profile." The minister also drew attention
to issues concerning world trade saying that preferential
treatment should be given to products from developing countries.
Permanent Representative to the UN Iftekhar Chowdhury believed
the meeting to be "extremely satisfactory."
Local desperados or hoodlums have long been practising Bollywood
style shenanigans. It seems that only recently they have woken
up to the craftiness so endearingly nurtured by the directors
of Hollywood films. In Kushtia, the hub of many a meandering
soul, two men, Shumon (23) and Safaiat (28) were arrested
on Saturday by the police when the guitar case they were carrying
in the car were found to be hiding an AK 47. That is bound
to make the hero, Antonio Banderas of Desperado, a movie filled
with outlandish actions, proud of himself. It is amazing how
the antiheroes of the moviedom affect the real-life people,
especially hoodlums. But, the irony of the matter is that,
in the movie the protagonist walks away by making use of his
hidden weapon, whereas in reality the two men from the Kholsha
Upazila simply could not avoid getting arrested.
unprecedented during the coalition era, the recent countrywide
crackdown on the opposition activists caught all by surprise.
The BNP-led government, on the wake of the "April 30"
ultimatum given by the largest opposition Awami League (AL),
went for the wholesale arrests in the month of April, and
now in the face of AL's move to launch a countrywide political
agitation to oust the government, the mayhem of arrests is
repeated. About 1,300 people were detained in the capital
and elsewhere on September 25 alone. Dhaka Metropolitan Police
(DMP) records show uniform and plain-clothed police aided
by paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) arrested 481 people,
76 of them in block raids, within 24 hours, ending at 6:00
pm on that day, in Dhaka.
led to the arrest of 200 in Chittagong, 400 in Mymensingh,
75 in Rajshahi and over a 100 in other districts, pushing
the total figure to 2,200, after four days into the recent
frenzy of arrests, a Daily Star report confirmed.
and the workers of the AL and its front organisation across
the country fled their homes in the face of rampant raids.
and police lock-ups are already crammed with prisoners. The
police are producing the arrestees to the courts and most
are being sent to jail on various fake charges.
sources said on September 25 that the Court of Chief Metropolitan
Magistrate, Dhaka, sent as many as 300 of 321 people hauled
to the Dhaka Central Jail and released 21 of them after acquiring
a fine. Of these arrestees, 21 were shown arrested under Section
54 (for suspicious movement) and 179 under Section 74 and
the 85 of the DMP Ordinance. Eighty-eight people were arrested
on an array of charges including extortion, theft, robbery
as well as for their alleged link to the bomb explosion, although
their names do not figure in the FIR.
Dhaka Central Jail already bursting with prisoners, the newcomers
will certainly make things worse. And if the previous arrest
spree is any cue, they will keep coming as long as the authorities
are bound by the political commitment to erase the opposition.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004