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Saturday, November 17, 2012
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Attacks will only speed up war crimes trial

PM warns 'plotters'; threatens to try them under Sharia law, if need be

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said those attacking law enforcers and trying to hinder the war crimes trial could be tried under sharia.

“The more excesses they do, the faster will be the war crimes trials. There will be no let-up in the trials,” she said.

The government knows how to deal with those who are attacking police and out to save the war criminals. Besides, there are even alternative means like sharia and qiyas to try them, she said.

The prime minister was addressing a meeting of the Awami League Central Working Committee at her Gono Bhaban residence.

Hasina, also president of the ruling AL, said attacking police would bring no good for Jamaat-Shibir.

Her comments follow a spate of attacks on the police by activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student body Islami Chhatra Shibir. The Islamist party has lately stepped up its demonstrations for a halt to the trials of its top brass on charges of war crimes.

Contacted, noted jurist M Zahir said it would not be possible to try anyone under sharia [Islamic law] straight away. Those attacking the police could be tried under the traditional laws of the land.

“If the trials have to be done under sharia, the Islamic law has to be passed by parliament,” Zahir told The Daily Star, adding that if any law was passed only to punish someone or some people, it would be considered a bad law.

The prime minister in her speech also mentioned qiyas. According to Wikipedia, qiyas is the process of deductive analogy in which the teachings of the Hadith are compared and contrasted with those of the Quran, in order to apply a known injunction to a new circumstance and create a new injunction. Here the ruling of the Sunnah and the Quran may be used as a means to solve or provide a response to a new problem that may arise.

At the ALCWC meet, Hasina said, in an indirect reference to the opposition, “They have plotted various conspiracies in their last-ditch effort to hinder the war crimes trials, and attacks on police across the country were parts of that plan.

“So I call upon all, also the opposition leader, to refrain from trying to hinder the trials.”

The prime minister observed the war crimes trial was the demand of the nation, especially the youths, and it must be held.

Referring to the international crimes tribunals, she claimed that the tribunals were functioning transparently and there was hardly any instance in the world where so many opportunities had been given to the accused.

She said the main opposition BNP enforced hartal on the day the verdict of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman killing case was announced. The verdict was delivered during the last Awami League-led government's tenure, 1996-2001.

“This time, I also want to say that these trials [war crimes trials] must also be held and none can prevent them,” she said.

She said the nation was of warriors and they would never bow down to the defeated forces (Jamaat-Shibir).

At the meeting yesterday, a coordination committee was formed for holding a grand alliance rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital on December 16, Victory Day. Awami League leader Muhammad Nasim was made the convener of the committee.

The Awami League chief also instructed party workers to prepare for the month-long celebrations in December.

On the attack on minorities in Ramu of Cox's Bazar on September 29-30, the prime minister said it had been staged to destroy the country's communal harmony and people knew that very well.

“This incident was unexpected…it was done in a planned way to create anarchy in the country. But fortunately, we managed to prevent it.”

She criticised the opposition leader for visiting China and India before visiting Ramu, where she “only presented the victims with a speech of allegations against the government and nothing else”.

The meeting yesterday also fixed December 29 for holding the party's national council in Dhaka.

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Madam PM will you please comment about the missing person who disappeared in your regime. From Ex MP Elias Ali to common man. Human Right activist and organisation are deeply concern with your misuse of power. And for heaven sake please don't keep on making fool of the entire nation by this rhetoric of war crime tribunal. Please let the law take its course. And please control Chhatra league and Jubo league and others who are openly moving in universities with arms and who are protected by your corrupt regime. People are fed up with your regime endless corruption and political misuse of power in every sector of government.

: barkat

We appreciate the move of the government under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in regard to crimes against humanity. Those perpetrators of 1971 should be punished. We, the new generation are behind you. But we also urge you to take steps for better governance. We had expected more from you and your team, but we are not happy, especially when it comes to corruption and nepotism. Still this is the better regime than the previous one under Begum Khaleda Zia. At least you have not created any JMB like outfit. God bless!

: julhas


    Saturday, November 17, 2012 08:54 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    It is crystal clear from the prime minister's comment that she directly controls the War crime tribunal, otherwise she cannot show the itinerary of the trial of the court because it is after the judge who will try the accused not by the direction of the prime minister. Her comment has proved that the accused will not get their due rights in the judgement........

  • Tirtho Mahmud
    Saturday, November 17, 2012 08:43 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    I personally agree with the other commenter. Yet, I would like to draw the PM's attention to one specific part of her rhetoric. She used the threat of using Sharia law. It's a bad choice of words and has the potential for an unwanted precedence. If anyone is to be punished, he/she should go through only one law of the land--the secular law defined by the existing constitution. Any promise or threat of Sharia law can give false expectation and a desire to fulfil that expectation. Bangladesh already has Islamist optimists who would love to see any kind of initiation of Sharia, even if it begins by their own prosecution under Sharia. I request PM chooses her words judiciously. Words have ripple affects, she should know better. NO SHARIA LAW in Bangladesh; this country can't afford it--culturally, economically and as a sum total, politically. Keep that concept out of the public domain.

  • MRR Khan
    Saturday, November 17, 2012 01:09 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    It is beyond imagine to use the Sharia law in Bangladesh. Possible only because AL has required number of MPs in Parliament. The country is in topsy-turvy condition. Democracy is all to solve it. So strive to set the rules of law and mitigate the challenge of injustice.

  • Anonymous
    Saturday, November 17, 2012 01:48 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    We want that the war crimes trial should end as soon as possible. You are delaying the trial so that you can say something about the war crimes. Please do it as soon as possible.

    Saturday, November 17, 2012 01:56 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    It is obvious that the perpetrators should be tried strictly. But why the Sharia Law? Many of the progressive citizens have been fighting for secular society here, inspired by the main objectives of our Independence War. So why such initiation to make our country like Afghanistan? If the present government take Sharia Laws to teach its rival a lesson, then the next government will follow the same way. Who don't knows that most of the time the laws are used upon the common people who can hardly afford fair trial.

  • Truth Teller
    Saturday, November 17, 2012 02:59 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    Let's see what we know about some aspects of the Sharia Law:

    1. Beheading for murder

    2. Amputation of hands for stealing

    3. Stone to death for infidelity

    4. A man can have four wives

    5. Quick and easy divorce

    6. Death for blasphemy

    7. Heavy punishment for use of alcohol, drugs, etc

    8. Death for apostasy

    9. Death for LGBT

    10. Inequality to women in some areas

    11. Unequal rights for people from other religions

    Don't ask for it. If the dream comes true and once the Sharia Law becomes the law of the land, it will apply to everyone including those in power and politics. I would like to see some of them being applied in Bangladesh, especially, for corruption and stealing of public assets.

    Biplob and other 20 people would have been beheaded for murder by now. May be we should go for it.

  • skhan
    Saturday, November 17, 2012 03:28 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    BRAVO.. show them who the boss is!

  • sujon
    Saturday, November 17, 2012 04:48 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    Yes, Sharia law should be implemented on the PM and her party men too. A reminder to the PM-- Hitler, Saddam, Hosni Mubaraq, Gaddafi, Bhutto and Indira Gandhi all talked like you. People knows their fate........

  • neutral
    Saturday, November 17, 2012 05:11 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    The prime minister seems to be off balance and has failed to see the ramification of the Sharia law in a country where the constitution does not provide any scope to try any body under Shariah law. The institutional infrastructure for such a trial does simply not exist in Bangladesh; hopefully, will never exist.

    In effect the prime minister is putting herself into the hands of the Islamist group who might want Sharia law to be introduced in Bangladesh.

    What a fatal mistake the prime minister is making without waiting for the trial of the war criminals under law of the land.

    Instead of talking about the status and standard of trial, she should use her time to deal with the fanatics on the street in cool head.

  • Shafiq Ahmad
    Saturday, November 17, 2012 05:58 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    With all its deeds and misdeeds, in the past and at present, one good thing the AL government did was to start the trial of the war criminals of 1971. True the government failed and failed miserably to recover Elias Ali. True that it has bad record of human rights, could not control Jubo League etc and there is corruption. But apparently, there is no correlation between these misdeeds and trial of war criminals. Trial must continue. Killers must be punished.

  • hasan mamun
    Saturday, November 17, 2012 11:03 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    How dare they are making mess up in this peaceful country. All the Jamaat-Shibir stalwarts, who are rendering atrocities, should be tried in public including the war criminals.





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