Editor's Note
Our 16th year anniversary supplement is being published during a phase of our country's history that is both full of potentialities for a better future and chances of leading to serious problems. As we have said time and time again that we must always uphold democracy and all forms of freedom and fundamental rights. But the very institutions that profit from such freedoms, namely the political parties, have done very little to strengthen that. Today after 16 years of uninterrupted democracy we have to face a completely new situation in which emergency has to be called to restore peace and prepare for a free and fair election. Why should things come to such a pass? What possible reforms do we need to take to ensure a more functional democracy? What steps do we need to take to get better quality representatives in our parliament?
The present situation provides us with a chance to look back over the last 15 years of democracy as we had practised it and discover what we need to do better. There is no running away from the fact that the political culture that has gripped us and has, in a fundamental sense, immobilised us, has to change. We cannot continue with the politics of "winner take all" and confrontation at all cost. We cannot continue to have governments that only represses the opposition and an opposition that boycotts the parliament. We cannot continue to be run by hatred and suspicion as we have been. We cannot continue with a situation where our two most important leaders are not even in talking terms. Things have to change and we need to change.
In the articles contained in this supplement we try to answer some of the above questions. We have called upon some of the most incisive minds of today's Bangladesh to give us directions as to what we should do.
We must remember that it is democracy that we seek and it is democracy that will ensure the best future for Bangladesh. We have experimented with other forms in the past but have returned to it after a lot of sacrifice by the people. This we should never forget. But we cannot also forget that what we practised in the name of democracy was also something that we can no longer accept. Our supplement titled from crisis to reform opportunity is divided into two parts -- analysis and the way forward -- appearing on two successive days. The analytical part, in addition to the new contributions, contains selected articles from our 2005 anniversary supplement which was dedicated to political and electoral reforms. We expect our readers to take the challenge of the moments earnestly and share with us their views that can take us forward. In conclusion, we in the Star family thank our readers, patrons, advertisers and well-wishers most profusely for their support and trust without which we couldn't have come this far. We pledge to continue to serve the nation and our readers with "journalism without fear or favour" and continue our struggle to establish "Peoples' Right to Know".
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