Vol. 5 Num 978 Thu. March 01, 2007  

Pro-AL teachers, student bodies boycott DU convocation

The 43rd convocation of Dhaka University was held at its central playground yesterday with due spontaneity and enthusiasm.

DU authorities conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus at the convocation ceremony.

A total of 7,755 graduates, including 4,050 female students, received certificates while 61 students were awarded 84 gold medals for their outstanding academic performances at the convocation.

President Iajuddin Ahmed, also the DU chancellor, presided over the programme and handed over the certificates.

However, Pro-Awami League and progressive teachers and different student organisations boycotted the convocation in protest against the presence of President Iajuddin and Prof Muhammad Yunus at the convocation.

They also took the decision protesting the authorities' controversial and mysterious position about making Prof Yunus the convocation speaker.

DU authorities cancelled the decision to make Prof Yunus the convocation speaker amid student and teacher agitations.

But once the speech of Prof Yunus ended, Blue Panel teachers said that the authorities cheated with the teachers and students, as the speech of Yunus was an "unofficial convocation speech".

Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique, former DU Teachers' Association president, said, "We were afraid that the authorities would make Yunus deliver the convocation speech and cheat us," adding that the 24-page speech of Dr Yunus was indeed a convocation speech.

Meanwhile, police picked up three activists of Bangladesh Chhatra Mukti, the student front of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, at High Court intersection while they were demonstrating against Prof Yunus.

The detainees were identified as Monirul, 4th year student of Statistics, Utsha, MSS student of Anthropology and Zakaria, 3rd year student of IER of DU.

During their protest, students termed Prof Yunus as an imperial agent and waved black flags.