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Volume 2 Issue 10 | December 2007



Original Forum Editorial

Month in Review: Bangladesh
Month in Review: International
Exit strategies: The way forward- - Rehman Sobhan
Politics of 1971--Afsan Chowdhury
The continuing rape of our history -- Mashuqur Rahman
1970 Cyclone Special
Photo Feature Aftermath
Reverse Charges-- Jyoti Rahman
Betrayal and consequences-- Badiul Alam Majumdar
Captive market-- Mikey Leung
Sleepwalking nation-- Manzoor Elahi Choudhury
Imran Khan in his own words--Asif Saleh
Playing games-- Kaiser Haq
Science Forum


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Month in review: Bangladesh


Cyclone Sidr

Cyclone Sidr, reaching top speeds of almost 240 km per hour, hits the coastal districts of Bangladesh on Nov 15, devastating the country's south-west and southern coastal areas, including the Sunderbans. The death toll is in the thousands, with the full extent of the devastation still to be fully enumerated, as survivors continue to struggle for shelter and safe drinking water. The cyclone leaves its mark of devastation on 103 upazilas, 710 unions, affecting almost 3 million people, killing over two and a half million head livestock, and completely destroying crops on almost 23,000 acres of land including six lakh metric tons of Aman.

Submarine cable snaps again

The country's internet and overseas telecom services are disrupted for around 15 hours from Nov 13 as criminals snap the optical fibre line near Cox's Bazar and Feni. Since installation of this line in 2006, this is the 22nd case of disruption and second in the same week: just two days previously, the line was also snapped for several hours. BTTB claims that this is the seventh case of "an act of sabotage" aimed at disrupting the country's international telecom and internet activities.



Harkat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (Huji) leader Mufti Mohammad Hannan and two others of the banned outfit at long last confess to carrying out the Aug 21 grenade attack with intent to kill now detained Awami League president Sheikh Hasina. The militants in their statements say that they had smuggled in the grenades from Afghanistan, and that they wanted to kill the former premier out of grudges stemming from what they said was the ban on religious edict during her rule and action against leaders and workers of the pseudo-Islamic organisations.

War criminals

Munir uz Zaman /DRIKNEWS

In the wake of the outcry gendered by provocative statements of anti-liberation elements, the chief adviser confirms that the caretaker government would welcome it if any aggrieved person were to move legally for trial of the war criminals, but stops short of saying that the government itself will initiate proceedings. As of printing, no concrete steps by the government are taken in this regard.


Free at last

The judiciary finally embarks on a historical journey today as it is separated from the executive on Nov 1, leading to hopes that justice can be delivered without any hindrance as in the past when the judicial process was controlled by the government of the day. The constitutional provision could be implemented much earlier had the successive political governments worked with goodwill. The non-partisan caretaker government is now implementing the provision for separation of the judiciary following the 12-point directive of the Supreme Court given in 1999.

Saifur gets EC nod

The EC invites BNP acting secretary general Hafizuddin Ahmed to the electoral reform talks with the commission slated for Nov 22, officially recognising the Saifur Rahman-led faction of BNP as the mainstream of the party. Examining the constitution of BNP and the demands raised by both the factions of the troubled party, the EC also gives legitimacy to the decisions taken by the party's national standing committee meeting held on Oct 29, which had appointed Saifur and Hafizuddin as acting chairman and acting secretary general respectively. However, the decision is challenged in court by the opposing faction and awaits final adjudication. The EC withdraws its invite.

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