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Volume 3 Issue 6 | June 2008



Original Forum Editorial

Month in Review: Bangladesh
Month in Review: International
Masters of Our Own Fate-- Shayan Khan
Where is the Conscience of Our Nation? --Tazreena Sajjad
The Rights of the Rohingyas-- Ziaur Rahman and Mahbubul Haque
Women Warriors--Sharmeen Murshid
Photo Feature -- Climate Refugees --Abir Abdullah
The Maobaadi Triumph-- Kanak Mani Dixit
Lessons from the Women Development Policy Debacle-- Jyoti Rahman
Going Underground-- Yasmin Chowdhury
No Room for Complacency -- Zaid Bakht and Md. Nazmul Hoque
Fear of a Muslim Planet-- Naeem Mohaiemen
Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sisimpur? -- Asrar Chowdhury


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Editor's Note

As is always the case in Bangladesh, the current crisis that we find ourselves in is not one for which an equitable and satisfactory resolution is either unavailable or out of the question.

Even taking into account the imperatives and restrictions of the various parties to the equation, there are eminently sensible and workable solutions that present themselves to us as a nation.

Let us start with the proposition that all parties to the current situation want an election by the end of this year.

For the powers that be, the sticking point is the participation of the AL and BNP party chiefs in the upcoming elections. It seems to us that all other issues are negotiable.

Now let us get to the political parties. For them, participation of their leaders in the elections should not be such a major issue. After all, once parliament is back in session, one imagines that all manner of arrangements can be reached.

The key for the AL and BNP, thus, is for some arrangement to be made for the two party leaders to come out from behind bars, perhaps on medical grounds. This seems eminently possible.

It seems as though all the elements of a compromise therefore exist. The only thing that can get in the way is the hard-liners on both sides.

On the side of the political parties, the hard-liners are counseling showdown. It seems hard to see the merit of this position, as it seems to run the risk of strong counter-measures, when there is a lower risk, higher percentage option available.

By the same token, there are those who feel that there can be no option other than to keep the two party chiefs behind bars, convict them swiftly, and then hold the elections. But, again, even looking from the point of view of the protagonists of this view, this seems a less wise option than the available alternative.

Neither side trusts the other, hence, perhaps, the going for broke. But going for broke, certainly in this instance, seems like it might well lead to a poorer outcome for everyone. Let's hope that the more prudent and thoughtful heads prevail.

Let's hope we can reach a win-win outcome rather than the lose-lose one we are currently facing. Free and fair elections at the end of this year are in everyone's interest, and, as such, there is no reason we should not achieve them.


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