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Volume 4 Issue 4 | April 2009



Original Forum Editorial

Chronicle of Tragedy and the Pendulum of Sentiment--Syeed Ahamed
What Lies Below-Afsan Chowdhury
Picking Through the Wreckage-- Jyoti Rahman
Untangling the Web--Shahedul Anam Khan
Photo Feature:Tea for life--Thomas T Kleiven/OUC
Trying the Mutineers-- Muhammad Mahbubul Huq
Brothers in Arms-- Shamsuddin Ahmed
Who Will Speak for the BDR?-- Hana Shams Ahmed
No Pain, No Gain-- M. Tamim
Reaping What We Sow-- M. A. Sattar Mandal
Anti-imperialist Heroes-- Mumtaz Iqbal


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Editor's Note

The nation is still reeling from the aftershock of the massacre at the BDR headquarters in Pilkhana that left 74, including 57 army officers, killed. Six weeks after the tragedy investigations are underway, but we are very far from returning to business as usual.

The crisis could not have come at a more challenging time for the new government. In addition to the unenviable task of managing the nation's transition back to democracy after two years of caretaker government rule, with all the complications that that entails, the government also has on its hands a global financial crisis to deal with.

Now, added to these already considerable pressures, is the strain caused by the Pilkhana massacre, that brought the country to the very brink of chaos, and that still has the potential to destabilise the polity if the tensions that have been aroused by the carnage cannot be defused.

What is becoming clear is that the massacre was no mutiny. Rather, it was a clear effort to destabilise the country, that came very close to succeeding, and that chaos was only averted due to sagacious handling on the part of the government and exemplary restraint and discipline on the part of the army.

This incident is merely the latest in a long line of atrocities that we have witnessed over the past few decades, and, too often, no-one has been held to account for these kinds of actions. As a result, the perpetrators have evaded justice and been able to regroup and strike again and again.

This must stop now. We have seen what the perpetrators are capable of. There can be no doubt that, unchecked, they will continue to act with impunity. We have now seen the cost of never getting to the bottom of such atrocities in the past.

So: who did it? It is still too early to point fingers, but surely we can deduce that the perpetrators wished to, at the very least, destabilise the current government and to drive a wedge between the army and the government.

Currently one of the dangers that have arisen in the aftermath of Pilkhana is the wedge that has been driven between the army and the government, threatening to upset the delicate balance of power between them, with potentially troubling repercussions.

But this wedge should not exist. Those who were behind the massacre were aiming at both the government and the army. Their aim was to destabilise the government. They murdered 57 army officers in cold blood.

The army and the government must realise that in this current crisis they are one another's allies and that they both are facing a common enemy. If they come to such a realisation and if they join forces to pursue their common enemies, there is no doubt in our mind that we can get to the bottom of this tragedy, and bring those responsible to justice, and that, as a result, our democracy will be strengthened.


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