A. Rahman

An orgy of killing in Bangladesh

August 16, 2015
An orgy of killing in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is in a spell of killing of atheists, humanists, and free-thinkers for upholding secularist views by the fundamentalist Islamists in the name of religion. All of these victims were secularists, as they aspired to see a free democratic society with a clear separation of religion – whatever that religion could be – from the functioning of the state. Religion has its place and it should not spill over to politics, economics, and other stately activities. These are the views the notorious Jamaat-e-Islam and its multitude of sister organisations loath to see and are prepared to exterminate by vicious murder. Read more »

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Kayes Ahmed

A racist, an illiterate, and a member of parliament

August 14, 2015
A racist, an illiterate, and a member of parliament

August 4, a hot and humid day in Boulder, Colorado. I got back from being dragged around the lake and hills by my dogs. As is my habit I clicked on bdnews24.com. What should I see; a picture of a fat man in a moustache, skullcap, and Nehru Coat saying Africans are uncivilised savages!

More accurately what he said was, “Our Army has gone to civilise those black people.” This is coming from a high school dropout (HSC is closer to 10th grade than say 12th grade). Unfortunately for us, he is an MP (Member of Parliament). He belongs to the ruling Awami League. He is (drum roll please) Elias Uddin Mollah. Read more »

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Julian Francis

Remembering Edward Kennedy

August 12, 2015
Remembering Edward Kennedy

August is the month when Bangabandhu, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is remembered with great solemnity for in 1975 he was brutally assassinated together with many family members. August 1971 is the month which holds other memories for me. It was when I met the mercurial and compassionate Senator Edward Kennedy and on this day, August 11th, in 1971 is when he visited some of the refugee camps in West Bengal.

At that time I was coordinating Oxfam’s refugee relief programme covering about 600,000 women, men and children in camps in Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam, Cooch Behar, and many other places in West Bengal. Read more »

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Afsan Chowdhury

Niladri and Rajon: What connects the child-killers and blogger-killers?

August 11, 2015
Niladri and Rajon: What connects the child-killers and blogger-killers?

Several headlines of gruesome killing of individuals for one reason or another have recently surfaced in Bangladesh drawing both national attention and disgust. People are astonished that right here, in the middle of “gentle and kind” Bangladeshis, so many have lurked around with murder on their mind. But to those who look at their homeland without the assistance of coloured glasses, this has always been a violent land. It actually celebrates violence and in one form or another. We enjoy the spilling of blood and celebration of acts that make it happen. So if we could get less shocked and take a realistic look at ourselves, there is a slim chance, that it may be slightly reduced. Read more »

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Kayes Ahmed

Talk, talk, talk, do nothing, shift blame

August 11, 2015
Talk, talk, talk, do nothing, shift blame

I started this article to write about all the talking that the Prime Minister, The Home Minister and all the mini ministers have been doing about catching the murderers who have killed four talented bloggers and writers.

They simply talk, talk, and talk. I assumed the talk is just a way to hide the incompetence and the impotence of the government and Law Enforcement agencies. Incompetence itself is not a crime but holding on to positions of power while being incompetent is probably a close cousin to criminal behavior.

But, today my naivetĂ© was shattered. There was this Press Conference by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) AKM Shahidul Hoque in Dhaka. What he said is both stunning in terms of shifting blame and also reveals the underlying philosophical construct which takes their lack of action from mere incompetence to a studied absence of action. Read more »

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Syed Badrul Ahsan

A hallowed spot, assassin soldiers, a nation in infamy

August 9, 2015
A hallowed spot, assassin soldiers, a nation in infamy

The home of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Road 32 Dhanmondi was in the 1960s and till the mid 1970s a proper centre of Bengali nationalistic aspirations. Today it is a hallowed spot, testimony to the supreme struggle and equally supreme sacrifices which are the legacy of the Father of the Nation and his family. It was here that a nearly entire family was gunned down by the forces of darkness in August 1975. And once the orgy of murder was complete, the soldiers went around looking for any valuables they could find. They left all the rooms in absolute chaos. The photographs on the walls had been shot through and so were other objects in that residence, a home like any other middle class Bengali home. On the walls were marks of blood and brain tissue. On the floor lay shells of the bullets that had gone into the killing operation. Read more »

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RAY

Bengal in London: A new beginning

August 9, 2015
Bengal in London: A new beginning

LONDON (RAY) 5 Aug — A week ago, the mercurial Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, was in London. Her visit was aimed at attracting British investment to her province, including its capital Kolkata, once the headquarters of British India and the second city (after London) of the Anglo-Saxon Empire.

Of course, the trip was somewhat scuttled by the national mourning announced after the death of former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam. This meant three official engagements in her programme had to be cancelled.

To come to London when parliament is in recess and most politicians are on vacation or on overseas tours was a mistake. Yet, it is surprising that no British cabinet minister found the time to meet her. One wonders what kind of a recommendation the British Deputy High Commission in Kolkata sent to Whitehall. Read more »

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Abdul Gaffar Choudhury

Does Bangladesh need mid-term elections?

August 8, 2015
Does Bangladesh need mid-term elections?

BNP has suddenly taken a new political turn. For the longest time they have been demanding a general election to be held under a neutral caretaker government. To force the government to accept their demand, they launched two movements before and after the January 5 election in association with Jamaat.

They killed people indiscriminately throughout the country. This terrorism under the cover of political movement did not succeed. BNP was demoralised and there was division among the party’s leaders and workers regarding the boycott of elections and whether it was justified or not. BNP’s rank and file believed that they would have won had they participated in the elections. Many of them, including the older leaders, lost faith in the wisdom of their high command, and there was silent discontent within the party against the high-handedness of Tareq Rahman. They believed that he was misleading the party from the comforts of his self-inflicted exile in London. Read more »

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A. Rahman

Seventy years of unfinished business

August 6, 2015
Seventy years of unfinished business

Two dates – August 6, 1945 and August 9, 1945 – will remain firmly etched in the minds of humanity as the example of the world’s worst man-made disaster and cruelty. People will recoil, as long as human civilisation lasts, at how the evil nature of human beings can cause such enormous death, destruction, and sufferings — not by the thousands but by the hundreds of thousands of people. On those two black days America dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki cities respectively and caused unprecedented destruction never seen before or since. Read more »

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