Saturday, July 28, 2007

Open Letter to Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed

(Source: News from Bangladesh)
To : Honorable Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed Chief Advisor, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Signatories listed below

When the military-backed interim government under your leadership foiled the likely ‘doctored election’ of January 22 and saved the nation from disgrace and you promised to hold a 'free, fair, non-violent and credible election soon', we, the Bangladeshi academics living in North America applauded your new government. We also applauded when you successfully implemented many of the demands of the people; political parties and civil societies in the area of Election Commission, Voter list, Public Service Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission and especially applauded it when your government started jihad against corruption and misuse of powers.

Unfortunately, your much heralded jihad against corruption now appears to be heading towards wrong direction as it is now being used as a tool to weaken political parties and political leadership aiming at destroying multi-party democracy in Bangladesh. We believe such derailment would be bad for the country.

Secondly, the government appears to be manipulating corruption cases through intimidations and by other unethical means, and thus making such essential and much desired anti-corruption jihad controversial. We are afraid, if corruption cases are not objective and if they do not follow laws, rules, due process, procedures, transparency and ethics and if such are politically motivated to harass and disgrace targeted politicians, then such golden opportunity to eradicate or reduce corruption will be lost. Already people are losing confidence with few verdicts as they did not follow due process nor followed laws of the country. Pertinent questions are being raised on the concocted evidence obtained through intimidations, torture and bribes. Collection of evidence through torture and bribe would be a travesty of justice and fairness as such is itself another form of corruption.

Your Excellency:

We want your government to succeed in holding a free, fair, non-violent and credible election. If your government fails, the country will have political vacuum and instability leading to anarchy and militancy. Already the growth of terrorism in South Asia since 9/11 is the 2nd highest in the world only exceeded by the Middle East region.

Recently former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the leader of the largest and oldest political party of Bangladesh, the Awami League has been arrested in a dramatic way; over 1,000 forces used extra-ordinary physical force in the wee hours to break her bones. They manhandled her and thus disgraced the nation both home and abroad. The government did not follow due process of law in arresting her nor did it follow the minimum decency and professionalism that is so dear to civilized world and also to you. We condemn such manhandling, indecency, and ill treatment. We demand an apology and punishment of those that disgraced the nation in handling the arrest.

The circumstances leading to her arrest is questionable. Initially the government banned her return home. When such effort was foiled, they lodged an extortion case against her through intimidations (couple of questionable businessmen were taken into custody and under pressure, torture and threat of extra-judicial killing, they submitted extortion cases against Sheikh Hasina). They also lured other political leaders to drop her from party leadership through a ‘reform drama’. She had been arrested without any warrant as she was critical of some aspects of your government that is practicing double standards. Her extortion case appears to be ‘concocted and politically motivated’.

We therefore request you to release her immediately first to face the cases, and secondly as such politically motivated arrest would destroy democracy and stability in the country. Such concocted cases would destroy nation’s confidence on your government and in the process it will fail to deliver ‘a free, fair and credible election’ in near future. We also demand your government to follow rule of law, transparency, due process, not vengeance and extra judicial killing. Already Bangladesh has attained disgrace of the free world as it topped in ‘extra judicial killing’ and ‘state terrorism’. Unless rule of law is followed, such case would be a mockery of justice system and will lead the nation to further disgrace and isolation.

We also like to draw your attention to another unethical strategy adopted by your non-partisan government to render the established political parties and their leaders unpopular and dysfunctional is a travesty of the system of the rule of law. They are circulating concocted stories of corruption and extortion ascribing them to so-called confessional statements made by many, among them a number of their brokers or people under pressure many of whom said to be medicated or/and hypnotized. It is ethically wrong and disallowed by the judicial process to disclose confessional statements before they are formally aired in courts and it is universally wrong to carry out character assassination in the media. But this is what is being done in Bangladesh now and selected journalists are performing at the bidding of the powers to do media trial of important persons – mostly politicians - not officially or directly accused of. This is a very unpleasant development for healthy political development in the country and may perpetrate the rule of jungle that is attempted to be reined in.

Dear Dr. Ahmed:

We know you as a man of integrity and we have confidence and trust in many of your fellow Cabinet members as well. You saved the nation at a time when it was heading towards disasters due to ill governance, greed and polarization. People sacrificed for the last many years especially last 5 years and they look forward to a better future. However, if you make your administration unnecessarily controversial through falsity and prejudice your exit would be uncertain and difficult. We applauded many of your efforts and we hope that you will not entertain vengeance and unethical intimidations in discharging your responsibilities. If vengeance, evil motive and unethical intimidations and practices that are common with totalitarian governments supercede that of ethics, morality and rule of law and if such is imposed on you, in that case, you should resign forthwith. Remember, all good that ends well. Therefore do not lose your focus to a ‘hold a free, fair, non-violent and more importantly, a credible election’. Please do not lead the nation to a totalitarian, undemocratic administration that is characteristics of Muslim majority nations where poverty, lack of innovation, hopelessness, terrorism and backwardness are commonly prevalent.

It is true that time and again Bangladesh got ample opportunities to improve its situation but unfortunately, in each time, such opportunities are lost owing to greed, self interest, misuses of powers, individual ego and more importantly, absence of focus and absence of moral and ethical sense of values, responsibility and sensitivity. We have higher expectation of you and your cabinet. You may like to review and reflect your policies. Let us hope that your cabinet will not disappoint the nation nor would guillotine the hopes of a better Bangladesh.


Dr. Abdul Momen, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. Hasan Mamun, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. Shahab Siddiqui, Florida, USA

Dr. Nurun Nabi, New Jersey, USA

Dr. Naheed Banu, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. ABM Nasir, North Carolina, USA

Dr. Syed Abul Hasnath, Massachusetts, USA

Dr Akram Bhuiya, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. Esmet Hakim, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. Nurul Aman, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. Jalal Alamgir, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. Nazrul Islam, New York, USA

Dr. Prodip Kumar Roy, New York, USA

Dr. Badrul Huq, Connecticut, USA

Dr. Abu Abdullah, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. Abdul Hakim, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. Mosleuddin Ahmed, New Jersey, USA

Dr. Hasan Murshed, New York, USA

Dr. Khasruzzaman Chowdhury, Louisiana, USA

Dr. M. Mohsin Ali, New York, USA

Dr. Muzzamil Hossain, Toronto, Canada

Dr. Naser Ahmed, Florida, USA

Dr. Sudhamoy Bhattacharjee, Georgia, USA

Dr. Bimol Kanti Paul, Kansas, USA

Dr. Binoy Paul, Massachusetts, USA

Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed, Pennsylvania, USA

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