Monday, August 27, 2007

Destabilizing Bangladesh?

Destabilizing Bangladesh? Who are “They” General Moeen?
A.H. Jaffor Ullah

General Moeen who is the power behind the present-day despotic regime in Bangladesh talked to the press importunately on August 24, 2007. He took out his valuable time from flood relief work to fly to Dhaka from countryside and talked to news media when he informed that this government has foiled an attempt to destabilize the nation. As per his allegation, he said millions of Takas were poured in to host the agitation. All newspapers published from Dhaka however wrote that the demonstration against the government was an instantaneous reaction to incidents that took place inside the DU campus.

Would the military General be more specific and tell the nation who pumped millions of Taka to stage the countrywide demonstration against the present-day government that came to power via a cantonment intrigue. If he fails to name names, then we will assume that it is just an empty talk by the General to blame others for the failures of Fakhruddin Ahmed Administration.

As a military man Moeen took courses in military academy where he spent inordinate amounts of time to learn the definition of “enemy.” Therefore, Moeen still has this military mentality of seeing the events of a complex world too simplistically. He is of the opinion that the “enemy” of the nation, whoever it may be, is pumping an exorbitant amount of money to hire people for demonstration. We heard the same allegation coming from none other than Mainul Husein who has taken the onus on him to defend and speak for the interim government. In his nationwide speech, Fakhruddin Ahmed also expressed the same sentiment hinting a conspiracy theory behind the non-planned demonstration against the government.

Bangladesh’s authorities are famous for coming up with amazing and mind-boggling stories to diffuse out serious problems that confront the nation. On August 21, 2004 grenade attacks on Awami League leaders Khaleda Zia appointed a lone one-man commission headed by Justice Jainul Abedin. In a short order the Judge came to the conclusion that the grenade attack was planned and executed by the "enemy" of the nation from a neighboring nation in collaboration with the local miscreants. This time around, the army chief, General Moeen, who was promoted by this government (and talk about conflict of interest!), came to defend the action of Fakhruddin by saying that the masses were duped by Bangladesh’s enemy who infused inordinate sum of money to destabilize the government. All this comes in time when top politicians are either rotting in the jail or whose power were emasculated by some scorched-earth policy of the government that is being controlled from Kurmitola.

It seems as if, General Moeen had an epiphany at long last! He thus smells rats in the entire episode of recent country-wide mass demonstration called by none other than DU professors and students when the nation is under emergency rule. True to the nature of a despotic regime, Fakhruddin Administration sent police and secret service agents at the wee hours of the night to arrest five respected teachers. This government that came to power via a cantonment intrigue is finally showing its true color. They will use all the scare tactics to extract “information” from the five arrestees and then prove their point that a group of enemies are working behind to destabilize the nation; therefore, the government had no other option but to foil the “evil design" of the nation’s enemy.

Enough is enough! Will the senior most military officer be more specific and name names? People of Bangladesh would thank him enormously for letting them know who the real enemies of the country are. If he or Fakhruddin fails to specifically tell the masses that were behind masterminding the protest session that shook the mini-world of the oligarchy, then Bangladesh ’s suffering masses won’t believe a thing that emanates from the horse’s mouth.

The good place for an army officer is cantonment. That is where General Moeen belongs. For the life of me I do not understand why he has to come to public in full regalia to tell what is good for this luckless nation of 150 million. Gen. Moeen and Fakhruddin should know that we live in an information age. Those days of fooling the people are almost over. Caveat Emptor!

A.H. Jaffor Ullah, a researcher and columnist, writes from New Orleans , USA

The Daily Star
August 26, 2007
Front Page

Design to destabilise country foiled
Moeen says crores of taka poured in to instigate vandalism
Unb, Shariatpur

Moeen U Ahmed Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said an evil force wanted to destabilise the situation of the country but its design was foiled.

"An evil force taking the cue of a trifle incident on the Dhaka University campus on August 20 wanted to create anarchy in the country. Within 24 hours, they poured in crores of taka to instigate vandalism on the street."

"But the design could not succeed as we were vigilant. Their plan to destabilise the situation and undermine the government has been foiled," said Gen Moeen justifying the imposition of curfew on Wednesday night in Dhaka and five other cities.

The intelligence agencies are investigating to find out the evil force engaged in creating anarchy and undermining the image of the government, he added.

The army chief, who flew in here yesterday, was talking to a cross section of people at Shariatpur Circuit House at noon.

Earlier, he visited the relief centre at Water Development

Board and distributed relief materials among the flood victims. Fertiliser, paddy seedlings and vegetable seeds were also given to 300 people sheltered in the relief centre.

General Moeen said the short-lived flooding has left a trail of destruction. Besides damage to agriculture, the flood inflicted immense loss to houses, educational institutions, roads and highways. It will take time to repair the losses.

"Our duty is to help the affected people and raise their morale to recover the loss," he added.

Gen Moeen informed that as many as 53 medical teams are providing treatment for the flood affected people of the district. He advised the people to take advantage of the facilities extended by the government.

He said the armed forces were prepared to face the flood situation. They have distributed relief materials including rice allotted to the flood affected districts by the government.

About the price of essentials the army chief said the high price of food grains and some other commodities in the international market has given rise in prices in our market.

While exchanging views with the elite of the town Gen Moyeen reiterated that election will be held by the end of 2008. He expressed the hope that people would vote for the honest people.

Shariatpur Pourasabha Chairman Sardar AKM Nasiruddin, Madaripur Pourasabha Chairman Babu Chowdhury, Deputy Commissioner Habibur Rahman, elite of the town and newsmen attended the meeting.

General Moeen was accompanied by GOC of the 9th Division Major General Ahsabuddin, Director of Military Operation Brigadier General Humayun Bakht Chowdhury and other senior civil, military and police officers.

1 comment:

Zainal said...

Lot of money turned student agitation violent: UK HC

"Our assessment is from what we have heard that it was initially spontaneous and then it was not. British High Commissioner Anwar Chowdhury Sunday observed the first few hours of recent student movement was genuine and spontaneous but afterwards it was coordinated and a lot of money was thrown into that, reports UNB.

"Our assessment is from what we have heard that it was initially spontaneous and then it was not. It became much more than the incident. It soon became something much bigger, something much sinister," he told reporters after attending a briefing for foreign diplomats on the current situation by Foreign Advisor Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury.

In support of his contention, he said the army camp was withdrawn in accordance with students'' demand, a retired High Court judge initiated judicial inquiry and the government perhaps apologized for the incident.

Lot of money turns students agitation violent: UK HC "Most neutral people could not understand why the escalation went into that dimension and that has caused a lot of question marks in the people," he told replying to a correspondent''s query whether he felt it was a spontaneous student movement.

Chowdhury said, "We understood that it was a serious disturbance which has strategic consequences and we saw the government take ''quite concise and quite decisive'' action very quickly to try to bring the situation under control."

Asked if last week''s agitation was a resentment against the government, the envoy said price hike is a problem and people do feel unhappy about that but there are a lot of new progress and good news which perhaps do not reach the press.

Chowdhury said he has heard that Rajshahi voters'' list is going to be complete ahead of the time schedule and there are many progress on the roadmap for holding the election before December 2008 or hopefully earlier.

Asked about the detention of five university teachers, he said the matter was not raised at the briefing. He said it is a judicial process and they were told if people are found unconnected with it must be released but if they are connected in someway law will take it course.

About beating of journalists despite showing ID cards during the curfew hours, the High Commissioner said he is sorry to hear it and hoped the authorities will certainly look into it and take action.

On censorship on media, he said the country is under a state of emergency but the government has not imposed censorship in strict sense. In fact, he said, the press is free. There is a request for self-censorship as there is responsibility on all sides to lead the nation towards cherished goals.

Asked about the U.K. government''s position on the whole situation, Chowdhury said U.K. has asked for calm on all sides, respect for human rights and "we will be pleased that government will not be detracted from the main goals of getting to the election."

The High Commissioner came up with a firm optimism that the country is going to have election as every major component of the government is saying that the election will be held before the end of December 2008.

"They are making a lot of progress on critical path, lot of reforms…but 18 months are a long time and you would expect some bumps on the road."