Friday, August 3, 2007

Is the Government heading for a big fiasco?

Is the Bangladesh's caretaker government heading for a big fiasco?
By Monsur Ibrahim

Supreme Court’s order against High Court’s ruling:
The full bench appellate division of Supreme Court stayed the high court’s ruling on Sheikh. Hasina’s bail till August 14. Per senior attorney Barrister Rafiq, he didn’t understand this kind of ruling even with his 47 years of experience in legal system. He said, if this was not Supreme Court, he would have claimed it as “too much politically motivated”, because high court has the full authority on writ petitions by regulation 102 of the constitution and the appellate division is regulated by section 103 of the constitution.

We have seen some interesting incidents with this ruling. As soon as the High Court gave its ruling, Barrister Moinul Hossain announced to file an appeal and government filed an appeal before 24 hours of High Court’s verdict and even before High Court mailed its ruling to government. Interestingly, the complainant of the case Mr. Azam didn’t tell the state to file an appeal but state was too much interested in it and filed it the next day.

Supreme Court took the hearing but postponed the verdict for one more day. It is not wise to criticize court’s decision but why they took one more day to give the verdict. Did our Chief Justice required to do it to consult with government and Bar Moinul Hossain? Since Supreme Court is autonomous, we hope that was not the cause.

BUT, hundreds of RAB and police force were placed in and around Supreme Court since early morning of the day before the verdict. The parties in the appeal were Government and Sheikh Hasina. Verdict could go either way. Who and how Police department and home ministry knew what the verdict is going to be and placed RAB and cops in and around court premises? If verdict would have been in favor of High Court ruling or Sheikh Hasina’s bail, no cops were needed. That means government knew well ahead of time that the verdict is going to be against Sheikh Hasina’s bail. Question is how government knew it? Either government dictated the Chief Justice or our Chief Justice informed the government. If the first case is true, this government is influencing the court more than any political government and scaring them because they have army behind them. If the second case is true, why would Chief Justice request cops? Is it because he knew that his judgment was not fair and requested for safety? We do not know but facts on the field raise these questions.

Khaleda and Saifur Rahman’s whitening of black money:
Isn’t it very interesting? The former PM and Finance Minister has black money! Isn’t it more interesting that they are not arrested whereas government (Bangladesh Bank) froze all bank accounts of Sheikh. Hasina, her husband Dr. Wazed Miah, Sheikh Rehana, Rehana’s husband Dr. Siddiqui, Sheikh. Hasina’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy, daughter Sayema, Bangabandhu Memorial Trust, Grenade Victim Assistance Fund! Isn't it amazing even though Khaleda’s younger son Koko, brothers Syed Iskander and Shamim Iskander are largely involved in corruption and money laundering, their bank accounts are still operational?

Khaleda Zia’s Bank Account:
The strangest statements were made by Khaleda Zia’s attorney preparing her wealth statement. He said Khaleda Zia is scared because some interested fans may have opened bank accounts in Khaleda’s name and put money in those accounts. She wouldn’t know if there are many such accounts in her name because her fans could have done it. How unbelievable is that? Can any one open an account in any one’s name? Even though it may be possible by forging documents, is it possible to open an account in Prime Minister’s name and without her knowledge? Khaleda is not a ordinary person and any bank manager in Bangladesh knows that. Interestingly, when asked if Khaleda Zia had any foreign accounts, her lawyer had the same reply that some fans could have opened accounts in foreign countries in Kahleda’s name and could have put money in those accounts that she was not aware of. Though many things can happen in Bangladesh, you cannot open a bank account in a foreign nation without your identity and proper documents. Are we all idiots that we have to listen to this crap?

Human Rights Watch’s Asia Director Brad Adams’s open letter to Mr. Fakhruddin Ahmed:
In his open letter, Mr. Adams pointed out discrepancies between this government’s commitments and activities. He mentioned how this government is in power by their own choice and not compelled or forced by any one; the locations of illegal hidden DGFI (Defense Intelligence/ Directorate General of Forces Intelligence) torture chambers in the cantonment, and other illegal activities being carried out by army. Mr. Adams pin pointed the torture cells, how confessions are taken and video tapes are made by army people. Mr. Fakhruddin’s government has been criticized more than any corrupt political government. How sad will that be for our army’s reputation to act in UN peace missions? Already six Bangladesh army soldiers were expelled and deported from UN Peace Keeping Mission for raping in a foreign country. Army’s current role in illegal torture and abuse of human rights will simply add to the negative image of our army in the international arena.

Finally Bar Moinul Hossain:
Finally, Mr. Moinul Hossain expressed his concern that this government may not be successful. He said that in the context of price hike, flood situation and overall scenario of the country. Instead of consulting major political parties on how to combat these essential national issues and utilizing their manpower resources, government is more involved in sizing them. Instead of punishing real corrupt politicians, government is pressing hard on Sheikh Hasina and her party. In order to sustain power, they are apparently favoring Khaleda Zia and other highly corrupt politicians. People already doubt this government’s fairness because of their unfair partisan caricature.

We expected our Fakhruddin-Moeen government to be successful. But now the main player Mr. Moinul Hossain is casting doubt himself about their success. We won’t be surprised if this government is ultimately heading towards a big fiasco.

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