Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lord Avebury on Bangladesh Situation

August 25 statement as Chair, International Bangladesh Foundation

Lord Avebury has issued this following statement on August 25, 2007. Here is the excerpt of his statement:

We repeat the call made five months ago by the Commonwealth Secretary General to the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to lift the state of emergency and restore basic human and political rights to all citizens.

Since then, there has been significant erosion of popular support. The recent outbreak of protests and violence indicates the volatility and uncertainty of a situation in which the government and their military backers are pitted against large sections of civil society and the political parties. The indefinite curfew may have produced a temporary lull, but over the medium term may serve to fuel the resentment of the students and their supporters.

Similarly, the selective use of the ban on political activities against critics of the government is now a main cause of discontent, and makes it impossible for the political leaders who wish to see the holding of free and fair local government and national elections in accordance with the Electoral Commission roadmap, to play a constructive role in the restoration of democracy and the rule of law.

The recent arrest without a warrant of Sheikh Hasina, former Prime Minister and the President of the Awami League, is the most blatant example of how the use of the Emergency Power Rules to illegally detain and harass its opponents of the government.

When the High Court ruled that Sheikh Hasina’s arrest and detention on charges of extortion were illegal; that her charges could not be tried under the Emergency Powers, and granted her bail, the government pre-empted the court’s decision by arresting her on a further charge of extortion so that she continued to be detained.
The High Court ruled that the use of the Emergency Power Rules in the second case, and the continued detention, were both illegal as well. Meanwhile, the government had appealed against the High Court’s decision in the first case to the Supreme Court. The second hearing on this appeal was held on August 16 and a third hearing has been set for tomorrow, August 26, while Sheikh Hasina continues to be in detention.

Pressurising the judiciary and misuse of the appeals process the government ensures that for the time being, Sheikh Hasina is silenced, and the same tactics have been used against other critics.

A person convicted in the lower courts is barred from standing as a candidate for political office under the Emergency Power Rules, contrary to the constitution which provides that such a bar does not come into effect until the rights of appeal have been exhausted and the conviction upheld This means that cases can be rushed through the lower courts to ensure that an opponent of the government will be unable to compete in the either the local elections scheduled for January 2008, or the general election to be held by the end of next year.

It is alleged that the evidence against Sheikh Hasina consists only of testimonies extracted through the use of torture. Human Rights Watch report cited the claim by Tasneem Khalil, a journalist and human rights activist who was often critical of the present government, to have been tortured, and they assert that arbitrary arrest and detention and torture are a significant problem in Bangladesh today.

We accept that previous governments of Bangladesh have been riddled with corruption and we applaud the caretaker government’s determination not only to bring the criminals who became millionaires at the expense of the people to justice, but to reform the political system so as to make it as hard as possible for crooks to exploit the offices of the state in future. We believe it is not too late for this to be achieved by the government in cooperation with straight politicians and civil society, but as a prerequisite we suggest that the government review the evidence in the cases against Sheikh Hasina and others, and enter into a dialogue with the parties, student leaders and lawyers, on restoring civil rights and the independence of the courts.


Zainal said...

RAW-sponsored anti-Bangladeshi campaign

Mohammad Zainal Abedin

Bangladesh is a victim of media propaganda. Anti-Bangladesh propaganda continues to undermine the image of the country. To feed media with news item and create anti-Bangladesh sentiment and public opinion in home and abroad the anti-Bangladesh adversaries other than using print and electronic media, frequently sponsor so-called seminar, symposium, roundtable talks, exchange of views in different venues of the world, including Western capitals and cities.

The main prophet of anti-Bangladesh propaganda is our neighbouring country that though assisted us during our war of liberation, but unfortunately emerged as our lone arch adversary. It through hundreds of thousands of intrigues and measures proved that it is not ready to allow us to stand erect so that we can live in peace and harmony. It leaves no stone unturned to keep us disunited and chaotic, engage on group against the other and above all, make our country a failed and dysfunctional state.

All the conscious people around the world are aware that this country opened many overt and covert fronts to reach its goal of frustrating Bangladesh in her efforts to become a stable and prosperous nation. One of such fronts is media, which is used to spread slanderous campaign against Bangladesh in a bid to misinform and mislead the international community, which is required to prepare a ground to invade it.

RAW, the intelligence agency of that country, which is responsible for espionage in foreign countries, has been entrusted with the mission of squeezing Bangladesh in all fronts. With that end in view RAW developed its networks of anti-Bangladesh campaign not only inside Bangladesh, but also in the capitals and major cities of those countries that control world politics and economy. Through these networks, this notorious agency, which is known as RAW, organises seminar, symposium, round table talks, etc., to spread fake, planted, and deliberate allegations in the West, which actually never occurred in Bangladesh. The main themes and topics of such gatherings are similar to those what the neighouring country constantly spreads using her tentacles recruited in home and abroad.

It is irony to note that some of the British lawmakers and influential personalities are not lagged behind in spreading scandals against Bangladesh. Knowledgeable observers opine that the one-sided anti-Bangladesh propaganda of these personalities prove that that they have been trapped by RAW. It is observed that the British lawmakers and their European associates are being used as RAW-tool in its crusade against Bangladesh, as they are preaching same things what RAW does through its Bangladeshi tentacles. Observers are sure that RAW infiltrated into the British Parliament and purchased a number of Lawmakers to use them in anti-Bangladesh campaign.

It is alleged that a number of such British MPs are Lord Avebury, Vice Chair of Parliamentary Human Rights Group, Lord Dholakia, etc. Using these British Lawmakers and so-called European civil society and intellectuals, and human rights groups, RAW launches anti-Bangladesh propaganda in those countries that can cause Bangladesh economically, diplomatically and politically. If these people and groups were really impartial they would speak out the truth and defend Bangladesh to frustrate RAW planted media campaign. Rather they spread such slanderous things which India and its Bangladeshi stooges constantly preach.

RAW itself opened branches of all the anti-Bangladesh groups and outfits that are existed and operate in Bangladesh and India. Besides, it uses and finances some of those European and American human rights groups that are already in existence. These groups and outfits and local intellectuals and members of the civil society frequently sponsor seminars, symposiums, conferences, discussions and so on to sharpen anti-Bangladesh campaign in European and American capitals and cities. Very recently, on June 17, 2005, Lord Avebury chaired a conference on 'European Human Rights Conference on Bangladesh: Extremism, Intolerance and Violence.'

It was held at Khalili Theatre SOAS (School of African and Oriental Studies) University of London, organised by the 'Bangladesh Confereence 2005 Steering Committee, comprising 18 human rights groups led by Lord Avebury and Lord Dholakia, Vice Chair of Parliamentary Human Rights Group.

The participants, their deliberations and above all, the topics that were discussed and the resolutions that were adopted at the conference, unveiled RAW connection with Lord Avebury and his associates. The keynote speakers at the plenary sessions were Justice K M Subhan, Saber Hossain Chowdhury, P. A. Sangma MP, former Speaker of Indian Parliament, Babu Gogineni of International Humanists and Ethical Union, Prof. Meer Mobasher Ali, Deputy National Ameer of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Bangladesh, Reza Kibria and some other British and European MPs and personalities who are soft to India.

The identity and commitment of these persons and the topic of the conference unequivocally show for whose interest it was organised and which power works from behind the screen. To show the conference outwardly a neutral one, Bangladesh High Commission in UK Moffazzal Karim and Khondokar Mahbubuddin Ahmed MP were also invited. But they were not given sufficient time to counter the fake and exaggerated allegations that were brought at the conference against Bangladesh. Even Mahbubuddin MP could not deliver his speech in a peaceful way. Disturbance was created during his deliberation, so that he could not get time to prove the falsity of the allegations.

The sponsors invited London-based Bangladesh High Commissioner and Mahbubuddin MP at the conference to mislead the common people around the world that they were neutral and were not planted by RAW. But their ugly behaviour that they committed with Khondokar Mahbubuddin MP unveiled their real face and proved that they are not only misguided by the fabricated and planted anti-Bangladesh media propaganda, rather they are also paid stooges of RAW to patronise and propagate such anti-Bangladesh and anti-moral activities. The issues that were discussed and the resolutions that were adopted at the conference were only the photocopy of that propaganda that several RAW-sponsored groups and outfits in Bangladesh and India always preach.

Let me quote from the press release that was circulated mentioning the names of the participants and the resolutions. Let me quote "Most of the plenary keynote speakers and workshop speakers spoke about the gross human rights violations of ethnic (Chittagong Hill Tracts people), and religious minorities (Hindu, Buddhists, Christians and Ahmadiyya), opposition political activists, secular and civil society members, journalists, extra judicial killings and the rise of fundamentalism." These are actually rumination of those anti-Bangladesh fabricated issues that India and its Bangladeshi paid agents spread round the clock.

Resolutions that were adopted at the conference also unveiled RAW connection with the organisers that are only the photocopies of those, which we repeatedly hear in Bangladesh by those who serve Indian interest in this country. Resolutions referred to 'custodial torture,' 'extra-judicial killing' 'abuse of human rights of the minority faith. The resolutions also suggested to reform caretaker government and election commission, ensure independence of judiciary, repeal the 5th and 8th amendments of Bangladesh Constitution and (so-called) anti-minority racist laws, such as the vested property (law), lift the ban on Ahmadiyya publications and their mosques must be restored, establish an independent and permanent minority and women's rights commission, implement CHT treaty, etc.

The resolutions also suggested the World Bank, USAID, The EU and others to put pressure on Bangladesh on the maintenance of 'stable democracy' 'good governance.' It also "decided to establish a European Civil Society network to monitor the progress of Bangladesh towards compliance with international human rights standards, to make representations to governments and to the UN Human Rights Commission and to hold further meetings."Names of the discussants and their deliberations, above all the resolutions adopted at the seminar show that same type of demands are raised by Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Solidarity Council and other RAW-financed groups and parties in Bangladesh and India.

It is unfortunate to note that the RAW tentacles use those fabricated and fake stories that RAW laboratories in India and Bangladesh prepare and publish. Most of the stories about atrocities on the minority or human rights violations were either totally false or staged or at best, partially true, which were exaggerated to their maximum degree, when they were filmed or printed in home and abroad. It is seldom comes in the media, how RAW branding the Indian nationals hailing from West Bengal of India as Bangladeshis made video footages on atrocities and circulated them as atrocities on the Bangladeshis Hindus. Tara TV is one such RAW front. Tara News,Tara Music etc are vehicles of cultural agression.

Even the rural Bangladeshis frustrated some intrigues while the RAW agents branding them as journalists were filming fake atrocities on the minority Hindus. Hundreds of such staged and acted video footages were filmed in India and even in Bangladesh and smuggled to the Western capitals and cities. But RAW and its Asian, European and American stooges to misguide, mislead and misinform the international community use these fake videos as true to show that the Hindus and the ethnic tribes are persecuted by the majority Muslims.

If the British lawmakers, were not RAW stooges, rather true humanists, would have investigated those that they get in Indian or Western media about Bangladesh whether they are true or false. They proved their RAW connection by preaching those political demands of those Bangladeshi political parties and groups that are tilted to India. They could even ask British High Commission in Dhaka to investigate whether these allegations were fake or true. Even a team of British MPs could come to Bangladesh to visit those areas where the victims of human rights violations are reside and talk to them. They did not do so as they are sure that all those stories of human rights violations were false and fake. If they come even now they will surely found no such persons who were persecuted on ethnic or religious grounds.

I personally visited some spots whose names and stories of atrocities were flashed in a section of Bangladeshi newspapers. I found no persons of such names living in the locality that were mentioned in the dailies. Then I asked them whether any incident of torture, plunder, arson or rape on the Hindus women occurred in their locality they replied in negative. However, they said that they read stories of such type of atrocities in newspapers, but the Hindus did not face any problem and they are safe and live along with their Muslim neighbours in peace.

In the truest sense of the term, the Western people believe that the print media of Bangladesh are as honest, responsible, accountable as those of Western countries. For this reason they take it true, if any report of atrocity on the Hindus or terrorist activities are published in the newspapers. But they do not know that RAW spends millions of dollars every year to patronise a number of dailies to work according to its prescriptions.

So impartial British MPs and their European or American counterparts, who still side with true and justice, believe in the existence of smaller countries like Bangladesh and above all are out of RAW influence should visit Bangladesh to see what type of unfounded and fake allegations that they often learn through media or conferences or seminars that are held in their capitals and cities sponsored by RAW and its agents.

Bangladesh government should invite some the British and Western influential lawmakers, personalities, diplomats, media men, politicians, etc. to visit Bangladesh and see for themselves how RAW and its agents misinform and mislead them. This type of visit will be more useful and effective than the diplomatic persuasion and motivation of our ambassadors and high commissioners in different capitals of the Western world.*

Anonymous said...

hi Zainal,

Are u paid by DGFI? What's about democracy and transparency? Isnt' this army who have destroyed democracy in Bangladesh systematically. don't follow you big bosses to blame others when the army is the one that holds responsibility to create messes in BD over and over. good try on your part. Keep doning it as a moron.