Source: Daily Star
December 17, 2007
The major political parties, socio-cultural organisations and war heroes boycotted the Victory Day reception at the Bangabhaban to protest invitation to the anti-liberation forces.
None from Awami League (AL), Jatiya Party (JP), Liberal Democratic party (LDP), Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB), Workers Party, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) and newly formed Bangladesh Kalyan Party leaders showed up at the party hosted by President Iajuddin Ahmed and his wife Anwara Begum.
Besides, the sector commanders and freedom fighters stayed away from the gathering as part of their earlier announcement that they would not participate in any state programme having anti-liberation elements including leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, the party that had opposed the Liberation War and worked as the auxiliary force of the occupying Pakistan army.
Jamaat Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid and central executive committee members Maulana Abdus Sobhan, Mohammad Kamaruzzaman and Maulana Delwar Hossain Sayedee, who stand accused of numerous atrocities in the course of their campaign against the birth of Bangladesh, attended the function held late in the afternoon.
Leaders of pro-Saifur Rahman faction of the BNP including its acting chairman Saifur Rahman, acting secretary general Major(retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed and former minister Moyeen Khan were also present there.
Hafiz Uddin Ahmed told the reporters, "It's a state programme. That's why we went there."
On the growing public demand for trial of the war criminals, he said: "I definitely want the trial but it must not be politicised."
Pro-Khaleda faction of the BNP, on the other hand, opted out of the reception as Khandaker Delwar Hossain, secretary general appointed by the chairperson, was not invited as the party's secretary general.
Among others, Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, Chief Justice M Ruhul Amin, advisers of the caretaker government, Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda, judges of the Supreme Court, diplomats, some other politicians, editors, business leaders, academics, artistes and senior civil and military officers attended the function.
Earlier, AL working committee decided that no-one from the party would attend the Bangabhaban reception if Jamaat leaders and war criminals are asked to be there.
Talking to The Daily Star on Saturday night, former army chief and Co-ordinator of Sector Commanders' Forum Lt Gen (retd) M Harun-ar-Rashid said they would boycott the event if anti-liberation forces are invited.
Bangladesh Kalyan Party Chairman Maj Gen (retd) Syed Mohammad Ibrahim refused to attend the reception for the same reason.
Watch this news coverage by Channel I: