Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bangladesh Facing Crisis

It appears that the Bangladesh Government is responding to the food crisis by beginning open market sale. In addition, Dhaka University's Professors and Students are demanding release of the professors and students.

New Age reports,

Teachers at Dhaka University on Wednesday staged a sit-in demonstration for an hour at Aparajeya Bangla holding placards and demanded the release of their colleagues and students detained in connection with the August campus protests.
The placards read ‘Release all detained teachers and students without delay!’ ‘Uphold the right to justice and conscience!’ and ‘Keep educational institutions functioning!’ demanding that free thinking should be allowed in educational institutions.

Professor MM Akash of economics, who announced the plan for the demonstrations two days ago, along with the teachers loyal to the Awami League-backed Blue Panel and the left-leaning Pink Panel gathered at the place at 11:00am, joined in by more teachers. The teachers loyal to the BNP and Jamaat-backed White Panel did not join the protests.

A number of students of the Institute of Social Welfare and Research earlier formed a human chain at the institute to push for the demands. After the demonstrations, Professor Kabir Chowdhury told reporters, ‘We are here with some resentments and demands. There are no reasons to keep the teachers and students in jail.’

‘Taking classes is not the only duty of the teachers. They should also become vocal against injustice. If the teachers were vocal during the August campus protests, they performed their duty and they should be rewarded, not punished,’ Kabir said.
He hoped that the university authorities would be active in their efforts for the release of the detained teachers and students.

He said the reports of the judicial inquiry commission and inquiries by the military should be made public so that people can know what happened during August 20–22 on and around the campus and demanded that the teachers and students should be released.

Former DUTA president AAMS Arefin Siddique brushed aside the allegations levelled by the teachers loyal to the White Panel who claimed the Blue Panel teachers were conspiring to make the campus unstable by going out on demonstrations. He said, ‘Rather they were hatching plots against the teachers’ association by making it dysfunctional with the help of the administration. This has prolonged the detention of the teachers and students.’

‘All organisations have the right to go out on demonstrations for their just demand; so has the teachers’ association. If the leaders are not capable enough of running the organisation and getting the teachers freed, they should step down,’ he said.
The Students against Repression also skipped classes from 11:00am to noon and gathered in front of the Arts Building at a distance from the teachers. The students have planned to form a human chain on the campus at 10:00am today.

The vice-chancellor, SMA Faiz, meanwhile, met the president, Iajuddin Ahmed, also the chancellor, at noon and discussed matters related to the release of the teachers.
The Dhaka University Journalists’ Association members also met the vice-chancellor on the indictment of the university correspondent of Banglabazar Patrika, Khomenee Ihsan, in the case of setting fire to a military staff car. They sought his intervention in this regard.

Watch the Bangla news coverage:

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