Show your support: Donate Now


Support HRCBM: Please donate Now


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wakeup call to Bangladeshi ministers

Source: Weekly Blitz Editorial

According to a commentary titled ‘Sleeping ministers, rapes and atrocities in Bangladesh’ published in Weekly Blitz on October 7, 2009, although nine months have already passed since Awami League led ‘Grand Alliance’ government [a combination of leftists and Islamists] came in power through a questioned landslide victory, according to Dhaka’s popular vernacular tabloid daily Manabzamin, twenty ministers and junior ministers in the cabinet are seen very much inactive. Two of the ministers of the present government are mostly spending time at home or hospital as they have several physical complications, while some of them do not attend their office even five hours a week. Ministries are forced to send files at their homes for signature. According to Manabzamin, there is no reflection of the Electoral Manifesto of Bangladesh Awami League in its administration. There are 52 member cabinet in Bangladesh consisting ministers, junior ministers and advisors. The newspaper said, there is ‘tug of war’ between ministers and secretaries in a number of ministries in Bangladesh, as those ministers are trying to turn these government offices into mere center of party sycophants and touts. There is also a very strange news about corruption in the Agriculture Ministry, which is headed by veteran politician Matia Chowdhury, who enjoyed a very clean image in Bangladeshi politics. According to the report, Agricultural affairs minister Matia Chowdhury, who enjoys high esteem of being the most honest politician in Bangladesh is earning wrath of Awami League activists as she rejects all forms of requests from party touts. But now a days, there are even allegations of irregularities against Mrs. Chowdhury. She is alleged of issuing license for dealing in fertilizer only to Awami League cadres. And, there is another news of corruption by very controversial minister Faruq Khan. According to the news, Commerce minister Lieutenant Colonel [Retired] Faruq Khan has already earned the bad reputation of being the most talketive minister in Bangladesh. Although there are rumors that the commerce minister does not pay any heed to any type of persuation from the party cadres, it is proved that several relatives of him are active in lobbying and they are known to be the ‘channels’ in reaching the minister in getting any issue settled and done. Faruq Khan is already alleged of according a huge business contract of edible oil and sugar to a non-existent Swedish company.
Quoting a local vernacular daily, it was also mentioned in the commentary that, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son, Sajib Wajed Joy is working as her ‘undeclared advisor’ since the present government came in power. Bangladeshi embassy in Washington later in a press release said that, Sajib Wajed Joy is the advisor of his ‘mother’ and not the ‘Prime Minister’.
In 1996, when Awami League came in power, Joy, who lives in United States committes series of irregularities by proclaiming to be the advisor to his mother. It was even reported in a English language periodical in Bangladesh that Sajib Wajed Joy became owner of huge properties in United States during the tenure of his mother [1996-2001].
In this case, certainly a valid question will come. If the son is the advisor to his mother, then, why such issues should reach the press? Why Bangladeshi embassy in Washington mentioned Joy as the ‘advisor to Prime Minister’ and later changed it with ‘advisor to his mother’?
Being a mother, Sheikh Hasina, surely can seek suggestions and advice from her son on various matter, where she fails to understand anything. But, was it necessary at all to let this matter be publicized?
In the same commentary, there was another extremely disturbing information. Quoting a Bangla daily, in the commentary, it was mentioned that 338 women and children were raped during past nine months in various parts of Bangladesh while 50 women and 22 minor girls were murdered after rape.
On September 25, 2009, 10 activists of Bangladesh Awami League raped a young girl, on her return from a Hindu temple at Kolapara upazila [sub-district] under Patuakhali district at the Southern part of Bangladesh. Later, an influential ruling party leader of the sub-dustrict, forced the family members of the raped girl to sign in blank papers to stop them from lodging any complaint with police. None of the perpetrators were ever arrested since the brutal rape of the Hindu girl.
At Pirojpur district [Southern part of Bangladesh], Ahsan Kabir Mamun, information secretary of the district committee of the student wing of Bangladesh Awami League abducted a school girl and videographed while raping her with the help of his friends. It may be mentioned here that, while Awami League was in power in 1996, a leader of its student’s wing arranged a grand party at Jahangir Nagar University to celebrate the completion of his ‘raping 100 female students’. Later, instead of punishing this perpetrator, Awami League awarded him with a job at National University. Since Awami League came in power in 2009, such rapes have again started in various university campuses and residential halls in Bangladesh.
All are terribly disturbing information! Should the ministers in the present government wake up from their sleep before everything is too late? Should the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina finetune some of the actions and activities of her party? Should she also stop listening to sycophants?
Leaders of the ruling party and those ministers are very confident to believe that, they will be in power at least till 2021 as they have very successfully tamed the major opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party already. Visibly there is no political opponent of the ruling party in Bangladesh now. The parliament is also under the absolute control of the ruling party. Opposition is continuing to boycott the parliament. Alarmingly, Bangladesh is gradually heading towards ‘Democratic Autocracy’ or may be even worst, which is named in many nations as ‘Family Dynasty’.
Problem with Bangladeshi politicians is, they never take lesson from the past. Awami League too surely has forgotten their divastating defeat in the General Election in 2001. They were virtually rejected by the voters in Bangladesh for several wrong actions. And unfortunately, the same party, which won a massive victory during General Election in December 2008 is repeating the same old blunders.

No comments: