October 27, 2006

Bangladesh is tensed

The Bangladesh government led by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the four party alliance ends their five year tenure today. Tomorrow the power would be handed over to the Caretaker Government. Controversial Chief Justice KM Hasan is scheduled to take oath tomorrow as the Chief adviser. The Opposition parties led by Awami League (AL) and its fourteen party alliance had long been demanding that they will not participate in 2007 January election under Justice Hasan because of his past involvement with BNP. They have vowed to cripple the country with protests if he takes oath tomorrow and urged him to back down.

In her farewell address to the nation Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia urged the opposition to "maintain peace during the tenure of the caretaker government to ensure a peaceful and credible election". She said she was sorry for those who are suffering from power crisis and preached the success of her government.

Former president Badruddoza Chowdhury and a former dissident of BNP and 24 dissident active BNP members led by Oli Ahmed MP yesterday formed a new political party called Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). They have accused the government of carrying out widespread corruption, alleged absence of democracy in the party and supporting the Islamic fundamentalists.

Facts and figures of the current crisis:

* All about the caretaker government system and the latest dilemma about it.

* BBC has a chronology of key events in Bangladesh.

* Reuters has a factbox of the key political players in Bangladesh. My post two years ago analyzing the political parties of Bangladesh.

Some latest news:

These have come up from bloggers and readers in Drishtipat and other Bangladeshi blog sources, which are yet to be confirmed.

* Influencial army think tanks retired General Salam, General Ainuddin along with a Navy Commander have reported joined LDP, the new political party.

* Business Chamber sources report that the President is considering taking over of power after Oct 28th.

* Col Oli Ahmed (retd) urged nation to stop any ruling party’s corrupt politician fleeing the country through ZIA international airport.

* Special Security Force (SSF) of the presidential guards have taken over security of AL leader Sheikh Hasina.

* The Army apparently do not want to get into the mess.

* ATN TV reported for the first time in five years, police have beaten up BNP activists close to Naya Paltan and Baitul Mukarram area for creating chaos around 6:30pm Bangladesh time today.

* Violence erupted last night when AL burnt down office of BNP and then violence spread to all over old Dhaka and continued until midnight. At least 100 were injured.

* Dhaka Metropolitan Police announced Paltan Maidan is illegal for everyone to have large gathering or meetings tomorrow. It appears that before BNP activists, 14 party already took over the place by today evening.

* There seems to be at least 40,000 law enforcing personnel (mainly Police and a few battalions of RAB) are patrolling the city. Around 80 Platoons of BDR have already reached BDR HQ at Jigatala.

Latest: Reuters reports that six people have been killed and more than 200 injured. The violence spread across the country after Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia finished her farewell address to the nation on state television today evening.

Bangladesh had never been so tensed in recent times as eerie uncertainty grips the nation. All are waiting to see what happens tomorrow.

Update 1: BDnews24 reports that Justice K M Hasan has failed to find his fellow nine advisers and been forced to delay the takeover, scheduled for Saturday. ATN Bangla TV reports that KM Hasan is ill, will not take oath tomorrow.

* Wow, this is something. Eyewitness says: "there has been miking in the port city of Chittagong in the last hour or so that Justice Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury is taking over as the care taker government chief".

For latest news from Bangladesh check out BDNEWS24.COM


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