November 14, 2006

The current state of Bangladesh (update)

Political protests continues for a third day. Yesterday's highlight was the heinous ramming of a police truck into fleeing activists, which killed one person instantly and injured others. Drishtipat has footages (warning: graphic scenes) and is blaming party biased police officers for the atrocities.

Another video is available online depicting the past government's misrule and human rights violations.

Reports say the army is still unwilling to get entangled with the mess.

The president and the caretaker government chief Iajuddin Ahmed's actions are creating more debates.

Naeem Mohaiemen's theory on the current situation (via an email):

*BNP wants to provoke AL as much as possible so that AL goes on violent rampage, and discredits themselves.

*AL will fall into that trap because Jalil has never been a sharp card. However juniors and smarter leaders are counseling patience. If the situation gets bad enough that Iaj can declare state of emergency, extend tenure of CTG for 6 months and announce elections in July. This gives BNP time to strengthen themselves.

*From BNP's pov delay in election is good, they need time to regroup and repair damage from LDP defection.

*The army move was partially to test the waters. Iaj may even have designs to install himself as Prez permanently, via army backed coup (think Thaland scenario).

*So far, Iaj is in control of the game, with behind the scenes directions from BNP. AL is reactive and to some degree stuck with few options.

*AL hopes that even if there is election, it will be replay of 96 when BNP went ahead with elections, everyone boycotted, Khaleda had egg on face and had to step down and call new elections (I believe that is when CTG was first formed). But BNP is keenly aware of that scenario as well.

*Meanwhile, what is Jamaat's game? They are shrewd survivors, and no one is paying attention to them.

Rahul Bhonsle analyzes in Desicritics Bangladesh's current political trends and predicts some scenarios.

Watch Bangladeshi TV channels NTV and Channel 1 or read BDnews24 for the updates of news.

Related: The current state of Bangladesh


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