Comments on: Bangladesh reinventing itself Straight from the Specialists Sun, 06 Mar 2016 13:25:08 +0000 hourly 1 By: Lamakani Mon, 20 Feb 2012 12:28:39 +0000 The author of this article presents the present Awami League government as a bastion of enlightened secularism which promotes equality and justice for all, pitted against the dark forces of Islamic radicalism. Unfortunately, this is rather far from the truth, and the article is riddled with misrepresentations, inaccuracies and fallacies. I summarise some of these below.

– ‘The tribunal has already summoned known radical leaders.’ – the ‘radical leaders’ in question are leaders of the second
largest opposition party, Jamaat-i-Islami. They assert that the trials are politically motivated and aimed at discrediting and weakening the opposition; their detention has recently been declared as arbitrary by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ( log/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/UN-Workin g-Group-ICT-Opinion.pdf)
Why the word ‘radical’ necessarily applies to these people, the author does not explain (perhaps all Islamic political particles are radical, from his point of view?).

– ‘Hopefully, the trials will be fair, transparent and also lead to pursuing evidence gathered about the roles of non-Bangladeshi nationals in the 1971 genocide, political costs notwithstanding.’
Shafique Ahmed, the Bangladeshi Minister of Law, has already stated that no Pakistanis would be tried at the International Crimes Tribunal, and that the relevant law would only apply to Bangladeshi nationals (despite the fact that the law explicitly states it applies irrespective on nationality, see Section 3 of the 1973 International Crimes Act).

– Furthermore, internatonal jurists and human rights groups have expressed serious concerns regarding the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), including Human Rights Watch ( ladesh-stop-harassment-defense-war-tribu nal-GI). The chairman of the Tribunal participated in a ‘people’s court’ which prejudged the cases currently on trial, and moreover, the Tribunal has failed to take into account
recommendations by the US War Crimes Ambassador, or amend parts of the War Crimes Act which have been strongly criticised ( log/?p=3073).

– ‘However, Sheikh Hasina’s effort to subdue terror requires assistance from the global community.’ Sheikh Hasina’s government seems unwilling to accept assistance with improving the legal provisions of the ICT, but is happy to receive assistance and training for the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). Assistance for the RAB, which is known to engage in torture, disappearances, and extrajudicial killings, has been provided by the US, and until recently, the UK.

– There are widespread reports of human rights violations under the present Awami League government, which the government persistently denies ( rld-report-2012-bangladesh). Is this ‘evidence of strengthening those institutions that are democracy’s pillars’ which the author praises?

– Crimes were committed by Bangladeshi liberation forces in 1971, notably by Kader Siddique, presently an MP of the Bangladeshi parliament, who on December 19, 1971, bayonetted to death a number of alleged ‘collaborators’ in front of a group of foreign journalists. Why has he not been tried for this well-documented crime?

– Lastly, which genocide is the author repeatedly referring to? The Pakistani Army and its paramilitary arms were certainly not the only ones doing the killing in 1971. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) found in 1972 that instances of mass murder of members of the Urdu-speaking Bihari minority may also have constituted acts of genocide. Has the present Awami League government taken steps to investigate these? Is anyone going to be tried for them?

Perhaps the bias evident in the article is unsurprising, given that the author is an ex-brigadier of the Indian Army, who is thus likely to turn a blind eye towards the failings of the present Bangladeshi government, as long as Indian interests are protected (India and Bangladesh signed trade and security agreements in 2011).

It is unclear, however, why Reuters would want to associate its name which such a poorly writen column.

By: Ashrafhaque Mon, 20 Feb 2012 07:29:56 +0000 Not true picture of Bangladesh. Shib Shena in India but BD Islamist group are not even like Shib Shena and also Gijrat killing not even any similar event in BD. This is politically motivated written. Reuter loosing its credibility.