News from Bangladesh

Discussion in 'Bangladesh Defence Forum' started by iajdani, Dec 30, 2008.

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  1. iajdani
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    The Awami League-led grand alliance has swept back to power after seven years out of office with a stunning landslide victory in an environment of free and fair elections that clearly showed the people's verdict for a change and has consigned the BNP-led four-party alliance to the political wilderness.

    As of 3:30 in the morning, the grand alliance had clinched 175 seats compared to 23, down from 217 in 2001, won by its archrival BNP-led four-party alliance, more than enough to form the next government.

    Jamaat-e-Islami, the BNP's key ally in the four-party alliance, has seen its once-proud seat tally plummet from 17 in 2001 to a humiliating two, in what appears to be a wholesale rejection of the party by the voters.

    A 'rebel' candidate from Jamaat-e-Islami also won from Cox's Bazar-2.

    The shocking results clearly indicate that the voters, especially the young and first-time voters, were hungry for change that the BNP-led four-party alliance was simply incapable of delivering.

    The four-party alliance offered few new ideas to the voters and appeared to have learned nothing from its two years on the sidelines during which many of its senior leaders were incarcerated on corruption charges.

    The defeat of the four-party alliance can be seen as the majesty of the public verdict against the unprecedented corruption and tyranny that marked its five-year rule.

    While in power, the BNP-led alliance failed to address a series of vital issues, including soaring prices of essential commodities and power generation, instead focusing on consolidating all power in its hands and misusing the same for personal and political gain.

    In its lacklustre campaigning around the country in advance of yesterday's polls, the four-party alliance failed to unveil a compelling vision to the voters for dealing with crucial issues in the future.

    The four-party alliance candidates, and in particular BNP chief and ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, paid scant attention to the needs and aspirations of the voters, instead conducting a negative campaign based on identity politics.

    Khaleda repeatedly invoked Islam, requesting that the voters vote BNP into power to "save Islam" and "save the country". It is believed that this kind of negativity and cynicism is what has been punished by the voters.

    The near wipe-out of the Jamaat-e-Islami in the party's worst election showing since independence also lends credence to the notion that the voters, although religiously observant themselves, have totally rejected the misuse of religion for political purposes.

    There is much conjecture that the victory of the grand alliance was the outcome of participation of first-time voters, who turned out in record numbers, and women voters, who outnumbered the men.

    A key to the elections was information, both about the corruption of major candidates and parties, that had come to light due to media reports and the anti-corruption campaign of the past two years, and also about the individual candidates that was mandated by the election laws and made available to the voters by the Election Commission (EC), media, and civil society organisations.

    It was an experience never seen before in independent Bangladesh: A record number of voters -- 70 percent -- marched up to polling centres and waited for hours to cast their votes. Defying the winter chill in rural areas, men and women, young and old, some on crutches or in wheelchairs, queued up patiently for the opportunity to pick their representatives.

    Young voters came out in droves, their eyes full of excitement, looking for their serial numbers, clearly eager to vote for the first time. Election buntings hanging from strings festooned the roads and walkways and brought a festive edge to the day.

    The scenes were more of the same throughout the day as the elections to the ninth parliament finally ended after a gap of seven years from the eighth.

    Held under tight security, this year's polls saw none of the deadly unrest that forced the January 22, 2007 vote to be cancelled and an army-backed caretaker government to take control.

    Political rivals shuttered their sharp ideological divides, at least for a day, and smiled at each other, often helping identify voters.

    Voters, rather than behaving in herd mentality, proudly swung their votes, saying they looked at candidate profiles rather than symbols. Reports of violence were few and far between and that too with less intensity than in the past. Fake voting was almost absent.

    It seemed the long-toiling work on anti-corruption and political reforms had paid off -- at least to some extent.

    The voters walked to the polling centres as traffic was ordered off the roads. One voter in Dhaka-6 constituency said in excitement: "It's a very pleasant day. I didn't have any hassles in casting my vote. I came in here by walking."

    The words sounded as he was leaving Kamrunnesa Girls High School. The road past the school was teeming with voters -- all eager to exercise their right to franchise.

    The distinctly festive mood of the election could not be marred by the voting mismanagement that was visible in some polling centres in the capital city and elsewhere.

    Some voters were left out of the excitement as they failed to find their voter numbers or their respective polling booths. This prompted some people to stage peaceful protests in the capital and elsewhere, demanding the EC arrange voter numbers and polling booths for them.

    There had been some reports of people splurging hard cash in a bid to buy voters in various parts of the country.

    Yet, with a record number of first-time voters who represent 33 percent of the 8.10 crore voting population, the mood on Election Day was upbeat from early morning.

    "I went to my polling centre in Uttara High School at 7.45am, thinking I would be the first to cast my vote," says schoolteacher Rosie Rasheed. "The streets looked deserted at the time. But when I entered the school premises, I was surprised to see hundreds of people already queuing up."

    Dhaka University student Erfana Sikdar was strong in her opinion: "I'm exercising my voting right for the first time and that's why this is an important election for me."

    "I feel I have a role to play in deciding which party comes to power. While this election takes us back to democracy, I would have been happier if there had been more new faces in the race."

    "I believe we will see a new political culture through this election," said Urmi, a first-timer from Mohammadpur.

    "The caretaker government has done reform work for the last two years. Shall we not get any result from it?" said Razib Chakrabarti, a first-time voter of Dakkhin Jatrabari. "We will benefit from it, however small it may be."

    A bulk number of votes were apparently cast by noon. "Out of 500 voters in this booth, around 350 votes had already been cast by 12.30pm," said a polling agent at Ispahani Girls School in Moghbazar.

    Women made an overwhelming presence at the polling centres. The number of women voters stands at 4.12 crore, which is more than half of the total voters.

    At the Meherunnessa School polling station, women voters in long queues appeared to be comfortable with the voting arrangement. The station has arranged game facilities for children. Some women left their children there, as they were waiting their turns to cast votes.

    "More than 50 percent of the voters in this booth have cast their votes. It has been smooth and there are no complaints," said a polling agent at Ideal School in Motijheel at 1 pm.

    "I have never seen such a smooth trouble-free election in a decade," said an election observer at New Model Degree College. He had previously worked for an NGO as an election observer in 2001.

    Unlike the past elections, the 2008 polls included the provision of "No Vote" allowing voters to express their no-confidence in candidates on ballot papers. The percentage of no-vote casters appeared low.

    Of such votes, many were first-time voters who were unsatisfied with their choice of candidates.

    Rashed, a first-time voter who gave a "no vote" in Gulshan, made a point: "I don't like Hannan Shah or Ershad. Other candidates are unknown to me. I didn't want to waste my vote on people like them."

    Md Shahidul Islam, another first time voter, also settled for a negative vote at Kutubkhali High School near Jatrabari. His argument is: "Both the major parties deployed same old elements. Both of them (Salahuddin of BNP and Habibur Rahman Mollah of AL) are accused of corruption. If the parties had fielded new candidates, I would have considered a positive vote."

    Then there were people who could not cast their votes due to lack of information at the right places.

    "I wanted to cast my vote -- but I can't," said 70-year-old Zahura in frustration in Mohammadpur. She was looking for her polling booth in different schools of the area. Each booth told her to try out the next and none could be helpful. "This might be my life's last opportunity to cast vote. This is my last voting wish," she said on a sad note.

    In Narayanganj, disappointed by not being able to cast their votes, a group of voters staged a demonstration in front of Narayanganj Girls High School around 11:00am.

    "I came here with my national identity (NID) card before the start of voting. When I entered the polling booth to cast my vote after waiting in line for two hours, they asked me to straight away bring my voting number," Anwar Hossain Anu told The Daily Star.

    Anu did not know that NID and the voting number were separate things.

    Before leaving the polling centre, the disappointed voters made repeated bids to find out the voting serial numbers. They also sought help from the on-duty police and visiting journalists to get the numbers. But nobody could help them.
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  2. iajdani
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    Latest Poll Result..

    AL led Aliance - 244
    BNP led Aliance - 31
    Others - 5

    20 seat result yet to be decared but in all of them AL is leading in a huge margin.
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  3. iajdani
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    You shall reap as you sow
    BNP is made to pay dearly for its five years of mal-governance
    As we celebrate the majesty of public will and try to understand the stunning results of the national election 2008, the real question that needs to be asked is not why Awami League won so comprehensively, but why BNP got the thrashing that it did. Given our anti-incumbency history and the pattern so far followed since 1991, it can be considered somewhat natural that Awami League should get a turn to run the country in 2008, after BNP did so in 2001.

    What however is not explainable by the anti-incumbency factor nor simply by people's desire for a change is the massiveness of the rejection of the BNP. The near rout of this once mighty party, who just the last time got two-third's majority, is the clearest sign that people are sending the strongest possible message of their disgust for what happened from 2001 to 2006 and are punishing BNP and its allies for the way they run the country.

    Yesterday votes was a total, complete and comprehensive rejection of the BNP and its allies for corruption, political violence, nepotism, Hawa Bhaban, the role of Tarique, Arafat, Falu, Harris, Babar, etc. for obliterating the distinction between the State, government and the party, politicising every branch of administration, for instituting a culture of impunity where party henchmen considered themselves above the law. Finally for turning a blind eye as terrorism and fundamentalism spread its ugly tentacles throughout the country.

    While it is true that Bangladesh headed the list of the most corrupt country in the world in the last year of AL rule, however it continued to be judged as such for the next four continuous years while BNP ruled the country. Instead of attempting to curb corruption people close to the Prime Minister became involved with it and a criminal nexus seemed to envelope the party hierarchy.

    First, the assassination of Ahsanullah Master, then the mass murder of 22 people while attempting to kill the opposition leader Sheikh Hasina and then the killing of S.A.M.S Kibria shocked the nation to the very core. What however made them disgusted is the BNP government's refusal to go after the real culprit. This, in our view, totally destroyed the party's claim to stand for rule of law and respect for human rights.

    The setting up of Hawa Bhavan and it's becoming an alternative centre of power with its attending corruption involving Prime Minister's elder son not only greatly damaged the reputation of BNP as a clean party, but also greatly damaged the image of Khaleda Zia as the prime minister. The reputation of people extremely close to the PM like Harris Chowdhury and Musadeq Ali Falu and Prime Minister's younger son Arafat Rahman Coko further sunk the reputation of BNP. A man hitherto respected for his integrity, veteran finance minister Saifur Rahman, destroyed his reputation by allowing his sons into illegal business and permitting them to exert undue influence on NBR and related institutions. The final blow to reputation came when he, being the finance minister, 'whitened' his own undeclared money.

    While politicisation of the administration was a known phenomenon, however it reached is zenith under the BNP. Almost all branches of government came under direct and indirect influence of the party with the health ministry experiencing its most blatant abuse.

    The point we are making today is that it is the BNP and its leaders, especially Khaleda Zia, her two sons, some senior ministers and PM's personal staff brought this defeat on themselves. Any serious introspection will lead a objective observer to conclude that BNP and its allies are paying the price of mis-governance, arrogance, nepotism and disregard for the rule of law. All cries of foul play must be compared with the record of its performance and judged as such.

    People of Bangladesh have spoken, loudly, clearly and decisively. And it is not the first time that they have done so. For those who are stunned by the extent of the defeat of the 4-party alliance please remember the election of 2001. The then ruling party, the Awami League, was reduced to 62 seats. If that can be the verdict of the people at that time, then why can't the present results be considered the same?

    BNP's devastating defeat is AL's most severest warning. The later must not forget for a moment how our people punish, and most severely so, when ruling parties fail to keep their promise to the people and live up to the latter's expectation of them. Two third's majority has always been a curse to those who got them. That is truer still if the victory is even bigger. The victors of yesterday's election must bear that in mind every moment of their coming five year tenure. More on that later. Today, we only celebrate people's victory over the corrupt.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  4. iajdani
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    Jamaat in jeopardy
    The anti-liberation forces have been defeated once again, this time through peoples' verdict. While it is a sweet revenge for Bangladeshis against the war criminals, the verdict will make stronger the demand for their trial.

    In the historic ninth parliamentary elections held yesterday, Jamaat-e-Islami, collaborators of the Pakistani occupation forces in 1971, faced the worst election debacle winning only two seats out of 38 it contested for.

    Jamaat's big shots including Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami, Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid and central leader Delwar Hossain Saydee -- lawmakers in the last parliament -- have been rejected by voters.

    Nizami, who contested the elections from Pabna-1 constituency, lost to M Shamsul Haque Tuku, while Mojahid managed to grab third position in Faridpur-3.

    Jamaat candidates Shamsul Islam won in Chittagong-14 and Hamidur Rahman Azad in Cox's Bazar-2. Interestingly, Azad defeated not only the grand alliance candidate but also the four-party one as he was not the official ticket holder of the BNP-Jamaat-led alliance.

    As a component of the previous BNP-led four-party alliance, Jamaat had 18 seats in the eighth parliament in 2001 thanks to BNP's vote banks.

    But this time the party faces the people's wrath for the alliance's misdeeds during its five-year tenure in the government from 2001 to 2006 and mounting demands for the trial of their war crimes.

    In 1971, Jamaat stood against peoples' aspiration for an independent Bangladesh and collaborated with the Pakistani forces to exterminate the freedom-loving Bangalees by killing three million people, including women and children.

    However, nothing could stop the indomitable freedom fighters who defeated the stronger Pakistani forces to snatch independence on December 16, 1971.

    Jamaat lost its political rights during the rule of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman but was rehabilitated politically by the military ruler late president Ziaur Rahman after 1975.

    Jamaat had a strong political base across the country under another army ruler, HM Ershad, from 1982 to 1990. It emerged as a political factor in the fifth parliamentary elections in 1991, getting 18 seats.

    But in the seventh parliamentary election in 1996, Jamaat got only three seats.

    After the 2001 elections, in which BNP got a landslide victory over Awami League, Nizami and Mojahid were made ministers and they roamed the country with the flag of Bangladesh, which they opposed in 1971.
  5. M_Saint
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    By observing Musharraf regime's occasional defiance against WAR PARTY, Dr. Shirin Mazari once commented like NURA KUSTI (Patano Khela) got new dimension in Pakistani land. Perhaps she didn't realize that the perimeter/scope of her thoughts actually covered puppet's run territory of entire Muslim world and BANGLADESHI SELECTION(AKA ELECTION) proved to be another acid test in that regard. Probably no one knew what would be the pay back of the thieveries of 50,000 black votes by BUSHISTS but the 'Scheme of shifting paradigm in Muslim countries' seemed a WAY BIGGER PLAN THAN RESPECTING PEOPLE'S MANDATE. What happened in BD today was nothing but the extension IND, ISRO's tyranny in another Muslim land. Putting moles in all over BD's power echelons and using army against its own people, enemies of mankind pulled off 'The biggest electioneering forgery' (http://www.newagebd.com/election/) in human history IMHO. In earlier post I predicted it (http://www.defence.pk/forums/world-affairs/15974-conspiracy-bring-awami-league-power-2.html) and the contradiction between outpouring support for BNP by BD nationals in election campaign VS Engineered result was the testament of my prediction. Muslim's wellbeing died with the leaving of PAK ARMY from BD land in 71 and 28 OCT, 06's onward () bore the truth of it. How can we revive it, should be the next priority of our thoughts IMO.
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  6. Khuda Baksh
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    Victory for Liberation War Heroes

    The Daily Star - Details News

    A year-long nationwide campaign to try war criminals culminated in an overwhelming vote of confidence for the Sector Commanders' Forum yesterday, as their chief AK Khandakar and Rafiqul Islam swept to victory last night as part of the AL-led grand electoral alliance.

    The forum ran a year-long nationwide campaign to try war criminals, rallying a massive anti-war criminal support in yesterday's polls, defeating all of Jamaat-e-Islami's top leaders who are accused of involvement in war crimes and of collaborating with occupying Pakistani forces in 1971.

    Khandakar, deputy chief of 1971 Liberation Forces, won in Pabna-2 constituency defeating BNP's Selim Reza Habib by over 20,000 votes. Khandakar, the first chief of Bangladesh Air Force received 1,16,730 votes while his opponent received 95,000.

    Bir Uttam Rafiqul Islam, the commander of Sector 1 during the War of Liberation, cliched victory from Chandpur-5 as an AL candidate.

    The forum, a platform of the liberation war sector commanders and freedom fighters, published a list of war criminals to raise awareness largely among new voters to vote against war criminals, who turned out in droves to vote out Jamaat.
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    This is a great day in the history of the sub-continent.

    Congratulations to the people of Bangladesh!!
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  8. leonblack08
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    Only because of people like you our country can not progress.Everytime ordinary people try to take a step forward,you people pull us backward.You are talking about AL atrocities that too from Tarek Zia's channel.I think we can also find BNP-JAAMAT atrocities too.But let us forget all the things of past and take the country forward.
    I think BNP should cooperate and accept the result instead of playing blame game.And AL should work with BNP and take BD forward,instead of taking revenge.
    Inshallah Bangladesh will become a developed country if these two parties work together.
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  9. azmax007
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    Or perhaps insh'Allah, a third powerful political party will rise in the time to come, which defies political violence and keeps promises and has no beef with any party.
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  10. salman nedian
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    salman nedian SENIOR MEMBER

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    Were these elections against Pakistan or Bangladeshi people had to elect their leaders? If there is such environment there that elections are against pro Islamic forces than one can understand the forces behind these election results.
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  11. ahmeddsid
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    ahmeddsid SENIOR MEMBER

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    COngrats to the Awami League! Congrats to the People!
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  12. Raquib
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    Jamaat is always known as a traitor party in Bangladesh and it will remain in the same way...because what they did in '71 will never be forgotten...
    my father was a freedom fighter and he told me many things about it...
    Many present leaders of Jamaat including Nizami are known as traitors in Bangladesh...they slaughtered many Bengalis including Freedom Fighters and raped many innocent woman......So, I dont wanna call them Muslims...
    If you ever come to Bangladesh and visit the "Liberation War Museum" you'll get many solid proves against it...
    My above mentioned statement is not the expression of hate against Pakistan, but, telling the truth...
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  13. iajdani
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    iajdani ELITE MEMBER

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    No this election is not against Pakistan, as Pakistan was not even mentioned a single time in the whole election process. I believe next govt will take the Bangladesh-Pakistan relationship to the next level. AL already pledged to form a south asian task force to combat terrorism which includes Pakistan as well. Pakistan itself will be benifited from that.
    The election was not also against pro Islamic forces rather against pro crooked pro liar pro incompetent forces. You will be surprised to know that AL people pray five times a day more than BNP people. Using Islam as part of their political game does not make anybody pro islamic force.. I hope I made things clear here...
  14. salman nedian
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    salman nedian SENIOR MEMBER

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    The problem is that in sub-continent you have to be either with Pakistan or with India, so if people in Bangladesh elect anti-Pakistani people than this is a worrying sign coz we know Awami league despite been founded by Suharwardi is not pro-Pakistan and if they tilt towards India than the situation will not be very good. Although we respect the opinion of people there but these sentences tell us the story:

    ‘The anti-liberation forces have been defeated once again’

    ‘Collaborators of the Pakistani occupation forces in 1971 faced the worst election debacle winning only two seats out of 38 it contested for.’

    ‘Victory for Liberation War Heroes.’
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  15. leonblack08
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    Listen brother,Jaamat e Islami people raped and killed civilians during 1971.My question to you:
    Can a muslim rape??
    Can a muslim kill an innocent irrespective of what religion he follows??
    But Jaamatis did these things.Now only Allah knows best what should we call them.
    They are war criminals and they will pay for it Inshallah.

    About BD-PAK relations,we hope it will strengthen as there are democratic Govt. on both sides.
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