The hartal (general strike) today put a spoke in the works. Our driver Joshim needed to drop me off at the airport and be back at base before sunrise. The young tailor Biswajit Das having been brutally murdered in full view of the police and the media, meant we could take no chances. Joshim had been sleeping downstairs in order to be at ours at such a ridiculous hour. Rahnuma rang him at 4:00 am, and soon a groggy Joshim, Rahnuma and I were off to the airport. Rahnuma and I have never had the luxury of seeing each other off, but it didn’t feel safe for Joshim to be heading home on his own. So Rahnuma volunteered to be body guard on the return trip.
There was no traffic. At least none that we could see through the incredibly dense fog. The headlights made things worse with the fog itself being lit up by the headlight and shining the light right back at us. Without the headlights, once could at least barely make out the edges of the road. The risk of being beaten up by thugs in the street, had been replaced by the risk of getting run over by a fog blinded truck. At least we had a vehicle of our own and the option of travelling as we pleased. Continue reading “Airport blues”
In today’s column, I basically deal with three issues, firstly, a brief review of the government’s administrative responses, these suggest that higher-ups have ‘settled’ on making the officer-in-charge of Ramu thana the “fall guy” for the devastating waves of attacks on Buddhist temples, monasteries and houses on September 29; secondly, my examination of the report of the probe committee formed by the home ministry to investigate the occurrences in Ramu inclines me to think that the committee has produced a report according to the home minister’s requirements and guidelines as outlined in his public speeches instead of? investigating impartially as the committee is duty-bound to; third, in order to create appearances of communal harmony post-Ramu, government officials, ruling party members and ideologues, mostly Muslims (plus a few Buddhist quislings), have participated in government-funded Probarona celebrations this year, which has led to the (forceful) de-linking of religious rituals from a set of embodied practices which are a part of the Buddhist tradition; it bespeaks of government interference (hijacking), which again, is unconstitutional (freedom of worship).
Continue reading “CONCLUDING PART: Govt response to communal attack in Ramu”
By?Wright Thompson?| ESPN.com
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Three years ago, the Sri Lankan cricket team rode through the streets of Lahore, Pakistan, on the third day of a five-day test match. Team captain Mahela Jayawardene, who is to his country what Derek Jeter is to the city of New York, rode near the back of the bus. The convoy, with a police escort, rolled through the streets outside the stadium. Mahela, known as MJ, took out his phone to call his wife, and that’s when they all heard what sounded like fireworks. Someone shouted, “They’re shooting at the bus!” They heard the bullets, marching down the side exposed to the terrorist gunmen, sounding like rain on a metal roof. Mahela dove for the floor, and the first 30 seconds of what happened next ended up on Christina Jayawardene’s voice mail. An RPG flew over the bus. A grenade rolled under it. It was a blur: policemen being shot in the street, dying on a Tuesday morning, bullets striking the tires, players screaming. When she played the message for Mahela’s oldest friend, tears flowed down her face as he listened. Continue reading “Sri Lanka's stars bridge past, future”
Police beat up photojournalists in Dhaka. Agargaon. 11:00 am 26th May 2012.
?When you had taught us in class that we should be fighters, we had never anticipated this.? Said Shahadat Parvez Anchal, senior photojournalist of the Bangla Daily Prothom Alo and former student of Pathshala. We were standing by the bed of his colleague Sajid Hossain, who lay with his leg in a plaster in cabin 416 at the Trauma Centre in Shyamoli. True. I had told them to be fighters in the cause of justice. To resist oppression, to uphold peoples? rights. That in doing so they would become targets of the police, was something we hadn?t considered. We should have done.
?Break the arms and legs of any journalist you see? had been the message of an Awami League minister in Satkhira way back in 2000. Even before he had made these inflammatory remarks in October, Awami League activists had brutally assaulted two journalists in the space of a week. Three other journalists had been murdered in the area. Not only had Sheikh Hasina failed to prosecute these violent attacks, she appeared to be actively encouraging the perpetrators. Continue reading “Nothing happens if you beat up journalists”
by rahnuma ahmed
The strike has been called off. Continue reading “UPDATE: MAY 07, 2012 Reclaiming Jahangirnagar from a ?godfather? VC”
In a house of slamming doors and broken dreams, there are no kisses. Only the confidence of silent curtains.
In that strange coastal town-city where it rains every morning, I partake of pain as if it is prayer. Married to a violent man who treats me with nothing but distrust and suspicion, my skin has seen enough hurt to tell its own story.
In the early days, his words win me back: I don?t have anything if I don?t have you. In this honeymoon period, every quarrel follows a predictable pattern: we make up, we make love, we move on. It becomes a bargain, a barter system. For the sake of survival, I surrender my space.
Continue reading “I Singe The Body Electric”
Rahnuma Ahmed was amongst around twenty people who were injured as police clashed with protesters at a rally held near the National Press Club in Dhaka on 14th June 2011.
Members of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports were protesting against the government bid to give lease of two deep-sea blocks to US oil company ConocoPhillips South Asia New Venture Ltd for oil-gas exploration in the Bay of Bengal, which they say is against the interest of Bangladesh and is designed to profit a few corrupt individuals.
The police blockaded the rally near the secretariat, and baton charged the protesters as they approached the barricade. Writer and anthropologist Rahnuma Ahmed was one of several protesters who were injured during the clashes. The government plans to sign a contract with Connoco Phillips on the 16th June 2011.
Alert! Bangladesh labour activist Moshrefa Mishu needs your help: I do not generally go for signature campaigns, but this situation is serious I would urge you to take the trouble. We need to act fast. Shahidul
BANGLADESH: Labour rights activist arbitrarily detained and charged in three fabricated cases
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that the Detective Branch of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police illegally arrested a female labour rights activist named Ms. Moshrefa Mishu (46) on 14 December 2010. She has been arbitrarily detained in three fabricated criminal charges since her arrest. Ms. Moshrefa Mishu, is a leftist political activist and President of the Garment Workers Unity Forum (GWUF), a labor rights organization of the readymade garment factories of the country. She has been ill-treated and threatened with death or disappeared while in detention. The police have shown her arrested in three fabricated cases and remanded her for three days on different occasions. Mishu’s health condition has deteriorated as a result of ill-treatment and the subsequent denial of adequate medical treatment by politically-motivated doctors while in detention. Please intervene in this case by insisting the Government of Bangladesh ensure the required treatment and her release from the arbitrary detention.
Please follow the link
And you will find a blue button send an appeal letter, click and follow the process, write your name, email address and country and then click on preview. And then click on send emails – the email will go to – Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Chief Justice of Bangladesh, Law Minister of Bangladesh, Home Minister of Bangladesh, Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of DMP.
Asian Human Rights Commission has already written separate letters to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Special Rapporteurs on Independent of Judges and Lawyers?and Violence Against Women requesting their prompt interventions in this case.