Bangladesh: The ghosts of 1971

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The country’s independence war created divisions that persist to this day, in politics, religion and the media.

?Last Modified:?02 Mar 2013 12:32

In 1971, Bangladesh declared independence from Pakistan and fought a bloody war to establish itself as a fledgling nation. More than four decades on, a country born out of troubles and bloodshed is experiencing growing pains. A war crimes tribunal that was meant to bring closure has instead brought old wounds back to haunt a new generation. At the heart of the story is the country?s main opposition party, the Jamaat-e-Islami. Continue reading “Bangladesh: The ghosts of 1971”

A 40-Year Quest for Justice

By Shahidul Alam for New York Times

Bangladesh?s Winter of Discontent
Published: February 28, 2013. DHAKA, Bangladesh

Rashin Kheiriyeh
More than four decades after independence, protesters in Bangladesh are demanding that leaders of the  Jamaat-e-Islami political party, as well as others, finally be punished for war crimes. Puppets of the alleged war criminals dangle from nooses in Shahbagh Square in Dhaka. Credit: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
More than four decades after independence, protesters in Bangladesh are demanding that leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami political party, as well as others, finally be punished for war crimes.
Puppets of the alleged war criminals dangle from nooses in Shahbagh Square in Dhaka.
Credit: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

FOR the past month, tens of thousands of Bangladeshis have filled Shahbagh Square here, demanding justice for crimes committed in 1971, when Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) attained its independence from Pakistan.

Thousands of protesters gathered in Shahbagh Square for the funeral of Ahmed Rajib Haider, a blogger who was rumored to have been murdered for his criticism of the Jamaat-e-Islami party. Credit: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Thousands of protesters gathered in Shahbagh Square for the funeral of Ahmed Rajib Haider, a blogger who was rumored to have been murdered for his criticism of the Jamaat-e-Islami party.
Credit: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Continue reading “A 40-Year Quest for Justice”

Shahbagh response to Sayedee's trial

Arrived in the morning from Salzburg. The hartal wasn’t so strict and was able to hire Suruj Miah’s taxi to get me to Drik. Quickly went on to Shahbagh.
Here are some videos. While I’ve also shared the videos on Facebook, but the site appears to be blocked in Bangladesh.

Rejoicing at news of death penalty Shahbagh Square 13:45 pm 28th Feb 2013

Continue reading “Shahbagh response to Sayedee's trial”

Shahbagh online response

By Dr. Christian Prokopp on click Ittefaq

Dr Christian Prokopp
Dr. Christian Prokopp
follow him on twitter@prokoppGoogle+ and read his blog
The news is fresh and details are only emerging about the murder of Ahmed Rajib Haider Shuvo, a blogger involved in the Shahbag protest. In today?s world we can view immediately online the outcry this provokes. Last week I wrote about the online echo on Twitter the Shahbag protest had. This time I am taking a snapshot of Twitter just after the news of the murder broke to illustrate how quickly such an event spreads. Continue reading “Shahbagh online response”

The agonies of Bangladesh come to London

Shahbag protests in Dhaka are reflected in the demonstrations in London
 The Observer
Shahbag Square protest reaches Day 9

Three men stand in Bangladeshi national colours in Shahbag square. Photograph: Kazi Sudipto/ Demotix/Corbis
The Shahbag junction in Dhaka has become Bangladesh‘s Tahrir Square. Hundreds of thousands of young protesters are occupying it and raging against radical Islamists. Even sympathetic politicians cannot control the movement. The protesters damn them as appeasers, who have compromised with unconscionable men. Continue reading “The agonies of Bangladesh come to London”

YOUTH UPRISING AT SHAHBAGH

Reclaiming Ekattur: fashi, Bangali

By Rahnuma Ahmed

Prologue
EVEN THOUGH I was dying to, pressing work — to do with other activist engagements, the Tazreen factory fire, communal attacks in Ramu — forced me to stay away the first few days from the youth uprising which began at Shahbagh on February 5. The spontaneous sit-in, rapidly gathered into its fold hundreds of thousands of people who, driven by a deep sense of injustice, have felt compelled to go to Shahbagh to ‘right’ the wrongs of history committed in post-independence Bangladesh: war collaborators of 1971 have not only been unpunished in the ensuing four decades but have been reinstated politically, financially and socially at the national level. Continue reading “YOUTH UPRISING AT SHAHBAGH”

Shahbag protesters versus the Butcher of Mirpur

?By Tahmina Anam, Guardian

Abdul Quader Mollah has finally been convicted of war crimes committed in Bangladesh in 1971. Now a huge popular protest in Dhaka’s Shahbag district is demanding the death penalty.

Shahbag protesters in Dhaka

The Shahbag protesters resemble a jubilant flash-mob. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
It all began with a victory sign. When Abdul Quader Mollah, assistant secretary-general of?Bangladesh‘s?Jamaat-e-Islami?party, emerged from the supreme court on the afternoon of Tuesday 4?February, he turned to the press waiting outside, smiled, and made a victory sign. An odd reaction for a man just sentenced to life in prison.
Mollah smiled because for him, a man convicted of beheading a poet, raping an 11-year-old girl and shooting 344 people during the?1971 Bangladesh war of independence?? charges that have earned him the nickname the Butcher of Mirpur ??the life sentence came as a surprise. Earlier this month, a fellow accused, Abul Kalam Azad, who is reputed to have fled to?Pakistan,?was sentenced to death in absentia. Continue reading “Shahbag protesters versus the Butcher of Mirpur”

The Obama Hypocrisy

Do Arabs Cry For Their Children Too?

by TOM MCNAMARA Counter Punch

Rennes, France.
Once more tragedy befalls America. But this time the tragedy is even more bitter due to the fact that such a large number of young children were involved. A gunman, identified as Adam Lanza, shot and killed 26 people, 20 of them children ? all between the ages of 5 and 10 ? at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on the 14thof December. The attack ended with the gunman committing suicide. It was the Nation?s second deadliest school shooting.
Most people can?t imagine the evil and insanity needed to drive a person to commit such a heinous act. The murder of innocent people is reprehensible, but it is even more so when carried out on the most vulnerable elements of our society, children. Most disturbing of all is the well planned, deliberate and determined manner in which the murders appear to have been carried out. Early reports state that the gunman was highly accurate, leaving only one wounded survivor alive at the school. Continue reading “The Obama Hypocrisy”

Washington?s Hypocrisies

By Paul Craig Roberts

May 27, 2012 “Information Clearing House” –The US government is the second worst human rights abuser on the planet and the sole enabler of the worst?Israel. But this doesn?t hamper Washington from pointing the finger elsewhere.
The US State Department?s ?human rights report? focuses its ire on Iran and Syria, two countries whose real sin is their independence from Washington, and on the bogyman- in-the-making?China, the country selected for the role of Washington?s new Cold War enemy.
Hillary Clinton, another in a long line of unqualified Secretaries of State, informed ?governments around the world: we are watching, and we are holding you accountable,? only we are not holding ourselves accountable or Washington?s allies like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the NATO puppets. Continue reading “Washington?s Hypocrisies”