As I conclude my series on the consortium government, I’d like to let my readers know that what I’ve been writing (7 parts, this included) was a mere scratch of the tip of the iceberg. That, since the more I delved, the more intrigued I became, I have decided to continue my research, and will probably write about some of the themes later, in these pages, after having examined them in greater detail.
At a more general level, I have argued that terming Fakhruddin’s regime as a “military-installed caretaker government,” which, when it had been coined, had helped to unmask the character of the regime, had helped to expose its repeated objectives of “strengthening Bangladesh’s democratic order” (Fakhruddin) http://tinyurl.com/39pheg as being rhetorical moves concealing ulterior motives, but however, that, a critical look, aided by hindsight, leads me to believe that one needs to further our analysis, that forces which were then identified as being supporters of the regime, i.e., shusheel shomaj, and western diplomats, were intrinsic to the regime, formed its constitutive elements. Continue reading “CONCLUDING PART Military-installed caretaker govt, or a 'consortium' govt?”
But let me return to the central question: is it reasonable to claim that western governments were directly involved in the consortium project? That they were, as I argue, not only one of the constitutive elements, but the leading one?
Some may reply that the presence of the Coffee Group (generally known as the “Tuesday Club”), the frenzied activity of its members prior to the consortium coup, and after — settles the matter. That, the evidence of their activities is well-documented in both print and electronic media, that it is considerably strong, and that convictions on the basis of far less circumstantial evidence have been awarded by courts of law, ones that enjoy credibility.
A WikiLeaks leaked cable dated January 11, 2007 (Subject: Diplomats Coordinate Strategy On Bangladesh, Reference ID: 07DHAKA53), signed by Patricia Butenis, then US ambassador to Bangladesh, describes the Tuesday Club thus to her superiors in Washington, Continue reading “Part IV Military-installed caretaker govt, or a 'consortium' govt?”
As I’d explained in my column published on February 13, 2012, I’d disappeared from these pages to work on three manuscripts intended for Boi Mela 2012. While they missed the bus — more work needs to be done for them to see the light of day — but what did make it to the Mela is a collection edited by Udisa Islam, for which I’d written the foreword. Bikkhobh Shonkolon: Joruri Obosthay Bisshobiddaloy 2007 (Dhaka: Shrabon, 2012) is an archival collection, in print, of the student protests which broke out in August 2007, when army personnel stationed in an army camp on Dhaka University grounds beat up university students who were watching a football match. Dubbed a “trivial incident” (tuccho ghotona) by the then chief of general staff Sina Ibn Jamali, student protests mushroomed, enveloping other public university campuses, and college campuses as well. Protests spilled out on to the streets of Dhaka and other major cities, expressing growing popular discontentment and resentment at the military-installed caretaker government’s rule. The so-called “trivial incident” proved to be a resounding nail in the caretaker government’s coffin. Continue reading “Part I Military-installed caretaker govt, or a 'consortium' govt?”