Saturday, June 11, 2011

Caretaker Government Shuldn't Go : Barrister Rafiqul Haque

Barrister Rafiqul Haque has said the caretaker government system should not go from Bangladesh as fair elections are not possible without it. "But the system needs to be overhauled," he told journalists while emerging from a seminar in the city o Saturday. The eminent jurist, however, criticised BNP for calling a countrywide daylong shutdown for Sunday. The opposition has called the lockdown in protest against the government move to scrap the caretaker government system. It has also threatened not to take part in the next general election if the system is scrapped. "Someone threw stones in the beehive and chaos started," Haque said, "But nobody knows whether there are bees in it (beehive)." He said they had not yet got the full text of the Supreme Court verdict on the 13 th amendment to the constitution and two and a half years were still left for the next national election to be held. Haque said prime minister Sheikh Hasina had said she would strictly abide by the Supreme Court verdict, which also stipulated that the next two polls could be held under non-party governments. The Supreme Court on May 10 repealed the 13 th amendment to the constitution that had introduced the caretaker government in 1996. But the court said the next two general elections could be held under unelected governments. The apex court gave parliament the liberty to decide the issue. "Let the two elections be held in line with the court verdict. Then we would get much time to take decision of the next elections," said Haque, who fought for both Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia in a number of graft cases against them. He earlier put forward proposals for overhauling the system while giving opinions as amicus curiae at the Appellate Division during hearing on the 13 th amendment. He suggested that 10 members of parliament (MPs) should be nominated just before the tenure of a parliament ends to form a government for an interim period. Of them, one will be made the chief advisor to the interim government. A panel of three former chief justices will elect the chief advisor and the general election be held over four days instead of one day, he said. "It becomes difficult to tackle the law and order situation if the national election is held in one day." "For this, the people of a particular area should be barred from moving from their own neighbourhoods to another. And the votes should be counted centrally on the last day," he proposed.

Connecting The Indian Dots

General Moeen U Ahmed, the mastermind of the now infamous One-Eleven and the 2- year run emergency administration in Bangladesh from January 2007 to December 2008 , went to India and came back riding on a pack of horses given to him as gift. Ominously, Bangladeshis have since been observing an increased Indian visibility in their soil. Indian generals and dignitaries adored the visitors’ gallery at the Independence Day Parades and other national functions. India stage-managed an election on December 29 , 2008 to ensure the victory of its protégé. (See the article below, the Hillaryleak: The Truth Behind the Twelve Twenty- Nine). BDR faced the worst massacre of its history on February 25-26 , 2009 , when nearly 60 brilliant senior army officers and their family members were brutalized, followed by a systematic purging or partisan cleansing in the military. Reports of an Indian hand in the putsch are galore! The almost daily target shooting by Indian BSF at innocent Bangladeshis indicate India controls our borders. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid homage to New Delhi in early 2010 and gleefully agreed virtually to an uncontrolled movement of Indian ships, barges and trucks within Bangladesh territory. She returned with a burden of $1 billion debt, only to be used to facilitate the Indian transshipment arrangements (Please see another article below on The Billion Dollar Bait). Indian artists and cultural groups have since been visiting Bangladesh and returning with pockets full of corores. In this regard, please visit the following link of an article by Professor Serajul Islam Chowdhury: pages/details/2011 /04 /11 / 76380 Bangladesh celebrated the 150 th birth anniversary of Poet Rabindranath Tagore at state level in an unprecedented fanfare this year. Tagore was great but his communal mindset was no secret. He wrote ‘Amar Sonar Bangla’ in protest of the ‘Bongo Bhongo’ of 1905 that were to favor the Muslims of present-day Bangladesh. Again, he elevated George V to ‘Bharat Bhagya Bhidata’ while singing ‘Jono Mono Gono’ in praise of its (bongo bhongo) annulment in 1911. In the presence of Indian invitees at the Tagore Joyonti, Prime Minister Hasina proposed to set up another ‘Shanti Niketan’ in Dhaka. She and many other Tagore worshipers might not be aware that it was Tagore who chaired a 1912 meeting in Kolkata to opposed setting up of the Dhaka University. In the name of Peace Treaty in the CHT, there are renewed troubles and regular Bengali killings there. Indian connivance is suspected. The Hasina administration seem to be in agreement with India which is continuing its implementation of plans to control the waters of 52 rivers, pushing their lower riparian Bangladesh to serious consequences in environment, ecology and economy. Reportedly, the security of Bangladesh Prime Minister is provided by India. The Indian Chief of Army Staff is due to take salute at the graduating parade at the Bangladesh Military Academy on June 19 , 2011. Can we connect the dots and see what it makes? And, we talk so much about desh prem, jonoganer shartho, mukti juddho, shwadhinata, shwadhinatar shopokkher shokti etc. etc.!!!

Is It Legal To Try To Kill Gaddafi?

NATO has escalated its bombing campaign around the Libyan capital of Tripoli in an effort to bring the conflict to a close and has destroyed one of Muammar al- Qaddafi's favored retreats . A senior NATO military official told CNN on June 9 that Qaddafi was a legitimate target of the bombing campaign, but declined to comment on whether he was being deliberately targeted. Is it legal to deliberately try to kill the leader of a sovereign state? The law is vague. The long- standing reluctance of militaries to engage in the targeted killing of heads of state is based more on custom than codified regulation. ( It's not really in the interest of presidents and prime ministers for that sort of thing to become common practice.) The closest thing in international law to a ban on assassination is the 1907 Hague Convention on the laws of war, which prohibits signatories from attempting "To kill or wound treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army." Treachery is a tough thing to prove in court and in any case, might not apply to this situation: Qaddafi has been given ample warning and a clear message that NATO and the United Nations want him out. Moreover, Security Council Resolution 1973 authorizing the Libya intervention allows U.N. member states to "take all necessary measures ... to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya." While coalition forces haven't yet declared Qaddafi an official target as part of these measures, they've also made it clear that his personal safety is not a consideration. As British Defense Minister Liam Fox put it, "There's a difference between someone being a legitimate target and whether you would go ahead with targeting." The official who spoke with CNN described Qaddafi as being part of the "command and control" structure of the Libyan military, meaning that taking him out would fall under the mandate of protecting civilians. What about U.S. law? An executive order signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 - - updating an earlier order by President Gerald Ford -- states that "No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination." (The order followed embarrassing revelations of CIA plots to kill foreign leaders such as Congolese President Patrice Lumumba and Cuban leader Fidel Castro.) But the order doesn't define "assassination" and, in truth, hasn't had much effect on U. S. policy. Since 9 /11 , the United States has repeatedly targeted senior al Qaeda leaders for assassination, culminating in May's raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Even before the war on terror began, the targeting of foreign leaders was hardly unheard of. Reagan himself targeted one of Qaddafi's compounds during airstrikes on Libya in 1986 , killing the Libyan leader's adopted daughter. U.S. airstrikes targeted Saddam Hussein's compounds during the early days of the Iraq war. The deliberately vague "command and control" language is also not new. In 1999 , following an airstrike on Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's Belgrade residence, Eric Holder then U.S. deputy attorney general, argued that it did not violate the rule against assassination: "Bombs are dropped on command and control facilities," he said in a news conference quoted by Canada's Globe and Mail . "There has not been any attempt on the part of the United States to target any particular individual." So while the killing of foreign leaders is generally frowned upon and rarely admitted to, Qaddafi probably shouldn't be counting on the law to protect him.

Caretaker Government Is Only Way To Stpop Polls Engineering

The debate on the Caretaker Government (CG) is moving in a cycle of convenience, away from the basic need to hold the parliamentary elections in a free, fair and credible way.    The party in opposition without exception tends to take the cover of the system to avoid undue administrative intrusion of the party in power in holding national election free from rigging.    This is what BNP and other opposition parties today want while they are pressing for continuing the system.    And this is what exactly Awami League (AL), together with Jamaat- e-Islami, had also done prior to 1996 election when it launched a bloody, vigorous nationwide movement demanding that election be held under CG system to ensure that it is free from intervention of the ruling party which was BNP that time.    The BNP had opposed the CG concept that time from the position of power. Today AL is opposing it perhaps for the same reason.    But the CG system is very much part of the Constitution and has been developed as a very strong political institution to ensure stability during election, besides a free, fair and impartial election.    Against this backdrop, the Awami League government's present move to scrap the CG system has not only caught the nation by surprise but also injected a sense of distrust.         AL's move for CG in 1996    Now the very basic question is: why Awami League in the first place was hell-bent on institutionalizing the CG system in 1996 and is now in high gear to abolish the system. Why BNP did not want it that time and wants it now. What is the mystery behind it?    Is it alone the dream of a free, fair credible election that it can offer or there is a hidden story that explains the need of the CG to some parties at some point in one hand and the apathy why they oppose it at a different time depending on whether they are in power or outside?    There is no doubt Awami League was able to sell the idea of the    CG prior to 1996 election, though it was the brainchild of Prof Gulam Azam of Jamaat-e-Islami, for holding free and fair election that time.    The perception was that a party in power can easily manipulate election process to secure results in its favour. So BNP was asked to leave the electioneering process to a neutral body that time from which it derived the name caretaker government. Awami League won the election following it and formed government.    By the same token BNP now reasonably suspects that Awami League wants to deprive it of the privilege of a free and fair election by scrapping the CG and restoring the electioneering process to the political government in power-- which means putting it in its own hand.    It viewed the recent Supreme Court judgment scrapping the CG system from this point of view. BNP is seeing the judgment as a political product which the just retired Chief Justice has given before he left office to put the ball in the hand of the Awami League government.    The judgment said the CG is illegal from the constitutional point of view, but the country may hold the next two general elections under it as a matter of political convenience.         Controlling next polls    Sheikh Hasina however, has picked up the issue here saying since it is illegal, why then two more elections should to be held under it and accordingly she is trying to take control of the next election under the cover of an Election Commission loyal to her government. This is why BNP opposes it.    Awami League is however claiming it has held Pourashava and UP election free from interventions, it proved parliamentary elections can also be fair under Sheikh Hasina's government.    After all the country can not run on ultra-constitutional process as far as election is concerned, Hasina said. But BNP and other opposition parties have vowed to stop the move to keep the CG functioning.    The opposition has therefore held a day-long hartal Sunday last to bring pressure on the government to continue the system. It may be only beginning, BNP senior leaders said while the government is.    asking BNP to go to Parliament to speak out its views on the subject. BNP leaders say since the Prime Minister has made up her mind, so there is no point of taking the issue in the House, except giving it legitimacy by taking part in debate.    News reports said Awami League (AL) had called many hartals during 1996 to realize the CG. The AL even called hartal on the day the World Bank team was on a visit to Bangladesh to finalize a loan agreement on the Jamuna bridge project.    The question is: how many more hartals the nation may witness and mess in socio-economic life before the issue may be settled. Only a consensus may bring end to the problem. Otherwise the nation may become severely affected by disorder and violent show downs that is not expected.    Where and when the issue may come to an end nobody can say but the nation can only hope that good sense would prevail to defeat arrogance and political expediency.