Sunday, April 30, 2006

Reform dialog or despair for tomorrow:

(Cross posted in Adda’s Bangla Blog)
Recent political developments in Bangladesh indicate that we have been plunged into more political crisis in the coming days. It appears that prospects for reforming election commission and caretaker government through a political forum between two main political parties BNP and Awami League have been stalled due to their uncompromising attitude. Even there is no last word in politics, it seems that the ruling party in Bangladesh has lost opportunities to bring the main opposition party in the discussion table as they have included representative from fundamentalist Jamati Islami and Islami Oikya Jot.

Today’s Daily Star reports, “The Awami League-led 14-party opposition line-up yesterday formally rejected the letter of ruling BNP nominating leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) for discussing the reform agenda. The opposition vowed to realize reforms in the caretaker government system, Election Commission and electoral laws through mass movements to ensure a free, fair and neutral election. It also threatened to resist any election in the country without these reforms. "The letter was nothing but a farce with the countrymen," 14-party Coordinator Abdul Jalil yesterday told newsmen after a meeting of the opposition alliance at his residence in the capital. "This letter is not acceptable from any perspective as they [the BNP] have included war criminals, patrons of militants and anti-Liberation War forces in the committee," the Awami League (AL) general secretary said. The opposition will respond to the BNP letter soon, he said”.

Our common people can hardly wait for a consensus and peaceful solution on election and caretaker government reforms as they are tired of economic hardships, gas crisis, and imbalances in currency flow. If Awami League has earned the confidence of its 14 parties to represent the reform talk unilaterally, it is unfortunate that the ruling party has grossly failed to convince its 4 party alliance to lead discussions on reform. It really proves the very fragile nature of their alliance. Instead of getting strengthened, the physical knot of alliance of the ruling may have been weakened over the last five years that precludes them to open any discussion on behalf of their alliance. Ultimately, people are suffering and getting tired of this unfortunate political crisis. They have become more conscious as they have paid the ultimate value of life struggle and rise of fundamentalist forces in Bangladesh. If the ruling party looses common sense to understand this mere reality, then they are building a castle of hope on sands.

“When I give up the helm I know that
the time has come for thee to take it,
What there is to do will be instantly done.
Vain is the struggle.
Then take away your hands and
silently put up with your defeat, my heart,
and think it your good fortune to sit perfectly still
where you are placed...”

Rabindranath Tagore

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