Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bangladesh meeting report

An account of our recent seminar was published in the Bangladesh newspaper Independent:

Pandemonium at seminar on HR in Bangladesh

A seminar on Democracy and Human Rights in Bangladesh was abruptly ended when the supporters of Awami League and BNP started shouting at the British House of Lords in London on Monday, according to ANA.
The report said that the International Bangladesh Foundation organised the seminar at No 3 committee room of the House of Lords with vice-chair of the British Parliamentary Human Rights Group Lord Avebury in the chair. The seminar was attended, among others, by BNP senior joint secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Bangladesh High Commissioner to London Dr M Saidur Rahman Khan, BNP international affairs secretary Kamaruddin, Awami League UK unit acting general secretary Syed Faruk, BNP lawmaker Abul Khayer Bhuiyan and British lawmaker Baroness Paula Uddin.
ANA reports that Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in his 25-minute speech brought allegation of issuance of eviction notice on Leader of the Opposition from her Cantonment residence, torturing the detained people to death, taking away rights of speech and media, torture on religious minority after the general election on December 29, 2008 and cruelty to women.
As the Bangladesh High Commissioner to London Saidur Rahman Khan stood up for reply to the allegations, the BNP supporters who were in the audience started shouting that the High Commissioner was appointed on political ground and thus they did not come to listen to the government voice.
The BNP UK unit convener Kamaruddin termed the present Awami League government as the by-product of General Moeen while the AL supporters in the audience shouted General Moeen was better than General Ziaur Rahman.
The BNP supporters again shouted when the Bangladesh High Commissioner pronounced Bangabandhu as Father of the Nation.
As the shouting of both the groups reached its peak, the seminar chairman Lord Avebury felt embarrassed and concluded the session.
Quoting seminar organiser Sujit Sen, ENA reported that Lord Avebury in his speech hoped that the BNP decision to join the Parliament session would not be hampered due to adverse comment of Prime Minister about the body of Ziaur Rahman.
He said that the ruling party should create scope for cooperation of the opposition parties and democracy could not be fruitful without the active cooperation of the opposition.

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