A long gap between postings, caused partly by late nights on the Constituencies etc Bill. Last week there were all-night sittings on Monday and Wednesday, though I knocked off shortly after midnight both days. Last night there was another all-nighter and again I sat until midnight. We heard this morning that Tom McNally, who has been leading on the Bill for the Government, was taken ill in the chamber and was taken to St Thomas's Hospital. I do wonder if the stress of having to be constantly on his toes over such long periods of time had anything to do with this sad event.
Yesterday morning I chaired a meeting of the International Bangladesh Foundation in Committee Room 3, to discuss the current state of affairs in Bangladesh. Speakers covered the boycott of the Parliament by the opposition BNP; the slow pace of implementing the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord of 1997; widespread corruption; the extrajudicial killings by the notorious RAB; the war crimes trials and the treatment of alleged war crimes perpetrators. Speakers included: Dr Gower Rizvi, International Affairs adviser to the Prome Minister Sheikh Hasina; Profesor David Lewis of LSE; Brad Adans, from Human Rights Watch; Ann Main MP; Alhaj Kamal Uddin of the BNP; Charles Tannock MEP, Abbas Faiz from Amnesty International, Sabir Hussain Chaudhury MP; Jim Fitzpatrick MP, and Abdul Matin Khasru MP