Showing posts from May, 2013

Bangladesh – A Nation Divided? – Part 8

In recent months, hundreds have died in Bangladesh as a result of political violence. As more International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) sentences are announced, the violence is likely to continue between the security forces and angry supporters of the political parties whose members are tried and sentenced. So, why are these trials taking place now – 42 years after country’s independence? Can Bangladesh right the historical wrongs - and at what cost to its unity? How about the Bihari and Urdu-speaking victims of the liberation struggle? Will their families see justice for the violence suffered, too? Whatever may be the wisdom and true agenda behind the highly controversial ICT, the people in Bangladesh has every right to see that the trial process is fair and unbiased so that no innocent person is punished, and that the system is neither politically motivated nor abused. Otherwise, it would not only stain the memory of all those who died in the war but would permanently divide and polariz

The Unrest in Bangladesh - the Al-Jazeera program

Ghida Fakhry of the al-Jazeera TV recently had a 25-minute long review of the current unrest in Bangladesh - "Who is winning the battle for Bangladesh". Click here to view the link.

Bangladesh – A Nation Divided? – Part 7

In 2010 the Government of Bangladesh (GOB), led by the Awami League (AL), set up an International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) court to prosecute the people who allegedly committed war crimes during the liberation war. It was part of her 2008 election promise and touted as an effort to "provide justice for victims of atrocities in the 1971 war of independence." Many in the opposition parties have charged that the ICT trials are politically motivated and are part of the ruling party’s fascist agenda to liquidating its formidable opposition, esp. the Jama’at. Many have questioned the wisdom behind the ICT after nearly four decades when eyewitnesses are hard to find and memory of the war days fading. To many victims of the 1971 War, the trial, however, is seen as a closure of their past wounds. They see the trial and the verdict as justice delayed but not denied. Several trials were concluded in early 2013: Abul Kalam Azad, a popular TV personality, was convicted of eight charges

Some Excellent Articles on wars, drone attacks, etc.

GARY LEUPP   is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. In a recent article: “ What Motivated the Boston Bombers” , Prof. Leupp says that the things that motivated them were a ll about the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and had nothing to do with Chechnya. To read the article, click here .   BARRY LANDO  is a former producer for 60 Minutes who now lives in Paris. His article on Drone Attacks, which epitomizes not only war crimes but also cowardice, can be seen by clicking here . ALYSSA ROHRICHT has written an article: " Secrecy, Drones, Prisons and Kill Lists” which is worth reading and can be read by clicking here .   

Bangladesh – A Nation Divided? – Part 6

On 24 January 1972 the Government of Bangladesh (GOB) promulgated the Collaborators Tribunal Order (1972) to try the collaborators of the Pakistan government - the so-called enemies within. In the Ordinance, a collaborator was defined as a person who was found (i) to have helped, cooperated with or supported the Pakistan army in maintaining their unlawful occupation in Bangladesh; (ii) to have offered substantial cooperation to the Pakistan army directly or indirectly or to have helped the occupation army through speeches or statements, agreements and activities; (iii) to have fought or have attempted to fight against Bangladesh; (iv) to have given any statement or have participated in any campaign in favor of the Pakistan army, and to have been a member of any delegation or a committee of that army, and to have participated in the by-elections held in 1971. Accordingly, those people of East Pakistan who supported the Pakistan Army proactively and had worked to preserve the unity o

Bangladesh – A Nation Divided? – Part 5

Crime should never be condoned and criminals need to be punished for their crimes. So, in the context of Bangladesh/East Pakistan of 1971 who should be punished for all those crimes that took the lives of so many – probably anywhere from 50,000 to 3 million, depending on whose version one accepts? There were at least four groups to share the blame – (1) Pakistan Army who planned and executed their program to pacify Bangladeshis, (2) their collaborators within the non-Bengalis – e.g., Urdu-speaking Biharis, many of whom joined paramilitary forces like the Razakar, al-Badr and Al-Shams, (3) their supporters within the pro-Pakistan civilian Bengalis – mostly affiliated with political parties, who collaborated with the regime towards recruiting Razakar, al-Badr and al-Shams paramilitary forces, and (4) political leadership in West Pakistan that provided the justification for the massacre of Bengalis. Besides these groups, it is worth mentioning here that the vast majority of the peop

Myanmar - the den of hatred and ethnic cleansing

At least one person has died and 10 people have been injured in central Myanmar after Buddhist gangs set fire to hundreds of homes and overrun two mosques. Tuesday's flare-up in Okkan, 110km north of Yangon, is the latest anti-Muslim violence to shake the Southeast Asian nation since late March. In Chauk Tal, an outlying village, leaping flames still rose on Tuesday night from the remains of several fiercely burning structures, while distressed villagers cried and hurled buckets of water to try and douse the flames. Residents said as many as 400 Buddhists armed with bricks and sticks rampaged through the area. Click here for the latest news on violence against Muslims in the den of hatred called Myanmar.

Islamophobia in Myanmar (Burma)

For an article on Islamophobia in Myanmar, please, click here .
For a good review of the problem of Islamophobia in Myanmar, click here .