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21st-Feb-2015

Price of lies, deceit and forgetfulness in politics

By Editorial Desk

It is for the double standard of American policy that it is losing its fight against terrorism. President Obama says eloquently that terrorism does not arise from religion but from violence practised in the absence of democracy. But President is not fighting for democracy elsewhere, he is only fighting wasteful military wars against terrorism.
There is no one way solution to terrorism. The military actions of the United States are helping the two way terrorism.
Violence from both sides -- the defenders of democracy and defenders of autocracy -- has been historically brutal and beastly.
We in Bangladesh, do not have to look far away to know this awful truth. Our people had to seek foreign help and die and suffer brutally and later even engaged in a war for our democratic rights under Pakistani autocratic rule.
The Pakistani autocrats employed not only all kinds of lies and savagery, at the end, they failed to care about the integrity of the country. The Pakistani rulers of those days caused Pakistan to be disintegrated yet did not
accept people's election for democracy.
How madness prevailed among the rulers of united Pakistan not to accept peaceful solution by respecting the election. Politics should be too painfully vivid to those not blinded by power.
It is terribly painful and frustrating to witness the similar inhumanly violent struggle for saving democratic election politics in free Bangladesh.
The State Minister of Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam had no difficulty in distorting the truth to say that the visiting European Parliament delegation expressed no concern about human rights violations. The Vice-Chairmen of the European Parliament's human rights sub-committee's Christian Dan Preda had no alternative but to deny the statement of the state minister to emphasize that they are here because of their anxiety for human rights violations.
The whole world is deeply worried about the human tragedy being inflicted on  our people for over a month for the non-violent demand of a fresh election as promised by no less a person than the prime minister herself.
Nothing should be more shameful in a democracy than for the government to be scared of free election. The government itself is telling the whole world it has no public support.
Any political leader of knowledge and experience knows that the root cause of political violence is political and it grows in as a reaction to the political violence of undemocratic governments.
The tragedies of violence we are suffering now are the direct result of oppression against the opposition whose only demand is a free and impartial election. This promise was made by the prime minister before the whole world. But political advisers - old bureaucrats are telling the prime minister to forget the democratic ways and tell lies so that they do not have to lose their jobs.
Our political leaders now hanging on to power through an engineered election will do better for them and the country if they try to understand that the end of democracy means the end of political leadership. The lies about election and no election democracy will not help the politicians in the end.
Another non-political political guru of this government came from outside told the press, Thursday, very wisely, obviously taking others as fools, that violence and dialogue do not go together. So for any dialogue the opposition must give up violence.  It is no use telling him that engineered election and democracy do not go together.
The cause of violence has to end to end violence. There is no need for dialogue. Let the prime minister keep her word of honour about the election.
The adviser forgets conveniently to recall who started the violence by denying the opposition any democratic space for peaceful public meetings and demonstrations. Who arrested hundreds of the opposition leaders and workers only to refuse dialogue with the government. Who threatened to say that no opposition members would be allowed to come out on the street. The opposition waited peacefully for a year in expectation that the government would announce a free, fair and inclusive election as pledged.
Our people may not be so scholarly like this political guru but this much we all know that to be deceptive one has to be forgetful of the truth.
To demand election is not be partisan, we are being democrat and non-partisan. We are also practical to be anti-violence by not being supporters of one-sided violence. We have been warning the government not to remain complacent about police power.
Our misfortune is that our political leaders not being experienced will not learn even from their past political leaders.
We want peaceful solution to the crazy violence in which innocent people are getting killed freely and not being treacherous by wrongly pleasing one side or the other.
Our honest fear is the present violence is coming from many sides -- known and unknown. Field is open for all sorts of conspiracy. Free hand enjoyed by the police cannot go unchallenged by those affected. They do not have politically supporters of BNP or Jamaat. This is called revenge violence. With practice of more violence there will be more revenge violence.
We are fully aware that the simple election is not the lasting solution for making democracy safe under the present leadership and politics. Still, for the urgent need of peace and saving of lives, we say that hold election as promised by the prime minister.
The government has to stop talking of constitutional compulsion. The election engineers have designed that to remain in power undemocratically. The new election has to be under unamended Constitution that is to say leaving aside the lie. The lie about the Constitution has to be given up.
The way to peaceful solution is known to us all. The problem is how to give up lies and deception.