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01st-Oct-2015

We are to be blamed but blaming us alone will not be a solution

By MAINUL HOSEIN

The failure of the government to maintain public safety is not a matter to be disputed anymore. At this late stage, the lawlessness in Bangladesh has drawn international attention. An Italian national working for a foreign NGO was shot dead this week in the capital while taking a walk. The Australian government is worried about the safety of its cricket team coming to Bangladesh. Killings, forced disappearances have been a frequent happening in the country. But safety of our citizens was not to be an international concern. Many other countries including USA, UK and Canada have alerted their citizens on the deteriorating law and order situation in the country. The European Union has condemned the killing incident and demanded investigation.The government has ruled out any terror outfit in Bangladesh. In our view also, we have no terrorism as yet. But everybody knows that terrorism crops up where the people are disgruntled and dissociated from the government. What we are going through now is deteriorating lawlessness for the mismanagement of the government. The police has been politicized so it is not free to deal with crimes. Thus the government itself is suffering from internal incapacity. The police are busy mostly in protecting the government in power. In such a situation, it is possible that violent elements are getting politically organised. Instead of looking for a political solution, the government was justifying excessive police power for its ability to fight terrorism and maintain order in the country. Our political leadership has no idea that to run a police state much more competence is needed than that in a democracy. But the government cannot accept change of power as normal politics.We are surely to be blamed for the prevailing security situation but the foreign countries should also be blamed for turning a blind eye to the political crisis brewing up in Bangladesh. They acted to suit their convenience. Now it is easy for them to cast blame on us. Our no-election politics is guided by a coterie of self-seekers. So politics as an institution has no strength and thus no political vision. They are now for a subservient judiciary to make the government absolute in exercising power and absolutely out of touch with the people. Because of the existence of a democratic constitution, a strong and independent judiciary could have been our great hope against such lawlessness as well as for the good governance.The reason being politics, the court's strictness about granting bail has not improved the law and order condition. It is worsening everyday. The Human Rights Commission is angry about killing by police personnel without accountability. An accused person's fundamental right of not to suffer imprisonment before proving guilty received little consideration. It also became easy for initiating false cases to suppress opposition.  For whatever reason the lower courts were found to be too vulnerable to allow an accused to police remand for securing easy confession knowingly that the Supreme Court does not favour this kind of police remand being violative of his constitutional protection.If the judiciary cannot protect the innocent ones then it cannot defend itself as a force against lawlessness.The sustainable development goals resolution, as has been adopted by the United Nations to fight poverty worldwide, has also recognized the importance of ensuring justice as an important goal. But our international friends failed to recognize that like the fight against poverty, many countries need global cooperation for having good and accountable governance. Lawlessness is bad governance.We regret very much the tragic death of an innocent Italian. The government will no doubt take the matter seriously for investigation. Still we have to say to our foreign friends that it will be unrealistic to think of safety of their own citizens separately unless Bangladesh is to be made safe for all. Syria is the worst example of how cruel the international power play can be for the innocent victims. We suspect such international power play in creating a dangerous image for peace loving Bangladeshi people.