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20th-Mar-2014

Threatening is easy: Facing the truth is sensible

By Editorial Desk

The Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) report, released on Tuesday in the city at a press conference which said the Jatiya Sangsad has no practical opposition suggesting it remained incomplete and dysfunctional, has stirred severe criticism in the House yesterday.
Senior Awami League lawmaker like Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim denounced the TIB report and questioned its right to speak on the functioning of the country's parliament as a non-government organization.
The TIB report basically dealt with the quorum crisis in the 9th parliament resulting from the absence or delayed attendance of law makers to the session and in its view the country lost Tk 104 crore in term of lost time and opportunities.
Alone the during 19 sessions of the 9th parliament a total over 222 hours were lost due to quorum crisis which in turn showed the lack of interest of MPs to attend the parliamentary debate. It caused Tk 24.96 lakh loss in a single session, the TIB report said raising lack of interest of MPs in legislative business.
The ruling party lawmaker said TIB has crossed all limits making comments on the Jatiya Sangsad. Its observation that there is a nominal and not a practical opposition in the 10th parliament and its exceptional character would not last long and give way to a new inclusive election soon, caused angry debate on floor.
Selim said TIB's language is similar to what Begum Khaleda Zia said after boycotting the January 5 parliamentary election. He asked the anti-graft body to join BNP led the 19-party opposition platform to make it a 20-party alliance against the government.
Selim wondered as to how TIB can say there is no opposition in parliament, this is a baseless statement and questioned whom the TIB wants to make happy. Is it that TIB wants to make Bangladesh a dysfunctional state, Selim wondered asking a Speaker's ruling on the subject.
Earlier the Prime Minister also questioned TIB's motive and said some civil society leaders are speaking in opposition's language.
We are bewildered to listen to what the lawmakers said in parliament. But looking back to TIB's comments we find there is nothing new in it. What it said Tuesday is being said many times in the country's political circle every day.
Who does not know that the voterless January 5 election was a stage managed election without the opposition's participation. The Prime Minister remained in power and parliament remained alive to form a new government from sitting on the outgoing government by holding the farcical election.
Even Awami League leaders had assured the nation that the January 5 election was just a routine exercise on constitutional ground and talks would be held soon for holding a free and fair election to the 11th parliament with participation of all parties. Even Awami League admitted that without the major opposition, parliament remains dysfunctional.    
The Jatiya Party's dual role having cabinet ministers on the government and again claiming it as the opposition is the biggest lie of our time and people will not buy it. Why the ruling party think people are so foolish that they can't understand the gimmick now being orchestrated in the House.
TIB has just made this point a fresh as it feels that democracy is not working in the country in absence of a functional opposition in parliament. But now the government leaders have started talking that they have came to power for five years and whoever raise the question of their legitimacy is their target of virulent criticism.
But we hold the view that people will call a spate a spate, no matter what the ruling party leaders think about it.
We want to say that threatening is easy to whoever will speak the truth but facing the truth is sensible to overcome the crisis. We hope the ruling party will try to understand the false world they are living in.