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17th-May-2016

World is concerned about our crisis, we are not

By Editorial Desk


An old Buddhist monk is the latest victim of targeted killing who used to live in a Buddhist temple in Naikhyangchhari Upazila of Bandarban of Chittagong Hill Tracts district. 
Bangladesh is facing a killing spree. Everyday for flimsiest of reasons or no reason murders take place. The people have nowhere to go for assurance of their safety. The police is kept busy for protecting VIPs, even their relations in some cases. Various countries including the United Nations have been expressing anxiety about safety and security situation in the country. During his daily press briefing on Friday Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General said, "The Secretary General, various human rights parts of the organization have expressed their concern at the targeted violence we've seen in Bangladesh against reporters and bloggers." Nevertheless the grim situation in the country is getting worse. The government is seen as ineffective or do not feel concerned. It can only think of police power. They do not care to know the public resentment for government's divisive and politicising policies.      
The New York Times in its May 8 editorial described the situation in Bangladesh, as 'descent into lawlessness.'  We, on our part, have been warning the government about the danger looking behind the killings.
The narrative of The New York Times appears highly conjunctive with the worsening of the law and order situation where at least five bloggers were killed last year and in just nine days last month five more were hacked to death as New York Times said.   
The government is apparently having no power to stop the killings with a fragile hold on the administration. But it blames the opposition BNP-Jamaat for every such killing as conspiracy against it.
The killing of an Ansar battalion commander at Teknaf in Cox's Bazar on Friday and looting of 11 rifles and several hundred bullets from the forces camp is an example of desperation for weapons.
Blaming politically opponents cannot be the answer to this life and death crisis. Killers are criminals and the government must try them and prove who belong to which party. The government has to show success in saving lives and not just punishing the right or wrong persons. The Chairman of the HRC, Bangladesh has expressed doubts if the real criminals are apprehended through proper investigation.    
In another incident Yaba lords had beaten six journalists in the same Teknaf area on the same day as they were working to track the source of drug trafficking in the region. Bangladesh is now a place where protection of common people and safety of their life and property is at high stake.
The New York Times editorial indeed highlighted the situation. It has said since 2009 when Sheikh Hasina and her party won elections she set up the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal in 2010 to prosecute war criminals and used it as a political tool targeting Jamaat-e-Islami leaders.
The government pursued the prosecution with so much enthusiasm that international perception about the motive went against the government. The government did not care. It was the previous Awami League government that allowed main criminals of genocide the Pakistan occupation army to go unpunished in 1974.   
The New York Times said 'government actions are fuelling extremism provoking violent counter-response. It is benefitting violent party wings and extremists groups alike.'
Meanwhile The Economist of London has published a critical story on Bangladesh in its current issue. It said Sheikh Hasina's government is turning the country into one-party dictatorship. Economist said Bangladesh is recently attracting world headlines for ugly reasons.
'The religiously motivated murders - of more than two dozen secular bloggers, liberals and others since 2013 and then the execution of Motiur Rahman Nizami, leader of the country's largest Islamist party for war crimes charges show 'Bangladesh's remorseless descent into authoritarian rule. All three phenomena are symptoms of the same disease: a political culture that cannot brook dissent and which views power as a means to crush it.'
It said Bangladesh used to have a kind of rotating one-party system between  Awami League and BNP. Sheikh Hasina is trying to keep her party without the rotation. Her supporters now look at Malaysia as a model in which the one party rule apparently immovable from power.
The Economist warned so far as to allege that the courts, civil service, army and police are all thoroughly politicized.
We are surprised why the government is incapable of reviewing the policy being pursued that proved totally unhelpful for restraining the dangerous crimes. Corruption is the main reason for staying in power of the government as organised by the bureaucrats. So the crisis is deep and complicated for the police alone to resolve.
It is so sad and disappointing that while the world outside is concerned to find the Bangladesh descending in chaos, our government is playing blame game. The authorities seem to be sure that they can remain in power without governing. The bureaucratic primacy of the government has made it so indifferent about the concern of the general public.