“So, What Has Happened to Speedy Trial?
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed her resentment over the slow progress in the trial for the killing of four members of the police force in Gaibandha. She was having a video conference with the officials of the Rangpur Division on January 4 to discuss suppression of militancy and extremism and development issues when she said, “The incident took place in 2013 and this is how far it has come? Then what has happened to speedy trial?” She further said, “Today they have killed one of my MPs. Who knows what will happen next.” Jamaat activists ransacked a police camp in Sundarganj upazila and beat up four police members to death after the verdict on their leader Delwar Hossain Sayeedi was announced.
Grameen Bank Needs to Be Disciplined
Finance minister AMA Muhith has said that the government would like to discipline Grameen Bank and the government also wants to return to mainstream banking. The minister further said that efforts are already underway to make it happen. He told journalists on January 1 at his office in Bangladesh Secretariat, “We have not done anything for a long time. Now we have decided not to leave Grameen Bank just like this. We need to discipline it.”
Ershad’s Party is a Domesticated Opposition in Parliament
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir commented that Jatiya Party is a domesticated opposition party in the current parliament. He said that the leaders of a real opposition party could not be government ministers at the same time. He said it at a function held in Thakurgaon on December 31. Alamgir also said that people’s issues are not discussed in this parliament while Ershad’s party seldom criticizes the government and quickly falls back in line when the government puts pressure on them.
Destroying the Pillars of Democracy
BNP standing committee member barrister Moudud Ahmed complained that the government has destroyed all pillars of democracy in the country. He said 50 million voters could not go to the polling centers in the January 5, 2014 election, because 153 candidates had already won uncontested, which means half the voters in the country could not cast their votes. Ahmed said these in a meeting held on January 6 at National Press Club. He said Awami League has a different definition of democracy and it is ludicrous that the democracy Awami League talks about means nothing but violating people’s rights. He also resented that this government talks a lot about development but failed to infuse values in young minds and leave behind a future for them.
“Give Me a New Life”
Elderly politician Hussein Muhammad Ershad would like to have the taste of power again. The former military ruler was speaking at a function marking the founding anniversary of his Jatiya Party on January 1 when he expressed his desire before the party workers. He called the 2019 election the last election of his life and added, “I have reached the end of my life. Who knows how long more I am going to live. Give me a new life.” He further said that Jatiya Party will have to return to power if he has to live longer.
BNP Shall Return to Power Again
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has assured her party workers that it will launch a movement when the time comes and will return to power again. Although she did not give them any date for that movement, she asked her men to be ready for it. She was speaking at a ceremony marking the founding anniversary of Chhatra Dal on January 1 when she said, “I had launched the movement against Ershad and stayed with you on the street. And I have brought this BNP to power for three times.” Khaleda said she would reorganize the party without any room for grouping or lobbying and lead those who are qualified to bring the party back in power.
GPA-5 is Not Worth a Penny
Writer and researcher Dr. Zafar Iqbal has said that GPA-5 is not worth a penny nowadays. He said what is more important is how much a student knows. Dr. Iqbal further said that many GPA-5 scorers cannot get admission in the universities because even though they got A-Plus, their knowledge is limited. He also added that the places where one should practice one's values are family and books, but these days one reads too little and sees too much. He resented that between book and Facebook, students now spend more time giving likes and comments in Facebook. Iqbal made his comments at an event held at Sylhet Police Line School on January 5.
“People Will Decide Where You Belong”
Agriculture minister Matiya Chowdhury said with reference to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia that while Awami League is in the field, Khaleda is spending her time in the court. “In future, people will decide where you belong”, Chowdhury added. She was speaking on the January 5 “Victory of Democracy Day” when she further said, “The election of January 5 has fortified democracy in the country whereas Khaleda Zia trifled with the lives of people before that election.” The minister accused her of pushing many young lives to death by giving them petrol bombs instead of waiting for the election.
The One-eyed Monster of Arabian Nights
BNP’s senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi compared the government with the one-eyed monster of the Arabian Nights after the government dilly-dallied over granting permission to BNP to hold its rally at Suhrawardy Udyan. He said at a press conference on January 6 that his party had not yet got the permission to hold its rally in Suhrawardy Udyan and resented that when the ruling party holds its rally with so much fervor, it is always a problem when it comes to the opposition party. He also mentioned that even the Jatiya Party was allowed to hold its rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on January 1. Rizvi then said that the government, like the one-eyed monster in the Arabian Nights, sees its own interests in one way and the interests of others in another.
“Will Uniformed Men Put Her in Throne?”
Public administration minister Syed Ashraful Islam has insisted that there is no alternative to elections under a democratic system. He said whoever wishes to come to power has to do it through elections. Taking a dig at BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, Islam asked if uniformed men were going to put her back in the throne. The minister made his remarks at a rally held on the January 5 “Victory of Democracy Day” at Road No 32 in Dhanmondi. He said that would never happen and Khaleda would have go to power through elections only.