• Saturday, August 30, 2014

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Democracy

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

Darkness in democracy

THIS day, 30 August, marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. The day is observed not only to remember and seek justice for those who were subjected to enforced disappearance but also to reflect on the conditions that breed such heinous practice. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to raise the issue why those in charge of the State continue to deny the existence of such practice of law enforcement agencies that are under their command and...

Thai king endorses junta leader as PM

Thai king endorses junta leader as PM

Thai military leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha was endorsed as prime minister by Thailand's king on Monday, four days after he was elected by his own hand-picked parliament, although critics called his appointment a political farce. Prayuth was appointed prime minister on Thursday, three months after leading a coup, by 191 out of 197 members...

CROSS TALK

Living in the Twilight Zone

Living in the Twilight Zone

BANGLADESH lives in the Twilight Zone, which means it's in an unclear or confusing situation. It has a government but the people aren't convinced the governance is in their best interest. It has a democracy in the same manner cosmetic jewelry substitute gold and diamond. It has an economy which is basically an...

Democracy down the slippery slope

AT the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when delegates came out of the Independence Hall, one Mrs. Powell is reported to have asked Benjamin Franklin: 'Well, Mr. Franklin, what do we have? A Monarchy? Or a Republic?' Without hesitation, Mr. Franklin replied, 'A Republic, Ma'am – if we can keep it!' The framers of our Constitution, under the leadership of the father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the supervision of Dr. Kamal Hossain also...

STRAIGHT LINE

Bi-partisanship is the key

IN our disturbingly charged political climate, even the incorrigible optimists might scoff at discussions geared towards inculcating a bi-partisan approach in our political culture. They cannot be faulted as one sees a menacingly manifest partisan posture in all the discourses affecting public life. So sharp is the polarisation and so acrimonious are the deliberations that one might not realise that we are citizens of a democratic republic. Whatever be the ground reality, thoughts of bi-partisanship shall inevitably engage the discerning minds....

HK cops arrest 500 sit-in protesters

HK cops arrest 500 sit-in protesters

Hong Kong police have arrested over 500 protesters who staged a pro-democracy sit-in at the city's business district. The demonstrators were arrested for illegal assembly and obstructing police officers, police said. The sit-in came after tens of thousands of protesters marched on Tuesday in what was described as the city's largest democracy rally in a...

BETWEEN THE LINES

Umbrage against activists

DEMOCRACY and personal liberty should never be taken for granted. This is a warning that the imposition of the Emergency gave 39 years ago when the then Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, furtively extinguished the lights of freedom on the night of June 25-26 to save her skin. The Allahabad High Court had disqualified her as an MP for six years for using official machinery during her election campaign. Instead of stepping down, she suspended the constitution, imposed press censorship...

Our George Washington!

Our George Washington!

OVER 18 years ago, the BNP-led government defended the February 15, 1996 controversial election arguing that it was necessary for continuation of the constitutional provision. Now, its archrival the Awami League-led government has been using the same defence to justify the January 5 election. This time, however, the AL-led government has also been facing widespread criticism for unopposed election of 153 MPs in the January polls. A Jatiya Party leader has challenged the provision of unopposed election. A High Court Division Bench has been taking opinions of legal experts to dispose the writ petition. Some legal experts have already given their opinions to the court against the en mess unopposed...

Sumitra new Speaker of Lok Sabha

Sumitra new Speaker of Lok Sabha

Sumitra Mahajan, veteran leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, was elected yesterday unanimously as the Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha, the lower House of the Indian parliament. She is the second woman to hold the position after Meira Kumar of Congress, who had presided over the House between 2009 and this year. Mahajan, 71, who has been representing Indore parliamentary constituency in central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh since 1989 without ever losing, is the longest-serving woman parliamentarian. Mahajan's name for the post of Speaker was proposed by senior leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of 13 parties cutting across the political spectrum. Congratulating the new Speaker, Modi said, “It is...

CROSS TALK

Dilemma between disclosure and denial

LAST week was full of challenges without being challenging. Our prime minister challenged the High Court on the arrest of three Rab officers. A human rights organization challenged the legality of presidential clemency. A noted academician of the country challenged the Education Ministry on the ground of leaking question papers. It was good to hear so many dissenting voices resenting over so many things. Sadly, they were one-sided instead of being reciprocal. Reciprocal is when both sides get involved, when...

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