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Freedom in the air

Democracy

AL shatters martyred intellectuals’ dream: BNP

AL shatters martyred intellectuals’ dream: BNP

BNP today alleged that ruling Awami League-led government has shattered the dream of the martyred intellectuals by annihilating democracy. “The martyred intellectuals who had sacrificed their lives for the country had a dream of build a prosperous and democratic Bangladesh, but Awami League has spoilt their dream by annihilating democracy,” said BNP spokesperson Mirza...

Commentary by Mahfuz Anam

Whatever happened to our sense of decency?

Whatever happened to our sense of decency?

When politics and politicians become abusive, it is a clear sign that democracy is not working, for one of the preconditions of democracy is a minimum sense of decency in how we conduct ourselves. Alas, we have lost that “sense of decency” in the AL-BNP confrontational politics of the last two decades whose most...

Democracy not safe yet: Khaleda

Democracy not safe yet: Khaleda

Accusing the government of shackling the nation with a one-party cruel rule, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia today said democracy established in the country through the sacrifices of the blood of hundreds of martyrs is not safe yet. In a message, she said, “Our democracy has got stumbled again and again on its march forward…the democracy established at the blood of hundreds of martyrs is not yet out of danger.” Khaleda, also a former prime minister, issued the message on the occasion of Fall of Autocracy Day, commemorating military ruler HM Ershad’s bowing out in the face of a mass upheaval on December 6, 1990. She alleged that the true colour of the...

Custom-made democracy

IN a democracy all are equal, but in some democracies some are more equal than others. I say this with profound apologies to George Orwell since this is a spin-off from his most famous statement in his book Animal Farm that “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” In his book Orwell was not satirising democracy but the Russian Revolution that purported to bring about equality through socialism but in reality it was promoting another...

US advocates inclusive democracy in Bangladesh: Biswal

US advocates inclusive democracy in Bangladesh: Biswal

US advocates strong and inclusive democracy in Bangladesh, United States’ Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal said today. "We do believe Bangladesh’s strength is democracy and for that we are partnering with Bangladesh on that aspect," she said in a pre-departure press conference at American Club in Dhaka this afternoon. Asked about the US’s latest position on elections, Biswal said it is the people of Bangladesh who determine the timetable of the polls. "We support political dialogue... we expect responsibilities from all political parties to face political events responsibly and peacefully,” she added. Biswal arrived in Dhaka on November 27 for a three-day visit to Bangladesh. During...

Dozens arrested in HK crackdown

Dozens arrested in HK crackdown

Police in Hong Kong say 116 protesters have been arrested during clashes since Tuesday, as operations to dismantle activist camps continue. The authorities, acting on court orders, are clearing part of the Mong Kok commercial district in Kowloon. Overnight on Tuesday, protesters fought running battles on the streets around Nathan Road, with police using batons...

Hong Kong protesters told to leave Mong Kok site

Hong Kong protesters told to leave Mong Kok site

Authorities in Hong Kong have told pro-democracy protesters to leave a camp in Mong Kok so it can be cleared. Tuesday's operation comes as officials begin enforcing court orders, following complaints by residents and businesses about the disruption. Protesters are not expected to resist the move, and some have already begun taking down their tents...

''Those who don't want to talk about things like impeachment bill are the ones killing democracy''

''Those who don't want to talk about things like impeachment bill are the ones killing democracy''

Dr. Kamal Hossain, noted politician and internationally acclaimed jurist, is one of the principal authors of the Constitution of Bangladesh. He served as the minister for law, foreign affairs, and petroleum and mineral resources in the government of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman between 1972 and 1975. He was a member of the Awami...

STRAIGHT LINE

For durable democracy

THE ground reality is that the major opposition political party is not willing to recognise the legitimacy of the present government formed with the support and actual strength of another major political party. Apparently, there is an outward calm but undoubtedly there is tension underneath. Such a scenario will surely not strengthen the foundation of our democratic existence. The national political scene has alternated between elected dispensation and spells of autocratic rule. It is, therefore, desirable and necessary that...

Will police reform programme be effective?

SHORTLY before his death in 2008, the great historical sociologist Charles Tilly published Democracy, a short work synthesising his thoughts on democratic processes. Rereading Tilly and thinking about Bangladesh, I was wondering where Bangladesh is in the democratic scheme of things. There isn't much in our recent history that gives one a sense that we are well on the way to some oasis of democratic well-being. The legacy of a hard-won independence should have been steady progression not only...

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