6 parties invited to talks with govt | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 14, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 14, 2008

6 parties invited to talks with govt

Indoor political activities resume countrywide

BNP leaders and workers, left, having a meeting inside their Chittagong city unit office yesterday since the ban on indoor politics enforced in March, 2007 was relaxed. Chittagong City Awami League General Secretary Kazi Enamul Haque Danu speaks, right, at an unscheduled meeting at the city unit office of the party yesterday.Photo: STAR

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The chief adviser's office yesterday invited six political parties in political dialogues, beginning on May 22.
Sources in the CA's office said the general secretary of each party has been asked to send in five to seven names of party representatives to the CA's office within seven days. However, the invitation letter did not mention any specific date for the talks, added the sources.
The first six political parties that received the invitations are Communist Party of Bangladesh, Workers Party, Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh, Gono Forum, Samyabadi Dal and Krishak Sramik Janata League.
Meanwhile, leaders and activists of different political parties resumed political activities after the ban on nationwide indoor politics was lifted yesterday.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed in his address to the nation on Monday disclosed his government's plan to commence the formal dialogue with political parties on May 22, adding that his office would start sending out invitations the next day (yesterday).
A panel of five advisers to the caretaker government -- Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman, Communications Adviser Ghulam Quader, Law Adviser AF Hassan Ariff, LGRD Adviser Anwarul Iqbal and Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury -- earlier held pre-dialogue talks with political parties, members of civil society and the business community, and representatives from union parishads.
The panel of advisers following the conclusion of the pre-dialogue talks submitted a report to the CA on recommendations made by the participants during the talks.
Many political leaders gathered at their district party offices and exchanged greetings with each other while office staff of some of the parties were busy cleaning up the party offices.
On the very first day of their activities, almost all district level leaders of Awami league (AL) demanded the release of their party chief Sheikh Hasina before the upcoming elections. Similarly, the BNP district level leaders also demanded that their chief Khaleda Zia be released prior to the polls.
Many of the leaders expressed disappointment over the CA's address to the nation as the CA in his speech did not specify when the state of emergency would be withdrawn and address the issue of releasing the chiefs of the two major political parties of the country.
Our staff correspondent from Chittagong reports: Offices of all political parties including AL and BNP in the port city turned lively with the arrival of leaders and activists in the morning yesterday following the lifting of the ban on indoor politics.
There was no sign of division within the Chittagong BNP and its leaders and activists gathered at the party office in a festive mood.
Chittagong city units of other political parties including Jatiya Party also opened their offices, hoping for a continued democratic process.
Our staff correspondent from Rajshahi reports: With no leader to organise them and having no active committee or an office in the city, the Rajshahi unit activists of BNP yesterday were seen gathering at different city points and roaming around private chambers and houses of different district and student leaders.
Out of five former lawmakers who used to lead the unit, one is behind bars, two are on the run, one fled the country and the other is now incapable of leading the party due to illness.
AL leaders in Rajshahi yesterday held their first meeting at the Kumarpara office of the party and criticised the government for an impending disaster in the agriculture sector. They also demanded party chief Sheikh Hasina's release.
Our staff correspondent from Sylhet reports: Political activists started their activities in the city yesterday.
After almost 16 months, a large number of AL activists gathered at the temporary office of city and district AL yesterday afternoon. A milad mahfil was held there at 4:00pm.
Misbah Uddin Siraj, general secretary of Sylhet city AL, said, "We will now put emphasis on our one-point demand -- release our party chief Sheikh Hasina before the dialogues."
Sylhet city BNP Secretary General Nasim Hossain said the party will arrange a workers' meeting at the house of its acting chief advocate Noman Mahmud on Thursday afternoon.
Jamaat-e-Islami reopened its office at the city's Kudrat Ullah market in the afternoon and held a dowa mahfil.
Our correspondent from Rangpur reports: Offices of major political parties except BNP in Rangpur, Kurigram and Lalmonirhat opened yesterday.
Rangpur AL office was being cleaned up so its leaders and activists could gather there in the evening.
The district BNP office remained closed throughout the day. Shohidul Islam Miju, secretary general of the unit, said they would take a decision after observing the situation for two or three more days.
Our staff correspondent from Dinajpur reports: Party offices of BNP and AL opened yesterday morning. However, political activities are yet to take place there as the offices were still being cleaned up.
Thakurgaon AL office remained closed yesterday while Panchagarh and Joypurhat offices of both AL and BNP were also closed.
Our correspondent from Pabna reports: Leaders of the major political parties got together at their party offices yesterday.
Our correspondent from Tangail reports: Leaders and activists of major political parties including AL and BNP on the first day of indoor politics stressed the need for launching of a movement to press home their demand of releasing their party chiefs before the upcoming elections, said party insiders of the political parties.
Offices of most political parties in Bogra, Khulna, Kurigram, Brahmanbaria, Nilphamari, Sirajganj, Gaibandha, Mymensingh, Netrakona and Chapainawabganj also opened yesterday.

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