How the Bangladesh military abuses Its power under the state of emergency

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Tasneem Khalil
Photo: Tortured Journalist Tasneem Khalil

Update: Tasneem Khalil’s interview by Arafatul Islam of DW-WORLD is added.

[An E-Bangladesh commentary.]

Human Rights Watch, the international Human rights watchdog that conducts research and advocacy on human rights published today an exclusive report on tortures in Bangladesh. This report presents the testimony of Tasneem Khalil, a Bangladeshi journalist and the representative of CNN and Human Rights Watch in Bangladesh, recounting his torture at the hands of Bangladesh’s military intelligence agency, the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI).

Human Rights Watch says:

“To our knowledge, this is the most detailed public account of a case of torture in Bangladesh available anywhere. It demonstrates the nature of ongoing state-sponsored violence in Bangladesh, including the torture of critics of the current government.
What happened to Tasneem Khalil – which, sadly, is not uncommon – makes clear that when it comes to human rights a critical part of what was promised is not being fulfilled. After one year, the state of emergency not only remains in place but is being used to limit political party activity and restrict freedom of expression and assembly, with torture a frequent consequence for those who do not toe the line and end up in the custody of the security services.

Increased domestic and international pressure to end such abuses cannot await elections or formation of a new government. The fundamental rights set out in the Constitution should be immediately restored and respected. Ending illegal arrests and torture should not await an election. These should be a top priority of the interim government. Those members of the security forces who have been responsible for such egregious human rights violations should be brought to justice.”

Read the horrid accounts of abuses against Tasneem Khalil here . Read how he was terrorized and maligned after his release due to international pressure only to find recluse in exile. You can also download the full report (pdf format) available in the Human Rights Watch Website.

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E-Bangladesh is a News/Headlines service and a group blog aimed at bringing the news and analysis from Bangladesh to its readers.


42 Responses to “How the Bangladesh military abuses Its power under the state of emergency”

  1. Razor

    “Simply shocking”

    Anyone reading this, would have a better idea of what I am talking about, if you go on and read the full report. Reminds me of Mayada and the time of Saddam Hussain and his fab Torture cells.

  2. Juliet Kausar

    Stop remand in Bangladesh

    I would like to request all human rights activists, politicians and the member of the civil society and the media to start a mass campaign to ‘Stop Remand in Bangladesh’ once and for all.

  3. Hana Ahmed

    The press is still gagged tightly. We still cannot write about anything negative regarding the military in our articles. This has been going on for more than a year. Tasneem Khalil and Arifur Rahman incident have happened for a reason. Irene Khan’s trip to Bangladesh gave us some hope. But little seems to have changed since then. This country is bursting at the seams.

  4. Sushil Khedao

    The role that people like Kamal Hossain, Mahfuz Anam, Farouq Sobhan and other so called sushil NRB organizations played in stiffling democracy in Bangladesh and cheerleading the army was an eye opener for us, the young generation.

    They are the real criminals.

    Tasneem is a symbol of middle class resistance to such elite/army partnership.

  5. Habib

    If this is the condition of a representative of CNN then what about the others ?

    What about the other guys who was arrested by FUA MUA govt ?

    NO crime remains unpunished.
    Fakruddin & his alliances will have to pay it back soon.

  6. Razor

    This piece of junk, clearly indicates how much fear has been injected into the veins of the media in Bangladesh by this wondersome-super-power and intelligent government! Picking up Hana Ahmed’s hope about Irene’s latest visit to Dhaka — “When a building catches fire, it takes some for the brigade to reach it. By the time the fire is stropped, there is already a lot of damage” : – )

    “Intelligence” .. Right !

  7. A.K.

    I have never had any faith in our “patriotic” armed forces. If they were not busy being “fat cats” fed by our money, they were either capturing their own country or brutalizing a poor young journalist. I think the patriot here is Tasneem Khalil, and not the masked, armed operatives of a coercive government.

  8. russel

    DGFI in everywhere in Bangladesh. Its reminds me history of Stalin Era in former USSR. DGFI control and poking their dirty nose in every aspects of life in Bangladesh including political parties, medias, educational institutions, injudiciary systems and even in CTG.
    I really appreciate this blog who is the only one disclosed the blue prints of DGFI about midnight cue of BNP on Oct.29’07.

  9. Jagorook Manush

    Is not it high time for Bangalees to act now to leash this herd of violent animals before it can hurt or kill at ease another innocent citizen? I make a call to all the Bangalees living abroad to take the advantage of their position, out of reach of this dreadful fascist army, and mount a concerted campaign to UN and other global leaders of democracies with facts and statistics on the illegal and inhuman activities Bangladesh Military is carrying out with full impunity just to execute their project of depoliticizing Bangladesh and to have a permanent control of state governance. We sow a great hope and expectation to our progressive and democratic friends abroad to leave aside debating, parlour politics and come forward resolutely to save and harness democracy in Bangladesh. The reality about this army is this, abroad they are being beefed up financially and with arsenal by UN under the peace keeping contracts, at home they mobilize these resources to conspire against democracy and to grab state power through violence. Through this process it has become the most powerful and most corrupt organization with an insatiable thirst for grabbing state power. Please compile and disseminate information to mount an effective campaign against this monster to save your people and your country. Please do it now. Jagoruk Manush

  10. Corporal Shihab

    With due respect sir I like to differ on this issue.
    Can you tell us why this TK issue poped up again ? In the whole writing, is there any new information?
    What he says about his days in DGFI has any witness ?or we believing what he says?
    He was arrested for a different issue which has nothing to do with Human rights activities. Did he say what are the SMSs he circulated and why? He did not.
    And about human right activities… how many times he visited flood affected southern districts, Monga areas in Rangpur or remote villages in Sherpur ? He did not. He resided in Dhaka and wrote few articles and thus became Human right activist.

    Sir, days, nights, months, we the soldiers are deep inside villages, literally holding the peoples leg so that no land remains uncultivated. In a bordering area of Sherpur, we discovered 62 widows who lost their husbands in 1971. Last 36 years, no body knew about them. We rehabilitated them. Its just an example of thousand small works. You just write and talk about human rights being thousand miles away. But we are doing it on ground. Every soldier is doing that.

    We dont handle money. We are helping the administration to recover money, the unpaid bills. How this organization has become most corrupted? Where is the thrust for grabbing power? How come we have become monster?

    Plz show us how to do the same job in better way. Show us how to increase Boro rice production. Show us how to bring the corrupted officials of RAJUK, Biman, Titas, T&T,DESA, WASA etc in to justice. Show us how to improve educational facilities or health service. How our RMG get easy access in UK/EU/USA.

    Sir, We are trying to build the country where our next generation will reside. We dont have any relatives in UK/USA/Sweeden etc to join them,seek asylam and reside there. Good or bad, we will live and die in Bangladesh. You like it or not,, we will build this country. This time in our way. You saw last 15 years,,, plz hold your patience for next few months plz.

    Corporal Shihab

  11. Sharika

    Yes we think you guys can do a lot of good things but your bosses ( MUA and DGFI) giving you guys a bad name .@ Corp. Shihab

  12. Corporal Shihab

    # Sharika
    Exactly so what I am meaning. I/we dont know what DGFI and our top bosses are thinking. But I know my General and our immediate bosses. We are united for a noble cause.For one or two cases, dont call the whole organization as Monster, power grabbers and so.
    EBD is an open forum for all. It does not mean that it will continuously promote anti-army move knowing fully well that readers will not be able to learn what army says.
    I am an odd chap, spare some time,visit EBD , try to say something and most of the cases moderated
    Corp Shihab

  13. NiRBashito

    Corporal Shihab, why don’t you publish the incriminating sms messages? Why did you let Tasneem free if you have such solid evidence? If you really had any, you could have simply presented those to a court of law, and put Tasneem behind the bars, without subjecting him to any degrading, inhuman treatment. Obviously, you don’t have any such evidence, and yet you cast doubt on Tasneem’s character. And then you want proof that there was indeed torture done on him. How much lower can you go?

    Oh yes, then you claim you are doing so much for our country. Let me tell you, for all the benefits you get, you should give another forty years of the same service for free, after you retire, just to pay back those extra benefits you never deserved. You remind me of the couplet, by Rabi Thakur:

    শৈবাল দী‌‌ঘিরে বলে উচ্চ করি শির
    লিখে রেখো, এক ফোঁটা দিলেম শিশির

    Obviously, you have no sense of decency. You brag about giving service for which you are paid for three times over. You owe it to us, but you have no shame or guilt in asking others to do (for free) what you are expected to do at the very least.

    So talking to you about human rights or citizen’s rights and the law of the land is pointless. By supporting torture, no matter what the crime may have been, you have just committed a crime for which you, and all your colleagues, deserve to be condemned and punished. It is now perfectly legal for us to be going after each one of you, stripping you of your badges and medals, and deny your pension. And the actual torturers deserve to be jailed for life.

    Did you, Mr Corporal Shihab, not take an oath, putting your hand on the Quran, that you would uphold and protect the constitution of the country, when you joined the army? Do you know the Constitution bans torture, or any kind of degrading treatment on our citizens, such as referring to them as Malauns (even if they are not Muslims)?

    Let me tell you that your bosses, who are busy playing golf in Kurmitola and have replaced the BNP and AL leaders for chandabaaji and mastani, will not be able to carry it on for ever. Look at Pakistan and learn your lesson.

    And let me tell you one more thing, when the Bangladeshi janataa will run over the cantonments and give you the boot, it will be a lot worse than the boot Parvez Musharraf is getting now.

  14. Jagorook Manush

    Hi Corporal,

    It is called narcissism when a Corporal becomes spokesperson of an army pack for an international discussion forum of Bangalees. But, undeniably, your level of linguistic skill defies my life long notion about a non-commissioned military man being treated like an imbecile moron by my knee-jerk officer friends. But if you are truthful to your professional identity, I am impressed. It is trivial and besides the point that, participating in a public discussion on very explosive and conflicting political issues is perhaps against your service code and hence immoral. But you are on far higher moral ground than your bossmen.

    Since you have the professional acumen to pinpoint my location ‘being thousand miles away’ (I am baffled but feeling secure), therefore, living in the garrison, who else will know better than you; how your bosses have been dumping our holy constitution in the shredder, how they have been killing prisoners, pregnant women, children, handicapped, how the Generals ever remain out of the dragnet of DUDAK. You know the answers better, but hushhhh! for your own safety. Being such a talented Corporal, you may soon be awarded the task by your such a dumb headed Boss to write the history of Bangladesh. Falsification, distortion, fabrication, lying etc. will earn you ‘Hilal –E- Banglastan’, but an iota of truth will cost your neck, poor Corporal.

    Come on Corporal! You hold ‘people’s leg’, is there any witness? Joyfully you broke Cholesh Ritchil’s legs, bones, head until he is dead, world is the witness. Extra judicial killing is your forte, in daylight carrying few sacks of rice for flood victims on your head is your propaganda, in the dark night killing democracy is your expertise. Evaluating Tasneem Khalil (audaciously written TK) as a Journalist or as a human Rights activist is height of mockery to wisdom, knowledge and civility. This hollowness in your head is acquired through your training, it is not your congenital deficiency, I bet.

    Regardless, you are a Corporal or a General; do not look for a living witness of a dreadful DGFI interrogation. You have the recorded footage of them. Have the human guts once, put that footage of Tasneem on the web and prove that not you, he lies. You did for Jalil, Sheikh Selim.

    ‘Sorry’, this little word may sometimes become a robust testimony of a human being. Zia did not say sorry, nor did Ershad, or ‘Clean heart’ Mashoud. After ‘few months’ or few years, guns and goons will be on the run again. Democracy will prevail. Politicians will learn from experience and instead of pampering they will treat you as a poisonous snake. And then before your final demise from politics of Bangladesh, would you defy your predecessors and say ‘sorry’ to Tasneems. Jagoruk Manush

  15. NiRBashito

    Corporal Shihab, don’t play cutesy here. You don’t know what your DGFI does, but you know what Tasneem’s sms messages say. Sheer, blatant, hypocrisy!

    Let me also tell you: It’s not “one or two cases”. It has become quite an established pattern of behavior. Namely, army’s violence on our citizens; abduction; torture; death in custody. Cholesh Ritchil and Kalpana Chakma are just two of many such victims. Since no one in the army has been punished for these crimes, I must conclude the entire army is behind such crimes, and the entire army stands as a band of thugs.

    And that includes you, Corporal Shihab, because you defend this army’s despicable actions.

    I’m sorry to be putting this more coarsely because Rabi Thakur may be too refined for your tastes: your good social work appears to be nothing more than “গরু মেরে জুতা দান।”

  16. Corporal Shihab

    To my all well wishers,

    It is very good that fruitful discussion has been generated.(Thanx EBD).
    I am no way spokesman of my organization. But I just share my knowledge/experience with you.
    I am not wrong what I say bcz I say what I see.
    I might not have decency, no shame, no guilt, but dont question my love for the nation.
    Otherwise I could very well leave this organization, join TITAS and earn 100 crore taka in just Eight years.

    About Mr TKs issue, I dont have access to DGFI archive what actually sms contained. I learned it from Mr Mahfuz Anam’s press release.
    About the Late Cholesh Risil’s death. Yes the army has learned from the mistakes. The responsible persons were court-martial and punished. Any repetition of such mistake will be tried by Civil Court-we are warned.
    Plz allow me to share my experience.
    After 4 days effort, we could apprehend one ex Union Parishad(UP) member against whom we received approx 20 complains.
    After apprehension, on the spot we found 6 people complaining about him. One with one leg, saying ‘this UP member cut my leg in open broad day light’. Other five have many cut marks on their body. The whole village complained about him. We handed over that UP member to Police and instructed them to interrogate, revive old cases and send him to court with proper charges. At approx 3 am we went to see the interrogation process and we found that gentleman was enjoying tea.
    On the fourth day that UP member was released on bail from the court. We could not track what happened to those villagers next as our camp was closed.
    Plz tell me whose human right was preserved best? The UP member or the man with one leg ?

    And for your information i should inform you that Kalpona Chakma is now residing in Tripura

    Sir, DGFI is a very small organization(And powerful may be) directly under Govt. The rest of 150 thousand soldiers are doing what exactly I am doing. Believe me, I take pride of each of our steps(for which we are meant and paid for). Don’t blame this organization for one or two cases.

    Mr Jaguruk manush, can you say where pregnant women , handicaped people, children died in army custody? Since Late Cholesh Risil’s tragic death, did you find any occurrence (A single) that any suspect was brought to army custody?

    I am son of a politician who was elected several times and I also know the right to live, the true definition of democracy.
    But in last 36 years be it military, semi military or democratic govt, what my father achieved? what my nation achieved? Nothing. It is the corrupt top brasses (BNP/AL/JP/Armed forces/Police/Biman/Titas/WASA/RAJUK/Customs/Ctg Port etc) who are benefited.

    If everyone fails. Who will build our dream country?
    I said it and saying it again, show us the better way,,, how to build our country

    Cheers

    Corporal Shihab

  17. NiRBashito

    Corporal Shihab, since the army has chosen you to be its spokeperson, please answer the following in further detail: who has (have) been court-martialled in connection with Cholesh’s torture and murder, and what have their punishments been? I want name, rank, and details of punishment. They are public servants, and their fate should be public knowledge, esp since it was an egregiously public violation of one of our civilian citizen’s rights.

    Why is Kalpana Chakma in Tripura? How do you know this information? How do I know your information is correct? Please provide evidence (I cannot trust your words any longer: see next sentence.)

    Now you point your finger at Mr Anam re: Tasneem’s sms messages. You implied they were incriminating evidence, but I didn’t find anything like that in Mr Anam’s writings. So, now either you tell us what those messages were, or you publicly apologize to Tasneem for having tried to smear his character.

    Lastly, you make a pathetic attempt at deflecting the DGFI’s responsibility (and thus defend the army) by saying it’s directly under the govt. This govt is by your own admission under the direct control of the army now, and the DGFI has ALWAYS been under the control of the army (your shifting position on this smacks of dishonesty, if not outright dishonorable conduct unbecoming of a member of our “patriotic armed forces”). Your bosses and colleagues have violated their oath taken on their holy religious book, and you continue to defend this army in public. I hope I have made it clear to you that ALL of you in the army, criminals as well as their silent supporters, are equally guilty, and deserve the lowliest form of punishment that our laws permit. You certainly do not deserve your benefits. You deserve only our highest contempt and condemnation.

    The least you can do to save your personal face on this page is issue an unconditional apology to Tasneem Khalil.

  18. Discriminated

    Corporal, I really appreciate you spending so much time in this website. I enjoy reading the sports articles and sometimes, any major news that are published here.

    Your efforts to keep this place neutral is very noble as well. While everyone is fighting against you, please do remember that they are not fighting against you directly or personally.

    It is “the organization” they are all blaming, and as a part of that, you are also entitled among them. Your stories on that UP guy is very thrilling as well. These things happen in Bangladesh, almost everywhere.

    On my last visit to Bangladesh, I was in Rangamati for a while. The people of Rangamati have a very good liking for you, specially the minority, whom you have been helping all this time.

    The camp commander chap was very friendly as well, and when he learned about my identity, came forward with great hospitality 🙂

    Four of my batch-mates are also serving under your organization for the past. . five or six years – I am not sure how far ahead they went.

    So you can see, how much affection I hold for you and the armed forces.

    But when you put one small drop of poison in a glass of water, it becomes fatal.

    I pray and hope that the Armed Forces keep working for humanitarian issues and not for their own benifit, else, the people of our country would probably never see the light of democracy.

    In a small town, a baker sells “Bread” and call it “Cake”. One day, a person went to another town and ordered “Cake”. After having it, he thought this was something else, how can cake be so good ?

    Obviously, he never had cake, how would he know 🙂 ?

    We have never seen the face of democracy. Our time is over, but I worry for our children, and their’s and the prosperity of our nation.

    I pray and hope that the Military would make the grounds fertile for an election as soon as it can. Once a government is elected By the People, the military should then work along with the Government, and further remove corruption and anti-state activities (terrorism in the name of Islam).

  19. Corporal Shihab

    Dear Nirbasito,

    I am no way spokesman of any one.
    I said, I say only what I see.
    Why dont you answer me first that”whose human right was preserved best? The UP member or the man with one leg ?”(see #19)

    I only say that we will make the ground fertile for an election.
    We will not allow DUDOK,PSC,EC to work for any partisan people.
    We will ensure corruption free environment in TITAS,T&T,CAAB,RAJUK, DCC, Ctg Port, Customs,DESA etc…
    This time in our way.
    Corp Shihab

  20. A.K.

    I am wholly surprised that an active general and army chief can write a book on his socio-political views and pontificate on the nature of democratic system in the country. I am guessing as I am not sure, but does not this tantamount breaching service rules, if not being downright seditious and anti-state?

  21. NiRBashito

    Dear Corporal: Why do I do I have to answer your rhetorical question first? Why are you avoiding clear answers to what have been asked of you? Are you an upright member of the army or not? You claim you say only what you see. What about those sms messages, once again, please?

    About your claims in #19, it’s obvious that whatever way you want to run it, it’s not working — the UP chairman got away! – — about time you admitted, the army boot and rifle style does not quite get everything done, even when you claim to be in the driving seat and running it “your way.” About time you saw the total failure of your way, and owned up to your infinite stupidity…

    By evading answers to my queries, and by your inability to issue a simple apology to Tasneem, you have given away the real picture of your own disingenuous character. Well… that’s okay! We never had much faith in you anyway. Thanks for confirming our suspicions in public.

    What a fine example of a member of our “patriotic armed forces” — can’t be honest when confronted. Can’t admit your own fault and limitations when it stares you in the face. Now you know why you will fail. Again. And only to leave things worse for the rest of us.

  22. NiRBashito

    Corporal Shihab: in addition to corruption free DuDak, Titas, etc., how about a corruption free Cantonment?

    A cantonment that does not grab hold of all lucrative business in the land, a cantonment that does not send unqualified officers to civil administrative positions, a cantonment that does not engage in chandabaaji for its golf clubs, a cantonment that does not send murderers to kill the father of the nation, a cantonment that is not continuously plotting how to undermine the democratic process and conspiring to legitimize its hold on total power for good?

    If we are to expect this absolutely thuggish and degenerate army to fix all our problems, you must really believe our brains also reside behind our knees…

  23. Nil

    Dear Nirbashito
    U r playing simply one sided game. Without giving a narrow outlook wy don we compare our state? Just think 1 day b4 One Eleven. We were just a second away from a internal war. U people have bags of money and dint face reality,real chandabaji,ghush,hoirani from the local mastans. Writing nice words/blogs staying n a AC room, holding a beer cane really cant change our theme. The general people like us wanted a revloution somewhere someday from that polluted politics, corruption, Godfathers and what not. Yes these army guys did lot of immatured jobs, critisize that..but its not wise 2 b a hypocrate forgetting where this poor nation was heading!! Even think the natural calamities of this year!….Try speaking white 2 white and Black2 black. Wy dont we hammer for an early election………so far whatever corruption s on screen s our achievement…Can u say me If t were not this people how many years it could take to capture a GodFather who s crying now inside Jail? How many poor people have cried, died for this so called GodFather?……..This army people are not born as Army..they are any of the civilian father/mothers son. So its not any organization , its individual who should be criticized, may it be Army, bishop, businessman or politicians….Brother Corp Shihab, Can u say me why the most qualified officers are not employed during this national emergency/crisis? Does that mean that your organization also running after lobbing?…nyway…we only want peace, rice and dal wid honest income. Can this army guy ensure this littile demand?.if they cant than its all the same..political or army backed gov.Hunger can never keep u honest……at last every1 breaks down……

  24. Corporal Shihab

    Dear Nil,
    I guess army tried to put the right man in right place.However, UN posting, courses in abroad,courses related to career and promotion,sodiers training, unit administration are some other major jobs to do.
    I love my organization the way I love my country and my parents. I/we are trying to do something so that our parents finds reasons to live and our children finds a good place to live.

    It is unfortunate that someone is questioning my honesty as just simply I am not apologizing to an individual.

    Dear Nirbasito, unable to coop-up with your language.Poor Corporal. The occurance of Risil’s death is hundred miles away. I know the leaders of that incident were punished.
    We are not angel,just your brother/sister/uncle residing in Bangladesh knowingly or unknowingly joined army. Each and every day we are reshapping our organization to face the reality,challenges.Show us the better way to live.
    Corp Shihab

  25. Jagorook Manush

    Hi Corporal,

    It is heartening knowing that this sourly discussion is yet sweet and ‘fruitful’ to you. Your tolerance is amazing but not an exotic façade of our army. If you study martial law regimes from General Ayub, Yahya, Ziaul Huq till Zia, tolerance was not in their lexicon. General Ershad changed the whole gamut of military rule; do whatever you want, but keep up a tolerant face. Steal state coffer, play golf, give Friday sermon, turn into nocturnal womanizer, plagiarize poetry; everything is permissible but do not react to criticism. Slowly he became so immune and elusive to public reactions that the title ‘Bishwa Behaya’ became synonymous to him and to his driving force the Bangladesh Army. Patience is yet your great virtue but do not taint it eluding questions you have confronted here concerning your organization. I shall touch few points which you have fielded and are repeatedly using them as your shelter.

    Case study-1: UP Chairman
    I shall try place a simplistic analysis of the issue. In democracy, a public representative can not be a tyranny because his political life is tied down to public support. In martial law or pseudo-democracy (martial law proxy) people representative in every level does not need people’s verdict; rather blessing of CMLA, DGFI, terror, rigged election, money power etc. become deciding factor(s) for the job. The Chairman in question must be in the latter group whose power base is not public, rather in Cantonment or in Hawa Bhaban. His political life would have a natural death in real democracy. The next target is judiciary which set this Chairman free in no time. This is a serious accusation. Judiciary safeguards constitution. Constitution guarantees individual human rights and, rule of law. Human rights encompass democracy, right to live etc. In the event, state power is taken over by force or through surreptitious means (as for example martial law or election through DGFI intervention), then constitution becomes dysfunctional. The executive power of the state soon forms rubber-stamp parliament, legalize crimes like illegal power grabbing, killing of human lives through indemnity bill. In this situation judiciary is retooled to work for the power grabbers and against the constitution. True democracy does not survive without, not only free but also judicious, judiciary and vice versa.

    Corporal, I did not have difficulty in getting your hints that your usual practice of summary execution of this tyrant by ‘cross fire’ was the better alternative. Listen, without any ambiguity the loud and clear message of the public; may the Chairman be your monstrous creation, may he be a criminal of a CMLA proportion; ‘cross fire’ is never an option in civilization. It blatantly contravenes right to live enshrined in our constitution and in international human rights charter. Bangladesh is one of the signatories of this charter, may I remind you cool Corporal.

    Case study-2: Rehabilitation of 62 Widows of 71 at Sherpur
    Corporal, certainly it gives you enormous pride imagining that during this short tenure of this regime of proxy-martial law, many tumultuous events have been happening. One of them is ’71 war’. The nomenclature of this war has recently been shifted from liberation war to civil war. In civil war, each party in the war can claim to be freedom fighters. Therefore two main groups of freedom fighters of 71 can be defined as; pro-Indian secular and the other is pro-Pakistani Islamic. Taking this historical correction into account, you should be more specific in future description of your charity missions related to 71, especially which are carried out silently at far flung areas, so much away from press and public glare. It may be worth mentioning here that about liberation war, the photo collage of the national heroes displayed by you during last Victory day parade highlights your knowledge and your deep gratitude for the patriarch of martial law in Bangladesh – General Ziaur Rahman.

    Corporal, last but not the least, do not evade questions, neither come up with unsubstantiated fictions made in your knees . Oh, one more issue; sorry for asking an apology from you for all those ‘cross fires’ and ‘rogering’ TKs. It was my naivety.

  26. Boka Manush

    Corporal Shihab,

    How much do you pay per kg of rice as a member of the armed forces?

    Then, how much does your neighbor, a bloody civilian, pay?

  27. Corporal Shihab

    Dear Jaguruk Manush,
    Well coordinated reply and sincerely speaking I agree in your stand point.
    Bangladesh Army has come through a long process. Initially it did whatever they thought to be right. Brought out arms, fought within the brothers. Killed our two great leaders. Grabbed powers. Since 1990 possibly the attitude turned to right perspective. Like all other organ of the country our organization took time to be what the are made for.We lead the new generation . Our command exactly know that they can not do whatever they want. They need to convince us for each step. We are no more “Lathial Bahini”.For any reason, our main organs like judiciary, law enforcing agencies, Jatio Sangsod, PSC etc could not function. But after 1/11, dont to find a change? I said, we are changing everyday. Changing with the reality,mistakes. and there is no shame out of that.
    Sherpur issue was just an example. Every battalion doing the same job in own area of responsibility. No press, no news media coverage. Just do the duty silently.If you have any time, just visit any camp. Surely we will brief you on ongoing projects. I assure you will like it.
    We arrange Independence Day Parade(not victory day parade). Possibly you did not mark that last time ,(26 March 2007) it was only the Seven great Hero’s picture on the gallery. Same for this year and you are also invited to see the parade. However, I dont know about which picture will be hi-lighted in March 2009.
    Sometimes I become frustrated. I could join Customs, Titas gas, DESA,RAJUK…..so that I could avoid so much hatred but could earn crores of money showing damn to the country.
    Cheers

  28. NiRBashito

    Yeah, Corporal, we see everyday quite a few of your superiors — arrogantly taking over the civilian administration and thinking they can fix everything as THEY see fit. What will take it for you to realize that dictators, i.e. unelected and self-appointed rulers “calling the shots,” are just as bad as corrupt politicians when it comes to “showing damn to this country”?

    You claim to learn from your mistakes and to be constantly changing, but I don’t think you have learned any real lesson from the past at all: Zia, Ershad, just to name a couple of really nightmarish but important lessons for example.

    You claim to do your bit quietly, just like your generals are also quietly taking over key businesses in the name of “sena kalyan sangstha”. You are not just happy any more to run your CMHs and cantonment schools, colleges, even a new University and a medical college, all of this with civilian (non-defense) budget, you want full control. Well, let me remind you that Communism (another form of dictatorship) has failed. Economics cannot be controlled by shouting orders (and one would have thought even a donkey might have learned this lesson just by watching the price-hikes over the last one year).

    If you want to really serve the country and its people, honestly, you should go back to your bloody barracks and stay put there, ready to come out and serve when and where needed, and ready to go back as soon your mission is completed, but with a civilian, elected politician in command at the top. Not some Moeen U type loathsome general giving us lecture about some new kind of democracy. Like he is some genius getting wahi while so many political philosophers of past and present just failed to deliver. And before you come back with the stale old line on corrupt politicians, let me remind you that we know of just as many corrupt army officers, retd and hiding abroad. (And how about the irony of our Generals asking for “foreign help” in solving the internal political crises that he obviously cannot solve himself?)

    And yeah, you the non-commissioned Corporal who are getting to buy rice at Tk. 4/kg are also corrupt, like the ghush-khor traffic sergeant who thinks he, too, deserves his “upri” because his salary is barely enough. You see, you ALL are getting an unfair advantage at tax-payers’ cost (either in the form of price-subsidy or ghush). You “quietly” claim to be doing this and that at Sherpur, yet I cannot help noticing a hint of the genuine regret in your voice that you chose the wrong profession, as your benefits are not as great as that of the scoundrel meter-reader. So, you have really lowered yourself to the level of the scoundrel now; somehow that doesn’t surprise me at all.

    Lastly, please don’t insult us by signing off with “Cheers” — given the present circumstances, we find very little to be cheerful about.

  29. Corporal Shihab

    We said specifically that it is the matter of time, the army will be going back. It is exactly the lessons from Zia/Ershads regime that for the betterment of the organization ,through long process, which has come to this shape, we should remain in the barrack, do the duty exactly directed by political leadership. Possibly you have marked that since 06 Dec 1990, we had been doing the same. We will do the same after 2008. Till then army like all other govt machineries will work under the caretaker Govt.
    We promote civilian/political control of military, not the politicization of military. We dont want to loose our military leaders after every political regime change. We dont want to see Mr Haris/ Mr Helal brings out the promotion list from their pocket. About 4 taka rice on which my family and to some extend my parents depend, well last all political govt never changed it. Hopefully new political leaders will increase the price.
    Can you name any retired army officer hiding abroad(Of course other than some killers).But I know one officer who was sacked and jailed for financial mismanagement in BDR now happily serving a business house in Bangladesh.
    Which business house is taken over Sena Kalyan Sangstha ? Just name one. However, Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory, and Khulna Shipyard both were loosing concern are now in full production, a profitable organization handed over to Bangladesh Armed forces during last political Govt.. You tried to teach us communism, while you are not sure what you are telling. This is our problem that we talk to much, do less(sometimes nothing).
    Yes even Donkey has learned the price hike, who is also silent witness of the two floods, one Sidre in just one year. the donkey also saw the oil price x-ed 103 USD, reduced production of the exporting countries. And the dirty politics over 5 Lac M Tons of rice.
    I should not reply any more who is worse than that Donkey.

  30. Iconus Clustus

    @ Corporal Shihab and other lovers of the army-CTG goons:
    • I keep on hearing about references made to the “past 15 years” and how bad and unsuccessful it has been. Then I am asked to hold on to my pants for a few more months to see what the army-CTG does… as if, if I could have had waited 15 years, then I surely can wait for a couple of years and see the fruits of army-CTG rule!! How asinine! Who is ever going to send this message to the barracks and to its pack of জনসংযোগ বিচ্ছিন্ন elites who have assumed power by force that the country is not 15 but pretty close to 37 years old and it has been none but the men in brass who in fact have fact been the de facto rulers of the country for the most part. I hope I don’t have to provide a chronological unfolding of events in BD history…
    @ Jagorook Manush
    • Generally speaking, I feel that your faith in our political leaders is a bit naïve. I don’t think there will be a backlash from the politicians who would want to condemn the army-CTG rule and provide ways to set things aright once and for all. I am sure the exit-strategy that the MUA-CTG gong has devised has made sure that the key personalities/groups are well buttered – this is part of their long-term planning.

  31. Iconus Clustus

    Corporal Shihab wrote:
    “I only say that we will make the ground fertile for an election.
    We will not allow DUDOK,PSC,EC to work for any partisan people.
    We will ensure corruption free environment in TITAS,T&T,CAAB,RAJUK, DCC, Ctg Port, Customs,DESA etc…
    This time in our way.”

    If the army can ensure a fertile ground for an election, if they can make DUDOK, PSC, EC, etc. work without being under the influence of political parties, if they can ensure a corruption free environment in organizations like TITAS, T&T, CAAB, RAJUK, DCC, Chittagong Port, Customs, DESE, etc. – THEN – my question is, why do we need an election? Why do we need the voice of the people? If we do not have the need to ask for people’s opinion to do all of the above, then I am not sure why we need their opinion later on! As far as I am concerned, if ARMY can do all of the above “in their own way” then they should go ahead and do it, and that too for the rest of Bangladesh’s life (meaning forever!). Ki bolen Shihab Bhai?

  32. Iconus Clustus

    @ A.K.
    What is a “break of service rule” in army and how is that relevant in a nation that is under the Emergency Powers Act with a newly appointed full General at the helm of power behind a pseudo-civilian caretaker government? My own answer to this question is: Break of service rule in this context makes no practical sense at all and is quite irrelevant. Like I have written elsewhere – this MUA is a well-read individual who is thinking (and quite likely has been thinking for years now…) of a novel brand of democracy (he has the Generals of Pakistan, Korea, Burma, Thailand, and several others that he can learn from) and has no plans to really quit any time soon.

  33. Iconus Clustus

    All you enthusiastic and optimistic people:

    Generally, I have fun. I party. I lose my mind, while having a party. I laugh. I make jokes, though they are not funny, but I laugh with others… and, I apparently – LOVE life. But this is not to say I don’t criticize. In fact, as you all must know by now, I have most fun criticizing others’ views. My basic ideological position in these terms is – skepticism. I question things – no matter what they are. There is an old adage that the sceptics of the old used to talk about – there is an opposite and equally weighted response to just about any claim, thus putting all your hopes into one bag and feeling comfortable is not quite sensible.

    For my taste, I feel many of us (for all I know, most of the deshies in and outside the country) are too quick to judge things. Think of how everyone welcomed the current Caretaker Government (CG). Think of how everyone welcomed Yunus into politics. But fortunately or unfortunately, the tide seems to be turning, and that too quite sharply. What is interesting in this is that the current CG hasn’t done much in last few months since this transformation seems to have taken place within the people. It was clear as day light that this was a coup d’etat since day one (11th January)… so the talk of democracy, constitutionality, legitimacy, legality, hope for a “clean” “level playing ground” and so on have all been pretty much rubbish talk in the face of Major Generals, who do not give a rats ass about them. The fact that Fakru and gang have only been the handmaiden of these generals became apparent over their little tenure in office – their blatant disregard for the very constitutional dhara on which they were sworn in was more than enough of an indication. I fondly call them the brokers, who is cutting the deal in between the armed forces and the donors… though am not sure what the donors would want at this point – though I am still of the position than half of the script of this natok is being written there as much as it is written within the barracks over here.

    Anyways… let me register my disappointment with the optimistic people …

    Are we this naive that we will believe in people those who suddenly get the power from a group of armed personnels? What basis do we have to believe in their good intentions? These generals – haven’t we seen them ACT before? Wasn’t this “taking over” also motivated by power-struggle? And who are these college educated Ingreji kotha bola debonairs? Where do they belong and what vested interests do they have? I mean, com’on people!

    Getting the previous leaders rounded up and jailed, blocking leaders from entering the country, threatening and blackmailing to harrass… bah, we are all so happy… why – cause this is exactly what we wanted. We wanted to see Tarek looking like a fool that he is, we wanted to see other thugs appearing like shichkey chors, and that is all we wanted! And when we saw that – we had no questions in our minds at all. Starting from the very highly educated to the least – we were all happy to see these guys showing the previous leaders that no one was above the law. What a freakin’ farsical and tyrannical bullshit.

    Why didn’t we question their motives? Why weren’t we more apprehensive about the means they were implying to get to where they wanted to? Why was it okay to have the known thugs be killled and maimed without prosecution… why weren’t the RAB and its activities ever questioned? Why did we think that it was okay to get rid of the people that we know as thugs without a fair trial.

    Naive… so freaking naive. It is only a matter of time that the autocrat will run him sword in your throat – right when he finds you to be obstructing his share of the pie… right when they find your piece of writing offensive to them… right when they think you are not part of their plan – ’cause as their boss says, “Either you are with me, or you are AGAINST me!”

    You know – I don’t even know all these people – I mean, for all I know, they are well intended, polite, and what not… but the circumstances, their class representations, their liaisons, and the ever looming Western butt munchers with their local executioners (the armed forces)… make them a suspect in my eyes. Cause, when all of that becomes a part of the whole, then simple honest intentions do not work… and IF they do not work after such drastic measures that have already been taken, it will all back fire with absolutely no one to be able to deal with it… in fact, everyone of the MOFOs will leave the country for a safe haven elsewhere in the world… what a fabulous design… you steal as much as you like, get it over to another country in a bank well secured…, get caught…, and be ported out in a state supervised A class journey to that country… where you already have things set up for you!!! Right – these MORONs are going to bring about the rule of law… and they think they understand politics…

    O well… boro chul ar dari rakhar jonno jay kobey dhora khai kay janey… everything is legal and moral if it is done by the men in the uniform you know… 🙂

  34. VoiceAgainstCrimes

    Disgusting and shocking! Bangladesh is slowly slipping into a fascist state worse than the worst of all military juntas ever. The political leaders are their main targets.

    An invisible force from abroad is behind this ferocious savage junta. The string pullers are shuttling back and forth to Dhaka to manage an unmanageable scenario. The Franknstein’s ugly monster has already been bred, fed and nurtured and finally let loose on democracy-loving people as was done in 1971 and 1975 by the UN/US/UK/WB/NGO global aggressors.

    Their conduct has surpassed the notoriety and savagery of Yahya Khan, Rao Forman Ali and Tikka Khan combined. Their experiment is doomed!

  35. zafar bhuiya

    For the ellection and security our deffence can use DVR pen camera and camera sun glass that can help you to watch your beck side and recording too. We can also use very small survilent camera that can record criminal voice and some body can watch from control. It can move right & left, Top & down it’s self. any body can hide it easyly. because it is very small. no need to use cord.

    Zafar Bhuiya

  36. B.S. Sen, PASC, NDU.

    Recent Killing of Army Officers in Philkhana cannot go un punished. It is not very difficult to identify the killers and their collaboraters from video footages etc. But everything is possible in Bangladesh. There we have Officers and troops to enforce controls upon ourselves in order to maintain control over population. Both the BNP and Awami League are same, inspite of their mistreatments, robbing public funds, they are still elected in the election. Since there is muslim majority in Bdesh, why can’t we can peacefully govern the Country, there no more signifiquent numbers of Hindus or Christians there. I am happy that in Canada I have earned my career and is doing very well, as while in Bangladesh I was turned down due to my Bengali Name. To be honest most of the top brass are after making money from public funds and they do not care much for the moral or the betterment of their command( It goes same for the Civil Servants)
    Any body dis-agree, kindly send me email directly.

  37. akasg=s

    Mil never wants to come in power in bangladesh,but when our politicians try to act funny,that time army is the only hope for our people.

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