Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Year Party

January 03, 2007

Monday, January 01, 2007


January 01, 2007


Hope for Better Bangladesh and peaceful tomorrow

A turbulent but eventful year for Bangladesh

Bangladesh has passed through a tumultuous but eventful time throughout 2006, the pre-election year, with a number of unprecedented events in the interim caretaker government, which is overseeing the country’s ninth parliamentary elections. Besides, fruitless dialogue between the ever feuding BNP and Awami League, political agitations like hartals and transport blockades for partisan interests, unprecedented price hike etc. marked the year 2006.

The positive developments that took place in the year included the winning of Nobel Peace Price by Prof. Yunus and Grameen Bank, the victory of people’s movement against a greedy foreign oil company in Phulbari, effective localised mass movement against the government’s failure to supply power to farmers in Kansat and, of course, arrest and trial of the kingpins of the Islamist fundamentalist group called JMB, etc.

Parliament was as dysfunctional as it was earlier. No issues of public importance were discussed in the Sangsad despite the existence of a number of vitally important issues, including power shortage, and the artificially induced price spiral. Farmers laid down their lives while demonstrating against power shortage in Kansat, but the parliament failed to consider it as an issue. Lawmakers also failed ignored the widespread protest in Phulbari, where six innocent people were shot dead by the police, some of whom were lounging on the pavements, though there was a lull in the protest at that time. The people were angry at the prospect of being evicted from their homes by Asia Energy who intended to do open-pit mining which destroys the environment and makes the land totally infertile. The oversight function of the parliament was totally absent. One of the committees, which initiated investigation against corruption of a minister, failed to finish its work.

The two arch-rival leaders in parliament —Khaleda Zia, the leader of the house, and Sheikh Hasina, the leader of the opposition — did not effectively stood by the people while the latter fought in Kansat or Phulbari. Like the previous years, they also blamed each other for whatever bad things had happened in the year, and took credit for whatever good had happened. The BNP-led alliance was busy preparing for the election and was stepping cautiously while the Awami League-led alliance was pursuing its demands for reforming the caretaker administration and restructuring the Election Commission throughout the year. The only news that provided some relief was that the AL lawmakers ended their nearly two years of boycott and returned to the Sangsad in February. But it was not enough to make the parliament functional.

A number of big investment proposals, including a $3 billion one from the India’s Tata Group, remained suspended reportedly on political grounds. In last month of the year, on December 20, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court stayed the operation of the High Court’s verdict that made it mandatory for parliamentary candidates to furnish their educational status, criminal records, if any, statement of assets and sources of income while filing nomination papers. The decision paved the way for the candidates to contest elections without providing the constituents the personal information required for the voters to make informed opinion and exercise the right to franchise judiciously.

Good Bye 2006: EID DAY and Year End Party

December 31, 2006

Eid-ul-Azha & Year End Party at Zhang Sensei's Apartment

It was really a very rare day and nice year ending at Japan. We observed the EID and Year End together. After the prayer of EID we had our lunch at Zakia Aapa's home. From there Akbar san and me went to Saijo Station to say sayoonara to Sakil Bhai and Sk. Munir san.

In the evening, we all foreign students, researchers and fellows from HiTEL Lab had an invitation at Zhang Sensei's Apartment to observe a Year End Party. Such type of party was a new experience to me. It was continued up to mid-night. We really enjoyed the party.