Gonoforum President Dr Kamal Hossain on Saturday urged the country’s people to get united and engage in positive politics to get rid of extrajudicial killings, corruption and ensure good governance.
“We’re passing through a very helpless situation. There’s no alternative to working together to overcome it. We must unite people to establish their rights,” he said.
Dr Kamal said, “People must remain united to restore democracy, the rule of law and good governance. We have to mobilise public opinion against corruption, politicisation and crossfire. The Bangali nation overcame all crises in the past. We’ll also do it now and people will surely turn victorious.”
He made the remarks while virtually speaking at a discussion arranged by Gonoforum, marking its 27th founding anniversary.
Dr Kamal said the nation faced many crises after the Liberation War and overcame those with united efforts. “Autocratic had been rules were imposed on us at different times, but we didn’t accept them. We got united constructively which is called positive politics.”
He said positive politics help make people aware of their rights and their problems. “We must work positively and tackle the current national crisis. There’s no alternative to positive politics. We won’t be able to achieve anything with negative activities.”
Dr Kamal, also a noted jurist, urged people to come forward to resolve the country’s problems and take it forward as its owners instead of getting disappointed. “The people of this country never get disappointed. We’ve to work together to get rid of the situation, no matter how terrible it is.”
“We must protect our independence, democracy and ensure good governance. We also have to upgrade our education system and create an atmosphere so that people can contribute to the country’s development,” he observed.
Stating that coronavirus has devasted the country’s economy, the Gonoforum chief said people should play their due role from their respective positions to revive the economy. “The government should also extend necessary support to people in this regard.”
Gonoforum General Secretary Dr Reza Kibria said their party will continue its struggle to ensure people’s democratic rights, the rule of law and good governance. “Gonoforum will go to power uniting people to restore their rights.”
He said their party wants to bring a change in the country’s political culture so that people do not become 'subjects,' of those whom they elect by giving votes. “Our goal is to protect voting and other rights of the country’s people, and restore people’s ownership of the country.”
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BNP on Saturday alleged that the current government has made enforced disappearance as its main political programme to continue its ‘despotic’ rule by eliminating its opponents.
“The panic of disappearance has been prevailing everywhere in Bangladesh. Crimes against humanity and atrocities such as enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings emerge from misrule,” BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said in a statement.
The party issued the statement on the eve of International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance to be observed in the country as elsewhere across the globe.
Mentioning that enforced disappearance is a symbol of one-party misrule, Fakhrul said it has now become a regular affair for the law enforcers of the ‘autocratic regime’ to pick the proactive opposition leaders and activists up. “They make the opposition activists and dissidents disappear for a short or long time or forever.”
He alleged that enforced disappearance has been used as a key tool to remove the obstacle towards sustaining one-party ‘authoritarian’ rule abolishing opposition parties.
The BNP leader said their party’s many leaders and activists, including Ilias Ali, Saiful Islam Hiru, Chowdhury Alam and Salahuddin Ahmed.
He alleged that people are suffering from an unknown fear due to the incidents of enforced disappearance. “The bereaved families of those who have been subjected to enforced disappearance are still waiting for their loved ones to return. The cruel ruling party has been using enforced disappearance as a strategy to create a sense of insecurity among the country’s people and stop its dissidents and criticisms.
Fakhrul said a terrible anarchy has created in the country due to continued incidents of enforced disappearance as it is the means of survival of the current government ‘usurped’ power without public support and voters’ ‘mandate’.
“If this trend continues, Bangladesh will plunge into the deep darkness of anarchy and the normal life of people will be completely disrupted. Let’s unite to bring back democracy,” he said.
Fakhrul said crimes against humanity such as the incidents of enforced disappearance, kidnapping, killing and extrajudicial killing will be eliminated and comfort will return to the public life if only a genuine democratic government is installed through a fair election.
BNP on Thursday alleged that the Election Commission (EC) is going to enact the ‘Political Party Registration Act’ to transfer its power to the government for controlling the registration of political parties and their election systems.
“The Election Commission is handing over its power to the government. That is why an election commissioner has protested it by giving a note of dissent. The power they (EC) have got regarding the registration of political parties through the RPO is now giving it to the government by enacting a separate law,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
He came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after paying homage to National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam by placing wreaths at his grave, marking his 44th death anniversary.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission approved the draft of Political Party Registration Act as it thinks a separate law for political party's registration is necessary since local government elections are now being held with party symbols.
Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar on Wednesday gave a note of dissent opposing the EC's move to have a separate law for political parties' registration as he thinks it will only make the RPO, 1972 into a "handicapped law".
Rizvi said the government wants to keep the issue of registration of political parties in its hands by enacting the law as part of a move to make its power absolute.
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He also said the government is trying to enhance its power further to control the entire election system by weakening the EC.
The BNP leader said the government has destroyed democracy and snatched people’s rights through repressive acts. “Election is one of the pre-conditions to democracy. Now that election is not held at daytime but at night. The works and writings of great poet Nazrul inspire us to speak up against such injustice and unfairness.”
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday alleged that 'extrajudicial killings' are taking place in Bangladesh in ‘freestyle’.
“Enforced disappearance is a crime against humanity as per the UN charter, but this is now happening here (Bangladesh) in freestyle,” he said.
The BNP leader said, "When we see the army chief and the IGP in a joint press conference saying gunning down of Major (retd) Sinha an isolated incident, where and to whom will we go for (justice)? What can we say?”
He made the remarks while speaking at a programme arranged by Jatiyatabadi Swechchasebak Dal at its Chairperson’s Gulshan office.
Family members of some BNP leaders who were subjected to enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings have been given finical assistance at the programme.
Fakhrul bemoaned that the screams of those made enforced disappearance and killed do not reach the ears of the government “This regime doesn't hesitate to kill innocent people and orphan and innocent children only to prolong their stay in power.”
He alleged that the ruling party leaders used to resort to lies and mislead people whenever they fall in trouble.
Narrating the sufferings of the family members of the victims of enforced disappearance, the BNP leader said, “Your sacrifice won't go in vain. It’ll surely give the nation strength to wake up and defeat the current monstrous and usurper regime.”
He said the current government will surely go away today or tomorrow as no autocratic regime in the past could hang onto power for lifelong anywhere in the world. “We believe, we’ll surely win the struggle for the restoration of democracy.”
Fakhrul urged his colleagues to go to people and encourage them to join the movement for restoring their all the rights and protect their existence. “We shouldn’t be disappointed. We shouldn’t be defeated in this battle. We must win this battle.”
BNP on Wednesday chalked out various programmes, including virtual discussions, to celebrate its 42nd founding anniversary on September 1 next.
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced the programmes at a press briefing at the party’s Nayapaltan central office.
He said they will observe all the programmes, maintaining social-distancing rules.
As per the programmes, the party flag will be hoisted atop its Nayapaltan central office and all other offices of BNP across the country at 6am on September 1.
Besides, BNP standing committee members will place wreaths and offer fateha at the grave of its founder Ziaur Rahman at 11 am on the day.
Later, the leaders and activists of BNP’s Dhaka south and north units will also place wreaths at Zia’s grave at 11am and 12pm respectively.
The party will also arrange a virtual discussion at 3pm the same day.
BNP’s associate bodies and their all units across the country will mark the day by holding various programmes, including discussions.
On September 1, 1978, Ziaur Rahman formed BNP with a 19-point programme to build a self-reliant Bangladesh. BNP ruled the country for several terms.