Posts Tagged ‘Bangladesh’
An approaching constitutional quagmire in Bangladesh has escaped international attention but threatens the Country’s political, constitutional and social order.
At the center of the domestic political upheaval is the 5th Amendment to the Constitution of Bangladesh. In April 1979 the Legislature in Bangladesh ratified the 5th Amendment which provided that all amendments, additions, modifications made in the Constitution during the period between August 15, 1975 and April 9, 1979 were valid and would not be called in question before any judicial body of the country. In simple terms all the acts and decisions of the martial law period were legalized and insulated from any judicial inquiry. The martial law administrator during this period, Zia-ur Rehman, had sought to constitutionally validate his coup in which he had usurped power from Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. In August 2005 in a landmark ruling the High Court had held the 5th Amendment as illegal and unconstitutional. The Central Government, comprising of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the Islamist Jamaat-i-Islami moved a petition in the Country’s Supreme Court challenging the Court ruling. The Court order was stayed and discussions on the 5th amendment rescinded to the political backburner. In early May this year the Awami League (AL) Government has cancelled the petition for staying the 2005 Court ruling thereby paving way for Constitutional chaos in the country. Click to continue…
The Third Wave of Democracy swept through South Asia accompanied with apprehensions and anticipation about how democracy would treat South Asia and how South Asia would treat democracy. This exciting interaction led to helpful answers and new questions regarding the prospects of democracy in the developing countries. South Asia’s reactions to the third wave and consequent developments can provide an insight into the design of the distinctive democratic models emerging across the globe. The third wave was characterized by five forms of regime change, three of which have been witnessed in South Asia. The relevant forms of regime change include:
- Cyclical- alteration between democracy and authoritarianism
- Second-Try Pattern: Weak democracy gives way to authoritarianism which is replaced by stronger democracy
- Interrupted Democracy: Temporary suspension of democratic system and then its resumption
Without exception, all countries of the South Asia region have demonstrated one of the above patterns during their political evolution. The commonality running through these patterns has been a matter of grave regional and international concern: the lack of sustainable democracy in South Asia. Authoritarianism makes an unfortunate return at regular intervals in most of the regional states. Political reforms during the present decade show encouraging signs of greater democratization among the South Asian states. The trials and tribulations of the past experiments and the present challenges reveal certain interesting characteristics of the regional democratic endeavour. The uniqueness of the ‘attempts at democracy’ in South Asia is not only an analytical challenge but also a rare lesson in the consistent desire for democracy despite recurring failure. The developments in South Asia mark the beginning of the Fourth wave of democracy: trial and error democracy to evolve appropriate variants of Western liberal democracy. This wave is inspired by the failure to duplicate the popular tenets of Western democracies, the attempts to align demands of identity and freedom in new democracies, proper balance of state guidance and individual freedom and a process which while maintaining the distinctiveness of various ethnic, religious and cultural diversities successfully undertakes the nation-building endeavour.
Political developments in each of the eight states are specimens for comprehending the future of the Fourth wave. The present discussion is not expected to be a historical narrative of democratic experiments in South Asia. It is an attempt to understand the democratic innovativeness, in response to national demands, and its consequent impact on the nature of the political systems in South Asia. Click to continue…
As argued in BDR Munity the Government of Bangladesh announced that the incidence of revolt by the BDR personnel would fall under the preview of General Pardon. Any act of murder, looting, torture would be decided through the general laws of Bangladesh. This implies that BDR soldiers found guilty of the above mentioned crimes would face punishment; the declaration of amnesty during the crisis has been qualified by the P.M. An investigation into the incident headed by the Home Minister is underway and is expected to assess the grievances of the BDR and the incidence of mutiny. The future of several BDR personnel hinges on the investigation report due to be submitted by the Home Minister.
P.M. Hasina’s statement that the conspiracy still continues and everyone should remain alert, confirms the argument made in the previous post that the deeper concerns related to mutiny are yet to be resolved.
The mutiny by BDR, also referred to as the Bangladeshi Rifles, on February 25 has left the country in a state of shock. A country accustomed to military coups had never before witnessed such violent disagreements within the country’s armed forces. After the emergence of Bangladesh, the East Pakistani Rifles were renamed as the Bangladeshi Rifles in 1972 and had been entrusted with the security of the national borders. The Bangladeshi Rifles were also required to supplement the army and police operations during national emergencies. The commanding officer of the BDR is deputed from the Bangladeshi Army thus depriving the former of any independent command structure. This subordination to the National Army and alleged mistreatment of the BDR personnel provoked the recent munity. Click to continue…
The dream of a borderless South Asia is being realized, albeit paradoxically, at the Indo-Bangladesh border. The following video shot by a CNN-IBN reporter shows the pseudo border between the two countries. If Bangladesh and Pakistan are responsible for dealing with the problem of terrorist safe havens in their territory, India should realize her responsibility to guard the country’s borders.