Consider this an evolving notebook as the 24th October end of government looms as ultraviolence looks very likely to revisit the streets of Bangladesh.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Commissioner Benazir Ahmed, who hails from the Prime Minster's ancestral area Gopalganj has annonced a ban on political rallies, and the main opposition BNP are adamant to hold a big rally in Dhaka on 25th October. To this end a BNP leader and ex Mayor of Dhaka Sadeque Hussain Khokha gargled out some fearsome words before going into hiding while the more polite MFI Alamgir mumbled something about this being the final khela(play)
Yet given the ultraviolence that the Awami League sprung on the country on 28th October 2006, and the encouragement their thugs received by being given a free right to kill so many people over the past 8 months in broad daylight, it is a fearful time and anything is possible.
Furthermore, after the attacks on Hefazot supporters in Dhaka on the 5th and 6th May killed unknown scores, the police, RAB, BGB and media could bring even further disgrace to themselves in the coming weeks and months.
Thus spoke Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia
In this setting the Prime Minster's speech last friday was an important from the point of view of public relations and self image. Watch it below for analytical kicks.
PM Sheikh Hasina Speech on National TV on Friday evening 18th October 2013
Note how she tries to play the sympathy card towards the end re: the murder of her 10 year old brother 38 years ago and how she asks for our prayers as she sits underneath a picture of her father underneath the Shahada of Islam.
Below is one of her principle oppoonent's responses.
Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia Response on 20th October.
- That civil institutions aren't allowed to work freely.
- Many civil servants have been flung away ( OSD'd) because the government smelled different politics on their bodies.
- The police look like they have been turned into an Army fighting a war.
- Challenges Hasina to a fair election.
- Mocks Hasina's helicopter riding for voters with the boat symbol.
- Mocks governments single song sheet of blaming opposition for everything.
- "If you think that you will do an election with RAB, Police and what was that...BGB..BDR? Then that will not be allowed in this country"
- Contests Awami League freedom fighting credentials.
- Free Mahmudur Rahman, the detained editor of Amar Desh, he did no wrong.
- We want the return of Ilyas Ali, and all the dissapeared leaders.
- Protests the toruture applied to Shibir's young leader Delwar Hussain, whats wrong with working for a party.
- We stopped exam fraud, incumbents have brought it back.
- Contests Awami league claims and appropriations of development work and women's education.
- Stressed the need to save the younger generation.
in it she mentions the attack on the Hefazot rally explicitly and points out this vital truth.
"...restlessness and confrontation in the society has increased due to the Awami League government’s wrong policy of identifying militancy with the peace loving religious organizations and religion based legitimate political parties. This has adversely affected the drive against militancy."
David Bergman analyses it here, best skip to the end and read the speech before his selective analysis.
Protest Promotion VideosDemonstrations of street power are now the name of the game and this Friday 25th October the BNP will try their hand. These are the guys who didnt exactly help hefazots cause by threatening to overthrow the government just before Hefazot came in for a walk.
But street power needs to be suplimented by media power. With opposition papers under the cosh, even the technophobic BNP have to bypass the coporates and have a go at something new. The video below is from them, complete with disconcertingly jolly Bangladesh Biman-freindly soundtrack.
The next one is from Shibir supporters, and probably the second shittest video in all of Political Islam.
The first shittiest being that of a similar combine which appropriated and exploited Hefazot as well as their 5thMay protest for their own very narrow purposes. I beleive they have the right to exist untortured, but fucking hell they can be irresponsible wankers.