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Campaigning on Bangladeshi Issues Abroad

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  • Emanur Rahman
    Dear Alochoks Whilst the following statement is true : ... our actions at home are responsible for building our image it is interesting to see which bits of
    Message 1 of 90 , Oct 31, 2002
      Dear Alochoks

      Whilst the following statement is true : "... our actions at home are
      responsible for building our image" it is interesting to see which
      bits of our actions people like to highlight.

      Like the post-election violence against some minorities, people are
      now jumping up and down to alert (!) the world of the army's abuses.
      This is all well and good but actually serves NO USEFUL PURPOSE. In
      fact, it is detrimental to the long term interests of the very people
      whom such activists purport to serve.

      How so?

      In a country where law and order is non-existent and its enforcers
      themselves criminals, such publicity undermines any international help
      to address the problem.

      Instead of running around shouting the odds about small groups of
      crimes that have politically correct currency in the west, why don't
      they talk about crime generally and ask for help and pressure to
      address the core issue.

      It makes more sense to ask the British and US government to HELP us to
      rebuild (build?) our law enforcement infrastructure and root out
      corruption than to tell them to demand that the present government
      reign in the army.

      After all, without the ability to enforce law and order, defending
      human rights is nothing more than an empty slogan and an issue that
      guarantees its activists column inches well into the future.

      Before certain quarters start jumping up and down about human rights,
      let me ask them this : WHAT SHALL WE DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS WITH? (in
      Bangladesh) Answer this and then can we talk about human rights abuses.

      Is this too simplistic? I think not.

      If you want to raise issues abroad to genuinely help Bangladesh,
      choose them carefully.

      Emanur Rahman, UK
      _______________________________
      In response to Lopa Tasneem's forwarded article from Daily Star
      (link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/alochona/message/5944)

      Alochok Emanur raised a very important point in his mail when he stated, "Instead of running around shouting the odds about small groups of crimes that have politically correct currency in the west, why don't they talk about crime generally and ask for help and pressure to address the core issue."

      On campaigning on Bangladesh related issues abroad some may say that human rights organisations, media and individuals are always active to protest against small group of crime. However, do we have any idea why the same bodies are seen to remain passive to protest against the crime in general? Do we have any idea why they are never seen to be active to respond to the development of core areas like economic, political or socio-cultural field?

      [M: TJ]
    • sayousuf
      Dear Alochoks First of all I d like to concede that I did indulge in Deshi Style of political discussion – and that is not a fruitful of way of discussion at
      Message 90 of 90 , Nov 7, 2002
        Dear Alochoks

        First of all I'd like to concede that I did indulge in Deshi Style
        of political discussion – and that is not a fruitful of way of
        discussion at all. This is not to sound like an excuse but my main
        complaints arose from two things, 1) the constant `labeling' of Sk.
        Hasina only –that her actions are harmful for our nation. 2) that
        we cannot or should not discuss about the problem of fundamentalism
        in the present day context.

        Yes, I stand accused of (and truly so) bringing old/deshi style
        comparison of Khaleda Zia's old records (I mean it not in any
        arrogant way). But I also see an alarming trend of sweeping issues
        under the cover and muffling the opposition voices in the name of
        long term national interest and accusing them of treasons. Sometimes
        I feel this taking time off from voicing opinions `in-the-name-of-
        national-interest' is too broad of a rain-check we are handing over.
        I hope I'm wrong, but I suspect jamaat and the other islamists are
        taking the advantage of the relative proximity to the power and the
        silent sympathy factor that's sweeping the Muslim majority nations
        of the world these days.

        Talking about issues, have we tried to understand what would be the
        consequences if we don't communicate our concerns about
        fundamentalist parties gaining power in the absence of any political
        discussions. And if the fundamentalists do come to power by scoring
        in an empty field, can we think of - how much foreign investment or
        award will we generate from the western nations?? Alochoks, the fear
        is real. After the Bali incident, the FDI in Indonesia took a direct
        hit on its nose. On the other hand Malaysia announced that it will
        start monitoring the radical imams by putting video cameras in the
        suspected mosques. Now who do you think has more credibility in the
        civilized world? These concerns, I hope, are not taken
        as `pontifications' about fundamentalism.

        I am no fan of any of the current political leadership of Bangladesh
        either. Just like you, I disagree with Sk. Hasina citing not so
        believable Time, WSJ etc. articles. I also complain constantly about
        the near-sightedness of our current leadership. To my strong belief,
        Bangladesh is still one of the most uniquely liberal and progressive
        muslim-majority nations in the world. By no way it is a `hotbed' of
        fundamentalist-terrorist activities. But I won't take it as a
        guarantee that we will remain that way forever without us fully
        tackling the issue of rising fundamentalism around us. I am a proud
        Bangladeshi, proud of our heritage and proud of our liberal tolerant
        society. We have to be proactive to keep our long standing tradition
        of being a liberal, tolerant society and not succumb to the
        Wahabbi / Advani versions of religions.

        Sometime I feel we only complain / finger point about one-side only.
        We don't see the danger of the other side. This is where I might
        have misunderstood Alochok Emanur's verbiage as a one-sided Sk.
        Hasina bashing. He has been kind enough to point out the flaw of the
        discussion style that I employed. Thank you. I hope, with my mistake-
        laden way, I have tried to call your attention to this other side of
        the coin.

        Dhonnobaad,

        Syed Yousuf

        P.S. About the common knowledge the middle-east connections, I would
        like to point to the first part of my comment where I have
        conveniently put a disclaimer about this comment being a comment
        based on common knowledge :)). Nevertheless, I do admit that it is
        terribly hard in Bangladesh to find the exact details behind these
        assertions (especially for ones who are out of the country for a
        long time)

        ____________________

        In response to : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/alochona/message/5988

        [M:JJ] Alochoks should take note of Alochok Yousuf's comments. An important process for all of us including moderation is to evolve the way in which we discuss things. Moving away from "complaining and finger pointing" will allow us to actually achieve an outcome from our discussions. More often than not the reconciliation or understanding of differing viewpoints is lost due to the inability to get past recrimination. Our thanks to Alochok Yousuf for setting the example and in doing so, the standard for all Alochona discussions.
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