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Flip-flop show of government in Bangladesh

by Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

© Rafiqur Rahman/Reuters Bangladeshi women carrying candles participate in a demonstration to
protest against trafficking of women and violence against women in Dhaka
on 11 August 2003.
(January 07, Dhaka, Sri Lanka Guardian) Government led by Bangladesh Awami League came in power in Bangladesh on January 2009 with landslide victory in the general election, which took place in December 2008. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made series of pledges to the nation in her electoral manifesto, which includes providing job to at least 30,000 people every day.

When the government of Bangladesh Awami League is celebrating its ‘Grand Success’ of two years, it is clearly understood that they have totally failed in at least fulfilling this commitment of providing job to 30 thousand Bangladeshis every day. In contrary, during past two years, more than 1 million people became unemployed, most of whom were sent back from various nations in the Middle East as well as Malaysia. The first piece of bad news of 2011 for the current government in Bangladesh is, Malaysia is set to send back at least 350,000 Bangladeshi workers soon. Despite series of visits to various Middle Eastern nations including Malaysia, Bangladeshi foreign minister Dr. Dipu Moni totally failed in achieving anything in resolving this huge crisis. It was already reported in the local press that the foreign minister has spent a few hundred million Taka already from the national exchequer to cover her high-profile foreign tours. The Bangladeshi foreign minister has also no achievement at all in attaining duty free access of textile products to US market as well as in attracting any foreign investment during the past two years. Critics are terming Dipu Moni’s efforts as ‘bankrupt diplomacy’.

Bangladeshi government has suddenly become tight lipped in bringing back the absconding killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It is believed that, some of the supremos of the current party in power are unwilling to resolve this issue during this term. Others say that the government has opened so many fronts at a time that now it is self-puzzled in prioritizing its own agendas and initiatives.

No doubt, the one and only ‘achievement’ of the current government during 2010 is execution of self-proclaimed killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The commerce minister and his huge team failed to do anything in keeping the prices of essentials within tolerable level during the past two years. Rather, the commerce minister is seen as one of the top graded flops in the current government.

There is no good news from the ministry of industries, which is led by Dilip Barua as the minister, who is a prominent leftist and anti-West politician in Bangladesh. Many believe that the minister, instead of helping the private sectors in growing is doing everything possible in not only screwing it up, he also is trying to prove that private entrepreneurship or free market economy is not any viable policy for today’s Bangladesh. In other words, the minister is actively trying to push Bangladesh’s industrial sector under dominance of public sector, which in other words is the prototype policy of any anti-capitalist nation.

From the last part of 2010, there is some real good news on country’s overall law and order situation. The newly appointed inspector general of police deserves appreciation for such success. During the entire period of 2009-2010, members of the student wing and various fronts of the ruling party were actively involved in extortion, land grabbing, murders and series of confrontations.

There is no good news yet from the energy ministry in resolving the ever-worst power crisis in Bangladesh. Foreign investors are refraining from showing any interest in making investment in this country due to power crisis as well as massive political chaos and lawlessness in country’s industrial sector.

Textile and readymade garment sector in Bangladesh also suffered substantial loss during 2009-2010 due to anarchism, mostly staged by group of culprits led by so-called leader of the garment workers, Mushrefa Mishu.

Here is the list of the failed or most ineffective ministers and state ministers in the current government in Bangladesh:

01. Dilip Barua, Minister, Ministry of Industries,

02. Ramesh Chandra Sen, Minister, Ministry of Water Resources,

03. Ghulam Muhammed Quader, Minister, Ministry of Civil Aviation,

04. Lt. Col. Faruk Khan, Minister, Ministry of Commerce,

05. Dr. Dipu Moni, Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

06. Begum Monnujan Sufian, State Minister, Ministry of Labor & Employment,

07. Brig, Gen. Muhammed Enamul Huq, State Minister, Ministry of Energy

08. Capt. Dr. Mozibor Rahman Fakir, State Minister, Ministry of Health

09. Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, State Minister, Ministry of Women & Children Affairs.

Also, the name of Sohel Taj, MP, who still is shown as the state minister without portfolio in the current cabinet should be mentioned, as he has been living abroad for past several months. Since the independence of Bangladesh, this is for the first time, a member of the cabinet is staying abroad for months, while is still is shown as the state minister without any portfolio. Critics say Sohel Taj is possibly the ‘roaming minister’ in the current government, who prefers spending time with wife and children in United States instead of doing anything good either to his own constituents or the people.

Main opposition, Bangladesh Nationalist Party [BNP] is refraining from attending the parliament for months. During 2010, BNP was mostly busy in salvaging the sons of the former prime minister from series of corruption charges as well the party was actively trying to see Begum Khaleda Zia [former prime minister] in not losing the ownership of her luxurious residence inside Dhaka Cantonment. BNP continues to play its anti-Indian card against the current government in Dhaka with the goal of making people agitated against the ruling party. It is actively trying to obstruct the steps taken by the ruling party in improving relations with India. Bangladesh Nationalist Party is also opposing banning of religion based politics in the country, which is at the top of the agendas of Bangladesh Awami League.

Repression and persecution of religious minorities, including Hindus and Ahmadiyas were seen during 2009-2010. Especially demolishing Hindu temples and deities as well as abduction and forceful conversion of Hindu females continued in the country under active patronization of some religious fanatic groups and Madrassas in Bangladesh.

The one and only successful figure in the current government in Bangladesh is the Prime Minister herself. It is reported in local media that, most of the development activities in the country are implemented only after initiatives of the PM.

Sheikh Hasina is sincerely trying to resolve many of the current issues in the country, including the power crisis, unemployment, law and order and communication. Only the Prime Minister can deserve personal appreciation for several achievements and attainments during the entire period of 2009-2010, with a virtually naïve or ineffective team of cabinet members.

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