Democracy, Human Rights and National Security- perspective Bangladesh
Thursday June 21 2012 17:58:44 PM BDT
By Major Faruk Ahmed (Retd), UK
Introduction:1. Democracy could not still be institutionalized in Bangladesh even 40 years passed since achievement of Independence. Human Rights are abused in the hands of violent political rivals, security agencies, social criminals and even family members. Our national security is at stake due to surrender of country’s one-tenth portion of land (CHT) to foreign-trained armed terrorists, surrender of country’s vital economic infra-structures such as sea-ports, river ports, river-routes and roads for corridor to hegemonic neighbouring country- India.
2. Based on above situation, salient points regarding democracy, Human Rights and security of Bangladesh are enumerated in this paper to have a glimpse on the existing realities.
Democracy in today’s Bangladesh
3. Present situation can be characterized by followings:
3.1. Repression on the opposition.
3.2. Suppression on the media.
3.3. Politicization of the Judiciary and Administration.
3.4. Holding of predetermined election and manipulation in the election result.
3.5. Cancellation of Care taker Govt system to stick to power.
3.6. Pursuance of weak foreign policy surrendering national interests.
Human Rights violations under the present Regime
4. Forms of Human Rights violations in Bangladesh are:
4.1. Extra-judicial killings by crossfire.
4.2. Enforced disappearance.
4.3. Custodial torture.
4.4. Custodial deaths.
4.5. Killings and violent attacks on journalists.
4.6. Restriction on freedom of speech.
4.7. Judicial harassment to journalists through filing cases.
4.8. Arrest, remand and torture on journalists.
4.9. Use of excessive force by law enforcement agencies against opposition’s democratic programs.
4.10. Uncontrolled political and state-sponsored violence causing killings, injuries, torture and intimidation on rivals.
5. Potential threats and problems faced today:
5.1. Poorly guarded border.
5.2. Shattered impact of Peelkhana Massacre on Armed Forces’ morale.
5.3. Weak intelligence.
5.4. Lack of co-ordination and direction in intelligence.
5.5. Weak Counter Intelligence.
5.6. Vulnerability to subversion, sabotage and intimidation.
5.7. Shattered morale of Armed Forces. Due to Peelkhana massacre in which 58 Army Officers were butchered by BDR mutineers inspired by local and outside power.
5.8. Backdated weapon system and poor training in the Army.
5.9. Inadequate stock of ammunition for continuing prolonged war.
5.10. Lack of modern anti-aircraft and anti-tank defensive weapons.
5.11. Dependence on imported arms and ammunitions.
5.12. Training strategy leading to surrender ultimately.
5.13. Wrong defence concept based on Dhaka Bowl.
5.14. Absence of offensiveness and proxy war policy.
5.15. Absence of motivation and training for incorporating millions of youths in national resistance.
5.16. Absence of perceived enemy in conducting motivational training.
5.17. Government’s attitude of surrendering national interests.
5.18. Probable impact of giving transit on national defence plan.
5.19. Impact of Indian Army’s domination on our Armed Forces.
5.20. Influence of Govt’s surrender attitude on Armed Forces.
5.21. Difference among political leaders on ideas of sovereignty.
5.22. Political leaders’ motive for foreign awards.
5.23. Lack of interests among intellectuals on security issues.
5.24. Impact of foreign assisted extremists.
5.25. Surrendering govt’s sovereign rights and people’s constitutional rights on CHT.
5.26. Abandonment of security camps from CHT leaving the territory to racist armed groups.
5.27. Vulnerable geographic location.
5.28. Probable invitation by vested political parties for foreign intervention.
5.29. Cultural aggression.
5.30. Dependence in educational sector.
5.31. Dependence on daily commodities.
5.32. Lack of patriotic media propagation.
5.33. Lack of patriotic motivation in the Armed Forces.
5.34. Weak diplomacy.
5.35. Lack of national unity on vital issues of national interests.
5.36. Lack of research in identifying threats to national security.
5.37. Secret and open MOUs and treaties signed with Neighbouring country which have catastrophic implications for the security and sovereignty of the country.
Our intellectuals, concerned authorities and political leaders need to make a comprehensive analysis of the existing situation and devise plans to address these issues.
In order to materialize the spirit of our Liberation War and let Bangladesh to exist as a viable country, we have no alternative other than overcoming above mentioned national problems and mitigate vulnerable security issues.
We, the citizens of Bangladesh, need to give up partisan approach to these issues and stand firm in protecting national interests.
Major Faruk Ahmed (Retd)