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Old 02-16-2013, 01:40 PM   #1
Nave 'Torment'
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Default War Criminal Trial Bangladesh 2013

Shahbagh 2013



Dear everyone,


This last Friday, 15th February 2013, I went to Shahbagh, the Projonmo Chattar, with my father at around 8 pm and stayed there till after 11 pm. The protestors demanding the fair and just punishment for the Razakars, the war criminals of our 1971 Liberation War thronged this historical square by tens of thousands.


Now, I know that there are critics out there who is going to call this protest meaningless given the politics that is being played: the murder of Bishojit, the murder of the blogger Rajib, the rape of countless Hindu women after the elections, the ambush attack on the buses on the 14th of this monthóall set in place to agitate the people to direct to what politicians might want.
Now I will not claim that I understand enough of that. I donít know enough of the history of my country to understand why and how things have turned out this way. I am one of those who canít speak my own mother tongue without mixing English into it.


However, what I saw that night on the 15th was beyond expression. Never in my life did I see such unity. Never in my life did I feel so safe, where my being a girl amongst hundreds of men did not pose a threat or insult of any kind to my safety or person. I saw parents with their toddlers there, protesting all night. This I know is not politically motivated. This I know is the heart of the people, the heart of the country.
And the people want the execution of the war criminals. Which is fair. Which is just.


Now, I have heard people say about how we ought not to focus on the past and go and face the future. That we should demand the justice for Bishojit and the women who are being raped now and not getting justice. But how can we do so, if we didnít demand the justice for the lakhs upon lakhs of Bishojits who were butchered in 1971, of the lakhs and lakhs of our women, our Birangonas in 1971? How will we have the voice to protest for the injustices now, when we didnít defend and protect the rights of our freedom fighters who sacrificed everything for whatever freedom we have now?
We need this execution of the war criminals. This is not blood-thirst. This is justice. We need to see that those who betrayed and butchered their own people, will not get away unpunished. That there is justice in this world, and there is meaning in the Liberation War that was fought, that the struggle of the freedom fighters and the Birangonas was not in vain.
And another thing: Why isnít BBC and CNN covering this? What are they waiting for? Bloodshed? To show how out of control our country and our people are? This is why we should not react rashly. This is why we need to be calm. This is why we cannot quickly and rashly politicize this without considering all the possible consequences.


And thus, a word of caution. The death of Bishojit and now the murder of Rajibówe know that these incidents are not random. However, we cannot react to it violently, because that is what they want. That is how politicians play with the emotions of the people. Even if a certain group of people should attack us, we should not strike back no matter how much we have the right to, because that will satisfy their political agenda. We started this protest for the execution of the war criminals. Let it be that and only that. Let us be peaceful no matter how much the Jamaat might burn buses and cars randomly.


We are not the attackers. We are not the criminals. We are not the aggressors.


We are the peaceful public. We are the ones who were victimized.
So, why should we pick up the weapons like they do? How many people will they kill? They killed Bishojit, they outnumbered him shamelessly, and they cornered him and then hacked this unarmed man to death. They killed Rajib. They killed him in secrecy, and dumped his body and ran away. How many more such Bishojits and Rajibs will they kill? Two? Ten? Twenty? Fifty? A hundred? Two hundred? How many more people will they kill before the whole country stinks from the stench of dead bodies?
However, we need others to know about this. We need support. We need recognition. Which is why we need you to see this and support us, the Bangladeshi people in our efforts.


Joy Bangla.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesig....php?nid=44766
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesig...php?nid=269173
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesig...php?nid=269251
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-e...cle4419445.ece
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahbagh_Square
http://shahbag.org/
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesig...php?nid=268142
http://bdnews24.com/media-en/image/2...ib-at-shahbagh

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(pt 1; pt 2; pt 3; pt 4; pt 5; pt 6; pt 7)


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Old 02-16-2013, 02:43 PM   #2
Baramos
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Default Re: War Criminal Trial Bangladesh 2013

Poster is referring to this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/wo...vist.html?_r=0

Quote:
Originally Posted by The New York Times
NEW DELHI — Tens of thousands of people resumed mass demonstrations in Bangladesh’s capital on Saturday, intensifying their demands for more severe punishment for war criminals from the country’s 1971 liberation war, while also demanding justice for the slaying of a blogger who had been a leading organizer of the protests.




The coffin bearing the body of Rajib Haider, an architect and blogger, was carried through the crowd in a public funeral at Shahbagh, a major intersection in Dhaka, the national capital. Bangladeshi television showed thousands of people kneeling in prayer, chanting slogans or waving banners bearing Mr. Haider’s image. The crowd were estimated at more than 100,000 people.


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Mr. Haider’s family on Saturday to express her condolences. Mr. Haider’s body was discovered Friday night near his home, after he had been savagely stabbed. His family has told the Bangladeshi news media that they believed that he was killed for his role in the protests and his outspoken criticism of the fundamentalist Islamist political party Jamaat-e-Islami.


“Haider’s killing occurred at a time when the youngsters have awakened and united the whole nation,” the prime minister told Bangladeshi reporters during her visit to the family’s home. “Let me promise that we will not spare the killers.”


Saturday was the 12th consecutive day in which crowds of protesters have poured into the Shahbagh site for demonstrations. The movement began Feb. 5, when a coalition of bloggers called for protests against a verdict by the special tribunal prosecuting people accused of committing atrocities during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.


The tribunal had handed down a life sentence to Abdul Quader Mollah, a Jamaat leader, after convicting him of murder, rape and torture. Protesters, however, demanded that he be sentenced to death, given the severity of his crimes. Many suspected that some sort of political deal had been reached to spare Mr. Mollah’s life.
The bloody legacy of the 1971 war continues to cast a shadow over Bangladesh: an estimated three million people were killed and many of those suspected of committing atrocities have never been prosecuted. Besides the protests in Dhaka, demonstrations have spread to other major cities and towns across the country.


By the weekend, protest organizers had agreed to reduce their round-the-clock demonstrations to only seven hours a day. But they reversed that decision after the killing of Mr. Haider, and the crowds quickly swelled with college students, workers and other citizens.


Meanwhile, followers of Jamaat-e-Islami have staged often violent protests against the government, which the party has accused of manipulating the tribunal as a way to go after political rivals.


The presiding justice of the tribunal has resigned over irregularities that arose over its proceedings.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladesh_Liberation_War

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
The Bangladesh Liberation War(i) (Bengali: মুক্তিযুদ্ধ Muktijuddho) was an armed conflict over a duration of about 9 months, putting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war started on 26 March 1971 between the State of Pakistan and East Pakistan, India intervened on 3 December 1971. Armed conflict ended on 16 December 1971 and resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh.
The war broke out when army units directed by the State of Pakistan (then controlled by West Pakistan) launched a military operation called Operation Searchlight in East Pakistan against Bengali civilians, students, intelligentsia, and armed personnel who were demanding for the military regime to honour the results of the first ever 1970 democratic elections in Pakistan won by an East Pakistan party or to allow separation of the East from West Pakistan. Bengali military, paramilitary, and civilians formed the Mukti Bahini (Bengali: মুক্তি বাহিনী "Liberation Army") on 26 March 1971, in response to Operation Searchlight and used guerrilla warfare tactics to fight against the West Pakistan army. India provided economic, military and diplomatic support to the Mukti Bahini rebels, leading West Pakistan to launch Operation Chengiz Khan, a pre-emptive attack on the western border of India which started the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
On 16 December 1971, the allied forces of the Indian army and the Mukti Bahini defeated the West Pakistani forces deployed in the East. The resulting surrender was the largest in number of prisoners of war since World War II.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971_Bangladesh_atrocities

Quote:
Bangladeshi authorities claim that as many as 3 million people were killed, although the Hamoodur Rahman Commission, an official Pakistan Government investigation, put the figure as low as 26,000 civilian casualties.[4] The international media and reference books in English have also published figures which vary greatly from 200,000 to 3,000,000 for Bangladesh as a whole, with 300,000 to 500,000 being a figure quoted by news outlets such as the BBC for the estimated death toll as counted by independent researchers.[5] As a result of the conflict, a further eight to ten million people fled the country at the time to seek refuge in neighboring India.[6]
Many of those killed were the victims of militias who fought with the West Pakistan Army: Razakars, Al-Shams and Al-Badr forces,[7] at the instruction of the Pakistani Army.[8] There are many mass graves in Bangladesh, and more are continually being discovered (such as one in an old well near a mosque in Dhaka, located in the non-Bengali region of the city, which was discovered in August 1999).[9] The first night of war on Bengalis, which is documented in telegrams from the American Consulate in Dhaka to the United States State Department, saw indiscriminate killings of students of Dhaka University and other civilians.[10]
Some women were raped, tortured and killed during the war. The exact numbers are not known and are a subject of debate with some sources quoting figures as high as 400,000. One particular revelation concerns 563 young Bengali women, some only 18, who were held captive inside Dhaka's dingy military cantonment since the first days of the fighting. They were seized from Dhaka University and private homes and forced into military brothels, with some of the women carrying war babies being released.[11]
There was significant sectarian violence not only perpetrated by the West Pakistani army,[1] but also by Bengali nationalists against non-Bengali minorities, especially Biharis.[12]
On 16 December 2002, the George Washington University's National Security Archive published a collection of declassified documents, consisting mostly of communications between US embassy officials and USIS centers in Dhaka and India, and officials in Washington DC.[13] These documents show that US officials working in diplomatic institutions within Bangladesh used the terms selective genocide[14][15] and genocide (see The Blood Telegram) to describe events they had knowledge of at the time. The complete chronology of events as reported to the Nixon administration can be found on the Department of State website.[16]
Every major publication and newspaper in Bangladesh and some international publications on genocide and human rights abuses use the term genocide to describe the event.[17][18][19][20][21]

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