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Bangladesh: The Politics of Exile

Categories: South Asia, Bangladesh, Elections, Governance, Human Rights, Law, Politics

The Bangladeshi blogosphere heated up reacting to the drama of the process of exiling the two powerful lady politicians of Bangladesh.

Sheikh Hasina Wazed [1] and Begum Khaleda Zia [2] crowned the center stage in Bangladesh politics in the past few decades. They spearhead two different ideologies in Bangladesh, which instead of providing the nation a headway, divided the nation. The rivalry between the major two parties Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Awami League (AL) have made the politics more confrontational and put the nation in chaos in recent times. This has resulted in declaring a state of Emergency on January 11th this year and the emergence of a military backed caretaker Government. The Government has taken control of the situation by putting many corrupted politicians behind the bar and suspending all political activities.

Now it seems they want to settle the score with the tradition of dynasty politics in Bangladesh by sending Hasina and Khaleda in exile.

The 3rd world view has details [3] how Sheikh Hasina is being barred from entering Bangladesh. Rumi has details on the deportation attempts [4] of Khaleda Zia.

The Bangladesh poet of Impropriety has the latest [5] on the political situation of Bangladesh. Voice of Bangladeshi Bloggers summarizes [6] a few international press reactions.

Asif at Drishtipat blog opines [7]:

A group of 10 unelected people (.00000000001% of the electorate)has just decided that the lady, whose party won 22 million votes, (40%) of the total electorate in the last election and who is a citizen of Bangladesh, can not enter Bangladesh because she is percieved by them as a threat to the society. They also decided that leader of the other party that got the vote of the other 40% will also need to be exported outside. .00000001% has spoken for the whole country.

However Addafication sees this as an option [8] to bring an end to legacy of politics these two leaders were thriving:

There’s a view that’s out there that says that because these politicians committed crimes, they have to be tried. I am not so sure that given the circumstances, exile is really such a bad option. It’s a low-cost option. On the one hand it avoids bloodshed. On the other, the uncertainties of a trial whose results could not be anything but political.

Rehan of Drishtipat Blog is apprehensive [9] about the political vacuum that will create after the exile of these two leaders.

However there is also widespread support for this government so far and not all supports are without apprehensions. Ahsan thinks [10] Bangladesh is now at a cross road:

The caretaker government, who was given the responsibility to conduct a fair election, seems to be taking steps that no one was willing to take in the past. Can the current caretaker government create an atmosphere where not only the old corrupt leaders are forever removed from the political scene; but also new leaders emerge to guide the nation?

Deshi Blog thinks that inexperience [11] in politics would harm the Caretaker Govt.

Sending both Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina to exile would certainly create more chaos in Bangladesh. How can democracy be established by taking away the fundamental rights of political leaders? The way the exile drama is being handled hints abuse of the power, rather than judiciousness.