Saturday, March 23, 2019 | ePaper

Commentary

Democracy needs international protection

  • Print
Editorial Desk :
The United States has said unlawful or political killings, forced disappearances, life-threatening prison conditions, freedom of speech limitations, negative government pressure and fear of reprisal by press and media, and impunity for security force abuses were the most significant human rights problems in Bangladesh last year.
US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo formally released the 2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and delivered on-camera remarks on Thursday morning at the press briefing room of US Department of State in Washington DC. There were reports of widespread impunity for security force abuses last year, while the Bangladesh government took few measures to investigate and prosecute cases of abuse and killing by security forces, said the report.
On elections and political participation, the report termed the December parliamentary elections "lop-sided" and said it was considered to be marred by irregularities, including     
ballot-box stuffing and intimidation of opposition polling agents and voters. It said the government mobilised law enforcement resources to level civil and criminal charges against opposition party leaders. The report also highlighted numerous reports of arbitrary or unlawful killings committed by the government or its agents.
It said both print and online independent media were active and expressed a wide variety of views; however, media outlets that criticised the government experienced negative government pressure. Civil society said political interference influenced the licensing process, since all television channel licenses granted by the government were for stations supporting the ruling party. There were also incidents of journalists coming under attack by ruling party loyalists and intelligence men. Independent journalists alleged intelligence services influenced media outlets in part by withholding financially important government advertising and pressed private companies to withhold their advertising as well.
In such a climate of repression the international community needs to be more proactive with regard to Bangladesh to ensure that basic human rights like the right to franchise and the right to voice opinions freely remain unthreatened and available to all. Big powers like the US and the UK, among others, can do much to ensure that there exists a climate which is conducive towards criticism and change to ensure that basic freedoms are not trampled upon.
Micromanaging the country by managing elections like the elections of 2018 and the current DUCSU elections do no credit to the image of the government. The current fast unto death action of some students of Ruqayyah Hall is a symptom of the disease which currently manifests the nation. The ruling party has to understand that it can't fool all of the people all of the time -- and it should know when to give up gracefully lest it faces a hasty retreat.
The root of the problem is denial of good governance. Democracy is not just free election, it is the arrangement of good and accountable governance. We find democracy has enemy within the country. In modern times the government has become too powerful for the people power. If human rights have to be an international concern then saving democracy in other countries must surely be matter of real concern. It is a deception to talk of human rights without caring for democracy. We have to worry more about the enemies of democracy within the country.

More News For this Category

Varsity student assaulted at Gawsia market, 3 held

Staff Reporter :Three people have been detained on charges of assault on a university student at Gawsia market, beside New Market, on Friday afternoon.According to police, a quarrel ensued

Biman hijacking: Polash got infuriated after he was asked to take his seat

bdnews24.com :Investigators have cobbled together a clearer picture of the attempted hijacking of a Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane by interrogating six crew members.Polash Ahmed, a passenger of the BG-147

Six killed in Myanmar's Rakhine state as army battles rebels

Reuters, Yangon  :Six villagers were killed and five injured in Myanmar's Rakhine state amid clashes between government troops and ethnic Rakhine rebels, a lawmaker and residents said on Friday,

'We are one' says PM Jacinda as NZ mourns with prayers, silence

'We are one' says PM Jacinda as NZ mourns with prayers, silence

Reuters, Christchurch :The Muslim call to prayer sounded out over Christchurch and around New Zealand on Friday, as thousands gathered to remember the 50 people killed by a lone

Bad debt recovery

Special Correspondent :Bangladesh Bank (BB) has proposed to establish separate 'bankruptcy courts' in all the districts across the country to deal with the simmering banking crisis created by an

 7 more killed including college student

7 more killed including college student

Staff Reporter :At least seven persons including a college student were killed and eight others injured in road accidents in Barishal and Magura districts on Friday. The accident took

9th span of Padma Bridge installed

9th span of Padma Bridge installed

UNB, Shariatpur :Around 1350 metres of the much-hyped Padma Bridge is now visible with the installation of 9th span on the pillars no 34 and 35 on Friday.The 150-metre

PM Jacinda Ardern receives death threat on social media

NZ Herald :Police are investigating death threats sent to Jacinda Ardern on social media.A Twitter post containing a photo of a gun and captioned "You are next" was sent

Glowing New York Times editorial says 'America deserves a leader as good as Jacinda Ardern'

NZ Herald :A glowing editorial in the New York Times has heaped praise on the way Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has handled the fallout from the shocking events of

Blast at Chinese C'plant kills 47

Reuters, Yancheng :An explosion at a pesticide plant in eastern China has killed 47 people and injured more than 600, state media said on Friday, the latest casualties in