Sunday, October 22, 2006

Security Warning

This is the text of the latest brief that I have received regarding Dhaka's political life: it certainly makes the anti-capitalists seem rather tame...
Security update

With a view to making you aware of as well as for taking necessary care of your movements, I would like to inform you that the proposed date for handing over of power by the present government to the Caretaker Government is 27th or 28th October for holding the National general election in January 2007. During that period, it is expected that both the government and the opposition alliance will arrange huge showdowns of their popularity and power in Dhaka and the law and order situation may deteriorate across the country. It is also to note that if the present dialogue is not successful and Justice KM Hasan's takeover as the Chief Adviser to the next Caretaker Govt. The opposition alliance is going to hold the 'Dhaka-seize Programme' along with seize programmes in all the Upazillas and district levels. The activists are also instructed to stay in Dhaka with sticks, oars and paddles. They would also declare continuous strikes across the country with an increased level of agitated movements, meetings, emonstrations and public gatherings. On the other hand, BNP is going to arrange programmes in Dhaka from 27th to 31st October to keep their control on streets and in the city. The activists are asked to bring sickles with them. All these give clues that the political situation is going to deteriorate more than expectations at the time of the power handover and later on if the crisis is not resolved through dialogue. Hence, you are strongly suggested to be in a low profile and be vigilant. Please avoid all types of political demonstrations and large gatherings as well. It will be very much appreciated if you discuss this with your employer and if needed, don't go to the office during those days without prior discussion with your employer. Please remain updated about the general security situation with discussion with your friends and colleagues as well and also be in touch with the newspapers and news from radio and television. If you come across any issue to address, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. The situation is being closely monitored and time-to-time you will be updated of the latest.
The BNP (Bangladesh National Party) is the main party in government, whilst the Alwami League is the main opposition. They have this ludicrous system of government whereby the election is at least 3 months after Parliament is dissolved and power is handed to an appointed caretaker government. The two main party leaders have been arguing over this for the last six months or so. This handover is, by all accounts, the fight that they've been waiting for. We are told to expect a number of reports saying 'killed in the crossfire' given the liberal attitude of the police towards their triggers. It sounds like fun...

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