Thursday, May 10, 2007

Through the 10th, but still on alert

Without a doubt you will not heard of last week's bombings in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet which brought some islamic inspired terrorism back to the streets of Bangladesh. The bombs themselves were very small, having the explosive power of an overshaken bottle of lemonade, but they have been sufficiently high profile here to get some attention from the embassies and a few emails with lines like 'rest assured, foreigners are a target'. I think the meaning was intended to be different!
The group that planted these bombs also made a specific threat against an islamic sect that does not recognise Mohammed as the last profit, and NGO workers. What links these two is still a mystery, but the message they left on a piece of tin near the bombs was quite clear:
'Stop associating with nonbelievers. Stop working for NGOs by May 10. Or prepare for death. If Hazrat (Prophet) Mohammed is not declared the superman of the world by May 10, all non governmental organizations will be blown up.'
Unfortunately for them, the evidence of last week was not sufficient to suggest that they could bomb all NGOs (of which there are something like 20,000 in Bangladesh); furthermore they did not specify whether they meant those NGOs registered with the NGO bureau or any organisation which was not governmental. And the desire for the Prophet to be superman of the world is simply bizarre, but quite entertaining.
The 10th has been and gone and VSO and all other NGOs are still here, so unless they have a different calender, it seems that we have got through this crisis. On the other hand, we are restricted from using trains, and are supposed to vigilent, so its not entirely a joke. But as seems to be the case in Bangladesh, organisations talk a great deal without actually managing to do anything, and this includes their terrorists.
In other news, I have finally got delivery of our organisations brochure, only 6.5 months after I finished my work on it with the person responsible. I think that this means that I have actually achieved something. Remarkable.

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