Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

Is the irony of the situation really lost on Bangladesh?

Today is International Mother Language Day. A day that is celebrated around the world, as recognition of martyrs of the Bangla Language Movement of Bangladesh in 1952. This language movement was the forerunner of the nationalist movement that culminated in the Liberation War in 1971 and won the nation’s independence from Pakistan.

Bangladesh gained its independence by fighting its oppressors. They fought to preserve their language, culture and heritage. Today, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held up the Bangla Language Movement as an inspiration for others struggling to preserve their heritage around the world…

Given the historical (and current situation) in the CHT, surely the irony is not lost on the PM? Surely not. Please say not. The oppressed become the oppressors? Anyone? Anyone? The powerful majority continues to beat the shit out the powerless minority? No, just me then?

In other Bangladesh news:

– The ruling Awami League has declared that they changed the name of the Zia International Airport to ‘teach the BNP a lesson’ (and yes, that is an actual quote).

– 1 person was killed today when Awami League and BNP supporters clashed when placing wreaths to commemorate the martyrs of the Bangla Language movement. The clash started between the two groups over who would be the first to place wreaths at the Shaheed Minar. Nice way to commemorate peeps.

– the BDR (Bangladesh Rifles) are set to close their retail shops as the BDR boss decides disciplinary force should not be involved in commercial ventures. Ya think?

And these are some of the many reasons why I don’t read the news here. Reading the news either makes me angry, or it makes me depressed. I despair sometimes. I really do.



  Debashri wrote @

I saw your article on the CNN website. Couldn’t resist reading your blog after that. I spent a year in Bangladesh myself. Not in the capacity of an NGO volunteer though.
But reading your blog posts, I see that there is a lot that we agree upon :). I don’t think I could do it again, but Bangladesh was a crazy experience for me – even though, I speak Bangla and belong to India :).

  fahima wrote @

Hello. Just came to see what Bangladesh looks like from a over there. I thought I’d refrain from commenting before getting a good idea, but
a) Is it just you who gets that pretty obvious irony about CHT? No. I’m guessing you also read the editorials in the papers where you read your news, so you should already know.
b) About not wanting to read news from here, I’d just like you to know it feels pretty good whenever I’ve read something a republican has said or done. Priceless.
Sorry I got all worked up so easily. I’ll now have to read it all to see if I’ve made a snap judgement and need to apologise…

  wykonywanie stron wrote @

We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
Your web site provided us with valuable information to work on.
You have performed a formidable job and our entire neighborhood
can be grateful to you.

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