At The Heritage Foundation

[U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs John Gastright speaks about the Bush Administration’s strong support of the military government of Bangladesh at the Heritage Foundation on September 28, 2007. He took questions after his speech. The last question is from me. The full video of all the speakers is available here. ]

Yesterday I attended an event entitled "Bangladesh: Democracy at a Crossroads" at the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. The speakers at the event were Congressman Joseph Crowley, Deputy Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs John Gastright, and three Bangladeshi speakers (Wali-ur Rahman, Major General Muniruzzaman, and Dr. Ali Riaz).

I will update this post with my impressions of the event a little bit later. In the meantime, please view the videos above of John Gastright’s speech and question and answer session. Gastright’s discussion of the situation in Bangladesh was the most extensive public presentation of the Bush Administration’s position on the military takeover in Bangladesh to date. It is now clear that the Bush administration strongly backs the military regime in Bangladesh.

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One Response to At The Heritage Foundation

  1. ZaFa says:

    My preliminary comments:

    Crowley said he asked the CTG to make sure the two former Prime Ministers are prosecuted under the general criminal proceedings of Bangladesh and NOT the Emergency Rules. But we already know that the court denied bail petitions citing that the arrests (of Hasina and Khaleda) were made under the amendments of Emergency Rules 2007, which included the “no bail ordinance” that deny the detainees any right to plead bail before the hearing was over. Which means, they could be jailed for indefinite time period.

    Gastright still couldn’t provide a fair response (to your question) on the issue of constitutional basis of this government. He ended up referencing the Emergency Rules.
    Well da-uh!
    Why is the Sate of Emergency still there after eight months??!!
    Is it because their crack-down approach on corruption has no credibility or accountability? Gastright boasts making five visits to BD. He could make five more visits and would still would not get the clear idea on how “undemocratic” and “lawless” this government had become, as long as he continued getting feedbacks from people like Farook Sobhan and Iftekhar Chowdhury and their bosses.

    I will refrain myself from making comments on Waliur Rahman’s presentation. I’m just wondering who invited him. Did he even understand what was being discussed there?

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