miércoles, 21 de febrero de 2018

Bahrain sentences prominent activist to 5 years in prison | The Indian Express

Bahrain sentences prominent activist to 5 years in prison | The Indian Express

Bahrain sentences prominent activist to 5 years in prison

Rajab previously had been sentenced to two years in prison over television interviews he gave that included criticisms of Bahrain, an island off Saudi Arabia that's home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

By: AP | Dubai | Published: February 21, 2018 1:44 pm
Bahrain activist sentenced for five years
Rajab has been detained since June 2016 as part of a wide crackdown on all dissent in Bahrain.

A court in Bahrain has sentenced a prominent activist to five years in prison over tweets alleging torture at a prison in his country and criticizing Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.
The case against Nabeel Rajab, a major figure in the tiny island nation’s 2011 Arab Spring protests, has been widely criticized internationally.
Rajab previously had been sentenced to two years in prison over television interviews he gave that included criticisms of Bahrain, an island off Saudi Arabia that’s home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. The latest sentence was announced Wednesday.
Rajab has been detained since June 2016 as part of a wide crackdown on all dissent in Bahrain. He has been hospitalized several times during his incarceration over heart problems and ulcers.
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Quebec top court upholds kirpan ban at provincial legislature | The Indian Express

Quebec top court upholds kirpan ban at provincial legislature | The Indian Express

Quebec top court upholds kirpan ban at provincial legislature

Balpreet Singh and Harminder Kaur did not want to part with their kirpans as they headed into a legislature hearing to submit a brief in January 2011.

By: PTI | Reuters | Published: February 21, 2018 3:12 pm

A Canadian court has upheld the right of Quebec’s national assembly to prohibit people from entering the building with a kirpan, an article of faith for the Sikhs, media reports said. Two members of the World Sikh Organisation of Canada were challenging a unanimous motion adopted in the national assembly in February 2011.
Balpreet Singh and Harminder Kaur did not want to part with their kirpans as they headed into a legislature hearing to submit a brief in January 2011. The motion stated that security personnel had the right to refuse entry to anyone who did not want to remove the religious symbol. Originally, they argued the motion was unconstitutional but then changed their position to say it was legal but non-binding.
But Quebec Court of Appeal Justice Patrick Healy rejected their arguments in a decision on Monday as he upheld a lower-court ruling that said the national assembly has the right to establish its own rules in accordance with parliamentary privilege, The Toronto Star reported yesterday. The court ruling coincided with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to India where his government is reaching out to the minority community to mend fences.
Superior Court Justice Pierre Journet affirmed the authority of the legislature to “exclude kirpans from its precincts as an assertion of parliamentary privilege over the exclusion of strangers,” the report said. In his decision, Healy referred to a Supreme Court ruling that said a provincial legislature could invoke the privilege to exclude strangers to prevent journalists from filming in the precincts of the assembly.
“The Supreme Court confirmed that these general principles formed part of Canadian constitutional law and held specifically that the privilege to exclude strangers is entrenched in the Canadian Constitution,” Healy wrote on behalf of a three-member panel. “I make no comment whether the assembly’s exercise of the privilege to exclude the kirpan is a wise decision. I say only that it is a legal exercise of this category of privilege. If the appellants wish to challenge it, the proper forum is the assembly itself,” it said. Yesterday, Singh said an appeal is being considered.
“We haven’t reached a decision,” he said in an interview. “Obviously, the judgment just came out on Monday and we received it late in the day yesterday, so we’re still reviewing it. But an appeal is certainly one of our options and we’re considering it very seriously,” Singh said. Julius Grey, one of the lawyers who represented the plaintiffs, also said he is not ruling out an appeal with the Supreme Court. “I don’t agree with the judgement and I believe it is highly appealable,” Grey said.
In 2011, several Sikhs were denied entry into the Quebec legislature amid a heated debate over multiculturalism and where to draw the line when it comes to tolerating cultural practices. Security officials at the Assemble Nationale refused to let them in because they were wearing kirpans. The Canadian prime minister is on week-long visit to India where he will be meeting Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
The Trudeau government is reaching out to mend fences with Singh who has accused it of including Sikh separatists in its Cabinet, CBC News.com reported. Sikhs make up less than two per cent of India’s population. But among Indian-Canadians, they form the largest group and have the greatest political clout; all four of Trudeau’s Indian-Canadian ministers are of Sikh origin.
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Pakistan claims it foiled US’ bid to place it on terror financing watch-list | The Indian Express

Pakistan claims it foiled US’ bid to place it on terror financing watch-list | The Indian Express

Pakistan claims it foiled US’ bid to place it on terror financing watch-list

Pakistan suspects India's hand behind the US-sponsored resolution as Ismail recently lamented that the FATA was used for political purposes, the report said.

By: PTI | Islamabad | Published: February 21, 2018 5:40 pm
Pakistan claims it foiled US' bid to place it on terror financing watch-list
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif took to social media early this morning to announce that “our efforts paid” and “no consensus for nominating Pakistan”. (File)

Pakistan today claimed that it had foiled US-led efforts to place it on a terrorist financing watch-list after the country was granted a three-month reprieve by the Paris-based international watchdog FATF.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body that combats terrorist financing and money laundering, met in Paris amidst reports that the US with the support of some European allies was trying to place Pakistan on a list of countries that financially support terrorism.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif took to social media early this morning to announce that “our efforts paid” and “no consensus for nominating Pakistan” for the watch-list was reached at the conclusion of meeting on the US-led motion.
The meeting proposed “three months pause” and asked APG (Asia Pacific Group) for “another report to be considered in June”, he tweeted.
Asif said Pakistan was “grateful to friends who helped” to avoid being placed on the watch-list.
Member states of the FATF have been meeting this week in Paris, where it was expected that they would decide on the US-led motion — backed by the UK, France and Germany — to have Pakistan added to the ‘grey list’ of countries not doing enough to comply with terrorist-funding regulations.
The meetings involve more than 700 delegates from the 203 jurisdictions of the FATF Global Network, as well as the UN, IMF, World Bank and other partners.
Pakistan has sent the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Dr Miftah Ismail to attend the FATF meeting at a time when the activities of Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) have created problems for the Pakistan government, reports said.
Pakistan suspects India’s hand behind the US-sponsored resolution as Ismail recently lamented that the FATA was used for political purposes, the report said.
Last week, Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal had expressed serious concerns about the efforts by some members of the FATF to include it in the grey list.
“Pakistan has serious concerns over and objections to the introduction of this new procedure, which is unprecedented and in clear violation of established rules/practices of FATF. Since 2015, time and again the goal posts have been shifted for reporting by Pakistan,” he had said.
He had claimed that the move was “politically motivated” and its real aim was to hamper economic progress of Pakistan, as it was initiated even before the completion of Pakistan’s Mutual Evaluation and designed to manipulate the FATF process.
Faisal said Pakistan was placed in the grey list in 2012 but was removed in 2015 after strenuous efforts to address the concerns of the group.
“After the exit (in 2015), the FATF referred Pakistan to APG (Asia-Pacific Group) due to residuary concerns regarding implementation of UNSCR 1267 sanctions on some entities i.e. (Lashkar-e-Taiba, JuD, and FIF),” he said.
He said Pakistan has been continuously reporting to APG on these “residual concerns”.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was set up in 1989 with the primary aim to set standards to combat money laundering but in 2001, its mandate was expanded to include countering terrorist financing. It can take action against any country by including a country in black or grey lists.
According to the financial sector experts, any move to place Pakistan on the watch-list would enhance scrutiny level of the financial transactions that the country’s banking sector would undertake with the rest of the world.
This will increase the cost of opening letter of credits (LC) for trade purposes. The negative decision by the FATF will have the force to affect the international credit ratings, which will in turn increase cost of borrowings for the government.
At present, the 11 jurisdictions are on the high risk and monitoring list of the FATF, which include North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Ethiopia. Pakistan was on the FATF grey list from 2009 to 2015.
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Brazil’s Congress approves military intervention in Rio de Janeiro | The Indian Express

Brazil’s Congress approves military intervention in Rio de Janeiro | The Indian Express

Brazil’s Congress approves military intervention in Rio de Janeiro

Armored vehicles rolled through the streets of one neighborhood on Guanabara Bay, while boats patrolled the waters. Soldiers set up checkpoints and searched everyone leaving or entering during the morning commute.

By: AP | Sao Paulo | Published: February 21, 2018 5:27 pm
Brazil's Congress approves military intervention in Rio
Brazilian marines search the back pack of a student during surprise operation in Kelson’s slum in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. (Source: AP)

Brazil’s congress approved a decree to put the military in charge of Rio de Janeiro’s security forces on Tuesday as soldiers and police spread out throughout in the city to combat rising crime.
The military officially took over Rio’s police on Friday, but the presidential decree still needed congressional approval. Brazil’s lower house approved the measure early Tuesday and the Senate closed the matter shortly before midnight.
Details of the plan are still to be announced, though, generating doubts even among supporters of the move.
Overnight, the armed forces and police spread out in Rio in the first major operation since the change in command. They took up positions on major roads that connect Rio with the rest of the country in an effort to prevent drugs, illegal arms and stolen goods from entering the city, said Col. Roberto Itamar, a military spokesman. Around 3,000 members of the armed forces were involved.
Armored vehicles rolled through the streets of one neighborhood on Guanabara Bay on Tuesday, while boats patrolled the waters. Soldiers and police set up checkpoints and searched everyone leaving or entering during the morning commute.
By Tuesday evening, 11 people had been detained and six guns, six grenades and a large quantity of drugs had been seized, the state security department said.
The operation was planned before the new military commander took over, and he has yet to lay out his plan for tackling the wave of violence in Rio. But Itamar said the military intervention would go beyond the mere use of soldiers in the streets.
“The population will see an improvement in the actions of the institutions that are constitutionally responsible for public security in Rio de Janeiro,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Security in Rio has been deteriorating for at least two years as the state experiences a deep fiscal crisis. Rio’s governor, Luiz Fernando Pezao, said a stronger economy would be crucial to combatting crime in Rio.
“We will only win the security war with formal sector jobs,” he said Tuesday.
The decree has caused unease in Brazil, where many still remember the 1964-1985 military regime, and has raised concerns that the heavy-handed tactics that police have used in the past will increase.
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Syria pro-government forces enter Afrin to aid Kurds against Turkey | The Indian Express

Syria pro-government forces enter Afrin to aid Kurds against Turkey | The Indian Express

Syria pro-government forces enter Afrin to aid Kurds against Turkey

Soon after the convoy of militia fighters - waving Syrian flags and brandishing weapons - entered Afrin, Syrian state media reported that Turkey had targeted them with shellfire.

By: Reuters | Ankara | Published: February 21, 2018 9:56 am
Syria, Syria pro-government forces, Afrin, Syrian forces, Syria unrest, Syria violence, Syria news, indian express news
Pro-Syrian government forces entered Syria’s northwestern Afrin region on Tuesday to help a Kurdish militia there fend off a Turkish assault, raising the prospect of a wider escalation of the conflict. Soon after the convoy of militia fighters – waving Syrian flags and brandishing weapons – entered Afrin, Syrian state media reported that Turkey had targeted them with shellfire.
The confrontation pits the Turkish army and allied Syrian rebel groups directly against the military alliance backing the government of President Bashar al-Assad, further scrambling northwest Syria’s already messy battlefield.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan described the convoy as being made up of “terrorists” acting independently. He said Turkish artillery fire had forced it to turn back, although the Kurdish militia denied this.
A commander in the pro-Assad military alliance told Reuters the forces had turned back after coming under fire, but then resumed their progress and were now in Afrin.
Syrian television had earlier shown the group of fighters passing through a checkpoint that bore the insignia of the Kurdish security force, some chanting “one Syria, one Syria”, and driving further into Afrin.
Ankara’s month-old offensive is aimed at driving the Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as a big security threat on its border, from Afrin.
The YPG hailed the arrival of the pro-government forces – which included militias allied to Assad but not the Syrian army itself – and said they were deploying along the front line facing the Turkish border.
It made no mention of a deal that a Kurdish official said on Sunday had been struck with Assad’s government for the Syrian army itself to enter Afrin.
Erdogan said he had previously reached an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, Assad’s main international backers, to block Syrian government support for the YPG fighters.
The commander in the pro-Assad alliance said Russia had intervened to “delay the entry of a large (number of) Syrian army forces” into Afrin.
Erdogan described the pro-government fighters coming to the YPG’s aid as Shi’ite militias, and said they would pay a heavy price.
YPG media adviser Rezan Hedo denied Erdogan’s assertion that the convoy had turned back under Turkish artillery fire, but he gave no details on its size or composition. A Britain-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said one convoy had entered Afrin while another turned back.
RUSSIAN ROLE
Turkish markets faced a broad sell-off in response to news seen as indicating that a swift victory for the Turkish campaign in Afrin could be more difficult than Ankara had expected, and that battle there could unsettle relations with Russia or Iran.
The lira weakened as much as 1.5 percent against the dollar, while stocks tumbled more than 2 percent – their biggest one-day drop in five weeks.
Turkey’s dollar-denominated bonds also came under pressure, with longer-dated issues dropping 1 cent. The cost of insuring exposure to its sovereign debt rose.
Earlier on Tuesday, Erdogan said he had received Putin’s agreement to block a Syrian government deployment in Afrin.
Turkey and Russia have supported opposite sides throughout the war, with Moscow the closest ally of Assad and Ankara one of the principal supporters of rebels fighting to overthrow him.
However, in recent months Turkey has lent support to a Russian-led effort to end the war with most population centres in the hands of Assad’s government. Ankara said last month it sought Moscow’s agreement before launching the Afrin assault.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday the Afrin crisis could be resolved through direct negotiations between Damascus and Ankara.
Assad’s other main ally, Iran, is more closely involved than Russia with the militias that back the Syrian government on the ground, such as those who entered Afrin on Tuesday.
The Turkish offensive has made gains along almost all the border area with Afrin, pushing several km (miles) into Syria and seizing villages. But the YPG still holds most of the region including its main town, also called Afrin.
STRAINS WITHIN NATO
“The besieging of the Afrin city centre will start rapidly in the coming days,” Erdogan said on Tuesday.
The entry of pro-government forces into Afrin draws more attention to the uneasy relationship between Damascus and the YPG. They have mostly avoided direct confrontation during the conflict, but the Kurds seek autonomy in regions they hold, while Assad has pledged to assert his control over all of Syria.
Kurdish political leaders have said they were forced to seek help from Assad’s military because no foreign powers would help them against Turkish forces in Afrin.
Russia deployed military police in Afrin last year, but pulled them out last month before the Turkish offensive began.
The United States has armed the YPG as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance it backs against Islamic State. US troops are on the ground in other parts of Syria run by the Kurdish-led administration, but not in Afrin.
Washington’s support for the YPG has caused deep ructions in its relations with its NATO ally Turkey. In the case of the Afrin offensive, Washington has said it supports Turkey’s right to defend itself, while calling for Ankara to show restraint.
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Palestinian leader calls for peace conference by mid-2018 | The Indian Express

Palestinian leader calls for peace conference by mid-2018 | The Indian Express

Palestinian leader calls for peace conference by mid-2018

Mahmoud Abbas outlined the Palestinian vision for peace, insisting "we are ready to begin negotiations immediately," but stressing that it has become "impossible for one country alone to solve a regional or international conflict."

By: AP | United Nations | Published: February 21, 2018 9:22 am
Palestine, President Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine - Israel peace talks, United Nations, Indian Express news
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, center left, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, center right, are saluted en route to a meeting, Tuesday Feb. 20, 2018, at U.N. headquarters. (Source: AP)


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ruled out the United States as a broker for peace with Israel on Tuesday, calling for an international peace conference by mid-2018 with the key goals of full UN membership for the state of Palestine and a timeframe for a two-state solution.
Abbas spoke as the Trump administration’s two key Mideast negotiators who are working on a US peace proposal _ the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and special representative Jason Greenblatt _ sat in the Security Council chamber listening.
Abbas outlined the Palestinian vision for peace, insisting “we are ready to begin negotiations immediately,” but stressing that it has become “impossible for one country alone to solve a regional or international conflict.”
He said the peace conference should include the Israelis and Palestinians and key regional and international governments, noting that 74 countries attended a Mideast peace conference in Paris in January 2017.
“Israel is acting as a State above the law. It has transformed the occupation from a temporary situation … into a situation of permanent settlement colonization,” Abbas said. “How can this happen? Israel shut the door on the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders.”
Abbas said the principle of two-states living side-by-side with full sovereignty must be preserved, but he said the US has not clarified whether it is for a two-state or a one-state solution. And he called President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital a “dangerous” action, which ignores that “East Jerusalem is part of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967” and must be the capital of a Palestinian state
Abbas was the last to arrive in the Security Council, and he left immediately after his speech to attend a reception hosted by the Palestinians, avoiding any direct contact with the Americans or Israelis.
Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon accused Abbas of “once again running away” and refusing to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for 7 1/2 years “to negotiate peace.”
Instead, he told council members that the Palestinian president has been coming to the United Nations “expecting you to deliver the results.”
“It’s not going to work that way,” he said. “The only way to move forward is to have direct negotiations between Israel and Palestinians.”
Danon sharply criticized Abbas’ “hateful language” toward Jews and Israel which he said has inspired “a culture of hate in Palestinian society.” He also criticized Palestinian leaders for spending hundreds of millions of dollars on weapons and tunnels instead of on improving the lives of their people.
“Mr. Abbas, you have made it clear with your words and with your actions that you are no longer part of the solution. You are the problem,” Danon said.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley disagreed, reiterating that “the United States stands ready to work with the Palestinian leadership.”
“I sit here today offering the outstretched hand of the United States to the Palestinian people in the cause of peace,” she said.
But Haley said the Trump administration will not change its decision on Dec. 6 to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, a move that has frozen US-Palestinian relations.
She said she was “sorry” Abbas left immediately after his speech, but told council members she would address him anyway.
The Palestinian leadership has a choice of two paths _ “absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric, and incitement to violence” which will only lead to hardship for the Palestinian people or “negotiation and compromise” that holds the promise of peace, Haley said.
She noted that Trump negotiators Kushner and Greenblatt were sitting behind her “ready to talk.”
“But we will not chase after you,” Haley said. “The choice, Mr. president, is yours.”
Though Kushner and Greenblatt didn’t meet Abbas, they did meet informally behind closed doors with Security Council members.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said afterward without elaborating: “something is cooking.”
Equatorial Guinea’s UN Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba called the fact that they came to the council “very, very important” and “a good sign.” But he said council members “haven’t received any details” of the US proposal for Palestinian-Israeli peace.
France’s UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said his government received Abbas’ proposal with interest and will study his call for an international conference, but US participation in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process “is indispensable.”
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International Mother Language Day: Remembering Dhirendranath Dutta and others who died for Bengali language | The Indian Express

International Mother Language Day: Remembering Dhirendranath Dutta and others who died for Bengali language | The Indian Express



International Mother Language Day: Remembering Dhirendranath Dutta and others who died for Bengali language

On February 25, 1948, Dhirendranath Dutta had urged the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan (CAP) to recognise Bengali as one of the official languages. Dutta till his last breath fought for the independence of his country and was tortured to death in the Mainamati Cantonment in 1971.

Written by Arnab Mitra | Updated: February 21, 2018 9:30 am
Remembering Dhirendranath Dutta who died for Bengali language
Dhirendranath Dutta portrait. (Source: Wikimedia commons)

March 21, 1948. ‘Quaid-I-Azam’ Muhammad Ali Jinnah declares that Urdu will be the only official language of Pakistan besides English. From Dhaka’s Race Course Maidan, he says, “Let me make it very clear to you, it is no doubt that the state language of Pakistan is going to be Urdu and no other language. Anyone who tries to mislead you is really the enemy of Pakistan.”
Jinnah’s declaration hurt the sentiments of Bengali dominated East Pakistan. On February 25, 1948, Dhirendranath Dutta had urged the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan (CAP) to recognise Bengali as one of the official languages. Dutta till his last breath fought for the independence of his country and was tortured to death in the Mainamati Cantonment in 1971.
Born on November 2, 1886, Dutta did his elementary education in Bangladesh, and secured higher degrees from the Calcutta Ripon College in 1908 and 1910. His father Jagabandhu Dutta was a serestedar in the Munsif Court. As a student, Dutta was very much motivated into the nationalist movement and took an active part for the annulment of the Partition of Bengal.
Completing his education, he took the job of teacher at Bangura Umalochan High English School, Muradnagar as an Assistant Headmaster. During this time, he got motivated by Gandhi, and established a social welfare organisation, ‘the Mukti Sangha’. During the 1943 famine, he was actively engaged in the relief mission.
In 1946, Dutta was elected a member of the Bengal Legislative Council on a Congress ticket. After Independence, Dhirendranath participated in Pakistan politics as a non-communal politician. In June 1954, Dutta moved an adjournment motion against the promulgation of Governor’s rule in East Pakistan. He was the Health and Social Welfare Minister in the cabinet led by Ataur Rahman Khan from September 19, 1956 to October 7, 1958.
During the 1965 Indo-Pak war, the Pakistan government put Dutta under house arrest, but his struggle for independent Bengali continued. Just a few months before, the country got its independence, Dutta and his son Dilipkumar Dutta was tortured to death in the Mainamati Cantonment in 1971. In remembrance of the martyr, the Bangladesh government named the road in front of his house after him.
Martyrs of Bengali language movement on February 21, 1952
Martyrs of Bengali language movement on February 21, 1952International Mother Language Day: Remembering the martyrs
Abul Barkat (1927-1952)
Abul Barkat was born on June 13, 1927, at Babla village of Murshidabad district to father Shamsuzzoha and mother Hasina Bibi. Barkat, a student of Bahrampur Krishnanath College completed his schooling in India, before he came to Dhaka after partition in 1948. He obtained BA (Hons) in Political Science from Dhaka University in 1951 and got admitted into MA final year.
In the morning of February 21, 1952, Barkat was in the procession that students took out from Dhaka Medical College hostel violating Section 144 that was clamped to contain student agitation. The police suddenly fired on the gathering. Barkat was hit and taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where he died later that day. He was buried in Azimpur graveyard. The Bangladesh government awarded him with Ekushey Padak (posthumously) in 2000 AD.
Rafiq Uddin Ahmed (1926-1952)
Rafiq Uddin Ahmed was born on October 30, 1926, at Paril village, Manikganj district. After completing his matriculation from Baira School in 1949, he discontinued his studies to work in his father’s commercial printing business in Dhaka. Rafiq Uddin joined the February 21 demonstration and was shot on the premises of Dhaka Medical College Hostel. He was laid to rest in Azimpur graveyard under an army guard. Rafiq Uddin was awarded Ekushey Padak posthumously in February 2000 for his supreme sacrifice for the Bengali language.
Abdus Salam (1925-1952)
Born on November 27, 1925, in the village Laxmanpur in Feni district to Munshi Abdul Fazel Miah and mother Daulater Nesa, Salam had to discontinue education after matriculation due to financial problem. He did his schooling from Matubhuiyan Kalimullah Minor School and Daganbhuiyan Kamal Ataturk High School. He moved to Kolkata to work in Kolkata port, but after Independence came back to Dhaka and started working as a record keeper in the department of industries.
On February 21, 1952, when police fired on the protesting students, Salam was badly injured and taken to Dhaka Medical College for treatment. He succumbed to the bullet wounds on April 7, 1952. He was laid to rest in Azimpur graveyard.
The Bangladesh government awarded him with ‘Ekushey Padak’ in February 2000. Soon after this recognition, Rasa initiated an effort to make a portrait of Abdus Salam with a group of artists and sculptors Abdul Mannan, Alokesh Ghosh, Ahamed Shamsuddoha, Shajahan Ahamed Bikash, Sheikh Afzal and sculptor Rajeeb Siddiqee. He named this initiative as ‘’Astitver Shekade Alo’.
In 2000, Mohammad Shahadat Hossain, editor and staff reporter, the weekly Alokita Feni and Nayadiganta, founded ‘Bhasha-Shahid Abdus Salam Smriti Parishad’ in remembrance of Abdus Salam. The Bangladesh government founded ‘Language Martyr Abdus Salam Library and Memorial Museum’ in 2008, adjacent to the primary school of Salam Nagar. In memoir of Salam, the local people of Laxmanpur village named it as ‘Salam Nagar’.
Abdul Jabbar (1919-52)
Abdul Jabbar was born in 1919 in Panchua village of Mymensingh district. Due to financial problem, after completing his elementary education he joined in his father’s agricultural work. To make his fortune, at the age of 15, he moved to Burma with the help of an Englishman. On the eventful day of 1952, Jabbar came to Dhaka for the medical treatment of his mother-in-law, a cancer patient. After getting his mother-in-law admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Jabbar joined the assembly at Dhaka Medical College Hostel. As police started heavy firing, Jabbar was badly injured and admitted to Medical College Hospital where he breathed his last. In recognition of his sacrifice, the Bangladesh government awarded Abdul Jabbar with Ekushey Padak in 2000 AD.
Shafiur Rahman (1918- 1952)
Rahman was born in Konnagar, Hooghly on January 24, 1918. After completing his education in Kolkata, he moved to Dhaka after Independence and got a job at accounts section of the Dhaka High Court. On February 22, 1952, a day after the massacre at Dhaka, Rahman was killed in police firing at Nawabpur Road on his way to work. He breathed his last at Dhaka Medical College and was laid to rest at Azimpur graveyard along with other martyrs. Two days after the incident, his father Hakim Mahbubur Rahman inaugurated the first Shaheed Minar with the protesting students of Dhaka University.
Excerpts from Dhirendranath Dutta’s speech in Parliament on February 25, 1948
Sir, in moving this– the motion that stands in my name– I can assure the House that I do so not in a spirit of narrow Provincialism, but, Sir, in the spirit that this motion receives the fullest consideration at the hands of the members. I know, Sir, that Bangla is a provincial language, but so far our state is concerned, it is the language of the majority of the People of the state.
So although it is a provincial language, as it is a language of the majority of the people of the state and it stands on a different footing, therefore. Out of six crores and ninety lakhs of people inhabiting this State, 4 crores and 40 lakhs of people speak the Bangla language. So, Sir, what should be the State language of the State? The State language of the state should be the language which is used by the majority of the people of the State, and for that, Sir, I consider that Bangla language is a lingua franca of our State.
It may be contended with a certain amount of force that even in our sister dominion the provincial language has not got the status of a lingua franca because in her sister dominion of India the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly is conducted in Hindustani, Hindi or Urdu or English.
It is not conducted in the Bangla language but so far as the Bangla is concerned out of 30 crores of people inhabiting that sister dominion two and a half crores speak the Bangla language. Hindustani, Hindi or Urdu has been given an honoured place in the sister dominion because the majority of the people of the Indian Dominion speak that language. So we are to consider that in our state it is found that the majority of the People of the state do speak the Bangla language than Bangla should have an honoured place even in the Central Government.
I know, Sir, I voice the sentiments of the vast millions of our State. In the meantime I want to let the House know the feelings of the vastest millions of our State. Even, Sir, in the Eastern Pakistan where the People numbering four crores and forty lakhs speak the Bangla language the common man even if he goes to a Post Office and wants to have a money order form finds that the money order is printed in Urdu language and is not printed in Bangla language or it is printed in English.
A poor cultivator, who has got his son, Sir, as a student in the Dhaka University and who wants to send money to him, goes to a village Post Office and he asked for a money order form, finds that the money order form is printed in Urdu language. He can not send the money order but shall have to rush to a distant town and have this money order form translated for him and then the money order, Sir, that is necessary for his boy can be sent.
The poor cultivator, Sir, sells a certain plot of land and goes to the Stamp vendor and pays him money but cannot say whether he has received the value of the money is Stamps. The value of the Stamp, Sir, is written not in Bangla but is written in Urdu and English. But he cannot say, Sir, whether he has got the real value of the Stamp.
These are the difficulties experienced by the Common man of our State. The language of the state should be such which can be understood by all. The common man numbering four crores and forty million feels that the proceedings of this Assembly which is their mother of parliaments is being conducted in an alien language.
I am aware that English has got an honoured place because of its International Character. But, Sir, if English can have an honoured place in Rule 29 then the proceedings of the Assembly should be conducted in Urdu or English instead of Bangla, which is spoken by four crores forty lakhs of people. It should not have an honoured place in Rule 29 of the Procedure Rules. So, Sir, I know I am voicing the sentiments of the vast millions of our State and therefore, Bangla should not be treated as a Provincial Language.
It should be treated as the language of the State. And therefore, Sir, I suggest that after the word ‘English’, the words ‘Bangla’ be inserted in Rule 29. I do not wish to detain the House but I wish that the Members present here should give a consideration to the sentiments of the vast millions of over State, Sir, and should accept the amendment that has been moved by me.
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