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Bangladesh ‘Feared Attack’ From Burma: WikiLeaks

By JOSEPH ALLCHIN
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Bangladeshi officials have said they expect a result in the arbitration over maritime boundaries in the Bay of Bengal by April, as a leaked US cable reveals that Dhaka was seeking US assistance after a Burmese military build-up stemming from the dispute.

“The arguments [over boundaries] will be held in two phases ending on 24 Sept and the ruling is expected in April,” Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Mijarul Quayes told Reuters on Sunday.

The initial complaint was submitted to the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in 2009, but the hearings did not commence till 5 September this year.

The dispute concerns a semi-submersible drilling platform owned by Swiss-US oil firm Transocean Inc, but was leased to South Korea’s Daewoo. Daewoo, along with their partner, Kogas, were given permission to explore for oil and gas in the disputed AD-7 offshore block by the Burmese authorities in 2008. The rig was escorted into the contested waters by the Burmese navy.

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Several senior Burmese military officials are reported to have been arrested over the leaking of this photograph - appearing to show tunnels built in Burma with the help of North Korean experts for military purpose.

At the time news surfaced of a military build up on the shared land border but a recent cable released by Wikileaks indicates that the Bangladeshi government asked the US for help.

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Bangladesh Army

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Burmese Military

“Army Chief General Moeen Uddin Ahmed asked the Ambassador [US] for assistance to assess the buildup, specifically requesting satellite imagery to assist the Bangladesh Army see the scope of the Burmese military presence and track further developments,” the cable, dated 18 December 2008, notes.

As a result of pressure at the time, the Daewoo rig, which was believed to have cost some $US400,000 per day, was moved out of the contested area. According to the cable’s source, “[Foreign Affairs advisor] Chowdhury claimed Daewoo had removed its rig in November solely because of pressure from the Korean Government.”

The cable further notes that the military build up was because “the Burmese Government was seeking revenge against Bangladesh for the offshore rig incident.”

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The then Bangladesh Army Chief Gen. Moeen U Ahmed during his visit to Burma

The Bangladesh Army chief noted that the Burmese forces, who were believed to be 30 kilometres away from the border, “lived off the land”, and “reports from arriving refugees had underscored the increasing desperation of the under-funded Burmese soldiers”. It continued that the refugees’ “tales of treatment at the hands of Burmese soldiers reflected an increasingly frustrated Military.”

Bangladesh is desperate to secure energy supplies, and the nation’s state-owned oil company, Petrobangla, has signed deals with US oil company Conocco Philips to explore in its waters.

Source :

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Connecting the Indian Dots

by Obaid Chowdhury, USA
alaldulal@aol.com

• • General Moeen U Ahmed, the mastermind of the now infamous One-Eleven and the 2-year run emergency administration in Bangladesh from January 2007 to December 2008, went to India and came back riding on a pack of horses given to him as gift. Ominously, Bangladeshis have since been observing an increased Indian visibility in their soil.

• • Indian generals and dignitaries adored the visitors’ gallery at the Independence Day Parades and other national functions.

• • India stage-managed an election on December 29, 2008 to ensure the victory of its protégé. (See the article below, the Hillaryleak: The Truth Behind the Twelve Twenty-Nine).

• • BDR faced the worst massacre of its history on February 25-26, 2009, when nearly 60 brilliant senior army officers and their family members were brutalized, followed by a systematic purging or partisan cleansing in the military. Reports of an Indian hand in the putsch are galore! The almost daily target shooting by Indian BSF at innocent Bangladeshis indicate India controls our borders.

• • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid homage to New Delhi in early 2010 and gleefully agreed virtually to an uncontrolled movement of Indian ships, barges and trucks within Bangladesh territory. She returned with a burden of $1 billion debt, only to be used to facilitate the Indian transshipment arrangements (Please see another article below on The Billion Dollar Bait).

• • Indian artists and cultural groups have since been visiting Bangladesh and returning with pockets full of corores. In this regard, please visit the following link of an article by Professor Serajul Islam Chowdhury:

ভারতীয় সংস্কৃতির আগ্রাসনে সার্বভৌমত্ব আজ বিপন্ন : আমরা দেশটির পর্নো সংস্কৃতির আগ্রাসনের শিকার

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presenting a replica of the ‘Padma Boat’, used by Tagore, to Indian vice-president M Hamid Ansari at the inaugural session of the joint celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore in the city Friday. — PID photo

• • Bangladesh celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Poet Rabindranath Tagore at state level in an unprecedented fanfare this year. Tagore was great but his communal mindset was no secret. He wrote Amar Sonar Bangla’ in protest of the ‘Bongo Bhongo’ of 1905 that were to favor the Muslims of present-day Bangladesh. Again, he elevated George V to ‘Bharat Bhagya Bhidata’ while singing ‘Jono Mono Gono’ in praise of its (bongo bhongo) annulment in 1911. In the presence of Indian invitees at the Tagore Joyonti, Prime Minister Hasina proposed to set up another ‘Shanti Niketan’ in Dhaka. She and many other Tagore worshipers might not be aware that it was Tagore who chaired a 1912 meeting in Kolkata to opposed setting up of the Dhaka University.

• • In the name of Peace Treaty in the CHT, there are renewed troubles and regular Bengali killings there. Indian connivance is suspected.

• • The Hasina administration seem to be in agreement with India which is continuing its implementation of plans to control the waters of 52 rivers, pushing their lower riparian Bangladesh to serious consequences in environment, ecology and economy.

• • Reportedly, the security of Bangladesh Prime Minister is provided by India.

• • The Indian Chief of Army Staff is due to take salute at the graduating parade at the Bangladesh Military Academy on June 19, 2011.

Can we connect the dots and see what it makes?

And, we talk so much about desh prem, jonoganer shartho, mukti juddho, shwadhinata, shwadhinatar shopokkher shokti etc. etc.!!!

Obaid Chowdhury
USA
E Mail : alaldulal@aol.com

———————-

Realted article Previously Posted :

The Truth Behind Twelve Twenty-Nine (12/29/2008)

The cat is out of the bag. The truth of 12/29—that is the December 29 (2008) Elections in Bangladeshis now open to the public.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reminded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh in a tele-talk on January 15 that the ‘Madam Prime Minister’ should be mindful of the way she came to power. It was an Indian arrangement, supported by then Bush administration of the US. The transcripts of conversation were leaked in the US and found place in a few media outlets in Bangladesh. Some skeptics did doubt the authenticity of the talks; however, to my knowledge no official challenge came from Washington or Dhaka yet. Shafik Rehman of Jai Jai Din fame wrote a very interesting analogy to the reported conversation, which he termed as ‘Hillaryleak’, drawing a reference from the now famous Wikileak of cyber wizard Julian Assange. For ready reference to Rehman’s explanation, please visit the following link:

From Wikileaks to Hillaryleak

It is difficult to ignore the reasoning put forward by Rehman.

Apparently, US Ambassador in Dhaka James Moriarty informed his Home Office that the on going investigations and trial process of the War Crimes in Bangladesh were not following the correct procedures; it was geared more to serve partisan interests. US State Department sent Ambassador Stephen Rapp to Bangladesh to ascertain and report on the issue. He confirmed the reports of Ambassador Moriarty and addressed a press conference in Dhaka on January 13, 2011 to say that Bangladesh needed to revise and reform the War Crime Law in keeping with international norms. The unpleasant findings of the two US ambassadors prompted Clinton to make the call to Hasina.

Two things came clear from the Hillaryleak:

1. Sheikh Hasina’s administration was following Indian advice, if not agenda, on the much-touted trial of the War Criminals of 1971.

2. The December 29, 2008 election was a deep-rooted conspiracy by India, with the support of the US, to ensure Awami League’s victory. And, then army chief, the mastermind behind the almost-military takeover on 1/11, and the ‘great patriot’ General Moeen U Ahmad—who has now found a safe sanctuary in the US—was the front man in the conspiracy.

During the Moeen-sponsored emergency, many people voiced concerns that a conspiracy involving local and international elements was afoot to frustrate the democratic process in Bangladesh with a view to favoring a particular party and a vested group. The result of December 29, 2008 was something the Bangladeshis had never seen since Sheikh Mujib’s partisan election in 1973. In fact, the chief of the Election Commission did brag on presenting a 1973-like elections in 2008. Few missed the joke that Moeen’s ‘computer-driven military efficiency’ and the Election Commission’s ‘excellence per se’ produced a 95-102% voter turnout! Consequently, Awami League led Mohajote bagged a dictatorial majority in the parliament. And, indeed, the party has since been running the show in a virtual autocratic manner that, according to many, surpassed that of Hasina’s father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s own in 1972-75.

The result of the past two years’ rule in the country confirms the fact that the conspiracy fear was not a mere cry of wolf. The country saw a BDR mutiny—most say a stage-managed one—resulting in the massacre and elimination of scores of brilliant senior army officers. Indian BSF has had a free hand in target shooting the Bangladeshis on a daily basis, not mentioning the ‘Felani’ brutality, which one cannot even complain. The arrests of many locals who tried to speak for Felani are a case in point. While Bangladesh is being cordoned from all sides by wire fencing, yet it has no crib in allowing Indian legal or illegal border trades. The current administration did not even blink for once to provide the country’s ports for Indian use and roads for Indian traffic or transshipment. It swallowed one billion US Dollar bait from an Indian private bank on hard terms to facilitate Indian business and transshipment. Interestingly, all these facilities would be made by India with Indian materials, resources and experts but to be paid by the poor Bangladeshi taxpayers. Most of the 52 rivers of Bangladesh are drying out, because water is diverted upstream in India rendering the lower riparian areas virtually deserts with insurmountable economic, social, ecological and environmental consequences. Bangladesh has no voice to complain for all these, because its destiny does not seem to be in its own hands. The history of the country’s liberation war has been re-written to give it a partisan stamp, thanks to an obliging judiciary. The RAW, the Indian intelligence agency, is openly operating in Bangladesh. It ensured that the military, police and other law enforcing agencies, bureaucracy, judiciary, education, business, and in fact all aspects of life, are filled with pro-Indian elements.

Is it not time Bangladeshis wake up and see what game the current administration of Bangladesh and its sponsors are playing? Question arises: who owns this country—-Bangladeshis or Sheikh Hasina’s oveseas sponsors? Can we call ourselves sovereign under the circumstances?

From the Hillaryleaks, one can assume that the Election of  Twelve Twenty-Nine was a farce and conspiratorial. Therefore, the result of the elections was invalid and the follow up government illegal. As such, Bangladesh has been under an illegal administration since January 2009.

To clarify the matter, as well as to challenge the above assertion, the administration should immediately constitute an independent commission to find facts and make available to the public a White Paper on the Election on December 29, 2008. Let the people know the truth of Twelve Twenty-Nine. The people of Bangladesh should not pay for the greed and follies of others, if there was a conspiracy. The country needs to be saved before it is too late!

This may please be read in conjunction to an earlier demand for a White Paper on 1/11. For ready reference, please see below.

Obaid Chowdhury

NY, USA

February 4, 2011
—————-

A White Paper on 1/11

General Moin U Ahmed, the former army chief, said in his memoirs that the main reason for his ‘patriotic’ action on 1/11 was the UN warning that if army helped in the scheduled elections of January 22, 2007, Bangladesh’s participation in the UN Peacekeeping activities would be hampered. Renata Lok Dessallien, the UN Resident Representative in Bangladesh recently came out with the truth that there was no such communication from the UN. So who is telling the truth? The people of Bangladesh deserve to know it.

The two-year emergency rule of the Moin instigated Care Taker Government (CTG) though brought an immediate halt to the Awami League led savagery that killed scores of people and damaged properties worth millions it left a deep scar in the nation’s nascent democratic process as well as development activities.

In an interview with the Weekly Thikana of New York last year, General Moin bragged—or perhaps lamented—that nobody could have stopped him if he wanted to be the President on 1/11. In fact, it sounded more like ‘It was my mistake; I should have run the show as the President of the country rather than from behind the scene.’

Within the first few months of the CTG, jails were filled with arrested ‘criminals’, including the two former lady prime ministers. After about a year, these very criminals turned into saints overnight and walked out of the jails. These very ‘Dhoa Tulsi Patas’ of politicians were voted to the Sangsad again, some to rule while others to oppose. The people of Bangladesh definitely need an explanation of this Tamasha by the CTG at a huge cost to the exchequer of a poor country.

We saw the real or make-belief pictures of many such leaders dying at every moment due to physical abuse, torture, third degree method, poisoning and sedation applied by the law enforcing and intelligence agencies during custody. Yet, the perpetrators of such terrible and inhuman crime are not made to answer today for their actions. But the people want to know the facts, not the fiction.

People of Bangladesh would also like to know how over 90% people voted on December 29, 2008. Such thing does not happen even in the most developed countries and in the most educated and affluent societies of the world having the most advanced voting facilities. Conscientious people have since been wondering ‘for whom the bell tolled’ on that day! They shudder to think today if they will one day find an independent and sovereign country called Bangladesh being eclipsed!

A White Paper we need for 1/11, the two-year Emergency Rule of the CTG and the road to December 29, 2008.

Obaid Chowdhury

New York, USA

April 23, 2010
——————-

The Billion Dollar Bait Bangladesh Swallowed

Under an arrangement between the External Relations Division (ERD) of Bangladesh Government and Exim Bank of India, Bangladesh agreed to receive one billion US Dollars from India at 1.75% interest, with an additional 0.5% for the unutilized credit, repayable in 20 years.

An effusive Finance Minister AMA Muhit bragged that this was the largest bilateral loan Bangladesh ever received. He, however, did not mention that the terms of the loan were the toughest Bangladesh, a Least Developed Country under the UN development index, ever received. Bangladesh, in fact, falls within the sub-group of the Least LDCs, making it an LLDC and qualifying for mostly grants from developed nations. On large-scale loans, interest rate is usually kept around a low 0.25%; and in most cases, such loans are converted into grants subsequently. Never did Bangladesh receive a loan at such a high rate with so many strings attached.

Only after signing the documents, Bangladeshis could learn that fourteen projects costing $600 million had been agreed between the parties. Nothing is yet known of the remaining $400 million.

According to media sources, following are the 14 projects covered under the loan:

1. $71.7 million: Cost of six dredgers from India.

2. $36.2 million: Cost of construction of an internal container port at Ashuganj on Meghna, to be built by India.

3. $31.5 million: Cost of 10 broad gauge locomotive engine from India.

4. $53.6 million: Cost of 125 Broad Gauge passenger couches from India.

5. 5 & 6. $13.4 million: Cost of 117 railway wagons from India.

7. $120 million: Cost of two railway bridges at Bhirab and Titas to be built by India.

8. $30 million: Cost of 300 double-decker buses from India.

9. $6 million: Cost of 50 luxury buses from India.

10. $33.8 million: Cost of road construction and development of Sarail-Brahmanbaria-Sutlatanpur-Akhura-Sonardi, to be constructed mostly by India.

11. $31.4 million: Cost of two flyovers at rail crossings at Jurain and Malibagh, to be built by India.

12. $14.5 million: Cost of road construction between Ramgarh in Bangladesh and Sabroom in Indian state of Tripura, to be built by India.

13. $150.8 million: Cost of power gridline from Bahrampur in India to Bheramara in Bangladesh, to be built by India.

14. $8.92 million: Cost of research and development for Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute, the technology support to be provided by India.

As can be seen from the above listing, nearly a quarter billion is meant to purchase Indian goods such as dredgers, locomotives, buses and railway couches. To this, one must add the cost of consultation, expertise, technology, additional machineries etc to be hired from India during and after implementation of the projects. Apart from selling Indian goods, promoting Indian business and arranging jobs for Indian consultants in Bangladesh, the projects are designed to set up the “Connectivity” through Bangladesh—and at Bangladesh’s cost—between mainland India and its far fetched and loosely connected Seven Sisters of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.

This is the Third Phase in a series of fast moving steps India has been working on since 1/11 (2007), with a view to achieving its long awaited desire of politically—and perhaps militarily too—integrating Bangladesh with its northeastern region.

In fact, this desire of integration is as old as the departure of the British in 1947; and, the dream almost materialized in 1971 through Bangladesh’s independence in which India invested so heavily. Unfortunately, for India, August 15, 1975 came as a stopper, and then President Ziaur Rahman’s SAARC (South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation) concept almost jeopardized the plan. That speaks why India never allowed SAARC to take off. At the same time, coercive pressure on a defiant neighbor continued in the stoppage of waters downstream on common rivers, strangling it by wire fencing, illegally occupying South Talpatti island, denying free access to sea by claiming maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal, aiding the miscreants in the tribal areas, just to name a few. Additionally, RAW (Research and Analysis Wing, the intelligence agency of India) continued its overt and covert operations, thanks to its Bangladeshi agents. High profile national betrayers showed up soon and India grabbed the opportunity to force its scheme.

The First Phase of the rejuvenated plan started during the Caretaker administration of Moeen-Fakhruddin that installed India’s favorite—some say, puppet–Awami League in the government in January 2009.

The Second Phase witnessed the weakening of Bangladesh’s security forces, starting with the massacre of 57 brilliant army officers on February 25/26, 2009 at BDR Headquarters, followed by a systematic cleansing of the military of those elements that did not tow the Awami (or Indian) line. The process of such cleansing continued in the bureaucracy, police, judiciary, educational institutions and other fields. Reportedly, Bangladesh now has Indian commandos and security personnel, ostensibly to ‘protect’ its prime minister and her family members. It is also learnt that many of the country’s thriving garment industries have passed hands to Indians or NRIs (Non-Resident Indians). Many of Bangladesh’s private clinics have Indian nurses and technicians working there.

After the grounds have been prepared with the completion of the second phase, India threw in the Billion Dollar bait to Bangladesh. Its protégé, the Hasina administration, has but to swallow, for providing “Connectivity” to India. According to Foreign Minister Dipu Moni,

We are transforming Bangladesh as a regional hub and when the entire region (in effect Bangladesh and the India’s Seven Sisters) will be brought under the connectivity, India will have access to its northeastern states, unfettered movement of people and goods will be taking place.”

One may ask Dr. Moni how she theorized that Bangladesh would become a regional hub by providing connectivity to Indian states alone (Nepal and Bhutan hardly count in this connectivity). During and after completion of these projects, there will surely be sailab (flood) of Indian goods, Indian machineries, Indian professionals and technicians, Indian workers and Indian businesspersons—and perhaps Indian security forces in open or in guise–everywhere in Bangladesh. Sooner, Bangladeshis may even be talking in Hindi, as do the Nepalese and Bhutanese!

Once the Connectivity is complete, the actual drama—the Fourth Phase–will come to play. It will see the never-ending stream of Indian traffic that will perhaps toss out at passing a few doles at the humbling baskets to make Bangladesh “rich overnight” as its current leadership promises to its dismayed people. The connectivity is not likely to confine to road traffic alone, it will surely infiltrate its activities in other spheres aimed at gradual integration of Bangladesh with India. The freedom fighters, as well as the Shaheed ones from heaven, will then keep asking in disgust and shame: Is it what we gave our blood for in 1971?

If the Awami government were to continue, the Fourth Phase leading to total absorption of Bangladesh within the Indian scheme would not be far away.

Is it not yet time for the Bangladeshis to wake up and demonstrate that they did not fight the Pakistanis in 1971 for nothing, and they can fight again for the sovereignty and integrity of their dear country and people, if need be?

A Obaid Chowdhury
NY, USA
Orginally Posted on August 12, 2010

Source :

Remembering Pilkhana Massacre

Source : BLiTZ

by Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Click To Enlarge

February 25 is just a week ahead! On this day in 2009, just a month after Bangladesh Awami League formed government, anti-army revolt broke out inside the Head Quarters of Bangladesh Riffles [now Bangladesh Border Guards]. At least 73 army officers were brutally murdered during this mutiny, while a large number of family members of the army officers were humiliated, assaulted and violated by the renegades. Right after the incident, a number of officers expressed their anger in presence of the Prime Minister at the Sena Kunja meeting. They demanded neutral and prompt investigation as well punishment of the culprits.


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