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No dialogue but movement for Hasina: AL district leaders PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Acting president of Awami League Zillur Rahman speaks at the party extended meeting at the Engineersí Institute

Grassroots leaders of the Awami League want a movement for the release of party president Sheikh Hasina instead of any dialogue with the government.

At the party's extended meeting organised after a lapse of about eight years, district-level leaders put pressure on the top leadership to shelve any thought on election and dialogue and announce a programme to get Hasina freed.

The meeting started at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh auditorium Monday. District presidents or general secretaries spoke.

Lalmonirhat district president Motahar Ali urged the central leaders to embark upon an organisational tour of the districts in the next 10 days.

Noagaon district general secretary Abdul Malek told the central leaders: "Announce a programme for the release of Sheikh Hasina. There is no scope for compromise here."

Natore district president Sajiur Rahman Khan told the party policymakers: "Please do not take steps towards elections or dialogue."

Rajshahi district AL president Tajul Islam drew the attention of the central leaders and said: "From a distance we hear many things. Please remove all confusion and mistrust and steer the party in the right direction."

Feni district AL acting president Aziz Ahmed Chowdhury suggested a 'court-arrest' programme for the central leaders to realise the demand.

Earlier in his inaugural speech, acting AL president Zillur Rahman said, "We've had patience so far, but we are now pushed to the extremes. In such a situation, we cannot have patience for an indefinite period. The government has pushed us towards the path of movement."

The AL extended meeting started with the hoisting of national and party flags and rendering of the national anthem at 10.15am. Later, poet Kazi Nazrul Islam's song Karar Oi Louha Kapat was sung.

A chair in the middle of the dais was vacant as a mark of respect to Hasina's leadership. Zillur Rahman presided over the meeting.

After the inauguration of the extended meeting, party acting general secretary Ashraful Islam read out a condemnation resolution on the detention of Hasina. A one-minute silence was observed in memory of those dead and killed in recent times.

In his speech, Zillur Rahman told the grassroots leaders: "The central working committee will draw up the next course of action and movement in the light of your well thought opinions and recommendations."

"I say in unambiguous terms that the Awami League will participate in the election led by Sheikh Hasina. On the dialogue, the ALCWC will take the final decision on the basis of your opinions."

Criticising the anti-corruption drive he said: "The government's biased attitude in anti-corruption activities, blackmail, intimidating for political gains and political patronisation of identified corrupt persons has put its anticorruption drive into question."

Zillur Rahman said, "We want success of the dialogue. We are ready to make any sacrifice for re-establishing democracy through a free, fair and acceptable parliament election."

"We still hope good sense will prevail upon the government. We hope it will immediately release Sheikh Hasina and come forward to implement the six-point charter of demands."

Earlier presenting the general secretary's report, Syed Ashraful Islam said, "I was not supposed to present this report. I hope the next time Abdul Jalil will present this report."

He said Hasina approved 50 district committees of Awami League. "She could not approve one committee for want of time. Conferences had been held in 10 districts, but no committees were formed."

"No conferences were held in 11 districts. He called for completing the conferences and formation of committees wherever not yet done.

Ashraful Islam said: "The way the farcical trials are being held, Sheikh Hasina will have to be freed through a movement."

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