So the European Union have sent three wisemen to Dhaka. They are in Bangladesh to educate the various stakeholders there on how to wipe their political bottoms, and to generally poke their noses here and there. Their meeting with the foreign ministry has hit the papers. It went something like this: “Now, children, the Independent Election Commission cannot erm..be controlled by the Prime Ministerâ€™s office” said one of the three Europeans. This must have seemed strange to the assembled Bangladeshi officials. I mean the PM is the top official in the country and why shouldnâ€™t she meddle in the election process? The people gave her the mandate to manipulate things, no? And so it was that Morshed Khan, the Foreign Minister, shot back : “We feel that Election Commission is functioning independently and three elections were held consecutively under the present structure of the electoral process.” To translate for you, he was saying this to the troika: “Oh really good sirs? But it has been ok so far. I am Foreign Minister after all?”
And there is no fooling the three wise men: Commenting on the marginalisation of parliament as the arena of debate, they re-iterated its primary importance over and above confrontational politics in the streets through hartals and demonstrations etc. Great. I am sure everything will be hunky dory from now.
Europe is a big trading partner for Bangladesh. Garments, prawns (over chemicalised for sure) and the like …..and therefore one hopes that Bangladesh takes notes of the concerns expressed by these guys. But don’t hold your breath.