Truly yours The Year that was: Adieu 2016
Mohammad Ali Sattar
So we are into the month of January 2017. A fresh winter heralds an unsullied new year. However it is only the beginning. There will be hopes of a prosperous future and expectation of dreams turn reality. Most of the past expectation was however dashed. Little there was to feel happy about.
Looking back through the time tunnel, we in Bangladesh have experienced the most tragic and horrifying act of terror that struck Dhaka in the holy month of Ramzan.
The world now knows how brutally the gullible diners at Gulshan café were slaughtered. It was supposed to move the foundation of thought engine. The immediate after math was making Gulshan and adjacent areas terror resistant.
Then we witnessed the combing operation by our police and Rab to flush out militants in Dhaka’s different areas. We witnessed Sholakia incident and the smaller units flushed out, and then the birth of Neo- JMB and their members being caught or killed made news. So it was quite a busy year for the anti-militant drivers from Ramzan last year.
It was actually the terror related news and analyses that hogged the headlines of the news media and went round in every house. Our minds were nailed on the walls of concern.
In the political front there was no big event, the ruling party has kept its grip tight.
The main opposition BNP has been effectively neutralized. JP goes on to play a dual role. Rowshan Ershad manages the parliament and Ershad does the anti role in closed door sessions of the party.
Local elections and mayoral polls all were held peacefully. Only the internecine struggle within the ruling party has been glaring.
Away in the distant shores we lost Fidel Castro, a living legend for all. Americans were shell shocked when an outsider (Donald Trump) triumphed into the White House! Soft emergence of Russia as strong challenger to US adventurism was another interesting event.
There has been tragic killing of innocent people by individual act of militants. The terror attack in Germany, France and Switzerland has changed things for worse.
Most catastrophic was the wars in Syria and Iraq. Scores in Aleppo and other areas are being killed and made to run for life leaving their hearth and homes. IS remains a force to reckon with.
Refugees continue to drown in seas. Their search for safe homes, are not at all safe. The journey is hazardous for these boat people.
And next door, we have the Rakhines. The systematic slaughter of Rohinygas by the government forces and their supporters has taken serious turn and drew attention of the world. This is genocide in the time of peace and democracy.
Disquieting is the strange behavior of Aung Sue Kyi- the Nobel laureate for peace. How she is proving herself to be a war and conflict leader. She has made it very clear that she will not be the one to vouch for peaceful settlement of the Rohingya problem.
World should not only condemn the Myanmar army, it should also come down heavily on this lady who is tacitly backing up this slaughter. All her life she dreamt of power, and only power.
She was never a democracy lover or people’s leader. In fact, the oppressed people of Burma did not have any choice than to lend their support for a free and democratic state.
The army rule had been ruthless, Su Kyi is no better. Under the new arrangement, she is neither the head of the government or the state. Yet she is exploiting the sentiment of the people and has taken up the role of a savior.
But her dream of freeing Myanmar from the clutches of the army has not been fulfilled. Now army has permanently, as per the constitution, enjoy significant part of the state power.
So the world we witnessed was not a better place than 2015. We are carrying over the legacy of war and conflict into 2017. There no light in sight. Someone has to come up and show the way to peace. Let someone rise from the ashes of Aleppo to light the lamp of peace. Let us all fight a battle for peace in 2017. Let’s all pledge to make life a better one.
Writer is a columnist and biographer
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