July 15, 2007

Words I Will Hold Mahfuz Anam To

Mahfuz Anam writes about why Jamiruddin Sircar's financial conduct was improper. The third paragraph is worth quoting in the circumstances:

"In trying to prove our mal-intention he questioned how we could give his news more prominence than that of the army chief. His comment implies that the army chief is a far more important person than the Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad. Leaving aside the official protocol where Speaker is only second to the President in order of precedence, how can a Speaker of a sovereign parliament even think that his position is below that of the army chief? Such mentality is insulting to the high office of the Speaker and the institution and values he represents. By stating that army chief should get more prominence than the Speaker, he has undermined the importance of the office. As to the news value of our story, an injudicious action of the guardian of the parliament, verging on using official position for personal gain, is definitely worthy of national attention."

Amen.

Given the recent championing of the National Security Council, this paragraph assumes paramount importance. In the future, if we find the NSC going against the directives of parliament, or find that the parliament has little to no oversight over the NSC, I hope Mr. Anam will have the good sense to stick to his principles and publish commentaries on the first page about it. Parliament is the highest body in the land because "we, the people of Bangladesh" have had a hand in electing it. The same cannot be said of the proposed NSC.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Editor/Reader,

Every news has its background. For this one about Mr Sircar is nothing more than a personal remark of the Speaker which Mr Anam did not find appropriate in a private gathering just the day before the first news against the Speaker came out in the Daily Star.
We can criticize people on subtle issues of Principles of Accounting, principles of Law, ranks of precedence and so on. The basic story is that Mr Sircar taken funds for his treatment from the government while he undergone his second bypass surgery in 2005 in Singapore while in office.
In a quick note, a person holding such an high office on principle ought to be treated by the state. If Sabina Yasmin's cancer treatment could be taken by the State, without her being a public representative, then as for the Speaker, Mr Sircar, rightly deserves to be paid by the government for his treatment.
Moreover, we forget that, in this time when all politicians are going through combing scrutiny by press and government agencies, there are nothing in particular found against Mr Sircar in his period which suggests he has used his office to benefit himself. None of his close or distant relatives became rich due to his tenure, neither could anyone show a single example of Mr Sircar's family who has made a fortune during any of his long 15 years of holding ministerial offices or that of the Speaker. Out of several hundred NAM flats distributed by the Parliament Secretariat not a single flat could be found to be allotted in the name of anyone linked to Mr Sircar.
This personal vendetta by Mr Anam and the Daily Star family is indeed sad and exposes the journalistic mentality prevailing in Bangladesh. Famous journalist Mr Abul Mansur Ahmed once had to go to jail because of yellow journalism very similar to the present one. Mr Anam and Daily Star family should know better how even an honest man can be abused by the media. Therefore they should be responsible enough in their reporting.
Think Ethics.
Farazi Munshi
16 July 2007

Anonymous said...

http://www.thedailystar.net
/2007/07/16/d70716012113.htm
Rejoinder to commentary on Speaker
The Speaker yesterday sent a rejoinder to the commentary titled "When a Speaker speaks the unspeakable" published yesterday in The Daily Star.

The rejoinder signed by Md Tarique Mahmood, assistant director of the Public Relations section of the Parliament Secretariat, is as follows:

Attention has been drawn to the Commentary written by the editor Mr Mahfuz Anam himself under caption "When a Speaker speaks he unspeakable - Sircar's personal undertaking proves that he was doubtful about the legality of his own action" published today in your Daily "The Daily Star" at the middle of front page.

Analysis and conclusion about the supremacy of Jatiya Sangsad Sachibalaya Ain, 1994 is legally not sustainable because the Act of Parliament is supreme unless it is amended or repealed. To deny it amounts to denying the undeniable.

It is undeniable that the Hon'ble Speaker has upheld the dignity, honour and prestige of the sacred Parliament and his high position as Speaker for the last five years. It is unprecedented that he is the only Speaker who held this high office continuously and successfully for five years ever since 1947.

The news of workshop of Global Organisation of Parliamentarians against Corruption (GOPAC) in South Asia is vital and more important. So, the news should have been prominent instead of the news of any medical bill. By pointing out this, it can't be assumed by any stretch of imagination that the Hon'ble Speaker has undermined the high office of Speaker.

Now coming to the allocation of budgetary fund, sections 18, 9 and 14 of Jatiya Sangsad Sachibalaya Ain, 1994, the law has been explained and clarified in his early two rejoinders. In every office and institution, where the head is the Principal Disbursing Officer, it is his duty to disburse money since there is none above him to do it under the Act. It is worth mentioning that the amount Tk 35,71,192 to late Hon'ble Mr Humayun Rasheed Chouwdhury for kidney treatment and Tk 5,74,000 to ex-Chief Whip Abul Hasnat Abdullah were paid from the Sangsad Sachibalaya fund. Had it not been so, the money from Sangsad Sachibalaya fund would not have been paid.

Going back to the undertaking/guarantee to repay the money if authority i.e. the Parliament and the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, the interpreting authority of the Act gives a decision, that the Hon'ble Speaker shall abide by it, is a clear submission to the rule of law which the Hon'ble Speaker firmly believes in and upholds. And that he has been upholding Rule of Law ever since his enrolment as a lawyer in 1960 for the last 47 years.

The Hon'ble Speaker hopes that the matter should end here without further controversy. It is hoped that in the interest of fair and impartial journalism, this rejoinder be published at the same place of the front page of your esteemed daily.

asif said...

Dear Farazi Munshi/Anonymous@ 7:27,

Firstly, I will delete one of these duplicate comments. Hope that won't be seen as "censorship".

Secondly, please, PLEASE re-read my piece. I applaud only one piece of what Mr. Anam has said. I cannot even BEGIN to express my disinterestedness in the Speaker's financial and/or legal affairs. I took a certain quote from the piece, and highlighted that I would expect Mr. Anam to stay true to this stance and if he changes his stance, to explain himself. So, to repeat: this piece is about Mahfuz Anam, not about Jamiruddin Sircar.

If his rejoinder had dealt with the substance of the accusation in the quote highlighted on my blog, I would have published the rejoinder. Sadly it does not explain why Mr. Sircar thinks that Parliamentarians' Conferences are more important than his finances but Mr. Sircar also believes that an army chief is more important than a Parliamentary Speaker such as himself. If you know how to resolve this contradiction or his own personal thoughts on this, I welcome you to share them on my blog.

Otherwise, please do not clutter my comments section with irrelevancies. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The Particular bit that you quoted was in relation to the following matter which 'was' given consideration in the rejoinder I Quote:

"The news of workshop of Global Organisation of Parliamentarians against Corruption (GOPAC) in South Asia is vital and more important. So, the news should have been prominent instead of the news of any medical bill. By pointing out this, it can't be assumed by any stretch of imagination that the Hon'ble Speaker has undermined the high office of Speaker."

Please follow it in full to understand piecemeals.

Farazi Munshi

Anonymous said...

And hence the full rejoinder is necessary to be published.

Please keep the second post of the duplicate, it has the link to the origin of the vendatta when Mr Anam was not allowed to enter parliament as he did not make a request for entry pass beforehand.
http://www.southasianmedia.net
/Archive_full.cfm?nid=363864

Even if you decide to delete the 'irrelevant' parts 'as per your understanding' please keep the link in full.

Thanks

Farazi Munshi

-------------------------
Rejoinder to commentary on Speaker
http://www.thedailystar.net
/2007/07/16/d70716012113.htm

The Speaker yesterday sent a rejoinder to the commentary titled "When a Speaker speaks the unspeakable" published yesterday in The Daily Star.

The rejoinder signed by Md Tarique Mahmood, assistant director of the Public Relations section of the Parliament Secretariat, is as follows:

Attention has been drawn to the Commentary written by the editor Mr Mahfuz Anam himself under caption "When a Speaker speaks he unspeakable - Sircar's personal undertaking proves that he was doubtful about the legality of his own action" published today in your Daily "The Daily Star" at the middle of front page.

Analysis and conclusion about the supremacy of Jatiya Sangsad Sachibalaya Ain, 1994 is legally not sustainable because the Act of Parliament is supreme unless it is amended or repealed. To deny it amounts to denying the undeniable.

It is undeniable that the Hon'ble Speaker has upheld the dignity, honour and prestige of the sacred Parliament and his high position as Speaker for the last five years. It is unprecedented that he is the only Speaker who held this high office continuously and successfully for five years ever since 1947.

The news of workshop of Global Organisation of Parliamentarians against Corruption (GOPAC) in South Asia is vital and more important. So, the news should have been prominent instead of the news of any medical bill. By pointing out this, it can't be assumed by any stretch of imagination that the Hon'ble Speaker has undermined the high office of Speaker.

Now coming to the allocation of budgetary fund, sections 18, 9 and 14 of Jatiya Sangsad Sachibalaya Ain, 1994, the law has been explained and clarified in his early two rejoinders. In every office and institution, where the head is the Principal Disbursing Officer, it is his duty to disburse money since there is none above him to do it under the Act. It is worth mentioning that the amount Tk 35,71,192 to late Hon'ble Mr Humayun Rasheed Chouwdhury for kidney treatment and Tk 5,74,000 to ex-Chief Whip Abul Hasnat Abdullah were paid from the Sangsad Sachibalaya fund. Had it not been so, the money from Sangsad Sachibalaya fund would not have been paid.

Going back to the undertaking/guarantee to repay the money if authority i.e. the Parliament and the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, the interpreting authority of the Act gives a decision, that the Hon'ble Speaker shall abide by it, is a clear submission to the rule of law which the Hon'ble Speaker firmly believes in and upholds. And that he has been upholding Rule of Law ever since his enrolment as a lawyer in 1960 for the last 47 years.

The Hon'ble Speaker hopes that the matter should end here without further controversy. It is hoped that in the interest of fair and impartial journalism, this rejoinder be published at the same place of the front page of your esteemed daily.

asif said...

Dear Mr. Munshi,

I did not see any difference between the two comments the first time around and that is why I deleted them. As per your request, all comments will stay on.

Please note again. Mr. Sircar's issue is a side-issue to me at this point and on this particular post. I have read the entire rejoinder in full and it does not satisfy me. In his rejoinder I don't find him denying his statement as reported by Anam.

I'm a Bangladeshi citizen and since I've never met Mr. Sircar, much less had any personal problems with him over press passes into the JS (a ludicrous explanation about Mahfuz Anam's motivations may I add!). So you cannot impute the same motives to me when I say, I'm utterly dissatisfied by this statement which he has not denied making in his rejoinder. If this statement was a lie, then he should have denied it and taken Mr. Anam to task for it. He has not, which confirms it in my mind. That is why I found the rejoinder "irrelevant". Please note, that I'm not stopping you from publicising it even on my blog, but irrelevant to my post nonetheless.

Lastly, let me repeat again: my post is more about Mr. Anam than Mr. Sircar. If you wish to make Mr. Sircar's side of the story known, I am happy to help by keeping these comments. Let me point out that I'm a small fish in a big blog sea, and there are other people who have explicitly dealt with the Sircar issue.

May truth prevail.

Anonymous said...

I QUOTE:
I'm utterly dissatisfied by this statement which he has not denied making in his rejoinder. If this statement was a lie, then he should have denied it and taken Mr. Anam to task for it. He has not, which confirms it in my mind. That is why I found the rejoinder "irrelevant".

Mr Asif,

You are missing the point. The criticism of Mr Anam that you quoted in original post was on the bottom line that Mr Speaker degraded his Office by asking why 'His news took precedence over that of the more important news of global anti-corruption workshop.'

The mistake is that the interpretetion given by Mr Anam had been on the level that as if Mr Speaker gives importance to the position of the Army Chief more than his position. The matter is quite different and the position was cleared through the passage below [I dont think I could make it any clearer!!]:

The news of workshop of Global Organisation of Parliamentarians against Corruption (GOPAC) in South Asia is vital and more important. So, the news should have been prominent instead of the news of any medical bill. By pointing out this, it can't be assumed by any stretch of imagination that the Hon'ble Speaker has undermined the high office of Speaker.


Hope it makes sense to you now.

asif said...

Mr. Munshi,

Thank you for clearing up the misunderstanding. The CAS was speaking at the GOPAC, so yes I see your point.

Given that my piece still remains about Mr. Anam and holding HIM to HIS words and not about Speaker Sircar, I don't see at all how you've added to this conversation. I repeat once again: this is not a post about the Hon'ble Speaker.

But you've actually inspired me to write one. I think I will have to publish on the first page that the Hon'ble Speaker thinks that international conferences (two a penny btw) are more important than suspected financial improprieties of public figures (also two a penny) and see how many of my readers agree with that.

Anonymous said...

Nice brief and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you for your information.

Anonymous said...

Opulently I to but I about the post should have more info then it has.

Anonymous said...

Survival group against God?? LOL. Good luck with that. Truth is, no one knows the exact time this will happen except the man upstairs, however, I firmly believe that there are people placed here by God that post the warning signs and it's up to you to take heed.
[url=http://2012earth.net/your_new_chakra_system.html
]future and past of the earth
[/url] - some truth about 2012