Bangladesh

One of the issues confronting the G20, and one the official communiqué is likely to duck, is the threat of climate change making parts of the globe uninhabitable. Nowhere is the peril more present and manifest than Bangladesh, home to more than 130 million people. The G20 leaders may smile for the cameras as their conflab closes, but the working people of Bangladesh are at the sharp end of capitalism’s failure to deal with threat of climate change.

Faced with mutiny at the Bangladesh Rifles Pilkhana barracks, and its spreading to many other areas, the government of Bangladesh, terrified at the consequences of such a sudden eruption of anger of the troops, initially offered to accept their demands, confirming its own weakness. Now the manhunt for the rebels is on, but the open challenge to their superior officers revealed by the ranks is an indication of how weak the state is and underlines the enormous revolutionary potential within society.

The price of rice in Bangladesh has a correlation with poverty, economic and political stability. In 2000, a wage labourer could buy 6-7 kg of rice with his daily income (about US$0.80). Now, less than half of that can be bought, even though the income has risen over time. Rising food prices could derail all political predictions and spell disaster for the country in 2008.

On January 30, 2008 two workers in World Dresses Ltd, Mirpur, Dhaka, (Bangladesh) were attacked and beaten by management staff at the end of an evening shift. One died, the other was hospitalised with broken limbs. Fearing unrest management closed the factory. When knowledge of the attack reached the company's workers, hundreds demonstrated outside the factory.

What started as an argument and scuffle between a group of army officers and students watching a football match has ended up as a widespread movement of the youth in Bangladesh, followed by curfew and sever repression, which has only served to spread the movement throughout the whole country.

On the surface, the conflict that has erupted in Bangladesh is over the make-up of the caretaker government that according to the constitution is supposed to run the country in the three months up to a general election. The conflict apparently is between two bourgeois fronts. But underlying this political crisis is the extreme poverty of the masses who have reached the limits of human endurance.

Peace has broken down completely in the country of Muhammad Younis, the Nobel Peace prize-winner for the year 2006. The New Year started in Bangladesh with riots, strikes, political unrest, turmoil, confusion and disorder. After weeks of street violence, which has taken 40 lives, the President of Bangladesh, Iajuddin Ahmed, has been forced to step down from his post appointing Fakhruddin as the head of a state in total disarray.

The Bangladeshi government is pushing through measures that would give the World Bank and IMF immunity in its operations within the country. These measures show graphically the real relationship between the underdeveloped countries and their imperialist masters.

A countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal (Generel Strike) called by the left to protest against the government's certain wrongdoing and US war preparation against Iraq passed off by and large peacefully today Monday, March 10, in Bangladesh.

Land reform is a well-discussed issue in Bangladesh, yet a solution to the problem has proved elusive. Over the last few hundred years the toiling masses have repeatedly tried to build movements to overthrow the landowners, which for lack of political ideology and organisation have ended mostly in defeat. The rare instances of success have led merely to a reconstitution of the rural tyranny. By the Bangladeshi Trotskyist organisation, Democratic Workers Party, (Gonotantrik Mazdur Party).

An analysis of the historical development of the Communist Party of Bangladesh, sent to us by the Bangladeshi Trotskyist organisation, Democratic Workers Party (Gonotantrik Mazdur Party).

The minority peoples of Bangladesh have been systematically evicted from their land or displaced by settlers. They face state repression, social discrimination and harassment on a daily basis. The latest government strategy to throw ethnic minorities off their traditional lands is the creation of ten "eco-parks" around the country.

In Bangladesh garment workers change jobs frequently because of wage arrears, lay-offs, ill health or harassment from the bosses. The level of unionisation among workers is very low. However, sometimes the workers do stand up for their rights. By the Bangladeshi Trotskyist organisation, Democratic Workers Party, Gonotantrik Mazdur Party).