Bangladesh: Government Pre-empts ‘Adivasi’ Bill

Kamran Reza Chowdhury

The government has pre-empted an attempt to initiate a legislative proposal of a parliamentary caucus through a private member’s bill styled Adivasi Rights Bill 2013 in the current session.

Workers Party chief Rashed Khan Menon is likely to place the bill in parliament for recognition of the country’s ethnic minorities as “adivasi” and protection of their rights.

However, before Menon could submit the bill to Parliament Secretariat for initiation in the house, the government has reportedly requested Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury not to allow any such legal proposal in the House. (more…)

National Forum on Parliamentary Best Practices 2012 – Bangladesh

The Panel consisting of Hon. Sagufta Yasmin, Shaheen Anam and Hon. A. K. M Mozammel Haq

The Panel consisting of Hon. Sagufta Yasmin, Shaheen Anam and Hon. A. K. M Mozammel Haq

The National Consultation on Making the Parliament Accountable, Transparent and Human Rights Responsive took place on 20th February 2012, bringing together parliamentarians, academics and human rights activists. The participants focused on ten major areas of concern including integrity mechanisms, structural and functional independence, as well as addressing human rights issues in a timely manner, and several recommendations were made for each major area of concern.

For the full report, click here


Parliament Watch Bangladesh – September-December 2010 Report

The Sixth Session of the Ninth Parliament of Bangladesh started on 20th September, 2010 and continued for 11 days. In a short session from 5th December to 9th December the Parliament concluded its Seventh Session.

The objectives of SAHR’s Parliament Watch are to examine the legislation enacted in relation to their implications on human rights of citizens, transparency and accountability of government, the parliamentary system and responsibilities of the executive in ensuring the rule of law and human rights.

For more of the report, click here

Parliament Watch Bangladesh: May – July 2011

The Ninth session of the Ninth Parliament which commenced on 22nd May 2011 was prorogued on July 7 after 30 working days. The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its allies abstained from the House throughout the session. They boycotted on grounds of not having a ‘congenial atmosphere’ to join the Parliament. Until the Ninth session, BNP attended the Parliament for only 51 days out of 237working days.  It is widely agreed that  Parliamentary Democracy is hampered due to the lack of participation of the main opposition in the National Parliament.

Apart from adopting the budget for 2011-2012 fiscal, the session passed 8 government bills, including the much-talked Constitution (15th amendment) Act, 2011 that marked a constitutional regime change.

For more of the report click here

Parliament Watch Bangladesh: January – July 2011 Report

The Eighth session of the Ninth Parliament which commenced on 25th January 2011 and continued for 33 days concluded on 24th March 2011.  On 15th March 2011 after a long gap, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the main opposition party, joined in the discussion on the President’s address. A total 227 Members of Parliament (MPs), 199 members from the Ruling party and 28 from the opposition, joined in this discussion. The discussion continued for 41 hours 26 minutes of which 35 hours 45 minutes were taken up by the Ruling party members and 5 hours 41 minutes were taken up by the opposition members. Along with the Prime Minister, 47 female members of Parliament participated in the discussion.

On 21 July 2010, a Special Committee of 15 members was formed to amend the Constitution. Three members from the opposition parties were included to this 15 member committee. A couple of meetings with experts on the Constitution were held and their recommendations were compiled and incorporated in the Committee report.  Including members from the Opposition and seeking expert opinions is a good sign for promoting democracy but whether these recommendations are properly evaluated or not needs to be monitored. Only if it is practiced properly will democracy be established in its true sense.

For more of the report click here

Cabinet okays labour policy

The cabinet on Monday approved the draft of National Labour Policy to ensure overall welfare and rights of the working class both in industrial and agriculture sectors.

The approval was given at a regular meeting of the cabinet held at Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Cabinet Secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said the cabinet approved the draft policy prepared by the labour and employment ministry with some observations, particularly regarding the child labour.

The policy would be implemented through various instruments, he said adding some of its provisions would be executed through an act, some through rules and the rest through executive orders.

Mosharraf said the draft of the new labour policy had incorporated expatriate workers into it and tried to find ways for eliminating child labour from industries.

The new policy linked labour welfare with corporate social responsibility, making the welfare of the working class an integral part of the activities of the corporate houses, he said.

Source: ( – 07/05/2012

Bangladesh: Opposition returns to Sangsad at last

A day in which the opposition returned to the Jatiya Sangsad was suddenly made rather exciting. Two legislators, one from the ruling Awami League and the other from the opposition BNP, almost got into a scuffle yesterday.

Taking part in the discussion on the thanksgiving motion on the president’s address, BNP lawmaker Rehana Akhtar Ranu used words in bad taste to attack the prime minister, home minister, state minister for law, a former chief justice and an incumbent High Court judge.

Her remarks sparked uproar in the House as treasury bench MPs instantly protested. Without microphone, Awami League MP Fazilatunnesa Bappy was heard shouting, “Shut up… or I will slap you”. Her words almost triggered a scuffle between her and BNP MP Shammi Akhtar. (more…)

Bangladesh: ‘HR issues ignored in JS’

Human rights violation issues are rarely discussed in parliament, said South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) yesterday.

Only 47 out of over 1800 call attention notices were discussed in the ninth parliament over the last three years, according to a study the rights organisation presented yesterday at a roundtable discussion in the capital.

Human rights conditions have been deteriorating day by day in the country but the House has seldom spoken of the issue, SAHR said in the study report. (more…)

Bangladesh: Vested Property Law – HC asks why two clauses not illegal

Dhaka, Oct 23 (—The High Court has asked the government why the ‘Ga’ and ‘Gha’ clauses of Article-6 of the Vested Property Return Act will not be declared illegal.

The bench of justices A H M Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Jahangir Hossain sought the explanation on Sunday upon a petition filed by former additional secretary Abdul Hai.

The court ordered the land, law and home secretaries, Land Reform Board chairman and Land Appeals Board chairman to respond to the rule within three weeks. (more…)

Bangladesh: Changes in ACC Act

Parliamentary committee’s stand commendable

It is good to see that the parliamentary standing committee on law and parliamentary affairs is holding its ground in opposiing several recommendations of the government to the proposed amendment to the Anti- Corruption Commission Act which, if passed, will curb the powers of the anti-graft body.

The Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law Ministry on Saturday, has restated its opposition to a government move to strip the Anti-Corruption Commission of its power to sue public servants on graft charges without permission of the government. (more…)


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