POST TIME: 26 August, 2018 10:30:13 AM
How the signatures of some Nobel Laureates were arranged
There is a strong rumour in London, though I do not know if it is true, that Hillary Clinton, the close friend of Dr. Yunus, was also active behind the scene in collecting signatures of some of the Nobel Laureates
Abdul Gaffar choudhury

How the signatures of some Nobel Laureates were arranged

There is a proverb that success in propaganda wins half the battle. I am sorry to say though   Awami League government is in power and their main opponent BNP is in disarray, the latter has won the propaganda battle in the recent movements on road safety and quota system. Awami League miserably failed to convince the outside world that they did not take oppressive measures against the young students and the arrest of Shahidul Alam, a renowned artist was not wrong.
Many Awami League leaders are happy nursing the pet idea that the storm has blown over and the rivers are navigable. Perhaps, they do not understand that this peace is not real. Those who tried to subvert these two non-political movements for their political purposes they failed and have taken a step back for a temporary period. But encouraged by the success of their propaganda war against the government they are uniting other opponent groups against the government and waiting for an opportune moment.
After this lull period of Eid holidays, they will again attempt to use any possible non-political movement because they have no real issue except some phony demands which could not attract people's support. Now encouraged by their success in the recent propaganda war they will wait for another such event before the election. They are now more united; a large number of people including intelligentsia in the country and abroad believe that government used excessive power against the children and the arrest of Shahidul Alam is the proof that the government is using a course of violence and oppression against free speech and free thinking.

Twenty eight eminent persons from the world including eleven Nobel Laureates have issued statements demanding the release of Shahidul Alam and condemning the government’s action. The Prime minister of Bangladesh very wisely treated the children in the road safety movement but her information and publicity department failed totally to convince the outside world, especially the thinking people of the western world, that there was no violence against children (except the agitators who took shelter behind them) and Shahidul Alam was not tortured during his arrest. Moreover, he is a famous photographer but not a world famous figure. He was elevated as an international figure by his political promoters to achieve their political purpose. Behind this a powerful role was played by the so-called Dhaka Civil society, especially its two or three ring leaders including a half Nobel laureate.

Before I read the content of Shahidul Alam's Facebook account and his interview with Al-Jazeera I could not perceive how could such a man of repute attack a government of his own country so violently and with such falsehood. It is true that government has many shortcomings and BNP leaders and their some intellectual cohorts are exaggerating this every day and attacking the government. Government did not take any strong measures against them. Naturally question arises why would Shahidul Alam be persecuted alone? Only our courts can decide whether he committed an act of treason against the state or not, but it is my assumption that he can criticize the government, but he cannot propagate lies against a government, which I consider not a criticism against a government but a wilful conspiracy against the state. He cannot challenge the legality of a government and cannot attack the stability of a state at a difficult situation like this.

The Nobel laureates who demanded the release of Shahidul Alam, perhaps would not have advocated the release of such a person accused of conspiracy against the state in their own country. I gathered information from my friends in high circle in London that at least one signatory of their country signed the statement without knowing Shahidul Alam or his utterances. They signed having been briefed by another noble laureate, who my friends suspect is from Bangladesh.

Now Shahidul Alam is under arrest and many serious and non-serious allegations against him are coming out gradually. One allegation is that without the approval of higher authority he ran an institution for 18 years for giving people certificates for graduations, diploma and short and long courses on different subjects. Recently he got approval for his academy under the present government. But government received allegation after allegation that he received money from overseas organizations and transferred that money to his personal account. He is a close friend of David Bergman (the son-in-law of Dr. Kamal Hossain). Both of them were engaged in the world-wide propaganda against the trials of the war criminals of 1971. He made a documentary on Ziaur Rahman to prove that he was the announcer of the independence of Bangladesh by adding Ziaur Rahman's artificial voice in the documentary. Another serious accusation against him is that during Hefazat movement in Shapla Chattar he was behind the false propaganda that 3,500 were killed in one night by police action. If this is proved in a court he could be punished for treason against the state.

To create conflict between Bangladesh and China, he made a documentary on Tibet in which he manufactured Chinese soldiers’ torture on Tibetans. The Chinese Embassy in Dhaka made a strong protest to the government and police stopped the screening of this film and exhibiting the posters. Afterwards he started screening a film on Taiwan on the so-called Taiwan day. The Chinese Embassy again lodged a strong complaint to the government and police intervened and stopped it. He tried to enter India without legal documents and was arrested. He could not explain why he crossed the border without any legal formalities.  

Recently, after the arrest of Shahidul Alam in Dhaka, David Bergman, the son in law of Dr. Kamal Hossain was seen in front of London’s Bangladesh Embassy with BNP and Jamaat agitators protesting against the arrest of Shahidul Alam. There are more allegations against him. Perhaps, it was known to Bangladesh Police and Intelligence services for a long time. Question arises that how could this man of so-called eminence continue these types of activities for so long and could get approval for his academy from the present government? After allowing him to continue his alleged anti-state activities for 18 years, how government can now portray him as a bad man to the world and prove that his propaganda was false and motivated? Some most powerful circles are working behind him now. If my information is correct, then one of the leaders of the civil society Dr. Yunus, who himself is a Nobel laureate has influenced some other Nobel laureates to issue statements against Bangladesh government. My information is that he and his other colleagues who are active in Bangladesh and in the outside world have capitalized on their (the other Nobel laureates’) confidence on them and gave their signature in good faith though the man (Shahidul Alam) is not known to them well.  

My friends in London asked me, ' Do you believe Bishop Tutu of South Africa knows the name of Shahidul Alam at all and issued a statement without a strong briefing from a trusted friend?' I personally know one of the most powerful international lobbyist firms that Dr. Yunus engaged in his fight against Hasina government on Grameen Bank is still working for him. This firm has a strong influence on European media and intelligentsia. I came to know this firm is also working on behalf of BNP and Jamaat now. Moreover, the most influential British politician and lawyer Lord Carlile and some other influential British lawyers have become patrons of BNP and Jamaat.

There is a strong rumour in London, though I do not know if it is true, that Hillary Clinton, the close friend of Dr. Yunus was also active behind the scene in collecting signatures of some of the Nobel Laureates. In confrontation with these powerful opponents the position of government is not very comfortable. By seeing a lull period in Bangladesh they should not suffer from self-indulgence. On the surface the government might think that the situation is under control but underneath a vicious conspiracy is hatching. I warn the government to watch the situation carefully and to take action in time. Their publicity sector must rebuild strongly to confront the worldwide aggression against them.

London, Thursday 23 August, 2018