Save Burma

ျပည္သူေတြဆီမွာ လြတ္လပ္မႈနဲ႔ တန္းတူညီမွ်မႈ အရင္ဆံုး ရွိေနမွ ဒီမိုိကေရစီ စံႏႈန္းရွိတာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။

Bangladesh mutiny troops surrender after two-day revolt

leave a comment »

Mark Tran and agencies

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 26 February 2009 11.19 GMT

Prime minister appeals for calm as she grapples with grave political challenge one month after being sworn into office

Soldiers patrol in front of the Bangladesh Rifles headquarters in Dhaka

Soldiers patrol in front of the Bangladesh Rifles headquarters in Dhaka. Photograph: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

Army tanks are rolling toward the Bangladeshi capital, Dakha, according to local media reports, after the prime minister ordered mutinous troops to lay down their guns immediately.

The crisis began yesterday when border guards rose up in violent protests over pay and alleged discrimination, leaving up to 50 people dead.

In a nationwide broadcast, the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, appealed for calm but also warned of tough actions as she grappled with a grave political challenge just one month after being sworn into office.

“Lay down your guns immediately and go back to barracks. Do not force me to take tough actions or push my patience beyond tolerable limits,” Hasina said.

Shootings were reported at several guard posts hours after officials announced that the mutiny of guards in Dhaka had ended.

Guards fired shots at the commanding officer’s residence at a border post in the southern town of Tekhnaf, forcing him to flee. Violence was also reported in Chittagong and Naikhongchari in the south, Sylhet in the north-east, and Rajshahi and Naogaon in the north-west. In Chittagong, dozens of mutineers blocked a road and forced traffic to a halt, according to a government official. There were no immediate reports of casualties in the new round of violence.

The mutiny began yesterday at the border guards agency headquarters in Dhaka, but the guards agreed to surrender after the government said it would grant them amnesty and discuss their grievances.

Officials said up to 50 people had been killed in yesterday’s clashes. The bodies of seven border guards, two of them of officers, were found outside the wrecked headquarters of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), the official name for the troops responsible for guarding the country’s borders.

The guards are nursing long-held grievances over pay, which has not kept pace with that of the army’s amid rising food prices.

During yesterday’s standoff, one guard with his face covered in a yellow handkerchief told television reporters: “Army troops are sent abroad to work in UN peacekeeping missions and they get fat salaries. But they don’t take border guard personnel for peacekeeping. That’s discrimination.”

Before the latest round of shooting erupted in other cities, the home minister, Shahara Khatun, told reporters: “The guards have begun surrendering arms after we have offered amnesty to them.”

About 4,000 guards were believed to be at the headquarters, and it was not immediately clear how many had surrendered. Some 42,000 guards are posted at 64 Bangladesh Rifles camps throughout the country.

The turmoil is Hasina’s biggest challenge since she won parliamentary elections in December that returned Bangladesh, where 40% of the population live below the poverty line, to democracy after nearly two years of army-backed emergency rule. The powerful defence forces have often intervened in the country’s politics and Hasina has to tackle the latest grievances without risking further discord.

“This poses a huge challenge for the prime minister and her government, who need to be tactful in trying to resolve it,” retired Major General Azizur Rahman, a former BDR chief, told Reuters.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/26/bangladesh-mutiny

Updated news

Bangladesh: Mutiny over after tanks enter capital

Bangladesh army troops take position outside the headquarters of Bangladesh Rifles in Dhaka, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009. Mutinous border guards opened fire inside their headquarters and seized a shopping mall in the Bangladesh capital Wednesday, killing one person and wounding several others in an apparent pay dispute, officials said. The army moved in to quell the unrest. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman)

Policemen take cover as shots are fired outside the headquarters of Bangladesh border guards in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009. A deadly mutiny over pay that began with border guards in the Bangladesh capital spread across the country Thursday, with shootings reported at several guard posts, police and witnesses said.(AP Photo/Pavel Rahman)

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — The Bangladeshi government says all the mutinous border guards who seized control of their headquarters have surrendered after a two-day revolt.

The guards agreed to surrender after the government promised them an amnesty and agreed to look into their demands for better conditions.

But the process stalled and was only completed Thursday after the government sent tanks into the capital in a show of force.

Government negotiator Mahbub Ara Gini says “all the mutinous border guards have surrendered their weapons.”

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladeshi tanks rolled into the capital Thursday, hours after the prime minister warned mutinous border guards she would “do whatever is needed to end the violence.”

The show of force apparently worked as guards in the compound were later seen hoisting a white flag, and Home Minister Shahara Khatun said they had resumed surrendering their weapons.

But the two-day revolt, which has killed at least 10 people, by border guards angry over pay has appeared to end before, only to resume again.

Border guards first mutinied Wednesday at the group’s headquarters in Dhaka, turning their weapons on senior officers, seizing a nearby shopping center and trapping students in a school on their compound. The guards later agreed to surrender after the government said it would grant them amnesty and discuss their grievances.

But on Thursday, mutineers fired shots at the commanding officer’s residence at a border guard post in the southern town of Tekhnaf early Thursday, sending him fleeing, said police official Jalal Ahmed Chowdhury. Witnesses said violence also erupted at border guard posts in Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong and Naikhongchari in the south, Sylhet in the northeast, Rajshahi and Naogaon in the northwest.

On Thursday night, an Associated Press reporter saw several tanks had taken up positions in a residential neighborhood near the compound seized by the guards Wednesday. Local media reported seeing at least seven tanks heading toward the city.

The move came shortly after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina appealed to the mutineers to surrender in a televised speech to the nation.

“We don’t want to use force to break the standoff,” Hasina said. “But don’t play with our patience. We will not hesitate to do whatever is needed to end the violence if peaceful means fails.”

At least 10 people have been confirmed dead in Dhaka, but officials fear up to 50 people may have been killed there. On Thursday morning, the bodies of seven border guards — two of them of officers — were found outside the violence-wracked headquarters of Bangladesh Rifles, doctors at a local hospital said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in the new round of violence.

Some 42,000 guards with the Bangladesh Rifles, the official name of the paramilitary border forces, are posted at 64 camps throughout the country.

The insurrection was the result of longtime frustrations over pay for the border guards that didn’t keep pace with that of the army’s — highlighted by rising food prices in the chronically poor South Asian country as the global economic crisis grows.

Hospital doctors confirmed ten people dead. Among the dead were three bystanders, including a rickshaw driver. At least 20 people were injured.

But Junior Law Minister Quamrul Islam told reporters early Thursday: “It’s our guess at least 50 people may have died” in the violence. His remarks came after a visit to the compound, but he acknowledged that the figure was unconfirmed. “We have not seen any bodies,” he added.

Associated Press writers Parveen Ahmed and Julhas Alam contributed to this report.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jWHK1_e5aHDizUpee0x6O-h7TiTwD96J92FG0

(Google) Image Version

Bangladesh re…

AFP

Bangladesh sh…

Telegraph.co.uk

Mutineers sur…

euronews

In pictures: …

BBC News

Bangladesh Ri…

AFP

Bangladesh tr…

Reuters

Bangladesh PM…

Voice of America

Bangladesh PM…

BBC News

Army’s Border…

New York Times

Border guard …

BBC News

Bangladesh…

BBC News

The army surr…

BBC News

Bangladesh re…

Reuters

Bangladesh Ag…

Voice of America

Bangladesh mu…

Aljazeera.net

Bangladesh La…

Voice of America

FOCUS: BANGLA…

Aljazeera.net

Bangladesh mu…

Aljazeera.net

Bangladesh mu…

Aljazeera.net

Heavy gunfire…

Aljazeera.net

Bangladesh mu…

Aljazeera.net

Troops’ r…

guardian.co.uk

Bangladesh bo…

The Associated P…

Bangladesh mu…

AFP

Bangladeshi P…

WA today

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

February 26, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: