DHAKA, July 19, Reuter: Bangladesh’s opposition appealed to the country today to stage its second general strike in two weeks to oust President Hossain Mohammad Ershad.

The appeal for a 54hour stoppage was issued by opposition archrivals who buried their differences to oust what they termed a “military dictatorship”.

“If he still sticks to power, the magnitude of our campaign will take a serious turn, the like to which was never seen in this country before,” the Awami league opposition group said. It gave no further details.

Three groupings of 20 parties issued statements calling for the strike from Wednesday morning. It is timed to end before the overwhelmingly Moslem country holds Friday prayers.

Bangladesh was brought to a halt last week by an opposition backed 72hour strike, the biggest since Ershad restored Parliament last November and ended military rule.

Western diplomats described the opposition move as significant because it brought Begum Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, the leaders of the two main alliances, under a united platform against Ershad.

Khaleda and Hasina had been at loggerheads since Hasina’s Awami League decided to take part in Parliamentary elections in May last year won by Ershad’s Jatiya Party.

Both have since swapped invective at public rallies and’ accused each other of seeking a secret entente with Ershad. But they decided to bury their past.


“At this awesome place, the value of slaughter, and at the outset of my journey on this soil (Bergen-Belsen), I leave as a memorial to you, my brothers and sisters, victims of the Holocaust, a stone hewn from the rocks of Jerusalem”.

“I do not bring forgiveness with me, or forgetfulness. The only ones who can forgive are dead; the living has no right to forget”.

Chaim Herzog

President of Israel during his recent visit to West Germany.

Article extracted from this publication >>  July 24, 1987