Home > Kev's Blog > 5-Apr-2013 Day 3 & possible end of Bangla-dash run

5-Apr-2013 Day 3 & possible end of Bangla-dash run

Friday 5 April 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

At 5am I hobbled out of bed to go try find Chris but didn’t have to go far as there was a note under my door saying they got in at 3am and they’d get up at 7am. Yippee  – 2 more hours sleep!

At 7am Chris knocked on my door to give me the news that at the last minute the previous afternoon a number of hartals (strikes, protests) had been announced effectively shutting the country down. We knew some these were coming but its the first time they have ever happened at the weekend (friday, saturday in islamic countries like Bangladesh).

Here are some links to news stories :

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/148708/dhaka-cut-off-from-rest-of-the-bangladesh.html

Dhaka cut off from rest of the Bangladesh

DHAKA, April 5 (Xinhua) — Dhaka remained virtually cut off from the rest of the Bangladesh since Friday morning as pro-ruling groups enforced nationwide road blockades and hartal, in an apparent move to foil the Islamists’ long march towards the capital city slated for Saturday.

Long-distance buses plying between Dhaka and outflying Bangladesh places stayed off the roads since Friday morning as transporters say they have been asked by the ruling party, allegedly backed by law enforcers, to halt operations for two days to thwart anarchy due to the long march.

Fears of a new round of violence in the coming days have raised in the political crisis-ridden South Asian nation as Hefajat-e- Islam, a group of non-political Islamic scholars, is set to hold its long march on April 6 demanding punishment for the “atheist bloggers”, several of which have already been arrested.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-04/02/c_132279660.htm

In pre-hartal violence Monday, dozens of vehicles were reportedly set on fire and damaged fully or partially across Bangladesh.

Stray incidents of clash, arson, vandalism, chase and counter- chase, detention have been reported in capital Dhaka and elsewhere in the country in the early hours of Tuesday’s hartal. Scores of cocktails were reportedly exploded in parts of Bangladesh and capital Dhaka.

Riot police shot rubber bullets and tear gas shells to disperse stone-throwing protesters in Dhaka and in parts of Bangladesh during the early hours of hartal which crippled normal life.

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/27-hr-hartal-ongoing-in-chittagong/

The 22-hour countrywide rail, road and waterway blockade has also started from 6:00pm to counter the Hefajat long march.

On the other hand, the 27-hour hartal in Chittagong called by the local unit of Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee on the same ground has also been going on simultaneously from 3:00pm.

Shawkat Bangali, joint organising secretary of the Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, told The Daily Star.

“We will not let any vehicles enter or exit the city during the hartal hours,” he said.

During the strike, they occupied highways, launch terminals and bus and railway stations.

The Islamist party had earlier announced the long march programme to press home its 13-point demand including arrest and trial of bloggers for “defaming” Islam and Prophet Muhammad.

Basically Chris was saying that they decided they couldn’t leave me stranded all alone In Jessore (English signs are almost non-existent and english speakers just as rare). So they have come to pick me up and take me to their apartment in Dhaka until the 4 day shutdown is over. It looks like the run certainly as planned was over.

I met the rest of the team who had still driven out (they left at 7pm and drove till 3am).

We had a quick breakfast and then started the drive back. Some of the ferries were already stopped due to the hartal so we had to go the long way round. We went through some road blocks where the driver Mofiz had to pay an extra charge. There seemed to be a general air of confusion (although that could be normal for Bangladesh).

On the outskirts of Dhaka we went past a number of garment factories and then we saw a dead body in a pool of blood, in the middle of the road, not due to any violence but due to the road & traffic.

We got to the apartment approx 5.30pm and it was great & a welcome relief as I’d had a headache & felt sick most of the day.  I met Chris’ wife Shiela and had a great shower, orange juice and phoned & skyped dawn and the kids.

At about 6.30pm Eric, Pacifique and their daughter came over and Al and we all had a good dinner. I was wiped out by 10pm and went to sleep in a kid’s bunk bed with stuffed dinosaur.

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  1. Debby
    Sunday 7 April 2013 at 00:10

    I am so thankful you are all safe and well. Take care!

  2. dominic
    Sunday 7 April 2013 at 00:21

    Take care Kev I’m sure you will be ok.

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