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Posts Tagged ‘Commonwealth’

Rethinking International Security Sector Assistance: British Assistance to the Rapid Action Battalion in Bangladesh

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 26, 2011

“There are incidents of trials that are not possible under the laws of the land. The government will need to continue with extra-judicial killings, commonly called crossfire, until terrorist activities and extortion are uprooted.” – Shahjahan Khan, Shipping Minister Bangladesh Government 2009.[1]

“[UK] government has agreed to provide human rights training to the Rapid Action Battalion, a branch of the Bangladeshi police, whose chequered human rights record has been identified as a driver of radicalisation in that country”. – UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2009 Annual Human Rights Report

Any extrajudicial killing is a sad thing and this is not tolerable. There is a possibility that one can kill another in self-defence, but whether the killing was in self-defence or not should be decided by the court. If the court gives the verdict that a police or RAB officer killed a particular person in a shootout in self-defence then we will be satisfied.” – Dr Mizanur Rahman, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh on 9 February 2011 while addressing the inaugural ceremony of a seminar on UPR follow-up and implementation organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh and the Commonwealth Secretariat. [2]


In the last few days the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has continued to carry out ‘crossfire killings’ or ‘encounter killings’, euphemisms for extrajudicial executions. The recent leak of cables revealing UK’s support to the RAB has, for once, sparked international attention onto Bangladesh’s appalling human rights record[3] and that of the RAB in particular.

International human rights groups have, rightly, responded with concern. In this paper Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) seeks to assess UK’s support. This paper examines the political context and raises questions about the FCO project design and the logic that sits behind it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wikileaks reveals plan to dump the Royals, Prince Charles

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 12, 2010


Uncertain role ... The Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth II, left, with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

OFFICIALS have held secret talks about dumping the Royal Family as the head of the Commonwealth.

Secret US cables uncovered by website WikiLeaks reveal Prince Charles will not automatically assume the title when the Queen dies.

The top bureaucrat who runs the Commonwealth has told US officials in London that Prince Charles is no cert- ainty because he does not “command the same respect as the Queen”.

Commonwealth secretariat director of political affairs Amitav Banerji secretly told the US that “succession” would have to be addressed by leaders of the Commonwealth nations, including Australia. Read the rest of this entry »

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