TDISH: A Founding Father Overthrown

On the morning of August 15, 1975, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the President of Bangladesh, and much of his family were assassinated by members of the military in a bloody coup.  Rahman had been a leading figure in Bangladeshi independence from Pakistan in in 1971.  He became the new country’s first President and then became Prime Minister in 1972 before becoming President again in early 1975.  Rahman’s death a few months into his second term as President plunged Bangladesh into years of political chaos from which the country is only just emerging, slowly.

On the morning of the assassinations, only two of Rahman’s children escaped death – two of Sheikh_Hasina_in_London_2011his daughters were abroad in West Germany at the time.  Both were banned from ever returning to their homeland.  Yet, return they did.  In fact, in 1996 one of Rahman’s daughters Sheik Hasina Wazed was elected Prime Minister.  One of her first acts was to pursue legal action against those military officers who led the coup.  Due to political wrangling, she was out of office before any real progress was made.  In 2009, she was re-elected Prime Minister and remains so today.  She was since reconvened the legal actions and in 2010 five of the officers were executed after being found guilty.  Six other officers have been convicted, but their death sentences have not been carried out since they have not returned to Bangladesh since Wazed came to power and were convicted in absentia.

August 15 continues to be marked as a National Day of Mourning in Bangladesh in Sheik Rahman’s honor.

Featured Image: “Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.” By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use.
Image 1. “Sheik Hasina Wazed.” By Prime Minister’s Office – Derivative (Cropped by Ctg4Rahat), OGL.
Sources: Ahmed, Anis. “Killers of Bangladesh independence leader executed.” Reuters. 27 January 2010.




TDISH: Outbreak of a Terrible War

On the evening of July 23, 1983, fifteen Sri Lankan soldiers were out on a routine patrol in the Ltte_emblemJaffna region of the island nation.  Jaffna is a peninsula in the extreme northwestern part of the country and is the closest part of Sri Lanka to its nearest neighbor, India.  The soldiers were there to keep control of the region, in which a separatist group known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were active.  The government soldiers were ambushed by a group of LTTE fighters which resulted in the death of 13 of the 15 men in the unit.  The patrol was known as Four Four Bravo and would become a rallying cry in the Sri Lankan army against the Tamil Tigers.  The attack sparked the Black July Riots – an anti-Tamil pogrom – throughout Sri Lanka.  These riots caused the LTTE to further escalated their fight with the government leading directly to the Sri Lankan Civil War which would last until 2009 and with 60,000 (conservative estimate) killed.

Source: Ferdinando, Shamindra. “Black July 1983: A New Perspective.” The Island Newspaper. 2 June 2013.
Featured Image: “Flag of Sri Lanka.” By Zscout370 – SLS 693 – National flag of Sri Lanka, Public Domain.
Image 1. “Emblem of the LTTE.” By Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Fair use.