B`desh to include independence proclamation in constitution

Last Updated: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 13:34

Dhaka: Bangladesh will incorporate the historic proclamation of its independence in 1971 in the constitution after a special parliamentary committee suggested it to be made part of the country`s supreme charter.

"The next generation has the right to know about it (the proclamation)... so, we want to make it a part of the constitution," Suranjit Sengupta, co-chair of the special committee on constitution amendment, told a newspaper.

Public representatives elected in the elections held in 1970 and early 1971 adopted the proclamation of independence from Pakistan on April 10, 1971, at Baidyanathtala of western Meherpur, through which the March 26, 1971 declaration of independence by Bangladesh`s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was approved.

The historic constitutional document also provided the first government of the country with the fundamental instrument of law as well as an interim constitution during
the Liberation War, crucially backed by India.

Ruling Awami League of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had constituted the special parliamentary committee to amend the constitution as its assumption to power with three-fourths majority in December 29, 2008 general elections gave the party an absolute authority to amend the constitution without the opposition support.

Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, deputy leader in parliament, is the chairperson of the 15-member special committee.

Bangladesh`s original constitution of 1972 embodied four fundamental principles of nationalism, socialism, democracy, and secularism while the subsequent BNP government
omitted the "secularism". The past Jatiya Party government of ex-military ruler HM Ershad had declared Islam as the state religion.

Meanwhile, the incumbent Awami League government said the proposed amendment would witness the spirit of the original 1972 constitution.

Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of former prime minister Khaleda Zia, however, earlier said plans to amend the constitution by the ruling party`s brute majority
would not yield any good result for the country.

BNP had also declined to join the committee while its secretary general Khondker Delwar Hossain smelled "something wrong" in the ruling party`s move to amend the constitution.

Asked for comments on the move for incorporating the proclamation in the constitution, leading lawyer Amirul Islam, who drafted the historic document in 1971, said the April 10,
1971 proclamation by the Liberation War time interim exiledBangladesh government in India could be mentioned it in the preamble of the constitution.

"In that case, the full historic document (independence proclamation) can be printed along with the constitution as an annexe," he said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 13:34

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