Notice to ex-Bangladeshi PM for celebrating b`dday on August 15

Last Updated: Saturday, August 15, 2009 - 16:38

Dhaka: A legal notice has been served to Bangladesh`s former prime minister Khaleda Zia, demanding a clarification on her party celebrating her birthday that coincides with the National Mourning Day.
Two lawyers, KM Nazibullah and Balaram Poddar served a notice to BNP chief Zia asking her to explain why her party was celebrating her birthday on August 15, the day when the country`s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated in a military putsch 34 years ago.

Though Zia is not celebrating the birthday at family level, her party and front organisation leaders were involved in celebrations on her "65th birthday" cutting a huge 65 kilogram cake at the BNP`s central office last evening.

She was set to join the main celebration later today at her office at posh Gulshan area, a party spokesman said.

But the notice said it was evident from available documents that Zia had taken the matriculation examinations in 1961, registering the date of her birth as September 5, 1947.

Earlier media reports claimed her previous passport and examination documents of her early school days contained another two dates and the four different dates of birth led to a controversy. The BNP started celebrating her birthday on August 15 while it was in power from 1991 to 1996.

"You are celebrating the birthday on August 15 only to undermine the significance of the day, which is observed as National Mourning Day," the notice said.

The notice said action would be taken against her for creating "confusion regarding the matter" if she failed to give a clarification on her actual birthday in next seven
days.

A case filed in 1997 regarding her controversial birthday is still pending with the High Court.

On November 30, 2008, a Supreme Court lawyer issued another legal notice to the Election Commission demanding her name be dropped from the electoral roll on charges of furnishing "false and misleading information on the date of her birth and educational qualifications".

The commission at that time apparently preferred to ignore the notice considering the sensitivity of the matter particularly ahead of the crucial December 29 general elections to end the two years of state of emergency under an interim government.

Bureau Report



First Published: Saturday, August 15, 2009 - 16:38

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