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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05DHAKA1536
2005-04-03 07:27:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Dhaka
Cable title:  

BANGLADESH STRIKE UPDATE

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  BG 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L DHAKA 001536 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 3/3/15
TAGS: PGOV PREL BG
SUBJECT: BANGLADESH STRIKE UPDATE


Classified By: P/E Counselor D.C. McCullough, Reason(s): 1.4 (b),(d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L DHAKA 001536

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 3/3/15
TAGS: PGOV PREL BG
SUBJECT: BANGLADESH STRIKE UPDATE


Classified By: P/E Counselor D.C. McCullough, Reason(s): 1.4 (b),(d)


1. (SBU) The Awami League and its leftist allies, as part of
its campaign to bring down the ruling government following
the January 27 killing of Shah AMS Kibria, called for a dawn
to 2 PM strike (hartal) in Dhaka and a dawn to dusk strike
elsewhere in the country. The AL held no strike in
Chittagong, the economic capital of Bangladesh, and called
for a only four hour strike in the tornado ravaged Gaibandha
district, located 300 kilometers north-west of Dhaka.


2. (SBU) In Dhaka, there were few AL protesters evident in
the streets but the strike was observed with major shopping
stores and markets closed, and only lighter than normal
vehicle traffic. Hartal supporters damaged a train
compartment in a Dhaka suburb, and there were scattered
reports of some vehicles being damaged. There was a large
police presence, estimated at 8,000 plus, throughout the city.


3. (SBU) In Khulna, Rajshahi, Jessore, Cox's Bazaar, and
Syhlet, as of 1600 local, no incidents were reported.

4.(SBU) Media reports say that the shortened Dhaka hartal was
to permit Kibria's family to hold their signature banner
display at 1600 local, and the canceling of the hartal in
Chittagong was at the request of local business community as
well as to permit a major Islamic conference to continue.
However, large Chittagong stores and markets were closed.
The calling of only a four hour strike in Gaibandha was to
permit ongoing relief efforts to continue aiding the 40,000
people affected by a recent tornado.


5. (SBU) When asked about the shortened program, AL
Organizing Secretary Ahktar Ahktarruzzaman said the AL did
not plan a "strong program" as they did not want to interfere
with "O" school level examinations in progress. He said that
the AL's next step was to wait for the return of Sheikh
Hasina from Singapore on APril 7 and then review their
caretaker government reform proposals.
THOMAS