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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05DHAKA2300
2005-05-17 07:03:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Dhaka
Cable title:  

SA A/S ROCCA'S MEETING WITH HOME MINISTER

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 002300 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/17/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL BG
SUBJECT: SA A/S ROCCA'S MEETING WITH HOME MINISTER


Classified By: P/E Counselor D.C. McCullough, reasons para 1.4 b, d.

C O N F I D E N T I A L DHAKA 002300

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/17/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL BG
SUBJECT: SA A/S ROCCA'S MEETING WITH HOME MINISTER


Classified By: P/E Counselor D.C. McCullough, reasons para 1.4 b, d.


1. (C) Summary: A/S Rocca,s discussion with the Minister of
Home Affairs emphasized that internal security issues in
Bangladesh are clearly on Washington's radar and have raised
concerns about the country's stability. She suggested
security issues would be a factor in determining the level
of U.S. assistance in training and technology. End Summary.


2. (SBU) On May 12, Assistant Secretary for South Asia
Christina Rocca, Ambassador, and RLA (notetaker) met for
40 minutes with the Minister of Home Affairs Lutfuzzaman
Babar.


3. (C) A/S Rocca stated that the USG appreciated the good
cooperation between the BDG and the FBI on the Kibria murder
investigation, which has attracted attention in Washington
because of reports of a whitewash investigation and of the
destabilizing effects of political violence. Therefore, it
was important for BDG that its investigation and judicial
process stand up to international scrutiny.


4. (C) Babar promised full transparency and that the case
would be referred to a speedy trial tribunal. He stated
that the BDG would uphold the rule of law, even if the
investigation led to a member of the ruling party.
The investigation has revealed that unusually large amounts
of money were found in seven bank accounts of the key
defendant, a ruling party local official, suggesting strong
links to Rangs, a major Bangladeshi trading company. Babar
stated that he secured a judge's order to obtain the
underlying bank documents and these documents would be made
available to the USG along with any other information the
USG requested.


5. (C) A/S Rocca and Ambassador warned that an apparent
upswing in extra-judicial killings by members of the
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and other police units
could invoke Leahy amendment sanctions leading to
Congressional investigations that would present significant
bilateral complications for the BDG. The Minister stated
that the day before a MHA committee finalized a proposal
to investigate and prosecute alleged RAB misconduct, which
calls for stricter procedures and more severe punishment than
under current civilian or military tribunals. RAB was
also discussed in the context of USG technical assistance.
When Babar expressed BDG interest in USG Coast Guard
cutters and helicopters for border protection, A/S Rocca
stated that the BDG,s actions on curbing the extra-judicial
killings will be "one of the first things we look at" when
determining USG's assistance.


6. (C) Other topics included:

-- Bangla Bai: The BDG is committed to arresting Bangla Bai
but does not know where he is. Babar cited media reports
that he has fled the country. A/S Rocca emphasized that
his arrest would be a strong signal that BDG is serious
about fighting extremism and terrorism.

-- Ahmadiyas: Babar addressed USG concerns about the
protection of this minority, vowing that the BDG
was "doing its homework seriously" with local police to
prevent conflicts and uphold constitutional protections to
minorities. A/S Rocca emphasized that religious freedom
is important to the U.S.

-- Trafficking in Persons: Investigations and prosecutions
continue, and every police station in every district has
a dedicated TIP team. The crackdown has led to a downturn
in trafficking cases.

-- Border Tensions with India: Babar complained that India
falsely claimed that insurgents took refuge in Bangladesh
but provided no intelligence as to their whereabouts.
Moreover, he claimed that the GOI was harboring criminals
from Bangladesh in Calcutta.


7. (U) A/S Rocca cleared this message.
THOMAS