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Bangladesh Blockade Suspended
Capital Dhaka city returning to normal
Golam Mustofa Sarowar (Golam)     Print Article 
Published 2006-11-25 11:37 (KST)   
The Awami League-led 14-party alliance has suspended the non-stop nationwide blockade program, claiming victory for the movement in forcing the chief election commissioner, Justice M.A. Aziz, to go on leave for three months. Justice K.M. Hasan earlier refused to assume office as the chief adviser to the caretaker government.

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina on Thursday, at a crowded news conference at her Dhanmondi office, announced the postponement of the rail-road-waterway-port blockade, and a two-day fresh course of action program, including sit-in demonstrations in front of the Election Commission (EC) secretariat and Bangabhaban (presidential residence).

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The sit-in demonstrations in front of the Bangabhaban will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 27, and a similar demonstration will be held in front of the Election Commission (EC) secretariat the next day, to press the demand for restructuring the EC. In the meantime, Senior EC Justice Mahfuzur Rahaman, as per the Election Commission Act, took over responsibility as Acting Chief Election Commissioner (ACEC) on Thursday. He assumed charge following a meeting among the three active commissioners.

The blockade, which paralyzed life and economic activity across the country over the last four days, caused enormous sufferings to the people, as road communications remained snapped, train services were badly affected, and businesses ground to a halt. The country, including the capital, started coming to life after sunset Thursday.

Relief was evident in people's faces after the announcement that the blockade had been suspended. Normalcy started returning to places of Dhaka city like the Secretariat, Paltan, Baitul Mokarram and stadium markets, Bangabandhu Avenue and Gulistan, which have been under immense tension since late October. The busiest places of administration and business remained crippled by agitation and counter-agitation enforced by the country's two conflicting major political alliances over electoral reforms. Friday is the weekly holiday, but most schools are open. Factory workers are working. Roads are full of various kinds of traffics.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Golam Mustofa Sarowar

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