From Mon May 29 15:15:33 2000
Date: Mon, 1 May 2000 23:34:26 -0500 (CDT)
From: Michael Eisenscher <>
Subject: OWC REPORT BACK No. 24 (Bangladesh)
Article: 95147
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Presentation by Tafazzul Hussain, president of the National Workers Federation of Bangladesh and Secretary of the Democratic Workers Party of Bangladesh

To the February 13 plenary session of the Open World Conference, OWC Report Back, No. 24, [13 February 2000]

My name is Tafazzul Hussain. I come from Bangladesh. I represent the National Workers Federation of Bangladesh, and I also represent the Democratic Workers Party of Bangladesh. We had planned to have a big representation here, but the the rest of our delegates did not get their visas to come to the United States, and so they could not come.

Friends and comrades: I come from a country which is one of the poorest in the world, and is being devastated again by the imperialist plunder of privatisation, structural adjustment plans and all other such destructive plans.

In our country under the process of deregulation and privatisation, all trade union rights are being destroyed. Trade unionism itself is being destroyed. The democratic rights of the people are under destruction. The political parties who are ruling or who wish to come to power all have the blessings of the powers in Washington, London and Paris.

The present ruling party and the present opposition party, previously in power, think that their power base is in Washington. What is happening in our country is going in the poorest countries everywhere. Now, after destroying the democratic process and trade union rights in Bangladesh, another kind of destruction is going on: Political killings, murder, and all other terrorist activities.

These terrorist activities and killings are sponsored by big political parties, and from behind the scenes these are instigated by the imperialist powers.

You know, my dear friends, Bangladesh is an oil- and gas-rich country. There are enormous resources of oil and natural gas in my country.

All the international oil companies are there, including that of the United States. These companies belong to or are administered by the former apparatus of the American administration, including Dick Cheney, former U.S. Defence Secretary. All these people at the heads of different oil companies, they are now in Bangladesh.

To fish in the troubled waters, they instigate terrorism in the whole of the country. There is not a single day without dozens of killings, planting of bombs, slaughtering of people. The country is in total disarray, total chaos and confusion.

The international capitalists do this to facilitate their plunder of our resources.

There are no human rights, only slave labour in the “free trade” zones. Under these circumstances the Democratic Workers Party initiated a conference last month on January 21. We held a conference for peace, and stability and to save our national sovereignty. We took several resolutions at this conference, and I have been mandated by the conference to report to this conference the results of our conference. I will be brief in reporting the resolutions of the conference. [See full resolutions adopted by Dhaka conference below.]

In that conference we resolved that our country must be saved; The integrity and national sovereignty of our country must be saved. We must favour peace committees, we must favour organising committees everywhere in the villages, towns, in factories, everywhere.

The conference was attended by about 700 people, of whom 300 were delegates elected by different villages, towns and factory committees. We vowed to protect our national sovereignty by protesting, by opposing imperialist plunder and imperialist instigation to dismantle our country.

We also took a resolution on regional issues, because you know not only in Bangladesh is this kind of terrorism and killing going on. Destabilisation is going on as well in India, especially the north-eastern part of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan. Everywhere the same kind of destruction and plundering is going on.

So we took a resolution that if we want to save the integrated national boundary of our country, we have to save the national boundaries of our neighbouring states, including India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

So we circulated an appeal to our brothers and sisters of the region to be aware of the vile designs of the imperialists to plunder, to disintegrate, to dismantle the sovereignty of our country.

Finally, the working class around the world are victims of the same kind of oppression everywhere. We are having several conferences every year, each year, to oppose the plundering policies of the World Bank, IMF, and the imperialists. But, day by day, every day, every week, the oppression is increasing. The destruction is increasing!

The impoverishment of the working class is increasing, whether in the United States, or in Bangladesh, or in Africa, the plundering policy is the same. So, it is time that we must stand up. Not only to meet in conference, not only to take resolutions, but to oppose it directly—and that direct action has already been started in Seattle. The back of the working class is against the wall. We have to resist now because without this resistance we cannot save our souls. Thank you very much.