Dhaka, Feb 24 (bdnews24.com )- Two top student organisations of the country-Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal and Bangladesh Chhatra League Saturday united in a demand that the authorities not invite Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus as speaker at the Dhaka University convocation.
The rare unity of the student fronts of the country's two arch rival political parties-the BNP and the Awami League- on the Dhaka University campus has become a reality regarding the demand.
Not only these two organisations, but also almost all other student bodies, have raised the same demand. A section of teachers and students have also taken a firm stand in favour of the demand.
They argued that the Grameen Bank chief had lost his acceptability as convocation speaker after announcing formation of a political party.
A group of teachers led by Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique, leader of the pro-Awami League Blue panel of the teachers met with the vice chancellor Prof SMA Faiz Saturday noon and requested him not to invite Prof Yunus as the convocation speaker.
Later the leaders of Chhatra Sangram Parishad led by Chhatra League and Progotishil Chhatra Jote, an alliance of pro-left student bodies, also met the vice chancellor on the same demand.
Though the Chhatra Dal leaders did not have such a formal meeting, they made a similar demand through a statement Saturday afternoon.
At 12 noon a group of students under the banner of "University Students" at a press conference at Madhu's canteen announced their rejection of Yunus as convocation speaker.
Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus is scheduled to attend the 43rd convocation of Dhaka University on February 28 as the convocation speaker where he is also to be given honourary "Doctor of Laws" on behalf of the University.
Entangled in the debate, the fate of the 43rd convocation has become uncertain. The date of the convocation was shifted once earlier due to political instability in the country.
However, the vice chancellor Prof SMA Faiz said that this time there was no possibility of shifting the convocation date.
Former president of Dhaka University Teachers Association (DUTA) Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique emerging after meeting the vice chancellor said, "Dr Yunus wants to do politics, we congratulate him. But by announcing formation of a political party he has made his being convocation speaker controversial. If he participates as the convocation speaker, a big section of the teachers will not join the programme. For the teachers there can be no bigger protest."
He also said, "Doctor of Laws" is a honourary degree. The university authorities usually give this degree to competent persons. If he is competent he can surely accept it. But he has lost the eligibility to be "convocation speaker" by announcing formation of a political party."
Dean of the Social Science Faculty Prof Harun-ur Rashid, dean of the Biological sciences faculty Prof Anwar Hossain, former general secretary of DUTA Prof Akhteruzzaman, Prof Tofael Ahmed Chowdhury, Prof Ashrafuddin Ahmed, Prof Nazma Shahin, Prof KM Saiful Islam and assistant professor Hafizur Rahman accompanied Prof Siddique.
Leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League-led student organisation alliance Chhatra Sangram Parishad came to meet the Vice Chancellor at 3pm. Earlier, Progressive Students Alliance leaders met the VC and made the same demand.
After the meeting, BCL president Mahmud Hasan Ripon told reporters the person who did not come to honour the language martyrs on February 21 could not be convocation speaker.
BNP student front Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal in a statement urged the university authorities not to invite Yunus as convocation speaker.
JCD president Azizul Bari Helal and general secretary Shafiul Bari Babu said that Yunus had become controversial by launching a political party after making objectionable remarks about political leaders of the country.
Dhaka University is a universal institution and any controversial politician could not use the institution in the interest of his party, the JCD leaders said.
VC SMA Faiz however ruled out any possibility of deferring the convocation. He said convocation will be held on time by any means.
On whether Yunus would come to the convocation, the VC did not give any answer.
"The decision of making Yunus convocation speaker was taken at the meetings of the Syndicate and the Academic Council. Only five out of 183 teachers in the Academic Council opposed the decision.
The university authorities in a statement sent to news media Saturday evening said the convocation would be held on time. Rehearsal of the convocation will be held on February 27, the statement said.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
DU students say no to Yunus as Convocation speaker!!!
True faces are coming up from behind the veil of patriotism. Gradually BNP and AL are uniting. They don't want anybody else in their rotation of plunderage. I think we are going to see the two leaders in the same table soon. So far, they only went together to programs held by army (actually do they have any choice if the generals summon them??). Now, this is going to be changed. They need to unite to hide all the good deeds their party have done to the country.