MANIFESTO AND PROGRAMME OF LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY
- The people of Bangladesh today are whirling in a deep crisis that has descended upon them. The future of the people of this country has been made uncertain and aimless because of exploitation, deception, disparity, injustice, social degradation, corruption, terrorism, predominance of black money, poor governance and criminalization of the society.
- We have a glorious past of a thousand years. The People of Bangladesh had struggled for a long time for a separate entity and building up an independent nation. Enriched in anthropology, ethnicity, linguistic homogeneity, economic lifestyle, and undivided regional characteristics and rich quality, the people possessed the ingredients to build up a modern, developed and prosperous nation state. For centuries, our ancestors forefathers struggled hard to create all these ingredients. They struggled against the British Empire for independence of the sub-continent which resulted in division of the country in 1947 and prepared the ground for our self revelation and national emergence. On 21st February 1952, Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Jabbar, Shafiur and many other unknown martyrs laid down their lives to establish our mother tongue Bangla as the state language which sowed the seed for the birth of Bangladesh. Subsequently, through 23 years of our relentless struggle for cultural affinity, national identity, autonomy and independence – and finally through the war of liberation in 1971 – our long-cherished goal for an independent Bangladesh and battle for self emancipation culminated in success.
- With a lot of hope and dream the People of Bangladesh gained an independent sovereign state in return for an ocean of bloodshed. Unfortunately, even after long 38 long years of suffering, we have failed to achieve the basic goals of our liberation war. On the contrary, the firm belief with which the great war of liberation was fought i.e. to establish a developed, prosperous, democratic and modern welfare state through uprooting colonial and backward system of governance, today the same legacy of colonial governance has been reestablished in the country in different forms. The defeated collaborators – the Al Badars, razakars and their strong political patrons – are wielding state power today and taking revenge of their defeat. The country under the curse of their mis-governance is turning into ashes. Through such a state of affairs, the future of this immensely promising land of 140 million people are gradually becoming uncertain.
- Political leaders living in the upper echelon of the society are immersed in extravagant and luxurious life style. Their acts of limitless corruption, looting, and usurpation and a fierce desire for amassing of ill-gotten wealth has created an attitude of disregard for the rule of law, which in turn has incited restlessness in the entire society. Seizing the opportunity a group of people are trying to turn Bangladesh into a breeding ground for extreme fundamentalists and reactionary forces, capitalizing on the ignorance, superstition, poverty and under-development of the common people.
- At this critical juncture of the nation, we cannot remain a silent spectator. It is a crime to avoid one’s responsibility by merely expressing grievances and frustration. It is not right to remain quiet and tolerate wrong-doings, injustice, oppression, torture and threats of dictators. We cannot accept the extreme uncivilized state of affairs and lawlessness such as hijacking, extortion, rape and leave the nation in deep uncertainty. The unbridled/uncontrolled rise of prices of essential commodities, closing down of existing mills and factories in the name of new industrial enterprises, unemployment of a large section of able workforce or invisible unemployment, neglectful attitude towards farmers in an agro based economy of Bangladesh has affected the people. Besides existing anarchy and indiscipline at all strata of the educational system, from primary to the university level, and “commercialization of education” in the name of establishing private educational institutions and stagnation in the cultural arena has made our life intolerable.
- The country has to be saved from the scourge of political criminalization, economic mismanagement, and degradation of the society. It has become our national responsibility today to build up a safe, modern, prosperous, and humane society for our future generation. It is high time to shun the current negative politics. For survival and ensuring the continued progress of the country, healthy political practice endowed with democratic values is indispensable. It is our belief, that there is no possibility of evolving a healthy political system in the country with existing major political parties due to their numerous over-practiced policies, hegemonic ideologies, outdated programmes and traditional working strategies. As a result, people drowned in crisis are turning away from politics and losing confidence on political leadership and political parties.
- The people of this country are now dreaming of a flourishing, healthy and democratic political process. Fulfillment of the needs of the time and society demands a courageous and bold initiative. It is necessary to have tested, competent, honest, enterprising and patriotic leadership to stand up against the adverse political environment. Also there is a need for a well disciplined, wide-spread and well coordinated party organizational framework. It will not be possible to achieve this through the existing political party system. What is needed is a suitable political framework to meet the hopes and aspirations of a changing society. To build a progressive, humane, respectful developed social system utilizing the advancement of science and technology, political leadership and political parties have to embrace ideas and thoughts suitable for undertaking new political reforms. They need to have a deep insight. Maximum utilization of technical expertise and wisdom in political decision making is one of the benchmark for determining competent leadership. People also have to rise up to free the country from the present crisis. The country can be taken forward by the tested leaders with honest, competent, courageous, meritorious, farsighted, experienced, patriotic and humane leadership qualities. But they need to unite in a modern democratic political party.
- Due to long years of our direct association with all the existing political streams of the country and in light of our past experience vis-a-vis the contemporary reality, national, and uneven globalization in the international context and after critical judgment and analysis, we have realized the need for organizing a new political party. The new party, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will act as a vehicle/catalyst for transforming our thoughts and plans into reality. We are making a clarion call upon all conscious citizens who are liberal minded, democratically conscious, humane and having a broad outlook to support our initiative. Come, let us all work together to overcome the crisis. Let us free the country from corruption, poor governance, terrorism, insecurity and curse of criminalization. Let us put an end to exploitation, deception, disparity, unemployment, illiteracy, superstition, ignorance, societal degradation and darkness. It is our firm belief that with the concerted effort of all people with good sense, we can definitely end such a dark chapter of our nation.
Constitution and Fundamental State Policy:
- Establishing constitutional authority in all spheres of state affairs, keeping intact the basic framework of the constitution.
- Developing institutional framework for establishing rule of law and people’s authority.
- Full implementation of all state principles to establish a secular, democratic, nationalist and egalitarian social system.
- To show appropriate respect to all national leaders and establishing them in their respective status.
- Strengthening the tremendous sense of respect and trust towards independence and sovereignty of our nation.
- To strive for building a modern civilized Bangladesh free of corruption, terrorism and extortion.
- Building a self-dependent Bangladesh, freeing the country from the curse of poverty and removing the disparity between villages and cities.
- To promote honest, meritorious and farsighted leadership in all stratas of society.
- To consolidate the nation on the basis of love and respect for each other, discarding hatred and politics of division.
- Arrange appropriate training for government officials to improve their efficiency in administration, ensure their job security and to keep them away from political patronisation. Seniority, competence and merit shall be the criteria for their promotion.
- Achieving self sufficiency in food and stabilizing market price of food grains, essential items, housing of citizens, clothing, better medical facilities and ensuring social security.
- Immediate implementation of the constitutional provision to appoint an Ombudsman.
- To ensure satisfactory countrywide management of energy crisis, including electricity.
Government And Administration
- Keeping intact the state framework, administrative system and nature of conventional government structure, inherited colonial rules and regulations and system of governance, some sectors have been refined through cursory reforms or rectification. This has, however, neither reflected the basic hopes and aspirations of the people, nor is it time befitting. It is the demand of our time to establish a highly representative and democratic system of governance and governmental framework. Even in the past 100 years, there had been no development or change in the bigger district towns. Local government system has not functioned properly. Centralization of power is at it’s highest ebb. Under the circumstances, it is necessary to ensure effective decentralization of state power and meaningful functioning of the local government.
- A four tiered local government structure comprising of district, upazilla, city corporation (pourashava) and union parishad (ward in cities) is indispensable. Besides allotted budget from the government, local government will also collect revenue from their own sources and administer local development work through self-planning. The local government institutions will enjoy full autonomy in setting up their own rules and conducting their work.
Economy and Development
- A welfare oriented and humane economic system will be established in the field of gaining, creating and distributing of wealth by fully adhering to democratic rules and regulations.
- Present economic framework of exploitation, disparity and looting shall be abolished.
- Highest progress will be ensured in all economic activities including in the field of industry, agriculture, commerce and medi-care through maximum utilization of science and latest technology. Investment will be indispensable for scientific research and enhanced engineering skills and for a basic framework.
- In the present day of intense and multi-faceted competitive global economic system, intense effort will always continue to attain suitability and high quality for self survival and moving forward at equal pace.
- Rapid employment opportunity will be created for the able workforce through creating a conducive atmosphere for industrialization and foreign investment.
- Decentralization policy will be adopted for investments to eradicate poverty in villages and of the marginalized income group. Industrial zones in underdeveloped areas with special incentives for investors.
- Women’s participation in any planning for development or economic investment, use of their labour and merit in production and appropriate evaluation of their work will be ensured.
- New Law for protecting buyers interest and consumer’s right will be made time befitting and through it’s appropriate application, price of essential commodities for daily consumption will be kept under government control for valid reasons. If necessary, there will be provision for subsidizing the producers. Adulteration will be strictly resisted.
- Every upazilla will be turned into a center for development. Through extensive reforms of this system, responsibility of the upazillas will be enhanced in order to alleviate sufferings of the people. Unnecessary control at the center will be relaxed and peoples’ welfare will be ensured through decentralization at the upazilla level.
- Small and medium industrial mills and factories will be established at the upazilla level and loans will be provided to the entrepreneurs at low interest rate. Small and medium entrepreneurs will enjoy tax holiday for a limited period.
- In order to ensure uninterrupted power supply, Bangladesh will be divided into number of zones. According to their requirement, small power centers will be developed in each zone. Electricity produced from all these power centers will meet the demand of the respective region. Private investors will be given priority in establishment of natural gas and coal based power centre. If needed, steps will be taken to develop atomic power plants.
- Effective steps will be taken to expand the international market for the vast human resources of Bangladesh. Training facilities will be created in each district to develop skilled and semi-skilled work force.
- Steps will be taken to ensure human rights related to income, health, education and housing in the remote areas of Bangladesh – such as in the river erosion regions, char and island regions and North Bengal manga affected areas – and of the landless and slum dwellers in cities.
- Loan facility of one to two lakh taka without big collaterals, and in certain circumstances at low interest rates, will be made available for small and medium scale shop owners and house building in the rural areas. This will resolve unemployment problem and will act as a complementary force in the economy.
- Agricultural development ensuring proper utilisation of un-used land. Timely distribution of seed, fertilizer, electricity and water during irrigation season. Educating and supporting farmers in scientific agricultural methods. Low interest short and long term loans will be made easily available.
Education, Culture and Sports
- Education will be considered as a fundamental right of citizens instead of an opportunity.
- Alongside study of engineering and technology, equal importance will be given to general and humanity studies. Bangladesh will be transformed into a knowledge based society.
- As international languages like English and Arabic will be given equal importance with Bengali which will help them to interact with others in the world and secure better life for them.
- Along with specialized professional education, subjects that complement enhancement of universal human qualities will also be inducted in the educational curriculum. One’s own religious education will be given due importance. In drawing up a national education policy, special attention will be given to imbue people with scientific awareness and an analytical mind discarding superstitions and narrow-mindedness.
- Through preservation of national culture and in association with global culture, an enabling environment will be created to develop a superior human culture.
- The way of superstition, conservativeness or backwardness cannot be nurtured in the name of preserving national culture, similarly perversion and aberration will not be encouraged in the name of welcoming global culture. Necessary effective measures will be taken to resist distorted foreign culture.
- The importance of sports and physical exercise in building a healthy, strong and hard working nation cannot be denied. Keeping this in mind, sports and physical exercise will be made compulsory alongside academic studies, starting from primary schools to the educational institutions at the highest level.
- Physical athletic sports like football, cricket, hockey, tennis, swimming and dariabanda will be included as a separate curriculum. Side by side with outdoor sports, development of indoor games will be given equal importance. Internationally recognized sports and all subjects of physical exercise will be introduced in every educational institution.
- Side by side with general educational institutions, the activities of sports education and organizing institutions such as Bangladesh Sports Education Institution, Bangladesh Cricket Board and Bangladesh Football Federation will be further strengthened and regularized. Regional branches of Bangladesh Sports Education Institution will be set up in all district towns.
- Computer science and information technology should be part of national curriculum from secondary level.
- Specialist institutions will be setup at every district level for ensuring skilled work force with greater employment opportunity locally and internationally.
National Security, Defence and Foreign Policy
- National security policy will be drawn up in the light of national and individual security requirements of the 21st century.
- The basic principles of foreign policy – friendship towards all and malice to none – will be appropriately followed in all spheres. War is not a proper solution of any international dispute. All disputes have to be resolved through dialogues instead of confrontation and war. The position of Bangladesh in the world community will be made unambiguous by remaining firm in this principle.
- The Armed Forces – the vigilant guard of sovereignty – will be modernized keeping in view the requirements of the 21st century.
- Friendship and good-will with neighbouring countries will be enhanced. In particular, relationship with SAARC countries will be further strengthened in various fields.
- The network of national and international terrorism and terrorists will be strictly suppressed. In this regard, hand of cooperation will be extended to different countries.
Human Rights and Judiciary
- Constitutional provision of the appointment of Ombudsman should be immediately effected.
- The Judiciary will be further strengthened, made completely separate and independent from the Executive Branch.
- Subject to legal rules and obligations, human rights of all citizens will be inviolable.
- There shall be no state interference on freedom of thought, speech, movement, organization and of human security. Fundamental principles of democracy will definitely be followed in all spheres. State will ensure that no person, class or group who are non-believer of democracy, gets a chance of conducting adverse activities in a democratic environment.
- The right of each and every citizen to get justice will be ensured. Keeping in mind the present population, courts will be established in all Upazillas.
- The state will provide legal assistance to all citizens.
- From the perspective of the 21st century, all law enforcing agencies, including police administration will be modernized. Skilled and corruption free police administration will be formed. Keeping in view the increased rate of population growth and for providing security of their life, police out posts will successively be set up for every two unions, comprising of one sub-inspector, one assistant sub-inspector and seven constables. Transparency and accountability of the law enforcing agencies in performing their duties will be ensured.
- A completely independent Election Commission will conduct all elections from the national to local levels.
- In drawing up election rules and regulations, all obscurity and ambiguity will be removed.
- The suitability and criteria of candidates for any position of public representation at any level will be unambiguous.
- Public statement on educational qualification and source of income of candidates at all levels will be made compulsory. And the submission of this statement will be made mandatory for all.
- The system of voting, vote counting and announcement of results will be further modernized and made transparent, so that no suspicion or doubt is created in the minds of people regarding election results.
- Since executive officials and officer in charge of thanas in each district actually play the key role in all type of elections, they must be made accountable for holding free and fair elections. Their activities will be made transparent and rules will be drawn up to take punitive measures against them, if case of any problem in holding of free and fair elections.
Information and Mass Media
- A free and objective broadcasting policy will be drawn up.
- All information and mass media including newspaper, radio and television will enjoy full autonomy. But at the same time they must be made accountable for announcing/publishing false information against any body or any organization.
- Bangladesh Betar (Radio) and Bangladesh Television will be turned into full autonomous bodies.
Medical Care and Housing
- Access to medical care is one of the basic rights of all citizens. State will undertake responsibility for providing medical treatment to all. Highest priority will be given for extension and modernization of government medical facilities.
- State will play the key role in ensuring food, clothing, housing and employment opportunities. People living in streets, under the open sky or in slums reflect the incompetence and irresponsibility of the state. State has to overcome such failures.
- Social safety net for security and protection of the economically and socially disadvantaged masses have to be provided and old age homes have to be built to provide care for the elderly people.
- Allowances for insolvent freedom fighters and the elderly people will be enhanced.
- Allowance for the unemployed will be arranged by the state in successive stages.
Indigenous (Adibashi) and Minorities
- An enabling environment will be created for survival and flourishing of the minorities. Level playing field will be created for them, so that they are able to proudly participate in the mainstream national politics.
Environment and Neighbourhood
- Due to unplanned urbanization, industrialization and undue intervention by the people, environmental degradation is taking place day by day. Ecological and surrounding balance is being destroyed. To provide a healthy and safe abode for our future generation, necessary steps will be taken to stop environmental degradation and ecological imbalance. Government will draw up an appropriate environment friendly policy for urbanization, industrialization and waste management. Through out the year tree plantation should be made compulsory at all level and the government should organize periodical programme to encourage the people.
- Department of environment protection should be made responsible to ensure a safer, cleaner and green Bangladesh for future generation.