Bangladesh opposition calls new strike

Bangladesh's main opposition party called its third strike in a week for Monday as Prime Minister Khaleda Zia warned her tolerance was running out over the violent protests.

    Bangladesh opposition protests are usually very violent

    Some 90 people were injured in strikes on Thursday and Saturday in the opposition Awami League's stepped-up drive to oust Zia's two-year-old government. 

    An Awami League spokesman said on Sunday that the new strike will demand Zia quit and will protest police action against demonstrators in the earlier shutdowns. 

    "We have tolerated a lot - no more," Zia told a rally of her Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Saturday.

    "Lock those inside their houses who want to block the roadmap of development," she was quoted saying by the private UNB news agency. 

    "Lock inside houses those who want to block the roadmap of development"

    Khaleda Zia,
    Bangladesh Prime Minister 

    Strikes are common in Bangladesh's volatile politics, but the clashes during the two strikes have been unusually violent. Among the 40 injured on Saturday included Matia Chowdhury, a former minister from the Awami League. 

    Zia, whose Islamist-allied coalition enjoys a two-thirds parliamentary majority, has rejected calls to quit or call new elections, vowing to serve out her five-year term.

    Zia and Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina Wajed, who lost the premiership in 2001 elections, have a deep, personal rivalry.

    The Awami League issued an ultimatum to Zia's government a month ago to resign or comply with 15 demands. They included return of alleged embezzled funds, better control of crime and guarantees on freedom of the press.

    SOURCE: AFP


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