>war crimes redden liberation ministry

>THE Ministry of Liberation War Affairs symbolises the government’s sheer political indifference to the War of Independence, the most important phase for any nation around the globe, Julfikar Ali Manik writes in The Daily Star.

Formed in 2001 after the four-party alliance featuring BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami came to power, the ministry carefully ignored works on genocide and other crimes during the Liberation War, reveals an investigation by The Daily Star.

Many of its officials deemed the issue “very sensitive matter” and thought it best to turn a deaf ear to the ever-increasing demand for the trial of war criminals.

The ministry has no plan as yet to work on war crimes but it shows no lack of interest in annual rituals like the Independence Day on March 26, Victory Day on December 16 and Martyred Intellectuals Day on December 14 and also in some controversial projects.

The ministry has literally puffed away around Tk 600 crore from the revenue budget in seven years for trivial ceremonies and projects tainted with controversies.Its ongoing and upcoming projects include building monuments for martyrs, finding killing grounds, battlefields and setting up establishments for the Muktijoddha Sangsad.

The projects to enlist freedom fighters, issue certificates to war heroes and publish some books on war history have not seen the light yet but kicked up enough uproar among the people. Charges of politicisation and distortion of history, and drafting Razakars on the Muktijoddha list have staked heavily against the ministry.

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