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Catholics decry political divisions
Calling general strikes to voice opposition 'is crippling the country'
- ucanews.com reporter, Dhaka
- July 11, 2011
â€śPolitical parties never agree or compromise. They always say decisions they make while they are in power should never be opposed with violence, but resort to violent meansÂ easily enough when they become the opposition,â€ť said businessman Stephen Gomes.
â€śWhen political parties call for strikes to protest government policies, we are fearful because of the negative effect they can have on families, businesses and the country,â€ť he added.
Gomes, managing director of a refrigeration company was expressing his frustration at a series of general strikes called by opposition parties which are angry at recent amendments to the constitution including the scrapping of the controversial caretaker government system.
The system involved a selected interim government that ruled during a transition period from one government to another.
A 48-hour strike by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its allies ended on July 7 with reports of sporadic violence taking place around the country.
Several Islamic parties have also called another general strike for today and tomorrow to oppose the removal from the charter of Â â€śabsolute trust and faith upon almighty Allahâ€ť as one of its four main principles.
â€śThese strikes are extremely harmful to businesses,â€ť said Margaret Baroi, sales executive at a handicrafts company that employs about 3,000 women.
â€śThis country is cursed. Politicians just wonâ€™t talk to each other â€“ it seems itâ€™s easier for them to organize street protests,â€ť said taxi driver Shekhar Palma.
â€śI canâ€™t drive my car because it could be vandalized, so that means Iâ€™m unable to earn money just because a few people are looking for political gain.â€ť
According to housewife Sima Gomes, unscrupulous traders take advantage of the disruption by raising prices for daily essentials.
â€śItâ€™s always the common people who suffer most in a poor political climate,â€ť she complained.
Minorities denounce charter changes
General strike call angers Catholics
Forum demands action on violence