Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury
|Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury|
|Chowdhury, circa 2008|
|Advisor to the President of Bangladesh|
13 November 2006 – 15 January 2007
|Spouse(s)||Sufia Mukhles Chowdhury|
|Children||4. Monsoor Mukhles Chowdhury, Maqsood Mukhles Chowdhury (late), Masroor Mukhles Chowdhury & Ayesha Mukhles Chowdhury.|
|Alma mater||University of Dhaka|
Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury (Bengali: মোখলেসুর রহমান চৌধুরী), also known as Mokhles Chowdhury, is a Bangladeshi journalist turned politician. He was appointed as an advisor to the President of Bangladesh during the Caretaker Government established in October 2006.
Early life and education
Mukhles Chowdhury is the eldest son of Alhaj Azizur Rahman Chowdhury, the first Chief Editor of the Weekly Prekshit, and Sharifa Aziz Chowdhury. His native village is Katihara of Lakhai, and he was born at Kulikunda of Nasirnagar. Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury spent his childhood in the Sylhet District.
Chowdhury received his Masters in Mass communication and Journalism, and graduated in Political Science from the University of Dhaka. Chowdhury took two Research Courses in London School of Economics and Political Science or LSE and studied for a PhD in Politics at Sheffield University in Britain.
In 1985 Chowdhury joined the Dainik Patrika, the newspaper which started on 31 January 1986, as the chief reporter. In early 1989 he switched over to the Dainik Naba Avijan and returned to the Dainik Patrika at the end of the year. Since 1981 he has been serving journalism with writing in various press including Dainik Bangla, Dainik Desh, Bichitra, Robbar, Sunday Express, Holiday and Khoborer Kagaj. In January 1991, he became special correspondent for the Ajker Kagoj. In September 1991 Chowdhury became the diplomatic editor and special correspondent of the Dainik Dinkal
In 2004 Chowdhury was appointed Press Secretary and Spokesman by President Iajuddin Ahmed, serving from December 2004 to November 2006. When President Iajuddin took on the responsibility as Chief Advisor in 2006, he appointed Chowdhury as one of his advisors.
Role during the 2006-2007 political crisis
On 13 November 2006, Iajuddin Ahmed, President of Bangladesh and Chief Advisor of Caretaker Government, appointed Chowdhury as the Advisor to President with the rank and status of Minister of State. From November 2006 to January 2007, when an acute national political impasses arose in Bangladesh out of uncertainty about Parliamentary elections, he performed the role of President’s special envoy in the negotiation process. He tried to reconcile issues between the two opposition leaders, Begum Khaleda Zia of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, and Sheikh Hasina of the Awami League.
On 23 December 2006, the political parties agreed to participate in parliamentary elections in January. Following that negotiation, they submitted nomination papers for their candidates on 26 December 2006. But on 3 January 2007, the last possible date, the Awami League and its Grand Alliance withdrew from elections when Jatiya Party's Hussain Muhammad Ershad's nomination was canceled. President Iajuddin declared a state of emergency on 11 January and postponed the elections, as they would not be valid without full participation of the parties. A group of military officers intervened to ensure stability, in what became called "One-Eleven." They established an interim government.
During 1994-1995, Bangladesh had a similar political deadlock, when the Awami League boycotted the 15 February 1996 election because no caretaker government had been established. In that event, negotiations had been led by the then-Commonwealth Secretary General Chief Emeka Anyaoku's special envoy Sir Ninian Stephen.
Diplomatic-cable leak by WikiLeaks
The violence and crisis in Bangladesh received international media coverage. In December 2006, WikiLeaks leaked documents from Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury's mission with diplomats, including Patricia A. Butenis, as well as politicians and other stakeholders on solving Bangladesh's political impasses, when they had worked together during the volatile political situation in 2006-07 period. The caretaker government struggled to hold elections within the constitutional 90-day deadline. The dates for the scheduled election were changed to 21 January, then 23 January, and finally 22 January 2007 in efforts to accommodate the political parties.
Chowdhury had a series of meetings with stakeholders on governance and politics. With the help of United States envoys, Mukhles Chowdhury stopped the imposition of martial law planned by General Moeen U Ahmed and his associates. They wanted to ensure the stability of the country because of the adverse effects of the political unrest on the society and economy.
Mukhles Chowdhury later said that General Moeen, Army Chief, was the main force in the military intervention and declaration by President Iajuddin Ahmed of a state of emergency on 11 January 2007. He started speaking against army-backed government on 12 January and his interviews were published by the Manabzamin, Naya Diganta and Amader Shomoy. According to Amar Desh reporting in 2009, Chowdhury said that Moeen had intended to capture the country's presidency through the interim Caretaker Government headed by Fakhruddin Ahmed, formerly with the World Bank. Aminul Karim united army dissident groups and also used Gen. Masud and Brig. Bari to achieve this.
In 2008, Mukhles' interviews were published in Thikana, Akhon Samoy, The Independent, Amader Shomoy, Naya Diganta, Amar Desh, Probashi Voice, Bangla Patrika and Probashi barta of New York and Voice of America and Euro Bangla, Bangla Post, BBC, Channel S and Bangla TV of London. "Military coup in Bangladesh: Dateline 2007", one of his fact-finding write-ups about the One Eleven conspiracy, was published in the weekly Akhon Samoy of New York. Outspoken Minister Mukhles Chowdhury revealed untold facts about 2007 military intervention in Bangladesh in interviews taken by media that include the Bangladesh Pratidin, the Daily Kaler Kantha, BD Today Dot Net and the Daily Sun.
Mukhles Chowdhury resigned under pressure after being the last advisor to President Iajuddin Ahmed. At the time, there had been reports that Mokhlesur Rahman Chowdhury had become the de facto President and Prime Minister. Investigations confirmed that he had managed with integrity during this period.
Current and Previous positions
Mokhlesur Rahman Chowdhury has been the Chief Editor of the Bangladesh Worldwide and the Editor of the Weekly Prekkhit. He was the first Joint Secretary General of Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA), Bangladesh.
- Hundred Years of Bangabhaban and Bangabhabaner Shatabarsha were published from Bangabhaban, where Mukhles Chowdhury was the publisher, as the head of press wing of President's Office.
- His two books, Samakalin Sangbadikata (Contemporary Journalism) and Protocoler Nigor (Bindings in Protocol), were published in 2005.
- "The Daily Star Web Edition Vol. 5 Num 892". Thedailystar.net. 30 November 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
- Scholars at Risk: "Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury"
- "RSF - Rapport annuel 2001". Ecoi.net. 1 January 2001. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
- Solution within constitutional framework — CBK says in Dhaka
- UNB, Dhaka (30 December 2004). "work=The Daily Star Web Edition issue= Vol. 5 Num 214". The Daily Star. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
- "Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury", Sourcewatch website
- , The Daily Star, 9 November 2006
- , Bangladesh-Web
- "Cabinet appointments", Bangladesh Government
- , Daily Star, 14 November 2006, accessed 29 April 2013
- "Secretary-Appointment". United News of Bangladesh (UNB). 5 December 2004.
- "National". New Age (Bangladesh). Retrieved 20 August 2010.
- "Bangladesh: The coup that dare not speak its name". The Economist. 18 January 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
- , "Wikileaks: How President Iajuddin ..."], Priyo, 21 September 2011
- "Envoy fails - The Independent (London, England) | HighBeam Research - FREE trial". Highbeam.com. 21 November 1994. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
- "Cable dates 7 January 2007, Bangladesh, Wikileaks website,
- , Akhon Samoy Weekly, in Bengali
-  Amar Desh, 1 February 2009
- "Mukhles Chowdhury in media - Thikana Interview". Mukhleschow.webs.com. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
- "Category Page". Thikana. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
- , Akhon Samoy Weekly, in Bengali