Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury

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Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury
Mokhles Chow.jpg
Chowdhury, circa 2008
Advisor to the President of Bangladesh
In office
13 November 2006 – 15 January 2007
President Iajuddin Ahmed
Personal details
Born 1965 (age 51–52)
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Sufia Mukhles Chowdhury
Children 4: Monsoor Mukhles Chowdhury, Maqsood Mukhles Chowdhury, Masroor Mukhles Chowdhury, Ayesha Mukhles Chowdhury
Residence London, UK
Alma mater University of Dhaka
Occupation Journalist

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.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Chowdhury is the eldest son of Azizur Rahman Chowdhury,[2] the first Chief Editor of the Weekly Prekshit, and Sharifa Aziz Chowdhury.[3] His native village is Katihara of Lakhai, and he was born at Kulikunda of Nasirnagar. 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.[4] Chowdhury took two Research Courses in London School of Economics and Political Science or LSE[5] and studied for a PhD in Politics at Sheffield University in Britain.[6]

Chowdhury with Iajuddin Ahmed, President of Bangladesh (1st from left), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 5 August 2005.


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[7]

In 1993, he became the Bangladesh correspondent for the Island Upali newspapers of Sri Lanka.[8][9] He served as Editor of the Weekly Sarak, the Weekly Prekshit and the magazine Sromo.

In 2004 Chowdhury was appointed as press secretary and spokesman by President Iajuddin Ahmed, serving from December 2004 to November 2006.[10][11] When 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[edit]

On 13 November 2006, President Ahmed, Chief Advisor of the Caretaker Government, appointed Chowdhury as the Senior Advisor to President with the rank and status of a Minister of State.[12][13][14] From November 2006 to January 2007, when an acute national political impasses arose in Bangladesh[15] out of uncertainty about Parliamentary elections, he performed the role of President’s special envoy in the negotiation process.[16] 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.[1]

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 the Jatiya Party's Hussain Muhammad Ershad's nomination was cancelled.[17][18][19] President Iajuddin declared a state of emergency on 11 January and postponed the elections,.[20] 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.[21]

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.[22]

Diplomatic-cable leak by WikiLeaks[edit]

The violence and crisis in Bangladesh received international media coverage. In December 2006, WikiLeaks leaked documents from 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.[23] 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.[16][24]

Chowdhury had a series of meetings with stakeholders on governance and politics.[25] With the help of United States envoys, 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.[26]

Military intervention[edit]

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.[27][28] 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.[29] Aminul Karim united army dissident groups and also used Gen. Masud and Brig. Bari to achieve this.

"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.[30] Minister Mukhles Chowdhury revealed untold facts about 2007 military intervention in Bangladesh in interviews taken by media that include the Bangladesh Pratidin,[31] the Daily Kaler Kantha,[32] and the Daily Sun.[33][34]

Chowdhury resigned under pressure after being the last advisor to President Iajuddin Ahmed.[35] At the time, there had been reports that Chowdhury had become the de facto President and Prime Minister.[36][37] Investigations confirmed that he had managed with integrity during this period.[25]

Current and Previous positions[edit]

Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury has been the Chief Editor of the Bangladesh Worldwide[38] and the Editor of the Weekly Prekkhit.[39] He was the first Joint Secretary General of Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA), Bangladesh.[40]

In December 2003, Mukhles Chowdhury was elected President of the Overseas Correspondents' Association Bangladesh-OCAB (Foreign Journalists Association) for 2004 period.[41][42]


President presents a book to Chowdhury, Thanksgiving 2006.
  • Hundred Years of Bangabhaban and Bangabhabaner Shatabarsha were published from Bangabhaban, where Chowdhury was the publisher, as the head of press wing of President's Office.[43]
  • His two books, Samakalin Sangbadikata (Contemporary Journalism) and Protocoler Nigor (Bindings in Protocol), were published in 2005.[44]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Iajuddin wants to open talks with alliances". The Daily Star. 30 November 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  2. ^ আজিজুর রহমান চৌধুরীর ৮ম মৃত্যুবার্ষিকী পালিত [Rahman Chowdhury, 8th death anniversary]. The Daily Khowai (in Bengali). 12 December 2009. Archived from the original on 26 May 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ University of Sheffield. "Mukhlesur - Student Profiles - Bangladesh - South Asia - Asia - Your country - Prospective International students - The University of Sheffield". 
  5. ^ "LSE Scholars At Risk". 
  6. ^ m mukhlesur rahman chowdhury. "M Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury". 
  7. ^ "RSF - Rapport annuel 2001". 1 January 2001. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  8. ^ "news05". 
  9. ^ "Faruque, Shamim elected OCAB president, secy". The Daily Star. UNB. 30 December 2004. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Bangabhaban's political recruit feeds BSS wrong news". The Daily Star. 9 November 2006. 
  11. ^ [1], Bangladesh-Web
  12. ^ "Cabinet appointments", Bangladesh Government
  13. ^ "Mokhlesur now an adviser with state minister's rank". The Daily Star. 14 November 2006. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Secretary-Appointment". United News of Bangladesh (UNB). 5 December 2004. 
  15. ^ "Talks at Bangabhaban fail". New Age. Dhaka. 30 October 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  16. ^ a b "Cable Viewer". 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^'s%20nomination%20was%20cancelled%20in%202007&f=false
  20. ^ "Bangladesh: The coup that dare not speak its name". The Economist. 18 January 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2010. Iajuddin Ahmed, Bangladesh's president, declared an army-backed state of emergency on January 11th and cancelled the election due on January 22nd. 
  21. ^ [2], "Wikileaks: How President Iajuddin ..."], Priyo, 21 September 2011
  22. ^ "Envoy fails - The Independent (London, England) | HighBeam Research - FREE trial". 21 November 1994. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  23. ^ "Cable Viewer". 
  24. ^ "WikiLeaks: How president Iajuddin was asked to resign". Priyo News. 
  25. ^ a b "Cable dates 7 January 2007, Bangladesh, Wikileaks website,
  26. ^ [3], Akhon Samoy Weekly, in Bengali
  27. ^
  28. ^ "General Moeen Purge 1/11 Key Players In Power Struggle To Regain Supremacy". 
  29. ^ [4] Amar Desh, 1 February 2009
  30. ^ [5], Akhon Samoy Weekly, in Bengali
  31. ^ ১/১১ নিয়ে মুখ খুললেন মোখলেস চৌধুরী. Bangladesh Pratidin (in Bengali). 
  32. ^ ওয়ান-ইলেভেন নিয়ে মুখ খুললেন মোখলেস চৌধুরী. Kaler Kantho (in Bengali). 
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ "". 
  40. ^ M Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury. "ISSUU - Usa's efforts for a new election to restore democracy in Bangladesh by M Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury". Issuu. 
  41. ^ "Govt plans to feed 20m flood-hit people Under VGF till Dec 2004". News From Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. 
  42. ^ "'Real culprits behind Sylhet bomb blast to be traced out soon'". News From Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. 
  43. ^ "Book Review: Hundred Years of Bangabhaban" (PDF). 
  44. ^ "". [dead link]

External links[edit]