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
PresidentIajuddin Ahmed
Personal details
Born1965 (age 57–58)
East Pakistan, Pakistan
Political partyIndependent
Children4
Residence(s)London, UK
Alma materUniversity of Dhaka
                      University of London
University of Sunderland
OccupationJournalist, editor, politician

Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury (Bengali: মোখলেসুর রহমান চৌধুরী), also known as Mokhles Chowdhury, is a Bangladeshi journalist and editor. He served as Press Secretary of the President Iajuddin Ahmed. Mukhles Chowdhury performed as an advisor to the President Iajuddin Ahmed during the Caretaker Government established in October 2006.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury was born to Sharifa Aziz Chowdhury and Azizur Rahman Chowdhury, editor-in-chief of the Weekly Prekshit. He has five brothers and one sister. Their ancestral village is Katihara in Lakhai Upazila.[2]

Chowdhury received his master's in mass communication and journalism from the University of Dhaka.[3] He did research with distinction at King's College, University of London, under King's-UNHCR Scholarship.[4]

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

Career[edit]

In January 1991, he became special correspondent for the Ajker Kagoj. In September 1991,[citation needed] he became a diplomatic correspondent for the Dainik Dinkal.[5] In 1993,[citation needed] he became a correspondent for Upali Newspapers of Sri Lanka.[6]

Chowdhury was appointed press secretary by President Iajuddin Ahmed, serving from December 2004 to November 2006.[7][8] On 13 November 2006, after President Ahmed took on the responsibility as Chief Advisor of the Caretaker Government, he appointed Chowdhury as one of his advisors, with the status of a Minister of State.[9]

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 the 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.[10][11][unreliable source?]

Working with US and UN to stop martial law[edit]

Chowdhury used good offices of the western diplomats led by the US Ambassador Patricia A. Butenis and stopped the martial law while the army group had to retreat to the option of the state of emergency, which was supported by all political parties for their own interests. Khaleda Zia with Moeen's support on 29 October 2006 made all the papers of the state of emergency. However, Chowdhury stopped the declaration of the emergency at night when the President Dr. Iajuddin Ahmed took over as the CA. Chowdhury was arguing through declaration of emergency the Army Chief would take over power. The AL led alliance was supporting the emergency from the beginning. At this stage, President Iajuddin declared a state of emergency on 11 January and postponed the elections under the pressure of Moeen and his army group,[12] 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.[13]

In November and December 2006, Chowdhury worked with the US Ambassador in Dhaka Patricia A. Butenis, Under Secretary of State of the US Nicholas Burns called him from State Department, Washington D.C., he had talk with US Assistant Secretary of State Richard A. Boucher and at Chowdhury's invitation UN Secretary General Kofi A. Annan sent his emissaries to Bangladesh to stop martial law. Responding Chowdhury's all these initiatives Special Envoy Craig Jennes led a two-member UN delegation to Bangladesh and finally Patricia A. Butenis and Anwar Choudhury met Principal Staff Officer General Jahangir Alam Chowdhury and Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed, transmitted message not go ahead with their martial law option and informed if it happens Bangladeshi Peacekeepers will be back from the UN Peacekeeping Mission and there will be sanctions imposed on Bangladesh by the UN. Another message for army was to go back to barrack after restoring democracy holding parliamentary election within very short time, thus army rule's days were numbered.[14]

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.[15][16]

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.[17][18] 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.[19][20][21]

Chowdhury had a series of meetings with stakeholders on governance and politics.[22] With the help of United States envoys, he stopped the imposition of martial law planned by General Moeen U Ahmed and his associates.[19][23] They argued that they wanted to ensure the stability of the country because of the adverse effects of the political unrest on the society and economy.[24]

Military intervention[edit]

Chowdhury later said that General Moeen, Army Chief, was the main force in the military intervention[25][26] and declaration by President Iajuddin Ahmed of a state of emergency on 11 January 2007.[27] 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.[28] Aminul Karim united army dissident groups and also used Gen. Masud and Brig. Bari to achieve this.[29][30][31] The main motto of Moeen, Aminul Karim and A T M Amin was to make Moeen President of the country[32][33] "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.[34] Minister Chowdhury revealed untold facts about 2007 military intervention in Bangladesh in interviews taken by media that include the Bangladesh Pratidin,[35] the daily Kaler Kantho,[36] and the Daily Sun.[37][38][39]

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.☃☃☃☃☃☃ The main motto of Moeen, Aminul Karim and A T M Amin was to make Moeen President of the country☃☃☃☃ ↵"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.☃☃ Minister Chowdhury revealed untold facts about 2007 military intervention in Bangladesh in interviews taken by media that include the Bangladesh Pratidin,☃☃ the daily Kaler Kantho,☃☃ and the Daily Sun.☃☃☃☃☃☃Chowdhury resigned under pressure.[22][21][40][41]

Achievements[edit]

Chowdhury's success stories include publishing two historic books from the statecraft, making them above controversy, for which he made top politicians understand that these two historic books have to be above all for the greater interest of the country so that with the passage of governments it remains intact.[42]


Chowdhury brought all the political parties including agitating Grand Alliance in the parliamentary election of 22 January 2007 after having a series of meetings with them and agreeing to their demands. As a result, the Grand Alliance was in that election from 23 December 2006 to 3 January 2007. Chowdhury was fighting against Moeen and Aminul Karim's group as they were making army deployment of Caretaker Government (CTG) dysfunctional in November 2006, managing four advisors' resignations in December 2006 what he was also able to replace and stopping martial law and the State of Emergency until 11 January 2007. Then Moeen was behind all power.[43][44]

Current and previous positions[edit]

Chowdhury has been the chief editor of the Bangladesh Worldwide[45] and the Editor of the Weekly Prekkhit and magazine the Sromo.[46] He has been Senior Editor of Birkbeck Law Review.[47]

He was the first Joint Secretary General of the Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA), Bangladesh.[48]

In December 2003, Chowdhury[49][50] was elected President of the Overseas Correspondents' Association Bangladesh-OCAB (Foreign Journalists Association) for 2004.[51][52]

Hajj and Umrah[edit]

Chowdhury performed Hajj in 2013 and performed Umrah in 2004, 2006, 2010, 2016, 2017, 2018–2019, 2021 and 2022.[53][54]

Publications[edit]

President presenting 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.[55]
  • Out of Chowdhury's four published books, two, Samakalin Sangbadikata (Contemporary Journalism) and Protocoler Nigor (Bindings in Protocol), were published in 2006.[56] Chowdhury's another book "A Unique Military Intervention in Bangladesh" was published by the Dictus Publishing on 26 March 2021. His scholarly article "Bangladesh Army in the U.N. peacekeeping and intervention in politics 2007-2008; A Personal Perspective" was published in South Asia Journal in 2017.[57] Chowdhury's third book Crisis in Governance: Military Rule in Bangladesh During 2007-2008 was published from England in 2019.[58]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Iajuddin wants to open talks with alliances". The Daily Star. 30 November 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  2. ^ Chowdhury, Mukhlesur Rahman (2019). Crisis in Governance: Military Rule in Bangladesh During 2007-2008. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. xx–xxi. ISBN 978-1-5275-4393-5.
  3. ^ Chowdhury, Mukhlesur Rahman. "Mukhlesur - Student Profiles - Bangladesh - South Asia - Asia - Your country - Prospective International students". The University of Sheffield. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012.
  4. ^ "M Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury". South Asia Journal.
  5. ^ "2001 Annual Report: Bangladesh". Reporters Without Borders. 2001. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2010 – via European Country of Origin Information Network.
  6. ^ "Faruque, Shamim elected OCAB president, secy". The Daily Star. UNB. 30 December 2004. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  7. ^ "Bangabhaban's political recruit feeds BSS wrong news". The Daily Star. 9 November 2006.
  8. ^ "Political recruit Mokhlesur plays twin roles". The Daily Star. 7 November 2006.
  9. ^ "Mokhlesur now an adviser with state minister's rank". The Daily Star. 14 November 2006. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  10. ^ "Chronology of keeping off polls". The Daily Star. 5 January 2007.
  11. ^ "One Eleven: Democracy was hijacked from Bangladesh". The Daily Dawn. Archived from the original on 26 December 2017.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "Wikileaks: How President Iajuddin ...", Priyo, 21 September 2011
  14. ^ M Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury (12 June 2017). "Bangladesh Army in the U.N. peacekeeping and intervention in politics 2007-2008; A Personal Perspective". South Asia Journal.
  15. ^ "Envoy fails". The Independent. London, England. 21 November 1994. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2010 – via HighBeam Research.
  16. ^ Md Jaynal Abedin (2020). "Foreign Interference in Bangladesh: A Case Study of Military-Backed Caretaker Government in 2007-2008". European Journal of Social Sciences Studies. 4 (6). doi:10.5281/zenodo.3612191 – via ResearchGate.
  17. ^ Pasi, Geeta (19 December 2006). "Awami League Denies Receiving Compromise Package". WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks cable: 06DHAKA6808.
  18. ^ Pasi, Geeta (3 January 2007). "Awami League Reverses Course, Announces Elections Boycott". WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks cable: 07DHAKA13_a.
  19. ^ a b Butenis, Patricia A. (4 January 2007). "Awami League Boycott; International Community Responds". WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks cable: 07DHAKA17_a.
  20. ^ "WikiLeaks: How president Iajuddin was asked to resign". Priyo News. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  21. ^ a b Butenis, Patricia A. (11 January 2007). "Military Says No to Political Role, Extra-Constitutional Action for Now". WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks cable: 07DHAKA56_a.
  22. ^ a b Butenis, Patricia A. (12 January 2007). "Senior Military Officla Discusses State of Emergency with Ambassador". WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks cable: 07DHAKA66.
  23. ^ "- YouTube". YouTube.
  24. ^ http://www.akhonsamoy.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3426:2012-11-14-08-14-08&catid=36:2011-07-17-13-00-05&Itemid=54 , Akhon Samoy Weekly, in Bengali
  25. ^ "'Jan 11 a full-scale military takeover'". New Age. 13 September 2014. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014.
  26. ^ Haroon Habib (28 July 2007). "Minus-two formula". Frontline.
  27. ^ "News from Bangladesh".
  28. ^ http://www.amardeshbd.com/dailynews/detail_news_index.php?NewsID=209860&NewsType=bistarito&SectionID=home&oldIssueID=2009/02/01[permanent dead link] Amar Desh, 1 February 2009
  29. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Prekhit Bangladesh | Episode 34 | Guests: M Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury – via YouTube.
  30. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Weekly News Discussion | Episode 11 | M Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury – via YouTube.
  31. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Prekhit Bangladesh | Episode 34 | Guests: M Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury – via YouTube.
  32. ^ "Moeen U Ahmed wanted to be president: Moudud". The Daily Star. 12 May 2013.
  33. ^ Watch Live Prekhit Bangladesh | Episode 48. Archived from the original on 11 December 2021 – via YouTube.
  34. ^ http://www.akhonsamoy.com/39/Page_01.pdf , Akhon Samoy Weekly, in Bengali
  35. ^ ১/১১ নিয়ে মুখ খুললেন মোখলেস চৌধুরী. Bangladesh Pratidin (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 9 July 2015.
  36. ^ ওয়ান-ইলেভেন নিয়ে মুখ খুললেন মোখলেস চৌধুরী. Kaler Kantho (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  37. ^ "Mokhles speaks on 1/11". Daily Sun. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  38. ^ "Mokhles speaks on 1/11". Daily Sun. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  39. ^ নিন্দিত এক-এগারোর এক দশক. Daily Inqilab (in Bengali). 13 January 2017.
  40. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Prekhit Bangladesh | Episode 67 | guest: Mokhlesur Rahman Chowdhury – via YouTube.
  41. ^ Butenis, Patricia A. (7 January 2007). "Ambassador and British High Commission Met with Sheikh Hasina Regarding Military Coup". WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks cable: 07DHAKA24_a. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  42. ^ "জাতীয়সারাবাংলাসারাবিশ্ববিনোদনখেলাইসলামী জীবনঅন্যান্য পত্রিকা ই-পেপারফিচার শুভসংঘচাকরি আছে". 2 August 2013.
  43. ^ Julfikar Ali Manik (4 June 2007). "Phantom Of The Opera". Outlook. Associated Press.
  44. ^ "Khaleda and Hasina to be free if corruption charges fails:Moeen". Oneindia. 19 October 2007.
  45. ^ "Masthead". Bangladesh Worldwide. Archived from the original on 8 July 2013.
  46. ^ "bangladeshworldwide.com". saptahikprekkhit.com.
  47. ^ http://www.bbklr.org/about.html
  48. ^ M Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury. "USA's efforts for a new election to restore democracy in Bangladesh by M Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury". Countercurrents.org – via Issuu.
  49. ^ প্রখ্যাত ব্যক্তিত্ব [Eminent People]. Sylhet District (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 2 July 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  50. ^ প্রখ্যাত ব্যক্তিত্ব [Eminent people]. Habiganj District (in Bengali). Archived from the original on 2 July 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  51. ^ "Govt plans to feed 20m flood-hit people Under VGF till Dec 2004". News From Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 9 July 2015.
  52. ^ "'Real culprits behind Sylhet bomb blast to be traced out soon'". News From Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012.
  53. ^ রাষ্ট্রপতির সাবেক উপদেষ্টা মোখলেস চৌধুরী হজ্বে গেছেন (in Bengali). 6 October 2013.
  54. ^ goo.gl/UmjCHf
  55. ^ "Book Review: Hundred Years of Bangabhaban" (PDF). bangla-sydney.com.
  56. ^ "President unveils covers of Mokhlesur Rahman's books". bdnews24.com. 23 July 2006.
  57. ^ "Bangladesh Army in the U.N. Peacekeeping and intervention in politics 2007-2008; A Personal Perspective". 13 June 2017.
  58. ^ "Crisis in governance : Military rule in Bangladesh during 2007-2008 by Chowdhury, Mukhlesur Rahman (9781527536425) | BrownsBfS".