Bangladesh's President Ziaur Rahman made his first public appearance on Tuesday (1 November) since an abortive coup last month.
Bangladesh's President Ziaur Rahman made his first public appearance on Tuesday (1 November) since an abortive coup last month. He attended a parade by a newly-formed light infantry brigade in Shafipur.
SYNOPSIS: Military observers in Bangladesh see the Presidents's appearance as a show of strength to prove to the people that he's still in effective control of the armed forces.
After receiving the salute, President Zia spoke to the troops. He emphasised the need for a strong defence system for Bangladesh to meet the challenge of external threat.
About 150 armed services men were executed after the coup attempt. They were charged with mutiny and with killing armed forces personnel, including 11 top air force officers. President Zia said the chief aim of the coup had been to destroy the air force and cripple and defence services so invading forces would meet little resistance.
Bangladesh's first female battalion took part in the parade. General Zia told them and the other soldiers that the strength of the infantry would be double within the next three years.
That comment has sparked off speculation that a promised election next year may not take place.