The military ruler of Bangladesh, Lieutenant-General Hossain Mohammad Ershad, made his first public appearance on December 16 since declaring himself President on December 11.
SV Bangladesh President Lieutenant-General Hussain Mohammad Ershad shaking hand with military officials
CU PULL BACK TO GV Military band walks past while Ershad salutes. Other soldier walk past. Military weapons paraded (8 shots)
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Background: The military ruler of Bangladesh, Lieutenant-General Hossain Mohammad Ershad, made his first public appearance on December 16 since declaring himself President on December 11. He attended a military parade in Dhaka to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of Bangladesh' victory over Pakistan in the 1971 independence war. Political observers in Dhaka saw General Ershad's presence at the parade as confirmation of his political authority, despite unrest in the country on November 28. Six people were killed in clashes between security forces and anti-martial law demonstrators. a number of political leaders were also arrested. But within two days of the independence celebrations, Ershad ordered the immediate release of about two hundred political workers and leaders detained during the November riots. The move was seen as an attempt by Ershad to draw political parties into discussions on returning the country to democratic rule. But Khaleda Zia, widow of assassinated President Ziaur Rahman and head of a seven-party alliance demanding an end to a ban on political activity, said Ershad's offer for talks would be unproductive until he freed all politicians detained under martial-law. Bangladesh has been under martial law since Ershad seized power in March 1982.