Bangladesh's military ruler Hossain Mohammad Ershad said he would hold talks with political leaders on the country's future following violent student demonstrations.
1. GV Demonstrators run towards police cordon Dhaka city centre (3 shots) 0.21
2. GV Police spray demonstrators with red eye water cannons and tear gas shot into crowd (4 shots) 0.46
3. GV Demonstrators throwing missiles at police (4 shots) 1.02
4. SV Police with protective shields move into demonstrators as they continue to throw missiles (5 shots) 1.26
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: DHAKA, BANGLADESH
Bangladesh's military ruler Hossain Mohammad Ershad said he would hold talks with political leaders on the country's future following violent student demonstrations. He proposed what he described as a "national dialogue" between the armed forces and all political groups. He said the talks would begin in March, the first anniversary of the bloodless coup which brought him to power pledging to end corruption and misrule. General Ershad's government faced its most serious threat from February 14 to 17 when students held violent demonstrations in four main cities. The demonstrations were triggered by proposed changes in Bangladesh's elementary education system, but turned into anti-martial law protests. Five people were killed and more than 100 injured in clashes with police and troops. Nearly 1,400 people were arrested including leaders of an 18-party alliance of left-wing and centrist political groups. During the demonstrations, police were forced to use water cannon and tear gas as the students hurled rocks and other missiles at them. General Ershad said he regretted the deaths and injuries and the damage to state property and emphasised the importance of a national debate to settle differences. He also urged his opponents to forsake terrorism as an avenue for change. He reaffirmed his promise to hold council elections in October this year and a parliamentary general election to restore Bangladesh to civilian rule in the winter of 1984.
Source: REUTERS - RAFIQUR RAHMAN