Institute for Environment and Development (IED) organized a training and orientation program on demilitarization and social protection system in Bangladesh on April 27, 2017 at IED conference room, Dhaka. Delegates from SAAPE platform, journalists of print & electronic media and development practitioners consisted of 20 participants attended the event.


With chair, Mr. Numan Ahmed Khan, Executive Director of IED, the event facilitated by Jyoti Chattopadhyay, project coordinator. At the beginning Jyoti Chattopadhyay said, “IED prepared this paper on demilitarization and social protection systems in Bangladesh with coordination of various development organizations, academician, trade union and regional network called SAAPE formed by CBOs.” Mangal Kumar Chakma, eminent researcher and social activist prepared the paper. The paper addressed importance of democratic and citizen friendly government, rule of law, building and strengthening democratic institution, good governance, people’s representation & civil administration, pension scheme for citizens and parliamentary committee to watch military budget. Till now, large number of population lives under poverty. Hence, to counter the poverty, special attention should be given regarding to social protection system and military budget must be under national budget and to place it through parliament.

AKM Mustaque Ali, executive director of Incidin Bangladesh said, “It is easy to discuss about militarization as tools of state sponsor torture but difficult one while discuss topic like demilitarization because it is difficult to apprehend by mere notice. Now, armed forces entered into business and controlling society strictly shifting away their role from watchdog.”

People of the country are opposing so called development activities implemented by govt. In contrast, escaping deterrent from people, govt. awards armed force to implement that project. Armed groups are being involved in garments industries and they want to control the society through managing the economy, said Rokeya Kabir, executive director of BNPS. She further underscored that not only nuclear weapon, but the production of all weapons must be stopped. On the other hand ensuring social protection in Bangladesh, adult allowance for all women or pension scheme should start without delay.

Alison S Baroe, executive director of HASAB said, to sensitize mass population of the country about demilitarization and social protection, the paper need to be translated into Bangla. This will be helpful for people of the country to understand the mentioned issues. He also pointed out that civil government created new polarization in politics weakening democratic institutions and keeping military beside government side.    

They also discussed that, Bangladesh achieved significant progress in economy. It has achieved laudable progress in most indicators of MDGs. Now the country is under the pipeline of implementing SDGs.  The 5 & 10 number goals of SDGs states social protection issues. The event also addressed emphasis to pay special attention to women, indigenous peoples, dalit and other backward section of the society for social protection system.

The discussants said, “Armed forces group implement many development programs such as business, medical college, university, and housing business etc. In doing so, originality and self image of armed forces being decreased. Like armed forces group, allowing other institutions to run business, administer institutions and involve into conflict of interest, may weaken rule of law, debilitate democratic institutions and lastly jeopardize democracy.” They also pointed out the though the armed forces make significant contribution to develop our economy, yet military budget should be included into national budget rather than separate one. Approving military budget should be discussed at parliamentary committee.