Hasina released, AL nominates 9-meber team for talks with government
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  • After months of negotiations, the authorities finally released Awami League President Sheikh Hasina on June 11 on a two-month parole. This was to enable her to go to the US for treatment. Reports noted that the step would be viewed as an attempt to pave the way for dialogue and to ensure the AL’s participation in the December elections1. While BNP leader Khalida Zia expressed satisfaction over the release of Sheikh Hasina, her supporters demanded that she also be released2. The AL on its part finalized 9-member team to participate in the ongoing talks under the leadership of acting President Zillur Rahman3.

    In other developments, the budget for 2008-09 was presented. Allocations for food were increased by nearly 120 percent in order to keep food prices low4. However, the major opposition parties criticized the budget and charged that its provisions would increase the prices of essential commodities5.