From Bandung 1955 to Bangladesh 1971: Oppressed Populations, Self-Determination, and Third Worldist Failures in South Asia
15 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2014 Last revised: 31 Jan 2015
Date Written: August 1, 2014
This chapter examines the birth of a Third World and its fantasy of a different world order reflected in the Bandung principles through the lens of the independence struggle of Bangladesh. The chapter argues that the internal social, political and legal subordination of the Bengali majority population within Pakistan inevitably led to the breach of the principles by two of the most significant players at Bandung. The movement and principles were at odds with human rights obligations and toothless in the face of a humanitarian crisis. As this chapter will argue, the Bangladesh conflict of 1971 showed that contrary to Bandung’s assumption, the Third World state was not its people, and that state was not able to withstand the pressures of Cold War geopolitics or guarantee justice to its own people. The dominant responses to intrastate human rights abuses in the wake of the failure of Bandung and the limited success of NAM are all too familiar — military intervention under the color of humanitarian law to cope with the problem of internal conflict or non-interference and the acceptance of the killing of large numbers of civilians.
Keywords: international law, nonalignment, postcolonial history, sovereignty, humanitarian law, use of force
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