An Urbanizing Asia Dares Earthquake Tragedy

An Urbanizing Asia Dares Earthquake TragedyMore than half a million people killed, 1.4 million injured, and 80 percent of buildings damaged in Bangladesh’s three largest cities: That’s the “worst-case scenario” outlined in an unpublished draft contingency plan for a large earthquake. The information may change by the time the plan is completed later this year, cautioned Henry Glorieux, an advisor at…

Bangladesh Prepares to Hang Another Opposition Leader

Bangladesh Prepares to Hang Another Opposition LeaderBangladesh, which is increasingly descending into another cycle of violence and repression, appears on the cusp of executing yet another opposition leader for alleged crimes committed 45 years ago. This time it is Mir Quasem Ali, a senior leader of the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami Party.  Seven other individuals have been sentenced to life imprisonment. Although Quasem…

Bangladesh’s Khaleda on the Ropes?

Bangladesh’s Khaleda on the Ropes?Bangladesh's beleaguered former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia was expected to surrender to a Dhaka court today, April 5, on charges of instigating a deadly petrol bomb attack on a bus during an anti-government protest last year.  It is the latest development in a feud that began in 1991 between Khaleda and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina…

Bangladesh PM’s Vendetta Against Grameen Bank’s Yunus

Bangladesh PM’s Vendetta Against Grameen Bank’s YunusIn 2012, the World Bank pulled out of its US$1.2 billion commitment to fund Bangladesh’s biggest infrastructure project, a 6.1 km. multimodal bridge over the Padma River, because of clear evidence of high-level corruption. But when Bank officials went to the government, they were ignored. Today, however, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed is charging…

Bangladesh Transforms Despite Vicious Politics

Bangladesh Transforms Despite Vicious PoliticsBangladesh’s social, economic and political development is one of the great success stories of the past 25 years. But today it is Bangladesh’s politically dysfunctional ‘battling begums’ — Sheikh Hasina of the ruling Awami League (AL) and Khaleda Zia of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) — that hold the country back. Bangladesh has emerged from military…

Indian Diplomacy Pays Off in Bangladesh

Indian Diplomacy Pays Off in BangladeshOf all the visits to 25 foreign countries that Narendra Modi has made since he became India’s prime minister 14 months ago, a recent trip to neighboring Bangladesh yielded perhaps the most concrete outcome. On a relatively brief weekend visit in June, Modi signed an agreement with Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh’s prime minister, for the two countries to swap…

Bangladesh to Hang Another Islamist Leader

Bangladesh to Hang Another Islamist LeaderIn the middle of bitter turmoil, with Bangladesh’s two warring dowager politicians again at each other’s throats, the country is ready to hang another war criminal left over from the havoc of the 1971 civil war against Pakistan. That was 44 years ago, perhaps setting a record for justice denied. Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, a journalist turned…

India, Bangladesh and a Sensible Border Dispute Settlement

India, Bangladesh and a Sensible Border Dispute SettlementIndia’s unqualified acceptance of an international tribunal ruling in July on its maritime boundary with Bangladesh is a landmark in regional and international relations. The Arbitration Tribunal in The Hague, operating within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) had been deliberating the case since 2009 when Bangladesh…

Bangladesh Polls Violence Rises

Bangladesh Polls Violence RisesBangladesh’s furious opposition allies have termed Sunday’s national polls a “farce election” and imposed a Hartal – a general strike – across the country, paving the way for more violence. Undeterred by calls to postpone yesterday’s election, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed’s Awami League went to the polls despite the fact that half the country…

Government Attempts to Grab Grameen

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed has intensified the government's campaign against Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus, seeking to move his famed "People's Bank" under the jurisdiction of the Bangladesh central bank. Finance Minister AMA Muhith told Dhaka based journalists yesterday of the decision, saying the central bank would function as the monitoring and regulatory authority…
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