Challenge of a Credible Bangladesh Poll

As Bangladesh slowly moves towards its much-delayed December parliamentary elections, the military-backed caretaker government is still trying to figure out what to do with the bitter political enemies, known as the “battling Begums,” whose decade-long feud nearly wrecked the country and debilitated its political system. It appears likely that Shaikh Hasina, chief of the Awami…

Political Tension Rises in Bangladesh

After nearly two years of caretaker government in Bangladesh, the politics of the country seem to be heating up as all the political parties, including the two major ones, grow increasingly frustrated with the pace of progress toward elections. Although the army-backed government headed by Fakharuddin Ahmed, a former World Bank economist, has announced elections…

Could India and Bangladesh Be Friends?

   Bangladesh’s Army Chief of Staff Gen. Moeen U Ahmed Driven by concerns over northeast Indian separatists operating from Bangladeshi border areas and a flood of economic migrants to India, Bangladesh’s Army Chief of Staff Gen. Moeen U Ahmed recently spent a week in India to deal with a wide range of issues in arguably…

Searching for Taslima

Bangladeshi feminist writer Taslima Nasreen was flown out of Calcutta on Nov. 21 after violent Muslim protests over her books and speeches resulted in injuries to 43 people and arrests of more than 100. Ruchir Joshi, a resident of Calcutta, wrote this after the riots. The sms buzzes my phone in Madras and it’s as…

Judicial Freedom in Bangladesh

Bangladesh, whose military leaders took over the country last January and threw hundreds of squabbling politicians into jail on corruption charges, has created the mechanism for an independent judiciary, removing it from control of the administration for the first time in the country’s short, faction-plagued history. It is a curiously positive development for a government…

Bangladesh’s Caretaker Government Stays its Course

With Bangladesh’s two warring former prime ministers behind bars indefinitely by order of the country’s no-nonsense caretaker government, both the president and the military-backed government of the impoverished country appear to be riding out a growing crisis of legitimacy. Everybody’s answer is a general election, which is not expected much before the end of 2008.…

In Bangladesh, Relief Turns to Worry

Concerns are growing both inside and outside Bangladesh that the January military takeover has spawned widespread human rights violations including scores of extrajudicial killings and mass arrest of as many as 200,000 people. The seizure of power was initially applauded by many relieved citizens who hoped it meant an end to internecine squabbling between the…

Taming the Strong Women of Bangladesh

After nearly a generation of desperate and debilitating democracy dominated by two women who hated each other enough to all but paralyze the country, Bangladesh’s army is directing a series wrenching political changes. In one of the world's poorest nations, the army has jailed hundreds of tainted politicians, while a caretaker government has suspended elections…

Nobel Laureate Launches New Political Party in Bangladesh

Muhammad Yunus, who won the Nobel Peace Prize as the creator of micro credit financing for the poor, formally announced Sunday that he will form a new political party, saying he has a mission to enter the political arena in his strife torn country. “I will formally launch the party later this month and it…

Muhammad Yunus’s New Crusade

Can Muhammad Yunus, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for revolutionizing credit for the poor, do anything about the dismal state of politics in his native Bangladesh? The country, currently under a state of emergency, has been riven by bitter political rivalries ever since it split away from Pakistan in 1971. Now Yunus, whose Grameen…
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