• Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Opinion

STRANGER THAN FICTION

Should Bangladesh take al-Zawahri's threats seriously?

THE answer to the question planted in the title of this article is a definitive “NO”. There is absolutely no reason to take Ayman al-Zawahiri seriously or consider his threats “ominous”. If al Qaeda could, it would have attacked Bangladesh by now. Between February and September this year, Zawahiri has circulated two video speeches, the first one primarily focused Bangladesh and the second one mainly focused India. The fugitive head of al Qaeda, which is fast losing ground to...

Why is Indian outward FDI shying away from South Asia?

THERE have been promises of greater Indian investment in South Asia for a long time. A report produced by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2007 argued that India would play a key role in investing in South Asia and this in turn will stimulate intra-regional trade in the region. The report made special reference to the rapidly growing Indian IT industry and identified it as a potential investor in South Asia. The ADB argued that business process outsourcing,...

Question on question papers?

THE results of the admission test of the 'Kha” unit of the University of Dhaka for the 2014-15 academic session were very disappointing. A total of 40,565 students sat for the test against 2,221 seats on September 19. Of them, only 3,874 students i.e. 9.55% passed. Only two students qualified for enrolment in the English department. The results raised questions about the standard of education in the country. The minister for education, on the contrary, finds the admission test...

Will rising minimum wage affect the RMG sector?

Will rising minimum wage affect the RMG sector?

MINIMUM wage for workers in Bangladesh garments industry is a hot button issue for both manufacturers and the Western retailers. At the recent Harvard University Conference on “Globalization and Sustainability of Bangladesh Garments Industry”, two issues dominated the discussions: wages and workers' safety.  The participants, while supporting the cause of workers' rights to...

BOTTOM LINE

Kashmir issue at the UN

PAKISTAN Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on 26th September raised the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly while blaming India for "another missed opportunity" to address outstanding issues. As a consequence the foreign secretary-level talks were cancelled.  Asserting that a "veil" cannot be drawn over the "core" issue of Kashmir, he said Pakistan is ready to work for resolution of this problem through negotiations. "Our support and advocacy of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir...

New momentum on climate must generate action in Asia-Pacific

The landmark Climate Summit convened by the United Nations Secretary-General last week in New York was unprecedented in terms of the participation of leaders, the private sector and a range of other stakeholders. The level and scale of enthusiasm it generated augurs well for global climate action and for future generations. This new momentum must now translate into real action in Asia and the Pacific.          Leaders at the Summit offered commitments that will feed into the UN Climate Change...

Published Date: September 30, 2014
Politics of education: Debate over student exams

Politics of education: Debate over student exams

AN interesting debate in Bangladesh over “quality” of education is currently keeping some of us amused over the topic as well as the debate participants. On the surface, the debate is a fallout of the pathetic performance in the recent Dhaka University intake exams by students who graduated from higher secondary schools recently....

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Published Date: September 30, 2014
The intellectual battle against ISIS

The intellectual battle against ISIS

THE global financial crisis taught the world how profoundly interdependent our economies have become. In today's crisis of extremism, we must recognise that we are just as interdependent for our security, as is clear in the current struggle to defeat ISIS. If we are to prevent ISIS from teaching us this lesson the hard...

Published Date: September 30, 2014
Kashmir keeps turning up

THERE has seldom been a time when the domestic politics of India and Pakistan have not intruded into efforts to normalise bilateral relations. When Nawaz Sharif spoke at the United Nations about a plebiscite in Kashmir, the Pakistan prime minister was not so much addressing India as he was audiences back home. Mr. Sharif has not yet emerged fully from his battle for survival against Imran Khan. The cricketer-turned-politician is now planning to widen his protests for Mr. Sharif's...

Published Date: September 30, 2014
Freedom of the press and Lord Denning

THE signs are ominous. The Bangladesh Press Council, which was set up to preserve the freedom of the press, now wants to control it by having the powers to punish journalists for “false reports,” and to issue certificates to intending journalists. To gain this authority, it has already consulted with the information ministry and drafted proposals for changes in the Press Council Act, 1973. The Cyber Tribunal recently awarded seven years imprisonment to a person accused of disseminating “a...