• Monday, January 26, 2015

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Bangladesh

Zero-sum politics: Mutually agreed rules of the game

The political space of Bangladesh is bedeviled by extreme forms of disagreements, confrontation and hostilities between the two largest political parties. There are exceptions and variations in degree but, starting from the top to the rank and file, because of endemic mutual mistrust and hatred the dominant sections on both sides are perennially at loggerheads to delegitimise and apparently eliminate each other, if possible. Ironically enough, they also agree a lot with each other, and indeed seem to have a...

Is this Bangladesh?

My four-year old granddaughter, Zariya, keeps asking questions all the time. She was born in the States and lives there. Last year, she came to Dhaka for the first time. Before coming here, she could not figure out what Bangladesh looked like. Naturally, she was very curious and excited. At the JFK airport in New York, she asked her mother: “Is this Bangladesh?” My daughter replied: “No, we are not in Bangladesh yet.” Zariya repeated this question wherever they...

22 BNP, Jamaat, Tahrir men held in Dhaka

At least 22 activists of the BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and the Hizb ut-Tahrir were detained from Dhaka today during the second day of countrywide hartal of the 20-party alliance amidst blockade. They were all arrested from inside the city over charges of subversive activities, a text message from the Dhaka Metropolitan Police said this morning. Further details are awaited. Otherwise, no major incidents were reported from Dhaka all morning. Traffic inside Dhaka metropolitan was buzzing since morning. Intercity buses of Mirpur, Farmgate, Gulistan,...

BNP mourns Koko’s death

BNP mourns Koko’s death

BNP started a three-day mourning programme over the death of Arafat Rahman Koko, the younger son of party chairperson Khaleda Zia. As part of the programme, the party flag has been kept half-mast at its central office at Nayapaltan in Dhaka, said a staff of the party’s press wing. The party leaders and activists will...

Fire at Gazipur cotton mill

Fire at Gazipur cotton mill

A fire broke out at a cotton mill in Gazipur Sadar upazila this afternoon. None was reports hurt in the fire that originated at warehouse of Formosa Polio Cotton Mills in Bagher Bazar area around 1:30pm, said Tasarof Hossain, duty officer of Sreepur Fire Service and Civil Defence. On information, five firefighting units rushed to...

Mymensingh to become new division

Mymensingh to become new division

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today instructed to introduce Mymensingh as a new division splitting Dhaka division in two. The plan to introduce the eighth administrative division was rolled out at today’s cabinet meeting held at the Secretariat under her leadership. As per premier’s instruction at the cabinet meeting, National Implementation Committee for Administrative Reorganisation (Nicar)...

Garment buyers threaten to shift orders

Garment buyers threaten to shift orders

A group of US-based garment retailers has threatened to shift work orders from Bangladesh to other destinations if political deadlock does not end soon, BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said yesterday. "The retailers said they are thinking of an alternative to Bangladesh as the ongoing blockade is hampering timely shipment of garments," Islam said, quoting an email he received from some retailers yesterday. The buyers also said they will not travel to Bangladesh to check samples of goods due to political violence, especially arson attacks on vehicles, according to Islam. The buyers are now asking the garment makers to send the samples to the US, he said. The US is the single largest export...

SHIFTING IMAGES

I cry for you, Bangladesh

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” said Marcellus, a palace guard, in Shakespeare's Hamlet. Marcellus was referring to the decay and corruptionz that prevailed in the kingdom. One could rephrase the quote (with apologies to the bard) to say, “Something is rotten in the state” of everything in Bangladesh. A country that is being pushed toward anarchy and chaos by the partisan squabbles and mutual recriminations of shortsighted politicians. Recently, when a member of the main opposition party...

Rare gesture, late response

Rare gesture, late response

In a gesture not so common in the country's political culture, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday went to Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office to console the BNP chief grieving the loss of younger son, but she could not meet her archrival. The prime minister returned from the gate as it was locked from inside, and...

Koko’s body arrives Tuesday

Koko’s body arrives Tuesday

The body of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s younger son Arafat Rahman Koko will arrive in Bangladesh from Malaysia day after tomorrow. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bangladesh Mission in Malaysia both confirmed The Daily Star that the body will be flown in at 11:30am (Bangladesh time) on Tuesday. A Malaysian Airlines flight, carrying Koko’s body, will depart Kuala Lumpur around 9:40am (Malaysian time) on that day, insiders said. The Bangladesh mission in Kuala Lumpur has endorsed all the necessary documents – passport, death certificates, and other relevant papers – for the purpose. Charge d’ Affaires of Bangladesh mission in Malaysia, Md Rais Hasan Sarower, cleared the papers instantly after they were...

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