STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING | The Daily Star
  • Can the government afford another 5th January?

    On the face of it everything looks set for the upcoming general election. The quinquennial event, which is sometimes a put-on to remind us that we are living under a democratic dispensation, is likely to be held at the end of December.

  • In the land of the 'diamond king'

    One of the benefits of living in this beautiful land of ours is that one often gets transported, in one's fancy, to the land of the diamond king, or like Alice, to Wonderland.

  • Denial Is Not The End Of Responsibility Between policing and serving

    The law enforcing agencies have a lot to answer for the incidences of abduction and disappearances, a phenomenon that has assumed alarming regularity. Reportedly, there are over 300 victims of enforced disappearances who remain traceless. Predictably, the families point fingers at the law enforcing agencies—the manner in which they were picked up, as described by the families, leaves very little to the imagination as to the likely identity of the abductors.

  • Will we ever see through Myanmar's ploy?

    With every passing day we come by newer reports of the nature of barbarity that the Rohingyas in Rakhine have had to endure.

  • Is another Rohingya-like crisis looming for Bangladesh?

    “As in so many other developing societies of South Asia, in Assam too, myths and dogma take root, develop their own reality, and begin to dictate political debate unchallenged by the mainstream media, academia or larger intelligentsia.

  • BCL attack on safe road demand protester

    Violence is not the answer

    We have witnessed the most unprecedented things in the method that the government has employed to suppress the demand for safe roads, a demand not only of the students who have been out on the streets for the last seven days but a common call.

  • Pakistan out of the binary bind

    This was the second consecutive election in Pakistan held following the completion of full tenure of the incumbent government, but Nawaz Sharif added his name, once again, to the ingloriously long list of prime ministers not to have completed his or her full term in office.

  • Immigrants don't change culture but they surely can win you the World Cup

    If there was any doubt about President Trump's racist inclinations, it was fully removed by his pontification to the European leaders about, what he thinks, the negative consequences of immigration on Europe.

  • Quota reform movement leader Faruk Hassan

    Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil… but do some good, at least!

    The police handling of the entire anti-quota episode so far reminds me of the pictorial idiom that one finds displayed in many public places in China and Japan, in particular in the form of three primates popularly known as the thinking sages or the wise apes, each covering three of the five main sensory organs.

  • Is there nobody to say enough is enough?

    It is a pity that a student organisation with a long democratic tradition has come to be seen as a synonym for violence, tender-grabbing, extortion and such like culpable acts.

  • Some are more equal than others in Bangladesh

    “An earthquake achieves what the law promises but does not in practice maintain—the equality of all men.”

  • To win election, seek only people's endorsement

    When we are told by our leaders that democracy is in firm ground, maybe a dispassionate look at the matter is in order. The best that one can describe the prevailing democracy is by labelling it as a command democracy displaying monocratic tendencies. It would be hard also to disagree with anyone who chooses to define the present system as one run by a single party.

  • Is US on the path to isolationism?

    It seems that America under Trump is becoming gradually protectionist, reviving the memories and the experiences of the '20s and '30s era of the last century.

  • Travails of festivals

    Religious festivals come as blessings to people; in Bangladesh they come as blessings too, but perhaps more so for a coterie of a few, and looked forward to with both hope and trepidation.

  • The 'Thucydides trap' might become a reality

    The likely reenactment of the Athenian historian's account of the 27-year-long Peloponnesian War which Graham Allison draws his imagery from in his book Destined for War:

  • Scrapping of Iran nuke deal and the dangerous path of populism

    First it was the Transpacific Partnership then the Paris climate agreement and now the Iran nuclear deal that President Trump has succeeded in torpedoing.

  • Korean reconciliation - Between cynics and optimists

    The optimists see the historic events of April 27, 2018 in the Peace Village in the demilitarised zone at Panmunjom, which happens to be the only contact point between two countries but one nation, as the foundation for a permanent reconciliation and enduring peace. The skeptics would like to agree but attach a rider of uncertainty. They wonder at Kim's climb down from the high horse and willingness to engage, and would rather wait to see more

  • Coalition bombing of Syria may serve the ego but not the distressed

    The civilised world has stopped altogether questioning the legality of military actions of countries mighty and powerful beyond their own borders since the illegal occupation of Iraq by the US and its coalition of the willing (for some countries the entire world is their area of interest, and thus their intentions and actions, they assert, cannot be circumscribed by political boundaries). However, in this instance one might nonetheless ask whether the aim of the air strike on Syrian targets on April 13 by US, Britain and France, would actually meet the stated US objective—deterring Assad.

  • We can definitely do better in governance

    The state of governance in the country has gone completely awry because of the absolute disregard for all the eight or nine essential elements that ensure good governance. But the most important of these, which are being defiled by all the stakeholders, are accountability and participation.

  • The expanding phenomenon of religious and nationalist extremism

    The attack on Dr Zafar Iqbal on March 3, only proves that religiously motivated extremism of the violent type, whether manifested in individual or group actions, continues to find its practitioners in society.

  • Rule of law must be manifest

    The common refrain chorused by the AL leaders after the verdict of February 8 was “Nobody is above the law,” and affirming that rule

  • BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia

    Implications of Khaleda's imprisonment

    It was a surreal situation not witnessed in recent times in this country.

  • February 8th verdict may cut both ways for BNP

    February 8 may well dictate the course of the country's politics with the national election round the corner. The verdict on a long-

  • Does world peace stand a chance?

    The fears expressed very soon after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th US President is gradually coming to pass.

  • Why rubbish anything critical?

    In what resembled a now-familiar Trumpian outburst, the finance minister binned a report of the Independent Review of Bangladesh's Development (IRBD), a review of the country's development produced by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).

  • Police Week: Between reforms and rituals

    Ritualistically every year, a week is set aside in the month of January for observing as the Police Week. I use the word “ritualistically” deliberately, since except for the parade and general “durbar” with the PM, very little palpable seems to happen during the seven days

  • Genocide next door and the pontiff's moral dilemma

    The Pope has returned after two significant visits to the region. The countries he graced his visit with are the ones that are in international limelight and for the same reason—Rohingyas.

  • How fruitful can it be?

    The two days of talks between Bangladesh and Myanmar commenced yesterday, whose outcome was not known till going to press. However, while the current talks revolve only around repatriation of Rohingyas, the wider aspect of the issue is being overlooked.

  • Let the political rival pick up the gauntlet

    It is good to see the BNP in the political arena after a period of hibernation. So far it has been a one-sided affair with the AL hogging the political show or whatever of politics we have in the country.

  • We have the law, but where is the order?

    For everyth-ing that goes wrong, or for everything that seems to be out of order, we unhesitatingly blame the state

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