• Can more laws save us from becoming a corrupt state?

    By using shell companies and moving money from one account to another, Prashanta Kumar Halder laundered at least Tk 3,500 crore out of the country and is now enjoying his life in Canada.

  • The political fallout of August 21 grenade attack

    After the fall of the Ershad government, signs of a democratic future emerged in Bangladesh in 1991. The two major political parties—AL and BNP—that came together in the anti-Ershad movement formed their separate coalitions (with smaller parties), and it appeared that Bangladesh would go down the line of a two-party parliamentarian/presidential system similar to the ones in the US, Japan and other countries.

  • Kajol may have been found, but justice is still missing

    Over 120 days have passed since photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol, also the editor of The Daily Pokkhokal, went missing after leaving his office on the evening of March 10.

  • How three economic impacts of Covid-19 could spell danger for Bangladesh

    In mid-June, the IMF in a country focus report on Bangladesh said that the economic impact of Covid-19 has most notably been felt in three main areas: a fall in remittances; a decline in RMG exports; and a drop in domestic economic activities.

  • black money

    Bangladesh’s struggles with money laundering

    In his address to a seminar on “National Strategy for Prevention of Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism 2019-2021” in November 2019, Finance Minister Mustafa Kamal said that it is not only that money laundering “creates macroeconomic distortion”, but it is “largely destroying our country in various ways”.

  • The Toxic Legacy of 1967 Six-Day War

    Today, June 5, marks the 53rd anniversary of the 1967 war between Israel and its Arab neighbours Egypt, Jordan and Syria. In the six days of conflict, Israel captured the Sinai and Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Syrian Golan Heights—all of which, except for the Sinai, it still illegally occupies.

  • Reducing the digital divide is vital, so is producing responsible citizens

    During a Joe Rogan podcast a year ago, Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla Inc., audaciously said that many human beings alive today have already become “cyborgs”.

  • The different narratives ‘out there’ on how COVID-19 originated

    In 1968, one of the United States’ top scientists, Dr Gordan JF MacDonald, who was a member of the President’s Science Advisory Committee and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, wrote:

  • Is Bangladesh’s economy ready to withstand these external shocks?

    The US Federal Reserve in a statement on March 4 warned that the coronavirus outbreak, which has already disturbed travel and access to goods worldwide, could cause further disruptions in the coming weeks.

  • Do we need a uniform admission test in universities?

    The announce-ment on January 23 that a uniform admission test will be held for all public universities starting next year had stirred a big debate. Even university teachers seemed divided over the issue—some supported it, while others opposed.

  • How likely are the Rohingyas to get justice?

    Made stateless by Myanmar in 1982, the Rohingyas have been left vulnerable to waves of violence at the hands of the Burmese army as part of a “clearing” programme that began in the 1970s.

  • While Palestinians remain silenced, we must become their voice

    November 29 marks the darkest day in history for the people of Palestine, for it was on this day in 1947 that the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 181 (II) to end the British mandate in Palestine by August 1, 1948. At the centre of this historic resolution was the decision to partition Palestine and establish, after a transition period, “Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem.”

  • Humanity ignores ‘philosophy’ at its own peril

    The Greek word “philosophy” (philosophia) is a compound word, composed of two parts: “Philos” meaning love and “Sophia” meaning wisdom—thus translating to love of wisdom.

  • Truth about the Syrian chemical attack of 2018

    In a suburb of Damascus called Douma, that had been occupied by the militant group Jaysh al-Islam, the 2018 Syrian chemical attack that made headlines all over the world allegedly took place on April 7—right as Syrian forces were moving in to retake the area. The western media unequivocally accused the Syrian government of dropping gas cylinders on “moderate rebels” (thus anointing members of Jaysh al-Islam as “moderates”) and killing at least 43 people. Prompting US, France and Britain to launch a barrage of cruise missiles a week later against the Syrian government.

  • The coming unemployment crisis

    The problem of high un-employment that has been sweeping across the world ever since the 2008 financial crisis is yet to be adequately resolved. And with the passage of every year, creating enough quality jobs is looking increasingly difficult globally.

  • The rot that caused Abrar’s death

    Since the killing of Abrar Fahad, a number of issues have been raised by people rightly outraged by his gruesome murder at the hands of some Chhatra League members, as well as revelations about how supporters of the ruling party’s student wing have been regularly terrorising ordinary students, with full exemption. Among them is the role of political activities on university campuses.

  • The prime minister’s crusade against corruption

    It is no secret that people in general share a common perception that corruption in the country has gone off the rails to the point of becoming nearly unbearable. While high corruption, mainly facilitated by some members of the ruling party of the day, has been a

  • Can democracies around the world be resuscitated?

    The United Nations General Assembly agreed to observe September 15 as the International Day of Democracy in 2007.

  • Hallmark’s return to the headline

    It's been a while since the Hallmark Group has been mentioned in the news. Except for when it has been used as an example of severe corruption and criminality, to illustrate the grave consequences that arise when certain principles and rules are ignored.

  • Flip-flopping on regulatory decisions: Who does it benefit?

    In a reversal of its stance, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) on August 27 decided to allow Beximco Ltd to reschedule its loan of Tk 430.05 crore, thus in principle approving the rescheduling of restructured loans.

  • Official version of our human rights and what the reality is

    Having acceded to the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) on October 1998, Bangladesh was obligated to submit its initial State Report under Article 19 of the UNCAT to the UN’s Committee against Torture (CAT) by November 4, 1999. But it took Bangladesh 20 years to comply—and only after the CAT sent a letter to the Bangladesh government on December 10, 2018, reminding it of its overdue initial report and about the possibility for the Committee to proceed with a review in its continued absence.

  • Unemployment Problem in Bangladesh

    Jobs are the reason ‘it’s the economy, stupid!’

    Bangladesh’s economy has made massive strides since 1971. After independence, the initial challenges that the economy faced were enormous. And while Bangladesh managed to overcome most of them, many new challenges emerged in the years that followed.

  • What it means to live in a surveillance society

    If you said pre-2013...that the most private moments of your lives were being watched and recorded...people would call you a conspiracy theorist.” – Edward Snowden

  • How black money can and cannot be reduced

    Moving against the current of expert opinion, the government, in the budget for FY2019-20, opened up a five-year scheme to convert black money into white.

  • Budget proposal not aligned with AL’s election manifesto

    The Tk 5,23,190 crore budget proposed by the government, which is the biggest in our country’s history, was somewhat of a letdown. Governments sometimes struggle to fully make use of their budgetary plans in electoral democracies because the party in power may

  • An important answer to look for in the budget

    One of the best instruments the government can use to serve those it works for—presumably the citizens—is the national budget. Unfortunately, if one was to ask ordinary citizens, independent analysts and experts to rate how successfully the government implemented

  • Poverty, policy and economic ruin? The true folly of neoliberalism

    No matter which approach is used, every method of measurement shows inequality has risen in Bangladesh (at least) over the last 10 years. If we take the latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, we see that the country’s Gini coefficient—a measure of inequality—went up (indicating disparity has grown) from 0.458 in 2010 to 0.482 in 2016. From a different angle, a report released by Oxfam towards the close of last year ranked Bangladesh 148th in the world—out of 157 countries—for reducing inequality.

  • Rise of the executive and the decline of civil liberties

    In the last decade at least, we have seen two things happening side-by-side globally. One is the rise of the executive branch of government—the significance of its role in the workings of government and society at large. The other is the decline of civil liberties—some of which, such as the right to privacy and free speech, people are now “willingly” compromising on, or no longer view as inalienable even.

  • Julian Assange

    Martyrdom of Assange or death blow for journalism?

    Aside from being nominated multiple times for the Nobel Peace Prize, including in 2019 by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Maguir, Julian Assange has won countless awards for journalism

  • The biggest barrier to our industrialisation

    While inaugurating the first national industrial fair in the city, the prime minister, at the end of last month, said she wanted to discuss how to reduce the interest rate of bank loans which she thought had become the biggest barrier to the country’s industrialisation.