India–Bangladesh Land Transit: An Environmental Perspective

August 11, 2012 by

India has long sought road transit facilities through Bangladesh for the transport of goods from West Bengal to other Northeastern states. Due to unresolved bilateral issues and internal political objection, Bangladesh has consistently avoided the subject over the past few years. With changes to the governments in both countries the transit issue has recently gained new momentum.

Ethnic Strife in Burma: A History of Violence

July 25, 2012 by

For Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a month of peace and calmness. That is hardly the case for the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. The ethnic rift between them and the ethnic Buddhists since June has spiraled out of control, leaving scores of Rohingya Muslims dead and homeless. Many have crossed the border into Bangladesh. Amnesty International’s Benjamin Zawacki said the latest violence has been “primarily one-sided, with Muslims generally and Rohingya specifically the targets and victims.”

No Simple Thing: How Rice Will Reshape the World

June 13, 2012 by

“Have you eaten rice today?” In Asia this time honored greeting is synonymous with ‘how are you?’ and is heard from flooded paddies to corporate boardrooms. A passing reminder of how essential this crop is for the 3.5 billion people whose day begins and ends with rice. From India’s dusty plains to the metropolises of China to the Philippines’ emerald hills no common thread runs through Asia’s diverse cultures, mythologies, and languages like rice.

Will Pakistan Apologize to Bangladesh for its War Crimes?

May 25, 2012 by

The war between East and West Pakistan in 1971 lasted only nine months. But the atrocities were cowering – an estimated three million people dead, 400,000 women raped, 600,000 children killed, and scores of targeted intellectuals slaughtered in an attempt to cripple East Pakistan’s social and cultural backbone. Besides politics, atrocities against the people of East Pakistan by the West Pakistani army stemmed from ethnic hatred.

Social Business: Challenges and Opportunities

April 28, 2012 by

In social development, social business has emerged as an important topic. Its impact on enriching and empowering people’s lives has become evident all over the world. To combat the global economic crisis, social business has harnessed the advent of technology and modern science to eradicate poverty, hunger, unemployment and other social problems. Social business has been around for the last three decades in Bangladesh. It has empowered women and reformed many facets of society.

Social Business and the Environment

April 15, 2012 by

Our environment is in serious crisis. As sea levels continue to rise due to global warming, Bangladesh faces an existential threat. Social business must be implemented along with existing initiatives that are in place to save the environment. In doing so, not only will we be able to save our environment, we will be able to enrich it. But we must act now. We must act to create a livable, survivable, and safe environment. And we know we are already armed with a powerful weapon to combat the crisis – social business.

Do Country Acronyms Have a Meaningful Place in a Dynamic World?

March 10, 2012 by

When Goldman Sachs first coined the term “BRICs” in 2001, it did so on the assumption that these four countries were going to heavily influence the direction of the global economy. It turned out that China was much more influential than any of the other three, and that Brazil well underperformed the others based on its decade-long average GDP growth rate of approximately 3.5%.

Movement by Islamists in Bangladesh

January 29, 2012 by

A foiled coup in Bangladesh illustrates the level of inward reach of Islamists even within certain elements of the Bangladeshi army. The key players involved in the nefarious design were a group of middle level army officers, described as “religiously fanatic”, along with some of their retired colleagues, non-residents and the banned Islamist organisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir, considered an ISI proxy in Bangladesh.

America and the World: Foreign Policy, Post Apogee

January 14, 2012 by

One of the more cliché observations currently circulating the international relations community is that while 20th century belonged to America, the 21st century belongs to China. This theory is wrong on a number of counts. For starters, the first half of the 20th century could hardly be considered American. Europe was still very much at the center of the world affairs until 1945. Nor did the last half of the century belong exclusively to the United States.

SAFTA & Regional Trade

December 21, 2011 by

The South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) is an agreement among the SAARC countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives. Although SAARC was formed two decades ago in 1985, its achievement in the area of regional economic integration has been very slow to come to fruition.

One day in April of 1971

December 19, 2011 by

I met with a friend, an expat from Bangladesh like me, at a bar in Arlington on the eve of Bangladesh’s Victory Day on December 16 for drinks. It was already December 16 in Bangladesh because of the 11-hour time difference. After a few beers, my friend, who is 10 years older than me, offered to tell me a story. It was April 1, 1971. I was six years old.

2011 SAARC Summit

November 10, 2011 by

SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation) was established 26 years ago and held its 17th Summit Conference on November 10, 2011. The goal of SAARC is to enhance the prosperity of the peoples of South Asia through regional co-operation among the eight member states, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan.

Bangladesh: Two years of the RTI Act and what we have achieved?

October 31, 2011 by

Right to information along with access to information is one of the most fundamental rights enjoyed by a citizenry. The Right to Information (RTI) Act has its origins in 2008, when the RTI Ordinance was drafted and subsequently passed into law by Sheikh Hasina’s government. Disturbingly, but not surprisingly, certain elements in the political establishment now want to reduce the scope of the act. This has its roots in the fact that this is the only law which is solely enacted for citizens to protect their rights.

Bangladesh: Social Business Model

October 25, 2011 by

Nobel Prize recipient, Muhammad Yunus, has developed the concept of social business, a special type of business dedicated to solving social problems. A social business is a non-loss, non-dividend company, where investors can recoup their investment but nothing beyond that. All profits go to improve the products and services offered, and/or to increase the company’s outreach.

Weaknesses in the Bangladesh legal system deny women equal protections

October 24, 2011 by

A significant number of civil laws promulgated during the British colonial years which are still in force, offer women few legal protections throughout Bangladesh’s legal system. Throughout Bangladesh in the last century, women across all socio-economic fields have made advances. However, despite these advances they still face structural inequalities.

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