IN MEMORIAM: Justice Syed Mahbub Murshed

My first meeting with Mr. Justice Syed Mahbub Murshed took place in the very early 1960s. I was, at that time, in the absence of the late Professor A K Najmul Karim the head of the department of sociology at Dhaka University. Justice Murshed was then residing in the impressive red house opposite the British Council. I have had the […]

April 4, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

From boys to men

The Bangladesh cricket team can no longer be dismissed as easily as in the past. We are no longer the minnows. No! The young lads who took over the reins from their seniors have grown in stature with every game and have come of age. They are no longer boys playing against men. Those boys have matured and refused to […]

April 2, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

New threat to peace in Sri Lanka

There are laws in other countries that prohibit hate speech, just as much as there are laws in many other countries, including South Africa and Canada, to permit the national anthem to be sung in more than one language. However, legal prohibitions alone are not the answer to the growing campaign of misinformation and religious hatred that is being spread […]

April 2, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

Cats be damned: social media and social responsibility

‘IS YOUR country on the verge of a civil war?’ asked a meticulously dressed diplomat. I was confused for a second, thinking this person may have thought that I was from Kenya, or may be Somalia. Then I realised that she was asking me about Bangladesh. Her understated French accent did not blunt the dire insinuation of the question. So […]

April 1, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

Muhith’s Hallmark remarks — a few observations

THE finance minister, AMA Muhith, on March 29 termed comments by some bankers and members of the intelligentsia on the Hallmark scam ‘rubbish’, according to media reports. When speaking at a function in Sylhet, he reportedly said it was the character of these intellectuals and bankers to create a fuss over any petty issue. Further, he said forgeries and fraudulent […]

April 1, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

‘Life is becoming like the world of Islam’

Aalam-e-Islam is ironically Darul Harb today or area of conflict, thanks to the Muslim leaders sitting on Western laps with pacifiers in their mouths, writes Saeed Naqvi GOOD poetry sums up powerful emotions which people experience but cannot articulate. A friend in Pakistan has sent me a couplet which does open doors bringing in the light or, at least, providing […]

April 1, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

Cardinal sins

How a modern Inquisition, with the help of Pope Francis, stifled the movement protecting the poor, writes George Monbiot ‘WHEN I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.’ So said the Brazilian archbishop Dom Hélder Câmara. His adage exposes one of the great fissures in […]

March 31, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

Arms negotiations and ending corporate secrecy

As United Nations representatives meet to hammer out a Global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in New York this week, they must take into account the role of corporate secrecy in facilitating illegal arms trafficking and other crimes around the world. Addressing anonymous shell companies and hidden company ownerships will be essential to successfully stemming the flow of illegal weapons around […]

March 31, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

THE UNITED POLICE STATES OF AMERICA: You have the right to remain silent, but …

Willie James Sauls is unlikely to see the outside of a prison. Last fall a court in the state of Texas sentenced this 37-year-old man to 45 years in jail. His crime: he snatched the purse from an old woman. In Norway, meanwhile, a court sentenced Anders Behring Breivik, a right-wing racist who slaughtered 77 people, mostly teenagers, and injured […]

March 31, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

GANGES BARRAGE: Site should be close to Gorai off-take

THE Ganges originates from the Himalayas, and flows southeast through the plains of north India towards Bangladesh. Before crossing the border, it leaves a right hand branch named Bhagirathi, which passes through India to fall in the Bay of Bengal. The Farakka Barrage is located a few kilometres upstream, from where a substantial quantity of water is diverted to the […]

March 30, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

Johnston and nuclear holocaust

NORTH Korea has threatened that it could target US nuclear bases in the Pacific, including Guam and Hawaii. Many people may laugh at the North Korean threat but it is serious nonetheless; North Korea could very well have the location of the US nuclear arms by the Swedish hacking. After all, Julian Assange surprised the world by leaking US State […]

March 30, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

Europe and the Iraq War

‘Special relationship’ with America is rather like being handcuffed in a car driven by a drunk. If I had my way, we would choose neither Washington nor Brussels. Since the main issue in British politics is over that choice, I tend increasingly to regard Brussels as the lesser of two evils. The European Union has committed no atrocities comparable to […]

March 30, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

Health workforce in Bangladesh

THE quality of any healthcare service is only as good as its practitioners. For any health system, health workers are the most critical driving force. They are the ultimate resource for promoting health, preventing disease, and curing sickness. The continuing increase in the demand for health services is putting tremendous pressure on healthcare providers, thereby compromising quality. The importance of […]

March 29, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

Media’s role as foreign affairs impinge on national politics

IF PROOF were required, the DMK-Congress spat on the Sri Lanka-related vote at the UN Human Rights Council has once again provided it. Foreign affairs will increasingly impinge on national politics. It follows, therefore, that conditions be created for electorate to be educated, made conversant with nuances of foreign affairs. The burden for this responsibility should have fallen on the […]

March 29, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

The speech that was not delivered

[Note: This text was written on Wednesday, a day before President Obama made his historic speech in Jerusalem. It appears that my text came much closer to his actual speech than I had dared to hope. Some passages are almost identical. Readers may want to compare the texts, to see what he left out.] Dear citizens of Israel, I feel […]

March 28, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

Can Obama inspire youth vote in Israel?

In the end, peace is not possible unless both sides in the Middle East become convinced that the status quo is intolerable. Palestinians have felt that way for 46 years. Israelis are not there yet. Obama urged young Israelis to do something young people are always inclined to do: challenge the status quo, writes Bill Schneider PRESIDENT Barack Obama’s message […]

March 28, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

Health shocks and vulnerable poorest

Sustainable eradication of extreme poverty from a household is always precariously vulnerable to external and internal shocks which themselves require a range of holistic national structural changes to address. Extreme vulnerability is a result of lack of access to the services that help raise the capacity for a better life such as education, health, nutrition, safe water to drink and […]

March 28, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

Disaster management act: implications and way forward

Bangladesh was the first to envisage the Disaster Management Act among the South Asian countries in the mid-1990s but it took more than 20 years to get the law enacted. Many countries like India and Sri Lanka, which took Bangladesh as an example over the issue, endorsed such acts and standing orders quite earlier. We should take this into account […]

March 26, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

Sri Lankan govt must keep its promises

The other countries of the world that the Sri Lankan government now sees as its enemies have been its good friend in the past, donating much aid and also sharing warm human memories. What they are all looking for are promises that are kept, writes Jehan Perera from Colombo THE bitterness of the pill that the government was forced to […]

March 26, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed

Iraq, a war foretold

The gap between the invaders’ expectations and the reality that emerged in Iraq was immense. But even as the ground war opened on March 20, 2003, there were clear indications of the carnage to come, writes Paul Rogers THE night of March 19-20 2003 marked the beginning of the Iraq war, whose early days were marked by a series of […]

March 25, 2013 · 0 comments · Op-Ed