Sunday, May 14, 2006

Highlights 14th May 2006

Muslim leaders issue statement of support for Iran nukes

Iran's President Ahmadinejad scored a major coup today at a conference on the Indonesian resort island of Bali , as six major Islamic nation fell into line behind Iran and issued a statement supporting Iran's nuclear program and unlimited unrichment and the rights of nations to develop nuclear energy for `peaceful' purposes. All for the betterment of Dar Islam, of course. This little bombshell was dropped by the heads of state and prime ministers from Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Turkey and Malaysia and government ministers from Egypt and Bangladesh....More

Art of rigging in Bangladesh

The combined result of skullduggery and incompetence is that Bangladesh has been burdened with 1.11 crore ghost voters in the draft electoral rolls if the BBS calculation is accepted, and 1.71 crore if another 60 lakh voters (10 lakh plus 40 lakh) are taken into account. As things stand, there is virtually no chance of deleting the names of ghost voters. The Election Commission has no mechanism for doing that. All this is hardly surprising. That the BNP and the JeIB - the latter really calls the shots in the coalition government that the former leads - is clear from the manner in which the electoral rolls have been compiled and events earlier. To begin at the very beginning, the first signs were discernible on May 16, 2004, when Bangladesh's National Parliament passed the Constitution (Fourteenth Amendment) Bill. The raising of the retirement age of Supreme Court judges from 65 years to 67 years, which was the main thing it provided for, was widely believed to have been done to ensure that a pro-government person headed the caretaker government holding the next parliamentary elections......More

The Potential and Challenges of Information Technology for the Future of Bangladesh
-- An essay by Sajeeb Wazed Joy

It is not enough just to build a submarine fiber optic cable. Bandwidth must reach the entrepreneurs. This requires a massive distribution network within the country. Still, just a network is not enough either. There must be sound policies put in place to regulate the distribution of the bandwidth. The current submarine cable provides Bangladesh with a bandwidth of ten gigabits per second while the current BTTB network can transmit a maximum of two megabits per second. That is barely one millionth of the capacity of the cable. Current BTTB plans do not call for the utilization of the full bandwidth for another four years! Also, the current policies call for the submarine cable to carry only voice traffic for the foreseeable future. That means that most of your businesses will not see any benefit from this cable. Lastly, the current regulatory framework calls for completely non-transparent control over the distribution of the bandwidth. What that means is that kickbacks to Hawa Bhaban will make up the largest portion of the bandwidth pricing. Bandwidth prices will follow the same trend as the price of all essentials in this country have during this government's term and you will pay double of what the actual cost is.
Bangladesh's remittance inflow posts 22 pct rise in 10 months

Non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) sent home 3.89 billion U.S. dollars in the first 10 months of the current financial year (July 2005-June 2006) while the amount was 3.19 billion dollars during the same period of last fiscal year, according to statistics of Bangladesh Bank (BB), the central bank. Remittance inflow has been showing an upward trend since December, which was on an average around 426 million dollars a month......More

Local firms investing billions in Bangladesh

Taiwanese companies are ready to invest billions of dollars in impoverished Bangladesh to combat EU anti-dumping duties and rising wages in China and Vietnam, an official said yesterday. In the past two years, around 250 Taiwanese investors had visited Bangladesh to assess opportunities, James Wu, deputy director general of Taiwan's Bureau of Foreign Trade said.....More

Bangladesh's trade with North-East India remains suspended

Export-Import activities through land ports between Bangladesh and North Eastern Indian states remained suspended for the fifth day on Sunday as the Indian officials are on an indefinite strike, Bangladesh customs officials said. The suspension of trading started on Wednesday when the customs officials of Meghalaya, Monipur and Tripura enforced an indefinite strike protesting against the abduction of their colleagues allegedly by the Indian insurgents of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA). Hundreds of goods-laden trucks at different land ports --Tamabil, Bholaganj, Sutarkandi, Shewla and Chhatak --in Sylhet and Brahmanbaria in Bangladesh had been remained stranded.....More


Emerging Coalition of Jihad

With Al Qaeda far from being vanquished, and Pakistan and Bangladesh inevitably turning into jihadi outposts in the emerging pan-Islamist network in Asia, India is more than likely to be caught in the vicious tail-wind of the next wave of terrorism, gathering momentum since 9/11. This wave of terrorism, as mounting evidences reveal, is likely to emerge from the military-governed Pakistan which has been flirting with jihadis for more than two decades - first using them to quell domestic ethnic and sectarian protests, then playing CIA's quarter-master general in Afghanistan unleashing a band of mujahideen on the entrapped Soviet troops. After the Soviet collapse, it was launched against India in Jammu & Kashmir. No other country has spawned as many terrorist groups as Pakistan. The key protagonists in this wave of terrorism have been the Pakistan Army and the ISI directorate. Irrespective of numerous international sanctions, these agencies continue to assist different hues of terrorist groups that have deep and organic links with Al Qaeda and other jihadi outfits.....More

Operation Black Thunder Hidden Truths Of India

State-sponsored terrorist groups began massive murderous assaults from December 1987 liquidating families of militants and their sympathisers. Their homes were put to fire. The units were placed under the overall charge of Izhar Alam, Senior Superintendent of Police, Amritsar. Ribeiro had certain reservations and conveniently went on leave to Bombay. The police made regular announcements of ‘recoveries’ of Russian made RPG rockets and Russian surface to air missiles, earlier imported by RAW (India external intelligence agency) from Kabul, from all over Punjab. This served as a prelude to pursuit of new tougher policy.....More

INTERVIEW: 'For 7 Months, We Weren't Told To Fly Any Mission'

Air Marshal Ashok Goel (retd) was the operations manager with the RAW’s Aviation Research Centre (ARC) before and during the Kargil war. At that time, he was an air vice marshal and a key participant in intelligence gathering operations. In an interview to Outlook, he speaks on the intelligence inputs given to army and political leadership. Excerpts

DEBATE: Tagore and Sukhamaya Bain's Communal Slur
Rabindranath was neither an anti-Muslim nor a pro-Muslim. He was not the poet of the grass-root people of any kind, in terms of things like emancipation of an underclass. Although his timeless classics will be loved by all kinds of people for a long time. "Amar Sonar Bangla, Ami Tomay Valobasi" was chosen for the national anthem by the Bangalee nationalists (most of whom were Muslims) because of their love for "Bangla." At that time when the Pakistani Muslim brothers of people like Taj Hashmi were committing all kinds of atrocities against the Bangalees of East Bengal, "Joy Bangla" and "Sonar Bangla" were very much the emotion of the people of Bangladesh. Choosing this song by Tagore as the national anthem of Bangladesh was because of Bangalee nationalism, and not mostly as a tribute to him. In fact, Tagore did not need it then, he does not need it now. He will remain big enough in history, irrespective of what Bangladesh becomes, irrespective of how long this Bangladesh as we see it lasts. The problem is people like Taj Hashmi and his poorer-quality friends want to dissociate Rabindranath from Bangladesh by calling him a Hindu, and by portraying him as anti-Muslim. Their objective is to have a Muslim Bangla through hatred against non-Muslims. These hate-mongers of poor-quality intellects should learn from the history of Pakistan that unity based upon hatred does not last very long. I challenge them to truly love the Muslims and to respect the rights of people whom their Allah has made non-Muslims. ...Sukhamaya Bain
Don’t judge people by your own standard. You might have been part of some killer gangs, not me. Where did you find me as hateful? I don’t hate Tagore or undermine him as a poet ( I even like some of his songs). Why do you people think that everybody will have to like everything written or said by Tagore or anybody else? Why can’t you be tolerant enough to accept divergent views? Don’t you know there are people in the West (you live there) who have strong liking and disliking for their dead and alive leaders, poets, philosophers, Jesus, Muhammad, Washington, Shakespeare, Bush, Cheney and others? Why do you suffer from the perpetual sense of insecurity and the ‘Gelo, Gelo, Shab Gelo Syndrome”? So what if fifty million Bangladeshis don’t respect Tagore and another hundred million worship him? I don’t give a damn. Why do you people always invent conspiracies? “Hidden hands pulling invisible string” is the typical peasant and pre-modern syndrome. Learn how to relax, respect and trust people and then you will have democracy in Bangladesh. First be a democrat in your living room and then try to preach it to others. I only evaluated Tagore's politics and hypocrisy and class solidarity (for his own class). To me the parameter of patriotism with regard to East Bengal lies in the following:

a) one's stand towards the atrocious Zamindari System
b) One's attitude towards the Partition of Bengal (1905-11)
c) and one's stand towards the Dhaka University proposal
Tagore miserably failed to be patriotic from the East Bengali (Bangladeshi) perspective for his support for the Zamindari system, opposition to the Partition of bengal and Dhaka University...Taj Hashmi


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