Does international pressure matter anymore?

There was once a time when international pressure on domestic issues of the less developed countries mattered. People would look at the West as the great savior particularly in countries where human rights was at bay. During... More

Has digital media changed politics in Bangladesh?

Political nostalgia in Bangladesh centres around public and street agitations. It begins with the language movement of 1952 which defined the basic parameters of national aspiration. The next station of political memory is the 1962 student’s movement against... More

Bangladesh: A social media driven state?

It’s not easy to have a calm conversation in Bangladesh. Everyone is rushing to make a comment, observe and abuse. Or make a counter to all that. Anything that requires critical thought is discarded and the instant... More

Is the Myanmar military looking a bit inept?

“While everything else is in flux, the position of the Tatmadaw in national affairs appears more stable than ever. Snug in its constitutional bunker, it can reap the fruits of improved foreign relations, a cooperative civilian government,... More

Bus killings: Children’s protest works where adults fail

School and college students of Dhaka embarked on protests that almost shut down traffic in Dhaka after two of their own were killed by public buses that ran them over. The matter became grave after Shipping Minister... More

Genocide in Myanmar says the UN but does it matter?

Almost to the year after the 4th edition of Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas began, the UN has published a report calling the army’s action against the Rohingyas as genocidal. This report has gone further than any... More

Something is broken in Bangladesh: Will it heal?

There is something scared about the relationship between a University, its teachers and students. It is built on trust, obligation, mutual affection and much more. Its as if the teacher is the parent, the campus is the home.... More

The anti- quota movement: Embarrassment or headache?

The quota movement just isn’t going away as hoped for by the GOB. Almost 3 months after the PM declared in the parliament that the “quota” system would be scrapped, not much has happened in terms of... More

Bangladesh Bank: The missing gold or the missing trust

A bizarre case of gold snatch is alleged to have occurred right inside the vault of Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of the country. The source of the reports was the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate or... More

Asad Pong Pong Vai and the rise of alternate media 

Some may not know the person who goes live on YouTube and Facebook with the unusual moniker Asad Pong Pong Vai (brother). While many of the formal media /bhadrolok crowd would sneer at him, he has followers... More

Bangladesh: Media in times of cross fire

Bangladesh’s media is a study in paradox and contradiction. It’s full of people who want free media but often act in stark contrast to achieving such an objective.  It’s full of owners who are investing millions in... More

Bangladesh: Crossfire killings, mob justice and social media

This girl obviously poor - only poor girls walk on the street at night- said she and another had been picked up but one was dropped and she was being raped. The crowd reacted swiftly and predictably... More

Khulna elections: AL won, BNP lost and the EC didn’t win

Municipality polls in the Khulna city polls drew as much interest as any national elections tussle. It was an intense politically combative one with BNP leader Khaleda Zia still held in jail. She is fighting to get... More

Rohingyas: A fate much worse than the Palestinians?

The slide of the Palestinians into disarray and largescale suffering draws world interest because of its neighbor Israel, its support by the US and the history attached to the Middle East. For a long time, Palestine was... More

Extremism in Bangladesh: Prevention is better than cure strategy?

A Bangladeshi tribunal sentenced two people to death for killing Rajshahi University Professor Rezaul Karim Siddiquee in 2016. They are Shariful Islam, a Rajshahi University (RU) student now absconding and Maskawat Hossain Sakib. Four others were sentenced... More

Is China letting India have Bangladesh?

China has collected several trophies for its wall such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Pakistan is its captive friend. It doesn’t mind Bangladesh as India’s major stepping stone in the region. Without any place of comfort,... More

Why is censorship so popular with everyone in Bangladesh?

The recent report by RSF has cited two causes for censorship in Bangladesh but the report is misleading. It says Islamic Extremism and ICT 57 have led to decline of open and free media status in Bangladesh.... More

Bangladesh election 2018: Two parties but no issues?

A national election is being held but there is no major policy issue that is being discussed. No agenda dominates media and politicians discuss personal issues of contesting leaders.  It’s a situation that can be best described... More

Bangladesh election 2018: is there a Sino-Indian stake?

It’s pretty odd to think that Bangladesh elections should be of any interest to China and India given the complete lack of its strategic value. However, Bangladesh maybe becoming a reluctant pawn of sorts in a regional ‘great... More

Aspiration versus desperation: Jobs, quota and conflict in Bangladesh

Just as students of Dhaka university were parading and protesting the quota system in government jobs and facing attacks from both police and party activists, a group of masked men entered the residence of the Vice Chancellor... More

Why is AL going after a weak BNP?

To be honest, almost everyone in Bangladesh thinks that almost all rich people are dishonest. Of course, not all are dishonest but they are considered extreme exceptions. Since almost all rich people are also linked to political... More


No more PSLs abroad

“The pulsating cheering crowd in the National Stadium Karachi for the PSL Final, and subsequently for the three international T20s, underscored the return of peace to a city (and country) torn by internal strife. Bereft of any sports spectacle and living in cold fear for life and limb of their (and their families) because of open-ended threats from terrorists, political, religious and the criminal kind, the people of Karachi... More

Only non-interference will mitigate anti-India feelings in Nepal

New Delhi has been receiving shock after shock in the past few days from Nepal, a country which is the closest to India in religious and culture terms, and which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited four times since he came to power four years ago. The simplistic theory of the votaries of Hindutva that Hinduism alone is enough to keep Nepal in the Indian sphere of influence has... More

Does international pressure matter anymore?

There was once a time when international pressure on domestic issues of the less developed countries mattered. People would look at the West as the great savior particularly in countries where human rights was at bay. During the cold war days, this was strong too and many decisions were taken on the basis of what global public opinion would say. However, in recent years this has mattered less and... More

Pompeo claims to “reset” ties with Pakistan but makes India “strategic...

Just few days before the arrival of the US Secretary of the State, Mike Pompeo, in Pakistan, the US officially cancelled US$300 million aid to Pakistan, signaling the acute low health of Pak-US ties. Then came Mike Pompeo, who stayed in Pakistan for a few hours, and went to India, claiming to have “reset” ties with Pakistan, implying as if deconstructing an old building (the military aid) was necessary... More

UN report accuses Myanmar’s military of genocide

The UN’s independent human rights investigators have issued the toughest verdict yet on the crisis in Myanmar’s war-torn western region of Rakhine State. The investigators’ report does not mince words and is going to have major ramifications, both within the country, and within the international community. In their report, they called on the UN Security Council to refer the Myanmar situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or for an... More



The fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), held in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, was “not fruitful” because of the inherent “weakness” of the regional inter-state institution,... More