Construction of China-funded sewage treatment plant starts in B’desh capital

The construction of a China-funded mega sewage treatment plant started in Bangladesh's capital of Dhaka on Sunday. The sewage treatment project agreement, named the "Dasherkandi Sewage Treatment Plant Project," was signed between Dhaka WASA (Water Supply & Sewerage... More

Bangladesh port authority grapples with China, S’pore, Korea, India proposals

The Chittagong Port Authority in Bangladesh has sought government intervention to select suitable financiers as it grapples with late proposals from China, South Korea and Singapore to construct and operate the proposed Bay Terminal in addition to... More

Bangladesh to ramp power import to 10,000 MW from India

Bangladesh, which is currently importing around 700 MW of power from India, is looking to ramp up its electricity import from the country to 10,000MW in the long term, a power division official of the neighbouring nation... More

Bangladesh urged to end clampdown on protesters

Rights groups and church officials have joined growing calls to end a government crackdown on peaceful dissent and release people arrested under a repressive law in Bangladesh. In recent weeks, police have arrested dozens of students, activists and... More

Bangladesh allows forex clearing account in Chinese yuan

Bangladesh Bank on Tuesday announced that it would allow banks to open foreign currency clearing account with the central bank in Chinese yuan (renminbi). To this end, the central bank’s foreign exchange policy department issued a circular on... More

India plans to connect North East with Bangladesh’s Chittagong port

India has unveiled a major plan for the development of its North Eastern states by connecting them with Bangladesh's Chittagong port and invited for the first-time limited Chinese investments which were shunned till now due to security... More

Vague law used to silence students, journalists in Bangladesh

Bangladesh authorities are tracking social media accounts and have detained dozens of people across the country for criticizing the government over its violent crackdown on peaceful protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. The recent wave of arrests,... More

The gov’t of Bangladesh needs to stop silencing its citizens

A tragic traffic accident that killed two students in Bangladesh led to mass student protests across Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka. Students were demanding that the government take steps to improve road safety, but the peaceful protests were interrupted... More

Bangladesh’s Zia fights for her political future

Supporters of Bangladesh's embattled former premier Khaleda Zia are hopeful she will be released from prison and run for election at the end of the year. But political experts are less optimistic. At 72 years old, former Bangladeshi... More

Arrested and killed: inside Bangladesh’s war on drugs

Bangladesh police arrested Riazul Islam as he was walking home from his in-laws’ house. At 3:15am, he was shot dead in a sandy field beside a set of railroad tracks north of Dhaka. Police say he was killed... More

Shahidul Alam sent to prison

A Dhaka court on Sunday sent noted photographer Shahidul Alam to jail after police produced him before it in a case filed for spreading propaganda and false information against the government. He was produced before the Dhaka Chief... More

What the student protests mean for Bangladesh

I reached out for my copy of Willem Van Schendel’s A History of Bangladesh on Wednesday last week, almost two weeks after the beginning of the student-led protests against unauthorised vehicles and unlicensed drivers on the roads... More

Preventing illegal migrants, commitment of Indira-Mujib accord: Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quoted in an interview published today as saying that “preventing illegal migrants was a commitment in the Indira-Mujib Accord of 1972 and Rajiv Gandhi-AASU (All Assam Students Union) of 1985.” Modi made... More

Bangladesh has damaged its democratic credentials with the latest crackdown

On July 29, after a speeding bus killed two high school students in Dhaka, students across the city began to protest peacefully against the lack of road safety measures. Some of the protestors were as young as... More

Dhaka, Kathmandu ink MoU on hydroelectricity

Bangladesh has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nepal to fast-track the process of importing hydroelectricity from Himalayan country. State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid and his Nepali counterpart Barsha Man Pun signed... More

‘None will be spared’: students fear reprisals over Bangladesh unrest

The list began spreading from phone to phone on Saturday, just as police were starting to fire teargas and rubber bullets at protesters in Dhaka demonstrating for safer roads. “Please pass these addresses to trusted people through Messenger... More

As Hasina hardens stand, Bangladesh may head for repeat of 2007 but...

In the backdrop of reports of an internal pre-poll survey that predicts that the Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League may be electorally decimated, should free and fair polls be held, and the setback to the regime following its... More

‘We are dreaming of justice’: BD students demand change after traffic deaths

Mohammad should have been studying for his upcoming college entrance exam. Instead the 17-year-old set out to document the mass student protests that have gripped Bangladesh’s capital for the past two weeks, pitting the righteous indignation of... More

Protests in Bangladesh reveal the deep insecurity of the government

It doesn’t take much to bring traffic to a halt in Dhaka, the teeming capital of Bangladesh. Most days, cars move only sluggishly. Then there are days without any traffic on the roads, but that’s not out... More

Journalists attacked, arrest the culprits

Unruly persons, allegedly backed by the government, launched an attack on journalists gathering news on the students’ demonstrations for safe roads. This is unthinkable in any civilised democratic country. The attackers swooped down on the journalists, mercilessly... More

Railway link between Tripura, Bangladesh soon, says India

A new railway line, connecting Tripura with Bangladesh, will be laid soon, Union minister Jitendra Singh said Tuesday. The Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) added that the work had already started on the 45-km-long... More


India’s multi alignment challenge 

This is clearly the big diplomatic season for India and its travel-driven Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe's visit to India (Aug 21-24) is a hugely important event, coming as it does after PM Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping defused the long military stand-off at Doklam through informal summits and after... More

To forge their peace, Afghan Taliban wage their war

While the latest Taliban attack on the city of Ghazni in Afghanistan has led many in the West, especially the mainstream media, to conclude that no peace talks with the Taliban can bring peace, these analysis seem to have completely missed the whole points of talks as they are going on: the Taliban are... 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 Gen. Ayub Khan’s martial law regime imposed in 1958. It ended in 1969 with the most glorified... More

Accountability begins at home

A democratic form of government being accountable to the people, the elected representatives are accountable to the people who elect them. Our enduring constant crisis in governance stems from our inept and corrupt rulers trampling the essential pillars of good governance, rule of law and accountability. This gives rise to unbridled and widespread corruption,... 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 reaction is the most common form of response. In a society not unduly famous for pondering, Bangladesh... More


Bleak times for freedom of expression, whether emergency or not

Its time to stop the nitpicking. All that hair-splitting about whether what we are witnessing in India today is classical fascism or not – stop it. The argument that this is not like the Emergency of 1975 – completely irrelevant. Those bookish notions belong to seminar rooms and academic discussions, where high-minded... More

India’s social-media ‘lynch mobs’ pose growing threat

Social-media platforms are often criticized for their susceptibility to toxic dialogue and vicious attacks. It is a problem that India knows well. Just ask External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, whose recent vilification by members and supporters of her own ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a case in point. Swaraj has developed a... More

The new trade order

Since the start of the year, U.S. President Donald Trump has lashed out at allies and adversaries alike on trade. Often, as with India, the U.S. has pushed for enhanced security cooperation at the same time it declared trade relations a national security threat. The belligerence has left many baffled. Some pointers A first... More

One day does not an election make

The much-awaited Gazipur city election is over, the “we-knew-it-from-before” polls results are upon us, the “impartiality” of the police and the “neutrality” of the civil administration have once again been demonstrated, the never-too-late-to-follow “certificate” of the Election Commission has been delivered and, of course, our democracy now stands “strengthened”. As some would have... More



Gorkhaland, Mamata and the Chinese factor

Just a few days ago I warned two young student leaders in Darjeeling of West Bengal, against the violent movement which has started there for a separate Gorkhaland. I told them in no way should they support this demand. This has multifarious geo-political risks. If a Gorkhaland state is formed, this will... More