• eastern Ghouta in Damascus

    Could Syria ignite again?

    For months it seemed like everything was quieting down on the Syrian front.

  • Finding balance in foreign trade

    To start with, what is interesting is that garment export struggled in the latter half of FY16-17, experiencing a decline even of 4.49 percent year-on-year in February; and surprisingly soaring in July, despite the European Union, which accounts for over 54 percent of our exports, banning direct cargo flights from Dhaka to the 28-nation bloc in June, following the lead of the UK (who just lifted the ban yesterday), Australia and Germany.

  • New year, old concerns

    Out of the 45 least developed countries (LDCs) in the world, Bangladesh was one among only five countries that had a GDP growth rate of 7-plus percent in 2017, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

  • Freedom of speech is not just a right!

    A large number of people in the world today no longer believe in the sanctity of people's absolute right to unfettered and unrestricted speech; preferring speech, rather, to have some restrictions—as people increasingly find more and more types of speech offensive.

  • Do we know that we are a republic?

    In recent years, the left-right political spectrum has been more at the centre of national (in the case of many countries) and global politics than it had been for years.

  • Biggest underreported stories of 2017

    At the end of 2016, I wrote an article for The Daily Star titled “The biggest underreported stories of 2016”.

  • Banking Sector: A house of cards

    Given all of this, is it still unclear to see why the banking sector is in such disarray?

  • Why is youth extremism on the rise?

    In a study conducted by three eminent Dhaka University professors, frustration, loneliness, drug addiction, lack of proper vision and guidance, and at times affluence were identified as major drivers of violent extremism among university students.

  • rohingya repatriation

    China's peace plan and where things now stand

    The Rohingya crisis has been tough on Bangladesh. First, because of the sheer scale of the influx from Myanmar and its continuity and second because Bangladesh has had to witness them from up close which always makes it more difficult.

  • Madness in the Middle East - Is Lebanon in the firing line?

    Just as news started to come out that the Syrian Arab Army was on the verge of liberating the city of Abu Kamal, destroying the last Islamic State stronghold in Syria, rekindling hope that the region may yet see some semblance of stability...

  • A few simple ways to encourage investment

    Experts and economists, on the other hand, said that Bangladesh needed to increase investment to USD 12.5 billion for infrastructure development from the existing annual spending of USD 3.5 billion to gain any significant benefit from regional and international connectivity.

  • Battling poverty today and further down the road

    A government survey report made public on October 17 confirmed what has been suspected for some time now; that the poor's share in the national income decreased in the past six years, while the richer segment of the population's increased.

  • A road map to ending the Rohingya crisis

    In her address to the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “I have come here with a heavy heart...after seeing the hungry, distressed and desperate Rohingyas from Myanmar, who took shelter in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.”

  • Corruption eating away relief for the public

    A report titled “World Food Security and Nutrition Situation-2017”, brought out jointly by a number of UN organisations, estimates that some 25 million Bangladeshis, mostly women and children, suffer from malnutrition.

  • A disaster we made worse

    “Bangladesh is a disaster-prone country due to its geographical location. So, we've to live with the phenomenon with necessary plans to keep the extent of damages and loss of lives to a minimum during any disaster.”

  • Banking sector woes worse than you may think!

    That "political will", however, is not very likely to just automatically emerge from within the government on its own, as is often the case.

  • Why citizens must demand fiscal transparency

    in order to properly regulate our system of democracy through the concept of “checks and balances,” citizens also have the complete right, and responsibility even, to demand from the government, transparency and accountability to the fullest. It is about time that the citizens of this country exercised that right, and took responsibility, for establishing the practice of good governance.

  • Nagasaki Day: “A peep into hell”

    Having dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima, Brigadier-General Paul Warfield Tibbets Junior—pilot of the first plane (Enola Gay) to drop the atomic bomb—said to have blinked from the flash behind his goggles. When he opened his eyes to look down, what he saw, he described as “a peep into hell.”

  • One step forward, two steps back

    "If in the past India lacked capital, a developed manufacturing sector and skilled manufacturing workers, the foreign manufacturing inflow is now helping India address the problem, backing up the government's 'Make in India' initiative."

  • What Modi's visit to Israel reveals

    Narendra Modi's recent visit to Israel garnered massive media attention and debate as it was the first time a sitting Indian Prime Minister visited the Jewish State. But what some of the coverage did was portray the visit as an indication of a tectonic shift happening in Indian policy towards the Israel-Palestine issue. This, however, is simply not true, as India, since establishing formal diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992, has had excellent and rapidly growing economic and security relations with Israel which was intentionally left unpublicised, up until now.

  • Finding meaning amidst the chaos of terror

    Sure there are those who had warned of some form of extremism emerging having observed the inequalities that exist in the social, economic and political fabric of our daily lives (which sometimes give rise to extreme reactionary forces). But they don't really explain the Holey Artisan tragedy, as most of the attackers, all in their late teens or early 20s, came from comparatively privileged backgrounds, and, as such, were not necessarily victims of such unfair discriminations. One thing though is for certain, that they were somehow influenced by external forces.

  • What humanity has chosen to forget

    Years later, we are now witnessing the greatest movement of the uprooted that the world has ever known. Even more than during the Second World War, as some 65.3 million people were displaced from their homes, 21.3 million of them refugees, according to 2015 UN figures.

  • How Bangladesh fits into it

    Globalisation conceived and led by the western world has failed to deliver on most of its promises to the majority of the globe's inhabitants.

  • Widening gulf between Gulf countries

    Tension is again rising in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia and its allies (mainly other Gulf countries) abruptly cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism in the region.

  • Favouring the defaulters

    …the government in Bangladesh, instead of holding bankers accountable, bailed out the fraud-riddled banks using thousands of crores worth of taxpayers' money, year after year

  • There is more at stake than freedom of press

    The notion of today's press freedom is deeply rooted in the idea of freedom of speech and expression, intellectual freedom, liberty of thought, etc.

  • Starving those who save us from hunger

    The famous Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time, at the peak of his success over 100 years

  • Midnight approaching over Syria?

    This is because the US War Powers Resolution act only authorises the President to introduce US Armed Forces into hostilities...

  • The devils in the details

    A lot has been made of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India. After all, it was her first bilateral visit to the neighbouring country in seven years.

  • Looking into the future of Asia

    The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), based in Beijing, has agreed to provide Bangladesh loans worth USD 60 million to address its gas supply deficit.