Echo

Farakka, a lost battle for Bangladesh?  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

The Farakka barrage still remains as a thorn in India Bangladesh relation. Farakka Barrage is located in India 11 miles from the borders of Bangladesh. Construction of the Farakka Barrage was started by India in 1960 unilaterally violating the international norms of any construction for diversion of water on any international river. It was completed in 1974 to divert Ganges River water into the Bhagirati-Hooghly River in order to flush out the accumulating silt from the bed of the river and thereby improving the navigability at the Kolkata Port.

Razib Rashedin describes:

"India approached Bangladesh for test operation of the Farakka Barrage and feeder canal. The then prime Minister Sk. Mujib agreed to India's proposal for test operation of the barrage and feeder canal. Initially in 1975 India was allowed to divert flows varying from 11000 cusec to 16000 cusec for a period of 41 days from 21 April to 31 May '75 with the understanding that India will not operate feeder canal until a final agreement was reached between India and Bangladesh on the sharing of Ganges water. Violating this understanding India started diverting the Ganges water in the upstream unilaterally in 1976 & 1977.

Unilateral withdrawal of Ganges water during the dry months resulted serious adverse effects on environment, agriculture, industries, fisheries, navigation, river regime, salinity contamination in the surface and ground water, etc. in the southwestern and western areas of Bangladesh. Covering almost 20% of countries area is 30,000 sq. km inhabited by about 30 million people."
The Immediate Effect on Bangladesh:

a) Reduction in agricultural products due to insufficient water for irrigation.
b) Reduction in aquatic population.
c) Transportation problems: boats rendered useless; tributaries are dry during dry season.
d) Increased salinity threatening crops, animal life drinking water, and industrial activities in southwest Bangladesh.

Long-Term Impacts on Bangladesh:

a) One fourth of the fertile agricultural land will become wasteland due to a shortage of water.
b) Thirty million lives are affected through environmental and economical ruin.
c) An estimated annual economic loss of over half a billion dollars in agricultural, fisheries, navigation and industries.
d) Frequent flooding due to environmental imbalance and changes in the natural flow of the Ganges.

(source)

Time line in water sharing:

a) In April 1975, Bangladesh agreed to a trial operation of the Farakka Barrage for the period from April 21-May 31 to divert 11,000-16,000 cfs. India, however, continued to divert the full capacity of 40,000 cfs after May 31.

b) On November 26, 1976 the U.N. General Assembly adopted a consensus statement directing the parties to arribe at a fair and expeditious settelement.

c) On November 5, 1977 the Ganges Waters Agreement was signed, assuring 34,500 cfs for Bangladesh.

d) The five-year treaty expired in 1982 and after several shorter extensions, lapsed entirely in 1989. During the period from 1978 to 82 Bangladesh received more than its share for all the years excepting one when the flow at Farakka fall unexpectedly but the India released the guaranteed minimum flow. MOU signed in 1982 without the guarantee clause was expired in 1985 and extended to 1988 through two other similar extensions. From 1989 onward India refused to come to any deal with the Bangladesh on Ganges water sharing.

e) No treaty or agreement existed till 1996 during which the average low flow has come down to 10,000 to 12,000 cusec with one extreme event of 9000 cusec. India was diverting the water at their will with complete disregard of Bangladesh's fair share.

f) On 12 December 1996, Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina Wajed and H. D. Deve Gowda, of Bangladesh and India, respectively, signed a thirty year long treaty in New Delhi on the sharing of Ganges water. The Treaty addresses the heart of the conflict: water allocation (35,000 cusecs) during the five months of the dry season (January-May). During the rest of the year, there is sufficient water that India can operate the Farakka diversion without creating problems for Bangladesh. The treaty stipulates that below a certain flow rate, India and Bangladesh will each share half of the water. Above a certain limit, Bangladesh will be guaranteed a certain minimum level, and if the water flow exceeds a given limit, India will withdraw a given amount, and the balance will be received by Bangladesh (which will be more than 50%).

g) Due to the absence of cooperation and implementation mechanism, the treaty in reality did not solve the problem. The very first season following signing of the treaty, in April 1997, India and Bangladesh were involved in their first dispute over cross-boundary flow. -Water passing through the Farakka dam dropped below the minimum provided in the treaty, prompting Bangladesh to request a review of the state of the watershed. (source)

h) A critical evaluation of the 1996 treaty.

Bangladesh has again asked India for discharge of more water through the Farakka barrage to keep river routes in its territory navigable.

Related resource: International Farakka Committee.

Today I am a Sri Lankan  

Posted by Rezwan in , , ,

After seven weeks and fifty matches the Cricket World Cup 2007 is ending today. Australia and Sri Lanka will meet their second final clash (first in 1996 which Sri Lanka had own).

Today I will be supporting Sri Lanka, one of the powerful cricketing nations in South Asia. I will be watching the game via internet.

Related links:

* Cricket World Cup 2007 TV, Radio and Internet Broadcasts: Live and highlights.

* Cricket Blogs and portals from South Asia.

* Cricket World Cup 2007, Live Links

The state of the leadership  

Posted by Rezwan in , , , ,

Ahmede Hussain interviews Sajeeb Wajed Joy, Sheikh Hasina's son. He says:

"I believe that the Awami League is going to come to power. The party is far stronger now than it has ever been. My mother is within the party and so even while she is outside the country, the party will follow her leadership. I believe the people of our country will oppose this regime just as they opposed the attempted rigged elections."
However, the reality might be different as the law adviser Mainul Hosein says about the failed exile attempt of Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia:
"The government was told by people from within the parties that if the two leaders stay in the country, necessary reforms in the parties cannot be carried out."
So Shadakalo's earlier prediction that fractions within Awami League and BNP will benefit from the exile of the two leaders may be true. How Hasina will tackle them?

Picture of the day  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,



The Goat's windmill and the top of the holy spirit church beckoning in Werder upon Havel. Werder means water surrounded country (Official website). In its river island I saw the first cherry blossom of this season.

Biman needs to be saved  

Posted by Rezwan in

This is an welcome news that Bangladesh Biman will become a public limited company. Can you just believe where the Bangladeshi diaspora have created a demand for private airlines like Air Sylhet and Royal Bengal Airlines Biman has closed down its flights to Frankfurt and New York.

The aviation industry in the neighboring India is booming and Bangladesh Biman is left stranded with corrupted politicized management and an yearly loss of $700 million. It has only 15 aircraft for domestic and international operations many of which need replacement.

BDNews24 reports:

The military-backed government Wednesday lifted the ban on Sheikh Hasina's homecoming and said there were no restrictions on Khaleda Zia's movement.

In a statement, the home ministry said the ban on Hasina's return was temporary and the authorities have decided to lift it because of "views from the media and other quarters".
The other quarter meant includes, I presume, the US department of State. Sean McCormack, spokesman for the US Department of State said Tuesday at a news briefing in Washington.:
"If the caretaker government does not take right decisions, there is a real possibility that this can threaten Bangladesh democracy and nobody wants to see that."
I welcome this decision as it will put an end to an unnecessary drama.

The drama continues  

Posted by Rezwan in , , ,

British Airways has clarified why they have denied Sheikh Hasina from boarding the flight bound for Dhaka. The statement says:

"Our right to refuse carriage is contained within our general conditions of carriage for passengers and baggage. This action was necessary as on April 18, 2007 we received written notification from the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh that Sheikh Hasina had been barred from entering Bangladesh."

This statement was made after Sheikh Hasina threatened to sue BA. Tomorrow a writ petition will be filed in the Bangladesh Supreme Court against the bar.

Anyone have any idea on the next move? This has been heard at the BDMillitary forum:

"There is going to be a crackdown on corrupt judges who are trying to save Hasina, Khaleda and other corrupt people. In the past many high profile criminals were released after judges received bribes from the guilty party. The interim government is also considering a special military tribunal composed of civilian and military judges. It will oversee the prosecution of 1971 war criminals and is said to be modeled similarly along the lines of the famous Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals who murdered millions of innocent people".
(via Tasneem Khalil)

There you have the plot of more episodes.

Meanwhile Hasina's remark that "she does not support the pressure on Khaleda for going into self-exile" has been welcomed by BNP leaders (The Daily Star). They remembered the joint anti-autocratic movement of the two parties during the late 1980s.

Asif explains in Drishtipat how this exile plan backfired:
"What is the outcome of the whole drama that unfolded last few days? Among others, the following ones are the ones that are obvious.

* The two leaders, whose popularity was perhaps on an all time low before this incident, have become heroes for their non compromising stand.
* The credibility of the interim government is shattered.
* They have completely now lost the moral ground on key issues like independence of judiciary and fundamental human rights and press freedom.
* The popularity of the CTG has taken a dive.
* The genuine cases against the corrupt leaders will now be seen as fake.

Its a big shame. Because, with a huge popular backing, this government really had a chance to bring in genuine reforms."
Its not too late. I think they should scrap the idea of exiling the leaders and relieve us from the soap opera.

Quote of the day  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

"Dont you just love what internet has done to our lives, not only convertered writting into typing, papers into laptops but also personal thoughts into blogspots, this truely is amazing."

- A Bangladeshi girl who authors the blog 'Just Me'

Hasina denied boarding pass  

Posted by Rezwan in , , ,

The Bangladesh Government is trying its best to keep Sheikh Hasina from entering the country.

BDNews24 reports:

Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina was denied a boarding pass Sunday by British Airways to fly to Dhaka from London. The AL president reached Heathrow Airport at 7:00pm Bangladesh time to board the aircraft, but airline officials told her that British Airways was not in a position to carry her as Bangladesh government requested the carrier not to take her to Dhaka.

Meanwhile news from earlier this day:

A Dhaka court Sunday ordered the police to arrest Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina and two other 14-party alliance leaders for their suspected roles in the killings of Shibir activists in the 2006 Paltan rioting.

The arrest warrants were timed with the former prime minister's planned return to Bangladesh defying a government ban on her homecoming.


It just proves why the separation of judiciary from the administration is so crucial. So many times the court has been used by so many government.

Mash reports:

The British High Commission in Bangladesh has sought clarification from the Bangladesh government regarding the exile attempts. No such clarification has been sought by the Bush Administration.

So what will Sheikh Hasina do now?

Cricket: change in one day rankings  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

From Zimbabwe Cricket Blog:

The ICC have updated the LG ODI rankings table, now that Ireland have qualified - and the bad news for Zimbabwe is that Ireland have entered the table ahead of them, coming in at 10th place with a rating of 29, ahead of Zimbabwe who are on 22. The bottom end of the table currently looks like this:

                Pl  Pts    Rnk
9 Bangladesh 42 1892 45
10 Ireland 11 317 29
11 Zimbabwe 36 779 22
12 Kenya 11 0 0
Hope Ireland can keep this rank and will not wither away like Kenya.

Now its Khaleda's turn  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

BDNews24 reports:

As many as 200 reporters and TV crew Saturday night flocked to Zia International Airport to cover the rumored departure of former prime minister Khaleda Zia. The rumour spread hours after Khaleda met son Tarique Rahman somewhere in the cantonment. The meeting was part of the reported deal reached between Khaleda and the authorities to exile her to Saudi Arabia.
Tarique Zia had been transfered to a jail outside Dhaka and the prison van briefly stopped at the Combined military hospital in Dhaka Cantonment for his check-up. Khaleda Zia reportedly met him there.

One local TV News channel (CSB) reported live that three tinted glass cars went to the VIP terminal this night and the Emirates flight was bound for Saudi Arabia at around 10:30. Reporters suspected Khaleda Zia may be on-board of that plane. However the rumor is yet to be confirmed.

However, Khaled Zia also faced resistance within her party. The Daily Star Earlier reported:

"Some leaders opine in privacy that the BNP would be better off without Khaleda, who lost popularity inside the party in the last five years so much so that the rebel leaders feel little support the once iron-lady would get from the party if she is forced to leave the country.

Most of the leaders and activists also believe the rumour that her 'forced' departure from the country is only a matter of time."


And she was clearly blackmailed with the freedom of her second son.

Clearly for better or worse the dynasty politics in Bangladesh is being targeted. This military backed Caretaker government has tacit support of the US and other Western nations. The general people of Bangladesh are still in the honeymoon stage with this government's alter ego(good deeds). For the common Bangladeshis is there any role to be played until the next election which may likely to come after two years?

Related articles:

* Bangladesh ex-PM Khaleda says wants to face law at home.

* Zia plans party clean-up before exile.

Update: The daily Jugantor reports that Khaleda's departure has been delayed at the last moment for security reasons.

Update II: A chartered plane from Saudi Arabia has arrived in Bangladesh and is believed to be on standby to take former prime minister Khaleda Zia into exile, (AFP)

Can Sheikh Hasina return to Bangladesh?  

Posted by Rezwan in , , , ,

AP is reporting:

"We've ticket in our hands with confirmation," Abdus Sobhan Golap, Hasina's close aide, told The Associated Press by phone from London. Hasina is scheduled to board a British Airways flight at Heathrow airport on Sunday to arrive in Bangladesh on Monday.
Her son Sajeeb Wajed urges the Bangladeshis to raise their voices against this unlawful ban of the Caretaker Government.

Now the question is can Hasina defy the ban?

I have got another email alert which prescribes how to block Hasina's return:
Phase 1
Two BAF F-7BG AC will escort out the aircraft from the BD airspace to further south towards the Bay of Bengal.

Phase 2
If the Phase 1 fails,the DAC air traffic control will not give clearance to the aircraft carrying Hasina to land and following Phase 1.

But it is important that the aircraft does not land at the first place. The whole action can be performed legally under all international laws and charters.

It is allowed under international law to deny entry to any aircraft to one's airspace. Iran has recently denied entry of an aircraft carrying Iraqi PM. US homeland security regularly excercise this option to prevent people from coming to the US who it believes to threaten us national security.
Should we pay notice to these hoaxes? Remember the last hoax turned out to be true.

Can international pressure make a difference here? Shafiur reports that Hasina met Lord Avebury, a British MP and Vice Chair of Parliamentary Human Rights group and he tells:
Under international law, a person cannot be denied entry to his or her own country [Article 12(4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Bangladesh is a signatory].
But the UK Government is yet to comment on this officially Mash writes a brilliant article pointing to the double standard of USA:
The deafening silence from Washington as an Islamic country of 150 million people has its democracy gutted by the military, combined with words of encouragement from the Ambassador, can only help to embolden the Generals in Bangladesh.

So this is Mr. Bush’s freedom agenda. When a lone "journalist" named Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury was arrested in Bangladesh, then under civilian rule, on charges of sedition and then released on bail, free to publish to his heart’s content, the neocons persuaded the United States government to pressure the Bangladeshi government to drop all charges against the man and cancel his upcoming trial. Bangladesh was threatened with aid cut-off if it did not buckle to American pressure. The United States House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution demanding that Bangladesh drop all charges against this man. The State Department highlighted this man’s cause. All because he was being given full due process by the democratically elected government of Bangladesh.
So with the international community silent it is likely that Hasina's will not be able to return.

Related stories:

* Bangladesh leader vows to return.

* Bangladesh: Caretaker Government Targets Dynastic Politics

* Sheikh Hasina has the Right to go back to Her Homeland.

Picture of the day  

Posted by Rezwan


Church at Europa Center, Berlin

An Updated List of Bangladeshi Blogs  

Posted by Rezwan in , , ,

Here is another updated list of Bangladeshi Blogs after adding some new blogs and removing dead blogs (arranged in no particular order):

Blogs in English:

* The 3rd world view-Germany
* Unheard Voices - A drishtipat group blog initiative -USA
* imperfect|world|2007 -UK
* Mezba's blog -Canada
* Serious golmal -UK
* Sajeeb Wajed Joy - USA
* Or how I learned to stop worrying -USA
* Addafication - USA & UK
* Shada Kalo - Bangladesh
* ShahidulNews - Bangladesh
* South Asia biz -Bangladesh
* The Bangladesh poet of impropriety -Bangladesh
* Abeer -Bangladesh
* Salam Dhaka -USA
* The story teller -Bangladesh
* Close your eyes & try to see- Bangladesh
* Ondhokar theke alor pothe -Bangladesh
* Inspirations and creative thoughts - Singapore
* Tasneem Khalil - Bangladesh
* Black & grey - Bangladesh
* Conversations with an Optimist - Bangladesh
* Bring your own shisha - UK
* A sneak peek into Yawar's mind - Malaysia
* LiveJournal Bangladesh community blogs -Mostly USA
* Anthology -USA
* Blog-a-rhythm -USA
* The Bengali Fob says -Canada
* Sajjad's weekly blogs -USA
* Ex Nihilo -Bangladesh
* >Insert clever title here< -Canada
* Ashik -USA
* Ipshita’s blog -Canada
* A sunshine too brief -Canada
* Easy come easy go, little high little low - Sweden
* Optically active - USA
* Tanya in cyberspace - USA
* My thoughts - USA
* The song of my life - Bangladesh
* Mudphud chickness - USA
* Glittergirl -Singapore
* Adda - Bangladesh
* Of the world and boiled eggs - Bangladesh
* Me, myself and Bangladesh - UK
* My golden Bengal - Bangladesh
* Perpetual ramblings of a lifelong nomad - USA
* Desh calling -Bangladesh
* Indifferent thoughts -Bangladesh
* Anik Khan -Australia
* Life, dreams and reality -- Sohel's blog
* The crystal cave -Bangladesh
* Skakia's spot -Sweden
* Hasan's blog -Bangladesh
* blog.sanjoykumar.com -Bangladesh
* The color of rain -UK
* Dak Bangla intelligence scan - Bangladesh
* Ideas for brighter Bangladesh - Bangladesh
* Aro kichu poth ache baki -Bangladesh
* Ulta manush -Bangladesh
* Dhaka (underground) -Bangladesh
* Khorshed Khokon, MBA -Bangladesh
* Saleem Samad -Canada
* Little dogs day -Bangladesh
* Scattered words -Bangladesh
* Bitter sweet symphony -Bangladesh
* Nawed - Fortunately Unfortunate or Unfortunately Fortunate -Bangladesh
* First we take Manhattan -USA
* Safia's blog -UK
* Sonia's diary -UK
* Thought, and thereafter -Bangladesh
* S Mehreen's digital portfolio -Bangladesh
* New Gaul Order -USA
* Journal of a Disturbed Mind -Norway
* Shaon's Weblog -Bangladesh
* Hatti Matim Tim -Bangladesh
* Share the Magic -Bangladesh
* Bangladesh Open Source Intelligence Monitors -Bangladesh
* Khero Khata -Bangladesh
* C'est la vie -Australia
* Tan Curve -Australia
* Maverick Tanvir's Journal -Bangladesh
* Back to Bangladesh -Bangladesh
* Fug's Blog - UK
* My Days - USA
* Blissful days of my life... - Canada
* Ajaira Pechaal - USA
* Nothing to lose and Nothing to gain.. - Bangladesh
* Amra Kojon Around The Clock - USA
* Russel's cyber journal - Bangladesh
* Fun And Jokes with Morals - Bangladesh
* Blind Seagull - Bangladesh
* Bunch of me - Bangladesh
* Abar Zigay - Bangladesh
* My view - UK
* The Urchin's Own - Bangladesh
* Ashraf's Column - Bangladesh
* Naz's Diary - Bangladesh
* A Nikonian's Blog - Bangladesh
* The M.I.A.H Project - UK
* Bangladesh Blogger - Bangladesh
* Bangladesh - a land of opportunities
* In the middle of nowhere - USA
* Khan is Khan - Bangladesh
* Beyond my mind - USA
* Gagan - Finland
* Radiant Moira - USA
* One Knowledge, One Work - Australia
* Shah Zaman Mazumder's Blog - Bangladesh
* Confessions of a true (Deshi) Narcissist - Bangladesh
* Bangladesh and our thoughts - Ireland
* Lungis.com - USA
* AuddieLand - Australia
* BangladeshWebBlogs - UK
* Life in Champaign - Urbana - USA
* Desi Blog - Bangladesh
* Study on Self - USA
* Cruel, crazy beautiful world - Bangladesh
* Captain Chaos - Canada
* Monwar's Blog - Bangladesh
* Angelmorn - Bangladesh
* Bangladesh Talk - Bangladesh
* Swagato’ pursuit of the lyfe - Started in 1978 - USA
* Deliberation of Samiha Esha - Bangladesh
* Ahsan's Laboratory - Bangladesh
* Apache007 - Bangladesh
* Ahsan's rant - USA
* My Dear Bangladesh - UK

Organization Blogs, event blogs and journals on Bangladesh:

* Adhunika Blog
* Change Bangladesh - one step at a time
* Shuchinta
* Naeem Mohaiemen/Shobak.org
* Disha Bangladesh
* Nagarik Shakti
* Bangladesh Elections 2007
* Bangladesh Military Forces Blog
* Online ICT Journalism
* Somewhere in Dhaka
* BlueNote
* The Chobi Mela Files
* Global Voices Online on Bangladesh

Blogs by persons of Non Bangladesh Origin on their experiences in Bangladesh:

Active:
* Morris the pen
* What's cooking abroad?
* Haseen♥Mawa♥Views
* Akash and Nila
* Bideshi blonde
* The world around
* Dhaka Diary
* Madame Boss
* Bdeshini
* Bangladesh Barta
* Lucy in Bangladesh
* MikeyLeung.ca
* Dhaka City
* The Dhaka diaries
* OrangenSaftNotiz.de -In German
* Bangladesch - In German language
* Window on my world

Archive:
* A Whisper from the heart
* Root: Adventure in Bangladesh
* Bangers & mash
* Bangladesh backchat
* Dhaka diary
* Sarah's boble
* From my point of view
* Dana in Bangladesh
* The Yacoub ramblings v.2
* To Bangladesh and back
* Kelly in Bangladesh


Some notable Bangladeshi photoblogs:

* Nazzina
* Dhaka Daily Photo

Blogs in Bangla

Blogging Platform, directories and aggregator:
* বাঁধ ভাঙার আওয়াজ-The largest Bangla blogging platform with hundreds of blogs in Bangla
* এভারগ্রীন বাংলা ব্লগ Another Bangla Blogging Platform
* বাংলা ব্লগস্ - list of Blogs in Bangla script maintained by Debashish
* বাংলা ইউনিকোড ব্লগ Bangla Unicode Blog Aggregator

Bangladeshi:
* ছেঁড়া পাতায় কথামালা
* উত্স সন্ধানে
* ...করি বাংলায় চিত্কার...
* বুঝি.কম
* আসিফ আহমেদ অনীকের বাংলা ব্লগ
* অমি আজাদ
* সসংকোচ প্রকাশের দুরন্ত সাহস
* আমি এবং আমার পৃথিবী
* পুড়ে ছাই ধ্বংসস্তুপ থেকে বেঁচে উঠি পুর্ণবার
* রয়েসয়ে
* নিরিখ বান্ধিলাম দুই নয়নে......
* বিবর্ণ আকাশ এবং আমি....
* ভয়েস অফ বাংলাদেশী ব্লগারস
* এইটা তোমার গান
* প্রাত্যহিক ভ্যাজর ভ্যাজর
* কবিয়াল
* অজ্ঞাতবাস
* ধৃসর গোধুলী
* সাধক শন্কু
* বলো গো
* খসড়া কবির খসড়া কবিতা
* মোকাবেলা
* খিচুড়ী ব্লগ
* আড্ডা
* আধুলি জমানোর ম্যাচবক্স
* দিল কা লাড্ডু
* অনন্ত ন্বপ্ন
* ..খেরোখাতা..
* যাপিত জীবন
* বাংলা ভাষী

Indian:
* স্লোগান দিতে গিয়ে
* আমার কিছু বক্কা
* খোলা জানালা
* বিবর্ণ কবিতা
* জীবনানন্দ দাশের কবিতা

And finally some Bangladeshi Blog & mews aggregators:

* Planet Bangla
* EIN News Bangladesh readers picks
* Bdblogs.com, Home of Bangladeshi blogs

Previous update: (For links of stale blogs)

This is not an exhaustive list. Please let me know in the comment section if you want to include more blogs here.

Technocrati tags: ,

World Cup Cricket 2007 - Bangladesh vs West Indies super eight match: Live Blogging  

Posted by Rezwan

Bangladesh plays their last match today with West Indies. The both are playing for pride and for the sixth position. It is important for Bangladesh to win this game or lose marginally or else they will hit the bottom with lower net run rate than Ireland.

They have won the toss and chosen to field. I expected them to bat first as in this pacy and bouncy pitches of Caribbean if your strength is your spinners you can expect the ball to turn more in the second innings.

Bangladesh has brought Javed Omar in place of Shahriar Nafees, who had a terrible World Cup. And good for them Syed Rasel is back from the injury.

3 Overs: West Indies 8/1. Mashrafe Mortaza strikes as he clean bolds Devon Smith.

3.5 Overs: West Indies 8/2. Rasel strikes as he got Gayle out (lbw).

12 Overs: West Indies at a snail's pace 18/2. No boundary in the last 8 overs. And look at this bowling Figure - Syed Rasel 6-2-5-1

Hope Bangladesh can keep this stranglehold on WI.

31 Overs: West Indies slow but ticking to 90/3. A couple of chances and lbw appeals but the partnership of Sarwan and Chanderpaul is 35 and going on well. We are looking at a possible score of 210-220 by WI.

230/5 in 50 overs - West Indies did better than expected . Mainly because of batting of Sarwan Chanderpaul and Brian Lara. Sarwan missed a century being 91 not out. They have scored 85 runs in the last 10 overs.

Its a defendable total for West Indies. Bangladesh have to work hard not to loose wickets quickly and get these runs.

14.4 Overs: 34/4 - Poor performance by Bangladesh. Four of their star batsmen out failing to see off the quick bouncy bowlers of WI. They are all over Bangladesh now. If Bangladesh wants to stay in the world of Cricket they need to learn to play in these bouncy pitches. This is pathetic. Can Bangladesh keep a decent NRR to be 7th at least? I wonder.

36 Overs: Bangladesh 111/8 and reeling. A bit of resistance from Mushfiq and Mortaza after 52/6 ended with Mortaza bowled by an yorker of Bravo. A sorry end for Bangladesh.

Ireland supporters were wishing if Bangladesh were all out for 116 then their net run rate would be -1.731, thus leaving Ireland in 7th place.

40 Overs: Bangladesh 121/9 Overs. But it was going to be all over at 116 as Mushfiq almost got caught.

Bangladesh is finally all out at 43.5 overs putting only 131 on Board. Mushfiq left stranded at 38 not out. I think Bangladesh's batting order needed a revision.

Bangladesh can be proud of reaching to the super eight and putting some stunning performances by beating South Africa and India. But a pretty inconsistent performance in the bouncy pitches show they need more experience.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Links:

The Cricinfo ball-by-ball commentary of the match archive.

The Guardian online's interesting ball-by-ball commentary archive.

Tags: Cricket, Bangladesh, Cricket World Cup 2007, Live Blogging, TV and radio broadcast, Internet streaming audio and video, ball-by-ball commentary

Sheikh Hasina reacts  

Posted by Rezwan

In a radio interview with Deutsche Welle Sheikh Hasina vowed that she will return in spite of Government. She is hopeful that she can go home soon.

Background: The Government issues warnings against Hasina's return:

Now it seems that the warning we received a few days ago is true.

Salam Dhaka reports on an Embargo on Hasina's reactions in Bangladeshi press (via the Daily Star).


The government through its Press Information Department and other agencies has instructed all newspapers not to carry any comment of Sheikh Hasina. An SMS received from an army major said: "You are requested not to telecast/print any views/comments of Sheikh Hasina from today till further order."

It may be mentioned that Hasina's comment on the government's ban on her return was aired by BBC Bangla Service and Deutsche Welle, which have been heard by the radio's audiences in Bangladesh.

Drishtipat's post about this issue attracts an healthy debate. This comment is a blinder:

Naive are those who believe that the ‘deshpremik U-Know-Who’ are doing everything for the country. Remember, they revolted against Yes-uddin only when there was a possibility of dismissal of the head of the U-Know-Who from his post prior to the declaration of emergency! The change came NOT because the fundamental rights of the people were being violated, but because their own positions were in potential jeopary!

Remember that they have not taken over officially as yet, and are still ‘helping the government being totally under the rule of the civil administration’ NOT because they have any love for the civil administration, but because if they do so, they might lose the UN peacekeeping assignments. Here also they are considering their own benefits, and not that of you and me!

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Mileage on dynasty  

Posted by Rezwan

In a recent Statement Congress MP Rahul Gandhi (great-grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru and son of Sonia & Rajib Gandhi) credited his family with the independence of India and break-up of Pakistan. Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi defended him:

The spirit of Rahul Gandhi's statement was to remind and underline Indira Gandhi's remarkable victory over Pakistan in 1971 war which made India proud.

But hey something is missing from the picture. They have wiped out the context of the Bangladesh Liberation War and the tremendous struggle of the Bangladeshis for the independence. Needless to mention the millions of lives lost in the cause.

Bangladesh is grateful to India for sheltering the refugees, training the freedom fighters, pursued International support for Bangladesh and in the dying days engaged in a direct war with Pakistan. But was it to break Pakistan? No India was overburdened with the feeding the refugees. And if your neighbors were being slaughtered in a mass number what would a democratic country do? They went for the demons. Indira Gandhi deserves much praise for the right decisions. But she was only the leader of the democracy, the country had wide support for her decisions.

Any Bangladeshi will oppose Rahul's remarks. Exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen says:

Bangladesh came into being due to the movement of its people, not because of the Gandhi family as claimed by Rahul Gandhi. Nobody from outside can ever divide or create any country. It was the movement of the local people that brought freedom to Bangladesh.

However Rahul Gandhi's remarks have put smiles to some quarters in Pakistan who blames India for meddling with Pakistan's internal affair and breaking Pakistan. Secretary general of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed says:

Rahul Gandhi was the first Indian "who has told the truth of 1971". India's strategy was clear from day one, namely, to partition its neighbour through sponsorship of state terrorism. India created and armed the Mukti Bahini, a Bengali militia which fought the Pakistani troops, just as it created and armed the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka" in the 1980s.

Rahul's remarks also came under attack from main Opposition BJP in India. It seems he has spoken too many words to handle.

A remark from my Indian friend:

It seems that Rahul Gandhi is trying to fan sycophancy and get election mileage by juicing the Gandhi name. He has no clue about history.

Enough said.

Picture of the day  

Posted by Rezwan


Potsdamer Platz, Berlin

Tech guide  

Posted by Rezwan

* Bangla script display and input system for different OS.

* Bangla input system as Wordpress Bangla plugin.

* Murshed's Bangla unicode writer and converter.

* How to install Internet Explorer 7.0 bypassing genuine Windows validation.

* How to install Windows Media Player 11.0 bypassing genuine Windows validation.

* Installing ttf fonts on Debian or Ubuntu Linux.

* Autopatcher - all the Windows updates in an easy installer package.

The latest happenings in Bangladesh  

Posted by Rezwan

Bangladesh got some media attention recently because of controversies surrounding alleged exile deal of Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, chief of the main political parties with the people supported, military backed interim government (cartoon courtesy Shada Kalo). Some are comparing the issue with the exile of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan. A lot of contradictory things are happening to authenticate/negate the rumors. Drishtipat Blog asks who is in charge as we see these events unfold. The interim government has made its position clear against the dynasty rules in a democratic outset.

The International media caught hold of the issue and is questioning the intent of the military backed government accusing them to delay democracy in the country. The economist says:

Despite the interim administration’s claims that its objectives are honorable, the draconian measures it has taken in the name of improving stability could, like those of most such regimes, have just the opposite effect.

The army chief also spoke too many words to make it obvious. Drishtipat recalls that declarations of past military regimes in the country to restore democracy is lot similar to the recent state of affairs.

Mash points that military dictatorship can be no pathway to democracy:

A military takeover, far from "fixing" a democracy, corrupts it further. It does so by setting a precedent that the rule of law can be subverted in service of the "national interest". This license to ignore the rule of law is the essential ingredient of any form of government corruption. When the military decides to "fix" things, it corrupts the system further. It sets a precedent that laws can and should be ignored when there is a "historical necessity". That is an invitation, not only to corruption, but to autocratic and dictatorial rule.

The New York Times says:

Both former Bangladeshi prime ministers have much to answer for, including tolerance for corruption and a bitter personal rivalry that kept the country in permanent turmoil. But the answering should be done to Bangladesh’s voters and, if called for, to an independent civilian judiciary — not to an unaccountable military dictatorship. And President Bush, if he truly cares about democracy in the Islamic world, needs to say so.

However the US Government is very happy with the performance of the interim government and the state of emergency was necessary. It is not to be forgotten that the influence of the US Ambassador in Bangladesh was very crucial in the changing events last January. Just as they are very happy with the performance of Pakistani dictator Parvez Musharrof.

Well if you would ask who is in control of Bangladesh I would say the Global imperialism. It remains to be seen whether Bangladesh remains sovereign or a subsidiary to this.

Update: The Government issues warnings against Hasina's return:

In a statement, the home ministry blamed the former prime minister for issuing "inflammatory statements" against the government and security agencies to political gatherings and the media abroad. Hasina's return might create further confusion and hatred among people. Sheikh Hasina's return is feared to threaten public security and economic life. The government alerted airports, immigration and airlines to the warning against Hasina's comeback.

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World Cup Cricket 2007 - Bangladesh vs Ireland super eight match: Live Blogging  

Posted by Rezwan

Although the headlines say that Bangladesh and Ireland will be playing for pride only, I think the match has importance for Bangladesh. Bangladesh now eyes for the sixth position in the World Cup. To reach that Bangladesh needs to beat Ireland and West Indies. According to recent performances Bangladesh is favorite for today's match.

Today I watched the first half of the game in an Irish Pub in Berlin Rosa-Luxemburg Strasse with 15-20 Bangladeshis. Sadly we were short of Irish supporter except the pub owner. He was coming off an on to remind us that Ireland batsmen are playing well and Ireland has posted a competitive total (243 off 7). Well we had to agree to him as this is the case. Bangladeshi spin deportment looked inoculous in this pacy and bouncy pitch. We had hardly anything to cheer except for 3 runouts.

8 overs: Bangladesh 23/1 with opener Shahriar Nafees in Pavilion. They are finding the pace and bounce of the Irish bowlers hard to negotiate. Hope the frontliner batsmen can wear the new ball off before accelerating in the later overs just Ireland did. They had a low run-rate till the 30th over.

24 Overs: Bangladesh is in real trouble with 104/5. Their front-line batsmen are all out. They tried to play too many shots instead of nudging around for singles like what Ireland did. Ireland is playing better here and they deserve to win. Bangladesh need to think about their batting strategy.

Its all over for Bangladesh in 41.2 overs who could only get 169 runs losing ten wicket. Ireland played well today took the singles and twos under difficult circumstances - thats where Bangladesh batsmen lacked. They just carried on with their shots without judging the wicket. Well done Ireland.

Tags: Cricket, Bangladesh, Cricket World Cup 2007, Live Blogging

A journey to the world's smallest Kingdom  

Posted by Rezwan

After hearing that the world's smallest Kingdom is hear in Germany we had to go there. Its Located in Okertal, a narrow valley surrounded by high mountains within the Harz Mountains. Its our second journey to the Harz mountains which produces some great landscapes and there are scores of tourist attractions like wellness centers, a national park and many waterfalls.

Lurking there is the Hotel Königreich Romkerhall which boasts to be the center of the "world's smallest kingdom". I have dug out some history:

Romkerhall, named after a small river, the Romke, is in the administrative district of Braunschweig and the county of Goslar. Originally a hunting lodge, it was built in the 19th century by King George V, and the property belonged to his Kingdom of Hanover. He refused to support Prussia in the Austro-Prussian War (1866), and consequently lost his kingship. This monarchy was annexed in 1871 by Prussia as a province, until the German Empire came to an end in 1918. The current owner is Baron Walter Lechner (a former architect), who purchased this former princely estate after a fire. He claims that the surrounding territory was forgotten about and never formally attached to a particular parish. He took advantage of this opportunity by attracting Princess Erina von Sachsen, Duchess to Saxonia, to his minuscule piece of municipality-free, independent land. She, married to Prince Thimo (grandchild of the last king of Saxony, Friedrich-August III, who was deposed in the aftermath of World War I), was enthroned as acting Queen in 1988; on that same day, his establishment was proclaimed the “world's smallest Kingdom”." Since then, Romkerhall has been the cause of continuous quarrels between the Baron and the German government and its aristocracy.


Well I was particularly not impressed by this "kingdom". This explains why:

In terms of marketing, the Baron attempts to lure tourists to the premises by offering to host several types of services for the celebration of special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, baptisms, confirmations), not the least of which are fancy weddings, conducted in Romkerhall's audience hall. The Baron sells/confers titles of nobility to worthy individuals.

It seems nothing but a marketing gimmick. The waterfall besides the hotel is also not impressive than the one we saw near Bad Harzburg.

I continued to drive through the mountain range and that was an amazing experience.

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BENGALI NEW YEAR (1414) GREETINGS  

Posted by Rezwan

Shuvo Nobobarsha!

Today is Nobo Barsha, Bangla for New Year, also known as "Pahela Baishakh". This marks the beginning of Baisakh, the first month of Bengali calendar. It is usually marked by the tradition of "Halkhata", opening of books of accounts for the new year by the village traders. The celebration of Pahela Baishakh by broad masses in the Bangladesh context may be dated from the observance of the day by "Chhayanat", a cultural organization in 1965. In an attempt to suppress Bengali culture, the Pakistan Government had banned tagore songs. Protesting this move, Chhayanat opened their Pahela Baishakh celebrations at Ramna Park with Tagore's song welcoming the month. The day continued to be celebrated in East Pakistan as a symbol of Bengali culture. After 1972 it became a national festival, a symbol of the Bangladesh nationalist movement and an integral part of the people's cultural heritage.

A bit of history about Pahela Baishakh from Wikipedia:

Celebrations of Pahela Boishakh started from King Akbar's reign (sixteenth century). The main event of the day was to open a halkhata or new book of accounts. This was wholly a financial affair. In villages, towns and cities, traders and businessmen closed their old account books and opened new ones. They used to invite their customers to share sweets and renew their business relationship with them. This tradition is still practised, especially by jewellers.

From the Banglapedia:

New year's festivities are closely linked with rural life in Bengal. Usually on the day everything is scrubbed and cleaned. People bathe early in the morning and dress in fine clothes and then go to visit relatives, friends and neighbours. Special foods are prepared to entertain guests. Baishakhi fairs are arranged in many parts of the country. Various agricultural products, traditional handicrafts, toys, cosmetics as well as various kinds of food and sweets. are sold at these fairs.

The Daily Star termed it "Bangalees' biggest carnival". Check out their special supplement.

Wishing everyone a happy Bengali New Year (1414), a happy Thai New Year (Songkran) a happy Combodian New Year (Maha Songkran) and a belated happy Easter.

Understanding human sympathy  

Posted by Rezwan

Why is it that people really feel for one person's accidental death and feel nothing about thousands of death in Darfur?

A research finds:

"We go all out to save a single identified victim, be it a person or an animal, but as the numbers increase, we level off. We don't feel any different to say 88 people dying than we do to 87. This is a disturbing model, because it means that lives are not equal, and that as problems become bigger we become insensitive to the prospect of additional deaths."

Amit Varma adds:

There is a lesson in this for journalists. When we cover events that have caused many deaths, the most effective way to convey the effect of the carnage is to focus on stories about individuals.

The study finds that our capacity to feel is limited. Even at two, people start to lose it.

Today's Links  

Posted by Rezwan

* Blogs turn 10.

* The state of Technorati, April 2007.

* Research your news before publishing.

* A call for manners in the world of nasty blogs.

* Blog and be damned.

Tell me this is not a joke!  

Posted by Rezwan

I have received this email alert from the Bangladesh Military Forces Online Forum:

We have receieved an emergency email notice from intelligence/national security specialists concerning Hasina & Khaleda. Please read and forward to others:

"AIRCRAFT CARRYING HASINA MUST NOT ENTER BANGLADESHI AIRSPACE: CODE RED"

AUTHORITIES MUST DENY ENTRY OF THE AIRCRAFT CARRYING HASINA TO ENTER BANGLADESHI AIRSPACE. AT LEAST LANDING MUST BE DENIED. IT IS A MATTER OF CLEAR AND PRESENT NATIONAL SECURUTY THREAT. SHE IS PLANNING MASSIVE CIVIL UNREST IN BANGLADESH LIKE NEVER BEFORE IN COLLABORATION WITH KHALEDA. ALL PREPERATIONS ARE DONE. THERE WILL BE A BLOODBATH IF SHE ENTERS BANGLADESH."

READ DETAILS:

Massive civil unrest, Blood Bath? Is that a speculation? How can this be possible without building up momentum by protests, especially while the emergency act is in place? I guess the

Shadakalo reports:

Hasina has been "assured by a top adviser that the government will see that her image and honor is not hurt" so she is delaying her return.

According to the Daily Prothom Alo, multiple sources confirmed that an adviser spoke to Hasina over the phone on Wednesday, and asked her to not change her return schedule.

So what exactly is going on? It seems a quarter is trying to keep politicians out of their way. Shadakalo also warns about initiatives of a quarter of politicians to betray their parties and build another party to exploit the situation and they want Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia out of sight to make it happen. Could this be their propaganda?

Well everybody knows that absolute power corrupts. What the Bangladeshis are praying is that the 3 months of honestocracy does not turn into a autocracy.

Update: Nazzina said its a hoax. However Tasneem Khalil said that this is being circulated in many places. One Bangladeshi close to Bangladesh military attache in Australia is said to be behind the military forum site.

The Australian published today an interesting story titled "General looks to grab power in Bangladesh". Some excerpts:

THE political crisis gripping Bangladesh deepened last night, with increasing speculation that the country's military chief was planning a coup d'etat. As former prime minister Sheikh Hasina opted to stay in the US rather than return home to face murder charges, Bangladesh's ambitious army chief, Lieutenant General Moin Ahmed, was yesterday said to be working towards forcing both Ms Hasina and her arch rival, Begum Khaleda Zia, into exile.

However this is surely another hoax as no other news is there to confirm. On the contrary denying media reports an adviser to the interim administration said that it had no intention to harass Awami League president Sheikh Hasina or BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on any ground. (The Daily New Age)

Wondering why this hoaxes are being sourced back to Australia!

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Politicians are being framed  

Posted by Rezwan

The Daily Star reports:

"Police yesterday charged Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina, Jammat Chief Matiur Rahman Nizami and more than 50 top level leaders and workers with murder and other serious offences committed during street demonstrations on October 28 last year.

In a case brought by Jamaat immediately after the incident, Hasina was not mentioned. However, her name has now been added by the police.

Other than Hasina, 45 leaders and workers of her party and 14-party have been charged. They include AL General Secretary Abdul Jalil, former home minister Mohammad Nasim, General Secretary of AL Dhaka city unit Mofazzel Hossain Chowdhury Maya, AL Law Secretary Advocate Sahara Khatun, former AL lawmakers Dr HBM Iqbal and Haji Selim, Jubo League President Jahangir Kabir Nanok, Chhattra League General Secretary Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury Roton, Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon, and JSD President Hasanul Haque Inu.

In Jamaat, 9 leaders and workers other than Nizami face similar accusations. They are former minister and Jamaat Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, Senior Secretary General of Jamaat Quamaruzzaman, Central Nayabe Amir Mokbul Ahmed, Assistant Secretary General ATM Azharul Islam, Dhaka City Unit Amir of Jamaat Rafikul Islam, Paltan Unit Amir ATM Sirajul Islam, Islami Chhattra Shibir President Shafikul Islam Masud and its General Secretary Zahid Hossain, and President of Dhaka University Unit of Chhattra Shibir Shishir Monir."


Zafa at Drishtipat questions who is accountable for the killings of October 28, 2006. She comments:

"It seems the army backed CG (Caretaker Government)is on a mission to poke holes in both the major parties’ structure"

World Cup Cricket 2007 - Bangladesh vs England super eight match: Live blogging  

Posted by Rezwan

The match is being played at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados. England won the toss and put Bangladesh to bat first. "We'll put Bangladesh under pressure and restrict them," said Michael Vaughan, the England captain. The Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar admits he would have bowled first.

3 Overs: Bangladesh 12/1: lost Tamim who struck two boundaries in the first over but could not cope with a bounce from Mahmood.

15.2 Overs: Bangladesh 65/6: The pace and bounce of the pitch and the supplementary English bowling is failing Bangladesh. They are struggling to post even a decent score. This is not what the crowd or the Bangladeshi supporters around the world expected.

Its all over Bangladesh 143 all out in 37.2 overs. Sakibul was left stranded at 57 runs not out with no no more partners. Well played from him but what a waste of opportunity for Bangladesh as if the wickets were there Bangladesh could easily reach a score of 230-240.

Lets see how quickly England makes these runs. They need to have a better run rate. For Bangladesh bowlers not enough runs to defend.

England Innings:

6 Overs: 22/1 (extra 10) Bell went for a duck. Vaughn was dropped by the keeper Mushfiq. Had Bangladesh a score to defend in excess of 200 it could have been an interesting match. Commentary from Guardian Sports:

"Having some overs to bat before lunch seems to have confused Strauss and Vaughan into thinking they're playing a Test match and need to see off the new ball. Against Australia. Is their new one day tactic to score all the runs through extras?"

21 Overs: England 70/3. Vaughn finally departs trying to sweep Razzak. Syed Rasel is the pick of Bangladeshi bowlers - a good stat 10-3-25-2.

Bangladesh is making it hard for England. But they will get through as the Bangladeshi batsmen did not put enough run to defend. It could have been a good day for Bangladesh.

Finally England is let to win after 44.5 overs losing 6 wickets. Cricinfo comments:

The crowd go wild while England look relieved more than jubilant. That was a mighty close thing, and Bangladesh really ran them ragged for a time there.

Guardian Sports comments:

England have won by four wickets. He punches the air but you have to ask why he waited so long to hit out. That was seriously shoddy stuff on a pitch tailor-made for the English team.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
I watched the match via sopcast. If anyone is looking for live free video links:

* Please download sopcast from here.

* Then find WC live video cricket broadcasts from the channels list and click on any one of them.

Tags: Cricket, Bangladesh, Cricket World Cup 2007, Live Blogging, TV and radio broadcast, Internet streaming audio and video, Cricket Internet portals, ball-by-ball commentary

YouTube video of the day  

Posted by Rezwan



Smooth, edgy, sophisticated and soothing music from BlueNote. Piano and Vocals Saad Chowdhury and on Soprano Sax our good old blogger Andrew Morris. Together they are playing the music from the great American songbook.

Peacock Island  

Posted by Rezwan

What is there to see in the Peacock Island near Berlin?


Silly question really. Some free range peacocks roaming around in the 76 hectare picturesque landscape, gardens and architectural work of art. There are some more exotic ones including a white peacock and many other species of birds in the captivity.

And you get a bonus.


"Like something out of a fairy-tale, the white wooden facade of artificial castle ruins shines through the treetops of a centuries-old tree grove."

In 1793 King Friedrich Wilhelm II bought it as an excursion venue and made it into an exotic world. (More Info)

My kid really enjoyed the Easter Monday holiday.

Tag:

More drama unfolds  

Posted by Rezwan

The Daily Star reports that Sheikh Hasina will return to Bangladesh on April 14th and deal with the extortion case against her personally. Meanwhile the caretaker Government has convened a special task force to proceed with the case.

In another news Begum Khaleda Zia has flipped her mind from finally deciding to go on exile abroad and now decides to stay in Bangladesh.

I was reading an interesting statement by Khaleda in the Daily Amader Shomoy where she urged the Armed forces to be above any debate in their actions and be unbiased. She urged not to consider politicians as enemies. However The Daily Star says that BNP leaders denied such statement:

A statement in the name of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was faxed to newspaper offices yesterday while senior leaders of the party said they have no knowledge of the developments .

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Khaleda heading for same fate as Hasina  

Posted by Rezwan

Many people believe that the case against ex-PM Sheikh Hasina is a ploy to keep her out of the country. Kazi Tajul Islam Faruque, who filed the suit seems a complicated guy who had good connections with both the government and used them for his business advantages.

The local news papers are reporting that ex PM Khaleda Zia is under a house arrest. Sada Kalo has details:

According to Prothom Alo, only the domestic servants were allowed into Mrs. Zia's personal residence; all BNP members were refused entry. The security guards of the house told the reporter that the residents of the house have been informed. BNP officials claimed they have not been officially informed.

According to sources, Mrs. Zia continued political discussions in her house or elsewhere, and this clampdown is to prevent that. She was barred from attending a milad for the Late A.K.M. Obaidur Rahman at the BNP office in Purana Paltan. Another source claimed that this is being done to increase the pressure on her so she leaves the country.


Meanwhile Sheikh Hasina has vowed to return to Bangladesh sooner than expected. We may see more drama in the coming weeks.

Update: (via Salam Dhaka) Sheikh Hasina said to the Washington post that she is not afraid to return to Bangladesh:

"I have had to face all those things in the past. I took risks, and my people are more important to me than my life."

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More cricket links  

Posted by Rezwan

* Some background to India, Pakistan, and corruption.

* Cricket bridges ethnic divide in Lanka.

* Mandira hurts Tigers sentiments.

* Hunger and the weight.

* Tamim fronts new generation on the rise.

* Bangladesh cricket videos.

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The case against former PM Sheikh Hasina Wazed  

Posted by Rezwan

You just cannot keep Bangladesh out of the headlines. After a few dull days we have another breaking news.

The Awami League chief and former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed was sued by Mr. Kazi Tajul Islam Faruque, Chairman of Westmont Power Company. The Daily Star has details:

"Tajul brought allegations against Hasina of extortion and abuse of power in 1998 when she was the prime minister. The case was filed under sections 385, 386, 387 and 109 of the penal code. In accordance with the sections, a person can be sentenced to five years to life in jail if the court finds him or her guilty.

According to the constitution a person is not eligible for contesting in elections, if s/he is convicted of a crime and sentenced to at least two years in prison on charges of moral turpitude, unless five years have passed since his or her release from jail."
According to AP News:
Farooq complained to police he paid Hasina 30 million takas ( US$441,000; €383,000) to get his project approved by the government. Farooq claimed he handed the money in cash directly to Hasina — who served as Bangladesh's prime minister from 1996-2001 — at her office in the capital Dhaka.
Hasina, who is now on a visit to the US, where his son lives, was speculated to leave the country to avoid an arrest after the state of Emergency. Now the timing of this lawsuit is particularly interesting as she commented to BBC that the election commission is delaying the election on purpose and termed it “undemocratic and unconstitutional”. However he also said that:
“This government has done some good work and we supported them. But while we know reforms are necessary, it shouldn't be an excuse.”
Hasina terms it conspiracy and her party members question why the allegation has been brought up after so many years.

She is supposed to return to the country in last week of April. But after the non-bailable suit her returning home seems uncertain.

The caretaker government has used the emergency act to detain more than 160 politicians and businessmen and later brought corruption and other charges. Most of those detained belong to Awami League and BNP. Khaleda Zia's son and the next groomed chief-to-be of BNP Tarek Zia is also detained on a similar extortion case.

While the general people are happy that at last some measures against the high power corruptions are being taken, but they are also concerned if these measures become a tool for retaliation or political revenge. Corruption is in every sector of Bangladesh. People would also like to see nailing of corrupt businessmen, army person, professionals so that they can be sure that the interim Government's steps are unbiased and truly done on national interest. Hope that these lawsuits do not become a mockery of the justice system and the sinner are punished for real.

One thing is becoming obvious that the future political scene of Bangladesh will not be dominated by Awami League and BNP, the two major parties as many of their top leaders are either sued or are in the process of being sued. The political situation will remain fluid for a uncertain period.

Update:
Sadakalo coins in more predictions as rumors are floating everywhere:
Prothom Alo is reporting that there are rebel factions in both parties that are maneuvering to assume party leadership. It is also reporting that Mrs. Zia is negotiating to leave the country after Tarique's case ends, or even before. Apparently, the powers-that-be initially tried to cut a deal: no prosecution against Tarique if she left the country with both sons.
The Telegraph, Calcutta (does not use Kolkata) termed it Benazir syndrome.

Update II: The Daily Shomokal reveals quoting an Awami League leader that 30 million Taka weighs bewteen 57-89 kilograms depending on the size of the 500 Taka notes. It is impossible for one person to carry that weight. Moreover the plaintiff claimed that he carried 600 bundles of notes in a suitcase. According to experts only 300 bundles may fit a large suitcase.

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Picture of the day  

Posted by Rezwan

Bangladesh Bop  

Posted by Rezwan



All hail the Tiger Tango or Bangladesh Bop (termed by the Atheist).


This dance features the rhythmic pumping of arms, and the stamping of feet.

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To Dav Whatmore  

Posted by Rezwan

A letter to Bangladesh coach from a cricket fan:

Respectable Dav Whatmore,

Please stay with us. We may be poor but do not kill our coach by strangling. We are emotional but do not blame our coach at every instance. After every win our players rush to you at first. The tiger you sometimes find in us, we see the same in you.

Whatmore, please stay here in this land of tigers for some time more. We don't want to lose you.

Regards,

Himu, a Bangladeshi cricket fan.

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