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Volume 2 Issue 5 | June 2007



Original Forum Editorial

Month in Review: Bangladesh
Month in Review: International
Where do we go from here? - - Rehman Sobhan
The folly of energy exports -- M. Firoze
Primary colours -- F. Salahuddin
Looking forward to a pro-poor budget -- Atiur Rahman
The banana war -- Philip Gain
14th Saarc summit: The way forward-- Farooq Sobhan
Making sense of water -- Iftekhar Iqbal
Photo Feature
Why are we so loyal to AL and BNP?-- Zahin Hasan
Drik Round-Table on Press Freedom-- Humaira Fatima Jalil
The case for bio-tech -- Ahmed A. Azad
Interview: Father Gaston Roberge-- Ahsan Habib and Amirul Rajiv
The mother tongue -- S.I. Zaman
It's no joke
Discovering the forbidden in Islamic architecture -- Rashida Ahmad
Science Snippets
Feminism for men --Rubaiyat Hossain
Published (defiantly) in the Streets of Dhaka -- Fakrul Alam
Bangladeshis: Moving with the times -- Rezaul Karim


Forum Home


Month in review: Bangladesh


Bombs, again

Three near-simultaneous explosions in the early hours of May 1 rock the railway stations in Dhaka, Chittagong, and Sylhet, causing law enforcers to speculate as to whether the militants who carried out the countrywide serial blasts on August 17, 2005 are regrouping. Aluminium plates recovered from the blast sites bear inscriptions of "Zadid al Qaeda, Bangladesh" and single out NGOs and Ahmadiyas for condemnation.

Prof Yunus withdraws

Nasir Ali Mamun
"I am writing this letter to you to inform you that I am standing aside from my efforts to form a political party," writes Prof. Muhammad Yunus in an open letter to the public, published on May 3, adding, "I have seen those who initially encouraged me gradually losing their enthusiasm." The letter is his third open missive to the public, after his February 11 letter in which he solicited opinion as to whether to join politics and his February 22 letter in which he announced his intention to form a new political party.


Death on the Buriganga

At least ten people drown in the Buriganga following clashes involving two groups of picnickers and Ansars on board a launch at Sadarghat on May 4. The altercation initially breaks out when two groups of youths begin a brawl over a female entertainer. The fight is rekindled when the launch reaches Sadarghat terminal in the evening, and heavy-handed intervention by Ansars only aggravates the problem, causing many to leap into the water for safety.

Hasina returns

Awami League president, Sheikh Hasina, returns home to a rapturous welcome, and is greeted by thousands of cheering supporters on May 7, bringing an end to the 20-day effort of the military-backed interim government to force her to stay abroad. The caretaker administration issued a press note on April 18, imposing restrictions on her entry into the country, but it lifted the ban after a week in the face of intense criticism at home and abroad.

Who's the boss?

In an interview with BBC, the head of the emergency government, Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed, reiterates that his administration -- not the military -- is in control of the country. Contradicting commentators who assert that the army now wields ultimate power in the country, Dr. Ahmed tells the BBC that the army is working only in aid of his interim civil administration, and has played an important role in maintaining law and order and combating crime since he came to power in January.

Election time-table

The EC announces that it intends to finish preparing the voter list with photographs in eight months and assesses that the number of voters will not exceed 7.5 crore, about two crore less than the number on the last electoral roll. By increasing the number of teams that will register voters at voter registration camps across the country to 12,000, the EC believes it will be possible to complete the task by March or April next year. The new plan, however, triggers a debate about whether prospective voters will respond favourably to the new methodology.

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