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Volume 4 Issue 3 | March 2009



Original Forum Editorial

The 1/11 Paradox--Rashida Ahmad
The Way Out-Hasan Imam
Weathering the Storm-- Mustafizur Rahman
Can Bangladesh Textile Exports Survive?--Ahsan Mansur
Photo Feature: Live on Fish--Mumit M
How Devolution Can Change Our Politics-- Jyoti Rahman
A Woman's Worth-- Fahmida Khatun
Not Only About Justice-- 8. Shayan S. Khan
Commander-in-Chief-- Syed Ahmed Mortada
Dispatch from 1971-- Ziauddin Choudhury


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Editor's Note

The new government has been in office barely one month, and it is, of course, too soon to make any definitive judgment on the direction that it will chart for the country for the next five years.

We are all waiting patiently to see whether the new government's pre-election pledge to bring meaningful change to Bangladesh's politics is made into reality.

Thus we wait to see the disposition of the 122 ordinances passed by the caretaker government, whether the reforms process will continue, whether the anti-corruption campaign will be wound up or not.

At the same time, we wait to see whether parliament will be functional and whether the civil service, judiciary, and police force are able to operate independently. These are all signs of the change that the nation wants to see.

However, while these issues are important, we cannot lose sight of the truth that the most pressing issue for the new government must be to ensure that Bangladesh continues to weather the global financial crisis without too much hardship.

Prices have risen precipitously over the past few years, but we have posted decent economic growth at a time when other economies are in recession, and our two major foreign exchange earners, garments and manpower, have remained reasonably robust.

But how long will it last and what steps must the government take to ensure that we continue to keep our economic head above water?

The first question is what the implications of the global financial crisis are for our exports. The second question is what monetary and fiscal policies the government should pursue in order to keep the economy afloat in these troubled times.

The government will ultimately be judged by how well it has reformed itself and whether people see real change in the body politic of the country. But that is a long-term question, the answer to which we will only discover over the course of the next five years.

The more immediate concern is to ensure that the government safely shepherd the nation through what is already the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.


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