IRS |Institute of Regional Studies


Contemporary Regional Developments in Bangladesh

25th April - 2nd May
  • Tk 18,000 minimum wage demanded as Bangladesh observes May Day. (bd news24, 1 May 2018)
  • Digital Security Act: Govt to hold talks with media
    The government will sit and take opinions from the concerned people of the media who raised objections regarding the proposed Digital Security Act- 2018, ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar said “There is a scope for scrutinising the proposed act” the minister said adding that a discussion will be organised before finalising it. The minister said this at a programme initiated by the Commonwealth Journalists Association(CJA) Bangladesh. The programme was supported by Fojo Media Institute and Management and Resources Development Initiative (MRDI) Bangladesh, on the occasion of World Press freedom Day at the National press club in Dhaka.Putting emphasis on the necessity of the act, Mustafa Jabbar also said that it is not only the government's responsibility to fight digital crimes, journalists also need to come forward in this regard. Members of the CJA Bangladesh also spoke at the programme.(Daily Star, May 2, 2018)
18th April - 24th April
  • Rana plaza, five years on: safety of workers hangs in balance in Bangladesh
    Five years ago, Asma Khatun pushed through the crowds that had formed around the Rana Plaza building, determined to see the destruction with her own eyes. Deep cracks had appeared in the eight-storey building outside Dhaka the day before. That morning, workers who had been producing clothes sourced by major international brands had begged not to be sent inside. Managers would not relent. More than 2,000 people filed in. Sometime before 9am, floors began to vanish and workers started falling. Rana Plaza took less than 90 seconds to collapse, killing 1,134 people. Unions called it a “mass industrial homicide”. Standing in the rubble, Khatun promised to quit her job in a nearby garment factory. “Even if I don’t have any other work, I won’t do it.”
    Revulsion over Rana Plaza forced brands and retailers to act. The full list of companies were sourcing clothes from the building remains unclear, but had previously included Primark, Matalan and others. About 250 companies signed two initiatives, the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, and the less constraining Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. Both were designed to improve safety dramatically in 2,300 factories supplying western brands. Both complete their terms this year.(The Guardian, 24 April, 2018)
12th April - 17th April
  • Rohingyas commit 15 murders, 148 other offences in Bangladesh camps since Aug 2017. (bd News24 16.4.2018)
  • PM Sheilkh Hasina in London to attend Commonwealth meeting.(Daily Star: 17.4.2018)
4th April - 11th April
  • India, Bangladesh Sign Deal On Oil Pipeline, Discuss Teesta Water Issue
    • India and Bangladesh inked six MoUs, including one for the construction of a 129.5-km long oil pipeline between Siliguri and Parbatipur, and discussed the Teesta water sharing issue as well as the Rohingya refugee crisis.
    • Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and his Bangladeshi counterpart Md Shahidul Haque reviewed the areas of bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on issues of mutual interest, the Indian High Commission said in a statement.
    • "Both sides expressed appreciation for the notable progress achieved in the implementation of the decisions and initiatives taken during the visits of the Prime Minister of India to Bangladesh in June 2015 and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India in April 2017," it read.
    • The two sides signed six MoUs including India-Bangladesh Friendship pipeline between Siliguri and Parbatipur and an agreement between department of atomic energy, India and Bangladesh atomic energy commission.
    • "This is part of our endeavour to undertake projects in Bangladesh in various socio-economic sectors, including education, culture, health, community welfare, road infrastructure etc, for which we are providing 1,600 crore taka under grant financing," Foreign Secretary Gokhale said.
    • The MoU on oil pipeline is aimed at pumping diesel from India to Bangladesh with a capacity of 1 million tonnes per annum.
    • "The MoU focuses on deepening bilateral cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector and the mutual benefits for both sides that would accrue from the proposed construction of approximate 129.5-km long oil pipeline from the Siliguri Marketing Terminal of the Numaligarah Refinery Ltd (NRL) in India to the Parbaripur depot of the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC)," the brief description of the MoU read.
    • The other MoUs are on cooperation between Prasar Bharati and Bangladesh Betar, installation of an Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Urdu Chair in Dhaka University, Addendum to the GCNEP-BAEC Interagency Agreement, grant projects to set up language labs in 500 schools in Bangladesh and upgrade different roads in Rangpur city.
    • An addendum was signed relating to Inter-Agency agreement between Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership or GCNEP of India's atomic energy department and Bangladesh's atomic energy commission.
    • Mr Gokhale said Delhi remained a "committed development partner" of Dhaka and has extended lines of credit of over USD 8 billion to Bangladesh in the last seven years.
    • India also extended full support to Bangladesh's efforts for resolving the Rohingya refugee crisis, including the early repatriation of the displaced people to Myanmar.
    • "India has been fully supportive of the efforts being made to resolve the crisis, including early repatriation of the displaced people," Mr Gokhale said in a statement after his meeting with Haque on the second day of his three-day visit. (NDTV: April 10, 2018)
    • Protests against 56 percent quota for minorities and freedom fighters in Civil Service
    • Currently, 44 percent of the public service recruitments come from merit list and the remaining 56 percent from various quotas. On February 17, students under the banner of Bangladesh Shadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad launched the movement over five-point demand, including reducing the quota privilege to 10 percent from 56. The movement turned violent on Sunday as police fired several hundred teargas shells and rubber bullets, used water cannons and charged batons to disperse the demonstrators who blocked the Shahbagh intersection for over five hours. At least 75 people were injured and several others detained as violence flared up with Shahbagh and its adjacent areas turning into a battlefield. (The Daily Star 10 April, 2018)
Credit: Maryam Mastoor