Skip to content

La Semaine Dernière A Mes Yeux

(16 mars—23 mars)

La force frontière et RAB ont saisi beaucoup d’amphétamines à Teknaf. Ils y ont font une raide et ont découvert les stupéfiants, selon un reportage.

Selon un reportage, il y a une augmentation de vol de motos à Dacca. Dans une semaine, il y 4 incidents de vol, laissant une personne tuée et 4 blessées. Le vendredi matin, les voleurs ont attaqué 2 gardiens d’ un appartement et volé deux motos.

Selon un reportage, un prof de BAF Shaheen College Jessore a accusé un dirigeant de la Police de s’être emparé de sa terre.

Selon un reportage, un Rohingya a été tué dans le Kutupalang campe. Une incendie mystérieuse y a décimé trente magasins de Rohingya.

Selon un reportage de BBC, le gouvernement de Rakhine State a divulgué que 535.000 Rohingyas se sont enfuis au Bangladesh depuis le 25 août 2017.

Selon un reportage, un dirigeant du parti en exercice s’est emparé d’ un champ de football à Siddheshwari.

Selon un autre reportage, les dirigeants de l’Awami League et la Police recueillent extorsion de Tk 2 millions par mois depuis les vendeurs mobiles et marchés clandestines à Madani Avenue, Dacca.

Selon un reportage, le Premier Ministre malais Najib Razzak a prévenu qu’il se pouvait que Daech prise avantage de la crise Rohingya. D’après lui, la crise Rohingya menace à la sécurité régionale. Il a dit ça pendant le sommet de l’ASEAN et Australie à Sydney.


Empower The Pest Controllers

Outbreak of mosquitoes in all the major parts of Dhaka is a memento of sloppy governance that Bangladeshis have been enduring for last couple of years.

Sudden demise of DNCC mayor not only left the city orphan, it also hindered the daily operations of the city.

Just a year ago both the City Corporations with much fanfare discharged guppy fishes in the sewage and canals that criss-crossed the city.

Perhaps guppies were outnumbered by the larvae. Or toxic water consumed the fishes.

Rare are the evenings when swarm of buzzing mosquitoes does not swoop on us. Mosquito-bitten people vent their anger on govt.

To convince the Dhaka residents that City Corporation was indeed working, a city councilor posted a mobile phone footage of DNCC’s anti-mosquito drive on social networking site. The footage shows DNCC staffs riding on a pickup truck fight mosquitoes with a machine that is more capable to generate smoke and noise than to kill mosquitoes. The whole saga reminds the viewers of medieval chariot-riding warriors chasing their enemies.

Acumen of City Corporation employees is lacking here. They are pretty aware of mosquito breeding season. However their failure to destroy the breeding grounds aggravated the situation.

But one valuable lesson I learned from this unprecedented outbreak of mosquitoes. Sloppy governance offers a favorable atmosphere for parasites. Some suck blood, some snatch other people’s resources.

Parasite needs a host to grow. It gets all its vital nourishment from its host. In a political atmosphere where opposition is weak, ruling party becomes a perfect host for the parasitic class.

This class already emptied vaults of our banks. Banks paid the price by loosing clients’ trust. A new bank finding it difficult to return fund of climate change deposited by a government organization.

Even in our worst industrial disasters one can trace presence of this parasitic class. The owner of Rana Plaza started his political career in BNP. By the time he managed to build RMG empire, he switched side and used the ruling party to safeguard his interests.
Political patronage led to one of the worst industrial disasters in textile and clothing business. Thousands of innocent workers lost their lives and thousands more are living crippled lives.

A parasitic class in the ministry of health and family planning embezzled international fund for fighting tuberculosis in the country. The donor organization probed the matter and published its 25-page-long findings on its website, exposing the kleptoculture of our public offices to the world.

This week a group of hooligans have evicted a family from their own residence in Shyamoli. They also erected a signboard claiming their rights over the property.

A news report divulged their identities. They are identified as ruling party stalwarts.

In Manikganj, another parasitic class boasting the identities of their host was running an abduction racket. RAB nabbed the racket while extorting Tk 4.5 million from two businessmen.

Money and profit generated by political parasites end up in foreign shores. They contribute little to economic growth and employment generation.

A recent business report published on a leading daily claimed that a Bangladeshi company owned by a ruling party leader expressed interest to invest in food processing and fisheries sectors in Philippines. The company planned to do so by sidestepping Bangladesh Bank regulation and with the assistance of foreign financing institutions. The report appended that European clothing retailers’ platform ACCORD severed ties with party leader’s company as it failed to meet criteria for workers’ safety.

The number of Parasites reaches an epidemic proportions before the election season when clandestine cash will inundate the society. That is when lid of cesspool of pre-election violence will be opened.

A level playing field ahead of next election requires that govt clamp down hard on its unmanageable loyalists. Or more precisely it has to deploy troops all across the country to contain parasites that use it as a host body.

Why the government will assent to such a proposal when such step will hurt its rank and file activists?

Election Commission can play a role here. Though deemed biased, it enjoys some discretionary power to take decision of deploying troops ahead of election. But the decision should come at least 6 or 5 months ahead of the election. Unless all the participating parties can do campaign freely , the election will not be free and fair.

A crop field infested with insects and parasites needs pesticides. A pest controller’s job is to apply it in right proportions. Similarly, a country whose society and economy are encumbered with parasites needs regular election to check the parasitic class. And people have to play the role of pest controller. They can do it by casting their vote without fear and influence in an inclusive election. Will they be able to do that in next election? Will there be the right atmosphere for exercising their rights?

La Semaine Dernière A Mes Yeux

(09 mars— 16 mars)

Un vol de US-Bangla Airlines a écrasé pendant l’atterrissage à l’aéroport de Tribhuwan, au Népal. Selon un reportage, l’ accident a tué 50 passagers.

Une conflagration a ravagé un bidonville à Mirpur, Dacca. Selon un reportage, l’incendie a détruit 5.000 maisons. Seulement une personne a été hospitalisée, mais beaucoup de gens restent disparus.

Un dirigeant de la succursale du BNP est mort pendant l’interpellation dans la gendarmerie. Selon un reportage, ses proches ont accusé la Police de l’avoir torturé dans la gendarmerie. Il a été appréhendé depuis Press Club le 7 mars.
Selon un reportage, 31 familles d’un groupe indigène à Bandarban sont partis pour Rakhine State en Birmanie. L’ autorité pense que la faim dans le bois et restriction sur leur mode de agriculture font jouer un rôle dans leur départ.

Selon un reportage, Amnesty International se dit que Tatmadaw met en place des installations militaires sur les villages où les Rohingyas habitaient. Amnesty a apporté des images satellitaires comme preuve.

Police malaise a appréhendé 28 Bangladais pour avoir opéré une clandestine agence immobilière en Malaisie.

Selon un reportage, renseignements policiers ont torturé un journaliste à Barisal. Il est allé à une gendarmerie pour trouver l’information sur un proche appréhendé. Une altercation avec un policier a mené à son appréhension.

Selon un reportage, un dirigeant et son fils ont été arrêtés par RAB. Ils ont enlevé un homme d’affaires et demandé Tk 4,5 millions.

Made By Rohingya

There is no sign that Tatmadaw will change its stance on the Rohingyas. Mercurial nature of the Junta govt deepens the crisis instead of dissipating it. So fate of the Rohingyas hangs indefinitely in the air.

Some recent developments suggest that the peaceful resolution of the crisis becomes bleaker.

Tatmadaw continues to flex its muscle along the border. Stranded Rohingyas in the No Man’s Land are too frightened to go back. The recent build up also flares up tensions between the two forces.

This atmosphere is not conducive to Rohingya return. In addition, news reports from Rakhine state indicate that Tatmadaw uses starvation as a tool to drive the remaining Rohingyas out of the Rakhine State.

President Trump’s advisor Lisa Curtis made a trip to Rohingya camps and met Bangladeshi foreign minister Mahmud Ali. She demurred the proposal that Myanmar Generals should be tried in international court for mass killings in Rakhine State. She made it clear that US needs substantial evidence to incriminate Tatmadaw Generals.

Following a meeting with a British aid delegation, Finance minister told the journalists that Bangladesh might host the Rohingya population for an indefinite period. According to a news report, he stressed that Bamar people (ruling ethnic group) were the problem, referring them as “Mogh”. To him, Rakhine people are not the threat and Rohingyas have to ultimately go for armed struggle.

He just echoed the view propagated by Bangladeshi PM in her post-Vatican trip press conference.Local security analysts however ruled out any full scale war with Myanmar in future.

Meanwhile, international assistance for the Rohingyas ebbs low. UN says $950 million worth of relief assistance will be needed for the next 10 month. Local aid groups find it hard to provide sustenance for this stateless people in the months coming ahead.

Local villagers living around Rohingya camps also find it difficult to continue their day to day activity. Press reports say that Rohingyas have taken away the informal sector jobs. Prices of essential commodities go up as Rohingyas push the demand up. Schools are not functioning well. School goers indulge in assisting the aid operations as it becomes a lucrative job, often hampering their education.

Patience of hosting community wears thin. They want to know how long they have to share their resources with this indigent stateless guest.
Moreover, monsoon season also poses grave danger to the places where the Rohingyas are now residing. Tidal surge and mud slides could cause tragedy. For this reason, part of the Rohingya population should be relocated to alternate places before the monsoon draws in.

The Rohingya crisis also appears to be boon for Sub Continent based religious fanatic groups. These groups have suffered from lack of funding for the last couple of years. Rohingya crisis may help them to get foreign fund to bolster their activities.

International Crisis Group in its recent report warned that there might be resurgence of terror activities as major political parties did not manage to walk on the path of reconciliation.

Despite the deep divide in politics, Bangladesh provides shelter to the hapless Rohingyas. Moreover, Hasina govt is accommodating the Islamist parties. So the risk that jihadists target Bangladeshis and Bangladeshi interests is pretty low.

Usually, jihadist groups claim responsibility of an attack. The attack on a popular science fiction writer who is not affiliated with the ruling party puzzled many. Despite the fact that the attacker and his family subscribed to the alien and crudest version of their faith, none of the terrorist groups has yet claimed any responsibility.
So far there has been no news that Rohingyas are subscribed to any of these groups.

As the Army takes charge of relief operations and imposes strict controls over entry to the camps, Rohingyas are insulated from the lure of vested groups.

If the crisis prolongs, there may be fewer international pledges to Rohingya aid. In this circumstances , Rohingya people will be more susceptible to their vulnerabilities.

I have been arguing for a long time to introduce a “Rohingya Bill” at the parliament. This bill will help them to relieve their worries. It will grant them temporary residency allowing them to avail public services in the areas of Medicare, education. Moreover, it will ensure issue of special passport and ID cards , which will allow them to open bank accounts, launch businesses and purchase property here.

In addition, government can arrange them land to set up business or farm.

If lands are scarce, floating docks or abandoned/phased-out ships can be viewed as an alternative to land for setting up their business initiatives. The biggest advantage of these docks and ships is that during inclement weather they can be steered towards safe places using tugboats. This will help save resources and money in the face of nature’s fury, which frequently strikes the coastal areas.Another advantage is that any land related dispute can be avoided.

To popularize Rohingya manufactured goods govt can launch a special “Made By Rohingya” branding campaign abroad. It can wheedle the friendly foreign governments into providing more market-access to Bangladeshi origin goods, including the ones made by the Rohingyas.
Given the protracted nature of this crisis, this trade diplomacy will partly mitigate the Rohingya crisis. Rohingyas will also be viewed as a contributing force to our economy.

But for that, Bangladesh has to make investment in developing the Rohingya human capital.

The only precondition attached with this scheme is that we have to change our perception apropos the Rohingya people. We should view them as a gift rather than liability from our unpredictable eastern neighbor.

La Semaine Dernière A Mes Yeux

(02 mars — 09 mars)

Global Fund— initiative globale pour lutter contre le SIDA, la Tuberculose et le Paludisme— a accusé le gouvernement bangladais d’ avoir escroqué des fonds destinés à la lutte contre la Tuberculose, selon un reportage.

Globale Fund a mené une enquête et a trouvé que les salariés du ministère de la santé avaient détourné Tk 8,8 millions. Globale Fund a publié les trouvailles sur son site et a demandé de retourner les argents et punir les coupables.

Un terroriste présumé a attaqué un prof de l’Université de Shahjalal. Le prof, un écrivain populaire pour les adolescents, a subi des blessures légères sur la tête, le cou , le dos et le bras. L’ attentat s’est déroulé pendant que la police australienne menait une enquête sur un attentat terroriste en Australie par une étudiante bangladaise. Par ailleurs, une conseillère de Trump faisait une visite officielle à Dacca pendant l’attaque.

La semaine précédente, un dirigeant de la faction de JaShod, a menacé le gouvernement pour l’intention de tenir élection générale sans parti opposition. Pendant ses années à l’université, le prof était fidèle de ce parti et dessinait cartoon pour le quotidien «Ganokantha», le porte-parole de JaShod.

Il écrit aussi chronique pour les journaux locaux.

Selon un reportage, assaillant était étudiant d’ une école coranique. Ses oncles sont salafistes. Police a appréhendé ses parents et un de ses oncles.

Le prof a été hospitalisé à Combined Military Hospital à Dacca.

Le Koweït a interdit le recrutement des ouvriers bangladais, selon un reportage. La décision a été prise après le pays avait détecté corruption dans le recrutement.
Selon un reportage, l’ONU a demandé Tk 950 millions pour 10 mois afin d’ aider les Rohingyas et les Bangladais habitent aux alentours des campes de Rohingya.

Selon un reportage, l’Arabie Saoudite a exprimé la désir de signer l’accord militaire avec Bangladesh pour fortifier coopération militaire entre deux pays.

Pendant la visite officielle du chef de l’armée de la terre bangladaise, les Saoudiens ont d ont divulgué cette désir. Le chef avec son homologue saoudien a aussi discuté la possibilité de l’ adhésion du Bangladesh à «Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition » mené par l’Arabie Saoudite.

Selon un reportage, incendie mystérieuse a détruit une forêt avoisinant les campes de Rohingya à Cox’s Bazar.

Incendie continue à causer des dégâts aux ateliers de confection. A Ashulia un atelier a été détruit par le feu. A Gazipur, l’incendie a ravagé deux ateliers de confection.

Luttes intestines du parti en exercice ont tué 2 personnes et blessés 15 personnes à Sylhet. Une altercation sur le prix de la course a entamé les luttes.

Amar Ekushey Book Fair: Incredulous Bystander’s Take

Recent Ekushey book fair again leaves behind a trail of debate on its purpose, its success and the way it is organized.The staggering number of books published in the fair astonished everyone. More than 4000 books were published.

The sheer numbers of sales and books are highly disputable.

Bangla Academy in a statement disclosed that this year’s sales surpassed those of the previous year. However, it did not disclose how it gleaned the information of Tk 700 million.

Is it based on the information provided by book sellers?

Does Bangla Academy have a procedure to appraise that figure?

Did it collect the cash memos?

What is the volume of transaction that took place through mobile financial service?

How much does it account for the total sales?

Did it ask the writers whether all of them receive the due honorarium?

Does stall location have any impact on book sales? Does stall location in other international book fairs have impact on sales?

What are the sales for February 13, February 14 and February 21? Are they higher or lower than those of previous year?

I forwarded the questions to Bangla Academy authority. It answered some of the questions.

On calculating the sales , Bangla Academy said it used its perception about the daily sales. In addition, it furnished information form to the publishers. Sales data also retrieved from this form. It calculated the total sales based on its perception and the sales data supplied by publishers.

This year drop in sales still rankles book sellers. Several sellers told me this year has been the worst despite the fact that in the month of February there was no political agitation.
Yet sales on February 13, 14 and 21 did not turn out to be as they were anticipated.

So what did convince Bangla Academy to come up with such an unbelievable sales amount?

Bangla Academy said it was true that total sales on February 21 were lower in this year. Fair’s peak days ( weekly holidays+ public holidays+ last 3 days ) are 14. Sales on last three days and on weekly holidays were unprecedentedly higher and offset the drop in sales of above mentioned days.
Moreover, Bangla Academy said that many publishers often did not reveal their total sales.

On mobile financial services Bangla Academy said it officially allowed mobile financial services in the fair for the first time. One leading mobile financial service provider informed it that this year 38,000 of its clients used its services to do transaction in the fair. Though it did not provide the sales amount, Bangla Academy assumed that it was approximately Tk 230,000.

During my personal encounters, many book sellers put forward awkward location of their stalls for their disappointing sales.
Bangla Academy also shared publishers’ concerns about stall location. It did agree that awkward position of stalls adversely affected sale of books.

Why should a professional publisher bother about location of its stall?

This indicates that our publishers heavily depend on seasonal buyers.

I do not have animus towards Bangla Academy, which is doing well under the tutelage of a competent scholar and gentleman.
Most of the initiatives Bangla Academy has undertaken in recent years were unassailable. For instance, decision to host an international literary festival at the heart of Bengal’s cultural Mecca was farsighted and laudable.

But such untrue sales figure of Ekushey book fair, failure to ensure professionalism among the participating publishers and hidden barriers to entry of foreign Bengali publishers do not go well with its mission and visions.

If the exaggeration is done to glorify the event and our publication industry, then I have to say it is doing a disservice to the fair.

I have no intention to belittle the neophytes but BA should demarcate a line to distinguish between professionalism and amateurism.

These small matters crack open the built-in flaws of our Ekushey book fair.

Satire travel writer Syed Mujtaba Ali once mockingly said that he used to purchase his own books to keep the industry alive and to relieve his publishers from worries.

I bet many published books and the aspiring newcomers belong to this category.

Why does Bangla Academy brook presence of the upstarts— part of whom may published the books from their corrupt earnings—amid august company of professional writers and publishers at the same fair?

Bangla Academy may say it wants the fair to be a potpourri of Bangla writers and publishers, irrespective of their level of professionalism.Then why does it bar the Kolkata based publishers? They are also promoting the language.

Moreover, giving too much importance to politically biased publishers and writers at this holy book fair is an unjust act since a professional publisher and writer may vie for that attention.

In addition, the readers know very little about these books and their contents. In this age of digital revolution, Bangla Academy could easily launch a dedicated website and publish synoptic reviews about the books after fetching the information from the publishers.

Bangla Academy also needs to look into whether such a peerless event is used to whiten black money as it happened in the entertainment industry.

Instead of addressing the issues, the book fair authority with the aid of government and police introduced vice policing to have a close eye on the “sacrilegious contents”.

Perhaps no other book fair in the world lasts this long. The duration of the fair wanes its appeal to the greater mass and is a hindrance to develop professionalism. This lengthy fair only hones a breed of fair centric publishers, two-thirds of whom go off-screen from the publication radar during the rest of the year.

The duration should be cut short to 10 days. Starting from February 12 the fair may end on February 21. BA may take the fair to other parts of Bangladesh. It may prepare a year-long fair calendar in this regard. As a first step, BA may reach out to divisional readers by organizing 5-day or 7-day long fairs at all the divisions.

Publishers who only publish books in exchange of money should not be allowed to take part in Bangla Academy. They glutted the fair with books whose only connoisseurs are the writers and his dear ones.

Ekushey book fair can be viewed as a launching platform for tyros. There is no gainsaying on that. But it has to be done in a professional way, which is not there at this moment.

The book fair passed its fledgling years long ago. Yet amateurism, mollycoddling of partisan writers and veil of protectionism have been going on for all these years.

Nonchalance stance to these issues may swerve Amar Ekushey Book Fair from its purposes and missions.

La Semaine Dernière A Mes Yeux

(23 février — 03 mars)

4 soldats bangladais ont été tués par une explosion de bombe piégé à Mali. Selon un reportage, 4 soldats sont aussi blessés. Ils y assistaient à l’opération du casque bleue de l’ONU.

Selon un reportage, International Crisis Group a mis en garde sur résurgence du terrorisme au Bangladesh. Dans un rapport, il a noté que le parti en exercice utilisait l’opération antiterroriste à son avantage. De plus, le parti de l’ opposition BNP connaissait difficultés à pratiquer son droit. La division entre deux partis principaux au Bangladesh contribuait énormément à résurgence de terrorisme. ICG pense que l’accalmie d’ attentat terroriste dans les mois récents indique «la calme avant la tempête ».

La Banque asienne de l’infrastructure et investissement , AIIB, a donné son aval à $60 millions crédits à un projet de construire une centrale électrique à Bangladesh. La banque a aussi désiré d’investir $885 millions au Bangladesh dans les années qui viennent, selon un reportage.

Selon un reportage, ancien ambassadeur de la Chine au Bangladesh Ma Mingqiang est parti Bangladesh sans dire adieu à président bangladais, premier ministre et le ministre des affaires étrangères. L’ ambassadeur a causé polémique après il avait forcé l’ autorité d’ une exhibition photographe d’ enlever les photos par des photographes tibétains. DRIK, un des organisateurs de cette exposition internationale, s’est trouvé qu’un de ses dirigeants avait été abdiqué et tué par des gens inconnus. Selon un reportage par un quotidien bangladais, l’autorité chinoise a interpellé Ma Mingqiang pour avoir influencé des projets chinois au Bangladesh.

Les États-Unis a interdit la succursale de Daesh au Bangladesh, selon un reportage.

Les soldats de l’armée de la Birmanie se sont massés aux alentours de la frontière entre Bangladesh et Birmanie. Ils ont ouvert le feu à l’air afin de repousser les Rohingyas qui s’y étaient rassemblés.

Bangladesh a appelé l’ambassadeur de la Birmanie dans le ministère des affaires étrangères pour protester contre la manifestation de la force près de la frontière.