M A Taslim

Trans Pacific Partnership and garment export

July 8, 2015
Trans Pacific Partnership and garment export

Whenever any of our major trade partners contemplates a free trade agreement or special trade preferences for countries that are exporters of apparels, an alarm is raised that such an agreement would adversely impact the export of apparels from Bangladesh. There was considerable unease when EU granted GSP+ trade privileges to Sri Lanka in 2005 and later to Pakistan in 2013. A great deal was said about the adverse impact of the privileges on Bangladesh’s apparel export to EU. Read more »

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Syed Badrul Ahsan

The damage that partisanship does

July 7, 2015
The damage that partisanship does

Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha deserves our thanks. He has reminded us once again of the ills which keep our society in a bind. To be sure, these are maladies we have consistently and regularly suffered from. But when the Chief Justice speaks of them, when he reflects on the role of political partisanship coming in the way of a proper prosecution of cases, it makes a world of difference. And it does because of the old truism that political loyalty is not necessarily a guarantee of professionalism in any region of public life. Where the appointment and performance of public prosecutors is concerned, every government in Bangladesh has been careful that its own people, those who swear fealty to it, occupy those significant positions in the legal system. The result has been appalling. The Chief Justice knows that and we know that. Read more »

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A. Rahman

Greek tragedy no longer a myth

July 6, 2015
Greek tragedy no longer a myth

Greek tragedy may have evolved, as Aristotle put it, from the “song for the sacrifice of the goat”, depicting the ancient rites and myths of the 5th century BC. But now that mythical tragedy is taking on a whole new meaning.

Greece might have invented democracy, produced the subtleties of logical deduction, and mastered the intricacies of reasoning some two thousand or so years ago, but she never had a national economy commensurate with her contributions to modern civilisation. Greece was at the vanguard of European and world civilisation for centuries. Read more »

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Kayes Ahmed

Marriage in the days of ISIS and SCOTUS

July 5, 2015
Marriage in the days of ISIS and SCOTUS

The arc of moral universe is long but it bends towards justice” is an immortal quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. That Arc finally bent towards justice when the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) made Gay Marriage the Law of the land.  The Christian Right (I am also sure religious fundamentalists of all shades) has been on a warpath to deny the LGBT community the basic human rights that are accorded to rest of us who live in the US. The protests are shrill and defiant but it is unlikely that these protests will have any impact on the eventual full implementation of Gay marriage in the US. Read more »

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Rifat Munim

The calculated silence on the killing of bloggers

July 4, 2015
The calculated silence on the killing of bloggers

These are dark times. So dark that forces more medieval than those in the Middle Ages are trying to hurtle us back into a place where nothing grows except the seeds of intolerance; so dark that the people who have been entrusted to protect us from those forces are in fact bowing down to them. Read more »

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David Dante Troutt

For America, real progress achieved nearly by accident

July 2, 2015
For America, real progress achieved nearly by accident

A couple carry an American flag and a rainbow flag during the annual Gay Pride parade in New York June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
It is tempting to look for signs of America’s direction in the late June ritual of reading the U.S. Supreme Court’s most momentous decisions of the term. Last week’s rulings in support of marriage equality, fair housing and Obamacare would suggest that on fundamental issues of daily life — the equal status of all love, the idea of housing as a link to life chances and the opening of access to healthcare for millions — the United States just took a giant step toward updating the constitutional principle of liberty with dignity. Read more »

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Rupak Bhattacharjee

Domestic politics delays signing of the Teesta deal

July 1, 2015
Domestic politics delays signing of the Teesta deal

Despite achieving breakthroughs in several areas of India-Bangladesh relations during the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic June 6-7 visit to Dhaka, both the countries are yet to resolve the most contentious bilateral problem—the Teesta. It has emerged as an emotive issue in Bangladesh where political elites, foreign policy experts, media, and the public expect the upper riparian country India to come up with a mutually acceptable water-sharing formula at the earliest. Read more »

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Zeenat Khan

Cuba: On a different wavelength

June 30, 2015
Cuba: On a different wavelength

Pico Iyer, a seasoned travel writer with his multicultural upbringing and known for his extraordinary insight and compassion,wrote in his novel Cuba and the Night:‘The great thing about being in Cuba was that you could just screen out the rest of the world, forget everything you knew, and take a break from America. The hardest thing about being there was that when you left it, the whole place disappeared from view, and it was almost as if you’d dreamed it. Hundred percent blackout.’ Read more »

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M A Taslim

Mr. Muhith’s budget: Spending out of the rut

June 29, 2015
Mr. Muhith’s budget: Spending out of the rut

Mr. AMA Muhith has secured his place in history. For a seventh year in a row, the finance minister has performed the ritual of placing Bangladesh’s national budget – a feat no other predecessor of the octogenarian politician could achieve. During this long period he has raised the budget expenditure from BDT 1016 billion (actual) to BDT 2951 billion (budget) and the revenue earnings from BDT 795 billion to BDT 2084 billion in nominal terms. Expressed in real terms the increase would of course be more modest. Read more »

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