Tag: Bangladesh

Dhaka hustle and bustle

Saturday, 11 March, 2017 0 Comments

Between air pollution, poverty, corruption and rising sea levels, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is one of the least liveable cities in the world. This is tough for its 17 million residents as Dhaka has the potential to be one of Eurasia’s great urban centres. Location, location, location: Dhaka is located near several rivers, including the vast Ganges-Brahmaputra delta, which benefits Bangladesh’s agricultural economy, while the country’s mountains are rich with minerals, biodiversity and forests. In other words, Dhaka has access to all the resources it needs to prosper.

Farhan Hussain, Sajeed Sarwar and Safat Chowdhory are Bengali Film Makers and their Dhaka is full of life: “The smiling Rickshawala, the hustle and bustle of the street, the entrepreneurship spirit, the smell of freshly cooked Biriyani, the Falgun colours!”


Millions of migrants are on the march

Tuesday, 1 September, 2015 0 Comments

“It is projected that sub-Saharan Africa will have 900 million more inhabitants in the next 20 years. Of these, at least 200 million will be young people looking for work. The chaos of their countries of origin will push them further north.” So wrote Massimo Nava in Corriere della Sera a week ago.

The European Union is deeply divided about how to deal with the massive migration crisis that’s unfolding on its shore, in its mountains and at its train stations. Border controls are being blatantly ignored and policy is being made up on the fly. The proverb becomes reality: “Every man for himself (and the devil take the hindmost).” Example: A law aimed at discouraging refugees from settling in Denmark comes into effect today.

The plight of millions of human beings, exploited by traffickers and terrorized by religious fanatics, is distressing and only a person with a heart of stone would deny refuge to the exhausted and the traumatized, but beyond the individual and group suffering there’s a bigger challenge that demands an urgent, global response. The mass migration we are currently witnessing is a consequence of the real-time disintegration of states in the Middle East and North Africa. If this is not addressed, these endless waves of the displaced will erode the stability of the host countries. Such instability would turn Europe into a very disagreeable place, for both natives and migrants.

Those who find this kind of scenario apocalyptic, should note that countries and federations that wish to protect their sovereignty and citizens (the real purpose of government, after all) must control their borders. This does not exclude sympathy for those fleeing failed states, but the solution is to stabilize and rebuild failed states, not accept massive, unplanned shifts in population.

If the citizens of Syria, Libya, Eritrea, Bangladesh and all the other places that people are fleeing from cannot have decent lives at home, they’ll try to find better ones abroad. Unless Brussels, Washington, the Arab League, the African Union and ASEAN co-operate on this emergency, the situation is going to get much more frightening and Raspail’s fiction will become fact.

Syria


Ben Bernanke blogs

Monday, 30 March, 2015 0 Comments

Andrew’s Burnt Out? Blogs Are, Too” wrote Ana Marie Cox on 29 January, when it emerged that Andrew Sullivan was given up blogging. Sullivan’s Dish had persisted in various forms over 13 years and THE END was seen as the final blow to a self-centered, self-publishing activity encrusted with billions of unread words. But wait: “Blogging is very much alive – we just call it something else now,” responded Mathew Ingram of GigOm two days later. The irony of this is that GigOm itself expired on 9 March.

Actually, despite the headlines, blogging continues and a new name has been added to the blogroll: Ben Bernanke, who served two terms as chairman of the Federal Reserve, the US central bank. His first post is titled “Inaugurating a new blog” and it contains this piece of modest wisdom: “I hope to educate, and I hope to learn something as well.” That’s the blogging spirit, Ben. Question: Why are interest rates so low?

Ben Bernanke blog

UPDATE: Reuters informs us that blogging, in some parts of the world, is a deadly dangerous expression of freedom: “A blogger was hacked to death by machete-wielding assailants in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Monday, the second attack in five weeks on a critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority South Asian nation.”