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Posts Tagged ‘Bangladesh’

‘Kissinger Cables’ Offer Window Into Indian Politics of the 1970s

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 9, 2013

Indira Gandhi, then Indian prime minister, at the site of India's first underground nuclear test in Pokhran, Rajasthan, in Dec. 1974.ReutersIndira Gandhi, then Indian prime minister, at the site of India’s first underground nuclear test in Pokhran, Rajasthan, in Dec. 1974.

The “Kissinger Cables,” a collection of U.S. diplomatic cables released on Monday by WikiLeaks, contain some fascinating revelations about the political scenario in India in the 1970s. Here are the five great insights about India in the WikiLeaks release:

India’s first nuclear test was possibly motivated by political considerations:

According to this cable, sent from New Delhi to the Department of State, India’s first nuclear test on May 18, 1974, was motivated by domestic politics. The cable says that the nuclear test had been done at a time when the Indian government was tackling an economic slowdown, increasing discontent and rising political unrest.

“We are inclined to believe that this general domestic gloom and uncertainty weighed significantly in the balance of India’s nuclear decision,” reads the cable sent on the date of the nuclear test. “The need for a psychological boost, the hope of recreated atmosphere of exhilaration and nationalism that swept the country after 1971 – contrary to our earlier expectation – may have tipped the scales.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Why India Is Still One of the Most Dangerous Places to Give Birth

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 10, 2012

India’s economy may be booming, but when it comes to providing adequate health care to pregnant women, the country is falling behind even its poorer neighbors.

A new born baby sleeps in the arms of her mother at a Community Health Center in Mall, near the central east Indian city of Lucknow on October 31, 2011.

In March, Preeti Singh almost died giving birth. The 22-year-old resident of a village about a half hour’s drive from New Delhi was pregnant with twins and planned to give birth with the help of an untrained midwife. When things went wrong during the delivery, she rushed to three government hospitals in search of help before her family decided to take out a loan for $1,000 to send her to a private hospital. Preeti and one of the twins survived. “Giving birth is not easy,” she said. “But maybe if I was taken to a hospital to give birth or a competent dai (midwife) was there, it would not have been so traumatic and my other child would have been saved.”

Indeed, with basic maternity care, many lives in India would be saved. According to a 2010 study by the Harvard School of Public Health, 150,000 deaths could be prevented by 2015 if Indian women had access to better family planning and health care during their pregnancies and deliveries. But that medical help has yet to arrive. A new report by Save the Children suggests that, despite India’s booming economy, the country is still one of the most high-risk places in the world to give birth. It ranked India as the fourth-worst country among 80 less-developed nations in its survey, with nearly half of all births taking place without a trained health professional. “Even though India has made efforts to improve maternal health by encouraging institutional deliveries and taking other measures,” says Thomas Chandy, the head of Save the Children India, “the benefits have not yet appeared to bring about a shift.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Magnitude 6.8 quake with epicenter in Sikkim

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 18, 2011

Intensity of Earthquake. Source:USGS

Nepal: 5 died, 27 injured. British embassy compound wall collapsed in Kathmandu.

Earthquake Details

  • This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.
Magnitude 6.9
Location 27.723°N, 88.064°E
Depth 19.7 km (12.2 miles)
Distances 68 km (42 miles) NW of Gangtok, Sikkim, India
119 km (73 miles) NNW of Shiliguri, West Bengal, India
272 km (169 miles) E of KATHMANDU, Nepal
572 km (355 miles) N of Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal, India
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 13.5 km (8.4 miles); depth +/- 3.5 km (2.2 miles)
Parameters NST=344, Nph=348, Dmin=371.8 km, Rmss=1.21 sec, Gp= 22°,
M-type=”moment” magnitude from initial P wave (tsuboi method) (Mi/Mwp), Version=C
  • Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID usc0005wg6
  • Did you feel it? Report shaking and damage at your location. You can also view a map displaying accumulated data from your report and others.

15 minutes ago: NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit a remote area in northeastern India on Sunday evening, killing at least two people and damaging buildings and blocking roads, as well as killing four in neighboring Nepal, officials said.

One child died in Sikkim state, the epicenter of the earthquake, and another person died in Bihar state as a result of a stampede sparked by the quake, CNN-IBN broadcaster said.

The Himalayan region is prone to landslides and many high-rise buildings have come up in Sikkim’s mountain towns over the last few years of economic boom. There were concerns that the toll could rise as information arrived from remote areas.

In neighboring Nepal, four people died.

“Four people were injured when a wall collapsed after the quake. All of them were rushed to hospital but 3 died during treatment,” said Kedar Rijal, the chief of Kathmandu police.

Several buildings collapsed in Sikkim’s capital Gangtok, and widespread power cuts were reported across the northeastern state, television channels said.

There were also reports of landslides in Sikkim and West Bengal state. Read the rest of this entry »

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China’s involvement in SAARC crucial: PM

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 14, 2011


KATHMANDU, Sept 14: Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai on Wednesday said that China´s involvement in SAARC has become crucial in view of its geo-proximity to the sub-continent and rapid economic growth.

“China neighbors five out of eight SAARC countries. Therefore, its involvement in SAARC has become crucial,” the prime minister said on Wednesday.

The prime minister further added that South Asian countries and China “must unite” to eradicate poverty in the region, which is home to about half of the world population.

Addressing the inaugural session of the Second Convention of China and South Asia Forum of Organizations in Kathmandu on Wednesday, the prime minister also stressed on Nepal´s interest in linking South Asia and China.

“Nepal would like to act like a vibrant bridge between these two historic regions, rather than merely playing the role of a traditional buffer state,” the prime minister said.

Altogether 30 delegates from Nepal, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are participating in the four-day event. Read the rest of this entry »

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U.N. Claims 1 Million In Libya Will Need Emergency Aid

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 8, 2011

Gaddafi said that people love them and there was happening nothing against him. Finally he invited NATO that is no good.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Nobel laureate forced to quit Grameen Bank

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 2, 2011


DHAKA: Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus has been forced to quit his position as head of the microfinance lender he founded, Grameen Bank.

Bangladesh’s central bank ordered his removal after accusations he violated the country’s retirement laws, according to Private Desh TV and Bangla Vision Television. The government owns a 25 per cent stake in Grameen, which lends small amounts of money to the poor and spurred similar lending practices worldwide. The innovation won Yunus the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.

The central bank has claimed that Yunus, a longtime critic of the government, violated the country’s retirement laws by staying on as Grameen’s head well past the mandatory retirement age of 60. Yunus is 70.

Grameen Bank however, says the normal retirement rule does not apply to it as the bank is run under a special 1983 law. Yunus was appointed managing director of the bank for an indefinite period in 2000 when he reached 60.

Yunus has been mired in controversy after revelations of an unauthorised bank transfer and as the microfinance industry comes under attack for placing onerous conditions on borrowers that led to suicides in India’s Andhra Pradesh state last year.

Controversy swirled around Yunus after a Norwegian television documentary that screened in December accused him of transferring Norwegian development funds from Grameen Bank to another venture without prior approval in 1996. Behind the scenes pressure by the Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka resulted in the funds being transferred back to Grameen Bank in 1998. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rethinking International Security Sector Assistance: British Assistance to the Rapid Action Battalion in Bangladesh

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 26, 2011

“There are incidents of trials that are not possible under the laws of the land. The government will need to continue with extra-judicial killings, commonly called crossfire, until terrorist activities and extortion are uprooted.” – Shahjahan Khan, Shipping Minister Bangladesh Government 2009.[1]

“[UK] government has agreed to provide human rights training to the Rapid Action Battalion, a branch of the Bangladeshi police, whose chequered human rights record has been identified as a driver of radicalisation in that country”. – UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2009 Annual Human Rights Report

Any extrajudicial killing is a sad thing and this is not tolerable. There is a possibility that one can kill another in self-defence, but whether the killing was in self-defence or not should be decided by the court. If the court gives the verdict that a police or RAB officer killed a particular person in a shootout in self-defence then we will be satisfied.” – Dr Mizanur Rahman, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh on 9 February 2011 while addressing the inaugural ceremony of a seminar on UPR follow-up and implementation organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh and the Commonwealth Secretariat. [2]


In the last few days the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has continued to carry out ‘crossfire killings’ or ‘encounter killings’, euphemisms for extrajudicial executions. The recent leak of cables revealing UK’s support to the RAB has, for once, sparked international attention onto Bangladesh’s appalling human rights record[3] and that of the RAB in particular.

International human rights groups have, rightly, responded with concern. In this paper Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) seeks to assess UK’s support. This paper examines the political context and raises questions about the FCO project design and the logic that sits behind it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wikileaks: On U.S. request, India shuts payment route for Iran oil imports

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 31, 2010

By Sandeep Dikshit

ACU mechanism crucial for India to deal with Iran

Iran to hold talks with RBI on Friday

NEW DELHI: In a move that is being seen worldwide as an example of India succumbing to American pressure, the Reserve Bank of India has barred companies from using the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) to process current account transactions for oil and gas imports — a decision that directly hits at Indian energy imports from Iran.

With American and European clearing houses unwilling to process payments involving the Iranian hydrocarbon sector, an urgent solution will now have to be found for the $11 billion worth of oil India imports annually from the Islamic Republic. Diplomatic sources told The Hindu that a senior official from the Central Bank of Iran will hold emergency talks with the RBI on Friday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Professor Hans Rosling’s Analysis Clips

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 15, 2010

Professor Hans Rosling’s analysis very interesting. Here some analysis by him in different sectors:

200 years that changed the world:

On power shift:

Read the rest of this entry »

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BANGLADESH: When sexual harassment leads to suicide

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 13, 2010


Photo: Matt Crook/IRIN The streets have turned more dangerous for girls; sexual harassment has driven them to drop out of school -- even to suicide

DHAKA, 13 December 2010 (IRIN) – Sexual harassment against girls and women in Bangladesh is turning deadly: 28 women have committed suicide this year and another seven attempted it to escape frequent sexual harassment, says a Dhaka-based human rights organization, Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK).

A father also committed suicide fearing social insult after his daughter was harassed and in other cases, stalkers killed three women, reported the NGO.

According to the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association, almost 90 percent of girls aged 10-18 years have experienced what is known locally as “eve-teasing”,  where boys intercept girls on the street, and shout obscenities, laugh at them or grab their clothes.

Eve-teasing has escalated ever since girls and women started entering formal education and employment in larger numbers in the 1980s, said Paul Subrata Malakar, from the NGO Plan International, in Dhaka.


On 16 November, Sharmin*, a 20-year-old student in Dinanjpur, (400km northwest of Dhaka), was returning home from college when a stalker forcibly held her hand and tried to hug her.

Since then, her parents say, she has stopped going to college.  Read the rest of this entry »

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BANGLADESH: Community involvement key to disaster preparedness

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 19, 2010

DHAKA, 18 November 2010 (IRIN) – Working in one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, Bangladeshi aid

Photo: Matt Crook/IRIN Char Kaijuri, a raised village in northwestern Bangladesh, built with community participation

groups have learned that well-intentioned disaster relief programmes without community participation do little to protect those communities in the long run.

“Communities have been living with disasters for much longer than we have been talking about disaster risk reduction,” said Dilruba Haider, a director of NGO Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre(BDPC).

“Unless you involve communities and give them the feeling that this is their project, as soon as you withdraw, the whole thing collapses.”

A good example of community involvement was when the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation contracted out the construction of four cyclone shelters in Bagerhat District in the far southwest of the country – and BDPC engaged communities to select the sites and oversee the work.

These shelters contrast with much of the prior work nationwide, Haider said.

“In the coastal belt we have more than 2,000 cyclone shelters, many of which have already become shabby and unusable. Government and donors built them and then they go out of the area and the community just sees a building,” she said.  Read the rest of this entry »

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One Woman’s Mission: Empowering World’s Poorest Girls to Transform World

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 21, 2010

Huffington Post By Jim Luce

New York City's child advocate Jin In training local young women in Nepal.

I first met Jin In off a snowy sidewalk near Bryant Park in New York City this past winter. She just returned from Nepal, energized. There, she was working to empower young women belonging to the lowest caste, a group most locals wouldn’t touch or associate with. However Jin saw them as valuable members of society. In fact, she saw them as the greatest untapped human resource. As we exchanged stories — our visions — I realized we are the same kind of passionate global citizens working for the poor to make the world better.

Jin was born in the East, raised in the West, and goes wherever she is called to empower the world’s poorest girls. She is the Founding Director of 4Girls GLocal Leadership (4GGL) — Inspiring Girls, Transforming the World. Her organization combines global thinking with local action resulting in “glocal” innovation — developing the leadership potential of girls and young women in poor communities around the world. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal: 1200 Bangaladeshis Waiting for Nepali Passport

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 9, 2010 

Some 1200 Bangladeshi nationals are in Kathmandu waiting for Nepali forged passports in the hope of going to gulf countries for employment, Annapurna Post daily reported.

This was revealed from the statement given to the police by an agent-involved in the nexus of forging the passports and sending the Bangladeshis to gulf countries- arrested from Kathmandu recently.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Deepak Thapa said some 1200 Bangladeshi nationals were waiting for the Nepali passports. Read the rest of this entry »

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