Stories written by Naimul Haq
Naimul Haq is a Bangladesh-based journalist with well over a decade of experience. Currently, Naimul is the joint news editor and head of the English news department at Jamuna Television. Formerly, Naimul was a special correspondent for online news agency The-Editor, a senior staff correspondent for Bangladesh News 24 Hours and a senior staff reporter for The Daily Star in addition to other freelancing positions. Naimul is also a consultant with UNICEF Bangladesh and has extensive experience specialising in health and environmental issues with various international organisations, including the World Health Organisation, the Reuters Foundation and the World Bank.
It was the first time in the history of parliamentary elections in Bangladesh that a party won with such a huge margin. But according to local analysts familiar with Bangladesh's political climate, the victory by the ruling Awami League (AL) led coalition—which won over 96 percents of seats in parliament in the country's 11th national elections on Dec. 30—was expected in the face of the country's unprecedented development.
After the recent student uprising in Bangladesh, and despite increased policing on the streets and amendments to the traffic laws, there has been criticism that things have not changed significantly enough to make the country’s roads safer.
Despite having the strong support of influential global leaders, Bangladesh has "missed" the opportunity to mobilise the world’s superpowers and place pressure on Myanmar to allow for the repatriation of the Rohingya refugees.
Toxic chemical pollution in the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, is threatening thousands of marine and forest species and has environmentalists deeply concerned about the future of this World Heritage Site.
Nobel Laureates Mairead Maguire, Shirin Ebadi and Tawakkol Karman met with more than 100 women refugees in camps in the coastal Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh this week, as well as travelling to the “no man’s land” where thousands of Rohingya have been stranded between Myanmar and Bangladesh.
More than half a million Rohingya refugees crammed into over 30 makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar in southeast Bangladesh face a critical situation as the cyclone and monsoon season begins in a few weeks’ time.
Although Bangladesh has made remarkable recent strides like building green factories and meeting stringent safety standards, garment workers here are still paid one of the lowest minimum wages in the world.
With discussions underway between Bangladesh and Myanmar about the repatriation of more than a half a million Rohingya refugees, many critical questions remain, including how many people would be allowed back, who would monitor their safety, and whether the refugees even want to return to violence-scorched Rakhine state.
The repatriation of Rohingya refugees driven from their villages through violence and terror appears uncertain, with critics saying the agreement legalising the process of their return is both controversial and impractical.
In less than four months, over 600,000 Rohingya refugees have fled brutal persecution in Myanmar to seek safety across the border in Bangladesh. They are now crowded into camps across a stretch of 30 kms in Cox's Bazar, a southeastern coastal region of the small South Asian nation.
A continuous influx of sea water is threatening agriculture and food security in vast coastal areas of Bangladesh, but farmers are finding ways to adapt, like cultivating fish and crops at the same time.
About a year ago, seven year-old Afroza Khatun dropped out of school as her mother could not continue supervising her homework.
The interruption in her grade II lessons was soon noticed by a teacher of an information education centre known as ENRICH, a state-funded programme which aims at supporting children who drop out to continue their education from the primary level (up to grade II).
On a gloomy weather in a hilly suburb in Tarabonia, three women keep themselves busy stitching clothes. The informal shop-cum tailoring outlet is the only one of its kind in the neighbourhood and so the shop has a good record of sales of apparels. Minu Bai Marma, a 27 year-old housewife who runs the rented shop, gives a smile and attends to her regular customers. Customers keep ordering for new dresses, especially before festivals and Minu and her husband earn a fairly good amount of profits to run the family.