Visitors might be confused after arriving in Char Chatkimarai, a tiny island of eight square miles situated in the extreme south of Bangladesh close to the Bay of Bengal. Many might think they have just landed in an amazing part of a big national park of buffalo.
Aid agencies warn of a serious unfolding humanitarian crisis as floodwaters continue to inundate new areas of three South Asian countries, forcing millions of people to flee their homes for shelters.
When one thinks of Bangladesh, its political leadership naturally comes to mind as the leaders of the country’s major parties are women, including the Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader and the Speaker of the National Parliament.
Breaking all the social barriers and taboos, poor women in Bangladesh are now engaged in rural development works across the country as labourers.
“Showing them a picture-book crow, I intone ‘kaak
’ in Bengali, the State language. While others repeat in chorus, the tribal Santhali first-graders respond with a blank look. They know the crow only as ‘koyo’
. They’ll happily roll out glass marbles to count but ask them how many they counted, they remain silent because in their mother tongue, one is mit
, two is bariah
- very different sounding from the Bengali ek
Experts and policymakers here say regional cooperation is a must to resolve long-standing water problems in South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India and Nepal, and to harness the full value of water.
Water is precious, fragile, and dangerous. It can sustain or destroy.
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 (or RPD Act) is laudable in its intent and procedural detail, but mostly silent on disabilities among the elderly. Indeed, for this reason alone, it is arguable that its overarching goal—“The appropriate Government shall ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy the right to equality, life with dignity and respect for his or her integrity equally with others” —is mere rhetoric, if not a pipe dream.
Life for Bangladesh’s rural people, particularly in its remote north, is still miserable. Seasonal flooding, river erosion, and the low quality of rural infrastructure and lack of connectivity have made things harder for poor northerners.
In the wake of recent water-related disasters in Bangladesh, including water-logging and floods that displaced thousands of families, a high-level consultation in the capital Dhaka on valuing water will look at ways to optimize water use and solutions to water-related problems facing South Asia.
The Maldives, one of the world’s low-lying, small island developing states (SIDS) -- threatened with extinction because of a sea-level rise-- is shoring up its coastal defences in anticipation of the impending calamity.
Held for the first time in the Arab world, an annual meeting of Asian and Arab Parliamentarians examined how regional conflicts hinder the development of effective policies to achieve sustainable development, particularly as they generate large numbers of refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants.
When Maleeha Lodhi arrived at the United Nations in 2015 as Pakistan’s ambassador, she brought with her a broad background in academia, journalism and diplomacy: a Ph.D. in political science from the London School of Economics, where she later taught political sociology; the first woman to edit major newspapers in Pakistan; ambassador to the United States twice and once as Pakistan’s high commissioner in London.
Online shopping may have its pros and cons, but when it comes to buying products that have an invisible morality tag, it’s the safest possible option, believes Franklin Paul.
More than ever before, the Arab region now registers an unprecedented youth population growth while facing huge challenges such as extremely high unemployment rates --more than half of all regional jobless population--, and inadequate education and health provision, in particular among young women.
In a semi-lit room of a southern Chennai neighborhood, a group of women sit in a circle around a table surrounded by large cardboard boxes of "Nirodh" – India’s most popular condom.
Poultry farmer Bambang Sutrisno Setiawan had long heard about biosecurity but never gave serious thought to it, even when the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 forced him to cull thousands of his layer chickens in 2003 and 2009.
It’s been 20 years since the Asian financial crisis struck in July 1997. Since then there has been an even bigger global financial crisis, centred in the United States starting in 2008. Will there be another crisis in the near future?
After months of withstanding speculative attacks on its national currency, the Thai central bank let it ‘float’ on 2 July 1997, allowing its exchange rate to drop suddenly. Soon, currencies and stock markets throughout the region came under pressure as easily reversible short-term capital inflows took flight in herd-like fashion. By mid-July 1997, the currencies of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines had also fallen precipitously after being floated, with stock market price indices following suit.
“Reconstruction and reconciliation require finances and physical structure, but the families of the victims of the conflict first and foremost need their integrity protected. Physical and financial compensation mean little without justice,” wrote Suman Adhikari nearly 11 years ago, during a ceasefire in Nepal’s Maoist insurgency.
The World Bank and other influential international financial institutions and development agencies have been touting Southeast Asian (SEA) newly industrializing countries as models for emulation, especially by African developing countries seeking to accelerate their development transformations. But these recommendations are usually based on misleading analysis of their rapid growth and structural transformation.