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IS promises violence in Bangladesh

The Islamic State (IS) is expanding its reach around the globe, and its latest focus is on Bangladesh. In the newest edition of its glossy magazine, Dabiq, the head of Islamic State operations in Bangladesh, Sheikh Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif, discussed the group's goals for the country. The group has carried out some small attacks in the country, but it wants to conduct a large attack to boost its credentials among local jihadists and promote the interests of the larger organization. As has been the case elsewhere, however, established jihadist groups in Bangladesh pose a challenge to the Islamic State's ambitions. In the interview that appeared in the April 13 edition of Dabiq, al-Hanif listed a range of

Government ‘incapable of tolerating dissident views’

The government in Bangladesh is set on stopping dissenters from expressing their opinions, claims Nurul Kabir, the editor of the leading English-language daily newspaper New Age, in an interview with DW. Bangladeshi protesters remember murdered journalists Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi The shrinking space for free speech in Bangladesh has drawn international attention in recent months. The South Asian nation has seen a number of gruesome attacks on bloggers this year that left four people dead and several others critically injured. The attacks have targeted not only bloggers, but also minority communities.

Port investment in Bangladesh

Japanese investment in a new deep-water port at Matarbarhi Island on the southeast coast of Bangladesh highlights increasing geo-political rivalry fuelled by the United States and its allies as part of Washington’s “pivot to Asia.” The $US3.66 billion project cuts across a long-standing Chinese offer to build deep-water port facilities at Sonadia, only 25 kilometres from Matarbarhi. The Japanese investment, which also includes a 1,200-megawatt power plant, was confirmed last month by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). China has said that it was not interested in bidding for the Matarbarhi port and the Sonadia port project looks increasingly unlikely. [caption id="attachment_18346" align="alignright" width="612"]

Modi heading to Bangladesh with China on his mind

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take border settlement and water sharing deals to Bangladesh next month as part of his drive to erode Chinese influence in South Asia, although Dhaka is likely to remain dependant on Beijing for military equipment. India, which has had an uneasy relationship with China for decades, pm-narendra-modi_650x400_51424803339has long fretted over Beijing’s military cooperation with its South Asian neighbours, especially Pakistan. It is also worried China is c...

‘Ban told Hasina to find political way forward’

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called to find a political way forward between all the parties in Bangladesh during his conversation with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday. Ban ki Moon"The Secretary-General, I think, expressed his opinion in the way we've been expressing it here, which is to call to find a political way forward between all the parties in Bangladesh," said the spokesperson for the UN Secretary General at a daily press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York yesterday. He made the remarks when a questioner wan...

Closure from 1971 Bangladesh war comes at a high cost

Last Saturday, Bangladesh executed a senior Islamist party leader, Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, for war crimes committed during the country’s 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. It was the second such hanging, with several more death sentences handed down by a domestic court set up to try local collaborators of the Pakistani army from that period. The judicial process has come under repeated international criticism for not being up to standard, while supporters of the largest Islamist political party, Jamaat-e-Islami, have violently protested against the verdicts. But the trials have wide popular support. As the BBC’s Bangladesh Correspondent, I covered the first execution and some of the first verdicts. [caption id="attachment_15166" align="alignleft" width="300"]