Author: Tim Norman

Bangladesh is not in the list of the US sanctions imposed ahead of the Human Rights Day as speculated by many in the country. The United States is marking Human Rights Day and the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10 by taking actions to promote accountability for human rights abuses and violations. Together, the Departments of State and the Treasury Friday imposed visa restrictions and sanctions on 37 individuals in 13 countries. There have been speculations in Bangladesh particularly from the opposition that Bangladesh will also come under sanctions. Many of the new US…

Read More

Toronto, Alaska (16/11 – 50) Our lives are being maneuvered and we are being manipulated by unelected, insidious forces, toward objectives not necessarily in the people’s interest. Now that the so-called “pandemic”, declared by the mysterious self-appointed World Health Organization, and followed obediently by governments everywhere, has been decreed “finished”, we should devote a moment to introspection, considering who is running the show and for whose benefit, as governments gaily abdicated their vested responsibility to govern. Pandemic is over? I hope they told those killer viruses who destroyed the population of Europe and North America. What? Oh, just 1% mortality?…

Read More

Since the mid-October 2023, women textile workers in Bangladesh have been demanding better wage conditions. The committee overseeing the category proposed a 56% increase in the basic monthly wage for four million workers in the sector, almost all of them women, the equivalent of US$94 per month. Labor rights groups and unions want more than double that level; therefore, they refused the offer, and protests further increased, especially in the capital, Dhaka. In the meantime, many demonstrations started, involving 150 factories and 11,000 protesting workers, the occupation of factories, and at least three deaths. In addition, 15,000 women workers demonstrated,…

Read More

A staggering 90 percent of the 111 countries that participated in a hearing on the review of the human rights situation have praised Bangladesh, Law Minister Anisul Huq has said. A high-level team of representatives, led by Huq, participated in the fourth review meeting of the Universal Periodic Review of the human rights situation in Bangladesh at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday (Nov 13). He later briefed the media virtually. The law minister said that steps to uphold human rights despite various obstacles have been highlighted there. Huq said that some countries reiterated that they want…

Read More

Brussels (16/11 – 83) Sri Lanka is still dealing with the aftermath of its most devastating economic crisis since independence, a government without popular support and intensifying geopolitical competition in its neighborhood, a year after the Sri Lanka’s massive unrest. Known as the Aragalaya protests which were spurred by the economic crisis, the protests led to mass resignations across the government with former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fleeing the country in July 2022. In the year since, the country has secured an IMF agreement, and its economy has ambled toward a slow path of recovery. However, there have still been concerns on the human rights front as the current government of Ranil Wickremesinghe has…

Read More

Bangladeshi garment manufacturers on Saturday shuttered 150 factories “indefinitely”, as police issued blanket charges for 11,000 workers in connection with violent protests demanding a higher minimum wage, officers said. Bangladesh’s 3,500 garment factories account for around 85 percent of its $55 billion in annual exports, supplying many of the world’s top brands including Levi’s, Zara and H&M. But conditions are dire for many of the sector’s four million workers, the vast majority of whom are women whose monthly pay, until recently, started at 8,300 taka ($75). Violent protests demanding better pay erupted last month, with at least three workers killed…

Read More

Toronto, Atlanta (28/11 – 20) A wise old expression intones “Behind every bad borrower is a bad lender”. Like many such cute, amusing aphorisms, it is accurate as far as it goes … but what if? What if a loan approval is held up, then granted, after a couple of phone calls from the office of the Vice President? What if the borrower is a crony or relative of Mr. Big, which is what practically bankrupted Indonesia, when the Soeharto vampire children took out multi-hundred-million-dollar “loans” (wink wink) for projects whose profit-making potential was near zero? What is the potential…

Read More

The government of Bangladesh is expecting to secure funds amounting to $800 million for two specific projects, following the presentation of the New Development Bank (NDB) Bill-2023 in the Jatiya Sangsad. This was disclosed by Minister Anisul Huq, who presented the bill on behalf of Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal. The NDB, an initiative of the BRICS bloc that expanded to include Bangladesh in 2021, has financed over 80 projects across its original member nations, with funding exceeding $30 billion. The proposed law is aimed at securing funds from this lending arm of the BRICS bloc. The bill also emphasized…

Read More

Paris (08/11 – 75) Sri Lanka’s economic and political crisis of 2022 left the country bankrupt. Ranil Wickremesinghe took over as President of Sri Lanka in July 2022 when the country was in the middle of its worst economic and political crisis since independence in 1948. His predecessor, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, had been forced out of power after facing mass protests prompted by 12-hour power cuts and persistent fuel and food shortages. The nation was bankrupt.Wickremesinghe brought in the International Monetary Fund and has focused on reaching macroeconomic stability and driving tough but much-needed structural reforms. Today, as Sri Lanka embarks…

Read More

MALE, Maldives — The president-elect of the Maldives said he will stick to his campaign promise to remove Indian military personnel stationed in the archipelago state, promising he would initiate the process. Mohamed Muiz told his supporters gathered Monday night at a celebration of his election victory that he wouldn’t stand for a foreign military staying in the Maldives against the will of its citizens. “The people have told us that they don’t want foreign military here,” he said. It’s a serious blow to India in its geopolitical rivalry with China in the India Ocean region, where the Maldives’ presidential runoff…

Read More