The headline news in today’s Daily Telegraph (London) is the rape and abuse of children by UN peace keeping troops in Sudan. The problem started almost two years ago, and was noted in a UNICEF report. The Sudanese government has been gathering evidence presumably as part of its challenge to the UN, and apparently has footage of Bangladeshi UN workers having sex with three young girls. The Sudan Tribune reprints the article and even carries a picture purportedly of Bangladeshi troops in Juba.

I wonder how the story will unfold. Whatever the outcome, one thing for sure is that newspapers should avoid the kind of hyperbole employed by a certain Lt Col Nazrul Islam in an article last year for the Daily Star. Not only is it totally over the top BUT IT IGNORES all that has been going on over the years in Bangladesh itself - namely in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Anyway, let me quote you the colonel’s words:

It is widely acclaimed that the most outstanding national achievement in independent Bangladesh is the name and fame earned for the country by the peacekeepers of Bangladesh Armed Forces. Despite negative publicity for the country as a whole, the indomitable valour, firm commitment, exemplary leadership, outstanding competence, unflinching patriotism, and superb discipline shown by the Bangladeshi peacekeepers have earned plaudits for the country.

It is also now also widely acknowledged that we are well-trained and highly professional armed forces, and that we are armed forces of a democracy, one that leads in pursuit of democratic values. Our quest for excellence and determination for upholding the ideals of peace and security will remain ever unflinching. …..blah blah blah