imperfect | world | 2010

Jul 19,2009

Shrimp industry in Bangladesh - AFP

“It hasn’t done anything good and I don’t think there’s any point in keeping this industry going”

Nijera Kori’s chief, Kushi Kabir, made that statement. And here is the desperate background to it. By Julie Clothier of AFP.

Firdous Azim - gone bananas?

Jul 16,2009

How to dress up an explicitly Islamist agenda with research jargon and talk about “empowerment” and “modernising influences.


Jul 15,2009

..Remittances to South and East Asia are still inching up. The pace of growth, however, has slowed down. World Bank cited Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Nepal as some of those that have recently been registering lower growth rates. The Philippines have been posting less than 5% monthly growth rates in the past months, a far cry from the double-digit increases in the previous years…

Jul 15,2009

Will they behave though?

Newscom: 14 July 2009 - Dhaka, Bangladesh - Director General of Bangladesh’s paramilitary border force Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Mainul Islam (L) and Director General of the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) Mahendra Lal Kumawat attend a joint press conference in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, on July 14, 2009. Chiefs of the Bangladesh’s and Indian border forces on Tuesday concluded their three-day talks here with a broad-based agreement to maintain calm along the common borders combating trans-border crimes. Photo Credit: Palash Khan / Sipa Press/0907141624 Photo via Newscom

Tipaimukh dam protest

Jul 14,2009

Zumapress: Activists of United Society of Women shout slogans at a rally protesting India’s planned Tipaimukh dam over the cross-border Barak river, in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, on July 9, 2009. India’s planned Tipaimukh Hydroelectric Project and proposed dam has sparked fierce debates in both countries, with particular fears being raised in Bangladesh about the adverse environmental impact it may bring about.

A peculiar European journey

  • Filed under: labour
Jul 2,2009

The working title of a new documentary I am working on.

More information here

Nilekani’s appointment

Jun 27,2009

ID Card is a big thing here in the UK. It looks like the Labour Party is setting up contractual obligations which will ensure that the ID project will survive Labour’s defeat in the next elections. However the Tories are on to this and have written to the 5 companies bidding for the contract telling them that no such obligation will be adhered to.

And in this very week when the Labour government made a big song and dance about using the “naughty boys” of the hacker world to combat “cyber-terrorism” it is worth remembering what one hacker did with ID technology. (scroll down for the article)

It is all fluff of course. Nothing is beyond hacking…not even the industrial golden goose called the iPhone. The whole cyber-terrorism thing that Estonia flagged up was a pretext for further ingratiating itself with big, protective Uncle Sam. And now we find this self-same poodling nonsense come to the UK as the plan is rolled out with the connivance of technology companies.

It comes as no surprise to me that those who least understand politics and who take a wholly technological approach - technologists whether hackers or mainstream - will benefit the most from these expensive and needless schemes. They think the solution to the world’s social and political problems are tecchie related. No don’t laugh, its true. Hence its entirely consistent to find that India’s ID card scheme is being headed by Infosys head honcho Nilekani. His appointment is equivalent to a cabinet minister. And get this ….his own company will be bidding for the project. You can’t make it up.

Jun 16,2009

Shahidul Alam

Cultural activists are trying to determine what has happened to Shahidul Alam.

Only a couple of years ago, a mate of mine - Sarwar Tamizuddin - was locked up by Indian border guards. He spent something like three months in prison before he got bail.

Please get the message out and please get Alam released.

MI5 torture in Dhaka allegations

May 27,2009

MI5 torture allegation today. Compare that with the story written by an unheard of journo earlier in the week in the Indie. Rachel Shields, unless I am mistaken,  is not noted for writing about Bangladesh. In fact, apart from a few articles dealing with serious issues,  most of her articles are about lifestyle and fashion. And yet she is suddenly able to write about murky goings on in Bangladesh? What is murky are the MI5 torture allegations today. Is Rachel’s article a kind of spoiler or does it, like the tanks outside Heathrow in the past, help to establish a climate in which this government can seek to find a pretext for its activities?

Hearts and minds campaign….

Mar 16,2009

Mar 12,2009

As we prepare to go to Venice to start interviewing Bangladeshi migrants - I get news that the most notorious trafficker Ahmed Sheikh Turab - the man who by his actions drowned 283 people in the Med and who used to boast that half the Bangladeshis in Rome were there because of him - has finally been sentenced for his role in that tragedy of christmas eve 1996.


  • Filed under: Food
Feb 8,2009

From left to right

Ilish mach (Hilsa fish)

kumra (butternut)

potol vorta (pointed gourd)

shutki (bombay duck)

Feb 5,2009

Want bite-sized Bangladeshi news? Then two services are online at the mo:


If anyone knows anymore please let me know ( Rezwan?)

What a spectacle

Jan 28,2009

The BNP has yet again walked out of parliamentary proceedings in Dhaka. This time it is complaining about seating arrangements. A BNP party spokesman said “We have only been allocated 4 seats at the front, and that is insufficient to even hold Madam Zia’s spectacle case let alone our lawmakers.”