Bangladesh

Bangladesh legislates for garment worker unions

By Wimal Perera and Sarath Kumara, 23 July 2012

Amid fears of mass workers’ struggles, the government has given the green light for trade unions as another mechanism for suppressing workers.

Bangladesh and Assam devastated by floods

By Sathish Simon, 16 July 2012

While torrential monsoonal rains produced the floods, their ruinous impact is the result of decades of official indifference and negligence.

Union leader killed in Bangladesh

By Sarath Kumara, 17 April 2012

Aminul Islam went missing on April 4 and his tortured body was found two days later, dumped by the roadside.

Bangladeshi government cracks down on opposition rally

By Sarath Kumara and Wimal Perera, 17 March 2012

The right-wing BNP and the Islamists are seeking to exploit the rising disaffection with the government and divert it in a reactionary nationalist direction.

Indian prime minister visits Bangladesh

By Sarath Kumara and Wimal Perera, 10 September 2011

The much-anticipated visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh failed to produce the desired transit and water-sharing deals.

British police trained Bangladeshi death squads

By Simon Whelan, 7 January 2011

Cables released by WikiLeaks reveal how the British government provides training to a Bangladeshi government paramilitary force specialising in executing political opponents.

More than 30 die in Bangladesh ferry disaster

By Wasantha Rupasingha, 23 December 2010

At least 37 people—all women and children—have drowned after a ferry collided with a sand-laden cargo vessel and sank in north-eastern Bangladesh on December 19.

The police shooting of Bangladesh garment workers

By K. Ratnayake, 21 December 2010

The killing of four textile workers is the sharpest expression of a global turn by employers and government to state violence amid the deepening international economic crisis.

Factory fire and police killings fuel discontent among Bangladeshi garment workers

By W.A. Sunil and John Chan, 16 December 2010

Tensions remain high in the Bangladeshi garment industry as a result of Sunday’s bloody crackdown by the Awami League government, in which police fatally shot four striking workers, followed two days later by a factory fire that killed more than 30 workers near Dhaka, the capital.

Bangladesh police shoot striking garment workers

By Wimal Perera, 15 December 2010

Police mobilised by the Awami League government killed four garment workers and injured at least 150 after opening fire with live bullets and tear gas shells on striking workers in Bangladesh last Sunday.

Garment workers in Bangladesh continue protests

By Sarath Kumara, 4 August 2010

Thousands of garment workers demonstrated in Bangladesh for a fifth day yesterday to demand higher pay, defying police repression and a sell-out deal between unions, employer groups and government on Sunday.

Bangladesh government cracks down on protesting garment workers

By Sarath Kumara, 5 July 2010

Sheik Hasina’s government has mobilised riot police in a bid to crush the eruption of a garment workers’ struggle against poverty wages.

Bangladesh attempts to woo foreign investment

By Wimal Perera, 26 June 2010

This month’s Bangladesh budget seeks to address the concerns of big business while the masses continue to live in dire poverty.

Bangladesh fire kills more than 120 people

By Sarath Kumara, 5 June 2010

The toll from a huge fire in one of Dhaka’s poor districts on Thursday has highlighted the indifference of successive governments to the conditions facing the country’s working people.

Bangladesh: Factory fire kills 21 garment workers

By Wimal Perera, 4 March 2010

The deplorable lack of safety standards in Bangladesh’s garment factories is a direct product of the drive for profit.

Bangladesh: The execution of Mujibur Rahman’s killers

By Wije Dias, 17 February 2010

Amid waning support for her government, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed is cynically exploiting the hangings of her father’s killers to exhort supporters to strengthen the ruling Awami League.

Scores die in Bangladeshi ferry disaster

By Wimal Perera, 3 December 2009

For Bangladesh’s tens of millions of poor, ferries are one of the few affordable means of transport. The latest tragedy again exposes the callous indifference of authorities to their plight.

Security forces kill two protesting workers in Bangladesh

By Wimal Perera, 10 July 2009

Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina Wajed’s government has launched a sweeping crackdown on protesting garment workers after police and para-military Ansar forces shot dead two striking workers.

Bangladeshi government authorises arrest of 1,000 mutineers

By Sarath Kumara, 5 March 2009

Despite promises of an amnesty, the Bangladeshi government has launched a massive manhunt for members of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) who mutinied last week and murdered their army commanders.

Bangladesh’s government ends revolt by border guards

By K. Ratnayake, 28 February 2009

A 33-hour mutiny by the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), the country’s border guards, has shaken the government and the military. Having persuaded the mutineers to surrender, the government is ruthlessly reasserting its authority.

Bangladesh: Awami League wins election landslide after military regime relinquishes power

By Wimal Perera, 3 January 2009

An alliance led by the Awami League won national elections in Bangladesh on Monday with a landslide victory that expressed widespread popular opposition to the military-backed regime that has held power since early 2007.

Ferry disaster in Bangladesh claims hundreds of lives

By Wimal Perera, 19 July 2003

Hundreds of people are dead after one of Bangladesh’s worst ferry disasters. The badly overcrowded ferry, the MV Nazreen-1, sank in flood-swollen waters at the confluence of the Padma, Meghna and Dakatia rivers, some 170 kilometres southeast of the capital Dhaka, on the night of July 8.

Bangladesh government exploits bomb blasts to detain political opponents

By Sarath Kumara, 8 January 2003

The Bangladesh government has used a series of bomb blasts on December 7 to intensify a crackdown on its political opponents, including the arrest of prominent leaders of the opposition Awami League (AL). The bombs exploded simultaneously in four cinemas in the town of Mymensingh, 110 km north of the capital Dhaka, killing 19 people and injuring more than 200 others.

Bangladesh’s "crime" crackdown results in the deaths of 24 detainees

By Wimal Perera and Sarath Kumara, 20 November 2002

In the name of combatting crime, the Bangladesh government has mobilised some 40,000 soldiers alongside police in a huge nationwide dragnet that began on October 17 and has already resulted in the detention of more than 5,700 people. They include union officials, as well as politicians.

Ferry disaster in Bangladesh claims 300 lives

By Deepal Jayasekera, 8 May 2002

More than 300 people have died in one of Bangladesh’s worst ferry disasters. The triple-decked MV Shalahuddin-2 was caught in a storm in the Meghna River last Friday on its way from the capital Dhaka to Patuakhali. About 170km south of Dhaka, it capsized and sank rapidly at around 9.30pm. Most of those on board had little chance of escaping.

India-Bangladesh border still tense after worst clash in 30 years

By Nishanthi Priyangika, 21 May 2001

The India-Bangladesh border remains tense following a major clash between the armed forces of the two countries in mid-April that claimed the lives of 19 soldiers. While the immediate cause is an outstanding dispute over territory, the incidents have fueled nationalist sentiments in both countries—particularly in Bangladesh, where the government and opposition have exploited the issue in the lead up to elections due in July.

Another round of anti-government strikes and protests in Bangladesh

By Nishathi Priyangika, 26 April 2001

At least two people are dead and 20 people have been wounded in the latest anti-government strikes and protests in Bangladesh this week. One person was killed by police gunfire and another activist from the ruling Awami League was shot dead while returning home from a pro-government rally at Feni, 150km southeast of Dhaka. Strikes on Monday shut schools, closed the stock exchanges in Dhaka and Chittagong and affected work at the Chittagong port.

Bangladesh's worst ferry disaster claims nearly 200 lives

By Nishanthi Priyangika, 5 January 2001

More than 165 people are dead in Bangladesh's worst ferry disaster and the figure could rise further as over 100 are still missing. Unofficial reports put the death toll at 188. At least 40 of the dead are children.

Striking dock workers shot dead in Bangladesh

By Nishanthi Priyangika, 9 December 2000

Bangladeshi police shot dead four striking dock workers and wounded more than 100 on December 5 during a demonstration in the port city of Mongla, 160 kilometres southwest of Bangladesh's capital Dhaka. In defiance of their trade unions, the workers were striking for improved working conditions and the release of a co-worker arrested for campaigning for a hartal (strike and shop closures).

Bitter political feud between the government and opposition in Bangladesh

By Nishanthi Priyangika, 9 March 2000

Ongoing anti-government strikes, protests and agitation in Bangladesh organised by the conservative four-party opposition alliance led by the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) point to chronic political instability and breakdown for which neither the government, the opposition nor big business have any solution.

Bangladesh government introduces harsh new security laws

By Y.A. Dharmasena, 29 February 2000

Bangladesh President Shahabuddin Ahmed signed into law a Public Safety (Special Provisions) Bill on February 14 giving sweeping powers to the police. Under the pretext of dealing with criminals and terrorists, Prime Minister Sheik Hasina's government will use the new law to witchhunt the political opponents of the ruling Awami League regime and to suppress social unrest by workers and the poor.

Child labour on the increase in Bangladesh

By Nishanthi Priyangika, 3 November 1999

A UN Childrens Fund report published in September has found that more than 6.3 million children under 14 are working in Bangladesh. Children are labouring as maids and servants, in garment factories and engineering workshops, in the construction sector, as bus or tempo (three-wheeler transport) helpers, in the beedi (a kind of hand-made cigarette) factories, as roadside restaurant workers and street vendors, and in tea plantations and other agricultural sectors.

Hundreds of thousands hit by Bangladesh floods

By Nishanthi Priyangika, 20 October 1999

Serious flooding, although not as severe as in 1998, has swept through Bangladesh over the last three and a half months affecting hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country.

Plan for transport of Indian goods through Bangladesh provokes factional strife within country's elite

By K. Ratnayake, 16 September 1999

A Bangladeshi government plan to allow India to transport goods to and from its remote, northeastern states via Bangladesh has become another issue in the bitter factional struggle between the ruling Awami League and its bourgeois political opponents.

Bangladesh government crackdown on women engaged in prostitution

By Nandana Nanneththi, 27 August 1999

In the midst of criticism of a witch-hunt launched by the government on women engaged in prostitution, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheik Hasina Wajed held a meeting with newspaper editors on August 20 to justify her government's stand.

Bangladesh budget heaps on more burdens as poverty grows

By K. Ratnayake, 9 July 1999

Finance Minister Shah Kibria has presented the Bangladesh budget for the fiscal year ending June 2000, which will heap more burdens on the masses.