STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING | The Daily Star
  • Quota reform movement leader Faruk Hassan

    Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil… but do some good, at least!

    The police handling of the entire anti-quota episode so far reminds me of the pictorial idiom that one finds displayed in many public places in China and Japan, in particular in the form of three primates popularly known as the thinking sages or the wise apes, each covering three of the five main sensory organs.

  • Is there nobody to say enough is enough?

    It is a pity that a student organisation with a long democratic tradition has come to be seen as a synonym for violence, tender-grabbing, extortion and such like culpable acts.

  • Some are more equal than others in Bangladesh

    “An earthquake achieves what the law promises but does not in practice maintain—the equality of all men.”

  • To win election, seek only people's endorsement

    When we are told by our leaders that democracy is in firm ground, maybe a dispassionate look at the matter is in order. The best that one can describe the prevailing democracy is by labelling it as a command democracy displaying monocratic tendencies. It would be hard also to disagree with anyone who chooses to define the present system as one run by a single party.

  • Is US on the path to isolationism?

    It seems that America under Trump is becoming gradually protectionist, reviving the memories and the experiences of the '20s and '30s era of the last century.

  • Travails of festivals

    Religious festivals come as blessings to people; in Bangladesh they come as blessings too, but perhaps more so for a coterie of a few, and looked forward to with both hope and trepidation.

  • The 'Thucydides trap' might become a reality

    The likely reenactment of the Athenian historian's account of the 27-year-long Peloponnesian War which Graham Allison draws his imagery from in his book Destined for War:

  • Scrapping of Iran nuke deal and the dangerous path of populism

    First it was the Transpacific Partnership then the Paris climate agreement and now the Iran nuclear deal that President Trump has succeeded in torpedoing.

  • Korean reconciliation - Between cynics and optimists

    The optimists see the historic events of April 27, 2018 in the Peace Village in the demilitarised zone at Panmunjom, which happens to be the only contact point between two countries but one nation, as the foundation for a permanent reconciliation and enduring peace. The skeptics would like to agree but attach a rider of uncertainty. They wonder at Kim's climb down from the high horse and willingness to engage, and would rather wait to see more

  • Coalition bombing of Syria may serve the ego but not the distressed

    The civilised world has stopped altogether questioning the legality of military actions of countries mighty and powerful beyond their own borders since the illegal occupation of Iraq by the US and its coalition of the willing (for some countries the entire world is their area of interest, and thus their intentions and actions, they assert, cannot be circumscribed by political boundaries). However, in this instance one might nonetheless ask whether the aim of the air strike on Syrian targets on April 13 by US, Britain and France, would actually meet the stated US objective—deterring Assad.

  • We can definitely do better in governance

    The state of governance in the country has gone completely awry because of the absolute disregard for all the eight or nine essential elements that ensure good governance. But the most important of these, which are being defiled by all the stakeholders, are accountability and participation.

  • The expanding phenomenon of religious and nationalist extremism

    The attack on Dr Zafar Iqbal on March 3, only proves that religiously motivated extremism of the violent type, whether manifested in individual or group actions, continues to find its practitioners in society.

  • Rule of law must be manifest

    The common refrain chorused by the AL leaders after the verdict of February 8 was “Nobody is above the law,” and affirming that rule

  • BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia

    Implications of Khaleda's imprisonment

    It was a surreal situation not witnessed in recent times in this country.

  • February 8th verdict may cut both ways for BNP

    February 8 may well dictate the course of the country's politics with the national election round the corner. The verdict on a long-

  • Does world peace stand a chance?

    The fears expressed very soon after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th US President is gradually coming to pass.

  • Why rubbish anything critical?

    In what resembled a now-familiar Trumpian outburst, the finance minister binned a report of the Independent Review of Bangladesh's Development (IRBD), a review of the country's development produced by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).

  • Police Week: Between reforms and rituals

    Ritualistically every year, a week is set aside in the month of January for observing as the Police Week. I use the word “ritualistically” deliberately, since except for the parade and general “durbar” with the PM, very little palpable seems to happen during the seven days

  • Genocide next door and the pontiff's moral dilemma

    The Pope has returned after two significant visits to the region. The countries he graced his visit with are the ones that are in international limelight and for the same reason—Rohingyas.

  • How fruitful can it be?

    The two days of talks between Bangladesh and Myanmar commenced yesterday, whose outcome was not known till going to press. However, while the current talks revolve only around repatriation of Rohingyas, the wider aspect of the issue is being overlooked.

  • Let the political rival pick up the gauntlet

    It is good to see the BNP in the political arena after a period of hibernation. So far it has been a one-sided affair with the AL hogging the political show or whatever of politics we have in the country.

  • We have the law, but where is the order?

    For everyth-ing that goes wrong, or for everything that seems to be out of order, we unhesitatingly blame the state

  • Rohingya crisis

    Rohingya problem is neither a border nor a law and order issue

    And yet the approach of the government has demonstrated exactly that. The home ministry's statement to the media stated that the purpose of the minister's recent visit to Burma was to attend a meeting on cooperation between Bangladesh and Myanmar on border and security matters.

  • Looking beyond the obvious

    It is undeniable that the Rohingya problem imposes a huge security burden on Bangladesh. The international community is unable to realise the fact that we are sheltering a population of the size of three electoral constituencies, and that in real-estate terms means two or three upazilas.

  • Beware of Myanmar's subterfuge

    The Foreign Ministry's statement, following the mixed messages coming out of Naypyidaw after the visit of Myanmar's Union Minister U Kyaw Tint Swe to Bangladesh, that it betrayed the doubtful intention of Myanmar, has said it all.

  • We never lose friends, we simply learn who the real ones are

    The reactions of some of our "very close" friends since the outbreak of the most recent Rohingya crisis have compelled me to ask myself as to where all our good friends have gone.

  • 16 Years After 9/11: The debris is yet to be cleared

    The effect of the havoc that was wrought on this September day sixteen years ago still reverberates in most parts of the globe. The new world order that George Bush wanted to create, following the attack on a symbol of US might—a state of international politics where only the US writ would run, and no opposition to its power would be tolerated—had created disorder only.

  • Where is our Rohingya Policy?

    What we have today in the Rakhine State of Myanmar is a regime of ethnic cleansing. This latest round of pogrom of the Rohingyas is the result of the international community's abject lack of action.

  • Myanmar must change tack on Rohingyas

    The very fact that Myanmar has termed the recent militant attack on its security forces as being the work of “extremist Bengali insurgents” underlines the very crux of the problem.

  • Trump's “principled realism”

    It has taken President Donald Trump exactly eight months into his presidency to accept that running a corporate house and running a country are two different ball games, something that he must surely have realised the very first day after he was sworn in as president.

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