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Abstract: Russia and Mexico, two of the world’s most murderous countries for the press, are heading in different directions in combating deadly anti-press violence, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in its newly updated Impunity Index. The index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population, found improvement in Russia as journalist murders ebbed and prosecutors obtained two high-profile convictions. But deadly anti-press violence continued to climb in Mexico, where authorities appear powerless in bringing killers to justice.
Colombia continued a years-long pattern of improvement, CPJ’s index found, while conditions in Bangladesh reflected a slight upturn. But the countries at the top of the index—Iraq, Somalia, and the Philippines—showed either no improvement or even worsening records. Iraq, with an impunity rating three times worse than that of any other nation, is ranked first for the fourth straight year. Although crossfire and other conflict-related deaths have dropped in Iraq in recent years, the targeted killings of journalists spiked in 2010.
“The findings of the 2011 Impunity Index lay bare the stark choices that governments face: Either address the issue of violence against journalists head-on or see murders continue and self-censorship spread,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Convictions in Russia are a hopeful sign after years of indifference and denial. But Mexico’s situation is deeply troubling, with violence spiking as the government promises action but fails to deliver.”
CPJ’s annual Impunity Index, first published in 2008, identifies countries where journalists are murdered regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. For this latest index, CPJ examined journalist murders that occurred between January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2010, and that remain unsolved. Only the 13 nations with five or more unsolved cases are included on the index. Cases are considered unsolved when no convictions have been obtained.
Impunity is a key indicator in assessing levels of press freedom and free expression in nations worldwide. CPJ research shows that deadly, unpunished violence against journalists often leads to vast self-censorship in the rest of the press corps. From Somalia to Mexico, CPJ has found that journalists avoid sensitive topics, leave the profession, or flee their homeland to escape violent retribution.
Abstract: This brief is largely based on several discussions organised at Observer Research Foundation over a period of time. These discussions were enriched by the presence of some of the well-known experts on water issues in the country, like former Union Minister for Water Resources, Dr. Suresh Prabhu, current High Commissioner of Bangladesh, Tariq Ahmad Karim, Mr. Sunjoy Joshi, Director, Observer Research Foundation, Ms. Clare Shakya, Senior Regional Climate Change and Water Adviser, DFID*, India, Mr. Samir Saran, Vice President, ORF and Dr. Dinesh Kumar, Executive Director, Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy, Hyderabad.
It is estimated that by 2030, only 60 per cent of the
world's population will have access to fresh water
1 supplies . This would mean that about 40 per cent
of the world population or about 3 billion-people
would be without a reliable source of water and
most of them would live in impoverished, conflictprone
and water-stressed areas like South Asia.
Water is already an extremely contentious, and
volatile, issue in South Asia. There are more people
in the region than ever before and their dependence
on water for various needs continues to multiply
by leaps and bounds. The quantum of water
available, for the present as well as future, has
reduced dramatically, particularly in the last half-acentury.
This is due to water-fertiliser intensive
farming, overexploitation of groundwater for
drinking, industrial and agricultural purposes,
large scale contamination of water sources, total
inertia in controlling and channelising waste water,
indifferent approach to water conservation
programmes and populist policies on water
Abstract: This 53-page report documents abuses by RAB in and around Dhaka, the capital, under the current Awami League-led government. Nearly 200 people have been killed in RAB operations since January 6, 2009, when the government assumed office. While in opposition the Awami League promised to end extrajudicial killings, but since it came to office senior government officials have denied that RAB has committed abuses, and some have even justified them.
"After two years in office, the government has had more than enough time to take action to stop the RAB's murderous practices," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "A death squad is roaming the streets of Bangladesh and the government does not appear to be doing anything to stop it. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina needs to act."
The report builds on the 2006 Human Rights Watch report, "Judge, Jury, and Executioner: Torture and Extrajudicial Killings by Bangladesh's Elite Security Force." It is based on over 80 interviews with victims, witnesses, human rights defenders, journalists, law enforcement officials, lawyers, and judges.
Abstract: Efforts to promote “deradicalization,” or to rehabilitate
detainees charged with terrorism-related
offenses, have taken multiple forms in a wide range
of countries, often as part of broader counterradicalization
strategies that seek to prevent the
adoption of violent extremist ideologies or
behaviors in the first place. Some are more formal
rehabilitation programs, with well-defined agendas,
institutional structures, and a dedicated full-time
staff, while others are a looser combination of social
and political initiatives. Programs vary in their
objectives, their criteria for participation, and the
kinds of benefits and incentives they might offer.
The cumulative lessons learned from several states’
experiences in dealing with violent extremist
groups are of growing interest to countries now
facing similar challenges.
With its global membership, neutral “brand,” and
powerful convening capacity, the United Nations
has the potential to play a powerful role in setting
global norms and shaping international legal
frameworks regarding counterterrorism, as well as
in providing a platform for the exchange of
information and technical assistance for practitioners
This paper draws lessons learned from case
studies of deradicalization initiatives in eight
Muslim-majority countries, which corroborate the
experiences of countries in other regions that have
grappled with violent extremist groups. The paper
concludes by making recommendations
concerning how the UN could help to facilitate the
provision of knowledge and resources to key
stakeholders interested in establishing or strengthening
their own rehabilitation programs.
Abstract: The Rohingya ethnic minority of Burma are trapped between severe repression in their homeland and abuse in neighboring countries. Bangladesh has hosted hundreds of
thousands of Rohingyas fleeing persecution for more than three decades, but at least 200,000 Rohingya refugees have no legal rights there. They live in squalor, receive very
limited aid and are subject to arrest, extortion and detention. Unregistered refugee women and girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual and physical attacks. The international
community must urge the Bangladeshi government to register undocumented refugees and improve protection for all vulnerable Rohingyas. Donor governments must also work to restart and increase resettlement of refugees to a third country and increase assistance for communities hosting refugees.
Abstract: Over the past decade, there has been growing international momentum to conceptualise, document and
address the various manifestations of “armed violence”. To date the discourse has focused largely on the
causes and effects of armed violence and explored the range of available programming options to prevent
and reduce it. Discussions on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) currently underway in the United Nations
(UN) provide an important opportunity to examine armed violence in the context of decisions concerning
international transfers and the export and import of conventional arms used in armed violence.
One of the objectives of the ATT is to address the “absence of common international standards on the
import, export and transfer of conventional arms.” As the UN General Assembly has noted, this absence
contributes to “conflict, displacement of people, crime and terrorism” thereby undermining peace,
reconciliation, safety, security, stability and sustainable development.” In other words, the absence of such
common international standards contributes to armed violence.
This report is divided into two parts, and includes three case studies drawn from recent examples of armed
violence in Bangladesh, Guatemala and the Philippines. Part I examines how an ATT with a clearly elaborated
risk assessment process can make a contribution to the prevention and reduction of armed violence. Part II focuses on one form of armed violence: firearms-related homicide. Discussions of armed violence
have repeatedly noted that the use of firearms in non-conflict settings is the most prevalent form of armed
violence and the form that results in the most deaths and injuries. This fact underscores the importance of
adopting an approach to addressing armed violence that will encompass violence outside of armed conflict
Abstract: In this report, Odhikar, a human rights organisation of Bangladesh, has compiled the
state of human rights in Bangladesh in 2010, highlighting critical areas that require
immediate and urgent national and international action. Odhikar is committed to
upholding human rights by promoting civil, political, economic, social, cultural and
collective values that constitute a cohesive and just community. Odhikar monitors and
creates awareness about the obligations of the Government prescribed by the national
Constitution as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the
International Covenant on Socio, Economic and Cultural Rights, the Convention on
Torture, CEDAW and other relevant principles.
Abstract: India and Bangladesh should take immediate steps to end the killing of hundreds of their citizens at the West Bengal-Bangladesh border by India's Border Security Force (BSF), Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Indian government should prosecute BSF soldiers responsible for serious human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch said.
The 81-page report, "'Trigger Happy': Excessive Use of Force by Indian Troops at the Bangladesh Border," documents the situation on the border region, where both Bangladesh and India have deployed border guards to prevent infiltration, trafficking, and smuggling. Human Rights Watch found numerous cases of indiscriminate use of force, arbitrary detention, torture, and killings by the security force, without adequate investigation or punishment. The report is based on over 100 interviews with victims, witnesses, human rights defenders, journalists, law- enforcement officials, and Border Security Force and Bangladesh Rifles' (BDR) members.
Abstract: Power-sharing mechanisms play an increasingly important role in peace agreements. However, there is profound divergence over the positive effects of the inclusion of political power-sharing provisions in peace accords. Proposing power-sharing solutions may be useful for mediators to get conflict parties to the negotiating table. At the same time those mechanisms imply a number of challenges for academics and practitioners. Many critics argue that power-sharing as specific political model has only worked in particular circumstances, such as in Switzerland. Before formulating general guidelines and recommendations on powersharing in peace agreements, one has to address this critique. To this end the working paper analyses four contested favourable conditions in the power-sharing model: a small population size, a balance of population size between divided groups, territorial isolation of population groups and a common perceived security threat. Eight case studies are carried out in order to test these four favourable conditions that might influence the durability of power-sharing peace agreements. As a result, this working paper provides evidence that the durability of power-sharing peace agreements does probably not depend on these favourable conditions. It is therefore argued that power-sharing solutions in peace agreements do not seem to require particular favourable conditions to be successful and are not doomed to fail from the outset in a range of different contexts.
Abstract: Bangladesh, or rather the territory now comprising it, which is the eastern part of the British
Indian Province of Bengal, has had a strong tradition of Left politics dating back to the
Colonial Period (1857-1947). This should have made it a fertile ground for the latter-day
Maoist insurgency. Despite the intellectual and political heritage, this has not come to pass.
The paper explains and analyses the reasons behind such non-occurrence and also why the
expected ‘domino-effect’ has not taken place despite the situation in the neighbouring India
and Nepal. It argues, however, that there is no room for complacency as the potential for
danger exists. This includes a new tactical alliance between the Islamist fundamentalists and
the Maoist radicals called the ‘United Front’. The paper concludes by underscoring the need
to address the problem through appropriate policy measures, regional and international
cooperation, and eternal vigilance.
Abstract: Beginning in the early 1980s,
commercial shipping became a prime target of pirates, first off West Africa and then
slowly spreading into Southeast Asia. Throughout the 1990s, and especially after the
Soviet Union’s collapse, piracy increased dramatically. Reports of piracy tripled during
1991–2001: of 335 reported cases in 2001, ninety-one were in waters claimed by Indonesia,
twenty-seven by India, twenty-five by Bangladesh, nineteen by Malaysia, eight by
Vietnam, and eight by the Philippines; another seventeen reported attacks occurred in
the Malacca Strait, bordering on Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. This monograph is intended as a contribution to both scholarship and professional
naval thinking; it is an academic and comparative examination of twelve selected case
studies from maritime history used to illuminate a range of concepts and uses of piracy
suppression. The twelve case studies provide the basis for the conclusions, an approach
that provides a more thorough understanding of the uses and limitations of naval
antipiracy operations in the context of new maritime technologies and within a wider
range of modern national policy goals than might otherwise be achievable. Above all,
this collection provides a sound basis for comparative analysis of varying historical
experiences that can stimulate new and original thinking about a basic but often
overlooked naval duty.
Abstract: Bangladesh is a densely populated and poor nation in South Asia. Roughly 80% of its population
lives on less than $2 a day. Its population is largely Muslim and its geography is dominated by its
low-lying riparian aspect. Bangladesh suffers from high levels of corruption and an at times
faltering democratic system that has been subject to pressure from the military.
Bangladesh (the former East Pakistan) gained its independence in 1971, following India’s
intervention in a rebellion against West Pakistan (currently called Pakistan). In the years since
independence, Bangladesh has established a reputation as a largely moderate and democratic
majority Muslim country. This status has been under threat from a combination of political
violence, weak governance, poverty, corruption, and Islamist militancy. There has been concern
in the past that should Bangladesh become a failed state, or a state with increased influence by
Islamist extremists, it could serve as a base of operations for terrorist activity. In more recent
years, such concerns have abated somewhat as Islamist militants have been vigorously pursued by
the government and Bangladesh has returned to democratic government. The Bangladesh National Party (BNP) and the Awami League (AL) traditionally have dominated
Bangladeshi politics, with the AL in government since January 2009. The BNP is led by former
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia; the AL is led by current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. When in
opposition, both parties have sought to regain control of the government through demonstrations,
labor strikes, and transport blockades. Political violence has long been part of the political
landscape in Bangladesh. In 2004-2005, a particularly intensive set of bombings raised questions
about political stability in the country.
Bangladesh was ruled by a military-backed caretaker government led by Fakhruddin Ahmed for
approximately two years prior to the return to democracy that was ushered in by the December
2008 election. The military-backed caretaker government sought to pursue an anti-corruption
drive that challenged the usual political elites. It also sought to put in place voter reforms,
including issuing identity cards, and moved against militant Islamists. U.S. policy toward Bangladesh emphasizes support for political stability and democracy,
development, and human rights. The United States has long-standing supportive relations with
Bangladesh and views Bangladesh as a moderate voice in the Islamic world. The U.S. offers
considerable economic assistance to Bangladesh, and has substantial military-to-military ties that
include cooperation in multilateral peacekeeping.
Abstract: There is still some ambiguity about the definition of terrorism and who is a terrorist and this leads to a tendency to lump together terms like militants, insurgents, extremists, fundamentalists and (real) terrorists. Some analysts club together the security threats posed by ethnic insurgencies (mostly in the north-east) and Maoist insurgency (widely spread in many states of India) together with the threats posed by terrorism. The insurgencies are socio-political phenomena and are basically territory-related, in the sense that the ethnic insurgencies want to have a separate status (within or outside India) for the areas in which the particular ethnic group is in a majority; and the Maoists want to control territory and, through such control, impose a different system of governance. While all kinds of people fighting for different causes may at times indulge in violent acts, a terrorist is one whose primary aim is to cause maximum destruction, often targeting totally unconnected persons, with the sole purpose of causing and promoting fear and thus influence decision-making. The terrorists seek to influence the minds of the people, terrorise them into losing their faith in the government and impose a state of fear about public safety. The Maoist (Naxalite) movement has gripped a significantly large portion of India and, as repeatedly stated by the Prime Minister, it presently poses arguably the most serious threat to our internal security. Though the “ideology” and the “methodology” may be imported, the basic causes are indigenous. There is a wide-spread perception that “land reforms” and efforts at redress of genuine grievances have only been superficial and that the “exploiters” continue to “exploit” the poor and the landless agriculturists. It cannot be a coincidence that the Maoists are most effective in areas of past maximum exploitation of tribal communities. If there is any element of truth in this perception, urgent steps need to be taken to remedy the situation on the ground, without necessarily tying them to a cease-fire. The grievances have to be handled by a judicious combination of social, economic and political measures, coupled with police action for the preservation of public safety and Law & Order.
Abstract: A discussion of the foundation of Lashkar-i-Taiba (LeT), the development of its modus operandi, and engages in an investigation of LeT’s activities in India, Pakistan, and the Kashmir region are discussed. Further, LeT’s fundraising methods are touched upon, and LeT’s relationships with regional state and nonstate actors such as Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company are analyzed. Also, the impact that these developments have on domestic Islamist terrorism in India are addressed. The author argues that although LeT has been a vital component of Islamabad’s regional strategy in the past, the organization has grown beyond the control of its former patron, is largely self-sufficient and operates independently of the political process, and has expanded its agenda well beyond Kashmir. These developments challenge the long-held notion that irregulars can be sustainably used to achieve limited objectives in an asymmetric conflict and should serve as a clear warning to other state sponsors of terrorism. However, contrary to many analyses, LeT is not likely to sacrifice its independence and come under Al-Qaeda’s umbrella. Rather, LeT will continue to evolve into a distinctive, South Asia-centric terrorist actor in its own right while still receiving aid from fringe elements in Pakistan’s security and intelligence apparatus and elsewhere. This will not only allow LeT to continue to plan future Mumbai-style terrorist attacks in India from safe havens in Pakistan, but will also allow LeT to guide and assist the predominantly indigenous Indian Mujahideen (IM).
Abstract: Addressing discrimination, inequality and human rights is a core challenge of the
state-building and peace-building process. It is at the centre of the negotiation of
state–society relations and is a process rife with contradictions and tensions. Donors
thus have a responsibility to address discrimination within their support to peacebuilding
The first section of this paper sets out what we understand by discrimination, drawing
on human rights principles and DFID’s conceptualisation of social exclusion as
systematic disadvantage which results from discrimination. The second section
explores why discrimination matters in contexts of fragility, conflict and violence. The
third section sets out how DFID and other donors can address discrimination as part
of efforts to support peace-building and state-building. The paper concludes with a
summary of key lessons.
Abstract: In recent months Bangladeshi authorities have waged an unprecedented campaign of arbitrary arrest, illegal expulsion, and forced internment against Burmese refugees. In this emergency report Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) presents new data and documents dire conditions for these persecuted Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. PHR's medical investigators warn that critical levels of acute malnutrition and a surging camp population without access to food aid will cause more deaths from starvation and disease if the humanitarian crisis is not addressed.
Abstract: Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a terrorist organisation,
remains active and dangerous despite the
decimation of its ranks over the last five years. Its links
to the Pakistan group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) remain
a particularly serious concern. Since its coordinated
bombing attack across the country on 17 August 2005,
police have arrested hundreds of JMB members; they
have also executed every member of its original leadership,
including its founder, Shaikh Abdur Rahman. Its
last successful attack was in January 2006. The state has
succeeded in tackling the Islamist extremist threat to the
extent that organisations such as JMB are struggling to
survive. But the arrest of 95 JMB operatives since October
2008 and discoveries of huge caches of explosives
demonstrate that JMB was able to regroup, recruit and
raise funds. No one should take its demise for granted:
the possibility of another attack remains, and the government
should move quickly to create a planned policeled
counter-terrorism force. It should also step up counterterrorism
cooperation, particularly with neighbouring India.
Abstract: International initiatives to counter terrorism and
militancy have more often than not been directed at
the military aspects of such threats, with insufficient
attention paid to the specific context—the
social, political, and regional dynamics—in which
they evolve. In Bangladesh, for example, the
combination of development challenges, weak
governance, violent politics, and regional tensions
has proved a combustible mix. Though the threat of
terrorism and violent religious radicalization has
evolved gradually over the past decade and a half, it
took a series of serious attacks across the country in
2005 before Bangladesh appeared on international
radar screens. Despite some early successes against
militant groups, more recent discoveries of arms
caches, and the capture and detention of suspected
militant activists suggest that the threat is clear and
present, and that it cannot be ignored.
Abstract: In June and July 2009, local authorities demolished shelters and forcibly removed their inhabitants in an attempt to clear a space around the perimeter of the official UNHCR camp at Kutupalong. MSF witnessed firsthand violence against the unregistered Rohingya, and provided medical care for some of the consequences. Stateless Rohingya in Bangladesh are currently victim to unprecedented levels of violence and attempts at forced repatriation. Recent weeks have seen people arrive in their thousands at Kutupalong makeshift camp, as they flee what appears to be a violent crackdown on Rohingya presence in the country.
At its clinic in Kutupalong, Cox's Bazaar, the medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has treated victims of beatings and harassment by the authorities and members of the community; people who have been driven from their shelters throughout the district and in some cases forced back into the river which forms the border to neighbouring Myanmar.
Since October, the camp has grown by 6,000 people, with 2,000 of these arriving in January alone. Without official recognition, they are prevented from supporting themselves, and are not permitted to receive official relief. As the numbers swell, nearly 29,000 people find themselves camped on a patch of ground with no infrastructure to support them, posing a serious threat to health. Action is needed now to stop this humanitarian crisis.
MSF has delivered healthcare to the Rohingya and their host communities in Bangladesh since 1992.
Abstract: On January 6, the Awami League government
celebrated one year in office. While addressing
to the nation, Sheikh Hasina said “We want to
free the country of corruption, misrule, illiteracy
and poverty by 2021”. It’s a long way to go, but
one year is too short a time to judge the
government and make an assessment of its
The government has taken a firm decision to
establish war crime tribunals for the trial of war
criminals despite pressures from various quarters.
The manner in which it handled the mutiny in the
Bangladesh Rifles and its decision to expose the
involvement of two senior officers from the
National Security Intelligence who were involved
in the Chittagong arms haul indicate that the
government is willing to expose the militantsecurity
What are the challenges to the Awami League
government? How does the internal politics
impinge on Indo-Bangladesh relations?
Abstract: Perspectives on the terrorist threat in Bangladesh have often gravitated between extremes.
However, the truth is somewhere in between. Traditionally considered a moderate, Muslimmajority
country, Bangladeshis have shown little inclination to replace personal piety with
theocratic government or religious violence. Instead, citizens have shown a fierce dedication to
democratic government despite several attempts to install autocratic government. Yet, ongoing
news reports of active militants captured, arms caches hidden in schools and connections to
regional and international criminal and terrorist organizations suggest that the threat is clear,
present and cannot be neglected.
The emergence of groups like Harakatul Jihad al-Islami Bangladesh, Jamatul Mujahedeen
Bangladesh, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh and Ahl-e-Hadith Andolon Bangladesh following
the return of Bangladeshi mujahedeen from the Afghan wars infused political violence in
Bangladesh with the language of jihad and tactics borrowed from terrorist groups abroad. Acts
like the August 2005 serial bombings, consisting of nearly 400 simultaneous bombs in all but 1
district in Bangladesh and attacks on prominent persons in 2004-05, brought terrorism in
Bangladesh onto international radar screens. However, attacks to date have focused on
transforming domestic politics. Nonetheless, reported connections of Bangladeshi militants to
foreign terrorist groups and criminal syndicates abound, such as Harakatul Jihad al-Islami in
Pakistan or ganglord Dawood Ibrahim’s infamous “D-Company”, believed responsible for the
1993 bombings in Mumbai. In combination cultural, familial and ideological connections that
transverse porous borders in South Asia, these factors suggest future actions are likely to be
transnational in scope.
Abstract: In the last one month there has been a dramatic change in counter-terror co-operation between India and Bangladesh. Bangladesh has taken significant steps against Indian insurgent groups and handed over several top leaders of a major insurgent group, the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA). Besides, it has also acted against religious extremist groups, exposing their network in the sub-continent. These developments have addressed to some extent India’s complaint that Bangladesh was serving as a safe haven for such groups. At the same time, it has brought before India a major challenge of translating this positive development into lasting peace in some of the insurgency affected states of northeast.
Immediately after taking over the reins of the government in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina had announced that there would be zero tolerance for terrorists operating either within Bangladesh or using its territory to launch terror operations against other countries. Unfortunately, soon thereafter, a mutiny occurred in the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Hasina’s government was staring at major political instability, but which was avoided due to the tactful handling of the situation. Though a political crisis was averted, it delayed action against terror. But Hasina has kept her promise and acted against terrorism.
The Bangladesh government has taken a two-pronged approach against terror groups. It has acted against domestic Islamist groups like Harkatul Jihad al Islami (HuJI), and Jamaat ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). Action against them has exposed their international links. Now it has been decisively proved that these groups have been acting in concert with international terrorist outfits like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen.
Abstract: This report gives a brief summary of each of the major conflicts occurring in South Asia, from intra-state conflicts (often multiple per country) in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan, to inter-state disputes including India-China, India-Pakistan, India-Sri Lanka, India-Nepal, and India-Bangladesh. The report also describes the impact of the conflicts on regional stability, and an analysis of changes in the nature of the conflicts: Since the late 2001, South Asia, on the one hand has been facing a sudden growth in the intensity of
conflicts and on the other hand witnessing newly emerged conflicts with new dimensions. The post
9/11 era has also influenced the transformation process including the nature of conflicts and its
objectives in its peaceful culmination or violent escalation. Though in the recent past ( more
specifically post-9/11 era) all the governments of respective countries in South Asia have come up
with different peaceful ways of conflict resolution that have created an optimist approach to deal the
issues. But on the other side innovated trends and latest tactics have been introduced by the militant
organizations operating in the region. Different militant groups are forging new operational
coordination or strategic alliance in their separate fight for their cause.
Abstract: A few days ago, the West Bengal Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya decided to release a woman who had been arrested for her involvement in Maoist activities, in return for the release of Atindranath Dutta, a police officer. The decision of the CM was criticized by a significant number of people. Firstly, did the Maoists deserve this soft treatment when they themselves had declined to negotiate? The recent action of the Maoists was in retaliation to the arrest of 14 tribal women by the West Bengal police. They abducted and held Atindranath Dutta captive for three days, following which the CM agreed to release the women on humanitarian grounds. The reaction of the West Bengal government towards the Maoists however, appears strange. Given the Home Minister, P Chidambaram’s recent statements concerning the growing Maoist threat in India, the West Bengal government’s soft stand demonstrated antagonistic action. Besides, the central government was not consulted before making the decision. Amidst the criticism, the CPI (M) General Secretary, Prakash Karat backed the stance of the West Bengal Chief Minister that the exchange did not constitute a soft stand on the part of the ruling government. In his interview with the Indian Express on 26 October 2009, Karat stated that the people who had been released were not Maoists, but only supporters of the Maoist movement in West Bengal.
Abstract: Bilateral tensions remain high as a complex maritime dispute spills over onto refugees and regional politics. Bangladesh announced on 8 October that it would ask the UN to resolve a regional maritime wrangle, which involves India, Burma and Bangladesh. Four days later, what Bangladeshi army spokespersons called "a massive military build-up," took place on the Burmese side of the land border, and on the same day, the Burmese navy based in Arakan State stationed five warships close to the disputed area. A day later, the Chittagong-based Bangladeshi navy sent four warships to the disputed area in response.
Burma's military junta had earlier protested against Bangladesh’s exploration of oil and gas in the disputed maritime zone, and warned against oil companies going ahead based on exploration rights granted by Dhaka.
Foley Hoag, the law firm taking the arbitration case on behalf of Bangladesh, spoke of intimidation of oil companies granted concessions by Dhaka, by Burmese naval vessels operating in the Bay of Bengal, the site of the disputed maritime zones.
However, a spokesperson for Tullow Oil – one of the oil companies mentioned in a press release by Foley Hoag – told ISN Security Watch that the company "no longer has any operations in the maritime area adjacent to Burma," but added that a UK-based oil and gas multinational had recently been granted a new offshore block adjacent to India. The Bay is believed to contain huge undersea oil and gas reserves.
This is not the first time both countries have rattled sabers over natural resources in the Bay of Bengal. Naval vessels confronted each other one year ago after Bangladesh found South Korea’s Daewoo drilling on behalf of Burma in a disputed area.