Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Lecture, Oslo, December 10, 2006  
“Poverty is a Threat to Peace”
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FOBANA 2016 Convention to be held September 2-4, 2016 in Washington, DC
Hosted by the Bangladesh Association of Greater Washington DC (BAGWDC), the Federation
of Bangladeshi Associations in North America (FOBANA)’s 2016 convention will be held during
September 2-4, 2016, in the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel, Arlington, Virginia (greater
Washington, DC area).
July 29, 2016: How many people have access to the internet in Bangladesh?
As reported by the Daily Star, there is some dispute about Bangladesh’s internet penetration.
According to a recent report by the International Telecommunication Union, Bangladesh has
the lowest internet penetration in South Asia, with just 14.40 percent of the population having
connectivity to the internet. On the other hand, Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for ICT, said
that the country’s internet penetration is about 40 percent.
July 2, 2016: BDRC condemns despicable act of terrorism in Dhaka
The Bangladesh Development Research Center (BDRC) condemns the despicable act of
terrorism in a restaurant popular with foreigners in Dhaka. The Bangladeshi government and all
governments can and must to more to eliminate ISIS everywhere. As the vast majority of
Muslims have recognized, any such acts (including if targeted at non-Muslims) are forbidden by
Islam (see the BDRC’s feature of June 21, 2016).
LEARN MORE (about Islam being a religion of peace) --->
June 21, 2016: Anti-Terror Fatwa Endorsed by 100,000 Bangladeshi Islamic Scholars
As reported by Voice of America, a leading Islamic group in Bangladesh has issued a fatwa
condemning terrorism and militancy, including violent attacks on non-Muslims and secular
writers and activists, as "Haraam," or forbidden and un-Islamic. The fatwa, or religious decree,
was signed by more than 100,000 Islamic scholars, legal experts and clerics, and presented by
Maulana Fariduddin Masoud, chairman of Bangladesh Jamiatul Ulama (BJU), a national body of
Islamic scholars.
June 9, 2016: Bangladeshi Inventor Creates Electricity-Free Air Conditioner
As reported by Yahoo News, Bangladeshi inventor Ashis Paul has figured out how to repurpose
plastic bottles into a low-cost, easy-to-make, electricity-free air conditioner. The science behind
the Eco-Cooler is based on the idea that the bottleneck becomes a funnel that compresses and
cools the air that runs through it by about five degrees, according to the Eco-Cooler website.
May 19, 2016: Recent string of vicious killings in Bangladesh is a governance issue
In an opinion piece of the New York Times, dated May 19, 2016, William B. Milam, who is a
senior policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington and a former U.S.
ambassador to Bangladesh and Pakistan, wrote: “The recent string of vicious killings in
Bangladesh is less a terrorism issue than a governance issue: It is the ruling Awami League’s
onslaught against its political opponents, which began in earnest after the last election in
January 2014, that has unleashed extremists in Bangladesh.”
April 29, 2016: Bangladesh has the potential to become one of the leading economies
As reported by the Daily Star, the Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka, Ma Mingqiang, said that
Bangladesh has all the potential to become one of the leading economies in the world and
China wants to support it in every possible way. The Chinese envoy said Bangladesh has a
huge potential market, huge labor force and very strategic geo-location in between three major
economies -- India, Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia.
April 11, 2016: Political repression reaches new heights in Bangladesh
A new Report by the International Crisis Group, issued on April 11, 2016, states: “As the Awami
League (AL) government’s political rivalry with the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) reaches
new heights, so has its repression. At the same time, a deeply politicised, dysfunctional criminal
justice system is undermining rather than buttressing the rule of law. Heavy-handed measures
are denting the government’s legitimacy and, by provoking violent counter-responses,
benefitting violent party wings and extremist groups alike.”
April 4, 2016: Income inequality is on the rise in Bangladesh
As reported in the Daily Star, Bangladesh’s Finance Minister AMA Muhith confirmed that income
inequality has gone up, though he also stressed that we should also focus on the positive
aspect, which is that the rate of extreme poverty has dropped (see the
BDRC’s feature story of
September 23, 2015). According to Human Development in South Asia 2015 Report (see Table
4.18, p. 104), Bangladesh’s income inequality (measured by the Gini coefficient) increased
from 0.350 in 1984 to 0.458 in 2010.
LEARN MORE ---> (link to Daily Star report)
LEARN MORE ---> (link to Human Development in South Asia 2015 Report)
March 9, 2016: New BDRC Working Paper shows that shifting cultivation has negative
impact on soil biological properties
A new BDRC Working Paper by Shafat Hosen, Ohidul Alam and S. M. Sirajul Haque examines
the impact of shifting cultivation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh on the growth of
microbial organisms. It shows that shifting cultivation is reducing availability of microbes in soils
along with creating a crisis of nutrients.
February, 17, 2016: Coastal families face health problems due to increased salinity
As reported by The Guardian, partly due to shrimp farming, the salinity along coastal lands of
Bangladesh has seeped ever further inland and is now associated with a variety of negative
health effects. The cultivation of shrimp became a necessity for the populations living on the
external coastland when, by the 1970s, a combination of natural and man-made disasters had
made the soil too salty to grow rice. However, the shrimp industry is also responsible for
worsening the water crisis. It has fast became one of Bangladesh’s highest earners.

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