BANGLADESH BHUTAN News
Rights in Bangladesh
Different Approach to Reduce Corruption
Strives to Develop 'Gross
Myanmar in the
map are not members of SAARC)
President Condemns Suicide Bombing,
Offers Taleban Posts For Peace
Afghanistan's President Hamid
Karzai has condemned a suicide bombing in Kabul that killed 30
people and wounded many others. Mr. Karzai also offered to
personally meet with Taleban and insurgent leaders and to give
militants government posts in return for peace.
Karzai told journalists Saturday the bombing early that morning was a
terrible tragedy, an act of extreme cowardice, and against Islam.
man that calls himself Muslim would not blow up innocent people in the
middle of Ramadan, an enemy of all of us, an enemy of Afghanistan, an
enemy of humanity, something that we condemn in strongest possible
terms," he said.
suicide attack occurred in the Afghan capital on a crowded Afghan National
Army bus. The bomber, dressed in an Afghan army uniform, detonated
explosives after trying to board the bus.
Karzai said the explosion killed 28 soldiers and two civilians. At least
21 people were wounded in the blast as it ripped the bus to pieces and
damaged nearby shops.
purported Taleban spokesman has said the group was responsible for the
the deadly bombing, Mr. Karzai said he was still willing to meet
personally with Taleban leader Mullah Omar and another top insurgent,
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, for peace talks.
said he would even offer positions in the government to insurgent leaders
willing to put down their weapons and join the political establishment.
Karzai says if he had their addresses, there would be no need for them to
contact him. He would go to them directly and ask why they are destroying
Mr. Karzai rejected insurgents' demands that foreign troops first leave
inside the Afghan capital used to be rare, but this year there have been
several, and suicide bombings are on the rise throughout the country.
There have already been more than 100 this year, compared with only 17 in
June, a police academy bus in Kabul was bombed, killing 35 people. That
was the deadliest bombing in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led overthrow of
the Taleban government in 2001_
officials say Taleban militants have resorted to terror tactics out of
desperation as coalition forces have stepped-up operations against the
insurgents Saturday released four Red Cross employees after holding them
for three days. The Red Cross was trying to negotiate the release of a
German hostage held by the insurgents since July. The kidnappers had
already executed a second German hostage.
Voice of America]
Corruption - A Different measure can be taken in Bangladesh
DR. TOUHID MD. FAISAL KAMAL Ph.D *
was very normal to resign from their post(The Bangladeshi
Anti-Corruption Commissioners) the stage seemed set for
re-constituting the Anti-Corruption Commission with more power and
authority in order to make it really effective and functional to
serve the purposefor the resistance of Corruptions in Bangladesh.
is no denying the fact that widespread and pervasive corruption in
government and public administration is now the number one problem of
the country and the new caretaker government headed by Dr Fakhruddin
Ahmed has already announced to undertake immediate appropriate
measures to combat corruption.
governance terms, corruption threatens democratic public institutions
by permitting the influence of improper interest on the use of public
resources and power, and by undermining the confidence of citizens in
the legitimate activities of the state. In a developing country like
Bangladesh where administrative norms and systems have not yet been
fully in place, most effective action against corruption is to raise
the awareness of all officers and staff in public service increasing
the level of control, that is by having matters that would lend
themselves to corruption processed by more than one official, or
through increased vigilance on the part of superiors.
is a world wide phenomenon and it has got many forms, colours and
dimensions and combating corruption totally is simply not possible
anywhere in the world not to speak of a country like Bangladesh where
the resources are limited but people's demands are innumerable.
forgery, nepotism, ransom-taking and rent-seeking, tax evasion through
collaboration with tax collectors, graft in government purchases,
wrong auditing, false bidding etc are some of the forms of corruption
we very often have to confront with in government offices.
Code of conduct
To combat corruption a generally applicable code of conduct may be
made available to the heads of organisations and other superiors. It
will help them considerably to respond adequately to incidents and
practices where the suspicion of corruption exists.
emphasis should be there on a consistent supervisory control. Special
training programmes for combating corrupt practices may be arranged
for senior officials and heads of organisations specially to acquaint
with ways of exercising control and supervisory functions. Concrete
guidance on anti-corruption measures should be available to them so
that they can respond in a competent way in an individual case.
and training for public officials especially at senior levels on codes
of conduct, ethics and awareness may be considered as essential
elements of service. These performances should primarily focus on the
legitimate activities of civil servants that can be improved by
further training minimising the potential of illegitimate
efforts should be planned specifically to promote the efficiency of
the application of laws. Also of fundamental importance is the civil
servants' code of ethics, which is normally prepared on the basis of
an authorisation by law. This is an undertaking in which
representatives of all fields -- trade, commerce, industry, law
enforcement agencies, tax collecting agency, judiciary etc also take
part providing expert and professional input.
a country like Bangladesh, the main remedial measure against further
spread of corruption should be to employ the power of modern
information technology to reduce civil servants' discretionary power
and thereby make government more transparent and accountable. The more
discretion government employees have and the less visible their
actions are, the greater is the potential for abuse and corruption.
is an incredibly wide range of possible applications of IT to reduce
discretion and increase transparency -- the scope seems almost
limitless. As such the newly re-constituted anti-corruption commission
should seriously consider to have a national data base on the claims/
allegations/ newspaper reports of corruptions and it should be updated
regularly on the present status of the case.
disposal of corruption cases is yet another area where proper
attention should be given by the authority concerned. Special legal
provisions must be in place to quicken the processes of trial at least
to give the impression that the government is sincere and serious in
combating corruption. In this respect, some quick exemplary punitive
actions taken against the culprits will go a long way in enhancing the
credibility of the anti-corruption agency.
really effective deterrent measure will be to apply stiffer sanctions,
specially jail sentences for corrupt behaviour, confiscation of the
ill-gotten money or property, to declare unfit for public offices and
fact, the fair sanction is an important deterrent. The possibilities
of suffering social ostracism, financial penalties or incarceration
inevitably discourage people from taking the risk of engaging in
of the major reasons that corruption flourishes in Bangladesh is that
hardly anybody is ever punished for it. We all know that there is
massive loan default, tax and customs evasion, power theft,
procurement corruption like kickbacks and extortion everywhere in
detection and punishment of these offences is very rare. The weak
application of sanctions reflects the deficiencies of the
anti-corruption machinery and a judicial system in which justice is
easily deferred. A combination of political will and remedies is,
therefore, needed to make sanctions a more potent deterrent to
corruption in the country. The Anti-Corruption Commission was in
operation with a fulltime chairman and two commissioners since
November 2004 but it could not be possible to attain any positive and
concrete result only due to lack of initiative, drive and dynamism
from the leadership.
since two Asian countries -- Japan and South Korea have achieved
considerable success in combating corruption, we can follow some of
the practices they use.
In Japan the National Public Service Law provides legislation relating
to the discipline of national public employees in the regular service.
It includes the prohibition of any act, which may cause discredit to
the public service. The violation of this legislation is punishable
under the disciplinary punishment rules provided by the national
public service law.
public service officials' ethics and codes of conduct are established
by every ministry and agency and applied to its public service
officials. They prescribe prohibited matters about contacts with
is policy, based on Cabinet division, that due consideration should be
given in the appointment of national public employees so that an
individual officer shall not occupy a post responsible for budget
implementation or licences for a longer period of time. In addition,
various kinds of training for ethics awareness are provided.
ministry and agency has managers of the public service discipline and
a general manager of the public service discipline. As one of the
measures to enhance the high level of ethical standards in the
national public service, the National Personnel Authority is currently
reviewing the disciplinary punishment system.
In Korea, the act on ethics in public service aims to secure fairness
in public service by preventing public officials from accumulating
unlawful properties. The Act institutionalises the registration and
disclosure of the reported property of both public officials and
candidates for elected public office.
Act covers high-level officials in public service-related
organisations as well as all public officials in the executive
agencies, the legislature and the judicial bodies. Under the law,
national and local public officials higher than grade four (director
or equivalent level in the central government) as well as office
holders of selected positions in public service-related organisations
have to report their property to the registration agency and renew
their report annually.
registered property of public officials higher than grade one (deputy
minister or equivalent level in the central government) shall be made
public through the official gazette or public bulletins.
Public Service Pension Law reduces the pension by half of public
officials who received penalty, impeachment of disciplinary dismissal
on grounds of corruption.
Among Korean citizens, the
telephone number 188 is well known. By dialing 188, any citizen can
report corrupt actions of public officials to the Board of Audit and
writer is a Management and I.T Professional, Free lance writer, Good
Governance activist, and Member Secretary of Center for Good
views expressed are of the author's own and not necessarily of the
organization he represents. E-mail: email@example.com
Strives to Develop 'Gross
landlocked Bhutan, wedged in the Himalayas between India and China,
development is measured in terms of Gross National Happiness. It is a part
of the kingdom's effort to improve the welfare of Bhutanese while not
sacrificing traditional Buddhist values. VOA's Steve Herman traveled to
Bhutan to find out more.
the 600,000 subjects of the "Land of the Thunder Dragon,"
happiness is roads without traffic signals. In fact, drivers will find not
a single red light in Bhutan.
compete in Thimpu tournament
is spending days competing in one of the numerous tournaments of the
national sport: archery. For many boys from the age of six, a happy
childhood is spent as a monk in Buddhist monasteries mastering Sanskrit.
the kingdom emerged from isolation in the 1960s, it found its neighbors
measuring development in terms of Gross National Product. But Bhutan was
not comfortable with that benchmark as explains the managing director of
the national Kuensel newspaper, Kinley Dorji.
when we looked around and saw what happened we thought that was a problem,
that something very important had been forgotten and that was
happiness," Dorji said. "So Gross National Happiness was
introduced really to give development a higher goal."
familiar with ways to measure development do not necessarily see a
conflict between GNP and GNH. Gepke Hingst is the country director in
Bhutan for UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund.
in the Gross National Happiness is the fact of this equitable social
development," said Hingst. "If you look at certain countries in
the region where you see an enormous growth it might not necessarily be so
equitable. And I think disparities in any society are not the way to
the U.N. Human Development Index, Bhutan is climbing steadily. It now
ranks one spot behind Pakistan and just ahead of Bangladesh and Nepal.
While precise statistics are hard to come by, adult literacy is believed
to have doubled since the early 1980s and is likely now above 50 percent.
Gross Domestic Product, mostly derived from hydropower sales to India, has
been growing an impressive 10 percent on average in recent years.
for many Bhutanese, development goals remain less concrete. Equal
treatment and non-violence to humans and animals alike are among the key
tenants of Buddhism.
Gross National Happiness means stray dogs roam freely and will not be
captured and killed. Many people, to gain merit, save chickens from
slaughter and set them free inside monasteries.
one of Bhutan's senior monks, the Shingkar Lama, Ngidup, this is Gross
National Happiness realized.
very proud to say that we as a Buddhist country here in Bhutan actually
sort of put the teachings, the very primary philosophy of Buddhism into
practice and made it a national goal," he said.
publisher Kinley Dorji acknowledges that despite the deep connection to
Buddhism, Bhutanese are not immune from desiring modern day commodities
and luxurious goods, such as German automobiles or a Korean widescreen
plasma TV sets.
exactly why we need Gross National Happiness because you have the reminder
that material achievement, material success will not bring you
happiness," Dorji said.
chat inside Phodrangdzong monastery
gauge for gross national happiness is abstract. And the head monk of the
Shingkar advises not to get hung up on the numbers in the quest for
whether you want to enjoy it in the forms of numbers or you can say like
'I'm having like 10 happiness' a day or something, I don't know. But as
long as you're feeling peaceful that's how we want the measurement of
feeling happy or peaceful or whatever," he said.
holds its first nationwide election in December, as it - under royal
guidance - moves from absolute monarchy to a parliamentary government.
Bhutan will soon find out whether democracy can also contribute to
increasing Gross National Happiness.
Voice of America]
Ministry denies any arrests in connection with bomb blasts in Hyderabad:
Bangladesh has denied any arrests in the country in connection with the
August 25-twin bomb blasts in Hyderabad, capital of Andhra Pradesh in
southern India, and said it has not received any request from India for
information on the bombings which killed 44 people. "Bangladesh is
yet to receive any request for information in connection with the
Hyderabad blasts and there have been no arrests in Bangladesh in this
connection," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on September 5,
2007. "The Home Ministry has informed me that no one by that name
‘Mohammad Sharifuddin’ has been arrested here," said acting
foreign secretary Mohammad Touhid Hossain. He was reacting to reports in a
section of the Indian media that Bangladeshi police had detained one
Sharifddin alias Abu Hamza in connection with the Mecca Masjid blasts (May
18, 2007) and for providing support to the twin blasts in Hyderabad. PTI
, September 6, 2007.