Monday, November 17, 2008

Recalcitrant Indian Border Security Force (BSF)

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) who are also termed as 'Border Smugglers Force' by the locals on both side of the border of Bangladesh and India for their involvement of smuggling goods to and from India have caused chaos inside the Bangladesh territory again.

According to the Bangladeshi 'Daily Star', BSF yesterday regretted and apologised for killing three people and wounding another in Maynaguri village in Tetulia upazila of Panchagarh Sunday night, according to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) officials.

The BSF at a flag meeting with the BDR also assured that such incidents will not recur in future.

The meeting, held at zero line near Majhipara border in Tetulia, decided that a BSF member caught by the villagers would be handed over to BSF after treatment, said BDR officials in Panchagarh.

The BDR team at the flag meeting was led by Col Aftabul Islam of Rangpur sector and the BSF team by R Chandra Mohan from Kishanganj camp in India.

Meanwhile, BDR officials of Panchagarh 25 Battalion said at least 8 to 10 drunken BSF personnel from Nayabari camp in India entered Maynaguri village near Majhipara border, at least 500 metres inside Bangladesh, after 10:00pm Sunday and ransacked several houses.

When the villagers protested this, the intruders entered the house of one Shahidul Islam and fired indiscriminately leaving three people killed and one injured.

The deceased were identified as Mazeda Begum, 25, her one- year-old son Mamun, and Golam Mostafa, 45, a neighbour.

Mazeda's husband Shahidul Islam, who was bullet-hit, and the BSF member held by villagers, were rushed to Rangpur Medical College Hospital. Shahidul's condition was stated to be critical.

Following the flag meeting, people of Maynaguri village who had fled their houses in panic, started returning.

What I don't understand here is the policy of Bangladesh government. If a drunken BSF member has been caught within the Bangladesh territory after killing 3 people and wounding another, why should the government send that person back after the treatment? Why don't they put him under trial according to Bangladeshi law? What kind of spineless policy is this? What message are you sending to the BSF personnel through this extradition? Aren't you sending a message to them that BSF personnel are welcome to come and kill Bangladeshi people whenever they feel like?

I'm really frustrated at the development of this incident because, this is not the first time BSF members have done this. Every two weeks we get news of BSF intrusion in Bangladesh, and if the Bangladesh government doesn't take a strong action this time, this will continue to happen.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Garment trade grow stronger in Bangladesh despite recession

Bangladesh’s largest contributor to its GDP is getting stronger despite the recession in the developed world. Japanese clothing giant Fast Retailing Co, mostly known by its brand name Uniqlo, has recently started outsourcing low-end products from Bangladesh to boost its sales worldwide. It has opened its local office in Dhaka in September this year.

The company plans to treble its overseas sales within the next two years through selling cheap garments amid global financial recession.

The company's new business plan to brace for low-cost management, and the shortest and cheapest manufacturing and marketing strategy has led it to Bangladesh, a high official of Fast Retailing said.

According to the Daily Star, the company will also start outsourcing home furnishings and fashion accessories from Bangladesh soon, said Koji Yamamoto, an official of Fast Retailing Co in Dhaka.

Besides Uniqlo, such global retail giants as GAP, Zara, Wal-Mart, Tesco, JCPenney, H&M and Next are already operating in the country.

A high official of Fast Retailing said Bangladesh would be the Uniqlo's outsourcing partner to supply clothes both to its Japanese retail shops and other overseas outlets in India and Russia.
The IMF said Bangladesh has lost some grounds in garment trade to Vietnam and Cambodia in its key markets in North America and Europe in 2007 and early 2008, but in the short term it sees no major change in its export outlook.

"Although competition is becoming more intense, Bangladesh's strong market position does not look likely to diminish in the short term," the IMF said in a research paper on Bangladesh's export diversification and external competitiveness.

"Despite the recent mixed performance, Bangladesh retained second position after China in global garment trade," the paper co-authored by IMF's Bangladesh chief Jonathan Dunn said.

Bangladesh exports grew more than 16% to US$14.11 billion in the 2007-8 fiscal year on the back of impressive performance by the ready-made garments, particularly knitwear.

The shipment, however, was negative in the first quarter, but it came back strongly in the remaining three quarters when garment exports grew more than 20 percent to finish the year with a record $10.7 billion income.

The IMF says cheap labour remains the key driver of Bangladesh's garment trade, as a worker in Bangladesh earns only $56 dollar, which is nearly half of what his colleague earns in Vietnam and Cambodia and a third than China.

It also said Bangladesh has diversified its export base in the recent years but still it needed a lot of catch-up work to compete with Vietnam or Cambodia.

The country expanded its number of export products well by South Asian standards, but less than East Asian competitors, it said, adding since 1990 the country increased its number of products from 366 to 673.

"This was a faster rate of increase than Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but slower than Nepal and considerably slower than Cambodia, which quadrupled its number of products."
Another encouraging factor in the garment industries in Bangladesh is the start of backward integration of the garment industries. Local textile companies and accessory factories have started operating further driving down the cost of producing the end products.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Things you never knew your mobile phone could do!

For all the folks with mobile phones- there are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies.

Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for survival. Check out the things that you can do with it:

Locked your keys in the car?

Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy someday. If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their mobile phone from your mobile phone. Hold your mobile phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you! Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other 'remote' for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).

Low Battery:

If your mobile battery is very low you can get access to reserve power by just pressing buttons! To activate, press the keys *3370# and your mobile phone will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge your mobile phone next time.

Stolen Phone:

To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following Digits on your phone: *#06#. A 15-digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe.

When your phone gets stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless... You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.

Emergency Number:

The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile network and there is an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly, this number 112 can be dialled even if the keypad is locked.