Bangladesh on Fire

Bangladesh is not only the source of the news of flood, cyclone, fundamentalism, political instability, corruption alone but also the source of some pioneer works that can lead the world or enlighten the world. Here is the effort to collect some glimpses about such activities…

*** Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha is one such name to learn about. In their own language, “Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha overcame the challenge that the ecosystem of Bangladesh poses and found an innovative way to deliver information and education to residents. Shidhulai has transformed the regions waterways into path ways for education, information and technology. Shidhulai has converted boats into schools, libraries, healthcare and trainings centers to the isolated waterside communities”.
To learn more about Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha  , Please visit the Link.
http://www.shidhulai.org


About Bangladesh
Location: Bangladesh lies between 20º34′ and 26º38′ North Latitude and 88º01 and 92º 41′ East Longitude with a total landmass of 1,47,570 square kilometers. Bangladesh is surrounded by India to the west, north and northeast, Myanmar to the southeast, and the Bay of Bengal to the south. Bangladesh has a strategic location and acts as bridge between South Asia and Southeast AsiaCLIMATEBangladesh has a tropical monsoon climate with heavy summer rain and high summer temperatures. Winters are dry and cool. South and southwest winds dominate from mid-April to mid- October and bring enormous amounts of moisture from the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal: 95 percent of the total rainfall, which averages about eighty inches (2,040 millimeters) occurs during that period. The temperatures range from an average of about .68 F (18C) in January to about 86 F (3OC) in April.SEASONSBangla tradition divides the year into six seasons: Grishmo (summer), Barsha (rainy), Sarat (early autumn), Hemanta (late autumn), Sheet (winter) and Boshonto (the Spring). For practical purposes, however, four seasons are clearly distinguishable: Summer, Rainy, late Autumn and Winter. Rain begins to fall in April with the accompaniment of norwester or Kalbaishakhi. With the onset of monsoon in the first week of June extremely heavy downpour starts, and average temperature falls to low 80F. These heavy rains prevail for about two to three months causing floods and inundation of fields and river banks. The Winter is moderate while the Spring is mellow and pleasant.BIO-DIVERSITYBangladesh contains greater bio-diversity in the world than that of many countries in the world. Indeed, few countries in the world can match its rich and varied flora and fauna. Water lily is the national flower while the Royal Bengal tiger is the national animal of Bangladesh, which abounds in the Sunderbans, recognised as a World Heritage.PEOPLEBuilding upon the firm ethnological roots and an entrepreneurial spirit and innovative skill the people of Bangladesh are creating a special niche for themselves on the global plank. A fascinating land with a variegated history and a rich cultural tapestry, the people are endowed with a native intellect, capacity for hard work and resilience. Bangladeshies are simple in nature, extremely friendly and hospitable. With about 130 million people, Bangladesh ranks as the world’s 8th most populous country. It is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The staple food of the people is rice, which is generally eaten with fish curry and lentil. Most women in Bangladesh wear a sari, and men, sarongs, locally called ‘lungi’. Bangladeshies descended from several racial and sub-racial groups entering South Asia over the past five thousand years. By and large, they are now a single homogenous race with one common language- Bangla, There are, however, several small ethnic groups with their own languages and distinctive cultures. Birth rate in 2000 has come down to 1.5 %, while the percentage of literacy rate is now over 60, the highest in South Asia after Sri Lanka. Life expectancy at birth is now over 60 years (60.8 in the year 2000).LANGUAGE

Bangla, the official language, is spoken by more than 99 percent of the population but English is also generally understood particularly in urban areas. Bangla is one of the most extensively spoken languages of the world. Bangla script is derived directly from Gupta Brahmi script having close affinity with Thai and Cambodian scripts. The origin of this script is generally traced to 10th century AD. Bangla is a rich language capable of expressing the finest nuances of thought and feeling a language that continuously mirrors the ever-changing play of life. Bangladeshies passionately love their language under the neocolonial subjugation of Pakistan the Bangladeshies on February 21, 1952 shed their blood for protecting and preserving their mother tongue from the encroachment of the alien Urdu language. The day has been declared by UNESCO in 1999 as the International Mother Language Day to be observed all over the world in commemoration of the Bangla language martyrs of the 21st February. Bangla is rich in poetry, short story, novel, essay and drama. Two major Bangla poets are Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore (1863-1941) and Bangladesh’s national poet Kazi Nazrul lslam.

RELIGION

Islam is the predominant religion with over eighty-eight percent of the population adhering to it. Hindus comprise about ten percent of the population. The rest are Buddhists, Christians and animists. People are generally pious and keen in observing their respective religious rites and festivities with fervour. Bangladesh is a model of religious harmony and tolerance. Different religious communities and groups live in peace and the minorities are well represented in all tiers of society as well as in the government machinery.

TIME

Standard time of Bangladesh is 6 hours ahead of GMT. Friday & Saturday are the weekly government holidays. Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

HISTORY

Bangladesh is usually called a comparatively new nation in an ancient land. It emerged as an independent country through a sanguinary and protracted War of Liberation at the cost of immense sacrifices. The history of the country is as old as it is eventful. Bangladesh was famed in ancient times as a land of bounty and affluence. Etymologically the word Bangladesh is derived from the cognate Vanga, which was first mentioned in the Hindu scripture Oitery Araanyk composed between 5000 BC and 500 AD. Bangladesh is the largest wetland in the world formed by the interaction of innumerable rivers and streams; its configuration was determined and is continuously changed by them. Geological evidence indicates that much of Bangladesh was formed 1 to 6.5 million years ago during the tertiary era. Human habitation in the region is believed to be very old with its roots in the Paleolithic civilisation dating back to about one hundred thousand (1,00,000) years. In the ancient age an Austro-Asian race first inhabited the region. Then came the Dravidians from western India and later the Aryans from Central Asia. Then followed the influx of the Mongolians, Persians, Turks and Afghans. The mighty Gangaridai and Prasioi empires were located in Bangladesh. According to Greek sources of 4th century BC, the people of this deltaic region made extensive military preparations to halt the march of Alexander the Great, had he chosen to continue his eastward advancement. Later records, inscriptions, coins and ornaments testify to the tradition of rich heritage and civilisation indicating the glorious past of Bangladesh. Because of its strategic location Bangladesh since time immemorial served as a flourishing entry-port and intermediary in trade and commerce between South Asia and the Far East. The influence of Bangladesh spread far and wide and the region played a seminal role in disseminating its rich heritage and tradition, art and architecture, culture and learning in the wider continent of Asia and beyond. History recorded that Mauryas (4th to 2nd centuries BC), the Guptas (4th-5th century AD), the empire of Sasanka (7th century AD), the Pala dynasty (750 -1162 AD) and the Senas (162 to 1223 AD) successively held their sway here. Then followed a long chain of Muslim rule (till 1757) when this region reached the zenith of economic affluence. In fact, had there been no British conquest in 1757 Bangladesh would have been the first country in Asia to achieve industrial revolution because of its excellence in the finest fabrics. The British rule, which started from Bangladesh, was subsequently extended to the whole of the sub-continent. When the British left the subcontinent was partitioned into two countries-India and Pakistan. Bangladesh formed the Eastern Wing of Pakistan. Though numerically in the majority, the Bangladeshies were treated unjustly and very soon the movement for the autonomy of Bangladesh started because of cultural, linguistic and ethnic differences and economic disparity, deprivation and exploitation perpetrated by the Pakistani rulers. The historic Language Movement in 1952 was the first major awakening among the Bangladeshies and the spurt of their nationalistic feeling which subsequently propelled to the War of Liberation in 1971. The D-Day for the people of Bangladesh came on December 16, 1971 with the unconditional surrender of the Pakistani occupation forces.

LEGAL AND JUDICIAL SYSTEM

The present legal and judicial system of Bangladesh owes its origin mainly to two hundred years British rule in the Indian Sub-Continent although some elements of it are remnants of Pre-British period tracing back to Hindu and Muslim administration. It passed through various stages and has been gradually developed as a continuous historical process. The process of evolution has been partly indigenous and partly foreign and the legal system of the present day emanates from a mixed system which have structure, legal principles and concepts modeled on both Indo-Mughal and English law. The Indian sub-continent has a known history of over five hundred years with Hindu and Muslim periods which preceded the British period, and each of these early periods had a distinctive legal system of its own.

The Hindu period extends for nearly 1500 years before and after the beginning of the Christian era. The ancient India was divided into several independent states and the king was the Supreme authority of each state. So far as the administration of justice was concerned, the king was considered to be the fountain of justice and was entrusted with the Supreme authority of administration of justice in his kingdom.

The Muslim period starts with the invasion of the Muslim rulers in the Indian sub-continent in 1100 A.D. The Hindu Kingdoms began to disintegrate gradually with the invasion of Muslim rulers at the end of eleventh and at the beginning of twelfth century. When the Muslims conquered all the states, they brought with them the theory based o n the Holy Quran, their religious book. According to the Holy Quran, sovereignty lies in the hand of Almighty Allah and the king is His humble servant to carry out His will on the earth. The ruler was Almighty’s chosen agent and trustee.

The modernisation of ancient Indian legal and judicial system took place in the hand of the British people who came here as being trading company under a series of Royal Charters. East India Company gradually established control and possession over Bombay, Madras and Calcutta which were later on known as Presidency Towns. Ultimately the Company participated in administration of justice in co-operation with the local authorities. The Charter of 1726 issued by King George-I, by way of granting Letters Patent to the Company, was the first gateway to introduce English legal and judicial system in India. Later on, Charter of 1753 was issued by King George-II with a view to remove the defects of the Charter of 1726. To improve the system, the secret committee of House of Commons intervened, and passed the Regulation Act, 1773 under which the King issued a separate Charter of 1774 establishing the Supreme Court of judicature at Calcutta. Subsequently, Supreme Courts were established in Madras in 1801 and in Bombay in 1824.

In 1853, the first Law Commission was established in India and an all India legislature was created whose laws were to be binding on all Courts. East India Company was dissolved and the Government of India was taken over by the British Crown in 1858, following the event of mutiny in 1857. The Civil Procedure Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Penal Code, Evidence Act, etc. were enacted and with this common legal fabric, the British Parliament in 1861 enacted Indian High Courts Act which provided for the establishment of High Courts in three Presidency Towns (Calcutta, Bombay & Madras) replacing the Supreme Court. After the establishment of High Courts a regular hierarchy of Civil and Criminal Courts were established by Civil Courts Act, 1887 and Criminal Procedure Code, 1898 respectively. The present system of Civil and Criminal Court, in Indian sub-Continent have their legal basis by virtue of these Civil Courts Act, 1887 and Criminal Procedure Code, 1898 respectively. The British Parliament declared India & Pakistan as independent dominions on 15 August, 1947 by the Indian Independence Act, 1947. This Act also provide that until the new Constitutions were framed for independent India & Pakistan, the Government of these two countries were to run by the Government of India Act, 1935. Judicial structure mostly remained the same as it was before 1947.

The Government of India Act.1935 changed the structure of the Government from unitary to that of federal type. Accordingly, in both India and Pakistan Federal Court was retained to function until new constitutions were framed. Pakistan constituent Assembly passed the privy council (Abolition of Jurisdiction) Act, 1950 which abolished the system of appeal to the Privy Council from the Federal Court of Pakistan. The Federal Court appeared as the highest Court in Pakistan till 1956, when the High courts in the provinces and the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the centre were established under the new Constitution. In Pakistan, the constitution of 1956 was abrogated in 1958 and anotherone was introduced in 1962, but the whole judicial structure remained all the same. After liberation in 1971, Bangladesh adopted its Constitution in 1972, which provides the structure and functioning of the Supreme Court comprising with the High Court Division and the Appellate Division. Needless to say that in Bangladesh the sub-ordinate judiciary both in Civil and Criminal side originated from Civil Court Act, 1887 and Criminal Procedure Code, 1898. Apart from this, in Bangladesh there are some other special laws providing for the basis of some special courts, such as labour court, Juvenile Court, Administrative tribunal etc.

http://www.minlaw.gov.bd/aboutbangladesh.htm

© Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Bangladesh

     Facts of Bangladsh

The Country     : The People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Geographical Location    : In South Asia between 20 degree 34′ and 26 degree 38′ north latitude and Between 88 degree 01′ and 92 degree 41′ east longitude
Boundaries    : North : India (W. Bengal and Meghalaya), West : India ( W. Bengal), East : India ( Tripura and Assam ) and Myanmar, South : Bay of Bengal
Area    : 143,998 square km, Territorial waters : 12 nautical miles
Capital    : Dhaka
Time    : GMT plus 6 hours
Climate    : Sub-tropical monsoon
Temperature    : Winter (Nov-Feb) : avg. maximum 29 degree C, avg. minimum 9 degree C Summer (April-Sept.) : avg. maximum 34 degree C, avg. minimum 21 degree C
Rainfall    : 120 – 345 cm ( 47″ – 136″) during monsoon
Humidity Highest    : 99 % ( July ), Lowest ; 36 % ( Dec )
Administrative Division    : 06District    : 64
City Corporation    : 04
Municipality    : 166
Thana    : 492
Union    : 4472
Village    : 68000
Language    : 95% speak Bangla and 5% other dialects. English is widely spoken.
Food Staple diet    : rice, vegetable, pulses and fish
Principal Crops    : Rice, wheat, jute, tea, tobacco and sugarcane
Principal Rivers    : Padma, Brahmaputra, Jamuna, Meghna, Karnaphuli and Tessta
Mineral Resources    : Natural gas, limestone, hardrock, coal, lignite, silica sand, white clay and Radioactive sand
National Language    : Bengali
National Flower    : Shapla
National Bird    : Magpie Robin
National Fish    : Hilsa
National Fruit    : Jackfruit
Principal Industries    : Garments, textile, leather and leather goods, tea, jute, paper, newsprint, fertiliser, sugar, cement, fish processing, pharmaceuticals and chemicals

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