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Country, south-central Asia. Area: 56,977 sq mi (147,570 sq km). Population (2009 est.): 156,051,000. Capital: Dhaka. The vast majority of the population are Bengali. Language: Bengali (official). Religions: Islam (official; mainly Sunni); also Hinduism. Currency: taka. Bangladesh is generally flat, its highest point reaching over 1,000 ft (305 m) above sea level. The landscape is characterized by alluvial plains dissected by numerous connecting rivers. The southern part consists of the eastern sector of the GangesBrahmaputra delta. The chief rivers are the Ganges (there known as the Padma) and the Brahmaputra (or Jamuna), which unite as the Padma. Though primarily agricultural, the country often is not self-sufficient in food production. The monsoonal rains that occur from May to October produce extreme flooding over much of Bangladesh, often causing severe crop damage and great loss of life. Cyclones in 1970 and 1991 killed some 300,000 and 140,000 Bengalis, respectively. Bangladesh is a unitary multiparty republic with one legislative house; its head of state is the president, and its head of government is the prime minister. In its early years Bangladesh was known as Bengal. When the British left the subcontinent in 1947, the area that was East Bengal became the part of Pakistan called East Pakistan. Bengali nationalist sentiment increased after the creation of an independent Pakistan. In 1971 violence erupted; some one million Bengalis were killed, and millions more fled to India, which finally entered the war on the side of the Bengalis, ensuring West Pakistan's defeat. East Pakistan became the independent country of Bangladesh. Little of the devastation caused by the war has been repaired, and political instability, including the assassination of two presidents, has continued. For more information on Bangladesh, visit Britannica.com. Sponsored Links Import export tradingAlibaba.com Get even lower wholesale prices Bulk supply to USA or drop shipping Internet traffic statisticsEconsultancy.com/internet-stats A comprehensive compilation of web stats & online market research. Investment Dictionary:
BDTTop Home > Library > Business & Finance > Investment Dictionary In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the Bangladesh Taka. Investopedia Says: The currency market, also known as the Foreign Exchange market, is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average volume of over US $1 trillion.
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BangladeshTop Home > Library > History, Politics & Society > British History Bangladesh proclaimed itself a sovereign state on 25 March 1971 although it was not until 15 December that Pakistan conceded this status. Previously, the country had been known as East Pakistan, united with West Pakistan in the state created at the time of India's partition in 1947. East Bengal's place in the new Pakistan was never comfortable. Power was narrowly concentrated in the landed-military lites of the West. In the 1960s, a movement developed around the Awami League demanding, at least, provincial autonomy. It was repressed but reasserted itself strongly in 1970 when President Yahya was obliged by US pressure to hold Pakistan's first general elections. The Awami League won 160 of the 162 East Pakistan constituencies. West Pakistan's military and political leaders struck back, arresting the president of the Awami League and unleashing tanks on Dakha. Brutalizing violence drove 10 million refugees into neighbouring India, whose army then intervened. On 15 December 1971, West Pakistan forces surrendered and the liberation of Bangladesh was confirmed. Sponsored Links Number one monthlywww.TheBanker.com/numberone The Banker is the most-read title in capital markets Korean Elec. Dictionarywww.bestfromkorean.com Atree, Udea, KOREAN dictionary Great for Thanks giving GIFT Buddhism Dictionary:
BangladeshTop Home > Library > Religion & Spirituality > Buddhism Dictionary Modern country on the border region between south and south-east Asia. Though the majority of the population of Bangladesh is now Muslim, this region was once renowned for its number of Buddhist establishments, including Phrpur (see Phrpur Vihra). It is not known for sure when Buddhism was introduced in the country but no evidence of Buddhist activities is available before the 2nd century CE. Buddhism reached the highest point of development here under the Pla dynasty (765-1175). Following the loss of royal patronage and the arrival of Muslim invaders, Buddhism almost disappeared from
Bangladesh and was preserved by the people living on the border with the Burmese region of Arakan (see Burma), although in a corrupted form not acceptable to Burmese orthodoxy. The reform of these practices and the revival of orthodox Theravda Buddhism in Bangladesh took place only in 1856. Today in Bangladesh there are less than one million Buddhists, all living in the district of Chittagong. Sponsored Links Yacht market researchwww.flotilia.com Yachts and boats market in Russia. Dynamics, quantity, brands Monetary PolicyAcademicEarth.org/Economics Financial Markets Course Free Yale Video Lecture Columbia Encyclopedia:
BangladeshTop Home > Library > Miscellaneous > Columbia Encyclopedia Bangladesh (bng-ldsh', bng-) [Bengali,=Bengal nation], officially People's Republic of Bangladesh, republic (2005 est. pop. 144,320,000), 55,126 sq mi (142,776 sq km), S Asia. Bangladesh borders on the Bay of Bengal in the south; on the Indian states of West Bengal in the west and north, Assam and Meghalaya in the northeast, and Tripura and Mizoram in the east; and on Myanmar in the southeast. Dhaka is the capital and largest city; the nation's other major city is Chittagong. Land and People A humid, low-lying, alluvial region, Bangladesh is composed mainly of the great combined delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers. Except for the Chittagong Hills along the Myanmar border, most of the country is no more than 300 ft (90 m) above sea level. Bangladesh is laced with numerous streams, distributaries, and tidal creeks, forming an intricate network of waterways that constitutes the country's chief transportation system. Along the southwestern coast is the Sundarbans, a mangrove swamp area with numerous low islands. Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon climate with a distinct dry season in the winter. It receives an average annual rainfall of 80 in. (203 cm), with most falling during the summer monsoon period; the Sylhet district in the northeast is the wettest part of the country, having an annual average rainfall of 140 in. (356 cm). The low-lying delta region is subject to severe flooding from monsoon rains, cyclones (hurricanes), and storm surges that bring major crop damage and high loss of life. The cyclones of 1970 and 1991 and the monsoon floods of 1988, 1998, and 2004 were particularly devastating. Bangladesh is one of the world's ten most populated countries and has one of the highest population densities (about 2,100 people per sq mi/810 people per sq km). The great majority of Bangladesh's population is Bengali, although Biharis and several tribal groups constitute significant minority communities. About 83% of the population is Sunni Muslim and 16% is Hindu. Bangla (Bengali) is the nation's official language, and
English is used in urban centers. Bangladesh has a predominantly rural population, with over 65% of the workforce engaged in agriculture. There are several universities, including ones at Chittagong, Dhaka, Mymensingh, and Rajshahi. Economy Bangladesh is one of the world's poorest nations, with overpopulation adding to its economic woes, and it is heavily reliant on foreign aid. The country's economy is based on agriculture. Rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, and tobacco are the chief crops. Bangladesh is the world's largest producer of jute. Fishing is also an important economic activity, and beef, dairy products, and poultry are also produced. Except for natural gas (found along its eastern border), limited quantities of oil (in the Bay of Bengal), coal, and some uranium, Bangladesh possesses few minerals. Dhaka and Chittagong (the country's chief port) are the principal industrial centers; clothing and cotton textiles, jute products, newsprint, and chemical fertilizers are manufactured, and tea is processed. In addition to clothing, jute, and jute products, exports include tea, leather, fish, and shrimp. Remittances from several million Bangladeshis working abroad are the second largest source of foreign income. Capital goods, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, food, and petroleum products are the major imports. Western Europe, the United States, India, and China are the main trading partners. Government Bangladesh is governed by the constitution of 1972 as amended. The head of state is the president, a largely ceremonial position, and the head of government is the prime minister. There is a 300-seat unicameral National Parliament, whose members are popularly elected from constiuencies for five-year terms. The major political parties are the Bangladesh Nationalist party and the Awami League. Administratively, the nation is divided into 6 divisions, which are subdivided into 64 districts. History Before Independence The history of Bangladesh is related to that of the larger area of Bengal, which became independent of Delhi by 1341. After a succession of Muslim rulers, it was conquered by Akbar, the great Mughal emperor in 1576. By the beginning of the 18th cent., the governor of the province was virtually independent, but he lost control to the British East India Company, which after 1775 was the effective ruler of the vast area, which also included the Indian states of West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, and Bihar. Bengal was divided by the British in 1905 into West Bengal and East Bengal, with East Bengal being more or less coterminous with modern Bangladesh. Since the new province had a majority Muslim population, the partition was welcomed by Muslims, but it was
fiercely resented by Indian nationalist leaders who saw it as an attempt to drive a wedge between Muslims and Hindus. The partition was withdrawn in 1911, but it had pointed the way to the events of 1947, when British India was partitioned into the states of India and Pakistan. Pakistan consisted of two "wings," one to the west of India, and the other to the east. The eastern section was constituted from the eastern portion of Bengal and the former Sylhet district of Assam and was known until 1955 as East Bengal and then as East Pakistan. Pakistan's two provinces, which differed considerably in natural setting, economy, and historical background, were separated from each other by more than 1,000 mi (1,610 km) of India. The East Pakistanis, who comprised 56% of the total population of Pakistan, were discontented under a government centered in West Pakistan; the disparity in government investments and development funds given to each province also added to the resentment. Efforts over the years to secure increased economic benefits and political reforms proved unsuccessful, and serious riots broke out in 1968 and 1969. In Nov., 1970, an extremely deadly cyclone devastated Chittagong and many coastal villages and killed some 300,000 people. Independence to the Present The movement for greater autonomy gained momentum when, in the Dec., 1970, general elections, the Awami League under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (generally known as Sheikh Mujib) won practically all of East Pakistan's seats and thus achieved a majority in the Pakistan National Assembly. President Muhammad Agha Yahya Khan, hoping to avert a political confrontation between East and West Pakistan, twice postponed the opening session of the national assembly. The government's attempts to forestall the autonomy bid led to general strikes and nonpayment of taxes in East Pakistan and finally to civil war on Mar. 25, 1971. On the following day the Awami League's leaders proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh. During the months of conflict an estimated one million Bengalis were killed in East Pakistan and another 10 million fled into exile in India. Fighting raged in Dhaka, Chittagong, Comilla, Sylhet, Jessore, Barisal, Rangpur, and Khulna. Finally India allied itself with Bangladesh, which it had recognized on Dec. 6, and during a two-week war (Dec. 3-16) defeated the Pakistani forces in the east. Sheikh Mujib, who had been chosen president while in prison in West Pakistan, was released, and in Jan., 1972, he set up a government and assumed the premiership; Abu Sayeed Choudhury became president. Rejecting Pakistan's call for a reunited country, Sheikh Mujib began to rehabilitate an economy devastated by the war. Relations with Pakistan were hostile; Pakistan withheld recognition from Bangladesh, and Bangladesh and India refused to repatriate more than 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war who had surrendered at the end of the conflict. Armed Bengali "freedom fighters" fought Bihari civilians in Bangladesh, particularly after Indian troops withdrew from Bangladesh in Mar., 1972.
Tensions were eased in July, 1972, when President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan (who assumed power after the fall of the Yahya Khan government) and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India agreed to peacefully settle the differences between their countries. Pakistan officially recognized Bangladesh in Feb., 1974. Subsequently, India and Pakistan reached consensus on the release of Pakistani prisoners of war and the exchange of hostage populations. Bangladesh was gradually recognized by most of the world's nations. It joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1972 and was admitted to the United Nations in 1974. In 1972 the country's major industries, banks, and shipping and insurance firms were nationalized. Despite Mujib's popularity as the founder of independent Bangladesh, high rates of inflation and a severe famine (1974) resulted in a governmental crisis. In 1975, after becoming president under a new constitutional system, he was assassinated in a military coup; after two additional coups later in the year, Maj. Gen. Zia ur-Rahman emerged as ruler, beginning a period of military control that lasted into the 1990s. In 1981, Zia was himself assassinated in a failed coup attempt; his successor was replaced (1982) in a bloodless coup by Lt. Gen. Hussain Mohammad Ershad, who assumed the presidency. In an effort to gain legitimacy, Ershad later resigned his military office and won a disputed presidential election. He was forced to resign in Dec., 1990, amid charges of corruption, for which he was jailed (1990-96, 2000-2001); he was convicted on additional charges in 2006 but sentenced to time already served. Elections held in Feb., 1991, brought the Bangladesh Nationalist party (BNP) to power, and Khaleda Zia ur-Rahman, the widow of Zia ur-Rahman, became prime minister. An extremely strong cyclone in April, 1991, killed more than 138,000 and devastated coastal areas, especially in the southeast. In 1994, nearly all opposition members of parliament denounced Zia's government as corrupt and resigned their seats. After a series of general strikes called by the opposition, parliament was dissolved in Nov., 1995; major opposition parties also boycotted the ensuing Feb., 1996, elections. Zia was returned to power, but the opposition mounted protests; she resigned and an interim government headed by Habibur Rahman was installed. New elections held in June, 1996, resulted in a victory for the opposition Awami League, led by Hasina Wazed, daughter of Bangladesh's first prime minister. As she struggled with the country's ongoing economic problems, a series of opposition-led strikes, beginning in 1998, once again paralyzed the country. In July, 2001, a caretaker government headed by Latifur Rahman was appointed in advance of parliamentary elections in October. Zia and the BNP won a landslide victory in the voting, and she again became prime minister. In 2003 the Awami League began a series of rallies and occasional strikes to mobilize opposition to the government. Deadly attacks on rallies in Aug., 2004, and Jan., 2005, provoked a series of nationwide and local strikes and protests by the League, which accused the government of trying to assassinate Hasina Wazed. Some 200 minor bomb attacks occurred in 60 cities and towns on Aug. 17, 2005. The attacks appeared to be the work of militants who favor the establishment of Islamic rule
in Bangladesh; two militant groups had been banned in Feb., 2005. In the months following the attacks the government moved to arrest members of the groups, and Islamic extremist mounted additional attacks, including ones involving suicide bombers. Awami League efforts to undermine the government in 2006 included a "blockade" of Dhaka in June that resulted in clashes with the police, and led to a 36-hour general strike. Meanwhile, in May and June, there were protests and rioting by garment workers over working conditions; a number of factories were burned, and hundreds were vandalized. Zia's government resigned in October in preparation for the Jan., 2007, elections. The issue of who should head the caretaker government in the intervening months became a contentious one in the weeks proceeding the resignation, and the BNP, Awami League, and other parties failed to reach an agreement, leading to violent clashes between the parties' supporters. In the end, President Iajuddin Ahmed appointed himself chief adviser to the interim administration. Continuing disagreements over the handling of the elections led to sometimes violent demonstrations and transportation blockades by the Awami League and its allies, and in Jan., 2007, that 14-party alliance announced that it would boycott the elections. After the United Nations and European Union withdrew their support for the election, the president declared a state of emergency, resigned as chief adviser and appointed Fakhruddin Ahmed, an economist and former central bank governor, to the post, and postponed the elections. The Awami League and its allies halted their protests as Fakhruddin Ahmed formed a cabinet. The new government, which was backed by the military, subsequently moved to clean up the electoral rolls and attack political corruption. A number of prominent political and business figures were arrested on corruption charges, and Hasina Wazed and other political leaders were charged with murder in connection with political violence. The government moved in April, 2007, to exile Wazed and Khaleda Zia, but then reversed itself. Wazed and then Zia were subsequently charged with corruption. The president's term ended in Sept., 2007, but Ahmed remained in office in the absence of a functioning parliament. During July-Sept., 2007, Bangladesh experienced two spells of extensive and devastating flooding due to monsoon rains, and in November a cyclone caused extensive damage in the southwest, killing more than 3,000. There was a brief maritime standoff in the Bay of Bengal between Bangladesh and Myanmar in November when Bangladeshi naval vessels confronted Myanmarese oil-and-gas exploration ships in disputed waters. In Dec., 2008, the government finally ended the state of emergency two weeks before new parliamentary elections; both former prime ministers subsequently campaigned. The Awami League won the vote in a landslide, and in Jan., 2009, Sheikh Hasina Wazed became prime minister, ending interim rule. Zia and the BNP asserted the election was rigged, but foreign observers called the contest credible. Paramilitary border guards mutinied in Feb., 2009; the uprising was centered at the Bangladesh Rifles headquarters in Dhaka. More than 70 persons were killed, most of them regular army officers assigned
to the forces who were murdered by mutineers; some 1,000 guards were alleged to have been involved in the mutiny. Bibliography For bibliography of preindependent Bangladesh see under Pakistan; for independent Bangladesh see M. Ayoob and K. Subrahmanyam, The Liberation War (1972); S. R. Chowdhury, The Genesis of Bangladesh (1972); C. Baxter, Bangladesh (1984); C. P. O'Donnell, Bangladesh (1984); S. R. Chakravarty and N. V. Narain, Bangladesh (3 vol., 1986-89); H. Glassie, Art and Life in Bangladesh (1998); W. van Schendel, A History of Bangladesh (2009). Sponsored Links China Tradewww.IndustryWeek.com Get China Trade info for free, from IndustryWeek GDP Explainedwww.TradersLog.com Gross Domestic Product How to use Economic Indicators! Geography:
BangladeshTop Home > Library > Travel & Places > Geography (bahng-gluh-DESH, bang-gluh-DESH) Republic in southern Asia, bordered by India to the north, west, and east; the Bay of Bengal to the south; and Burma to the southeast. Its capital and largest city is Dacca.
Created as East Pakistan in 1947, when India gained its independence from Britain and Muslim leaders demanded a Muslim state. Separated by cultural differences and one thousand miles of Indian territory from a neglectful central government in West Pakistan (now Pakistan), Bangladesh achieved its independence in 1971 after a bloody revolt and Indian intervention. It has been struck frequently by devastating typhoons.
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Home > Library > Travel & Places > Dialing Codes - Countries The international dialing code for Bangladesh is: 880
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BangladeshTop Home > Library > Travel & Places > Local Time - Countries It is 11:38 PM, November 21, in Bangladesh.
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BangladeshTop Home > Library > Travel & Places > Exchange Rates by Country Bangladeshi Taka
BangladeshTop Home > Library > Travel & Places > Regional Stats Introduction Background: Europeans began to set up trading posts in the area of Bangladesh in the 16th century; eventually the British came to dominate the region and it became part of British India. In 1947, West Pakistan and East Bengal (both primarily Muslim) separated from India (largely Hindu) and jointly became the new country of Pakistan. East Bengal became East Pakistan in 1955, but the awkward arrangement of a two-part country with its territorial units separated by 1,600 km left the Bengalis marginalized and dissatisfied. East Pakistan seceded from its union with West Pakistan in 1971 and was renamed Bangladesh. A military-backed, emergency caretaker regime suspended parliamentary elections planned for January 2007 in an effort to reform the political system and root out corruption. In contrast to the strikes and violent street rallies that had marked Bangladeshi politics in previous years, the parliamentary elections finally held in late December 2008 were mostly peaceful. Sheikh HASINA Wajed was reappointed prime minister. About a third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering economic development. Geography
Location: Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India Geographic coordinates: 24 00 N, 90 00 E Map references: Asia Area: total: 144,000 sq km land: 133,910 sq km water: 10,090 sq km Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Iowa Land boundaries: total: 4,246 km border countries: Burma 193 km, India 4,053 km Coastline: 580 km Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm contiguous zone: 18 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm continental shelf: up to the outer limits of the continental margin Climate: tropical; mild winter (October to March); hot, humid summer (March to June); humid, warm rainy monsoon (June to October) Terrain: mostly flat alluvial plain; hilly in southeast Elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m highest point: Keokradong 1,230 m Natural resources: natural gas, arable land, timber, coal Land use: arable land: 55.39% permanent crops: 3.08% other: 41.53% (2005)
Irrigated land: 47,250 sq km (2003) Total renewable water resources: 1,210.6 cu km (1999) Freshwater withdrawal total: 79.4 cu km/yr (3%/1%/96%) (domestic/industrial/agricultural): per capita: 560 cu m/yr (2000) Natural hazards: droughts; cyclones; much of the country routinely inundated during the summer monsoon season Environment - current issues: many people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land; waterborne diseases prevalent in surface water; water pollution, especially of fishing areas, results from the use of commercial pesticides; ground water contaminated by naturally occurring arsenic; intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the northern and central parts of the country; soil degradation and erosion; deforestation; severe overpopulation Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate agreements: Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements Geography - note: most of the country is situated on deltas of large rivers flowing from the Himalayas: the Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal People Population: 156,050,883 (July 2009 est.) Age structure: 0-14 years: 34.6% (male 27,065,625/female 26,913,961) 15-64 years: 61.4% (male 45,222,182/female 50,537,052) 65 years and over: 4% (male 3,057,255/female 3,254,808) (2009 est.) Median age: total: 23.3 years male: 22.9 years female: 23.5 years (2009 est.) Population growth 1.292% (2009 est.) rate: Birth rate: 24.68 births/1,000 population (2009 est.) Death rate: 8 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.) Net migration rate: -2.53 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.) Urbanization: urban population: 27% of total population (2008) rate of urbanization: 3.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.) Sex ratio: at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2009 est.) Infant mortality rate: total: 59.02 deaths/1,000 live births male: 66.12 deaths/1,000 live births female: 51.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.) Life expectancy at total population: 60.25 years birth: male: 57.57 years female: 63.03 years (2009 est.) Total fertility rate: 2.74 children born/woman (2009 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult less than 0.1% (2001 est.) prevalence rate: HIV/AIDS - people 12,000 (2007 est.) living with HIV/AIDS: HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 500 (2007 est.) Major infectious degree of risk: high diseases: food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria are high risks in some locations water contact disease: leptospirosis animal contact disease: rabies note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009) Nationality: noun: Bangladeshi(s) adjective: Bangladeshi Ethnic groups: Bengali 98%, other 2% (includes tribal groups, non-Bengali Muslims) (1998) Religions: Muslim 83%, Hindu 16%, other 1% (1998) Languages: Bangla (official, also known as Bengali), English Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 47.9% male: 54% female: 41.4% (2001 Census) School life expectancy total: 8 years (primary to tertiary male: 8 years education): female: 8 years (2004) Education 2.7% of GDP (2005) expenditures: Government Country name: conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh conventional short form: Bangladesh local long form: Gana Prajatantri Banladesh
local short form: Banladesh former: East Bengal, East Pakistan Government type: parliamentary democracy Capital: name: Dhaka geographic coordinates: 23 43 N, 90 24 E time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) Administrative 6 divisions; Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet divisions: Independence: 16 December 1971 (from West Pakistan); note - 26 March 1971 is the date of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is known as Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh National holiday: Independence Day, 26 March (1971); note - 26 March 1971 is the date of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh Constitution: 4 November 1972; effective 16 December 1972; suspended following coup of 24 March 1982; restored 10 November 1986; amended many times Legal system: based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal Executive branch: chief of state: President Zillur RAHMAN (since 12 February 2009) head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh HASINA Wajed (since 6 January 2009) cabinet: Cabinet selected by the prime minister and appointed by the president elections: president elected by National Parliament for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); last election held on 11 February 2009 (next scheduled election to be held in 2014) election results: Zillur RAHMAN declared president-elect by the Election Commission on 11 February 2009 (sworn in on 12 February); he ran unopposed as president; percent of National Parliament vote - NA Legislative branch: unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad; 300 seats elected by popular vote from single territorial constituencies; members serve five-year terms elections: last held 29 December 2008 (next to be held in 2013) election results: percent of vote by party - AL 49%, BNP 33.2%, JP 7%, JIB 4.6%, other 6.2%; seats by party - AL 230, BNP 30, JP 27, JIB 2, other 11 Judicial branch: Supreme Court (the chief justices and other judges are appointed by the president)
Political parties and Awami League or AL [Sheikh HASINA]; Bangladesh Communist leaders: Party or BCP [Manjurul A. KHAN]; Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP [Khaleda ZIA]; Islami Oikya Jote or IOJ [Mufti Fazlul Haq AMINI]; Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh or JIB [Matiur Rahman NIZAMI]; Jatiya Party or JP (Ershad faction) [Hussain Mohammad ERSHAD]; Jatiya Party (Manzur faction) [Naziur Rahman MANZUR]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Badrudozza CHOWDHURY and Oli AHMED] Political pressure Advocacy to End Gender-based Violence through the MoWCA groups and leaders: (Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs) other: environmentalists; Islamist groups; religious leaders; teachers; union leaders International ADB, ARF, BIMSTEC, C, CP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, organization ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, participation: IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURCAT, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO Diplomatic chief of mission: Ambassador M. Humayun KABIR representation in the chancery: 3510 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008 US: telephone:  (202) 244-0183 FAX:  (202) 244-7830/2771 consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York Diplomatic chief of mission: Ambassador James F. MORIARTY representation from embassy: Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka 1212 the US: mailing address: G. P. O. Box 323, Dhaka 1000 telephone:  (2) 885-5500 FAX:  (2) 882-3744 Flag description: green field with a large red disk shifted slightly to the hoist side of center; the red disk represents the rising sun and the sacrifice to achieve independence; the green field symbolizes the lush vegetation of Bangladesh Economy Economy - overview: The economy has grown 5-6% per year since 1996 despite inefficient state-owned enterprises, delays in exploiting natural gas resources, insufficient power supplies, and slow implementation of economic reforms. Bangladesh remains a poor, overpopulated, and inefficiently-governed nation. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the service sector, nearly two-thirds of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector, with rice as the single-most-important product. Garment exports and remittances from Bangladeshis working overseas, mainly in the Middle East and East Asia, fuel economic growth. In 2008 Bangladesh pursued a monetary policy aimed at maintaining high
employment, but created higher inflation in the process. GDP (purchasing $224 billion (2008 est.) power parity): $213.6 billion (2007) $201.1 billion (2006) note: data are in 2008 US dollars GDP (official exchange $83.04 billion (2008 est.) rate): GDP - real growth 4.9% (2008 est.) rate: 6.2% (2007 est.) 6.4% (2006 est.) GDP - per capita $1,500 (2008 est.) (PPP): $1,400 (2007 est.) $1,300 (2006 est.) note: data are in 2008 US dollars GDP - composition by agriculture: 19.1% sector: industry: 28.6% services: 52.3% (2008 est.) Labor force: 70.86 million note: extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Malaysia; workers' remittances estimated at $4.8 billion in 2005-06. (2008 est.) Labor force - by agriculture: 63% occupation: industry: 11% services: 26% (FY95/96) Unemployment rate: 2.5% (includes underemployment) (2008 est.) Population below 45% (2004 est.) poverty line: Household income or lowest 10%: 3.7% consumption by highest 10%: 27.9% (2000) percentage share: Distribution of family 33.2 (2005) income - Gini index: Investment (gross 24.3% of GDP (2008 est.) fixed): Budget: revenues: $8.831 billion expenditures: $12.54 billion (2008 est.) Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June Public debt: 34.6% of GDP (2008 est.) Inflation rate 9.4% (2008 est.) (consumer prices): Central bank discount 5% (31 December 2007) rate: Commercial bank 16% (31 December 2007) prime lending rate:
Stock of money: $8.444 billion (31 December 2007) Stock of quasi money: $32.4 billion (31 December 2007) Stock of domestic $40.15 billion (31 December 2007) credit: Market value of $6.793 billion (31 December 2007) publicly traded shares: Agriculture - products: rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruit; beef, milk, poultry Industries: cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, sugar Industrial production 6.9% (2008 est.) growth rate: Electricity - 22.78 billion kWh (2007 est.) production: Electricity - 21.37 billion kWh (2006 est.) consumption: Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2007 est.) Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2007 est.) Electricity - production fossil fuel: 93.7% by source: hydro: 6.3% nuclear: 0% other: 0% (2001) Oil - production: 6,746 bbl/day (2007 est.) Oil - consumption: 89,940 bbl/day (2006 est.) Oil - exports: 1,351 bbl/day (2005) Oil - imports: 83,220 bbl/day (2005) Oil - proved reserves: 28 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.) Natural gas - 15.7 billion cu m (2007 est.) production: Natural gas - 15.7 billion cu m (2007 est.) consumption: Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2007 est.) Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.) Natural gas - proved 141.6 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.) reserves: Current account -$55 million (2008 est.) balance: Exports: $13.97 billion (2008 est.) Exports - commodities: garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood Exports - partners: US 23%, Germany 13%, UK 9.1%, France 5.5%, Belgium 4% (2007) Imports: $20.17 billion (2008 est.) Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles,
foodstuffs, petroleum products, cement Imports - partners: China 15%, India 14.3%, Kuwait 8.3%, Singapore 6.2%, Hong Kong 4.2% (2007) Reserves of foreign $5.934 billion (31 December 2008 est.) exchange and gold: Debt - external: $21.72 billion (31 December 2008 est.) Stock of direct foreign $5.618 billion (2008 est.) investment - at home: Stock of direct foreign $104 million (2008 est.) investment - abroad: Currency (code): taka (BDT) Currency code: BDT Exchange rates: taka (BDT) per US dollar - 68.554 (2008 est.), 69.893 (2007), 69.031 (2006), 64.328 (2005), 59.513 (2004) Communications Telephones - main 1.187 million (2007) lines in use: Telephones - mobile 34.37 million (2007) cellular: Telephone system: general assessment: inadequate for a modern country; fixed-line telephone density remains less than 1 per 100 persons; mobilecellular telephone subscribership has been increasing rapidly and is approaching 25 per 100 persons domestic: modernizing; introducing digital systems; trunk systems include VHF and UHF microwave radio relay links, and some fiber-optic cable in cities international: country code - 880; landing point for the SEA-MEWE-4 fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 6; international radiotelephone communications and landline service to neighboring countries (2007) Radio broadcast AM 15, FM 13, shortwave 2 (2006) stations: Radios: 6.15 million (1997) Television broadcast 15 (1999) stations: Televisions: 770,000 (1997) Internet country code: .bd Internet hosts: 1,440 (2008) Internet Service 10 (2000) Providers (ISPs): Internet users: 500,000 (2007) Transportation Airports: 17 (2008)
Airports - with paved total: 16 runways: over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 914 to 1,523 m: 1 under 914 m: 6 (2008) Airports - with total: 1 unpaved runways: 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2008) Pipelines: gas 2,597 km (2008) Railways: total: 2,768 km broad gauge: 946 km 1.676-m gauge narrow gauge: 1,822 km 1.000-m gauge (2006) Roadways: total: 239,226 km paved: 22,726 km unpaved: 216,500 km (2003) Waterways: 8,370 km note: includes up to 3,060 km main cargo routes; network reduced to 5,200 km in dry season (2007) Merchant marine: total: 40 by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 27, container 5, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 4 foreign-owned: 1 (China 1) registered in other countries: 10 (Comoros 2, Honduras 1, Malta 2, Panama 2, Singapore 2, Togo 1) (2008) Ports and terminals: Chittagong, Mongla Port Transportation - note: the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial waters of Bangladesh as high risk for armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked both at anchor and while underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen Military Military branches: Bangladesh Defense Force: Bangladesh Army (Sena Bahini), Bangladesh Navy (Noh Bahini, BN), Bangladesh Air Force (Biman Bahini, BAF) (2009) Military service age 16 years of age for voluntary military service; 17 years of age for and obligation: officers (both with parental consent); conscription legally possible in emergency, but has never been implemented (2008) Manpower available males age 16-49: 41,199,340 (2008 est.) for military service: Manpower fit for males age 16-49: 24,946,041 military service: females age 16-49: 31,409,069 (2009 est.) Manpower reaching male: 1,538,865 militarily significant female: 1,666,670 (2009 est.) age annually: Military expenditures: 1.5% of GDP (2006)
Transnational Issues Disputes - discussions with India remain stalled to delimit a small section of international: river boundary, exchange territory for 51 small Bangladeshi exclaves in India and 111 small Indian exclaves in Bangladesh, allocate divided villages, and stop illegal cross-border trade, migration, violence, and transit of terrorists through the porous border; Bangladesh protests India's fencing and walling off hightraffic sections of the porous boundary; a joint Bangladesh-India boundary commission resurveyed and reconstructed 92 missing pillars in 2007; dispute with India over New Moore/South Talpatty/Purbasha Island in the Bay of Bengal deters maritime boundary delimitation; after 21 years, Bangladesh resumes talks with Burma on delimiting a maritime boundary Refugees and refugees (country of origin): 26,268 (Burma) internally displaced IDPs: 65,000 (land conflicts, religious persecution) (2007) persons: Illicit drugs: transit country for illegal drugs produced in neighboring countries
National Anthem of: BangladeshTop Home > Library > History, Politics & Society > National Anthems My Bengal of gold, I love you Forever your skies, your air set my heart in tune as if it were a flute, In Spring, Oh mother mine, the fragrance from your mango-groves makes me wild with joy- Ah, what a thrill! In Autumn, Oh mother mine, in the full-blossomed paddy fields, I have seen spread all over - sweet smiles! Ah, what a beauty, what shades, what an affection and what a tenderness! What a quilt have you spread at the feet of banyan trees and along the banks of rivers! Oh mother mine, words from your lips are like
Nectar to my ears! Ah, what a thrill! If sadness, Oh mother mine, casts a gloom on your face, my eyes are filled with tears!
BangladeshTop Home > Library > Miscellaneous > Wikipedia This article is about the People's Republic of Bangladesh. For other uses, see Bangladesh (disambiguation). Not to be confused with East Pakistan. Coordinates: 23N 90E / 23N 90E
The People's Republic of Bangladesh Gnoprojatontri Bangladesh
Anthem: Amar Shonar BanglaMy Golden Bangla
Capital Dhaka 2342N 9021E / 23.7N 90.35E (and largest city) Official language(s) Bengali Demonym Bangladeshi Unitary state and parliamentary Government democracy - President Zillur Rahman - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed - Speaker Ad.Abdul Hamid Independence from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan - Declared March 26, 1971 - Victory Day December 16, 1971 Area 147,570 km2 (94th) - Total 56,977 sq mi - Water (%) 6.9 Population - 2009 estimate 162,221,000 (7th) 1,099.3/km2 (9th) - Density 2,917.6/sq mi GDP (PPP) 2009 estimate - Total $241.269 billion - Per capita $1,487 GDP (nominal) 2009 estimate - Total $94.602 billion - Per capita $583 Gini (2005) 33.2 (medium) HDI (2007) 0.543 (medium) (146th) Taka (BDT) Currency Time zone BST (UTC+6) Drives on the left ISO 3166 code BD Internet TLD .bd Calling code 8801
Adjusted population, p.4,
Bangladesh (pronounced /bld/ ( listen); Bengali: ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh (Bengali: Gnoprojatontri Bangladesh) is a country in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma (Myanmar) to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south. Together with the Indian state of West Bengal, it makes up the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh means "Country of Bengal" in the official Bengali language. The borders of present-day Bangladesh were established with the partition of Bengal and India in 1947, when the region became East Pakistan, part of the newly formed nation of Pakistan. However, it was separated from the western wing by 1,600 km (994 mi) of Indian territory. Political and linguistic discrimination as well as economic neglect led to
popular agitations against West Pakistan, which led to the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 and the establishment of Bangladesh. After independence, the new state endured famines, natural disasters and widespread poverty, as well as political turmoil and military coups. The restoration of democracy in 1991 has been followed by relative calm and economic progress. Today, Bangladesh is a secular, democratic republic. Bangladesh is the eighth most populous country and is among the most densely populated countries in the world with a high poverty rate. However, per-capita (inflation-adjusted) GDP has more than doubled since 1975, and the poverty rate has fallen by 20% since the early 1990s. The country is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies. Dhaka, the capital, and other urban centers have been the driving force behind this growth. Geographically, the country straddles the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta and is subject to annual monsoon floods and cyclones. Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy with an elected parliament called the Jatiyo Sangshad. The country is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the OIC, SAARC, BIMSTEC, and the D-8. As the World Bank notes in its July 2005 Country Brief, the country has made significant progress in human development in the areas of literacy, gender parity in schooling and reduction of population growth. However, Bangladesh continues to face a number of major challenges, including widespread political and bureaucratic corruption, economic competition relative to the world, serious overpopulation, widespread poverty, and an increasing danger of hydrologic shocks brought on by ecological vulnerability to climate change. Contents [hide]
1 History 2 Government and politics 3 Foreign policy and military 4 Divisions, districts and upazilas 5 Geography and climate 6 Flora and fauna 7 Economy 8 Demographics 9 Culture 10 Sports 11 See also 12 References 13 External links
HistoryMain articles: History of Bangladesh and History of Bengal
Somapura Mahavihara in Paharpur, Bangladesh, is the greatest Buddhist Vihara in the Indian Subcontinent, built by Dharmapala of Bengal. Sixty Dome Mosque in Mosque city of Bagerhat was built in the 15th century and is the largest historical mosque in Bangladesh, as well as a World Heritage site.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (3rd person from right), founder of Bangladesh and Maulana Bhashani (4th person from right) in 1953 Remnants of civilization in the greater Bengal region date back four thousand years, when the region was settled by Dravidian, Tibeto-Burman, and Austro-Asiatic peoples. The exact origin of the word "Bangla" or "Bengal" is unknown, though it is believed to be derived from Bang, the Dravidian-speaking tribe that settled in the area around the year 1000 BC. The kingdom of Gangaridai was formed from at least the 7th century BC, which later united with Bihar under the Magadha, Nanda, Mauryan and Sunga Empires. Bengal was later part of the Gupta Empire and Harsha Empire from the 3rd to the 6th centuries CE. Following its collapse, a dynamic Bengali named Shashanka founded an impressive short-lived kingdom. After a period of anarchy, the Buddhist Pala dynasty ruled the region for four hundred years, followed by a shorter reign of the Hindu Sena dynasty. Islam was introduced to Bengal in the 12th century by Arab Muslim merchants; Sufi missionaries and subsequent Muslim conquests helped spread Islam throughout the
region. Bakhtiar Khilji, a Turkic general, defeated Lakshman Sen of the Sena dynasty and conquered large parts of Bengal in the year 1204. The region was ruled by dynasties of Sultans and land lords Bhuiyan for the next few hundred years. By the 16th century, the Mughal Empire controlled Bengal, and Dhaka became an important provincial centre of Mughal administration. European traders arrived late in the 15th century, and their influence grew until the British East India Company gained control of Bengal following the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The bloody rebellion of 1857 known as the Sepoy Mutiny resulted in transfer of authority to the crown with a British viceroy running the administration. During colonial rule, famine racked the Indian subcontinent many times, including the Great Bengal famine of 1943 that claimed 3 million lives. Between 1905 and 1911, an abortive attempt was made to divide the province of Bengal into two zones, with Dhaka being the capital of the eastern zone. When India was partitioned in 1947, Bengal was partitioned along religious lines, with the western part going to India and the eastern part (Muslims majority) joining Pakistan as a province called East Bengal (later renamed East Pakistan), with its capital at Dhaka. In 1950, land reform was accomplished in East Bengal with the abolishment of the feudal zamindari system. Despite the economic and demographic weight of the east, however, Pakistan's government and military were largely dominated by the upper classes from the west. The Bengali Language Movement of 1952 was the first sign of friction between the two wings of Pakistan. Dissatisfaction with the central government over economic and cultural issues continued to rise through the next decade, during which the Awami League emerged as the political voice of the Bengali-speaking population. It agitated for autonomy in the 1960s, and in 1966, its president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Mujib), was jailed; he was released in 1969 after an unprecedented popular uprising. In 1970, a massive cyclone devastated the coast of East Pakistan, killing up to half a million people,  and the central government responded poorly. The Bengali population's anger was compounded when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, whose Awami League won a majority in Parliament in the 1970 elections, was blocked from taking office. After staging compromise talks with Mujib, President Yahya Khan arrested him in the early hours of 26 March 1971, and launched Operation Searchlight, a sustained military assault on East Pakistan. Yahya's methods were extremely bloody, and the violence of the war resulted in many civilian deaths . Chief targets included intellectuals and Hindus, and about ten million refugees fled to neighbouring India. Estimates of those massacred throughout the war range from three hundred thousand to 3 million. Before his arrest by the Pakistan Army, Sk. Mujibur Rahman formally declared the independence of Bangladesh, and directed everyone to fight till the last soldier of the Pakistan army was evicted from East Pakistan. Awami League leaders set up a government-in-exile in Calcutta, India. The exile government formally took oath at Mujib
Nagar in Kustia district of East Pakistan on 17 April 1971, with Tajuddin Ahmad as the first Prime Minister. The Bangladesh Liberation War lasted for nine months. The Bangladesh Forces formed within 11 sectors led by General M.A.G. Osmani consisting of Bengali Regulars, and Mukti Bahini conducted a massive guerilla war against the Pakistan Forces with all out support from the Indian Armed Forces. Jointly, the Mitro Bahini achieved a decisive victory over Pakistan on 16 December 1971, with Indian Armed Forces taking over 90,000 prisoners of war. After its independence, Bangladesh became a parliamentary democracy, with Mujib as the Prime Minister. In the 1973 parliamentary elections, the Awami League gained an absolute majority. A nationwide famine occurred during 1973 and 1974, and in early 1975, Mujib initiated a one-party socialist rule with his newly formed BAKSAL. On 15 August 1975, Mujib and most of his family members were assassinated by mid-level military officers. A series of bloody coups and counter-coups in the following three months culminated in the ascent to power of General Ziaur Rahman, who reinstated multi-party politics, and founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Zia's rule ended when he was assassinated by elements of the military in 1981. Bangladesh's next major ruler was General Hossain Mohammad Ershad, who gained power in a bloodless coup in 1982, and ruled until 1990, when he was forced to resign after a massive revolt of all major political parties and the public, along with pressure from western donors (which was a major shift in international policy after the fall of the Soviet Union). Since then, Bangladesh has reverted to a parliamentary democracy. Zia's widow, Khaleda Zia, led the Bangladesh Nationalist Party to parliamentary victory at the general election in 1991, and became the first female Prime Minister in Bangladeshi history. However, the Awami League, headed by Sheikh Hasina, one of Mujib's surviving daughters, won the next election in 1996. It lost again to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party in 2001. On 11 January 2007, following widespread political unrest, a caretaker government was appointed to administer the next general election. The country had suffered from extensive corruption, disorder and political violence. The new caretaker government has made it a priority to root out corruption from all levels of government. To this end, many notable politicians and officials, along with large numbers of lesser officials and party members, have been arrested on corruption charges. The caretaker government held what observers described as a largely free and fair election on 29 December 2008. Awami League's Sheikh Hasina won the elections with a landslide victory and took the oath of Prime Minister on 6 January 2009.
Government and politicsMain article: Politics of Bangladesh See also: Constitution of Bangladesh
Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban houses the Parliament of Bangladesh. National symbols of Bangladesh Anthem Amar Shonar Bangla Animal Royal Bengal Tiger Bird Oriental Magpie Robin Fish Hilsa Flower White Water Lily Fruit Jackfruit Tree Mango Tree Sport Hadudu Calendar Bengali calendar Bangladesh is a unitary state and parliamentary democracy. Direct elections in which all citizens, aged 18 or over, can vote are held every five years for the unicameral parliament known as Jatiya Sangsad. The parliamentary building is known as the Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban and was designed by architect Louis Kahn. Currently the parliament has 345 members including 45 reserved seats for women, elected from single-member constituencies. The Prime Minister, as the head of government, forms the cabinet and runs the day-to-day affairs of state. While the Prime Minister is formally appointed by the President, he or she must be an MP who commands the confidence of the majority of parliament. The President is the head of state but mainly a ceremonial post elected by the parliament. However the President's powers are substantially expanded during the tenure of a caretaker government, which is responsible for the conduct of elections and transfer of power. The officers of the caretaker government must be non-partisan and are given three months to complete their task. This transitional arrangement is an innovation that was pioneered by Bangladesh in its 1991 election and then institutionalized in 1996 through its 13th constitutional amendment. The Constitution of Bangladesh was drafted in 1972 and has undergone fourteen amendments. The highest judicial body is the Supreme Court. Justices are appointed by the President. The judicial and law enforcement institutions are weak. Separation of powers, judicial from executive was finally implemented on the 1st of November, 2007. It is expected that this separation will make the judiciary stronger and impartial. Laws are
loosely based on English common law, but family laws such as marriage and inheritance are based on religious scripts, and therefore differ between religious communities. The two major parties in Bangladesh are the Bangladesh Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). BNP is led by Khaleda Zia and traditionally been alled with Islamist parties like Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and Islami Oikya Jot, while Sheikh Hasina's Awami League aligns with leftist and secularist parties. Hasina and Zia are bitter rivals who have dominated politics for over 15 years; each is related to one of the leaders of the independence movement. Another important player is the Jatiya Party, headed by former military dictator Ershad. The Awami League-BNP rivalry has been bitter and punctuated by protests, violence and murder. Student politics is particularly strong in Bangladesh, a legacy from the liberation movement era. Almost all parties have highly active student wings, and student leaders have been elected to the Parliament. Two radical terrorist organizations, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) and Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), were banned in February 2005. Several smallscale bomb attacks taking place since 1999 have been blamed on those groups, and dozens of suspected members have been detained in security operations, including the heads of those two parties in 2006. The masterminds were tried and executed. The Bangladesh government won praise from world leaders, including Western leaders, for its strong anti-terrorist stance. The January 22, 2007 election was postponed indefinitely and emergency law declared on January 11, 2007 as the Army backed caretaker government of Fakhruddin Ahmed aimed to prepare a new voter list and crack down on corruption. They also assisted the interim Government of Bangladesh in a drive against corruption, which resulted in Bangladesh's position in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index changed from the very bottom, where they had been for 3 years in a row, to 147th in just 1 year. A large alliance led by the Bangladesh Awami League won the December 29, 2008 poll, in a landslide victory. They got 230 seats among 300 seats in the parliament.
Foreign policy and militaryMain articles: Foreign relations of Bangladesh and Military of Bangladesh
A Bangladeshi Air Force MiG-29 lands at a BAF Base.
BNS Bangabandhu, a Bangladeshi Navy frigate. Bangladesh pursues a moderate foreign policy that places heavy reliance on multinational diplomacy, especially at the United Nations. In 1974 Bangladesh joined both the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations and has since been elected to serve two terms on the Security Council in 19781979 and 20002001. In the 1980s, Bangladesh played a lead role in founding the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in order to expand relations with other South Asian states. Since the founding of SAARC 1985, a Bangladeshi has held the post of Secretary General on two occasions. Bangladesh's most important and complex foreign relationships are with India. These relationships are informed by historical and cultural ties and form an important part of the domestic political discourse. Bangladesh's relationship with India began on a positive note because of India's assistance in the independence war and reconstruction. Throughout the years, relations between both countries have fluctuated for a number of reasons. A major source of tension between Bangladesh and India is the Farakka Dam. In 1975, India constructed a dam on the Ganges River 11 miles (18 km) from the Bangladeshi border. Bangladesh alleges that the dam diverts much needed water from Bangladesh and adds a man-made disaster to the country already plagued by natural disasters. The dam also has terrible ecological consequences. On the other hand, India has voiced concerns about anti-Indian separatists and Islamic militants allegedly being harboured across their 2,500-mile (4,000 km) border, as well as the flow of illegal migrants, and is building a fence along most of it. But at the 2007 SAARC meeting both nations pledged to work cooperatively on security, economic and border issues. The current strength of the army is around 200,000 including reservists, the air force 22,000, and navy 14,950. In addition to traditional defense roles, the military has been called on to provide support to civil authorities for disaster relief and internal security during periods of political unrest. Bangladesh is not currently active in any ongoing war, but it did contribute 2,300 troops to the coalition that fought in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and Bangladesh is consistently a top contributor to UN peacekeeping forces around the world. As of May 2007, Bangladesh had major
deployments in Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Timor-Leste and Cte d'Ivoire. Presently Bangladesh is the largest troop contributor country to the UN. Bangladesh enjoys relatively warm ties with the People's Republic of China which has, particularly in the past decade, increased economic cooperation with the South Asian nation. Between 2006 and 2007, trade between the two nations rose by 28.5% and there have been agreements to grant various Bangladeshi commodities tariff-free access to the Chinese market. Cooperation between the Military of Bangladesh and the People's Liberation Army is also increasing, with joint military agreements signed and Bangladesh procuring Chinese arms which range from small arms to large naval surface combatants such as the Chinese Type 053H1 Missile Frigate.
Divisions, districts and upazilasMain articles: Divisions of Bangladesh, Districts of Bangladesh, and Upazilas of Bangladesh
Administrative divisions of Bangladesh. This map shows the highest level unit called a Division. Bangladesh is divided into seven administrative divisions, each named after their respective divisional headquarters: Barisal (), Chittagong (), Dhaka (), Khulna (), Rajshahi (), Sylhet (), and Rangpur (). Divisions are subdivided into districts (zila). There are 64 districts in Bangladesh, each further subdivided into upazila (subdistricts) or thana. The area within each police station, except for those in metropolitan areas, is divided into several unions, with each union consisting of multiple villages. In the metropolitan areas, police stations are divided into wards, which are further divided into mahallas. There are no elected officials at the divisional, district or upazila levels, and the administration is composed only of
government officials. Direct elections are held for each union (or ward), electing a chairperson and a number of members. In 1997, a parliamentary act was passed to reserve three seats (out of twelve) in every union for female candidates. Dhaka is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh. Other major cities include Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Barisal, Bogra, Comilla, Mymensingh and Rangpur. These cities have mayoral elections, while other municipalities elect a chairperson. Mayors and chairpersons are elected for a span of five years. City Dhaka Chittagong Khulna Narayanganj Rajshahi Sylhet Barisal Rangpur Natore City population (2008 estimate) Metro population (2008 estimate) 7,000,940 12,797,394 2,579,107 3,858,093 855,650 1,588,425 800,000 1,500,000 472,775 775,495 463,198 210,374 251,699 152,359 -
Geography and climateMain article: Geography of Bangladesh
Satellite image presenting physical features of Bangladesh Bangladesh is in the low-lying GangesBrahmaputra River Delta or Ganges Delta. This delta is formed by the confluence of the Ganges (local name Padma or Pdda), Brahmaputra (Jamuna or Jomuna), and Meghna rivers and their respective tributaries. The Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal. The alluvial soil deposited by these rivers has created some of the most fertile plains in the world. Bangladesh has 57 trans-
boundary rivers, making water issues politically complicated to resolve in most cases as the lower riparian state to India. Most parts of Bangladesh are less than 12 m (39.4 ft) above the sea level, and it is believed that about 10% of the land would be flooded if the sea level were to rise by 1 m (3.28 ft). In south east Bangladesh experiments have been done since the sixties to 'build with nature'. By implementing cross dams, the natural accretion of silt has created new land. With Dutch funding, the Bangladeshi government began to help develop this new land in the late 1970s. The effort has since become a multiagency operation building roads, culverts, embankments, cyclone shelters, toilets and ponds, as well as distributing land to settlers. By fall 2010, the program will have allotted some 27,000 acres (10,927 ha) to 21,000 families. The highest point in Bangladesh is in Mowdok range at 1,052 m (3,451 ft) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to the southeast of the country. Cox's Bazar, south of the city of Chittagong, has a beach that stretches uninterrupted over 120 kilometres (75 mi). Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Bangladeshi climate is tropical with a mild winter from October to March, a hot, humid summer from March to June. A warm and humid monsoon season lasts from June to October and supplies most of the country's rainfall. Natural calamities, such as floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and tidal bores occur almost every year, combined with the effects of deforestation, soil degradation and erosion. The cyclones of 1970 and 1991 were particularly devastating. A cyclone that struck Bangladesh in 1991 killed some 140,000 people. In September 1998, Bangladesh saw the most severe flooding in modern world history. As the Brahmaputra, the Ganges and Meghna spilt over and swallowed 300,000 houses, 9,700 kilometres (6,027 mi) of road and 2,700 kilometres (1,678 mi) of embankment 1,000 people were killed and 30 million more were made homeless with 135,000 cattle killed, 50 square kilometres (19.3 sq mi) of land destroyed and 11,000 kilometres (6,835 mi) of roads damaged or destroyed. Two-thirds of the country was underwater. There were several reasons for the severity of the flooding. Firstly, there were unusually high monsoon rains. Secondly, the Himalayas shed off an equally unusually high amount of melt water that year. Thirdly, trees that usually would have intercept rain water had been cut down for firewood or to make space for animals. Bangladesh is now widely recognized to be one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Natural hazards that come from increased rainfall, rising sea levels, and tropical cyclones are expected to increase as climate change, each seriously affecting agriculture, water & food security, human health and shelter. It is believed that in the coming decades the rising sea level alone will create more than 20 million climate refugees. Bangladeshi water is contaminated with arsenic frequently because of the high arsenic contents in the soil. Up to 77 million people are exposed to toxic arsenic from drinking water. Bangladesh is among the countries most prone to natural floods, tornados and cyclones.
Flora and fauna
Royal Bengal Tiger A major part of the coastline comprises a marshy jungle, the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world and home to diverse flora and fauna, including the Royal Bengal Tiger. In 1997, this region was declared endangered. The Magpie Robin is the National Bird of Bangladesh and it is common and known as the Doyel or Doel (Bengali: ). It is a widely used symbol in Bangladesh, appearing on currency notes and a landmark in the city of Dhaka is named as the Doyel Chatwar (meaning: Doyel Square).The national flower of the country is water lily, which is known as Shapla. The national fruit is jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) , which in Bengali is known as Kathal.
EconomyMain article: Economy of Bangladesh
Worker in a paddy field a common scene throughout Bangladesh. Two thirds of the population works in the agricultural sector. Despite continuous domestic and international efforts to improve economic and demographic prospects, Bangladesh remains a developing nation. Its per capita income in 2008 was US$520 compared to the world average of $10,200. Jute was once the economic engine of the country. Its share of the world export market peaked in the Second World War and the late 1940s at 80% and even in the early
1970s accounted for 70% of its export earnings. However, polypropylene products began to substitute for jute products worldwide and the jute industry started to decline. Bangladesh grows very significant quantities of rice, tea and mustard. Although two-thirds of Bangladeshis are farmers, more than three quarters of Bangladeshs export earnings come from the garment industry, which began attracting foreign investors in the 1980s due to cheap labour and low conversion cost. In 2002, the industry exported US$5 billion worth of products. The industry now employs more than 3 million workers, 90% of whom are women. A large part of foreign currency earnings also comes from the remittances sent by expatriates living in other countries.
Jamuna Bridge: one of the longest bridges in the world Obstacles to growth include frequent cyclones and floods, inefficient state-owned enterprises, mismanaged port facilities, a growth in the labour force that has outpaced jobs, inefficient use of energy resources (such as natural gas), insufficient power supplies, slow implementation of economic reforms, political infighting and corruption. According to the World Bank, "among Bangladeshs most significant obstacles to growth are poor governance and weak public institutions." Despite these hurdles, the country has achieved an average annual growth rate of 5% since 1990, according to the World Bank. Bangladesh has seen expansion of its middle class, and its consumer industry has also grown. In December 2005, four years after its report on the emerging "BRIC" economies (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), Goldman Sachs named Bangladesh one of the "Next Eleven", along with Egypt, Indonesia, Vietnam and seven other countries. Bangladesh has seen a dramatic increase in foreign direct investment. A number of multinational corporations and local big business houses such as Beximco, Square, Akij Group, Ispahani, Navana Group, Transcom Group, Habib Group, KDS Group, Dragon Group and multinationals such as Unocal Corporation and Chevron, have made major investments, with the natural gas sector being a priority. In December 2005, the Central Bank of Bangladesh projected GDP growth around 6.5%. In order to enhance economic growth, the government set up several export processing zones to attract foreign investment. These are managed by the Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority.
One significant contributor to the development of the economy has been the widespread propagation of microcredit by Muhammad Yunus (awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2006) through the Grameen Bank. By the late 1990s, Grameen Bank had 2.3 million members, along with 2.5 million members of other similar organisations.
DemographicsMain articles: Demographics of Bangladesh, Education in Bangladesh, and Religion in Bangladesh See also: Bengali people
Recent (20072010) estimates of Bangladesh's population range from 150 to 164 million and it is the 7th most populous nation in the world. In 1951, the population was 44 million. It is also the most densely populated large country in the world, and it ranks 11th in population density, when very small countries and city-states are included. A striking contrast is offered by Russia which has a similar population spread over a land area that is 120 times larger than Bangladesh. Bangladesh's population growth was among the highest in the world in the 1960s and 1970s, when the country swelled from 50 to 90 million. With the promotion of birth control in the 1980s, the growth rate has slowed. The population is relatively young, with 60% being 25 or younger and only 3% being 63 or older. Life expectancy is 63 years for both males and females. The overwhelming majority of Bangladeshis are ethnic Bengalis, comprising 98% of the population. The remainder are mostly Biharis and indigenous tribal groups. There is also a small but growing population of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar around Cox's Bazaar, which Bangladesh seeks to repatriate to Myanmar. The indigenous tribal peoples are concentrated in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in the southeast. There are thirteen tribal groups located in this region, the largest being the Chakma. The Hill Tracts region has been a source of unrest and separatism since and before the inception of Bangladesh.
Outside the Hill Tracts, the largest tribal groups are the Santhals and Garos (Achiks), while smaller groups include the Kaibartta, Meitei, Mundas, Oraons, and Zomi. Nearly all Bangladeshis speak Bengali as their mother tongue and it is the official language. It is an Indo-Aryan language of Sanskrit origin with its own script. English is used as a second language among the middle and upper classes. English is also widely used in higher education and the legal system. Historically, laws were written in English and translated into Bengali until 1987 when the procedure was reversed. The Bihari population speaks Urdu, which was also the language associated with the government prior to separation from Pakistan. Health and education levels remain relatively low, although they have improved recently as poverty levels have decreased. Most Bangladeshis continue to live on subsistence farming in rural villages. Health problems abound, springing from poor water quality and prevalence of infectious diseases. The water crisis is acute, with widespread bacterial contamination of surface water and arsenic contamination of groundwater. Common diseases include malaria, leptospirosis and dengue. The literacy rate in Bangladesh rose to 53.5% in 2007. There is a gender gap, as literacy rates among women are 81.9% those among men, but this is disappearing in the younger generation. Among the most successful literacy programs are the Food for education (FFE) introduced in 1993, and a stipend program for women at the primary and secondary levels. Religion in BangladeshReligion Percent
Islam Hinduism Other
89.7% 9.2% 1.1%
The main religion practiced in Bangladesh is Islam (89.7%), but a significant minority adheres to Hinduism (9.2%). The majority of Muslims are Sunni. There is a small Shia and an even smaller Ahmadiyya community. Ethnic Biharis are predominantly Shia Muslims. Sufi influences in the region go back many centuries. Other religious groups include Buddhists (0.7%, mostly Theravada), Christians (0.3%, mostly of the Roman Catholic denomination), and Animists (0.1%). Bangladesh has the fourth largest Muslim population after Indonesia, Pakistan, and India, with over 130 million. Bangladesh was founded as a secular state, but Islam was briefly made the state religion, before returning by decree of the High Court to the principles of its 1972 constitution. The High Court also strengthened its stance against punishments by Islamic edict (fatwa), following complaints of brutal sentences carried out against women by extra-legal village courts.
CultureMain article: Culture of Bangladesh See also: Public holidays in Bangladesh, Sport in Bangladesh, and Music of Bangladesh
Celebrations of the Pohela Baishakh at Dhaka. Reflecting the long history of the region, Bangladesh has a culture that encompasses elements both old and new. The Bengali language boasts a rich literary heritage, which Bangladesh shares with the Indian state of West Bengal. The earliest literary text in Bengali is the 8th century Charyapada. Medieval Bengali literature was often either religious (e.g. Chandidas), or adapted from other languages (e.g. Alaol). Bengali literature reached its full expression in the nineteenth century, with its greatest icons being poets Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam. Bangladesh also has a long tradition in folk literature, for example Maimansingha Gitika, Thakurmar Jhuli and stories related to Gopal Bhar. The musical tradition of Bangladesh is lyrics-based (Baniprodhan), with minimal instrumental accompaniment. The Baul tradition is a distinctive element of Bengali folk music. Numerous other musical traditions exist including Gombhira, Bhatiali and Bhawaiya, varying from one region to the next. Folk music is often accompanied by the ektara, an instrument with only one string. Other instruments include the dotara, dhol, flute and tabla. Bangladesh also has an active heritage in North Indian classical music. Similarly, Bangladeshi dance forms draw from folk traditions, especially those of the tribal groups, as well as the broader Indian dance tradition. Bangladesh produces about 80 films a year. Mainstream Hindi films are also quite popular. Around 200 daily newspapers are published in Bangladesh, along with more than 500 periodicals. However, regular readership is low at just under 15% of the population. Bangladeshis listen to a variety of local and national radio programs like Bangladesh Betar. Four private FM radio stations named (Radio Foorti, ABC Radio, Radio Today, Radio Amar) are among urban youths. International Bengali language broadcasts include BBC Bangla and Voice of America. The dominant television channel is the state-owned Bangladesh Television, but in the last few years, privately owned channels have developed considerably. The culinary tradition of Bangladesh has close relations to Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine as well as having its own unique traits. Rice, and curry are traditional favorites. Bangladeshis make distinctive sweetmeats from milk products, some common ones being Rshogolla, chmchm and kalojam. The sari (shai) is by far the most widely worn dress by Bangladeshi women. A guild of weavers in Dhaka is renowned for producing saris from exquisite Jamdani muslin. The
salwar kameez (shaloar kamiz) is also quite popular, and in urban areas some women wear western attire. Among men, western attire is more widely adopted. Men also wear the kurta-paejama combination, often on religious occasions, and the lungi, a kind of long skirt. Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha, being the most important holidays in the Islamic calendar, are the subject of major festivals. The day before Eid ul-Fitr is called Chd Rat (the night of the moon) and is often celebrated with firecrackers. Major Hindu festivals are Durga Puja, Kali Puja and Saraswati Puja. Buddha Purnima, which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, and Christmas, called Bodin (Great day), are both national holidays. The most important secular festival is Pohela Baishakh or Bengali New Year, the beginning of the Bengali calendar. Other festivities include Nobanno, Poush parbon (festival of Poush) and observance of national days like Shohid Dibosh and Victory Day.
SportsMain article: Sports in Bangladesh
Bangladesh team returning to the dressing room at the Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium, Dhaka Cricket enjoys a passionate following in Bangladesh and it is the most popular sport followed by football (soccer). The national cricket team participated in their first World Cup in 1999, and the following year was granted elite Test cricket status. But they have struggled to date, recording only two Test match victories against Zimbabwe in 2005 and the West Indies in 2009. In July, 2010, they celebrated their first ever win over England in any form of match. Later in 2010,they managed to whitewash New Zealand for the first time in history. In 2011, Bangladesh is going to host the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 jointly with India and Sri Lanka. Hadudu (Kabaddi) is the national sport of Bangladesh. Other popular sports include field hockey, tennis, badminton, handball, volleyball, chess, shooting and carrom. The Bangladesh Sports Control Board regulates twenty-nine different sporting federations.
Main article: Outline of Bangladesh
List of Bangladesh-related articles
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