Bangladesh. The government, dominated by the Bangladesh National Party (GDP), abolished in April an anti-terror law enforced by the previous government during the Awami Party. According to Countryaah website, national day of Bangladesh is every March 26. The General Security Act was considered to have been used to arrest the Awami Party’s opponents. Instead, a new law on expedited judicial investigation of certain forms of serious public crime was passed. The Awami Party argued that the new law was contrary to the Constitution and intended to crush the opposition.
In June, the Awami Party interrupted its boycott of Parliament to participate in a tax debate. The party had refused to take its seats in protest of alleged cheating in the 2001 election, when the party lost government power.
By virtue of the new Security Act, the military was involved in the fight against crime. Admittedly, UN agencies and donors also criticized the high level of crime and general legal insecurity, but called for police reforms rather than military action against the civilian population. The Awami Party described the military’s “Operation Clean Heart” as a form of disguised state of emergency.
President Badruddoza Chowdhury resigned in June following criticism for failing to attend a ceremony at former President Zia ur-Rahman’s grave on the 21st anniversary of his death. Rahman was married to current Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. Chowdhury was succeeded by former professor and biologist Iajuddin Ahmed.
At the beginning of December, at least 18 people were killed and a few hundred injured in blast attacks against four cinemas in Mymensingh, northern Bangladesh.
Defense and security
Military expenditure in relation to GDP was 1.15% for the fiscal year 2014: therefore a relatively low expenditure, especially when compared with those incurred by the main countries of the South Asian region, such as India (2, 41%), Pakistan (3.4%), China (2.09%) and Myanmar (3.69%).
The Bangladesh armed sector has just over 157,000 effective units, including about 126,000 employed in the Army, approximately 17,000 in the Navy and 14,000 in the Air Force. There are also about 64,000 paramilitaries, of which about a third are part of the Bangladesh Ansar, a body committed to supporting the army and police in the control of the territory; 38,000 paramilitaries are employed in the Border Guard, responsible for border control, while 5,000 elements serve in the Armed Police.
With a contribution of around 9,400 deployed soldiers, in 2015 Bangladesh was confirmed as the first country in the world in terms of the number of troops deployed in United Nations peacekeeping missions: an involvement that has given Dhaka an important role in international multilateral security. and which represents a substantial form of income, amounting to approximately $ 200 million annually, for the national defense sector. Currently, the majority of Bangalese soldiers engaged in United Nations missions are located on the African continent, with a substantial presence especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo (with 2550 troops), in the Ivory Coast (1682) and in Mali (1471).
More refugees are being brought to the island in the Bay of Bengal
Another 1,800 Rohingya are being transported by four naval vessels to the island of Bhashan Char in the Bay of Bengal. In total, the government intends to relocate 100,000 of about one million refugees in the overcrowded refugee camps around Cox’s Bazar to the island where, according to the authorities, the refugees will have better living conditions than in the old camps. To date, 3,400 Rohingya have been relocated in two rounds.
Rohingya are moved to disputed beer camps
Bangladeshi authorities are transporting around 1,600 Rohingya to the low-lying island of Bhashan Char in the Bay of Bengal, where a large refugee camp has been set up. The island is exposed to both cyclones and floods and several human rights groups have criticized the conditions in the camp on the island. Nearly one million Rohingya live in a network of simple refugee camps in southeastern Bangladesh. Most of them fled a military offensive in Myanmar in 2017. Drug abuse and crime have increased rapidly in the camps, and many young refugees have been radicalized there. The refugee crisis is taking a heavy toll on Bangladesh’s economy and the communities next to the camps. The UN Office in Bangladesh regrets that it has not been given access to the transfer to the beer camp. In total, Bangladesh plans to bring around 23,000 Rohynian refugees to the island.