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12:17, Thursday, October 18, 2018 (UTC) • 18:17, Thursday October 18, 2018 (BST) • Kartik 3

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Flag of Bangladesh

Emblem of Bangladesh
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Bangladesh (/ˌbæŋɡləˈdɛʃ, ˌbɑːŋ-/ (About this sound listen); Bengali: বাংলাদেশ Bangladesh [ˈbaŋladeʃ] (About this sound listen), lit. "The country of Bengal"), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh (গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ Gônoprojatontri Bangladesh), is a country in South Asia. It shares land borders with India and Myanmar (Burma).The country's maritime territory in the Bay of Bengal is roughly equal to the size of its land area. Bangladesh is the world's eighth most populous country. Dhaka is its capital and largest city, followed by Chittagong, which has the country's largest port. Bangladesh forms the largest and easternmost part of the Bengal region. Bangladeshis include people from a range of ethnic groups and religions. Bengalis, who speak the official Bengali language, make up 98% of the population. The politically dominant Bengali Muslims make the nation the world's third largest Muslim-majority country. Islam is the official religion of Bangladesh.

Most of Bangladesh is covered by the Bengal Delta, the largest delta on Earth. The country has 700 rivers and 8,046 km (5,000 mi) of inland waterways. Highlands with evergreen forests are found in the northeastern and southeastern regions of the country. Bangladesh has many islands and a coral reef. The longest unbroken sea beach of the world, Cox's Bazar Beach, is located in the southeast. It is home to the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world. The country's biodiversity includes a vast array of plant and wildlife, including endangered Bengal tigers, the national animal.

The Greeks and Romans identified the region as Gangaridai, a powerful kingdom of the historical Indian subcontinent, in the 3rd century BCE. Archaeological research has unearthed several ancient cities in Bangladesh, which enjoyed international trade links for millennia. The Bengal Sultanate and Mughal Bengal transformed the region into a cosmopolitan Islamic imperial power between the 14th and 18th centuries. The region was home to many principalities that made use of their inland naval prowess. It was also a notable center of the global muslin and silk trade. As part of British India, the region was influenced by the Bengali renaissance and played an important role in anti-colonial movements. The Partition of British India made East Bengal a part of the Dominion of Pakistan; and renamed it as East Pakistan. The region witnessed the Bengali Language Movement in 1952 and the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. After independence was achieved, a parliamentary republic was established. A presidential government was in place between 1975 and 1990, followed by a return to parliamentary democracy. The country continues to face challenges in the areas of poverty, education, healthcare and corruption.

Bangladesh is a middle power and a developing nation. Listed as one of the Next Eleven, its economy ranks 43rd in terms of nominal gross domestic product and 29th in terms of purchasing power parity. It is one of the largest textile exporters in the world. Its major trading partners are the European Union, the United States, China, India, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. With its strategically vital location between South, East and Southeast Asia, Bangladesh is an important promoter of regional connectivity and cooperation. It is a founding member of SAARC, BIMSTEC, the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation and the Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal Initiative. It is also a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Commonwealth of Nations, the Developing 8 Countries, the OIC, the Indian-Ocean Rim Association, the Non Aligned Movement, the Group of 77 and the World Trade Organization. Bangladesh is one of the largest contributors to United Nations peacekeeping forces.

Selected article

Bengali (/bɛnˈɡɔːli/), also known by its endonym Bangla (UK: /ˈbʌŋlə/; বাংলা), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the Indian subcontinent. It is the official and most widely spoken language of Bangladesh and second most widely spoken of the 22 scheduled languages of India, behind Hindi.

The official and de facto national language of Bangladesh is Modern Standard Bengali (Literary Bengali). It serves as the lingua franca of the nation, with 98% of Bangladeshis being fluent in Bengali (including dialects) as their first language. Within India, Bengali is the official language of the states of West Bengal, Tripura and the Barak Valley in the state of Assam. It is also spoken in different parts of the Brahmaputra valley of Assam. It is also the most widely spoken language in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, and is spoken by significant minorities in other states including Jharkhand, Bihar, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Odisha. With approximately 250–300 million total speakers worldwide, Bengali is usually counted as the seventh most spoken native language in the world by population.

Dictionaries from the early 20th century attributed slightly more than half of the Bengali vocabulary to native words (i.e., naturally modified Sanskrit words, corrupted forms of Sanskrit words, and loanwords from non-Indo-European languages), about 30 percent to unmodified Sanskrit words, and the remainder to foreign words. Dominant in the last group was Persian, which was also the source of some grammatical forms. More recent studies suggest that the use of native and foreign words has been increasing, mainly because of the preference of Bengali speakers for the colloquial style.

Bengali literature, with its millennium-old history and folk heritage, has extensively developed since the Bengali renaissance and is one of the most prominent and diverse literary traditions in Asia. Both the national anthems of Bangladesh (Amar Sonar Bangla) and India (Jana Gana Mana) were composed in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore. The first two verses of a patriotic song written in Bengali by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Vande Mataram, was adopted as the "national song" of India in both the colonial period and later in 1950 in independent India. Furthermore, it is believed by many that the national anthem of Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka Matha) was inspired by a Bengali poem written by Rabindranath Tagore, while some even believe the anthem was originally written in Bengali and then translated into Sinhalese. In 1952, the Bengali Language Movement successfully pushed for the language's official status in the Dominion of Pakistan, allowing for education in and official use of the language. In 1999, UNESCO recognized 21 February as International Mother Language Day in recognition of the language movement in East Bengal (now Bangladesh). Language is an important element of Bengali identity and binds together a culturally diverse region.

Bangladesh News

10 October 2018 – Capital punishment in Bangladesh, Terrorism in Bangladesh
A Dhaka court sentences 19 people to death, including two former ministers, and sentences Bangladesh Nationalist Party acting chairman Tarique Rahman to life imprisonment over a 2004 attack on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. (Al Jazeera) (Reuters)
4 August 2018 – 2018 Bangladesh road safety protests
Nationwide student protests following the deaths of two teenagers killed by a speeding bus enter their fifth day, causing the government to shut down thousands of high schools. (The Guardian)
1 June 2018 – Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
The government of Myanmar announces that it has reached a repatriation agreement with the United Nations regarding Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, saying it will assure that refugees "can return voluntarily in safety and dignity." Members of the UNHCR and the UNDP will be allowed to work in Rakhine State to monitor the process. (The Guardian)
18 May 2018 – Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
The government of Myanmar agrees to repatriate 1,101 Rohingya refugees out of a list of over 8,000 submitted by their Bangladeshi counterparts. There are currently over 700,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. (The Daily Star)
11 May 2018 – 2018 in spaceflight
SpaceX launches Bangabandhu-1, Bangladesh's first geostationary communications satellite, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, United States. (Business Insider)
10 May 2018 – Bangladesh Liberation War
A court in Bangladesh sentences Riaz Uddin Fakir to death for war crimes during the 1971 Liberation War. (Bangladesh Daily News 24)

Archive of old items

Where in Bangladesh...

Sitakunda is most noted for its numerous religious shrines, of Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist denominations. It also happens to be the center of world's largest remaining ship breaking industry. Do you know where in Bangladesh is Sitakunda?
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Sitakunda is an Upazila under Chittagong District in the Division of Chittagong, Bangladesh. It is located on the south-eastern part of the country on the shore of the Bay of Bengal.

Selected images

Did you know...

Ship breaking in progress at Sitakunda

  • ...that the haor located in north-eastern Bangladesh, is a bowl-shaped depression with such vast stretches of turbulent water that it is thought of as a sea during a monsoon?

Selected biography

Bagha Jatin

Bagha Jatin (Bengali: বাঘা যতীন), born Jatindranath Mukherjee (Jotindrônath Mukhopaddhæe) was a Bengali Indian revolutionary philosopher against British rule. Jatin was born on 7 December 1879 in Kayagram, a village in the Kushtia subdivision of Nadia district in present day Bangladesh. Jatin spent his early life at in his ancestral home at Jhenaidah and in his maternal home at Kushtia. He moved to Calcutta after passing the Entrance examination. Several sources mention Jatin as being among the founders of the Anushilan Samiti in 1900. The Samiti activities subsequently spread to many of the districts of Bengal flourished particularly at Kushtia, where Jatindra Nath was the leader. In 1906 Jatin servived an attack by a Bengal Tiger and managed to kill the tiger with only a dagger. This act of heroism made him famous.

A few years later Jatin became the principal leader of the Yugantar party that was the central association of revolutionaries in Bengal. Having personally met the German Crown-Prince in Calcutta shortly before the World War I, he had obtained the promise of arms and ammunition from Germany; as such, he was responsible for the planned German Plot during World War I. Another of his original contributions was the indoctrination of the Indian soldiers in various regiments in favour of an insurrection. Bagha Jatin was injured by police bullets near Chashakhand in Balasore. He died in Balasore hospital on 10 September 1915. (more)

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