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23:35, Friday March 22, 2013 ( UTC) • 5:35, Saturday March 23, 2013 ( BST) • Choitro 9, 1419

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Flag of Bangladesh

Emblem of Bangladesh
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Bangladesh, officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is bordered by India on three sides and Myanmar to the southeast; the Bay of Bengal forms the southern coastline. Together with the Indian state of West Bengal, it comprises the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh means "Country of Bengal" and is written in Bengali as বাংলাদেশ and pronounced [ˈbaŋlad̪eʃ]. The exact origin of the word Bangla or Bengal is unknown.

The borders of Bangladesh were set by the Partition of India in 1947, when it became the eastern wing of Pakistan (East Pakistan), separated from the western wing by 1,600 km (1,000 miles). Despite their common religion, the ethnic and linguistic gulf between the two wings was compounded by an apathetic government based in West Pakistan. This resulted in the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 after a bloody war, supported by India. The years following independence have been marked by political turmoil, with thirteen different heads of government, and at least four military coups.

The population of Bangladesh ranks seventh in the world, but its area of approximately 144,000 km2 is ranked ninety-third. It is the third largest Muslim-majority nation, but has a slightly smaller Muslim population than the Muslim minority in India. It is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Geographically dominated by the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, the country has annual monsoon floods, and cyclones are frequent. Bangladesh is one of the founding members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), BIMSTEC, and a member of the OIC and the D-8.

Selected article

Procession march held on 21 February 1952 in Dhaka

The Bengali Language Movement (Bengali: ভাষা আন্দোলন; Bhasha Andolon), also known as the Language Movement, was a political effort in Bangladesh (then known as East Pakistan), advocating the recognition of the Bengali language as an official language of Pakistan. Such recognition would allow Bengali to be taught in schools and used in government affairs.

When the state of Pakistan was formed in 1947, its two regions, East Pakistan (also called East Bengal) and West Pakistan, were split over cultural, geographical, and linguistic lines. In 1948, the Government of Pakistan ordained Urdu as the sole national language, sparking extensive protests among the Bengali-speaking majority of East Pakistan. Facing rising sectarian tensions and mass discontent with the new law, the government outlawed public meetings and rallies. The students of the University of Dhaka and other political activists defied the law and organised a protest on 21 February 1952. The movement reached its climax when police killed student demonstrators on that day. The deaths provoked widespread civil unrest. After years of conflict, the central government relented and granted official status to the Bengali language in 1956. In 1999, UNESCO declared 21 February International Mother Language Day, in tribute to the Language Movement and the ethno-linguistic rights of people around the world.

The Language Movement catalysed the assertion of Bengali national identity in Pakistan, and became a forerunner to Bengali nationalist movements, including the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. In Bangladesh, 21 February is observed as Language Movement Day, a national holiday. ( more...)

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Bangladesh News

  • Jun 12: A 36-hour nationwide strike takes place in Bangladesh over changes to the electoral system. (Straits Times)
  • Jun 4: Bangladesh receives a loan from the World Bank to strengthen regional co-operation on wildlife protection. (Straits Times)
  • Apr 25: A court in Bangladesh clears Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus of misappropriating Norwegian aid money at a micro-finance bank he founded. (The Times of India)
  • Apr 11: Australian cricket player Shane Watson breaks the world record for number of sixes in a One Day International in the second match in the series against Bangladesh.
  • Apr 5: Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus loses his final appeal in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh against his dismissal from his own Grameen micro-finance bank; the bank thought him too old for the job. (BBC)

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Where in Bangladesh...

Rabindranath Tagore, the most remarkable poet of Bengali literature, lived a part of life in Shelaidaha Kuthibari - a country house made by Dwarkanath Tagore. Tagore created some of his memorable poems while living here. Do you know where in Bangladesh is Shelaidaha?
Loc bangladesh2.svg
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Shelaidaha (Bangla:শিলাইদহ) is located in Kumarkhali Upazila of Kushtia District in Bangladesh. It is situated on the Bank of Padma river.

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Selected picture

Durga puja in Dhakeshwari temple.jpg
Durga Puja is the biggest festival of Hindus in Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Bangladesh, and of Bengali Hindus all over the world. It is also called Akalbodhan, Vijaya Dashami, Dashain, and Dussehra. The image shows celebration of the festival at Dhakeshwari Temple, the national temple of Bangladesh.
Photo credit: Rajiv Ashrafi
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Did you know...

The Buddha Dhatu Zadi (Golden Temple)

  • ...that the Buddha Dhatu Jadi (pictured), also known as Bandarban Golden Temple, is the largest Theravada Buddhist Temple in Bandarban, with the second largest Buddha statue in Bangladesh?
  • ...that Bangladesh is separated from Nepal by the Chicken's Neck?
  • ...that Sholakia, a tiny town in Bangladesh, draws 300,000 Muslims for Eid prayers every year on Eid ul-Fitr?
  • ... that James Long, an Anglican missionary in India, was jailed for publishing the play Nil Darpan?
  • ...that the Sannyasi Rebellion was a series of clashes between Indian ascetics and the British East India Company during the eighteenth century in Bengal?
  • ... that in retaliation for Nepal recognising Bangladesh in 1971, Pakistan broke off its ties with Nepal?
  • ... that in 1937, Bangladeshi film director Khan Ataur Rahman won the first prize of Dhaka Zilla Music Competition, when he was in third grade?
  • ... that in a major improvement in bilateral ties since it blocked Bangladesh's entry in the U.N. in 1972, China offered to help Bangladesh construct its first nuclear plant?
  • ... that the Supreme Court of Bangladesh declared the 1982 military coup led by General Hussain Muhammad Ershad to be illegal?
Selected biography

Shakib Al Hasan

Shakib Al Hasan (Bengali: সাকিব আল হাসান) (born 24 March 1987) is a Bangladeshi international cricketer. He is an all-rounder, batting left-handed in the middle order and bowling slow left-arm orthodox. He represented Bangladesh at under-19 level, 18 Youth One Day Internationals between 2005 and 2006. Shakib made his One Day International (ODI) debut against Zimbabwe in August 2006, and his Test debut on 18 May against India. During a match against New Zealand in 2008, Shakib took the best bowling figures by a Bangladesh player in Tests, 7 wickets for 37 runs. Until then, Shakib had been considered more of a batsman than a bowler, although still an all-rounder. From January 2009 to April 2011, Shakib was ranked first amongst ODI all-rounders by the ICC. In December 2011, he became the world's top-ranked all-rounder at both Test and ODI levels.

Shakib was appointed Bangladesh's vice-captain in June 2009 when Mashrafe Mortaza replaced Mohammad Ashraful as captain. During Bangladesh's tour of the West Indies the following month, Mortaza injured himself and Shakib took over the captaincy. He was 22 years old at the time. Initially a temporary position until Mortaza recovered, Shakib's success against the West Indies, securing his side's first overseas series win, ensured he retained the position even after Mortaza recovered. He was named The Wisden Cricketer's "Test Player of the Year" in November 2009. In July 2010, he stepped down from the ODI captaincy to concentrate on his personal performance. Mortaza took over until injury struck again and Shakib was asked to assume the role. Domestically he has represented Khulna Division since 2004, and in 2010 he spent several months playing for Worcestershire in England, becoming the first Bangladeshi player to represent an English county. For the 2011 Indian Premier League, Shakib was contracted by Kolkata Knight Riders. He was relieved from captaincy in September 2011. ( more...)

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