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India and Bangladesh Swap Territory, Citizens in Landmark Enclave Exchange
MARCH 9, 2016
FEATURE
By Hosna J. Shewly

http://www.migrationpolicy.org/arti...-territory-citizens-landmark-enclave-exchange



Two residents stand on either side of an enclave border. The water pump on the right is in India, while the house it serves is in a Bangladeshi enclave. (Photo: Hosna J. Shewly)

India and Bangladesh formally exchanged 162 enclaves on August 1, 2015, ending a centuries-old territorial anomaly and completing a process of land and population exchange that began in the 1950s. An enclave is the fragmented territory of one sovereign power located inside another sovereign territory. Following decolonization from the British Empire in 1947, both India and East Pakistan (later independent Bangladesh) retained enclaves totalling about 119 square kilometers within the other’s newly demarcated boundaries. In practice, this led to small populations of Indian citizens living in territory completely surrounded by Bangladesh, and vice versa. In a further territorial complication, a number of enclaves also hosted counterenclaves within their boundaries—in essence, a pocket of Indian land, surrounded by Bangladeshi territory, situated within India proper. There was even one case of an Indian counter-counterenclave (see Figure 1).

By the time of the exchange, there were an estimated 53,000 enclave residents in total, about 38,000 Indians in Bangladesh and 15,000 Bangladeshis in India. Over time, each country occasionally demanded full access to its enclaves on the other’s territory, but was unwilling to allow reciprocal access in turn. As a result, neither country made a serious attempt to extend governance or develop infrastructure in the enclaves locked in one another’s territory, leaving the residents largely neglected, and often the victims of bilateral antagonism.

Box 1. Enclave Exchange by the Numbers

Bangladeshi Enclaves

  • 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in India became Indian territory, a total area of 7,110 acres
  • 14,863 residents remained in India and became Indian citizens
Indian Enclaves

  • 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh became Bangladeshi territory, a total area of 17,161 acres
  • 989 residents resettled to India
  • 37,532 residents remained in Bangladesh and became Bangladeshi citizens
Sources: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), “Exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh,” (press release, November 20, 2015); MEA, India and Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement (New Delhi: MEA, n.d.).

Trapped in a vicious catch—enclave residents needed a visa to cross the host country to reach their mainland, but needed to go to a consulate in the mainland to get a visa—residents could neither enter the host country or their mainland legally. Without identity documents, or the means to acquire them, enclave dwellers have lived for decades in virtual statelessness, and without basic educational, administrative, security, health, or postal services.

Over the decades, several initiatives to exchange the enclaves were proposed but remained unsuccessful due to domestic opposition and difficult bilateral relations. With the election of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India in 2014 and the advent of a policy of closer cooperation with Bangladesh, efforts at resolving the enclave conundrum accelerated. As part of the final deal, India and Bangladesh agreed to surrender their territory and allow the residents to choose their country of citizenship.

In this period of transition from statelessness to citizenship, this article highlights the origin and long existence of the enclaves, difficulties of life in the enclaves in the last 68 years, and the long process of exchange. Based in part on the author’s PhD research and experience living on either side of an enclave border, this article explores the importance of national identity and belonging in residents’ citizenship decisions, as well as complications over land ownership and resettlement.

Figure 1. Enclaves in India and Bangladesh



Source: Adapted from Evgeny Vinokurov, A Theory of Enclaves (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007).

The Enclaves’ 300-Year History

A great majority of the world’s enclaves were located in a small section of the India-Bangladesh borderland, in the former princely state of Cooch Behar (now the name of a district in the Indian state of West Bengal). Before the exchange, there were about 223 enclaves, 32 counterenclaves, and one counter-counterenclave in total around the world. Enclaves can be found in Western Europe—notably the Baarle enclaves in Belgium and the Netherlands—the former Soviet Union, and Asia. And in Morocco, the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla form the European Union’s only land borders with Africa.

The origin of the Indian and Bangladeshi enclaves dates to the 18th century, the outcome of war and peace treaties between rulers in Bengal and Cooch Behar. In ancient India, north Bengal proved a strategic location as a gateway to rest of the Bengal, and a frontier zone between Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist kingdoms. While local legend has it the enclaves derived from a chess match between the Maharaja of Cooch Behar and a Mughal commander with villages as wager, they were in fact the result of a series of peace treaties signed from 1711-13 between the feudal Kingdom of Cooch Behar and the Mughal Empire. Having conquered a wide swath of Cooch Behar, the Mughals were unable to roust a number of Cooch Behar chieftains in areas surrounded by Mughal territory and the lands they held remained part of Cooch Behar. At the same time, a number of Mughal soldiers controlled estates within Cooch Behar, collecting taxes and ruling over the locals, and those districts became Mughal enclaves. The creation of the enclaves had little impact on everyday life as Cooch Behar was nominally a tributary state to the Mughal Empire. Over 300 years, the enclaves survived successive changes of sovereignty as the British replaced the Mughals, decolonization created independent India and Pakistan, and Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan in 1971.

Figure 2. Former Enclaves of India and Bangladesh



Source: Map prepared by Dr. Rajib Haq.

Decolonization created ambiguity over the enclaves’ future in postpartition India, however. In 1947, partition procedures restricted independence for the princely states, including Cooch Behar, instead providing the option to choose whether to join India or Pakistan. Cooch Behar, one of the last to decide its preferred nation-state, signed the Cooch Behar Merger Agreement with India in August 1949. Since there were no specific regulations governing the enclaves, they received international status as either sovereign Indian or Pakistani territory following Cooch Behar’s merger with India. Within a period of 36 days in 1947, the British divided 80 million people and 175,000 square miles of land, which had been joined together in a variety of ways for about 1,000 years. The hasty and ambitious process of demarcating the almost 4,000-kilometer Bengal border ignored many issues, including resolving access to the enclaves.

The only initiative to link the enclaves with their mainlands was made under the 1950 agreement that provided access to government officials to enter the enclaves belonging to their side. But the agreement was never implemented due to its complicated procedures and hostile India-Pakistan relations. Crucially, however, enclave residents could move with a certain degree of freedom until the introduction of strict passport/visa and border controls in 1952. From then on, both India and Pakistan/Bangladesh ignored the needs of enclave residents, who were gradually isolated from state provisions due to physical distance from the mainland and political difficulties in securing government access. Neither side was sincerely willing to exercise sovereignty over its enclaves nor was the true human scale of the enclave problem fully grasped.

Life in the Enclaves

Life in the enclaves was particularly difficult after 1952. Many families had lived within the enclaves for generations, surviving on what they could farm or harvest from the land. But the advent of new national identities and border controls in the 1950s created new challenges to their survival. Critical services such as health centers, police stations, and schools were not built within. There were no mechanisms to regulate violent crimes, including rape and murder, in the enclaves as residents were excluded from state judicial systems. In addition, residents were often the victims of social exploitation by political elites, gangs, and mainland neighbors.

As India and Bangladesh began to develop the region, infrastructure projects such as roads and electrical supply would end at the boundaries of the enclaves. As India established border infrastructure including fences and checkposts in most places along the Bengal border to prevent irregular movement from Bangladesh, these measures also affected enclave dwellers’ mobility. It became necessary for residents to illegally enter the surrounding country to fulfill basic needs and for their economic survival (to access local shops to buy and sell goods, for instance), often becoming victims of sovereignty mechanisms and subject to prosecution as illegal intruders. More than 75 percent of the residents of Bangladeshi enclaves in India have spent time in prison after being arrested for entering Indian territory without valid travel documents.

For years, the India-Bangladesh Enclave Exchange Coordination Committee (IBEECC), a civil-society organization, conducted nonviolent activities including hunger strikes and peaceful rallies in India and Bangladesh to raise awareness among policymakers and the population of the suffering and dangers of enclave living, and to advocate for an early exchange of the enclaves.

The Long Road to Exchange

Securing state control of enclave territory through exchange has always been politically sensitive and largely ignored during other transboundary bilateral negotiations, such as over water sharing and antiterrorism cooperation. The ratification of any agreement on territorial exchange in India and Pakistan (later Bangladesh) also required a constitutional amendment. The first attempt to transfer the enclaves was made in 1958, when India and Pakistan agreed to an exchange “without any consideration of territorial loss or gain” (the Indian lands within Bangladesh are considerably larger, see Box 1). A second deal, the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) was signed in 1974 between India and newly independent Bangladesh to resolve all border disputes, including enclave exchange. Both agreements, however, became victim to fierce domestic politics and unstable bilateral relations, and remained largely unimplemented. In India, the transfer of an enclave was considered as a loss of territory to an enemy Muslim state. To break almost four decades of deadlock, the third initiative was taken in September 2011, when India and Bangladesh signed a Land Boundary Protocol (LBP) to implement the unresolved issues of the 1974 LBA. Yet the protocol lacked a specific timeframe to accomplish the exchange, and though implementation efforts commenced, including a population survey, the exchange continued to face domestic opposition in India.

Following Indian elections in 2014, new Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP developed a constitutional amendment to resolve the enclave problem. Although uncertainty remained over ratification of the LBA in the Indian Parliament, the amendment unanimously passed both chambers. While Bangladesh had ratified the LBA in 1974, India took 41 years to approve this territorial transfer. Clearing the path for the transfer, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Modi exchanged Instruments of Ratification of the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement and its 2011 Protocol on June 6, 2015.

Choosing Sides

Under the 2011 protocol, enclave residents could choose to live in India or Bangladesh and be granted citizenship of the country of residence. For example, the resident of a Bangladeshi enclave in India who chose to remain in what is now Indian territory would receive Indian citizenship. Alternatively, those living in Indian enclaves in Bangladesh had the option to take Bangladeshi citizenship or be resettled to India.

An initial population survey was conducted in 2011, following drafting of the protocol. After the exchange was formalized in 2015, a second joint population survey was conducted in the 162 enclaves in July 2015 to identify residents’ citizenship or nationality preferences. Critics, including some residents, have said the surveys contain many discrepancies, for example, not counting residents who were away and not accurately recording household sizes. The 2015 survey recorded a total of 38,521 people living in 111 Indian enclaves inside Bangladesh and 14,863 people living in the 51 Bangladeshi enclaves within India. The majority of those in the Indian enclaves in Bangladesh chose to become Bangladeshi citizens and remain in their homes, while 989 people opted to retain Indian citizenship and be relocated to India, according to Indian government figures. On the other hand, all those living in Bangladeshi enclaves within India chose to become Indian citizens and remain in India. By November 30, 920 people from the Bangladeshi side had migrated to India while 61 Indian enclave residents changed their minds and remained in Bangladesh.

Belonging and National Identity

Belonging and national identity in India and Bangladesh are complex, historically rooted in Hindu-Muslim feuds and the division of India in 1947 first and foremost on the basis of religion. Following partition, territorial nationalism based on religion reached a new level of public consciousness, which was strongly reflected in the enclaves. Politically tailored, religion-based division pushed millions of people to move out of the newly independent state where they would be a minority (Muslims in India moved to Pakistan, while Hindus migrated in the other direction). At that time, Muslims in India and Hindus in Pakistan lived in fear of persecution. The enclaves were no exception. By the time of the exchange in 2015, many of those living in the Indian enclaves in Bangladesh were Muslims from across the border who, following partition, had traded their land in India with Hindus living in the enclaves in Bangladesh. The Hindus thus moved into the Indian mainland, while the Muslims moved into the Indian enclaves within Pakistan/Bangladesh. In most instances, these Muslims were unaware of the existence of the enclaves and the realities of enclave life, believing they had acquired land in Pakistan itself. This migration to and from the enclaves thus served as an escape from hostile local environments. Such exchanges of land and nationality began soon after partition and continued irregularly for decades.

With the breakthrough in 2015, enclave dwellers considered a multitude of factors in deciding which citizenship to acquire. Entrenched social divisions played a significant role in enclave dwellers’ decision-making on whether to resettle across borders or remain in their homes. For some remaining Hindu enclave dwellers within Bangladesh the environment had become too hostile, contributing to decisions to relocate to India. For those who chose to relocate, the sentiment that “India is for the Hindus and Bangladesh for the Muslims” may have factored into their migration, signifying the importance of religious identity in the construction of nationness and boundaries for some people. Religion, however, was not the only motivation. Enclave residents also considered deep-rooted attachment to the place where they had lived for generations—as evidenced by the vast majority who chose not to leave. Muslim enclave residents in India thus chose Indian citizenship, while some Hindu enclave residents in Bangladesh decided to become Bangladeshi. For those who chose to move to India, the stronger economy and the perception of greater job prospects and economic opportunities was another major factor.

Migration to the Desired Homeland and Way Forward

With the land exchange came a transfer of populations. As noted above, all of the Bangladeshi enclave residents in India chose to remain in India and are being integrated in Indian society. For the nearly 1,000 Indians in Bangladesh who chose to be relocated to India, the Indian High Commission in Dhaka provided travel passes for migration through particular border checkpoints. This cross-border movement of people through official coordination was the first of its kind on the subcontinent since partition.

India and Bangladesh agreed to complete the exchange by June 30, 2016, including physical transfer of enclaves and surrender of land parcels in adverse possession along with official boundary demarcations. One of the most crucial and complicated aspects involves exchanging information on land records. Most enclave residents are extremely poor and small landholdings are their only assets. For decades, enclave dwellers bought and sold land without valid documents or proper registration with authorities in India or Bangladesh to avoid dangerous and illegal border crossings. Only a few enclave residents have valid documents proving their ownership, and many are now in fear of losing the lands they either inherited or bought. For those resettled to India, some failed to sell their land and have petitioned the Cooch Behar district administration, where they have been housed in temporary camps, with details of their properties to ensure the Bangladesh government offers a fair price. At the same time, the Indian government is searching for land it can acquire and allocate to the resettled families.

The Indian government has arranged shelters for the relocated families in three resettlement camps in Cooch Behar district. The camps are intended to operate for two years, or until permanent settlements are built. Though the local administration is providing food and helping complete paperwork for national identification, employment cards, and other social services, the camps are encircled by wire fencing and authorities have restricted residents’ mobility. While many challenges remain including finding employment, school enrollment for the children, and land allocation, for some former enclave residents the camps offer more services, such as electricity and access to government, than they had before. The Indian bureaucracy has proven a major hurdle to integration efforts and service provision, however, as camp administrators must file requests with state officials, who in turn must communicate with the federal government, which may, depending on the request, then have to reach out to Bangladeshi authorities.

While integration efforts are slowly unfolding, local politicians in India’s West Bengal state have sought to claim their new constituents, petitioning the federal government to introduce a bill in Parliament making former enclave residents eligible to vote. This would apply to the approximately 15,800 Bangladeshis who became Indian citizens and the relocated Indians, according to the latest headcount as of early February 2016.

Life in the Former Enclaves

For the thousands of former enclave residents who remained in their homes, life continues much as it did before the exchange. Most have yet to receive their national ID cards, and new infrastructure projects to install electricity and build new roads, hospitals, and schools have been slow to show progress.

In December, the Indian Cabinet approved a three- to five-year rehabilitation package to aid integration of former enclave residents and territory, with funding of Rs 1,005.99 crore (about US $150 million). And in January, Bangladesh approved a Tk 1.8 billion (about US $22.9 million) development project for its 111 erstwhile enclaves, including supplying potable water and building hundreds of kilometers of new bridges and roads, local markets, mosques, and community centers—to be completed by 2018. These official packages look promising for physical development of the enclaves and benefits for the new citizens—if implemented as intended.

However, nearly seven decades without governance, problems related to lawlessness, land-holding complexities, and the influence of local politics might not be so easily resolved, and it remains to be seen if the complex history of the enclaves will end in success.

This article draws in part on the author’s PhD research, which was funded by the Department of Geography, University of Durham.

Sources

Ahmed, Zafar. 2016. ECNEC approves Tk 1.80 billion project for development of 111 former enclaves dwellers. Bdnews24.com, January 5, 2016. Available Online.

Alam, Shafiqul. 2015. Heartbreak as Bangladesh-India land swap splits families. Agence France-Presse, July 31, 2015. Available Online.

Chatterji, Joya. 1999. The Fashioning of a Frontier: the Radcliffe Line and Bengal’s Border Landscape, 1947-1952. Modern Asian Studies 33 (1): 185-242.

---. 2007. The Spoils of Partition. Bengal & India 1947-1967. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Economist, The. 2015. Mapped Out. The Economist, June 13, 2015. Available Online.

Ghosal, Aniruddah. 2015. Indo-Bangla land swap: The new Indians. The Indian Express, December 6, 2015. Available Online.

Hindu, The. 2015. Land Pact Rollout in Next 11 Months. The Hindu, June 13, 2015. Available Online.

Jones, Reece. 2009. Sovereignty and Statelessness in the Border Enclaves of India and Bangladesh. Political Geography 28 (6): 373-81.

Kudaisya, Gyanesh. 1997. Divided Landscapes, Fragmented Identities: East Bengal Refugees and their Rehabilitation in India, 1947-1979. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 17 (1): 24-39.

Kumar, Radha. 1997. The Troubled History of Partition. Foreign Affairs 76 (1): 23-34.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), India. N.d. India and Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement. New Delhi: MEA. Available Online.

---. 2015. Exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh. Press release, November 20, 2015. Available Online.

Mohan, Saumitra. 2015. India-Bangladesh Enclave Exchange: Some Concerns. Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, October 20, 2015. Available Online.

Santoshini, Sarita. 2016. Hope for a Better Life on the India-Bangladesh Border. City Lab, January 15, 2016. Available Online.

Sen, Gautam. 2015. For Successful Implementation of the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh. Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, December 29, 2015. Available Online.

Shewly, Hosna J. 2012. Life, the Law, and Politics of Abandonment: Everyday Geographies of the Enclaves in India and Bangladesh. PhD Dissertation, Durham University, September 2012. Available Online.

---. 2013. Abandoned Spaces and Bare Life in the Enclaves of the India-Bangladesh Border. Political Geography 32: 23-31.

---. 2015. Citizenship, Abandonment & Resistance in the India-Bangladesh Borderland. Geoforum 67: 14-23.

---. 2016. Survival Mobilities: Tactics, Legality & Mobility of Undocumented Borderland Citizens in India & Bangladesh. Mobilities, January 13, 2016.

Mazumdar Jaideep and Pinak Priya Bhattacharya. 2014. Border Dwellers between India and Bangladesh: ‘Now We Can Live and Die with Dignity.’ The Times of India, December 7, 2014. Available Online.

Times of India, The. 2015. India, Bangladesh Launch Survey in Enclaves over Nationality. The Times of India, July 6, 2015. Available Online.

---. 2016. Parl bill on enclave voting rights? The Times of India, February 8, 2016. Available Online.

Van Schendel, Willem. 2002. Stateless in South Asia: The Making of the Indo-Bangladesh Enclaves. The Journal of Asian Studies 61 (1): 115-47.

---. 2005. The Bengal Borderland: Beyond State and Nation in South Asia. London: Anthem Press.

Vinokurov, Evgeny. 2007. A Theory of Enclaves. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Whyte, Brendan R. 2002. Waiting for the Esquimo: An Historical and Documentary Study of the Cooch Behar Enclaves of India and Bangladesh. Research Paper 8, School of Anthropology, Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Melbourne, 2002. Available Online.

tl;dr after tl;dr
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AS THEY ASSIST FOR FORMULATING OUR STATE POLICIES.

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Gibbs

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^^^^

Faaark.. :o:

So glad Lanka has been a separate entity since for ever, Just imagine dealing with this rot ??!!?? Enclaves within enclaves !!!
 

Major d1

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Geopolitical considerations for foreign policy-making



Hussain Ahmed Khundakar Shakir

The state-centric biologism of political development was an integral part of the new science of geopolitics. Geopolitics is the projections of state power in interstate rivalry, or the defensive containment of such projection, or even the cooperative and internationalist alternative to power polities. Ratzel in his Politische Geographie (1897) saw the development of state in an evolutionary perspective derived from biology.

Bangladesh is a country in Asia 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. Asia-Pacific regions, Indian Ocean region, South Asia, Southeast Asia are the areas that directly or indirectly impinge on the geo-strategic environment of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh may be seen as a key player in strategic game plans of India, Pakistan and China and most significantly the USA. Bangladesh borders on the seven North-East Indian states which are fighting insurgencies. By virtue of its very location, Bangladesh divides North-East Indian states from the rest of India which may have advantage for Bangladesh especially in the North-western part of Bangladesh due to the location of the Siliguri Corridor. This corridor restricts Indian land-line of communication with its North Western States. In the light of their experience in Indo-China war in 1962, the Indian defence planers consider the strategic chicken neck to be inadequate and see Bangladesh to be the safest and the shortest route to transport military logistics to its North-East region in case of a military conflict between India and China in the future.

This is borne out by a statement made by former Indian Army Chief General Rao in his book, Prepare or perish where he concludes that in the event of China's offensive through Chumbi valley in Tibet that connects Northern Bangladesh through Siliguri Corridor, a strategic 20 kilometers corridor which is also called a Chicken's neck, and similarly in the event of Chinese offensive through Northern Myanmar along Silchar area, Bangladesh may attempt to capture both the Siliguri Corridor and Silchar area. India is greatly plagued by this insurgency as it is in Kashmir which again proximates China and also Pakistan. Bangladesh's role in the South Asian inter-state relations also adds to her geo-political importance.

Bangladesh enjoys enough diplomatic leverage in the South Asian environment especially after the formation of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) the idea of which was mooted by Bangladesh itself. Bangladesh, which is seen as a bridge between SAARC an ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), also has enormous geographic advantages for its proximity to Myanmar and other South East Asian nations to promote interregional economic political and security cooperation. Once connected via Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway, the South and South East Asian nations will be using Bangladesh as the main transit point to increase economic interactions amongst themselves. Bangladesh with appropriate policies and infrastructures in place will be playing a pivotal role in defining the direction of economic relations between the two emerging regional groups. The Asian Highway that may establish the link, which will enter Bangladesh via AH-41from India through Benapole (Jessore) and through Teknaf, the south Eastern part of Bangladesh, to Myanmar. Added to it is the Kunming Initiative which calls for establishing direct road communication between Bangladesh and Kunming province of China through Myanmar that would eventually bring together Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar.

In case of energy security due to international politics, importing hydrocarbon from Iran and Venezuela has become uncertain for India leaving Bangladesh only cheap and secure sources of energy supply while Bangladesh has a speculative gas reserve of 33 TCF though the proven reserve is only 12-15 TCF which is inadequate to meet its own domestic demand. Consequently, the government has already decided against exporting gas to other countries unless new reserves are found. Even though Bangladesh has expressed her inability to export gas at the moment, India considers Bangladesh a major source of energy in the long run because of its potentials to discover huge hydrocarbon reserves in the Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh also is the most cost-effective route for India to import gas from Myanmar. Bangladesh may therefore emerge as a significant player in regional strategic energy game.

Bangladesh believes in non-aligned movement (NAM) and its foreign policy objective is friendship to all, malice to none. On both counts i.e. traditional security and human security, Bangladesh has to explore and exploit all available sources of power and finance. Bangladesh's security can be better guaranteed by its greater involvement in multilateral institutions like the UN, Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), World Trade Organisation (WTO), Bangladesh, India, Mayanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and SAARC etc. Bangladesh is now leading the least developed countries (LDCs) in different WTO negotiations. Bangladesh's present policy of Look East is a right direction of achieving the strategy of multilateralism. A Bangladeshi security strategist spells out two objectives of Bangladesh's multilateralism strategy: first, to avoid and neutralise conflict with the external aggressor(s) and second, to resist the aggressor(s) through the timely support of the international community if the conflict actually develops into a war. Bangladesh should follow the policy of engagement in respect of India, China, Pakistan and the USA, although it is more pertinent and relevant in respect of India and Myanmar, they being the closest neighbours. Despite Bangladesh's vulnerability, it is logical for it to make a cost-benefit calculation of a posture that is likely or not likely to antagonise India.

However, under no circumstances, Bangladesh should join the bandwagon led by any one including the United State. It may pursue both types of balancing i.e. harnessing internal resources to improve its resilience and looking for allies both weak and strong to counteract any threat that may emanate. Bangladesh may not also go for a policy of appeasement or nuclear deterrence. Both offensive and defensive operations require the whole panoply of weapon categories, which could be identical. Bangladesh may go for more updated versions of air defence, anti-armour, anti-blockade and electronic warfare capability. Such modest modernisation drive along with people's participation, which would be forthcoming given the experience of 1971 War of Independence, would make any possible war extremely costly for any potential aggressor.

Democracy should be upheld as a core value of the nation. Fighting corruption, improving law and order situation, healthy inter- and intra-party politics, revamping bureaucracy are some of the key areas where Bangladesh may concentrate. People from all segments of the society, including the civil society, may participate in these efforts. Bangladesh's next general election, contingent upon the outcome of meaningful dialogues and understanding between two major political alliances, would be an acid test for Bangladesh's democracy.

^^^^

Faaark.. :o:

So glad Lanka has been a separate entity since for ever, Just imagine dealing with this rot ??!!?? Enclaves within enclaves !!!
Sri Lanka was never a part of India! Sri Lanka was a separate kingdom for more than thousands of years. There were times when out side powers like the Dravidian's , Dutch, Portuguese trying to take over the land, but all the attempts failed.

Sri Lanka was formerly the British Crown Colony of Ceylon, which grew out of an earlier Dutch colony.The British East India Company was entrusted to administer the area, but it was generally a failure amid revolts and non-cooperation by locals.When the British Army took control of the interior of Ceylon in 1815 under the Kandyan Convention, the island became a new Crown colony. It was therefore never part of the later British Raj created in 1858.

So the real question isn't so much why Sri Lanka separated, but rather why didn't Ceylon merge into the Company Raj in India.

And the answer is, they simply didn't have that much in common. The native Sinhalese majority of Ceylon is primarily Theravada Buddhists who speak an Indo-Aryan language. The Company's Madras Presidency on the other side of the Palk Strait, in contrast, was primarily populated by Dravidian speaking Hindus.
 

Gibbs

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Sri Lanka was never a part of India! Sri Lanka was a separate kingdom for more than thousands of years. There were times when out side powers like the Dravidian's , Dutch, Portuguese trying to take over the land, but all the attempts failed.

Sri Lanka was formerly the British Crown Colony of Ceylon, which grew out of an earlier Dutch colony.The British East India Company was entrusted to administer the area, but it was generally a failure amid revolts and non-cooperation by locals.When the British Army took control of the interior of Ceylon in 1815 under the Kandyan Convention, the island became a new Crown colony. It was therefore never part of the later British Raj created in 1858.

So the real question isn't so much why Sri Lanka separated, but rather why didn't Ceylon merge into the Company Raj in India.

And the answer is, they simply didn't have that much in common. The native Sinhalese majority of Ceylon is primarily Theravada Buddhists who speak an Indo-Aryan language. The Company's Madras Presidency on the other side of the Palk Strait, in contrast, was primarily populated by Dravidian speaking Hindus.
Lol.. Mate you just explained my history back to me.. :D

But you're right even the colonists acknowledged the distinct differences that stood Lankans apart from the mainland sub continentals, Hence they never amalgamated Ceylon in to the British India, Even though it would have made things easier to govern given the smaller geographical size

Another reason is like the Maori in NZ, Kandyan Sinhalese were master negotiators, When armed resistance finally gave way they negotiated a some what better deal for the natives under the British and kept certain amount of sovereignity especially regarding Buddhism and Sinahlese customs and laws unlike in the Subcontinent where people were subjugated en mass, With only the Maharaja's given special status's
 

Major d1

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Lol.. Mate you just explained my history back to me.. :D

But you're right even the colonists acknowledged the distinct differences that stood Lankans apart from the mainland sub continentals, Hence they never amalgamated Ceylon in to the British India, Even though it would have made things easier to govern given the smaller geographical size

Another reason is like the Maori in NZ, Kandyan Sinhalese were master negotiators, When armed resistance finally gave way they negotiated a some what better deal for the natives under the British and kept certain amount of sovereignity especially regarding Buddhism and Sinahlese customs and laws unlike in the Subcontinent where people were subjugated en mass, With only the Maharaja's given special status's
Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) is a large and beautiful island which lies off the south-east tip of India. It has an ancient civilisation, and from the 16th century was ruled by the Dutch, then the Portuguese and finally the British. Sri Lanka became independent in 1972.

The largest ethnic group are the Sinhalese. Tamils form a smaller group. In 1983, civil war broke out between them.

Very few people came to New Zealand from Ceylon in the 1800s, but in the 1860s some gold seekers arrived. At the start of the 20th century there were only 106 Ceylon-born residents.

From the late 1960s immigrant numbers increased with New Zealand’s need for skilled workers. In 1972, after Sri Lanka became independent, there were racial and economic troubles which caused many people to emigrate. In 1983, fleeing civil war, both Sinhalese and Tamil people arrived. Their numbers increased after 1987, when the conflict became more severe.

In 2013 there were over 9,500 Sri Lankan residents. Many are well-educated professional workers who live mostly in Auckland and Wellington. With strong ties to their war-torn homeland, the community has several ethnic associations.

Seeking peace and safety in New Zealand, Sri Lankans are of many faiths: Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian. Having left so much behind, they keep a sense of identity through their religion.
 

Gibbs

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Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) is a large and beautiful island which lies off the south-east tip of India. It has an ancient civilisation, and from the 16th century was ruled by the Dutch, then the Portuguese and finally the British. Sri Lanka became independent in 1972.

The largest ethnic group are the Sinhalese. Tamils form a smaller group. In 1983, civil war broke out between them.

Very few people came to New Zealand from Ceylon in the 1800s, but in the 1860s some gold seekers arrived. At the start of the 20th century there were only 106 Ceylon-born residents.

From the late 1960s immigrant numbers increased with New Zealand’s need for skilled workers. In 1972, after Sri Lanka became independent, there were racial and economic troubles which caused many people to emigrate. In 1983, fleeing civil war, both Sinhalese and Tamil people arrived. Their numbers increased after 1987, when the conflict became more severe.

In 2013 there were over 9,500 Sri Lankan residents. Many are well-educated professional workers who live mostly in Auckland and Wellington. With strong ties to their war-torn homeland, the community has several ethnic associations.

Seeking peace and safety in New Zealand, Sri Lankans are of many faiths: Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian. Having left so much behind, they keep a sense of identity through their religion.
Actually Ceylon gained independence in 1948 not in 1972 but was a dominion within the commonwealth it became a republic in 1972 and changed it's name to Sri Lanka
 

Major d1

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Actually Ceylon gained independence in 1948 not in 1972 but was a dominion within the commonwealth it became a republic in 1972 and changed it's name to Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka was given the name Ceilão by the Portuguese when they arrived in 1505. Later on when Ceilão became a British Crown Colony,this very name was transliterated into English as Ceylon. It achieved independence as the Dominion of Ceylon in 1948.

The island was renamed Sri Lanka before which it was known by a variety of names including Sinhala,Thambaparni, Taprobane (used by the greeks), Eelam(name used by the native tamils).Ceylon was a westernised name, one that was given to the country by the British. Sri Lanka means "resplendent island" in Sanskrit.The word Lanka simply means any island. It is still widely used by the aborigines of Central and Eastern India to mean an island and especially an islet in a river.The Veddas, the aborigines of Sri Lanka who are Austro-Asiatic in origin, might have rendered the name Lanka to the island. As it is the biggest island in the South Asian context, Lanka probably became an exclusive term for it.
That is why Ceylon was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972.

Many state institutions, however, have continued to use the name, including the Bank of Ceylon, Ceylon Electricity Board, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Ceylon Fisheries Corporation.Although the Sri Lankan government has announced a plan to rename all those over which it has authority.
The name Ceylon is likely to remain in common use in the tea industry, where it is recognized in the international market for its quality.
 

Gibbs

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Sri Lanka was given the name Ceilão by the Portuguese when they arrived in 1505. Later on when Ceilão became a British Crown Colony,this very name was transliterated into English as Ceylon. It achieved independence as the Dominion of Ceylon in 1948.

The island was renamed Sri Lanka before which it was known by a variety of names including Sinhala,Thambaparni, Taprobane (used by the greeks), Eelam(name used by the native tamils).Ceylon was a westernised name, one that was given to the country by the British. Sri Lanka means "resplendent island" in Sanskrit.The word Lanka simply means any island. It is still widely used by the aborigines of Central and Eastern India to mean an island and especially an islet in a river.The Veddas, the aborigines of Sri Lanka who are Austro-Asiatic in origin, might have rendered the name Lanka to the island. As it is the biggest island in the South Asian context, Lanka probably became an exclusive term for it.
That is why Ceylon was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972.

Many state institutions, however, have continued to use the name, including the Bank of Ceylon, Ceylon Electricity Board, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Ceylon Fisheries Corporation.Although the Sri Lankan government has announced a plan to rename all those over which it has authority.
The name Ceylon is likely to remain in common use in the tea industry, where it is recognized in the international market for its quality.
Ceylon was a more pluralistic peaceful and prosperous society, Sri Lanka became a tool of contention for extremists of all sides
 

Major d1

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Ceylon was a more pluralistic peaceful and prosperous society, Sri Lanka became a tool of contention for extremists of all sides
History of Sri Lanka, experience the modern and ancient historic past events, people and ... in AD 371 further reinforced the position of Buddhism in Sinhalese society. .... Following India's independence in 1947, Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was then called) .... not only the peace process but also the entire social fabric of Sri Lanka. And about extremist, it was there internal clash made by british .
 

Zabaniyah

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Bangladesh is under the threat of radical organizations like ISIS, the horrific terror attacks on the cafe and minorities are the proof.
Ignoring this threat will cost dearly, the threat from within is the most dangerous.
As one of the few muslim majority secular nation Bangladesh is vital for global peace and harmony.
The militant outfits are locally grown. ISIS doesn't have any operations here. That bloody Canadian is dead.

The weapons and explosives used in the Gulshan siege apparently came from India according to Bangladeshi authorities. It is alleged that ex-major Zia and his cohorts are hiding in India. Does that make India part of the problem?
 

Major d1

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It is tough to say - major zia is where . But Gulshan attack is organized by Indians that is an open secrete.
 

Zabaniyah

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It is tough to say - major zia is where . But Gulshan attack is organized by Indians that is an open secrete.
I don't know about the masterminds. Or who they are or who they work for. But I'd say it'd be worth finding out. But, are WE ourselves doing enough?

I know for a fact that the Japanese and Italians are NOT happy. And both of them are NATO allies. They'll get to the bottom of the matter no matter what or who.

The failure of Operation Thunderbolt will haunt us for many years as long we don't get the answers. That along with Pilkhana posed many questions about the credibility of our security establishment.

The victims and their families need justice. And that is through finding answers.
 

Major d1

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I don't know about the masterminds. Or who they are or who they work for. But I'd say it'd be worth finding out. But, are WE ourselves doing enough?

I know for a fact that the Japanese and Italians are NOT happy. And both of them are NATO allies. They'll get to the bottom of the matter no matter what or who.

The failure of Operation Thunderbolt will haunt us for many years as long we don't get the answers. That along with Pilkhana posed many questions about the credibility of our security establishment.

The victims and their families need justice. And that is through finding answers.
Major zia just a myth. Created by the recent Govt.

No we ourselves not doing enough , bcz we are bound to the authority whatever they are correct or not. In Operation Thunderbolt what happened actually that is also unstable for the people. This is inside job . eventually at pilkhana what happened that is also crystal clear now.

Those who did crime , they deserve punishment . Bcz by the name of islaimc terrorism who are doiung terrorist act that is our concern,. with bear a raw agant can blast a bomb. But creeds will go to islamic persons.
 

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