Is Bangladesh descending into lawlessness?

By Palash Kamruzzaman

(This blog was originally posted at the Conversation)

An Italian priest has been wounded by gunmen in Bangladesh, the latest in a wave of attacks on foreigners there. Only weeks before, an Italian citizen working with a development organisation was shot in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone – one of the most heavily guarded places in the country. A few days later, a Japanese citizen was murdered in northern Bangladesh in a similar style. Continue reading

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Islamist food aid won’t radicalise Pakistan’s earthquake survivors

By Ayesha Siddiqi

(This blog was originally published by the Guardian)

The magnitude 7.5 earthquake that rocked parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan last week has left hundreds dead, most of them in the far more densely populated Pakistan. Rescue and relief efforts have swung into action, albeit hampered by the constraints of reaching hard-hit communities in remote, mountainous areas. And alongside these efforts come the usual politicking and promotion of political agendas that take place after a natural disaster. Continue reading

Sri Lanka’s election thwarts Rajapaksa and sets the scene for deeper reform

By Oliver Walton

(This blog was oringially posted at The Conversation)

Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election appears to have delivered a firm endorsement of the ruling United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) coalition. The result scotches an attempted political comeback by the country’s former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and consolidates the position of Maithripala Sirisena, who defeated him in the presidential elections in January. Continue reading

Sri Lanka stunned as Rajapaksa election gamble fails to pay off

By Oliver Walton

(This blog was oringially posted at – The Conversation)

Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has been defeated in the country’s historic presidential elections. Sri Lankans are shocked at the scale and manner of Rajapaksa’s defeat, which has brought his tenure to an abrupt halt after nine highly controversial years. Continue reading

Imagining war, Selling charity

(This blog was oringially posted at – The Conversation)

by Oliver Walton

Sainsbury’s Christmas advert has stoked considerable controversy. It involves a cinematic re-telling of the “Christmas Truce”, where Allied and German soldiers ceased fighting on Christmas Day and played a friendly football match together on the stretch of No Man’s Land between their trenches. While the film’s power has been widely acknowledged, the propriety of the subject matter for advertising and fundraising has also been questioned. Continue reading

Gated Communities Lock Cities into Cycles of Inequality

(This blog was originally posted on The Conversation)

By Séverine Deneulin  and Roy Maconachie

In recent years, many films have portrayed the landscape of urban marginality and inequality in Latin America. Brazil Central Station and City of God were both popular, but few can rival the Mexican thriller, La Zona (the Zone), in depicting the disturbing panorama of inequality in Latin America’s megacities and the consequences of socially and economically divided cities. Continue reading