The defense is based on volunteerism and (2007) comprises
about 126,000 regular troops organized in 18 brigades, 5
frigates, 44 patrol boats, 62 fighter aircraft and a
semi-military reserve of 63,000 men for security (20,000
men), police ready for action (5,000 men).) and border guard
(38,000 men in 63 battalions). The material is mainly of
Chinese and Soviet origin. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that BGD stands for Bangladesh.
Defense costs rose from 1.4% to 1.6% of GDP in 1985-2005.
The armed opposition consists of 11 different groups with
JMB, a mujahidin force of 10,000 men, the largest.
Bangladesh participates in several UN peacekeeping efforts,
including Congo (Kinshasa) (MUNOC), Liberia (UNMIL) and
Bangladesh's first and only airborne signal TV station,
Ekushey Televisión, was threatened with closure after the
Supreme Court ruled that the station's broadcasting permit
was illegal because it had not been granted under proper
procedures under the Hasina government. The State
Anti-Corruption Department also accused Hasina, 6 of his
ministers and 5 officials of bribery and fraud. Hasina, now
the leader of the opposition, called on the international
community to help bring to an end what he termed as the
political and religious persecution in Bangladesh.
In April 2002, the government announced the privatization
of 21 state-owned enterprises, especially in the manufacture
of jute, textiles, paper and oil. For various reasons, the
privatization process initiated several years earlier had
been very slow, and only a few of the 82 that should have
been privatized had been.
Faced with growing violence against women, in March 2002
Parliament passed a law providing for the death penalty for
attacks with sulfuric acid. In 2000-02 alone, the number of
such attacks had increased by 50%. During 2001, 13,339 cases
of domestic violence occurred. More than a sixfold increase
in the number of 2,048 in 1995. Just as in Myanmar, Cambodia
and Pakistan, men use sulfuric acid, which is cheap and easy
to get, to etch and sometimes kill women and girls. The
reasons may be: refusal of marriage services, domestic
strife or conflict of values. During 2002, 3,189 cases of
rape or mistreatment were recorded for the deaths of women
or girls. This was an increase of 49 compared to the
previous year. Faced with this negative development, Prime
Minister Khaleda Zia made another 2 bills to curb the
At the same time, an increase in the slave trade was
recorded. It is estimated that 5-6,000 women and children -
predominantly from rural areas - are sold each year in
cities in India or Pakistan. Representatives from Caritas
Bangladesh declared in April 2003 that the slave trade is
linked to the trade in drugs and weapons, and is also
connected to politicians in Bangladesh. The main victims are
the children and the very poor or stigmatized women who are
victims of divorce or pregnancy outside of marriage.
On May 22, 2004, an attack on a mosque in the
northeastern city of Sylhet killed 2 people and 50 others
were injured. Including British High Commissioner Anwar
Choudhury. A bomb was thrown against the mosque at the end
of the prayer.
In July, Bangladesh was ravaged by the monsoon. Severe
floods hit two-thirds of the country, leaving 20 million
homeless. 40% of Dhaka was flooded after the rivers crossed
their banks. The slums were hit hardest. The residents went
to the water, and they had to seek refuge on the rooftops.
200 died throughout the country and in some places the water
level reached the maximum.
In Dhaka, people survived in improvised refuges after
having to leave their homes. The sewer system collapsed and
thousands of people had to undergo diarrhea. The government,
aid organizations and volunteers distributed medicine, food