Bangladesh the ulimate destination of development possibility,Needs only the leadership.
Many?analyst in the West consider Bangladesh as an example Muslim nation having growing democratic base. The recent past general election of December 29, 2008 was at the top of the items of several influential news media in the world.
For many reasons, people of Bangladesh enjoy the status of a proud nation. One of such is their struggle and sacrifice for mother language, which has already attained international acclamations and endorsements.
Bengalis by nature are very courageous. They live under various forms of natural and otherwise disasters, starting from flood, draught, cyclone, poverty to political instability. But, on the other hand, the country is extremely potential and resourceful with world?s richest mineral resources. Although western experts (serving the interest of corporate syndicates) continue to claim that the natural gas reserve in Bangladesh is quickly exhausting, according to a number of unpublished fact sheets, actual reserve of natural gas in the country is ?infinite?. On the other hand, there is a huge layer of petroleum resources right beneath the gas layer in the country.
St. Martin, a tiny island on Bay of Bengal is another important spot of attraction of many westerners for obvious reasons. It is believed that the island holds one of the largest stocks of uranium in the world. This will certainly be a valid question as to where these uranium resources will land. Whether in military establishments or industrial? Should Bangladesh properly understand its ?worth? by at least guessing what kind of resources its soil holds, the country will be able to not only make best use of its natural resources but bring a favorable economic change for its people.
St. Martin’s Island is a small island in the northeast part of the Bay of Bengal, about 9 km south of the tip of the Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf peninsula, and forming the southernmost part of Bangladesh. It is the only coral island in Bangladesh. It is about 8 km west of the northwest coast of Myanmar at the mouth of the Naf River. The local name of the island is “Narical Gingira”, also spelled “Narikel Jinjera”, translated from Bangla, meaning ‘Coconut Island’.
St. Martin’s Island has become a popular tourist spot. Currently, three shipping liners run daily trips to the island. Tourists can book their trip either from Chittagong or from Cox’s Bazar. The surrounding coral reef of the island has an extension named Chera Dwip.
In the past 5 years St. Martin’s visitor population has increased dramatically. While this situation has proven to be lucrative for the islanders, it is causing the natural beauty of the island to deteriorate. Presently there are many efforts being put forth to preserve the several endagered species of turtles that nest on the island, as well as the corals, some of which are found only on Narikel Jinjera. Pieces of the coral reef are being removed in order to be sold to tourists. Nesting turtles are sometimes taken for food, and their hatchlings are often distracted by the twinkling lights along the beach. Species of fish, a few just recently discovered, are being overfished. Every year the fishermen must venture further out to sea to get their catch. Most of them use motorless boats.
At high tide the island is about 3 miles around, and pinched in the middle. The island exists only because of its coral base, so removal of that coral risks erosion of the beaches. St. Martins has lost roughly 25% of its coral reef in the past 7 years.
Tourism experts believe, if Bangladeshi government could take extensive measures in transforming the entire island into an international tourism spot, taking examples from islands in Bahamas or Maldives, this tiny piece of island could contribute millions of dollars to Bangladesh economy every year. For this, the government needs to relocate the local residents of St. Martin to other places and allow all forms of tourist facilities including lifting ban on alcoholic beverages (for the foreigners), forming special security force for tourists as well build golf course and other tourist resorts. In such case, millions of dollars will flow in even during this global recession to this island from potential large foreign investors having interests in tourism sector.
But, Bangladeshi governments failed in past in taking measures favorable to tourism sector especially in attracting foreign tourists, as the country follows undeclared but strict Sharia laws in many sects. For example, in worlds largest Moslem nations like Indonesia, United Arab Emirates or Maldives, alcoholic beverage is not forbidden. Moslems avoid such beverage not due to ban but showing respect to their religious obligations. But, in Bangladesh, taking alcoholic beverage is considered to be a serious crime. This is exactly the same situation as many of the nations following Sharia law like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan etc. But, being a moderate Moslem nation, Bangladesh should certainly change its olden notions.
Few years back, a local entrepreneur established a factory to produce alcoholic beverage such as liqour, beer etc in Bangladesh. This venture was certainly aimed at substituting country?s substantial volume of import of such items, for selling in hand-picked number of duty free shops. Moreover, a local refinery owned by the government is continuing to produce local made Rum for decades.
The government instead of patronizing the venture by the private entrepreneur in producing beer, liquor etc, suddenly put a ban on the production at the mad demonstration of several Islamist parties. With this instance, just for appeasing the Islamists and fanatics, Bangladesh lost the potential opportunity of substituting import of alcoholic beverage thus saving millions of dollars while opening a new avenue of huge export earnings.
Bangladeshi governments always spoke of increasing tourism in the country. But they failed in understanding several important facts, which are related to such actions. They could have easily followed the examples of Maldives, UAE or Indonesia. Instead, and unfortunately, they followed radical Iran or other Sharia law countries.
Although Bengalis are very proud and bright nation, their political luck was never good. When the country was born in 1971 after nine-month?s war against the mighty Pakistan army, new government formed under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave lots of hope and promises to the nation in upbuilding country?s economy; ensuring freedom of press and showing respect to citizen?s right