Bangladesh. After nearly 23 years of fighting, the Shanti
Bahini guerrilla laid down its weapons in February after the
government granted amnesty to all who participated in the
uprising in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a mountain area in
the southeast mainly inhabited by minority people.
The monsoon rains in July caused the most severe floods
in Bangladesh's history. Three quarters of the land was
submerged, at least 800,000 ha of arable land destroyed, 30
million. became homeless and at least 1,500 perished.
damages were valued at more than $ 4 billion.
After more than a year-long trial, in November, 15
officers were sentenced to death for the 1975 assassination
of the nation's first leader, Mujibur Rahman, Prime Minister
Hasina Wajed's father. In October, three opposition
politicians were indicted for murdering four of Mujibur
Rahman's ministers after the 1975 coup. Both the death
sentences and the accusations were met by opposition
protests, which described them as a political revenge by the
In September, author Taslima Nasrin returned to
Bangladesh to visit his sick mother. She had fled to Sweden
in 1994 after being threatened by Muslim extremists for
alleged anti-Islamic writings and statements. Her return led
to violent protests and demands that she be brought to
trial. She was forced to stay hidden again and appealed to
the outside world for protection.