August 16, 2009

National Backbone Cut Sparks Off Rumors of a Possible Coup

Internet in Bangladesh is still pretty slow due to damaged undersea cables caused by the last week’s Typhoon Morakot in East Asia. The path is too congested and I am getting High latency and packet loss almost everywhere. From reliable sources, I came to know that, there is a high possibility of restoring normal services by today. But still, not confirmed yet.

Moreover, On Thursday, the national backbone connecting the submarine cable, SEA-ME-WE 4, was cut at around 3:00am at Mansartek at Patiya, 21km off Chittagong, in heavy rainfall and flood-like situation, which took around 16 hour to restore. Except of some limited connectivity via VSAT, Bangladesh was totally disconnected from rest of the world. Though, it happened 25 times before and almost became regular, PRESSTV had an interesting article regarding a new type of panic. Here it is -

A 16-hour communication shutdown sparks off rumors of a possible coup in Bangladesh, a country that has already faced a revolt by border guards a few months ago.

The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) -- responsible mainly for guarding Bangladesh's over 4,000 km (2,485 miles) border with India and Myanmar -- revolted on February 25 at their headquarters in Dhaka and a dozen other towns.

The rebellion, which lasted 33 hours and ended after the rebels laid down their arms, left at least 80 people killed -- mostly army officers.

With Bangladesh being completely blacked out from world communication including internet and phone lines on Friday, rumors started spreading about a possible assassination attempt on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

It became a grave concern not only for the country's intelligence agencies, but also in the region, and across the world.

India's intelligence agencies were especially alerted as India is celebrating its Independence Day on Saturday. Unable to get any information, security was stepped up along the borders with Bangladesh.

It later turned out that the failure was a result of a disruption in the country's submarine cable link.


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