The Governing Board of South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies (SAILS)
Dakha, Bangladesh

News 18th March 2009

My Dear brother Madanjeet Singh,

You would be pleased to know that our Institute, SAILS, is making good progress. We recently rented an office for the Institute and have undertaken a few projects.

The dialogue on "National and Regional Institutions for the Protection of Human Rights: Challenges for Bangladesh" organized in collaboration with the French Embassy about which I have written to you earlier was quite successful, where the Chairman and both members of the newly established Bangladesh Human Rights Commission had participated.

Ambassador Dr. Toufiq Ali, who was the head of Bangladesh mission in Geneva and who, in that capacity, also led the LDC group in the WTO, has agreed to become involved with SAILS. He would lead a research project on regulatory responses and reforms in South Asia in the context of the recent developments in the global economy. The Governing Council of SAILS whose fourth meeting was held yesterday has approved this project. The Board has also approved a logo for the Institute and with some further refinement the logo would be finalized within the next few days. Work for an website of the Institute is also in progress. The Institute has also undertaken two other projects to prepare an annotated bibliography of the existing research in Bangladesh in the areas of human rights, good governance and trade and energy law and a project for preparing a directory of researchers in South Asia who work on these issues. These projects were undertaken following a brainstorming session organized in the new office of SAILS attended by academics, lawyers and representatives of civil society and media, who felt and recommended that these would be immensely helpful for researchers and would help to reduce duplication of similar research.

In yesterday's meeting, the Governing Board felt that the Institute is now ready to receive the second installment of SAF's grant, which could be remitted in the same manner as was done last year. This will enable us to develop and implement our proposed work programme.

With warm regards,

Kamal Hossain