Bangladesh Observer closed down

Dhaka: Bangladesh Observer, one of the country’s oldest English language daily newspapers, closed down Tuesday after a prolonged dispute between the owners and employees.

Founded in 1949 as Pakistan Observer, it was owned and run by Hamidul Haq Chowdhury, who was Pakistan’s foreign minister at one time.

He lost control of the newspaper to the Bangladesh government when it was renamed Bangladesh Observer in 1972. The ownership was restored to his family in 1984.

Chowdhury’s son Khaled had a long dispute with the employees over outstanding wage dues and had gone back on an agreement reached in 2007, said, a news website.

Journalists and other employees of the 60-year-old newspaper last year launched a campaign for 78 months’ arrears in pay. They also approached the government to get their dues.

Iqbal Siobhan Chowdhury, who had been editing the newspaper for long, blamed the owners for not paying wages to the workers.

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