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     Volume 4 Issue 8 | August 13, 2004 |

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Despising facts
The country is now devastated due to the floods. In this national crisis, our political leaders have shown their true colours. In front of cameramen and news reporters they have promised to provide relief and support to the poor, but once the cameras stop rolling, they walk away without a second glance. Politicians are great at convincing people of their good intentions, but I do not see proof that any steps are being taken to do something. What kind of example are they setting for our countrymen?

Poison in my Bloodstream
I am tired of reading articles in SWM about the bad effects of marijuana and comparing it to other hard drugs. In Bangladesh, marijuana is simply overrated and youngsters are made to believe that marijuana is as addictive and as terrible as other hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Unlike hard drugs, marijuana is not physically addictive and it has medical uses as well. I hope the editor will publish an article in the magazine, which talks about the effects (both good and bad) of marijuana and let the readers decide what is good or bad for them from a neutral scientific article, instead of an article written to exploit people's emotions.
Abdullah Islam

Keep Up the Good Work
It's good to see quite a few newspapers are now available online from Dhaka. I have been reading (at least quick eye balling) The Daily Star for a while. SWM is really fun to read. I like In Retrospect, Tribute, Trivia, Dhaka Diary and most of the other features. I think you will serve a large number of your readers well if there is a ' religion' section. Keep up the good work.
On Email

On How Can We Be Proud
I think Naome Syed is being far too pessimistic. We all know that our politics is corrupt and the education system is battered. Terrorism is rampant in our society, poverty still prevails and democracy in our country has become ludicrous. I am frustrated but not pessimistic at the moment. We can see lots of countries around the globe that have reached the peak of prosperity from the edge of limbo. We have a rich history of fighting for our country, which means we are able to fight our destiny and change our fate. We need unity. Our politicians need to be prudent and they must be made answerable for their actions. I hope one day we will be able to boast about our own country.

I really enjoyed reading the Perceptions article "(Religion as a Fig Leaf for Racism: The BNP is now Riding a Wave of Respectable Islamophobia)" in SWM's August 6th issue, by Jeremy Seabrook. Although the article was from a purely British perspective, it affects us because it shows how people are reacting to Muslims all over the world. It is sad that there are close-minded people -- especially those who are acting as a political unit -- who feel that they need to persecute people due to differences of religion and race. It is also a relief, however, that there are people "on the other side" -- meaning people who are white or non-Muslim, such as Jeremy Seabrook, who are open-minded enough to see how destructive these actions are, and are willing to speak out against them.
S Khan
On email

"Poison in my Bloodstream": Definitely Hard Drugs and NOT Marijuana!
I think the above mentioned article was written more from passion than from scientific facts. First of all, marijuana is NOT physically addictive. It is only psychologically addictive, meaning if a regular user suddenly stops smoking marijuana his/her body won't miss it, although he/she might miss the high and feel the urge to smoke more. The writer also said that he lost his appetite, which is very surprising. Marijuana users almost always report increased appetite and terminal cancer and AIDS patients are sometimes recommended marijuana because it increases appetite and reduces nausea. Places near DU (especially Katabon area) have a reputation of selling spiked marijuana. The writer is probably psychologically addicted to marijuana and physically addicted to the small amount of heroin, cocaine or whatever else they use to spike ganja. Like an addiction to playing video games, marijuana addiction is a mental thing. If the writer still feels the urge to smoke marijuana I suggest that he go see a psychiatrist.
Nafis Mahmood

Letters to the Editor, Dhaka Diary & Write to Mita with the writer’s name and address, should be within 200 words. Articles should be within 1,200 words. Articles and photos submitted will not be returned. Plagiarised articles will not be accepted. All materials should be sent to: Star Weekend Magazine, 19, Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215, Fax: 8125155, or e-mailed to <dsmagazn@gononet.com> Articles may be edited for reasons of space and clarity.
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