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     Volume 4 Issue 11 | September 3, 2004 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
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The Horror Continues
Even before the horror of the previous bomb blasts could be wiped out from people's minds, another deadly attack at a Awami League rally killed 20 people and left hundreds injured. Ironically, the meeting was arranged to protest against bomb blasts across the country and those protesting against the blasts became victims themselves. Though what happened on Bangabandhu Avenue was shocking, we were still somewhat apprehensive of this sort of mayhem in the context of the bomb threats at airports, the University of Dhaka, etc. People in Bangladesh have no security. It's as if the country has sunk into anarchy. The current situation will help Bangladesh to be recognised even more as a "terrorist" nation. Rather than making the traditional statements of condemnation after each bomb blast, the political parties should take a united approach in dealing with the situation.
Wajahat Anwar
Mirpur-10, Dhaka

Shameful Attack on a Peaceful Gathering
August 21 was a shocking day for our nation. Our political parties cannot protest peacefully against terrorism, whereas freedom of expression is a right in any democracy. The authorities make the usual statements, promising to find and punish the criminals, but nothing ever happens. All they do is make it all seem political and arrest opposition party members and workers. This isn't the way to go about it. The government should take proper steps to deal with the situation instead of making it all seem like a conspiracy hatched by the opposition.
Sujit Basak
Nobabpur, Dhaka

Is SWM getting too download-savvy?
I am a very avid reader of SWM. The quality and authenticity of its articles have made it extremely popular. Unfortunately, however, it seems that in its recent issues, the magazine has had to resort to many articles downloaded off the internet and borrowed from newspapers from other countries. I think that it makes perfect sense if jokes and movie reviews are downloaded off the net, but I am disappointed to see a profusion of other articles such as "Can we still be friends?" (August 13, 2004), "An at home workout that works!" (August 20, 2004), etc that are also downloaded items. Although they are interesting, I think these articles might tarnish the originality that we associate with SWM. I think that, with a little more effort, the magazine staff could produce original articles on Health, Info-tech and Book Reviews. Moreover, although occasional articles on international news which were "first published" in <>The Guardian or Observer can be enlightening, SWM should try publishing them a little less often.
T.H. Firoz

CMH after the Bombing
I was reading an article in the August 22 issue of <>The Daily Star called "Horror Descends On Trauma Wards" describing the situation in different hospitals after the recent bombing at the AL rally on Bangabandhu Avenue. The following paragraph on the situation at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) really struck me:
"BCL General Secretary Nazrul Islam Babu, fighting for life with shrapnel wounds in the stomach and upper body, was taken to the Combined Military Hospital for emergency treatment. Hospital authorities at first refused to admit him but later provided him with primary treatment. They asked his family to take him to a private clinic."
I am only 21 years old and I don't understand politics. But I do question how any hospital anywhere can refuse to admit a patient in an emergency situation. Another thing I noticed was that Dhaka Medical College Hospital and many other hospitals were having problems coping with the bomb injuries due to shortage of blood, staff and expertise. In Bangladesh, CMH should be the most prepared, being a military hospital for treating bomb injuries and casualties. Why weren't their staff used by the government as a resource during an emergency like this?
Mehzabin Ahmed.
Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, USA

Well Done, SWM!
I am really impressed with SWM. I enjoy "Voicebox" which is really funny and even informative.The titles of the various articles are so appealing that I have to go through all of them. The jokes are also really funny and cheer me up even on a bad day. I think a section on thriller stories would attract more young readers. I would be grateful to the editor if such a section were started. I hope you will continue your good work.
Nadim Chowdhury
Chittagong College

New Sections in SWM
I am a regular reader of SWM, which I know has many avid readers both at home and abroad. The cover stories, Dhaka Diary and Write to Mita are my favourite sections. I would, however, like to see some new sections in the magazine including a section for learning languages -- especially English -- and perhaps a quiz page. I'm sure this will make the magazine even more popular, especially to new readers.
University of Dhaka

On Bashundhara City
SWM has done a great job in covering the new and modern Bashundhara City. But while people in this country are concerned about their survival and security of life, is it fair to build such a place for a negligible population of the country? We are a poverty-stricken country, taking foreign aid for poverty alleviation, and 450 crore Taka is spent on entertaining, perhaps, one or two percent of the population. Why don't the engineers and other specialists who were involved in it focus on security strategies of the country instead? While the majority of the population is suffering from hunger, illiteracy, lack of health services, etc., how logical is it to build this mega city? I just hope it will benefit the country somehow, perhaps in raising money that will be utilised in poverty alleviation.
Dr. Lailun Nahar

Caught In The Middle
I am a regular citizen of this country but my worries aren't of the usual kind, and I'm sure I share them with the rest of my countrymen. We don't know how we will die, but many people of this country can expect to die in the bombings that have been occurring here on almost a regular basis. We only know that they will keep happening over and over again -- but why? How much blood do our politicians want? We elect them for the betterment of our country and they make one mistake after the other, blaming each other for every one instead of finding the real culprits. Meanwhile, terrorists take advantage of the chasm between the two parties and the general public give their lives.
A Regular Citizen

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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