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     Volume 5 Issue 107 | August 11, 2006 |

   Cover Story
   Straight Talk
   View from the     Bottom
   In Focus
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review
   Write to Mita

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A Summer Homecoming
A Summer Homecoming was an excellent cover story. I really enjoyed reading about the sons and daughters of the soil coming back to enjoy what is so unique about Bangladesh that words cannot fully capture.
All of the people interviewed seemed to evoke feelings of being ensnared in a web of emotions that Bangladesh arouses in the soul. I have often wondered what it is. Although I am naturally inclined to hate congestion, I love the traffic jams of Bangladesh. Although I am used to glamorous fruits and vegetables, the bastion of capitalism in the modern supermarkets, I love the produce of the street hawkers in the country. Honestly, this feeling in itself is a superpower. It has moved poets before. Now, I know what Tagore meant by “O Bengal of Gold!”
Saadi Chowdhury
University of St Andrews
St Andrews, Scotland


I want to thank SWM and the three writers for the fabulous cover story. I want to further thank them for introducing us to Nadia Kabir Barb and her family who is an integral and amusing part of the magazine.
It is really good to hear compliments about Bangladesh from someone who is from a much more developed country. To some extent it awakens our sense of self-respect. Although they live abroad they are in fact authentic Bangladeshis. They showed that they have the same patriotic feelings for the country as the natives.
Yet many of us only dream of immigrating to foreign countries and settle there. The cover story was very contributory to let them amend their views. We should try to eliminate the faults they have referred to such as traffic and health care system. After all they are a part of our country. I want to welcome all the expatriates who come back to this green, colourful and fantastic country for their family ties to their homeland.
Shaikhul Akbar Eishan
Chuadanga Govt. College

The harmful side of using mobile phones
The mobile phone is a great invention of modern science. Users are increasing everyday. But everyone should be aware that mobile phones sometimes become health hazards especially for children.
Scientists believe that mobile phones are in many cases responsible for brain tumours, genetic damage and many other incurable diseases. They believe that uncontrolled radioactivity of the phones cause irreparable damage to human body. They say that the government should control radioactive sources (both ionised and non-ionised). It is true that millions of people are getting benefits from this service but most are blissfully unaware of the dangers it can cause.
According to many doctors, continuous usage can increase blood pressure and damage red blood cells. They are also harmful for pregnant women. The government should control and educate users about using cell phone especially near children and pregnant women.
Foqrul Islam
Mirpur, Dhaka

Lakes at stake
I want to applaud Mustafa Zaman for writing such an informative cover story on the deplorable plight of the Gulshan-Baridhara-Banani Lake, which is a logical aftermath of unplanned urbanisation.
Migration to Dhaka from the rural areas poses a real threat for the city in terms of accommodation and creates tremendous pressure on its capacity. Encroachment and contamination of water bodies continue in an unbridled way.
The insatiable land grabbers and squatters together with the inefficient waste disposal system will lead the remaining water bodies to a complete moribund state. Moreover destruction of water reservoirs will increase the recurrence of floods decreasing the frequency interval, which will further aggravate the city environment. Necessary restoration steps should be taken in no time, otherwise the vengeance of the Malthusian monster would be in the offing.
Mohammad Mahfuzul Islam
Department of Anthropology, DU

A man of vision
Thanks to Sarah Mahmud for an enlightening article on her late grandfather SM Mahmud.
Before reading the article I didn't know anything about the originator of once my favourite TV programme “Mukto khobor”. It's really pathetic to hear about his late life and death in such a tragic way. A man having such a great contribution in the liberation war as well as in the private media sector has many things to claim from our nation. If we can't show respect for such great country men, it won't be too long before our nation loses its dignity.
Afaz Uddin Ahmed Galib

Chintito's anonymity
The mask of anonymity is finally off. I can't say I wasn't disappointed. Ever since Chintito began writing his page, it was the first thing I read in the magazine. Like others, I, too, have guessed and speculated about his identity. Young or old? An academic or an executive?
The conjecture was half the entertainment. I've even inquired from the people inside. But then, I never really persisted. Deep down, I guess I've always wanted the face to remain faceless. When I read the heading "Chintito donates…" (DS Aug. 5) my first inclination was to look away. But it's difficult to do that on the computer and when it's in full colour too. And bright ones at that!
The mystery gone, a real human face placed out there, reading Chintito won't be the same again.
Rebecca Sultana
Montreal, Canada

Dedication of Swapnas and our politics
“O Mom! They will take us off and rape us. Dad is not here, who will protect us from their hands?” This cry of fear won't be heard any longer. The girl who said this will not go to school anymore and no one will tease her anymore.
Her life-lamp has been blown out at a very tender age. How many other Swapnas will have to pass away because of these hoodlums? Parents everywhere in the country are at a loss about what to do with their daughters.
We still cannot forget the similar incidents involving Shakila of Kamrangir Char, Trisha of Gaibandha and Rumi of Khulna who, unable to put up with the provocation decided to end their own lives. Unfortunately, most of these hooligans are cadres linked to political parties. The law enforcing agencies having links to these cadres are one of the main reason why these people are running loose on the streets.
M Alauddin Ansary
Zahurul Haque Hall, DU


Recently an extremely brutal and tragic incident took place at Pallabi in Dhaka. 13-year-old Bizli Aktar Shopna, a class six student, committed suicide after failing to tolerate the abuse inflicted upon her by local hoodlums.
It's the second suicide in such circumstances in the capital city in one and half months. The accused four boys used to disturb Shopna regularly. It went to an extreme due to the absence of her father.
What kind of a country are we living in where such crimes go unpunished? Some days ago two sisters become acid victims to such criminals at Chattak in Sylhet. For how long must we have to tolerate such misdeeds? We want the relevant authorities to properly investigate such crimes and punish the criminals at the earliest possible.
Moin Syed
Computer Science & Engineering Dept, SUST

Democracy for people
The political situation of the country is becoming more unstable every day. As the election is nearing the government as well as the different parties are becoming more actively involved in campaigning.
The common people are exploited for these political activities. Meetings, processions, hartals etc are part of politics but the common people must not be exploited. Nothing should be done to hamper the normal way of life for people. The political activities must be constructive and carried out for the betterment of common people. I request the honourable leaders to consider this point.
Shirin Sharmin Bubly
Dept. of Civil Engineering

Submission Guideline:
Letters to the Editor, Dhaka Diary and Write to Mita, with the writer's name and address, should be within 200 words. All articles should be within 1,200 words. A cover letter is not necessary, but every write-up should include the writer's name, phone number and email address (if any). While SWM welcomes unsolicited articles and photographs, it cannot accept the responsibility of their loss or damage. SWM does not return unsolicited articles and photos. Response time for unsolicited write-ups range from three weeks to two months. All articles submitted are subject to editing for reasons of space and clarity.
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