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     Volume 6 Issue 4 | February 2, 2007 |

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News Notes

Waheedul Haq Passes Away
The death of veteran journalist and noted Tagore song specialist Waheedul Haq on January 27 has left a void in the cultural arena of the country. He died at the city's Birdem Hospital at 5:00 pm. Suffering from pneumonia, lung and kidney diseases, the 75-year-old finally passed away peacefully leaving behind his wife, two sons, two daughters, relatives, thousands of music lovers, cultural activists and the journalist community to mourn his death.
Born on March 16, 1933 to Mazharul Haq and Mewa Begum at Bhawal Monoharia village under Keraniganj upazila, Waheedul was the eldest among three brothers and two sisters. His father was a member of the Bengal Legislative Assembly in 1946. His brother Rezaul Haq is a journalist and his other brother Ziaul Haq was a martyr of the Liberation War.
A household name right from the golden age, Waheedul Haq founded the Chhayanaut, an epitome of Bangali culture and music, which also played a significant role in expressing the feelings of independence and freedom amongst the people in the late 1960s prior to the country's Liberation War. He also founded a number of prominent cultural and poetry recitation organisations like -- Kanthashilon, Nalonda and Anandadhani.
Waheedul served in major newspapers for 55-year years in dailies like The Daily Star, where he worked as the joint editor. He was a shift in-charge of the daily Observer in the 1960s. Besides, he worked in The People, The Morning News and the New Nation. He also taught at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) as a part-time teacher.
He was also a pioneer in spreading secular spirit in the country. During the Hindu-Muslim riots in the 50s, he was there beside the minorities and always resisted the communal force.
He formed the Jatiya Rabindra Sangeet Sammilon Parishad in 1980. Haq was also involved with filmmaking and film movements.
An eminent thinker, Waheedul was very active in political and cultural movements in the country over the last half of the century. Once involved with left-leaning politics, he contested for parliament elections from Keraniganj. Later on, he left politics and devoted himself to music.
Waheedul's close friends claim him to be one of the most amazing human beings they had ever met. He was well versed and knew a lot about physics, chemistry, and literature and was known to be a self effacing person. He donated his body to the medical students.
The body of Waheedul Haq was kept at Chhayanaut Bhaban for a day last week from 9:30am to 11:30am, at the central Shaheed Minar from 12:00 pm to1:00 pm and at the Jatiya Press Club at 1:30pm for his well wishers to pay their homage.

Watch Out For Fake Blood and Medicines
Those little bags of blood have been the biggest saviours of many successful operations but because of the activities of a few dishonest people many people are getting cheated.
A mobile court discovered blood bags containing unsafe blood at Mohanagar Blood Bank at 22/11, Mirpur Road. The bags were not even preserved properly.
The court also found a letterhead pad of the blood bank with the seal and signatures of one Dr Saiful Islam on its blank pages which unscrupulous staff use to write down the fake test results without testing the blood.
In another drive Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel seized a huge cache of spurious medicines, including vaccines of hepatitis B and polio, after busting an illegal medicine factory at Tongi on Friday.
The law enforcers arrested Shahadat Hossain, who had been running the illegal business, during the seven-hour raid ending at 7:00pm. The raid was conducted following a tip-off.
Mixing several types of powdered chemicals with distilled water, the unscrupulous businessman used to bottle the substances first. Then he pasted labels of reputed pharmaceuticals, like GlaxoSmithKline, and marketed them.
The several thousand bottles of fake medicines included Eveux-B, Veril Rix, Hiberix, with price ranging from Tk 350 to Tk 1,350 per bottle.
Besides, syringes, packaging materials and some other items were also seized from the spot.
Shahadat confessed that he sold those fake medicines in Mitford wholesale market.
On Thursday, members of Rab-10 seized 2,160 bottles of spurious medicines of Pustiplus brand, 1,000 empty bottles and 2,000 corks from Mitford medicine market.

New Guidelines for media
The Emergency Power Rule 2007 under the Emergency Power Ordinance 2007 spelled out some guidelines for the media on publication and broadcast of news.
It restricted publication and broadcast of news reports, editorials, post-editorials, articles, features, caricatures, cartoons, talk shows or discussions on provocative statements, activities, protests, public meetings in newspapers or in the electronic media including internet, or in any other mass media.
Under the rule, the government may order any person to provide information or related materials kept with him or her in public interest or on grounds of security and may examine or block the dispatch of any letter, message or material to be sent by post, telex, fax or telephone.
In case of violation of the restrictions, the offenders will face a maximum of five years or a minimum of two years rigorous imprisonment along with fines.

(This item was extrapolated and translated by The Daily Star from the Bangla version of the rule.)

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