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     Volume 6 Issue 21 | June 1, 2007 |

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News Notes

More Bigwigs in the Basket
With every passing moment, the longer the drive gets, the more interesting it becomes. Once again Bangladesh witnessed another dunk in the basket on the part of the government, when names like Jalil, Babar, Shaiekh Selim, Altaf, Mintoo and many more were picked up by the authorities from different locations.
Though the act was expected, many were taken aback when the army-led joint forces finally took the Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil, former minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, former state ministers Lutfozzaman Babar and Fazlur Rahman Patal, ex-AL lawmaker Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, ex-BNP lawmaker and Partex Group Chairman MA Hashem, and former FBCCI president Abdul Awal Mintoo into custody last week. In another move the joint forces also picked up the Sylhet City Mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran from Hotel Gulshan in the city last week. For the rest of the week, the forces were busy picking up more political and business leaders.
According to the politicians and many who represent the mass people in the country, this particular move on the part of the forces was quite confusing and possible untimely as well. The two major political parties have been discussing to bring reform to the organisations, or so they claim, and picking up of these leaders might just create obstacles in the pathway.

Villages in Munshiganj under Threat
Lives of many people living around the Padma River in Munshiganj are under threat as the promise of a dam to be built in the area is yet to be fulfilled. Datara Government Primary School is only about 12 feet (and counting) away from being washed away. Homes in villages across Tongibari and Louhajang are also under threat of being washed away. According to a Prothom Alo report many homes on the shores of Padma have been built in such a way that the inhabitants can dismantle the house on a very short notice and shift elsewhere. Such is the pathetic condition that these people are living in every day. A shopkeeper complained to the newspaper that he had to shift his house four times in the last one year because of river erosion. Also according to him, government officials start stacking up sandbags when the erosion starts but work on the actual dam is yet to start. The Water Development Board's (WDB) two and a half kilometre dam project remains tangled in bureaucratic red tapes while there is not end to the hundreds of thousands of villagers living around the river. And this monsoon season promises to be worse than the previous.

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