Pollution in any form along the shores has a tremendously harmful effect on the water and wildlife and the cover story 'Choking Coastlines' (September 21, 2007) on the efforts of the volunteers at the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) was commendable.
In line with the rest of the world, the ICC, DOE and Kewkradong sponsored by Banglalink along with the enthusiastic youths have been involved in a great social drive to conserve the wetland and seacoast biodiversity and save the marine life of Cox's Bazar.
The research on determining the frequent waste and its consequences on marine life is crucial. On the other hand, making the tourists aware and sensible about the environment is most important because it is they who are actually responsible for the situation.
Everyone has to get together on this to keep our environment clean and safe for us as well as for our future generations.
Dept. of Finance, DU
'Choking Coastlines' was a crucial cover story of an avoidable hazard to our unique and pristine Cox's Bazar beach caused by the ever-increasing garbage and marine waste, a result of mindless human activities. The observance of the International Coastal Cleanup day will act as an eye-opener for sure to a problem that demands immediate attention. It has also provided us a workable baseline of survey regarding the amount and types of trash.
What we need now is a sustained and suitable action-plan to address this issue. Many thanks to SWM and the author.
Meshkat Ahmed Chowdhury
Letter of Appreciation
First of all I would like to let the SWM know that it is the most read and popular magazine in the country. Many of us eagerly wait for Friday's arrival not because it is a holiday but because of the magazine!
This issue's article on preschools was very informative. Thanks to SWM and the author for the very good advice for us mothers and mothers-to-be. Please continue your innovative writings.
Tasnuva Ameen Lucky
In the article 'Up Close and Personal', I find that the author is very derogatory when he speaks about our culture. I am sorry that he had to go through such personal questions as why he didn't have children or why he had messy hair. But on the flip side he also has to see that our culture is very homely and informal. I have been to many countries around the world and I have seen how unique every culture is. In fact in London I had shivers running through my spine at the coldness of some white people, bordering on racism. Once I was sitting at a bus stop and a bunch of rowdy (white) teenagers spat at me. I moved my feet just in time or it would have landed on my shoes. They walked off laughing at the shocked look on my face. It was my first trip away from home alone. That night I cried for hours from homesickness. We, Bangladeshis, would never treat a foreigner like that. I'm sure the author would heartily agree on that.
This article was written with a certain amount of discontent and distaste regarding the Bangladeshi culture. The author in his previous articles has always been witty and quirky about his experiences. I used to really enjoy his articles and always felt encouraged to look at the lighter side of life when I myself felt cranky. I hope he will get back to his previous frame of mind.
Breaking Fast the Healthy Way
The cover story 'The Right Options on Ramadan' (September 14, 2007), was excellent the cooking tips for grilling, roasting and using non-stick frying pans were very helpful. But in some aspects the author seemed to forget the eating tradition of our country. Sometimes she seemed too far away from the regular food habit of the Bangali people and their long living traditional eating habits.
How many people take cornflakes, pastas in their regular meals? And how many people are used to eating salads as the main meal! While writing on such a topic one should be aware of the regular food habits of the general people.
If one is fasting and has to work hard all the day long, he should eat something more than just chapattis and vegetable soup or fruits on both Sehri and Iftaar. And when you are fasting the whole day one may not want to eat non-spicy oil-free foods! We Bengalis are too passionate about spicy foods! If the writer could provide a complete diet keeping in mind the regular food habits of the Bengalis, combining both spicy and non-spicy healthy food then it would be more helpful and realistic.
Welcome Back, Neeman Sobhan
I was delighted to see The Roman Column in the SWM once again (September 21, 2007). For me, the magazine lost its major source of attraction when the feature stopped appearing. I deeply enjoyed the combination of absorbing topics, insightful reflections and the mixture of wit and humour all presented in a style that was both lively and elegant.
I wish the writer a warm welcome back to the pages of the SWM, and look forward, with high anticipation, to the weekly sojourns in the interesting world of far-off Rome, and the even more fascinating and vibrant inner world of Neeman Sobhan.
Response from British Council
The British Council administers examinations on behalf of the majority of the UK examination boards. I would like to take this opportunity to reply to Dr Costa's letter in SWM (British Council fees 7th September 07) by explaining the elements that make up the examinations fee that each candidate pays.
Although the British Council collects the examination fees, the greater part of the exam fees go directly to the examination boards to cover the costs of development and marking of their exams. These fees are set in sterling by the exam boards in the UK, and vary according to the board. In addition to the board fees, the British council adds a small administration fee to cover the costs such as security, venues, invigilators and couriers.
The British Council and the schools taking UK qualifications communicate closely with the UK boards on a range of issues including pricing; but ultimately the level of the fees is decided in the UK by the UK boards. The British Council regularly reviews its administration fee to ensure that it is reasonable and does not add any unnecessary cost to the total exam fee so that as many people as possible can have access to quality UK qualifications.
British Council, Bangladesh
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