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     Volume 8 Issue 66 | April 24, 2009 |

  Cover Story
  Current Affairs
  Neighbours - When   all of India goes to   the Polls
  Neighbours - Manoj   Tiwari: “Gorakhpur’s   Obama”
  Food for Thought
  Art -Art   Extravaganza
  Art -Lines and   Splashes that   Speak of   Individuality
  Star Diary
  Book Review
  Write to Mita
  Post Script

   SWM Home


Dhaka's US Embassy
My husband is a US citizen and he has applied for immigrant visa for me and our baby. A few months ago I was called to the Embassy for an interview. Before the interview, we carefully collated and checked all the papers in consultation with the attorney so that I would get the process right the first time. The interview was scheduled at 8 AM but from 6 AM onwards people started gathering outside the main gate of US embassy. I also took my place in the long queue. I had to wait in line for three hours before I could go in, and after that I had a nightmarish eight-hour wait before the actual interview. There was no canteen inside, and we were not allowed to take even a bottle of water. The guard behaved very rudely when I asked for water for my baby. At long last we were called for interview, but I was stunned when the visa officer said I had not submitted sponsorship papers. My attorney assured me these had been submitted before, but I was forced to return to the Embassy with the papers the following week. My attorney told me I would get the visa this time around, but the visa officer told me that it was very easy to get “fake documents” in Bangladesh, and they would have to “review” my case. Why was it necessary to make such a sweeping statement, and display such an antagonistic attitude? My American attorney commented that she has not come across such behaviour in all her twenty years of practicing immigration law.
Six long months have passed, and my case is still being “reviewed”. I don't understand why the embassy officials would treat genuine visa applicants, who are paying fees, in this abysmal way? Is this the image the US wants to project?
A Sufferer


We, the students, have seen shameless political hooliganism in the classrooms, dormitories and canteens of our campuses over the last three months. In truth, this has nothing to do with politics -- it is nothing but organized crime in the name of student politics. The golden days of our student politics is gone. The student fronts are now engaged in criminal activities, and their shameless desire to dominate our campuses are jeopardizing the academic lives of millions of students. It is time to call for an end to student politics on campus for the greater good of the nation.
Mohammad Rajja

To What Extent Is Our Economy Safe?
On April 10 “The Star Magazine” printed two articles on the existing economic downturn. One was on the garments industries and the other was on the remittance flow. To solve the problems of garments industries Prof. M.A.Taslim said it was better to restructure the garments industries rather than to give them financial and planning support from the government. But I think he didn't keep in mind that the restructuring isn't possible overnight especially where there is a great recession going on in the world. Now we have to survive at first and then can we think about restructuring. The government must take the initiative right now to shield our main export industry for the next four to five months. Because this industry contributes about 70% of our export, any collapse in this sector would set off a domino effect and bring our economy crashing down
The other article was “The Economy, Safe Now”. Prof. Anu Mohammad said that the country's economy is safe for now. But I respectfully disagree with him. Because our main export industry is now in trouble. Indeed, some of the garments industries have started laying off workers already. Others are having trouble paying salaries because weak demand from foreign buyers. Also our migrant workers who were abroad are starting to come back home. For the above reasons our remittance inflow will be badly hit and the pinch will be felt soon. Overall, our economy is very much vulnerable now. Yes, we have weathered the storm better than some countries so far, but there is no room for complacency. We must act right away with well thought out measures to save it from deterioration.
Md. Hamid Iqbal
Dept. Of Finance & Banking. CU.

Our Fragile Ecosystems
I am a private student, studying A levels in Dhaka. As a wildlife enthusiast, I wanted to express my appreciation for the article titled 'Life in the Beautiful Jungle' written by Julfikar Ali Malik in the recent weekend issue. I just wanted to make a suggestion for any future articles on environment. Along with the very significant endeavour to spread awareness regarding the dangerous situation faced by our environment due to climate change, which is always beautifully done by your writers, I would really appreciate it if your future articles also stressed on how we, the common public, could contribute directly to preserving our threatened wildlife. A lot of people know the present risks our ecosystems face but have little idea of what to do about this.
Sarah Iqbal
Salimullah Road
Dhaka 1207

An Impartial Trial
After reading the letter written by Syed Mohammad Ali titled “Stories of war criminals” published (April 10, 2009) in The Star magazine, I cannot but thank him for his concern about justice and fairness when it comes to war crime trials. This should not become a political tool to eliminate opponents. It is now a national demand for war criminals to be tried and punished, and without such trials the sacrifice of the martyrs will not be properly honoured. But careful attention must be given to due process and the rule of law. After observing the events of the last few months, I feel compelled to say that the government is viewing all things through a political lens even though they have performed some admirable acts.
The nation wants to see the actual war criminals brought to justice. But we do not wish to see a political witch hunt that might destabilise the country. I, therefore, hope the government will keep our war of liberation above their narrow political interest.
Mostafa Al Mahmud (Mamun)
Humanities Group, Dhaka College (DC), Dhaka

The Old Blame Game!
The blame game has become a part and parcel of our political culture. Our MPs play this game shamelessly in parliament. It is probably the easiest game to play because it is not so difficult to criticise others .We are habituated with this and now it is so common that it seems that parliament would not be lively without this kind of shameless mud-slinging. Whenever our politicians get the chance to blame each other they make the best use of the opportunity, very conveniently forgetting that they are the spokes persons of the people. The people elected them spontaneously as their representatives for raising and solving different problems of the country in parliament. Stop the blame game, and focus on the country's real problems.
Mohammad Zia-ul-haque
International Islamic University Ctg

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