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     Volume 8 Issue 71 | May 29, 2009 |

  Cover Story
  Special Feature
  Writing the Wrong
  Human Rights
  Star Diary
  Book Review
  Post Script

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A Solar Dream
With the advent of summer in our country, the need to invent a long-term sustainable mechanism in meeting up the soaring demand for electricity is felt anew. Your cover story “A Solar Dream” is a timely reminder that with a little effort and creative thinking we could solve our energy problems with our own natural resources.
Though organisations like Grameen Shakti have enthusiastically marketed the renewable energy solutions, these are still remarkably insufficient for the greater number of consumers and more organisations should proceed to provide these solutions to both the rural and urban populations.
Solar solution to supply power, works as a supportive system, not a system to ensure a nation-wide consistent power supply. On the way to achieving economic freedom, continuous power supply is a must to facilitate industrialisation and all sorts of infrastructural development. We must also think seriously about nuclear energy to meet our needs.
Sheikh Abdullah
Department of Finance
Dhaka University

Solar power is by far our most available energy source. To reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and to produce more electricity to drive our industries, we need to harness solar power. Your cover story (Our Solar Solution) deserves credit for highlighting this important issue. However, the writer calls Grameen Shakti's Dipal Chandra Barua the "father of solar energy in Bangladesh". This is an exaggeration. While Mr. Barua has been a pioneer from an entrepreneurial and business standpoint, your article fails to acknowledge the important work done by others, including BUET scientists, in making this technology more viable and accessible.
Anisur Rahman
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Relationship with India
Since Bangladesh's independence, India's attitude to Bangladesh has been changing day by day. The milieu of bilateral relations was excellent in the beginning and there existed a mutual confidence between the two powerful leaders i.e. Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Unfortunately, Bangladesh has not been treated with proper respect by its large neighbour. In bilateral disputes, India has ignored our national interests. This has been seen in many unresolved issues, e.g., the commission of Farakka Barrage, illegal barbed-wire fence on the border, owning of the Talpatty Island, enclave problems, regular shooting of Bangladeshis by India’s border guards and so on. The joint declaration of the Prime Ministers on May 16, 1974 said that the Farakka Barrage wouldn't be commissioned unless the two sides could "arrive at a mutually acceptable allocation of water available during periods of minimum flow in the Ganges". But, India came up with a proposal in 1975 to test the feeder canal to divert the waters of the Ganges. The Farakka Barrage was put into operation that year without deciding the allocation of waters of the Ganges. Mr Ram from India in 1977 in one of his visits to Dhaka, met President Ziaur Rahman and clinched a deal on the percentage of share of waters of the Ganges. The formula was 34,500 cusecs for Bangladesh and 20,500 cusecs for India. Experts have said India isn't abiding by this agreement. India has behaved like a 'big-brother' instead of a 'friendly' neighbour. Consequently, every year Bangladesh has to face severe economic loss and environmental problems.
Mohammad Khademul Islam
House: 19, Lane: 06, Block - I, Post Code # 4216,
Halishahar Housing Estate, Chittagong

Cattle from India
People of Bangladesh need millions of cows every year. Such huge numbers of cows are not found in Bangladesh. On the other hand, millions of villagers in neighbouring India rear cows for milk and to plough their farm lands. It is said that India produces highest quantity of milk in the world. They do not need the huge numbers of oxen and bulls which are born naturally every year. It is a burden to Indian farmers to feed bulls every day without getting any financial reward. They are relieved when they can sell these to anyone. These practical factors have led to an informal but regular trade of oxen and bulls between India and Bangladesh. An informal chain was developed to carry on this huge trade, which is illegal as per laws of both Bangladesh and India. Officially no government can accept smuggling. Indeed Bangladesh and India should initiate legal trading of ox and bulls by adopting internationally accepted export and import systems. We regularly get news that Indian border guards shoot and kill cattle smugglers in the border area. It is matter of regret that both Bangladeshi and Indian informal cattle traders become victims of such shootings. India and Bangladesh being friendly neighbours, this type of killing must stop immediately. Both Bangladesh and India can gain from legal import and export of cattle.
Md. Ashraf Hossain
8/ A, Ramna, Dhaka-1000

Our Teachers
Undoubtedly, teachers are the torchbearers of the nation. They mould and shape young minds. But it must be said that teachers are badly neglected in our country. Basically, the situation of Primary and Secondary school teachers is pitiful. The honorarium they receive for their profession is too meagre to sustain a normal life. Recently, we have come to know that the present government is going to set up an individual and timely Pay Commission for the teachers from primary to the tertiary level. The government is also going to make a sufficient budget allocation for Education system. These decisions are praiseworthy and fill me with optimism. Finally, I eagerly hope that the government would implement these decisions as soon as possible.
Md.Zahidul Islam Zibon
Dept. of English.
International Islamic University Chittagong


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