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     Volume 8 Issue 79 | July 24, 2009 |

  Cover Story
  Follow up
  Photo Feature
  In Retrospect
  Food for Thought
  Star Diary
  Book Review
  Star Diary
  Write to Mita
  Post Script

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The RMG Conspiracy
The RMG Mayhem at Savar shocked us all. Bangladesh earns nearly $7 billion a year by exporting textile and garments products, mainly to Europe and the United States. This is about 70 percent of total export earnings of the country. The RMG industry has around 4,000 units across the country. 90 percent of the workers are poor women. Whenever the country is criticized for its high level of corruption and confrontational politics, its garment industry is held up as a success story.
This most flourishing industry of Bangladesh has its dark side. A large number of the older units are located in dilapidated buildings. Sometimes the garments factories do not pay their workers properly. But in spite of all this, it has to be remembered that around 30-35 lakh people are now working in this sector. Most of the new factories are now compliant with international standards. The workers must be made to understand it is very tough for an industry owner to get an order from abroad. If there is no order, no employment will be created. It's now clear that there is a planned conspiracy to stall the country's industrial sector and to divert bulk volumes of foreign orders ahead of winter season. It is worth noting that this kind of “labour unrest” usually happens just before the peak season when the orders start to come in.
We hope the authorities will take firm steps to protect this industry in the interests of the nation. There has been enough talk. We do not want to see a repeat of the heinous act of arson at Ha Meem factory.
Sabrina Ahmad
IBAIS, Dhaka

Well Done, Tigers!

Once again we hear the roar of the unpredictable tigers, this time at Kingston in the Caribbian Islands under the leadership of the new captain Mashrafe-bin-Mortaza. This time the victim is West Indies who ruled the cricket world once. Bangladesh won their first test abroad and this was the second test win (in 60 test matches) after a four year long interval since 2005 against Zimbabwe. This victory was much needed for Bangladesh team after the poor show in T-20 Wolrd Cup. They played as a team in that match especially dashing opener Tamim and all-rounder Mahmudullah Riad played exceedingly well. Tamim, who was the nucleus of the batting line-up in the 2nd innings, got a superb century while Mahmudullah took 8 wickets in his maiden test placing himself in the same bracket as great cricketers. He did not make us feel the absence of Mashrafe who got injured and could not bowl in the 2nd innings. Bangladesh got this triumph when everybody was criticizing the tigers. This was really a good comeback to them. Well done tigers! Hats off to you! Keep it up!
Mohammad Zia-ul-Haque
English Department
International Islamic University Ctg.

Uyghur Muslims
Your article on Uyghur people informed us about the problems faced by Muslims in China. It is very much distressing that Uyghurs are not allowed to practise their religion freely. Its surely must be abuse of human rights. It is also sad that international community is looking the other way while Uyghurs are being wiped out. A lot is said about human rights abuse in Sudan, Indonesia, Iran etc but when Uyghurs suffer no one cares. Is it because they are Muslim? Let us call on China to allow the Uyghurs the basic freedoms they deserve. Every human being on earth has the right to practise his or her religion and culture.
Md. Abu Jafar
Jashimuddin Road
Uttara, Dhaka

Child Beggars
In Dhaka city and most of the other urban centres children are being used as beggars. This is done because children can easily allure and arouse sympathy from the passers by to pay them alms. Sometimes the children are forced to beg or sometimes they choose this profession to have two square meals a day. It is not only a risky profession but also unethical. Street children beg from dawn to dusk and sleep at night under the open sky on the street. We hear that they are fetched from villages or sometimes kidnapped at a young age and prepared for begging. It is a dark and evil business.
It is distressing when these beggars in grimy clothes approach people at traffic signals and even tug at their clothing. When foreigners see these children begging on the street, it has a negative impact on the image of the country. We hope the government and NGOs will come forward to rehabilitate the children and rid our streets of child beggars.
Mohammaed Zonaed Emran
Department.of Political science
University of Dhaka

Tipaimukh and Climate Change

I would like to thank the Daily Star for providing detailed coverage of the issue of the Tipaimukh Dam. Not only did the Star Magazine cover it as a lead story, there had been extensive discussions in other sections also. I myself have contributed in the “Law and Our Rights” section on this issue.
Climate change, though a global phenomenon, will have a particular impact on Bangladesh. Country Governance Analysis (CGA) carried out by UK government, identified climate change a major development challenge. By 2050, around 40% of Bangladesh will experience annual flooding affecting 50 million people and permanently displacing 10 million. Obviously, construction of Tipaimukh dam would add to the miseries of people living in the Surma-Kushiara-Meghna river basin.
The poorest people living in the Surma basin area would suffer most. Most of the disadvantaged living in the haors are connected to fishing and agriculture, and are entirely dependent on the gift of the rivers. Their livelihood would be affected with the construction of the dam. In order to protect their livelihood, a combined effort from all parties is badly needed. The government should engage development partners and civil society in the process.
Oli Md. Abdullah Chowdhury
Bondon b-4, Khasdobir, Sylhet.


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