George Galloway, the British MP of the 'Respect party' visited Bangladesh lately with a 17-member delegation. He held talks on various issues including poverty alleviation, human rights, and the environment. Galloway's comments on the thorny issue of the Tipaimukh Dam were interesting. He called for an international investigation into the impact of building such a dam on the Barak river in the Tipaimukh region of India. He further suggested that Tipaimukh is not a matter for Bangladesh and India only. According to him it is an international matter because climate and environment are related to this issue. According to Galloway, along with Sylhet, the north-eastern region of Bangladesh and some parts of India will be affected by this dam. Moreover it would create problems in river management in the Surma basin. Replying to a question, he mentioned that Indian immigrants too protested in front of the Indian High Commission in London against construction of this large dam. The governments of India and Bangladesh should take into account the comments made by this British MP regarding this critical issue.
International Islamic University
The Facebook Generation
Bangladesh has been exposed to the internet relatively recently, and until now many parts of the country do not have internet access. However, in the urban areas web-based social networking utilities like Facebook have taken root. The younger generation is into Facebook big time! Many students spend hours communicating with friends and family via facebook. Although it is extremely useful, security concerns are also there. In many cases people become so hooked on Facebook that they neglect their social duties in the real world. Bangladeshi Facebook users should be careful while using such networking sites, and also refrain from vulgarity and obscenity. Let it really be a social network for everybody.
Ahsan Uddin Tohel
Department of English
Shah Jalal University of Science and Technology
The Month of Victory
December is the month of victory for Bangladesh. The glorious Victory Day and the Martyred Intellectuals Day fall in this month. The people of Bangladesh observe this month as 'Bijoyer Mash’ and people also observe the Martyred Intellectuals Day and the Victory Day with due respect to all freedom fighters during this time. On December 16, 1971, Bangladeshi achieved its long awaited victory over the Pakistani occupation forces after the long bloody months of the liberation war. In 1971 this month marked the victory of Bengali nationalism, victory for the people of Bangladesh and also the victory of our friends around the world who actively helped and supported us in our time of need. The role and significance of this month are unlimited in our national life. In this month we achieved an independent country. The valiant freedom fighters gave us our country and we as a people are indebted to them. Let the Month of Victory be a source of inspiration for our entire nation.
Mohammed Jamal Uddin
An Incomplete Portrayal?
I am a Bangladeshi living in Australia and I visit my homeland only for three months every year. During those three months I read up on old issues of the Star Magazine. I have been doing this for years and I love the magazine as it provides insight into life in Bangladesh. But the cover story of the November 27 issue (The Original Sin) upset me.
I agree with the positive portrayal of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the magazine. However, there were many negative aspects of the Awami League rule (1972-1975) which should have been covered in the interest of objective journalism, since they directly impacted the events of 1975. For example, the banning of newspapers and restrictions on freedom of expression imposed by his government. Even the political parties were banned which led to the resignation from parliament of leaders such as Ataul Gani Osmani. Too many things were left out which would have contributed to a full understanding of the events of 1975 and the reactions of the nation including the behaviour of Awami League leaders.
Every story has two sides but the “other side” of this story was not covered in detail. There was only one sentence which indicated the other side of the story: "beginning from the partially flawed leadership of Sheikh Mujib which set off the killings in the first place." I think that is not sufficient and unfair to people who do not know the history well enough or were not even there at the time.
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