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    Volume 9 Issue 5 | January 29, 2010|

  Cover Story
  Writing the Wrong
  Human Rights
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PM's Visit to India

The recently-concluded talks and the subsequent joint communiqué between Sheikh Hasina and Manmohon Singh have been greeted with mixed feelings in Bangladesh, if newspaper reports are taken as the means of measuring public reaction. After the tour, we did not see a seasoned and measured reaction from our leaders. The Prime Minister called the tour a 100 per cent success, while the opposition termed it a 100 per cent failure. Both positions seem extreme. Although the joint communiqué makes some pleasant observations, the people of Bangladesh would like to see some action.
In May 1974 the Mujib-Indira Agreement sought to resolve the issue of the Berubari-Dahagram dispute. According to Article 1.14 of the Agreement, India would take Berubari and Bangladesh would retain Dahagram while India would grant access to the enclave by giving permanent lease of a small strip of land called Tin-bigha corridor. Although Bangladesh handed over sovereignty of Berubari as part of the deal, India did not agree to Bangladeshi sovereignty over the corridor. Moreover, India went back on its word by failing to give permanent lease of Tin Bigha in 38 years. There are similar examples with water sharing of rivers.
The people of Bangladesh would love to see the bilateral relations between the two countries to reach a higher plane to the benefit of both the peoples. Again, something has to be done about sharing of water of common rivers on which the survival and progress of the people of this deltaic land depends. Thus, while Bangladesh has demonstrated its eagerness to develop bilateral relations, it should get reciprocal responses from India on the questions of trade, water sharing and regional connectivity. Without reciprocity it would be difficult for the government to implement the agreements, MOUs and assurances.
It was bizarre to see the Prime Minister quoting Duryodhan, a character from Mahabharata, in a press conference following her return. Alluding to her "victorious" tour of India, she echoed Duryodhan's boast that he did not "seek happiness but victory". It is worth mentioning that Duryodhan said this immediately after committing the foul act of driving his cousins the Pandavas out of their kingdom and stripping their wife Draupadi. Couldn't Sheikh Hasina have chosen a better quotation?
Rafiqul Islam
School of Business
Independent University Bangladesh

Stop Abuse of Mobile Phones!

In recent years, the mobile phone has proved its usefulness in everyday life. It has added a new dimension to the communication sector. But with the growth and popularity of the device, it turns out some odious troublemakers often violate the terms of use. Quite frequently, these people use the phone to harass others. For instance, mobile phone users, especially the females, often get unsolicited calls from unknown people at odd hours. These evil-doers aim to harass the receivers with inappropriate words. It turns most unbearable late at night. But it is a matter of sorrow that when the unfortunate victims complain to their concerned customer care hotlines about the particular disturbing calls and ask them to take effective steps, the officials usually answer that they can do nothing immediately. Rather they recommend that the sufferers should go to the nearest customer service point to fill out a form and make a specific complain to the concerned authority. But how is that possible at midnight? Besides, it is a long process and meanwhile the criminals can easily change the number. Though some operators have already launched the 'Call blocking service' to terminate the disturbing calls, it cannot attain its aim due to its high charge. That is why, it is highly desirable that the mobile phone operators should reduce the respective service charges and make it easy to block such misuse of the mobile phone.
Ashim Kumar Paul
Department of English
Govt. Edward College, Pabna

Erratic Supply of Gas
For the last two months, people residing in Lalbag, Azimpur, Moghbazar, Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Mugdapara, Basabo, Gandaria, Shekhertek, Golapbagh, Dakkhin Khan and Nilkhet areas have had little or no gas supply for up to ten hours every day.
Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd recently asked the government to keep CNG filling stations in Dhaka as well as Narayanganj closed for two days a week throughout winter, which would ease the gas crisis. But are these stop gap measures enough? The priority for the government should be to find sources of energy. Otherwise we will pay a big price down the road. The government should take measures to make Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) containers accessible in parts of the city where gas crisis is acute. This would help people cook easily.
We the sufferers want this situation to be resolved as quickly as possible.
Shohag Mostafij
MBA-Stream: Strategic & International Management (SIM)
University of Dhaka

Violence at Dhaka University
The outburst of violence which occurred at Dhaka University on January 18 is really shocking news especially for the students of the university. Surely it will have a bad impact on the educational environment of DU. But the reality is that outsiders were much more involved in the violence than the students. Those armed outsiders through their violent activity made the whole area restless. They carried and used firearms openly which made the students and the general people frightened. As a result we saw students as well as common people rushing here and there during the clashes. Classes couldn't be held which will hamper academic progress of the students. Such activity cannot be tolerated in a democratic society. It is regrettable that the police were standing by and took little or no action to stop the violent clashes. We hope the authorities will get a grip on the situation, and the political parties will rein in their unruly supporters who practice violence in the name of politics.
Foyjul Islam
Khilkhet, Dhaka

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