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    Volume 9 Issue 18| April 30, 2010|

  Cover Story
  Special Feature
  Human Rights
  Food for Thought
  One Off
  Book Review: Sailing   through history with   Azizul Jalil
  Book Review: The   Last of the Bhuttos
  Star Diary
  Write to Mita
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Digital Bangladesh Indeed!
Almost a year and a half has passed with the new government at the helm. We were promised a Digital Bangladesh by the ruling party, and it was something that caught the imagination. But have we progressed towards realising the dream? We all talk about digital Bangladesh but whenever we take one step forwards we seem to take two steps back. For a digital future, adequate power supply is essential, which we greatly lack! The government seems to lack direction when it comes to solving the power crisis. Whether it is an urban or a rural area, load shedding is everyone's nightmare. There is a lot of discussion going on in seminars and symposiums but again there's no solution. The government talks about giving immense numbers of computers to schools and colleges, but don't we need power to operate that? The government says that uninterrupted power supply is a necessity in rural areas for irrigation. No doubt, irrigation is essential but does that mean the rest of the country has to suffer? The government has tried various methods such as Daylight Saving Time, closing shopping malls, staggering office hours etc. But all to no avail. Meanwhile, the power crisis has reached unprecedented levels. It is strange that the policymakers are not striking at the root cause of the problem. There just isn't enough electricity being produced in the country. Instead of going for more power generation on an urgent basis, the government is busy with short-term measures that can only be called gimmicks!
Mahbuba Sharmeen Preema
Penfield School, Dhaka

Electricity and Blame Game

The most burning issue in our country at the moment is the electricity crisis and it has to be said sometimes it is more important than food crisis. Although food is the most fundamental need, power drives the factory that creates jobs, which in turn put food on the table. Power makes it possible to run the pumps that irrigate the fields. Therefore we must ensure smooth power supply to fulfil the most fundamental needs of our people. In this respect our present government seems to be indifferent. The government does not seem keen to set up new power plants in order to solve the crisis. Rather they are practicing the old habit of blaming the previous government. Every government tries to avoid responsibility by saying that the terrible situation is the work of the past regimes, so there is very little they can do. We want relief from this blame game. It is the government's responsibility to ensure smooth supply of power because it is the backbone of the economy. The authorities should have the vision to ensure energy security in the medium and long term.
Md. Mojibur Rahman
Department of Business Administration
Shahjalal University

Northeast Under Water!

Bangladesh is a land of rivers. As agriculture is the mainstay of the people of our country, rivers play a vital role in cultivation. But sometimes, rivers don't seemed to be friendly at all. A few days ago, leading newspapers reported that a huge amount of paddy has been damaged due to untimely and extreme flooding in the greater Sylhet region.
Many areas in Sunamganj, Moulvibazar, Habiganj and Sylhet districts have gone under water due to flash floods. Farmers of Tahirpur and Guainghat upazilas have urged the authorities to declare their upazilas 'distressed areas'. Companyganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer said hundreds of affected people were gathering at his office but he could not help them due to lack of required funds. Water level was increasing in all the rivers in Chaatak under Sunamganj. Haors of 13 unions of the upazila have gone under water severely affecting Boro paddy. More than 3,500 hectares of boro paddy went under water in Jaintapur, Kanaighat and Goainghat upazilas in Sylhet
The villagers of the affected area tried to save their harvest from being flooded. But the effort was unsuccessful. This is not an isolated occurrence. Since the haor areas grow only a single crop, loss of the crop is a terrible blow for food security in the region. The ultimate loser is the poverty-stricken farmer. The government should take necessary steps to establish suitable embankments on the riverside on an urgent basis.
Khondoker Rezwan Tanvir
Dept. of Business Administration
Shahjalal University of Science & Technology, Sylhet

Crazy Politics
We all know that Jamuna Multi-Purpose Bridge was named Bangabandhu Bridge but it was changed to Jamuna Bridge during the tenure of the BNP. But after some years the name was again changed to the previous one. Although this may be justified we noticed with surprise that our Prime Minister declared that the name of Zia International Airport should be changed. She also said that through this she would teach the opposition a lesson. But the way I see it, the Prime Minister could have said, "We could change the name of Zia International Airport, but we won't!" Wouldn't that be a better lesson for the opposition?
Unfortunately, the government of change seems unable to rise above the old ways. As a result, politics these days resembles an immature fight between children. In this crazy political arena, the leaders seem careless about the loss to our economy. As a result, we, the citizens are the sufferers.
Neha Sabnam
Dinajpur Government College

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