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    Volume 9 Issue 19| May 7, 2010|

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The Simple Joy of Folk Music

Music nourishes us, touches our emotions very strongly, we laugh or cry just by listening to various soulful tunes. Among various types of music, folk music touches almost everyone. But it is true that we are not conscious about a huge number of unknown folk musicians who have a great potential to gain popularity by using modern instruments and technology. Especially, when we participate in different social functions, such as marriage ceremonies, in remote rural areas we see village women sing very sweet songs without instruments where lyrics and tunes are extremely melodious. As these types of songs are written by various talented artists like Radharaman Datta, it will be very good news for us if the concerned authorities pay attention to saving these songs. We should patronise folk musicians and also boost folk music by helping them with modern instruments. It would also be a service to the nation if some individual or department worked to market this type of song to the wider audience.
Subrata Ray
Department Of Business Administration
Shahjalal University Of Science & Technology, Sylhet

PPP for Better Governance
In this fiscal budget there is a handsome allocation to initiate public private partnership (PPP). But although ten months have gone by, the outcome is zero. We have failed, in the last three quarters, to initiate a single instance of PPP venture.
All over the world the governments do not get involved in business operations directly. They formulate policy for the given sectors and ensure a competitive environment for all of the participants. If someone wants to break the law, concerned authorities just take steps to rein them in. But in Bangladesh, we see the government bodies often fail to act in time. As a result, good governance is hampered and development projects slow down. PPP could break this evil cycle and ensure a more dynamic environment.
Decentralisation is a key factor of successful global organisations. Our gas, electricity, water, coal, sea ports can be managed by independent bodies easily. There is a fear of 'bogus boo' regarding these sectors. But what has happened in case of the telecom industry? Is it a losing sector now? On the contrary, the government is getting a handsome amount of revenue. Only some corrupt employees of the state have lost their personal source of income. This may be the reason why vested quarters are opposing PPP projects. If it succeeds once, their additional and illegal income will be stopped.
In the upcoming budget discussions, it will be said that the government has totally failed to spend the allocation for PPP. But the government has to find out the reason. You have to break the vicious cycle of corruption and greed. At least a single example should come forward before the upcoming budget proposal.
Md. Abdul Hamid
Assistant Professor
Department of Business Administration
Shahjalal University

Justice Delayed and Denied
Around 15 students have been killed within 20 years in Chittagong University (CU) but no murderer has been brought to justice. Whatever reasons lie behind these murders and the failure to solve them, it is an outrage and a stain on the good name of the university. As a student of the 2008-09 session, I was there when three murders were committed. Such violent incidents threaten to become commonplace. News of murders on campus makes daily headings in our national newspapers. Of the recent deaths, the first two victims named Mohiuddin and Kaiser were claimed to be Shibir men by the organisation although according to our national dailies and media, they didn't belong to any political party. However, we often see that if the unfortunate victim is a 'general' student without party affiliation, there is no one to speak out or agitate in favour of justice. As a result, the government takes no action. An example of this was seen in the case of the late Abu Baqar, student of Dhaka University, who was murdered a few months ago. The cause may be that law enforcement agencies are not working neutrally. But we saw that after the death of a BCL activist at Rajshahi University the police swung into action. In the recent case of murder on CU campus, Asaduzzaman, a student of Accounting, 2nd year was killed. According to the media, he was killed by his own party men during a clash between Chhatra League and ex-Chhatra League (local faction). Will this be another case of justice delayed and ultimately denied?
Md. Mohin Uddin Mizan
Department of English
University of Chittagong

Cricket on the Street

Old Dhaka is well known for its interesting architecture and historical buildings, many of them still used, as every square inch is important in this overcrowded city. Hundreds of power cables, elaborately designed (but crumbling) facades, balconies and arched windows make old Dhaka a fascinating but frustrating place. However, during a recent visit, I was disappointed to observe that a large number of children were playing cricket on the road. With many vehicles plying on the street, a serious mishap could take place. In addition it was disturbing for the passersby, who might be wary of being hit between the eyes by a cricket ball. Children need physical exercise in order to grow up as healthy adults, but playing on the street is dangerous. I draw the attention of the authorities to arrange playgrounds for these young people.
Rotarian Biplob
Rotaract Club of Chittagong University.

In last week's cover story “The Case for Coal” the number of casualties in the Phulbari shooting of August 2006 was given as five. Although various claims were made by local sources and the news media, the law enforcement agencies asserted that three people were killed.

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