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     Volume 4 Issue 17 | October 15, 2004 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   A Roman Column
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News Notes

Khaleda-Hasina at Loggerheads Again
“Let the coming years be years of advancing the trend of our accomplishments. Let us all become vocal against all things evil, ugly and mean," Prime Minister Khaleda Zia said last Sunday in a 50-minute address to the nation over radio and television marking three years in office.
Khaleda, however, also cautioned that her government would not hold back from framing more stringent laws similar to that of other developed democratic countries of the world for eliminating terrorism and ensuring peace and security of public life. The PM also mentioned that the criminals responsible for the August 21 incident must be found out so that such incidents do not occur again. She said all possible measures have been taken by the government to track down the perpetrators.
The Prime Minister said people gave the alliance government the responsibility of running the country with an over-two-thirds majority and it would discharge its due responsibility.
Mainstream opposition parties, however, denounced her three-year rule, by describing the government inefficient and corrupt. The Awami League and its left allies called a general strike on October 10 to mark the three-year of the government's assumption of power.
AL supremo and the Leader of the Opposition, Sheikh Hasina, in her turn, asked the government to step down. In her speech at a local hotel on that day Hasina portrayed a grim picture of the country under Khaleda's rule.
"It is a recognised democratic norm to seek fresh mandate when a government loses confidence of the majority of people and for this, the present government has to resign to make way for an immediate election," Hasina, who survived an assassination attempt only days ago, said. She also alleged that the government has unleashed 'state terrorism' for political ends, as it has been killing the prospective leaders of the main opposition, sensing its defeat in the coming polls.
Hasina accused the government of not investigating the grisly grenade attack on a rally of her party on Bangabandhu Avenue on August 21. It seems that the evidence has been destroyed and the perpetrators are being protected.

An Untimely Death
Amadou Abdoulaye Maiga, born in Senegal, died at the age of 33 while serving as a UN volunteer in Burundi. Amadou was a former student of the Islamic University of Technology (IUT) Dhaka. He came to Bangladesh in 1999 to be a Basketball Coach at the Saint Francis Xavier Green Herald International School in Dhaka. A gifted educator and a passionate advocate for development through education, sports and volunteerism, he organised various inter-school basketball tournaments both in and outside Dhaka. He even took the children to basketball tours outside Bangladesh, believing sports to be an essential component of quality education and integral part of lifelong learning. In 2003, he began teaching French as a second language to students of class 5 to 8 in Green Herald International. He also provided private tuition to slow learners and counselled pre O-Level students.In 2004, Amadou became a United Nation Volunteer (UNV) Assistant Programme Officer. He established a football team of street children and together with UNV colleagues he designed a project for the children for the rural and urban areas of Bangladesh. Jointly with the UNV Team and other national volunteer organisations, he also initiated a special education programme to assist street children who lived and worked around the markets, to gain at least the basic reading, writing and calculating skills. On July 2004, Amadou left Bangladesh for Burundi to serve as UNV Assistant Programmer where he was assassinated. He left behind his wife Judith, a son and a daughter and will be missed by the street children, his family, his friends, his students, his colleagues and many others whose lives he has touched.

Jacques Derrida Died
French philosopher and founder of the deconstructionist school of philosophy died last Friday at the age of 74 in a Paris hospital. Deconstructionism is a controversial way of analysis that challenges the basis of traditional European thought. It argues that "every text has multiple layers of meaning, which even its authors might not understand and which leave it open to an endless process of reinterpretation".
Derrida was born in Algeria in 1930 and had studied at the Sorbonne. He was extremely weary of publicity; and according to the Daily Telegraph, he once demanded that "between 1962 and 1979 nothing appear in print about him other than the texts he and his interpreters had written". Derrida even refused to be photographed. The philosopher, however, appeared in a documentary about his life in 2002.
Peter Eisenman, an American architect who once worked with Derrida, described him as "not the kind of the guy to whom you say 'Hey come on Jacques, let's go and have a drink. The philosopher used to begin his speeches with a famous quote attributed to Aristotle--"Oh my friends, there is no friends".
Jacques Derrida published 50 books that have been translated into 22 languages. Lately the writer was tipped as a possible winner of this year's Nobel Prize. He is survived by his wife, Marguerite, a psychoanalyst, and their son.

Hostage Killed in Iraq
In what has been called 'deeply repugnant and utterly reprehensible', by the General Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, Iqbal Sacranie, after three long weeks in captivity British hostage, Ken Bigley, was executed last Thursday. His death was confirmed by the following day after a video of his last words and brutal decapitation was seen by the British Embassy in Baghdad.
Via a mystery intermediary, Jack Straw, British Foreign Secretary, was said to be in contact with Bigleys' captors, the al-Tauhid group led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqwai and believed rival of Osama Bin Laden. The group has already taken a number of hostages in Iraq from Korea, Bulgaria, Turkey and Egypt and was the first to post an execution video on the internet, the format of which is now all too familiar.
Bigley, a 62-year-old engineer, was taken hostage on September 16th along with two American colleagues who were executed almost immediately. His captors demanded the release of Iraqi women detained by the US led command in Iraq.
His death has initiated a series of inter-faith alliances in Britain. 'People of all religions have come together in this. We cannot have an eye for an eye or the world would be blind,' said Dr Shiv Pande, the Hindu vice-chairman of the Merseyside Council of Faiths. Liverpool, Bigleys' hometown, has seen mourners from all faiths adorning its streets.
Muslim leaders have agreed that tragedy could have been averted with the release of the female scientists. However, on a special envoy to Iraq during the first stages the negotiation procedures, Dr Abdullah of the Muslim Council of Britain, pointed out that, 'No atrocious act can be done in the name of Islam...it is un-Islamic to ask someone to bear the sins of another. Whatever the British command may have done, we don't believe a British national should be held responsible.'
Similarly, at a conference in Birmingham, a city with a strong Muslim community, speakers condemned the practices of terrorists who misuse the Islamic faith to justify 'barbaric and sinful actions, which have no place or basis in the Islamic creed.'

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