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     Volume 6 Issue 28 | July 20, 2007 |

   Cover Story
   Straight Talk
   Human Rights
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review

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On 'Connecting the Nation'
I cannot but agree with the authors of the article 'Connecting a Nation' (July 13, 2007) that in developing countries the foundation of development is unrestrained communication. In a way, communication leads to democracy and democracy to eradication of poverty.
Mobile phones, as in other countries of the world, brought a revolution in communication in Bangladesh. I can still remember in the 90s people queuing up in front of a 25 paisa coin box telephone for hours on end to make a call. Today mobile phones are available to everyone. Thanks to the popularity of the technology Bangladesh has made great leaps in the communication era.
Unfortunately, Bangladesh still has a long way to go to bring the whole country under the land phone network. The mobile phone service providers are aware of this weakness and are taking advantage of that. They are dictating the service charge and the service standard which needs to be upgraded to catch up with the benchmark. Consumers should have the right to demand a standard service at a reasonable cost.
Kamil Khan
Varby, Sweden

Noy Number Bipod Sangket:
Not Worth its Hype

Noted writer and film director Humayun Ahmed is a household name in our country and people have high expectations from his work. But sometimes his works are overrated. He is one of the best writers of this country with a sharp sense of humour. His character 'Baker bhai' from the drama serial Kothao Keu Nei is firmly etched in our memory. In fact, no other writer has depicted the lives of the middle class as well as him. His film 'Shamol Chaya' beautifully portrayed our glorious liberation war.
But I am really disappointed with his latest film Noy Number Bipod Sangket. The film is devoid of any genuine comedy. We had high expectations from this movie because of all the media hype. We have much higher expectations from a creative person like him, Noy Number Bipod Sangket, is nothing but cheap entertainment and hard to swallow.
Nazmus Saquib
Basaboo, Dhaka

On 'The Big Break-up'
Democracy had long been clogged down in the murky closet under the clutches of the corrupt politicians of the country. The caretaker government has done an appreciable work to clean up the corruption of the country.
The 'Big Break-up' (July 06, 2007) on the SWM was a true reflection of the craving of political leaders to hold on their positions of power, the fragile political liaisons, the cleansing drive etc.
Khaleda Zia, Sheikh Hasina, HM Ershad and some other leaders have agreed on reforms within their parties but do not want to be removed as party chiefs. The deeds of the politicians do not reflect any democracy, which they claim was the nature of their rule. Some of them, under the cover of democracy were practicing dynastic politics, only to be broken down under the present circumstances. It is high time we strengthen our principles and attitudes and try to make Bangladesh a peaceful and prosperous country.
Mohammad Shafiqul Islam
Lecturer, Department of English
Metropolitan University, Sylhet


In the last few years the word 'politician' has been very successfully replaced by the word 'fraud'. A sudden upheaval has changed everything and the so-called leaders have all found themselves in jail for their mindless corruption. The rest of the leaders who are still free are busy with reform proposals. It's a very good sign. There is a general consensus that reform is necessary.
Mannan Bhuiyan in his proposal has declared that one cannot hold the post of chairperson for more than two terms. But will Madam Zia accept this? Our leaders forget that democracy does not only mean elections. How can a country be democratic in nature if its major political parties don't practice it? AL has deviated from its secular nature. It definitely needs a new and dynamic leader. I believe, sooner or later AL will realise they need to play a role to protect Bangladesh from Islamic fundamentalists. Bangladesh has immense potential and the whole world needs to know that. Thanks to the author for the wonderful cover story "The Big Break-up".
Jewel Rana
BAU, Mymensingh

Voice against Poverty
I must congratulate the band 'Bangla' on their great efforts to voice against poverty at the anti-poverty concert "Your voice against poverty" in Rostock, Germany while the G8 summit was going on. I would like to thank SWM for the article “Bangla's Voice against Poverty” (June 22, 2007).
Poverty, no doubt is a great curse for us. Though, the 33rd G8 summit has taken decision to help Africa and other developing countries to fight against AIDS, poverty, it is not enough to remove poverty if they do not consider for the poorest countries where the people are living under various crises.
I think it is high time that the rich countries spend more on uplifting people out of poverty instead of spending so much of their money on war.
Ashim Kumar Paul
Department of English
Govt. Edward College, Pabna

A Tragic Episode
The news that nine people of the same family including children committed suicide under a moving train in Mymensingh the other day was shocking indeed. They tragedy took place under very mysterious circumstances. There have been some speculations that these people had converted to another religion and had been cut off from their circle for quite some time.
The diaries they left behind might come to help to reveal the mystery. Yet, the news of their prior preparation of making coffins and graves before their death splinters the mystery. These people must have been going through a lot of pain for them to decide to end their lives like this.
Rafiqul Islam Rime

Child Labour
Child labour is one of the biggest curses of the 21st century. Child labour, especially employment of children in hazardous grown-up work, is a complete violation of human rights. Unfortunately this has become very accepted in our society. The main cause behind this is poverty and its insidious effects. In a family of five or six children, the parents really don't have a choice but to send some of their kids to work to fill their empty stomachs. And these poor and helpless children don't have a choice but to do back-breaking work all day. In return they are rewarded with all kinds of abuse and deprived of their parents love and ultimately their childhood.
While most of us spend money buying MP3s and iPods we never think about the state of these kids, or spare any of our money on them. It is a real shame that we, as human beings, don't come to the help of our fellow human beings. When will we as a nation learn to do that?
RPATC Officers Quarter

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