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     Volume 6 Issue 47 | December 7, 2007 |

   Cover Story
   Food for Thought
   View from the    Bottom
   A Roman Column
   In Retrospect
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review

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Poignant Cover Photo
The cover photo of the SWM 'Razed to the Ground' caught my attention- a woman lying unconscious in the mud with a background illustrating unimaginable fury of the destructive Sidr. Corrugated sheets are torn apart here and there like pieces of paper and the muddy surface of the riverbank bearing the footsteps of the gorging tidal surge. With this backdrop, the posture of the poor woman lying on the mud was so pathetic that I could not resist my tears.
I have read many issues of the SWM but never before has any cover page struck me so emotionally. Kudos to the photographer Shafiq Alam. This particular photo definitely stands out from all other photos published by the Daily Star and other print media so far. This has once again demonstrated the immense power of photography. A photo, at times, can awaken the inner conscience of human beings penetrating the barriers of indifference, insensitivity and insulation surrounding it. I am sure that there have been many readers who were also moved by this photo. However, mere emotions are barely enough. We must stand beside these helpless people lending them our helping hands within our capacity to recover from the damage and to start a new life.
Md. Shaifur Rahman
Department of Computer Science, BUET

Crime against Humanity
I would like to thank Chintito for his article 'Losing Sleep' (November 23, 2007). It is very clear that Bangabandhu Shiekh Mujibur Rahman didn't pardon the war criminals. We were misled by the war criminals of Jamat-e-Islami. First they claim that this was a civil war and no war crimes were committed! Now they deny that they went against the liberation war. I have no idea how these people have the courage to deny such things.
The agony of those who lost their loved ones to the most heinous conspiracies is still overwhelming even today. The war criminals helped the Pak Army find everyone on their list, round them up or abduct them and then take them to various places where they were brutally tortured and murdered. The nation has been bottling up for the last few decades these wounds that have never been allowed to heal.
How did we as a nation allow razakars to stand up in parliament and make statements denying our history? How are these people allowed to participate in the politics of our country? In 1972, all forms of religion-based politics were abolished. It is surprising that General Ziaur Rahman abrogated the collaborator act and allowed religion-based politics. Unfortunately none of the governments were liberation minded. It is a shame that we must collectively bear and are obligated to make amends for.
Mahmud Rony
Ex-Khulna University Student

On the Cover Story "Razed to the Ground"
Cyclone Sidr has unleashed the helplessness of the human race as well as the shortcomings of our disaster prevention mechanism as disclosed in the timely cover story "Razed to the Ground" (November 23, 2007).
It is very distressing that Bangladesh can't efficiently manage the disasters that occur round the year that are becoming a part of our lives and tradition which has been hindering the rising potential of a developing country and making it dependent on foreign aid.
In line with the theory 'Survival of the fittest', the Bangladeshis have demonstrated overwhelming courage, determination, solidarity and perseverance to confront and adapt with the adversity of nature.
The government accompanied by the authorities concerned must develop and materialise the mechanism to lessen the damage caused by any further disasters and ensuring stability, regularity, efficiency in the field of planning, production and development in the future.
Amit Abdullah
Department Of Finance, DU

Remembering Sanjib Chowdhury
Sanjib Chowdhury's contribution to Bangla music is unforgettable. He along with Bappa Majumdar gave a new dimension to band songs in Bangladesh after they formed Dalcchut in 1996. With his death Bangladesh has lost one of its most devoted singers. We pray that his soul will be at peace after his death and hope that his band will maintain their excellence as before.
Farhana Hoque Panna
Dept. of Applied Statistics (I.S.R.T), DU

Missing the 'Write to Mita' Column
I am a regular reader of the SWM and I used to eagerly read the 'Write to Mita' column every week. But it is really frustrating for me that I have been missing the column for many weeks. I am requesting you to republish the column as it panders the people to give and receive opinions from the public domain. I will only be a satisfied fan and consumer if the column is published again.
Md Monowar Hussain
Department of Accounting
Jagannath University

An Appeal
Hurricane Sidr has left a trail of devastation in the coastal areas in a manner which is totally unbelievable. The aftermath of destruction is so frightening in some places that it is impossible to contemplate how people survived the fury of nature. The miseries and sufferings of people especially children is very distressing. Immediate help is needed for food, medical and other rehabilitation materials and these need to be provided right away. To demonstrate our genuine concern we must all come forward and show our support and solidarity to the cyclone affected people by generously donating in cash. We should cut down our expenses on clothes and sacrificial animals. Instead of spending money on sacrificial animals we should donate the money to the government relief fund. Let us all perform this Eid-ul-Azha in a most befitting manner. By doing so we will not only help the ill-fated people but will also go by the true feelings of Eid-ul-Azha as described in our holy book.
Humayun Hyder
Zigatola, Dhaka

The 'Yaba Babes'
The article 'Tale of the 'Yaba Babes'' (November 9, 2007) was thought provoking. The writer very correctly identified and discussed the way some of the newspapers covered the yaba news. Some of our newspapers often represent women in such way in many of their reports. Moreover, they pass verdict on an alleged offender long before his/her guilt has been proven in court, which is very unethical journalism. Journalists are expected to be the most responsible section of the society. We hope they will stop practising such unethical activities just to increase their circulation.
Jamshedul Karim
Department of Communication
& Journalism, CU

Submission Guideline:
Letters to the Editor, Dhaka Diary and Write to Mita, with the writer's name and address, should be within 200 words. All articles should be within 1,200 words. A cover letter is not necessary, but every write-up should include the writer's name, phone number and email address (if any). While SWM welcomes unsolicited articles and photographs, it cannot accept the responsibility of their loss or damage. SWM does not return unsolicited articles and photos. Response time for unsolicited write-ups range from three weeks to two months. All articles submitted are subject to editing for reasons of space and clarity.
All materials should be sent to: Star Weekend Magazine, 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215, Fax: 880-2-8125155 or emailed to: <starweekendmag@gmail.com>
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