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     Volume 7 Issue 12 | March 21, 2008 |

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Hasina in Hospital
Last week, Judge Firoz Alam of the special court hearing the graft case of detained former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed his displeasure over the relocation of the Awami League president from the jail to the hospital, saying the decision was not authorised properly by the court. The judge has shown his dissatisfaction as the leader failed to show up in court, and instead of sending him an official document stating the reasons for her absence, the jail authorities, according to a newspaper report, produced two 'loose sheets' of paper, one stating that she was too unwell to be present at court because she was in the hospital, and the other was a document from Square Hospital, where Hasina is now being treated.
The former premier was admitted to the hospital on March 11, after complaining about having persistent noise in her ears as well as losing sensation on the right side of her face and inclining to the right while walking. A team of three physicians initially examined her and surmised that she would have to be hospitalised immediately.
It should be mentioned here that Abdul Jalil, the general secretary of her party, has been sent to Singapore at the beginning of this month on a 30-day parole as he has developed heart and kidney problems, which has been compounded by diabetes. Sheikh Hasina, meanwhile, on several occasions reiterated her wish to be treated abroad; her personal physicians also insist that her hearing aid can only be fixed in the US.

To Consume or Not to Consumed
Chips, chocolate, ice-cream, soft drinks. Some of the yummiest food -- more than staple for some of us -- are the ones which can do us a lot of harm. It is to protect against this that parents in the West have campaigned for the media not to advertise them during children's programmes, making them seem appealing enough for kids to choose them over nutritious food. It is also for this reason that consumers in Bangladesh have started advocating for enactment of a consumers' rights protection act which would allow legal action to be taken against producers of sub-standard and adulterated food. This was the gist of the demands made on World Consumers Rights Day earlier this week. Speakers at the various meetings and rallies organised for the day also expressed their concerns over junk food and its possible effects such as heart disease, blood pressure and cancer as well as obesity, dental damage and loss of appetite. A consumer rights protection act would allow people to know what they are buying and whether the returns are justified. Under consumer protection acts around the world, consumers are guaranteed protection against the marketing of goods and services hazardous to life and property; to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods and services as well as competitive prices; the right to be heard and to seek legal redress against unfair trade practices and the right to consumer education. In our country, where even the most reputed shops and restaurants sell and serve sub-standard, adulterated and sometimes just rotten food or dishes with insects in them, educating the consumer about their rights and giving them the scope to seek justice is quite obviously essential.

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