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    Volume 9 Issue 27| July 2, 2010|

 Cover Story
 Writing the Wrong
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Much Ado About Nothing

The oft-quoted proverb “much ado about nothing” seems strangely appropriate for our politicians. Before they come to power, they promise many things in a honeyed voice, but once they are in power, they never utter a peep about those campaign promises. This time around it is no different. The present ruling party made a lot of commitments about its progressive agenda and its plans for the welfare of the people. People believed them, and started dreaming about din bodol -- a new era. But although a year and a half has passed, there are no signs of our expectations being fulfilled. The Awami League seems to be practicing the same old shortsighted politics with a vengeance.
People had hoped that democracy would be consolidated, freedom of the press would be enhanced and the rule of law would be established. But our hopes have been dashed in the last few months. BTV did not get autonomy. The black law Speedy Trial Act was renewed. Freedom of the press is under threat. The government has unleashed repression on media outlets and journalists. TV stations and newspapers are being closed down, and journalists thrown into jail. This is not the sign of good governance. We hope the ruling party will come to its senses before it is too late.
Amit Das
BSS (Hons), Sociology
Chittagong University

Soiled Notes

We know that Bangladesh Bank is the central controller of money and home of the national reserve. But I don't know why Bangladesh Bank never handles the notes cautiously. When I go to the banks I see the bundles are not properly packaged or sewn. In this way they actually damage the notes before its life span is over. This results in harassment for us since people don't want to take torn or soiled bank notes. The central bank should issue guidelines regarding how bank notes should be transported and handled.
Jony Khan
Department of Business Administration
Shahjalal University of Science & Technology

Education and Morality
Morality and education are inseparable. Real education does not only mean religious education, but there is a dire need for education on morals. The life of great religious leaders or philanthropists is the main source of moral lessons. Due to the present situation of our country social ills such as eve teasing, suicide, fratricide, abuse of elders etc are becoming common phenomena. All this seems to indicate that we are lagging behind in real education. Can a properly educated person indulge in so-called eve teasing? It is clear that there is a huge gulf here that needs to be bridged. The main aim of education must be to develop the students not only in terms of efficiency but also give them a moral base. As Aristotle says, education is the harmonious development of body, mind and soul. A real education depends not only on certificates but also gives people a sense of right and wrong. Ethics and morality should be included along with religious studies in every class in order to shape the young minds. For this purpose, the school syllabus should be revised..
Md Zahidul Islam Zibon
Department of English
International Islamic university Chittagong

Chilling Out
In recent times I have seen many articles and letters where the writers spewed venom against hoisting other nation's flags during the World Cup. They are saying that it is kind of a cultural assault on us. Although I thought so once, I don't think so any more. As we are living in troubled times where misery, uncertainty and insecurity surround us, we have forgotten to smile. The Nimtoli tragedy, our government's crazy politics, load shedding and traffic jam these things are making us sad, gloomy and lethargic. So hoisting a Brazilian or Argentine flag and enjoying ourselves for a while does offer some respite. We need to chill out sometimes. It's all good fun.
Iftekhar Rajib
North South University

Withdraw ban on import of chicks

The hatchery owners have been charging higher price for chicks for the last couple of months that has pushed poultry egg and bird prices exorbitantly high. As a consequence, thousands of SME poultry farms could not make sustainable profit and a good number of those face closure. We have been observing for a few months that a handful of hatchery owners who invested huge sums, in connivance with one another, have been charging Tk70.00 for a day-old chick. In fact if business ethics is followed price of a chick should not be more than Tk20.00. People observed in the recent past that when the government decided to allow the import of chicks, hatchery owners called press conference and misled the public that the Indian chicks would bring bird flu and destroy thousands of poultry farms in the country. In fact they are jeopardising the poultry farms by charging irrationally high prices. They managed to persuade the government decision makers to impose ban and other restrictions on import of one-day-old chicks.
The government here has not followed the simple principal of democracy “for the people, of the people, by the people”. The government must take care of the interests of all stakeholders, especially that of consumers. But it only protected the interest of big hatchery owners. This is a conspiracy to monopolise the poultry business. Democratically elected AL government must not continue such policy to the detriment of the country. The decision to ban import of chicks has caused the public to purchase an egg for Tk5.50 to Tk7.00 and to purchase live birds Tk140.00 to Tk145.00 per Kg. Government should withdraw all sorts of restrictions on import. When the price of chicks will come down to Tk20.00 a piece in the local market, restriction on import could be considered. The interest of only a handful of rich hatchery owners should not be protected at the cost of thousands of SME poultry firm owners as well as millions of consumers.
Md Ashraf Hosain

In the article titled 'Discovering the Excellence' printed in last week's issue on 25 June 2010, 'The Department for International Development' inadvertently came out as 'The Department for International Department.' We regret the error.

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