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     Volume 9 Issue 44| November 12, 2010 |

 Cover Story
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Where is the Justice?

I was sad to read about Mizanur Rashid in the cover story of the Star Insight. It is a nation's tragedy that a person who raises his voice against injustice puts himself in danger and has no way of protecting himself or his family. What is strikingly pathetic are the follow up events of this situation. An honest family man with a keen sense of right and wrong speaks up, and gets beaten so severely by two identified miscreants that he dies soon after. The Daily Star does an expansive cover story and names him a "teacher, protester and victim". The follow up actions include the honorable PM offering Rashid's wife a government post and 1 lakh taka as compensation. The Dutch Bangla Bank gives the mourning family ten-lakh taka. What steps have been taken to find justice? The very concept and the very people that Rashid died for are not even addressed. Are those miscreants being punished? Will similar acts of stalking women and harassment be curtailed because swift action was taken and a clear message was sent to everyone that such behaviour will not be tolerated? As a person currently visiting from the States where freedom of speech is strongly upheld, it is tragic that in this country we merely glorify Mizanur Rashid as a “victim" and not a great leader who inspires others to do the same. The acceptance of this horrific event without severe consequences for the perpetuators will sadly seal the lips of future protesters and further escalate the arrogance of wrongdoers. I hope that those who caused the untimely death of Rashid face appropriate punishment that is also highly publicised and thus prove to this country that justice and righteousness will prevail at the end. Otherwise Rashid's death would have been in vain.

Salwa Khan
Johns Hopkins University

Ecological Hazard

Nowadays climate change is a burning question and one of the greatest challenges of our time. No country will be spared from the consequences of climate change. As a result of climate change our environment is facing ecological imbalance. The amount of carbon being released is increasing every moment. Many developed countries are apathetic towards this situation. They are emitting excessive carbon. They agree to help the third world countries to reduce the harmful effects of climate change but not to reduce the emission of carbon. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has already taken many steps such as reexcavating the Buriganga river. But we are overlooking our biggest mistakes. The builders/real estate companies are building multistoreyed sky scrapers where the lakes should be. These lakes are very important for the environment and are home to many different species of plants and animals.

On the other hand, most of the garbage generated in the city everyday ends up in the lakes and leads to the increase in Biochemical Oxygen Demand and Chemical Oxygen Demand, because extra oxygen is needed to decompose this garbage. As a result the variety of species of aquatic plants and animals are suffering from oxygen deficiency resulting in death and extinction. We are very close to an ecological imbalance. The urban life in the Dhaka city is getting worse day by day. The ever-increasing number of private cars is mainly responsible for this situation. Dhaka has earned the dubious distinction of being the second worst polluted and unlivable city in the world by a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Group. So government must take necessary steps or else we will have a major ecological hazard on our hands very soon.

Md Abu Bakar Siddique (Sohel)
Deparment of Botany

Tourist spots in Sylhet

We know that the enchanting beauty of Sylhet includes several tea gardens, the Madabkundo waterfall, the Lawachora forest, Jaflong, Hakaluki haor etc. We can use our natural resources to attract tourists and generate income for our country. The government should start taking the tourism sector more seriously because it will work to our advantage. If the government encourages the private sector to invest in the tourist industry, it will generate foreign currency and will lead to an expansion of the national economy. The government should really start to consider these options for the financial betterment of our country.

Subrata Ray
SUST, Sylhet

Eve-teasing: A Growing Concern

With utmost concern and indignation the nation has been witnessing the recent incidents of eve-teasing taking place across the country for the past few months. One after the other, women have been falling victim to stalkers and have subsequently chosen to commit suicide, sending a message, showing us how insecure they have been feeling in our society. There probably isn't another country in the whole world where women have been made to feel this way on a daily basis. The victims' families as well as concerned citizens have been helpless to do anything about the situation. Every time such an incident takes place, different representatives of the government make promises they never fulfill.

We are yet to see any punitive action being taken against these culprits. As reported in the media, some of the culprits are usually directly or indirectly involved in politics-- either with the ruling party or the opposition. For this reason, the victims' families feel threatened to proceed further with legal action. We are happy to see that the present government is taking an active interest in this matter with a view to bring the real culprits to book so that such events don't occur any more in the country.

We have already seen some female voices urging the government to consider eve-teasing a form of sexual harassment. It will be extremely helpful if we could enact a stringent law issuing severe punishment for the perpetrators of this crime. We will be losing more women in the near future unless and until these perpetrators are dealt with a firm hand. We don't want to hear about more incidents like the ones in Natore, Faridpur and Sirajganj. It is high time the authority concerned take effective steps and also make way for implementing them without any further delay.

Md Shoukat Ali
Sir AF Rahman Hall
University of Dhaka

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