November 2007

I saw Elachi’r Ma several days ago. She was in TV news. She probably will be in late twenties or early thirties. She was wearing what all Bangladeshi poor women wear. A plain grey/green Sari with Black Par and a Nakful. She was looking exceedingly fresh, most likely she just had bath before talking to TV crew.

And the poor people of Bangladesh, My God, are very camera smart. They will talk clearly and in an articulate manner without any shyness, nervousness or hesitation.

The TV crew wanted to talk to Elachi’r Ma because only half an hour before arrival of the TV crew, Elachi’r Ma buried the decomposed body of her six year old daughter. Her daughter is one of those killed in Cyclone Sidr.

In Satyajit Ray movie Gupi Gayen Bagha Bayen the ghost king (   ভুতের রাজা ) gave three ” বর” (Boon) to Gupi and Bahga. With these three boons Gupi and Bagha conquered the kingdom and his two daughters and did a lot of good things. Although the Ghost king only had three boons to give away, he ghost kings that has been running our Ghost kingdom apparently have a never ending supply of boons. And their boons usually are in one single form, i.e. ambassadorship to foreign kingdoms.

Three recent ambassador posting reminded me of the ghost king.  Some of these postings definitely raise concern about their appropriateness and justification. Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya was given the most vital post of the permanent rep at Geneva UN mission. This very important diplomatic job usually went to brightest of the foreign service officials. And this job needs diplomatic depth, experience and insight. And for sure this is definitely not a job where you need expertise in conspiracy. Dr Bhattacharya’s activities of last five years are laudable. But with change of government, his sudden silence, sudden collapse of his good candidate movement, his sudden blindness on what is going on in the election commission made people wonder about the real intentions of his last five years activities. Now his reward job tend to clear up many confusions.
Then comes two other top missions in Canada and Australia. This government has decided to award one Syed Fahim Munaem as ambassador to Canada. First it’s worth mention that with increasing number of Bangladeshi migrants in Canada and as a country with huge potential for a labor/manpower market as well as an importer of our RMG products, the Ottawa mission needed an experienced and dynamic diplomat. This Syed Fahim Munaem was a disaster as CA’s press secretary.  I can’t believe his abject failure is a reason for his reward. So there must be something else that won him the boon. And it does not need too much wisdom to guess that his managing skill as managing editor of the Daily Star helped pave 1/11 and the benefactors of 1/11 owe someone some payback. (more…)

When in 1952 the students of Dhaka university took to streets in demand of announcing Bengali as the state language, defied rule 144 and was fired upon, the leader of pakistan was Khawaja Nazimuddin of Dhaka Nabab Bari. And clearly his ordered the police shooting that killed Rafiq, Jabbar, Shafiur, Salam, Barkat and 9 year old Ohiullah. Khawaja Nazimuddin took over the governorship of Pakistan after the sudden death of Mr M A Zinnah and became the prime minister after assasination of Liakat Ali Khan. Even after the killing of 21 st february when there was strong pressure/emotion both from the east and the west side of the country to announce Bangla as the state language, Khawaja Nazimuddin refused to yield to any pressure to recognize Bangla. And he did not let it happen as long as he was the prime minister. Later Mohammad Ali Bogra of Bogra Nabab Bari, after becaming prime minister, did take the steps to recognize Bangla as the state language. (more…)

[26 Nov Update: Verdict was not given yesterday. Six imprisoned teachers — RU vice-chancellor Professor Dr Saidur Rahman Khan, Professor Abdus Sobhan of the Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, Associate Professor Moloy Kumar Bhowmik of the Department of Management, Selim Reza Newton, Dulal Chandra Biswas and Abdullah al Mamun of the Department of Mass Communications — were brought to court in a prison van. They were taken to the courtroom downstairs instead of Judge Ruhul Amin’s scheduled courtroom upstairs, at 10.00 a.m. the court peshkar came and announced that the verdict would be given on Tuesday Dec 4, 2007. Interestingly, defence lawyers had not been informed of the change of plans as is courtroom norm. According to courtroom gossip, the honorable judge suddenly went off to Dhaka on Nov 22, reportedly for 4 days training. All concerned had assumed that scheduled verdict date of Nov 25 would be postponed. However, on Nov 24 it was learnt that the court would convene (as scheduled) on the 25th. On the 25th morning, prisoners were brought to court but the judge did not come. Some say he had not returned to Rajshahi, that he was on his way back from Dhaka. Others say he had returned, but had not come to the courthouse, he was at home. Court gossip says he was asked to go to Dhaka because someone way up, high-up had wanted to talk to him. Why the change in verdict dates? The other RU teachers case — Professor Sabbir Sattar Tapu, Professor Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan Sajal, teachers in the Department of Geology and Mining, both have been accused of setting fire to a vehicle belonging to the DGFI — is drawing to a close. The argument is scheduled for Nov 27, on that same date, the verdict date will be announced in court. Court hearing for Dhaka University professors Anwar Hossain and others is scheduled for Nov 28, charges to be framed on that day, charge-framing has been twice postponed this last one month. (more…)

Storm 1991 victimsidr6.jpg

Urir Char 1991                            Ashar Char 2007

Your help is needed to feed the cyclone ravaged hungry children, women and men. Footage from Bangladesh TV channels have been very disturbing to watch lately. Poor people, as always, have been worst affected. Men lost his teenage son, mother waiting for her missing children. Over that they are all hungry.  All they need some rice to cook and eat.  Please donate. Even $1 from you can buy a family much needed rice.

Follow this link for ways to help.



[Source: the Daily Star]

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