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Dec 16th
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‘Dial M: Missiles for Murder’ PDF Print E-mail

Palestinians to be warned of holocaust by the past victims is obscene to say the least. The same sort of warning, whatever be the provocation, coming from any other country would have met a chorus of virulent condemnation. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, had been condemned severely for calling for liquidation of Israel as a Zionist entity. Yet, the West has so far remained silent on the obnoxious reference to holocaust, Dr Zakir Husain

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North Korea: Will music prove to be the ultimate weapon? PDF Print E-mail

Towheed Feroze

THE latest and perhaps the most intriguing piece of news in the world of politics has been the visit of the New York Philharmonic to North Korea. As the show by the group from the United States, the recognised adversary and critique of North Korea, was aired on the national television of the isolated country, it was evident that behind the inflammatory rhetoric and the obstinate stances, steps were being taken to ease tensions. It was surprising to see the BBC reporting from Pyongyang, an unprecedented scene.
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Banana wars and hunger wages PDF Print E-mail

Mahtab Haider

‘IN THE old days there were doctors, decent housing, the housing was well kept. They paid for the electricity in your housing and they paid for health care,’ says Alberto who worked on a Costa Rica banana plantation which supplies to the global fruit giant Del Monte, when the international charity ActionAid interviewed him in 2006. ‘In harvesting jobs, there used to be teams of four or five; now we have to do the same work with three people.
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THE ROADMAP TO PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION IN BANGLADESH AND POLITICAL DIALOGUE PDF Print E-mail
Speech for Bangladesh seminar at House of Lords, London, on 25th.February 2008

Present Bangladesh government has declared THE ROADMAP TO PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION IN BANGLADESH, and the political parties wanting the government to implement it. So far, according to the roadmap, election will take place before the end of 2008. But, I must say, Roadmap for the sake of a roadmap is not desirable to so many people of Bangladesh. It must come with some sort of commitment and guarantee that Bangladesh will not go back to the situation just before the 11th. January 2007.
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The fall of the House of Clinton? PDF Print E-mail

Shameran Abed

Illinois senator Barack Obama has turned the race for the Democratic Party's nomination for the United States presidential elections on its head. Even late last year, he had trailed New York senator Hillary Clinton by over 20 percentage points in every national opinion poll, and trailed by double digits in almost every state other than in his own.
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Bangladesh's interests at Lesotho PDF Print E-mail

Tanim Ahmed

Duty and quota free market access would predictably be on the top of Bangladesh's agenda when it joins the ministerial meeting of all least developed countries in Lesotho between February 27 and February 29. It is customary to hold such meetings ahead of a full fledged ministerial summit of the World Trade Organisation, which in turn is supposed to be held every two years. The last meeting of the 151-member global trade forum was held in December 2005, but negotiations have stalled since then due to conflicting positions of significant players.
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Late liberalism, coercion continuum, and accumulation acquiescence PDF Print E-mail

Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir

The 'spread of democracy' and 'free enterprise' by use of force has been the hallmark of our age. Yet coherent accounts of vertical and horizontal casualties and resultant directions have remained unexplored on why such an assumed libertarian political project is embedded with contradictory goals, despite availability of some narratives, statistics and evidences. Such analyses have to deal with questions — why are coercions and compulsions indispensable for the current form of accumulation, why do values of so-called liberalism acquiesce to coercion, war, and the police state?

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Essential public health functions: an obligation or option? PDF Print E-mail

Dr Zakir Husain

PUBLIC health, by definition, is more than health services as commonly understood. No population can reach good health and high productivity without good public health investments. Certain public health functions that bring high health outcomes rank higher priority above others.

These are classified as 'essential public health functions'. Performing essential public health functions brings greatest health benefits to most people. Essential public health functions include a range of health actions of which notable ones could be named as follows:

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Language, ecology and knowledge practice PDF Print E-mail

Farhad Mazhar

OUR matribhasha (mother tongue) is Bangla. The literal meaning of matribhasha is the dialect my mother uses to communicate; the oral or vocal sign system she uses to represent her ideas or command others to performative tasks. The Bangla I learned from my mother is not the Bangla of urban elite, not bhadroloker bhasha; such verbal behaviours were known to us in the childhood as the kolkaityawalader bhasha – language of the class engaged in commerce with the colonial city of Kolkata.
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Virtual Bangladesh : History : Ekushe February PDF Print E-mail

A Brief History of the Bangla Language Movement

Mohammad Bari. 1998, All rights reserved.

1st Wave

September 15, 1947

Tamuddun Majlis (Cultural Society, an organization by scholars, writers and journalists oriented towards Islamic ideology) in a booklet titled State Language of Pakistan : Bengali or Urdu? demands Bengali as one of the state language of Pakistan.
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International Mother Language Day PDF Print E-mail

Bashir Al Helal

Language Movement began in 1948 and reached its climax in the killing of 21 February 1952, and ended in the adoption of Bangla as one of the state languages of Pakistan. The question as to what would be the state language of Pakistan was raised immediately after its creation. The central leaders and the Urdu-speaking intellectuals of Pakistan declared that urdu would be the state language of Pakistan, just as Hindi was the state language of India. The students and intellectuals of East Pakistan, however, demanded that Bangla be made one of the state languages.
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The evolution of Bangla and Bangladesh PDF Print E-mail

Rubina Ahmed

Language is the muscle and sinew of culture. It is a bond of solidari-ty and so is politics. If one of the most important aspects of democ-ratic politics is that it is non-oppressive, then the language of such politics should also be non-oppressive. How can lan-guage be democratic in this sense? How are the structures of domination - and hierarchy reflected in language? John McCamant (1991, 1992) has stated that domination is an all-pervasive relation-ship.
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Ekushey and the struggle for the right of free expression PDF Print E-mail

Zakeria Shirazi

A TV ad designed to promote the sale of mobile phones states that since the call rate has been lowered the whole country will from now on be talking. The telephone company's bold marketing strategy is admirable and the people should indeed be facilitated and encouraged to talk but the fact is that the ability to talk into the cell phone with an added ease and convenience does not amount to freedom of expression.
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Stifled economy at a time of uncertainty PDF Print E-mail

Tanim Ahmed

THE finance adviser to the military-controlled interim government, AB Mirza Azizul Islam, on Tuesday acknowledged that the economy 'is under tremendous pressure', in the process contradicting his own observation a few days ago. On February 13, he dismissed the observation by economists and experts that the state of emergency was creating an unstable environment not conducive for business or investment.
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En route to dead end? PDF Print E-mail

Shameran Abed

THE current Election Commission could not have done more to ensure the erosion of its credibility and the loss of the electorate's faith in its ability to deliver proper elections if it had actively tried to do so. In a little over a year after its reconstitution, which was meant to signal a fresh start after the controversial justices, MA Aziz and Mahfuzur Rahman, had made the last commission dysfunctional and fair elections impossible, the reconstituted commission, it appears, is trying its best to distinguish itself only for ineptitude and incompetence.
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Tortured truths PDF Print E-mail

Rahnuma Ahmed

AS A little child, when I was only three or four, I couldn't understand how people could still see me if I shut my eyes.

Later, like most people, I grew up. I realised shutting my eyes didn't make me any less visible to others.

Reading the recently-published Human Rights Watch report, available on the internet, The Torture of Tasneem Khalil: How the Bangladesh Military Abuses Its Power under the State of Emergency, reminded me of my childhood follies.
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Denied again and again PDF Print E-mail

Mir Ashfaquzzaman

THE national housing authority supervised the demolition of more than one thousand brick and non-brick structures on 24 acres of land at Duwaripara in the city's Pallabi area on February 14. The land, as reported in the media, falls under the second phase of the Mirpur Rupnagar Extension Project.
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The Iran-America conundrum PDF Print E-mail

Towheed Feroze

A RECENT report in an international newspaper, widely available in Bangladesh, states that despite the strained relationship between America and Iran, there is possibly a thick layer beneath the apparent hostility that thrives on respect and admiration. After all, we have all heard of the saying that, in a competition of forces, which are almost equal, there is always that element of respect – maybe not conspicuous but certainly masked. The almost is used because, so far, we do not have any dependable evidence of Iran's nuclear capacity though we do know that their reactors are being used for 'peaceful purposes'.

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Sadly familiar textbook tale PDF Print E-mail

Sonia Kristy

THE National Curriculum and Textbook Board, an autonomous body, is mainly responsible for the renewal, modification and development of curriculum, production and distribution of textbooks at primary, secondary and higher secondary levels. As the constitution of Bangladesh guarantees a child's right to primary education as being an obligation of the state, apart from taking other initiatives to encourage education, free and timely distribution of textbooks among the primary school students is, therefore, one of the most important responsibilities of the government. Every year, the board publishes about 6.3 crore textbooks for free distribution among students of government and non-government primary schools and Ibtedayi madrassahs.

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Democracy depends on our two 'begums' PDF Print E-mail

Shameran Abed

THE London-based Economist magazine once again hit the nail right on its head this week in a short commentary it published on Bangladesh's politics titled Looking for the exit. Referring to the failure of the military-controlled interim government, thus far, to implement its devious 'minus-two' scheme, the magazine wrote: 'It seems certain that the calls to release the two women [Awami League president Sheikh Hasina and Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia] will intensify.
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The rice riddle PDF Print E-mail

Tanim Ahmed

The incumbents must realise that ambitious projections and mere pledge of renewed emphasis on agriculture are not sufficient to raise food grain production. Desiring a bumper boro harvest and making forceful public announcement accordingly are perhaps easier than actually mobilising the government machinery and ensuring smooth supply of the inputs.

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