Echo

 

Posted by Rezwan

CHANCES OF JAMAAT-E-ISLAMI BANGLADESH IN THE COMING ELECTION

Many conspiracy theories emerged after the Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) bombings that rocked Bangladesh last year. Some JMB members turned out to be former Jamaat-e-Islami members. But it was obvious that being in the government Jamaat had no reason to play with fire. One of the theories was that this whole JMB plot was a brainchild of BNP to tarnish the image of their ruling coalition partner Jamaat so that they can get the leverage in the coming election.

Now that JMB kingpins are behind the bar and facing death penalty and the BNP has got the praise, a TIME cover article; where is Jamaat in the picture now?

Probe news magazine has recently analyzed Jamaat's recent position. Jamaat does not stand the chance to regain more than 50% of the constituencies current 17 MPs hold. Moreover, in many constituencies field-level conflicts between BNP and Jamaat have increased which may lead to a disastrous result for Jamaat. Wondering what the next thriller from the author of "Bangladesh: The Next Afghanistan?" will be based on.

 

Posted by Rezwan

PHOTO OF THE DAY

FernsehTurm - Berlin TV tower
Fernseh Turm - Berlin TV tower

 

Posted by Rezwan

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR RELIGIOUS MADNESS

At last the verdict of the first trial of killing of two judges by the Islamic fundamentalist organization Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). The Daily Star reports:

A Barisal court yesterday sentenced to death Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Abdur Rahman, his second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai and five other militants and acquitted one in the sensational Jhalakathi judges' killing case.

The reason for the killing was stated in a leaflet in the crime scene:

"We don't want Taguti [non-Islamic] law, let Qur'anic law be introduced. Law framed by humans cannot continue and only the laws of Allah will prevail."

You can get an idea of the sanity of these people:

When the judge said the convicts will get copy of the verdict if they want to appeal, the JMB chief said, "The government had engaged us to invite the ulema community for establishing Islamic laws. But now it punished us under worldly laws. What is the punishment this government deserves?"

At the top of his voice, Rahman told the judge, "Although we asked the government for holding our trial by an Islamic jury board, it did not pay any heed. Out trial has been conducted hastily by a Taguti court. Why the government is hurrying and why it is afraid?"


Well the government had suffered much not taking prompt action against these goons and they went too far. Another conspiracy theory? Actually these people cash on terror and doubts. Is not it the same with the global religious militants? An eerie madness has infected people of many conflict regions.

Ironically these people were sentenced to death according to a law of a sovereign democratic state with Muslim majority to prove that the militant madness cannot continue. More trials are coming and we will see how many times these people are proven guilty and wrong. Let this judgement be a milestone in the fight against the growing religious extremism around the world.

And suddenly in this case I am not against capital punishment. Because, this madness has to end somewhere. The civic societies must uproot the anomaly.

BANGLADESHI BLOGS - another update  

Posted by Rezwan

Here is another updated list of Bangladeshi Blogs after adding some new blogs (arranged in no particular order):

* Badh bhangar awaaj-The largest Bangla blogging platform with hundreds of blogs in Bangla
* The 3rd world view-Germany
* Unheard Voices - A drishtipat group blog initiative -USA
* imperfect|world|2006 -UK
* Mezba's blog -Canada
* Serious golmal -UK
* South Asia biz -Bangladesh
* Or how I learned to stop worrying -USA
* The Bengali Fob says -Canada
* Mac's blog -Bangladesh
* Mac's savoury chorChoriz! -Bangladesh
* Close your eyes & try to see- Bangladesh
* Bongo vongo -UK
* Ondhokar theke alor pothe -Bangladesh
* MoodLogic -Bangladesh
* Inspirations and creative thoughts - Singapore
* Spoony writer - Bangladesh
* Bring your own shisha - UK
* A sneak peek into Yawar's mind - Malaysia
* LiveJournal Bangladesh community blogs -Mostly USA
* Anthology -USA
* Blog-a-rhythm -USA
* BDgamer- Bangladesh
* Love u all -Bangladesh
* Sajjad's weekly blogs -USA
* Tushar chowdhury's blog! -UK -with links of many other categorical blogs
* Ex Nihilo -Bangladesh
* >Insert clever title here< -Canada
* Ashik -USA
* Ipshita’s blog -Canada
* A sunshine too brief -Canada
* Easy come easy go, little high little low - Sweden
* Optically active - USA
* Tanya in cyberspace - USA
* Waiting for the perfect sunrise - Canada
* My thoughts - USA
* A Life to be lived - Bangladesh
* The song of my life - Bangladesh
* Mudphud chickness - USA
* Electric blues -Bangladesh
* The desh in me -USA
* Glittergirl -Singapore
* Black & grey - Bangladesh
* Adda - Bangladesh
* Of the world and boiled eggs - Bangladesh
* Tasneem Khalil - Bangladesh
* Me, myself and Bangladesh - UK
* Nayma's Blog - USA
* Dotcom underground Blog - Bangladesh
* My golden Bengal - Bangladesh
* Perpetual ramblings of a lifelong nomad - USA
* Nana chinta nana bhabna - Bangladesh
* Observing ambience - Bangladesh
* A wave of alternative mandate -Canada
* NSU buddies -Bangladesh
* Desh calling -Bangladesh
* Indifferent thoughts -Bangladesh
* Da low down and dirty -USA
* Robin's world -Bangladesh
* Anik Khan -Australia
* Life, dreams and reality -- Sohel's blog
* The crystal cave -Bangladesh
* Salam Dhaka -Bangladesh
* Bdeshini -Bangladesh
* Skakia's spot -Sweden
* Hasan's blog -Bangladesh
* The story teller -Bangladesh
* blog.sanjoykumar.com -Bangladesh
* The color of rain -UK
* Dak Bangla intelligence scan - Bangladesh
* Ideas for brighter Bangladesh - Bangladesh
* Page 11 of the other side -Bangladesh
* Ulta manush -Bangladesh
* Dhaka (underground) -Bangladesh
* Khorshed Khokon, MBA -Bangladesh
* Moz boondoggle -USA
* dReAmEr -Singapore
* Conscious Party -UK
* Silent sunlight -Australia
* Saleem Samad -Canada
* Himu- extra hot and spicy -Australia
* Abeer -Thailand
* Brown baby tales -Canada
* Little dogs day -Bangladesh
* Scattered words -Bangladesh
* Bitter sweet symphony -Bangladesh
* Nawed - Fortunately Unfortunate or Unfortunately Fortunate -Bangladesh
* First we take Manhattan -USA
* Safia's blog -UK
* World of Samiha Esha -Bangladesh
* Sonia's diary -UK
* Thought, and thereafter -Bangladesh
* Talk Back -USA
* S Mehreen's digital portfolio -Bangladesh
* Sohan Salek
* New Gaul Order -USA
* Journal of a Disturbed Mind -Norway
* Shaon's Weblog -Bangladesh
* Hatti Matim Tim -Bangladesh
* Haseen♥Mawa♥Views
* Share the Magic -Bangladesh
* Bangladesh Open Source Intelligence Monitors -Bangladesh
* Khero Khata -Bangladesh
* C'est la vie
* Maverick Tanvir's Journal -Bangladesh
* Back to Bangladesh -Bangladesh
* A Sherpa in the Meadows -Bangladesh
* www.Darkcrunk.com -Bangladesh
* Imtiaz's Weblog - Australia
* Fug's Blog - UK
* My Days - USA
* Blissful days of my life... - Canada
* Ajaira Pechaal - USA
* Nothing to lose and Nothing to gain.. - Bangladesh
* Aisha - USA
* Amra Kojon Around The Clock - USA
* The Update - USA
* Russel's cyber journal - Bangladesh
* Fun And Jokes with Morals - Bangladesh
* Blind Seagull - Bangladesh
* Bunch of me - Bangladesh
* Abar Zigay - Bangladesh
* In all honesty - Bangladesh
* Conversations with an Optimist - Bangladesh

Organization Blogs on Bangladesh:

* Change Bangladesh - one step at a time
* Shobak
* Shuchinta
* Disha Bangladesh
* Bangladesh Military Forces Blog
* Online ICT Journalism
* Global Voices Online on Bangladesh

Blogs by persons of Non Bangladesh Origin on their experiences in Bangladesh:

* A Whisper from the heart
* Root: Adventure in Bangladesh
* Bangers & mash
* Bangladesh backchat
* Dhaka diary
* Bideshi blonde
* Sarah's boble
* The world around
* From my point of view
* What's cooking abroad?
* Dana in Bangladesh
* The Yacoub ramblings v.2
* To Bangladesh and back
* Kelly in Bangladesh
* Akash and Nila
* Dhaka Diary
* Morris the pen

Blogs by some Bengalis of Indian origin:

* Niraj Agarwalla-USA
* India speaks-India
* Notes from France is now from India -By Sukanya
* Null pointer -India
* Shantanu's blog page -Bangladesh

Some notable Bangladeshi girl photoblogs:

* Nazzina
* Rings

Bangla Blogs:

* বাংলা ব্লগস্ - list of Blogs in Bangla script maintained by Debashish
* উত্স সন্ধানে
* ...করি বাংলায় চিত্কার...
* বুঝি.কম
* আসিফ আহমেদ অনীকের বাংলা ব্লগ
* নিরিখ বান্ধিলাম দুই নয়নে......
* Amar Toronto

And finally some Bangladeshi Blog & mews aggregators:
* Planet Bangla
* EIN News Bangladesh readers picks
* Bangladesh blogs aggregator
* Bdblogs.com, Home of Bangladeshi blogs

Kindly note that this list is not complete and I would appreciate if you could inform me about more Bangladeshi Blogs.

Previous update: (For links of stale blogs)
Latest update on September 28, 2006

Technocrati tags: ,

 

Posted by Rezwan

SEARCHING FOR FATWAS

I was really surprised by this AFP news, which quoted an unknown cleric of a mosque of a small town of Bangladesh telling Bangladeshi Muslims in a sermon not to fly the flags of any 'infidel' nations playing in the Football World Cup.

However, the report also highlights:

His call came as thousands of flags of World Cup football favourites fluttered over Bangladesh's cities and towns with the tournament less than two weeks away.

Most of the flags flying from the rooftops of houses and windows of apartments are of the two World Cup favourites -- Argentina and Brazil -- as most football fans support the team of either one nation or the other. But some fans were also flying the flags of Germany, France and Italy.


Ironically the clerics quote takes the attention away from the craze of Bangladeshis over the play, which has recently been superseded by cricket. As Bangladesh is way down the line in football according to FIFA rank, they are more comfortable as adamant supporters of the South American and European top nations, which have won the previous world cups. No doubt the supporters like to be on the winning side. During any world cup, if you go along a Bangladeshi street whether its in the capital or in a small town, you will see flags of Argentina, Brazil or other nations hoisted in the roof. And there are no religious biasness in the support.

Bangladeshi students have a lot of things to protest, but none are as earnest as the demand to postpone exams after the world cup. On request of the Bangladeshi journalists, FIFA president Sepp Blatter had to intervene personally to more than double the coverage of next month's World Cup in football-crazy Bangladesh. There are free TV coverage available of almost all the matches which makes the TV sells sore every four years. More than 71,000 prisoners of 66 prisons in Bangladesh will enjoy World Cup for the first time this year.

But the AFP reporter had taken all the trouble to go to Ishwardi to find this cleric and to quote him. This guy is a nobody and it really does not matter when a sheep blabbers.

And after reading the AFP news the international audience will have a different view of the Bangladeshis. Isn't this called a jaundiced eye view?

 

Posted by Rezwan

FREEDOM OF SPEECH UPDATE

Pickled Politics reports that the London based Asia House has cancelled an exhibition by the Indian artist MF Husain after "threats" from Hindu fundamentalist groups. Now things are getting serious as it is revealed that someone had destroyed two of MF Husain’s paintings, and the exhibition had to be closed for security reasons.

Pickled politics' call for a protest uniting Asians against censorship aroused much debate.

 

Posted by Rezwan

THE GARMENTS INDUSTRY RIOTS IN BANGLADESH

The readymade Garments Industry is the key export earning sector for Bangladesh, which brings to this developing country $6 billion yearly revenue. The industry has over 4,000 export oriented factories and thousands more small scale sub-contractors which employ nearly three million workers most of whom are women (80%).

All hell broke loose last weekend as a riot broke out in and around the capital Dhaka city when a garments worker was shot in Savar, an industrial zone 30km away from Dhaka, while police was trying to control the angry protesters. The death sparked more violence as thousands of garments workers took to the streets in Savar, creating huge traffic deadlocks around the capital. A section of 800-1000 violent protesters with sticks lead by motorcycle processions resorted to widespread damage of vehicles, attacked about 300 garments factories, and torched many of them. Widespread lootings were also reported and finally extra security forces were deployed to prevent this mayhem.

From The Washington post: "One thing I can say that we love our machines because they feed us and protect us from starvation. How can one with a sane heart can destroy them?" - female worker Masuda Begum.

The Bangladeshi bloggers had different opinions on this issue. Change Bangladesh Blog wonders are Bangladeshis stupid enough to kill the duck laying golden egg?

In Suchinta blog there is one video clip from the ATN News on the attack on Garments Industries, which provides visuals of the rioting and the views of the owners and the government. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the owner’s association claimed "This is part of a conspiracy to ruin the nation's economy." They and the government are pointing to political manipulation citing that almost all protesters were men while the majority of the workers in the industry are women.

Shafiur shades a light that there is no one union, one industry scenario here. The workers unions fall in line behind party politics and no doubt they can easily be exploited by the confrontational political parties. Like some parties were dumb enough to blame neighboring India behind this. All these beating around the bush neglects the prime issue, the exploitation of the workers. He also blames the Garments owners for using force to deal with the issue.

Rumi of Drishtipat supports the workers cause but is troubled with the anarchy the protests produced.

Journalist Tasneem Khalil points that the workers are deprived from fair wage, fair working hour arrangements, weekly holiday, maternity leave etc. The monthly minimum wage for Bangladesh’s garment workers was some $33 ten years ago, but that came down to $16 in real value due to devaluation of Bangladesh Taka against dollar. The labor organizations are pressing for increasing the workers’ minimum monthly wages to Tk 3,000 (18 cents an hour). Owners of RMG factories have subverted a government plan to fix a minimum national wage for workers in the private sector and continue to pay one of the lowest remuneration packages in the world.

In my opinion, it is true that currently the wages are low but this small wages are also blessings for most of the workers as they would have no option to fall victim to more abuse as housemaids if there were no garments factory jobs. Using this limitation, the owners have been able to continue the slavery and exploitation. Its a pity that the government failed to uphold the rights of the workers by ignoring the minimum wages demand. The other political parties are also guilty to the same extent as they also do not fight for these causes. In reality, Bangladeshi politics are held ransom by leaders, who do not stem from the workers community but are wealthy entrepreneurs.

The exploitation issue actually starts with the globalization and the growing competition. ‘Dateline NBC’ investigates: In Bangladesh, a female worker, Masuma gets more like 17 cents for sewing as much as 80 stripes on pants in an hour, a perfectly legal wage, and more than many Bangladeshis like her earn. But she can barely live with that wages. If she was paid 25 cents an hour instead of 17, a 50 percent raise, she could lead what she considers a decent life. When a Walmart customer in US was asked in front of Masuma, whether she would by the pant (selling price $12.84) if it was 8 cents more, she declined. One Bangladeshi garments executive claims: A few years back, I told Wal-Mart, “Give me one cents more a piece, one cent. I will use that money for these poor people.’ Wal-Mart’s reply was, ‘No, give us two cents less.’ However consumers in the global economy seem to have no objection to Wal-Mart CEO’s $27,207,799 pa salary for encouraging such exploitation.

Actually the Bangladeshi entrepreneurs have also little option and are forced to keep the wages low in order to survive. It is like the master, slavery chain. Whether we accept it or not, we all are chained humans, there is a master above us and we are a master of someone. And the exploitation continues. The truth is no hero or revolution is going to break the chain saving us anytime soon.

 

Posted by Rezwan

TODAY'S LINKS

* And they now gear up narcotic jihad.

* This is a Saudi textbook.

* 104 year wook marries 33 year old Muhammad.

* The Caliphate: One nation, under Allah, with 1.5 billion Muslims.

* In the 'Name of Allah': new documentary on homosexuality in Islam.

* One Internet, indivisible.

 

Posted by Rezwan

WAR AGAINST TERROR IN TAMPA, USA

They just wanted to go to school! Either these Saudis are very stupid, or they really had ill motives.

 

Posted by Rezwan

BRAND BLUES

Branding Bangladesh in a new way:- DKNY Bangladesh range. Looks refreshing.

Related:
Branding Bangladesh.

 

Posted by Rezwan

Torture Awareness Month
Join Us!

Join Us!


Raise your voice against torture.

(via Mash)

 

Posted by Rezwan

TODAY'S LINKS

* American soldiers who shoot 3-year-old girls.

* War & sex.

* Blogging the Bible.

* Bangladesh born US intell officer Kamil Pasha testifies in court.

* Bangladesh heroin smuggler Momen names six government officials as abettors in the crime.

* So, what is Victoria's secret?

 

Posted by Rezwan

ANOTHER ELECTION PROMISE?

Rumi of Drishtipat wrote recently:

"After 15th August 1975, we lost one of the greatest assets of our natonal idenitity, i.e. our constitutional declaration of secularism.

30 years have passed since then.It seems like slowly we are getting used to our non-secular constitution. Nobody talks about it anymore. Dream of a secular Bangladesh is no longer promised in our political party meetings. It’s no longer a prominant election highlight. In last 30 years, as far as I can recall, no party has ever submitted a bill in our parliament in an attempt to bring secularism back in Bangladesh."


This news is looking like a beckoning light:

Leaders of the main opposition Awami League have promised that if voted to power in the next parliamentary elections, they would restore "secularism" as one of the four basic tenets of Bangladesh’s constitution.

However other leading news sources are yet to confirm this. Hope this is not another improbable election stunt as they did not try it in their last tenure in the late nineties.

 

Posted by Rezwan

NAVIGATION SYSTEM IN BANGLADESH

Tomtom navigation system I really don't know when a GPS based car navigation system like the 'Tomtom' (left) will be available in Bangladesh. With the price falling below Euro 200 in Europe its use is increasing day by day. You can also buy maps of neighboring countries in memory modules and just type in touch screen where you want to go. The system will lead you via the shortest possible route with live traffic information and automated detouring.

A Bangladeshi company has recently developed a vehicle tracking system based on the similar technology. The goal of this system is securing the vehicle as it can be tracked remotely. I see no reason why people can't think also about door-to-door navigation as in Tomtom, and integrate both uses.

 

Posted by Rezwan

UNUSUAL RETREAT

Ever thought of getting an opportunity for combining work experience in Dhaka, Bangladesh with a unique retreat in the heart of Bangladesh’s paddy fields? This organization promises just that. Film and art enthusiasts all over the world, students and professionals alike are encouraged to take the opportunity.

 

Posted by Rezwan

SHAHIDUL UP CLOSE

Shahidul Alam is a pioneer in photography in Bangladesh and is revered all around the world for his work. His institution Drik is doing a lot of hard work related to photography. They provide many services and boast lot of initiatives like the photography training institute Pathshala, which also let foreign students like Gwyneth experience Bangladesh in a different way.

That is why when Time magazine publishes a story on Bangladesh they use his photos.

And Shahidul is a blogger and he writes well. Check behind the scene events of the photoshoot of the prime minister Begum Khaleda.

 

Posted by Rezwan

TODAY'S LINKS

* Match schedule (fixture) for the FIFA World cup 2006 in Germany.

* Blood bonds bind Bangladesh with India.

* Sex education in Asia.

* 20 types of Blog posts.

* Dr. Muhammad Yunus - microcredit as a way out of poverty.

* As women get stronger, fundamentalism wanes.

* An interesting worldwide magazine roundup.

* The U.S. did what to Libya?

* The problem of Mecca.

 

Posted by Rezwan

CENSORING THE DA VINCI CODE

The movie is scheduled to be released in Germany tomorrow. I am eagerly waiting to watch 'The Da Vinci Code' just to see how thrilling the movie is comparing to the book. My experience tells that sometimes books are more exciting than the movie or vice-versa. For an example, the Harry Potter movies create far less excitement than what reading from the original books generate.

I am reading interesting news from various blogs about the movie. One Sri Lankan blog says that the movie will be censored in some Asian Countries. The Indian Government has already put screening of 'The Da Vinci Code' on hold.

"Over 200 Catholic organisations are reported to have submitted a petition against the movie's screening in India to I&B Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunshi. An I&B Ministry official has said that Dasmunshi would seek the opinion of the concerned organisations before allowing the movie to be released in India."

There is even a fatwa against the author. An Indian Catholic has offered a Rs. 11 Lakh bounty for Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, “Dead or Alive”.

The Indian bloggers are not happy about it. Nitin thinks that competitive intolerance is turning India into a laughing stock.

On the Bangladesh front, the issue of censoring the movie does not come now as no blockbusters get released within 6 months to one year of release in theatres. But in reality you can watch all of them via bootleg DVDs even before their release. Its interesting to see how the Bangladeshi Government reacts to it. In India, the book is widely available. So I am really curious about the effectiveness of the ban. It seems as merely a political stunt.

 

Posted by Rezwan

BLAME IT ON THE BULLY

Its true that Biman do not have good reputation due to mismanagement lately. So after hearing the news that a Bangladesh Biman flight was banned entry into US over safety issues, it was expected that people would bully Biman.

But until now its safety record is not that bad. People paid no heed to Biman's claim that the aircraft was okayed for landing in New York and the US authorities had no right to refuse it to land.

Now the US State Department has apologized to Bangladesh's national carrier, Biman saying that it was FAA's mistake.

I think Biman should seek compensation for the financial losses it suffered as stated by them earlier. And the US authorities should apologize to the 257 passengers too for causing them much trouble.

 

Posted by Rezwan

BANGLADESH BLOG BUZZ:

Crossposted in the Global Voices Online)

The latest happenings in Bangladeshi blogs around the world:

* Politics: Addabaz criticizes the stand-off between the government and the opposition regarding electoral reform. He notes that people of Bangladesh are suffering and getting tired of this unfortunate political crisis.

Salam Dhaka lists top ten things are usually done by an MP in Bangladesh.

Dr. Rumi of Dristipat is critic about dynasty leadership in Bangladesh. His article has generated an interesting discussion on the subject in the comments sections. Change Bangladesh Project has started a blog to create awareness among voters to choose the appropriate leader in the coming election.

* Living: Tasneem Khalil links to the Daily Star’s feature ‘The Roots of the Fairness Fetish’, which goes deep into the complex of fairness among the Bangladeshis.

* Creativity: Kazi Rubaiat Imam links to the news that Leepu, a Bangladeshi can build cars replicating any top notch brand car design. Recently Discovery channel has made a documentary on Leepu’s work.<

* Religion: While trying to answer of what religion he is, Sadiq exerts that all the religion speak the same. We only need to open our heart to receive the Divine Wisdom that is inside all the message of all time.

* Podcast: Joe at Bongo Vongo posts reading of English translation of another short story of Rabindranath Tagore as podcast: - ‘Once there was a king’.

* Culture: Asid Saleh of Dristipat informs about a Baishakhi Mela (Bangla New Years Fair) in London with useful links. Pictures and report (in Bangla) are posted by Sohail Motahar Chowdhury in his Bangla blog.

* Reading: Siddhartha of ‘Serious Golmal’ discusses the book ‘Art of the Skyscraper: The Genius of Fazlur Rahman Khan’ by Mir Ali. Fazlur Rahman Khan, the famous Bangladeshi is the architect of the Sears Tower and the cruelly beautiful John Hancock Center.

* Tribute: The Bengali Fob posts a wonderful tribute to all the mothers on the occasion of the mothers day.

* Travel: Electricblues has taken a personal initiative to visit the countryside, see the green fields and breathe the clean air and document it all in his cell phone. The result is looking good:- some nice pictures of Bangladesh.

Shafiur provides a link to the Guardian Travel Site featuring Dhaka city and urges all to contribute there.

* Human rights: Safia is vocal for fair trade in the fashion industries in Bangladesh.

* Communication: Razib Ahmed of the South Asia Biz discusses the cellular growth in South Asia and thinks except for calling mobile phone industries here have yet to use its full potential.

* Bangla blogging: The Bangla blogging platform “Bandh Bhanger Awaz” is growing rapidly. Each day many new bloggers are registering and hundreds of posts are being put up. Some bloggers are posting so frequently that others are accusing them with flooding. But the good thing is that the blog has achieved increased interactivity with participation of many readers resulting almost a hundred comments in some posts.

The first million hits took 3 months and looks like the 2nd million will be reached much sooner than that.

 

Posted by Rezwan

TODAY'S LINKS

* What do you do when someone steals your content?

* The defense of Indian waters: looking ahead.

* Lankan expats 'forced to fund LTTE'.

* Who is searching for sex?

* Fed up with Holland, Hirsi Ali plans to move to America.

* Ladies & Gentlemen, here is plogging.

* How to 'start Blogging'.

 

Posted by Rezwan

BANGLA WIKIPEDIA

I got an email from Ragib Hasan, a PhD Student of Dept of Computer Science in the University of Illinois, USA about Bangla Wikipedia. Ragib is a regular contributor of the Bangladesh portion of Wikipedia since 2005. I knew that the Bangla Wikipedia initiative was taken earlier in 2005. But only recently the media campaign has been started in Bangladesh to make the open source Bangla Wikipedia a good quality, free encyclopedia (bishwakosh) available for everyone. Ragib says:

The Bn-wiki uses Unicode, so it is easy to incorporate Bangla text there, without the proprietary formats. Everything is html, browser independent.

The Bangla Wikipedia is in dire need of good quality regular contributors in Bangla. So if you want to contribute, please do not hesitate to join this initiative. In a recent interview in BBC Bengali's Click online on Bangla Wikipedia, Ragib said that Bangla Wikipedia can achieve 10,000 edits by the end of this Bangla year. I urge all interested Bengalis to help fulfill his dream and do something great for your mother tongue.

some related links are given here:

* Bangla Wikipedia main page.

* A small tutorial written for new users.

* An yahoo group opened for Bangla Wikipedia.

* A list of Bangladesh related topics in the English Wikipedia.

 

Posted by Rezwan

OF WHAT RELIGION ARE YOU?

Are you a Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Jews, Christian or a Sufi? We all have our excuses. But do we ever try to think beyond the limitations of our interpreted religions?

I am an ardent fan of Sadiq's writings. Unlikely for a postgraduate student of engineering, he is a seeker of truth and hovers constantly over mysticism and spirituality. Who else could answer the question in the title this way?

"I personally believe that all the Prophets and Teachers, namely Abraham, David, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon all of them) were teachers for the humanity. It is us (the so called followers) who divided their teachings, interpreted them as we wished for, divided human race into sects and groups over the generations.

I personally feel this truth that all the religion speak the same. We only need to open our heart to receive the Divine Wisdom that is inside all the message of all time."


Read in details. I wish more people could think like Sadiq. I wonder when people will be free from the barriers of religions they interpret.

 

Posted by Rezwan

TODAY'S LINKS

* Bangladesh: Colour and chaos unspoilt by the West.

* Should students be allowed to carry cell phones?

* May - The month of great Bengali poets.

* There is no blogosphere.

* IRC and users with female names.

* The disappearance of black America?

* Living in two India(s).

* Submerged Bangladesh palace resurfaces after 50 years.

* Art of rigging in Bangladesh.

 

Posted by Rezwan

SECURE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE

The Change Bangladesh blog urges Bangladeshis to check with the Election Comission if they are correctly enlisted in the voter list.

"Bangladesh Election 2007 : Voter Registration Issues tell us what you think is wrong with the Election ComissionThis survey aims to raise questions about the 8 days left to fix thehuge mismanaged eligible voter list database. The numbers to call are8129325 and 9129033 , find your names and make sure someone else isnot going to get a free ride on your ballot. Call your commisioner now"

Its time to act.

 

Posted by Rezwan

BLACK MONEY

Ways to make your black money white in Bangladesh.

 

Posted by Rezwan

LETTER DIPLOMACY

Between Bush and Ahmadinejad—two of the world's most stubborn, self-righteous leaders:

* To George with love from Mahmoud.

* Dear Mahmoud: How Bush should respond to the Iranian president's letter.

But from Bangladesh's experience we know that sometimes letter diplomacy is played to avoid direct talks and reconciliations. As the Daily Star editorial comments about the impasse over talks between the ruling parties and the opposition:

Both sides seem keen on avoiding responsibility for talks being a non-starter.
If the diplomacy does not click, the options left in both the cases are hatred, chaos and war.

 

Posted by Rezwan

GERMAN CITIZENSHIP

After much controversy, Germany decided against a uniform citizenship examination (Der Spiegel):

In order to get a German passport, all immigrants have to pass a language exam, attend an "integration course," designed to provide newcomers with insight into the German constitution and values, and attend a citizenship ceremony at the end. As to whether immigrants have learned what it means to be German -- that will be up to the individual states to determine.
Now what does it mean to be German?

* Explain the term "Israel's right to existence".
* If someone described the Holocaust as a myth or fairytale, how would you respond?
* Explain the term "freedom of opinion and the press"

These above and 97 other questions a foreigner has to answer satisfactorily to prove he/she is a German before geting a German citizenship as proposed by the German state of Hesse.

You can take this test to see whether you are worthy of a German citizenship.

Update: Suggested answers for the Hesse citizenship test.

 

Posted by Rezwan

TODAY'S LINKS

* The Committee to Protect Bloggers says goodbye.

* Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Caliph: CSM profiles Hizb ut-Tahrir.

* The battle for Mong throne.

* Australia interested to recruit accountants from Bangladesh.

* World Cup interview series - voices from all the 32 Football Worldcup countries.

* Plagiarism happens unconsciously?

* Who is the author of Al-Quran? (Part-1)

* An introduction to anarchism.

 

Posted by Rezwan

LESSONS NEEDED FOR THE EC

A Database can be edited and updated. It is never designed to be thrown away and to be substituted by another completely new one costing loads of money.

 

Posted by Rezwan

BRING THE ARMY

In Bangladesh, the army is called when any situation is out of control. They are the last shot in the government's armory and are usually effective to bury down a mess.

Now look what they are doing. They are dispensing water to the protesters who are deprived of water for basic needs. Shouldn't that be the WASA authorities doing this?

The main cause of the crisis is the power crisis. It was long expected but the authorities failed to do anything to prevent it as their corruption plot messed up. Now will the army be used to tackle the electricity protests?

I wonder how long the authorities will not be held accountable for their failures and the army will be called to save their faces. This is a dangerous game as some day any army general may plot a coup to avoid being a pawn in the hand of some incompetents.

 

Posted by Rezwan

FREE ALAA


I am really shocked! Alaa Ahmed Seif al-Islam, an Egyptian pro democracy activist was apprehended by the Egyptian authorities in a crackdown on protests. Alaa and Manal, his wife are popular for their strong voices in the award winning blog Manal and Alaa's Bit Bucket.

'On The Face' blog has a good roundup of the latest news on Alaa. People have set up a blog called "Free Alaa" to spread the news and protests.

Bloggers around the world are protesting this outrageous act of the Egyptian authorities. If are a blogger you should also participate.



Update: Alaa is well and blogging from Prison.

Tag: Egypt

 

Posted by Rezwan

ON RACISM

Got an email which claims that the following stories are true:

Scene 1:
The Oprah Winfrey Show where her guest was Tommy Hilfiger:

On the show, she asked him if the statements about race he was accused of saying were true. Statements like "If I'd known African-Americans, Hispanics, Jewish and Asians would buy my clothes, I WOULD NOT have made them so nice. I wish these people would *NOT* buy my clothes, as they are made for upper class white people." His answer to Oprah was a simple “YES".

Where after she immediately asked him to leave her show.

My suggestion? Don't buy your next shirt or perfume from Tommy Hilfiger. Let's give him what he asked for. Let's not buy his clothes, let's put Him in a financial state where he himself will not be able to afford the ridiculous prices he puts on his clothes.

Let's find out if Non-whites really play such a small part in the world.


Scene 2: On a British Airways flight between Johannesburg and London:

A White woman, about 50 years old, was seated next to a black man. Obviously disturbed by this, she called the air Hostess.

"Madam, what is the matter," the hostess asked.

"You obviously do not see it then?" she responded. "You placed me next to a black man. I do not agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me an alternative seat."

Be calm please," the hostess replied. "Almost all the places on this Flight is taken. I will go to see if another place is available."

The Hostess went away and then came back a few minutes later.

"Madam, Just as I thought, there are no other available seats in the economy class. I spoke to the captain and he informed me that there is a seat in the business class. All the same, we still have one place in the first class."

Before the woman could say anything, the hostess continued: "It is not usual for our company to permit someone from the economy class to sit in the first class. However, given the circumstances, the captain feels that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone so disgusting."

She turned to the black guy, and said, Therefore, Sir, if you would like to, please collect your hand luggage, a seat awaits you in first class."

At that moment, the other passengers who were shocked by what they had Just witnessed stood up and applauded.


Now when I googled to verify the first one, I found out that it was a hoax, which is being circled since 2003. Tommy Hilfiger has never even been on the Oprah show. Both Tommy Hilfiger and Oprah Winfrey deny the claims in the email. I don't know about the second one, but it is certainly worth as a part of an entertaining fiction.

Yes, racism exists and it is very much alive in the kind of people you would never had imagined. But there is no need to resort to fabricated stories and claiming them as true stories as an awareness scheme. As this issue is sensitive, many are clever enough to libel or blackmail somebody with it. It can also be termed as reversed racism and racism in any form is bad.

"No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them."
"Racism is an ism to which everyone in the world today is exposed; for or against, we must take sides. And the history of the future will differ according to the decision which we make."

 

Posted by Rezwan

UNVEILING SAUDI ARABIA

This is good news. Saudi Arabia will start issuing non-religious tourist visas to foreigners to develop tourism in the country (via Haitham). It is too early to predict that it will be as open as its Gulf Arab neighbors which boast Western-style nightclubs serving alcohol anytime soon. I hope they will consider giving permission to holy cities of Mecca and Medina to the non-Muslims as well. Saudi wahabi ideologies need some fresh air.

"No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive." - Mahatma Gandhi