Echo

ASIA BLOG AWARDS  

Posted by Rezwan

Finally the best Bangladesh blog nominees are selected. Don't blame Myrick for the delay as he had to do the effort single handedly.

The nominees for best Bangladesh Blog Q1 2006/2007 are as follows:


The voting will start soon. This time a ranking of the above mentioned 8 blogs will be required from the voters. So please take your time to review each of the blogs before voting.

Blog Day 2006: the celebration of Internet, Blogging and democracy  

Posted by Rezwan

In one long moment In August 31st, bloggers from all over the world will post a recommendation of 5 new Blogs, Preferably, Blogs different from their own culture, point of view and attitude. On this day, blog surfers will find themselves leaping and discovering new, unknown Blogs, celebrating the discovery of new people and new bloggers.

31/08 = 3 1 o 8 = Blog

Today I am sharing some personal information to help fellow bloggers living in other parts of the world to know me better. Its an initiative of the Global Voices Online.

1) Q. Why did you start blogging? A. I had opinions to share and was exposed to Internet for long.
2) Q. What do you blog about mainly? A. Anything on my motherland, Bangladesh.
3) Q. Do you blog in your first language or in another language, and why? A. Yes I blog in Bangla and my active page is here. If you converse in the mother tongue you can articulate yourself better.
4) Q. What motivates you to keep blogging even if (like most bloggers) you’re not paid much for it? A. Its more like a passion than a hobby.
5) Q. Is your audience mainly inside your own country or around the world? A. They are everywhere as far I know.
6) Q. What do your family and friends think about the fact that you are a blogger? A. They become surprised when they find it because I try to keep a low profile among the acquaintances on this.
7) Q. Does your boss know you have a blog? A. My previous Boss didn't know.
8) Q. What is the relationship between blogs in your country or region and the mainstream media? A. Very poor, almost non-existent, but things will change as the blogging community will grow.
9) Q. When you blog, how would you describe what you write? Is it part of a conversation? Is it ranting? Is it a daily diary? Is it journalism? Is it some or all of these things at different times? Does the definition matter? A. It's all the things in between. I don't need to define.
10)Q. Have blogs started to have an impact on politics in your country? Have they started to influence what stories get covered in your country’s media? We’d love to know some examples. A. Not yet. We are yet to see any politician or a think tank blogging. But as the Bangla blogging community is expanding, we will see some results soon.

Official Blog Day 2006 (31st August) posting instructions.

I am hereby tagging five blogs. My theme of this year is Diaspora group blogs:

1)Unheard Voices: Drishtipat group blog :- A group blog of Bangladesh Diaspora based in USA. Drishtipat is committed to safeguarding every individual's basic democratic rights, including freedom of expression, and is opposed to any and all kinds of human rights abuses in Bangladesh. Drishtipat tries to leverage technology to unite expatriate Bangladeshis from all over the world to work on specific issues related to social justice in Bangladesh.

2) Sepia Mutiny: Sepia Mutiny's title is "a pun on the first widespread rebellion against the British Raj"--a reference to the so-called Sepoy Mutiny or First War of Indian Independence in 1857. It has become a space for individuals of South Asian descent who are now in the United States to talk about issues of interest to them.

3) Pickled Politics:
It's a group blog of the South Asian Diaspora based in UK. Its mission statement says "We, as modern Asian Britons, are fighting a metaphorical war on two fronts. In one corner we have what you can call ‘the community’. On the other side there are the racists. On one side stand all the bigots who hate, despise and look down on others based on their race, religion, caste, sexuality and nationality. And there are others who choose to reject that hatred. Whose side do you want to be on?"

4) DesiPundit: The blog boasts as a one stop site for browsing the best of the Indian blogosphere has to offer. The crew are scattered across three continents and six time zones so publishing happens round the clock. Their blog day celebration is being done with the launch of the Indian Bloggers Directory.

5) Global Voices Online: Global Voices Online is a non-profit global citizens’ media project. A growing number of bloggers around the world are emerging as "bridge bloggers", people who are talking about their country or region to a global audience. Global Voices is the guide to the most interesting conversations, information, and ideas appearing around the world on various forms of participatory media such as blogs, podcasts, photo sharing sites, and videoblogs. It has about 75 regular bloggers across the world bringing you the global voices online.

(Blog information from wikipedia and respective blogs)



3108 This!

Canary in the coal mine: what the deaths in Phulbari mean to Bangladesh  

Posted by Rezwan

Is the price of coal more than human? At least 5 people died as the security forces opened fire on an uncontrollable protest by the inhabitants of Phulbari while they were demonstrating against the Asia Energy Corporation's Phulbari coal project, which is feared to have a great environmental impact if goes into operation. While the open pit method, a specific method of surface mining promises 80% extraction of the Phulbari reserves it has certain severe environmental impacts. If the project comes into commercial production, more than 100 villages within a 59 sq. km radius will have to be evicted and estimated 100,000 inhabitants relocated. Everything on the ground will perish and will not be reusable even years after the end of the project.

According to the New Nation the security forces did not handle the situation well and there were some provocations. It seems people were not in terms with the Asia Energy's public relation initiatives and aware of its rehabilitation commitments. They demonstrated primarily on the fear of being evicted from their livelihood.

Bangladesh is sitting on a considerable amount of coal and gas reserve. The first big coal reserve found in Barapukuria (Estimated Reserve: 390 Million tons; depth: 119 504M; extractable: about 78 million ton by UG method at about 20%), which is being extracted through underground method by hiring a Chinese company and Bangladesh has the ownership and freedom of use of the mined coal. But what is troubling is the change in government's energy policy. In 1995, it gave licenses to explore and develop a coal field to BHP, an Australian mining company. The Phulbari field was discovered in 1997 (estimated reserve: 426 572 million tons; depth: 140 350M; extractable : about 68 114 million by UG or 340 457million tons at 80% by open cast method). Phulbari is about 350 kilometers northwest of the capital, Dhaka and just 10 kilometers east of the Indian border in the north of Bangladesh.

BHP later divested its Phulbari contract to Australian Asia Energy Corporation Proprietary Limited, which was acquired by Asia Energy Plc., based in London in 2003. Asia Energy Corporation (Bangladesh) Proprietary Limited, a subsidiary of Asia Energy PLC was formed specifically for the Phulbaria project and the Bangladesh government reassigned BHP's licenses and contracts in full to them.

The full contract of the government with the AEC is yet to be made public. What is known to public is that Bangladesh will only get 6% as royalty, 14.52 million tons, worth $726 million out of expected 242 million tons, worth US$ 12,100 million for the investor at US$50/ton. Considering the environmental damage and the cost of land its more like awarding Asia Energy the project free. Dristipat has more details and links to the story. Salam Dhaka says Asia Energy is a stock market scam.

It is now time for the nation to press the government to disclose the full details of the contract with AEC, and action should be taken if it does not protect the national interest. The energy policy needs to be made beneficial to the country. Like a canary in the coal mine, these brave people gave their lives to warn us.

Update: The Australian government has a renewed travel advisory for its people. A bit overreacting I presume.

Today's Links  

Posted by Rezwan

* Every shoe tells a story.

* When is Web 2.0 releasing?

* Is Bangladesh really becoming Afghanistan?

* Who is censoring on behalf of Islam?

* When Muslims kill Muslims.

Youtube video of the day  

Posted by Rezwan



Wafa Sultan debating Islamic cleric.

Hat tip: Sadiq.

Today's Links  

Posted by Rezwan

* 5 things to eat before you die: a guide to the globe.

* Are we giving the terrorists what they want?

* What does JK Rowling do with her money?

* A virtual Rickshaw ride.

* CNN: In the footsteps of Bin Laden.

* A Muslim response to Prager’s ‘Five Questions’.

Shammyobadi (The egalitarian)  

Posted by Rezwan

I sing the song
Of equality,
Where all status and class
Become triviality.

The Rendezvous of Hindu, Buddhist,
Muslim or those of Christianity,
I sing the song
Of equality!

Who are you? Persian? Jain?
Shaotal, Til, Garo? Jew?
Confucian? Charvaka-disciple?
Anything else; something new?

My friend!
Be whatever you are,
Or, whatever book or scroll you carry
in your head or on your shoulder.

Vedas, Tripitak,
Or Quran - Puran,
Avesta or another,
read as much as you like or can.

But why this foolhardiness
Whacking your head with all your power,
Why so much haggling in the market,
When at your roadside blooms fresh beautiful flower?

Right in you resides
The essence of all books, of all time,
In every scripture you will find this,
My friend, if you just open your heart sublime.

Your heart hosts faith's essence
And of all that you deem holy,
Your heart is the world-altar
representing all the divine, wholly.

Why do you seek the holy or divine
in the skeletons of scrolls dead?
He smiles behind the curtain
right in your soul-bed.

My friend, believe me
I am not lying,
To bow in your adoration,
All the crowns are dying.

This heart is Kaashi, Mathura,
Brindaban or holy Nile flowing,
It is Buddha's Goya, Jerusalem
Madina, or where Kaba is glowing.

Real mosque, temple, church -
are not distant from this heart,
Sitting here Jesus and Moses
found their awakening to the truth start.

In world's arena Bhagavad-Gita,
Played eternal youth's tune,
In this same field the sheep-grazing prophets'
chord with God was hewn.

Meditating in this cave of the heart
Great Buddha the saint,
Gave up the kingdom
Hearing humanity's pangs go faint.

At this altar the desert's prince
Used to hear the divine call,
From this throne, he also sang
Quran's message of equality of all.

My brother, yes, O my brother,
Wrong I haven't heard,
There isn't any temple or mosque
greater than this heart.

- Kazi Nazrul Islam (Source of transliteration)

Kazi Nazrul is commemorated as the "national poet" of Bangladesh. Today is his 30th death anniversary.

How the recent Israel-Hizbullah war started  

Posted by Rezwan


(source)

No comments!

Today's Links  

Posted by Rezwan

* Watching Lebanon: Washington’s interests in Israel’s war.

* The fuss over Hitler's Cross.

* Visit Bangladesh before the tourists come.

* Kayaking from Nepal to Bangladesh.

* Guess who's doing passenger profiling now.

* Why the world hates America?

It simply is not cricket  

Posted by Rezwan

Cricket used to be a gentlemen's game. There was a time when batsmen would give away their wicket if he was convinced that he had nicked a ball, which went to the keeper's hand, before the umpire had their say. The umpires used to pat a player's shoulder telling that if he would go out of line next time he would be punished. Gone are the days.

Now cricket has been more intensive and insensitive. Players and umpires like to stick to their egos. Lots of professionalisms are in stake now. The sponsors, the TV coverage, the politicians, the prides of the nation.

The recent test match of the Pakistan vs. England ended prematurely in controversy as the Pakistan team refused the take the field and the match was awarded to England. But the crisis started as the match umpire Darrell Hair accused Pakistan team of tampering the ball (to get reverse swing of a pitched ball unplayable by a batsman) and curtailed Pakistans 5 runs as a penalty. Cricinfo has details.

In latest developments the ICC, the cricketing governing body has charged Pakistan's captain Inzamam-ul-Haq with ball tampering and bringing the game into disrepute. Pakistan cricket board is backing Inzamam saying if he is punished, Pakistan will go home without playing the one-day series. The Pakistan president has declared his solidarity with the Pakistan team. This can only go worse.

I was watching the 'hard talk' program in BBC where former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal, Indian journalist Mihir Bose and former umpire Dickie Bird were interviewed on this issue. The one thing came out from the discussion that the umpire did not have 100% evidence to charge the whole Pakistan team. Mr. Hair could have brought the charges and penalty later after the end of the play because the ball was already changed. And Pakistan's refusal to come out the pitch in protest in the first instance was a stupid decision. They could have continued with the play and deal with this later. However the point should not be ignored that when Pakistan did come to the field later, the umpires refused to carry on with the play saying that they have already decided that the match was given away by Pakistan. If they were gentlemen enough they could have told Pakistan in the first case, look you have five minutes to come to the pitch, otherwise the match will be forfeited. Most of the umpire's decisions were done on assumptions adding to the controversy. Imran Khan, Pakistan's cricket legend said the Darell Hair accusations are very serious and Pakistan should sue Hair to produce evidence that they have cheated.

To add to the bizarreness of the events, Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmar backed his players for their decision after this:

He asked the players to swear by their Koran and say that they hadn't tampered with the ball. They did. And he was ok with their protest of walking out on the test.
Desicritics adds with sarcasm that the Koran after all finally decided the fate of the match.

Update: The ICC had postponed the Inzamam hearing so that the tour can carry on smoothly. But today's developments have made the situation more complicated. ICC chief executive Malcom Speed revealed that umpire Darrell Hair offered to resign from the International Cricket Council’s elite umpiring panel within 31st of August, if he was paid $500,000. Andrew Miller of Cricinfo comments:
Though his critics in Asia have long been claiming otherwise, the one thing Hair had left was his integrity. Now, for one reason or another, he has let his motives be questioned. He can certainly never umpire at the highest level again, and his name is all set to be dragged through the mud.
Shocking for cricket, indeed.

Plagiarized views, such is the state of anti-Bangladesh writings  

Posted by Rezwan

I was shocked, as I was reading one artcile called 'Bangaldesh: New terror route' written by Mr. Vipin Agnihotri, who has a post graduate diploma in mass communication in India. He has posted the same article titled "Bangladesh: A New Terror Hub" in The Day After magazine. The first sentence seemed familiar to me and then I realized that it was from one of my writings posted in my blog as early as October, 2004. I could easily find from the blog archive my article titled 'India-Bangladesh relationship' and was much astonished to see certain section of the article was wholly copied and pasted in Agnihotris article. You can see for yourselves.

In the last couple of years there have been a number of articles in the international suggesting that Bangladesh is increasingly leaning towards fundamentalism. Such views arose as Bangladesh was regularly hit by bomb blasts in public places, a small portion of intellectual communities threatened by certain sections of religious outfits, and certain minorities like the Ahmadia community were attacked by the bigots. The government at first went on a denial role further suggesting that there is collusion between these fundamentalists and forces within the government. Jamaat-e-Islami, the coalition partner of the ruling BNP, was blamed for playing the role here but such allegations are yet to be proved. However the government could pull the strings as massive operation was launched against the religious fundamentalists. Especially after the extremism organization Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh(JMB)launched a nationwide assault by exploding more than 500 non-lethal bombs in 63 of the 64 districts of Bangladesh in August 2005. Such an act was to show their might. But the combing operation of the security forces could make an inroad to the hideouts of the JMB and successfully apprehend the chief Abdur Rahman and his second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai along with many small fries of the organizations. These two were sentenced to death in their first trial in May, similar trials are to follow.

It may be questioned now why these guys went on a rampage with their bigot thinking, just to establish God's law as they claim? Their confessions claim that they received 10000 British pound starlings from 2 Britons for the August 2005 offensive. This suggests an international link to the organization. However as organizations like Al-Qaeda do not have reasonable interest in these belts, it may be deemed that other elements may have been behind this to create a unstable situation in the country. Jamaat-e-Islami may not be behind this as their popularity dropped sharply after the August 2005 bombings and this can affect their chances in the coming elections. So the notion that these extremists are totally homegrown influenced by rapid popular support is far from the truth.

Now after putting most of the JMB outfit behind the bars the nation has not been exposed to renewed bomb attacks or significant evidence that extremist outfits are again materializing. Bangladeshi blogger Razib has discussed in details why Bangladesh will not transform towards Talibanization as claimed by many such articles specially by the Indians. The critics of Hiranmay Karlekar's book Bangladesh, the next Afghanistan say that he had never been to Bangladesh to get a first hand report and all his views are based on secondary sources.

And we can see how these sources can be, copying and pasting suitable words from others views. I wish if Mr. Vipin could also plagiarize my conclusion in his article:

Problems like this will continue to exist if both the countries do not wish to minimize them and want to keep them alive for political reasons. Renowned columnist Kuldip Nayar has urged the Indians to be generous and be realistic to conquer the anti-India feeling in Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi think tanks are not doing well enough to reduce the tensions the political leaders are inflicting upon the relationship.

Meanwhile a girl in Bangladesh will continue to adore Shahrukh Khan (Indian actor) and watch all his movies in pirated discs and girl in India will pay any price to get a Dhakai Sari smuggled through the borders. A Bangladeshi boys honeymoon place would be in Darjeeling and an Indian’s Cox’s Bazaar Beach. I think many of the Bangladeshi politicians who cries against India in a political speech, go home and watch popular Hindi soap operas in Indian Channels and some would send his kid to a school in an Indian hill convent. India-Bangladesh relations will remain so bitter sweet and quite prone to exploitation by the political leaders.
Update: The article in the Buzzle.com (see first link) vanished after I posted this article in their comments section. However you can still view the article first recorded by Mac Haque's Chutneyz.

Today's Links  

Posted by Rezwan

* pakistan at 59: Avari asks, what was the point?

* 50 coolest websites.

* Google sight seeing.

* 15 amazing things about Indians in USA.

* 10 things you should never buy used.

* Whoever "won", Lebanon lost.

* After the war: scandals rock Israel.

* If you want sharia law, you should go and live in Saudi.

8/21 the unsolved mystery  

Posted by Rezwan

It has been 2 years since the grenade attacks on the Awami League leaders, including chief Sheikh Hasina, which left numerous dead and hundreds of persons crippled. 'Who was behind it?' the question remains unanswered till today. What should be the peoples' role now instead of just mourning the deaths? Politicization of the investigation process is one of the biggest failures of this government.

Bangladesh Blog Buzz  

Posted by Rezwan

What the Bangladeshi blogs are saying:

* Tourism: Razib at the South Asia Biz lists 12 reasons why you should travel Bangladesh -the land of greenery.

* Education: Rajputro sheds a light on the reason behind the recent student protests in the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, his Alma Mater.

* Business: South Asia Biz reports that in Sitaranpur, a Bangladesh village, human families are engaging themselves for making nests instead of birds for export to foreign countries.

* Politics: Salam Dhaka is critic of the latest debacle between the Executive Chairman of the Board of Investment (BoI) of Bangladesh and the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), an independent research organization.

Shafiur of imperfect | world | 2006 terms the action of the BOI chairman as the Singapore method of taking down opponents.

Nazim Farhan Choudhury of Conversations with an Optimist accuses the civil society of ranting and criticizing at each possible developments. The Bangladeshi civil society fails to name the solution every time.

* Review: 'The self-realization along with the path of Love and the infinite mercy of God' -this is the theme of the book ‘Master of the Jinn’ by Irving Karchmar reviewed by Sadiq of Inspirations and Creative Thoughts.

* Identity: Sid H Arthur of Serious Golmal discusses the identity issues of the Bangladeshis.

* War: Tazzy of A sunshine too brief has some questions after hearing the news of the imminent cease fire in the Middle East.
Will it last?
Will it even end anything?

* Literature: Shamsur Rahman, the most popular poet of Bangladesh died at 77. The blogosphere mourned the death with the nation. Shahriar Karim of Khero Khata complains that the prime minister and the leader of opposition, nor even the president, had enough time to visit the poet in his death bed.

* Culture: Razib of South Asia Biz tells the way tea is generally made in roadside tea stalls in Bangladesh.

* Weather: Expat blog Akash & Nila coins a list of how tos to stay cool during the summer in Bangladesh.

* Bangla Blog: The Bangla language blogging platform Bandh Bhangar Awaaj is growing strong with more than 50000 page views everyday. It is full of activities of more than 2500 registered users with daily postings of news, prose and poetries and lots of comments and criticisms. From contemporary issues like politics, religion to travelogue or reviews of cinemas you will find everything here. If you know the Bengali language you should not miss this site.

The most beautiful ugly woman  

Posted by Rezwan

What do these pictures have in common?




All are the main character of the versions of the Colombian soap opera Betty La Fea. In different countries she is known as Betty, Lotte, Lety, Lisa or Jassi.

Today's Links  

Posted by Rezwan

* How ideas spread.

* You know you've been brain washed, if you....

* US aid policy hits Bangladesh women.

* A dangerous new reality for Israel.

* Ahmadinejad's 'blog'.

* The Saudi Riyal: evolution of a currency.

* NASA selects Pakistani woman.

Farewell, the civic poet  

Posted by Rezwan

Shamsur Rahman (77) was one of the most acclaimed poet of Bangladesh. With more than 60 books to his credit, he was the most popular contemporary poet and nicknamed the civil poet. To know Shamsur Rahman’s poetry is to know his people and his country. He started at age 18 and was a career journalist in some of the leading Bangla newspapers.

He was vocal against the religious fundamentalists of the country since long which had cost him a failed assassination attempt by the bigots in 1999. But he had to go this time because of kidney and liver failures. Yesterday he died and no state funeral was given as he was not well in terms with the government for their partnership with the religious parties. But Bangladesh will remember him always. Here is one of his poems:

Before the Journey

I'll soon be gone, quite alone
And quietly, taking none of you along
On this aimless journey. Useless
To insist, I must leave you all behind.

No, I'll take nothing at all.
On this solitary journey, you're stuffing
My bags for nothing; don't squeeze my favorites books
Into that beer-bellied suitcase.
I won't ever turn their pages.
And let the passport sleep on in the locked drawer.

Only let me have a look at the harvest
From my ceaseless toil, the quietly ripening fruits
Of my talent. But what on earth
Are these wretched things you bring?
Did I lie drunk with smugness in my little den
At having produced this inert, unsightly crop?
My soul screams in mute desolation
At the thought of carrying this sight with me,
I beg you, don't add to the burden of this journey.

Translated by Kaiser Haq

Profiling  

Posted by Rezwan

I have been away for a tour in Belgium and the Netherlands and could not keep up with a lot of recent happenings in the world. The London terror plot saga produced much media buzz however the liquid explosive threat now seems to be exxagerated. The new cabin luggage rule created much outrage amongst the travelers put in a lot of misery.

Today a Pakistani American women was detained in the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, West Virginia, USA and around 100 passengers were evacuated from the terminal on bomb scare. She was carrying a container with liquids which the authorities claimed "not permissible and very suspect as a bomb." It is an issue for debate whether these cry wolf situations are really securing human lives or letting the terrorists win scaring a hell lot of people.

Believe me a lot of people are being disturbed by all this. Now there is a talk in the US as spelled out by conservative radio host Mike Gallagher:

It’s time to have a Muslims check-point line in American airports and have Muslims be scrutinized. You better believe it. It’s time.
The problem is you can’t detect a Muslim by the color of their skin or their appearance. There are white Muslims, black Muslims, Asian Muslims, Arab Muslims, and Muslims of every color and ethnic background. Sepia Mutiny ironically suggests that authorities can check the male foreskins; however this will not be effective on women as on the above case. Sepia Mutiny has also added more hilarity to the matter with additional suggestions to screen potential Muslim terrorists.

One of my acquaintances (a Bangladeshi passport holder) who recently visited Canada told an unbelievable experience of his. Passport holders of some South Asian countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and some Arab countries were told to drop their passports in a sack hold by an air hostess and had to wait in the Aircraft. After a while they were called and escorted to a separate immigration counter one by one.

Talk about discriminatory treatment, its not new for Muslims or the people of some parts of the world. But how long people in the West will be willing to carry the weight of an armor disturbing normal life in spite of diffusing the threats by solving the problems?

Today's Links  

Posted by Rezwan

* Wiping off the face of the Map.

* 79 reasons why you should travel South Asia

* Tibetan government in exile launches online TV site.

* David Byrne on Jesus camps: like Madrassas, with less literacy.

* The best flash animation in 2006.

Visa Discrimination  

Posted by Rezwan

Qatar's the Peninsula reports quoting an official immigration watchdog:

Thousands of would-be visitors to the United Kingdom are being illegally turned down for visas simply because they are from poor and repressive countries.

Visa nationals from those countries are required to satisfy a higher burden of proof to obtain a visa than others because they meet a socio-economic profile that is believed to indicate they are a risk and provide little economic benefit to the UK if granted leave to enter. The discrimination is unlawful because there are no ministerial authorisations allowing individuals from particular nationalities to be treated differently for entry clearance into the UK.
And I thought such discriminations can only be found in non-democratic or developing nations. But I was wrong.

Propaganda War  

Posted by Rezwan

The Israel-Hizbullah war has gone to next level. Now people are manipulating pictures and news, which are produced in the media across the world. Reuters has withdrawn all 920 pictures of the Lebanese photographer Adnan Hajj on suspicion of doctoring picture. Hot Air & Pajamas Media has details of the manipulation of the photo. They are suspecting that Hajj is working for Hizbullah, who had manipulated press well.

Meanwhile Spiegel Online reports, Israel is also good at catering foreign journalists with furnished information, all they need, and lunch included.

Heart failure  

Posted by Rezwan

The intelligence of Bangladesh police was evident in a court hearing of the trial of the Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) activists, who were caught with explosives.

When Captain Tareq Rahman Khan of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) saw the Public Prosecutor, Shahidul Islam, uncovering the (live) explosives in front of the judge (produced as evidence), he admitted suffering temporary heart failure.(BBC)
The police defended that they were not asked to diffuse them.

Its a Wiki Wiki world  

Posted by Rezwan

Via Andy Carvin, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announces:

* One Laptop Per Child Project is including Wikipedia as one of the first elements in their content repository.

* A new project called Wikiversity will serve as an online center for the creation and use of free learning materials and activities. It will create and host a range of free content materials, multilingual learning materials, for all ages in all languages.

* Wikia and SocialText is launching Wikiwyg. It will make it easier for more people to get involved in wiki editing.

Quote of the day  

Posted by Rezwan

"As I watch so much of the world ask Israel for restraint in a way no other country would (Can you imagine what Bush would do if a terrorist organization took over Canada and was lobbing missiles into Montana, Maine and Illinois?) - and, by the way, does anyone ever ask Hezbollah for restraint?"

- Bill Maher in the Huffington Post

National ID card, solution to many problems  

Posted by Rezwan

Issue 1: from Bangladesh, the latest nonsense the world is seeing is that the Chief election commissioner is being accused of compiling a millions of Takas worth fresh voters list for the upcoming election. The election commission has completely scraped the previous voter list done five years ago not taking into account that updating the list could have saved a lot money. Of course there were political intrigues behind the both list as these were done under two different governments.

Issue 2: Many countries such as USA and UK won't be accepting any other passports than machine readable ones from 2007. So Bangladesh government was under pressure to implement machine readable passport as soon as possible. But for that a database, such as the national ID card is required. The home ministry was apt in judging the situation and tagged the national ID card project along with the machine readable passport project and submitted to the cabinet purchase committee. The committee rejected the proposal last month saying:
"Machine-readable passport and readable national ID card are two separate issues National ID card project is a bigger issue which needs direct approval of the Cabinet instead of such a committee".

A draft law was already proposed by the home ministry citing that the ground work was done.

Political debates asides, what Bangladesh really needs is a national ID card base which can solve many problems. This database can be used in numerous ways, from voter lists, passports, tax records, land registration authentications to criminal investigations. According to todays news the machine readable passport with national ID card project has been shelved. Now the country will seek to implement machine readable passports without a validated database, which should be an worry for the other countries who will recognise these passports. There are now talks of corruption in the bid, but some people forget that sometimes corruption can also be counterproductive. Curbing corruption is a different issue, but fearing that no development should be halted.

Bangladesh will be paying the price of building so many individual databases until the prime national ID card is implemented and shared by all concerns.

TODAY'S LINKS  

Posted by Rezwan

* Israel is backed by an army of cyber-soldiers.

* What is Hizbullah?

* Turbans do not equal Taliban.

* How Google Earth is changing science.

* The politics of alliance: Bangladesh experience.

* The top 10 unintentionally worst company URLs.

AIR TORTURE  

Posted by Rezwan


Brought to you by Amnesty International USA.

Bombs on German trains  

Posted by Rezwan

The two recent unexploded bombs caused stirs among many questing the security in Germany. So far Germany has been safe from the international terrorism that started in the mid nineteen nineties. Germany did not send soldiers to Iraq, that might have left the country out of the terrorists attentions. I think Germany's recent involvement in diplomacy to solve the Middle East conflicts may have changed this position.

Violence in Iraq  

Posted by Rezwan

Insurgents do not like football.

OPINION  

Posted by Rezwan


No comments.

WHY WAL-MART PULLED OUT OF GERMANY  

Posted by Rezwan

Via Varnam: because of German shopping habbits.

German shoppers are accustomed to buying merchandise strictly based on price, German retail consultants say. They are willing to buy laundry detergent at one store and then go to another to get a better price on paper towels. That behavior is called "basket splitting." It is the antithesis of what American shoppers like: one-stop shopping. A big plank of Wal-Mart's strategy in the U.S. and elsewhere is getting shoppers to turn to it for an increasingly wide array of goods. (The Wall Street Journal)

QUOTE OF THE DAY  

Posted by Rezwan

"Israel is wrong. There aren't two sides to this anymore. I've heard all I want to hear from Israel. It's time to stop the attack on Hezbollah, withdraw back into Israel, stop firing bombs into Lebanon, and shut up for a while and let everyone else sort this out. It's not just Israel's problem. There are hundreds of millions of lives at stake in the Middle East, and this time not only has an Arab country, and that's what Hezbollah is, withstood Israel's attack, but they're also clearly justified in their response to the Israeli attack.

I'm an American Jew, first-generation, child of refugees. If anyone would support Israel, it would be me, but I don't. This war has to stop now."


- Dave Winer of Scripting News

TODAY'S LINKS  

Posted by Rezwan

* I accuse you!

* Die with love, version 2.0!

* Debunking the "Ticking Bomb" argument for torture

* One of three T-shirts in EU made in Bangladesh.

* Obsession: What the war on terror is really about.

* Foreign spies active, as polls in Bangladesh draw near.

* Girls exceed boys in Bangladesh schools.

BOMB THEM  

Posted by Rezwan

News: Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon declares: "Everyone who is still in south Lebanon is linked to Hezbollah."