Echo

About  

Posted by Rezwan in

“When the Iraq war started in 2003″, types Rezwan, a Bangladeshi living in Berlin, “I was in Dhaka and I read a story in a local newspaper about a man called Salam Pax, an Iraqi, who was writing an online diary about the war and the effect it was having on his everyday life. I read his blog over and over, and started browsing around for others. After a while I started to think about writing my own. I found from many blogs from around the world that there appeared to be huge misconceptions about Bangladesh, mainly due to the absence of Bangladeshi voices on the internet, so I began to contribute comments to these blogs myself. It is vital that we correct these misconceptions,” he argues, in Rezwan’s 3rd World View which has become one of the most widely read Bangladeshi blogs on the net.

“Then I started following other Bangladeshi bloggers,” he ruminates. “And with time, I have seen more and more Bangladeshi bloggers emerge. Some of them approached me directly and I helped them set up their sites and supported them with ideas. In 2003 there were only a handful of Bangladeshi bloggers; now I have seen more than 500 writing in English, and over 3000 in Bangla.”

- Slate Magazine, The New Age, April 5, 2007


The outsider view of Bangladesh isn’t always postcard-pretty. Political unrest, natural disasters and religious extremism define the South East Asian republic in global news headlines. The mission of Third World View is to offer an alternate perspective, to be “a window of Bangladesh” from an insider’s point of view. Learn about Bangladeshi bands (the blogger, Rezwan, is a fan of The Doors), cricket and one opinionated blogger’s take on affairs around the world at The Third World View.

- ASIA! MAGAZINE, Singapore, July 2005 issue


‘The power of blogging is that it harnesses the strength of the Internet and it can reach people across the world instantaneously,’ said Rezwan, who is often referred to as the dean of Bangladeshi bloggers. [..]

The western media has more often been inclined to portraying the negative stereotypes of the country. However, says Rezwan, ‘they fail to see the miracle that with a high population density, these people are resilient to the wrath of nature and are fighting back.’ The images of Bangladesh on flickr.com, captured by the amateur photographers can stun anyone and change those impressions they have perceived from the global mainstream media. [..]

‘But it is not just about fame or publicity,’ said Rezwan. In the political culture currently prevalent in Bangladesh, where the parties do not have a system to value individual opinions, where a party follower cannot put forward an opinion to the leaders, ‘the blog is a useful platform to strengthen democracy, because here, people can lay out their opinions and there is a scope for a discussion in the comments section, so that the issue can be carried on further.’

- New Age Extra, Cover, January 22-28, 2010

Drama all around  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

The remanded DU teachers were charged with "giving provocative statements and instigating recent violent protests on Dhaka University campus" and produced to court.

BDNews24 reports:

A few minutes before arrival in the courtroom, Prof Anwar Hossain expressed sorrow over the "attitude shown to the army" during student protests on campus and sought forgiveness from all in the army—from a soldier up to the army chief. He claimed that the agitated students had attacked security officials and uniformed army personnel, hurting the dignity of the Armed Forces as a whole. "They felt insulted," he said expecting that all misunderstandings regarding the issue would end following his remarks. "It's an unwarranted incident. Today's military is not the same as the Pakistani army in 1971.
He expressed that he did not know that the incident had heart the Army so much and hoped that the army personnel diffuse their grudge against the students. He apologized on behalf of the students as a teacher and guardian.

However inside the court there was a different scenario. He complained of torture in custody:
Some people were physically tortured in front of us to torment us mentally. We were devastated.
I guess the army needed the apology so badly.

I will tell a joke about it. No wait lets link to the Bangla podcast where I first heard it.

India vs England: 4th One Day International Cricket match  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

England is leading this seven match series 2-1. So far we have seen some brilliant cricket with the prowess of some batsmen of both the teams, especially Sachin Tendulkar and Ian Bell. Indians will be hoping to win this 4th ODI to be held at Manchester. Andrew Flintoff will probably return today for England.

For the live streaming audio & video links & ball-by-ball commentary links of this match click here.

Meanwhile Bangladesh had left for Kenya to attend a four nation warm up series including the host and Pakistan. Looking forward to some good performance from the Bangladesh team prior to the TwentyTwenty world cup next month.

Curfew ends in Bangladesh but not the discontent  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

At lasts the curfew which was imposed last Wednesday following the massive unrest started by student protests has been lifted. Now the talk of the town is a report published in several newspapers in Bangladesh declaring the unrest as a co-ordinated attempt to unseat the current Government. What is notable is that the reports quoted unnamed *intelligence* sources and allegations without any references or evidence.

For an example, the articles published in the Daily Amader Shomoy and the Daili Amar Desh were true copies. These reports claim that the arrested teacher Dr. Anwar Hussain sent DU students to the University Gym ground to create trouble in a planned manner. On 22 August, when government ordered to vacate DU halls, Dr. Anwar Hussain used mega phones to urge the students to stay in the halls. The report went on with massive conspiracy theory maligning many politicians, businessmen of the country and also a Indian Embassy official. Some newspapers reported spending of Taka 1.5 crore to generate street agitations. Mash has details on Dr. Anwar Hossain's arrest.

The Government also claimed that they have saved the nation from another civil war.

Mash in E-Bangladesh slammed the US high commissioner in Bangladesh for his remarks supporting the Caretaker Governments actions:

“Our assessment from what we have heard is that it was initially spontaneous and then it was not. It became much more than the incident. It soon became something much bigger, something much sinister. A lot of money and coordination came into the equation.”
Mash remarks:
If indeed the High Commissioner has not gone off the reservation and was representing the position of the British government, it is incumbent on the United Kingdom to back up Mr. Choudhury’s claim with some evidence. Otherwise the British government is simply spinning conspiracy theories into a cauldron that is already spilling over with rumor and innuendo.
The British High Commission was quick to act in issuing a press statement confirming UK did not seek to offer its own assessment of the nature of recent unrest in Bangladesh.

However there are other interpretations of the events that took place last week. Discontent had been rising in recent months among the low income groups, especially over the increasing cost of living. Abeer Mustafa writes in the progressive Bangladesh:
...it must have taken a good deal of pent-up anger for people to raise their fists in front of black-clad policemen and armored vans, especially at a time when the state has suspended the fundamental right to protest. Not only did these students riot in different parts of Bangladesh, they came to be supported by locals, hawkers, rice-sellers, small businessmen, bostibashi—basically, the under-classes. Teachers got involved as well. The flames spread to at least a dozen cities, and threatened more.

The authorities may treat this as a pre-planned event. But the reality is much simpler.....

What brought people together is also simpler. It was not an ‘evil force’ guiding their behaviour, unless the word ‘evil’ means people’s desire to be able to afford food, not to be evicted on whim and without warning, not to be arrested without showing reason and treated guilty unless proven innocent, not to be labeled readily as corrupt plotters or scheming hoarders or blackmailing bankers or thugs in the guise of students.

What was driving this is clear. Rebels are usually straightforward about what they want, because a rebellion is a way to publicise demands. What got the rebellion to expand was really a longing for democracy.
Democracy is no where in site now and the discontent is growing.

Who is telling the truth?  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

"Our present government is a national government, army-backed government. That means it is a collective government,"
- Law and Information Adviser Mainul Hosein
"The present government is not a national government supported by the army. It is an independent, non-partisan caretaker administration,"
- Bangladesh's army chief General Moeen U. Ahmed

BBC has a sum-up of the current situation titled "photo the Bangladesh army cannot stand".

Today's Links  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

* Blogs have come of age: 10 years ago, weblogs altered mainstream media; now they're part of it.

* Google Sky: Google Earth to launch new service for stargazers.

* Attack on Taslima: love of Islam or love of power?

* The most complex marriage proposal ever?

* More racist attacks reported across Germany.

Did we forget the flood?  

Posted by Rezwan in ,



Photo: Sumaiya Ahmed via Flickr (attribution license)

You can also check this brilliant arial photographs of massive flooding through out Dhaka and central Bangladesh in Flickr taken by CujoPhoto.

The flood-related death toll went up to 702 yesterday since July 30 this year and most of the casualties were caused by drowning in floodwaters. The flood situation in the country is likely to improve further as the falling trend of the major rivers including the Brahmaputra-Jamuna and the Ganges-Padma is expected to continue, according to Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC). (Source: The Daily Star)
The recent curfew has taken the toll on flood relief. The Daily Times Pakistan reports:
Widespread violence triggered by student unrest prompted officials to impose the curfew in six cities on Wednesday. But the clampdown on dissent severely disrupted the movement of health workers and supplies to flood-hit areas, disaster management officials said. This had led to a jump in the number of people with diarrhoea and over the past 24 hours about 4,000 people contracted the illness. Relaxing the curfew allowed the sick the chance to get to hospital.
I think flood relief and rehabilitation should now be the priority of the government.

Traveling  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

I will be traveling in the weekend so will not have the chance to update the situation of Bangladesh. The frantic search for news updates were taking toll of me anyway and this will be a welcome break for me.

The Government has decided to relax curfews from 6 am today for 17 hours. Ershad Ahmed posts photos of the street life in Shahbag area taken on Friday evening. Life seems to be normal. There is even a groom's car being decorated. So people are also getting married in this situation. I am sure scores of weddings and other engagements were already canceled.

Life still goes on. It remains to be seen whether the spark that has been ignited is still burning inside.

Last but not the least lets tally some numbers in the last 3 days via Shawrav's Blog:

* 42,000 cases were filed against unidentified people including students in different police stations in Dhaka city. More cases will be filed in different cities.

* More than 200 are already arrested for breaking the emergency rules.
The prospect of lawyers and judges are very bright in this country.

Enjoy the video coverage of Bangladeshi blogosphere in the France24 news channel.

Bangladesh under curfew: Day 2  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

Bangladesh Open source intelligence monitor reports:

* The violence and attacks on security forces have subsided and a relative calm is prevailing all over the country.

* The curfew has been relaxed from 8 a.m to 10 p.m for people to go shopping and offer their Friday prayers.

* The Army is still out patrolling the streets of Dhaka and there seems no immediate plan for them to return to the barracks.

* Media censorship is in force and some private TV channels have been asked to exercise restraint (in reporting news).



(Curfew was relaxed today morning. But heavy downpour kept people inside. Photo: Shafiur)

Subhan reports from Dhaka:
- City dwellers suffered on 23 August as the prices of essential commodities, especially vegetables, marked a sharp rise because of short supply. Prices of many vegetables went up by about 50 per cent in some kitchen markets on the day.

- Law enforcement agencies raided DU dormitories on 22 August night and early 23 August, allegedly beating up some university staff and students on suspicion of 'disturbing peace'.

- An unknown number of students were injured at Jahangirnagar University as law enforcement agencies baton charged Jahangirnagar University (JU) students who failed to leave their dormitories within the deadline.

- Over 50 persons were injured in Rajshahi yesterday as law enforcers baton charged people who were out of their homes during the curfew.
Earlier on Thursday: BD News24 reports that Joint forces Thursday picked up two Dhaka University teachers from the teachers' quarters on Fuller Road quoting family sources.
One is Anwar Hossain, professor of biochemistry, younger brother of Nov 7, 1975 leader Col Abu Taher. He is a former JSD leader and now a prominent leader of the pro-Awami League teachers' grouping.

The other is Harun-or-Rashid, dean of social sciences.
BangladeshNews.com reports:
Law enforcers arrested former Rajshahi University (RU) vice-chancellor (VC) Prof Saidur Rahman Khan and Progressive Teachers’ Society Convener Prof Abdus Sobhan at their residences on the university premises early today (24 August 3AM Bangladesh time). Both of them are professors of applied physics department at the university.
Freedom House published a press release. Some excerpts:
Protests in Bangladesh are symptomatic of rising popular dissatisfaction with the military-backed interim government and the public’s concerns should be addressed rather than stifled.

We hope Bangladesh’s current leaders will avoid the lengthy protests Pakistan has been experiencing this year by swiftly setting a schedule for elections and allowing the resumption of basic civil liberties.
The Committee to protect journalists published a news alert. Some excerpts:
The Committee to Protect Journalists is dismayed by reports of the assault, detention, and harassment of local journalists by security forces.

CPJ is also concerned about widespread self-censorship among local broadcast media following yesterday’s remarks by Mainul Hosein, adviser for law and information for the interim government, reminding journalists that emergency regulations were in force and urging the media to “play a responsible role.” He denied that the government was imposing direct censorship but reminded journalists that it was empowered to do so under the emergency provisions. In a pointed appeal to broadcasters, Hosein said, according to the BBC, “We request channels to stop televising footage of violence until further notice because this might instigate further violence.”

Private television channels in Bangladesh abruptly stopped carrying reports about the street demonstrations, suspending even the popular political discussion programs about the day’s news.
CPJ asserts:
Journalists must be free to report independently on the unfolding political crisis, without interference from security forces and without fear of retribution from the government.
In the Middle of Nowhere lists some realities and asks "How can I not protest?"

Some international media reactions:

* Curfew in Bangladesh continues - The Hindu

* Bangladesh Forces Patrol Amid Curfew - Guardian Unlimited

* High stakes in Bangladesh protests - BBC

* Campus Power - The Telegraph India

* Desperate measures: The army-backed regime unravels; but there is nothing to replace it - Economist


Update I: Another source of updated news is the Bangla bloggers turned citizen journalists. There are a lot of them in the Bangla Blogging platforms Somewhere In "Bandh Bhanger Awaaj" and Sachalayatan.

Mira reports (Bangla):
Some Journalists of the popular Bangla daily "Prothom Alo" protested self censorship. They refrained themselves from work saying "We can no longer get beaten and be a collaborator at the same time". The newspaper published today with fewer contents than usual.
Rizvi Rahman posts series of curfew narratives.

AnyaRakam witnesses Police excess even when curfew was relaxed. He comments "It seems we are in Pakistan or Afghanistan".

Renowned poet Lutfor Rahman Riton's one poem was processed to be published in the Daily Janakantha's 23 August edition. But it was withdrawn at the last moment apparently due to self censorship. He has posted that in his Blog in Sachalayatan. It is high time journalists and writer should harness the power of the blogs as a medium for freedom of expression. The poem is here. Translation of the first verse:
To enter in a cantonment
Civilian's ID is questioned
To enter in a civilian zone
Army require any permission?
Journalist cum Blogger Biplob Rahman writes in his blog about the ordeal of his detention, events in jail and his release.

Update II: The most popular Bangla Blogging Platform Somewhere in launches a service for posting in blogs via sms using mobile phones. Those who want to share your breaking news, opinion or information to the world just go to message menu in your mobile and send the text shout(space)@bba(space)your message to 5455. The message will be shown as anonymous post. If you want to show your name then you have to register yourself. Registration is easy; just type "reg [nick] [gender] [area]" and send to 5455. Hope it will encourage more citizen journalists to use the new media tools in this situation.

However, a commenter in Drishtipat reports that all mobile networks have been shut down again.

Update III: Internationally acclaimed journalist Shahidul Alam posts an essay on the curfew called "the barren banana tree" accompanied with brilliant photographs. Some excerpts:
Rahnuma and I talked of the events over the last two days, of the army camp in Dhaka University. Of a soldier slapping a student. Of the vice chancellor (acting) being beaten up by police. This had never happened before, not even during the Ayub or Ershad military regimes.

Despite their claims, this government had never been called in by the people. We had no say in who the advisers would be. It was not military rule the people had welcomed, but the cessation of violence and the fear of further anarchy if the rigged elections were held. Banana trees would have made equally good replacements. However, banana trees would not have sold national interests. Closed down environmentally-friendly jute mills. Made slum dwellers homeless, or tortured and killed adibashis protesting the military acquisition of their ancestral lands. So while there was initial relief, as the price of essentials soared, news of nepotism and the partisan manner in which Jamaat -e-Islami was being shielded soon made people realise this banana tree would never bear fruit, let alone run a government.

As Bangladeshis realise that a democratically elected autocratic government has simply been replaced by an unelected autocratic one, the tune in the streets is changing.

Multiple demands of students and teachers have been whittled down to one - withdraw emergency rule. Underground pamphlets are spreading like wildfire. With the Internet down, text messages are filling up the ether. The information adviser’s suave statements to the media faltered as he snapped, “why such a fuss about a slap or two?”

The US has declared support for the chief adviser’s statement. What he lacks is the support of the people.
Such strong and true words.

Bangladesh under curfew: Day 1  

Posted by Rezwan in ,



An important Dhaka street looked like this today at 8:30 AM : Photo Shafiur.


Bangladesh was virtually cut off from the world during the night Here are some of the latest as the bloggers are reporting:

Journalist Arafatul Islam:

* The internet connections were out from 1:30AM at night. Limited connections were live at around 9:30 AM. Some say BTTB servers (state controlled internet gate away) were down. Some say the link to submarine cable was snapped. Some say ISPs ceased to serve their client on Government's instructions.

* Today even Rickshaws are not allowed. Journalists, employees or businessmen are not allowed to commute. So almost everyone is prefering to stay at home.
* Rumors are that curfew will be lifted by tomorrow.

Location: Shankar at Dhanmondi. Time: 5PM in the afternoon. Blogger Alexander Dumas [bn] points at the unruly mob caught on his camera. He asks do they seem as students? This poses the question are these mob here spontaneously or is there any force behind them?

Imrul Hasan reports:
"Today at around 11:30 PM a student was beaten to death by the Army. Students went out for protest rallies defying curfew. In Farmgate some labors assembled for protest rallies defying curfew. There are no TV coverage on these developments. Internet is very sluggish. I can't write."
Journalist Faisal informs:

Curfew has been relaxed from 4PM to 7PM today.
Brishti Manob reports:
*All mobile network started functioning fro 7:00 AM in the morning.
* Mirpur 10 to Pallabi looks like a dead zone. In the morning police beat some enthusiastic youths who gathered there. All transports have been blocked in Pallabi from 11AM.
Update I: Public holiday declared in Bangladesh today to cool curfew tensions.

Mostofa Monir reports from Dhaka: Mobile network has been snapped again.

Arafat is asking why BDNEWS24 is not updating, even the curfew relaxation information.

A commenter in Drishtipat:
Just got The message from Grameen phone network will be stop again 4pm-7 pm again. Current condition of Bangladesh Mobile network is whole day Average Success Rate is less than 7%.People are crazy to Connect relatives from abroad but can’t properly. Even after 7 Am also Network is partially opened. This is completely (a) violation of human rights.

Update II: BDNew24 is back in action. Its one of the reporters Omi Rahman Pial describes the scary situation last night when some of his colleagues were arrested by the security forces. He divulges BDNews could not update as Internet connection was disrupted.

BDNews has interesting News:
Bangladesh Telecom authority (BTTB) claims International telephony, internet and private international data circuits went down when the submarine cable link was "sabotaged" at 00:05am Thursday. It cut off Bangladesh from the rest of the world and intensified panic and confusion at home and abroad amid widespread violence across much of the country for days. Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) has been trying to restore the country's only terrestrial overseas communication lifeline. "This underground transmission link has been chopped at two different locations of Chunoti under Lohagara upazila 79 kilometres from Chittagong towards Cox's Bazar," BTTB officials confirmed.
Question is who did the sabotage?

BDNews24 also reports that:
Army and BDR men raided the four upper floors of Aziz Supermarket at Shahbagh in the city Thursday looking for students. The law-enforcers took at least 100 students from different rooms and assembled them on the third floor landing of the building. They kicked and beat them with sticks, several witnesses said.
US Expat Lulu is worried but not feeling threatened in this situation.

There are mixed reactions about the incidents of the last 3 days. Freedom fighter Shah Zaman Mozumder analyzes the events:
* The continuation and spread of unrest suggests that the situation was being taken advantage by other quarters. Who are these?

* If the reform measures of the current government become successful, it will signal the death knoll of many of the corrupt professional politicians. The politicians must take advantage of any potential situation to topple the current government.

* A section of the business community was a partner of the politicians in the last 36 years pillage of the country. If the corrupt politicians are forced to leave politics, so will be the fate of the corrupt businesses unless they find alternate hosts to infect.

* A large part of the corrupt bureaucrats are also under equal threat.

* A large part of the student community, particularly those affiliated with the mainstream political parties are nothing but political touts...If student politics are banned from educational institutions, many of their corrupt aspirations will remain unfulfilled.

* Was financing coming from other sources? My intuition suggests that financing was coming from some unknown sources other then the political parties because now their accounts are being closely monitored. I suspect that a significant part of the financing was coming from the large business houses because it was very clear from the TV pictures that many of the slum dwellers also joined the rampage and these people need some money to make them act.
Update III: Listen to BBC Bangla Service News Analysis Probaho for details of todays Police atrocities and sporadic protests.

Update IV: Tasneem Khalil reports:
CSB and ETV — both TV channels — have been issued “show cause” notices for “violating the Emergency Power Rules by broadcasting disturbing and anti-government news.” Sources also hint that The Daily Star and New Age — leading English dailies — are next. New Age plans to cut down its pages to 8 instead of 24 as curfew is seriously impeding news gathering and productions.
Shada Kalo Blog is sarcastic on this censorship:
Daily star published a set of pictures, one of which showed a person kicking a soldier from the back, and the soldier fleeing. There are unconfirmed reports that the Army is retaliating against DS journalists and staff for publishing that picture. How dare they show that the mighty army's butt can be kicked. Of course, no army or police personnel was punished for kicking the civilian lying on the road.
Drishtipat Blog highlights one editorial from The New Age which says "solution lies not in repressive measures".

Update V: A Blogger requests frantically:
The students of Dhaka University, wherever you are, please go to a safe place...you are being looked for. Please don't ask me anything.

YouTube Videos of the Day  

Posted by Rezwan in , , ,

Two videos from Jago Bangladesh (Total duration: about 20 minutes).

Part 1:



Part 2:



Bangladesh (1972 - 2006): A Rare Documentary of Corruption to Crakedown.

We have seen dramatic developments today in Bangladesh. The riot went on in the 3rd day and the Government imposed curfew.



(Photo courtesy Emela/The Daily Star)

More Photos uploaded in Flickr by E-Bangladesh.

BDNews24 reports that the curfew has stranded many:

Hundreds of thousands of people walked home as the news of the curfew spread amid a flare of emergency-time violence that swept much across of the country. The order derailed public transports. Buses stayed off the roads. Only rickshaws and some autorickshaws plied on, but they were too inadequate for thousands of passengers waiting by the side of the road to reach home before the curfew started at 8pm Wednesday. Hundreds of people were standing stranded on the streets after the curfew started, as transports were unavailable.
In another disturbing news scores of journalists have been arrested or beaten by the army during the first few hours of the curfew:
Army officers arrested three journalists of bdnews24.com—Liton Haider, Biplob Rahman (also a blogger) and Asif Ahmed Rommo—as they were heading home after work. They were stopped at a checkpoint, 200 metres from the bdnews24.com office in Dhanmondi. The army also severely beat Sanaul Haque, a New Age photographer, the newspaper's acting chief reporter Shahiduzzaman told bdnews24.com.
The chief of Government Chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed has:
blamed "evil forces" for the spread of countrywide violence since Monday. In an address to the nation Wednesday night, Fakhruddin said the government was forced to impose a curfew to stop the ongoing illegal activities and to save the lives and property of people. "It [curfew] is a temporary step and will be withdrawn after an improvement in the situation,"
Addabaj asks "who are the evil forces?". He reminds if Army and Police did not show excess then it would not have happened.

Dhaka News reports law adviser Barrister Moinul Hossain warned Jouranlists about the news coverage on the volatile situation in Bangladesh. He asked them to write carefully and responsibly.

Meanwhile E-Bangladesh has reports and podcasts from the ground:
# Authorities have shut down the mobile network all over Bangladesh till 7 AM tomorrow.
# Unconfirmed reports are coming in that some Internet service providers have also disconnected their subscribers.
# E-Bangladesh has received notifications from international Telecom operators that some of the Telecom switches that connects Bangladesh to the outside world has been blocked unofficially.
# In Dhaka university, all of the residential dormitories have been vacated. Our correspondents report that large army convoys are now patrolling the campus. Army members withdrawn earlier from the camp inside Dhaka University campus have returned.
# Unconfirmed reports from the campus say the army and police are now on with a house to house raid inside the campus with a list of student leaders and teachers to be detained. A large number of university teachers have left their university residences for safe locations outside the campus.
# Earlier, unidentified men detained 2 left-wing student leaders near Dhaka University mosque. Their current whereabouts are yet to be confirmed.
# One of our correspondents from Savar reports that truck loads of military personnel and SUVs came out of the Savar Cantonment early in the evening and proceeded towards Dhaka city and Gazipur.
# Day-long clashes between students-police and army across the country left at least 3 dead and more than a thousand injured. Of the dead, 2 in Rajshahi and 1 in Chittagong. Unconfirmed reports however place the death-toll at 6.
# Businesses owned by cabinet members of the interim government came under attack in Dhaka. A procession by students of Tejgaon College vandalized the headquarters of Square Group in Mohakhali. In Panthapath, Square Hospital was vandalized. Square Group is the family business of Energy Adviser Tapon Chowdhury.
# Earlier the Dhanmondi residence of Education Adviser Ayub Quadri came under attack.
International News Reactions (via Voice of Bangladeshi Bloggers):

* BBC, "video report"

* CNN

* Washington Post

* Guardian Unlimited

Update I: The journalists have been released. This blogger asks why the security forces detained them when it was announced that people with job ID can get back home?

Update II: Suchinta Blog is asking is Ruhul Amin the next president of Bangladesh? Read the post to know why.

Update III: E-Bangladesh's second audio podcast report is more scary:
# Closure of all the universities for an indefinite period.
# Censorship has been imposed on the media.
# Mobile phone networks shut down from 5:30PM-7:00AM.
# Bangladesh virtually disconnected from the outside world.
# All Internet traffic routed through BTTB.
# Dristipat, E-Bangladesh, Mukto-Mona, Blogspot might get blocked.
# 3 journalists from CSB news arrested for broadcasting “disturbing news.”
# RAB assaults journalists.
# Teachers in Dhaka University abused by army members.
Update IV: More International news reactions

* Bangladesh private TV channels blackout student unrest stories - China's Peoples Daily Online

* Bangladesh government orders mobile phones shutdown ahead of curfew -IHT

* Bangladesh universities closed to quell student unrest - Indian Muslims

* Bangladesh Interim Leader: Curfew to be Lifted Once Situation Improves - VOA

* Student violence a first major test for Dhaka government - TurkishPress.com

* Curfew exemptions -The Daily Star

Curfew in Bangladesh  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

Background on this issue:

* Trouble at Dhaka University

* Student riot continues in Dhaka


(Photo courtesy The Daily Star: Victorious students bidding farewell to the army posted in the campus)

The riot spread outside Dhaka on the 3rd day. At least 50 students and 10 police were wounded in the clashes in Rajshahi, about 230 kilometers (145 miles) northwest of Dhaka. IHT reports:
Violent clashes between police and students demanding an end to emergency rule in Bangladesh left at least one man dead and about 100 people wounded at university campuses across the country Wednesday,

An unidentified man died when students from Rajshahi University, in northwestern Bangladesh, set the school vice chancellor's home on fire and attacked a police checkpoint
BDNews24 reports:
A rickshawpuller died in police firing at Rajshahi University as violent student protests over Monday's army assault at Dhaka University raged across universities and colleges Wednesday. Dhaka University, Rajshahi University, Chittagong University, Government Azizul Haque University College in Bogra, BL College and Government Azam Khan Commerce College in Khulna, and BM College in Barisal became restive as students clashed with police, correspondents report. Violence broke out at Rajshahi University Wednesday morning as students demanding withdrawal of the law enforcers from the campus clashed with police.
The Government warned people of stern action if they do not listen to the call for calm and violate law and order. The statement released by the Press Information Department said some "rowdy non-students" continued to stage protests and damaged private and public property, despite the withdrawal of the army camp from Dhaka University.

Now there is a rumor of curfew being imposed across the country to take control of situation. We are anxiously waiting to hear the developments. The curfew may be imposed as early as in the evening.

I hope the Government will not use force to ignite more fuel to the flame. And I also condemn the destruction of public property in the protests. It will only create anarchy in the country. We need to identify the cause of the public rage.

Update: Shada Kalo points to other news:

- The 3 service chiefs met with US and UK embassy officials and UN officials for an all-nighter. The martial-law question came up, and was put on hold for the time being but that option is not off the table.
- Education adviser's house in Dhanmondi has been attacked by a procession.

Drishtipat blog asks "What are they protesting now?". It points that a premature end to the Care Taker Government will bring grave danger for our country. The blog analyzed why the protest spread like wildfire across the country. It comments:
We have often talked about here the labour unrest, the disconnect of the government with the real people, the inflation– add this to the years of neglect of public interest by previous governments, such massive unrest was predicted but it wasn’t seen to be coming this quickly.
Update II: Dhaka looks like battle zone from today's TV reports. Here is a report from yesterday's violence.


Update III: Curfew to start from 8 PM today, for an indefinite period. All universities closed down (source) and students have been asked to vacate dormitories within 8 PM giving only a couple of hours to do that. The acting vice chancellor of DU AFM Yusuf Haider said that the University is yet to take any decision regarding that.

Update IV: From E-Bangladesh:
CTG is plotting to arrest students tonight. Since most of them will not be able to leave their dorms, police may attack them later at night. They are planning to switch off power of DU area from 8pm.
Update V: Bangla Blogs are buzzing on this issue:

Somewhere in "বাঁধ ভাঙার আওয়াজ"
Sachalayatan "সচলায়তন"

They are reporting mobile networks to be shut down from 6PM to 9PM. Wide scale raids by security forces feared.

Update VI: Salah Uddin Shoaib Chowdhury's Weekly Blitz reports:
television channels owned by corrupt BNP and Awami League men have started well-organized provocative campaign to give instigations to students and public in making the situation worst. The alleged television channels are continuing to broadcast news and commentaries with the motive of involving mass people in the agitation in order to make it much complicated. It is learnt from dependable sources that owners of these TV channels sent special message from prison to give maximum provocations to the incident in order to put the government into difficult situation. It may be mentioned here that, there are eight private television channels in Bangladesh out of ten, which are owned by front ranking leaders of Bangladesh Nationalist Party [BNP] and Awami League.
Interesting.

Techguide  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

* Facebook Hack: Grid view of your friend list.

* IP address ranges of Bangladesh.

* 13 disasters for production web sites and their solutions.

* "Bengali On-Screen Keyboard iGoogle Gadget" for your iGoogle page.

* YouTube-style embeddable Google Maps.

Picture of the day  

Posted by Rezwan in



Olympic Park, Lausanne, Switzerland


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Xenophobia against Bangladeshi Workers in Maldives  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

Bangladeshi immigrant workers consist of about 8% of the total population of Maldives (3,00,000). Their labor is an integral part of the tourism and construction industries of the country. But in recent days there are reports of mob attacks against the Bangladeshi community. Some were also brutally murdered.

Now Bangladesh Government has taken up this issue strongly. Minivan News reports:

Bangladesh’s High Commissioner has told Minivan News he will consider pulling his country’s 25,000 expatriate workers out of the Maldives, if the government cannot guarantee their security.

The warning comes after police failure to prevent a wave of attacks on the dormitory of Bangladeshis working for the Malé Municipality.

Indian tourists were attacked by right wing extremists in Eastern part of Germany  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

Deutsche Welle reports:

Dozens of German youth attacked a group of Indian visitors to a village fair in the eastern German state of Saxony. Twelve people were injured in the incident which took place in the early hours of Sunday.

The Leipziger-Volkszeitung daily in Leipzig reported on Monday that the German mob had shouted xenophobic slogans. "If the police hadn't come, something much worse might have happened here," the paper quoted the pizzeria owner as saying.

Eastern Germany is also grappling with a resurgence in right-wing extremism after recent electoral successes of the far-right NPD party.
My personal observations are that the small towns in Eastern parts of Germany have high unemployment rates after shutting down of many dilapidating manufacturing concerns following the reunification of Germany. Almost half of the workforce go to Western parts of the country for jobs. Those who are left behind enjoy social security and lead a frustrated life. The NPD party is gaining grounds here and xenophobia is only a bi-product. Many somehow get the idea that people come to take away their jobs. Actually after the integration of many Eastern European countries in EU there are a flurry of guest workers from this region. As they look alike, the rage is concentrated on the colored people who are easy pickings.

"Foreigners Out!" and "The national resistance rules here!" - Der Spiegel has exclusive report and pictures on the news.

Student riot continues in Dhaka  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

Violent student riots continues for the second day in Bangladesh. At least 15 students have been injured. They have set the deadline for withdrawing the army camp at Dhaka University till Wednesday.

Drishtipat reports:

* Police fired teargas Tuesday to quell protests that spilled into its second day amid a strike at Dhaka University as more than 1,000 angry students marched through the troubled campus.
* Dhaka University Teachers Association (DUTA) has thrown their weight behind the students demanding army pullout from the campus

* Protests spilled over into other institutions including the Jahangirnagar University, as students boycotted class and put up barricades on Dhaka-Aricha highway for a while. They smashed several passing vehicles on the highway and briefly clashed with police.

*The protests are the first major defiance of the restrictions clamped under the emergency rules.
E-Bangladesh correspondent reports from Dhaka:
# 3:15PM All entry points to Dhaka University blocked by the police. Paramilitary BDR convoys sighted.
# 3:30PM Unidentified men, believed to be intelligence operators, beaten up by agitating students near Dhaka University mosque for video-taping a procession.
# 5:30PM Riot spreads to New Market and Dhaka College. Streets turn into battlezones. E-Bangladesh correspondent watches injured policemen receiving first-aid.
Meanwhile BDNews24 reports that:
The army man who allegedly assaulted and verbally abused a Dhaka University student has been withdrawn from the camp on the campus. In a statement Tuesday, the Inter-Service Public Relations Directorate said a probe opened into the army man's role in the incident. The army personnel, who is yet to be officially named, triggered a spell of violence that injured about 200 students and other people in two days.
Breaking News: BDNews24 reports that:
The government Tuesday decided to withdraw troops from the Dhaka University campus, a day after a spell of violence left about 200 people, mostly students, injured. Meanwhile, angry Dhaka University students demanded a public apology from army chief Moeen U Ahmed for what they said was an unwarranted incident on the campus. General Moeen has been set a deadline to apologise to the students by Wednesday noon.
A moral victory for the students. There was also a report that a group of people attacked the students. Some say that they were a faction of the political wings of Awami League and BNP because the students did not want to politicize the protests. This is a very significant development if it is true.

More update!The situation is still volatile. Science Laboratory Police Box in Dhaka was in flames. Reports from Bangladesh via comment section of Drishtipat Blog:
9pm in Dhaka. Police clash with students at Nilkhet.

Now we are hearing reports on “5 point” demand given by students. What I heard so far:

*Immediately remove all army presence from every national campus
*Moeen U Ahmed personally apologizes by 12 noon
*Return environment for democracy to country

CSB reporting new tear gas attack in Nilkhet right now. Area completely deadlocked, running fights. All cameras blocked off, CSB reporter reporting via mobile phones.

No video or still cameras being allowed.

Students not being allowed to leave the campus. They are blocked inside the campus. Many students leave campus to eat, now they cannot. Campus was open until 7pm, and then blockade began.

A friend just reported pitched battle on Sat Masjid Road all along Dhanmondi.

The both team is set for a long series of ODIs (7 of them). It will be interesting to follow the series as India has already won the Test series from the host England. Lets see whether England can bounce back in the one day series. Ian Chappel said that pace bowling will be the key factor to win the matches.

Here is the remaining tour schedule:

August:
Tue 21 13:30 GMT 1st ODI - England v India The Rose Bowl, Southampton
Fri 24 13:30 GMT 2nd ODI - England v India County Ground, Bristol
Mon 27 09:15 GMT 3rd ODI - England v India Edgbaston, Birmingham
Thu 30 13:30 GMT 4th ODI - England v India Old Trafford, Manchester

September
Sun 21 09:15 GMT 5th ODI - England v India Headingley, Leeds
Wed 5 09:15 GMT 6th ODI - England v India Kennington Oval, London
Sat 8 09:15 GMT 7th ODI - England v India Lord's, London

Here are a few relevant links for those who have to follow the matches online :

# Free audio and video streaming links:

* BBC Sports -Cricket for complete coverage from the BBC with live audio feeds, video highlights, feature stories, picture galleries, or have your say in the online forum. Please click on the Live link and on the next page click on "Live Test Match Special audio" to hear the commentary. Another link "BBC Five Live Sports Extra".

* Listen to live audio feeds from Sportingo.

* Nepali Students Bergen has an embedded video link. Try that.

* Sopcast: Please download sopcast from here. Then find live video cricket broadcasts from the channels list and click on any one of them. Wait a few moments and you can watch clear free live video of the match in full screen mode.

* MyP2P also has Sopcast feeds.

* Live Webcast from Tamil audio-video.

* Cricket Videos live commentary

* India Vs England 2007 Live Streaming Cricket (paid) Links.

* More links from Kalyan's Blog.

* Some more links from Thinkers On Move Blog.

# Exclusives and ball-by-ball commentary in Internet portals:

- Cricinfo.com
- StickyWicket.com
- Cricket365.com
- 123 India.com
- CricketWorld.com
- CricketZone.com
- Crick8.com
- Cricketnext.com

# Receive wicket, score and milestone updates via sms during the test match from Cricket-Online.com

Tags: , , ,

Trouble at Dhaka University  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

The problem started around 3.30 pm yesterday when a petty dispute broke out concerning comments passed by an armed forces personnel during a soccer match on the university gymnasium ground where an army camp is situated. The Daily Star reports:

The soccer match was between the departments of public administration and journalism. During a penalty shoot Mehedi Mohammad, a student of the public administration department stood up in front of a group of army personnel, obscuring their view.

Army members allegedly abused him verbally and asked him to move before beginning to beat Mehedi and his friends.

Mehedi along with Shafiq and Lucas all MSS students of public administration, and Dipu, a third year student of the same department, were taken to DMCH for treatment.

As Mubashsher Munayem, a teacher of public administration tried to stop the incident, the army personnel humiliated him too.

In protest, students demonstrated against the army action, demanding an apology and removal of the army camp from the campus. In response police baton charged the students injuring five or six of them.

By early evening, news of the events had spread, triggering a few thousand more students to pour onto the streets in protest.
Another version of the story says that the armed forces verbally abused some ladies also.

Then it got worse. The University area turned a battle zone in the evening with intermittent fights between police and students and over 100 students got injured.
Police vehicles including water cannons were patrolling the campus streets at the time, firing tear gas canisters and hot water at the demonstrators.

Students took positions inside dormitories including Bangabandhu Hall, Zia Hall, Surya Sen Hall, Jashimuddin Hall, Zohurul Haq Hall, Muhsin Hall, Shahidulla Hall and other places and pelted police with stones and brickbats. They put tires and other things on fire at places to save themselves from the tear gas.

Police beat up Acting Vice-chancellor (VC) Prof AFM Yusuf Haider, Proctor AKA Firoz Ahmed, Prof Haider's personal assistant Shahjahan Howlader, and other DU employees in the Central Shaheed Minar area.
The battle is continuing still at 4 am night; Raha, a Bangladeshi blogger updates. There are rumors all around that a student of Public Administration department died (but yet to be confirmed).

Shada Kalo is sarcastic over this incident:
While our olive and cammo-wearing generals are hobnobbing with the caretaker government and holding seminars at Dhaka University on how the military can get along with the rest of the population, we have soldiers beating up DU students over an altercation.
There are also claims that media carried out this news with low importance.

The students have called for an indefinite strike and a gathering tomorrow at "Aparajeo Bangla" premises defying state of emergency. It remains to be seen how the authorities handle this.

International media on this news:

Other Blogs covering the news:

Picture of the day  

Posted by Rezwan in


Lake Geneva

Today's Links  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

* Saving Bangladesh from global warming.

* Take care, Mr. caretaker.

* Bangladesh: faces of emergency and human rights issues.

* Bus nomenclature.

* The world’s strangest laws.

* Movie locations guide: Maps and directions to famous filming locations.

Berlin is bigger than New York  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

If you don't believe it then check out this flash slide show.

Taslima Drama in India Update  

Posted by Rezwan in , , ,

Taslima Nasrin receives another death threat fatwa.

Associated Press Pakistan reports:

Majidulla Khan Farhad of Hyderabad-based Majlis Bachao Tehriq while addressing a rally at Tipu Sultan mosque in Kolkata after Juma prayers as saying Taslima has defamed Islam and announced “unlimited financial reward” to anybody who would kill her.
Reuters reports:
While one prominent cleric said Nasreen had a month to leave, another said she had 15 days. Anyone who killed her would get a cash reward of 100,000 rupees ($2,400), they said.

"Anyone who executes the warrant will also be given additional rewards," said Nurur Rehman Barkati, a cleric of one of the biggest mosques in Kolkata.
Incidentally the Indian Government had recently extended her Visa for another six months.

Well it seems there are no shortage of retarded people for whom violence is the only solution against all problems.

More on the recent attack on Taslima Nasrin:

* Bangla Blogs: Its all about Taslima

* Beshi Lajja

* Theatre of the Absurd: The Attack on Taslima Nasreen

Is your blog really free to express your thoughts?  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

Blogs have revolutionized freedom of expression of personal opinions reaching out to the world. There is no one to edit what you right other than yourself. But is it really true? We are forgetting the involvement of hosting services or ISPs and BSPS (blog service providers such as Wordpress, Typepad and Blogspot) in the process.

This has happened before that blogs were banned or suspended from Service Providers for political reasons or threat from other users. Yahoo! handed over dissidents' information to Chinese Authorities. And recently "the blog of the Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan (aka Hoder) has been suspended by the U.S. based hosting company, Hosting Matters, after a complaint filed by lawyers representing Mehdi Khalaji(an Iranian), Next Generation fellow at The Washington Institute" - reports Global Voices Online.

The Blog Herald has details on the story. It quotes Jahanshah Javid, an Iranian blogger:

Hossein has not been found guilty in a court of law. He has fallen victim to an aggressive lawyer and an internet hosting company that’s trying to cover its ass.
Global Voices Online raises pertinent questions:
Aside from the political and ideological issues that can legally be addressed and discussed by those for and against Hossein Derakhshan’s rights to express himself on his blog, the most important questions raised by this case are relevant to all of us: Are our personal blogs safe with commercial hosting companies, especially when our writing may be deemed controversial? What if hosting companies edit our posts, deleting whatever they want?
Amidst these debates some also feel that there should be a bloggers' code of conduct following that will not prompt these kinds of consequences.

Shahpar Selim has written a touching article in Drishtipat blog in which she tries to find how Bangladesh fit into the history of 1947. In her own words:


[....]

But on this great day when we celebrate the free identity of the subcontinent…whither art thou, Bangladesh? Didn’t we also get independence from the British?

[....]

Standing here and now, what do we have in common with our siblings, India and Pakistan? Plenty, for sure! I can stand shoulder to shoulder with my Pakistani and Indian friends and feel tremendous pride at sharing a common heritage and being citizens of free countries. I can read Faiz’s poem about partition and I can share the pain he feels over a traumatic division of India along lines that tore apart families, friends, made promises that were not kept and made enmities that will last forever. I can identify with all of these feelings, but when the flags are being hoisted today, which one are Bangladeshis supposed to gaze at and feel pride? Obviously not India. And certainly never Pakistan. So how do we fit into the history of 1947? Has 1971 erased our name from the roster of those born 60 years ago, today? These were the questions that bothered me — It is also *our* independence day, so why doesn’t the world recognise that? Why do I feel like the sick cousin who has to stay home when the rest of the family is having a picnic? Why no special programmes on the region that became East Pakistan and then Bangladesh? It cant be simple “historical technicality”. Are we just so damn irrelevant? Whose fault is that? They say that the victor writes history. If India and Pakistan are the stars of the history of today (by that I mean August 14/15th), then what does it say about the “also borns”?

[....]

In the midnight of August 14th and 15th, when India and Pakistan were created out of the same fabric, we Bangladeshis were also part of that fabric. We may have had another name, but we were not still born. There is blood, history and identity in these veins – and that blood of our forefathers who gave their lives to get rid of the British demand the respect of this generation — to stand up and be counted. If we Bangladeshis don’t recognise that first, the world will not recognise it either.

A new blog to fight corruption in Bangladesh  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

Freedom fighter and Blogger Shahzaman Mazumder, Bir Protik has taken a commendable step. He has opened a blog called Bangladesh Corruption Stories.

The ingenuity is that you can directly post to this blog anonymously via e-mail. The e-mail address is:

Shahzaman.mozumder.corruptionstories@blogger.com

He also advises:

Please remember that the subject line becomes the heading of the post while the body of the e-mail constitutes the text of your post. For anonymous postings, delete any signature and other identifying information.
So, what are you waiting for? Submit your stories with proof and let the world know about it.

Dr. Yunus in Singapore  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

Singapore’s foreign affairs minister George Yeo writes in Beyond SG blog. He recalls his recent meeting with Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel laureate banker from Bangladesh. He says:

"By doing something simple with passion and conviction, Mohammad Yunus has done good for millions of people. I find him a great inspiration".
I am just wondering when we will see a minister from Bangladesh blogging?

Blogs, Anonymity, Freedom of Expression  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

I am pleased to announce the formal launch of E-Bangladesh, Bangladesh's answer to The Huffington Post. Focusing on Bangladesh this aggregated weblog offers latest news and best analysis to its readers, uncensored.

I am honored to get one of my articles published there along with notable bloggers and journalists like Tasneem Khalil, Mashuqur Rahman and Saleem Samad. Here is the piece:

All over the world, there are regimes that discourage free speech and try to suppress dissidents. They keep an eye on its netizens and in recent years many bloggers across the world have been interrogated, arrested, tortured and sent to prison for the “crime” of speaking critically about their governments.

Bangladesh is under a state of emergency now. Although the situation of press freedom is much better than many countries quoted above, a few bloggers have already been detained and abused for their writing. Certain journalists were questioned or cautioned by the security forces. This fear has contributed to an alarming trend of self censorship in the Bangladeshi media. One can wonder; how do you express yourself freely and without fear? There is always someone to edit what you write in traditional media. So asking for total press freedom is really pointless in this situation.

One tip for those who want to speak their hearts out is to write in blogs. You can write on controversial issues and taboo topics, be a citizen journalist, exercise your literary talents or just write mere daily journals what the public media won’t publish. And to protect yourself from danger, you have the advantage of blogging anonymously. Anonymous blogging can also help in those situations when you are writing about your work place or about a big corruption without divulging your identity.

You need to take some precautions to write anonymously. There are many ways you can get caught. If you do not scrutinize your texts before publishing you can inadvertently reveal your identity or workplace through your writing. If some acquaintance recognizes you they can reveal your identity. And also be alert while using Web browsers or email programs. If one can get hold of your IP information they can trace it back to you. For an example if you comment on a government website or send an email to someone, your IP address gets logged. So being anonymous is a tricky job.

There are a number of ways you can hide your identity when using the Internet. Always use a free Webmail account and a free blog host outside your country of residence. Use pseudonyms for these accounts. It is advisable to sign up for the account and post sensitive materials to the blog from computers that are used by lots of other people. You can also use an anonymous proxy to be more secure.

You can read “A Technical Guide to Anonymous Blogging” for details.

You have started a blog and you want more people to read what you write. You need to ask this question. Why are you blogging? Is it for lust or for fame or you just wanted to express yourself freely? What does it take to make your blog make others interested?

I think quality of content rather than quantity and quest for fame can work wonders. Just like another media you ought to earn others’ trust. People should understand that you are authentic and writing for a purpose and whether the blog really represents you. Whether you write anonymously or divulging your identity your writings should reflect your personality.

“Blogs, blogs everywhere, but not a good one to read” quoted one leading journalist cum blogger. But in the ocean of blogs there are a lot of good blogs to read if you can find. The question is how to do it. You can use blog search engines and use tag words to find what you are looking for. You can also check sites like Global Voices Online where country/topic wise blog round-ups are posted frequently. E-Bangladesh will soon have regular blog round-ups from where you will be able to bookmark blogs of your choice.

You need to manage your blog lists to save time. Say if you have bookmarked about three hundred blog sources, imagine how much time would be wasted if you had to manually check each site for updates daily? So it is now practical to use Rss feed readers to bookmark blogs and read updated posts without ever going to individual blogs. This is the most effective way to read blogs.


Update: Global Voices Advocacy project has published a new guide to anonymous blogging "Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor"

It happens only in Bangladesh  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

Like a bus colliding with a boat or whatever.

Good Morning Geneva  

Posted by Rezwan in ,


(A view of Geneva in the morning - The blue strip is the Zura mountains)

Writing from Geneva. Arrived here in Friday after a tiring 13 hours drive (1100 km). Yesterday went near the Matterhorn peak (highest point in Switzerland). Could find little time to be online. I am stealing somebody's open network and quickly check some emails. More to follow.

Picture of the day  

Posted by Rezwan in ,



East-side Gallery: Reminiscent of the Berlin Wall 1961-1989

View the Berlin Wall East Side Gallery photographed in its entirety

This match will be interesting because India has the chance to win this series if they can at least draw the match and this will be a series win in England after a long time (probably the last one was in 1986).

I will have to again search for the ways to watch the game online. Here are a few of my findings of some relevant links:

# Free audio and video streaming links:

* BBC Sports -Cricket for complete coverage from the BBC with live audio feeds, video highlights, feature stories, picture galleries, or have your say in the online forum. Please click on the Live link and on the next page click on "Live Test Match Special audio" to hear the commentary.

* Listen to live audio feeds from Sportingo.

* Nepali Students Bergen has an embedded video link. Try that.

* Sopcast: Please download sopcast from here. Then find live video cricket broadcasts from the channels list and click on any one of them. Wait a few moments and you can watch clear free live video of the match in full screen mode.

* MyP2P also has Sopcast feeds.

* Live Webcast from Tamil audio-video.

* Cricket Videos live commentary

* India Vs England 2007 Live Streaming Cricket (paid) Links.

* More links from Kalyan's Blog.

# Exclusives and ball-by-ball commentary in Internet portals:

- Cricinfo.com
- StickyWicket.com
- Cricket365.com
- 123 India.com
- CricketWorld.com
- CricketZone.com
- Crick8.com
- Cricketnext.com

# Receive wicket, score and milestone updates via sms during the test match from Cricket-Online.com

Tags: , , ,

Photo stories on Bangladesh  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

Ihtisham Kabir is back to Bangladesh after more than twenty years of experience in software engineering in Silicon Valley. We see him through his blog "Back to Bangladesh" and know that Photography is his passion. He has recently put together a photo gallery. Check his photo stories and gallery for authentic pictures and narratives on living in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh: Enemy property act , skin color and Floods  

Posted by Rezwan in , , , ,

In this weeks tour inside the Bangladeshi blogosphere we will discuss an old black law enacted in time of war being put to use by land encroachers and creating human rights abuse on minorities. We will also look at the dark truth that haunts women in Bangladesh and many parts of the world and which is exploited by commercial organizations. These and much more in this week’s round-up:

Enemy property act:

We take you first to Dhaka Blog where Asif discusses a dark act enacted before the independence of Bangladesh:

Following the 1965 war with India, the Ayub government (of Pakistan) in its infinite wisdom decided to constitute something called the “Enemy Property Act”. It allowed them to declare any citizen an “enemy” and confiscate their property. Following Bangladesh’s independence, Mujib’s Awami League government…..reconstituted the act in 1974 calling it the Vested Property Act.
Then he shows the ways which all the political governments used it to repress the minorities, especially Hindus. He calls it the real national shame.

Drishtipat Group Blog Unheard Voices explains:
Encroachers have misused the law with the help of corrupt state authorities to grab property by identifying Hindus as “enemies of the state.”

To amend the situation, the former Awami League government had enacted the Vested Property Repeal Act in 2001. But it was never implemented because of objections from politically influential encroachers and legal complications.
The Blog comments that it is about time to repeal this black law.

Does skin color still matter?


Himadri Ahsan writes in Adhunika Blog about a dark truth that still haunts women in many regions of the world especially Bangladesh. The Blogger says:
Skin lightening products continue to be one of the fasting growing beauty products in the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East, Africa and among African Americans.

The obvious cause of this phenomenon is the deeply rooted social stigma attached with dark skin. In Bangladesh a fair skinned person is often praised and compared with a Sahib (an English man) or Pathan (a Pakistani), establishing the superiority of both the groups of people that ruled Bangladesh.
Politics with flood and the demolition of a building:

In the midst of Flood the national debate is the lack of political party’s involvement in the relief efforts of the Flood affected areas. As a state of emergency is in place, open political activities are not allowed. In the Middle of Nowhere reports that the Government has criticized the politicians saying that it’s time to help flood victims, not for politics. The Blogger asks: ”What, in fact, is meant by doing politics with Flood?”. A Government adviser probably has the answer quoted in a recent televised interview: “They are free to help others like any ordinary citizen but no mileage with political banners will be allowed.”

A Nikonian’s Blog
however points out:
WHY we see a humble Subedar holding a toilet to pose for a photo while distributing those to the villagers? WHY do we even hear as tiny officer as a Lieutenant’s name on television when government officials go to distribute food to flood affected people? Isn’t this flood used for political gain by army itself?
While Bangladesh was reeling with the devastations of Flood, its citizen witnessed demolition of a 22 storied Building (Rangs Bhaban) televised live. Unheard Voices raises some pertinent questions:
What was the rush to demolish an office building of such a magnitude in less than 24 hours notice?

(This was first published in the Global Voices Online)

The national anthem of India is in Bangla language?  

Posted by Rezwan in , , ,

The debate is over the national anthem of India Jana Gana Mana, lyrics and music by Rabindranath Tagore, the Bengali Nobel Laurate. He is the only Author whose songs are national anthems of two countries, India and Bangladesh.

The song is sung in Hindi. Ragib Hasan states [Bangla] that an Indian Government website claims that the hindi version of Tagore's song was taken as the national anthem of India.

But Ragib shows that it is actually the Bangla text pronounced in Hindi accent. No Hindi adaptation was done (note: Hindi and Bangla language have same roots) and nore there was any formal decision of the Indian Government regarding this.

He asks whether Indian Government has any problem in admitting that the song is in Bengali language but sung in Hindi accent?

Bangladesh cricket war update  

Posted by Rezwan in ,

Bangladesh cricket board was taken over by the army to uproot corrupt politicians from the board. They have decided to bring some discipline in the Bangladesh cricket team army style. Their performance was lackluster in the recent Sri Lanka tour.

The team will be sent to an "Australian style boot camp" starting on August 11 in the north-eastern Sylhet division under a special military unit as part of their warm up campaign for the Twenty20 World Cup. The boot camp will last for six days and will be supervised by the "Special warfare unit" of the Bangladesh army.

Bangladesh cricket captain Mohammad Ashraful is excited at the prospect of having military training. ‘Military training is not a new phenomenon for international cricketers. India, Pakistan and Australia teams have endured it previously. So I don’t see any problem for us to take it,’ said Ashraful.

Shaun Williams will continue to be their Caretaker (interim) coach till the Twenty20 world cup. The Bangladesh Cricket Board has drafted a short-list of three coaches to interview for the role of national team coach, replacing Dav Whatmore. They are Australians Jamie Siddons and John Harmer and Zimbabwean Dave Houghton. The new coach may be selected during the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup in South Africa in September. There is a rumor that Dav Whatmore can also come back if talks with other countries fails.

Web crash 2007  

Posted by Rezwan in


Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash

Officials confirm that all online data has been lost after the Internet crashed and was forced to restart.

(Via Atanu Dey)

Resilience, faith and the survivors of the delta  

Posted by Rezwan in , ,

"One thing Bangladeshis cannot be accused of is making a drama out of a crisis."
writes John Sudworth of BBC after visiting the flood effected SirajGanj in Bangladesh. He tells about the way Bangladeshis are tackling this year's flood being more devastating than an average year. They are remaining calm and resilient, trying to carry on with their normal life in waist-deep water.

(Picture courtesy the Daily Star)

The relief efforts are not as exhaustive as previous years however the people seem to be slow on accusing that. Instead they are seen with these kinds of faith:
"Allah has given us mouths, so He will give us food."
Floods in Bangladesh are a recurring phenomenon. Over thousands of years, people living in Bengal Delta learned how to live with rivers and adjusted their lives to the deltaic conditions of the land. The settle in higher land on flood plains, their cropping pattern is adjusted to the deluges and during floods they use makeshift boats to travel.

The people of Bangladesh, therefore, found ways to live with rivers. They respect rivers. They know that rivers gave birth to this land, and rivers would come periodically to nurture it with silts.

Probably thats why they have been the survivors of the Delta. A Malaysian Blog Alis Aquilae recognizes this character in one of the thousands of Bangladeshi labors working in Malaysia. The blogger observes:
What i admire is their will to live and work despite the punishment every year. Knowing monsoon would come releasing its wrath and breaks the river banks each year…these people continue in believing that nothing can stop them from surviving. They have never gave up. The yearly monsoon seems destructive but it is also because of that the land is fertile. They may have to start everything from scratch after the flood receded but the thought of a good harvest probably lighten up their day. They are the true survivors.