Image by Rezwan

Overcrowded passenger ferry capsized in the Padma River in Munshiganj, Bangladesh

The World Cup Goal-E Project

This street in Bangladesh has a colorful world cup celebration

New Chum Hill Ruins

Remnants of Kiandra gold mine at New Chum Hill, #nsw #australia

August 31, 2003

BANGLADESH vs. PAKISTAN - 2nd Test in Peshwar

Michael Jennings followed the game (27-30 August 2003). Read his views of the game in the Ubersportingpundit blog.

If you are a sports lover, you should visit this blog often.

August 30, 2003


Bangladesh's first private television station, ETV (Ekushey TV) is poised to make a comeback after a year spent fighting the govt. authorities, who refused to renew its broadcasting license.

Ekushey TV ended years of state monopoly over television when it went first went on air in 1999. It won hearts of Millions of viewers by its good quality programs and specially its fair & unbiased news. Its popularity and reliabilty scared the ruling government and they found the flaw in the license of ETV.

The private channel went off the air in August 2001 after a senior journalist and two academics with links to the ruling party BNP challenged its bid for a new license. After refusing to give it a new license, the government expelled the station's managing director, British journalist Simon Dring.

In the past year, Ekushey TV has seen its foreign owners bought out by a Bangladeshi businessman and new board members brought in.

The broadcasting regulator has been ordered by the High Court to respond to Ekushey TV's demand for a new license within 30 days.

In a ruling, the court also admonished the country's broadcasting regulator, which it accused of "dilly-dallying" in answering Ekushey TV's requests for a fresh license.

Apart from the govt owned BTV (which is accused of blackouting opposition news and running only govt. propaganda) there are a couple of Satellite channels namely: Channel I, NTV & ATN Bangla. They are trying to put some kind of neutrality in their voice but they often are intimidated by ruling govt. party. And their is a hindrance. These satellite channels do not reach millions of viewers in extreme rural areas. ETV used to reach many of them with its terrestrial broadcasting network. I wonder whether the govt. will also renew ETV's terrestrial broadcasting license. Otherwise it won't be effective as before. And nobody knows whether Simon Dring would be allowed to take the helm of ETV again.

August 26, 2003

More Blasts: Now in Mumbai, India

Two car bombs exploded in Indian city Mumbai (Bombay) on Monday, 25th of August. Casualty report so far: 44 dead, 150 Injured. The bomb attacks were identical as both were taxis.

One explosion took place at the Gateway of India, the city's top tourist attraction.

The other explosion took place - and claimed most of the casualties - in a busy jewelery market near the Mumba Devi temple in central Bombay. Many Bengali speaking jwelers were killed and shops destroyed. The shop owners are saying that there was a ploy going on to oust them from that market.

No organisation has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.

There are lots of speculations as regards to the identity of the person/ organization who carried out these attacks. These attacks coincided with the release of a report on the controversial religious site at Ayodhya. Indian govt. is blaming the Students Islamic Movement of India (Simi) and Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba but Pakistan denied that and condemned the attack.

But all I can say that light weight and undetectable powerful bombs are the latest and deadliest tool of any terrorist of any country. You never know that you can be a victim of somebody's agenda. World politics is turning bloody and these so called terrorists are certainly not on target for achieving something. They are a menace, a virus in the society. And the thoughts of Jihad/fanaticism are out of religious boundaries, made up by dishonest politicians and illegal business rackets.

I think that there must be some control/ raids to stop the production of these illegal bombs.

August 23, 2003


Day 1: Bangladesh 278/9 (Mohammad Rafique 10*, Mashrafe Mortaza 4*; 83 overs)
Day 2: Bangladesh 288, Pakistan 301/5 (Misbah-ul-Haq 12*, Rashid Latif 27*; 94 overs)
Day 3: Pakistan 346, Bangladesh 163/3 (Habibul Bashar 82*, Rajin Saleh 27*; 65 overs)

As I write Bangladesh is 247/5 (105 Overs) in post lunch session of Day 4 with a 189 run lead. Habibul Bashar completed his second century before giving his wicket to Kaneria at 108. Rajin Saleh Looking good with 58 on board. And imagine, not Shoeib Akhtar, Danish Kaneria is giving hard time to Bangladesh chipping two wickets before lunch session.

In this test Bangladeshi players are believing in themselves thanks to the professionalism shown by our Australian Coach, Dave Whatmore. After the thrashing of bowlers specially by Yaseer Hameed in the 2nd day, Dave had a discussion session with the Bowlers in the dressing room. They emerged on the third day as a different team and put an end to Pakistan's innings taking 5 wicket and giving only 45 runs in 23 overs. I was watching the game and Pakistani tail enders were never comfortable. I don't think that Bangladeshi bowling attack is so fierce. But due to the team effort and gameplan Pakistan looked rusty except the youngstar Yaseer Hameed.

The problem Bangladeshi players had before Dave tookover is that they went early into the shorts like one dayers, could not understand that Test cricket is a different ballgame. Now they are staying at the wicket, handling Shoeib's fierce deliveries, they are fighting. Australian tour surely boosted their confidence. Dave reasonably put out the game plan to Bangladeshi players, "Think you are in a rail track. Go forward and be in the track. No need to think about the destination now."

Lets keep our fingers crossed hoping that Bangladesh achieves a lead of almost 300 runs to test Pakistan's current form in the fifth day. It can turn out to be an exciting match.

August 21, 2003

War Photograph
- Kate Daniels

A naked child is running
along the path toward us,
her arms stretched out,
her mouth open,
the world turned to trash
behind her.

She is running from the smoke
and the soldiers, from the bodies
of her mother and little sister
thrown down into a ditch,
from the blown-up bamboo hut
from the melted pots and pans.
And she is also running from the gods
who have changed the sky to fire
and puddled the earth with skin and blood.
She is running--my god--to us,
10,000 miles away,
reading the caption
beneath her picture
in a weekly magazine.
All over the country
we're feeling sorry for her
and being appalled at the war
being fought in the other world.
She keeps on running, you know,
after the shutter of the camera
clicks. She's running to us.
For how can she know,
her feet beating a path
on another continent?
How can she know
what we really are?
From the distance, we look
so terribly human.

August 20, 2003


The UN representative to Iraq, a career diplomat, Brazilian by born was the star of UN. His impressive career record can be found here. Yesterday another suicide bombing incident claimed the lives of De Mello & almost 20 other UN workers in Baghdad. Many are injured and trapped in the destroyed building. I was watching the horrifying scenes on BBC & CNN, which was caught on a camera covering a press conference when the bomb hit the building.

Another suicide bombing incident ripped through a Bus in Jerusalem claiming 7 and injuring 50 others. Children were not spared.

I condemn all the barbarians who masterminded both the attack on UN and civilians. This is the time when countries like Saudi Arab should take drastic measures to stop all the funding to extremist fundamentalist organizations so that they cannot do more harm to civic society.

August 18, 2003


Fox News sued comedian Al Franken for using the phrase "Fair & Balanced" in the title of his upcoming book, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right." Fox is saying that phrase is their licensed trademark.

Al Franken thanked Fox for the publicity. Franken's book, due out next month, ranked No. 489 in sales on Amazon.com before the lawsuit. Now its number 1.

The bloggers are fisking on this. Blah3.com is compiling a list of bloggers , over 600 so far that are now sporting the phrase on their pages, expressing disdain for the action.

Is your blog fair & balanced too!

(via projo.com)
Compensation issue: Pan Am passengers vs. Iran Air Passengers

For those of you who missed out, FARAMIN has a thoughtful post on this. And there are interesting discussions going on. Go check this out.

August 16, 2003


I woke up Friday morning and soon got the news of the US/CANADA Blackout 2003 from a local TV channel. Then I switched to CNN where it was reporting live. Since Friday is our weekly holiday, I got the time to follow the events from TV the whole day. However, I was away from from the net and missed the fresh reports of the blackout blogs.

Blackouts are common in Bangladesh as the existing power plants barely covers the whole country needs. The problems arise during summer when the consumption peeks (Air conditioning & cooler fans) and specially when some station goes out of order. Then we face the rolling blackouts in localities for a brief period (10 minutes to 1 hour max) what we call load shedding. Everybody is pretty much accustomed to that. And there are always provisions for backup powers for all emergency services like hospitals, traffic lights etc. In home we always keep rechargeable lights/candles and some have emergency backup inverter systems/generators which can power the emergency lights and fans. So unless the blackout period is extensive there is no massive disruption in Peoples lives.

Here are some reactions to the US/CANADA blackout:

My sister could not apprehend the extent of disruption in the 50 million lives. She thought that I was kidding and asked me why the generators were not giving backup power?

I said: the generators might be incapable of giving backup power for a long time. She couldn't agree and told me that something else is not right.

Watching the stream of people walking across the street with a few cars, my mom asked what happened to them?

I said: they are returning home from work as the subways are closed.

She then asked how far are their home and when they will reach?

I said: If the shuttle train takes say 1 hour I don't know how far and how long it will take. She commented that they are in big trouble.

An acquaintance who is an anti-war/anti-US minded told that they have got what they deserved. God always returns the evil doings to own lives.

I said: How can you say such a thing watching so many innocent people's sufferings. US internationals affairs are decided by the US policy makers. If anything has to happen, the should have been the target. But why millions of innocent people and many of our countrymen are facing the suffering. I asked him: If you put yourself in the shoes of the person who could not reach home and slept on street could you still think that?

I am glad that today the power is coming back and fully restored in NY city. I hope this would not happen next time because the terrorists might want to exploit this weakness to do some disturbance. I am interested to read reports from bloggers in the affected area about how they coped with this problem.

Still one thing is buzzing in my mind: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (ex-energy secretary) quoted "the US as a superpower with a third world electricity grid".

August 13, 2003

The two-nation theory - still in the minds of Indian & Pakistanis

In 1947, India was divided on the basis of the two-nation theory. The theory was farcically based on religion- Hindu & Muslim and propagated by the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Although there was no transfer of population in the partition formula, the reality was far from imagination. Hindus and Muslims were supposed to live in India and Pakistan as they did at the time of partition. But the communal elements on both sides drove out the minorities intimidating with riots, in Pakistan nearly all of them. Some one million people were killed and twenty million uprooted from their country in the name of religion, Hinduism in India and Islam in Pakistan. Women and children were the worst sufferers.

Kuldip Nayar, an eminent Indian columnist writes in an article on how the ghost of the theory is still haunting Indian & Pakistanis:

INDIA'S partition is 56 years old. Still the controversy over the two-nation theory has not ended.

Some quarters in Pakistan continue to sustain the old notion of two-nation theory. In this they find the justification to sustain fundamentalism. They want to keep the bogey of religion alive. This gives them a point to play with the emotions of the masses. This can delude people who want their leaders to improve their economic conditions.

The concept of the two-nation theory, the division between Hindus and Muslims, is also creeping into India's polity. There is a deliberate plan to saffronize the society. Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani feels no hesitation in saying that the BJP (The ruling party) has been making Hindutva a poll issue and would do the same in the next election.

The BJP's statements on the Babri Masjid are not only contradictory but ominous. It says that the temple would be built on the site where the Babri Masjid stood before demolition. At the same time, it says that the dispute would be solved either through negotiations between the Hindus and Muslims or by the court verdict.

How can one trust the BJP? Today the BJP has accused the NHRC of being anti-Hindu because of its decision to approach the Supreme Court on Gujarat. Tomorrow the BJP will dub the court anti-Hindu if it decides that the Masjid was not built by demolishing a Hindu temple. Already there are newspaper reports that the excavations carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India at the site under court orders have not yielded any evidence that the Masjid was built after destroying a temple. India's ethos is pluralism. Hindus and Muslims constitute one nation. The BJP is dividing the society. It is definitely playing into the hands of those in Pakistan who have an agenda. They want to pit Hindus and Muslims against one another all the time. This is their ethos. The BJP is no different from them.

August 09, 2003

Do you love your country?

Mr. Badrul Ahsan, a Banker has written an article aiming the politicians of Bangladesh in the Daily Star. Hoever I think there are some universality in his thoughts which can also be seen in other countries perspectives. Here are some excerpts:

Simple question but let me ask. Do you love your country? If the answer is yes, then when was the last time you did something for it? If the answer is no, then do you ever feel guilty for it? Why would you feel guilty if you do, and why not if you don't?

A patriot is someone, whose pleasure arises from the faithful discharge of his duty to his country. He bends all the forces of his understanding, and directs all his thoughts and actions to the good of his country. To a patriot, there is no virtue higher than the love of his country.

Is it true for you, also? Have you done anything lately to uphold that virtue? You have grown up in this country and so did your ancestors. The air, rain, sunshine, music of birds, fragrance of flowers, rivers, sky, horizon, day and night, everything that succoured the cells in your body, everything that nourished your soul, you owe it to the enclosure of land which has nestled you like the mother's lap.

There are people who give lip service to their country, those who shamelessly plunder its wealth and honour, yet claim to be patriots. Are you amongst them, the opportunistic hordes of people who pit fellow men against fellow men to fatten their wallets?

For them patriotism is a ritual, a means rather than an end, an excuse more than ethos. They treat patriotism as a ladder, greed making its every rung, their debauch and perfidious instincts lifted by the pretension of the righteous.

Is patriotism linked with the dignity of man? Is there pride in one's love of one's country? Or is it just organised touchiness, a non-issue mirrored and magnified as a great moral discourse signifying nothing? Frederick the Great, the bosom friend of Voltaire, once said: "Religion is a fraud, but it must be maintained for the masses." Is patriotism a fraud, which must be maintained for the masses, even though the above average and the super smarts understand that it means nothing?

Now you tell me if you love your country, and what have you done for it. If you have plundered and squandered its wealth, then you are an enemy. If you are willing to serve your country and die for it, you are a patriot. Know your place in the new conflict, because a confrontation has become inevitable.


Recent file picture of the members of Afghan girls band "Burqa Band" standing in front of the ruins of Kabul. The band's lyrics describe ironically the cultural change in Afghanistan after the end of taliban regime. Their music is being played on many German radio stations and on TV. A German firm produced the band in Afghanistan, where it's never been broadcast.

August 08, 2003

The pen of the heart

I am reading now a collection of columns & editorials of a notable journalist & writer Mr. Syed Shamsul Haque. Since he writes in Bangla, I thought I could share some of his writings with you by translating them into English. I am not a writer and English is not my first language. so pardon me if there are mistakes in the post.


There is a pen in every writers heart, or as if his heart is the pen, which writes on without ceasing. By 'heart' we mean an organ in the left side of our chest. Its primary job is to pump purified blood to the whole body. Science says that blood is the carrier of our inheritance; blood is the root and blueprint of our existence. The existence of the pen, which I feel inside my heart, is really a pen inside my blood, or as if blood is the pen. Blood speaks. What blood speaks cannot be untrue or false. When I was young, my father used to tell me 'Why can't you feel it inside your blood?' I did not know what he meant then and he could not make me understand either. But now I know there are many things in the world which cannot be made understood. Many things wait for our own experience. We learn many things from real experience. Now I know our root and the blueprint is in our blood. What I feel inside that blood is the real truth.


Two persons are standing in front; both have a cycle each in their hands. There are only the cycles separating them. The front wheels, handles of his & her cycle are neck-a-neck, though they are not touching themselves. There are trees, greenery, red leaves evident from the nearby hill slopes. I was in a bus with other passengers. I discovered them during a lazy browse outside the window. I could not see the boy's face from this angle. But the girl was in my front with a worried face, and eyes filled with tears. She just stopped after a long argument but her tears did not. The cigarette stick is burning lazily in the boy's hand waiting for a puff. My bus drove on. I lost the sight of them.

I saw that face of the Chinese girl in a lazy afternoon in Beijing. But I can still remember her face like I saw it yesterday. One brush inside my mind still tries to sketch her face again & again. I sometimes ponder, what was the girl saying? What happened to her that day? Why there were tears in her eyes. Was that boy the cause, or was he merely a sympathetic friend?

I don't know what I would do with that face; that afternoon, those tears. The writers are very selfish. They want to try out each of their experience to be used in their writing. But there was something else in the tearful face of that girl in Beijing. I knew from that very moment that I would not use that face in any of my writing. That face would only keep me aware and awake, will keep me company.

August 06, 2003


We are always skeptic about can's hygienic conditions in Bangladesh (the way they are kept). When you're trying to quench your thirst with a can of Coke then you hear a family member crying "wash the top before you drink". Though many don't have the time and means to do that. But after hearing this I think they would have a second thought.

This incident happened recently in Belgium:
A woman went boating one Sunday, taking with her some cans of coke which she put in the refrigerator of the boat. On Monday she was taken into ICU and on Wednesday she died.

The autopsy revealed a certain Leptospirose caused by the can of coke from
which she had drunk, not using a glass. A test showed that the can was
infected by dried rat urine and hence the disease Leptospirosis.

Rat urine contains toxic and deathly substances. It is highly recommended
to wash thoroughly the upper part of soda cans before drinking out of them
as they have been stocked in warehouses and transported straight to the
shops without being cleaned. A study in Spain showed that the tops of soda
cans are more contaminated than public toilets i.e. full of germs and
So better wash the top of the can before you drink next time!

The Difference Between You and Your Boss:

- When you take a long time, you're slow. When your boss takes a long time,
he's thorough.
- When you don't do it, you're lazy. When your boss doesn't do it, he's too
- When you make a mistake, you're an idiot. When your boss makes a mistake,
he's only human.
- When doing something without being told, you're overstepping your
authority. When your boss does the same thing, that's initiative.
- When you take a stand, you're being bull-headed. When your boss does it,
he's being firm.
- When you overlooked a rule of etiquette, you're being rude. When your boss
skips a few rules, he's being original.
- When you please your boss, you're apple polishing.When your boss pleases
his boss, he's being cooperative.
- When you're out of the office, you're wandering around.When your boss is
out of the office, he's on business.
- When you're on a day off sick, you're always sick. When your boss is a day
off sick, he must be very ill.
- When you apply for leave, you must be going for an interview. When your
boss applies for leave, it's because he's overworked.

When do u make a mistake:

If a barber makes a mistake , It's a new style....
If a driver makes a mistake, It is an accident...
If a doctor makes a mistake, It's an operation...
If an engineer makes a mistake, It is a new venture...
If parents make a mistake, It is a new generation...
If a politician makes a mistake, It is a new law...
If a scientist makes a mistake, It is a new invention...
If a tailor makes a mistake, It is a new fashion...
If a teacher makes a mistake, It is a new theory...
If your Boss makes a mistake, It is Your mistake..

August 03, 2003


1) The suicide truck-bomb blast at a military hospital near Chechnya yesterday took more than 50 lives and many injured (reports CNN). The suspects : Chechnyan rebels.

2) Explosives stored in a road builder's home have detonated killing at least 40 people and injuring another 120 in a remote Pakistani village (CNN). The explosives stored in the contractor's house were intended for use in blasting rock by road construction crews. It was unclear why the contractor, who was among the dead, stored them in his home.

Observation: It seems that explosives are easily available to the insane or the idiots (as in both cases). This is the time when the world community should think of controlling the production and use of the explosives. I am not an expert but I believe that these high power sophisticated explosives are mostly from a small number of sources. If these could be tracked and banned then I think people can breath a bit more freely. Otherwise me and you could be the next victim of somebody's agenda or carelessness. As there are special efforts to control drugs, explosives should also be controled.

August 02, 2003

I Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone

- Rainer Maria Rilke

I am much too small in this world, yet not small enough
to be to you just object and thing,
dark and smart.

I want my free will and want it accompanying
the path which leads to action;
and want during times that beg questions,
where something is up,
to be among those in the know,
or else be alone.

I want to unfold.
Nowhere I wish to stay crooked, bent;
for there I would be dishonest, untrue.
I want my conscience to be
true before you;
want to describe myself like a picture I observed
for a long time, one close up,
like a new word I learned and embraced,
like the everday jug,
like my mother's face,
like a ship that carried me along
through the deadliest storm.

August 01, 2003


I had my vacation at last. We originally planned for a holiday in Thailand. But it did not work out. I was desperately looking for another option. Now it is the rainy season in Bangladesh. So, we had to eliminate Cox's Bazaar Beach. The Chittagong hill tracts are also inaccessible due to mudslides and flooding of some hilly roads. Finally, we opted for Rajbari, to visit her uncles. Well you cannot call it a holiday trip; it was merely a courtesy visit lasting two days. Actually the travel was worth telling.

Rajbari is a town of 12.14 sq. km. Approx 130 km from Dhaka. The distance doesn't seem so far but one has to cross the mighty Padma with Ferry on the way. So the journey takes almost 4 hours. You might wonder why there is not a bridge on the river Padma. Then I guess you should know more about Bangladeshi Rivers.

The pride of Bangladesh is its rivers with one of the largest networks in the world with a total number of about 700 rivers including tributaries, which have a total length of about 24,140 km. Consider that in terms of Bangladesh's total landmass of 147,570 sq. km and a population of about 130 million. The water mass consists of tiny hilly streams, winding seasonal creeks, muddy canals, some truly magnificent rivers and their tributaries and distributaries. Bangladesh has predominantly four major river systems: (1) the Brahmaputra-Jamuna, (2) the Ganges-Padma, (3) the Surma -Meghna, and (4) The Chittagong region river system. However, Brahmaputra is the 22nd longest (2,850 km) and Ganges is the 30th longest (2,510 km) in the world.

(click here for a detailed map of the rivers)

We have one notable bridge on the river Jamuna, which is 4.8 km long and cost billions of dollars. It took almost ten years to complete the bridge. The width of Jamuna River is min 5 km to maximum 15 km. With continuous erosion these rivers widths are always changing. The Padma has a width of min 3 km to maximum 10 km. Feasibility studies are underway to determine where to erect the proposed Padma bridge so that the length would be minimum and it would be accessible to existing highways.

And the landscape was looking beautiful from the bus. Notable color in Bangladesh is 'green'. You'll see agricultural lands with green paddy or other crops in both side of the highway. Numerous trees nested around the village homes (usually single storied). So you will see green everywhere. And there is of course water masses everywhere; numerous river, ponds and canals adding beauty and contrast to the green base. Low agricultural lands are now submerged in water due to heavy rains, which will dry out in Autumn and will generate another picturesque view.

I was reluctant to come back to the congested Dhaka. I wish if I could live a simple and relaxed life in the village with all its natural beauties. There is nothing relaxing than sitting in a riverbank watching all the activities in and around the river. Specially when its the rainy season.