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        Volume 12 |Issue 02| January 11, 2013 |


 Cover Story
 Current Afairs
 Special Feature
 In Retrospect
 Star Diary
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The 3G Era

I am extremely delighted to say that you did a wonderful job of bringing out a rare issue of the Star magazine on January 4, 2013. Its impact is great in all sectors of our national life. You were wise enough to explain the details of the third generation mobile technology in a very simple language. When the submarine cable network caused a lot of inconvenience to the users of the Internet in the country, the government took a bold decision to switch over to the Satellite Network System for effective global communication through mobile phones and the Internet. Accordingly, the BTRC “has set the base price for auction at $20 million for per megahertz spectrum of the 3G network.”

I feel that the auction price for the license of 3G mobile phones is a little higher for the private telecom operators to facilitate the access information super way with high speed. The use of a 3G mobile phone at an affordable price can help us to acquire knowledge, the concepts of innovation, creativity and vision in all walks of life, though the rural areas are not ready to adopt its unlimited usefulness at the moment. Once it is done, video conference and the classroom lectures at Harvard or Oxford Universities or any speech could be seen and heard even in one's bedroom. As many as 12 countries of the world have been using it for people. Let us hope that our country may spread the essence of the 3G era, its message and our people be taught about its utility in the daily life.

Abul Ashraf Noor
Via e-mail

Photo: Amirul Rajiv

On the Road to the White House

Congratulations are in order for the AFP photojournalist, Jewel Samad, who was featured in your last week's magazine issue. The writer conveyed well the story of a man living a dream that many young Bangladeshi boys are struggling to realise in their own ways. Jewel Samad was probably quite a normal Bangla-medium-educated young man with modest hopes for his future but due to his talent and luck, he has found himself in the coveted role of photographing the President of the United States! It is great to read about such successful Bengalis working around the world, not letting our borders be a boundary but still proud of their Bangladeshi background. I find it hard to believe the man is still only in his thirties considering all he has achieved though it is a testament to his skill and ability. I wish him the best for the future and hope the Star continues to profile more such people.

Jamal Abdul Hasan

Powerful Poetry

Last week's column by Chintito, which was a poem entitled [Not my real name], was a powerful read and I'd like to thank the writer for once again speaking strongly against an issue affecting our society. I have been reading Chintito for years but I felt this poem really taught me something about the issue of rape and how we let it permeate in society.

In light of the recently publicised rape cases, such as the 23-year-old Delhi girl and the 14-year-old girl from Tangail, what can be done to effectively address this criminal and heinous act against women? Rape has been a weapon of war since ancient times and features in history books, stories and present reality. Raising awareness and talking about the violation in public is just one step to make women feel supported enough to admit and accuse their attackers for the state to then prosecute them, but there are so many other problems hindering the path to justice for rape victims. Not only are women often accused of lying or 'asking for it', the law does not fully recognise or implement the just process and appropriate verdict for such a physical violation.

News reports of rape have been far too frequent for society to only react now and as the Star's other column by Sharbari Ahmed aptly says, there are plenty of deaths and rapes that don't make it into the headlines too. So I ask the Star, The Daily Star and readers to think seriously about this and effectuate legislative and societal change that will result in a noticeable drop in these terrible crimes against women.

Fatima Kamal
Tejgaon, Dhaka

Photo: Aminul Islam Soyel

Kingdom of Water

Bangladesh's countryside has a lot of stories that do not always feature in urban-centred newspapers and magazines, so I would like to commend the Star for including a special feature (on 4 January 2013) on the haor area and people. Haor is the major sweet water fish-producing area of Bangladesh and it plays an important role in our country's ecosystem and ecological balance.

The farmers and fishermen who work in these areas are hardened people used to environmental change and complication. While the write-up described their lives and their way of working, it did not highlight something I would be interested in, the way this part of the country can be preserved and supported by the government or society at large, considering the likely damage to come from general global warming issues. Using fertilisers and other human made damage is a feature highlighted but I request the appropriate authorities to consider effective solutions. Though these people may have a way of life that they have followed for generations, they are a group with great need for governmental support.

Saiful Rahman

The opinions expressed in these letters do not necessarily represent the views held by the Star.

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