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     Volume 4 Issue 12 | September 10, 2004 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   Slice of Life
   A Roman Column
   Human Rights
   Special Feature
   Straight Talk
   Book Review
   Write to Mita
   Dhaka Diary
   New Flicks

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SWM is improving
I would like to respond to Meshkat A. Chowdhury's comment that SWM "is becoming flat and less interesting day by day" by saying that it is completely baseless. SWM's improvement has been obvious in its "Environment", "Health", "Musings", "Lifestyle", and "Fitness" pages in the last four issues and has excellent covers in every issue. There may be some lapses but this does not mean that the whole magazine is unattractive. For a very small price, SWM gives us "Chintito" -- the essence of the recent, "Newsnotes" -- containing the most important issues of the week, and the numerous other sections of the magazine. A variety of things like art and jokes, book reviews, travel pieces and feature stories on human rights are all a part of the magazine and I think it is becoming more attractive by the day and I like it very much.
Mohammad Ariful Islam, RUET, Rajshahi

On "What We Teach Our Kids"
In her article "What We Teach Our Kids" in the August 27 issue of SWM, Hana Shams Ahmed made an important observation. Guardians are responsible for imprinting on their children's minds an inaccurate image of the philosophy of life. If a child always has someone else to serve them and gets everything they want before even asking for it, a superiority complex will naturally grow. They become dominating and at the same time dependent on others. They will also become selfish and uncaring towards society, family and even their parents. In order for our children to grow up with a positive attitude, we should encourage in them values like the dignity of labour and the right attitude towards and sympathy for other human beings.
Amal Saha, Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute

On " A Roman Column"
I enjoy reading "A Roman Column" in SWM and have been missing it in the last few issues. Neeman Sobhan's exceptional writing style is delightful, sometimes amusing and certainly an asset to the magazine. I hope I will enjoy reading her next episode very soon!
Veronique Yousuf

Atrocious Attack on AL Rally
Words are not strong enough to express my disgust at the horrendous bomb attack on the AL rally on August 21. The grenade attack took 19 lives and injured hundreds. The horror scenes on the private television channels were like those in a Hollywood battlefield scene. To date, 140 people have been killed and over 900 injured in 16 bomb blasts that have brought havoc on political meetings, cultural functions, religious gatherings and cinema halls since March 1999. Sadly, not a single criminal has been nabbed which is not saying much for both the AL and BNP governments and the investigation agencies. This time, a previously unknown organisation has claimed responsibility for the August 21 grenade attack.

It is high time the government takes action against those responsible. A bomb squad of experts should be formed. If necessary, assistance can be sought from countries like the US and UK. We feel insecure; our educational institutions are on strike; hartals are paralysing the economy and violence between the political parties is hampering our social polity. This bomb culture must be eliminated once and for all.
Md. Nazrul Islam Sumon, Department of English, DU

The Massacre of August 21
Words cannot express the extreme grief and anguish the country is going through right now. A series of bomb blasts have occurred in the last couple of years in Dhaka, Sylhet and Khulna, among others, with different targets including journalists, political leaders and foreign diplomats. Not one investigation into these bloody attacks has been completed and none of the culprits have been punished. The recent grenade attack on a procession of the main opposition political party Awami League (AL) shows us again how inhuman the terrorists are. Due to the fizzing out of all the investigations so far, they seem to be getting even stronger. We condemn the assassination attempt on former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and demand a proper and impartial investigation into these dastardly attacks, if necessary, an international one. There is no doubt that the forces against democracy and secularism in our country are carrying out these terrible attacks one after another and the government has not done enough to tackle them. We hope that the assassins will be brought to justice and the forces of intolerance and extremism are defeated.
Aranya Syed, Dhaka

A Closer Look at "Malignant Missed Call"
I think SWM does an excellent job! I also want to say that I absolutely agree with Md. Nazrul Islam Sumon about the reason behind "malignant missed calls". Many cell-phone subscribers don't know that missed calls hinder smooth network function. The latest eye-catching advertisement of Grameen Phone (GP) about "missed calls" has been a good step taken to educate subscribers about network performance. But while GP is creating awareness among subscribers, they are unaware of the reason behind missed calls, which is the high charges of airtime. Tk. 6.90 per minute for pre-paid calls, which is the rate set by many operators, is the highest call rate per minute in the world. In our neighbouring country, India, some cell phone companies charge as low as 99 paisa per minute. This means that all cell phone companies in Bangladesh are taking unfair profit advantages and earning a lot. Subscribers don't buy cell phones to make missed calls. They purchase them in order to have smooth communication with others. If airtime charges were reduced, people would automatically make calls instead of missed calls.
Mominul Hasan Rintu, Dept. of Business Administration, Asian University of Bangladesh

Thanks, SWM
English is an international language with increasing use around the world. In Bangladesh, this is no different, though the growth in the use of English is very slow. There are not enough English language teaching centres where people can learn the language. I am glad to know that SWM will be running weekly columns to help learn the English language. I'm sure many students as well as others will benefit from this.
Shah Maksud Noor, School of Law, BRAC University

I have been following the coverage on the recent bombings in the country on the different television channels including ATN Bangla and Channel i. Even CNN and BBC have been covering it. The sad thing is that the least coverage has been given by BTV. Even on the day of the bombing, while other channels were giving it high priority, BTV did not. It is a shame indeed. BTV really needs to be a more neutral medium.
Mehzabin Ahmed

What a Shame!
A few days ago I was watching a news bulletin on television that made me sad. Three British boys took to the streets of Dhaka city trying to create awareness among people about keeping the city clean through singing. Shame on us! We live in the city but have no civic sense. We throw garbage anywhere, cough and spit in public places. The boys were singing in front of the City Corporation, calling Dhaka a "dirty city". Can we not be more conscious citizens?
S. M. Nausher, Dhaka National Medical College Hospital

Last week's cover story Humayun Azad: A Truncated Life carries an inadvertent mistake. On page 11, the year 1996, in which Azad completed his PhD, should read as 1976.

From now on, SWM will be regularly running the new column "On Campus" on the various events and issues of the different university campuses around the country. University students are invited to send in articles or anecdotes with their thoughts on and experiences of campus life and reviews of campus events such as festivals, field trips and cultural programmes. --SWM Editor

Letters to the Editor, Dhaka Diary & Write to Mita with the writer’s name and address, should be within 200 words. Articles should be within 1,200 words. Articles and photos submitted will not be returned. Plagiarised articles will not be accepted. All materials should be sent to: Star Weekend Magazine, 19, Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215, Fax: 8125155, or e-mailed to <dsmagazn@gononet.com> Articles may be edited for reasons of space and clarity.
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