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     Volume 5 Issue 91 | April 21, 2006 |

   Cover Story
   Straight Talk
   In Retrospect
   Photo Feature
   Special Feature
   Slice of Life
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review
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Excellent focus on the parliament
After gaining independence in 1971, Bangladesh took on a new constitution based on the basic principles of democracy. But within a short period of time (1975-90) many amendments to the constitution have ruined the democratic nature of the political system. As a result we have experienced an era of presidential autocracy. In 1990 democratic governance was restored through the twelfth constitutional amendment.
But sadly it does not reflect the wishes of the people. In this context SWM's March 24 cover story has explored the reasons why the parliament isn't effective. The story tried to answer a plethora of interrelated questions. The cover story has given a magnificent explanation of our current socio-political problems. It is very informative, insightful, analytical and empirical. I want to congratulate the writers for their combined effort. The selection of the topic was very prudent. I would also like to thank Salahuddin Quader Choudhury, Suranjit Sengupta, GM Quader and Mahfuz Anam for giving their valuable opinions.
Saleh Mohammad Shahriar
Department of Political Science
Chittagong University

Private universities
It is true that now-a-days people have trust in private universities. First of all private university students don't have session jams, teachers are regular, responsible and professional.
Though the tuition fees are a real burden for any middle class family the overall scenario is not against them. But there are a few universities that don't have adequate facilities. There are 58 private universities but most of them are not up to the mark. Private universities are not coaching centres but most of them have the appearance and space of a coaching centre, without a proper university campus. The UGC should take action against these universities. I want to thank Elita Karim for her article. I hope there will be more articles on this issue.
Mostofa Saikh Chowdhury
North South University


Many parents still prefer to admit their children to public universities, but they are not acquainted with the standards and in a way far more organised methods of the latter. For example, the syllabus is precise but includes all necessary topics whereas it is not so in the public universities. The job-market leans more towards private university graduates as they have realised that private university students are far more compatible to the corporate world than public university students. This mere fact gives rise to many complaints of unemployment in society.
It is not my opinion that private universities will support most of the population today but concerning the price to be paid for proper education it, in a sense really does pay off.
Azmi Syed

Empowerment and emancipation of women
In the Star Weekend Magazine of March 24, 2006, two Dhaka University female students proclaimed that all "conscious", "sensible" Bangladeshis should unquestionably support initiatives that empower and emancipate women. Sultana and Misty's perceptions are ill- conceived and one-sided. They are based on vested interests.
Development interventions that only address the needs of women widen inequalities, encourage redistributive politics and undermine development of social capital, human rights of access to welfare services. Preferential access to employment opportunities and welfare services generates social, ethnic and religious conflict. One group of people benefits at the expense of others. Hence, development interventions must be formulated carefully to promote equitable development and growth, not create zero-sum game situations.
Thus, people who present a contrasting viewpoint are not silly or ridiculous. They merely articulate statements that analyse implications of development policies and programmes in-depth!
Faisal M Rahman

Victim of student politics
It is said that students are the future of a nation. But what are we seeing in our country? In the name of student politics, several students are being benefited in various ways. The main parties use them to gratify their interest. General students are compelled to join the ruling party processions. Dormitory authorities are fully unconcerned about how leaders exploit their position and occupy residential halls. The student leaders force the general students to join politics. If the student leaders take charge of the dormitories then what is the point of appointing provosts and house tutors?
Zahurul Haq Hall
Dhaka University

Editorial policy differences in sports journalism
I am a Bangladeshi citizen living in the USA. I am regular reader of Bangla online newspapers published both from Bangladesh and India. I have made a sad observation of a dubious standard of sport editorial policy of Anandabazar and another mainstream Indian daily (The Hindu).
Wherever the Australian national cricket team tours for an ODI or a test match, they are expected to get media coverage in the cricket playing countries, both in the electronic and print media. This is quite customary.
But, I was saddened to see that the current Australian tour of Bangladesh was completely ignored so far by www.anandabazar.com and www.hindu.com
I would be very happy to get to understand the editorial policy dynamics on covering international sports events in this regard.
Abdullah M. Khan

Sewing instead of stapling!
In recent years our education system has advanced a lot. The ministry deserves credit for their effort in reducing the tendency to copy in the private exams. But in the process of doing so they are sometimes causing harassment to common students. In the upcoming H.S.C. students will not be allowed to use staplers to pin up their additional pages. The additional pages will be sewn with the main page. Sewing pages is a lengthy process. It will kill precious time which can prove vital in complicated exams. And for an office staff it would be a difficult to sew pages of all the students in a room.
As an examinee I would ask the proper authorities to let us use staplers in the exam hall to reduce harassment.
Atiqur Rahman

Bird flu: miseries are waiting!
Avian Influenza is a virus which can be passed on to the human body by birds. It can damage our intestines. More than eight countries of Asia have become the victim of this H5N1 Virus. It can spread and strain in an epidemic form and no one can predict when a pandemic might occur. The effect will be felt in every sector of our country.
While an outbreak poses a huge threat to human lives, it may also wreck the country's poultry industry. Poultry farmers are still not completely educated about the virus. Our country's poultry industry needs protection against Bird Flu. In the long run, it is not just the government but the general masses that should be aware about how to protect themselves from this flu.
Ayan Gupta
Khilgaon, Dhaka

Submission Guideline:
Letters to the Editor, Dhaka Diary and Write to Mita, with the writer's name and address, should be within 200 words. All articles should be within 1,200 words. A cover letter is not necessary, but every write-up should include the writer's name, phone number and email address (if any). While SWM welcomes unsolicited articles and photographs, it cannot accept the responsibility of their loss or damage. SWM does not return unsolicited articles and photos. Response time for unsolicited write-ups range from three weeks to two months. All articles submitted are subject to editing for reasons of space and clarity.
All materials should be sent to: Star Weekend Magazine, 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215, Fax: 880-2-8125155 or emailed to: <starweekendmag@gmail.com>
It is recommended that those submitting work for the first time to the SWM take a look at the sample copy beforehand. Our website is: http://www.thedailystar.net/magazine

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