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     Volume 5 Issue 99 | June 16, 2006 |

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Bandarban, the Helm of Beauty!
As Bangladeshis, we are proud of our tradition, culture and natural beauty. But this natural beauty is being slowly pushed into oblivion.
We can still get a glimpse of the traditional beauty of our country in Bandarban. The serene beauty always manages to captivate us. The wild chirping of birds, the jungles, different indigenous communities and their languages, and the beautiful mountains are what give Bandarban its identity. Last week's cover story (June 9, 2006) is a tempting read on the beauty of Bandarban.
Ayan Gupta
Khilgaon Govt. Staff Quarter Dhaka

On "To be fair or exotic?"
I am impressed with the praiseworthy article "To be Fair or Exotic?" by Shahana Siddiqui who is well-acquainted with the treatment received by the dark-skinned girls in every sphere of life.
We capriciously undermine and discriminate dark-skinned girls as if they bear a social stigma. In general, a girl with dark skin has to spend more to get married whether her family is wealthy or not. There are thousands of examples of dark skinned males who can easily get married to fair-skinned girls. But this is not the case for a girl. It seems to be an unpardonable offence for them to be born with dark skin as the writer mentioned. It's high time that we start changing our views.
M A Swift
Dept of Islamic History and Culture
University of Dhaka

Video Games are Lethal Indeed
Video games are a great source of indoor entertainment today. But games sold in markets these days are full of brutality, violence and sex crimes. Video game sellers are indifferent about minors. They sell CDs and DVDs indiscriminately to youngsters without considering what effect it would have on them. There are no laws to prevent the sale of these games to young people. It is high time for us to be vigilant and stop these businesses otherwise these video games will corrupt children's mind.
Shaikhul Akbar Eishan
Chuadanga Govt. Colleges

World Cup Enthusiasm
I was watching a live telecast from Germany shown on the BBC titled 'My World Cup' where people from around the world joined with their web cam and expressed their feelings about the World Cup and to my utmost surprise videos of Bangladesh's rooftop adorned with colourful flags (mostly Brazilian and Argentine) were being shown on a BBC programme featuring world cup enthusiasm around the world. The report also featured people's expectations in Bangladesh about enjoying the world cup without being interrupted by frequent load-shedding.
H.S.C. Examinee Dhaka City College

Budget and its Implementation
The national budget determines the important sector on which the highest allowance is granted. But in an atmosphere of massive financial shortage and corruption its effectiveness is impeded. So far a number of budgets have passed through our governments with none of them being implemented. The donors refuse to allow debt because of the abuse of the allotted money. These along with the failure to collect revenue due to the frightening amount of corruption are the main reasons for the failure to implement the national budget.
The economists are calling the latest budget a development budget but will it have any successful impacts on national development? In every budget the government spares a large section for development but the implementation leaves us dumbfounded and disappointed.
In such a shameful situation we should consider the following initiatives:
* Certainty of implementation of allocated money
* Clear accountability at an authoritative level.
* Establishment of proper monitoring systems in different sectors to reduce corruption.
* Creation of a stable political and financial environment to ensure and increase debt from various international organisations.
* An effective strategy to increase revenue collection.
* Raising awareness among the general public.
I think, through the gracious consideration of the government, on these issues the budget can be beneficial to the nation.
Md. Mehedi Hassan

Fake Patriotism
The whole nation is now suffering from football fever. Flags of participating countries are flying on the rooftops of almost every house. Some people are trying to show their patriotism by waving our national flag along with the other flags! In my opinion they are actually disrespecting our national flag as flying it after sunset is strictly prohibited. It is our pride. I don't think there is any need of such patriotism.
Atiqur Rahman

Media Bashing Culture in Bangladesh
Energy adviser Mahmudur Rahman's media bashing is but a part of the ridiculous culture that has been being played by our men of rank. His accusation of the media that it has been acting "anti-state" by not supporting him in his fight against smuggling fuel is insanity as they bear no relevance with each other.
We are turning out to be a strange nation these days. If anything goes wrong with the ministers they instantly point fingers at the media. If there is a bomb to be blown by the religious outfits they blame the media. If there is any agitation by the citizens they blame the media again. And if there is a TI report that ranks Bangladesh as the most corrupted then they start shouting that the media is an enemy of the country and is trying to tarnish its image.
This strategy is aimed to fool the common people of the country. This ludicrous drama is being played at all spheres of our social and political lives. What can we, the citizens, do against all this to bring sanity to our bigwigs?
Rafiqul Islam Rime
Agrabad, Chittagong

Who Are The Ideal Customers?
An ideal customer may receive facilities such as discounts or gift if he/she pays first. That seems to be an exception in the telecommunication business. Here they offer better facilities to post paid customers. Is it because they can impose some additional bill on them?
Recently my uncle, who is a City Cell post-paid customer, was charged with additional bill and he asked for the breakdown of his bill. The service centre told him that he would have to pay Tk 250 to get this breakdown. Is that rational?
Mobile companies are spending several millions in a month on advertisement have already built up an image in the job market as the highest salary payer. But it's a matter of great disappointment that they are not concentrating on customer service or reducing the call rates.
Khabiruzzaman (Shaikat)
NCC Bank Ltd

World Cup 2006 and our National Flag
It is really sad that our national flag is not being flown along with the flags of the World Cup playing nations. The Flag Act is not being maintained. Many people probably don't even know of the Flag Act (Our national flag should be hoisted on the right side of any foreign flag). All of us know that we achieved our national flag after a long struggle in 1971. We should honour our national flag which is the symbol of our freedom. TV channels, newspapers and the conscious people of the society can play a vital role at this time. I request everyone to come forward and remove this ignorance and raise a sense of patriotism in our motherland.
Ziaur Rahman
Dhaka University

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