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     Volume 5 Issue 108 | August 18, 2006 |

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News Notes

Killed by her life-savers
Rowshi's mother and other family members at a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters' Unity auditorium

Three-year-old Farzana Faiza Chowdhury Rowshi was ill. She had a very high fever. Her parents were anxious and took her to the hospital thinking that the doctors would put an end to their worries and take care of their precious child. Rowshi's family was in for a shock. Instead of taking her home after recovery they received the lifeless body of the little girl.
According to Rowshi's family, doctors at Pancare Hospital in Road 27, Dhanmondi administered her with 8/9 high-powered antibiotic injections and suppositories on August 4, 2006.
Sitting on the hospital bed, with her daughter's shoes in her hand, Rowshi's mother, Nasima Begum sobbed to the reporters that her daughter's health started deteriorating right before her eyes after the doctors gave her the injections. Sheikh Tanvir Muhammad Layes, Rowshi's uncle, in his written statement said that doctors barred her relatives from transferring her to other hospitals even when her physical condition started worsening. Tanvir also said that the accused of the case are now threatening the family members to withdraw the case and offering money for a settlement.
Rowshi will never come back but the least that can be done for her is to punish the persons responsible for her death and the very fact that Pancare officials are offering a monetary settlement instead of facing the music proves that they have a skeleton in their closet.

18 till I die!
The election coming up in the near future is turning out to be more of an entertainment rather than a serious national issue. The latest discovery made concerning voters, is that seven crore voters in the country will remain as old as they were six years ago, including their profession and other particulars, which will also remain unchanged!
According to the Election Commission (EC), particular like age, occupation and marital status of voters who were registered in the last election back in 2000 will not be changed or modified this year. Reason? Well, officials at the EC Secretariat said they have nothing to do with these anomalies, since it's too big a task to handle! This is one big reason as to why population growth should be put on check as well. It was though reassured that the existing voter list contains the date of birth of voters. This will show the age of voters registered in 2000.
According to sources, voters aged 25 in 2000 will continue to be 25 now and their profession will also remain the same. A female voter, even if she is divorced and remarried in the last six years, will have the name of her husband unchanged.
The updated list will however contain the latest particulars of voters registering their names a fresh.

The Strange Case of a Military Despot
HM Ershad, arguably the most corrupt politician, this country has ever produced, all on a sudden, has become the most sought-after commodity in local politics. More than a dozen cases of graft are hovering over his shoulder, and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party is trying to seduce him by promising to lift them should Ershad decide to join hands with the BNP. The deposed General is playing the willing victim, and he has his own demands to put before the beleaguered BNP leadership. Ershad, who many believed had been thrown into the garbage can of the country's politics, wants to be the President again. Only lifting of the cases will not do, the former dictator now says, as people now want him to be the head of the state, for the general well being of the country, he must be made so as soon as the BNP-led alliance government comes to power again.
The idea is preposterous. And that the State Minister for Home would visit Ershad to reassure him that the BNP is serious about Ershad's misfortunes is a slap in the face for anyone who still believes in democracy and the rule of law. Any government, which thinks it has got some popularity among the voters, lest the one who enjoys an absolute majority in the parliament, would do something so reckless. Anyone who cares about rule of law knows that it is the judiciary not the government that passes verdicts on to the accused. That a minister or a political leader can go to a person to tell him that the cases pending against him at different Courts will be withdrawn is illegal and is tantamount to undermining the country's legal system.
It is only the BNP's vulnerability that Ershad is taking an advantage of. One thing is clear: The BNP knows that it is going to face a tough time, and the party needs to win the next elections by hook or by crook. And to do it, anyone will do for the BNP.

US Involved in Lebanon War Even Before Kidnappings
The “New Yorker” has claimed that the US government along with Israel had planned the attack on Hezbollah well before the July 12th kidnappings that triggered the current conflict. The story was broken by Seymour Hersh, the New Yorkers' chief military analyst and Pulitzer Prize winner for his story on the My Lai massacre and its subsequent cover up. The 69 year old Hersh claimed that Bush administration and Israel planned to attack Hezbollah even before the kidnappings of two Isareli soldiers. He also goes on to say that the American government would use this Israeli attack on Hezbollah as a precursor to planned attacks on Iranian nuclear sites. “The Israelis told us it would be a cheap war with many benefits,” a U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel said. “Why oppose it? We'll be able to hunt down and bomb missiles, tunnels, and bunkers from the air. It would be a demo for Iran.” Earlier this year Hersh had already claimed that the United States was conducting covert operations in Iran to identify targets for possible attacks and only a few weeks ago wrote that America was toying with the idea of using a “nuclear first strike” to eliminate underground Iranian uranium enrichment facilities. While the government has dismissed most of his claims, it is yet to respond to his allegations of knowledge and planning of the war on Lebanon with Israel even before the kidnappings that supposedly started the conflict. Who knows there may be a second Pulitzer in the offing for Hersh.

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