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    Volume 8 Issue 92 | October 30, 2009 |

  Cover Story
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Peace in the Middle East

President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize recently in a move that shocked the world. It is clear that Obama was awarded the prize for his early promise rather than any concrete achievements so far. It is up to Obama now to show that he really deserves the award. The main yardstick of his success would be whether he is able to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East. This remains a complex problem for Obama. With the support of successive American and European governments, Israel has grown more and more arrogant, and routinely denies Palestinians their basic human rights.
The United Nations' Human Rights Council has formally endorsed a report that accuses Israel and the militant group Hamas of war crimes in Gaza. While the Palestinians have welcomed the report, Israel has accused it of “bias”. Instead of trying to solve the problem, the Jewish state prefers to throw mud at the authors of the report. Ironically, Israel has slammed the UNHRC resolution as a diplomatic farce and says it will “damage” the Middle East peace process.
Now is the time to for the US president to leave behind the status quo and build support for real solutions to the Middle East. Only time will tell whether President Obama succeeds in fulfilling his early promise.
Tawfiq Nawaz
BSS (Hons) 1st year
Dept. of International Relations
University of Chittagong

On Life in a Limbos
Thanks to the Star for the cover story "Life in a Limbo." The report vividly describes what the recruiting agencies are doing with many poor people who often sell their last belongings in order to find a better life for themselves and their families. But these cruel recruiting agencies along with careless government officials destroy their dreams. I would like to request the Star to publish such reports on a regular basis so that people can know the actual condition. It is high time for the government to take necessary and stern steps in order to solve this problem.
Mohammed Hifzur Rahman Aman
New Zealand

Tourism in Bangladesh

We all know that Cox's Bazaar is the longest sea beach in the whole world. It also has secured a place as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. There are many other unique natural heritages that could attract tourists. Bangladesh changes its appearance during every season and having six seasons is a rare thing. These are all gifts from the Almighty to Bangladesh. Although its size is small and the population is huge, still these problems can be corrected. Tourism can be a boon for Bangladesh if properly encouraged. Some examples of natural attractions in this country are Kuakata, Sundarbans, Bandorban, Rangamati, Sylhet and many other places that can entice foreign tourists.
Bangladesh has good shopping malls, food delicacies and entrainment parks now but we still lack advertising and promotions, as a result of which people around the world don't know about Bangladesh. The only thing they read about is natural disaster. Even in Bangladesh there are no specific brochures in hotels and no fixed tourist guide. Sometimes tourists face cheating or harassment and so they return with bad impressions. The traffic jams, poor communication methods and mismanagement increase their dislike of Bangladesh. Earning money from tourism is a good idea for Bangladesh, as we cannot become an industrial country overnight.
Tourism will not only bring foreign currency, it will bring employment to many rural areas and hence will reduce the population pressure on Dhaka city. The government as well as private sector entrepreneurs should look into the matter.
Md Mahbubur Rahman

DST and the School Going Students
We already know about the Daylight Saving Time and have been trying to cope with it for several months. When it was first introduced in our country we were told the purpose is to utilise the sunlight properly and thus save electricity. Many countries of the world where the length of the day fluctuates are using such an idea. To use the sunlight in this way we just have to get up one hour earlier than before in the morning. This is how the school going students are learning to wake up earlier and use the daytime properly. I don't find anything wrong with such a change in our daily lives rather we must be ready to accept such positive steps to develop our country. When the school students are starting their days earlier than before they are getting cooler and calmer environments in the busy roads of the city. This way they can avoid the scorching sun of the day, which is very good for their health. However, during winter months this may create a problem. Among these students there are a pretty big number of little kids who are between the ages of 4 to 9. At this tender age waking up before sunrise and getting ready for school is not that easy for them. Moreover, usually they don't get ready themselves; rather their family members have to help or sometimes force them to wake up earlier. They start their days in sleepy mood and come to school with drowsy eyes. We must carefully consider whether these students can properly absorb their lessons in this way.
Mansura Mahmuda
Senior English Teacher
Maple Leaf International School, Dhaka

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