Friday, February 10, 2006

Voices in the Morning -10th February 2006

Getting a drink in Bangladesh

If you are going to Bangladesh, make sure you think about where you can get a drink — almost no restaurants or hotels are allowed to serve alcohol. Many who visit Dhaka for a conference or workshop and find themselves spending their whole trip without an alcoholic beverage. If you are a non-Muslim, you are allowed to take alcohol into Bangladesh when you visit, so it is wise to bring a couple bottles of good Scotch or whatever else you like. There are even a few import stores where you are allowed to buy expensive beer and wine on proof of passport, but the easiest solution is to arrange your accommodation somewhere that has one of the very rare liquor licenses...Kama in Gridskipper

WOT:Submission of the Compliant Elite in Bangladesh

In sum, Bangladesh should learn lessons from what the mighty US and its Western partners have done so far to their erstwhile 'friends and allies'. They have dumped and abandoned almost all of their 'friends' except Israel during the last fifty-odd years. Iraq and Pakistan are two glaring examples in this regard. Those who think by aligning Bangladesh with the US in the name of containing terror (actually to get some share in the $100 million already offered by the US for the purpose) Bangladesh would be a safe haven are simply day dreamers. They should not lose sight of how US missiles ruthlessly killed several innocent villagers in Pakistan in the name of hitting some al Qaeda leaders, violating the sovereignty of the country, which is an US ally in the 'war against terrorism'.Bangladeshis should also learn that those who project their country as a failed state, ripe for an Islamist takeover, only out of political expediency to embarrass and eventually defeat the BNP-led coalition, are playing a dirty and dangerous 'cry wolf' game, not at all good for their country....Taj Hashmi in NFB

From dogfight to divinity

He spoke with eloquence, mostly in English, going back and forth in time, resenting that the Muslim intellectuals had abandoned the path of Islam in the temptation of western values. He talked about how he fought with the Mujahidin in Afghanistan to drive out the Russians. Then he argued that Muslims had miserably failed to grow in military power, which is why the Jihadi is left with no choice but to wear the strap to blow up himself as a "rational response to an irrational world." My hero looked more heroic when he said that Islam would rise again, this time from South Asia. His dream is to see one country stretching from Afghanistan to Teknaf....Mohammad Badrul Ahsan in DS

Questions I can't answer

I do have a lot of questions though. Like why do all the sheep in my town have no ears? Really they don't. Sheep in other Bangladeshi towns have ears, I know because I always make a point of looking for the sheep. I keep wondering if there is some strange conspiracy going on here that involves sheep ears. Perhaps people cut them off and make sheep ear chips? Like how you can buy pig ears to feed to your dogs as tasty snacks. Or mabey its like cow tipping in the states....some sort of hillbilly rite of passage?... " Go Ahmed go!.. go you wanker and get the ears you big sissy boy!!!" I really do not know and every one I ask in my town about it gets all shifty and nervous and changes the subject. But what I want to know is WHY the Sheep have no EARS!!!???...Maya, Peace Corps Volunteer in To be a Nomad

I started teaching

All of my spiritual energy is busy right now. Trying to adapt to teaching is a big drain. Deciding what I want to be doing right now is the other tap. The security situation is almost bad enough that I want to leave because of it. There is no new information today, but it wouldn’t take an awful lot of new activity for me to decide to leave. I am also questioning my potential efficacy here. I think that most of the problems that plague Bangladesh would be difficult to fix without participating in activities that might involve getting shot at. I don’t want to help that much....ze6ke, Peace Corps Volunteer in Live Journal

Fast and Easy with the LA Terrorist Plot

There is something terribly disingenuous about the President’s assertions today that a 9/11 styled attack on the West Coast was thwarted. The President, then later his Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend in a conference call with the press, argued that un-named Al Qaeda operatives arrested in un-named countries were actively planning the attack (though they would not say how far along it was) at an un-named time. All details are classified. How convenient. How un-verifiable for the public. The administration is simply trying to justify its blatantly illegal NSA wire-tapping program to the public. The failure of their legal arguments has been reduced to one point: we are defending America, so anything we do goes......Zachary Abuza in CTB

Americans are from Venus, the French are from Mars (or is it the other way around?)

“Mr Levy’s regard for America – and his career as a successful writer – began 35 years ago when he answered Andre Malraux’s call to fight for freedom and democracy in Bangladesh, and flew to witness its bloody war of independence from Pakistan.‘It was a terrible experience of human damnation,” Mr Levy said.
‘Imprinted on my mind were unforgettable images of butchery and horror. Bangladesh drove home to me the importance of free societies – and how the American experience of liberation from tyranny resonated around the world.’”
I quoted this passage for a couple of reasons. Bangladesh in 1970s – like Armenia in the 1900s, Biafra in the 1960s, Cambodia and Solidarnosc in 1980s, Bosnia and Kurdistan in the 1990s and Darfur today – was one of those not particularly fashionable causes that acted as a good test for a functioning moral compass. Some simply follow received wisdom and fashionable causes. Others have a worldview that only allows them to support the oppressed when they are darker skinned than their oppressors, or when the oppressed are Muslim and the oppressors are Christian or Jewish, or when the oppressors are allied with America. BHL, in contrast, is someone with a functioning moral compass, who supports causes because they are right, hence who has supported unfashionable causes like Bangladesh and Darfur and Israel. Second, being reminded of Bangladesh’s struggle is poignant today, when so many of the children of those who fought against theocratic Pakistan for a secular, democratic Bangladesh are now waving placards that say things like “Behead those who insult Mohammed.” In the East End of London, one of the battlelines is between the Bangladeshi nationalist parents (who supported Oona King) and their children in Pakistan-linked Islamist groups (who supported George Galloway)....Bob in Brockley

Possibility of direct talks between ULFA, Centre:

"I had a long chat with ULFA Commander-in-Chief Paresh Barua over phone today and he seems to be quite positive about the outcome of our talks with the Home Ministry,"
said Goswami, who is mediating between the Government and the banned outfit for over a year.
"There is a posibility of direct peace negotiation involving ULFA and Government after the next round of talks between PCG and the Centre,"
the Gyanpeeth award winning author told PTI here. Goswami said Home Minister Shivraj Patil is likely to participate in the next round of PCG-Government meeting which will be held possibly in March. "The next round of talks between the Centre and PCG will be very crucial as likely outcome of the meeting may decide the future of the peace process," she said....Indira Goswami to OUTLOOK

The First Dhaka Bloggers Meet

When he asked what is the credibility of the bloggers, we asked him back what is the credibility of mainstream media who thinks of commercial interest first. Maqsood Bhai told a story that GrameenPhone sold thousands of faulty mobile SIMs and one day there was a riot like situation when people queued up in GrameenPhone’s office. Apparently no press covered this in fear of loosing advertisement revenue as they were dictated by GrameenPhone. Maqsood Bhai vowed that the Bangladeshi mainstream media do not so far read blogs but they rather should be. Because the online newspapers update after a day, while the blogger can share news to the international community instantaneously. He told how one of his posts was picked up by Reuters within 15 minutes of publishing in his blog...Rezwan in the 3rd World View

PIX OF THE BANGLADESH BLOGGERS MEET At MAC's PLACE--
CREDIT HASIN


Rezwan, Rifat, Yawar, Zico, Hasin and Wami
Shafi and Khaled
Hasan, Arild and Misho
Naser, Arild, Misho, Rifat, Wami, Rezwan, Yawar
Hasin
Nazzina
Yawar, Nazzinas Brother, Zico and Nazzina
Mac and Munshi
Mahfuz Sadiq - New Age, Rezwan, Rifat, Zico, Andrew Biraj - Lensman, New Age

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