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BICN 2-15 March 2000

Volume 3 Number 13


+From the Editor

+Feature Article 

- First Anniversary Observed of Bangladeshi Missionary's Death in Sierra Leone

+Commercial Advertisements: 

-Contemporary Bengali Instruction


+News & Announcements 

+... And Some Questions 

+Books from Mr Kashem 

+Early March Events 

+A Little Later On 

+Non-Commercial Classified Ads


 BICN is published first & third Wednesdays September to May from Dhaka Bangladesh by Sara Bennett. To SUBSCRIBE, email 

BICN welcomes your community event announcements, personal classified ads, letters to the editor, short articles - all appear FREE. Commercial advertisements appear for a small fee.

Next issue submission deadline Tue 14 Mar 2000. Email items to


Two things:

--If this newsletter seems a little different (more webby stuff and less calendar), that's because I'm out of Bangladesh for the month of March. Now if I had someone in Dhaka to help me as BICN Associate Editor ... hint, hint!

--My goal for BICN for the publication year ending mid-May 2000 was to reach 600 subscribers. Well, that happened well ahead of schedule a few days ago and at current growth rates, by mid-May there will be well over 700 subscribers. Thanks to all of you who have passed the word about BICN and encouraged your friends and colleagues to subscribe - the Bangladesh international community grapevine is BICN's most important source of new subscribers.


First Anniversary Observed of Bangladeshi Missionary's Death in Sierra Leone

23 Feb, ZENIT News Agency 

The Catholic community of Bangladesh celebrated the first anniversary of the death of its first "martyr," Sister Maria Sueva, one of Mother Teresa of Calcutta's Missionaries of Charity. She was killed on February 22, 1999 by rebels in Sierra Leone, where she assisted the neediest.

"We are very proud of Sister Sueva's sacrifice," Bishop F. Anthony Gomes of Mymensingh said during the homily of the commemorative Mass held in Madhabur, which is 200 kilometers from Dhaka, the capital.

Maria Sueva was born on January 6, 1956. At first she was a missionary in former Yugoslavia, later in the Ivory Coast, and finally in Sierra Leone. At present there are some 100 Catholic missionaries from Bangladesh around the world. They are all Missionaries of Charity, the Congregation founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta.


-- Contemporary Bengali Instruction --

Nondita Chowdhury offers Bengali instruction to individuals and groups:

+Course 1, Survival Bangla - 20 2-hour sessions focusing on speaking and understanding +Course 2, Basic Bangla - 20 2-hour sessions with the introduction of reading and writing +Individual instruction - tailored to students needs

Ms Chowdhury was principal of Heed Language Centre (1991-97), and has over 20 years experience in Bengali instruction. Lessons given at her school in Gulshan or learner's home or office. Courses cost Tk6000 per person for groups of two to seven, or Tk7500 for one person, includes all materials. For more information, email  , include your name & telephone number.


--- Liberation War Atrocities as "Gendercide" ---

For an excellent, well-written overview of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation Water atrocities, see .

--- Asiaonline, Online Magazine for Asian --- --- Communities in Berlin & Germany ---

See . [I didn't see a whole lot there but if you have a special interest in this area, go for it.]

--- "Temporary" ISP Account Access in Thailand & the Philippines ---

Next time you (and your computer) are in Thailand and have the urge to check your email, go to and order an instant temporary ISP account. Rates are quite competitive, at THB500 for 20 hours or THB750 for 35 hours (THB37=USD1). There are access telephone numbers in Bangkok plus some other Thailand locations.

My friend Brent, currently on mission to the Philippines, informed me that, "Here in the Philippines they have a very good system for 'temporary' Internet access. You go to any computer shop (or maybe even a 7-11) and buy an Internet access card, similar to a phone card. You buy 1 hour, 10 hour or 20 hour durations - one hour for 50P, 10 hour for 300P, or 20 hours for 500P (40P=USD1). The card has a scratch sticker like a lotto ticket. Under the scratch sticker you have a logon and password. Total time to complete the transaction is about the same as buying a Coke."

--- Government of Bangladesh Website ---

Tanvir Chowdhury of News From Bangladesh ( ) writes: "One of the better new Bangladesh websites is . This is of course the Bangladesh government site. It has comprehensive information on all the ministries & government affairs, SAARC, agriculture info and research, chamber of commerce, and a bunch more . Very simple, clean-cut, informative site. It provides the type of information which otherwise in Bangladesh you have to run around to get -- you know, simple things, like email addresses and fax numbers of ministries."


--- Invitation for Abstracts, Chemical Technology --- --- Session, TechTransfer 2000 - Change Bangladesh --- --- Through Technology 28-30 April 2000, Atlantic --- --- City, New Jersey, USA ---

Abstract deadline: March 31, 2000, Electronic submission preferred. Abstract: 200-300 words. Presentation: 15 minute followed by five minute discussion. Paper: hard and soft copies to be received at the session. Travel & lodging: participants' responsibility. Please submit your abstracts on related areas to . Session sponsored by Bangladesh Chemical and Biological Society of North America (BCBSNA).

--- Second and Final Call for Papers, European Network --- --- of Bangladesh Studies Sixth Workshop, "Bangladesh: --- --- Changing Identities and Economic Transformation," --- --- 14-16 May 2000, University of Oslo, Norway ---

The overall goal of this workshop is to investigate the link between changing identities and economic transformation in Bangladesh. Two sub-themes are suggested - cultural-political and social-economic. You are invited to submit a paper - please submit abstracts by end March 2000 with full papers to follow by end April 2000. You are also welcome to register for the workshop as a discussant/participant. For more information visit the ENBS website at  or email .

--- DAWC 60's 70's 80's Dance Party has been moved again! ---

FINAL DATE: FRIDAY, APRIL 7TH. We apologize for any inconvenience, but it will give us an extra week to tie up the details! See calendar below for event details.

--- Dhaka Stage Auditions For --- --- Woody Allen's Comedy --- --- "Don't Drink The Water" ---

Dhaka Stage announces auditions for its next production: "Don't Drink the Water", a comedy by Woody Allen set to be performed on May 16th - 19th. The production will require 14 actors: 7 women and 7 men. We will attempt to set rehearsals to the convenience of the greatest number. Auditions will be held on two evenings: Saturday March 11th and Sunday March 12th at 7:00 pm in the home of the director Aland Russell. Please bring your calendars so that you may inform the director of dates available. Contact Aland for directions and any other questions - email or call 018-222-884.


Looks like we gotta help out the current Lonely Plant Bangladesh author, from whom I just got this email:

"Hi there, I'm Richard Plunkett and I'm updating the Lonely Planet guide to Bangladesh. I was in the country for three months last year, but now that I've almost finished writing it all up I realise there's stuff I missed. Anyway, I was wondering if you could help me with the following questions, if you have the time.

"Can you recommend any budget places to stay in the Gulshan-Banani-Baridhara area? I found a few NGo guesthouses but they aren't really geared towards budget travellers. All the commercial guesthouses are quite expensive. If there are any you can think of, please let me have the address, price and phone number if possible.

"Anyone ever been to Kuakata? I couldn't get there because my schedule was cut short by hartals. I know there are some cheaper hotels than the Parjatan, but again I need some recommendations with price info.

"Any reliable places to hire cars in Dhaka?

"For medical care in Dhaka I've got Elizabeth House, The US medical centre, Dr Wahab, and Monowara hospital if you're desperate. Any other recommendations?

"Thanks a million, I look forward to hearing from you,

"Richard Plunkett" Email 


Email  for more info or to order. Free delivery service in Dhaka. Overseas customers, please visit the UPL website at .

Jagatpur, 1977-97: Poverty and Social Change in Rural Bangladesh by Kamal Siddiqui. 476pp, hard cover, Tk 550, University Press Limited, Dhaka, published in January 2000. From the publisher: "This is a longitudinal study seeking to explain poverty in rural Bangladesh during the two decades between 1977 and 1997. More explicitly, the objective has been to delineate the processes within the rural society which caused, aggravated, maintained and reduced poverty in a typical Bangladeshi village during the above period. On both occasions, long drawn and painstaking field work was undertaken within a holistic framework of analysis. [... ]Given its extraordinary methodological rigor and penetrating analysis of the causes of poverty, this book will be difficult to be ignored by both academics and practitioners in the field. "

Entrepreneurs and Economic Development: The Remarkable Story of Garment Exports from Bangladesh. By Munir Quddus and Salim Rashid. University Press Limited, 2000. From the Publisher: "This is the first book that presents a comprehensive analysis of the apparel export industry of Bangladesh. [...] The authors focus primarily on the role of the entrepreneurs, the men and women who have led the industry over the years. [...] The book also discusses future challenges for the industry and the policymakers as the present structure built under the GATT rules come to an end in the year 2005."


All events are in Dhaka unless otherwise noted. Entry to some events is restricted eg to members - contact the organizers for information.

3&4 Mar - JOI in Concert, Osmani Memorial Hall, 7pm. "London East End Bangladeshi 'Joi Bangla' sound." JOI was recognized in 1999 with the BBC Asia Music Award.

Fri 3 Mar - United Nations Women's Association Silver Jubilee Celebration, Sonargaon Hotel Poolside, 7:30pm. Celebrating 25 Years in Bangladesh with an international night. Dinner and entertainment from around the world. National dress. Tickets Tk 1250, available from .

Mon 6 Mar - JOI in Concert, Chittagong, 7pm. Additional info above.

Tues 7 Mar - UNWA visit to the Mother Theresa Home for Abandoned Children. The Home is one of a number of organizations/projects supported by UNWA. Email for more information.

Wed 8 Mar - BWA Newcomers Coffee Morning, 10am. Email .

Sat 11 Mar - UNWA Annual General Meeting, 9:30am at Haveli Restaurant on Gulshan Avenue. Selection of the new board for 2000/1. Email .

Sat&Sun 11&12 Mar- Auditions for Dhaka Stage production of Woody Allen's "Don't Drink the Water". See announcement above for more info, email or tel 018-222-884.

Tue 14 Mar - Deadline to submit items for the next issue of BICN. Email 

Wed 15 Mar - Glitter Party at the Australian Club. Tickets on sale to Oz Club members 2-4pm starting 22 Feb, to members of other clubs from 23 Feb.


16-18 Mar - Eid-ul-Azha (subject to moon)

Fri 17 March: UNWA Welfare visit to Families for Children, an orphanage in Uttara. Departure at 1pm. Email .

Fri 17 Mar - National holiday, Bangabandhu's Birthday

Sat 25 Mar - Scheduled visit of US President Clinton to Bangladesh

Sun 26 Mar - National holiday, Independence Day

Tue 28 Mar - BWA Monthly Lunch at Spaghetti Jazz, 12:30pm. Email .

Thu 30 March: UNWA Monthly Luncheon, email 

Fri 7 Apr: [NOTE NEW DATE} DAWC 60s/70s/80s Dance Party, US Mission club 8pm. Tickets Tk500, on sale in March from the USMC office for expat club card holders. Ticket includes snacks and floorshow at 10pm. Cash bar. Be sure to wear a costume from your favorite decade. Sponsorship to this charity event welcome. Email .

28-30 Apr, Atlantic City NJ: "Tech Transfer-2000: North America" (TT2000:NA) convention. "This conference will bring together potential and actual actors in Technology Transfer to Bangladesh. The most important group, who can contribute directly to the transfer of technology to Bangladesh, are Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRB) who are Technologists, Scientists, Engineers, Investors, or Entrepreneurs. They are the strongest link of Bangladesh to modern technology and industry. TT2000:NA is being organized and hosted by TechBangla and enthusiastically co-sponsored by AABEA, BCBSNA, EB2000, BSCDI, ComputerNet and other NRB organizations. For more information see or contact: in Bangladesh, Tanvir Chowdhury, Editor , tel +880(2)8827413, email ; in USA, Shaikh Mizan, Coordinator, TechTransfer-2000:NA, email , tel +1(706)613-7808, fax +1(706)542-5771.

Sun - Tues 14-16 May, Oslo: European Network of Bangladesh Studies Sixth Workshop, "Bangladesh - Changing Identities and Economic Transformation," hosted by the Department of Sociology at the University of Oslo, with NORAD funding. For more information, see the website 


Mother Theresa Home for the Elderly and the Homeless is looking to purchase soaps, detergent, as well as antiseptic cleaning products at Whole Sale prices. Anyone having information on how and where they could do this, please contact Regine Whittlesey, tel 8814602 or email: 

The Missionaries of Charity Homes would like to collect any old clothes or pieces of scrap material for multi-purpose uses. Even western style clothing is welcome. Contact Mia Obdam (8826559) if you have anything you can donate.

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