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since April 1998




BICN 5-18 October 2000

Volume 4 Number 4


From the Editor

Bicn.Com Temporary Outage Earlier This Week

Feature Article 

Guarding Press Freedom: Reporters Sans Frontieres

This Issue's Sponsors (Commercial Advertising) 

Contemporary Bengali Instruction

Ecotours to the Bandarban Hills: Special Package for Dhaka Expats

Badhon, The Largest And Only Computerized Matchmaking Agency In Bangladesh

Freelance Employees Sought

Community Announcements

Dart League Forming

Dhaka American Women's Club Monthly Luncheons

Events Calendar, Dhaka & Beyond



Free Long Distance Computer-To-Phone Calling Services Available In Bangladesh

Non-Commercial Advertisements


  BICN is published first & third Wednesdays, September to May, from Dhaka Bangladesh. BICN welcomes announcements, personal ads, letters to the editor, press releases, and articles - all such  items appear FREE. 

Commercial ads are USD8 / Tk450 for <100 words - commercial includes all ads advertising an apartment/house/land for rent/sale; ads for employment available or sought other than household staff; ads for products and services offered for sale.  ONLINE SECURE CREDIT CARD PAYMENT FACILITY NOW AVAILABLE - WORLDWIDE.  

Email all inquiries &  items to . Next issue submission deadline Tue 17 Oct 2000. Email to subscribe. Sara Bennett, Editor.

(c) BICN. BICN items may be freely reprinted with this attribution: "Source: Bangladesh International Community News ( / )."




** Bicn.Com Temporary Outage Earlier This Week

If you tried to email me on Sunday or Monday (or Tuesday?) of this week, and your message came back "undeliverable", this was because was temporarily off the air. Not because of anything at the ISP that hosts the BICN site. Rather, what happened is that the main network routing tables got corrupted, at least some of the bits used to find Sorry for the inconvenience.




** Guarding Press Freedom: Reporters Sans Frontieres

Throughout the world, the organization Reporters Sans Frontieres defends jailed journalists, press freedom, the right to inform and be informed, in accordance with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. RSF has branches in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and UK, representatives in Bangkok, Washington, Abidjan and Istanbul, and more than a hundred correspondents worldwide.

RSF sends out urgent (bilingual English/French) email alerts when reporters are threatened or harmed in the countries it monitors. To subscribe to this service, visit   or email asie@rsf .

Here is a recent (10 October) RSF alert about interference with journalists in Bangladesh.

++ Journalists prevented from reporting about the disappearance of an opposition leader

In a letter sent today to the home affairs minister, Mohammad Nasim, RSF expressed its concern about attacks by the authorities of Lakhipur, Chittagong against journalists reporting on the disappearance of BNP politician Nurul Islam. RSF asked to the minister to intervene with the local authorities to stop the attacks so that journalists can work freely. General secretary of RSF Robert Ménard reminded the minister that his duty is to "protect journalists who are exercising their right to inform."

According to RSF information, a journalist for Dainik Prothom Alo, Ekramul Haq Bulbul, was obliged to leave Lakhipur on 6 October after an attack by armed men. He was wounded and hospitalised. The reporter was investigating the involvement of the chairman of Lakhipur in the disappearance of the BNP politician.

Two days earlier, on 4 October, a Dainik Manabzamin reporter, Sheikh Mamunur Rashid, was threatened with death while looking for information in Lakhipur about the disappearance. Policemen and municipality workers raided the hotel where Rashid stayed and threatened him with "reprisals".

Abu Taher, the chairman of Lakhipur and local leader of the Awami League, threatened to "break the limbs" of journalists who implicated him in the disappearance of the BNP politician. He told the reporters "to leave the town or face very dire consequences."




** 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

Courses run for five days per week over four weeks and cost Tk6000 per person for groups of two to seven, or Tk7500 for one person, includes all materials. Individualized instruction is also available at Tk400/hour per person. 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. For more information, email , include your name & telephone number.

Ecotours to the Bandarban Hills: Special Package for Dhaka Expats

Dying to escape Daffy Dhaka?  International vacation breaks worn you out? Join us in the Bandarban Hille in southeastern Bangladesh and visit the easygoing Mru people, boat along the Sangu river, walk through verdant hills, stay in a hilltop cottage, imbibe a little moonshine, and sway to hypnotic Mru music!

Dhaka expats booking one month in advance in groups of 3-6 qualify for up to 25% discounts. Profits go directly to indigenous projects.

Contact Reng Yu, your tour coordinator, anytime at or mobile 018-318345, or click .

Badhon, The Largest And Only Computerized Matchmaking Agency In Bangladesh

Badhon now lets you find your match through its online data base! No more tiresome process of 'arrangements' for finding a match. For further details check out http: //  or write to us at , or call or visit our Uttara or City offices.

Badhon Uttara: House 19, Road 30 Sector 7, tel 8916966, 8918851, 8921067, fax: 8918798. Badhon City: 18, Dilu Road, tel 9331198 or 9342254. Matchmaking services since 1995.

Freelance Employees Sought

Dhaka based ad agency seeks to staff two part-time freelance positions (you take the work home as needed on a job-to-job basis, you DO NOT have to quit your current job):

(1) Bangla Typist, must be able to translate from English to Bangla, must have your own access to an Apple Macintosh computer.

(2) Macintosh Computer Operator proficient in Illustrator and Photoshop to do support work, other applications helpful, must have your own access to an Apple Macintosh computer.

Email your name, contact information, and CV to: .




** Dart League Forming

Tk200/person, email  .

** Dhaka American Women's Club Monthly Luncheons

There will be a DAWC luncheon the second Tuesday of every month at the American Club.




To have your Bangladesh-related event - in Dhaka or anywhere else in the world - included in the next Event Calendar, please email the time, date, place, description, and email contact address to by Tues 17 Oct 00.

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

Late October

Tue 24 Oct - United Nations Day, UN agencies exhibit at the Sonagaon Hotel in front of the fountain, from 0900 to 1600. Email .

Tue 24 Oct - UNWA General Meeting from 1100 to 1200 in the Sonargaon Hotel. Email .

Thu 26 Oct - Country & Western Dance, Canadian Club, 6-9 pm dinner, 10pm dance.

Fri 27 Oct - Une soiree de danse indienne, Alliance Francaise, 26 Mirpur Rd. Dhanmondi, 7pm. Email  .

Fri 27 Oct - UNWA Ball, this year's theme is "Culture of Peace". Sonargaon Hotel Ball Room, 700pm on. Ball tickets Tk1500/person. UNWA Ball Raffle Tickets are Tk30/ticket, Tk150/book of five - see BICN V4 N3 for details. Your small donation will surely make a difference in other people's lives! For ball & raffle tickets, email .

Tue 31 Oct - Kid's Halloween Party, American Club, Tk200/child, tickets from club waiters. Refreshments & games.

Early November & Beyond

Sat 4 Nov - Relay Marathon/Half Marathun, International School Dhaka, Basundhara, 8am start. Preregister by Tues 31 Oct. Teams of 10: adult runners or student runners over 14 or walkers, Tk2000/team. Half marathon, teams of 10: kids under 10 Tk1000/team or students between 10 & 14, Tk1500/team. Email isd@bol-online , tel 8517301/7.

Wed 8 Nov - BWA Nearly New Clothes Sale & Monthly General Meeting. Get your unwanted clothes washed, ironed, and on hangers with a suggested price tag. Any unsold items will be donated to the Christmas Bazaar. Items of clothing may be dropped during the day of the sale. Refreshment provided. A great fun evening.  For venue email .

Thu 16 Nov - Oktoberfest, German Club. Tickets Tk1100.

Fri 17 Nov - Christmas Bazaar, Canadian Club, 10:00 - 15:00.

Sat 18 Nov - Symposium, "Women & human rights - what are the issues & how are they being addressed?" 2-5pm BRAC auditorium. Hosted by UNWA, DAWC, BWA and other organisations - see BICN V4 N3 for details.More info contact .

Sat 18 Nov - BWA Outing to Workshop on Human Rights at the BRAC Center, 2-5pm.

Thu 30 Nov - The Dhaka Caledonian Society's Annual St. Andrews Night Ball, at the British High Commission Club. Six course meal, Scottish Dancing and Disco. Tickets are limited, so to avoid disappointment ACT NOW!  Email either , ,  . 

Wed 15 Dec - BWA Christmas Murder Dinner.

Starts Fri 15 Dec - Chobi Mela Asian Photography Exhibition at the National Museum. Runs for one month. Organized by Drik Gallery in cooperation with Alliance Francaise, Goethe Institut, Royal Netherlands Embassy, British Council, and Pathshala-The South Asian Institute of Photography. See last issue's feature article for more info. Email  .

December: Convention, TechTransfer-2000:Bangladesh (TT2000:BD). See BICN V4 N3 for details.More info email




** Free Long Distance Computer-To-Phone Calling Services Available In Bangladesh

Some of you living in Bangladesh may remember (fondly?) using Net2Phone to make inexpensive international calls over the Internet. Then BT&T and the GOB got together and told all the Bangladesh ISPs to block Net2Phone if they wanted to keep having phone lines (that's the story I heard anyway).

I heard recently that there are two Internet calling services still available from within Bangladesh. Check out:  - free computer-to-phone calling to any US number  - free computer-to-phone calling to selected countries

Haven't tried them, if you do, let the rest of us know how it was.




Always free:  ads to buy or sell used personal / household items or hire or place household staff, lost & found.  Email your information to . Note that for security/privacy reasons, ads contain only names and email addresses - residential addresses and phone numbers are not normally published.

FOR SALE: GS Suzuki motorbike, excellent condition, one expat owner, 23,000 kms, well looked after. Tk90,000 or near offer. Email  .

FOR SALE - 82 Liteace Van, runs well, fair condition, good tyres, Tk95,000 or near offer. Email  .

HOME WANTED FOR MUTT. We have a six year old male mutt named Marmite and would like to find a home for him. He has had all his shots annually and grows attached to his owners quickly. He's am outdoor dog. We recently inherited him but find ourselves moving to Dhaka to apartment life. He does not need walking, keeps the guards awake and the critters away. He's very low maintenance, and we hope to find him a home before our move in mid-November. If interested, please email .

HELP? Owners of Donvier Ice Cream Makers: I brought my machine and forgot the reciepe book. Does anyone have one I could copy? Contact Jo at  .

EMPLOYMENT SOUGHT: If you need a chowkidar or mali part-time or as relief help, we'd like to find our hard-working day chowkidar/mali Alam supplementary work as we no longer need him full-time. Alam is a pleasant, hard-working, responsible individual who has been doing some household tasks as well. He understands some English, lives in our compound, and we are flexible as to when someone else could use him. Contact Jo at  

EMPLOYMENT SOUGHT: Sontosh Costa worked for me as a "Cook-Bearer" Nov 99-Sep 00 during which he was honest, reliable, punctual, loyal, capable, and hard-working. He can prepare good Eastern and Western dishes, manage all aspects of a two-person household (shopping, cooking, washing, cleaning, running errands, and odd jobs). Good spoken and written English. Sontosh takes initiative and is pleasant nice to have around. Prospective employers, email and I will put you in touch with him..

EMPLOYMENT SOUGHT: Cook or Cook/Bearer. James Gomez available immediately. Excellent versatile cook, bakes delicious pastries, suitable as cook/bearer for a single person or cook for larger family. Continuously employed for 20 years, literate, speaks English well, honest, reliable very loyal. Flexible, accommodates cheerfully to the demands of a lively family and dinner guests dropping in without minimal notice. Prefers to live in during the week as his family lives near Tongi..  For more info email ..

+ Newsletter subscribers: 770 (+7 in the last two weeks).

+ Visitors to BICN website since inception (Apr 98): 41,043 (+1743 in the last two weeks).