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since April 1998




BICN 2-15 November 2000

Volume 4 Number 5

From the Editor

Feature Article

Letter to Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

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

Community Announcements

Sunlight & Shadow ­ Photographs of Bangladesh Forests by Ian Lockwood at Drik Gallery

Events Calendar, Dhaka & Beyond


Non-Commercial Advertisements

BICN is published first & third Wednesdays, September to May, from Dhaka Bangladesh. Subscription, submission, and ad details - see end of message.  Editor - Sara Bennett.  

From the Editor 

It’s getting busier and busier around my house, how about you? The weather is cooling off, the holiday season is approaching fast, everything is just humming along. No hartals yet!

Feature Article 

Letter to Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

October 30, 2000

Committee to Protect Journalists 330 Seventh Avenue -- 12th floor New York, NY 10001

Your Excellency:

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is greatly alarmed that a minister in your government has threatened journalists reporting in the flood-ravaged district of Satkhira, where two journalists were attacked recently for their coverage of the misuse of disaster relief funds.

On October 25, Minister for Social Welfare Mozammel Hossain encouraged ruling party members to attack the press: "Wherever you will find journalists, break their bones," Hossain said in a closed-door session with Awami League activists and local officials, according to local press accounts confirmed by CPJ. Several journalists in Satkhira have gone into hiding for fear of attack, according to the Dhaka-based Media Watch.

Hossain, who is the federal official in charge of overseeing relief orations in Satkhira, was reacting to press reports that ruling party embers have siphoned money intended to help the victims of severe flooding in southwestern Bangladesh.

Even before Hossain made his provocative remarks, local journalists had complained of threats and intimidation by activists from the Awami Jubo League, the youth wing of the ruling party. On October 20, a group of Jubo League activists assaulted Sohrab Hossain, a reporter with the regional Bengali-language daily Loksamaj, after he had written an article about problems with the government's flood relief efforts. In response to a complaint filed by the journalist, police arrested Jubo League leader Nurul Islam. However, Islam was swiftly released after Awami League activists besieged the police station and staged a demonstration to protest his detention.

On October 26 at around 7:30 p.m., a group led by local Awami League leader Asadul Haq-a village chairman in Debhata Upazila, a sub-district of Satkhira-ransacked the office of the local daily Satkhirar Chitro, and assaulted Anisur Rahim, the newspaper's editor. The attack followed the newspaper's reporting on the misappropriation of disaster relief funds. The assailants clubbed Rahim's face, hands, and legs, and the journalist had to be taken to the Satkhira General Hospital for treatment.

As a nonpartisan organization of journalists dedicated to the defense of our colleagues around the world, CPJ condemns these politically orchestrated attacks against the press in Satkhira. Local journalists have sent a formal letter to Your Excellency requesting the withdrawal of Mozammel Hossain from his posting in Satkhira following his irresponsible and reckless remarks. The appeal also named several other local political leaders who have publicly disparaged the press for their critical reporting of flood relief efforts.

CPJ regrets that during Your Excellency's October 26 visit to Satkhira, no member of your staff met with local journalists to address their security concerns.

We respectfully urge you to order an immediate investigation into the attacks against Sohrab Hossain and Anisur Rahim, and to pledge publicly that your administration will do everything in its power to ensure that those who use force to silence and intimidate the press will be brought to justice. As the leader of the Awami League, Your Excellency must guarantee that the party does not continue to tolerate abuses committed by its members.

CPJ asks also that Your Excellency honor the requests made by journalists in Satkhira, to guarantee their security and to recall Mozammel Hossain from his post there pending a full inquiry into his role in directing violence against the press.

We thank you for your attention to these urgent matters, and await your response.


Ann K. Cooper Executive Director

This Week's Sponsors 

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, call Ms Chowdhury at 8020650, or 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 Hills 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   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.

Community Announcements 

Sunlight & Shadow ­ Photographs of Bangladesh Forests by Ian Lockwood at Drik Gallery. Daily 3-8pm 3-11 Nov, free admission.

From Drik Gallery:

“The idea behind this exhibition is to educate and stimulate interest in the forests and natural history of Bangladesh. In 65 black and white photographs, Ian depicts the unique forest ecosystems of Bangladesh. The expectation is the visitors will leave with an understanding of the difficult task faced by the conservationists and a new appreciate for these beautiful forests.”

From Ian Lockwood ( ):

“I'm having an exhibition of photographs on Bangladesh's forests and sacred trees and thought that you might be interested in attending.

“The exhibition will be of particular interest to people working on forestry and biodiversity issues in Bangladesh. The point of the exhibition is, in fact, to raise awareness about the state of Bangladesh's natural forests. I have produced a limited number of posters and brochures advertising the exhibition. These will be available during the exhibition. Framed silver prints from the exhibition will go on sale at the conclusion of the exhibition. Please come and see a different perspective on a beautiful part of Bangladesh that most people don't know exists!”

Do you have a TV or VCR to Donate to CSKS ?

The eight residential centres of the CSKS Street Children’s Program in Dhaka are urgently seeking new/used b&w/color TVs and any other AV equipment, for imparting literacy and numeracy, to show video films on adolescent reproductive system and health care etc., and for recreational activities. If you have a spare TV or VCR, in working condition or that could be mended with small repairs, please contact to arrange collection. Then come and visit CSKS children to see how CSKS is using your donated equipment!

Events Calendar, Dhaka & Beyond 

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 14 Nov 00.

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

Early November

Sat 4 Nov - Relay Marathon/Half Marathon, International School Dhaka, Basundhara, 8am start.

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. Contact for venue.

Thu 9 Nov - Back to School Disco Party for ages 12+, American Club, 7-11 pm. ARA members and guests. Tickets available before event from office and waiters.

10? 12? Nov ­ Shab-E-Barat (subject to moon sighting). “Just a few weeks before the beginning of Ramadan, Muslims observe Shab-E-Barat or the Night of Fate. Muslims pray for throughout this night, women at home and men at the mosque, appealing for guidance, forgiveness, and to clear their minds of evil thoughts, and especially for God to give them a good fate for the next year. Many Muslims fast the day before and the day following Shab-E-Barat, although only one day of fasting is considered obligatory. Often special sweets and rice flour chapattis are made for breaking the fast.” [Adapted from the Nov 2000 issue of Womun, the newsletter of the United Nation’s Women’s Association in Bangladesh.]

Tue 14 Nov - Deadline to submit items for next issue of BICN.

Late November & Beyond

Thu 16 Nov ­ UNWA Newcomers Tea, 10:30am. Email  for venue.

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

Thu 16 Nov - Dhaka International 5-A-Side Football 2000: Final registration for adult soccer players. At the French School. Match will be on 1 Dec.

Fri 17 Nov - Marine Corps Ball, Sonargaon Hotel. Advance tickets Tk2000 at US Embassy.

Fri 17 Nov - Christmas Bazaar, Canadian Club, 16-17 Gulshan Ave., 10 am-3 pm. Entrance tickets are Tk30 adults, Tk20 for children 5-12 yrs.

Tue 17 Nov - International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

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. Email .

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

Mon 20 Nov ­ UNWA member’s Indonesian lunch, 12 noon. Tk300, catered by Liana. Email for venue.

Tue 21 Nov - UNWA General Meeting, 3 pm. Email for venue.

Wed-Mon 22-27 Nov ­ Human Rights Film & Cartoon Festival, British Council (22-24 Nov in Chittagong, 25-27 Nov Dhaka). 12 films from South Asia and other parts of the world, plus UNICEF’s cartoons for children’s rights ­ a collection produced by 80 animation studies in 25 countries. For details email  .

Sat 25 Nov - International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: this year (2000) will be the first observance.

Sat 25 Nov ­ UNWA Mymensingh trip. Email for info.

Mon 27 Nov ­ Ramadan begins. “Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year, is the holy month of fasting ordained by the Koran for adult Muslims. The fast was instituted so that believers may cultivate piety. During this month, Muhammad received the first of the Koran’s revelations. The fast begins each day at dawn and ends immediately at sunset. It is forbidden to eat, drink, or smoke. Before retiring each night, special congregational prayers are offered and passages of the Koran are recited. The fast is broken the day after the end of Ramadan with special prayers and festivities.” [Adapted from the Nov 2000 issue of Womun, the newsletter of the United Nation’s Women’s Association in Bangladesh.]

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 , , .

Fri 1 Dec - Christmas Bazaar, Nordic Club, 12 noon. Lunch, entertainment, and clothes available.

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 BICN V4 N2 feature article for more info. Email .

Sat 16 Dec ­ Victory Day (Bangladesh holiday).

Thu 21 Dec - Jamat-ul-Bida (Bangladesh holiday, subject to moon).

Sun 24 Dec - Shab-e-Qudar (Bangladesh holiday, subject to moon).

Mon 25 Dec ­ Chrismas (Bangladesh holiday, subject to moon).

Wed-Sat 27-30 Dec ­ Eid-ul-Fitr (Bangladesh holiday, subject to moon).

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

14-16 Jan ­ UK Trade & Education Fair 2001. Dhaka Sheraton. For trade info email Jon Geddes, Commercial Section, British High Commission Dhaka, . For education info, contact Ripa Walie, education Promotion Manager at British Council Dhaka, .


Webtastic English

On 1 May the British Council launched “LeanEnglish’, a website aimed at young people around the world learning English: 

Non-Commercial Advertisements 

Personal classified ads always run free in BICN. If you need to buy or sell household items or hire or place household staff, 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.

WANTED TO BUY: Barbecue stove cooker that works on gas and outdoors. Email .

WANTED TO RENT / HOUSESITTER AVAILABLE: Visiting scholar looking for a small one-bedroom furnished apartment for rent from Jan-Nov. 2000. Preferable areas are Dhanmondi, Gulshan/Banani. If you have such a place or know of one, please contact me at .

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  ..

+ Newsletter subscribers: 781 (+11 in the last two weeks).

+ Visitors to BICN website since inception (Apr 98): 42,836 (+1793 in the last two weeks).

BICN welcomes announcements, personal ads, letters to the editor, press releases, and articles - all such items appear FREE.

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

Email all inquiries & items to  . Next issue submission deadline Tue 14 Nov 2000.

Email  to subscribe.  Email to UNsubscribe.

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