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since April 1998




BICN 16 Nov - 06 Dec 2000

Volume 4 Number 6

From the Editor

BICN on Your Handheld!

Feature Article

Anti-Hartal Web Petition

This Issue's Sponsors (Commercial Advertising)

Large Baridhara Apartments for Rent

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

Help Needed to Make the BWA & DAWC Big Christmas Bazaar & Fair a Success!!

Do you have a TV to Donate to CSKS ?

Events Calendar, Dhaka & Beyond


DEVJOBS: Announcement service for Development Jobs

Consulting Base: Website for Development Jobs 

Expat Brits: Satisfy Your Cravings at Expat Essentials Limited

Non-Commercial Advertisements

Next issue submission deadline Tue 05 Dec 2000.

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

See end of message for un/subscription, advertising, and other details.

From the Editor 

BICN is now available for your handheld through . So far as I know, BICN is the first Bangladesh handheld channel on earth. (There's probably a good reason for that, like, there are only two handhelds in Bangladesh right now, and one of them is mine).

For those less nerdy out there who are wondering what a handheld (also called personal digital assistant or PDA) is... It's a palmtop computer, such as a Palm, Handspring, Windows CE device, etc. 

Feature Article

"A Petition Against Hartal In Bangladesh"

A little electronic activism, reprinted from 

"Dear Friends,

"In the past few years, hartal has become the primary means of the political parties to meet their demands. Time and time again, the opposition have used this as a weapon against the government whenever there was an issue that needed to be resolved. During the 5 year rule of BNP, AL observed 173 days of hartal, and since AL went to power, BNP has come very close to exceeding that number.

"What does hartal do? hartal is a general strike that shuts down all the industries, offices and businesses. It blocks the transporation system, and in essence, shuts down the whole country.

"Who pays for this? We do! A day of hartal costs the country billions of taka in lost production. And millions of workers who work day-to-day go hungry. All of this so our corrupt politicians can go to power!

"What can we do to stop this insanity? We can let our politicians know that WE DON'T WANT ANY MORE HARTALS. It is crippling our economy. As all the nations in world are striving to move forward, we're going backwards!

"If you think hartal is wrong, and that it should be stopped, please sign this electronic petition. The goal is to gather 1500 Electronic Signatures. At that point, this petition will be sent to all political parties as well as the major newspapers in Bangladesh.

"This petition was started on October 10th, 1997."

As of Feb 1999 (the last time the online counter was updated), 988 people had signed this petition. To see the list, visit: 

To sign the petition, visit: 

This Issues's Sponsors

Large Baridhara Apartments for Rent

Two 3,000 sft apartments with 3 bed rooms with attached bathrooms, spacious family lounge, living and dining space, big kitchen, walk in pantry, laundry room, south facing balconies, maid's room, stand-by generator, and 2 covered parking spaces each are available on Dutabash Road, Baridhara. The apartments are close to the British High Commissioner's and Japanese Ambassador's residences. For terms and inspection, please call 956-5209 (day) or 988-1666 (evening & weekend) or e-mail .

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 is also offering the lowest possible price offer to any individual or agency for making and hosting a web site for them. A three page website with two photos would cost you only Taka 1,000 for a year including designing and hosting charges! The address will be We are committed to making the Internet accessible and affordable for all !!!

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 

Help Needed to Make the BWA & DAWC Big Christmas Bazaar & Fair a Success!!

On 8 Dec, BWA & DAWC have their Big Charity Christmas Bazaar & Fair at the French School Playing Field from 1 to 4pm. There will be games, entertainment, Santa Claus and elves, handicrafts, tambola, raffle, book sale, bake sale, white elephant sale, and food available. Fun for all!!!!

But for this event to be success, we need YOUR help! Can you provide baked goods? Do you have used items for the White Elephant sale? Can you donate books for the book sale? If you said YES to any of these questions, please email the organizers at and we will get right back to you.

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.

Late November

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 cdartoons 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.]

Wed 29 Nov - BICN & Bangladesh Ecotours Bandarban Hills Garden Party, First Annual, starts at 7pm. Slide show, discussion, Mru music, light snacks will be served. Entry is free but space is limited as the venue is a private residence. Email with the number of people interested in attending.

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. Email either , , .

Early December & Beyond

Fri 01 Dec - Christmas Bazaar, Nordic Club, 12 noon. Lunch, entertainment.

Tue 05 Dec - Deadline to submit your items for the next issue of BICN.

Fri 08 Dec - BWA & DAWC Big Charity Christmas Bazaar & Fair at the French School Playing Field (entrance on Park Rd). 1pm-4pm. Tickets Tk50 at the gate. Games, entertainment, Santa Claus and elves, handicrafts, tambola, raffle, book sale, bake sale, white elephant sale, and food available. Fun for all!!!!

Sun 10 Dec - Combined holiday concert, International School Dhaka canteen, 7pm. Voluntary donation.

Tue 12 Dec - UNWA Executive Committee, email for venue.

Wed 13 Dec - UNWA Holiday Party at ICDDR,B Guesthouse, starts at Iftar timing. Holiday food will be catered; entertainment to be decided, perhaps Bangladeshi women talking about their traditions or devotional songs, "Morning Sky" will sing. Tk 500.

Fri 15 Dec - BWA Christmas Murder Dinner. "This is the BWA's Christmas social. Come and try something different. Parts and costume suggestions will be given out before the event. A script will help you out on the evening itself. Please contact if you wish to reserve a place. Members and friends of BWA will be given first priority with the booking."

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).

Sun 24 Dec - Singing by Candlelight, at the Australian High Commission Club.

Mon 25 Dec - Chrismas (Bangladesh holiday).

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 .

Sat 07 January - Orthodox Christmas.

Sat-Tue 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, .

Sat 20 Jan - ICDDR,B Hospital Endowment Fundraiser, River Cruise to Matlab. Tk1500/person, families welcome.

Sun 21 January - UNWA newcomer's tea, 10.30am. Email for venue.

Fri 2 Feb - Silent Art Auction, ICDDR,B Endowment Fund Ball, Sonargaon Hotel. Tk1500/person.


DEVJOBS: Announcement service for Development Jobs

"The DEVJOBS list is a new public announcement list for link both employers and employees.... There are plenty of jobs posted here, mostly for experienced development professionals or consultants, and this is not for entry-level job-seekers." At: 

Consulting Base: Website for Development Jobs

"Website providing a range of services for independent consultants and professional firms working in the emerging markets and developing countries." At: 

Expat Brits: Satisfy Your Cravings at Expat Essentials Limited

You can buy over 600 British British food products, toiletries, magazines and baby foods etc, including Marmite, Cadbury's, Twinings Teas, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, Paxo Sage & Onion Stuffing, Bovril, and so on in the supermarket section of the Expat Essentials website: 

They promise "supermarket prices" and "door to door delivery service at surprisingly affordable shipping costs," and will accept orders for items not currently carried.

Non-Commercial Advertisements 

Always free in BICN - personal classified ads, this means ads to buy or sell personal household items, to hire or place household staff. For security/privacy reasons, ads contain only names and email addresses - residential addresses and phone numbers are not normally published.

SEARCHING FOR SOMEONE: "I am trying to contact Shejuti Daulah from Dhaka, Bangladesh. My wife and I met her in January 1999 at ANZ Bank where she was working. I would greatly appreciate if anybody knows her and they can forward my message. Thank you, Mohammed Amin - email ."

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 ..

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

+FREE personal advertisements to buy/sell personal items, to hire/place household staff, lost & found, sublets.

+ECONOMICAL commercial advertisements to offer your apartment/house/land for rent or sale; list employment available or sought; and offer products/services for sale. Ads in this category cost USD8 (Tk450) for up to 100 words - that's about one cent (Tk0.6) per email subscriber, plus your ad is also seen by website visitors. Half price for any repeats booked with the original order. We accept payment in Taka cash/check (pick up can be arranged for reasonable Dhaka addresses), USD cash/check, and through our new online secure credit card payment facility - available worldwide!

+Email all inquiries & items to .

+To subscribe/unsubscribe automatically, 

Email to subscribe 

Email  to unsubscribe.

+ Newsletter subscribers: 787 (+6 in the last two weeks).

+ Visitors to BICN website since inception (Apr 98): 44,158 (+1322 in the last two weeks).