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since April 1998




BICN 21 Dec 2000 - 03 Jan 2001

Volume 4 Number 8

From the Editor

Feature Article

New Book - Just My Luck: Memoirs of a Police Officer of the Raj

This Issue's Sponsors (Commercial Advertising)

Ebenessel Intl School - Another Educational Option for Expatriate Families in Dhaka

Employment Opportunity for Coordinator and English Teachers for EIS English Medium

Offered For Sale - Easy Bangla Software for Foreigners & Bangladeshi Children Abroad

Contemporary Bengali Instruction 

Ecotours to the Bandarban Hills: Special Package for Dhaka Expats

Position Vacant - Secretary/ Receptionist Oxfam GB

Community Announcements

New Book: "We Live in Chittagong, Bangladesh: A Personal Guide" 

A Life-Saving Investment - Support the ICDDR,B Hospital Endowment

Events Calendar, Dhaka & Beyond


World Bank South Asia News Releases

More UK Stuff -

Non-Commercial Advertisements

Next issue submission deadline Tue 02 Jan 2001.

(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 

I'm partied out and it's only 20 December! Happy holidays to all.

Feature Article

New Book - Just My Luck: Memoirs of a Police Officer of the Raj

By P.E.S. Finney, O.B.E. Dhaka UPL 2000. 275pp. Tk400 (USD7.50)

From the Foreward, by Chris Finney [the author's son and currently a water resources planner in Bangladesh]: "Huge changes have, of course, taken place [since my father's time in Bengal]. It is difficult to imagine, for example, that in 1925 much of the area ... near Rajshahi, the fourth largest city of Bangladesh, was thick jungle inhabited by aboriginal tribes and by leopards, wild pigs, and other animals.... Reading the memoirs with a critical eye, it seemed that they might be of interest to those with a taste for the history of the Raj period....."

From Chapter 1: "Shortly afterwards [in 1926] I had another communication from the India Office asking me to stipulate which Province I would like to be sent to. I thought it was very nice of them to ask me. Most people at the exam had recommended the Punjab as the best Province, so I put that first.

"For other choices I had no idea which to nominate. By luck I happened to see a copy of 'The Times' newspaper a day or so later. There was a lurid and, I suppose, somewhat alarming account of terrorist activity in Bengal; the Commissioner of Police, Sir Charles Tegart, had been shot and bombed; Mr. Day, a civilian had been murdered, and so on. I sensed adventure and excitement. I thought, 'This is the life for me, I shall be riding round on my horse with my revolver dealing with terrorists.'

"I was about to Bengal as my second choice, when suddenly I felt caution was necesssary. I got out my atlas and discovered the Province was about 22 degrees north of the equator. It couldn't be very hot! So down it went - a decision that in the event I never regretted. I later found that all the successful candidates had put Bengal last. I suppose someone in the India Office thought that the silly mutt who put it so high on his list had better go there. So, at the age of nineteen and a half I sailed for Bombay, along with all my colleagues, on November 14th in the [thirty year] old P&O mailboat the SS China . . ."

Copies may be available at Aarong or Folk Bangladesh, or email Chris at . If you are outside of Bangladesh, email with your order - BICN accepts payment by credit card via (offline or secure online), USD/CAD/BDT check, and cash; payment pick up from reasonable Dhaka addresses can be arranged. Books shipped internationally by well-wrapped airmail normally arrive in reasonable time and condition, at reasonable cost.

This Issue's Sponsors

Ebenessel Intl School - Another Educational Option for Expatriate Families in Dhaka

Starting next year, Ebenessel International School (EIS) in Bashundhara, also known as the Korean School, is opening its doors to expatriate families of all nationalities. We provide an American educational curriculum, based on a Christian perspective, covering primary (grades 1-6) and secondary (grades 7-12) levels. Currently EIS has eight excellent teachers, two Canadian and six Bangladeshi, teaching 32 Korean and Indian students. For next year, EIS will be recruiting more Western teachers and is planning to expand enrolment to over 40 students.

The curriculum consists of English medium instruction each morning for all students, and national instruction each afternoon for students to study their own language, history, etc.

Fees are very reasonable and bus transportation is provided.

If you are an expat family interested in finding out more about EIS for your child, please contact Paul Lee, Principal, tel 8812922 / 8911254, email  or  .

Employment Opportunity for Coordinator and English Teachers for EIS English Medium

EIS would like to recruit a Coordinator and English Teachers with the following qualifications:

o Foreign passport holder o Native English speaker o At least one year teaching experience o ESL, MK and International school experience & training is an advantage o Expat spouses are encouraged to apply o Women are preferred for the teaching positions

For more information, please contact Paul Lee, Principal, tel 8812922 / 8911254, email  or  .

Offered for Sale - Easy Bangla Software for Foreigners & Bangladeshi Children Abroad

Easy Learn Bangla software by '212 Soft Bangladesh' will help you learn Bangla by yourself at home in a short time. It is very user friendly and fun to play with; foreigners who tested it for us gave us very positive responses. . Features of the program include:

  • Introduction to the Bangla language
  • Bangla alphabet and numbers, with animated writing order, scientific pronunciation, and automatic English-to-Bangla number conversion
  • Easy Bangla Grammar, a simplified approach to Bangla Grammar
  • Useful daily conversations - useful daily conversations such as greetings, getting around, food and restaurants, asking directions, around town, making hotel reservations, shopping, talking on the telephone, emergencies, Bangla proverbs etc.

To run the software, you need to have a computer with Windows 95 +, Pentium processor, 16Mb RAM, and 6 Mb free hard disk space.

To purchase, visit Aarong's Dhanmondi or Tejgaon outlets; or email to arrange delivery to your home or office (by courier to international addresses). Software price net of shipping is Tk1000 / USD18. For more information, please contact Dr. Aminul Karim Chowdhury, 212 Soft Bangladesh, S/25 Noorjahan Rd, Mohammadpur, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh, tel +880(2)8115958, cell 018-239711

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  

Position Vacant - Secretary/ Receptionist Oxfam GB

Oxfam GB is seeking an experienced Secretary/Receptionist to support its South Asia Regional Management Centre for approx 15 weeks commencing 14/1/00, whilst our regular Secretary takes maternity leave. Key competencies for the role include:

- Fluent written and spoken English; - Working knowledge of Bangla; - Computer literacy (email, Internet, word processing, spreadsheet skills); - Sound numeric skills; - Strong communication and interpersonal skills; - Effective time management; - Commitment to the aims and objectives of Oxfam.

If you have a strong administrative or secretarial background, meet the criteria above and would be interested to support Oxfam through this temporary role, we encourage you to contact us in writing at the following address before 3/1/00: The Office Manager, Oxfam GB South Asia Regional Management Centre, House 157, Block E, Road 12, Banani, Dhaka. . Please visit the website at before applying. Interviews will be held in early January. Email 

Community Announcements 

New Book: "We Live in Chittagong, Bangladesh: A Personal Guide"

Chittagong International Women's Association proudly launched this their first book in Chittagong in early December.

This glossy book is a combination of practical information and personal experiences from women who have lived and continue to live in the port city. It contains original colour and B&W artwork by Jane Riles, as well as colour photographs by Caroline Bauer.

Members from 18 countries contributed to the book on a wide range of topics includingn poverty, food, and recreational activities. The book contains invaluable information for anyone planning to visit or live for any length of time in Chittagong, or in fact, anywhere in Bangladesh. All profits will go to charity. Price Tk600. For more information or to order a copy, email  or 

A Life-Saving Investment - Support the ICDDR,B Hospital Endowment

Local expatriates and Bangladeshi community are invited to help the "Cholera Hospital" remain open for the free medical treatment of patients with severe diarrheas and malnutrition. At a cost of USD10 to USD15 per life saved at the ICDDR,B hospital, your contribution is a LIFE-SAVING INVESTMENT!

  • Raffle tickets - Buy bundles of them for your house and office staff! Contact Jennifer Breiman at 882-5658 or . Prizes include airline tickets from GMG, Singapore, Thai, Northwest, and others as well as restaurant meals, bicycles from Nitol, China sets from Bengal Ceramic and Mono, boat cruise seats with Luna and Yves and Guide Tours, and luxury handicrafts from Folk, Aarong, Kumudini, Aranga, Sally Ann Shop. For 25 taka each, this is an affordable way to help health care and get a chance at a prize!
  • Saturday January 20 River Cruise to Matlab - For families to see the great rivers and visit the river port town where the most famous health interventions and demographic surveillance has been conducted over the past 35 years. Included: all food, village tours, weekend market, fishing, speedboat rides, sports, 7am - 9pm! Tickets are Tk1500 each, available at the US Commissary and Folk Bangladesh (Road 104) or e-mail . There is a limited number available so we suggest you include them on your Christmas lists!
  • Friday 2 February ICDDR,B Ball at the Sonargaon - Tickets are available for purchase now. Because most people prefer to reserve tables for their friends or office, these are available only from ICDDR,B and must be paid for in order to be collected, at Tk1500 each. Contact Vanessa's office to reserve and send payment: 988 1626 
  • Friday 2 February Silent Art Auction: Art objects are being donated by famous artists for a Silent Auction prior to the Ball. If you have paintings or sculpture you would like to share, contact Asem Ansari at ICDDR,B 881 1751-50, ext. 2123. Thank you to Pierre Cloquin and Ian Lockwood for their photographs, Joy Charlton(Victoria Deppert's mother) for etchings, and the DIT 2 shops for antiques and paintings contributed for this part of the fundraising. More is needed to make this a success.

Contact Jean Sack,  for more information on how your donation can be a tax-deductible contribution in the UK or USA.

Journal of Bangladesh Studies Call For Papers

Journal of Bangladesh Studies (JBS) is inviting academics and experts in various fields to send scholarly papers for publication in its next issue in June 2001. JBS is a peer-reviewed journal published by Bangladesh Development Initiative (BDI) and the Association for Economic and Development Studies on Bangladesh (AEDSB). The main purpose of the journal is to promote the development of Bangladesh. JBS is directed at individuals who are educated, involved, and interested in development issues. It targets a wide base of readers including academics, students, researchers, policy-makers, administrators, practitioners, donors and their agents, and anyone else who is interested in Bangladesh and its pursuit of development.

Articles are solicited from authors and experts engaged in a variety of fields including economics, political science, sociology, psychology, management, agriculture, engineering, basic sciences, education, anthropology, and related fields. Articles should address the country's development problems and prospects from a theoretical or analytical perspective prevalent in academic disciplines. Authors are encouraged to prescribe actions and measures that are meaningful, practicable, and amenable to the sector(s) or issues they address. Articles must also be comprehensible to the wide target audience. Thus, while the articles must be grounded in theory, analysis, and referenced work, they must also reach an audience outside the specific disciplines of the authors without being perceived as popular, journalistic writing.

Both short communications and full-length articles may be submitted. For more information and submission detailes, email the editor at  .

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 December

17-23 Dec - Chobi Mela Photography Exhibition, Nepal by Nepalis, at Shilparag, House 15, Road 16, Dhanmondi, 10am-4pm every day, opening 3:30pm.

17-23 Dec - Chobi Mela Photography Exhibition, Saibal Das- Circus Women, at Russian Cultural Centre (House 510, Road 7, Dhanmondi) 9am-4pm everyday, opening- 3:30pm

17-31 Dec - Chobi Mela Photography Exhibition, John Kippin- My Work , at Gallery Chitrak (House 21, Road 4, Dhanmondi) 10am-8pm everyday, opening- 3:30pm.

17-31 Dec - Chobi Mela Photography Exhibition, Héloïse Blier- My Sister Morgane: Why Her And Not Me?, at Alliance Francaise (26, Mirpur Road, Opposite to Science Laboratory) 9am-noon, 5pm-8pm everyday, opening 3:30pm.

17-31 Dec - Chobi Mela Photography Exhibition, Out of Focus- 'Monoronjon Noy, Obhijatra', & Launching Ceremony of Calendar 2001- Photos In 'Our' Language, at Shishu Academy (Opposite to Curzon Hall, Dhaka university Campus), 11am-7pm everyday, opening 3:30pm.

Thu 21 Dec - First Christmas Re-enactment. Ever wondered what it would be like to be in Bethlehem, Year 0? You are encouraged to invite friends to participate (yes, dress up)) for this re-enactment. Free tickets (attendance limited to 120) are available from Grace International School or Dhaka International Christian Church (meets 4:30pm Fridays at the Korean Church). Tickets give full details.

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

Fri 22 Dec - Fourth Advent Church Service, Dhaka International Christian Church, meets at the Korean Church, Bashundhara, 4:30pm.

Fri 22 Dec - Hanukkah

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

Sun 24 Dec - Singing by Candlelight, at the Australian High Commission Club. Bring your own candle & wax guard.

Sun 24 Dec - DICC Christmas Eve Open House, 7:30pm after AHC carolling. Private residence, email  for venue.

Mon 25 Dec - Christmas (Bangladesh holiday).

Mon 25 Dec - Christmas Day Service, 10:30am, venue TBA. Bring a plate of sweet eatables to share. Email for more info.

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 .

Early January & Beyond

Tue 2 Jan - Submission deadline for next issue of BICN.

Sat 6 Jan, New Orleans, LA - Association for Economic Development Studies on Bangladesh (AEDSB) session at the Allied Social Science Associations meeting January 5-7. AEDSB session title, "Efficiency vs. Equity: Emerging Issues in Capital and Labor Markets in Bangladesh." Presiding: Erik Thorbecke, Cornell University, M. Kabir Hassan, University of New Orleans, Anisul M. Islam, University of, Houston - Downtown, and Syed Abul Basher, York University, Canada.

Sat 7 Jan - Orthodox Christmas, services at the Armenian Church in Old Dhaka.

Sun 10 Jan - BWA Monthly Meeting at 3pm, talk by Angie Roques from the British Council about nursing in Bangladesh. Email for venue.

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. Day will include speed boat rides, bazaar shopping, fishing, and other family fun. Leave Mohakhali at 7am, return 9pm. Contact for tickets. These tickets make great holiday gifts!

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

Fri 2 Feb - Annual ICDDR,B Endowment Fund Ball, Sonargaon Hotel. Tk1500/person. Reserve a table of 10 now by contacting ICCDR,B External Relations at 988-1626. Raffle tickets @ Tk25, book of four @ Tk100 will be available and announced shortly. Raffle tickets make great holiday gifts!

Wed 7 Feb - BWA Annual General Meeting at 3pm. Talk & photo exhibition - details to be finalised at a latter date. Email for venue.

February - Street Children's Party, BAGHA Club.

Wed 7 Mar - BWA Monthly Meeting. Email for details.


World Bank South Asia News Releases

World Bank South Asia news releases, including those for the Bangladesh Country Assistance Strategy and the Bangladesh HIV/AIDS Prevention Project, can be found at: 

More UK Stuff Online -

"We aim to serve British expats by sending them the things they miss - no more lugging 20kg of hand luggage crammed with marmalade, Branston etc. Great gift idea for relatives and friends back in the UK to send to you. All your precious items packed carefully in top quality attractive boxes." At: 

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.

FOR SALE: "I have a quarter size child's violin that I would like to sell. This instrument is a Suzuki No. 220, manufactured in 1996, and purchased new in London by AIS/D music teacher and musician Teri Khan for over USD300. I purchased it from her in 1999 for USD250 and my daughter Ariel used for one year under Philip Hazra's instruction 1999-2000. Ariel has moved on to the piano, and it seems a shame to leave the violin lying idle if there is a child that would like to take violin lessons. The price is Tk12,000, email to make arrangements to see the instrument. Includes violin, bow, rosin, chin rest, all in a hard shell case with zippered canvas weather cover." Email .

FOR SALE: Nordic Trak Pro cross-country skiing exercise machine. Like new condition, asking USD500. Email .

EMPLOYMENT SOUGHT: If you need a bearer/cook, I'd like to find my hard-working day member of staff new employment. Shahajada is a pleasant, hard-working, honest and responsible individual who undertakes household tasks well. He understands English well and can read and write. Contact Mahmood on 018 220814 or by email at 

TRACING A FRIEND: "I am trying to trace my best friend's whereabouts. I have not seen him for 26 years, I miss him very much as he was more than a brother to me. His name is Kawsar Ali (Ranju), and he was my best friend while I attended Dhaka University in 1967-72. "Ranju, if somehow, you get this e-mail, please contact me at email  , tel +1(612)677-5419, fax +1(612)667-9712, or write me at Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, Investors Building, Suite 300, 733 Marquette Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55402, USA."

COMPUTER MONITOR WANTED: Colour or B&W 14/15 inch monitor in workable condition wanted, to be fitted to an old 386 PC. If you have such a monitor for sale, email  .

FOR SALE: Basketball backboard (slightly smaller than regulation), hoop and net (both regulation). Brand new. Would make a great Christmas gift. USD50 or Tk2700. Email for more information:  .

FREE TO GOOD HOME: three healthy well-groomed dogs to be given away. One 18 month old female, fully vaccinated. Two males, one 18 months old, one five months old, both fully vaccinated, older one is neutered. They come from a good home and wish to give them to a good home. Email  .


BICN is a free email newsletter published first & third Wednesdays, September to May, from Dhaka Bangladesh. Sara Bennett, Editor.

Contact Info - Email all inquiries & items to . BGD tel +880(2)988-1708, USA fax +1(978)418-8132, mail H28 R4 Blk C, Banani Dhaka.

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Ads cost only USD8 (Tk450) for up to 100 words, half price for repeats booked with the original order. Payment accepted in Taka cash/check, USD cash/check with payment pick up for reasonable Dhaka addresses, or by Credit Card, secure payment on & offline available worldwide!

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