Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jatiyo Chatra Samaj

Dhaka Distrct CNG Driver's Union-Call for May-Labor Day2011

Ganatantrik Bam Morcha

Best wishes from Muktidooth media on coming May Day.

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Honarable MP visits Hazaribag Girls High School


An event held today April 30, 2011 (Saterday) in presence of representing guardians committee, school management committee, teachers and students other concerns at morning in Hazaribag Girls High School. Honorable Member of Parliament of Dhaka Seat 12 Barrister Mr. Fazle Noor Tapash chaired as chief guest. Various development implemented by him and concerned personnel for the school. Here also be added that Mr. Tapash religiously having his time one after another in his area’s every mosques every week to exchange opinions muslim and pious peoples of his area to keep peace, brotherhood relation , urged observation to prevent eve teasing, drug abusing and terrorism. In this present governing period he has done remarkable development steps and those implemented. To keep peace and social unity for reconstruct the country’ socioeconomic development and urged to every present peoples to have their hands to be united. He also mentioned that present government already taken remarkable steps for the teacher’s demands (recently) and satisfactory education properly for the students of the school that they can be able to have their roles for female empowerment and every fields in future. Many local leading persons, Police High Officials, media and journalists also were present on that occasion. Any how have to continue the present governing roles to achieve the targets “MOHAZOTT” governments as committed he urged and that’s why all the peoples of his area should have their united hands and strengthen him to achieve the goals and implementation of MDG achievements. By praying to Almighty for complete the tasks for development of the schools, the area and the peoples the event concluded.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Ways to save: Beating back health-care costs

As part of our mission to help you save money by beating back your health-care costs, we’re starting a series of blog posts giving practical consumer advice about the marketplace.

These posts are based on things we’ve learned in our reporting that many people may not know.

As always, our posts should in no way be construed as offering medical advice. We are strictly about pricing. Our stated mission is to bring transparency to the health-care marketplace. Your decisions about treatment, providers and anything else belong strictly to you.

We’re starting with this list of topics. Send us your suggestions to!

1. Ask the price in advance.

2. Even if it’s an emergency, ask the price in advance.

3. Some people think you shouldn’t ask the price in advance.

4. Do you really want to make medical decisions based solely on price?

5. Hospital and other rates are regulated by somebody, aren’t they? So there’s not really a great deal of variance. Wait, they’re not regulated?

6. The new movement toward “consumer-driven health care” will change the entire equation, and bring consumers to the fore, thus reducing costs. (Keep a hand on your wallet.)

7. Get someone’s name, and keep it–in general, keep careful records.

8. Know what your plan covers.

9. Read the small print. Ask questions if you don’t understand.

10. Read the doctor’s bill. Ask questions if you don’t understand.

11. Read the explanation of benefits from the insurance company. Ask questions if you don’t understand.

12. Know at least a bit about billing codes. A lot of billing errors start here.

13. Comparison shop (on-line resources etc.).

14. Be aware of testing charges.

15. Ask questions. Then ask more questions.

16. Think about negotiating with the provider.

17. Actually, some people think you shouldn’t negotiate with the provider.

18. Be ready and able to negotiate with the insurance company.

19. Know the factors that change prices: place of service, geography etc.

20. Be polite, and don’t be afraid to be persistent. Sometimes sobbing helps.

21. Put things in writing, and ask for written confirmations.

NPF Congressional speaker is rising star in her party

Monday, April 25, 2011
NPF Congressional speaker is rising star in her party

We give the fellows in our Washington programs opportunities to hear from key legislators on the issues they want to learn about. One standout was U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), whose personal experience with breast cancer spurred her to draft a bill that would fund educational outreach on early detection for young women. At that time, in September 2009, Wasserman Schultz already was a rising star in the Democratic party. This month, she was named chairperson of the Democratic National Committee. Wasserman Schultz gave NPF’s 2009 Cancer fellows an hour, during which she shared her personal story and took all of their questions. The audio from that presentation is below.

Audio and Powerpoints from a host of other experts on cancer causes, prevention, treatment, drugs, screening, genetic disparities, end-of-life care and more can be found on the pages of our Cancer Issues Programs (2010, 2009)

US Army invites press to Manning prison

Friday, April 29, 2011
US Army invites press to Manning prison
Looking to quash complaints about the treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning, Army officials are inviting reporters to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to visit the military prison where the man accused of sharing classified documents with WikiLeaks is being held. Military officials are eager to show that Manning is being treated well at the medium-security prison as he continues to be held for pretrial evaluation, Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins said. Manning is awaiting the Army’s decision on whether he’s mentally competent to stand trial on nearly two dozen charges, including aiding the enemy, which can come with a life sentence or even death penalty. Opponents say putting him in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and requiring him to sleep in a suicide-proof smock and strip nude to be inspected by prison guards is inhumane treatment. But the Obama administration contends that Manning has been treated fairly. Kevin Zeese, an organizer of the Bradley Manning Support Network, responded to the Army’s plan for a press tour that while it’s “an effort to relieve the pressure,” his group “will not let up until Manning is treated properly.” (

Bangabandhu Sangskritik Zott

Speech from Mr Kazi Zafar former Prine Minister

Imarat Nirman Srmik Union

Garment Sromik Paroshad

Afetr long time sentenced in jail Garment female leader is free

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This year, Mom won't be the only person receiving a Mother's Day card.

Giving birth in the United States is more dangerous than in 49 other countries. In the last 24 hours, around the world, almost 1,000 women have died from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Maternal health is a human right — and there's no better time than Mother's Day to let Congress and other leaders around the world know that you care about the lives of women worldwide.

Join the fight for maternal health by requesting Mother's Day action cards to send to U.S. and world decisionmakers. Email with your name, address, and the number of cards you want (they come in sets of six).

If you email us by Friday, April 29, we'll make sure you get your cards in time for Mother's Day (Sunday, May 8)!

These Mother's Day cards aren't destined for the shoebox or the refrigerator. Send them back to us and we'll take them straight to your members of Congress, urging them to support the Maternal Health Accountability Act, which would take vital steps to improve maternal health in the U.S. We'll send other cards to leaders in Peru and Burkina Faso, urging them to improve their countries' troubling maternal health records.

From now through May 22, please join other Amnesty activists across the country who are mobilizing in support of maternal health. Your cards will form the foundation of a greater lobbying, research and awareness effort to fight unnecessary deaths in pregnancy and childbirth.

Every 90 seconds a woman dies giving birth, and the rate of maternal death in the United States is increasing. Many of these deaths can — must — be prevented.

This Mother's Day, Amnesty is giving you the tools to do something about it. Write for mothers worldwide — request your Mother's Day cards today.


Heather Lasher
Demand Dignity Campaigner
Amnesty International USA

P.S. Want to join other activists at a card-writing event, or to host a special documentary screening? Find out what else you can do to make a difference for maternal health this Mother's Day.

Project KIBOW to hold Rebuild Japan training courses

Project KIBOW, which was launched by a group of young entrepreneurs right after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami to assist in earthquake relief aid and rebuilding activities, will hold marketing and critical thinking training courses in June, July and August in Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures. The focus will be on how to rebuild the disaster-affected areas.
The group will also hold a KIBOW mental health talk in Tokyo at which specialists will give advice to corporate managers on how to deal with the mental health of their employees during the ongoing crisis.

Rainbow of hope for Japan TOKYO —

As Japan starts to recover from the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami, it is going to need young and visionary leaders more than ever in all areas—from helping in the rebuilding effort to reshaping the economic and social structure of society for the future.
One of those dynamic leaders is Yoshito Hori, president and dean of GLOBIS University and managing partner of GLOBIS Capital Partners. Immediately after the quake, Hori contacted several of his like-minded colleagues and held a symposium (aired on Ustream) to decide how to respond swiftly.
The result is Project KIBOW, an initiative to bring about immediate assistance and promote change for the future. KIBOW is a coined word combining the Japanese word “kibo” which means “hope,” and the English word “rainbow.” Hori says the word KIBOW signifies a project that he hopes will be a bridge of hope between people around the world and Japan.
Joining Hori on Project KIBOW are such entrepreneurs as Hiroshi Mikitani (CEO of Rakuten, Inc), Kiyoshi Nishikawa (CEO of Netage, Inc), Takao Ozawa (director of NPO Civic Force), Daigo Sato (representative director of NPO Charity Platform), while many other leaders have lent their support.
Hori, who majored in engineering from Kyoto University and then earned his MBA from Harvard Business School, is no stranger to the issues involved in the current crisis facing Japan. He grew up in the Ibaraki town of Tokai (where a nuclear power plant is located), his grandfather was a nuclear scientist, his father is also a nuclear scientist and so is his older brother who works for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.
Hori established GLOBIS Management School in 1992 and GLOBIS Capital Partners in 1996. In 2006, GLOBIS received accreditation from the Japanese Ministry of Education to issue the MBA degree (awarded university status). The university started a part-time MBA program in English in 2009 and will launch a full-time MBA program in English in 2012. Hori has also served on the World Economic Forum’s New Asian Leaders Executive Committee, and has authored several books including “Visionary Leaders who Create and Innovate Societies.”
Japan Today editor Chris Betros visits Hori at the GLOBIS campus in Kojimachi to hear more about Project KIBOW and Japan’s future.
Where were you when the earthquake struck on March 11?
I was at a meeting at Gotanda. When the quake hit, we cancelled the meeting. I was able to get a taxi and went to check that my family and residence were alright. Then I came back here to see if everything was OK.
How soon after the quake did you think about what you could do to help?
On March 14, about 12 of us got together, some in business, politics, others in NPOs. We held a symposium, aired on Ustream, on what we could do. We came up with the KIBOW idea to support relief and reconstruction efforts. Since then, many other entrepreneurs and business leaders have given us their support.
What is the message you want to convey through Project KIBOW?
We will never be defeated. We will rebuild the towns, rebuild Japan. Japan currently faces fear and tremendous uncertainty, in addition to a long way to recovery. However, we are most certain that the country will not give up under any circumstances and we want to let people know that everyone throughout the world is watching and supporting the efforts of the people in Japan.
How are you going about this?
KIBOW has three goals. One is Hope. Right now, 20,000-30,000 people are missing or dead and more than 180,000 have been evacuated, and there are radiation fears and blackouts. People get scared and lose their spirit. It is important to give them hope because they are at a loss as to what to do. So we will set up an information hub to provide accurate information and messages of hope. We are combining the twitter @KIBOWJP, the blog, Facebook ( and other social media. I also sent out emails to 3,600 friends of mine who live outside Japan.
Our second goal, which we call Rainbow, is to make a bridge between Japan and the rest of the world while they are still paying attention to Japan. Through the above-mentioned information networks, we can advise those people abroad who want to help Japan, but don’t know what to do.
The third goal is Donations. There are many NPOs in Japan that need some assistance. For that, we are using the platform of GLOBIS – we call it the GLOBIS KIBOW Collaboration Project – for donations. Details of that in English can be found at
How will the money be distributed?
We have decided to use the money for four different categories which will be posted on Facebook. Our policy is to donate to those initiatives that are driven by good leaders. The first category will go to NPOs with low fixed costs and good experience but lack money. The next 25% will go to the local communities. We’ll be looking for creative ideas on how to spend the money and endorse the efforts of the local communities, as long as there are young and energetic leaders aggregating those efforts. The third 25% will be for education because so many children have lost their parents and they cannot have a decent education. The 4th 25% will be for Civic Force ( It responds to large scale natural disasters in Japan, and cooperates closely with NGOs, the business community and government of Japan. It takes on the role of a platform where information, manpower, funds and resources are gathered.
What else is the university doing?
GLOBIS University has decided to call for donations from concerned people, including faculty, alumni, students and others in order to support the rescue and relief in the devastated areas. We will match the total amount of donations given, up to 20 million yen.
This is probably the first major natural disaster in which the online community will play a major role.
I think so. After the earthquake, newspapers were slow and TV covered only certain aspects, like the tsunami. But people wanted to know what was happening in terms of traffic, blackouts and so on. Twitter and Internet have played a major role in connecting people. Twitter users with a lot of followers have become media in their own way. We are constantly getting requests to disseminate information. I tweet both in Japanese and English, and got a big response. In terms of email, we received a lot of positive feedback from overseas, quite positive.
In general, what do you think about the dissemination of information since the disaster struck?
First and foremost, it is important to disseminate accurate information about what is happening, what the threat is, what can be done and how to do it in a clear manner, otherwise people will start panicking. I think the Japanese media have generally done a good job. I heard a foreign PR expert say transparency does not mean you give out all the information you know. I tend to agree if it causes a threat to public security. So far, people have stayed calm. There have been no riots and few crimes. On the other hand, some foreign media have tended to sensationalize their reporting because it’s what they do to get their viewers’ attention. That is not good.
Do you think this crisis will bring about a change in political and business leadership?
I think that leadership change will be inevitable. Look at the press conferences by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano versus Prime Minister Kan. Edano is more reliable and articulate and he takes responsibility for what he says. With Kan, you are not sure how much he even knows about the situation…and he tries to avoid questions.
If you look at the business community, we don’t hear anything from them. Company presidents need to be out there in a crisis, energizing the public. TEPCO is at the center of the post-quake crisis, and their top executives have to be visible at press conferences to show that they understand the public’s emotions. They have to tell us what’s happening, what is being done and what the future holds.
In our MBA course, we have a social responsibility course where we teach students what to say and how to ensure public reliability. We use the Johnson & Johnson Tylenol case as an example. I think that in the near future, these events will show who the capable leaders are and those who are not.
How do you think the March 11 disaster will affect the economy?
I’m not really sure of the effect of the rolling blackouts on the economy. It is certainly impacting productivity and quality reliability at manufacturing plants. Maybe electricity prices should be hiked so the money can go to a fiscal account for rebuilding the quake-stricken areas. In the long run, I am optimistic because the team spirit among Japanese is high. I think that Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagoya will have greater economic power and that Japan’s economy will no longer be Tokyo-centered. If we think positively, we can create new economic and social models, starting with the rebuilt local communities.
Another change that has to come is that we will move toward more renewable energy sources and it will come in a very creative way.
How has the disaster affected GLOBIS?
As you know, we offer an English and Japanese MBA program. This year, we had overseas students from Canada, Thailand and Malaysia entering our MBA program in April. Right now, most of them are already in Japan but some students have decided to postpone their studies at GLOBIS, so we are not sure about the impact on enrolment for next year’s programs. One message we are trying to communicate to the world is that Tokyo is fine and that people have already returned to their daily routines.
How about your Japanese MBA program?
We started our MBA program in 2006 with 78 people. In 2011, we have about 350 people which is good growth. I think that trend won’t change. In times of economic or other crises, the number of MBA applicants goes up. People worry about job security as they know that it will no longer be provided by their companies. You have to do it for yourself by showing your capabilities and improving your skills.
Do you still teach?
Yes, I like to teach. My course is called Entrepreneurial Leadership. It is compulsory. Everybody has to take this course. It is important for me to be with students to help them foster the qualities and mindset of visionary leaders before they graduate.
Why is it so difficult for visionary leaders to emerge in politics?
You know, many foreign people and media admire the Japanese people but are amazed to see at how incompetent Japanese political leaders are. It’s a complicated question and I believe it will take another generation. There is no doubt that more collaborative efforts are going to be needed between politics and the private sector. With that in mind, we will start a G1 global summit in October where business leaders in Japan will have the opportunity to get together and discuss the current difficulties Japan is facing. It will be 100% in English.
How come you never thought of going into politics?
One of my grandfathers was a politician but I never really thought about it. I’m not sure if I should.

Apply to Afrika

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights is a non-profit 501(c)(3) service-based human rights organization founded in 1888 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. It is the largest human rights organization in the U.S. and has been working for more than 100 years with globally displaced persons, which has connected Heartland to diaspora communities as well as to groups in their countries of origin. Today, Heartland provides solutions to health inequities through a combination of direct services and advocacy aimed at advancing human rights and health. Its mission states, “Heartland Alliance advances the human rights and responds to the human needs of endangered populations – particularly the poor, the isolated and the displaced – through the provision of comprehensive and respectful services and the promotion of permanent solutions leading to a more just global society.”
In recent years Heartland Alliance has developed a position as a global leader in health, rights and protections programming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and other sexual minority populations in the Global South and East. In 2008, Heartland Alliance launched the Global Equality Network (GEN), an initiative to invest in grassroots LGBT organizations in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East/North Africa.
In 2009, Heartland Alliance launched the largest HIV prevention program for men who have sex with men (MSM) in Africa – the Integrated MSM HIV Prevention Program (IMHIPP) in Nigeria.
Heartland Alliance seeks candidates for the Chief of Party (CoP) for its Cote d’Ivoire office which will be based in Abidjan to manage and oversee a 5 year (60 month) CDC Cooperative Agreement for prevention of sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS in Cote d’Ivoire. The objective of this project is to provide comprehensive HIV prevention services and linkages to care among highly vulnerable populations (HVP), including Sex Workers (SW), Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), and prisoners. The project will also target regular clients of SW through venue-based behavior interventions. Services provided may include: care and treatment of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STI), counseling and testing (CT), prevention activities through behavior change communication (BCC) and peer education, condom distribution, community outreach, anti-retroviral (ARV) services, and income generating activities. The anticipated start date for the position is Q3 2010.
The CoP will work under the direction of the Country Director in Abidjan. CoP will be responsible for the management, strategic planning, and oversight of the HIV prevention program in Cote d’Ivoire.
Essential duties and responsibilities:
• Oversee the development and management of behavioral and mapping studies of HIV-related behaviors and venues
• Collaborate with LNGOs and CBOs to develop behavior change programs targeting HVP to reduce HIV-risk behaviors
• Manage monitoring and evaluation activities to ensure appropriate program targeting and implementation
• Collaborate and manage relationships with key partners and stakeholders, including local and international organizations, throughout the development and implementation of the project.
• Supervise and collaborate with the Deputy Chief of Party and Director of Finance, as well as other relevant staff - Manage subgrantee agreements and the training of local NGOs/CBOs, peer educators, and community leaders in HIV prevention activities.
• Liaise with CPC for project management and connection with other USG programs in coordination with the Country Director and other relevant staff.
Education and/or Experience:
• Masters degree or higher in public health, international development, public policy, communication, or a related field. Applicants with experience equivalent to a Masters-level degree are also encouraged to apply.
• Experience in HIV-risk behavior change program design, implementation, and management of at least 5 years, preferably in situations involving MCP and HVP and in developing nations.
• Experience in public health study design and management and data analysis. Epidemiological or other HIV surveillance and mapping experience preferred.
• Developing country experience, particularly in HIV prevention and treatment.
• Demonstrated skills in sub-grantee management, coordination of technical assistance, stakeholder management, and liaising with relevant government agencies, international donors, and host country government.
• Experience with large CPC-funded program management is required, as is experience with PEPFAR or similar agencies.
• Demonstrated record of superb management, financial oversight, interpersonal abilities, and decision making skills.
• Demonstrated proficiency in English and French, both oral and written.
• Prior experience working in Cote d’Ivoire is preferred, but not required.

2:46 Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake By Jeff W Richards


I’ve never looked at strangers on the train with tears in my eyes before. As I stare back down at the phone in my hand, the 21st century contraption connects with my primal feelings. It’s hard to swallow back the grief as I read about this image:

“Here is a photograph, dated 13 March, by Kiyomu Tomita, one of the first independent journalists who entered the area after the quake and tsunami. ‘A girl huddles herself,’ he tweeted. ‘She has lost her family. In Nobiru.’”

It’s fitting that less than 30 days after being backhanded by Mother Nature, “2:46 Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake” (which has come simply to be known as #quakebook via its standard Twitter hashtag) was out and available in the most accessible manner possible: via Amazon. As a Kindle edition, once purchased, the book is shared wirelessly to any number of devices and platforms: your iPhone, your iPad, your Android, your laptop, your PC. Your whatever-you-were-glued-to-when-it-hit device.

I relive the moments, my own, as I read those shared in #quakebook. I’m surprised at the emotion that wells up in me at unexpected times. While I don’t agree with all of them, some of them break my heart. #quakebook was compiled and edited by Our Man in Abiko, an English resident of Japan and Twitter denizen whose goal simply was “to record the moment, and in doing so raise money for the Japanese Red Cross Society to help the thousands of homeless, hungry and cold survivors of the earthquake and tsunami.” He wanted to get it done within a week. With word out over Twitter and Facebook, the submissions poured in. From the idea on March 18, the completed first draft was finished by March 25.

The entries are real-time accounts, small reflections. They are offerings of hope from some with connections to Japan, such as Yoko Ono Lennon, countless overseas family members and former residents. Some are a little more abstract, such as William Gibson’s submission. There are photos. There is art. What resonates with you in this compendium is most certainly going to differ from what strikes a nerve with me. It’s personal. It spans opinions and crosses divides. There are no “flyjin” divisions here. Just accounts of how people were affected on and after that Friday afternoon in March.

It occurs to me while reading that we are still caught in it. How appropriate the title is. Each submission is part of this endless aftershock that we are stuck in at this moment: continued tremors, a sense of helplessness, economic repercussions, radiation fears and divisive opinions. We haven’t yet had a chance to process the events—to come to grips with it. Maybe this is how to start.

How do you write a review about a book that affects you so much; that was written by so many to help so many more? You don’t. All you do is tell people that it’s available. That it’s not a purchase but a gift. That 10 bucks is a meager price to donate to the people in the Tohoku area. That reading it is humbling and humanizing and uplifting, and that catharsis comes in many guises. And this book is one of them.

So there is nothing really to recommend you to do, except: buy #quakebook. And when you read it and find yourself looking at a stranger on the train, tears welling at the corner of your eye, don’t be so self-conscious and hide it. Don’t fear brothers and sisters—smile. This too shall pass.

This story originally appeared in Metropolis magazine (

Press Release from Kazi Zafar

From VAnaga, Faridpur Vice - Chairman Mr AK AZAd arranged an events for withdraw all fake cases against former PRESIDENT Ershad. Otherwise all workers would continue their opposing role and press to implement their demand as expressed.

AK Azad
Vice Chair
Jatiyo Chattra Samaj

We demand reform, we demand justice and we demand women's rights now!-Amnesty USA

We demand reform, we demand justice and we demand women's rights now!
She dared to speak out about unimaginable abuse.

On March 26 Libyan law graduate Eman al-Obeidi burst into a Tripoli restaurant and shocked journalists with the story that she was beaten and gang-raped by Muammar Gaddafi's government troops.

The Libyan government claimed al-Obeidi was mentally ill, a drunk and a prostitute. They pressured her mother and other family members to convince al-Obeidi to change her story.

But the truth – about the violent and systemic sexual abuse of women by Libyan troops – has taken root. Al-Obeidi has become a global "symbol of defiance" against the Gadaffi regime.

Don't let government forces get away with rape. Give the human rights movement your support today by becoming a member of Amnesty International.

Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, women like al-Obeidi are taking enormous risks to fight for real reform, not just new governments. Women protestors want stronger policies promoting women’s rights.

It is an enormously difficult struggle.

Many Yemeni women have joined the peaceful protests calling for government reform, yet they are treated as second-class citizens in law and custom. They endure forced marriages, unequal protection under the law and inadequate recourse against domestic abuse.
Give hope.
Give help now.

The door is open for change in the Middle East and North Africa, but women face entrenched inequality. They need your support now – please make a contribution today!

In Egypt, where a new government is being formed, women are still far from enjoying full human rights protections. At least 18 women who were arrested during a peaceful March protest in Tahrir Square said they were given electric shocks, strip searched while being photographed by male soldiers and forced to take "virginity tests."

As an Amnesty supporter, you play an important role in advancing gender equality throughout the world. The unprecedented level of unrest in the Middle East and elsewhere has created an immediate need for donations to support our human rights work.

Please act now and donate $40 or more today to help Amnesty defend basic human rights. We greatly appreciate your support.

Bangabandhu Sangskrotik Zott

Bangbandhu cCahttara Parishad

Ganatantrik Bam Morcha

Amra Muktiyoddhar Santan

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pakistani Journalist Rabia Mehmood Named 2010-11 IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow

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Pakistani Journalist Rabia Mehmood Named 2010-11 IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow
For immediate release
June 21, 2010
Pakistani Journalist Rabia Mehmood Named 2010-11 IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow
Washington, D.C. – The International Women’s Media Foundation announced today that Rabia Mehmood, a journalist in the Lahore bureau of Express 24/7 Television in Pakistan, has received its 2010-11 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship. Mehmood is the sixth recipient of the annual fellowship, which gives a woman journalist working in print, broadcast or online media the opportunity to focus exclusively on human rights journalism and social justice issues.
Beginning in September 2010, Mehmood will spend the nine-month fellowship as a research associate in residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for International Studies. She will also have access to The Boston Globe and The New York Times.
The fellowship is named for Elizabeth Neuffer, a Boston Globe reporter and the winner of a 1998 IWMF Courage in Journalism Award who was killed while on assignment in Iraq in 2003. Neuffer’s life mission was to promote international understanding of human rights and social justice.
As a reporter for Express 24/7 Television, Mehmood, 27, creates news features and special reports on courts, crime, human rights, politics, socio-economic issues, health, environment and culture.
Based on what she observes in her coverage, Mehmood believes that the core issues behind the lack of social justice in her country include incompetence, nepotism, police negligence and corruption.
She wrote in her fellowship application: “It seemed like destiny to become a part of the news media at a time when Pakistan is going through the most volatile phase of its history.”
Throughout her career, Mehmood has reported on topics such as women’s rights, freedom of speech and political unrest. She has covered the survivors and victims of terrorist attacks, suicide bombings and hostage sieges carried out by militants in Lahore. Mehmood has also reported on internally displaced people who left Northwest Pakistan as a result of insurgency by terrorists and military offensives.
From December 2008 to April 2009, Mehmood covered the detention, court case and release of Hafiz Saeed, the leader of Jamat-ud-Dawa, a militant organization. Jamat-ud-Dawa was banned by the United Nations’ Security Council due to its links with terrorist attacks in India. After the organization was banned, the Pakistani government put Saeed and three other officials under house arrest and subsequently tried them in court.
During the Neuffer Fellowship, Mehmood hopes to explore topics such as the failure of the Pakistani government to support human rights protection and the use of religion by extremist groups seeking power and political control. For example, in Pakistan’s Northwestern province Khayber-Pakhtunkhwa, conservative extremist groups have blown up schools, halted polio vaccination campaigns and banned cultural activities, Mehmood says. These groups are adamant that women’s roles should be restricted. Mehmood hopes to investigate the groups’ use of violence and advocacy of rigid boundaries and their impact on the political system of Pakistan.
Mehmood holds a master’s degree in mass communication and media studies from Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore and a bachelor's degree in mass communication and English literature from Lahore College for Women University.
The Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship is a project of the Elizabeth Neuffer IWMF Fund, which is generously supported by Peter Canellos, Mark Neuffer, Carolyn Lee, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Boston Globe Foundation, The New York Times Company Foundation, Boston Scientific, MIT Center for International Studies and friends and family of Elizabeth Neuffer. For further information about the fellowship, visit neuffer or e-mail
Founded in 1990, the International Women’s Media Foundation is a vibrant global network dedicated to strengthening the role of women in the news media worldwide as a means to further freedom of the press. The IWMF network includes women and men in the media in more than 130 countries worldwide.

Bangabandhu Sangskritik Zott

Imarat Nirman Sromik Union Bangladesh

Monday, April 25, 2011

Saudi Arabia's rulers are deploying a mix of force and largesse to contain the threat of democratic protest. But an emerging civic movement is determi

Saudi Arabia's rulers are deploying a mix of force and largesse to contain the threat of democratic protest. But an emerging civic movement is determined to persist, says Madawi Al-Rasheed.In the era of oil, voluntary servitude may become the only option for a people deprived of basic human and civil rights. But behind the scenes and prison-bars there is hope in Saudi Arabia: most of all in an emerging civil-rights movement that is attracting Saudis of different ideological, regional and sectarian backgrounds. The Saudi regime is responding with attempts to suffocate this young movement via two classic strategies - sectarian politics and heavy policing. There are growing questions over the effectiveness of each.
The government in Riyadh continues to devote huge resources to sustaining a vast religious bureaucracy, promoting its upkeep of the holy sites, and sponsoring transnational Islamic institutions. In fact, however, the Saudi regime has lost most of its religious legitimacy. Its intimate alliance with the United States, and failure to defend Islamic symbols when they are or appear to be under assault - from Jerusalem to the incident of the Danish cartoons and Pope Benedict XVI’s retrieval of disparaging medieval sources - leave the royal elite looking incapable of living up to its religious narrative.
Many Saudis see the regime as a puppet constellation of corrupt princes whose fate is determined in Washington rather than Riyadh. This view is partially accurate but also ignores the fact that the regime is capable of manipulating its western protectors. The main vehicle of this counter-twist has been the regime’s use of oil to transform itself into a powerful ally. Its Wahhabi religious tradition became important in defeating secular, leftist and national political movements in the Arab and Muslim world. This religion served the west well as it mobilised the vanguards of Islam to defeat communism in Afghanistan.
The fusion of oil interests and Wahhabi Islam became a form of blackmail of the west, extracting from it an eternal silence over the regime’s abuse of human rights. True, Riyadh's strategy of using Wahhabi Islam as an instrument of foreign policy backfired with the assaults on the high towers of New York; yet the west soon allowed the Saudi regime to move from being an incubator of terrorism to appearing a victim of it. Thus the regime seamlessly re-emerged as a strategic partner in the United States-led “war on terror”, a partner with whom the west shares intelligence and sells weapons of mass destruction and surveillance technology.
The vacuum
The core strategic calculation in Washington and London over Saudi Arabia invokes realism and pragmatism to argue that there is no alternative. But authoritarian regimes are not known for creating space where alternative political leadership grows - for if they do so, they would cease to be authoritarian. So the logic of western policy is permanent support for the Saudi elite and its guarantee of “stability”.
Saudi religion proved to be equally important when Iran moved from being a western island to an Islamic revolutionary hotbed in 1979. Saudi Arabia sponsored Saddam Hussein’s eight-year war against Iran (1980-88) and inflamed the imagination of its own people with sectarian rhetoric denouncing Shi’a heretics. The same religious hate-rhetoric is mobilised today to intervene in places like Yemen in support of Ali Abdullah Saleh against the al-Huthi rebellion in the north, and in support of the al-Khalifa rulers of Bahrain against the peaceful pro-democracy movement on the island.
In both these conflicts, the Saudis project themselves as defending Sunni Arabs against the alleged Safavid (Iranian) Shi’a takeover of the Arab world. The west watches the contest and confirms its old wisdom about those sectarian, tribal and essentially conservative religious fanatics. Few examine the political and economic contexts that fuel such conflicts; are willing to go beyond Islam to explain the flourishing primordial identities and their resurgence in every country in the region; or are prepared to see how the Saudi regime contributes to this resurgence by its deployment of a potent sectarian discourse.
The Saudi elite, having failed to defend Muslims in Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq, now pledges to guard its Sunni co-religionists against their historical arch-enemies: none but the Shi’a. The rising sectarian tensions in Bahrain, Kuwait and Yemen, and the recent memories of sectarian conflict in Lebanon and Iraq, exemplify the dangers of this route. Yet Saudi Arabia’s rulers are prepared to risk conflict with Iran - and with its domestic “fifth column” on the Arab shores of the Persian Gulf, including in Saudi Arabia itself - as a means of salvaging its vanishing religious legitimacy.
The chasm
Saudi officialdom’s efforts to thwart an embryonic civil-rights movement inside Saudi Arabia have intensified since protest movements in Tunisia and Egypt succeeded in overthrowing authoritarian rulers there, and spread across the region. The policy mixes scarifying propaganda about the prospect of an Iranian-backed Shi’a takeover of Sunni heartlands with emergency royal handouts worth $36 billion.
These have failed to defuse the widespread anger and frustration among Saudi young people especially: over crumbling urban infrastructure, unemployment, corruption and above all arbitrary detentions and abuse of human rights. Such sentiments emerged in the virtual world with the call for a “day of rage” on 11 March 2011.
Mohammed al-Wadani, an activist in his early 20s, posted a video-clip calling for the downfall of the regime. When he emerged from a central Riyadh mosque after Friday prayers with a small group of followers, he was arrested by plainclothes security personnel, and disappeared; his family was forced to issue a statement denouncing his actions and disowning him. Of nine founding members (including academics) of an Islamist political party, three disappeared.
On the so-called day of rage, the regime deployed its security forces on every major street in the main cities. A single protester, Khaled al-Johani, defied the show of force and marched into Riyadh’s city centre, telling a BBC interviewer: “I have had enough of this big prison. I have the right to demonstrate”. Both men were surrounded by security forces; Khalid joined thousands of activists and political prisoners held without trial.
The arrests have escalated since 11 March, scooping hundreds more into the net. Some international and local independent human-rights organisations keep their cases alive though the regime’s oil-thirsty allies in Washington and London remain undisturbed. The conflict in the Libyan desert with another petro-state has in this respect proved to be a welcome excuse to ignore the problems of what the west routinely perceives to be spoiled and rich Saudi citizens.
Many Saudis do not fit this stereotype: they live on a meagre monthly salary of $800 in a country with no minimum wage. It’s true that many others are part-lured and part-forced into submission to royal power, with the promise and reality of royal largesse playing a big role. But the circumstances of most Saudis are very different from those of senior princes: a leaked document reveals that some of the latter were even in 1996 receiving monthly payments in excess of $270,000, supplemented by other handouts.
The opening
Many Saudi families use their resources to shelter their young members from the reality of marginalisation and unemployment. A small minority of young Saudis is searching for basic freedom from state authority, parental control, censorship, oppression and surveillance. Women, many of whom are educated and with rising expectations, are particularly active among this group. Indeed, women are the most frustrated category in Saudi society, and no wonder: 78% of unemployed women are university graduates (the figure among men is only 16%), and they are excluded from voting even in insignificant municipal elections.
The internet provides a cathartic form of virtual escape for men and women alike. Some are courageous enough to go further. They include groups of veiled women that since 11 March gather in front of the interior ministry calling for their menfolk to be released from prison. The risks are great: an academic, Mubarak al-Zuaiyr, was granted a fifteen-minute meeting with a ministry official to ask about his imprisoned father, only to find himself held after interrogation.
Missing Saudis is a video-clip published on YouTube and narrated by Ali al-Dhafiri, a Saudi journalist working for al-Jazeera. It highlights the plight of women and children whose husbands, sons and fathers are condemned to lengthy prison-terms. The clip will not be shown on al-Jazeera itself - Saudi prisoners do not make news, in part because most people in the west prefer to accept the official story that they are terrorists, sympathisers of terrorists, assisting terrorists or raising money for terrorists. Mutual interest and media deception combine to depict Saudi Arabia as a wealthy, prosperous and conservative society in which men and women worship God and their king.
The reality is different. Most Saudi prisoners are the nucleus of an emerging civil-society movement that poses more of a threat to the regime than the terrorism the latter created and then pretended to fight. This movement is familiarising people with ideas of entitlement, empowerment, human rights, and civil obligations. The movement is still fragmented but it is gathering momentum. Saudi citizens too are attempting to change their society for the better.

(Source: Open Democracy)

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Appreciation with the opinion from AK Azad, Sen . VIce Chair,Jatiyo Chatra Samaj, Azad Center, BDR 1 NO gate, Lalbag Dhaka

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