An Imposed Friendship and Our Humiliation.

Originally Published on The Weekly Economic Times
M. Tawsif Salam


Dr Dipu Moni’s remark about Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty that he breached a diplomat’s code of conduct was not her first remark to be considered as a flap. She received spectacular criticisms after forgoing an Indian journalist who marked Bangladesh as a ‘buffer state’ in a press conference presided by her.

People from the top brass of present Awami League government power structure have set some more examples of being kind to forgo a couple of commentaries of people associated with India. The most recent one was Dipu Moni’s presence in a seminar where Indian High Commissioner added the adjective ‘so-called’ while naming Bangladeshi experts, especially those who are critical to India’s unpopular Tipaimukh dam. After Chakravarty’s remark, BNP’s lawmaker Adv Mahbubuddin Khokon, who is also BNP’s lone representative to the parliamentary panel for foreign affairs, demanded immediate expulsion of the rowdy diplomat.

Following Khokon’s demand, Dr Dipu Moni’s popular remark about Chakravarty’s breaching the code of conduct was almost covering up the controversy that she caused by her silence against humiliation of Bangladesh.

Now, it’s to be noted that Dr Dipu Moni became a part of several events where she received criticisms either by her humiliating silence, or by her apparent incompetence to put thrashing replies against insulting remark against Bangladesh; and throughout all these Awami League’s attention to her activities never became public.

But at a certain point Awami League top brass became really tensed about her statements and took no time to differ what she said about the rowdy diplomat. After no time from Dr Dipu Moni became coldly vocal about Chakravarty’s rowdiness, Awami League’s spokesperson and the Minister of Local Government and Cooperatives Syed Ashraful Islam said that he at no point thinks that Chakravarty has breached a diplomat’s code of conduct.

To some extent it was a common idea that Bangladesh Awami League’s ‘more friendly than necessary’ stance to India is just a general point of criticising them, which is often practiced and not necessarily the claim has to be too definite or abundantly substantial. But behaviours and speeches of responsible government persons, political or non-political, put admissible evidences backing the supra-enthusiasm of the present government on issues those concern Indian purposes more than those of Bangladesh.

The Tipaimukh dam issue has seen more passes than sometimes satirically presented Dutch ‘total football’ could ever have produced or suggested. We don’t know who were midfielders, attackers or defenders, but the passes have been subsequently carried out by the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Water Resources, and Environment & Forest, without much of the senses of their particular roles. Whenever the responsible individuals received stern quizzes about the issue, they either kept passing it to other offices, or made remarks those are solely enough to humiliate the sovereignty of a nation.

The Minister of Commerce Col. Faruk Khan, who in accordance with his official functions wasn’t supposed to be concerned about the issue, claimed all of a sudden that the Bangladeshi experts who are being critical to Tipaimukh issue don’t know anything.

Following his statement, Chakravarty made two subsequent comments; one is that the protest against Tipaimukh issue was politically ill-motivated, and the other is no laws on earth could bar India from building Tipaimukh dam. Quoting Chakravarty, Minister of Communications Abul Hossain said the protest against Tipaimukh dam is insubstantial. Minister of Water Resources Ramesh Sen, who did something more serious than a quotation, commented that if there is any negative impact of Tipaimukh dam, Bangladesh should concede the damages at least for sake of the alliance with her greater neighbour.

As it has been told earlier, this series of comments is solely enough to humiliate the sovereignty of a nation. The present government as well as the ruling party, and most importantly Syed Ashraful Islam who was in a hurry to reestablish the submissiveness of his government to the Indian authority by differing Dr. Dipu Moni’s cold protest within hours, should get the note that friendship cannot be imposed.

You just cannot pick up a group of people and ask them to recite “Bangladesh and India are friends”, who already are holding newspapers with headlines of Bangladeshi frontier population body-counts to the BSF bullets. Or, you cannot just ask people to accept long-lasting damages just for sake of alliance with a nation which appoints ‘so-called’ diplomats to meddle in our internal politics and humiliate our sovereignty.

People won’t accept speeches from a minister like Ramesh Sen hinting at sacrificing Bangladeshi resources for sake of India’s friendship, or of lawmakers like Abdur Razzaq stating Bangladesh can make up her desertification by importing Tipaimukh produced power; hence Bangladesh can accept both her desertification and Indian bills just to have power produced in Tipaimukh. These comments hint at their loyalties to something else than the sovereignty of Bangladesh.Dr Dipu Moni’s remark about Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty that he breached a diplomat’s code of conduct was not her first remark to be considered as a flap. She received spectacular criticisms after forgoing an Indian journalist who marked Bangladesh as a ‘buffer state’ in a press conference presided by her.

People from the top brass of present Awami League government power structure have set some more examples of being kind to forgo a couple of commentaries of people associated with India. The most recent one was Dipu Moni’s presence in a seminar where Indian High Commissioner added the adjective ‘so-called’ while naming Bangladeshi experts, especially those who are critical to India’s unpopular Tipaimukh dam. After Chakravarty’s remark, BNP’s lawmaker Adv Mahbubuddin Khokon, who is also BNP’s lone representative to the parliamentary panel for foreign affairs, demanded immediate expulsion of the rowdy diplomat.

Following Khokon’s demand, Dr Dipu Moni’s popular remark about Chakravarty’s breaching the code of conduct was almost covering up the controversy that she caused by her silence against humiliation of Bangladesh.

Now, it’s to be noted that Dr Dipu Moni became a part of several events where she received criticisms either by her humiliating silence, or by her apparent incompetence to put thrashing replies against insulting remark against Bangladesh; and throughout all these Awami League’s attention to her activities never became public.

But at a certain point Awami League top brass became really tensed about her statements and took no time to differ what she said about the rowdy diplomat. After no time from Dr Dipu Moni became coldly vocal about Chakravarty’s rowdiness, Awami League’s spokesperson and the Minister of Local Government and Cooperatives Syed Ashraful Islam said that he at no point thinks that Chakravarty has breached a diplomat’s code of conduct.
To some extent it was a common idea that Bangladesh Awami League’s ‘more friendly than necessary’ stance to India is just a general point of criticising them, which is often practiced and not necessarily the claim has to be too definite or abundantly substantial. But behaviours and speeches of responsible government persons, political or non-political, put admissible evidences backing the supra-enthusiasm of the present government on issues those concern Indian purposes more than those of Bangladesh.

The Tipaimukh dam issue has seen more passes than sometimes satirically presented Dutch ‘total football’ could ever have produced or suggested. We don’t know who were midfielders, attackers or defenders, but the passes have been subsequently carried out by the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Water Resources, and Environment & Forest, without much of the senses of their particular roles. Whenever the responsible individuals received stern quizzes about the issue, they either kept passing it to other offices, or made remarks those are solely enough to humiliate the sovereignty of a nation.

The Minister of Commerce Col. Faruk Khan, who in accordance with his official functions wasn’t supposed to be concerned about the issue, claimed all of a sudden that the Bangladeshi experts who are being critical to Tipaimukh issue don’t know anything.

Following his statement, Chakravarty made two subsequent comments; one is that the protest against Tipaimukh issue was politically ill-motivated, and the other is no laws on earth could bar India from building Tipaimukh dam. Quoting Chakravarty, Minister of Communications Abul Hossain said the protest against Tipaimukh dam is insubstantial. Minister of Water Resources Ramesh Sen, who did something more serious than a quotation, commented that if there is any negative impact of Tipaimukh dam, Bangladesh should concede the damages at least for sake of the alliance with her greater neighbour.

As it has been told earlier, this series of comments is solely enough to humiliate the sovereignty of a nation. The present government as well as the ruling party, and most importantly Syed Ashraful Islam who was in a hurry to reestablish the submissiveness of his government to the Indian authority by differing Dr. Dipu Moni’s cold protest within hours, should get the note that friendship cannot be imposed.

You just cannot pick up a group of people and ask them to recite “Bangladesh and India are friends”, who already are holding newspapers with headlines of Bangladeshi frontier population body-counts to the BSF bullets. Or, you cannot just ask people to accept long-lasting damages just for sake of alliance with a nation which appoints ‘so-called’ diplomats to meddle in our internal politics and humiliate our sovereignty.

People won’t accept speeches from a minister like Ramesh Sen hinting at sacrificing Bangladeshi resources for sake of India’s friendship, or of lawmakers like Abdur Razzaq stating Bangladesh can make up her desertification by importing Tipaimukh produced power; hence Bangladesh can accept both her desertification and Indian bills just to have power produced in Tipaimukh. These comments hint at their loyalties to something else than the sovereignty of Bangladesh.

Spread of avian flu by drinking water.

I got an article as  comments in my previous post Bangladesh reports first human case of H5N1 bird flu by Dipl.-Ing. Wilfried Soddemann – Epidemiologist – Free Science Journalist. I found it is interesting so publishing it as a post in my blog.

I want to thank Mr. Wilfried Soddemann for his excellent comments. Here is the article-

Proved awareness to ecology and transmission is necessary to understand the spread of avian flu. For this it is insufficient exclusive to test samples from wild birds, poultry and humans for avian flu viruses. Samples from the known abiotic vehicles also have to be analysed. There are plain links between the cold, rainy seasons as well as floods and the spread of avian flu. That is just why abiotic vehicles have to be analysed. The direct biotic transmission from birds, poultry or humans to humans can not depend on the cold, rainy seasons or floods. Water is a very efficient abiotic vehicle for the spread of viruses – in particular of fecal as well as by mouth, nose and eyes excreted viruses.

Infected birds and poultry can everywhere contaminate the drinking water. All humans have very intensive contact to drinking water. Spread of avian flu by drinking water can explain small clusters in households too. Proving viruses in water is difficult because of dilution. If you find no viruses you can not be sure that there are not any. On the other hand in water viruses remain viable for a long time. Water has to be tested for influenza viruses by cell culture and in particular by the more sensitive molecular biology method PCR.

There is a widespread link between avian flu and water, e.g. in Egypt to the Nile delta or Indonesia to residential districts of less prosperous humans with backyard flocks and without central water supply as in Vietnam: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol12no12/06-0829.htm. See also the WHO web side: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/emerging/h5n1background.pdf .

Transmission of avian flu by direct contact to infected poultry is an unproved assumption from the WHO. There is no evidence that influenza primarily is transmitted by saliva droplets: “Transmission of influenza A in human beings” http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473309907700294/abstract?iseop=true .

Avian flu infections may increase in consequence to increase of virus circulation. In hot climates/the tropics flood-related influenza is typical after extreme weather and floods. Virulence of influenza viruses depends on temperature and time. Special in cases of local water supplies with “young” and fresh H5N1 contaminated water from low local wells, cisterns, tanks, rain barrels, ponds, rivers or rice paddies this pathway can explain small clusters in households. At 24°C e.g. in the tropics the virulence of influenza viruses in water amount to 2 days. In temperate climates for “older” water from central water supplies cold water is decisive to virulence of viruses. At 7°C the virulence of influenza viruses in water amount to 14 days.

Human to human and contact transmission of influenza occur – but are overvalued immense. In the course of influenza epidemics in Germany, recognized clusters are rare, accounting for just 9 percent of cases e.g. in the 2005 season. In temperate climates the lethal H5N1 virus will be transferred to humans via cold drinking water, as with the birds in February and March 2006, strong seasonal at the time when drinking water has its temperature minimum.

The performance to eliminate viruses from the drinking water processing plants regularly does not meet the requirements of the WHO and the USA/USEPA. Conventional disinfection procedures are poor, because microorganisms in the water are not in suspension, but embedded in particles. Even ground water used for drinking water is not free from viruses.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=26096&Cr=&Cr1
Ducks and rice [paddies = flooded by water] major factors in bird flu outbreaks, says UN agency
Ducks and rice fields may be a critical factor in spreading H5N1
26 March 2008 – Ducks, rice [fields, paddies = flooded by water! Farmers on work drink the water from rice paddies!] and people – and not chickens – have emerged as the most significant factors in the spread of avian influenza in Thailand and Viet Nam, according to a study carried out by a group of experts from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and associated research centres.

“Mapping H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza risk in Southeast Asia: ducks, rice and people” also finds that these factors are probably behind persistent outbreaks in other countries such as Cambodia and Laos.
The study, which examined a series of waves of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza in Thailand and Viet Nam between early 2004 and late 2005, was initiated and coordinated by FAO senior veterinary officer Jan Slingenbergh and just published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.
Through the use of satellite mapping, researchers looked at a number of different factors, including the numbers of ducks, geese and chickens, human population size, rice cultivation and geography, and found a strong link between duck grazing patterns and rice cropping intensity.

In Thailand, for example, the proportion of young ducks in flocks was found to peak in September-October; these rapidly growing young ducks can therefore benefit from the peak of the rice harvest in November-December [at the beginning of the cold: Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos are situated – different from Indonesia – in the northern hemisphere].

“These peaks in congregation of ducks indicate periods in which there is an increase in the chances for virus release and exposure, and rice paddies often become a temporary habitat for wild bird species,” the agency said in a news release.

“We now know much better where and when to expect H5N1 flare-ups, and this helps to target prevention and control,” said Mr. Slingenbergh. “In addition, with virus persistence becoming increasingly confined to areas with intensive rice-duck agriculture in eastern and south-eastern Asia, evolution of the H5N1 virus may become easier to predict.”

He said the findings can help better target control efforts and replace indiscriminate mass vaccination.
FAO estimates that approximately 90 per cent of the world’s more than 1 billion domestic ducks are in Asia, with about 75 per cent of that in China and Viet Nam. Thailand has about 11 million ducks.

Bangladesh reports first human case of H5N1 bird flu.

Authorities here have stepped up surveillance against avian influenza after the case of a 16-month-old boy, who took ill in January, was diagnosed as one of infection with the deadly H5N1 virus.

Bangladesh become the 15th country to report a case of human infection after the Geneva-based World Health Organisation (WHO), citing results from laboratories at the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, confirmed the infection on Thursday.

Since 2003, when bird flu first surfaced, 15 countries have reported a total of 382 human cases, with 241 of them turning fatal. WHO has now confirmed human cases in Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Laos, Burma, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and Bangladesh.

Prof. Mahmudur Rahman, a director at Bangladesh’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told IPS that although the boy was totally cured well before the confirmation, surveillance has been stepped up across the country.

Since the H5N1 virus was first detected in Bangladesh, at a state-run poultry farm on the outskirts of the capital, authorities have culled more than two million birds, causing losses estimated at 700 million US dollars.

With 47 of Bangladesh’s 64 districts affected, the poultry industry, introduced two decades ago to help this impoverished country, is now facing its biggest ever challenge. Affected are more than 1.5 million people employed in one of the world’s largest poultry industries that produces producing 220 million chickens and 37 million ducks annually.

According to the South Asia Enterprise Development Facility, a multi-donor facility managed by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group, the poultry sector supports five million people directly or indirectly through 150,000 poultry farms, constituting 1.6 percent of Bangladesh’s gross domestic product (GDP).

In recent years, the poultry industry has been growing at an annual rate of about 20 percent, recording a turnover of 25 -1.5 billion dollars in 2006. Analysts say the figures for 2007 may fall below that mark thanks to drastic culling.

Battered by the culling, monsoon floods and a devastating cyclone in November, the country’s once booming poultry industry is now seriously threatened. Businessmen say the outbreak has already caused the closure of more than a third of the country’s poultry farms.

As the virus spread, the state-owned Bangladesh TV and a dozen or so private cable TV channels often broadcast programmes on avian influenza making people aware of the deadly virus, but observers said impact is minimal.

‘’Street vendors are still selling live chickens in Dhaka, although the city corporation authority has imposed a ban on selling live chickens in the open,’’ said Dhaka school teacher Sharif Ahmed.

Without disclosing the identity of the affected boy, Rahman said he lived in a crowded slum in Dhaka. His parents had bought a live chicken from a nearby market which they kept in their house for some days before slaughtering it for a meal.

The boy was among the more than 3,000 people suspected of being infected with bird flu in Bangladesh, but his was the only case that tested positive, a health department official said.

After the Bangladesh government was informed of the test results by the WHO, the national advisory committee on avian influenza met on Thursday to step up measures.

Rahman said IEDCR was already conducting surveillance measures in the districts affected by bird flu and that people who were in direct contact with poultry birds and products were being kept under observation by epidemiologists. As part of the new measures, Bangladesh will set up isolation units in all public hospitals, he said.

“Right now everything is under control. We have trained doctors and readied hospitals to tackle any new detection,” Rahman said. ‘’We also have trained volunteers in the villages.’’

Bangladesh, which has a population of nearly 150 million, is the world’s most densely populated country with nearly 1,000 people per sq km. With poultry farms set up everywhere in the country the risk of the virus spreading fast is high.

Earlier this year, India’s West Bengal state which shares a long border with Bangladesh suffered the neighbouring country’s worst outbreak of the virus among poultry. But no human cases of bird flu have been reported in India, which has also carried out massive poultry culling.

Bird flu was thought only to infect birds until the first human cases were detected in Hong Kong in 1997. Though rare, humans catch the disease through close contact with infected birds.

Experts consider vigilance and speedy action such as isolation of human cases important because of a fear that the H5N1 strain could mutate to become capable of human-to-human transmission and set off a deadly pandemic. Densely populated countries like Bangladesh, where people live in close proximity to backyard poultry or keep birds in their homes, are seen as particularly risky.

Benazir Bhutto Assassination: Pictures of some moments & the suspects.

Here I uploaded some pictures of the suspect of the assassination and some moments of that time.

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Video: Benazir Bhutto’s Final Moments of Assassination.




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Pakistan: Benazir Bhutto Assassinated.

Today’s big story–and no doubt one of the biggest stories in a long, long time–is that Benazir Bhutto, opposition leader and former prime minister of Pakistan, was assassinated this morning in a bombing that killed at least 20 other people. International leaders, including President Bush, are condemning the attack.

 

No one claimed responsibility for the killing. But suspicion was likely to fall on resurgent Islamic militants linked to al Qaida and the Taliban who hated Bhutto for her close ties to the Americans and support for the war on terrorism. A local Taliban leader reportedly threatened to greet Bhutto’s return to the country from exile in October with suicide bombings.

Bhutto had been campaigning for the parliamentary elections that are scheduled for January 8, but some are suggesting that those elections be postponed.

We’re still trying to track down any local gatherings, vigils, rallies, etc, so if you know of any events, let us know, please.