Government must explain passport position to authorities abroad

THE United Arab Emirates authorities are reportedly refusing to issue visas to Bangladeshi workers who do not have machine readable passports (MRPs). If indeed the UAE authorities stick to their decision, it will have a very negative effect not only on the future of our migrant workers but also on the country as a whole. Just why that might be has to do with the fact that annually 2.5 lakh Bangladeshi workers are employed in the UAE, which makes the emirates the largest provider of jobs to migrant Bangladeshis. A refusal, therefore, to issue visas to those holding manually prepared passports or to insist that they replace such passports with MRPs will put all of us in a quandary. Fortunately, the Bangladesh ambassador to the UAE has held out the assurance that his mission will explain to the UAE government the details of the MRP programme as it exists in Bangladesh at present.


That brings us to the core issue here. It is quite probable that the UAE authorities are in a sort of dilemma with some workers holding MRPs and others possessing old manually prepared passports. Moreover, with the international civil aviation authorities stipulating a few years ago that all countries provide their citizens with machine readable passports by April 1 this year, a question must have arisen in the UAE about the dual nature of Bangladeshi passports as it might in other countries. Such confusion, we must admit, would not have been there had the Bangladesh government undertaken the job of keeping the governments of countries employing Bangladeshi workers in particular and other governments in general informed about the progress in the preparation of MRPs. There is no question that by April this year MRPs for everyone would not have been possible. And the fact remains that the government has decided what it must do regarding new passport applicants and those whose old passports yet have a long time before expiry. But was the position made known to foreign governments, especially in the Middle East where we have the bulk of our migrant workers?


Before the first MRPs were prepared, the government made three moves about the old passports, each move superseding the other. It was first said that those holding old passports would be given MRPs in a year's time. That period was then changed to two and eventually three years. The responsibility of the Bangladesh government, especially of the Foreign Office and the manpower ministry, should have been to communicate officially with overseas governments spelling out the details of the MRP programme. Such action would have staved off the problems that our workers today face in the UAE.


We expect the government to take up the matter with the UAE in right earnest, considering the economic aspects of the issue. And lest Bangladeshis run into problems in other countries over the manually prepared passports they yet hold, let the government keep the authorities of those countries posted on the situation. Let not bureaucratic sloth or incompetence come in the way of Bangladeshis' travels abroad.

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Migrant Bangladeshis caught in MRP trouble

Brazil set up a mouth-watering World Cup quarterfinal clash against the Netherlands with a

convincing 3-0 win over Chile on Monday at Ellis Park. First-half goals by centre-back Juan

and striker Luis Fabiano gave Dunga-coached Brazil a 2-0 lead before Robinho made sure of their

quarterfinal berth with the third goal after an hour. Brazil will face the Netherlands, who earlier

saw off Slovakia 2-1, in Port Elizabeth on Friday. This was Brazil's 47th win in 66 matches against

 Chile, who have only seven wins - and third in three World Cup meetings after 1962 and 1998.

"We are on the right road and we played well, but we still have to iron out a few minor things,"

Robinho said afterwards.

Chilean keeper Claudio Bravo said Chile had given it their best shot but came up short.

"We have been beaten by one of the best teams in the world. We gave everything but we came up against a team that was very solid and played good football. We are good going forward but we have a fair bit of progress to make when it comes to defending," Bravo admitted.

Chile made a bright start, but Brazil quickly got into their stride as Luis Fabiano and Gilberto Silva both forced goalkeeper Claudio Bravo into early saves.

Brazil had a loud appeal for a penalty on 27 minutes when defender Pablo Contreras took away Lucio's legs, but referee Howard Webb waved play on.

Real Madrid's Kaka, back in the side after serving a one-match ban for his red card against the Ivory Coast, picked up the first yellow card when he went for the ball, but caught Chile's Arturo Vital on the ankle on 30 minutes.

Brazil took the lead on 34 minutes when Maicon swung in a corner and Roma defender Juan rose the highest to head past Bravo.

Luis Fabiano made it 2-0 four minutes later after Kaka took a pass from Robinho on the left wing and slid the ball through for the Sevilla star to draw Bravo and slot home.

Chile's Vital repaid the foul on Kaka and earned a yellow card on 47 minutes.

Brazil then grabbed their third goal after Benfica's Ramires ran from the halfway line to the edge of the penalty area where he laid the ball off for Robinho to fire home on 59 minutes.

Chile refused to give up and substitute Jorge Valdivia fired over the crossbar on 67 minutes before teammate Ismael Fuentes was booked for a foul on Luis Fabiano moments later.

Ramires will miss the quarter-final with the Dutch after earning his second yellow card of the tournament for a foul on Alexis Sanchez on 71 minutes.

Suazo forced Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar into a rare save on 75 minutes, just before Robinho had a second goal ruled out for offside.

With ten minutes left, Chile substitute Rodrigo Millar picked up a yellow card and Kaka earned a vuvuzela-fuelled fanfare of appreciation from Brazil's fans when he went off.

Brazil waltz into last 8

Theatre troupe Natyadhara conferred Srijonshil Natyatarun Tanushri Podok 2010 on promising theatre

activist Samina Lutfa Nitra at a programme held at Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala

Academy on June 27.

Renowned educationist Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed was the chief guest at the programme.

Writer and one of the trustees of Liberation War Museum, Mofidul Haque, delivered the Tanushri

memorial speech. Theatre director Shamsul Alam Bakul also spoke at the event. Chief secretary of

Natyadhara Masud Parvez Mizu presided over the session. Alok Basu, convenor of Srijonshil Natyatarun

Tanushri Podok 2010, was also present.


A number of references and quotes were aesthetically incorporated in Mofidul Haque's memorial speech,

entitled 'Theatre and Politics.' Elaborating western theatrical perspectives and linking those with the c

omplex socio-economic and political reality, Haque talked about the emergence of theatre movement in

the subcontinent, especially Bengal.


Cultural and theatre activist Tanushri Gain was an emerging talent. Fellow members of Natyadhara have k

ept alive Tanushri's ideals through conferring the award. Saidur Rahman Lipon, Nasirul Haq Khokon,

Ashish Khandaker, Traupa Majumdar, Aminur Rahman Mukul, Kamal Uddin Kabir, Dilip Chakraborti,

Jaglul Alam and Rahul Anand have so far received this award.


Samina Lutfa Nitra is an Assistant Professor of the Sociology Department of Dhaka University and is

working on her PhD From University of Oxford. She started her career in theatre through Shubachon

Natya Shangshad. Later, she became one of the founding members of theatre troupe Bottola.

“Rashtra Bonam,” “Khandani Kissa,” “Tirthankor,” “Rupoboti,” “Khudhito Pashan,” “Khona” and

“Dhamail” are some of the plays that she has performed in.


Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed handed an uttario and a crest to Nitra.


Later, artistes of Natyadhara staged their 16th production “Kando Nadi Kando.” Manjurul Hasan Dulal adapted the play from a Syed Waliullah novel. Masud Parvez Mizu directed the play.

Srijonshil Natyatarun Tanushri Podok 2010 conferred

With social networking sites springing up like mushrooms nowadays, it becomes quite difficult to

fight the temptation of joining these online communities. With such an assortment served up, it's

hard to decide whether it's going to be orkut, hi-5, twitter, facebook or any other.


Like it or hate it, social networking sites have become a craze now and have transformed the

meaning of the word 'community'. Keeping oneself separate from the rest of the world has become

almost impossible, and quite frankly, meaningless. With such a handy tool to stay in touch with

friends, acquaintances and relatives, why miss out on the opportunity?


In spite of all the good things, many are cynical of these websites due to security issues. Numerous

parents are very much concerned about their children joining such networks. Reaction of parents

of teenagers, especially are quite mixed. On one hand, they are aware of the need for their kids to

interact, but are concerned about how safe their kids will be in this open community, where they c

an befriend anyone they want from anywhere in the world. Many parents find the fact that you can

type someone's name into the search box and it will find them, kind of creepy. Moreover, ID

fraudsters target these social networking sites to harvest information about people.


Here's how we recommend you set your Facebook privacy options to protect against online identity theft.


So how does one ensure that their children and their family stay safe, and at the same time enjoy being part of these social networks? How does one set their Facebook privacy options so as to stay protected against online identity theft? The key is to keep settings as private and limited as possible.


But first and foremost, use good judgment in planning who you will add. Your profile is like a whole book about you. It has all kinds of information about you, your interests, places you go to, your photographs etc. Adding someone on Facebook is like inviting him to come into your house and letting him see your world. Just adding anyone who has sent you a friend request will mean letting him enter your house. You wouldn't want any stranger in would you? You can however also remove friends at any time should you change your mind about someone.


At the very bottom of every page on Facebook, there's a link that reads "Privacy." The linked page "A guide to privacy on Facebook," contains the latest privacy functions and policies. For example, with the latest changes, Facebook has reduced the amount of basic information that must be visible to everyone. Now they are giving the user the ability to control who can see his friends and pages. These fields will no longer have to be public. When in doubt, use the "Preview my profile" button on any privacy settings page to check how your information appears to others.


Keep your friend's list organised in categories, such as 'Friends', 'Colleagues', 'Family', etc. This will make it easier to put control settings and categorise who can see what and how much.


You can choose to make people 'limited friends' who only have access to a cut-down version of your profile if you wish. This can be useful if you have associates who you do not wish to give full friend status to, or feel uncomfortable sharing personal information with.


Think about how you want to use Facebook. If it's only to keep in touch with people and be able to contact them. It makes a lot of sense to disable an option until you have decided you do want and need it, rather than start with everything accessible.


You can even control who can find you on Facebook via search. If you do not want any known or unknown person to find you by searching your name, you can set this option through “Search discovery” option under “Privacy”.


Last but not the least, how do you protect children from groups that are a bad influence? The government of Bangladesh had to recently block access to Facebook temporarily after the arrest of a youth in connection with uploading objectionable images of some politicians including the prime minister and the leader of the opposition. Local media quoted the state-run Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC) saying that the posting of some anti-religious and objectionable links by users across the globe are among the reasons for restricting the access.


To report any group that you find proliferating offensive messages, pictures or any other content, simply click on the link “Report this group”, which will be at that bottom of every profile page and picture viewed. This will allow Facebook authorities to be informed and take necessary action against the group or person.


All said and done, if you choose not to take any precautions, then you'll only have yourself to blame when an errant wall post or unpleasant photo makes its way online and straight into your mother's News Feed, or worse, your boss's. These days, it's better to be safe than sorry, so go ahead and delve into those settings!

Staying safe on Facebook

brazil face x


if a grooved World Cup ball can upset some of the game's best players, how would they react to

 a ball packed with cameras, lights and a GPS chip?

A team of Mexico City-based designers are trying to revolutionize soccer with a ball

that could beam out TV replays and light up in bright colours when it crosses the goal

line to clear up any refereeing gaffes, like the one that cost England a goal on Sunday

in its 4-1 World Cup loss to Germany.

"What we wanted to do with this ball is demonstrate how a product that historically

has not changed can be innovated and taken in a completely new, completely different direction,

" said Alberto Villarreal, a industrial designer who is leading the project in a country where

soccer is a national obsession.

This year's World Cup ball, the Jabulani, has been criticised for seemingly weightless shots sailing

over crossbars, wobbly trajectory and goalkeeper blunders.

Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar has likened the Jabulani to a cheap supermarket ball and

Argentina star Lionel Messi has said playing with the ball was "very complicated."


The seamless, groove-covered Jabulani, whose name means "to celebrate" in Zulu, was billed as

the most accurate ball yet when it was unveiled by the game's governing body FIFA.

"Innovations in balls in recent years have been superficial, nothing more," said Villarreal, 33,

from the project's studio office in Mexico City. "But how a ball can influence different game conditions hasn't been considered."

At their office, a team of five young designers pore over screens working out the hitches of jamming cameras, a power source, chips and sensors into a 450-gram (1-pound) ball.

Challenges facing the project include creating software to stabilise images captured from multiple cameras in a rapidly spinning ball.

Designers have yet to decide on a synthetic outer material that will behave like a traditional ball but protect its delicate interior from heavy kicks and impacts from posts and crossbars. The ball will not be inflated.

Villarreal has kept the research and development costs under wraps and plans to be able to sell the design to a major ball maker in two years.

But getting a blessing from FIFA will be difficult even if the ball eventually behaves like a traditional ball.

"FIFA has always been a bit opposed to the entrance of technology in football while it's happening in other sports," said Villarreal.

Mexico City-based ball maker Voit, whose balls are used in professional Mexican soccer, is optimistic it will become a viable product and could be interested in manufacturing it.

"For this ball to be approved by FIFA it must meet certain characteristics," said Carla Colombo, Voit's marketing director.

"Maybe it won't pass the tests but it could perfectly be part of a national or international line of balls."

High-tech ball the solution!