May the affliction by coronavirus come to an end!
I am feeling deeply sad and upset by the outbreak of Coronavirus in China's Wuham city in which till now at least 490 people have died and the number of confirmed cases of infection rose to 24,324 up from 425 deaths and 20,438 confirmed cases. It is very contagious and people have to take utmost precautions to remain safe.
A number of cases from other countries have also been reported, we hope and pray that the rage of the deadly disease will subside and China and other countries will be able to heave a sigh of relief. May the Almighty save the mankind from this horrible disease!
Why not Bangladeshis
change food habit?
We people in Bangladesh follow a food habit that is not suitable for human health. We take carbohydrate, vitamins and rice-wheat-potato and vegetables-made foods, which supply us 70% to 80% calories. We also take protein (fish, egg, meat and pulses made foods) which supply us 10% to 20% calories and take edible oils and fats, which supply us 5% to 15% calories.
But human health needs 30% calories from carbohydrates, 30% calories from protein and 40% calories from edible oil and good fats.
To convert to healthy food habit we need to inform our people which foods we need and how much. At the same time we need to change the proportions of needed foods during preparations. That means, we have to reduce growing dependency on rice, potato, wheat and corn. We have to increasingly take fishes, beef, mutton, chicken and pulses etc.
We also need to increase production of palm oil, coconut oil, mastered oil, import olive oil, and produce butter oil and butter. A revolution in food production is necessary to change the scenario. Without increasing productions of fruits, protein, edible oil and fats, it will not be affordable to mass people and we cannot be able to change food habit that is suitable for human health.
Japani scientist says human body is suitable to live 120 years. But our life expectancy is 72 years. Should we not change our food habit?
Md Ashraf Hossain
120, Central Bashabo
Significance of anti-CAA resolution passed in West Bengal State Assembly
As promised by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, State Assembly passed and adopted resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on January 27, 2020. Opposition Congress, Left Members supported the government and voted for the resolution. It was opposed by a BJP legislator, but his voice got drowned in anti-Center slogans by the ruling party members.
Asking the Center to withdraw CAA in the Assembly she said this law is unconstitutional and against humanity. She demanded withdrawal of National Population Register (NPR). She re- emphasized Bengal will not allow to execute CAA, NRC, and NPR. People are panic-stricken. She alerted the citizens not to fall in the BJP trap. The way things are going on, it is felt now it would have been better not to born, report said. In instant reaction, elderly people in Dhaka said we had similar feelings; it is the feeling of Bengali speaking area in this region.
Bangladesh born diaspora surely has similar sentiments it is felt. It is reported European Union Parliament has taken strong stand to pass a resolution on CAA, which has been sharply criticized by Government of Narendra Modi. Indian Government demands it is the internal affair of India. Meanwhile, India started to explain their position to the world.
Alongside sit in stage program continuing in Kolkata, Sonia Gandhi expressed her disgust in this regard against BJP in current Budget session of Parliament, and unrest in north eastern states despite steps to cool them by BJP. It is reported BJP Central Government in Delhi has signed a new Bodo peace accord on January 28, which has raised a question, will it survive in Assam, although Home Minister Amit Shah confident about its success.
Concerned stake holders say challenges to peace remain. The movement for a separate Bodo state to be carved out of Assam began in 1967-68, which is a post partition 1947 problem. The first two accords signed in 1993 and 2003 failed to end militancy of Bodo outfits. The main bone of contention between Bodos and non-Bodos in the area is the competition for land and has the potential to spark ethnic tension afresh. Delhi is trying to rope in anti-talks faction of United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) headed by its fugitive supremo Paresh Barua. But, it would not be able to stem the movement against CAA or get more votes in assembly polls due next year in Assam by BJP.
So it appears the movement is gaining momentum nationally which has drawn the attention of international community. The lead taken by West Bengal Chief Minister Trinamul Chief Mamata Banerjee supported by National Congress Sonia and other national parties is noteworthy.
Muhammad Quamrul Islam
Economist, advocate and columnist
Lines of discord
India occasionally whips up issues like the Durand Line and the McMahon Line or asks its proxies to do so. Instead what it needs to do is focus on the overarching issue: Kashmir.
The British and later the Americans didn't care a fig for Afghanistan's Pakhtunistan stunt. Both lines date back to the nineteenth century. The British imposed the 2,640-kilometre border line on the Amir of Afghanistan in 1893 in a bid to strengthen their control over the northern parts of India.
The agreement was signed between Sir Mortimer Durand, the Indian Foreign Secretary at the time, and Amir Abdur Rahman Khan in Kabul. The line is thus known as the Durand line, and runs through Pashtun territory.
According to the Durand line agreement, Afghanistan relinquished a few districts, including Swat, Chitral and Chageh, although it gained other areas, Nuristan and Asmar, for instance, which it had historically not controlled.
The agreement -- at least on paper -- for the first time demarcated where the Indo-Afghan border started and ended. Before the Durand Line agreement, both British India and Afghanistan used to make incursions into each other's domain of influence. The agreement stopped incursions and border tensions.
In the post-partition period, tensions re-emerged when Afghanistan obstructed census work in Chaman and Quetta, or when the Pakistan army attempted to fence the border. An immutable fact is that Afghanistan did recognise the Durand Line as an international border. Abdur Rahman Khan's successor, Amir Habibullah Khan, in 1905 signed a new agreement with Britain confirming the legality of the Durand Line.
More importantly, Article 5 of the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919, on the basis of which Afghanistan reclaimed its independence, says that Afghanistan accepted all previously agreed border arrangements with British India. Unlike the previous two agreements, the Anglo-Afghan Treaty was not imposed by Britain. Afghanistan as an independent state agreed to recognise the Durand Line as an international border.
Another artificial casus belli is the McMahon Line. China's position regarding the McMahon Line is tenable under international law. As for India, it maintains an equivocal position. The Indians say one thing in Beijing one day and quite the opposite the next day in Delhi.
Afghanistan is in a state of flux. Pakistan, India and China are nuclear armed. It is in the interest of neighbours not to revive dormant issues.
About Dhaka City Corporation Elections
The second election of the two city corporations of Dhaka has been completed and the ruling Awami League has won a large number of councillors' seats and two mayors as usual. In all, the BNP has won all the seats in the councillors, except the Jatiya Party 1, the Islamic Movement 1 and the rebel candidates of the same party.
Although the elections were held fairly peacefully, voter turnout was disappointing. According to the Election Commission, 20 percent of voters in South City and 25 points in the North voted in the polls. Mayor Atiqul Islam has been re-elected as mayor in Saturday's election. South Dhaka has appointed Barrister Fazle Noor Tapas as the new mayor.
The opposition party rejected the results of the two city elections and called for a strike on Sunday. However, the movement of vehicles was normal during the strike. It is clear that they have failed in the rejection program, such as the vote.
Dhaka is one of the top local mega cities in the world at the moment. Facing environmental pollution and traffic problems, two city corporations of this metropolis who have been elected mayor and councilor face the difficult challenge of making Dhaka as a humanitarian city.
Their reputation will depend on tackling this challenge. Since the Awami League candidates have almost won the post of mayor and councillor in the two city corporations in the elections, the city corporations as well as the government party have to play a responsible role in solving the existing problems of Dhaka.
The mayor and councillors in Dhaka's development have to play a role as watch dogs to ensure that the elections can work as promised. It is also important to keep an eye on the development work to be free of corruption. We congratulate those who have been elected mayors and councillors in the city elections. We wish you the best of luck in their efforts to build a liveable Dhaka city.
Opener of planet-based restaurant no more
Bindu Patel, the award-winning chef-owner of Sanctua vegan restaurant in Leicester died on January 24 in the age of 37. Since opening her planet-based restaurant in April last year, she won four prestigious awards. She had recently been named a 'Vegan Pioneer' by Olive Magazine, because of her "low-waste, sustainable" approach to vegan cuisine with her fortnightly changing set menus. Head Judge Laura Rowe said; "We really couldn't believe Bindu's dishes didn't contain ghee and meaty stocks.
In November Sanctua won two accolades: being named Asian Restaurant of the Year in the Great Food Club Awards in Leicester and Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurant at the Asian Curry Awards in London. In June last summer, Sanctua won Vegan Restaurant of the Year at the Asian Restaurant Awards in Manchester. Bindu fulfilled her long held dream by opening Sanctua, in the Oadby district of Leicester, which offered a completely plant-based eclectic menu, employing mostly fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, including the use of 'wonky' vegetables.
"Bindu was a talented, intelligent woman - who personified the key messages the ACF wanted to communicate with its members - to move away from cheap curry house cooking; offer authentic, regional healthy dishes and employ more women in the kitchen," said Shaw. "She will be greatly missed."
10 Knowle Cottages,Wadhurst Road
Frant, East Sussex TN3 9EJ