Saturday, April 30, 2011

To Prince William and Princess Kate: You've the Potential for Bringing Positive Change in the World

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Post-wedding ecstasy of
Prince William and Princess Kate (Catherine)
Cartoon (Toronto: April, 2011) © Ujjal Peter D'Costa

About a billion people worldwide witnessed the engrossing wedding ceremony of yours with rapturous attention. Most of these people, irrespective of religion and ethnic backgrounds, had a sincere goodwill towards both of you.

You have so much potential and influence that you can certainly leave a positive mark in this world, especially among the youths.

Our Expectations of You

As long-distance observers, we wish to express our humble expectations of you. These are:

  • Uphold the standard of the British monarchy: Both by words and deeds please maintain the spirit of honour to the monarchy which has been bashed time and again in the past by some members of the royal family.
  • Keep up the standard of the Anglican Church: The head of the Anglican Church is the reigning monarch. Any member of the royal family, behaving pettily and immaturely, brings dishonor to the reigning monarch as well as to the Anglican Church whose head that monarch is.
  • Uphold the sanctity of the marriage: The marriage is not only a life of vows, but, according to the Anglican Church teaching, also a kind of sacrament – that is, the married life can sanctify the two persons involved. Many members of the royal family demeaned this marriage by resorting to petty and silly marital infidelities, separations and divorces.
  • Be good examples to the world youths: As you are young, of influential royal family, and well-liked by millions of youth, you can be of immeasurable positive influence to these youths by both words and deeds.
Please go forward, our blessings are with you!
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The Photo Meditation of the Month (April, 2011): BIRDS

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Pigeons in the College Park, Toronto
Photo (Toronto: 2010) © Jerome D'Costa

There's a saying, "Birds of a feather flock together." That means the same type of birds stay and do everything together.

The above photo shows how pigeons are jostling for food given by a bystander in the College Park, Toronto. Some visitors in the park throw food items at birds and squirrels.

They are a beauty to observe -- how birds interact with each other, how they feed baby birds, and how they fly together. Their unity, their sociability and their innocence have something to teach us humans, who, even being of the same ethnic group, have difficulty in interacting with each other and living peacefully.



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Friday, April 29, 2011

Prince William and Princess Kate Marry in Pomp and Pagentry

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Princess Kate (Catherine) and Prince William
Graphics (Toronto: April, 2011) © Joachim Romeo D'Costa

Prince William and Princess Kate (Catherine) joined together in holy matrimony today at the historic Westminster Abbey of London among pomp and pageantry. It was a beautiful and grand wedding of a handsome couple who are expected to leave a positive mark in the annals of royalty in Britain.

Nineteen hundred invited guests participated in the Abbey's wedding ceremony and another million spectators from Britain and other countries milled near and around both the abbey and the Buckingham Palace to witness the once-in-a-life-time event. More than a billion people all around the world watched the ceremony on their televisions.

Finally the public display of the royal ceremony came to a close with the double-kiss of the newly-wed William -- the newly-declared Duke of Cambridge and Kate -- the Duchess of Cambridge.

Our congratulations to the newly-wed couple!

For more news, photos and videos, you may visit the following sites:

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Poem of the Month (April, 2011): THE CANADIAN ELECTION FEVER

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The Canadian Election Fever

Canada is gripped with the election fever now,
Every candidate is debating each other, hurling mud at one another,
Yet promising largess -- big, bigger, biggest -- to the voters,
Without thinking how to deliver it, as if they possess the Aladdin's lamp!

Stephen Harper heads the Conservative Party of Canada,
Michael Ignatieff the Liberal Party of Canada,
Jack Layton the New Democratic Party,
Gilles Duceppe the Bloc Quebecois, and
Elizabeth May the Green Party of Canada.

The election fever got some engaged in the attack mode
In verbum and in guerrilla war of "attack ads,"
Without respecting each other or honouring ethics or morality
The goal is to knock out the opponent.

Now it's up to the thinking and mature-minded electorates
To sort out the chaff from the kernel,
And to wade through the gooey bog
For reaching the destination that's safe for the whole of Canada. Bookmark and Share

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Quotation of the Week (April 24 - 30, 2011)

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Specks of light
Photo (Montreal: Oct. 31, 2010) © Jerome D'Costa


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Happy Easter to You All

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An icon of the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Icon courtesy: www.iconkuznetsov.com/


Today is the Easter, the most important feast day of Christianity. We observe the resurrection (rising from death) of Jesus with joy and solemnity. The Easter is the symbol of new birth, new life in Jesus who brought us salvation from sins through his suffering, death and resurrection.

On this auspicious occasion, we wish our readers a Happy Easter!


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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh Must Be Respected

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Girls of Bawm ethnic group at Ruma, Bandarban District
Photo (Ruma: January, 1987) © Jerome D'Costa

If Bangladesh is a people's republic and if Bangladesh is a democratic country, where all its citizens irrespective of their religious, ethnic and financial status are to be treated equally, the government of Bangladesh must ensure those rights now and in future.

People's republic, democracy and citizens' equality come by constant action and not by parroting those words only. It is now 40 years that Bangladesh became independent from autocratic rule, but it failed on the promises it made at the time of independence. There are ample proofs that the indigenous peoples, who have been neglected for decades, are still fighting for their rights, especially regarding possession of their lands all over Bangladesh.

Past Situation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts Region

For centuries, the Chittagong Hill Tracts region had their own rajas (kings) to rule over themselves. From 1724, the Moghals started to control this region forcibly. In 1760, the Britishers got possession of this region after they defeated the Moghals. The Britishers, in 1900, promulgated the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regulation (CHTR), whereby they divided the region into three revenue circles to be headed by Chakma, Mong and Bohmong rajahs. Under this regulation, the Chittagong Hill Tracts region was declared "excluded area' where indigenous peoples could rule themselves and pay taxes to the British government without interference of or encroachment from non-indigenous peoples like Bengalees.

After the Britishers were gone on the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, the Pakistan government began to allow, although in small numbers, settlement and work of the Bengalees in those areas.

The Situation in Independent Bangladesh

After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regulation gradually began to vanish in the thin air. As a result, from 1975 onwards, the indigenous peoples, especially the Chakmas, began their resistance movement against the increasing encroachment of the Bengalees in their lands and they also started to demand independence. Consequently, frequent clashes, in many cases, violent armed attacks, came to the fore with the Bengalees and Bangladesh Army on one side and the indigenous fighting groups on the other. Thousands of people on both sides got killed, many houses burnt down, and millions of dollars worth of properties destroyed.

In 1997, the Government of Bangladesh signed the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord (CHTPA) with the indigenous peoples. The continuing armed fighting stopped but sporadic violence is still there from both sides. The human rights situation of these peoples did not improve.

Recently, The 3rd world view blog, in its "Bangladesh: Netizens Protest Human Rights Abuse in the Hills" post, mentions what bloggers and social network sites said in protest to the human rights violations in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region.





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Friday, April 22, 2011

Today Is the Good Friday

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Jesus Christ on the cross
Doodle (Dhaka: May 22, 1994) © Jerome D'Costa


The veneration of the cross on Good Friday
at St. Lawrence the Martyr Church, Toronto

Photo (Toronto: April 22, 2011) © Jerome D'Costa

The Good Friday marks the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity. Christians believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross on the Good Friday, was buried and then resurrected from his death on the Easter Sunday.

This is the most important event in the religion of Christianity. Christians strongly believe that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, became man and died on the cross atoning the sins of mankind so that mankind may gain salvation from their sins.

As his followers, Christians take the sufferings and pains of this world in stride and try to bear them like Christ, whose passion and death have a special meaning and symbol of strength.

If there were no death (Good Friday) and resurrection (Easter) of Christ, Christianity would be meaningless.

Some of his followers take the suffering and death of Jesus so seriously that they want to follow him by being crucified in flesh and blood. Although it may look silly, some Catholics in the Philippines, during this time of the year, get themselves nailed to the cross to expiate publicly for their sins.



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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

PhotoSpeak

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Two Dhaka city cats at leisure
Photo (Dhaka: July , 1985) © Ujjal Peter D'Costa


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Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Quotation of the Week (April 17 - 23, 2011)

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A wall in Toronto
Photo (Toronto: December 31, 2011) © Jerome D'Costa

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bangla (Bengali) Calligraphy: CADRE


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The word 'cadre' written in Bangla (Bengali)
Calligraphy (Dhaka: November 22, 1994) © Jerome D'Costa
 
The word 'cadre' in French means a group of trained personnel who form the nucleus of an organization or a party. This word may have a good or bad connotation depending on what those persons do in relation to other people.

This word was common among college and university students who were involved in student politics in Bangladesh. Student parties were affiliated with country's political parties that used these students for their own ends. As a result, student cadres felt themselves quite powerful and, in many instances, resorted to deadly violence against members of their rival parties. I do not know the present situation, but when I drew this calligraphy, the word 'cadre' conjured up fear among common students.



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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Happy Bangla New Year to You All!

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Shuvo Noboborsho (happy new year) -- a greeting in Bangla (Bengali)
Graphics (Toronto: April 13, 2011) © Joachim Romeo D'Costa

Today is the Bangla (Bengali) new year which is observed by the Bengalees in Bangladesh and West Bengal of India. Many agricultural, social and commercial activities and events follow this calendar.

The Bangla new year has an interesting history and a long tradition among the Bengalees.

Happy Bangla New Year to you all!


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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Doodle: A Young Man


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A young man
Doodle (Dhaka: January 20, 1994) © Jerome D'Costa

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Quotation of the Week (April 10 - 16, 2011)

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Snowfall and an iron fence
Photo (Toronto: January 24, 2011) © Jerome D'Costa

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chinese Scientists to Produce Human Breast Milk in Cows

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In future, we may get human breast milk
from genetically altered cows

Graphics (Toronto: April 7, 2011) © Joachim Romeo D'Costa

Chinese scientists, who genetically modified cows to produce milk with the same properties as human breast milk, expect to have this product mass produced and available in supermarkets within a decade, reports The Daily Telegraph of London.

These scientists, with the support of a major biotechnology company, successfully introduced human genes into 200 cows that will provide an alternative to human breast milk and formula milk to babies.

Cloning technology was used to insert human genes into the DNA of dairy cows before the genetically modified embryos were implanted into surrogate cows.

The Daily Telegraph report also says Professor Ning Li, the head scientist, said their work had shown it was possible to "humanize" cows' milk. He said a herd of 200 cows "were able to produce human-like milk."

If this experiment proves successful and conducive to human health, it will revolutionize milk production for babies.



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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bishop Moses Costa, CSC of Dinajpur Appointed Bishop of Chittagong

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Bishop Moses Costa, CSC on a visit
to the Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Photo (Niagara Falls: July 22, 2002) © Jerome D'Costa


According to the Vatican Information Service (VIS), Pope Benedict XVI on April 6 has appointed Bishop Moses Costa, CSC, of Dinajpur as the new bishop of Chittagong, Bangladesh. He is filling up the position of Bishop Patrick D'Rozario, CSC, who, a few months ago, had been appointed the archbishop of Dhaka.

Until now, Bishop Moses Costa, CSC, was in-charge of the Diocese of Dinajpur, in the north-west of Bangladesh, with a Catholic population of about 42,000 among aboriginal communities of Santals, Oraons, Mahalis, Mundaris, Malos and Mal Paharis besides the Bangali (Bengalee) community. He served there for 15 years.

His newly-designated Diocese of Chittagong in the south-east of Bangladesh has a Catholic population of about 33,000 among Bangalis and aboriginal communities of Marmas, Tripuras and Bawms.




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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Doodle: "God Is Good"


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A doodle on God
Doodle (Dhaka: May 21, 1994) © Jerome D'Costa


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Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Quotation of the Week (April 3 - 9, 2011)

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A beautiful pet rabbit in the house of a Bangladeshi in Toronto, Canada
Photo (Toronto: September 4, 2010) © Jerome D'Costa



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Friday, April 1, 2011

Bangla (Bengali) Calligraphy: WORD PLAY WITH 'BAW'


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A calligraphy on the word play with the Bengali consonant of baw.
From top to bottom, the consonant baw, bok (crane),
bokri (goat), and bokbokani (prattling)

Calligraphy (Dhaka: March 10, 1995) © Jerome D'Costa



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