Friday, December 7, 2007

Protest against yellow journalism

Ekattur'er Golpo is a youth initiative in the Washington DC metro area to promote awareness about Bangladesh’s history and rich cultural heritage among the post-71 generation in the DC metro area. It is a non-political, not-for-profit endeavor that features excellent annual cultural shows for Bangladeshi expatriates in the DC metro area. They spend all their proceeds to support humanitarian causes in Bangladesh. This year’s proceeds will be donated to the Liberation War Museum and a project that ensures food security for 300 families in Bangladesh. On December 1st, they held their annual cultural show at George Mason University that attracted cheerful crowds. Recently, this pro-71 group has become victim of yellow journalism by a Bangla on line news publisher in DC area called In order to show our support to this pro-71 Ekatturer Golpo, we're republishing their Press Release excerpt from an electronic discussion group:

71-er Golpo aspires to celebrate Bangladesh 's rich history and diverse cultural heritage through creative expression. We seek to kindle the imagination of a new generation of Bangladeshis and Bangladeshi- Americans and inspire active citizenship.

The 71-er Golpo team is condemning the news article on the front page of Khabor on December 2, 2007. The article titled "71-er Golpe Rajakarder Prettatta" (The Ghosts of Anti-Liberation Forces in 71-er Golpo) is malicious, baseless and demonstrates extremely poor journalism standards .

We denounce the article on the following grounds:

  • Mr. Shibbir Ahmed, the author of this article and the Editor of Khabor, expressed discontent at being stopped short while asking a question about anti-liberation forces (rajakars) during the show and went on to state that the organizers of 71-er Golpo are in affiliation with "rajakars". Whereas in reality, the organizers indulged Mr. Shibbir Ahmed's longwinded statement during the Q&A session. Mohammad Wasiul Islam Gorki, who was channeling the questions from the audience, indicated that the session was over the time limit but allowed the speaker and moderator to address the question. One of the organizers wrapped up the discussion with a final question. Mr. Shibbir Ahmed misrepresented the situation in his news site and went on to make baseless allegations to defile the image of 71-er Golpo.

  • In the same article, Mr. Harun Chowdhury, a correspondent of Thikana, who was NOT present at the event, alleged that 71-er Golpo distorts history and the organizers are in cohorts with "rajakars". These claims were unsubstantiated and malicious. None of the organizers of 71-er Golpo were born during the liberation war and do not have any political affiliations. So the question of association with "rajakars" is a complete fabrication.

  • Mr. Shibbir Ahmed has abused his position as a journalist to launch a smear campaign to undermine 71-er Golpo and made unsubstantiated and baseless claims that the organizers are affiliated with anti-liberation forces (rajakars). It is worth noting that the 71-er Golpo team has made a consorted effort to go beyond partisan politics and present the history of the liberation war to the new generation through the personal accounts of freedom fighters. Moreover, 71-er Golpo is a youth-led voluntary endeavor. Irresponsible and fabricated comments made in the article are extremely disheartening and will prevent young people in our community from taking initiative.

Defamation is a punishable offense in the United States. We call on Mr. Shibbir Ahmed and Mr. Harun Chowdhury to corroborate their claims with evidence OR retract the article and issue a public apology to 71-er Golpo on Khabor.

We would like to add that this is our third year organizing the 71-er Golpo event. This year's event has been the most successful by far given the participation and support of BCCDI, BABA and members of the Bangladeshi and Bangladeshi- American community. We would like to reach out to the community for feedback so that we can continue to improve our event in coming years. Each year the proceeds of 71-er Golpo are used to support various worthy causes. This year's proceeds will be donated to BRAC's Cyclone Sidr relief fund, the Liberation War Museum and a SATU project that ensures food security for 300 families in Bangladesh.

To learn more about 71-er Golpo please visit our website at

71-er Golpo Team

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