Category Archives: News

ATN Bangla in trouble for airing “political advert”

In April 2012 I made complaints to Ofcom about several political advertisements on Bengali TV channels broadcasting in the UK. Some of these are still under investigation.

One of the them was about an advert by the youth arm of the Bangladesh Awami League UK. I uploaded the advert on YouTube. As political advertisement is not allowed, Ofcom investigation found ATN Bangla in breach of UK broadcasting rules. Full Ofcom report can be read here.

ATN’s response to Ofcom was amateur to say the least. It refers to irrelevant no broadcast advertising rules! ATN also denied that youth arm of the Bangladesh Awami League is NOT political! ATN also denied that the three people who were named on the advert as those who placed the ad and as point of contact were not part of this youth arm.

Bangladesh is at its knees because of internal political fighting and the constant calls of national strikes by political parties. It deeply saddens me to see these parties have such influence in the the UK. It can be said without doubt that a large number of UK Bangladeshis, especially the older generation live in their own ‘bubble’, secluded from the realities of the real problems we face in the UK. It’s the small number of progressive UK Bengalis, especially of the younger generations who endure these problems. Politics of ‘back-home’ is a real hindrance to our progress in the UK.

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Songs of Liberation

An extract from Daily Star article.

Bangladesh’s struggle for emancipation from the clutches of alien domination has a long and chequered history behind. The bud of Bangladeshi independence, whose fragrance was effectively perceived for the first time through the glorious Language Movement in 1952, sprouted in all its splendour into a full bloom through the War of Independence in 1971. It was a song – Amar Bhaier Raktey Rangano Ekushey February – with a haunting melody from a genius like Altaf Mahmood – which had always been a very important factor in keeping up the tempo of our long and gruelling struggle at right pitch. But it will be absolutely unjustified if we prepare any list of songs and melodies that helped to boost up the morale of the freedom-hungry Bangladeshis without first paying tributes to the memory of the two great maestros, Tagore and Nazrul, whose songs have become almost synonymous with the culture and tradition of Bangladesh.

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Asian radio station fined £4k over homophobic statements

Here is a report by a tech website: A local radio station that serves the South Asian communities in Leeds has been fined £4,000 for allowing one of its presenters to incite hatred against homosexuals live on-air.

Media regulator Ofcom said that the comments made on the Radio Asian Fever community station were “likely to encourage or to incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder”. 

This relates to two episodes of the programme Sister Ruby Ramadan Special 2011, aired in August last year, and broadcast in Urdu. 

Presenter Rubina Nasir, also known as Sister Ruby, opened the programme with a Qur’anic verse (Sura Al-Nisa, verse 16) and gave her interpretation of this as being highly critical of mixed-faith marriages, but also homosexuality. 

The presenter went on to discuss various historical events portrayed in the Qur’an in the context of her main discussion of homosexuality.
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Zionist Cameramen at Edinburgh Batsheva Protest

Shortly after the Edinburgh Batsheva Protest in August 2012, videos appeared on YouTube trying to discredit the protesters with false allegations. The videos are purported to have been taken by Harvey the Zionist undercover cameraman, then passed to his Zionist friend Richard Millett to upload with false allegations.

Richard Millett makes various false allegations against the protest at his blog. The blog is full of the usual drivels that comes out of nutty Zionists. It’s also filled with hate comments from his goon friends.

They refer to Palestine as “Fakistine“. Racist bigots such as these then play the victim. Harvey went undercover but was exposed by a protester. The protester rightly pointed out Hervey’s ill intent with the videos. Harvey then goes home and cried to his friend Richard Millet saying he was insulted!

He stood on the side of the police like a pussy cat. Later he blogged from the confines of his keyboard like a tiger. This is the style of a true coward. There were few other cameramen taking photos in cowardly manner, see photos below.

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Hear the Rohingyas cries

When a Bengali speak about the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, you will often hear statements like “the world watched while a genocide was unleashed on us killing millions”. Well, now is the Rohingya’s genocide and the world watches again. Worst still, Bangladesh is watching too, as if they cannot remember their own suffering when staring into the eyes of crying Rohingyas. How sad is this world?

The Rohingyas are the most persecuted minority according the the UN. They have lived in Rakhine state of Myanmar for centuries. They are as Burmese as Aung San Suu Kyi, yet Burma’s majority Buddhists have unleashed a wave of violence and Aung San Suu Kyi stays silent. How sad is this world?

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Tower Hamlets Labour Group expels five councillors

An example of the never ending in-fightings, conspiracies and division amongst Bengali politicians in Tower Hamlet. Politics – a dirty business for dirty individuals!
From East London Advertiser

Five councillors have been expelled from the Tower Hamlets Labour Group, following claims they campaigned against the party during April’s Spitalfields by-election.

The councillors, Kabir Ahmed, Rofique Ahmed, Shahed Ali, Abdul Asad and Shafiqul Haque, were all found to be in breach of Labour party guidelines, which prohibit members from campaigning against the party or actively supporting opposition politicians or groups.

The Labour Group also reprimanded the councillors for their continued membership of Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s cabinet.

Group leader, councillor Joshua Peck, said: “The five expelled councillors have consistently voted and campaigned against the Labour Party. Whilst it is sad that it has had to come to this, these five councillors made their choice and now have to deal with the consequences.

“I hope that this decision will draw a line under the problems of the past and allow us to focus on the important job of holding the independent Mayor to account and battling the Coalition’s cuts regime.

Channel S in trouble for advocating Lutfur Rahman’s politics

Channel S is in trouble again for breaching Ofcom rules. It is reported in Broadcast Bulletin 208 that a complainant alerted Ofcom to a news report of Channel S News, which the complainant described as a “political press conference, broadcast as a “news” item without any attempt to give an alternative view”.

Channel S stated its view that the complaint in this case originated from “a group of people raising anything and everything that could cause Channel S inconvenience and make our life difficult in relation to the Mayor and Tower Hamlets Council”.

This amateur response shows the the lack of understanding of the people running the channel. And what’s this special love for the Mayor? In Ofcom’s view complaint from viewers are useful but it only proceeds to a full investigation of broadcast content after carefully assessing programme content as broadcast against the provisions of the Code, and deciding that the content does in fact raise potential issues under the Code. Therefore, whatever the alleged provenance of a particular complaint, broadcasters must comply with the Code.

Ofcom concluded:

We noted that the news report in question showed Lutfur Rahman, the independent mayor for the Tower Hamlets Borough Council, at a press conference announcing his proposed 2012/13 budget for Tower Hamlets Borough Council. In Ofcom‟s opinion because Lutfur Rahman was elected to his post, and exercises certain important executive financial powers in that post (including setting the Tower Hamlets budget), a press conference called to announce and promote his budget could reasonably be regarded as a press conference dealing with policy matters that were politically controversial. In presenting a news item on a press conference dealing with such a matter, a broadcaster must present that news with due impartiality.

Lutfur Rahman is a very controversial figure. He was featured in Channel 4 Dispatches documentary “Britain’s Islamic Republic” and thrown out of the Labour Party. Anyone interested in Muslim/Bengali issues must watch this enlightening documentary. Is it a coincidence that the above Ofcom bulletin links to a Labour Party article “Mayor Rahman’s Rotten Borough“? Surely a rotten borough run by a rotten man!

Channel S does not seem to realise the seriousness of these breaches. Outside Bangladesh, Tower Hamlet council in the East End of London has the highest number of Bangladeshis. There are political infighting amongst Bengalis, many of them see politics as a way of landing a lucrative job, when their compatriots are doing menial jobs. Also the big political parties, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Awami League has a massive grip over the Bengalis in UK, like a debilitating cancer that hinders progress.

Channel S is facilitating the ills of dirty politics amongst British Bangladeshis.

Ofcom says “We are concerned that the breach in this case comes after three previous contraventions of the Code rules covering due impartiality and elections recorded against Channel S…. We therefore put the Licensee on notice that further breaches of the Code of a similar or related nature will be considered for statutory sanction.

Statutory sanction often means a financial penalty. Lets hope it will be a big one! That is the only way to teach these village idiots a lesson. It will not be too long before they breach the same impartiality rules again.

Lutfur Rahman’s TV propaganda channel

An article by Andrew Gilligan, the Telegraph’s London Editor, published in October 2010.

Lutfur Rahman, the fundamentalist sympathiser standing for mayor of Tower Hamlets, hasn’t always done terribly well on television. This encounter with me on Channel 4 was, frankly, a bit of a car crash.

Luckily, in his latest electoral struggle, Lutfur has what amounts to his own personal TV station. Channel S, one of the main British Bangla-language digital channels, flickers away in the corners of many Tower Hamlets living rooms. The channel was founded (and is still closely influenced by) a convicted fraudster and hosts regular appeals for the hardline East London Mosque – home to Lutfur’s biggest backers, the Muslim supremacists of the Islamic Forum of Europe. Another of Lutfur’s main backers is closely involved with the channel.

Channel S has form as long as your arm for blatant and repeated breaches of virtually every part of the broadcasting code on fairness, advertising, accuracy and political impartiality. In December 2008, the regulator, Ofcom, fined it £40,000 for broadcasting a party-political advert for the Liberal Democrats during that year’s mayoral election (one of its presenters, Ajmol Masroor, was the Liberal Democrat candidate for Bethnal Green and Bow at this year’s general election.)

In 2008 Ofcom also censured them for three further breaches: for airing sponsored news bulletins, for running more than the permitted amount of advertising, and for plugging the products of a show’s sponsor during the show, which is banned.

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Not My Business by Niyi Osundare

Not My Business by Niyi Osundare.

Wikipedia: In Not My Business, the people around the voice of the poem are unjustly taken in Nigeria, but the voice says that it is not his business if he is not taken. Eventually, he is taken but there is no-one left to save him.

Osundare used his poem and others to object to the dictatorship that ruled his country under General Sani Abacha from 1993 to 1998. During Abacha’s rule, writing poetry was considered a dangerous activity. Osundare regularly wrote poems for a Nigerian national newspaper which commented on the lives of people in that country. As a result, he was frequently called to account by security agents and quizzed about what his poems meant and to whom they referred. Osundare himself says, “with the kind of poetry I write, I can never be the dictator’s friend. So I get a knock on the door at two in the morning a couple of times.”

The poet criticises people who allow injustices to go on as long as it does not directly affect them. He suggests that if no one stands up against military dictatorship, cruelty, poverty and injustice, it will, eventually, affect their lives.

They picked Akanni up one morning
Beat him soft like clay
And stuffed him down the belly
Of a waiting jeep.
What business of mine is it
So long they don’t take the yam
From my savouring mouth?

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ATN Bangla Chairman prejudiced

Another part of  the never ending saga of Bengali media in the UK.

From Bangla Mirror

Bangla Mirror Desk:: The Chairman of ATN Bangla TV Dr. Mahfuzur Rahman made prejudiced remark against the people of Sylhet and uncalled-for comment on murdered journalists Sagar and Runi. His remarks created commotion in Bangladeshis living in Britain as well as in Bangladesh.

ATN Bangla in the UK called a press conference on 30 May to inform viewers and listeners about the future plan of the TV.

The ATN Bangla will telecast news at 10pm solely prepared by news department in London with all information of the community and country and the people living in here. Same news will be recast for the convenient of late night viewers at 1am at mid-night.

The ATN Bangla will arrange other programmes according to viewer’s demand. The press conference of the TV was arranged to convey those messages through other media to the viewers. The Chairman of ATN Bangla out- tracked and gave wrong message to print and electronic media here in London.

Commotion built up and spread like wildfire in here and in Bangladesh and he issued a statement to clarify his position.

The statement of ATN Chairman Dr. Mahfuzur Rahman said that some media did not produce his message exactly as he delivered in the press conference. He did not mean to derogate Sylheti community or the language. He wanted to spread culture and heritage of the people of Sylhet through ATN all over the world, it was his dream. Some are out to damage reputation by altering meaning of his message the statement said.