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Bangladeshi Autistic Woman Becomes Special Olympics Champion



Bangladeshi Autistic Woman Becomes Special Olympics Champion

Bangladeshi Autistic Woman Becomes Special Olympics Champion

Dhaka :  It is difficult to imagine that a woman with both physical and mental disability could accomplish something that even normal people cannot hope to achieve. Indeed, what Shewli Shathi has done can be considered a miracle.

Shathi, 27, was born into a poor family in Dhaka and was unable to walk until she was 15-years old. She is also autistic. Her neighbours often taunted her. They never thought that she would be able to overcome her disabilities and become a success.

With extraordinary courage and determination, Shathi defied all the hurdles along the way. In fact, she already has won medals in national and international sports competitions, including the Special Olympics.

Shathi brought home two silver medals and a bronze in badminton in the Special Olympics World Summer Games held in 2007 in Shanghai, China.

She also gained five gold medals in bocce in the first Asia Pacific Special Olympics in Brunei in 2009 and in the 4th Asia Pacific Special Olympics also held in Brunei in 2012.

She has recently become a household name in Bangladesh after the country’s largest cell phone company highlighted her achievement on TV and billboards were erected in Dhaka’s streets.

“We believe that highlighting her achievement would actually inspire the young generation to cross all barriers in life and go beyond their ability and give honour to the nation,” said Tahmeed Azizul Huq, head of corporate communications of Grameen Phone Limited.

Kazi Bilkis Begum, Shathi’s sports trainer, said she comes from a family living in a slum. She has no money for training. But with her indomitable willpower and sheer courage, she was able to excel in her chosen sport.

Talking with Xinhua in a recent interview, Shathi said that her physical and mental conditions have improved since she was admitted to a special education school for children run by the Society for the Welfare of the Intellectually Disabled Bangladesh (SWID) in 2000, where she learned how to play bocce and badminton. She has been playing bocce and badminton for 10 years now.

“As I’ve got inspiration from others, I will also want to inspire others who are like me,” said Shathi, who is now a teaching assistant for autistic children at the SWID.

Shathi said she wanted to change people’s attitudes and perceptions toward the mentally and physically disabled members of society.

“I want to do something for them. I want to improve their lives in my own way,” she added.

Shathi is also helping support her four-member family with her meagre income of 1,800 taka ($22.5) per month from SWID which is not even enough to meet her training cost.

It’s not easy for her to find a job elsewhere because she is autistic. But Shathi has decided to compete in more international sporting events in the future to show to the rest of the world that people with disability can go beyond their limits.


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Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin



Nawaz sharif

Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told




The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus



Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.




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