News of: Friday, 14th of September, 2007
His bat doesn't talk often enough; at the Wanderers his bat talked for a change and as always happens, something special for Bangladesh came hand in hand.
Prices of vegetables, fruits and essentials used to prepare iftar items shot up further at different kitchen markets in the capital on the eve of the month of Ramadan yesterday while the prices of other essentials remained stable.
A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against Dhaka University (DU) teachers Prof Sadrul Amin and Prof Neem Chandra Bhowmik.
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday recovered around 30,000 pistol bullets from a village under Jhenaigati upazila of Sherpur district.
The government is considering cancelling the lengthy negotiation process of handing over state-owned Rupali Bank if the bank's prospective buyer, a Saudi prince, does not give his final response about taking over the bank within this month.
The country is under the threat of a local tsunami that may originate in the subduction zone of neighbouring Arakan coast near the Bay of Bengal and it could cause massive destruction in the coastal areas of Bangladesh.
Awami League (AL) will investigate and take organisational action if party men were involved in abuse of some party leaders outside its Dhanmondi office on Wednesday.
Both factions of BNP are now seeking support from Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) chief AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, also the founding secretary general of BNP, and offered him to steer their faction to take the upperhand in the party.
Around 4,000 additional law enforcers including police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel will be deployed in the capital during Ramadan to ensure security and curb crime.
Pro-Khaleda Zia faction in the BNP plans a meeting with the grassroots level leaders while its rival faction led by expelled secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan looks to arranging a council after the Ramadan.
The Anti-Corruption commission (ACC) has completed preparations to file new cases against corruption suspects, the watchdog's secretary yesterday said.
Finance ministers from eight South Asian countries will begin a two-day meeting in New Delhi today to operationalise the $300 million Saarc Development Fund (SDF).
The prices of different intravenous (IV) fluid and antibiotics have increased significantly following a decline in supply, adding to the sufferings of patients who are forced to pay more than the maximum retail price (MRP).
The government has fixed Tk 15 to buy iftar for detained former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina.
Several lakh people living in the coastal areas heaved a sigh of relief as the Met office lifted the tsunami warning through a special bulletin early yesterday, saying that Bangladesh coast would not be affected by the tsunami due to the earthquake in Indonesia.
Two members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) were injured in a mob attack in the city's Mirpur area yesterday morning.
Major clashes between Taliban and security forces in Afghanistan left 56 rebels dead while an Afghan soldier and a Bangladeshi aid worker were also reported killed, officials said yesterday.
The overall flood situation is likely to start improving within the next 72 hours, Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) said in a bulletin yesterday.
Former BNP lawmaker Shamsuzzoha Khan was arrested yesterday under Emergency Power Rules.
Pakistani troops backed by gunships have killed up to 70 militants in two days of heavy fighting during a visit by US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, officials said Thursday.
Criminals shot dead a businessman yesterday in the city's Jurain area as he refused to oblige their demand for extortion money.
In less than a week's time Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam has made emphatic observations about IMF's possible new package deal on the expiry of the Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PRGF) in last June.
There is a palpable sense of relief all over the country that the tsunami threat has passed. One hardly needs speculating on the immensity of the damage to life and property as also to the environment it might have caused. We thus consider ourselves fortunate that the worst did not come to pass and life in the coastal regions has remained unaffected.
Once again the holy month of Ramadan is upon us. The first day of fasting will commence either today or tomorrow depending on the keenness of the eye-sight and vigilance of our very own "moon-sighting committee" -- in fact by the time you are reading this, the decision will have been announced long ago.
For the first time in many years nobody irked the businessmen of this country like the National Board of Revenue did, and it seemed that at some point of time it had put ants in their pants. The NBR men sniffed around asking a lot of questions, and the businessmen didn't like it. They got upset for being squeezed within a short time for the juice which was gathered in thirty-six years. Then of course, one can't rule out the possibility of harassment. The tax collectors are famously known for their absence of scruples. Given a yard of authority, they can go a mile on arrogance.
In an article, "Presidential Options," on June 28, I took the liberty of saying: "The acid test for Pervez Musharraf will come on Oct 8, when the present Chairman JCSC and VCOAS retire. The president has to take 'the calculated risk' of appointing a full-time COAS Pakistan army, advancing the date will be a sign of good faith and will go a long way in defusing the present situation. Thereafter, the aim should be the conduct of free and fair elections, it making least difference as to who the genuinely elected representatives of the people are and which party they belong to as long as they have sworn allegiance to Pakistan before entering the electoral process. Unless governance of the country is in the hands of those chosen by the people, this will eventually descend into the violent hands of those who control the streets."
In the tournament of entertainers Bangladesh justified the experts' prediction on Thursday by pulling off a six-wicket victory over West Indies to make a second round berth in the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 Championship.
"It is totally wrong to label us minnows," says Mohammad Ashraful after his exhilarating innings and Bangladesh's wonderful victory. And he's got a point. From the very first ball of the match, Bangladesh looked on top and likely winners because they brought the one thing missing from that extraordinary opening match - variety.
If proof was needed that Twenty20 cricket was dramatic, spectacular and a crowd puller, look no further than the ongoing world championship in South Africa.
Kevin Pietersen played a match-winning innings against Zimbabwe at Newlands Thursday which he said gave England a chance to "humiliate" Australia in the ICC World Twenty20 Championship.
Zimbabwe's media on Thursday celebrated the country's shock victory against Australia in the ICC World Twenty20 Championship, hailing it as the "biggest upset in cricket history".
Traditional rivals India and Pakistan will resume their cricketing hostilities when they square up against each other here today in a Group D clash of the ICC World Twenty20 Championship at Kingsmead.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting said his team's top batsmen had not shown enough respect for cricket when they crashed to a shock five-wicket defeat against minnows Zimbabwe in an ICC World Twenty20 Championship match at Newlands Wednesday.
Kaka's goal in the 80th minute off a poor clearance by Mexican captain Rafael Marquez helped Brazil to a 3-1 victory Wednesday night before a Gillette Stadium crowd of yellow-clad Brazil fans.
French newspapers poured scorn on the national football team after it fell to a "hammer blow" goal by Scotland that leaves the World Cup finalist facing a worrying campaign to reach the European Championship finals.
James McFadden's long-range goal earned Scotland a landmark 1-0 victory over France on Wednesday night to put them firmly on course for the Euro 2008 finals on a winning night for Britain.
Indian cricket authorities on Thursday paraded superstars Glenn McGrath and Stephen Fleming at the launch of international and domestic Twenty20 leagues to counter a rival group.
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell said Ricky Ponting's side was complacent and lacked respect for its opposition Thursday after a shock loss to minnows Zimbabwe in the ICC World Twenty20 Championship.
Kapil Dev, the chairman of the Indian Cricket League's (ICL) executive board, has welcomed the Indian board's plans of launching an international Twenty20 leagues.
Khilgaon High School drubbed Ideal School & College 6-0 in the Under-13 School Football League at their ground yesterday.
The first of England's two winter tours to Sri Lanka will start earlier than planned if they fail to reach the World Twenty20 semi-finals, a senior Sri Lanka Cricket official said Thursday.
Shew Shew and Rashedul of Bangladesh reached the second round of the Prime Bank Asian Under-14 Tennis tournament when they beat Kishore-Lakhotia pair of India 7-5, 6-3 in the boys doubles event at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna yesterday.
China signalled its World Cup intent with a fighting 3-2 victory over tricky European side Denmark as former champions Norway came from behind to beat Canada 2-1 on Wednesday.
Brazil national team doctor Jose Luiz Runco on Wednesday denied doping concerns regarding medical treatment received by AC Milan star Ronaldo.
A weaker character than Michael Owen would have been destroyed by his injury nightmare, but the England striker is reaping the rewards after refusing to give in.
Alex McLeish has warned his Scottish heroes not to get carried away by their recent stunning victories over France.
Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster insisted on Thursday German captain Michael Ballack could still transfer from Chelsea to the Spanish giants, providing he drops his wage demands.
Sir Bobby Charlton insists he would be delighted if Ryan Giggs were to snatch his Manchester United appearance record.
German coach Joachim Loew said on Thursday his side are developing the hard-edge of winners ahead of next month's key Euro 2008 qualifiers.
Portugal coach Luis Felipe Scolari on Thursday denied that he punched Serbia's Ivica Dragutinovic as the European Championship qualifier between the two countries ended in controversy.
The government has destroyed the country's jute and sugar industries by implementing the World Bank and IMF suggestions, former agriculture minister Motia Chowdhury said yesterday.
A UK-based private equity company is keen to buy out 100 percent stake in the trouble-prone Oriental Bank Ltd, and also eager to invest in other sectors, including power, transportation and IT in Bangladesh.
Economic growth in Sri Lanka has accelerated despite a drought and an upsurge in the tropical island's bloody ethnic conflict, according to data out Thursday.
The European Central Bank warned Thursday that inflation still threatened the eurozone but said it wanted more data on financial market uncertainty before deciding whether to raise interest rates.
US lawmakers on Wednesday vowed to enact stricter legislation to prevent potentially dangerous Chinese-made toys from being sold in America, as leading toy firms said safety checks were being boosted.
The narrow export basket of Bangladesh is likely to face stiff competition as the EU restrictions on RMG export from China will be withdrawn from day one of 2008 and US restrictions from January 1, 2009. In this new competitive scenario, sustaining the current high export growth will be an uphill task in the coming years. Therefore, adequate and special dispensation to our textile industry should be given to meet the demand of the country's garment exporters, thereby avoiding import of yarn and fabrics from competitors.
The Westin Dhaka on Wednesday organised a function to formally introduce the country's newest five-star hotel to guests, says a press release.
The Bangladesh Monitor, a travel journal, has declared to introduce the best airline award from this year in a bid to encourage the national and international airlines to improve their services.
Microsoft emerged largely unscathed from a long antitrust ordeal in the United States, as it successfully overturned on appeal a judge's ruling that would have broken up the world's biggest software firm.
Dragonair has announced that it will become a member of oneworld, a leading global airline alliance, on November 1 this year, says a press release.
A 20-member delegation of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA) will leave for Moscow on September 15 to attend an apparel and textile fair.
A two-day workshop ended in the city yesterday with a call for enforcement of law and building awareness among the people to curb domestic violence.
Energy experts at a roundtable yesterday gave energy saving through its efficient use a top priority followed by setting up coal-based power stations in the northern part of the country to meet the increased power demand and ensure energy security.
The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Muhammad Yunus called yesterday for a worldwide lifestyle change, saying global warming is "a matter of life and death" for low-lying nations like his own country Bangladesh.
Adviser for Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury asked the High Commission in Malaysia to resolve the problem facing by 110 Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia immediately.
The Energy Ministry yesterday announced a short-to-medium term plan in a bid to resolve the nagging gas crisis and also to ensure supply of gas for next five years.
LGRD adviser M Anwarul Iqbal yesterday said elections of City Corporation and Union Parishad (UP) will begin in January after completion of the voter roll.
The Second Regional Network Meeting of Asian Sites of Conscience, held in Bangladesh from September 7 to 10, decided to organise Youth Camp on Non-violence and Tolerance every year.
A trial court in Sylhet yesterday sentenced two JMB cadres to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) in one of the cases for the August 17 series blasts across the country in 2005.
The British High Commission has asked International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to temporarily stop new bookings for tuberculosis (TB) screening from those seeking Working Holidaymaker (WHM) visas to the UK.
Former lawmaker and LDP presidium member MA Karim Abbasi, former state minister Lutfozzaman Babar's cousin Salauddin Chowdhury, Babar's APS Mirza Haider Ali, and their family members have been sued for concealing information in their wealth statements submitted to the ACC.
Divers yesterday could not find out the damaged supply line of Bakharabad Gas System Limited (BGSL) that caught fire under the river Karnaphuli near Kalurghat Bridge in Chittagong on Tuesday night.
The Rotary Club of Dhaka Urbana, RI District 3280 Bangladesh in association with Alamo Rotary Club, RI District 5160 California USA handed over about US$4000 to six scout leaders to help them attend the 21 World Scout Jamboree held in London from July 27 to August 7.
A Dhaka court yesterday issued an arrest warrant against former additional inspector general of police Mohammad Shahidullah Khan after the National Board of Revenue (NBR) filed a tax evasion case against him.
Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said his troops are establishing seedbeds at all cantonments of the country to distribute seedlings among the flood-hit farmers.
Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed received cheques amounting to Tk 1,30,95,000 and relief goods for the flood-affected people from different associations at Banquet Hall, Dhaka Cantonment yesterday.
Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall SM Ziaur Rahman made a courtesy call on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban yesterday.
A total of 25 representatives from different marginalised communities were given training on different legal issues, including human rights, child marriage, dowry, rape and human trafficking, says a press release.
Awami League leader and former education minister ASHK Sadeque, who passed away due to a cardiac arrest on September 9, will be laid to rest at Banani graveyard tomorrow.
Dhaka University Debating Society (DUDS) yesterday donated Tk 37000 to Dhaka University Relief Committee for the flood victims, says a press release.
Some 400 employees of CSB News, a satellite TV channel of Focus Multimedia Company, yesterday appealed to Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed to allow the channel to resume its transmission on humanitarian grounds.
New Chief Executive of British Council Martin Davidson arrives in Dhaka today, says a press release.
It was fascinating to watch the competition sitting thousands of miles away from home, and get an idea of how a positive social transformation is taking place in Bangladesh. Thanks to all the participants, especially the five finalists. The final session of judgment was an IQ test, and well done by all respondents.
Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia have caused irreparable damage to our country. With their arrogant and corrupt practices, they have destroyed our education, culture, social harmony, economy, law and order, religion, environment everything! Nothing escaped the wrath of these two ladies and their corrupt parties. They both had plenty of time to apologise to our people. They didn't. So now it is time for them to pay the hard way.
It has been reported in the press that the carnivorous piranha fish is being cultivated in ponds and sold in open market in some parts of our country by calling it rupchanda as it looks like rupchanda! Piranha causes serious damage to aquatic life and the environment.
It is very clear that the Dhaka University teachers, who are said to be highly responsible members of our society, are the key people who added fuel to the fire. The government solved the problem very promptly, but the teachers led the students and sent them to the path of violence.
At the international level, Bangladesh is today known as one of the countries with heaps of records of human rights violations. As an unfortunate nation, our country has suffered tremendously with lots of political killings and torture of opponents, frequent use of police and other law enforcing agencies in victimisng innocent people.
It has been reported that the top microprocessor and semiconductor chip manufacturer of the world, the Intel Corporation, will assist Bangladesh with Tk 700 crore in Information Technology education.
Internationalisation is a mandatory way of developing a country. For this, learning English is necessary. Needless to mention, the "English medium schools" are doing a great job in this regard. But these students have to take equity certificate of their O and A level for admission to medical and engineering university or colleges. This is not fair, to say the least.
The VCs of the public universities met the educational adviser. We, the students, kept our fingers crossed that something positive might come out of this meeting. But the DU vice chancellor did not hint at resuming our academic activities very soon. Now, you know how we are trapped.
An eye-opening and pioneer news report came in a local daily (Sept:05) that Agsuail, a village in Pabna, has taken the lead in Bangladesh by introducing the use of energy-saving lamp at the initiative of the local REB. This is momentous news of national significance and a step in the right direction, given our acute shortage of power everywhere. It should be introduced all over Bangladesh. It was reported that the village earlier consumed 27.5KW, using normal filament lamps. By using compact fluorescent lamps(CFL) there will be a saving of over 20KW!. Assuming that the average bulb was of 40 watt, it represents that nearly 700 (seven hundred) filament lamps were replaced by CFLs.
British Council is an eminent organisation which aims to help the students of Bangladesh to get acquainted with the English language. It also provides scholarship for meritorious students who can't afford to study in foreign universities to acquire a better degree. British Council acts as a helping hand to solve these problems and eventually, its contribution in Bangladesh is an eye-striking one. Besides, being a helping aid, it has well-equipped library facilities and every year some courses are organised to give tips about good English spelling, learning and most importantly, free-hand writing. But the astonishing thing is that it has branches in Dhaka, Sylhet and Chittagong but not in Rajshahi. Rajshahi, as a divisional town, is regarded as the city of education. RUET, Rajshahi University and the outer campuses of different private universities substantiate the claim. As a result, thousands of students are missing these facilities. English medium schools like Paramount, Blue Bell, etc. could have made excellent progress if there was a little back-up from British Council. British Council can also develop those who want to take teaching as a profession so that they can teach the O-level and A-level students. The O-level and A-level exams are usually taken in Teachers' Training College (TTC) but it would have been better if there was a permanent office of British Council. I, as a student of an English-medium school, would request the British Council authorities to consider my point.
First, I must mention that there is a need to crack down on corruption, and people rightly supported the anti-corruption drive. But what is most important is to establish institutional reform at every level so that nobody is able to indulge in corruption. The most corrupt areas as we know are thana and local government bodies. The present caretaker government's beginning was OK, but now after 8 months what we are witnessing is terrifying as in the name of anti-corruption drive they are actually hitting at the BNP and the Awami League. Sensible people know that arresting Begum Khaleda Zia and Hasina with most of the former lawmakers will not eradicate corruption. Of course, we need reform in the parties and the minds of the politicians.
A mere trifle on the DU campus that was subsequently made to spread over the entire country is a matter of grave concern for all. It has been confirmed by several reliable sources at the highest level that within hours crores of taka were poured in to fan the fire for political gains. This is the type of money, the NBR and ACC need to track down and take appropriate action. Instead, what we see is that the middle and lower class people are under the continuous threats of the NBR.
The latest demand by the BNP is outrageous and ridiculous, and certainly, reveals the hero-worshipping and leader-centric culture that is endemic in the party. The BNP's new secretary general has made it clear in a press conference that the party will not sit with the EC, until and unless their leader Begum Zia is released, a leader who is charged with some serious crimes affecting national revenue. The very fact that a political sycophant could come up with such a bizarre, preposterous and outlandish demand, does suggest yet again how sick and corrupt our political parties are. The word “shame” is alien to them! After so much talk for so many months (about minus-2, familocracy, reform etc) , we are still observing the same old leader-centrism, which was the very reason the country fell to pieces.
The Mirpur Road, one of the busiest highways in Dhaka, is not only a route of daily communication but also links the two sides of Dhanmondi, mostly the school areas. Due to the location of their residences and lack of transportation, a great number of children and their guardians are forced to walk to their schools and back home. Many of them have to cross the Mirpur Road almost every day to go to their schools and return home.
I passed BSC in electrical and electronic engineering 6 month ago from a public engineering university. But still I am unemployed because I have no connections!
I am deeply disturbed by the news that the RU authorities have ordered the suspension of the teachers arrested on suspicion of instigating the violence on campus. The investigation is currently under way and the suspension slapped on the arrested teachers in such haste smacks of very harsh treatment by the current university administration.
Huge aftershocks rumbled across Indonesia's Sumatra island on Thursday but officials said damage from a massive quake that killed 10 people was not as bad as first feared.
Time is running out for President Gen Pervez Musharraf to finalise a pact with ex-premier Benazir Bhutto that would keep the US-allied leader in office, Benazir's party warned yesterday.
Opposition Democrats assailed President George W. Bush's tentative plan to withdraw up to 30,000 US troops from Iraq by next July even before he announced it Thursday.
Communist allies of India's ruling Congress party yesterday warned the government not to push ahead with implementing a controversial nuclear deal with the United States.
A US general in Iraq yesterday pointed the finger of blame at Shiite militiamen using what he said was an Iranian-supplied rocket for a fatal attack two days ago on a military base near Baghdad.
Top Sunni sheikh Sattar Abu Reesha, who spearheaded a fight against al-Qaeda, was killed by a bomb on Thursday just 10 days after US President George W. Bush shook his hand when he visited Iraq.
The European Union's top justice official said yesterday that he would submit next month his plans for an EU "blue card", inspired by the US "green card", to attract qualified immigrants to the bloc.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was hospitalised with exhaustion Thursday as his finance minister kick-started the race to succeed him by declaring his candidacy for the top job.
Arts & Entertainment
Since Pandit Ravi Shankar's performance of Indian Classical music with renowned western musicians at the Woodstock concert in the '60s, several Indian musicians have been fusing North Indian ragas with western genres such as rock 'n' roll and jazz. Perhaps, this is for the first time that an Indian classical musician -- Sarathi Chatterjee -- has done a “jugalbandi” with a Bangladeshi rock artiste -- James.
Rumana Rashid Ishita, better known as just “Ishita”, is one of the leading actresses on the small screen. Starting off as a child artiste, Ishita soon won the hearts of many, demonstrating her superior histrionic skills as a lovable child, working as a domestic help, 'Falani' at the National Competition Natun Kuri in 1988. The then head of the state was seen in tears on national TV, as Falani described abuse at the hands of her employers.
A three-day cultural programme highlighting performances by artistes of the Manipuri and tea-picker communities from the Sylhet region, and Nayakrishi people from Tangail, ended here recently.
Channel 1 will telecast single episode TV play Opekkha O Ekti Mrityu, today at 3:00pm. The play is written by Mezbaur Rahman Shumon and directed by Pervez Amin.
On the first death anniversary of eminent sculptor Nitun Kundu, Channel i will air a special programme titled Mrityunjoyee Nitun Kundu as a tribute to the artiste, on September15 at 3:05 pm.
It is seldom that an international film focuses on Bangladeshi expats in Britain. It is even rarer that an Indian actress is looking forward to such a film to push her into the big league of international cinema.
Oscar Bangladesh Committee in a recent press release has requested the Bangladeshi filmmakers to submit films, released after October 1, 2006, to take part in the Best Foreign Language Film Category at the 80th Academy Awards.
Rice is our staple food, and it has always been a tough job balancing its price in a way that neither deprives the growers nor pummels the urban consumers. Ours is an agrarian economy and rice is the mainstay of the total agricultural output. As a result, the slightest of variations in rice price has a cascading effect on the overall economy.
As an expatriate Bangladeshi, I very closely follow developments in Bangladesh through Bangladeshi TV channels (which are now available throughout the world), newspapers on the internet, and regular visits to my home country. A news item which caught my attention recently was the coverage in the Daily Star of a high level government and business leaders' dialogue held on September 5. While I am in general agreement with what CA Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed and Finance Advisor Mirza Azizul Islam had to say, I was quite fascinated by some of the bold ideas put forward by General Moeen U. Ahmed.
Mr. A.S.H.K. Sadeque, former civil servant and education minister, was my Sadeque bhai. He passed away on the September 9th. This reality is difficult for me to grasp. Memories of him are vivid, and all attributes of this remarkable man come to mind. Perhaps this testifies to the quality of the man himself.
The IUCN Regional Conservation Forum being held (10-14 Sept) in Nepal brings together conservation experts from across Asia to talk about Protected Areas and biodiversity. In Bangladesh, as the forest cover has fallen in recent decades, the quality and health of our system of Protected Areas -- created initially as refuges for wildlife -- has suffered even more grievously. In this writeup, Ishtiaq U Ahmad and Philip J DeCosse identify the evolving challenges to conservation and propose a practical roadmap for harmonizing national wildlife conservation needs with the aspirations of rural populations living in and around Protected Areas.
Every time major floods occur in the country and every time it rains, the city of Dhaka faces acute drainage problem. Parts of the city go under water. In the densely populated city, woes of people know no bounds.