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News of: Saturday, 29th of September, 2007
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Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed has assured the United Nations of holding a free, fair and meaningful election in Bangladesh by the end of next year.
Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed has sought the international community's support for Bangladesh to recover the ill-gotten gains from corruption remaining abroad.
Former chief adviser to a caretaker government Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman yesterday said an elected government with a greater participation of the people should formulate the right to information act.
After establishing themselves as locals in Naikkhangchhari, illegal Rohingya people are now setting up villages in the district town and sadar, Lama and Alikadam upazilas as administration remains oblivious of their presence.
Awami League (AL) acting president Zillur Rahman yesterday said a movement might be launched jointly with the arch-rival BNP, but for that to happen there must be some common ground between the two parties.
Brig Gen (retd) ASM Hannan Shah yesterday said if allegations against the party leaders on the list of corrupt suspects are proved in the courts, the BNP will take action against them.
Malpractices by Malaysian outsourcing companies and absence of proper action by both Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur have led to a situation in which thousands of Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia are leading a miserable life, returnee workers said.
Law Adviser Mainul Hosein yesterday said the government will continue the drive against corrupt businessmen, mainly the big ones, besides giving a special attention to the business community in the interest of the economy.
The World Bank has approved $75 million International Development Association (IDA) credit as flood assistance to Bangladesh.
Awami League (AL) meets Workers Party of Bangladesh today to bounce the idea of a common stance among the 14-party components and other like-minded parties on the Election Commission's (EC) dialogue over electoral reforms.
A Mymensingh court yesterday sent seven people to jail after they were produced before the court in a case filed in connection with taking away goods from a factory owned by detained businessman Giasuddin Al Mamun in Bhaluka.
The US chapters of the BNP and Awami League (AL) staged separate demonstrations in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Thursday, demanding immediate release of their party chiefs.
The laid-off workers of Alim Jute Mills and Platinum Jubilee Jute Mills continued their sit-in demanding payment of their arrear wages and other dues.
A house was gutted in a fire that originated from Titas gas pipeline blast in Harinathchala area of Konabari union last night.
A mob set fire to a bus after it knocked down a pedestrian, seriously injuring him, on Biswa Road at Malibagh in the capital yesterday afternoon.
Pakistan's Supreme Court ruled yesterday that military ruler Pervez Musharraf can run for president next month while keeping his role as army chief, in a major blow to the opposition.
Security forces clamped down on protests in Myanmar's two biggest cities yesterday, firing warning shots and using baton charges in the third day of a crackdown that has left at least 13 people dead.
Israel and the Palestinians could sign a peace deal within six months of an international peace conference scheduled for November, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas told AFP yesterday.
Six major powers trying to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions launched talks here yesterday in search of an elusive compromise on new sanctions against the Islamic republic over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.
A bomb exploded in a bazaar in a town in southern Afghanistan yesterday, killing two children, two policemen and and older man, a district official said.
The International Right to Know Day was marked yesterday by two roundtables held in the city, one titled 'Good Governance and Right to Information and the other on the theme 'Right to Information in establishing democracy and rule of law'. Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), Ain O Shalish Kendra, BNNRC, D-Net, Mass-line Media Centre (MMC) and Manusher Jonno Foundation jointly organised the first discussion meet. And the second was organised by Campaign on Citizens' Right to Information, as part of their three-day programme marking the Right to Information Day.
The photograph on the front page of The Daily Star on Friday is explicit enough to suggest that adulteration of food items is going on in the country. The tell-tale photograph reveals how ghee (butter oil), a sought-after commodity during Eid, is being made with spurious ingredients to sell in the markets under various brand names. It is no secret now that the ingredients used by the unscrupulous traders to enhance look, fragrance and taste are chemicals that are harmful to human body.
The late Seventies and the beginning of the Eighties saw the gradual emergence of the Ready Made Garment Industry in Bangladesh. To this was added frozen food export, particularly prawns, in the second half of the Nineties. Over the years these two commodities have grown in terms of potential and contributed not only to the economy in terms of hard cash (foreign exchange) but also in the creation of employment. Today, nearly two and half million workers are associated with these two industries. They have also helped to reduce poverty and remove gender discrimination throughout the country. I mention this because more than 83 percent of those associated with these two areas are women.
The Indian judiciary was, till recently, at war with Parliament on who was supreme. The confrontation is far from over. In the meanwhile, the judiciary has now thrown down the gauntlet to the media, another pillar on which the edifice of democracy rests. Four journalists, including a cartoonist, have been sentenced to four months each for "lowering the dignity" of the Supreme Court in the eyes of the common man.
Sugarcane is an important cash crop of Bangladesh. Once, like the golden fibre jute, sugarcane also played a pioneer role in keeping the agro-based economy vibrant. Because of widespread extension of sugarcane farming, the sugar industry gained ground in much of the country. But due to administrative callousness, failure to adopt and implement pro-agriculture policy and above all corruption and depravity this industry now faces so much of crisis that like jute easing of sugarcane cultivation too seems almost a matter of time.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is in dilemma with the position of Shaun Williams, as the Australian now seems less interested to continue his primary job as national game development manager.
Former Pakistan captain Inzamamul Haq ruled himself out of the first Test against South Africa, while paceman Shoaib Akhtar was not selected for disciplinary reasons, selectors said Friday.
Ahead of what has all the makings of a competitive one-day international between India and Australia, Adam Gilchrist believes his side are well prepared. Australia were knocked out of the ICC World Twenty20 by India in a tight semi-final but as Gilchrist put it, there was no excuse here.
Veteran all-rounder Shaun Pollock Friday said he was disappointed after being dropped from the South African team for next week's first Test against Pakistan.
Ian Bell scored England's first century of their one-day tour of Sri Lanka, and James Anderson starred with three wickets, as the team warmed up for their five-match one-day series by defeating a Sri Lanka Board XI by 80 runs at Colombo's P. Saravanamuttu Stadium.
The club representatives in an introductory meeting with the Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) on Friday cried for financial support from Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to run cricket this season.
Rajshahi Division played out a one-all draw with Faridpur in the Araf Apparels 21st National Youth Hockey Competition at the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Mark Boucher scored an attractive unbeaten hundred in a warm-up match on Friday as South Africa made ideal preparations for next week's Test against Pakistan.
Wallace Spearmon upset rusty speed king Tyson Gay in the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix Friday while superstar hurdler Liu Xiang also crashed to defeat, fading to third behind Cuba's Dayron Robles.
The breakaway Indian Cricket League (ICL) said Friday Pakistan star batsman Mohammad Yousuf will turn out for them despite agreeing to play for his country.
Allan Donald has decided not to continue his role as bowling consultant to the England team because he wants to spend more time with his family.
Former captain Rahul Dravid on Friday said India's triumph in the Twenty20 cricket World Cup came at the right time to inspire the new generation to perform and excel.
Rohit Sharma, the Indian middle-order batsman, has been named as the replacement for Piyush Chawla, the leg-spinner, in the 15-man squad for the ODI series against Australia. He will join the team in time for the second ODI in Kochi. The Indian board also retained Lalchand Rajput as the team's manager.
Andrew Symonds says India were carried away with their ICC World Twenty20 celebrations and that has spurred Australia on for the seven-match ODI series that starts in Bangalore on Saturday. Symonds said his teammates were keen to reassert their power in the 50-over format.
Former New Zealand stars Chris Cairns and Nathan Astle have signed deals with the breakaway Indian Cricket League, organisers announced Friday.
Real Madrid maintained their unbeaten record and returned to the top of La Liga after a 2-0 win over Real Betis but they made hard work of despatching the side from Seville on Thursday.
Out of work Jose Mourinho's name has inevitably been linked with a number of clubs since his unscripted departure from Chelsea, including Serie A champions Inter Milan.
Second-placed Bayer Leverkusen will be bidding to knock Bayern Munich off the top of the Bundesliga when they host Ottmar Hitzfeld's superstars on Saturday.
Arsenal's title-winning credentials face a tough test at the hands of West Ham on Saturday and even Gunners boss Arsene Wenger admits an exam in east London provides an ideal test of whether his young squad are ready to reclaim the Premier League title.
Brazilian superstar Ronal-dinho's poor form and reported off-the-field antics are giving Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard a major selection headache ahead of Saturday's trip to bottom side Levante.
Self-belief has pushed Brazil to the brink of World Cup glory as the Samba Girls go in search of a title won by their more famous male counterparts five times.
French champions Lyon will be looking to overcome what for them has been a disappointing start to the season and resume their traditional place atop the French league with a win over Lens on Saturday.
Energie Cottbus on Friday announced that Bojan Prasnikar had been appointed as coach to replace sacked Petrik Sander.
The government has made it mandatory for courier service providing companies to take clearing and forwarding (C&F) licence to carry freights for export-import firms in the country in a bid to stop 'smuggling' of such goods as jewellery, drugs and cellphone sets through parcels.
Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) will offer loans to farmers at a nominal interest rate to boost production of the crops like pulses, oil seeds and spices.
The government needs to make draft agreement papers public before striking any deal with foreign companies, speakers told a roundtable in Dhaka yesterday.
India will open up its $330 billion retail market to foreign investors. After convincing mom and pop store owners that their jobs are not at stake from big players, India's finance minister P Chidambaram said that it is only a matter of time before the policy is tweaked to allow FDI in retail in India.
The World Bank on Thursday pledged a record 3.5 billion dollars to aid the world's poorest countries as it cut the interest rate on loans to big developing countries.
US businesses have pledged to spend more than four billion dollars on environmental, educational and humanitarian projects a New York summit organized by former president Bill Clinton.
The International Monetary Fund on Friday named France's Dominique Strauss-Kahn its new managing director, a diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity told AFP.
Vietnam's garment makers opposed the United States' import regime and wanted it to be quickly abolished, local newspaper Vietnam News Friday quoted a Vietnamese deputy minister of industry and trade as saying.
Dhaka Bank Ltd has mandated RSA Capital to raise Tk 200 crore in the form of subordinated convertible bonds as tier 2 capital (subject to regulatory approval) from onshore and offshore institutional and local investors.
Oil traded above 83 dollars a barrel in Asia on Friday as traders watched a new storm in the Gulf of Mexico.
Telekom Malaysia on Friday announced it will revamp its operations and split its mobile and fixed-line businesses into two separate entities listed on the local bourse.
The dollar sank to another all-time low against the euro on Friday amid expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve may soon cut interest rates again.
The City Bank Ltd has opened six ATM (automated teller machine) booths in Dhaka and launched VISA Electron debit card for the clients of the bank's 82 branches.
September 23-September 27
Local FX Market
The US dollar/BDT market was tight and USD remained strong against the BDT in the week. Demand for dollar was high in the local market and USD showed upward movement.
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday underscored the need for introducing speedy train service between Dhaka and Chittagong.
Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said that in today's world, development must be country-driven and urged the developed nations to keep their pledges for developing nations.
Seven people were killed and 20 others injured in separate road accidents in Sirajganj, Noakhali and Bagerhat in the last two days.
Save the Children, Sweden-Denmark (SCSD), a leading international organisation fighting for the rights of children, yesterday announced its weeklong programme marking the National Child Rights Week-2007 that begins today.
Police in the capital yesterday prevented activists of Hizbut Tahrir from marching towards the office of the Prothom Alo in protest against the publication of a cartoon strip in the newspaper's weekly satirical magazine Aalpin.
President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday called for an intensified campaign for the promotion of the rights of children as Bangladesh joins the international community today in celebrating the International Children Day and Child Rights Week.
The number of people migrating to the UK each year will be 45,000 more than previously predicted, figures suggest.
Special Tribunal of Kushtia sentenced a female drug peddler to seven years' rigorous imprisonment under the Narcotics Control Act on Thursday.
Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) yesterday urged people to build up a 'left democratic alternative' outside the present two-party system to save the nation from the grasp of communal and corrupt forces.
Education International, a Brussels-based organisation, has urged the caretaker government to release detained teachers and students of Dhaka University (DU) immediately.
Two people were electrocuted at Bakalia in the port city yesterday while another person was injured critically in the same incident.
Kamrul Hasan Abir, a three-year-old boy, has been suffering from profound hearing loss since his birth, says a press release.
A female construction worker died at Tejgaon Industrial Area in the city yesterday after falling from an under-construction building.
The 10th edition of BBC Bangladesh Sanglap will be held at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city at 1:45pm today.
Members of the Coast Guard seized an engine boat with huge quantity of fertiliser while being smuggled in the port city in the early hours of yesterday.
Front ranking BNP leaders in Tangail are virtually divided over reforms in the party and their allegiance to newly appointed secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain or expelled secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhyiuan.
The International Day for Right to Information was observed in Satkhira and Barisal yesterday with a demand to ensure free flow of information for good governance.
A cattle trader escaped unhurt from the captivity of a gang after three days of his abduction from his house in Mirpur upazila while people foiled an attempt to abduct another trader in Kushtia town on Thursday night.
Twelve villages in Pratapnagar union under Assassuni upazila were flooded following collapse of embankment at Kurikaunia point on the Kabodak river yesterday afternoon.
Parbatya Chattagram Samo Adhikar Andolon (PCSAA) yesterday demanded immediate rehabilitation of Bangalees who lived at 84 cluster villages in eight upazilas under Khagrachhari hill district.
Khulna City Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman has said he would submit his wealth statement within the stipulated time after receiving the notice from Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).
Ten fishermen on board two trawlers still remained missing after eight days of depression in the Bay of Bengal.
An employee of Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital (SBMCH) has sued the administrative officer, ward master and 'sarder' of the hospital for allegedly taking bribe from him promising promotion in service.
The violent crackdown in Myanmar sparked protest demonstrations in many capitals and amid mounting international anger even the junta's southeast Asian neighbours expressed their "revulsion".
Pakistani authorities have released dozens of opposition leaders and workers following an order by the country's chief justice, officials said on Friday.
The Sri Lankan navy destroyed three Tamil Tiger boats off the island's northeast coast, killing over a dozen rebels, the defence ministry said yesterday.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Friday rejected a US Senate proposal calling for the decentralization of Iraq's government and giving more control to the country's ethnically divided regions, calling it a "catastrophe."
Israel is not considering an imminent invasion of the Gaza Strip but the option is still on the table, a senior Israeli security official and army radio said yesterday.
Russia's foreign minister made clear ahead of high-level talks Friday on Iran's nuclear programme that Moscow wants to see a UN agency report on Tehran's past suspicious nuclear work before considering new sanctions.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Caracas Thursday for talks with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, following a brief trip to Bolivia, another anti-US ally in South America.
The United States tightened sanctions Thursday on Myanmar's military rulers and urged countries like China and India to do more to help end a bloody crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.
Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto acknowledged in an interview Thursday that she has met secretly with President Gen Musharraf, but said she was increasingly pessimistic about reaching a power-sharing deal with the leader.
The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu can pass through the placenta of a pregnant woman to her unborn foetus, scientists reported yesterday.
Turkey and Iraq have signed an agreement aimed at combating Turkish Kurd rebels taking refuge in northern Iraq, the Turkish interior minister said yesterday.
A roadside bomb hit a Pakistani security forces convoy in a northwestern region yesterday, killing a soldier and wounding 12 others, the military said.
Japan plans to carry out two more missions to the moon and then collaborate internationally to put a man on the lunar surface, a Japanese space scientist said Thursday.
Arts & Entertainment
Carpentry, the trans-formation process of wood into fashioned forms, is a traditional art form. Billal Hossain Bikrampuri from Sidhirganj, Narayanganj, is one of a folk artist who has made remarkable contributions to wood carving in Bangladesh. The National Museum in Dhaka recently arranged a display of his works. The artist has donated several of his works to different organisations including Bangladesh National Museum and Bangladesh Folk Arts and Crafts Foundation in Sonargaon. Quite a few global personalities including former US President Bill Clinton, received Billal's artwork as gifts.
First episode of the new drama serial, Chorkuthuri will be aired tonight on ATN Bangla at 8:40 pm. Written by Ayan Choudhury, this 52-episode serial is directed by actor-director Zahid Hassan.
On the fifth day of Eid at 2:30pm, tele-film Je Kotha Moner Kotha will be aired on Channel i. Popular film actress Purnima plays one of the central roles in the tele-film written by Geetali hasan and directed by Ashrafur Rahman.
Ustad Shamsul Islam is a distinguished instrumentalist in the Mymensingh classical music scene. He passion for tabla started in his childhood and has not diminished in the last 45 years.
There is no doubt that without effective means of control the legitimate power to coerce fellow citizens may become corrupted into illegitimate power thereby rendering the rights of citizenship nugatory. The dilemma is who guards the guardians? This dilemma primarily arises in relation to controlling the discretionary actions of individual enforcement functionaries.
Asia Energy proposed to extract about 10-15 million tons of coal from Phulbari coal field adopting open-pit mining from final depth of 250 to 300 meters by removing 4400 million tons of overburden (rock, sand, mud, soil) covering an area of about 5.2 sqkm throughout the life of the mine i.e. 36 to 38 years. Mining operations will mainly consist of dweatering of aquifer, cleaning and top soil stripping, overburden removal, rehabilitation of mined out areas and overburden dumps. Coal seams (upper and main) ranging in total thickness between 20 and 65 meters are planned to be extracted. Aquifer dewatering will be continuous throughout the operation life of the mine.
Energy efficiency improvement is an important measure for reducing CO2 emissions. Industry is the main energy consumer and CO2 emitter. Improving energy efficiency in industry as well as in other sectors could not only bring benefit to the global environment but also significantly reduce energy consumption, a vital demand in this energy crisis society, especially when we consider our own country Bangladesh.
Perhaps the Almighty sees to it that the corrupt and the arrogant are cut down to size. In Bangladesh it seems God did what electorates couldn't. Many of our top politicians share blame for creating the limbo that Bangladesh finds itself in today.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is not only an integral component of modern civilisation but also a power that helps our dreams come true. Remarkable improvement in ICT has influenced a broad spectrum of human activities and inspired revolutionary changes in socio-economic arena.
Social networking sites like Facebook have wooed millions of users with their easy format for keeping in touch but left them navigating the pitfalls of interacting online -- is it really private?
Microsoft on Thursday began phasing in a slick new version of its Live Search service in a bid to gain ground on leading Internet search rivals Google and Yahoo.
Inexpensive laptop computers designed for students in developing countries will be sold to the public in a buy-one, give-one scheme, the non-profit organization behind the project said Monday.
The energy of literary art emanates from the imagination's willingness to journey into places where many would not go. A writer soars and dives, intrudes and clamours, opens windows and widens horizons, creates perspectives and often acts as an anarchist. He can be an irritant to those who are content with the status quo, and perhaps a danger to those whose insularity is threatened. A writer must always be ready to fight against the singularity of a way of life and champion the plurality of what is possible. The art of writing cannot be nourished in an incubator of smug certainty. I would like to think that contemporary writers are receptive to new ideas, that we have been influenced by significant areas of knowledge which have evolved over the past hundred years or so and shaken, if not radically altered, ossified beliefs. For instance, I am particularly curious about the influence of quantum mechanics on our thinking. To be more specific, to what extent has Werner Heisenberg's The Uncertainty Principle made us sceptical about absolutism? Philosophical truth is a matter of perception and perspective and the morality of an artist can only be judged by the honesty with which he responds to his imagination.
When I picked up Hari Kunzru's new novel My Revolutions (New Delhi: Penguin Book; 2007) the cover focused on a woman with oversized sunglasses, her right fist raised high, other faces and fists behind her -- I was immediately intrigued. Here was a novel about the sixties from an author who wasn't born until 1969. What story did Kunzru want to tell?
To somebody interested in the history of English writing in Bangladesh, as I am, it was gratifying to get Thomas Ansell's two volumes of poems, The Many-Coloured Mantle: Sonnets, and A String of Pearls. They were published from Writers Workshop in Calcutta in 1975 and 1977 respectively. The books came courtesy of Rubana, who's been digging through the WW inventory backlogs in Kolkata. Though Professor P. Lal's publishing concern has consistently published all sorts of South Asian English-language works over the past decades, only three writers from Bangladesh -- all of them poets, incidentally - have published from there. They are Feroz Ahmed-ud-din and Thomas Ansell during the '70s, and Khawaja Moinul Hasan far more recently.
Tension between Washington and Moscow has been growing. The United States has accused Russia of backing away from “democratic” reforms, and the Kremlin slams the US foreign policy and vehemently objects to, among other things, US plans to deploy a missile-defense system in former Soviet Bloc countries. Putin wished the US celebrating its Independence Day on 4th July, but did not hesitate to restate the Kremlin's rhetoric of assertiveness and aggressiveness. Putin might have played with a family dog of US President Bush when he visited him in the USA, but when it comes to business he sticks to his position very firmly.
To pacify the Democrats and an overwhelming section of American people, President Bush, on 14 September in a nationwide address, announced that he would withdraw 5700 troops by this Christmas and about 21,500 by next summer.
Major victims of terrorism since 9/11 are the Arabs and the South Asian nationals in terms of total numbers of deaths and attacks as per the Oklahoma-based Memorial Institute for Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT) database. MIPT was set up after the deadly terrorist attack on the Oklahoma Federal Building on 4/19/1995 in which 168 died and nearly 800 were injured.
Star Books Review
No tears were shed when shroudless they
Were laid in common graves;
No prayers were read for the noble dead,
Unmarked remain their graves.
Bahadur Shah Zafar II
Any serious undertaking on security-related issues in any part of the globe should arouse the interest of specialists on the subject matter, as well as most ardent enthusiasts. Mohd. Aminul Karim, a senior army officer on active duty, through nine essays composed over an eleven-year period, from 1995 to 2006, adds to the considerable literature already existing on the topic of security. He limits his geographic attention to the Asia-Pacific region, with particular emphasis on the security-related concerns of Bangladesh. For the record, the nine discourses, which have either been published in journals, or presented at conferences, are, in order of their presentation: “Bangladesh's Dilemma between Traditional Security and Development Issues in the Regional Environment”, “American Geopolitics in the Asia-Pacific”, “Nuclear Doctrines of Indo-Pakistan: A Comparative Analysis”, “Power Politics in the Indian Ocean Region after the Cold War”, “National Security of Bangladesh: A Comprehensive View”, “Geostrategic Environment of Bangladesh”, “Civil-Military Relations in Bangladesh: A Perspective”, “Higher Defence Organization: A Bangladesh Perspective”, and “Bureaucracy and Civil Society in the Reform Process of Bangladesh”.
In the present-day world there is a deep interest in the study of Muslim names due to the resurgence of Islam throughout the world. A special characteristic of the Muslim community is that its members share similar names, whether they live in Bangladesh or in the Middle East. Muslims have a preference for names associated with one of the ninety-nine names of Allah. Both 'Muhammad' and 'Ahmed' are also familiar Muslim names. A Muslim is pleased to find his or her name, or a derivative of it, mentioned in the Qur'an or that it bears the name of a well-known Sahabi of the Prophet of Islam.
Amar Dui Premika Ebong Tiktiki
Rahad Abir is a young journalist who does not appear to want to let go of his literary inclinations. That is quite natural, for he has been a student of English literature. The lessons learnt in class as also his experience of the national cultural perspective has led him into coming forth with this revealing, rather modern, collection of short stories.