The Daily Star

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Thursday, April 24, 2014


News of: Saturday, 20th of October, 2007

Front Page

Suicide bombing at Benazir's homecoming parade kills 138

Former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto yesterday condemned a suicide bombing that killed at least 138 people at her homecoming parade in Karachi, calling it an "attack on democracy".

Dual citizenship of criminals hinders process

The move to bring back criminals hiding in India on mutual understanding is facing a setback due to dual citizenship of many of the criminals.

NBR to file tax evasion cases against 7 bigwigs

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is going to file tax evasion cases against former MP Mossadeque Ali Falu, former state minister for planning Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir and five others.

Hannan hails while Mannan doubts

The pro-Khaleda Zia BNP faction yesterday welcomed the Election Commission's (EC) reported decision to invite the party's new secretary general to the ongoing dialogue on electoral reforms.

Fresh round of price hike

Prices of vegetable oil, rice, potato, onion and eggs shot up just after the Eid due to alleged short supply in the kitchen markets of the capital.

Kumari Puja celebrated

Hindu devotees yesterday celebrated Kumari Puja, worship of the virgin form of Goddess Durga, at different mandaps across the country amid fanfare. Mahanabami puja will be held today.

More reforms in the pipeline: Gen Moeen

Chief of Army Staff Gen Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said it would be a disgrace for the nation if the two detained top leaders are allowed to lead their parties even in the case of conviction for corruption.

11 killed, 20 hurt as truck, bus collide in Bogra

Eleven people, including four women and a boy, were killed and 20 others were injured as a truck collided with a Dhaka-bound bus in Bogra yesterday.

'Zia ul-Haq's men behind bombing'

Benazir Bhutto yesterday accused supporters of Pakistan's late military ruler Mohammed Zia ul-Haq of being behind the bomb blasts that killed at least 138 people after her arrival in Karachi.

Dhaka condemns Karachi bombing

Bangladesh yesterday condemned the bombing in Karachi targeting former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto as she returned home after eight years in exile.

EU team in Khulna to see shrimp processing

A two-member team of European Union arrived in Khulna yesterday from Dhaka to inspect quality of shrimp production and processing before export.

Oil prices hit record $90.07

Oil prices soared to another record high above 90 dollars per barrel yesterday amid global supply jitters and tensions between Turkey and crude producer Iraq, dealers said.

Govt framing rules to stop cheating of overseas job seekers

The government has decided in principle to make it mandatory for recruiting agencies to select overseas job seekers from the databank of Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) in a bid to check fraudulent practices by manpower brokers.

Most primary textbooks yet to reach dist edn offices

About 84 percent of primary and Ebtadayee textbooks for 2008 are yet to reach district primary education offices, although National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) directed printers to distribute the books by November 15.

UN praises Dhaka's role in peacekeeping

President of the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly Srgjan Kerim has appreciated Bangladesh's strong role in the various sectors of the United Nations including the peacekeeping operations.

Fire kills 2 in Gaibandha

A fire at Komarpur Bazar on Bogra-Rangpur highway in Gobindaganj upazila yesterday left two people dead, five injured and at least 10 shops gutted.

Bombs recovered in Tangail, Meherpur

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel recovered two improvised bombs in Tangail town yesterday morning and another two raiding different places in Meherpur between Thursday evening and Friday morning.

Criminals kill 2 including outlaw in Pabna

Armed criminals killed two people including an activist of an outlawed party in Pabna yesterday and Thursday night.

Freight train derails in B'baria

Railway communications between Dhaka-Chittagong and Sylhet-Chittagong and Dhaka-Noakhali remained suspended for two and a half hours as a wagon of a freight train derailed near Madabagh Railway Station in Kasba upazila of Brahmanbaria yesterday.

Time Magazine to honour Prof Hussam

Time Magazine has selected expatriate Bangladeshi scientist Prof Abul Hussam for its Global Heroes of the Environment 2007 award for his invention of Sono filter, a low-cost technology to free water of arsenic.

Bush set to widen Myanmar sanctions

US President George W Bush yesterday was to widen economic sanctions on Myanmar's military rulers, piling on pressure for a transition to democracy after a bloody crackdown on anti-junta protests.

Indo-Pak talks to ease nuke tension open

India and Pakistan opened talks yesterday aimed at cutting the risk of accidents with nuclear weapons and developing further cooperation in the arms arena, officials said.

Mall blast kills 8 in Manila

A huge bomb ripped through a shopping mall in the Philippine capital's financial district yesterday, killing eight people and wounding 70, police and rescue workers said.

31 killed in Indonesian ferry capsize

At least 31 people were killed and dozens feared missing after a ferry sank off Indonesia's Sulawesi Island in the latest transport accident to hit the archipelago nation, officials said yesterday.

Editorial

Karachi mayhem

We strongly condemn the suicide bomb attack on a procession of supporters of Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in Karachi that left at least 133 people dead and nearly 400 injured. It was a dastardly act orchestrated by some extremist elements who apparently wanted to display their crude strength at the very outset of her reaching home after spending over eight years in exile. In an instant reaction Ms Bhutto has pointed her finger at the failure of the intelligence agencies.

Aiming high for exports

The government's export earning target for fiscal 2007-08 at US$ 14.5 billion envisages a 19.07 percent increase over last fiscal year's earning of US$ 12.17 billion. What is growth about unless every year we notch up higher earnings than the preceding year's level? True, but the point to note about this year's higher export target is the backdrop against which it is set: perceptible downturn in export earning was observed during the last three months of fiscal 2006-07. As a matter of fact, the new export year opens on a rather critical note with earnings in July plummeting by 21.08 percent. The downtrend in RMG sector, the mainstay of our export earnings, reflected far fewer orders received between December and March of last fiscal, the time-period marked by effects of political instability followed by massive labour unrest. As ill- luck would have it, warmer winter in the west led to a deficit in orders, too. There was underperformance in some other areas than garment such as frozen foods, leather, ceramics, jute goods and engineering products.

International concern over Myanmar

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Mr. Ibrahim Gambari has briefed the United Nations Security Council after his return from Myanmar. Mr. Gambari has stated that during his visit, he had conveyed the anxiety of the international community to the senior Generals of the Myanmar army led government and also to the detained Nobel laureate Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi. In this context he particularly singled out the United Nations' concern over reports of night-time raids, arbitrary arrests, mass relocations and beatings being committed by security and non-uniformed elements.

The other dimension of police management

Although a police organisation appears as an archetypal legal-rational bureaucracy in the Weberian mould, in practice policy is formulated and implemented with a characteristic lack of attention to the precepts of rationality. As such, it is not unusual to see that police organisations of different societies, Bangladesh inclusive, find themselves committed to achieving the impossible.

Terrorism rearing its head

It must be a coincidence. Otherwise, why would the terrorists choose October 11, the birthday of Gandhian Jaya Prakash Narayan, to strike when people have forgotten him? Even at Patna where his protégé, Nitish Kumar, is the Bihar chief minister, there was no official function, much less a public holiday. The terrorists who attacked the dargah at Ajmer are hardly concerned with Narayan's message of peace and non-violence. They have their own cult of bomb and their own dogma of fundamentalism. Their purpose was to instill fear. More than that, it was meant to convey hostility to the composite culture which the dargah represented. A study done a few years ago showed that the number of non-Muslims visiting the place was more than that of Muslims.

Sports

Khulna's amazing turn

Khulna fought back to a respectable position while Barisal and Rajshahi were in full control at the end of the first day of the 9th National Cricket League first round matches yesterday across the country.

India, Aus renew rivalry

Holders India will renew their rivalry with Australia in the shortest form of the game when they square up here on Saturday in their first Twenty20 international after the World Championship.

Bomb doesn't scare SA

South Africa's one-day series against Pakistan will go ahead unchanged despite the twin bomb attacks that rocked Karachi late on Thursday, killing over 130 people and injuring over 500. Karachi is due to host the final ODI on October 29 and it remains on the itinerary after assurances to the South African team of extra security.

A bright start to cricket

As far as atmosphere goes, it was a tad below vociferous at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

U-16s face UAE today

Buoyed by a 9-1 thrashing of Palestine, Bangladesh will take on hosts United Arab Emirates in their second match of the AFC Youth (Under-16) Championship today.

Marsh in city

Former Australian wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh arrived in Dhaka last night to make a presentation on an ICC project to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

BCB's strong team for HK Sixes

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Thursday announced the team to participate in the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes to be held at the Kowloon Cricket Club on October 27 and 28.

Long journey ahead of booters

Bangladesh national football team will have to go through a strenuous road journey on way to Tajikistan to play their second leg match of the 2010 World Cup pre-qualifier against the Central Asians.

Racism cloud haunts India

A racism row refuses to go away in India where fans repeatedly taunted Australia's only black player, tarnishing the country's sporting image.

Strauss axed

England opener Andrew Strauss has been dropped for his country's forthcoming Test tour of Sri Lanka.

Odoyo's maiden ton drubs Canada

Kenya's vice-captain Thomas Odoyo scored his first century in a one-day international on Thursday to set up a four-wicket victory against Canada in the first ODI match at the Nairobi Gymkhana Club.

Drogba bares his soul

For a man who has a reputation for diving, Didier Drogba is remarkably honest off the pitch. Not only does he openly admit to France Football, in an interview published today, that he wants to leave Chelsea, but he explains that he will not do so in the course of this season because "it would be a little cowardly to leave at a time when the boat is rocking".

Benitez urges cool

Rafa Benitez has told his Liverpool players not to lose their composure in Saturday's potentially explosive Merseyside derby against Everton.

Fergie wary of Gunners

Sir Alex Ferguson claims Arsenal's young stars are serious rivals for Manchester United's Premiership crown and Arsene Wenger's league leaders must be taken seriously this season.

Atapattu recalled for Australia tour

Former captain Marvan Atapattu on Friday resumed training with the Sri Lankan squad after six months, a day after being dramatically picked for the upcoming Australian tour.

Domenech all praise for Henry

France coach Raymond Domenech paid tribute to Thierry Henry on Thursday following the Barcelona forward's record-breaking feat the night before.

Ferguson attacker jailed

A drunken man who attacked Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson outside a London railway station was jailed for 15 months on Thursday.

Van Persie out for a month

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie will be sidelined for at least a month after suffering a knee injury playing for the Netherlands.

Federer's revenge on Canas

Roger Federer came down hard on an outsider who embarrassed him last March, crushing Argentine Guillermo Canas 6-0, 6-3 to blow into the quarterfinals of the Madrid Masters.

Business

Govt to submit proposals for 33 trade-related assistance projects

The government has decided to submit proposals for 33 trade-related technical assistance projects to get funds under the WTO's proposed Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF).

WB seeks private sector aid for poor countries

The new president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, wants to allow private-sector companies to help finance aid to the poorest countries, an innovation already stirring controversy.

Platform to be floated next month to 'monitor' WB, IMF activities

A platform will be launched next month in Dhaka to 'monitor' suggestions and projects of the World Bank and IMF (International Monetary Fund), a dialogue was told yesterday.

US urges Japan to open markets further

The United States urged Japan Thursday to take further steps in opening and deregulating its markets, especially the medical, pharmaceutical and insurance sectors.

'Market to determine yuan exchange rate'

The market will play a bigger role in determining the exchange rate of the yuan and eventually make it fully convertible, the Chinese central bank governor said Thursday.

EU unveils freight, cargo transport action plan

The European Commission announced Thursday a vast action plan to ease international freight traffic in Europe, by opening up priority rail corridors and cutting red tape for ships moving between EU ports.

US should not go to WTO over copyright breaches: China

China's top piracy watchdog said Thursday the United States should not complain to the World Trade Organisation about Chinese copyright infringements, but added the move would not scare the Asian nation.

Dollar dives to historic euro low

The ailing US dollar hit another record low versus the euro on Friday as the market fretted over gloomy US economic prospects ahead of a G7 finance meeting in Washington, dealers said.

Asia Pacific PC sales up 24pc in third quarter

Sales of personal computers in the Asia Pacific region outside Japan rose 24 percent in the third quarter to September, compared with the same period a year ago, an industry report said.

China toy makers get training to ensure quality

The Chinese government has sponsored 14 training courses for toy makers on product quality and safety since August, sources at the Ministry of Commerce said on Friday.

Indian inflation falls to five-year lows

India's inflation rate has edged further down around five-year lows, official data showed Friday, as food prices continued to fall.

Pfizer net profit tumbles

Pfizer said Thursday its third-quarter profit slipped 77 percent from a year ago to 761 million dollars amid a big writeoff by the pharmaceutical giant linked to the withdrawal of its Exubera diabetes drug.

US industry sees risks from weak dollar

US industrial leaders see a potential for problems from the prolonged weakness in the dollar despite the boost it may give to American exports, a manufacturing group said Thursday.

India has 100,000 high net worth individuals

India has 100,000 high net worth individuals holding a collective wealth of a phenomenal US$350 billion by 2006-end.

UK economy bounds ahead in third quarter

Britain's economy expanded by an impressive 0.8 percent in the third quarter of 2007, shrugging off the impact of the global credit crunch, according to official data published Friday.

Metropolitan

24 out of 32 salt refineries shut in Khulna

Over 24,000 workers and employees have lost their jobs as 24 out of 32 salt refineries in Khulna have been closed down for being losing enterprises.

Give more importance to women health in decision-making

The UK Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander has called upon the leaders of world's poorest countries, particularly those in Africa, to give more importance to women's health in their decision-making.

Lone bread earner’s murder shatters dream of a family

Sakhawat Ullah Jewel, an architect who was stabbed to death by muggers on Thursday, was laid to rest at his village graveyard at Chunati under Lohahara upazila in the district yesterday.

Road accidents kill five

At least five people were killed and 10 others injured in separate road accidents in Manikganj, Mymensingh, Chandpur, Rajshahi and Netrakona yesterday.

Intelligence activities beefed up in posh city areas

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) beefed up their intelligence activities in the city's posh areas following the arrest of six people on charges of carrying illegal drugs from the city's Gulshan area on Thursday.

Bapa concerned over filling of waterbody

Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) at a press release yesterday expressed grave concern over the filling of a large waterbody at Nikunja-1 residential area in the city.

Cooperation sought for separation of judiciary

The Judicial Magistracy Programme Observation Committee yesterday sought cooperation from all concerned for the separation of judiciary.

Menon unhurt in road accident

Workers' Party President Rashed Khan Menon escaped unhurt in a road accident yesterday.

Body to probe fire incident at Banglar Jyoti

Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) yesterday formed a three-member committee to probe into the fire that broke out in the state- owned ship Banglar Jyoti on Thursday night.

Release of DU teachers, students demanded

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) demanded release of the arrested Dhaka University (DU) teachers and students before DU reopens on October 28.

Dhaka welcomes US bill to remove tariff on LDC products

Bangladesh has welcomed the introduction of the 'New Partnership for Development Act 2007' in US Congress aiming at reducing global extreme poverty through eliminating tariff on all products that originate in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

International Eye Bank symposium begins today

A two-day symposium on International Eye Bank begins at Hotel Sheraton in the city today.

Voter listing in Sylhet begins today

The task of preparing voter list with photo and National Identity Card in Sylhet City Corporation will begin today.

Voter listing in Gazipur from today

Voter listing with photographs and national identity (ID) cards will begin at Gazipur City Corporation today.

2 youths drown in Noakhali

Two youths drowned when they were taking bath in a pond in Noakhali yesterday.

RUJ secy gets ad-interim bail

Jahangir Alam Akash, general secretary of Rajshahi Union of Journalists and Rajshahi bureau reporter of recently closed CSB News, received an ad-interim bail from the High Court on Tuesday.

23 vessels fined in Ctg

A mobile court fined 23 vessels Tk 2.95 lakh for not paying taxes regularly in the port city on Thursday.

US embassy closed tomorrow

The American Embassy, including the Consular Section and the Public Affairs Section with the Archer K Blood American Centre Library and the Student Advising Centre will remain closed tomorrow on the occasion of Durga Puja, said a press release.

World Osteoporosis Day today

World Osteoporosis Day will be observed today in Bangladesh like elsewhere around the globe with a view to create awareness about the disease.

National

Police deployed as BCC sacks121 illegal staff

Police have been deployed at Barisal City Corporation (BCC) office to stave off any untoward incident as the BCC authorities handed down termination letters to all the illegally appointed 121 staff, recruited by Mayor Majibor Rahman Sarwar.

CID inspector closed on allegation of bribery

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) inspector Hari Pada Biswas of Satkhira CID office was closed to the CID headquarters in Dhaka on Thursday allegedly for taking bribe from an accused in BNP leader Altaf Hossain murder case.

Diarrhoea spreads in Mymensingh

Diarrhoea has spread to 12 upazilas in Mymensingh district, claiming one life and affecting over 600 people in last six days.

Indigenous FF cries for rescue of abducted daughter

Indigenous freedom fighter Shuklal Murmu yesterday urged the authorities concerned to take steps to rescue his abducted daughter.

BSF kills one in Thakurgaon

The Border Security Force (BSF) of India shot dead a Bangladeshi cattle trader on Baliadangi border under Thakurgaon district on Thursday morning.

Kokil Textile Mill resumes production

Kokil Textile Mill resumed production on Thursday as workers withdrew their strike following a meeting with mill authorities.

Fish farmer killed for toll

A fish farmer was killed allegedly by toll collectors at Khara village in Mirpur upazila in Kushtia early yesterday.

International

World leaders condemn bombing targeting Benazir

World leaders yesterday condemned a suicide bombing targeting former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto that killed at least 133 people, urging the country to pull together in the face of the tragedy.

French unions mull more strikes against pension reform move

French commuters faced a second day of disruption on the rail network yesterday, as unions discussed more strikes against government plans to reform pension privileges enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of public sector workers.

Myanmar monks stage protests in Malaysia

More than 200 Buddhist monks and Myanmar refugees staged pro-democracy demonstrations yesterday outside the country's embassy here.

Sacked hospital worker shoots 4 dead in S Africa

Four staff at a hospital in South Africa were killed yesterday when a sacked employee went on a shooting spree shortly after being handed his dismissal notice, police said.

Iraqi Kurds vow to fight if attacked

Iraq's autonomous Kurds vowed yesterday to fight off any attack on their region, as Turkey mulled a military incursion to crack down on Kurdish rebels.

Russia made no nuke proposal, says Ahmadinejad

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin has made a proposal over the Iranian atomic programme, contradicting Iran's top nuclear negotiator, media reported yesterday.

Japan probes US soldiers over gang rape

Japanese police are investigating four US Marines on allegations of gang-raping a young woman in Hiroshima, officials said yesterday.

No evidence Iran arming Taliban

Afghan Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta said yesterday there was no evidence that Iran was supplying weapons to Taliban militants waging a violent insurgency.

Indian wildlife park loses 32 rare Asiatic lions

A total of 32 rare lions have died at a national park this year, the Wildlife Protection Society of India said yesterday.

Nobel-winning climate chief warns Asia at risk

The head of a UN climate panel that shared the Nobel Peace Prize warned yesterday that Asia was particularly vulnerable to global warming, with the continent set for more disasters unless action is taken.

Arts & Entertainment

Making waves at Korean cultural festival

Noted folk singer Indra Mohan Rajbongshi represented Bangladesh in the 'World Masters' Festival in Arts and Culture 2007', which is also known as 'The Cultural Olympics' of the traditional artistes from around the world. The first ever of its kind, the festival was held at the 'aT Center' in Seoul, South Korea. The theme of the festival was 'Cultural Unity in Diversity', in which 36 World Masters from four continents -- Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa -- participated. Artistes from 51 countries participated in the programme highlighting their unique cultures and heritage.

“Balughori” goes to South Asian Film Festival

Balughori, a feature film, directed and produced by young filmmaker Razibul Hossain, will be screened at the Second South Asian Film Festival '07, says a press release. The festival, organised by South Asian Foundation, will be held in Delhi, India, from October 24 to 30.

Beads for the beautiful

“Beauty and the Beads”, exhibition by Bangladeshi artist Nurun Nahar Papaa, was recently held at USA. This was at the 'Out of the Blue' Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Syed Abdul Hadi in “Amar Ami” tonight

Talk show Amar Ami will be aired on Banglavision tonight at 8:55 pm. Hosted by Aupi Karim, tonight's Amar Ami features eminent singer Syed Abdul Hadi.

Meera Dev Burman passes away

The world of music lost another great persona when eminent singer and lyricist Meera Dev Burman, wife of legendary music director-singer Sachin Dev Burman, died in Mumbai on October 15 after prolonged illness. She was 84.

OP-ED

Durga Puja: The social and religious aspects

Durga Puja 'worship of Divine Mother' the festival of pomp and power -- is the greatest socio-religious extravaganza of the Bengali Hindus and by now it has become a global celebration witnessed in almost all the major cities of the world, from New York to Los Angles, from London to Belfast, from Durban to Tokyo. It is a mixture of spiritual sublimity and enlivened sociability that gives it a multi-dimensional excellence. The exquisite beauty of the Pratima (idol), splendidly decorated by artistic skill and colourful devotional outfit adds additional grandeur to the whole spectrum of jubilation and enlightenment. Bengali culture and Bengali literature indeed owe a lot to this prodigious socio-cultural fanfare and nostalgic articulations.

The Hindu vision of Divine Mother

Civilization is in a state of transition. The transition that we have to effect today, if we are to survive, is a moral and spiritual revolution which should embrace our whole existence. In this context, a penetrating thought and look into the totality of the blessing of Mother Durga acts as a salvation. The Vedas, the ancient holy scriptures of the world, uphold the truth of eternal existence of the Divine Mother as the supreme power.

When shall we get rid of Dhaka city traffic jam?

With a huge fleet of cars, buses and all other types of vehicles gridlocked near a rail gate or road intersection sometimes even for 30 minutes at a stretch, Dhaka city's traffic congestion problem has assumed an alarming proportion. People are afraid to get out of their houses because the journey from home to office or business centre takes away the vital hours that he could devote to his work. Other than being late in the offices, work places or on any scheduled appointments, mental disgust, exhaustion and loss of effective man hours is a colossal drain on the resources of the whole country. The road scene in Dhaka is something awesome especially at important crossings like Bishwa Road, Mohakhali-Tejgaon, Panthapath-Bijoy Sarani, Sonargaon Hotel crossing linking Tejgaon Industrial area and Farmgate crossing, Hatirpool, New Market, Gulistan, Bangladesh Bank and Hatkhola crossing near the Ittefaq office.

Literature

Memories Of Durga Puja

The very first time I heard Shah Abdul Karim's heart-stirring song, “Age Ki Shundor Din Kataitam” I was transported to my childhood years in Dhaka's Ramkrishna Mission Road and the Durga Puja days we used to revel in then. Karim remembers lyrically “how happily” he and other village youths would spend their childhood days, “Hindus and Muslims /Singing Baul and Ghetu songs all together.” Karim's song always strikes a responsive note in my heart because I recall how joyously my friends -- whether Muslim or Hindu -- and my family members would spend the Puja days every year in our Ramkrishna Misson Road para or neighbourhood. Although my memories of those days have dimmed considerably by now, one thing I still remember clearly is this: after the two Eids, Durga Puja was the most important festival to light up our young lives then. Alas, those days are gone, not only for me, but for most people growing up in a para in Dhaka.

Toronto's slightly confused autumn

Almost thirteen drops of rain after a very hot day. Or maybe fourteen drops. One has to pay attention at midnight in the deserted, low-end neighbourhood that we live to hear the timid raindrops hitting the ground. Cars parked in the open shine reluctantly but there is no one hurrying home in Toronto's confused autumn.

Kali O Kolom

The striking cover of the October 2007 issue of Kali O Kolom is the work of Tarun Ghosh. Inside is the usual mix of pieces featuring art criticism, short stories, serialized fiction, plus Mohammed Zafar Iqbal's popular, and popularizing, science articles, which have justly earned him a degree of renown. There are also memoirs and reminiscences, among them a tribute to artist Nitun Kundu by Ramendu Majumdar titled 'Nitunda.' There is also the usual complement of poets and poems (one by Al Mahmud, among others), and an engrossing and discursive debate on literary modes and language being conducted by the journal's readers and writer Anisul Haq.

The Battle of the Roses

I find it very disconcerting
When my battlefield
Is strewn with roses
I would just as soon
Condemn my roses
As accuse my florist

Earnest brain-burying*

I say brainless burying is a light thing
I was brainless not to know
my brain in formalin
Was helping knowledge groom
while my body in the pit
Was serving daffodils to bloom
I say brainless burial is
brain-ful indeed

Strategic Issues

Playing the blame game

Policy of blaming Bangladesh for every terrorist attacks in India are doing more harm than good. At least 42 people have been killed and 50 injured in two explosions at a crowded park and a popular eatery in Hyderabad on 25th August '07, three months after the Mecca Masjid blasts. Soon after the incident, Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal had said, "Some of our neighbours are jealous of India's progress and they keep hatching conspiracies to disrupt harmony in the country." Indian newspapers are blaming it on weak-kneed and bumbling response to terror attacks, both in preventing them and in bringing the merchants of death to book and the failure of the governments to deal more firmly with the scourge of terrorism. What we have observed is that a familiar drill follows every terror attack in India - visits to the spot by some high-level dignitaries and then announcement of compensation and finger pointing across the border towards Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Tackling corruption

To tackle corruption one has to have a clear understanding of the various dimensions of corruption. Corruption can be of various types with varying impacts on any given society. Material corruption like illegal acquisition of money and assets through the use of one's position and authority is perhaps easier to deal with than corruption having moral and ethical dimensions.

The economic factors behind the Myanmar protests

The first sign of the current protests currently underway in Myanmar occurred in a rare display of public outrage over the economic conditions within the country in February 2007. A small group calling themselves the Myanmar Development Committee called on the military rulers to address consumer prices, lack of health care, education and the poor electricity infrastructure. Normally unseen in Myanmar, the protest was quickly broken up after only 30 minutes of activity. Likely in response to the protests, the ruling military junta appointed Brigadier-General Than Han of the Myanmar police to the responsibility of handling civil unrest in Rangoon.

Star Books Review

Snippets about Bangladesh's history and culture

Surely, it would be expecting too much for one to gain a detailed, profound and comprehensive account of the history, culture, and heritage of Bangladesh in an anthology of around 450 pages. The saving grace of the book under review, on this count, lies in its very subtitle: “An Introductory Reader”. In the preface to the book, the editors, A.F. Salahuddin Ahmed and Bazlul Mobin Chowdhury, articulate its modest objective: “This book aims at giving the general reader an overview of the different aspects of history, society and culture of Bangladesh…. Though meant as a textbook for students, general readers may also find it useful.” The general reader would find Bangladesh National Culture and Heritage: An Introductory Reader a tad more than useful. At the very least, s/he should find it a handy point of reference for diverse issues relating to this country's history, culture and society.

The Oriya voice in Sarojini Sahoo

Certainly it can be considered a good piece of news for readers of literature in Bangladesh that a worthy translation of a novel by a noted fictionist of Orissa has come out very recently from a local publishing house. The novel Mithya Gerosthali, set in a very familiar context, is able to draw the attention of many for both its loftiness and its lucidity of language.

Smile through your days, always

The book begins on January 1 with this message; “ The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” And then it goes on to say,

The gloom in a heart

Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria', begins the famous author Paulo Coelho's Eleven Minutes.

At a glance

Beje Otho Matal Mollar
Selim Sarwar
Papyrus

This happens to be an exhilarating collection of poetry from an academic who has spent an entire career studying and teaching literature. He has explored literary experience abroad and savoured poetry here in Bangladesh. These poems are a reflection of the modernity he brings into his sensibilities. They are gripping.


The Daily Star

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