News of: Friday, 9th of November, 2007
The ongoing drive against illegal VoIP operation has resulted in a record jump of overseas telephone calls through the Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) system, statistics show.
Pakistan will hold elections by February 15, state media quoted President Pervez Musharraf as saying yesterday, as he moved to quell global outrage over his imposition of a state of emergency.
Brig Gen (retd) ASM Hannan Shah, the most outspoken pro-Khaleda leader of BNP and one of her advisers, has been silenced as he was placed on a three-day remand yesterday after being arrested from his Mohakhali DOHS residence before midnight on Wednesday.
Six power companies yesterday submitted their qualification documents to the Power Cell of the power ministry to participate in the Bibiyana 450MW power plant project tender.
Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman yesterday gave confessional statements to a court in five extortion cases.
Anti-Corruption Task Force yesterday searched the Motijheel office of detained BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury.
The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested 12 members of an organised crime group suspected to have conned roughly Tk 4 crore out of local banks in the last six months through forged drafts.
Acting President of Awami League (AL) Zillur Rahman yesterday demanded that the caretaker government completely lift the ban on indoor politics and the state of emergency soon.
Major (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed, acting secretary general of Saifur-led BNP, yesterday said they would contest the next election with 'sheaf of paddy' as their symbol since, he claimed, the Election Commission has recognised them as the mainstream BNP.
The cabinet committee on law and order yesterday instructed the law enforcement agencies to remain vigilant so that none can violate the conditions for indoor politics which it said could pose a threat to law and order.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) mulls inclusion of former premier Khaleda Zia's eight cabinet colleagues and two former secretaries in the charge sheet of the Gatco graft case.
A 'sedition' case against Jamaat-e-Islami Assistant Secretary General Abdul Quader Mollah was filed in Madaripur yesterday, accusing him of involvement in activities against the country's sovereignty and independence.
The advisory committee on purchase yesterday approved around Tk 1,400 crore for importing significant amounts of rice and fertiliser to meet the growing demands.
Farmers failing to get fertiliser blocked Dhaka-Aricha Road for an hour and a half yesterday at Uthuli bus stand in Shibalaya upazila in Manikganj and assaulted the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) twice.
Scores of fighters have died in fierce fighting between Sri Lankan government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels, both sides said yesterday, although each give wildly differing claims of who suffered most.
A Sirajganj court yesterday sent Awami League leader and former deputy minister Hasibur Rahman Swapan to jail as he appeared before the court to seek bail in a case filed by the ACC.
The government remains unmoved on its decision of handing over 25 acres of land of Suhrawardi Udyan to Dhaka Club for golfing despite continuous protests by environmentalists.
Newspaper Owners' Association of Bangladesh (Noab) has re-elected its present executive committee for another one-year term.
Business magnate and former FBCCI president Abdul Awal Mintoo was set free yesterday, three days after the High Court granted him bail in an extortion case.
Rights group Odhikar in a monitoring report yesterday demanded that the government lift the state of emergency and uphold the rights of the media.
It has been regarded by the experts as the most powerful earthquake to have visited southeastern parts of Bangladesh including Chittagong in the last ten years. On Wednesday we have had the foretaste of what it would be like if seismic wave higher than 6 on the Richter scale should hit Bangladesh. Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Feni, Noakhali, Bandarban, Rangamati, Khagrachhari are within the vicinity of the vulnerable tectonic plate whose slight movement underneath could send severe tremors across the upper crust areas wreaking havoc on life and property.
We are outraged, like everyone else, by the decision of the housing and public works ministry to give away 25 acres of land in Suhrawardy Udyan to Dhaka Club for a golf course. Why such prime land should be given to a club when shrinking space in the urban areas has become a serious public concern is mind-boggling. Environmentalists and other sections of the population are right to demand that the decision be rescinded and that nothing should be done to damage the existing landscape of Suhrawardy Udyan. Over the years the Udyan, formerly known as the Race Course, has lost a good deal of its character through such edifices as the Engineers Institute and the Roads and Highways Department coming up. In the early 1980s, the establishment of a children's park took away a large chunk of land from the Udyan.
Watching the news this past week, I recalled a comment made to me by eminent Indian journalist Sayeed Naqvi when I met him in Dhaka earlier this year. Mr. Naqvi commented at the time how ridiculous it was that we in South Asia needed to get our information about Afghanistan from the likes of BBC and CNN.
I am not trying to be discreet here when I say that I have no experience of taking the Yaba pill. Frankly speaking, I haven't seen one yet, but have heard from others that it's a tiny red pill which does wonders to the mind and the body. For the weight watchers, it's great news. They can shed some quick kilos without much sweat, while feeling weightless all that time!
Serious differences between the government and the radical leftists on the fate of monarchy in Nepal appear to have narrowed down significantly following the passage of a proposal by parliament asking the government to initiate legal preparations to declare the country a republic. This has not fully resolved the simmering dispute, but has certainly alleviated the situation that had threatened a complete govt-Maoist rupture.
Younus Khan hit a superb third one-day century as Pakistan beat India by four wickets to level their series 1-1 at Mohali yesterday.
After 10 months of speculation over who would fill Australia's three vacant Test positions, Phil Jaques hinted that at least one of those spots is in safe hands. Jaques celebrated his first match as a full-time member of the side with a century as Australia fought off Muttiah Muralidaran's wiles to reach 3 for 242 at stumps.
Australia's Test cricket season opened Thursday with international fans unable to follow the action after organisers locked global news agencies out of the ground in Brisbane.
New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond admitted it had been a good toss to lose after his team bowled out South Africa for 226 on the first day of the first Test at the Wanderers Stadium Thursday.
Bangladesh under-19 cricket team's tour of Pakistan has been postponed, said Bangladesh Cricket Board last night.
The Friendship Cup Organising Committee (FCOC) yesterday confirmed that five teams will play in the invitational tournament starting this month in Dhaka.
The National Sports Council (NSC) is expected to submit the full report on Bangabandhu National Stadium press box collapse to its chairman next week.
Team East take on Team West in the opening Challengers Cup four-day match at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium from today.
After being dismissed in the nineties just ten times in his first 17 years of one-day cricket, the jinx has struck Sachin Tendulkar five times over the last five months. Three of those knocks have been 99s, which makes Tendulkar the only batsman to be dismissed at that score thrice.
Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed his side's best Champions League start in five years as a reflection of the match-winning brilliance of Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have very little nice to say to each other and little in common but for once on Wednesday they shared the headlines for good reasons as both Manchester United and Arsenal became the first clubs to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
After months when Thierry Henry's divorce and Ronal-dinho's partying seemed to dominate the headlines, Barcelona's superstars finally got a pat on the back for their playing ability on Thursday.
World number one Justine Henin qualified for the WTA Championships semifinals with an easier-than-expected 6-2 6-2 win over Serb Jelena Jankovic on Wednesday.
France coach Raymond Domenech has omitted striker David Trezeguet from his 24-man squad for this month's Euro 2008 Group B qualifier in Ukraine.
Italian giants AC Milan are keen to sign Spain's international defender Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid, sports daily Marca reported on Thursday.
World number five Serena Williams has withdrawn from the WTA Championships in Madrid because of a knee injury and her place will be taken by Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli.
Chaminda Vaas came in to bowl the first ball of the Test against Sri Lanka in Brisbane today (Thursday), I think.
Despite an ordinary fielding display where they put down three easy catches, Sri Lanka had reason to feel pleased with their performance on the opening day.
Phil Jaques wasn't the only one ecstatic after his maiden Test century and the cries of congratulations continued as he prepared to talk about his breakthrough innings. A jubilant spectator who had bet on him to reach three figures delayed Jaques' self-analysis and embarrassed him slightly.
Bangladesh Army all but ensured their semifinal spot in the Office Hockey League with a come-from-behind 4-1 win over Firoz Properties at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.
The 3rd Dhaka Sports Carnival organised by Dhaka Club will begin in Dhaka on November 30.
Rony's four wickets gave Evergreen Sports Complex an easy seven-wicket win over Sonali Metro Cricket Academy in the Super League of Third Division Qualifying League at the City Club ground yesterday.
The national selectors were to meet here last evening to name India's new Test cricket captain amid indication that Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be given the job in the longer version as well.
Eleven Star beat Jhankar Krira Chakra 3-2 in the first division football league at the local government college ground yesterday.
In order to groom women carrom players to international standard, the two-day 1st Open Carrom Championship will begin on November 23 in the city.
After 'monkey taunts' hurled on their all-rounder Andrew Symonds overshadowed the recent ODI series against India, Cricket Australia has banned any such crowd gesture during the Tests against Sri Lanka.
West Indies will go ahead with their tour of Zimbabwe this month following security assessments in Africa.
England would be worthy hosts for the 2018 World Cup, Brazilian legend Pele has said.
Yet another list of the 100 greatest players of all time has hit the headlines but on this occasion it is not based on mere opinion but fact, at least that is what the creators claim.
Former Colombia captain Carlos Valderrama, now assistant coach of Atletico Junior, was banned for 10 games and fined on Wednesday for his conduct during a game last week.
Dimitar Berbatov insists he is happy at Tottenham and plans to stay with the struggling Premier League club.
Retired Dutch star Ruud Gullit might be the new coach of English star David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy, a Wednesday Sky Sports report said, but the Major League Soccer team had no comment.
Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the Premier League champions until 2012.
Construction at one of the stadia being built for the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa came to a halt on Wednesday after workers went on a strike in a pay dispute.
Trading of Rupali Bank shares will remain suspended both in the public and spot markets on Dhaka and Chittagong bourses until a final decision is made on the state-run bank's sell-off procedures.
Speakers at a seminar in Dhaka yesterday emphasised application of 'cluster approach' in light engineering sector for economic growth and employment generation.
Asian economies have weathered the US subprime mortgage crisis well and will experience only a mild slowdown next year, a senior International Monetary Fund official said Thursday.
World crude prices rebounded toward record high points and within striking distance of 100 dollars a barrel on Thursday amid supply concerns in the North Sea and unrest in oil-rich Yemen.
DEG, the German Investment and Development Company, has extended a long-term loan of US$ 7.5 million to Esquire Knit Composite Ltd, a concern of Esquire Group, for its expansion of knit composite unit located at Kanchpur in Narayanganj.
The communications adviser has asked for better coordinated efforts to keep up the success achieved so far in improving activities at the Chittagong Port and to enhance its efficiency further.
Gold prices in domestic market rose again yesterday with guinea (21-carat) selling at Tk 22,114 a bhori (11.66 grams) against Tk 21,636 last month.
Speakers at a view exchange meeting here yesterday suggested formation of monitoring cells with representation from different sectors to oversee prices and supply of essentials to ensure a reasonable market situation.
A five-day furniture fair will begin at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in Dhaka on Monday to promote locally manufactured furniture.
The Bangladesh Monitor, a travel fortnightly, yesterday launched a chef of the year competition in association with Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC).
China has released new rules to prohibit or limit foreign investment in key industries as it seeks to cool its overheated economy and clean up its damaged environment, state press reported Thursday.
Saima Mazhar has been recently appointed the country representative of MTI Consulting Bangladesh, says a press release.
The dollar headed towards its record low against the euro on Thursday as the market prepared for an interest rate decision by the European Central Bank (ECB).
Human rights activists and labour leaders yesterday called on the government to amend the Labour Law 2006 and formulate new rules and regulations in the shortest possible time to ensure workers' rights and help develop the industries.
The Welfare Committee of the Affected Landowners of Kalyanpur Regulating Pond Project yesterday reiterated their demand for reviewing the project as it will harm around 500 families living in the area.
A Dhaka court yesterday placed two more Harkat-Ul-Jihad (Huji) men on a 10-day remand in connection with a case filed for conducting grenade attacks on an Awami League (AL) rally at Bangabandhu Avenue on August 21, 2004.
Numerous possibilities to acquire a United Kingdom (UK) degree without studying abroad are on display at the UK Qualifications Fair 2007, which was inaugurated yesterday at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in Dhaka.
To ensure security and proper use of the hard-earned income of working children, a saving scheme 'Chhayabrikhkho' was launched in the city yesterday.
The 'unknown' disease has claimed four more lives, all young girls, in Companyganj upazila in the last couple of days.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is going to start its 5th round of emergency food distribution in 26 flood-affected districts targeting more than 1.4 million people.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday filed six cases against 92 government employees on charges of securing government jobs using forged documents.
The Retired Armed Forces Officers' Welfare Association (Raowa) have expressed concern over recent remarks made by some retired army officers who are involved in politics.
The 9th meeting of the council of Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) was held at the Mirpur Cantonment in the city yesterday.
Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested three drug peddlers with 110 Yaba tablets from Jatrabari area in the early hours of yesterday.
Today is the 57th birth anniversary of Shaheed Ahsanullah Master, a freedom fighter, Sramik League leader and former Awami League (AL) lawmaker, says a press release.
Three Bangladeshi cattle traders who were injured seriously due to torture by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) men on Wednesday morning have been fighting for their lives at Sakhipur Hospital.
After a long break, artist Ratan Mojumder will hold a two-week exhibition of his selected woodcut prints beginning at Galleri Kaya, a contemporary art gallery, in Uttara today.
Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized 500 sacks of urea in Patuakhali on Thursday night as they were being smuggled to Myanmar.
A fire swept through a plastic factory in the city's Korbaniganj area yesterday morning, damaging machinery and other valuables.
The Hindu community will celebrate their second largest religious festival Kali Puja today.
President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday returned home after a weeklong official visit to the United States.
Bangladesh has expressed shock at death of a large number of people, including six members of parliament, in a bomb attack in the Afghan province of Baghlan on Tuesday.
Alhaj Mian Md Golam Kibria, a freedom fighter, former commissioner of Dhaka City Corporation and former vice president of Dhaka city Awami League, passed away at his residence at East Tejturi Bazar in the city on Wednesday at the age of 66, says a press release.
By imposing de facto martial law in the guise of emergency rule and sacking a top judge Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf has proved that a barrel of gun is far mightier than the scale of justice. Now is the turn of political leaders to prove Musharraf wrong.
“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. " - Albert Einstein.
Parveen's article on the subject (Nov:5) equates nylon-net shopping bags with paper shopping packets made from recycled fertiliser and cement bags. All these are classed as dangerous for health. However, the health hazards are not clearly spelled out with details, nor is there any dependable reference in support of the statement; beyond stating that toxic residues of these containers are a hazard to public health! Small wonder, small traders using these convenient shopping containers are unaware of these issues. They are unfortunately not provided with a simple clarification on the possibilities of health hazards resulting from using these materials.
On 29/10/07, I believe many people were surprised to hear from the law adviser an amazing question: “How do you expect us to put on trial these people for something done 36 years ago?”
Mrs. Asma Kibria's article, 'Is it not yet time for justice?" published in The Daily Star on Wednesday, 24 October, moved me to tears. Mrs Kibria's campaign for justice following the brutal killing of her husband SAMS Kibria on 24 January 2005 is an admirable example of courage, determination and dignity. But in this connection the pertinent question is: How many more years does she have to continue showing this example?
1. Justice delayed, justice denied: Cases of VIPs and the rich in courts are attended quickly, but those of poor and common people are handled slowly.
It has already been proved that girls in our country are capable of performing an equal role as their male counterparts, provided the requisite facilities are available. In one are they obtain a higher credit than boys since their presence in society is as exquisite as flowers in the garden. But in an important sphere of life like marriage girls are often not asked to give their opinions. Consequently, marriage, the tie of love becomes a mere shock to many girls. In the existing marriage system few girls are allowed to express their opinions. Recently, I had a frank conversation with many university as well as college going girls and found the majority of them are not independent of their family in the matter of marriage. A great many of them do not dare to argue with their parents regarding marriage to avoid severe punishments.
Recently I went to visit some tourist spots in different districts of Dhaka, Barisal and Khulna Division with my wife and children using our own car. To plan our routes we bought recently published maps of five different commercial publishing houses of the country. Unfortunately, we found that the road routes shown in these maps are someway different form the reality. We found some excellent highways comparable to British A type roads which were not shown in any of these maps. Secondly, we found some roads shown in the maps which are not in existence. Third, the maps are not properly scaled. Fourth, the maps do not show the existence of ferryboats. There are many other drawbacks. We used roads shown in the maps then when we reached a destination we learnt that we could use shortcuts.
I thank Mr. Mohammad Badrul Ahsan for his thought-provoking article “Mutiny of the magistrates” on 26-10-07. He has analyzed the possible reasons behind the resentment among the magistrates against the government decision to separate the judiciary from the administration.
Now that the top leaders of the two largest political parties have been thoroughly discredited and are unlikely to be able to participate in the next national election (because of the on-going numerous court cases), the Awami League stands a better chance to reorganise and prepare for it. But for that the AL must persuade Sheikh Hasina's son , Sajib Wajed Joy, and entrust him with the task of house cleaning and nominating persons of 'more or less acceptable background' to contest in the election.
In response to questions in Kennedy School of Government, Boston, our Army Chief replied that Sheikh Hasina is being tried under ordinary laws of the land in an open court and also that he would be happy if she is acquitted. Is this so? Then why after 7/8 years of alleged occurrence of the "crime", some people were taken into custody and why they were released soon after.
Rab have just arrested 9 of the JMB terrorists who have confessed to direct personal involvement in the grenade attack on the AL meeting on 21 August 2004. Earlier, at the behest of the then govt of the BNP-Jamaat alliance a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of CID in the name of investigation concocted a cock and bull story accusing poor Joj Miah, Mokhlesur Rahman and a few others. Even Joj Miah was made to make a confessional statement before a judicial magistrate, I am sure, under duress. By doing so , the SSP not only violated the relevant laws, he surely betrayed the trust reposed on him by his department and the state.
President Bush, personally intervening in the political crisis in Pakistan, told President Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday he must hold parliamentary elections soon and step down as army leader.
Top State Department official John Negroponte Wednesday said continued engagement with Pakistan was the "only option" despite President Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule.
President Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy stood shoulder-to-shoulder against a nuclear-armed Iran on Wednesday, demonstrating the cozier relationship between the two countries under France's new conservative leader.
UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari met Myanmar's detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday after warning the junta against a return to the status quo before mass pro-democracy protests shook the nation.
Georgia was under a 15-day state of emergency Thursday after police clashed violently with anti-government protesters and forced the main opposition television station off air.
A senior Iranian official urged New Delhi Thursday not to drift too close to Washington, emphasising his country's wish to be a major energy supplier to a "friendly" India.
A Saudi-based Muslim clerics' organisation has banned the use of Quranic verses as mobile phone ringtones after a six-day meeting in the holy city of Makkah, a statement said on Thursday.
An 18-year-old gunman opened fire at his high school in this placid town in southern Finland on Wednesday, killing seven other students and the principal before mortally wounding himself in a rampage that stunned a nation where gun crime is rare.
The head of the UN agency responsible for aiding Palestinian refugees said Wednesday that Israel's near economic blockade of the Gaza Strip is fuelling support for extremists and shattering hopes for a peaceful future.
Arts & Entertainment
Rudraprasad Sengupta is one of the most prominent theatre personalities in the subcontinent. He is a star-performer, a sensitive adapter, an acclaimed director, and a successful organiser. Under his leadership for almost a quarter of a century, Nandikar, a leading theatre troupe in India, has not only learnt to survive with distinction but also widened the area of its activities to include training programmes, workshops, research, theatre-in-education projects, and an annual national theatre festival.
About his Bhanushinher Padabali, Rabindranath Tagore wrote, “On a cloudy afternoon, enjoying the leisure indoors, I started writing on a slate: Gahano kusum kunjo majhey…”
Kanak Chanpa Chakma and Khalid Mahmood Mithu are well known in the fields of fine arts and films. They have been blissfully married for sixteen years now, and have two talented children -- Arjo and Shiropa. However, their journey from their days of early romance at the Institute of Fine Arts (IFA), to their present days of billing and cooing, have not been without perseverance.
The 4th Lux Channel i Performance Award will be held at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium amidst razzle-dazzle. Unilever's international brand Lux is the sponsor and partner of the programme.
Mukto Khobor, programme on a current affairs, created, planned and presented by children, will be aired on Ekushey Television tonight at 6:30 pm. The programme features reports and news on children at home and abroad.
To mark the 25th anniversary of Thriller, Michael Jackson sat down with Ebony for what the magazine is calling his first print interview in a decade (Rolling Stone is told the special Thriller re-release will be coming out early next year, not in December, the month that would mark the album's true birthday). Excerpts from the interview:
Director Sudhir Mishra is smitten by nostalgia for Indian and world cinema of the 1950s and 1960s -- ranging from movies made by Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Frederico Fellini, Orson Welles, Bimal Roy and Guru Dutt.
The caretaker government has set up a regulatory reforms commission to update old rules and regulations to "infuse dynamism into governance, administration and economy." The commission will review and suggest recommendations for the reform of government rules and regulations. In this age of globalisation and regional cooperation many existing rules do not appear to be suitable for a dynamic administration.
In a Newsweek article on June 11, Fareed Zakaria wrote: "The problem (is) that America is … seen as too arrogant, uncaring and insensitive." That assertion was not made lightly or flippantly. Each time the leaders of 6% of the world's population dictate terms to the community of nations (Iran most recently) and engage with deadly force where interests clash (N. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc), Zakaria's portrayal is reinforced.
The most recent report on Bangladesh's economic growth strategy, which has been highlighted by the World Bank country director and the chief economist for Bangladesh, deserves our critical attention. I was particularly impressed with the frank and open discussion of the report initiated by its principal author, Sandeep Mahajan. The country director has also been kind enough to write in the popular press, and it is in the spirit of encouraging further dialogue that this comment is written.
According to some of the world's leading international and development groups, global warming threatens to reverse human advancement and make unattainable all UN targets to lessen poverty. In a journal, Oxfam, Greenpeace, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth, WWF and 15 other groups state that rich governments must immediately address climate change to avoid "obscene levels" of worldwide poverty. "Food production, water supplies, public health and people's livelihoods are already being damaged and undermined," the journal says. "There is no either/or approach possible. The world must meet its commitments to achieve poverty reduction and also tackle climate change. The two are inextricably linked."
Recently, air and water pollution has drawn the attention of environmentalists in Bangladesh. Air and water are crucial for the survival of all living organisms on earth and the most vital of natural resources. They are needed for human health, breathing, drinking, agriculture use, wildlife, aquatic life, and ecosystem etc. They are vital components of the environment, interlinked with other components and the quality of the environment. Water plays many roles in the biosphere, including being a habitat for millions of species and a part of the hydrological cycle. The environment, economic growth and development of Bangladesh are highly influenced by water -- its regional and seasonal availability, and the quality of surface and groundwater.
Indigenous communities use the forest with restraint because it provides for their basic needs -- food, shelter, water, medicine, fuel and clothing. The Bambuti people of the Congo refer to the forest as mother or father, and hold it sacred: a deity to ask for help and to thank. The Yanomami of Venezuela and Brazil believe that the natural and spiritual worlds are united: the fates of all people and the environment are inexorably linked. So when people destroy the environment, humanity slowly commits suicide.