News of: Wednesday, 21st of November, 2007
A massive health hazard looms large over the areas badly hit by Sidr, as an acute shortage of drinking water resulting in a diarrhoea outbreak has started to claim lives.
Around 10 lakh tonnes of Amon rice production may be lost due to Cyclone Sidr along with other standing crops in an area of eight lakh hectares of land, according primary assessment of the agriculture ministry.
It was like the hump of a red whale. The morning sun shone brightly on Meher Ali Island. It looked almost like a tourist spot.
"Waters sprang up atop the trees. We don't know how come we are alive,” said Monira.
A housewife from Southkhali village, she does not care about relief. She does not go around telling everyone how badly her family has been ravaged by Thursday's storm. She just stares blankly at the people visiting their village.
Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the nation is facing a catastrophe caused by the deadly cyclone Sidr and urged all irrespective of party and opinion to come forward in aid of the affected people.
Top officials of different government organisations working in the six city corporation areas will be nominated as councillors of the respective corporations for proper coordination of their activities to ensure better service to city dwellers, proposed the draft ordinance on city corporations.
The caretaker government yesterday ruled out the possibility of talks with the political parties to discuss relief operation, but called on everyone including the political parties and businessmen to work together in aid of the cyclone victims.
Mobile phone communication and solar panel power are literally saving many lives in the remote cyclone hit areas, and greatly helping rescue and relief operations.
The Supreme Court (SC) has finally decided to deliver its judgment on December 11 on the much-talked-about appeal against the High Court (HC) directive to the Election Commission (EC) to collect and publish eight-point personal information about candidates for parliamentary election.
The Armed Forces Day will be observed today with due solemnity and enthusiasm to mark the counter-offensive against the Pakistani occupation army during the Bangladesh Liberation War.
A Dhaka court yesterday ordered attachment of entire property of former BNP whip Ashraf Hossain and Orion Group Chairman Obaidul Karim in a bribery case filed in connection with Gulistan-Jatrabari flyover contract.
Around five lakh people of two severely affected upazilas Morelganj and Sharonkhola in Bagherhat districts are in serious need of clean drinking water.
Confusion has arisen over the real death toll caused by cyclone Sidr as the government figure of a little over 3,000 as of yesterday is far below the estimates of a few NGOs and international agencies that put the number around 20,000.
Different organisations and multinational companies in Bangladesh have come forward to the aid of cyclone Sidr-affected people with donations worth over Tk 9.65 crore.
Work on preparing voter list with photograph for Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) area began yesterday.
Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday urged the people to come forward in aid of the victims of cyclone Sidr that ripped through the coastal districts on Thursday night.
In response to the government's appeal, different countries and donor agencies are pledging humanitarian assistance to meet the emergency needs of the cyclone-affected people.
The armed forces yesterday managed to reach to all villages of the districts ravaged by Cyclone Sidr with the military putting the death toll at 3,153.
The Dhaka University (DU) on its official website posted a list of 96 teachers, who owe the university around Tk 1.69 crore, requesting them to contact the authorities concerned and pay their debt.
Three top officials of Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina's security staff and one of her personal assistants yesterday gave their accounts of the August 21 grenade attack on an AL rally in 2004.
Joint forces yesterday arrested two employees of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd (TGTDCL) for their alleged involvement in corruption.
Grameenphone is worth more than $ 3.5 billion, but the mobile operator may initially list less than 10 percent of its shares on the Dhaka stock market next year, according to the new Chief Executive Anders Jensen.
Exiled former premier Nawaz Sharif urged fellow opposition leader Benazir Bhutto to join him in boycotting Pakistan's upcoming elections, as he said he had spurned a meeting with President Pervez Musharraf.
Scientists have made ordinary human skin cells take on the chameleon-like powers of embryonic stem cells, a startling breakthrough that might someday deliver the medical payoffs of embryo cloning without the controversy.
In our story headlined “HC stays operation of EC letter to Hafiz” published on Monday, in place of chief adviser's principal secretary, the chief adviser to the caretaker government was mentioned as one of the respondents to the High Court rule. We regret the inadvertent error.
A study report by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on our power sector has made startling revelations. Due to mismanagement, corruption and irregularities in the sector, the country sustained a loss of Tk 10,626 crore in 2005-06 fiscal year alone. To sample other staggering loss figures, between 1994-2005, Tk 18,930 crore was lost through distribution leakage and pilferage and Tk 4,000 crore went down the drain through purchase of six overpriced power plants between 1996 and 2006.
The Election Commission has called off its scheduled November 22 meeting with the Saifur Rahman-led faction of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. It really did not have a choice, seeing that the High Court has served a stay order on the EC's earlier action of inviting the faction despite the brewing conflict between the reformists and pro-Khaleda Zia groups in the party. We recall that we had made it clear in an editorial that the EC appeared to take sides by their move and suggested it should have sought legal advice before issuing a letter to any of the BNP factions. We did so because we could clearly see the potential for controversy about its neutrality that underlay the EC's action.
General Harunur Rashid has been doing an admirable job of keeping us all posted on the need to resist the anti-liberation elements which have, of late, been rearing their heads. His careful and determined handling of conditions, especially through his efforts to organise the surviving sector commanders of the War of Liberation, is proof, if proof at all were needed, that the spirit which informed our view of the war and underlined our participation in that war is yet alive, and that it only needs men of courage and patriotism to rekindle it in order for the dark forces endangering our liberty to be sent packing.
For the first time since 1990, we are facing the aftermath of a severe cyclonic storm that has killed hundreds and devastated countless homes. Only those who are victims can say how serious the situation is, but the reports and images that we see speak of nature at its most cruel.
Seldom do problems have a quick fix, neither can an authority worth the name let them snowball into a crisis. If it does, it is a failure. When such failures are added up at the end of the day, it might appear that the present caretaker set-up could turn out to be not much more than its predecessors.
Golam Mabud transformed his one-day form into the longer version game as Sylhet made an unlikely turnaround against hosts Chittagong on the third day of the fifth round four-day 9th National Cricket League match at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.
Kumar Sangakkara posted the highest score by a Sri Lankan in Australia and Sri Lanka achieved their highest fourth innings total but still lost the second Test by 96 runs to Australia at Bellerive Oval here Tuesday.
Rudi Koertzen apologised to Kumar Sangakkara for the mistake that prevented the batsman from reaching a seventh double-century and extinguished the slim chance Sri Lanka had of levelling the series in Hobart. Sangakkara, who swept to 192 in a brutal and beautiful innings, missed a pull shot off Stuart Clark and was hit on the shoulder and helmet before the ball floated towards Ricky Ponting at second slip.
Anil Kumble returns to his happy hunting ground here on Thursday in the opening Test against Pakistan, hoping to begin his new innings as India captain on a winning note.
Senior Sri Lankan opening batsman Marvan Atapattu announced his retirement from international cricket here Tuesday.
Abahani strolled into the semifinals of the 56th Bordoloi Trophy as Group A champions when they drew goalless with defending champions Assam Electricity Board yesterday in Guwahati.
Bangladesh will take part in a tri-nation kabaddi tournament to be held in Qatar soon.
Rajshahi opener Zunaed Siddiqui was fined ten per cent of his match fees for breach of BCB Code of Conduct and ICC Rules of Conduct yesterday.
The last Super Three match of the 11th Delta Life women's handball tournament between Scholastica and Viqarunnissa Noon School and College will be held today at the Outer Stadium handball court. The match kicks off at 3pm.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) in a press release yesterday confirmed that the three-day players' transfers for the Dhaka Premier and First Division Leagues 2007-08 will be held from January next year.
John Terry gave England a boost ahead of their make-or-break Euro 2008 qualifier against Croatia when he returned to training with the rest of the squad here on the eve of the match.
Ecuador, under interim coach Sixto Vizuete, will attempt to pick up their first World Cup qualifying points against Peru while Brazil, with two draws and a win, face old rivals Uruguay in this week's matches.
Germany and the Netherlands head into the final round of Euro 2008 qualifying on Wednesday knowing that victory could actually hamper their chances when the tournament kicks off next June.
Croatia sporting great Goran Ivanisevic has said the England football team will struggle to get the point they need to qualify for the Euro 2008 finals against his compatriots on Wednesday and do not deserve a place at next year's tournament in Austria and Switzerland.
Less than three months out from their World Cup qualifying campaigns, four of Asia's top five teams are rudderless, desperately searching for coaches to steer them to the finals.
The world's former number one tennis player was no match for the current champion when they met on court Tuesday for only the second time.
Roma captain and talisman Francesco Totti has ruled out a return to the Italian national team, despite the world champions' qualification for Euro 2008.
A Russian billionaire has offered incentives to Croatia for beating England in their final Euro 2008 Group E qualifier on Wednesday, a result that would give Russia a chance to reach the finals.
Nearly 30,000 football fans attended Monday's fifth edition of the Match Against Poverty organised here by football legends Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo as part of their work with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Newcastle are to receive 100,000 pounds per week in compensation for as long as Michael Owen is sidelined by the injury he sustained on England duty last week.
Italian champions Inter Milan and Juventus are set to battle it out for the signature of Argentina playmaker Juan-Roman Riquelme in the January transfer window, press reports suggested here Monday.
About 60 drunken Northern Ireland fans were kicked off a plane at Madrid's airport that was to take them to the Canary Islands for this week's Euro 2008 qualifier against Spain, the airline Iberia said Monday.
Brett Lee says he will never replace fast bowling titan Glenn McGrath but his performances in the winning series over Sri Lanka point to a successful transition for Australian cricket.
In an unprecedented revolt against the Cricket Board's policy to ban national selectors from writing columns, three selectors on Tuesday threatened to quit their posts if the BCCI persisted with the gag order.
England's cricketers had an early sighting of Sri Lanka's conditions -- and its wildlife -- as they opened their six-week tour on Tuesday with a tough day in the field.
Ashraful Aziz struck 77, as Bangladesh under-19s got off to a modest start in their only four-day match against Pakistan under-19s at the Karachi National Stadium yesterday.
The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) is considering extending the deadline of the district and divisional football associations' (DFAs) elections as consequences of Cyclone Sidr.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Arman Islam struck a half-century as Team North notched up their second successive win during the third day's play of the Challengers Cup at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Group L beat Group B 1-0 to become the first-ever Stamford University football tournament held at the Siddeshwari campus on November 18.
Six players were leading the Prime Bank 10th International Rating Chess Tournament table jointly with maximum four points after the 4th round yesterday.
Grameenphone is worth more than $ 3.5 billion, but the mobile operator may initially list less than 10 percent of its shares on the Dhaka stock market next year, according to the new Chief Executive Anders Jensen.
A top official yesterday announced the government is considering lowering registration costs for land and apartments, a move industry sources believe could help boost the struggling real estate sector.
Lack of quality awareness and poor handling, packaging and transportation are the main bottlenecks to increase export of fresh fruits as speakers told a workshop in Dhaka on Monday.
The country's first-ever women SME exposition began at Railway Pologround in the port city yesterday.
A former governor of the Indian central bank has suggested commercial banks make their financial documents, including balance sheets, public in order to uphold institutional ethics.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) has asked commercial banks to provide loans for the small and medium level importers to facilitate the import of essentials for an improvement in the market situation here.
Summit Purbanchol Power Company Limited and Summit Uttaranchol Power Company Limited, the subsidiaries of Summit Power Limited, yesterday signed deals with Energypac Engineering on design, engineering, procurement, supply, manufacturing, erection, installation, testing and commissioning of transformers and other equipment for three 33 MW capacity power plants, says a press release.
BRAC Bank and IT Consultants Ltd (Q-Cash) have launched Omnibus, an ATM (automated teller machine) and POS (point of sales) network under an independent association of member banks.
Trust Bank Ltd has introduced passport application processing service at its four branches in Dhaka, says a press release.
The Bangladesh Bank asked all banks working with agricultural credits to speed up the disbursement of loans to the cyclone affected areas.
The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) witnessed a sharp fall yesterday amid profit taking coupled with SEC action to curb liquidity inflow.
Southeast Asian leaders on Tuesday signed an "economic blueprint" aimed at transforming the region into a single market with a unified production base and no tariffs by 2015.
The European single currency struck a record high 1.4766 dollars in trading here on Tuesday after more bad news from the banking sector hit investor confidence over the US economy, traders said.
China and Southeast Asia on Tuesday signed a pact on food safety at a regional summit here, pledging to cooperate to protect consumers and improve the handling of potential health threats.
Environmentalists at a roundtable yesterday urged the government to stop encroachment of Gulshan-Banani-Baridhara lake in order to protect it from further degradation.
Poet Begum Sufia Kamal fought all through her life to establish women's rights and freedom.
A Saarc workshop on disaster management has prepared a draft roadmap for the region emphasising on strengthening the communities at risks of disasters to reduce risks and prevent major hazards of disasters.
President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday called upon university authorities to stand by the
Nobel laureate Prof Dr Muhammad Yunus has been awarded the first 'Sakaal Person of the Year' by Maharahstra-based Sakaal Group of Publications in India, says a press release.
Expatriate Bangladeshis in different countries are raising funds to help the victims of the devastating hurricane that left hundreds of thousands people in the southern region of the country homeless.
Dr Ahrar Ahmad of Black Hills State University (BHSU), professor of political science, was named South Dakota Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, says a press release.
Awami League yesterday demanded withdrawal of emergency in cyclone-affected districts immediately so that the political parties as well as the people could carry out relief operations together.
South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), Bangladesh yesterday called on the Pakistan government to lift emergency and stop harassment of media practitioners, says a press release.
A Khulna court yesterday rejected the bail petitions of detained Khulna City Corporation (KCC) mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman in eight cases filed against him on different charges.
A student of Eden University College was killed when a bus rammed a rickshaw she was travelling in at Uttara in the city yesterday.
Head of US Agency for International Development (USAID) Henrietta H Fore yesterday handed over relief materials including blankets, hygiene kits, plastic sheets and high-energy biscuit worth $1.61 lakh to Bangladesh officials.
Though the number of children infected with bronchiolitis is increasing in the country, it is yet to be diagnosed properly and physicians especially at upazila and union level must be trained in this regard, said the experts at a congress yesterday.
Acting Secretary General of Saifur-led BNP Major (Retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed yesterday called upon the leaders and workers to work for the consolidation of the party.
The test for admission to BBA course (2007-2008) under the Institute of Business Administration of Dhaka University will be held on Friday at 10:00am.
At least two people were killed and 20 others injured critically in a road accident on Panchagarh-Dinajpur highway yesterday morning.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has found involvement of former lawmakers Moulana Abdus Subhan of Jamaat-e-Islami and Salim Reza Habib of BNP in misappropriation of government CI sheets distributed as relief.
Former BNP lawmaker from Nilphamari-4 constituency Amzad Hossen Sarkar and thirteen others have been chargesheeted in Kazi Rubel murder case.
With a vow to maintaining peace and harmony, Magura villagers have deposited to police their sharp weapons they used for years in clashes for establishing supremacy in their respective areas.
Police seized 219 bags of fertiliser in Rangpur and Pabna yesterday and Monday. Police also arrested two persons in Rangpur.
Families of seven class four employees, who were evicted from their houses on an unused land of Bangladesh Railway's West Zone, have alleged that a group of pro-Jamaat officers and employees evicted them for not supporting their organisation.
Journalist and human rights activist Jahangir Alam Aakash was freed on bail yesterday after 27 days in Rajshahi Central Jail on extortion charges.
Kalaroa upazila Jubo Dal president Ashraf Hossain faces another extortion case for allegedly taking Tk 50,000 from an unemployed youth in name of giving job.
Tropical cyclone SIDR, the deadliest storm to hit the country in a decade, has caused massive devastation in the southwest region of our country and ruined much-needed crops just before the harvest season. The country was just recovering from the impact of floods when it was hit by another major calamity. This is the ideal time for the people of Bangladesh to unite and work together to help those people who lost their belongings completely. We feel sorry for those who lost their dear ones. Our country has faced a lot of troubles before and we are a nation accustomed to coping with natural disasters. We shall overcome this time as well and move forward for building a stronger nation.
Syed Badrul Ahsan has doubtless a facile pen. By my watch, he is the best among his peers in Bangladeshi journalism in crafting precision English syntax. But unfortunately, in his post-editorial titled “Of Suhrawardy Udyan, of history and golf” printed in your daily on 14 November, 2007, his thoughts have gone off-key.
The present caretaker government closed four big jute mills. Thousands of workers lost their jobs. Poor workers (and also their families) do not know their future destinations. I am deeply shocked by it.
Yaba has been sorted out to be a dangerous drug which may damage the entire nervous system of an individual if taken on a regular basis.
People were waiting for news of the catastrophic hurricane. As the news-craving people turned on their radios for news, they were disappointed by the constant round of laughter over fan mails, song dedications and non-stop hit tracks that our dear private radio stations were playing. The news update that so many people were waiting for was never aired.
I am writing this letter in the same tune as one of your writer Nur Jahan from Chittagong.
I came across a news item in the UAE media about a Bangladeshi labourer suffering from plastic anemia who was treated in a UAE hospital for certain months for free. He was then sent back to BD as he was an illegal entrant to this country. He is in BD now and apparently no hospital in BD is ready to treat him, though money is no issue for him. This man's name is Abdul Hakim and since he is not educated he cannot communicate his problems. I seek the readers' assistance in finding a volunteer who can guide him to the doctors. Let me reiterate, he does not need financial assistance at this point of time. His number is 01715979961.
Khaleda Zia's incompetent and corrupt government created such a situation in Bangladesh that those who were paid by our poor people to arrest criminals and fight crime didn't perform their duties, because they were afraid that they might lose their jobs. In some cases people even lost their lives for doing their job. According to a DS report (“Alarming use of Yaba in posh areas”, 28 Oct), a narcotics officer said, “We did not dare to challenge the suspected traders though we knew well how some people in luxury cars were peddling the drug.” In the same report, a high official of the police said, “Most of the users are students of private universities, colleges and A and O-levels. They thought they were above the law in the last five years. But the situation changed after the caretaker government came to office. We have been working without interference for the last one year and the recent hauls are a result of those sincere efforts.” So much for our democracy!
We are going through some democratic process/filtration. That "Democracy means what people want" is a totally wrong concept. Democracy means what the majority wants. And the majority means constitution. Therefore, we should strictly follow our constitution. It should not be left useless. We have two options, either change the constitution (saving war criminals) or implement it quickly. If it is implemented politically then the country may again be unsteady. If anyone(s/he may be a victim of the war) wants to implement it, then the best s/he can do is to personally file a case against the war criminals. What the present government can do is to ensure proper justice. If the government files a case against the war criminals, then the situation may get chaotic. I personally believe in forgiveness. But forgiveness should be viewed from the angle of the victims. Personally, I don't like politics which is based on religion but again it should be viewed from the angle of the majority i.e. constitution. Sooner or later, people will realise the negative effects of politics based on religion. Anyway, we must not forget the actual definition of "Democracy" which is majority or constitution.
To the best of my knowledge, Illegal VoIP operators use either land lines or mobile phone networks to re-route voice/data/call upon termination. How about taking a temporary measure to turn off all the land lines as well as mobile phone network for the period of interruption resulting from sabotage, to take away the means to re-route illegally terminated calls/voice/data. This measure would leave no incentive for the illegal operators to cut off the submarine cable. And, this should be strictly a temporary measure until the government/BTTB has a backup cable line installed.
From my childhood, I have been noticing that top level positions e.g. prime minister, minister, secretary, additional secretary, chairman of any commission or bureau, etc. carry a lot of prestige, and those who hold the offices, barring a few exceptions, behave like being esteemed. But I wonder why it is so. Aren't they public servants? In that case, they are supposed to be humble, unassuming, unprivileged, subservient, obliging and all the other synonyms you could find in the dictionary.
A thousand people dead in the cyclone probably does not sound like a big number to a lot of Bangladeshis. After all, no politics is involved in these deaths. Why would a TV station or a newspaper bother to send their crew to the remote village of far south to see whether people are prepared? There is no political party quarrel involved in that news. Why would the media bother to analyse whether the government can evacuate so many people in time, whether it is 30 lakh or 15 lakh?
Authorities said yesterday they have begun releasing some of the thousands of opposition supporters detained since emergency rule was imposed earlier this month, while Pakistan's military leader departed for a visit to Saudi Arabia.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Tuesday that any future peace deal would not be implemented until the Palestinian Authority retakes control of the Gaza Strip.
Tribal elders launched efforts yesterday to end bloody sectarian clashes in a Pakistani tribal area, which have claimed at least 112 lives, officials and residents said.
Southeast Asian leaders opened annual talks Tuesday in an atmosphere poisoned by Myanmar, after the military junta undermined the bloc's credibility by excluding a UN envoy from the summit.
Pakistani police baton-charged a protest by journalists and rights activists in the southern city of Karachi and arrested more than 140 media workers, witnesses and senior journalists said. The clash left several protesters with bleeding head wounds.
Clashes have left at least 27 Tamil rebels and four government soldiers dead in Sri Lanka's embattled northern regions, the defence ministry said Tuesday.
An Indonesian villager dubbed "Tree Man" for massive bark-like warts growing on much of his body may be barred from travelling to the United States to receive treatment, a report said yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
The splendid Islamic calligraphy exhi-bition at the National Art Gallery, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy is remarkable. This is a joint venture by the Iranian Embassy and Bangladeshi artists like Saiful Islam, who is reputedly the first artist to introduce Islamic calligraphy to Bangladesh 25 years back.
'Domestic violence' is a well-discussed issue in the contemporary world. Oppression of women at home is not a random phenomenon in the male dominated society. In fact, the issue is as old as time.
To celebrate 72nd birth anniversary of mystic poet and singer Gias Uddin Ahmed a special programme was held in Sylhet recently. The programme took place at Saroda Hall in the city and included competitions for children, cultural show and a discussion.
American Idol alumni came out on top at the American Music Awards as Daughtry, the band fronted by ex-“Idol” loser Chris Daughtry, shared the triple-winner spotlight with “Idol” champ Carrie Underwood.
A perspective plan aiming to transform Bangladesh into a hunger, homelessness, and disease free democratic and prosperous country is essential. Resource mobilisation and deployment from domestic, remittance, and external sources is certainly a priority right from now. The last one and a half decades have seen the governments dealing with the natural disaster issues with courage, self-respect and authority. External assistance had rarely been sought, and that too was done only for rehabilitation purposes.
Flexibility and decentralisation are now two buzz words around the globe. These two words are uttered in the same breath in education too. From the highly developed through the middle to the developing countries, all are struggling with the cumbersome debacles of a very centralised education system and trying hard to come out of it.
Rebeka Sultana was suffering from breast cancer. Sitting at the doctor's chamber of the palliative care unit at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) hospital she was telling the doctor about her problems. “My main problem is I cannot sleep. In the rest of the days of my life all I want is to sleep peacefully,” said Rebeka.
Mohammad Delwar Hossain is development manager of a bank only at the age of 16. Not just any ordinary commercial bank, he works for a bank that is run exclusively by the children for child workers in the city.
Residents of Sabujbagh, a crime-prone zone, are about to have a more visible and accessible police force through the introduction of community-backed police officers.
Rezina Parveen is one of the first outpatients of the palliative care service at the BSMMU. She is suffering from breast cancer for the last three years. But seeing her expression it is hard to say that she is suffering from a deadly disease that has no cure at all.