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News of: Saturday, 24th of November, 2007
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Relief efforts in the cyclone-hit districts seem to centre in areas that have been widely reported in the media while out-of-the-way places still wait to receive much-needed food and medical supplies.
Bangladesh should immediately go for a second submarine cable line as a physical backup for its connectivity with the Information Superhighway and to meet its growing demands for Internet and overseas telecom services, which may shoot up three times by 2011, says a technical committee.
Teenager Arif Hossain of Kathachhira village in Pirojpur braved the storm at danger signal 10 for four and a half kilometres with his family to reach the nearest cyclone shelter. They were turned back as it was already overcrowded.
A Sylhet court yesterday afternoon issued arrest warrants against prosecution witnesses of the murder case filed in connection with the grenade attack on British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury for failing to appear before the court.
A series of near-simultaneous blasts on Friday outside courts in three Indian cities left at least 13 people dead and more than 40 wounded in what police called a terror attack on lawyers.
The government has ordered suspension of all activities of recruiting agency Kabir Enterprise until it can ensure jobs for 76 Bangladeshi workers whom it sent to Malaysia more than three months back.
Seven-year old Mariam lost both her parents in the November 15 cyclone. She does not know how to carry the weight of being all by herself at this tender age.
Two aircraft from Pakistan carrying a 30-bed mobile field hospital and one from India with 39.5 tonnes of relief materials for the victims of November 15 devastating cyclone arrived in Bangladesh yesterday.
Emphasising on setting up more cyclone shelters for humans considering the growth of the population, Chief of Army Staff Gen Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said the government must construct livestock shelters too, as they are the only assets of many people.
Ten people died in stampede and of heart attack in Patuakhali, Bagerhat and Barguna on Thursday night as a pandemonium followed rumours that a heavy tidal surge was going to hit the coastal districts.
With 30 more dead bodies found yesterday, death toll from Cyclone Sidr that severely battered the country's southern region on November 15 rose to 3032.
India has lifted the ban on export of non-Basmati rice only to Bangladesh to help survivors of its devastating cyclone.
About 1,300 VGF (vulnerable group feeding) cardholders of Moulvibazar Sadar upazila have decided not to take rice for the month of November and requested the local administration to send the rice for the Sidr-affected people.
Two persons were killed and four injured and over 50 houses destroyed as a herd of wild elephants attacked people of Batkuchi and Burunga Kalapani villages of Nalitabari upazila in Sherpur on Wednesday night.
A Commonwealth ministerial committee Thursday decided to suspend Pakistan from the 53-nation bloc pending the return of the rule of law following the imposition of emergency earlier this month.
Bangladesh supports Sri Lanka's initiative to host a Commonwealth Special Ministerial Meeting on "terrorism" in Colombo sometime next year, possibly in March.
Army personnel have already reached remote areas of the Sidr-affected districts to distribute emergency relief materials mostly food, water and medicine, the Armed Forces Division (AFD) said yesterday.
A special prayers and munajat was offered at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque after Juma prayers yesterday seeking divine blessings for the cyclone victims.
World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in Geneva has lauded the early warning system of Bangladesh that used local volunteers shouting through megaphones to warn people about the impending cyclone Sidr.
In an explanation regarding the controversial government decision of lending ancient artefacts to an international exhibition in Guimet Museum of Paris, the French Embassy yesterday said the local procedure in connection with the lending is an internal matter of the Bangladesh government, on which it has nothing to say.
Ekattorer Ghatok Dalal Nirmul Committee, also known as Forum for Secular Bangladesh, yesterday urged the government to put on red alert all exit points including the land borders so that war criminals could not flee the country.
The Border Security Force (BSF) of India gunned down three Bangladeshi cattle traders on Putkhali border in Benapole at dawn yesterday.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members are searching for the associates of detained EARTH Foundation Chairman Khan Mohammad Khalid Hossain for more information about the hitherto untraced bank accounts of the organisation.
An outlawed party leader was killed in an "encounter" between his cohorts and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel in Madaripur yesterday.
The cyclone-struck people of Southkhali union in Bagerhat had a new worry Thursday night when two Royal Bengal tigers entered Sonatala village and the Sharonkhola Forest Office.
A bomb exploded in a pet market in central Baghdad yesterday, killing at least 13 people and wounding dozens, Iraqi police said.
Former Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted by Pervez Musharraf in a coup, will make a fresh attempt to return from exile in the next four or five days, a party spokesman Friday said.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has made it mandatory for an investigation officer (IO) to take statement of the accused in question and attach the same with the inquiry report to the commission. Under the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2004 and Anti-Corruption Rules, 2007 the operative word was 'may' for an IO to take statement from an accused. The reason why it is now being made mandatory is far too obvious to have been missed so far: whatever the allegations against an accused, his right to defend himself is to be provided for at the very initial stage of the legal process that is marked by investigation. In some cases reportedly, ACC issued notices against graft suspects without conducting inquiry. That such things will now be matter of the past is a proof of the ACC's open-minded flexibility to be correct in its action.
It is disconcerting news that the shrimp industry in the southern districts received a big blow when hurricane Sidr struck last Thursday night in the coastal areas where the hatcheries are located. The waves and winds combined together to generate a force too formidable for the hatcheries to withstand. As a result, within hours, high quality shrimp varieties including Black Tiger got washed away to the sea causing a loss of about Tk. 250 crore. Besides, factory buildings and other infrastructures also suffered heavy damage that have to be rebuilt all over again. Understandably, shrimp farmers who had taken advance loan from the exporters will now find them in trouble for no fault of theirs.
The world has watched with great care the holding of the latest session of the Chinese Communist Party Congress in Beijing. There has also been some speculation and analysis about the changes that might have been brought about within the paradigm of governance in China as a result of this Congress.
Electricity has a great impact on development of a society. In Bangladesh only 30-35 percent of total population can use electricity from national grid. Energy consumption per capita is extremely low compared to neighbouring countries. It is half of Nepal and one fourth of India. In Bangladesh average demand of electricity is 5,200 MW, but average generation is 3,200-3,300 MW. Low consumption of electricity is affecting the entire development of the country. Due to power shortage education, business, health service, agriculture and other productive works have been constantly hampered. We cannot expect that in near future it will be possible to extend the grid system up to the remote villages in the country.
Chief Adviser Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed's statement (November 6) that the government is working "to strengthen the local government so that it can take its services to people's doorsteps and bring transparency and accountability in all sectors" is a very welcome one, and every sensible person would look forward to seeing the government keeping the pledge.
It seems that the ability to innovate is beyond our national selectors as sticking to the tried and trusted remains their natural character.
Venkatsai Laxman and Mahendra Singh Dhoni cracked responsible half-centuries to pull India out of trouble in the opening Test against Pakistan here on Friday.
The Kotla Test is alive and well. There was a fear, especially after Pakistan's insipid showing over the last few weeks, that this series was going to be consigned to the cricketing dustbin. It took a combination of factors to make the second day a riveting spectacle, none more so than the revival of the one dominant theme surrounding this rivalry: Indian batsmen v Pakistani bowlers.
Sri Lanka's selectors once again ignored Tillekeratne Dilshan when they named a 14-man squad on Friday for the first cricket Test against England.
Bangladeshi players will begin their campaign today in the World Chess Cup in Russia.
England's decline as an international football power was further underlined Friday when they missed out on a seeding for the preliminary qualifying draw for the 2010 World Cup.
Nobody was more surprised to see an umb-rella over Steve McClaren at Wembley on Wednesday night than the umbrella itself. “I didn't get the call until half an hour before kick-off,” the umbrella admitted yesterday, opening up to The Times in an exclusive interview in a cupboard in St Albans, Hertfordshire.
Argentina remained top of the FIFA rankings for November, released by world football's ruling body on Friday, but Brazil and Italy have closed the gap on the top ranked team.
New Zealand Cricket has showed a noble gesture by proposing a Twenty20 match against Bangladesh during the Tigers' tour to New Zealand in December-January to raise fund for the victims of Cyclone Sidr.
Bangladesh drew their opening Under-19s tour match against Pakistan as the four-dayer ended without much excitement at the Karachi National Stadium yesterday.
Mohammad Ashraful's recent injury, which the ace batsman and Bangladesh cricket captain sustained on his middle finger of the left hand during Thursday's one-day match of the National Cricket League between Dhaka and Rajshahi at the Rajshahi Divisional Stadium, is not serious
World number one Roger Federer defeated retired US legend Pete Sampras Thursday for the second straight time in three days at an exhibition match in Kuala Lumpur.
Stuart MacGill says he does not want to retire ahead of the Boxing Day Test, although he concedes it will be a challenge to be fit by the time the match starts in just over a month. Alex Kountouris, the team physio, said MacGill was running out of time to improve his fitness but MacGill promised he would do his best to be ready for the first Test against India.
Apart from a lot of sweating and snake-spotting, England weren't able to ascertain too much from their opening warm-up match at the Colombo Cricket Club. The bowlers toiled with little reward on a dead pitch while the batsmen enjoyed a succession of misleadingly unchallenging innings. Nevertheless, for Alastair Cook, who top-scored with 63 before retiring at the lunch break, the chance to build an innings over the course of two-and-a-half hours was not to be sniffed at.
Sri Lanka's fast bowler Dilhara Fernando will play in the upcoming Test series against England despite a recurring ankle injury, his captain Mahela Jayawardene said on Friday.
South Africa will play in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers although guaranteed a place at the finals as hosts.
Opener Shakil Haider smashed 130 as Team East were off to the perfect start against title contenders on the first day of their final round match of the Challengers Cup at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Indian batsman Vangipurappu Laxman quelled doubters with a valuable 57 not out on the second day of the first Test against Pakistan on Friday.
Bogra District Women Sports Association formed a 14 members women cricket team on Friday for the next National Cricket League competition in Rajshahi.
Mohammad Kaif felt repentant and patched up with the press photographer whom he had roughed up for taking his snaps which led to a protest by the media fraternity here and an FIR being lodged in the name of the cricketer.
India Cricket League executive board chairman Kapil Dev on Friday said that the mystery shrouding the participation of former West Indies captain Brian Lara in the Twenty20 cricket matches of the league would be cleared in next three to four days.
Defending champions Batch 06 and Batch 05 both recorded solitary goal victories in the NSU Intra-Batch Championships at the WAPDA ground yesterday.
England do not expect to finalise their line-up for the first Test against Sri Lanka before the second of their warm-up fixtures.
Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria described Mahendra Singh Dhoni's wicket as a breakthrough for Pakistan to stage a comeback in the first cricket Test against India and said his team had a plan to set a 300-run target for the hosts to win the match.
The biting winter cold provides a new test for the Spanish championship contenders and Barcelona midfielder Xavi Fernandez has called for his team-mates to toughen up mentally as they bid to wrestle the title away from Real Madrid.
England's stars return to Premier League action this weekend hoping to erase the painful memories of their Euro 2008 elimination.
Former three-time World Player of the Year Ronaldo is set to make his first competitive appearance of the season this weekend as he makes his return to the AC Milan squad for the trip to Cagliari.
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has joined Jose Mourinho on the early list of contenders to replace sacked England manager Steve McClaren, according to reports Friday.
Former Chelsea star Gianfranco Zola claimed Thursday that compatriot Fabio Capello would make an ideal England manager following Steve McClaren's sacking earlier in the day.
The surprise African packages of the last World Cup qualifiers were handed a golden opportunity for repeat success when they were named Friday among the seeds for this weekend's draw.
Croatian football chiefs on Friday rejected a Russian oil tycoon's offer of four Mercedes cars to players in the squad for allowing Russia a place in the Euro 2008 finals by defeating England.
Barcelona's Edmilson has apologised for his criticisms of the side at a team meeting held before training on Thursday, teammate Andres Iniesta has said.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has raised serious question marks about his future as he prepares his team for a key run of matches that could decide their season.
Iraqi stars Nashat Akram and Younis Mahmoud, and Saudi Arabian striker Yasser Al Qahtani were named Friday as the final three players in contention for the AFC Player of the Year award.
Jose Mourinho, the favourite to replace sacked England coach Steve McClaren, admitted it was a big blow to see the team eliminated from Euro 2008.
Former Italy coach Marcello Lippi has refused to rule himself out of the vacant England job but says he does not expect to be considered.
The preliminary draw for the 2010 World Cup takes place at the Durban International Convention Centre at 1700 (1500 GMT) on Sunday. Herewith some facts about the draw:
The Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF), the country's mega trade show, is getting a poor response from foreign exhibitors who say the show lasting for one month is too long.
Mid-income people at the annual REHAB housing fair yesterday enquired about the Bangladesh Bank (BB) introduced home loan facilities to own apartments in the capital.
Risks of a capital crunch in Asia cannot be ruled out despite limited regional exposure to the US subprime mortgage crisis, the Asian Development Bank warned Thursday.
India's inflation rate has dropped to 3.01 percent on falling prices of food items such as pulses, fruits and vegetables, official figures showed on Friday.
The euro Friday neared 1.50 dollars for the first time after reaching a fresh historic high against the US currency, which is suffering from expectations of slower US economic growth and more rate cuts.
Malaysia, the world's top producer of palm oil, said Thursday it will allow market forces to determine crude palm oil prices and ruled out any attempt to control rising prices due to strong demand.
Tax departments will be made more taxpayer-friendly, the NBR (National Board of Revenue) chairman yesterday assured business leaders here.
European Union trade commissioner Peter Mandelson warned China it could face anti-dumping measures if it did not move to rein in an "unsustainable" trade surplus, the Financial Times said Friday.
Britain officially launched Thursday its first bioethanol plant, which will produce millions of litres of fuel each year from sugar.
The United Arab Emirates, which has thrived in an environment free of corporate and personal income tax, could introduce value added tax (VAT) next year, the Gulf News reported on Friday.
Import and export through Banglabandha land port in Panchagarh district resumed on Thursday after the members Indian BSF (Border Security Forces) and Nepalese C&F agents agreed to end their row.
As a part of a series of its financing to the NGO/MFI sector of the country, has Citi lent Tk 8.2 crore to Shakti Foundation for Disadvantaged Women, a pioneer NGO in urban micro finance in Bangladesh, says a press release.
Brazil is forecasting a run of export growth that will put it in league with the 25 biggest exporters in the world within the next three years, junior trade minister Welber Barral said Thursday.
A four-day training on derivative products began in the port city yesterday, says a press release.
Md Abdur Rahman Sarker has recently been promoted as the managing director of National Bank Ltd (NBL), says a press release.
November 18-November 22, 2007
Local FX Market
The US dollar/BDT market was stable during the week and was little changed during the week. USD lost gained marginal ground against the BDT, and there was ample demand in the market throughout the week.
Different organisations, business houses and individuals have continued relief operations and made donations for cyclone-affected people.
A nine-member Chinese delegation headed by Lu Bangzheng, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of Yunnan Provincial People's Congress, called on Acting Foreign Secretary MAK Mahmood in the city yesterday.
Workers Party of Bangladesh (WPB) has urged the government to declare post-Sidr situation a national disaster.
Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen has been on the run from extremist Muslims threatening to kill her ever since she started writing books that incensed religious hardliners.
Renowned cardiologist Dr Md Afzalur Rahman said the state of cardiac care available in Bangladesh is hopeful and people need not go abroad for treatment in this sector, says a press release.
Unidentified assailants strangled a young man in Shabujbagh of the capital yesterday.
Gonotantrik Bam Morcha, a platform of 11 left-leaning political parties, yesterday called on the caretaker government to lift the state of emergency to facilitate relief operations by the political parties and other organisations for cyclone-affected people.
Brac is leading a decontamination drive for ponds, which are one of the primary sources of drinking water, in the worst cyclone-affected areas, says a press release.
Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad, Mohanagar Sarbajanin Puja Committee and Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad at a meeting yesterday decided to start relief activities in the cyclone-hit areas.
The first Non-Resident Bangladeshi (NRB) Conference 2007 will begin in the city on December 27, which will bring together Bangladeshi scholars, professionals and investors living across the globe, says a press release.
Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury held a meeting with his UK counterpart David Miliband in Kampala on Thursday and discussed the cooperation between the two countries.
Under the Health Care Development Project of Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, a new centre was inaugurated at Jurain in the city yesterday, says a press release.
Police yesterday prevented Sammilito Sangskritik Jote, a platform of cultural organisations, from collecting relief materials for the Sidr-affected people in coastal areas, forcing the Jote to postpone its relief-collection programme.
A three-day international fair on textile-grade dyes and chemicals, which was scheduled to begin in Dhaka today, was postponed yesterday due to a court injunction.
Jasmine Ashraf, wife of Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan Ashraf-ud-Doula, hosted a promotional event with the support of the Asia-Pacific Ladies Friendship Society (ALFS) in Tokyo recently to highlight various aspects of Bangladesh, particularly its culture, tradition and tourist attractions.
A construction worker died after falling from an under-construction six-storey building in the city yesterday morning.
Today is the fourth death anniversary of Ahmedul Kabir, chief editor of the daily Sangbad and a veteran politician.
Today is the fourth death anniversary of film maker Sheikh Niamat Ali, says a press release.
Forty thousand patients are diagnosed with lung cancer every year in the country, speakers at an awareness programme said.
Two people, including a schoolboy, were killed in separate road accidents in the city yesterday.
The BBC will hold a special Bangladesh Sanglap on 'Cyclone Sidr and Aftermath' in Mongla today.
Almost ready for harvest Amon paddy on over 42,600 out of 1,25,060 hectares were damaged by hurricane Sidr that ripped through seven upazilas of Satkhira district.
The Special Judge Court in Pabna rejected the bail petition of ex-BNP lawmaker of Pabna-3 constituency Anwarul Islam and his son Monwarul Islam Shafi, now in prison on charge of misappropriating government CI (corrugated iron) sheets, court sources said.
Speakers at a meeting here called upon the people of all walks of life, especially the affluent, to stand by the Sidr affected people of coastal areas in the country.
Detained Khulna City Corporation (KCC) mayor SheikhTayebur Rahman has been sued in another extortion case, the seventh since November 2.
Two-day Kathin Chibar Dan, the greatest religious festival of the Buddhist communities in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) concluded yesterday at Rangamati Rajban Bihar with great enthusiasm and religious fervour.
Two medical teams from Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) started for Shoronkhola.
A medical team of Pakistan Army reached Barisal yesterday to provide medical facilities for the Sidr-affected people in Barguna and Bagerhat districts.
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf gave no clear indication yesterday when he would end eight years of military rule as the Commonwealth suspended his country over its state of emergency.
Arab ministers meeting yesterday to reach a common position on next week's US-sponsored peace meeting have urged Washington to include the issue of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on the agenda.
Sri Lankan forces killed at least 17 Tamil Tiger rebels on Friday repulsing a guerrilla attack on a police post in the northwest, the defence ministry said.
The UN atomic watchdog sat down to its second and final day of debate on Iran's disputed atomic drive at a board meeting here Friday, which was expected to be wrapped up by the afternoon.
Pakistani authorities imposed a food blockade and a 12-hour curfew in a restive northwest valley where troops are battling militants loyal to a pro-Taliban cleric, officials said yesterday.
The Sri Lankan government yesterday called for the expulsion of staff of the United Nations children's fund, accusing them of overstepping their legitimate functions, the foreign ministry said.
An ambitious international project to dig deeper into the Earth's surface than ever before has made a good start with scientists saying they have gained clues about how large earthquakes and tsunami occur.
A parliament session yesterday for Lebanese lawmakers to elect a new head of state before a midnight deadline has been postponed for a week amid continuing deadlock between rival factions.
Taliban militants killed an Australian soldier in close-quarters fighting and overran a police station Friday where seven policemen died, security forces said.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych submitted his resignation on Friday as a new parliament was sworn in and rival parties jostled to form a government after September elections.
Ethnic Indian activists in Malaysia vowed to go ahead with a weekend protest to support a lawsuit against former colonial power Britain despite a police ban and the arrest of three of their leaders.
Beatings and other forms of torture are entrenched in much of Indonesia's prison system, where a culture of impunity reigns, a UN envoy said yesterday.
More than 70 countries yesterday agreed on the text of a new international convention on child support designed to make it easier and faster to recover unpaid benefit from abroad.
Arts & Entertainment
Chalachchitram Film Society has conferred renowned filmmaker and one of the leading figures in the alternative film movement in Bangladesh, Tanvir Mokammel, with 'Chalachchitram Padak 2007'. The award giving ceremony was held at the Goethe-Institut Bangladesh on November 22.
Faisal Azam Qureshi is a freelance screenwriter, film editor and director from UK who recently came to Dhaka to conduct a workshop on 'digital filmmaking' at the British Council. His passion for filmmaking and willingness to travel brought him to Bangladesh. Invited by the British Council Bangladesh, Qureshi seemed to enjoy his stay in Dhaka. The Daily Star talked to the visiting British filmmaker.
Yet another troupe made its entry into the theatre scene of Dhaka. 'Nabonat', the new theatre troupe, staged its first production Bhelki (an adaptation of Les Fourberies de Scapin by French playwright Moliere) at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on November 22.
ATN Bangla will air talk show Priyojon today at 3:45pm.The programme is aired on alternate Saturdays. Each episode of the programme features a guest -- a celebrity or a successful cultural personality, providing the audience with an exclusive insight into the life of the individual. Today's episode features noted writer Imdadul Haq Milon along with his two daughters -- Nirbachita Haq and Shubhechchha Haq.
Food versus fuel is a subject of hot debate in today's world as a handful of staples like corns are being used for making biofuel. The term biofuel suggests renewable fuels made from corns, maize, sugarcane, soybeans and other crops. It is considered a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy security by providing an alternative to fossil fuels.
Human rights activist Asma Jehangir has a point when she regrets the silence of Indian civil society on the happenings in Pakistan. Although there is a groundswell of sympathy -- and concern -- in India for the people facing the emergency-cum-martial law, visible public response is lacking. There has been no demonstration, no protest rally, not even a meeting to express solidarity.
I am a bit late in sharing the experiences of my latest visit to my village early last month. This time one of my friends accompanied me to get relief from the monotonous work and bustle of life in the capital city.
All of a sudden Sanjeeb Chowdhury, a beloved popular singer of the land, bidding farewell to his innumerable fans and friends of home and abroad has left for the eternal sojourn. No doubt, his untimely and unexpected demise has shocked our cultural realm, especially in the domain of popular songs. But his sudden departure has created a vacuum which is never to be fulfilled in the mindset of some of us, who were very near and dear to him at some points of his journey in this temporal world.
Let's have a quiz. Which technology helps you most to get online round the clock? You might say mobile internet. OK, no problem. Today, however, I will tell you about another technology that is emerging on the horizon of hi-tech world.
Bangladesh Telecentre Network (BTN), a coalition of organisations for fostering telecentre movement in Bangladesh, organised a discussion session on 'Rural Connectivity: Bangladesh Perspective' at Spectra Convention Center on November 17.
A new age technology that targets the emerging VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) market in Bangladesh, was recently spotlighted at a seminar at a city hotel on November 20.
Internet retailer Amazon.com on Monday unveiled a 400-dollar e-book reader that downloads books, magazines and newspapers to readable 'electronic paper,' the company said.
She had jaundice. Really. So everything looked yellow to her. The streaks of grey in his hair, his intelligent eyes, his well-clipped, clean nails, everything. And he--he had a new strain of viral fever. So her curly hair, pale cheeks and the tiny black bindi on her forehead was all grey to him. Sitting in that room in the lodge in Gandhi Nagar, she actually thought that he was a yellow man; he thought she was a grey woman. Poor things. Nothing more than a woman and a man, at that moment. She was thirty-five, plus or minus. He, forty-five, plus or minus. She, a divorcee and the mother of two. He, married, the father of two.
writers.ink keeps on rolling! It has brought out yet another anthology of short stories by women writers, edited by Niaz Zaman. The 20 stories in the volume are by both Indian and Bangladeshi authors. It contains translations and original writing in English, with the majority of the fiction afforded here being very much in the former category. Eleven contributions are by Bangladeshi women (with three, the ones by Niaz Zaman, Neeman Sobhan and Shabnam Nadiya written originally in English) and the rest (well-known writers such as Selina Hossain, Shaheen Akhtar, Rabeya Khatun, Farida Hossain, Sonia Amin, Purabi Basu, Nasreen Jahan, Makbula Manzoor) being translations from the original Bengali. The Indian writers are Volga, Bani Basu, Suchitra Bhattacharya, Gauri Deshpande, the perennial anthology favourite Mahasweta Devi, Suraiya Qasim, Pratibha Ray, Temsula Ao and KR Meera (whose stunningly homespun tale of love retrieved from the debris of the special loneliness induced by illness has been reproduced above). The vernacular languages of India are well represented in this volume, ranging from Urdu to Telegu to Oriya. Especially welcome is the inclusion of Temsula Ao, since Assamese writers tend to be under-represented in such anthologies. Ms. Ao lives and works in Shillong, writes in English, and has published a book of short stories These Hills Called Home: Stories from a War Zone (previously reviewed in this page). Among the Bangladeshi writers Shabnam Nadiya's piece titled 'Parakrousis' (which along with some stories being written by a writer not in this collection, Abeer Hoque) may signal a break with the recording of genteel bourgeoisie sensibilities that is still the hallmark of Bangladeshi women writing in English. Hanif Qureshi, who as a young man churned out the stuff, once proclaimed the iron law of English pornography of the '60s: 'No sex with pets or blacks'. So too in Bangladeshi women's English fiction no woman lights up a ciggie, forgets to put on underwear and run over a cat with her car. And absolutely no sex with pets! But things might be changing.
One morning in Bangkok, in December 1968
Thomas Merton reads his paper on Monastic
Perspectives. While taking a shower, Thomas reaches
For a fan on the terrazzo floor. An hour later
Two abbots have to force open the bathroom door
Life at this end has been overtaken by political turmoil, bomb blast and martial law, so it not exactly as if things have been particularly quiet. The major literary news was that this year Mohsin Hamid was shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize for his novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which I had written about earlier in May. Hamid is the first Pakistani author to have been on the shortlist and at 35, was also the youngest among this year's contenders.
A panel of three internationally acclaimed authors and literary judges named Jiang Rong winner of the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize for the novel Wolf Totem. The prize winner was announced at a celebratory dinner at Hong Kong. Jiang Rong was awarded USD 10,000 and the book's translator, Howard Goldblatt, was awarded USD 3,000. Jiang Rong was born in Jiangsu, southern China, in 1946, and graduated from the middle school attached to China Art College in 1966. In 1967, Jiang moved from Beijing to live with nomadic communities on the Chinese border of Inner and Outer Mongolia for 11 years. Following his return to Beijing in 1978, Jiang studied political science and eventually became an academic. Now retired, he lives in Beijing with his wife.
To our regret there was a printing mistake in the title of Kaiser Haq's poem published on November 10. It should read 'In Memorium Obaidul Huq Kaka'.
India's trillion-dollar economy is growing at a breakneck speed of 9 % per cent a year. Measured by parity purchasing power, India is already the world's fourth largest economy.
Historically, the lucrative opium trade sponsored by the British in the 19th Century created the foundation for the opium and heroin industry in modern-day Afghanistan, which today produces 92 percent of the world's supply of heroin.
International arms transfersThere has been an almost 50 per cent increase in the volume of major conventional arms transfers over the past four years, reversing a downward trend after 1997. The USA and Russia were the largest suppliers in the five-year period 20022006, each accounting for around 30 per cent of global deliveries. Exports from European Union (EU) members to non-EU countries accounted for just over 20 per cent of global deliveries. Because of its very limited internal market, the Russian arms industry remains heavily dependent on exportsmost newly produced weapons in Russia are exportedto maintain an arms industry and fund development of new weapons and technology. This limits the possibility that Russia will exercise restraint in its arms exports. The arms industries of the USA and EU members are in general far less export dependent.
Star Books Review
Global War on Terror: Bangladesh Perspective is a compilation of the proceedings of a seminar of the same nomenclature, organised by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies. The disconcerting aspect of this arrangement might be gleaned from the contents page, chronologically placed: “Welcome Speech” by Abul Basher Imamuzzaman, “Address by Chief Guest” by M. Morshed Khan, “Chairman's Speech: Global War on Terror: Bangladesh Perspective” by Mufleh R Osmany, “Bangladesh's Fight Against Terror: Lessons Learnt and Future Perspectives” by Reaz Rahman, “Bangladesh's Quest for a Moderate Muslim State” by M. Ataur Rahman, “An Emerging Model of Counter-Terror Infrastructure and the Role of Military and State Security Apparatus” by Mohd Aminul Karim, “Terrorism in South Asia: Ramifications in the Internal and External Security of States: A Bangladesh Perspective” by M. Sakhawat Hussain, and “Bangladesh Perspectives in the Global War on Terrorism: British Engagement with Bangladesh in Counter Terrorism: Opportunities for Cooperation” by Mizanur Rahman Shelley. It takes away from the reader expectations associated with a properly drawn-up book.
The demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992 in Ayodhya, the 1984 Sikh massacre, the riots in Bombay, the carnage in Gujarat, and even earlier, the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi are the essential tipping off points for David Davidar's new novel. With wry humour, the author notes that even “333 million gods” could not save India.
Clare Chambers' story telling gift has the novelistic richness of a seasoned master. The author's book In a Good Light is like a breath of fresh air for the reader. The story is told with a delightful simplicity that leads the reader on like a journey on a beautiful spring day. One does not feel like putting the book down even for a short spell, the reading is addictive. And yet the accelerating plot and twists are more than just clever surprises.
When I asked Jerald Posman, the Vice President of CUNY York College and columnist of The New York Times, to make a comment about Muhammad Yunus, he replied, “Nobody did as much to empower women as Muhammad Yunus. He is an icon in the women empowering movement”. My sentiments are similar to Posman's when it comes to the contribution of Yunus to changing women's lives. In his new book, Creating a World without Poverty, Yunus tales the story of a movement begun forty years ago which changed millions of women' lives.
Shamsuddin Abul Kalam O Tar Patrabali
Radical Asia Publications, London Dhaka
A work that has been a long time coming, it promises to shed new light on Shamsuddin Abul Kalam. For today's generation, Kalam remains a remote or even an unknown figure. That is reason enough to suppose that Abdul Matin's efforts to revive the legacy of the past, of which Kalam is a significant component, are laudable.