The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, December 20, 2014


News of: Friday, 30th of November, 2007

Front Page

One-fourth of Sundarbans lies in ruins

Ruining the beautiful, green landscape, cyclone Sidr has dealt a severe blow to the Sundarbans, destroying 1,528 square kilometres of the forest out of around 6,000 square kilometres, according to forest officials' primary assessment.

Huji cadres attacked poet Shamsur in '99

Mufti Abdul Hannan yesterday told interrogators that Huji operatives had attacked late poet Shamsur Rahman with intent to kill him on his orders about eight years ago.

WFP to feed 2.2m people for 6 months

The World Food Programme (WFP) is going to start an emergency six-month food aid for 2.2 million worst victims of cyclone Sidr in nine most affected districts within a week.

ADP implementation going at a snail's pace

The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday expressed dissatisfaction over slow implementation of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) of this fiscal year.

Ziaul Haq Zia, Dipjol jailed for 8 years

Special Courts yesterday sentenced two fugitive corruption suspects -- Ziaul Haq Zia, former BNP state minister, and Monwar Hossain Dipjol, film actor and a ward commissioner of Dhaka City Corporation from the same party -- to eight years' imprisonment each for tax evasion.

United efforts to bring better life for victims

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday hoped that the cyclone-hit people would not only return to their normal life as in the past, but also lead a better life in near future following combined efforts of the government and the people.

All Sidr victims will be under VGF initiative

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said the cyclone-affected people, whatever the number, will be brought under the Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programme beginning next month.

CEC dispels doubt about polls by '08

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday reiterated that the Election Commission (EC) has no doubt that the election will be held by December next year and there is no reason to deviate from the electoral roadmap.

Deprived people protest against 'nepotism'

Over 300 people of Galachipa upazila yesterday staged a demonstration, protesting neglect of the true cyclone affected people by Dakua union parishad (UP) chairman and members and distribution of relief allegedly among their relatives and supporters.

Civilian Musharraf sworn in as Pak president

Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf was sworn in as president for a second term yesterday. He set a date for lifting of the emergency rule and promised polls on January 8.

Hajj flight crisis deepens

Around 3,000 non-ballottee hajj pilgrims are apparently missing this year's pilgrimage due to insufficient number of slots in Jeddah for Biman, which is trying to deal with a late onrush of pilgrims.

'Kakra' Manik owns Tk 150cr wealth

Graft suspect businessman Sheikh Farid Ahmed owns wealth worth Tk 150 crore according to his wealth statement submitted yesterday to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Double blow for disabled

The devastating cyclone Sidr has dealt a double blow to the disabled people, who like other victims lost family members and houses in addition to their artificial limbs and support devices.

Property of Harris Chy, Khaleda's nephew to be attached

A Dhaka court yesterday ordered attachment of all properties of Harris Chowdhury, political secretary to detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia, and her nephew Shahrin Islam Tuhin in connection with corruption and tax evasion cases.

BNP to apply for registration after reforms in its constitution

Acting Secretary General of Saifur Rahman-led BNP Major (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed yesterday said the party will apply for registration after bringing necessary reforms to the constitution by holding a council session before the timeframe set by the Election Commission (EC).

Govt mobilises funds to rebuild damaged schools

The government yesterday mobilised funds to rebuild the damaged primary and high schools in the Sidr-ravaged coastal regions and resume classes there.

UNFPA to help 30,000 Sidr-hit pregnant women

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will provide assistance to 30,000 pregnant women in the country's southern part battered by Cyclone Sidr.

Strong local govt key to real democracy

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said empowerment of the people and real parliamentary democracy can only be achieved through strengthening the local government system.

JMB leader gets life in serial blasts case

A Khulna court yesterday sentenced Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) regional operations commander Hafez Mahmud alias Rakib Hasan to life imprisonment in a bomb blast case that occurred in Kushtia Islamic University on August 17, 2005 during the countrywide serial blasts.

Muggers gun down 1 in city

A gang of muggers shot dead an engineering workshop owner at Sutrapur in the capital yesterday.

US deaths in Iraq low in November

November was on course to be the least deadly for American troops in Iraq since March 2006, with the US military reporting its 35th death of the month yesterday.

Editorial

CEC on party registration

We are in agreement with the chief election commissioner's view that the constitutions of the political parties should be made compatible with intra-party democracy for them to be eligible for registration with the Election Commission. However, because of the time constraints we feel that it will be difficult for the parties to attain full democratisation of their existing set-ups before the next general election.

Avoid semantics on food crisis

Finance and Planning Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam has observed that although there is no shortage of food, several quarters are trying to create panic about it. We accept his spirit but would like to emphasise the need for avoiding complacency.

Redefining success

If failure is the pillar of success, success is also the pillar of failure. Alexander the Great conquered the world at 26 and he was never defeated in a war. But he lost his friends, antagonised his own wife and may have been victim of a conspiracy leading to his death, although recorded history says he died in a weakened condition suffering from fever.

Nothing new at Annapolis

It was an unusual sight; there was something almost surreal about it. A man who has plunged the Middle East and the neighbouring countries into complete chaos and shown his unmitigated contempt for the suffering of the Palestinian people for the last seven years appeared on November 27 at the Memorial Hall of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and expressed his sudden enthusiasm for the creation of a Palestinian state.

Sports

Ctg, Khulna on top

Chittagong and Khulna dominated while Rajshahi conceded a good position yesterday on the third day of the 9th National Cricket League sixth-round matches across the country.

Football for the distressed

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) will have to rely on only the three-match Abahani-Mohamme-dan football series to raise fund for the cyclone-affected people after its plan to stage a concert for the same cause was not approved.

Injury plagues Pakistan

Fast bowler Umar Gul will return home after failing to recover from a back injury, adding to Pakistan's fitness problems on the eve of the crucial second Test against India here on Thursday.

Cops close Woolmer case

Police closed their investigation into the death of Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer on Wednesday after an 11-member inquest jury handed down an open verdict in the case.

Shoaib out of hospital

Shoaib Akhtar, the Pakistan fast bowler, has been discharged from a private hospital after recovering from a fever and chest infection on Wednesday evening.

CWAB now full FICA member

Cricketers Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB) was approved last night as a full member of Federation of International Cricketers' Association (FICA).

England to play on

England's cricket Test series in Sri Lanka will go ahead despite two deadly bomb attacks blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels that killed at least 19 people, officials said Thursday.

'Kirsten can help team'

India's Test captain Anil Kumble supported Gary Kirsten's candidature as national coach to succeed Greg Chappell on Thursday.

Torres inspires Liverpool

Chelsea and AC Milan became the latest teams to seal their places in the Champions League knockout stage after the penultimate batch of group matches on Wednesday.

Drogba delights Grant

Avram Grant admitted that it will difficult to cope without the strike power of Didier Drogba after the Ivorian's double on Wednesday night helped Chelsea progress to the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Bremen upset Real

Werder Bremen upset nine-time titleholders Real Madrid 3-2 to leave Champions League Group C too close to call with one match remaining.

Redknapp released on bail

Five men including Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp and a Serbian tycoon have been released on bail after being arrested by detectives probing alleged corruption in English football.

Al Qahtani to train with Chelsea

Saudi Arabia captain Yasser Al Qahtani, the newly-crowned Asian Player of the Year, could be training with Chelsea as part of the award.

No room for Sukur

Galatasaray and Turkey striker Hakan Sukur has been told that he is surplus to requirements at the Istanbul club.

Villa thrash Rovers

In-form Aston Villa ran riot in Blackburn on Wednesday night with a resounding 4-0 victory at Ewood Park which moved them up to sixth in the Premier League.

Van Gaal restates England desire

Louis van Gaal has reiterated his desire to become the new England manager and pointed Wednesday to a release clause in his contract as coach of AZ Alkmaar should the FA come knocking.

Portugal back Scolari

The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) on Wednesday gave their full backing to national coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, congratulating the Brazilian for leading them to a fourth consecutive European championship finals.

Palermo fans barred

Away supporters have been barred from the potentially volatile Sicilian derby between Catania and Palermo this weekend.

ICL starts today

Walk into the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula and you'd think a rock concert is about to hit town. Volunteers go about their work in a relaxed atmosphere -- light towers being set up, temporary stands erected, lawn-mowers puffing away -- and it's tough to miss a big dais mounted at the end of the ground. Listen carefully and names of Bollywood actresses like Kareena Kapoor and Yana Gupta, and pop groups like Band of Boys float in the air.

Eng worry over Murali

Michael Vaughan's England face the unenviable task of tackling Muttiah Muralidaran on home soil, when they begin a Test series in Sri Lanka on Saturday.

Prior fears none

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior says he and his teammates have "no fear" as they attempt to secure a first Test series win in Sri Lanka since 2001.

Rudi to fill in for sick Billy

Rudi Koertzen has flown to India to stand in the second India-Pakistan Test in Kolkata after Billy Bowden, who was due to officiate, was taken ill.

Juninho looks to next round

Lyon captain Juninho believes his side can get the Champions League victory they need when they travel to Ibrox Park on December 12 to meet Rangers in the battle for second spot in Group E.

Celtic snatch dramatic win

Massimo Donati was Celtic's Champions League hero as his injury time strike secured a 2-1 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

Boca's title hopes end

Boca Juniors' hopes of winning the Argentine Apertura championship ended on Wednesday when they lost 2-1 at Tigre, who kept their own chances alive.

Nadal plays down foot injury

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal insisted Thursday that a left foot injury which makes it difficult for him to run has not affected his game.

Joint WC2018 bid proposed

Portugal has proposed to neighbouring Spain that they launch a joint bid to host the 2018 World Cup, according to the president of the Portuguese Football Federation.

Business

GP asked to submit IPO proposal by Dec 10

The telecoms regulator yesterday asked Grameenphone, the largest cell phone operator in the country, to submit a detailed proposal on its initial public offering (IPO) by December 10.

BGMEA lobbyist firm seeks govt help to get new US trade bill passed

The BGMEA lobbyist firm in the US has asked Bangladesh's Foreign Ministry to play active role in pursuing the House of Representatives to pass a bill of preferential market access for local garment products.

Oil prices soar again

World oil prices rebounded strongly Thursday as a fire struck a Canadian pipeline sending crude to the United States, the world's biggest consumer of energy.

Subprime crisis: A shake-up for global economy

In recent times, subprime mortgage financial crisis has shaken the US economy very hard. The crisis has not only threatened the stability of the largest economy, but also has raised serious concern about a looming global recession. The ripple effect of this crisis has generated severe liquidity and financial risk through every echelon of the world financial system.

GP puts 10,000th base station on-air

Grameenphone has recently commissioned the 10,000th base station in its nationwide network, reaching a new milestone in the country's telecoms sector.

Citycell launches new logo

Mobile phone operator Citycell yesterday introduced a new logo of the company, says a press release.

EU, India hope for FTA in 2008

The European Union and India hope to conclude a free trade agreement next year, officials of both sides said on Thursday.

Improvement in product quality stressed Japan trade fair opens

Finance Adviser Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday stressed the need for improving product quality, as domestic products cannot be protected for long through the trade barriers.

Vietnam to stop subsidising oil price in 2008

Vietnam will stop subsidizing the prices of oil and petroleum products and some other industrial items such as coal and cement starting from next year, local newspaper Pioneer reported Thursday.

Myanmar gas industry attracts record investments

Myanmar's booming natural gas industry drew a record 471.5 million dollars in foreign investment last year, accounting for over 60 percent of the total, official statistics showed Thursday.

Dhaka shares drop for third consecutive day

The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) witnessed fall for the third consecutive day yesterday amid profit taking.

Toyota recalls Lexus, other models

Toyota began recalling 264,000 luxury passenger vehicles over faulty fuel pipes Thursday, including 49,000 flagship Lexus cars sold overseas, the company said.

Bangla films debut on Emirates flights today

Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, will introduce Bangla films in its flight entertainment programme from today, according to a press release.

Metropolitan

Reforms in police admin a must to ensure justice: CJ

Chief Justice M Ruhul Amin yesterday underscored the need for reform of the police department and its investigation mechanisms to ensure fair dispensation of justice in criminal cases.

USS Kearsarge comes to the aid of Sidr-affected people

The 2400 crew on board the USS Kearsarge ramped up efforts to transport relief goods to Sidr-affected areas yesterday.

'Reduce gender wage gap in shrimp cultivation field'

Like most other informal sectors, women working in shrimp cultivation field receive less wages than their male counterparts, said the speakers at a seminar yesterday.

Govt urged to ensure edn for 6 lakh Sidr-affected students

The government should ensure education for over six lakh students affected by recent cyclone in the southern region of the country, said the speakers at a press conference yesterday.

Freedom Fighters’ Day tomorrow

The 'Freedom Fighters’ Day' will be observed in the country tomorrow to pay tributes to the liberation war heroes.

Carcass of young whale found in Sundarbans

The carcass of a 12-foot-long whale was found lying on the bank of a canal at Sheolarchar in the Sundarbans on November 22, seven days after the cyclone Sidr struck the country's southern coast.

More donations for cyclone victims

Fourteen more organisations, business houses and individuals yesterday donated a total of Tk 78.60 lakh and 5,000 shirts to Chief Adviser's Relief and Welfare Fund in aid of the cyclone victims.

RIB involves poverty groups in helping cyclone victims

Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB), a research support agency with primary focus on poverty issues, has involved some poverty groups in helping cyclone-affected people, says a press release.

‘Change attitude towards women to curb violence’

Changing the attitude towards women is imperative to curbing violence against them, speakers at a press conference said yesterday.

Team leaves for Thailand today

A four-member Bangladesh team would leave Dhaka for Thailand today to participate in the First International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astro-physics.

Seven get death for killing four

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced seven people to death for killing four people in the city's Badda area in February last year.

BDR, BSF trade fire

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) traded early morning gunfire on Baikari border in Satkhira's sadar upazila yesterday.

14th Dhaka Book Fair begins tomorrow

The 14th Dhaka Book Fair 2007 will begin at the National Parade Square in the city tomorrow.

DUJ resents non-implementation of chief adviser’s commitment

Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) has expressed resentments as the chief adviser's commitment to announce the 6th wage board for journalists has not been implemented.

Fire damages portions of wagon at Ctg Rly workshop

Some portions of an old wagon were damaged in a fire at the railway workshop in the port city yesterday.

Bangladesh missions in US raise Tk 3.5cr for cyclone victims

The Bangladesh embassy in Washington DC along with Bangladesh consulates in Los Angeles and New York has so far raised Tk 3.5 crore in donations for the cyclone-affected people in the country.

Nat'l convention of PWDs Dec 2

The national convention of persons with disabilities (PWD) will be held on December 2 to press the government, corporate sector and development organisations to take initiatives to develop the living standard of PWDs by ensuring their employment.

More relief for Sidr victims

Different organisations continued their relief operations for the Sidr victims yesterday.

Trader commits suicide

A co-owner of a recruiting agency committed suicide inside a residential hotel at Kakrail in the city yesterday.

Suez Group donates 2 water treatment plants

French multinational conglomerate Suez Group with the assistance of their representative Delcot Enterprises Ltd has donated two portable water treatment plants worth over Tk one crore to help the cyclone-affected people, says a press release.

Int'l Centenary Comdeca Dec 7

A three-member delegation of Bangladesh Scouts, led by Chief National Commissioner Md. Fazlur Rahman, called on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban yesterday.

Sector commanders meet professional leaders today

Sector Commanders' Forum, a platform of the sector commanders of the War of Liberation, will exchange views with the leaders of various socio-cultural and professional organisations today to mobilise support for its demand for the trial of war criminals.

Listed criminal Kirich Babul arrested in Chittagong

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members arrested a listed criminal from Bakalia in the port city yesterday.

WVA Meenabazar tomorrow

The Women's Voluntary Association (WVA) will hold an International Meenabazar at Gulshan Shishu Park ground from 11:00am to 6:00pm tomorrow to raise funds for its charitable projects, says a press release.

Khulna road crash kills army man

An army man was killed and eight others were injured when a pickup carrying them tumbled into roadside ditch at Shiromoni on Thursday night.

Ramakrishna Mission continues relief work

Ramakrishna Mission continued its relief work in cyclone-hit areas of Barguna, Bagerhat and Jhalakathi districts, says a press release.

Letters

The cyclone and a suggestion

Like everyone else I am very sad at the deaths of so many people in coastal Bangladesh. As I type this, scientists are expressing their consensus and mutual concerns about global warming. Bangladesh will be one of the first countries to be affected by the predicted rise of the sea level. However, this country's population density will work like a catalyst to already present sufferings if weather pattern takes a drastic turn. NGOs and many other derivative organisations of UN have been running family development projects in Bangladesh for a while and the long standing slogan for family planning has been “Boys or Girls: Two Children Are Enough.” Now I think it's about time we changed that number two ONE. My reasoning is simple and is based on strategic common sense. During any natural disasters, one has to provide extra logistics for the safety of the children. Of course, readers will find my argument crude, materialistic and devoid of any spiritual value. But survival requires cold logic.

Unending price hike

The reality of prices spiralling up and up is exceeding the limits of tolerance and patience. With no end in sight, it has proved false the age-old belief that all things that go up must come down. It seems that price escalation has reached levels beyond mortal's control; and only Allah knows when the end will be reached! Market mechanism misunderstood and mismanaged by drives and dictates has set the chain reaction and price overheat which is now beyond help and control. Cunning businessmen may have lost percentages of profits; but are more than recompensed it by margins on volume turnover with much shorter cash flow cycles! A very costly experience for the few, but with many unfortunate sufferers, who are the vast majority of fixed income middle class!

US neo-imperialism

The USA has been trying to sidetrack world attention from the horrors of its disastrous terror wars in the Middle East and, with the help of several other nations in the West and East, its horrible oppression of Muslims worldwide. It has now found a lame excuse in Pakistan. They say democracy must return to Pakistan and emergency should end there. The USA shamelessly squanders the resources of Afghanistan and Iraq and incites turmoil in Pakistan by making loud speeches about democracy which it does not respect in any measure. The self-centered politicians of Pakistan have been looking up to Washington to ask President Gen. Musharraf to quit and leave the chair for them to play the musical chairs game and plunder the resources according to their whims and fancies.

'No vote'

Kindly allow me to ventilate my views on the above subject.

Cyclone victims

The Nov. 15 cyclone destroyed acres of paddy, ruined the shrimp farms- (the second largest foreign currency earner).

Vat and English medium schools

Parents are paying Vat with monthly tuition fees and annual fees since July 2007 to the English medium schools. I am surprised as I am not sure why should we pay it. Managers of the English medium schools usually charge high fees from the students and have good profits from this business. Parents are paying the tuition fees for their children as there is no alternative in our country. As no rules and regulations exist for the English medium school, they are charging whatever they like and the number of students in a class is often very high. Even there is no rule as to how many students will be in a class for a teacher.

Biharis in Bangladesh

Let us put an end to the sufferings of the unwanted Biharis in camps all over Bangladesh. Enough is enough regarding repatriation of the Biharis. Now everybody is aware that Pakistan is never going to take them. Look at the present situation of Pakistan? I earnestly request the present caretaker government to find a solution for the Biharis. Save our environment from permanent pollution in and around the camps. The drug dealers, women traffickers are all there. It is a safe heaven for them. Give them notice to leave the camp before 31 December 2007.

Voter list

The present move of the caretaker government to update the voter list is commendable. But still there are some deficiencies. There have been a few complaints from the people of Chittagong as their names were not enlisted because they are "Non-Bengali Bangladeshis". My point is that they are Bangladeshi by birth and have the right to become the citizens of Bangladesh.

Unfair

The BNP is the largest political party in Bangladesh for a long time. Most of their top political leaders are in jail. We agree with the government that we need to reform the political culture and modus operandi of the major parties.

Beware of burglars

Petty thievery, snatching, taking away by force mostly by heroin addicts have increased beyond anybody's control in greater Dhanmondi area. During a doa mehfil in my Dhanmondi residence on the occasion of my father's death anniversary, many who attended became victims of car accessory thefts, missing headlights and also loss of mobile phones sets. Stealing of manhole covers in and out of the house also took place.

World Bank

Prof. Yunus has correctly identified the malady of old stereotyped approach of World Bank lending portfolio, which is not an effective tool for poverty alleviation, needed by countries like Bangladesh.

Trial of war criminals

The politicians, who are clamouring for trial of war criminals and debarring religion-based politics, are themselves guilty of such crimes.

Definition of life!

What is life ? I wanted to get a unique definition of life from different persons like day-labourers, rickshaw-pullers, friends, colleagues, students, teachers, celebrities, domestic helps, high officials etc. Every person puzzled me. I am not satisfied with their definitions!

Separation of judiciary

The judiciary is independent now from the executive fetters of the state. We laud the present CTG for their stupendous success in segregating the judiciary which was a long cherished demand of the countrymen.

BTTB service

It is about time that the BTTB starts providing broadband lines to its subscribers. The BTTB has the infrastructure and network to provide broadband service in all metropolitan cities in the country. In the developed countries telephone companies are providing high-tech services like broadband to subscribers and have enhanced their source of revenue. I wonder why the BTTB is lagging behind. Is it because they are not aware of broadband service or lack of interest, or is it due to bureaucratic tangles?

Tenure of caretaker government

Suddenly, the Law Adviser has raised the issue relating to the tenure of the caretaker government. It is well understood that the CTG might hand over power to the elected government in January 2009. Of course, the CTG should in the meantime make the reference to the Supreme Court regarding the changes in the constitutional provision( 58C) relating to its tenure.

Invaluable photos

I am a professor of Bangladesh Open University; my elder brother who retired from Bangladesh Shipping Corporation 10 years back has a very special treasure in his collection: the complete set of pictures of the 1969 Ekushey February art exhibition drawn by Arts College students of East Pakistan Students' Union.

Mental diseases

You may have come across the news of two highly educated sisters living in Mirpur. One of them is a doctor and the one an engineer. They don't want to go outside. They don't trust anybody. They just want to confine themselves to their house and separate themselves from the rest of the world. It's a kind of disease that they have been suffering from. It's a matter of concern that the number of such patients is increasing gradually. As it's a mental disease, at the primary stage sometimes it is ignored.

Corruption

I am a general citizen of Bangladesh now staying in Sweden for my research work. I want to draw your attention to corruption in Bangladesh. I guess it's impossible to eliminate corruption, since our government policy is to force people to be corrupt! But please don't get me wrong! May be it feels strange to you as the government is always against corruption.

International

Rebel soldiers surrender after army raid in hotel

Philippine troops stormed a Manila hotel in a flurry of gunfire and tear gas yesterday, forcing the surrender of a band of renegade soldiers who were demanding that President Gloria Arroyo step down.

Military sweep kills 30 Taliban: Afghan police

Afghan and international forces pounded an area of southern Afghanistan overnight, killing around 30 Taliban and capturing 12 others, police said yesterday.

Process for Palestinian state 'on track': Abbas

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Wednesday that this week's US-hosted peace conference put back "on track" prospects for an independent Palestinian state after a seven-year hiatus.

5 soldiers, 11 civilians die in Pakistan fighting

A shell aimed at Islamic militants in northern Pakistan killed 11 civilians, while a roadside bomb killed five soldiers in another troubled region near the Afghan border, officials said Thursday.

EU, Iran hold nuke talks today

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana will cast final judgement today on whether Iran might be willing to suspend sensitive nuclear activities, with new UN sanctions seeming all but inevitable.

Pak opposition dismisses Musharraf's second term

The parties of Pakistani opposition leaders Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif dismissed Pervez Musharraf's swearing in as a civilian president Thursday as too little, too late.

Rudd names cabinet, signals change

Australia's prime minister-elect Kevin Rudd unveiled his cabinet Thursday, prioritising education, industrial relations and the environment in a break with conservative predecessor John Howard's legacy.

Maoist blast kills 10 Indian security men

Ten security men and a driver were killed in India on Thursday when their vehicle drove over a land mine planted by suspected Maoists, police said.

Sanjay Dutt released from prison

Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt walked out of a prison in western India Thursday after being granted bail on a six-year sentence for possessing illegal weapons, witnesses said.

'Four killed in Israeli attacks in Gaza'

Four Hamas activists died late Wednesday in an Israeli air raid and another attack in the Islamist-run Gaza Strip, a Palestinian security source said.

6,000 Sunni Iraqis join security pact with US

Nearly 6,000 Sunni Arab residents joined a security pact with American forces Wednesday in what US officers described as a critical step in plugging the remaining escape routes for extremists flushed from former strongholds.

Kasparov freed from jail

Former chess champion turned Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov was freed from jail yesterday and warned that Russia was sliding toward dictatorship under President Vladimir Putin.

Gulf states deport 81,000 Indians in 2007

More than 81,000 Indians have been deported from Gulf states so far this year for visa and other offences, a minister said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

"The Promised Land": Tanvir Mokammel's moving documentary on Biharis

Tanvir Mokammel's soul-searching and poignant 90-minute documentary The Promised Land (Shopnobhumi) had its press show at the Central Public Library Auditorium on November 28. In the documentary the filmmaker looks back to 1947, when the Partition of India took place, which, in Mokammel's opinion was a great tragedy as a lot of people suffered, and yet solved nobody's problem.

Angle on the unusual

He made two single-episode TV plays and a tele-film on the popular fictional character Misir Ali -- both earning admiration from the audience. His work Garam Bhat Othoba Nichhak Bhuter Golpo was screened at the recent 'South Asian Film Festival'. He is an active member of the theatre troupe Prachyanat. In an interview with The Daily Star, Animesh Aich talks about his works, theatre and his aspirations.

Kantanagar temple on the verge of ruination

The 'Rash Mela' of Dinajpur, a festival of the Hindu Community dating back to five hundred years, began at the Kantanagar Temple premises in Kaharol upazila, Dinajpur on the full-moon night of November 23.

“Utsho”: Tele-film to generate awareness on HIV/AIDS

The premier show of tele-film Utsho was held at the Central Public Library auditorium recently. The film is an initiative to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS and the screening was sponsored by UNAIDS in collaboration with Grameenphone.

Ban on Nobel laureate's book spurs interest in Iran

An Iranian government decision to forbid the second printing of a Persian translation of Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel has spurred interest in the book, booksellers said last week.

“Kaler Jatrar Dhoni” on ATN Bangla

Weekly magazine programme Kaler Jatrar Dhoni is aired every Saturday at 5:30pm on ATN Bangla.

Drama serial "420" on Channel i tonight

Written and directed by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, drama serial 420 will be aired at 9:35pm on Channel i tonight.

OP-ED

Exit strategies: The way ahead

The burden of my argument is that whatever arrangements for reform and institutional change are underway, whether to deal with corruption, reform the regulatory system, or establish a workable system of local government, will have to eventually be implemented by the next elected government. The attempt to rebuild the authority and integrity of the Election Commission, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Public Service Commission, the University Grants Commission are all commendable achievements of the CTG. But all these institutional interventions will again have to be consensually sustained by the next elected parliament. Not only will the reforms have to be politically supported by the next government, they will have to be immunised from legal challenge so that the constitutionality of both the CTG as well its specific reforms will have to be protected.

The continuing rape of our history

Ms. Bose also paints a picture of the Pakistan military as a disciplined force that spared women and children. Citing her field research she writes: "Bangladeshi participants and eyewitnesses described battles, raids, massacres and executions, but told me that women were not harmed by the army in these events except by chance, such as in crossfire. The pattern that emerged from these incidents was that the Pakistan army targeted adult males while sparing women and children."

Captive market

Draw-cards aside, the tourism industry needs to create and aggressively market new products that focus solely on the expatriate market, as there are a tremendous number of expatriates who rarely leave Dhaka, and so their perception of Bangladesh is based solely on their impressions of the capital city. Not only is this a serious and grave error, these are the impressions that expatriates take to other countries around the world.

The politics of 1971

Social collaboration is different from political collaboration. While social acts may be sourced in local conditions and not directly linked with state policies, political collaboration is primarily an act of upholding the state. This involves political constructs like parties applying political policies to strengthen the state.

"I was conned"

On the importance of a free election
The elites like to think illiterate people in rural Pakistan are ignorant and always vote for thugs. But if you go to rural Pakistan, you will be amazed to see the political sense people have there. When I was in college, I used to think (reading The Dawn newspaper) that the only problem in Pakistan is with literacy. The uneducated people do not understand who is good for them. But when I actually started campaigning in the election and went to the rural areas, I discovered that even the political awareness among the children in rural areas is often more than adults in urban areas.

Environment

New challenge for scientists and policy makers

Human generated changes in the global climate are widely accepted by scientists and policy makers. Bangladesh is very vulnerable to climate changes; may suffer the most severe impacts because it is low-lying densely populated country. With a one meter rise in sea level, one fifth of the nation's land and nearly 15 percent of the population would be threatened by inundation. Whereas its national economy strongly depends on agriculture, its associated landscape management and natural resources are also sensitive to climate change. The climate change threat for Bangladesh is related to development, which causes the most threatening impacts on the natural, social and economic systems of the country. The impact on the Bangladesh economy of climate change would be extremely adverse: an annual loss of $1 billion of GDP by 2010, $5 billion by 2070.

For survival of environmental refugees

Are we not a privileged generation to live at a time when we have opportunity to save both our Earth and our world? No generation in the past has enjoyed such an opportunity, since the problems were not there. No generation in the future will enjoy the same opportunity, because if we do not get on top of the problems before they get on top of us, our descendants will have nothing left to do…”

Let's conserve the environment for ourselves and progeny

This earth serves not only as our habitat but also as our natural heritage because it is passed on from one generation to the next. The next generation of human beings shall inherit this earth in the condition that we leave it. For this reason, it is our prime responsibility and moral duty to keep a hygienic and salutary ambience. Most of us do not realise now the importance of looking after this fragile environment. They take many things from this environment and never think of conserving some of the natural resources we have today. They think that the resources will never run out and continuously draw them from the earth to make their lives easier and more comfortable.



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