News of: Wednesday, 12th of December, 2007
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The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday rejected the controversial appeal against the High Court (HC) directives for the Election Commission (EC) to collect and publish certain personal information about the aspirants to parliament.
A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against four teachers and 15 students of Dhaka University for breaching emergency power rules (EPR) and a Rajshahi court today will deliver verdict in a case against two Rajshahi University teachers and 12 others for torching a vehicle of the DGFI.
Birshreshtha Hamidur Rahman was finally laid to eternal rest in his homeland yesterday with the highest state honours, 36 years after he embraced martyrdom during a battle with Pakistan occupation forces.
Foreign adviser Iftekhar A Chowdhury yesterday said now is the right time for India and Bangladesh to seriously negotiate on issues, since India has accepted a greater responsibility in the relationship.
Japan will provide $ 324 million in loan assistance for New Haripur Power Plant and two other projects in the country.
Five international power companies yesterday submitted their qualification documents with the Power Cell of the power ministry to participate in the bidding for setting up the 450 megawatt Sirajganj Power Project.
Non-governmental organisation (NGOs) and micro-finance institutions (MFIs) will suspend the collection of monthly instalment of their loans in the cyclone-affected areas for next three to six months.
Law Adviser Mainul Hosein does not see the justification for the demand for unconditional release of detained Dhaka University (DU) teachers before their conviction.
The lawyers of four Rajshahi University teachers yesterday decided to go ahead with appeal proceedings against their clients' convictions even though the government freed the academics two days ago amid mounting public demand.
All the detained Dhaka University teachers and students must be released in the interest of a congenial academic atmosphere on the campus, senior DU teachers said yesterday.
In a development late last night, a proposal for filing a petition seeking bail for the detained Dhaka University (DU) teachers was communicated to their family members but they turned it down.
The Advisory Committee on Economic Affairs yesterday decided to relax some provisions of the Public Procurement Regulation (PPR) 2003 to facilitate quick import of rice on an urgent basis.
Awami League (AL) presidium member Kazi Zafarullah was released from Dhaka Central Jail but arrested again while walking to freedom yesterday evening, police said.
Even though a police investigation found out that Mohammad Alam is not the real accused in a human trafficking case, he is still serving jail term for the offence apparently committed by his brother.
The holy Eid-ul-Azha, one of the biggest religious festivals of the Muslims, will be celebrated across the country on December 21 as the moon of Arabic Zilhajj month was sighted yesterday.
Desh Energy Limited in a rejoinder contested some parts of The Daily Star news headlined "Rental Power Plant Tender: Govt considers unfit bidders' striking offer" published December 6.
Two bomb attacks rocked the Algerian capital yesterday -- one on the UN refugee agency -- killing at least 62 people with foreigners among the casualties, hospital sources and officials said.
Female freedom fighters yesterday called on the government to set up special tribunals to try war criminals and anti-liberation forces.
A group of prominent citizens in a statement yesterday expressed grave concern over the proposed revision of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord.
The operation to rescue the 11 men trapped in Rangs building in the capital is set to start today.
Sangbadik-Sramik-Kormochari Oikyo Parishad (SSKOP) will hold a rally at 11am today in front of the National Press Club demanding revision of the recently published Sixth Wage Board.
A group of leading human rights and environmental organisations yesterday appealed to the Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed to not allocate 25 acres land of Suhrawardy Udyan to Dhaka Club for development of a golf course.
Gulshan police arrested a man and seized 178 tolas of gold ornaments at Baridhara in the capital yesterday.
The government yesterday banned all kinds of assembly on streets on New Year's Eve but decided to allow celebrations as long as it is confined in an establishment.
At least four grenades and 138 bullets were found abandoned in a field at Sonaroy union under Gabtoli upazila of Bogra yesterday.
The battle over whether to include greenhouse gas emissions targets in the "roadmap" for a new climate accord intensified Tuesday, with the Europeans and environmentalists clamouring for the targets against opposition by the US and others.
Pakistan's military vowed a strong response to any international attempt to seize its atomic arsenal as the army successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable cruise missile on Tuesday.
That the government has decided to impose a ban on a cutting and disposal of trees damaged in the Sundarbans by Cyclone Sidr is welcome. With reports coming in from such places as Sharankhola and Chandpai about the machinations by individuals within the forestry department to dispose of the damaged trees, obviously with ulterior motives in mind, it is necessary that such severe measures be in place. It must also be borne in mind that the forestry department is on record as being an organisation where wholesale corruption has been the norm for years altogether. That makes the case for action to save the damaged parts of the Sundarbans that much more serious.
The remains of Birshrestha Hamidur Rahman, has been brought from Tripura to Bangladesh after 36 long years since independence. The entire nation greeted the illustrious son of the soil, with gratitude, love and affection. The remains are being buried with full state honor at the Mirpur Intellectuals' graveyard. Remains of another of our war heroes Birshrestha Motiur Rahman, brought from Pakistan, had found their final resting place in Bangladesh.
It was Justice Kayani who spoke for all the people of Pakistan when he described Ayub Khan's military take-over in October 1958 as probably the first instance in history when an army had occupied its own country. Kayani remains one of the few men who dared to defy soldiers who saw nothing amiss in seizing a country and sending everyone else into the woods. General Ayub Khan certainly felt the slap that had been hurled at him and in subsequent times did all he could to humiliate Kayani. He did not quite succeed, as events were to show.
Unending confusion grips opposition parties over assessing Musharraf regime Mark II, along with the scarcely neutral caretakers and the changes made under Emergency, PCO, and new media ordinances. It is a continuation of the previous government; it is sure to do what Musharraf wants. Thus the country is basically polarised between Musharraf partisans and those who claim to be anti-Musharraf forces, while everybody knows that his regime now intends to rule through naked force, with a deceptive facade of democracy-seeming institutions.
Last Week, Prachanda launched his nationalism tirade. God knows why. But common wisdom tells us that autocrats of all hues and colors use the nationalism card to trump democracy. The Maoists never had democratic credentials; now that their commitment to it is in serious doubt, it's quite natural for them to take refuge in nationalism (I am resisting from quoting Samuel Johnson who famously said that patriotism was the last refuge of scoundrels).
Misbahul Haq relished India's attack with a second successive century to boost Pakistan's hopes of forcing a draw in the third and final Test here on Tuesday.
The ice surrounding the relationship between football organisers inside and outside the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has seemingly begun to melt after a delegation of organisers and ex-players met federation president SA Sultan yesterday.
Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful expressed concern about club cricket's uncertainty this season.
Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene took over from Sanath Jayasuriya as his country's leading run-maker as the hosts pulverised England in the second Test here on Tuesday.
A fast bowling blitz saw Australia thrash New Zealand by 54 runs in a Twenty20 international at the WACA Ground here Tuesday.
England coach Peter Moores admitted his team faced an uphill struggle after Sri Lanka closed day three of the second Test 28 runs ahead on 379-4.
Abdullah Al Rakib finished ninth and his fellow Bangladeshi Grand Master Niaz Murshed 11th in the Commonwealth Chess Championships which concluded in New Delhi on Monday.
With a mission to put on a better performance than their first trip six years back, Bangladesh cricket team leaves Dhaka today for their demanding tour of New Zealand.
The impressive Bangladesh under-19 cricket team takes on visiting Sri Lanka Under-19s in the first one-day match of the five-match series at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra today.
The four host countries of the 2011 cricket World Cup will ask the International Cricket Council (ICC) if they can hold the tournament over a shorter period of time, an official said on Tuesday.
A boozy night provided an unexpected dividend for Luke Pomersbach when he was called up to make his international debut for Australia in Tuesday's Twenty20 match against New Zealand at the WACA in Perth.
Valencia manager Ronald Koeman insists he isn't concerned by the goal drought that threatens to end his side's European ambitions.
Argentina giants Boca Juniors insist they will play with their usual attacking flair when they take on Tunisian surprise package Etoile Sahel in the Club World Cup semifinals here on Wednesday.
It's crunch time in the Champions League on Wednesday as four teams attempt to secure the two remaining tickets into the knockout stage of Europe's top club competition.
British newspapers turned their focus to Italy's Fabio Capello on Tuesday after Jose Mourinho decided he would not seek the position of England manager.
Injury-plagued AC Milan striker Ronaldo said Tuesday he was still hoping to play in the Club World Cup, amid mounting sympathy from teammates over his injury woes.
Chelsea manager Avram Grant expects Didier Drogba to be back in action in three weeks after his successful knee operation.
Manchester United striker Louis Saha fears players could be subjected to racist abuse when the English giants face Roma during Wednesday's Champions League match in the Italian capital.
Former England football boss Steve McClaren has at last won something, bagging the Plain English Campaign's "Foot in Mouth Award" for a priceless piece of sporting wisdom, the group said Tuesday.
Bayern Munich have surprisingly suspended captain Oliver Kahn for their final Bundesliga game of the year and fined him 25,000 euros (36,600 US dollars) for "disciplinary reasons".
Take one look at the grass embankment on the foot of the giant scoreboard at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo, you could be forgiven for thinking you were watching an Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval. The England flags dot the railing near the fence, the vocal cords are in full flow, the beer tent's a constant hub of activity and supporters brave the heat and humidity of Colombo with a sense of purpose. The only thing missing from an identical resemblance to the ground in South Australia is a cathedral in the background.
South African bowler Nicky Boje on Tuesday denied charges of match-fixing under questioning by Indian police probing the scandal which hit cricket seven years ago, officials said.
Cricket is eager to again play an active role in the Olympic movement after getting provisional recognition from the governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Tuesday.
Mohammad Yousuf was so surprised that Anil Kumble sledged him, that he lost his concentration, and ultimately his wicket, on the third day of the third Test in Bangalore.
BAF Base Zahurul Haque retained the title of the inter-base athletics championship of the Bangladesh Air Force by bagging nine gold, as many silvers and five bronze medals at the BAF Base Kurmitola sports ground yesterday.
Rangamati thrashed Gaibandha 5-0 at the Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex yesterday to move into the semifinals of the Inter-district women's football tournament as Group C winners.
The Metropolis First Division Chess League will begin today with two top names missing from the top competition.
DC XI reached the final of the Twenty20 cricket tournament with a 43-run victory against Munshiganj Krira Sangstha at the local stadium here yesterday.
Bangladesh Army drubbed Eagles Club 93-48 at the Shaheed Suhrawardy National Indoor Stadium in Mirpur yesterday for their second win in the Total Victory Day basketball tournament.
The Privatisation Commission has termed the latest cut price offer for Rupali Bank by Saudi Prince Bandar as a 'breach of international norms' and asked the Chief Adviser for guidance on how to deal with the present deadlock.
The stock market regulator will once again be able to dissolve boards of directors of listed companies that do not hold annual general meetings and declare dividends following a new court ruling.
Chief Adviser Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed said yesterday Bangladesh could be a strategic partner of Oman in terms of a great source of skilled and semi-skilled workforce, as the gulf country lifted a bar on recruitment.
Local knitwear exporters yesterday attacked plans to change the rules governing duty-free access to the European Union, claiming it would have a 'Sidr' like effect on the local industry.
Bernd Voelcker desperately needs programmers and sales managers for his software firm in Berlin, but he can't hire promising Indian or Chinese candidates because Germany's labour market has shut them out.
China and the United States signed agreements on Tuesday that aim to ensure key Chinese food, drug and other exports meet US standards, following a spate of safety scandals.
Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) yesterday urged the government to cancel the Rupali Bank sell-off process.
An official of a construction firm yesterday alleged that executive engineer Quzi Khurshid Hassan of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) in Sirajganj demanded Tk 5 lakh from him to give work order of a Tk 74 lakh project for construct of Ullapara-Goyhatta road.
The telecoms regulator yesterday issued an order for re-registration, giving millions of mobile users another two months to come under the process.
The government yesterday successfully completed negotiations with the World Bank for a $ 62.6 million interest-free credit from the International Development Association (IDA) for the agriculture sector.
Lafarge, the world's top cement-maker, said Monday it will buy Egypt's Orascom Cement for 8.8 billion euros (12.9 billion dollars) in a deal that boosts the French company's position in the booming Middle East construction sector.
A planned revamp of the European Union's trade defence arsenal has sparked a fierce battle over how to deal with the growing number of EU companies shifting production to lower-cost countries like China.
Japan's Suzuki Motor will roll out its next global car from India, targeting European buyers, and plans to invest 1.78 billion dollars ramping up output in the country, the company said Tuesday.
K Mahmood Sattar, managing director and CEO of The City Bank Ltd, has been elected chairman of Association of Bankers, Bangladesh Ltd for 2007-09 term.
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) yesterday urged the Election Commission (EC) to announce parliamentary election schedule without delay to dispel growing scepticism about holding of the polls but the EC avoided a direct reply to the proposal.
Speakers at a discussion yesterday criticised the caretaker government for being anti-people and called for handover of power to people's representatives as early as possible.
A Dhaka court yesterday fixed December 18 as the date for giving its order regarding the issue of government approval for registering a sedition case against two top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and a former Islami Bank chairman as a regular one.
The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday transferred 12 of its deputy directors and 26 assistant directors to place them under its new organogram from their current positions.
Chittagong University Debating Society (CUDS) will celebrate its 12th founding anniversary with two-day colourful programmes beginning today.
Today is the 37th death anniversary of four brothers -- Mukarram Hossain Mukul, Mansur Hossain Manju, Mastaque Hossain Anju and Mosharraf Hossain Ranju -- and their brother-in-law Yusuf Ali, who were martyred during the Liberation War, says a press release.
Speakers at a discussion yesterday said without any logistic support freedom fighters fought against a conventional army of Pakistan during the liberation war only by being imbued with the spirit of patriotism.
A female student of Dhaka City College was killed in a road accident at Dhanmondi in the city yesterday.
An initiative has been taken to publish a yearly literary magazine for the juveniles.
Two decomposed bodies were recovered at Bogi and Chaltabunia villages of Southkhali union in Bagerhat's Sharankhola upazila yesterday, bringing the death toll from last month's cyclone to 680 in the upazila alone.
The President's Parade marking the commissioning of the gentlemen cadets of the 56th BMA Long Course and 27th BMA Special Course will be held at the Bangladesh Military Academy (BMA) at Bhatiari in Chittagong tomorrow, says an ISPR press release.
The Liberation War Museum will hold a discussion and cultural function on its premises in the city today as part of its weeklong programme marking the Victory Day.
Engr Zafar Akram has been elected president of Uttara Club Ltd for the year 2007-2008.
Different government and non-government organisations and professional bodies continued to stand by the Sidr victims yesterday.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs has advised the hajj agencies to collect air tickets for the pilgrims by today by contacting Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudia.
The Graduation Dinner of National Defence Course (NDC)-2007 and Armed Forces War Course (AFWC)-2007 of the National Defence College was held at Mirpur Cantonment on Monday, says an ISPR release.
Stalemate continues at Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) office where virtually no work is done since sacking of 431 'illegal' employees including an executive engineer following an order from local government ministry on December 2.
Participants of the Saarc youth camp had a special occasion to celebrate yesterday as they took part in cultural events at Garpara village, some 6-7 kilometres from Manikganj town.
Valiant freedom fighter and Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Janata League (KSJL) president Abdul Kader Siddiqui Bir Uttam yesterday alleged that all political governments after the Liberation War ignored freedom fighters.
Criminals stabbed to death the guard of intercity train 'Turna Nishita' early hours yesterday, when he was on the Dhaka-bound train from Chittagong.
About 6,000 kilograms of fertiliser including TSP was seized from Raniganj village under Dinajpur Sadar upazila on Monday night for alleged hoarding to realise high prices from the farmers, reports our Dinajpur correspondent.
Speakers at the inauguration ceremony of 'Bijoy Mela' (victory fair) in Pabna yesterday called for raising voice and forming unity for trial of the war criminals.
A juvenile convict, attaining 18 years of age after staying around three years in jail and one year at a government-run correction centre, is yet to be released despite having 'very good' behavioural records and showing willingness to lead a normal life.
Criminals stabbed to death the managing director of a security service provider in Dinajpur on Monday night.
A housewife, beaten up and acid-burnt by her husband and his men at Zamirchan village under Koikuri union in Pirgachha upazila on Monday night, is undergoing treatment at Rangpur Medical College Hospital.
Sidr caused much damage to the world's largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans, which is situated in Bagerhat and Khulna district covering a total land area of 6,784 square kilometres. Sundarbans is a natural shield against cyclones. But a large part of the forest has been destroyed by Sidr.
Key Khmer Rouge figures charged: Ieng Sary has repeatedly denied responsibility for any crimes. Cambodian authorities have arrested two leading figures from the notorious 1970s Khmer Rouge regime and charged them with crimes against humanity.
The late Beatle, George Harrison, is long remembered by those of us of a certain age for his contributions not only to music but also to the struggle of our people for independence. In 1971, at the behest of his friend, the great sitarist Ravi Sankar, Harrison organised the Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He invited his famous rock star friends to participate, including such legends as Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, and the concert was a resounding success. Proceeds of the concert and the best-selling album that was subsequently released, and continues to sell, was for the people of Bangladesh and their struggle for liberation.
We have spent crores of taka from our public exchequer for construction of many overhead crossings, underground passages and flyovers. We have earmarked VIP roads and made one-way road traffic in various areas of Dhaka city. We have also decided to build a giant flyover from Jatrabari to Gulistan, the work of which is temporarily suspended. But unfortunately we have not been able to make any fruitful progress in overcoming our road traffic hazards, chaos and gridlock in road traffic. We now understand that our authorities concerned are contemplating to build an underground railway or elevated expressway to ease our problems.
I have reluctantly read Hasina's deliberations with the enquiry team where she asked for justice to the 21 August grenade attack.
“No one believed there would be a real cyclone. Villagers stayed in the village till 10:00pm, fighting to save their houses. When the houses started falling one by one, people started marching towards the cyclone centre forming a long line fighting the strong wind. I was carrying my infant in one hand and with the other hand I he was guiding my little niece. At one point I found my nephew Hasan following me to heels. As I had two kids to take care with my two hands, I could not look after Hasan. Forceful wind and incessant rain made everyone nervous. As soon we walked on the dam, a strong current of water wrenched away my niece from my hand. When I was looking right and left for my niece, I found Hasan was floating on the water. With one hand Hasan held a broken tree and in his other hand was my niece. When I got close to Hasan he said 'Uncle, my father is not with me, please do not leave me here, take me with you'. I assured Hasan that I would not leave him. We started walking again and soon we could see the cyclone centre just about 200 yards ahead of us. Suddenly something shook me violently and I was afloat. I took control, hugged the kids to my bosom and looked back for Hasan; he was not there. Next moment my eyes were set at a broken part of the dam. There was a whirling current of water and Hasan was in the eye of the whirl going down. I went to the cyclone centre, kept the two kids there and went back to the broken part of the dam to look for Hasan. I searched desperately for Hasan but could not find him, he was gone. Oh, if only I tied Hasan with me by a rope! ” says Hasan's uncle Badsha while recalling the dark chapter of the Sidr night of 15 November 2007. At this point he threw a question at me “Sir you are educated, you have studied a lot and have built this dam, still why does the dam break down? Can you not build a dam which will not collapse even during the mightiest cyclone or flood?”
I would like to thank The Daily Star for publishing the article "Time to rethink" by Afroza Ahmed regarding the next steps on handling the catastrophe of cyclone Sidr.
In my roller coaster ride through life, of all my successes, our freedom struggle is the most pleasing experience, where I had the opportunity to take part.
The promulgation of the amendments to the Army Act is alarming. These amendments give wide powers to military courts. Civilians can be tried for a number of offences including for expressing views that citizens of Pakistan comprise of more than one nationality by military courts. Antiquated laws that had lost their teeth through judicial reviews are now being resurrected and made punishable to be tried by the military. Trials will not be open to public hearings; lawyers will only be allowed to represent the accused in the capacity of a friend. Investigation will be carried out by military personal and ordinary rules of evidence will not apply.
Every year thousands of people are facing road accidents. But successive governments have done little to prevent such accidents. Is it not a serious issue? How long will these continue? It is my earnest request to the Chief Adviser to cast a serious look at this matter.
Frankly speaking, the government's mobilisation of relief activities and its handling of relief goods in the hurricane affected areas has fallen short of public expectations. Every day we see in print/electronic media how these vulnerable people are crying for help whenever they see someone. Now there is a growing danger of the outbreak of waterborne diseases due to non-availability of potable water. The situation may take a serious turn if proper care is not taken. The situation must be tackled with the participation of people from all walks of life. In order to do that I have a suggestion-- I think the government should right away invite the political parties and ask them to conduct and organise relief related works.
Four Palestinian militants were killed across the Gaza Strip on Tuesday as Israel launched its largest operation in months in the south of the Hamas-run territory, medics and witnesses said.
Pakistan's main alliance of Islamist parties was near collapse yesterday after cancelling a last-ditch meeting to resolve differences over a possible election boycott, party officials said.
Sri Lanka's defence ministry has claimed its forces have killed at least 20 Tamil Tiger rebels in renewed clashes in the north, but came in for a fresh warning against seeking a military solution.
India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced that Lal Krishna Advani will be its prime ministerial candidate in next general elections due in 2009.
Cristina Fernandez was sworn in Monday as Argentina's first elected female president, completing a rare husband-wife transfer of power that the nation hopes will ensure continued recovery from an economic meltdown.
Arts & Entertainment
Liberation War Museum's (LWM) weeklong programme on the occasion of our Victory Day began on December 10 at the museum premises. Mafidul Haque, one of the museum trustees, presented the main speech at the event. Another trustee and eminent cultural personality Aly Zaker delivered the welcome speech.
As done in the indigenous performing art form pala, a gayen (lead singer) and his choir start the play Amina Shundori, with bandona (devotional intro). Subsequently the choir begins narrating the story of Amina, a woman who has been wronged. Amina's tragedy is not an alien case; her story represents the ongoing maltreatment women receive everywhere -- disregard of their unconditional love by their hypocrite husbands and continual deception.
To mark the Human Rights Day, 'Rongberong', the theatre group of Badhan Hijra Sangha (an organisation working with the intersex community in Bangladesh), staged a play titled Amra Manush, Chai Manusher Adhikar at the Engineers' Institute Auditorium, Dhaka. Rongberong is the only theatre troupe representing the hijra community.
To celebrate the 36th Victory Day, Sammilito Sanskritik Jote will hold a four-day programme starting from December 13. This year, the celebration will take place at the Central Shaheed Minar on Dhaka University campus, Rabindra Sarobor in Dhanmondi and Bijoy Mancho in Mirpur simultaneously.
New drama serial Shunyo Pata will be aired tonight at 9:45 pm on Banglavision. The 26-episode serial written by Sanchit Sarkar is directed by Fazlur Rahman.
The year 2007 has been a year of natural disasters. Starting from earthquakes in Japan, Indonesia and Peru, floods in US, Europe, China, India and Pakistan, wildfires in Greece, US and Portugal, and ending with a devastating cyclone in Bangladesh. God only knows what's next!
Immediately after the devastating cyclone and tidal bore on November12, 1970,
The latest incident of floor collapse of the Rangs Bhaban reminds the authorities of the necessity of following a scientific and safe method in demolishing any high-rise building.
"It came as a shock to us when we first found out that our college ground was used as a killing field during the Liberation War," said M Zahiruddin, a 2nd year BSS student of Mirpur Bangla College.
The 10 spotted deer from Bangladesh is finally going to Kuwait today after a failed attempt on Saturday, said zoo officials.
The renovation of century-old Chittagong Court building remained stalled for over one year as the contracting firm has failed to complete the work on schedule.
The rate of disposal of cases has increased significantly in Chittagong after the separation of judiciary from the executive on November 1. Many justice-seekers expressed their confidence in the positive impact of the independent judiciary and said their sufferings have declined to a great extent since November 1.