The Daily Star

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Friday, April 20, 2018

News of: Friday, 14th of December, 2007

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Existing evidence enough to try killers

The killers of intellectuals during the Liberation War can be prosecuted on the basis of evidence preserved by the government. It only needs to take a move to resume the long halted process of trial of the intellectuals' murder cases.

People feel safe for armed forces' role to fight graft: CA

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said people heave a sigh of relief following the courageous role of the armed forces in building a corruption- and terrorism-free Bangladesh.

Govts overlooked filing case under Int'l Crimes Act

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which probed an intellectual-murder case that dates back 10 years, made suggestions to the home ministry in 2001 that the government could file the case under International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.

4 bodies recovered, many still believed to be inside

Fire fighters yesterday succeeded in recovering the four bodies hanging from the ruins of Rangs Bhaban after efforts to bring down these bodies were suspended the day before on security grounds.

SC overrules stay on Hasina trial

Endorsing the government plea, the Supreme Court yesterday overruled the High Court order that stayed the trial of detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina in an extortion case at a makeshift court.

Horrors of cave days

Brac official Noor Islam, who had been abducted while working in Afghanistan three months back and released on December 7, returned home yesterday and told of horrifying experience of living in dark and fear in a cave.

Govt plans covering up Sidr loss by extra HYV coverage

The government looks to produce an additional 7.5 lakh metric tons of rice by growing high-yield varieties over 10 lakh hectares of land to cover an estimated 14 lakh tons of shortfall caused by back-to-back natural disasters this year.

Waiting for the dead

"I will not go back home without my father's body. If it is not possible to recover the whole body, I will return home at least with a finger and I will stay here until I get it," 25-year-old Alauddin was telling her mother over mobile phone yesterday.

Another story of heartbreak

A victim of human trafficking who was brought back home yesterday revealed how Bangladeshi jobseekers are lured by prospect of jobs in Europe and other developed countries and eventually deserted in Africa by international racketeers.

Power import from India unlikely for high tariff

Bangladesh is unlikely to respond positively to an offer for the import of electricity from the Indian State of Tripura because of high tariff rate.

Martyred Intellectuals Day today

The nation pays rich tribute to the martyred intellectuals today amid rising demands for trial of the war criminals, who had systematically killed the prominent Bangalee intellectuals and professionals at the fag end of the war on this day in 1971.

Jalil's detention declared illegal

The High Court yesterday declared the detention order against Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil "illegal".

HC asks govt why its inaction to recover bodies not illegal

The High Court yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain why its "inaction to recover the bodies of workers trapped under the debris of the partly collapsed Rangs Bhaban should not be declared illegal".

EU to give 33.6m euro for food security

The European Union will provide a grant of 33.6 million euro (Tk 336 crore) for expanding food security in Bangladesh under an agreement signed here yesterday.

Tales of the Biranganas

"I was so frightened seeing the eyes of a Pakistan army personnel that were staring at me. He snatched my son from my lap and threw him away... My mother begged for mercy grabbing his legs, but he did not care," said Birangana Hasna Banu of Sirajganj.

Pasi hopes election will be held on schedule

US Charge d'affaires Geeta Pasi yesterday said India and China did not put any pressure to delay the arrival of American military forces or accelerate their departure from emergency relief operation in cyclone-battered Bangladesh.

Wage board award review body under consideration

The government will actively consider forming a review committee for reappraisal of the just-declared Sixth Wage Board Award for the newspaper industry, if there be an application on behalf of journalists, press workers and employees.

Charges pressed against Ershad in theft case

Police yesterday pressed charges against former president and Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad, his wife Rowshan Ershad and JP presidium member Abu Hossain Babla in a theft case filed by Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) in January last year.

Wife, son of Ziaul Haq jailed

Wife and son of Ziaul Haq Zia, former BNP state minister for LGRD and cooperatives, were handed down six and eight years' imprisonment by a special court yesterday in separate tax evasion cases.

Privatisation Commission's rejoinder

The Privatisation Commission (PC) protested a news item headlined "Rupali Sale Off: Legal notice served on Saudi prince for $458 million" published in The Daily Star on December 13.

High Court grants bail to Sigma

The High Court yesterday granted bail to convict Sigma Huda, wife of former communications minister Nazmul Huda, also jailed, in a graft case that earned her three years' imprisonment.

EC, UNDP to fund 30m euro for voter registration

The European Commission (EC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) yesterday signed three agreements of euro 30 million (Tk 300 crore) to finance voter registration, local government reform and the activation of village courts.

SC upholds bail to Tarique, Koko

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the High Court orders granting bails to Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko, the two sons of detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia, in three extortion cases.

Lorry runs over schoolgirl in city

A schoolgirl was crushed under the wheels of a covered van at Paltan in the capital last night as her parents and sister witnessed the horrifying incident.

Musharraf set to end Pakistan emergency

President Pervez Musharraf will lift Pakistan's state of emergency on Saturday only after changing the constitution to ensure that he cannot be hauled before a court, a senior official said yesterday.


Martyred Intellectuals' Day

The nation observes Martyred Intellectuals' Day today even as it stands at a crossroads of history. For the people of Bangladesh, no sacrifice can be greater in dimension and more profound in substance than the dignified manner in which some of our best men and women were huddled to their death on the eve of the liberation of the country in December 1971. Indeed, the three million Bengalis who died at the hands of the Pakistan occupation army and its local collaborators in the nine months of a do or die war of liberation have left behind an uplifting message for those of us who survived, and for our children and their children: that freedom which comes at a huge price is freedom that needs constant sustenance and succour for it to continue playing its due role in the welfare of those who mean to benefit from it.

Ringing indictment on constitutional violation

In this country where the most obvious, sensible and expected gets overridden by governmental expediency, without a blink of an eye, it is the high judiciary that comes to overturn the aberration as a breath of fresh air. It is in this light that we welcome the High Court verdict declaring 'illegal' the appointment of justice MA Aziz as Chief Election Commissioner while he was an incumbent justice of the Supreme Court Appellate Division. That nobody could concurrently hold two constitutional posts was never in doubt and that is why controversy stalked justice MA Aziz from the first day of his assumption of office as CEC bringing down credibility of the EC with it. The pertinent question is he being himself a serving judge with vast experience how could he accept the offer from the government of the day to be the Chief Election Commissioner?

Cometh the hour

Another year, another December 14. Once again, we mourn the loss of the intellectuals butchered on that day as well as the hundreds of others who were hunted down, tortured, and killed during the course of the none months long liberation war. And once again, once December 14 is safely behind us, we conveniently forget the martyred intellectuals for another year, and go back to our everyday lives.

The conspiracy of silence

A freedom fighter went to court to bring sedition charges against three men. His lawyer prepared the brief and the judge accepted the case. Then the law minister threw a cold blanket on the entire thing. He rightly pointed out that all along it was flawed by a procedural mistake. Sedition by definition is resistance to the legal authority to disturb the peace or disrupt the government. So, the government alone has the locus standi to incriminate its rebellious citizens. Once again, we have let our conviction for the trial of the war criminals of 1971 slide into confusion.

A tribute to Bir Shrestho Munshi Abdur Rauf

Keeping enemy options in mind, I asked Capt. Aftab Qader to put more stress of his defences on the khal. Qader agreed with me and said that he would do so, first thing in the morning. I asked Khalikuzzaman to co-ordinate with Qader to ensure blocking of the river totally. Thirdly, I was completely ignorant regarding the vast areas across the river on to Kasalong hills.


Tigers arrive in NZ

For the Bangladesh team the first impression of New Zealand has been one of pleasant surprise. Arriving in December with the mind playing all over the prospects of one chilly Kiwi tour it doesn't hurt when you see glorious sunshine and temperature hovering around the 20-degree mark.

Sultan slams media too

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president SA Sultan dragged the media in his on-going war against Sports Adviser Tapan Chowdhury when he lodged an official complaint to the chairman of National Sports Council (NSC) yesterday.

Honoured for courage

More than any of their achievements, Wednesday night's reception accorded to the athletes of Bangladesh Special Olympics team and their parents was recognition of their courage and sporting spirit.

England salvage draw

England's batsmen shone under pressure to draw the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka here on Thursday and keep their hopes alive in the three-match series.

Ricky's score to settle

If you think the Chappell-Hadlee Series has lost its lustre, think again. Ricky Ponting has "a score to settle" after Australia were defeated 3-0 last time and wants his best outfit firing for the three-match competition which starts in Adelaide on Friday.

NCL resumes today

The eighth round of the 9th National Cricket League will resume in three venues across the country today.

Dhaka clash Rangamati in final

Dhaka and Rangamati will play the final of the Inter-district women's football competition tomorrow after elbowing our their semifinal opponents by identical margins yesterday.

Jewel-Mushtaque match on Dec 16

The traditional Shaheed Jewel and Shaheed Mushtaque cricket match will be held at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium on Victory Day.

D/N Tests draw flak

Ricky Ponting has warned administrators to remember the failed experiment of day-night first-class matches before trying the same thing in Tests. Cricket Australia is looking at the idea and wants to trial it within the next decade, but Ponting and Daniel Vettori hope the traditional format remains.

Capello almost England's

Fabio Capello's appointment as England's coach is expected to be confirmed, after face-to-face talks with the Football Association chief executive, Brian Barwick on Wednesday concluded with the Italian agreeing in principle to succeed Steve McClaren.

Milan thank Seedorf

Italian powerhouses AC Milan lived up to their pre-tournament promise by beating Urawa Red Diamonds 1-0 to reach the final against Boca Juniors in the Club World Cup on Thursday.

Lyon vanquish Rangers

Glasgow Ran-gers' Champions League campaign came to a heartbreaking end on Wed-nesday when a 3-0 defeat by Lyon meant they failed to complete a British sweep of clubs into the last 16.

Ferguson has faith in youth

Sir Alex Ferguson played tribute to the next generation of emerging Manchester United talent after a virtual second-string team held Roma to a 1-1 draw here in the Champions League.

Injuries, arrests after Rome clash

Nine people ended up in hospital and five were arrested following clashes between Roma and Manchester United fans at the Stadio Olympico here, Italian news agency Ansa reported on Thursday.

Kanoute saves mosque

Mali international footballer Frederic Kanoute has saved a mosque from closure in Seville, the ABC newspaper reported on Thursday.

Dutch plan friendlies

The Netherlands will play five friendly matches as part of their build-up to the Euro 2008 finals, the Dutch football federation announced on Wednesday.

Injuries, arrests after Rome clash

Nine people ended up in hospital and five were arrested following clashes between Roma and Manchester United fans at the Stadio Olympico here, Italian news agency Ansa reported on Thursday.

Africa shortlist five for award

Mali internationals Mahamadou Diarra and Frederic Kanoute Wednesday made the five-man shortlist of nominees for the 2007 African Footballer of the Year Award organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Pace troubled 'em: Anil

India captain Anil Kumble revealed Wednesday it was his pace rather than spin that brought his team on the verge of an unlikely win against Pakistan in the third and final Test here before settling for a draw.

Ntini hits all horns

Makhaya Ntini, the cattle herder who became the first black cricketer to be picked for South Africa a decade ago, says his former charges can claim credit for his accuracy between the wickets."When I was growing up and herding we used to have a competition when if you hit the cow's horns you got points," he recalls. "I never missed."

ECB offers Zim money

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke held low-key talks with Peter Chingoka, the chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket, in Johannesburg last week where it is reported that discussions took place about forthcoming tours between the two countries and the ICC World Twenty20 scheduled to take place in England in 2009.

The lone ranger

It has been a day of mixed fortunes for Pankaj Singh. At the very moment, perhaps, when the national selectors were discussing his name for the Australia tour, Pankaj was busy battling it out in Jhalawar, trying to secure for Rajasthan their first-ever victory over Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. Pankaj couldn't save Rajasthan from losing by two runs -- but he did get the selectors' call.

Hosts win by 96 runs

Gaibandha crushed Kurigram by 96 runs in the national under-14 district youth cricket competition at the local stadium yesterday.

Pritam, Mohakhali surprise leaders

Pritam Prijam Chess Club and Mohakhali Pradip Sangha made most of their weak opponents to share lead in the First Division Chess League after yesterday's second round.

2nd match today

Bangladesh will look to stretch their lead in the five-match limited-overs series against visiting Sri Lanka when the two Under-19 sides face in the second match today at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra.

Victory Day sports

Four services teams confirmed the semifinals berths of the Victory Day Top-Five volleyball yesterday.

DC XI lift T20 title

DC XI clinched the Twenty20 cricket title defeating Munshiganj Press Club by 14 runs in the final at the local stadium here yesterday.

Ganguly rues missed tons

Batting lower down the order has denied him several centuries, says former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who feels VVS Laxman too has "suffered" in terms of scoring hundreds because of batting at number six.

Fabio makes stars sweat

David Beckham looks a good bet to win the 100th cap he craves but Fabio Capello's appointment as England manager may not be good news for some of the other big names in the national squad.

A Turkish surprise

Turkish side Fenerbahce qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time on Wednesday thanks to a 3-1 win over CSKA Moscow in Istanbul.

'This is for Riquelme'

Neri Cardozo has dedicated his winning goal in Boca Juniors' 1-0 Club World Cup semifinal win over Tunisia's Etoile Sahel to missing superstar Juan Roman Riquelme.

The new bionic ball

A new "bionic ball" being tested at the Club World Cup in Japan could soon be a regular feature at FIFA tournaments, its developers said on Thursday.

UCL last 16 qualifiers

Qualifiers for the last 16 of the Champions League after the conclusion of the group stages on Wednesday:

Hitzfield explains Kahn fine

Bayern Munich had to punish captain Oliver Kahn to reimpose discipline after he left the Christmas party early and criticised team mates, coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said on Wednesday.

Lehmann puts family first

Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann could sacrifice his place in Germany's team for the 2008 European Championships because he wants his young family to remain in London until next summer.

Wenger angry at fixture pile-up

Arsene Wenger has accused the Premier League of making life harder for Arsenal than their title rivals.

Villa injured again

Valencia will be without their injury-plagued Spanish international striker David Villa for at least three weeks with a hamstring injury, the club announced here on Wednesday.


Govt moves to breathe new life into hi-tech park

The government is preparing to launch an international tender for construction of the hi-tech business park in Gazipur in an effort to breathe new life into the much delayed project.

Timber importers now turn to Africa, LatAm

Importers and wooden furniture makers are now looking as far as Africa and Latin America to source timber in a bid to control the rising costs of wood in the local market.

Asia economic growth to remain strong in 2008, downside risks rise: ADB

Economic growth among the developing economies of East Asia will ease to a still robust eight percent next year, but the downside risks are rising, the Asian Development Bank said Thursday.

Brac involved in business for development's sake

Ensuring its businesses aid human development is a major challenge for a non-governmental organisation (NGO), but on that Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (Brac) has attempted to overcome during the more than three decades it has been in operation.

Saudi buyer firm on $456m offer for Rupali

A senior adviser to Saudi Prince Bandar yesterday said the prince stands by his offer of $456 million for the government-held shares in Rupali Bank, and denied reports that he had cut the amount he is prepared to pay for the bank.

CSE submits proposal on introduction of derivatives

Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) has submitted a draft proposal on introduction of derivatives, financial securities whose value is derived from other 'underlying' financial securities, in stock markets to the market regulator.

Poor management creates poverty for Bangladesh

Bangladesh has been a poor country due to lack of proper management of its resources, Chairman of Regulatory Reforms Commission Dr Akbar Ali Khan said yesterday.

New bench of Tax Appellate Tribunal

The government has approved a new bench under the Tax Appellate Tribunal for quick disposal of appeals in tax-related cases.

ETV to telecast live stock trading

Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and ETV, a private satellite television channel, yesterday signed an agreement to telecast live the trading from the floors of the bourse.

DU Eid, winter vacation begins today

Dhaka University's winter and Eid vacation begin today.


Anti-liberation forces should be barred from polls

Anti-liberation forces and war criminals should be barred from standing in the election in Bangladesh whose birth they still oppose, founder Vice-Chancellor of East West University Dr Mohammad Farashuddin said at a seminar yesterday.

Bali conference ends today with finalisation of Adaptation Fund

Bangladesh hopes that the Bali conference on climate change would finalise today a fund to finance adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries to cope with adverse effects of climate change.

Govt asks Golden Arrow to refund Tk 1.75 lakh to each worker

Each of the 80 workers who returned home recently from Malaysia due to unemployment and abuse would have to be refunded a maximum of Tk 1.75 lakh by their recruiting agency Golden Arrow.

'Make easy access to govt rules, regulations'

The Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC) has recommended that the government publish all its rules and regulations on a website so that the public has easy access to them.

Math Olympiad begins in Rangpur tomorrow

Dutch Bangla Bank-Prothom Alo Math Olympiad 2008 and 6th Bangladesh Math Olympiad begins in Rangpur tomorrow.

Environmental training workshop ends

A three-day teacher training programme on environmental issues ended at Presidency University in the city recently, says a press release.

Martyred intellectuals best sons of soil

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed has called upon all to work together to make Bangladesh a happy, prosperous and progressive country materialising the dreams of the freedom fighters.

WB to help reconstruct cyclone-hit areas: Patel

World Bank Vice-President for South Asia region Praful C Patel said the multilateral funding agency would provide assistance for rebuilding the cyclone Sidr-hit areas.

Truck helper killed

A helper was knocked to death by a truck inside a private container depot in the port city yesterday.

Call for nat’l unity to tackle climate change

Political leaders at a national dialogue yesterday called for political and national unity to tackle the global climate change.

2 minute's silence at Martyred Intellectuals Monument today

Sector Commanders' Forum will observe two minute's silence from 4:30pm today at Rayer Bazar Martyred Intellectuals Monument to pay tribute to the martyred intellectuals of Liberation War.

Death anniversary of five martyrs

Today is the 36th death anniversary of four brothers -- Bakhtiar Hasan Makhan, Kamrul Hasan Ratan, Rakibul Hasan Lucky, Iqbal Hasan Shahar -- and one of their relatives Ataur Rahman Nehal who were martyred during the Liberation War, says a press release.

Death anniversary of Birshrestha Jahangir today

Today is the 36th death anniversary of Birshrestha Capt Mohiuddin Jahangir.

Imdad-Sitara Khan Kidney Centre, Bogra inaugurated

The inaugural ceremony of 3rd nonprofit kidney centre of Imdad-Sitara Khan Foundation (ISKF) and a reception of its key donor Sitara Khan, co-founder and president of the Khan Family Foundation, USA was held at Sheraton Hotel in the city yesterday, says a press release.

Customs duty on clothes for Sidr-hit people exempted

The government has exempted customs duty on clothes that will be imported for the Sidr-affected people.


Trial of war criminals

In relation to Mr Moinul Chowdhury's analysis of my previous letter, I feel it is necessary to say a few things. Firstly, I would say that Mr. Chowdhury is not listening to the Law Adviser. He has given all the answers Mr Chowdhury requires. I would also suggest the CTG to take action against the previous ruling parties for not taking any action against the anti-liberation forces. I totally agree with the Law Adviser in saying that no individual has a right to file a case of treason against any citizen of Bangladesh.

Return of a valiant son

As a Bangladeshi living abroad for years, I feel tremendous pride in the efforts taken by the current rulers of Bangladesh to bring back the remains of one of our valiant sons. Unfortunately, this should have been done years ago by the previous regimes, especially the ones who claim monopoly over the liberation war. However, better late than never.

Concert for Bangladesh

Two issues remain to be addressed for successful conclusion of our independence struggle. One issue, the trial of war criminals, has been discussed a lot in recent times. We, as a nation, owe it to the persons who gave their lives to free us, to the children who were denied their parents' love, to the parents whose dreams about their children never materialized, to the mothers and sisters who were violated by the criminals and to our next generation. Another issue is to express our gratitude and recognise persons, who supported and contributed tremendously to our freedom struggle. Of many such people, I will mention two who had enormous contribution in bringing our struggle to the attention of the world. Music maestro Ravi Shankar along with George Harrison of the Beatles had such a tremendous contribution in bringing the tragic Bangladesh situation in front of the western world through CONCERT FOR BANGLADESH in Madison Square Garden, NY on August 1, 1971. We as a nation failed to give them due honour. I feel very sad that we will never be able to show our gratitude to George Harrison as he died in November 2001. His widow recently contributed half a million dollar for the children of Bangladesh and drew world's attention to the recent disaster. I hope it is not too late to honour Ravi Shankar as he is also not in very good health though still performing once or twice a year. It would be a tremendous expression of our gratitude to invite Ravi Shankar and the widow of George Harrison to Bangladesh and honour them, may be on the occasion of our next Independence Day celebrations.

Killing of intellectuals

I would like to share with your readers a poignant moment in my life, one that has left deep scars and now a deeper understanding of 1971. My story should leave no one in doubt (detractors please note) that the struggle in 1971 was indeed a struggle to liberate our soil from colonial forces bent on destroying our Bengali culture and heritage. I was an eyewitness to the horrific manifestations of an ideology, which was racist and violent in nature. It would stop at nothing to perpetuate the communal bias of the Pakistani ruling classes and its armed hordes. It didn't matter that the majority in East Pakistan were Muslims- what really mattered was that the Bengalis must never be allowed to be the managers of the state of Pakistan.

Seminar on 1971genocide

On a cold rainy Sunday afternoon (9 Dec 2007) we the Bangladeshi expatriates in New Jersey and surrounding areas were presented with an excellent retrospective on the genocide in our Motherland committed by the Pakistani occupation forces and their local Bengalee collaborators in 1971. This seminar and exhibit under the auspices of the Department of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Kean University was largely the work of a few young people of Bangladeshi origin at Kean (who were born at least a generation after 1971) supported by a professor of English, Dr. Bernard Weinstein. The seminar was preceded by a moving exhibit of rare photographs painstakingly collected from scattered sources around the world. This well attended seminar started with a moment of silence for the three million martyrs due to whose sacrifice Bangladesh is now a free country and a short film documenting the history of the Liberation War. It was addressed by Dr. Farahi, President of Kean University, Dr. Rounaq Jahan of Columbia University and a number of scholars, freedom fighters and noted personalities. The highlight of the seminar was a segment consisting of short talks by family members of genocide victims and survivors of the genocide. Every participant at this seminar (who came from various parts of the USA) left the auditorium with a strong feeling that as civilized humans we must make every effort to ensure that a genocide of the likes of what happened in Bangladesh must not be allowed to happen ever again.

A fresh start

We will never move forward as a nation (even after 36 years) until or unless every single rajakar still living amongst us is brought to justice, including those who until very recently occupied seats of power. I understand that "to forgive is divine" but we do need a fresh start very badly and the only possible way we can continue our journey as a nation is to make these people face the music which they thoroughly deserve. We cannot continually live with this wound in our hearts. The genocide of our people in 1971 is officially ranked second only to the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews during the Second World War. How can we pass another day without batting an eyelid?

A freedom fighter's son

My father SM Momtazur Rahman was brutally killed on 27 November 1971. My mother did not get her husband's body. My mother has passed 36 years since 1971. I was the youngest of her five sons-- one year old at that time. My elder brother was eighteen only. Now he is a professor of sociology at Rajshahi University . After a long time, I am thinking about my helpless father who sacrificed his life for the country silently, vigorously but his name was not enrolled as a freedom fighter in the list of freedom fighters prepared by the government. My father's offence?


‘Hundreds of Taliban killed or arrested’

The Afghan army supported by Nato forces killed, wounded or arrested hundreds of rebels when they took back a town that had been occupied by the Taliban for almost a year, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Climate talks could collapse, warns UN

The UN climate chief warned yesterday that a deadlock between the United States and the European Union over emissions cuts threatened to derail talks aimed at launching negotiations for a new global warming pact.

Doubt over change after end of Pak emergency

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is due to lift emergency rule on Saturday, but analysts say the move is unlikely to end the bitter controversies over his changes to the constitution.

‘Most Pakistanis want Musharraf ouster’

Most Pakistanis want to see President Pervez Musharraf out of power, according to the first poll released since the general declared a state of emergency last month, US media said Thursday.

EU leaders sign landmark reform treaty

Leaders of the 27-nation European Union on Thursday signed a landmark treaty to revitalise decision-making after years of wrangling on how much power they are willing to hand over.

5 die in bomb attack on train in Assam

Five people were killed and four others injured yesterday in a bomb attack on a train in northeastern India claimed by ethnic guerrillas.

Iran, IAEA wrap up latest nuclear talks

Iran and UN nuclear watchdog officials have ended their latest round of talks in Tehran on the controversial Iranian atomic drive, officials said yesterday.

Iran kills Sunni rebels planning attacks

Iranian police yesterday killed several members of a Sunni militant armed group said to have been planning foreign-backed attacks in the restive southeast of Iran, state television said.

18 killed in fresh

Fresh fighting between government forces and Tamil rebels across Sri Lanka's embattled north has left at least 18 dead, the defence ministry said yesterday.

7 killed in two Pak suicide attacks

At least seven people were killed and several others wounded Thursday in two suicide attacks at a military checkpost in restive southwestern Pakistan, officials said.

13 civilians killed in Mogadishu attack

At least 13 Somalis died yesterday, including 11 in almost simultaneous mortar blasts, as Mogadishu's civilian population continued to bear the brunt of relentless fighting.

Arts & Entertainment

Kushan Gaan staged at Liberation War Museum

On the third day (December 12) of the weeklong Victory Day Celebration programme at Liberation War Museum, Kushan Gaan -- an indigenous performing art form from the northern part of Bangladesh, dance, recitation, rendition of folk and patriotic songs were performed.

Exhibition held at the Zainul Gallery

“My work is not symbolic. Only the Guernica mural is symbolic. But, in the case of the mural, that is allegorical. That is the reason I've used the horse, the bull and so on. The mural is for the expression and solution of a problem and that is why I've used symbolism,” -- legendary artist Pablo Picasso on his masterpiece Guernica, which is on display at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain. Guernica depicts people, animals, and buildings wrenched by violence and chaos.

SAARC cultural festival: From fusion music to glitzy fashion and more

From trendy fusion music to glitzy fashion and food, fascinating folklore to a car rally, photo exhibition and crafts -- the recently concluded South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) cultural festival in New Delhi showcased them all.

French-Bangla fusion goes off with a bang

Combining Renaissance and Baroque music with traditional Bangla tunes, a form of fusion was presented by Lorraine Prigent (vocals) and Olivier Labe (lute). In their kurta and kaftan they blended well with the rest of the musicians with all wearing saffron uttariyo. After the French and Italian secular pieces were performed to usher in peace and romance for the year, a group of five local musicians brought in their Lalon and eastern classical notes on the flute, tabla, sitar, harmonium, and esraj. As the evening wore on, they trilled, chanted and played in harmony with Labe and Prigent, to the delight of the ecstatic audience.

Dhaka Theatre to stage “Nimojjon” in Kolkata

Dhaka Theatre's latest production Nimojjon will be staged in Kolkata at three festivals. Nimojjon will be staged on the opening day of Nandikar's 24th National Theatre Festival (December 16-25, 2007) at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata. The festival is dedicated to Leela Mazumder.

Daylong 'Bijoy Mela' on Channel i

To celebrate the Victory Day, Channel i has arranged a daylong programme titled Bijoy Mela on December 16 at its Tejgaon office. The event will be telecast live on Channel i from 11 am to 5pm.

“Code Name Alpha” on ATN Bangla tonight

Marking the Martyred Intellectuals' Day, ATN Bangla will air a special play Code Name Alpha at 8pm tonight. Based on Anisul Haque's concept, Iqbal Hossain Choudhury has written the play. Based on a true story of a Freedom Fighter Musa Miah, the play is directed by Ridwan Rony.

Musical soiree at Bengal Shilpalaya

To celebrate 72nd birth anniversary of the eminent artist, sculptor and entrepreneur Nitun Kundu, Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts has arranged an exhibition of the artist's works. Beginning from December 3 (the artist's birthday) the exhibition will continue till December 17.


War crime trials: Our failure and future

To quote from the August 2004 report of the Redress Trust (London): "In Bangladesh, there was apparent political will to prosecute and punish those accused of perpetration of crimes relating to the 1971 events. The then government of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman decided to try those members of the Pakistani army who had surrendered, reportedly more than 95,000 in total, on charges of international crimes. Following an investigation, a decision was made to put on trial 195 'major war criminals' against whom strong evidence was said to be available.

Intellectual killing and the war crimes of 1971

The mother of a thief talks big. As this Bengali proverb goes, so go the recent remarks of the trio of Ali Ahsan Mujaheed, Quader Mollah, the two Jamaat top brass, and their sincerest sympathiser Saha Hannan.

Homage to a mentor

His was not a face which could be easily forgotten. Along with the imprint of intelligence on that face there were also a ready smile of kindliness on the lips and a twinkle of good humour in the eyes. He never displayed any indifference to people around him.


Climate change and Bangladesh : A perspective on where are we

Like the rest of the world, Bangladesh is also seeing significant changes in the climate and feeling its impact in recent years. Changes in rainfall patterns, droughts in rainy seasons, late monsoon, recurring floods and warm winters are all obvious signs of these changes. The impact -- of these changes on the lives of the people and the economy, infrastructures, agriculture and food security are beginning to unfold, it seems, as evidenced by cyclone Sidr.

Colonial influences on our forests :

Bangladesh is the lowest landmass of the extended “Himalayan Drainage Ecosystem” or “Himalayan River Basin Ecosystem”. The history of forestry in Bangladesh is a description of deforestation and degradation. The forests were exploited to supply raw materials for the ship and railway industries of the British colonial rulers (1757-1947) and generate revenue for the West Pakistan rulers (1947-71). In independent Bangladesh degradation continued.

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