The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, September 22, 2014


News of: Saturday, 15th of December, 2007

Front Page

Try war criminals

Amid a growing demand for punishment for war criminals the nation observed Martyred Intellectuals Day yesterday paying rich tribute to the illustrious citizens who had been brutally killed on the eve of victory in the Liberation War of 1971.

Rajuk itself flouted demolition code

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) flouted its own codes in demolishing the upper floors of Rangs Bhaban in the capital, instead of being extra alert since it had no prior experience of such a large scale demolition.

Illegal conversion work and low-quality cylinder blamed

Riding CNG-run vehicles has become quite dangerous these days.

Today's talks with WB to focus on admin capacity

World Bank (WB) is highly concerned at the government's administrative capacity constraint that has slowed down state decision-making and implementation, a concern that will feature prominently in the post-Sidr rehabilitation discussions between the bank and the government today.

Fear of loan sharks haunts fishermen

Fishermen in the chars of the Sundarbans region anticipate insufficient catch this year as many have not returned to the trade following the devastation of cyclone Sidr.

Agonising tale of a husband's brutality

It was love that parted schoolteacher Mahbuba Khanam from her parents. With high hopes disregarding her parents' opinions she got married to a man six years ago, and they had a happy conjugal life until recently.

Salinity and neglect ruin Paharpur terracota

Paharpur Bihar of Naogaon or the Somapura Mahavihara, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, has been in ruins for a long time due to poor maintenance and fund constraint, said officials at the Department of Archaeology.

Fire fighters stop rescue operation saying it's not their job to remove debris

Rescuers yesterday could not recover any more body from inside the debris of the collapsed Rangs Bhaban where at least eight more persons are still thought to have been trapped to death.

4 summoned afresh for depositions

A Sylhet court has issued fresh summons on four prosecution witnesses (PWs), including a deputy secretary, for recording depositions in the sensational case for grenade attack on British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury here in 2004.

2-minute silence at call of sector commanders

At the call of the Sector Commanders' Forum, people from all walks of life yesterday observed a two-minute silence at Rayer Bazar Martyred Intellectuals' Mausoleum and those in different parts of the country to pay tributes to the martyred intellectuals.

24 Hizbut Tawhid men held with leaflets in Chandpur

The law enforcers arrested 24 members of Hizbut Tawhid, an Islamist outfit, in Kochua upazila of the district yesterday.

'Democracy a must for media to thrive'

Discussants at a dialogue in the city yesterday observed that the news media has been under pressure from the government before and same is the case now too.

Khaleda loyalists pick new leaders across country

Pro-Khaleda faction of BNP took initiative to rear alternative leadership at different constituencies, from which former BNP lawmakers joined the Saifur-led faction of the party, to consolidate its strength.

War criminals' trial possible any time

Bringing war criminals to book is not only the right of a country but also its responsibility, and it can initiate their trial any time.

LDCs should upgrade IP frameworks

Least Developed Countries (LDCs) like Bangladesh should actively upgrade their legal and institutional frameworks in intellectual property (IP) in order to take advantage of the flexibilities expected to be offered by the WTO.

Release teachers, students without delay: Duta

Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) yesterday reiterated its demand for withdrawal of cases against the detained teachers and students of the university and their immediate release.

Ferrying of hajj pilgrims to KSA ends

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd yesterday successfully completed transporting all of this year's aspirant hajj pilgrims to Jeddah.

Steps being taken to involve hill women in local govt bodies

Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmad Chowdhury yesterday said the government is preparing a special strategy document to ensure participation of the region's women in all local government organisations, especially in three hill district councils, and improve their socio-economic situation.

Hundreds crowd freed Brac man's house

Hundreds of villagers thronged the home of Brac official Noor Islam in Jessore on Thursday night as he returned home after being released by his Afghan abductors after 82 days.

SSKOP welcomes move to review wage board

Welcoming the government move to form a review committee on the just-declared Sixth Wage Board Award, Sangbadik-Sramik-Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SSKOP) yesterday said they had sent a memorandum to the chief adviser and the information secretary on Thursday to remove anomalies in the award.

Human chain worldwide today for trying war criminals

US based Federation of Organisations Against Bangladeshi War Criminals (FOABWC) will form human chain in different parts of the world today demanding trial of the war criminals and a ban on Jamaat politics.

Swiss, ROK aid for cyclone, flood victims

Switzerland Thursday provided an additional $3.6 million for emergency cyclone assistance and post-flood rehabilitation programmes, while South Korea donated $300,000 as immediate lifesaving assistance for the Sidr victims.

JCD president freed on bail, held again

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) President Azizul Bari Helal was arrested soon after he came out of the Dhaka Central Jail on bail yesterday.

Mother, daughter murdered in Barisal

Police recovered the bodies of Sathi Akhter, 13, a class eight student, and her mother Kazal Begum from their residence at West Kalibari in Barisal city early yesterday.

Signs of compromise as Bali talks miss deadline

US and European officials voiced optimism Friday that they could break through a logjam in how to fight global warming, despite missing a first deadline at a major UN conference in Bali.

Fraud claims by opposition already cloud Pak election

Less than a month before Pakistan's election, the opposition is already claiming it will be rigged, pointing to a stacked judiciary, media intimidation and ballot papers that have allegedly been pre-marked.

Lanka's war budget approved despite defections

Sri Lanka's shaky coalition government on Friday won parliamentary approval for the island's biggest ever war budget, despite a series of defections to the opposition.

India tests surface-to-air missile

India on Friday successfully tested its surface-to-air Akash missile at an eastern coastal site, the second firing of the weapon in as many days, defence officials said.

Editorial

From debris to development

Agriculture and environment adviser CS Karim in an exchange of views session with The Daily Star unveiled a recovery plan and an adaptation vision against the backdrop of cyclone Sidr. The catastrophe following two successive floods forebode more of climatic change-induced disruptions which call for an adaptation strategy. That's why the adviser's exchange of views yielded two sets of recommendations: one for a short and medium term recovery, and another for long term adaptation and preparedness to meet the challenges thrown up by climatic changes.

Renovate Ctg court building

The more than century-old court building at Chittagong continues to be in a dilapidated condition despite the fact that renovation works began a year ago. Nothing has also been done to construct another building planned for the premises. Apparently, the authorities have already cancelled the concerned contractor's work orders on the ground that the scheduled one year period as stipulated in the contract had expired in 2005. As a result, the half-demolished building has become prone to accident.

Bangladesh and counter-terrorism in South Asia

Terrorism and terrorists have their own concept of grammar. They define their ideas, objectives and behaviour on the basis of denotations and connotations that are totally different from the generally accepted norms of civilized society. For them, ends justify means. Their continued action and response are not always logical or rational. However, within this complex scenario, lies a method in their madness.

Kashmir pines for dignity

I know the accession of Kashmir to India is a sensitive point with us. Anybody questioning it is criticized in the worst language possible. I am, however, surprised to find lack of furore over a remark by Farooq Abdullah, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. He has said repeatedly that the killing of innocent people by the army "forces us to think whether signing of the Instrument of Accession by my father, Sheikh Abdullah and Maharaja Hari Singh, was fair, straight or not."

Sidr affected humanity and NGOs

Recently cyclone 'Sidr', the fiercest in known memory, has ravaged life in quite a number of southern districts of Bangladesh. About 4000 men-women-children were killed and innumerable got injured, many very seriously. Lakhs of houses and more than that number of cattle as well as thousands of acres of standing crops were destroyed. And also destroyed was 30 per cent of the world heritage Sundarbans with its exclusive fauna. Losing everything to the fury of cyclone 'Sidr' lakhs of people are inhumanly living under open sky in this winter. However, besides the government, NGOs and foreign donor agencies, various countries and people in general have come in a big way to help and rehabilitate the distressed. The local NGOs are perhaps trying their best to stand by the affected alongside the government. They have joined the rehabilitation effort exempting loan of cyclone affected members, suspending installment collection for certain period, providing interest-free loan as well as essential medicines and other necessities.

Sports

Tigers tune with time, pitch

Getting used to a sleeping routine is the first adjustment the Bangladesh team have to make here. Hamilton is seven hours ahead of Dhaka and by the time the eyes start getting dozy all of a sudden you realise that its time to train.

Sultan's claims baseless, tasteless: Tapan

Sports Adviser Tapan Chowdhury yesterday termed the allegations made against him by Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president SA Sultan as 'baseless'.

Shahjada rips Ctg

Rajshahi fast bowler Mohammad Shahjada shone on a rather slow opening day of the 9th National Cricket League eighth round at the Rajshahi Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Ricky, Adam blaze NZ

Ricky Ponting scored his 24th one-day hundred and Adam Gilchrist clubbed a ferocious half-century to steer Australia to a convincing seven-wicket win over New Zealand in the opening Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series game on Friday.

Transcom Cup golf held

Sadat Mehdi clinched the men's title while JS Yoon won the women's crown in the Transcom Cup Golf tournament at the Kurmitola Golf Club yesterday.

Capello divides opinion

Fabio Capello's impending appointment as the new England manager evoked mixed emotions Friday as the stark reality of the country's lack of home-grown candidates hit home.

Lankan U-19s square series

Young batsman Marshall Ayub's valiant 90 went down the drains as Sri Lanka Under-19s levelled the five-match limited-overs series against Bangladesh when the visitors snatched a 14-run win in the second match at Bogra yesterday.

Dilshan returns to nat'l fold

Sri Lanka have brought back middle-order batsman Tillekeratne Dilshan for the third and final Test against England starting in Galle on Tuesday.

Younis willing to lead

In a surprise change of heart, Younis Khan has said he is now willing to lead the Test side if the Pakistan board asked him to do so.

Kumble banks on runs

Anil Kumble is confident India can beat Australia in the upcoming series if the batsmen perform the way they did during the previous tour in 2003-04. Kumble, fresh from a 1-0 series win against Pakistan in his first assignment as Test captain, took heart from the manner in which Sri Lanka nearly chased down a target of more than 500 against Australia in the second Test in Hobart last month.

Shoaib regrets Eden act

Stung by criticism over his form and fitness on the India tour, Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar on Friday vowed to regain his reputation as one of the most fearsome bowlers in the world.

Hoggard to be fit

Swing bowler Matthew Hoggard could be in line for a return to the England team in time for the third Test against Sri Lanka which starts on 18 December.

Prasad asks to adapt

Indian bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad is confident his young new ball bowlers can adapt quickly to bouncy Australian pitches after toiling on flat tracks in the home test series win over Pakistan this week.

Destiny 2000 shock Biman

Destiny 2000 pulled off the first upset of the First Division Chess League yesterday when they defeated holders Bangladesh Biman 2.5-1.5 in the third round.

Eves' football final today

Rangamati will face hosts Dhaka in today's final of the Inter-district women's football tournament.

Lalmonirhat win by 49 runs

Lalmonirhat defeated Rangpur by 49 runs in the national under-14 district youth cricket competition at the local stadium yesterday.

Victory Day Sports

Bangladesh Army clinched the Total Victory day basketball tournament title when they edged Bangladesh Navy 69-63 in a keenly contested final at the Shaheed Suhrawardy National Indoor Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Norman, Evert engaged

Golfer Greg Norman and former tennis star Chris Evert on Friday announced their engagement.

'Tait dispute inspired us'

Ricky Ponting has dismissed the fracas surrounding Shaun Tait's action as 'absolute rubbish' and called New Zealand's insinuations 'a bit disappointing'. But he admitted nevertheless the situation motivated Australia to victory in the Chappell-Hadlee Series opener in Adelaide on Friday.

Milan expecting tough tie

Carlo Ancelotti is predicting a bruising battle when his AC Milan side face Boca Juniors in the Club World Cup final on Sunday, with both sides ready to make history.

Can Cagliari beat Inter?

Italian football fans all over the country will be rooting for Cagliari at the weekend as the rock bottom Sardinians entertain league leaders Inter Milan.

Barca target Mestalla seige

Facing Valencia at the Mestalla stadium used to strike fear into Spanish teams, but this season Ronald Koeman's side are proving a soft touch at home and Barcelona hope to take advantage on Saturday.

Heat on for Bayern

Bayern Munich's hard-man midfielder Mark van Bommel says his side need a win at Hertha Berlin on Saturday to restore flagging confidence as the league leaders recover from a turbulent week.

A blockbuster weekend

Jose Reina believes the best performance of his time at Anfield has provided the perfect platform for Liverpool to assert their Premier League title credentials at Manchester United's expense.

Bayern pull off Breno coup

Bayern Munich have signed Brazilian teenage defender Breno on a four and a half year contract which will keep him at the German giants until June 2012.

Wanted: Karim Benzema

Lyon striker Karim Benzema insisted Thursday he will only be tempted by a big-money move to another major club once the French champions finally conquer Europe.

Hitzfeld set to leave Bayern

Bayern Munich are almost certain to part with their Champions League-winning coach Ottmar Hitzfeld at the end of the season, according to reports in the German press on Friday.

Owen not leaving

Michael Owen will not be allowed to leave Newcastle in January, manager Sam Allardyce insisted on Friday amid continued speculation about a potential bid from Manchester City.

Podolski to become father

Bayern Munich striker Lukas Podolski, voted the best young player at last year's World Cup, is set to become a father for the first time.

Domenech isn't convinced

Outspoken France coach Raymond Domenech on Thursday hit out at the decision to approve Italian Fabio Capello as the new England manager.

Chelsea back in title race

Chelsea defender Alex believes the Londoners have hauled themselves back into the Premier League title race after an unconvincing start to the season.

Business

Revenue grows 22.53pc in five months

On the back of good responses from individual taxpayers, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) achieved a 22.53 percent revenue growth in the first five months of the current fiscal year.

Local plant set to make industrial moulds

It was a quiet and slow Friday afternoon at Chandra in Gazipur industrial belt because of weekly holiday, but engineers and workers at Walton Hi-Tech Industry Ltd were working overtime in the run-up to the commercial launch of the mould making plant.

EU seeks fair trade with China as textile quota ends

EU lawmakers and officials demanded on Thursday a level playing field in trade relations with China as Europe braces for the end of quotas on imports of Chinese-made clothes.

S Korean tax service goes foreigner friendly

The National Tax Service on Thursday said it has compiled a guidebook for filing year-end tax settlements for foreign nationals working in South Korea.

Opec raises estimate for oil demand growth in 2008

Opec on Friday raised its estimate for world oil demand growth in 2008, owing to fast-growing demand for transport and industrial fuel in developing countries, but kept unchanged its forecast for world oil demand this year.

Central banks try to balance inflation

The world's major central banks face the delicate balancing act of trying to ease the global credit crunch sparked by the US subprime home loan crisis while trying to rein in rising inflation.

Indian inflation up to 3.75pc

India's annual inflation rate jumped unexpectedly nearly three-quarters of a point to 3.75 percent on rising fuel and food prices, official data on Friday showed.

Air India joins Star Alliance

Star Alliance, the 19-member global airline grouping, on Thursday voted to accept India's national carrier Air India in the club that offers passengers a choice of over 17,000 daily flights across 160 countries.

GP sets up 2 solar-powered base stations

Leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone (GP) Ltd has recently installed two hybrid solar-powered base stations in Bangladesh, says a press release.

HSBC wins bid to acquire Taiwan's Chinese Bank

HSBC Holdings said Friday it will acquire The Chinese Bank in Taiwan after winning a government auction here, substantially boosting its operations on the island.

Citigroup reveals $49b subprime blow

The world's biggest bank Citigroup is taking on board 49 billion dollars' (34 billion euros) worth of hugely devalued subprime loans to reassure markets amid a credit downgrading on concern about its capital base.

Thai exports to rise 12.5pc next year

Thailand's exports, the main pillar of the kingdom's economy, are expected to grow by 12.5 percent next year on the back of steady global demand, the commerce ministry said Friday.

German inflation hits 13-year high

Inflation hit a 13-year high of 3.1 percent in November in Germany, well above the European Central Bank's target rate of 2.0 percent, official data showed Friday.

US retail sales leap past expectations

American consumers went on a spending spree in November, lifting US retail sales 1.2 percent for the month, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

December 09-December 13, 2007
Local FX Market
The US dollar/BDT market was soft throughout the week, with the USD/BDT rate being range bound. However there was ample demand in the market.

Metropolitan

6 killed in road accidents

Six people were killed and seven others were injured in separate road accidents in Gaibandha, Brahmanbaria, Mymensingh and Chapainawabganj in the last two days.

Boy among three suspects held

A boy, aged about eight, along with two youths was sent to jail in the port city yesterday for his alleged involvement in the murder of Suman Das that took place on December 9.

Sylhet businessman killed in clash with students

A businessman was killed in a clash with the students of a private university in the city on Thursday.

Workers won't go home without receiving refund

More than 50 Bangladeshi workers who returned from Malaysia recently in the wake of harassment by recruiting agents yesterday decided not to go back to their homes until they receive a refund of Tk 1.75 lakh per person from the recruiting agency.

Death anniversary of Fazle Rabbee today

Today is the 36th death anniversary of Dr Md Fazle Rabbee, a martyred intellectual, says a press release.

Follow Thakur Anukul's teachings to protect HR

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain has said Bangladesh is one of the richest countries in terms of moral values and enlightened personalities.

Children join Surf Excel Daag Utsab

Children celebrated the Surf Excel Daag Utsab, an innovative activation campaign, at Dhaka Residential Model College yesterday amid much enthusiasm.

KOICA to help implement rural dev project

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Economic Relations Division (ERD), Ministry of Finance, signed a Record of Discussions recently to jointly implement a rural development project, says a press release.

Korea provides $ 3 lakh for cyclone victims

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) yesterday welcomed a US$ 300,000 contribution by the South Korean government to provide immediate lifesaving assistance for cyclone-affected people.

EBL financial assistance for DU students

Dhaka University Alumni Association (DUAA) and Eastern Bank Limited (EBL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Thursday to launch a financial assistance programme for the students of the university.

Grameenphone free eye camp

Grameenphone organised a free eye camp in association with Sight Savers International at the VARD Eye Hospital at Ilaspur at Balaganj in Sylhet recently, says a press release.

13 Bangladeshi policemen complete US ATA course

Thirteen officers of Bangladesh Police completed the ongoing US Government Anti-Terrorism Assistance (ATA) sponsored training programme designed to advance security awareness and VIP protection capabilities.

18 FFs leave for India to celebrate Victory Day

Eighteen freedom fighters, led by Maj Gen (retd) Imam-Uz-Zaman, left for Kolkata yesterday to join the Indian Army in celebrating the Victory Day at Fort William, the headquarters of Eastern Command of Indian Army.

Baul singer Dayal killed in road accident

Baul singer Akmal Hossain Dayal Sai was killed in a road accident at Manikpur in the town yesterday morning.

Security management course held

British American Tobacco (BAT) Bangladesh organised a security management course in the country recently, says a press release.

National

Try killers of intellectuals

Martyred Intellectuals' Day was observed in districts yesterday with a call for trial of war criminals.

Workers' hunger strike today to realise arrears

Workers and employees of laid-off Alim Jute Mill will observe hunger strike from 6am to 6pm in front of the mill gate today as part of a programme to realise their arrear dues and withdrawal of the lay-off.

Victory memorial not opened in 2 years

Two years after construction, the victory memorial on the compound of Satkhira Collectorate is yet to be inaugurated as names of fake freedom fighters and a rajakar are still on the plaque containing the names of martyred freedom fighters.

Signs of massacre disappearing

No monument has been built in the eight selected spots in the district which bear horrifying memories of massacre by Pakistani occupation forces during Liberation War.

Another barge mounted power plant closed down at Goalpara

The last of the two 14-megawatt barge-mounted plant of Khulna Power Station (KPS) at Goalpara in the city has been finally closed down.

2 outlaws held in Kushtia

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested three criminals and recovered firearms in two separate raids in the district on Thursday night.

Doctor hurt in bomb attack

A rural medical practitioner was seriously injured as criminals blasted bombs at Goshnagar Bazar under the Sadar upazila on Wednesday night.

Info service opened at Kushtia hospital

Sachetan Nagarik Committee, a citizens movement of Transparency International of Bangladesh (TIB) has opened Satellite Information and Advice Desk (SIAD) at Kushtia General Hospital to help patients get information on treatment facilities in the hospital.

International

Gates pushes allies on Afghan war help

Defence Secretary Robert Gates is asking European allies for more troops to help stabilise Afghanistan, where the government is weak, the insurgency is relentless and casualties are mounting.

Pakistan insists nuke arsenal secure

Pakistan yesterday again rejected concerns about the security of its nuclear weapons and said the safety of its atomic arsenal was "foolproof".

UN chief, Australian PM back E Timor's nation-building

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd jetted into East Timor Friday to lend support to the fledgling nation's efforts to stabilise and rebuild after violence last year.

Palestinians count on donors' billions for statehood

Palestinians are relying on world donors to pledge almost six billion dollars in Paris on Monday to bankroll an ambitious three-year development project underwriting their promised state.

Poor nations demand green technology

Uganda gets plenty of sun, making it a great spot for solar energy. There's only one problem: In one of the world's most impoverished nations, few people can afford an imported solar panel.

Peace talks intensified to settle Nepali crisis

Negotiations in Nepal between former Maoist rebels and mainstream parties on resuscitating the Himalayan nation's stalled peace process have intensified, officials said yesterday.

Delhi may dump N-deal: Advani

The Manmohan Singh government could altogether dump the India-US nuclear deal due to the pressure from its Left allies, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani said in Ahmedabad on Friday.

EU leaders seek unity over Kosovo

EU leaders, fresh from signing a treaty that overhauls the way the bloc runs, will strive Friday to present a united front on Kosovo as the Serbian province prepares to move to independence.

18 killed as bus rams into train in India

Eighteen people were today killed and 14 injured when the Satluj Express tore into a private minibus carrying mostly students and teachers at a manned railway crossing in the district.

Arts & Entertainment

Gazir geet and folk songs performed at Liberation War Museum

On the fourth day of the ongoing weeklong Victory Day celebration programme organised by Liberation War Museum, gazir geet, a popular indigenous performing art form, baul and folk songs were presented.

Ajit Roy's songs of freedom celebrated

A cultural programme featuring songs composed by renowned Tagore singer Ajit Roy during the Liberation War was held at the National Music and Dance Centre, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on December 14. Ajit Roy's compositions during the Liberation War were aired from Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra . The songs had a great impact on keeping the heads high of the freedom-aspiring nation during the war.

Swabhumi celebrates Victory Day

Cultural organisation Swabhumi Lekhok Shilpi Kendra arranged a discussion, song and dance performances on December 13 to celebrate the Victory Day. The event was held at Rabindra Sharobor.

The liaison between TV plays and the contemporary society

As I am 76 today, I feel it's time I put my impression and thoughts of TV plays in our country. Despite being a TV playwright and director and working in this field for the last 45 years, I believe TV plays have a limited audience in our vast socio-economic structure.

An evening of acoustic tunes

Music lovers were in for a rare treat at a band music performance at Winter Garden, Sheraton Hotel. The programme jointly organised by Trilogy Entertainment Ltd and Reddot featured popular rock musician James, in his first ever unplugged musical on December 13. Titled "James Unplugged" the concert was a delight to the rock music aficionados.

OP-ED

Remembering the first Victory Day

Thirty six years ago, the misty winter morning of December 16, the day the nation now celebrates as Victory Day, brought the new found glory of Bangladesh. It was the day the whole nation had waited to see after nine months of untold suffering, brutal torture and genocide that the savage Pakistan army had launched to eliminate the ethnic Bengali nation and Bengali nationalism. The massacre taking a toll of about three million lives, was unprecedented in the history of the world.

Election politics and Gujarat riots

Election is scheduled on December 11 and 16 in the historic state of Gujarat of India. The Indian Prime Minister has already accused the Hindu nationalist leaders of this riot-scarred state of fuelling tensions with Muslims ahead of elections there. Observers of the political scene may remember that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), found it electorally rewarding to divide the polity on communal lines, at least in Gujarat.

Engaging with British Muslims -II

ED Bateman, chief superintendent of the Metropolitan Police in London, was quite clear about the responsibilities Britain's law enforcers needed to carry out. With the Afro-Caribbean angry young men of the not so distant past now replaced by their Asian counterparts in the United Kingdom, it was priorities that mattered. He informed the group of journalists on a visit to London at the invitation of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that the focal point of those priorities was policing not so much actual incidents of violence as threats of violence. That was one way of keeping the confidence of the various ethnic communities in the country. And policing the threat surely seemed to be working. In the past few years, 120 individuals suspected to be engaged in terrorist plots, of which there had been anywhere between four and six, had been locked up. A significant thrust of the police, said Bateman, was reaching out to the Muslim community, to those members of it who upheld the ideals of a tolerant democracy and could in turn exercise their influence on those prone to falling back on a misguided policy of using faith as an explanation for their acts of violence. But he admitted that in certain cases, particularly where Islamic television channels were involved, reaching out to a section of Muslims proved pretty intractable.

Hajj: One of the five pillars of Islam

We may easily understand the great importance of Hajj from the fact that it is not only one of the five strong pillars (Rokons) on which the grand edifice of Islam stands, there is also a Sura (chapter) called Sura Hajj out of 114 Suras of the Qur-an. Many of us perhaps do not know since when people started visiting the Holy Kaba in Mecca for its circumambulation as desired by Lord Creator Almighty Allah. Is it so that performance of Hajj began after Prophet-hood was bestowed unto Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (peace be upon him) in 610 AD? No, it is not so.

StarTech

Where coders battled

If you ask a primary-school student what they loathe most, the answer is probably exam! You may well expect the same answer from a graduate student.

In-flight internet too tempting for some

Warren Adelman's colleagues know him as "Thumbs": Like many executives, he is adept at checking e-mail on his BlackBerry and does it almost constantly.

Sony unveils hand-powered digital camera

Sony on Thursday unveiled a prototype digital camera shaped like a pizza cutter with a wheel that can be turned to generate enough power to take pictures.

'Avatars' offer virtual participation at climate summit

More than 10,000 people are in Bali thrashing out action on global warming, but those who couldn't make it in person are here virtually -- some in the form of dragons and action heroes.

Never miss a beat with P535 PDA

Asustek Computer Inc. (Bangladesh) recently launched the P535 tri-band PDA phone that incorporates full wireless functionality, GPS and high quality auto-focus camera in a compact formfactor, offering a comprehensive spread of business and lifestyle applications in an exceedingly handy platform.

Literature

Crimson Sun

It was not the drip-drip-drip of water from the leaves of the mango trees that awoke him, nor was it the gnawing pain in his side that caused him to open his bloodshot eyes to the impenetrable darkness. Rather, it was the realisation of what had passed before, those terrible events of what could not have been more than mere hours ago, and yet seemed to him an eternity, another lifetime. Chandrapaul Ghosh started as he awoke, the dampness that seeped through his lungi bringing with it waves of painful awareness that flowed like contraband liquor through his veins, from the soles of his feet, over the leathery skin of his scabbed knees, through his emaciated torso and into that space where it was rumoured that some men were said to have a heart. He did not feel he had a heart just then, only a dull, throbbing, juddering piece of flesh within the confines of his ribcage that screamed “Bachao-Bachao!” incessantly with every beat. Chandra was no stranger to prejudice; he was not unacquainted with mindless hatred. He had known his time had come ever since that first burst of gunfire and the bloodshed had begun. What hope for him when the very men that prostrated themselves before the Great Creator and professed allegiance towards their “brotherhood” had themselves drawn swords upon each other?

1971 :

(In his book The Year That Was (reviewed in this page on March 24, 2007) Ishrat Ferdousi published the oral interviews he had taken with a diverse range of people about their experiences during our 1971 War of Liberation. Not all of the interviews were included in the volume. Here is one previously unpublished narrative, story of Mushtaque Ahmed Khan, then aged 17, a student in Bogra. )

Freedom, You Are

Freedom, you are
Rabindranath's evergreen verses
and timeless lyrics

Strategic Issues

The Battle of Kamalpur-31 July 1971

Not known to many is the fact that the Mukti Bahini had started engaging the occupation forces at the very early stages of the War of Liberation in conventional battles. One of the many such significant battles was the “Battle of Kamalpur” launched against the Pakistani forces by troops of Z Force, commanded by the then Major Ziaur Rahman, on 31 July 1971. On the eve of the Victory Day we publish a brief account of the battle, excerpted from the book “Bangladesh at War” by Maj Gen K M Safiullah BU, psc (Retd)

The unsettled scores of Liberation War

Each year when the month of December descends, it reminds us of the massacre at the fag end of the Liberation War.

SECTOR COMMANDERS

S1 - Major Ziaur Rahman, later replaced by Major Rafiqul Islam.

Star Books Review

One man, his politics and his humour

Politics without repartee and politicians without wit can often turn out to be an abrasive concoction. And it is especially in these present, some would say mediocre, times that a sense of humour in politicians remains acute by its conspicuous absence. We are rather unfortunate that ours happens to be an age when, for much of the time, we laugh at politicians rather than laugh with them. That is the pity, given that there used to be a time when men like Piloo Mody, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Syed Badrudduja, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan injected good doses of humour into their politics and left people feeling pretty light-hearted, even jocular, about conditions that were otherwise quite weighty.

Stories like an assortment of chocolate

In this age of feminism, reading a collection of women's short stories is like adding more flowers to a bouquet. In a world where women become stronger everyday, coming up with a collection such as The Penguin Book of Contemporary Women's Short Stories is like another milestone. Master story tellers like Maeve Binchey , Angela Carter, Nadine Gordimer, Mary Lavin and many others have accumulated their tales in this book. The book is like a mountain of treasure waiting to be discovered. In the richly imagined stories the book plunges the reader into the borderland between opposing forces; youth and age, exclusion and privilege, alien and the familiar.

Tales of beauty and travel

The Romantic is the title of this book. Most of our readers, indeed most people in general, are very familiar with this word. This word carries a meaning, which is that relating to the person who likes to voyage through the imaginative and artistic world which is so far removed from the realistic world. But it is true that romantic people as a rule want to stay in their dream world. One can see that dreams are essentially part of the natural world.

Experiencing an embryonic narrative voice

The White Castle is a memoir the fictional memoir of a young Venetian scholar with the knowledge of science who is captured by the Turks. His commonsense medicinal skills appear uncommon to the Pasha and this saves his life, though all his companions suffer death. Soon our nameless narrator is offered a position in society if he converts to the public faith. At his refusal to be a convert, he is tormented and one day ordered to be beheaded. This is when a courtier called Hoja, who considers everybody else 'fools', intrudes and saves the narrator's life. Our miserable scholar becomes a slave to Hoja.

At a glance

Sultans and Mosques
The Early Muslim Architecture of Bangladesh
Perween Hasan
I.B.Taurus

For students of history, this ought to be an immensely satisfying book. Perween Hasan takes readers on a comprehensive journey through an important component of Bangladesh's historical traditions. Her search has been of a broad structure, as the text so clearly reveals. The price of the book is something readers might find difficult to meet.



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