News of: Tuesday, 25th of December, 2007
Investigators have yet to find a clue to how the two Vishnu statues have been stolen from highly restricted cargo village and tarmac at the Zia International Airport (ZIA) where no-one can gain access without a pass.
Most of the disabled remain beyond the purview of primary education, leave alone higher levels, thanks to the government's rules of business considering the issue as an act of 'welfare' rather than ensuring a constitutional and fundamental right.
The cold wave sweeping through 16 northern districts has crippled normal life for the last few days.
Nepal's major political parties have agreed to abolish the world's last Hindu monarchy as part of a deal to bring former communist rebels back into the government, the one-time insurgents said yesterday.
Education and Cultural Affairs Adviser Ayub Quadri yesterday said he accepts the responsibility for the two terracotta Vishnu statues' being stolen from the Zia International Airport (ZIA).
Law Adviser Mainul Hosein yesterday said differences of opinion regarding the formation of the proposed Truth Commission will not deter the government from going ahead with the initiative.
Elections to Rajshahi, Khulna, Sylhet and Barisal City Corporations will be held at the end of April next instead of March as the SSC examinations across the country have been deferred to March 27 due to the recent cyclone, said Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hussain yesterday.
Police have completed their investigation of the case filed in connection with assaulting an army man and the torching of an army vehicle in front of Aziz Super Market at Shahbagh in the capital on August 21.
The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) approved the filing of a corruption case against Awami League leader and former lawmaker Akhteruzzaman Chowdhury Babu in connection with accumulating huge properties through illegal means.
Today is Holy Christmas.
Leaders of Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) yesterday accused the government of breaking its promise to release the detained teachers and students of the university.
The caves in Afghan mountains where Noor Islam was captive for about two months were well kept with small entrances but wide rooms inside, where five to six people could easily sleep.
Eight Bangladeshis, including expatriates, will be awarded for their contribution to arts, science and technology, health and medicine, and education and research in the first Non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB) Conference starting Thursday.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines yesterday began its operation of return hajj flights.
Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed returned home yesterday morning after performing hajj.
The charge sheet of a looting case against former lawmaker and chairman of a faction of Islami Oikyo Jote (IOJ) Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini and eight others was submitted yesterday.
Two Dhaka courts yesterday completed recording statements of the complainants of two cases filed against four Dhaka University (DU) teachers and 15 students for violating Emergency Power Rules in August this year.
Allies of ousted Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra claimed yesterday they had enough support to form a coalition government, after falling short of a majority in the first polls since last year's coup.
Pakistan's election campaign intensified Monday with the three top political leaders travelling across the country to rally supporters and lash out at President Pervez Musharraf just two weeks before a hard-fought parliamentary poll.
Panic gripped the staff of the offices housed in Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation (BSEC) building at Karwan Bazar in the capital following a fire in a room on the ground floor of the building last night.
There is an element of the bizarre mixed with the ridiculous in the case of the missing artefacts that were bound for France. It cannot but raise our eyebrows to find that objects of great historical value were stolen from what should have been flawless security arrangements and from our very doorstep, and not in any foreign land. Given that the government's plan to send these items for display at a Paris museum had raised concerns about their safety from a section in the country, more caution should have been taken to say the least, to ensure the protection of these very valuable relics of our history and culture.
A brilliant star in the sky over Bethlehem more than two thousand years ago pointed to the birth of Jesus Christ and hinted at the colossal impact he would have on the fate of mankind. For Jesus brought to men and women all across the globe, at a time when imperial Rome was in decline, the message that faith in God was all, that morality was the essence of the creed that ultimately mattered. Like every other prophet before him, he was ridiculed by men of lesser intelligence and little wisdom. Persecuted in all forms and in all manner, Jesus Christ nevertheless persisted in spreading the message that God loved all His creations, that indeed he, Jesus, was the chosen one to disseminate His message to all men and women.
IN Bangla there is a proverb: Ghughu Dekhechho, Faad Dekhoni, which means "you may have seen a ghughu bird, but you have not seen the trap laid for it." In a nutshell, it imparts the warning, look or do carefully before you do something foolish. The latest round of fabricating ghughu parable has been started by the electricity godfathers who reside behind barbed wire in Ashuganj.
THE results of the Gujarat elections appear on December 23, and politics resumes in Delhi on the 24th. Judging by the tension on the faces of politicians, no one really believes either the polls or the exit polls. Even the bookies, who were certain the BJP would get a majority, began to cover their bets just before results were due. The miracle of a genuine election is the secrecy of public opinion. A friend who met Narendra Modi after the last ballot had been cast found him a bit withdrawn, a little less than his ebullient sarcastic self. If Modi cannot be sure of what is lying in those electronic machines, you can bet that no one else is certain.
THERE was a time not long ago when Japanese investors were roving restlessly around the world with pockets-full of money, and many in Japan believed that the inflated purse the country was holding would allow them to get hold of everything they desired. While corporate Japan was busy buying all it could, ranging from landmark buildings to movie distribution companies, top executives of many Japanese companies were pondering upon art and culture with the hope of getting hold of everything they thought rare and valuable. The result was a skyrocketing of price in art auctions being held regularly in major cities around the world.
Stephen Fleming has warned New Zealand not to take Bangladesh for granted in the upcoming ODI and Test series. Fleming, the former New Zealand captain, was leading the New Zealand Cricket XI that lost to the Bangladeshis in a charity Twenty20 game in Hamilton.
Australia are surfing the wave of another long winning run and targeting their 15th consecutive Test victory -- one short of their record -- against India in the opening Boxing Day cricket Test.
India are a stronger side than when they last toured Australia in 2003 and will push Ricky Ponting's team all the way in their four-match Test series, said former captain Saurav Ganguly.
Julio Baptista gave Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster the Christmas present he wanted by getting the only goal in a hard-fought 1-0 win over their bitter rivals Barcelona on Sunday.
Australia's Adam Gilchrist does not want the Test series against India to feature the verbal clashes that marred recent one-day games in India.
Injured pace bowler Syed Rasel will return home tomorrow from New Zealand, ending his tour after just half-a-match, as he would not be able to bowl within one month.
Nine days after SA Sultan's reported resignation as Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president, football's governing body in the country remained in total darkness about the incident.
New Zealand's cricketers have been told to shape up or face the axe in the one-day series against Bangladesh which starts on Wednesday as they look to recover from a torrid past nine weeks.
England captain Michael Vaughan has been fined 40 percent of his match fee for his side's slow over rate in the drawn third Test against Sri Lanka, the International Cricket Council said on Monday.
Arsenal's out-cast German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann says he will make a decision on his future within the next week as he weighs up offers to leave the north London giants.
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech added to the club's growing injury crisis by limping out of the 1-0 win at Blackburn on Sunday with a suspected hip injury.
In a battle between the world's best and Italy's best it was the domestic champions Inter who beat AC Milan 2-1 at the San Siro in Sunday's first Milan derby of the season.
Barcelona's Frank Rijkaard and Ronaldinho were in the media's crosshairs on Monday after Real Madrid's psychologically crushing 1-0 victory at the Nou Camp sent them seven points clear in the Primera Liga.
Real Madrid's Julio Baptista has gone from zero to hero after getting the only goal in the Spanish giants 1-0 win over bitter rivals Barcelona on Sunday.
Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster played down the significance of his side's commanding lead at the top of the Primera Liga after they beat arch-rivals Barcelona 1-0 in the Nou Camp on Sunday.
David Beckham insists he has no problem with Fabio Capello and can't wait to work with the new England coach.
Bolton's veteran midfielder Gary Speed is set to join English Championship side Sheffield United on loan with a view to a permanent deal.
Hamburg's Dutch captain Rafael van der Vaart has been warned against a glamourous move to Italian giants Juventus by former German hero Uwe Seeler.
Dutch coach Marco van Basten is poised to take over as boss of German giants Bayern Munich when Ottmar Hitzfeld's contract finishes in June next year, according to reports here.
Australia have given no indication of the make-up of their bowling attack for the Boxing Day cricket Test against India with pacemen Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait waging a mini selection battle at training here Monday.
England cricket boss David Collier has warned fans not to jump into criticising coach Peter Moores after the Test series defeat in Sri Lanka.
After the longest injury break in his 12-year career, Germany captain Michael Ballack wants to compensate by lifting the Champions League trophy with Chelsea and the Euro 2008 title with his country.
After a breakthrough year which gave her a career-best ranking, Sania Mirza yesterday said she would start her new season with the belief that she can upset the top players, including World No 1 Justin Henin.
A Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) team, including tax consultant PB Srinivasan, is flying to Australia to resolve the Indian players' tax problem on the current tour.
Fast approaching 600 Test wickets, skipper Anil Kumble will be the lynchpin of the Indian bowling in the upcoming Test series, but middle-order batsman Michael Clarke is looking to attack the veteran leg-spinner at the first opportunity.
Rumours that Shane Bond is set to retire from international cricket have been floating around ever since he recently said that it was "frustrating" to keep getting injured.
England spinner Monty Panesar is convinced his miserable tour of Sri Lanka can help him become a world-class bowler.
Australia's top-ranked women's tennis player Samantha Stosur will miss next month's Australian Open after failing to recover from a lingering illness, Tennis Australia said Monday.
Real estate companies are now in a fix to go for new venture, as rising brick prices, they think, would have a negative impact on the housing sector, let alone making up for the losses they faced due to political turmoil during the last two years.
Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) is faced with serious setback to continue commercial operations of its fleets as many of its officials have left the corporation lured by higher salaries at different local and foreign private shipping companies.
First came political misgivings and then street protests by small-store owners across India, fretful they will be put out of business by the deep pockets and discounting power of retail chains.
The European Union is bracing for the expiry of import quotas on Chinese textiles at the end of the year amid fears of a new wave of T-shirts and trousers bearing "Made in China" labels flooding in.
Business leaders voiced pessimism over the outcome of Thailand's first post-coup polls Monday, saying it would not likely ease the political uncertainty that has plagued the economy for two years.
Warehouses will be set up at all the land customs stations in Sylhet region with a view to raising the volume of exports to the neighbouring Indian states, said Finance Adviser Mirza AB Azizul Islam yesterday.
Rawhide businesses suffer from lack of proper preservation facilities at the southwest region's rawhide hub Razarhat, traders said.
Vietnam's economy grew at about 8.4 percent this year, but inflation rose even faster, with prices shooting up 12.6 percent in 2007, state media quoted the communist government as saying Monday.
Chinese farmers will be given a 13-percent discount on televisions, mobile phones and other electrical appliances under a new subsidy scheme to boost rural spending, state press reported Monday.
Aftab Automobiles Ltd has declared a 6 percent cash dividend and a 10 percent stock dividend for the year that ended on August 31, 2007.
World oil prices fell on Monday but held close to 92 dollars per barrel, with many traders away from their desks for Christmas holiday celebrations.
Indian share prices surged 3.61 percent Monday, on sustained fund buying following a strong performance by Wall Street late last week that shook off US recession fears, dealers said.
At least 13 people were killed and 34 others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Pabna, Thakurgaon, Satkhira, Sylhet, Faridpur, Bagerhat and Patuakhali yesterday and on Sunday night.
A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to 700 officials and employees of the then Mujibnagar government in connection with 18 criminal cases.
When 16-month-old Sabbir jumped into his mother's lap, he could not realise what was going to happen the next moment, how much pain and sufferings were waiting for him.
Skilled expatriate workers must be encouraged to send remittances to the country as most of the remittances come from unskilled workers, speakers at a roundtable said yesterday.
Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury addressed a letter recently to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to consider granting Temporary Protected Status to undocumented Bangladeshi nationals staying in the US.
Different political parties yesterday condemned and expressed grave concern over the heist of the terracotta Vishnu statues and demanded exemplary punishment to the persons responsible.
People from all walks of life paid their last respects to language movement veteran and poet Mahbub ul Alam Chowdhury at the Central Shaheed Minar yesterday.
A pair of conjoined twins fused at the pelvis was born at a hospital in Munshiganj yesterday.
Today is the fourth death anniversary of the 15 Bangladeshi army officers on UN peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone and Liberia who were killed in a plan crash in the West African country of Benin in 2003.
A 33-member executive committee of Bangladesh National Chapter of the Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh minorities (HRCBM) has been recently formed with former professor of Dhaka University Dr Ajoy Roy and ex-additional secretary Rabindranath Trivedi as president and secretary general respectively, says a press release.
Three people including two housewives were killed in separate incidents in the district yesterday.
Supreme Court lawyers Hassan Faiz Siddiqui and Mansur Habib have been appointed additional attorneys general, raising the number of additional attorneys to three.
Police recovered a skeleton dumped inside garbage from near Dhanmondi Lake and a beheaded body of an unidentified youth at Ashulia yesterday.
A girl student committed suicide following an altercation with her younger brother over a trifling matter in the city yesterday.
Staffs of offices at an eight-storey building in the city's Dilkusha area were evacuated and office equipment were shifted yesterday as it developed cracks in walls.
Supply of hides and skin after this year's Eid is at least 30 per cent less than last year in Pakutia in Ghatail, one of the biggest leather markers in the country.
About 110 fishermen of Barguna and Patuakhali districts still remained missing since the devastating Sidr that swept over the coastal belt on November 15.
Three separate cases were filed with Satkhira Sadar police station Sunday night accusing two jamaat-e-Islami leaders and three others allegedly for cheating 55 Hajj pilgrims.
Warehouses will be built in all land customs stations in Sylhet region to raise the volume of export to neighbouring Indian states.
The president and secretary of Badarganj upazila unit of Jamaat-e-Islami and seven other party men have been sued following attack on a television (TV) dramatist and his brother at their house Saturday night, family sources said.
LGRD Adviser Mohammad Anwarul Iqbal laid foundation of a training centre for 'Promotion of Renewable Energy Project in Khuln Division' at Khulna City Corporation (KCC) park at Sonadanga in the city yesterday.
Patuakhali Sadar police recorded an extortion case against acting chairman of Patuakhali municipality Abu Zafor Shamsudddin on Friday, about a month after its was filed with a court.
A mother poisoned her six month old daughter to death and took her life last night allegedly being unable to bear the torture by her husband for dowry.
The newly-built Pabna Baptist Church was opened at a function held on the church premises here Sunday night.
Pakistan has diverted much of the over $5 billion US anti-terror aid to finance weapon systems designed to counter India, not al-Qaeda or the Taliban, officials of the Bush administration and military have said.
India's opposition Hindu nationalist party, ousted from power nationally in 2004, said Monday it was on the "comeback" trail after its hawkish candidate's massive win in western Gujarat state.
Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto accused the government Sunday of failing to crush Islamic militants, days after a suicide bombing killed 56 people during prayers in a mosque.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is trying to relax the criteria for releasing Palestinian prisoners, a move that could advance efforts to free a captured Israeli soldier, officials said Monday.
A train collided with a packed car at a level crossing in central Iraq, killing 13 people in the vehicle, including 11 children, a local police officer and a medic said yesterday.
Two bombs, one of them hidden under a dead body, exploded near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar and killed four people, police said yesterday.
Stunned by the Gujarat debacle, senior Congress leaders would be meeting in New Delhi on Monday afternoon to go into the reasons as to what went wrong in the crucial Assembly polls.
The rise of armed Sunni groups who now battle al-Qaeda in Iraq instead of fighting US troops is widely seen as a major reason for a drop in violence across the country.
A heavy snow storm pelted the American Midwest, causing deadly road accidents, power outages and grounded flights for Christmas holiday travellers, US media reported on Monday.
At least five people including a young girl were killed when a 12-storey block of flats collapsed in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on Monday, with many more casualties feared, a security source said.
Afghan intelligence agents said Monday they had detained a woman hiding a bomb-filled waistcoat of the type used in Taliban suicide attacks under her all-covering burqa.
Arts & Entertainment
Who doesn't respond to the tunes of “Silent night, holy light” and “Rudolf the red nosed reindeer”? Bangladesh, always a friendly place for people of all denominations, celebrates Christmas with due fervour. Eid and Victory Day have just passed by, and New Year is knocking at the door. It's time for chocolates, cakes, cookies, uninhibited laughter and camaraderie with Christmas pies and pot roast.
Renowned cultural personality Pijush Bandyopadhyay recently launched his recitation album titled Tui Razakar, a collection of poems expressing wrath against the war criminals. The album launch took place at the Liberation War Museum. The artiste dedicated the album to the Sector Commanders of the Liberation War.
Unassuming young artist, Shyamal Roy Chowdhury's first solo exhibition ended recently at the Art & Soul Gallery. Growing up amidst violence in Dhaka's Shyampur neighbourhood, Shyamal's exposure to art was extremely limited. A most resonant childhood memory was a bedtime story told by his father, of a fat man fighting ghosts, an image he tried visualising and committing to paper.
Channel 1 will air a special tele-film Chokher Bali at 11:15 pm tonight. Ahmed Shahabuddin has written the screenplay and Aronya Anwar has adapted it from Rabindranath Tagore's novel.
To celebrate Christmas Day, ATN Bangla will air a special programme for children titled Boro Din Keno Boro at 11:30 am, today. The programme will feature dance, songs and conversation with children. Liton Adhikary Rintu has directed the programme.
TV play Dadima O Kichhu Shalik, featuring Ferdousi Majumdar, Humayun Faridee and Mita Chowdhury will be aired this evening at 7:50pm.
As part of the Eid-special programmes, ntv will telecast a musical show today, featuring the divas Sabina Yasmin and Runa Laila. Titled Ontorotoro Aaj Gaan-er Bhuban, the programme features solo and duet performances by the two icons. Directed by Arif Khan the programme will be aired at 3:50 pm.
CHRISTMAS, the festival of all Christian festivals is back one more time! I, myself, celebrated it as many as 56 times! But how much of the true significance of this special occasion I have internalised and put into practice is perhaps a different question! We celebrate the birth of the Messiah with joy and gladness in our hearts. We decorate our houses, our bodies and our church buildings, eat and feast, and exchange traditional greetings and clichés. Also, we fulfill our liturgies and try to understand the inner meaning of the Christ-event manifested by all those externalities.
RECENTLY, I was at a school celebration for Christmas. All students studying in that major school in town, from Kindergarten to Class XII, were present, and so were many of their parents and friends. The indoor basketball court converted to a hall was full. The audio system was impressive and the decorations artistic, with colourful lights, myriads of angels and other dazzling ornaments on a huge Christmas tree. There was a life-size statue of Father Christmas with his long white beard and traditional red robe. There was a grand piano, and behind it seated were children with their violins, cellos, drums and many other instruments.
MAHBUB bhai, the gentlest and most gentlemanly of radicals that many of us ever met has passed on. The photograph of his dead face awakens us to memories of the warmth and love he had for so many. Perhaps the last of the aristocrat revolutionaries is no more, leaving behind not so much his literary creations as the entire example of a life that he led with determination, style and flair that few could match. We hope that Jowshan apa, his cherished and fellow traveler in life and work, will find the strength to carry on without him.
As time passes,
wounds will heal,
and kisses seal.
A few weeks back when hell was let loose
The ghosts of destruction blew out every fuse
They howled and they scowled the dismal
And battered our dear land black and blue.