News of: Thursday, 27th of December, 2007
Education and Cultural Affairs Adviser Ayub Quadri yesterday resigned his position in the wake of a huge public outcry over the theft of two Paris-bound Vishnu statues.
Pro-liberation war political, professional, and other social forces are gearing up to intensify the ongoing movement to force the interim government to begin the process of putting war criminals on trial by March 26, Independence Day.
A Dhaka court yesterday fixed December 31 for further hearing on charge framing against former premier and Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina and two others in the Tk 2.99 crore extortion case filed by Azam J Chowdhury.
The income level of the population living below the poverty line has increased at a lower rate in last fiscal year resulting in their lower purchasing power, which is also affected by higher cost of living, says a central bank report.
Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Mohammad did not respond to the Privatisation Commission's notice for him to deposit by yesterday the entire amount agreed on for buying Rupali Bank.
The National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) is to incorporate at least one chapter on "anti-corruption" in textbooks of class I to class VIII from 2009 to build stronger values from the ground up.
All the ministries are busy drafting their success stories as part of a move to publish a special supplement highlighting their achievements in last one year.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday asked all the banks concerned to freeze the accounts of Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil and his family members.
Former prime minister Sheikh Hasina, now detained and facing an extortion case, has expressed doubt about the fate of election and democracy in the country.
The first-ever non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB) conference kicks off at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel today aiming to bring together Bangladeshi scholars, professionals and investors residing across the globe.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has filed a case against convicted former state minister and Awami League presidium member Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir's wife Sitara Alamgir for concealing information and amassing wealth beyond her known sources of income.
Bangladesh lost their way while batting and eventually conceded a 6-wicket defeat to New Zealand in the first one-day international of a three-match series yesterday.
The police could not perform their duties properly due to interference by politicians and other influential quarters in the last 36 years, said Inspector General of Police (IGP) Noor Mohammad yesterday.
Sri Lanka's navy yesterday clashed with suspected Tamil Tiger vessels off the island's northern coast of Jaffna, leaving at least 40 rebels dead, the defence ministry said.
Floods and landslides triggered by monsoon rains left close to 100 people dead or missing on the main Indonesian island of Java yesterday, officials said.
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai yesterday pledged better cooperation in fighting terrorism, which Musharraf said was "destroying both our countries."
Ceremonies have been held around the world marking the third anniversary of one of the worst natural catastrophes of modern times, the Asian Tsunami.
The planned exhibition of Bangladeshi archeological artefacts at a French museum has been abandoned under circumstances which will definitely invoke lots of queries and questions in the public mind. It is the latest example of an important matter being so awfully mishandled, that even our diplomatic relations with France might come under strain. However, what the French Charge de Affairs said about the protestors has, to our mind, been unthinking and undiplomatic which we wish he had better avoided.
This is the second time in four months that abused and underpaid Bangladeshi workers have sought refuge at our country's embassy in Kuala Lumpur. This time 225 workers have been sheltering partly within the mission compound but mostly on the pavements since early December. Only in September, 100 Bangladeshi workers, driven by poor working conditions and low pay in the host country, had organised protests at the High Commission premises.
The country had to weather many storms since the start of 2007, both natural and political. We are, regrettably, still in the process of picking up the pieces from both, and unless we play our cards right weathering the political storm may prove to be very difficult.
To my knowledge, today, December 27, is the first time ever that the country is hosting a 3-day conference of non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB) scholars in Dhaka on a near grandiose scale. There will be seminars and meeting of the minds of the scholars of Bangladesh, wherever they come from -- home or abroad.
The political conditions are extremely confusing, and it cannot be overemphasised that the country is in a bad shape: everyone realises that a number of wars and polarisations describe Pakistan polity today, what with the Taliban's depredations and BLA's campaign in Balochistan. There is intense polarisation between the social and economic elite and the army. A reconciliation, and honourable peace, has to be achieved. A dictatorship with a democratic façade is holding an election which is controversial at home and suspected abroad.
The weather stayed kind, the drop-in pitch behaved like a dream and expectations within and beyond the Bangladesh team soared for a couple of hours before the Tigers allowed every positive to drift away and succumbed to a 6-wicket defeat in the first one-day international of the three-match series at Eden Park on Wednesday.
As expected, veteran wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud along with ace left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique were ignored for the New Zealand tour when the national selectors announced the additional three names for the two-match Test series yesterday.
FIFA has threatened to ban Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) from the international scene unless it holds the election under the new statutes within the one-year deadline given by football's world governing body.
Skipper Anil Kumble inspired a dramatic Indian fightback to almost bowl Australia out on the opening day of the first cricket Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday.
Rajshahi must be thanking their lucky stars ahead of their momentous ninth round National Cricket League home four-day match against Khulna today.
Inaugural AFC Challenge Cup hosts Bangladesh will have to play in the qualifying rounds of the second edition of the event next year, the Bangladesh Football Federation confirmed yesterday.
Anil Kumble has termed his five-wicket haul on the first day in Melbourne as the best spell he's bowled overseas. It was his fourth five-wicket haul in 65 games abroad but the first time he had taken all five on the first day itself.
The Bangladesh U-19 cricket team will start their campaign in South Africa today when they play the lone three-day match against the home side at Sedgar Park in Patchefstroon.
Professional league side Arambagh Krira Sangha will take on Sunrise Krira Chakra in the opening match of the Senior Division Football League on the last day of 2008.
Christmas festivities stretched into the Boxing Day as Kolkata dwellers distributed sweets to celebrate local hero Sourav Ganguly's 100th Test appearance for India.
The local footballers under Canary Wharf's youth development programme will be given a great opportunity to travel to England next year for a month-long advanced training.
Aston Villa held hosts Chelsea to a 4-4 draw with a last-minute equaliser in a festive football feast bursting with controversy at Stamford Bridge.
Arsene Wenger has upped the ante in the growing debate over the verbal abuse of players and managers by supporters by saying errant fans should be filmed and their families forced to view the results.
Captain Chris Gayle smashed an explosive half-century as the West Indies made a good start on the first day of the first Test against South Africa at St George's Park Wednesday.
Spanish goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has refused to rule out switching his national colours to England.
A Malaysian referee took out his gun and fired warning shots in the air after a local soccer match turned unruly following the suspension of a player, a newspaper said on Tuesday.
The first-ever Women's Divisional Cricket League gets underway today with Rajshahi taking on Khulna at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
So jet-lagged were a few Indian players on arrival that some spent the first few days in Melbourne sleeping. It helped that the warm-up match against Victoria was rained off, allowing them a longer rest. And if they were still struggling, there was always Boxing Day, a bank holiday. India normally spend the first day of an away series sleeping and by lunch Wednesday they were sleepwalking. What followed was pleasantly shocking and not Indian cricket as we've come to know it.
First innings centurion Matthew Hayden has warned India to expect batting on a deteriorating MCG wicket in a Boxing Day Test where scoring will be hard to achieve.
Groups of Australians spent the afternoon wondering whether they were being unpatriotic for smiling when India started running through the home team. For the first session those local supporters who demand nothing but dominance by Ricky Ponting's men were satisfied with the direction of the game. Their disgruntlement when it changed in the second session was offset by the joy felt -- and heard -- at the ground by cricket supporters who are desperate to see Australia challenged. After the first day there is hope this series might be the fair fight fans have been craving since the 2005 Ashes.
Champion cricketer Shane Warne will coach and develop young spin bowlers in a new initiative announced Wednesday by Cricket Australia.
Former Yugoslavia defender Miroslav Djukic was named Serbia's new coach on Tuesday after sealing a two-year contract with the country's Football Association (FSS).
Phil Neville believes it is time for footballers to start looking at themselves if they are to avoid the "frightening" barracking they receive from supporters. The Everton captain speaks from experience as a player who, along with his brother Gary, has been a target of fearsome abuse in the past.
Japan's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, suffering a sharp fall in public support, tried to show his soft side Wednesday as he basked in the glow of the celebrated Urawa Reds football team.
David Beckham said on Tuesday he was "starstruck" when he met Stevie Wonder, and told his wife that he wanted to take a picture with the music legend.
Veteran striker Mark Viduka hopes his two-goal salvo against Derby will convince Newcastle boss Sam Allarydce that he should be a regular starter in the struggling Premier League side.
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez insists his team can live with Arsenal and Manchester United in the Premier League title race despite being 10 points off the pace.
Tottenham striker Robbie Keane said he will not shirk penalty-taking responsibilities despite missing a crucial spot-kick in the 2-1 defeat at Arsenal last weekend.
Country's tax collection authority has initiated a drive to ease contradiction among businesspeople about the present duty structure of major importable products like edible oil and sugar, which would help restructure duties in the next budget.
The local textile and yarn producers may look for alternative sources for cotton if Uzbekistan, which supplies most of the cotton used in Bangladesh, does not stop using child labour in cotton production, said owners of some textile producing plants.
The local currency, Taka (BDT), got stronger appreciating 0.7 percent against the US dollar in 2007, making a turnaround year from a trend of depreciation in the last few years.
In an effort to explore huge export potentials of Bangladeshi products in Baharain's untapped market, twelve local firms including four banks will participate in a trade fair due next month in the Middle Eastern country's capital city Manama.
Citibank NA, a Washington based global bank operating in Bangladesh, has been disbursing US$ 65 million (equivalent to around Tk500crore) loans through non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for reviving the rural economy, especially for the rehabilitation of the Sidr-affected people.
Online auction giant eBay has launched a microlending website that lets people invest in entrepreneurs in poor communities around the world and get a return on their money.
Japan on Wednesday introduced new guidelines to protect foreign trainees amid concern that workers from developing countries were being exploited due to a shortage of low-cost labour.
Bourses of the country resumed trading yesterday with slight gain in indices after a six-day holiday on the occasion of the holly Eid-ul-Azha and X-mass.
Developing countries, led by India and Brazil, have opposed a proposal submitted by the USA and the EU at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) calling for liberalisation of trade in environmental technology.
Iran and Malaysia on Wednesday signed a multi-billion dollar contract to develop two offshore Iranian gas fields, officials said.
Jute Spinners Ltd, a jute yarn manufacturing company, has declared a 20 percent dividend for its shareholders for the year 2006-07.
Singapore received a record number of visitors last month but hotel rates were also at fresh highs, the city-state's tourism authorities said Wednesday.
Maruti Suzuki India will increase prices of its vehicles across different models between Rs 4,000 and Rs 12,000 next week.
The Election Commission (EC) will take a decision within next week whether the Bangladeshi expatriates will be made voters, Election Commissioner M Sohul Hussain said yesterday.
Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday called for national unity in order to address the present challenges facing the country, including restoration of fair politics.
Hearing on Bijoy TV scam case involving Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury and others was deferred for the fourth time yesterday, as the gazette notification about an absconding accused was not issued.
Some city roads have been made off-limit to traffic for 10 hours from 8:00pm on December 31, says a Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) press release.
Ten people were killed and 30 others injured in separate road accidents in Gazipur, Satkhira, Bogra and Benapole yesterday.
Council of Advisers yesterday decided to increase postal charges of Bangladesh Postal Department both for domestic and foreign posts considering the increase in various related costs.
A superintending engineer of RAJUK was suspended yesterday for negligence in duty in demolishing the illegal part of Rangs Bhaban.
Bangladesh needs to create pressure for achieving targets for the mitigation of negative effects of global emissions, environmentalist Dr Ainun Nishat said yesterday.
Four people were injured in a bomb attack at Kuthi Durgapur village, about 6km from the district town, at 8:30pm yesterday.
The government has decided to appoint Md Shahidul Islam, currently serving as Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as the next ambassador of Bangladesh to the Republic of Korea.
A two-day census of aquatic birds on Sonadia Island and Cox's Bazar-Teknaf seashore will begin today.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh will honour 20 scholars of different public and private universities in the country for their innovative researches in a ceremony today.
Fifty-three more individuals and organisations donated over Tk 37.83 lakh, US$ 2,000 and 5,600 Saudi Riyal to the Chief Adviser's Relief and Welfare Fund for the cyclone-affected people on Monday and yesterday.
Leaders of Chhatra Sangram Parishad in a joint statement yesterday condemned the theft of the valuable artefacts, says a press release.
Today is the 73rd birth anniversary of eminent author Rabeya Khatun.
Muggers looted cellphones and cash injuring three people, including a taxicab driver, in three separate incidents in the city's Mirpur and Mohakhali areas in the early hours of yesterday.
Bangladeshi Ambassador in the USA M Humayun Kabir urged the expatriates living there to stand by the Sidr victims.
Election Commissioner Brig Gen (Retd) M Sakhawat Hussain yesterday said identical laws will be formulated for both local government and national elections.
Ten personalities were honoured with the 7th Rapport Award for Excellence in Human Resource Development-2007 at a function in the city on Tuesday, says a press release.
The results of Non-government Teachers' Registration Examination-2007 were published yesterday with a pass rate of 18.78 per cent.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered two firearms and 54 bullets from Satkania and Fatikchhari upazila in Chittagong on Tuesday night.
Tk 72 lakh and other goods were collected for Sidr victims in an open air concert jointly organised by Pran up and CSD at Comilla Cantonment on December 8, says a press release.
The academic activities in the country's 20 newly constructed Technical Training Centers (TTC) will start next month with a view to raising the efficiency of youths up to the international level.
Dhaka University (DU) Vice-Chancellor Prof SMA Faiz and representatives of DU Teachers' Association (Duta) met the detained teachers at Dhaka Central Jail yesterday.
National University (NU) Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Wakil Ahmed was removed yesterday, sources at education ministry said.
Medicines and various surgical instruments worth about Tk 11 lakh were looted from a drug store at Topkhana Road in the city in the early hours of yesterday.
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) will organise an exhibition on engineering and technology tomorrow as part of the celebrations marking 60 years of engineering education in the country.
Chittaranjan Saha, managing director of Muktadhara and Puthighar Publications Limited, passed away at the Central Hospital in the city yesterday at the age of 80, says a press release.
Khulna City Corporation (KCC) mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman, detained in Khulna district jail, has filed a petition with the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate to retract statements he made on November 8 under Section 164 of CrPc in five extortion cases filed against him.
Two kilogram seeds of high yielding aromatic rice varieties received as a gift from a research center in Indonesia is now a blessing for farmers in Myjmensingh.
The long awaited one stop crisis centre, divisional DNA test and screening laboratory at Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital were formally inaugurated yesterday by industries adviser Geeti Ara Safia Chowdhury.
People of Fulchari are bracing for serious flooding again in the coming wet season as no initiative was taken in four years to renovate the breached Brahmaputra flood control embankment at three points.
Recording of deposition of prosecution witnesses in the case for grenade attack on British High Commissioner Anwar Chowdhury could not be held yesterday as none of the PWs appeared before the tribunal.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), ignoring the Eid rush of passengers, has withdrawn its big vessel PS Ostrich from regular service and rented it for a pleasure trip, BIWTC sources here claimed.
A transport union leader has been arrested on charge of toll collection and ransacking a bus at Gaibandha Bus Terminal, police said.
A housewife, also mother of a child, has been burnt to death by her husband at Telikandi village in Sarail upazila.
A truck loaded with 17 tonnes of rice worth Tk 4,18,800 bound for Tongi in Gazipur district has been missing since its departure from Syedpur here 10 days ago.
The district unit of Muktijoddha Sangsad has decided to publish a list of Razakars of the district on the Independence Day on March 26 next year.
Amra Satkhira Basi, an organisation of the inhabitants of the district, yesterday distributed cash and relief materials among the family members of 49 Sidr victims of the district at a simple function held at Satkhira Press Club.
Construction workers here yesterday demanded adequate safety measures during work and compensation for victims as per ILO convention in case of any accident.
Speakers at a seminar held here yesterday stressed on united efforts by police and journalists for protection of human rights across the country.
A very positive thing happened this VICTORY DAY: no banners and no slogans. In future banners and slogans must be done away with. And the events proved beyond doubt that year after year Bangladesh produces some of the best planned events in the world. This land is brimming with talent. The level of culture and design of events this year was just impeccable.
In 1991, I experienced the destruction of Cyclone Gorky. At that time I felt how much insecure we people were. Today when I see the sufferings of the Sidr-affected people and areas, I still find people being helpless facing the crude wrath of nature. This is indeed very unfortunate. Years passed since Gorky, we still remain as vulnerable as we were. Bangladesh being a delta with most of its parts in coastal areas, will face natural disasters like cyclone, hurricane or even tsunami very often. Therefore, we must fortify ourselves to fight such calamities. There should be public awareness campaigns for disaster management in these coastal areas throughout the year. People of these coastal areas should be trained on safeguarding themselves along with their belongings such as cattle during the disaster. There should also be clear understanding and knowledge on the needful to be done after the crisis. Adequate number of cyclone centres should be developed in these areas. All schools, colleges, mosques or other infrastructure should be developed in such a way so that they can serve as shelters during the disaster period. We expect relief operation to go ahead in order for people in the cyclone battered areas to return to a semblance of normalcy. I have been informed by a newspaper that 14 million people are yet out of shelter or rescue coverage. This is indeed shocking! I urge the government, the private sector and NGOs to identify the poor of these coastal areas and rehabilitate them with enough resources to fight back. The weather forecasting team should be more efficient and updated to deliver the right news at the right time.
May I take this opportunity to compliment Gen. Moeen U. Ahmed for all the good work he has been doing. However, I write this letter not just to praise him but to broach the subject of reburial of the seven Birshresthos. I would like to request him to reconsider his proposal to re-bury the Birshreshthos at the Jatiyo Smriti Shoudha. I have the highest regard for the heroes and all the fellow comrades who gave their lives for the cause of our liberation. Being fully aware of the sensitivity of this matter, I would submit that a nation is larger than the glorious war of independence. Jatiyo Smriti Shoudha is not just about the Shahids of special ranks and honour roll; it is for all those who fought for the war - all those dead or alive. It is an icon of the entire nation. I am personally aware of many valiant freedom fighters - some dead and some alive who did not receive any gallantry award. No wonder, in many countries there are national memorials for the unknown soldiers.
Mahmood's letter on the matter (Nov.30) was all about family planning than anything else. However, in Bangladesh context; resettlement or relocating families is out of question. I firmly believe that we must again go for a population management (coined by Mahmood) programme with determination and full mobilisation; if needed with the support of the armed forces as and where needed.
Since our teachers cannot be disciplined by the law, and that they cannot discipline themselves, the only recourse for the people of Bangladesh is to impose upon them the discipline of the market.
I read with great interest the article by Farida Akhter on the above subject as it appeared in The Daily Star on 17 December. The author has aptly echoed the feelings and sentiments of many of us. Following the recent devastations in vast areas of the coastal districts, we have heard our parents and grand-parents say how we, the solvent people, can be of help to the poor Sidr victims.
God desired to test the submissiveness of his messenger and the messenger dreamed that he ought to sacrifice his dearest. It was his own flesh and blood his SON.
We have heard about Rupali Bank being privatised. The government took the decision to sell its shares to the private entrepreneurs. In the tender, a Saudi royal family member won the bid. But the lengthy process and the sluggish reaction of Saudis affected the privatisation of the bank. This is also affecting the share market.
Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto took her election campaign yesterday to the heartland of Pakistan's militants, whose wave of violence has threatened to destablise the nuclear-armed nation.
Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq yesterday, intensifying military action against the separatists with apparent US approval and despite Iraqi protests.
Egypt accused Israel yesterday of interfering in its relations with the United States as tensions rose over alleged arms smuggling into Gaza during a visit by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak.
Thailand's military-installed prime minister said yesterday he had "no problem" with the possible return of deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra, whose allies claimed victory in weekend polls.
Troops joined police searching yesterday for hundreds of people missing a day after a bridge collapsed killing 15 and injuring 40 more in a steep river gorge in Nepal, officials said.
Three Thai soldiers were killed yesterday in a clash with separatist rebels in the kingdom's insurgency-hit deep south, police said.
The Iraqi cabinet yesterday approved a draft law that offers a general pardon to thousands of detainees held in US and Iraqi prisons in a bid to boost national reconciliation, an official told AFP.
A Sri Lankan judge yesterday freed two foreign television reporters held for two days by police while making a documentary about people detained under emergency laws, officials said.
Pakistan yesterday said that recent missile tests by neighbouring India would lead to a new arms race in the region.
Three years after Indian Ocean nations were lashed by massive tsunamis, sombre ceremonies were held yesterday to recall those lost in one of the worst natural catastrophes in modern times.
Arts & Entertainment
Filmmaker and activist Zahidur Rahim Anjan was speaking to The Daily Star at the office of Bangladesh Short Film Forum; he had just returned from a shoot at the Sompur Buddhist Bihar in Paharpur, working on a documentary on the legendary Bengali scholar Sri-Gyan Atish Dipankar (10th century).
Recently, Enamul Karim Nirjhar's film Aha was screened at three international festivals -- Cairo International Film Festival, Silk Road Film Festival and Dubai International Film Festival. Aha's tour began in late November and continued till mid December.
In collaboration with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), cultural organisation 'Mridanga Shangskritik Shangathan' arranged a musical soiree titled Bajao Byakul Banshi at the National Music and Dance Centre of BSA on December 25. The programme featured a solo performance of Tagore songs by Mizanur Rahman Taslim.
A solo photo exhibition by Kazi Golam Quddus Helal celebrated the 175th anniversary of Rangpur Zila School recently.
Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad, Dinajpur unit, held an art and story-telling competition recently for the youngsters in the district on the occasion of Victory Day.
The resounding victory in the Gujarat state assembly elections of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), widely seen as a communal organisation, has definitely come as a shot in arm for the party and controversial Chief Minister Narendra Modi, but is unlikely to change its fate considerably at the national level.
Two Dhaka courts have started the trial of four teachers and 15 students of Dhaka University (DU) after framing charges against them for breaching the emergency power rules (EPR) during the August violence on campus. Five of the accused were in the dock while 14 others, who are students, were absconding.
Australians threw out decisively the almost 12-year old conservative government on November 24, and installed a Labour Party government led by former diplomat Kevin Rudd.