The Daily Star

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Thursday, August 28, 2014


News of: Saturday, 29th of December, 2007

Front Page

Violent backlash kills 33 across Pakistan

As her husband wept bitterly by the graveside and vast crowds of mourners beat their chests in grief, Benazir Bhutto was finally laid to rest yesterday.

Broken pieces of stolen artefacts recovered

Investigators yesterday retrieved some broken pieces of the two stolen Vishnu statuettes from a dump on the city outskirts and the National Museum authorities confirmed that those belong to the 1,500-year-old relics.

'Shun path of West, be proud Bangladeshis'

Expatriate Bangladeshis yesterday called for an end to the existing political culture and attitude, and restoration of the traditional values of serving the community.

Who will lead PPP after Benazir Bhutto?

Just a few hours before her assassination on Thursday, Benazir Bhutto informed Afghan President Hamid Karzai about threats to her life. Benazir Bhutto was also warned that her meeting with Hamid Karzai just few days before the elections could create more troubles for her. She was advised to avoid meeting Karzai because some extremists would have another opportunity to declare that a Pakistani American agent met an Afghan American agent, but she ignored all the concerns raised by her close associates. Sources present in the last Karzai-Benazir meeting revealed that the Afghan president prayed for the safety of former prime minister of Pakistan and in return she responded, "Life and death is in the hands of Allah and that is why I have the courage to stare at the eyes of death without any fear."

AL prepares for 'manifold problems' next year

Awami League (AL) will take its future steps cautiously as the top party leaders fear that the party will have to deal with manifold problems next year.

An NRB who did the impossible

There has been a lot of talk about reversing the "brain drain" out of Bangladesh at the ongoing conference of non-resident Bangladeshis. There has also been a lot of talk about why this is not only unlikely to happen but also almost impossible to make it happen due to a lack of infrastructure and security. But, no one has shattered this myth more spectacularly in the last decade than Iqbal Z Quadir, founder of Grameenphone who brought the mobile phone to the masses.

Aricha-Nagarbari ferry service on after 5 months

Ferry service between Aricha and Nagarbari resumed yesterday after five months.

Endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles rescued

Two globally endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles were rescued from sellers at Taantibazar in the capital by the Department of Forest and Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh yesterday morning.

Nepal parliament formally abolishes monarchy

Nepal lawmakers yesterday formally approved a decision to abolish the monarchy and declare the country a republic as part of a deal with former Maoist rebels.

US urges Pakistan to press on with polls

The United States has appealed for calm and urged Pakistan, a staunch ally in the war on terror, to press on with its elections after the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Benazir killed after smashing her head on car's sunroof!

Pakistan's interior ministry said yesterday that Benazir Bhutto was killed after smashing her head on her car's sunroof while trying to duck, and that no bullet or shrapnel was found inside her.

Redwan freed on bail, rearrested

Shahbagh police arrested former state minister for Liberation War affairs Redwan Ahmed on the premises of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) soon after his release on bail yesterday evening.

1,800-year-old terracotta discovered

Khulna office of the Archaeology Department has discovered an 1,800-year-old terracotta plaque bearing the image of the only female Jain Tirthankar, Mallinath.

'Lift emergency for the sake of democracy'

Jatiya Press Club yesterday unanimously adopted a resolution demanding immediate withdrawal of the state of emergency for restoration of democratic process in the country.

Four bombs recovered in Khulna

Police recovered four bombs from Kashipur area under Khalishpur Police Station of Khulna city yesterday.

Contractor shot dead in Kushtia

Unidentified criminals gunned down a first class contractor of LGED near Kushtia railway station yesterday.

Kiwis clinch ODI series

New Zealand produced a solid all-round performance to wrap up their three-match one-day series against Bangladesh with a 102-run victory under the Duckworth-Lewis method in the second game in Napier on Friday.

Mother, son drown in Meghna

A woman and her son drowned and 10 others received injuries when a boat capsized in the Meghna at Rajnagar under Raipura upazila yesterday.

Law and order excellent: IGP

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Mohammad yesterday said law and order situation in the country has improved this year in comparison to those of the previous years.

6 children die of pneumonia at Rangpur hospital

At least six children died of pneumonia at a Rangpur hospital in the last two days as cold wave continues to sweep across the northern region.

Worker’s body recovered from factory

Police recovered a decomposed body of a worker from a plastic factory at Lalbagh in the city yesterday.

BJP regains power in Himachal

India's main opposition BJP yesterday regained power in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, dislodging Congress from power, to end the year 2007 on a high note politically, just five days after retaining the reins in the western state of Gujarat.

Editorial

Benazir assassinated

Bullets and bombs of maniacs finally found their target in Pakistan. They succeeded in stopping the bold strides of Benazir Bhutto, who, knowing fully well the risks, remained iron-willed against forces set to spread undemocratic and extremist ideology throughout Pakistan. It is deplorable that she could not finish the battle against those elements. In a poignant twist of fate, she was stopped when common people were beginning to rally behind her to demilitarise country's politics and pave the way for democracy.

A step in the right direction

The all pervasive nature of corruption and the impunity culture growing around it have had a telling effect on the national economy, the traditional value system and the way politics and governance operated in the country. The society was taken over by an upstart money elite with their insatiable acquisitive lifestyle as the saner and cultural elements beat a retreat.

A tragedy born of military despotism and anarchy

Even those of us sharply critical of Benazir Bhutto's behaviour and policies - both while she was in office and more recently - are stunned and angered by her death. Indignation and fear stalk the country once again.

Life reflecting her country's contradictions

With her luminous eyes and strong features framed by a flowing white head scarf, Benazir Bhutto was the face of Pakistan's democratic hopes -- a face that had been thrust into the limelight with the execution of her father in 1979 and that remained there, aging gracefully, until her assassination in Pakistan on Thursday.

Bali climate conference and the future

A drama-filled 190-nation conference ended mid-December after setting a 2009 deadline for a landmark pact to fight global warming. This was possible only after the United States backed down from its last-ditch objections. We in Bangladesh have followed the steps leading up to this conference with great care. It became that much more important for us after the recent devastating cyclone Sidr which followed the earlier twin floods.

Sports

Tigers humbled

A relentless drizzle brought an anti-climactic finish to the second one-day international at McLean Park yesterday with Bangladesh on 181-6 in 43 overs chasing 336 for a win, which had gone out of equation long ago.

Milon brings big lead

Dense fog blighted two matches of the 9th National Cricket League but Dhaka enjoyed bright conditions against hosts Chittagong on the second day of the ninth round matches yesterday.

Aussies dictate terms

India will have to do what no other Test team has done before to come from behind and win the first cricket Test after Australia set them a historic run chase at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.

WI take big lead

All-rounder Dwayne Bravo took four wickets in 21 balls as the West Indies took a 213-run first innings lead on the third day of the first Test at St George's Park Friday.

CA observing situation

Australia will monitor violence in Pakistan following Benazir Bhutto's assassination to gauge whether the national cricket team can safely tour next year, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Friday.

SA U-19 in control

South Africa Under-19 took control on the second day of the three-day practice match against Bangladesh Under-19 at Sedgars Park in Potchefstroom yesterday.

Dev Squad crush Malaysia U-19s

A 91-run partnership between Ashiqul Islam and Mominul Haq steered BCB Development Squad to a comfortable six-wicket win against visiting Malaysia Under-19 team in yesterday's friendly limited-overs match at the Khulna Divisional Stadium.

Indian fans complain of racism

Despite Cricket Australia's (CA) repeated warnings, racism has reared its ugly head at the ongoing Boxing Day Test here with Indian supporters complaining of "offensive and ugly" chants being hurled at them by local supporters.

India shut out

Setting targets is one of the great games played by a team in command. Australia have done it a lot under Ricky Ponting and he still doesn't know when a chase is too small. At home, he has not lost a Test and he has become less generous in the size of his declarations over the past couple of years.

'Hard to repeat 2001'

Spin bowler Harbhajan Singh says he has shouldered unrealistic expectations since his career-high achievements during India's famed home series win over Australia in 2001.

Zim tour in doubt

The immediate fate of Zimbabwe's tour to Pakistan hangs in delicate balance following the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, an incident that has sparked violence throughout the country.

Revival with ball

Look at the third day's play in isolation and you have an interesting contest: Australia 351 for 7, a good score but not necessarily a match-winning one. It would still be Australia's day but India would end it upbeat, hoping to mop up the tail in the first hour tomorrow. They would have taken heart from their effort and looked to sustain the fight on the next day.

Rajshahi record first victory

Dhaka and Rajshahi won their respective matches of the Meril Women's Divisional cricket tournament in the city yesterday.

Yuvraj in trouble

Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh has been charged with showing dissent towards an umpiring decision during the first cricket Test against Australia, Cricket Australia said Friday.

Zaheer gets Wasim help

Zaheer Khan was roundly booed by Indian supporters at the MCG for the flurry of no-balls but apparently there was a reason to it.

Lawson seeks opinions

Pakistan cricket coach Geoff Lawson said Friday he is seeking advice on the situation in the volatile country before deciding whether to return following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Clarke counts on reverse swing

Michael Clarke believes reverse-swing holds the key to wrapping up the first Test as Australia eye a four-day victory at the MCG. Ricky Ponting set India an unlikely 499 to win and the visitors have the added disadvantage of surviving on a slow pitch offering low bounce.

Ansars, Rajshahi win easy

Rajshahi and Bangladesh Ansar won the opening day's matches of the Pepsi 18th National Women's Volleyball Championship by straight sets yesterday.

Santa rescues Rovers

Roque Santa Cruz ended Blackburn's four-game losing streak with a controversial late equaliser to seal a 2-2 draw at Manchester City on Thursday.

MU ready to show up rivals

Louis Saha expects Manchester United's superior squad to give the champions a decisive edge as the Premier League title fight hots up.

Offside law puzzles Sven

Sven-Goran Eriksson admitted he has been left bemused by the latest interpretation of the offside rule after Roque Santa Cruz's controversial late equaliser sealed a 2-2 draw for Blackburn at Manchester City on Thursday.

Chelsea look to Modric

Chelsea's chronic injury list has lengthened further after Frank Lampard was ruled out for up to a month with a torn thigh muscle, an absence which could persuade Avram Grant to seek the Croatia and Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Luka Modric's signature during the January transfer window.

'We can beat Gunners'

Tim Cahill has painted a sign of the times at Everton by declaring that he expects to defeat "one of the elite teams in the world" when Arsenal visit Goodison Park tomorrow.

Lamps out for several weeks

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard will be out of action for several weeks after scans revealed he has suffered a torn thigh muscle.

Romario gets 4-month ban

Former Brazilian star striker Romario has been hit with a 120 days ban after failing a doping test.

Real bonus for treble

Real Madrid bosses have promised players a bonus of 900,000-euro (1.3 million dollars) each if they achieve the treble - the Primera Liga, Champions League and Spanish Cup titles this season, sports daily Marca reported here on Friday.

Business

Dhaka for free access of all LDC goods to rich nations

The proposed duty free facilities for 97 percent of goods from LDCs make WTO's special and differential (S&D) market access issue a mockery, Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said yesterday.

Concerted effort needed to get new US trade bill passed

The government and private sector should launch a concerted effort for the passage of the new US trade bill for getting duty-free market access of locally made garment products to the US market, speakers told a seminar yesterday.

New hybrid rice in the making

Researchers are working to produce a new variety of hybrid rice through an asexual process, which will enable farmers to preserve seeds, experts told a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.

Adviser urges NRBs to help develop sustainable energy

Power and Energy Adviser Tapan Chowdhury yesterday urged the Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) to contribute to the development of sustainable energy system in the country.

Indian inflation cools to 3.45pc

India's inflation rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.45 percent, official data showed on Friday, but analysts held out little hope of an early interest rate cut.

China raises export duties to save resources

The Chinese government will adjust the import and export duties on some products from January 1 to save domestic resources and ensure better trade balance.

Dollar struggles after Benazir assassination

The dollar slipped against the yen in Asian trade Friday as market players reacted nervously to weak US economic data and the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, dealers said.

Pak investors worried

Benazir Bhutto's killing will boost perceived risk in nuclear-armed Pakistan, analysts warned Thursday, but some said it was not in itself surprising enough to substantially change investor sentiment.

Japan logs fastest inflation since 1998

Japan on Friday reported its fastest rise in core consumer prices in almost a decade as sky-rocketing energy costs help to lift Asia's largest economy out of years of deflation.

Hyundai Motor announces major investment

South Korea's top carmaker Hyundai Motor announced Friday it would invest more than 11 billion dollars next year to raise production and upgrade facilities.

China to push telecoms overhaul in '08

China will push a long-waited reshuffle of the country's telecoms industry in 2008, creating players that operate both wireless and fixed-line services to address unbalanced competition, according to the industry's regulator.

Oil close to $97

World oil prices held near 97 dollars per barrel on Friday as traders mulled the murder of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, alongside another steep drop in US crude reserves.

Weekly Currency Roundup

December 23-December 27, 2007
Local FX Market

The US dollar/BDT market was soft throughout the week, as the markets opened after the Eid vacations. The USD/BDT rate was range bound, but there was ample demand in the market.

Metropolitan

Govt to provide necessary support to judges

Law Secretary Kazi Habibul Awal yesterday said the dignity of the district judges is 'very high' as they have to maintain the universal norms and behaviour in all areas of their lives.

Five killed in road accidents

Five people were killed in separate road accidents in five districts yesterday.

Politics of Asia might become unstable

Acting Awami League (AL) President Zillur Rahman yesterday expressed his apprehension that the politics of Asia might become unstable through assassination of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Involve NRB resources in urban environmental management

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said the issue of urban environmental management is one of the massive challenges facing the city fathers.

Khastagir School celebrates 100th anniversary

A two-day programme marking the 100th founding anniversary of Dr Khastagir Girls' High School, the first academic institution for girls in Chittagong, began yesterday amid enthusiasm and festivity.

Body of Sidr victim recovered in Sharonkhola

One more decomposed body was recovered from a paddy field at cyclone-hit Khurhikhali village under Southkhali Union of Sharonkhola upazila yesterday.

NRBs want to help improve healthcare

Renowned healthcare professionals at a seminar yesterday called on the public and private sectors to create scope for them to work towards improving healthcare facilities in the country.

'Form self-administered local govt to institutionalise democracy'

Self-administered local government with financial solvency and accountability should be formed to institutionalise democracy in the country, said the speakers at a seminar yesterday.

3rd Graduates' Forum of James P Grant School of Public Health

The Third Graduates' Forum of the James P Grant School of Public Health, Brac University was held at ICDDR,B on Thursday, says a press release.

Five alleged criminals held; drugs seized

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested five alleged criminals including four drug-peddlers and seized heroin, phensidyl, pesticides and scrap materials from different areas in three northern districts during last 24 hours till yesterday noon.

Amnesty Int'l team arrives Jan 5

A human rights delegation led by Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan will visit Bangladesh from January 5 to 10 to discuss human rights situation in the country.

CA to attend World Economic Forum meeting

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed will attend the annual meeting of World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland next month.

Birth anniversary of Syed Nawab Ali Chy today

Today is the 144th birth anniversary of Nawab Bahadur Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury, a politician, educationist, philanthropist and social reformer, says a press release.

Youths urged to help curb corruption

The 12th national conference of Youth Ending Hunger-Bangladesh began at Gono Shasthya Kendra auditorium in the city yesterday.

Three of family die of food poisoning in Chittagong

Three girls of a family died apparently of food poisoning at Chittagong Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) in the early hours of yesterday.

Prof Zakir new principal of Dhaka Dental College

Government has appointed Prof Dr Md Zakir Hossain as the Principal of Dhaka Dental College recently.

Benazir's killing condemned

Different political parties have condemned the killing of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto on Thursday evening.

US humanitarian body demands release of Hasina, Khaleda

Volunteers of American Community, a humanitarian organisation, has submitted a memorandum to Bangladesh President demanding release of two former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina and the withdrawal of the state of emergency.

Advocacy workshop on HIV/AIDS begins

A two-day advocacy and training workshop on prevention of HIV/AIDS began at National Youth Centre here yesterday.

National

Niko bid to shift pontoon from Tengratila-Doarabazar road resisted

An attempt of Niko, a Canadian exploration company, to shift a pontoon from Shantipur on Tengratila-Doarabazar road to elsewhere is being prevented by the inhabitants of several villages in four unions of Doarabazar upazila in Sunamganj district.

UP chairman, education officer sued in Satkhira

Sreeula Union Parishad (UP) chairman Abu Hena Shakil and Assassuni upazila assistant education officer Mushfiqur Rahman have been sued on charge of misappropriating VGF rice, court sources said.

Joyful learning for dull students

A GoB (Government of Bangladesh) and NGO (Non-government Organisation) partnership has improved quality of primary education in Mandarbaria union under Maheshpur upazila in Jhenidah district.

Charges pressed against ex-BNP lawmaker Habib in Satkhira

Charges were pressed against former BNP lawmaker Habibul Islam Habib yesterday in connection with a Tk 2 crore extortion case filed against him with Sadar police station.

Preparations on to welcome US Senate member at Sylhet village

Preparations are afoot to accord a hearty welcome to US Senate member Hansen Clarke at his ancestral village at Sridhara in Beanibazar upazila here tomorrow.

Tk 1.5 lakh rawhide looted in Nilphmari

Rawhide worth Tk 1.5 lakh has been looted here while being taken to a major hide market at Taraganj in Rangpur for sale by two rickshaw vans, locals said.

20 hurt in attack by musclemen of landlords at Chandpur shoal

About 20 landless farmers were injured, seven of them seriously, in an attack by musclemen of landlords at a newly emerged shoal in Haimchar upazila Thursday afternoon.

International

World urges Pakistan to stay on democratic path

World leaders condemned the assassination of Benazir Bhutto but urged Pakistan to keep to the democratic path, as the country prepared for the funeral of the opposition leader on Friday.

'Benazir targeted by many militant groups'

Benazir Bhutto was the target of threats from virtually all of the militant groups who make Pakistan their home, from al-Qaeda to homegrown terrorists to tribal insurgents on the Afghan border.

'Pak vote needs delay to avoid chaos'

Pakistan should delay next month's parliamentary elections to prevent a meltdown in the nuclear-armed nation following the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, analysts say.

India sees negative fallout in S Asia

With terror elements claiming the life of Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, India, as next door neighbour, is apprehensive of a negative fallout of a volatile Pakistan on South Asia, officials and analysts said yesterday.

Benazir's death deals a blow to liberal political forces

The assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto deals a stunning blow to liberal political forces trying to combat rising Islamic extremism in Pakistan.

'India needs bold approach over rudderless Pakistan'

India must reassess its security needs and take a tougher stance on Pakistan in a South Asian region beset by turbulence, analysts said Friday after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Musharraf failed to protect her

Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto blamed President Pervez Musharraf for failing to protect her in the volatile months preceding her assassination, an email released by US media Thursday showed.

'Benazir murder worst example of terrorism’

Separatist leaders in India's revolt-hit Kashmir said on Friday that Benazir Bhutto's assassination was aimed at destabilising Pakistan and could hit ties between the two nations.

Japan urges China to sway global issues

Japan urged China to use its growing influence to make an impact on key global issues such as climate change as the visiting Japanese prime minister opened a day of summit talks yesterday with Chinese leaders.

7 Gaza militants killed in Israeli raids

Seven Palestinian militants, one of them a senior commander, were killed and 16 other people wounded in the Gaza Strip on Thursday in four Israeli raids on the Hamas-run territory, medics and witnesses said.

Abbas, Olmert put aside settlement fight

Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed Thursday to put aside a dispute over Israeli construction in a Jerusalem neighbourhood and get down to work on a final peace agreement, according to participants at the meeting.

Iran gets 2nd Russian nuke fuel shipment

Iran received the second shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia on Friday for a power plant being constructed in the southern Iranian town of Bushehr, the official news agency IRNA reported.

Pakistan in 'nightmare scenario'

Fears of major unrest and civil war in nuclear-armed Pakistan were widely expressed by international media Friday after the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Lanka claims killing 25 Tigers in fresh fighting

At least 25 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in fresh military attacks along the de-facto border of territory held by the guerrillas, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Oxford friends remember 'fiery and fun' Benazir

Benazir Bhutto's contemporaries at Britain's Oxford University remembered her as a "fiery and fun" student Friday, whose political awakening came after her father's ouster as Pakistani prime minister.

Arts & Entertainment

Cultural programme highlighting patriotism and Liberation War

As a part of the ongoing First Non-Resident Bangladeshi (NRB) Conference 2007, a vibrant cultural programme was held at the Winter Garden, Hotel Sheraton on December 27. Hundreds of expatriate Bangladeshis and local guests enjoyed the evening featuring performances by Bangladeshi artistes from home and abroad.

Panning on women at work

Thirteen young photographers, three of them women, recently focused on Changing images of women in Bangladesh recently at Shilpangan. In the multicoloured photography exhibition, working women were depicted as diligent garment workers, contented females from a towel factory and liberated reporters. Beaming doctors and bicycle mechanics were seen too in the display. When most women in Bangladesh are still confined to their homes, the changing images are undoubtedly welcomed.

Art competition for children at Khagrachhari

Speakers at a meeting said Meena is the symbol of a dream -- the dream for ensuring and fighting for rights, education, healthcare and a proper environment for children. Meena also speaks out against repression of children, child marriage and superstition in the society, they said in the course of a discussion held at Khagrachhari Zilla Shishu Academy recently to mark Meena day.

Noted Indian film personality G P Sippy passes away

Veteran Indian filmmaker G P Sippy, who became a household name for producing one of Bollywood's biggest-ever hits in 1975, Sholay, died at his home in Mumbai at the age of 93 after a prolonged illness on December 26.

TV play “Tumi Shei Ekjon” on ntv tonight

Actor Tony Dias' debut directorial venture Tumi Shei Ekjon will be aired tonight at 9:00 pm on ntv. Fashion designer Shahrukh Shahid has penned the story.

OP-ED

The void left behind

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto has left a huge political vacuum at the heart of this nuclear-armed state, which appears to be slipping into an abyss of violence and Islamic extremism. The question of what happens next is almost impossible to answer, especially at a moment when Bhutto herself seemed to be the only answer.

Impact on US diplomacy amid division

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto on Thursday left in ruins the delicate diplomatic effort the Bush administration had pursued in the past year to reconcile Pakistan deeply divided political factions. Now it is scrambling to sort through ever more limited options, as American influence on Pakistan's internal affairs continues to decline.

The chirpy teenager, the old e-mails

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto sends waves of sadness all the way from the heart down to the soul. She was a woman of true grit and determination who could have made a difference to Pakistan. That she had the chance twice to do that and failed is part of history. That her enemies were always baying for her blood and would not rest until she was thrown out of power, twice, is part of history as well. And yet there was always the future that beckoned Benazir Bhutto. Somehow there was always the feeling among people, including her detractors, that she had a way with the masses of Pakistan, that for all the sins she may have committed in office she was always the politician they could rely on to give them intimations of a new rainbow on the horizon.

Lending artefacts to foreign museums

Each country possesses its own history and culture. Arts and artefacts are evidence of a country's history which is unique. Some countries were homes of ancient civilizations and their historical objects enable us to understand their past history, culture and way of life. There are other countries where history and culture reached a glorious period during the middle ages or even later.

NRBs in nation building

The first-ever non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB) conference is now being held (27-29 Dec) in Dhaka and attended by nearly one thousand distinguished expatriate Bangladeshi scholars and professionals from all over the world. The organisers of the conference, 'Scholars Bangladesh' who reportedly have compiled after extensive research a list of 21 thousand NRB professionals and scholars engaged in specialised important jobs abroad in science and technology, IT and telecommunication, business and finance, health education and medicine etc. certainly deserve our unstinted support and appreciation for doing an excellent patriotic job.

StarTech

Snapshot of tech events in 2007

It's been a remarkable year for the country. We've seen the vicissitudes of our one-time untouchables change. The year has also been witness to several technology-related events that have had a synergetic effect on the industry, inspiring local talents and entrepreneurs to contribute more to the country's hi-tech image.

Seminar on modern telecommunication systems

A seminar on modern telecommunications systems was held as part of the three-day First Non-Resident Bangladeshi Conference 2007 at Hotel Sheraton on December 28.

Queen Elizabeth launches on YouTube

Just call her Queen e-Lizabeth.
The 81-year-old British monarch launched her own video site on YouTube Sunday, featuring old news reels and film snippets of daily royal life. Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth II keeps up with new ways of communicating with people and was hoping to reach a wider, and younger, audience through the popular video-sharing Web site.

AIUB signs SCP agreement with Microsoft

American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB) has joined Microsoft's Security Cooperation Program (SCP) for educational institutions on December 17.

Literature

Worders

Almost there

SAARC Folklore Festival 2007: Delhi Part I

I landed in Delhi on the afternoon of December 6 expecting it to be colder than Dhaka. But surprisingly enough it was not and I felt somewhat discomfited at having packed so much warm clothes in my luggage. Less space for books that I planned to buy, I thought a little sourly. We drove in a microbus through dry, dun-coloured Delhi streets towards Indira Gandhi University campus. I had only just met my fellow Bangladeshis, at Delhi airport when we were being picked up by the event manager's representative. They were all academic folklorists here to read papers at the international folklore seminar and I, the journalist, distinctly felt the odd man out. But we soon became acquainted, exchanging small talk as we peered out of the microbus windows at dusty neem tree leaves scattered over a scrabble earth that looks desolate to Bengalis born to the lush green velvet of their countryside. The party consisted of Dr. Shamsuzzaman Khan ( ex DG of Shilpakala Academy), Dr. Mahbubul Haque of Chittagong University, Dr. S. Jamil Ahmed of Dhaka University's Department of Theatre and Music, and Professor Muniruzzaman (retired) and his wife.

Home

I find a certain silence
within these covered walls and sounds
of a throbbing city outside;
car horns collide with cawing of crows,
a smell of gardenia dances with a stench of garbage
thrown every which way along the broken streets.

Sin

As I watch the moon go down,
a crow caws through the coconut tree;
under the shadows of trees
a fisherman moves with his lantern;
and I hear,

Strategic Issues

Musharraf's political future appears troubled

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's death raises the specter of prolonged political conflict between Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, and the country's opposition, according to Pakistani and American analysts. How he handles the next several days could determine whether nationwide antigovernment protests erupt.

Tsipi Livni vis a vis Lieberman: A new doctrine

Today, many Arab Israeli leaders are accusing the Olmert's Government of conducting a double standard policy towards the Arab community. Some of the current officials of this government have declared that the Arabs in Israel are equal citizens. On the other hand this government has incorporated the right-wing “Israel Beiteinu” Party, headed by Avigdor Lieberman into the coalition and has appointed him as the Minister of National Strategic Threats (mainly domestic) which he claims derive from the Arabs.

India's ballistic missile defense capabilities and future threats

India carried out a series of anti-ballistic missile tests recently starting with an exo-atmosheric anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system test on 12 November 2007. This was followed by an endo-atmospheric test of a Prithvi missile defense system on 1 December 2007 from Wheeler Island near Balasore in Orrisa. A high-tech instrument was utilized in the test launch which provided precise and accurate data regarding the performance of the interceptor missile. It is claimed that the missile performed much better than US PAC-3 missile.

Farewell-Daughter of the East

Benazir Bhutto has been stopped at her strides. Her third attempt to help give her country a democratic government was gruesomely anticipated by those opposed to liberal ideas and democratic dispensation in Pakistan.

Star Books Review

A woman unmasks the immorality of feudalism

Mukhtar Mai, also known as Mukhtaran Bibi, was subjected to gang rape in the village of Meerwala in Pakistan's Punjab province on the recommendations of a village council in 2002. It was an incident as horrible in its perpetration as it was powerful in its ramifications. Mukhtar Bibi, like so many others before her in Pakistan and elsewhere, could have opted for the traditional suicide after the shame that was heaped on her even as a whole village watched, tongue-tied, what was being done to her by men on the higher perches of feudalism in her country. No one lifted a finger, no one said a word, there was none to protest the scandalous behaviour of the Mastoi tribe. Mukhtar was only a Gujar, a member of a community that had for ages been poor and therefore resigned to its fate, which again was what people like the Mastois made of it.

Stimulating thinking on gender issues

This book is the outcome of the author's collection of papers prepared for seminars, workshops and conferences at home and abroad, enriched by her own teaching and research experiences. It deals with critical issues within the overall situation of inequality, giving rise to divide and discrimination within a sovereign state. The social process of empowerment, as the theme makes it clear, is a pragmatic and a much needed method to ameliorate what is a worsening situation.

Begunpora, fish jhols, chhana --- all yours

Chitrita Banerji makes us happy and makes us remember all the culinary traditions we are heir to in this gem of a book. Indeed, it is at the very beginning of Bengali Cooking that you get to remember that certain cultural aspect of your being. As a host, you will likely implore the one visiting you thus: “Do please grace my poor hovel with your presence and share our simple meal of dal and rice.” Sounds familiar? You bet it does, for who has not heard of Bengali hospitality? It is as spontaneous as is the manner in which a Bengali loves to eat with his family.

A landscape of poetic images

Poems of An October Evening was launched recently at the Russian Science and Culture Centre in Dhaka. A recitation of poems composed by some of the leading Russian poets, translated into English and Bangla, preceded the launch. The book has been published by 'Meghdut', a cultural group engaged in promoting poetry recitation. Meghdut has been involved in such endeavours in its conviction that recitation is a distinct avenue of performing arts among the younger generation. The members of Meghdut are committed to working together to promote the Bangla language through quality recitation and at the same time acquainting themselves with poetry written in different languages.

At a glance

The Great Partition
The Making of India and Pakistan
Yasmin Khan
Yale University Press
This is a fresh new look at a happening that has people wondering even to this day about the compulsions that caused the partition of a country. Yasmin Khan belongs to a new generation of historians, born much after 1947, and goes into a study of the details of that period from her own perspective. The work makes a lot of sense.


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