News of: Saturday, 5th of January, 2008
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The price of rice has been stable in most of the retail markets in the capital and elsewhere in the country for the last two days.
With awe inspiring swiftness nature has already started regenerating Sidr affected Sundarbans, attracting local and foreign tourists again.
Rooftop billboards that are banned by the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) continue to be installed on building tops, causing injuries and fatalities to residents of the capital during even gusty winds.
Kherua Mosque, a beautiful archaeological site at Sherpur of Bogra, is falling into ruin because of lack of proper maintenance and heavy salinity of soil in the area.
Traders at Badamtoli and Babubazar, two largest wholesale rice markets in the city, allege hoarding at the production level is contributing to its spiked prices across the country.
The broken trees left behind by Cyclone Sidr in the Sundarbans must not be removed, as those create the bio-mass necessary for speedy regeneration of the world's largest mangrove forest, said Dr Ali Reza Khan, an eminent forest and wildlife expert.
Six more bodies of the day labourers, who drowned in a trawler capsize in the river Dhaleshwari on Monday night, were found floating on the river yesterday.
Trials of five cases in connection with the August 17, 2005 series of bomb blasts could not resume in Satkhira on Thursday as the prosecution failed to produce the witnesses before the court.
The country needs a coordinated policy for exploration and proper utilisation of natural resources, and to have food and fuel security as all these are interrelated.
Thirty-seven large vessels and barges loaded with fertiliser, fuel and rice have remained stuck at different points in the Jamuna for the last three days because of poor navigability, hampering supply of the essentials to different destinations though the Baghabari port.
Softening its Thursday's position of having the next parliamentary election by June-July, Awami League (AL) yesterday put out a call to the caretaker government for holding the polls earlier than the time stipulated in the announced electoral roadmap 'if possible'.
Bangladesh will host the first Bimstec (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) ministerial meeting on poverty alleviation on January 10.
Two sub-inspectors from Gulshan and Dhanmondi police stations yesterday interrogated detained Tarique Rahman, elder son of former prime minister Khaleda Zia, for over 3 hours at Dhaka Central Jail in connection with two separate extortion cases.
Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami yesterday urged the government to remove all suspicions and doubts about holding the next general election as per the declared roadmap.
Bangladesh could not make their golden jubilee Test memorable after yet another batting failure on the first day of the first Test at the University Oval in Dunedin yesterday.
India has cut import duty on more than 4,600 items like fish, meat and dairy products from four neighbouring countries including Bangladesh.
An alleged drug peddler was killed during a "shootout" between Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members and his accomplices in the city's Agargaon area under Mohammadpur Police Station early yesterday.
Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan will begin a six-day programme in Bangladesh today to discuss human rights situation in the country.
Four personal physicians of detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina will make an appeal to Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed to send her abroad for better medical treatment.
Abbas Ali and Nasir Uddin, arrested in connection with the theft of two artefacts from Zia International Airport (ZIA), were taken on a four-day fresh remand yesterday.
A team of British anti-terrorism police flew into Pakistan on Friday to help investigate the killing of Benazir Bhutto, a move rejected by the opposition leader's party as "meaningless."
The European Commission on Friday announced a major observers' mission to monitor Pakistan's general election, postponed to next month following the killing of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.
New Hampshire is where Iowa's Democratic caucus victors get ratified and where its Republican winners get stung. Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee headed into the Granite State on Friday as Iowa's presidential champions, one hoping to ride history's trend and the other eager to break it. Neither can expect it to be easy.
Iraqi authorities ordered a one-day vehicle ban in Baqouba on Friday in response to a series of deadly suicide bombings and other attacks by al-Qaeda in Iraq against predominantly Sunni fighters that have allied with the United States.
It is welcome news that investment in the existing Export Processing Zones (EPZs) in the country has increased 135 per cent in the first six months of the 2007-2008 fiscal, compared to the performance in the previous fiscal. We are further delighted to learn that the volume of export of processed goods has also increased by 6 per cent in the same period. EPZ chairman Brigadier General Ashraf Abdullah Yusuf revealed the statistics in a press conference on Thursday when he also explained the future plan of his organisation. While we would want the export volume to go up at a faster pace, we consider the present accomplishment worthy of a mention.
The idea of making the police force more sensitive to the needs of female victims of crime is not only timely it comes at a time when there is an increase in the level of violence against women in Bangladesh. This is a part of the overall police reform package under the auspices of the UNDP, which one hopes will bring in a qualitative change in the mindset of the police while dealing with women's complaints.
Benazir Bhutto's assassination has left Pakistan shocked and unsure about its democratic future. The elections, scheduled for 8 January 2008, seen by both Pakistani and Western analysts as a way of bringing political stability and restoring the democratic process within the country, now appears to be at risk. The Pakistan Election Commission feels that the prevailing insecurity has reduced the possibility of holding a free and fair election. They consider that a free, fair and credible election would be impossible before next month. They have also indicated that a fresh date would be arrived at after consultation with all the political parties. The Election Commission has probably been encouraged in this regard by a comment from the US State Department spokesman Tom Casey who said that Washington wants elections to go ahead as planned if they can be held in a 'safe and secure' way.
Rise against corruption”, as anti-graft slogan will continue as a campaign throughout this year round the world. The government is pledged bound to stage a drive against corruption as a signatory to the U N Convention against Corruption.
Land dispute is an old conflict of Bangladesh society linked to the socio-economic-political system. Every year considerable number of people are directly or indirectly affected by land dispute. Specially the landless and poor fisherman communities living in different char and khaslands of the country are falling victim to this dispute and losing both financially and socially. At places eviction of the socially weak landless people has also occurred. Land dispute even led to killing of opponent, grievously hurting, looting of homestead and arson. Increase in land disputes has a very negative impact on society and economy.
The occasion of the 50th match failed to inject any spark into the under-performing Bangladesh batting as the Tigers let New Zealand gain upper hand on Day One of the first Test at the University Oval which made its debut as the world's 96th Test venue.
Naeem Islam salvaged title contender Rajshahi's sinking ship against Dhaka on the first day of their all-important tenth and last round National Cricket League match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Sachin Tendulkar sublimely batted India into the lead in the second Test with a record 38th Test century to put the pressure back on to Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground here on Friday.
Makeshift West Indies opening batsman Denesh Ramdin survived some hostile bowling as he and Daren Ganga reduced South Africa's first innings advantage on the third day of the second Test at Newlands on Friday.
Bangladesh under-19 team's third match in the triangular series against South Africa was abandoned due to rain at the Sinovich Park in Pretoria South Africa on Friday.
Bangladeshi FIDE Master Abu Sufian Shakil is in joint second position with another nine players in the Hastings 83rd Chess Congress securing five points after the 7th round matches at Hastings in England on Thursday.
Fakirerpool Youngmen's Club came from behind to play out a 1-1 draw with Agrani Bank in the Metropolis Senior Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.
Sachin Tendulkar admitted that he hadn't looked at the scoreboard when he was in the nineties, not wanting to think of missing out on a hundred yet again. Tendulkar endured seven scores in the nineties in the last year and said he would savour this hundred as a special one.
Harbhajan Singh has been charged with a Level III offence under the ICC Code of Conduct following his on-field altercation with Andrew Symonds on day three of the second Test in Sydney.
New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond has joined the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) in a move that could jeopardise his international career.
A banner at the ground summed up Australia's affection for Sachin Tendulkar. "Commit all your crimes when Sachin is batting," it read. "They will go unnoticed because even the Lord is watching." Great players have a feel for the big stage and Tendulkar couldn't have chosen a better moment to turn in such a regal performance. Efficient and authoritative, this was a flawless innings.
At one end Mitchell Johnson was struggling with his line while at the other Brett Lee's was almost perfect. Since accepting Glenn McGrath's responsibilities, Lee has not only bowled as tightly as his predecessor, but has been able to maintain the pace that ensures his penetration remains undiluted. Over the past four Tests he has been a damaging performer and an intelligent role model.
Australia have not given up hope of equaling their world record for consecutive Test wins despite taking a pounding from India's batsmen in the second Test on Friday.
England bowlers Sajid Mahmood and Simon Jones are among a group of Test players set to feature in an upcoming Bollywood movie about cricket.
Richie Benaud became the first of ten Australian sporting greats to have sculptures of themselves unveiled at the SCG. Benaud was at the informal but intimate gathering behind the Ladies Stand and the audience included the Invincibles Arthur Morris and Neil Harvey and the former Australia captains Steve Waugh and Ian Craig.
Amal Roy finished with double success in the Prestige Bengal Victory Day tennis competition that ended at the Ramna National Tennis Complex yesterday.
The Mir Eshrak Ali First Division Volleyball League got underway at the local stadium yesterday.
Sonali Bank outclassed Barnak Samaj 13-0 goals in the Dhaka Bank Victory Day Hockey Competition at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Sunday is the traditional day in the calendar for giving presents in Spain and La Liga leaders Real Madrid will be looking to provide their fans with something special against Real Zaragoza.
Sam Allardyce and Rafa Benitez could be forgiven for cursing the FA Cup as two of the Premier League's big guns prepare to put their reputations on the line this weekend.
Tottenham manager Juande Ramos has warned clubs interested in Dimitar Berbatov that it would take a British record transfer fee to sign the Bulgaria striker.
Italy coach Roberto Donadoni dismissed speculation that he is under pressure to pick certain players in an interview due to be transmitted on Euronews from Friday night.
Barcelona needs to focus more on winning even if that means dropping their short passing game style, the club's Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o said Thursday.
Newcastle and England midfielder Joey Barton was released from jail on Thursday after being granted bail by a judge at Liverpool Crown Court.
The United States capitalised on Jelena Jankovic's injury misfortune to beat Serbia 2-1 in the final and win their fourth Hopman Cup in six years here on Friday.
Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has revealed he is close to a return to action after two months out with a knee problem.
Inter Milan's former Portugal winger Luis Figo on Thursday distanced himself from a possible transfer window move to the United States, insisting he was concentrating firmly on his current club.
Leeds manager Dennis Wise has been interviewed by police after chasing a youth who allegedly threw stones at his car on New Year's Day.
The International Tennis Federation announced on Friday that former world No.1 Martina Hingis would be banned for two years for failing a doping test.
Speculation has mounted over Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann's possible move to Borussia Dortmund after the German club called a press conference for Friday.
Former Brazil goalkeeper Emerson was on Thursday named coach of first division club Santos in place of Wanderley Luxemburgo.
Dhaka has identified its products facing severe non-tariff trade barriers from Saarc nations for discussion at the regional meet on non-tariff measures beginning in Kathmandu on Monday.
Ceramic manufacturers of the country have introduced a range of new designs in ceramic products to attract more local and foreign buyers at the month-long Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) 2008.
The oil producing cartel Opec will face enormous pressure to help calm the febrile crude market at its next meeting in February after prices struck the symbolic 100-dollar level, analysts said Thursday.
A lone trader out to win a little fame made the purchase that took oil prices to the historic 100 dollars a barrel level this week but he lost 600 dollars on the deal, analysts said.
The dollar rose against the euro Friday but remained under pressure on concerns over the outlook for the slowing US economy before the release of key US jobs data later in the day, dealers said.
The Shanghai city government here is considering barring non-residents from buying property as investments in the hope of curbing price rises and making homes more affordable to local low- and middle-income families.
India's Tata Motors, named preferred bidder to buy Ford's Jaguar and Land Rover units, could make a huge technological leap and save years of development by acquiring the car icons, analysts said Friday.
South Korea's big companies will be allowed to further invest in the banking industry, as the incoming administration of President-elect Lee Myung-bak will ease relevant regulations, Lee's transition committee said Thursday.
Hundreds of Hong Kong-owned toy factories in China may be forced to close after huge global recalls hit the industry, a toy body here said Thursday.
India's inflation rate edged higher to 3.5 percent as vegetables became costlier, official data showed Friday.
Japan and India are set to sign a currency swap deal totaling six billion dollars to guard against a possible financial crisis, a Japanese official said Friday.
Service sector growth among the countries sharing the euro slowed to a two-and-a-half-year low in December, weighed down by uncertainty in financial markets, according to a survey published Friday.
December 30, 2007-January 03, 2008
Diplomatic campaign backed by pragmatic foreign policy appeared to have brightened Bangladesh's image abroad in the past one year when the country earned extra attention from global community and economic fora.
Rotarians from home and abroad yesterday began a two-day district conference, aiming to spearhead their agenda for the greater cause of humanity and serve the people who need external support better.
A massive search is underway in African coast of Altantic Ocean as Bangladesh Army Captain Rajibul Kabir went missing in the Sea in Liberia, an ISPR statement said yesterday.
Four people were killed in four separate road accidents in Chittagong and Gaibandha districts yesterday.
Five Bangladeshis, trafficked to India last year, were handed over to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) through Benapole check-post yesterday.
Mystery shrouds the death of a contractor who died after falling from the roof of a four-storey building in the city's Nimtoli area yesterday.
More than 1,500 poultry birds and pigeons were culled in Bakshipara and Kirshnapur areas of Sadar upazila early yesterday following the detection of bird flu.
Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of Awami League (AL), celebrated its 60th founding anniversary yesterday.
A special court here on Thursday sentenced a man to life imprisonment for killing his wife.
A group of mountaineers yesterday claimed that Tlangmoy Swapnachura is the country's highest peak situated in Bandarban district.
Bangladesh Betar has taken a month-long programme marking the one-year in office of the caretaker government (CG).
Kotwali police arrested general secretary of Sylhet district unit of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) Syed Shafek Mahbub and five of his accomplices on Thursday night.
Expressing deep concern over the price hike of essentials including rice, flour and oil, Jatiya Party (JP) Secretary General Sheikh Shahidul Islam in a statement yesterday said lower income people are facing a severe economic crisis due to increased price.
The 19th edition of BBC Bangladesh Sanglap will be held at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city at 6:15pm today.
Admission tests for the first year honours courses under session 2007-2008 at Chittagong University (CU) will begin tomorrow.
Four robbers were arrested while they were committing a robbery in a night coach on Gopalganj-Tekerhat road in Sadar upazila early yesterday.
The first reunion of the mathematics department of Jahangirnagar University (JU) was held on the university campus yesterday, says a press release.
A 17-day annual training workshop of Bangladesh National Cadet Corps (BNCC) Naval Wing began at BNS Shaheed Moazzam at Kaptai yesterday.
The bus service between Dhaka and Agartala has been resumed on Thursday after suspension for about a month.
Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS), an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), donated 22,500 blankets to the Chief Adviser's Relief Fund for the Sidr victims recently.
Massia Karim Foundation on Thursday donated Tk 20 lakh out of a commitment of Tk 30 lakh for the cancer hospital being built by Dhaka Ahsania Mission at Uttara in the city.
The last date for the renewal of license of firearms, issued by the Dhaka Magistracy, has been extended up to January 31.
The first-ever reunion of the philosophy department of Dhaka University was held at Teacher Student Centre (TSC) yesterday, bringing together former students who met each other after a long period.
Mushrooming illegal brickfields in Khagrachhari are posing a threat to the environment and agriculture in the hill district. All the brickfields use firewood as fuel.
Persistent water-logging even in dry season has become a curse for over 3000 people in five villages in Kulia union in Debhata upazila, caused by unplanned shrimp cultivation.
Investigation authorities yesterday pressed charges against seven accused including Satkhira Pourasava ward commissioner Shahidul Islam in the case filed by Rawshan Ali, a pick pocket who helped law enforcers nab the Jama'atul Mujahidin Bangladesh (JMB) cadres involved in the August 17 serial bombing in 2005 in the district,.
Former lawmaker Rehena Aktar Hira of Jhenidah constituency has filed two theft cases with Jhenidah court against her husband Moshiur Rahman Joarder and two others.
Despite 'good understanding and assurance' during several talks between the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), a staggering number of 30 Bangladeshi cattle traders were shot dead by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) in different border areas in the district in 2007.
Maj. Gen. Syed Fatemi Ahmed Rumee, GOC and Rangpur area commander of Bangladesh Army, has requested officials to hang details of development project at offices so that journalists and people can easily know about those.
Police rescued six women and three children while they were being trafficked to India through Rajshahi border at Shiroil bus terminal in Rajshahi city.
Speakers at a seminar held here yesterday underscored the need for strengthening the local government institutions.
Kenya's opposition party called for a new presidential election to settle a dispute over the vote that has sparked days of deadly riots, and police hurled tear gas to scatter more than 1,000 protesters in the coastal city of Mombasa yesterday.
US presidential hopefuls are digesting the outcome of the first contest of the 2008 election race.
Thailand's Supreme Court has agreed to consider a case accusing the People Power Party, which won recent elections, of being a proxy of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, a court official said Friday.
US President George W Bush called on Israel to dismantle wildcat settlement outposts on occupied Palestinian land, in an interview published on Friday ahead of his visit to the region next week.
North Korea said Friday the country still hopes for a smooth implementation of an aid-for-disarmament deal with the United States and other countries, after failing to meet a year-end deadline to declare its nuclear programmes.
Human Rights Watch called Thursday for a UN human rights monitoring mission in Sri Lanka in the wake of the breakdown of the 2002 ceasefire agreement between the government and the Tamil Tiger secessionists.
Sri Lanka signalled yesterday it wanted to end Norway's position as the island's main peace broker as international concern mounted over Colombo's decision to end a truce with Tamil Tiger guerrillas.
China has announced new rules to control the explosion of audio-visual content on the Internet, in a move seen as an effort to transfer the government's television and radio censorship model to the Web.
World temperatures will cool slightly in 2008, but it will remain among the top 10 hottest years on record, British weather experts predicted Thursday.
Scientists have identified a gene that helps protect mice against intestinal tumours, although it may also play a role in spreading breast cancer, according to a study published Thursday.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called for national reconciliation in Myanmar in a statement yesterday marking the country's 60th anniversary of independence from Britain.
Astronomers poring over a young star 180 light years from Earth have found evidence that stellar birth can lead to the formation of a planet only millions of years later, a mere blink on the cosmic timescale.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre on Thursday said that in the wake of last week's murder of former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto it was calling on the United Nations to designate suicide bombings as a crime against humanity.
Arts & Entertainment
If one asked for Dali-like surrealism or wanted lyrical decorations from nature, or even cared for anthropological essences, one had only to see the recent group show at the Bengal Gallery. The artists were young, enterprising and experimental. They kept strong hold over their Bangladeshi roots and the teaching of the local master painters.
On January 3, it was a great gig for rock n' roll enthusiasts as Advanced Development Technologies Ltd. (ADTL) and amadergaan.com, the largest music based web portal of Bangladesh, jointly raised their hands for the Sidr affected people. This was to arrange an unplugged charity concert titled Bangladesh 08-Sidr 07 at Winter Garden, Sheraton Hotel. Most of the famed and upcoming local bands, including Souls, L.R.B, Maqsood O' Dhaka, Dolchhut, Aurthohin, Artcell, Ornob, Arbovirus, Lalon, Metal Maze, Shironamhin and Yaatri performed at the charity concert.
Renowned actor-director Shahiduzzaman Selim has recently made four digital films -- Mixed Culture, Ekjon Ajmal Hossain, Abinashi Shabdorashi and Chicago Hridoy -- all shot in the US. Of the films, Mixed Culture and Ekjon Ajmal Hossain were aired on Channel i and ATN Bangla respectively, as part of the Eid-special programmes recently. Chicago Hridoy will be aired on Channel-I soon.
Tonight at 8:25 pm, new drama serial Pingol Akash will be aired on Banglavision. It is an adaptation of litterateur Shawkat Ali's novel of the same name. Scripted by Sheikh Shahadat Hossain, it is directed by Abul Hayat.
This month's Golden Globe Awards are in jeopardy after striking writers insisted they would continue with plans to picket the Hollywood ceremony. Organisers hoped last-minute talks with the Writers Guild of America would allow the show to go on, but the union said it would still picket the show. The Screen Actors Guild also said it would advise stars to boycott the show until the strike dispute is resolved. The Golden Globes ceremony is scheduled to take place 13 January. Writers have been striking since 5 November in a row over royalties for work distributed online or released on DVD.
For most of the urbanites, rural Bangladesh is that huge, heterogeneous part of the country that catches our attention only with the news of floods, droughts, cyclones and storms. It amazes us how much we know about villages where more than 100 million Bangladeshis live. The reasons for ignorance are obvious : more than 60 per cent of our villages are not connected by road and power supply to a vast number of villages is still a dream and telecom facilities are still non-existent in many.
The current mayhem in Kenya is not only tribal but rooted in something equally insidious: greed. The country's largest ethnic group, the Kikuyu (23% of the population), have ruled the country since independence in 1963, when Jomo Kenyatta became president. The Mau Mau revolt, which brought about the end of white rule, was Kikuyu instigated, leading many Kikuyus to conclude that they would dominate the country's politics forever. Before the country's recent election and, indeed, when the returns were beginning to be counted, all indications were that President Mwai Kibaki (seeking a second term) would be defeated by Raila Odinga, a Luo, and that the political arena would no longer be under Kikuyu control.
Ruhul Amin, the young and bright Bangladesh Ambassador to France, is no more (Innalillahe wa inna Ilaihe rajeun/peace be upon him!) He died, while in the service of his country, of a massive stroke in a Paris hospital. Amin joined the embassy in Paris in July, 2007 relinquishing his assignment as Ambassador to Bahrain, the first career diplomat in many years to Manama. It was in Bahrain that Ambassador Amin earned the fond title of the “People's Ambassador”.
There is no denying the fact that the concept of 'Failed State' has meanwhile drawn attention of all as one of the burning issues of the day and the matter has been fueled, fomented and intensified more acutely after the publication of the book 'Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy' written by the most authoritative American left intellectual Professor Noam Chomsky. In this book, he assertively branded America also as a foremost failed state from the point of view of the immediate past events and, in particular, the recent activities of the Bush administration and American domestic and foreign policy.
Technology has become an integral part of our life. But people, by nature, tend to not stick to a particular technology for long. They are always looking for new age technologies that truly meet their hi-tech needs. This article mainly highlights some technologies that will dominate the year and at the same time points to some issues that local ICT industry needs to resolve in 2008.
Citing disagreements with the organisation, Intel Corp. said Thursday it has abandoned the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) programme, dealing a big blow to the ambitious project seeking to bring millions of low-cost laptops to children in developing countries.
Drivers talking on cell phones are probably making your commute even longer, concludes a new study.
Google is building its own version of communally-constructed online encyclopedia Wikipedia, which consistently ranks among the most visited websites in the world.
Huawei Technologies (Bangladesh) Limited has donated some network equipments and offered its technical assistance to BUET (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology) for the development of its data communication network lab and upgrade existing backbone network system. Huawei recognised this initiative as a part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).
I was running late. I was due for an afternoon tea with Veena Sikri, the ex-Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh at the India International Center, after which I was to meet Khushwant Singh at his house. Who, as is well known throughout India, is notoriously finicky about guests arriving and leaving on time. Ajeet Caur, the head of SAARC's cultural and literary wing, had set up the meet with an accompanying reminder: “It was difficult.You go to his house at 7:00, and you leave promptly at 7:30.” Fine with me, I had thought, since I just wanted to see him up close, not badger him with some set of questions.
'You give me fever' --
Madonna on the iPod
Pouring her heart out.
The most important delivery point of services and development activities is the district administration. If one goes to a district headquarters one has the feeling that we are still at the mercy of the East India Company officials. One government in Dhaka is too far, remote, and unreachable to most of the people. Only a directly elected District Council will inject a sense of belonging and accountability to the people. The immediate need is to rationalize and democratize the layers of civil administration to open the window of services to the people. They want an elected and accountable administration at the district level for the vitally important services that has been choked by hardnosed bureaucracy. If the District Chairman is like city fathers, helpless even to the mosquitoes, purpose will not be served. The District Council should have authority over the service agencies, revenue right and subservient bureaucracy. One must also expect a serious vilification campaign by the vested quarters against the elected District Council, if there is one, the way upajilla council was tarnished immediately after their first election to office.
On 18th December, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh held its first foreign policy dialogue in collaboration with London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies.
Nothing has changed since Annapolis. No Israeli actions have occurred in the field to change the relation with the Palestinians. The air bombardment in Gaza continues, and at least 32 Palestinians have been killed since Annapolis. Lupinsky, the Mayor of Jerusalem, justified the construction of 390 housing units in Abu Gneim, so called Har Homa in the area by saying that this will solve the demographic problems of the Jewish population of Jerusalem.
North Korea has accused the US and South Korea of carrying out more than 2,000 spy flights over its territory last year.
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda played a friendly game of catch during his visit to China on Saturday, a symbol of warming ties between the North Asian rivals despite a row over gas resources in disputed waters.
Citing discrepancies in the evaluation process, India's Ministry of Defense (MoD) has cancelled the Indian Army's tender for 197 Eurocopter AS550C3 Fennec light observation helicopters (LOHs).
Star Books Review
Shamsuddin Abul Kalam died lonely and forlorn in Rome on a January day ten years ago. As this very appreciable compilation of his letters demonstrates amply, there was in him, ever since he left what once was East Pakistan and took up residence in the West, a defining degree of nostalgia that often comes to men who think. And Kalam was a thinking man, steeped as he was in literature and the making of it. The problem, as he saw it and not without reason, was the big hurdle that was always there when it came to an appreciation of his literary talents back home in Bangladesh. And the hurdle was geography. As the war for Bangladesh's liberation went on in 1971, Kalam was enthused by the prospect of freedom for a country he did not quite plan on going back to. He kept in touch with Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury and with others he knew were directly involved in the cause. Once Bangladesh became a de jure state, Kalam travelled to the new country, met its important men, including Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and came away with the belief that the future appeared bright despite the travails that yet dotted the path.
Love, the eternal two-faced dream, never stops mesmerizing us. Writers all over the world end up contributing to the ever-increasing definition of love at some point in their writing careers because they find almost every quality of life in love. The kingdom of love is so vast that it reigns over every other human emotion and this, needless to say, heaps on love a dual nature on top of its universality. If love is like a soothing ointment from a beautiful maiden, it is also the sword of an angry lover. If love is the reason behind the magnificent Taj Mahal, it is also the reason behind a burning Troy. If love made Lochinvar valiant, it made Romeo take his own life. In fact, at times it seems that literally everything springs from love the love of money or the love of power or the love of a person or the love of God. While you may categorize the contradictory faces of love by good and evil you can't refuse to acknowledge its mysterious duality which is like a surreal sight.
The Winter of Our Discontent is a richly imagined novel by John Steinbeck. Right from its first chapter, this book plunges the reader into the borderlands between opposing forces; between youth and age, exclusion and privileges. It is a blending into the classical and the familiar, the opalescent and the pure and takes off soaring high into the subsequent chapters. The story is about a New Englander named Ethan Allen Hawley who works as a clerk in a grocery store that he once owned. But fate has turned the hands and the ownership of the store has changed and is now owned by an Italian immigrant named Marullo. Ethan's family, the Hawleys, were sea captains and were respected for their place. Ethan himself had been in the army. But fate, playing its strange games, brought misfortune and the family lost everything. Ethan was left with the drudgery of minding the store.
Madhubala, aged thirty six, died in February 1969. She had finally succumbed to the pains associated with the lifelong hole in her heart. And then there were all the other pains she went through life in the course of a career that was to etch forever her name on Indian cinema. All these decades after her death, Madhubala remains an icon. Proof of that is to be found in the excitement with which today's generation has responded to the new, all colour version of the Dilip Kumar-Madhubala starrer Mughal-e-Azam. It was the movie that raised the pair to prodigious heights of popularity. There are those who suggest that it was also a point when their real life romance was on the wane. Remember the moment when Dilip caresses Madhubala's cheek with a feather, causing visible sensual thrills in her?
The Man Who Really Loved Women
Farrar Straus Giroux
An interesting work on a man with what has long been looked upon as a sordid reputation. But Flem does a good job of projecting the intellectual aspects of Casanova's character. Despite the fact that he enjoyed passionate love with 132 women, he still had time for poetry. It is a Casanova you cannot but respect. He gives you tips on love too.