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News of: Tuesday, 15th of January, 2008
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The Election Commission (EC) yesterday unveiled the new district-wise list of constituencies with 18 districts seeing either an increase or a decrease in the number of seats representing them in parliament.
The Mirpur area of the capital turned into a virtual battlefield yesterday afternoon as several thousand garment factory workers locked into a fierce clash with police.
Students and teachers of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday warned that they will not accept any 'undignified' release of their detained peers.
The communications ministry yesterday approved the Strategic Transport Plan (STP), a $5.2 billion mass transport scheme incorporating an underground railway system, to ease traffic congestion and improve the communications system in Dhaka.
The planning ministry has sent the chief adviser's special directives to other ministries suggesting quick implementation of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) as only 16 percent has been implemented in five months of the current fiscal year (FY).
With the demand for withdrawal of the state of emergency before the next parliamentary polls growing, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said general elections were held under martial laws in 1970,1979 and 1986.
Selim Al Deen, the legendary drama icon of the country, passed away yesterday.
In conversation with a journalist not many years ago, Selim Al-Deen took positive pride in the way the farmers in his tales reached heights as sublime or as heroic as the characters in the old Greek plays. And that about sums up Selim Al-Deen's attitude to the world of drama, indeed of all creativity. By the time he died on Monday, not yet having arrived at the age of sixty, he had created enough of an impression to qualify as one of the foremost of theatre figures who were destined to dominate the drama scene in post-liberation Bangladesh. There is Kittonkhola which firmly established Al-Deen as a prime personality in Bangladesh's theatre. But, then again, it was a position that the artiste's background had thoroughly prepared him for.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said Bangladesh firmly believes that sharing of resources among the Saarc member countries can help remove poverty from this region.
Around 200 Bangladeshi workers who went to Malaysia during November 26 and December 10 last year are living in cramped conditions without proper food and jobs they were promised in Shah Alam, a Malaysian city.
Prices of different varieties of coarse rice went up by at least Tk 1 per kg in Dhaka's retail markets yesterday following a price rise in wholesale markets by Tk 50-100 per maund in the last three days.
A Dhaka court yesterday issued warrants against former energy secretary Dr Toufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and six others in connection with the Tk 3 crore graft case during the setting up of 100MW barge-mount power plant in Khulna.
The managing director of one of the Dhaka's leading construction groups has warned that the present slump in home building will lead to a massive shortfall of middle-income dwellings in the capital by 2010.
BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said a conspiracy is being hatched for holding a farcical election keeping the national political leaders in jail.
Communications Adviser Maj Gen (retd) Ghulam Quader yesterday said the caretaker government with an open mind will listen to political parties' conditions for dialogue with the government.
The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) has got itself positioned among 228 leading think tanks in the world, while Bangladesh has made it to the list of countries with the largest number of think tanks, having 34 of them.
The Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd (DBBL) yesterday decided to donate Tk 9.73 crore to Dhaka University (DU) for establishing a research centre on the university campus.
Awami League (AL) Presidium member Motia Chowdhury yesterday criticised the present government's failure to keep prices of essentials steady and said that people's life have been badly affected by it.
An investigation officer (IO) of a case, filed in connection with the August violence on Dhaka University (DU) campus, told a Dhaka court yesterday that he submitted the charge sheet against four DU teachers and 15 students as the charges brought against them were primarily proved during investigation.
Bangladesh's image will be brightened further across the world if the Sundarbans and Cox's Bazar are included in the list of 21 major global natural wonders to be decided on August 8 through internet voting.
Adcomm Limited clarified yesterday through a news release their position saying that in October of last year, the owner of house No 7/A on Road 41 of Gulshan-2 in the capital where the offices of Adcomm, Signage, and Megavision are situated, refused to accept the monthly rent, when paid.
At least seven Pakistani troops and 23 Islamic militants were killed in a major battle yesterday near the Afghan border, days after Islamabad ruled out direct US military intervention.
China and India pledged yesterday to strengthen trade and military links and seek a solution to a border row, as India's prime minister sought to cement a rapid improvement in ties with a landmark visit.
This is for the umpteenth time in recent months that the garment workers enraged by default on payment by the factory owners took to the street, blocked the traffic and vandalised vehicles. All these were topped off by the police roughing them up, including women workers. Just the venue changed -- it was Shawrapara on Sunday.
The sad spectacle of a nine-year old victim of rape being in prison for six months, as reported by the daily Prothom Alo, is a harsh reminder of the helplessness of the most vulnerable group in society -- the ultra poor women and children. The girl's unbearable agony has been compounded by the legal process which finally landed her in jail in the name of safe custody.
In the rural Bengal, when high tide comes in rivers, boatmen get up from their sleep, start to holler on top of their voice at one another, pull up the anchor, untie their boats and begin to row with all their might to reach the destination. No more snoozing in a low tide. It's time for work. Row, row, row. Come election time and you see similar activities ensuing in various political camps across the country. Come election time you see professional politicians and seasonal supporters dusting their campaign attire and polishing their campaign boots.
The hospitality industry is experiencing a boom across the world, including Bangladesh. A plethora of new hotels have opened in Dhaka, Chitagong, Sylhet and Cox's Bazaar. As a result, there is a constant need for top-level industry consultants to advise on the profession. Besides, varieties of jobs in the catering business are now ready to be filled in.
Recently, there have been laudable efforts to streamline the administration of the national level sports bodies. Sports enthusiasts are witnessing commendable ventures to financially strengthen the different sports federations. There is considerable interest in creating a lively atmosphere. This writer, in view of his past experience as the president of the Bangladesh Volleyball Federation and also as secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, considers it pertinent to put forward some suggestions for improving the performance of our sports bodies.
After the Tigers' meek surrender in the two-match Test series, coach Jamie Siddons pointed out that 'short-term goal' set by the previous management is behind the reason Bangladesh have failed to improve rapidly in Tests.
Australian spinner Brad Hogg is free to play against India after the tourists withdrew their complaint that he made offensive comments during the contentious second Test in Sydney.
Australia and India called a truce to their week-long feud when rival captains Ricky Ponting and Anil Kumble met on Monday and the visitors dropped a complaint against spinner Brad Hogg.
Jatrabari Krira Chakra lifted the EXIM Bank Women's Kabaddi League with a 68-51 victory over neighbours Matuail Milon Smriti Sangsad in the final at the Outer Stadium kabaddi court yesterday.
Three of the four Bangladeshi players maintained their winning run in the 6th Parsvnath Open International Open Chess Tournament in Delhi.
New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden, who steps into the super-charged atmosphere of the third Test between Australia and India, is already no stranger to controversy.
India's cricket chiefs on Monday sold the media rights for the star-studded inaugural Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL) for one billion dollars.
The Australian team made a couple of mistakes on the field in the controversial second Test against India, Australia captain Ricky Ponting has admitted.
While Brad Hogg is celebrating after India withdrew charges against him, Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh stands no such chance even if Australia wants to reciprocate to India's goodwill gesture.
Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming insists he will be available for the March Tests against England despite reports he is set to retire.
Defending champion Serena Williams and world number one Justine Henin led a host of top names into the Australian Open second round on Monday, but Andy Murray became a high-profile casualty.
Ruud van Nistelrooy scored two late goals as Spanish champions Real Madrid defeated bottom side Levante 2-0 on Sunday to re-establish their seven-point lead over Barcelona at the top of the table.
Ronaldo was the inspiration as AC Milan ended their dismal winless home run with a 5-2 victory over Napoli on a dream night at the San Siro on Sunday.
Deadly strikers Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Pauleta proved on Sunday that their eye for goal hasn't been dimmed by the passing years.
Any doubts about whether or not former three-time world player of the year Ronaldo can still be a force in football were dispelled in just over 45 minutes on Sunday.
Liverpool's American owners met former Germany manager Juergen Klinsmann in November to discuss the possibility of him replacing Rafael Benitez, chairman Tom Hicks said on Monday.
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti launched a surprising attack on his captain Francesco Totti after Roma's come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Atalanta that kept them in the title hunt.
AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti on Monday ruled out making a move for Barcelona superstar Ronaldinho after watching Brazilian strike pair Ronaldo and Pato destroy Napoli on Sunday.
Two goals from Kieran Richardson gave Sunderland a 2-0 victory over Portsmouth on Sunday to boost their hopes of escaping the Premier League drop zone.
Germany international Tim Borowski will join Bayern Munich when his contract with Werder Bremen expires at the end of the season.
Spanish League side Real Zaragoza on Sunday sacked coach Victor Fernandez following the 2-2 draw with Real Mallorca.
Leg-spinners Shahid Afridi and Yasir Shah shared seven wickets between them to bowl Zimbabwe out for 209 in their tour match against a Patron's XI here on Monday.
The Bangladesh Volleyball Federation (BVF) will organise the President Cup Super-Four volleyball tournament from today at the Volleyball Stadium.
Arambagh Krira Sangha finally put an end to a pathetic start to the Senior Division Football League when they edged City Club 1-0 yesterday for their first win.
Mahfuzur Rahman became individual champion in Dhaka University's Fazlul Haque Muslim Hall annual sports yesterday.
Shahidul Alam Abir posted solo lead in the 28th National Sub-junior (Under-16) Chess Championship after defeating previous round's leader Abdullah Al Saif yesterday at the Chess Federation hall-room.
Bangladesh Hockey Federation will hold a non-residential training camp for the Under-18 players living in and around the capital from January 19.
A number of autistic children enjoyed a fun day at the annual sports organised by Autism Welfare Foundation at the Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex yesterday.
Australia will hope to put the acrimony of recent days behind them as they chase a world record 17th straight Test win against India this week.
The record-chasing Australians will blitz the Indians with pace when the third Test gets underway at the WACA here on Wednesday, according to wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.
Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Monday named a pace-oriented squad for the upcoming one-day series in Australia also featuring India.
The country's telecom watchdog has fined UAE-based Warid Telecom Tk6.67crore for failing to reach a minimum subscribers target, breaching the terms of its license agreement.
The managing director of one of the Dhaka's leading construction groups has warned that the present slump in home building will lead to a massive shortfall of middle-income dwellings by 2010.
Citycell yesterday said it had fully co-operated with the investigation by regulator into its involvement in VoIP scandal and accepted that it will pay TK150 crore in compensation to the BTRC.
Only a handful of shares in the state-run Meghna Petroleum Company were offloaded yesterday on the company's stock exchange debut with the owner the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) holding out for a higher price.
Establishment of a strong monitoring mechanism on commodity prices is the main challenge for the caretaker government, said the newly appointed commerce adviser yesterday. .
Developers have asked for immediate government intervention to arrest the skyrocketing prices of mild steel (MS) to keep apartments at the reach of middle-income group.
Online pre-registration for Bangladeshis who want to work in South Korea begins today and it will continue until January 17.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has become financially self-dependent for the first time, thanks to fee imposed on beneficiary owners (BO) account.
Local airline Best Air yesterday started its passenger flights as the fourth carrier on the country's domestic route with the aim to launch international flights by the end of February.
A seminar on corporate governance for board members and management of financial institutions was held at Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) in Dhaka yesterday.
The award giving ceremony of 'Monitor-Malaysian Palm Oil Chef of the Year 2007' competition will be held on January 18, says a press release.
South Asian civil society leaders yesterday called for G-8 leaders to enter into legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent or risk wiping out any developments in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
President Iajuddin Ahmed has said Bangladesh strongly believes that her relations with France is too strong to be adversely affected by unpleasant developments.
Housing and Public Works Adviser Maj Gen (retd) Ghulam Quader yesterday said all unauthorised structures in and along water bodies in the Dhaka city would be removed.
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) yesterday demanded holding of next parliamentary election in June.
The two-day National Wall Magazine Festival ended in the city yesterday with the spontaneous participation of hundreds of students from different schools across the country.
A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against Khondaker Akhter Hamid Paban, son of BNP leader Khondaker Delwar Hossain, and four others in connection with a carjacking case.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday approved submitting charge sheet against detained former BRTC chairman Taimur Alam Khandaker and former BNP lawmaker Helaluzzaman Talukder Lalu on charges of taking bribe and amassing wealth illegally beyond their known sources of income.
A discussion on Cedaw alternative report preparation focusing on violence against women was held at the Brac Centre Inn in the city yesterday, says a press release.
A huge quantity of jute, jute goods and machinery burned down in a fire at United Meghna Chandpur (UNC) Jute Mill in Narsingdi yesterday.
The government has declared January 20 as a public holiday on the occasion of holy Ashura instead of January 19 as mentioned in the government calendar for 2008.
A 20-member delegation of defence attaches and high-level officials of India, Pakistan, China, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Japan embassy in Dhaka visited the Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD) in Comilla yesterday, says a press release.
Honorary Consul of Bangladesh in Norway Peter Dae yesterday expressed his optimism about more Norwegian investments in Bangladesh in various sectors, including energy.
Autism Welfare Foundation (AWF) organised an annual sports competition for the autistic children at Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex in the city yesterday, says a press release.
A month-long debate competition styled Star Campus-Drishty Debate for Generation Next begins in the port city today.
Reunion of Dhaka University Economics Department Alumni Association (DUEDAA) will be held on February 8 at 'Bitopir Chayya', Mia Bari Sarak, Gozaria, Joydevpur, said an official handout.
Abdul Haq Bhuiyan of the daily Manabjamin and Ashraf-Ul-Alam of the daily Prothom Alo have been selected president and general secretary of the Court Reporters' Association for 2007-08, says a press release.
Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan visits a Brac school at Isapur in Tangail during her recent trip to Bangladesh. She also visited several programmes of Brac such as micro-finance group meetings, anti-natal care, and human rights and education classes.
Students of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday continued their demonstration on the campus demanding release of 10 convicted students and an employee of the university in DGFI vehicle torching case.
Satkhira BNP leaders, in a statement issued here yesterday, said the charge sheet submitted on Sunday against 15 people including former lawmaker Habibul Islam Habib was aimed at protecting real killers of party leader A B M Altaf Hossain.
Rajshahi Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) court yesterday issued arrest warrant against a Rajshahi University teacher in a defamation suit filed by the vice-chancellor.
A police Inspector yesterday submitted deposition in the case for grenade attack on British High Commissioner.
Agriculture adviser Dr CS Karim yesterday said the government has sufficient stock of urea fertiliser.
The authorities yesterday arranged settlement of 27 refugee families, who returned to the country from India 10 years ago with 12,022 such families, at different places in Dighinala upazila in hill district Khagrachhari.
Thousands of launch passengers on Patuakhali-Dhaka route are suffering due to the strike called by launch owners association.
Distribution of national identity card among eligible voters began in Kishoreganj yesterday.
Every year the primary students do not get textbooks in time. It is no secret that the primary education is very essential as it is the beginning stage of one's academic life. The government always plans to distribute textbooks to the students in time but doesn't quite succeed for unknown reasons.
Many environmental groups and public (including me) have been writing to you against the ban on rickshaws. Today (DS) even an expert from London has concurred that rickshaws and fuel-run vehicles must co-exist in Dhaka for the good of the majority of people poor, old, infirm, sick, disabled, women, children and small traders who make up over 90% of road users as against perhaps 1-5% car owners who have a free run of most roads.
Polythene is banned in our country. But who cares? Like other laws in Bangladesh it has been turned into just a law and has no practical implication. The usage of polythene is common everywhere, mostly in the kitchen markets. The buyers are bound to bring goods by polythene as the peddlers supply it. Since the government has turned a blind eye on the usage of polythene, it is used everywhere.
Every morning, when I open the pages of newspapers, I see a number of advertisements of private medical colleges established at different places with exciting and alluring annotations for admission. In the advertisement they mention better educational facilities, rich library, journals, laboratory, well ventilated classrooms, highly qualified teaching staff and many other things…
Politics is a family affair in Southeast Asia as is already proven and established by most of the major parties in the region. Why do not we enjoy the benefits of such practice in other professions as well?
The sharp rise in the price of rice is not the government's responsibility; so said a honourable and wise Adviser. Unfortunately, he could not even provide the reasons for this price hike! In hindsight, the first logical reason was the delay and short supply of fertilisers. Over three months back, much was said and written on the matter, till the static CTG at last started rationing fertilisers; an unheard of process during the last decade! The CTG said this was to curb corruption in fertiliser distribution and sale. The net result was that farmers got fertilisers, but too late.
What I would like is a coverage of the 300 past members of parliament.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned Monday that Israel and the Palestinians may not reach a peace deal that US President George W. Bush predicted within a year as both sides began discussing the conflict's core issues.
Benazir Bhutto's political party said yesterday it may work with Pakistan's president after elections next month despite the leader's apparent unpopularity and allegations elements within his government may have played a role in her death.
Ethnic unrest in southern Nepal that has blighted the country's fragile peace process has to be tackled before crucial polls to decide Nepal's political future, the United Nations said yesterday.
A wave of pitched battles, bombings and an airstrike killed at least 23 people across northern Sri Lanka, the military said Monday, as a Japanese envoy met with officials to try to stop the raging civil war.
John McCain has an automatic advantage today when Michigan votes.
The chief of the US military said Sunday he favours closing the prison here as soon as possible because he believes negative publicity worldwide about treatment of terrorist suspects has been "pretty damaging" to the image of the United States.
Arts & Entertainment
WOMEN Filmmakers' section at the 10th Dhaka International Film Festival began with the screening of American director-writer-producer Alexis Krasilovosky's well-acclaimed documentary film Women Behind the Camera. The documentary is based on her book with the same title. Krasilovsky has accomplished a novel feat: she travelled the world in search of female cinematographers and made a documentary on them.
For the first time a 'talent campus' titled 'Dhaka Talent Campus' has been included at the 10th Dhaka International Film Festival 2008. This 'talent campus' is a six-day workshop for aspiring filmmakers, critics and journalists from Bangladesh and other South Asian Countries. Filmmaker Badal Rahman, who is also the Vice-president of the film festival, is the director of this year's 'Dhaka Talent Campus'.
Just a day before his performance in the Greek tragedy Antigone, renowned actor Naseeruddin Shah spoke to The Daily Star recently at the National School of Drama in Delhi. Admirers milled around him as he made his way to a rehearsal, accompanied by his wife Ratna Pathak Shah and actor Benjamin Gilani. Nevertheless Shah took a few minutes off to talk to this correspondent about the relevance of the play and his role as the tyrant Creon, ruler of Thebes.
Centre for Oriental Art Appreciation (COAA) arranged a musical soiree titled Gharoa Gaaner Ashor at Alamgir Kabir Chalachchitra Kendra on Science Laboratory Road recently, says a press release. The programme featured Tagore, Nazrul and folk songs.
Pop singer Mehreen recently went to Sylhet to attend a promotion of her first video album Tomar Jonyo, says a press release. She visited Symphony, a local music store in Zindabazar, Sylhet and attended an autograph and photo session with her fans there.
THE other evening I had been to a wedding ceremony at a 5-star city hotel. It was a large turnout. The costliest dish kachchi biriyani was served. For making kachchi the finest quality of rice is used, which costs around Taka 80.00 per kilo.
LORD Acton said: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." So not dictatorship, but democracy -- a government of not one man but of all people -- is now the norm in almost all the developed and developing countries of the world.
LAST July, Washington made some brief, if mostly unexamined, news in East Africa when it announced a $15 million grant to the Kenyan government to help with "law and order" issues. The funding came a full six months before last December's disputed Kenyan election and the subsequent wave of violence that is now flowing, amoebalike, across the country. For outside observers the cash injection may have seemed odd, given Kenya's positive political and economic track record.