The Daily Star

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Saturday, November 29, 2014


News of: Saturday, 19th of January, 2008

Front Page

ACC drive sluggish for poor manpower, expertise

The Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) drive against institutional corruption launched with much publicity at the end of last year has yet to gather pace.

Call for token class boycott in all institutions Wednesday

Students of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday called for a one-hour class boycott at all the educational institutions across the country on January 23 as part of their ongoing movement to get the detained four DU teachers and a student released.

AL asks govt for formal dialogue proposal

Awami League (AL) yesterday asked the government to come up with a formal proposal for dialogue and its agenda.

Khaleda to be freed on parole today

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will be released on parole today as her mother Taiyeba Majumder died last night in Dinajpur.

Local terrorists have no significant int'l link, says expert

Bangladesh is vulnerable to al-Qaeda's ideological influence but there are very small international linkages between local and international terrorist networks, according to a research by a global al-Qaeda expert.

Militants preaching jihad in Patuakhali

Islamist militants are organising again in Patuakhali under the banner of Hizbut Tauhid, an Islamist organisation which is still operating legally in the country while propagating jihad through distributing books and leaflets among villagers including school children.

EARTH Foundation fleeces 76 businesses of Tk 31cr

EARTH Foundation has fleeced as many as 76 businesses of over Tk 30.63 crore due for various goods and equipment supplied to the organisation, said the affected business owners.

A little attention can make it a prime tourism spot

Picturesque hill district of Khagrachhari, despite having plenty of natural features to be a prime tourist destination, is losing out due to absence of cellular communication and modern tourism facilities.

Address some crucial issues urgently or they may cast a shadow on election

Holding a free, fair and credible general election may be mired in uncertainty if issues like spiralling prices of essentials, food shortage, unrest in garments sector and discontent over release of detained Dhaka University (DU) teachers and students are not addressed immediately on a priority basis.

DB, Rab recover chopped off head, body of Dr Mofakkhar

Detectives and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel recovered the decapitated body and the head of Dr Mofakkharul Ahmed, registrar of Bangladesh Medical College Hospital, from Gaibandha yesterday, eight days into his missing.

1500-yr-old brick structure excavated in Bogra

The Department of Archaeology recently excavated brick structure of a temple more than 1,500 years old and a dilapidated wall from the Gupta dynasty at the Vasu Bihara site of Shibganj upazila in Bogra.

Pintu's bail prayers rejected, taken on 3-day remand

Former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu was yesterday taken on a three-day remand in connection with the grenade attacks on Awami League rally on August 21 in 2004.

Foggy weather disrupts ferry

The capital witnessed light foggy weather throughout the day with a partly cloudy sky yesterday due to a low prevailing in the west.

Letter to edn adviser for release of RU students

Students of Rajshahi University (RU) have urged the education adviser to take necessary steps for the release of 10 RU students and an employee convicted in a case for torching a DGFI vehicle.

Pro-Saifur group wants to join dialogue

The pro-Saifur faction of BNP wants to participate in political dialogue with the caretaker government as mainstream BNP after disposal of the writ petition filed by the pro-Khaleda faction over electoral talks with Election Commission (EC).

Laldighi Park opens after a decade

Laldighi Park developed at the picturesque Laldighi, a lake in the centre of the port city, was inaugurated yesterday after a 10-year wait.

Freedom fighter Lt Col Qadir's grave traced after 36 years

He disappeared at a time when people were being killed everyday, leaving his family in a sudden and total loss, from which they would never be able to recover.

Anniversary of Zia's birth today

Today is the 72nd birth anniversary of late president Ziaur Rahman, the founder of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Bird flu: 1000 chicken culled in Rangpur

District livestock department culled about 1000 chickens at Nipu Poultry farm in the town on Thursday night after detection of avian influenza in some dead birds of the farm.

Pratibha Patil for judo, karate training to girl students

Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil suggested girl students be given training in judo and karate to help them self-defend against attempts of molestation and teasing.

Thaksin allies cleared to form government

Thailand's Supreme Court yesterday cleared the way for allies of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra to form a government, rejecting legal challenges to their victory in last month's polls.

al-Qaeda, tribal leader behind Benazir killing: CIA chief

al-Qaeda and allies of Pakistani tribal leader Baitullah Mehsud were behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the US intelligence chief was quoted as saying Friday.

Clashes break out in 2 southern Iraqi cities

Violent clashes broke out simultaneously on Friday in Iraq's southern cities of Basra and Nasiriyah between members of a Shia messianic sect and Iraq's security forces, police said.

Nicholas Burns to step down

The third highest-ranking official at the US State Department and the pointman in talks to step up sanctions on Iran, Nicholas Burns, is quitting his job, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday.

Musharraf to start 4-nation Europe tour tomorrow

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is to leave Sunday on a four-nation European tour that will take him to Britain, France, Belgium and the World Economic Forum in Davos, officials said yesterday.

Editorial

Media manipulation

The concocted story and tailored image shown recently on London based television channel Bangla TV as that of Tarique Rahman being tortured on remand is but a vulgar attempt at maligning the government and the judicial system of the country not to mention the noble profession of journalism. The crudity of the whole episode speaks loudly of how low the perpetrators can stoop in their desperation to attain a political objective. It was devoid of truth and ethical standards that journalists must abide by in their professional work. The media world at home and abroad join hands to condemn the act with the strongest of words.

ADP implementation status

Amid-term review on the progress of ADP implementation has revealed a dismal picture. Only 16 per cent of the financial targets has been met from July to November, 2007. At this rate, it is well-nigh impossible to implement the remainder 84 per cent in the next seven months of the fiscal year. Such an obvious statement, however, may not ruffle seasoned bureaucrats. For, in most years, at the corresponding point in time, the rate of progress on ADP had been rather low -- between 20 and 22 per cent. Of course, this year it has hit the nadir but that is just part of established pattern.

National University question leakage : Genesis of the problem

The incident of leakage of 2nd year Honours English compulsory questions for examinations 2006 of the National University for the second time on 12 January last has stunned the whole nation. Shockingly the examinations held once before on November 11 last had to be cancelled later on the same ground of question leakage. Nothing could be more shocking for a nation that has put the highest priority on education through budgetary allocation to be exposed to such disgraceful situation, especially for a university level education where men of sterling qualities are supposed to handle the affairs.

Palestine and the Middle East peace process

The recent Annapolis Conference and US President G.W Bush's visit to the area has thrust the Middle East issue again to center-stage. The last time the United States convened a full-blown Middle East summit, at Camp David in 2000, it collapsed. The vacuum left behind was filled a few months later by violence that continues till today -- at a much lower level, but it never stops threatening to get worse.

Muharram teaches us to be just and honest

We may recall here that a distinguished poet has aptly observed that the Muharram crescent has appeared in the sky so that the people of the world will once again start wailing recalling the martyrdom embraced by the beloved grandson of holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him)! Hazrat Imam Hussain (A), on the burning sands of Karbala more than 1400 years ago while fighting an unequal war on the day of Ashura i.e. on the 10th day of the holy lunar month of Muharram, with 4,000 soldiers sent by the local governor of Kufa on behalf of his master cruel hearted Yazid, son of erstwhile deceased Caliph Hazrat Muawia.

Sports

Tigers sound satisfied!

No matter how frustrated one became by watching the Tigers in New Zealand, captain Mohammad Ashraful believed that they did not return home empty-handed.

India on the verge

An impressive opening spell by Irfan Pathan rocked Australia's bid for a world record 17th successive win in the third Test against India at the WACA Friday.

Very, very steely

It was family day here at the WACA. Any youngster less than 15 years of age, if accompanied by someone older, would be allowed free entry. Many parents might have brought their kids along hoping for a special innings from VVS Laxman, a rubber-wristed masterclass where he usually races along in fifth gear.

Mauresmo crashes out

The top women's seeds advanced to the Australian Open fourth round in contrasting styles Friday but former champion Amelie Mauresmo was dumped from the tournament she won just two years ago.

Fischer passes away

Chess legend Bobby Fischer, whose tortured genius earned him both worldwide acclaim and disdain, has died at the age of 64 at his home in Iceland.

BFF to work on demands

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) acting president Monir Ahmed on Friday said he would sit with league committee chairman Abdur Rahim to resolve the problem arising out of the threat by the national footballers' various demands.

Arambagh post second win

Surud struck the only goal as Arambagh registered their second win in the Metropolis Senior Division Football League beating Purbachal Parishad at the Bir Shreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Stadium at Kamalapur yesterday.

Daily Star end in style

Despite suffering the ignominy of a first round exit, The Daily Star bowed out with their heads held high after thumping Ittefaq by five wickets in their final group game at the Maulana Bhashani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Roddick sent packing

American Andy Roddick lost his cool and his chances of a first Australian Open title when he was upset in the third round by German 29th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber in a Friday night thriller.

Laxman praises tail

Indian batsman VVS Laxman praised the support of his batting partners after the Indian tail put on 134 potentially critical runs in the third Test against Australia at the WACA Ground on Friday.

Massive wins for Ansar, Ispahani

There were big wins for Ansar & VDP, Ispahani Sporting Club and Khulna Women's Cricket Academy while Digital Vision won their opening match on the second day of competition at the Parachute Women's Open cricket tournament yesterday.

Master of nuances

It's incredible how 600 Test wickets has become a routine milestone. That Anil Kumble would get there had been apparent for a year, that he would get there so quickly in this series was perhaps not expected. When he got to 400 wickets in 2004, he had said it would be nice to get to 500. At the rate he has been going it is conceivable he joins his illustrious comrades and rivals, Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralidaran, in the 700-club.

'Shoaib still No 1'

Pakistan cricket legend Imran Khan on Friday backed maverick fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, saying he has been dropped as a "scapegoat" for the team's series loss to India.

Pak pick three rookies

Pakistani cricket selectors Friday named three uncapped players in a 15-man squad for the start of their one-day series against Zimbabwe, saying they wanted to build for the future.

ECB names Miller as chief selector

The former England off-spinner, Geoff Miller, has on Friday been named in the newly created post of National Selector, thus bringing to an end the 11-year reign of the former chairman of selectors, David Graveney.

Asian U-14 tennis from today

The Mobil ITF Asian under-14 boys' & girls' championship was inaugurated with a training camp on Friday at the Ramna National Tennis Court Complex.

Saif emerges U-16 champ

Abdullah Al Saif emerged champion of the 28th National Sub-Junior (under-16) Chess Championship beating Mosabbir Hossain in a playoff match at the federation hall-room yesterday.

BIJF off to good start

Bangladesh ICT Journalists' Forum (BIJF) defeated BDCom by 42 runs in the opening match of Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS) Cricket Fiesta at Kalabagan Club ground yesterday.

'Players never under fire'

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram on Friday urged the Australian team to continue their tour of Pakistan despite another bomb attack killing at least 10 people this week.

Zim coach eyes Test return

Zimbabwe's route back to Test cricket may not have been finalised just yet, but their coach Robin Brown feels the day his side play a Test match again may not be as far away as people imagine.

School kabaddi

Segun Bagicha High School were off to a winning start with a 53-43 victory with three creditable `lonas' over Nayarhat Gano Bidyapith in the Dhaka DC School Kabaddi competition at the Outer Stadium Kabaddi Court yesterday.

Gebrselassie wins Dubai Marathon

Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie won the Dubai Marathon on Friday and prize money of 250,000 dollars, although he failed to beat the world record time of 2hr 04min 26sec he set in Berlin in September.

Nadal sneaks through

Rafael Nadal used his get out of jail card while Nikolay Davydenko rallied his way from the baseline into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.

Madrid readies for derby

Spanish league leaders Real Madrid hope to bounce straight back from their shock mid-week Spanish Cup exit when they tackle city rivals Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

Tough test for Milan

AC Milan face a crucial Champions League qualification test when they travel to Udinese this weekend.

Nervy times for Gunners

The start of Kevin Keegan's second spell in charge of Newcastle is likely to attract greater attention but Arsenal's ability to stay the pace with Manchester United in the title battle will also be under intense scrutiny this weekend.

Ronaldo is the best: Kaka

World player of the year Kaka paid tribute to club and international teammate Ronaldo on Thursday, claiming he is still 'Il Fenomeno'.

Hip-hop Henin

A very public divorce, two Grand Slam titles, a seven-month winning streak, hip-hop dance lessons, and a bid for election to the International Olympic Committee.

Lyon aim to bounce back

Six-time French champions Lyon will bid to consolidate their league lead with an away win against third-from-bottom Lens this weekend.

Inter crush Reggina

Inter Milan set up an Italian Cup quarterfinal tie with Juventus after beating Reggina 3-0 at home on Thursday and 7-1 on aggregate.

Adriano gets off to dream start

Inter Milan's outcast striker Adriano made a dream start to his six-month loan spell in Brazil on Thursday by scoring both goals in Sao Paulo's 2-1 state championship win at Guaratingueta.

Business

Law on cards to fine errant shrimp hatcheries

The government is set to introduce a law for shrimp hatcheries, incorporating for the first time a provision of financial penalty for failure to keep shrimp products free from germs.

Tea output misses target slightly in 2007

The country's tea production missed the target slightly in 2007 as the output of the crop reached 56 million kg against the target of 60 million kg.

Private land phone firms get good responses

Private land phone operators are receiving good responses from visitors at the annual Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF).

State of Bangladesh economy in FY2007-08 (I)

First six months of FY2007-08 (henceforth FY08) have passed. During this period, the economy faced two successive floods in August and September, devastating cyclone Sidr in November and increased prices of essential commodities. These have raised concerns as to whether the macroeconomic targets set for FY08 could be achieved. The present review assesses the performance of major macroeconomic indicators. The review analyses the performance of the public finance and monetary sector, and the real sector.

ADB admits problems over lending to poor nations

The Asian Development Bank admitted in an internal study released Friday that some of its loans to poor countries over the last few years had failed to achieve all their goals.

Asian shares close mixed amid US recession fears

Asian shares closed mixed Friday after recovering from panic selling triggered by US economic woe as investors pinned their hopes on urgent moves to avoid recession in the world's largest economy.

Bush readies stimulus plan as economic woes deepen

The White House prepared to unveil a stimulus plan Friday amid more grim economic news that has united lawmakers and the Federal Reserve chief on the need to revive flagging US growth.

World trade pact possible this year

A new world trade pact is possible this year, but it is still too early to schedule a trade ministers' meeting to seal the deal, US Trade Representative Susan Schwab said Thursday.

Citi awards today

The names of the winners of Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA) 2007 in four categories will be announced today, says a press release.

Nepal set to launch biggest IPO in its history

Nepal Telecom (NT), the largest telecom operator in Nepal, is set to launch the country's biggest initial public offering (IPO) from next Wednesday to sell 15 million unit shares--a 10 per cent stake--that would raise at least 9 billion rupees (US$126.61 million).

India to meet wheat output target

India, the world's second largest wheat producer, expects to meet the production target of 75.5 million tonnes this season and has no immediate plans for any more imports, a minister said Friday.

Summit Power to set up two power plants

Summit Purbanchol Power Company Ltd, a subsidiary of Summit Power Ltd, on Thursday signed an agreement with AEG Engineering Ltd for setting up two power plants in Narayanganj and Comilla each having a capacity of 33 MW, says a press release.

US, Malaysia make progress in FTA talks

The United States is hopeful of concluding its free trade agreement (FTA) talks with Malaysia by this summer following an encouraging progress of discussions on several key issues during its sixth round of negotiation this week, local media reported Friday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

January 13-January 17, 2008

Metropolitan

8 killed in road crashes

Eight people were killed and 17 others were injured in separate road accidents in Comilla, Madaripur and Netrakona yesterday.

Afforestation policy endangers wildlife

The present afforestation policy has endangered Bangladesh's rare species of wildlife because it is unsuitable for her ecological balance and biodiversity.

Take steps for rehabilitation of Sidr victims: CPB

Leaders of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) stressed the need for effective steps for rehabilitation programme in Sidr-affected areas.

2 lakh hectares of land become barren in southern region

Due to lack of proper scientific planning almost two lakh hectares of cultivable land became barren in last five years in the southern region of the country.

Condolence meeting on Selim Al Deen at JU today

Jahangirnagar University (JU) will hold a condolence meeting today for renowned playwright and teacher of the department of Drama and Dramatics Prof Selim Al Deen.

'Justice Sobhan always stood by the oppressed’

Bangladesh Hindu Bouddha Christian Oikya Parishad organised a discussion yesterday to commemorate the death of Justice KM Sobhan, says a press release.

34pc work of 3rd Karnaphuli Bridge completed

Construction work of Tk 590 crore third Karnaphuli Bridge in Chittagong is going on in full swing.

Chemistry Olympiad held in city

Bangladesh Chemistry Olympiad was held for the first time

Divisional Math Olympiad held in Khagrachhari

The 6th Divisional Mathematical Olympiad was held on Khagrachhari Government High School premises yesterday.

Artists' workshop held in Bogra

A workshop of artists from home and abroad was held in Bogra yesterday.

80 schoolgirls get free textbooks in Benapole

Four affluent figures in Sharsha distributed textbooks among 80 poor but meritorious girls studying in class six at Sharsha High School in Benapole yesterday.

Dhaka views Sino-Indian cooperation positively

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said Bangladesh views the growing Sino-Indian cooperation positively.

16th anniversary of Nirmul Committee today

Today is the 16th founding anniversary of Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee.

BBC Bangladesh Sanglap today

The 21st edition of the BBC World Service's Bangladesh Sanglap will be held at Kurigram Govt Girls' High School in Kurigram at 2:45pm today.

BAU admission test results published

Results of the first year admission test under six faculties of the Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) have been published, says a press release.

Ex-MP Obaidul Huq passes away

Shaikhul Hadith Maulana Obaidul Huq, a former MP and leader of Bangladesh Khelafat Majlish, passed away at his residence in the city on Thursday night at the age of 80.

Crime Reporters' Assoc executives

Madhusudan Mandal and Azhar Mahmud were elected president and general secretary of the Crime Reporters' Association of Bangladesh (CRAB) yesterday.

Bidisha makes allegations against Ershad

Bidisha yesterday made allegations that her ex-husband HM Ershad kept her and their son Eric confined to her Baridhara flat by deploying goons.

Exhibition of sculpture

A 15-day exhibition of sculpture and artworks by Ivy Zaman will begin at Gallery Shilpangan in the city today, says a press release.

National

CHT ecology threatened by illegal rock extraction

Illegal extraction of rocks from hills goes on unabated in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), posing a serious threat to the ecology.

Murder, abduction decline in Jhenidah, rape increases

Incidents of murder and abduction marked a decline in six upazilas of Jhenidah district last year but those of robbery hovered around the previous year's figure, according to police, and other sources.

Multinationals try to push in hybrid paddy seeds

Agents of multinational companies have started propagation in a bid to introduce one-time usable foreign hybrid paddy seeds in the Sidr-affected southern region, where scarcity of high yielding local varieties of paddy seeds loom large.

Jute workers demand arrears by Jan 22

Casual workers of six jute mills in Khulna-Jessore industrial belt yesterday urged the project directors of the mills to pay their arrears from the fund allocated by the government on Thursday.

Removal of Devashis demanded

Parbattya Chattagram Somo Odhikar Andolan, a platform of Bengali settlers here, yesterday demanded immediate removal of Chakma circle chief Barrister Devashis Roy from the post of special assistant to the Chief Advisor (CA) of Caretaker Government.

New committee of Sylhet Bar

Dewan Golam Rabbani Chwodhury and Sarwar Ahmed Chowdhury have been elected president and general secretary of Sylhet District Bar Association.

UNO sued by woman UP chairman

A woman Union Parishad chairman has sued Agoiljhara Upazila Nirbahi Officer for allegedly trying to abuse her sexually.

2 killed in Sylhet clash over land

Two people have been killed and 24 others sustained injuries in a rivals' clash over land at Aglospur village in Golapganj upazila on Thursday, police said.

International

Israel locks down Gaza

Israel has ordered all border crossings into Gaza temporarily closed, further slashing the flow of vital supplies to the coastal strip in a bid to pressure its Hamas rulers to stop rocket attacks into Israeli towns, defence officials said yesterday.

Tigers kill 10 civilians, says Lankan military

Sri Lanka's military yesterday accused Tamil Tiger rebels of killing at least 10 civilians in the south as violence between the two sides escalates following the formal end of a ceasefire.

Kenya opposition vows strikes, boycotts

Their protests weakened by a harsh police crackdown, Kenya's opposition said yesterday it would turn to economic boycotts and strikes to keep up pressure against President Mwai Kibaki over his disputed re-election.

Pak gunships kill 8 militants

Pakistani military gunship helicopters opened fire on two cars near a contested fort near the Afghan border, killing eight Islamist militants, the army said on Friday.

Bhutan elections set for March 24

Bhutan will hold its first democratic elections in March, the latest step in the transformation of the Himalayan nation where Buddhist kings reigned supreme.

‘N Korea unlikely to abandon nukes’

North Korea is unlikely to abandon its nuclear weapons before US President George W. Bush leaves office in January 2009, his special envoy said Thursday, calling for a revamp of six-party talks to end the crisis.

Bush confrontational, says Iran president

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that President Bush sent a "message of confrontation" during his recent Mideast trip.

Laden son wants to be peace activist

Omar Osama bin Laden bears a striking resemblance to his notorious father except for the dreadlocks that dangle halfway down his back. Then there's the black leather biker jacket.

Undernutrition kills 3.5m children a year

Undernutrition is to blame for 3.5 million deaths among children aged under five each year, but most of the fatalities occur in 20 countries, where targeted aid programmes could swiftly address the problem, researchers say. Most of the deaths are inflicted indirectly by stunting and poor resistance to disease, and two of the biggest culprits are lack of vitamin A and zinc during the mother's pregnancy and the child's first two years of life, they say.

Ignorance of dangers hampers India bird flu fight

Health workers urged villagers at the centre of a bird flu outbreak in West Bengal to stop dumping dead fowl in ponds on Friday, as ignorance about the virus hampers efforts to contain its spread.

BA plane crash-lands at Heathrow airport

A British Airways plane crash-landed at London's Heathrow airport on Thursday, slightly injuring 18 passengers and triggering an inquiry into why the Boeing 777 flying in from Beijing landed short of the runway.

UNSC laments lack of progress on Myanmar

The Security Council on Thursday bemoaned the slow progress in initiating democratic reforms in Myanmar and pressed for an early visit to the country by UN mediator Ibrahim Gambari.

Thai official claims al-Qaeda funding Muslim militants

Thailand's government spokesman Friday for the first time claimed al- Qaeda is funding Islamic separatists in the southern provinces, but the prime minister swiftly said any support is only ideological.

Hillary tries to mend ties to blacks

Hillary Rodham Clinton and her campaign tried to mend ties to black voters Thursday when a key supporter apologized to her chief rival, Barack Obama, for comments that hinted at Obama's drug use as a teenager.

Bush backs 'full scope' of Iran findings

US President George W Bush endorses the "full scope" of last month's US intelligence findings on Iran, the White House said Thursday after Bush seemed to distance himself from the report.

Iran receives nuke fuel from Russia

Iran received a third shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia yesterday for a power plant being constructed in the southern port of Bushehr, state radio reported.

Iran still aiding Iraq insurgents

Iran is still training and funding insurgents attacking coalition troops in Iraq, the second highest US general serving in the country said Thursday.

US blitz on al-Qaeda targets outside Baghdad

The US military said on Friday it had renewed its air blitz on al-Qaeda targets south of Baghdad, dropping bombs on sites it said were training camps for the Jihadi network.

Arts & Entertainment

The end of the event

Tenth Dhaka International Film Festival, the biggest event of its kind in the country, ended yesterday at the National Museum Auditorium. Though initially the organiser Rainbow Film Society announced that the nine-day festival would continue at five venues, which began on January 10, was held at only two venues: Central Public Library Auditorium and National Museum Auditorium.

Blue waves of Buriganga

Arif-Al Karim Bhuyian, who has his solo watercolour display at the Zoom Gallery, Alliance Francaise, was praised by the chief guest Rafiqun Nabi and Moinuddin Khalid. Jacques Bounin, the deputy director of Alliance Francaise, also spoke of the artist in glowing terms at the recent opening.

“Homeguti Khela”: A traditional game marked with festivity

The two-century-old traditional “Homeguti Khela” was recently held at the Boroiata field in Laxmipur village, Phulbaria Upazila, some 16 kilometer away from the district town. Thousands of enthusiastic people from near and far thronged the venue and enjoyed the game. According to the organisers, the sport is held annually.

OP-ED

The perils of extremism

The suicide gun and bomb arrack on Benazir Bhutto killing her along with more than two dozen of her party activists compels us to think yet once again on the menace of endemic extremism. The people of Bangladesh hardly have any reason to feel comfortable in the thought that the government has tackled extremism effectively and thus we have got rid of militancy menace.

Bordering on progress

Reports from China on the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are so much full of clichés like "positive," "breakthrough" and "meeting of minds" that it is difficult to get the real picture. Both countries, giants in their own way, follow different ideologies and have done well economically. But they are suspicious of each other. Has Manmohan Singh's trip allayed the distrust which the two have harboured for years?

Decentralisation must for good governance

On 3 June 2007, the interim government formed a seven-member committee to strengthen local government (LG) system headed by a retired bureaucrat. After five months' relentless efforts, the committee came up with some concrete suggestions by recommending four sets of Ordinances. One of such Ordinance titled Local Government Commission (LGC) is the subject matter of this discussion. We congratulate the proposition as this is, so far, the most impressing and significant step in the history of local government of Bangladesh.

StarTech

Cisco offers next-gen IT solutions

It was a cold winter morning on January 14. Tech gurus, business executives and enthusiasts rushed to Cisco Showcase 2008 (CS 2008), an enchanting tech exposition by Cisco at Radisson Water Garden Hotel in Dhaka.

Apple unveils world's thinnest laptop

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs on Tuesday unveiled an ultra-slim MacBook Air laptop computer that he billed as the world's leanest laptop.

BASIS SoftExpo 2008 starts Feb 14

Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), the apex body of software industry is going to hold its annual mega exposition Basis SoftExpo 2008 at the Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre (BCFCC) from February 14-18.

Literature

9:50

The mercury coating had chipped off from the bathroom mirror - fifteen years ago it would have sufficed to say this much. Today there was absolutely no use making such a statement, since the notion of a flawlessly mercury-coated mirror had departed from the heart of Zaman Sahib a good while back. But then the departure had not been total, since the parting mercury had dutifully left marks of its prior presence at various places, so that even today our nearly eighty-year-old Zaman Sahib could recognize this four-cornered, ghostly object as a mirror in the bathroom of his two-storied house in Maghbazar. It wasn't that he shaved staring at the mirror, where both eyes and mirror were nearly incorporeal, but it was a necessity for him to stand at least once a day in front of the legendary object in the dim bathroom. And standing here every day he pondered on the unimaginable dialogues, those that appeared in life without any provocation, thoughts that forcibly dragged the disciplined man outside the normal frame, made him completely dizzy.

The Ubud Experience: An Exotic Writers' Festival

I must confess that these days I am rather wary of attending Writers' Festivals. It could be that I am jaded after the overexposure to the relentless grind and repetitive nature of such occasions and the pretensions and hype that go with them. Whether it is in Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide, you constantly see harried publicists, wearing frowns and furrowed eyebrows, barking into their mobiles, literary agents, who have to be diplomatic keep their cool, as authors want better deals for their forthcoming books, publishers and the upper echelons of the industry with baronial miens, as though the feudal system is still in place and, of course, academics lamenting the paucity of intellectually rigorous literature and the demise of high culture. Nothing really changes except the venues.

A Razakar Haunted

We marvel at your sensitivity
and reprove for the word 'hunt’
as if, in the phrase 'how to hunt a razakar’
it is not 'razakar' that bears the brunt
of your ire. You insist, the word 'hunt’
incites murder!

Platitude

And here we are.
No, not where
We started.
But midway to nowhere
somewhere tentatively
between yes and maybe.

Remonstration

I cannot feast upon your eyes nor swoon upon your breast
I cannot pant nor for that matter pine
I am not the species that age does not miraculously wither
I cannot rejuvenate what has gone beyond its prime.

Strategic Issues

Pakistan robbed of democracy

Benazir Bhutto returned from self-exile with the intention of ensuring that the military dictatorship in Pakistan was ended and respectable democracy restored.

Realities and challenges to Bangladesh foreign policy: Global scenario

In Asia, China and India appear to be agents of change in the new world order and their rise will have reverberations across the world.

NATO outsources additional airlift for Afghanistan

NATO has awarded a contract to Mesopotamia Group LLC for additional airlift for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

New Delhi delays defence reforms again

Industrial reform in India, which will see competition for the first time between state-owned and private defence companies, has been further delayed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), a spokesman said on 18 December.

Japanese destroyer scores hit during SM-3 test

JDS Kongou, a 9,485-ton Japanese destroyer, has successfully completed a test firing of the Raytheon Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block 1A, scoring a hit on medium-range ballistic missile target on 17 December.

Star Books Review

Retracing the old proto-historic migrations

The Vedic civilisation is still an enigma. Mystery in the dating of the civilisation, whether it is actually a material civilisation, where its original homeland was, etc., are questions that still exercise minds worldwide. There are two distinct schools that hold two opposing views. One is the European trend that puts the homeland somewhere in the southern Russian steppes or around the Caspian and Black Sea or even in north Europe. The other school (mostly Indian scholars) suggests it is actually northern India. However, the general belief is of a central Asian steppe homeland, from where later migrations took place. These proto-historic migrations took the Indo-European (IE) languages far and wide. One group went to western Europe and ended up becoming Germanic and Balto-Slavic languages. Another major branch took the IE speaking people to modern Iran and India where they gave way to old Persian and Sanskrit languages. All these major branches then bred their own daughter languages. There are also the Anatolian language in the Asia Minor region and the now-dead Tocharian languages in Chinese Turkmenistan which originated from proto-IE languages. Philologists believe that all these languages, spoken by most Eurasians, were once together in proto-history and manifested themselves in proto-IE languages. One can create important word roots that were once believed to be spoken by proto-IE people. However, whether they were the real language or not one may never know.

Insects trapped in beautiful amber

It would be difficult to imagine a more breath-taking and disturbing novel than Maps for Lost Lovers by the widely-praised and award-winning writer, Nadeem Aslam. The beauty of the author's language, the lush descriptions that almost jump off the page, are set against the background of a plot filled with mayhem and characters so emotional and bitter about one another that they'd best not share the same room. It is no understatement that the author, who was born in Pakistan and currently lives in England, is one of the finest writers in the English language today.

The healing power of love

The first paragraph of A Bend in the Road begins in the words of the narrator of the story. The story is a first person narrative. However, the identity of the narrator is withheld till the last moment. The narrator begins with his view of the complexity of life. He writes, “Where does a story truly begin? In life there are seldom clear-cut beginnings, those moments when we can, in looking back, say that everything started. Yet there are moments when fate intersects with our daily lives, setting in motion a sequence of events whose outcome we could never have foreseen.”

What diplomats should, and should not, do

Craig Murray lives these days in quite pitiable conditions in London with his Uzbek girlfriend Nadira. In these past few years he has been a candidate for a parliamentary seat and then rector of a university. It was in Blackburn that he took on Jack Straw, the man he considers his nemesis, at the 2005 elections. He lost, but then he actually did not expect to win. It was his way of getting back at the man who he believes linked up with the mandarins in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Straw was then foreign secretary) to deprive him of his job as British ambassador to Uzbekistan.

At a glance

Subhas Chandra Bose
The Man and His Times
Lt. Gen. (ret.) Eric A. Vas
Lancer Publishers

More than sixty years after his mysterious disappearance, Bose continues to exercise a hold on the imagination in South Asia. For all the research on Gandhi and Nehru, there has always been the feeling that the Indian nationalist soul was best exemplified by Bose. This work explains why he remains head and shoulders above the others.



The Daily Star

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