News of: Saturday, 26th of January, 2008
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In an unprecedented incident, the three-day Biswa Ijtema, ostensibly the second largest yearly congregation of the Muslims, on the bank of Turag River at Tongi was cut short on its inaugural day yesterday due to an inclement weather that had caused deaths of at least three pilgrims.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday told leaders of World Economic Forum (WEF) that Bangladesh is facing two vitally important issues--access of Bangladeshi products to the markets of developed countries including the US, and adapting to the impact of global warming causing changes in the climate.
Despite repeated recommendations from experts, the government has yet to take any tangible action towards realising Ganga Barrage Project.
Gas supply in Ashulia and Aminbazar areas was restored yesterday night after the Titas Gas authorities repaired the damaged underwater gas pipeline on the bed of River Turag at Aminbazar in Savar.
Activists of militant outfit Allahr Dal are regrouping in the south-western part of the country.
Trial of the two cases filed for the assassination of former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria remains pending before the Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal here for over one and a half years after a High Court stay.
Government officials allege that locals are stealing bricks from the remnants of the 2000-year old city of Pundra Nagar, a fenced reserved site in Bogra which could soon be listed as a world heritage site.
Crows in Dinajpur town and its adjacent areas are dying in large numbers while at least 4,700 poultry birds were culled in the district as they were infected with bird flu.
Life in the capital and elsewhere in the country was disrupted for the second day yesterday as chilly wind and drizzles continued with fog and clouds preventing sunlight.
Pallabi police yesterday registered a case following Thursday's court order against Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami, Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid and eight others as they were accused of massacre during the Liberation War.
Participants in the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet this year are not in a good mood. They are worried about the economy sliding towards a difficult time.
Currently detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia advised her party leaders to start the groundwork for contesting in the upcoming 9th parliamentary election scheduled for the end of the year, party sources said.
Ashulia police dug out the bodies of father and son from a farmland beside the Dhaka-Aricha Highway at Nayarhat yesterday.
Over 1,000 people including government officials, business leaders, journalists, crime-busters, entertainers and civil society representatives from more than 100 nations will gather in Bali of Indonesia for a United Nations (UN) anti-corruption conference beginning Monday.
Democracy, education and economic development can help fight poverty and extremism, South Asian and Arab leaders observed here Thursday.
The military-backed caretaker government asked the private television channels to avoid telecasting all kinds of live talk shows, sources said.
Police yesterday pressed charges against Monirul Ahsan Madina in connection with an arms case. Madina is an accused in the Udichi blast case of 1999 and in the grenade attack case on an Awami League rally in August 21, 2004.
The ongoing foggy cold weather has disrupted supply of vegetables, causing increase in its prices in the capital and incurring loss to traders since a good quantity of vegetables are rotting every day.
The Netherlands yesterday offered its expertise in water management in Bangladesh as Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende held bilateral talks with Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) meeting.
Customs authorities at Zia International Airport (ZIA) seized 8.10 lakh Saudi riyal worth about Tk 1.40 crore from two Singapore bound passengers on Thursday night.
Former BNP lawmaker Fazlul Huq Milon has been sued for lifting sand illegally from the shoals of the Shitalakkhya.
India and France agreed yesterday to strengthen military cooperation and move beyond a "buyer-seller relationship," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi resigned on Thursday following 20 rocky months in office after the centre-left leader lost a vote of confidence in the Senate.
Indian health authorities battled yesterday to stop the country's worst bird flu outbreak from spreading to the densely populated city of Kolkata as heavy rain hampered culling efforts.
A senior intelligence officer investigating killings largely blamed on Syria was slain along with three other people in a car bombing in the Lebanese capital yesterday, security officials said.
At the world stage Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed has forcefully reiterated his government's commitment to holding national elections by the end of 2008. Speaking at the plenary session on the Quest for Peace and Stability at the World Economic Forum, the CA regarded the 'biggest challenge of Bangladesh' as ensuring the sustainability of the policy and institutional reforms of the caretaker government beyond the elections.
The incident of underwater gas pipeline going up in flames on the riverbed of river Turag after having been hit by a passing trawler is a deplorable one indeed. The accident damaged the gas pipeline, burnt away huge amount of gas and also damaged wires of an electric transmission line overhead. It was a double loss of national resource and property. It is also a glaring example of how our precious national property remains unprotected and at the mercy of some careless people.
There are credible reports to understand that an appropriate legislation to fight the menace of terrorism may see the light of the day in the not-too-distant future. The advisory council has reportedly made some observations on the draft legislation and the law ministry is expected to come up with a revised version shortly. According to media reports, one element of such observations relates to the phrasing of an acceptable and workable definition of terrorism. This writer wishes to take the opportunity to share his thoughts on ideas and some concepts on the subject.
A feeling of relief has swept across the EU after the recent signing of the Lisbon Treaty late last year. Apprehension still exists about the subsequent ratification process but it is now generally agreed that the last Council has been a "watershed" for the EU. A year ago, few observers would have predicted that, at the end of 2007, the EU would be ready to move on after having agreed on a new Treaty.
Will you arrest anybody and identify him by any name that suits your case?" a judge asked the police while setting Aftab Alam Ansari free. He was imprisoned on suspicion that he was involved in the serial blasts at the courts in Lucknow some two years ago. He is an electrician working at Kolkata in the government's power corporation. He was picked up from there. The UP Police chief described him as "a hard core" belonging to the Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI). Sheepishly, the police have admitted that it was a case of "mistaken identity."
Captain Anil Kumble fell short of a second Test century but India's tail wagged strongly to help the tourists post a big score in the fourth Test against Australia here Friday.
Serbian young gun Novak Djokovic ended defending champion Roger Federer's record run of 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals to power into the Australian Open decider on Friday.
Veteran Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist vowed to depart cricket on his own terms here Friday after claiming the world record for dismissals during the fourth Test against India.
A quest to put things right after an Australian Open final thrashing at the hands of Serena Williams last year has inspired Maria Sharapova's drive for this year's title.
Although the capital and most districts of the country were under the spell of un-seasonal rain making the winter bitter, tourists in sunny Cox's Bazar yesterday enjoyed the first day of the National Kite Festival with plenty of cheer.
GP-BCB Academy team's second one-day match against hosts Hong Kong was abandoned due to rain yesterday.
SA Zaker got rid of Ibrahim Hossain in the sixth round to take solo lead with an all-win record in the Metropolis selection chess tournament at the federation hall-room yesterday.
It finally ended five minutes before noon, what could possibly have been Sachin Tendulkar's final masterpiece in the land that has adopted him as a beloved hero, and the passage of play that preceded the dismissal was stirring, featuring another compelling battle between the best bowler and the best batsman of the series.
Captain Graeme Smith made 86 as South Africa recovered from a shaky start in the second one-day international against the West Indies at Newlands Friday.
Four-time champions Ghana put one foot in the African Nations Cup quarter-finals on Thursday after a slender 1-0 win over a revitalised Namibia.
Some people are already saying Real Madrid have the Spanish league wrapped up after just 20 games but Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy warned his teammates not to get too complacent ahead of Sunday's match with Villarreal.
In the last season and a half there is only one team that Inter Milan have failed to beat and this weekend the reigning champions and league leaders will try to correct that statistic.
Manchester United face their biggest game of the season so far when a revitalised Tottenham arrive at Old Trafford this weekend for the pick of the fourth round ties in the FA Cup.
Premier League clubs have spent a record amount on January transfer deals this year, despite the threat of global recession and chaos in credit markets around the world.
Tottenham have agreed a 7 million pound deal with Middlesbrough for Jonathan Woodgate - and they are also hoping to tie up the signings of Tiago, Alan Hutton and Gilberto da Silva Mela before the transfer window closes.
Middlesborough's injury-prone German defender Robert Huth, who came close to quitting the game, says time is running out for him to prove to head coach Joachim Loew he is ready to play a role for his country in June's Euro 2008 tournament.
Arsenal strikers Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner have escaped sanction from the Football Association over a clash during their club's 5-1 League Cup semifinal defeat at Tottenham on Tuesday.
Barcelona star Ronaldinho will be back in action from next week, meaning he should be fit to take his place in the Spanish Cup quarterfinal return with Villareal, the club said Thursday.
Rene Higuita, the eccentric former Colombian international goalkeeper, is making a comeback at the age of 41 with Deportivo Rionegro, who play in the country's second division, the club said Thursday.
Barcelona were held to 0-0 stalemate by Villarreal in their Spanish Cup quarterfinal first leg clash on Thursday.
Wigan have sold Denny Landzaat to Feyenoord for one million pounds, ending the Dutch midfielder's 18-month spell at the club.
Brought down to earth on centre court, deposed Australian Open champion Roger Federer left Melbourne Park on Friday with his head held high.
Less than 24 hours after being dumped out of the Australian Open by a rampant Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, world number two Rafel Nadal has again been bounced -- back into economy class on his flight home.
Father Christmas usually arrives in December, but it's been a windfall January for the BCCI. Two deals, one for television rights and the other for eight city-specific franchise teams, have fetched the Indian Premier League (IPL) close to $ 1.75 billion.
Part of India's preparation for each Test involves a bowlers' meeting. Along with the bowling coach and computer analyst, the bowlers discuss plans for the Test, trying to work out opposition batsmen while factoring in conditions. It wouldn't be a surprise, though, if the focus of discussion is more than just bowling. One gets a sneaking suspicion that they're chatting a good deal about batting as well.
The Protiti Pharma Victory Day football tournament will not start today as per schedule as inclement weather forced organisers Mohammedan Sporting Club to defer its start by four days.
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was on course to smashing his first century on Friday but the bowler rued the missed opportunity, admitting that a "stupid shot" put paid to his chance of creating history at the Adelaide Oval.
The novelty of Sohail Tanvir's action may be wearing off, but little about his performances since his debut last year suggests the potency of his bowling is going the same way.
The final match of the Parachute Women's Open cricket tournament between Ispahani Sporting Club and Bangladesh Ansar & VDP called off yesterday at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium due to inclement weather.
Arambagh Krira Sangha improved their position after a poor start in the Senior Division Football League when they edged Wari Club 1-0 yesterday for their third win.
Adam Gilchrist is good enough to return to peak wicket keeping form but he is running out of time to do so, according to his predecessor Ian Healy. Gilchrist finished the first day in Adelaide one dismissal short of Mark Boucher's world record of 413, but he found himself under fire after dropping a sitter to give VVS Laxman a reprieve.
Hamilton Masakadza rued the number of dropped chances, which he blamed for his side's defeat against Pakistan in the second ODI at Niaz Stadium in Hyderabad.
As Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed has urged foreign entrepreneurs to work as 'investment ambassadors' of Bangladesh, representatives of the foreign companies who have already made investment in the country called for implementing reforms in the financial sector to attract more overseas investment.
High prices of poultry feed are taking a huge toll on poultry farms in Rangpur.
Corporate responsibility rather than profit took centre stage in Davos on Friday, as the annual get-together of business chiefs turned its attention to issues of health, aid and development.
Lack of proper marketing facilities, shortage of skilled manpower and dearth of information about international markets stand in the way of export growth of local handicraft industry.
World stock markets rose further on Friday as a quick agreement by US leaders on a stimulus package eased concerns over the fallout from a weakening US economy, dealers said.
Japan saw the fastest rate of inflation in almost a decade in December amid soaring oil prices, data showed Friday, but the central bank said it will hold low interest rates amid global uncertainty.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown set out his plan to reform the international financial system and restore stability to markets around the world in a Financial Times comment piece Friday.
Singapore will spend 20 billion dollars (14 billion US) to further upgrade its public rail network, the Minister for Transport said Friday.
Asian Development Bank President H Kuroda Thursday assured Bangladesh of the Bank's continued support for infrastructure and power and energy sector development.
Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, who is also in charge of expatriate welfare ministry, has said he is happy with the outcome of the Abu Dhabi dialogue between Asian labour-sending and labour-receiving countries which agreed on a set of partnerships between the two groups.
India's inflation edged upward, official data on Friday showed, but analysts said this week's US interest rate cut made it more likely the Indian central bank could follow suit.
Bangladeshi workers and expatriates in Malaysia will be able to send their money home through the branches of BRAC Bank Ltd.
World oil prices continued higher in Asian trade Friday as global stock markets firmed but underlying worries over the US economy remained, dealers said.
January 21-January 24, 2008
Local FX MarketThe US dollar/BDT market was a tight this week, fueled by ample demand for customer payments. The USD/BDT rate however was range bound.
Application of open pit mining method in extracting coal in a highly populated country like Bangladesh will seriously affect environment and the people, speakers said at a seminar yesterday.
The construction work of the 3rd bridge on the river Karnaphuli would be completed by June 2009, three months ahead of the scheduled time for its completion.
Cabinet Secretary Ali Imam Majumder has asked government officials at field level to provide all possible assistance to farmers for achieving the target of Boro cultivation.
A case was filed with the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jessore on Thursday against an alleged collaborator in connection with murder and looting during the Liberation War.
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) exchanged fires along Koria frontier in Panchbibi upazila of the district early yesterday after the Indian border guards shot and wounded an indigenous man.
Law Adviser AF Hasan Ariff has said political parties will have to decide whether or not to go back to previous anarchic situation.
Police arrested four members of banned Islamist outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad at Amin hotel in Jessore on Thursday night.
Youth should be united to fight imperialism, communalism and globalisation for creating another world where no discrimination and poverty will exist, said the speakers at a discussion yesterday.
President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed have greeted their Indian counterparts on the occasion of the Republic Day of India to be observed today.
The Revolutionary Garment Workers Solidarity yesterday demanded an immediate halt to termination of workers without any reason.
Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) seized 1150 bottles of Phensidyl syrup and arrested one person in this connection yesterday.
The 3rd death anniversary of Awami League leader and former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria, who was assassinated in a grenade attack at Habiganj, will be observed on Sunday.
Police arrested a regional extremist leader and recovered a foreign made pistol loaded with six bullets from his possession on Thursday.
Bangladesh Chhatra Union (BCU) yesterday demanded withdrawal of all cases against students in connection with student unrest on Dhaka University campus in August last.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized a firearm, scrap materials and rounded up an alleged drug-peddler with phensidyl from different areas in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj in last 24 hours till yesterday noon, sources said.
The Sector Commanders' Forum has decided to rebuild an educational institution damaged by cyclone Sidr in the southern part of the country.
A solo art exhibition of artworks by Qazi Munir will begin tomorrow at the Gallery of Shilpakala Academy.
Celebrity chef Tommy Miah will cook in 'Tommy Miah Food Festival' scheduled to be held in Tokyo on Monday for Japanese elite.
A team of 25 Indian Border Security Force (BSF) School students arrives in Jessore today on a six-day tour.
The foundation stone of 'Gamma Radiation Source Plant Building' was formally laid on the premises of Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE) here on Thursday.
Sufia Begum, a mother of four daughters, has sought financial assistance for her treatment as she has been suffering from cancer, says a press release.
The 22nd edition of the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap will take place at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the capital today.
Several thousand students from various schools across the country yesterday vowed to build a society in the spirit of the Liberation War, where all people irrespective of faiths, caste and race would fully enjoy their rights and have access to opportunities for learning and development.
Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said the process of trial of war criminals can be started during the tenure of the present caretaker government.
A Bangladeshi expatriate who arrived in the city yesterday fell victim to mugging.
The 'Culture Week' of University of Development Alternative (UODA) concluded in the city yesterday.
Fishermen feel insecure to go for fishing in the Sundarbans fearing reprisal by pirates who are reportedly regrouping after the January 1 killing of five gang members in a gunfight with BDR at Kalir Char on Kalindi river.
Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has stayed for two months the trial of daily Patradut Editor S M Alauddin murder.
Elderly mother of a rickshaw-puller who was killed in police firing during campus violence in Rajshahi last year demanded compensation from the government and a fair trial.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has formed a three-member committee to investigate into the allegations of corruption against Khulna University (KU) vice chancellor (VC) Prof Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman.
Another case has been filed accusing 82 'landless' people including Debhata Upazila Landless People's Association President Abdul Gaffar and over 2,000 unidentified people for allegedly demanding toll to the lessee and stealing fishes after illegally occupying 1500 bighas of khas land at Norarchak in Debhata upazila.
Barisal Reporters Unity at its general meeting here yesterday demanded immediate announcement of revised Sixth Wage Board award and ensuring job security of media men.
Two persons were killed and 35 others injured in separate villagers' clashes over land in Durgapur and Purbadhala upazila yesterday, police sources said.
Pakistani troops battled Islamic militants during a search for several hijacked trucks full of ammunition yesterday, with up to 30 rebels and two soldiers killed, the army said.
More than 300 demonstrators marched through a southern Afghan town for the second day yesterday in protest against the alleged killing of nine policemen and a woman in a US military operation, locals said.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said talks with the UN's nuclear watchdog on a pact allowing New Delhi to buy nuclear power plants and technology will be soon completed.
Fresh clashes killed 15 people in Kenya, police said yesterday, while former UN chief Kofi Annan pushed for dialogue to end political and ethnic turmoil sparked by last month's disputed presidential poll.
Egypt set a deadline yesterday for the border with Gaza to be resealed and began herding Palestinians back into the territory, stemming the uncontrolled flood of people of the past three days.
The United States has no interest in setting up permanent bases in Iraq, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday, playing down concerns raised by negotiations on the future US military presence in Iraq.
President George W Bush will travel to five African nations next month -- Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, and Liberia -- on a trip expected to address issues including economic development and AIDS, the White House announced yesterday.
Hillary Clinton yesterday called for calm as she slugged out the last rites of a race-tainted primary in South Carolina, where polls foresee a bounce-back win for her Democratic foe Barack Obama. Saturday's first-in-the-South party nominating showdown is the last battle in a single contested state, before the tense White House race goes national with nearly two dozen contests on "Super Tuesday," February 5.
The chief of Pakistan's powerful army yesterday dismissed "unrealistic" fears that al-Qaeda could seize the country's nuclear weapons, as the military test-fired a ballistic missile.
The contraceptive pill has prevented some 200,000 cases of ovarian cancer and 100,000 deaths from this disease since its introduction nearly half a century ago, according to a study published in Lancet medical journal.
Indian security forces launched a massive security operation in New Delhi ahead of today's Republic Day celebrations, officials said, with French President Nicholas Sarkozy also in the city.
Japan is looking to tighten controls on foreign residents to crack down on undocumented aliens and ensure that all households receive public services, Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama said yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
Among buntings, paintings and bright painted vases the launching of the book Cultural Heritage and Fair Trade of Bangladesh took place. This was at the Drik Gallery recently, as part of an exhibition of handicrafts. Mahfuz Ullah, Chairperson, IUCN National Committee and Centre for Sustainable Development; Dr Atiur Rahman, Chairperson, Unnayan Shamonnay; and Piash Karim, Professor of Sociology and Political Science, Culver-Stockton College, USA were the special guests at the programme.
The harrowing photo of a man carrying the corpse of his grandchild away, from what used to be his home, after Cyclone Sidr hit the area, was published in the year-end issue (December 31, 2007-January 7, 2008) of Time magazine.
The First International Children's Film Festival Bangladesh, organised by Children's Film Society Bangladesh, will begin on January 28 and will continue till February 3. The festival will be held simultaneously at four venues, according to a press release.
Ekushey TV is re-airing the drama serial Protnonari starting from this month. Written by Selim Al Deen, the serial is directed by Atiqul Haque Chowdhury.
It is the best of time for Bollywood icon Shahrukh Khan. After the box-office success of his previous film Chak De India, a story about the world cup triumph by an Indian hockey team and successful bidding to buy an Indian cricket team, he has been chosen for France's prestigious title “Officer of the Arts and Letters”.
Bangladesh, the country (state) which contemplated at her birth in 1971 to control almost all aspects of the nation's economy, has been surprisingly overwhelmed by the doctrine of “laissez faire” of market economy. So much so, that the government seems to have drifted from the position of a manager of the economy to a mere spectator. However, this level of romance with the market economy results not only from the prodding of the donors (World Bank, ADB, EUS and so on) but also from the wrong perception about the working of the modern market economy and misplaced emphasis on national priorities at the policy level.
Bangladesh has gone seriously to bring into full-scale function of an institution called Community Policing. In this criminal justice system of Bangladesh, police has been vested with responsiblity for prevention and detection of crimes and maintenance of law and order, with utmost dedication, honesty, benevolence, regard for law and rights of the citizens without any sense of arrogance of power and repression. It cannot be denied that the walls of distance between police and citizens have become massive, the trust and the confidence of citizens have been on the wane because of the deficit of police performances in dealing with social and political disorder, terrorism, extortion, armed gangsterism, bomb blasts, murder for gain, gruesome rape, persecution of women etc.
Disablement, needless to say, significantly reduces the life quality of a person as it substantially diminishes their work ability. Assistive or adaptive technology, however, can bring back the individual's employability at an acceptable level.
Nokia unveiled the Nokia N82, the latest multimedia handheld device optimised for photography and internet connectivity, along with Nokia 2600 classic and Nokia 1209, two mobile handsets that offer useful features, range of colours or exchangeable covers in the local market on January 22.
Executive Technologies Limited (ETL), the authorised business partner of Acer organised a tech showcase of Acer products denoted 'Altos Café' on January 19 at a local Hotel.
Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), the apex body of software industry, revealed its vision and preparations regarding its forthcoming SoftExpo 2008, which kicks off on February 14, at press conference on January 22 at a local hotel.
A three-day fair on portable devices, which is the first of its kind in the country, began at Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre yesterday.
Last year was one of the most fruitful for Salim Al-Deen, whom I have been calling 'Salim Bhai' ever since we met in Sharif Mia's canteen at Dhaka University nearly some forty years ago. A driven, work-obsessed and rather tensed individual, although never without a sense of humour and an indulging attention to friends, he spent the year basking in public adoration, and creatively engaging himself with ever more challenging tasks. The year began with his receiving the Ekushey Award for his contribution to Theatre, a belated recognition that nevertheless, gave him immense joy. It was not Salim Al-Deen the state has honoured, he told me in reply to my congratulatory call, but our indigenous theatre - which he lived and died for, literally speaking. Throughout last year, he also received rave reviews for his latest narrative Shornoboyal, which the weekly 2000 published in its Eid issue as upakhyan, but which Salim called akhyan and many others called natak or drama or even novel. Confusion about its genre aside, Shornoboyal was a splendid piece of work - well-wrought, profound and passionate, with a language the Mongal Geeti writers would be proud of. Then there was Nimojjon, a stage play that his long-time comrade-in-arms Nasiruddin Yusuf Bachchu culled from a long and complex narrative. It was something like Shornoboyal but had a more global perspective, since its subject was war and the unspeakable things people do in the name of war. Salim Bhai and Bachchu formed one of the most productive and close-knit theatre teams that I've seen anywhere, and together they've given a rich trove of dramatic productions to our theatre - Kittonkhola, Keramat Mongal, Prachya, Hathodai, Joiboti Konyar Mon, Horgoj, Bonopangshul, to name only a few. Bachchu had an implicit understanding of Salim Bhai's thoughts and philosophy, his idea of theatre and, more importantly, how our own theatre should shape up. Watching a performance of Nimojjon a few months back, I marveled at the uncanny way Bachchu had sculpted the finished version out of a myriad of different plots and ideas and characters that crowded the seemingly endless narrative.
Once again I am reminded of the Mahabharata. Dharma quizzed a thirsty Yudhisthira on the bank of a lake, at the price of his life: “What is the greatest marvel?” All four of his brothers lay dead, having failed to answer Dharma's riddle. The exiled Yudhisthira replied unhesitatingly: “Each day, death strikes and we live as though we were immortal. This is what is the greatest marvel.” As I write this, Salim Al-Deen lies buried at the Jahangirnagar University campus. I did not pay my last respects as he lay at Shaheed Minar nor visit his grave. There is something uncanny about a dead person. It is not the pallor but the uncanny stillness. Now Freud admonishes me with a smile: “Everything is unheimlich [uncanny] that ought to have remained secret but has come to light.” It is then that Salim Al-Deen's face melts into the lake from where issues once again Dharma's question. I can see my face reflected in the dead. Suddenly, the eyes open. They stare back unblinkingly. I forget my thirst for life. I run away - in exile...
Although it is true to say that eruption of armed conflict among world's major powers is unlikely, serious differences persist on the emergence of the new world order of the 21st century.
Although there has been an increase in Israeli threats of invading Gaza, it appears as though Israel will not invade and occupy Gaza. Rather, it will continue with its current policy attacking targets daily, both facilities and persons from the air. At the same time, Israel will continue the policy of containing Hamas, militarily, politically and economically by continuing the severe civilian and economic closure and siege of the Gaza Strip.
The Sri Lanka government has formally ended its ceasefire agreement signed in 2002 with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It only regularises an existing state of war that had been going on since December 2005. It is a sad development because it shuts the door on the peace process sponsored by the Tokyo Donors Conference. While the four co-chairs of the Tokyo Conference the EU, Japan, Norway and the US, can walk out of the peace process, India, as a close strategic neighbour of Sri Lanka, cannot afford to ignore the development. It will also face the fall out of yet another round of full-scale war in Sri Lanka in some ways, because India-Sri Lanka relations have become closer than ever before.
Star Books Review
"Impatience with theories, ideas --- the entire practice and process of abstract thought --- is perhaps the most common manifestation of anti-intellectualism throughout American popular culture and average Americans' day-to-day lives. Therefore, it should be no surprise when that attitude is found even in magazine coverage of higher education --- the one institution in which Americans have expected (not to say preferred) and perhaps even tolerated this core requirement of intellectual activity.” Although these lines are to be found towards the end of an absorbing book, in a chapter (6) pertinently titled “Unreflective Instrumentalism, Hedonism, Sexism, and Age Discrimination”, they encapsulate the general drift of Anti-Intellectualism in American Media: Magazines & Higher Education. And the author, while ending the previous chapter (5), entitled “Populist Anti-Elitism and Higher Education”, bemoans such a state of affairs thus: “However, the needs and opportunities in the United States in the areas of arts, sciences, government, journalism, retail politics, and the overall American culture and American society --- even the complexity of day-to-day life for the average citizen --- suggest that more citizens, not fewer, should be learning, and not only a finite amount for a degree, but learning more and more over a longer period of time. Unfortunately, American anti-intellectualism makes the idea of even necessary, let alone optional, lifelong learning a tough sell.”
Partly nostalgic narrative, partly political diatribe and partly a journal of self-discovery, Tirtha Amar Gram (Holy Is My Village) is an amalgam of poignant, vibrant pieces by Dr. Mizanur Rahman, an expatriate in Canada for over five decades now. It is an impressive example of a new genre, a dovetailing of reminiscent sketches with the prevailing socio-political agenda. He first wrote these pieces for Bangla journals published from Ottawa, New York and New Jersey.
What started out as a short story titled Sundowners in The New Yorker in 2006 later developed into the novel Alentejo Blue. It is Monica Ali's second novel. Her much acclaimed first work Brick Lane was about a Bangladeshi village girl named Nazneen, who moved to London after her marriage. The novel of 400 pages revolves around her life along with a parallel story of her sister Hasina, who lives a perilous life on meagre earnings.
Rashidul Bari is on a journey. It is a journey with many twists and turns and the destination is not clear from the onset.
The Real Lives of Europe's Most Infamous Rulers
A riveting series of essays on all the cruel men and women who once ran riot across Europe. But there are the helpless and misunderstood ones as well, such as Louis XVI and his empress. It is a work that brings alive the darkness that for long pervaded Europe until thoughts of democracy began to make inroads.