News of: Thursday, 31st of January, 2008
Six legal experts appointed as amicus curiae in the hearing of the extortion case against Sheikh Hasina, submitted their opinions to the High Court (HC) yesterday saying a trial of a crime, which had been committed before the promulgation of the Emergency Power Act, cannot be held under the ambit of Emergency Power Rules (EPR).
Businessman Azam J Chowdhury, who sued former premier Sheikh Hasina for extorting Tk 2.99 crore, ultimately did not bring any allegation against her when the trial of the case began yesterday with his deposition.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) yesterday sought explanation from the country's largest telecom company Garmeenphone (GP) as to why its license should not be cancelled or suspended on charges of violating the terms of its license agreement.
In the backdrop of poor implementation of the Annual Development Programme (ADP), the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday asked the low-performing ministries to surrender their funds to the planning ministry by February 7.
A special court yesterday sentenced former power secretary ANH Akhter Hossain to ten years imprisonment for amassing wealth beyond known sources of his income and concealing wealth information.
Canadian jurist and McGill University professor Payam Akahavan yesterday said deposition of the complainant of Tk 2.99 crore extortion case against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina showed the case is 'non-existent'.
Vodafone, the world's leading mobile telecom group, is in talks to buy a 30 per cent stake in AKTEL, Bangladesh's third largest mobile network, from the local owner A.K Khan and Co, in a deal that could be worth more than US $300m.
Family of Sa-Aung Gya along with 15 other families reached Zaitun Para after a four-day walk from their remote village in Rainkhong in Rangamati. Fear of starvation forced the exodus as rats infested their crops and left them with no food until next harvesting season.
Governments of the countries grappling with corruption must take initiatives to change institutional culture and work with domestic and international allies to fight systemic corruption, said an internationally renowned expert on global corruption and reform.
Leaders of the pro-Saifur faction of BNP yesterday in a meeting decided to bring reforms in the constitution of the party before unifying the party.
Thick layers of clouds shrouded most parts of the country's skies as cold winds coupled with drizzles yesterday wrought misery in people's lives across the country, especially in the northern region.
The High Court yesterday declared illegal the detention of Tarique Rahman, senior joint secretary general of the BNP, and Brig Gen (retd) ASM Hannan Shah, adviser to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Law enforcement agencies have confirmed that a foreign organisation and leaders of a section of garment workers were involved in provoking the recent unrest in garment factories in the city's Mirpur area.
A Dhaka court ordered former Islami Bank chairman Shah Mohammad Hannan and two others to appear before the court on April 30 in connection with a defamation case filed by a freedom fighter yesterday.
Dr Stefan Frowein, head of delegation of the European Commission to Bangladesh, yesterday advocated lifting the state of emergency as soon as possible, saying that no donor like to see it in effect.
The country's international telephone and internet communications were disrupted yesterday as the submarine cable that connects Bangladesh to the information superhighway was snapped in the sea near Alexandria, Egypt.
The government has brushed aside claims in Indian media that Bangladesh is the source of avian influenza that has ravaged poultry farms in West Bengal, saying the flu might have spread in the neighbouring country in other ways.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) on Monday asked all the banks to provide it with account information of Awami League Presidium Member Tofail Ahmed and his family members.
Chittagong City Corporation Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury and former state minister Mir Md Nasir Uddin were sent to Dhaka Central Jail from Chittagong jail Tuesday morning.
The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against detained former Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) chairman Advocate Taimur Alam Khondaker in two bribery cases filed with Paltan Police Station.
The High Court yesterday acquitted condemned prisoner Shahidur Rahman alias Shahid Commissioner and lifer Tanoy Mollah of murdering BNP leader Advocate Habib Mandol.
The 250 Biman passengers stranded in Chittagong finally left for Abu Dhabi yesterday after a 38-hour delay and their flight rescheduled for the fourth time.
The police headquarters yesterday suspended an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of Bandarban who pressed charges against a five-year-old boy, accusing him of threatening rubber garden staff with death and destroying property.
Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton coasted to victory over Barack Obama in Florida in a largely symbolic win Tuesday which gave a vital boost to her White House bid, US media said.
Pakistani police yesterday quizzed a leading al-Qaeda-linked militant who was caught after a bloody shootout, while three suspected rebels and two troops died in other violence, officials said.
Thirty-four people were wounded yesterday in a bomb attack at an election rally in ethnically-tense southern Nepal, police said.
The decision by the government to set in motion a Supreme Judicial Commission certainly promises to bring about some fundamental and welcome changes in the way judges to the higher judiciary have been appointed so far. Under the terms of the proposed measure, the nine-member commission, headed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, will recommend the appointment of judges to the High Court and Appellate Divisions, which appointments will take effect once they receive the approval of the President. That will be quite a sea change, seeing that though the recommendations will be placed before the President through the office of the Prime Minister, the head of government or the party in power will not any more possess the authority to in-fluence such appointments.
The anonymous benefactor who donated $130m for the victims of Sidr, which hit southern Bangladesh in November 2007, has set an example of humanitarian service that deserves the greatest commendation. Our be-lief that man is not alone in his mission of surviving the worst calamities is bolstered by this act of generosity and noble compassion that strike an empathetic chord in the humanity.
ACCORDING to discerning observers, one cannot but be amused and surprised at the paradoxical reality of Bangladesh polity. Such a view may sound exaggerated but, on closer scrutiny, it would appear that in Bangladesh we are actually witnessing events that are apparently absurd but true.
THE new year is not yet too old. The nation owes to itself the chore of assessing its past and present in order to prepare for the new year. The year 2007 was chockfull of tragedies, crises and negative developments that have set back people's rights in a significant way. The people are now required to rectify what was done wrongly in 2007, and do better in 2008, especially as the rescheduled election is only a few weeks away.
ALL over the world civil society works as a motivator, moderator and mediator, and as a prime mover of ideas and ideologies that befit the hopes and aspirations of its members. The icons of civil society sit together to provide, promote and purvey to its members those schemes that either settle disputes after due deliberation or protect as guardians the values, norms and standards of the society. The disputes and disagreements that beset a society are vast and varied. Therefore, the civil society should accommodate people of all hues, regardless of their cast creed, culture and religion.
B. League champions Abahani got off to a wretched start to the new season when they crashed 1-0 to Senior Division side Badda Jagarani in the opening match of the Protiti Pharma Club Cup football tournament yesterday.
In a break from tradition, national selectors yesterday announced names of 39 players split into three teams for the preparatory camp ahead of South Africa's tour of Bangladesh next month.
Mohammad Yousuf's brilliant century and Shoaib Malik's all-round contribution helped Pakistan overwhelm Zimbabwe by seven wickets in the fourth one-day match here on Wednesday.
India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was cleared of racially abusing Australia's Andrew Symonds due to lack of evidence, rather than any external pressure, appeals commissioner John Hansen said Wednesday.
Six bowlers including Faisal Hossain, Jamaluddin Babu, and Wascorni Palash were adjudicated to have illegal action and will not be allowed to bowl in the upcoming Premier and First Division Leagues.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has taken the decision to send a tri-party delegation to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to meet its president Mohammad Bin Hammam in a bid to solve the conflict between football organisers of the country.
The first game of the four-match series between Bangladesh under-19 and visiting West Indies under-19 will take place at BKSP today.
The 29th National Junior (Under-20) Chess Championship got underway at the federation hall-room yesterday.
Shaheed Ruhul Amin emerged champions in the annual sports competition of Bangladesh Navy College that concluded yesterday at the Navy Colony ground in Dhaka.
Boeta Dippenaar, the South Africa batsman, has announced his retirement from international cricket to concentrate on building a life beyond the sport.
Jatrabari Krira Chakra managed a solitary goal victory over Agrani Bank to regain solo lead in the Metropolis Senior Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.
Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson Wednesday said India's performance against Australia was an inspiration for world cricket, strengthening belief that world champions are beatable.
Former BCB joint secretary and cricketer Prof Abdus Sayeed died of cancer at a local hospital yesterday. He was 62.
Group A games of Exim Bank 18th National Handball Championship will begin in Jamalpur on February 8.
Nigeria bounced back from the brink to sneak into the African Nations Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday but the door to the last eight closed on Mali.
David Beckham has reassured England coach Fabio Capello that he is still fit enough for international duty.
Bundesliga league leaders Bayern Munich booked their place in the German Cup's quarterfinals with a convincing 5-2 win at third division minnows Wuppertal on Tuesday night.
Arsenal beat Newcastle United 3-0 for the second time in four days on Tuesday to edge ahead of Manchester United in the Premier League title race.
Barcelona's talented youngster Bojan Krkic is likely to be called up to Spain's squad for next week's friendly against France in order to prevent him from being poached by Serbia, said national coach Luis Aragones.
Yuvraj Singh will stay put in Australia and is set to be available for the tri-series from the second one-day internationals onwards.
Explosive batsman Jesse Ryder has been given a chance to prove himself at the international level after being named in New Zealand's squads for the Twenty20 and one-day squads against England.
Wicketkeeper-batsmen Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka and Adam Gilchrist of Australia were among six cricketers honoured by a top website for their standout performances last year.
Kevin Keegan pleaded for more time to turn around Newcastle United as the excitement faded out of his return as manager.
Former Japan coach Ivica Osim attended a friendly against his home country, Bosnia, here Wednesday in his first public appearance since suffering a serious stroke in November.
Valencia midfielder Joaquin has said team morale has suffered since Ronald Koeman took charge as coach last November.
English football star David Beckham will lead the Los Angeles Galaxy into South Korea and China in March as part of a pre-season Asia tour announced Tuesday by the Major League Soccer club.
Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni insisted on Wednesday that he is not negotiating to take over the Republic of Ireland team.
Argentina midfielder Marcelo Gallardo, a former World Cup starter who played in France last season, has signed a deal to play for DC United of Major League Soccer, the US club announced Tuesday.
Brazilian winger Alessandro Mancini scored a brilliant second half winner to send holders Roma into the Italian Cup semifinals following a 1-0 win over Sampdoria on Tuesday at the Stadio Olimpico.
Iraq football national Nashat Akram accused the British interior ministry of double standards by denying him a visa that would have made him the first Iraqi to play in England's Premier League, in comments published Wednesday.
Former Italy coach Marcello Lippi gave his backing to an eventual return to the national team for Sampdoria striker Antonio Cassano.
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez expects to sign Javier Mascherano on a permanent basis after selling Momo Sissoko to Juventus on Tuesday.
Serie A side Palermo have failed in their bid to have Saturday's 1-0 defeat at AS Roma overturned or replayed due to the actions of a ball boy.
Spain coach Luis Aragones, angered by questions why Real Madrid star Raul had not been selected for the national team, repeated on Wednesday that the veteran was not part of his plans.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided to lift restrictions from the financial adjustment or netting facilities with regard to share trading in order to enhance liquidity in the trading.
Prices of MS (mild steel) rod, a vital construction material, increased by around Tk 15,500 per tonne within the last five weeks as a section of manufacturers are allegedly stockpiling the material to make the prices soar, developers claimed.
The South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE), a platform of regional capital market operators, is going to launch SAFE Index Networking soon with a view to integrating the regional stock trading.
The government is not going to extend the time frame of open sky policy that comes to an end today, a senior official of civil aviation ministry said yesterday.
New taxes imposed by China on grain exports are worsening North Korea's already severe food shortage, an aid group said Wednesday.
Asian shares closed mostly down Wednesday with investors seemingly worried that an expected US interest rate cut may fail to boost stock prices in the face of a global economic slowdown.
Floods in Australia, freezing weather in China and transport bottlenecks in Indonesia have helped stoke a sharp rise in the price of coal, putting pressure on Asian consumer industries.
A section of angry investors yesterday staged demonstration in front of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) protesting against the decline in the prices of shares for the fourth consecutive day.
Five key European leaders held a mini-summit in here late Tuesday on how to respond to recent global financial turmoil, hoping to reassure markets that Europe's economy can stay on an even keel.
Leaders of BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association) yesterday demanded that Bangladesh Bank (BB) take initiative to reduce bank interest rate for survival of the apparel industry.
Vietnam's central bank Wednesday said it would raise benchmark interest rates for the first time since December 2005, battling double-digit inflation, which has sparked popular anger and labour unrest.
Harish Manwani, president of Unilever's Asia, Africa, Middle East and Turkey operations, has won the 'CNBC Asia Business Leader of the Year' award for 2008.
German carmaker BMW confirmed Wednesday its rank as the top luxury brand worldwide in 2007, posting record sales and saying it would do even better this year.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has allowed Summit Power Company Limited to issue 68,64,000 right shares at Tk 145 each, which includes a premium of Tk 45.
Canon, a leading global company that manufactures printer, scanner, camera and camera parts, has appointed local JAN Associates Ltd as its official distributor of camera products in Bangladesh.
The country could achieve rapid economic progress if political harmony is established, security experts said at a discussion yesterday.
Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (DAB) at a press conference yesterday urged the government to take a national programme to combat diabetes as around 60 lakh people in the country have been suffering from this non-communicable disease.
Civil society organisations from some 100 countries attending the UN Anti-Corruption Conference here have sought better protection for whistle-blowers in graft cases.
US Charge d'Affaires Denise Rollins yesterday urged the caretaker government to continue implementation of its commitment to the election roadmap to boost investors' confidence and give business greater certainty.
Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said multi-storied mosque-cum-cyclone centres will be built in phases in the country's disaster-prone districts with a view to minimising losses to lives and property during natural calamities.
Local government institutions should be made accountable to local people and free from politicisation and bureaucratic interference in order to strengthen democratic practices and ensure development at the grassroots level, experts said at a seminar yesterday.
The month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2008, country's largest and historic book festival, will begin tomorrow on Bangla Academy premises in the city.
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday underscored the need for effective coordination between the government and the NGOs to help the people with disability, especially children.
Border Security Force (BSF) of India and Bangladesh Rifles held a flag meeting yesterday on Tuesday's incident of firing at Ghasuria border under Birampur upazila, BDR sources said.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) authorities have ordered officers-in-charges (OC) of all police stations in the city not to assign more than nine cases at a time to an investigation officer for ensuring fair investigation.
Former chief engineer of Roads and Highways Department was killed and two others were injured in a road accident at Salna on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway yesterday afternoon.
Three people, including a car importer, arrested on charges of taking delivery of 48 imported vehicles from Chittagong port submitting fake documents were sent to jail yesterday.
President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday called upon scholars, academicians and intellectuals of the country to come forward to contribute to the development of the country through their writings.
The final round and prize giving ceremony of the inter-class debate competition of Cider International School titled 'Star Campus-Drishty Debate for Generation Next' was held on the school campus in the port city yesterday.
As part of its programme for capacity building in trade related research and academic works, the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) initiated a two-week training programme on WTO and Bangladesh Trade Policy that began yesterday, says a press release.
Banglalink is going to organise a concert styled 'Banglalink Desh Music Fest 2008' on February 8 at Chittagong MA Aziz Stadium to raise funds for the Sidr victims.
Two additional secretaries and six joint secretaries were transferred in a reshuffle in the administration yesterday.
At least 8 people were injured and several residential houses and business establishments ransacked during a clash over a piece of land between two groups at Joarshahara in the city yesterday morning.
Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of Awami League (AL), yesterday demanded release of AL President Sheikh Hasina.
General students of Rajshahi University (RU) continued their demonstration in the campus demanding withdrawal of all cases against the students for their alleged involvement in the campus violence in August last year.
Ashes of India's freedom icon Mahatma Gandhi were scattered yesterday off the coast of financial capital Mumbai in a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of his assassination by a Hindu fanatic.
The Dhaka University Vice Chancellor SMA Faiz yesterday said Gandhiji's mission was to convert every Indian as well as Englishmen to nonviolence for regulating political, economic, social relations.
The High Court on Tuesday asked the government to explain within four weeks why its failure to establish a government agency to enforce the Bangladesh National Building Construction Code, 2006 is not in breach of the law, says a press release.
Detective Branch (DB) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) yesterday arrested the alleged leader of a gang involved in mugging and killing in the city.
Speakers at a function yesterday demanded enactment of hawker-friendly laws to stop indiscriminate eviction of the poor traders.
Speakers at an orientation ceremony at Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) said the growing degradation of environment due to water pollution, air pollution, noise pollution, industrial toxic substance, depletion of forest, drying up of rivers and water bodies caused problems leading to serious health hazards, fall of agricultural productivity, erratic weather in Bangladesh, says a press release.
Farmers in eight northern districts started IRRI-Boro cultivation with great hopes to recover the loss of Amon crop this year but their initiatives are dashed by scarcity of fertiliser.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday said movement against corruption should be spread every nook and corner of the country and corrupt people should be socially boycotted.
A ten-member team of civil society leaders, now on visit in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), yesterday talked to local leaders and high officials in Rangamati on different issues including recent incidents of land grabbing, voter registration and human rights situation.
The Barisal Divisional Special Trial Tribunal yesterday sent show-cause notices to two police officials asking them to reply within 10 days for their failure to submit reinvestigation reports on two cases against Awami League leader and former chief whip Abul Hasanat.
All poultry farms of Khulna metropolitan city were put on red alert yesterday following detection of bird flu in a farm.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has asked former lawmaker and Sylhet district BNP Convener M Ilyas Ali to submit wealth statement within seven days.
Leading freedom fighters of Sylhet region, at a meeting here demanded of the government to try war criminals as well as killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and President Ziaur Rahman, for establishing rule of law in the country.
Police yesterday recovered 41 sacks of urea fertiliser from a house at Tipna village in Dumria upazila.
An big anti-corruption procession will be brought out in the town on February 9 to create awareness against the social ill as well as building mass movement against corruption.
A defiant President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday that Tehran was close to its target of producing nuclear energy and launched a new tirade against Israel as world powers seek to impose new sanctions on Iran.
Five European leaders called Tuesday for an end to mounting violence in Kenya, saying the African country's leaders need to talk to each other "for the good of the Kenyan nation."
India's bird-flu hit state of West Bengal appealed to New Delhi to allow the United States and China to come to its aid in battling the disease, an official said yesterday.
Pakistan's government is committed to free and fair elections, the foreign ministry said yesterday, following remarks by a top US diplomat that next month's vote could be tainted.
Three people were killed and 27 injured yesterday in a bomb blast in the southern Philippine city of General Santos, police said.
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels yesterday lodged a formal protest with the United Nations alleging that security forces bombed a school bus and killed 18 civilians, mostly children, and accused them of targeting non-combatants.
Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said yesterday that she was "not satisfied" with her talks with the junta, a spokesman for her party said after meeting with her.
The UN Security Council on Tuesday abandoned efforts to adopt a compromise statement on the crisis in the Gaza Strip after failing to reach consensus on last-minute amendments offered by Libya.
Fifteen people died and one was missing after two cargo vessels collided near Shanghai yesterday, causing one of them to sink, state media reported.
China dispatched the army yesterday to help millions of people stranded by snowstorms that have caused transport gridlock, crippled power supplies and left many towns and villages short on supplies.
The National Herald daily, launched by India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, is to close after the ruling Congress Party decided it was no longer viable, officials said yesterday.
The death toll in a northern China coal mine explosion rose to 25, state media said yesterday, five more than originally reported following the January 20 blast at the illegal colliery.
Greece took action yesterday to help four Greek citizens whose passports were held by police in India in a probe reportedly linked to a major organ trading scandal, the Greek Foreign Ministry said.
Arts & Entertainment
LONG Distance Information, a fascinating exhibition of contemporary British sculpture, is currently being held at the Bengal Gallery. The exhibition is jointly organised by Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, British Council and BRAC Bank.
As part of its regular initiative to improve the Dhaliwood-produced movies, Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (FDC), recently arranged a daylong orientation programme.
Prokriti, a cultural organisation run by a group of Bengali expats in the British Isles, staged their first theatre production Goodnight, Maa at the WVA auditorium, Dhanmondi on January 28.
To observe their 10th anniversary, cultural organisation Bangladesh Loko Sangeet Parishad (BLSP) arranged a programme at the Seminar Hall, Central Public Library, Shahbagh, recently.
SUN declined and beacon light of humanity declined too. Is it darkness then? Light and darkness, darkness and light; night comes after day and day chases the night." Tajuddin Ahmad, 1948.
THE tourism sector of Bangladesh is pleading for attention. This is the country which has the largest mangrove forest in the world in Sundarbans, the beautiful hills in Rangamati, the exotic tea gardens in Sylhet, the wonderful sights and sounds surrounding the livelihood of the indigenous people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and Bandarban, the centuries old mansions and villas belonging to the Maharajas of past civilisations, the brilliant natural scenery in Foy's Lake, and the longest natural beach in the whole planet in Cox's Bazaar. And this is just to name a few attractions. Bangladesh has tremendous potential for becoming a superb international tourist hotspot but, in reality, that is not exactly the case.
THE passing away of Mrs. Shamsunnahar Rahman, everybody's "Rose Bu," is like a quiet but shining star suddenly disappearing from sight.
THIS year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Bangladesh. Japan was the first among advanced nations of the Western camp to recognise Bangladesh, less than two months after our gallant freedom fighters along with the allied Indian troops had forced the occupation forces to a humiliating surrender. The two countries since then have been enjoying cordial relations based on mutual understanding and meaningful cooperation.