The Daily Star

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

News of: Saturday, 9th of February, 2008

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Depleting forest in Gazipur to lose 600 more acres

The government move to regularise illegal industries in and around the Gazipur National Park will cause the forest department a permanent loss of around 618 acres of land, officials say.

Lift emergency, hold polls

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband yesterday urged the government to lift the state of emergency and hold general elections as soon as possible to ensure a fully functioning democracy.

Dream turns to nightmare for 3 lakh Bangladeshis

The hopes of changing fortune with which around 3 lakh Bangladeshi workers have migrated to Malaysia are likely to be dashed due to high cost of migration, low wage offered by their employers and high cost of living there.

Fish, meat prices soar as chicken off the menu

The plummeting demand for chickens in the wake of bird flu outbreaks across the country has led to a sharp rise in prices of fish, beef and mutton over the last week.

Subsidised primary textbooks being sold at higher prices

A large number of primary school students have yet to receive the textbooks meant to be distributed for free due to a lack of coordination between the government bodies concerned.

Pro-BNP ward commissioner dies in custody

Detained ward commissioner and BNP leader Abdul Qayum Khan died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday morning.

Jubo Dal GS Alal arrested

Former BNP lawmaker and General Secretary of Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal was arrested at his Lalmatia residence in the capital yesterday.

Control room set up, mobile labs suggested

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) yesterday set up a control room on its premises to receive information on the spread of avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu.

Pro-Khaleda leaders go into hiding

Most of the pro-Khaleda BNP leaders have gone into hiding after the arrest of former lawmaker Moazzem Hossain Alal at his Lalmatia residence yesterday.

Artefacts lie uncared for at Rock Museum

A number of antiquities, including old stones, two wooden boats and other archaeological objects, have been lying uncared for at the Rock Museum on the Panchagarh Women's College premises.

AL's quest for fresh electoral alliance

Awami League (AL) will seek to form a fresh grand electoral alliance with like-minded parties for contesting the next general election, acting AL President Zillur Rahman said yesterday.

Dhaka's move for clemency for 8 on death row in Saudi Arabia

Foreign Secretary Touhid Hossain yesterday instructed Bangladesh embassy in Riyadh to approach the Saudi government seeking clemency for eight Bangladeshi workers sentenced to death in a killing case.

Winter on the wane

Cool days of winter vanished as if with a rapid rise in temperature in the last three-four days. Weathermen and climate experts described this behaviour of weather as "erratic" and "unusual", which they said has been frequent in recent years.

Two pirates and a fisherman killed in deep-sea clash

Two pirates and a fisherman were killed during a clash in the deep-sea in Moheshkhali under Cox's Bazar district Thursday morning.

Benazir killed by impact of bomb, not bullets

British detectives said yesterday that Benazir Bhutto was killed by the force of a suicide bomb and not gunfire, backing the Pakistani government's version of how the opposition leader was assassinated.

Art exhibition to mark Mother Language Day opens today

The Asiatic Society of Bangladesh organises a two-week-long art exhibition beginning today at its office in Dhaka to mark the International Mother Language Day on February 21.

17 fishermen out of 33 abducted by pirates buy freedom

Seventeen out of 33 fishermen abducted by pirates in Jalghata and Agunjala Pantamari canals in the Sundarbans had been released on payment of ransom.

Fugitive Borhan Kabir held

Police yesterday arrested Syed Borhan Kabir, once presenter of a crime-based programme "Pariprekshit" of Bangladesh Television (BTV), at a house in the city's Shantinagar area and sent him to Dhaka Central Jail.

130 shanties gutted in Ctg, 12 hurt

A fire gutted over 130 shanties at Bastuhara Colony slum on Boiler Avenue in Chittagong early yesterday leaving at least 12 people injured and 200 families homeless.

Declaration of 10 newspapers, periodicals cancelled

The declaration of 10 newspapers and periodicals published from Sylhet has been cancelled.

Police recover 5 bombs from DU hall

Police recovered four crude bombs and a petrol bomb from Jagannath Hall of Dhaka University yesterday morning.

McCain rallies Republican die-hards as Romney quits

Senator John McCain is fighting for the backing of his foes in the Republican Party's conservative base, now that rival Mitt Romney has quit the race, clearing his path to the White House.

55 Tigers killed as troops take rebel territory

Sri Lankan troops captured an area from Tamil Tiger rebels in the island's north Friday after fighting across the region killed 55 rebels, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Nepal police parade alleged kidney snatcher

An Indian doctor accused of masterminding a massive illegal kidney transplant racket was paraded by Nepali police Friday after an international manhunt ended with his arrest in the Himalayan country.

Kosovo independence likely next week

A declaration of Kosovo's independence by the end of next week looked increasingly likely Friday after Serbia said it had information the "illegal" move would happen on February 17.


Investment in Chittagong

It is a matter of concern that many gas based industrial units in greater Chittagong have been waiting for last eight months for gas connection, for which reason they are unable to commence the work. At the same time new local investors are finding the bureaucratic formalities for obtaining relevant papers, often from the capital city of Dhaka, taking a toll on their energy and time. It is therefore not unusual that top business leaders of Chittagong would bemoan that if locals feel their enthusiasm waning fast then how can we ever attract foreign investors to the country? Surely such detrimental factors are standing in the way towards the desired growth of industries in the region.

New-born fatalities

Although in terms of some social indicators, Bangladesh has been faring well in comparison with her South Asian neighbours, especially in the area of child immunisation, quite ironically, however, the mortality rate among the just born is quite high. At the international conference organised by Bangladesh Neo-Natal Forum with the assistance of Unicef, Save the Children-USA and ICDDR'B shocking revelations were made about the incidence of mortality among the new-born. According to a report in a prominent Bangla daily, everyday as many as 328 new-born die in our country, making a total of 1,20,000 per year. Within a week of their delivery, 75 percent expire with 50 percent of them dying in 24 hours.

Why our police can't do what the 'Bobbies' can?

Exhortations to our policemen and women to do their job in an upright manner without fear and favour have never been wanting irrespective of the colour and complexion of the establishment and other do-gooders. With all the eloquence and concern at their command, reference has been made by our guardians to the sterling performance of the London Metropolitan Police (fondly called 'Bobbies' in remembrance of Sir Robert Peel, the founder of London Metropolitan Police) for emulation and endearment to the community. One would very surely get moved upon hearing the virtues of the 'Bobbies', and wish if only our folks spoke and behaved the same way.

Russia emerges from the cold

Former Russian spy Aleksander Litvinenko's recent death from radiation poisoning in London and assassination of prominent Kremlin opponents have reinforced a growing Western perception that President Putin's Russia is abandoning the West. The USA in particular, is also beginning to consider that, as in the days of the Cold War, Russia is setting itself up as a serious rival to its agenda of spreading its version of 'freedom and democracy' around the world. This view has also been reinforced by the manner in which Russia has been using its control over natural resources to convey its viewpoint. Examples of this have been seen during the crisis over Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine in early 2006 and in its decision to challenge western participation in several major oil and gas exploration projects, notably Sakhalin-2, and its prominent support for separatist rebels in Georgia and Moldova.

The success that inspires

Recently the result of a survey conducted by the New York based world renowned Forbes Magazine published in a number of national dailies (The Daily Star December 28, 2007) has caused a stirring among the NGOs and conscious readers. Forbes Magazine published a list of 50 leading microfinance institutions of world in its 20 December 2007 issue. In this list Bangladesh NGO ASA secured the top position. Six more Bangladesh NGOs, including Grameen Bank and BRAC also secured their positions in the list. International Microfinance Exchange (MIX), under direct supervision of Forbes Magazine, prepared the list by conducting research on activities of 641 micro-credit institutions of world. The indicators based on which the list is prepared include: institutional expertise, risk-taking ability and return of assets, etc.


Abahani make final

Abahani buried a wretched start to the Protiti Pharma Victory Day Club Cup when they knocked out archrivals Mohammedan Sporting Club yesterday to reach the final of the year's first tournament.

Shuvo wants World Cup

Captain Suharwardi Shuvo has pledged that all efforts will be towards winning the ICC Under-19 World Cup in a bid to bring home glory from the country where Bangladesh clinched their biggest triumph to date.

Tigers begin training today

The 17-member Bangladesh cricket team will begin practice today at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium ahead of their home series against South Africa.

Bracken cleans up SL

Australian bowler Nathan Bracken starred as his side thrashed Sri Lanka by 128 runs in a World Cup final rerun in the tri-series competition here Friday.

Pharaohs & Lions prevail

Cameroon dashed Gha-na's African Nations Cup title dreams with a 1-0 semifinal win on Thursday to set up a rematch with their opening round conquerors Egypt in Sunday's final.

Force with England

England go into their one-day cricket series against New Zealand starting on Saturday on a high here after victories in two Twenty20 matches left New Zealand's confidence in tatters.

CCDM to reward winners of 2000 to 2007

The trophy awarding ceremony of the Dhaka Metropolis Cricket Leagues -- Premier division, first division, second division, third division and third division qualifying -- from 2000 to 2007 seasons will be held at Hotel Sheraton on Saturday.

Nat'l badminton

Title chasers Parash and Enayet both won their respective men's singles matches in the Islami Bank 28th National Badminton Championships yesterday.

Rohit accepts challenge

India's tri-series squad is packed with rookies but promising middle order batsman Rohit Sharma refuses that the absence of seniors is putting extra pressure on the youngsters.

Gambhir's top confidence

Having emerged as a major threat to Australia and Sri Lanka in the on-going cricket tri-series, India's young number three batsman Gautam Gambhir has thrown down the gauntlet to the hosts ahead of their Sunday clash.

40-pass Egypt oozing class

Defending champions Egypt have reached their second successive African Nations Cup final by playing a stylish, passing game in a tournament where most other teams have favoured raw physical power.

Blues ready for L'pool

If their pre-season plans had materialised, Liverpool would have been travelling to Chelsea this weekend looking to stamp their authority on the battle for the Premier League trophy.

Vital clash at the summit

While this weekend may only be the 19th of the Bundesliga's 34 rounds, the destination of the league title may well be determined by Sunday's winner of Bayern Munich's clash with Werder Bremen.

Crunch tie for Barca

Barcelona cut Real Madrid's advantage at the top of the Primera Liga to six points last weekend, prompting a surge in belief they can give the leaders a run for their money.

Press lambaste global plans

The Premier League's plan to play matches overseas has achieved the rare distinction of uniting the popular and heavyweight press, with almost universal condemnation in Britain's newspapers on Friday.

FC Tokyo looking at Nedved

Japanese club FC Tokyo have not ruled out an audacious move for former European Footballer of the Year Pavel Nedved of the Czech Republic.

Djokovic pulls out

Serbia's hopes of defeating Russia in a Davis Cup World Group first round tie were dealt a potentially fatal blow on Friday when Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic was forced to pull out of the opening rubber.

Arthur snaps at Arendse

Mickey Arthur, South Africa's coach, has filed a counter-charge against board president Norman Arendse after a heated exchange between the two and in response to disciplinary charges filed against him with regard to a selection dispute over the squad for the tour to Bangladesh.

'Man-to-man security'

Personal bodyguards will shadow Australia's cricketers during next month's Pakistan tour as part of planned stringent security usually reserved for visiting heads of state, reports said Friday.

'Split captains okay'

England Test captain Michael Vaughan insists he and one-day skipper Paul Collingwood can continue to work well together for the foreseeable future.

2 gold medals for Nawjoan

Agrabad Nawjoan Club of Chittagong clinched gold medal in the men's bamboo bow team event of the 3rd National Archery Championships yesterday at the Paltan Maidan.

Shoaib could jump ship

Pakistan's controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar could dump the BCCI-backed Indian Premier League to sign up for the rebel Indian Cricket League as his relations with the national board continue to deteriorate by the day.

Boycs' Tait remarks upset CA

Cricket Australia has taken strong exception to Geoffrey Boycott's claim Shaun Tait showed a "lack of character" for going on an indefinite break from the game. Boycott said Tait, who withdrew due to physical and emotional exhaustion after the India Test series, should have shown more commitment and desire to work through the problems.

Local boy Ranjan in doubles semis

The pair of local boy Ranjan Ram and Taipei's Keng-Cheng Lin stormed into the semifinal in boys' doubles in the Grameenphone International Junior (U-16) Tennis Championships (Group-3) at the Zafar Imam Tennis Complex here yesterday.

Joypurhat loses twice on Day 1

Chapainawabganj crushed Joypurhat 36-2 in an opening day match of the Exim Bank 18th National men's handball championship at the Jamalpur Stadium yesterday.

Manohar pledges the best

Cricket Board's president-elect Shashank Manohar is confident that all the Indian venues chosen for the 2011 World Cup would execute the requirements for hosting the mega event and preparations for achieving this aim would be constantly monitored by the BCCI.

Abahani off to a great start

Abahani KC thrashed Jhankar KC 5-0 in the hockey league here at the local stadium yesterday.


80pc micro-finance institutions found ineligible for licence

Over 80 percent of micro-finance institutions (MFIs) that have applied for licence to run their business do not fulfil the criteria set by the Micro-credit Regulatory Authority, a top official said.

Licence fees for petroleum transportation raised

The government has raised licence fees and services charges after 18 years for transportation of petroleum products and oil depots in a bid to generate more revenue from non-tax sources.

Local firm to invest $1.4m in Karnaphuli EPZ

Local company M/s ZANT Accessories Ltd will set up a garment accessories manufacturing plant in Karnaphuli Export Processing Zone (EPZ) with an investment of US$1.395 million, says a press release.

Asia not 'immune' to US slowdown, says ADB

Asian Development Bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda warned Friday that the continent was not immune to a US economic slowdown, despite its resilience amid the housing market turmoil.

Discord looms as G-7 finance chiefs meet on subprime crisis today

World finance chiefs will try to bolster confidence in the faltering global economy when they meet Saturday amid signs of trans-Atlantic friction over how to respond to recent market mayhem.

US Congress backs stimulus for troubled economy

The US Congress has overwhelmingly approved a giant economic stimulus plan sought by the White House amid mounting fears that the world's biggest economy could be sliding into a recession.

World's mobile phone industry heads for Barcelona event

The most established names in telecoms, Internet and media will come together next week in Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress, one of the world's biggest events for the mobile phone industry.

Soros buys $100m stake in India's Reliance Entertainment

US-based billionaire investor George Soros has bought a 100 million dollar stake in films-to-mobile Indian media company Reliance Entertainment owned by tycoon Anil Ambani, an official said Friday.

India hopes for better wheat production

As of now wheat import is no more on the agenda of the Indian government. Last year the import of wheat had caused a controversy with both right and left wing parties attacking the government.

Oil prices up in Asia

World oil prices rose in Asian trade Friday after Anglo-Dutch group Shell said production in strife-torn Nigeria, Africa's biggest crude producer, would be disrupted for two months, dealers said.

Thailand Investment Year 2008 to be launched

Newly appointed Industry Minister of Thailand Suwit Khunkitti is attempting to restore foreign investors' confidence through a new campaign called "Thailand's Investment Year 2008".

Germany top global exporter in 2007

Germany defended its rank as top global exporter last year, beating a fast growing China for possibly the last time as it posted a sharp increase in its trade surplus on Friday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

February 03-February 07, 2008
Local FX Market

The US dollar/BDT market was a tight in the beginning of the week, and slowly eased towards the end. The USD/BDT rate however almost remained unchanged.


Vow to achieve goals of eliminating blindness

A four-day international conference ended in the port city yesterday with a vow to achieve goals of 'VISION 2020: The Right to Sight', a global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness by the year 2020.

'Radio journalism can help ensure right to information'

Speakers at a conference yesterday called for development of radio journalism, saying that this media can play an important role in ensuring underprivileged people's right to information.

Four killed in road accidents

At least four people were killed and six others injured in separate road accidents in Khagrachhari, Satkhira and Feni yesterday.

$63m IDA credit to boost agri technology system

The World Bank approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit worth $62.60 million to revitalise Bangladesh's agricultural technology system, a WB statement said yesterday.

Dhaka will play major role in climate change debate

Since climate change is a priority issue, Bangladesh will continue to play an active role in the global debate on the subject, said Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury.

Infant taken to baby care home from Ctg jail

The confined three-and-a-half-month old infant was taken from Chittagong jail to a baby care home on Thursday.

Take coordinated steps to avoid food crisis

Workers' Party President Rashed Khan Menon has said if the government fails to take timely and coordinated steps, the country would face a food crisis leading to a famine.

CPB urges people to reject unequal deal with foreign cos

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) yesterday expressed concern over the floating of international tender for exploring oil and gas by dividing the country's maritime boundary into 27 blocks.

Set target for reduction of neonatal death

Bangladesh has halved its under-five child morality during the last decade but yet to set any target to reduce the mortality of neonates, who make up 55 percent of the total child deaths annually, said the experts at a neonatal conference yesterday.

Bangladesh will soon return to democracy

Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty yesterday hoped that the caretaker government would hand over power to an elected government after holding the national election by December according to the declared electoral roadmap.

Film show on drug, HIV prevention held

The premiere show of two films produced aiming to support the police, prisons, narcotics and community services for communicating the messages against crime, drug dependence and preventing the spread of HIV were held in the city on Thursday, says a press release.

Former BNP MP Masud Arun sued

Former BNP lawmaker from Meherpur-1 Masud Arun, his personal secretary Washes and Meherpur Pouro BNP President Jahangir Biswas have been sued for allegedly taking money by giving a false promise.

Protidhwani launched

Speakers at a programme yesterday said Bangladesh will not remain entangled in crisis if its people love the country from their respective positions.

Tk 6 lakh electric cables seized

Detective Branch (DB) of police seized a huge quantity of fake electric cables worth about Tk 6 lakh from two unauthorised factories at Shyampur in the city and arrested four people yesterday.

Akheri Chahar Shomba Mar 5

Holy Akheri Chahar Shomba will be observed in the country on March 5 as the moon of the Arabic month Safar has been sighted.

JU bird fair Feb 15

A daylong bird fair will be held on the Jahangirnagar University (JU) campus on February 15.

International art exhibition begins today

An international art exhibition begins today in observance of International Mother Language Day, says a press release.

VoIP equipment seized in Ctg

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized voice over internet protocol (VoIP) equipments worth about Tk 10 lakh from Nasirabad in the city on Thursday night, a press release said yesterday.

BBC Bangladesh Sanglap today

The 24th edition of the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap will be held at Feni Government College in Feni today.

Man slaughtered in Narsingdi

A man was slaughtered by miscreants at Char Alinagar village in Palash upazila on Thursday night.

Madrasa student stabbed to death by brother-in-law

A madrasa student was stabbed to death by his brother-in-law at Douriumakuri village in Chitalmari yesterday.


SM Matiur Rahman, a freedom fighter and retired joint secretary, passed away at Mirpur Heart Foundation Hospital in the city on Thursday at the age of 69, says a press release.

Death anniversary

Today is the 8th death anniversary of Md Abdur Rashid, says a press release.


Party men demand trial of ex-BNP MP in Jhenidah

Party men now demand punishment of former BNP lawmaker Shahidul Islam Master for amassing illegal wealth and misappropriating relief goods. Shahidul, elected from Jhenidah-3 constituency (Moheshpur) in last parliamentary polls, is on the list of 80 corruption suspects announced by the National Committee Against Corruption.

13-year-old schoolboy in jail as accused

A teenage boy is in Barisal central jail as an accused in the sensational Tera Shahjahan murder case.

Change mentality, serve people

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Muhammed yesterday said mentality of police should be changed to make the organisation truly service-oriented.

Khulna jute workers turn against 'corrupt' CBA leaders

Workers of state-owned jute mills in Khulna-Jessore industrial belt are now making preparations to launch movement against 'corrupt' CBA leaders and officials.

10,000 acres more under Boro in Moulvibazar

To cover losses due to last year's flood in Moulvibazar district, the Agriculture Extension Department (AED) has taken steps to bring more 9,880 acres of land under Irri-Boro cultivation in the district this year.

Vow to make Manikganj drug-free

Speakers at an anti-drug rally held at Manikganj Government Boys High School playground on Thursday pledged to make Manikganj drug-free.

Robber lynched in Mymensingh

Angry villagers lynched an unidentified robber when a gang was fleeing after committing robbery at village Golabaria in Gafargaon upazila in the early hours of yesterday.

'Ensure freedom fighters' quota in BCS'

Leaders of Muktijodha Manch, a newly-formed platform of freedom fighters in Rajshahi, in a statement issued yesterday, demanded of the caretaker government to ensure 30 percent freedom fighters' quota in Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations.

3 Jhenidah docs suspended

The Ministry of Health has suspended three doctors at Jhenidah Sadar Hospital on charge of wrong treatment that caused the death of ten-year-old boy Akash.

All help for Boro

The interim government is doing everything possible to ensure a bumper Boro production this year to cope with food problem.


Afghan government must improve

The Nato chief yesterday called on Afghanistan to improve its government and boost support for its security forces to step up the fight against the Taliban.

Strong Russia will spend on new arms race: Putin

President Vladimir Putin heralded a wealthy Russia able to compete in a new "arms race" with a speech Friday setting long term priorities for his hand-picked successor ahead of next month's presidential election.

Pro-Musharraf party hit by defections

A wave of defections from Pakistan's ruling party ahead of parliamentary elections is compounding the woes of Pervez Musharraf at a time of rampant Islamic militancy, soaring food prices and anger over the US-backed president's manoeuvring to prolong his eight years in power.

Hamas rejects Abbas truce offer

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas offered to help negotiate a ceasefire as Israel pounded Gaza on Thursday, killing seven people days after a suicide bombing claimed by the Strip's Hamas rulers.

Iran starts up advanced centrifuges

Iran's nuclear project has developed its own version of an advanced centrifuge to churn out enriched uranium much faster than its previous machines, diplomats and experts said Thursday.

al-Qaeda plotting attacks on Germany

German authorities have learnt that al-Qaeda is preparing to carry out attacks in Germany, a senior official said in an interview with Die Welt newspaper on Friday.

Dozens killed in LRA attack in S Sudan

Ugandan rebels from the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) killed 136 people and looted property during an attack earlier this week in southern Sudan, a senior military officer said yesterday.

Hillary, Obama eye more prizes in 'Potomac Pry'

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are setting their sights on a trio of presidential primaries on Tuesday that have gained unusual importance in the closest nomination race in recent memory.

30 feared killed in Kashmir avalanche

At least 30 people were feared killed in a snow avalanche that hit a cluster of houses at Gulabbagh near lower Munda on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway on Friday.

Converting land for biofuel worsens global warming

Clearing raw land to produce biofuels actually contributes to global warming by emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, researchers have warned.

G7 to consider climate change fund: Japan

Japan, Britain and the United States will propose a special fund to promote clean technologies as part of efforts to combat climate change, a Japanese official said on Thursday.

Two Picasso paintings stolen in Switzerland

Two paintings by Pablo Picasso worth nearly five million Swiss francs (4.5 million dollars) have been stolen from a museum in eastern Switzerland, police sources said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Britto's local innovations at Bogra workshop

Britto held a workshop recently at Nijera Kori's idyllic premises in Bogra. There, for a fortnight, the young experimenting artists got together to exchange ideas and views. Each artist did something different, bringing in his/her own feelings and aspirations, and mingling them with the surrounding environment. Out of the 17 artists, eight were local painters and sculptors, experimenting with various mediums taken from their vicinity in Bogra.

Sixteen receive Chandrabati award

Chandrabati Academy arranged an award giving ceremony titled Chandrabati Swarnapadak 2007 at the Media Centre-1 of Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre on February 7. Sixteen people of different sectors of the country were awarded at the programme .

Samay Natya Utsab

As part of the ongoing theatre festival arranged by Samay Sanskritik Goshthi, theatre troupe Aranyak Natyadal will stage Mayur Shinghashon at the Experimental Theatre Stage today.

Children's Publications at the Boi Mela

Of the 365 stalls at this year's Amar Ekushey Granthamela, also known as the 'Boi Mela', about 20-25 stalls feature publications solely for children. The number is fewer compared to last year's arrangement but then again, the total number of stalls at this year's Boi Mela is also fewer. Not too many young bookworms are frequenting the fair as of yet but the booksellers expect an increase in attendance in about a week when more books will be available.

Call to ensure right to mother tongue

Speakers at a recent discussion said that the government is prepared to initiate primary education in mother languages of the 13 indigenous communities living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), which is mandatory as per the 'CHT Peace Accord'. The present government has all the intentions of implementing the programme, they said.

"Golpo Thekay Natok" on BTV

BTV is airing a series of nine plays adapted from novels. The plays were aired at 9 pm on the first, second and third Sundays of January and will continue the same way this month and in March, says a press release.


Brutal crimes shake the society again

The gruesome killing of Dr. Mofakkarul Ahmed Sohel, Registrar and a surgeon at the Banglsdesh Medical College Hospital in the first week of January last and shredding of the lifeless body into three pieces at his Dhanmondi residence, which were later recovered from his village home at Gaibandha, sent shock waves though the country. The mortal remains also cut into pieces, of Jesmine, a house wife at Araihazar and mother of two children, were dug out from a jungle after she went missing for about a month . Jesmine, it was learnt from Araihazar thana police sources, was allegedly killed by her husband Aynal in collusion with his brother Enamul, as she filed a torture case against her husband in a court set up to try women and children repression cases.

Mid-term elections on cards

However strong are the statements to the contrary, I still expect a mid-term election this year. It may not be in April or May as anticipated earlier, but it looks like taking place in October-November. The political situation in the country is developing in such a way that the ruling Congress may itself dissolve parliament and opt for the polls. Once the party clinches a favourable agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and proves that the assurances given by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to parliament have been met, the Congress believes it will be on a firmer ground to take on the opposition parties.

The SME propaganda

The new buzzword in the banking industry, donor agencies, and even the government has been SME. Almost every bank in Bangladesh has an SME cell and new products and initiatives aimed at SMEs are a common feature in the business page of the newspapers. It would seem that financing these SMEs is guaranteed to pave the way for economic development in Bangladesh. What is SME and why suddenly it has become the focus?

A handful of roaring sea

I fear the roaring sea
And again
I love the roaring sea.


Hi-tech to overcome disability

Imagine a machine, which receives signals from your brain and helps you control your body organs. Yes, it is not a science fiction anymore, but a real innovation that has created a landmark in the history of mankind.

'Digital divide' widens between rich and poor countries: UNCTAD

The 'digital divide' between rich and poor countries is growing with developing countries still far behind in the use of broadband internet, the UN trade and development agency has warned.

D-Link introduces 'Empower Partner Program'

D-link, leading manufacturer of wireless and Ethernet computer networking products, for the first time in Bangladesh inaugurated the 'Empower Partner Program' at a local hotel on February 4.

EWU to participate in ACM ICPC world final

East West University (EWU) Bangladesh, one of the leading private universities in the country is going to participate at the ACM ICPC world final to be held in Alberta, Canada this year.

The world's lightest Tablet PC

Computer Source Ltd. (CSL), leading ICT distributor in Bangladesh, has introduced the stylish tablet pc Fujitsu LifeBook T2010, which is said to be the world's lightest A4 convertible tablet PC, says a press release.


The Sky Above and the Grass Below

In the year 2003, I was invited to a dinner at Delhi's India International Centre. I came face to face with a woman my age and we began talking. We both said that we found each other very familiar and yet we couldn't recall where we had met. Were we in the same school? No, we weren't. Were we in the same college? No, we weren't. Did we meet when we were both studying abroad? Certainly not. Then where had we met? “I know for a fact, that we have met before,” she said. There was something uncannily familiar about her so I said, “I know that we have spent a lot of time together.” Then suddenly, it fell into place and we both asked, “Did you play cricket in Bibekananda Park? “Of course, I did” we both exclaimed. “So that's where we met!!”

Amid Violence

Pakistan is still reeling from the shock, violence, uncertainty, accusations and counter-accusations that have followed Benazir Bhutto's horrific assassination. Shortly before her return to Pakistan in October, she had submitted the manuscript of her book Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West to HarperCollins. Six hours, before she died her friend Mark Siegal had sent her an e-mail her to say that the publisher was very pleased with it. The book is now being rushed into print and will be released in February. There is also much demand for the new, revised and updated version of her 1988 autobiography Daughter of the East which was published shortly before her return to Pakistan in October.

On Namwar Singh and Allen Ginsberg: Delhi Part 4

The late afternoon sunlight slanted onto the mahogany floorboards.

Strategic Issues

Sri Lankan government's current strategy against LTTE

Sri Lanka on 4th February celebrated the 60th anniversary of its independence from the British rule. Prior to the British, the Portuguese and the Dutch administered the country and left their legacies. The country became a Republic in 1972 and changed its name from Ceylone to Sri Lanka.

Super Tuesday showdown

The caucus of super-duper Tuesday with nearly half of American voters is just over. Obama put up a good fight bagging 528 delegates but Senator Clinton with 635 appears to be buoyant in the Democratic camp.

Benazir Bhutto's assassination and the American elections

Benazir's assassination is widely considered to be a serious jolt to democratization in Pakistan and a worrying factor for regional stability and security. At the same time, this tragic event is casting its shadow over the presidential polls in the United States. Bhutto's death is likely to influence the foreign policy agendas of the candidates and may provide support to hardliner candidates' arguments.

Russian Arms Exports to China in Collapse: Report

Moscow Russia's arms industry is suffering a near collapse in exports to China as military top brass agonize over which technology the neighboring state should be allowed, a Russian daily reported Jan. 29.

Second Dutch Navy Corvette Arrives in Indonesia

Jakarta The Indonesian navy has taken delivery of the second of four corvettes ordered from the Netherlands, the navy said here Jan. 30.

India-Israel Defense Links Raise Political Conflict

New Delhi India-Israeli defense ties are threatening to blow up into a major political controversy here as the parties on the political left, whose support the government needs to remain in power, have severely criticized the Jan. 21 launch of an Israeli spy satellite from Indian territory.

Star Books Review

Faith, tradition and the world of Islam's women

Mohammad Ali Syed subtitles his work as 'A Progressive View', which certainly points to the kind of case he makes for his interpretation of Islamic rules and conventions as they apply to women. Syed has little patience with the proponents of radical Islam, those whose view of the faith embraces some of the most conservative, indeed fanatic assessments of the position Muslim women should hold in society. The increasing alarm that in recent times has been raised over such issues as the use of the niqab and hijab by Muslim women does not, for the writer, emphasise the core of the Islamic faith and indeed goes against history. Not for him the bigotry which has long characterised (and still does characterise) the status of women in Islam. Not for him, therefore, an acquiescence in the thought that women in Islam belong in one place, in this instance the four walls of a male-dominated home.

Medical science with Shakespearean undertones

A common allegation against physicians in Bangladesh is that they do not discharge their professional responsibilities with a mind of service to humanity, which their profession is meant for. Maybe it is not applicable to all physicians but it is true of a large number of them. There are multifarious reasons for this. As a nation we lack a humanitarian service-rendering tradition; many physicians coming out of poverty-ridden families set money-making as their only goal in life; at the institutional level it is not ensured that physicians will come to patients' service whenever and however necessary; ethics of medical practice are not inculcated properly in a physician's mind; and a wave of capitalism has driven medical practitioners into a rat race for material gains. It is undoubtedly a sorry state of affairs.

Childhood innocence mutating into adult corruption

The roots of Kenya's current, sad situation---tribalism and corruption---can be identified in M. G. Vassanji's haunting novel, The In-Between World of Vikram Lall. As the narrator remarks late in the story, “The wealthy and the powerful desired no changes.” African leaders, reluctant to give up their power, will often do anything (rigged elections, constitutional changes) in order to remain in office. Corruption is often endemic and designed to keep the Big Man's supporters happy; tribalism often impinges on other groups, as in Kenya's situation, because of the significant “settler” communities of Asians and Europeans.

Myths, half truths, metaphors

No, the woman wasn't made of stone but the stone showed fading traces of a woman who probably was a pagan goddess. And it is to her that the novel's characters disgorge their secrets it must be her silence that made her a worthy listener.

At a glance

A History of the Arab Peoples
Albert Hourani
Faber and Faber
One of the more authentic approaches to the study of a region and a culture distinctive in its many patterns, this book is the dream of any pupil of Middle Eastern history. Hourani does not leave out anything --- literature, politics, economics --- which is why it promises to be a gripping read.

The Daily Star

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