The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, July 24, 2014


News of: Saturday, 16th of February, 2008

Front Page

46 grenades recovered from Satkhira village

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday recovered 46 grenades from Shimulia village under Debhata upazila of Satkhira district.

Hasina refuses to take treatment in country

Detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday rejected the jail authorities' proposal for her treatment in any hospital in the country.
The jail authorities agreed to send the ailing former prime minister to any hospital in the country for medical check-up and eye treatment according to her wish.

Bus plunge at ferry ghat kills five

Five people died when a microbus plunged into the river Padma at Daulatdia ferry ghat under Rajbari district early yesterday.
The dead are Momotaz Khatun 27, wife of Jhumur Malitha, his son Nayan, 9, younger sister Swapna 10, sister-in-law Tagar 18 and brother-in-law Laltu 22. They all hailed from Dighirpara area of Meherpur town.

17 years of 'journalism without fear or favour'

Beginning in 1991 with our “Commitment to People's Right to Know” we have completed nearly two decades of journalism serving our readers with dedication, sincerity and commitment to public interest. During this period the country witnessed many upheavals, some natural and quite a few man made. Throughout it all we stood by our readers giving them the most authentic and timely reports, features, articles and editorials to enable them to form informed opinions. In addition we have tried to provide a variety of supplementary publications, four weeklies, one fortnightly and one monthly, to meet their rising expectations.

Jail won't despatch it if content is political

Deputy Inspector General (prisons) Major Shamsul Haider Siddique yesterday said the jail authorities would not dispatch any letter by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia if the content is political.

Discord among key leaders of Awami League, allies

Awami League's (AL) move to form a grand electoral alliance is facing differences of opinion among key leaders in the party as well as in the AL-led combine.

Shark hunters defy ban

Sharks are being hunted indiscriminately in the south-western coast of the country threatening marine eco system even though catching sharks is banned under the Wildlife Act.

Wholesale rice prices mark fall without impact on retail

With an increase in supply of rice, prices of coarse varieties on wholesale markets in the capital came down a little yesterday, but no impact of it was seen on retail markets.

Plan fails to take off for lack of sufficient SIs

The plan to set up separate investigation wing at all the police stations remains far from being effective mainly due to lack of sufficient number of sub-inspectors (SIs).

Bird watching amid flu fear

A day long migratory bird watching fair was held on Jahangirnagar University (JU) campus yesterday without any precautionary measure to mitigate the chances of direct contact between visitors and the birds amid an epidemic of bird flu sweeping across the country.

Ex-state minister Ziaul Huq sued for corruption

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has filed a corruption case against former state minister Ziaul Huq Zia and four others with Ramganj Police Station.

2,054 Dhaka jail inmates made voters

The Election Commission (EC) has so far listed 2,054 inmates of Dhaka Central Jail as voters, said sources.

Pakistanis fear bloodshed, cheating during polls

The stakes are high but enthusiasm appears low as Pakistanis face one of the most crucial elections in their history.

Hillary wins New Mexico caucus after string of defeats

Hillary Clinton got a badly needed piece of good news Thursday with word she had won last week's New Mexico Democratic presidential caucus over her surging rival Barack Obama.

Army does not want to see a poor Bangladesh any more: Moeen

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed has said the army does not want to see Bangladesh as a poor country anymore.

Mugger lynched in Chittagong

A mob beat a mugger to death and injured three other of the gang as they were trying to flee after robbing a student at Chittagong city's GEC intersection yesterday afternoon.

Criminals kill Sylhet trader

Criminals killed a construction material trader of Golapganj upazila in Sylhet Thursday night.

Fowls culled in Comilla, Gazipur, eggs seized in Khagrachhari

Livestock officials have culled some 65,000 chickens and other fowls in Gazipur and Comilla districts after detection of avian influenza.

Convicted killers of Kazi Aref, 4 others still absconding

Police are yet to arrest the absconding convicted killers of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) president and an organiser of the Liberation War Kazi Aref Ahmed and four leaders of the party's Kushtia unit even after nine years of the killings.

6th Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad on

The Sixth Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad 2008 began at St Joseph's Higher Secondary School in the capital yesterday with high hopes for innovations and building a prosperous Bangladesh.

Make migration of Bangladeshis to UK easier

Immigration Advisory Service (IAS), a British charity, urged UK ministers to make Bangladeshi workers' migration to UK easier to avert a potential staff crisis in Britain's curry houses.

West Bengal minister to hand over relief today

West Bengal's Transport Minister Subhas Chakraborty is to reach Benapole Land Port today to handover 111 truckloads of relief materials for Sidr-affected people to Bangladesh authorities.

7 killed in Valentine's Day US campus massacre

Authorities investigated Friday what drove a former student to coldly spray a university lecture hall with bullets, killing six people and wounding 15 before turning a gun on himself.

Editorial

EC's talks with political parties

The resumption of the dialogue between Election Commission and the political parties on February 24 should inject dynamism into the otherwise lacklustre atmospherics related to electoral preparations. The dialogue stalled for more than two months due to a legal dispute over the question of who should represent BNP is now being rightly pushed forward pending High Court judgement on the issue -- not taken the earlier decision to invite one faction of BNP and not both.

Honouring the martyrs

The decision to rename the villages of the seven Birshreshthas of the Liberation War of 1971 and three martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement after their names is indeed a highly commendable one. We are also happy to learn that the government has further decided to establish a library and a memorial museum in each of the villages through the local district councils. This is almost akin to paying off a debt that has been long due. Surely this laudable step will help keep the memory of their heroic deeds ever fresh in the minds of the present and future generations.

Of crooked cops and prattling politicians

The despicable act of robbery committed by a serving Assistant Commissioner of Chittagong Metropolitan Police has shamed and shattered many well-meaning hearts. This writer as a former law-enforcement practitioner feels especially distressed because experience has shown that the life styles of the overwhelming majority of our police personnel are no different from the ordinary law-abiding Bangladeshis.

Iran, the region and the United States

The regional security landscape and Tehran's security outlook has dramatically changed since 11 September 2001. In 2000, at the beginning of this decade, Iran had two sworn enemies on either flank -- the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in the east and Saddam Hussein in Iraq on the west. After the terrorist attacks on the USA on 9/11, the dynamics started evolving first in Afghanistan and then later in Iraq. Soon after the attacks on New York and Washington came the American-led international coalition invasion in Afghanistan that overthrew the Talibans. Then, less than two years later came the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime.

Let's have our indigenous version of pluralism

Acivilised society is now 'architectured' upon market economy and democracy, human right based liberal ideology, enlightened civil society and free press, pluralism being the pivotal force to all. Pluralism is a pervasive and comprehensive concept of recognising, interacting and stabilising with diverse opinions and dogmas. It entails that every thing has got its inherent phenotypes of meaning, understanding and implication. Open market economy principally rests on pluralism, the grand total of price mechanism and rationality of customers and producers. It holds that a market has pluralistic customers and suppliers, and the price and production of any goods depends on its demand and supply. The core driving force of the open economy is the multifarious competition among the consumers and producers for the price and value.

Sports

SA focus on cricket

South Africa will put the recent selection controversy behind them and concentrate on cricket in Bangladesh to extend their good run in what has already become a very successful season.

MSC keep losing

If the loss to BKSP was a shock, then defending Twenty20 champions Mohammedan Sporting Club's consecutive defeat to no-hopers Kalabagan by four wickets in Savar yesterday must be their final wake-up call. One more loss and they would be facing a premature exit to disappoint their large fan base, who would ask where all the money have really gone.

Pakistan eye hattrick title

Pakistan will bid for a third successive title when cricket's future stars take part in the under-19 World Cup, which starts in Malaysia on Sunday.

Missing Pollock

When Graeme Smith took over South Africa's captaincy from Shaun Pollock in 2003, he was the youngest ever to lead the country at 22 years.

Gilly's last show at WACA

Local hero Adam Gilchrist scored a fairytale century in a man-of-the-match performance that lifted Australia to victory in their tri-series one-day game against Sri Lanka at the WACA Friday.

Shakib to lead BCB Eleven

All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will lead the Bangladesh Cricket Board Eleven in the three-day warm-up match against touring South Africa at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium from February 17.

Dipali, Mohakhali draw blank

Dipali Jubo Sangha played out a goalless draw with Mohakhali Ekadash in the day's lone match of the Metropolis Senior Division Football League at the Bir Shreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Stadium at Kamalapur yesterday.

Skipper pleased but cautious

England captain Paul Collingwood praised his side's resilience after their morale-boosting six-wicket win over New Zealand in Auckland.

'Give Yuvraj more time'

Former cricket captain Kapil Dev on Friday said out of form batsman Yuvraj Singh should be given a long rope to rediscover his touch but the left-hander should not take his place in the team for granted.

Schools cricket

Kanchipara Academy beat Gaibandha Government High School by three wickets in the opening match of the Standard Chartered Young Tigers school cricket competition at the local stadium yesterday.

Aberdeen hold giants

English Premier League sides Tottenham and Bolton took tentative steps closer to the UEFA Cup last 16 on Thursday while Aberdeen maintained Scottish pride with a 2-2 draw against Bayern Munich.

Spain looking to Betis

All eyes in Spain will be on Real Betis on Saturday to see if the southern club can defy their status as relegation candidates and stop Real Madrid all but wrapping up the title by Easter.

Second spot up for grabs

Second place is the prize on offer in the big match of the weekend as Roma travel to Turin to face Juventus while AC Milan try to overcome the loss of Ronaldo in their trip to Parma.

Gunners take on MU

Arsenal's success in opening up a five-point lead over Manchester United at the top of the Premier League has upped the stakes for Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round showdown between the clubs.

Bad blood in Berlin

There promises to be bad blood when Hertha Berlin face Arminia Bielefeld at Berlin's Olympic Stadium on Saturday with Hertha threatening legal action against Bielefeld's Artur Wichniarek.

Blatter's vehement no

Sepp Blatter, the president of football's world governing body FIFA, said on Thursday that plans to stage English Premier League (EPL) games overseas will never happen.

Romario cleared of doping

Brazilian World Cup winner Romario was on Thursday cleared of a doping offence and had a three-month suspension quashed.

Ronaldinho no 'super hero'

Barcelona's Brazilian forward Ronaldinho, whose form has dipped this season, has stressed that he is not a "super hero."

Tardelli named Irish assistant

Ireland named former Inter Milan coach Marco Tardelli as assistant manager on Thursday, a day after announcing the appointment of fellow Italian Giovanni Trapattoni as national coach.

England stay alive

Skipper Paul Collingwood led from the front as England bounced back from two drubbings to win the third one-day international against New Zealand here Friday to keep the series alive.

Fiery clash in prospect

PSG face arch-rivals Marseille in French football's biggest derby this weekend with nothing to lose as the faltering Parisians bid to improve their mid-table standing.

Rash dash for cash

At Australia's Boxing Day sales there are stampedes as crowds of shoppers rush for ridiculously priced items. People are crushed in the frenzy for $50 washing machines and $5 shoes and the greedy procession is filmed for television news. The few winners show off their prized purchases like World Cups, but overall the whole process is bruising and demeaning.

PCB mulls options

Pakistan are considering inviting India for a quickfire series of ODIs if, as is becoming increasingly likely, Australia pull out of their scheduled tour in March-April.

Issue with CA resolved: IPL

The contracts tussle between Cricket Australia and the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been resolved, ending weeks of uncertainty over the availability of top Australian players for the Twenty20 tournament.

Ranjan has fine day

Local boy Ranjan Ram advanced to the quarterfinals of the Dhaka Bank 22nd Bangladesh International Junior Tennis tournament beating Skharulidze Sergi of Georgia 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 in the boys' singles qualifying round match at the Ramna National Tennis Complex yesterday.

Probhat clinch Gold Cup

Probhat Sangha fended off an inspiring spell from former national player Morshed Ali Khan Shumon to win by 44 runs against Dashora Palli Mongol Samity (DPMS) to lift the Gold Cup title at the Shaheed Miraz-Tapan Stadium here yesterday.

Steve's arrival delayed

England fast bowler Steve Harmison will join up with his teammates for the upcoming Test series in New Zealand next week after being given leave to stay at home for the birth of his fourth child.

Bird immortal in bronze

Legendary cricket umpire Dickie Bird said he "never dreamed" of being immortalised in bronze as he unveiled a statue of himself in his home town of Barnsley, northern England.

Business

Govt plans to ease rules on credit card use

The government plans to ease rules and regulations on using credit cards in order to make the technology-driven transaction more popular.

Danish ICT market offers opportunities for Bangladesh

Bangladesh could take a share of Denmark's big ICT market by becoming an outsourcing destination of the European country, Einar H. Jensen, Danish ambassador in Dhaka, told a seminar yesterday.

Local commodity market going thru' supply shortage

Mamun Rashid is the managing director and country officer of Citibank NA, Bangladesh. With a banking career spanning over 20 years he has served many senior positions in treasury, institutional banking, debt restructuring & recoveries and corporate banking in three leading multinational banks at home and abroad. Rashid is also the chairman of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) standing committee on Banking Techniques and Practice for Bangladesh.

DSE witnesses steady week amid intervention

The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) witnessed a steady week that ended Thursday despite speculations of increased trade after the market regulator raised margin loan ratio.

Thailand worries over food shortages

Thailand has started requiring that all its diesel fuel include a component made from palm oil, a move that could reduce costly energy imports but is driving up prices for the commodity, experts say.

US trade gap falls first time in 6 years, China gap hits record

The US trade deficit narrowed in 2007 for the first time in six years, as rising exports supported by a weak dollar helped offset a record gap with China, data showed Thursday.

S'pore downgrades 2008 growth forecast

Singapore, Southeast Asia's most advanced economy, on Thursday downgraded its economic growth outlook for this year, citing increasing downside risks spawned by a slowdown in the United States.

Re-registration deadline for mobile phone users may be extended

The re-registration deadline for mobile phone subscribers may be extended for another three and a half months to 31 May. The current deadline expires today.

Emerging nations give mixed reaction to WTO proposals

Developing countries on Friday welcomed WTO proposals to reduce barriers to farm trade but voiced reservations on those calling for a further opening of their own markets for industrial goods.

Bepza to woo investment from Australia

The Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza) has embarked on a mission to woo foreign investment from Australia as its Executive Chairman Brig Gen Ashraf Abdullah Yussuf was due to start a week-long visit to Australia yesterday.

Janata Bank to offer Tk50cr to Brac

Janata Bank Ltd will provide Tk 50 crore to Brac, a leading non-government organisation, for conducting agri-rehabilitation works in the cyclone Sidr-affected areas in the country.

Foreign TV channel agents must get BB nod

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) has made it mandatory for the satellite channel distributors, particularly the pay channels, to take permission from BB to run their businesses in the country.

Singer launches sales campaign

Singer has launched a special campaign titled 'Singer Plus February Special' which ends on February 29, says a press release.

Citi picks up award

Citi has picked up the 'Best Bank' award for 8th year running from The Asset's Triple A Asian Awards 2007 recently, says a press release.

Fareast Finance declares 20pc dividend

Fareast Finance & Investment Ltd, a leasing and finance company, has declared a 20 percent dividend in the form of bonus share for the year 2007.

Weekly Currency Roundup

February 10-February 14, 2008
Local FX Market

Metropolitan

Six killed in road crashes

At least six people were killed in separate road accidents in Brahmanbaria, Kushtia, Gaibandha and Barguna yesterday.

'Concerted efforts needed to help develop students' talents'

Education and Commerce Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman has laid emphasis on concerted efforts to help nurture talents of school students with a view to building a prosperous country.

'Make public agreements with foreign companies'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday urged the government to make public all recently signed agreements on gas, oil and coal exploration with different foreign companies.

Install measuring units at customs bonded tank terminals

Commerce Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman has directed for immediate installation of measuring units at the customs bonded edible-oil tank terminals to check fraud in delivery of crude oil and tax evasion.

DU Gha unit admission testr esult published

The result of admission test of 'Gha' unit of Dhaka University (DU) under academic session 2007-08 published temporally yesterday.

New forum of journalists

Bangladesh Action Force for Development Alternative (BAFDA), a new organisation of journalists, was launched at a meeting in the city recently.

Gono Forum demands dialogue in presence of media

Gono Forum has demanded dialogue between the government, civil societies and political parties in presence of the media for the sake of free, fair and neutral election, says a press release.

Death anniversary of Osmani today

Today is the 24th death anniversary of General MAG Osmani, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces during the War of Liberation, says a press release.

Sub-Editors Council executives

Shah Mohammad Mutasim Billah of the daily Janakantha and M Al Mamun of the daily Ittefaq have been elected president and general secretary of the Dhaka Sub-Editors Council (DSEC).

Photo exhibition on mountaineering begins

A seven-day photography exhibition titled 'Turtle Neck: Mt. Rubal Kang', organised by Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, began at Bengal Shilpalay in the city yesterday, says a press release.

235 Phensidyl bottles seized

Detective Branch of police seized 235 bottles of Phensidyl and Tk 2 lakh found in a fish-laden truck at West Panthapath in the city and arrested three people yesterday afternoon.

Book fair begins in Ctg

A three-week-long book fair began in the port city yesterday to mark the Amar Ekushey.

BBC Bangladesh Sanglap today

The 25th edition of the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap will be held at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the capital today.

India extends Taslima's visa

India has extended the visa of Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, which was due to expire on February 17, but asked her to be sensitive to Indian traditions and secular ethos.

One chopped to death in Pabna

Unidentified miscreants chopped a young man to death at Laxminathpur village in Pabna Sadar upazila in the early hours of yesterday.

Obituary

Language Movement veteran Sofia Khan passed away due to old age complications at the residence of her sister at Shantinagar in the city on Thursday night at the age of 80.

Sgt Zahurul Haque

Bangladesh Air Force observed the 39th death anniversary of Sergeant Zahurul Haque yesterday, says an ISPR release.

Natyaguru Prof Nurul Momen

Today is the 18th death anniversary of Natyaguru Prof Nurul Momen, says a press release.

National

Sylhet City Corporation polls preparation begins

Authorities have started preparations for holding Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) polls in April.

Only 16,000 MT urea in stock at Zia fertiliser factory

The stock of urea fertiliser at Zia fertilizer factory came down to 16,000 tonnes yesterday as production is stopped since February 10, factory sources said.

Trial of three cases against JMB cadres resumes

Trial of three out of the five cases relating to series bomb blasts on August 17 in 2005 began on Thursday as the court recorded the statements of three prosecution witnesses of the cases.

First pry school for 7 orange producing villages opens

The people of seven orange producing villages under Juri upazila had a happy occasion as Moulvibazar Deputy Commissioner (DC) Md Alkama Siddiquee inaugurated Shuknachhera Non-government Primary School at Suknachhera village on Thursday.

Trial of ex-BNP MP Ilyas Ali begins Feb 25

Following a petition filed by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for taking legal action against former BNP lawmaker M Ilyas Ali in a case for killing a leader of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court in Sylhet on Thursday fixed February 25 for hearing.

Tk 6 cr touchstone statute recovered in Tangail

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) have recovered a touchstone statute of Vishnu worth about Tk 6 crore from a village in Gopalpur upazila, Rab sources said.

2,000 take part in Jhenidah Math Festival

Mathematics Festival-2008 was held here yesterday in a jovial mood where about 2,000 students of 100 educational institutions participated aiming at removing fear of Mathematics from their minds.

Alim Jute Mills lay-off extended

Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) has extended the lay-off of Alim Jute Mills for 15 days for the seventh time with effect from today.

International

Pakistan election puts US in dilemma

The United States hopes Pakistan's upcoming election will be free and fair and bring an end to domestic violence so that Islamabad can focus on the "war on terror." But it may not get what it wants.

Hezbollah declares 'open war' on Israel

Lebanon's Hezbollah opposition chief declared "open war" on Israel on Thursday as hundreds of thousands of government supporters filled central Beirut to remember slain ex-premier Rafiq Hariri.

All Iranian nuclear questions must be answered: France

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told atomic watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei on Thursday that the six major powers expect Iran to answer all the outstanding questions over its nuclear programme.

Lanka keeps up air raid on rebel territory

Sri Lankan war planes carried out bombing raids Friday inside territory held by Tamil Tiger guerrillas, the defence ministry said.

Business chiefs vow to lead fight against global warming

Some of the world's top companies yesterday vowed to step up their efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, saying governments were failing to show sufficient leadership in the fight against global warming.

Chad leader declares state of emergency

Chad's president declared a nationwide state of emergency Thursday, telling citizens that tightened controls are needed to restore order after recent rebel attacks.

Serbian president pledges to keep Kosovo as he takes oath

Boris Tadic vowed to maintain Serbia's sovereignty over Kosovo as he was sworn in as Serbian president on Friday with the province's imminent declaration of independence heightening political tensions.

Race heats up for $2.5b Indian artillery deal

British defence group BAE Systems has joined the race to win part of a 2.5-billion-dollar artillery shopping spree by the Indian military, defence officials in New Delhi said Friday.

India offers Pakistan joint naval exercises

India, which recently staged its first military exercises with China, is ready to carry out naval manoeuvres with arch-rival Pakistan, the navy chief has said.

Kenya rivals reach 'half-way deal'

Kenya's rival parties have agreed to change the constitution and bring the opposition into government in what was described Friday as a 'half-way deal' to end turmoil that has left more than 1,000 dead.

Black lawmakers rethink Hillary support

In a fresh sign of trouble for Hillary Rodham Clinton, one of the former first lady's congressional black supporters intends to vote for Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention, and a second, more prominent lawmaker is openly discussing a possible switch.

Astronomers discover solar system like ours

A host of amateur astronomers have helped researchers discover a distant solar system remarkably similar to our own, according to a study released Thursday by Science magazine.

Obesity boosts cancer risk

Being obese boosts the risk of half a dozen types of cancer, and the odds strengthen as one's waistline thickens, according to a major review published in The Lancet.

US to shoot down satellite

President George W Bush has directed a US warship to shoot down an out-of-commission spy satellite before it crashes to Earth, senior US officials said Thursday.

Strokes cause brain damage in three minutes: scientists

Strokes cause brain damage within three minutes, scientists reported Thursday, casting doubt on the common public perception that all strokes can be medically treated within three hours.

Public support for Japan govt falls: poll

Public support for the government of Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda fell to 32.5 percent in February, as it struggles to deal with a string of scandals and social problems, a poll said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

10th Int'l Short and Independent Film Festival-Dhaka begins

The 10th International Short and Independent Film Festival-Dhaka began on February 14 with much enthusiasm. Bangladesh Short Film Forum (BSFF) has been arranging the festival biennially since 1988 and it is the largest festival highlighting works by independent filmmakers in Bangladesh.

ITI Theatre Festival '08 begins tomorrow

The Bangladesh Centre of the International Theatre Institute's (BCITI) ninth biennial theatre festival, titled 'Whither Theatre' begins tomorrow. Adviser to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Rasheda K Chowdhury will inaugurate the festival at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). BSA is co-organising the festival.

Battle scenes from Stalingrad

The recent black and white photography exhibition at the Russian Centre for Science and Culture is indeed a stirring one. A few coloured posters are also included. The display is to mark the victory of the Russians over the invading Germans in the Battle of Stalingrad (17 July 1942-2 February 1943), the most crucial battle of World War II for the Russians.

Samay Theatre Festival '08 ends

The nine-day theatre festival organised by Samay Shanskritik Goshthi, celebrating the troupe's 30th anniversary, ends today at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

OP-ED

Joblessness tears social fabric

With the country steeped in endemic corruption, prices of food grains going beyond the purchasing power of people, inflation mounting and unemployment surging up, disappointing news items like 'Dream turns into nightmare for three lakh Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia' -- even after paying a hefty sum of money to manpower agents in Bangladesh -- (The Daily Star, Feb 9) and an earlier report that 'Thousands languishing in Saudi Arabian jails' -- for illegally entering Saudi Arabia -- appear to be most disturbing.

Uncertain Pakistan

Pakistan is not a failed state. It is an uncertain state which can take any coursetheocratic, despotic, semi-democratic or just chaotic. When I visited Karachi and Lahore a few days ago, I found hardly anyone who was optimistic about Pakistan's future. However, the country is not falling apart as is the general impression.

Let their voice be heard

The structural factors which perpetuate poverty in Bangladesh include little access of the poor to economic and political resources. Poverty, as a multi-dimensional deprivation is the inability of people to meet economic, social and other standards of well-being. The multiple causes of poverty are either internal or structural or induced (man-induced and/or policy-induced) and certainly linked to low income, lack of education and poor health. But, there is a growing emphasis on considering poverty as a direct result of inadequate policies and ill-designed development programmes, such as those preventing sustainable access to social services or productive assets (e.g. land and financial resources) and thus hampering economic empowerment.

We regret

Recently an article was published in these columns, without mentioning names that talked about a particular family in Bangladesh each of whose members are successful professionals in their own right. The article was malicious, sweeping, full of innuendos but contained no facts. Such a piece should never have been published in our paper, which has tried to uphold a standard of taste and value that this article did not remotely represent.

StarTech

Software gala heats up

Basis SoftExpo 2008, the mega exposition of the software industry, is now going on in the city with a view to exploring new avenue for local hi-tech industry. It is also a festival of innovation where exhibitors showcase their high-end products and services.

Google's Android debuts in Barcelona

The first mobile phones fitted with Google's Android software platform made their debut at an industry trade show on Monday, a milestone for the internet giant as it looks to dominate the wireless world.

Latest Asus Motherboard unveiled

Global Brand Pvt. Ltd. (GBPL), one of the leading IT solution providers in Bangladesh, recently unveiled the P5KPL-VM model of ASUS motherboard in the local market.

Tech-stiles: Clothes that produce power

Someday, your shirt might be able to power your iPod just by doing the normal stuff expected of a shirt.

Literature

The Dogs of Dolphin Lane

The day the dog catchers of the City Corporation finally came and quickly rounded up, killed and carted away the stray dogs, the people in Dolphin Lane heaved a sigh of great relief--despite the sudden action and the cruelty of the catchers' technique.

Our autumn moments of protest

I.
Do we have to like Taslima Nasrine's work to protest what she faces?

Kali O Kolom January 2008

This latest issue of Kali O Kolom contains articles on three foreign authors: Simone de Beauvoir, Gabriel Garcia Marquez (aged 90) and his novella written after a silence of ten years (its English translation has been released as Memories of My Melancholy Whores), and Normal Mailer, the American novelist who died recently. While the one on de Beauvoir is replete with commonplaces, anything on Marquez is always eminently readable, and the one here is no exception. The piece on Mailer, though informative and informal, yet fails to discuss Mailer's 1968 Armies of the Night, which won him both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award and boosted the genre of creative nonfiction to new heights--though part of the problem is, as the writer correctly points out, the unavailibility of books in Dhaka . There are two graceful and affectionate in-memoriums: one of Proshanto Kumar Pal (the biographer of Rabindranath who completed 10 volumes of his Rabijiboni and yet left his task unfinished, a commentary perhaps on the amount of toil necessary to completely view the Poet's life and work), and Sanjeev Chowdhury, Bangladeshi writer, editor and musician. Among the essays there is an account of some fascinating research being conducted about women writers of pre-modern East Bengal by writer Shaheen Akhtar, two volumes of which has been published (and which also has been favourably reviewed in this particular issue of Kali O Kolom). There is also the usual complement of art/artist and book reviews, poems and short stories--among the latter Nasima Anis's Daat (Teeth) and Ashutosh Debnath's Ghashforing (Grasshopper) make for enjoyable reading. There is an usual piece on Tokyo's car shows (Motorgaari'r Kabya) by Manjurul Haque, demonstrating both a writing style and choice of theme not usually encountered in Bangla. As usual, all pieces and articles are accompanied by the drawings and sketches of some of the best artists of the country, which by themselves make for a separate category of aesthetic experience.

Strategic Issues

Territorial questions between Eritrea and Yemen

It is rare that an international tribunal awards total victory to one party in a maritime boundary dispute. This appears to be almost inevitably so even in situations where strict application of legal principles to the geography of the situation would seem to require that result. Two maritime boundary arbitrations- the 1999 Eritrea v Yemen and Qatar v Bahrain case under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) merit discussion. The international law of maritime delimitation has been the subject of considerable examination during the past half century. The history of the development of the law through the cases, starting from the 1969 North Sea Continental Shelf cases, has been well documented and it would be better to focus on both the maritime boundary cases decided under the UNCLOS. First of all, we would like to discuss the Eritrea and Yemen case, which was the delimitation of a single maritime boundary.

India and Israel: Together in space

On 20 January 2008, India and Israel successfully forged a partnership in the space sector when an Israeli spy satellite was launched into space by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Techsar satellite was launched 9:15 am local time (0345 GMT) from the Sriharikota space station in southern India.

Failure In Afghanistan would threaten Europe: Gates

Failure in Afghanistan would directly threaten European security, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned Feb. 8 as he sought to mobilize NATO allies and more especially public opinion in Europe.

Indonesia trims Super Puma order, receives Kobra

The Indonesian Air Force (IAF) is planning to procure fewer on-order NAS-332 Super Puma multirole medium helicopters from state-owned Indonesian Aerospace in an effort to accelerate their delayed procurement, according to the Air Force Chief of Staff, Vice Marshal Subandrio.

Star Books Review

The continuing saga of the Mau Mau revolt

Immanuel Wallerstein, in the process of discussing accelerating decolonisation of much of Africa since the end of World War II, talks about the intent of white settlers in colonial Kenya and Southern Rhodesia: that whatever the devolution of powers by constitutional means, power should go to them as a group rather than to the black majority. “Indeed to ensure that this was so,” he explains in a 1972 article, “white settlers sought to achieve federations of the strong settler territory with its immediate neighbors, among other reasons lest power be turned over to black Africans in the neighbors and thus affect by example the settler territories. In East Africa the federation was to bring together settler-dominated Kenya with Uganda and Tanganyika.” However, the federation idea faltered in East Africa because of spirited resistance in Uganda and the outbreak of Mau Mau insurrection in Kenya in 1952. Now a new book, Rethinking the Mau Mau in Colonial Kenya, takes another look at the Mau Mau revolt, where the author aims to explore two broad theses: that colonial power and resistance to it are intertwined with each other, and that, as a fallout from such entanglement, both are transformed in various ways.

Spirituality that determined history's course

In this very lucid narrative, Karen Armstrong, by now an accomplished writer on comparative religion with such works as A History of God, Islam: A Short History, The Bible, and important biographies of Muhammad and Buddha behind her, explains how and why people of varied environment and cultures took to developing the fundamental spirituality that shapes the world even today. They did it without even knowing each other, their actions were based on very different realities, but there is a surprising coherence in the core message they left for us. Armstrong writes in a chronological story-telling fashion how people from different regions went about developing the core spirituality defining the Axial Age. In the very first chapter (The Axial Peoples: 1600 to 900 BC), she tells the story of the journey of Aryans from the south Russian steppes into Northern India, how the terrain and the social realities gave rise to the Vedic sages' spirituality which would ultimately lead to the later very mature Upanishadic spirituality.

Friendship with its sense of belonging

Man cannot live alone. We live in society. The love and warmth of our friends and relatives are essential to our living a happy, peaceful life.

The artist, in his black and white moments

Guru is a publication celebrating a good number of outstanding images of SM Sultan (1923-1994), a legendary artist of Bangladesh. The photos have been snapped by Nasir Ali Mamun, who spent ten years in pursuit of this loner artist and recorded his sufferings, struggle and ecstasy. For me personally, photography is pleasing not only as a matter of aesthetics but for the technical aspects of it as well: the lens choice, focus, shutter and aperture selection, film rewind, et cetera. He is very sensitive about the connection between subjects and techniques. Mamun's themes are renowned creative figures and personalities of the world and his camera has captured many outstanding moments in the lives of rare personalities.

At a glance

Intimate Letters
Correspondence of the Heart
Eds. Robin Hamilton, Nicolas Soames
Marginalia Press, London

This happens to be a book for anyone who has been in love or for one who dreams of a world of passion. That missives of a romantic kind can be invigorating for the soul is a truth brought out by the diversity of letters, from an equally diverse array of individuals, in this compilation. The letters recreate a sense of old idealisms and unforgettable desires.


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