The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, July 31, 2014


News of: Saturday, 15th of March, 2008

Front Page

Use vast resources of Muslim states for the Ummah

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday called for using the vast resources of the Muslim countries to assist the Muslim Ummah and satisfy its various needs.

Road accident kills 11 of a bridal party in Barisal

Eleven people died and 12 others were injured when a Nasimon (locally assembled tempo) carrying a bridal party collided with a truck on the Barisal-Dhaka highway in Gournadi upazila of Barisal district yesterday morning.

Five replace earlier panel of doctors

Five physicians on the seven-member medical board formed by the Square Hospitals authorities to treat detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina were replaced Thursday night.

Delwar’s men try to stop leaders from joining rivals’ meet

Followers of Khaleda Zia-appointed BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain have started urging the party's central executive committee members not to attend any meeting held in his absence.

Unemployment, price hike put people under deep stress

The citizens of the country are experiencing a 'silent famine' due to spiralling prices of essentials and unemployment, Dr Akbar Ali Khan, chairman of Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC), said yesterday.

2 more lynched in Gazipur

Villagers beat two cattle thieves to death and injured five others in Sreepur upazila of Gazipur district on Thursday night.

India set to release coarse rice today

India will resume exporting coarse rice at $505 per tonne today, provided that the export bills were passed by the Indian customs authorities before March 5.

‘Govt decision to benefit the war criminals’

Heroes of the Liberation War under the banner of Sector Commanders Forum (SCF) yesterday said the war criminals played a role in the government's decision denying SCF the permission to hold their national convention

New OIC charter adopted

Presidents and other leaders from Muslim nations yesterday agreed a new charter for the Organisation of the Islamic Conference aimed at reforming the body and speeding up its decision-making, a delegation source said.

Jalil’s condition deteriorates further

The condition of Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil undergoing treatment at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore since March 3 deteriorated further yesterday as his kidneys are not functioning properly.

5 Bangladeshis killed in Saudi road mishaps

At least five Bangladeshi workers were killed in separate road mishaps in Jeddah of Saudi Arabia Thursday.

Structures older than Pala Era found at Paharpur site

Archaeologists recently found two ancient brick-built structures at the Paharpur world heritage site which they believe belonged to a period even earlier than the site's known time, the Pala Era.

Proteas keep it clean too

South Africa captain Graeme Smith finished a memorable trip as the left-hander led from the front to complete the whitewash of terrible Tigers when his side won the third and final one-day international by seven wickets at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

Tahmima Anam's A Golden Age wins regional C’wealth prize

An international judging panel has awarded the 2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best First Book Award for the Europe and South Asia region to A Golden Age (2007, London: John Murray) by Tahmima Anam.

Zardari now free to seek premiership

A Pakistani court yesterday quashed the last remaining graft case against the husband of slain Benazir Bhutto, his lawyer said, removing the final possible hurdle to him standing for prime minister.

Free Khaleda, Hasina before polls, demands Hannan Shah

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Adviser Brig Gen (retd) Hannan Shah yesterday demanded release of his party chief as well as Awami League President Sheikh Hasina before the national election.

India to import 8m garment pieces a year

India has approved duty-free import of eight million pieces of garments from Bangladesh per year without restriction on raw material sourcing.

Condition of Firoza Begum now stable

The condition of Nazrul Sangeet artiste Firoza Begum is now stable, said her physicians at Apollo Hospitals.

Administrator of UNDP due today

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Kemal Dervis arrives in Dhaka today on a three-day trip to meet high officials and observe voter registration activities in Bangladesh.

No link between Saddam, Al-Qaeda: Pentagon study

A detailed Pentagon study confirms there was no direct link between late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the Al-Qaeda network, debunking a claim President George W. Bush's administration used to justify invading Iraq.

Israel, Palestinians resume high level talks on peace process

Israel and the Palestinians resumed high-level talks yesterday at a meeting with a top US envoy, with Israel's defence minister opting stay away amid mounting US criticism of settlement construction.

Hillary, Obama set for debate showdowns

Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama has agreed to two debates with rival Hillary Clinton, before their next nominating clash in Pennsylvania on April 22, his campaign said Thursday.

Dollar hits new euro low as gold prices near record high

The dollar struck a fresh all-time low against the euro yesterday as gold prices traded close to record highs a day after topping 1,000 dollars for the first time on US economic woes.

Editorial

Bangladesh's women ahead of others

THE good news about Bangladesh's women is that in terms of status and gender equality they are quite ahead of women in such South Asian nations as India (except for Kerala) and Pakistan. The bad news is that when it comes to a question of access to reproductive health services, employment and decision-making, they yet have a pretty long way to go. Perhaps these are truths we have known for quite a while. What a report of the World Bank has now done is inform us officially of the conditions in which Bangladesh's women find themselves today. Implicitly, the report is also a broad hint of what must be done further to have the other half of our society take full and absolute part in any and all development related activities in the country.

Domestic violence

THE seminar on the role of police in preventing domestic violence has brought forth the harsh truth that such violence accounts for a huge number of deaths of women -- far greater than what is generally believed. Equally mind-boggling is the fact that 60 percent of our women are tortured in some way or the other, which indeed presents a grim picture of domestic violence.

Swindling by fake NGOs

THE reports run by The Daily Star and other dailies during the last seven days, on so called NGOs vanishing with about Tk 500 crore after swindling the poor villagers is deeply shocking. Four persons have died so far, three of them of heart attack and the other by committing suicide, being unable to sustain the terrible shock of losing the last penny.

EU, India and evolving opportunities for South Asia

THE latest summit between the European Union and India held in Delhi towards the end of 2007 offered both sides an opportunity to inject much-needed momentum into their hitherto relatively uninspiring relationship. There was an effort to identify a qualitative leap forward in relations. There was reference to shared democratic values and common goals and the need to strengthen the existing patchwork of sectoral cooperation initiatives. India in particular was in buoyant mode as it reiterated its views on regional flashpoints and global economic concerns.

An alternative to foreign loans

THE country still depends on foreign loans given by the World Bank, ADB and also other countries of the world for financing its annual development plans and other infrastructural projects. Every year shortages of internal revenue arise while implementing the annual development plans in the national budget and to meet the shortages the country has to resort to foreign loans or loans from internal banking system. Apparently the foreign loans appear to be cheap with interest rates ranging from 2 percent to 6 percent per annum, but at the end of the day total costs rise from 20 percent to 30 percent per annum . How it happens is described below:

Sports

Tigers end in shambles

There was no sign of consolation for Moha-mmed Ashra-ful's men as their woes compounded following the end of their home campaign at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

Biman, MSC, DOHS win

There were close wins for Old DOHS and Bangladesh Biman while Mohammedan Sporting Club annihilated Victoria by 10 wickets in the Premier League fourth round matches yesterday.

Ireland arrive for 3-match series tonight

Ireland cricket team are due to arrive in Dhaka tonight to play a three-match one-day series against Bangladesh from Tuesday.

2nd B. League transfer from today!

Despite the eight Dhaka clubs' denial to take part in the B. League players' transfers, the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) decided to move ahead with their plan.

Local Snippets

Jewel and Biplab struck either side of the break to give Sunrise KC a 2-1 win against Dhaka Wanderers in yesterday's super six match of the Senior Division Football League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium. Hirok Joarder pulled one goal back for the losers.

England take firm grip

A century by Tim Ambrose and a five-wicket haul for James Anderson gave England a firm grip on the second Test against New Zealand by the end of the second day here Friday.

Gunners draw Liverpool

Arsenal will meet fellow English giants Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-finals following the draw made here on Friday.

November or March?

The Pakistan Cricket Board will look to reschedule Australia's Test tour in November or next March after the original trip was postponed on Tuesday. Australia's players are relieved the decision was made to cancel the visit over security and safety concerns, but they are still due in the country for the Champions Trophy tournament in October, an event David Morgan, the ICC president-elect, wants to go ahead as planned.

Rangers hold Brit flag

Rangers marched into the UEFA Cup quarterfinals on Thursday to save Britain's blushes after English clubs crashed out.

Riazor jinx worries Real

Real Madrid have not won a league game at Deportivo Coruna's stadium in their last 15 attempts and will be out to break that jinx when they travel north in the Spanish Primera Liga on Saturday.

Roma look to up pressure

Roma are seeking a home win over AC Milan on Saturday to put pressure on an Inter Milan side unsettled by doubts about coach Roberto Mancini's future.

MU seek Derby tonic

Carlos Queiroz has challenged a Manchester United squad still smarting from their premature FA Cup exit to take their frustration out on the Premier League's whipping boys Derby on Saturday.

Cottbus vow to attack

They might be bottom of the Bundesliga but Energie Cottbus head coach Bojan Prasnikar insists his side will not just be making up the numbers at home to league leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday.

Tricky tie for Lyon

Champions Lyon face a potentially tricky task on Saturday as they travel to Monaco looking to overcome a jinx which has seen them winless in the Principality for seven years.

Lippi waiting on right offer

Marcello Lippi, who coached Italy to their 2006 World Cup triumph, said on Thursday he was waiting for a chance to get back into club management.

Getafe in Bayern's way

Favourites Bayern Munich will face Spanish club Getafe in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup.

Lampard will agree new deal

Frank Lampard will sign a new Chelsea contract, the club's chief executive Peter Kenyon said Friday.

Benzema staying put

Lyon's young French international striker Karim Benzema on Thursday committed his future to the club by extending his contract with the six-time French champions by a further year at least.

Andrade to miss Euro

Juventus's Portugal international defender Jorge Andrade is almost certain to miss Euro 2008 after undergoing surgery for a recurring left knee injury on Thursday, the Portuguese media reported.

Agger out for the season

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger is likely to be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a foot injury, Reds manager Rafael Benitez said Friday.

Boost Power Cup starts today

The Boost Power Cup 2008 will begin today at the Kalabagan Club ground with 16 teams including schools and cricket academies taking part in the under-13 cricket tournament.

Smith not SA's best skipper, says Jennings

Outspoken former South Africa coach Ray Jennings believes there are better candidates to captain the national side than Graeme Smith.

'ECB will have to pay’

Tony Greig, a member of the Indian Cricket League (ICL) executive board, believes court action will become inevitable if the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) decides to ban players appearing in the unofficial Twenty20 tournament.

McCullum still positive

New Zealand were still confident of winning the second Test against England, despite a first innings deficit of 144 runs, wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum said on Friday.

Auckland stint worked

Spending four days playing for New Zealand first class side Auckland helped James Anderson discover his rhythm straight away on the second day of the second Test against New Zealand, the recalled bowler said.

Strong NSW for final

New South Wales will be boosted by seven Australian Test players in Saturday's Pura Cup cricket final against Victoria in Sydney.

PCB plans tri-series involving Sri Lanka

After managing to convince Bangladesh to play a one-day series next month in Pakistan, the country's cricket board is now trying to rope in Sri Lanka also for a one-day rubber in April.

Shoaib asks for BCCI help

Amid strong indications that the Pakistan Cricket Board may severely discipline Shoaib Akhtar this time, the fast bowler is making all possible efforts, including approaching a top Indian cricket official to speak to the PCB Chief to bail him out of the current situation.

Taslim Arif no more

Former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Taslim Arif has died after a brief illness, family sources said Friday.

Guidelines for javelin recommended

The IAAF have recommended that organizers of athletics meets do not program the javelin at the same time as events which take place inside the track after French long jumper Salim Sdiri was speared in a freak accident last year.

China top seeds for Thomas & Uber Cups

Defending champions China have been seeded one for both the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup badminton team world championships here in May.

Metropolitan

Dhaka calls for increased, unconditional grants for LDCs

Bangladesh has called for increased and unconditional grants from the international financial institutions, particularly from the World Bank, to assist the least developed countries (LDCs) in achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs).

Cataract blindness poses major public health threat

The other day 56-year-old Maheb Hossain, living in Baganbari slums at Kafrul in the city, felt that he couldn't see around clearly.

Boys lag behind girls in secondary education

Stipend programmes at the secondary level need to be reformed immediately as the spectacular growth in female secondary education has put boys at a distinct disadvantage, making the national goal to achieve gender equality a far cry.

Bangladeshi peacekeepers improve communication network in Liberia

Communication network in war-torn Liberia has improved significantly following the relentless work of the Bangladeshi peacekeepers.

Launch movement to save Buriganga from pollution

Speakers at a discussion yesterday urged the city dwellers to launch an all-out movement to save the Buriganga river from pollution.

Conserve nature utilising indigenous knowledge

The knowledge and experience of indigenous people should be utilised for conserving the nature, said the speakers at a roundtable yesterday.

Forge national unity against corruption, terrorism

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday called for forging a national unity against terrorism, muscle power, corruption and militancy.

Finance adviser begins pre-budget discussions in Ctg tomorrow

Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam visits the port city of Chittagong tomorrow to kick off his pre-budget discussions with the stakeholders.

Kuwait keen to invest in Bangladesh

Kuwait is ready to help Bangladesh in projects of its choice through the Kuwait Development Fund and is pretty much eager to invest in Bangladesh.

FFs manhandle Kamaruzzaman

A group of freedom fighters manhandled Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, senior assistant secretary general of Jammat-e-Islami, at the National Press Club in the city yesterday.

Iftekhar welcomes Sudan-Chad peace agreement

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury has welcomed the peace agreement signed between Sudan and Chad in Dakar, Senegal on Thursday night on the sidelines of the 11th OIC Summit.

Dhaka upholds strong anti-trafficking position in Vienna confce

Dhaka's strong stance against trafficking and child labour was aptly upheld in a recent conference in Vienna, Austria, where an international lobby tried to project Bangladesh as a hotspot for child employment, labour exploitation and human trafficking.

Tribute paid to Bazlur Rahman

Paying tributes to late editor of the Sangbad, the speakers at a condolence meeting yesterday said the countrymen will always remember Bazlur Rahman with gratitude for his contributions to journalism, progressive politics and social services.

Incepta receives Euro Certificate of Compliance

Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd has received European Certificate of GMP Compliance, says a press release.

Cooperation between Liberian, Bangladeshi universities stressed

Dr Joshua Giddings, associate vice-president for Academy Affairs of Cuttington University in Liberia, has stressed the need for cooperation between the universities of Liberia and Bangladesh.

Sixth Int'l Education Exhibition begins in city

The 6th International Education Exhibition 2008 began at Sheraton Hotel in the city yesterday to provide admission information for different public and private universities at home and abroad.

Man stabs wife to death in Noakhali

A man stabbed his wife to death at Chhoto Khanpur village in Begumganj upazila Thursday midnight.

2 held with fake notes in Dinajpur

Police arrested two people along with fake notes of Tk 25,000 from Gazipur village in Nababganj upazila on Thursday.

Vitamin D supplements cut risk of child diabetes

Taking vitamin D supplements in infancy may help a youngster ward off Type 1 diabetes, according to a review of the evidence released on Thursday in a specialist journal.

BBC Bangladesh Sanglap today

The third edition of the special series of BBC Bangladesh Sanglap titled 'Rural Economy' will be held at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city today.

Death anniversary of Dr Razee today

The 23rd death anniversary of Dr Aleem-Al-Razee, a noted parliamentarian, jurist and educationist, will be observed today.

National

Repair Jamuna bridge to ensure smooth train movement

Leaders of different political parties, chamber bodies and socio-cultural organizations in northern districts have demanded immediate repair of cracks in Bangabandhu Jamuna Bridge to ensure smooth movement of train on it from northern districts.

UNO assaulted by mob as freedom fighter beaten

A mob assaulted the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) and damaged property at Nalchhiti land revenue office yesterday following torture of a freedom fighter allegedly by the UNO's men and some land officials.

3 BNP men held for ‘extortion’

Ullapara police, in a drive conducted here yesterday, arrested three BNP men from their houses in connection with a case of toll collection.

BSF agrees to resolve major disputes

The region level India-Bangladesh Border conference in Shillong ended on Thursday with officials of the two countries agreeing to resolve the major disputes through discussions and by taking necessary measures in time.

Gaibandha BNP chief gets 3yr RI for extortion

A Rajshahi court has sentenced four leaders of Gaibandha district BNP including its president Hamidul Haq Channa to three years rigorous imprisonment (RI) in an extortion case.

2 held for killing train attendant In B'baria

A police team comprising law enforcers from three police stations raided Monion village in Kashba upazila and arrested two suspected killers of Md. Shamsul Haque, attendant of Dhaka bound Chittagong Mail train. Shamsul was killed on Wednesday by some dacoits.

Sylhet Jubo League secy sent to jail in arms case

Sylhet district Juba League general secretary and ward Commissioner of the Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) Azadur Rahman Azad was sent to jail hajat again on Thursday.

Outlaw arrested in Sirajganj

Detective Branch (DB) of police here yesterday arrested a fugitive leader of the outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) from Char Boyra village in Sadar upazila.

Child deaths up in CHT

Speakers in a discussion held here on Thursday said child mortality rate in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is higher than that of other districts in the country.

International

Iran votes for new parliament

Iran voted yesterday in elections expected to tighten the grip of conservatives on parliament after a low-key campaign and the mass disqualification of reformist candidates by a hardline vetting body.

Tremors in Malaysia as political quakes persist

Malaysia's states yesterday worked to resolve various problems that emerged after historic weekend elections, including power struggles and ethnic tensions.

Voters urged to say ‘no' to Myanmar constitution

One of Myanmar's main pro-democracy groups yesterday urged voters to reject the ruling junta's proposed constitution when it goes to a referendum in May.

Fahim, Zardari undecided over Pak PM post

The crisis in the Pakistan People's Party deepened on Thursday when co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and senior vice-chairman Makhdoom Amin Fahim failed to resolve their differences on the choice of the party's candidate for the prime minister's post.

Mahathir's son calls on Badawi to resign

The son of former premier Mahathir Mohamad yesterday revived calls for Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resign after the ruling coalition's unprecedented election setback.

Violence erupts in Tibet capital

The Tibetan capital Lhasa erupted in violence yesterday as security forces used gunfire to quell Buddhist monk-led protests that saw markets and cars set alight, witnesses and rights groups said.

Chad, Sudan sign peace deal

The presidents of Sudan and Chad have signed a non-aggression pact, vowing not to support rebel attacks against each other, many of which were launched from troubled Darfur.

Gaza lull ends as Israel attacks

Israeli warplanes hit Hamas-run Gaza late Thursday after militants rattled the Jewish state with rocket fire, ending a five-day lull and threatening efforts to push forward Middle East peace talks.

Queen unveils 5th Heathrow terminal

Queen Elizabeth II yesterday unveiled a new terminal at London's main Heathrow airport,a day after a major security breach disrupted flights.

No breakthrough in N Korea nuke talks

The chief US nuclear negotiator said yesterday he was leaving Geneva after a "very good" meeting with the North Koreans, but without a breakthrough on how to disable Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

Campaigns gear up in Taiwan polls

Taiwan's presidential rivals geared up for the final stretch of their election battle yesterday, each aiming to galvanise a million supporters onto the street in mass weekend rallies.

Sonia marks 10 years atop India's Congress

Sonia Gandhi -- considered India's most powerful politician -- yesterday feted her 10th year as chief of the ruling Congress party surrounded by supporters crying "Long live Sonia."

Pakistani held on terror charges by Dutch police

Dutch police have arrested a Pakistani man suspected of belonging to a terrorist group and planning an attack in western Europe, prosecutors said yesterday.

23 Tigers die in Lanka

Heavy fighting between security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Sri Lanka has left at least 23 guerrillas dead and five government soldiers wounded, the defence ministry said yesterday.

NATO to offer 1,000 new troops for Afghanistan

Danish Defense Minister Soren Gade said yesterday that NATO members could offer more than 1,000 new troops for Afghanistan at the alliance's April 2-4 summit in Bucharest.

Greenhouse funds gloom hangs over G20 climate talks

Rich nations must come up with billions in new money to help poor countries fight global warming and not just repackage development aid to score diplomatic points, environmentalists at a meeting of top polluters said yesterday.

Heart disease growing in developing countries

Heart disease, once predominantly the preserve of rich countries, is expanding fast in developing economies, although for rather different reasons, a study carried out in South Africa suggests.

'Green' buildings could slash greenhouse gas emissions

Basic changes in building design and construction could slash greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent in North America, said a joint Canada-US-Mexico report Thursday.

Myanmar okays visa for human rights expert

The outgoing UN expert on human rights in Myanmar yesterday said he is being granted a visa by the country's military rulers to see what progress has been made since his last visit in November.

Arts & Entertainment

Adivasi Cultural Festival '08 begins

With much hope and enthusiasm, the three-day long Adivasi Cultural Festival '08 began at the Plaza of National Art Gallery, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on March 13. Artistes of the indigenous communities of the country made an impressive demonstration of their diverse cultures on the opening day. Society for Environment and Human Development (SEHD) in collaboration with Christian Aid arranged the festival. Throughout three days, sixteen indigenous cultural troupes will showcase their traditional art forms.

Jatiya Rabindra Sangeet Sammilan begins

The three-day long '27th Jatiya Rabindra Sangeet Sammilan' began with much festivity at the Joypurhat Central Stadium yesterday.

Learning many facets of art

“I was under the impression that Egyptian women were very modern and was surprised to see them in veils. Nevertheless, they were progressive. It was cold in Alexandria. There were 26 of us from overseas while six of the artists were Egyptians. The others came from South Africa, UK, Brussels, Kenya, Ghana etc. The youngest artist was 28 while the oldest was 77. People went in for photography and animation too. Thus fine arts was not confined to oils and acrylics,” says Fareha Zeba, who is back from her recent trip to Egypt.

The new kid on the block

In a recent interview with The Daily Star, model turned actor Emon said that he was overwhelmed when he was selected for the follow-up banglalink Desh ad. According to Emon, “I liked the first one and spread the word when I did the 4848 ad that I was interested in a song and dance act. And when ad-maker Amitabh Reza and banglalink approached me, I was thrilled.

“Gharowa Gaaner Ashor” by Prachya Shilpacharcha Academy

A musical soiree by Prachya Shilpacharcha Academy was held at the Alamgir Kabir Chalachchitra auditorium on March 13 evening. The programme highlighted Tagore songs on the season of Bashonto.

A fond look at Lennon's “Lost Weekend”

If there's one thing that May Pang has been fighting for the last 28 years, it's the idea that John Lennon was depressed, isolated and out of control during the 18 months she lived with him, from the summer of 1973 to early 1975, when he reconciled with his second wife, Yoko Ono.

OP-ED

It flourishes in freedom

Two to three hundred years back it was often suggested that the sum of human knowledge would double every half a century. These days people may argue whether the doubling time of knowledge is eight or ten years. Presently we are witnessing an overwhelming predominance of things that are new over those that are old. We are witnessing colossal changes, cognitive, technical and practical ones in our day-to-day lives. The enormity and rapidity of these changes mean that we suffer from a kind of desiccation. Presently, we find it extremely difficult to keep in mind what happened in the past and unite all our fond memories with our present commitments. Because of these problems of adjustment we have to endure the imbalance and uncertainties that prevail in society nowadays, King Canute was wrongly counseled by his advisers and sycophants. The roaring sea did not tarry a while. But no matter how painful and insistent the problem of adjustment is we must not only endure the imbalance, we must vow that in the end we shall overcome it.

Facing disasters with prudence

Disaster management, its diverse magnitudes and preparedness plans, forecasts and practical confrontation are very complex. The recent surge from water of the Bay of Bengal and its accompanying high velocity wind destroyed standing crops, marooned and rendered shelterless millions of people of about 15 southern districts, disrupted communication, cut off channels of supplies, damaged habitats, killed livestock, birds and beasts, destroyed commercial and industrial enterprises etc. The immediate impact of the disaster stupefied the survived victims for loss of near and dear ones, for want of drinking water, medicare, shelter, food etc. Instant relief was obviously difficult for want of transport, lack of foodstuff and medicine. The stupefaction was quickly overcome because of the instant availability of lots of helicopters of the defence forces and their officers and jawans for relief and rescue operations.

Governance for the poor

Good governance is not just about government, it is also about political parties, parliament, the judiciary, the media and civil society. It is about how citizens, leaders and public institutions relate each other in order to make change happen. Election and democracy are an important part of the equation, but equally important is the way government goes about the business of governing. Good governance requires three things: (i) state capability, (ii) responsiveness, and (iii) accountability. This means citizens, civil society and government need to work together to build effective state and provide better governance to reduce poverty.

Class routine must not be an impediment

Teaching Quality Improvement in Secondary Education Project (TQI-SEP) under the auspices of Ministry of Education is the biggest project so far taken for the development of secondary education in Bangladesh. The goal of the project is to increase the quality of education of the said level by improving the quality of teaching. One of the steps the project has taken to achieve the objectives is to introduce participatory mode of teaching instead of traditional teacher-centred approach. In the traditional teacher-dominating approach, teachers are quite totalitarian. Learners are usually inactive and sometimes they are bullied to remain passive. As a result, classrooms, become joyless, tedious, monotonous, boring for both the sides, especially for learners. With a view to minimising this sort of limitations and making the classrooms joyful, interactive, and democratic, learner-friendly, learner-centred, TQI-SEP is going to initiate participatory approaches at the secondary level.

Environment

Climate change and development risk: Local perspective

Climate change is already happening. Glaciers are melting, sea levels have risen, and cyclones, tornados, floods and droughts are becoming more frequent as well as intense. With rising carbon emission levels, climate change is likely to get worse before it gets better. The anticipated climate change impacts in Bangladesh would be manifested in two ways in two contrasting regions such as (i) the southern part towards the sea will experience drainage congestion due to higher water and river bed levels, salinization of soil and water resources due to lower river flows, sea level rise and more intense disasters including cyclone and storm surges with higher risks because of higher water and (ii) the other part of the country in the north-western region will be subject to scarcity of water leading to drought condition and aridity with lesser rainfall and higher temperature.. Tropical cyclones, tornado and Nor'western which strike the country periodically and annually and create untold misery and loss of life, property and ecosystems, are likely to increase in frequency and intensity under climate change. Against this adverse climate change scenario the people would be striving for their livelihood which has already fallen into serious vulnerable category.

Conserving natural resources: Biological importance

In analysis of ecological studies, it is found that human activities are altering ecosystem on four basic point: by (a) selectively destroying species; (b) importing new species; (c) destroying habitats; and (d) introducing xenbiotics. But conservation of natural resources especially bio-resources appears most important in the present world. Conservation of natural resources is essential not only for maintaining natural balance but also for maintaining the economic soundness all over the world.

Literature

An Internet Scam

A news item on hoax e-mails prompted me to write this piece. The Daily Star on 10 October 2007 reported that the British High Commission was warning people against being duped by Internet scams which claim to offer large financial sums. The need of such a warning was now apparent since many people had started receiving such unsolicited e-mails, purportedly from UK companies. But who warns when those come from companies of other countries! Moreover, the fact is such e-mails are the product of the computer age, and have been in practice for quite some time. This story is about one such email scam.

Tahmima Anam's A Golden Age wins regional Commonwealth Best First Book Prize

An international judging panel has awarded the 2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best First Book Award for the Europe and South Asia region to A Golden Age (2007, London: John Murray) by Tahmima Anam. The novel, a densely packed, lyrically written narrative set during Bangladesh's 1971 war of independence, was praised by the panel as “sensitive and evocative.” Animal's People by Indra Sinha was given the region's Best Book Award. A Golden Age had previously also made the final shortlist of five for the 2007 Guardian's First Book Award.

A SAARC poetry festival

Bharathi Devi's mail smelt of a complaint. I hadn't written, hadn't called, and hadn't done anything since I got back from Bhubaneswar. Bharathi, the nightingale from Karnataka, was a schoolteacher and a poet who believed in revisions. Her poem 'Taimur' had gone through at least ten rounds of revision while most would be attempting to write the next poem and paint the next page. She also had a voice that demanded the attention of even the most vocal bunch of sixty-four poets, thirty-four of whom were from Orissa. Bharathi was indeed a bridge. And with her help, I ended up without having to suffer the severe bouts of fibromyalgia - painful muscle-tightening of the back - that long distance travel otherwise triggers off in me. What cures it is simple rest. That has been difficult all my life except this one time I'm writing about now, where no discomfort was experienced despite daily bus travels for over five hours to distant places, eating out of “kolapata” platters, drinking tea in plastic cups, and having to use public toilets. It also speaks volumes about the therapeutic powers of poetry!

I heard the bon morog
this morning

I heard the bon morog this morning
as the mangrove forest appeared out of the darkness
a photograph developing

Star Health

Coping with chronic daily headache

Most people have headaches from time to time. But if you have a headache more days than not, you may be experiencing a variety of head pain known as chronic daily headaches.

Obesity tied to higher pancreatic cancer risk

New research suggests that obesity may raise older adults' risk of developing pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of the disease.

Weight-loss help: How to stop emotional eating

Sometimes the strongest longings for food happen when you are at your weakest point emotionally. Many people turn to food for comfort — consciously or unconsciously — when they are facing a difficult problem or looking to keep themselves occupied. But emotional eating — eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, anxiety, boredom, sadness and loneliness — can sabotage your weight-loss efforts.

New CPR method boosts survival from cardiac arrest

More people can survive a cardiac arrest when emergency medical workers use a new resuscitation method that starts with a round of 200 chest compressions before a defibrillator shock, US researchers said.

Fat accumulation: A key factor in diabetes risk

The amount of fat a person accumulates in relation to their body size as they grow into adulthood, not their birth size or their growth per se, influences their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, results of a new study suggest.

Bird flu aggravate protein deficiency among children?

Bird flu — so, no chicken and no eggs in food item, which are the two major source of protein in our diet.

Awareness programme on epilepsy held

To raise awareness on epilepsy disease, its treatment, care and support and rehabilitation of the patients, Sanofi-Aventis, a leading pharmaceutical company organised a programme recently, says a press release.

Strategic Issues

Collective security and the use of force

THE Iraq war has put the usefulness of the UN in a very difficult spot since its inception in 1945. After the Iraq war was launched by the US-led forces in March 2003, many questioned the need for a new institutional framework and vision that could marry prudent anticipatory self-defence against immediate (not perceived) threat to states.

A free and fair election for nothing

Since its inception 37 years back, Bangladesh has a very good track record of conducting free and fair election for the most part. All of these elections were under microscopic watch of the European Community, other international election monitoring agencies and human rights organizations. And it is they who ratify whether elections conducted were free and fair or not. The losing party might have stated some negative remarks but that did not resonate further from any other reckonable corner. Now the question is, what we practically achieved from all those well conducted free and fair elections? Could the people of this country fulfill their long-cherished aspirations? Could we institutionalize our political or ethical values? Some might say it is the opposite. They will point at the institutionalization of corruption at all levels under the cover of democratic practice.

Inclusion of Afghanistan in SAARC: from reluctance to sudden rush

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) set up in 1985, includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Afghanistan was incorporated as the eighth member during the 13th Summit of SAARC, which was held in Dhaka on 12 - 13 November, 2005. In the 14th SAARC Summit, Afghanistan was formally introduced in all the SAARC agreements, declaration, and legal documents by a Joint Declaration.

Star Books Review

A long ago war and how it yet resonates

The war of liberation in 1971 touched the lives of people in myriad ways. As a nation, Bengalis reaped independence at the cost of millions of lives. Many of those who lived through the war have come with their tales of the war. In Journey Through 1971: My Story, Farida Huq holds up spell binding accounts of her own experiences. The story is told in first person narrative. The author offers her deep insights and experiences with a marvellous mastery of words.

Tales of exile and heartbreak

People called the fort at Mandalay in Burma, the Glass Palace … a city in itself…' the story of the last days of independence of the country that became a part of the British Empire in 1885.

For women, the long road to equality

The tragic fact of life is that women, in most parts of the world, are second-class citizens and they still face inequality in all spheres of life. They are discriminated against at birth, subordinated and exploited throughout their life despite their valuable and noteworthy contributions to society and national development process, and end their life as being dependent on their sons. This fact has been eloquently noted by the author when she writes that 'the index ranking of 151 countries on gender inequality in addressing poverty, education, basic health, employment, violence, political participation' contained in various Human Development Reports prepared by the United Nations Development Programme between 1995 and 2003. These reports show that no country treats its women population as equally as it does its men.

Lives in turbulence

It's not often that a work of literary fiction successfully crosses the divide into the popular mainstream, but with the publication of his second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, author Khaled Hosseini has achieved precisely that for the second time running. Following the spectacular success of his debut The Kite Runner in 2003 -- interestingly, the first novel published in English by an Afghan author -- A Thousand Splendid Suns is a heart-wrenching tale of endurance, betrayal and an indestructible friendship set in the backdrop of over four decades of the social and political landscape of Afghanistan. Deriving its title from a poem about Kabul by a seventeenth-century Persian, the story chronicles the lives of two women whose destinies become inseparably entwined through a series of personal and, subsequently, common misfortunes.

At A Glance

Bahadur Shah Zafar
Zafar Alam
Adorn Publication

William Dalrymple has lately revived interest in the last Mughal emperor. But here now is our very own Zafar Alam with this commendable account of the life of a man who remains a tragic character in the history of the subcontinent. The work will of course mean much to a Bengali-reading public, rich as it is in the wealth of information it offers.


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