News of: Wednesday, 26th of March, 2008
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Groundwater table in the capital has dropped down to 61.18 metres below the surface, 35 metres in the last eleven years, due to lack of recharging which has put the sprawling metropolis at great risk.
The horrors of March 25 night return to haunt the nation as it observes the 37th Independence Day today to salute those who laid down their lives for freedom.
The finance and foreign advisers yesterday lambasted rich countries for failing to make a "firm commitment" in the Bali Declaration to cut greenhouse gas emissions and insisted they pay the adaptation costs of nations most vulnerable to climate change effects.
Trucks loaded with Indian rice started entering Bangladesh through Benapole and Sonamasjid land ports yesterday after being held up for twenty days.
The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) has apparently been careful in the last one year to improve its image marred greatly at home and abroad because of the huge number of deaths in "crossfire" as such extra-judicial killings have reduced significantly during the period.
Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the present caretaker government and the Election Commission are giving much importance to bringing about a qualitative change in the country's political culture ahead of the next general elections.
Responding to the call of Liberation War heroes, people from all walks of life massed at the Central Shaheed Minar to observe a minute's blackout at exactly midnight to remember those who died on the night of March 25, 1971.
Army chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said the government would definitely consider the demand for trial of war criminals.
Ten retired Indian army generals who fought in the Liberation War will be awarded medals today in appreciation of the neighbouring country's contribution to the cause of Bangladesh's independence.
The caretaker government yesterday formed a “core committee” on food stock and market situation with Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed as its chief to prepare a package of measures for providing income support to the people, particularly fixed-and low-income groups, for purchasing foodstuffs.
The jail authorities yesterday moved five high-profile prisoners to different district jails from the Dhaka Central Jail as a punitive measure while three others were shifted to the prison cells from the cabins of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) hospital.
The underground water table of Dhaka can be recharged easily during the rainy season by artificially infiltrating water through the topsoil layer of ground into the sub-soil reservoirs, local geologists said.
The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) has called on the government to keep private organisations beyond the scope of the proposed Right to Information Ordinance 2008.
Middlemen and employers are extorting high prices for visas and job approvals from jobseekers in the Middle East and Malaysia, gradually destroying the overseas labour markets--lifeline of the country's economy.
Passengers of a Saudi Arabian airliner had a close shave yesterday afternoon when an engine of the Boeing 747-300 aircraft caught fire during landing at Zia International Airport (ZIA).
One crore people have been registered as voters with photographs in last 20 days, raising the number of those on the electoral roll to 5.16 crore as of March 22.
Munshiganj district administration yesterday decided to cancel the advance reservation system at cold storages to ensure preservation of potato grown by genuine potato farmers.
Ain o Salish Kendra, a human rights and legal service commission, in its annual report on human rights in Bangladesh, 2007 says the government's record has been inconsistence and contradictory.
After getting clearance from the Supreme Court, a Dhaka court yesterday fixed April 9 for hearing on charge framing against detained former premier Sheikh Hasina and six others in connection with the MiG-29 corruption case.
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) yesterday served notices on Premier Bank Chairman Dr HBM Iqbal, Director Nawrin Iqbal and Chairman of The City Bank Limited Aziz-Al Kaiser, asking them to explain why their directorship in the two banks would not be cancelled.
Eleven leaders and activists of Jamaat-e-Islami Satkania upazila unit and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir accused in two extortion cases surrendered to a court here yesterday.
Pakistan's new prime minister was sworn in by President Pervez Musharraf yesterday as two senior US envoys arrived for talks aimed at shoring up Islamabad's role in the "war on terror."
A report published in The Daily Star Tuesday mistakenly quoted Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam as saying that average spending of the ADP in the last few years' budgets shows that real implementation is not more than 17-18 percent.
THIRTY-seven years ago, on this day, the call went out to the people of Bangladesh and to the outside world that this nation had opted for freedom. Even as the Pakistan occupation army went about its genocide in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country, the Bengali nation could envision that there was light at the end of the tunnel for them. It was surely a long tunnel and as yet there was little to show that freedom would come any time soon. But that the Bengali political leadership had taken a decisive step in guiding the nation towards freedom boosted the collective morale of seventy five million Bengalis and conveyed to them a sure sense that the attainment of freedom was but a question of time.
WHEN during the last fifteen years MPs belonging to different political parties could not reach consensus in matters of national interest, here they are united now in defence of a material gain. They have resolved to resist the government's move to have them vacate the Nam flats they have been occupying as MPs -- even after 17 months of the dissolution of the last parliament.
THESE are thoughts that well up from somewhere deep in my soul. They rise, they gather in the core of the heart in me, to remind me that there was once a time when pride and tradition came together to let me know that I was a Bengali.
The economic hardship of the people was less under the alleged corrupt and inefficient political governments compared to that under the present so-called efficient and honest government" -- I was told by groups of people during my recent visit to some pockets in rural areas.
It is a commendable decision of the caretaker government to elicit views from public about the draft ordinance of the Right to Information Act. From media reports, it seems that the draft ordinance has met with severe criticism from a series of round table discussions that were held in recent days.
There were no changes apart from bringing in left-arm seamer Syed Rasel to the fold after he missed the Ireland series when the national selectors announced a 15-member squad for the tour of Pakistan yesterday.
Once very popular, the dying game of hockey seemed to fall into further abyss after eleven national players failed to find any team on the final day of the Premier Hockey League transfer yesterday.
Musharraf Hossain carved out yet another sparkling performance with the bat to steer Bangladesh Biman to a facile 63-run win against Kalabagan Krira Chakra in yesterday's Premier Cricket League.
Bangladesh women's cricket team took a 2-0 lead against their Hong Kong counterparts with an emphatic 109-run win in the second match of the EBL cricket series at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.
Nasiruddin Faruque was named captain and Zahurul Islam his deputy of the GP-BCB National Cricket Academy squad for the upcoming series against South Africa and Pakistan Academy teams.
Grand Masters Abdullah Al Rakib, Ziaur Rahman and Neaz Murshed got off to fine starts in the third Kolkata Grand Masters Chess competition yesterday.
Quotas and colour, senior and junior -- they are the controversies that have been part of South Africa and India's build-up to the first Test in Chennai that starts today.
Old Dhaka Hockey Association went atop in the Dhaka Bank Independence Day Hockey tournament beating Mirpur Academy 4-1 at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.
David Beckham will be firmly in the spotlight if he wins his 100th cap for England in Wednesday's friendly against France, but he is willing to retreat into the shadows if it helps Fabio Capello mount a serious challenge for the World Cup.
Brazil coach Dunga will use Wednesday's friendly against Sweden in London to cast his eye over the young stars expected to emulate Ronaldinho and Kaka.
France's record-breaking sprinter Alain Bernard won the men's 50m freestyle here on Monday to cap a superb week as two more world records were set at the European championships.
African champions Egypt host mighty Argentina Wednesday in the pick of a friendly programme designed to prepare teams for 2010 World Cup qualifiers.
Rio Ferdinand will captain England in their international football friendly against France in Paris on Wednesday, the Football Association announced here on Tuesday.
World champions Italy tackle Spain in a friendly in Elche on Wednesday with the issue of coach Roberto Donadoni's contract dominating the headlines.
Euro 2008 co-hosts Switzerland should be one of the favourites for the championships this June claimed Germany coach Joachim Loew.
Guus Hiddink signed a new two-year contract on Monday to continue coaching Russia until the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Dutch international Arjen Robben on Monday denied suggestions of a crisis at Real Madrid after the Spanish side lost its second straight league match over the weekend.
Had Stephen Fleming's final Test innings been scripted for a film about his life, it would have been deemed too boringly realistic to make the final cut. He entered with the stage set for heroism and sparkled briefly as New Zealand began their long and unlikely trek towards salvation. By tea he had achieved his first aim, the 54 runs required to nudge his career average past 40, but within minutes of the resumption, he was gone -- not to a sublime piece of skill from the bowler, Monty Panesar, but to yet another wafty, half-conceived flash outside off stump.
Monty Panesar took England to the brink of a series victory as New Zealand slumped to 222 for five, 330 runs in arrears at stumps on the fourth day of the third cricket Test here Tuesday.
Sri Lanka seized control of the opening Test against West Indies on Monday although their hosts need eight more runs to avoid the follow-on.
BDR became champions of the KFC Pizza Hut Independence Day volleyball competition after they beat Bangladesh Navy 17-25, 27-25, 25-23, 18-25, 16-14 in the final at the Volleyball Stadium yesterday.
There will be voting in only one post for the new committee of the Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) in its April 3 election with acting secretary-general Kutubuddin Ahmed facing the challenge from ex secretary-general and Bangladesh Volleyball Federation president Golam Quddus Chowdhury Babu.
Garment buyers and other foreign trading partners are currently reluctant to visit Dhaka, deterred by the lack of entertainment opportunities and exorbitant taxes on items such as alcohol, food and even water.
Successful cultivation of lip-smacking strawberry has ushered in a new economic prospect for thousands of people at Matiranga, a remote upazila in Khagrachhari district.
The telecom watchdog has proposed for a strong law through raising the amount of fine payable in case of any irregularities by the service providers in the telecommunication sector.
South Korea is to cut import tariffs on oil products to help ease inflationary pressure on consumers and companies, officials said Tuesday.
Trading on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) will remain suspended tomorrow, as the premier bourse will upgrade its trading system to check any disruption on the trading system.
The number of Bangladeshi tourists in Singapore increased over 20 percent in 2007, a top official of Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said yesterday.
Thousands of French workers are leaving home, where ambition is often stifled by poor prospects or discrimination, to benefit from the flexible job market in London hailed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, who arrives here Wednesday.
Bangladesh last year imported more than 50,000 sweater machines which, according to a friend of mine in the ready made garment industry, will require 150,000 skilled workers to operate.
Speakers at a meeting here yesterday urged the government to provide the garment workers with essential items, including rice, pulses, edible oil and milk powder, at subsidised rates through issuing ration or VGF cards immediately.
Asian stocks resumed their rollercoaster ride on Tuesday with benchmarks heading sharply higher on Wall Street's lead and hopes the US economic outlook might improve.
The Doha round of global trade talks is close to reaching an accord in principle on industrial tariffs and farm subsidies and quotas, Brazil's chief trade negotiator said Monday.
The dollar came under fresh selling pressure in Asian trade on Tuesday after an overnight rally sparked by hopes of an easing of the credit crunch on Wall Street fizzled out, dealers said.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Tuesday pledged to push ahead with economic reforms after disastrous election results, and backed down on looming fuel price hikes.
Philippine President Gloria Arroyo on Tuesday said the government will clamp down on rice hoarders who artificially jack up the commodity's price amid a looming supply crunch.
The chairman of the Stock Exchange of Thailand said Tuesday the bourse could privatise as it tries to overhaul its organisation to improve its performance.
Syed Mahbubur Rahman has been appointed deputy managing director of Prime Bank Limited recently, says a press release.
The Indonesian government is cooking a regulation that will ban rice export to secure domestic supply of the country's staple food, local press said Tuesday.
Law Adviser AF Hassan Ariff yesterday said the government has taken an initiative to make the local government institutions more effective through enactment of a new law.
Different socio-political and cultural organisations chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the Independence Day.
Security has been beefed up in the city and elsewhere in the country on the occasion of the Independence Day.
A six-member parliamentarian delegation of the Committee for Economic Cooperation and Development of the German Bundestag (German parliament) arrives in Dhaka today on a four-day visit to Bangladesh.
A Bangladeshi worker was murdered in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a man in connection with illegal VoIP business and seized some equipment worth over Tk 15 lakh from the city in the early hours of yesterday.
Leaders of pro-liberation political and social organisations and the Sector Commanders Forum (SCF) have decided to boycott today's Independence Day reception at Bangabhaban in protest against the anti-liberation elements being invited to the programme.
Different socio-political organisations yesterday demanded that March 25 be declared as 'mass killing day'.
The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested 20 suspected drug peddlers and users, including three women, at Agargaon BNP Bazar slum in the city yesterday.
A woman was strangled in broad daylight by three young men at her residence at Haji Meher Ali Road under Khulna Sadar Police Station in the city yesterday.
Seven members of Agyan Party, a gang of criminals who drug people before mugging them, were arrested in the port city early hours of yesterday.
Anusha Mallick, 5, is suffering from leukemia, says a press release.
Different political, socio-cultural and student organisations in Rajshahi including Rajshahi University yesterday strongly criticised the university authorities for allowing a Islami Chhatra Shibir-backed organisation to hold programmes at RU Central Shaheed Minar on Independence Day.
Over two years after construction, the Shaheed Smriti Falak (Martyrs Memorial Plaque) on Satkhira Collectorate compound is yet to be opened as names of a few fake freedom fighters and a Rajakar are still on the plaque containing the names of martyred freedom fighters.
Sub Inspector Lutfor Rahman of Fakirhat police station in Bagerhat was closed to police lines Monday evening for taking bribe.
A case has been filed with Patuakhali Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court against the officer-in-charge (OC), an assistant sub inspector (ASI), and a constable of Baufal Police Station for alleged torture on a man in police station lock-up.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police of Khulna Asaduzzaman has said reformation in police is a must to make the policing system people-friendly.
Nilphamari Deputy Commissioner Rashidul Hasan at a meeting with the journalists yesterday expressed regret at two magistrates' misbehaviour with journalists on Monday.
The Democratic Party will choose a candidate to run for president and the candidate would be either a woman or an African American. Is there anyone in the Democratic Party worried that come election day their candidate would find it difficult to cart off the “stigma” of belonging to the African American and “Women” category, two of the more resourceful, successful and ever powerful yet “minority groups” who perhaps would not convince or inspire the war weary electorate that the time has come to elect a “minority” candidate, and not a male white politician.
Fiery March is a memorable month in the history of the nation of Bengalees. On the night of March 25,1971, the Pakistan army pounced upon the unarmed Bengalees. They killed millions of innocent people. But the Bengalees had the courage and undaunted spirit to face the challenge. And after nine months of war, we became independent.
One Test cricketer has exposed his level of temperament recently while passing through the fans. He does not have the capacity to control his temper. What a shame! I am a cricket lover from the very early days of Pakistan, and used to follow cricket on radio and TV and also attended matches in the field at home and occasionally abroad. I can definitely place myself with the cricket fans of today. They are enjoying endless opportunities to watch cricket all over the world and almost all the year round. These fans are lifeblood of our cricket They support the good performance and look critically at bad performance of the team and individual players. This is a normal pattern of relation between the players and the fans. I strongly feel that the players who showed bad temper and manner in public should get punishment from the appropriate cricket authorities as provided in their laws.
I would like to thank The Daily Star for printing a photo of pedestrians crossing the street (March 24, 2008, Star City) right under the new foot overbridge at Bangla Motor. This is a picture that can be seen anywhere in the capital where there is a foot overbridge. Traffic police, though present, act like helpless spectators. This increases the death/injury risk to the pedestrians, causes disruption of the traffic flow and also add to the pollution as the engines have to run longer than necessary. Thus, the final impact comes on the fragile economy which has to bear the burden of all the associated additional costs.
About a week back we were suddenly stuck to a big headline carried in almost all the dailies of the country. The meaning of the headlines was the same, but some looked at first sight extremely worrisome.
We are facing the serious problem of pollution because of the large-scale industries and the negligence of people. Pollution causes sickness and death. Nowadays, the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka, is a highly polluted city. Everywhere there is garbage. The pollution has crossed the limits of tolerance.
I am not only shocked but alarmed as well when I see newspapers describing how Bangladeshi citizens are dying in seas, deserts and prison camps. They are fleeing this country as if they are onboard a sinking Titanic. Why is this happening? Are we so much after money that we don't hesitate to take the risk of death.
22 March is the World Water Day. Certain points need to be considered on this occasion.
This letter is in response to K. Ullas Karanth's letter dated 23rd March 2008 in this section titled "Collared" tigers.
For two consecutive days, I have unsuccessfully stood in queue for submitting my application for Indian visa at the Indian Visa Application Centre at Gulshan, Dhaka, and returned home disappointed and sick. I joined the queue very early in the morning but found hundreds of others in queue since midnight. Being an elderly person it was a torture for me to stand in queue for hours and then return home disappointed. Adding to my woes while in queue was pestering of brokers who were asking for Tk. 2500.00 for getting you a visa or Tk. 1000.00 for placing you forward in the queue!
Rural people are being deprived of their fundamental rights. All our plans and programmes are for the development of the urban areas.
There are thousands of passengers travelling from Sylhet to the Middle East and London. Many a time they do not get tickets at the time they want to fly. Moreover, the present fares of Biman and other airlines are too high. Recently, the Civil Aviation Department accorded permission to a foreign airline to operate cheap flights from Chittagong to the Middle East which has proved to be highly successful. There is no reason why the same type of flights should not be operated from Sylhet to the Middle East. Apart from being convenient to passengers, this will boost manpower export.
Nowadays, my mom seems to suffer from constant headache and grumpiness. Why? Well, it's not actually easy being in her shoes and run around with me to the coaching centres each and every day. Also that includes having to stand in the middle of the road for like hours and shouting, "Aye CNG! Dhanmondi sathas number road jabe?". It's unbelievable how I have to get out of my house each day almost one and a half hour early to reach the coaching centre due to the traffic jams that increases the time of the route by twenty to thirty minutes and bless the "CNG-wallas" who refuse to go wherever you ask them to.
I was there on 7 March, 1971 in the Race Course Ground. As a young medical student of Dhaka Medical College, I went there to hear (frankly)as to what would be the future course of events, I wanted to know, if I could finish the first professional MBBS exams that were postponed after March 1. I had a dream like all middle class young men to have a prosperous future, but by the time I heard him out, all dreams were overtaken by only one dream, that is to fight for a free, democratic, and exploitation free Bangladesh. With that end in my mind, I later traced my way like millions of my countrymen to freedom struggle.
Pakistan's new government will review the country's role in the US-led "war on terror," former Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif said yesterday after holding talks with a top American envoy.
At least 13 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in fresh fighting in northern Sri Lanka as government warplanes bombed a suspected rebel arms dump, the defence ministry said Tuesday.
The first parliamentary election in the history of the last independent Himalayan kingdom, Bhutan, produced a landslide with voters decisively rejecting the party led by the king's uncle.
Iraq's radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr yesterday threatened a countrywide campaign of civil revolt as security forces battled his militiamen in the southern city of Basra.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to constitute a special team headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director RK Raghavan to probe 10 crucial cases of 2002 communal carnage in Gujarat.
Faced with the dramatically spiralling costs of wheat, rice and corn, the World Food Programme has made an unprecedented appeal for at least $500m (£250m) to help it continue supplying food aid to 73 million needy people this year.
Makhdoom Amin Fahim, senior vice chairman of the PPP, stepped down as the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD) chairman on Monday.
Arts & Entertainment
Sitting at the Bengal Gallery and reminiscing over the Liberation War days, veteran artist Qayyum Chowdhury recounts his participation in 1971 with the activists from the then Art College -- with Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin and Quamrul Hassan. He takes pride in his paintings and brush and pen sketches that he made after 1971 delineating the freedom fighters and the portraits of the tortured and abused. He brought in the river and the boats too in the backdrop, at times, clinging to his penchant for the idyllic. However, the focus of his artwork on canvas and paper were the bold and driven freedom fighters -- both men and women.
Kazi Arif needs no introduction. A distinguished recitor, TV show presenter and also an architect by profession, he was a freedom fighter in the Liberation War. On the occasion of the Independence Day, Arif shared his memories of the war with The Daily Star. Young, bold and resolute to free the country, he enlisted into the league of soldiers ready to take on the opponent; prepared to make necessary sacrifices.
Banglavision will air the special play Fera tonight at 8:25 pm. Written by Hasan Azizul Haque, the play has been directed by Mir Shariful Karim Srabon.
Based on Rabeya Khatun's story, TV play Golper Moto, will be aired tonight at 7:50 pm on Channel i. Khalid Mahmud Mithu has directed the play.
On the occasion of Independence Day, ntv will air the TV play Pandulipi tonight at 9:00 pm. Written by Rajib Dey and directed by Golam Sohrab Dodul, Pandulipi follows the life of a freedom fighter named Yasin. Now in his sixties, Yasin is waiting for retirement. One day a young man shows up at his house with a manuscript. When Yasin starts reading it, he becomes surprised as the writings are by an anti-Raj activist and his mentor Binod Bihari. The manuscript has been sent to Yasin so that he takes proper initiatives to print it. After the manuscript is printed and published, Yasin finds out that an anonymous individual is buying all the copies. Yasin becomes determined to track down the buyer.
TV play Ekla Choloreyi will be aired on Rtv tonight at 8pm. Written by Faria Hossain and directed by Chayanika Chowdhury, the cast of the play includes Tisha, Nirob, Masud Ali Khan and Keya Chowdhury.
As part of the special programme on Independence Day, BTV will air TV play Lokkho Praan-er Binimoye tonight at 7:00 pm.
Based on a story by Ariel Dorfman, TV play Mukhosh will be aired on ATN Bangla tonight at 8:45 pm. Giasuddin Selim has written the script and directed the play.
FOR a long time, war had been a way for conflict resolution in society. Many rules have been formulated in support of war for the protection of states and their interests whenever the issue of sovereignty has come up. Since ancient times, discussions have abounded regarding theories for and against war and just wars; on questions of differences between military and civilian targets; on a difference of situations between the warring and non-warring.
Mosquitoes are making life of the city dwellers a misery.
Just with the fall of dusk, swarms of mosquitoes come out of their hideouts to launch desperate attacks.
Although a huge independence monument is being built in Suhrawardy Udyan to preserve the memories of the martyrs and glorify independence, the exact spot where the surrender document was signed will be a difficult task to locate now.
A day before the Independence Day, students of Bangla College paid homage to the brave sons of the soil who were martyred or tortured on the college campus by the Biharis and the Pakistani army during the War of Liberation.