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News of: Thursday, 27th of March, 2008
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The country echoed with the demand for the trial of war criminals once again yesterday as the nation celebrated its 38th Independence Day through paying tribute to the Liberation War martyrs and vowing to bring the war criminals to book.
Although the city dwellers are breathing severely polluted air for long with many suffering from different diseases, the government has yet to make any visible intervention to control the pollution.
The jail authorities yesterday suspended for three months the division in jail accorded to five high-profile detainees as they breached the jail code by using mobile phones inside jail.
Bangladesh may miss its target of achieving 7 percent GDP growth in 2008 because of continuing political uncertainty and its budget deficit during the period is expected to rise to 5.6 percent of GDP, said a survey of Escap.
Central Awami League (AL) leaders have ruled out the possibility of going for any movement right now to get party chief Sheikh Hasina released despite immense pressure from grassroots level leaders.
Election to the executive committee of Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) was deferred for 15 days yesterday following a written request from the police department on the eve of its previously scheduled date of today.
Highway police unit was formed about three years ago to ensure round-the-clock vigilance on the highways, but the objective remains largely unmet due to acute shortage of logistic support.
The Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in the capital has run out of supplies of penicillin, anti-diptheric and anti-tetanus serums for two years now, causing immense suffering to poor patients.
The ancient Shiva Temple at Bholahat Upazila in Chapai-nawabganj stands on the verge of ruination after years and years of neglect.
Several hundred freedom fighters took an oath yesterday to build a country free from razakars as the nation celebrated its 38th Independence Day.
The launching of Dhaka-Kolkata passenger train service from April 14 might be delayed as the West Bengal authorities have requested the central government to re-fix the date considering the upcoming state panchayat elections.
Over 48 percent of the registered students are not taking this year's Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations beginning today.
Former chief of staff of the eastern command of the Indian army Lt Gen (retd) JFR Jacob yesterday expressed his pleasure of being invited by the Bangladesh government to witness the Independence and National Day programmes.
Bangabhaban this year did not invite Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami and Secretary General Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mojahid to the Independence Day reception hosted yesterday by President Iajuddin Ahmed and his wife.
Private sector import of Indian coarse rice through land ports failed to have any impact on rice prices either at wholesale or retail markets in the capital yesterday.
Unidentified assailants gunned down a contractor of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) in the city's Khilgaon yesterday apparently for his refusal to pay toll to extortionists.
BNP leaders loyal to detained Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday urged party leaders and workers to get ready to make any sacrifice to free Khaleda and her two sons.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) has sent a clarification on a report headlined “10 Indian Generals to Join Party” published in The Daily Star yesterday. The story erroneously stated the 10 Indian army generals would be awarded medals. The clarification states “Army Headquarters has no such plan or has any information of awarding war medals to the war veterans now visiting Bangladesh.” We regret the error.
The district administration yesterday started culling around 84,000 poultry birds of a farm at Bagher Bazar in Sadar upazila following detection of avian influenza.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-1) officials yesterday arrested four alleged gold smugglers from different places in the city and recovered 5 kilograms of gold ornaments, Tk 44.22 lakh in cash and a Toyota Corolla car from their possession.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi farmer near Azmatpur border under Shibganj upazila of the district yesterday morning.
Pakistan's new premier told US President George W. Bush that a broader approach to the "war on terror" is necessary, including political solutions and development programmes, a statement said.
Iraq's prime minister on Wednesday gave gunmen in the southern oil port of Basra a three-day deadline to surrender their weapons and renounce violence as clashes between Shia militia fighters and Iraqi security forces erupted for a second day.
A one-minute black-out at the Central Shaheed Minar at midnight on 25-26 March, followed by a lighting of candles, captures the spirit of this year's Independence Day celebrations. Such national resolve to uphold the principles of the War of Liberation surely augurs well for our future. We note here the rekindling of the old wartime spirit in recent weeks among the people of Bangladesh by such bodies as the Sector Commanders' Forum. Other organisations have also been active in shaping public opinion on such issues as preventing war criminals from taking part in politics and so recreating the ambience in which we waged our war for freedom in 1971. All these bodies, the patriotic men and women behind them, certainly deserve our collective gratitude for the awareness of history they have caused among all of us again. It is thanks to them that today public consciousness of the spirit of the War of Liberation is resurgent. We now build on the momentum to forge ahead.
AGAINST the background of rising crime and proliferation of criminal networks across the country, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) came into being four years ago to turn the tide on lawlessness. The battalion within no time busted a number of networks of anti-social elements that have been engaged in smuggling, women and child trafficking and organising various other nefarious activities. We believe their biggest success came when they netted the ring-leaders of some terrorist groups and handed them over to the police. RAB's success in penetrating the dens of the dangerously armed and motivated obscurantist elements got words of praise from all quarters. Such focused and unrelenting operations by RAB did counterbalance the modus operandi of criminals and helped in creating a favourable law and order ambience in society to a large extent.
I feel humbled and inadequate to bear the weight of the Swadhinata Puraskar. Those of our generation who were privileged to be associated with the liberation struggle were part of a mighty army where ordinary people rose above themselves to perform deeds which were beyond our expectation.
THE man wakes in an unfamiliar city. It is hot, sweaty and only seven in the morning. Curse this infernal heat! Cycle bells, footsteps and strange sounds seep in.
THE "swift boating" of Senator Barack Obama has started in earnest. Through his association with former pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Republicans and their surrogates have started a smear campaign to label Obama as an unpatriotic and racist anti-Semite.
Victoria Sporting Club looked set to end their struggling form in the Premier Cricket League when they upset defending champions Abahani by four wickets yesterday.
Monty Panesar spun England to a crushing 121-run victory as New Zealand went down despite a late flourish by teenager Tim Southee in the third and deciding cricket Test here Wednesday.
South Africa revelled in good batting conditions to pile up 304-4 on the opening day of the first Test against India here on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka were put under some early pressure after they set West Indies 437 to win in a minimum of 113 overs in the opening Test on Tuesday.
China held Australia and the two Koreas also fought to a goalless draw as Asian World Cup qualifying stepped up a gear on Wednesday.
Arsenal mid-fielder Gilberto Silva admits his side need to win their last seven matches to have any chance of snatching the Premier League title.
Captain Alex Frei said on Tuesday he was aiming to become Switzerland's all-time highest goal-scorer before the start of Euro 2008.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez wants to meet with Premier League referees boss Keith Hackett following the controversial sending-off of Javier Mascherano at Old Trafford.
Queens Park Rangers co-owner Flavio Briatore insisted the club would not "throw away their money" on new players despite announcing a five-year, 20 million pounds (40 million dollars) sponsorship deal with Italian sporting goods manufacturers Lotto on Tuesday.
Grand Master Ziaur Rahman won his third round board in the 3rd Kolkata Open Grandmaster Chess tournament against Egyptian International Master Frhat Ali at the Gory Sadan in Kolkata on Tuesday.
The three-day inter-club players' transfer for the Second and Third Division Cricket League will start on April 1 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
The much-awaited extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) will be held today.
The Bangladesh Women Cricket Team go into the third game against visiting Hong Kong Women Team hoping to seal the series at the Chittagong Divisional Cricket Stadium today.
England will play just two Tests instead of three on their tour of India later this year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced on Tuesday.
Bangladesh cricket team's South African physiotherapist Darryn Lifson has refused to travel to Pakistan for next month's one-day series because of security concerns, a board official said on Wednesday.
West Indies coach John Dyson believes a sensational come-from-behind victory is still a possibility for his side in the opening Test against Sri Lanka.
Australian Eamon Sullivan missed French rival Alain Bernard's 100-metre freestyle world record by just two-hundredths of a second in qualifying for the Beijing Olympics here on Wednesday.
Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Jagmohan Dalmiya was yesterday arrested on charges of misappropriation of over 2.90 crore rupees of the cricket body's funds, but was immediately released on bail of 25,000 rupees.
Sri Lanka said Wednesday it had been forced to change the itinerary for India's tour of the island later this year because of a lack of hotel rooms due to a summit of South Asian leaders in Colombo.
With the deciding third Test against England all but lost, New Zealand pace bowler Tim Southee provided the crowd with a little excitement before the visitors wrapped up a 121-run victory on Wednesday.
It will be Shahrukh Khan versus Mithun Chakraborty in cricket.
Under-pressure to quit his post as Chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar yesterday met ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed here.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has moved to quash speculation about a rift between the club and an out-of-form Ronaldinho.
With just over two months to go before the Euro 2008 football championships start, a Vienna-based gay and lesbian group has launched a poster competition to draw attention to the homophobic side of the sport.
Atletico Madrid defender Pablo Ibanez condemned Tuesday the beating of a club supporter by Sevilla fans before the two side's weekend match in an incident caught on tape and shown on television.
Germany coach Joachim Loew has imposed a few ground rules on his players in their quest to win Euro 2008 - late-night visits to discos are banned and room service in the team hotel is off the menu.
Brazilian international Marcelinho is under investigation by German police and faces a possible grievous bodily harm charge following a late-night attack in a Berlin nightclub.
Tour operators, travel agents and guesthouse owners see a tremendous growth in tourism sector if the government allows tourists visas on arrival at airports.
Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday criticised countries like the US for diverting farm products to produce biofuels, saying this had led to soaring global food prices.
The government needs to push private commercial banks to disburse more agriculture credit, which remains a less preferred area for the banks, to spur rural economy, a top banker has said.
Local private airline United Airways is going to operate on international routes from the middle of this year, said Chairman and Managing Director of the carrier Captain Tasbirul Ahmed Choudhury yesterday.
Potato export from Rangpur region will be increased this year, thanks to bumper potato production and lower prices.
The new executive committee of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) has undertaken an initiative to motivate the traders and importers of essential items to keep their prices at a rational level.
Grameen CyberNet Ltd, a local internet service provider, will offer advanced broadband services such as games and video-on-demand to its customers with technical support from Ericsson, the world's leading technology and services provider to telecom operators.
Electrolux, the home appliances division of India's diversified business group Videocon, plans to export refrigerators to Saarc (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries, the Middle East and Africa.
India's Tata Motors said Wednesday it had bought British luxury icons Jaguar and Land Rover from struggling US carmaker Ford for 2.3 billion dollars as it expands its global reach.
At the end of my first column last month on “Brand Bangladesh”, I asked The Daily Star readers to vote on the favourite slogan that most effectively captured the dynamic message we as a country wanted to project about investment opportunities here. I received over 200 email responses both locally and internationally. Around 65percent of responses favoured “Bangladesh, the Next Asian Tiger”; a surprising second was “Bangladesh, the Original Asian Tiger”.
The first-ever election to the executive committee of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) for a one-year term (2008-09) is going to be held on March 29.
Asian stocks closed mixed on Wednesday with bargain hunting continuing in some sectors but broader sentiment was again weighed down by fears over the state of the US economy.
An open skies pact set to take effect between the United States and the European Union this weekend may offer few immediate benefits for travel in view of the turmoil in the US economy and airline industry, analysts say.
Shahid Hamid has taken over as the first general manager of Dhaka Regency Hotel & Resort Ltd, a five-star private sector hotel owned by British Bangladesh Investment Group.
Global banking giant HSBC said Wednesday it has arranged a 236 million dollar loan for a Sri Lankan firm to build a 300 megawatt thermal power plant to minimise electricity cuts in the island nation.
Japanese exports maintained brisk growth in February as strong demand from Asia and Europe offset the impact of falling shipments to the ailing US economy, the government said Wednesday.
Oil prices were higher in Asian trade Wednesday ahead of the release of the US government's weekly energy stockpiles report, dealers said.
Vietnam has attracted 5.4 billion dollars in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the year's first three months, 31 percent more than in the first quarter of last year, an official said Wednesday.
Singapore has teamed up with US-listed Host Hotels and Resorts in a 600-million US dollar venture to explore hospitality-related investments in Asia and Australia, the partners said.
Singapore's factory output rose an annual 10 percent in February, beating expectations, on strong production in the electronics and transport engineering, the government said Wednesday.
Japan's trade surplus in February edged up 0.9 percent due to brisk exports to Asia, after slipping into a deficit in January following two straight months of decline in December and November.
Patients suffering from thalassaemia, haemophilia, anaemia or leukaemia, who need regular blood supply from outside, are facing tremendous problems in getting it as the rate of voluntary blood donation is not up to the mark.
Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain on Tuesday called on all to unite to bring changes to political culture of the country so that honest and competent candidates can be elected in the elections.
Different political, social and cultural organisations yesterday observed the Independence Day in befitting manner and amid various programmes.
Participants at a training workshop have stressed the need for proactive role of media in facilitating the safe migration of female workers, says a press release.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed donated Tk one lakh to two critically ill freedom fighters of Chuadanga district for their treatment.
A three-day workshop for labour attachés ended in the city on Tuesday with a call for more government attention to reduce the cost of going abroad with jobs, ensure workers' welfare and explore new job markets.
Different organisations yesterday demanded unconditional release of former prime minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, now in prison on charge of corruption.
Thirty army and three navy personnel have been awarded honorary promotion and commission on the occasion of the Independence and National Day, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Defence.
People formed a human chain at different points from Chittagong to Cox's Bazar yesterday with a call to vote for Cox's Bazar and Sundarbans to put them on the list of New 7 Wonders of Nature.
West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited (WZPDCL) has started implementation of Prepaid Meter Project in Khulna metropolitan city.
The bright blue sky over the Dhaka University (DU) campus yesterday wore a different look and colour as hundreds of kites were flying in the sky during a kite competition at the central playground.
Chief Adviser (CA) of the caretaker government Fakhruddin Ahmed will start a two-day visit in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) today.
Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) at an Independence Day discussion yesterday urged the government to initiate the process of trial of the war criminals immediately, says a press release.
Police arrested two journalists for alleged blackmailing of a trader in the city yesterday.
A woman, allegedly raped by a textile mill owner, succumbed to her injuries at Sadar Hospital yesterday morning.
Bangladesh Informatics Olympiad 2008 will begin at five divisional headquarters -- Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna and Sylhet -- simultaneously tomorrow, says a press release.
A Dhaka court on Tuesday allowed the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to interrogate detained former home minister Altaf Hossain Chowdhury at the jail gate in connection with a case filed against him for concealing information and amassing wealth through illegal means.
A condemned prisoner died due to a cardiac arrest at Comilla Medical College Hospital on Tuesday night.
Abdur Rahim, a young man with visual impairment, has appealed for financial assistance for his eye treatment, says a press release.
A bus turned upside down fell into a roadside ditch near Bangla Bazar in Charfashion upazila yesterday, leaving two people dead on the spot and 20 others injured.
Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized 1000 kg of Jatka fish from Karwan Bazar wholesale market in the city on Tuesday.
A fire broke out in a room of a girl students' dormitory of Chittagong Medical College early Wednesday, damaging furniture and books of the inmates.
Freedom fighters boycotted Independence Day pogrammes in Magura district town, Shivalaya upazila in Manikganj and in Koira of Khulna district yesterday.
Freedom fighter Vanu Nesa leads a miserable life as her monthly allowance was stopped during the BNP-led alliance government.
Rajshahi University (RU) unit of Sammilito Sangskritik Jote (SSJ) yesterday observed their Independence Day programmes wearing black badges in protest against allowing an organisation backed by Islami Chhatra Shibir to hold their programmes on RU Central Shaheed Minar premises.
GK (Ganges-Kobadak) project yesterday started supplying irrigation water to five southwestern districts for Irri-Boro cultivation.
At a reception to freedom fighters and family members of martyred freedom fighters at Satkhira, the speakers yesterday said continued movement is needed for trial of the war criminals and establish a corruption-free society.
The court of Second Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge Ekramul Haq will today pronounce the verdict in the sensational case for killing eight people at Bahodderhat on July 12 in 2000.
I think time has come to draw curtains on Bangladesh test cricket after the poor performance against South Africa. Our captain's post-match comment clearly indicated his team's incapability to play international cricket. Dismal performances one after another no longer justify clinging to a status for which we are not worthy of.
The end of the Cold War, and subsequently the spread of globalisation, together with pursuance of democracy and market economy, is creating social disorders, corruption and suicide by the farmers.
Since the imposition of Emergency Powers Rule we have not heard too many voices against it till now when the political parties are raising their voices in favour of lifting it. A few newspapers have been vocal against EPR since its imposition, while some others have kept mum either fearing actions for their past misdeeds or fearing harassment.
The improvements in the conditions of the poor will only be possible through enhancement of their intellectual, productive, social and environmental assets.
The Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-N have refused to give any assurance to the United States about the future of President Pervez Musharraf, saying that every matter would now be debated in parliament.
India said Tuesday it could not commit to any US timeline for finalisation of a landmark nuclear deal caught in a deadlock among its ruling coalition partners.
The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and its coalition partners are still discussing the size of the new cabinet of federal ministers and the division of portfolios, sources privy to the developments told Daily Times on Tuesday.
The man set to become Bhutan's first elected prime minister after the country's historic parliamentary polls said on Tuesday that he would look to guidance from the king who ordered the vote.
A roadside blast in Sri Lanka's restive eastern region on Wednesday killed two policemen while fighting in the north left at least 19 rebels and one soldier dead, the government said.
White House hopeful Hillary Clinton's uphill road to the Democratic nomination looks to be getting steeper, but the gritty survivor of many a political war shows no sign of surrendering.
Antarctica's massive Wilkins Ice Shelf has begun disintegrating under the effects of global warming, satellite images by the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Centre showed.
Eight Afghan civilians were killed when a bomb-filled car exploded near a crowded bazaar in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, police said, in an attack claimed by the Taliban.
China on Wednesday announced the surrender of hundreds of people over anti-government riots among Tibetans and allowed the first group of foreign journalists to visit the regional capital since the violence.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed to open a new chapter in ties with Britain yesterday as he received a red-carpet welcome on a state visit to London with his glamorous new wife.
An alleged Al-Qaeda militant detained over the bombing of Benazir Bhutto's homecoming parade which killed 139 people has been freed on bail, police in Pakistan said yesterday.
The oil-rich United Arab Emirates yesterday got its first woman judge, a job hitherto reserved for men in the conservative Gulf country.
Arts & Entertainment
On the occasion of its 12th anniversary and Independence Day, the Liberation War Museum has organised a week-long programme that started from March 22. On March 24, Birpratik Tajul Islam was invited to deliver a speech on his experience during the war.
Mayor of Dhaka City Corporation, Sadeq Hossain Khoka is the mastermind of the newly built Zahir Raihan Sanskritik Kendra, where the ongoing theatre festival titled Mahanagar Natyoshob '08 is being held. DCC has constructed the centre with an aim to boost more cultural activities in Old Dhaka.
University of Development Alternative (UODA), College of Development Alternative (CODA) and School of Development Alternative (SODA) along with Bangladesh Chhatra Kalyan Sangstha arranged an all-night programme at the Manik Mian Avenue (in front of the National Parliament building) to observe the mass murder on March 25, 1971 as well as the 37th Independence Day. The programme included painting on the street and on canvas by artists, rendition of inspirational songs that used to be aired on the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra, recitation and film screening.
Quite a few feature films, short films and documentaries have been made on the Liberation War in last 37 years. The first movie based on the war was made in India. Umaprasad Moitra wrote the original script in Bangla and I.S. Johar developed the Hindi script in Mumbai for the movie Jai Bangladesh. Renowned actor Kabori played the lead role in the film. However, apparently the Liberation War was not accurately portrayed in that movie and it was strongly opposed by the Bangladeshi side; subsequently, the Indian government banned the film.
As part of the ongoing Mahanagar Natyoshob '08, Theatre (Topkhana) will stage Totaram today at the Zahir Raihan Sanskritik Kendra, Loharpul Sutrapur.
Having an artist in the family is always useful for burgeoning talent. Young Bhutanese painter, Tenzin Dorji's uncle was one such inspiration. Tenzin has had artistic leanings since his school days and believes that “art is really a study of culture through which one can learn so much about other global cultures.”
Sammilito Sanskritik Jote (SSJ) arranged a three-day long cultural programme titled “Shadhinota Utsab” to celebrate the Independence Day. The programme started simultaneously at the Central Shaheed Minar premises and Rabindra Sarobar, Dhanmondi on March 24 and ended yesterday. Highlights of the first day's cultural programme were renditions of patriotic songs, recitation and street theatre performances by associate cultural organisations of SSJ.
This could make for one odd family reunion: Barack Obama is a distant cousin of actor Brad Pitt, and Hillary Rodham Clinton is related to Pitt's girlfriend, Angelina Jolie.
I happened to be in the chamber of my friend, a prominent lawyer of the country. He was giving legal advice to another friend about the vacation of a court injunction. His ancestral land on the North South Road near Bangshal cross-roads has been forcibly occupied by a thuggish city commissioner who is absconding.
ONE way to understand Bangladesh today after 37 years of her independence is to look at it as an interesting paradox. Bangladesh has made some headway in economic development. Today's sky-high prices of basic necessities combined with a sluggish economy with low purchasing power of the average people should not negate the tangible achievements in the economic development of the country. The economic difficulties which are results of unfavorable global economy combined with bad planning aggravated by some bad weather situations are not intractable. Bangladesh has experienced increase in real per capita income however measured -- in purchasing power parity or by conventional methods.
ON special days like Independence or Victory days, repeated lamentations on erosion of the spirit of independence since the post-Mujib era have become a cliché. To the new generations, especially to many members of the post-liberation generation, this simplistic notion has no special appeal at all. Rather, to them, the spirit of liberation signifies some nostalgic slogans of some members of the older generation.
SET aside any notion that Asians have no sense of humour. We have a sharp eye for the absurd. "Life being what it is in Asia, we have the choice of laughing or crying, so we may as well laugh," said reader Ameena Chowdhury. A correspondent named Steven Yang agreed that many jokes tended to be "imported and not relevant to the local culture," so it was worthwhile for us to gather work which "stands uniquely against this trend." So here's some humour sent in by readers.
Power outage has started creeping into the lives of city dwellers from the very beginning of summer though the authorities hope to provide better service this year.
Journey to the historic hilltop temple at Chandranath Hill in Sitakunda has become risky for the thousands of devotees as well as the visitors from home and abroad during the Chaturdashi Mela due to lack of renovation of the roads and steps to the temple.
Seminar on capital market held
The three-month training programme on “Capital market” began in the port city on Sunday organised by Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) for the graduates and investors.