The Daily Star

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

News of: Saturday, 5th of April, 2008

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Bangladesh kids spend least time in schools among Saarc states

With a staggering 137-day official holiday besides temporary closure due to natural calamities, Bangladesh schoolchildren get minimum time a year for academic activities among the Saarc nations.

Most high-profile prisoners have multiple diseases

Most of the high-profile detainees are suffering from multiple health problems.

CEC to blame for any poll delay

Khandaker Delwar Hossain, BNP secretary general appointed by Chairperson Khaleda Zia, yesterday said the chief election commissioner (CEC) would be held responsible for any delay in holding the national election.

Manpower brokers to be brought under legal framework

The government is mulling bringing manpower brokers under a legal framework and devise a mechanism for recruiting agencies to realise service charges from oversees job seekers based on their wages to reduce cost of going abroad for employment.

Residents free playground from grabbers

Residents of Gabtoli-Aminbazar area, especially the youth of the locality, took an exemplary initiative of recovering a playground popularly known as Gabtoli Field, from the hands of land grabbers.

CA opens 4-day conference of DCs today

The rising prices, increasing salary of government employees and re-introducing ration for them, and poor implementation of annual development programme (ADP) are likely to figure prominently at the annual conference of deputy commissioners beginning in Dhaka today.

Jalil’s condition deteriorates further

Ailing Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil's health condition deteriorated further at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore where the detained leader, now on parole, is under treatment for heart and kidney problems.

Ancient temples in Puthia falling apart for lack of care

Several monuments in Rajshahi's Puthia upazila under the care of the archaeology department are threatened with extinction for high soil salinity and lack of standard maintenance due to fund constraints.

7 killed as storm lashes dists

At least seven people were killed and 24 others injured as nor'wester swept through different parts of the country yesterday and Thursday night.

Pro-AL teachers won’t boycott DU convocation

Pro-Awami League teachers of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday decided not to boycott the upcoming convocation to show respect for the language movement veterans invited to receive honorary degree from the university.

AUW reception to its first batch today

The Asian University for Women (AUW) is scheduled to accord a formal reception to its first batch of prospective freshers today, who will take part in a preparatory course for admission titled Access Academy Programme.

‘Hunger has no hidden or open variety’

“Hunger has no hidden or open variety, it will explode like a grenade if the government fails to tackle properly the food crisis and price spirals," Workers Party of Bangladesh President Rashed Khan Menon said yesterday.

Make asset issue clear to establish equal rights

It is not possible to ensure equal rights of men and women in the country keeping the issue of women's rights on assets unclear as the proposed Women Development Policy does not have any clause in this regard.

Dhaka urges EU to allow greater access of its goods

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury on an official visit to Brussels held meetings with European External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pottering Thursday.

Boisabi festival begins today in Rangamati

Non-government organisations (NGOs) working in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) have taken an eight-day programme in Rangamati in the run-up to the traditional Boisabi festival.

Gaziul Haque hospitalised

Language Movement veteran Gaziul Haque was rushed to Square Hospital in the city yesterday after he suffered a mild stroke.

Accord to look at emissions from air and sea travel

More than 160 nations agreed yesterday to consider how to reduce rapidly growing emissions from air and sea travel as they worked toward drafting an ambitious new treaty on global warming.

Maliki orders freeze on raids across Iraq

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki yesterday ordered his forces to stop raids across Iraq to allow time for those wanting to surrender their weapons in the wake of fierce clashes with Shia fighters as 20 more people were killed in suicide bombing.

US on the wrong track, most Americans say

More than 80 percent of Americans say in a new poll they are unhappy with the country's direction, the highest level of dissatisfaction recorded since the early 1990s, The New York Times reported Friday.

Wife beaten to death in city

A woman has been allegedly beaten to death by her husband in the city's Shyampur for failing to meet his demand for dowry.

Seed crisis may hamper jute cultivation in Jessore

Acute seed crisis might hamper jute cultivation this year, as the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) doesn't have adequate seed in its stock.

EU Commission calls on member states to increase aid

The European Commission on Friday urged member states to increase their aid levels for the poorest nations after OECD figures showed a fall last year for the first time since 2000.

Sale of coarse rice drops but little impact on prices

Wholesalers at Karwan Bazar yesterday said their sales of coarse rice have dropped significantly due to success of open market sale (OMS) and Bangladesh Rifles' (BDR) fair price outlets, but it had little impact on prices.


Government's parley with political parties

The announcement by the chief advisor, of the government's intention to hold dialogue with the political parties very soon, has caused a palpable stir amongst the political parties, and rightly so. We welcome the move.

Employment programme on emergency basis

There are 75 lakh ultra poor households in the country. Of these, 50 lakh are covered by some kind of social safety net including VGF programme. If the remainder 25 lakh families are serviced by a new programme, their hardship in these days of skyrocketing prices will be somewhat alleviated. In this context we welcome the Tk 100 crore employment scheme taken in hand by the food and disaster management ministry. Its implementation is envisaged in the current month.

Rising food prices: Is there a solution on the horizon?

CRISIS is nothing new to this nation. In fact, it's hard to think of a time when we Bangladeshis, have not been faced with a crisis. With that said, there are always a few problems, which in my opinion deserve immediate attention.

Use and abuse of democracy

Bangladesh and the United States of America are likely to go to polls at the end of this year. In the USA voters might be in the mood to try something historic. It is hard to remember a time when a black American has been in such a prime political position. Barack Obama is the first black American candidate to have serious chance of winning the presidency. Unsurprisingly, in Bangladesh we are perhaps going to witness business usual once again. A majority of our politicians from both the major parties are considered loyal sycophants. Perhaps they are waiting in the forlorn hope that their leaders will be released from prison soon and make the politics of Bangladesh business as usual. Their excessive optimism and naive idealism suggest that they are still in love with the past politics. They are interested for next election only, but not for next generation.

Focussing on agriculture and agro-commodities

Since my stint as Permanent Representative to FAO, while being Ambassador to Italy, I have been involved in keeping track of the steady evolution that has been taking place in agricultural practices not only in Bangladesh in particular but also within the developing world in general.


Ash eyes 1 or 2 wins

The Bangladesh cricket team flies out for Karachi in the early hours of Sunday to play five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match against Pakistan, leaving behind a question whether they would be able to overcome their recent poor showings against top-ranked sides.

De Villiers drives SA

AB de Villiers cracked a maiden double-century as South Africa pummelled the Indian attack in the second Test here on Friday, leaving the tourists in a virtually unassailable position.

Lorgat new ICC CEO

South Africa's Haroon Lorgat has been appointed the new chief executive officer of the International Cricket Council (ICC), the governing body announced on Friday.

Akhtar appeals ban

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said Friday he has appealed against a five-year ban imposed by Pakistan's cricket authorities for repeated breaches of discipline.

Dilshan, Silva steady SL

An unbroken stand of 100 for the sixth wicket between Tillakeratne Dilshan and Chamara Silva helped Sri Lanka recover on the rain-marred opening day of the second and final Test against West Indies on Thursday.

Relegation matches from Apr 7

Sonargaon Cricketers, Young Pegasus and Kalabagan Krira Chakra will battle out in the relegation play-off of the Premier League from April 7.

'His IPL deal still valid'

Banned Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar's contract with the Indian Premier League (IPL) is still valid and he will be allowed to play if he is cleared by the Pakistan Appeallate Tribunal, IPL Governing Council head Lalit Modi said on Friday.

Richest of all domestic events

The inaugural DLF Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to become one of the richest domestic cricket tournaments in the world offering a whopping winners' cheque of 4.8 crore rupees and an overall prize money of 12 crore rupees.

Rain forces washout

Rain ruined the opening day's play of the first four-day match between South Africa Academy team and GP-BCB Academy at the Jessore Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Setbacks for favourites

Bayern Munich and Fiorentina's UEFA Cup hopes suffered potentially fatal blows on Thursday when both were held to disappointing home draws in quarterfinal, first leg clashes.

Stern test for Villarreal

Villarreal have been this season's revelation in the Spanish first division after emerging as surprise title candidates but they face a stern test of their credentials on Sunday with a trip to Sevilla.

Roma refocusing on League

It's back down to domestic business and reeling in Inter Milan for AS Roma this weekend as they try to close the gap at the top of Serie A.

Boro aim to derail MU

Middlesbrough have already dented Arsenal's chances of reclaiming the Premier League trophy.

Beckham opens MLS account

England midfielder David Beckham scored his first goal in Major League Soccer play on Thursday and contributed to another as the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0.

Roddick topples Federer

American Andy Roddick, the sixth seed, toppled world number one Roger Federer in three sets here Thursday to reach the semifinals of the ATP Masters Series.

Computer picks West Brom

Fans attending this weekend's FA Cup semifinals at Wembley scarcely need to bother to turn up if the predictions of a football computer game are to be believed.

Ronaldinho out for six weeks

Barcelona's Brazilian forward Ronaldinho will be sidelined for about six weeks after he pulled a muscle in his right leg during a training session, the Spanish club said Friday.

Reds to appeal ban extension

Liverpool have confirmed they will appeal against the extension of Javier Mascherano's ban for being sent off against Manchester United from one to three matches.

MLS All-stars to take on Hammers

The Major League Soccer All-Stars will take on English Premiership club West Ham United in this season's All-Star Game, the US football league announced on Thursday.

Media lobby slams IPL

A day after premier news agencies voiced their concern about the Indian Premier League's (IPL) media guidelines, the Editors Guild of India -- an influential lobby group -- on Friday has criticised what it calls "prohibitive conditions" that are "unprecedented and unacceptable to the Indian media."

Serena faces Jelena in final

Defending champion Serena Williams will put her title on the line against Serbian fourth seed Jelena Jankovic at the WTA Sony Ericsson Open.

Badshahs v Heroes ICL finale

Even a battling 91 from Lance Klusener couldn't halt the undefeated run of the Lahore Badshahs as the Kolkata Tigers failed to surmount an imposing target of 183 at the Tau Devi Lal Cricket Stadium in Panchkula, Chandigarh on Thursday.

Local Snippets

Kathalbagan managed a hard-fought three-wicket win over Mariners Youngs Club in a rain-affected First Division relegation league match at the Dhaka University ground yesterday.

Made in Japan

Attempting to explain the finer points of a googly or silly mid-off to the Japanese would appear, at first glance, one of the most thankless tasks in sport.

Revenge on their mind

Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger says VfB Stuttgart are fully focused on avenging the 4-1 hammering they took in Hamburg last October when the title-rivals clash again on Saturday.

'Barca trying to get rid of Ronaldinho'

Barcelona is "looking for excuses" to sell their under-performing Brazilian ace Ronaldinho at the end of the season, the Spanish club's former midfielder Rivaldo said Thursday.

Nat'l athletics from tomorrow

The 33rd National Athletics Competition begins at the Bangabandhu National Stadium tomorrow.

Hasib fashions close victory

Munshipara Krira Sangstha won an exciting encounter against Ghagot Krira Chakra by one wicket in the Naheed Cotton First Division League at the local stadium here yesterday.

Sewta ride on Arpan

An all-round show from Arpan of Sewta Uday Sena ensured his side won by 12 runs over Modern Club in the opening match of the Col Malek Smriti First Division at the Shaheed Miraj-Tapan Stadium in Manikganj yesterday.

ACSU might talk to Shoaib

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has said it would like its anti-corruption officers to talk to Shoaib Akhtar regarding his claims that he was offered money to underperform in matches in India and South Africa.


Congestion charge may help ease traffic gridlock

A modern city can be a great place to live in, and it can also be a hellhole if it is polluted and clogged by traffic jams as Dhaka city is known for. But some Bangladeshi expatriates say parking and congestion charges can help Dhaka minimise its everyday gridlock.

Probe reports not submitted in last 14 years

Two graft cases filed against deposed president HM Ershad have been gathering dust as the investigation reports of the cases have not been submitted in the last 14 years.

Road accidents kill four

At least four people were killed and three others were injured in separate road accidents in Manikganj, Kishoreganj, Rajshahi and Lalmonirhat yesterday.

Dev local varieties of paddy to ensure food security

Speakers at a dialogue yesterday called for developing local varieties of paddy to ensure food security, rather than introducing genetically modified rice (GMR) as it could harm public health and environment.

Cultivate every inch of land to grow more food: CS Karim

Agriculture and Water Resources Adviser Dr CS Karim yesterday said every inch of fallow land should be brought under cultivation to cope with any future food shortage in the country.

Release of Hasina demanded

Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote and Jatiya Sramik League yesterday demanded of the caretaker government to release detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina immediately and send her to US for better treatment.

Rab arrests 10 miscreants, recover firearms,drugs in Ctg

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested eight members of an organised gang of burglars and two drug peddlers in separate drives at different parts of the city and district in last 24 hours ending at 4.00pm yesterday.

Snails – a new source of livelihood

Snails, once a major duck feed in rural areas, now provide a source of income for many poor people at Shibchandrapur village in Benapole.

Hindu devotees celebrate Baruni Snan

Hindu devotees thronged the Rani Rashmoni Ghat, popularly known as Kattali beach, in a large number yesterday to take a holy bath in the sea on the occasion of 'Baruni Snan'.

Tanveer, Jewel elected Rehab president, secretary

Engr Tanveerul Haque Probal, managing director (MD) of Building for Future Limited, and Ln Khaled Mohammad Jewel Mollah, MD of Shagufta Housing, have been elected president and general secretary of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (Rehab), says a press release.

Touchstone statue recovered in Barisal

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members recovered a touchstone-made statue worth over Tk one crore from Dakkhin Shihipasha village in Agoiljhara upazila here Tuesday morning.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat launches website

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Bangladesh launched its official website in the city yesterday.

Bangladeshi art exhibition opens at EC hqs

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner jointly inaugurated an art exhibition of Bangladeshi painters at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels on Thursday evening.

Traders arrested with looted rice in Sirajganj

A rice trader was arrested with 44 sacks of allegedly looted rice at Simantabala Bazar in Kazipur upazila of Sirajganj yesterday.

CID to submit charge sheet against Emon April 6

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) will submit a charge sheet against top terror Sanjidul Islam Emon on April 6 in another arms case.

Thai trade fair from April 8

A Thai business delegation arrives in the city tomorrow to take part in a mini-trade fair to be held at hotel Civic Inn at Gulshan on April 8 and 9.

Youth found dead at home in Narsingdi

The police recovered the body of a young man from his home at Nilaksha village in Belabo yesterday.

25 km walkathon held

A nation needs healthy citizens to ensure progress and prosperity in all walks of life.

AL mass signature campaign today

Awami League (AL) will start a mass signature campaign today demanding the release of AL President Sheikh Hasina.

BBC Bangladesh Sanglap today

The 32nd edition of BBC Bangladesh Sanglap will be held at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the capital today.

Duta demands withdrawal of cases against 11 students

Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) has demanded immediate withdrawal of cases filed against 11 students in connection with the campus violence in August last year.

Arrest warrant against former BNP lawmaker Nazimuddin Alam

An arrest warrant has been issued for nine BNP leaders and activists, including former lawmaker Nazimuddin Alam, in a case of attempt on the life of Juba League leader Akhtarul Alam, who was also a former commissioner of Char Fashion Pourasava in Bhola.

Housewife robbed of gold ornaments

Armed muggers snatched gold ornaments, two mobile phone sets and Tk 28,000 from a housewife in the city's Gulshan area last night.


Hybrid Boro turning yellowish in 5 south-western districts

Spread of an unidentified disease in hybrid Boro fields has worried farmers in five south-western districts. Paddy plants in many areas are turning yellowish and substance of grain is also drying up, which may turn those into sterile sheaves, farmers in many areas in the districts said.

Govt to create buffer stock of food grains

Commerce and Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman has said that the government has taken steps to create a buffer stock of food grains.

Police disperse procession violating emergency in Sylhet

At least 20 people received minor injuries in a chase and counter-chase as police fired seven rounds of tear gas shells and resorted to baton charge to disperse a procession brought out in the city by Qurani Ain Sangrakshan Committee, Sylhet by violating emergency rules. Police also foiled its rally at Court Point and Zindabazar areas.

Suspended chief engineer testifies against KCC mayor Tayebur

Suspended chief engineer of Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Liaquat Ali Sharif submitted deposition in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Md Barekuzzaman in an extortyion case against detained Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman.

Nation wants return to democracy

Awami League (AL) Presidium member Amir Hossain Amu yesterday said the whole nation now wants to return democracy as early as possible.

'Try war criminals'

Speakers at a meeting commemorating a valiant freedom fighter on Thursday demanded trial and punishment of war criminals.

Arrest warrant against UNO

A Barisal court issued arrest warrant against Munim Hassan, now upazila nirbahi officer of Mollarhut under Bagerhat district, as he failed to appear before the court in connection with a criminal case even after being summoned for 12 times.

Satkhira rally vows to realise rights of Dalits

It was a different day for the people of Satkhira town yesterday as over 800 people of all classes held a rally vowing to stamp out all forms of racial discrimination from the society.

New director of BINA

Nuclear scientist Dr Md Sayedur Rahman has been appointed as the new director (Administration and Support services) of Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA).

2 Khelafat leaders held

Netrakona police arrested Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon Coordinator Abdur Rakib and local leader Sohad Ullah Nazib at Chutabazar of Netrakona district town after Jumma prayers yesterday.


Fate of Maoist rebels looms over Nepal peace process

With crucial elections next week, Nepal's shaky peace process could implode if there is no decision as to what do with 20,000 hardened Maoist guerrillas, analysts and officials are warning.

Musharraf gets more isolated

Pakistan's army is speeding up the transfer of power to the country's new civilian government, further isolating embattled US anti-terror ally President Pervez Musharraf, analysts say.

Basu era ends in CPI-M

CPI-M, a key outside supporter of India's Congress-led coalition government, marked the end of Basu era on Thursday at its 19th congress in the southern city of Coimbatore.

Troops destroy Tamil training camp

Sri Lanka's air force bombed and destroyed a Tamil separatist training camp in the island's north, while battles along the northern front lines left 21 rebels and five soldiers dead, the military said Friday.

Nato boosts cyber-attack response force

Nato has put in place special emergency response teams to deal with cyber terrorism following a serious attack on member state Estonia last year, a senior official said yesterday.

US, N Korea plan secret document to end nuclear impasse

North Korea is likely to give the United States a confidential document addressing concerns about a secret nuclear programme to end the impasse in six-nation disarmament talks, a report said yesterday.

PM vows to restore Pak constitution

Pakistan government will restore the Constitution, uphold the supremacy of the Parliament and ensure an independent judiciary, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani said yesterday.

Mugabe 'unleashed a war', says opposition

Zimbabwe's main opposition party says President Robert Mugabe has "unleashed a war" in his bid to stay in power after party offices were raided and foreign journalists detained five days after presidential elections.

UN warns of 'very grave' problems in Iraq

A top UN official warned yesterday of "very grave" humanitarian problems in Iraq, including a lack of food and the internal displacement of more than two million people.

Suicide bomber kills 4 in Afghanistan

Three policemen and their driver were killed when a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up near their vehicle in troubled southern Afghanistan on Friday, police and the rebels said. The officers were in a private car being driven to Lashkar Gah, the main town in Helmand province, when the bomber approached on foot and detonated the explosives, provincial police chief Mohammad Hussain Andiwal said.

Domestic violence exacts lasting toll on women

Injuries inflicted to women by violent male partners extends well beyond the short term, according to a 10-nation survey of domestic violence released yesterday.

2 million children living with HIV: UN report

More than two million children worldwide were living with the HIV virus in 2007, most of whom were infected before they were born, a joint study by United Nations humanitarian organisations said Thursday.

New clean-up challenge for Everest

A team of mountaineers unveiled plans on Thursday for what could be the most environmentally-friendly attempt yet at scaling Everest -- where even bodily waste will not be left behind.

Developing world gets less aid: OECD

Aid to the developing countries fell last year and most donors are falling behind on their stated commitments to increase the amount of money they give, the OECD said in a report yesterday.

Icelandic men have longest life expectancy

Icelandic men have the longest life expectancy in the world, living an average of 79.4 years in 2007, Statistics Iceland said on Thursday.

India to launch remote sensing Satellite

India will later this month launch a remote sensing satellite equipped with high-resolution cameras and advanced scientific instruments, space agency officials said yesterday.

Hungary to send more troops to Afghanistan

Hungary plans to send up to 100 more troops to Afghanistan, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany said yesterday, following contribution pledges by other Nato allies.

Arts & Entertainment

"Photography, to me, is like painting" -- Chanchal Mahmood

Passion or profession, photography appeals to many in Bangladesh. However, the scenario was quite different just a decade or two ago. As it was an expensive medium and training opportunities were limited, it was challenging for aspiring photographers. Among those who have learnt the hard way is Chanchal Mahmood. Now an internationally known professional photographer, Chanchal Mahmood has bagged nearly 150 national and international awards for photography. Recently the photographer spoke to The Daily Star. Extracts from the conversation:

Kanak Chanpa and Mithu: Depicting speed for viewers in Beijing

Kanak Chanpa Chakma and Khalid Mahmud Mithu have been invited to the Beijing Olympic festival to exhibit their paintings.

Dravid Saikot's delineation of pain and suffering

Dravid Saikot, who recently had his solo exhibition at the Drik Gallery says, "Art is an expressive way of communication. It is a sophisticated language of human beings. I believe it is meant for spontaneous statement of feelings. In my work I've tried to be patriotic and exchange my views with others."

“Ekaki Ekjon” on ntv tonight

Single-episode TV play Ekaki Ekjon will be aired tonight at 9pm on ntv. Chayanika Chowdhury has directed the play written by Sumonta Aslam.

Art competition on Independence Day in Dinajpur

Community Development Library, a NGO of Dinajpur recently held an art competition for children marking the 37th Independence Day of the country.

Hyder Husyn as a radio jockey

With songs like Trish Bochhor poreo ami shadhinotatake khujhchi and Ami phaishya gechhi, artiste Hyder Husyn has become a household name. The singer-lyricist-composer will be on Radio Foorti as an RJ (radio jockey) today, says a press release.

Indigenous Cultural Festival held in Rangamati

The four-day long 10th Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Indigenous Cultural Festival was held recently at the Tribal Culture Institute (TCI) premises in Rangamati town with much enthusiasm.


Anti-corruption campaign and those processions

Even the incorrigible skeptics of our society may have to admit that there was some refreshing novelty in those anti-corruption processions that have been organised as part of the awareness campaign to condemn and decry corrupt practices. Reportedly, many individuals took solemn vows to resist corruption in personal and public life, and to educate their fellow citizens about the ill effects of this virus. The doughty ACC chairman led some such processions. It could not have happened at a better time.

Biofuel production hits food security?

Biofuel emerged as an alternative fuel to benefit the biotech companies and the trans-national corporations (TNCs) which claim that biofuel is a unique `green innovation' of the modern technology sensitive to the environment, ecology and the poor. Refuting this TNC claim, reputed and established scientists of the world are saying that the TNC claim is contrary to the reality as biofuel production causes food scarcity and environmental degradation. That by propagating this, they are rather committing crime against humanity.

The impact of war on US economy

The war in Iraq enters its sixth year this month with death toll of US troops exceeding 4000. The war in Iraq, which began in March 2003, will continue into the foreseeable future if Republican candidate Senator John McCain is elected President in November this year. This is the impression the people in the United States get from the political campaign.

Implications of invasion and resettlement of militias

Seen as the most violent days of war in Iraq, recent days have witnessed unprecedented violence in many Iraqi cities, particularly Baghdad and Basra, but this violence comes in many guises and objectives, while allegations are spreading about the return of relative calm to Iraq.


Is restriction on construction enough to protect St. Martin's biodiversity?

St. Martin's Island -- the only island in Bangladesh supporting coral reef-like ecosystem and coral-associated flora and fauna -- was declared by the government as an Ecologically Critical Area (ECA) in 1999. The island has undergone dramatic changes in recent years particularly in the development of local tourism and sale of landed properties. Even after almost ten years of getting protected status the island has yet to see major interventions by the government to protect and conserve the ecosystem and ecological functions that govern the island and near-shore marine ecosystem. Corals and coral-associated flora and fauna form a unique and vital part of this near-shore marine ecosystem. The National Conservation Strategy Implementation Project-1 (NCSIP-1) developed a management plan for the island in 1996-97. As a follow-up St. Martin's Island Biodiversity Conservation and Eco-tourism Development Project (SMBCEDP) was implemented by the Ministry of Environment & Forest during 2000-2007 by the government's own revenue budget. The SMBCEDP collected huge information on the island and near-shore marine biodiversity and also initiated several activities for the conservation and management of the fragile island ecosystem. The results of the said project still remain to be made public.

Protect Bhawal Sal forest

Bhawal National Park is located at 2401/ N latitude and 90020/ E longitude, about 40 km N of Dhaka on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway, encloses a gazette notified area of 5,022 ha (inclusive of 584 ha transferred for army and air force bases), and is under the territorial jurisdiction of Dhaka forest division. The park was established by the forest department in 1974 and formally published in gazette(1982) to protect the near complete depletion of vegetative cover and wildlife in the area as well as to halt the process of acquisition of land for other purposes because of its close proximity to Dhaka. There are both privately area of 950 ha within the gazette notified national park area which is divided into recreational zone and a protection zone. There are about 202 ha of private land in the identified core area and about 650 people live within this core area.

Emergent threat to environment and human health

Environmental pollution is one of the most talked about topics and alarming issues in the ecologically threatened world of today. Pollution of different environmental components is leading to terrific environmental degradation that ultimately results in the deterioration of ecological balance. Radioactive substance is a highly toxic material, a fatal environmental pollutant. The magnitude of its mischievous effects is in a range that might be said figuratively to represent a 'quantum jump'.


How Do I Look, Really?

Do I look very weird?
The thought sickens me as the bus shakes while taking a turn.

Ekushey and Bengali Expats

It was the first day of spring, but the cold and damp air that hit me as I stepped out of my house this morning at 6:00 AM reminded me that it's anything but spring. New England winter can be sometimes harsh, compared with Bangladeshi winter, but we use the season to good use: Christmas, New Year and of course, Ekushey, all happen in winter. In the true Bangladeshi tradition, we never miss a chance, come snow or blizzard, to show off our costumes (read sarees for women and kurtas for men) and to get together to chat, sing, and dance, or just reminisce.

'New styles of Architecture, a change of heart'

The present title alludes to W.H. Auden's poem ˜Petition' in which the poet-turned-Oxford-professor urges to 'publish each healer that in city lives'. The recent issue of Jamini on 'the new architecture' has a similar conviction. In a brisk survey of the recent architecture in Bangladesh, Kazee Khaleed Ashraf--Jamini’s guest editor for this issue--and his co-writer Marina Tabassum forward a petition for an 'urgent architectural intervention' to stem the rot in our urban landscape. The lack of vision on the part of the city-fathers as well as the profit motive of owners and developers is duly blamed for the 'catastrophic nature of the urban environment'. In addition, Ashraf and Tabassum frankly admit that the 'large scale building enterprises triggered by a globalized economy and vying for an international standard' has become 'the order of the day'. The new generation of architects mentioned in the article offers a pleasant respite from the 'real- estate equation'. The construction of 'the gardens in the air' by the green architect Rafiq Azam, the poetic adoption of space after char-bagh by the Urbana architects Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury and Marina Tabbassum, the creation of 'Bengali moodiness' by Uttam Kumar Shaha are mentioned among others who manifest the new styles of architecture, heralding a change of heart.

Kali O Kolom fifth anniversary issue

It is hard to believe that the fifth anniversary issue of Kali O Kolom is out, that five years have rolled by since the country's premier literary journal started its journey. Congratulations are in order, not only for having displayed the stamina required to prevail over such a period (a year is usually an eon in terms of a literary journal), but for the continuing excellence of its issues. Kali O Kolom goes from strength to strength, as is amply demonstrated in this volume. It begins with Hasan Azizul Haq's poignant account of his childhood in the depths of rural Bengal that provides an unforgettable picture of the country as it was during the 1930s and ends 335 pages later with an essay on Rokeya Begum. In between is the usual cornucopia of articles, short stories, poems (a section which is particularly strong in this issue, with some major poets weighing in), novellas, nonfiction, in memoriums which will occupy the Chaitra days (and extending well into Boishakh) of its devoted, intelligent and responsive readership.


My lamps in the lighthouse never blaze at nightfall
I don't know who keeps them snuffed out,
Who creeps up stealthily to snatch away my lamps!
Your male forefathers would rub their favorite tobacco on the palm of their hands
My female progenitors would know they must leap into the flames
Nowadays, however, they are complacent in their tribal skin,
And sing melodiously in the mountains of Khagrachari and Bandarban.

Star Health

Protecting health from climate change

World Health Day — 7 April, marks the founding of the World Health Organisation (WHO). It draws attention to a subject of major importance of global health every year.

Two cholesterol drugs better than one for diabetics

Combination therapy with simvastatin and fenofibrate is better than treatment with either drug alone for treating mixed dyslipidemia in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a report in American Journal of Cardiology.

Seat belts protect unborn babies: study

A pregnant woman who wears a seat belt greatly reduces the risk that her baby will die or be seriously hurt in a vehicle crash, according to a study that debunks the notion that seat belts are harmful to the fetus.

1st World Autism Awareness Day observed

First World Autism Awareness Day was observed on April 2 this year throughout the world. Like other countries, Bangladesh also celebrated the day.

Workshop on Growth Hormone Therapy

Growth hormone deficiency and growth failure may occur during infancy or later in childhood and without treatment most children with growth hormone deficiency will not reach a height of 5 feet.

IAS calls for immediate release of Hu Jia

The International AIDS Society (IAS) expressed grave concern over the sentencing of Hu Jia – a prominent Chinese human rights activist – on charges of subversion, and called for Mr Jia’s immediate and unconditional release — says a press release. IAS President, Pedro Cahn, referred to Mr Jia’s sentence as a failure of justice.

Strategic Issues

The middle government is missing in Bangladesh

GOVERNMENT is the tool to implement the wishes and aspirations of the people mandated through the election under the stern eyes of the opposition and the accountability institutions of the state. With one tier steel-framed government the reality is Bangladesh has no democracy. It is abused and reduced to bribe-taking and toll collection; check and balance is simply missing. Accountability is only in the rolling tears of the hapless victims.

Is Musharraf toast?

THE short answer is: yes. In war, the side losing the initiative risks defeat, especially when momentum shifts to the enemy. Despite Germany's spectacular victories from 1939-1941, Paulus's surrender at Stalingrad in February 1943 combined with the US entry into the war in December 1942 spelled Hitler's doom.

Polls in the Land of Thunder Dragon

BHUTAN or The Land of Thunder Dragon (Druk Yul in Bhutanese language) is a tiny land locked kingdom of 47,000 square kilometers nestled in the laps of pristine landscape of Himalayas, wedged between giant neighbours India and China.

Star Books Review

In the world of a scholar-economist

Rehman Sobhan's role in Bangladesh's history has by now certainly been assured. As one of the young economists who identified themselves with the growing calls for regional autonomy in East Pakistan in the 1960s, he was one of the figures who played an instrumental role in the formulation of the Six Points. The rest, as they say, is known history. In post-liberation Bangladesh, Rehman Sobhan played a significant role in the formulation of economic policy, a task that was certainly not made any easier given the politically and socially disturbed conditions following the end of the nine-month war in late 1971. Those were tumultuous times, a period that tested the mettle of the political leadership as also of the intellectuals associated with the powers that be. Sobhan was certainly a significant pivot in the Bangladesh wheel at the time. He was, and remains, a formidable intellectual force in the country.

A young man in search of faith

As the name suggests, it is a book about the Islamic community in Britain. The West has long been intrigued by the Islamists of Asia and the Middle East. Set in the 1980s, the book will definitely quench the desire of those who wish to be enlightened about the radical Islamists of Asian origin. It is about a young Muslim of Bangladeshi origin, a British boy brought up in the UK. It aptly deals with his dilemma of being a Bangladeshi as well as a Briton at the same time. We have seen writers like Monica Ali, Zadie Smith and Manzu Islam dealing with Bangladeshi second generation immigrants being torn apart by their need to hold on to the traditional values and the need to be assimilated in their new-found home. A very few writers have shed light on the history of young Muslims turning into radical Islamists.

Moonlight that power does not let in

Censorship of creative works, especially fiction, is alive and well in much of the non-Western world. That said, it is no surprise that Wolves of the Crescent Moon has been a threat to authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Yousef Al-Mohaimeed's native country. What a pity that this imaginative writer's novel cannot be read by the readers for whom it was intended. What a blessing that the translation into English is at least available for many of us, following the original publication of the Arabic text (Fikhakh al-ra'iha) in Beirut. Perhaps there is no better way to understand the zeitgeist of a given country than by examining the way it treats its artists.

Commitment, or the life of an artist

Hashem Khan is known as a reputed painter in our country. He is also the author of quite a few informative books. Most of the books are related to art and painting. Zainul Abediner Sharajiban is one such work, where we are brought in touch with Zainul Abedin's life and the circles within which it moved. The book, in addition to focusing on the artist's life, looks at Zainul Abedin as a teacher, organiser, patriot, curator and above all a good human being.

At A Glance

Boyhood in British India and Pakistan
Hasnat Abdul Hye
Adorn Publication

The narrative is in the third person and speaks of the mysteries and experiences the author went through what was an observant boyhood. In more than one sense, it is also a depiction of geography which soon expands into an exposition of heritage in times that are no more. A strong whiff of the fictional is here.

The Daily Star

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