The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, April 25, 2014


News of: Thursday, 8th of May, 2008

Front Page

Lukewarm response to offshore bidding

In a lukewarm response to the country's first offshore bidding round, only six oil and gas companies submitted their bids yesterday for 16 out of 28 offshore blocks.

Charges pressed against Hasina for graft’

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against detained former premier Sheikh Hasina, detained former state minister for energy Prof Rafiqul Islam and seven others for awarding gas exploration and extraction deal to Canadian company Niko Resources through corruption and abuse of power.

Arrest warrant against fugitives

A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against former BNP lawmaker Qazi Saleemul Haq, Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, his two sons and the personal secretary to detained BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman in connection with the Tk 21 crore bribery case.

Budget deficit to be 11pc over target

Despite a strong revenue growth, budget deficit in current fiscal year may reach Tk 33,073 crore, 11 percent higher than the original estimate, and the government will have to take loans from banking sector to meet a large amount of the shortfall.

2 to die, ex-DCC commissioner, 9 others jailed

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced two men to death, nine to 43 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) each and a former Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) ward commissioner to 13 years' in jail in the sensational Lalbagh seven-murder case.

Election by year-end

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday assured President Iajuddin Ahmed of holding the long-stalled ninth parliamentary election by this year-end.

Pro-active foreign policy sought

Former ambassadors of the country yesterday stressed the need for a more proactive foreign policy replacing the existing one, which remains 'reactive' only to developments in other countries.

FBCCI task force to watch prices, suggest actions

The FBCCI yesterday commissioned a task force comprising top traders, ministry officials concerned and members of the joint forces to monitor the price situation.

Saifur says his leadership now ineffective

BNP acting Chairperson Saifur Rahman yesterday said his leadership became ineffective as the party's standing committee members who appointed him as the acting chairperson withdrew their support through affidavit.

Myanmar junta still blocks aid groups

Aid groups said yesterday they were still awaiting permission to enter Myanmar, where they reported bodies rotting on the ground and desperate cyclone survivors dying from hunger and disease.

CG popularity on the wane

British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury observed that the popularity with which the caretaker government came to power seems to be on the wane as he said two years are a long time for an interim regime.

Rangs Bhaban guard's body recovered after five months

The decomposed body of the missing security guard of Rangs Bhaban was recovered from under debris of the building yesterday, five months after the collapse of the building in city's Tejgaon area.

AL won't take part in polls if Hasina not freed

Awami League (AL) acting President Zillur Rahman yesterday reiterated that the AL would not take part in the upcoming parliamentary election without the release of detained party president Sheikh Hasina.

ADB to provide $500m to combat food crisis

The Asian Development Bank will provide 500 million dollars (320 million euros) in immediate assistance to member nations hit hardest by soaring food prices, the head of the bank announced Tuesday.

Firearms looted from police recovered in Natore

All the five firearms looted from a police patrol team at Taherpur in Rajshahi were recovered from a pond at Munjalgachha of Naldanga upazila in Natore yesterday afternoon.

Pro-Khaleda BNP to announce programmes for her release soon

The pro-Khaleda faction of BNP yesterday decided to announce agitation programmes in a few days to mount pressure on the government for the release of its chairperson.

Govt to form committee to determine gas reserve: Zillur

A committee will be formed to figure out the reserve of country's natural gas, Commerce Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman said yesterday.

Armed forces relief team off to Myanmar

A five-member delegation of Bangladesh Armed Forces left for Myanmar yesterday to participate in the relief and salvage operations in the cyclone-hit country.

Boucher arrives today on a 2-day visit

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard A Boucher arrives here today to discuss with the government high-ups the progress on the electoral roadmap.

Tagore's birth anniversary today

The 147th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore will be celebrated across the country today.

Hearing on polls date writ ends

The High Court will deliver anytime judgment in a writ about holding the national polls within 90 days of dissolution of the last parliament as its hearing ended yesterday.

Left parties to file writ petition against EC

Gonotantrik Bam Morcha, a platform of 11 left-leaning political parties, is preparing to file a writ petition against the Election Commission (EC) for not yet inviting the parties under it to the electoral reform dialogue.

Businessman shot dead in city

Unknown gunmen shot dead a manpower businessman near his residence in city's Nikunja area under Khilkhet police station yesterday.

Sector commanders calls for unity to try war criminals

Sector Commander Maj Gen (retd) KM Safiullah Bir Uttam said yesterday that war criminals of 1971 must be brought to justice because by denying the Liberation War these criminals were denying the sovereignty, liberty and constitution of the country.

Medvedev takes oath as Russian president

Dmitry Medvedev was sworn in as Russia's third president since the fall of the Soviet Union at a glittering Kremlin ceremony overshadowed by his powerful mentor Vladimir Putin.

Obama takes N Carolina, Hillary wins Indiana

Barack Obama took a big stride towards the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday with a thumping victory over Hillary Clinton in North Carolina, while she eked out a wafer-thin win in Indiana.

Editorial

Why labour unrest in RMG sector again?

THE highly sensitive issue of maintaining productivity and avoiding labour unrest in the RMG sector is being mishandled. The workers of three RMG factories in Chittagong damaged at least 50 vehicles on Tuesday, while agitating for a pay hike which the owners had turned down.

Army's no to dialogue participation welcome

WE welcome the unambiguous statement from army headquarters regarding the absence of any desire on the part of the military to be part of the negotiations between the government and the political parties. The statement, made in the light of some recent statements by politicians and speculations in the media, strengthens our collective belief in the need for the armed forces to remain absolutely professional. We are heartened at the fact that the army, a vital component of our security structure and now providing crucial support to the caretaker government, has acknowledged such professionalism as its priority. In other words, the statement is further strengthening of the reality that the institutions of the state must necessarily be administered by an elected civilian authority and so provide added substance to democratic governance in Bangladesh.

Public diplomacy

THE officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the basis of political guidelines and constitutional provisions of the country formulate foreign policy. Diplomats working in different missions are instructed to carry out the policies. Diplomatic work generally is divided into three categories: representation, reporting, and negotiations.

Open economy, not corridors and transit

THROUGHOUT economic history, particularly recently, nations and people have found more benefits from free and open economies than from closed and isolated ones. Nevertheless, such economic knowledge seems to have been rejected in Bangladesh.

Freedom of expression, access, and empowerment

WHILE celebrating the 60th anniversary of the World Press Freedom Day, like many other individuals, organisations, government agencies, and media groups, Unesco paid tribute to the courage and professionalism of the many journalists and media professionals killed and wounded while carrying out their professional activities by dedicating this day to the themes of "empowerment and access to information."

Sports

Local test for Tigers

When the Premier Division Cricket Super League starts tomorrow it will remain to be seen how the under-fire stars of the national team react to their professional duties on the domestic front after two hugely disappointing international commitments against South Africa at home and away in Pakistan.

Transfers from May 15

The newly elected executive committee of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) kept its promise to roll the game into the ground as soon as possible by announcing a July start of the 2008 season.

What really happened?

Sanity was definitely missing when Bangladesh played their inaugural AFC Challenge Cup qualifying match against Afghanistan in Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek on Monday.

CWAB stands up

Former general secretary of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) Mahbubul Anam at a roundtable yesterday observed eight months have passed by but no reform has taken place at the board.

Schalke seal UCL berth

A goal by Germany striker Gerald Asamoah launched Schalke 04's 3-0 win over VfL Bochum on Tuesday to put the Royal Blues second in the Bundesliga and seal their Champions League berth next season.

Capello to fulfil target

England coach Fabio Capello believes he will be able to meet the Football Association's demand to see the national team reach at least the semifinals of the next World Cup or Euro 2012.

Grant revels in revival

Avram Grant believes Chelsea were a fading force before he took over and led his team to within touching distance of a Premier League and Champions League double.

Federer sails past Canas

Roger Federer sailed through to the third round of the Rome Masters Series on Tuesday with a straight sets win over his bogey player from 2007, Guillermo Canas.

Wenger warns Adebayor

Arsene Wenger has warned Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor he can't afford to rest on his laurels.

Local Snippets

Comilla's Sohag and Papia of BKSP won gold in the boys' and girls' 100m race respectively in the 24th National Junior Athletics competition at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Kolkata count on batsmen

With their stars failing to live up to pre-tournament billing, two struggling sides Kolkata Knight Riders and Bangalore Royal Challengers face off in a crucial battle to stay afloat in the Indian Premier League on Thursday.

Sehwag hopes top-order fire

Delhi Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag reckons his top order's cracking form in the IPL so far will give his side an edge over Chennai Super Kings when the two teams lock horns here on Thursday.

Sultan Azlan Shah hockey starts today

Four Olympic-bound nations aim to fine-tune their preparations at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup this week, while India struggle to pick up the pieces after a tumultuous few months.

Flintoff cleared of speeding

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff was acquitted of speeding Tuesday because his prosecution notice did not arrive within the 14-day deadline.

Sylhet secure regional title

Sylhet banked on Rumman's half-century to become regional champions after they defeated Moulavibazar by 34 runs in the 28th National Cricket Championship at the Sylhet Stadium yesterday.

Footage not conclusive?

With video footage failing to provide any clue on what might have provoked Harbhajan Singh into slapping India teammate Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, BCCI-appointed commissioner Sudhir Nanavati on Wednesday said he may now view the recording of the match before the incident to establish the exact chain of events.

Talib, Rana bail out MSC

Late goals by Zahid Bin Talib and Kamruzzaman Rana helped Mohammedan Sporting Club beat lowly Wari Club 2-0 in the Green Delta Premier Hockey League at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

No festival for U-14 booters

Bangladesh will not be able to participate in the AFC Under-14 football festival to be held in Iran this month due to carelessness of the Bangladesh Football Federation.

Afghans stun Kyrgyzstan

Afghanistan kept their hopes of qualifying for the AFC Challenge Cup alive with a shocking 1-0 victory over hosts Kyrgyzstan at the Spartak Stadium here yesterday.

Pioneer soccer from May 10

Red Sun take on Saat Rawja Nabin Sangha in the opening match of the Dhaka City Corporation Pioneer Football League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on May 10.

PSG make Cup final

Paris St Germain took one step towards silver-lining their disastrous league season by beating second division Amiens 1-0 Tuesday to book a spot in the French Cup final.

Spurs hold Eto'o talks

English first division side Tottenham are in talks with Barcelona over the Spanish giant's Cameroonian international striker Samuel Eto'o, sports daily Marca reported Wednesday.

Kaiser eyes Gattuso

AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso would fit in perfectly at Bayern Munich, club president Franz Beckenbauer has said.

Chelsea offer 70m euros for Ramos

Chelsea have offered Real Madrid 70 million euros (108 million dollars) for their defender Sergio Ramos, daily newspaper El Mundo reported Wednesday.

Van Basten unveils no surprises

Dutch coach Marco Van Basten on Tuesday unveiled a pre-selection of 30 players for Euro 2008.

L'pool's new stadium gets green light

Liverpool's redesigned plans for a new stadium were given the green light on Tuesday.

Beijing tickets sold out

China's mad dash for Olympics tickets in Beijing ended on Wednesday with the final tranche earmarked for domestic customers sold out a month ahead of schedule, organisers said.

Business

Unregistered mobile phones go off next month

Unregistered mobile phones will face disconnection next month as the country's telecoms regulator yesterday announced there will be no extension of re-registration deadline.

Ctg businesses for speedy gas exploration to face crisis

Business leaders of Chittagong yesterday urged the government for expediting gas exploration to cope with the countrywide gas crisis.

Home appliances under baggage rule may get duty exemption

The government is mulling exempting some home appliances from customs duty under baggage rule to reduce hassles of homebound remittance earners and also to ease customs clearance at Zia International Airport (ZIA) from the next fiscal year.

Thailand drops rice cartel plan

Thailand's Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama on Tuesday said the country would not form a cartel with other rice-exporting countries, bowing to concerns that it could worsen the global food shortage.

WFP for lowering commodity export curb

Facing a mounting global food crisis, the UN food aid agency Tuesday urged governments to lower export controls to allow much-need grain to flow to the world's neediest.

Potato output, consumption seen key to strengthening food security

Potato preservation facilities should be developed for encouraging farmers to grow more potatoes, which, in turn, would help strengthen food security of the country, Agriculture Adviser CS Karim said yesterday.

Special economic confce abroad this year to boost exports

The government has a plan to organise some special economic conferences abroad this year to boost exports and attract foreign investment, the commerce adviser said yesterday.

Social Investment Bank teams up with post office

Social Investment Bank Ltd has joined hands with Bangladesh Post Office to use the network of thousands of post offices across the country to reach inward foreign remittances to the doorsteps of the beneficiaries.

CSR practices can bring long-term benefits

Ambassadors from Scandinavian countries yesterday called on local companies to ensure CSR practices for long-term benefits.

Genetically modified crops get mixed response in Asia

With food prices hitting record highs the jury is still out in Asia as to whether genetically modified crops hold the key to future food security.

The 'plus one' strategy and other lessons from Asia's FDI champion

After China and India, the clear success story in Asia's investment boom has been Vietnam, which has seen FDI expands tenfold from $ 2 billion in 2000 to $20 billion in 2007 with in excess of $5 billion recorded for Q1 2008. Vietnam's growth in the 2000-2006 period has been 7.4%, second only to China at 9.5% and above India's 6.7%.

Vegetables sell at half the cost of production in Bogra

Vegetable growers were forced to sell their produces at almost half the cost of production during the last couple of weeks at the wholesale market in Bogra.

Benchmark now TBWA\Benchmark

Benchmark Limited, a leading ad agency in Bangladesh, on Tuesday teamed up with TBWA\Worldwide, a leading global ad agency.

Sri Lanka opens treasury bill market to foreigners

Sri Lanka Tuesday allowed foreign investors to buy into treasury bills in a bid to deepen the government securities market, the central bank said.

Pakistani stockbroker gets nod to trade in Lanka

Sri Lanka Wednesday approved the first Pakistani brokerage and only foreign securities dealer to trade on the Colombo Stock Exchange, the securities watchdog said Wednesday.

Worst of financial crisis is past: Paulson

The credit crisis that has scorched international financial markets is on the wane but more shocks are ahead, US Secretary Treasury Henry Paulson told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Wednesday.

Dollar climbs in Asian trade

The dollar gained on the euro and the yen in Asian trade on Wednesday, supported by hopes that the worst of the recent credit crisis on Wall Street is over, dealers said.

Latin Americans to hold food crisis summit

Leaders and representatives of several South and Central American nations prepared to meet here to discuss a regional strategy to avert the food crisis affecting poor nations around the world, officials said Tuesday.

US won't cite Vietnam for apparel dumping

The United States said Tuesday it found "insufficient evidence" to launch an antidumping investigation into Vietnam for its apparel exports.

World oil near record highs

World oil traded near record highs of just below 122 dollars Wednesday after concerns over supply in key producer Nigeria helped push prices higher in frenzied trading, dealers said.

ECB focuses on inflation as governors meet in Athens

The European Central Bank is widely expected to leave its key interest rate unchanged again Thursday, focusing as it is mandated to do on inflation rather than the risk to growth, analysts say.

Metropolitan

Operations at RMG units still uncertain

Commercial operations at the garment factories of Azim Group in the port city's Kalurghat BSCIC industrial area remained uncertain until yesterday evening.

Chevron claims full compliance

Chevron in a statement yesterday claimed that it is in full compliance with the environment clearance certificate with its 3D seismic survey at Lawachhara Reserve Forest in Moulvibazar, says a press release.

Strengthen Bapex for exploring gas, coal

Experts, academicians, cultural activists and politicians at a roundtable yesterday said the government should strengthen local companies for exploring the country's gas and coal resources for energy security instead of handing over the natural resources to foreign companies.

'Cancel design to save 500 families'

Residents of Boro Maghbazar, Siddeshwari and Ulon moujas yesterday demanded cancellation of the current design of the Hatirjheel project, as about 400-500 families of these moujas will be homeless if the project is implemented with the current design.

World Red Cross Red Crescent Day today

World Red Cross Red Crescent Day will be observed in the country today as elsewhere in the world.

Disaster management act soon

Law Secretary Habibul Awal yesterday said that the government is formulating a disaster management act with a view to giving the country's disaster management programme an institutional shape.

Verdict on May 22

The verdict in the Rajshahi University teacher Dr Sheikh Taher Ahmed murder case will be delivered on May 22.

Decision to suspend JNU student condemned

Different student bodies yesterday condemned the decision of suspending the studentship of Khairul Hossain Raju, a student of Jagannath University, also a reporter of the daily Samakal, for three years.

Vitamin 'A'capsule campaign Saturday

With a view to providing vitamin 'A' capsules to 1.90 crore children, the vitamin 'A' capsule campaign will be held on Saturday across the country.

Surgical training on Longo operation begins

A two-day international surgical training programme on 'Longo operation', a high-tech colorectal surgery, began at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in the city yesterday.

Pak NDU team meets defence secretary

The delegation of Pakistan National Defence University (NDU) called on Defence Secretary Kamrul Hasan at the Ministry of Defence in the city yesterday.

Duke of Gloucester arrives in city

Prince Richard, duke of Gloucester of the UK, yesterday arrived in the city on a four-day visit to Bangladesh, particularly to Sidr-affected southern region of the country.

PBCP men demand tolls from N'ganj RMG owners

Tolls were demanded over cellphone from eight garment owners of Fatullah in the name of Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) yesterday.

Ex-BNP MP Giasuddin, 2 wives chargesheeted

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday approved charge sheet against former BNP lawmaker Mohammad Giasuddin Ahmed, his two wives and son for concealing information and amassing wealth beyond known sources of income.

CU train hits Rab pick-up van

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) narrowly escaped casualty as Chittagong University (CU)-bound shuttle train rammed into a pick-up van of the elite force near the port city's Oxygen intersection yesterday afternoon.

Prince Aga Khan arrives May 19

Prince Aga Khan, Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, will arrive in the city on May 19 on a four-day state visit to Bangladesh.

7th Wage Board chairman submits report to chief adviser

The Seventh Newspaper Wage Board yesterday submitted its report to Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed recommending new scales of salary, allowances and other welfare measures for journalists and press workers and employees of the newspapers and news agencies.

Asia Regional Higher Edn Summit in Dhaka in Oct

Asia Regional Higher Education Summit will be held in the city in October with a view to expanding innovative approaches to teaching, research, technology transfer and business development in higher education.

Shop owners protest theft in city market

Shop owners of the city's Eastern Plus market complex at Shantinagar yesterday took to the street for around two hours protesting the theft of mobile sets breaking shutters of two shops on Tuesday night.

Apollo Hospitals gets blood bank licence

Apollo Hospitals Dhaka received Blood Bank licence from the Directorate of Health recently, says a press release.

Asian Inter Varsity Debate begins today

The 15th All Asian Inter Varsity Debate Championship begins today.

Short film festival to raise funds for Amit

A two-day short film festival will begin at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) of Dhaka University (DU) from today to raise funds for treatment of Amit, a first year student of Sheikh Borhanuddin College, who is suffering from stomach cancer.

Bangladeshi girl killed in US road crash

Kazi Meherin Hossain Pinky, 22, daughter of Kazi Moazzem Hossain Sabu of Chiora Kazi Bari at Chouddagram in Comilla, was killed in a road accident at Texas, Houston in the United States on May 4.

Appeal for help

Kazi Bashirul Islam of Brahmanbaria has been suffering from kidney illness for last four years, says a press release.

National

Tk 100 crore forest industry equipment remain unused, getting damaged in Bagaihat

Huge machinery including heavy vehicles worth about Tk 100 crore are being damaged on the premises of Bangladesh Forest Industry Development Corporation (BFIDC) office at Bagaihat Bazar under Bagaichhari upazila in hill district Rangamati due to negligence of BFIDC officials.

'Ensure equal rights for physically challenged people'

Speakers at a workshop yesterday called on the government to take necessary steps, including implementation of Disability Act 2001, to ensure equal rights for physically challenged people to health, education, employment and information.

Man to die for killing wife in Jhenidah

A special tribunal here yesterday awarded death sentence to a man for killing his wife for dowry.

Tk 15 lakh medicine stolen from govt hospitals recovered

Medicine stolen from different government hospitals worth over Tk 15 lakh was recovered from a house here yesterday afternoon.

Illegal factory found, fake lubricant worth Tk 20 lakh seized

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday discovered an adulterate and fake lubricant factory from an under-ground godown at the town.

Charge framing against mayor Kamran deferred again

A court in Sylhet yesterday deferred charge framing against detained Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran in a case for possessing foreign liqour in his house. The Additional District and Sessions Judge-Md Amir Uddin deferred it till July 21.

Mother, son, daughter acid-burnt

A housewife and her two children suffered serious burn injuries as rivals threw acid when they were sleeping at the veranda of their house at village Majgram in Magura Sadar upazila early yesterday.

One to die for killing wife, 2 daughters

Special Tribunal for Prevention of Women and Children Repression at Chapainawabganj yesterday sentenced a man to death for killing his wife and two minor girl children.

Trader rescued, 3 outlaws held

Police arrested three extremists belonging to outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (Janajuddho) from Syed Mahalla under Fakirhat upazila in Bagerhat district and rescued a trader kidnapped by them on Tuesday midnight.

Man killed by son, relatives

An elderly person was killed by son and relatives following land dispute at Belchhari under Matiranga upazila in Khagrachhari hill district on Tuesday.

7 get life for murder in Faridpur

A Faridpur court yesterday sentenced seven people to life-term imprisonment for killing a person on February 27 last year.

Letters

Chittagong Port moving forward

Chittagong Port-- the gateway to Bangladesh-- made history last week when it received heavy lifts weighing 127mt each. The port until now never allowed any heavy lift to be discharged on its quay if it weighed above 600lbs or 272 kgs per sft.

Dhaka-Kolkata train

We got much enthusiastic as we heard about the introduction of Dhaka-Kolkata Moitree train service. We thought that now it would be easy, cheaper, and comfortable to go on a holiday trip to India. But what I have learned from some passengers who have availed of the opportunity is rather disappointing. The train service has a lot of problems, one being the transfer of passengers through the immigration. A huge time is wasted in completing formalities while entering and leaving India.

Environment

This is a letter about something really simple that you can do to help the environment greatly.

London Mayor

It was so nice to see the graceful exit of Ken Livingston, the valedictory handshake of two opponents and the speech of Boris Johnson praising Ken for making the office of London Mayor such an important one for the land.

Political dialogue

In BBC Bangla Songlap, one panellist very rightly said that the pre-dialogue was a monolog. I think there is every reason to believe that, if you look at the media briefing by the advisers and the reaction of the political party to the same media.

Parking at restaurant

A quite posh restaurant on Gulshan Avenue directs its customers to park their cars at their own risk. Is that a sensible direction? First of all, the restaurant doesn't have any parking space for anyone. Then, it holds live music and musical soirees for attracting more customers.

Reform?

It is really shameful to see once again the picture of people being hired to be shown as supporters. What's the difference between this act and buying voters at the time of any election?

NWDP and SBA's comments

I'm writing this letter to refute the misleading views expressed by Mr. Ahsan in this article, 'Bengali women, equal rights and obscuration' published in this paper on April 23. Mr. Ahsan has blamed the government for sending the draft women development policy to the ulema community for comments, and at the same time criticized the ulema without verifying whether they have done their job properly. Is it not desirable to make it sure that nothing in the policy is contradicting the provisions in the religion? In a veiled language, Mr. Ahsan has also held the religious clerics responsible for the backwardness of our women folk. His utterance that 'the ulema committee echoed primitive sentiments' is simply outrageous.

Memories of Faujdarhat

I read Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed's article on the 50th anniversary of Faujdarhat (then East Pakistan) Cadet College. You mentioned my father, Mr. ON Bishop, one of the first teachers and also a housemaster. We have many happy memories of our family's time there from early 1959 to 1960, when my brothers and I were children. My father (now in his 80s) always say how keen and enthusiastic the boys were - model students in fact!

International

US House to vote on proposal to quit Iraq by Dec 2009

The Democratic-led House of Representatives will this week debate a new war spending bill that includes a provision to pull US combat troops out of Iraq by December 2009, lawmakers said Tuesday.

The Democratic presidential race in figures

The latest figures in the Democratic presidential race between Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama, after primaries in North Carolina and Indiana.

Cyclone could spark fresh protests in Myanmar

The junta's slow response to the death and destruction wrought by Cyclone Nargis and soaring prices for food and fuel could foment fresh unrest in military-run Myanmar, analysts say.

Myanmar's generals shun US aid, see risk to political power

Tsunami-hit Indonesia and earthquake-jolted Pakistan once risked a backlash from their predominantly Muslim populations and allowed in US military forces to help in relief operations. But cyclone-ravaged Myanmar's ruling military junta is suspicious of any US aid.

New US-Iran talks on Iraq unlikely

A fourth round of talks between the United States and Iran over the situation in Iraq is unlikely to go ahead, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said on Wednesday.

Gorbachev fears new cold war over US missile shield

The United States risks starting a new cold war by proposing to build a missile shield in central and eastern Europe, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev said in comments published here yesterday.

India test-fires missile

India yesterday successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable missile with a strike range of 3000km from the Wheeler Island in the Bay of Bengal in eastern India.

Tigers kill 9 Lankan soldiers

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels yesterday claimed they had killed nine soldiers and repulsed an army advance in areas controlled by the guerrillas to the north of the island.

11 hurt in Israeli raid in Gaza

Eleven Palestinians, including 10 Hamas fighters, were wounded during a a pre-dawn incursion into the Gaza Strip by Israeli troops, Palestinian rescue workers and witnesses said.

Buddhist monks clearing streets of cyclone-hit Yangon

Hundreds of Buddhist monks were on the streets of Yangon yesterday helping residents clear roads of fallen trees and other debris caused by killer tropical cyclone Nargis.

Nine million Iranians illiterate: report

Nine million Iranians cannot read or write out of a population of at least 71.5 million, a newspaper reported yesterday, quoting the state-run literacy organisation.

Arts & Entertainment

A celebration of the soul

There is the primordial which comes with any remembrance of Rabindranath Tagore. Go beyond the clichés, the ordinary, the stereotyped. Yes, Tagore remains the foremost figure in Bengali literature. That only opens up a whole range of discussion, in the academic sense of the meaning of course. His place in history, in the overall Bengali scheme of things, then take centre stage. But leap across all that and in your own individual way try feeling Tagore in the soul. As the day wanes in the steep decline of twilight, sing Amar jey deen bheshe gechhey chokher-o joley; and a slight thump in your heart will speak to you once more of the eternal loneliness of man in a forbidding universe.

The voice of Bengal

Alongside Pahela Baishakh, 25th of this (Bangla) month occupies a special place among the Bengalis. This day has been bejeweled by the arrival of a great scholar who revolutionised Bengali literature and introduces its treasures to the world. Today is Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore's 147th birth anniversary. Every year the day is observed by Bengalis with much zeal.

Rabindranath in Srihatta

It was the middle of Kartik in the Bangla year 1326. Kobiguru was on a trip to Shillong. On behalf of the Brahma Samaj, its secretary Govinda Narayan Sinha sent a telegram to Tagore, inviting him to visit Sylhet. Considering a long and cumbersome journey, Tagore initially replied in negative and wrote "journey long and tedious". Even on receipt of the wire, Sinha did not refrain and sent more telegrams from different forums including Anjuman Islam, Mahila Parishad etc. Upon receiving all these invitations, Tagore had to oblige.

Memories of Tagore in Comilla

Rabindranath Tagore visited Comilla on two occasions: first en route to Kolkata from Agartala on July 16, 1905. On this stopover, Tagore was given a reception at the Comilla Town Hall.

Kobiguru in the Northwest

Rabindranath Tagore etched his mark in the country's northwestern region several times between 1890 and 1937. Historians identified reasons of his visits to be chiefly associated with his family's zamindari -- travelling and attending literary meetings in between. He stayed at Patisar, Shahjadpur and Shilaidaha.

OP-ED

Tagore's pride

RABINDRANATH Tagore was the grandson of Prince Dwarakanath Tagore, the Oriental Crouesus, India's first industrial entrepreneur. The grandfather was welcomed by Queen Victoria, King Louis Phillipe and Charles Dickens. Rabindranath was the first Asian to receive the Nobel Prize for literature.

Structured questions in SSC and social exclusion

THE Ministry of Education announced on April 25 that a structured question (SQ) system will be introduced at the SSC examination from 2010. The initiative has been taken with the support of a high-level review committee formed by eminent educationists. The new system will be partially applied (for Bangla 1st paper and Religious Studies) in the SSC examination of 2010 as the government is not prepared to introduce the system for all papers. The system will go for full implementation in 2011.

Changing Indo-Pakistan ties

A near sea-change has taken place in the political landscape of Pakistan following the parliamentary elections. All-powerful President Parvez Musharraf's supporters have been weakened, and his own position is also somewhat uncertain following the victory of his rivals in the polls.

If dung can be art, does that mean art is dung?

THE young Asian artist was sitting at a table drinking coffee with strange objects (a chopstick, a pencil and a bulldog clip) in her hair.

Star Chittagong

Stop hill cutting, settlement in foothills to avoid disaster

The technical and expert committee in its report has suggested introduction of a separate and complete rule for preservation and development of hills in Chittagong to avert casualties and damages of properties during landslides.

Commuters suffer as CNG drivers ignore new fare structure

Drivers of the autorickshaws are forcing the passengers to pay additional fares in the port city following the doubling of the price of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

The Week That Was

Hadi made CPA member
Md Hadi Hussain took the office of Member (Admin and Planning), one of the four posts of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA).


The Daily Star

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