News of: Tuesday, 27th of May, 2008
The grassroots level leaders of Awami League (AL) yesterday said the party must not participate in the talks with the government or parliamentary polls without its detained President Sheikh Hasina.
An intelligence agency in a special report has suggested that the government temporarily suspend all direct or indirect activities of Asia Energy to avert severe deterioration in law and order around Phulbari coalmine.
On the third day of the ongoing pre-poll dialogues between political parties and the government yesterday, the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) told the latter that reforming the country's body politic will not be possible through ad hoc measures and top down pressure.
The government yesterday launched a Tk 622 crore project to revitalise agricultural research and extension for increasing farm production to ensure food security of the country.
The World Bank is going to consider two proposals for $320 million loan to Bangladesh in its next board meeting on June 17 as the government has fulfilled a number of conditions set by it.
The divisional commissioners yesterday opposed the Election Commission's (EC) plans for holding upazila parishad polls together with the ninth parliamentary election.
The jail authorities did not produce detained BNP Chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia before a special court for the hearing on charge framing in the Niko corruption case yesterday.
A Dhaka court yesterday deferred the hearing on charge framing against former premier Sheikh Hasina and eight others in the Niko graft case to June 1.
Legal experts and rights activists yesterday said dealing with corruptionists 'leniently' through setting up the Truth and Accountability Commission (TAC) might create an imbalance in the country's justice system and damage the spirit of the ongoing anti-corruption campaign.
Most of the political parties have strongly criticised the government move to set up Truth and Accountability Commission (TAC), saying that it will create a dual system in curbing corruption.
BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain received green signal from detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to participate in the ongoing dialogues with the caretaker government.
A Khulna court yesterday sentenced Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman and KCC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Sarder Abu Taher to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) in a Tk 2.9 lakh extortion case.
The High Court (HC) verdict of awarding Bangladeshi citizenship to stranded Urdu-speaking people could not settle the long-standing debate as many of them still want to return to Pakistan.
A businessman and convenor of Mirpur zone Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) led by Ferdous Ahmed Quarishi was gunned down last night at Pallabi in the capital.
The High Court (HC) yesterday asked the authorities not to take steps towards framing charges against BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman in the Tk 21 core bribery case against him, until June 2.
The authorities concerned are yet to take any punitive actions against Tangail District Jail Jailer Nazrul Islam who had allegedly ordered jail guards to beat up Mirza Shakil, The Daily Star correspondent in Tangail.
North Korean company Namnam in a rejoinder to a report headlined “Miner now wants refund of non-existent loans” published in The Daily Star on May 16 differed on a number of issues.
Two people were killed in separate crossfire incidents between criminals and members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police at Shyampur in the city and Gazipur yesterday.
Two roads in the capital's Azimpur caved in yesterday as the protection pillars and boundary walls of an under construction high-rise building got displaced.
Twelve razakars including a leader of Muslim League have been sued for the killing of two freedom fighters during the Liberation War in 1971 at Morrelganj upazila in Bagerhat district.
A High Court (HC) bench yesterday refused to take up the bail petition of Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid in the Barapukuria coalmine graft case.
At least five people were killed and six others injured yesterday as a bus crashed into a roadside sweetmeat shop at Narayanpur Bus stand of Belabo upazila in Narsinghdi.
At least seven people were killed and scores more wounded yesterday in the bombing of a packed commuter train in the suburbs of the Sri Lankan capital by suspected Tamil rebels, officials said.
Nepal's Maoists said yesterday they were pouring tens of thousands of members of their feared youth wing into the capital ahead of this week's anticipated abolition of the monarchy.
THE formation of a Truth and Accountability Commission (TAC) is a promising measure with considerable beneficial potential that can be greeted with qualified approval.
THE attack by jail guards on Mirza Shakil, our Tangail correspondent, is yet another example of the intolerance and abhorrence shown by various quarters against any conscientious journalistic pursuit to expose their ugly side. This is the hazard that journalists often face in their line of duty entailing investigative and objective journalism. The correspondent's only 'fault', we cannot work out why it exposed him to such a hostile attitude, was that he had taken a photograph of the visitors being harassed.
THIS week I am tempted, almost like a high school kid, to reproduce some quotes on corruption as said by some important people who lived in the past (Alas! Why all the good words have already been said! Since nothing is there for us to say, we tend to forget those words and merrily indulge in all sorts of forbidden things -- corruption for example!). Yes, the quotes are on corruption, both institutional and political corruption. And I know we never get tired of reading incredible tales of corruption committed by the high and mighty.
HISTORICALLY, land has been the perennial source of livelihood in rural Bangladesh. Land is still considered to be the ladder to uplift socio-economic and political progress of households despite the fact that the importance of land as a source of living has been dwindling over the years. An avalanche of research reports go to show that land-owning households perform far better than landless households in terms of income, nutrition, education, and overall development indicators.
THE Bangladesh High Court (HC) has ruled that children of Urdu-speaking refugees, awaiting repatriation to Pakistan, have the right to Bangladeshi citizenship. Through the verdict by a two-member panel of Justice M.A. Rashid and Justice M. Ashfaqul on Sunday, May 18, some 300,000 refugees now languishing in 70 crammed camps across Bangladesh will have the right to live as Bangladeshis.
Bangladesh will leave Dhaka today in a bid to regain the SAFF Football Championship title with just two recognised strikers.
Goalkeeper Aminul Haque was named captain yesterday and second-choice custodian Biplab Bhattachariya his deputy of Bangladesh's SAFF Football Cham-pionship squad.
Defending B. League champions Abahani registered 16 footballers including Mohammed Sujan yesterday for the coming season.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will announce a 14-member team today for next month's triangular one-day series involving India and Pakistan.
Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) yesterday announced a 24-member preliminary squad for the 3rd Men's AHF Cup Hockey tournament to be held in Singapore on June 14-22.
Usha Krira Chakra will meet Ajax Sporting Club in the opening match of the Green Delta Insurance Premier Hockey League 'Super Five' today at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium.
Andrew Strauss's 106 was the centrepiece of England's run chase in a come-from-behind six-wicket win against New Zealand in the second Test here at Old Trafford.
Stuart Clark and Brett Lee shared five wickets to bowl Australia into a match-winning position in the opening Test against West Indies on Monday.
The Mumbai Indians lost their third successive nail-biter to leave their semifinal hopes hanging by a thread in the Indian Premier League. With 43 needed off the final three overs for the Rajasthan Royals to protect their 100 per cent home record, youngsters Niraj Patel and Ravindra Jadeja kept their nerve -- while several more experienced Mumbai players lost theirs -- to win it off the final ball at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur on Monday.
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has declared adequate security arrangements are in place in Pakistan for next month's Asia Cup cricket tournament, an official said Monday.
Iraq faces a year in the soccer wilderness after FIFA suspended it from all international competitions on Monday and issued an ultimatum to Baghdad.
Franck Ribery has a long way to go to emulate Zinedine Zidane but the midfielder has already replaced the great playmaker as France's talismanic player.
Roger Federer's 10th French Open campaign enjoyed a double boost on Monday when he negotiated his way past American Sam Querrey and then saw possible quarterfinal opponent Richard Gasquet pull out injured.
Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev has a personal score to settle at Euro 2008 after the bitter memory of missing out four years ago on becoming the youngest player in the tournament.
Chelsea received a double blow in their search for a successor to Avram Grant on Monday as Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini and Russia coach Guus Hiddink both denied they want the Stamford Bridge job.
Temperamental striker Antonio Cassano should not be treated like he is from another planet, Italy coach Roberto Donadoni said on Sunday.
Turkey lost a Euro 2008 warm-up friendly 3-2 to Uruguay here on Sunday as Fatih Terim's Turks suffered a setback.
France midfielder Franck Ribery was voted Bundesliga player of the year in a poll of 268 league players published in Kicker newspaper on Monday.
Rafa Benitez admits he cannot guarantee Liverpool will challenge for the Premier League title next season.
Relegated Real Zaragoza have exercised an option to buy on-loan Brazilian striker Ricardo Oliveira from AC Milan, the Spanish second division club said on their Web site (www.realzaragoza.com).
Briefs for the Euro 2008 finals co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland between June 7-29 on Monday:
World number three Jelena Jankovic warned Monday that she is ready to fill the gap left by retired queen of clay Justine Henin.
Darren Gough, the former England fast bowler and current Yorkshire captain, will retire from first-class cricket at the end of the 2008 season.
England coach Fabio Capello has said he believes he can take England to the World Cup final for the first time since they became world champions under Alf Ramsey in 1966.
Croatia manager Slaven Bilic will be tempted to adjust the team's formation for the Euro 2008 finals after their unimpressive 1-0 friendly win over Moldova.
Bangladesh finished runners-up in the 3rd South Asian Women's Handball Championship when they lost the final to hosts India in Lucknow on Sunday.
Nepal's Mahaboob Alam made cricket history as he took all 10 Mozambique wickets for just 12 runs in their WCL Division Five game in Jersey on Sunday.
Veteran West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul on Sunday said the fear of being completely paralysed passed through his mind after he was struck on his helmet by a deadly Brett Lee delivery in the first Test against Australia in Kingston.
Dhaka secured an 18-run victory against Barisal to reach the final of the 28th National Cricket Championship yesterday.
Kakrail Jubo Sangha trounced Nasirabad Udayan Sangsad 4-0 in a central zone match of the Pioneer Football League at the Basabo Tarun Sangha Club ground yesterday.
The England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) board of directors will meet on Thursday to discuss radical changes to the English domestic structure, in response to the hype surrounding the Indian Premier League and the huge global success of Twenty20.
As the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) ponders on holding its own version of the Indian Premier League (IPL), former Pakistan skipper Javed Miandad denounced the idea saying such a move would destroy the game in the country.
ASA International Holdings, a company managed and partially owned by ASA, one of Bangladesh's largest NGOs, has raised $150 million (around Tk 1,000 crore) as equity from foreign private investors to fund commercial micro-credit lending outside Bangladesh.
TeleTalk, the struggling state owned mobile operator, is attempting to renegotiate the cost of its much-delayed expansion, amid growing internal concern that the project may be held up once again.
Each of the private commercial banks (PCBs) will select two depositors as directors on its board, disregarding the way the Bangladesh Bank (BB) want them to do it.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday lifted a ban on rice exports to reduce global concerns over supplies of the grain, saying the country has enough rice for its own needs.
Bangladesh Missions abroad will be given product specific export targets, a meeting decided yesterday.
Thais are planning to re-locate their labour intensive industrial units to Bangladesh in view of cost effective and trainable labour force available in this country, according to a business delegation of the Bangladesh-Thai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) that visited Thailand recently.
Commuters may soon see eco-friendly motorbikes and auto-rickshaws made in Bangladesh.
Berger Paints Bangladesh aims to add Tk 3 crore in its annual turnover this year, as the company is going to launch a new wood coating product today, according to Dhaka Stock Exchange website.
The saying goes that money can't buy happiness. But inquiring economists have been working for decades trying to prove or disprove the notion.
T. Junardhan is helping to install the plumbing at a luxury shopping and residential tower rising in Singapore's prime Orchard Road tourist belt. He can also balance your books if the need arises.
A major three-day Bangladeshi trade show, 'Made in Bangladesh' will be held in New York in August, promoting a broad range of Bangladeshi products, the show's organisers said yesterday.
Speakers at a press conference yesterday urged the government to increase tax on tobacco products drastically to bring a decline in their consumption.
One of the country's soft drink brands Pepsi yesterday launched a promotional campaign 'Ek Chumkei Pepsi Star', winners of which will get a chance to co-star with football stars like Messi, Beckham, Ronaldinho in an international advertisement of the brand.
Delay in initiating the reform process could affect the India's textile sector significantly, industry chamber Assocham feels.
Around 30 coal loaded trucks from the Indian State of Meghalaya arrived in Bangladesh yesterday, signaling an end to the 40 day long border dispute that had halted coal imports through the Tamabil Land customs station.
Leasing and finance companies saw their shares up by more than 10 percent at the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday.
The dollar was steady in Asian trade on Monday as traders awaited upcoming data amid worries that soaring oil prices could hinder a recovery in the US economy, dealers said.
The Thai economy expanded by 6.0 percent in the first quarter of the year, bolstered by increased consumer spending and a stimulus package from the new elected government, an official said Monday.
The price of oil will continue to climb, especially if there is no improvement in the outlook for the dollar, Opec president Chakib Khelil told Spain's national radio Monday.
Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. and its truck-making affiliate have joined a project to develop an environmentally friendly vehicle capable of moving both on roads and railways, an official said Monday.
Vietnam has attracted more than 15 billion dollars in foreign direct investment (FDI) pledges for over 300 projects so far this year, a communist government official said Monday.
Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono opened Monday a forum seeking billions of dollars in foreign direct investment to boost employment and growth, amid unease about local barriers to business.
The South Korean government is set to unveil a blueprint for privatising some 320 state-owned corporations in early June at the earliest, sources said Sunday.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday sought legal opinions on the charge sheet in the August 21 grenade attack case, from the case's public prosecutor.
As chemical fertilisers are causing gradual degradation of soil, huge wastes generated from human and animal excreta, and household rubbish should be turned into natural manure by using efficient technologies to protect soil and environment.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday approved submission of charge sheets against two former lawmakers and two deputy conservators of forest for amassing wealth illegally and concealing wealth information.
In the wake of high food prices at global and local markets, the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management recommended procurement of 30 lakh tonnes of food grains, mainly for safety-net programmes in the next fiscal year.
Speakers at a discussion yesterday urged the government to make adequate budgetary allocation for female workers in the upcoming budget to ensure their fundamental rights.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said Bangladesh as a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) would like to develop meaningful close linkages between Saarc and Asean countries.
President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday called upon all including, guardians, teachers and the authorities of educational institutions and conscious section of the society to properly nurture the next generation for the sake of the country.
Some 10,000 landless families in eight Sidr-hit districts would be provided with housing facilities during the next fiscal year.
Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, UK unit, has condemned the fatwa (religious edict) against the principal of a college at Syedpur in Jagnnathpur, Sylhet.
Three members of a Bangladeshi family were killed in a road accident on Jeddah-Madina Highway in Saudi Arabia on May 23.
The tenure of incumbent Dhaka University (DU) Vice-chancellor (VC) Prof SMA Faiz has been extended until the appointment of a new VC.
Jamaat Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid yesterday said the arrest of party chief Motiur Rahman Nizami in a “fabricated” graft case made the party well organised and stronger.
Patients in Habiganj Sadar Modern Hospital and three health complexes have been going without treatment as eight doctors went into hiding following arrest warrants issued by a Habiganj court in connection with a corruption case.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at in the country and elsewhere in the world will celebrate 100 years of 'Khilafat' today.
US Ambassador to Bangladesh James F Moriarty here yesterday said the US would provide assistance for setting up radiation detection equipment at Chittagong seaport to help keep its containers free from nuclear radiation.
Teachers, students and employees of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (SBAU) yesterday formed a human chain on its campus demanding the authorities appoint a vice chancellor (VC) from its senior and experienced teachers.
Two people were killed and four others injured in separate road accidents in Dinajpur and Jhenidah in the last two days.
The low that formed over northwest Bay and adjoining coastal Bangladesh is persisting the same area.
National and international experts yesterday began a brainstorming workshop to find out prospective solution to combat pandemic Avian flu before a disaster breaks out in the country.
Police rescued five adolescent girls from Shiroil bus stand in the city yesterday while they were being trafficked to India.
Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Sarwar Jahan Nizam on Sunday visited Chittagong naval area and monitored activities of special sea exercise 'Operation Witch Hunt' of Bangladesh Navy to defend offshore resources and installations, says an ISPR press release.
Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall of Dhaka University (DU) has become champion at the Viyellatex Haji Muhammad Mohsin Memorial Speech and Debate Competition that ended on Saturday.
A housewife with severe burns died on Sunday after fighting for life for the last eight days as her husband allegedly set fire to her failing to realise dowry from her family.
The joint forces in a drive yesterday arrested two people and recovered a gun and six bullets from a medicine shop at Hatiyadanga in Koira upazila.
Leaders of National Oil, Gas, Power, Mineral Resources and Port Protection Committee yesterday urged the caretaker government to leave the decision about Phulbari coalmine for next elected political government.
A library and a memorial museum named after Brishreshtha Lance Nayek Munshi Abdur Rouf will be inaugurated tomorrow at the martyr's village Roufnagar (former Salamatpur) in Modhukhali upazila of the district .
Journalists in Mymensingh, Dinajpur and Satkhira yesterday protested barbarous attack on The Daily Star Tangail Correspondent Mirza Shakil while performing duty on Tangail jail compound on Saturday.
A probe team comprising officials of University Grants Commission (UGC) and education ministry on Sunday began investigation into alleged irregularities and corruption at Rajshahi University (RU).
The complainant of the first extortion case filed against Khulna City Corporation (KCC) mayor was sent to jail yesterday on charge of forgery.
Two BNP leaders yesterday got bail and were released from Khagrachhari district jail, jail sources said.
With the expected participation of over 15 lakh pilgrims from different countries, the second largest Kumbha Mela in the sub-continent begins today at village Kadombari under Rajoir upazila in the district.
More than 1 million Myanmar cyclone victims will soon be able to receive their first assistance if the country's military regime quickly allows foreign experts into the affected areas, the United Nations said yesterday.
Nepalese authorities yesterday banned protests around the king's palace and private residence to prevent any violence, days before the centuries-old monarchy is formally abolished in this Himalayan nation.
PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said on Sunday that the PPP could muster the support of as many lawmakers as required for impeaching President Pervez Musharraf, but hastened to add that his party did not want to do that in order to avoid what he called a political upheaval.
Soldiers raced Monday to unblock a river that was dammed by landslides in China's deadly earthquake two weeks ago as flood prevention became a top priority in the disaster zone.
The lotus, the symbol of India's main opposition BJP, finally bloomed in southern India as the party is on the verge of forming government in Karnataka on its own after winning the elections to the state legislature.
Lebanon's newly elected president Michel Sleiman prepared to launch consultations on forming a national unity government on Monday as he began his first full day in office.
Egyptian-brokered negotiations on a proposed truce in and around the Hamas-run Gaza Strip have made "no substantial progress," a senior Israeli official told journalists yesterday.
Environment chiefs from the world's top industrial countries pledged "strong political will" Monday toward cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, declaring that developed nations should take the lead in battling global warming.
Nasa's newest outpost in the solar system is a polygon-cracked terrain in Mars' northern polar region believed to hold a reservoir of ice beneath.
Powerful storms packing large hail, heavy rain and tornadoes made for a deadly Memorial Day weekend across the nation's midsection, killing at least seven people in Iowa and a 2-year-old child in Minneapolis.
The head of Taiwan's ruling party arrived in China on Monday for the highest-level contact with communist China's leadership in 60 years, state media reported.
Two American soldiers were killed and four wounded in two separate roadside bombings in Iraq on Monday, the US military said.
Gunmen shot dead five people including three Shia Muslims and a policeman in suspected sectarian violence in a northwestern Pakistani town on Monday, police said.
Voters in cyclone-hit areas of Myanmar have overwhelmingly approved a constitution that critics say will perpetuate the military's decades-old grip on power in this Southeast Asian nation.
A Nato soldier and three Afghan security personnel were killed in a string of explosions and ambushes linked to a Taliban-led insurgency, security officials said yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
A daylong painting workshop was recently held at Gallery Chitrak in which 34 leading artists participated. The outputs of the workshop were exhibited at Gallery Chitrak from May 16 to 20. Proceeds from sales of the paintings will go to the global campaign “Walk the World” that addresses hunger.
As part of the 109th birth anniversary celebrations of our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs organised a special programme at the National Theatre stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on May 25.
Parveen Sultana walked to the centre of the stage and dominated it through a span of more than twenty songs. On Saturday, it was her moment in the spotlight, seeing that Tomar du chokhe chokh rekhe, a CD of twelve of her songs, had only moments earlier been released at the National Museum. Those who have kept track of Sultana's progress in recent times will have a fairly reasonable comprehension of the elevating quality of her songs. The voice is rich, the mastery over delivery is remarkable, all of which is again reflected in these new songs. Penned by Ashraf Hossain and M.R. Waseq, with music in the capable hands of Deba, these songs are an aesthetic delight. In Brishti ashar pelona shomoy, E kemon borsha elo, O matal shure and the like, the versatile in the artiste comes alive yet once more.
The 109th birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam was celebrated in Rajshahi on Sunday. Samilito Sangskritik Jote, Rajshahi organised a colourful cultural function at the open stage of Shahid Minar Mancha, Buban Mohon Park in the evening.
Speakers at a discussion said Raja Ram Mohan Roy was one of the greatest Bengalis and social reformers in the sub-continent.
Golam Mustafa is known as a “poet of the Muslim Renaissance.” Yet the ancestral home of this renowned poet is in ruins. No step has yet been taken to preserve the place that carries memories of the poet.
The death of iconic Marathi playwright Vijay Tendulkar in Pune on May 19 brought down the curtains on a golden era of Indian theatre. Tendulkar, 80, who had been ailing for quite some time, is considered one of the doyens of modern Indian playwrights, along with Badal Sircar, Mohan Rakesh and Girish Karnad, who experimented with style and content of drama in a bold and unconventional manner that at times shocked the audience.
The colourful, traditional kite festival was held in Pabna with much festivity recently. The venue was the Pabna Edward College campus and the organiser Rotaract Club of Pabna Midtown put up the first of its kind kite festival in Pabna. A colourful programme was also staged.
WHETHER we like or not, a number of fundamental reforms have taken place after 1/11 and more is being done for the structural enhancement of the state, its government and people's lives. It seems that the primary drive behind the interim government's actions was to ensure people's rights and to eliminate the conflicting roles of government machineries wherever possible.
THE media recently carried a report that Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) is going to install 176 closed circuit televisions (CCTV) at 59 city locations and disseminate traffic information etc., via 36 digital billboards and radio. This 61-crore taka project is the most ambitious effort to bring the city under close vigilance of the law enforcers.
WORLD food prices have gone through the roof in the last few years. Being part of the globalised economy, Bangladesh has also felt the repercussions of this exorbitant inflationary hike. Thus, with international market price of rice witnessing a staggering three fold plus rise in a span of the last ten months, Bangladesh with its burgeoning 150 million overly rice dependent population has fallen into a quandary of calamitous proportions.
IT seems that I may have offended certain readers by a recent column in which I said their favourite rock stars were moronic, gibbering idiots without enough brain cells to string two words together. Hey -- I meant it as a compliment.