The Daily Star

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

News of: Saturday, 7th of June, 2008

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Front Page

Petrobangla bid for quick exploration hits snag

Instead of encouraging Petrobangla to find a strategic partner quickly to explore and develop Dighipara coal zone -- given the on-going energy crisis, the energy ministry has decided to shelve the process till approval of the coal policy.

Medical board examines health of Khaleda

In an apparent revival of the much talked about 'minus two formula' of the caretaker government, a process has been initiated again to send two detained former premiers Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia abroad 'for treatment'.

Remittance, overseas jobs to mark fall in 2 years

The rise in remittance and overseas employment is on the verge of witnessing a downward trend in the next two years, as major labour markets in the Middle East and Malaysia banned fresh manpower recruitment or reduced quotas for Bangladesh.

Delwar’s proposal to AL purely personal, says Hannan Shah

The crisis plaguing BNP has taken a new turn following pro-Khaleda faction leader also secretary general of the party Khandaker Delwar Hossain's proposal to archrival Awami League (AL) for launching a 'united movement to restore democracy in the country'.

BDR-run outlets shut: Many return home empty-handed

Many people of low-income group yesterday returned home empty-handed after finding the BDR-run fair price outlets closed in the capital as the BDR authorities decided to keep them shut for four days from June 6.

9/11 mastermind calls for death penalty to become martyr

The alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks Thursday called to be sentenced to death so he could become a martyr at the start of a US military hearing of five alleged plotters.

1,820 more held across country

The joint forces arrested 1,820 people, including 229 in the capital, during the last 24 hours until 8:00am yesterday in the ongoing special anti-crime drives across the country.

AL signature campaign starts today

The Awami League (AL) starts a campaign today for collecting signatures across the country, except for the capital, to press home its six-point demand including release of detained former premier and party chief Sheikh Hasina.

Injured Sri Lankan bank official dies

The Sri Lankan bank official, who was injured in the mysterious blast in the capital's Hotel Orchard Plaza on June 1, succumbed to his wounds yesterday raising the death toll in the explosion to three.

China keen to boost ties with South Asian states

China is keen to develop economic and regional cooperation with the Saarc member countries on the basis of five principles of peaceful coexistence and continue support for economic and social development of South Asian countries.

Motor vehicle owners yet to be notified of speed limiters

The government is yet to notify the motor vehicle owners about the installation of speed limiters in their vehicles, which has been made mandatory by the High Court (HC) in March.

Rumours fly as Obama, Hillary hold private talks

Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton held a private meeting late Thursday, their campaigns said, amid feverish speculation over whom he will choose as his vice presidential running mate.

Malaysia to halve foreign workers in two sectors by 2010

Malaysia plans to almost halve the number of foreigners working in the plantation and manufacturing sectors by 2010 by reducing its yearly foreign intake by 400,000, a report said yesterday.

Historic June 7 today

Awami League (AL) observes the historic 7th June today to commemorate the six-point movement it launched 42 years ago demanding autonomy of erstwhile East Pakistan.

Outlaw killed in ‘shootout’

An underground operative was killed during a “shootout” between his cohorts and police at Durgapur village under Jhenidah Sadar upazila early yesterday.

13 find home at nature reserve

Thirteen wild animals and birds, including four rare monkeys, were released into the Lawachhara Reserve Forest in Moulvibazar's Kamalganj upazila on World Environment Day Thursday.

Intact brick wall beneath Vasu Bihar dug out

In a major breakthrough, archaeologists dug out an intact brick wall built on a concrete floor beneath the 1500-year-old Vasu Bihar in Bogra that suggests there existed archaeological excellence even before the days of the monastery.

UN summit vows to halve hunger, boost food output

A UN summit vowed Thursday to halve global hunger by 2015 and take "urgent" action over the global food crisis, but only after going into overtime at a fractious summit in Rome.

Pak cricketers arrive

Shoaib Malik-led Pakistan became the first team arrived in the capital yesterday to play the three-nation Kitply Cup.

Ex-AL MP of Jessore held

Former Awami League lawmaker Ali Reza Raju was arrested at Birdem Hospital in the capital yesterday in connection with a corruption case filed against him by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Bogra AL man found dead 3 hours after abduction

A local leader of Awami League (AL) was found dead three hours after his abduction at Makor Khola village under Sherpur upazila on Thursday night.

2 robbers beaten to death in Faridpur

Two robbers were beaten to death by the villagers at Naya Kanti village under Bhanga upazila of the district early yesterday.

Newsmen concerned at media control

Sangbadik-Sramik-Karmachari Oikya Parishad, an organisation of journalists and media employees, yesterday expressed grave concern over the 'chaotic and fearful state' stemming from the emergency rules in the country's media sector.

Magura criminal Tota arrested

Rab (Rapid Action Battalion) arrested Tayebur Rahman Tota, the chief of infamous “Tota Bahini”, at village Kadirpara under Shalikha upazila of the district early yesterday.

Budget on Website on Monday

Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam will announce the national budget for fiscal 2008-09 on Monday at 3:00pm over the government and private radio and television channels.

Huji leader confesses to involvement

Harkat-ul Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) leader Rafiqul Islam Sabuj yesterday confessed to his involvement in the grenade attack on the Awami League (AL) rally in the capital on August 21, 2004.

Tigers bomb Lankan buses: 23 killed

At least 23 people were killed and 67 wounded in Sri Lanka Friday in two Tamil Tiger bomb attacks on public buses packed with civilians, officials said.

HR Watch slams mass arrests

Human Rights Watch yesterday called for Bangladesh's emergency government to charge or release thousands of people it has detained in the past eight days.

Federer to face Nadal in final

Top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland will play triple defending champion Rafael Nadal of Spain in the French Open final on Sunday.

Oil crosses $137 a barrel

Crude oil crossed 137 dollars a barrel yesterday for the first time in New York and London trade, jumping more than nine dollars as the market reacted to a sharp decline in the dollar.


Mass transit in the capital

The sheer immobility and the pollution overhang in the capital has been allowed to reach such a debilitating state that most people have grown cynical about the livability status of the metropolis in the near future. Many people thought that any government could acquire a messianic image by simply solving the problems of traffic congestion and belching carbon monoxide fumes from stranded and slow-moving vehicles in Dhaka. But in our culture of distorted priorities, the obvious often gets ignored.

CPD study on plight of the poor

The Centre for Policy Dialogue in a timely study has fathomed a new depth in the sea of poverty. In the 15-month period from January 2007 to March 2008 the gross income of poor people plummeted by 36.7 percent. The income erosion of up to 30.5 percent alone has resulted from paying for the high food bill, the predominant item in the rather bare purchase list of the poor.

Nepal: The difficult road ahead

NEPAL'S newly elected leadership has just changed the country from a monarchy to a republic. The approved proposal stated that Nepal is now “an independent, indivisible, sovereign, secular and an inclusive democratic republic nation”.

When mob justice takes hold

THE past one week ending on May 31 has been one of the blackest in recent times. The fragile peace that held the country for more than a year after 1/11 has been shattered. The recent spurt in the incidence of crime like murder, lynching to death, burglary, rape, extortion and kidnapping has created a feeling of alarm in the citizenry once again. The capital city and even the rural outbacks in the country seem caught in a frightening coil of fear.

High price of rice to prolong

RICE is no-longer an economic substance only, it has already become a political commodity. A US sponsored study of 15 April 2008 predicted that world would face social upheaval, environmental disaster if agriculture is not really reformed to better serve the poor and hungry. Food-riots have already taken place in Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Madagaskar, Mauritania, Senegal, Thailand, the Philippines, Uzbekistan, Yemen etc. General strike over rising food prices have already taken place in Burkina Faso and India. Riots over high food prices have led to the dismissal of Haitian Prime Minister Jacques-Edward Alexis.


Last laugh Usha's

Usha Krira Chakra completed a hattrick of titles when the old-Dhaka outfit retained the Green Delta Insurance Premier Hockey League trophy with a 4-2 win over Abahani yesterday.

Bangladesh stay alive

In one of their most remarkable recoveries in a football match, Bangladesh came from a two-goal deficit to salvage a 2-2 draw against Afgha-nistan in a SAFF Championship Group B clash yesterday.

Malik skirts Asif issue

Pakistan cricket team arrived in Dhaka yesterday to play the tri-series on the back of the record of winning eleven one-day internationals in a row.

Nadal closer to history

Rafael Nadal demolished Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) on Friday to move just one victory away from joining Bjorn Borg as the only man to win four successive French Open titles.

Battle begins today

The phoney war is over and now the real one begins as the 16 Euro 2008 finalists can get down to the real business of who is the fairest or rather the best of them all in footballing terms on their continent.

Kamal goes in joy and tears

Rafiqul Islam Kamal, one of the finest strikers in domestic hockey, put an end to his sparkling career of two decades celebrating Usha Krira Chakra's hattrick Premier League title yesterday.

Doubt over Sreesanth

A left side strain leaves Indian fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth in doubt for the Kitply Cup in Bangladesh, which starts on June 8. Sreesanth was expected to join the team on Saturday, ahead of their departure for Bangladesh on Sunday, but has instead been told to report to the medical team at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore.

Safina in Ivanovic's way

Newly-crowned world No.1 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia will look to complete a perfect fortnight in Paris by winning her first Grand Slam title against Dinara Safina of Russia in Saturday's French Open final.

Hosts rely on Tranquillo

Switzerland kick off Euro 2008 on Saturday with a tough opening match against the Czech Republic and the hopes of the joint hosts resting heavily on the slim shoulders of Tranquillo Barnetta.

Gomes hunting goals

Another two-goal winning performance from striker Nuno Gomes against Turkey would suit Portugal fine in their Euro 2008 opener at 1845 GMT on Saturday.

English fans back Spain

English fans are putting a brave face on their country's absence from Euro 2008 by throwing their support behind countries whose star players ply their trade in England, with Spain leading the way.

Blatter gets green light

FIFA president Sepp Blatter defended his controversial 'six plus five' foreign player system at the European parliament here, saying it would nurture young talent and benefit the national game.

Mutu to pay 12m euros

A commission charged by world football's ruling body FIFA to resolve a conflict opposing Chelsea and Adrian Mutu has ruled that the Romanian international must pay his former club 12 million euros.

Ana stunned by number one spot

Serbia's Ana Ivanovic admitted she was stunned to discover that her French Open semifinal victory over compatriot Jelena Jankovic had elevated her to the world number one ranking.

Van Persie out of Italy clash

Dutch attacking midfielder Robin van Persie was effectively ruled out of their opening Euro 2008 match with world champions Italy by national coach Marco van Basten on Friday.

Materazzi hits back at press

Much-maligned Italy centre-back Marco Materazzi lashed out at the press on Friday just three days before Italy's first Euro 2008 match against the Netherlands in Zurich.

Spurs snap up Dos Santos

Barcelona's 19-year-old Mexican striker Giovani dos Santos has joined Tottenham in the English Premiership club's second significant signing of the close season, the clubs said on Friday.

Broad, Anderson shine

Stuart Broad recorded his maiden Test half-century and James Anderson followed up a career-best 28 with two new-ball breakthroughs, as England stamped their authority on the third Test at Trent Bridge. By tea on the second day, New Zealand were toiling on 57 for 2 in response to England's first innings of 364, which - as an indication of England's dominance - was 85 runs better than the previous highest total at Nottingham this season.

Vaughan bashes Kolpak

The row over the number of Kolpak players in English cricket rumbles on.

Bopara makes history

Young English talent overcame imported South Africans as Ravi Bopara etched his name in the record books at Grace Road, with a breathtaking 201 off 138 balls, to guide Essex into the Friends Provident semifinals. Bopara's stunning innings lifted Essex to a mammoth 350, which proved well out of reach for Leicestershire.

Asif situation dubious

Confusion reigns supreme in absence of any official clarification on Mohammad Asif's detention and local media yesterday quoted the chief prosecutor as saying that charges have not yet been framed against the detained Pakistani pacer.

Zone Cup football

Marma Unnayan Sangsad drew 2-2 with Yong Star Club in the first Zone Cup Football at the Khagrachhari Stadium yesterday.

Div II cricket

Palli Bulbul Club and Muslim Sporting Club won their respective matches in the Sunlife Insurance Second Division Cricket League at the Shaheed Miraj-Tapan Stadium here yesterday.


Anti-liberation forces active to wipe out memories of liberation war

Speakers at a rally here yesterday said the anti-liberation forces are destroying the signs of liberation war gradually by encroaching mass-graveyards across the country.

Honouring unsung heroes who change lives

There are some great hearted people in this world who have dedicated themselves to changing the lives of others, but do not want anything in return for their work.

Demolish illegal structures along city rivers

Speakers at a human chain programme yesterday demanded immediate demolition of all illegal structures and brick kilns along the Buriganga and other rivers around the capital.

Dialogue with political parties progressing satisfactorily

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Chowdhury has said the current dialogue with the political parties is progressing satisfactorily, expressing his hope that the process would be successful with the participation of all concerned.

Bangladeshis in Manama to set up watchdog

Leaders of Bangladeshi community in collaboration with the Bangladesh embassy in Manama have taken an initiative to set up a crime watchdog to cut crime among compatriots living in Bahrain, according to a report published in a Bahraini newspaper, Gulf Daily News, yesterday.

Caterers assoc distributes agri, fishing materials among Sidr victims

Bangladesh Caterers Association (BCA) Surrey Region of the UK on Wednesday distributed agriculture and fishing materials worth about Tk 44 lakh to 180 families of Sidr-affected Kalapara upazila in Patuakhali for their livelihood.

Zonta Club-IV executives

Sabera Hussain has been elected president of Zonta Club IV, Dhaka, says a press release.

Mosquito menace continues to cause sufferings to Rajshahi residents

Mosquito menace continues to cause sufferings to people of Rajshahi city.

CG has no right to amend constitution

President of Workers' Party of Bangladesh (WPB) Rashed Khan Menon has said the caretaker government (CG) has no right to bring any amendment to constitution or to form any committee or commission to review it.

Release of Khaleda demanded

Jatiyatabadi Mahila Dal Rajshahi city unit yesterday demanded immediate release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

Call to conserve wildlife, biodiversity

Speakers at a programme yesterday stressed the need for conserving the country's wildlife and biodiversity to ensure a worthy living environment for the people.

Dhaka elected to governing body of ILO

Two Asian countries and a top Indian executive have been elected as new members to the governing body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Three killed in road accidents

At least three people were killed and five others injured in separate road accidents in Gaibandha and Jhenidah in last two days.

26 shops burn down in Barisal

At least 26 shops and establishments burned down in a devastating fire at Kauria Bandar in Hizla upazila yesterday afternoon.

DU to seek clarification of some points in probe report

The Dhaka University (DU) authorities seek clarification of some recommendations in the probe report submitted by the committee formed to investigate the attack on a Bangladesh Medical College (BMC) student at SM Hall.

Six Bangladeshis trafficked to India return home

Six Bangladeshis, trafficked to India three years ago, were handed over to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and immigration police by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) at Benapole checkpost on Thursday.

Nurture children with secular spirit: Adviser Rasheda

Women and Children Affairs Adviser Rasheda K Chowdhury urged all to groom up the children with secular cultural spirit.

Two held with firearms

Rapid Action Battalion arrested two alleged criminals with firearms in two separate drives at North Baropota and Kannadha villages at Benapole yesterday.

Manju meets 2 US congressmen

Jatiya Party (Manju) Chairman Anwar Hossain Manju met with two influential congressmen at the Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, according to a New York-based news agency News World.

Huge cellphone sets, calling cards seized, 3 held in Ctg

Police seized huge cellphone sets, scratch cards, memory cards and audio-video players searching a city-bound bus at City Gate area yesterday and arrested three people in this connection.

Six get 5 years for smuggling antique statue

A Sirajganj court on Thursday sentenced six people, including a former Union Parishad chairman, to five years' imprisonment in an antique statue smuggling case.

Miscreants kill one in Sirajganj

Miscreants slaughtered a cattle trader at Char Bardhul Bazar in Kamarkhanda upazila of Sirajganj on Thursday night.

Character building campaign launched at DU

Swami Swarupananda Foundation of the Department of World Religions at Dhaka University (DU) yesterday launched "Character Building Campaign" on the campus with the view of removing social decay through building good character.

Australian HC donates Tk 7.7 lakh

Australian High Commissioner has donated Tk 7.7 lakh to the Society for Peoples' Actions in Change and Equity (SPACE) with a view to promoting and protecting environment as well as ensuring improved sanitation for villagers in the country.


Most of 137 deserters from Ansar return to underworld

Security forces are on the hunt for 137 outlaws who quit their jobs in Ansar department without informing their authorities. They were among the 780 outlaws from ten districts of Khulna division to get jobs in Ansar department in 1999 under the then government's Rehabilitation and Employment Scheme after they surrendered to police under a general amnesty.

She draws govt salary from 3 instts

A teacher is serving three educational institutions simultaneously and taking government salary against the posts under MPO (monthly pay order) for years.

Unite to realise credible election by December

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday urged all political parties to united to realise a credible general election from the caretaker government by December.

OC assaults father of abducted girl

Officer-in-Charge of Saltha Police Station allegedly tortured a person when he went there to lodge a complaint against abductors of his daughter.

Kushtia journo shown arrested in extortion case

A journalist of Channel-1here who was arrested by joint forces on Wednesday has been shown arrested in an extortion case.

Criminals vandalise temple

Criminals broke at least five statues of a Hindu goddess at Devaloy Mandir under Panchhari upazila in Khagrachhari district early yesterday. Police arrested two of the culprits.

2 'outlaws' held, arms, bombs recovered in Jhenidah

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police, in separate raids conducted in various places of the district, have arrested two 'outlaws' and recovered arms, ammunition and bombs, Rab and police said.


Dozens of Taliban killed in air raids

Nato-led warplanes killed 32 Taliban militants in southeastern Afghanistan overnight, while three civilians and three rebels were killed in separate incidents, an Afghan official said yesterday.

No peace talks with 'terrorists': Pak FM

Pakistan's foreign minister said in Afghanistan yesterday that his government was not in talks with "terrorists" but only with "peace-loving" elements as part of a multipronged strategy to fight extremism.

Olmert raises spectre of full-scale Gaza operation

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday raised the spectre of a full-scale military operation in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip despite Egyptian attempts to mediate a truce.

Obama's race an asset, non-issue

For young voters, Rosa Parks' refusal to sit at the back of a bus in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955 is schoolbook history. Even the racially charged 1992 riots in Los Angeles are a distant memory.

Report accuses Bush of misrepresenting Iraq intelligence

A new Senate report gives a fresh shot of adrenaline to the election-year debate over the Iraq war. President Bush and his top officials deliberately misrepresented secret intelligence to make the case to invade Iraq, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Pakistan foils car bomb terror plot near capital

Pakistani police have foiled a major terror plot, seizing three explosives-packed vehicles and arresting six people including three would-be suicide bombers near Islamabad, officials said Friday.

Pak Army to leave Mehsud areas after deal inked

The military will “withdraw completely” from the Mehsud areas of South Waziristan after Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud frees the remaining captured army and paramilitary soldiers, and the government and Mehsud tribes sign a peace deal, according to a draft truce made available to Daily Times on Thursday.

'US pressuring UN to probe Iran's nukes'

Iran accused the United States on Thursday of pressuring the UN's nuclear agency to base its latest investigation of Tehran's nuclear activities on fake evidence suggesting that Iran had a secret weapons programme.

S Asians charged in Spain with plotting suicide attacks

A judge in Spain Thursday filed terrorism charges against 11 South Asians, most of them Pakistanis, suspected of planning suicide attacks in Barcelona and elsewhere in Europe.

Myanmar attacks media's cyclone coverage

Myanmar's military junta lashed out at its own citizens and foreign media Friday for what it called distorted coverage of the aftermath of a devastating cyclone.

Zimbabwe orders aid groups to halt operations

Zimbabwe's government ordered aid groups to halt operations in a move that could hamper food deliveries in the impoverished nation where millions depend on outside help.

Six soldiers killed in Algeria bomb attack

A bomb attack blamed on Islamist militants killed six Algerian soldiers and wounded four in Cap Djinet, east of Algiers, security sources said yesterday.

China rushes to drain quake formed lake

Soldiers were ordered to deepen a diversion channel to speed the draining of an unstable earthquake-formed lake that was threatening to burst, state television said Friday.

Africa's deserts could supply solar electricity to continent: Experts

Solar power from Africa's deserts could supply all 600 million citizens currently without electricity and even export power to Europe, a green energy conference in Nairobi heard on Thursday.

US lauds Pak army's anti-terror effort

Pakistan's army is "fighting bravely" against terrorism, the top-ranking US military officer said after a visit to the country to discuss joint efforts against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Egypt uncovers 'missing' pyramid of a pharaoh

Egyptian archaeologists unveiled on Thursday a 4,000-year-old "missing pyramid" that is believed to have been discovered by an archaeologist almost 200 years ago and never seen again.

Arab allies seek change from next US president

Washington's Sunni Arab allies hope the next US administration will adopt strategies to repair damage done by the Bush team in the troubled Middle East and curb the influence of Shia Iran.

Japan recognises Ainu as indigenous people

Japan yesterday for the first time recognised the Ainu as an indigenous people, pledging to support the traditionally nature-worshipping community that has endured centuries of discrimination.

Food, oil crises should not overshadow climate danger: UN

Crises over soaring food and oil prices should reinforce rather than distract from the need for action over climate change, the head of the United Nations Environment Programme said on Thursday.

Arts & Entertainment

Subtle prints in sombre colours

A print exhibition, comprising the works of students and teachers -- who were guest participants -- was recently held at the Bengal Gallery. This was the result of the classes held by Professor Sen and Professor Barua from Santiniketan at the IFA last month. Most of the works are in black and white or monochrome but they all reflect skill, imagination and dedication.

"Kung Fu Panda": Fuzzy outsider, kicking his way toward his dream

At once fuzzy-wuzzy and industrial strength, the tacky-sounding "Kung Fu Panda" is high concept with a heart. Even better, this animated feature from DreamWorks is so consistently diverting and visually arresting that it succeeds in transcending its storybook clichés.

Black presidents nothing new to Hollywood

Voters will determine if America is ready for a black president come November, but Hollywood, often ahead of the national curve, made up its mind about the issue ages ago.

A veteran music trainer's views on the current trends

Born into a family of musicians, it was natural for Sanjib Dey to take up the same profession. Son of Mithun Dey, who had trained prominent singers such as Shabnam Mushtari and Mitali Mukherjee, Sanjib said that he pursued a career in music primarily to preserve a family tradition. "My grandfather was also associated with music. It was my responsibility to carry on the tradition," he said.

Songs of S.D. and R.D. Burman performed in Pabna

Baithak, a local cultural organisation formed by young artistes, arranged a musical programme at Pabna Bonomali Institute auditorium recently. Singers rendered compositions of Sachin Dev Burman and Rahul Dev Burman, the eminent music composers of the sub-continent. The songs however were accompanied by western instruments. Local artist of the district, Hosne Zaman inaugurated the programme.


The historic six-point movement and its impact on the struggle for independence

THE historic Six-Point Demand or the Six-Point Formula has been widely credited as the "charter of freedom" in Bangladesh's struggle for self-determination from Pakistan's domination. Indeed, the six-point movement in 1966 was the turning point in our quest for independence. On June 7 in 1966 the Awami League called a countrywide hartal in the then East Pakistan to press home the six-point demands. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with many others was arrested. Since then 7th June is observed as the historic six-point day.

The six-point demands

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the then General Secretary of the East Pakistan Awami League (EPAL), had personally submitted the six-point program to the subject-matter committee of the All-Party Meeting of the opposition political parties of the then Pakistan in Lahore on February 5, 1966. The following is a summarised version of the six-point demands.


Kicking carbon habit and greening our events

On Thursday, June 5 World Environment Day (WED) was observed in countries across the globe including Bangladesh.

Solar power prospects : Hawaii experience

The State of Hawaii, an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan was admitted to the Union on August 21, 1959, making it the 50th state of the USA. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The most recent census (2006) puts the state's population at 1,285,498

On death and survival of tigers

The Daily Star published my article about the death of two tigers during research in the Sundarbans on 22nd February 2008. In response to my article Adam Barlow of STP wrote a long article and Indian tiger expert Dr. Ullas Karanth a letter to The Daily Star. Wildlife researcher Dr. Raghu Chundawat commented in a BBC interview and the producer of the BBC film the “Ganges” Dan Rees also wrote letters to The Daily Star. I thank all for their interest and comments and I will try to discuss about the responses which are relevant to many of my comments and quotes.


Little Cruelties

One Thursday, the weekend I usually long for, when I was readying myself for a family get-together, my cell phone vibrated. It was Fazal, who had been my classmate at Dhaka University in the early eighties and who had been a frequent visitor to my house in Libya when we were there as expatriates. He said that he was dying to see me and would like to come over with his family that evening. Since we were supposed to go out, my wife Sufia had already changed into something formal. As I put off our visit, she changed out again back to the casual blue sari she had been wearing. Even though there were no visible signs of reaction, I could sense a touch of resentment in her as she said: “You could say that we had a party. Why do we have to compromise always? Why?”

A folklorist supremo: Dinesh Chandra Sen

Dinesh Chandra Sen (1866-1939) was an antiquarian and esteemed scholar who wrote the first history of Bengali literature and conducted pioneering work in Bengali folklore. He helped set up the Bengali department at Calcutta University, where he was Ramtanu Lahiri Professor. He was a tireless researcher, compiler and collector of Bengali folklore, chiefly in the form of East Bengal's gitikas, or folk ballads. Among his prodigious and original contributions to Bengali folklore is the four-volume Eastern Bengal Ballads with its priceless collection of a total of fifty ballads. The first volume of the series contained what has famously come to be known as the Mymensingh gitikas.

Kali O Kolom (Jaishtha 1415 - May 2008)

On this centenary birth year of Manik Bandhapadhya (born 19 May, 1908 died 3 December, 1956) the issue of Kali O Kolom under review has three lead articles on him, with Kamruzzaman Jahangir detailing the novelist's development by following the path of his novels, and noting the salient features about them, including Manik's innovative use of language. Here it might be interesting to point out that one of the noticeable features about this article is Kamruzzaman's own linguistic style, with its widespread and no doubt deliberate use of English words within his Bengali text ('internal,' 'lifestyle,' 'serious,' 'style,' 'total,' 'develop,' 'specific,' etc. spelt in Bengali), and which may be signifying the renewing of English as a source of loan words for our mother tongue. Among other interesting pieces are two poems by long-dormant Shahid Quadri (’Apnara Janen' and 'Biplob'), and Kali O Kolom is to be congratulated if it succeeds in nudging this New York-based poet towards greater productivity. The other thing of specific interest is the translation of a Sajjad Zahir short story from his Sajjad Zahir Ki Muntakhib Tahririr, a collection of his writings. Readers today may not know much of him, but Sajjad Zahir was one of the founding members of the Progressive Writers Association during the ‘30s, which left its mark on all Indian vernacular literature. He was also one of the contributing writers of the famous Angaray collection of Urdu short stories published from Lucknow in 1932, which provoked the blood-wrath of conservative Indian Muslim society then.


A concert at Rabindra Sadan, Amjad Hossain's playing at Nandan,
A play at Shishir Mancha, something at the Academy too.
Stand at Kolkata's hot-shot culture spot and sip a hot-shot cup of tea.
Look around, search for known faces, nod when you see one
Say Hi, what news of you.
Stand just so beneath the stairs or the tree so that everybody notices you,
That you're a culture spot regular, they see,
That even after the ten-to-five you're here for culture, they note,
That despite domestic troubles culture you are close to, they realize,
So that they see your cotton punjabi, bag slung on shoulder, appreciate the sari

Star Health

Hand exercises for arthritis pain relief

The following hand exercises show moves that can provide arthritis pain relief. You can do these hand exercises daily or, preferably, several times a day. You might find it helps to do hand exercises while soaking your hands in warm water. Know your limitations, though. Hand exercises should not cause pain.

Mercury teeth fillings may harm some

Silver-colored metal dental fillings contain mercury that may cause health problems in pregnant women, children and fetuses, the Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday after settling a related lawsuit.

IAS calls for action instead of rhetoric at UN meeting on AIDS

The International AIDS Society (IAS) yesterday urged government and fellow civil society leaders attending the upcoming UN High Level Meeting on AIDS to address the gap between commitments and results on universal access to HIV prevention, care and treatment interventions.

The sweet solution - 3

Doctors are not absolutely sure why honey heals but they are learning new things about honey everyday. Researchers have started believing that the therapeutic potential of honey is grossly underutilised.

WHO bridges rich-poor intellectual property split

The World Health Organisation's member governments overcame a rich-poor rift over how to manage intellectual property and endorsed a strategy to help developing countries access more life-saving medicines.

Strategic Issues

Export targets for Bangladesh embassies and economic diplomacy

THE Commerce Secretary recently announced a number of stern measures including closing down or relocating commercial wings of Bangladesh Embassies for failure to meet his Ministry's export targets. This reminded me of my own experience with export targets as an Ambassador. My first tryst with export targets came in Egypt when the Commerce Secretary expressed disappointment in a letter after my Embassy failed to meet the target. That depressed me but not for too long for soon I learnt that the Embassy that topped the list as the most successful Embassy was one in the Middle East that was headed by a non-career Ambassador, a former private college Principal, whose main concern was politics with the Bangladeshi community. In Japan, in the space of a few months, I was once “congratulated” by the Commerce Secretary for surpassing the “target” but “reprimanded “the following quarter when the Embassy fell short. In four years in Japan, I was “congratulated “and “reprimanded” on export targets without realizing why my Embassy “failed” or "succeeded!” The strange fact was that there was really no tangible reason for such failure or success.

Strategic players in the Middle East

THE hallmark of the Bush administration is not to engage in diplomacy with America's adversaries. During his visit to Israel in the second week of May, President Bush criticised Democratic Presidential contender Senator Barack Obama's readiness to pursue diplomacy with the so-called 'perceived' enemies of America. The President called the strategy as 'appeasement repeatedly discredited by history'.

NATO chief calls for closer EU ties

NATO and the European Union need to support each other's operations with greater pooling of their capabilities, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told a June 3 gathering of officials in Brussels at an event sponsored by the Security and Defence Agenda think tank.

DoD weapons procurement broken, Auditor warns

The Defense Department's procurement system is failing to deliver U.S. troops the weapons they need while running up nearly $300 billion in cost overruns, a government auditor warned June 3.

First multispectral camouflage systems for Abrams main battle tanks

In less than six months, Saab Barracuda has delivered prototype camouflage systems fitted to the Australian Army for the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and M88A2 Hercules Armoured Recovery Vehicles, giving them higher survivability on the battlefield.

Star Books Review

The history behind a maker of history

Literature on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has been copious, especially in the last decade. Analyses of his life and politics --- and do not forget that he began to loom large over our political horizon from the mid-1960s onward, a position that has only been strengthened over time --- have continued to delve deep into the personality and leadership qualities of the man. For all the attempts made by his detractors since his assassination in 1975 (and those detractors have been many and vicious), Mujib has remained even in death a pivotal force in Bangladesh's politics. His place in history assured, there is today an endless interest in assessing all that he stood for in his life. That is certainly reassuring, given the many instances between his fall in 1975 and the rise of his daughter Sheikh Hasina to power in 1996 when he was sought to be airbrushed out of Bengali history. Those attempts have clearly not succeeded, as these books under review would suggest.

Stars on an amabashya night

I first read Shesher Kabita in its original form many years ago when I was a first-year student at Dhaka University. I was eighteen at the time, I was desperately in love and it was the girl who had laid claim to my heart that gave me a volume of collected works by Tagore and suggested that I read it. Little did I suspect the hidden message that she may have wanted to convey at the time! She cried as she gave it to me, I cried as I read it and we both cried afterwards as if the banks of the mighty Jamuna had erupted and overwhelmed our tender, young lives with waves of bittersweet sorrow. Melodramatic bordering on the absurd, it felt as if our lives had been torn asunder despite the fact that we both sat there holding hands, bunking class and casually shelling peanuts on the grounds of Modhu's Canteen.

No one to tell the truthn about Darfur

The word no one wants to hear: Genocide. Germany and six million victims.

Parliament and its committees

The mammoth contextual complexities, structural heterogeneity, and functional diversity render modern parliaments no easy subject of research and exploration. Dr. Taiabur Rahman has ventured to explore, usually with verve and insight, a number of major challenges and issues surrounding the operation of contemporary parliaments in the three South Asian democracies of Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. The main focus is on parliamentary committees -- especially on the role they play in holding the executive to account in these countries. Notwithstanding the growing emphasis on and repeated attempts to ensure such accountability, ensuring 'government accountability through parliamentary control' has, thus far, proved to be one of the most elusive goals for politics and society in South Asia. Dr. Rahman's long pursuit in searching for the ways and means of developing an enabling democracy in this region has produced a series of research articles; and the current volume represents his untiring zeal for and continued commitment to the search.

The Daily Star

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