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Friday, June 22, 2018

News of: Saturday, 16th of August, 2008

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Threats, trickery were Harris’ tools for ill-gotten gains

Lust for wealth coupled with ability to make the most of his position as the political secretary to former prime minister Khaleda Zia earned Harris Chowdhury fancy flats and cars and stashes of notes.

Effusive tributes to Bangabandhu

The nation yesterday paid effusive tributes to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the 33rd anniversary of his death with the day observed at state level as National Mourning Day after a six-year break.

BDR to run open sale of rice again

The food and disaster management ministry will again involve Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in the next open market sale (OMS) of rice despite disputes over depositing of the profit money BDR had earned from the previous sales.

300 groups of muggers in city active at 500 spots

More than 300 groups of muggers have been using around 500 spots in areas under 33 police stations across the capital to mug people with new techniques everyday, according to a Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) research.

President, CA pay homage at Tungipara

President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday paid homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on his 33rd death anniversary.

Talks over Musharraf 'resignation deal’ on

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's aides are in talks with the government to secure a deal under which he could quit to avoid facing impeachment or criminal charges, officials said yesterday.

Six-shooter Phelps

Michael Phelps claimed his sixth Beijing gold and sixth world record as the United States mounted a gold rush on Friday, but the gloss of the Games was tarnished with the first drug failures.

Shab-e-Barat tonight

The holy Shab-e-Barat will be observed across the country tonight seeking divine blessings for the well-being of mankind.

BDR resumes sale at 100 fair-price outlets

The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) resumed sale of essentials including rice at its 100 fair-price outlets in the capital yesterday.

Peres’ desperate bid to help ‘friend’ out

Israeli President Shimon Peres is desperately trying to help his friend Pervez Musharraf who is going through the most difficult time of his political life.

Kuwait blacklists its 5 companies for violating labour laws

Kuwait has blacklisted more than five companies of that country for violating labour laws. It may cancel licences of these companies and sentence their owners to a maximum of three years' imprisonment.

Woes of hundreds in four border villages in Sylhet

Hundreds of families in four villages on Tahirpur border in Sunamganj are fearing further disaster after sand and stones from landslides in India's Kalapahar hill following torrential rains played havoc with their houses and croplands last month.

Maoist leader elected new Nepali PM

Lawmakers in Nepal yesterday voted in former rebel Maoist leader Prachanda as the Himalayan country's first republican prime minister, officials said.

Delwar sees no contradiction

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said they do not undermine Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's contribution to the country's independence and that they never belittle the mourning day by observing BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's birthday on August 15.

Khaleda’s brother freed on bail

Shamim Iskander, younger brother of detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia, was released on bail from Dhaka Central Jail yesterday.

Nasim’s release delayed

Despite a High Court order for releasing detained Awami League Presidium Member Mohammad Nasim on bail, a confusion among jail officials has already stalled the release for four days.

Hossain Zillur for culture of honouring nat’l leaders

The culture of honouring the national leaders should be established to consolidate national unity, Education and Commerce Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur said yesterday.

Shahara Khatun barred from flying abroad

Awami League law Affairs Secretary Shahara Khatun was barred from flying to Japan by intelligence personnel at Zia International Airport (ZIA) last night.

2 killed as train, bus collide

Two passengers of a microbus were killed and several others injured as it collided with a local train at Akash Tara level crossing under Sadar upazila yesterday evening.

Peace talks with Pakistan under threat, says India

India's prime minister said yesterday that the peace process with Pakistan was in danger of failing because of attacks like last month's bombing of New Delhi's mission in Afghanistan.

Lankan youth commits suicide in city

A Sri Lankan youth committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his rented house at Baridhara in the city yesterday.


Essence of Lailatul Baraat

Muslims will be observing Lailatul Baraat tonight with due religious fervour and solemnity. It will be time once again for the community as a whole to remember the Almighty and remember too the core of the message coming out of Islam. The message is one of leading a life of purity, away from all worldly temptations and in all the consciousness that life on earth is but a preparation for life in the hereafter. And yet it is on how men and women conduct themselves in the temporal world that their spirituality or awareness of faith in its widest meaning depends.

The insufferable traffic jams

Wasting three to four of our daily working hours on the street, if not more, while commuting to and from places is the sordid tale of our paralytic life in Dhaka city. With valuable man hours lost, absenteeism growing, output shrinking, incomes and opportunities lost, sickening trauma of endless waiting telling upon mental and physical health, there is no end to the adverse effects of unabated traffic congestion. The land area of the city being limited and the road network more so, the intensity of the commutation snarls is driven home in the most poignant manner.

Reinstating National Mourning Day is just the first step

LIKE every other patriotic Bangladeshi, I have welcomed the decision of the caretaker government to restore the sanctity of August 15 as the National Mourning Day. By doing so, they have reaffirmed the belief of people of this country that Bangabandhu was not only the Father of this Nation but also that what happened on the tragic night of August 15, 1975 was a crime whose final adjudication needs to be completed. We are referring here to a man who unwaveringly followed his dream of a separate homeland for the Bangladeshis. With courage and determination, he welcomed incarceration and despite that stuck to his task and his conviction. He did not agree to compromises and half-way solutions. In that context, he became synonymous with an idea and became the symbol of freedom and independence.

The need for transformational leadership

THE refusal of some politicians, who held the reins of government and, consequently, the fate of the people of the country in their hands in the past to abide by the existing laws relating to depoliticisation of the local bodies from mainstream political parties and refusal by a political leader to enlist as a voter unless released from detention are examples of disregard by them of the rule of law.

BJP stoops to a new low

JAMMU and Kashmir is burning. Jammu has witnessed an intensely


Rude awakening

The Bangladeshi athletes, used to manual time keeping at home, were rudely awakened when they failed to better their personal best marks at the Beijing Olympics 2008 yesterday.

Tigers touch down

The Bangladesh cricket team literally slipped into the capital of Northern Territory yesterday after stopovers in Hong Kong and Sydney. The Tigers' arrival in Australia for the Top End tour has coincided with the Beijing Olympic Games nearing its peak excitement phase and quite understandably the team had only drawn a few curious glances from fellow passengers and words of encouragement from some elderly sports lovers before an eventful landing in Darwin.

Ponting, Hayden injured

Australia's batting superstar Michael Clarke will captain Australia in the upcoming one-day series against Bangladesh, with skipper Ricky Ponting sidelined by a wrist injury.

Doping hits Games

Two positive dope tests by Asian athletes overshadowed Singapore's first medal in 48 years and a podium for Malaysia Friday with a North Korean shooter and a Vietnamese gymnast exposed as cheats.

Academy in big trouble

GP-BCB National Cricket Academy were reeling in their first innings on the second day of the second four-day match against the South Africa Academy at the Laudiam Oval in Pretoria yesterday.

SA include 2 spinners

South Africa have included Johan Botha and Robin Peterson in their 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy in Pakistan next month.

Proteas warm up with win

South Africa warmed up for next week's Twenty20 international against England with a four-wicket win over the England Lions at Grace Road on Thursday.

Yuvraj slams 13 sixes in 172

Yuvraj Singh geared up for the one-day series against Sri Lanka with an explosive 172 to power India to a comfortable 92-run victory in a practice match here on Friday.

Soni comes up trumps

Rebecca Soni had never competed in an Olympics or world championships. Compared to Leisel Jones, she had no swim resume. Jones dismissed the Olympic record set by Soni in the heats.

Bolt from the blue

Jamaica's world record-holder Usain Bolt threw down the gauntlet to his 100 metres rivals here on Friday as he recorded the sixth fastest time this year in his Olympic second round heat.

Ukraine hit bulls-eye

There is no individual gold for the dominant South Korean archers this year.

Psych consult brings gold

Britta Steffen almost quit after the last Olympics. But she took a year off, sorted out some personal problems and on Friday won Germany's first swimming medal of the Beijing Games.

Kumar's gift to the nation

Indian boxer Akhil Kumar marked his country's Independence Day in style with a stunning upset Olympic win over world bantamweight champion Sergey Vodopyanov, saying it was a "gift to the nation".

Gonzalez endures a marathon

Chile's Fernando Gonzalez survived a marathon encounter with US number one James Blake to reach the Olympic Games final on Friday, guaranteeing himself a second successive medal.

Mongolia celebrates gold

Thousands of Mongolians hit the streets of the capital to celebrate the country's first-ever Olympic gold medal, offering vodka toasts, blaring their car horns and waving the nation's flag from the city's tallest buildings.

Brazil enter semifinals

A spectacular strike by Daniela and a goal from Marta fired Brazil into the women's football semifinals as the South Americans overcame 2000 Olympic champions Norway 2-1 on Friday.

Ronnie ready for payback

Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho has waited eight years for Saturday's Olympic Games quarterfinal against Cameroon and the opportunity to wipe out a painful memory in his career.

Something for everyone

Best player in the world? Check. World Cup winning manager? Check. Rising upstarts? Check. Billionaires with cash to burn? Check. Unparalleled wages? Check. End to end football? Definitely check.

Kiwis still in doubt

New Zealand's squad has not softened its view on attending the Champions Trophy despite a detailed security briefing by an ICC task force in Christchurch on Thursday. Safety remains a prime concern and Heath Mills, the executive manager of the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association, will not be recommending the team attend the tournament.

Robinho can leave for 40m euros

Real Madrid will let star Brazilian striker Robinho move to Chelsea for 40 million euros and claimed the London club have offered 32 million, sports newspaper Marca reported on Friday.


Increased arsenic in soil, water may sneak into food chain

Increased arsenic in soil and water may sneak into the food chain, as it is more or less present in all types of crops in the country's arsenic-affected areas with some crops, such as arum, showing much more contamination than the internationally allowable standard, according to a group survey.

Call to execute court verdict in Bangabandhu murder case

National Mourning Day commemorating the killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was observed with due solemnity across the country yesterday.

$1.6m WB grant to strengthen BBS for quality data output

The World Bank (WB) is providing approximately $1.6 million as grant in the first stage of its technical assistance project to strengthen Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) for quality data output.

Prices of most essentials up, edible oil in declining trend in Ctg

Consumers in the port city are yet to reap benefits from the falling trend in the prices of edible oil both in the international and local wholesale markets.

Change attitude towards women to ensure gender equality

Speakers at a conference yesterday called for changing men's attitude towards women and proactive actions by the governments to establish a society where men and women will enjoy equal rights.

Full autonomy for union parishad suggested

An independent study has suggested complete autonomy of union parishad (UP), the lowest tier of local government, by making the local government system independent from the central government.

Two young talents to join Int'l Olympiad in Informatics

Two young Bangladeshi talents -- Mohammad Abirul Islam and Bushra Mahbub - will take part in the International Olympiad in Informatics to be held in Egypt.

Condition of Banya improves

Four-month-old Banya, the survivor of the conjoined twins, was fed breast milk Thursday and yesterday.

Unrealised revenue hampers RCC dev

Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) could not realise around Tk 15 crore in outstanding taxes and other charges from different public and private entities as well as individuals despite frequent attempts.

RRC needs more time for effective contribution

Although almost a year has elapsed since the inception of Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC), few of its recommendations have been implemented.

2 girls rescued, 2 traffickers held

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday rescued two girls and arrested two traffickers from Chandgaon area in the port city.

Why extortion case against Sheikh Selim not illegal

The High Court (HC) on Thursday issued a rule on the government to explain within two weeks why the continuation of the extortion case filed by Azam J Chowdhury against detained Awami League presidium member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim should not be declared illegal.

Group art exhibition begins tomorrow

A group art exhibition by 11 contemporary eminent artists from Bangladesh and India will begin at Galleri Kaya in the city tomorrow.

Shamsur Rahman's second death anniversary tomorrow

The second death anniversary of poet Shamsur Rahman will be observed tomorrow.

Housewife beaten to death for dowry

A housewife was beaten to death allegedly by her husband and in-laws for dowry at Amanpur village in Akkelpur on Thursday.

Khaleda turns 64

BNP Chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia turned 64 yesterday.

Detained KCC mayor Tayebur Rahman falls sick

The convicted Mayor of Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Sheikh Tayebur Rahman yesterday fell sick in Khulna District Jail.

Five killed in Sirajganj road accidents

At least five people were killed and 17 others injured in two separate road accidents in Sirajganj yesterday.

Students take oath against corruption

Students of Rajshahi Government Women's College took oath against corruption on Thursday.

2 JCD activists injured in factional clash

Two Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activists of Rajshahi University (RU) were injured in a clash between two rival factions on RU campus on Thursday.


Drug smuggling rampant thru' C'nawabganj border

Chapainawabganj border has become a safe route for drug smuggling and their dispatch to Dhaka and other areas of the country.

Seismograph at PSTU inoperative since opening 2 years ago

The seismograph set up on the campus of Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) two years ago has remained inoperative only due to lack of a computer.

6 cases may face final report as no clue found

Three years after the series blasts on August 17 in 2005, there has been no progress in investigations in six of the 10 cases filed in connection with the incidents in Sylhet.

Fertiliser crisis may frustrate Aman yield in Gobindaganj

Aman cultivation is likely to face a setback in Gobindaganj upazila due to scarcity of triple super phosphate (TSP) and murate of potash (MP) ahead of paddy seedling transplantation season.

2,940 litres of adulterated coconut oil seized

Police recovered 2,940 litres of adulterated coconut oil from a clandestine factory at Elaipur village in Rupsha upazila on Thursday.

Aug 17 blasts

A Pabna court has framed charge against four militants of banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in the case for series bomb blast on August 17, 2005 in Pabna.

Pirates' leader of Sundarbans arrested

Police arrested a wanted pirates' leader of the Sundarbans on Thursday for his alleged involvement in kidnapping 10 fishermen for ransom from Dudhmukhi cannal in Sharankhola upazila recently.

Shyamnagar BNP leader, 28 others sued

Shyamnagar upazila BNP leader and Iswaripur Union Parishad (UP) chairman Sadekur Rahamn Sadem and 28 others were sued on Thursday for allegedly beating a landowner, damaging his property and occupying his four bighas of land.

Child marriage stopped

A child marriage was stopped due to timely intervention of a Brac official and a police official here Thursday.

Agri staff held for fertilizer scam

Joint forces arrested an agriculture official of Pirganj upazila on charge of irregularities in disbursing fertiliser on Wednesday night.

Fake captain of Rab arrested

A fake captain of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) was arrested from a local hotel on Thursday.

Chemical pesticide seized

A crime prevention team led by a magistrate seized a large quantity of chemical pesticide from a warehouse at Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) industrial area yesterday, Rab said.


460 militants, 22 troops killed in Pak fighting

Pakistan's interior ministry chief said yesterday that over 460 Islamic militants and 22 soldiers have been killed in more than a week of fighting in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan.

Lanka fighting displaces thousands of people

Tens of thousands of civilians have fled their homes in northern Sri Lanka in recent weeks as the military ramped up its offensive against the Tamil Tiger rebels' heartland, international aid groups said.

Lawlessness hampers aid effort in Georgia

Aid is flowing into Georgia to help civilians displaced by fighting, but humanitarian groups said yesterday that lawlessness and banditry make it impossible to distribute it in the worst-hit areas.

Sadr calls for followers to sign blood pact against occupiers

Anti-US Shia leader Moqtada Sadr on Friday called on his followers to "sign with their blood" a pledge to resist occupying forces in Iraq and other Muslim countries.

War shows Putin running things in Russia

When the fighting broke out in Georgia, it was Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and not Russia's new young president who stepped up to lead the country's tough response.

Security forces seal off Delhi as India fetes independence day

Security forces sealed off New Delhi and police scoured for militant suspects in India's financial hub Mumbai as the country feted its 61st anniversary of independence yesterday.

Japan pressured to oppose US-India nuclear deal

Anti-nuclear campaigners launched a campaign yesterday to press nuclear energy suppliers to stop an accord between India and the United States, saying it would shatter anti-proliferation efforts.

'Hit squads taking training in Iran'

Iraqi Shia assassination teams are being trained in at least four locations in Iran by Tehran's elite Quds force and Lebanese Hezbollah and are planning to return to Iraq in the next few months to kill specific Iraqi officials as well as US and Iraqi troops, according to intelligence gleaned from captured militia fighters and other sources in Iraq.

Afghan forces lose remote district

Afghan security forces withdrew early yesterday from an eastern district after days of fighting with Taliban, allowing the rebels to move in and capture the area, officials said.

Taiwan ex-president quits party over alleged money laundering

Taiwan's former president Chen Shui-bian on Friday quit the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after money laundering allegations against him and his family surfaced this week.

India hikes wages of state workers, offers perks to military

India Thursday raised the wages of millions of state workers by over 20 percent and offered better pay and promotions to the military in a bid to ward off mounting discontent in army ranks.

Leonardo was a matchmaker too?

Born 500 years too early to put her photo on an online dating site, this young woman tried a different matchmaking approach a portrait by Leonardo Da Vinci.

US court rules Saudis not liable for Sept 11 attacks

A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled Saudi Arabia could not be held liable for the September 11 attacks against the United States despite charitable donations that ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda.

Thai court rules case against Thaksin can proceed

The corruption trial of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife can proceed even though the couple fled to Britain earlier this week, a Thai court ruled Friday.

Wrangling over Georgian city as Bush accuses Russians of 'bullying'

Russia and Georgia wrangled over the blockaded city of Gori on Friday as US President George W. Bush accused Russia of using "bullying" tactics in the conflict.

Russia vents fury over US missile plan

Russia expressed its fury yesterday over US plans to place a new missile system in eastern Europe, saying it was clear the weapons were pointed at Moscow and would be a fair military target to strike.

Japan gets first home-grown commercial communications satellite

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. announced yesterday that it had successfully launched Japan's first domestically produced commercial communications satellite.

11 drown in India

At least 11 people including seven children drowned when a school bus skidded off a bridge and careened into a river Thursday in southern India, the Press Trust of India reported.

'Culture, not nuclear weapons, gives US global dominance'

Hollywood, Coca-Cola and Mickey Mouse, not nuclear weapons, have made the United States the most powerful country in the world, maverick American filmmaker Spike Lee said yesterday.

Researchers find gene link to colon cancer: study

US researchers have discovered a genetic trait that shows the strongest link yet to colorectal cancer, the number-two cancer killer in the United States, according to a study published Thursday.

Arts & Entertainment

Sukanto birth anniversary celebrated

Cultural organisation Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigosthi (central committee) arranged a programme at the 'Shoparjito Swadhinata; premises on Dhaka University campus on August 14 to celebrate the 82nd birth anniversary of poet Sukanto Bhattacharya. Members of different branches of Udhichi as well as noted artistes rendered songs, poems and performed dance at the programme.

Celebrating life and denouncing evil through theatre

Through the plays staged at the Dhaka University Theatre festival 2008, students are demonstrating their profound understanding of the medium as an instrument both to point a finger to the vices of the society and celebrate human relationships. With the staging of the plays Bhaluk and Biporjoy, the festival reached its third day on August 14.

Bangladeshi filmmaker Shabnam Ferdousi participates at documentary festival in Germany

Bangladeshi documentary "... And We Cross the Same Road", directed by Shabnam Ferdousi and produced by Impress Telefilm Ltd, was screened at the 4th Globians Documentary Film Festival 2008 in Potsdam, Germany on August 12, according to a press release.

Discussion on International Youth Day in Jhenidah

On International Youth Day (August 12), a discussion was held in Jhenidah. The meeting was jointly organised by United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Dhaka and Youth Hobby Development Society (YHDS) at Uttaran Auditorium in Jhenidah.

Int'l Day of the World's Indigenous People celebrated in Rangamati

Different local non-government organisations (NGOs) of Rangamati observed the International Day of the World's Indigenous People with different programmes.

Delhi goes Mozart

At a recent concert, French tenor Jean Delescluse's 12 students from Delhi Opera Ensemble held New Delhi in thrall. Their repertoire was drawn from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's three symphonies: Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute and Marriage of Figaro.

“Borsha Mangal Utsab” in Thakurgaon

"Borsha Mongal Utsab" was celebrated at the Lokayan Museum premises in Sadar upazila, Thakurgaon recently to celebrate the monsoon. Lokayan Museum authority organised the programme.

“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”: Woody Allen explores affairs of the heart, yet again

It's the same old opening credits, the elegant white font on the black background, but the music is new. The pulse of a Spanish guitar replaces the big-band brass that usually heralds Woody Allen's films. Barcelona subs for Manhattan. The eroticism of Javier Bardem and Scarlett Johansson replaces the neuroticism of an aging New Yorker wringing his hands.

Prizes for avid readers

Bishwa Sahitya Kendra, Pabna organised a prize-giving programme for avid young readers last Wednesday. The programme was held at Pabna City College premises. Pabna Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) and chief guest Dr. Abdul Hakim distributed prizes among the students. A discussion was also held at the function.


Unpleasant truths behind Truth Commission

The creation of the Truth and Accountability Commission in the recent past has met with mixed reaction. Some persons of eminence, particularly of the judicial arena have reacted sharply to the establishment of such commission which according to them badly cuts across the time-honoured principles of jurisprudence and gives rise to serious discrimination in matters of dispensing justice. They are of the view that the government has not been able to adequately and satisfactorily explain the rationale for creating such a body.

The scope of anger

AN irate BGMEA has let out steam. According to its president the government has "fully failed" to protect the billion-dollar industry, proof of it being in the arson attacks on garment factories. In as much as this matter remains between the two sides, the word "failed" has a ring of many meanings to it.


Of the nights in a year there are six which may safely be marked out for their grandeur and majesty, serenity and sacredness. These are Lailat-ul- Qadr, Lailat-ul- Mi'raj, the nights of two Eids, the Night of Arafat and Lailat-ul-Baraat. On these auspicious occasions are a person's prayers, his or her outpourings of the heart's sentiments, the reverential expression of the soul's sincerest desires before its Maker, never fail to evoke the most coveted response from Benign Providence. No wonder, Lailat-ul-Baraat is celebrated as an auspicious night in every nook and corner of the subcontinent and in various other Muslim countries.

Adapting new methods for learning science

Traditionally, learning science has been perceived to be difficult. There are two reasons for this difficulty. First, common-sense intuition, based on our day to day experience with the world around us, frequently leads to wrong conclusions when one tries to explain scientific phenomena through them. Scientific intuition, necessary for explaining science, has to be developed through careful and systematic study. Second, preconceived notion (frequently based on common-sense intuition) is difficult to change. Medical imaging studies have shown that as people learn, permanent changes take place in the neuron pathways of the brain, i.e. in the way in which neurons fire to transmit messages. Certain pathways become more robust as a result of learning. Later attempts at changing these pathways frequently fail. Thus, developing correct scientific intuition must be done early, preferably at the grade school level.

Importance of the night of salvation

As a matter of fact almost all the Arabic months are important to the Muslims for they are very much connected with observance of Muslim rites with due fervour and solemnity.


Prescription for a cleaner Dhaka

A recent report in The Daily Star about water-logging problem in Jhigatola area in Dhaka city has motivated this article.

Is solar power answer to rural energy crisis?

This piece is in response to a news item which appeared in The Daily Star on August 10 under the headline “1m solar household systems by 2012 to achieve target”.

Auguring urban forestry

In the heels of the predatory nature of deforestation and environmental degradation, urban as well as rural afforestation programmes have assumed paramount significance in Bangladesh in line with the neighbouring South Asian nations. Although there has been a prolific growth of literature on environment in general and forestry in particular, research on urban forestry in Bangladesh has been strikingly limited.


Retired Bureaucrat

Fahmid saw the old man emerge from the flat beside the garage leaning on a cane and wearing a white cotton vest and a checkered lungi. A bony old man. He seemed to have trouble walking. But his voice had the roar of a tiger. As he came forward he was screaming (in English):

Commercialization of Bengali Literature: mercenary writers and publishers

Although there rage furious debates as to when precisely the golden age of Bengali literature was, one thing is sure: Contemporary Bengali literature is at its farthest point from it. We don't really know how we may symbolize this stage of our literature! With our printing media coming under the powerful influence of its electronic cousin, pieces of classic Bengali literature are surviving on the whims of electronic media and thereby fall prey to indiscriminate dissection at the hands of second- and third-rate serial soap opera makers. While it may be saving them from sinking into oblivion, it is at the cost of distortion. Increasing public interest in audio-visual media has given rise to serious misunderstandings about the consequence on our poor literature. The existence of Bibhutibhushan's Pather Panchali or Tagore's Ghare Baire owes more to the celluloid versions of Satyajit Ray than the old printed texts which are only gathering dust on the library shelves. These classic books are reportedly reaching wider audience by turning into films.

Kali O Kolom Srabon 1415--July 2008

This issue of Kali O Kolom continues to demonstrate the literary journal's inherent vitality and variety. A most interesting piece is the essay titled PurboBongo Progoti Lekhak O Shilpi Shangha penned by Mohammed Nazrul Islam. It takes the reader on an emphatic tour of radical politics and cultural activities that formed the locus of oppositional politics in the then East Pakistan against the West Pakistani regimes during the 1940s and '50s. The cast of characters is vivid, ranging from Dhirendranath Dutta (the man who first raised the issue of language and linguistic rights in the Pakistan parliament) to Khan Shamsur Rahman (an ex-CSP bureaucrat who wore a red tie to a leftist meeting in Swadarghat near the Baptist Mission Church in Old Dhaka) to Hasan Hafizur Rahman (the poet-activist who brought out the famous Ekushey collection of poems, and was later posted to the Bangladesh mission in Moscow), with the settings ranging from Kolkata to Chittagong to Dhaka, and the language both spirited and nostalgic, evoking a period of our history about which we remain sadly under-informed today. The art section is specially strong in this issue, with, among other pieces, Borhanuddin Khan Jahangir and Mansur Ali writing on the veteran artist Shafiuddin Ahmed, poet Robiul Hosain explicating on artist and cartoonist Sisir Bhattacharya's much-discussed recent art show, and coverage of the exhibition of the works of new artists at the Shilpakala Academy (18 May to 6 June) by Zahid Mustafa. An article on Simone de Beauvoir however is ordinary and descriptive, as is the somewhat strained writing on fictionalized history by Sagar Chowdhury, a subject given traction by the overhyped 'Hitler diaries.' There is an interview of Amitav Ghosh which does not reveal anything new to readers of his English books, though that may not hold true of readers of Bengali prose. There are three short stories ('Reporter' by Shaymol Mojumdar and 'Thaida' by Dilara Hashim are notable) while for the first time there's also been published a micro-fiction, i.e., a very short, short story. Two articles on a couple of Bangladeshi writers make for particularly good reading: the lead piece by Sarkar Abdul Mannan on the recently deceased Shahidul Zahir, and a discussion on Hasan Azizul Haq's collection of short stories Bidhobadayr Kotha O Onannanyo Golpo, which apparently was written some time back and has only recently been published. There is a very good review by Shamsuzzaman Khan of Papri Rahman's striking novel on Jamdani weavers Boyan, where the reviewer expertly discusses the Dhaka regional dialect in which the novel has been written (pointing out the very unfamiliar words that readers would not know, for example, the word 'tolok' which means tobacco leaf when it is too strong--in fact, anything too overtly spicy, temperamental or powerful is referred to as 'tolok’).

Notice : Eid Special Issue

The Daily Star invites submissions to its forthcoming Eid special issue of both fiction and nonfiction pieces. High-grade translations in both categories will also be considered. Translations should be accompanied by the original Bengali copy. The submissions ideally should not exceed 3500 words. The last date for submission is September 10. The date will not be extended.

Star Health

Quality care in heart diseases

While thinking about the public hospital set-ups in Bangladesh, a common scenario comes to the mind where poor healthcare facilitates are being provided with very limited resources. Most often, the ailing people have to learn that some better treatment options are not available due to the shortage or unavailability of equipment as well as skilled manpower. The condition pushes the affordable class in the private set-up leaving the poor with no answer.

Better vision for the future of the nation

Children have different eye problems those are not readily disclosed. They live with it for years together and present very late in many cases where there is very little to do.

In quest of comprehensive treatment facilities

Thalassaemia is an inherited blood disease. In thalassemia, the genetic defect results in the formation of abnormal haemoglobin molecules, and this in turn causes the anaemia which is the characteristic presenting symptom of the thalassemias.

Want to live a long life? — Run

People who want to live a long and healthy life might want to take up running. A recently published study shows middle-aged members of a runner's club were half as likely to die over a 20-year period as people who did not run.

10 best healthy foods we should not ignore (2)

We already talked about regular intake of fresh fruits and vegetables that leads to lower risk of high blood pressure, stroke and other chronic diseases. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables also keep our eyes well. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains appears to reduce the chances of developing cataract or macular degeneration. Let’s start eating different foods and vegetables - thus making sure that we get all the components necessary for good health. Below there is a list of best healthy foods we are not giving much importance:

Gulshan society organises health awareness seminar

Parkway Health, Singapore, which owns and operates Gleneagles Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital and East Shore Hospital in Singapore, has jointly organised a seminar with Gulshan Society, Dhaka on “Stroke Prevention and Back Pain” on 9th August 2008 at Hotel Lake Shore, Gulshan, Dhaka — says a press release.

Strategic Issues

Scramble for Continental shelf rights in the Arctic and snail's pace of Bangladesh

GLOBAL climate change and high fuel prices have created a totally different geopolitical realignment and are compelling countries to devise new policies to safeguard the future of their economies. With oil prices hovering around $125 a barrel, oil-exporting countries in one hand are trying to justify the newfound bounty and on the other hand have set a chain reaction of spiralling prices and global uncertainty. Such scenarios have already compelled the coastal nations to explore energy resources in the Continental shelf (CS) of the Arctic region. It is widely believed based on various scientific surveys that about 30 per cent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas lie beneath the Arctic region.

Transit and the geopolitical realities

BANGLADESH has once again deflected the Indian request for transit at the just concluded Foreign Secretary level talks. The transit to the seven Northeast Indian provinces (Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh) known as the Seven Sisters (SS) from the rest of India through Bangladesh, to which request to use of the Chittagong Port for these provinces was added later, has been unresolved since the Bangladesh-India Trade Agreement of 1972 called for use of railways, waterways and road in each other's country for trade.

South Ossetia: Why this unnecessary war?

THE first thing it reminds me is of an old adage: “Do not punch a bear on the nose unless it is tied down”.

Star Books Review

Understanding the soul in an artist...

In Recent times, a few books have been published on the leading artists of Bangladesh, an initiative which now appears to be a full-pledged trend, deserving appreciation and praise. Artists need to be introduced to the art world both through their works and informed discourse about their creative process. Comprehensive books on the works of artists thus become their biographies tracing the evolution of their works and the internal and extraneous forces that were brought to bear on them. Both the text, the art works, and the contexts, the traditional and contemporary practices within which the artists work, become important. The object, the art works, attains its full meaning through circumstantial explication, the contextual analysis.

Of Bengal, Japan and a hundred years

Bengal --- or today's Bangladesh --- has a long history of relations with Japan. In the last one hundred years there have been cultural, political, social and economic ties between the two countries. Many known and unknown different facets of the Bangla-Japan relationship have been presented in Probir Bikash Sarker's formidable book Jana Ojana Japan, recently published from Dhaka.

Loneliness and the strange ways of the heart

Where the Heart Is comes with stories of people who live their lives through tears and joy. Novalee Nation, the protagonist of the story, lives in a chaotic world riddled with problems. Novalee, just seventeen and seven months pregnant, finds herself abandoned by her boyfriend Willie Jack. This happens to be the tip of the iceberg for henceforth each and every sunrise seems to come with more trouble for her. Billie Letts, with her mastery of story craft, brings into the scene the kind, good hearted people who show how sharing and caring can make a world of difference for Novalee. With these people Novalee is able to smile through her tears. The author sews into the story line unique tales of how people can together overcome mountains of trouble. Among these people are those who are happy and some who are unhappy. And yet they are eager to help the homeless girl. The reader will be touched by Novalee's life, for she is a troubled teenager, a good soul who does not foresee the cruel blows of life.

Frayed sensibilities, angry explosions

The book continues to be a top best seller in Italy, and has been in that position in other European countries. This book broke the writer's ten years' silence, until 9/11.The central theme revolves round what is described as Islamic terrorism and the incompatibility between the Western world and Islam. It is to be noted that the comparison is on uneven ground between secularism in the West and religious order in third world countries.

The Daily Star

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