The Daily Star

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

News of: Saturday, 22nd of November, 2008

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EC terms it satisfactory, talks with 14-party today

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday sat with the BNP-led four-party alliance in fresh negotiations to reach a consensus over rescheduling of the parliamentary polls.

Hasina, Khaleda exchange pleasantries

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia exchanged greetings at a reception on the occasion of the Armed Forces Day at Senakunja at Dhaka cantonment yesterday evening.

No need for talks now, settle issue with BNP: Hasina

The caretaker government yesterday proposed a dialogue with Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina on its offer for holding the national election on December 28, deferring it by 10 days.

BNP makes list of 200 candidates, drops ‘reformists’

BNP is revving up for the parliamentary polls now that its chairperson has formally announced the four-party alliance would join the election if it is held on December 28.

37 parties eligible to contest election: EC

The Election Commission (EC) has declared 37 registered political parties eligible for contesting the upcoming ninth parliamentary election.

Jute export prices lower than production cost

Jute industry in the country is facing a crisis due to a fall in demand and prices of jute products because of the global financial recession, increase in production cost and devaluation of rupee in India, the main competitor of Bangladesh in the export market for jute goods.

Presentation of final design on Monday

The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) has taken an initiative to construct a 2.8km-long one-way flyover at Kuril to facilitate free flow of traffic at the intersection of Pragati Sarani, Airport Road and Purbachal Road.

WB cites 3 major obstacles to bridging East-West divide

The East-West divide in Bangladesh, in terms of poverty, is characterised by lack of availability of public infrastructure, integration with growth poles and inadequate market access.

Govt gave in to pressure from fundamentalists

Women's rights activist Ayesha Khanam criticised the government for giving in to pressure from fundamentalists on the Women's Development Policy 2008.

FFs are greatest sons of soil: President

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday emphasised preserving the glorious history of the Liberation War of 1971.

Khaleda for healthy poll atmosphere, Hasina for quick end to emergency

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said her party would take part in the national election if the government creates a congenial atmosphere for it by accepting their preconditions while Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina said the sooner the election is held, the sooner the state of emergency will go.

Lift ban on ex-officials, make room for bill defaulters

The BNP-led four-party alliance yesterday asked the Election Commission (EC) to allow all former government officials to contest the upcoming parliamentary polls, lifting the restrictions imposed on some of them.

AL men in Ctg, Rajshahi call to review some nominations

Leaders and supporters of Awami League (AL) here expressed mixed reaction over party nomination in some constituencies while a few of those nominated are still in doubt as heavyweight alliance leaders are seeking to get those.

200 shanties gutted at Hazaribagh

Around 200 shanties were gutted and at least 20 people were injured in a devastating fire that broke out at Ganaktuli Sweeper Colony in the city's Hazaribagh yesterday.

Steps taken to recover illegal arms, arrest criminals

Home Adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin yesterday said the government has asked the law enforcement agencies to recover illegal firearms and arrest the criminals who might be a threat to holding a free, fair and peaceful general election.

Muggers, police clash at Bhawal nat’l garden

Muggers clashed with police in the deep forest of Bhawal National Garden at Nanduail under Gazipur Sadar Friday morning.

Meghna bridge opens to ease traffic jam

Thousands of passengers travelling on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway suffered a lot on both sides of Meghna bridge due to severe traffic jam caused by the repair works of the bridge.

Govt hatching plot to bring a particular party to power

Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Matiur Rahman Nizami Friday said the caretaker government is hatching a plot to install a particular party in power by holding one-sided stage-managed polls on December 18.

Huge quantity of adulterated spice powder seized in city

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized 6,460 Kg adulterated spice powder and fined Tk 6,50,000 to three factories at Shyambazar in the city early hours yesterday.

Tejgaon link road may open Dec 16

The capital's road network is going to have an important addition as the 60-foot wide and 2400-foot long Bijay Sarani-Tejgaon link road is likely to open to the public on December 16.

Rain takes Test to fourth day

The rain spoiled most of the third day's play as Bangladesh fought to salvage from another innings defeat in the first Test against South Africa at the OUTsurance Oval yesterday.

Citigroup now mulls sale of parts, merger

Citigroup Inc lost more than one-quarter of its market value on growing worries over whether it has enough capital to withstand billions of dollars of potential losses and despite new support from its largest individual investor.

Blast kills 8 mourners at Pakistani funeral

A blast killed at least eight mourners yesterday at the funeral of a Shia cleric in northwestern Pakistan who was gunned down hours earlier, police said. At least 28 others were wounded.

Obama plans to nominate Hillary

President-elect Barack Obama plans to nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state after Thanksgiving, a new milestone for the former first lady and a convergence of two political forces who fought hard for the presidency.

Delhi’s move for a ‘foolproof’ border with Bangladesh

India has decided to fully computerise the passport control points at its border with Bangladesh in order to keep tabs on visitors from that country with proper travel documents.

Bush to promote action plan to deal with crisis at Apec

President George W. Bush, struggling to get ahead of a global financial crisis, hopes to win more converts for an action plan designed to demonstrate that governments have the will and the means to halt the turmoil.

UN slaps sanctions on Somali pirates

The UN Security Council voted unanimously Thursday to impose sanctions on pirates, arms smugglers, and perpetrators of instability in Somalia in a fresh attempt to help end years of lawlessness in the Horn of Africa nation.


We welcome BNP's new position on elections

FINALLY, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party has made a concrete announcement regarding its participation in the general elections. Its readiness to take part in the general elections if they are held on December 28 is a move we at this newspaper are heartened by. We had stated in our editorial yesterday that room was still there for all parties to the issue to arrive at a solution to the crisis. Such a solution now appears to be at hand. The BNP's decision, announced by party chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday evening, lifts much of the sense of apprehension that has been there of late. The nation can now surely breathe easier. Even though the decision by the party to go for elections is a belated one and indeed should have come earlier, we feel that the ground has now been smoothened for the polls to be held and for all political parties to make the elections a meaningful exercise aimed at a restoration of government by popular consent. It is in the interest of the country that the elections should now be held in a free, transparent and credible atmosphere.

Women empowerment

IT is a success story that makes us believe once again in the inner potential of the people of this country who can do wonders against all odds if given a little help. And our morale gets a bigger boost when our womenfolk living in the fringes dare to come out of the shadows to set examples worth emulating. In fact, this is the success story of three women who have changed their fate by properly utilising some micro-credit they had borrowed from credit lending organisations. Through sheer determination, hard work and sincerity Sabina Begum of Gazipur, Baby Chakma of Rangamati, Salma Akter of Pabna have become small scale entrepreneurs today, running their business on a full time basis. It in no mean feat that today each one of them earns net profit of around Tk.30,000 per month.

Boosting power generation

OVER the last three years I have used my column more than once to highlight the absence of an efficient and affordable power supply in our country. I have reiterated that this factor is essential for rapid, sustained economic growth and poverty reduction.

Playing with fire

THE Indian armed forces are a holy cow. We do not question their expense, nor has there ever been any parliamentary committee to look into their budgetary allocation. Why they purchase a particular type of weapon has been left to the Defence Ministry. To take one example, the navy is bent upon buying the Russian aircraft carrier Gorshkov, even though Moscow has been periodically raising the sale price, which now stands at $3.2 billion.


Siddons stays upbeat

Before rain stopped the third day's proceedings half an hour before the lunch break, Bangladesh lost two more wickets when Tamim Iqbal and Zunaed Siddiqui got out in similar fashion by chasing short and wide deliveries at the OUTsurance Oval here yesterday.

Shakib keeps it simple

It is itself a riddle for Shakib Al Hasan whether he is a batting all-rounder or a bowling all-rounder. This is however not a big issue for the young man as he has a very simple answer in this mixture: 'I enjoy the game, that's it'.

The future is there

After two tournaments and five matches, national football coach Shafiqul Islam Manik believes that Bangladesh have taken two steps ahead from their stand in the last SAFF Championship, where they failed to win a match and bowed out of the group stages.

Khulna play it safe

Khulna preferred the security of a draw rather than chasing a small target against Sylhet on the final day of their sixth round National Cricket League tie at the Sylhet Stadium yesterday.

Bangladesh draw with Norway

Bangladesh men's held 19th-seeded Norway 2-2 in the seventh round of the 38th Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany on Thursday.

'Ishant changed it'

Australia captain Ricky Ponting feels his team could have won the crucial third Test at Perth but for that awesome spell by India pacer Ishant Sharma during the hosts second innings and said he was lucky to be part of a great sporting duel.

Katich holds firm

Simon Katich was the main man standing between New Zealand and a gettable fourth-innings chase at the Gabba, where 16 wickets tumbled on an eventful second day. Mitchell Johnson led Australia's fast men back into form as they bundled New Zealand out for 156 but they will need to retain that spark on the third day after New Zealand's seamers were equally dangerous in Australia's second innings.

Premier Cricket begins in Rangpur

Kamalkatchna Club defeated Eleven Stars of Guptapara by 33 runs on the opening day of the Dhaka Bank Premier Cricket at the Rangpur Cricket Garden yesterday.

Sachin, Pathan return

One-day cricket's leading batsman Sachin Tendulkar was on Thursday included in the India squad for the next two matches against England, the cricket board said.

Title race gathers pace

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez expects the feelgood factor from his Spanish contingent's international adventure will help keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Juve, Inter face off

Juventus are brimming with confidence ahead of this weekend's crunch clash against champions Inter Milan.

Miss World to add spice

Miss World contestants will bring charm and glamour as they assist during Saturday's draw for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in Johannesburg, organisers said in a statement Friday.

Schuster walks tightrope

Real Madrid players have been coming out in support of under pressure coach Bernd Schuster but the German manager knows results are what count and a home win against Recreativo Huelva on Saturday is crucial for both coach and club.

Stars praise Capello

Fabio Capello has restored the feelgood factor to England after only a year in charge but his players have revealed the hardline approach behind the dramatic improvement.

Maradona's daughter recovers

Diego Maradona, fresh from his opening win as Argentina coach, said on Thursday that seeing his daughter recover from a worrying setback with her pregnancy represented the high point of his week.

Minister blasts Atletico ruling

The decision by sport's highest court to uphold a ruling that Atletico Madrid must play a Champions League match in an empty stadium because of alleged racist behaviour by its fans is "deeply unfair", Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said Friday.

Ballack is welcome to stay

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has told Michael Ballack age will be no barrier if the German wants to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge.

Gerrard out of Fulham clash

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will miss Saturday's clash against Fulham as he recovers from the muscle tear which stopped him playing in England's win over Germany on Wednesday.

Gallas may lose captaincy

William Gallas faces a fight to hold onto the Arsenal captaincy after the France defender came under-fire for his shock blast at his young team-mates.

Donovan joins Bayern on loan

Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan has signed a short-term contract Thursday on loan to German giants Bayern Munich after impressing coach Jurgen Klinsmann on his 10-day trial.

Local Snippets

Hosts Dinajpur reached the zonal final of the 29th National Cricket Championship when they handed a massive 146-run defeat on Joypurhat at the northern district's Bara Maidan.

SL thrash Zim

A collapse by Zimbabwe of stock market proportions gifted Sri Lanka a leisurely victory here Thursday in the first of a series of five one-day internationals.

2nd loss for hockey team

Bangladesh President XI lost their second match of the 45th Nehru Cup hockey tournament at the Nehru Stadium in Gurgaon, Haryana yesterday despite taking lead against South Central Railway, who triumphed 5-3 in the end.

US franchise for English T20?

A report in Friday's Daily Telegraph claims the ECB has held talks with a New York-based investment company in a bid to broaden the appeal of its Twenty20 English Premier League which is set to launch in 2010.

Lloyd remarks annoys BCCI

The ICC will look into a complaint from the BCCI against Clive Lloyd, the ICC cricket committee chairman, for suggesting the unrecognised ICL and the IPL, run by the BCCI, should learn to co-exist. However, Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said it would first check with Lloyd to understand the context and veracity of the remarks that were reported in an Indian newspaper.

'Bring back ICL players'

Javed Miandad, the former Pakistan captain and current director-general of the PCB, has said the board is under a lot of pressure from the public and the media to include ICL players in the national team. Miandad supported the move, and accused the Indian board of "bullying tactics" that have caused players to suffer.


'No dredger purchased since 1975'

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Chairman Abdul Mannan Howlader yesterday said every year around 60 lakh cubic feet of silt cannot be excavated because no dredger has been purchased since 1975.

Hasina against use of children in election campaign

Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her party would not use children in election campaign during the upcoming parliamentary polls.

Policewomen's network launched

Bangladesh Policewomen's Network, a forum to safeguard the interests of female police members, was formally opened at a function at a city hotel yesterday.

Sunil celebrates 75th birthday

Noted poet of the sub-continent Sunil Gangopaddhaya celebrated his 75th birth anniversary at his birthplace at East Maijpara village at Kazi Bakai union under Kalkini upazila in Madaripur yesterday.

'Ensure neutral role of speaker'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday called on the political parties to make a pledge to ensure that the next president and the speaker of the next parliament would play a neutral role.

Call to stop using tannery waste in poultry feed

The members of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) at a view exchange meeting yesterday stressed the need for stopping the manufacturing of poultry and fish feed using tannery waste.

Severe crisis of non-judicial stamps in Khulna

Severe crisis of non-judicial stamps has created serious problem for the candidates ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Land grabbers assault five journos in Munshiganj

A group of land grabbers assaulted five journalists at Sreenagar upazila yesterday as they tried to prevent the gang from occupying a plot of land allocated for the Upazila Press Club.

OFA executives elected unopposed

The election of the Central Governing Body (CGB) of Old Faujians Association (OFA), an organisation of former cadets of Faujdarhat Cadet College, will not be held today as all the 15 members of the body have been elected unopposed, says a press release.

Police rescue four girls from trafficker

The police rescued four adolescent girls at Nayapara bus stand in Madhabpur upazila after they were brought by a human trafficker on Thursday.

One killed in clash over land dispute in Natore

A man was killed and seven others were injured in a clash between two groups of villagers over land dispute at Boria village in Singra upazila yesterday.

Bangladeshi art exhibition in Pakistan

A month-long painting exhibition of Bangladeshi artists titled 'Colours of Bangladesh' will begin at National Art Gallery in Islamabad on December 5.

4,000 students go to India a year for study

Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty has said some 4,000 Bangladeshi students go to India on educational pursuits every year at different levels.

Set up separate ministry for minorities

Bangladesh Jatiya Hindu Mohajote at a press conference placed a three-point demand yesterday to ensure the rights of the minority communities in the country.

3 killed in road accidents

Three people were killed in separate road accidents in Sirajganj, Satkhira and Sylhet yesterday.

Ctg BNP leader Afsar Ahmed passes away

Afsar Ahmed Chowdhury, a freedom fighter and senior vice-president of BNP Chittagong north district unit, passed away at the Apollo Hospitals in Dhaka yesterday at the age of 55.


BNP-Jamaat rift weakens 4-party prospect in Satkhira

BNP-led four-party alliance partner Jamaat-e-Islami is finding it tough to retain the three constituencies in Satkhira district that they won in 2001 as local BNP leaders are demanding nomination of party men there for the upcoming parliament election.

Foreign fertiliser, arms, fake revenue stamps seized, 2 held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in separate drives in last two days seized huge amount of Indian chemical fertiliser, foreign firearms, fake revenue stamps and phensidyl from Joypurhat, Naogaon, Rangpur, and Rajshahi districts yesterday and Thursday.

Jamaat leader assaulted at Gopalganj college

Agitated students of Gopalganj Government Bangabandhu College have assaulted the district ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami, Ajmal Hossain, protesting his presence at the college where politics of Jamaat is prohibited, college sources said.

BNP leader 'defects', AL nominee 'unwanted' in Jhenidah-2

In a dramatic move after failing to get BNP nomination from Jhenidah-2, BNP leader Naser Sahriar Jahedi Mohul announced his intention to join Awami League (AL).

Pirates kidnap 32 fishermen in 4 days

Pirates kidnapped 10 fishermen from Marabhola forest outpost ferry ghat under Sharankhola range under the East wing of Sundarbans Forest Division on Thursday evening.

RU cultural activists wear black badges from today

Different political, cultural and student organisations strongly criticised the Rajshahi University (RU) authorities for banning activities of Dhumketu Natya Sangsad, a theatre group, under pressure of Islami Chhatra Shibir yesterday.

Terosee massacre day today

Today is Terosree massacre day.

7 arrested for selling fake question

Seven youths including a few students of Rajshahi University (RU) have been arrested in connection with selling fake question papers and taking money upon promise to ensure admission to the university


52 LTTE cadres killed, airstrip falls to army

At least 52 LTTE militants were killed in pitched battles with the Sri Lankan security forces which overran rebel forward defence lines in the Jaffna peninsula and captured a Tamil Tigers' airstrip in nearby Kilinochchi, officials said yesterday.

Indian PM appeals against caste, religious divisions

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged Indians yesterday to reject centuries of ethnic and religious divisions, warning they would be manipulated by politicians to fracture the country.

Divisions cloud meeting of Nepali Maoists

Nepal's ruling Maoists began a national meeting Friday to hammer out their political future, with leftist hardliners arguing for greater state control in all sectors.

India puts Kashmir toll at 47,000

The nearly two-decade old insurgency in Indian Kashmir has left 47,000 people dead, more than 20,000 of them civilians, according to official figures released Friday.

Myanmar comedian and sports writer given long prison terms

Myanmar's most famous comedian Zarganar was sentenced yesterday to 45 years in prison, while sports writer Zaw Thet Htwe was handed a 15-year jail term, according to Zarganar's sister.

Bangladeshi art exhibition in Pakistan

A month-long painting exhibition of Bangladeshi artists titled 'Colours of Bangladesh' will begin at National Art Gallery in Islamabad on December 5.

3 civilians killed in Afghan army base bombing

Three civilians were killed and four Afghan soldiers were wounded Friday when a suicide car bomb exploded in front of an army base in southern Afghanistan, officials said.

Indian labourers buried alive at metro site

Two Indian construction workers were buried alive as they slept at a building site for the New Delhi metro, after a truck unwittingly dumped a mound of earth over them, police said Friday.

Two shot dead at Delhi farmhouse party

An alcohol-fuelled gathering of Indian property dealers ended on a bloody note when an enraged party guest shot dead two men at a farmhouse outside New Delhi, reports said Friday.

Israel maintains Gaza closure despite outcry

Israel said on Friday it will maintain its closure of the Gaza Strip despite international concern over a deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the aid-dependent Palestinian territory.

Shias in Baghdad protest planned US-Iraq pact

Thousands of followers of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr converged on a central Baghdad square yesterday for a mass prayer to protest a proposed US-Iraqi security pact.

World's navies struggle to deter Somali pirates

Faced with increasingly daring and far-reaching acts of piracy, the world's navies are struggling to find the right deterrent and any use of force might have little effect, experts say.

Evidence of vast frozen water reserves on Mars

Nasa scientists have discovered enormous underground reservoirs of frozen water on Mars, away from its polar caps, in the latest sign that life might be sustainable on the Red planet.

US attorney gen collapses during speech

Attorney General Michael Mukasey, the no-nonsense ally in President Bush's war on terror, was hospitalised Thursday after he collapsed during a late-night speech and lost consciousness.

US judge orders release of 5 terror suspects from Guantanamo

A federal US judge on Thursday ordered the release of five Algerians held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the continued detention of a sixth in a major blow to the Bush administration's strategy to keep terror suspects locked up without charges.

Arts & Entertainment

Indigenous art gets a contemporary makeover

Yellow is never brighter, red more festive, green more alive or blue more serene as they are in 'pata-chitra.' 'Patua' Raghunath Chakroborty says, "Colours don't overlap in 'pata-chitra,' as in other mediums and styles. 'Patuas' (painters of this form) paint with locally produced vegetable colours, which not only make the scroll paintings very bright but also, add life to them." The sheen apparently lasts over 50-60 years -- a remarkable feat for water-colour.

An in-depth look at Bengali folk theatre

The publication ceremony of "Boundless Bengal," a research-based book on Bengali folk theatre traditions, was held at the Seminar Room of Central Public Library yesterday. Swedish folklore researcher Dr. Christina Nygren is the author of the book.

Chhayanat’s homage to poet Sufia Kamal

November 20 marked the eighth death anniversary of poet, social activist and litterateur Sufia Kamal (1911-1999). To observe the day, Chhayanat arranged a memorial programme at the Rameshchanadra Dutt Memorial Auditorium at Chhayanat Sanskriti Bhaban. The event included renditions of the poet's favourite songs by artistes of Chhayanat, recitation of her poems and reminiscence by Dr. Sanjida Khatun and Sayeda Kamal, daughter of Sufia Kamal.

Expressions’ celebration for Ramendu Majumdar

Advertising and communication agency Expressions Ltd. arranged a cultural programme at Saffron Restaurant in Gulshan on November 20. The event was a celebration of Ramendu Majumdar being elected the president of ITI. Ramendu Majumdar is also the managing director of Expressions. Noted personalities were present at the programme to congratulate Majumdar.

Theatre festival by Palakar begins

Theatre troupe Palakar is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its Studio Theatre this year. On this occasion, a 10-day "Experimental Theatre Festival” began yesterday at Palakar Studio, Natok Sharoni.

Being black in White House

Columbia is bringing the story of Eugene Allen, a black man who served as a White House butler for 34 years, to the big screen.


'We want 100 reserved seats for women through direct election'

Women rights activist Ayesha Khanam was born in 1947. She did her honours and masters in Sociology from the Dhaka University in 1969 and 1970 respectively and worked as a research fellow at Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies during 1977-1978. From 1965 to 1971 she was a student activist and worker. She actively participated in the Liberation War as a freedom fighter. Since 1972, she has been working with Bangladesh Mahila Parishad and is currently president of the organisation. She played an active role in ratification and implementation of CEDAW and in the South Asian Women Caucus. She regularly writes on women issues in periodicals and newspapers. Shamim Ashraf took the interview.

'Prevention of corruption will be more effective than prosecution'

The Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury was born on September 9, 1948. Mashhud was commissioned in the Pakistan Army (infantry) in 1969 and joined Bangladesh Army in 1974. He graduated from defense services command and Staff College in 1979. He served as commandant; school of infantry and tactics, defense services command and Staff College, and National Defense College. He is also a graduate of the US Army War College, class of 1992. He attended training courses at Naval post-graduate school, Monterrey, California and Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii in US. He completed a master degree from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, US. He commanded the Bangladesh Military Contingent in Saudi Arabia during operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm in 1990-1991. He was the chief of general staff during 1997-2000. He served as Bangladesh's Ambassador to the UAE in 2001-2002. He was the chief of staff, Bangladesh Army during 2002-2005. Since retirement from the army Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury served as adviser, Group-4, Bangladesh, and adviser of the caretaker government in 2006. He was appointed as ACC chairman in February 2007. Emran Hossain took the interview.

Safe road or highway to death?

IN a country that stumbles upon calamity, mostly man-made, with unerring regularity and embraces disaster with disturbing stoicism, death's sting has long been blunted. Yet, once in a while, some deaths become a matter of more than personal grief to the bereaved family. It happened with the death of ten people as a result of a head-on collision between a passenger bus and an acid-laden truck. Mohammad Al Faysal, a final year student of Civil Engg. at BUET, and three others, succumbed to their burn injuries at different hospitals.


The Cactus*

After ringing the doorbell, my wife and I stood quietly beside the door, each thinking the same thoughts--Let's see how this house owner turns out, what his wife is like and, above all, what this house looks like from inside.

A Pakistani Urdu writer

Opening this volume of Hasan Manzar's Urdu short stories in translation triggered in me that old reflex of turning away from anything labeled 'Urdu writing.' The words 'Urdu literature', or 'Urdu poetry' or 'Urdu fiction' instantly evokes school textbooks, where its best poets and writers, as in every language, lie embalmed. To be picked at, prodded, and learnt by rote, and very seldom to be enjoyed. For successive years from Class Six onwards, as sunshine outside classroom windows called out for a jail-break, as beyond Iftekhar Dyer's filmi hairdo we would see the hockey field and beside it the church, up whose steps for Sunday evening Mass dirndled native Christian girls ran the gauntlet of preening male ducktails, it was with furious incomprehension that we turned back to the marsiya and qasida, to the arabesque laments of Mir and Dard. Ghalib was the sole exception, not his ghazals (which are difficult in Urdu, gleaming with such high Persian polish that it takes years of knowing the ghazal form inside out to see what Ghalib had achieved), but his letters, which I encountered in Class Ten, where lived and chattered an older version of the Karachi around me: burly Punjabis in charpoys, hot loo nights, the white chadars of mushairas, pigeon flights, mosques, the Bohra mothers of our friends knitting in embroidered swings slung from bedroom ceilings, the old courtesies of adab and lehaz trailing their ragged hems. But oh, the others! Even now, even after reading Manto and Chugtai and others, many others--modern Urdu literature is a vastly different beast than what was in my old schoolbook texts--I have to force down that first reflex of turning away, to then turn back with an adult gaze. So I opened Manzar's book thinking for a second, Jesus! no, not creaky men with fez-es trapped in qafelas of bulbul-in-moonlight tropes...

A Prose Poem: From My Diary*

I used to go drinking at the sweepers colony many moons back. At that time I had nothing to speak of. With me would be my carefree, vagabond and thieving friends. Once in a while I would even go by myself. When after roaming around the whole day we would head home, even the tired birds would notice us.

Star Health

Dealing with winter woes

Dry hands, arid skin, desiccated hair, more asthma and heart attacks, cold and flu- are the woes of winter. Living well in this wintertime needs extra caution as the cold weather ushers annoying health issues. To help combat the pesky wintertime problems, here are some tips and advice on how to keep your body in fit throughout the winter months.

First trachea transplant without drugs

A Colombian woman has received the world's first tailor-made trachea transplant, grown by seeding a donor organ with her own stem cells to prevent her body rejecting it, an international research team reported recently on The Lancet.

Novo Nordisk launches once daily insulin

Novo Nordisk has recently launched its premium long acting insulin Levemir (insulin detemir) in Bangladesh, which is designed to control blood sugar as well as reducing weight gain more effectively.

For your eyes only

The eyes are amazing windows through which we observe the world. It is responsible for majority of all the information our brain receives and usually we rely on our eye-vision more than any other sense. For a strong vision we need antioxidants, nerve supporters, pigment protectors, cell membrane components, vasodilators and cofactors.

Depression linked to poorer diabetes control

Depression may make it harder for people with diabetes to keep their blood sugar levels in check, researchers have found.

Antibiotics to avoid during pregnancy

Any antibiotic, chemical or drug based substance consumed during pregnancy may reach the fetus (the baby inside the uterus) through maternal circulation. Antibiotics that are able to cross the placenta are potentially harmful and cause adverse fetal effects during pregnancy. The effects depend highly on the type and dose of antibiotic. Not only in pregnancy but certain antibiotics are able to pass from mother to her baby through breast milk.

Strategic Issues

India and Japan become strategic partners

ON 21st October India's Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh visited Japan for three days. He held talks with Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso, who took office last September. The Indian Prime Minister last visited Japan in 2006 and his Japanese counterpart visited India in 2007.

US foreign policy under President Bush: A critical view

IN an interesting interview given to the New York Times recently, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has given the administration of President George Bush high marks in the area of foreign policy. Secretary Rice has been a National Security Adviser in the first Bush Administration and then replaced General Colin Powell in 2005 to become the Secretary of State in President Bush's second administration.

China denies involvement in spy incident

China on Nov. 18 called allegations that it bought U.S. military space technology from a Chinese-born physicist a complete fabrication made with ulterior motives.

100 countries expected to attend IDEAS2008

Organizers of Pakistan's fifth biannual International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) expect to attract more than 35,000 visitors and buyers from about 100 countries to the Nov. 24-28 event.

Indian Navy warned of submarine capability shortfall

India's Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has warned the Indian Navy (IN) that it faces the prospect of having to operate with less than half of its current submarine fleet by 2012, when two thirds of the IN's submarines will be due for retirement.

Star Books Review

Complex relations... the pen, the gun, freedom

There are certain fields of study that scholars, for a variety of reasons, hesitate to undertake, especially in a developing country like Bangladesh, which has experienced for the greater part of its existence military, disguised military, and one-party rule. The latest catastrophe to have hit its political system, the phenomenon called 1/11 and its unsavoury aftermath, has the armed forces shoring up an insipid, at times comical, civilian façade. The fact of military/disguised military rule has been a reality for Bangladesh. As has been a functioning media during those years. And, to say the least, relations between the two have been as sensitive as they have been complex.

Democracy, governance and security

The book under review Democracy, Governance and Security Reform: Bangladesh Context is in fact a compilation of papers presented at a workshop organized recently by Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), Honolulu, Hawaii. At the workshop five keynote papers were presented by five notable persons, viz., Begum Asma Siddiqua, ATM Amin, Abul Haseeb Khan, Mizanur Rahman Shelley and Mohd Aminul Karim. Besides these papers, the book also contains the address of President Iajuddin Ahmed, and important speeches of Colonel Abul Basher Imamuzzaman, Lieutenant General (retd) Ed. Smith, Ms Geeta Pasi, Mufleh R Osmany at the inaugural and concluding sessions. Highlights from the speeches of the main discussants on the keynote papers pointing out the merits and demerits of the papers are also included in the book.

Soldiers in trauma and nurse in love

Soldiers sacrifice their lives for their countries when called to duty. And there are soldiers who cannot take the trauma of witnessing the death and destruction of war even long after the war is over. In Australia, such soldiers were sent to Base Fifteen, in Sister Honour Langtry's care. To the battle-broken soldiers Sister Langtry was all they had. The selfless devotion of the beautiful nurse calmed the seething hostilities of the soldiers. An Indecent Obsession is woven around the war torn soldiers. The devoted Sister Langtry and their life in the army hospital is a moving saga of conflict between love and duty. Colleen McCullough comes up with a gripping psychological drama that raises endless questions of love and sacrifice.

Comedy and erotica

Burial At Sea is a long, short story by Khushwant Singh, a widely read contemporary writer. The book is a quick mix of fictional formulae with a blend of history, the partition period, political doctrine, capitalism-communism, amoral life reflected in death and disaster on personal account against the looming shape of sexuality.

The Daily Star

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