The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, July 26, 2014


News of: Monday, 24th of November, 2008

Front Page

JS elections on Dec 29, upazila on Jan 22

The long-awaited parliamentary election will now be held on December 29 and upazila on January 22, announced the Election Commission (EC) yesterday, meaning most likely an end to the impasse over the polls.

Emergency may go from Dec 12

The state of emergency is going to be lifted finally on December 12 as the caretaker government has agreed to the Election Commission's (EC) proposal to that end.

AL grappling with nomination chaos

Awami League (AL) high-ups think they would have to face serious difficulties in finalising party nominations for the December 29 parliamentary elections.

Khaleda hails fixture

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia last night hailed the announcement of the latest polls schedule but stopped short of accepting it on grounds of state of emergency.

Most of the poor stay out of safety net

Most of the poor remain out of the purview of the government's safety net benefits, most of which go to the less poverty-hit areas, says a World Bank report.

End of a family

The parents of two-month-old Ahnaf Imtiaz, who died on November 16 from his acid burns, succumbed to their burns Saturday night and yesterday afternoon at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

CG leaving with bad report card

Historian Dr Syed Anwar Husain sees the caretaker government exiting with a bad report card as "most of whatever it has done in many sectors failed to bear fruit".

Upazila polls finally fall into regime of a political govt

The long overdue election to upazila parishads is set to be held under the next political government as the Election Commission (EC) yesterday deferred the polls by over three weeks.

Hasina sees plot to foil JS polls

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said a conspiracy is being hatched to foil the general elections but the people must remain alert to thwart such conspiracy.

3-tier security mulled for polls

Troops and other law enforcement agencies will be deployed to build up a three-tier security system during the parliamentary and upazila elections, now slated for December 29 and January 22.

Govt asked not to harass Hasina until January 7

The High Court (HC) yesterday extended its earlier orders that directed the government not to harass or arrest Awami League President Sheikh Hasina in Niko and barge-mounted power plant corruption cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Khaleda's trial adjourned

A special court yesterday adjourned the trial proceedings of the Barapukuria coalmine graft case against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and 15 others till November 30 this year.

Khoka challenges EC rule to bar mayors from JS elections

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka yesterday filed a writ petition with the High Court (HC) challenging the Election Commission's (EC) rules barring mayors from contesting the parliamentary polls while in office.

Maj Mannan's nomination paper rejected

An assistant returning officer of Laxmipur district yesterday turned down Bikalpadhara Bangladesh Secretary General Maj (retd) Abdul Mannan's nomination papers for Laxmipur-4 constituency for violating rules by using a helicopter.

RMG stores gutted in Ctg

A fire gutted huge quantity of readymade apparel and machinery at the warehouses of two garment factories in the port city yesterday.

John McCain coming in early Dec

US Senator John McCain, who was the Republican nominee for this year's presidential election, is scheduled to visit Bangladesh in early December as part of a broader regional trip.

EU seeks lifting of emergency

The European Union said yesterday it is not happy with holding parliamentary election under the state of emergency.

Govt to seek instructions from SC

The government will seek instructions from the Supreme Court (SC) to be sure if the apex court directed the health ministry to test all the powdered milk brands or only the eight brands in question in a European country.

AKM Mosharraf, ANH Akhter freed on bail

Former BNP state minister for energy and mineral resources AKM Mosharraf Hossain and former power secretary ANH Akhter Hossain were released on bail yesterday from jail.

Zardari for no first strike against India

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said he is willing to work for no-first use of nuclear weapons against neighbour India and suggested a South Asian pact to prevent use of atomic weapons.

Bush bids farewell with impassioned 'freedom' plea

US President George W Bush, bidding farewell to the international stage, on Saturday offered a sweeping defence of free markets as leaders from across the Pacific rim vowed to resist protectionism.

EC hears objections against poll observers

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday held hearing on objections against seven organisations before considering their enlistment as election observers.

Khagrachhari district council chief suspended

The government has suspended Khagrachhari Hill District Council (KHDC) Chairman Monindra Lal Tripura temporarily following his alleged involvement in the murder of former KHDC councillor Anupam Tripura.

Editorial

EC's sticking to RPO restrictions welcome

In the sequel to the Election Commission rescheduling the national and upazila poll dates thereby meeting the political parties' principal demand, we are heartened by the EC's announcement that it would stick to the restrictions contained in the amended RPO. The EC's decision not to further relax the provisions of RPO is well in order; for, we think, it needs the power to conduct the election effectively and credibly.

Clash between students and shopkeepers

We are appalled at the report of Dhaka College students and local shopkeepers getting involved in a brawl on petty matters that left fifteen people injured. The two-hour long brick-batting and vandalism that ensued caused damage to a number of shops in a local market place and a building of the college. It is not really clear why a minor altercation over the purchase of a shoe-rack ended up with the two sides going on a war path. Clearly both sides ran out of patience and sense of propriety taking recourse to violence. It is extremely regrettable that their mindless acts caused three-hour long traffic congestion on Mirpur Road that ultimately spilled all over Dhanmondi residential area.

De-hartalisation of political culture

IF hartal were an English word, it could have been effortlessly adopted as a fitting abbreviation for "harmful (h) action (a) required (r) to (t) achieve (a) leverage (l)."

The lurking threat

THE large-scale haul of grenade making materials and other lethal explosives along with deadly accessories by Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) from the possession of alleged religious extremists in the capital city once again brings to the fore the ominous threat to our democratic existence.

Sports

Gap worries giants

Top-of-the-table Abahani will find it hard to maintain their winning run in the B. League when the defending champions take on archrivals Mohammedan today.

Siddons seeks two years

After a crushing innings defeat in the first Test, Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons asked everybody not to be frustrated with his young charges, rather he assured that this side will be better in two years time.

Bangladeshis miss a chance

Dhaka Warriors playing under the banner of Bangladesh XI wasted a wonderful opportunity of ruling the World stars at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad yesterday.

Johnson sinks Kiwis

It took Australia only 48 minutes on the fourth day to wrap up New Zealand's final four wickets and claim a 149-run win in the first Test at the Gabba. Mitchell Johnson finished with his first five-wicket haul in Tests and Stuart Clark ended up with four victims as New Zealand's collapsible tail lived up to its reputation and they were bundled out for 177.

Vettori backs batters

Daniel Vettori will look for a magic cure to New Zealand's traditional batting woes before Friday's second Test as they attempt the difficult task of levelling the series in Adelaide. One of the many worries for Vettori when he took over the leadership from Stephen Fleming in 2007 was the side's lack of run-scoring ability and it was on display again in Brisbane as they were dismissed for 156 and 177 on the way to a 149-run defeat.

NCL 7th round from today

Barisal take on Khulna today in one of three seventh round clash of the Ispahani Mirzapore Tea 10th National Cricket League.

India clinch series

Owais Shah's 72 could not prevent England from suffering a 19-run, rain-affected defeat by India, who took an unassailable 4-0 lead in the series.

Scotland beat Bangladesh

Despite Grandmaster Abdullah Al Rakib's win over GM Shaw John, Bangladesh men's team lost 3-1 to Scotland in the ninth round of the 38th Chess Olympiad at Dresden, Germany on Saturday.

Dinajpur into last eight

Dinajpur became the last district to enter the eight-team final round of the 29th National Cricket Championship after a clinical 4-wicket win over Nilphamari at their very own Bara Maidan yesterday.

Under-17s off to flier

Mohammad Sentu took three wickets to help Bangladesh Under-17 romp to a eight-wicket victory over their Nepali counterparts in Kathmandu yesterday.

Sidebottom out of ODIs

Ryan Sidebottom, the England fast bowler, has been ruled out of the remaining four matches of the one-day series against India with a side strain. Sidebottom has been afflicted by injury for much of 2008, sustaining an Achilles injury during England's Stanford Super Series in Antigua before a long-standing side strain re-emerged at the start of this series.

Two bronze medals for shooters

Bangladesh won two team bronze medals in the 4th South Asian Shooting Championships in Islamabad yesterday.

No luck for hockey team

Bangladesh President XI bowed out of the 45th Nehru Cup hockey tournament in India without any point when they lost their last group match of ONGC 1-0 at the Nehru Stadium in Gurgaon, Haryana.

Gunners implode at City

Crisis-hit Arsenal's woes worsened Saturday as a desperate 3-0 defeat at Manchester City blew their chance to close the gap on the goal-starved English Premier League leaders Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Jose back to bullish best

Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho said he understood the importance of beating rivals Juventus after the Serie A leaders won 1-0 at the San Siro on Saturday.

Respite for Schuster

Real Madrid's embattled coach Bernd Schuster was happy to close to within two points of leaders Barcelona with a 1-0 home win over Recreativo Huelva on Saturday but admitted the growing injury list at the Santiago Bernabeu was a major concern.

Bayern pull together

Bayern Munich eased to their sixth win in their last eight league games with an impressive 4-1 victory over Energie Cottbus on Saturday with coach Jurgen Klinsmann aiming for top spot by Christmas.

Muntari the difference

A second half goal from Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari gave champions Inter Milan a narrow 1-0 win over Juventus at the San Siro on Saturday.

Gallas still has London future

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists deposed skipper William Gallas still has a future at the club despite his shock public criticism of his teammates last week.

Defore facing injury layoff

Portsmouth striker Jermain Defoe could be ruled out for several weeks if a specialist decides the England international needs surgery to cure a calf injury.

Stuttgart sack Veh, appoint Babbel

VfB Stuttgart announced Sunday they have sacked coach Armin Veh in the wake of their 4-1 Bundesliga defeat at Wolfsburg on Saturday with reserves coach Markus Babbel replacing him.

Training for women journos stressed

Speakers at the concluding session of a week-long training for women journalists yesterday stressed on arranging training for them to increase their participation in the profession, says a press release.

ECB against IPL deals

The ECB have reiterated that international cricket takes precedent over any IPL deals the England players want to take up. Central contracts have yet to be signed as the board tries to iron out the details of England's schedule for next season with leading stars keen to take up deals in India.

Ten Sports bag Pakistan rights

Dubai-based Ten Sports (Taj Entertainment Network) has bagged the television rights for matches in Pakistan over the next five years, in a deal worth US$140.5 million.

Dhaka Sports Carnival from Nov 28

The UCB Dhaka Sports Carnival will begin in Dhaka from November 28.

Police, East End win easy

Three goals inside 12 minutes in the first half helped Police AC blank Dhanmondi Club 3-0 in yesterday's Second Division Football league at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur.

Butt off to India

Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, will visit India later this month in order to convince BCCI officials over India's tour of Pakistan next year. Recently, doubts have risen over going ahead with the tour, and the BCCI is awaiting a security assessment from the Indian government.

'Harmison in favour of IPL'

Steve Harmison has said that England will be left behind if players aren't able to join the IPL and gain more Twenty20 experience.

BOA forms SA Games committee

Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) on Sunday formed a 23-member working committee with BOA secretary general Kutubuddin Ahmed as the convenor ahead of the 11th South Asian Games to be held in Dhaka in December 2009.

Kirsten reveals secret to success

India cricket coach Gary Kirsten says the secret of his successful stint with Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men so far lies in the way he has embraced the country and its work ethics.

New coming for Franklin

James Franklin, the New Zealand fast bowler, has said he hopes to make a comeback to the national team as a "50-50 allrounder" rather than a "bowling-dominant allrounder". Franklin made his first-class comeback last week for Wellington and scored 69 and took 4 for 56 in his team's innings victory over Canterbury.

Javed's words may hurt PCB

Javed Miandad's sympathetic stance for country's banned ICL players has surprised even the PCB, which thinks that his statement could prove detrimental for India's next year's tour to the strife-torn nation as it is bound irk the BCCI.

Business

Agents urge BA to reverse flight suspension plan

Travel agents have urged the British Airways (BA) authorities to reconsider its Dhaka-London flights suspension decision, saying the airline has a huge business opportunity here.

Stocks soar on political hope

Dhaka stocks jumped yesterday with the largest single day gain in four months, triggered by the apparent change in political situation that to some extent has removed the uncertainty about the upcoming national election.

BB to modernise credit info bureau

The central bank is going to appoint a foreign vendor to modernise its credit information bureau (CIB), which bankers said would help clear off negative perceptions about the bureau's poor services.

Realign export focus: US envoy

Bangladesh must focus on export diversification, investment in infrastru-cture, food security enhancement and human capital development to offset the negative effects of the current financial turmoil, US Ambassador to Bangladesh James F Moriarty said yesterday.

Germany headed for grim 2009: Merkel

Germany's unwieldy "grand coalition" government warned of a grim 2009 Sunday as it heads into an election year but remains bitterly divided on the right medicine for Europe's biggest economy.

Dhaka must seek manpower access to rich countries

Government should put pressure on developed countries at the upcoming UN Conference on Financing for Development in Doha to lift all restriction from Bangladesh to ensure unhindered access of the country's skilled manpower to those countries, suggested speakers at a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.

Stemming the tide of gloom

The world currently faces serious economic challenges. The crisis in financial markets is affecting the real economy in almost every corner of the world. As we often heard in the recent US presidential election campaign, the economic crisis is affecting Main Street, not just Wall Street.

Property investors look East for hope

There could have been no worse time to hold an expo on the Asian property market this year than November.

Gulf stocks down

Stock markets in the energy-rich Gulf started their week lower as Riyadh slashed the repo rate by one percent a day after the Saudi bourse -- the region's largest -- sank more than nine percent.

Slump in Europe spreads wider

The global economic slump has already hit the European auto, chemical and transport sectors, and it looks like the list will soon get longer.

Garment tech fair in January

A four-day garment and knitting technology show titled 'Zak Garmentech Bangladesh' will begin from January 13 in Dhaka.

UK stimulus plan to avert deep recession

Britain will launch a bold economic stimulus plan Monday to combat looming recession, as a politically-revived Prime Minister Gordon Brown calls for a "new approach" to tackle the world slowdown.

New internet based tool developed

Southtech Limited of Bangladesh and Comentor from Denmark developed a new internet-based tool for hiring large pools of specialized employees online, said a press release.

Nokia outlet opens

Nokia Emerging Asia Limited opened a Premier Partner outlet in the port city yesterday, with commitments to deliver services and customer care and a halt to sales of counterfeit products.

Protectionism to hurt economy: Apec leaders

Leaders of 21 Asia-Pacific economies making up around half of world trade warned Saturday that protectionism would only worsen the troubled global economy.

Britain to slash tax of goods, services

The British government was on Monday set to announce a cut in value added tax (VAT) to 15 percent from 17.5 percent to stimulate spending on goods and services as the country faces recession, reports said.

Palm oil crash spells misery for Asian farmers

The global economic slowdown has sent palm oil prices crashing, spelling misery for countless smallholders who have been forced to watch their harvests rot on the trees.

Worst of crisis yet to come: IMF economist

The IMF's chief economist has warned that the global financial crisis is set to worsen and that the situation will not improve until 2010, a report said Saturday.

World leaders warn tough time ahead

Investors braced Sunday for another topsy-turvy week on trading floors as leading economies prepared new plans to emerge from a financial crisis that world leaders warned would take time to overcome.

Pran-Prothom Alo pickle competition winners

Winners of the Pran-Prothom Alo Jatiya Achar Protijogita 2008 received prizes at a function at Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre yesterday.

Saudi Arabia cuts key rate

Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday that it is slashing its key interest rate by one percentage point to 3.0 percent in response to softening inflationary pressures, Al-Arabiya news channel reported.

Metropolitan

Constituency advocacy can ensure education for all

Primary and Mass Education Adviser Rasheda K Choudhury yesterday underlined the importance of constituency advocacy to ensure education for all (EFA) and reach the target of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

'Ensure equitable wages for domestic helps'

The women domestic helps of Dhaka city at a dialogue yesterday placed a 10-point demand that includes recognising them as labourers, ensuring equitable wages and framing a minimum code of conduct for them.

Two injured in clash over AL nominations

At least two people were injured as supporters of two Awami League leaders, who were rejected party tickets, clashed outside the party chief's Sudha Sadan residence at Dhanmondi in the city yesterday.

'Protect basic rights of children'

Vice-chancellor of Dhaka University (DU) Prof SMA Faiz has urged all to come forward to protect the basic rights of children saying that they are the future of the country.

Verdict in graft case against Ershad on Dec 1

The verdict in a graft case filed against former president and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad 16 years ago will be delivered on December 1.

30000 die of lung cancer a yr

Thirty thousand people die of lung cancer in the country while 40,000 more people fall victim to the disease a year due to lack of awareness about the harmful effects of smoking.

'40 lakh suffering from diabetes'

The prevalence of diabetic patients aged over 20 in the country was 40 lakh in 2007 and the number will stand at 75 lakh by 2025, health experts said at a seminar.

Bank official killed in B'baria road accident

A bank official was killed and nine other people were injured in a collision between two microbuses on Dhaka-Sylhet highway at Malihata village yesterday evening.

HC issues rule on govt, EC

The High Court yesterday issued a rule upon the government and the Election Commission (EC) to explain within four weeks why the provision of the Represen-tation of People Order (RPO) barring NGO chief executives from contesting the parliamentary elections should not be declared illegal and unconstitutional.

HC directs Bulu to surrender within 8 weeks

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed former commerce adviser Barkatullah Bulu to surrender within eight weeks before the trial court in connection with two separate criminal cases filed against him in Noakhali.

Defence lawyers cross-examine complainant

Defence lawyers of seven accused, including detained former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu and Harkatul Jihad (Huji) chief Mufti Abdul Hannan, yesterday cross-examined Sub-Inspector Sharif Faruque Ahmed in the August 21 grenade attack case.

Agyan Party member beaten to death in city

A member of Agyan Party was beaten to death and another injured in the city's Jatrabari area on Saturday night.

Moudud gets ad-interim bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad-interim bail for three months to former BNP minister Moudud Ahmed in an FDR embezzlement case filed by the government.

Food & Cultural Festival begins today

A seven-day Bangladesh Food & Cultural Festival begins at Radisson Water Garden Hotel in Dhaka today, says a press release.

Sightsavers Int'l chief arrives today

Chairman of Sightsavers International Lord Nigel Crisp will arrive in Dhaka today on a three-day visit, says a press release.

AIDS awareness fair ends

A two-day 'HIV and AIDS Targeted Intervention (HATI) Mela' aiming to raise awareness among the people about the deadly disease ended in Sylhet yesterday, says a press release.

National

Health service limps in Patuakhali district

With 109 of the 164 posts of doctors lying vacant in different health centres in Patualhali district, only 55 doctors are struggling to cope with healthcare service for about 17 lakh people in seven upazilas in the district.

Workers Party leader Badsha submits nomination

Workers' Party (WP) politburo member Fazle Hossain Badsha yesterday submitted his nomination papers and said he is the candidate of Awami League-led electoral alliance at Rajshahi-2 (Rajshahi City Corporation areas).

BNP wants alliance ticket in all 6 seats in Sirajganj, Jamaat firm on two

Local BNP demands four-party alliance ticket all six seats in Sirajganj while Jamaat-e-Islami, a key partner of the BNP-led alliance, is serious about getting tickets for two seats in the district.

Students can play vital role to check graft: ACC chief

Chairman of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday said the new generation, especially the students, can stop corruption as they are yet to be involved in the bad practice.

Panchagarh college closed as 15 girls fall sick

At least 15 students of Panchagarh Government Women's College were attacked with a 'mysterious disease' yesterday forcing the college authorities to stop the examinations and close down the college for an indefinite period, college sources said.

'Give ID cards to marginal fishermen'

Participants at a workshop held here yesterday underscored the need for supplying professional identity (ID) cards to marginal fishermen.

'Ensure voting rights for persons with disabilities'

Speakers at a rally held here yesterday demanded of the government to ensure rights of vote for persons with disabilities.

2,024 bottles of phensidyl seized

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday seized 2,024 bottles of phensidyl at Chhoyroshia village of Alatuli union in Sadar upazila.

Letters

Power and responsibility

Either they do not understand or they do not want to understand that this is not only the chair of power but this also bears the responsibilities of entire populace. I am talking about our so-called politicians. These politicians like to promise thousands of times to commoners on different issues and among them most common and used words are... “People are the source of all power (whatever they cherish in their minds)” and we keep hearing if they get “power” they will do this or that for the people and so on.

Traffic issue

The problem persists. And people continue to suffer. We don't know how long this will continue.

Polythene menace

It is no more unknown to people how much disastrous the polythene bags are for our environment. The intriguing matter is that polythene bag is banned in our country. The present caretaker govt, since it took over, has brought many changes or at least tried to do so either by enacting laws or by amending provisions in the existing laws. But it is a matter of regret that they have given a complete blind eye to the violation of an existing law. When the whole world is getting interested in using environment friendly things in everyday life, our country is producing environment destroying polythene. People of our country have a natural tendency to violate laws. So the govt should ensure the enforcement of the laws. We expect our govt will take necessary measures immediately to stop polythene production and sale.

The world and we

With all the hoopla of the US election slowly dying down, it is time for the new President Elect to assemble his team and get down to the business of restoring the world economy as well as the American status quo in the world. Come Jan 20, President Obama will take up the mantle of not only the most powerful country in the World but the country whose policies will directly or indirectly affect the rest of the world. With the promise of pragmatism and deliberate legislation to boost up the world's economy, President elect Obama provides a golden opportunity for countries like Bangladesh to finally emerge from the shadows of corruption and calamity and play an important part in the next “bubble”, whatever that may be.

Think about it

Almighty God - our Lord promised, among other things, in Holy Quran: He will protect the Holy Quran. The event that reportedly took place recently in Hyderabad, India, bears inter alia testimony to the fact: how Almighty God has - once again - set a clear example with regard to fulfilment of His above promise before all His creatures, enabling them to witness it or to know about it or to internalise it otherwise, to take lesson from it, and to use it in pursuits of say, strengthening their trust in Him, to mention a few. A description of the event given by one, Mr. Naseer Ahmad Mughal via a google website posting has been presented below:

A sad incident

A news item that was published in your daily on November 17,2008 with the headline "Harassed, girl takes her life" caught my attention. I was sad and yet angry with the people for whom an innocent girl had to give her precious life. This is not a new story. It is happening in our society often but how long will we keep on seeing these barbaric attitudes of these characterless people? As long as we do not have effective laws in our society these incidents will keep on happening. The girl was an SSC examinee who took her own life when some boys repeatedly teased her.

Election and corrupt politicians

Dr. Kamal Hossain, Gono Forum President and an eminent jurist while speaking in a discussion meeting organised by Peoples' Empowerment Trust on 17 November said that the culprits should not be allowed to stage a come back and participate in any election.

Party nomination

The political parties are now busy selecting the candidates for the upcoming parliamentary & upazila election. The past experience regarding the nomination for election is not encouraging, rather frustrating. The people of the land have observed and experienced undesirable and quite undemocratic things in the process of nomination. Bribery, selling of nomination widely known as “nomination trade” was much talked about before the scheduled 22nd January 2007 election.

Tragic indeed

On 17th November on the last page of The Daily Star a headline drew my attention. . But after reading the heading I became extremely emotional and disappointed and suddenly I said to myself Oh! No!! Not again!! After reading the entire news I came to know that a young girl of Gopalganj district named Lima had taken her life after continuous harassment & teasing of local goons.

Political scene

Noting to predict now, just wait for the result. The British High Commissioner has no headache if the election is held under the state of emergency.

GP and capital market

On November 11, 2008, GP New CEO said, "The shareholders of Grameenphone remain committed to the IPO, to develop the Bangladesh capital market and to share Grameenphone's success with its future shareholders."

BSF's shooting spree

We are again shocked at the killing of three Bangladeshi civilians by BSF, including a woman and a child at the Tentulia border recently.

Appointment of judges

It is reported in the media that 7 new HC judges have been appointed by the CTG. No doubt this is a piece of good news. But the question is who are these honourable judges? We know that they have been processed through a system, the SJC has nominated them to the President for appointment and the President has done so. Fine.

"Islamic" militants

I am writing this letter in reference to the recent report titled “ Huge explosive haul after JMB men held” on Monday Nov 17 where the JMB members were referred to as “Islamic militants”. I always wonder from where the word “Islamic militants” came and what is really meant by “Islamic militants” or “Islamic terrorists” . Where in our religion it is mentioned how to be an “ISLAMIC militant or how to be an “ISLAMIC terrorist”? What is the “Islamic way” to kill people or do harm to others? Living abroad when I open newspapers or listen to the media I feel bad to hear the word “Islamic terrorist” but at the same time I feel that these people do not know much about this great religion so it is easy for them to label the terrorists as the way they are doing now. Once I had to speak to my child's schoolteacher regarding a handout given at school on 9/11 observance day where a picture showed an airplane being attacked by “Islamic terrorists”. My little girl questioned me “mom who is a Islamic terrorist”, Why are they calling this bad people as Islamic terrorists.

Dowry

Dowry is a curse of our society. It is destroying the lives of many women.

Good decision

BNP led four party took decision to participate in the next national elections, realising the importance of holding the elections on time.

Opportunity for Jamaat

In recent times, the country has seen an important change that could have a far-reaching effect on the political culture in Bangladesh. The Jamaat-e-Islami has changed their party name and constitution to remain in conformity with the constitution of Bangladesh. Critics have argued that Jamaat has not changed their ideology although in writing they mention about democratic norms. Without arguing about their intention, I think we could at least welcome them for making these changes and hold them accountable if they go against their constitution. In this context, I have some concerns which needs be addressed by the party leaders of Jamaat . I believe the party could gain people's trust if they take necessary steps to show that their deeds reflect their words.

International

Clashes mar Kashmir polls

Hundreds of angry protesters threw rocks at a polling station and clashed with government soldiers in Indian Kashmir on Sunday during the second phase of state elections.

Heavy fighting outside Tiger political HQ

Helicopter gunships attacked Tamil Tiger rebel positions in northern Sri Lanka as battles shifted onto a key highway leading to the rebels' political capital, the defence ministry said.

Wake up, shape up and fight terror

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday talked tough with the police forces, telling top officers they needed to gather actionable intelligence and act in a manner that does not damage their image among the people.

Israeli army urges govt to attack Iran, strike peace deal with Syria

Israel's defence establishment in a recommendation paper to be presented to the Cabinet has asked it to make contingency plans to attack Iran, reach a peace agreement with Syria and prevent polls in the Palestinian areas even if Tel Aviv has to confront with the US.

Abbas to call snap polls if Hamas talks fail

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said yesterday that he will call snap presidential and parliamentary elections in the New Year if reconciliation talks with the Islamist Hamas movement fail.

Thai protesters vow final showdown with govt

Anti-government protesters said yesterday they were massing activists in the Thai capital for their biggest rally yet in a final showdown with the government, while the military deployed soldiers to deter violence.

Soldiers attack home of Guinea-Bissau president

Mutinous soldiers fought their way into the fortified residence of Guinea-Bissau's president in a three-hour gunbattle yesterday but did not hurt the head of state, a top official said.

Syria hosts Iraq security meet in wake of US raid

A high-level meeting to discuss security in Iraq opened in Damascus on Sunday less than a month after US soldiers raided a Syrian village in a hunt for a "facilitator" of foreign fighters entering Iraq.

Tension mounts in Somali pirate lair as Islamists threaten attack

Tension mounted yesterday between pirates holding a Saudi tanker and Islamist fighters threatening to attack them, with a week remaining for the ship's owners to meet a 25-million-dollar ransom demand.

'Nostalgic' Bush ponders 'forced retirement'

One day after saying he was waxing "nostalgic" about his eight years in office, US President George W Bush joked Saturday that he faces "forced retirement" when Barack Obama takes over in 59 days.

Bush, Medvedev put brave face on differences at final summit

The Russian and US leaders put a brave face on their differences at valedictory talks on Saturday, with officials saying Iran and piracy were problems the two sides would continue working on.

Iraqi lawmakers vote on US security pact Wednesday

The Iraqi parliament will vote Wednesday on a pact that would allow American troops to stay in Iraq for three more years, but the government's hopes of winning a wide margin of approval to ensure the deal's legitimacy appeared to be fading.

Obama promises to fight terror in 'region': Karzai

US President-elect Barack Obama pledged in a telephone conversation with Afghan President Hamid Karzai that fighting terrorism in Afghanistan and the region an apparent reference to Pakistan would be a top priority during his administration, Karzai's office said Sunday.

Civilian, 11 rebels killed in Afghanistan

US-led forces in Afghanistan said Sunday they had killed an Afghan civilian in a battle that also left two militants dead, as nine Taliban rebels were reported killed in a separate clashes.

Voting starts in Venezuela elections

Polls opened across Venezuela Sunday in elections for governors and mayors seen as a popularity test for leftist President Hugo Chavez, one year after the anti-US leader lost a referendum on extending his authority.

Maldives' first president dies

Ibrahim Nasir, credited with ushering in independence to the Maldives as prime minister and then serving as its first president has died, a former government spokesman confirmed.

Arts & Entertainment

Palakar’s theatre fest in full gear

At the ten-day studio theatre festival by the troupe Palakar, mostly experimental plays are being staged. The festival, beginning on November 21 at Palakar's theatre studio on Natok Shoroni, celebrates five years of the troupe's studio theatre performances. Within a limited space and with a professional approach, Palakar has been staging plays every Thursday and Friday at its studio.

Rendered homeless by Kaptai Lake

“Baan” -- a play on the plight of indigenous people, who lost their homes to the Kaptai Lake -- was staged at the auditorium of Rangamati Tribal Culture Institute on November 22.

Monirul Islam’s exhibition at Bengal begins today

To art enthusiasts, internationally acclaimed Bangladeshi artist Monirul Islam does not need an introduction. He has been living in Madrid since 1969 and is known as one of the pioneering artists of the 1960s. Apart from printmaking, Monir is also renowned for his watercolours and mixed media works.

Rafiquzzaman and Shakila on “Gaanalap”

Music based programme "Gaanalap" will be aired tonight on Banglavision at 9:05 pm. Produced by Nahid Ahmed Biplab, the show is hosted by noted singer/ musician Nakib Khan.

“Rajneeti O Shushashon-e Nari” on ATN Bangla

Second episode of the TV show titled "Rajneeti O Shushashon-e Nari" (Women in Politics and Good Governance) will be aired this evening at 6:20 pm on ATN Bangla. Anchored by S.M. Shamim Reza, the programme focuses on women's role in politics, leading to good governance in Bangladesh.

‘Jatra’ artistes honoured in Manikganj

'Shonar Bangla Natya Goshthi', an organisation that has been operating for the last 60 years, honoured its 11 artistes for their contribution to the performing art form 'jatra.'

Vatican forgives John Lennon for Jesus quip

The Vatican's newspaper has finally forgiven John Lennon for declaring that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, calling the remark a "boast" by a young man grappling with sudden fame.

OP-ED

'We don't have a strong civil society for promoting democracy'

Syed Anwar Husain was born in Bogra in 1947. After graduating from Dhaka University in history in 1968 and obtaining master degree from the university in modern history in 1969, he received M A from Edinburgh University, Scotland in 1975 and obtained PhD from London University three years later. He conducted post-doctoral researches in various universities in the US. He joined the department of history at DU in 1970. He served as director general of Bangla Academy during 1997-2001, and as vice-chancellor of Darul Ihsan University during 2004-2005. Currently the president of Bangladesh Itihash Samity, he was general secretary of Bangladesh Asiatic Society, and founding president of Bangladesh Association for American Studies and Bangladesh Association for International Studies. He has authored 28 books and 93 essays. He was selected as "Man of The Year" by American Biographical Institute in 1997/2001. Shamim Ashraf and Rakib Ahammed took the interview.

Crumbling conceit

THESE are dire times for the world financial system. With its fault lines in sub-prime lending in the US housing market, the crisis has spread like a tsunami throughout the world. Banks and other financial institutions, many of which were never supposed to fail, collapsed. Some of these swooned into the arms of their more solvent counterparts. Others were rescued by governments in operations of a scale never been seen before.

Star City

Eye-straining TV channels

A few thousand Dhaka residents may turn on their television sets only to confront flickering and see badly rendered images and hazy shadows.

Slums still not beyond hope

Crimes committed from the city's Korail slum have marked a decline thanks to awareness and skill development programmes carried out under non-government and community initiatives.

"city express"

The latest crop of quotes from the city's press -- words worth repeating, we feel, for their humour, insight or sheer outrageousness. Star City does not necessarily support the opinions expressed in this column.


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