News of: Tuesday, 16th of December, 2008
The government of independent Bangladesh in its first decision banned five communal outfits including Jamaat-e-Islami, which not only opposed the nation's independence but also actively helped Pakistani occupation forces commit genocide and other war crimes.
The much-talked-about military-led task forces are going to wind up all functions tomorrow with lifting of the state of emergency, although many tasks remain unfinished, sources say.
The Daily Star analysed some selected components of the election manifestos of both Awami League (AL) and BNP. These important socio-political issues are the parties' commitments about anti-corruption drive, the judiciary, human rights, minority nationalities and religions, and fighting crime, terrorism, and religious fundamentalism.
Both the home ministry and Election Commission (EC) have moved to controversially vest executive magistrates with the authority of judicial magistrates, allowing them to try electoral offences and ensure a free and fair parliamentary election.
The city dwellers' confusion about constituencies redrawn by the Election Commission (EC) has begun to clear up only now with the electioneering for the ninth parliamentary polls underway.
While it repeats some promises it failed to keep in the past, the election manifesto of Awami League (AL) espouses some new ideas in addressing socio political issues, including explicit promises to keep law enforcing agencies above politics, and banning religious extremism and terrorism.
In addressing various socio-political and judicial issues, the BNP which has long campaigned that it is the 'choice of the new generation' has not presented new ideas in its election manifesto.
The nation today celebrates the 37th anniversary of its glorious victory over the Pakistani occupation forces after nine-month-long Liberation War amid calls for boycotting the war criminals in the upcoming parliamentary election.
Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina yesterday formally began her election campaign in the Dhaka city with a pledge to turn it into a modern city free from crimes.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday warned that consequences of "conspiracies" to foil the December 29 national elections would be dreadful.
Awami League yesterday accused the BNP-led 4-party alliance of violating electoral code of conduct during their campaign.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is to file 11 cases against 22 staff of Bangladesh Telecommu-nications Company Ltd (BTCL) -- formerly the BTTB -- for misappropriating around Tk 41 crore.
The government is to provide a magnetic chip card to all migrant workers going abroad for work as part of new initiatives to ensure their security and rights while working abroad.
Jatiya Jukta Front, a new electoral alliance initiated by AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury and Dr Kamal Hossain, announced its election manifesto yesterday with commitments to ban hartal and never boycott the parliament.
The High Court (HC) yesterday upheld the decisions of the Election Commission (EC), which cancelled the candidatures of Kazi Zafar Ahmed of Jatiya Party, Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir of Awami League and Abdul Hannan and Abdus Sobhan of BNP.
An Iraqi official says a reporter who threw his shoes at President Bush is being held for questioning by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's guards and is being tested for alcohol and drugs.
Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva was chosen as Thailand's prime minister yesterday in an effort to end months of political turmoil, but the move unleashed new protests by supporters of the previous government who hurled rocks at lawmakers.
India yesterday said it is the duty of Bangladesh not to allow its territory be used for “anti-India activities.”
IT is a time to celebrate and to remember. Three million Bengalis made the supreme sacrifice in order for all of us to live and thrive in freedom. Today we recall the various odds we overcame in 1971 -- the opposition of the Nixon administration, the non-cooperative role of the Chinese government, the hostility of most Middle Eastern nations -- as we struggled to wrest freedom from the genocidal Pakistan establishment. We recall too the help and sympathy of our friends, especially India and the Soviet Union, and others across the world as we waged war against the occupation forces. We recall the decisive leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the wisdom and guidance of the Mujibnagar government in our determined war for liberation.
IT seems that the country's politics has come to life since the withdrawal of restrictions on political activity. And that is as it should be. It is good to see that the political parties and their candidates have started campaigning to wean voters to their cause and get their votes. What, however, has been rather disconcerting is the inclination to revert to the old ways inasmuch as they have started occupying public places for rallies and political meetings.
SOME naughty Englishman had said "promises are made to be broken and lies are meant to be kept." What a wicked thought, indeed! When we the plebeians try not to break a pledge we so solemnly make on matters of personal or national importance, the power-mongers are quick to make promises and even quicker to break them. While our conscience is pricked at our own folly, theirs remain as healthy as that of a tiger that has just devoured a human.
MOST environmentalists are disappointed that the political parties in their election manifestos have not touched on how to address the adverse effects of global warming in the country.
MUCH to their elation, corrupt politicians (corrupticians) of Bangladesh know that they have their counterparts in America also -- differing not only in degree but also in the consequences of being corrupt.
Batting great Sachin Tendulkar hit an unbeaten 103 as India achieved the fourth-highest run chase in history to stun England by six wickets in the first Test here on Monday.
Nayeem Islam showed a rare brand of patience by occupying the crease for five hours as leaders Rajshahi recovered from an early hiccup to post an impressive first innings total against Sylhet on the second day of the ninth round National Cricket League match at the Rajshahi Divisional Stadium yesterday.
India's six-wicket win in the first Test after achieving the fourth-highest run chase in history was a "bitter pill to swallow," England captain Kevin Pietersen said on Monday.
The first Test between New Zealand and the West Indies ended in a draw after rain washed out the fifth and final day here Monday.
The traditional Victory Day exhibition cricket match between Shaheed Jewel XI and Shaheed Mushtaque XI will be held at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium today.
Guiding India to victory with a four that also fetched him his 41st Test hundred, Sachin Tendulkar on Monday rated his knock in the first Test against England among his "very, very special" centuries.
The government yesterday approved the nomination of ten sports personalities for National Sports Award 2008 for their outstanding contributions to different fields of sports.
Bangladesh Police and Bangladesh Rifles made a good start in the Pepsi Victory Day volleyball competition at the volleyball stadium yesterday.
Juventus kept their own title hopes alive while dealing a potentially fatal blow to those of AC Milan with a thrilling 4-2 victory at Turin's Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.
Brazilian Renato was the hero again as Sevilla followed up their Real Madrid scalp with a 1-0 home win over title rivals Villarreal on Sunday to go third in the table.
Real Madrid's new head coach Juande Ramos is eager to strengthen the La Liga champions by signing Aston Villa winger Ashley Young, according to reports in the Spanish press.
Gianfranco Zola stopped his old club Chelsea from returning to the top of the English Premier League as his West Ham side claimed a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Sir Alex Ferguson is desperate for Manchester United to be the first British team to get their hands on the Club World Cup, one of the few trophies he has yet to win.
Bayern Munich have confirmed midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has agreed a new three-year contract with the club.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has told North London rivals Arsenal that they can forget about winning the Premier League title this season.
Lyon ground out a goalless draw on Sunday at their Stade Gerland over title rivals Marseille to preserve their three-point lead at the top of the French league as they chase an eighth straight title.
Hoffenheim finish the year as league leaders after coming from behind to seal a 1-1 draw with nine-man Schalke 04 on Sunday as the village team from south-west Germany continue the Bundesliga fairytale.
Birthday boy Michael Owen gave himself the present of the opening goal as Newcastle beat Portsmouth 3-0 at Fratton Park here on Sunday for their first away Premier League win this season.
South Africa's alarming crime rate and the threat of terrorist attacks are the number one priority of 2010 World Cup organisers, but they insisted Monday fans need not worry.
World record-holder over 100 and 200 metres, Usain Bolt says that he is tempted to have a go at the nine-year-old 400 metres record held by Michael Johnson.
The off-on-off Afro-Asia Cup was raised at last week's International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executives' meeting in Cape Town, with a request from Cassim Suliman, the chairman of the African Cricket Association, for major boards to find space for its to be staged.
Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma and Subramaniam Badrinath are the biggest gainers in the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) new set of annual players' contracts, running up to September 30 2009. Rahul Dravid, who has been struggling for form over the last year, has been retained in Grade A -- the top bracket that will fetch him 60 lakh rupees this year -- according to the new list, released on Monday.
Munshiganj Press Club became champions in the Victory Day Twenty20 cricket tournament when they beat Munshiganj Pourashava by four wickets at the local stadium yesterday.
The baggy green cap worn by Australian cricket legend Donald Bradman in his final Test Monday failed to sell at an auction in Melbourne despite generating global media interest.
Bangladesh Bank (BB) yesterday instructed banks to take measures to reduce the time and cost of transferring remittances, as about 40 percent of remittances flow in from abroad through informal channels, locally known as hundi.
The Tk 215 crore bid price for each WiMax licence acquisition has become a 'double bind' for the telecom regulator, as majority of the seven bidders are now reluctant to have the technology at such a price.
The government's tax holiday facility for the income generated from construction of multi-storied buildings outside urban areas has so far created no impact on builders as they find the offer economically nonviable.
The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) yesterday elected Abdul Hafiz Choudhury as its president for the year 2009, said a press statement.
With Germany's economy hitting the wall, Frankfurt professionals have plenty to worry about these days, so some put their minds to rest by pulling on gloves and slamming sandbags, or each other.
In recent days, many of our economists, policy planners, business leaders and development partners seem to be concerned about the economic and business future of Bangladesh. A question is being raised: Is there a signal for economic slowdown?
Finance Adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday called upon the banks to provide collateral-free loans to the Bangladeshis willing to go abroad for works, considering the expatriates' contribution to the country's forex reserve.
Bangladesh expressed frustration in a "green room" meeting convened recently by World Trade Organisation Director General Pascal Lamy over failure to reach agreement on preference erosion in the Doha non-agricultural market access negotiations, according to a Washington Trade Daily (WTD) report.
Asia's stocks bounced back Monday as investors hopes were raised of a bailout in the United States for the Big Three auto companies.
Dhaka stocks continued to fall for a second day yesterday with the turnover coming down to one of the lowest this year.
World oil prices rebounded yesterday on expectations that crude exporters' cartel Opec will cut production at a key meeting in Algeria this week, dealers said.
Warid Telecom (Pvt) Ltd has won the 'Brand of the Year Award' again in 2008 in the category of 'The Best Cellular Company in Pakistan', according to a press release.
Citi Global Transaction Services yesterday launched direct custody and clearing services in Bangladesh.
Facing difficulties in putting things on auction, Chittagong Customs House (Export) urged the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to transfer the auction duty to the Customs House (Import).
Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro) has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) to promote Bangladesh's software and IT enabled services (ITES) industry in Japanese market.
Indian state-run banks announced Monday they would offer cheaper housing loans as the government seeks to shore up the country's sagging property sector.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations took a major step towards becoming an EU-style community Monday with the passing into force of a new charter setting benchmarks for democracy.
Faced with the looming threat of bankruptcy, US automakers fretted Monday while White House officials studied the sputtering companies' finances but reported no moves toward a bailout.
Japan's top broker Nomura and a clutch of South Korean firms on Monday joined the growing list of victims of an alleged multi-billion-dollar swindle on Wall Street.
The board of directors of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry unanimously elected MA Latif as president, Abdul Salam as senior vice-president and SM Shafiul Hoque as vice-president of the chamber for a two-year term (2009-2010).
Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday urged the field-level government officials to make arrangements so that people could cast their votes in a festive mood without any fear.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said a close relationship among the writers, publishers and readers is essential to build a knowledge-based society.
Road network in the city expands further as the link road between two major thoroughfares -- Bijoy Sarani and Tajuddun Ahmed Sarani in Tejgaon-- opens today.
The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the home adviser and inspector general of police (IGP) to submit to this court by January 5 an investigation report in connection with the bombings at the residences of the HC judges Justice Sharif Uddin Chaklader and Justice Tariq ul Hakim.
Speakers at a press conference yesterday called for setting up a memorial in the capital in memory of around 11000 allied force members who were martyred during the Liberation War in 1971.
Channel i will telecast daylong Wheel-Channel i Bijoy Mela live from its own office building at Tejgaon from 11:05am to 6:00pm today.
The next government must continue to extend all-out support to farmers in order to ensure food security and help face challenges posed by the global climate change, Agriculture Adviser CS Karim said yesterday.
The Army Headquarters yesterday said the army doesn't have any kind of involvement in allotment of the plots of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) and there should not be any misunderstanding in this regard.
Around 4,000 licensed firearms and 1,03,693 bullets have been deposited with 35 police stations under Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) ahead of polls.
The law enforcers and intelligence agencies have taken three-tier security measures by deploying over 20,000 police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members backed by dog squads and detectives for trouble-free celebration of the Victory Day today.
Development work of more than 2000 projects in Bogra has not yet started due to the low quality of government-supplied wheat, according to District Relief and Rehabilitation Office (DRRO).
The daily Prothom Alo in collaboration with Grameenphone, a mobile phone operator, will publish a book of letters written by freedom fighters to their near and dear ones during the Liberation War in 1971.
President Iajuddin Ahmed has signed an ordinance repealing the Emergency Power Ordinance 2007 with effect from December 17 in line with an earlier government announcement.
The High Court yesterday directed the Election Commission (EC) to accept the nomination paper of Awami League candidate Ataur Rahman Shamim from Moulavibazar-2 constituency in the national elections.
Today is the 36th death anniversary of martyred intellectual Prof Dr Md Abul Kalam Azad, says a press release.
Today is the 37th death anniversary of Shaheed Ruhul Islam Sadi, says a press release.
Japan-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital (JBFH) will conduct a health camp for the people from all walks of life at Channel i Bhaban at Tejgaon in the city today on the occasion of the Victory Day, says a press release.
The authorities of Rajshahi Islami Bank Medical College Hospital (IBMCH) dominated by Jamaat people has organised a free eye camp for freedom fighters on the Victory Day today to befool freedom fighters as well as deceive voters.
Failing to get grand alliance ticket for the December 29 parliament election, two former lawmakers of Jatiya Party have filed nomination papers for upazila chairman.
The annual income of independent candidate in Pirojpur-3 (Mathbaria and Telikhali union of Bhandaria) Rustam Ali Farazi is Tk 67,519 but his expenditure is Tk 1,20,000.
The withdrawal of nomination paper by Krishak Sramik Janata League (KSJL) candidate Shamim-al-Monsur Azad Siddiqui in Tangail-4 (Kalihati) constituency has brightened the prospect of Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance candidate in the upcoming national election.
Iraq faced mounting calls yesterday to release the journalist who hurled his shoes at George W Bush, an action branded shameful by the government but hailed by many in the Arab world as an ideal parting gift to the unpopular US president.
The Iraqi journalist who caused a furore when he hurled his shoes at visiting US President George W. Bush "detested America" and had been plotting such an attack for months, colleagues said on Monday.
Pakistan and India talked hopefully about improving relations yesterday as the nuclear-armed rivals appeared to be searching for a path away from confrontation following the Mumbai terror attacks.
Sri Lankan security forces captured another key village from Tamil Tiger rebels yesterday after heavy fighting as the air force kept up bombing more guerrilla targets, the defence ministry said.
Haulage companies in Pakistan have stopped delivering to foreign troops in Afghanistan after a major deterioration in security along the key supply route, an association official said Monday.
A joint Afghan-Nato operation in a volatile region in the country's dangerous south has killed 40 militants, including the Taliban's leader in that region, a government official said yesterday.
US Senator John Kerry visited India yesterday and put fresh pressure on Pakistan over the Mumbai attacks, saying its powerful spy agency must be brought under control.
An overcrowded ferry capsized just short of its destination in rough seas in the northeastern Philippines, causing terrified passengers to leap into the sea, officials said Monday. At least 23 people drowned.
A Jordan-based Iraqi rights group said yesterday it has filed 200 lawsuits against US former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and American security firms for their alleged role in torturing Iraqis.
When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, global warming was a slow-moving environmental problem that was easy to ignore. Now it is a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can't avoid.
Seven members of a family from the ancient Yazidi religious sect were gunned down in their home as violence continued in Iraq yesterday in the wake of US President George W. Bush's farewell visit.
Israel has turned back UN human rights envoy Richard Falk upon his arrival at Ben Gurion airport, authorities said on Monday, accusing him of "legitimizing Hamas terrorism."
It will likely rank as one of the more bizarre episodes of his presidency -- George W Bush, surely one of the most protected leaders in history, ducking as two size 10 shoes hurtled in his direction.
Three Germans, among them a UN expert, were kidnapped in Yemen on Sunday, a security official said on Monday.
Somalia's parliament on Monday overwhelming backed the government of Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein, a day after President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed announced his dismissal.
At least seven Myanmar migrant workers and a Thai man were killed in a road accident in Thailand on Monday as suspected traffickers tried to flee police in a border area, officials said.
Arts & Entertainment
Syed Abdullah Khalid is regarded as one of the most brilliant sculptors of our country. A multitalented artist, Khalid has not excelled in sculpture but also made an impression with his paintings.
It was a time of great excitement, apprehension and a time of bonding. The streets of Dhaka were filled with colourful processions; heated meetings and rallies. The daytime was occupied with guerrilla warfare- trainings, students and mob chasing 'Tholas' (police with helmets). The afternoons were for rehearsals, for us who belonged to music-schools (Chhayanat). The nights were for patrolling. University students (like my brothers) and elders stayed awake all night to protect their locality against any unexpected threats from the non-Bengalis, or Biharis.
Bangladesh is proud of its rich pool of patriotic cultural personalities. Take the case of danseuse Lubna Mariam who went to refugee camps and war zones during the Liberation War as a member of the 'Bangladesh Mukti Sangrami Shilpi Shangstha' -- a troupe of artistes. As a part of the group, Mariam managed to stir the patriotic sentiments of the freedom fighters. At the training camps, music provided a much-needed boost to the morale of the freedom fighters and Bengali refugees. Through her art, Mariam conveyed that the dream of a sovereign Bangladesh was within reach.
As part of the four-day celebration on the occasion of Victory Day, a discussion was held on December 14 at the Liberation War Museum (LWM) premises.
Bangla Academy observed the Martyred Intellectuals' Day at its premises on December 14. With this event, which included a memorial speech and musical programme, began the three-day celebration of Victory Day by Bangla Academy.
SECULARISM remains as an enigmatic concept in our national politics. Progressive politicians are yet to be successful in establishing it as a principle of governance. The last several years have been tough for them, and they were on the run because of the emergence of a radical right wing. Many progressive politicians would be happy to see secularism remain as a non-issue in the upcoming election.
AT a seminar last week discussing the newly formed National Human Rights Commission, it was pointedly asked why it had no minority members. The chairman had no reply for us, but the question kept percolating in the room.
THERE are three versions of the liberation war of Bangladesh: one of the AL, another of the BNP, and yet another of the JI. We want to avoid the anomalousness about it because of our apprehension that our national consciousness may be challenged. This has emboldened the parties who oppose the birth of Bangladesh to call the war of independence a civil war because, they argue, Pakistan was one country and both sides were fighting on a shared land, and that the war was between India and Pakistan.
FREE, fair and neutral Jatiya Sangasd and local government elections are a must for a democratic, just and equitable society. Participation of all citizens in these elections is very important, for which there is a need to take special initiatives from the policy, legal and structural perspectives.