The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, October 24, 2014


News of: Friday, 26th of December, 2008

Front Page

Parties go innovative to grab Bihari votes

Over the years it dawned on him that they, the Biharis here, had made the same mistake twice, and that was supporting Pakistan first in 1947 and then in 1971.

A party plotting to assassinate me

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday alleged that a party is plotting to assassinate her seeing huge public support for the BNP-led four-party alliance.

Vote for peace, not terrorism

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged people to secure victory of peace over terrorism and development over corruption by giving mandate to her party in the December 29 parliamentary election.

48 graft accused contest elections

A total of 48 candidates including 27 from BNP and 17 from Awami League (AL), who have been charged with corruption, are contesting the ninth parliamentary election from various constituencies across the country.

Women aspirants for JS seats reach new high

Apart from Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia, a crop of female leaders of different political parties have emerged as tough candidates in different constituencies in the upcoming parliamentary election.

Business of Babar unknown

Lutfozzaman Babar, the most-talked-about figure of the BNP-led alliance government for many controversies, claims to be a businessman but says the major part of his earnings come from agriculture.

Battle of Barisal in Mohammadpur

Two youth leaders from Barisal seem to be leading in the race for Dhaka-13 where the image and electoral symbol of the party they belong to could set them apart.

Noor Ali sorry for 'unintended' act

Unique Group Managing Director Noor Ali Wednesday withdrew the Tk 5-crore extortion case he filed against Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina and begged pardon for his "unintended" act yesterday.

8 JMB men with explosives held

Police yesterday arrested eight operatives of outlawed Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) including two madrasa teachers in Gaibandha and seized a big cache of explosives.

5-tier security net for Dhaka polls

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) is spreading a five-tier security net in the capital involving 38,928 law enforcers to ensure peaceful holding of the December 29 parliamentary election.

Home rush, this time for polls

It is like a comeback of the Eid festival -- people rushing home. This time, the travel is for a different purpose, though. They are keen to exercise the right to vote.

Group of former bureaucrats allegedly out with a mission

A group of former civil bureaucrats have allegedly been communicating with field level government officials, asking them to work for the BNP-led alliance's candidates, and assured them of promotion if the alliance is voted to power.

Report on poll expenditure a must in 30 days

The Election Commission (EC) has directed the returning officers (ROs) to inform the parliamentary contenders to submit their election expenditure report in next 30 days since publication of poll results in official gazette.

4 sacked from BNP

Membership of four BNP leaders has been cancelled for “anti-party activities” and hindering election campaign of the party candidates.

Voter list gets more kudos

A nationwide independent audit of the country's new digital voter list has concluded that all names on the roll are of legitimate voters and nearly all eligible voters are on the list.

Textbook printing in limbo on paper dearth

Secondary school students are unlikely to get fresh textbooks at the beginning of their academic session as publishers and printing houses will not be able to print books in time due to shortage of paper.

Xmas prayers for honest candidates

Christmas was celebrated across the country yesterday with special prayers seeking blessings for honest candidates to win in the upcoming election so that they can work for peace, prosperity and welfare of the countrymen.

Grenade casing seized as case evidence

Police seized a steel casing of grenade from the district town as evidence in the Kibria killing case on Wednesday night.

Tigers face Lanka in 1st Test today

Bangladesh cricket team take on Sri Lanka in the first Test at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur today with all eyes firmly fixed on one man.

Bomb found in Khulna AL leader's house

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered a powerful bomb from the residence of a ward level leader of Khulna city Awami League yesterday morning.

Gas bidding decision left for new govt

The caretaker government now shifts the matter of taking decision on the third-round international bidding for gas blocks to the next elected government although it had invited tender with a vigorous move to award the contracts within its tenure.

Taliban threaten to kill Pak girls if they attend schools

Taliban extremists in Pakistan's troubled northwest Swat valley have banned girls from attending school, threatening to kill any female students, officials said yesterday.

18 Tamil Tigers killed in fresh Lankan fighting

Sri Lanka's military beat back a Tamil Tiger counter-offensive in the island's north, killing at least 18 guerrillas, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Seven killed in Karachi building collapse

At least seven people were killed and 17 others injured when a five-storey residential building collapsed early Thursday in southern Pakistan, police said.

Shortage of men marks Christmas in Baghdad

The little Church of the Virgin Mary of the Holy Heart in the centre of Baghdad was packed for Christmas mass on Thursday but the shortage of men gave a clue to the harrassment the community has faced.

Editorial

A glaring instance of governance deficit

NONE other than the chairman, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has disclosed that 50 percent of the driving licences carried by motor drivers across the country are fake. What is more startling is the admission that those bogus licences were not issued by BRTA. Who were they issued by, then? Pat came the reply, albeit without any action plan to remedy the situation: the manufacturing racket is not all a private sector affair, a section of staff in BRTA and the ministry of communications are involved in the counterfeit licensing business.

The observance of Christmas

CHRISTIANS all over the world celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ yesterday. On a larger scale, people of all faiths recalled the birth and sacrifices of Christ as well as the values he espoused in his brief life. Like other prophets of old, Jesus Christ upheld the unity of men in a universe created to perfection by the Almighty. And like those prophets, he suffered for his belief and yet never wavered in his unshakeable faith in the ability of men and women to rise above self and dedicate themselves to the service of humanity.

Democracy 3.0

SO here we are at long last. This is our third attempt at democracy since we gained independence in 1971. The first attempt lasted less than four years and came unraveled in 1975, and the second lasted fifteen years but ran out of steam in the early days of 2007.

Meet the Marginal Man

THERE is a man inside every man. The Rain Man lives inside an autistic person who is either mentally or socially impaired, or both. The Renaissance Man, or Homo Universalis, is someone who is a polymath, whose reach of knowledge goes to more than one topic. Then Francis Fukuyama introduces the Last Man, who is the product of capitalist liberal democracy, his needs for wealth and recognition satisfied in the final stage of social synthesis. Which man lives inside a man in this country? One that fits the bill is the Marginal Man, a wedge-like entity caught in his own contradictions.

Keep them out!

HAS Bangladesh ever institutionalised a comprehensive vetting process, either in terms of war criminals or in terms of eligibility of political candidates for elections? No, and the absence of a sustained policy has ramifications in the 2008 elections.

Sports

Focus firmly on cricket

While the country is in the grip of general elections, it might be hard for someone to find a place for cricket. But there has been no way-out for Mohammad Ashraful and company when the first Test of the two-match series against Sri Lanka starts at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Mahela has no doubt

Sri Lanka is set to become only the fifth team to play Test cricket at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium but skipper Mahela Jayawardene had no qualms about the playing surface.

Nasir inspires MSC

Nasir Hossain set one for Hedayetullah Robin and scored the other to orchestrate Mohammedan's impressive start to the second leg of the Citycell B. League yesterday.

SA's chance at hand

It will be almost impossible for the Boxing Day Test to live up to the drama of South Africa's win in Perth. So unexpected was their brilliant chase of 414 that it left both teams in a state of shock. The squads have had a few days to digest the outcome and for Australia the distaste of losing forced at least one player to be spat out. But it will take more than just personnel alterations for Ricky Ponting's men to fight back in Melbourne when the second Test begins here today. They face the challenge of turning a moderate attack into one capable of curbing South Africa's powerful batting line-up, while their own batsmen try to click back into gear.

Good 2008 for India

It was a perfect finish to a perfect home season. After humbling Australia 2-0 in the recent four-Test series and blanking England 5-0 in the one-dayers, lifting the RBS Cup Test series against England was the icing on the cake for India.

Pakistan coming here in March

Pakistan will tour Bangladesh to play five one-day internationals in March next year, an official said Wednesday.

Amol's double delight

Amol Roy bagged double crown in the Popular Pharmaceuticals Victory Day tennis tournament which ended at the Ramna National tennis Complex yesterday.

Endurance test begins

It was legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly who said the race for the English league title is a "marathon not a sprint".

Brazil to call-up Amauri

Brazil coach Dunga has said he intends to call up Amauri and avoid the risk of losing the Juventus striker to Italy.

Fergie rules out new signings

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will be happy to see out the season with the current crop of players at his disposal.

2008: A forgettable year for Italy

Italy began 2008 as host country to the world champions for both clubs and countries but ended it in dismay and at times disarray.

Basile claims City interest

Former Argentina manager Alfio Basile said Wednesday that Manchester City are among several clubs trying to secure his services.

Spurs after Bellamy

Tottenham coach Harry Redknapp revealed Thursday that he was interested in luring West Ham striker Craig Bellamy to White Hart Lane in the January transfer window.

Wenger blasts former referee Poll

Arsene Wenger has launched a scathing attack on former referee Graham Poll and has described him as an embarrassment following comments made this week.

Jedinak going to Turkey

Australian national team squad member Mile Jedinak has signed an undisclosed transfer to Turkey's Gençlerbirligi for two and a half seasons, his Central Coast Mariners club said Thursday.

'Difficult times for Real'

Real Madrid coach Juande Ramos said Thursday the Spanish champions, trailing in fifth position behind arch rivals Barcelona in La Liga, were experiencing "a complicated situation".

NZ, WI change gear

After no results in a drawn two-match Test series, it's understandable that both New Zealand and West Indies would be desperate to slip into a new format with hopes of notching up a result. While neither side has really been comfortable in Test cricket this year, it might be stretching it to say they're more comfortable in Twenty20.

Ricky hopes for best

As Ricky Ponting's toughest year in charge of the Australian team draws to a close he is facing one of the Test matches that could define his captaincy. A loss to South Africa in Melbourne this week would concede the series and cap off a disappointing year that began with a narrow but controversial series win against India at home and continued with a 2-0 loss in India.

PCB & SLC sit Saturday

Officials from the Pakistan and Sri Lanka cricket boards will meet at the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday to discuss the fate of Sri Lanka's tour to Pakistan in January.

Age doesn't matter for Thompson

Ewen Thompson, New Zealand's new left-arm seamer, believes he's fit and ready to make a mark in international cricket despite getting a late call-up, at the age of 29. Thompson, who was included in the squad for the two Twenty20 internationals against West Indies starting on Friday, is known in domestic circles for his commitment to fitness.

Clark not in a hurry

Stuart Clark, who had a successful surgery on his right elbow last week, has said he will not rush himself back into action for Australia's tour to South Africa if it puts his career at risk.

We never gave up: Dyson

West Indies coach John Dyson has said his team deserves credit for pushing New Zealand in an evenly-contested draw in the final Test of the two-match series. A series of convincing individual performances ensured an outright result was never in prospect in the decider, but Dyson said earning a draw was "better than losing".

Destiny widen gap with Biman

Destiny 2000 opened up a two-point lead over title contenders Bangladesh Biman after 13 rounds in the Dutch-Bangla First Division Chess League.

Business

Non-urea fertiliser prices may fall

The government considers measures to bring down the prices of non-urea fertilisers in a bid to help farmers reduce their production costs and encourage balanced use of fertilisers in Boro crop season, agriculture adviser said yesterday.

PCBs double industrial lending

Private commercial banks (PCBs) have almost doubled their stake in industrial term lending outpacing state-owned banks, a domination the latter enjoyed for years, central bank data show.

Bleak economic data piling up

A series of gloomy economic reports Wednesday showed consumers holding tight to their wallets with US job losses expected to mount in the months ahead.

Stocks move past a bullish week

Dhaka stocks finished up last week, backed by the rising confidence of investors about future market gains.

US sees more housing woes: IMF

New US data Tuesday showed more woes gripping the troubled housing sector and confirmed the economy is shrinking, as the IMF's top economist warned of a possible second Great Depression.

Benapole open on 3-day holiday

Benapole Port and Customs House will remain open during the three-day government holiday that began yesterday.

Market confidence to return: ECB head

European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet said Tuesday that confidence was returning to financial markets, reflecting action by central banks.

Russia, China warn of dire economic straits in 2009

Russia and China issued stark warnings on Wednesday about the impact of the crisis on their recently booming economies in 2009, with Moscow saying the downturn could spark unrest in the streets.

Vietnam inflation hits 22.97pc

Vietnam's consumer prices rose by 22.97 percent in 2008, compared to 8.3 percent in 2007, the state-run General Statistics Office (GSO) said Thursday.

Seminar on insurance held

A day-long seminar on 'Application of Total Quality Management (TQM) in the Insurance Industry' was held recently at the University of Information Science and Technology (UIST), Chittagong, according to a press release.

Supermarkets on the rise

With the recent opening of its second pilot superstore in Dhaka, ACI diversifies the retail sector. After opening two new outlets in a short span, it plans to open another dozen or so in next four months.

Confidence in Swiss banks at a low ebb

You think of a Swiss bank account as one of the safest places for your money? Well, think again.

Stocks pass bullish week

Dhaka stocks finished up last week, backed by the rising confidence of investors about future market gains.

Japan, Vietnam sign free trade pact

Japan and Vietnam signed an economic partnership pact Thursday with a promise to cut tariffs on some 92 percent of goods and services traded between the two nations within a decade.

China plans to avert US-style auto crisis

China's top economic planning agency is drafting a stimulus package to save the automotive sector from a US-style crisis, state media reported Thursday.

US sees progress in easing trade disputes with China

The United States said it expected to make significant progress in resolving trade disputes with China in 2009 even as the Asian giant imposed new restrictions on market access and foreign investments.

Fed approves GMAC bank request in boost for GM

The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday approved a request by GMAC, the troubled financial arm of General Motors, to become a bank holding company, allowing it to tap government bailout funds and emergency loans.

Weekly Currency Roundup

December 21-December 24, 2008
Local FX Market

This week, the market was a little tight. Trading volume was similar to last week. US dollar was stable against the Bangladesh taka. There was ample demand for dollar in the market.

Metropolitan

Harupur village in Rajshahi free from violence against women

Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (FPAB) yesterday declared Harupur village under Paba upazila in the district as a village free from violence against women.

Rural people deprived of healthcare services

Improper distribution of human resources at the public healthcare centres deprives people across the country of smooth healthcare services.

Buet Teachers' Assoc executives

Dr M Habibur Rahman and Dr Md Sabbir Mostafa Khan were elected president and general secretary respectively of Buet Teachers' Association recently.

'Vote out war criminals in Satkhira'

Freedom fighters and pro-liberation forces formed a human chain and held a rally here yesterday urging the countrymen to vote out the war criminals in the December 29 general elections.

Schoolteacher commits suicide

A female schoolteacher committed suicide at her school in the city's Shah Ali area on Wednesday.

'Build digital Bangladesh by '21'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said the destination for the new generation should be towards a digital Bangladesh by 2021.

Bright future if Jukta Front voted to power

Jatiya Jukta Front leader Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said the new electoral alliance, if voted to power, would work for the welfare of the people of all walks of life, particularly building a bright future for the youth.

Tk 30cr spent so far for DAM cancer hospital

Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) has so far spent around Tk 30 crore for the construction of Dhaka Ahsania Mission Cancer Hospital (DAMCH).

Form women affairs commission to ensure rights

Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers' Association (BNWLA) leaders yesterday demanded the next government form a women affairs commission to solve the problems of women as well as to ensure their rights.

Vote down war criminals, militants' patrons

Members of Projonmer Chetona yesterday called on the people to vote against war criminals, anti-liberation forces, patrons of militants and those who use religion as business for their political interests in the next general elections.

Removal of PSC chairman demanded

Candidates of the 27th BCS examinations who came out successful in the 1st phase result but were dropped out from the list as per fresh viva result took out a procession on Dhaka University campus yesterday demanding immediate removal of PSC chairman.

5 handmade bombs recovered

Police recovered five handmade bombs from a house at Pangsha in Rajbari yesterday.

7 injured in Sirajganj pre-poll violence

At least seven people were injured in a clash between the supporters of two candidates in the upcoming parliamentary election at Barakandhi village in Sadar upazila yesterday.

Two killed in Sirajganj road accident

At least two persons were killed and five others injured in a road accident on Dhaka-Bonpara highway at Naimuri in Tarash upazila of Sirajganj district yesterday.

4 traders held with Phensidyl

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested four professional drug traders from the east side of Jamuna Bridge yesterday.

Former Rajbari College VP held with arms

A Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) leader and former vice-president of Rajbari Government College Students' Union was arrested along with a firearm and bullets from his village at Baraijuri in Sadar upazila on Tuesday.

'United against corruption'

Speakers at a view exchange meeting in Rajbari yesterday underscored the need for creating mass awareness to eliminate corruption from the society.

Political parties urged to vow to ensure women's rights

Female workers of ready-made garment industries staged a human chain yesterday urging the political parties to vow to ensure their rights.

'Do not induct war criminals, corrupt people into cabinet'

Sachetan Nagorik Samaj, a platform for conscious citizens, yesterday called on the next elected government not to induct war criminals, corrupt people and criminals into the cabinet.

Vote for AL-led alliance

Eighteen senior teachers of Dhaka University yesterday urged the people to vote for Awami League-led pro-liberation alliance to achieve the objectives and values of the independence war.

Prisoner escapes from DMCH

A prisoner escaped from Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday afternoon.

MJ Zahedi no more

Veteran journalist Mahbub Jamal Zahedi, former editor of Khaleej Times, Dubai, and news editor and senior assistant editor of the Dawn, Pakistan, passed away in Karachi on December 7, 2008 after a prolonged illness, according to family sources. He was 79.

National

Money game rolled out in Sirajganj-2

Ignoring the election code, money is allegedly being distributed among poor and distressed people by two influential candidates in Sirajganj-2 constituency (Sirajganj Sadar-Kamarkhanda).

Indigenous people to vote against militancy

Ronika Marak who lives in Dhengargorh village under Sharifpur union of Jamalpur Sadar upazila will vote the person who can bring peace in the area."

JP, BNP contestants withdraw for Inu

The entire election scenario in Kushtia-2 constituency (Mirpur-Bheramara) has taken a new turn after two independent candidates have extended their support to grand alliance candidate Hasanul Haq Inu.

Hasina to have landslide victory, AL men claim

Bagerhat-1 has been a prestige issue for Awami League as Sheikh Hasina is running from there in December 29 Parliamentary elections.

Feud worries grand alliance in greater Rajshahi

Intra-party rivalry over nomination among Awami League (AL) leaders and lack of AL leaders' cooperation to grand alliance nominees from Workers' Party (WP) and Jatiya Party (JP) may shatter the alliance's hope in constituencies in greater Rajshahi region.

7 out of 18 runners still face cases

Seven out of 18 candidates in the four constituencies in Satkhira are accused in 13 criminal cases.

Rebel candidate clouds BNP's prospect

Rebel candidates cloud prospects of 4-party alliance in Cox's Bazar where BNP candidates won all the four seats in 2001 election.

'Clean' candidates of AL and Bikalpa Dhara face 'strong' BNP rivals

Despite having the image of 'clean' candidates, Awami League's advocate Lutful Hai Satchu in Brahmanbaria 3 and Bikalpa Dhara's advocate Sabera Begum in Brahmanbaria5 may face a tough contest with 'strong' BNP rivals in the upcoming parliamentary election.

Reject anti-liberation forces through ballot

Freedom fighters and members of pro-liberation forces yesterday formed a human chain and held a rally urging people not to vote for Maulana Abdul Khaleque Mondal in Satkhira-2 (Sadar), Maulana Riasat Ali in Satkhira-3 (Assassuni and Debhata upazila including four unions of Kaliganj upazila) and Gazi Nazrul Islam in Satkhira-4 (Shyamnagar and eight unions of Kaliganj upazila) constituencies alleging them as war criminals.

Rice at Tk 40 a kg result of AL movement: Nizami

Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami yesterday said the country will become dependent on a neighbouring country if the power goes to the section who are trying to brand Bangladesh as Afghanistan.

Better communal harmony, if voted

Moitree Chakma, the lone indigenous woman contestant in Cgittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) during campaign yesterday said, if voted, she will do her best to maintain communal harmony and for women's development.

Saifur's prestige fight with AL's Mohsin

BNP stalwart M Saifur Rahman is locked in a prestige fight with Awami League's Syed Mohsin Ali in Moulvibazar-3 (Sadar and Rajnagar), who has emerged as a 'strong' candidate this time, political observers said.

One of four independent runners hopeful

Four candidates are contesting in the upcoming election as independents in the district.

15 injured in Tanore poll clashes

A group of BNP activists yesterday attacked an Awami League (AL) election campaign rally at Adadighi area under Tanore upazila in Rajshahi-1 constituency that left 15 people including women injured seriously.

Withdraw JP's Jhantu from Sirajganj-2

Sirajganj district Awami League (AL) yesterday urged the grand alliance high-ups to withdraw the nomination of Jatiya Party (JP) candidate Aminul Islam Jhantu from Sirajganj-2 constituency (Sirajganj Sadar-Kamarkhanda).

Young-elder fight gains momentum

Election campaign has gained momentum in Tangail-2 (Bhuapur-Gopalpur) constituency centring the fight between a young man and an elderly candidate.

Lalmonirhat UNO withdrawn for 'partisan' role

Lalmonirhat Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) KM Ali Newaz has been withdrawn for his partisan role in favour of the four-party alliance candidate in Lalmonirhat-3 constituency.

Ershad seeks vote for Rowshan

Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman H M Ershad has urged the voters to vote for Begum Rowshan Ershad in Gaibandha-5 (Shaghata-Fulchhari) constituency in the upcoming election to change the fate of local people.

Rita lone woman candidate in Jamalpur

Shahida Akhter Rita is the only woman among 21 candidates in five parliamentary seats in Jamalpur district.

Letters

Restoring democracy

We know that our national election is going to be held on 29 December. Every party is very much busy wooing the voters with their various activities like meetings, seminars, slogans etc.

CRP's birthday

The 30th birth anniversary of CRP was celebrated recently. To observe the day, a nice cultural programme was held. Several kinds of sporting events were organised.

Adulteration of foods

Mixing impure substances with foods was a much-talked-about topic in the recent past. It again has gained momentum with the latest reports on the new techniques of food adulteration. A few months ago the nature of this malpractice changed radically as the anti-adulteration drive was going on in full swing. Interestingly enough, the situation is now as it was in the past.

Architect Mazharul Islam

Yesterday was your Happy 85th. We, Rafique, Tanna and Dalia, your children, as well as Nazia, are so proud of you. We are proud because you have given us a great life, more than we could ask for. We are proud of you, because you have taught us the best things in life. You have always wanted us to be Honest, Compassionate, Selfless, Truthful and most importantly, Conscious, both socially and politically.

Irresponsible utterances

During this vigorous election campaigns all politicians, particularly the top ones, must mind their utterances in public meetings and in front of the media. Irresponsible comments may cost them votes and change public perceptions. They should not take the people for granted. They cannot fool them with their lies, false and impractical promises.

False promises?

Recently, our two major political parties have unveiled their election manifestoes with a view to enlisting people's support in favour of their candidates in the coming elections. The Awami League, one of the major parties, has branded its manifesto as 'Charter for Change'. It has addressed nearly all substantive issues like lowering of commodity prices, curbing of corruption, raising production of power (5000 megawatt power by 2011), free education up to degree level, permanent pay commission, trial of war criminals, eradication of poverty and inequality and establishment of good governance. Also a bright future to the new generation has been pledged in the manifesto called 'Vision 2021'.The manifesto contains both short term and long-term programmes. On the other hand, the other major party --Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-- vowed to provide employment and medical facilities including health insurance and reduce prices of essentials. Over the past decades, we have seen that during election our politicians made many tall promises to the people and after their victory they forgot everything. It has become one of the salient features of our political tradition!

Words only?

Someone said, ''We are a nation of words only.” Now if we look at the situation ahead of the parliamentary elections, we have to admit that the statement is true.

Poor learner

There are many people in society who repent their wrong doings but some do not.

Twice told tale

Yes, it is the best of times, it is the worst of times; ... it is the spring of hope, it is winter of despair; we have everything before us, we have nothing before us.

Brutally tortured student

One of our CUET EEE 05 batch classmate Neon is fighting for life in a hospital.

Politicians

The politicians are usually those educated, honest & qualified citizens of a state who vie for the legislative seats of the senate or parliament and also for the administrative posts at the different levels of the hierarchy of the country either through the process of a general election or by the method of a revolution.

Silk City Express

People of Rajshahi are really happy to have the Silk City Express, as they love to travel to Dhaka by train.

Uttara plots

I saw an advertisement in a daily newspaper seeking applications for allocation of 3 and 5 katha plots under Uttara phase 3.

Election pledges

Our two major political party leaders are now busy with their election campaign. They are making different types of pledges. BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia said that if voted to power the four-party alliance would give subsidy on agriculture, boost food production, control food prices, generate employment for the youth and women, and make female education free up to the degree level. On the other hand, AL President Sheikh Hasina said, “If we are voted to power, we shall bring down the prices of essentials, increase power generation, make education up to degree level free, give agriculture subsidies and ensure community health care facilities.” Besides, more schools and colleges will be set up, allowances for the widows and elderly people will be doubled.

Election & hartal

We are once again going to have a national election and once again we are terrified at the prospect of incoming hartals which both the major parties are expert in using to punish the nation.

To President Bush…

Iraqi journalist Zeidi offered you a golden opportunity to tell the world that you possess at least some virtues. You are probably the most hated man in the world right now. What Zeidi has expressed by his act of throwing his shoes at you is the feeling of millions of people around the globe. You can realize that. The security police in Iraq can torture Zeidi; they have broken his arms and ribs, but they will not be able to break his spirit. You could have immediately stopped this, by forgiving him, by acknowledging that lot of people do hate you for the deeds you thought to be for a right cause. When a demonstrator was caught after throwing an egg at the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, the great man forgave him and suggested that he join the British army as he possessed such a good aim at the target.

Christmas

There we find the Virgin Mother offering the baby Jesus - the One who stripped himself of divine glory in order to become poor, driven by love for mankind.

National holidays

We have enough of national holidays along with hartals which are unwarranted national holidays for which we citizens did not bargain for in our constitution. It is good that we have got rid of innumerable national holidays which we used to enjoy in our childhood in memory of our great leaders. I do not still understand why we used to have those holidays when those great leaders worked hard for the whole of their lives to deliver us a better life. Although I do not think economic freedom of a nation is everything, yet it is required to guarantee safeguard of other freedoms to some extent. I do not find any justification behind such long national holidays for Eids and Pujas. In Europe and America where the countries are developed and can afford to take their pace slowing down and where the Muslims form in many countries well over 10% of the population, we do not see Eids as national holidays.

Allow FEMA to monitor elections

It is unacceptable that the Election Commission has disallowed FEMA, the most experienced organisation doing election monitoring since 1995, to monitor the elections. People know FEMA since 1996. Thousands of citizens across the country are involved with this organisation as volunteer activists and especially during the election time as election observers. Their reports are neutral and acceptable.

All-pervasive corruption

A friend of mine, who has been in Bangladesh for over 20 years, training birth attendants all over country in such numbers and to such a high standard that she cannot go on holiday anywhere without bumping into one of them, told me that some of them had come to her with a major problem that they faced. "Some of the families whom we help give us 50 taka, some 100 taka and some give us nothing at all, but, if we shake our heads and say that there are such complications that they must go to the clinic, the clinic gives us 500 taka! Sister, what do we do? We have families to bring up."

International

Pakistan ready to retaliate if India strikes

The Pakistan National Assembly has passed a unanimous resolution condemning the November 26 Mumbai terror attack but has also warned India against undertaking surgical strikes in any part of Pakistan.

Israel vows to end Hamas control of Gaza

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni vowed yesterday to strike back at the Hamas rulers of Gaza after a sharp escalation of violence in the Palestinian territory dashed hopes of a new truce.

Guinea coup leader declares himself new 'president'

A junior army officer declared himself the new president of Guinea at the head of a military junta and ordered the government and top military brass to give themselves up by the end of yesterday.

Pope calls for ME peace, African stability

Pope Benedict XVI called yesterday for peace in the Middle East and stability in Africa during his traditional Christmas speech in St Peter's Square.

Car bombing kills 4 at Baghdad restaurant

At least four Iraqis were killed when a car bomb exploded outside a popular restaurant in Baghdad yesterday, security officials said.

UN condemns Myanmar rights violations

The UN General Assembly on Wednesday strongly condemned widespread human rights violations in Myanmar and called on the government to free political prisoners, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Georgia, US to sign strategic accord Jan 4: Tbilisi

Georgia and the United States will on January 4 sign a strategic partnership treaty that risks again provoking Russian wrath against Tbilisi, the Georgian foreign ministry said yesterday.

British soldier, 4 road workers killed in Afghanistan

A British soldier was shot dead in Afghanistan on Christmas Eve, the same day a US soldier died in a separate attack, officials said yesterday as international mortar fire killed four road workers.

Ten killed in Muslim rebels' attacks in Philippines

Ten people were killed when Muslim separatist guerrillas launched attacks and occupied a village in the southern Philippines, military and police officials said yesterday.

China detains 59 over 'subversive rumours' in Tibet

China has detained 59 people accused of fabricating subversive rumours in Tibet, state media said yesterday, blaming forces allied to the Himalayan region's exiled Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama.

Arts & Entertainment

Liberty on the silver screen

Dedicated to the memory of Birangana Gurudasi Mandal, the '3rd International Festival of Docufilms on Liberation and Human Rights' began at the auditorium of Liberation War Museum (LWM) on December 21.

Marketing 101 Innovative ways to promote films

Aamir Khan as barber in a posh central Delhi locality giving scores of his fans a haircut similar to the one he sports in the film "Ghajini" and Akshay Kumar carrying the torch of the Olympic World Winter Games for differently-abled children -- these are the new marketing techniques Bollywood has come up with to promote movies.

Babul Wrishi and the ancestral tradition of making percussions

Babul Wrishi, a maker of percussion instruments, is a known face in Haluaghat upazila. A father of four, Wrishi has been following the footsteps of his ancestors for over a decade. Today he fashions a wide range of instruments such as 'dhol,' 'dholok,' 'khol' and 'tabla.' Though he makes these instruments all year round, he has his hand full on major festivities such as Christmas, Durga Puja, Janmashtami and Dol-jatra when demand picks up. Clients from various places in the district visit Wrishi's shop at Monikuri Para in Haluaghat upazila headquarters to place their orders for the instruments.

The low-down on Golden Globes

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association must feel like it has woken from a bad dream. Last year, the Golden Globes, its annual awards show and the primary reason the organization holds any influence in Hollywood, was turned into an embarrassingly bizarre press conference because top actors and filmmakers boycotted the traditional event in support of the striking writers guild. This year, barring an unlikely work stoppage by the Screen Actors Guild, the show will go on.

Feature film Rabeya on ATN Bangla today

Tanvir Mokammel's latest feature film "Rabeya" will be aired today at 3:15 pm on ATN Bangla. One of the three films that received grant from the Bangladesh Government in the year 2008, "Rabeya" was premiered on TV on December 13 on ATN Bangla.

Drama serial Antorikkho on Banglavision

Drama serial "Antorikkho" will be aired on Banglavision tonight at 8:15 pm. Written by Pantha Shahriar and directed by Sumon Anwar, the play features Abul Hayat, Pijush Bandopadhyay, Masud Ali Khan, Joya Ahsan, Richi Solaiman, Ahmed Rubel, Fazlur Rahman Babu, Jayanto Chattopadhyay, Chandni, Pran Roy, Nadia and others in major roles.

OP-ED

How to make democracy work in Bangladesh

THE foggy December weather in Dhaka mirrors the national politics of Bangladesh. Political pundits and talk show guests express their disappointment with the two major political coalitions openly. Scepticisms is infectious. With national elections only a few days away, some ask: Does democracy have a future in Bangladesh? The answer is a qualified yes. Bangladesh will continue to be a democracy with a Bangladeshi face, i.e., it will have some features unique to the culture of this region.

Election 2008: Don't turn my mobile off

IN Khagrachari this week for a pre-election visit, I saw the value of mobile networks even in the district that was last to get it and has the most sparse coverage. Because operators have not put towers everywhere, once you leave Khagrachari Sadar certain mobile operator networks go off. After eight hours in the interior, we would return to the Sadar and networks, and immediately find phones filling up with unread SMS.

Two-nation theory

NIZAMI'S statement eulogising the "two-nation theory" shows that the party remains loyal to its dark past. He tries to justify the hypothesis on which Pakistan was created. He argued that if Pakistan had not been created, Bangladesh would never have been born.

Follow your dream

FOLLOW your dream. Three times in the past month I have been at talks where I've been told that the most important thing I must do is Follow My Dream.

StarTech

Tech 2008, at its best

Today is December 26. Five days from now we will be bidding farewell to 2008 and welcoming 2009 with open arms.

The 21st century elections

Welcome to the 21st Century! For the first time in the history of the United States, majority of the campaign money came through the internet, not from major corporate houses. US president-elect Barack Husein Obama had collected the majority of his campaign money from small $5, $10 and $20 contributions made by thousands of people all across the country, specially the young, the first time voters.

Samsung digital cameras in local market

Smart Technologies (BD) Ltd., country distributor of Samsung Digital Camera, introduced various models and types of Samsung Digital Cameras in the local market, says a press release.



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