The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, November 26, 2014


News of: Monday, 9th of February, 2009

Front Page

US offers to assist in manning sea borders

The US will assist Bangladesh in protecting its mineral-rich sea areas in the Bay of Bengal, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Richard A Boucher said yesterday.

Bangla Phone dying in neglect of BTRC

The operations of Bangla Phone, a PSTN company that invested Tk 134 crore to set up its telecom network, has remained suspended for the last two years due to hostile stance of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) against the company and legal tangles.

10 die as launch hits boat in Titas

At least 10 women and children were killed and three others injured critically when a launch hit a motorboat in river Titas under Nabinagar upazila of the district yesterday noon.

Zillur all set to be president

Veteran Awami League (AL) leader Zillur Rahman is going to be elected uncontested the country's next president as no one else has submitted nomination paper for candidacy in the presidential poll.

Environment polluting industries to be shut

The government will close down the mills and industries responsible for polluting environment to save the nation from disaster caused by climate change, the state minister for forest and environment told the House yesterday.

Plight of patients at DMCH

In a state of near unconsciousness, it was almost impossible for Merin to recognise the place she was lying at. She had to lie alone on a stretcher clinging to a mat with her brother gone in search of a space to get her sister 'hospitalised'.

Worst Australian wildfires kill 96

At least 96 people were killed and entire towns razed in the worst wildfire disaster in Australian history, described by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd yesterday as "hell in all its fury."

US to help try war criminals

The US has assured Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of assisting her government in trying the war criminals.

Opposition sits today for decision

BNP high command is still undecided on returning to the House proceedings after the speaker assured them of considering the opposition's demand for more front row seats in the parliament.

JCD fights over age

A row has erupted within the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) over whether to impose an age limit on its leaders ahead of reshuffling the central committee.

Khulna students clash with cops: 30 injured

Clashes between police and students of Khulna Polytechnic Institute (KPI) at Khalishpur left at least 30 people, including three policemen, injured on the campus yesterday.

Printers given 24-hr time for supply

The task force for textbooks yesterday warned publishers of tough legal action if they fail to market all printed textbooks for the secondary level classes within 24 hours.

10 hurt in police action in Gazipur

At least 10 people were injured, one of them with rubber bullet, in a clash between police and garment workers at Bhogra in Sadar upazila yesterday.

Menon takes a swipe at DGFI role

Workers Party chief Rashed Khan Menon yesterday blasted activities of the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) in around last two years and demanded formation of a parliamentary body to investigate its "wrongdoings".

Babar allowed to go abroad for treatment

The High Court (HC) yesterday asked the government to permit former BNP state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar to go abroad for medical treatment.

Pranab due today

Security, bilateral trade, border management and water sharing issues will top the agenda during Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's daylong Dhaka visit today.

Fair premises extended

The arena of Ekushey Boi Mela was further extended yesterday with the decision to allocate space for 10 more stalls.

President appoints 26 DAGs

Twenty-six Supreme Court (SC) lawyers were appointed deputy attorney general (DAG) yesterday for dealing with cases on behalf of the state in the Appellate and High Court divisions of the SC.

RU acting VC resigns

Acting vice chancellor of Rajshahi University (RU) Prof Mamnunul Keramat resigned yesterday in the wake of demonstration by pro-Awami League students' and teachers' organisations.

Jagannath students demonstrate to free dorms

Several hundred students of Jagannath University (JNU) yesterday staged a demonstration to press home their eight-point demand including freeing their halls from illegal occupants.

Navigability poor, yet no fund allocated for it

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has allocated no money for maintaining navigability of the Sadarghat-Ashulia circular waterway so far despite earning about Tk 6.73 crore in the last three years by leasing different landing stations.

Hearing now on Feb 12

A Dhaka court yesterday adjourned the hearing of the August 21, 2004 attack cases until February 12 following time petitions by the prosecution lawyers.

Lanka hunts for LTTE chief

Sri Lankan troops have smashed the Tamil Tigers' mini-state and cornered the remaining rebels, but officials say they must catch their elusive leader to declare final victory.

Reformist Khatami declares bid for Iran presidency

Mohammad Khatami, a bookish cleric who on Sunday announced plans to stand in Iran's presidential election, is a charismatic leader popular among the youth but disliked by the country's hardliners.

Egypt hopes for Gaza truce deal in days

Egypt is hopeful that a Gaza truce accord between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas can be reached in the next few days, foreign ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki told AFP yesterday.

1 killed in train-truck collision

One person was killed and four others injured when a truck was rammed by a train on a level crossing at Mollahbari under Sadar Upazila in Chuadanga yesterday.

BSF kills 1

A Bangladeshi cattle trader was shot dead yesterday morning by Border Security Force ( BSF ) of India on Mondumala border of Baliadangi upazila in Thakurgaon.

Editorial

Regional task force on anti-terrorism

A feature of the Awami League election manifesto, insofar as its foreign policy commitments are concerned, is to work towards forming a regional task force to address the issue of terrorism and militancy. This has also been reiterated on quite a few occasions by people in the government since the assumption of office by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

This is utter cruelty

WE are appalled by the photograph of female garment workers walking barefoot on hot concrete during lunch hour, as their footwears were kept in possession of the employers lest the former traveled too far during lunch break. The news item on the front page of The Daily Star on Sunday says that it is done so not on a one-off, but regular basis to compel workers to come back to work after a short while as they would not be able to endure the rough walk for long. It is beyond comprehension that female workers are subjected to such cruelty right in the middle of the capital city and well into the 21st Century. By all means, the whole episode smacks of gender discrimination of the worst kind, because the male workers are not meted out such treatment. Such practices remind us of the days of bonded labour and barbaric treatment to workers that civilisation was thought to have consigned to oblivion.

The priority for major parties

AFTER having gone through two years under a state of emergency, it was presumed that the politicians would have learnt to conduct themselves in accordance with the universally accepted norms of democratic politics. A highly credible election, followed by a magnanimous gesture by the Awami League, reinforced those assumptions.

Boycott Israel's allies

JANUARY'S massacre in Gaza by Israeli forces should give us all pause to think. Are we really totally powerless to stop Israeli armed aggression against Palestinian civilians? The answer is, actually, no we are not completely powerless.

Sports

Premier League sees thrilling opening day

The opening day of the Premier Division Cricket League was full of excitement as defending champions Abahani and Biman got off to winning starts, but another big name, Mohammedan, finished in a dramatic tie against Young Pegasus yesterday.

SL snap India streak

Tillakaratne Dilshan top-scored with a solid 97 as Sri Lanka prevented an Indian clean sweep with an emphatic 68-run win in the fifth and final one-day international here on Sunday.

Taylor-made victory

England dramatically crashed to an innings and 23-run defeat at the hands of West Indies in the opening Test on Saturday at Sabina Park in the face high-class fast bowling from Jerome Taylor.

Australia stay alive

Brad Haddin hit his maiden century as Australia ended a five-match losing streak with a 32-run win in the third one-day international against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.

A blast from the past

This was a throwback. This was the glory days revisited, those halcyon times for West Indies cricket when Michael and Malcolm, Andy and the Big Bird, Patto, Crofty, Courtney, Amby and Bish were in their ferocious, irresistible pomp.

Hosts take on Lanka today

Bangladesh take on Sri Lanka today in their second one-day match of the GrameenPhone tri-nation women's cricket tournament at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium (SCS) in Bogra.

Tongi ride on Reza hattrick

Selim Reza's hattrick enabled Tongi KC to brush aside Dhaka Junior Eleven 5-1 in yesterday's Citycell 3rd Division Football League.

Telly calling Ganguly!

Come June and former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly will be seen in a new role.

Strauss couldn't ask for worse

The British press was scathing Sunday about England's performance in their heavy defeat by the West Indies, labelling it the "worst possible start to Andrew Strauss's captaincy".

Local Snippets

GAIBANDHA CRICKET
Madhapara Krira Sangstha defeated Subo Sangsad by 119 runs in the Gaibandha Second Division Cricket league at Gaibandha Stadium yesterday.

Satkhira zonal champs

Satkhira emerged zonal champions in the Citycell Women's National Football Championship when they crushed neighbours Khulna 4-0 in the Buriganga (Dhaka) zone final at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Gen Moeen visits sport complex in Rajshahi

Chief of Army Staff Gen Moeen U Ahmed visited two sport venues in Rajshahi yesterday as part of his two-day tour to the north-western city.

Real on a streak

Real Madrid had Gonzalo Higuain's 49th minute winner to thank for a 1-0 win over Racing Santander on Saturday, but the Spanish giants' seventh successive league win did little to appease their fans' concerns.

Inter Thump Lecce

AC Milan suffered a double blow on Saturday as Los Angeles Galaxy refused their reported 10-million-dollar bid for David Beckham and rock-bottom Reggina held them to a 1-1 draw at the San Siro.

Torres does it again

Fernando Torres kept Liverpool's dream of a first English league title in 19 years alive with a stoppage-time winner at Portsmouth but Chelsea look dead and buried after yet another stumble.

Beckham recalled

David Beckham was on Saturday handed the opportunity to win a record-equalling 108th cap for England when Fabio Capello named his squad to face European champions Spain in a friendly in Seville on Wednesday.

Business

Bangladesh feels pinch of global recession: Minister

The trade body for the knitwear sector in a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday demanded that the government come up with some bailout package to face a cut in exports and prices of the garment item as a result of the ongoing global financial crisis.

Govt to fast-track textile solutions

The government will move fast to address the problems of the textile and RMG manufacturers as it has got a specific proposal consisting of their demands, said Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui yesterday.

WiMax may face setback on Nokia, Nortel pullback

The forthcoming WiMax technology may face a setback, as two of the world's major telecom solution providers -- Nokia and Nortel -- recently announced they would discontinue their WiMax business.

Stocks in tailspin

Dhaka stocks slumped yesterday, hurt by a freefall of nearly all traded scrips.

Superbrands to make Bangladesh debut soon

Superbrands, the UK-based independent authority on branding, will shortly start operations in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh-Canada trade to reach a new high: Envoy

Trade between Bangladesh and Canada is expected to cross the billion-dollar mark this year, said Robert McDougall, Canadian high commissioner in Bangladesh, yesterday.

Examine the benefits from transit before signing deal

The government should at first analyse the benefits the country may get from allowing transit to India before signing any deal, speakers said at a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.

Ctg Port to get radiation scanner soon

Chittagong Port, the key gateway to the country's economy, is set to introduce scanning of shipping containers for nuclear or radiological materials to strengthen the port's global supply chain security.

Economic nationalism weighs in

The global slowdown risks sparking violence and bolstering far-right parties, as manual workers turn against cheaper foreign counterparts, analysts and unions warn.

Legions turn to parties after layoffs

The bar was crowded with well-dressed professionals enjoying drinks and conversation, a typical evening - except that many of them had no job.

Asian currencies mixed

Asian currencies ended the week mixed against the dollar ahead of a major US economic stimulus plan expected to be unveiled next week.

Fortis holder to vote against BNP bid

Fortis' largest shareholder, China's Ping An Insurance, said Sunday it would vote against a revised bid by France's BNP Parisbas to take over the collapsed Belgian bank.

BRAC Bank abandons bid to buy GSP stake

BRAC Bank Ltd yesterday pulled back from a bid to buy shares in GSP Finance Company Ltd (GSP) as they failed to reach an agreement.

Draft industrial policy in 3 months

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday urged the local entrepreneurs to come forward to set up knowledge-based and labour intensive industries for industrial growth.

Enhanced Qatar-Bangla trade ties stressed

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday said Qatar government can benefit further by recruiting more skilled and semi-skilled workforces from Bangladesh.

US Treasury to prop up housing under revamped bank bailout

President Barack Obama's administration will Tuesday unveil a new plan for the frozen banking sector including at least 50 billion dollars to shore up the housing market, a top aide said Sunday.

Norway unveils 11.4b euro package

The Norwegian government unveiled Sunday an 11.4- billion-euro (14.7-billion-dollar) lending package aimed at helping companies and individuals struggling with the global economic crisis.

Kuwait unveils economic stimulus package

Kuwait on Sunday unveiled a multi-billion dollar stimulus plan that includes wide-ranging state guarantees for bank loans and assisting troubled investment firms to repay their debts.

Britain orders bank bonuses, management probe

Britain is to conduct a review of bank management that will probe the link between bonuses and excessive risk-taking, Finance Minister Alistair Darling said in comments published Sunday.

UBS set to announce historic loss

Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, is expected to announce the biggest loss in the country's history when it releases Tuesday its results for 2008, a year that saw the national icon tarnished by the subprime crisis.

Japan minister suggests additional stimulus plan

Japan's economy minister Kaoru Yosano said Sunday the government may consider offering an extra economic stimulus package if the economy deteriorates further.

Gulf economic growth to slow to 3.5pc: IMF

Economic growth in Arab states of the Gulf is likely to slow to 3.5 percent this year as oil revenues plummet due to a worsening global outlook, the International Monetary Fund said on Sunday.

Metropolitan

No talks on Tifa now

US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard A Boucher yesterday said Dhaka and Washington at this point have no active negotiations on Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa).

Recruit more Bangladeshi workforce

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday said Qatar government could be benefited further by recruiting more skilled and semi-skilled workforce from Bangladesh.

Ties with Beijing to get new dimension

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and China would be strengthened in future.

Hearing on petition challenging it today

Apprehending that the Awami League-led grand alliance government will withdraw the pending appeal against the High Court (HC) verdict declaring illegal the fifth amendment to the Constitution, three Supreme Court (SC) lawyers yesterday filed a petition with the SC seeking permission to contest the judgement at the apex court.

US to help strengthen law enforcement agencies

The United States offered to assist Bangladesh government in strengthening the country's law enforcing agencies, including Rab and police, under a joint action plan to control “terrorism and militancy”.

Survey on proposed Ctg ring road project completed

The survey of the proposed Tk 10,000 crore 'Chittagong City Road' construction project has been completed.

Take more time to sign deals on Tifa, transit

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called on the government to take more time to take decisions before signing agreements on Trade and Investment Frame-work Agreement (Tifa), South Asian counter terrorism taskforce and transit to India.

Holding of council to top agenda

Awami League (AL) will hold an emergency meeting of its central working committee tomorrow where issues, including holding of a long overdue party council and election to a new central committee in April, expected to be discussed prominently.

Country can go ahead thru'exercise of free thoughts

Industry Minister Dilip Barua at the handover ceremony of poet Abu Zafar Obaidullah Award 2009 yesterday said the country can be taken to a more advanced stage through the exercise of free thoughts and culture which Bangalees always practised at different times in its history.

Refrain from forming regional taskforce

Asking government to refrain from signing any deal to form regional taskforce to combat terrorism and militancy, BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said people will not accept anything which will go against the country's independence and sovereignty.

3 killed in road accidents

Three people were killed in separate road accidents in Sirajganj, Narayanganj and Dinajpur in last two days.

Cops clash at Shahbagh police station: 4 injured

A group of Shahbagh police injured a four-member team of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Oversight Service (DOS) yesterday afternoon when the DOS team went to probe into the irregularities at the police station.

Raise awareness among youths to prevent HIV/AIDS

Speakers at a programme yesterday underscored the need for raising awareness on HIV/AIDS among the young generation to prevent the deadly disease.

Call for removal of Ahad Chy

The Central Command Council of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad yesterday called for removal of its Chairman Ahad Chowdhury.

Equip with IT, patriotism

The students and the younger generation have to equip themselves with information technology and patriotism to face challenges of the 21st century, said Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon, MP.

Abducted hotel manager rescued

Police rescued a hotel manager four hours after his abduction with Tk 40,000 from the city's Patuatuli under Kotwali police station.

Concern over gang rape in Dhamrai

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad in a statement yesterday expressed concern over the incident of a gang rape of a school student and screening of its video in Dhamrai.

Car requisitioned by police hijacked

A gang of armed criminals shot a driver and hijacked his microbus at Moghbazar in the city yesterday morning.

SAFMA confce begins tomorrow

A two-day regional conference of South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) will begin at a hotel in Cox's Bazar tomorrow, says a press release.

SC asks ADT chair Anwar to surrender in trial court

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday directed SM Anwar Hossain, chairman of Advanced Development Technologies (ADT) Limited, to surrender within two weeks to the trial court to face the proceedings against him in a case filed on charge of illegally selling 18 abandoned government houses at lowest prices.

9th Nat'l Rover Moot inaugural ceremony held

The formal inauguration of the 9th National Rover Moot was held at the Rover Scout Training Centre at Bahadurpur in Gazipur yesterday, says a press release.

Shishu Palli Plus celebrates founding day

The British funded Shishu Palli Plus (SPP) celebrates its 20th founding anniversary this week as it has began with a mission to provide support to the underprivileged women and children to improve their opportunities for a better life.

'Do not approve anti-RMG workers' interest ordns'

Leaders of the National Garment Workers' Federation staged a sit-in programme at Muktangan in the city yesterday demanding not to approve the ordinances related to workers and garments industry which were promulgated during the state of emergency.

Residents protest move to relocate Indian visa office at Banani

Residents in the city's Banani area and students of Banani Model School yesterday protested the plan to relocate Indian visa office in the Banani residential area fearing that the move would hamper peaceful ambience of the locality.

Publication of two books on works of Ahmad Safa

Speakers at a publication ceremony yesterday said Ahmad Safa was a pioneer of Bangla literature but he was ignored by the society and the state.

'Formulate proper edn policy'

Speakers at a programme yesterday called for formulating a proper education policy to ensure quality education.

Bodies of Chinese crew yet to be handed over

The bodies of three Chinese crew found in a foreign tanker on Saturday are yet to be handed over as their relatives have not arrived to receive those.

SSF protection for Khaleda demanded at RU

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) of Rajshahi University unit yesterday staged a demonstration on the campus, criticising the government for withdrawal of Special Security Force (SSF) cover for BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

Grabbing of land condemned

Eminent citizens yesterday condemned the incident of grabbing endowed property of Kantaji temple in Dinajpur in the name of setting up a madrasa.

National

Barisal medical college runs without forensic expert

Acute manpower crisis at forensic medicine department of Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College (SBMCH) is hampering academic activities and causing much delay in conducting autopsy of dead bodies.

UPDF man shown arrested in Capt Gazi killing case

Security personnel on Saturday arrested Sachib Chakma, a member of the central convening committee of United People's Democratic Front (UPDF), at Bogachhari village under Naniachar upazila on charges of extortion, abduction and killing.

Ten lobby for AL ticket in Khulna

Ten women leaders and members of Khulna Awami League are aspiring for party ticket to become a lawmaker from reserved seats for women.

Classes under the banyan bough

Many of around 600 students of Belgharia Government Primary School in Charghat upazila had to attend classes under a banyan tree as three of their best classrooms were gutted in a fire yesterday morning.

AL cadres attack contractors in Satkhira: 5 hurt

At least five contractors were injured as cadres of Awami League (AL) and its associate organisations attacked them when they went to drop tenders at Satkhira Zila Parishad office in connection with renovation of three district council dak bungalows and leasing out 51 ponds.

Rivals kill outlaw

An outlaw was killed by rivals at Katdah village in Mirpur upazila Saturday night.

Akhaura land port normal

Export and Import Association of Akhaura land port in Brahmanbaria withdrew their indefinite strike yesterday after BDR sector commander of Comilla sector assured them of taking steps to release the truck driver, his helper and the seized truck.

College teacher dies falling from tree

A teacher of Birganj Women's College died as he fell down from a coconut tree at village Kumarpur in Birganj upazila yesterday afternoon, police and family sources said.

BCL men's bid to loot fish in Khulna foiled

Police foiled an attempt to loot fish from a pond of Khulna Azam Khan Government Commerce College on Saturday by a faction of local unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL).

3 held with gun

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested three youths along with a revolver and four bullets from a bus at the east end of Bangabandhu Bridge.

Letters

Lord Buddha and Lanka today

Lord Buddha believed in the religion of non-violence. He taught his disciples to love human beings, to serve human beings. He himself rejected his luxurious life and the authority of a prince for the sake of knowledge. The people who follow his teachings are known as Buddhists.

Our pride

We, Bengalis, have many reasons to take pride in ourselves; we fought for our language in 1952, fought for our identity and liberty against the Pak occupation forces n 1971we obtained independence after a long struggle. We have our cultural mooring intact and vibrant, and keep on upholding the sense of our national self-respect and the sense of "enlightenment" amid all odds. We've so far been standing tall; we will be doing so in the days ahead.

Culture of violence

Violence and indiscipline start at the top tiers, and trickle down to the lower rungs of society. In politics, this is very visible, as the politicians in power consider themselves to be above the law [protection, indulgence, partiality, nepotism, hidden godfathers; abuse of power and position]. Use of violence is not a solution [it includes the US foreign policy].

Rental power plants

There was a report published in The Daily Star that refers to Mr. Debajit Das, Managing Director (Asia) of UK based Aggreko Co. which is operating a 40 MW diesel powered rental power plant in Khulna since June last. Mr. Das believes that Bangladesh would have to rely on the rental power system as the best short-term solution for the next few years until it could bring some large power projects online. Reasonably, the company is interested to expand its business in Bangladesh and outlined the details it can do to provide extra power for a term as short as one day, like Beijing Olympics and US presidential inauguration. According to him, Aggreko can quickly mobilize installing and supplying 200 MW plant in just one month if the plant site is ready.

Higher education

All English medium schools are following the rules of British Council and students are also concentrating on that. A time comes after completing their O' level and A' level when the students are bound to go to foreign countries for obtaining their higher degrees. But every student is not capable of doing that, because they do not have enough money.

Role of OIC

We noticed that from the beginning of Israeli invasion of Gaza, the OIC did not express solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people.

Diesel price reduction

We, the common people, would expect from the new govt. a reasonable diesel price reduction, so that the agriculture sector would be benefited. But all our hopes were nipped in the bud. How will the farmers be inspired to grow more paddy with the high prices of fertilizers lingering, when the price of paddy is lower than before.

ACC

Some politicians are very unhappy with the role of the ACC. But mere accusation of the ACC will not clean them from charges and public will not accept them as their clean leaders. They should prove beyond doubt that all the charges brought against them by the ACC during the CTG were false and the ACC did imprison them out of enmity!

A new Bangladesh

A new government, I want a new Bangladesh too. We are peaceful people, we don't want violence. I want punishment to those who opposed our liberation war. The new government has promised to build a digital Bangladesh.

Shocking!

I am indeed shocked to know about the Chittagong Mayor's plan to demolish Aparna Charan Girls' High School and Krishnakumari Girls' High School.

Hasty thinking

I am appalled to hear the new commerce minister and coverage by few channels and newspapers to the effect that they are actively considering to offer transit facilities to India and availing of TIFA, both of which will bring no good to our country but unbearable damage only!

A visitor speaks

I am a first time visitor to Dhaka, from West Bengal, India. I have been reading your newspaper and found it interesting.

BNP's failure

The causes of the failure of the BNP in the last election are many. But the major cause of their failure, according to me, is terrorism.

Residential plots

We all know that in Bangladesh, particularly in Dhaka city, the demand for land for housing is increasing every day and if this trend continues for the next 20-25 years, Dhaka city will have no lands left which we call the open space for public.

Risible attacks

It is not at all relishing to see the BNP still continuing its ballyhoos of an allegation against the EC and obliquely against those who were at the helm of affairs that they, through conspiracy and wide-spread vote rigging, got it routed in the general election of December 29. Such allegations, in fact, appeared queer and deprecating or dismissive as the people cast their vote in the most transparent ballot boxes under fool proof security, after correct scrutiny of their names and identifications and also in an utter fear-free mood, never felt in any earlier elections, and as hundreds of local and foreign bodies of observers who observed and monitored the election proceedings found no notable anomalies and commented to their satisfaction that the election was international standard. That sets aside the allegations as phoney and expressive of shameless wallowing in lies which the BNP was always observed to live in and thrive on. That the respective polling agents and even MP candidates of both camps could not observe any irregularities to complain about, such as the use of fraudulence or manipulation by any quarters until the end of the counting, as nothing of the sort was also reported in the print or electronic media, the BNP's allegations simply fell flat and many of its supporters were heard saying that the BNP's claim or blame was for its own sake only and many gave vent to that: “The BNP needed this kick in the teeth.” One rarest thing was that this time hardly anybody returned saying, 'Oh God, my vote had already been cast'.

Dismissed correspondents

About a total of twenty-eight district correspondents of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) were dismissed by the past BNP 4-party alliance government after assumption of power.

Hajj agencies

In the year 2008 the undersigned and his wife performed Hajj. We used a private agency about whom we heard many good things. But to our utter disappointment we found that the agencies were more involved in business (making money) rather than looking after the Hajjis. I would mention one incident which is an evidence of their activities.

A change?

On 23rd January a new prime minister took over. Sheikh Hasina with several promises of bringing a positive change to Bangladesh stepped into the prime minister's office. Yes we are going through a change, but is it the change we wanted? Is it positive? Every day there is news of terror, mugging, hijacking, killing and extortion in DS and other newspapers. Where are we really heading ?

International

Karzai calls for process of reconciliation with Taliban

Afghan President Hamid Karzai called yesterday for a process of reconciliation with the Taliban, and urged foreign forces in his country to do more to halt civilian casualties.

Survivors tell of Australian bushfire horror

Survivors of Australia's deadly bushfires yesterday described how a thick blanket of black ash blotted out the sun, leaving only a "horrible orange glow" as flames bore down on their homes.

Civilians pour out of Lanka war zone

At least 10,000 civilians have escaped Sri Lanka's war zone in the last four days, the government said Sunday, as the president warned Tamil Tiger rebels to surrender unconditionally or be killed.

Pakistan to talk anti-terror strategy with Holbrooke

Pakistan is expected to discuss a comprehensive strategy to tackle militancy and extremism in the region with US special envoy Richard Holbrooke who is due here Monday, the foreign office said.

One family has ruined everything in India

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi yesterday made a scathing attack on the Gandhi-Nehru family alleging that a "conspiracy" has been hatched to promote the family posing a danger to the future of the country.

Cong will return to power, says Sonia

The political climate is heating up as parties sounded their poll bugle on Sunday. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi addressed grassroot-level leaders in the Capital while Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi spoke on the BJP's political resolution in Nagpur.

Israelis turning 'right' going into election tomorrow

Israel seems to be moving rightward going into Tuesday's national election, with polls giving the edge to former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a tough stance on Mideast peacemaking that could lead to a collision with the new US administration.

US-Iran ties tense after Obama offer

Vice President Joe Biden was there along with a senior Iranian official and at first glance, that's about all that can be said for the first public opportunity to make good on President Barack Obama's proffered hand to Tehran.

Trial date set for Iraqi who threw shoes at Bush

The Iraqi journalist who threw shoes at former President George W. Bush will face trial Feb. 19 on the original charge of assaulting a foreign leader, a judicial official said Sunday.

Nato seeks Russian help to keep Kyrgyz base

Nato Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on Sunday urged Russia to use its influence to keep open an airbase in Kyrgyzstan used by Western forces as a link to Afghanistan, Echo of Moscow reported.

India tells Lanka to take care of Tamil civilians

India on Sunday urged the Sri Lankan government to take care of the thousands of Tamil civilians caught up in the war between the military and the Tamil Tigers. Addressing thousands of Congress activists in New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said India had no sympathy for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which he described as a terrorist organisation.

Pakistan probes group's claim of holding American

Pakistani police are investigating a purported separatist group's claim to be holding a kidnapped American UN worker, an officer said Sunday, a day after Islamist militants close to the Afghan border said they had killed a Polish geologist.

Afghan blast kills 2 US nationals

A bomb exploded in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand Sunday and killed four people including two US nationals, a police commander said, in an attack claimed by the Taliban.

Arts & Entertainment

Life is Elsewhere: Sohrab Hura’s subliminal freedom

"Everything turns problematic, questionable, subject of analysis and doubt: Progress and revolution. Youth. Motherhood. Even man. And also poetry...Life is elsewhere."
-- Milan Kundera

National Street Theatre Festival gains momentum in Faridpur

The two-day National Street Theatre Festival in Faridpur ended recently.

Srotar Ashor by Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Sangstha

Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Sangstha (BRSSS) held a musical soiree on February 7 at the Sufia Kamal Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum. The event was the 30th instalment of BRSSS' "Srotar Ashor” programme.

Festival featuring Tagore dance-dramas in Rajshahi

A five-day festival featuring Tagore dance dramas is drawing theatre and dance enthusiasts at Rajshahi Shilpakala Academy auditorium.

“Style Icon” on ATN Bangla tonight

The sixth episode of ATN Bangla's beauty pageant, Style Icon will be aired tonight at 8:45 pm. This episode marks the beginning of the elimination round of the show.

Bidrohi Natya Goshthi to celebrate silver jubilee

On February 12, a three-day festival marking silver jubilee of Bidrohi Natya Goshthi will begin in Mymensingh town. The local Town Hall is the venue. The festival's slogan is "Drama Dispels Darkness."

Ekushey Book Fair begins in Pabna

A five-day Ekushey Book Fair began in Bhangura upazila, Pabna district last Friday. The organiser of the fair is Shachetan Shahitya Sanskritik Parishad, Bhangura. This is the largest book fair marking the month of Language Movement at the upazila level, said the sources.

“Esho” on RTV

Written by Faria Hossain, the story of the single episode TV play centres on Murad and Adity who are about to tie the knot. Before the ceremony, Murad has to go abroad for a few days. He hands over the responsibilities of the impending occasion to his friend Anik.

OP-ED

Transit or trade?

THE transit issue is back again to the forefront of discussions on Bangladesh-India relations. Apart from political reasons, some people are trying to justify granting transit to India on economic grounds. They are projecting the issue against the backdrop of globalisation and trade liberalisation and claiming that granting of transit will create additional trade for Bangladesh.

Maritime border delimitation

IT was encouraging to hear Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni speak about the resolution of the maritime border problems with India and Myanmar as one of the priorities of the new government. The government has formed high-powered expert committees on the maritime delimitation issue and on the sharing of waters of common rivers with India.

Towards a knowledge-based society

THE term 'Digital Bangladesh' has created renewed interest in government and commercial organisations in utilising Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Digital Bangladesh comprises e-governance and service delivery through utilising ICT, but the vision encompasses much more. In order to be successful there has to be knowledge creation and management.

Teaching: The easy life

RECENTLY, one of my many unemployed banker friends announced that he was thinking of retraining as a teacher.



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