The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, November 28, 2014


News of: Sunday, 22nd of February, 2009

Front Page

JMB now small, but menacingly poised

More than half a dozen key players behind the near-simultaneous countrywide blasts in 2005 are still at large and regrouping banned Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

Living dangerously

More than 100 families still live in eight buildings at Motijheel AGB Colony (Govt staff quarters) in the capital which were officially declared completely unfit for living five years ago.

Bid to stop torture by law-enforcers

A private members' bill has been submitted to the Parliament Secretariat for being placed in the House, proposing enactment of a law against torture, and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the hands of law enforcement agencies or government officials.

JS may see end to seat row

The BNP Parliamentary Party (BNPPP) sits today to decide whether to join the House proceedings or continue its boycott over seat row with the treasury bench.

CBA leaders get gala reception

Twenty-five microbuses, 12 private cars and a bus carried the newly elected CBA leaders of Bangladesh Gas Field and their families to a highly sensitive area of Bakhrabad Gas Field (BGF) for a feast on Friday night.

Govt calls for all-party, 'civic body' to root out terror

Government authorities have ordered the law-enforcing agencies to ensure the highest level of security across the country following Friday's grenade blast by a handcuffed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) operative in Gazipur police super's office.

Khaleda denied due protocol in Ekushey fixture

BNP claimed that its Chairperson Khaleda Zia did not get the due protocol for placing floral wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar early yesterday.

4 bodies found, toll stands at 31

Four more dead bodies from the launch accident were recovered yesterday, over 42 hours after the rescue operation had been declared completed.

Charge Hannan with treason

War veterans and eminent citizens yesterday said the government should bring treason charge against former bureaucrat Shah Abdul Hannan, who has said the 1971 Liberation War was fought between India and Pakistan, and not between Bangladesh and Pakistan.

'BCL' men occupy newspaper office

A group of BCL cadres allegedly occupied the office of a local newspaper and three business establishments at Chutabazar in Netrakona town on Friday night.

Shaheed Minar all abuzz

Defying Islamist militants' fresh threat, people yesterday flocked to the Shaheed Minars across the country to observe Language Martyrs' Day to pay homage to the heroes who sacrificed their lives in 1952 to uphold the dignity of mother tongue Bangla.

Indian Lok Sabha speaker arrives, talks with PM

Speaker of Indian parliament Lok Sabha Somnath Chatterjee said India is willing to provide all necessary cooperation, including training up the parliamentarians, for making the newly elected Bangladesh parliament effective.

Mobile school launched in Ctg

A mobile primary school was launched in the port city yesterday for the underprivileged children.

1971 war role should not be the reason

Jamaat-e-Islami leaders said yesterday that it is not right to term anyone an 'anti-liberation war element' based only on their role during the war in 1971.

Boi Mela soaked in Ekushey spirit

The International Mother Language Day, inspiration of Amar Ekushey Boi Mela, lifted the spirit and festive mood to its peak among the crowd at the fair yesterday.

BCL ransacks RU provost room

Several hundred activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League's Rajshahi University unit ransacked the room of Shaheed Habibur Rahman hall provost and damaged valuables, including the only portrait of Shaheed Habibur Rahman, early yesterday.

Language day observed on no man's land

Bangla speaking people in Bangladesh and India got together on both sides of the Benapole-Petrapole border on the International Mother Language Day yesterday ignoring the line of demarcation drawn between them about 62 years back.

SCBA polls on Mar 24, 25

The annual election of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for its 14 executive posts, including president and secretary, will be held on March 24 and 25.

LTTE tries Kamikaze attack on Colombo

Tamil Tigers carried out a kamikaze-style attack in Sri Lanka's capital on Friday night, smashing a light aircraft into the main tax building, killing at least two people and wounding 50, officials said.

India free to try top Mumbai attacker

India can hold trial of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the sole terrorist caught alive after the 26/11 carnage in Mumbai while US is sending a seven-member FBI team to visit Pakistan next week to probe the carnage.

Hillary flies in China,calls for deeper ties

The United States and China glossed over differences on human rights as they pledged here yesterday to work more closely in tackling the global economic crisis and climate change.

Thai PM asks media for evidence of Rohingya abuse

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva called Saturday on the international media to provide evidence to back up allegations the Thai military abused Myanmar migrants.

Editorial

JMB claws hardly blunted

The bombshell of a terrorist act by a JMB operative in the jaws of police custody, with his associates keeping him company, at a press conference in Gazipur, has definitely heightened concern about the extremists' undiminished capacity to unleash terror at the time and place of their own choosing. That they can show their hand in the unlikeliest of circumstances has been proven once again.

Tragedy on the Kirtonkhola

The tragedy which occurred on the river Kirtonkhola on Thursday is only one more instance of the callous indifference shown by people in charge to passenger safety concerning movement of river vessels. The story, as tragic as all others of its kind in the past, is simple: one vessel, in this case a cargo-carrying one, rammed into a launch that was, as usual, overloaded with passengers. There are a couple of questions that immediately arise in the aftermath of the accident. Firstly, why was an individual other than the captain of the cargo vessel allowed to operate the vessel? Secondly, despite all the rules and regulations periodically spouted out by the authorities about the number of passengers river vessels can carry, why are there no efforts at all to see such measures through?

Does Bangladesh need a stimulus package?

THE global financial crisis has made all the countries think about protecting as well as reviving the growth of their respective economies. Most of them have already come up with various stimulus packages to bolster economic activities.

Dancing with a bear

INSTEAD of banning opinion polls during election time, the government should ban subversive academic organisations like Kolkata's IndianStatistical Institute (ISI). Opinion polls and exit polls are way off the mark, so why bother? A ban only betrays the nervousness of a government anxious to come to power but uncertain about how this will happen.

It takes two to tango

OLD habits die hard. The Republicans have had so much success with the Karl Rovian tactics of attacking an opponent's strength, such as swift-boating John Kerry's war records, that they are attempting to do exactly the same to President Barack Obama.

Sports

Table-toppers clash today

Biman and Old DOHS face off with their sights on taking solo lead in the Premier Cricket League when the fifth round starts at three different venues of the city today.

U-19s in tough group

Bangladesh have been drawn in a tough qualifying group for the AFC U-19 Championship 2010.

Jayawardene first from Lanka

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene passed the 8,000 Test run mark on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan here on Saturday, becoming the first from his country to do so.

Mahela, Thilan put Pakistan to sword

Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera hit punishing hundreds to lead Sri Lanka's run charge against Pakistan on the opening day of the first Test here on Saturday as the tourists reached 406-3.

NZ call back Oram, Ryder

All-rounder Jacob Oram and batsman Jesse Ryder have both been recalled for New Zealand's Twenty20 internationals against India in February.

Flintoff ruled out

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff was ruled out Saturday of the fourth Test against the West Indies in Barbados with a right hip injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced.

WICB checked on Stanford

Donald Peters, the chief executive of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), has said his board did attempt to do background checks on Allen Stanford before entering into a five-year deal with him along with the ECB.

Sun shines for India

India have brought rains with them, locals in Christchurch claim. But when it came to India's first practice session, the clouds made way for the sun, and India trained in ideal conditions at the picturesque Bert Sutcliffe Oval on Saturday. Equally warm was the reception that India got -- largely from Indians living in New Zealand, at a ground half an hour away from the town and not known by many in the city.

ICC eyeing BCCI, ICL peace deal

International Cricket Council (ICC) president David Morgan and chief executive Haroon Lorgat will on Monday attempt to broker an agreement in the long-running dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Anelka gifts Guus win

Guus Hidd-ink enjoyed a winning debut as temporary Chelsea manager with a 1-0 Premier League victory away to Aston Villa here Saturday thanks to Nicolas Anelka's 21st goal of the season.

Rafa fires City caution

Rafael Benitez has warned Liverpool not to underestimate Manchester City on Sunday as his side start a crucial period that will define their season.

Venus outlasts Serena

Venus Williams edged ahead 10-9 in the family tussle with younger sister Serena to reach the final of the Dubai Open on Friday where she will have the opportunity to capture her second successive title in the Gulf.

Heavy fine for Dubai

Organisers of the Dubai women's tennis tournament were fined 300,000 dollars by the WTA Tour on Friday after the United Arab Emirates refused to grant a visa to Israeli player Shahar Peer, the WTA said in a statement.

Milan playing hardball on Beckham deal

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has insisted that his club won't increase their reported offer of three million dollars to Los Angeles Galaxy to permanently sign on-loan midfielder David Beckham.

Isinbayeva backs Arshavin

Russian polevault queen Yelena Isinbayeva is aiming for a double celebration on Saturday by setting another world record and hoping compatriot Andrey Arshavin makes a winning Arsenal debut.

Ruhr valley derby ends in a draw

Goals by Schalke 04 striker Kevin Kuranyi and Dortmund's Mohamed Zidan either side of half-time meant the Ruhr valley derby ended in a 1-1 draw on Friday.

Tevez's future uncertain

Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez admits he is ''not sure'' if he will remain at the club beyond this season.

Drogba slams Scolari

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has hailed Guus Hiddink's arrival at Stamford Bridge and hit out at predecessor Luiz Felipe Scolari for dividing the dressing room.

'Money the ruination'

Money has been the "ruination" of cricket, former Test umpire Dickie Bird said Saturday, after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) terminated all contracts with alleged fraudster Allen Stanford.

Andy eyes fixed role

Andy Flower has said he will consider applying for the England head coach role when it is officially advertised in the next few days. He is currently in an interim position after the sudden departure of Peter Moores in January, but despite difficulties for the team on the tour of West Indies it has given him the hunger to try for the top job.

Hiddink salutes spirit

Guus Hiddink saluted Chelsea's spirit after Nicolas Anelka's goal gave the new Blues manager a 1-0 victory at Aston Villa on Saturday.

ECB draws Allen stumps

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday terminated all contracts with controversial billionaire financier, and alleged fraudster, Allen Stanford.

Rifts led to Keane exit

Former Sunderland manager Roy Keane has revealed that relationship rifts with American investor Ellis Short and chairman Niall Quinn played a major role in his decision to leave the Premier League club.

Yelena to bid for 27th WR

Olympic pole vault gold medallist Yelena Isinbayeva will bid for her 27th world record at the Birmingham Grand Prix on Saturday.

Fabregas to return in April

Cesc Fabregas has confirmed he expects to play again for Arsenal at the start of April as he continues his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury.

Business

300 bank branches in 2009

Banks continue to expand their branches this year to net new customers for low-cost deposits.

Minister sees shipbuilding as bright spot

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said yesterday the shipbuilding sector emerged as a new bright spot for Bangladesh with broad prospects for growth.

Traditional toothpowder losing lustre

Traditional black toothpowder makers now face tough competition, as consumer choices gradually shift to branded white tooth powder and paste amid beefed up marketing campaign on oral health.

BGMEA election in mind

The presidential candidates in the upcoming BGMEA polls promise to protect the country's apparel sector from any bad impacts stemming from the ongoing global recession, uphold the export growth of RMG products, and safeguard the interests of the exporters.

Tata says firms must survive on their own

The head of India's oldest and biggest conglomerate Tata Group says each of its nearly 100 companies will have to find its own way to survive the global financial crisis.

India, NZ start FTA talks in July

India and New Zealand have agreed to start negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in July.

Is business sliding into oblivion?

Meeting Jan Karel Bout of the Dutch Employers Cooperation Programme (DECP) last week at the Bangladesh Employers Federation was an eye opener on business in Bangladesh. DECP, a Dutch public-private partnership programme, works in 40 developing countries to bolster the business environments in those countries through removing archaic rules and regulations that stifle business and innovation.

Institutions helped stocks tick upward last week

A continued presence of institutional investors kept the capital market ticking upwards last week.

Month-long Ctg trade fair opens

The 17th Chittagong International Trade Fair (CITF) 2009 kicked off at the Railway Pologround here yesterday. Commerce Minister Faruk Khan inaugurated the month-long fair, organised by Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).

Dhaka bags $4 lakh spot orders from Madrid fair

Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) received spot orders of US$ 3,85,000 at the Madrid International Fashion Fair held in the Spanish capital from February 12 to 14.

Asian finance ministers to talk global crisis

Finance ministers and senior officials from Asian nations gathered in Thailand on Saturday to try to hammer out a plan to stave off the worst effects of the global economic downturn.

EU auto sector drives into protectionism row

The European Commission, increasingly concerned about protectionist tendencies in member states, has asked France, Spain and, on Friday, Italy to justify their auto sector aid packages.

Obama urges control of mushrooming deficits

After launching an unprecedented spending program aimed at forestalling a meltdown of the US economy, US President Barack Obama vowed Saturday to put an equal effort into tackling trillion dollar deficits facing the nation.

Toshiba plans over 300b yen fund injection

Toshiba Corp is planning a capital injection of more than 300 billion yen in an effort to recover its capital base in the face of the global economic slowdown, sources said Friday.

Kazi Farms holds dealers conference

Kazi Farms Group, a top player in the country's poultry industry, held its dealers conference in Dhaka on Wednesday.

India's embattled Satyam board seeks new buyer

The board of India's Satyam Computer Services met Saturday to discuss finding a buyer for the fraud-hit outsourcing giant which has warned its survival is at risk unless it gets new funding.

Volcker sees crisis leading to global regulation

"Even the experts don't quite know what's going on."

French farm show promises greener tomorrow

France's annual crop and livestock show opened on Saturday with President Nicolas Sarkozy promising farmers to help prepare them to face a future with smaller European subsidies.

Mining giant Anglo American axes 19,000 jobs

Global mining giant Anglo American said Friday it will cut 19,000 jobs this year after posting a 29-percent fall in 2008 net earnings -- the latest victim in a worldwide slump in demand for raw materials.

Weekly Currency Roundup

February 15-February 19, 2009
Local FX Market

This week, the market was active and US dollar was stable against the Bangladesh Taka. The market was mostly liquid this week.

Metropolitan

Probe body identifies 7 causes behind crash

The enquiry committee formed to probe Tuesday's tragic train-truck collision in Joypurhat has identified seven causes, including unprotected level crossing, absence of speed breaker and cautionary traffic signal and allowing passengers on train engine without tickets, for the accident.

Tributes paid to language movement martyrs

The nation paid homage to the martyrs of the language movement yesterday on the occasion of Amar Ekushey.

Transfer fears grip doctors

Transfer fears have gripped doctors at public hospitals in the Khulna division, hampering healthcare services for patients.

Solo photo show begins

Icy Siren, a six-day solo photography exhibition by MA Mohit, portraying the daring expeditions by Bangladeshi youths to the Himalayan mountain range, began at Drik Gallery in the city yesterday.

Vegetable vendor found dead

Police recovered the body of a teenage boy with hands and legs tied with rope at Ashulia on the outskirts of the city yesterday.

AL, BNP clash in Rajshahi: 10 hurt

Ten people, including a Rab member, were injured as Awami League (AL) and BNP activists clashed at Shah Doula Degree College at Bagha upazila at zero hour on Friday night.

Sangskritik Jote barred from holding programme

The authorities of Rajshahi University (RU) did not allow Sammilito Sangskritik Jote (SSJ) to hold 'Ekushey programme' at Central Shaheed Minar on the campus yesterday.

Save Rabbi's life

Around 6,000 students at a reception ceremony here on Friday urged all to help HSC examinee Rabbi who is suffering from Gulaubury Syndrome, a rare disease.

Ekushey observed in Satkhira

A painting, poetry recitation and essay writing competition was held at Satkhira Women Government College premises yesterday in observance of the International Mother Language Day.

AL leaders misbehave with UNO, principal

Awami League leaders, activists and freedom fighters misbehaved with Hossainpur UNO, AC (land) and a college principal while placing wreaths at Hossainpur Shaheed Minar yesterday morning.

India to set up Ganga River Basin Authority to curb pollution

India has announced it will set up the National Ganga River Basin Authority (GRBA) to rid the river Ganga of pollution and other forms of degradation.

BCL activist escapes gun attack at DU

A BCL activist at Dhaka University came under gun attack by his rivals within the Awami League's student wing when he was entering Sergeant Zahurul Haque Hall yesterday.

Tk 3 lakh VoIP equipment seized

Member of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized VoIP equipment worth around Tk 3 lakh from Bharthokhola and bus terminal area in the city and arrested two persons in this connection early yesterday.

HC orders today

The High Court (HC) today will deliver orders on the bail prayers filed by some politicians convicted in absentia in the cases against them.

Dhaka Club honours Ekushey Padak recipients

Dhaka Club Limited yesterday honoured its members who achieved Ekushey Padak at different times, recognising their special contribution to the nation.

Scout Day today

The Scout Day and the 152nd birth anniversary of Sir Baden Powell, the founder of the scout movement, will be observed in the country today as elsewhere in the world in a befitting manner.

Qulkhwani of Zebunnesa Hamid tomorrow

Qulkhwani of Mrs Zebunnesa Hamid, 82, wife of late Khandakar Abdul Hamid, former minister and an eminent columnist, will be held tomorrow (Monday), February 23, after Maghrib prayers at House No. 10, Road No. 79. Gulshan-2 (opposite Italian Embassy).

National

School ground used for sand trade, fishery

'Leaseholders' are using the playground of century-old Azad Bakth High School at Afrozganj Bazaar in Sherpur under Moulvibazar Sadar upazila for sand trade and pisciculture.

Five language veterans honoured in Rajshahi

Ekushey Book Fair began here yesterday through reception to five Language Movement veterans and unveiling covers of two books.

28 hurt as sacked Milk Vita staff clash with police

At least 28 people, including five policemen, were injured as dismissed workers and employees of Milk Vita Company Limited clashed with police at Baghabari of Sirajganj yesterday.

Sundarbans tigers face food crisis

Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Division of Sundarbans Forest Division (SFD) is conducting a survey to find out solution to food crisis faced by Royal Bengal Tigers in the mangrove forest.

Samo Adhikar terms CHT Commission role 'biased'

Parbatya Chattagram Samo Adhikar Andolon, an organisation of Bangalee settlers in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), yesterday strongly criticised the 'biased' role of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Commission team for not meeting its leaders during their visit here Friday.

Dockers threaten fast unto death at Mongla

Dock workers at Mongla port have threatened to begin fast unto death from February 25 if Dock Workers' Management Board Abolition Ordinance is not repealed by February 24.

Trader freed on ransom but feels insecure

An abducted trader, who bought freedom on payment of Tk 2 lakh as ransom after two hours of abduction Friday evening, is now feeling insecure after lodging a complaint with police.

Abducted boy not rescued in 12 days

A teenage boy, abducted on February 10 from Nurpur village of Barashashi union under Boda upazila in Panchagarh district, could not be rescued as of yesterday, family sources said.

Letters

Mother Language Day

Undoubtedly, the International Mother Language Day is one of the greatest achievements of our country. The supreme sacrifices of the valiant sons surpassed the national boundaries and are commemorated the world over. Our gallant boys gave up their lives on this day to reinstate Bangla as one of the state languages of Pakistan. The overwhelming protest on this day in 1952 against the announcement of 'Urdu Only' policy resulted in firing on the procession brought out by the students. The nation as well as the world pays homage to the stars for their heroic protest against the brutal regime. The world needed half a century to fathom the depth of significance of the day. The International Mother Language Day is celebrated not only to respect all the mother languages and to pay homage to the Language Movement Martyrs but also to build awareness to save and promote all the languages, especially the endangered languages in the world.

Compulsory subjects

A write-up by Professor Dr. Aminul Islam of the Philosophy Department of Dhaka University was published on 08-02-09 in a Bangla daily. The ever smiling respectable teacher has given his opinion in favour of making "Logic" and "Ethics" compulsory at SSC and HSC levels for all students. By reading these subjects one will be able to acquire some valuable knowledge, no doubt.

Maitree Express

The Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka Maitree Express is convenient compared to bus travel---spacious with toilet and pantry facilities.

Movie "Monpura"

Noted television director Giasuddin Selim's much hyped movie Monpura finally got released on the first day of the spring. The curiosity factor attached with this movie is natural since this movie is remarkable for quite a good number of reasons. First of all, it is the debut film by talented small screen director Selim, secondly, the familiar faces of our television drama Chanchal Chowdhury and Farhana Mili paired for the first time on the big screen through this movie,. Thirdly, gifted music director and young craze Arnob for the first time composed music for any Bangla movie. Moreover, because of the overwhelming response of the audio soundtrack of this movie, the expectations increased manifold. Now the question is has Monpura delivered what was expected of it? The answer is a resounding YES.

BNP vs. AL

During the general elections held in 2001, the BNP got absolute majority with 193 seats while AL won 58 and according to Sheikh Hasina they were then given only 6 seats in the front row of parliament( apparently 1 seat for every 10 MPs which roughly makes 5 and 4/5th seats for 58). Now in the elections held in 2008, the AL won absolute majority with 230 seats whereas the BNP managed to get only 32 including 2 of the Jamaat. Therefore, following the existing formula, they are entitled to only 3 and 1/5th seats at the most 4 seats but certainly not 7.

Music maestro A R Rahman

Western cinema's bigwigs let out a collective twitter of nervous laughter when A R Rahman took the stage for his Golden Globe win. It was probably because they couldn't wrap their tongue around his name, mispronouncing it no less than three times but the humble maestro, gracious as always, acknowledged his surprise and gratitude at receiving the award by thanking the Slumdog Millionaire team.

Our culture

Our heartfelt thanks to the print and electronic media for projecting our Bengali culture in the right manner with sincerity and purpose. Being abroad, we were eagerly waiting to watch the live telecast of the major cultural events at "Bakul Tola" of the Charu Kola Academy. The following poem has really touched my feeling and heart:

Bandarban tragedy

Chittagong had become a city of mourners instantly as the tragic report reached the town. People irrespective of age and class were rushing towards Ctg Medical College to see the survivors. Quite a few, fifteen approximately, are undergoing intensive treatment, and some more from them might meet death (God forbid).

Corruption in education sector

Though this sector receives the highest budgetary allocation each year in national budget, there is a shortage of quality educational institutions in Bangladesh. A significant portion of the allocation is not properly utilized owing to massive corruption in the education sector. Dr Akbar Ali Khan has rightly said, "Corruption in education sector is the root of all kinds of corruption, and it fuels corruption in other sectors."

Women ministers

The Awami League's landslide electoral victory came as a surprise to many. However, the formation of the cabinet is all the more surprising. But the cabinet that has been constituted with young , energetic and promising members of the party was praised by all. More surprisingly, it includes many women lawmakers as ministers with ministries/portfolio such as home and foreignsomething unmatched in South and Southeast Asia. With a women prime minister and two important ministers at the helm, it is unprecedented.

Role of English

English is the most widely learned and used foreign language in the world. Nowadays we must have thorough knowledge of English to compete with the global business world.

Joya Ahsan ad

I suppose some ethics should be maintained by the advertising houses and the corporate bodies. It came as a real shock to me when I found in the ntv that a leading actress of the small screen, Joya Ahsan, was missing for 5 days. In these days of kidnapping, killing and man slaughtering, I was almost certain that something had gone seriously wrong with her and I shared my feeling with my wife. However, later it came as a big relief when we realized that it was an "AD".

Don't weaken ACC

The Anti-Corruption Commission plays a vital role in eradicating corruption. During the regime of caretaker government it took actions against some political stalwarts that made us optimistic. But unfortunately, the elected government has raised some questions regarding the functions of the ACC. Even Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina raised this issue in parliament that made us a little bit pessimistic. Actually, it is true that Bangladesh is infested with all-pervasive corruption and it is ruining our country gradually. We talk about this issue very fervently, but we are not sincere to root out corruption. The last BNP led alliance government formed the ACC under the pressure of donor agencies, but they did not make it functional. Then the ACC was titular. After the political upheaval of 1/11, the military backed caretaker government took some courageous steps to make the ACC functional and result-oriented. And it had showed its performance. The AL has pledged in its election manifesto to eliminate corruption from society. But their outcry against the ACC sounds very odd and dubious. So, we all are very concerned at this.

Drug addiction

A few days ago, the Prothom Alo, ran a story on one Majnu, a young man whose life has arrived on the brink of a precipice as a consequence of his long attachment with the drug like heroin. He has been kept in chains by his parents as he turns violent when he does not get his coveted stuff. With hollow eyes, a shrivelled body, stuck out veins--Majnu is just a classic example of the dangers of drug addiction.

Day of the valiant

The Language Movement of 1952 marks one of the most important chapters of our history. Every year on Ekushey February the whole nation salutes the Language Martyrs. Thousands throng the central Shaheed Minar to show their respect. It is a special day whose character has now received international recognition. On 17 November, 1999, the UNESCO General Conference unanimously adopted a resolution tabled by Bangladesh proclaiming Shaheed Dibosh as the International Mother Language Day. The courage of those people touched my heart and I felt as if I were just one of them. Surely, I thought, if I were there at that time, I would have joined all the people on the streets and cried out for my rights, fought for my mother tongue. On the other hand, books in the Ekushey Boimela look very smart indeed. Thousands visit the Boimela in February.

International

Gilani calls for resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue

Asserting that his Government is committed to bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has called for the resumption of the Composite Dialogue with India.

Pakistan-style truce in Afghanistan acceptable

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said Friday that Washington could accept a political agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban if the insurgents will lay down their arms and accept the government's terms.

US, allies cannot delay addressing Iran worries

The United States and its partners "can't delay" addressing worries over Iran's suspected nuclear programme, the White House said Friday after a new UN report on Tehran's atomic work.

Blast damages Nato oil tanker in Pakistan

One person was killed and two wounded in northwest Pakistan on yesterday when a bomb exploded near a fuel tanker destined for Nato forces in Afghanistan, an official said.

UN urges Lanka, Tigers to avoid 'final bloody battle'

The UN's humanitarian chief Saturday urged the two sides in Sri Lanka's civil war to avoid a "final bloody battle", expressing deep concern for the tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the combat zone.

Obama broadens US targets in Pakistan

US President Barack Obama's administration has broadened the number of radical groups targeted by the CIA inside Pakistan by attacking a militant network seeking to overthrow the Pakistani government, The New York Times reported yesterday.

Modi slams Rahul, Cong calls BJP anti-people

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday criticised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, asking him not to comment on the state's economic initiatives. The Congress responded by saying that Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was pro-corporate and had little concern for masses.

Myanmar junta to set free 6,300 convicts

Myanmar's military government announced an amnesty Friday night for more than 6,000 prisoners but did not mention whether any political detainees will be among those released.

Azad resigns as member of Kashmir assembly

Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has resigned as member of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly after getting elected as member of Rajya Sabha.

Palestinian factions to hold reconciliation talks

Palestinian factions including the secular Fatah movement and its Hamas rivals will meet in Cairo on Wednesday in a new reconciliation bid, a senior Fatah official said yesterday.

US Senator Kerry meets Assad in Damascus

US Senator John Kerry on Saturday met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as Washington reviews its policies towards countries regarded as hostile under the former administration, SANA news agency reported.

Even US military split over Iraq pullout

President Barack Obama faces split opinions within the military on whether to make the speedy withdrawal from Iraq he championed on the campaign trail.

Woman OK after bullet ends up in her hair weave

Other than having a bit of a headache, a Kansas City woman was uninjured after a bullet fired at her ended up tangled in her hair weave. Police said the 20-year-old woman was in a convenience store parking lot late Wednesday when a man flagged her down and told her that her ex-boyfriend still loved her.

China tries to silence dissidents for Hillary visit: Activists

Chinese dissidents said yesterday police had tried to silence them during Hillary Clinton's visit, as the US secretary of state defended her remarks about not pushing China's leaders on human rights.

Stroke deaths soar in poorer nations, drop in rich

The incidence of strokes in low- and middle-income countries has doubled since 1970, surpassing for the first time the rate in rich nations, down by 40 percent over the same period, report two studies released Friday.

Rich countries not releasing climate change aid

Less than a tenth of the funds promised to developing countries by rich nations to help them adapt to global warming has actually been delivered, a study by The Guardian newspaper showed on yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Padatik Natya Sangshad celebrates Ekushey with fervour

To observe Amar Ekushey, cultural organisation Padatik Natya Sangshad (PNS) organised a day-long event at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy premises, yesterday.

Int’l Mother Language Day observed in Paris

UNESCO Headquarters hosted celebrations on the occasion of International Mother Language Day this year, says a press release. The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, opened the celebrations. Enamul Kabir, Ambassador of Bangladesh to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, participated in the opening session.

Ekushey observed in Sirajganj

Sammilita Sanskritik Jote, Sirajganj district unit, chalked out a three-day programme to mark the International Mother Language Day (yesterday). The event included discussion, procession, recitation and cultural programmes.

Bijoy Sarker’s birth anniversary observed

"Aei prithibi jemon ache temoni thik robe, Sundor a prithibi chhere ek din chaley jete hobe"-- many such spiritual songs have been written by Bijoy Sarker. His 106th birth anniversary was observed on February 19 with much festivity at his native village Dumdi under sadar upazila in Narail district.

Remembering a true scholar

Tomorrow (February 23) marks the 10th death anniversary of Abu Zafor. Zafor was a noted educationist, essayist and columnist of our country. His writing enriched our literary movement in the '60s and '70s -- decades regarded as a “golden age” for our litterateurs. He was actively involved in national movements; in particular his immense contribution to our Liberation War will be remembered with utmost reverence.

Connecting Harijan children to the mainstream

A month-long cultural competition ended here recently with a prize giving ceremony. The objective was to connect children with their and 'Harijan' (a marginalized caste) compatriots.

Pabna commemorates Ekushey

Local cultural organisations held several programmes marking The International Mother Language Day (yesterday) in Pabna. The day began with offering wreaths at alter of the central Shaheed Minar. Programmes included, discussion, music, dance and recitation.

Essay winner awarded gold medal

Bangladesh Shishu Academy, came abuzz with activity on the occasion of the National Shishu award-2009. Sheikh Raihana Islam, a student of class eight of Jhenidah Government Girl's Secondary School was placed first in an extempore essay competition at the national level. The lucky winner went home with a gold medal. Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni handed over the award to Raihana. The function was presided over by artist Mostafa Monwar.

Bhara Bari Bara Bari on ATN Bangla tonight

ATN Bangla will telecast the 19th episode of drama serial “Bhara Bari Bara Bari” tonight at 9:20 pm. Written by Nazrul Islam and directed by Humayun Faridee, the story revolves around a dispute over a flat. The landlord doesn't take bachelors as tenants since he has an unwed daughter. Mum Rahman, one of his long-term tenants, approaches the landlord with the request to lease a flat for his bachelor cousin. The landlord turns down his request. Eventually the landlord rents out the flat to Jafri and his family-- but there is a bachelor brother. When a vengeful Rahman finds out, he takes this very personally and begins to hatch plots against Jafri and his brother. As the serial progresses, many hilarious events start to unfold.

OP-ED

Caring for the old

THE poignant story, carried by The Daily Star on February 15, of an elderly woman living a lonely life in an old people's home in the capital, despite having four children in high places, touched the hearts of scores of readers, as many of them rushed to meet her in person and offered financial help for her treatment.

Free trade versus fleecing America

THE US Congress has passed into law a $787 billion stimulus package, hoping to deliver a jolt to the moribund economy. The bill received only three votes from Republican lawmakers while the rest described it as being fiscally incontinent yet not being stimulative enough.

The Boy

The naked boy now wears a shroud
In the pre-dawn darkness when the coffin bearers
Are not awake with the dead
And all the dear words are fast asleep
When the north wind in the heart of the dew
Sees the image of darkness
At the end of the night
They took away the boy.



The Daily Star

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