News of: Thursday, 5th of March, 2009
As the Operation Rebel Hunt enters the fourth day, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) started interrogating five BDR mutiny suspects including suspected ringleader Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) Syed Towhidul Alam after a Dhaka court had placed them on a seven-day remand yesterday.
The process of 2004 botched attempt to transport 10-truck load of arms and ammunition to the United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) started in late 2001, involving some big time political honchos of the last four-party government, according to confessional statements of two persons accused in the Chittagong arms haul case.
In a self-contradictory move, Petrobangla has asked the government to obtain a Polish-tied aid credit to assign Polish company Kopex for a techno-economic feasibility study for development of coal deposit in Dighipara.
The government has plans to set up civil and criminal courts at upazila headquarters again, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shafique Ahmed said in parliament yesterday.
Pakistani officials said yesterday around two dozen people were detained over the ambush on Sri Lanka's cricket team, which has raised new questions about the government's war on militants.
The parliamentary standing committee on information ministry yesterday completed scrutiny of the Right to Information Bill-2009 to place its report in parliament in next week for passage of the bill in the current session.
Akhter Hossain, in his early teens, was groaning in a bed of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) after being sprayed with stray bullets off mutineers' guns in his chest and hand on the day of fateful February 25 for no fault of his own.
Health Minister AFM Ruhul Haque did not get pension in last seven years after his retirement from the government service as audit objections involving Tk 93 lakh are still pending against him.
US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has agreed to help Bangladesh in forensic investigation into the BDR carnage.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested father of a BDR jawan at Chalitabari in sadar upazila and recovered valuables worth about Tk 12 lakh looted during BDR mutiny.
Eight day-labourers were killed and three others injured when a salt-laden truck fell into a roadside ditch after breaking the railing of a bridge on Dhaka-Bogra Highway in Bagbari area of Kamarkhanda upazila yesterday morning.
The 10 judges of the High Court (HC) Division of the Supreme Court (SC), whose job was not confirmed during the BNP-Jamaat government despite the Chief Justice's positive recommendations, will be reappointed soon as per the SC guidelines.
Twenty-three eminent citizens have expressed deep shock and grief over the death of army and BDR personnel and civilians brutally killed during the mutiny at BDR headquarters in Pilkhana on February 25-26.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said the BDR mutiny has pushed the economic policy decisions as well as the whole administration on the verge of a stalemate due to a sort of fear over the unrest.
Economic development of the country will not be affected by the recent incidents at the BDR headquarters, Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said yesterday.
Grief-stricken family members of 15 martyred army officers, including the BDR chief, met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Jamuna yesterday.
The sitting of the House was adjourned last night because of quorum crisis for the first time since the new parliament began its journey on January 25 with overwhelming majority of the treasury bench.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia once again said the opposition is ready to cooperate with the government to overcome the ongoing crisis centring Pilkhana carnage so that it will not hurt the country's democratic process.
People residing in cantonment or civilians who use it as a passage have been requested to carry national identity card for the sake of safety.
Senior most judges of the High Court (HC) Justice Shah Abu Nayeem Mominur Rahman and Justice Md Abdul Aziz have been elevated to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court to fill the vacancies.
Rangpur Kotwali Police yesterday recovered two Arges grenades abandoned in a ground floor toilet of Rangpur Medical College Hospital (RMCH).
The High Court (HC) yesterday directed former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar to surrender before the trial court as per the Supreme Court (SC) order in connection with an arms case. The trial court earlier sentenced him to 17 years imprisonment in this case.
A boy was killed and two other children suffered serious injuries as a bomb, abandoned on the sadar police station premises, went off in Chapainawabganj town yesterday.
People in the know have been requested to inform the Army Headquarters control room, apart from the nearest police station, about the runaway BDR rebels from the Bangladesh Rifles headquarters and different camps.
The International Criminal Court yesterday sought the arrest of Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir for war crimes in Darfur, issuing the first ever warrant against a sitting head of state.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called yesterday for world Muslims to join the Palestinian "resistance" against Israel as he kicked off a summit in aid of war-torn Gaza.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has vowed that those who attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team will be caught, and punished "with iron hands".
The law enforcers are reported to have destroyed poppy fields in 18 bighas of land at a village in Chapainawabganj district. Similar drives were launched in some other areas in the recent past to stop poppy cultivation.
Remittances have long been a principal element of the Bangladesh economy, but in the last two years, especially, with the sky-rocketing in the price of essentials due to global commodity price rise, it has been the remittances sent back by overseas Bangladeshis that have kept the economy afloat and have made the difference for countless struggling families, especially rural ones.
WE have not quite overcome the crisis that the country was cast into on Februry 25 but have perhaps negotiated the initial period of the calamity. Much would depend on how the government and the two leading components of the country's defence the army and the BDR handle the situation at this very crucial period and in the next few weeks and months.
CHARITY, all too often, is a form of sycophancy. The rich give not because they feel for the poor but because they need something from God in an immediate transactional basis. They buy divine favour with donations. Sometimes such worship is less immaculate.
A day after the mayhem in Lahore, dashing Sri Lanka opener Sanath Jayasuriya arrived in the capital yesterday to play in the ongoing Premier Cricket League.
Sri Lanka's wounded and shaken cricketers returned home Wednesday to tearful hugs, saying they were lucky to be alive after a deadly attack on their team bus in Pakistan.
Pakistan has omitted yet-to-be fully fit Shoaib Akhtar from a 16-man squad for this month's tour of Bangladesh, where they play two Twenty20 and five one-day internationals.
Riding on an unbeaten century by Mokammel, Sadharan Bima registered a six-wicket victory over Agrani Bank in the First Division Cricket League at the City Club ground yesterday.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will announce today two separate teams for the coming home series against Pakistan.
Pakistan cricket chief Ijaz Butt Wednesday admitted chances of international cricket returning to his troubled country looked "grim" unless its security situation improved in coming months.
Cricket match referee Chris Broad has slammed the Pakistan security forces for providing insufficient protection after he and fellow officials came under fire during the terror attack in Lahore on Tuesday.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) will begin its preparation for the 11th South Asian Games to be held in Dhaka early next year.
The condition of Ahsan Raza, the Pakistani umpire who was severely wounded during Tuesday's terror attack, is improving. Raza underwent surgery at the Services Hospital in Lahore on Tuesday to repair a collapsed right lung and damaged liver, and a hospital spokesman described the procedure as successful.
Australia would be ready to host matches in the 2011 World Cup following the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said Wednesday.
Pakistan officials said Wednesday around two dozen people were detained over the ambush on Sri Lanka's cricket team, which has raised new questions about the government's war on militants.
Australia's players are considering their involvement in the IPL this year following the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore. The captain Ricky Ponting had already decided not to play this season because of his Australian commitments but he said his teammates would be thinking about whether they wanted to travel to the region so soon after the Lahore shootout and the Mumbai terrorist attack.
Swadheenata Krira Sangha and City United Club played to a 1-1 draw in the Citycell Metropolis 3rd Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Stadium at Kamalapur yesterday.
Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen have been warned they risk becoming "sitting ducks" for terrorists if they play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the wake of the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan.
IWM Rani Hamid lost ground in the 30th Parachute National Women's Chess Champion ship when the defending champion went down to Nazrana Khan Eva in the ninth round yesterday.
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has attributed his players' immediate reaction in taking cover when terrorists attacked their team bus in Lahore to the situation in his country. "We have been brought up in a background of terrorist activities," Jayawardene said after the squad returned home to relieved relatives and tearful hugs late Tuesday night. "We are used to hearing, seeing these things -- firing, bombings. So we ducked under our seats when the firing began. It was like natural instinct."
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday told Sri Lanka's foreign minister inquiries to find those who attacked the country's cricket team was making progress.
Former captain Ramiz Raja Wednesday appealed for world cricket to support Pakistan, saying the sport was a way of life in the country and it must continue.
Juventus reacted with fury on Tuesday after Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho implied the club received favourable treatment from referees.
Manchester City's hopes of derailing Aston Villa's drive for Champions League football have been hit by the loss of Brazilian star Robinho for Wednesday's Premier League match at Eastlands.
Arsenal midfielder Andrei Arshavin admits he is struggling to complete a match for his new team and has been surprised by the physicality of the Premier League.
Arsene Wenger believes that Nicklas Bendtner is finally starting to prove his class after the striker inspired a 3-1 rout of West Bromwich Albion.
A man was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of threatening at knifepoint the fiancee of Darren Fletcher, the Manchester United midfielder, and burgling the footballer's house.
Ronaldo's much anticipated comeback could happen earlier than expected.
David Beckham has reiterated his desire to move permanently to AC Milan from the Los Angeles Galaxy.
West Ham United midfielder Valon Behrami has confirmed he will be sidelined for the rest of the season with a double injury.
At least half a dozen ceramic tiles factories are in the pipeline to enter the market in the next couple of years to grab share from the growing industry.
Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) plans to take non-performing Z-category companies off the bourse, in a quick shift from its earlier plan to introduce "over the counter" (OTC) market for junk shares.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged the United States yesterday to resist protectionist impulses and work with "your friend Europe" and other partners to revive the ailing global economy.
A high-powered committee has recommended a Tk 200 crore fund for the shipbuilding industry to help it flourish.
India's central bank slashed its two key short-term interest rates Wednes-day in a bid to boost a weakening economy amid the slowest third-quarter growth in six years.
NBR Chairman Muhammad Abdul Mazid yesterday hinted at logical changes in duty structure in the national budget for the 2009-10 fiscal, taking into view the current worldwide recession.
Leather industry leaders yesterday sought a 25 percent cash incentive from the government to boost leather production.
The government should conduct a joint study to pinpoint products that would help reduce trade gap between Thailand and Bangladesh, said the Thai Ambassador in Dhaka.
Six central banks in eastern Europe launched an assault on Wednesday on warnings that strains in their economies threaten banks in west Europe, saying this view was a "high risk" to their economies.
All the branded soyabean oil companies finally slashed the product's prices by Tk 5 per litre here on Tuesday following a promise made by them to the prime minister on February 23.
Supertankers that once raced around the world to satisfy an unquenchable thirst for oil are now parked offshore, fully loaded, anchors down, their crews killing time. In the United States, vast storage farms for oil are almost out of room.
As I have written in previous columns, Bangladesh can take a good deal of pride in the relative resilience of both the stock market and the economy to the current global financial crisis.
Qatar Airways has recently reduced fuel surcharge on its international flight network, says a press release.
The first contraction in Australia's economy for eight years sent shockwaves through markets Wednesday, after the US unveiled a credit drive to stem a crisis that shows no sign of relenting.
Russian carmaker Avtovaz, famed for its Communist-era Ladas and Russia's biggest auto plant, was forced to shut its main production line on Wednesday amid financial troubles, the company said.
World stock markets perked up on Wednesday following heavy losses but a sharp contraction in Australia's economy sowed further uncertainty as more companies were struck by the global crisis.
Oil prices climbed Wednesday on hopes of strengthening crude demand in China.
EU governments on Wednesday reached an agreement to clamp down on credit rating agencies, foreseeing fines and bans if they flout the rules, diplomats said.
Dhaka Stock Exchange has appointed AFM Shariful Islam as its chief executive officer, effective from March 1, it said in a press statement yesterday.
The euro fell to a more than three-month low against the dollar in Asia Wednesday as investors fled risky currencies after a sharp contraction in the Australian economy, dealers said.
US President Barack Obama on Wednesday outlined a plan to save tens of billion dollars a year in wasteful government spending, especially targeting bloated defence contracting.
Beleaguered Swiss bank UBS on Wednesday saw the departure of another top management figure, disclosing that chairman Peter Kurer will not seek re-election and that former Swiss finance minister Kaspar Villiger has been picked as a replacement.
A high-level Chinese business delegation will head for Europe this weekend to explore acquisition targets, the first mission of its kind, state media reported Wednesday.
German automaker Opel, a unit of stricken US giant General Motors, might cut at least 3,500 jobs if the government does not step in, the head of GM Europe said in an interview published on Wednesday.
Indonesia's central bank cut its key interest rate by half a percentage point Wednesday to 7.75 percent to stimulate flagging growth in Southeast Asia's largest economy amid the global economic crisis.
Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) yesterday held a public hearing on the proposed power price hike at the consumer level amid a lively debate between stakeholders.
Speakers at a discussion yesterday said around 44 percent drug users are involved in different types of criminal offences, while smoking is the first step of their life before becoming drug addicted.
Rights, business and socio-cultural organisations yesterday called for proper investigation into the massacre at BDR headquarters to find out the masterminds behind the mutiny by BDR jawans.
The government of Bangladesh and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) yesterday signed an agreement to implement a new technical assistance project in the country aiming to strengthen the justice system at the grass-roots level through village courts, says a UNDP release.
The government should form an all-party national-level committee to resolve the crisis arising from the mutiny by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawans, speakers at a discussion said yesterday.
Militants Mamunur Rashid and Mamun, who exploded bombs at the office of Gazipur police super, were placed on a fresh three-day remand when they were produced before a court yesterday after a 10-day remand in two terms.
Three grenades and 180 rounds of bullets were recovered from inside the Baitul Ijjat Rifles Training School (RTS) at Satkania in Chittagong yesterday.
BNP will bring out a mourning procession across the country in memory of those were killed in the BDR mutiny last week.
Rab members arrested two militant suspects from Konabari in Gazipur yesterday.
Md Shahjahan alias Ghora Shahjahan, 50, the main accused in a rickshaw theft case, died in police custody on Tuesday night.
Work on new voter ID card with photograph began here yesterday.
As part of the 'Operation Rebel Hunt', army officials held a coordination meeting with the civil administration and the media people yesterday.
Armed dacoits looted about Tk 3 lakh from a filling station on Dhaka-Mymensingh Road at Teknagopara under Gazipur Sadar upazila on Tuesday night.
At least 10 activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet) unit were injured in an intra-party clash on the campus yesterday.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), in a raid conducted at a lathe machine workshop at Pachsira Bazaar of Kalai upazila in Joypurhat district yesterday morning, unearthed an illegal firearms manufacturing factory and arrested one person for assembling two pipe guns there.
A team of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and district administration officials on Tuesday unearthed an illegal polythene bag factory at Modha Aronkola in Ishwardi upazila town.
Barisal District and Sessions Judge Court yesterday sentenced a man to death for killing his wife.
Applications are invited for admission into MS course in clinical psychology at Dhaka University for the session 2009-10, says a press release.
A woman and her son were electrocuted at Shivrampur under Shreenagar upazila in Munshiganj yesterday.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized a large quantity of Indian bidi from
Four policemen and a dacoit were injured in a shootout at Debidwar in Comilla in the early hours of Tuesday.
A mobile team has unearthed another fake cosmetics factory in Rajshahi city and fined Tk 90,000.
A seminar on 'Model project for an improvement on oral healthcare in rural area in Bangladesh' was held at the conference room of Chandina Upazila Parishad Office in Comilla yesterday.
Speakers at a condolence meeting of those killed in BDR mutiny said, unity among professionals and countrymen is necessary to prevent conspiracy against national security.
A Dhaka court yesterday fixed March 12 for hearing on charge framing against 14 Harkatul Jihad (Huji) men, including its chief Mufti Abdul Hannan in connection with the Ramna Batamul blast cases.
A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to former state minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Ziaul Haq Zia and former BNP lawmaker AKM Fazlul Haque Milon in two separate cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
Bangladesh Sammilita Ainjibi Samannaya Parishad (BSASP) yesterday finalised its panel for contesting the upcoming election of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).
Deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, heart diseases and stroke are increasing in an alarming rate across the world, whereas these diseases are responsible for 27 percent of the deaths in Bangladesh, speakers at a press conference said yesterday.
Three police constables were arrested from Dampara Police Lines on Tuesday afternoon on charges of raping an indigenous girl.
Valuables of two chemical stores were gutted in a fire at Hatkhola in the city yesterday.
The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government to unfreeze all the five frozen bank accounts of former law minister and BNP leader Moudud Ahmed.
The government yesterday brought some changes to the administration, transferring seven officers with the rank of additional secretaries and 23 joint secretaries.
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday again adjourned for four weeks the hearing on the leave to appeals against the High Court (HC) judgment that had declared illegal the 5th Amendment to the Constitution endorsing late president Ziaur Rahman's takeover and previous acts from August 15, 1975.
A bus caught fire as its compressed natural gas (CNG) cylinder exploded in the city's Lalbagh area yesterday.
Qulkhwani of Maj Hossain Sohel Shahnewaz (Piko) will be held today, says a press release.
The SSC examinees in Chittagong are bearing the brunt of serious power crisis as the Power Development Board (PDB) is now supplying less than half of the demand in Chittagong region.
Newly recruited members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) rampaged through Baitul Ijjat Rifles Training School (RTS), the only training centre of BDR, at Satkania in Chittagong on February 26, the day after the mutiny.
Agitating students of folklore department of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday 'misbehaved' with a university teacher, assaulted an employee and blocked the administrative building's main gate demanding immediate placing of the department under social science faculty.
Islami University Teachers Association (IUTA) yesterday decided to go on total strike programme from Saturday if the authorities concerned fail to meet their demand for appointing vice chancellor.
Angry clients and field workers of Jubo Karmasangsthan Society (Jubok) yesterday assaulted two of its officials on Chittagong court premises for not refunding their deposited money.
Three children received serious injuries when an abandoned bomb exploded on the Sadar police station premises at Chapainawabganj town yesterday.
India yesterday repeated that Pakistan must crack down on terror camps in its territory and asked the world community to address what it described as the “biggest menace” today.
'Failure is not an option' in Pakistan's battle against terrorism, President Asif Ali Zardari said in an op-ed piece published in yesterday's Wall Street Journal.
The Sri Lankan cricket attack was a huge breach of security and has exposed the Pakistan government's weaknesses in the face of the threat from Islamist militants, analysts said yesterday.
The ICRC says it is increasingly concerned over the plight of civilians
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra told Congressmen in Amethi on Tuesday that they would have to wait for "some more time" for her entry into active politics.
Sri Lankan foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama, directed by President Mahinda Raja-pakse to rush to Pakistan from Nepal on Tuesday, said the hand of forces sympathetic to the LTTE, in addition to Pakistan-based Islamist terrorists, could not be ruled out in the attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore.
Rights groups and political parties yesterday demanded action against rogue police in Malaysia after a new autopsy revealed an ethnic Indian man died in police custody because of a beating.
Top Lashker-e-Taiba operative Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and three other suspects in the Mumbai attacks case have been remanded to the custody of Pakistani authorities for two more weeks by an anti-terrorism judge.
Three Nato soldiers have died after being wounded in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan, military officials said yesterday.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Israel to allow more aid into Gaza, blasted its plans for demolishing houses in east Jerusalem and vowed to work towards a Palestinian state as she met with president Mahmud Abbas yesterday.
A leading US civil rights group is urging the Supreme Court to rule whether the US president has the authority to indefinitely hold US residents and citizens in military custody without charge or trial.
Americans are skeptical that President Barack Obama will solve the economic crisis within two years but still overwhelming approve his job performance, a new poll found yesterday.
A breakthrough is possible in the nuclear standoff between Iran and the West, if the United States changes its attitude towards Tehran, the Iranian envoy to the UN atomic watchdog said yesterday.
In his first major military move, President Barack Obama Tuesday approved the deployment of 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan, saying they were needed "to stabilize a deteriorating situation."
Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah said in comments published yesterday that a French firm is studying a plan by the Gulf state for a civilian nuclear project to produce power.
Two suicide bombers killed at least four Iraqi policeman and wounded 22 in separate attacks in the violence-wracked nation yesterday, security officials said.
Veteran US Senator Ted Kennedy is to receive an honorary knighthood from Britain, Prime Minister Gordon Brown's office said yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
On March 3, a documentary titled "Bhuban Bhora Sur" (Melodies of the Soul) on Professor Anisur Rahman's thinking and interpretation of rendering Rabindra Sangeet was premiered.
The 4th South Asian Universities Youth Festival, popularly known as SAUFEST, was hosted by Panjab University in Chandigarh, India. A total of 29 teams representing universities from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka took part in this prestigious cultural event involving the whole South Asian region. BRAC University represented Bangladesh at SAUFEST 2009 and made our country proud by winning the most coveted prize for 'Best Team of the Festival.' To widen the Bangladeshi smile even further, Nazia Ahmed of the BRAC University team won the 'Best Vocalist of the Festival' award!
Rare account statements of Krishi Bank in Patisar and zamindari statement of accounts of Shilaidaha Estate overseen by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore have been recently recovered from Bilkrishnapur village, under Raninagar Upazila of Naongoan district.
A three-day photo exhibition on 'Language Movement in Bangladesh' began at the Mass Communication and Journalism Department of Rajshahi University (RU) campus recently.
ATN Bangla will air the 31st episode of drama serial “Tomar Dowa-e Bhalo Achhi Ma” tonight at 9:20 pm. Kazi Shahidul Islam has written the scripts of the serial directed by Mahfuz Ahmed.
Channel i will air “Mattu O Bondhura,” an entertainment-educational programme for children, today at 6:20 pm.
Michael Jackson may soon return to the stage, at least for a "special announcement."
This street does have a name -- U2 Way.
BDR mutiny and its trail of atrocities committed by the mutineers will continue to haunt the nation for a long time to come. We were struck by a cataclysm, the like of which we had never seen before.
THE ninth parliament has started its journey with a promise to establish genuine democratic ethos in the country. After the fall of autocracy, Bangladesh restarted parliamentary democracy but failed to establish an effective and efficient parliament. The eighth parliament was marked by the controversial role of the speaker, session boycotts, quorum crisis, and the sidelining of the parliamentary standing committees.
SOMEONE asked me the other day if I was a banana. It wasn't as odd a question as it sounds. She wanted to know if I was "yellow on the outside but white on the inside," indicating a cultural mix of east and west.
The vendors and a section of traders have again occupied most of the sidewalks and major portion of the busy roads in the port city, causing suffering to the pedestrians.
The administration in the hill district of Khagrachhari is indifferent to extensive use of firewood by the brickfield owners that poses a threat to the environment here for long.