The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, April 19, 2014


News of: Sunday, 8th of March, 2009

Front Page

Some 250 BDR men still on the run

Around 250 suspected mutineers of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) are still on the run defying government orders to get back to barracks.

15 tcf offshore gas calls for $50b investment

While the ever-deepening energy crisis demands that Bangladesh vigorously begin oil and gas exploration in the Bay of Bengal besides other initiatives, the Bay needs a staggering investment of $50 billion to explore and develop gas fields having at least 15 trillion cubic feet (tcf) gas.

Give proofs to probe bodies

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged her political archrival Khaleda Zia to divulge every piece of evidence she has before the probe body on the BDR mutiny for a fair investigation to identify the culprits.

Help new ROs in holding polls

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday directed the deputy commissioners (DCs) and Police Supers (SPs) to extend all out supports to its officials who have been made returning officers for the first time to help conduct the parliamentary by-elections to seven constituencies.

Indian rebel leaders were in Chittagong

Military wing commander of the United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) Paresh Barua, Naga rebel leader Anthony Shimray and several more people were stationed in Chittagong by using fake names before the abortive Ulfa arms shipment in 2004.

Consignment from China

Anthony Davis, representative of Asia Region of Jane's Intelligence Review (JIR), a UK-based leading defence magazine of the world, said that the seizure of 10 truckloads of arms in Chittagong was not a normal event.

2 more BDR troops held

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday arrested two more BDR jawans from BDR headquarters in connection with the mutiny.

Try mutiny perpetrators

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Khaleda Zia demanded exemplary punishment of the perpetrators of BDR mutiny on Feb 25-26.

Govt waits on probe reports

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said BDR jawans who were involved in the Pilkhana killing can be tried under the Army Act 1952 while outsiders under the International War Crimes Tribunal Act 193 or the Special Tribunal Act.

WB assistance in power sector sought

Bangladesh sought assistance from the World Bank in public and private power sectors along with attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector.

Chumkis seek a stop to violence

Chumki cheated death when her husband Shubho and his mother set her on fire on January 25 this year and she escaped with severe burns on her legs only.

Coal production yet to restart

Resumption of production at Barapukuria coal mine remains uncertain as the latest efforts of Forest and Environment State Minister Mostafizur Rahman Fizar failed to resolve the issues of compensation to landslide victims and retrenchment of Bangladeshi miners of Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL).

1 killed, 40 hurt in RMG factory clash

At least one person was killed and 40 others were injured, five of them critically, in a series of clashes between the workers of a sweater factory and outsiders in Gilarchala area of Sreepur upazila yesterday.

CUFL high officials yet to be quizzed

Investigators of the arms case filed in connection with the seizure of huge cache of arms in Chittagong are yet to start quizzing the then high officials of the Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Ltd (CUFL).

Bangabandhu sculpture in Central Jail unveiled

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday unveiled the sculpture of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Dhaka Central jail.

Security man at ZIA shot dead

A security personnel of civil aviation was shot dead allegedly by his friends early yesterday at Kawla in the capital.

Pakistan may turn into 'failed state'

India has said neighbouring Pakistan could become a "failed state", with doubts emerging about who is in control of the country, a report said yesterday.

Palestinian PM quits

The Western-backed Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad stepped down yesterday to try to pave the way for the formation of a national unity government and reconciliation with Hamas.

32 killed in Lanka

At least 32 Tamil Tigers were killed in heavy fighting in Sri Lanka's embattled northeast, where government troops have cornered the rebels, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Editorial

Crippling power cuts

IT seems that we will not be able to get out the problem of power shortage in the short-term. In some parts of the capital last Friday, the residents had to suffer power outages as many as four times lasting several hours, without the people being told what was to befall them, in advance. We have never had enough of electricity, and, in spite of the fact that the problem is recurring year in and year out, the government seems not to take timely measures to offset the impact.

International Women's Day

WE observe today International Women's Day. The observance is not a run of the mill affair, indeed cannot be, for there are the very critical issues that have in recent years arisen about the position and status of women across the globe. Given the particular context in which women pursue life here in Bangladesh, it can be said with a fair degree of assurance that if women have taken forward strides they have also come across impediments that need to be done away with. In other words, women's progress here has been remarkable; but at the same time there are some glaring gaps that need to be filled. Take, for instance, the fact that as many as 59 per cent of Bangladesh's women are employed in various ways in the agricultural sector. But that is no suggestion that their contributions are recognised for what they are. That is when the matter of discrimination comes in.

From mutiny to madness

GEORGE Patton, an American general who fought in both World Wars, explained that the object of war was not to die for one's country but to make the enemy die for his. The soldiers who died and the soldiers who killed in the mutiny of 25th February at Pilkhana weren't mutual enemies. For God's sake, neither did they come from two different countries. Yet one side so fiercely slaughtered the other, its depravity has left us gasping in pain.

A general, a friend

I had been looking at my mobile phone for a while now. Major General Shakil had two phone numbers, which were in my list of contacts. I was wondering if I should delete those numbers. My heart says one thing, my brain another. The heart says the phone will suddenly start ringing with his caller id brightly lit, but the tragic reality is that I will never receive calls from those numbers again.

Troubled Pakistan seeks a way out

THE forbearance and endurance of the people of Pakistan is admirable. Neither the 50 years of military rule nor the obsequious politicians have disheartened the nation. Still the people dream of a democratic setup which will give them not only political stability but also economic viability.

Sports

Abahani overcome Torun

Abahani overcame a hurdle in their attempt to retain the Premier Division Cricket League title when they handed a six-wicket defeat to Surjo Torun at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

MSC want title

Mohammedan coach Maruful Haq has vowed to put up a fine performance and wow the club faithful as the popular Old Town outfit look set to approach the money-spinning Super Cup with lofty targets.

Johnson rattles SA

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson took two wickets in his first over and forced South African captain Graeme Smith and key batsman Jacques Kallis to retire hurt on a dramatic second day of the second Test at Kingsmead here on Saturday.

Doleshwar outclass Orient

Prime Doleshwar defeated Orient SC by three wickets in the day's lone match of the First Division Cricket League at the Dhaka University Ground yesterday.

Local Snippets

Water Development Board defeated Wari Club 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-21 and 28-26) and Titas Club blanked Fire Service 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-19) in the premier league matches of the National Bank Premier and First Division Volleyball League at the Dhaka Volleyball Stadium yesterday.

Strauss puts Eng in charge

Andrew Strauss batted the entire day to reach his third hundred of the series, and lead another solid England batting performance in the fifth and final Test against West Indies on Friday.

Kiwis up against Sehwag

New Zealand go into the must-win third one-day cricket international against India here Sunday struggling to find an answer to the Virender Sehwag problem.

BCF shocked at Shuvro's demise

Bangladesh Chess Federation (BCF) expressed deep shock over the untimely death of talented player Shuvro Ghosh and prayed for the salvation of his departed soul.

Imran sniffs 'foreign element' in Lahore attack

Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan believes a "foreign element" could be involved in this week's attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, according to an interview published Saturday.

India, England sail

India opened the World Cup with a convincing 10-wicket victory against an over-powered Pakistan that was completed in 39 overs. After winning the toss in Bowral, India quickly dismissed Pakistan for 57 and then Anagha Deshpande and Anjum Chopra knocked off the runs without any discomfort.

Consultant OK, coach not

John Buchanan has turned down an approach to take on the position of England head coach, but has held preliminary talks with senior ECB officials regarding the possibility of joining them in a consultancy capacity ahead of this year's Ashes series.

Experts fear no sport for years

A brazen commando attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team has wrecked Pakistan's chances of hosting another international sporting event for years, former players and officials fear.

Rangs nat'l v'ball from March 17

The Rangs National Volleyball League will begin on March 17 across the country.

Blues march into semi

Guus Hiddink's campaign to add silverware to Chelsea's so far unconvincing season gathered momentum with a 2-0 victory over Championship side Coventry City in their FA Cup sixth round tie at the Ricoh Arena here Saturday.

Walcott set for return

Arsene Wenger hopes Theo Walcott's return to action in Sunday's FA Cup fifth round clash against Burnley will give Arsenal the momentum to keep their season alive.

Guus fires booze caution

Guus Hiddink has warned Chelsea's stars to ensure they don't become victims of England's booze culture.

Jose rules out exit

Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho on Friday dismissed speculation that he is set to walk out of the club.

Laporta eyes up Cesc

Barcelona president Joan Laporta believes Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas would be a 'big player' for the club.

Schalke edge out Cologne

Schalke bounced back from their shock cup exit to second division Mainz with a 1-0 victory over Cologne on Friday night.

Fluminense appoint Parreira

Former Brazil and South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has been appointed the new manager of Brazilian first division side Fluminense.

Pep calls for more Messi protection

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola on Friday once again called for referees to do more to protect Argentine playmaker Lionel Messi from hefty tackles and fouls.

Chelsea lose Ferreira

Chelsea full-back Paulo Ferreira has damaged his anterior cruciate ligament and will be sidelined for the rest of the season.

Business

Exports face strains in financial crisis

Prices are slipping toward the bottom. Orders are being cancelled. Payments and shipments are deferred or on hold. All point to the gloom thickening on the horizon.

FDI feared to shrink further

Inflow of fresh foreign direct investment (FDI) to Bangladesh will shrink further, hurt by the global financial trauma.

BGMEA chief calls for stimulus

BGMEA's outgoing president, Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury Parvez, cried out for immediate stimulus package to help the country's export-oriented garment industry to face adverse impacts of global economic recession.

Seminar stresses luring NRBs for portfolio investment

Speakers at a seminar here yesterday stressed a proper managerial policy to facilitate investors to reap benefit from the capital market.

Global stocks retreat

Global stock markets lost ground Friday as a half-hearted technical rebound gave way in face of more massive US job losses and growing concerns over once iconic companies such as General Motors.

Govt to observe poultry week in March every year

The government will organise poultry week in March every year to create awareness among farmers as well as other stakeholders, the fisheries and livestock minister said yesterday.

Crisis scaled back Russia's ambitions

President Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday that the world economic crisis had "substantially" impacted his plans for Russia, including an ambitious idea to turn Moscow into a global financial centre.

US jobless rate takes toll on dollar

The dollar fell against the euro Friday on news that the US jobless rate jumped to 8.1 percent in February, its highest level in 25 years.

Berlusconi upbeat on economic outlook

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi struck a note of optimism Friday on the global financial crisis, accusing the media of exaggerating its extent.

Employees of investment firm Stanford laid off

About 1,000 people working around the nation for the troubled Stanford Financial Group founded by Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford were laid off Friday by order of the court-appointed receiver in the investment firm's case.

Bleak days ahead for migrants

Remittance inflows are feared to face a slowdown in the coming months as migrant workers, battered by global recession, are returning home at an increasing rate.

Woman's face of economic meltdown

The current economic crisis is unravelling before us faster than even the most pessimistic of experts predicted just a few months ago.

Stocks hold steady

Stocks traded steady last week after the end of a two-day bloody mutiny by disgruntled border guards at Bangladesh Rifles Headquarters in Dhaka.

Oil recovers after US jobs report

Oil prices recovered slightly on Friday as traders brushed aside news of massive job losses in the United States, the world's biggest energy consuming nation.

Britain takes majority stake in Lloyds Banking Group

The British government said Saturday it will take a majority stake in Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) and guarantee toxic assets, leaving only two major British banks outside the state's control.

Obama vows end to irresponsible budgets

US President Barack Obama vowed Saturday that irresponsible budgets were a thing of the past as he promised bold action to help the United States emerge from the current economic crisis stronger than before.

Financial crisis hits Ireland's St Patrick's Day exodus

The controversial annual exodus of Ireland's leaders heading off around the world for St Patrick's Day will be sharply cut back this year because of the financial crisis, the government said on Friday.

India seeks global symbol for rupee

India announced Friday a contest to design a global symbol for the rupee so that the currency can join the likes of the US dollar and the yen which already have their own identifiable symbols.

Weekly Currency Roundup

March 1st-March 5th, 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

Implement law to ensure women workers' rights

Speakers at a seminar yesterday emphasised the need to implement laws properly to ensure the rights of women workers.

Presentation of gender sensitive commercial ads criticised

Speakers at a seminar on 'Gender sensitive ad making: Our expectations and responsibilities' yesterday strongly criticised the ways women are presented in gender sensitive commercial advertisements.

Climate change to have impact on food security

Food and Disaster Minister Abdur Razzaque yesterday said global climate change would have an adverse impact on food security as the agricultural production will decrease due to global warming.

Panicked Biharis fear eviction

Series of fires broke out simultaneously three nights at several Bihari camps at Mirpur during the last seven days, causing panic and fear of eviction among the Biharis living in the area.

Unite to safeguard democracy

Twenty-eight distinguished citizens yesterday strongly condemned the massacre of army officers during the mutiny at BDR headquarters and demanded exemplary punishment to those involved in the carnage after unravelling the mysteries through a fair investigation.

Move to amend marriage registration act protested

The government must withdraw any move to allow persons with general education degrees to take up the profession of a Kazi (marriage registrar), speakers at a discussion said yesterday.

Army man dies in fall from 8th floor of hotel

An army officer died after falling from the eighth floor of a residential hotel at Kakrail in the capital yesterday.

Kidnapper commits suicide, 5 others held

A kidnapper committed suicide at his house at Bamansur village in Kearniganj yesterday when police raided his house to arrest him.

Grass beside runway at ZIA burnt

The grass in a big area at a place between the runways at Zia International Airport (ZIA) was burnt in a fire yesterday.

Ex-HC judge files writ to settle longstanding grievances

After 23 years of losing his job, a former High Court judge has filed a writ petition seeking an HC order to declare illegal the then government's action of not confirming his service and to reinstate him.

Comrade Ali Aksad laid to rest

Comrade Ali Aksad, veteran language hero and leader of Biswa Shanti Andolon and a member of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) was laid to rest with full state honours at the Mirpur Intellectuals Graveyard in the city yesterday.

International Women's Day today

International Women's Day will be celebrated today with a call for all to unite to end violence against women.

Remain alert to conspiracy

Shipping Minister Dr Afsarul Amin called upon the countrymen to remain alert to the conspiracies, which are being plotted to unstable the newly elected government and destroy the country as well.

Vow to work for establishing 'Sonar Bangla'

Bangladesh Chhatra League activists a meeting in front of the central library at Rajshahi University yesterday vowed to work for building a 'Sonar Bangla', dream of Bangabandhu.

'Free KCC canals from occupants'

Jano Uddog, a social organisation, demanded stern legal action against the illegal occupants of 22 canals as listed by Khulna City Corporation (KCC).

RU Chemistry Deptt celebrates golden jubilee

Chemistry Department of Rajshahi University (RU) celebrated its golden jubilee on the campus yesterday.

Two rocket launchers recovered in Khulna

Police recovered two rocket launchers yesterday from a pond at Arhonghata under Daulatpur police station in Khulna city.

Body left in ZIA luggage identified

The body of the young woman recovered from Zia International Airport was identified as Josna Kabir yesterday at the Dhaka Medical College Morgue.

Training course of Art of Living from tomorrow

The Art of Living, Bangladesh will hold a training regimen at A2, House 4/A, Rangs Lake Garden, Road-139 (Behind Samsonite) at Gulshan-1 in the city beginning from tomorrow, says a press release.

'Resist acid attack on women, children'

Jagrata Jubo Sangha (JJS), a non-government organisation, called upon the people to form strong resistance against all sorts of repression and acid attack on women and children.

'Punish BDR mutineers'

Different organisations have condemned the massacre of army officers during the mutiny at the BDR headquarters and demanded exemplary punishment to those involved in the carnage.

30 injured in Gopalganj clash

At least 30 people were injured in a clash between two groups of people over fishing at Korpara village under Gopalganj Sadar upazila yesterday.

Historic March 7 observed

Different socio-political organisations observed the historic March 7 yesterday with a series of programmes across the country.

Perpetrators to be brought to justice

Reaffirming her resolve, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the perpetrators would be brought to justice after quick inquiry into the massacre in the BDR headquarters.

World Scout Bureau secy general in city

World Scout Bureau Secretary General Luc Pannisod arrived in the city in a four-day visit to Bangladesh yesterday, says a press release.

National

A sad tale of another hapless dowry victim

With serious burn injuries allegedly inflicted by dowry-greedy husband, 16-year-old Lucky is now fighting for life at Meherpur General Hospital.

7 yrs over, killers yet to be brought to justice

Seven years after the killing of local Jubo League leader Tofayel Ahmed Tuhin, trial of the murder case is going on in snail's pace while nine accused in the case have remained absconding.

Physically challenged women demand JS reserved seats

Physically challenged women at a press conference here yesterday demanded six reserved seats for them in parliament.

Abandoned bullets recovered

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) recovered 275 bullets and 18 cartridges from the Baitul Ijjat Rifles Training School (RTS) in Satkania upazila of Chittagong yesterday.

AL activists assault hospital staff

At least 15 nurses and brothers of Patuakhali General Hospital were injured in an attack on them allegedly by two Awami League (AL) activists yesterday morning.

Two brothers electrocuted in Khulna

Two brothers were electrocuted at Durjonimahal village under Rupsha upazila of Khulna district yesterday.

Letters

Lawachhara forests

This has reference to a news report published in your daily of 23rd. Feb, 2009(Page 16, column 1). The report tells us that seismic survey conducted for gas exploration did not adversely affect the biodiversity of Lawachhara forests. This should be heartening for us all. However, the IUCN survey on biodiversity is based mainly on Hoolock Gibbons. Nothing specific has been said about the “other species”. What are these “other species” and how was it determined that they have not fled from the disturbed area? Any student of biodiversity will tell you that surveys based on one or a few species is not reliable. There are a few reports on avifauna of this forest, but IUCN survey apparently did not take these into account. It is the smaller animals like squirrels, wild cats, mongoose etc. that are more likely to have been affected. Besides the Lawachhara forest is home to a number of rare species of butterflies and odonates(Dragonflies and Damselflies). I wonder why an organisation like IUCN did not include these in their survey. On the whole IUCN report may pacify general public but is certainly not acceptable.

Soil issue

At present, the standard OM content of Bangladesh soils is less than 1%, ranging between 0.05 and 0.9% in most cases. The land area is gradually declining because of population growth, industrialisation and other infrastructure development. However, agriculture plays a key role in over all financial growth of the country, more than 70% of the population depend on agriculture. In order to feed the huge population a green revolution was designed in the 1960s and priority was given to producing more food in terms of grain through strengthening of land usage. It has created a tremendous pressure on limited land resources. New crop variety was introduced as well as chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and irrigation in the name of modernization. As a result instant objectives of more grain production have been achieved. For a shorter period Bangladesh achieved near self sufficiency in food.

Education or discrimination?

Much has been written on the topic of the three-tier education system of our country . Broadly speaking, there are three types of education systems :the mainstream Bangla medium education for the middle class people, the madrassa education for the poor and the English medium schooling for the privileged people. It is said that this division in education adds to the rich- poor gap and sustains social inequality.

We mourn

We are perplexed, we are shocked. Brutal killing that has occurred in the BDR Headquarters is inhuman. We are speechless. Due to the updated transmission of the electronic media about what was happening at the BDR Headquarters, we have seen a sad drama which is unbearable. It is a black chapter in the history of Bangladesh. Many have said that it was a mutiny; many other pointed it as a deep conspiracy. Whatever the cause is, it is true that we have lost so many talented and skilled defence officials. We have to think about it deeply. It cannot be a mutiny, it was a pre-planned killing. There should be a valid reason for a mutiny. But I don't think that killing of over 75 high ranking talented army officers, without even giving them the chance to know what their fault was, is an indication of mutiny. More or less, many Bangladeshi families have their relatives in the army. We feel proud when we say that we have our relatives who are army officers. But now we are finding the dead bodies of those talented high ranking defence officers in sewage drains! It is not a normal incident. We are finding their dead bodies from mass graves! It is not a normal incident. The freedom of this country is once again questioned by this incident. We cannot tolerate such a massacre within an independent country. It seems that it was a pre-planned conspiracy to destroy our Army and the BDR together.

Drug abuse

Drug addiction is a great menace. It is more than a national problem.

Massacre at Pilkhana

How can we call ourselves a civilized nation when 100 people are herded together, shot and their bodies burned.

Home minister

The PM gambled in the selection of her cabinet colleagues. She lost the first game in Pilkhana massacre. The carnage not only put the capability of the government in question, rather it has shaken its stability after such robust mandate in the polls.

Rohingyas

My attention is drawn to a report entitled “Rohingyas to be taken back if they claim to be Bengalis,” a report based on the announcement by Myanmar authorities at the recently held ASEAN summit (The Daily Star, 01 March 2009).

Irreparable loss

The mutiny is over, having a great span of time, 33-hours. The cruelty and atrocity of the mutiny is beyond description. How human beings, how civilized people living in this civilized world could be so cruel, so inhuman, so brutal, so beastly and so barbaric?

An opportunity for us

Cricket is getting momentum in Bangladesh. May be we had been in progress though we have no major win in Test cricket over the big names. We had a close finish on several occasions. In ODI, two major wins over New Zealand and Sri Lanka earned international reputation and our players Sakib and Mortuza were included in the top ten. Sakib made history.

Pogrom, not mutiny

Initially we had believed that BDR jawans were grossly discriminated against and out of pent-up frustrations they staged a mutiny. But with days passing and mass graves being dug out, it is now crystal clear that a conspiracy was hatched to destroy the whole chain of command not only in the BDR, but also in other disciplined forces. Only officers and their families have been victims in this barbarous pogrom perpetuated by a few dozens of BDR soldiers.

Reorganise BDR

The heinous crime of killing, looting, burning , torture and rape perpetrated by some human faced devils at Pilkhana, Dhaka on 25 and 26 of February 2009 has put not only the name of BDR to shame but also the whole nation.

Cricket and terrorism

One of the most popular games in the world, especially in this subcontinent, is now the target of terrorists in Pakistan. We do not know when it is going to end. However, it is very logical to think that the ensuing World Cup matches in the subcontinent are going to be affected. We want to see an early end to the crisis and want that the terrorists are wiped out. The sports arena must be kept safe and free from the fundamentalists and terrorist forces.

Save our language

Bengali is one of the most used languages in the world. Bengali is the only language for which people sacrificed their lives. For this language, we have today the "International Mother Language Day".

National unity

A General in a talk show stated that our security forces can be infiltrated easily and such infiltrators are untraceable. In the recent mutiny of the BDR outside infiltrators surely were there, according to him. He also said they could not be identified, as if they simply vanished into thin air. Now, it is a fearsome claim implying that our security forces lack security themselves and we have no remedy for that. He has not answered how he decided that there were invisible infiltrators since he could not find any. How does he know if the story was not concocted? In these talk shows, we see bashing of one group by another and vice versa. This is not the time for division, confrontation and reaping political benefits. We should stand united as a nation now more than ever. Mir Mahboob Ali Fiction Writer and FreelanceConsultant Former Senior Executive The Bangladesh Observer

Peacekeepers need peace

The Pilkhana massacre has fatally wounded the nation and we have never been so united in grief. Families of the deceased are the worst victims in every respect. The survivors had helplessly witnessed the systematic butchery of their unarmed comrades. That horrific memory overpowers their joy of remaining alive.

International

Bombings kill 11 in Pakistan amid political feuds

A bomb-laden car exploded yesterday in northwest Pakistan as police tried to pull a body from it, authorities said, killing seven police and a bystander as international fears grow over security and political stability in the nuclear-armed country.

Congress-SP keep talking on polls alliance

Talks are 'on' with the Samajwadi Party for an alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress said Saturday, adding it is prepared for a 'friendly contest' with the party in at least seven constituencies in Uttar Pradesh.

Zimbabwe PM hurt, wife killed in car crash

Zimbabwe's new Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was hospitalised Friday after a car crash that killed his wife, just three weeks after taking office in a unity government, his party said.

Fear of death stalks Pak women in Swat

Terrified, locked up at home and courting death if they go out alone, women oppressed by Taliban extremists in Pakistan's Swat valley have nothing to celebrate on International Women's Day.

Top US envoys in Syria for 'engagement' talks

Two senior US envoys were meeting Syrian leaders on Saturday as Washington pursues its new policy of engaging with all countries in the Middle East, even its long-time foes.

US, Russia signal fresh start on defence issues

Russia and the United States on Friday signalled a fresh start on missile defence and disarmament issues after a first meeting of their foreign ministers since US President Barack Obama was elected.

Obama to reverse limits on stem-cell research

US President Barack Obama will Monday wipe out another contentious aspect of his predecessor George W Bush's legacy by removing curbs on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research.

Nasa planet hunter rockets into space

Nasa's planet-hunting telescope, Kepler, rocketed into space Friday night on a historic voyage to track down other Earths in a faraway patch of the Milky Way galaxy.

US top court dismisses al-Qaeda case

The US Supreme Court refused to weigh in Friday on whether US presidents have the authority to indefinitely detain a terrorist suspect in the United States without charges.

Pakistan gives $1.5m to UN for probe into Benazir's killing

Pakistan has given $1.5 million to the United Nations as seed money to partially cover the cost of a three-member fact-finding commission which will look into the assassination of former Premier Benazir Bhutto.

Bilawal Bhutto urges world not to lose faith in people of Pakistan

Assassinated Pakistan Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto's son and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chairman, Bilawal Bhutto has urged the international community not to lose faith in the people of Pakistan who are striving to find their place in the world.

Morocco cuts ties with Iran

Morocco on Friday severed diplomatic ties with Iran, the Moroccan foreign ministry said in a statement, resurrecting a row sparked by a senior Iranian official who questioned Bahrain's sovereignty.

Karzai accepts Aug 20 polls

President Hamid Karzai said yesterday that he accepts the recent decision by the country's election commission to hold the presidential vote on Aug. 20.

Arts & Entertainment

From bricks to walls

“One of our favourite pastimes was to gather with our friends on the rooftops and practise broto-chari...with the daily laundry strung as 'tents' off course,” my mother would tell us whenever women's movement came up in the conversation. Here they learnt the simple dance and songs which led the way to Bratachari Movement, initiated by Gurushodoi Dutta.

Rokeya Rafique: Becoming the voice of working class women

Rokeya Rafique Baby is a force to be reckoned with. In addition to her role as executive director of the women's rights organisation 'Karmojibi Nari,' she is active on the cultural front as a prolific actor.

Familiarising the mainstream with Adivasi culture

An accomplished Nazrul Sangeet artiste, Zannat-E-Ferdousi, is devoted to another cause as well. Ferdousi has been working as the director of advocacy at Research and Development Collective (RDC) for the last five years. Among the organisation's concerns are studies on the 'Adivasi' (indigenous) communities in Bangladesh, advocacy of their land rights and familiarising the mainstream culture with their traditions. Cultural Coordination Centre, Bangladesh -- a sister organisation of RDC -- deals with the last subject. Ferdousi is the general secretary of the organisation.

Women’s contributions in Liberation War

Bipasha Hayat, the reflective actress, has carved a niche for herself in the Bangladeshi media on accord of her talent and beauty. As a performer she enjoys a charismatic fame; the epitome of her career was in the '90s. Through her convincing performances in many popular TV plays as well as in theatre, Bipasha became a face known and liked by everyone, young and old. However, she gradually reduced working in the media as she became more involved with family life. Nevertheless, her multifaceted talent was manifested through various mediums and it has been a pleasant surprise for her admirers to discover Bipasha as a writer, singer, painter and so on.

Woman power votary

Ferdous Ara Khanam (Alieya Ferdowsi) is an icon of woman power. The dynamo of energy dons multiple roles effortlessly -- as educationist, sports organiser, TV artiste, writer and drama director.

“Baula Antar: Jago Nari Banhi Shikha” on ETV

A special musical programme on International Women's Day, titled "Baula Antar: Jago Nari Banhi Shikha," will be aired tonight on Ekushey Television at 6:30 pm. Rishita Jahan and Saiful Islam have jointly produced the programme.

“Antarjatik Nari Dibash-er Bishesh Anusthan” on ATN Bangla

A special programme on International Women's Day titled "Antarjatik Nari Dibash-er Bishesh Anusthan" will be aired tonight on ATN Bangla at 6:15 pm. Sabina Bari Lucky is the director, while Fuad Chowdhury is the executive director of the programme. United Network Ltd. produces the programme.

OP-ED

International Women's Day

The International Women's Day (IWD) is being observed today in both developed and underdeveloped countries to underscore women's equal rights and opportunities worldwide. The struggle for realising women rights has a long history.

I want to believe

On that day, no soul shall be wronged; and you shall not be rewarded aught but that which you did. (The Quran, 36: 54).

Murder in Pilkhana

The unfolding details of the murder of very senior army officers in the uprising in BDR have overwhelmed the nation with deep shock and disbelief, anguish and wrath. It is truly a national tragedy of incomprehensible proportion. The government rightly observed three days of national mourning.

How to fix the world

Not again! Every day I pick up the newspaper and every day I read the same thing. "World Financial Crisis Gets Worse. Experts Baffled."


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