The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, September 23, 2014


News of: Friday, 27th of March, 2009

Front Page

NGO founder's arrest still not made official

The law enforcement agencies yesterday denied arresting British citizen Faisal Mostafa, alleged patron of the militants' den busted in Bhola, while his relatives in Dhaka and Manchester claimed he has been detained since Wednesday.

Fresh vow for trial of war criminals

The nation yesterday celebrated its 39th Independence Day paying glowing tributes to the Liberation War martyrs and calling on the government to hold the trial of war criminals.

Faisal faced terror trials twice in UK

British citizen and chief of UK-based NGO Green Crescent Dr Faisal Mostafa, cleared twice of terrorist bomb plot charges in 1996 and 2002 in the UK, had been sentenced to four years' imprisonment for possessing illegal arms and another 56 days in November for trying to board an aircraft with a gun.

Vital gas supply project trimmed for fund crisis

As fund constraint stalls a vital donor-funded $189-million project to install three gas pipelines and compressors necessary to increase the country's gas supply, the energy ministry on Tuesday decided to reduce the number of pipelines and compressors down to two.

The Daily Star disclaimer

These stunning pictures claimed to be of the first few minutes of the BDR carnage are available on the Facebook. The Daily Star could not confirm the authenticity of the photos. The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) department of the defence forces was also not aware of such pictures. However,

Bench to settle bail dilemma for fugitives

Chief Justice MM Ruhul Amin has constituted a one-member High Court (HC) bench to settle the question whether a person sentenced in absentia can seek bail from the HC without surrendering to the trial court.

Dirty water supply spreads diarrhoea

Every day more than 700 diarrhoea patients from different parts of the capital flock for treatment at ICDDR,B as the government is yet to take effective measures for clean water supply. About half of the patients are infants and children.

Arms-laden vessel not identified yet

The investigators of Chittagong arms haul are now trying to identify the vessel that carried the huge cache of deadly weapons to the Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Ltd (CUFL) jetty in the early hours of April 02, 2004.

9 picnickers killed in Ctg bus crash

At least nine people were killed and 30 others injured in a road accident yesterday morning at Lohagara upazila of the district.

Dhaka gets into holiday mood

A soothing atmosphere now prevails at capital city Dhaka, as it is now free of chaos and traffic jam to a large extent.

Politics must not influence trial

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said his party has no objection to trying war criminals but no innocent should be harassed in the name of justice.

Militancy invented

Jamaat-e-Islami Amir Matiur Rahman Nizami yesterday said militancy has been invented to impede development of Bangladesh keeping the frontier unprotected.

4 killed in city

Four people, including a vice president of Awami Swechchasebok League's Dhaka city unit and a Juba League member, were killed in separate incidents in different parts of the capital yesterday.

2 hurt in explosion

Two people, including upazila unit Awami League (AL) vice-president, were wounded as a bomb blasted in the AL leader's house at Laxmipur village in Muladi upazila of the district yesterday.

Social unrest looms large in Asia-Pacific

Asia and the Pacific face a "marked risk" of social unrest as the global financial crisis bites, but the region continues to lead international prospects for recovery, a UN survey said Thursday.

Super Cup's Tk 1 crore final today

The curtain will drop on the country's most expensive football tournament today when archrivals Abahani and Mohammedan lock horns in the Citycell Super Cup final.

100 more workers return from KL

Around 100 Bangladeshi workers returned home from Malaysia due to joblessness yesterday, the day when Foreign Minister Dipu Moni went there likely to discuss labour issue with the leadership of the country.

Residents around BDR HQ questioned

Investigators, assigned for investigating the last month's BDR carnage, started collecting witness accounts yesterday from the residents living around the BDR headquarters.

54 civilians killed in SL 'no fire zone'

Shelling killed 54 civilians in a supposed "no-fire" zone in Sri Lanka's war between the government and separatist Tamil rebels while 30 more Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in fresh fighting in the island's north yesterday.

20,000 ring Thai PM's office

More than 20,000 protesters ringed the prime minister's office Thursday, demanding the government resign, deriding its distribution of checks to millions of low-income workers as a payoff.

BSF pushes in 34

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) pushed in at least 34 Bangladeshi nationals, who were detained in Indian jail for long, through Bhomra border in Sadar upazila Wednesday night.

UN slams 'widespread' arbitrary detention in Afghanistan

The United Nations yesterday criticised arbitrary detention in Afghanistan as widespread and unacceptable, calling for an immediate review in order to protect rights.

Car bomb kills 20 in Baghdad

A car bomb exploded near a crowded market in a mainly Shia area in Baghdad on Thursday, killing as many as 20 people, Iraqi officials said, in the fifth major attack in Iraq this month.

US shows signs of shifting approach to Myanmar

Myanmar's opposition party urged the US to open talks with the country's junta, a spokesman said Wednesday, the last day of an American diplomat's visit amid signs of a shifting US approach to the military rulers.

Editorial

Deaths of BDR men in custody

Nine detained BDR men have died in inexplicable circumstances since March 9. Of course, the BDR, under its new management, has given it out that the men died of heart attacks or have committed suicide. At a time when intense investigations are going on to unearth the conspiracy behind the carnage that left 55 army officers dead at Pilkhana in February, it is worrying that reports have kept coming in of BDR men in detention dying. We are dismayed by such happenings; and we would like to make it clear that explaining these deaths away being a result of cardiac arrests or suicide is becoming untenable. All of us remember the frequency with which people died in 'crossfires' during the period of the BNP-led alliance government. Those reports of 'crossfires' did not hold water. In much the same manner, the nine BDR deaths are beginning to raise some uncomfortable questions.

Revving up the administration

The Prime Minister has dreams and vision for a prosperous Bangladesh. She is also under pressure of a massive popular mandate to deliver goods to people in terms of stable law and order, good governance and catering to basic needs of the majority who are poor. Little wonder, therefore, that rather early in the day, a couple of weeks ago, she had addressed a letter to the secretaries exhorting them to quicken their pace of work in implementing the directives of the government, so that people can receive the intended services sooner rather than later.

Our dirty little secret

March 9: Naik Subedar Mozammel Haq reportedly commits suicide by hanging himself from a ventilator fan of a toilet on the third floor of the orchestra bhaban at the BDR headquarters in Pilkhana.

Calibration of a celebration

YESTERDAY, this nation turned thirty-eight years old, a time of life when an individual stands at the threshold of middle age. But a nation is expected to live hundreds of years, and thirty-eight for it is still formative days. It doesn't have to worry about dwindling eyesight, hurting knees, fluctuating blood pressure, not even receding hairline or diabetes. A nation is still young and fresh, hope and freedom roaring in veins.

Patriotism in divided Bangladesh

THE tragedy at Pilkhana was no mutiny; it was premeditated mass murder. We could have called it a mutiny if the BDR jawans had held the army officers captive until their demands were met, but by the time the negotiations had started all the army officers had already been executed. The intention was to destabilise the country, and these cold- blooded murderers had no intention of ventilating their grievances and returning to their barracks.

Sports

Battle of 1cr today

Welcome to this year's super heavyweight championship bout.

Super Cup bits

All eyes will be on Abahani and Mohammedan in today's Super Cup final that is worth Tk 1.20 crore but Brothers Union and Chittagong Mohammedan will try to entertain the crowd during the third-place playoff, which starts at 3 pm.

10,000 tickets sold

About 10,000 tickets were sold in advance for today's final of the Citycell Super Cup.

GP-BCB NCA better U-19s

GP-BCB National Cricket Academy defeated the Bangladesh Under 19 team by 49 runs in an Independence Day in a low-scoring limited overs exhibition match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Taylor-Ryder record

A record-breaking partnership brought centuries for Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder to steady New Zealand after a shaky start on Day One of the second Test against India here Thursday.

Yousuf parting with ICL?

Mohammad Yousuf and a few other Pakistan players may be heading towards a tricky legal wrangle with the Indian Cricket League (ICL) after reports have emerged that they are planning to end their association with the unauthorised Twenty20 league and return to international cricket.

Ganguly not convinced

Sourav Ganguly has made it clear that he is not completely convinced about John Buchanan's multiple-captain theory for Kolkata Knight Riders, the Indian Premier League (IPL) team he led last year.

Dhoni injury not serious

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who missed the Napier Test because of a back spasm he sustained on the eve of the match, is likely to return for the next game in Wellington. He went for an MRI scan and is okay, the stand-in captain, Virender Sehwag, has said on Thursday.

Local Snippets

Twenty-four players are sharing the top position in the points table with two points each after the second round of games ended in the preliminary phase of the Mercantile Bank 35th National Chess Championship at the chess federation hall room.

SA paceman Nel quits

South Africa fast bowler Andre Nel joined English county Surrey on a three-year contract after announcing his retirement from international cricket on Wednesday.

Warner targets Steyn

David Warner, the explosive opener, has Dale Steyn in his sights as he aims for a spot in Australia's squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in England in June. Warner and Shane Harwood, the Victoria fast bowler, have been brought into the visiting outfit for the two warm-ups for the one-day series in South Africa.

Kim announces return

Former world No.1 Kim Clijsters of Belgium on Thursday announced her return to competitive tennis almost two years after retiring from the sport at just 23 years old.

Flintoff boost for Eng

England bowler James Anderson admits the return of all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has boosted the side ahead of Friday's third one-day international.

Rupali, Uttara win

Rupali Bank and Uttara SC won their respective matches in the relegation phase of the First Division Cricket League yesterday.

MSM and WSG bag IPL rights

Multi Screen Media (MSM), formerly Sony Entertainment Television, and World Sports Group (WSG) have been signed as the official broadcast partners for the DLF Indian Premier League (IPL) in a fresh nine-year deal running through to 2017 for a whopping 8,200 crore rupees.

Trouble in the Caribbean

West Indies' spring tour of England could be severely undermined after it emerged five senior Caribbean players are threatening to withdraw from the series and play in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).

Flower backed

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff on Wednesday threw his support behind caretaker coach Andy Flower who has overseen just one victory on the Caribbean tour.

Independence Day Sports

Jahangirnagar University held an Independence and National Day Chancellor Cup Football Competition at the university premises in Savar, to mark March 26 yesterday.

Vaughan bats for Strauss

Michael Vaughan believes Andrew Strauss is the right man to lead England into this year's Ashes despite the team's recent lack of success.

'Germany lack top 'keepers'

Germany does not currently have a world-class goalkeeper worthy of helping the national team win next year's World Cup, insists both ex-captain Oliver Kahn and national goalkeeping coach Andreas Koepke.

Whelan slams Ashley

Wigan's chairman Dave Whelan has launched an extraordinary attack on his Newcastle counterpart Mike Ashley, claiming he knew the Magpies were set to nosedive as soon as he saw Ashley wearing a replica shirt in the boardroom.

France call-up Remy, Luyindula

Strikers Loic Remy and Peguy Luyindula were called-up into the French squad on Wednesday for back-to-back World Cup qualifiers with Lithuania following a training ground injury suffered by Jimmy Briand.

Pele backtracks

Pele says his comments about supposed drug use by Brazilian soccer stars Robinho and Ronaldo have been misinterpreted.

Darren eyes Dutch scalp

Scotland midfielder Darren Fle-tcher believes George Burley's side can stun Holland in Amsterdam - if they right the wrongs from the last meeting between the countries.

Make or break for Saudis

Japan and North Korea go in search of crucial home victories on Saturday to boost their World Cup final hopes, while heavyweights Iran and Saudi Arabia meet in a must-win match in Tehran.

Chelsea want South-Asian talent

Chelsea have launched an initiative aimed at identifying promising young players from a south Asian background in a bid to address the community's chronic under-representation in English football.

Ronaldo scores a brace

Ronaldo scored twice to lead Corinthians to 2-2 draw with Ponte Preta on Wednesday in the Sao Paulo state championship.

Riera fires Turkey warning

Liverpool's Albert Riera warned his Spanish teammates that Turkey, who face the Euro 2008 champions in a World Cup qualifying game on Saturday, are a "very aggressive" team which "plays as one."

'Juve will sign one star in summer'

Juventus chief executive Jean-Claude Blanc said on Wednesday that the Italian giants will sign a star player in the summer.

Blatter's plan shocks FIFA vice-president

FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-Joon said Thursday he was "shocked and disappointed" at Sepp Blatter's proposal to enforce an age limit on Olympic football players.

Real expecting record revenues

Real Madrid announced Thursday it expected record revenues for the 2008/2009 season of 407 millions euros (552 million dollars), up from 366 million previously.

Business

Rod prices 20pc up

A hike in scrap metal prices in local markets has pushed the prices of mild steel (MS) rod by 20 percent in a span of two months.

Paragon set to grow organic tea

Paragon Agro, a concern of Paragon Group, plans to cultivate organic tea, aiming to exploit the growing consumer demand for the product in domestic and global markets.

Bank stocks suffer losses

Banking stocks lost around 25 percent of their market capitalisation in last one year because of the investors' increased interest in short-term speculative gains instead of long-term returns.

British Raleigh bicycles to land on local streets

The country's leading bicycle maker and exporter Meghna Group is going to launch British brand 'Raleigh' bicycle in the local market in the next two months.

LA Times, Chicago Tribune merge foreign operations

With their parent company in bankruptcy, the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune have announced plans to combine their foreign reporting operations.

Asian markets rise further on economic hopes

Asia's markets continued to advance Thursday as investors remained confident that the global economic downturn could be easing.

Eastern Europe faces depression without bailouts

Eastern and central Europe could nosedive into a deep depression without international multi-billion-euro funding such as the IMF-led package granted this week to Romania, analysts warned Thursday.

Thailand hands out first stimulus 'gift cheques'

Thailand started handing out "gift cheques" to more than ten million low-income earners Thursday as part of a stimulus package aimed at curbing the impact of the global financial crisis.

Dollar lower against euro in Asia

The dollar continued to lose ground against the euro in Asian trade Thursday as signs of an improvement in the ailing US economy encouraged traders to take more risk.

Oil prices rebound

Oil prices rose on Thursday in a "technical" bounce following an overnight decline on data showing that demand in the United States, the world's biggest energy consumer, remained weak, analysts said.

Shanghai to be global financial hub by 2020

China said it aims to build Shanghai into an international financial hub by 2020 to reflect the nation's economic strength and the rising status of its currency.

BanglaLion to roll out nationwide WiMax

BanglaLion, one of the three WiMax licensees, yesterday said it is set to bring the whole nation under the WiMax network within one year, reaching out the benefit of wireless high-speed internet broadband services.

South Korea to cut taxes to help ailing carmakers

South Korea Thursday announced tax cuts to spur car sales during the economic slump but urged automakers to respond with a cost-cutting drive.

GP reinstates 122 former employees

Grameenphone has reappointed 122 former employees to new roles in the company.

Italian business confidence hits record low

Italian manufacturing sector confidence plunged to a record low in March as foreign and domestic orders for Italian goods shrivelled, the research body Isae reported Thursday.

Tannery relocation in limbo

The much-hyped relocation of the tanneries from Hazaribagh in the capital to the proposed 'leather estate' at Savar is still stuck in the ruts, with tannery owners blaming bureaucratic tangles for the unusual delay in the relocation process.

Goodbye emails after layoffs

When Jim Neill got laid off, he sent around a farewell email with a subject line designed to get people's attention: "Free food in the employee lounge."

Games trump deals for Philippines web users

Internet usage in the Philippines is on the increase but rarely for doing business online -- most people are using the web for social networking or to play games, according to a survey Thursday.

Kuwait passes $13.8b deficit budget

The outgoing Kuwaiti cabinet on Thursday approved the 2009/2010 state budget which projects a sharp drop in revenues and a four-billion-dinar (13.8-billion-dollar) deficit, Finance Minister Mustafa al-Shamali told the official KUNA news agency.

Wary banks, weak demand curb eurozone loans

Growth in eurozone private sector loans dropped sharply in February, European Central Bank data showed Thursday, with analysts underscoring weaker demand and tighter conditions imposed by cautious commercial banks.

Toyota to sell 2 Prius models in hot hybrid battle

Toyota will continue to sell the current Prius when the revamped version goes on sale in May in an unusual move likely to help the top-selling hybrid ride out a threat from rival Honda.

Hutchison Whampoa profits drop 42pc

Hong Kong's richest man Li Ka-shing warned Thursday that Hutchison Whampoa faced its toughest trading conditions in recent times, after announcing profits at his flagship firm fell 42 percent in 2008.

Singapore says visitors down 15.2pc in Feb

Singapore said Thursday that visitor arrivals fell 15.2 percent in February from a year ago as the global economic slump weighed on tourism.

Metropolitan

150 shanties gutted in Ctg fire

At least 150 shanties were gutted in a devastating fire at Chandanaish upazila in Chittagong on Wednesday.

Woman dies after taking formalin by mistake at clinic

A woman died after drinking formalin by accident at a clinic in Chapainawabganj on Wednesday night.

Help bring anti-liberation forces to book

Speakers at an Independence Day programme yesterday called on the young generation to help bring anti-liberation forces to book.

Call for trial of war criminals under int'l crimes act

Different political and socio-cultural organisations celebrated the 38th Independence Day by paying rich tribute to the martyrs of the liberation war with a call for quick implementation of the government decision to try war criminals under the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.

Women's empowerment to strengthen democracy

Dhaka University Vice Chancellor (VC) AAMS Arefin Siddique on Wednesday said rule of law and empowerment of women should be established in every sphere of life to strengthen the path of democracy that can pave the way for ultimate development of the country.

Desh TV goes on air

With a commitment to presenting healthy entertainment, thoughts and ensuring objectivity and professionalism, Desh TV, a new private satellite channel, went on air yesterday coinciding with the celebration of the 38th Independence Day.

President hosts reception

President Zillur Rahman hosted a reception on the occasion of the Independence and National day at Bangabhaban yesterday.

Eight killed, 127 injured in road accidents

Eight people were killed and 125 others injured in separate road accidents in Faridpur and Manikganj yesterday.

Any govt move against judiciary separation to be protested

Newly elected President and Secretary of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) AFM Mesbahuddin and SM Rezaul Karim yesterday said they would not hesitate to stand against the government if it takes any action against the spirit of the constitution and separation of judiciary from the executive.

Independence Day observed across country

The Independence Day was observed across the country in a befitting manner yesterday.

MK Rahman, Murad Reza made AAGs

Supreme Court lawyers MK Rahman and Murad Reza were appointed additional attorney generals (AAGs) on Wednesday.

AL men protest 'misbehaviour' by Sylhet DC

Four former lawmakers of Awami League and some senior leaders of the party yesterday boycotted the Independence Day programmes of the district administration in protest against 'misbehaviour' with a veteran freedom fighter by the deputy commissioner.

Rab to be upgraded, well equipped

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members yesterday celebrated the fifth anniversary of the crime busting elite force by offering condolence to the family members of those killed during the February 25-26 BDR mutiny.

3 electrocuted

Three people were electrocuted in Shyampur area in the city last night.

Letters

Crafty game?

Thanks to our Dhaka Stock Exchange new President for his powerful strides to bail out our capital market from the vicious cycle around Z category shares wrought about by some crafty wrong doers. Z category shares transaction in percentage of our total turnover may not be that high. But the damage caused by it goes much deeper down the spine of our capital market system. It has produced such satire in our capital market that sounds as it were: Invest in bad shares and be rewarded. Invest in good shares and be punished. This hints at decaying of intrinsic value in our capital market system.

Tourism potential

No doubt Bangladesh has immense potential in tourism. But still it is not developed due to the lack of interest and proper policy of the government. The recent announcement on establishing a national tourism board is a ray of hope for the development of tourism industry in Bangladesh. But it is not enough, because tourism industry is an amalgam of other industries like transportation, accommodation, international technology etc.

Chemical pesticides

In order to protect the vegetables from pests, chemical pesticides are used. But the producers as well as consumers are not aware of the ill effects of the pesticides. Nowadays, we observe some efforts by the law enforcers to ensure formalin-free fish and stop adulteration of restaurants foods. But they overlook the pesticides used while growing vegetables and other agricultural products.

National security

National security is matter of topmost priority. That BDR Headquarters and other military establishments exist without adequate video surveillance and digital identification is just unthinkable to me. Even before Bangladesh goes digital, our armed forces need to do so immediately. It is sad to read how the investigators have to rely on amateur cell phone videos to look for suspects. Many rosters had been burnt which make it impossible to determine the whereabouts of the personnel. This could easily have been avoided if each personnel were assigned a digital identification card. This would make their whereabouts easier to find and also the information could not be burnt as it would immediately (at the speed of light to be precise) make its way to a central digital information storage hub (say a facility in the cantonment).

Misguided elements

The fundamental principle of all religions is to try to be a good human being, though there are different ways to achieve the goal. Our Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Pbuh) is the truest human being the world has ever seen. But some people, who claim to be the followers of Islam, engage in activities that violate the basic tenets of the religion.

Obama's overture

US President Barack Obama on March 20, 2009 made a historic appeal to the Iranian people, urging an end to decades of animosity and offering a honest engagement with the Islamic Republic. It proves that he is a person of great wisdom who wants to have a peaceful relationship with every country.

Quality of local products

A few days ago I purchased a hot water bottle from a drug store. I wanted to buy a local product but was told that the quality of the local product is not good. Hence I had to buy an imported product at a higher cost.

Pak tour cancelled

I would very much welcome the cancellation of Pakistan cricket team's tour of Bangladesh. I think this is a very good decision by the government. There is no denying that terrorists have got no sympathy even for sportsmen who are considered goodwill ambassadors of their country. The recent attack by the terrorists on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan is an example that even the sportsman are not sparred by them. Thank God, the Sri Lankan team members narrowly escaped.

Rohingyas

The rulers of Myanmar are oppressing the Rohingya Muslims. Though they are the legal citizens of Myanmar, but their social and political rights have never been recognised. They can't perform their religious duties, they can't marry without the permission of the govt. They can't move from one town to another without permission. The dictators are trying their best to finish the Rohingya Muslims. The Rohingyas are now foreigners in their own country. There were 3.5 million Rohingyas, and 1.5 million have escaped from Myanmar and they are passing through great uncertainty.

Paramita's patriotism

Recently, Paramita's story in DS drew my attention. I was astonished to see her patriotism and love for the mother tongue. I can visualise my own childhood in the eyes of this little girl. She spent her money which she got as prize for poetry recitation, for building a Shaheed Minar. She did this spontaneously to show her love for the martyrs of the language movement. It was a spontaneous expression of her love for her mother tongue too. Nowadays what our countrymen lack is patriotism. But when I read the story of a school girl's love for the country and our mother tongue, I got back my lost faith.

Rehabilitate street children

Thanks to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for directing the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs to arrange special programmes for rehabilitating the hapless street children and ensuring social and economic security of women.

ACCA students

The ACCA students, particularly in Chittagong, are facing many problems. Since the course is not so established and familiar in the context of Bangladesh, students cannot determine what is happening during taking tuition. The main problem is created by tuition providers, especially the new ones. They lack experienced and skilled personnel in administration. In fact, their management is too weak to run such a professional course. Furthermore, it is widely complained that, they take the ACCA fees from the students but do not pay to the ACCA in time.

Bonus bonanza!

AIG and the other failing banks in the USA have set new and absurd standards for executive privileges. They give guaranteed bonuses; while the organisation reels under astounding losses! Funnily, individual amounts of this bonus are more than the gross income of many US taxpayers! Indeed the USA is the land of milk and honey! These fat salaried executives get the honey of bonuses in these hard days of economic downturn, regardless of losses suffered, conveniently milked from poor taxpayers! This is the refined way of robbing the bank without guns and masks!

Rickshaws, again

I am really sympathetic towards Md. Lutfar Rahman (Letter to DS on March 20, 2009), as I too am feeling the pain and suffering each and every day caused by the careless behaviour of the rickshaw-pullers on Dhaka streets.

Co-ordination in human body

In the human body, all the systems simultaneously work in a co-ordinated way and in full harmony for a definite purpose, namely, to keep the body alive. Even the smallest movements we do everyday, such as breathing or smiling, are outcomes of perfect co-ordination in the human body.

Performance of ministers

I am very sceptical about the selection of the AL cabinet. Most of them do not have any technical knowledge or experience in their respective fields. It takes knowledge, vision and administrative skill to run a ministry. As a supporter of the AL, I wish the situation will be rectified very soon, before further damage is done to the economy.

International

US plans new drone attacks on Pakistan

Washington is planning new drone attacks on militant targets in Pakistan as part of its overall review of military strategy there and in Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

India faces another Mumbai-type attack

Despite India's decision to move the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament to South Africa out of security fears, another major terror attack in the country is "inevitable," according to a leading US think tank.

LTTE facing 'imminent' total defeat

Tamil Tiger rebels have lost more of their territory in northern Sri Lanka and their total defeat is now "imminent," a government minister said yesterday.

'Pakistan spy agency funnels cash to Afghan militants'

Operatives in Pakistan's military intelligence agency provide cash, supplies and strategic advice to militants in Afghanistan where the United States is fighting a resurgent Taliban, the New York Times said Thursday.

Militants warn of fresh attacks on Indian army in Kashmir

A Pakistan-based Islamist militant group warned Wednesday of fresh attacks against Indian troops, as the army said a "large number" of guerrillas were poised to infiltrate Kashmir.

PMK dumps Congress, ties up with AIADMK

The PMK, a constituent of the ruling UPA at the Centre, is all set to join the AIADMK-led front in Tamil Nadu as the party's top policy making body, the General Council, decided at its crucial meeting.

Scientists find new species in PNG

A brilliant green tree frog with huge black eyes, jumping spiders and a striped gecko are among more than 50 new animal species scientists have discovered in a remote, mountainous region of Papua New Guinea.

Pak senator to sue Musharraf for Baluch leader Bugti's murder

Problems for former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf seem to be increasing day by day following the filing of a petition in the Supreme Court seeking his trial on sedition charges.

US offers $5m reward for Baitullah Mehsud

The US has offered a $5 million reward for information on Baitullah Mehsud, a senior leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban who is linked to the assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Arts & Entertainment

Banna Mirza: Beauty, grace and reflective demeanour

Our small screen is a kaleidoscope that presents various colours of life. Today, the television has become a powerful and effective medium that consists of a galaxy of dazzling stars. Many celebrities over the years have contributed to their respective fields and gained popularity as an acknowledgement for their dedication. One of them is Banna Mirza, whose beauty, grace and reflective demeanour have won the hearts of many.

National Pantomime Festival ends in Chittagong

The three-day National Pantomime Festival 2009 ended here recently with a call to becoming more vocal against all social injustices.

Intíl Theatre Day celebration at RCSC

A two-day programme to celebrate the International Theatre Day (March 27) ends today at the auditorium of Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC). The programme, featuring plays by Anton Chekhov Theatre Group and Charunidom School of Acting, started on March 25. On the first day, Anton Chekhov Theatre Group staged its production "Kansat-e Shomnath."

Does India deserve to gloat over Slumdog Millionaire?

The aspiration of Indian dream-merchants has finally come true! "Slumdog Millionaire," filmed in the Dharavi slums of Mumbai, has swept the Oscars this year, winning awards for Best Adapted Screen-play, Cinematography, Sound Mixing, Film Editing, Original Score, Original Song, Direction and Film. Thus 'history' of some sort has been made, since Indian participation in this mother of all film awards so far had been confined to minor achievements such as costume designing and, of course, the Lifetime Achievement Award conferred to legendary helmer Satyajit Ray.

TV play Bar Bar Phirey Ashey on Channel 1

Single-episode play "Bar Bar Phirey Ashey" will be aired today on Channel 1 at 9:20pm. Written by Rokeya Islam and directed by Sadek Siddiqui, the play has Arman Parvez Murad, Shohel Khan, Shahriar Nazim Joy and Tazin Ahmed in the lead roles.

Erratum

In the write up "The art of recreating the past," published in yesterday's issue of the Arts & Entertainment, Tahmima Anam's first novel "A Golden Age" is mentioned as the winner of "2008 regional Commonwealth Best First Book prize." The book went on to win the Commonwealth Overall Best First Book Award in 2008. We regret the error.

OP-ED

Save your breath to cool your porridge

IT seems that the debate over what would have been a better option to contain the Pilkhana mayhem is far from dying down. The government reckoned that political negotiation was the way to deal with the mutineers. As the gruesome events unfolded after the fateful morning of February 25, it was discovered that mutineers had killed scores of our valiant army officers in what appeared to be a systematic carnage.

Manpower export, agents and reality

IN the manpower industry our policy makers seem happy with the ever-increasing remittances, though frequently irritated by media exposures of the unsavoury activities of unscrupulous manpower agents. This juxtaposition of visible remittance by temporary migrants and unethical activities of some recruiting agents, has suddenly attracted most of the think-tanks' attention to this hitherto uncared for sector. Dialogues, round-tables, seminars are focusing on how to nurture and revamp the golden egg laying goose and curb the exploitation of workers.

Downturn humour

IT'S the weirdest thing. Your columnist has been surprised to receive loads of invitations to be keynote speaker at financial gatherings. I'm off to another one today, this time in Macau.

StarTech

Towards digitalisation

The world is heading towards complete digitalisation. And in this case, Bangladesh is NOT lagging behind.

Facebook vows 'improvements' after user back

Faced with a torrent of complaints over its latest redesign, the social networking hub Facebook has vowed a series of "improvements" to eliminate clutter and make the website more user friendly.

Robot brings hope to kids with learning difficulties

A robot named Cosmo has become six-year-old Kevin Fitzgerald's unlikely ally in his uphill everyday battle with developmental difficulties.



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