The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, August 21, 2014


News of: Friday, 3rd of April, 2009

Front Page

ACC chief resigns

Anti-Corruption Commission chief Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury stepped down yesterday, 85 days after the Awami League-led grand alliance assumed power, ending the most challenging task he took up to fight corruption during the caretaker government's rule.

Power crisis must be resolved now

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the power ministry to resolve electricity crisis as soon as possible.

Out with the lonely warrior

He debatably took up the most challenging job in a graft-riddled country -- to catch the big time corrupts -- and he did it with due diligence. But everybody could feel that his time was up as soon as the elections were held.

Sircar, Moudud win by-polls

Former speaker of parliament and BNP leader Jamiruddin Sircar and former BNP law minister Moudud Ahmed won yesterday's by-election to two Bogra constituencies while ruling Awami League (AL) candidates won in three seats.

Dhaka, Moscow agree to sign deal this month

Bangladesh and Russia yesterday agreed on their proposals for setting up nuclear power plants in Bangladesh and signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard at the end of this month.

Cut interest rate, avoid import of luxury items

A parliamentary body yesterday asked the finance ministry to take steps for reducing income tax rate, bank interest rate and import, and avoiding import of luxury items now to face the impact of global economic meltdown.

No risk allowance for firemen's risky job

Despite the extreme risks their job entails, firefighters and rescue workers of the country don't receive any risk allowance for their job.

Court stumbles as 800 rebel BDR men produced

Around 800 mutineers of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and outsiders were produced before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Dhaka in connection with the Philkhana mutiny case, disrupting trial proceedings of most the courts throughout the day yesterday.

From food shop to tea stall, BCL men collect toll

Picking up from where BNP's student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal had left off, leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) are now allegedly indulging in extortion and manipulation of tenders.

Move to streamline NGOs under single monitoring body

The government will bring the country's registered, non-registered NGOs and other volunteer organisations under one authority to monitor them and prevent their illegal operations, including patronisation of militancy.

Govt moves to recast Law Commission

The government has taken an initiative to recast the Law Commission for bringing it back from the brink of extinction following retirement of its remaining lone member and Chairman Justice Md Sirajul Islam.

Parties show mixed reaction

Major political parties including ruling Awami League (AL), main opposition BNP and Jatiya Party (JP) yesterday expressed mixed reactions over the resignation of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury.

Functioning of ACC to be hampered

Civil society members yesterday termed unfortunate the resignation of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) chairman and said quitting of the top personnel will hamper effective functioning of the hugely important national body.

Khaleda out of cantonment home for weeks

Leader of the Opposition in parliament and former prime minister Khaleda Zia is not living at her cantonment residence claiming inadequate security especially after the BDR carnage on February 25-26.

BNP protests PM's remarks on Khaleda's house

Main opposition BNP yesterday strongly protested the remarks of Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina in parliament asking its chairperson Khaleda Zia to vacate her Shaheed Mainul Road house in Dhaka Cantonment.

66 Bangladeshis rescued in Libya

Libyan coastguards last Friday night rescued at least 66 Bangladeshis along with other nationals while being taken by a boat off Libyan coast, reported Libyan newspaper The Tripoli Post Tuesday.

Ershad eats his own words

Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad this afternoon retracted a statement hours after he made it on the Cantonment house of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

Restructuring of BDR to take time

Maj Gen Mainul Islam, director general (DG) of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), said yesterday restructuring the BDR will take time as the government will review his proposal in this regard along with suggestions from various quarters.

Case hearing adjourned until April 7

A Dhaka court adjourned the hearing of the August 21 grenade attack case till April 7, as 14 Harkatul Jihad Al Islami (Huji) men including its chief Mufti Abdul Hannan were not produced before it yesterday.

Vigil on border to check fleeing of accused investigators

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday issued letters to all offices of the immigration and border guards so that its three retired investigators who were made accused in the case filed for intentionally misdirecting the probe into the August 21 grenade attack case, cannot leave the country.

Ex-NSI man called again for quizzing

Investigators of the sensational Chittagong arms haul case yesterday sent notice again to former assistant director of National Security Intelligence (NSI) in Chittagong for interrogation.

Minister seeks Mashhud's explanation

State Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Qamrul Islam yesterday said Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury has misused his authority at the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) over the last two years by filing false and fabricated cases against political leaders in order to harass them.

N Korea vows to attack Japan if its rocket intercepted

North Korea's military threatened yesterday to attack "major targets" in Japan if Tokyo tries to shoot down a satellite it intends to launch as soon as this weekend.

Pak would-be suicide bomber shoots himself

A would-be suicide bomber shot himself dead Thursday when mourners confronted him at the funeral of a Pakistani police officer recently killed by militants, police said.

Badawi quits as Malaysian PM

Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi resigned Thursday after six years in office, clearing the way for his deputy to take over the task of steering the nation out of economic crisis.

Editorial

Glimpses of positive sign on manpower front

OVER these past many years, thousands of our workers who have either not been able to go abroad or have been compelled to return home by the host countries have spoken of their travails brought on by unscrupulous agencies, especially at home but also abroad. In light of what has lately been happening to Bangladesh's workers in certain countries, these realities take on added significance. And now that none other than Expatriates Welfare Minister Khondokar Mosharraf Hossain has spoken of the nefarious roles played by brokers in the manpower business, it is proper to ask what happens from here on.

G20 summit in London

THE meeting of world leaders at the G20 summit that kicked off yesterday in London comes at a crucial moment for the global economy, and we hold out hope that it will help pull the world out of the global depression into which it has been plunged, or, at least, that it will set in place steps that will allow for an eventual turn-around and recovery.

A common enemy

I don't get it. To me, the most inexplicable aspect of the fallout from the Pilkhana massacre is the wedge that has been driven between the army and the ruling Awami League as a result of the incident.

Repressed history syndrome

THE mystery of BDR killing is piling up, delay on delay, blunder on blunder, speculation on speculation, and then body count on body count; ten deaths in custody already in roughly one month. While the investigation gets another 30 days and the government mulls over getting the Interpol involved after FBI and Scotland Yard, the handle is getting bigger than the blade.

S.M. Murshed, judge and politician

BACK in 1968, Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan was in terrific form. He celebrated the tenth year of his seizure of power through a frenzy of exhibition as well as exhibitionism. In what used to be East Pakistan, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was already in deep trouble, or so the president's people thought, with the Agartala Case looming large over his future. The future, as Ayub saw it, was safe. Maybe even assured.

Sports

Mashrafe off to IPL

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza flew off to the whirlwind world of the Indian Premier League (IPL) last evening to officially put pen to paper for Kolkata Knight Riders franchise.

Nat'l athletics sans top sprinters

The UCB 34th National Athletics Championships will begin today at the Bangabandhu National Stadium but the premier domestic competition will miss a number of star athletes.

Hosts blank Turkmenistan

Bangladesh maintained their winning run in the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group IV competition with a comfortable 3-0 win over Turkmenistan yesterday.

Nat'l handball starts Sunday

The qualifying round of the Exim Bank 19th National Men's Handball Champion-ship will begin on Sunday in Rangpur with the Zone A qualifiers.

Bolivia 6 Argentina 1

Argentina coach Diego Maradona refused to blame the negative effects of competing at altitude after his side were humiliated 6-1 by Bolivia on Wednesday, thus registering their worst defeat in 60 years.

India to go for it

India have vowed to chase victory in the third and decisive cricket Test against New Zealand starting here Friday, rather than seal the series by seeking a draw.

Boycott threat hovers

England could be left standing at the altar if the West Indies team carries out its threat to boycott the decisive fifth and final one-day international at the Beausejour Cricket Ground on Friday.

U-13 trial on Apr 6

The final trial for the national under-13 football team will take place at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur on April 6.

Federer ousts Roddick

World number two Roger Federer overcame American Andy Roddick in three sets Wednesday to set up a semifinal clash with Novak Djokovic at the ATP Masters 1000 hardcourt tournament here.

Local Snippets

Fahim Sinha emerged champion in the snookers singles title of the Independence Day competition of Dhaka Club on Wednesday.

Bata clothing sponsors for cricket teams

BATA Shoe Company (Bangladesh) Ltd became the official clothing sponsors for different national cricket teams.

Vaughan to open for MCC

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has been included in the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) side to play county champions Durham in the traditional curtain-raiser to the English cricket season at Lord's, starting on April 9.

Johnson targets Smith

Graeme Smith must have nightmares about facing Mitchell Johnson after the fast bowler broke both of Smith's hands in separate incidents over the past three months. Friday's first ODI in Durban will provide Johnson with another chance to bowl to Smith, who has been passed fit for the five-match series.

'Because of Wright'

Jesse Ryder, New Zealand's number one Test batsman in ICC charts, has attributed his red-hot form to inputs from John Wright, the former opening batsman and coach of India.

Symonds's fingers crossed

Andrew Symonds could gain his first indication of whether he remains in Australia's plans on Friday as he waits to learn whether he has been forgiven for his season of indiscretions. The preliminary squad for the World Twenty20 in England in June has to be announced by Monday, but Symonds had not received an official clearance from Cricket Australia on Thursday afternoon.

Kirsten denies England link

Gary Kirsten has denied he is on the "very short shortlist" of candidates for the England coach's job. Kirsten has been linked to the role in the British papers but he told Cricinfo he has not been contacted by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Mostafa leads in qualifying chess

Golam Mostafa Bhuiyan was leading the preliminary phase of the Mercantile Bank 35th National Chess Championship with 7.5 points after end of the 9th round yesterday.

Afghans off to fine start

Karim Sadiq was the unlikely hero Wednesday as giant killers Afghanistan nudged closer to a first Cricket World Cup appearance.

Brazil rout Peru

Brazil moved into second place in South American qualifying for the 2010 World Cup with a 3-0 victory over Peru, one of the weaker teams in the region.

Holland on the verge

Holland moved regally to the brink of the 2010 World Cup finals on Wednesday while England and Spain struggled to preserve their perfect records in European qualifying.

Trap proud of Ireland

Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni admitted he was proud of his team's start to World Cup qualifying after maintaining their unbeaten record against Italy here following a 1-1 draw.

Shearer assures result

Newcastle record goalscorer and lifelong fan Alan Shearer has promised to do all he can to keep the club in the Premier League after being appointed as manager until the end of the season.

Podolski escapes fine

Striker Lukas Podolski has escaped a German Football Federation (DFB) fine despite his on-field spat with captain Michael Ballack in the 2-0 win over Wales, it was revealed Thursday.

Crucial win for Saudis

Saudi Arabia boosted their chances of making a fifth successive World Cup finals with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over the United Arab Emirates here on Wednesday.

Maicon's season all but over

Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho calmed fears that Brazil right-back Maicon's season is over by claiming on Wednesday that the 27-year-old could play in the last game of the season.

Bahrain keep Aussies waiting

Bahrain defeated Qatar 1-0 here on Wednesday and forced Australia to wait a little longer to secure their ticket to the 2010 World Cup finals.

Contra quits int'l football

Defender Cosmin Contra has announced his international retirement in the wake of Austria shattering Romania's dreams of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, according to local reports Thursday.

Okada fires Uzbek warning

Japan's coach Takeshi Okada warned his team Thursday that they would see a much improved Uzbekistan in their next World Cup qualifier.

Business

G20 aims for trillion dollars

World leaders are looking to raise up to 1.0 trillion dollars in new financing for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, diplomats said Thursday.

S Alam buys out leasing firm

S Alam Group has acquired majority stakes of Oman Bangladesh Leasing and Finance Ltd (OBLFL), a non-banking financial institution (NBFI), in a bid to gain a foothold in the country's financial market, people close to the development said.

Economists suggest 'flexible' budget for next fiscal year

Economists yesterday advised the government to adopt a flexible budget for the next fiscal year so it could include priorities later to safeguard the economy from the impacts of the global economic crisis.

February exports fall short of target

Bangladesh fetched $1.217 billion from exports in February against the $1.264 billion target, registering a 3.75 percent shortfall in expected earnings.

Poverty map unveiled

A poverty map of Bangladesh, estimating poverty at district and upazila levels, was launched yesterday with the aim to enable the government and policymakers to identify the poorer areas and allocate resources for pulling the distressed out of the curse.

IMF suggests fiscal space to face fallout from global recession

IMF has suggested that the current revised budget and the next one should be formulated with a view to creating any fiscal space that may be deemed necessary for contingent action to ease economic challenges in the wake of global recession.

Tourism sector to be modernised: Quader

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Golam Mohammad Quader said the government has taken necessary steps for modernising the country's tourism sector.

Seminar stresses further boost to farm sector

The government should focus on further developing the agricultural sector and consider local realities while formulating economic policies to improve the condition of the poor in Bangladesh, a seminar in Dhaka was told yesterday.

MIDAS gets new chairman

MIDAS Financing Ltd has appointed Rokia A Rahman, a director, as its chairman, says a press statement.

Healthcare in GP's nest

Anwara Begum plunged into anxiety. Her fears mounted as her doctor prescribed a surgery for complexities in the third trimester of her pregnancy.

For laid-off, a lesser problem: What to do

A few days after she was laid off last month, Dina Schipper's husband asked if she could make sure the dry cleaners came to pick up his shirts.

Markets soar on G20 hope

Asian stocks soared Thursday as dealers hoped the G20 summit will produce a plan to tackle the world financial crisis, while some positive news out of the United States added to market confidence.

New MD for IPDC

The Industrial Promotion and Development Company of Bangladesh Ltd has appointed Humaira Azam as its new managing director and chief executive officer, says a press release.

Oil above $50

Oil prices rebounded back above 50 dollars Thursday with sentiment boosted by hopes that G20 leaders meeting here would strike an agreement to help stem the economic downturn, traders said.

India's Satyam staff down by a quarter

As many as 13,000 employees may have quit India's graft-tainted outsourcing giant Satyam with some poached by clients and others leaving to work for rivals or other firms, a report said Thursday.

ECB to cut rates, mull 'non-standard' measures

The European Central Bank is likely to cut its key interest rate to an all-time low of 1.0 percent on Thursday and may break new ground as it seeks ways to turn back a deepening recession.

Wikipedia founder abandons Google search challenge

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has abandoned the floundering Wikia Search project, launched in January 2008 in an attempt to break the world's addiction to Google's Internet search service.

Ex-AIG chief says problems not his fault

The former head of disgraced insurance giant AIG, Maurice "Hank" Greenberg," said in an interview published Thursday that he does not "feel any responsibility at all" for the company's problems.

Metropolitan

Govt to procure rice from farmers to protect them from loss: PM

The government will procure rice direct from the farmers to provide them price support and protect them from any possible loss for market slump after new harvests.

Keraniganj fire: Two succumb to injuries

Two victims of the South Keraniganj fire incident succumbed to their burn injuries after fighting for life for over 24 hours at hospitals in the city yesterday.

Constructions on croplands a threat to food security

Setting up new structures on agricultural lands has been posing the biggest threat to the food security, as the amount of cropland is declining fast due to the construction of new industries and houses, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said yesterday.

Muslim Ummah should fight terrorists as they use Islam

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to recruit more labourers and professionals from Bangladesh.

10 IGP posts, upgradation of ranks demanded

Senior police officials have demanded that at least 10 inspectors general of police (IGPs) be appointed, instead of the existing one IGP, and the post of a 'Police Chief' be introduced, who will be the chief of the police department, sources said.

'Conspiracies on to foil trial of war criminals'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said a vested quarter is hatching conspiracies against the country to create a bar to or delay in the trial of war criminals and the BDR carnage was also a part of the plots.

'Frame mega dev plan to boost Hilsa production'

Speakers at a workshop yesterday said the production of delicious national fish Hilsa can be boosted up to five lakh tonne per year from current production of three lakh tonne if a development mega plan is formulated and implemented in consultation with the concerned ministries and research organisations.

Stop BCL violence on campus

Progatishil Chhatra Jote (PCJ), an alliance of left leaning student organisations, yesterday demanded of the government to stop violence on the campus by the ruling party student front Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL).

Withdrawal of 'army vehicle torching' case demanded

Dhaka University students yesterday demanded immediate withdrawal of 'army vehicle torching' case filed against seven students in connection with the campus unrest in August 2007.

Manpower export crisis to go soon: Dipu Moni

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said Bangladesh delegation had positive talks with the Malaysian leaders during her latest visit to Kuala Lumpur.

Over 100 shops gutted in Bhola

At least 123 shops were gutted in a devastating fire at Chawkbazar in Bhola district town Wednesday night.

Over 100 shops gutted in Bhola

At least 123 shops were gutted in a devastating fire at Chawkbazar in Bhola district town Wednesday night.

Call to turn autism into strength

The 2nd World Autism Awareness Day was observed in the country yesterday with a call for raising awareness about autism to turn this special ability into strength.

Ex-BNP MP, 18 others sued for war crimes

A case was filed with a Mymensingh court against 19 people, including a former BNP lawmaker, yesterday for their alleged involvement in war crimes during the War of Liberation.

Doctor held in connection with killing of BCL leader at DMC

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members yesterday arrested a doctor from Comilla in connection with the killing of Abul Kalam Asad, general secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Dhaka Medical College unit, on Monday night.

Appeal for help

Md Arif, a 15-year-old boy, has been suffering from Guillain-Barré syndrome, an acute illness which leads to muscle weakness, complete paralysis and breathing difficulty.

1114 more held

Police in separate raids arrested 1,114 people on different charges across the country in 24 hours as of 6:00am yesterday.

'Mahastami Snan' begins at Langalbandh

Thousands of Hindu devotees have gathered at Langolbandh in Narayanganj to have a holy dip in the old Brahmaputra as the Mahastami Snan festival began yesterday.

Set up instt to carry out research on Bangabandhu

The parliamentary standing committee on cultural affairs ministry yesterday recommended that the government set up an institution to study and carry out research on the birth of Bangladesh and life and works of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Letters

Trial of war criminals

It was very disturbing to listen to two distinguished lawyers on Channel -i on trial of war criminals. The process adopted so far is failing due to reasons one can easily understand listening to these two lawyers and also international reaction to the approach taken by the government as mentioned by the law minister. He needs to be more firm and proactive. The ministry should give a comprehensive legal framework to proceed with the trial. If necessary, they should take legal opinion from experts.

Save jute

Jute, the golden fibre of Bangladesh, is now disappearing and going to get its place in museum within a very short time like maslin. Nowadays farmers are not interested in cultivating jute due to various reasons.

Smoking in public places

We have already forgotten that smoking in public places had been banned by the Awami League government long ago, during its first tenure of governance. In that period the law was sometimes enforced by law enforcers and TNOs by apprehending smokers at public places and penalizing them Tk 50.00 on the spot. It is a matter of great regret that smoking in public places once again started in violation of the rules since the BNP government came to power in 2001.

Global economic recession

Today's world is integrated with product and market due to globalisation. Very few countries have lowered barriers to international trade in the era of globalisation. The global economic slow-down has drastic consequences on developing countries like Bangladesh. The countries that were dependent on the USA, EU and Japan as export markets for their products and tourism faced severe constraints in maintaining their growth and economic levels. This in turn adversely affected foreign exchange earnings, employment generation, and govt. tax revenues in developing countries.

Power failure

My two younger sisters will appear in the HSC exams this year which will start from 16 April. Now it is their last revision time, so they need to study a lot, but they cannot. No, not due to family work, even they have no personal business. The problem is ELECTRICITY.

Fire hazard

Now we are living in a modern age, but are we really modern? We saw a devastating fire in BSEC Bhaban in 2007 and now the fire at Bashundhara City has once again exposed our weakness in fighting a big fire.

Working beyond office time

We have started to adopt a new culture in the corporate world in most organisations and institutions. A common practice is often seen that we have a tendency to stay late in the office, only to display sincerity, loyalty and commitment “that spells out work within 9 to 5 is not adequate, I need more time for my workload.” I once had an occasion to work with a British consultant who mentioned that office timings have been fixed within adequate space and time to complete a day's work, if you are unable to complete your work, it proves you are inefficient. If I want to apply this principle commonly, that would incriminate that most of our mid level and senior executives are inefficient.

Cricket and security

Most of the countries like Australia and England always raise questions about security in the sub-continent.

EU report on polls

The European Union Election Observation Mission in its final report on Dec 29 polls recommended that the EC make a provision so that a candidate could not seek election from more than one seat to create a level playing field for everyone and avoid costly by-elections. This is a good recommendation. But as an ordinary citizen of the country, I recommend one more thing for the next election. Better managing initiatives have to be taken for receiving the result sheets and used election materials.

Pay commission

Notwithstanding a healthy proposal to raise the salary of government ombudsmen each year, we hardly see its reflection in practice. So to say, every government until now paid no attention to fixing up a permanent pay commission. For those who want to live honestly, a good salary structure is necessary. But nobody seems to understand the simple truth!

Curse of corruption

Each & every sector of the govt. is corrupt and no work is possible without payment of graft--particularly lower grade employees & non-gazetted officials are experts in realising money from their clients through various tactics. Their demands are 15-20% higher than the govt. taxes & fees. They seem to have become more emboldened after the massive crackdown by the last CTG on corruption.

A forgotten veteran

Tahmina Khan Dolly, the first woman ambassador of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka, is suffering from amnesia and passing her days in the care of some doctors in a local private hospital away from media attention. Mrs. Khan does not need any financial assistance but needs attention of her party members, as she has dedicated most of her life to the party. She was made an ambassador by President Ziaur Rahman for her hard work, efficiency and competency. She was involved in politics wholeheartedly and was a very dedicated party member even after the death of Ziaur Rahman. Mrs. Khan's contribution to the BNP is invaluable without any doubt.

Meeting of twoleaders

Once again some economists and political experts have started talking about a possible meeting between the two top leaders of the country. Veteran personalities like Dr. Akbar Ali Khan, Prof. Mozaffar Hossain, Rashed Khan Menon and some leaders of two political parties have emphasized the necessity of the meeting to face the challenges of present global economic recession that may affect Bangladesh.

Slow moving bureaucracy

The prime minister's pledge to bring changes and create a digital Bangladesh is being thwarted by an unwilling bureaucracy. This is the realization of the PM herself. The top bureaucrats met the PM to assure her of their sincerity. Perhaps the government will feel assured and continue its effort to appease the hierarchy.

State of the nation

On the eve of our 38th Independence Day, it is relevant to look at the state of our country now that the 'honeymoon' period (100 days) of the new Awami League led grand alliance is almost over. In this, the AL's third innings, the second by an overwhelming majority, what is the position of the juicy pre-election promises?

Western hypocrisy

The warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 4 March for the arrest of Sudan's president, Omar al- Bashir, on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur ( which he firmly denied) is another classic example of western hypocrisy.

International

Extremists threaten Pakistan's existence

Religious extremists operating along the Pak-Afghan border pose a direct threat to Pakistan's existence, the commander of US forces in the region, General David Petraeus, warned on Wednesday.

Pakistan govt to discuss drone attacks with US

Pakistan will take up the issue of missile attacks on militants in its northwest tribal belt during a visit by US special envoy Richard Holbrooke next week, the foreign ministry said yesterday.

Lankan rebels encircled in fierce fighting

Sri Lankan troops have surrounded dozens of Tamil Tiger separatist rebels during fierce fighting in the island's north in a drive to end a 25-year civil war, the military said yesterday.

Fears for peace process as Israel's new govt takes over

Israel's new government has set a hawkish tone in its first days in office, with statements by its top diplomat setting off warnings that Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet risked burying the troubled peace talks.

Japan warns N Korea of tighter sanctions

Japan threatened yesterday to toughen its own sanctions against North Korea if the communist regime goes ahead with a rocket launch as early as the weekend.

20 insurgents killed in Afghanistan: US

Afghan and US coalition troops battled a large group of militants in southern Afghanistan before calling in an airstrike that killed 20 insurgents, the coalition said in a statement yesterday.

Obama weighing more troops for Afghan war

President Barack Obama faces a decision later this year whether to send an extra 10,000 US troops to Afghanistan, amid an escalating war against Islamist insurgents, defence officials said.

US, Russia call for nuke cuts in sweeping agenda

The United States and Russia set a newly ambitious course for global cooperation Wednesday as presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev ordered negotiators into immediate action on a treaty to further reduce nuclear weapons.

14 terrorists in Lahore in guise of preachers

An estimated 14 terrorists, in the guise of preachers, have sneaked into the federal capital and Lahore to carry out strikes on state targets, Pakistani intelligence agencies have warned authorities.

Helicopter with 16 people down in North Sea

Police said yesterday that 16 people were killed when a helicopter went down off Scotland's northeast coast, announcing that the search for eight people still missing was now a recovery rather than a rescue operation.

Pakistan court to hear Sharif appeal

Pakistan will next month fix a date to hear a petition to suspend the political disqualification of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, after a court stayed a ban on his brother, officials said Thursday.

Battle of the ages on Indian election trail

India's two main political parties have pitted youth against experience as they launch their campaigns ahead of month-long elections beginning April 16.

US Cong unlikely to pass Pak aid bill early

The US Congress likely will not complete legislation tripling US non-military assistance to Pakistan before late April at the earliest, a congressional aide said Wednesday.

Sonia launches Congress polls campaign in Orissa

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday slammed the Naveen Patnaik-led Orissa government for its failure on several fronts, as she kicked off her party's campaign in the state.

CBI clears Tytler in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case

Congress leader and former union minister Jagdish Tytler was on Thursday given a clean chit by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a case registered against him for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.

Sanjay Dutt new SP gen secy

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, denied permission to contest elections by the Supreme Court, was today appointed as the national general secretary of the Samajwadi Party.

Arts & Entertainment

Abdur Rauf, founder-curator of Bangladesh Film Archive, remembered

A memorial programme on the 9th death anniversary of the founder-curator of Bangladesh Film Archive (BFA) A.K.M Abdur Rauf (1935-2000) was held at the auditorium of BFA on April 1. 'Muktijoddha, Shilpi Abdur Rauf Smriti Shangshad' was the organiser of the event, which featured discussion on life and works of Abdur Rauf by noted film personalities and Rauf's near and dear ones.

Baishakhi Celebration: Music Mela by Nokia

To celebrate 'Pahela Baishakh' (Bengali New Year), Nokia will be organising a grand musical event on April 14.

Shah Abdul Karim Festival at Ujandhal begins today

A two-day music festival marking the 94th birth anniversary of the living legend Baul Shah Abdul Karim begins today at Ujandhal under Dirai upazilla of Sunamganj, according to a press release. The festival has been held annually (during the first week of April) for the last 10 years.

A treat for movie buffs

Chanchal Chowdhury, who played the protagonist in "Monpura," and director of the film, Giasuddin Salim, along with renowned TV dramatist Brindabon Das visited Pabna last Wednesday. The trio watched "Monpura" in Rupkatha movie theatre that day and interacted with the audience. They also urged all to come to the movie theatres and encourage the film industry to produce quality films.

Ekatturer Chithi to be telecast today on Channel i

A documentary on the unveiling of "Ekatturer Chithi" -- a collection of letters written by freedom fighters during the Liberation War -- will be aired today at 11:25 am on Channel i.

Documenting Bangladesh 3 underway

To encourage the making and screening of documentaries as a medium to present the art, culture, history and social development of our country, a documentary festival, organised by Bangladesh Documentary Council, will be held from April 16 to 19, says press release.

Weeklong theatre festival by Natyalok in Sylhet

A weeklong drama festival, organised by the theatre troupe Natyalok, Sylhet, began at M. Saifur Rahman Auditorium in the city last Monday. Eminent cultural activist, Barrister Arosh Ali, formally inaugurated the festival, paying tribute to the late Abdullah Al Mamun. Veteran theatre personality Abdur Rahim was awarded with the 'Natyalok Shommanona' at the function.

Amader Swadhinata staged in Khagrachhari

Young students of Natun Kuri High School staged a play "Amader Swadhinata" at Khagrachhari Stadium to mark the 38th Independence Day.

Honorary doctorate for A.R. Rahman soon

After the double Oscar win, an honorary doctorate awaits the music wizard AR Rahman.

OP-ED

Do we really have a crisis on the remittance front?

WORKERS' remittance is the most important source of foreign exchange earning in Bangladesh. Although remittances account for about 60% of gross export receipts, in terms of net value addition and contribution to domestic demand it probably has more impact on the overall economy. It is also the fastest growing component, recording an average growth rate of 21.5% since 2000 and accounting for about 12% of GDP in 2008/09. Thus, the potential adverse impact of the global economic crisis on Bangladesh's remittance inflows is a legitimate concern.

Dramatic setback for equality in the world

THE financial and economic crisis is hitting hard, albeit differently, against men and women, and it risks giving rise to setbacks in the fight for gender equality in the world. In connection with the International Women's Day on Sunday, Sida is launching an initiative to increase women's economic empowerment in developing countries.

Remembering Col. Mujibul Hoque

"I'M retiring on April 3, on my birthday. I would like to have a grand party because I want to celebrate my retirement and the beginning of a new episode in my life."

StarTech

Know more on Liberation War online

THE last month was a historic month for all Bangalis and will always remain so. It is the month we will always cherish and value, when we Bangalis took the major step of going into war; to fight for what was rightfully ours, our motherland, Bangladesh.

Connecting people a topmost priority

ON the concluding day of the BCS Digital Expo at BCFCC, Dhaka, a roundtable titled 'Connecting People: Priority for Digital Bangladesh' was held with active participation from policymakers in the government and industry people alike.

Conficker worm plays no tricks on April Fools' Day

THE Conficker worm's April 1st trigger date came and went without the bedeviling computer virus causing any mischief but security specialists warn that the threat is far from over.

HTC TyTN II unveiled

GLOBAL Brand Pvt. Ltd. authorised distributor of HTC Corp., a global leader in mobile phone innovation and design, unveiled 'HTC TyTN II', its new flagship phone in the local market, says a press release.


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