The Daily Star

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

News of: Sunday, 12th of April, 2009

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Govt plans 20pc bigger ADP to fulfil poll pledges

The Awami League-led grand alliance government is preparing a huge annual development programme (ADP) of Tk 30,500 crore in the first year of assuming power to implement its election pledges.

Govt may move to bring back fugitive war criminals

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said if necessary the government will take initiatives to have fugitive war criminals of 1971 extradited from foreign countries.

20 hurt as pro-AL workers clash at Sadarghat

Two rival factions of Jatiya Ghat Sramik League clashed at Sadarghat area over establishing control of small trades in Sadarghat area yesterday, leaving at least 20 activists injured.

Thai PM forced to cancel Asian summit

Thai protesters smashed their way into a major Asian summit yesterday, forcing the country's embattled prime minister to cancel the meeting and evacuate foreign leaders by helicopter.

JS body may go for contempt move

The parliamentary committee on public undertakings sits today to decide the next course of action regarding the Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) refusal to allow it to scrutinise the anti-graft body's activities.

Tobacco lure

Violating the Narcotics Control Act, 2005, a number of local tobacco companies are offering smokers on the outskirts of the capital and elsewhere in the country "gift items" as incentives to choose their products.

Strict enforcement of rules a must for safety

Strict enforcement of fire safety rules and compliance with Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) in construction of high-rise buildings must be ensured to protect them from fire, experts told a discussion yesterday.

Bus tickets getting digitalised

The country's first-ever bus route franchise (BRF) with digital ticketing system is likely to be launched for the city's Uttara-Azimpur route on April 14, the first day of Bangla calendar.

New nat'l education policy in 3 months

A new national education policy will be placed before the nation within three months for overall improvement of country's education system, said Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday.

Sahara defends govt decision

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday said the government has legally and rightfully cancelled the allotment of the cantonment house of Khaleda Zia.

No scope of UZ chairmen's conflict with MPs

There is no scope for conflict between the members of parliament (MP) and elected upazila representatives over the Upazila Parishad Bill passed in the Jatiya Sangsad recently, said LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday.

Govt probe report in a month

The government's probe committee on the BDR carnage will submit its report by the end of this month or in the first week of May, Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan said yesterday.

Jubo Dal asks govt to cancel move by 48hrs

Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal, youth wing of BNP, yesterday set a 48-hour ultimatum for the government to withdraw its decision of cancelling the allotment of party Chairperson Khaleda Zia's cantonment house.

Suicide bomber kills 9 Sunni fighters in Iraq

A suicide bomber mingled into a crowd of US-allied Sunni paramilitaries in Iraq on Saturday and detonated his explosives belt, killing nine and wounding 30 others waiting in line for their salaries, Iraqi police said.

Millionaires in Indian polls race

Several of the big names in Indian parliamentary elections, including chief of India's ruling Congress Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul and leader of the opposition L K Advani are millionaires and the value of their assets have gone up in the last five years.

Ex-president's side quits talks

The delegation of deposed Madagascar president Marc Ravalomanana has walked out of talks to resolve the political crisis on the island, several sources reported yesterday.

DMC opens after 10 days

Dhaka Medical College (DMC) authorities resumed its activities yesterday after a 10-day closure following a fierce clash between two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) over establishing supremacy.

Leather tech college shut after clash

Bangladesh College of Leather Technology in the city's Hazaribagh area was closed sine die yesterday as its students went berserk and vandalised shops and damaged vehicles for realising their six points demand, including reduction of examination fees.

Outsiders beat up medical officer at BSMMU

A group of doctors from outside yesterday beat up and seriously injured a medical officer at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).

Govt to foil 'bid to create anarchy'

Awami League (AL) leaders yesterday said they would thwart any conspiracy by main opposition BNP to create anarchy in the country centring cancellation of allotment of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Cantonment house.

Sudan Islamist leader unwilling to stand for president

Islamist opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi said yesterday that he is unwilling to stand as a presidential candidate against Omar al-Beshir, who is defying an international warrant for his arrest.

Indian Maoists kill 10 policemen

Indian Maoists on Friday ambushed and shot dead 10 policemen in central India, police said, as fighting continued in Chhattisgarh state.

Somali pirates capture US tug after hostage drama

Somali pirates have captured a US tug and its 16-strong crew, a Kenyan official reported yesterday, hours after another group holding a US captain hostage warned against any attempt to free him.

Four held with Yaba

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel yesterday arrested four Yaba traders, including a university student, along with 277 Yaba tablets in the capital.

Amini demands law minister's resignation

Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) leader Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini yesterday demanded that Law Minister Shafique Ahmed step down for making remarks 'against' Kawmi madrasas.

Hasina visits ailing Wazed

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday visited her ailing husband nuclear scientist Dr Wazed Mia at Square Hospital in the city and inquired about his treatment.

Spies 'infiltrate US power grid'

The US government has admitted the nation's power grid is vulnerable to cyber attack, following reports foreign spies have infiltrated it.

French reject internet piracy law

French politicians have rejected a bill which proposed that people caught downloading music illegally three times should be cut off from the internet.


The issue of cross-border crimes

OUR attention has been drawn to the concerns expressed about border-related issues in an internal security report on the post-BDR mutiny conditions. Like everyone else apprehensive about such conditions, we too are worried and for obvious reasons. We note, though, that the new director general of the BDR has been sounding upbeat about matters being under control in the border regions. He states that cross border crimes have been declining, even though the security report does not appear to substantiate his claims. We hope, however, that his optimism is well placed. Overall, though, there are very plausible reasons why the country's borders today arouse our collective concern.

Slow, rusty trains

THE Bangladesh railways, which have for years been performing well below expectations, are now doing even worse, virtually limping with a number of problems. A report published in a leading Bengali daily on April 10 gave a detailed account of how the trains have lost both speed and service quality.

A warrior had to leave

A crusader in the war against corruption, General Hasan Mashud Choudhury, had to leave in the end. He will be remembered as a man who, for the first time in the history of this corruption ridden country, tried his utmost to spearhead a campaign against corruption and succeeded in creating public awareness about the need to arrest the cancerous growth of this menace.

Here comes the sun

THE government is contemplating to forward Bangladesh Standard Time by one hour from June this year under the proposed Daylight Saving Time (DST) plan in order to tackle the power crisis. The Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources discussed the issue with other ministries at a meeting held on April 5 and asked them to send their views on the proposal.

Democratic musings

DR. Mashiur Rahman -- a career civil servant and now an advisor to the PM -- has written a book titled: "Democracy in Crisis," published by The University Press Limited (2008). The 250-page book consists of the articles that the author had published in newspapers and journals, especially during 2002-2007, when political turmoil impinged heavy tolls on the society. Historic and contemporary events, as observed through the eyes of an experienced civil servant, add to the beauty of the book. In the following paragraphs, I shall briefly highlight few of the observations, at times paraphrased, that sounded interesting to me.


17 on BCB payroll

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has brought seventeen players including five new faces on the payroll and approved allocation of ten per cent of the national team sponsorship money to the players and five per cent to the welfare fund.

Booters to warm up in Nepal

Bangladesh national football team will play a practice match in Nepal ahead of the AFC Challenge Cup, which starts on April 26 in Dhaka.

Veeru's eyes on middle-order?

Despite his success as an opener, Virender Sehwag has said he still belongs in the middle order and would love to bat there if he got the chance. Sehwag said he had asked the team management to push him down the order when he felt he was out of form but had been told he would contribute better as an opener.

MU see off Sunderland

Federico Macheda's fairytale start to his Manchester United career continued on Saturday when he scored with his first touch to sink Sunderland and keep the champions on top of the Premier League.

Sachin hails Gary's role

Sachin Tendulkar has praised India's coach Gary Kirsten for his role in the team's first Test series win in New Zealand for more than 41 years. Since beating Australia late last year India have been on a roll, with their confidence right up, and Tendulkar felt Kirsten's allowing the team to be themselves was key.

Party boy comes home

He may have represented South Africa at the Under-19 World Cup in 2004, but prior to the 2007-08 domestic season, not many cricket fans would have been familiar with the name Roelof van der Merwe.

Palermo stop Inter

Palermo potentially breathed life into the Serie A title race with a gritty comeback in a 2-2 draw with Inter Milan at the San Siro on Saturday as Italian football mourned the victims of the Abruzzo earthquake.

Bhajji reveals secret

Harbhajan Singh has said the main reason why India have been able to build on the winning momentum in the recent past is that the players are no more insecure about their place in the side. According to Harbhajan this separates the previous teams he was part of from the one led by MS Dhoni. Harbhajan, who finished the recent New Zealand series as the leading wicket-taker with 16 at 21.37, felt the team management's belief in the players has helped them counter all sorts of conditions.

Call-up shocks Clark!

So unprepared was Stuart Clark for selection on Australia's limited overs tour of South Africa, he did not have a passport when the call came. "I've just spent the day organising another one," he said. "My original passport is still at the British consulate."

Torn apart by Torres

Fernando Torres piled the pressure on Manchester United at the top of the Premier League as Liverpool bounced back from their Champions League agony to beat Blackburn 4-0 at Anfield on Saturday.

Fergie hits back at Rafa

Sir Alex Ferguson has cranked up his war of words with Rafael Benitez by voicing surprise that the Liverpool manager took aim at Manchester United while preparing for their Champions League clash with Chelsea.

Hard work never stops

Usain Bolt lies panting on a rundown track in Kingston. Sweating hard, under a moody Jamaican sky, cubes of red asphalt stick to his bare flesh. He pulls a face. The world's ­greatest sprinter has never liked training; even the rewards of winning three gold medals in Beijing have not changed that.

Local Snippets

Wari Club defeated Nobin Sangha by three wickets at the Jahangirnagar University ground yesterday in the Second Division Cricket League.

Agencies to cover IPL

The stalemate over the media coverage of the second Indian Premier League is finally over with the major international news agencies agreeing to cover the event after the organisers withdrew contentious conditions imposed on the media outlets.

Gerrard recalls horror

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard believes the scars of the Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the life of his cousin, as well as 95 other fans, will never heal.

Theo ready to extend with Gunners

Theo Walcott, whose contract with Arsenal is due to run out in June 2010, has hinted that he's ready to extend his playing days with the English Premiership giants.

'Lee won't be rushed'

Brett Lee might have been included in the Australian cricket squad for the ODI series against Pakistan but the injury-prone speedster would not be rushed back into the playing XI, says coach Tim Nielsen.

Afghan shock for Ireland

Cricket minnows Afghanistan kept alive their dream of a place at the 2011 World Cup with a shock 22-run victory over Ireland Saturday.


Baishakh brings glitter to sales

Pahela Baishakh, the Bangla New Year and one of the most celebrated festivals, brings many happy returns to local businessmen, as several industries eye more than Tk 50 crore in the day's trade.

Banks' income soars

Banks posted record profits in 2008, despite fallout from the global financial crisis.

US shuts 2 more banks

Federal regulators shut down two more banks Friday, raising the number of bank failures so far this year to 23.

Bogra seizes Indian market for irrigation equipment

Centrifugal pump exports from Bogra are gaining popularity, as the sector provides irrigation equipment at competitive prices.

No response yet to aviation sector's demand for stimulus

Airlines Association of Bangladesh (AAB), which recently sought a Tk 1,000 crore stimulus package to overcome the fallout of the global recession, has failed to draw attention of the government.

Obama sees 'glimmers of hope' for US economy

President Barack Obama said Friday he saw "glimmers of hope" that the US economy may be wrestling free of a paralyzing recession but warned of "a lot of work" ahead to nurse it back to health.

Asian markets lifted

Asian stocks rose Friday as the few markets that were open cheered a rally on Wall Street after some rare good news in the financial sector.

China trade figures in March point to yearly gain

They would have been bad figures half a year ago, but they are now regarded as light at the end of the tunnel.

Trade fair begins in Khulna

A month-long international trade fair began at the Circuit House ground in Khulna yesterday.

Boeing rating put on watch

Standard & Poor's said Friday it had placed the credit rating on Boeing and its finance subsidiary on watch for possible downgrade as the US aerospace giant moved to cut production that could hit earnings.

No job, no problem

It's not unusual for shoppers to get their money back when something doesn't work or fit. But now companies are throwing refunds at customers for a new reason: They've lost their jobs.

The hope for new world order

On the backdrop of global financial crisis, the G20 top leaders, who met in London on April 2, sought to rewrite the rules of global finance and reshape financial institutions.

Stocks go bearish

The bearish trend was quite visible in the market last week with stock prices falling for a fourth consecutive week.

IMF, Turkey to meet soon over loan deal

The International Monetary Fund said Friday it would meet Turkish authorities soon to finalise a long-delayed standby loan which reportedly could be reach 45 billion dollars.

World is awash with oil: IEA

The world is awash with oil despite a price rally but the glut is crimping investment in fields which will be needed when demand pulls out of a "relentless" plunge, the IEA said on Friday.

US budget deficit nears $1 trillion: Treasury

The US budget deficit accelerated in March to hit a record nearly one trillion dollars just halfway through the current fiscal year, as the government moved to bail out troubled institutions, government data showed Friday.

G7 economies in retreat, some signs of improvement: OECD

The Group of Seven major economies are going deeper into reverse but fragile signs that the slowdown is easing are beginning to emerge in a few countries, the OECD said on Friday.

Taiwan passes $4.41b stimulus plan

Taiwan approved a 149 billion dollar (4.41 billion US) stimulus budget Friday as the government moves to help the island weather the global economic crisis.

China bank loans hit record high in March

Chinese banks lent a record amount of money in March as they responded to government calls to support the economy in the face of the global financial crisis, the central bank announced Saturday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

April 5th-April 9th, 2009
Local FX Market
The USD remained steady against the BDT throughout the week. The market was active, and there was ample liquidity.


Int'l organisations to observe trial process

Several international organisations have been invited to Bangladesh only to observe the process of trial of war criminals, not to conduct the trial, Planning Minister AK Khandker said yesterday.

'Promote cultivation of medicinal plants'

Around 20 years ago, Afaz Uddin, a simple organic farmer from Kholabaria in Natore, was fascinated by the therapeutic properties of herbs.

'Formulate policy to curb dust pollution'

Experts and environmental activists at a roundtable yesterday called for formulating a policy to curb dust pollution in the city, which is causing asthmatic problems to the city dwellers.

Unified primary edn a must to ensure quality

Speakers at a seminar yesterday stressed the need for introducing an integrated primary education system in the country under a unified core curriculum to ensure a solid foundation for quality higher education.

All closed mills to be reopened

State Minister for Labour and Employment Monnujan Sufian assured that all the closed mills and factories in the country would be reopened in a reversal of the policy prescribed by donor agencies and pursued by previous regimes.

Cabinet has no right to cancel lease

BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed yesterday said the cabinet's decision to cancel the lease of Khaleda Zia's cantonment residence is quite illegal and violation of basic rights of an individual.

Fertiliser, phensidyl seized, 2 held

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized 158 bags of Indian fertiliser and phensidyl and arrested two people in this connection from Gaibandha, Rangpur and Joypurhat yesterday.

5 JCD men hurt in BCL attack in Barisal

Five activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) were injured as Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists attacked and foiled a JCD programme at Government Sayed Hatem Ali College in Barisal yesterday.

Youth stabbed to death in Magura

A young man was killed allegedly by his rivals at Gopalnagar village in Mohammadpur upazila following a row over a 'love affair' on Thursday night.

Youth electrocuted in Chittagong

A youth was electrocuted in the port city yesterday.

LAB executives

Prof Dr Nasir Uddin Munsi and Syed Ali Akbar have been elected president and secretary general of Library Association of Bangladesh (LAB) for 2009-11.

Call to ensure safety of workers at workplace

The 4th anniversary of Spectrum Garments Tragedy was observed yesterday.

JS to be centre of all activities

Speaker of the parliament Advocate Abdul Hamid said that he is trying to run the House in an impartial manner to make it vibrant.

Save Tamanna

Tamanna Akter, a minor girl of 5, has been suffering from blood cancer, and is undergoing treatment at bed no 5, ward no 303 of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital in the city.


Revive Bheramara-Khulna gas pipeline project

Human chains were formed in Khulna city and nine other districts of the south-western region yesterday demanding revival of the cancelled Bheramara-Khulna Gas Transmission Line Project (BKGTLP).

Indigenous culture wearing off

The indigenous people in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) are losing their culture and customs as the CHT peace accord has remained unimplemented for years.

Sylhet city yet to see four proposed police stations

Two and a half years after launching of Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP), four proposed new police stations under it are yet to be set up.

BOU laboratory school faces closure

Bangladesh Open University Laboratory School at Gazipur is facing closure throwing the fate of 17 teachers and employees and 300 students into uncertainty.

50 injured as villagers clash in Sirajganj

At least 50 people were injured in a clash between two groups of villagers belonging to Nukali and Alokdiar villages over a trivial matter in Shahzadpur upazila of Sirajganj district yesterday morning.



Trees present us flowers, the most beautiful thing on earth. They keep the atmosphere cool and bring down rain. Yet some people are so ungrateful that they recklessly cut down trees to draw quick profit. The little forests in Chittagong, Khulna, Dinajpur, and Tangail areas are shrinking day by day owing to increase in population. As a result, our forests cannot meet our timber requirement. To make our country prosperous and to check air pollution and to save our earth from greenhouse effects, we should plant more and more trees. Trees make the earth beautiful.

The metropolis

The main problems of Dhaka city are traffic congestions, scarcity of water, load shedding and lack of accommodation, since there are too many people in Dhaka.

No electricity!

Much has been said about load shedding. Many initiatives have been taken so far, but no remedy is in sight. It is intolerable for us as the frequency of load shedding is growing higher day by day. We all know that power is indispensable for the overall development of a country, but we have done nothing in this sector. Consequently, our country is facing acute power shortage.

Consider our views

Honourable prime minister and her cabinet members give answers to the questions asked by members of parliament. I think it is one kind of accountability and transparency of the democratic government to the nation.

Load shedding and electricity bill

Within 24 hours we suffer 6-10 times from load shedding and there is no electricity supply for 4-8 hours daily.

Power crisis

The generating capacity of power as assured by the present government will be increased up to 5,000mw within three years from the date of their taking office to run the government. But the Honourable Finance Minister's statement that it is not possible within three years because of financial as well as various other reasons has disappointed the whole nation.

Grading system

It is alarming to see that those students having A+ both in SSC and HSC don't get admission in a public university. The quality of teaching is falling day by day. The method of giving extra numbers in exams sheet should be changed. The number should be given according to the students' merit.

May corruption live long!

Honestly (!) we are very happy. We have won the battle against the toughest enemy of our beloved (!) corruption. The government should declare a one-week vacation to celebrate it as we are proceeding well to win back our lost place in World Corruption Championship!

Empowerment of executive magistrate

A bill of criminal procedure code titled 'Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act 2009' is now on table of the present session of parliament to empower the executive magistrates. That creates great suspicion and confusion, whether the present government really wants to separate the Judiciary from the Executive. It is our ill-luck that in the year 1972 our heroic people framed a constitution where it was clearly stated that the Judiciary must be separated from the executive and our political leaders including the father of the nation Bangabandu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said in parliament, “Judiciary shall be separated from the administration to ensure Justice for people.” People of this country are still waiting after long 38 years for real Justice and effective separation of Judiciary from the Executive. One of the framers of our constitution, Mr. Suranjit Sen Gupta MP, is now also the Chairman of the present parliamentary committee and the daughter of Bangabandhu is now the leader of the house. It is very much clear that some vested quarter is working for undermining the spirit of the historic Supreme Court verdict on separation of judiciary on a lame argument, that without the Magistracy power administration cannot run effectively, which is not true.

Film on Bangabandhu

Red Rose Films Limited, a UK-based film producing company, has completed pre-production stage of making a full-length English film on the eventful life of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with an estimated cost of $10 million.

Observe the genocide day

May 5, 1971, is a red-letter day at the famous North Bengal Sugar Mills Ltd. at Gopalpur in Natore district, where about one hundred innocent people including my beloved eldest brother, then General Manager (Administrator), Shaheed Lieutenant Anwarul Azim, MA LLB, officers and employees of the mills were brutally killed on the staircase of a pond in the main mills premises with machine-gun burst fire, by the barbaric Pakistan army, during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

Crusader against corruption

The news of your resignation made me sad like many others in Bangladesh. However, we all knew it was coming. I am sure you also know that your resignation has relieved many of our corrupt politicians. Thanks to our State Minister for Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs for making it crystal clear in an interview.

Digital Bangladesh

I think the growing use of digitals in our daily lives will be a serious problem for mankind as a whole. In future the growing use of digitals will create unemployment problems. The humankind will be mechanized and they will forget to talk with each other. They will forget to learn languages from actual real teachers in classrooms.

Three projects

I saw a report a few days back in most of the national dailies that the government is planning to have metro rail or subway at Dhaka city. Indeed this is very good news for 125 million city dwellers. But if I am not wrong the then 4 party government also initiated this mega project to save the commuters of Dhaka city from the trouble of long traffic congestion. Lots of studies have been carried out in the last five years to ease the traffic jam & a Strategic Transport Plan has been chalked out to get rid of this acute problem. Experts observed that metro rail or subway would be the best solution for the huge population. I would like to draw a few points on a recent statement made by our communications minister in parliament on this mega project. He has informed the Jatiya Sansad that the government is planning to implement this project, which must be appreciated. In Bangladesh, this is a completely new concept & I am afraid whether proper feasibility study has been carried out or not. To the best of my knowledge, this subway train requires uninterrupted power supply to run to & from. On the other hand, a local firm has put forward a proposal for Letter of Intent to the government. It is not clear whether this local company has any previous experience of this sort of job. Our honourable communications minister has also informed parliament that they are going to start another mega project "Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project" by next year which will cost around Tk 11, 000 crore approx. So far I have seen that the government has by this time got commitment of about Tk 7,000 crore from donors like World Bank, ADB, JICA & Kuwait Fund for Development , the rest 4,000 crore is yet to be collected from other sources. As we all know that global recession is persisting & the effect of it has already been felt in the USA, Europe and South East Asia. "Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project" is also an election pledge of this government & we hope that this government will try to implement this project as 75 % of funds has already been committed by major donors. But the subway or metro rail would require another approx Tk 7,000 to 9,000 crore to complete the whole project.

ACC Chairman's resignation

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury stepped down from his position on April 2.

Khaleda's house

I believe the people of this country must know the present value of Begum Khaleda Zia's house. The value of 2.7 acres of land in cantonment area at one crore per khata is Taka 165 crore and 1.5 bigha of land on main Gulshan Avenue is worth Taka 60 crore at least. Till this issue came to public knowledge, I did not know that such huge houses can exist in a most land starved country on this globe.

Madrasa education

I have an intimate friend who comes form a well-to-do family. Once I asked him how many brothers he has. He replied four. Then I further asked what their respective businesses were. I came to know that his eldest brother is a newly passed MBBS, then he my classmate and the third one is an O-level student at a renowned English Medium school in Chittagong and the youngest one is studying in a madrasa.


Kashmir separatist to contest Indian polls

A leading Kashmiri separatist said Saturday he would run in India's elections starting next week, marking a radical departure for the movement which has until now boycotted polls.

All Asian leaders evacuated from Thai summit venue

Helicopters evacuated foreign leaders yesterday after anti-government protests forced the postponement of a major Asian summit in Thailand, AFP reporters and officials said.

Asian powers in phone diplomacy on N Korea

The foreign ministers of China Japan and South Korea yesterday had to resort to telephone diplomacy over North Korea's rocket launch after Thai protesters scuppered a three-way meeting.

Swat peace accord hinges on Zardari

A peace deal inked with the Taliban in the Swat Valley in Pakistan's restive northwest is to be presented in parliament Monday even as a question mark hangs over whether President Asif Ali Zardari will ratify the pact.

US urges Lanka to protect civilians in war zone

The United States on Friday urged a visiting Sri Lankan official to protect civilians, thousands of whom are trapped by fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels.

Pirates issue warning as they prepare to move US hostage

Somali pirates holding a US captain hostage warned yesterday that using force to free him would end in "disaster," as they prepared to move him following a deadly French raid on a separate boat.

Afghanistan's stability only possible after 'mess' in Pakistan sorted out

The US Special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, has said that peace and stability can never return to Afghanistan until Pakistan is stabilised and comes out of the current precarious condition.

Eight gunned down in SW Pakistan

Gunmen shot dead eight people in separate incidents in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan yesterday, amid protests over the killing of three local leaders this week, police said.

Obama seeks cooperation on global threats

President Barack Obama invoked Christian and Jewish holidays on Saturday to urge nations to confront together the challenges he saw firsthand during last week's marathon trip to Europe.

Left often on wrong side of history: Manmohan

Needling the Communists in their bastion, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the Left parties have often been on the "wrong side" of history by refusing to participate in the Quit India movement, Green and IT revolutions and to back the nuclear deal with the US.

PM has voluntarily abdicated authority

Reiterating his charge that Manmohan Singh is a weak prime minister, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate LK Advani said Manmohan Singh had "voluntarily abdicated authority".

Muslims should launch their own party

Accusing political parties of using the Muslim community as just a vote bank, the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid here said Saturday that Muslims should join hands and launch their own party that will work for the community's welfare.

Sarkozy, Bruni get bullet threat by post

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has received a letter containing two bullets, prompting speculation that one was intended for him and the other for his wife, Carla Bruni.

Priyanka campaigns for Rahul

Campaigning for her brother Rahul in UP's Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, Priyanka Gandhi on Saturday attacked the Mayawati government, saying it "ignored" the region and "created obstacles" in the implementation of Centre's development schemes for the state.

Arts & Entertainment

By the river Kalni...

Shah Abdul Karim is one of the most recognised and celebrated baul icons of his time. He was born into a financially strained family in one of the most remote villages, Ujan Dhal, under Derai upazilla of Sunamganj district. The bard, who turned 94 this year, was unable to join his birthday celebrations owing to several age-related ailments.

Int’l French Drama Festival ‘09 begins today

The second edition of the 'International French Drama Festival' begins today at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. The eight-day festival, which will feature eight French plays translated into Bangla, is also part of the 50th anniversary programme of Alliance Francaise de Dacca (AFD). AFD in association with Natukay Theatre and Fame School of Dance, Drama and Music, Chittagong has been organising the festival.

“Nazrul the Poet”, CD on Nazrul launched

The contribution of Kazi Nazrul Islam to our culture and history cannot be overstated. His poetry with fiery lyrics was a rich source of inspiration to patriots and Freedom Fighters in the struggle against the British Raj as well as IN the Liberation War of 1971.

Weeklong programme marking Bangla year-1416 begins

A week-long cultural programme to celebrate Bangla New Year-1416 began yesterday in various parts of Khagrachhari hill district. The organisers are government, non- government and socio cultural organisations.

Abu Zafar Obaidullah Smaran Mela held in Barisal

Abu Zafar Obaidullah Smaran Mela was held in Barisal on April 10. The programme was arranged at the Baherchar Primary School premises before the Poet Abu Zafar Obaidullah Smriti Pathagar at his native village in Barisal.

Maya Bondor staged in Dinajpur

'Maya Bondor' a play depicting the illiteracy of the shoal denizens of the country, was staged on Friday evening at Dinajpur Nattya Shamiti Auditorium.

Internet-based TV for children to inaugurate on Pahela Baishakh

The first ever Internet based television channel of the country,, officially starts its journey on Pahela Baishakh, according to a press release.

Variety Show Bibhrat on ntv

On Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bengali New Year, a special variety show, " Bibhrat" will be aired on ntv at 12:10 am.


Trading the way out of crisis

The era of globalisation is experiencing its first major economic crisis. For years global trade has been the main engine of economic growth. Growth in trade has mostly been higher than growth of GDP in the recent past. However, global trade is falling very sharply in response to the contraction in global demand for goods and services, and fall in trade finance in the face of economic downturn.

Political vengeance or overdue correction?

THE cabinet in a recent decision has cancelled the allotment of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia's house in the cantonment. In the words of the cabinet proceedings, the cancellation was "due to a number of anomalies regarding the allotment within the military zone."

When everyone is guilty, no one is guilty

WHAT would have been the reaction of Indians if the shoe thrown by Jarnail Singh at Home Minister P. Chidambaram had actually hit his face?

The Daily Star

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