The Daily Star

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Friday, December 19, 2014


News of: Saturday, 18th of April, 2009

Front Page

Cyclone Bijli hits coasts, weakens

Cyclone Bijli hit the coastal areas of Chittagong and Cox's Bazar last night.

Barisal Medical College shut indefinitely

Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College (SBMC) was closed indefinitely on Thursday night following clashes between two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL).

Corporate luminaries honoured

Two businesspersons, one enterprise and one financial institution won The Daily Star-DHL business awards yesterday for their extraordinary performance in different fields.

31 Hizb-ut Towhid men arrested in Kushtia

Police yesterday arrested 31 Hizb-ut Towhid activists, including its Kushtia regional chief, and seized books and leaflets on Jihad from Kushtia town.

Footbridges, underpasses in city in sorry state

Most of the city footbridges and underpasses remain in appalling condition in absence of necessary maintenance and fail to serve its main purpose of ensuring safety of pedestrians.

PM issues cheques, MP's men take away

The local Awami League (AL) lawmaker’s men in Bagmara upazila have reportedly taken away cheques worth Tk 19 lakh granted by the prime minister for the victims of the cruelties committed by Bangla Bhai-led vigilante gangs.

Shamim Osman back, stages showdown

Controversial Awami League (AL) leader Shamim Osman returning after around eight years' self-exile staged a huge showdown in Narayanganj yesterday marking the historic Mujibnagar Day.

Former minister Aminul seeks review of cases

Former post and telecommunications minister Aminul Haque, through his attorney, applied to the deputy commissioner's office of Rajshahi for review of all 13 cases filed against him during the last caretaker government.

Bangla Bhai's bodyguard arrested

Police yesterday arrested a fugitive bodyguard of executed JMB leader Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai at Kornipara of Gabtoli in Bogra.

Faisal brought to Dhaka for TFI quizzing

Bangladesh-born British citizen and founder of Green Crescent charity and NGO Faisal Mostafa and his associate Hasan Saifuddin Badal were yesterday brought to Dhaka for interrogation by the Task Force Intelligence (TFI) cell.

9 Shibir men arrested on charges of militancy

Police yesterday arrested nine leaders and activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir including the party's Jessore district unit president in a madrasa on militant charges.

2 murdered, cop mugged in city

A security guard and an alleged criminal were killed in separate incidents in the city's Kafrul and Lalbagh yesterday and early hours of today.

'Unite to free country from militancy'

Prime Minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday placed wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum, Dhaka marking the historic Mujibnagar Day.

Prosecutor appointment next week

The government would assign investigation agency and prosecutors to try the war criminals by next week and bring changes to International Crimes (Tribunals) Act if necessary, said Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday.

Elephants kill villager in Rangamati

A man was trampled to death by a herd of wild elephants at Hazachhara village in Barkal upazila early yesterday.

7 Ctg militant suspects sent to jail

Seven members of Dawat-e-Islami arrested on April 13 for their suspected links to militant activities were sent to jail custody here yesterday.

IPL takes off in S Africa today

The second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the world's biggest Twenty20 tournament, is all set to begin in Cape Town today.

Robbers stab businessman, loot house

Robbers stabbed a businessman and looted gold ornaments, cash and other valuables worth about Tk 17 lakh from his Jatrabari house early yesterday

JP lawmaker Momtaz Iqbal passes away

Jatiya Party Sunamganj-4 lawmaker Momtaz Iqbal passed away due to a cardiac arrest last night.

Suspect alleges torture, retracts confession

The suspected Pakistani gunman on trial in India for last year's Mumbai attacks wants to retract his confession, claiming it was extracted by torture, his defence lawyer told reporters yesterday.

Anti-Thaksin leader survives attempt on life

The Thai activist who led a blockade of the kingdom's main airports last year was shot and wounded in the head Friday in an assassination attempt the government said was aimed at inciting fresh unrest.

Twin quakes kill 22 in Afghanistan

Two earthquakes killed up to 22 people in eastern Afghanistan, damaging villages and destroying scores of homes in a remote area near the border with Pakistan, local authorities said yesterday.

IMF forecasts'long, severe' global recession

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday forecast a prolonged, deep global recession in a crisis "nobody is escaping," with recovery slow and difficult.

Citigroup returns to profit in 2009

Citigroup swung to profit in 2009 with first-quarter earnings of 1.6 billion dollars, coming back from massive losses in 2008, the troubled banking giant said Friday.

US environment agency deems CO2 health risk

The US Environmental Protection Agency shifted course and deemed carbon dioxide a health risk, in a turnabout important to global warming-related regulation.

Editorial

JU VC's rash remarks

WE are surprised by the recent remarks of the VC of Jahangirnagar University blaming intruders for the recent spate of violence in the JU campus. He has given a clean chit to the Chattra League, absolving them of all responsibilities for the recent turmoil. Coming as his remarks do, from a person who is supposed to be fully conversant with the facts and the goings on inside the campus, it is, we feel a deplorable effort to shift the blame on others when most of us know who the real culprits are.

Pull up the railway from morass

JUST how neglected the Bangladesh Railway (BR) has been since the country's independence is driven home by some eye-opening statistics cited at a roundtable recently. Not only has it lost over 40 percent of its land resource to illegal occupation, the size of its inventory with which it had originally begun in 1971 has also shrunk terribly over time. Whereas the BR had 500 locomotives and 16,100 wagons in 1972, the figures have plummeted to 285 and 9,473 as of now. Not only that, the number of railway employees has also fallen and the railway tracks, sleepers and signalling equipment are antiquated, to say the least.

Fundamentalism, militancy and terrorism

IT has been an anomaly of sorts over the past two months. We have had joyous celebrations, been dumbfounded with despair and then sought solace within our national identity.

The Indian voter's predicament

My pain, a voiceless song
My being a nameless mote
If only my pain could speak
I'd know who I am

Sports

No World Cup in Pakistan

Pakistan was stripped of its 2011 World Cup matches by the International Cricket Council on Friday as growing security concerns cast the Asian giants firmly into the sporting wilderness.

Tigers eager to make eleven

There is little chance to see Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful playing in the opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) that kicks off today at Newlands in Cape Town.

Royals' tough opener

When the glitz and the glamour of the build-up to the Indian Premier League makes way for cricket action Saturday, past form will not count for much.

Ganguly ignored as captain

After weeks of speculation, New Zealand's Brendon McCullum as captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders team has replaced Sourav Ganguly for the second Indian Premier League starting here on Saturday.

Four qualify for 2011 WC

Canada, Ireland, Kenya and Netherlands will represent the minnows of cricket at the 2011 World Cup after a thrilling climax to the qualifiers Friday.

Parade wakes the Cape

Bollywood glitz and cricket razzmatazz combined in a colourful, star-studded parade through Cape Town on Thursday as the 2009 Indian Premier League made its high-profile brash entrance.

Booters' practice match today

Bangladesh national football team will play their one-off warm-up match against Nepal Police today.

Meet the IPL teams

Owners, coaches, captains and leading players of the eight teams contesting the Indian Premier League which starts in South Africa on Saturday:

Australia 303/7

Australia made a flying start, stumbled in mid-innings but still managed a total of 303 for seven in the fifth and final one-day international against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium here on Friday.

Wawrinka KO Federer

Roger Federer was free to enjoy the rest of his honeymoon Thursday after being knocked out of the rain-lashed Monte Carlo Masters by compatriot, and Olympic gold medal-winning partner, Stanislas Wawrinka.

Fortunate Kiwis

A year ago in New Zealand, where cricket struggles to make a dollar, players would have scoffed at suggestions they could earn a fortune from playing a handful of Twenty20 games.

Heavy fines await late teams

Heavy fines ranging from USD 20,000 to USD 360,000 await captains and teams which fail to bowl their 20 overs inside stipulated time during the Indian Premier League starting here on Saturday.

Man City bow out

Ten-man English Premiership side Manchester City bowed out of the UEFA Cup on Thursday, falling short against Hamburg, who advanced to an all-German semifinal against Werder Bremen.

Real hope for a favour

After reaching the Champions League semifinals for the second successive season Barcelona are back in league action on Saturday when they travel to Getafe, who have proved a difficult customer for the Catalans in recent seasons.

Juve take on Inter

Serie A's top two come face to face in an epic battle at Turin's Stadio Olimpico on Saturday with only seven matches left until the end of the season.

Cahill warns United

Australia midfielder Tim Cahill has warned Manchester United that Everton have hit peak form just in time for their FA Cup semifinal at Wembley this weekend.

Bastian back for Bayern

Bayern Munich welcome back Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger for Saturday's Bundesliga clash at Bielefeld as they look to put their Champions League heartbreak behind them and chase league leaders Wolfsburg.

UEFA Cup semis line-up

UEFA Cup semifinals line-up:

Everton weigh Saha risk

Everton are weighing up the risk of throwing striker Louis Saha into the fray against his former side Manchester United in Saturday's FA Cup semifinal at Wembley.

Pizarro's Peru fine cancelled

International sports top court on Friday cancelled a fine the Peruvian football federation imposed on Werder Bremen striker Claudio Pizarro for alleged misbehaviour in a hotel 18 months ago.

Metropolitan

Future to bind print, web together

The news world is going to be the one in which the print media and the web will live side by side. So says Sir David Bell, chairman of the Financial Times Group, one of the world's leading business information companies.

Winners of Bangladesh Business Awards '08

Business Person of the Year
Abdul Monem came to Dhaka in early 50s virtually empty-handed with a secondary school certificate being his only means to bet fortune on the city streets.

Consider climate change issue while preparing budget

Speakers at a seminar yesterday stressed the need to consider the impacts of climate change while preparing the national budget.

Call to set up haemophilia dept at every medical college

Speakers at a programme yesterday put forward some recommendations, including awareness building programme, establishing haematology department at every medical college and providing Haemophilia patients with required facilities.

Tk 660cr projects aim at poverty alleviation

Social Development Foundation (SDF) is implementing $101 million (Tk 660 crore) three key projects with an aim to address the country's acute poverty, rebuild and rehabilitate disaster-hit localities as around 5.6 crore people still live at or below the poverty line.

Call to bring attackers to justice

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said Prof Humayun Azad in his entire life fought fundamentalism and communalism to establish a progressive society, but he died amid series of brutal attacks by fundamentalists.

CID fails to find out ex-IOs accused of misdirecting probe

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) could neither arrest three former investigation officers (IOs) of the August 21 grenade attack case nor find out the witnesses of a case filed against the ex-IOs on charges of misdirecting the probe into the grenade attack case.

Hijacked car of Nanak's PS recovered

Detective Branch (DB) of police yesterday recovered the hijacked private car of Matiur Rahman, private secretary of state minister for LGRD and Co-operatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak, from Chenguria village in Jessore.

Conversion of GPA into division demanded

A group of Dhaka University students who passed their SSC examinations in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and completed HSC exams in 2003 demanded issuing of a circular from the education ministry converting grade point average (GPA) of SSC and HSC levels into first division, second division and third division.

Four more 'Razakars' sued in Jamalpur

Four more suspected Razakars have been sued on charge of killing freedom fighter Abdul Quader during the War of Liberation in 1971.

SSKOP sit-in today

Sangbadik-Shramik-Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SSKOP) will stage a sit-in in front of the Ittefaq Bhaban in the city today to press home their demands for steps to address the prevailing crises at the daily Ittefaq, the Bangladesh Observer, the daily Dinkal and the Janakantha, says a press release.

Physiotherapy confce begins at DU

With the slogan 'Skilled hand, swift healing', a two-day international conference on physiotherapy began at Dhaka University yesterday.

Dye supplier found dead in N'ganj

A trader was found dead in a ditch in Muslimnagar area under Fatullah Police Station yesterday.

Two killed in Gaibandha

Two people were killed in separate incidents in Palashbari and Gabindganj upazilas in Gaibandha yesterday.

NSTU students demand uninterrupted power supply

Students of the Noakhali Science and Technology University (NSTU) locked the administrative building of the university for about four hours Thursday demanding uninterrupted power supply and solving their accommodation problems.

Acid attack on woman in Netrakona

Jesmin Akter, 25, daughter of late freedom fighter Moyaj Uddin received serious burn injuries as miscreants threw acid on her Thursday night.

National

1.5 lakh families in Bhola outside cyclone shelter coverage

Several lakh people living in the coastal areas of Bhola district are highly vulnerable to cyclones and tidal surges as the shelters constructed the purpose are too inadequate to accommodate the large number of people during natural disasters.

Earthen seal with ancient inscription found

Archaeologists recently found a broken clay seal with illegible ancient inscriptions during excavation at “Paharpur Buddhist Monastery” site in Naogaon district.

6 state-owned mills get Tk 2.65cr to buy raw jute

The government has allocated Tk 2.65 crore for six out of seven state-owned jute mills in Khulna-Jessore industrial belt for purchase of raw jute.

Movement for ensuring war criminals' trial to continue

Freedom fighters and different political and social organisations in Thakurgaon district yesterday observed 'Jhathibhanga mass killing day' with a renewed pledge to continue movement for ensuring trial of war criminals.

Two murdered in Gaibandha

Two people were murdered in separate incidents in Palashbari and Gobindagnaj upazilas yesterday.

One killed in Gazipur clash

A youth was killed another seriously injured in a clash over rickshaw van fare at Hayat Khar Chal village under Sreepur upazila yesterday.

JMB man remanded

An activist of outlawed Jama'atul Mujahidin Bangladesh (JMB), who was arrested on Monday from his house at village Kushkhali in Sadar upazila, was placed on a five-day remand on Thursday.

23 more BDR jawans held

Rab yesterday arrested 23 more BDR jawans at Rifles Training Centre and School (RTCS) at Satkania in connection with the Pilkhana mutiny.

International

India asks Lanka to extend truce, halt civilian deaths

With the humanitarian crisis aggravating in Sri Lanka, India yesterday urged Colombo to extend the pause in hostilities to enable civilians trapped in the war zone to move to safe areas and made it clear that any further civilian casualties will be 'totally unacceptable'.

Congress has slight edge over BJP

Congress appears to have a slight edge over the BJP in key states but both parties are likely to fall short of a majority in the Lok Sabha elections which may lead to intense horse-trading before a new government assumes power, an American think tank has predicted.

Donors pledge $5b to help Pakistan fight militants

International donors led by the United States and Japan pledged more than $5 billion Friday to stabilise Pakistan's troubled economy and fight the spread of terrorism in the Islamic nation and neighbouring Afghanistan.

'Sharif is America's new man of the moment'

Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif "appears to be the man of the moment" for the Obama administration, which is increasingly paying great attention to him, the Washington Times claims.

Lanka has chance to end Tamil conflict: US

The United States on Thursday urged an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka to save thousands of trapped civilians, saying the Colombo government had a chance to finally end three decades of war.

Indian schoolgirl 'left in sun to die'

An 11-year-old Indian schoolgirl died after a teacher allegedly made her stand in the baking sun as punishment for not doing her homework, reports said yesterday.

3 die in attempt on Afghan minister

A suicide attack targeting an Afghan cabinet minister killed three civilians Friday but failed to harm the politician in the southwest of the war-torn country, an official said.

Emergency rule extended in Thailand's restive south

Thailand's government on Friday agreed to extend emergency rule for another three months over its Muslim-majority south, where more than 3,600 people have been killed in five years of unrest.

Court convicts head of Tamil Tigers in Britain

A London court convicted a man described as the head of the Tamil Tigers in Britain on two terror-linked charges yesterday, including supplying bomb-making equipment to the Sri Lankan group.

Bacteria found thriving beneath Antarctic glacier

Hidden in the bone-chilling dark beneath an Antarctic glacier, a colony of strange bacteria is thriving. Scientists investigating the flow of blood-red water from beneath the glacier discovered the bacteria, which have survived for millions of years, living on sulfur and iron compounds, they report in Friday's edition of the journal Science.

Slush funds stashed abroad a threat to security: Advani

Expressing apprehensions that Indian slush funds stashed abroad could be used for terrorism, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani announced here Friday that if voted to power, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would bring back the money within 100 days.

Extremist websites offer intelligence 'gold mine'

Western governments are increasingly unwilling to close or filter extremist websites, viewing them instead as an intelligence "gold mine" on terrorist activities, experts say.

CPI-M accuses Congress, BJP of 'political match-fixing'

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has accused both the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of engaging in "political match-fixing" while ignoring "problems faced by the country and people."

Forests could flip from sink to source of CO2: Study

Forests that today soak up a quarter of carbon pollution spewed into the atmosphere could soon become a net source of CO2 if Earth's surface warms by another two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), cautions a report to be presented Friday at the UN.

Released cleric calls for Islamic order in Pakistan

The most radical mosque in Islamabad reverberated Friday with calls for Jihad as a cleric released on bail asked thousands of people to make sacrifices to turn Pakistan into an Islamic order.

Obama shields CIA agents over 'torture'

US President Barack Obama has assured CIA agents involved in tough terror interrogations they will not be prosecuted as he released graphic memos detailing methods approved by the Bush White House.

Nations look to Kenya as venue for piracy trials

Dutch prosecutors are dusting off the oldest international felony in their country's books to tackle the 21st-century wave of piracy.

Pak 'terror culture' cited in Mumbai attacks trial

The Islamist militant attacks on Mumbai were the product of Pakistan's "strategic terror culture," an Indian court was told Friday as the prosecution opened its case against one of the alleged gunmen.

Philippine leader calls on Myanmar to release Suu Kyi

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo called on Myanmar to release detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi at a recent meeting with Prime Minister Thein Sein, the foreign department said yesterday.

Crisis could create 100m 'new hungry': UN

The United Nations warned Thursday that the global economic crisis could create up to 100 million "new hungry" as it wipes out jobs in poorer countries.

Scientists find genetic links to strokes

Two genetic variants linked to an increased risk of ischemic stroke, the third leading cause of death in the United States, have been identified for the first time in a study released Wednesday.

Arts & Entertainment

Ustagarer Talika: A fake list that saved many lives

Shooting for US-based Bangladeshi independent filmmaker Anwar Shahadat's debut full-length feature "Ustagarer Talika" (Circumciser's Tally) is near completion. The shooting began on March 2 in Nangalkote, Narayanganj and Kaikarten Bazar, Sonargaon.

Eye on the motherland

Documentaries effectively protest the injustices and social anomalies, thus possessing a powerful role to assess the development of a country. Celebrating this power to generate public awareness, a four-day documentary film festival began in the city on April 16.

Pahela Baishakh celebration at Chittagong University after eight years

The last cultural programme on the sprawling, lush green campus of Chittagong University (CU) took place nearly eight years ago in June 2001.

Solo performance by Iffat Ara Dewan at Bengal Shilpalay

To mark the Bengali New Year, Bengal Foundation organised a solo musical performance by artiste Iffat Ara Dewan on April 16 at Bengal Shilpalay. At the event, the artiste entertained the audience with Rabindra Sangeet and songs of yesteryears.

Chapainawabganj celebrates 10th anniversary of Ekushey TV

Ekushey Television celebrated its tenth anniversary in Chapainawabganj on April 15. Local journalists arranged a programme, which included a rally, discussion and a cultural programme.

“Jogphol” on Banglavision ends tonight

The last episode of the drama serial "Jogphol" will be aired tonight on Banglavision at 8:20 pm.

OP-ED

Of lease and largesse

A house in Dhaka Cantonment, leased twenty-eight years ago to the widow of a slain president under unusual circumstances and apparently without carefully examining the legal and administrative requirements, has raised a political storm that might not bode well for our fledgling democracy. Concerned citizens entertain such a premonition because, sadly, there is no clear understanding and appreciation of the difference between public propriety and private gain -- the ruling class not excluded.

State of education: The erosion must be checked

EDUCATION in schools, colleges and universities in the country has turned out to be wasteful exercises leaving the young learners handicapped and ill-suited to face the tests of life, either in the job market and/or more specifically as teachers in academic institutions. That underscores the fact that parents are overly concerned with getting the best possible education for their wards.

Urban

Designing for fire safety: Case study Dhaka IV

Continued from previous (11 April)issue

Literature

In Searcht of Sulekha Sanyal

The name of Sulekha Sanyal is quite unknown to even readers of Bangla literature, let alone readers of English-language newspapers, or of South Asian Indo-Anglian fiction. But an English translation of one of her novels, Nabankur, was published as The Seedling's Tale in 2001, with the translation done by Gouranga P Chattapadhayay. And both the book as well as the translation should be seen as a milestone in the history of feminist literature in Bangla language.

Muktijoddha Letters in English

Ekattorer Chithi, the collection of letters from Muktijoddhas written from various war fronts/sectors during 1971, has proved to be a runaway bestseller - it is already into its third print run since it was published last month (Dhaka: Prothoma Prokashona). In it are two letters written originally in English, and which have been translated into Bengali. One is by Rumi, Jahanara Imam's son, written to his uncle. The other, reproduced below, is by Ashfaq Samad.

The Twenty-Fifth of Boisakh

(for Amiyochandra Chakravarty)

Extract from Nabankur*

They come in a body to see her off, walking with her for a long way. Mother, Grandma, Aunt. She looks back again and again, and her eyes keep brimming over.

Star Health

Stopping gastroenteritis in summer

Hospitals in the country continue to receive high number of cases of gastroenteritis, a condition that causes irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines characterised by diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Experts identified scarcity of safe drinking water, accompanied by summer heat which makes a perfect environment for bacteria, viruses and other germs to flourish as the main causes. They advised to pay particular attention to personal hygiene and warned people not to take roadside drinks and food.

Call for day to unite against pneumonia

Child health groups have united with Save the Children Artist Ambassadors Gwyneth Paltrow and Hugh Laurie to establish an annual World Pneumonia Day on November 2, 2009. The day will mobilise efforts to fight a neglected disease that kills more than two million children under the age of five each year worldwide.

Broken heart syndrome

Many of you might remember a common scene in a drama or movie where a manager suddenly enters the room of the boss and shouts — ‘Sir, there is a huge fire in your factory. The loss is of more than crore taka’. In most cases, the boss grabs his chest and before fall-down exclaims, “Oh no, how it is possible! I am finished!’

Low blood sugar a dementia risk for diabetics

Older diabetics whose blood sugar drops to dangerously low levels have a higher risk of developing dementia, U.S. researchers said.

Walking for fitness: Using weights?

Thinking of walking with weights? Take some precautions. Walking with weights can cause injury. Add weights only if you are a serious walker, you are already walking fast and uphill, and your regular walking routine has become too easy for you.

Novo Nordisk launches new range of modern insulins

Novo Nordisk, a leading healthcare company in diabetic care has launched modern insulins named NovoMix® 30 Penfill® and NovoRapid® Penfill®, says a press release.

Strategic Issues

The new US Afghanistan-Pakistan plan

OBAMA'S plan, announced on 27th March, for defeating Al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan is based on hard realism. He has come to the basics when he said that “we are not in Afghanistan to control that country or dictate its future but to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

The BDR carnage and intelligence failure

THE tragic incidents that took place in Pilkhana on 25th of Feb 2009, where fifty-eight army officers were brutally killed, was one of the most heinous crimes beyond anybody's comprehension. Such brutal and merciless killings are very seldom.

Is the Third World a third-class world?

IT is not the intention to bash the Third World with negativity and criticism but merely to vent the frustration and sense of hopelessness. It is also an attempt to focus on the strengths that we still possess and maybe, just maybe, we can force a glimmer of hope that will lead us to a new beginning of change from this morally and intellectually decaying society.

Star Books Review

Wishing poverty out . . .

The story begins with a prologue and dramatic description: "On a hot, dry night, well after midnight, seven silent but exiled youngmen approached the single-storied building, and then stopped in its garden. Each knelt and touched the earth with one hand, holding the other to his breast. They made a pledge committing themselves to brotherhood and to a new form of organisation to fight rural poverty." The building was the RHD resthouse at Uthuli in Manikganj and the time, March 1978. Of the seven two were employees of BRAC, already a prominent NGO, one a government employee, another a local college teacher and three worked for CCDB, an international NGO.

Palestinians are non-entities everywhere

On 11 August 2008, Peter Clark writes in a Guardian obituary that as a poet, author, and politician, Mahmoud Darwish 'did as much as anyone to forge a Palestinian national consciousness.' While Clark's comment is undebatable, it is also true that Darwish's poetry transcends its national boundary by reflecting on universal humane values through the mirror of the Palestinian experience. It is one of the major reasons why Darwish now is a great name in world literature. Memory for Forgetfulness is his exquisitely written prose-memoir. Ibrahim Muhawi's adept translation brings out the delicacy of the piece. It is based on Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 that was aimed at wiping out the PLO's base from southern Lebanon. The fact seems most startling when one reads the memoir containing evocative details of Beirut under siege. Darwish, however, lifts up the sufferings of the invasion to an aesthetic level through his musings on reality, belonging, history, resistance and the role of art involving these. The entire book is an extended internal monologue (the poet's thoughts in his mind) about which Robyn Creswell writes in Harper Magazine's January 2009 issue:

A tale that darkly transcends time

Khushwant Singh was still a practicing lawyer with the High Court in Lahore. It was just days prior to the partition of India and Pakistan in August 1947; he was travelling to his family's summer home in Kasauli at the foothills of the Himalayas. While driving on the lonely road he came across a jeep packed with Sikh men who boastfully narrated their immediate action of butchering an entire Muslim village.

A writer looks to her future

Doris Lessing, the 2007 Nobel Prize winner, definitely has had a fascinating life. She was born to English parents, lived in Iran until she was five, and then moved to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where she spent her most formative years growing up on a farm. It is said that by and large the first novel is a writer's own shadow of his/her life. The Grass is Singing is not out of this stream as well. This is Doris Lessing's first novel, published in 1950, which is based upon the life of a distressed woman and her marriage against the backdrop of the Rhodesian society of the late 1940s.



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