News of: Tuesday, 19th of May, 2009
Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) had close links with Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO), an insurgent group in the Arakan state of Myanmar, JMB's explosives expert 'Boma' Mizan revealed in interrogations.
Several former ministers of the previous BNP-led alliance government are likely to face interrogation in the sensational Chittagong arms haul case, said the public prosecutor (PP) of the case yesterday.
Sri Lanka's military declared a final victory yesterday in its decades-old conflict with the Tamil Tigers, after routing the remnants of the rebel army and killing its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
Four gunfights between law enforcers and criminals took place in the city's Gulshan, Pallabi, Mirpur and Turag areas yesterday leaving an alleged mugger killed and four other criminals wounded.
A total of 591 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawans were arrested at different units in ten districts on charge of staging mutiny following the Pilkhana carnage on February 25-26.
As the last resort for a friendly solution, Bangladesh government has sought intervention of the Chinese government to make a Chinese company, Harbin, complete and handover the 90 megawatt three-unit Fenchuganj Power Project that has been remaining idle for more than 18 months following a dispute over payment of taxes, said a top PDB source.
A parliamentary body yesterday strongly criticised officials of Petrobangla for not working "efficiently" in producing gas at different gas fields.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has recommended the disbanding of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), terming them symbols of abuse and impunity in a report released yesterday.
Misleading information was published in some newspapers about the army probe report on the BDR carnage, said LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday.
Landslides triggered by heavy rains killed six people, five of them of a family, in two tea gardens in Srimangal upazila early yesterday.
Locals in the city's Islampur area caught a criminal while he along with his two accomplices were attempting to loot firearms in broad daylight from a firearms sales centre yesterday.
In the next fiscal year's budget a minimum of Tk 700 crore might be allocated for the new public-private partnership (PPP) scheme dubbed Bangladesh Investment Infrastructure Fund.
A new private university act is going be formulated in a bid to stop malpractices of a section of private universities and ensure quality education in private universities.
The High Court (HC) yesterday adjourned till May 25 the hearing on a writ petition filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia challenging the legality of government notices concerning her (Khaleda) Dhaka cantonment house.
The government yesterday okayed in principle a plan to increase allowances and perks for law enforcement personnel on a priority basis, as part of its comprehensive plan to improve law and order in the country.
Around 3,000 workers went on an indefinite strike and refrained from unloading imported goods, mostly essential commodities, from lighter vessels anchored at different ghats along the Karnaphuli river yesterday morning demanding pay hike.
One person was burnt alive and two others sustained injuries when an fuel-laden lorry and a covered van caught fire following a head-on collision between them at Maddhya Wahedpur under Mirsarai upazila in Chittagong yesterday.
The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad-interim bail to former foreign minister M Morshed Khan and to former communications minister Anwar Hossain Manju in three separate cases.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, now preparing for his second term in office, has made it clear that the developments in India's South Asian neighbourhood will be among the subjects high on his agenda.
The World Health Organisation was under pressure yesterday to declare swine flu a full-fledged pandemic as the number of cases in Japan soared and a New York teacher died of the virus.
Myanmar opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi went on trial amid tight security at a notorious prison Monday, facing another five years in detention on charges of harbouring a US man who swam to her home.
EU nations on Monday mulled tighter sanctions against the Myanmar government, but many saw China and India as the best hopes of applying pressure on the junta to free opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi.
Former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf yesterday admitted that there could be anti-American feeling among a section of the Pakistan army as well as in the public there. "There's anti United States feeling in the public and also may be in the army.
WE are happy to note that the parliamentary standing committee on land ministry has directed the ministries of industry and environment to act with urgency to save the country's rivers, particularly the four that serve as the lifeline of the capital. One cannot stress enough the need for immediate measures in this regard since the decay of the rivers, especially around the capital, that sustain us, are occurring faster than we have bothered to react, to stem their demise.
THE government's plan to revitalise the jute industry which has been in a bad way for long has everything positive in it; for, jute can still play an important role in boosting the national economy.
LONDON is upset! United Kingdom is flabbergasted! The world is stunned! One London newspaper headline screamed: "The mother of all democracies is embroiled in an escalating scandal over the misuse by members of Parliament of taxpayers' money to subsidize outrageous lifestyles and multiple homes."
FINANCE Minister A.M.A. Muhith recently said that his ministry was poised to prepare three budgets for the upcoming fiscal year. In addition to the already existing revenue and capital budgets, the third one would embrace a public-private partnership (PPP) with a block grant from the government and contributions from the private sector. As reported, 30 projects in agriculture, power, roads and communication are in the preference list.
James Anderson took nine wickets in a Test for only the second time in his career as England crushed the West Indies by an innings and 83 runs to win the second Test at the Riverside here on Monday.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced a 15-member Bangladesh A team for the three-match one-day series against Maharashtra Cricket Association.
Former national skipper Habibul Bashar urged the new generation of cricketers to think twice before moving away from the mainstream.
After leading the Delhi Daredevils on a smooth ride to the semifinals, Virender Sehwag has set his sights on regaining his form with the bat.
Australasians Brendon McCullum and Brad Hodge were the heroes as Kolkata Knight Riders shocked Chennai Super Kings Monday in an Indian Premier League thriller.
Bangladesh national hockey team coaching director Gerhard Peter Rach believes that there is a lot to look forward to and that his team is far from being done, even after a disastrous Asia Cup, which recently concluded in Kuantan, Malaysia.
Rafael Benitez extended his feud with Sir Alex Ferguson by refusing to congratulate the Manchester United manager for his title triumph, following Liverpool's 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion which saw the losers relegated to the Championship.
Inter Milan celebrated their fourth straight Serie A title in style as they cruised to an easy 3-0 win over Siena at the San Siro on Sunday.
Bordeaux's hopes of ending their 10-year wait for the French league title were boosted Sunday when defending champions Lyon beat Marseille 3-1 at their imposing Velodrome stadium.
Grand Slam golden couple Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf gave Wimbledon Centre Court's new retractable roof the superstar seal of approval on Sunday.
The final round of the Citycell National School Football Championship will begin on May 25 in Dhaka with 18 zonal champions contesting for the title.
Chelsea coach Guus Hiddink bid an emotional farewell to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, but warned his successor he'll need to spend big money if the Londoners are to stop the Manchester United juggernaut.
Barcelona's championship party was gatecrashed by humble Real Mallorca on Sunday who stunned the double winners 2-1 with two late goals.
Juventus on Monday fired coach Claudio Ranieri and replaced him with junior team coach and former player Ciro Ferrara, the club said in a statement.
Ronald Koeman was on Sunday named as the new coach of Dutch champions AZ Alkmaar to succeed Louis Van Gaal who has left to take charge at German giants Bayern Munich
A Pakistani court on Monday issued a stay order against the relocation of the World Cup 2011 secretariat from the country's cultural capital to India on security grounds.
Mark Hughes will stay as boss at Manchester City the club's owners have confirmed.
If the Indian Premier League had largely forgotten about Australian Twenty20 stars during the first half of the tournament in South Africa, Brett Lee and Andrew Symonds have forcefully reminded them what they had been missing.
Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone is to undergo surgery on his left knee meaning he will miss his side's final game of the Premier League season.
Triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt ran the fastest ever 150m on Sunday in a street race held in a chilly and windy Manchester city centre.
Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster has been sidelined for at least nine weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured ligament in his thumb, the club announced Monday.
Heavy rain robbed BCB XI of a possible victory over Maha-rashtra Cricket Association as the second T20 match was called off on completion of the first innings at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
The final of the Public Universities and Services Cricket Tournament was called off due to rain at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.
The 30th AB Bank National Table Tennis Championship will be held from June 6 to 13 at the National Sports Council (NSC) gymnasium.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president Kazi Salahuddin is eyeing a good combination of teams for the Bangabandhu International Gold Cup, which will take place in Bangladesh next season.
Bangladesh Ansar and VDP team clinched the EXIM Bank 20th national women's handball title beating hosts Faridpur 23-14 in the final at the Faridpur Stadium yesterday.
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Brendon McCullum was severely reprimanded Sunday for showing dissent during an Indian Premier League defeat by Deccan Chargers.
France's Frederick Bousquet beat Beijing Olympic hero Michael Phelps in a 100-meter freestyle final Sunday at the Charlotte UltraSwim, delivering the US star's second loss in a row.
A key figure in the 2000 match-fixing scandal that rocked world cricket, Hamid 'Banjo' Cassim made a sly appearance at the Wanderers to watch an Indian Premier League match before the media forced him into a hasty exit.
India and Pakistan will reprise the final of the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in a practice match at The Oval on June 3.
In the last two years the taka has become one of the strongest currencies in South Asia, mainly riding on the falling demand for the currency and lower import prices.
Demand for reducing duties on car imports in the next budget is being raised now from the people involved in the automobile industry, as people think owning a car is a necessity in the absence of proper public transportation.
The country's first private commercial bank Pubali Bank Limited is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a vow to boost lending to farmers and workers aspirant to go abroad.
Trading in Indian shares was suspended on Monday as stock prices saw a record surge on the back of the Congress-led alliance's strong election win that analysts saw as boosting economic reform.
The telecom minister yesterday announced to slash international incoming call rates from 4 cents to 3 cents, effective from last midnight.
The finance ministry has allocated Tk 10 crore to set up a capital market institute, which will provide training to develop skilled human resources for the country's stock market.
The government should formulate a policy for the herbal medicine industry and provide 20 percent cash incentives for export to safeguard the sector, said leaders of Bangladesh Ayurvedic Aushad Shilpa Samity yesterday.
Asia's markets were mixed Monday as economic fears resurfaced, while an outbreak of swine flu in Japan caused jitters among dealers and profit-takers took advantage of last week's strong finish.
Miners of Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL) and workers of 250-MW Barapukuria Power Plant urged the government yesterday to form a strong monitoring team to keep an eye on these two state-run giant projects to prevent any corruption by BCMCL and the power plant officials.
Eleventh-hour negotiations between General Motors and auto workers in Canada hit a snag Sunday, labor officials said.
Dhaka Stock Exchange has slapped a daily fine of Tk 500 on 11 listed companies for failing to submit their audited annual reports to the premier bourse on time.
A two-day exposition of banking cards, styled “CardExpo 2009”, will kick off at Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre on June 12, says a press release.
Superbrands, a UK-based independent authority on branding, recognises Rupchanda as a superbrand in the edible oil category in Bangladesh, according to a press release.
The South Asia Network of Economic Research Institute (SANEI) general body unanimously decided to locate its secretariat at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) for the next five years, says a press statement.
The strong rally in both developed stock markets (the S&P500 with gains of + 30 percent from the lows is the best performance over 2 months since the 1930s) and even more so for emerging markets has seen renewed optimism that the global economic recovery will be imminent.
In the face of financial trouble, it's a bad time for having babies. And babies are what Russia badly wants.
Dhaka stocks returned to black yesterday with all major sector shares gaining decently.
Oil prices turned higher Monday, rising above 57 dollars as traders kept close watch on escalating unrest in key African crude producer Nigeria.
Germany's representative in the European Commission launched a sharp attack on his own country's banks on Monday, saying they had been "world champions" in investing in risky financial products.
Taiwan's China Steel said Monday authorities in Vietnam approved its application to set up a joint venture there with Japan's Sumitomo Metal Industries.
China began work Monday on an oil pipeline to connect its northeastern border with crude-rich Russia, state press said, as the Asian giant looks to supply its energy hungry economy.
Singapore's main exports fell 19.2 percent year on year in April, government data released Monday showed, as the city-state struggles to find a way out of its worst recession in decades.
Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market was active on Monday. USD/BDT rate was similar the previous working day. The market was liquid.
With a view to bringing about positive changes in society, the Prothom Alo is going to launch a fortnight-long campaign on May 21 to encourage individuals across the country to make pledges to change themselves or others.
Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) plans to let an Awami League (AL) lawmaker's real-estate company implement two multi-storeyed commercial building projects worth Tk 150 crore on corporation land.
Work to prepare a new list of freedom fighters kicks off today.
The Election Commission may start updating the countrywide voter list with photographs at the end of June, Chief Election Commissioner Dr ATM Shamsul Huda said yesterday.
Three Bangladeshi labourers and an Indian worker were killed in Singapore yesterday when a lorry carrying them collided with a trailer, police and hospital sources said.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday emphasised the importance of transparency and accountability in spending public money to achieve the 'Vision 2021'.
Speakers at a memorial meeting yesterday said the death of eminent nuclear scientist Dr MA Wazed Mia is an irreparable loss to the country's science arena.
A Dhaka court yesterday recorded statements of two more prosecution witnesses (PWs) in connection with Ramna Batamul blast case.
Members of the law and order committee in Narayanganj yesterday expressed dissatisfaction over unabated extortion, drug peddling and land grabbing in the district.
The government is likely to take initiative to make the installation of solar power system easier and cost effective in urban areas so people could cope with the mounting power crisis.
A three-day English debate competition titled “South East Bank-Drishty Debate Competition '09” began in the port city yesterday.
Several dozens of Rakhaing supporters of Myanmar's long incarcerated democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi staged a demonstration in front of National Eidgah in the city yesterday morning demanding her immediate release.
The 2nd NCC Bank Inter-Club Debate Competition will begin at Zahurul Haque Hall of Dhaka University (DU) from May 21.
Three teenage tribal boys of a border village jailed in India were returned yesterday after six years in prison in Meghalay.
Eminent playwright, littérateur and history researcher Dr Ashkar Ibne Shykh passed away at LabAid Hospital in the city yesterday.
The Cabinet yesterday adopted a resolution condoling the death of eminent nuclear scientist and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's husband Dr MA Wazed Miah.
A gang of unidentified criminals stabbed a police informer to death early yesterday near Tejgaon Railway Station in the city.
Police arrested three criminals of a gang who were taking preparation to commit crime in Khilgaon area in the city early yesterday.
At least four people, including a boy, were killed and 17 others injured in separate road accidents in Chittagong, Kishoreganj and Narail yesterday.
Students' Action Council for Sylhet Division Development yesterday announced a 15-day programme to protest the construction of Tipaimukh dam in Borak river in Manipur, India.
State Minister for Home Affairs Tanjim Ahmed Sohel Taj paid surprise visits to different police stations and check posts last night.
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid has said initiatives would be taken to form a salary structure and enhance the dignity of the teachers.
The classes of summer 2009 of Stamford University Bangladesh will begin on May 23, says a press release.
The first BIPSS-ISAS roundtable dialogue on Singapore-Bangladesh Relations will be held in Singapore on May 25.
Oxford University and Care UK have recently approved CARE Bangladesh a combined research grant amount of £ 67,430 (Tk 7.22 million) for three years.
Post Graduate Doctors' Association yesterday expressed its gratitude to the Royal College of Physicians, UK, for giving permission to set up a centre of the Royal College in the country.
Police arrested a housewife in the city's Mugdapara area yesterday on charges of severely beating a minor domestic help.
Erosion by hilly river Someshwary in bordering Durgapur upazila under the district has taken a serious turn due to heavy rain and rolling down of water from the upstream in India.
Government has allocated Tk 14,36,67,000 conditional loan to Mongla Port Authority (MPA) to clear the dues of 1,758 registered sacked dockers.
Victim of gang rape a week ago, a housewife is undergoing treatment at Kotchandpur Upazila Health Complex while police is yet to nab the criminals.
Incidents of killings by Sundarbans tigers and deaths of man-eating feline are going on around the mangrove forest as for years as the authorities concerned remain indifferent to saving their lives.
At least 30 fishermen were injured, three by bullets, during a clash with pirates on the Meghna under Monpura upazila of Bhola district on Sunday night.
Nine alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces have been sued for killing a man in Dakshin Sunamganj upazila under Sunamganj district in 1971.
Four suspected cadres of outlawed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), arrested on Sunday night, were sent to jail yesterday.
A Jubo Dal activist was killed by unidentified assailants at village Piarakhali in Ishwardi upazila last night. Police said criminals attacked the house of Abdur Razzak alias Raju, 35, son of Abdus Samad at midnight and shot him dead. Raju's elder brother Zakaria Pintu was the former convener of Ishwardi upazila unit of Jatiyatabadi Chatra Dal (JCD), locals said.
Gopalganj District Road Transport Owners and Workers Oikya Parisad has called an indefinite transport strike from tomorrow protesting operation of local buses by some quarters without approval of the parisad. At least 320 local buses will stop plying in the district. No transport will ply also on the Dhaka-Khulna highway if the authorities did not stop local buses plying on various routes of Kotalipara, said transport leaders on Sunday.
A two-year old boy drowned in a pond at village Bakchara in Sadar upazila yesterday. Nayan, son Mintu Mali, fell into the pond when he was playing near it, locals said. Villagers recovered his floating body from the pond.
Three wagons of a stone loaded Lalmonirhat bound goods train from Burimari land port station derailed near Votmari railway station of Kaliganj upazila yesterday noon. Train movement on Lalmonirhat- Burimari route came to a halt. We are still rescuing the derailed goods train, an official at Lalmonirhat railway control room said in the afternoon.
A crab catcher was killed yesterday by tiger in Sapkhali canal of the Sundarbans. Victim Shahinur Gazi, 35, was son of Abul Hossain Gazi of village Matiabhanga in Koira upazila under Khulna district.
A day-long child drama festival was held on the premise of Hatibandha Sahoruddin Sarker High School yesterday. Child organisations from four unions Gotamari, Nawdabash, Barokhata and Singimari of Hatibandha upazila took part in the programme. Funded by PLAN Bangladesh, the festival was organised by Rupantor, an NGO.
The Pakistani Taliban have vowed to resist military advances in the northwest's Swat Valley until their "last breath," while the government yesterday sought to bolster political support for the offensive ahead of potentially bloody urban battles.Washington has pressed Islamabad to crack down on al-Qaeda and Taliban strongholds along the Afghan frontier, saying the militants threaten not only US and Nato troops in Afghanistan, but also nuclear-armed Pakistan's existence.
Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi went on trial yesterday in a notorious prison ringed by riot police and barbed wire as activists vowed to stage protests across the country until she is freed.
The European Commission yesterday called for the United Nations to be given full access to the conflict zone in northern Sri Lanka where the government was routing the Tamil Tiger rebels.
The final defeat of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers has brought an end to one of the world's most brutal ethnic conflicts and the demise of one of its most formidable and disciplined rebel outfits.
Sri Lanka's military declared a final victory Monday in its decades-old conflict with the Tamil Tigers, with the rebel outfit's entire leadership wiped out.
Former Maoist rebels announced yesterday they would block a parliament vote to elect a new prime minister, a tactic that could prolong Nepal's political crisis.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has told West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee to continue in office, hours after he offered to resign owning moral responsibility for the party's electoral defeat in the state after 34 years of continuous rule.
Senior BJP leader LK Advani today acceded to the wishes of the party's Parliamentary Board and agreed to become the Leader of the Opposition in the new Lok Sabha. BJP president Rajnath Singh said that Advani had agreed to continue as Leader of BJP's Parliamentary Board".
LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran's death, bringing down the curtains on his 25-year-old armed struggle for a separate Tamil state, sparked off celebrations in the island nation yesterday.
Shocked Tamils mounted a vigil outside the United Nations headquarters in Geneva yesterday urging international action to help their minority after Sri Lanka declared a final victory over Tiger rebels.
Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, who has been reported killed, was feted as a "Sun God" by his supporters and branded as a ruthless megalomaniac by his opponents.
Arts & Entertainment
Born in 1961, Chhayanat's journey to becoming an institution, a cultural icon, had been laden with thorns. The organisation often faced reluctance, and even hostility, from certain governments. "But the trying times were made worthwhile by unlimited support from the masses. It is the public for whom Chhayanat continues its efforts," said Dr. Sanjida Khatun, president of Chhayanat, at the inaugural of the "Sangskriti Sambhar" (resource centre) on May 17.
Actress Afsana Mimi has been quite popular among the small screen audience for over a decade. A few years back, she turned her hand to direction. Mega-serials directed by Mimi have earned immense popularity. In their ranks is “Doll's House.” The serial currently being aired on ATN Bangla is targeting for 500 episodes.
As part of the regional convention (Dhaka region) of Bangladesh Jubo Union, artistes of Udhichi Shilpi Goshthi (Mymensingh unit) rendered songs at a cultural programme at the Zila Shilpakala Academy auditorium on May 15. The cultural programme also included 'pala gaan,' dance and more. A colourful procession was brought out in the district town marking the convention.
Ang Lee views his 1970s drama "The Ice Storm" as a representation of the disillusionment of the '60s, the hangover of Woodstock.
"Dorja Khola Bari," the latest solo album by Hassan Abidur Reja Jewel, was launch yesterday. The album comes after a long break of nearly three and a half years. His previous album "Phirti Pathey" was released in 2005; Bappa Majumder did the music composition.
The prize giving ceremony of CDL Debate Competition '09 and a cultural function was held at Faridpur Zila Parishad auditorium recently.
The fifth episode of the new drama serial "Sadek Dafadar" will be aired on ATN Bangla tonight at 8:40pm. Written by Brindaban Das, the serial is directed by renowned actor-director Abul Hayat.
Celebrated singer Tapan Chowdhury is the guest on tonight's episode of "Gaanalap." The programme will be aired at 9:05pm on Banglavision.
Noted flutist and singer Bari Siddiqui, along with his friend and lyricist Shahidullah Farazi, will appear on tonight's episode of the celebrity talk show "O Bondhu Amar." The show will be aired on Ekushey Television at 7:45pm.
JUST like it took the rape of three women students at Jahangirnagar University (JU) to recognise what an extreme form sexual harassment had taken at the universities it took the suicide of Art College student Simi Banu to bring to mass consciousness the extreme forms "eve teasing" has now taken in this country. And until the defiant JU students took to the streets in 1998, the mere concept of "sexual harassment" in educational institutions was only spoken about in hushed tones among girl students at the university halls.
TWO English language national dailies reported last week that influential MPs of BNP had met the party chairperson and leader of the opposition and suggested "boycotting of budget session" of the ninth parliament to protest the continued repression on the opposition. The party chairperson is yet to decide the matter, but sources in the BNP say that she might decide in favour of boycotting the upcoming budget session.
ON April 14, 2008, Reuters ran a story on the impact of climate change on Bangladesh. It said: "Abdul Majid has been forced to move 22 times in as many years, a victim of the annual floods that ravage Bangladesh. There are millions like Majid, 65, in Bangladesh and in the future there could be many millions more if scientists' predictions of rising seas and more intense droughts and storms come true."