News of: Tuesday, 23rd of June, 2009
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday warned her party leaders not to join the opposition BNP men in speaking against the 1/11 changeover and just-retired army chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed.
Against the backdrop of last February's bloody mutiny, three out of the four BDR battalions now based in its headquarters at Pilkhana are likely to be moved outside the capital.
"Due to a wrong signal", two express trains crashed head-on yesterday just outside Kamalapur Railway Station leaving a man dead and six others injured.
Rab arrested the chief of information technology (IT) wing of banned Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from his residence in the city's Pallabi area on Sunday.
With a heat wave sweeping the country for about a fortnight in the absence of usual monsoon rains, sufferings of the city dwellers have worsened due to frequent outages of power when they need it all the more.
Bangladesh Navy yesterday said it is facing difficulties in safeguarding the country's economic interest and exercising maritime control within the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf due to lack of modern equipment, manpower and fund.
Opposition leader and former premier Khaleda Zia yesterday despatched a letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting not to construct Tipaimukh dam on the river Barak considering the negative impacts on Bangladesh, reports UNB.
Right to information activists recommend that the process of empowering people through the Right to Information (RTI) act should start at grassroots level by providing them with all information they require.
Some key members of banned Islamist militant organisation Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), wanted in the list of law enforcement agencies, are now staying in Pakistan for 'taking military trainings or fighting in favour of any militant group'.
A Dhaka court yesterday sent former Awami League lawmaker and whip Mostafa Rashidi Suja and his wife Khodeza Rashidi to jail in a graft case after they had surrendered before it.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will soon quit chancellorship of seven public universities.
Private medical practitioners and hospitals may face criminal charges and can be sued under tough new laws to protect patients from maltreatment under a proposed ordinance on private health care soon to be placed in parliament.
A five-member delegation from the Indian state of Manipur and Assam yesterday urged Bangladeshi nationals--at home and abroad--to be united and protest against the much-talked-about Tipaimukh dam project.
The eviction drive to free the rivers from encroachers continued as the authorities demolished structures built on Shitalakhya and removed earth from Turag yesterday.
A private organisation yesterday submitted a petition to the High Court (HC) seeking six-point directives on the authorities concerned to save the rivers around the capital city from encroachers and polluters.
BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury yesterday claimed that he did not mention his educational qualifications in nomination papers as the joint forces took his certificates away during the state of emergency.
Anima Rani Saha, wife of a Dhaka University (DU) professor, was killed in a tragic road accident early yesterday morning near Jagannath Hall, bringing life on the university campus to a standstill.
The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has agreed to provide Bangladesh with $1.3 billion for the construction of the much-expected Padma Bridge.
The High Court (HC) yesterday for the third time extended till July 8 its earlier orders staying the conviction and sentence of Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan alias Shah Alam, his wife and their two sons in a tax evasion case.
The cabinet committee on purchase yesterday approved import of 25,000 metric tons of edible oil through Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) to keep its price stable during the ensuing Ramadan.
Iran's most powerful security force threatened yesterday to crush any further opposition protests over the disputed presidential election, warning demonstrators to prepare for a "revolutionary confrontation" if they take to the streets again. It was the sternest warning yet from the elite Revolutionary Guard.
India's government yesterday slapped a formal ban on the country's Maoist rebels, officially designating the group as a terrorist organisation, a report said.
A senior Sri Lankan minister Sunday rejected reports that the government was considering moves to extend President Mahinda Rajapakse's term for another six years without an election.
CPN (UML) leader KP Sharma Oli has said that the Maoists would join the government within two months.
A High Court ruling has upheld the truth that it was Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, not Major Ziaur Rahman, who proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh on March 26, 1971. This should put an end to a controversy whipped up to distort history for over three decades. The irony though, is that we are among the very few countries in the world where a seminal historical landmark had to be settled through a court ruling.
THE remark of the Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty at a seminar titled "South Asian Connectivity: Bangladesh Perspective" that India had consulted Bangladesh on the issue of construction of Tipaimukh dam has helped little to clear the ambiguities that hang around the vital issue. The Indian diplomat reportedly maintained that the matter was discussed between the two countries in 1972 and 1978. On our side, the chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on water resources ministry Abdur Razzak, MP, said that the issue came up for discussion at JRC meeting in Delhi in 2003.
DEMOCRACY is essentially the function of divergent views, outlooks and ideologies pursued by their votaries who, along with its (democracy's) stakeholders, strike a common ground by using its institutions. And the wheels of democracy move on. Yet, in our politics, feuding with one's opponents is hardly unusual. Particularly after an electoral victory, the winners invariably pounce on their political opponents with vengeance and try to dislodge them from their vested interests. It's a familiar practice in our political culture, though it is unfortunate and condemnable.
THE recent (June 13) forced eviction of 74 families, including 56 indigenous families, from their ancestral land at Khatirpur Sondanga village in Chhaor union under Porsha upazila of Naogaon district, by local powerful and influential land grabbers clearly indicates the vulnerability of the indigenous people in this country. The houses of the indigenous people have been completely demolished by arsonists and armed attackers, which has forced people to live under the open sky without sufficient food and security while the criminals are moving scot-free in that particular locality.
THE US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton released the ninth annual "Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP)" on June 16. It has been claimed that the goal of this TIP report is to stimulate action and create partnerships around the world to fight against the modern-day slavery.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is all set to announce the name of the new captain in place of under-fire Mohammad Ashraful when the Test squad for the tour of West Indies is declared today.
Brazil sliced Italy apart with three goals in a devastating eight-minute spell to send the world champions crashing out of the Confederations Cup on Sunday.
Roger Federer's bid for a record 15th Grand Slam title got underway in familiar fashion as the five-times champion settled into Wimbledon's new-look Centre Court with a straight sets demolition of Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun.
The Bangladesh national hockey team left for Moscow last night to take part in a four-nation international hockey tournament also involving hosts Russia, South Africa and Canada.
Four members of the victorious Pakistan team that beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in Sunday's final of the World Twenty20 were named in the team of the tournament announced by the ICC here on Monday.
Pakistan's swashbuckling all-rounder Shahid Afridi on Monday became the toast of the troubled nation after his performance with both bat and ball lifted his team to World Twenty20 success.
World Twenty20 champions Pakistan on Monday unveiled the 15-man squad to tour Sri Lanka next week, including in the line-up pardoned rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) players Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq.
Shuktara Jubo Sangsad of Narayanganj will lock horns with Feni Soccer Club in the final match of the Bashundhara Champions Club Cup football tournament at the Cox's Bazar Stadium today.
The United States came from nowhere to grab a place in the Confederations Cup semifinals after a stunning 3-0 win over Egypt here on Sunday.
With three goals by half-time, the Confederations Cup clash between Italy and Brazil delivered its sold-out promise of being unmissable for fans.
Italy coach Marcello Lippi insists he won't be ringing the changes despite the world champions crashing out of the Confederations Cup.
This North West Province town is barely more than a decent throw-in away from Sun City but not even the most adventurous of risk takers at the gamblers' paradise would have dared put a dime on the United States making it to the Confederations Cup semifinals.
Blackburn Rovers striker Roque Santa Cruz is undergoing a medical ahead of his proposed transfer to Manchester City.
Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic has agreed terms on a five-year deal with Inter Milan, the FC Twente player's agent Robert Groener said here Monday.
Pakistan erupted in celebration Sunday after its national team beat Sri Lanka at Lord's to win the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup, a rare moment of joy amid the gloom of the country's bloody unrest.
Former captain Michael Vaughan was left out Monday of England's 16-man Ashes training camp squad.
Pakistan captain Younus Khan announced his retirement from T20 internationals after leading his side to victory in the 2009 Twenty20 final against Sri Lanka at Lord's here on Sunday.
Pakistan captain Younus Khan urged the international cricket community to return to the troubled Asian nation after leading his side to victory in the World Twenty20 final against Sri Lanka.
Rauter Sporting Club defeated Palashbari Upazilla Krira Sangstha 5-1 in the first match of the men's group while in the women's group Sunrise Sporting Club beat Palashbari Upazilla 7-0 in the Cute Handball League at the Gaibandha Stadium yesterday.
Black money is not going to push up investment although a proposal has been made to give an opportunity to invest such money in various sectors, as experts say the money is not lying idle now, rather being used somewhere.
The World Bank (WB) has put Bangladesh's economic growth at 4.5 percent for fiscal 2009-10, much lower than the government's projection, according to the lending agency's global report released yesterday.
Economist Prof Muzaffer Ahmad yesterday said the proposed budget for fiscal 2009-10 reflected several election pledges made by the government, but it lacks equity and efficiency in sector wise allocation.
Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Annisul Huq said yesterday he had welcomed the provision of legalising undisclosed or untaxed money, not of whitening "black or sinful" money.
The tourism industry needs government policy support to become a high revenue generating industry, said the president of Tour Operators' Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) yesterday.
Furniture makers yesterday feared slowing sales as they expect the item prices to go beyond the reach of the lower and middle income groups because of the proposed rise in VAT and import duties on raw materials in the national budget for fiscal 2009-10.
Progoti Steel Mills Ltd is set to resume operations by the end of this month, aiming to capture local markets in three northern districts.
The Dhaka Stock Exchange will revise and rename one of its indices to accommodate the top 30 best performing companies listed on the premier bourse.
A monitoring committee will be formed to oversee the operation of shopping malls after 8 pm in and outside the capital, as the government tosses all means to tackle unrelenting electricity crunch.
The Islamic Finance Expo-2009 is scheduled to take place in August 2009, says a press release.
Thailand's recession-hit economy should return to positive growth later this year with recovery by 2010, the country's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said here Monday.
Fareast Finance and Investment Ltd has elected MA Khaleque as chairman and Md Monir Hossain as vice-chairman, says a press release.
Japan Airlines, Asia's largest carrier, will be given government help to rebuild its strength, cabinet ministers said Monday, after it was hammered by falling demand caused by the global economic slump.
China has been driving up commodities prices by stockpiling to prepare for global recovery, but with inventories overflowing and no end to the crisis in sight, analysts say the rally may soon end.
Five and a half months ago, word that Steve Jobs would only work part-time as he recovered from a liver transplant would have sent investors into a selling frenzy, so closely linked was Apple's charismatic co-founder and CEO to the company's success.
Dhaka stocks fell slightly yesterday amid profit-taking sales in banking sector shares, a day after the premier bourse witnessed the highest-ever turnover.
Oil prices dropped to near 68 dollars on Monday as traders took profits following recent gains, analysts said.
India's national carrier Air India said Monday it plans to slash staff costs by more than 15 percent as it struggles to cope with a cash crunch.
British insurance giant Aviva on Monday said it has agreed to sell its Australian life and pensions business to National Australia Bank (NAB) for 452 million pounds (742 million US dollars, 535 million euros).
Japan said Monday it would complain to the WTO this week over a South Korean plan to tighten safety regulations on lithium-ion batteries, accusing Seoul of protectionism.
Sri Lanka's exports in April were down 28 percent as agricultural products, including tea, marked a sharp decline, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said on Monday.
Speakers at a roundtable yesterday urged the government to finalise immediately the draft disaster management act to face the challenges of recurring natural calamities more efficiently.
Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the parliament will decide how the country's future elections would be held.
Today is the 60th founding anniversary of the ruling Awami League.
The High Court (HC) yesterday for the third time extended till July 8 its earlier orders staying the conviction and sentence of Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan alias Shah Alam, his wife and their two sons in a tax evasion case.
Ranu, a migrant worker who has won her struggle to protect her purity in a far-off country, is now fighting another battle at home to prove her innocence to her husband.
A Chittagong court yesterday denied bail to former director general (DG) of National Security Intelligence (NSI) in a miscellaneous case filed in connection with the seizure of 10-truckloads of arms and ammunition.
Rashed Khan Menon, chief of Workers Party of Bangladesh, a component of AL-led ruling alliance, strongly criticised the government yesterday for what he said was not strongly protesting against construction of Tipaimukh dam.
About 3,000 buildings built with deviations from Rajuk-approved designs have been identified, State Minister for Housing and Public Works Abdul Mannan Khan told parliament yesterday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina categorically said that any kind of harassment of government employees for their political beliefs cannot be acceptable.
The 154th anniversary of historic Santal revolution will be observed on June 30 urging policymakers to ensure rights of adivasi people.
A Dhaka court yesterday acquitted Awami Swechchhasebak League President AFM Bahauddin Nasim and his brother Khalid Hossain Yead of an extortion case finding no evidences brought against them.
The President's parade marking the commissioning of the gentlemen cadet of the 60th BMA Long Course and 31st BMA Special Course will be held at Bangladesh Military Academy (BMA) at Bhatiary in Chittaging tomorrow.
Rajshahi BNP yesterday burned an effigy of Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and demanded her removal for what they said 'unrelenting false propaganda on Farakka and Tipaimukh Dam issues'.
Speakers at a discussion yesterday stressed the need to introduce participatory committee based on legal framework in each factory to peacefully resolve various problems facing the workers and owners through dialogues.
Pictorial warnings depicting the effects of smoking could discourage a significant number of people from smoking who cannot read the written warnings on tobacco packs, speakers at a view exchange meeting said yesterday.
Floodwaters have inundated the ferry ghats on both sides of Mawa-Kaorakandi highway disrupting ferry movement after water level at the river Padma rose abnormally in the last 24 hours.
The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) to conduct a research on a new device developed by NITS Services Private Limited, an organisation of Nitol Motors Limited, to control the speed of vehicles in order to prevent road accidents.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) did not find accumulation of wealth beyond the disclosed income of ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia's APS-2 M Abdul Matin.
Speakers at a workshop yesterday said the media can play a vital role to stop acid violence by creating mass awareness.
Leaders of Garment Sramik Sangram Parishad have demanded Tk 5000 as minimum wage for garment workers and a special allocation for them in the national budget for the fiscal year 2009-10.
A patrol team of Bangladesh Navy seized 563 bags (each bag weighing 50 kilogram) of rice from two trawlers in the river Shibsha at Nalian under Dakop upazila in Khulna on Sunday.
The police arrested two people on charges of abducting a woman field worker of Brac who was finally rescued at Atwari border in Panchagarh five hours after her abduction yesterday.
Imported Goods Worth Tk 3.33 crore were gutted in a fire at No 33 chemical shade of Benapole port yesterday.
Nestlé Bangladesh Limited has taken up a step to ensure good life by providing clean drinking water in a few village schools, says a press release.
Habiganj police arrested two cadres, including organising secretary of Habiganj district unit of Chhatra League, from Chowdhury Bazar yesterday in connection with the attack on ATN Bangla's district correspondent Abdul Halim.
Indigenous people yesterday formed human chain and held rally in Nachole Bus stand area demanding punishment to the hired goons of the land grabbers who tried to occupy land of 17 indigenous families at Dulahar village in Nachole upazila of the district on Thursday.
At least 123 people in Bogra district were acid-burnt as the country's highest 120 incidents of acid attack took place there from 1998 to April 2009 while the second highest 117 incidents were recorded in Sirajganj district.
Aggrieved BNP men in Satkhira and Khulna have threatened to resign en masse and launch agitation programme if their demand for changes in the newly formed convening committees of the two district units are not met within the deadline given earlier.
A torture victim yesterday filed a case against five Ansar members including an acting battalion commanding officer and 40 other unnamed Ansar men on charge of beating up local people including women and children.
Police on Sunday night arrested former lawmaker Moulana Sakhawat Hossain, presidium member of Jatiya Party (Ershad) from his residence in Keshobpur upazila in connection with 1971 war crimes. He was produced in court yesterday. The court rejected both the bail and remand prayers and sent him to Jessore Central Jail.
A Bogra court yesterday awarded death sentence to two persons for killing one Ismail at village Jorpukuria under Adamdighi upazila about 10 years ago. The convicts are Abdul Majid Khoka and Abdur Rahman. Five other accused Faruk, Asadul, Mojnu, Bhola and Sutka got life term and were fined Tk 50,000 each. Twelve others were acquitted of the charges. According to prosecution story, farmer Ismail's hey stack was set afire on December 24, 1999. Ismail went to the local chairman for justice. When he was returning home early morning a criminal gang attacked him. Ismail died on January 3, 2000 while undergoing treatment at a hospital. Ismail's son Ishaque Ali filed a case with Adamdighi police station on December 25, 1999 accusing 19 people.
A Jubo League activist and businessman was murdered in Bhabaniganj area in the town Sunday night allegedly over trade dispute. Bangladesh Engineering Industries owners' Association Natore unit yesterday observed strike demanding punishment to the killers. Shops kept their shutters down, a human chain was formed followed by a silent procession that paraded the town. Victim Sahidullah,25, was son of Liakat Ali of village South Patuapara in Natore town. Police and witnesses said, Sahidullah was called out of his house at 10pm on Sunday. Later, he was taken to Bhabaniganj area and stabbed to death. Being informed, police raided the house of one Jewel and recovered a mobile set of Sahidullah. SI Nuruzzaman of Natore police station said, Sahidullah might have been killed over some business enmity.
A leader of Parbattya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) was shot by an armed gang at Balukhali union on Sunday night. Police and locals said an armed gang of 15 led by Tito Chakma and Biro Chakma, encircled the house of Chironjit Chakma. The gang was looking for Aungsu Moni Chakma and Asheen Chakma -- local PCJSS leader and former Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP) leader there. The armed men opened fire when both of them were fleeing sensing the presence of their rivals. Asheen was unhurt but Aungsu Moni Chakma received severe bullet injuries. Md Humayun, officer in-charge of Kotwali police confirmed the incident. He, however, said no case was filed in this connection.
Panchagarh police yesterday recovered the body of a stone trader from the bordering Shaw River. Victim Moshirul Haque, 32, hailed from village Murkhagachh of Tetulia upazila. Family sources said that Moshirul had been missing since Sunday. Police could not ascertain the reason for his death. But sources said Moshirul's body bore some marks of injury. Nasirul Haque, younger brother of the victim filed a murder case with Tetulia police station yesterday.
A Habiganj court yesterday awarded six brothers and their father life term for killing. The convicts are Abdul Mannan of village Khagaura under Sadar upazila and his six sons, of whom Golap Miah and Hason Miah are absconding. According to prosecution story, one Sheju Miah, son of Aklu Miah of the same village was killed by the accused on November 12 of 2000 as a sequel to previous enmity. Victim's uncle Tokai Miah filed a case accusing eight persons-Abdul Mannan, his wife Khotoi Bibi and six sons. Mannan's wife died during trial of the case.
Habiganj police arrested organising secretary of district Chhatra League and another BCL activist yesterday afternoon from Chowdhury Bazar in connection with the attack on ATN Bangla's district Correspondent Abdul Halim. Halim was seriously injured as a group of BCL cadres led by district organising secretary Muhibur Rahman Mamun attacked him on May 9. The accused were moving freely although a case was filed against them.
Two cadres of Janajuddho faction of the outlawed PBCP were arrested yesterday from Banishanta red light area under Dakope upazila. Police said, Rubel and Kamrul, the outlaws, had demanded Tk2 lakh from Banishanta UP member Abdus Salam on Sunday threatening to kill him for non-payment. The arrested outlaws are undergoing treatment in Dakope Upazila Health Complex as they were beaten by police after arrest. The outlaws were wanted in several criminal cases including murders filed with Dakope police station, OC Ziauzzaman said.
Iran accused global broadcasters the BBC and Voice of America yesterday of seeking to break up the Islamic republic with their coverage of the post-election unrest.
North Korea reminded the US yesterday that it has nuclear weapons and warned it will strike back if attacked, as a US destroyer continued to trail a North Korean cargo ship suspected of carrying illicit weapons.
Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar is reasserting direct control over the militant group, ordering attacks and shuffling field commanders in Afghanistan, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
Pakistan's army offensive in tribal areas bordering Afghanistan heated up yesterday, with militants attacking three security force bases and military jets responding with airstrikes that killed at least 21 people, intelligence officials said.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari yesterday asked for urgent international assistance to his country, arguing the world should rally in support of Pakistani democracy.
Hundreds of villagers in this West Bengal area fled as security forces Sunday started combing operations and arrested three suspected Maoists.
Sri Lanka and the Maldives have agreed to share intelligence information following Maldivian concerns that money laundering and drug trafficking through its territory may be linked to Tamil Tigers activities.
India's main opposition party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday wrapped up a two-day soul-searching exercise in the wake of its defeat in general elections seeking to repackage its core ideology Hindutva as an "inclusive and tolerant philosophy, which was not averse to change with changing times".
Somalia's president, clinging to power by his fingernails in his Mogadishu palace, yesterday declared a state of emergency in a bid to contain a deadly six-week-old insurgent offensive.
A suicide car bomber drove into the convoy of the president of the troubled Russian region of Ingushetia Monday and detonated the vehicle, critically wounding the president and killing or wounding others, officials said.
Twenty-two people were killed, seven of them in a car bombing west of Baghdad, as a spate of attacks hit Iraq on Monday just days before US troops must leave Iraq's cities.
Arts & Entertainment
Fete de la Musique, the festival celebrating the World Music Day, began at the La Galerie, Alliance Francaise of Dhaka (AFD), Dhanmondi on June 21. The festival began with a solo musical performance by internationally renowned Lalon singer Farida Parveen. This year, the ten-day festival will take place at different venues around the city where several local troupes and artistes along with a Kolkata-based choir will perform.
The 'Mango, Silk and Gambhira Festival 2009' ended on June 21 at Green Plaza, in Rajshahi City, according to a press release. The three-day festival was sponsored by Banglalink.
Renowned poet Begum Sufia Kamal's 98th birth anniversary was observed here at the Gaibandha GDRC Hall last Saturday evening.
Throughout the globe, June 21 is observed as World Music Day amidst much enthusiasm and fanfare.
Gods, heroes and long-dead mortals stepped off their plinths into the evening sky of Athens on Saturday during the lavish launch of the new Acropolis Museum, a decades-old dream that Greece hopes will also help reclaim a cherished part of its heritage from Britain.
A 25-day programme titled 'Bhagbat Dharmotshab' (religious festival) concluded at Durgabari temple in the district town recently. The programme included 'Leela Kirtan' (poetic description of the life and philosophies of Lord Krishna), 'Nagar Kirtan' and sharing of 'prasad' (food or any gift that has been first offered in worship) among the devotees. Bhagbat Dharmotshab Committee, Mymensingh organised the event.
The 65th birthday of poet Nirmalendu Guun was celebrated on June 14 at the Barhatta Auditorium in his native Netrakona district. The event was organised by 'Nirmelandu Guun Janmo Jayanti Udjapon Parishad (NGJJP), Barhatta-2009.'
Shishukantha Khelaghar Ashor, Magura district unit celebrated Rabindra and Nazrul birth anniversaries at the auditorium of Syed Ator Ali Public Library on recently. Apart from a cultural programme, the celebration included a competition on Tagore and Nazrul's songs and poetry recitation. Around 120 children participated at the competition in two groups.
THE finance minister placed his budget proposals for the fiscal year 2009-10 before the parliament on June 11. The proposals have already ignited fairly extensive discussions in the various television talk shows, in some of which I also participated. Additionally, a number of articles have been published in the print media. Nevertheless, the scope for a more systematic dissection of the proposals in light of the development priorities of the country has not been exhausted.