The Daily Star

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

News of: Saturday, 29th of August, 2009

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Front Page

Forestland grabbed for 'fruit garden'

A ruling Awami League lawmaker in Netrakona has grabbed around 14 acres of forestland including a hill and planted orange and palm saplings.

Swine flu cases spread fast

The number of swine flu cases across the country rose to 163 as the government yesterday confirmed 19 more fresh cases.

6 outlaws held, firearms seized

Law enforcers arrested six outlaws from three south-western districts on Thursday night and yesterday as a crackdown on the extremists continued amid an increasing number of killings in this region.

Rab man 'beaten to death' in Habiganj

A mob allegedly beat a Rapid Action Battalion member to death as he demanded toll from drug peddlers at Ratanpur under Madhabpur upazila in Habiganj yesterday afternoon, local sources said.

No pressure from outside

The government is not facing any international pressure on the issue of holding the trial of war criminals of 1971 Liberation War, said Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday.

Hunt on to nab killers

Police are yet to arrest any of those responsible for Thursday's gun attack in Rajbari that left three persons including two local Awami League leaders dead, and two others injured.

BNP top brass under pressure to bring Tarique back

Mid-level BNP leaders, known as close aides to Tarique Rahman, are mounting pressure on the party leadership to bring him back but Khaleda Zia is still unwilling to take decision in this regard.

Dhaka's concern must be addressed

India should address Bangladesh's concerns over the proposed Tipaimukh Dam on the river Barak, said Indian State Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh during an interaction with reporters at a regional workshop yesterday.

Info commission waits for office space, rules

The government has neither framed any rules nor set up an office for the Information Commission formed two months ago, which is delaying enforcement of the Right to Information Act, 2009 and depriving citizens of information.

HT Imam sees 'instigation' behind JS body's move

HT Imam, adviser to the prime minister, yesterday said someone might have provoked the parliamentary standing committee on law, justice and parliamentary affairs ministry to summon him for clarifying his role in sending two district judges into retirement.

Saudi prince hurt in killing attempt

A suicide bomber lightly wounded a senior prince largely credited for Saudi Arabia's anti-terrorism campaign when he blew himself up just before going into a gathering of well-wishers for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the state news agency said yesterday.

AL moves to revamp grassroots

Central leaders of ruling Awami League will start organisational tours across the country next month aiming to strengthen its grassroots level activities, which have apparently been to a standstill since the party assumed office on January 6.

Businessman arrested for beating cop

Police arrested Azad Group Chairman and Managing Director Abul Kalam Azad Thursday night on charge of assaulting a CID inspector.

Top seeds tumble

Russian top seeds Nikolay Davydenko and Svetlana Kuznetsova tumbled out of the quarterfinals of the last US Open tuneup on Thursday.

3 drown in boat capsize

At least three people drowned and five others remained missing as a boat capsized in the river Arialkhan at Doukarchar under Raipura upazila in the district yesterday.

Highway blocked for gas, power

Local people put up a barricade on Dhaka-Maowa highway near the Buriganga Bridge in Hasnabad area yesterday, demanding smooth supplies of electricity and gas in the area.

Criminal killed in 'shootout'

A criminal was killed during a 'shootout' between the law enforcers and his gang in a sugarcane field at komorpur near Faridpur town early yesterday.

2 BCL men held for 'mugging'

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested two Bangladesh Chhatra League activists of Dhaka College unit and their associate on charge of mugging and recovered a firearm from their possession at the city's Gabtoli.

Iran opposition leaders should be punished for unrest

Iran's hardline President Mamoud Ahmadinejad called for the first time yesterday for the punishment of opposition leaders over the unrest unleashed by his disputed re-election.

Himalayan nations set to hold first climate talks

South Asian ministers will gather in Nepal next week for talks on the threat that climate change poses to the Himalayas and to the 1.3 billion people dependent on water flowing from the mountains.

American swine flu fears grow

One in three Americans believes they or a family member will get swine flu this season, up from one in five in May, a poll published yesterday found, suggesting growing concern about the pandemic.


PM's directive is being subverted by her own men

THE reported grabbing of riverbank for building a market at Golachipa is an instance of clear violation of the Prime Minister's directive to the contrary. This time it is a ruling party lawmaker who is allegedly involved in the crime in collusion with some officials of the administration.

Tragic deaths at sea recalled

LAST week, this paper carried a shocking report based on the survivors' account of the harrowing experience of more than 500 Bangladeshis who were on their way to Malaysia, or so they thought, in search of jobs.

The legal process needs to be completed

LAST year, like many others, I welcomed the decision of the caretaker government to restore the sanctity of August 15 as the National Mourning Day. By doing so, they reaffirmed the belief of the people of this country that Bangabandhu was not only the Father of this Nation but also that what happened on the tragic night of 15 August 1975 was a crime whose final adjudication needs to be completed.

Planting the right kind of trees

THE term "sustainable development" seems to have reached a stage of sustainability after having been used for long. Sustainability is a word most suited, perhaps, for describing an ecosystem constituted of biota like plants, animals and microbes living in any area of the earth. But unfortunately, we -- the most destructive animal species -- did not let ecosystem thrive sustainably, rather we caused extinction of much of the biodiversity in the world, resulting in large-scale environmental degradation.

It's official: RSS is the boss

IT was more than a storm in the tea cup. Jaswant Singh's book on Quaide Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah made more news than his expulsion from the BJP for having written the book. I have been a witness to the era of partition and before. I think Jaswant Singh has been unfair to the history. If blame is to be apportioned -- a futile exercise after 62 years -- all the three parties -- the British, the Muslim League and the Congress -- in that order, are guilty. It is a subject which academicians from both the countries should discuss across the table to go over the reasons why the two communities, Hindus and Muslims, had got so alienated from each other that something like division had become inevitable in the early forties.


SL turn the screws

Skipper Kumar Sangakkara hit a second successive half-century as Sri Lanka seized control of the final cricket Test against New Zealand here on Friday.

Stars shine bright in Spain

Lock up your superstars, Florentino Perez is back in town.

MSC yet to start camp

Liberal-spending Mohammedan SC have yet to start their proposed conditioning camp for the season's curtain-raising tournament Federation Cup in Mymensingh, reportedly due to a fund crisis.

Pakistan wants $18m

Pakistan Friday said that it hoped to get 18 million dollars in compensation for losing its share of World Cup 2011 matches over security fears.

Foreigners leading GM chess

FIDE Master Mehdi Hasan Parag is likely to earn his first norm for International Master when he takes on Grand Master Anuar Ismagambetov of Kazakhstan in the 10th and final round of the 9th United Insurance & United Leasing Grandmasters Chess tournament at the NSC Tower Auditorium Lounge today.

Barca clash with Inter

European champions Barcelona drew Inter Milan, moneybags Real Madrid pulled AC Milan while Manchester United will take on German surprise package Wolfsburg after the Champions League group stage draw was made here on Thursday.

Aussies ride on Hussey

David Hussey smashed his first one-day international century as Australia began life without the Ashes by scoring 345 all out in Friday's one-day international against Scotland in Edinburgh.

Sneijder ready for derby

Wesley Sneiijder could make his Inter Milan this weekend in the Milan derby against fierce rivals AC Milan.

'ODIs to be extinct'

Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas fears the 2011 World Cup might be the last 50-overs event before the ODI format dies a premature death.

MU-Gunners showdown

Arsenal's stars have warned Manchester United that Saturday's showdown at Old Trafford will prove that the Gunners are serious contenders for the Premier League title.

UEFA charge Eduardo

European football's ruling body UEFA have charged Arsenal striker Eduardo with diving to win a penalty against Celtic in their midweek clash at the Emirates.

Fan sells business to meet Dhoni

A cricket-crazy Indian fan has sold his business to fund a dream of meeting Mahendra Singh Dhoni, domestic media reported on Friday.

Rapid KO Villa

Aston Villa crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday losing their play-off tie against unheralded Rapid Vienna just three days after handing mighty Liverpool a humbling Premier League defeat.

Wolves test for Bayern

Struggling Bayern Munich know only a decent performance against defending champions VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday will ease their mounting woes, admits captain Philipp Lahm.

Federer, Nadal final possible

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal could meet in a US Open singles final, but defending champion Serena Williams and her sister Venus Williams cannot, according to the US Open draws revealed Thursday.

ECB scraps 50-over format

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is likely to propose that the ICC conduct a formal review of the future of the 50-over format after the 2011 World Cup to protect the ODI structure amid the rise of Twenty20 cricket, with a 40-over format topping the list of suggested alternatives.

Eng avoid embarrassment

England's Ashes celebrations almost came to an embarrassing end when they narrowly avoided defeat against Ireland, claiming a three-run victory under the Duckworth/Lewis method in Thursday's one-day international in Belfast.

Wisden to go digital

Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, the cricket bible which was first published in 1878, is soon going to join the digital age, as the 2009 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack would be available in e-book format by November, with several other Wisden titles.

Fisichella dreams of Ferrari

Italian veteran Giancarlo Fisichella admitted Thursday it would be "a dream come true" for him if he could race for Ferrari in next month's Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Real set to relaunch Ribery bid

Real Madrid are set to relaunch their bid to sign Bayern Munich's French star Franck Ribery, Spanish sports newspapers said Friday.

Bayern sign Robben

Bayern Munich announced on Friday they have completed the signing of Real Madrid winger Arjen Robben for an undisclosed fee.

Tevez opens City account

Argentine striker Carlos Tevez scored his first Manchester City goal on Thursday as the big-spending Premier League side defeated Crystal Palace 2-0 in the second round of the English League Cup.

Atletico after Fanni

Atletico Madrid are interested in signing France defender Rod Fanni from French side Rennes, a Spanish sports daily said Friday.

West Ham seal Diamanti deal

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola solved his striking problems by signing Italian forward Alessandro Diamanti from Livorno on Friday.


Farm loan increases by 60pc in July

Distribution of agricultural loans has increased by about 60 percent in July, the first month of the current fiscal.

Father, daughter trampled to death by wild elephants

A father and his three-year-old baby were killed and his wife and another six-year-old child seriously injured in an attack by a herd of wild elephants at Sukhbilash, some 30 kilometres off Bandarban Sadar yesterday.

Ctg restaurant employee killed by fellow worker

A restaurant employee was killed by his fellow worker in the port city early yesterday.

'Work unitedly to materialise Bangabandhu's dreams'

Speakers at a meeting yesterday called on the countrymen, irrespective of their party identities, to work together to materialise Bangabandhu's dreams in order to build a golden Bangladesh.

1,148 bottles of Phensidyl seized, 6 held

Police seized 1,148 bottles of Phensidyl and arrested six people at Kalihati upazila in Tangail yesterday.

'Govt to take steps to stop repression on women'

State Minister for Children and Women Affairs Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury yesterday said the government will take all measures to stop repression of women and children in the country.

7 killed in road crashes

At least seven people were killed in separate road accidents in Gazipur, Sylhet and Barisal yesterday.

Woman, girl stabbed to death

Railway police recovered the bodies of a 30-year-old woman and a six-year-old girl, who were stabbed to death and later dumped on the railway track near Tangail Railway Station on Thursday.

11 restaurants, shops in Mirpur fined

A mobile court conducted a drive against adulteration of Ifter items in the city's Mirpur Section-1 area and fined 11 restaurants and food shops yesterday.

Initiative underway to bring back killers of Bangabandhu

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday reiterated that the absconding killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman would be brought back to the country and tried.

'Take steps to check noise pollution'

Sundar Jiban and Society for Assistance to Hearing Impaired Children (SAHIC) yesterday demanded the authorities check noise pollution and give rights to the affected people to file cases against the polluters.

9 SC vacation benches formed

Nine vacation benches in both the High Court and the Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court have been formed to hear and dispose of urgent cases.

Shibir's death threat to BCL activist at RU

Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) leaders threatened a Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activist with death at Rajshahi University (RU) on Thursday night.

Security guard shot in city

Unidentified criminals shot a security guard of a garment factory in the city's Kafrul area yesterday.

Egg, chicken prices likely to come down

Prices of eggs and chicken are likely to come down further in a week, as the poultry farmers are pressing for it following the government decision to import eggs, which the farming sector says, will destroy the domestic poultry industry.

'Execute verdict in Bangabandhu murder case'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday reiterated the demand for executing the verdict of Bangabandhu killing case before the tenure of the current government expires.

Kalim Khan succumbs to injuries

Kalim A Khan, son of late BNP minister AM Zahiruddin Khan, who sustained burn injuries in a mysterious explosion on August 16 at his Gulshan residence, died at Singapore General Hospital yesterday.

Countdown to Copenhagen confce begins

Youth in Action on Climate (YAC), an alliance of nine youth organisations, formed a human chain on the Dhaka University campus yesterday on the occasion of launching the '100 Days to Copenhagen' countdown programme.

Two held on charges of abducting girl at Panchhari

Two people, including a listed criminal, were arrested from Fatema Nagar area at Panchhari upazila in Khagrachhari yesterday for their involvement in the abduction of a girl.

CU BCL leader held on charges of snatching

A Chittagong University BCL leader was arrested early yesterday on charges of snatching.

One killed in clash over land dispute

A man was killed and 30 others were injured in a clash between two groups of villagers over a land dispute at Bhadraghat Bazaar in Sirajganj yesterday morning.

Ban lauds Dhaka's role in peacekeeping

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has lauded the way Bangladesh is marching forward after establishing democracy through the general election in last December.

Qirat contest of Army held

The prize distribution ceremony of Inter-Area Qirat and Azan Competition-2009 of Bangladesh Army was held at the Army Central Mosque in Dhaka Cantonment yesterday.

Don't induct criminals into dist committee

Leaders of the convening committee of Bogra BNP yesterday urged the party high-ups not to induct controversial people and identified criminals into the district committee of the party.


US envoy, Karzai exchange hot words over polls fraud

Afghanistan's bitter presidential election, tainted by vote-rigging allegations, has become a pivotal issue in increasingly frosty ties between Kabul and Washington, analysts and diplomats said Friday.

PakTaliban claim checkpost attack

The Pakistan Taliban on Friday claimed responsibility for a suicide attack near the Afghan border that killed 22 policemen, saying it was their first retaliation for their leader's death.

Pakistan to get only half of promised US aid

Pakistan Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen has said Islamabad would receive only the half of the actual monetary assistance promised by the United States, as a huge amount of money is likely to be deducted for administrative costs.

30,000 flee Myanmar amid fears of full-scale civil war

Fighting between Myanmar's isolated ruling junta and rebel ethnic armies in the remote northeast has driven up to 30,000 refugees into China, the UN said, as analysts warned of a full-scale civil war.

Pak court asks govt lift curbs on AQ Khan

A Pakistani court on Friday ordered the government to lift any remaining restrictions on a scientist alleged to have spread nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya, his lawyer said.

Afghans in greatest danger since Taliban fell: Amnesty

Amnesty International said Thursday civilians were at a greater danger in Afghanistan than at any time since the Taliban extremists were ousted from power in 2001.

Zawahiri calls for support in Pakistan tribal areas

al-Qaeda's number two Ayman Zawahiri called Thursday on Pakistanis to support Jihadis in the country's tribal areas, saying it was "the" battle against the American "crusaders," said the US-based SITE Intelligence group.

Koreas agree on reunions of separated families

North and South Korea agreed Friday to hold a new round of reunions next month for families long separated by the Korean War in the latest sign of easing tensions on the divided peninsula. The planned meetings will be the first in nearly two years.

Japan opposition heading for landslide win

Two days before Japan's general elections, the embattled prime minister and the opposition challenger, who looks set to defeat him, made last-ditch appeals to rally voters on Friday.

Jackson family told cops about drugs

Police who searched Michael Jackson's home the day after he died were acting on information from family members who said they'd found a bag of heroin in his bedroom, but a person with knowledge of subsequent test results on the substance said it turned out not to be the drug.

Advani in the line of fire

The infighting in India's main opposition BJP became murkier on Thursday as the party's parliamentary group leader LK Advani once again placed on the line of fire.

Iran warns US over ME peace talks

Iran yesterday warned the United States to shift from its previous policies on the Middle East conflict, a day after Israel called for tougher sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear drive.

UN fears swine, bird flu combination

A swine flu outbreak in turkeys in Chile raises fears that the new virus could combine with avian influenza and mutate into a more dangerous disease, a UN agency warned Thursday.

US aims to 'eliminate' Venezuela govt

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro accused the United States Thursday of seeking to "eliminate" Venezuela's leftist government and amass power in South America through its military deals with Colombia.

US abductee emerges after 18 years, with captor's children

A woman kidnapped when she was only 11 has been reunited with her family after an 18-year ordeal during which she was kept in a hidden backyard and had two children with her abductor.

Thousands bid farewell to Ted

Edward Kennedy's body lay in state at his beloved hometown of Boston for the second day Friday, as huge crowds kept pouring in to bid a final farewell to the legendary senator.

'China not likely to punish Taiwan over Dalai visit'

The Dalai Lama's trip to Taiwan next week is bound to upset China, but Beijing will likely seek to avoid lasting damage to its warming ties with the island, analysts said Friday.

Qaeda, Taliban alliance stronger than ever: Mullen

US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, has said that even though the allied forces have challenged al-Qaeda and its allies in Afghanistan for eight years, the Taliban- al-Qaeda alliance has now become stronger than ever before.

Two US soldiers killed in Baghdad

Two American soldiers died from the impact of an improvised explosive device in eastern Baghdad early on Friday, the US army announced in a statement.

Russia halts nuke reactor after leak

Russia yesterday shut down a reactor at its nuclear power plant near the second city of Saint Petersburg after a pump burst, a spokesman for the plant told AFP.

3 killed in Gaza tunnel collapse

Three Palestinian brothers were killed on Friday in the collapse of a smuggling tunnel along the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt, medics said.

Western envoys to meet in Paris to talk Afghan issue

Paris has called a meeting of the Western powers most senior officials charged with dealing with the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan and for Wednesday next week, the French foreign ministry said.

Arts & Entertainment

Rejecting conventional norms

The premiere of Narayanganj based Aikik Theatre's 10th production “Drop Out” was held at the Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on August 27. The play has been written and directed by Anwarul Haque.

Preserving the legacy of the Rebel Poet

Nazrul Institute observed the death anniversary of our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam at Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium, National Museum on August 27.

The emergence of lounge music in Dhaka

Music has become manifold over the recent years in Bangladesh. For a country still developing, still emerging out of its debris of poverty and corruption -- art and culture is thriving in Dhaka, Chittagong and other urban locations. It's quite a trend now to turn on the TV to get some 'Bollywood Masala' or to download some hits of the Billboard chart for the urbanities. But does that mean that our national flavours have taken a back seat? No way. And there is more to national flavours than just folk music. Jazz, rock, pop, fusion and all that are now found in the music scene. In this aspect, lounge music plays an important role in bringing Bangladeshi music nearer to urban Bangladeshi audience. Recently, The Daily Star spoke to one of the pioneers of lounge music, Nafis Tahsin Ahmed Shubho, who is the founder and managing director of Wireless.

Will Whitney’s new album be a Grammy contender?

If the early reviews for "I Look to You" are any indication, Whitney Houston could be a strong contender at this year's Grammy Awards. Pleased with the buzz generated by the album, Arista pushed the release date ahead by one day to August 31, the last day for Grammy eligibility. While Houston has won six Grammys, the most recent was a decade ago. And it has been six years since her last studio album.

Ferdous and Munmun on Rtv tonight

Rtv will telecast weekly talk show 'Dhrupadi Kahini' at 9:25 pm. Nazrul artiste Ferdous Ara and dancer Munmun Ahmed are guests on tonight's episode. The programme will feature insights into their lives -- untold stories behind their success, inspiration, struggles they had to face on their way to success and finally a sneak peak at their personal life.


How shall we honour Ted Kennedy?

THE death of Senator Ted Kennedy on 25 August 2009 is being mourned all over the world. The US President has described him as the best Senator ever in US history. His colleagues in the Congress, which he served for close to half a century, and the ordinary people of his country saw him as the staunchest defender of liberal causes in US history. His death is thus being mourned by people from all walks of life, but more particularly by the poor, the deprived and the most downtrodden in the US.

Remembering Senator Kennedy

ON August 26, 2009 in my home in Boston, I woke up to the news that Senator Ted Kennedy had died. It was of course not an unexpected passage; the Senator had been suffering from brain cancer for over a year. But as I heard repeatedly in the countless testimonials from well-known personalities that poured into the news, it was still a difficult moment for many Americans. After all, it is difficult to be prepared for the passing away of an icon, a towering figure in the American political scene who was at the heart of so much of the progressive social legislation, from immigration to health care, that has been passed in this country since the 1960s.

Beyond police's technical empowerment

MEDIA reports about the provision of high quality technical equipment for traffic and public order management of Dhaka Metropolitan Police are welcome. The issue that occupies concerned public mind is the quality of prompt and sympathetic service from our police that should logically follow such addition of gadgets. One may perhaps not be unjustifiably apprehensive about the concomitant impact of such capital equipment as in the absence of a deeper look into the core organizational deficits not much can be expected in respect of service delivery.

Building our common future

YOUR browser may not support display of this image. This is a critical time in the global fight against poverty. Millions of people have been lifted out of poverty over the last decade, thanks in part to debt relief and increases in aid. Bangladesh has enjoyed consistent growth since 1990, and poverty has declined by an average of almost 2 per cent each year since 2000.


What can Bangladesh do to combat climate change?

I lend my voice of support to Prof. Shairul Mashreque's call for combating climate change (CCC) published recently in The Daily Star (“Green beckoning”, July 15, 2009). Unfortunately, the process of CCC is not as easy as it might appear. And, while the global community now recognises the importance and the urgency of CCC, we need to realize that even if we diligently implement all the protocols and embrace all the best practices available to control emission of greenhouse gases, the results on the earth's temperature will not be significant for at least two or three more decades. I might also add that in spite of the agreements reached at the recently concluded G-8 meeting in Italy, and the actions taken by the USA prior to that, a reduction of global warming by 1 or 2 degrees will remain an elusive goal.

Impoundment, flow, and EIA

THIS paper will mainly deal with probable Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as a result of construction of Tipaimukh Dam. In early nineties a study was undertaken by the government with experts to ascertain the relationship between release of water from the dam during floods and dry season with water levels in rivers in the lower riparian Bangladesh.

Needed a community-led adaptation

BANGLADESH is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change impacts. The major impacts of climate change are, the high frequency of natural disasters (cyclones, floods and tidal surge), sea-level rise and salinity increases in soil and water, which have direct and indirect impacts on reducing the agricultural land or their productivity and biodiversity. This means, climate change has direct impact on the livelihoods as well as food security of the inhabitants of the low lying areas in the country.


Next Door*

You think that with time they would have grown accustomed to it, but they never do. At least once, every day, your father says with a laugh, We hardly need the television, do we, folks next door provide enough entertainment. And your mother. Your mother's face is frequently dark and brooding. Like a thundercloud heavy with rain. If only I had known then, she hisses, we would never have bought this house.

Kali O Kolom Bhadro 1416 - August 2009

This issue of Kali O Kolom opens with two articles on Rabindranath. The first one, a discussion by Ali Ahmed on re-reading Rabindranath's novel Gora makes for stimulating reading. The analysis is leavened by a warm account of the experience of first reading it decades back, intermingled with his schoolboy encounters with Saratchandra - boyhood memories of books and authors that will find strong echoes among readers of a certain age. The other piece on him, Rabindranath, Onno Aloyay, by Morshed S Hasan does attempt to give an 'alternative' (I believe that is the current term for such exercises!) reading of Gurudev, but not with any particular success, as witness his effort to tackle the old, but difficult, question of the absence of Muslim characters in Rabindranath's fiction. Morshed grasps at straws since Rabindranath himself never addressed the question in his voluminous writings, and attempts by others to answer this question therefore are second-hand conjectures. I am inclined to think that Muslims, either as individuals or as a community, simply did not spark the poet's imagination. I also for one would be glad to leave it at that, rather than pick at this subject incessantly in order to 'clear' up the Tagore name. If there was a 'gap' in Rabindranath's imagination, so be it. It in no way lessens his immortal legacy of wisdom, beauty and language to us by a jot.

Tales From Two Places

The first place is Assam, next door to Bangladesh.


The river's song is slow in the evening
After many days
Higgledy-piggledy rise the
Blue ink from the jungle
Streams into the river
In the evening
Slow seems the river's song.

Hats, hair et al

You can't tell if they are sick or fashionable
They simply have no hair
Winter sees hats
Spring...their secret
Of being solemnly sick.
Homes are cardboard pop-ups
Of lazy layouts of a space-hungry age
But there's hair all over the page...
They are all losing hair
Either to chemo, or to Pantene or to Thyroid.
Scalps seen and simple
With the tile-trapped hair
Being sucked up by Maria @ 5 bucks an hour
Beats Time in its ploy to freeze the curls, the black thin threads
Into permanent dirt...
This is how history misses out on recording
The loss
The fad
The stamp
Of an infection, a fever and a death.


All things must come to an end. So too, my term as literary editor of The Daily Star has come to an end. Six years have flown by in the blink of an eyelid, and it's time to sign off!

Star Health

A path to better health

Like Islam, many of the world's religions and spiritual practices include element of fasting as a way to boost their spiritual development. Alongside with the spiritual significance, fasting has certain physical, psychological and social benefits. By maintaining proper norms of Ramadan, we can get these benefits and move a significant step towards better health.

First aid for fractures

A fracture is a broken bone. It requires medical attention. If the broken bone is the result of major trauma or injury, seek emergency medical help. Also call for emergency help if:

Overcoming the health problems in Ramadan

During the days of Ramadan, our food-habit and meal-time change. Changes also occur in our life-style. Some common physical complaints may occur due to these changes. But healthy food-habit, consciousness and physician's advice can help us overcome those problems.

Biennial eye exam enough in diabetics

Biennial rather than annual eye screening in people with diabetes without signs of retinal disease is effective and does not lead to any undue delay in treatment, Icelandic researchers report in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Effect of chemical pesticide on human health

In order to protect the crops from the insects, pests etc, chemical pesticide are used. But many producers as well as consumers are not fully aware of the ill effects of the pesticides.

Study links high blood pressure to memory trouble

People as young as 45 with high blood pressure are more likely to have memory troubles, U.S. researchers said recently in a study suggesting aggressive early treatment of the condition may pay huge dividends.

Keeping safe from swine flu

Swine flu, also called hog flu/pig flu is the scary names now a days. The recent outbreaks of swine flu or swine influenza A (H1N1) virus has created much panic in Bangladesh. It is heartrending but we have to be alert to contain the spread of the virus.

Smokers seen twice as likely to develop active TB

A study in Taiwan has found that smokers are twice as likely to develop active tuberculosis compared to people who have never smoked, prompting calls for policymakers to be tougher on smoking — reports Reuters.

Strategic Issues

Indian Ocean: New power game in the offing?

IN the ancient Sanskrit literature the Indian Ocean is known as Ratnakara meaning "the maker (creator) of jewels." The real relevence of this name is being understood in this twenty-first century, as the high strategic value of this vast ocean is making it a theatre of maritime dominance of the Asian powers. Today's jewels certainly are trade, influence and power, a raison d'être for these developing countries to modernize and expand their maritime strength and broaden their sphere of strategic influence.

Sonadia deep sea port and regional connectivity

THE depth of water at the berthing/anchorage area of Chittagong Port is less than 10 meter. Normally, mother vessels of present generation require 16-18 meter depth of water to berth safely. Next generation vessels (within a decade) will require 21 meter and future generation of mother vessels may require 24 meter depth of water. As such, while improving the berthing facility of Chittagong sea port, we should cater for mother vessels of the future generation. In that case the depth of water at the berthing area of deep sea port should be not less than 24 meter.

Border tension rises between India and China

CHINA and India face contested border issues. India argues that China occupies 38,000 square kilometres of its territory in the western Himalayan region, while China claims much of the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which is 90,000 square kilometers.

Star Books Review

Policies, priorities and the way forward

THIS volume, published by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), is an important contribution to the current discourse and debate on a number of key issues which inform Bangladesh's developmental choices and options from near and medium term perspectives. The volume is the outcome of a two-day conference on “Development with Equity and Justice: Immediate Tasks for the Newly Elected Government” organised by the CPD in Dhaka on March 28-29, 2009. The volume contains seven articles on a broad spectrum of areas that include macroeconomic management issues, particularly in view of the global financial crisis as also sectoral issues that include food and energy security, employment generation, boro production and restructuring of the jute manufacturing sector. A distinctive feature of the volume is that it also contains reports on the discussions held on the five papers presented at the conference which provide succinct summaries of the rich exchange of ideas that took place following presentation of the papers.

Relationships and then the complexities

TRUST Me, a collection of short stories by John Updike, is like an assortment of priceless valuables. This book contains one gem after another. The stories have to be savoured one at a time and returned to for more. All most all the twenty-two stories are about white, middleclass men and women caught in turmoil of life, what could be and what could not be and different paradoxes of life.

The man behind insurance

Khuda Buksh Memorial Trust and Foundation, Dhanmondi, Dhaka, has done a great job through publishing a bilingual (Bangla and English) commemorative work on Khuda Buksh, the pioneer personality in the insurance arena of Bangladesh. The formidable volume with an appealing cover will surely help many get acquainted with this exemplary personality who will remain an unforgettable part of the history of insurance in these parts. And he did that at a time when few people in the Indian subcontinent had any interest in it.

Celebrating women

THE quotation from George Eliot's Middlemarch at the beginning of Ali Sethi's novel is a dead give away: “The difficult task of knowing another soul is not for young gentlemen whose consciousness is chiefly made up of their own wishes.” Eighty pages into the story, one of the main characters is reading Middlemarch. At the novel's conclusion, there's a quotation from Tolstoy: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Granted, Tolstoy wasn't a Victorian, but his novels share numerous characteristics with his English counterparts: lengthy explorations of family dynamics, rapid social change, and so on.

At A Glance

Bangabandhu O Tajuddin Amir Hossain Adorn Publication

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