News of: Saturday, 20th of February, 2010
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Bangladesh and India yesterday agreed to form a joint-venture company to set up a two-unit coal-fired power plant of total 1,320 megawatt capacity in Khulna.
The environment and forest ministry has requested the commerce ministry to relax its rules to allow ship breakers to import toxic ships without submission of pre-cleaning certificates from exporters.
Revival of four-party alliance looks bleak as key component BNP is now indifferent on the issue despite high enthusiasm of other coalition partners.
Suffering of service-seekers at Mirpur BRTA has multiplied after the recent withdrawal of around 200 yellow-jersey volunteers, who used to assist 30 officials and staff at the understaffed office.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday defended her position on renaming different institutions and structures, saying the BNP-Jamaat coalition deserves a lesson.
The Daily Star yesterday celebrated its 19th founding anniversary through a programme attended by country's leading personalities, including ministers, politicians, academics, celebrities, businesspersons, and members of the diplomatic corps, the media and the civil society.
The weeklong anti-mosquito drive of Dhaka City Corporation has failed miserably as the city dwellers are still suffering from mosquito bites every hour of the day.
Branches of six Palash trees on the Central Shaheed Minar premises in the city have been chopped off for ensuring easy telecast of the Language Movement Day programme in the early hours of February 21.
A group of local Awami League leaders on Thursday prevented 80 contractors from submitting bids at the Khalishpur Housing Estate office in Khulna.
The nation pays tribute to the language martyrs today from midnight by placing wreaths at Shaheed Minars across the country.
An elderly couple were burnt alive and ten others injured in a fire in Pirganj upazila of the district Thursday night. The fire also damaged 40 houses.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) personnel allegedly tortured two cattle traders and cut off the left wrist of one of them Thursday night.
The UN process for tackling global warming is now captainless as well as rudderless after climate chief Yvo de Boer suddenly announced his resignation two months after the ill-starred Copenhagen summit.
At least six people were killed in law enforcers' custody even after the High Court on December 14 expressed its grave concern over the persistent extra-judicial killings.
Two outlaws were killed Thursday night at Ramchandrapur cremation ground under Shailokupa upazila in Jhenidah.
The Amar Ekushey Boi Mela witnessed a huge gathering yesterday as it was Friday.
Capital dredging in the Kaptai Lake will be carried out soon, said Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas yesterday.
Three people were injured when a train rammed a microbus tossing the vehicle onto to two pedestrians at city's Mohakhali level crossing last night.
China yesterday bitterly condemned US President Barack Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama, saying it had "seriously harmed" relations and summoning the American ambassador in Beijing to protest.
A Texas pilot with an apparent grudge against the US government flew his single-engine plane into a tax office building Thursday, leaving two dead and 13 wounded and setting off a huge fireball.
The capture of at least five Taliban militants at about the same time as arrest of Afghan Taliban's second-in-command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar by Pakistan intelligence agents in Karachi, suggests that the 12 billion dollar US gamble is paying off in the country.
Falling water table below the capital city has reached such an alarming proportion that the prime minister the other day warned the nation in parliament saying that it is facing the threat from earthquake as its fallout.
Princess Maha Chakri Srindhorn, the second daughter of the King of Thailand, spent two days in our countryside amongst a typical rural ambience. What took her there was a child and maternal health project run by a local voluntary organisation under the aegis of the ministry of health. The project is a good example of public-private partnership.
IT is indeed sad that student politics has deteriorated today to a point where activists of political parties feel encouraged not only to be disorderly but also to resort to murder. This has added a new dimension to the sorry scene. The stakes have grown beyond just acquiring control on teachers' recruitment, students' admission, tender manipulation, etc.
A couple of years ago when President Bush visited New Delhi he pointed his finger towards Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to commend that here was a person who had no Taliban in his country to torment. This was not really true even at that time. The then security advisor, M.K. Narayanan, said that he had his fingers crossed
Shakib Al Hasan took all the limelight with a brilliant maiden hundred on the fifth day of the Hamilton Test against New Zealand, yet could not help his side avoid a 121-run defeat though went some way to restoring some pride for the Tigers. Shakib, who saw off 25 balls previous evening to remain not out on nought, took the attack to the New Zealand bowlers right from the word go on the fifth day. The Bangladesh skipper batted with disdain and played exquisite shots all around the park to bring up his 100 in 129 balls that included three sixes and fifteen boundaries. He got good company from Mushfiqur Rahim and in-form Mahmudullah, but was ultimately left with just the company of the tail as he attempted to pull off an unlikely victory. But it was not to be for Bangladesh.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan was pleased with his team's performances over the tour, particularly the mettle they displayed in the final one-dayer in Christchurch, and in the one-off Test.
Bangladesh go into their last group match against winless Sri Lanka today in a must-win situation at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo as they fight to keep their semifinal berth alive in the AFC Challenge Cup finals.
In a summer of big one-day wins, Australia saved one of their heftiest victories for last. After Ricky Ponting, James Hopes and Shane Watson set up a daunting 5 for 324, Doug Bollinger continued his torment of Chris Gayle and the West Indies top order crumbled -- again -- to leave the crowd in no doubt about the approaching result less than five overs in to the chase.
The 2010 Champions League Twenty20 will be held in South Africa from September 10-26, Cricket South Africa have announced. This ends weeks of speculation over the venue of the tournament, given concerns over security in India; England and even the USA were thought of as possible venues.
UCB International Junior (U-18) tennis championship kicked off at Jafar Imam Tennis Complex in Rajshahi yesterday. 138 players including 63 girls from 23 countries are participating in the eight day long event.
Thakurgaon Jubo Ekadosh became champions in the First ESDO Badminton Gold Cup tournament with a 3-1 set victory over Dinajpur Purnabhaba Bahumukhi Samoboy Samity team at Gobindanagar village in the Thakurgaon municipality area on Thursday.
Virender Sehwag has won the Test batting prize for the second year running in the ESPNcricinfo Awards. Sehwag's audacious 293 against Sri Lanka in Mumbai was chosen over Andrew Strauss's 161 at Lord's in the Ashes and Chris Gayle's unbeaten 165 in Adelaide, by a jury of former cricketers, commentators and Cricinfo's senior editors.
The experienced pair of Shane Bond and Scott Styris have returned to the New Zealand squad for the one-dayers and the Twenty20s against Australia starting next week. The players to miss out from the pool that was picked for the recent Bangladesh series are the fast bowling pair of Andy McKay (injured) and Ian Butler.
Favourites Liverpool began their Europa League campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory over Romanian champions Unirea Urziceni in the home leg of their round-of-32 tie on Thursday.
Patrick Vieira is set to be banned for three matches by the Football Association (FA) on Friday after "reluctantly deciding" to accept a violent conduct charge.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney returns to the club where he made his name when the Premier League champions travel to Everton on Saturday.
Bayern Munich bid to equal a record of 10 straight league wins on Saturday when they travel to lowly Nuremberg for a match that could see them top the table for the first time in 21 months.
Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets believes an April showdown with bitter rivals Real Madrid will decide the Spanish league title despite seeing their lead cut to just two points.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Th-ursday refused a request to allow Togo to be included in the qualifying draw for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations at the weekend.
Real Madrid want Inter Milan's Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho to replace embattled Manuel Pellegrini next season, sports daily Marca reported Friday.
South Africa's cricket structure is set for a major overhaul on Friday at a meeting of the national board, called after the shock resignation of coach Mickey Arthur and subsequent dissolution of the national selection panel. A source close to Cricket South Africa (CSA) said that three major issues will be discussed: the selection process, the issue of the national coach and the lack of black players coming through.
Speculation reached fever pitch Friday ahead of the first public appearance by star golfer Tiger Woods since a slew of tawdry revelations that led to his stunning fall from grace.
Waqar Younis, the former Pakistan fast bowler and bowling coach, would be open to the prospect of taking on a broader coaching role with the Pakistan side if he were approached. Waqar was bowling and fielding coach with Pakistan during the disastrous trip to Australia, but was appointed for that series only. His immediate future options are open for now, but he has said he would love to coach the senior side on a longer-term basis.
Title hopefuls Roma and AC Milan will be hoping in-form Sampdoria can do them a favour and blow Serie A wide open by beating league leaders Inter Milan this weekend.
Top seed Maria Sharapova continued her march through the WTA Tour event here Thursday, reaching the semifinals with a straight-sets victory over Elena Baltacha.
Venus Williams put an end to the security agonies of the 2million dollar Dubai Open on Friday when she halted the remarkable run of the pioneering Israeli, Shahar Peer.
Andrew Strauss is taking a break from the pressures of the England cricket team captaincy in an isolated village in the state of Victoria, Australian media have reported.
Indigenous leaders have called on the government to start primary-level education in their mother languages and demanded an announcement by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in this connection on International Mother Language Day.
The government has stopped the 'Human Rights Defenders Training and Advocacy Programme' project of rights organisation Odhikar for the second consecutive time without giving any specific reasons.
Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday called upon the people to play an active role alongside the law enforcement agencies in curbing militancy and terrorism.
Farmers of Char Gobra in Gopalganj did not dare to go to their fields along the Gopalganj-Bagerhat border yesterday although police, after an unsuccessful attempt to grab the farmers' land, left the area.
The main opposition BNP will hold a rally in the capital on Monday protesting against the police attack on the party's procession brought out from city's Muktangon on Thursday.
Two Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) cadres were arrested in connection with Rajshahi University (RU) violence in separate raids at Chatmohar and Atghoria upazilas here in the last 24 hours.
Four progressive students' organisations of Rajshahi University formed Secular Democratic Students' Action Council yesterday with a view to resist Jamaat-Shibir.
At least 2,508 bottles of Phensidyl and nine bottles of Indian liquor were seized in two separate raids at Ghoraghat upazila here early yesterday.
A wife was strangled by her husband on Thursday night at Pithakhawa village under Tentulia upazila in Panchagarh.
Bangladesh is replacing eight army contingents in United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).
A Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activist sued a former BNP lawmaker along with 38 leaders and over 50 unidentified activists of BNP in Chapainawabganj early yesterday for attacking a BCL procession on Thursday.
An alleged dacoit was killed in mass beating at Chohar beel under Mobarakpur union of Shibganj upazila here on Thursday.
Family members of language martyrs yesterday demanded inclusion of biography of language martyrs in the school curriculum to make the young generations informed about the contribution of the valiant fighters.
Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) yesterday demanded putting an end to setting up of industries in the Bhawal forest in Gazipur.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on behalf of President Obama and the American people offered warm wishes to all those celebrating International Mother Language Day in Bangladesh and around the world on February 21.
Armed criminals shot a man at his right knee and snatched ornaments from his wife while the couple was travelling in a rickshaw at Gaureshahid in city's Lalbagh yesterday.
A construction worker died after falling from the rooftop of an underconstruction building at Mohammadpur in the city yesterday.
Half of the diets served free of cost in public and specialised hospitals is being wasted, reveals a study.
A hotel boy jumped to death from the fourth floor of a residential hotel at Mohakhali in the city during a police raid on the hotel last night.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman yesterday said quality of banking diploma questions should be improved by incorporating encrypted bar coding system in processing the answer scripts.
Agitating garment workers took an on-duty traffic constable to their factory from the street and beat him up as he allegedly took bribes and released a private car which hit and injured a fellow worker seriously at Banani in the city yesterday.
Coastguards seized 5 lakh metres of banned current net and some Jatkas (Hilsa fry up to 9 inches) from different confluences of the river Meghna in Chandpur yesterday.
It was a grand wedding reception.
The UN atomic watchdog is concerned that Tehran may be working on a nuclear warhead, according to a restricted report obtained by AFP Thursday.
Niger's new military rulers posted tanks and trucks mounted with machine guns around the presidential palace yesterday after toppling strongman Mamadou Tandja and sacking the government in a deadly coup.
Niger, where the military has ousted the country's strongman, is the world's third largest uranium producer and is aiming to double production by 2012, but the west African country is also impoverished and famine-hit.
North Korea, under international pressure to return to nuclear disarmament talks, vowed Friday never to give up its atomic arsenal in return for economic aid.
Four European countries whose passports were implicated in a Hamas commander's killing have piled pressure on Israel, as Dubai said it wanted Mossad's chief arrested if his spies were behind the hit.
Heavy rain Thursday in Haiti's capital worsened squalid camps and highlighted the urgent need for shelter after last month's quake, as the UN called for a record 1.44 billion dollars in aid.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi yesterday hinted at releasing jailed leaders of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) for peace talks, aimed at bringing an end to three decades of violent insurgency in the state.
Several people were killed yesterday in clashes between security forces and demonstrators staging a protest against President Laurent Gbagbo at Gagnoa in western Ivory Coast, hospital sources said.
A college class-at-sea ship carrying dozens of Canadian students sank off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, but all 64 passengers and crew members were plucked from the water alive, a Brazilian Navy spokesman said yesterday.
Vaccines against many viruses, including flu, are made from deactivated versions of those viruses, but such an approach was previously dismissed as too risky in the case of HIV. Now, scientists are resurrecting the controversial approach.
Cyberattacks aimed at Google and dozens of other firms have been traced to computers at two Chinese schools, one with ties to the military, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
A senior British commander has warned it could take weeks to wrest control of the Afghan town of Marjah because of determined Taliban resistance, as Nato said four more soldiers had been killed in the operation.
The brother of senior Afghan Taliban commander Siraj Haqqani has been killed in a US missile strike in northwestern Pakistan, Pakistani intelligence officials said yesterday.
Defence Minister AK Antony has said the forthcoming foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan should continue despite there being certain issues and provocations.
Sri Lanka's opposition coalition said Friday it has split after its defeated presidential candidate was detained on allegations of sedition, further strengthening President Mahinda Rajapaksa ahead of April 8 parliamentary polls.
A UN envoy said yesterday he "deeply regretted" that Myanmar's ruling junta had refused to let him meet detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi ahead of elections promised later this year.
The capture of at least five Taliban militants at about the same time as arrest of Afghan Taliban's second-in-command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar by Pakistan intelligence agents in Karachi, suggests that the 12 billion dollar US gamble is paying off in the country.
Pakistan's Law Minister Babar Awan yesterday said that the National Accountability Bureau has so far detected the corruption worth rupees two trillion since its establishment.
Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is of the view that democratically-elected governments in his country have been failing to perform the objectives of government, offering good governance, and ensuring the well-being of the people.
Sri Lanka said yesterday it plans to release all detained Tamil Tiger child soldiers by the end of May and re-unite them with their families.
Arts & Entertainment
Artcell performs in Australia
Ershad, Lincoln, Cezanne and Shaju took their rocking sounds and unbeatable beats to the southern hemisphere. Artcell came back last month from their Sydney tour. The crew shared their experiences:
Highly inspired by Asian, European and Mediterranean elements and complemented by classical Indian forms like kathak, classical jazz is an emerging contemporary dance style. Unlike pure jazz, it is not very funky. The philosophy of this form is: torso and above it is European and Asian, and down below, it is African.
Rafiq Azad is one of the more renowned poets of the country. His poetry reflects his experiences of the Liberation War. His poems are bold and patriotism often gets the focus. Romance and humanity are also noticeable aspects of his works. The poet developed a keen interest in writing at a young age.
Walt Disney has clashed in Europe with several large cinema chains threatening to boycott "Alice in Wonderland", a forthcoming release, after Disney said it would bring forward the DVD release of the film.
The home village of Language Movement martyr Rafiquddin Ahmed has been renamed Rafiqnagar [from Paril] and his home has been named Rafiq Angan. The government has also constructed a library and museum here in his honour.
The three-day Jatiya Pathnatya Utshab (National Street Theatre Festival), Dhaka division chapter, ended recently at the Shaheed Minar premises. Organised by Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF) and assisted by Destiny Group, the festival was inaugurated by Liaquat Ali Lucky, president of BGTF, on February 10.
Theatre troupe Aranyak Natya Dal will stage "Ebong Bidyashagor" -- highlighting the life and times of Pandit Ishwar Chandra Bidyashagor -- at the Ekushey Book Fair premises today at 6:30 pm, says a press release.
EVEN a casual observer can notice the unfortunate and manifestly overheated discourses on the propriety or otherwise of the alleged large-scale search and arrest of individuals in the wake of the gruesome killing and mayhem at Rahshahi University. The accusations and counter accusations relating to the tragedy have acquired an intensely political colour giving rise to heightened tension and thus rendering the task of pragmatic analysis very difficult.
LET me first put on record that Bangladesh came out very well from the global financial crisis due to the nature and extent of its integration with the world economy and its basic economic structure. Bangladesh benefited from low import prices, which helped to curb inflation. It benefited from increased market share for its RMG exports and has been able to position itself very well in the world market for RMG. Domestic factors also helped, including excellent agricultural performance and 'bumper' food harvests. Remittances held up -- and not just for Bangladesh. Overall, the world remittance market performed reasonably well despite the recession.
ONCE again Dhaka has attained the dubious distinction of being the second worst polluted and unlivable city of the world by a survey conducted over 140 cities by the Economist Intelligence Group, an organisation associated with the UK based journal, The Economist. The finding of this survey reveals that Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe ranks the first position in the worst cities' category. Shockingly, Dhaka , once the hub of dream and optimism of the country, has already descended into a nightmarish metropolis. People here now feel like being driven away by an accelerating deterioration in the quality of life : clogged thoroughfares, eye-stinging smog, polluted landscapes and streets, vanishing parks and lakes, crowded yet unaffordable housing, overcrowded schools and colleges, also hospitals, polluting industries and spiralling crimes.
Out of 1.54 million hectares of government managed forests in the country about 0.35 million hectares are hill reserves in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). The CHT forest once represented high percentage of forest cover associated with richness of flora and fauna. The country's precious biologically diverse tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forest of CHT has suffered most from non-sustainable management and illegal timber trade.
THE Copenhagen Accord [the Accord], an unconventional upshot of Copenhagen Climate Deal, is whether a Political Declaration or an International Legal Instrument requires further legal analysis to judge. From the Climate Justice point of view, substantive contents and the procedural process of the Accord need to be assessed in line with due expectation of global community and UN Process. Nevertheless, this article would examine the legal implication of the Accord only from the procedural aspects of the 1992 UN Framework Conventional on Climate Change, rather than substantial contents.
Couple of months ago, I got the opportunity of visiting Japan's largest coal-fired Hekinan Thermal Power Plant. It is situated on the Mikawa bay located in Aichi prefecture (state) near Hekinan city, 40 km south of Nagoya, the city of Toyota. The station was installed by the Chubu Electric Power Co. which supplies electricity to an area of 37.78 × 104 km 2 .
THE noted linguistic, Professor Abdul Hye, once famously remarked that Bengali was akin to being the “French language of the East”. He was referring to not only the sweetness of the language, but also the profound use of connotation, pronunciation and the subtlety of our mother tongue. An Indo-Aryan language spoken by roughly 230 million people and ranking amongst the top spoken languages in the world on the scale of four to six, Bengali has a long tradition of absorbing the best of the “foreign” influences over the centuries and inter-mingling with the local dialects.
RECENTLY I visited a bookstore. While I was rummaging through the books my eyes fell on the Archie and Classic comics. I was immediately transformed into another world, the world of my earlier reading. Other than textbooks I have always read what I enjoyed very much in agreement with L.A.G. Strong, who says in his essay, Reading for Pleasure:
SAMUEL Beckett crossed the limits of decency when he compared TS Eliot to 'toilet', insisting that the reverse order of the letters of 'T Eliot' was what he wrote. The poet was thus an unfortunate victim of anagram. Eliot also received flak from other critics. He was accused of intentional complexity in poetry for perplexing his readers. Some even condemned him as unoriginal and plagiaristic. FW Bateson criticised his poetry as a manifestation of pseudo-learning. CS Lewis trashed his poetry as 'superficial and unscholarly', terming him a great evil. Ideologically, he was also charged with anti-Semitism.
In last week's Literature section, two photographs clearly got mixed up. We are deeply sorry about it.
an interesting setting for a painting.
Although there is safe and effective vaccine available to protect against measles, the disease still remains the fifth leading cause of death among the children under five years of age in Bangladesh. Millions of children mostly from the urban poor, street children, and rural hard to reach areas are not yet vaccinated against measles — a highly infectious viral disease. Unicef estimates about 25-33 per cent of young Bangladeshi children at risk. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Unicef have given the utmost importance on it and launched a two week nationwide measles campaign in order to eradicate the disease from the country.
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is considered as a major health threat for women worldwide. The majority of cervical cancer cases, by far, are thought to result from chronic infection with certain strains of HPV. The virus can be hidden for years from a woman's immune system with no apparent symptoms — then awaken and create the deadly disease. This is called shy virus that puzzled scientists for many years. In 1983, Dr Harald zur Hausen of Germany discovered the association of HPV with cervical cancer for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2008.
Although epilepsy similarly affects men and women, health issues and concerns faced by women living with epilepsy is different from men. Women face many unique challenges — from changes during the monthly cycle which may trigger seizures to concerns regarding pregnancy. Menopause, anticonvulsants, hormones, stress and mood disorders also affect in a different way in females.
Thalassaemia is the name of a group of genetic, inherited disorders of the blood (more specifically of the haemoglobin molecule inside the red blood cells). The comprehensive support to the Thalassaemia patients in Bangladesh is still below the line that pushes them forward to the lifelong miseries.
Children born extremely preterm may face a much higher-than-average risk of developing autism later in childhood, a new study suggests.
Men who work in certain occupations continue to be at increased risk of lung cancer, new research from Italy shows.
Although stone disease has been associated with insulin resistance, its impact on the risk of type 2 diabetes is lacking. Using data from a prospective cohort study [European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Postdam], German researchers have established that the presence of gallstones, but not kidney stones, is a predictor of future type 2 diabetes.
IT seems that President Obama's soft approach to Iran does not work with American public. In the Cairo speech on June 4 last year, he referred to Iran by its full name, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and said Islamic countries had been victimised by colonialism as well as the Cold War era struggle between the United States and the former Soviet Union.
MS. Judith A McHale, US Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs, who was recently in Dhaka, is the senior most ranking US Government official to visit Bangladesh since President Obama took office in USA and Sheikh Hasina in Bangladesh. During her public engagements, she made some remarks that are very encouraging for Bangladesh. In Dhaka University she said that US would take 20,000 students every year from Bangladesh where at the moment, the intake is far fewer.
IN his inaugural address at Defexpo 2010, Indian Defence Minister A. K. Antony called for better cooperation between private and state-owned defense companies.
THE Royal Navy's two newest warships formidable air defense destroyers HMS Daring and HMS Dauntless have performed side-by-side at sea for the first time.
Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna's visit to Nepal in January 2010 has come at a very crucial time. First, Nepal is in the last leg of the transitional phase as the May 2010 deadline approaches to submit the written constitution. This means the process of integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist combatants should also be completed by that time. While the written constitution would address the issues for which the insurgency was waged, the second would dismantle the infrastructure built to wage the insurgency. Normalcy should then return to Nepal.
The U.S. Army has cleared the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) for use in Afghanistan, one day after two HIMARS rockets killed civilians in Marjah.
Star Books Review
"STORIES are not always innocent,” states Chinua Achebe in his new essay collection, The Education of a British Protected Child. Whether told by a colonizer, a correspondent on the news, or in a children's book, a story can be insidious, dispossessing, and difficult to un-root from collective consciousness when disseminated without care. To illustrate this point, Achebe recounts reading a children's book he bought for his daughter, in which a white boy's kite is caught on the wind and lands in a coconut tree outside an African village, where it is then solemnly worshipped as a supernatural object. Sacrifices are offered, and a witch doctor leads “the village in a procession from the coconut tree to the village shrine.” How do we understand the telling of such “African” stories by people who are not African? With great circumspection, Achebe replies, and with a keen eye towards the story's origin, and maker (Achebe went on to write his own children's books). Without such vigilance, he warns, we become intellectually complacent, and “we run the risk of committing grave injustices absentmindedly.”
ON Thursday 11 February 2010, on a fading winter afternoon, Lauren Lovelace, director of the American Centre, orchestrated the book launch event of the University Press Limited Dhaka edition of Bangladesh and Pakistan: Flirting with Failure in South Asia, by William B Milam.
Our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam's well loved poem Jago nari bohnni shikha, written in the 1930s, is an estimable tribute to women's empowerment. Enlightenment personified, Begum Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain, who was born in a respectable but conservative family of Rangpur, pioneered women's advancement in the then colonial British India. An eminent writer, Rokeya established a high school in her beloved husband's memory in 1911 in Kolkata. She also founded the Anjuman e Khawateen e Islam (Islamic Women's Association), which was active in holding debates and conferences regarding the status of women and education.