The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of: Sunday, 21st of February, 2010

Front Page

Trouble flares in hills again

At least two indigenous persons were claimed by the authorities to have been killed as the army opened fire on agitated indigenous people feuding with settlers in remote Gangaram Mukh area of Baghaichhari upazila in the district yesterday.

Dhaka, Delhi sign MoU

The government yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with India to install a 1,320megawatt coal-fired power plant under joint venture in the country.

BDR to shut its shops

Bangladesh Rifles has initiated a move to shut down the BDR shops, a chain of business outlets believed to have done the border force more harm than good.

Salute to language martyrs

The nation today pays tribute to the Language Movement martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the mother tongue 58 years ago.

Shaheed Minar on UN website

For the first time the image of the "Shaheed Minar," the memorial of the historic Language Movement of 1952, has been incorporated into the United Nations website for the International Mother Language Day.

'BCL men kill unit president'

It was Chhatra League activists who killed their Cantonment unit President AKM Faruk Hossain on February 12 over internal feud.

Rice prices remain high despite OMS

The open market sales (OMS) of rice have not yet contributed in lowering rice prices due to inadequate supply of rice in the areas where mostly the low-income people live.

41 die in Morocco minaret collapse

The collapse of a historic minaret in the central Moroccan city of Meknes has killed at least 41 people, injuring 76 others, an official said yesterday updating the casualty toll.

PM for liberal society

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged people of all strata to help build Bangladesh as a knowledge-based, liberal and non-communal country free from prejudices being imbued with the spirit of the great language movement.

Trader shot, robbed of Tk 4 lakh

A businessman was shot several times and robbed of Tk 4 lakh in the capital's Shyamoli yesterday afternoon.

Bagerhat SP closed for land grabbing

Bagerhat Superintendent of Police Mizanur Rahman was closed yesterday for his alleged attempt to grab farmers' land in Gopalganj-Bagerhat border area.

Tk 94 lakh burgled from Janata Bank

Burglars made away with Tk 94 lakh from Janata Bank Faridpur Corporate Branch early yesterday morning.

Probe finds trucker at fault

The three-member probe body, formed to investigate into the road accident that had killed a Thai diplomat, submitted their report to the Tangail Deputy Commissioner yesterday blaming reckless driving by the driver of the killer truck for the accident.

Fonseka getting 'five-star' treatment in custody

Sri Lanka's president says arrested ex-army chief and defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka is getting "five-star" treatment in custody, it was reported Saturday.

Cop dies as robbers' van hits police car

A policeman was killed and four of his colleagues were injured as robbers' pickup truck sideswiped and overturned a police van at Rajghat of Abhaynagar upazila in Jessore early yesterday.

BNP leader killed in clash with AL men

A BNP leader was killed and 35 others injured yesterday morning during a clash with Awami League activists at Mailmary village of Gangni upazila, Meherpur.

Sahara claims 'certain quarter' out to create instability

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday claimed that the law and order is far better than any time in the past but a certain quarter is hatching conspiracy to destabilise the country.

Giant 'atom smasher' to be switched on again next week

Scientists at the laboratory that operates the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have said that the giant atom smasher will be switched on again next week.

Editorial

The spirit of Ekushey

Fifty eight years ago, a band of young men made the supreme sacrifice of laying down their lives in the defence of our mother tongue Bangla. And they did so in the full knowledge that theirs was a death that would only harden the resolve of the entire Bengali nation in its struggle to be heard and to be accorded a place of dignity in the structure of the state. In other words, the struggle for Bangla in Pakistan was but the first manifestation of the general feeling in us that if we meant to live and thrive in self-esteem, we would need to keep eternal vigilance and thwart all the insidious moves that would be made to undermine our cultural heritage, indeed our historical calling as a society.

Prohibition of toxic-ship breaking

The ministries of commerce and environment and the Department of Explosives are the operative authorities which share the responsibilities in varying degree of saving the ship breaking yard workers from health hazards and the surrounding environs from pollution. But it seems there is little coordination in the way they operate or at worst, they are working at cross-purposes.

Observing Ekushey in its real spirit

This will be the 58th occasion on which Bengalees everywhere will observe February 21 as the immortal Language Martyrs' Day. The movement that the students of Dhaka University and other educational institutions launched, in defiance of the draconian laws imposed by the then-Pakistani rulers to press home their demands to establish the status of Bengali as the state language, have all found their due place in the pages of history. We are all proud that the day has, by now, earned global recognition as the International Mother Language Day.

International Mother Language Day

MORE than a decade ago, the 30th session of the Unesco General Conference unanimously adopted a resolution tabled by Bangladesh and cosponsored by 28 countries, proclaiming February 21 as International Mother Language day. It is a matter of pride and glory for the nation that our immortal "Amar Ekushey" is now also observed all over the world. On this day, people in 185 countries promise to preserve their mother languages, like our immortal language martyrs had done nearly six decades ago. What a befitting tribute to our martyrs!

Sports

Booters' tame exit

Bangladesh ended their AFC Challenge Cup finals campaign in a pathetic way when the 10-man team went 3-0 down to a second-string Sri Lanka side in their last group match at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday.

Tigers back home

Bangladesh cricket team was scheduled to return home last night after the series in New Zealand where some individual achievements by the Tigers hogged spotlights even in defeats against the Black Caps.

Shakib third best Test all-rounder

Virender Sehwag, the Indian opener, has taken the No. 1 spot in the ICC Test rankings after hitting successive centuries against South Africa. With a rapid 165 in the Kolkata Test, which India won to stay top of the ICC rankings for teams, and 109 in Nagpur before that, Sehwag has displaced good friend and fellow Test opener Gautam Gambhir.

Teams hit by injuries

The Test series wasn't closely fought -- both India and South Africa won by an innings -- in the conventional sense but the matches were intense and dramatic contests. It has, thus, left everybody hoping that the ODI series, that starts today at Jaipur, will be as interesting.

Woods says sorry

An emotional Tiger Woods haws apologised for his "irresponsible and selfish behaviour" as the golf superstar broke his silence on the sex scandal that engulfed him last year.

Bashar starts new innings

Former national cricket captain Habibul Bashar is all set to start his new journey as an official as he will supervise a BKSP Under-17 team in an invitational tournament in India.

Asif fails again

Bangladesh's ace shooter Asif Hossain Khan again showed his inconsistency when he finished fifth in the individual 10m air rifle event in the Commonwealth Shooting Championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi, India yesterday.

Andy ousted but Maria moves on

Eighth-seeded Sam Querrey upset top-seeded Andy Roddick 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 to book a semifinal berth Friday as top seed Maria Sharapova moved into the women's final at this combined ATP/WTA tennis tournament.

Cook-led England arrive here today

The England cricket team, led by Alastair Cook, will arrive in Dhaka tonight for a month-long tour consisting of three one-day internationals and two Tests.

Smith captain till WC

South African captain Graeme Smith and interim coach Corrie van Zyl were appointed on Friday to lead South Africa until after next year's Cricket World Cup.

Bond geared up for Aus

Shane Bond, back in the New Zealand squad for the one-dayers and Twenty20s against Australia starting next week, believes the hosts can seriously push their trans-Tasman rivals. Australia have not lost a game all home summer but Bond was confident New Zealand could change that.

England rout Pakistan

Eoin Morgan and Kevin Pietersen put on a record fourth wicket century partnership as England beat World Twenty20 champions Pakistan by seven wickets here Friday in the first of their two-match Twenty20 series.

Modi's denial

The Champions League Twenty20 has been thrown into confusion with Lalit Modi, the tournament chairman, saying the venue for the 2010 edition has not yet been decided -- a direct contradiction of a public and detailed statement released hours earlier by the South African board saying they had been chosen as hosts.

Sharjah Afghans' 'home'

The Sharjah Cricket Stadium, which has hosted the most number of ODIs, has been named Afghanistan's "home ground" for ODI and first-class cricket. The grant was made by a prominent patron of cricket in the UAE, Abdulrahman Bukhatir.

Blues players warned

Chelsea's players have been warned of "severe disciplinary consequences" if their private lives tarnish the Premier League leaders' image, club officials revealed on Friday.

Everton upset MU

Everton dealt a potentially telling blow to Manchester United's attempt to retain the Premier League title as David Moyes's side claimed a shock 3-1 win over the champions on Saturday.

Mancini facing mini-crisis

Roberto Mancini is facing his first mini-crisis as Manchester City manager ahead of his side's crucial home encounter with Liverpool at Eastlands here on Sunday.

Leonardo hits back

AC Milan coach Leonardo on Saturday hit back at club president and Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's criticisms of his team.

Jose rubbishes Real link

Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho on Friday dismissed Spanish press reports linking him with the Real Madrid job next season.

FIFA slashes WC ticket prices

World football body FIFA has cut ticket prices for South Africans in a bid to allow the hosts to fill the stadiums during Africa's first World Cup in June, media reports said on Saturday.

Gaibandha badminton

Sangjukta Proshad became champion in the singles event of the district women's badminton competition with a 2-1 set victory over Fida Chowdhury at the local stadium yesterday.

Ribery to miss local derby

Bayern Munich's French winger Franck Ribery will miss the Bavarian club's local derby with 17th-placed Nuremberg at the weekend after picking up a foot injury, coach Louis van Gaal said on Friday.

Drenthe out for several weeks

Real Madrid's left-sided Dutch midfielder Royston Drenthe will be out for between two and three weeks with an injury to his left leg, the club announced on Friday.

Briatore quits QPR hotseat

Flavio Briatore quit as chairman of Queens Park Rangers (QPR) on Friday while the family of Indian billionaire Lakshmi Mittal increased its stake in the English second division strugglers.

Business

Footwear makers up for expansion

Top local footwear makers and exporters are set to increase their production capacity to utilise the growing international demand for low-cost Bangladeshi shoes.

Deposit insurance premium to rise

Bangladesh Bank (BB) will raise the amounts of premium for deposit insurance and the coverage to minimise any risk connected to the loss of depositor's fund with a scheduled bank, officials said.

Bonded warehouse rules weigh on exporters

Tight regulations under the bonded warehouse facility for exporters at the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) are holding their business back.

Ousted Russian investor wants to help finance Saab

Russian billionaire Vladimir Antonov, forced out of Dutch carmaker Spyker before it bought Saab from General Motors, said in comments published Saturday that he wants to help finance the new company.

Benapole trade suspended

Import and export between Bangladesh and India through Benapole port remained suspended since yesterday morning.

Nestle sets sights on emerging markets

Nestle, the world's biggest food company, on Friday posted a 42 percent drop in its 2009 net profit and set its sights on one billion new customers in emerging markets over the coming decade.

Bidding for shares of Ocean Containers begins tomorrow

Institutional bidding for the shares of Ocean Containers Ltd (OCL), an off-dock service provider, will begin tomorrow under book building method. The company will be listed directly.

Bangladesh to emerge as software exporter in global market

Bangladesh will quickly emerge in the world market as a software exporting country as it has tremendous potentialities in the IT sector.

High demand, strong dollar fuel rice price on global market

High demand coupled with a stronger dollar increased rice prices on the international market in the past weeks, according to media reports.

Fewer people falling behind on US home loans

The end of the foreclosure crisis is finally in sight. For the first time in almost three years, the number of homeowners falling behind on their loans is declining.

US January consumer prices inch up

US consumer prices edged higher in January but core prices, stripping out food and energy, unexpectedly fell for the first time in 27 years amid a sluggish recovery, official data showed Friday.

Unemployment has peaked, crisis over, says Australia

Australia's central bank chief Friday declared unemployment had peaked at a lower than expected six percent and told lawmakers his focus had turned from crisis management to renewed economic expansion.

EU flexes muscles on Greece

A grab on Greek budgetary sovereignty marks a watershed for cross-border European economic governance, but experts remain divided on how quickly Brussels will be able to flex its muscles.

Gas crisis raises Egyptians’ anger at govt

It's something Egyptians rely on daily: the "ambooba," the steel canister of government-subsidised cooking and heating gas, hooked to the stove or water heater in the cramped homes of nearly everyone in this country's large population of poor.

Fed move hits Asian shares

A surprise move by the US Federal Reserve to hike one of its lending rates triggered fears in Asian markets Friday that global stimulus measures may begin unwinding sooner than expected.

Euro claws back after US inflation data

The euro, which earlier plunged following a surprise change to the US Federal Reserve's monetary policy, regained against the dollar on Friday after an unexpected fall in US core inflation.

Oil rises

World oil prices flattened on Friday, with New York crude edging above 79 dollars, as the US currency strengthened at the end of a volatile week for markets.

India growth on track for boom levels

India's economic growth is poised to return to boom levels but the government should move slowly in rolling back stimulus and cutting its hefty deficit, an influential official panel said Friday.

Obama unveils $1.5b housing crisis plan

President Barack Obama Friday unveiled a 1.5 billion dollar package of measures aimed at helping victims of the US housing crisis, in Nevada, where the collapse hit particularly hard.

France's Carrefour plans 2010 entry into India

France's Carrefour, the world's second largest retailer, said Friday it plans to enter India's vast retail market in 2010 following years of delays.

S&P upgrades Turkey's credit ratings

International credit rating agency Standard & Poor's on Friday raised Turkey's sovereign ratings, saying the government had managed to reduce the debt burden and keep the financial sector stable.

Weekly Currency Roundup

Feb 14-Feb 18, 2010
International Markets
The dollar continued on its bull run this week, with the euro having slid to a nine-month low hit earlier this week. The dollar edged close to a seven-month high against a basket of currencies on Thursday after minutes showed US Federal Reserve policymakers had discussed strategies for withdrawing monetary stimulus. Analysts said there were concerns that if countries such as Greece implement the harsh fiscal measures needed to cut their debt this will weigh on euro zone growth and mean the European Central Bank will be slower to tighten monetary policy. Fed minutes on Wednesday supported the dollar, revealing several policymakers want to begin selling securities relatively soon as the US economy finds a footing. Strong US data on Wednesday also lifted the dollar, with figures showing US housing starts rose to a six-month high in January and industrial output increased solidly. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said on Wednesday his debt-stricken country was not seeking European taxpayers' money but needed a breathing space to cut its budget deficit and borrow "on normal conditions". Commodity-related currencies came under pressure after the International Monetary Fund said it planned to sell more gold in the market. The IMF said it would begin phased open-market sales of the remaining 191.3 tonnes of gold it plans to sell under a programme launched last year to raise new resources for lending.

Metropolitan

12 killed in road accidents

At least 12 people were killed and 32 others injured in separate road accidents in Chittagong, Sylhet, Barisal, Brahmanbaria and Thakurgaon yesterday.

Farmer Aziz wins Channel i Krishi Padak

This year's Channel i Krishi Padak 2010 went to farmer Abdul Aziz of Tangail for his innovative contribution to the country's agriculture sector.

Programmes to observe Ekushey

Different socio-political and cultural organisations and professional bodies have chalked out elaborate programmes to observe Amar Ekushey and International Mother Language Day today.

'Unity among S Asian nations vital to fight militancy'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said unity and people-to-people contact among the South Asian countries is needed to face the problems like militancy, terrorism and poverty.

Use of integrated digital technologies stressed

Speakers at a programme yesterday stressed the need for the mass media to use integrated digital technologies to adapt to the evolving global mass media.

Four N'ganj roads to be named after Language Movement heroes

Narayanganj municipality has taken an initiative to name roads under its area after the names of four Language Movement heroes in recognition to their contribution to the historic movement.

US experts start cardiac surgeries free of cost

With a view to helping develop expertise among local cardiac surgeons and technology transfer, a team of expert surgeons from the USA started conducting cardiac surgeries on the patients of congenital heart diseases free of cost yesterday.

Make parliamentary democracy effective

Speakers at a meeting yesterday said the lawmakers have to play responsible role in order to make parliamentary democracy effective in the country.

A day of book lovers

Amar Ekushey Boi Mela witnessed an overwhelming crowd yesterday as book lovers in their thousands conversed on the fair premises ahead of the International Mother Language Day to be observed today.

Documentary on Dr Ibrahim premieres

Dr Mohammad Ibrahim, founder of Birdem Hospital, was a social worker and he did what he believed was right. He is a source of inspiration for many.

Alphabet Fair today

A daylong 'Borno mela' (Alphabet Fair) will be held at Sultana Kamal Women's Sports Complex at Dhanmondi in the city today on the occasion of Amar Ekushey.

National

Price shoots up 4 times, new seedbeds in dists

Crisis of boro saplings following damage of seedbeds due to prolonged cold wave accompanied by foggy weather in December and January is hampering boro farming in different areas during the ongoing peak season.

Half-hearted honour for a language martyr

Jabber Nagar, the village home of Language Movement martyr Abdul Jabber, is yet to see adequate development initiatives although the authorities constructed a Shaheed Minar and a library and museum complex at the village.

No 12 Titas well still unwell

A well of Titas Gas Field in Brahmanbaria has remained inoperative for over a month, adding to the ongoing gas crisis in the country.

Two children missing

Two children went missing as a trawler sank in the Pashur river in Mongla upazila yesterday.

Jhenidah to honour 25 language veterans today

Jhenidah district administration will honour 25 language veterans on the occasion of International Mother Language Day today.

College student electrocuted

A college student was electrocuted at village Ishaanpur in Kaharol upazila yesterday.

Rehabilitate Aila victims, repair embankments

Unnayan, a socio-economic organisation, formed a huge human chain yesterday morning at the Picture Palace cinema intersection in the city.

22 shops gutted in two dists

At least 22 shops were gutted in Kishoreganj and Brahmanbaria on Friday and Thursday.

10,000 sacks urea seized, hoarder held in Jessore

Task force seized 10 thousand sacks of urea fertiliser from five godowns in Noapara of Jessore yesterday and arrested a trader on charge of hoarding the fertiliser in the warehouse illegally.

List of war criminals in Saidpur

Names of more than 100 people, who opposed the independence of Bangladesh and involved in killing innocent people in 1971, have been listed as war criminals in Saidpur in the district.

Second Bogra industrial estate plan shelved

Finding no space in BSCIC industrial area of Bogra, small and medium entrepreneurs are establishing their industrial units in residential areas making the town inhabitable.

Criminal held with arms

A Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) team from Patuakhali camp arrested another criminal with a foreign made pistol and 22 bullets at Angaria village under Dumki upazila on Friday midnight. Arrestee Alauddin alias Roki, 34, was second-in-command of 'Changa Babu Bahini' of Savar area in Dhaka. Earlier on Tuesday, Rab arrested four more criminals of the same gang from Labukhali ferry ghat with two foreign made pistols and a stolen private car. During Tuesday's drive two including Roki had managed to flee, Rab said. A case has been filed with Patuakhali Sadar police station under arms act in this regard.

Fake notes seized, one held

Dimla police arrested a man with fake currency notes of Tk 37,200 yesterday. Sub-inspector of Dimla police station Sharif said one Tofael Ahmed,30, son of late Salimuddin of Jasihati village of Basail upazila of Tangail district came to the house of one Ibrahim, son of Moyezuddin of Purbo Chhatnai village of Dimla upazila five days ago. He started circulating the fake notes from the house in collaboration with his local agent Ibrahim. Tofael was arrested but Ibrahim managed to flee. Police later searched Ibrahim's house and recovered Tk 37,200. Of the amount, 11 were fake 1,000 taka notes and rest 262 were fake 100 taka notes.

Killer surrenders to police

A man surrendered to police after killing his wife at Pithakhawa village in Tentulia upazila Thursday night. Police said, Abdus Sattar, 35, strangled his wife Sultana Begum Ratna, 30, following a feud over a trifling matter. Sattar divorced his first wife and married Ratna, daughter of Ismail Hossain of nearby Ranchandi village, a year ago. Ratna's father bought a piece of land at Pithakhawa village and constructed a house on it for Sattar. But the couple used to quarrel over trifling matters since their marriage. On the fateful night, Sattar strangled Ratna at one stage of altercation at about 10:30pm. Later, he went to Tentulia police station at about 11:00pm and confessed to killing his wife.

3 held with heroin, hemp

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel arrested an alleged drug peddler along with 10 grams of heroin in Bharthkhala area of South Surma upazila on Friday night. Acting on secret information, a team of Rab-9 conducted the drive in the area and arrested M Jiban Ahmed Sumon, 20, son of late Haris Mia of Sonasar village in Zakiganj upazila with the heroin. Later, he was handed over to Kotwali police and a case was filed. In Magura, Rab members in a drive arrested two alleged drug peddlers along with 17kg hemp at Kalinagar in Sadar upazila on Dhaka-Magura highway Friday. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Rab-6 searched a bus and arrested the two - Rafiqul Islam, 24, and Ashiqur Rahman, 22, - with the hemp worth Tk 1.7 lakh. They were handed over to police.

Letters

Historical discovery

Bilu's report from Bogra on 6 February is an important link in our national history.

New education policy

Education is the backbone of a nation. Schools are the best seats for learning. But some educational institutions of our country do not pay any heed to the principles of the National Educational Policy. They run the schools according to their sweet will.

Amor Ekushey Boi Mela

This year a new item has been added to our Ekushe Boi Mela. A webpage has been developed to search books. The site is entitled ekusherboi.com.. From this site any visitor can search for a book by title or writer's name and get all information about the book. Latest news and pictures of events are uploaded into the site immediately.

Different treatment

We see here a biased treatment. When the Shibir leader Nomani was killed the government did not launch any combing operation to arrest the BCL culprits. But now when a BCL leader is killed the government with its combined power of police and party men are killing Shibir men and vandalizing their offices.

Saudi strategy

It is encouraging to learn through the Press that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has recently launched its solar energy programme with a view to stabilising future power and water supplies in the country. Fortunately, the kingdom is naturally blessed with year-round sunshine to harness solar energy.

Chaotic politics

It is getting clearer every day that the two mainstream political parties are locked in mudslinging and spreading rumours never supported by facts.

Save garment industries

In rising to the challenge today, the path we follow must necessarily be a different one. Besides boosting investment in garments, we need to make more efficient use of manpower, chemical inputs and natural resources, and focus more on the needs of small stakeholders. The Textile and garments sectors achieved foreign currency investment to the tune of $ 126.36 million in 2008 and also more than that in 2009. But there is lack of discipline among the workers. They are not happy with the treatment meted out to them by the management.

Traffic jam

Traffic jam is one of the most awe-inspiring problems of Dhaka City. The situation is deteriorating day by day. Nowadays we have to spend 2-3 hours to travel two kilometres. If this terrible situation continues, in near future, no option will remain open, other than walking on foot.

Should we continue this way?

Bravo, to my friend Mr Rahat if nothing else, one must give him full marks for his consistency at being inconsistent on the question of banning rickshaws from Dhaka immediately (DS 20 Nov)!!! A few days ago Mr Chisti of Lalmatia had voiced something similar and I have already sent off the rebuttal to DS. If that letter is printed before this, Mr Rahat should find most of the answers, if at all he is looking for an answer for our jams. Also he can refer to my summary of the findings of the authoritative BUET/JICA Traffic Workshop, and Transparency Int. article “Facts and Figures” already printed in the DS.

Learn from Mahatma Gandhi

When Mahatma Gandhi launched his non-violent movement to end the British colonial rule in India, he made it clear why he rejected all calls for leading a violent freedom struggle: "If Indians take up guns to kill the British, given India's great religious and ethnic divisions, they would still be using the same guns to kill each other long after the British had gone. If India makes violence her creed, I will not care to live in India."

Book Fair

With due respect to the valiant martyrs of the '52 Language Movement, I strongly feel that the venue of the Ekushey Boi Mela should be shifted to Agargaon at the site of trade fair. The bookstalls as well as the number of visitors have multiplied manifold. There is a mad rush almost every day. The calm, serene ambience usually associated with the Boi Mela is absolutely lacking.

Sports and war

Did you know that the Nicaragua-El Salvador war, in which 20,000 people were killed, started over a football game? In fact, Ernest Hemingway, the world famous writer, who spent so much of his time in Latin America and Spain, said you could eliminate most Latin American wars and their causes by simply banning football or soccer. Those games get them so worked up into a frenzy against each other that nothing but a total all-out war can truly satisfy the spirit of it.

Ministers' performance

The DS carried a news report on the performance of ministers. I think it is good to have some routine and regular reporting on half yearly basis. A group of different media experts can be pulled together for the purpose. Media's perception should cover the performance of the ministers and members of the parliament, both treasury and opposition. The only aspect I would ask for inclusion is popular perception, positive or negative, in the media study report.

Life

The victor in Sunday's Super Bowl was not limited to the New Orleans Saints but to “life” thanks to the game's “pro-life” TV advertisement featuring Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow of the Florida Gators. It is both refreshing and encouraging to see top athletes living up to their great responsibility of being authentic role models for the many young people who look up to them.

Road accidents

Road accidents have become a common phenomenon nowadays. Despite the government's relentless efforts to bring back traffic congestion under control, there is no improvement in the situation. A few months back, the government had introduced automated-traffic signalling. Traffic sergeants were also employed at critical intersections along with the three-lane system but the condition is still worsening.

International

Dutch govt collapses over Afghan mission

The Dutch coalition government collapsed yesterday over whether to extend the country's military mission in Afghanistan, leaving uncertain the future of its 1,600 soldiers fighting there.

Taliban put up tough fight

Taliban fighters under siege in southern Afghanistan were putting up a tough fight Saturday, military officials said, as civilian authorities geared up to take over.

UN chief condemns Niger coup

UN chief Ban Ki-moon added his voice to international condemnation of a coup that toppled Niger's president, but in the capital Niamey thousands celebrated the end of Mamadou Tandja's rule.

US negotiating with allies on Iran sanctions

The United States is negotiating with Russia, Great Britain, France and Germany on a package of sanctions that it plans to impose on Iran for its nuclear activity.

Sunni party drops out of Iraq election

The Sunni wing of Iraq's leading nonsectarian political coalition is dropping out of next month's elections, saying the vote will be illegitimate because of a Shia-ordered ballot purge of hundreds of candidates.

Most Britons for slashing immigration

An official UK government poll has revealed that the negative attitudes towards immigration were not softening in the country, as nearly eight out of 10 Brits want immigration to be slashed.

Pak airstrike kills 30 militants

At least 30 militants were killed in an airstrike by the Pakistani military as two suicide bombers attacked police stations in northwest Pakistan yesterday, officials said.

Pak SC gives 'last chance' for implementing verdicts

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has given "a last chance" to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman to file a progress report on the implementation of National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) verdicts.

US in consultation with India, Pakistan to help resolve water dispute

President Obama's Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has said Washington is in consultations with India and Pakistan to help both countries resolve water disputes between them.

Uttar Pradesh sounds terror alert for schools

With the apprehension of one or more terrorist strikes looming large over India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh police have sounded an alert for schools.

300 Telangana students held for staging rally

Over 300 students, who violated prohibitory orders and tried to march towards the State Assembly to disrupt the ongoing budget session in support of separate Telangana, were taken into preventive custody yesterday.

Ukrainian PM quits vote challenge

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko yesterday unexpectedly withdrew a complaint over her rival's presidential election victory as a top court reconvened to hear her challenge.

'Pakistan has lost $35b in war on terror'

Pakistan's Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar has claimed that the war on terror has cost the country almost 35 billion dollars over the last three years.

Arts & Entertainment

“Key to national progress lies in our folk traditions” - -- Saymon Zakaria

"The decision to research and explore Bangladeshi folklore wasn't instigated by some vested interest -- I wasn't seeking academic recognition or financial gains from it," says playwright and researcher Saymon Zakaria.

Timeless Baul songs in an urban avatar

Featuring moving renditions of Baul songs along with a blend of Jazz and Blues, the concert at Amazon Club (Gulshan) on February 19 evening was a treat for contemporary music lovers. Popular band Bangla, along with the American group Jazmin, performed at the event.

Musings of wordsmiths

With Ekushey February, the Boi Mela (book fair) at Bangla Academy is drawing to a close. The Daily Star caught up with three of the leading writers and educationists of the country. Here's what they had to say about the book fair:

Eve of Ekushey...

On the eve of Ekushey, Dhaka University campus was abuzz with preparations -- artistes were putting last touches on their artworks and designs at the Central Shaheed Minar area. Meanwhile, the boi mela (book fair) at Bangla Academy saw a record turnout. Added attractions at the fair were: artistes making portraits for a small fee within minutes and face art.

Ekushey Book Fair begins in Panchagarh-Thakurgaon

A weeklong Ekushey Book Fair began in Panchagarh last Friday afternoon.

Musical programme “Bhashar Gaan” on Banglavision

To mark Amar Ekushey, special musical programme "Bhashar Gaan" will be aired on Banglavision tonight at 6:40pm.

OP-ED

Of murchhona and brishti bheja chokh

THERE is a melody about Bangla, a sweetness that you can feel when you hear someone speak it. That was what my wife Zakia and I were told a decade ago by some English ladies and gentlemen once they discovered that we were conversing in our own language. The place was London, the occasion a reception in the Houses of Parliament. It was a compliment that left us pleased. And since that moment, every time I have heard anyone speak good, pure Bengali, I have in a dispassionate way noted the melody that comes with it.

International Mother Language Day in the context of Bangla

EVERY year we religiously observe Ekushey February, but we may not be aware of its history and significance. We do not follow the ideals for which students gave their blood to establish Bangla as the official language, in turn, establishing Bengali nationalism. Its main purpose was establishing Bangla in every sphere of our lives.

Amor Ekushey in a changing Bangladesh

AFTER writing five novels in English, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, the Nigerian writer, started writing in his own language, Gikuyu. In rejecting English he said: "The bullet was the means of physical subjugation" and "language was the means of spiritual subjugation." Much earlier, Michael Modhusudhon Datta, abandoning his "captive lady" English, wrote in Bangla, and recorded his feelings about this transition in a poem, Bangobhasha, where he rues the fact that out of greed for others' assets he had neglected the gems of his own language.



The Daily Star

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