The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, September 3, 2014


News of: Monday, 15th of March, 2010

Front Page

15 wounded in BSF firing

Bangladesh Rifles and the Indian Border Security Force traded gunfire for around three hours yesterday after the latter crossed the Jaintapur border in Sylhet and shot at the locals.

Infighting kills BCL leader

The convener of Jessore sadar upazila unit Chhatra League was hacked dead in an attack allegedly by rival group yesterday, a day after the organisation's district council was suspended following a factional feud.

Nights in forest, days at roadside

Several hundred indigenous hill people were waiting near the Gangaram Mukh passenger shed, built by the law enforcers for local residents.

Road link tops PM's agenda

Construction of a regional highway by connecting Kunming with Chittagong via Myanmar will get priority during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to China, said Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday.

ACC chief sees lack of political will to curb graft

Corruption is prevalent in Bangladesh as there is no political will to eradicate the bad practice, said Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Ghulam Rahman yesterday.

50 more trees felled in Srimangal

The timber trader, who on Saturday felled over 100 trees at Kailin Punji in Srimangal, continued with the act by cutting down at least 50 trees at a betel leaf enclosure of Khasia community in the area yesterday.

SC stays HC restriction on waste dumping

The Supreme Court yesterday stayed a High Court order in which it asked Dhaka City Corporation not to dump waste at Amin Bazar in Savar for two months.

Petrol pump owners, staff observe strike

The owners and workers of petrol pumps and tank-lorries who observed a half-day countrywide work abstention yesterday threatened to go on an indefinite strike from April 10 if their 13-point demand is not met by that time.

Govt to hold talks with all parties

The government will hold talks with all organisations of Bangalee settlers and indigenous people by April 15 in Rangamati to start a land survey in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Land Minister Rezaul Karim Hira told parliament yesterday.

Shibir got all-out help from Jamaat

Jamaat leader Gias Uddin gave a confessional statement before a Rajshahi court Saturday that all tiers of Jamaat-e Islami helped Islami Chhatra Shibir in the February 9 violence at Rajshahi University following an organisational decision.

BNP lawmakers visit CHT today

A BNP parliamentary party team will today visit the areas of Khagrachhari and Rangamati districts which came under violent attacks between January 19 and March 12.

3 'Huji men' held for CPB rally blast

Rapid Action Battalion yesterday arrested three suspected Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (Huji) members in connection with the bomb blasts that killed five people during a Communist Party of Bangladesh rally in 2001.

Police asked to report on arrest warrant by Apr 19

A Dhaka court yesterday once again directed the officer-in-charge of Dhanmondi police to submit a report by April 19 on the execution of an arrest warrant against Adflame Pharmaceuticals Director Azfar Pasha.

5 high-ups of Dhaka Phone picked up

BTRC and Rab personnel early today picked up five high-ups of Dhaka Phone, a private land-line phone company, on charge of running illegal VoIP business in the capital's Banani.

Obama reconsiders Indonesia military ahead of visit

The United States is looking to break a taboo and train an elite Indonesian force linked to past abuses, as President Barack Obama courts the world's largest Muslim-majority nation with a visit.

Developing world launched 'arms race': think tank

Developing countries have embarked on a dangerous "arms race" with huge sums ploughed into combat aircraft in unstable parts of the world in the past five years, a top defence think-tank has said.

Editorial

Felling of trees in the tea gardens

IT is not surprising that the large-scale felling of trees in a tea garden in Srimangal has outraged people everywhere. We wonder whether the forest department's order, issued in 2008 permitting the cutting down of the trees, had considered all the relevant pros and cons of the issue. It may be recalled that the order was held in abeyance (by then more than 1000 trees had been cut down) by the forest department in the face of opposition from the locals living in the area and environmental activists, only to be allowed again, this time with enhanced rate of royalty.

The passing of KG Mustafa

K.G. Mustafa belonged to a generation we can rightly regard as pioneers in our world of journalism. His death at the age of eighty-four is therefore a harking back to a time when values underscored the presentation of news and with that a formulation of opinion in newspapers. Throughout his adult life (and it actually commenced in his teens), Mustafa made it a point to remain steadfast to the vocation he had opted for, a position he did not waver from in his long life. Following the partition of 1947, he clearly seemed to have decided that while the newspaper was going to be his preoccupation, both as a principle and as a profession, it would also serve as a vehicle for the promotion of political and social causes. The trajectory of his life shows all too well that Mustafa upheld the causes he believed in. In the chaotic politics of 1950s Pakistan, followed by the harshness of the decade-long Ayub military regime, Mustafa and a very large number of his peers saw little reason to suspend the battle for truth.

Sports

Hosts not losing hope

The fate of the first Test was all but decided on the first day and nothing that happened on the third day changed they momentum of the game on the third day at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong. England were in complete control despite Mushfiqur Rahim and Nayeem Islam associating in a record 113-run eighth wicket partnership for Bangladesh to give the home team a decent total. The tourists could even afford to lose five quick wickets in the second innings, but still ended the day with an overall lead of 434 with five wickets remaining.

Swann thanks Tredwell

England spinner Graeme Swann is a firm advocate of superstition. Which is why he always bowls with his sunglasses on, as he believes it will bring him better luck. And who would argue with the tall off-spinner, after he grabbed his fifth five-wicket haul in his short 17-match career in the first Test against Bangladesh at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday, with his sunglasses firmly in place.

Liza earns 1st IM norm

WFM Shamima Akhter Liza earned her first norm of International Master when she drew against Saif Uddin Lablu in the ninth and final round of the Parachute International Chess tournament at the conference room of Uni Resort in Cox's Bazar yesterday.

Kasba clinch title

Kasba High School of Rajshahi emerged champions in the Ecstasy National School Hockey Championship with a hard fought 2-1 win over Armanitola High School of Dhaka in the final at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Kolkata bang Bangalore

It wasn't as resounding a thrashing as Brendon McCullum's ruthless innings in the opening game two years ago, but it was still a massive win for Kolkata Knight Riders in front of a heaving Eden Gardens crowd. Angelo Mathews followed up his fire-fighting effort with the bat on Friday by starring with the ball to pin down Royal Challengers Bangalore, before fireworks from Kolkata's openers ensured Shah Rukh Khan's team began their campaign with victories over both of last year's finalists.

Tigers under huge lead

Bangladesh spinners found England top-order wanting in the second innings after a record 113-run eighth wicket partnership between Mushfiqur Rahim and Nayeem Islam, but still the visitors were in the driver's seat at the end of the third day's play of the first Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here yesterday.

CHITS FROM CHITTAGONG

England looked ordinary for a while when Mushfiqur Rahim and Nayeem Islam added 113 for the eighth wicket but that could have been for the stifling weather.

BFF to sell WC tickets

Some 250 tickets of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa have been allotted to Bangladesh Football Federation and the BFF has asked interested persons to apply for tickets to them.

First win for Chargers

Defending champions Deccan Chargers got their first Indian Premier League victory of the season after their impressive 31-win over Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai last night.

Sinclair gets a recall

New Zealand have gone back to a familiar but inconsistent batsman in Mathew Sinclair as they attempt to challenge Australia in Friday's opening Test in Wellington. Sinclair, 34, is a chance for his sixth return to the XI after coming into the 13-man squad for Neil Broom on the back of a strong domestic season for Central Districts.

BFF reschedules MSC's match

Bangladesh Football Federation responded to the appeal of Mohammedan Sporting Club positively as the game's governing body has shifted their schedule away match of Bangladesh League against Chittagong Mohammedan to the end of the first leg matches.

Hockey players' resignation accepted

Six hockey players, who had resigned from the national team after failing to get any team during the special transfer window for the upcoming domestic competitions, have been freed of their national duty as Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) accepted their resignation yesterday.

Magura honours its SA winners

Gold and silver medal winners of the 11th South Asian Games who hailed from Magura were accorded a reception at the Magura stadium yesterday.

Nadal returns with win

Reigning champion Rafael Nadal, playing his first match in more than a month, reached the third round of the BNP Paribas Open Saturday with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Rainer Schuettler.

Friends XI into final

Friends XI moved into final of the Municipal Gold Cup Cricket Tournament with a 39-run victory over Green Valley at Shaheed Miraj-Tapan Stadium in Manikganj yesterday.

BOA urged to bring foreign coaches

The medal winners of the different international meets will be given priority in selecting the athletes for the 2010 Commonwealth Games to be held from October 3 to 14 in New Delhi.

Dull draw for Sevilla

Sevilla warmed up for Tuesday's Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow with a disappointing 1-1 home draw against Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday, failing to make up ground on third-placed Valencia.

Chelsea back on top

Didier Drogba sent Chelsea back to the top of the Premier League on Saturday but Arsenal stayed right on their heels thanks to a stoppage-time victory over ten-man Hull.

Robben bails out Bayern

Bayern Munich suffered a Champions League hangover Saturday before Dutch winger Arjen Robben scored twice to seal a 2-1 win over strugglers Freiburg to put the hosts back on top of the Bundesliga.

Ferrari reign in Bahrain

Two-times champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso dedicated his debut triumph with Ferrari on Sunday to the Italian nation, the team's workforce and president Luca di Montezemolo.

Real obsessed with Rooney

Real Madrid have an "obsession'' about signing Wayne Rooney, but would need to fork out £80 million or more to do so, according to former president Ramon Calderon.

Some respite for Fiorentina

Fiorentina came back from a goal down to defeat Napoli 3-1 on Saturday, bouncing back in style from their shattering midweek Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.

Becks fears for WC place

England international David Beckham fears he may not get to realise his World Cup dream in South Africa this summer.

Hiddink rejects Ivory Coast

Guus Hiddink will not coach the Ivory Coast at June's World Cup finals in South Africa, the Dutchman said in a newspaper column on Saturday.

Business

Stocks sputter as confidence at low ebb

Dhaka stocks suffered a big jolt yesterday with the highest number of companies losing their share prices in the history of Bangladesh stockmarket, as investor confidence dipped to a new low.

Policy on cards for microcredit interest

Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) will frame policy to bring transparency in the process of fixing interest rates by microfinance institutions (MFIs).

BB moves to upgrade fight against financial crimes

Bangladesh expects to be a member of a global network of financial intelligence units (FIUs), Egmont Group, by next year to enhance the capacity of combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes through international cooperation.

Kuwait's Global reports loss for second year

Global Investment House, a leading Kuwaiti investment firm, which is implementing a debt restructuring plan, said on Sunday it posted a loss in 2009 for the second straight year.

Airtel zooms in on rural Bangladesh

It is "logical" for Bharti Airtel to make a move to enter the low mobile penetrated market of Bangladesh.

Accolades for exporters

The government has given away national export trophies -- 33 gold, 15 silver and 11 bronze -- to exporters for their outstanding performances in fiscal years 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Bids soon for 100-200MW wind power plant

The government will soon invite bidders to set up a 100-200 megawatt (MW) wind power plant in coastal area, said the prime minister's energy affairs adviser yesterday.

BKMEA forms two boards to conduct polls

The Board of Directors of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association in its meeting on Saturday formed two boards -- one is electoral and the other appeal -- to conduct elections to BKMEA for a two-year term (2010-12).

GP's new price plans

Grameenphone yesterday announced a new range of price plans for its prepaid customers. The three packages, Shohoj, Aapon, Bondhu, along with djuice, were developed for pre-paid subscribers, which offer interchangeability and easy migration.

StanChart's Asia official in Dhaka

Eric Chow, chief information officer for Asia of Standard Chartered Bank, arrives in Dhaka today on an official visit.

Innovative TV ads in spotlight

Ad enthusiasts have to think out of the box for success in television commercial (TVC) production, said advertisement maker Amitabh Reza yesterday.

China promises steps to boost imports

China's premier promised Sunday to increase imports to promote trade and appealed to other nations to oppose what he said was rising global protectionism.

CORPORATE BRIEFS

BATBC
The company's board of directors recommended 300 percent cash dividend (Tk 30 per Tk 10 ordinary share) for the year 2009. The company's annual general meeting will be held on April 15 (at 10:30am) at Dhaka Sonargaon Hotel. The record date is March 28. The company has also reported profit of Tk 2,068.57 million and earnings per share of Tk 34.48 as of December 31, 2009.

Metropolitan

Tk 222cr spent for upkeep of MiG fighter jets

The government has spent Tk 222.49 crore for the maintenance of eight MiG-29 fighter jets since fiscal year 2000-01 and Tk 51 crore for 16 F-7 fighters since FY 2004-05.

Babar placed on five-day remand

A Judicial magistrate of Habiganj yesterday placed former state minister Lutfuzzaman Babar on a five-day remand in connection with the case for killing former finance minister SAMS Kibria and four others.

Writ petition filed for safe water

A writ petition was filed with the High Court yesterday seeking directions upon Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority to supply pure and hygienic water to the city dwellers.

'Dialogues can create culture of peace'

A three-day international consultation on 'Prospects for Dialogue and Religious Studies in South Asian Universities' began at the Dhaka University (DU) yesterday.

Pvt varsity student held, firearms seized

Members of Rapid Action (Rab) arrested a private university student who is a member of a gang of muggers and seized three firearms and 17 rounds of bullets from his possession at Pallabi in the city yesterday.

Govt to honour friends of '71

The government will honour the personalities and the groups of different nations across the globe that had supported the country's liberation war in various ways, including mobilising public opinion and donating money.

BNP out to tarnish image of PM's son

Joint General Secretary of Awami League (AL) Mahbubul Alam Hanif yesterday alleged that main opposition BNP has been conspiring to tarnish the image of the prime minister's US-educated son by bringing false allegations against him.

Two city areas to be freed from electric poles, overhead cables

Two new areas in the city -- Purbachal-2 and Uttara-3 -- will be freed from electric poles, overhead wires and cables.

Fire in Ctg sugar mills

Equipment and raw sugar worth Tk 1.20 crore were damaged in a fire at S Alam Refining Sugar Mill in the port city of Chittagong yesterday.

Separate law for construction workers demanded

Leaders of Imarat Nirman Sramik Union yesterday placed an 11-point demand including formulation of separate laws for construction workers to ensure their just wage and other facilities.

New batch of BDR mutineers goes on trial today

Another batch of BDR mutineers goes on trial at the Pilkhana headquarters of the border force today as part of the judicial proceedings over the last February 25-26 mayhem.

CDA drive soon against buildings deviating from plans

Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) will soon launch a drive in the port city against the structures that were built deviating from the approved plans.

PM urges int'l community to help fight climate change

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday renewed her call for international community to give priority to catering to the needs of Bangladesh and other most vulnerable countries in adaptation, technology transfer and capacity building to tackle global climate change.

Body formed to install prepaid electricity meters in city

The government yesterday formed a committee to install prepaid meters in different areas of the city to stop misuse of electricity.

Tk 140 cr EU grant to help farmers

The European Union is going to give a grant of Tk 140 crore to help Bangladesh deal with soaring food prices by providing agricultural inputs and cash to poor farmers and small households.

Participatory action research stressed to resolve problems

Community people can identify their problems and find out ways to resolve the problems through Participatory Action Research, which is comparatively new in the country, said speakers at a seminar yesterday.

70pc watch BTV programmes in 2009: Survey

About 70 percent people of the country watched programmes of Bangladesh Television (BTV) in 2009 while other satellite TV channels had only 34 percent viewers.

KG Mustafa laid to rest

Veteran journalist and Language Movement hero KG Mustafa was laid to eternal rest at the Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals' Graveyard yesterday.

Investment vital to ensure food security

Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque yesterday called for increased investment in agriculture to ensure food security of the country.

Relatives attack police, free 4 arrestees from custody

The family members of four arrestees, who were arrested in a case at Gabtali in Bogra, swooped on a police team and freed their relatives from the custody yesterday.

Milon sent to jail

A Chandpur court yesterday sent former state minister for education ANM Ehsanul Haque Milon to jail in a case filed for vandalising a car of Awami League lawmaker Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir in 2003.

SC asks ex-envoy Nazimullah to surrender in trial court

The Supreme Court yesterday directed ATM Nazimullah Chowdhury, a former Bangladeshi ambassador in Abu Dhabi, to surrender before the trial court in connection with a corruption case filed against him during the past caretaker government.

Death anniversary of Dr Aleem Al-Razee today

The 25th death anniversary of Dr Aleem Al-Razee, a celebrated jurist, parliamentarian and educationist, will be observed today, says a press release.

DAE kills 4cr rats in six yrs

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury told the House yesterday that the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has killed around four crore rats in the last six years since 2004.

Firearms, ammo recovered

The members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered seven firearms, some bullets and cartridges from a village at Chandanaish here yesterday.

College student missing

Al-Amin Sarker Prince, a first year student of Pabna Edward College, has been missing since February 23.

National

Forest fire spreads, ravaging fresh areas in Modhupur

Fire at different places of Madhupur forests in Tangail district is wreaking havoc on forest resources including its biodiversity for the last five days.

Gas bursts tube-well, pushes water up to 150 feet in B'baria

Gas and water are leaping up to 150 feet above the ground following explosion of a deep tube-well at Barabakail village under Majlishpur upazila of the district early Friday.

BCL men chase UNO for not inviting AL leaders

Leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Charghat upazila unit yesterday forced the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) to postpone the preparatory meeting for celebrating Bangabandhu's birth anniversary and Independence Day.

Audience baton charged for viewing 'obscene dances'

More than 50 people were injured as police resorted to baton charge on the audience at a cultural function at Tajpur Bazar under Osmaninagar Police Station on Saturday night.

Jubo League leader arrested with smuggled sarees

Baliadangi upazila Jubo League leader Abdus Salam and a truck driver were arrested early yesterday with about 200 expensive Indian sarees at Samader Bhata on Harinmari-Baliadangi road near Baliadangi border in the district.

Some teachers have secret link with Shibir: BCL

Leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday laid a siege to the pharmacy department office alleging secret liaison between a section of teachers and Shibir men.

Letters

Health hazard

We have seen many a time photos published in The Daily Star with the caption 'Hello Mayor'. This was to draw the attention of the mayor of Dhaka to take note and to ensure some action in public interest. But we don't know if at all any action had been taken. When and after what 'grave' incident will his department wake up to redress the plight of the citizens, it is only to be seen.

Take rickshaws off

Once again, my friend Mr. Sikander Ahmed of Niketon, Gulshan through his letter dated February 21, 2010 has compelled me to respond. Mr. Sikander himself has accepted that he has been continuously trying his best desperately to 'shut' everyone down whoever speaks sense in favour of banning rickshaws from Dhaka metropolitan city roads (in phases). He has specifically mentioned that he has 'sent off rebuttal' to DS against Mr. Chisti's remark.

Culture of violence and hartal

The young generation (especially the students at the tertiary level) is being spoiled by the political culture, by encouraging violence and obstructions (hartal). The latest news is that violence has come out of the campus, and riots took place at the International Trade Fair, as the police interfered with the activities like petty thefts from the stalls and teasing of the girls visiting the Fair.

Population

Increasing population is a matter of global concern. It is one of the major problems in Bangladesh. Day by day it is going from bad to worse. Nowadays, Bangladesh faces no greater challenge than overpopulation.

FFs' children quota

The notice by the establishment ministry on the 30% quota for children of freedom fighters says if the quota is not fulfilled it will remain vacant. The notice disheartened me. I think it also disappointed nearly four crore educated, unemployed youths.

Religious sermons

Every Friday comes as a weekly Eid Day for Muslims. It is an important duty to listen to the sermon called Khutba in Arabic. The Imam always reads out some important lessons for the pious Muslims. It is for sure that most of the listeners do not get the point exactly made for their enlightenment. Though it is obligatory for Muslims to have a little understanding of the Arabic language for the sake of the religion, but it is neglected. Hence the important sermon is listened to but not significantly understood. And Muslim parents of modern societies attach less importance to religious teachings, regrettably though.

A cheap shot

A drowning man tries to remain afloat holding even a straw. The BNP's recent manoeuvre through the cocktail scare is much lighter than even a straw for such a big leader of the party. As the issue could not draw any attention from any quarter, the party finally demanded SSF security for their leader.

Contaminated water

Wasa is the sole source of water in Dhaka metropolitan city. But people are observing with concern that in the last couple of years, Wasa has miserably failed to supply safe water to its consumers. A surface water treatment plant was established in Sayedabad that is supplying contaminated water.

Name game

Traditionally, Bangladeshis have a penchant for symbolism. Names, metaphors, slogans have always got precedence over substance. It is an integral part of Bengali psyche and history is replete with such examples. But the present cause of concern among the people lies elsewhere: it is the name changing of public places which worries them. Now people can easily understand that these are not done to show any respect to any of their leaders but to demean them.

Vicious circle

In Bangladesh, till now no political party has ever won an election; it has always been the case of the other party losing! What makes it worse is that irrespective of who the government is or what their election manifesto was during the campaign, once in power the strategy is always the same:

SSC exams

The questions of English 1st paper for the students of Dhaka Board was really difficult to answer to the point. The authorities should have special consideration for this paper, so that the students can do well.

Renaming ZIA

Please refer to a letter by Kabir Ahmed published in your daily on 1 March 2010. It drew my attention. Renaming or assigning names to different establishments was not in the election manifesto of the Awami League. Rather, their pledge was to change the days by doing a good job for the people. This government took over power more than a year ago. During this period, what change the government has been able to bring ?

US and Pakistan

A poll found that most Americans think Pakistan along with Iran and North Korea are among the most unfriendly countries of the world. At the bottom of the heap is, of course, North Korea, followed by Iran and Pakistan. About 90% of the Americans consider all these countries are a threat to the American security and must be treated as such.

DESA control rooms

The capital experienced the first Kal Boishakhi storm which caused some damages and inconveniences to the city dwellers, one being the failure of electricity. I live within the jurisdiction DESA's Shyamoli Control Room. Soon after the rain stopped I started contacting the Shyamoli Control Room to lodge a complaint of electricity failure. The first problem I faced was to get the telephone line as the control room has only one number, i.e. 9146043. Anyway after re-dialling for about half an hour, I got the line and lodged the complaint. The officer on duty informed me that it might take a few hours before they could restore the power supply. Then after a few hours the electricity came but unfortunately the voltage was very low. Again after trying for quite some time I got the line and complained about the low voltage. This time, the duty officer told me that it would again take some hours to mend the fault as the number of complaints were so high and their men are attending one by one. Mentionable that the control room has only a limited number of technical manpower plus emergency vehicles.

Open secret

With the passage of time we are confronting day by day some inevitable questions. What can we do if the police compel us to give a false confessional statement? What shall we do if we are arrested and displayed before some illegal weapons and ammunition which actually belong to the police themselves? How can we tolerate when we see the police are being assisted by some terrorists in an operation against some innocent persons? What the police will do if they are compelled by some powerful directors(political big boss) to arrest someone illegally? How can we get the truth if the media supply only partial news and views? How can we continue our education if there is a wide cultivation of terrorism in every educational institution? What will happen to our sisters who are facing the constant threat of abduction and rape?

Renaming

In the Newtonian universe every 'action' elicits an equal but opposite 'reaction' (3rd law), and the current naming/ re-naming in Bangladesh is no exception. Unfortunately, Newton did not get time to work on the next theory about the reaction of 'reaction'.

International

Netanyahu calls for calm as rift with US deepens

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday sought to project calm amid a deepening crisis with the United States, seen as the worst rift between the close allies in decades.

Pak helicopters pound Taliban hideouts: 13 die

Helicopter gunships pounded Taliban hideouts in Pakistan's northwestern tribal district yesterday, killing at least 13 militants, officials said.

Thaksin supporters issue ultimatum to Thai govt

Red-clad protesters loyal to deposed Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra vowed yesterday to march on military barracks housing the government as they stepped up their campaign amid tight security.

Plot to blow up fuel facility in Mumbai foiled

The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) claimed to have foiled a major terror plot to blow up state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) terminals in south Mumbai and a mall by arresting two people here yesterday.

Pakistan will not budge an inch from Kashmir stance

Raking up the Kashmir issue once again, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said Islamabad would not step down from its "principled" stance on Kashmir and river water sharing issues with India.

Mulayam fears an all-women parliament

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav yesterday said the women's reservation bill was an "international conspiracy" to weaken Indian democracy and said it would ultimately lead to an all-women parliament that would be "alarming" for the country.

Participatory Perspective Planning at final stage

The government is at the final stage of formulating the first Participatory Perspective Planning (2010-2021), which will be the main guideline to development in the proposed sixth and seventh five-year plans, Planning Minister Air Vice Marshal (retd) AK Khandakar said at a consultation yesterday.

India signals openness for fresh talks with Pakistan

India signalled on Friday it was open to a new round of talks with Pakistan, raising fresh hopes of a thaw in relations after last month's official dialogue between the nuclear-armed rivals produced no breakthrough.

Malaysia detains 93 Myanmar boat people

Malaysian maritime authorities said yesterday they had picked up 93 members of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority who had drifted aboard a boat for 30 days after fleeing their country.

Kandahar governor wants more troops after blasts

The governor of Kandahar province demanded more security around Afghanistan's largest southern city yesterday after a series of explosions killed 35 people in the Taliban heartland the target of the war's next major offensive by Afghan and international forces.

Israel captures top Hamas commander in West Bank

A top Hamas commander in the West Bank has been arrested by the Israeli security services after more than a decade on the run, an Israeli military spokesman announced yesterday.

Enhanced people-to-people contact needed to reduce US-Pak trust deficit: Gilani

Admitting that there is a "trust deficit" between Pakistan and the United States, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the gap can be bridged through enhanced people-to-people contact.

US-funded cyber network group busted, claims Iran

Iran has busted what it says was a US-funded cyber network group linked to an exiled opposition movement that collected data on its nuclear scientists, state media reported on Saturday.

Guinea interim leader rules out presidential bid

Guinea's interim leader says he will not run in presidential elections planned for June in the small West African country.

Arts & Entertainment

The blossoming of a dancer

It is said that Arpita never could go on stage without her mother by her side. On many occasions, the little dancer, aged six or seven, would have to be reassured by her teachers and friends that her mother was near at hand, but the adamant, nervous child would listen to no one, refusing to perform and holding back the show. Then her mother would appear, just a bit lower the stage at 90 degrees to where she was standing. Arpita would find back her strength and confidence and begin her wonderful performance, drawing a big round of applause from all.

Mélange of Contemporary Arts

An assortment of the various blends of art in the country today were much in evidence at the Spring Art Fair 2010 in Lakepark, North Gulshan . The fair was organised by Bangladesh Art Council. On display were art works in such mediums as print-making, burnt clay, portraits, watercolour, sculpture, metal crafts, ceramics, glass painting, textile and photography, among others.

The myth that lives on

A few miles off Jhenidah, at Barobazar, lies the 'dargha' (shrine) of legendary Gazi, Kalu and Champaboti, who according to popular myth, lived in the region about 700 years ago.

11th International Short and Independent Film Fest ends

As the clapstick hit the clapboard, the final sequence of the 11th International Short & Independent Film Festival, by Bangladesh Short Film Forum (March 4-12), began with the organisers presenting this years' award for Best Documentary, Best Fiction award to international entries and Tareque Shahriar Best Independent Short awards. BSFF has been hosting the event since 1988 biennially.

Baul Rashid Festival in Netrokona

The Baul Rashid Memorial Festival was held at Rajurbazar Collegiate School premises in Netrakona town on Saturday to pay tribute to the late Baul Rashiduddin and recall his outstanding contribution to folk culture.

Traditional Baruni Festival in Pabna

The traditional Hindu Baruni festival was held amidst religious festivity in Brea upazila under Pabna district on Saturday. Several thousand devotees across the country gathered at the banks of the Kageshhwari river in Kutishwari Bottola and the bank of Ichhamoti river of the municipality area of Bera upazila under the district to celebrate the festival.

Fan mail

We take you closer to your favourite artistes and celebrities. Our readers will be able to fire away all their queries to cultural personalities fortnightly and we provide the platform for you to do so.

OP-ED

Sheikh Hasina goes to China

THE proposed visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to China on March 17 is timely since the ties between the two countries have been characterised by comprehensive cooperation for the last 35 years of their diplomatic relation.

The Pakistan case

IN Pakistan, terrorism has become an endless cycle. Consecutive suicide bombings in Peshawar, the bomb blast near Indian embassy at Kabul, and the Tehrik-e-Taliban attack on the army GHQ in Rawalpindi, one of the most sensitive places in Pakistan, raise questions on the effectiveness of military operations both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Macro-economic performance and puzzles

In an international Conference organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) in connection with its Golden Jubilee Celebration few years back, my favourite teacher and world-famous economist Dr Azizur Rahman Khan (best known as AR Khan) revealed a few pertinent puzzles that he observed in our macroeconomic calculus. I strongly feel that his seminal observations, presented below and at times paraphrased - of that time are worthy of notes even now for teachers and students of macroeconomics as well as for policymakers.

Glimpses of K.G. Mustafa

K.G. Mustafa was already a well-known name in journalism when I was in school. And the first time I heard of him and of other illustrious figures in the world of Bengali journalism was when my father reflected on what the newspapers in East Pakistan were writing in the era of Field Marshal Ayub Khan. There was no way I could read Mustafa's reports or his commentaries. In the first place, I was at the time yet to get a grip on my understanding of written Bangla. In the second, the newspapers Mustafa and his peers worked for in East Pakistan did not make their way to Baluchistan, where my family happened to be. That was in the 1960s.

Between promise and delivery

IT was such a relief to learn, from no less an authority than home secretary G.K. Pillai, that Maoists aim to overthrow the Indian state by 2050. That gives us four decades during which the plus-40 bourgeois can die in their beds; those blessed with first jobs in 2010 can retire in comfort, and hope for a ringside view of the revolution; and those below 20 can worry -- unless, of course, they have joined the revolution.


The Daily Star

© thedailystar.net, 1991-2014. All Rights Reserved