News of: Monday, 29th of November, 2010
The 16th United Nations climate conference kicks off in Cancun, Mexico today amid this year's experience of numerous extreme weather events, and doubling of related global human death toll compared to last year's.
The government is going to introduce railcars between the capital and its adjoining districts next year to improve the transport of commuters to and from the capital.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought increased Japanese assistance for the socio-economic uplift of Bangladesh especially for construction of Padma Bridge.
BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday sharply rebuffed a request by business leaders that the opposition find alternatives to economically crippling dawn-to-dusk hartals.
The Law Commission has recommended that the government introduces plea bargain in the judicial system for expedited adjudication of petty criminal cases through negotiated settlements between plaintiffs and defendants.
Internal feuds grip both the ruling Awami League and main opposition BNP in their respective Chittagong city units. Long-standing rivalry among a number of high-profile leaders of both the parties intensifies despite instruction from the centre to shrug off all differences and shake hands. Neither side could form a fully-fledged committee thanks to their internal conflicts that also affect the grassroots activists.
Hearing on the petitions BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia filed over the disputed house in Dhaka cantonment would be held today at the Supreme Court.
The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad interim bail to six top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders including its chief and secretary general in four separate cases.
The main opposition BNP ran a campaign across the country yesterday to drum up public support for tomorrow's countrywide hartal amid obstructions from law enforcers at different places.
The parliamentary standing committee on home ministry yesterday asked members of law enforcers to exercise restraint during tomorrow's hartal and simultaneously protect the people's lives and properties.
The High Court yesterday asked the government to explain in two weeks why its inaction in taking effective measures to prevent the skyrocketing of soybean oil price should not be declared illegal.
Army personnel in a raid Saturday night arrested ten indigenous youths with ammunition and firearms including an AK-47 rifle at Hazaribagh under sadar upazila of the district.
The Awami League-led 14-party alliance will strengthen its activities at all levels to face the main opposition's protest programmes.
An alleged criminal was killed in a 'shootout' with Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in the capital's Gulshan area early yesterday.
Actor and Dhaka City Corporation Councillor Monwar Hossain Dipjol turned himself in to the police last night, 12 days after he went into hiding to elude arrest over assault on a policeman.
The US and South Korean navies staged a potent show of force against North Korea Sunday, as China called for emergency talks about the crisis on the divided peninsula.
An unidentified person yesterday sent a mobile text message to Attorney General Mahbubey Alam threatening him over today's hearing of Khaleda Zia's petitions regarding her disputed cantonment house.
The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined a factory a record Tk 69.87 lakh for discharging untreated liquid waste in the Bhairab River in Jessore.
A woman was killed yesterday as a piece of brick fell on her head when she was passing under a six-storey building being constructed at Banashree in the city.
As the Special Court-7 yesterday resumed the trial of 667 jawans of 24 Rifle Battalion at the Pilkhana headquarters, 25 alleged mutineers cross-examined three witnesses.
A Chittagong court yesterday fined two youths Tk 1,000 each and another youth Tk 500 on charge of stalking university students in the port city's Dampara area.
The preservation of heritage is an important sign of how a nation takes pride in its history. That being the underlying truth, it is easy to understand the nature of the demand made the other day by the Paribesh Bachao Andolon and Bangladesh Scouts Dhaka District Rover regarding measures toward protecting Lalbagh Fort. It is quite surprising that where the High Court directive asking the authorities to ensure a preservation of the Fort should have led to speedy and effective action, the demand by the two bodies only shows up once more the laid-back attitude so often adopted by the authorities over issues of public interest. There is no denying that over a long period of time, unauthorized constructions have appeared not only outside the Fort, in its immediate vicinity, but inside the Fort compound as well. How that has happened is a question which, we suspect, the authorities cannot answer to our satisfaction. All we know is that had the authorities been alert and carrying out their responsibilities, Lalbagh Fort would not be in the position it finds itself in today.
In a country where multi-storied buildings collapse without warning with alarming regularity, that a bridge would be short-lived may not come as a surprise. Yet, the sense of outrage is quite palpable when one learns of a bridge completed only six months back in Mohanganj union in the district of Kurigram came crumbling down.
The Bangladesh captaincy for Zimbabwe one-day series has been 'imposed' on Shakib Al-Hasan yesterday. The long-awaited decision could have stretched a bit more had Shakib not budged, as he was reluctant to take up the job.
Coach Alan Butcher believes Zimbabwe are here with a winning mentality, a different approach from their last month's tour to South Africa.
A century from Virat Kohli helped India secure a convincing 40-run victory in the first one-day international against New Zealand on Sunday.
England are on course to salvage the opening Ashes Test after a dominant batting display to overturn a massive innings deficit into a mounting lead on the fourth day at the Gabba on Sunday.
The 1987 World Cup was the first to be held outside England, co-hosted by India and Pakistan. The teams were the same as in 1983, and the format was also the same; eight teams in two groups of four, with teams playing each other twice, and the top two to progress to the semifinals. Because of the shorter daylight hours in the subcontinent, the match length was reduced from sixty overs per innings in the previous editions to fifty in 1987.
'Ground Olympian', the highest playing ground of the country on top of a mountain in Lama, Bandarban, was formally opened to local students on Friday.
Bangladesh under-17 footballers moved into the quarterfinals of the 51st Subrata Mukherjee Cup beating their Nepalese counterparts 4-3 in tiebreaker at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi yesterday.
Roger Federer won the ATP World Tour Finals for the fifth time after beating Rafael Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in Sunday's final at the O2 Arena in London.
Partex Sporting Club and Eskaton Sabuj Sangha notched up 6-wicket victories against their respective opponents in the First Division Cricket League yesterday.
Roger Federer set up a titanic final showdown with Rafael Nadal at the ATP World Tour Finals after defeating Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinals on Saturday.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council has deferred its final decision on Kochi franchise to December 5.
Bangladesh Ansar and VDP continued their domination of the 34th NCC Bank National Cycling Championships when they won three more gold medals with Bangladesh
Chelsea failed to move back to the top of the Premier League after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Newcastle United at a freezing St James' Park.
Indian doubles specialist Mahesh Bhupathi partnered Belarus Max Mirnyi to reach the final of the ATP doubles Finals tournament here on Saturday with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Polish duo Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski.
Coach Andy Flower's skin surgery to remove a melanoma had sent a scare through the England team, skipper Andrew Strauss said on Sunday.
In-form superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo showcase their talents on Monday night as league leaders Real Madrid travel to defending champions Barcelona bidding to beat their bitter rivals at Camp Nou after four consecutive losses in the Clasico.
Dimitar Berbatov bagged five goals as rampant Manchester United stormed into first place in the Premier League with a 7-1 win over Blackburn at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Borussia Dortmund retained their seven-point lead atop the Bundesliga with a come-from-behind 4-1 victory at home Saturday night over Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Sampdoria and AC Milan shared the spoils in an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Marrassi stadium on Saturday as the rossoneri's four-game winning run came to an end.
The commerce ministry sits with edible oil refiners today to find the reasons behind soaring soybean oil prices.
A bill for setting up a deep-sea port will be placed in parliament in its next session in December, said Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan yesterday.
An improvement in the country's wobbly infrastructure and policy support could help fetch more than $20 billion from apparel exports in a three years' time, a top sector leader has viewed.
Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) will upgrade its web-based trading system to provide faster and wider services.
I recently wrote a piece for The Daily Star business section on our lady colleagues. As usual, I received a few e-mails and phone calls. One of them was from a younger friend of mine, working for a regional conglomerate. He thought I did not do enough justice to the male colleagues, while championing the cause of our lady colleagues.
Contagion spreads from Ireland to Portugal and then to Spain, forcing European leaders to exhaust the $1 trillion bailout fund they set up only half a year ago to defend their ambitious single currency project.
The government's special 40-day employment generation programme has created positive impact to the poor of Sundarganja upazila in the district this lean period.
The government has fixed a massive target of producing 14.40 lakh tonnes of onion from 1,60,000 hectares of land this Robi season, officials and experts said yesterday.
BP said Sunday it has agreed to sell its 60 percent stake in Pan American Energy to Argentina-based oil and gas firm Bridas Corporation, as part of asset sales to pay for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Textile chemicals company Huntsman Textile Effects organised a programme in Dhaka yesterday to highlight its activity and the future of its business in Bangladesh.
Radisson Water Garden Hotel has organised a six-day food festival to promote Bangladeshi cuisine.
Germany and France have reached an agreement on how a future permanent mechanism for resolving debt crises in the euro zone should work once it is introduced in 2013, euro zone sources said on Sunday.
Telecoms ministry is likely to announce as early as Monday action against telecoms firms who violated rules, the Times of India said.
Italian sports car maker Ferrari is to launch in India within six months, the Times of India reported Sunday, as global luxury brands increasingly focus on the country as an essential market.
Shareholders in British Airways and Iberia vote Monday on whether to approve a multi-billion-euro merger creating Europe's second biggest airline as the sector recovers after a severe economic downturn.
Japan passed an extra budget on Friday, paving the way for officials to begin compiling next fiscal year's budget amid pressure to delay spending cuts needed to soothe bond investors' worries.
The company said its 29th AGM will be held on December 15 (at 11am) at IDB Auditorium in Dhaka. Other information of the meeting will remain the same as announced earlier.
Speakers at a programme yesterday called upon the women across the country to take necessary measures and preparations to stand against all kinds of violence and sexual harassment.
Disseminating accurate information on HIV/AIDS and their usage in daily life are the key to prevent spread of the deadly disease, panelists told a roundtable yesterday.
At least 12 people were killed and another was injured in separate road accidents in Pabna, Gopalganj, Bagerhat, Chapainawabganj and Narayanganj districts on Saturday and yesterday.
The parliamentary caucus on indigenous affairs yesterday disclosed an 11-point recommendation that should be included in the constitution for ensuring the indigenous people's rights.
Launch owners yesterday anchored all launches, to and from Dhaka, off Sadarghat launch terminal protesting an assault on a fellow staff.
A new English language requirement will be introduced today for non-European migrants who, as of today, apply for a visa to go or remain in the UK as a partner or spouse of a British citizen or person settled there.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday said Bangladesh, as a peace-loving country, is always committed to upholding the international peace and security.
The pro-BNP faction of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) yesterday alleged that most of the High Court (HC) benches are not accepting petitions for anticipatory bail in criminal cases, which is "illegal and against the justice."
The British Council will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate Poet Rabindranath Tagore through a four-month long festival to be held in between next February and May.
Speakers at a workshop demanded equal rights of women and men to the resources of the Sundarbans, pointing out that women often face attack, discrimination, and harassment while collecting the forest resources.
The Korean government is considering a grant of 7 million US dollars for implementation of two projects in the field of ICT and vocational training in Bangladesh.
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alyssa Ayres arrived here yesterday for a five-day visit.
Result of Ga unit (business studies faculty) admission test of Dhaka University was published yesterday.
All the examinations of Dhaka University scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) have been postponed due an unavoidable circumstance, says a press release.
Different organisations yesterday observed the fourth death anniversary of Mohammad Hanif, the first elected mayor of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) and an Awami League leader.
Prof Dr Abu Yusuf, vice-chancellor of Chittagong University, passed away at Chittagong Medical College Hospital last night at the age of 67.
Following threat by the accomplices of an arrested stalker, an honours student of Dinajpur Government College has stopped attending her classes.
Domestic as well as commercial and industrial gas connections in Pabna, Sirajganj and Bogra districts under Pashchimanchal Gas Company Limited (PGCL) have remained suspended for around a year following an order from the ministry concerned.
The agitating miners of Maddhapara Granite Mining Company Ltd (MGMCL) gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the authorities to meet their seven-point demand including reinstatement of five fellow miners and withdrawing the case against them.
A high school in remote char area at Vati Kapasia under Sundarganj upazila of Gaibandha district has remained without any academic activities for the last six years, as two influential groups are in the race for control over its management.
Thirteen Bangladeshi nationals who went to India illegally were sent back on Sunday through Sonamasjid immigration check post of Shibganj upazila.
The special court-13, set up at Dinajpur Sector headquarters, yesterday fixed January 17 next year for hearing on charge framing against 57 mutineers of Dinajpur-2 Rifles Battalion.
Three youths have been punished on charges of stalking a schoolgirl and physically assaulting her family members at Senhati village under Digholia upazila of the district.
Three child marriage attempts have been foiled in Satkhira and Panchagarh.
At least 15 passengers were hurt in a collision between a launch and a ferry on the Mawa-Kawrakandi route on Padma River Saturday night.
An expatriate, who came here from Dubai 4/5 months back, was found dead at a field at Nikorhata village in Ishwardi upazila yesterday. On information, police recovered the body of Salek Ali, 42, son of Abdus Sobhan of the village, in the morning. Police said Salek, who came here on a six-month leave, remained missing as he went out of his home after receiving a call on his mobile phone on Saturday night.
Imam of a mosque was suspended on charge of sexually harassing a student in Karimganj upazila of the district yesterday. Imam Hafez Md. Nazrul Islam, 27, is son of Abdul Jabbar of Jatia Para village also Khatib of mosque at Ichhaganj bazar in Karimganj. According to sources, Hafez Md. Nazrul Islam harassed the girl while teaching Arabic. Ataur Rahman Bhuiyan, president of mosque committee said Nazrul Islam was suspended from the mosque after the incident.
A Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawan was injured in an attack by a drug peddler along Gajukata border in Bianibazar upazila Friday night. Witnesses said, a BDR team arrested drug peddler Abul Kashem along with foreign liquor from a tea stall at Dubag bazar in the border area. Abul Kashem at one stage hit BDR havildar of Gajukta camp M Nasiruddin with a bottle of liquor, leaving him injured. The drug peddler was handed over to police.
Police arrested an absconding convict from her house at village Jhhikra in Kalaroa upazila Friday night. The arrestee is Rawshan Ara, 48, wife of Anisur Rahman of the village. She went into hiding soon after filing of a cheating case. The court sentenced her to two years rigorous imprisonment in absentia.
Police yesterday produced Imam Moinudddin, arrested on charge of raping an eight-year-old girl at Patharghata on Saturday, in the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's (CMM) Court and sought a five-day remand for him.
An anti-militancy unit of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested another leader of the banned Islamic militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from Kurigram district early Saturday.
We have plenty of water hyacinth, growing in almost all water bodies of
On October 11, 2010 a letter was published in The Daily Star on decentralisation in which the writer highlighted some of the issues that have contributed to the current unliveable conditions in Dhaka. Among the remedial measures, it was suggested that further construction of buildings, housing areas, etc., should be banned immediately, and that incentives should be provided to schools, colleges, establishments and hospitals for shifting across the country.
Television is a source from where we can gain knowledge, pleasure and information about the whole world. About 45 years ago, TV was considered a magic of science, but now we can question is it a curse or a blessing for the youngsters?
It's shocking news published in the Daily Star that a large number of migratory waterfowl are poisoned in Hakaluki Haor. The incidents of poisoning birds happened several times in the past in Hakaluki Haor. The Coastal and Wetlands Biodiversity Management Project (CWBMP), the multimillion dollar project of the Environment Department has spent huge amount of money for saving the wetlands biological diversity specially the migratory water birds.
We have many laws and rules which are not usually implemented. Smoking in public places is prohibited, and if anybody violates the law, he has to pay Tk. 50/- as a penalty. Some years ago, this very important law was passed.
US President Barack Obama promised during his presidential campaign that he would close down the military prison facility at Guantanamo, a promise yet to be fulfilled.
After 40 years of our independence, our politicians are still busy quibbling on issues like who the announced independence of the country. Our lawmakers usually spend hours citing history of their leaders in the parliament.
Hartal is the most destructive way of protest. It hampers our national economic growth. Politicians of our country call hartal for their own benefit, they do not think about the common people's interest. If we look at the political culture of the developed countries, we will see that the politicians there never call for a hartal, they always solve the problems through effective discussion.
I can't compare myself with Begum Khaleda Zia, because I never joined politics, but I suffered much more than her at her whims and for no fault of mine. She could weep in front of the world for loss of one of her houses. But I could not even go to the press when I lost my career, my livelihood. I was a district level officer in 2001 when she won the general election. I was in the threshold of my career which I so carefully nurtured with utmost honesty.
The other day, an Awami legal practitioner opined on a TV channel that the residence at Shaheed Mainul Road is exclusively earmarked for the deputy chief of Bangladesh Army. As such, allotment of that to the family members of late President Ziaur Rahman by the then government was illegal. Now the question is if that particular residence is earmarked for the deputy chief of army, then will it not be illegal too, to turn it into a residential complex for the family members of those officers killed in the BDR mutiny?
Government offices, multinational companies, banks and other financial institutions enjoy a two-day weekly holiday, but the educational institutions have one-day weekly holiday. It is true that the educational institutions enjoy some extra holidays including ten national holidays.
At last, Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) has been created in the country. The private tourism stakeholders were demanding for a long time to form BTB. In the body, an academician from the Tourism and Hospitality Department of Dhaka University has been included.
Recently, I read a statement of the Education Minister in the media that the existing Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2003 will be amended shortly, as enacting a new law is time consuming, but he assured that the new law would be initiated (some day).
The US has written to the founder of whistleblower site Wikileaks, Julian Assange, requesting him not to release a cache of diplomatic files.
Despite Mexico's promise not to do a Copenhagen on the climate talks which begins in Cancun today -- a bid to override the hardnosed but protracted climate negotiations with a super-imposed political summit of heads of states -- it may just end up doing that.
The fortnight-long stalemate in Parliament over the alleged 2G scam is unlikely to end on Monday as an unrelenting opposition yesterday rebuffed the government's fresh request to it to give up the demand for a joint parliamentary panel probe into the scandal. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on
Evidence of events that happened before the Big Bang can be seen in the glow of microwave radiation that fills the Universe, scientists have asserted.
Prince William feels there is no question of him becoming king ahead of his father Prince Charles, a report said, following a rash of polls in Britain showing subjects favouring such a move.
At least 12 people were killed when a Russian-made cargo plane crashed in a fireball seconds after taking off from Karachi on Sunday, a spokesman for Pakistan's civil aviation authority said.
The US-led war in Afghanistan is now longer than the Soviets' futile campaign in the benighted nation -- and after nine years and 50 days of battle, the West is also groping for an exit.
Afghanistan's election commission said yesterday it would issue winners' certificates to successful candidates in parliamentary polls, despite an ongoing fraud probe into the controversial results.
Haiti has begun voting in its elections, as the earthquake-hit nation continues to battle a deadly cholera epidemic.
A day after it took 12 stitches to patch a busted lip President Barack Obama suffered during a game of pickup basketball, he was back on the hard court Saturday as a spectator.
A self-described escort has said Premier Silvio Berlusconi personally invited her to two parties at his villas where young, foreign women were plentiful.
Voters on the Japanese island of Okinawa were electing their governor yesterday, as Tokyo tries to reconcile the demands of its strained US security alliance with residents who want an American base moved.
Israeli soldiers yesterday shot and wounded four Palestinians as they searched for building materials near Gaza's border with Israel, medical sources said.
Suspected Maoist rebels blew up an ambulance with a land mine in eastern India, killing at least three people inside, a news report said yesterday.
A UN special envoy to Myanmar said yesterday he told its military government that it must address concerns about recent elections, which critics charge were rigged.
Opposition charges of ballot stuffing, bullying and dirty tricks clouded a parliamentary election in Egypt yesterday in which the ruling party wants to prevent its Islamist rivals from repeating their 2005 success.
The parents of an Australian child left a paraplegic by a car accident will face charges of criminal neglect for not ensuring the boy was restrained in a proper car seat, police said Sunday.
Arts & Entertainment
Surpassing the sphere of words, when an instrumental world is revealed, it oscillates our hearts gently, rejuvenates our passion and often makes us nostalgic. Such an ambience was created by the Bose brothers -- Pandit Kumar Bose (tabla) and Pandit Debojyoti Bose (sarod) -- at National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on November 27. The performances were part of “Ananda Jagya”, an Indian cultural festival in full swing in the capital. Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, High Commission of India, Dhaka, in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy arranged the festival.
The Munier Chowdhury Award and Muhammad Zakaria Memorial Award were conferred on noted translator [of plays] Professor Abdus Selim and theatre director Ashim Das last Saturday. Theatre organised the award giving ceremony at the Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy to mark the birth anniversary of Munier Chowdhury. Munier Chowdhury Award carries a cash prize of Tk 25,000 and Zakaria Memorial Award, Tk 15,000.
American rock act Alter Bridge unleashed their third studio production, AB III, on October 10, in a somewhat break-out from what they are known for. To start with, AB III could be loosely classified as a concept album, the most striking feature that separates it from it's last two albums One Day Remains and Blackbird. The sound has certainly evolved from the last time you heard them, with more gallop and pounce. One of the most striking metamorphoses that you'll find in the band is if you put it on a scale against Creed of 2004. The album is framed around a character "desperately struggling to find their place in a world steeped in doubt and emptiness," in contrary to the other two Alter Bridge records that focused on “hope and perseverance in the face of adversity." The band's frontman Myles Kennedy has said that the album "touches on the thoughts and emotions of someone who has come to question everything that was once regarded as an absolute truth" and that it is about "the realization that everything you once believed in might not exist." However, there are tracks in AB III that touch on other emotions as well.
More than half a century after its last production hit the cinema halls, the New Theatres, which is an inseparable part of Bengali and Indian cinema in the early talkies era, has staged a comeback at the International Film Festival of India, being held in Goa, with a new Bengali film “Adur Prem” (Sound of Love).
Nabodito Pathagar honoured 24 book readers on the occasion of its 3rd anniversary, held at its library premises at Dholai-Sorupai village under Sadar upazila in Manikganj on Friday. The pathagar members also organised a day-long programme including a discussion, colourful rally, cultural function and theatre.
Mymensingh Press Club organised a cultural programme celebrating works of the two iconic poet-composers Rabindranath and Nazrul at its auditorium on November 25.
The second Suchitra Sen Film Festival began in Pabna, hometown of the screen legend, last Friday amidst festivity. Seasoned filmmaker Amjad Hossain inaugurated the eight-day festival at the Town Hall (Mukto Moncho) premises.
‘Tasks-Tasks' is an initiative of the association Arts and Architecture. This year the association arranged a symposium, the first of its kind, at Saint-Lô, Normandy, France. The event took place from September 2 to 13, says a press release.
Tomorrow's nationwide hartal called by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has created a confrontational situation across the country. The police have resorted to arrest of hundreds of activists of BNP and Jatiya Chhatra Dal (JCD), the party's student front. They are also using force to disperse gatherings and procession marches organised by the main opposition and its front bodies.
As the telecom scam over the 2G spectrum reverberates, two magazines (Outlook and Open) have reproduced partial transcripts of certain telephone conversations between Ms. Niira Radia, a corporate lobbyist for the Tata and Mukesh Ambani groups, and several top journalists and politicians. These show journalists illegitimately acting as political lobbyists.
Usually I restrict my columns to political, social, educational and economical events. But today I am using my column for benefit of those who are planning to perform hajj as I have gathered some bitter experiences while doing so this year under government management.
Fault-finding, indulging in blame game and name changing have been the hallmark of our political culture. Of late, the matter has taken an acute form. Not surprisingly, it has been confined to the two major political parties -- Awami League, the ruling party, and BNP. The ruling party has broken all previous records in this regard.
Three women have lately been making quite a splash, separately and each in her distinctive way. There is the Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, whose political convictions and resilient nature have given her a niche that few can dream of attaining. She has just been freed from fifteen years of house arrest. But isn't it a little more than fifteen years? If you set aside the years 1988 and 1989, you will have an idea of how long and how bravely the daughter of Aung San has suffered at the hands of a brutal military regime that has not flinched even from shooting protesting monks dead. Suu Kyi's huge electoral triumph in 1990, had it not been nullified by the junta, would by now have seen her country play a leading world as a democracy, an exercise that would have been of immense benefit to the neighbourhood. But that is of course a sad story.