News of: Friday, 6th of January, 2012
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Three years ago, the Awami League came to power with perhaps the biggest political bang since independence with a four-fifths majority in parliament. Today much of that popularity has waned, reveals The Daily Star opinion survey on the government at the end of its three years in power.
As the Awami League-led government steps into its fourth year today, The Daily Star would like to see the government urgently complete a number of urgent tasks that the AL pledged in the election.
The Nagorik Committee-backed candidate Monirul Haque Sakku triumphed at yesterday's maiden mayoral polls to Comilla City Corporation, defeating the ruling Awami League-backed contender Afzal Khan by around 30 thousand votes.
Ruling Awami League lawmaker Kamal Ahmed Majumder yesterday forced hundreds of students and teachers of Monipur and two other high schools to line up along a city street to protest "a conspiracy against him".
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon the opposition political parties to give up confrontational politics and work for the people and the country rising above party interests.
It is truly the end of an era, and a remarkable one at that.
A great office record, dedicated campaign and popularity alone were not the factors that hailed Monirul Haque Sakku to the mayoral chair in Comilla yesterday.
Resubmission of charges resulted in former Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Ghulam Azam being accused of 62 counts of crimes against humanity at the International Crimes Tribunal yesterday, instead of the previous 52 counts.
Bangladesh Chhatra League yesterday dissolved its Satkhira district unit after learning the involvement of its president and general secretary in the rape of a girl on Wednesday night.
Political leaders and members of the civil society had mixed reactions to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's speech to the nation yesterday.
People of all ages in yesterday's Comilla City Corporation polls found electronic voting machines (EVM) very much user-friendly, putting an end to all rumours and confusion over its use.
The two-day Leadership Colloquium titled ICT in Healthcare begins in the capital today to find ways of taking healthcare to doorsteps of the poor through effective use of information and communication technology.
There is no task that police cannot do, but it all depends on how they are instructed, State Minister for Home Affairs Shamsul Huq Tuku said yesterday.
Communications Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday came down heavily on Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) officials for importing poor quality buses from China.
The Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal of Sylhet yesterday ordered Criminal Investigation Department to conduct further probe into the killing of former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria.
At least 25 people were killed in the southern Philippines yesterday when a landslide buried gold prospectors who had refused to leave an area declared too dangerous for habitation.
Fighting between inmates left at least 31 dead and 13 wounded Wednesday in a jail holding alleged drug gang members in northeast Mexico, authorities said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday addressed the nation to mark the completion of three years of the five-year tenure of her government. Following is the English rendering of her address.
When Sheikh Hasina promised a “politics of change” in 2008 people just loved it and massively voted for it, simply because they so desperately wanted it. At the end of the third year of a five year mandate, there is no sign of any change, especially in politics, governance and corruption, the three areas where change was needed and people expected most. Regrettably all the indications are of a return to politics of violence, police oppression, use of mastans, black money, etc in politics and related areas. The above facts along with price hike of essentials, widespread corruption, extra-judicial killings, recent disappearance and partisanship in most of the activities of the government have overshadowed its considerable achievements in education, rice production, fertilizer distribution and power generation.
The government has warned of stern action against non-government schools in the capital charging admission fees higher than what has been fixed by the government.
Mushfiqur Rahim slammed an unbeaten hundred as Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club registered their second win in the Premier Division Cricket League with a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Brothers Union at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) handling of the A team has turned into a complete farce as barely eleven players left Dhaka last night to play today's first warm-up-match against the visiting England Lions at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.
The Bangladesh Premier League's (BPL) main focus is to brand Bangladesh as an attractive cricketing nation, officials said at a press conference at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Favourites Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club and Sheikh Russel KC began their Grameenphone Federation Cup campaign on a winning note defeating their respective rivals in Group C encounters at two separate venues yesterday.
National striking duo Zahid Hasan Emily and Mithun Chowdhury have been partially exempted from their punishments imposed by the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) following the duo's disciplinary breach before the World Cup pre-qualifiers against Lebanon.
Khilgaon High School advanced to the next round of the National School Football Islami Bank Tournament defeating Oxford Ideal School 6-2 in the Group E final of Dhaka Metropolis zone at the Khilgaon High School ground yesterday.
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez on Thursday issued an apology after receiving an eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra, but stopped short of saying sorry to the Manchester United defender.
Triple centurion Michael Clarke put team interests ahead of personal glory as Australia moved towards a crushing win over India in the second Test in Sydney on Thursday.
Sri Lanka were in danger of an innings defeat after losing 12 wickets on the third day of the third and final Test against South Africa at Newlands on Thursday.
Michael Clarke said he was thrilled to join the cricket elite with his unbeaten 329 against India Thursday but the important thing was to press on for victory in the second Test in Sydney.
After a four-year break, the 28th National Hockey Championship gets underway tomorrow at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium with 21 teams fighting for the trophy.
The National Sports Council (NSC) yesterday dissolved the expired executive committee of Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation and appointed a 25-member ad-hoc committee retaining the service of Abdul Karim as the president.
India batsman Virat Kohli was fined 50 per cent of his match fee after making a finger gesture to the crowd during the second Test against Australia in Sydney, team officials said on Thursday.
Dhaka, Gazipur, Satkhira, Khulna and Chittagong won their respective matches in the 25th National Basketball Championship at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini may seek to bolster his squad in the transfer window but only if the club are able to offload several members of his squad first.
Newcastle sent Manchester United spinning to their second consecutive Premier League defeat on Wednesday to give Manchester City a vital edge in the title race.
A leading anti-racism campaigner dismissed an apology from Luis Suarez as "lamentable" on Thursday following the Liverpool striker's eight-match ban for abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas each scored twice as Barcelona thrilled the Nou Camp with a crushing 4-0 win over Osasuna in their King's Cup last 16 first leg on Wednesday.
Bulgarian soccer great Hristo Stoichkov was appointed coach of national champions Litex Lovech on Thursday.
New Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti has played down speculation linking his side with moves for Real Madrid playmaker Kaka and AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato.
In the corporate world, Bangladesh will rarely see someone who has the same impact on people as Samson H Chowdhury.
The central bank yesterday increased its policy rates by around 50 basis points at the beginning of New Year when non-food inflation has been rising alarmingly.
Square is not just a brand name in Bangladesh. It is an icon in business. But could anyone imagine it would be a leading business conglomerate when four like-minded people in Pabna with Tk 80,000 capital each started a pharmaceutical company 54 years ago, in 1958?
By the time the war broke out in East Pakistan in March 1971, Samson H Chowdhury had become a successful businessman.
The departure of Samson H Chowdhury, chairman of Square Group, is the end of an era, said Md Kamrul Hassan Mintu, mayor of Pabna Municipality, expressing his condolence on the business icon's demise.
The banking sector should focus more on ethical activities as it relies on trust, said a noted economist.
During the past few decades, there has been an explosion of new interest in entrepreneurs and their activities. Yet, only recently, serious research attention is known to have been devoted (in some developed countries) to the ethical problems encountered by entrepreneurs and their organisations. Entrepreneurs face uniquely complex moral problems related to basic fairness, personnel and relationships, distribution dilemmas and other challenges that need to be addressed by all concerned through appropriate legal framework, social order and perhaps also a 'Moral Re-armament Movement.
Topsy-turvy trade led the twin bourses to close in the red yesterday as investors are looking to bag profits.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith and leading business organisations and bodies of the country yesterday expressed deep condolence at the demise of noted industrialist and chairman of Square Group Samson H Chowdhury.
The world's leading car makers jostled for space at the start of India's Auto Expo on Thursday, eyeing a market that has slowed sharply but remains a hotspot compared with depressed Western economies.
The telecom regulator yesterday handed over six licences to private sector companies to build and operate international terrestrial cables that will back up the country's lone undersea cable to ensure uninterrupted internet-based services.
A Japanese-disciplined democratic and administrative structure can serve as a model for the South Asian region, observed an international conference in the city yesterday.
At least five men drowned and another five reportedly went missing as an over-loaded engine-run boat capsized in the river Karnaphuli at Boalkhali upazila yesterday.
A two-day folk cultural festival begins today at DC Hill in the port city.
The United States wants Grameen Bank to continue to thrive in every possible way, as the Nobel-winning microfinance organisation is an example of extraordinary development work happening in Bangladesh, a visiting senior US official said yesterday.
The High Court yesterday summoned the deputy commissioner of Kurigram and three others to appear before it on January 8 for not taking action against the persons responsible for cutting down trees on the Bhurungamari High School premises.
A leader of extremist outfit Gonomukti Fauj was killed during a “gunfight” between his team and the Rapid Action Battalion in Kushtia yesterday around 10:30pm.
Ruling Awami League (AL) lawmaker Kamal Ahmed Majumder yesterday filed two cases against acting editor, its publisher and a reporter of the daily Amar Desh for publishing a news item tarnishing his and his family image.
The freedom fighters here yesterday alleged that the Rajshahi University authorities have ignored the freedom fighter quota in the recent recruitment of 103 fourth-class employees.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam yesterday said if the war crimes trial was carried out in a more organised manner, trial of several war criminals would have been completed by now.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said yesterday the country would go into production of edible oil from this year in a bid to meet internal demand.
The government has formed a committee to set up an Arabic University to oversee the entire area of madrasa education activities.
Engineer Md Ahsanul Haque Khan has taken over as the chief architect of the Directorate of Architecture, an official release said yesterday.
The three-year Shobar Jonno Shikkha (education for all) project, sponsored by Chevron Bangladesh, has concluded through a ceremony at a Sylhet resort.
Five people, including a minor girl, were killed and five others injured in separate road accidents in Narail, Narayanganj and Sylhet yesterday.
Bangladesh Physics Olympiad-2012 kicks off in the port city today.
The party's grand rally on the Polo Ground on January 9, following the road march to Chittagong, will witness a change in the country's political history, said BNP Standing Committee Member M K Anwar yesterday.
Teachers and staff of Jagannath University (JnU) yesterday formed a human chain on the campus protesting assault on them on Wednesday by students who were staging agitation demanding cancellation of development fees.
The government yesterday restored timescales of teachers and employees and monthly pay order (MPO) of index-holders of private educational institutions which are entitled to get them.
Pragotishil Chhatra Jote, an alliance of progressive students, on Wednesday brought out a procession and organised a rally on Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) campus in Sylhet protesting the recent BCL attacks on the students at Buet, Kuet and Jagannath (JnU) University in Dhaka.
Mohammad Mokhlesur Rahman, additional inspector general of police and the chief of Criminal Investigation Department and Habibur Rahman, deputy commissioner (headquarters) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, were elected president and general secretary of Bangladesh Police Service Association (BPSA) on Wednesday.
The 20th National Immunisation Day (NID) will be observed on January 7 through providing polio vaccine to 24 million children aged upto 5 years.
The High Court yesterday granted two months' anticipatory bail to BNP leaders Khairul Kabir Khokon and Maj (Retd) Mizanur Rahman in separate cases filed on charge on December 18 violence in Dhaka.
Bharti Airtel, a global telecommunications company, has launched "Bangladesh Thalassemia Lottery 2011" to help Thalassemia patients deprived of proper treatment, says a press release.
Aminul Huq, former director general of Department of Land Records and Survey, passed away due to a cardiac arrest at a city hospital yesterday at the age of 80.
Md Abul Kasem, general manager of Bangladesh Chini O Khaddo Shilpa Corporation, passed away yesterday due to Hepatitis-C at the age of 55, says a press release.
Today is the first death anniversary of Alhaj Mohammad Seraj Mea, treasurer of Baitun Nur Jame Mosque Dhaka and father of photojournalist Mohommad Habibur Rahman, says a press release.
Today is the first death anniversary of Advocat Syed Sirajul Huda, president of Bangladesh Jatiya Dal, says a press release.
The land subsidence affected people around Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL) have switched to fast unto death programme as their demand for full payment of the compensation money remained unmet at the end of their three-day hunger strike yesterday.
A clash erupted over a trifle issue yesterday between the supporters of two Union Parishad (UP) chairmen at Garaganj Bazar in Shailkupa upazila, police said.
Khulna district and city Awami League leaders have strongly condemned the remarks made by city BNP President and lawmaker Nazrul Islam Manju at a press conference on Wednesday about Monday's violence at Kuet.
Today is January 6, reminder of the mind blast tragedy that killed a couple of hundreds freedom fighters on the premises of Moharaja Girijanath High School at Balubari in Dinajpur town in 1972.
Body of another unidentified man was found in the Dhaleshwari River here yesterday.
At lest 15 activists of Progotishil Chhatrajot Begum Rokeya University unit were injured yesterday in an attack allegedly by Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men on a procession.
At least 20 people were injured in a clash between two rival groups at Alongjuri village in Itna upazila on Wednesday.
It is deeply frustrating that corruption is pervasive in the country. Corruption now occupies the centre stage in public discourse in Bangladesh. It is humiliating when we see the name of our country on the top of the corruption list of the world.
At last, President Zillur Rahman has started a dialogue regarding the appointment of the Election Commission members. According to our constitution, the president has limited power, in all respects. But we were hopeful about the success of this dialogue. The BNP also agreed to take part in this dialogue. Some of the parties, including BNP, requested the president to include caretaker government issue in the dialogue. But he did not do that.
What happened in KUET is very frustrating. Not only in KUET, this is the situation in all our educational institutions. The pro- Awami League (AL) student body, Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) has been controlling all the universities and colleges of the country now. They are using their power to gain personal interests. They are killing students, beating students, raping the female students, and what not? They are against any logical demand of the general students of a university. We have seen what happened in Jagannath University, how they tortured the general students. The AL should rein in the BCL cadres immediately, for their own good.
I minutely read the news report titled “Bike-riding muggers” published in The Daily Star of December 31, 2011. What I have understood so far is that our law enforcing agencies are unable to control crimes. I think this news will encourage the muggers to carry on with their activities without any fear.
Some are of the view that democracy is not flourishing in Bangladesh as it should. It has fallen in a trap. Two major political parties, or to be more specific, two families have ensnared it. They say, the political turbulence of 2006 led to usurping of state power by a non-political government which gained acceptance of the people. So, they think we should come out of the cycle of the two parties and look for a third and new one. Certainly, there are many examples which deserve serious notice. India has a good experience of this 'dynastic democracy.' No one can deny that India has a fast growing economy.
Every time I shop at Gulshan 2, I marvel that a nation with some of the best architects and engineers in the world - and a reputation second to none for sheer cleverness - could have perpetrated the horror that is the road divider at Gulshan 2. Its height makes it a major obstacle for those of us past the first flush of youth, as we heave our shopping bags and ourselves over it.
The so-called Rangpur Express has turned out to be a joke to the people of Rangpur. There is only one train that starts from Dhaka at about 9am. It is is supposed to reach Rangpur at 7pm and then begin its return journey to Dhaka at 7.30 pm. Then it is scheduled to reach Dhaka at 6am. Unfortunately, from day one the train was late by at least two hours in arriving Rangpur and as such was more than two hours late in returning back Dhaka.
It has been learnt from the recent Oxfam report, as I learn from my teacher Prof. M. Zahidul Haque of SAUB, that every day 925 million people go hungry. It is very alarming news, no doubt. But one thing is inspiring that the Agricultural Science is remarkably advancing in developing super yielding cereals and genetically modified crops. It is also true that to meet the food demand, chemicals are being used improperly which leaves adverse effects on the environment.
When the whole society is running after money, then who is going to appreciate someone's sincere endeavours to do something better for society? 'Money for money' is the ruling principle of society. Money can buy anything, from social status to even spiritual attainments. Those who do not run after money are often labeled as worthless. In this money-wise society, few good people are struggling selflessly to put the nation back on the right track. Will they ever win?
Mysterious disappearances and secret killings have created panic in the country. Fifty-one people vanished last year, according to a report published in The Daily Star. No clues have been found as to why these people vanished, although fingers are pointed at the law enforcers. But prime minister has hinted at BNP's involvement in these killings which is a sign of bad politics. It is the duty of the law enforcing agencies to find out the killers and the real reasons behind these killings. Otherwise it will be much more dangerous in the future. We hope that our law enforcers will be able to perform their duty properly. We also hope that our top-level leaders would make responsible statement on the matter.
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Aung San Suu Kyi said yesterday she expected to live to see full democratic elections in Myanmar, ahead of historic talks with Britain's foreign secretary, who pledged positive response to more reforms by the nominally civilian government.
Mitt Romney took fresh fire Wednesday from his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, but also nabbed an endorsement from top Senator John McCain as the 2012 campaign moved to New Hampshire.
A wave of attacks against Shia Muslims killed at least 68 people yesterday, the worst toll in nearly five months, as Iraq grappled with a weeks-long political row that has stoked sectarian tensions.
A prosecutor in Hosni Mubarak's trial yesterday demanded the death sentence for him and his former security chief, saying the fallen Egyptian president had ordered the killings of anti-regime demonstrators.
India's popular anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare yesterday pulled out of plans to campaign against the ruling Congress party in key state elections due to poor health.
Arts & Entertainment
A complete actress in every regard, Bonna Mirza is capable of dissolving into any character she portrays. Beginning with theatre, she soon became a popular face on TV. She has appeared on the silver screen as well. The talented actress recently came over to DS Café to speak to her fans.
Three Tagore singers -- Partha Tanvir Noved, Sifayetullah Mukul and Imtiaz Ahmed -- performed at a musical soiree titled, “Tin Purusher Gaan”, at the main auditorium of Chhayanaut on January 4.
Bengali cinema in India's Paschimbanga state is getting back the lost audience, as a series of thought-provoking films in recent years have tasted commercial success.
The Bangla word 'Prothoma' means first among women. This word is usually used as a tribute to a woman whose contribution to the society is unparalleled. What would be a better title of an exhibition highlighting the pioneering female photographer Sayeda Khanam?
Students of several schools in Tangail were introduced to the magical world of mime at a daylong workshop conducted by mime artiste Partha Pratim Majumder.
Many in Bangladesh would be surprised to know that Myanmar had an election last November and its first Parliament in twenty years was opened last Monday in the new capital, Naypyidaw.
Obama administration officials say they are not taking sides between President Hosni Mubarak, America's key ally in the Arab world, and the street protesters who purportedly represent a path to democracy in authoritarian Egypt. These officials might even believe what they're saying. But the very assertion of "not taking sides" is itself a tilt away from the all-out support traditionally given by Washington to this Egyptian strongman in recent decades.
What Amartya Sen said in Dhaka last Friday is perhaps as important as what he left unsaid. Whilst reflecting on Bangladesh's socio-economic progress he did not even remotely touch on politics. Usually anybody talking economy expresses dismay over the state of politics in the country adding this hinders investment, productivity and sustained growth.
If one provision of law had to be singled out for its contribution towards holding back our otherwise promising parliamentary democracy, it would most certainly be Article 70 of the Constitution. In line with the culture of our political parties, no party in power or in opposition has ever properly addressed the issue of MPs not being allowed to vote against their own party, as Article 70 stipulates. Consequently, this provision has haunted our parliamentary practice for four decades and promises to continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
What a tragedy for us all that not four months after a road accident took the lives of Tareque Masud and Mishuk Munier that we are once again burying one of Bangladesh's finest sons. It almost seems too much that in addition to all the travails we must suffer that at the same time we keep losing the best and the brightest of a new generation of Bangladeshis.
Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles founds Singapore.
We're going to see a lot more cool stuff in the tech world in 2012, from quad-core phones to tablets that can talk to slick cloud apps built on HTML5. Startups will show us things we never knew we needed and tech giants will seize opportunities to give us the tools we're begging for. No matter what size they are, the smart companies will take risks, be bold, and buck conventional wisdom.
Amazon said that it sold more than one million Kindles a week in December with the new Kindle Fire tablet computer its top-selling item.
The company behind a made-in-China Steve Jobs action figure insisted Wednesday it was not a toy, but a realistic depiction of the Apple founder designed for fans of his iconic products.
Like every year, Microsoft Imagine is going to take place this year too. In 2003, software giant Microsoft started a software innovation competition called Microsoft Imagine Cup, aimed at inspiring some of the most intelligent students around the world to solve world's toughest problems, says a press release.
Nokia has rolled out Nokia C2-05 and Nokia X2-05, the latest entry-level sets from the mobile phone giant, in the local market, says a press release.
A visually challenged student uses an image magnifier at an exhibition on the sidelines of a function to launch India's first online Braille library on the occassion of World Braille Day to commemorate the 203rd birth anniversary of Braille system inventor Frenchman Louis Braille, in Mumbai. The online Braille library provides access to 12, 000 books in 10 different languages, covering subjects ranging from Information Technology to Literature.