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Sunday, November 23, 2014


News of: Sunday, 15th of January, 2012

Front Page

Bandarban bus plunge kills 17

A horrifying bus crash near Thanchi of Bandarban yesterday morning left at least 17 dead and 25 more injured.

The last bus ride

Thrilled to get back to school after a long vacation, they were making plans for new uniforms, clothes and books as they boarded the bus. Hardly 10 minutes later, everything fell apart.

Hospital stay not needed

Former Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Ghulam Azam need not be in hospital, says a medical board of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University hospital yesterday.

Studies she can now carry on with

Yes, she is going to sit for the HSC examinations staring from April 1, but this is not the only news. Hawa Akhter Jui will be answering the tests using her right hand.

Little hope of consensus

The ruling Awami League in its election manifesto modified in July 2009 stated that the Election Commission would be formed through political consensus but took no steps to that end, although the present commission's tenure expires in early February.

Pakistan learnt no lesson from 1971

Pakistani politician and former cricketer Imran Khan said if the Pakistanis who committed crimes during the Liberation War of Bangladesh had been punished, the present scenario in Pakistan would have been different.

Hearing today on charge framing

The International Crimes Tribunal is scheduled to hear charge-framing against BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury today in connection with crimes against humanity committed during the country's Liberation War in 1971.

EVM, webcam ready for use

In addition to using electronic voting machines (EVM), webcams will be installed at polling centres prior to the upcoming municipality mayoral by-election here on January 19 to ensure free and fair election.

Concluding prayers today

The three-day-long first phase of Biswa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of the Muslims, will conclude today through offering Akheri Munajat (concluding prayers) on the banks of the Turag.

Education in a quagmire

Jahangirnagar University plunged into further uncertainty as two rival groups of teachers got on a collision course yesterday with one group boycotting classes indefinitely and the other deciding to take classes from today.

Kite flying ends in tragic death

Kite flying festival on the occasion of Poush Sankranti yesterday, a very popular festival in Old Dhaka marking the end of Bangla month Poush, saw the tragic death of a schoolboy.

Govt moves to cut bank borrowing

The government may not allow ministries anymore to use local funds as an alternative to foreign funds in a bid to discourage budgetary spending with loans from the banking system, finance ministry officials said yesterday.

Euro crisis deepens

Standard & Poor's has downgraded the credit ratings of nine eurozone countries, stripping France and Austria of their coveted triple-A status but not EU paymaster Germany.

KSA restricts sponsorship of 18 plus Bangladeshis

The interior ministry of Saudi Arabia has reiterated that all Bangladeshi nationals staying in the kingdom under the sponsorship of their parents must leave the country and return home upon reaching the age of 18, reported The Saudi Gazette yesterday.

Zardari meets Pak army chief amid tensions

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari met the chief of the powerful army yesterday for rare face-to-face talks amid a civilian-military standoff that is shaking the government, a spokesman said.

20 stolen bikes seized

Police early yesterday arrested two persons with 20 “stolen” motorcycles from Purba Rajabazar area in the capital.

UK minister for int'l dev in city

UK's Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell MP arrived here yesterday on a three-day official visit to Bangladesh.

Severe cold grips North India

North India continued to reel under the bitter chill yesterday as Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir recorded its coldest night of this winter and icy winds swept several parts of the region. The minimum temperature recorded in Srinagar last night was minus 7.8 deg C.

Pakistan quells attack on police base, 11 killed

Pakistani security forces yesterday quelled a militant attack on a police station in which eight people were killed including four suicide bombers, one police and three civilians, police said.

10 killed in stampede in Indian shrine

At least 10 people, including six women were crushed to death in the middle of the night when a stampede broke out at a religious shrine in central India, media reports said yesterday.

Chinese PM visits Nepal

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Kathmandu yesterday for talks marking the first visit to Nepal in a decade by a leader of the world's second-largest economy.

Editorial

Our disappearing citizens

Mysterious disappearances and secret killings of citizens have rightly raised concerns not only in the country but outside as well. This much is evident from the worries expressed by the Asian Human Rights Commission on the issue. Add to that the recent reports by the rights groups Ain O Salish Kendra and Odhikar about the alarming rise in the numbers of those who disappeared or were murdered in unexplained circumstances. The ASK findings speak of fifty one citizens going missing last year and of the bodies of fifteen of them being recovered. For Odhikar, while eighteen people vanished in 2010, there were thirty who could not be traced in 2011. Now, with the AHRC calling for an investigation into the matter, it becomes important that the government pay attention to the issue.

Fire in Chittagong

The greatest tragedy of casualties of accidents like a sudden fire is the lack of simple safety measures that could have saved lives. Friday's fire in a building in Chittagong's Chandgaon is a case in point.

Sports

Muktar's shot at the Sky

The best game of the season so far unveiled itself slowly at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

MSC, Gazi win easily

Mohammedan Sporting Club continued their excellent run in the Dhaka Premier League through a six-wicket win over Kalabagan Krira Chakra at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Questionable players' list

There is a lot of talk among the local cricketers ahead of their auction for the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) which will be held on January 19.

India on a downer

Another dismal performance by India's creaking top-order had the tourists tottering towards a heavy defeat after the second day of the third Test against Australia in Perth on Saturday.

What if the team loses

Emerging Indian paceman Umesh Yadav took little solace from a Test-best performance as his side slid towards another heavy defeat in the third Test against Australia in Perth on Saturday.

Chris awaits his chance

Lanky paceman Chris Tremlett said on Friday he did not expect to be selected to play in the first Test against Pakistan starting in Dubai next week due to the nature of the pitch.

Proteas clear further

JP Duminy struck an unbeaten 66 and opener Hashim Amla made a polished half-century as South Africa strolled to a 2-0 lead in the 5-match series with a five-wicket win against Sri Lanka at Buffalo Park in East London yesterday.

'Eng under pressure'

Pakistan coach Mohsin Khan Friday warned England will feel the heat to maintain their world number one ranking against his fast-rising team in the three-Test series starting next week.

Ukraine keeper fails drugs test

Ukraine international goalkeeper Alexander Rybka faces a two-year ban after testing positive for a banned substance contained in a weight-loss product, local media reported Friday.

Kapali to lead 'A'

All-rounder Alok Kapali will lead the Bangladesh A team against the visiting England Lions in the fourth and fifth one-day matches at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium.

Women shooters fail too

Following the footsteps of their male compatriots, Bangladesh's female shooters too failed in their favourite 10m Air Rifle event in the 12th Asian Championship in Doha yesterday to fall short of the required points for qualification in the 2012 London Olympics.

Fed Cup revised

All the quarterfinals, semifinals and final of the Grameenphone Federation Cup will be held at the Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS) in different times, as the Bangladesh Football Federation rescheduled the knock-out round matches yesterday. The first quarterfinal will be held on Monday with

Whatmore in Lahore for interview

Dav Whatmore, the man tipped to become Pakistan's next cricket coach, arrived for an interview in Lahore Saturday, moving a step closer to taking the sport's hot seat.

U-19 team for practice

The selectors announced a 14-member Bangladesh U-19 squad for the practice match against England U-19 team.

Patuakhali beat Comilla

Patuakhali beat Comilla by 5-2 goals in the lone match of the Trust Bank-Viyellatex 28th National Hockey Championship at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday. Sumon scored three goals while Sohel and Arif scored one apiece for Patuakhali. Nabil and Asibul scored a goal each for the losing team.

Kim's Melbourne bye?

Kim Clijsters, who is set to retire for a second time this year, hopes to say farewell to Australia by defending her title at Melbourne Park but the Belgian's swan song down under almost came a week early thanks to an injury sustained in Brisbane.

Mourinho bemused

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho finds the criticism currently being aimed at Cristiano Ronaldo ludicrous. The Portuguese has pointed out that his compatriot's goal tally this season of 21 goals in 17 Liga games warrants comparison with any player in Europe

Wenger slams fixture

Arsene Wenger has accused rival clubs of manipulating the Premier League fixture schedule for their own benefit by "directly" influencing broadcasters, saying the game had "sold its soul".

Spurs' feet on the ground

Tottenham Hotspur have become the talk of the English title race this week after moving level with second-placed Manchester United and within three points of leaders Manchester City but manager Harry Redknapp is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

Fergie defends decision

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has defended his decision to recall Paul Scholes out of retirement after suggestions the 37-year-old's return was a "regressive" step for his side.

Elephants stamp on Tunisia

English Premier League stars had mixed luck with Ivory Coast Friday as Salmon Kalou and Didier Drogba scored in a 2-0 Africa Cup of Nations warm-up win over Tunisia and Cheik Tiote was sent off.

Cassano cleared to train

AC Milan striker Antonio Cassano, who underwent surgery on a heart defect in November, has received permission from his doctors to resume training, the club announced on Friday.

Cahill close to Chelsea switch

Gary Cahill is due to undergo a medical at Chelsea on Saturday with a view to completing his move from Bolton over the weekend, Press Association Sport understands.

Allegri signs new deal

AC Milan coach Massi-miliano Allegri signed a new deal on Friday which will keep him at the helm of the Italian champions until 2014, the club announced.

Rifat sinks Rajshahi

Salehin Rifat's 5-44 put BKSP in a position of strength against Rajshahi after the first day of their three-day match of the Young Tigers Under-18 National Cricket competition at the Faridpur District Stadium yesterday.

KCA, Khelaghar promoted to Premier League

Khelaghar and Kalabagan Cricket Academy have been promoted to the Premier Division Cricket League after they topped the First Division Super League tables with 26 and 25 points respectively. Kalabagan though lost their last game against Bangladesh Boys by ten wickets at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

T20 could be in Olympics

The strong emergence of the Twenty20 format has the ICC considering a bid to have cricket return to the Olympics after more than a century, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said on Saturday.

Ferrer keeps Auckland title

Top-seed and defending champion David Ferrer retained his Auckland ATP title Saturday with a comfortable victory over Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-4 in a rain-disrupted final.

Business

In memory of an icon

To his followers he was a hero, to his contemporaries he was a business icon and to young entrepreneurs, he was a guide. Even to the regulators, he was spotless.

SME loans bypass area of focus

Two-thirds of loans given to small and medium enterprises are used in trading, which analysts say is a threat to sustainable economic growth.

DSE goes to polls March 11

The Dhaka Stock Exchange will elect four directors on March 11, according to a decision of the election commission of the premier bourse.

Government to automate financial services

The government aims to digitise its financial management systems to provide timely and hassle-free services to the policy-makers and the citizens.

Mobile payment summit begins in Colombo Jan 31

A two-day event on mobile payments and banking will begin in Colombo on January 31 amid calls for efforts, aiming to focus on prospects and challenges of the emerging trend in South Asia.

Stocks pass a week in low confidence

Stocks lost 6.45 percent last week breaking a positive trend of thefour straight weeks due to lack of confidence among the investors to inject fresh money in the market.

BB to take action against illegal forex trading

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has moved to take legal action against the persons and the institutions that are offering people illegal currency trading through internet and electronic trading portals.

Women's empowerment: one bright spot

The progress of women in Bangladesh in the last decade was immense, said US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena.

S&P downgrades shock Europe

European leaders on Saturday called "incomprehensible" Standard and Poor's credit rating downgrades of nine debt-laden EU countries, including stripping France and Austria of their top triple-A rating.

Europe's North-South schism hits the spotlight

The debt downgrade of France has widened a gulf between Europe's North and South, leaving Paris politically weaker and Berlin stronger amid tough negotiations to resolve the eurozone crisis.

Metropolitan

Emphasise proper planning

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked engineers to act as responsible citizens and ensure proper and planned utilization of the tax money and the limited resources of the country to provide more services to the people.

UK minister concerned over 'fall in foreign investment'

A visiting British minister expressed "concern at the decline in foreign investment" in Bangladesh as he called on Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia in the city last evening.

New train service kicks off

Bangladesh Railway yesterday introduced a pair of new trains on the Dhaka-Joydevpur route to meet commuters' demand.

Seven killed in road accidents

Seven people were killed and 11 others injured in separate road accidents in Rajshahi, Sirajganj, Dinajpur, Brahmanbaria and Natore in last two days.

Female migrants on rise

In the past three years the country saw 80,509 technically trained women migrating abroad, a sign that such workers are on the rise with the creation of newer avenues for them.

'War crimes trial to establish social justice'

Speakers at a religious seminar yesterday laid emphasis on holding speedy trial of the war criminals to establish social justice in the country.

Call for Saarc parliament to solve regional problems

The leaders of different political parties yesterday stressed the need for a joint security structure and Saarc parliament to solve the problems of this region, including the water sharing issue.

Implement 4-lane projects

President of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) Murshed Murad Ibrahim requested the authorities concerned for firm intervention and necessary actions in implementing four lane projects of Dhaka-Chittagong Highway and Karnaphuli River Dredging Project immediately.

Madrasa, tech edn to be modernised

The government is recasting the country's education system to build a prosperous Bangladesh.

'8th wage board overdue'

The leaders of the country's journalist community yesterday reiterated the demand for immediate announcement of the 8th wage board for journalists and media employees.

Drug peddler murdered in Ctg

A drug peddler was stabbed to death at Halishahar in the port city yesterday.

Jamaat leader held for vandalism at Sust

The Detective Branch of police yesterday arrested Jamaat-e-Islami leader Jalal Ahmed on charge of vandalism on Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) campus on January 11.

Selim Al Deen's death anniversary observed

Over 200 students and teachers of Jahangirnagar University (JU) and guests from Dhaka observed the 4th death anniversary of theatre personality Selim Al Deen on the campus yesterday.

Three hurt in Savar bank fire

Three security guards were injured and valuables gutted as a fire broke out in the BKSP branch office of Uttara Bank Ltd in Savar, outskirts of the capital, yesterday.

BCL hails Hasina

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of ruling Awami League (AL), yesterday congratulated Prime Minister and AL President Sheikh Hasina on receiving the honorary D. Litt degree from Tripura University on January 12.

'Regional cooperation a must for energy security'

Labour, Expatiates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain said regional cooperation must be strengthened to ensure development in the area of energy and power.

PSTU student electrocuted

A student of Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) was electrocuted at his house in the city yesterday noon.

Eqbal Rezvi's anniversary of death today

Today is the first death anniversary of veteran journalist Sayed Eqbal Rezvi.

2 housewives 'commit suicide'

Two housewives allegedly committed suicide in the city's Adabor and Narayanganj town yesterday.

Passengers stab rickshaw-puller to death

Passengers stabbed an unidentified rickshaw-puller to death following an argument over fare at Shanir Akhra of Kadamtali in the city yesterday.

Khaleda to attend Akheri Munajat today

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will join the Akheri Munajat (concluding prayers) of Biswa Ijtema at Tongi on the outskirts of the city today.

Foreign wine recovered

Members of Bangladesh Coast Guard (east zone) recovered huge quantity of contraband foreign wine from Moheshkhali in Cox's Bazar yesterday.

IUB spring semester begins

The spring semester at Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) began through an orientation programme for freshers at the university's Bashundhara campus yesterday.

Khaleda wishes quick recovery

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday expressed sympathy for those injured in the roof collapse in Feni during a roadside rally of her Dhaka-Chittagong road march.

Noor Jahan Begum

Today is the first death anniversary of Noor Jahan Begum, mother of Liberation War martyr Anowar Hossain.

National

Around half of brick fields in Barisal division illegal

As many as 103 out of 245 brick fields in six districts of Barisal division have continued their illegal operation, ignoring several notices to take no-objection and clearance certificates from the Department of Environment (DoE) by installing modernised systems.

Fake warrant keeps college principal in jail for a week

A college principal in Saidpur municipality had to stay in jail for a week after his arrest by police in a fake warrant.

No headway yet in case for killing Manik Saha

There has been no headway in journalist Manik Saha murder case eight years into the incident.

'Indigenous' people reiterate call to fulfil 9-pt demand

'Indigenous' leaders yesterday reiterated nine-point demand including their constitutional recognition and rights.

Criminals brutally murder housewife in Moulvibazar

Criminals brutally killed a housewife at Folaun village under Mostofapur union of Sadar upazila in Moulvibazar district on Friday night.

Eight get life for double murder in Netrakona

A court here on Wednesday sentenced eight people to life imprisonment in a double-murder case.

'Friends' kill teenage Antar to take away his mobile?

Police recovered the body of a schoolboy from the playground of Jhenidah Government Boys' Pilot High School yesterday morning.

Kushiyara devours 16 shops

The Kushiyara has devoured 16 shops at Fenchuganj bazaar in Fenchuganj upazila headquarters on Friday.

Locals foil bid to kidnap headmaster

Local people on Friday night foiled an alleged bid to kidnap the headmaster of Koirabari High School in Atghoria upazila of Pabna.

UP member murdered

Criminals stabbed to death a union parishad member of Madhabpur upazila in Habiganj on Friday night. The deceased, Jagannath Das, 30, of Harishyama village, is a member of Andiura Union Parishad. Md Mainuddin, officer in-charge of Madhabpur police station, said the gang intercepted Jagannath near a graveyard at the village while he along with his associates was returning home from the upazila headquarters at about 8:00pm. They took away a mobile set and other valuables from the UP member and stabbed him as he tried to resist the gang. Later, Jagannath was rushed to upazila health complex in critical condition where he died at around 10:00pm.

Man beaten to death

A man was beaten to death allegedly by a local trader in Teknaf municipality area of Cox's Bazar on Friday. On information, police recovered the body of Kabir Ahmed, 38 of Pollanpara in the area yesterday morning. Victim's elder brother Bakhtiar Ahmed said Helaluddin, a businessman of construction raw materials, used to keep the materials on the premises of Kabir's house. As Kabir protested, Helal quarreled with him recently. As sequel to the incident, Kabir was called out of his residence on Friday night and beaten up mercilessly, Bakhtiar added. The victim managed to flee the scene and went to his sister's house where he succumbed to his injuries later, his brother said. Mahbubul Haque, officer in-charge of Teknaf Model police station, said several injury marks were found on different parts of the body.

Prisoner flees police custody

An under trial prisoner escaped from police custody at the district court premises on Friday night. Inspector Younus Ali said Zakir Hossain, accused in a robbery case, was produced before the court at about 6:30pm. At one stage, he managed to flee the scene taking advantage of the huge crowd. Drive is on to arrest the escapee, said Younus. Md Rafiqul Hossain, officer in-charge of Kanaighat police station, said police arrested Zakir from Kaliganj area in Zakiganj upazila on Thursday night.

Farmer found dead

Police recovered the body of a farmer from Kantanagar village in Singra upazila yesterday morning. The victim was identified as Abu Bakkar, 45, son of Late Akbar Ali of the village. Faysur Rahman, officer in-charge of Singra police station, said locals found Bakkar's body beside a pond at the village at about 11:00am and informed the police. The law enforcers recovered the body from the spot and sent it to Natore Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy. Criminals might have strangled Bakkar over previous enmity, the OC added. The incident occurred while the victim was returning home from Kantanagar Bazar, he said. A case was filed accusing seven people.

International

West finally nods to reforms

Myanmar is striving for a quick end to Western sanctions with a dramatic series of reforms after decades of isolation, analysts say, and the strategy is beginning to bear fruit.

UK PM warns Iran over key oil route

British Prime Minister David Cameron warned that the "whole world" would take action if Iran closed the strategic Strait of Hormuz, as US accused Iran for supplying munitions to Syria.

Obama team slams Romney

Barack Obama's campaign has fired off a withering attack on Mitt Romney, branding the US president's likely election foe as a corporate raider who made money "hand over fist" by destroying jobs.

Blast kills 53 Shia pilgrims in Iraq

A suicide bomber killed 53 people in an apparent sectarian attack in southern Iraq yesterday casting a pall over the climax of a Shiite pilgrimage that draws hundreds of thousands from around the world.

Italy's crisis opens doors to cash-rich mafia

When Italian construction group Perego was struggling back in 2008, a white knight flush with cash rode to its rescue.

Gilani'scriticisms 'divisive'

Pakistan's army chief is furious with the prime minister for statements criticising the army and has demanded that they be clarified or withdrawn, a senior military source told Reuters yesterday.

Taiwan's Ma wins second term

Taiwan's Beijing-friendly leader Ma Ying-jeou secured a second four-year term as president yesterday, promising better ties with China after an election watched intently by the United States.

Qatar urges Arab troops in Syria

The ruler of the Gulf state of Qatar yesterday said Arab countries should send troops into Syria to stop government forces killing civilians there.

Syria rebels to form military council

Syrian army defectors were set to form a military council yesterday to organise rebel army's operations.

China, India to resume border talks

A long-delayed round of sensitive border talks between Chinese and Indian diplomats will take place in India from Sunday to Tuesday, the foreign ministry in Beijing said.

ElBaradei won't run for presidency

The ex-head of the UN nuclear watchdog and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei said yesterday he would not run for the Egyptian presidency, saying there is still no real democracy in the country.

Tunisia marks year after Ben Ali ouster

Hundreds of Tunisians turned out in central Tunis to demand jobs and dignity yesterday as the north African country marked a year to the day since its despot Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled into exile.

Russian opposition leader arrested

A leader of Russia's liberal opposition was arrested yesterday at a protest rally against fraud-tainted parliamentary polls as Vladimir Putin seeks a third Kremlin term in the face of attacks on his 12-year rule.

Arts & Entertainment

A Celebration of Bangladeshi Films

Happy times returned to BFDC (Bangladesh Film Development Corporation) last Friday, as Channel i and BFDC jointly hosted a fair to celebrate Bangladeshi cinema. Thousands thronged BFDC premises to add to the already festive atmosphere of the fairthe fourth instalment.

A story of freedom

“Agunmukha”, a play that recounts the struggle of freedom loving people drew a huge audience at the local Shilpakala Academy auditorium on January 13.

Udichi celebrates Ranesh Dasgupta's birth centennial

To mark the 100th birth anniversary of eminent litterateur and a founder of Udichi Shilpi Goshthi, Ranesh Dasgupta, Bangladesh Udichi Shilpi Goshthi has arranged a three-day festival at the Shadhinota Stambho Complex of Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka. The festival was inaugurated on January 13.

Visitor's delight Sultan Mela-2012

Thousands of S.M. Sultan aficionados and visitors from different corners of the country as well as locals and people from the neighbouring country have gathered at the annual Sultan Mela, being held at Sultan Mancha premises. In fact Sultan fans are now demanding an extension of the mela (fair) by three more days every year.

George Lucas says Hollywood won't support black films

Director George Lucas says it took 20 years to get his latest film made, “because it's an all-black movie”.

“Dariush Mehrjui Retrospective is a major attraction at the festival”

As the 12th Dhaka International Film Festival reaches its 4th day [today], festival director Ahmed Muztaba Zamal talks about its progress. The Dariush Mehrjui Retrospective began on January 13. According to Zamal, this is a major event: “Mehrjui was there prior to the screening; the presentation was very nice; the print of the film was great and audience enjoyed it.”

Tareque Masud's “Runway” comes to Netrakona

The late director Tareque Masud's latest film “Runway” will be shown in Netrakona, as part of the ongoing countrywide release of the film, today, according to a press release.

OP-ED

Welcoming the Diaspora

An interesting roundtable discussion was held in Dhaka last week. Several leaders of the Bangladesh Diaspora from around the world were present. So were leaders representing various professions in Bangladesh. The discussions brought out the following points:

In China, the grievances keep coming

A peculiar feature of Chinese society is that a complaint process runs parallel to, but outside, the legal system.

Three years of detachment from the people

About a year ago, the AL govern-ment's performance came into serious scrutiny after its dismal showing in a local mayoral election and the two parliamentary by-elections. It was expected that the government would take the people's message into serious cognisance and would initiate drastic steps to metamorphose the mode of governance in coming days in order to arrest its sliding down the slope of popularity. However, a few of the government actions in the midst of those debacles and thereafter did not reflect any signal of change in the means and the modes of the governance.

Problems of tourism in Maldives

High-end tourism in the Maldives, the largest foreign exchange earner, is now in a vulnerable state. The stunning bungalows beside unpolluted beaches, sparkling aquamarine water, multi-coloured tropical fish in the reefs, water sports and glorious sunsets make Maldives one of the most beguiling tourist destinations in the world. This is now under threat. Thousands of protesters and members of the opposition Adhaalath party gathered on December 23, 2011, to "Defend Islam." The five demands to the government were (i) to stop flights to Maldives from Israel, (ii) to close spas and massage parlours in tourist resorts, (iii) ban the sale of alcohol in sections of inhabited islands classified as uninhabited, like the venue of the last Saarc Summit in Addu City and Favenmulah, (iv) condemn the Chief of UN Human Rights Navi Pillay for her comments against flogging, and (v) remove allegedly "idolatrous" Saarc monuments in Addu city.

And, let there be Art

Readers, please don't freak out! This is not going to be a penetrating analysis on art. I must admit at the outset that I am not an art critic. But, being an art lover like many of you, I will take the liberty of leaving you with some intimate thoughts on my recent tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, a.k.a. the Met. My visit was inspired by the raving reviews of the newly renovated wing: "The New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia." The section contains 15 galleries with historic treasures spanning 1300 years of Islamic civilization. The rare and exquisite exhibits range from Persian carpets, miniatures and Quranic calligraphy to pottery, blown glass, silver work, wood-carving and mosaic.

This Day In History

January 15
1970

Moammar Gadhafi is proclaimed premier of Libya.



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