News of: Monday, 12th of March, 2012
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Almost all highways and waterways leading to the capital remain blocked, hotels and guesthouses closed and intra-city traffic movements restricted -- all in frantic government attempts to keep opposition activists and supporters from joining the BNP rally today.
The government has neither ordered law enforcers to bar city hoteliers from receiving guests nor asked transport owners to withdraw their vehicles, Home Minister Shahara Khatun claimed yesterday.
The BNP and its allies hope to hold the “biggest rally in recent times” today, ignoring all sorts of obstruction put up by the government.
The Awami League-led 14-party combine will resist any bid by the BNP to create chaos in the capital today in the name of holding a grand rally.
The Daily Star sent three of its reporters down the main highways that lead to the capital to get a first-hand experience of how people trying to reach Dhaka are being restricted. This is their story.
When Jalal Khan began his return journey to the capital from his hometown Barisal on Saturday night, he had no idea of the long ordeal that lay ahead of him.
Militancy dug deeper roots among Bengalis, especially among the young, as the non-cooperation movement went on in March 1971. The Pakistani military regime, unable to stem the tide of revolutionary fervour among the people, hit upon the crude idea of discrediting Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his party through alleging that Indians had infiltrated his circle. The regime announced the arrest of several Indian citizens in Dhaka, the ostensible purpose of which was to let the country know that a conspiracy was at work in the movement for Bangladesh. Predictably, the ploy failed to sway the feelings of Bangalees about the gathering movement for national self-expression.
Thousands of city dwellers faced untold sufferings as almost all public transport remained off the streets since yesterday morning ahead of the BNP's grand rally today.
It was another case of 'so near yet so far' for the Tigers as they failed to put an end to their long drought against Pakistan, going down by 21 runs after putting up a brave fight in the Asia Cup opener at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Businesses yesterday termed the current confrontational situation in the political arena unfortunate for the nation and said creating panic among the people by muscle flexing will not do any good.
Two judges of the High Court yesterday passed dissenting orders on a writ petition that challenged the reported mass arrests in the capital by law enforcers ahead of BNP's Dhaka rally today.
Ten eminent personalities will receive the Independence Award 2012 in recognition to their glorious contributions at the national level.
Police arrested a BNP activist with food items at Savar Bus Stand yesterday morning for "his involvement in subversive activities" centring on the opposition's grand rally today.
The telecom regulator yesterday served a show cause notice on private satellite channel ETV (Ekushey Television) asking for an explanation from it for broadcasting illegally. The channel will have to come up with its answer within seven days.
Authorities are investigating a mass grave in southern Mexico containing 167 bodies that may have been dumped there at least 50 years ago, a Mexican official said on Saturday.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday that the West should drop its "bullying" stance against his country and insisted that sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme were having no more than a "psychological" effect.
A bomb blast struck a Catholic church in the volatile central Nigerian city of Jos yesterday, causing numerous casualties, witnesses and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said.
We wait with a great deal of foreboding and apprehension to see how today passes. We are praying for a peaceful end of this day hoping that both the parties will act judiciously to prevent further worsening of the situation.
A recent report by this paper reveals that women commuters in Chittagong city are facing all kinds of hurdles when trying to travel on buses. This is hardly news as we know that all over Bangladesh women are finding it increasingly difficult to move from one place to the other.
And it happens again. Only the harshest of hearts would not have broken a little at the sight of Shakib Al Hasan standing with shoulders slumped by his shattered stumps, a defeated man after trying so hard to yet again pull off a victory single-handedly. What happened at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday in the Asia Cup opener between Bangladesh and Pakistan was nothing less than criminal.
Tamim Iqbal successfully drowned out the noise that was surrounding him like a traffic jam on a busy weekday in Dhaka. He figured a way out of the rut through the 20th ODI half-century, though the Tigers lost the game to Pakistan by 21 runs in the Asia Cup opener yesterday.
It was the occasion of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's much-awaited return but another paceman stole the wickets, if not the show, during the Asia Cup opener loss to Pakistan on Sunday.
The lone match of the Premier Bank Bangladesh Championship League ended in a goalless draw yesterday. Uttar Baridhara Club and Victoria Sporting Club failed to breach the opposition goal as the two teams had to share the spoils at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday. With the draw, Uttar Baridhara and Victoria both have 8 points each from 6 matches.
Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki eased through their openers in the California desert while fourth seed Andy Murray bit the dust for the second straight year.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is investigating claims that Indian bookmakers are fixing the results of England county games and international fixtures, Britain's Sunday Times reported.
Australia captain Shane Watson says his side will be looking to build on the momentum they gained from success on home soil when they face the West Indies.
Andy Flower has challenged his England players to prove they can cope with the demands of playing in the sub-continent during their forthcoming series against Sri Lanka.
Crafty American Bernard Lagat sprinted home to defend his world indoor 3,000 metres title as British challenger Mo Farah finished out of the medals on Sunday.
Michael Phelps delivered a blistering 200m butterfly time of 1:55.32 on Saturday, clocking the fastest time in the world this year to win the event at USA Swimming's Columbus Grand Prix.
The first Test between New Zealand and South Africa ended in a draw Sunday as steady rain ruled out any chance of play on the final day.
The Bangladesh government are expected to rule this week whether it is safe for their national cricket team to become the first side to tour Pakistan in three years.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid marked Jose Mourinho's 100th match in charge by opening up a 13-point lead with a 3-2 win over Real Betis on Saturday, their 11th victory in succession.
Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes hailed his team's 'classy' display as they hammered Hoffenheim 7-1 to trim Borussia Dortmund's lead at the top of the German league to five points.
Didier Drogba scored his 100th Premier League goal as Chelsea maintained the pressure on Arsenal in the race for fourth place with a 1-0 win over 10-man Stoke City on Saturday.
Ambitious Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala have excluded Brazilian veteran Roberto Carlos from their players' list for the remaining three months of the season, the club announced Sunday.
Wayne Rooney fired Manchester United to the top of the Premier League as the champions defeated 10-man West Bromwich Albion 2-0 to take full advantage of Manchester City's shock 1-0 loss at Swansea on Sunday.
Roma kept alive their European qualification hopes with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Palermo on Saturday.
India's next generation batsman Rohit Sharma paid rich tribute to recently retired Rahul Dravid stating that he would want to inculcate his "positive attitude, temperament and humility."
The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) yesterday said the government's macroeconomic management, including the monetary policy stance, slowed investment, which is crucial for higher economic growth.
India yesterday lifted a ban on cotton exports six days after the restriction was imposed amid protests by Indian farmers and traders due to the falling prices of the item in the domestic market.
Four new directors, including a former president, were elected to the board of directors of Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday.
The government had a budget deficit of
Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday criticised Finance Minister AMA Muhith for digressing from the main issue while placing a report in parliament on the government's budget implementation and expenditure in the current fiscal year.
The government must revise its strategy to revamp social protection programmes, a study suggested yesterday.
Apple Inc is expanding its presence in Texas with a $304 million investment to build a new campus in Austin, which will add 3,600 jobs over the next decade, more than doubling its workforce in the city.
IDLC Finance Ltd -- the largest multi product non-bank financial institution (NBFI) in Bangladesh -- unveiled a new logo yesterday to innovate and focus on quality growth.
Islami Bank Bangladesh has recently promoted four of its officials as executive vice presidents, according to a statement yesterday.
The daily turnover on the Dhaka Stock Exchange plunged to Tk 127 crore, a 39-month low, as investors adopted a wait-and-see policy on investing in stocks in view of the country's political situation.
An opportunity has been created for Bangladesh in the Canadian market as the North American nation is trying to diversify its sourcing countries for higher costs of production in China.
Although life insurance as business had emerged in British India, the real growth as a viable business started taking shape in the then East Pakistan in the late 1950s and 1960s. In fact, there was no dearth of owners of life insurance companies. Nor was there any paucity of sellers of life insurance policies. However, the forgotten name of Khuda Buksh can be singled out as one of the top pioneers of the growth and development of life insurance as a profitable social service business. His name was also synonymous with the life insurance industry.
A two-day “The Daily Star-Heritage Chatigram History Conference” will begin at Theatre Institute Auditorium in Chittagong on March 16.
The High Court yesterday directed the inspector general of police (IGP) to issue a notification to all police stations for taking action against extra-judicial punishments taking place in the name of arbitration.
Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed had called upon members of Islami Chhatra Sangha, a pro-Jamaat student body in 1971, to join Al Badr during the Liberation War, the prosecution told the International Crimes Tribunal yesterday.
The road and riverine transport network between Dhaka and different districts of the country virtually collapsed yesterday, the day before the BNP's grand rally.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged the newly formed Election Commission (EC) to work independently and neutrally.
At least 45 makeshift houses and five factories were gutted in a fire early yesterday in the capital's Lalbagh.
Six people died and seven others were injured as a cement-laden truck fell into a roadside ditch in Boroitala on Mymensingh-Kishoreganj road in Gouripur upazila of Mymensingh yesterday.
Commonwealth Day will be observed today in a befitting manner.
Ten members of the banned outfit Hizb-ut-Tahrir were placed on a two-day remand each yesterday in a case on charge of creating anarchy across the country.
Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), a human rights organisation, yesterday expressed grave concern over the mass arrests and countrywide search by the law-enforcers ahead of the opposition's scheduled grand rally in the capital today.
Eight people were killed and 47 others injured in two road accidents in Mymensingh yesterday.
Chittagong University Teachers' Association (Cuta) leaders yesterday placed proposals to all concerned, including the government and the university authorities, for maintaining a congenial atmosphere of education on the campus.
The low quality of construction work was the main reason behind Saturday's roof collapse of the 50MW power plant at Katakhali in the city that left 13 workers injured.
A group of agitating teachers of Jahangirnagar University (JU) yesterday observed a daylong work abstention programme, including boycotting classes, protesting the university administration's irregularities in appointing teachers in different departments.
A young woman suffered acid burns on her legs after an alleged unidentified person clad in a burqa threw the corrosive liquid on her yesterday evening at a kitchen market of Mirpur-11 in the city.
The state-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) should be made a corruption-free institution while its authority should be strengthened to keep prices of essentials stable, said speakers at a human chain yesterday.
A legal notice has been served on the Dhaka University authorities for taking an immediate step to hold election to Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu).
Detective Branch (DB) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) arrested four people and seized 4 KGs of cannabis and 670 pieces of yaba tablet allegedly from their possession in the port city on Saturday.
Students of eight private universities and some colleges formed a human chain before Chittagong Press Club in the city yesterday demanding arrest of the attackers of a student of University of Science and Technology Chittagong (USTC).
A housewife allegedly committed suicide by taking poison at Kashiyais village under Patiya upazila in Chittagong yesterday.
Ten passengers were injured when an air-conditioned coach of a mail train caught fire on Dhaka-Chittagong route at Bhatshal early yesterday.
A teenage girl died after being run over by a train while she was crossing the tracks on her way home from school in Masinda area of Kalihati upazila around 12:30pm yesterday.
Anwarul Haque, father of ex-BIWTA executive engineer Tofael Ahmed, passed away at his residence in the city's Banasree yesterday at the age of 100, says a press release.
Water transports and passengers at Barisal river port remain vulnerable to accidents due to alleged low quality renovation and development work being conducted by ruling party backed contractors.
At least 24 people were sued yesterday on charge of attacking a team led by upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Ghoraghat upazila on Saturday afternoon.
The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined Tk 5 lakh to SRF Brick Kiln at Baheratoil in Sakhipur upazila under the district as it was operating illegally adjacent to Sakhipur reserve forest.
A schoolboy was beaten to death allegedly by neighbours over a trivial matter in the town yesterday.
At least 10 people were injured as an excursion team of a school and Ansar members at Pabna Mental Hospital clashed on Saturday.
Two people were injured as criminals hurled a bomb on them at Birhampur village in Shibganj upazila early yesterday over previous enmity. The injured are Ekbar Mondal, 40, son of late Shantu Mondal and his relative Mohammad Shaon, 22, son of Moyen Uddin of the village. Jahid Hossain, sub-inspector of Shibganj police station, said the bomb exploded at around 12:30am when the victims were sleeping in the room. The two were rushed to Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital. House owner Moyen filed a case accusing eight people including his neighbour Sarwar Jahan Shimul and his brother Anwar Hossain in this connection, the SI added.
Hundreds of Hindus of Bagbati union in Sadar upazila yesterday staged demonstration protesting the damage of 16 idols in six temples. Police also arrested Jamaat activist Aminul Islam Babu, son of Saheb Ali of Chakmirakhor village in this connection. Sayed Sahid Alam, officer in-charge of Sadar police station, said a gang of criminals ransacked Durga and Gopal temples of Harina Bagbati, Kali temple of Harina Alokdiar, Kali temple of Bagbati, Harina Nandina and Radha Gobinda temples of Shachindra Nath Sarker on Saturday evening. Later, the Hindu devotees protested the incident. Additional police have been deployed in the area, the OC added.
Police recovered the body of a 12-year-old boy from a wheat field at Tarapur village in Sunderganj upazila yesterday. The victim is Hazrat Ali, of Sonaroy village. On information from Abdus Samad, chairman of Tarapur union, police recovered the body in the morning and sent it to hospital morgue for autopsy. Sundarganj police said criminals might have killed the boy and dumped the body in the field.
Police arrested five suspected carjackers from Tora on Dhaka-Aricha highway in Ghior upazila early Saturday. The arrestees are Zakir Hossain, 36, Hasanur Rahman, 32, Mintu Chandra, 22, Ziaur Rahman, 30, and Mamunur Rashid, 35. M Ashraful Islam, officer in-charge of Ghior police station, said on suspicion, a team of police arrested the five along with a car in the area at about 3:00am. The car was stolen from Gaibandha on March 8, the OC added.
At least 10 people were injured in a clash between two groups of villagers in Chitalmari upazila on Saturday evening over a disputed land. There was a longstanding enmity between Subrata Biswas and Monoranjan Biswas of Char Baniari village over the land, said police. Hasan Hafizur Rahman, officer in-charge of Chitalmari police station said, the clash ensued between the rival groups over felling of a tree on the disputed land. They attacked each other with lethal weapons, leaving over 10 from both sides injured. Of the injured, seven were admitted to the upazila health complex, the OC added.
Police arrested four suspected members of Islamist outfit Ahle Hadith along with CDs at Darshana Bazar under Damurhuda upazila in Chuadanga district on Saturday. The arrestees are Badrul Aziz, 36, son of Khowaz Mondal, Mehedi Hasan, 20, son of Asadul Islam, Abdullah, 27, son of Alauddin Al Azad and Azhar Ali, 26, son of Jamal Uddin of the upazila. On secret information, a team of Detective Branch of police raided a shop at the bazar at about 7:30pm and arrested the four, said Sheikh Md Mizanur Rahman, police superintendent of Chuadanga. Police found the arrestees' link to the outfit, said Mizanur. Later, the four were handed over to Damurhuda police station, said Azizul Islam, officer in-chareg of the PS.
A housewife was killed in an attack at Narailpara in Sadar upazila early yesterday. The deceased was identified as Laila Islam Dalia, of the area. Police said there was a longstanding conflict between Laila and sons of her neighbour Narendranath over construction of a boundary wall between the houses of two families. As Laila went to see a boundary wall raised by her neighbours a few days ago, Sunil, Sushil, Pintu and Dilip, sons of Narendranath, hit her with sharp weapons, leaving her injured. The injured was rushed to Sadar hospital where she died. Police arrested Sunil in the morning after Laila Arzu alias Beauty, victim's elder sister, filed a case with thana accusing six people.
7th March evokes the memory of the thunderous declaration- this struggle is for our freedom, this struggle is for our independence--by our Himalaya, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He led the great procession of the freedom-loving people in their struggle for freedom from the oppressive Pakistani regime. The few who cowered before the Pakistani junta instead of siding with the cause of truth and justice were the scum of the earth. Once again, we need one like Bangabandhu at a time when our enemies from home and abroad are humiliatingly our flag, earned at the price of an ocean of blood. How long will we live in poverty, fear and corruption? Does not that thunderous voice of freedom and justice of our father of the Bangladeshi Nation ring in our minds? Where is everybody? Wake up again!!
Since the start of stock market disaster, more than a year ago finance minister, BB governor, SEC chief and other experts of stock market regularly gave advice to investors so as to judge the fundamentals of the Public Limited Companies (PCL) before investing their money. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Bangladesh Bank (BB) are the authorities to allow raising of capital by PLC through Initial Public Offering (IPO). Naturally they are the experts who analyse through various options and sensitivity analysis before giving permission. Thus small investors like me do not bother to verify fundamentals as often uttered. What is more, I am not capable of doing so and I invest blindly in Primary shares and debentures.
The charitable organization “Save the Children” recently has said in a survey report that 500 million children in the world could grow up physically and mentally stunned over the next 15 years because they do not have enough to eat. The survey was carried out in the five countries, Bangladesh, India, Peru, Pakistan and Nigeria, where half the world's malnourished children live. It is said that the world has made dramatic progress in reducing child deaths, down from 12 to 7.6 million. But this survey reveals that a third of parents surveyed said their children complained about not having enough to eat.
A few days back, I went to the Hazrat Shahjalal intl. Airport to receive a guest of mine who was flying to Bangladesh from the USA. I bought an entrance ticket for Tk. 200, and entered the Concord Hall of the terminal building. To my utter discomfort, I found thousands of mosquitoes there inside the hall. I had to wait there for one dreadful hour in that mosquito-infested place for my guest. In that long one hour, I saw all the people in the Concord Hall were fighting ceaselessly against the mosquitoes with their bare hands.
BNP announced their March 12 programme titled “March towards Dhaka”. At the same time they have threatened that there will be no space for rickshaws on the roads of Dhaka city, as they are looking forward to drawing a huge crowd. On the other hand, Awami League announced their activities throughout March. The government party also assured that any kind of untoward activities would be to handle strictly.
The front page report of The Daily Star creates further confusion about the reason behind the embassy official's killing. Further, Shahidul Islam's report adds more fuel to the fire! He stated that the killers are professionals. However one definite part of the story is still missing. The post-mortem examination should have identified and established if the bullet was fired by a rifle or revolver. This is not known till date; at least publicly. If robbery was not a motive, then it leads to further confusion and speculation.
USTC stands for University of Science and Technology Chittagong. This is one of the oldest private universities in Bangladesh and the university is rich in medical science. From the name of the university, we understand, the students come here to learn science, technology and their applications in social life. For example, the medical students gain theoretical as well as practical knowledge in their respective fields. They learn how to diagnose patients' disease using modern technology. Obviously, the students of other departments are supposed to know which technology is used for what purposes. Nowadays life has become largely dependent on technology particularly for the new generation. They need to adapt themselves accordingly in all respects.
A few days ago we witnessed a tragic accident that occurred in the early morning at the crossing between Bijoy Sarani and Sangsad Bhaban (Northern side) roads. The reason is the traffic signal was not being followed by the careless drivers of a private vehicle and a bus. One person died on the spot and two persons were seriously injured. This is a common scene which often turns tragic in Dhaka city. The accident would not happen if they followed the t rules and obeyed traffic signals.
Political crisis is an acute problem in our country. All the political parties are becoming crazy and cruel. BNP is all set on its move to "Dhaka Cholo" programme on 12th March. On the other hand, Awami League has called for a "Moha Somabesh" on 11th March. And Jamaat -Shibir party too is not far behind other political parties in confrontational activities. We have been habituated to seeing that political party's movement or procession results in vandalising of vehicles, loss of lives and so on. We have nothing to say but to witness those.
Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star news report headlined “State playing role of criminal”
With a moment of silence, prayers and anti-nuclear rallies, Japan yesterday observed one year since an earthquake and tsunami that killed over 20,000 and set off a radiation crisis that shattered public trust in atomic power and the nation's leaders.
UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan yesterday had a second round of talks with President Bashar al-Assad on ways to end months of violence in Syria.
Israel will continue air strikes against Gaza "as long as necessary," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday, giving no indication that a ground operation was likely for now.
Nine years after his arrest in Pakistan, self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheikh Mohammed could soon be back in court for the much-awaited "trial of the century."
A suicide bomber blew himself up at a funeral near the northwestern city of Peshawar yesterday, killing at least 15 people and wounding more than 30 others, police and hospital officials said.
A bomb blast struck a Catholic church in the volatile central Nigerian city of Jos yesterday, causing numerous casualties, witnesses and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said.
A US soldier in Afghanistan yesterday shot dead 16 civilians and wounded others after entering their homes in Kandahar province, Afghan and Nato sources said.
Eight young women whose mothers are sex workers were married in a so-called "village of prostitutes" in India yesterday under a plan to save them from being pushed into the world's oldest profession.
A military court in Egypt has acquitted an army doctor accused of carrying out forced "virginity tests" on women protesters, state media reported yesterday.
Rick Santorum has won a convincing victory in Kansas on Saturday in the latest stage in the race to become the US Republican presidential candidate.
A Malaysian minister announced her resignation yesterday amid an alleged corruption scandal that has put pressure on Prime Minister Najib Razak's government ahead of looming elections.
The government banned on Saturday another three religious/charity organisations working in the country.
Arts & Entertainment
As part of the ongoing joint celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore by India and Bangladesh, Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, High Commission of India, Dhaka organised staging of a Tagore dance-drama, “Chandalika”, at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum on March 9. Choreographed and directed by Guru Dr. Thankamani Kutty, artistes of Kalamandalam, Kolkata, India staged the dance-drama.
In the last phase of his long and illustrious life, Rabindranath Tagore had endearingly beseeched to posterity: “Tobu Mone Rekho” (remember me). The poem proved prophetic.
Since her debut with the Abdullah Al Mamun play “Chithhi”, Farzana Chhobi has been involved with acting as a craft for a decade. During her substantial career, the actress has performed in many TV plays, along with working as a model. She has also emerged as a promising screenplay writer in recent times. The Daily Star (TDS) had an informal chat with Farzana about her life outside the studio.
You have known Rupa Ganguly so far for her acting prowess but now get ready to appreciate her as a national award-winning singer too.
Four shows of “Phirey Esho Behula”, a film focusing on women's difficulty and their response and bravery to overcome it, ended at the central auditorium of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), Sylhet on March 7.
Uchchhas Lalitakala Academy held a classical music soiree at Poet Sufia Kamal auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum on March 9. The founder principal of the academy, Sharifa Quader, led a choral rendition of khayal with a tarana set on Raga Behag that set off the soiree.
A two-day annual cultural festival of the indigenous people of greater Mymensingh region ended Saturday last. The festival that included a fair and exhibition was held at the Birishiri Tribal Cultural Academy in Durgapur, Netrakona.
General elections have never been free and fair except under "consensus" (in 1991) or "constitutional" (1996, 2001) caretaker government (CG) in Bangladesh. On the other hand, each and every general election held during CG period has been free and fair, although the losing party raised unfounded allegations of rigging; every time it had to comply with the people's mandate.
People in five states comprising one-fifth of India's population have delivered a devastating blow to the Congress party in the just-concluded Assembly elections. The political landscape has put the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at a disadvantage in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Moscow becomes the capital of Russia again after Saint Petersburg held this status for 215 years.