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Friday, August 22, 2014


News of: Saturday, 10th of November, 2012

Front Page

PM to visit Pakistan to attend D-8 summit

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has decided to pay a three-day official visit to Pakistan to attend the D-8 summit in Islamabad scheduled for November 22.

Prove it, please!

No less a person than our finance minister has accused Prof Yunus, our only Nobel Laureate and the most well known and well regarded Bangladeshi in the world today, of carrying out, “with his wonderful publicity machinery”, anti-Bangladesh propaganda worldwide. “He is the single major reason for Bangladesh's failure to project its positive image”, Muhith said and quoted Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen in this regard. Amartya Sen, in a written reply, to The Daily Star received yesterday refuted Muhith's claim and asked him to withdraw his comment attributed to him (See separate story on this page).

Amartya refutes Muhith

Nobel laureate Prof Amartya Sen has expressed surprise at Finance Minister AMA Muhith's comments that he made on Thursday attributing to him about Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus.

Ministry pushes for costly deal

To repair urgently the sixth unit of Ghorashal power plant that went out of order in July 2010, the power ministry is negotiating an unsolicited deal with an Indian company with a price tag three times that in a contract for the same work which failed two months ago.

China: Then and now

China has come a long, long way. With the Communist Party meeting in Beijing to choose the next generation of leaders that will guide the country into the future, it would be proper to recall the past.

Beijing mulls officials' asset disclosure

Asset disclosure for Chinese officials is likely to be slowly phased in over time, a senior Chinese Communist Party leader said yesterday, as the government grapples with the fraught task of rooting out the corruption.

Khaleda to visit Ramu temples today

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will visit the Buddhist temples and localities of Ramu this afternoon, 40 days after those were ravaged in attacks.

Polytechnic institutions in a shambles

State-run polytechnic institutes, deemed crucial for industrial growth and national development, have been in dire straits owing to an acute shortage of teachers and poor organogram.

Obama set to recast cabinet

US President Barack Obama, fresh from re-election and facing a new clash with Congress, got back to work Thursday, with an important item on his to-do list -- stocking his new cabinet.

Cox's Bazar rail project limping

More than one and a half years have gone by since the formal inauguration of the construction work of the Dohazari-Cox's Bazar rail track and the land acquisition for the project is yet to get underway.

Muggers kill man, injure 2

Muggers stabbed a man to death and injured two others in separate incidents in the capital's Kamrangirchar and Bangshal yesterday while snatching cash and mobile phone from the victims.

Democrats secure win in Florida

US President Barack Obama's top aide in Florida said Democrats have won the vote in the officially undeclared Sunshine State, where officials are under fire for mishandling the ballot.

Myanmar train fire kills 25

Twenty-five people were killed and dozens more injured yesterday in a large fire sparked by a train accident in northwest Myanmar, the government said.

Blitz editor sent to jail

A Dhaka court on Thursday sent to jail Salauddin Shoeb Chowdhury, editor of local English weekly Blitz, in connection with an embezzlement case filed by his business partner Sajjad Hossain.

Malala grateful for support

Malala Yousufzai, a Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for advocating girls' education, thanked her global supporters yesterday, one month on from the brutal attack.

Tens of thousands protest Argentine reforms

Banging on pots, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Argentina late Thursday to protest a possible third term for President Cristina Kirchner.

Man killed by thief in Chittagong

A man was killed and his wife injured as an alleged drug-addict burglar stabbed them in the port city early yesterday.

Royals arrested over tweets in Kuwait

Kuwait has arrested two members of the Al-Sabah ruling family for tweets deemed critical of the government and supportive of the opposition, a human rights group and a lawyer said yesterday.

Editorial

Will mere formalin import ban suffice?

It is heartening to learn that the commerce ministry has slapped restrictions on the unregulated import of formalin -- a substance designed for preserving biological specimen in laboratories which also has industrial applications. Sadly, this chemical has become the choice ingredient for unscrupulous traders to preserve foodstuffs in a bid to keep them fresh in wholesale and kitchen markets in the city. Now we are told that importers will have to obtain ministerial permission before importing the chemical.

Wasa throwing a helpline

Towards increasing service quality, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) has launched helpline 'Wasa Link'. Customers can call in with service-related complaints or for billing or other information any time of day and expect the reported problems to be solved within 24 hours. If this is not possible, they will be informed and the problem solved at the earliest. Action will be taken against officials who fail to heed the complaints. Officials are already being trained towards providing this new service, according to Wasa authorities.

Sports

On a comeback trail

Junaed Siddique's batting career has followed the path of a number of other Bangladeshi batsmen. When in song, the top-order batsman flayed some of the world's best bowlers to the different corners of the park. There were even times when he displayed sheer grit while batting in tough conditions. However, his lack of consistency more often than not, got the better of him.

A trying twelve years

BANGLADESH IN TESTS
Played: 73; Won: 3
Lost: 63; Draw: 7


Myshukur hogs the limelight

Taposh Baishya and Myshukur Rahman hogged the spotlight on the first day of the third round matches of the National Cricket League at different venues across the country yesterday.

Rain ruins Siddikur's day

Siddikur Rahman couldn't take the field on the second day of Barclays Singapore Open as inclement weather heavily disrupted the day's play. The Bangladeshi golfer, who was in joint 115 th position with a 4-over-par first round score and looking at a probable ouster, will begin his second round today, weather permitting.

Reefat, Mostafa on top

Grandmaster Reefat Bin Sattar and Golam Mostafa Bhuiyan shared the lead in the Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Ltd 38th National A Chess Championship at the close of the second round at the Media Centre of the Bangladesh Olympic Association yesterday.

Old not always gold

They are the defending champions. They have won four of the league titles in the previous five seasons. They have an experienced side, the core of which has remained much the same over the last two to three years. Yet as they start their defence of the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League campaign on November 13, Abahani do not look like the team to beat.

Amla, Kallis rule Day 1

Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis became South Africa's greatest scoring partnership as the Proteas dominated Australia's bowlers to seize control on day one of the first Brisbane Test on Friday.

Hockey gets sponsors for India tour

Rahimafrooz Ltd, Farr Ceramics and Nitol Group have come forward to sponsor the Bangladesh national hockey team for their tour of India where they will play in two this month, as part of preparation for the

Injury woe for Duminy

JP Duminy took some gloss off South Africa's brilliant opening day in the first Test against Australia Friday by being ruled out of the tour with an Achilles injury following play at the Gabba.

Senior Div football

Jatrabari KC recorded a 3-0 win over Sun Rise SC in the Popular Life Insurance Senior Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium yesterday.

Defoe on the treble

England striker Jermaine Defoe helped himself to three clinically-struck goals and moved Tottenham Hotspur a step closer to the Europa League knockout stages with a 3-1 win over Maribor of Slovenia on Thursday.

MU seek to extend lead

After securing a slot in the Champions League last 16 in mid-week, Manchester United will look to drive home their advantage in the Premier League when they visit Aston Villa on Saturday.

'Best in the world'

Cristiano Ronaldo is adamant this season's La Liga title will once again be a tale of two teams, despite his Real Madrid side sitting in third position, eight points behind leaders Barcelona and five from Atletico Madrid.

Juve look to rebound

Fabio Quagliarella says champions Juventus will be fired up for the trip to newly-promoted Pescara on Sunday despite lining up for their third game in the space of a week.

Abate out for a fortnight

AC Milan will be without Ignazio Abate for at least two weeks after the defender was diagnosed with a right thigh muscle injury, the Serie A side said Thursday.

Sports Reporter

National hockey striker Rasel Mahmud Jimmy recently declined two offers to play in a domestic tournament in Oman ahead of Bangladesh national team's engagements in Nehru Cup, Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey Tournaments and World Hockey League.

Europa League Results

EUROPA LEAGUE RESULTS
Anzhi (RUS) 1 (Traore 45) L'pool (ENG) 0
Udinese (ITA) 2 (Di Natale 47, Fabbrini 83) Young Boys (SUI) 3 (Bobadilla 27, Farnerud 65, Nuzzolo 73)
Academia Coimbra (POR) 2

Ramos loves bull fighting

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has never made a secret of his love for bull fighting. After several of his successes on the pitch, he has brought out a matador's cape and done his interpretive dance/routine.

Metropolitan

Cattle Market Blues

While it is hard to claim a special love for cattle markets, they are nevertheless unique places. The largest such markets assemble before Eid ul Azha and I recently spent some time in one in old Dhaka's Naya Bazar.

Give Jamaat-Shibir men to police

Warning that fundamentalist forces would be contained strictly as per the country's laws, Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir yesterday urged citizens to catch Jamaat-Shibir men, wherever they were found, and hand them over to police.

Pro-liberation forces urged to be united to tackle Jamaat

Political leaders, educationalists and an economist yesterday emphasised unity among pro-liberation political and social organisations to tackle anti-liberation and communal forces in the country.

Be vocal against anti-peace strands

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon all to be vocal against vested quarters who want to disrupt peace in the country.

Low Aman price frustrates farmers

Though farmers are getting a better price for their Agam Aman (short duration Aman variety) paddy this season compared to that of Aus two months back, they are not happy with the low profit margin.

Understaffed workshop faces huge backlog

Carriage and Wagon Repair Workshop of the east zone of Bangladesh Railway (BR) is operating with half the workforce required, causing a huge backlog of work annually.

One-third of urban slum girls get married before 15

One-third of girls in urban slums get married before the age of 15 years while about 61 percent of marriages in the slums are arranged and 31 percent involve dowry, says a recent study.

Humayun remembered through photo exhibition

A good number of fans and admirers of the late eminent litterateur Humayun Ahmed again expressed their love for the popular Bangalee playwright while visiting a photo exhibition in the capital yesterday.

Road crashes kill seven

Seven people were killed and two others injured in separate road crashes in Rangpur, Panchagarh, Sirajganj and Chapainawabganj on Thursday and yesterday.

Sunil will live in hearts of Bangalees

Indian well-known poet and novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay will be living in the hearts of people as long as Bangla language exists.

India ready to extend agri assistance

India is ready to extend assistance to Bangladesh in the field of agriculture, said Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday.

Graft found in govt employees' welfare fund use

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) found a number of government officials and employees involved in misappropriating money of the Government Officers and Employees Welfare Fund.

Trade unions vital as labour law ineffective

The country's existing labour law and court are not satisfactory in protecting workers' rights, opined labour rights activists and trade union leaders yesterday.

Shaheed Noor Hossain Day today

Different political and social organisations will observe the historic Shaheed Noor Hossain Day today.

Wild elephant found dead in Banshkhali eco-park

A female wild elephant was found dead in Banshkhali eco-park in Chittagong yesterday early morning.

Missing youth's family seeks govt's help

Family members of a university student, who went missing in the capital four months back, yesterday urged the government to find out his whereabouts.

Muhith's comment on Dr Yunus personal: Hanif

Finance Minister AMA Muhith's comment on Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus at a programme on Thursday was his personal opinion and not the government's, said Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif.

HKI's president due today

Kathy Spahn, president and CEO of Helen Keller International (HKI), will arrive in Dhaka today on a five-day visit to observe the organisation's programmes in Bangladesh.

Apollo Hospitals launches info centre in Narayanganj

The Apollo Hospitals Dhaka launched an information centre at 128, BB Road, Sugandha Palace (beside Dhaka Bank) in Narayanganj yesterday.

Jubo League to observe 40th founding anniversary tomorrow

Bangladesh Awami Jubo League, the youth wing of ruling AL, will observe its 40th founding anniversary tomorrow.

Benapole port workers go on indefinite strike

Workers responsible for loading and unloading goods at Benapole port warehouses went on an indefinite strike yesterday demanding payment of their salary arrears.

International

Congress patience wears thin in India

Asking partymen to gear up for the next Lok Sabha polls, Congress president Sonia Gandhi accused its opponents of attempting to grab power at any cost and called for an aggressive response to their "false propaganda".

'Asean declaration falls short on human rights'

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, yesterday said drafts of the Asean Declaration of Human Rights may not meet international human rights standards.

Rohingya citizenship in legal limbo

Rohingya Muslims' statelessness is at the heart of bloody unrest that has torn through western Myanmar, but experts say the regime is unlikely to risk public ire by lifting them from citizenship limbo.

Anglicans elect new leader

Former oil executive Justin Welby was yesterday named as the next Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual head of the world's Anglicans, in a move aimed at healing schisms over gay and female bishops.

Palestinians unveil resolution

Palestinian envoys on Thursday unveiled the resolution they hope will give them observer membership of the United Nations but held back from setting a date for a vote.

UK to end financial aid to India

Britain will stop all aid to India in 2015 and the assistance budget will be reduced by around £200 million ($320 million) until then, the international development minister said yesterday.

India will not backtrack on reforms

India will abide by a controversial decision to open retail and other sectors to wider foreign investment, the country's trade minister promised delegates at an international financial conference Thursday.

Iran fired on US drone in Gulf: US

The Pentagon revealed Thursday that two Iranian fighter jets fired on an unarmed US Predator drone in the Gulf last week but the aircraft was not hit, in an incident that underscored tensions in the region.

Australia to sign up for Kyoto 2

Key greenhouse gas emitter Australia yesterday said it will sign up for a second round of the Kyoto Protocol environmental protection treaty, but New Zealand opted out.

WikiLeaks suspect offers guilty plea

A US soldier accused of leaking a trove of secret files to WikiLeaks has offered to plead guilty to some but not all of the charges he faces in a pending court-martial, his defense lawyer said.

Israel enemy No 1: Sudan

A tired but healthy-looking Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir appeared on television Thursday after a minor operation, calling Israel "enemy number one" in a return to his typical fiery rhetoric.

Rafsanjani's son accused of spying

The jailed son of Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been accused of spying, the Fars news agency reported on Thursday.

Putin replaces Russia army chief

President Vladimir Putin yesterday replaced Russia's army chief of staff with a veteran commander from the second Chechnya war, in a shake-up of the military after the sacking of the defence minister.

US senator shooter gets life

Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords stood next to her husband in court Thursday as he spoke directly to Jared Loughner, the Arizona man who tried to assassinate the then-congresswoman in a January 2011 shooting.

Arts & Entertainment

“Ghetu Putro Kamola” at Golden Globe Awards

A special screening of Humayun Ahmed's last film “Ghetu Putro Kamola” will be held this afternoon [US local time] at the Beverly Hills Wilshire Auditorium in Los Angeles. The screening is part of the 70th Golden Globe Awards that will take place in January next year. Judges will see the film competing in the “Foreign Language” category.

Bengal Foundation celebrates Aminul Islam's 81st birth anniversary

On the occasion of artist Aminul Islam's 81st birth anniversary, Bengal Foundation organised a discussion and publication launch on November 7 at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, Dhanmondi in Dhaka.

Road in Pabna named after Zia Hyder

The 2 km road, from Arifpur to Hazirhat, in Pabna municipality has been renamed -- after Professor Zia Hyder.

Ang Lee assesses Kamal Haasan

When Hollywood director Ang Lee visited Chennai to promote his film “Life of Pi”, he was interviewed by a TV channel. And the interviewer was none other than Kamal Haasan.

Shoyeb: “I don't consider acting to be my profession”

Shoyeb is one of the more popular actors on television these days, with roles in TV plays, alongside modelling. He has also worked as the protagonist against Moushumi in a movie, and gained acclaim from a TV commercial with Joya Ahsan. Shoyeb started off as a theatre artiste, and is still involved with the group Desh Natok. The actor recently spoke to The Daily Star.

OP-ED

The predicament of the corrupt

On October 30, a well-circulated Bengali daily has quite interestingly highlighted the predicament of a public servant, the former Chief Conservator of forest who is now in prison since May 2008, reportedly on charges of possessing unaccounted cash, keeping unusual quantity of jewelleries and retaining two passports.

A second chance on human rights

President Obama has been re-elected. He must now decide how to balance his commitment to human rights against the political risks of appearing "soft on terrorism."

Holy War in the Islamic World

In November, the Dhaka and Chittagong Allinances Françaises are holding a series of Arab-Spring related events including a conference debate at Dhaka University on November 20; bringing together French and Bangladeshi intellectuals and academics. The Daily Star is publishing below a number of articles written by leading French experts in the run up to this event. The opinions expressed in these articles are solely those of the authors.


A few thoughts on the Arab revolutions

The great sense of relief which has moved the Arab world since December 2010 seems to me a major event of our age. I am convinced that it will end by leading those particular countries towards democracy, but only after a number of twists and turns, which, alas, will often be bloody and always misdirected.

Can there be such a thing as a Libyan model?

Of all the Arab revolutions, the one that led to the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya remains unique in modern history. Despite the Tunisian and Egyptian precedents, despite the (relative) relinquishing of power by Abdullah Saleh in Yemen, despite the attempted revolution in Bahrain and civil war in Syria, itisdifficult to form a homogeneous revolutionary Arab model. Primarily because similar initial causes produce noticeably different consequences. There are several reasons for this - local political and religious context, economic issues and the revolutionary process which vary greatly from one country to another.

Reflections on the Arab Spring

For a long time, the images of the demonstrations in Tunisia, later in Egypt, recalled images of the the Eastern European Spring. And the Tunisian Mohamed Bouazzi burning himself to death inevitably brought to mind Jan Palach setting fire to himself in Wenceslas Square. Springtimes (despite its having been winter) when the Arabs, whom the whole word considered as members of all those people who had withdrawn from History, demonstrated to regain their bread, justice and liberty. Universal themes which led them out of their isolation and made them return to the real world. Theories concerning the clash of civilisations and particular cultural characteristics which had justified every barbaric act could no longer stand. But the comparison stops there.

This Day In History

November 10
1659

Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Maratha King kills Afzal Khan, Adilshahi in the battle popularly known as Battle of Pratapgarh. This is also recognised as the first defence of Swarajya.

Environment

Realtors real violators

Even though the Department of Environment 'DoE' and Rajuk have been penalizing real estate firms for violations of environmental laws every now and then, many of them and other big businesses have been constantly dodging the laws. According to media reports, such acts are taking place defying rising public health concerns due to growing pollution of air, water and also noise pollution and protests thereby.

'Four Cow Model' for a greener country

Professor Khandoker Muzammel Huq introduced “Four Cow” model in 2004. This green model acts as a factory producing organic fertilizer and biogas as alternative energy source for cooking and lighting.

Literature

Reflections on Ramu

Forty three years ago, in India, I was attacked with lathis and gunfire. Some landowners near to Bodh Gaya in Bihar were angry that I was working with members of 'untouchable' castes. I was working with the Gandhian 'Samanvaya Ashram', which is based very close to the main Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya, the birthplace of Buddhism. It is interesting to note that Samanvaya Ashram was set up to study all religions. At the early morning prayers each day, one day there would be readings from the Quran and then on successive days readings from the Gita, Buddhist Scriptures, the Bible, the Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikhs' holy book).

Emily Dickinson . . . the murmur of a bee

The mind is wider than the sky. That was the way Emily Dickinson looked at the world outside her. Or you could say it was the way the soul worked in her. Weigh that statement. There is something of the metaphysical about it. There is a linkage of ideas which comes into a working out of the imagery. Consider the universe you are part of. Or think of yourself, the essential you in whom the universe comes to epitomize itself. That is what comes through in Dickinson, in her use of words, the words shaping a thought, the thought leading you on to a wider ambience of experience.

Doors to the soul

Where lies the soul? I may not know its exact abode but there are hundreds of ways that I feel its presence within me. There are many doors to the soul. The soul plays in strange ways. You may not be aware but the soul leads you on, you make choices that seem to be strange to you on a second look. The soul seems to sit at the helm of your life and steer you on, destination unknown. You wonder how and where the soul resides to lead you on. The soul, with invisible wings, soars high and low. At one time it is in the nooks and corners of your house and then suddenly you wonder if it is in the seventh heaven, taking a look at the ethics of your life. At one time the soul seems to be so engrossed with the material possessions that surround you and yet then it is flying around looking for the aesthetic senses to fill the heart. You wonder for the umpteenth time: How many doors are there to the soul? Imagination costs you nothing and you are a free bird as you let yourself keep searching for the whereabouts of the soul. But there is one thing you want, regardless of its exact location, and that is peace of the soul. You want solitude in life.

... Nazneen....

My mother called me Adrita--a nickname she apparently selected while I was still in her uterus-- even though everyone else called me by my real name Nazneen. My father was posted in Kishoreganj when I was born, but I took my first breath in Moulvi Bazaar in my grandparent's ancestral home where Amma came to stay for a few days for the delivery of her first child. Amma, then only eighteen years old, was so overjoyed to have her own baby, that she called me Adrita which, she told me as soon as I was old enough to understand, means the beloved one. After me, Amma had six more children, five sons and a daughter, but none of them got any nicknames from her. My numerous aunts and uncles came up with nicknames for my brothers and sister before Amma had any chance, and she just went along with those picked by them. As a consequence, some of my siblings ended up having more than one nicknames--for example, my youngest brother was given two, Bacchoo and Tukon, one from my mother's family and the other from my father's. Anyway, I was Amma's darling when I was growing up and reciprocated by helping her out after my brothers and sister were born and during their adolescent years. After my sister, who was the youngest of us, was born she became the recipient of all my attention and creative energy since I was very happy to finally have a sister after five brothers. I adoringly called her Putul when she was three months old and that's the way it was until she was nine or ten, when she told me that she did not like that name any longer. Since then, I called her by her real name, Naushin.

Star Health

Get relief from knee pain by simply losing weight

Being overweight and obese not only increase people’s risk of heart disease and stoke, but also gradually damage their knee leading to pain and functional impairment. Knees are particularly vulnerable to injury when increase mechanical load like carrying too much body weight.

Calories from soft drinks — do they matter?

The prevalence of obesity has been increasing significantly among children and adolescents, not just in developed countries but also in developing countries with rapid changes in nutrition. The increase consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages entitled under soft drinks are particularly a cause for concern and considered as a potential contributor to the obesity.

When it comes to colon cancer checks, options exist

For people who have had a negative colonoscopy, less-invasive screening options may work just fine for follow-up cancer tests, a new analysis in Annals of Internal Medicine suggests.

Vaccine alone is not enough; comprehensive approach needed

Despite the great potential of pneumococcal vaccine, child pneumonia will remain a major threat to children under 5 years of age, unless a comprehensive approach is taken, according to the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), says a press release.

Heart-related deaths increase in winter regardless of climate

No matter what climate you live in, you are more likely to die of heart-related issues in the winter — according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.

Losing weight may improve sleep quality

Losing weight can help people who are overweight get a better night's sleep, according to a new study published in Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Strategic Issues

The elections, gridlock and foreign policy

Barack Obama remains president. The Democrats remain in control of the Senate with a non-filibuster-proof majority. The Republicans remain in control of the House of Representatives.

Burma: Trouble brewing for China

Following the Burmese government's suspension of a controversial joint-venture hydroelectric dam project with China in the far north of the country, another flashpoint has emerged in relations between the two countries a massive copper mine at Latpadaung, a mountain near Monywa northwest of Mandalay in Upper Burma.

Star Books Review

Revisiting a dark period in history

Just how sensitive, fragile, and plainly dysfunctional Bangladesh's political culture has become down the years can be read into what the book under review has to say, and, probably more importantly, is unable, or unwilling, to say. Obviously, with it running into its fifth edition (reprint would probably be the right word) from the time it was first published in 1997, Bangladesh: Raktakto Audhaya 1975-81 has been a popular read, at least in the number of copies sold. However, whether it has been universally popular among the readers, given the deeply fractious nature of political opinion existing in the country, is open to question. On very politically sensitive issues writers and conference speakers prefer to steer a safe course, gingerly skirting around subject matters, for fear of offending one or the other major political party/inclination. Political intolerance of opposing views is, and has been, a reality in Bangladesh for some time now. At times such intolerance flares up into physical violence. Such is the sad state of pluralist democracy in this country.

Sparkling intelligence at work

When the gracious young lady who is helping to organize the Hay Festival assigned this book to me to review, she said breezily,” It'll be perfect for you because you're so into cricket!” Having come to the end of this marvellous, sprawling, picaresque novel I can see how in one sense this observation was right and how, in another sense, it was not, after all, essential.

A tragic tale told anew

One in a series of books (based on historical facts), under the heading "My Story”, The Great Plague is a very well-written representation of life in London in 1665-1666 when the city was struck by the great plague.


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