News of: Tuesday, 27th of November, 2012
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The blaze that killed 111 workers at Tazreen Fashions Ltd in Ashulia morphed into the nation's worst garment tragedy and shed the spotlight once again on poor safety standards.
It did not look like a workplace -- rather a set-up for confinement.
“I am going to die… Please pray for me!”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in parliament yesterday that the Ashulia garment factory fire was "pre-planned" and urged the people, garment owners and workers to remain alert to foil any subversive activities in future.
One man's quick thinking, courage and care for others saved many from the Tazreen Fashions fire that left 111 dead and around 100 injured.
The absence of safety measures at the construction site of Bahaddarhat flyover in the port city led to the 12 deaths in the collapse of its concrete girders on Saturday night.
A day after the Ashulia fire tragedy that left an entire nation in a state of deep shock, another fire swept through a garment factory in a ten-storey building at Dakshin Khan in the capital's Uttara yesterday morning.
Around 33 major fire incidents at garment factories claimed at least 500 lives between 1990 and 2012. Listed below are some of the disasters since 2000.
On behalf of Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, Legum Consultants has sent a legal notice to The Daily Star, protesting a report headlined “A strange invitation” published in this newspaper on November 13. Following is the notice along with our reply:
Malaysia is going to recruit Bangladeshis again ending a four-year “unofficial ban” that was lifted yesterday through signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh.
The High Court yesterday asked the government to explain within four weeks why it should not be directed to prosecute and punish people responsible for the fire at an Ashulia garment factory on Saturday.
Nilufa is all lost; hers is an agony untellable. To Saturday's blaze in Ashulia, she has lost not one, not two, not three but four of her loved ones. They were the meaning of her own self, her existence.
A martyr's wife yesterday testified that Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Razakar had killed her husband at their village home in Faridpur during the Liberation War.
The High Court yesterday stayed for two months the effectiveness of an advertisement published by the Grameen Bank authorities for recruiting its “managing director.”
Four passengers on a bus were injured when a train hit it at Sayedabad rail crossing yesterday afternoon.
A writ petition has sought High Court directives on the authorities concerned to compensate the victims on whom girders collapsed at the under-construction Bahaddarhat flyover in Chittagong on Saturday.
An Afghan student was killed and eight others wounded in clashes between Sunnis and Shiites at Kabul University, a senior police officer said Saturday.
The Tazreen factory tragedy is another sad episode in our long chapter of garment factory disasters. It is a fact that in many garment factories accidents are waiting to happen, because of lax safety measures, and going by the description of the factory and its access and exit facilities such a disaster was bound to happen in Tazreen Garments.
The health minister, in a rather helpless move, has called upon members of parliament for suggestions on how to keep reluctant doctors serving in villages. Despite development of infrastructure in the form of health complexes and community clinics, medical service remains wanting in rural areas, with, reportedly, 5,731 doctors' posts vacant across the country.
Coming into the Test series after an eleven-month break the Tigers showed very little aptitude for the longer-version game. Mushfiqur Rahim's men finished the Test series against West Indies with a heavy 10-wicket defeat on the fifth day of the second and final Test at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium here on Sunday to continue in the rut they have been enduring since receiving Test status in 2000.
The two practice matches ahead of the five-match ODI series between Bangladesh and West Indies starting on November 30 takes on special importance as it offers a chance for a player to fill the void left by star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who will miss the first two ODIs due to a shin injury sustained during the recently concluded second Test against the West Indies.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy was delighted with the way his team executed the plan to win the Test series against Bangladesh 2-0; the target they had set before the tour. The Caribbeans have now won two Tests in successive series for the first time since 1992-93, when they beat Australia (2-1) and Pakistan (2-0).
A highly one-sided fifth round of the National Cricket League came to an end yesterday which witnessed two out of the four games finish within three days. The battle at the top of the table was won by Khulna as they raced to a 10-wicket victory over Sylhet. The win further extends Khulna's dominance in the competition.
Bangladesh's Siddikur Rahman continued to struggle in 118th position after the third round of European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage at the PGA Catalunya Resort's Tour Course yesterday.
Cricket fans in Jessore on Monday morning ransacked the glasses of a Social Islami Bank branch after failing to get the tickets of the one-day games between Bangladesh and West Indies.
Bangladesh as well as other foreign participating teams, pulled out of the Lal Baharur Shastri Hockey Tournament in New Delhi as the organisers did not take permission from the International Hockey Federation (IHF), said a Bangladesh Hockey Federation official yesterday.
Englad ruthlessly completed a memorable 10-wicket victory over India in the second Test in Mumbai to level the four-match series on Monday.
Faf du Plessis helped South Africa salvage a draw in an epic debut, defying the Australian attack all day Monday to post his maiden Test century.
Title contenders Sheikh Russel KC and Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club posted identical 1-0 win in their respective matches of the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Sunday.
Tim Southee rattled Sri Lanka with two wickets off three balls to put New Zealand in command on the second day of the second and final Test at the P Sara Oval in Colombo on Monday.
As many as 13 Under-14 footballers from Dhaka Division have been finally selected for the Bangladesh Football Federation Academy (BFF Academy) of Sylhet yesterday at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Sebastian Vettel described the Brazilian Grand Prix "as the toughest race I have ever had" following a wet and dramatic day that saw him become the youngest of the nine drivers to win three Formula One world titles.
Anjan Chowdhury Pintu and Badal Roy have been elected vice president and deputy secretary general of Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) unopposed after Sirajul Islam Bachchu and Hasanuzzaman Khan Bablu withdrew their nominations on Sunday.
Badda Jagarani recorded a 2-1 win over Sunrise KC in the Popular Life Insurance Senior Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium yesterday.
Barcelona maintained their three-point lead in Spain after an inspired Andres Iniesta pulled the strings in a 4-0 win at Levante and Manchester United reclaimed top spot in the Premier League after a 3-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers.
Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich romped to a 5-0 win at home to Hanover 96 on Saturday to extend their lead at the top to nine points as champions Borussia Dortmund moved up to second with a win at Mainz.
A brace from in-form striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic propelled Paris Saint-Germain to a 4-0 win over promoted Troyes on Saturday as they provisionally returned to the top of Ligue 1.
Inter Milan have paved the way for Wesley Sneijder to leave the club in January after confirming the Dutch midfielder will not play again until he has agreed to an "adjusted" contract.
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho boasted of "very, very, very good" relations with club bosses on Monday, after their latest 1-0 away loss to Real Betis.
The Football Association (FA) are ready to probe allegations that West Ham fans aimed sick anti-Semitic taunts at Tottenham supporters during Sunday's Premier League clash at White Hart Lane.
Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was disqualified from driving on Monday after failing to provide the required documentation when his car was caught speeding.
The fire at Tazreen Fashions in Ashulia will send a negative signal to international buyers, who are targeting Bangladesh as the next major source of garment items after China, exporters and analysts said yesterday.
Economist Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya yesterday said trade union should be allowed in the readymade garment factories to protect the workers' interests.
Standard Bank Chairman Kazi Akramuddin Ahamed was unanimously elected as the president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry after he led his panel to a landslide victory two days ago.
Garment makers yesterday urged the government to open a probe into the possibility of sabotage in the nation's worst factory fire.
Russian mobile giant VimpelCom's Chief Executive Officer Jo Olav Lunder is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka today for a short visit.
Least developed countries, including Bangladesh, will have to pay one-third more than the world average to send remittances, said a major report released yesterday.
The government and the World Bank (WB) yesterday signed a $70 million agreement for an ICT project meant to drive growth, employment and governance.
A three-day exposition of Indian products and services will take place in Dhaka on December 3 to enhance economic co-operation between the two neighbouring countries.
A group of investors yesterday staged demonstrations in front of Dhaka Stock Exchange to protest the persistent fall in share prices.
Eighteen council members and nine members of the Dhaka Regional Committee for 2013-15 of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh got elected recently.
City Bank yesterday launched CityMaxx American Express Card first time in Asia, which allows customers to gain interest on money up to 15 days after it has been spent.
Reports on private television channels were still showing the video clips of a factory building burning. The electronic media was still covering the event with one reporter being stationed there and giving a brief account of the incident every time the studio loops him or her in. At our end, as manufacturers, we crib and complain for being covered in such frequency; as human beings, we burn in shame.
Blazes like the one in Dhaka on Saturday, which killed more than 100 in a garment factory, are sadly all too frequent occurrences around south Asia.
US lawmakers have made little progress in the past 10 days toward a compromise to avoid the harsh tax increases and government spending cuts scheduled for January 1, a senior Democratic senator said on Sunday.
British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline said it intends to increase its holdings in its Indian and Nigerian divisions, as part of a long-term strategy to expand into emerging markets, in a statement on Monday.
Hundreds of garment workers yesterday blocked Dhaka-Tangail highway on the capital's outskirts Ashulia demanding punishment for those responsible for Saturday's fire, which killed at least 111 of their fellow workers.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed deep shock at the deaths of 111 workers in a devastating fire at a garment factory in Ashulia on November 24.
Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad yesterday said the current Election Commission believes in complete transparency and wants to conduct parliamentary elections with cooperation from all political parties.
The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday arrested the managing director of Uni-Route Finance and Commerce, a multilevel marketing (MLM) company, on charge of misappropriating investors' money amounting to around Tk 16 crore.
President Zillur Rahman yesterday asked all army officers of the ranks of major general and above to play constitutional role through maintaining chain of command within the force.
Dr Milon Day will be observed today marking the 22nd death anniversary of Dr Shamsul Alam Khan Milon.
Al-Amin, an accused in Parag Mondol abduction case, confessed before a judicial magistrate that he was driving the motorbike used to abduct Parag.
Police yesterday detained seven activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir with iron rods and sticks near Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) in the port city when they gathered for “creating anarchy”.
The BNP-led 18-party alliance leaders yesterday said the alliance might come up with "tough programmes" like hartal and blockade if the government did not accept in principle its demand for restoring the caretaker government system before its mass rally tomorrow.
Equal participation of women must be ensured in socio-economical, political and cultural activities to achieve the expected development of the country, said Abdul Hamid, Speaker of the parliament, yesterday.
The cabinet yesterday approved a proposal to increase the job retirement age of the freedom fighters from 59 to 60 years.
Twenty four hand grenades, present on the seizure list, were found missing when the 10-truck arms were being handed over to Chittagong Cantonment on April 3, 2004, the day after the seizure, said a prosecution witness yesterday.
Four people were killed and another injured in separate road accidents in Netrakona, Jamalpur, Brahmanbaria and Magura on Sunday and yesterday.
Police recovered the body of a student of Jahangirnagar University (JU) from the roof of a tin-shed house in Bangla Motor area of the capital on Sunday evening.
The probe committee formed to investigate the allegation of a question paper of primary terminal examinations 2012 to have been leaked did not find the allegation to be true.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday charged Omar Faruq Talukder, sacked assistant personal secretary (APS) to minister without portfolio Suranjit Sengupta, with illegally amassing wealth of Tk 1.47 crore.
An official of Rajshahi University along with some unidentified persons severely beat up a teacher of the university over a trivial matter on Sunday evening.
The Malaysian government has contributed US$ 202,440 to the Islamic University of Technology (IUT), a subsidiary organ of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), says a press release.
A 20-day long programme organised to create mass awareness on violence against women began yesterday in Chittagong city.
A police constable posted at Public Order Management unit in the capital's Mirpur allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself with his own rifle yesterday.
A youth died after a train ran him over in Badarganj upazila of Rangpur yesterday morning.
Chittagong University (CU) students in a human chain yesterday demanded punishment to the culprits responsible for the Bahaddarhat flyover tragedy and urged politicians not to indulge in 'politics' regarding the issue.
Abdul Jalil Chowdhury, former assistant teacher of Thakurgaon Government Boys' High School, passed away due to a cardiac arrest at Thakurgaon Sadar Hospital early yesterday. He was 86.
A worker was killed and 10 others were injured as an under-construction building of a CNG filling and conversion station beside Dhaka-Bogra highway at Dhopakandi village in Ullapara upazila collapsed on them on Sunday.
There is no sign yet in sight for end to the nearly three-month-long deadlock at Islamic University (IU) in Kushtia.
Police filed two separate cases against 128 Jamaat-Shibir men, including the amir and general secretary of Nachole upazila unit, with Nachole Police Station on Saturday night on charge of attacking police men at the upazila headquarters in the afternoon.
A mobile court at Pabna yesterday awarded three months' rigorous imprisonment to five frauds including two retired sailors of the Navy on charge of taking money from the job seekers in the defence force.
Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi cattle trader on Kisamot Nijzoma border in Patgram upazila of Lalmonirhat district early Sunday.
Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) rescued 15 people, including women and children, while being trafficked to India through Sadipur border yesterday morning. All the victims hailed from Barisal, said Rafiqul islam, camp commander of 26 BGB, Benapole. On secret information, a team raided the border area and rescued six children, two women and seven men. Later, they were handed over to the police, said Rafiqul. According to a victim, they gave a handsome amount to the human traffickers.
Two brick kiln labourers were electrocuted at Kachabari village in Badarganj upazila on Sunday night. The deceased were identified as Manik, 33, and Sujon, 35, of upazila. Md Nuruzzaman, officer in-charge of Badarganj Police Station, said Manik came in contact with a live electric wire while he was working at a brick kiln in the area. At this, Sujon met tragic death while trying to save Manik. A case was filed in this, said the OC.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered two foreign made revolvers and two bullets from an abandoned place of Sarail upazila early yesterday. Acting on a tip off, a team of Rab-9, led by Bhairab Camp Commander Major Abdullah Al Mamun raided a jangle in the area where a gang was taking preparation to commit a robbery. After searching the area, the elite force seized the arms and ammunition. However, the robbers fled the scene sensing the presence of Rab personnel, said the camp commander.
At least 25 shops were gutted in a devastating fire at Bhangarhat Bazar in Kotalipara upazila on Sunday. Six shop owners also sustained burn injuries while trying to douse the flame. Ramesh Chandra Das, officer in-charge of Bhangarhat Police Investigation Centre, said the fire originated from a grocery shop at midnight and soon engulfed the adjoining shops. On information, Gopalganj fire service rushed in and extinguished the blaze after three hours of hectic efforts. Bimal Krishna Biswas, upazila chairman, claimed that the loss caused by the fire could go up to Tk 2 crore.
Robbers looted gold ornaments, foreign currencies, mobile phone sets, cash and other valuables worth Tk 50 lakh from two houses at Gonokhai village in Chhatak upazila of Sunamganj district early Sunday. Police said a gang of 20/25 entered the houses of businessman Sumon Mia and his cousin Foyzul Kabir Lucky at the village at about 3:30am. They looted 30 tolas of gold ornament, 1800 pounds, 9,000 Saudi Riyals, cloths worth Tk two lakh and other valuables from the house of Sumon keeping the inmates hostage at gunpoint. At the same time, the robbers also looted 15 tolas of gold ornament, Tk 25,000 and other valuables from the residence of Lucky. On information, a team of Chhatak police rushed to the spot and arrested one Mostafizur Rahman, Razon Mia and Kalim Mia in this connection.
Police arrested two alleged hundi traders along with some Indian currencies on the Chhoto Achra Bypass Road in Sharsha upazila on Saturday night. The arrestees are Karim, son of Sharitul, and Ramzan Ali, son of Nazrul Islam of Bhaberber village of the upazila. On secret information, police raided the area and arrested the duo and recovered 5,000 Indian rupees from their possession at around 7:00pm. A case was filed with Benapole Port Police Station in this connection.
Dinajpur chapter of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports has postponed its agitation programme till December 31. The decision came at a meeting between the leaders of the unit and the district administration at the rest house of Roads and Highway in Phulbari upazila on Sunday. Among others, Deputy Commissioner Ahmed Shamim Al Razi and Mosaddeque Hossain Labu and Saiful Islam Jewel, conveners of the unit, were present. The leaders of anti-coalmine protesters called a hartal on Saturday which later extended to Sunday to realise their demands.
Two housewives were murdered in Jessore and Pabna districts yesterday and the day before.
Activists in Syria said a government jet yesterday dropped a cluster bomb on a playground, leaving 10 children dead, reported BBC.
Arvind Kejriwal yesterday formally launched his 'Aam Admi Party', saying now the fight will be between leaders and the common man who has been suffering for the past 65 years since Independence.
Consensus yesterday eluded an all-party meeting called by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on foreign investment in retail sector issue, which disrupted Parliament for the third day.
Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak yesterday announced he was leaving politics, in a surprise decision that comes after a decades-long career that saw him also serve as prime minister.
A high-profile Pakistani journalist and television anchor escaped an assassination bid yesterday when police defused a bomb planted under his car in Islamabad, police and his channel said.
The Pakistani Taliban has ruled out any possibility of peace negotiations with the Pakistani government, a spokesman for the banned militant group said Monday, vowing to continue fighting until the ouster of the country's 'secular rulers'.
Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was to meet with senior judges on Monday in a bid to defuse a crisis that erupted after he assumed sweeping new powers, sparking strikes and deadly protests.
Nato surface-to-air missiles due to be stationed near Turkey's border with Syria will only be used to protect Turkish territory and not to establish a no-fly zone within Syria, the Turkish military yesterday said.
An Israeli delegation was to arrive yesterday in Cairo for indirect talks with Hamas on easing the Gaza blockade, the Palestinian faction's number two said, warning his group may act if there is any delay.
UN talks on a new climate pact resumed yesterday in oil and gas-rich Qatar, where negotiators from nearly 200 countries will discuss fighting global warming and helping poor nations adapt to it.
China on Sunday successfully landed a jet fighter on its new aircraft carrier for the first time, officials say.
Smoking "rots" the brain by damaging memory, learning and reasoning, according to researchers at King's College London.
The Supreme Court yesterday asked Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to meet and find an amicable solution to the Cauvery river water dispute.
Voters in Spain's Catalonia region have given a majority to parties seeking Catalan independence.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague on Sunday called for a "decisive lead" from the United States in seeking a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
At least 16 people have died after drinking a toxic cough syrup in the Pakistani city of Lahore, forcing authorities to close three pharmacies and a medicine factory, officials said yesterday.
North-east England and north Wales are braced for possible flooding as the weather front which brought heavy rain to southern England moves north.
Teachers in insurgency-wracked southern Thailand decided yesterday to suspend classes at hundreds of schools in the region over the killings of education workers by Muslim militants.
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said yesterday he was considering a political comeback for elections expected in March, but that the decision depended on who his centre-left adversaries selected as their main candidate.
The military commander of the M23 rebels is reported to have joined negotiations to end the fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Astronomers claim to have spotted a new loose spiral galaxy filled with gas and dust, using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
Unknown gunmen have attacked a Nigerian police base in the capital, Abuja, where Boko Haram Islamist militants are often held, police say.
Iran will build millions of barrels of oil storage facilities in the Gulf over the next few months in response to international sanctions on its exports, Iran's Press TV reported on Sunday.
Australia's government has apologised to hundreds of victims of abuse within the military, clearing the way for victims to receive compensation.
Mexican security forces have found 19 bodies in mass graves in the northern state of Chihuahua.
South Korean pop sensation Psy's "Gangnam Style" on Saturday became YouTube's most-watched video of all time, registering more than 803 million views to overtake "Baby" by Canadian heartthrob Justin Bieber.
Arts & Entertainment
A weeklong group art exhibition, titled “In Search of Roots-2”, featuring the works of seven noted artists is now on at Zainul Gallery, Faculty of Fine Arts (FFA), University of Dhaka. Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University, AAMS Arefin Siddique, inaugurated the exhibition as chief guest on November 24.
Under the title, “Remembering Sunil Gangopadhyay”, Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC) in Gulshan organised a commemorative meeting on poet and novelist Sunil Gangopadhyay on November 24.
As part of the 15th Asian Biennale, Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts has organised a group art exhibition titled “Rooted Creativity-11” at Bengal Gallery in Dhanmondi. The exhibition was inaugurated yesterday.
The Shilpakala Academy in Chittagong was abuzz with the footsteps of the theatre enthusiasts last Saturday evening as Uttaradhikar, a theatre group of the port city, staged the play “Mrittu Pakhi” at the auditorium.
Two shows by fusion group 'Aun & Hide', highlighting traditional Japanese drums, will be held in Dhaka. The first concert will be on November 30 at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, while the second will be held at the Main Auditorium of National Museum, on December 1.
Aspiring entrepreneurs in Bangladesh face a mountain of hurdles thanks to the intricacies involved in getting necessary licenses, permits, etc. from the bureaucracy that is anything but pro-business. Let's face it. For entrepreneurship to thrive, one doesn't need endless seminars and roundtable conferences. What is needed is a government that is cooperative and understands the need for smart regulations that is easily accessible for start-up companies and individuals. It is only natural that entrepreneurship has thrived in the developed economies. As stated by entrepreneurship professor Solomon of George Washington University it was only “in the 1970s and 1980s, the concept of entrepreneurship was just being hatched. It's been growing by leaps and bounds since, of course. By contrast, entrepreneurial ecosystems in many other countries aren't established yet. They haven't developed a support system at government agencies, universities or among the private sector.”
Indian politicians, television anchors and film stars fell over one another in lavishing praise on Bal Thackeray for his personal candour and tactical shrewdness, despite his ghastly politics. But I won't shed tears over one of South Asia's most repulsive demagogues, who infused poison into India's body politic and debased its democracy.
This morning, one of my co-workers showed me the label of his shirt -- it's made in Bangladesh, and smiled, "Look, I am wearing a Bangladeshi shirt!" He did not know about the recent tragedy in Ashulia; I told him about the death of more than hundred working, living, hopeful workers. He was sad, and simply said, "I feel terrible now, feel guilty about holding this shirt in my hand." So am I, and no doubt many others feel the same. Yahoo news article regarding this accident received tremendous amount of response from the readers living in the Western world.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is a villain for many Pakistanis. One sided history books tell us that Mujib was a traitor who broke Pakistan with the help of India. We read in our history books that All India Muslim League was formed in Dhaka in 1906 but, we don't know why the Pakistan Army surrendered to Indian Army on December 16, 1971, in Dhaka?
At last it can be revealed. Lift Lurker is Vince Alcalde -- a software developer who was born and grew up in Manila, but now lives and works as a technology consultant in Australia. He has three children.
The foundation stone to the Jerusalem's Church in Berlin is laid.