News of: Friday, 14th of December, 2012
Nobody from Bangladesh Chhatra League killed Bishwajit Das.
The Prime Minister's Office yesterday claimed none of the killers of Bishwajit Das have link to Bangladesh Chhatra League, even though it is beyond doubt that at least 10 of them were very much involved in BCL politics at Jagannath University. A section of teachers, students, journalists and BCL leaders of the university have confirmed to The Daily Star that the youths who beat and hacked to death Bishwajit during an opposition blockade on Sunday were influential BCL activists.
Seven people have so far been arrested in connection with the murder of Bishwajit Das during the December 9 roadblock in the capital.
They were our compatriots with whom we shared our laughter, our moments of sadness. We watched dawn break in their company. And with them we saw the sun set at the end of day. And then came the day when the sun set on their lives.
British magazine The Economist published an online article based on, what it said, “hacked e-mails and telephone conversations” between Justice Nizamul Huq and Ahmed Ziauddin. The Daily Star is not running the article in view of yesterday's directive of the International Crimes Tribunal-2.
The High Court yesterday ordered a judicial inquiry into the September 29 attacks in Ramu of Cox's Bazar as an earlier probe had provided little information about the planners of the attacks.
The government yesterday reconstituted two International Crimes Tribunals through bringing changes in the posts of chairman and member of the tribunals.
A sedition case was filed yesterday against Bangla daily Amar Desh acting editor Mahmudur Rahman and its publisher Hasmat Ali for running an online conversation between the former chairman of International Crimes Tribunal-1 (ICT) and an international crimes law expert.
Explosions of hand-made bombs, acts of vandalism and clashes between law enforcers and opposition activists on streets marked the eight-hour countrywide hartal yesterday.
A prosecution witness yesterday testified that he might have seen Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed in an army jeep when he was escaping from the Pakistani occupation army during the Liberation War.
Destiny Group Chairman Mohammad Rafiqul Amin yesterday confessed before a magistrate that he along with other top officials had misappropriated Tk 3,350 crore in investors' money.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday called upon businessmen and industrialists to play their role and be part of a national movement to help the country get rid of the existing anarchy.
A group of US lawmakers including senators and a congressman have urged upon their President Barak Obama to take all possible actions to ensure that all clothing imports, especially that for the US armed forces, be made at factories that ensure safety at workplace.
A galaxy once considered the oldest has reclaimed its title, scientists reported on Wednesday.
A dream Christmas cruise has turned into the holiday from hell, according to passengers who claim as many as 400 travellers have been struck down with the norovirus winter vomiting bug.
A top Chinese provincial official has been sacked for "serious violations of discipline", state media said yesterday, the first such firing since the Communist Party's new leader vowed to fight graft.
Much-needed rescue funds for Athens "will be flowing to Greece as early as next week," the head of the Eurogroup Jean-Claude Juncker said yesterday.
Hartals are falling into a pattern, something we had dreaded in the past, but the nightmares seems to be looming. Apprehensions are rife that our leaders are pushing us down the slippery slope to a tunnel without any light like it happened at the fag end of 2006.
As we approach Victory Day we remember with great sadness that on the eve of its finest hour the nation was dealt a heinous blow by death squads of the Pakistani military known as Razakar and al-Badr. It was a vile bid to break the young country's intellectual backbone. The cream of society -- writers, doctors and academics, journalists -- carefully handpicked by the local collaborators two days before the birth of Bangladesh disappeared in the murderous pogrom that ensued on December 14, 1971.
Mohammedan SC returned to winning ways in the Grameenphone Bangladesh Premier League by beating the big-budget outfit of Sheikh Russel KC 3-1 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
The High Court on Thursday issued a rule nisi on the National Sports Council (NSC) asking them why the amended constitution of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) should not be considered illegal.
The Cricketers' Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB) hailed the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) new constitution as they believe that the amendments uphold the rights of the cricketers.
India bowlers let England off the hook and allowed the visitors to recover from a difficult position as they reached 199 for five at stumps on the opening day to leave the crucial fourth and final cricket Test evenly poised here on Thursday.
Rookie Dimuth Karunaratne was picked to open the Sri Lankan batting with veteran Tillakaratne Dilshan in the first Test against Australia in Hobart on Friday.
Heavy thunderstorms and lightning caused a truncated first day at the Iskandar Johor Open yesterday as 84 of the 120 golfers will have to complete their first round early this morning at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club in Malaysia.
Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri has warned his players they have no option but to win their next Ligue 2 game after they lost top spot in the standings with a 3-0 defeat at Caen on Tuesday.
US swim star Ryan Lochte bagged two golds on the opening day of the World Short Course Swimming Championships on Wednesday to add to the five medals he won in the London Olympics in the summer.
Australian cricket great Adam Gilchrist believes the one-day format is on an irreversible slide and will be "history" in three years, a report said on Thursday.
Former world number one Kim Clijsters celebrated the end of her sparkling tennis career with a victory in an exhibition match against American rival Venus Williams on Wednesday.
Commodore Comman-ding Chittagong team beat Commodore Commanding Khulna team by 87 runs in the T20 final to become champions in the Bangladesh Navy's annual cricket competition which ended on Wednesday at the BNS Isa Khan Sports Complex in Chittagong.
Manchester United Club of Rampur became champions in the Victory Day T20 Cricket Tournament beating Mohammedan Sporting Club of Feni by two wickets in the final at the Bhasha Shaheed Salam Stadium yesterday.
The Victory Day cricket match between Shaheed Jewel XI and Shaheed Mushtaque XI will be held at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium tomorrow.
Rajshahi reached the final of the Agrani Bank 23rd National Youth Hockey Championship with a 5-4 win over Faridpur in the tiebreaker at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.
The apparently unstoppable Lionel Messi extended his record goals tally for 2012 to 88 when he scored twice to earn holders Barcelona a 2-0 win at second division Cordoba in their King's Cup last-16 first leg on Wednesday.
European champions Chelsea outclassed Mexican side Monterrey 3-1 at the Club World Cup in Japan on Thursday to set up a mouthwatering final clash with Brazilian giants Corinthians.
Zambia's Godfrey Chitalu, not Argentina's Lionel Messi nor Brazil's Zico, scored most goals in a calendar year, local football bosses claimed here Thursday.
Ligue 1 leaders Lyon were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to relegation candidates Nancy on Wednesday, as their lead at the top was trimmed to three points.
AC Milan have announced a "commercial partnership" with Chinese top flight club Guangzhou Evergrande, the Serie A giants announced Wednesday.
Roma forward Mattia Destro has suffered a knock to his ankle that makes him a doubt for Saturday's Serie A match against Chievo, the capital club indicated.
A Sebastian Giovinco goal in the 56th minute gave Juventus a 1-0 win over Cagliari on Wednesday and set the Serie A champions up with a potential Italian Cup quarterfinal clash against AC Milan.
Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia yesterday urged garment entrepreneurs to ensure safety and better working conditions for workers, saying they are the lifeline to the country's highest foreign currency earning sector.
The central bank is buying a large amount of dollars from the foreign exchange market almost every month to maintain stability of the exchange rate mainly because of a fall in import.
The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday approved the IPO prospectus of Apollo Ispat that will raise Tk 220 crore from public.
The UK-based Port Evaluation Management (Port-Evo) will enter into a joint venture deal with Rupayan Port & Logistics Services Ltd to develop the country's first private inland container terminal.
The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday arrested a former divisional engineer of Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Ltd for misappropriating government revenue by giving connections to some alleged international call carriers.
Stocks gained for the third day as institutional investors started to make fresh investment in the market yesterday.
Etihad Airways has launched in-flight internet and mobile connectivity services, powered by the Panasonic Avionics Global Communications Suite, the airline said in a statement yesterday.
Indian Telecommunications tower operator Bharti Infratel Ltd's initial public offering for up to $830 million, India's biggest IPO in two years, was fully covered on Thursday, boosting the outlook for new share sales.
OPEC will likely cut its oil production next year as prices risk falling in reaction to higher output from top crude consumer the United States and amid a slowing of energy demand growth, analysts say.
Khatunganj-Chaktai, one of the biggest wholesale essentials markets, remained deserted due to frequent shutdowns enforced by the opposition parties, local businessmen said yesterday.
Vested interest groups have appointed international lobbyists in different countries to hinder the ongoing trial of the 1971 war criminals, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said yesterday.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam yesterday criticised BNP leader Moudud Ahmed for his remarks that the proceedings of International Crimes Tribunal-1 had become "illegal, unconstitutional, and unacceptable" following resignation of its chief.
Speakers at a rally yesterday urged the prime minister to ensure immediate arrest of the murderers of Bishwajit Das and their trial under the speedy trial act.
Elastography can be used as an effective tool to detect cancerous tumours more accurately, said researchers at a seminar in the capital yesterday.
The Skype conversation between the former chief of International Crimes Tribunal-1 and an expatriate Bangaldeshi legal expert had been recorded by a quarter over a long period aiming to stop the ongoing trial proceedings against the war crimes accused, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam claimed yesterday.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Ghulam Rahman yesterday called for patience to know the probe findings on the graft allegations in Padma bridge project.
A total of 14 lower court judges and equivalent officials have been transferred and given new postings in a latest reshuffle in the judiciary.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged Dhaka city dwellers to be more judicious in using water, gas, electricity and other civic amenities considering the scarcity of the natural resources.
Five people were killed and eight others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Natore and Pabna on Wednesday and yesterday.
Family of Azibor Khan, who drowned on Wednesday after being chased by police, expressed dissatisfaction about police for filing a case against unidentified persons in this regard.
The government yesterday informed the High Court that the law enforcers had arrested Mahfuzur Rahman Nahid, an alleged killer of Bishwajit Das, whose identity was published in the media.
Two people were killed yesterday in two train accidents.
Dhaka has noted with deep concern the recent missile launch conducted by North Korea and said such action is not conducive to maintenance of peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the world in general.
The High Court yesterday cleared the way for restarting trial proceedings of an arson case filed against 46 opposition leaders, including BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Bangladesh Public Service Commission has rescheduled the written tests of the 33rd Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) exams, which were to be held on December 18, due to a countrywide hartal to be enforced by leftist political parties on the day.
A doa mahfil for late Prof Khan Sarwar Murshid, an educationalist, diplomat and intellectual, will be held after Asr prayers today at 765 Sat Masjid Road, Dhanmondi in the capital.
The government has decided to appoint Sheikh Sekander Ali, currently serving as the director general (administration) in foreign ministry, as the new ambassador of Bangladesh to the Sultanate of Oman.
Four houses were partially gutted in a fire in Chittagong city yesterday. However, no one was injured in the incident.
Mobile operator Banglalink will hold a day-long cultural festival styled “Bangladesh Utshob” in the capital's Ramna Park on December 21 to present the country's heritage.
The chehlum of Ferdous Zaman Mukul, a freedom fighter, former lawmaker and secretary of the district Awami League, will be held at Dhankunda in Dhunat upazila of the district today.
Today is the 41st death anniversary of Shaheed prof Giasuddin Ahmed.
Strangely though, the new generation in the district knows very little about the glorious contribution of Dr Fazle Rabbi, as there is hardly any programme commemorating the martyred intellectual in his home district.
A Natore court yesterday placed central BNP leader and former deputy minister Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu on a one-day remanded in Jubo League leader Palash Karmaker murder case.
Nearly eight months into the killing of schoolboy Naimul Islam Naim, police finally submitted charge sheet in the Naim murder case against six accused here on Wednesday.
Double decker launches on Dhaka-Patuakhali route went on an indefinite strike after a group of ruling party men assaulted a launch supervisor yesterday.
A local Jubo Dal leader was killed by unknown assailants in Derera area of Barura municipality on Wednesday night.
The badhyabhumi (killing ground) in Barisal city, a major witness to the brutalities of the Pakistan occupation forces during the Liberation War, is gradually losing its visible marks due to lack of maintenance during four decades after the independence.
Today is the 41st death anniversary of Bir Shreshtha Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir.
The eight-hour countrywide shutdown enforced by BNP-led 18-party alliance to press for the release of BNP's acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir passed off amid stray incidents of violence in the districts yesterday, according to our correspondent.
Two Bangladeshi nationals were seriously injured as a group Indian Khasia people opened fire on them in the hill area near Narayantala frontier on Sunamganj-Meghalaya border on Wednesday evening.
Bangladesh Photo Journalist Association of Rangpur district unit formed a human chain in the city yesterday, demanding immediate arrest and punishment of those who attacked newsmen.
A homeopathy doctor was killed in a bomb attack by muggers at Rotirampur village in Jibonnagar upazila of Chuadanga district on Monday night.
Women passengers are fewer than men passengers. There are three to six seats in each bus which are reserved for women. And it is also indicated in writing above the seats. But unfortunately, in most cases, the male passengers grab those reserved seats. Women keep standing in the bus whereas men shamelessly occupy their seats. If they protest, the male passengers start quarrelling. The driver and the helper remain silent in such situations. The government should take necessary action to solve this problem.
Has violence become the catalyst for Bangladesh politics? That is the only conclusion that we can draw from the events over the last few days! It appears that political parties are driven by violence to declare their presence. And politicians are apt to come up with all sorts of excuses to justify and indulge in it!
This is a regular scene on the airport road where vehicles ply freely on the wrong side of the divide on the highway. Often this is done in front of the police but the police never give any objection. This practice is highly dangerous as there is a high risk of collision. I myself had to move out of the way in order to avoid a collision. I urge the authorities to look into the matter and put a stop to this practice for good.
I wonder if the Padma Bridge enquiry is focussing on the wrong issue, trying to investigate 'corruption' and 'transparency'. As a Principal/Headmistress in Bangladeshi-run English-medium schools for over 7 of my 13 years in this dear country, I know how many Bangladeshis of the middle and upper classes are expert, by the age of about 8, at ensuring that no authority discovers what ACTUALLY happened - or continues to happen, if accused of malpractice! They are likely to improve their techniques as they get older, ensuring that the authority concerned gives up trying to punish them at all as collecting reliable facts is just too much hard work. This gives the naughty ones, at first, the satisfaction of feeling 'clever' and, later, they consider such an achievement is 'normal' for those of their status. Thus, they are outraged if punished and consider that no punishment of such 'harsh' authority is too great. What about changing the issue to one of 'competence'? Surely, the big question is, “With or without 'corruption', is the Padma Bridge, likely to be built, according to the specifications, within the given time limit?” Thus the condition of funding might be, for instance, to complete, before the end of 2013, both the Dhaka - Chittagong and the Dhaka - Mymensingh highways, according to specifications - not, as someone suggested in one of these cases, by painting the road black to make it look as though it had been surfaced correctly….. This change of focus would surely save an awful lot of time in expensive meetings that go round and round in circles. If those expected to provide this money also specified that the trial of the war criminals should also be completed by the end of 2013 - as a test of 'competence', of course - then any hostility to 'funding by foreigners', might well vanish - amidst cheers from all quarters.
On 25 March 1971, Pakistan army launched 'Operation Searchlight' with the sinister motive of eliminating the Bengali people. Following Bangabandhu's declaration of independence, spontaneous Bengali resistance started throughout Bangladesh. The then-EPR (East Pakistan Rifles) Major Abu Osman Chowdhury of Chuadanga (Kusthia) revolted against Pakistan army on 26th March.
It is now about a month I have been working in a gas station at a place called Woodway Dr in Houston, Texas. This gas station has a car workshop as well and is licensed to do vehicle state inspection. One day in the late afternoon, a young man and a lady came in and inquired about how long it would take to do the inspection. The manager said 10 - 15 minutes and wanted to see the vehicle documents which include registration and insurance. Thereafter he went out to see the car to be inspected. After visual inspection, he expressed his inability to do the inspection as three of the four tires were worn out. The young man pleaded earnestly to do the inspection, saying he would replace the tires as soon as possible, but the manager politely refused. He told the man that in order to get the inspection done, he needs to replace the tires first as it is a major safety concern.
So far the ACC could not find any case of graft in the Padma bridge project. It happened because the government did not want it. We want proper investigation.
This year, nearly 17000 students took part in the admission test of our university. It was a huge job to smoothly conduct the admission test with our limited infrastructural facilities. Of course it is gratifying to record here that a number of schools and colleges around the area helped us by providing their premises and manpower for conducting the admission test. Complete digital methods were applied to conduct the admission test which include filling of application forms by candidates via Teletalk, computer-based examination of answer scripts, preparation of complete result, etc.
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A car bomb killed 16 people outside the Syrian capital yesterday hours after a bombing wounded the interior minister as Damascus ally Moscow acknowledged the regime may lose the fight against rebels.
Millions voted yesterday in India's Gujarat state where Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi is seeking a big win to spur his prime ministerial ambitions, 10 years after anti-Muslim riots on his watch.
A divided Egypt is being called to vote in a referendum tomorrow on a new constitution that the secular opposition fears will be used by President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood to usher in Islamist interpretation of laws.
China yesterday resisted US-led pressure to bring its ally North Korea to heel for launching a long-range rocket, arguing that any response from the United Nations should be "prudent" and measured.
The Syrian regime has fired Scud missiles at rebel forces trying to oust Bashar al-Assad, a US official said Wednesday, after Arab and Western states recognised the opposition bloc as the sole representative there.
Former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was charged with murder yesterday, his party said, over a civilian's death during a crackdown on anti-government rallies two years ago.
A US military judge ordered Wednesday that testimony from defendants accused of taking part in the September 11 attacks describing their torture and secret imprisonment must be kept secret.
The death toll from the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year has climbed above 900, with hundreds still missing, the government said yesterday.
Children -- most of them girls -- now make up 27 percent of all human trafficking cases, marking an alarming increase in recent years, a UN agency said Wednesday.
UN atomic watchdog experts yesterday arrived in Iran to renew efforts to engage Tehran over its disputed nuclear programme, but media reports said an inspection visit to suspect sites was off the agenda.
Pakistan wastes a whopping $51 to $72 million every day as a result of inefficiency, corruption and tax shortcomings, the head of an anti-corruption watchdog said yesterday.
The Pakistan military and the Taliban are guilty of rights abuses with a lack of justice fuelling a crisis in the tribal areas on the Afghan border, a report by Amnesty International said yesterday.
Nepal's president yesterday gave rival political parties a third extension to his deadline for forming a national unity government to lead the country into elections next year.
Arts & Entertainment
One can never say enough about this maestro, this legend of Indian classical music.
The 37th edition of the Kolkata Book Fair, to be held in January, will have special sessions devoted to three doyens of modern Bengali literature -- Humayun Ahmed, Sunil Gangopadhyay and Syed Mustafa Siraj -- who died this year.
Yesterday marked the first death anniversary of educationist, translator and author Kabir Chowdhury. He was also one of the pioneering figures of the movement against fundamentalism in Bangladesh.
Sitar legend Pandit Ravi Shankar is to receive a posthumous lifetime achievement Grammy award, organisers of the music industry's top prize show said Wednesday.
In the series of celebrations leading up to Vidya Balan's wedding today, the mehndi ceremony took place on December 12 at the actress' Mumbai residence.
Films on the Liberation War
The scenes from the refugee camps in West Bengal in 1971 are indelibly printed in Mustafa Monowar's mind: Grim, distressed faces and a deathly silence which enveloped everyone, including the children. "They were getting basic necessities such as food and clothes but laughter, which is crucial for human beings, was missing. Even the children did not play together. The trauma was tremendous because of the inhumanity of the Pakistani army. So I thought I would have puppet plays to boost the refugees' morale and bring back laughter in their lives," says Monowar, puppeteer, artist, director and producer of TV programmes and author of screen plays.
A two-day conference, titled “The Influence of Shakespeare”, will be held at the Bashundhara campus of North South University on December 14 and 15, says a press release.
Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin, who said that life was worth nothing without victory, led an investigation into the causes of the Russian revolution. He had termed the revolution as a tragedy and explained that "the weak, damaged self-respect" of Russians had created mutual distrust and suspicion between the state and the people. The authorities and the nobility constantly misused their power, and they did so by subverting the unity of the people. Ivan then gave his startling conclusion. The revolution didn't happen due to inequality of people. It happened because the educated upper classes didn't give spiritual guidance to the uneducated lower classes, which was their duty.
On November29 , 1947 the second session of the UN General Assembly passed a Resolution -- A/Res/181(II)A -- to create the state of Israel by breaking up Palestine.
Perhaps, the standard textbooks on forensic science have to be rewritten for Bangladesh. No murders ever get investigated with any single-minded purpose except for looking over the shoulder who maybe politically hurt or benefited and getting laidback in the process.
They gave their lives working to clothe us. We covered their mortal remains, which had turned into carbon, with pieces of white cloth and buried them with our tears. Yes, I am talking about the tragic incident that took place in Nishchintopur that will continue to disturb our peace for long. Let not the memory of this tragedy get obliterated, because we seem to have got used to such incidents that are horrible acts of negligence by people.
December 14 is a day that evokes pain and sorrow in Bengali souls as we remember that on this day, 41 years ago, in misty winter, some of the bravest and most enlightened sons of Bangladesh had made their ultimate sacrifice for the cause of pride and liberty. Teachers, writers, journalists, professionals and social thinkers were picked up from their residences, blindfolded and taken to the deserted trench of Rayer Bazar, to be tormented and massacred just two days before the victory in the nation's war of independence on December 16, 1971.
Winter War: The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations for invading Finland.
His life has changed in three years.
Facebook Inc began rolling out a variety of new privacy controls on Wednesday, the company's latest effort to address user concerns about who can see their personal information on the world's largest social network.
Google's navigation tool has returned to the iPhone, months after Apple's home-grown mapping service flopped, prompting user complaints, the firing of an executive and a public apology from Apple's CEO.
REVE Systems, a leading VoIP software solutions provider in Bangladesh has received the prestigious 2012 Red Herring's Top 100 Global Award, says a press release.
Asus has introduced its ET2013 series of all-in-one PCs in the local market.
LG has introduced Green IT certified E1942C 18.5-inch LED monitor in the local market.