News of: Monday, 31st of December, 2012
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2012 has been a nerve-racking year for the country.
In yet another violation of party constitution, the Awami League national council has empowered newly elected AL President Sheikh Hasina to bring changes, if necessary, in the charter and declaration.
Hectic lobbying for a place in the next central committee of ruling Awami League has started with the close circles of re-elected party chief Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Retracting from his earlier statement, ex-secretary of Bridges Division Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan has told the ACC in custody that he made all decisions on the Padma bridge project in consultation with “higher authorities” in an oblique reference to ex-minister Syed Abul Hossain.
The technical evaluation committee of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday recommended increasing power prices by 4.84 percent at retail level to reduce subsidy burden on the state-run electricity distribution company.
At least 12 people were killed and 18 others injured in a head-on collision between a bus and a microbus on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway at Shibpur upazila in Narsingdi yesterday.
Dhaka yesterday called upon the international community not to make any request in favour of the war crimes accused who are now under trial in the International Crimes Tribunal.
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced five people to death for killing Saudi Embassy official Khalaf Al Ali in March this year.
The BNP-led 18-party alliance last night decided to call hartal if the government increases fuel prices.
Vehicular movement on two key bridges -- Meghna and Meghna-Gumti -- on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway will remain suspended for four days from 6:00am Friday due to their repair works.
Women's participation in the economic activities nearly doubled to 9.8 percent of the female population over the last seven years, according to 5th Population and Housing Census 2011.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam yesterday said the Skype conversation between former chairman of the International Crimes Tribunal-1 and an expatriate legal expert was recorded with a malicious intention to delay and foil trial of the war crimes accused.
At least 500 litres of oil spilled into Karnaphuli river after an oil tanker collided with a jetty near the estuary yesterday.
Yet another accused in the sensational Bishwajit murder case has admitted to directly taking part in the killing of the innocent tailor and being involved in Chhatra League politics.
Hundreds of women and men held a human chain and candle light vigil yesterday in front of the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban in the capital to protest violence against women in South Asia.
People across the country have suffered badly in the last few days as a cold wave is sweeping over different parts of the country.
The victim of a gang-rape and murder which triggered an outpouring of grief and revulsion across India was cremated at a private ceremony yesterday.
Four crew were killed Saturday when a Russian airliner crashed into a motorway and broke up into three pieces after overshooting the runway at an international Moscow airport.
A Georgian soldier who went missing in Afghanistan earlier this month was found dead in an abandoned mud house with multiple bullets to his body, local officials said yesterday.
The death toll from a tropical storm that hit the central Philippines on Christmas Day has risen to 20, with more than 20,000 others left homeless, the government said yesterday.
Thousands of people were forced to flee rapidly rising rivers in the Solomon Islands, officials said yesterday as Cyclone Freda intensified into a "destructive" force storm and headed towards New Caledonia.
We congratulate Sheikh Hasina and Syed Ashraful Islam on their reelection as the party president and general secretary. The outcome was predictable and the procedure pretty much ritualistic in that they have been elected unopposed in keeping with party tradition.
As reported in this newspaper recently, a large number of electric three-wheelers have flooded the port city. And they come in two forms, motor-rickshaws and easy-bikes, which are battery powered. They are unauthorised, not having obtained BRTA approval. The fact is, it is not only Chittagong but also many other towns and cities where these machines have made their appearance. And they have been there for quite sometime now, operating under the very nose of the law enforcing agencies illegally.
The image of Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim in tears after the Asia Cup final in March is one that springs readily to mind when looking at the Bangladesh cricket team's performance in the year just going by. The chance to achieve their biggest success was shattered following a two-run defeat to Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in March, but the crying cricketers won the hearts of millions through their outstanding performance in the region's showpiece event.
In 2012 Bangladesh have made some strides in the sports sphere -- the playing of FIFA international friendlies and the general elevation of the cricket team's standard in ODI cricket come to mind. But if there is one thing that can be expected from organised sports in Bangladesh, it is that there will be controversies, and 2012 supplied a steady stream of the same. Here's a look back at some of the off-field scandals:
While the Tigers have undoubtedly gained high honours this year with their brilliant run in One-Day-Internationals (ODIs), 2012 however witnessed various other highlights in Bangladesh's sporting arena.
Frank Lampard scored twice as Chelsea came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory at Everton on Sunday in Blues interim coach Rafael Benitez's first game on Merseyside since leaving Liverpool.
Pakistan beat India by 6 wickets in the first one-day international in Chennai on Sunday.
The first-round match of the Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL) between Walton Central Zone and Prime Bank South Zone at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium eventually turned out to be a draw at the end of the fourth day yesterday. However, for a moment it seemed as though Robiul Islam's terrific opening spell, which included four wickets in the very first over of the fourth innings, would produce a win for South Zone.
Ace Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has said that he expects to be fit in time for the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20, which begins on January 18. Shakib was earlier diagnosed with a shin injury after Bangladesh's second Test match against the West Indies in November and had been advised to 'stay away from sporting activities' for six weeks.
Bangladesh Hockey Federation Eleven emerged champions in the Southeast Bank Victory Day Hockey Tournament with a 4-1 win over BKSP in the final at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.
Domestic football competitions have been in a steady position over last five years without much improvement seen in the general standard of football. The poor standard of the country's footballers was exposed time and again when they competed at the international level in tournaments such as the biennial SAFF Championship, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Olympic Qualifiers or the AFC Challenge Cup.
When Niaz Murshed became the country's first Grandmaster (the first one from South Asian as well) back in 1987, a generation of youth were inspired to take up the game. They thought that chess would give them an identity and fame like no other sport could. But soon enough the harsh realities of the game dawned on Niaz and his followers -- the lack of money in the game, the politicisation of the game's governing body and the struggle to cope with modern tech-based chess -- meant the positive vibe from the game slowly drifted away.
In a cool summer evening on the 12th of August in London, Lord Sebastian Coe stood up to the podium facing 80,000 people and a TV audience of nearly a billion to whisper a simple phrase into the microphone.
The year 2012 is a tale of two halves for Siddikur Rahman, Bangladesh's flag bearer in international golf. The man who became the first and only Bangladeshi to win an Asian Tour tile back in 2010 has produced some brilliant performances, threatened to win another title, but in the end fell to disappointing depths.
Stocks are all set to end the year in the red territory, as the market failed to recapture its pre-2011 shine in 2012.
The central bank has asked Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission to make it mandatory for mutual funds to invest in government bonds to make the debt instruments more popular.
The month-long Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) begins tomorrow to showcase Bangladeshi products with new features among the visitors from home and abroad.
Standard Chartered Bank has arranged around $193 million loans for Ashuganj Power Station Company Ltd to help the state-run electricity producer set up a 225-megawatt combined cycle power plant.
(Continued from yesterday)
Commerce Minister GM Quader called for efforts to build confidence among investors by highlighting the resilience of local entrepreneurs, industrious labour and a supportive policy framework.
KMH Shahidul Haque has recently been elected as the president of Bangladesh Indenting Agents' Association, the association said in a statement.
Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) yesterday said a technical glitch at the state-run company disrupted its internet gateway services from 2.45pm to 5.45pm on Wednesday.
Four major incidents put a damper on the party of the garment entrepreneurs who moved close to a $20-billion milestone in exports in the outgoing year.
The past year has had many major market moving events that created both short and long term ripple effects throughout the banking industry. Such a turbulent year led to heated debates not only about global banking reforms but the future of the eurozone and of capitalism itself as well.
Sometimes the most important ideas in tech are hiding in plain sight. In that spirit, here are three predictions for 2013 that are just waiting to happen. No 3D TVs, wearable computer or jet packs for me -- at least not this year.
Tight security will be in force in the capital on the New Year's eve today.
Freedom fighters yesterday vowed to continue their movement against the “conspiracy to foil” the ongoing war crimes trial until the trial's completion.
Some 25 leaders and activists of left-leaning parties sustained injuries, one allegedly from gunshot, yesterday when police charged truncheon and fired teargas to foil their attempt to lay siege to the power, energy and mineral resources ministry.
Kamal Uddin Sabuj and Syed Abdal Ahmed have been re-elected president and general secretary of Jatiya Press Club for 2013-14 term.
A Dhaka court yesterday sent 33 members of banned Islamist outfit Hizb-ut Tahrir on a three-day remand each in connection with a case filed under the anti-terrorism act.
The body of a domestic help was found hanging at her employer's house in the capital's Basabo yesterday.
Three people were killed in separate road accidents in Bogra and Kushtia yesterday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday heavily criticised Dr Akbar Ali Khan, former adviser to a caretaker government, saying a person who has failed to hold a simple election has no right to talk about the formula of an interim government.
Every family should build social awareness and take initiatives to end corporal punishment against children for their smooth mental and physical growth, said rights activists and policy makers yesterday.
Bangladeshi migrant workers become victims of exploitation by different stakeholders including private recruiting agencies; not of government corruption, claimed Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday.
Epic Garments Manufacturing Company Limited in a statement yesterday clarified that several of its workers sustained minor injuries while rushing out of its canteen in panic after a steam generating machine went out of order with a big noise in Narayanganj's Adamjee Export Processing Zone on December 25.
Some muggers snatched around Tk 7 lakh worth valuables from a couple who were hanging out with their cousins just after their engagement ceremony in the capital's Dhanmondi Road-9 area early yesterday.
Farmers in the country's Barind region are counting losses due to increased prices of agricultural inputs like fertiliser, seeds, pesticides, diesel and electricity, said lawmaker Fazle Hossain Badsha.
Speakers at a roundtable discussion yesterday urged the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs to include women entrepreneurs with disabilities in their Tk 10 million fund allocation for women entrepreneurs' empowerment projects.
Commerce Minister GM Quader called for "generating confidence in the minds of the investors."
Sector Commanders' Forum (SCF), a platform of sector commanders in the Liberation War, yesterday condemned Turkish President Abdullah Gul's recent letter to Bangladesh President and Prime Minister calling for “clemency” to the war crimes accused.
Pro-BNP-Jamaat lawyers yesterday demanded Justice Nizamul Huq's removal from the office of the High Court judge through a Supreme Judicial Council and his trial for holding Skype conversations on ICT-1 with an expatriate Bangladeshi legal expert.
Buriganga's condition has “slightly” improved due to effective drives against polluters, claimed Environment and Forest Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday.
Speakers expressed grief and shock at the death of Awami League leader Abdur Razzak and remembered his immense contribution during the Liberation War in a condolence meeting yesterday.
Twelve veteran freedom fighters were accorded a reception at a book launching ceremony in the capital yesterday.
Today is the 22nd death anniversary of Comrade Moni Singh, one of the leading organisers of the Liberation War and former president of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB).
Prof Joynul Abedin and Prof Ashraful Islam were elected president and general secretary respectively of the executive committee of Buet Teachers' Association for 2013, says a press release.
Demanding speedy trial of war criminals, the Jahangirnagar University authorities will stage an open concert titled "Bangladesh Concert" at Selim Al Deen Mukta Mancha on the campus at around 5:30pm today.
Prof Nazrul Islam, former chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC), and current chairman of Centre for Urban Studies (CUS), have been nominated for Sheltech Award 2012.
Naeem Ahmed Khan and Anisur Rahman Sarkar Litu have been selected president and general secretary respectively of University Laboratory Ex-Student Association (ULESA).
The British High Commission in Dhaka, its office in Sylhet, and DFID Bangladesh will remain closed to the public tomorrow [January 1] on the occasion of New Year's Day.
DM Bhuiyan, a social worker, passed away in a hospital of the capital on Thursday. He was 98, says a press release.
Toady is the fifth death anniversary of KM Subhan, former justice of Bangladesh Supreme Court Appellate Division.
Honey producers here have demanded government support including adequate bank loan facilities and ensuring fair price of the highly nutritious item to help develop the prospective industry.
Around 2,500 tonnes of urea fertiliser allocated for the cultivation of Irri-boro in the upcoming season are kept under the open sky due to space shortage in the godown in Joypurhat district.
A private firm official has set a laudable example of helping poor cold-hit rural students by using social networking site Facebook.
Two staffs of a shop at Ashuganj River Port in the district were brutally killed by a gang in the early hours of yesterday.
Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) recovered two hand made arms and four bullets in Lama upazila on Saturday Morning.
The body of Sarowar Hossain, 15, a worker of a lathe machine workshop in the capital, was exhumed from Gaibandha municipality graveyard on Saturday, 45 days after his abduction.
Local people on Saturday ransacked a clinic at Ramdia Bazar in Kasiani upazila of Gopalganj district where a newborn died due to alleged negligence of the doctors, reports a correspondent.
A three-day long Baul Mela (gathering of mystics) will begin at Manikganj Government Boys' High School playground today.
Police arrested a man, who allegedly severed the tendons of his wife, from a fish market in Nandail upazila of Mymensingh district on Saturday.
Robbers looted cash from a filling station in Badarganj upazila on Saturday night. Police said, a gang of 7/8 in a microbus swooped on Shah Filling Station and tied three night guards and Momdel, 35, manager of the station. Later, the robbers took away Tk 25,000 and fled the scene, said Nuruzzaman Chowdhury, officer in-charge at Badarganj police station.
Unidentified criminals killed a night guard at Pirgachha upazila of the district early yesterday. The victim was identified as Riazul Islam, 33, son of Akkas Ali of Itakumari village in the upazila. Police and local sources said one Adam Hossain of the village cultivated fish in a pond at Itakumari Bazar and employed Riazul and his uncle Tayab Ali to watch and protect the pond from attack at night. Tayab Ali said when he along with Riazul was sitting in front of a tea stall beside the pond at around 2:30am, a gang of six criminals, wearing masks came and picked up Riazul from there. Locals found Riazul's body at a temple at the village yesterday noon. Police said the gang killed Riazul by slitting his throat. Sirajul Islam, brother of Riazul, lodged a murder case with Pirgachha Police Station yesterday, naming none as accused.
A cloth shop was gutted in a devastating fire that broke out at a market in Sadar upazila early yesterday. Witnesses said the fire originated from an electric short circuit at the cloth shop 'Sagor Bostraloy' at Rupdia Bazar at around 12:30am and soon engulfed the entire shop. On information, firefighters rushed to the spot and doused the blaze with the help of local people after two hours of frantic efforts. The shop owner claimed that the loss caused by the fire could go up to Tk 10 lakh.
Police recovered the body of a female farm worker from a crop field yesterday at Hariharpur village in Sadar upazila. The deceased, Srimati Goti, 50, was wife of late Ramcharan Barman of the same village. Police said at about 10:00am locals saw the body lying on the crop field and informed the police. There were several marks of injuries on her body. Earlier, police recovered the body of a 5-year-old boy from a pond at Jugirduar village under Boda upazila in Panchagarh district on Friday. He was identified as Al Amin, son of Rashidul Islam, a rickshaw van puller, of the village. UP Chairman of Barashashi union parishad Reazul Islam told this correspondent that the boy went 'missing' on 24 December. On Friday morning, local people found the body floating in a pond and informed the police.
Rangpur division has taken all-out preparations to celebrate the book festival in its eight districts through distributing new textbooks for the academic year 2013 among the students on January 1. Sources at Department of Primary Education in Rangpur said, almost cent percent books were sent to 15,234 primary schools of 58 upazilas in the districts. Besides, 9, 70,000 copies of books will be distributed among the secondary school students in the upazilas, said the sources. Like other parts of the country, a festival for distribution of books will be held at each school today.
The New Year is not far away. What is our expectation from this year? It is really difficult to forget the painful events that occurred in 2012. Firstly, the murder of Bishwajit had shaken our heart. One thing is very noticeable that a rickshaw puller named Md. Ripon took the responsibility to take the victim to the hospital. To me, he is not only a rickshaw puller but also a preacher of humanity. Secondly, we also cannot forget the tragic incident that took the lives of so many children in USA. Thirdly, the gang rape of a student in Delhi triggered huge protest. Lakhs of people came to the street to protest. We should work together to stop such gruesome incidents. Let us welcome the New Year with love, hope and enthusiasm.
Thousands of people have seen Bishwajit's killing on TV. After the shocking incident we came to know through the media that Bishwajit's killers belonged to the ruling party backed Chattra League (BCL). We have also read in the newspapers that the killers attended other BCL-organised processions that day. One was also seen at a birthday party of a BCL leader. So there is no doubt about the identity of the killers. After the terrible incident, our home minister has tried to implicate BNP and Jamat men in the incident. The PMO office note has also claimed that the killers are not BCL men. Now the arrested killers have confessed that they belong to BCL. We came to know that on the morning of 9th December, an anti-blockade procession was led by Jagannath University BCL president and general secretary. Bishwajit was attacked by the BCL activists who took part in that anti-blockade procession. We need to punish the masterminds behind the incident who instigated the killing. The arrest of the killers should not be mere eyewash. They should get their due punishment for the crime they committed. The police should be instructed to arrest all the masterminds along with the killers. So far they have not arrested any of the masterminds. The home minister and the statement from PM office would also hamper the trial of the killers. People doubt that there would be a fair trial and punishment.
Thanks to The Daily Star for publishing the news on the illicit activities of SI Mamun in its December 24 issue. It's very sad to learn that the SI took Tk 20,000 as bribe from a 98- year-old woman who paid him the money by selling all her belongings for the release of her son who was arrested for no reason. Nowadays, people with higher educational background are entering the police department and so we are expecting better behaviour and performances from them. But unfortunately, quite often we come across such negative news about them. The Police department should initiate a strong drive to identify all the bad people in the department and get rid of them for public interest and their own good.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took salute at the Victory Day parade at the National Parade Square on 16th December 2012 as President Zillur Rahman was ill and set to leave for the UK for treatment. Traditionally, the president takes salute on Victory Day and the prime minister observes it as a guest. Article 54 of our constitution clearly says, "If the president is unable to discharge the functions of his office on account of absence, illness or any other cause, the speaker shall discharge those functions.”
A few days ago a local TV channel was telecasting live the players' auction of the second edition of Bangladesh Premiere League T-20. The person anchoring the event was frequently using words like "this player is sold at the price of this amount, that payer is sold at that amount," etc., and the players who were not hired by any team were termed as 'unsold'. The programme in which the players were being hired was titled 'auction'.
The Buriganga flows bearing all the filths of our filthy living. All kinds of solid, human, chemically hazardous waste and garbage are dumped into this river. I wonder whether having a clean wide Buriganga, edged with good walk able beautiful footpaths is an impossible dream. Can't we make the corrupt take a u-turn for a better way of life? We do not want to see people dying under falling flyovers. We do not want to see another bloody killing, shocking abduction, highway robbery and bank looting, or another case of public fleecing to fatten a few.
Serving people and serving humanity should be the aim of the politicians. But we live in a country where everyone is busy making their own profit, no matter what the means is. Joining a political party ensures long-term advantages and that's why some unscrupulous businessmen are getting involved in politics. The problem arises when they misuse political power to make their ill-motivated plans successful. The political parties should only give nominations to the honest, sincere and, most importantly, educated candidates in the upcoming national elections. Because only honest politicians can ensure a fair poll and represent the common people.
We are on the cusp of a New Year. People all over the world are looking forward with hope and expectations that the New Year will bring peace and happiness. But we are so unlucky that instead of becoming optimistic we have become very anxious and frightened, not knowing what is awaiting us. The government and the opposition are at loggerheads over the issue of caretaker government (CTG) system which came into being on the demand of the Awami League. And now the Awami League led government has realised that if the election is held under neutral government they have little chance to come to power again as they have failed miserably to govern the country and people are not at all happy with their performance. They abolished the CTG system unilaterally and declared that it will not be restored again.
Here are some comments that we received in response to Sunday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Same old formula”
She was due to marry her boyfriend in a matter of weeks, was the apple of her father's eye and her friends were convinced she would achieve great things after completing her medical studies.
Pakistani militants, who have escalated attacks in recent weeks, killed at least 41 people in two separate incidents, officials said yesterday, challenging assertions that military offensives have broken the back of hard-line Islamist groups.
Prime Minister Hisham Qandil yesterday said that Egypt wants to resume talks with the International Monetary Fund in January on a $4.8-billion loan frozen this month because of political tensions and unrest.
There has been only one conviction out of over 600 cases of rape reported to Delhi Police this year even as crime against women has been on the rise in the national capital.
Central African Republic President Francois Bozize yesterday said he was ready to form a coalition government with the Seleka rebel alliance and would step down after his term ends in 2016.
International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi yesterday warned the Syrian war was worsening "by the day" as he announced a peace plan he believed could find support from world powers, including key Syria ally Russia.
A 31-year-old New York woman was scheduled to appear before a judge yesterday after being charged with murder as a hate crime for shoving a Hindu man to his death in front of an oncoming subway train.
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi on Saturday called on US President Barack Obama to be proactive in ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his forthcoming term.
Britain's former prime minister Margaret Thatcher has left hospital after successful bladder surgery, British media have reported.
A US drone strike has killed three suspected al-Qaeda militants in the central Yemen province of Al-Bayda, in the fourth such attack in a week, a local official said yesterday.
Former US president George HW Bush is on the mend and has been released from intensive care, a spokesman said Saturday.
Nine Palestinians have died in an outbreak of the H1N1 influenza strain known as swine flu, the office of Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad said yesterday.
Arts & Entertainment
12th Dhaka Int'l Film Fest
Both the Bangladeshi entries -- “Guerrilla” and “Moner Manush” -- bagged awards and Turkish filmmaker Sinan Cetin received the Best Director Award for his comedy-drama “Kagit” (Paper) at the 12th Dhaka International Film Festival 2012, held from January 12 to 20. Iconic Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui was the “personality of the fest”. A retrospective screening of his selected films was one of main attractions.
The year is nearing its end, leaving a trail of eventful times in retrospective. The television media saw many ups and downs and here is a recap of 2012:
The 9th parliamentary election of Bangladesh has been considered as the “best election in the country's history.” One of the reasons for this success was the caretaker government (CTG). The initiatives taken by the Chief Election Commission were supported by the then CTG.
Narendra Milosevic Modi's third consecutive victory is a big step backwards for Gujarat and a political setback for India. The result will raise Modi's national ambition, as he so clearly indicated through his victory speech in Hindi. But it will also infuse more strife and communal-sectarian poison into Indian politics without removing the major obstacles that he faces in winning the National Democratic Alliance's nomination as its Prime Ministerial candidate.
"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"
Despite all the social development, why is Bangladesh still plunged into poor governance? Bangladesh has gained a considerable amount of both social and economic development over the last forty years. The last four decades has allowed Bangladesh's life expectancy to increase by 23 years, compared with 18 years in Iran, 16 years in India and 10 years in Afghanistan.
Feminisation of poverty" is a global problem. The Global Poverty Project estimates a staggering 70% of the world's poor being women. In Bangladesh, according to HIES 2010, about 28 million people are extremely poor, earning less than what is required to just meet their basic food requirements. Much of this burden falls on women.
The British East India Company is chartered.