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Friday, January 23, 2009

Republic Day of India celebrated in Bangladesh

Dhaka, 26 January : The 60th Republic Day of India was celebrated with traditional pomp and gaiety in Bangladesh by the Indian high commission here today, says a press release.
To observe the day, a colourful programme was held at Baridhara in the city Pipe band of the Indian army played national and patriotic songs on the occasion. Some 500 members of the Indian community and high commission personnel took part in the function.
Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty unfurled the national flag and read out the Indian president's address to the nation before the assembled guests. The embassy also hosted a reception in the evening at a city hotel where Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Dipu Moni was present as the chief guest.

Modernise journalism education : DU VC
Dhaka, 26 January : Dhaka University Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique today said integration between theoretical knowledge and practical training is needed in journalism education to build efficient media workers.

Besides, modern syllabus and curriculum should be introduced in journalism education, he added. Prof Arefin said this as the chief guest at the inaugural session of a three-day workshop on 'Expansion and modernisation of journalism education in Bangladesh' organised by Mass Communication and Journalism department at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban on the campus.
The VC also said the role of mass media in a democratic country is similar to the role of judiciary and executive. To some extent, it plays more effective role than judiciary and executive organs of the country. Highlighting the role of mass media in the socio-economic development, Prof Arefin said the electronic and web media of the country is also playing a vital role besides the print media.

Tripura Gov asks militants to join Indian mainstream
Agartala, 26 January : Tripura Governor Dinesh Nandan Sahaya on Monday called upon insurgent groups, who gave a general strike call, to join the mainstream. The Governor in his Republic Day address said, "our constitution gives ample scope and space to legitimate aspirations and for betterment of one's lot through peaceful and constitutional means."
Sahaya, who unfurled the tricolour at the Assam Rifles ground here amid tight security in view of the general strike called by major insurgent outfits in the region, took salutes from BSF, Tripura State Rifles (TSR), CRPF and NCC. Turning to the different development packages, he said the land-locked backward border State will catch up with the rest of the country with the execution of the projects.
International Documentary Film festival from today
Kolkata, 26 January : The five-day Kolkata International Documentary Film Festival gets under way at Mohor Kunja on 26 January. Being organized by Documentarywalla in association with The Times of India, the festival will be inaugurated by noted economist Jayati Ghosh. The festival will feature 25 documentaries.
The films to be screened include Lenin by Arunava Ganguly, Gujarat by Soumitra Dastidar, America America by K P Shashi and Tapan Sinha by Raja Sen. The 60-minute film will be screened at Salt Lake's Rabindra Okakura Bhavan. On 30 January, Sanjay Kak's controversial Jash-E-Azadi will be premiered at the same venue.
On 29 January, West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will attend a discussion on Public Cultures in India' at Nandan III.

Committee against Police Atrocities leader shot dead
Bandh call across Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore on Tuesday
Belpahari, 26 January : A leader of Committee against Police Atrocities (CPA) was killed on Saturday night while another was abducted on Sunday next morning, a few hours before a meeting of the organization was scheduled at Chakadoba in the afternoon. In protest, CPA has called a bandh across Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore on Tuesday.
When the meeting finally took place on Sunday, CPA spokesperson Chhatradhar Mahato gave a war cry against the state and threatened an enormous movement against it. On Monday, members of the organization will gherao the Belpahari police station after which it will go big with Tuesday's bandh. More than 15,000 people attended the meeting at Chakadoba.
While goons shot dead Nirmal Sardar (36) at Talpukuria in Belpahari on Saturday night, more than 40 armed men kidnapped Himadri Mahato from his home at Keondishole on Sunday morning.

Poet Madhusudan Dutta's Birth anniversary observed
Jessore, 25 January : The 185th birth anniversary of epic poet Michael Madhusudan Dutta was observed in Jessore on Sunday.
Son of zamindar Raj Narayan Dutta and Janhabi Dutta, Madhusudan was born on 25 January, 1824 at Sagardari under present Keshabpur in Jessore.
Famous for his blank verses in Bangla, Madhusudan brought modernism in Bangla poetry. Michael, who also composed a number of poems and drama in English, died on 29 June, 1873 in Kolkata.

Bird count dips in Santragachi's choked water body
Howrah, 25 January : Fewer birds have made the Santragachi jheel their home this winter. Overgrowth of water hyacinth in the 13,75,000sq ft lake, the largest hub of waterfowl around the Kolkata, could be one of the reasons, according to experts.

Last year, 5,152 migratory and local birds were counted at the jheel, said Kushal Mukherjee of NGO "Prakriti Samsad", which conducts the annual Asian Waterfowl Census. This year, they have counted only 2,581 birds so far. Many of the birds, like the Red Crested Tufted Pochard, Gadwall and the Northern Pintail, fly thousands of kilometres across the Himalayas to roost here.
The forest department is responsible for removing excess water hyacinth from the lake and tying up the plants with bamboo poles and ropes to create islands for the birds to roost.
“We had started work in April last year. The water hyacinth has grown back very fast in the past two months,” assistant divisional forest officer (Howrah and Hooghly division), Pradip Dutta told Bengal News.
Water hyacinth provides a resting surface for birds but it must be present in the right ratio, explained Mukherjee. “Cleaning is supposed to stop by the time the birds start arriving in October. But it inevitably continues even after they start coming,” said Mukherjee.
“This season, much less water hyacinth was cleared compared with last winter. The plants were dumped along the banks. The bamboo poles were not laid out properly, Waste dumped into the lake from houses dotting the banks had not been cleared either” said local resident Timir Basu.
Fifty birds flew off after arriving at the jheel because of the disturbance, said a regular birder at Santragachi.

The Ninth Parliament Convenes in Bangladesh
Dhaka, 25 January : Bangladesh's parliament convened on Sunday for the first time since 2006, as the nation takes another step in its return to democracy.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, of the Awami League, and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, of the rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led their respective parties at the opening session.
The Awami League coalition dominates the 300 seat parliament. That alliance won a landslide victory in the general election held on 29th December; the country's first parliamentary vote in seven years.
An army-backed interim government ruled Bangladesh from 2007 until Sheikh Hasina was sworn in as Bangladesh's new prime minister earlier this month.

Pollution turns Kolkata sky brown shade
Kolkata, 24 January : If the sky looks gloomy and brown to you rather than a vibrant blue, there is nothing wrong with your eyes. It indeed has changed colour. Blame it on the double whammy of rising pollution levels and changing weather patterns, but the Kolkata sky is slowly taking on a ominous shade. The brown hue could get darker in the next few years.

A research by US-based Scripps Institute of Oceanography reveals that the city has been affected by the "Asian Brown Cloud" a layer of moisture, particulate matter and pollutants that hangs heavy above the city sky.
First noticed in NASA's satellite pictures in 1993, the cloud now stretches across Kolkata, parts of Bangladesh, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. "It has formed in the upper layers of the atmosphere and is evident in Kolkata. With rising pollution, the cloud is obviously getting thicker. It is more evident in winter and disappears in monsoon. But with wind flowing in from the north-east and pollutants getting trapped in winter, the cloud returns. This year has been no different," said Gautam Sen of Jadavpur University who is associated with the study.
Pollution-laden winds flowing in from China and Bangladesh are also responsible. "Local pollution is obviously adding to it. If we cut down our pollution, the cloud will thin out," said Sen, adding that another study to analyze the cloud has already started.
Brown cloud, experts warn, could block sunlight and lead to health hazards. Some environmentalists believe vehicular pollution has a direct role to play in this.

Bangladesh observes Mass Uprising Day today

BSS, Dhaka, 24 January : The nation observes the Mass Uprising Day today commemorating the culmination of the popular uprising against dictator Ayub Khan 40 years ago.
This day in 1969, Matiur Rahman, a student Nabakumar Institution in Dkaka, and rickshaw puller Rustam Ali were killed in police firing on a protest demonstration as the movement for autonomy intensified and eventually led to the independence war and emergence of Bangladesh. Protests spread like wildfire following the killings which ultimately saw the fall of Ayub Khan.
Bangladersh prime minister and Awami League president Sheikh Hasina and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia gave separate messages on the eve of the day.

Security tightened in Tripura for 60th Republic Day
Agartala, 24 January : The Tripura Home department has issued a security alert while asking the authorities to make redeployment of paramilitary forces to ensure peaceful celebration of the 60th Republic Day.
In view of the threat perception, security forces intensified search operations across the state and BSF made extra deployment at the border outposts. All the police stations and security posts were asked to remain vigilant while security has been tightened in the airport, hotels, bus terminus and National Highway from today.''BSF authorities were asked to maintain strict vigil along the 856 km India-Bangladesh border,'' Tripura police spokesperson Nepal Das said.
Jasim Palli Mela begins in Faridpur today

Faridpur, 24 January : A fifteen-day Jasim Palli Mela begins at the poet’s ancestral village home at Gobindapur, nearing to Faridpur town, today, marking the 106th birth anniversary of Palli Kabi Jashim Uddin. Bangladesh Labour and Employment, Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment minister Kahandaker Mosarraf Hossain is expected to inaugurate the Mela (fair) on Saturday afternoon as chief guest while adviser to the prime minister, Towfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, will address the inaugural function as special guest.
Mofiz Imam Milon, convenor of the Jashim Palli Mela organising committee, informed that the Mela would be held at a ground nearby to the grave of Palli Kabi Jashim Uddin. A cultural programme will also be held at the ‘Jasim Mancha’ at the fair venue where the folksingers will perform Kabigan, Zarigan, Sarigan, Murshidigan and Marfatigan. Discussion will also be held on the stage commemorating the life and works of Kabi Jashim Uddin, the luminous poet of Bengali literature, who was widely known as ‘Palli Kabi’ of Bengali literature for depiction of the life and feeling of the rural people through his writings.
NE Revolutionary groups call general strike on India’s R-Day
Agartala, 23 January : Press Release By Kamotapur Liberation Organization (KLO), Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF), Tripura People’s Democratic Front (TPDF), United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA)
Math Festival : 1500 Students display math skills
Dhaka, 23 January : Dhaka Divisional Mathematics Festival was held at Govt Laboratory High School in a festive mood with the participation of students from 100 schools of Dhaka, Gazipur, Narsingdi, Narayanganj, Munshiganj and Manikganj districts.
As many as 1,584 students took part in different day long programmes, including math test, friendship session, question answer session and quest for local history.
On the basis of their performance, 120 students were selected for the two-day National Mathematics Festival-2009 and 7th Bangladesh Math Olympiad to be held on 13 February and 14 at St Joseph Higher Secondary School in the city.
The students taking part in Math Olympiad were divided in four categories -- Primary (Class III-V), Junior (VI-VIII), Secondary (IX-X-SSC) and Higher Secondary (XI-XII-HSC).
Bangladesh Math Olympiad Committee (BMOC) organised the festival

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