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Saturday, February 19, 2011

PM calls to spreading spirit of Ekushey among young generation

UNB, Dhaka, 20 February : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged all to spread the spirit of `Amar Ekushey’ (21st February) among the young generation to build a happy and prosperous technology-based Bangladesh.
She gave the call from a function, marking the distribution of Ekushey Padak for 2011, at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium on Sunday. Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Abul Kalam Azad presided over the function, organised by the Cultural Affairs Ministry.

Thirteen eminent personalities have been awarded Ekushey Padak this year in recognition of their outstanding contributions in different spheres of national life. The recipients are Shawkat Ali (posthumous-language movement), Mosharef Uddin Ahmed (posthumous-language movement), Ustad Akther Sadmani (posthumous-arts), Abdul Haq Chowdhury (posthumous-research), Amanul Haq (language movement).
They are joined by Baul Shah Abdul Karim (posthumous-arts), Jyotsna Biswas (arts), Nurjahan Begum (journalism) Al Haj Md Abul Hashem (social service), Md Hares Uddin Polan Sarker (social service), Mohammed Delwar Hossain (social service), Shahid Qadri (language and literature), and Abdul Haq (language and literature). Besides the citation, each recipient got Tk 100,000 and a gold-medal weighing three tolas.
She expressed the hope that by 2021, the silver jubilee year of independence, it would be possible to establish a happy, prosperous, non-communal and peaceful 'Sonar Bangla' (golden Bengal), which was the dream of Bangbandhu.
Photos : PMO and File
Amar Ekushey, International Mother Language Day Monday
Dhaka, 20 February : The nation Bangladesh pays homage to the martyrs of the historic Language Movement of 1952 with the clock striking one minute past midnight Monday to mark `Amar Ekushey’, the Language Martyrs Day and International Mother Language Day.
People, walking barefoot to the Shaheed Minars with wreaths and flowers singing ‘Amar bhaiyer rokte rangano Ekushey February’, will pay their deep respect to the heroes of the Language Movement, who sacrificed their lives for the recognition of Bangla as one of the State languages in erstwhile Pakistan.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata reaches out to Congress
IANS, Kolkata, 20 February : Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Sunday appealed to the Congress to forge a ‘grand alliance’ with her party to dislodge the ruling Left Front in the upcoming assembly elections in West Bengal.
‘We want a grand alliance of common people. Here we have SUCI (Socialist Unity Centre of India) leaders with us at this programme. We want them to forge an alliance with us for the assembly polls as they had done in the last 2009 Lok Sabha polls,’ Banerjee said while addressing a public rally here.
The Trinamool and the Congress, along with the SUCI, had joined hands before the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and decimated the Left Front that has been ruling the state since 1977. The alliance had bagged 26 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats.
‘We are in favour of alliance. We want a grand alliance of people. I am inviting the Congress to forge an alliance with us. I am appealing to the Congress to form the alliance. We want an alliance of Trinamool, Congress and SUCI in the coming polls,’ said Banerjee.
Last year, the Trinamool-Congress alliance broke down after the parties failed to reach an agreement regarding seat sharing in the civic elections. The state Congress leadership had then accused the Trinamool of denying them the respect due to an alliance partner. File Photo : AFP

Professor Amartya Sen to receive Rabindra Smriti Puraskar
Kolkata, 20 February : Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen has been selected as a recipient of special Rabindra smriti puraskar (Rabindra memorial award) by a state-level committee instituted by West Bengal government on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore.
An award of Rs One lakh was introduced by the committee as Rabindra smriti puraskar.
Sen would be would be given the award by the state government at a function here on Sunday.

Shirin elected chair of Commonwealth Gender Plan of AMG
BSS, Dhaka, 20 February : Bangladesh State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury elected chair of the 'Commonwealth Gender Plan of Action Monitoring Group' (CGPAMG) for the second consecutive year.
She chaired the 8th session of the CGPAMG in New York on Saturday, said a message received here today. Dr Chaudhury delivered a statement at the meeting on the progress made so far.

Bangladesh liberation war film Meherjaan open old wounds
AFP, Dhaka, 20 February : A Bangladeshi film about a love affair set in the country's bloody 1971 liberation struggle against Pakistan has stirred up heated debate, prompting the distributor to pull it from cinemas.
The film about a love affair set in the country's bloody 1971 liberation struggle against Pakistan has stirred up heated debate in Dhaka, prompting the distributor to pull it from cinemas. Meherjaan: A Story of War and Love, which features some of south Asia's biggest stars including Victor Banerjee and Jaya Bachchan, wife of Indian movie legend Amitabh Bachchan, was released last month to critical acclaim.

But the plot, charting a romance between a local girl and a Pakistani soldier, has hit a raw nerve in Bangladesh, where a new war crimes tribunal has just begun prosecuting suspected collaborators.
"I fought in the liberation war but after we released this film, my fellow freedom fighters called me a collaborator and traitor," the owner of the film's distribution company, Habibur Rahman Khan, told AFP. "We've stopped distributing the film because critics said it degraded the sufferings of the Bangladeshi women raped in the war," he said.
In the film, Meherjaan, a Bangladeshi girl, falls in love with a Pakistani soldier who gets court-martialled for refusing to participate in war crimes and atrocities. A barrage of criticism in the Bangladeshi press and on the Internet said the film's romantic storyline undermined the suffering of the estimated 200,000 Bangladeshi women raped by Pakistani forces during the war.
Bangladesh's government says three million people were killed by the occupying forces and local collaborators in the nine-month struggle that saw then-East Pakistan emerge as an independent Bangladesh on 6 December, 1971.
"Meherjaan has insulted the spirit of the country's liberation war and our history," said four writers, including a woman who was raped by Pakistani troops, in a joint article in the Prothom Alo newspaper. "Under the guise of a story about love and war, it's a film about insult and deception," they wrote.

Pakistani war crimes are a sensitive issue in Bangladesh, but public feeling has intensified since the government set up the International War Crimes Tribunal in March last year. The tribunal aims to try the local collaborators for crimes including genocide, arson, rape and looting. It has arrested five people, all of whom are also leading opposition figures, in the last six months.
The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has dismissed the trial as politically motivated. The government has not yet said whether the court will pursue cases against individual Pakistani soldiers, but private campaigners have provided the court with a list of 195 army officers accused of atrocities.
The film, because of its positive depiction of a Pakistani soldier, has been "unofficially banned", Farzana Boby, an assistant director on the film, told AFP. "It is unfortunate. All we have tried to do is to make a good film. It has been pulled even though it was drawing bigger crowds than any other major hit film in Bangladesh," she said.
The crew and directors have also become targets of hate-campaigns by people who cannot tolerate a "different narrative of our liberation war," she said. "They are angry because our story does not follow the dominant theme of the struggle. To them, all Pakistanis were butchers during the war. There cannot be a good-natured Pakistani soldier who rebels against the army," she said.
Some industry professionals have lamented the angry reception the film has been given. "It's unfortunate there is such a huge controversy over such a good film. We live in a democratic country and everyone has the right to tell their own story," film director Chasi Nazrul Islam told AFP. "We get stronger if we listen to all voices." Photos : AFP