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* Bogra memorial opens today * Book fair at Bogra central Shahid Minar * Three-day Lalon Festival begins in Bogra * Bangladesh launches campaign against terror socially, politically * Bangladesh unveils US$6-billion plan to end power crisis * Dhaka launches stimulus package *
Bogra memorial opens today

[The Daily Star Report, December 16, 2009] Babur Pukur Liberation War Memorial built at Shahjahanpur upazila will be inaugurated today. Bogra Zilla Parishad built the memorial at a cost of Tk 33 lakh at Babur Pukur village beside Bogra-Natore road. Moloy Kumar Roy, secretary, Bogra Zilla Parishad told journalists that the construction work of the memorial started in January this year. It was designed by Shaha Md Shams-E- Reza, a teacher of Bogra Art College. Pakistani occupation forces and their collaborators killed 14 people including a woman and a freedom fighter at Babur Pukur during liberation war.

Ekushey Book fair at Bogra central Shahid Minar. Feb. 20, 09

Sheikh Hasina in Copenhagen: Bangladesh, "most vulnerable" to climate change

Wednesday, 16th December 2009: From the UN conference on climate the premier warns that a rise of one meter of water would cause 40 million refugees by 2050. “Immediate action" and a "binding" agreement on cutting emissions required. But the Copenhagen summit seems destined to fail.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - "Now is the time to show a common wisdom and make the right decisions for a greener and more habitable world”. From climate summit being held in Copenhagen, the prime minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina is warning the international community that "future generations will judge us for the choices we make today." The Prime Minister draws attention to her country, as " Bangladesh is the most vulnerable nation in the world."

The UN summit on climate seems destined to be a failure. Negotiations are struggling to take off, there is little progress, and China seems to exclude the possibility of agreement. The chief negotiator from Beijing is opposed to the Danish proposal, which should be put to a vote later today. He adds support for "a short political statement of some kind", without specifying its contents. In the next few hours the various world leaders are expected to arrive in Copenhagen, but hopes of a common pact to cut emissions that cause global warming have been dimmed to a flicker.

The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, in her speech yesterday, stressed the urgency of a "common commitment" to meet emergency needs. "The refugees caused by climate change - said Sheikh Hasina - increase day by day. The rising sea levels and rising temperatures are destroying the habitat of fish and the lives of our fishermen. " There are increasing "natural disasters, erosion of riverbanks and salinisation of rivers" that endanger the lives of "millions of households engaged in agriculture."

Hasina stresses that "the funds dedicated to development" are diverted to 'emergencies' and climate change has "an impact of between 0.5 and 1% of gross domestic product (GDP). A one meter rise in sea levels - caused by global warming - would flood 18% of the land "of the country, causing at least "20 million refugees" for a total of "40 million individuals denied of their forms of livelihood by 2050”.

Three-day Lalon Festival begins in Bogra

[ The Daily Star, Staff Correspondent, Bogra] A three-day long folk music festival, titled 'Lalon Utshab', began at Sahardighi village on the outskirts of Bogra town on December 6.

Noted Lalon exponent Farida Parveen inaugurated the festival and performed amidst a large crowd at the open-air event. Thousands of Lalon enthusiasts enjoyed the programme till midnight.

Earlier, Parveen laid the foundation stone of Lalon Academy at the village with an aim to promote Lalon-related researches as well as providing quality education.

Lalon enthusiast Md. Iqbal Hossain donated the land for the proposed Lalon Academy. He also donated Tk 1,50,000 for the construction and development of the academy, said organisers.

A committee of 42 members has been formed to run the academy. Md. Iqbal Hossain has been selected as the president of the committee.

Earlier, Lalon enthusiasts brought out a colourful rally last Sunday morning in Bogra town and held a discussion on the bard in the evening. Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), (Education and Development), Md. Anwar Hussain; Additional Superintendent of Police Md. Mostafizur Rahman and Professor KM Abdul Bari, head of English Department, Bogra Mojibur Rahman Women's College attended the discussion. Md. Iqbal Hossain presided over the session. A fair, centring the festival, in the village is also on

Bangladesh unveils US$6-billion plan to end power crisis

AFP News Energy-starved Bangladesh will invite tenders next month for a US$6-billion power plant building program to end a chronic fuel shortage in the fast-growing economy, an official said Saturday.

Most of the power needed to end Bangladesh's electricity shortfall would be produced at plants built by private companies to be selected by the government through competitive bidding, the official said. "The government has approved the 410 billion taka (US$6 billion) plan," said the head of the Bangladesh Power Development Board, A.S.M. Alamgir Kabir. "We will now interact with private companies and invite tenders next month (to build a number of power plants). Our target is to get rid of power shortages by 2014," Kabir told reporters.

Impoverished Bangladesh has long suffered severe power outages due to demands imposed by its economy, which has been growing at around six percent annually over the last five years.

Years of under-investment have meant state-owned power plants generate only around 4,000 megawatts of electricity a day but demand is 6,000 megawatts and growing at 500 megawatts a year due to increasing industrialisation. The World Bank and the Asian Development Banks say the acute power shortfall - only 40 percent of Bangladesh's 144 million people have access to power - has been a big drag on the country's bid to attain double-digit growth. ...more>