Aug 15, 2011 at 00:18 o\clock

Bangladesh filmmaker Tareque Masud dies in crash

by: bangladesh   Keywords: Clay, Bird, Cannes

A Boy, a Nation, and a Clay Bird
Bangladesh filmmaker Tareque Masud dies in crash

Posted: Aug 15, 2011 2:45 PM ET

Bangladesh film-maker Tareque Masud  has been killed in a bus crash near Dhaka on 13 August 2011. Masud's film The Clay Bird won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002 and was Bangladesh's candidate for the foreign film Oscar in 2003.

When the birth of a nation, especially one as bloody as the war of independent that birthed Bangladesh in 1971, resides in living memory, it casts a long shadow over the films and literature of the new country. Yet, thanks to the vagaries of politics and history, the memories of that birth itself keep getting rewritten and overwritten as different political parties come to power in Bangladesh.

For him, personally, that changed his life. “War was in fact a liberating factor for me and my mother who was in purdah,” says Tareque. “It forced us to leave our home and become refugees in my mother’s village. Those nine months were nine years in terms of my mental experience. War is nothing to romanticize about, but if it didn’t happen, things wouldn’t have changed.” The Clay Bird remains his documentation of that change. The Clay Bird (Matir Moina)  was initially refused a certificate by the Bangladeshi government in 2002, who said it gave a distorted image of the madrasa system.

Bangladesh filmmaker Tareque Masud, seen hoisting his best script prize for The Clay Bird at the Marrakesh International Film Festival in 2002, was killed in a weekend bus accident.Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Tareque Masud, an award-winning Bangladeshi filmmaker whose work was recognized at the Cannes Film Festival, has died after a weekend bus accident.

Masud was among five minibus passengers who died in a crash near the Bangladesh capital city of Dhaka on Saturday.

Also killed was cinematographer Ashfaque Munier Mishuk, a former journalist who served as head of the private TV station ATN.

Masud's wife — American film producer Catherine Masud — and painter Dhali Al Mamun were among the passengers seriously injured in the highway accident, which occurred when the vehicle in which they were travelling collided with a larger bus.

The group had been returning to the capital after visiting a potential site for Masud's forthcoming film The Paper Flower. The bus driver, who initially fled the scene, is in police custody and an investigation into the accident is under way.

Fans, colleagues pay respects

Thousands gathered in Dhaka on Sunday to pay tribute to Masud, Mishuk and the others killed in the accident.

Nurul Islam Nahid, the country's minister of education, described their deaths as "a national loss."

Considered one of Bangladesh's most prominent and celebrated filmmakers on the world stage, Masud earned the International Critic's Award at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival as well as the FIPRESCI prize at that year's corresponding Directors' Fortnight for his feature film debut, The Clay Bird.

Screened at film festivals around the globe, the drama tells the story of a young boy studying at a madrasa (Islamic religious school) and was inspired by Masud's own education. In 2003, Bangladeshi officials subsequently selected the movie as the country's first-ever submission for best foreign film Oscar consideration.

Other credits include the 2006 drama The Homeland and 1995's The Song of Freedom, a documentary that chronicled the experiences of a travelling musical troupe during Bangladesh's Liberation War.

Aug 8, 2011 at 17:01 o\clock

Arrest warrant against Tarique in money-laundering case now

by: bangladesh   Keywords: Tarique, Zia, arrest, warrent

DHAKA August 08: Zia A Dhaka court now issued arrest warrants against BNP’s senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman and his businessman-friend Giasuddin Al Mamun in a money- laundering case, which the opposition party has made one of the issues of their anti-government movement.

Justice Mozammel Hossain of the Special Judge’s Court-3 issued the arrest warrant Monday after holding indictment hearing on the high-profile graft case.

The court also set September 11 for recording depositions of witnesses in the case.

Former Speaker Barrister Jamiruddin Sircar MP, Barrister Rafiqul Islam Mia and Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon MP stood for the defendants while Advocate Anisul Haque and Advocate Mosharraf Hossain Kazal moved for the state.

Earlier on July 25, the same court had summoned the self-exiled BNP leader, also elder son of party Chairperson Khaleda Zia, to appear before it on August 8 in connection with the case.

Besides, the court had deferred again the indictment hearing against him until August 8 in response to a time petition filed by the lawyers of Tarique and Mamun, who is in jail.

On October 26, 2009, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the case against Tarique and his business partner, Giasuddin Al-Mamun, with Dhaka Cantonment police station, accusing the duo of “siphoning off Tk 20.41 crore to Singapore” between 2003 and 2007.

After investigations, the ACC on July 6, 2010 submitted the charge sheet of the case to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court of Dhaka.

Giasuddin Mamun is already serving prison terms in jail while Tarique has long been under treatment in London since his release on parole at the fag end of the past emergency-time interim regime.

Tarique’s younger brother, Arafat Rahman Coco, has recently been convicted in a money-laundering case.
And on July 14, a Dhaka court issued arrest-attachment warrants against a dozen high-profile persons, including Tarique Rahman, in the case of grenade attack on Awami League rally on August 21, 2004.

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Aug 8, 2011 at 16:48 o\clock

BASIS releases catalogue on IT and software

by: bangladesh   Keywords: BASIC, software

DHAKA August 7: Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) yesterday published its catalogue on software and IT services for the local market and international buyers.

The 321-page catalogue that profiles 233 products and services of 110 software and IT companies was launched at a pro-gramme at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in Dhaka.

It presents information on client benefits, specific product features, representative client list and other related facts and figures.

The catalogue will be sent to all Bangladeshi embassies so that they can use it for marketing purposes to spread news about the local software companies in international markets, said Commerce Minister Faruk Khan at the launch.

The catalogue is the “face” of the Bangladeshi software industry that will answer all the queries of buyers, said Mahboob Zaman, BASIS president.

AKM Fahim Mashroor, senior vice-president, said BASIS will publish another catalogue on outsourcing this year that will help Bangladeshi entrepreneurs connect foreign customers.

BASIS will distribute 5,000 copies of the catalogue for free, said Forkan Bin Kashem, secretary general.

An online version of the catalogue will be available on the BASIS website, said Tamzid Siddiq Spondon, joint secretary general.