The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, April 18, 2014


News of: Monday, 20th of August, 2007

Front Page

Govt seeks $150m from donors

The government yesterday asked the donors for $150 million additional budgetary support and food aid to tackle the post-flood situation.
High officials of the finance ministry at a meeting with the Local Consultative Group (LCG) comprised of representatives from multilateral and bilateral donors sought the financial assistance to cope with the emergency caused by the devastating floods that have blighted millions of lives across the country.

Restore traders' confidence to contain inflation

Leading economists and top businessmen yesterday asked the government to bring back confidence of the business people to contain the inflation rate instead of taking contractionary economic policies.

Immobile policemen

Crime control in the capital is facing a serious setback because of severe shortages of patrol vehicles at all the police stations in the metropolis.

Swelling Padma floods new areas

The rise of water level of the Padma, due to vigorous monsoon rains upstream, caused inundation of new areas of the south-central part of the country, including Gopalganj, Satkhira and Faridpur.

No historian to correct Liberation War history

Education ministry's flimsy attempt at correcting the history of the Liberation War in textbooks through two committees of the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) without a historian on them has made the process all the more questionable.

Judicial service, ACC organograms okayed

The government yesterday approved organograms for the Judicial Service consisting 4,500 posts and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) having 1,281 posts.

Huda, Taimur sued for Tk 1crore CNG scam

Former communications minister Barrister Nazmul Huda and former BRTC Chairman Advocate Taimur Alam Khandaker were sued yesterday for misappropriating Tk 1 crore.

Govt yet to respond to EC proposal for ban

The caretaker government has yet to respond to the Election Commission's (EC) proposals for amending the existing regulations to prohibit the political parties' having front organisations comprised of students, teachers and workers.

Army chief warns of stern action for relief looting

Army Chief of Staff General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday warned of stern action against those indulging in looting relief aid, saying gone are the days of plundering.

Moudud gets bail in liquor case

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted bail to detained former law minister Moudud Ahmed in a liquor case which was brought under the Emergency Power Rules (EPR) following its filing.

Mainul says corrupt politicians trying to fail govt

Law Adviser Barrister Mainul Hosein yesterday accused the corrupt politicians of trying to fail the caretaker government.

Fair elections possible within timeframe

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said Bangladesh has the capacity and set-up necessary for holding a free, fair and neutral general election within the declared timeline.

Sardar Amjad sued for 'extortion'

Awami League leader and former minister Sardar Amjad Hossain and 35 others were sued yesterday on charges of extortion and torture.

Anisul Huq new Bangabandhu murder case state counsel

The government yesterday appointed Supreme Court lawyer advocate Anisul Huq as a state counsel for the Bangabandhu murder case, the hearing of which resumed on August 7 after six years at the Appellate Division.

Muggers shoot man to snatch Tk 10.5 lakh

Armed muggers shot and injured two people and snatched Tk 10.47 lakh from the manager of a filling station in Siddhirganj yesterday.

Supplementary charge sheet submitted

Gulshan police yesterday submitted a supplementary charge sheet against detained Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina, her sister Sheikh Rehana and cousin Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim in a Tk 2.99 crore extortion case.

Condition of Wazed Miah 'serious, not critical'

Health condition of Dr Wazed Miah, husband of detained Awami League President Sheikh Hasina and a renowned nuclear scientist, is "serious though not critical", his doctor said yesterday.

People distressed by floods, political repression, says Khaleda

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said people in the country are now in distress due to the floods, political repression and a spike in price of essential goods.

Outlaw killed in 'shootout' with Rab

An alleged leader of an extremist outfit was killed in a shootout between Rab and his accomplices in Ghoshpur area of Kushtia's Kumarkhali upazila yesterday morning.

3 die as bus Skids off road

A bus skidded off the Kishoreganj-Tarail road at Sheemol Hati in Tarail upazila and plunged into a deep water body yesterday leaving three dead, seven injured and 18 missing.

BDR to enforce soya bean, palm oil prices

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) will start market monitoring in the capital from tomorrow to ensure selling of soya bean and palm oil at Tk 80 and Tk 76-78 a litre.

Thai PM declares victory in referendum

Thailand's army-installed government declared victory yesterday in a referendum on a new constitution and vowed to hold general elections by year's end to restore democracy following last September's coup.

Benazir links terrorism to Musharraf regime

Pakistan's exiled former leader Benazir Bhutto warned Saturday that the threat of terrorism in northwestern Pakistan's lawless tribal zones will not go away while a military government is in power.

Gayoom gets people's nod for new constitution

President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom won an overwhelming victory yesterday in a referendum on the Maldives' future form of government, a poll seen as an informal vote of confidence in his three-decade rule of the tiny Indian Ocean nation.

Editorial

Keeping prices tolerable

The government is embarking on massive import and internal procurement drives to build up sufficient stocks of food aimed at releasing it into the market with a view to stabilising prices.

City roads in disarray

The sorry tale of the city roads has been told over and over again and yet the latest one goes beyond comprehension. The roads with water filled craters, potholes and wide cracks cancel out the claim of the city fathers that they have given the city of Dhaka roads it deserves as the capital of the country. Any such claim would fall flat on its face as roads remain conspicuously and hazardously unsafe for motorists and pedestrians with various agencies tearing it apart round the year. And rainwater remains clogged on the main thoroughfares for days together thereby damaging the roads even further. We wonder why the authorities cannot maintain roads that cover only 6 per cent of the city's total land area whereas ideally it should have been 25 per cent.

Let there be light

Politics is no more the arithmetic that it used to be in olden days. There were then discernible patterns in it, and its trend could be prognosticated. It's no more so. One has to wait like a passionate gambler till the last roll of the dice to understand everything.

The ambush

What is human about nature? Bystanders enjoy conflict more than resolution. Partisans may prefer peace, but an audience can be persuaded to pay good money to watch gladiators. Which street in the world ever stopped to applaud a serene couple strolling by, hand in hand? But let a husband and wife begin screaming at each other and a crowd will collect instantly. Let the couple be marginally familiar and a posse of journalists will arrive to turn them into minor celebrities. Such is the law of inhuman nature.

Socially isolating the corrupt

During his August 10 Channel-i talk show, the ACC chairman, Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury, made a subtle reference to a former Filipino premier who had openly questioned how could one do away with corruption in a country where the people had accorded a ceremonious funeral to their most corrupt leader, President Ferdinand Marcos.

Sports

Nayeem to go for win

The Bangladesh-India football rivalry gets into its 30th year when the regional foes will be pitted against each other for the 22nd time today.

Mehrab talks positive

Left-handed Test batsman Mehrab Hossain, captain of the Grameenphone BCB National Cricket Academy (NCA), assured that the expensive tour to Australia would not be a useless one for the team.

Reds bleed at City

Sir Alex Fergu-son's early season problems deepened after Geovanni's first half goal settled the Manchester derby in favour of Sven Goran Eriksson and left Ferguson's United without a win in their opening three league games.

Roger-James showdown

Roger Federer will bid for a 50th career title against James Blake on Sunday, taking a 6-0 career record over the American into their clash in the final of the Cincinnati Masters.

Tigers get busy again from today

Bangladesh national cricketers get back to business today as they start preparing for the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Championship after a six-day first-ever commando training in Sylhet under the guidance of a Bangladesh Army unit.

Tk 87.4 crore budget for 3 Games

The Youth and Sports Ministry has sent a budget of Tk 87.4 crore to the Finance Ministry for next year's three sporting events including the 11th South Asian (SA) Games to be held in Dhaka.

Myanmar invites Bangladesh

Myanmar Football Association has invited Bangladesh to the 3rd Grand Royal Cup to be held in capital Yangon from November 1-7.

Durham's first crown

In their sixteenth year of first-class status, Durham claimed their first domestic trophy as they won the rain-interrupted Friends Provident final by 125 runs at Lord's. The overnight wait didn't disrupt their momentum as Paul Collingwood and Liam Plunkett ran through Hampshire's lower order, the last five wickets falling for 13 runs after rain had delayed the resumption until 12.30 on Sunday.

Orissa eve booters due today

Indian national champions Orissa women's football team will arrive Dhaka today to play five friendly matches against Bangladesh.

Big win for Shantinagar

Shantinagar Club earned an emphatic 4-1 win over Rainbow AC in the Metropolis Third Division Football League match at the Bir Shreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Bangabir edge Janata

Bangabir Agragami Krira Chakra defeated Janata Sporting Club by a solitary goal in yesterday's keenly contested First Division Football League match at the Sylhet stadium.

Ribery routs Bremen

Bayern Munich boss Ottmar Hitzfeld was full of praise for France international Franck Ribery after the midfielder put in a five-star performance in Saturday's 4-0 humbling of Werder Bremen at the Weser Stadium.

Spurs strike back

Under-fire Tottenham manager Martin Jol was mightily relieved after Spurs got their English Premier League season back on track.

Crisis beckons for PSG

Unheralded Lorient moved into a share of top spot in the French first division on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat of champions Lyon while Paris Saint Germain faced up to an early-season crisis.

We are team to beat: Kahn

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn inisted on Sunday his side's record 4-0 win over Werder Bremen sent out a clear message to the Bundesliga - the German giants are the team to beat.

McClaren, League at crossroads

Premier League bosses have hit back at England manager Steve McClaren, who complained that he will have only an hour to prepare his players for Wednesday's friendly with Germany because of poor scheduling.

Juninho naturalised

Six-time French champions Lyon have been given the green light to go in search of another two non-European players.

DFB looks into racism claims

The German Football Federation (DFB) has opened an investigation into Borussia Dortmund's goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller over alleged racist comments made in a Bundesliga game, it was revealed on Sunday.

German injury woes mount

Bayern Munich striker Miroslav Klose has pulled out of Germany's friendly against England on Wednesday due to a knee injury picked up during his club's 4-0 drubbing of Werder Bremen.

Lee bowling 'flat-out'

Australian pace spearhead Brett Lee says he is back to bowling at top speed ahead of next month's Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

Good to watch

The entertaining and competitive Test series between India and England provided much good cricket and plenty of food for thought. In addition to two evenly matched teams, good pitches and the swinging ball played their part in providing entertaining cricket.

India A pip hosts

Three batsmen including skipper Mohammed Kaif scored half centuries against Kenya on Saturday to put India A in the final of the triangular one-day tournament.

Henin storms into final

World number one Justine Henin moved a step closer to her 35th career title by taking down Chinese qualifier Yan Zi 6-3, 6-0 in the semifinals of this 1.34 million dollar hardcourt event here on Saturday.

'WC an unhealthy obsession'

Rahul Dravid does not foresee himself playing the next World Cup and India captain insists India has an unhealthy obsession with the quadrennial cricketing extravaganza.

Heartbreak for Munshiganj

Munshiganj became runners-up in the 60th Independence Day Kho Kho Competition held in Pondichery on Friday.

Owen close to best

Newcastle United manager Sam Allardyce has warned it could be weeks before England striker Michael Owen is back to his best.

Low's youthful Germany

There's a nice story told by Jurgen Klinsmann about the man who turned out to be his successor as head coach of Germany. Klinsmann had been sizing up Joachim Low's potential as his assistant ahead of the 2006 World Cup, and was swung not by his snappy dress sense Low likes clothes but by a vivid explanation of how a flat back-four should move, relative to one another.

The case for goal-line technology

England's Football Association are set to explore using goal-line technology after the latest refereeing blunder led to a clear goal being disallowed.

Celtic confident over Nakamura

Celtic chiefs are confident that Japanese midfielder Shunsuke Nakamaura will follow in the footsteps of former striker Henrik Larsson by extending his current deal with the Scottish champions.

Business

NBR chief says corrupt tax officials being punished

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman has said the discretionary powers of tax officials have been cut and corrupt officials are being punished as part of the drive to improve the country's revenue collection.

BPC starts privatisation of 11 tourist establishments

Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) has started the process of privatisation of 11 tourist establishments for better management and for providing better service to the tourists.

Meghna, Jamuna to raise paid-up capital

State-owned Meghna and Jamuna oil companies need to increase their paid-up capital before they are partially privatised in order to make them more attractive to investors.

Cellphone seen as potential gold mine for advertisers

Mobile phones are a potential gold mine for advertisers, the most personal and intimate way to communicate and engage with subscribers more than 2 billion of them and counting worldwide.

Asia's economy robust despite plunging shares

Ten years ago the crumpling of Asia's paper tiger economies sent shockwaves across the globe, but this time the region is being pummeled by a crisis that is "Made in the United States".

Tokyo, Jakarta set to boost trade ties

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Indonesia Sunday at the start of a three-nation Asian tour, with a key trade agreement to be signed between Tokyo and Jakarta during his stop here.

Donors' conditions termed disgraceful

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman Badiur Rahman yesterday sharply criticized the conditions development partners placed on loans and grants, describing them as "disgraceful."

Making Business Journalism work for Growth

Every city or region in the world, no matter how small, teems with interesting business and economic stories that affect the daily lives and pocketbooks of readers and viewers. Yet this news area is often neglected by reporters and editors who tend to concentrate on stories revolving around government, politics and other official institutions. Many journalists might secretly think that business and economics are boring, full of complicated terms and confusing numbers. Journalists can find a gold mine of good stories in business if they know where to look and how to use what they find. In addition, because these stories are so often overlooked, they provide a good way for weekly or small daily newspapers and other media outlets to beat the competition by presenting those stories first.

Nokia announces product advisory for BL-5C battery

Nokia issued Friday a product advisory for the Nokia-branded BL-5C battery manufactured by Matsushita Battery Industrial Co., Ltd. of Japan between December 2005 and November 2006. This product advisory does not apply to any other Nokia-branded battery, says a press release.

Sharp rise in import of foodgrains, essentials thru' Benapole

A correspondent, BenapoleImport of foodgrains and essentials through Benapole land port increased significantly, which would help meet everyday demand for the items in the current flood situation in the country.

Malaysia plans new budget air terminal

A new low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) will be built near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), while the existing one there will be expanded to cater to an additional five million passengers yearly.

China-LatAm 1st business summit to be held in Chile

The first China-Latin America Business Summit will be held in Santiago, Chile, on Nov 27 and 28, according to the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).

Summit Power's new MD

Tauhidul Islam has recently joined Summit Power Ltd as its managing director, says a press release.

Metropolitan

Call for restoration of full-fledged democracy, media freedom

A two-day conference of the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) ended here yesterday with a resolve to bring into focus rampant poverty in the region and support pro-poor, poor-centred strategies of eradicating poverty at grassroots level by breaking anti-people power nexuses.

Ensure indigenous children's edn through mother tongue

Speakers at a seminar yesterday urged the government to take measure so that the indigenous children can pursue their education through mother tongue.

Bangladesh a bright example of communal harmony

President Iajuddin Ahmed has called upon all irrespective of caste and creed to work together to build a prosperous Bangladesh maintaining the tradition of unimpeachable communal harmony.

2 lighter vessels yet to be salvaged

The two lighter vessels, one capsized near the Karnaphuli estuary and the other stranded at Sandwip channel on Saturday, could not be salvaged till yesterday afternoon.

Cirdap meeting begins today

The three-day 23rd regular meeting of the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and Pacific (Cirdap) Technical Committee begins in Chiang Mai of Thailand today.

Relief activities continue

Different government and non-government organisations, political parties and social organisations continue to distribute relief materials among the flood victims as well as making donations to the Chief Adviser's Relief and Welfare Fund yesterday.

Charge framed against BNP leader Ariful in extortion case

A court in Sylhet yesterday framed charge against city BNP Chief Ariful Haque Chowdhury, also a ward commissioner of Sylhet City Corporation (SCC), in a case of extortion worth Tk 15 lakh.

One-stop service centre opens on Aug 29

One-stop service centre opens at the Regional Passport Office in Dhaka on August 29 for quick endorsement of passports.

HSC results to be published on Aug 23

The results of the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations, 2007 under seven education boards, Alim, Fazil, Kamil under Madrasa Education Board and business management under Technical Education Board are likely to be published simultaneously on August 23.

Rab nabs 10, seize firearm, smuggled goods in Rajshahi

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in different drives seized a firearm, a statue, 356 bottles of phensidyl and smuggled goods and arrested 10 people from different places of the region in the last two days.

One gets death for killing wife for dowry

A Sylhet court yesterday sentenced a man to death for killing his wife.

ACNielsen official arrives today

Ma Asuncion G Sunico, chief human resources officer, ACNielsen Asia Pacific, arrives in Dhaka today to review and develop the ACNielsen's human resources issues and business in Bangladesh, says a press release.

12,000 can perform Umrah in Ramadan

The government has decided to send up to 12,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah during Ramadan.

Army man held on charges of extortion in Ctg

The police held an army man as he was allegedly extorting money in the guise of a member of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) from a residential hotel in the city early yesterday.

Cocaine worth Tk 1 cr seized

A team of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) seized one kg of cocaine worth about Tk one crore during a raid on a train at Panchbibi station in Joypurhat last night.

National

A new beginning for jute

Some small jute mills in private sector in greater Rangpur, mostly set up with old machinery of closed state-owned big mills, have created new hopes for the sector while big public sector units are being closed one after another with heavy losses and financial burdens.

HR leader alleges lax probe by police

Khulna district unit of Bangladesh Human Rights Implementation Committee (BHRIC) has accused Bagerhat Police Superintendent Shahidur Rahman of trying to skip his responsibility in monitoring college girl Barnali Ghose murder case, recorded with Rampal police station on last July 11.

600 wagons stranded as rail tracks damaged in Balashi

At least 600 wagons, some with food grains and fertiliser, are stranded at Balashi and Bahadurabad terminals as railway communication between Trimohoni and Balashi is suspended due to damage of eight kilometers of the railway track by surging flood water.

Charge framing against Dulu now on Aug 28

Charge framing in a case against BNP leader and former minister Ruhul Kuddus Talukhdar Dulu and 21 others for allegedly abetting violence by Islamist militants and outlaws in 2004 was deferred yesterday till August 28.

Shibir, students clash at BM College: 8 hurt

At least eight students were injured in a clash between the cadres of Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) and general students at a hostel in Barisal BM College yesterday.

Voter listing begins in Rangpur

Voter list preparation and national ID card registration with photograph has begun in Rangpur municipality area here yesterday.

Extortion case against Jhenidah AL leader

A Tk 80 lakh extortion case was filed against Moheshpur Thana Awami League (AL) secretary Moyjuddin Hamid and 17 others yesterday.

Ex-BNP lawmaker Mozammel sued for extortion

A case was filed against former BNP lawmaker Mozammel Haque and nine of his acolytes on extortion and looting charges in Natore.

Letters

Relief operations in disarray

With floods besieging the country, the Chief Advisor had to invite [through public address] the social groups to come forward with relief operations, as they did in the past.

Public and private universities

Many write-ups on 'public and private universities' have been published in newspapers to depict the overall situation of the universities.

Bush and war

All of us well remember President Bush's anguish over Iraq's possessing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), which resulted in an attack maneuvered by the United States of America in Iraq in 2003. Since that launch of 'charitable effort' to rid Iraq of WMD, interestingly enough, no report of any such discovery of weapons has been achieved; the fact which clearly proves that Mr. Bush was wrong in his speculations. Later, instead of saying 'sorry' to Iraq and to the civilised world, he justified America's attack on Iraq by proposing another hypothesis that of Iraq's association with al-Qaeda and comes up with a solution that Iraq's autocracy has to be done away with and democracy established in order to rid the country of Islamic militancy (as if democratic Islamic states don't have religious militancy!) So, the attack continues and Iraq burns in a deadly conflagration that spreads to almost every part of the country. Human rights are horribly violated every minute and people are dying regularly in large numbers. Clearly, America played Iraq at will, caring not a fig for international community. And this has been nothing but a display of evil power. Therefore, whoever stands to it without a protest, is responsible for the mass-murder in Iraq in some way or other.

More CNG stations needed

These days people are driving their vehicles by CNG, but the number of CNG stations is not increasing. And the result is that people are suffering a lot, they have to wait for a long time at the stations. Cab drivers and CNG drivers are suffering even more.

Flood victims

Bangladesh is a low-lying land and hence, it is no surprise that we fall prey to flood almost on a regular basis. This year flood has once again hit us. It would be a little exaggeration if we term this year's flood, of course, taking into account the disaster it has created in a number of regions, as worse than what we faced in 1998.Nevertheless,as always, the flood has struck the poorer and underprivileged sections of society terribly, leaving them completely helpless, penniless and even shelter-less. Scores of people have had their homes washed away by the devastating flood, as they now have taken shelter temporarily in various school buildings and on embankments. Simply put, their misery speaks for itself. Now that the country is suffering from such a natural catastrophe, what we need to do is to stand beside these helpless people. The richer section of society, financially solvent and capable enough of helping others, should extend their helping hand towards the flood-hit people. We must not forget that we should deem flood as a national disaster in preference to a mere problem of some specific areas of the country. In the light of this assertion, it is clear that a collective and coordinated approach that will include people of all walks of life is worth taking which, in turn, hopefully, will help the flood victims overcome their hardships as the government alone would not be able to do much in alleviating their sufferings. In addition, various private and non-government organisations must come forward in mitigating what might be referred as 'hellish nightmare' for flood-affected people. In a word, our joint efforts and united endeavours would be of great help to those passing their days in distress, without even knowing what tomorrow is going to bring them.

Water, water everywhere …

A deed is good indeed, when it serves the basic need/requirement of a large number of people. One such requirement is drinking water. In the past we saw many philanthropists who dug ponds, wells and sunk tube-wells for drinking water for the general people. We all know what the great saint Nizamuddin Aulia did. He dug a big pond (Dighi) near Delhi when he saw people were deprived of pure drinking water. We are heading towards acute crisis of drinking water, India is also apprehending the same. We are putting our own survival at risk by polluting water of all available sources. Rivers/canals are polluted with industrial wastes and ponds are polluted with household wastes. Excessive use of insecticides/fertilisers in the agricultural land also causes pollution. During monsoon water overflows the banks of the ponds and makes them polluted.

Jute mills

Last Saturday I visited my octogenarian uncle, Mr. K. Ahsan -- who worked in the recently closed People's Jute Mills (Khalishpur) during 1955-1957 and was associated with the jute business for about a decade. He is now living a retired life in London. I showed him some newspaper clippings on the closure of jute mills and miserable condition of thousands of workers, their families and small traders of that area. He has a good memory and narrated several events of those days. The (750-loom) mill was owned by the (late) Prince Aga Khan (and two other partners - diamond merchants Mr. Lakha and Mr. Gangi) and remembers their visit (separately) during that time. Mr. T. H. (Torab Hussain) Vimani was an efficient managing director. Many skilled workers - mostly people who during pre-partition days worked in the jute mills around Calcutta (West Bengal) - migrated to East Pakistan and joined the mills. The overall atmosphere was peaceful. The nearby Platinum Jute Mills was just started. He remembers his good friends/ colleagues (S, H, R, etc.) and spending the weekends in Khulna. He requested me if I could convey his deep sorrow and dua to the affected workers, traders and their families. Also, I couldn't answer his two queries: (1) Whether in this 'eco-friendly age' the government wants to completely whip out this crop from the country. (2) Whether we are going back to the pre-partition days when 99% of world jute was produced in East Bengal but all the jute mills were situated in West Bengal!

Workers' fate

I could not check my tears after knowing the fate of jute workers who have been given golden handshake but did not receive their wages.

Death traps

Nobody can foresee an impending catastrophe. I feel duty-bound to write this letter in view of the frightening condition of rail and road network in Bangladesh. A very recent incident jolted me to my bones. The bright day light was fading over the sky of Boston as my wife and I were leisurely sipping tea in our son's house at Braintree when the telephone blared and we got the news of the terrible bridge collapse in central Minneapolis in Minnesota. The eight-lane bridge was constructed only forty years ago over the mighty Mississippi river and over two hundred thousand cars crossed the bridge every day. What was more dreadful was that my younger son used to take this route to commute to his office. The time the bridge collapsed ( 6pm) he should have been on the bridge on way back home but with a rare stroke of luck he flew to New Jersey that same morning on a vacationing trip. The twisted steel and huge concrete slabs with vehicles strewn in a rumpled mess as shown on the TV made us chill in horror. Whatever the authorities reported we presume the number of fatality would exceed twenty with umpteen wounded.

Animal farm

Despite severe hardships such as poverty and natural disasters like the devastating floods, it is astounding to see that the people of our country never give up under any circumstances. They are constantly struggling against the adversities and vulnerabilities. Their hopes remain resolute against all odds. The people of our country are extremely adaptive when they are faced with the toughest challenge. I think that our country has a huge potential and our people are its living example. We have limited funds and expertise, yet we are ready to fight against all shortcomings. A few years back a remarkable initiative was taken by some creative animal farming companies to breed some of the valued species, especially the reptiles which included crocodiles mainly. They have started this project with limited resources but have now been successful in their endeavour. Although there had been heavy rainfall and seasonal changes, they could keep up the reproduction of the crocodiles. These companies are owned by private individuals who had started their activities with a view to exporting the crocodiles internationally. If the government could have aided them, then this would be an extremely fruitful business and could be one of the most efficient sources of earning foreign exchange alongside the booming garments factories. However, at present these animal farms are concentrating on importing crocodiles from abroad and after further breeding and cross-breeding they have the plan to export them. I would like to suggest that if some of the exotic animals of our country like the local deer and birds could be exported, then that would yield more profit since they are in abundance in our country but rare and priceless abroad.

Foreign interference

We are appalled by the interference of other countries and donor agencies in our internal matters. Their interference has extended beyond the diplomatic ethics or general conventions.

Reckless driving

The roads of Bangladesh are beset with problems, reckless driving is one of them. Most of the drivers are not well trained. They do not realise that life is more valuable than time. They drive desperately. Even they are not conscious of their own safety needs. They do not follow traffic signals and try to overtake others. As a result, road accident take place frequently.

"My Lord, we beg to differ"

Yes, My Lord, we beg to differ and fully endorse the commentary written by you (The Daily Star dt. 13-8-2007). Howsoever, it's of no use to rip up the old sore.

Why should people protect Jatka ?

Perhaps you are aware about the high price of hilsa fish in the market. The price is almost unaffordable for over 90% of the people in the country. The high price may be attributed to export of the fish. It is often seen that whenever an event takes place at state level on production of any item, farm or non-farm, the politicians and their fellow bureaucrats start talking about export of the item, simply ignoring the domestic demand. Some days back the political and administrative elites raised a hue & cry for exporting our natural gas. Similarly, the hilsa was being exported to India since the beginning of the season. The demand of people was not taken into account. Considering the scarcity and high price of hilsa in the market, the caretaker government imposed a ban on the export for six months. We the common people must term it as an act of a government, which is responsive to peoples needs and demands.

Our politicians

Those who study political science or even have a little education must have learnt that the duty of an individual is to do some good for their parents, for themselves and for the nation as a whole, in their future life and politicians accomplish such jobs in greater terms. But the situation in our political arena is totally different. Here politics is done to destroy the backbone of the country, persecuting numerous people and providing a profound background for terrorism and corruption. It is operated under a certain dynasty, leaving the generous politicians with professional integrity behind. Lots of party men from the Awami league and the BNP are now locked up in prison, caught on different criminal charges, mostly corruption.

International

Nato soldier among 24 killed in Afghanistan

Twenty-four people including a Nato soldier were killed in a bloody weekend of Taliban-linked violence across insurgency-hit Afghanistan, officials said yesterday.

Pak gunship attack kills 15 militants

Pakistani helicopter gunships pounded suspected militant hideouts near the Afghan border yesterday, killing 15 militants, most of them foreign fighters, the military said.

Nuke deal strains UPA ties with Left allies

India's Congress-led UPA government and its Left allies are trying their best to bridge differences on a landmark nuclear deal with the United States, but it has already strained their ties, scars of which might stay on for long.

Iran, IAEA hold talks today

Top officials from Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog will hold a third round of talks today aimed at agreeing guarantees over the contested Iranian nuclear programme.

Iraqi leaders meet to end political crisis

Iraq's political leaders held a second day of talks yesterday aimed at patching up the fractured unity government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is under pressure from Washington to find an end to the political paralysis.

Peru quake survivors grow desperate

The government sent the army Saturday to stop looting fuelled by rising desperation in earthquake-shattered Peru, where tens of thousands were without fresh water and shivering families huddled in makeshift shelters at the centre of the devastation.

Great powers cast bids for strategic C Asia

In the titanic contest for power over Central Asia between China, Russia and the United States, Akmamat Kasimov's market stall must be the smallest battlefield.

Pakistan aims to control organs trade

When a man called Tariq offered 24-year-old Usman Rana more than 16,000 dollars for one of his kidneys, he thought his fortune was made.

Troops 'stretched'

British troops in Afghanistan are "stretched" but are winning the tactical battle against the Taliban, the head of the British Army said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

UN official optimistic about Nepali peace

A senior United Nations official said yesterday he was optimistic that a peace deal between Nepal's former rebel Maoists and the government will hold ahead of polls planned in November.

US 'sinking in whirlpool', says Iran leader

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday launched a new attack on the United States, saying Iran's arch enemy was "stuck in a whirlpool" and would sink deeper in the future.

Tourist boom a threat to Leh's Tibetan architecture

Perched high above the Himalayan town of Leh, a warren of traditional mud-brick houses squats by the ruins of the royal palace and a monastery, appearing to grow out of the mountainside.

Top clan elder killed as Somalia strife deepens

A top clan elder from embattled Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi's clan was gunned down in Mogadishu overnight Saturday, dealing a blow to a laborious month-old peace initiative.

India seeks Japan's support for nuke deal

India will seek Japan's approval for a civilian nuclear pact with the United States and greater investment during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit this week, officials say.

Scuffles with police as hopes fade for Chinese miners

Scuffles broke out between relatives and security forces at a coalmine in eastern China Sunday as hopes faded for the rescue of 172 miners trapped underground by flash floods.

Exercise 'must be tough to work'

To be healthy, you really do need to break into a sweat when you exercise, say experts.

Storms kill 15 in China

At least 15 people were killed as a tornado ripped through the coast of eastern China while Typhoon Sepat battered the country further south, state media reported yesterday.

China begins building new N-power plant

Chinese power companies began construction of a new nuclear plant on Saturday, the first in the country's northeast, a state news agency reported.

Arts & Entertainment

“Badabon-er Katha”: A tale of the Sundarbans

The Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, lies on the Southwestern coastal areas of Bangladesh, forming a seaward fringe of the delta. The Sundarbans is intersected by a complex network of waterways, mudflats and small islands covered with mangrove forests, and presents an excellent example of ongoing ecological processes. The area is known for its wide range of fauna. There are about 334 species of trees and plants and 450 species of animals in this forest -- a repository of diversity. Of these, there are 47 species of mammals, 270 species of birds, 45 species of reptiles and 200 species of fish.

“Gothhito Hoi Shunney Milai”: Documentary on Shimul Yousuf

Young filmmaker Fauzia Khan's documentary on the virtuoso theatre actor Shimul Yousuf, Gothhito Hoi Shunney Milai (I do form to be deformed) was screened at Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Public Library on August 18. The event was held on the occasion of launching the DVD of the documentary.

Fakir Shohedul Islam: Working towards a vibrant classical music scene

“Classical music may not have a wide audience, as it is an acquired taste. For artistes however, a sound base in classical music is a must. It prepares one's vocals for virtually all genres,” says Fakir Shohedul Islam.

“The Last Lear” to be screened at Toronto film fest

It is celebration time for internationally acclaimed Indian director Rituparno Ghosh and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan. The reason for that is Ghosh's film in English, The Last Lear, featuring Bachchan in title role will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.

OP-ED

NGO efforts should be mobilised

DUE to intermittent rain caused by the depression over West Bengal, India, recession of floodwaters in the central and south-central districts of Bangladesh is likely to be delayed,” according to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre.

Is it Islamic?

Let the world know: this is outrageous and inhuman. Let the Muslims know: this is not Islamic. Rather the act is totally against the spirit and essence of Islam. Neither Allah nor Prophet Muhammad approves this. Nor any legal system, ideology and civil society the world over would approve this. And such acts lower the image of Muslims in a world already surcharged with anti-Muslim sentiment due to the community's link with terrorism. And more so, Taslima is living in exile, she is going to score more sympathy out of it.

Economics 101

In today's article, I want to focus on three price-fixing stories. The examples have to do with price enforcement of the current government. Furthermore, the examples show a complete misunderstanding of the basic market functionality of a market economy. The stories are:

Bangladesh a case of professional bankruptcy

On January 11, a new order was declared in the country with the promulgation of the emergency order. Earth shattering events had ushered in a new period of history where the “war against corruption” would become paramount. The new national direction was born out of chaos, and tough measures would have to be carried out to ensure its survival. Strengthening of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and arrests of prominent national figures all draws steam from the “New Order.” But this is not what it seems.

Star City

Cops undergo reform with revamp of crime scene investigation

City's police stations are going to experience a significant change as the police force is undergoing heavy reform under a $16 million project, funded by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Polythene menace not over

In spite of a government ban, the hazardous polythene shopping bag is slowly making a comeback as a section of unscrupulous manufacturers secretly continue their production and consumers silently revive its use.

A children's park in awful state

Despite a consistent public outcry to restore city parks and playgrounds, their state remains as appalling as they have been for years -- thanks to the city fathers and managers.

Cry for urgent steps to build two underpasses goes unheeded

While work has started on building a new footbridge at Paribagh, the Dhaka City Corporation's (DCC) promise for two underpasses at two nearby busy spots remains far from reality.

Cable TV operators defy govt order, overcharge subscribers

Cable TV operators are still overcharging their viewers-- blatantly defying the government-set maximum fee for the service.

"city express"

The latest crop of quotes from the city's press -- words worth repeating, we feel, for their humour, insight or sheer outrageousness. Star City does not necessarily support the opinions expressed in this column.


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