The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, April 25, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 10th of October, 2007

Front Page

Polls before Oct '08

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday disclosed a plan for holding the parliamentary elections before October next year by preparing the voter list with photographs within July, three months earlier than the deadline.

Owners asked to pay RMG workers' wages, bonus by tomorrow

The government yesterday asked garment factory owners again to pay the wages and Eid bonuses to their workers by tomorrow to avert any uncalled for incident before the Eid-ul-Fitr, but the owners said it will be 'very tough' for many of them to comply with the government request.

Ex-BNP MP Munshi jailed for 13yrs

A special court yesterday sentenced former BNP lawmaker Manzurul Ahsan Munshi to 13 years in jail for acquiring wealth illegally and concealing information on his property.

Falu charged with misuse of govt relief materials

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against detained former BNP lawmaker Mosaddak Ali Falu and one of his associates in a case filed in connection with misuse of government relief materials.

Donors likely to lend $365m for post-flood rehabilitation

Giving an indication that loans worth $365 million might be available for the post flood rehabilitation programme, representatives of different donor agencies yesterday proposed formation of a permanent fund with government and donor contributions to face natural disasters.

2 officials of Bangladesh HC in KL called back

The government has decided to withdraw two officials of Bangladesh high commission's labour wing in Kuala Lumpur allegedly due to their inefficient handling of Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia.

CA praises role of lawyers in establishing rule of law

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday appreciated the lawyers for their role in establishing the rule of law in the country and hoped that they would maintain their contributions.

ACC hunts for info about wealth of Hasina, family

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has issued notices to all deputy commissioners (DC), land registration offices and 41 banks, asking them to report if detained former premier and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina and her family members own any moveable or immovable wealth.

RMG workers block road for leave allowance

Agitating workers of three garment factories yesterday blockaded the road at Shewrapara in city's Mirpur area for leave allowance suspending traffic movement on Rokeya Sarani for an hour.

Dhaka to revive efforts to have greater market access for LDCs

Bangladesh will revive efforts for greater access of manufactured goods from least developed countries (LDCs) to big markets as the new chair of the coordination council of LDCs as part of its push for a bigger role in UN-based organisations.

Arrest warrant against ex-Jamaat MP Shahjahan Chy, Morshed Khan's son

The Divisional Special Judge's Court here yesterday issued arrest warrants against former Jamaat lawmaker Shahjahan Chowdhury and ex-foreign minister Morshed Khan's son Faisal Morshed Khan for not appearing before it in a corruption case.

AL might join consensus govt if it is free of war criminals

The Awami League (AL) may weigh the possibility of joining a national government if it comprises pro-liberation, democratic and secular forces, the party's acting general secretary yesterday said.

Bhuiyan supports proposal on 'consensus govt'

Expelled BNP secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan yesterday voiced support for former president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury's proposal for a government based on national consensus.

6 killed as two buses collide in Comilla

At least six people were killed and 10 others injured yesterday as two buses collided on Dhaka-Chittagong highway at Basantapur in Chouddagram upazila.

India for Saarc route map to tackle terrorism

A route map to tackle terrorism and crimes in Saarc countries has been urged by India -- suggesting a greater cooperation among police forces of the nations and exchange of their human and material resources.

102 ex-MPs of AL demand Hasina's release before Eid

A total of 102 former Awami League (AL) lawmakers yesterday demanded release of the detained party president and former prime minister Sheikh Hasina before the Eid-ul-Fitr.

KL employers warned against maltreatment of Bangladeshis

The Malaysian employers responsible for mistreating Bangladeshi workers will be brought to justice, the country's human resources minister, Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn, said yesterday.

Iraq keen to reopen embassy in Dhaka

Iraq has expressed keen interest to reopen its embassy in Bangladesh.

2 JMB men get 10yrs in serial blast case

The Sylhet divisional speedy trial tribunal yesterday sentenced two Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) activists to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment for their involvement in a series of blasts that rocked Sunamganj in August 2005.

Fighting in Pak tribal belt kills 250 in 3 days

Pakistani jets pounded militant hideouts near a troubled tribal town for a third day yesterday as officials said around 250 people had died in some of the heaviest clashes since 2001.

French-German duo get Nobel Physics Prize for hard disk breakthrough

Albert Fert of France and Peter Gruenberg of Germany yesterday won the Nobel Physics Prize for work that led to the miniaturised hard disk, one of the breakthroughs of modern information technology.

Bombings, shootings kill 33 in Iraq

Bombings and shootings in central Iraq and Baghdad, including twin suicide truck bomb attacks on leading figures in the fight against al-Qaeda, killed at least 33 Iraqis yesterday, officials said.

Editorial

Lailat-ul-Qadr

This is the most auspicious night for Muslims all over the world. It is more blessed than a thousand months. For the Muslims it is a special dispensation from Allah, for Allah has said that a night's meditation at this occasion is equal to that of thousand nights. For this is the night when Allah revealed the Holy Quran, through the last Prophet Muhammad (SM), not just for the Muslims to seek guidance from but for the entire mankind to be guided by. The Holy Quran, along with the last Prophet of Allah, has come as a redeemer to the Muslims in particular. And it is for the Muslims to internalise and understand the essence of the teaching of the Quran, for salvation not only of the soul in the hereafter, but also of the body in this world.

The workers' visas were genuine?

The 82 Bangladeshi workers who were forced to return to Dhaka from Dubai airport on the ground that they had fake visas on them can now actually go back to Dubai. The immigration authorities in Dubai, as we understand, have now acknowledged that the visas were genuine and that there was a 'communication gap' that compelled the workers to go back to Dhaka. That is all very well, but even so the explanation given out by the Dubai authorities about a communication gap being there does not hold much water. The workers, once they landed in Dubai, were told in no uncertain terms that they had to go back to Dhaka as their visas were not in order. No explanations were offered and even attempts by the Biman authorities, who were responsible for taking the workers to Dubai, to explain matters were rudely brushed aside.

A Truth Commission or the rule of law?

All this excitement about a truth commission raises some very significant truths that we need to handle. As Law Adviser Mainul Hosein informs us, and every now and then, it is the state of the economy, which will be a determinant in the formation and operation of the truth commission.

NGOs in Bangladesh and their accountability

Over the past two decades Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have taken center stage all over the world in matters pertaining to good governance, functioning of democracy, and upholding of human rights and fundamental freedoms. They have also been at the forefront in the fight against corruption, political partisanship and abuse of familial connections.

Governance with inapt appointments

The Supreme Court shelved a recent High Court order on October 4 for granting bail to BNP's Khaleda Zia in one of her graft cases. Obviously, that didn't sit well with her cronies. But had she been released on bail, these cronies would have championed her as the "born again" leader of the party.

Sports

Roof collapses at BNS

Nearly a hundred media men survived a close call on Monday as the roof of the press box at the Bangabandhu National Stadium came off a few hours after the 2010 World Cup pre-qualifier between Bangladesh and Tajikistan.

New payroll not before 2 months

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has extended the national players' current contract by two months with a plan to review the payment structure after watching their performance in the National Cricket League.

Ireland due next March

Ireland, surprise package at World Cup 2007 in West Indies, will travel to Bangladesh for the first time, early next year.

Pakistan lose upper hand

South Africa took a grip on the second Test on day two here Tuesday after Pakistan squandered their solid start by quickly losing a string of wickets.

SL won't risk Murali

Muttiah Muralidaran has been ruled out of the fourth one-day international against England, according to his manager, after failing to recover from his bicep injury. But despite talk that he will miss the whole series Muralidaran retains hope of appearing in the final match in Colombo.

Patience pays off

A sigh of relief rose from the stands in the Sector 16 Stadium once Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss on Monday morning. Finally India could bat first and try and put Australia on the difficult end of a 300-plus run-chase. An hour later, though, those hopes were fading as Brett Lee and his fellow fast bowlers put on a spell that made Sachin Tendulkar look thoroughly inept at the crease and the scoring rate resemble the first hour of a Test match.

Bangladesh win five more gold

Bangladesh won five gold medals at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai yesterday.

SA announce ODI squad

South Africa Tuesday made four changes to their Test squad for the five-match one-day series against Pakistan starting later this month.

Yousuf paid for ICL snub

Prolific batsman Mohammad Yousuf only agreed to make himself available for the Pakistan team once he was assured of financial compensation for cancelling his deal with the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Booters get a break

The national footballers will go into a brief Eidul Fitr vacation from today after holding Tajikistan 1-1 in Monday's 2010 World Cup pre-qualifier at home.

A legend in the making

Brazil and AC Milan's Kaka, perhaps the best attacking midfielder in the world, is one of the favourites for December's 2007 European Footballer of the Year award.

Bayern, Bolton in the same group

French striker Nicolas Anelka said an upset of UEFA Cup favourites Bayern Munich by Bolton would put the Pre-miership club on the map as a European force, following Tuesday's group stage draw.

McClaren calls for repeat

England manager Steve McClaren has called for his players to dish up a repeat dose of last month's back to back wins in next week's Euro 2008 qualifiers against Russia and Estonia.

Man Utd go Bollywood

Bollywood movie "Goal" has tied up with Manchester United Football Club in the hope of scoring a major hit when it is released at the end of the month.

FIFA happy with S Africa

World football's governing body FIFA said Tuesday that South Africa's programme of stadium building remained on schedule, despite a recent strike by construction workers in Cape Town.

Broadcasters, club battle in Spain

Several Spanish clubs have complained over non-payment of fees for television broadcasts of matches, the result of a cutthroat battle between two media groups for control of the market, a Spanish business daily reported Tuesday.

Celta Vigo sack Stoitchkov

Former Barcelona and Bulgarian international Hristo Stoitchkov has been sacked as coach of struggling Celta Vigo, Spanish media reported Monday.

Arsenal launch Chinese website

English Premiership leaders Arsenal launched a Chinese-language website here on Tuesday in a bid to widen the club's global fan base and increase its support in the world's most populous country.

Owen blames hard pitches

As England prepare for their crucial Euro 2008 qualifying match on a plastic pitch in Russia a week tomorrow, Michael Owen admitted that playing on hard surfaces has contributed to his recent injury problems.

Marion surrenders Olympic medals

Disgraced sprinter Marion Jones has been stripped of her gold medals from the 2000 Olympics and asked repay more than 100,000 dollars in prize and bonus money, the United States Olympic Committee said Monday.

Broad lost no sleep

Young England paceman Stuart Broad has come back strongly against Sri Lanka in the one-day series after becoming the fourth bowler in history to be smashed for six sixes in an over.

ICC, Hair shake hands

Darrell Hair on Tuesday dropped his claim for racial discrimination against the International Cricket Council (ICC) in a deal that could allow the Australian to resume his career as a Test match umpire next year.

Khulna warm-ups postponed

Khulna Division's two practice matches against GP-BCB National Cricket Academy for preparation of the National Cricket League have been postponed due to rain and soggy outfield.

Anglo-Scot ODI in 2008

Scotland have announced they will play against England next summer in the first one-day international between the two countries.

Chingoka can't enter UK

Peter Chingoka, chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket, has been refused a visa to enter the UK by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

BCCI cautions its officials

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has taken exception to selection committee chairman Dilip Vengsarkar and Indian team manager Lalchand Rajput's statements to media over senior players' performance.

Business

BB tightens rules for exchange houses abroad to avert remittance scam

The central bank yesterday tightened rules for exchange houses abroad having 'drawing arrangements' with local banks to ensure the safety of remittances sent by non-resident Bangladeshis and avert any future remittance scam like the one committed by the UK-based Fast Solution Company.

SEC chief calls for cautious investment as DSE index hits all time high

With the General Index on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) hitting all time high, the capital market watchdog yesterday urged investors to invest in stocks cautiously.

Winning business confidence challenge for govt, says ICC-B

Winning the confidence of the business community in particular and the public in general is a challenge for the government, said the International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh (ICC-B).

EU's new system to replace quota limits for China textile

The European Commission and China have agreed to scrap the current quota restrictions on Chinese textiles next year in favour of a monitoring system, the EU's executive arm said Tuesday.

EU ready to lower trade barriers with ex-colonies

The European Commission said Monday, for the first time, that it would be ready to lower the bar in trade talks with the 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific rim countries making up the so-called ACP group.

WB to focus on Arab states, mid-income countries

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Arab countries have been "underserved" by the development lender and that he wants to develop an initiative to get more involved in the Arab world, according to an interview published in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday.

ADB vice president due today

Vice President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Liqun Jin arrives in Dhaka today on a three-day official visit.

South American nations form new development bank

Seven South American countries agreed to launch a new development bank, the Banco del Sur, a brainchild of Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez to step up regional development and integration.

Qatar says oil prices should top 100 dollars

Qatar's energy minister said crude oil prices, which have surged recently to record levels above 80 dollars a barrel, should be more than 100 dollars.

Investment jumps 115pc in Indonesia

Indonesia's actual domestic and foreign direct investment in the first nine months of 2007 rose 115 percent from a year before to 109.73 trillion rupiah (12 billion dollars), officials said Tuesday.

China's Chery buys shipyard to boost auto exports

China's Chery Automobile has bought a domestic shipyard in the rapidly growing private company's latest effort to meet an ambitious export target, state press reported Tuesday.

Metropolitan

Around 2.25 cr people over 18 yrs suffer from mental disorders

Around 2.25 crore people over 18 years are suffering from mental disorders while there is only one psychiatrist for every 1.40 lakh people in the country.

ACC boss seeks help of all to free country from corruption

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (Retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday said it is not possible to free the country from corruption without cooperation from all.

Crops on 8.5 lakh hectares, 8870 schools, 12,000-km roads damaged in floods

Floods have damaged crops on over 8.5 lakh hectares of lands, 8870 primary schools and about 12,000-kilometre roads across the country this year, according to official statistics presented at a workshop yesterday.

One third of physically challenged people visually impaired

One third of the physically challenged people in the country are visually impaired although 80 percent of such cases are preventable, speakers at a discussion said yesterday.

Security to be beefed up ahead of Durga Puja

A total of 14170 puja mandaps will be set up across the country to celebrate the upcoming Durga Puja, the biggest festival of the Hindus.

'Building Tipaimukh Dam a violation of UN convention’

Construction of Tipaimukh Dam, a project of India, on the river Barak in Manipur is a violation of UN Watercourse Convention, speakers at a book launching ceremony said yesterday.

Deals with pvt sponsors to set up 10 small power plants soon

The government is likely to sign deals with private sponsors this month to set up 10 small power plants across the country.

Make govt audit transparent, accountable

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday urged the Comptroller and Auditor General of Bangladesh to take steps for making government's audit management more transparent and accountable.

Goalpara Power Plant again out of order for tech glitch

The 110 megawatt power plant of Goalpara Power Station (GPS) again went out of order at 9:20am on Monday for the 11th time in last eight months due to major technical faults. The power plant is yet to go into production to meet severe power outage in the district under the West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited (WZPDCL).

British HC warns people against hoax e-mails

The British High Commission in the city yesterday warned people against being duped by Internet scams, which claim to offer large financial rewards in return for an initial payment.

'Enforce laws to check acid violence'

Canadian High Commissioner Barbara Richardson yesterday underscored the need for enforcement of laws to check acid violence across the country.

Trade union rights in EPZ extended up to Oct 2010

The trade union rights of the workers in the country's export processing zones (EPZs) have been extended up to October 31, 2010.

Mahmudur surrenders, granted HC bail

The vacation bench of the High Court yesterday granted ad interim bail to Mahmudur Rahman, energy adviser to former prime minister Khaleda Zia, as he surrendered before it apprehending arrest in connection with a corruption case.

New furniture designed by Italian expert launched

A Dhaka-based furniture maker, Jalal Furniture Company Ltd (JFCL), yesterday launched a new line of furniture designed by an Italian expert.

Chuadanga outlaw leader killed in encounter with police

A leader of an outlawed party was killed in an encounter with police at Pragpur village in Alamdanga upazila early yesterday.

15-km tailback on Dhaka-Tangail Rd

A 15-kilometre tailback clogged the Dhaka-Tangail highway after an eight-ton truck broke down near Latifpur Bridge yesterday.

Cop, source arrested for taking bribe

Detective Branch of police arrested a sub-inspector (SI) of Khilgaon Police Station and his source for taking bribe from a youth at Rampura in the city on Monday night.

Govt urged to reconsider decision to buy 150 SUVs for UNOs

Speakers at a press conference yesterday urged the government to reconsider its decision to buy 150 brand new Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) at the cost of Tk 40 crore for the Upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNOs) since the move would not be cost effective.

6 officials with joint secretary status transferred

Six officials with status of joint secretaries were transferred yesterday in a reshuffle in the administration.

7 more bodies recovered

Seven more bodies of the passengers of an engine boat that capsized in the Meghna on Monday evening were recovered yesterday, raising the death toll to 11.

Khulna journo gets 2 yrs' RI

A court in Khulna yesterday sentenced a journalist to two years' rigorous imprisonment in an extortion case.

Citi grants for Bangladeshi community in East London

The Citi Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Citigroup, has made further grant to deliver a series of financial education workshops and one-to-one sessions to up skill British-Bangladeshi young people and women within Tower Hamlets to better achieve their financial goals, says a press release.

Roof collapse kills one in Comilla

A construction worker was killed and four others were injured when the roof of an under-construction building of a spinning mill collapsed in EPZ area here yesterday.

Girl crushed under wheels of train

A minor girl was crushed under the wheels of a local train on the Ishwardi-Dhaka route near Ullapara railway station yesterday.

Bakery fined in Chittagong

A mobile court fined a bakery Tk 50000 for using adulterated edible oil in Iftar items at Patenga in the port city yesterday.

Mahalaya today

Mahalaya, the auspicious occasion that heralds the advent of goddess Durga, will be celebrated today.

Railway engr suspended

Sub-Assistant Engineer Abdur Rouf of Bangladesh Railway (West) now posted in Jessore has been suspended for negligence in duty.

Road crash kills one in Rajshahi

One person was killed and 10 others were injured when a truck hit a pickup at Sherkol near Kafil bridge at Singra upazila on Monday night.

National

Food crisis looms in Sylhet

A possible food crisis looms in Sylhet as most of the areas in the district were affected by flood, leaving no scope for farmers to grow Amon paddy.

Chandpur town protection dam vulnerable

Chandpur town protection embankment at Puran Bazar has been threatened due to heavy rain and tremendous pressure of water at the confluence of Meghna and Dakatia rivers.

Fresh flood in Satkhira

Six villages in Pratapnagar union under Assassuni upazila flooded as the reconstructed embankment at Harishkhali point on the river Kholpetua breached again on Monday night.

A unique punishment for forest plunderers

The residents of four villages in Madhupur upazila in the district will have to plant 50,000 saplings on 200 acres of forestlands at their own cost within 15 days as penalty for uprooting about the same number of newly planted forest-tree saplings.

Kishoreganj Poura chairman held for bribery

Joint forces yesterday arrested Kishoreganj Pourasabha chairman Abu Taher Mia and two other employees of the municipality on charge of taking bribe from a trader.

ACC sues 4 CBA leaders

Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) in Brahmanbaria has filed four cases against four detained CBA leaders of Ashuganj Zia Fertilizer Factory (ZFCL) for alleged misappropriation of factory funds.

BDR, BSF trade gunfire in Satkhira

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) on Minday night traded gunfire on Taluigachha border in Sadar upazila.

5 acquitted in child murder case

A court in Barisal on yesterday acquitted five of the six accused in sensational murder case of child Tamim while the judgment about one accused was not declared as the High Court had stayed his trial.

3 fake hospital technicians held in Sirajganj

Joint forces in special drives arrested three fake technicians from North Bengal Medical Collage and Hospital in Sirajganj town yesterday morning.

2 Sylhet BCL leaders jailed in arms case

A court here yesterday sentenced a Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leader to life term rigorous imprisonment (RI) in absentia and awarded another party leader to 10 years imprisonment in an arms case

Letters

Violence against women

Acid throwing is a vicious form of violence against women (VAW). Although, we know that VAW is a universal phenomenon, what many of us may not know is the extent and form the violence takes. Acid throwing is a particularly vicious and damaging form of VAW in Bangladesh. There are cases of acid throwing in other countries but these are isolated incidents, nowhere near the number of attacks that occur in Bangladesh. The victims are attacked for many reasons. In some cases, the attack takes place because a young girl or women has spurned the sexual advances of a male or has rejected a proposal of marriage. Recently, however there have been acid attacks on children, older women and sometimes also men. These attacks are often the result of family or land disputes, dowry demands or a desire for revenge. The major victims are women(47%), men(26%) and children(27%). When acid is thrown on a person the results are horrifying. It causes the skin tissue to melt, often exposing the bones below the flesh, sometimes even dissolving the bone. Many acid attack survivors have lost one or both eyes.

Inzamam's last match

Inzamam-ul-Haq's decision to retire after the Lahore Test against South Africa means that world cricket will be bidding farewell to one of the greatest batsmen to have walked onto the cricket field. He has had an amazing career filled with numerous memorable innings, and he is on his way to crossing Miandad as the highest run-getter for Pakistan.

Power shortfall

The alarming shortfall of power is making the economy stagnant and also acting as a deterrent to industrial growth in the country, especially in rural areas. The question of setting up backward linkage industries and expansion of poultry, fisheries and other livestock farming are at big challenge.

Myanmar people

In limiting their response to toothless sanctions and a strong disapproval of Myanmar's military dictatorship, our world leaders condemn to death not only the country's bloodied, unarmed monks and civilians, but also the fragile hopes of oppressed peoples everywhere, who will quickly learn that the world leaders cannot be counted on to back up their pre-democracy rhetoric with action.

Simmering “discontent”

The dictionary describes 'simmering' as bringing slowly to a boil. When this is coupled with 'discontent' the authorities should beware. We have already had a couple of manifestations of 'simmering discontent' in recent days that caused immense damage to national property and prestige. I am giving 4 more flash-points simmering fast.

Teaching English

The PCP article by Chris Austin (3 Oct) is wonderful and it fills me with elation that others in the world do care about the common people of Bangladesh. The learning of English and its secrets as exposed by him and the other practical proposals of help will no doubt advance this most worthwhile objective for the betterment of Bangladesh and its technical manpower, as it has done for China and other countries in the region.

Two important issues

As per media news, two important decisions are in the process of consideration of the CTG. These are:

Aussies back to business

The rise of the Australian cricketers in India after lying very low for some time both at 20/20 in South Africa and elsewhere is indeed amazing.

TIB report

In this letter I would like to make a comment on the above report by drawing information from the news published in your paper on Sunday, October 2, 2007 under the heading “TIB says its study not applicable to all NGOs”. In particular, I will keep my comments within the limit of the methodology used to collect information.

UN positions

On 6 October you wrote in support of Bangladesh's efforts to secure senior level positions in the UN by virtue of, among other things, Bangladesh's contribution to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations throughout the world. Without question, Bangladesh's contribution of troops has proven useful to the UN. Like Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Kenya, all major troops contributing countries, Bangladeshi troops cost much less than troops from North America and the European Union.

Trade licence

I fully support Dr. Abdus Sattar Syed's opinion on this issue (Letters to the Editor page, June 19, The Daily Star) that the advance income tax of Tk.1000 proposed on every fresh issuance or renewal of a trade licence should be withdrawn. I would like to go even further to propose that the requirement of trade licence be waived for very small starting enterprises (a suggested limit: fixed investment under Tk.1.5 lakh). Unfortunately, we inherited a legacy of a top-down authoritarian rule of the colonial past which has not changed a little even after adoption of democracy. Field officials of the government have the authority to harass the general public if their corrupt demands are not met.

Our workers in Malaysia

Just within a week of Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed's meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Mr. Abdullah Bin Ahmad Badawi in New York where, as reported in our media, the Malaysian PM assured our Chief Adviser of all possible help to assist Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia, comes the bad news of ban on our workers in that county.

TIB report & NGOs

It is an undeniable fact that some very remarkable accomplishments have been made by some NGOs in healthcare and education and expanding opportunities to the disadvantaged children of Bangladesh. Yet, no doubt, the TIB findings on corrupt practices of NGOs are well founded.

Ammonia pollution

Mr. Islam's report in your daily (Oct:3) on abnormal quantities of ammonia gas exhausts from Zia Fertiliser Co. Ltd. , polluting the environment around ZFCL factory, is deplorable news. What are the authorities doing about containing it? The surrounding cropland of about 200 acres is losing fertility due to excessive alkalinity. Fishes in ponds within this area are also reported to be dying unnaturally! People in the locality are suffering from skin diseases and respiratory problems. However, strangely, nothing was mentioned about the employees of the factory and their families who live in the factory location!

Misplaced priority

The politicians have again started to beat about the bush. Though the main problem of Bangladesh is now corruption, some politicians are saying undemocratic things. Whatever is good for this world is permissible in Islam, then why do you question Islam's complete code of life? I think some people's hard line against Islam ignites Jihad among some fervent Muslims, which is creating dire situations in many countries.

Business community

In Plato's Republic, the place of the business people was earmarked outside the city. May be their loyalty and patriotism were suspect. Modern day multinationals are, however, quite unabashed and unconcerned about it.

What's going on?

We were encouraged when the Malaysian Prime Minister assured the Chief Adviser in NY that all problems pertaining to the BD workers in that country would be solved, but now we hear that Malaysia has imposed a blanket ban on BD workers!! What is this? Why around 300,000 would be workers had to be put in this situation? It seems that the present administration is more interested in pushing those hapless workers to different countries than engaging in wise and effective negotiations. We suggest the government immediately send officials to other manpower exporting countries, like the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Egypt....to learn as to how to ensure proper safeguards for our workers.

International

Junta seeks smooth ties with Suu Kyi

Myanmar's ruling junta said yesterday it hoped to achieve "smooth relations" with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a day after suggesting that her release from house arrest was unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Israel seizes Arab land near Jerusalem

Israel has ordered the confiscation of Arab land outside east Jerusalem, the army and Palestinian officials said yesterday, reviving fears that the occupied West Bank could be split in two.

Brown 'running away' from Iraq: Analysts

Britain is "running away" from Iraq, partly due to Prime Minister Gordon Brown's desire to distance himself from Tony Blair, experts said Tuesday.

UPA-Left meet fails to break impasse on N-deal with US

The crucial meeting of the UPA-Left committee on the Indo-US nuclear deal was held in the capital on Tuesday, amid strong and divergent views expressed by both sides on the issue that further fuelled speculation about mid-term polls.

Iran, IAEA begin talks on nuclear questions

Iran yesterday began talks with a delegation from the UN nuclear watchdog on Tehran's controversial uranium enrichment programme, state television said.

Japan extends sanctions against N Korea

Japan extended sanctions yesterday against North Korea by another six months to mid-April to keep up the pressure on Pyongyang over its abductions of Japanese nationals, government officials said.

14 Taliban killed in Afghan battles

About 100 Taliban stormed a remote police post, sparking lengthy exchanges which left 10 militants and a policeman dead, while four rebels died elsewhere, officials said yesterday.

Union Cabinet approves president's rule in Karnataka

In a meeting held yesterday, the Union Cabinet decided in favour of the imposition of the President's rule in Karnataka.

Car explodes in Basque city, one injured

A car exploded Tuesday in Spain's northern Basque country, wounding a bodyguard, regional authorities said.

7 bodies found after Washington plane crash

Seven bodies were recovered from the wreckage of a plane that crashed in the Cascade Mountains, and authorities said the other three people aboard were also believed dead.

Extra Pakistan judge to hear Musharraf election case

A Pakistan Supreme Court bench that will rule on the legality of President Pervez Musharraf's overwhelming election victory was expanded yesterday, officials said.

Israeli police grill Olmert in corruption probe

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was grilled by police on Tuesday over his alleged abuse of influence in the privatisation of Israel's second-largest bank two years ago.

Arts & Entertainment

Celebrities on Eid

With Eid-ul-Fitr just around the corner everyone is gearing up for the festivities. After a month of devotion and fasting Eid gives people an excuse to do something special for themselves and their families. As the month of Ramadan nears its end, people are busy making last minute preparations. Celebrities are also getting ready for the grand celebration.

A purist Tagore singer

Dr. Fahmida Khatun's debut album is all set to be released. The album, Jokhon Prothom Dhoreche Koli, an Impress Audio Vision Ltd presentation, featuring Rabindra Sangeet, was recorded in Dhaka, although some production work was done in Kolkata.

Magazine programme “Baroari” on ntv

On the third night of Eid at 11:15 pm, magazine programme Baroari will be aired on ntv. Directed and hosted by Shusahanto Shubhro, the show will feature several interesting segments.

“Garam Bhat Othoba Nichhak Bhuter Golpo”

Tele-film “Garam Bhat Othoba Nichhak Bhuter Golpo” will be aired on the third day of Eid at 3:30 pm. Directed by Animesh Aich, the tele-film is an adaptation of a story by Sunil Gangopadhyay.

Being a queen comes easily to Cate Blanchett

There's something naturally regal about Cate Blanchett.

Eid Special

On Eid day at 3:05 pm, ATN Bangla will air a special tele-film titled Training Centre. Written by Brindaban Das, the tele-film has been directed by Saidul Anam Tutul.

OP-ED

Lailat-ul-Qadr

It was on the auspicious Lailat-ul-Qadr, the Night of Power or the Night of Honour or Majesty that the Holy Quran, the most blessed and perfect of all revelations, was vouchsafed to the benighted world. By revelation, of course, is meant first revelation because the Holy Quran was revealed in portions during a total period of twenty-three years.

Official Secrets Act in Raktokarobi

Rabindranath Tagore wrote Raktokarobi in 1923 in Shillong. The Official Secrets Act, that barred government officials from giving out information to people, was passed in India in 1923, and still exists in Bangladesh as a colonial inheritance. Why invoke the name of Tagore in this context? Is the year 1923 a mere coincidence?

Separating tax formulating body from NBR

I am very happy to learn that the government is going to give the responsibility of tax policy formulation to a body separate from NBR. In fact, due to my regular communication with NBR since 1998 pleading for correcting tax inversions existing between the import of finished products and raw materials of electronic items, this very aspect appeared very strongly to me and I have been arguing for the separation of tax policy formulating body from NBR for quite some time.

Star City

A day's respite from dreary days behind bars

The table is full of traditional Eid delicacies with the air filled with aroma of spices. Guests arrive one by one after attending the Eid congregation. They embrace each other, exchange greetings and start savouring the delectable treats.

Vision for visually impaired

For the first time after its inception Dhaka University is going to open a resource centre for its visually impaired students. The centre will be opened at the DU Central Library soon after the university opens end of this month.

Playing songs of rural motifs

A cock with a crash on its head, a peacock, a flower plant with two buds and diamond patterns -- all sound quite common as elements. But only a few have the eyes to see through the mundane aspects of these objects and create eye-catching articles based on them.

Deer too dear, sale dull at zoo

The sale of deer at Dhaka Zoo has plummeted from 70 deer last year to only three this year due to the introduction of pricey possession certificates and renewal fees imposed by the Department of Forest, said zoo officials.

Star Chittagong

Eid shopping picks up in port city

With barely a week to go, Eid shopping gains momentum in the port city with all the shopping malls, arcades and markets as well as the makeshift shops on footpaths in the city being bustling from morning till night.

Proper management to lessen hassle of homebound people

Proper management by the authorities concerned and strict monitoring by the law enforcement agencies have lessened the hassle of the homebound people remarkably in getting advance tickets of railway ahead of Eid in the port city this year.


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