The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, July 29, 2014


News of: Monday, 10th of December, 2007

Front Page

Teachers to be 'freed'

All the detained teachers and students of Dhaka University (DU) and the convicted teachers of Rajshahi University (RU) will be released in the next two weeks, according to DU Teachers Association (Duta).

Hasina, Khaleda, 10 others sued

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday sued former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina along with 10 others for inflicting an enormous loss to the state through awarding gas deals to Canadian gas exploration company Niko by abusing their power.

HC stays Hasina extortion case, court on JS premises

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for three months the proceedings of the Tk 2.99 crore extortion case filed against former premier and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina and two others.

4 killed, dozen feared trapped inside Rangs

The death toll in Saturday night's Rangs Bhaban cave-in on the city's Bijoy Sarani rose to four yesterday while the fire service stopped rescue operation on safety grounds.

Trade deficit shot up by 223pc in 3 months

Country's trade deficit has increased by 223 percent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year due mainly to huge increase in food import.

Lack of safety steps, expertise led to collapse

Lack of experience and adopting no proper plans in demolishing the 22-storey Rangs Bhaban have apparently caused the Saturday night disaster.

4 RU teachers appeal against verdict

The four convicted teachers of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday lodged an appeal with the District and Sessions Judge's Court challenging a lower court order that sentenced them to two years' rigorous imprisonment.

Remains of war hero Hamidur due today

The remains of Birshreshtha Hamidur Rahman will finally reach his beloved homeland today, 36 years into his martyrdom during a battle with Pakistani occupation forces.

Cabinet okays law to form National HR Commission

The council of advisers yesterday approved the National Human Rights Commission Ordinance 2007, a day before World Human Rights Day today.

ACC sues Akbar, family for having illegal wealth of Tk 600cr

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday evening filed a case against Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan alias Shah Alam, his wife, and their four sons on charges of amassing illegal wealth worth about Tk 600 crore from beyond the known sources of their earnings.

They kill flies, work their way out of jails

All they do is kill flies.
The task might sound a bit odd even outright ridiculous, but that is what many convicts in the prisons of the country do as part of their rigorous imprisonment!

Hearing on govt nod to sedition case tomorrow

A Dhaka court hears tomorrow the matters related to the government approval for registering a sedition case against two Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and the ex-chairman of Islami Bank as a regular one.

Release Khaleda, Hasina to create political mood

Secretary General of pro-Khaleda faction of BNP Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said the state of emergency should be lifted and Khaleda Zia and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina should be released to create a "political environment".

Mauritius gets Saarc observer status

Foreign ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) have decided to give observer status to African country Mauritius in the regional forum.

6th Wage Board Award rejected

Sangbadik Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SSKOP) yesterday expressed its grief and disapproval over the gazette notification of the Sixth Wage Board, saying that it has curtailed salaries and other benefits of journalists and press workers.

Saudi prince now slashes offer to buy Rupali Bank

The Saudi prince who agreed to buy Rupali Bank has slashed more than US $270 millon off the amount he is willing to pay for the state-owned enterprise, claiming he was misled about the size of the bad debts held by the bank.

Brac chief grateful for Afghan help

Brac Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed has expressed satisfaction at the release of the organisation's Area Manager Md Noor Islam, kidnapped in Afghanistan on 16 September.

Breakthrough sought at global climate talks

Climate change campaigners called yesterday for greater effort in the fight against global warming, saying the world was waiting for a crunch UN conference in Bali to produce a breakthrough.

Suicide car bomber kills 8 in Pakistan

A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a police outpost yesterday, killing eight people in an area where the military has been battling Islamic militants loyal to a fugitive cleric, an official said.

Editorial

Lethal air pollution

It is an oft-told story that extremely hazardous particles in the air of Dhaka and Chittagong pose a threat to the life of the citizens. They literally inhale poison as they go about doing their every-day chore little knowing the long-term effect on their health. The two mega cities are home to millions of people where they are already living in unhealthy environment amidst filth and debris. On top of that, they are forced to breathe air containing lethal components like carbon monoxide, lead, dust etc. It is said things get even worse in winter when particulate matters (PM) in air is likely to be higher than what is recoded in other seasons.

Inadequate law on the disabled

The way a state treats its retarded people is a measure of the maturity and sophistication it has attained. Meeting the basic needs of the retarded should have nothing to do with being an affluent country or a poor one. The approach to the retarded is essentially a matter of attitude, ethics and culture. Even in developing countries, with resource constraints, the mentally and physically handicapped children can be taken care of by private and public sectors joining hands. There is scope to garner endowment funds for them. By imparting special skills many of them can be turned into reasonably productive citizens.

The fall

MIKHAIL Gorbachev's rise and role in the former Soviet Union had always been suspect. The mystery surrounding the introduction of his so-called glasnost and perestroika ultimately resulting in the dissolution of his country still lingers. If he, in a way, catalysed the fall of the USSR, he was in the same vein responsible for the worst ever thing happening to the US -- becoming the world's unrivalled superpower.

War games

THE November campaign might be for Gujarat, but its politics is about the next general elections. The very uncertainty about the date of a general election makes the politics that much more intense. Since no one knows when it might happen, for both individuals and circumstances could galvanise events, you have to be prepared for as early as April and as late as autumn next year.

What to do about coal?

THIS article is one of two that deal with the key issues in the coal industry. This first article deals with three questions:(1) Does Bangladesh need to develop the coal industry? (2) What technologies are appropriate for coal? (3) How should coal fit into the development of the power sector? The second article will deal with how to develop the coal sector.

Sports

Ash expects good days

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful said that his team will aboard the New Zealand-bound flight with a promise to do better than what a different set of Tigers did six years ago Down Under.

Barisal snap Rajshahi run

Nazmus Sadat's brilliant all-round show helped Khulna to a huge victory, Barisal stole the show by breaking Rajshahi's six-match winning streak with a stunning 18-run win and Mohammad Sharif snared five wickets in the 9th National Cricket League one-day competition held across the country yesterday.

Ganguly's princely 239

Sourav Ganguly and Irfan Pathan posted career-best knocks as India showed their batting prowess to put Pakistan under pressure in the third and final Test here on Sunday.

England lose way

Sri Lanka grabbed four wickets in the final session to halt England's confident start in the second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club here on Sunday.

Fahim hails U-19 boys

Coach Nazmul Abedin Fahim praised the Bangladesh under-19 players for their splendid efforts in their remarkable turnaround in the one-day series in Pakistan last week.

Rakib in 3rd spot

Grand Master Abdullah Al Rakib won the eighth round game against Arghyadip Das in the Common-wealth Chess Championship in New Delhi yesterday.

'Ton to help bowling'

India all-rounder Irfan Pathan believes the confidence he gained by scoring a maiden Test century against Pakistan on Sunday will help his bowling while he aims to regain a permanent Test spot.

Germany lift hockey title

Germany edged Australia 1-0 to win a nail-biting final of the Champions Trophy Sunday with German skipper Timo Wess' early strike ensuring another feather in the cap for the World Champions.

Eves' cricket league from Dec 27

The divisional women's cricket league will kick off at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on December 27.

Real ride on Ruud

Ruud van Nistelrooy showed he is much more than just a penalty box predator scoring a brilliant winner to help Real Madrid move seven points clear at the top of the Spanish championship with a 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Lazio clinch vital win

Lazio eased their relegation fears and boosted their Champions League morale with a 2-0 win over Catania on Saturday.

Rafa focused on Marseille

Rafael Benitez refused to apologize for thinking of Liverpool's make-or-break Champions League clash with Marseille as the Reds slipped to a 3-1 defeat against Reading - their first loss in the Premier League this season.

MU demolish Derby

Ryan Giggs's 100th league goal saw Manchester United on the way to a 4-1 win against bottom-of-the-table Derby County to keep up the pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal on Saturday.

Verbeek wants Viduka

New Australian coach Pim Verbeek sees convincing Newcastle's Mark Viduka to prolong his international career as a top priority ahead of next February's 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

Kaka dismisses Real link

Brazilian playmaker Kaka has brushed aside reports that Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon is making a fresh attempt to prise him away from AC Milan.

FA denies Jose approach

The FA reacted to the latest slew of newspaper speculation on the identity of the next England manager on Sunday by insisting that no approach had yet been made to any potential candidate.

Casillas hit by object

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas was hit by an object thrown from the crowd during his side's 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Red card from the bench

There was a strange dismissal in Frankfurt on Saturday when Schalke 04 substitute Carlos Grossmueller earned himself a red card from the bench while still in his tracksuit.

A touch of Lara

Perhaps the best compliment for Yuvraj Singh, who played one of the finest innings under pressure you can hope to see, would be that he had a touch of Brian Lara. There was the same high backlift, with the bat flowing down from the eye level, the quick hands, malleable wrists, sensational timing and perfect placement. To top it all, there was the part that couldn't be seen, only sensed: the ability to create a bubble where the external factors -- a fresh pitch with a tinge of green, the hole that his team was in when he walked in, and the fact that he was playing for Test spot -- ceased to matter.

Captain doubts KP dismissal

Michael Vaughan says the third umpire should have been consulted over the controversial catch that ended Kevin Pietersen's innings on the opening day of the second Test in Colombo on Sunday.

'Sledging no worry'

Sourav Ganguly says India will have extra motivation in their four-Test series against Australia because it will be the last trip to the country for several of the squad's veterans.

Fifth ODI rained off

The fifth and final one-day international tour match between Zimbabwe and West Indies at Queens Sports Club here on Sunday has fallen victim to rain.

First streaker in Lankan history

A male streaker ran on the field on the opening day of the second cricket Test between England and Sri Lanka on Sunday, forcing play to be halted for three minutes.

BFF gathers Tk 1m for Sidr victims

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) earned over Tk 10 lakhs from the best of three charity series between archrivals Mohammedan and Abahani.

Sainu slams four

Sainu Pru struck four goals as Rangamati drubbed Shariatpur 8-0 to make a flying start in the second inter-district women's football competition at the Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex yesterday.

Place a bid to face Murali

Sri Lanka's legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralidaran is offering his fans the opportunity to bid on eBay for the chance to face him.

BAF, Josephites win easily

Bangladesh Air Force and Josephites' Club won their respective matches in the Total Victory Day basketball tournament that began at the Shaheed Suharwardi Indoor Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Galle row returns

Sri Lanka's tsunami-hit cricket stadium at Galle was once again embroiled in a heritage row Sunday as it prepared to host the third and final Test against England next week.

Asgar the leader

Asgar Ali took solo lead in the eighth Special National Chess Tournament by winning the sixth round game against Kamal Hossain at the chess federation hallroom yesterday.

Chelsea missing Drogba

Avram Grant reckons Chelsea are braced for a testing spell without leading scorer Didier Drogba after his side laboured to a 2-0 win over Sunderland.

Duisburg hold Bayern

Bayern Munich boss Ottmar Hitzfeld regretted his side's desire to "play pretty" rather than picking up the three points which would have guaranteed them top spot in the Bundesliga at Christmas.

Etoile stun Pachuca

Etoile Sahel coach Bertrand Marchand said good organisation was key to his young Tunisian side beating Mexico's Pachuca 1-0 Sunday in what he admitted was an upset at the Club World Cup in Japan.

Marseille warm-up for Reds

Marseille warmed up for Tuesday's do-or-die Champions League clash against Liverpool with a 2-0 win over Monaco in the French championship on Saturday.

Calf to keep Hargreaves out of Roma tie

England midfielder Owen Hargreaves is set to miss Manchester United's Champions League date at Roma on Wednesday due to a calf problem.

Ronaldo doubtful

An injury-plagued Ronaldo is looking increasingly doubtful for AC Milan's Club World Cup campaign in Japan, but his teammates are trying to keep his spirits up, fellow Brazilian ace Kaka says.

Smith out of first T20 tie

Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, has backed out of the first Twenty20 against West Indies, as well as Makhaya Ntini's benefit match, on medical advice. In Smith's absence, Shaun Pollock has been named captain for the Twenty20 on December 16 in Port Elizabeth.

Symonds would love to skipper

Michael Clarke maybe the natural heir to Australian captain Ricky Ponting but belligerent all-rounder Andrew Symonds revealed he too cherishes the ambition of leading the side, even if it's just in the one-dayers.

Cacau out until 2008

Defending Bundesliga champion's VfB Stuttgart will be without their striker Cacau until next year after the Brazilian injured his shoulder in Saturday's 3-1 win over VfL Wolfsburg.

Business

Saudi prince now wants to pay $185m, not $456m

The Saudi prince who agreed to buy Rupali Bank has slashed more than US $270 million off the amount he is willing to pay for the state-owned enterprise, claiming he was misled about the size of the bad debts held by the bank.

New plant for high end printing to meet demand for value added garments

Defoin, a local screen printing company, is to set up a new plant to do high end printing jobs on clothing, a further example of Bangladeh's attempt to expand to higher value production.

Trade liberalisation leads to joblessness: CPD-ILO study

Trade liberalisation has cast a negative impact on the country's employment, a study revealed yesterday.

Textile sector needs policy guideline to face global competitiveness

Speakers at a workshop in Dhaka yesterday pleaded for a proper policy guideline for the country's textile sector so that it can sustain global competitiveness.

Indian consumers risk beating if loan repayment late

Most consumers risk being hit by hefty fees or a nasty spike in interest rates if loan or credit card repayments are late -- but in India there is also the danger of being pummelled with an iron bar.

AirAsia X carrying Bangladeshis to KL

Malaysia's long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X, a concern of Air Asia, has started operation in Bangladesh on charter basis to carry Malaysia-bound workers.

Key oil exporters can turn into importers in 10yrs

Some of the leading oil-exporting countries may start importing oil 10 years from now in order to satisfy the needs of their own booming economies, The New York Times reported on its website late Saturday.

2nd int'l cellphone fair from today

A five-day 2nd Dhaka International Mobile Fair 2007 begins today at Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre.

Garment, allied machinery tech show begins Jan 12

A four-day international garment and allied machinery and accessories trade show will begin in Dhaka from January 12, says a press release.

Renault buys into Russia's largest carmaker

Renault said Saturday it has agreed to buy a 25 percent stake in Avtovaz, Russia's largest auto group and owner of the Lada brand, to tap into the rapidly growing Russian car market.

AB Bank, Euronet sign electronic fund transfer deal

AB Bank Ltd, Networld Bangladesh Ltd and Euronet Worldwide Inc have signed a joint venture agreement for setting up a company to establish an electronic fund transfer and payment system network in Bangladesh.

US, China to talk critical economic issues

With their economic woes mounting, the United States and China will hold high-level talks this week on key issues amid concerns over a tightly-controlled Chinese currency and protectionism.

Metropolitan

Continue move to combat corruption

Eminent governance experts and academics at a seminar yesterday lauded the government initiatives for institutional reforms and trial of the corrupt, but said these will not bear fruits as long as the scope for power abuse remains in the absence of legal and ethical standards.

Govt to expedite efforts for empowering women: CA

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the government wants to accelerate its ongoing efforts to pave the way for empowering women in all spheres of society to establish their rights.

CG firm to make democracy more functional

The World Human Rights Day will be observed in the country today.

Nat'l commitment to help overcome post-Sidr state

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday expressed the hope that the broad-based national commitment as reflected through united efforts in providing assistance to the cyclone victims will help overcome the situation.

Attain leadership quality to face challenges of 21st century

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday called upon the scouts to attain leadership quality to face the challenges of the 21st century.

‘Formulate coal policy that reflects national interest’

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday urged the government to formulate a national coal policy that would reflect the interest of the nation.

BSMMUH still lacks general emergency facilities

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital (BSMMUH), the lone medical university hospital in the country, lacks general emergency facilities, causing suffering to seriously ill patients.

‘Launch social movement against violence against women’

Begum Rokeya Day was observed yesterday in the country with a call for launching a social movement to bring an end to violence against women.

First Saarc youth camp begins at Savar today

The first Saarc youth camp begins at Savar near Dhaka today with a view to increasing communication, cooperation, cultural exchange and fraternity among the youths of the member countries.

10 students receive award

Dr Sitara Parvin Award 2005 was given away among 10 meritorious students of Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) Department of Dhaka University yesterday.

366.02 acres land occupied in Khagrachhari

About 366.02 acre land of 120 indigenous people were grabbed by grabbers in different places at Mohalchhari in Khagrachhari district in the last nine months, Mahalchhari Bhumi Rakkha Committe alleged in a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity yesterday.

BKP to contest DCC election

Bangladesh Kalyan Party (BKP) will take part in the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) election, party sources said.

Court accepts charge sheet against Nikita for possessing 34 yaba tablets

A court in Dhaka yesterday accepted the charge sheet of a case filed against Zannatul Ferdous alias Nikita, known as 'yaba dealer', for possessing 34 yaba tablets at her Shantinagar residence in the city.

Muktijuddher Boi Mela begins in Ctg today

A weeklong Muktijuddher Boi Mela (Book Fair) begins in the port city today with 20 leading publishing houses of Dhaka taking part in it.

Sirajuddin Hossain's anniversary of death today

Today is the 36th death anniversary of eminent journalist Shaheed Sirajuddin Hossain, a martyr of the War of Liberation, says a press release.

National

Amon yield to miss target by 4,800 tonnes in Kishoreganj

Amon production in Kishoreganj may be around 4,800 tons less than the target this year due to flood followed by a massive pest attack.

Migratory birds rise in Hakaluki Haor

Migratory birds have started flocking to Hakaluki Haor in Moulvibazar, the biggest lake in the country, delighting visitors with their chirping and fluttering.

Kuakata sea beach less affected by Sidr

Kuakata sea beach which presents picturesque scenes of sunrise and sunset in sea is preparing to entertain tourists, three weeks after hurricane Sidr.

Villagers join hands to rebuild breached dam in Satkhira

Villagers have joined hands for reconstruction of a breached embankment at Jelekhali of Gabura union in Shyamnagar upazila following failure of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) authorities to do the work.

Try war criminals

Moulvibazar Liberation Day was observed here on Saturday with a demand for trial of war criminals.

Rokeya Day observed in Rangpur

Begum Rokeya Day was observed here yesterday in a befitting manner.

Outlaws kill BNP leader in Jhenidah

A BNP leader has been bombed and shot dead allegedly by outlaws at Shishutala near Dhopabila village in Sadar upazila.

Star Readers' Club holds programme in Kurigram

The Daily Star Readers' Club in Kurigram organised a discussion meeting on the occasion of Begum Rokeya Day 2007 yesterday.

SI closed in Dinajpur

A sub-inspector (SI) of police working at Boda police station has been closed to Panchagarh Police Lines for allegedly taking bribe from a clinic owner on Sunday, police said.

Letters

Facing calamities

The calamity that has once more left lives in Bangladesh ravaged calls for some serious rethinking on our part insofar as tackling natural disaster is concerned. There is, of course, no way in which we can prevent nature from venting its fury. Throughout the ages Bangladesh has been battered by floods, cyclones, tidal surges and the like, and the consequence of it all has always been a trail of devastation left behind. People have died, while those who survived were left homeless and destitute. It is today a tale of all comprehensive misery. With each day that passes, the body count from the disaster gets to be higher. As far as crops are concerned, they have simply been destroyed.

Save ‘gharials’

The geographical range of the distribution of gharials (Gavialis gangeticus) has dwindled within the natural range countries Pakistan, Bhutan, India and Nepal but more significantly in Bangladesh. Wild populations can only be found now in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. Only few pairs in the wild are reported to be surviving in the Padma-Jamuna river system, Bangladesh. Gharials have been listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List 2007 and have again been identified as the most threatened crocodilian species in the world in a recent resolution of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and World Conservation Union (IUCN) (October 2007). With the rapid increase in the magnitude of threatening ecological and social factors, the gharials in Bangladesh are facing their worst nightmare and are at the verge of extinction.

Global conference on agriculture

Bangladesh being not so a rich country cannot bear frequent losses in the agriculture sector due to natural calamities like flood, cyclone, draught, etc.

Global warming

Among the real concerns of the after-effect of the Sidr hurricane, the political turmoil, the price hike of essentials and the misdeeds of the ex-politicians, most people tend to forget that we, mankind, are at the end of our current pattern of growth and so called civilisation.

Choose the right leaders

The tentative schedule of national election has been announced already. The Election Commission (EC) is making all the arrangements for this election. Meanwhile, it is important to know the background of the participating political leaders. It is also essential to know their stand for the development of Bangladesh.

Eid-ul-Azha

Cyclone Sidr has killed over 450,000 livestock and poultries, wiping out a major source of income for millions of affected families. Bangladeshi people and their friends all over the world have responded to assist the affected people in restoring their lives and livelihood. Even the poor people have come forward with whatever little they have to help the cyclone-affected families. Most impressive was a gesture from some VGF card holders in non-affected areas who volunteered to give up their cards as their contribution to cyclone relief activities. This is the Bangladeshi spirit that we are all so proud of and has been upheld again.

Trees

The paltry numbers of trees that can be spotted bear a queer burden upon them, to say the least! As they are being subjected to a natural decay owing to the biological grounds, they are unfortunately falling victims to the burden inflicted by the humans as well. The point gets clear if one extends the antenna of one's observation- see how the lone and withered trees in the urban towns are burdened by the sign boards that they are forced to carry on their weary frames. There are, interestingly, the signboards of the coaching centres of a variety of tantalising and at times ridiculous names: sure success, never do fail, nexus, peerless the list would rather go on and on!

Literature page

On the eve of every national and religious festival, I observe your literature page editor takes the initiative to publish special supplement for the readers which is full of the best short stories and a bag of pleasures.

Our archaeological heritage

We read from newspaper that some people in the culture ministry had made an agreement with a French museum under which some of our ancient pieces would be sent to France for demonstration. That museum will demonstrate our valuable assets to the French people.

Biharis in Bangladesh

Jamshaid Taher of Banani, Dhaka wants the camps closed and the Biharis dispersed (Star Dec.1). This expression of intolerance and disregard for the needs of fellow humans is appalling. Is their plight not bad enough as it is without attacking the unfortunate community? They would find work easily, he says. No one would discriminate against them, would they? They would be welcomed by the majority community. I do not think so.

Qualification of MP candidates

The present caretaker government seems to be sincere to hold a unique election to be held in 2008. The Election Commission is also struggling to make it possible by taking different steps. We the general people are happy to observe it. In my view, a free and fair electoral process is mainly dependent on two points;

  • An accurate voting process for the voters, like; Voter list, ID card, ballot box etc. and
  • A transparent nomination process for the candidates.

Development issue

This caretaker government is only busy with cracking down on the politicians. It is a good thing but they are not concerned with the development of the country. We are suffering from power failure and price hike of commodities. If electricity is not available for 4-5 hours a day, how is it possible for us to keep pace with the other countries of the world?

CTG's job

We all hate war criminals. After 36 years of independence those criminals are still living in our country. We could do nothing against them. A few days ago all the concerned people of Bangladesh burst into anger by the remarks of Jamaat leaders. Because we all know about their heinous work in our liberation war. All the political parties and leaders (except a few) demanded trial of war criminals. But the caretaker govt did not accept that. Their opinion is that "they are here to organise a free and fair election. They cannot take extra burden". They also said it is the task of a political govt. In my point of view it is true. But one think the CTG can do. They can organise a mass vote whether the people of Bangladesh want the trial of war criminals or not. People will decide about those criminals. Which will be very helpful for a political govt to take a decision about the war criminals. The CTG is doing so many things for the welfare of Bangladesh. We hope that the CTG will do this also for our collective good.

Retirement age

The present non-political government is very passionately considering extension of retirement age limit of the government service holders from 57 to 62 years. It is indeed a very encouraging and pragmatic consideration of the present government in the light of the increased life expectancy of the people due to availability of better healthcare facilities. I personally welcome the decision but in view of limited job opportunities in public sectors, I would like to take the privilege of expressing my reservation without any prejudice on raising the retirement age to 62 years for the following reasons:

Relief fund

As an avid watcher of Bangladeshi politics, as well as its people's well-being, I have a question about relief fund.

English and business

English is the most important in the world for its international acceptability. Our generation has now realised the necessity of learning English and are trying to improve their skills in the language. Their realisation is taken as a business opportunity by some so called 'English Language Teaching Centres. This is unfortunate, to say the least.

Our responsibility

The cyclone has severely unsettled the lives of millions; as a nation we need to stand behind this calamity and show our fraternity. People of all walks should really come forward and help to mitigate the giant catastrophe that had swept the nation and thousands have died and/or have been maimed. Let us ignite our moral fabric, grasp the reality of the cyclone affected people and do whatever in our capacity to help our brothers and sister leading tormented, desperate and hungry lives. Let us assuage them for losing their near and dear ones.

International

Opposition alliance mulls boycott of Pak polls

An alliance of Pakistani opposition parties was set to meet in the eastern city of Lahore yesterday and was expected to make a decision on whether to boycott January 8 polls, party officials said.

Stop IAEA talks or face elections

In a fresh threat against going ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal, the CPI (M) has asked the government to end the talks with IAEA by this month or be prepared for mid-term polls to Lok Sabha.

al-Qaeda in Pakistan a 'wild guess’

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has denied that al-Qaeda leaders were present in the country.

Afghan forces winning Musa Qala battle

Afghan and British troops are winning the battle to retake the Taliban-held town of Musa Qala, officials said yesterday, warning the rebels to surrender after deadly gunbattles near the southern stronghold.

16 more rebels killed in Lanka fighting

At least 16 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in fresh clashes with government forces in northern Sri Lanka at the weekend, the defence ministry said yesterday.

EC issues notice to Sonia over 'merchants of death' remarks

In the face of strong BJP demand, the Election Commission on Sunday issued a notice to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on her "merchants of death" remarks in relation to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi even as it deferred a decision on his response to its notice.

UN nuclear team in Iran for new talks

A delegation from the UN nuclear watchdog arrived in Tehran on Sunday for a new round of talks on the controversial Iranian nuclear programme, the official IRNA news agency reported.

US intelligence under fire for CIA tapes, Iran report

The US intelligence community came under fire over the weekend on two fronts, as conservatives criticized a recent CIA report on Iran's nuclear program and the Justice Department announced a probe into the agency's destruction of videotapes showing interrogations of terror suspects.

EU, African leaders sign plan to forge new relationship

The second ever EU-Africa summit approved on Sunday an agreement aimed at forging a new relationship of equals between the two continents, a European source said.

Global climate game of villains & victims

The ongoing climate talks in Bali have turned into a game of villains and victims.

Russia launches military satellite

Russia successfully launched a military satellite yesterday from the Baikonur cosmodrome, part of a drive to modernise the armed forces' space infrastructure, Russian news agencies reported.

Arts & Entertainment

“Troilus and Cressida”: Anti-war message in Shakespearean play

TROILUS and Cressida are two minor characters in the epic Iliad. However, through the tragic love story between the characters, Shakespeare, in his play Troilus and Cressida, has delivered an anti-war message.

Cultural activists demand trial of war criminals

Cultural organisation Banhishikha arranged a programme to celebrate its second anniversary at the Shawkat Osman auditorium, Central Public Library on December 8. The programme featured a discussion, music and recitation.

Sanjib Choudhury remembered

Sanjib Swojon, an organisation of friends, relatives and well-wishers of the recently deceased artiste-journalist Sanjib Choudhury, arranged a memorial programme at the Shahid Minar premises on December 8.

Tabu to play Taslima Nasreen in upcoming movie

Indian film production house UTV is believed to be contemplating a feature film on Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen with acclaimed actress Tabu in the lead role.

“Bachelor” to be commercially released in Singapore

Mostafa Sarwar Farooqi's film Bachelor will be released in theatres in Singapore, says a press release. Impress Telefilm Ltd and Singapore Patron Home Network have reached an agreement on the commercial release of the film in Singapore.

Ben Kingsley in upcoming Scorsese film

Ben Kingsley has been cast in Martin Scorsese's period thriller Shutter Island. He'll feature opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, who takes the role of a US marshal dispatched to a remote hospital for the criminally insane in the summer of 1954 to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Kingsley will do his polite but sinister bit as the hospital's chief physician. Mark Ruffalo is also in the line-up.

OP-ED

Natural calamities and Bangladesh growth potential

BANGLADESH is widely known as a flood or natural disaster prone country for many years. In recent times many European countries have also experienced floods. Once United States was free from natural calamities, but not now. US people are also afraid with possible revisit of hurricane Katrina. Why is the world facing such calamities? Environmental depletion and global warming are identified as the prime reasons for world wide natural disasters. United States did not take these factors into consideration until recently, though they are one of the accused for these causes. However, though delayed, people all over the world are now concerned about the environmental depletion and global warming. But the irony is that prime victims of these two disasters are nations which are not really responsible for the creation of these disasters.

Jogger's tale

GULISTAN Square falls in the route I take for my evening walk. The sight is so familiar to me. It is normally a busy thoroughfare of the city even in the evening. After 1/11 a change took over the place. The footpaths were cleared for the pedestrians. The floating vendors were evicted to restore order to the city.

What we can do

IN the aftermath of the devastating Cyclone Sidr, millions of people are now homeless, surviving without food, clothes, drinking water, medicine, etc. Many of them are living under the open sky or tents or shelter centers.

Don't give up on Afghanistan

EVERY time I step before a podium, someone will inevitably raise his hand, and say: "So, Mr. Hosseini, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of Afghanistan?" The first thing I do is remind the audience that I am a novelist. If I have any expertise, it is in the inner lives of the characters I have created in my books -- which makes me spectacularly underqualified to answer a question of such magnitude. But even as I say these words -- and they are true -- I know that I am stalling because I do not have a ready answer. So I do give an answer, but one that in the end amounts to the verbal version of a shrug.

Star City

Desolated Rayerbazar and the same old 'annual cleaning'

The place appears to be a grazing field for cattle, a picnic spot for locals or a yakking and lurking site for hoodlums and vagabonds.

Rab dog squad: Daring, dashing and dogged

It was 6 in the morning. Max was walking in the open field in front of his office at Mirpur Section 14. He was doing light exercise with his colleagues. While jumping over the hurdles he gave a suspicious look at one person or two who were not familiar to him or were not his colleagues.

A witness paints the gruesome picture

It was 9:45 at night. Firoz Mian was working along with a dozen others to demolish the Rangs Building. The labourers on the 19th floor felt a sudden jerk of the building.

"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.


The Daily Star

© thedailystar.net, 1991-2014. All Rights Reserved