The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, September 2, 2014


News of: Monday, 31st of December, 2007

Front Page

Teenage son Bilawal succeeds Benazir

Slain Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's son Bilawal yesterday was named chairman of her party, with her husband named co-chairman, two top party officials told AFP.

India up prices of exported rice again

India has increased the minimum rate of different kinds of rice exported to Bangladesh to $500 from $425 per tonne, which rice traders said will cause further rise in the already hiked price of the commodity in domestic market.

Khaleda, Moudud shown held

Detained former premier Khaleda Zia and two of her detained former cabinet colleagues including former law minister Moudud Ahmed were shown arrested yesterday in connection with Niko graft case.

2 ringleaders held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested Md Abbas Ali and Nasir Uddin, the ringleaders of "Abbas-Nasir" smuggling group who allegedly had two Vishnu statuettes stolen at Zia International Airport and destroyed.

Incredible insurance

The government was sending the artefacts to Paris for display at the Guimet National Museum under a nominal insurance cover.

Former forest chief confesses to graft

Detained former chief conservator of forest Munshi Anwarul Islam yesterday confessed to a magistrate that he amassed a huge amount of wealth illegally when he was the forest boss.

Conditions to clip HR commission wings

Human rights organisations yesterday expressed concern saying that the proposed National Human Rights Commission Ordinance 2007 will not ensure transparency and independence of the commission, as it sets many conditions in publishing its reports and its selection committee is too dependent on the executive.

Power adviser forecasts further power shortage

The country will need another 1,000 MW electricity in the upcoming irrigation season that starts from mid-January to operate an increased number of irrigation pumps, mainly for rice fields.

A blood-stained family legacy

At just 19 years old, a blood-stained family legacy could hang heavy on the shoulders of assassinated Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's only son Bilawal.

Dhaka asked to adopt counter militant ideology

Bangladesh may end up facing Pakistan's militancy situation in just five years if the government does not counter militant ideology by creating strategies within itself and the civil society, said renowned political analyst Rohan Gunaratna yesterday.

Govt discusses anti-terrorism ordinance

The Council of Advisers of the Caretaker Government yesterday elaborately discussed the draft of a new law styled Anti-terrorism Ordinance 2007, meant for effectively dealing with acts of terrorism.

New Year's Eve to see tight security

The government has taken up heavy security measures in the capital to check any destructive activities and maintain law and order during New Year's Eve and the celebration of the New Year.

Duta meeting ends in chaos, fails to take decision

An urgent general meeting of Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) ended abruptly yesterday night amid chaos, as teachers could not reach a consensus over possible actions to take to free their detained colleagues and students.

IDB to help rebuild in Sidr-hit areas

Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has assured the government of assistance in developing infrastructure in the country's cyclone-hit areas, Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said.

Deadline for wealth report submission now Feb 28

The Ministry of Establishment has extended the deadline for submission of wealth statements of the government officials and employees to February 28, 2008.

Latifur Rahman re-elected MCCI chief

Leading industrialist Latifur Rahman has been re-elected president of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Dhaka for 2008.

50pc internet tariff cut on cards

The government is likely to cut internet tariff by 50 percent soon in a bid to boost the country's ICT (information and communication technology) industry.

Upazila polls in CG tenure

LGRD Adviser Anwarul Iqbal yesterday said the caretaker government wants to hold upazila elections during its tenure.

Expatriates in US want voting rights

Bangladeshi expatriates living in the United States yesterday urged the government to enroll them as voters of their motherland.

Tigers urged to give it all

Captain Mohammad Ashraful demands Bangladesh give it all in the third and final one-day international against New Zealand in Queenstown today after an 'unacceptable' performance in the second match.

Laden warns Iraqi Sunnis not to fight

Osama bin Laden warned Iraq's Sunni Arabs against fighting al-Qaeda and vowed to expand the terror group's holy war to Israel in a new audiotape Saturday, threatening "blood for blood, destruction for destruction."

Editorial

Taking the NRBs onboard

The phrase associating non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) with national development process has been an archetype of a failed agenda. Thanks to home remittances coming anyway from Bangladeshi workers abroad we lost sight of the reservoir of knowledge, expertise, experience and money lying untapped with the wider Bangladeshi diaspora. This tremendous possibility came into focus in the just-concluded three-day NRB conference. It saw 18 seminars held on different issues confronting the expatriate community in terms of their investment in the national development process. We appreciate the initiative of the organisers in arranging such bridge building between the expatriate community and Bangladesh government. Although many expatriate groups couldn't participate and Bangladesh private sector could have played a hands-on role, the fact remains that the venture was a success. However flawed the meet goes down as a flagship marking a good start of the collaboration process. Such conference should not be one-off , instead it ought to be held biennially, if not more frequently, of course with wider representation from four corners of the world.

Question paper leakage

Once again, another scam of despicable nature at the Political Science Department of Dhaka University has come to light. This time it is the allegation of leakage of question papers of the MSS examination 2005, which found their way to the students who were getting ready to take the exam. What is most shameful is that the leaked questions were seen to be up for sale at various student halls on the campus. The VC of the university has reportedly verified the incident, and as usual, has ordered for the formation of an 'investigation committee to find out how the questions were leaked and who are responsible for it.' We find the incident condemnable.

Benazir Bhutto, 54, lived in eye of Pakistan storm

Charismatic, striking and a canny political operator, Benazir Bhutto, 54, was reared amid the privileges of Pakistan's aristocracy and the ordeals of its turbulent politics. Smart, ambitious and resilient, she endured her father's execution and her own imprisonment at the hands of a military dictator to become the country's -- and the Muslim world's -- first female leader.

Democracy's dark side

Mr. Narendra Modi has surpassed even optimistic forecasts made for the Bharatiya Janata Party's performance to win 117 of the Gujarat Assembly's 182 seats. Although the tally is 10 seats lower than it was in 2002, the BJP's vote is estimated to have marginally increased.

'She has not laid on her children the expectations laid on her'

The first time Benazir Bhutto was thrown out of power, she told her daughter Bakhtawar: "If anybody teases you at school, just tell them, 'But your mother was never prime minister of Pakistan.' " Or so the story goes.

Duty, destiny and death: the final preoccupations

Duty, destiny and most of all death were on Benazir Bhutto's mind when the Guardian spent time with her shortly before she left for Pakistan in October.

Sports

Ash wants happy ending

The Bangladesh team trained at the picturesque Queenstown Events Centre today (Sunday) ahead of tomorrow's third and final ODI against New Zealand. The Tigers may have conceded the series but a good all-round performance and preferably a win would do wonders to their level of confidence in the coming two-match Test series.

Revenge for Rajshahi

Rajshahi made sure the 9th National Cricket League would go down to the wire with their thrilling 29-run victory over Khulna in their crucial ninth round encounter at the Rajshahi Divisional Stadium yesterday.

V-Day soccer draw held

Mohammedan Sporting Club officially launched their activities yesterday to organise the Protiti Pharma Victory day football tournament despite any assurance of getting the Bangabandhu National Stadium for the eight-team invitational event.

In Lord of the Ring city

The saying goes that there are hundred and one ways to kill yourself in Queenstown but that should not scare someone off because it is a compliment to the sheer adrenaline pumping appeal of this South Island destination.

Monir acting BFF chief

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday wrested the responsibility of running the federation on its senior vice-president Monir Ahmed.

Sr Div football starts today at Kamalapur

The Senior Division Football League kicks off today after a two-year gap with all major names like Abahani, Mohammedan, Muktijoddha and Brothers Union missing the now second-rate competition of the capital.

Dhaka unbeaten champions

An all-round performance by Papiya Haq guided Dhaka to clinch the first-ever Meril Women's Divisional League title in style when they handed Chittagong a massive eight-wicket defeat in the last match at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Pabna, Ansars in final

Bangladesh Ansar and Pabna advanced to the final of the Pepsi 18th National Women's Volleyball Championship winning yesterday's semifinals at the Volleyball Stadium.

Arjuna becomes SLC chief

Sri Lanka's World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga is to be formally appointed as head of the cricket administration next week, officials said Sunday.

Berbatov eats Reading

Four goals by Bulgarian international Dimitar Berbatov inspired Spurs to an astonishing 6-4 victory over Reading in their Premiership clash here on Saturday.

Maria tunes up for assault

Russian star Maria Sharapova plans to use low key matches in Singapore and Hong Kong to fine-tune her game before launching her Australian Open assault.

Hammers stun MU

Arsenal reclaimed first place in the Premier League as Arsene Wenger's side routed Everton 4-1 to take advantage of Manchester United's surprise 2-1 defeat at West Ham on Saturday.

Player dies on the field

Motherwell captain Phil O'Donnell died on Saturday after collapsing during a match against Dundee United.

Wenger salutes spirit

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger praised his players' character after they returned to the top of the Premier League table following a 4-1 victory over Everton here at Goodison Park.

Ferguson lays down the law

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has warned that he will not hesitate to sell any player who breaches club discipline.

Gayle's great outing

New West Indian captain Chris Gayle hailed a "thrilling" win against South Africa as a career highlight and said the challenge for his young team was to continue to improve.

Johnson relieved

Mitchell Johnson ended a Test he was not sure he would play in with an enhanced reputation and the hope India's batsmen would see him as a threat for the rest of the series. A mid-match chat with Troy Cooley, Australia's bowling coach, helped Johnson achieve more swing in the second innings and his burst of three wickets finished the game late on the fourth day.

Rajput declines changes

Down but not out. That seems to be the mood in the Indian camp after suffering a 337-run loss in the opening Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. In terms of runs it was India's worst defeat in Australia but the side is giving off vibes of being confident enough to bounce back.

Run-rate worries Anil

Captain Anil Kumble says the Indians will have to markedly improve their run-rate in the second Sydney cricket Test if they are to prevent Australia from holding on to the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Now a real headache

It's ironic that a year that began with India celebrating a new opening combination has ended with them grappling over the choice of their top two. An age-old problem appeared to be sorting itself out but now it's exploded into their faces.

Ponting lauds Hogg

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting says spinner Brad Hogg will be a better and more confident bowler in Wednesday's second cricket Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Army thrash Navy in opener

Bangladesh Army trounced Bangladesh Navy 5-0 in the opening match of the Dhaka Bank Victory Day hockey tournament with Didar and Sirajul slamming a brace each.

NZC outlaws ICL players

Six former New Zealand cricket representatives who took part in a rebel Indian league this month have effectively been barred from a return to national selection.

Symonds may skip Pak tour

Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds Sunday cast doubt on whether he will join the scheduled tour of Pakistan given the violence over the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Kevin ties the knot

England cricket star Kevin Pietersen married pop singer Jessica Taylor in a private ceremony on Saturday, a spokesman said.

Jankovic struggles to win

Serbian stars Jelena Jankovic and Novak Djokovic struggled against their lower-ranked opponents from Taiwan but the top seeds still prevailed 3-0 to open their Hopman Cup campaign on Sunday.

We were robbed: Big Sam

Sam Allardyce admitted he felt robbed by Salomon Kalou's controversial late winner as Chelsea piled more pressure on the beleaguered Newcastle manager.

Fergie accepts defeat

Sir Alex Ferguson offered no excuses after seeing Manchester United slip to a dramatic 2-1 defeat at West Ham.

Modric not moving

Croatian midfield star Luka Modric will stick with champions Dinamo Zagreb for another year, the club said Saturday.

Al Qahtani turns down City move

Asian Player of the Year Yasser Al Qahtani revealed he has turned down an offer to join English Premier League club Manchester City.

Sania fit and ready to fire

Indian sensation Sania Mirza is confident she has conquered injury problems that dogged her progress this year and is ready to climb back up the world rankings.

Serena set to defend title

American superstar Serena Williams finally arrived in Australia on Sunday, tired and several days late, but confident she was on track to defend her Australian Open title.

Daum still dreams of Germany

German coach Christoph Daum admitted Sunday that he still dreams of leading the national side, seven years after he was set to take over but had to step aside because he was found to have used cocaine.

Business

50pc internet tariff cut on cards

The government is likely to cut internet tariff by 50 percent soon in a bid to boost the country's ICT (information and communication technology) industry.

Knitwear makers demand easing yarn import thru' Benapole

Knitwear makers reiterated their demand for procedural simplification in import of yarn from India through Benapole land port in the face of rising prices of the item in the local market, while local spinners strongly discourage such import on the plea that the industry will be at stake.

2007 'a turbulent year' for stock investors

2007 was 'a turbulent year' for stock investors, as their dreams of a good return on putting money in securities were dashed on many occasions by interventions from the capital market regulating body.

Open sky policy gets one month extension

The government yesterday extended the open sky policy for one month to ease the pressure of outbound passengers, especially the Bangladeshi workers who got jobs in the Middle East and Malaysia.

China to slap export taxes on grains

China is to levy export taxes on wheat, corn, rice, soybean and other processed products next year, the official Xinhua news agency said Sunday.

Citibank service office opens at Ctg EPZ

Citibank NA Bangladesh opened its new offshore banking services outlet at Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) yesterday, says a press release.

Bank holiday today

Transactions at the Bangladesh Bank and other scheduled banks will remain closed today on the occasion of year-ending bank holiday, a BB press release said here yesterday.

Tata set to launch world's cheapest car

India's giant Tata Group plans to launch the world's cheapest car early in January while also looking set to drive off with two of the poshest marques -- Ford's iconic Jaguar and Land Rover brands.

Libra Infusions okays 17.50pc dividend

Libra Infusions Ltd has declared 17.50 percent dividend for its shareholders, says a press release.

Orient Thai Airlines begins operation in Nepal

Orient Thai Airlines, a Thai budget airline company, began thrice-a-week flights between Bangkok and Kathmandu from Saturday, becoming the ninth airline to fly in Nepal's sky in the last 14 months.

Metropolitan

Utilise court hours properly to reach benefits to all

Chief Justice M Ruhul Amin yesterday called upon the lawyers to properly use the court hours to reach the benefit of separation of the judiciary to all spheres of the society.

Doctor urges govt to send Hasina abroad for treatment

Prof Syed Modasser Ali, personal physician to detained Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, yesterday urged the caretaker government to take her abroad immediately for better treatment.

Police informer shot dead, two others stabbed to death

A police informant, an egg trader and a scrap-metal trader were murdered in the city yesterday and on Saturday night.

Seek ways to face challenges of natural disasters

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday called upon the scholars, researchers and scientists of the country to seek ways of reducing the loss of life and property and to face the challenges of the natural phenomenon.

Int'l Children's Festival in Dhaka from Oct 2

An International Children's Festival will be held in Bangladesh next year with a view to bringing together talented children from across the world to help them become the voice of the future.

More donations to CA's fund

Fifty-one more individuals, institutions and organisations donated Tk 8.53 crore, 15,990 US dollars and 3,000 British pounds to the Chief Adviser's Relief and Welfare Fund in last two days for the cyclone victims, who are in need of rebuilding their life and livelihood.

'Use of DNA technology to speed up judicial process'

Use of DNA technology in criminal cases would speed up the judicial process and help dispose of cases in time, former Chief Justice Syed JR Mudassir Husain said at a workshop yesterday.

Try war criminals to erase 36-yr stigma from history

Speakers at a discussion in the port city yesterday urged the caretaker government to take immediate measures to try the war criminals to erase a 36-year-old stigma from the history of independent Bangladesh.

‘Remain united against political killings’

Awami League (AL) acting President Zillur Rahman yesterday said putting an end to political killings could only be possible if true democracy is established.

Hundreds of Saudi-bound people stage protest for air tickets in city

Hundreds of Saudi Arabia-bound people, mostly Bangladeshi workers, put a barricade on Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue near Hotel Sonargaon in the city yesterday after failing to get their return air tickets reconfirmed.

Road accidents kill 10, injure 61

Ten people were killed and 61 others injured in separate road accidents in Narayanganj, Dhaka, Manikganj, Netrakona, Faridpur, Chandpur and Satkhira in the last two days.

Hearing on charge framing against Hasina resumes today

Hearing on charge framing against detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and two others in a Tk 2.99 crore extortion case will resume in a Dhaka court today.

Ozair Farooq passes away

Advocate Ozair Farooq, former president of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), passed away due to a cardiac arrest yesterday at the age of 63.

100 shops gutted in Barisal

A devastating fire gutted more than 100 shops in Barnaripara upazila town market in Barisal yesterday.

Acquire professional knowledge for best use of new technology

Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Sarwar Jahan Nizam inspected the ongoing modernisation works of BNS Osman under the Chinese technical assistance and overall supervision of Bangladesh Navy Dockyard in Chittagong yesterday, says an ISPR press release.

Nora Ali visits RMG factory in Gazipur

Nora Ali, Bangladeshi origin America's Junior Miss-2007, yesterday visited a garments factory at Tongi in Gazipur.

British HC closed tomorrow

British High Commission in Dhaka and its office in Sylhet will remain closed to the public on 1 January 2008 for New Year, says a press release.

Free distribution of books among pry students begins tomorrow

Free distribution of books among primary students across the country will begin tomorrow.

Bodies of two youths recovered in city

Police recovered bodies of two unidentified youths from Paltan and Sutrapur area in the city yesterday and on Saturday night.

2,600 fowls culled in Gaibandha

Army personnel yesterday culled about 2,600 fowls affected by bird flu at Akkaberpur and Chandipur villages in Gaibandha.

Faizul elected Gulshan Club president

Engineer M Faizul Islam (Selim) has been elected president of Gulshan Club for 2007-2008 on December 29, says a press release.

Mustafa Kamal new envoy to Thailand

The government has appointed Mustafa Kamal, currently serving as Bangladesh Ambassador to the Republic Korea, as the next ambassador to Thailand.

Humayun, Moinul nominated for Sheltech award

Eminent architect Syed Moinul Hossain and noted author and filmmaker Humayun Ahmed have been nominated for the Shletech Award-2007, says a press release.

Khulna jute mill workers’ ultimatum to govt

Casual workers of six state-owned jute mills in the Khulna-Jessore industrial belt will go on work stoppage on January 1 sine die if their five-point demand is not met today.

Masud, Raheed elected DCAB president, secy

Masud Karim of Jugantor and Raheed Ejaz of New Age have been elected president and general secretary of the Diplomatic Correspondents Association Bangladesh (DCAB) unopposed for 2008.

Moni Singh’s anniversary of death today

Today is the 17th death anniversary of Comrade Moni Singh, one of the organisers of the Liberation War and founder and former president of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), says a press release.

Expats donate Tk 2.95 lakh to AMCH

Bangladeshi Community in Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia took a noble decision to help constructing a two-bed cabin and a minor operation theatre at Ahsania Mission Cancer Hospital (AMCH) at Uttara in the city, says a press release.

Proshika distributes relief in Pirojpur

Proshika with the assistance of World Food Programme (WFP) is implementing relief activities among cyclone-affected people at seven upazilas in Pirojpur, says a press release.

Quasem,Chumki FPAB president, secy general

Principal Md Abul Quasem, Meher Afroz Chumki, Bimal Kumar Deb have been elected president, honorary secretary general and honorary treasurer of the Family Planning Association of Bangladesh (FPAB) for 2008-10, says a press release.

City Bank stands by Sidr victims

The City Bank Limited has successfully implemented its relief operation programmes for the Sidr victims at Telikhali and Tushkhali unions under Barisal division recently, says a press release.

National

No let-up in outlaws' bomb attacks in Jhenidah

There is no sign of let0-up in bomb attacks by Janajuddho cadres of the outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) in outlaw-infested Jhenidah despite several anti-crime drives and death of at least 53 cadres in 'crossfire'.

Kuakata desolate at prime tourism time

Unlike in previous years, attractive Kuakata tourist spot with a vast sea beach is almost empty now. There is no tourist here this year even on the eve of 31st night.

Salary hike won't reduce corruption

Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) chief Lt. Gen. (Retd) Hasan Moshhud Chowdhury has said corruption can not be rooted out by raising salaries and allowances only.

Female members ignored in local bodies

Female Union Parishad (UP) members from eight northern districts at a workshop in Rangpur yesterday raised their voice against alleged discrimination against them and disparity in all development programmes taken by their respective Ups.

US Senator given warm reception in ancestral village

American Senator Hansen Clarke was given a warm reception at his ancestral village Sridhara in Beanibazar yesterday afternoon.

Honey yield falls for lack of buyers

Though an exceptional venture, honey production has drawn many enterprising youths in Tnagail and some other districts who are producing hundreds of tonnes of pure and good quality honey every year.

Jasim Fair begins in Faridpur tomorrow

A fortnightly fair begins tomorrow at Jasim Uddayan at Ambikapur village in Faridpur marking the 105th birth anniversary of Polli Kobi Jasimuddin.

Punishment of war criminal demand

Speakers at a discussion meeting urged the caretaker government to set up special tribunals as soon as possible to try war criminals of 1971.

13 drug smugglers held in Gaibandha

Gaibandha police in a drive in the early hours yesterday arrested 13 phensidyl smugglers including six women from different areas of Gaibandha district and recovered 57 bottles of phensidyl from their possession.

Tk 10 lakh Viagra, banned medicines seized in Jhenidah

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in a drive on Saturday recovered sex stimulating Viagra tablets and some banned medicines worth about Tk 10 lakh in Jhenidah and arrested two persons.

Dacoity at expat's house in Chhatak

Armed dacoits looted a British passport and valuables worth about Tk 5 lakh from the house of an expatriate in Chhatak upazila in Sunamganj Saturday night.

Letters

Our health policy

I don't know on what criteria the WHO personnel determined that the health environment in Bangladesh is now better. Somebody coming from outside knows better than us, that's very interesting indeed. I want to draw a symbolic picture and part of the spectrum. Distribution of health personnel in urban areas is not comparable to rural areas. So there is an information gap, which amounts to ''intentional lie''. Mr. CS Karim should notice that sending doctors or other health personnel to remote areas doesn't depend on good advice only. We worked in many poor and rich countries and analysed their health systems. The doctors who work in remote areas get much better financial and other benefits. Health bureaucrats of Bangladesh should not forget this fact. There is no referral system in Bangladesh health administration. Taxpayers didn't train professors for seeing 'common cold patients.

Flaws in CNG conversion

Illegal and unskilled CNG conversion work, and cutting corners to cut costs; are costing the lives of innocent passengers and people on the road! Faulty and unauthorised cylinders and poor workmanship have been rightly identified as the main reasons in Sarkar's front page article on the matter (Dec: 15). The two critical issues are: a) Unsafe cylinders and

Sanctity of mausoleums

The photo was taken from Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals' Mausoleum on Victory Day.

Investment in Sanchay Patra

You are aware that the govt has imposed income tax deduction @10% at source on the interest income exceeding Tk 1,50,000/= PA from the Govt Securities/Sanchay Patra from the fiscal year--2007-8. It is possibly for the first time in the history of Bangladesh that the order has been made applicable on the interest income of Sanchay Patra purchased even in previous fiscal years (i.e. before 1-7-2007). While the NBR referred to the provisions of the Income Tax Ordinance 1984, it seems to have meticulously suppressed the fact that the govt through SRO No 178/Law/89 dated the 4th June, 1989 exempted tax on the income from Govt. Securities/Sanchay Patra U/S 44(4)(b) of the Ordinance with retrospective effect from 1976 which was in force till 30-06-2007. This decision of the govt has, therefore, frustrated the helpless investors, most of whom are retired persons, widows and similar others who have no alternative sources of income and are heavily dependent on such income.

Loopholes of law

At the very outset, I apologise to the readers for my attempt to offer my opinion in this column on the captioned subject as a layman.

“Churchillian” humour

The write up by Syed Badrul Ahsan ( Book review 15.12.07) is immensely enjoyable. However, I would like to add a couple of incidents for further sharing by your readers . Once Churchill (much perturbed due to his war office efforts) went for a haircut in a nearby barber's shop. The barber in his jovial manner asked him, "How would you like your haircut, Sir?". "In silence please", was the curt reply.

Exploitation!

Recently, a government bank advertised to fill in vacancies seeking applications from under 30 years old graduates, no experience required. They would be put in probationary period for a year after which the proposed scale is monthly Tk 5,200 increasing by Tk 300 every year.

Development of divisions

Every place within the country is to be developed equally, so that people can receive better services provided by the government and other major financial and educational institutions. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure even development of the country, irrespective of their representation in the government from the constituency. But what we see in practice is that major public development works are mostly based on the decisions of the party-in-power without ensuring optimum distribution of the same. During the last BNP-led government many major development activities were undertaken either in Bogra or in Sylhet and these two districts had powerful ministers. On the other hand, many southern districts were mostly neglected and some development works of Khulna city, approved by the past AL-led government, were countermanded. The prime minister of the immediate past government always used to say that her government's goal was to ensure equal development all over the country. But in reality it has not happened and many development plans were executed in a biased manner without taking into consideration the collective interests of people.

Right to information

A non-government organisation arranged a conference in Dhaka, chaired by the Chief Adviser, regarding uninterrupted flow of information and this seems to be the last pledge of the caretaker government to fulfil. The general people do not long for an assurance or promise from the government side any longer, other than the effective implementation of the act. Our Law Commission prepared a valid draft of this long awaited law but one has to feel sorry that successive governments did not make any endeavour to go forward with it. The draft was abandoned first in the Ministry of Law and it groaned in the Information Ministry for a pretty long hour. It had been a custom for the Information Ministry to assure and reassure the ballot power (the common people). Ironically, due to the failure to fulfil the promise, the idea was left untouched.

AIDS prevention

Bangladesh is said to be one of the very few countries in South East Asia which is least affected by AIDS. As a very densely populated country, however, it is not unlikely that the curse of Aids will spread here also quite fast and in an epidemic from unless effective steps are taken urgently to prevent the spread of the curse. May I suggest the following or similar steps that will go a long way to achieving the goal:

Clearing sewerage lines

It is very frequently noticed in the urban areas of Dhaka that some people are clearing clogged sewerage pits, pushing through long bamboo sticks and often removing night soils by pulling these up from the underground sewerage lines. The unfortunate, nasty and most threatening thing is that the people are leaving the liquid soils over on the road without bothering to clear the spots, while the City Corporation sweepers are also not removing the waste. Thus the leftovers are being carried in the wheels of the running vehicles and disappearing. What a good natural process!!

Role of political leaders

The people have recently experienced the devastation of a demonic cyclone called Sidr which has ruined the southern part of the country, leaving almost 4,000 dead. The catastrophe was deadly that could be ranked as one of the biggest natural disasters in Bangladesh in several years. Moreover, the aftermath of the disaster is heartbreaking. Now they are in need of food and shelter. And they also need psychological assistance, especially from the rich. However, it is pleasing to see that many govt. and non-govt organisations are extending their helping hand to the Sidr victims in order to minimise their immense sufferings.

International

Pakistan inches back to 'normal'

Tens of millions of Pakistanis unable to buy food or petrol during three days of mourning for Benazir Bhutto saw life begin inching back to normal yesterday, as a wave of violence appeared to ease.

Pakistanis blame Musharraf

The assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has pitched Pakistan into a political freefall and raised fears that increasingly bitter divisions in the society are turning the country into another Iraq.

Lanka's warring parties lock in fierce fighting

Sri Lanka's troops and Tamil rebels were locked in fierce fighting yesterday in the island's north, the two sides said as the top military chief vowed to kill 3,000 guerrillas by June.

Hamas raids Fatah offices in Gaza

Armed men from the Islamist Hamas movement raided the Gaza offices of the rival Fatah movement overnight ahead of a key anniversary of president Mahmud Abbas's party, officials said yesterday.

Taliban kill 8 in attack

Taliban militants fired rocket-propelled grenades from their vehicles at a convoy of private security guards on Afghanistan's main highway, killing six guards and two police officers, a police chief said yesterday.

Over a dozen killed in Pak tribal unrest

More than a dozen people have died in fresh clashes between heavily armed rival tribes in a northwestern Pakistani region plagued by sectarian violence, security officials said yesterday.

‘Pakistan can survive latest chaos’

Born from chaos and bloodshed, and still steeped in turmoil 60 years on, Pakistan has repeatedly defied predictions that the centre of the world's only nuclear-armed Islamic nation cannot hold.

3 pro-Thaksin election winners disqualified: Thai election body

Three politicians linked to ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra who won seats in Thailand's recent election have been disqualified for vote buying, the Election Commission said yesterday.

Bhutan heads to first polls as kingdom moves from royal rule

The Himalayan outpost of Bhutan stages its first parliamentary polls this week as the kingdom steers away from royal rule, but officials worry many voters will stay away.

Tokyo, Beijing must work together

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda called for closer cooperation with China yesterday as he wrapped up a four-day visit in which the two sides pledged to build on a recent thaw in relations.

Security tight for Saddam execution anniversary

Security forces were on alert yesterday in the Sunni regions of Iraq where Saddam Hussein drew his most fervent support, as loyalists of the ousted dictator marked the first anniversary of his execution.

PK Dhumal takes oath as Himachal Chief Minister

Prem Kumar Dhumal, who led BJP to a spectacular victory in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls, was today sworn in as Chief Minister of the state for the second time.

Hundreds in shelter after religious unrest in India

Nearly 500 Hindus and Christians were being housed in relief centres after clashes between the communities left at least five dead since Christmas, a government official said yesterday.

'Long live Bhutto' were Benazir's last words

Benazir Bhutto's last words were "Long live Bhutto", the chief political adviser with the former Pakistani prime minister as she was killed told the British newspaper The Sunday Telegraph.

Iran's nuke plant to start in summer of 2008: FM

Iran on Sunday insisted its first nuclear power station would be launched in the summer of 2008, despite statements by the plant's Russian constructors it will not go on line until the end of the year.

India restores train service to Pakistan

India yesterday decided to restore a train service to Pakistan two days after suspending it over security concerns in the wake of violence over Benazir Bhutto's killing, the railways ministry said.

Violence in Kenya over election wait

Kenya's opposition candidate called on President Mwai Kibaki to concede defeat Sunday in the closest presidential race in the country's history, accusing him of fraud after a chaotic vote count sparked widespread violence and fears of rigging.

No place in Iraq is safe

Despite a drop in violence across Iraq, there is still no place in the country that is safe from attack by extremists, the US military warned yesterday.

New Darfur peacekeepers set to take over today

A beefed-up joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force in Sudan's Darfur is set to take over from the current under-manned AU force today in a bid to end years of bloodshed. The United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) -- the UN's largest -- will eventually consist of 20,000 troops and 6,000 police and civilian personnel although only around 9,000 troops and soldiers are currently in place.

Karachi train service resumes today

Rail services from the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi will resume today, four days after rioters torched trains and uprooted tracks following the killing of Benazir Bhutto, a minister said.

Arts & Entertainment

2007: A rundown

Two Bangladeshi films screened at Rotterdam Film Festival

In remembrance…

The cultural arena of Bangladesh lost some of its most talented stars in the year 2007. This is a tribute to the personalities whose demise have left an irreparable void in their respective fields:
Rosy Afsari
Noted film actress Rosy Afsari died on March 9 of kidney failure. She was 60.

OP-ED

Benazir Bhutto -- who could make a difference

Keeping the bloody and conspiratorial legacy of Pakistan's politics alive, the latest in the line of such tragic killings is the assassination of the Chairman of Pakistan People's Party Benazir Bhutto in the same Liaquat Bagh on the evening of December 27, fifty-six years after Liaquat Ali's murder.

The concept of 'zero sum game'

A "zero sum game" is a game whose result is zero. Microeconomics theory states: A mathematically fair game is one for which the expected value is zero. The rationale behind the theory is that if you play a fair game, such as a coin toss with a 50/50 probability, repeatedly, you may end up winning or losing, depending on your luck, but the average gain or loss per play, calculated over all plays, will tend towards zero as time passes. Therefore, based on the theories of microeconomics, it can be concluded that a "zero sum game" is also a fair game.

Star City

Passengers remain hostage to cab drivers at ZIA

Ashfaq Hossain heaved a sigh of relief as he got into the taxicab. Soaking wet from the downpour, Hossain was a bit surprised with his sudden stroke of luck as the very first taxi he tried agreed to take him without any haggling.

Winter sets in, guests yet to arrive

Bird enthusiasts are disappointed as migratory birds are yet to arrive in their usual flock in the city lakes and water bodies despite the advent of winter.

Allegations of nuisance at DU coffee shop

While Dhaka University (DU) authorities speak of space constraints to construct an academic building, they have leased out a prime site to run a coffee shop.

Left out voters in city to be enrolled next month

Voter registration is going on in full swing with most wards and thanas in the city already under the process.

"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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