The Daily Star

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Thursday, October 23, 2014


News of: Monday, 7th of January, 2008

Front Page

5.70 lakh families to get food grains for 5 months

The government will provide 5.70 lakh poorer families with food grains for five months under VGF programme and import 1 lakh tonnes of rice from Vietnam as part of its efforts to tackle the ongoing crisis.

Recruitment reforms hold little hope

The new line-up of Public Service Commission (PSC) has failed to bring any change to the 55 percent quota system, which has long been branded as a bar to recruiting meritorious officials in the civil service.

Govt continues to be called caretaker

The High Court (HC) yesterday rejected a writ petition that sought a change in the nomenclature of the present government to call it an 'interim government' instead of a 'caretaker government', and sought permission to appoint more advisers for it for smooth functioning of the administration.

Hasina won't go abroad with strings attached

Detained Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina would not go abroad for medical treatment if the government imposes any condition on her, party's acting President Zillur Rahman said yesterday.

Edible oil importers ask govt to drop tax

The importers and refiners of the country yesterday called on the government to relax value added tax (VAT) and other levies on the import of edible oil to keep the domestic market stable.

All addict rehab centres operate illegally

Although the law makes it mandatory for all drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation centres to obtain licenses from the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC), none of the 115 such centres in the capital has any.

Court declares prosecution witness hostile

A prosecution witness was declared 'hostile' yesterday for concealing facts in one of the two cases filed against four teachers and 15 students of Dhaka University (DU) for violating the Emergency Power Rules (EPR) in August last year.

Purchase body okays 7 rental power plants

The Advisers' Committee on Public Purchase yesterday approved installation of seven rental power plants that are expected to add around 270MW of electricity before next summer to the national grid for three years.

Bimstec meet on poverty postponed

The first Bimstec ministerial meeting on poverty alleviation scheduled to be held in Dhaka on January 9-10 has been postponed due to 'unavoidable reasons', said a press release.

Files of Niko graft cases to be seized soon

Files and documents relating to the Niko graft cases filed against former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will be seized soon.

Qatar to recruit more Bangladeshi workers

Bangladesh yesterday signed an additional protocol with Qatar to send more workers, especially professionals, to the gulf state and to protect the rights of the 70,000 workers already working there.

Heist in N'ganj Agrani Bank

Robbers have looted Tk 55,000 from the vault of Agrani Bank Mir Jumla Branch on Shayesta Khan Road in Narayanganj.

Crabbers in Sundarbans

It was already late afternoon in narrow Keorashuti canal lined with dense forests on both banks as Shushil was pulling the oars as fast as possible because he wanted to reach the Hiron Point office of the forest department to spend the night there before it gets dark.

New Zealand bruise Tigers

New Zealand's inspired bowlers wrecked Bangladesh's hopes of survival in the first Test here Sunday, setting up a comfortable nine-wicket win with more two days to spare.

ACC sues AL leader, ex-SP, poura chairman

The Anti-corruption Commission filed a case yesterday against Advocate Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, religious affairs secretary of Awami League (AL) yesterday on charges of accumulating wealth through illegal means and for concealing information about his wealth.

Four grenades, SMG seized in Jessore

Police yesterday recovered four grenades, one sub-machine gun (SMG) and 167 rounds of bullet at Balianpur of Monirampur upazila in the district.

US mulls covert Pak operation

The administration of President George W Bush is considering granting the Pentagon and CIA new authority to conduct covert operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan where al-Qaeda is showing new strength, The New York Times reported on its website late Saturday.

War criminals must be tried urgently, fairly

Amnesty International's (AI) Secretary General Irene Khan said not only Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, the chiefs of BNP and Awami League respectively, but all prisoners have the right to get justice.

Sector commanders to visit six divs for public support

Sector Commanders' Forum (SCF), a platform of sector commanders of the Liberation War, will visit six divisions of the country to mobilise public opinion against the war criminals.

Businessman held for market manipulation

Police arrested a businessman in Chittagong yesterday on charge of manipulation in the edible oil market through a syndicate.

Irene's talk on HR, democracy tomorrow

Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan will deliver a keynote speech on "Human Rights: Countering the Disappointments of Democracy" at Cirdap Auditorium in the capital at 4:00pm tomorrow.

Changes made in civil admin

The government yesterday brought some important changes in the civil administration by making a secretary OSD and by promoting three additional secretaries to acting secretaries to different ministries.

Atikullah Masud, ex-Rajuk officer indicted in cheating case

A special court trying corruption suspects yesterday indicted Atikullah Khan Masud of Globe Constructions Ltd and Kamruzzaman, ex-authorised officer of Rajuk, for cheating buyers of flats of the housing company.

Fresh clashes in Lanka as monitors begin pulling out

Sri Lankan security forces clashed with Tamil Tiger separatists and exchanged artillery fire in the north as Norwegian-led monitors began pulling out before a truce runs out, officials said yesterday.

al-Qaeda urges attacks on Bush during ME tour

An American member of al-Qaeda urged Islamist militants to target US President George W. Bush "with bombs" during his trip to the Middle East next week, in an message posted online yesterday.

Kenya opposition calls for more rallies

Kenya's opposition leader called yesterday for more rallies across the country, raising the threat of more bloodshed, but also indicated he was willing to share power with the government he accuses of rigging the presidential vote.

Editorial

Putting local govt in place

There can be no difference of opinion on the importance of an empowered, independent, transparent and accountable local government system that would strengthen the foundations of democracy and participatory development process in the country. Functional and neutral local government institutions, elected democratically, not only can address key issues like poverty, employment, environment, illiteracy and malnutrition, they also can help uproot corruption and lawlessness that stem from opportunistic politics. But there is no denying that democracy and rule of law failed to take a firm root in the country as these important institutions so long remained in the hands of corrupt political elements and their goons and a section of unscrupulous government officials. Thus, a thorough restructuring of the institutions has become a need of the hour, and this has been stressed by the chief adviser of the caretaker government Fakhruddin Ahmed in his speech while addressing the conference of the local government representatives in the city.

Rice crisis

We find the comments of the finance advisor regarding the present crisis of rice as being the result of lack of proper coordination, a frank admission of the government's lack of planning. It is also a bit amusing.

Lamenting aloud in a wintry noon…

There are so many things wrong in all spheres of our collective life, namely political, educational, social, cultural and economic, and we wonder who or what can right them. Politically, we are in a suspended animation state. But can we expect in our right mind to be ruled again by a group of people, many of whom don't even have the endowments to belong to the homo sapiens family.

A 'Policket' quiz

Test your knowledge, analytical ability and skill as an astrologer through this simple quiz on two of the three great national entertainments of India, politics and cricket. Tick your preference, cut out, keep and check how right or wrong you have been by the end of 2008. (Even 2008 will come to an end, in about 360 days.)

Nandigram: A facet of terrorism

For quite sometime, the somnolent, rural area of Nandigram, in West Bengal's Mednipore district, has been hitting the headlines as a potential site for the state's Special Economic Zone (SEZ), at the cost of some of India's poorest people giving up little pieces of their land for the purpose.

Sports

Siddons urges patience

Reflecting on Bangladesh's nine-wicket loss to New Zealand, coach Jamie Siddons pointed out the lack of patience in his middle-order batsmen.

Khulna or Rajshahi?

Fortunes fluctuated heavily in the final round of the 9th National Cricket League yesterday as the fate of the title swung back Khulna's way with one day remaining in the four-day matches.

Controversy, drama see Aussies home

Part-time spinner Michael Clarke claimed three wickets in five balls of the penultimate over to clinch Australia a dramatic 122-run second Test victory against India and a record-equalling 16th straight Test win here on Sunday.

It's not cricket: Kumble

The fractured relationship between the Australian and Indian cricket teams reached a new low on Sunday after Australia staged an amazing comeback to win the second Test by 122 runs.

BCCI to protest inept umpiring

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will lodge a formal complaint with the International Cricket Council over the 'incompetent' umpiring of the second Test against Australia, team management said Sunday.

Sunrise hold Mohakhali

After Saturday's brief meeting with a goal, the Senior Division Football League again plunged into the goal-drought as Mohakhali XI drew 0-0 with newcomers Sunrise KC at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur.

'One of our best wins'

Australia's amazing last-gasp victory over India in the second Test on Sunday would be remembered as one of the team's greatest ever wins, captain Ricky Ponting said.

Good day for Catalans

Barcelona flushed the demoralising Real Madrid defeat out of their system on Saturday as goals from Rafael Marquez and Samuel Eto'o clinched a 2-0 win at Real Mallorca.

Ranieri wants Scudetto

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri insisted Saturday his team were still fighting for the championship although Inter Milan appear to be on an unstoppable march towards the Serie A title.

Man U, Chelsea safely thru'

Oldham produced a huge FA Cup shock with a 1-0 third round win away to Premier League high-flyers Everton on Saturday.

Jose could fit Bayern's bill

Jose Mourinho's spokesman on Sunday fuelled speculation that the former Chelsea and FC Porto coach could be ready to consider a move to German giants Bayern Munich.

Grant set for transfers

Avram Grant admitted Chelsea are braced for an eventful transfer window after watching his depleted side defeat Queens Park Rangers 1-0 in the FA Cup.

Van der Sar eyes treble

Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar admitted Sunday he has his sights set on winning the Champions League, the Premier league title and the FA Cup this season.

Lehmann to decide soon

Arsenal's German international goalkeeper Jens Lehmann revealed Sunday that he will make a decision on an offer from Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund in the coming days.

Jones facing prison sentence

Disgraced former Olympic star Marion Jones, whose lawyers have appealed to keep her out of prison for lying to federal agents, might face more than the six months behind bars prosecutors seek.

Valencia rope in Banega

Ronald Koeman made his first signing as Valencia manager with teenage Argentine midfielder Ever Banega completing his switch from Boca Juniors on Saturday.

Attitude lacks appeal

Andrew Symonds turned in disgust and threw darts with his eyes at Steve Bucknor. Mahendra Singh Dhoni had not played a shot to Symonds's off-spin and the bowler was furious even though the ball was heading over the stumps. After the umpiring perks Symonds received during the match he had nothing to complain about.

An 'ugly' end

Ugly might be an understatement to describe events on the final day in the Sydney Cricket Ground. A potentially cracking Test match was botched, an open series was all but shut and the beautiful scenes that the game produced were forgotten. This was a record-equalling Test containing contrasting centuries on all five days. But it ended bitterly.

Pup punt pays off

Michael Clarke badgered skipper Ricky Ponting to give him a bowl before capturing three wickets in five balls in the penultimate over to lead Australia to their record-equalling 16th consecutive Test win here Sunday.

Parag, Aminul win in UK

Two Bangladeshi players won in the ninth round of the Masters Chess Tournament of the 83rd Hastings Chess Congress on Saturday at Hastings, in England.

GEMS clinch bridge title

GEMS Club clinched the title of the 25th National Team Bridge Championship with a 207-160 international match points in the final at the National Sports Council (NSC) auditorium yesterday.

Sonali almost in final

Unbeaten Sonali Bank all but ensured a place in the Dhaka Bank Victory Day hockey tournament final when they crossed a major hurdle yesterday.

Youzhny stuns Nadal

Fourth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny demolished world number two Rafael Nadal in straight sets to win the 436,000-dollar ATP Chennai Open title here on Sunday.

4th JFA Cup from Feb 1

The qualifying rounds of the 4th JFA Cup Under-15 football tournament will begin on February 1 across the country.

'Boys stood up'

South Africa captain Graeme Smith blasted 85 off 79 balls to take his team to a seven-wicket win on the fourth day of the second Test against the West Indies at Newlands Saturday.

Rio promises respect

Rio Ferdinand has insisted Manchester United will do all they can to preserve the reputation of the FA Cup after starting a campaign to extend their record of 11 trophy wins in the world's oldest knockout football competition with victory over Aston Villa.

Marseille, PSG advance

French league strugglers Marseille and Paris Saint Germain kick-started the New Year on a winning note after winning French Cup matches on Saturday.

Mosquito bites again

Michael Mifsud repeated his League Cup match-winning display against Manchester United earlier this season to inspire Coventry City's outstanding 4-1 FA Cup third round victory over Blackburn Rovers here at Ewood Park on Saturday.

Ibrox to be rebuilt

Scottish Premier League leaders Rangers revealed Sunday their plans to rebuild Ibrox in an ambitious project to increase capacity and regenerate the area around the stadium.

Sven wants Cup glory

Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson set his sights on FA Cup glory after watching his team grind out a third round goalless draw at West Ham.

Mirza eyes seeding

Indian sensation Sania Mirza is confident of securing a seeding at next week's Australian Open, to boost her chances of steaming through the early rounds of the season's first Grand Slam.

Takahara going back to Japan

Japanese international striker Naohiro Takahara has agreed to join J-League side Urawa Red Diamonds from Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt, the Japanese club said Sunday.

Boruc commits to Celtic

Celtic's Poland international goalkeeper Artur Boruc has signed a new contract to keep him at Parkhead until 2011.

Fortune targets Sunderland

South Africa international midfielder Quinton Fortune could be enlisted by his former Manchester United teammate Roy Keane to save Sunderland from the Premier League drop.

Business

Cyclone Sidr causes Tk130cr livestock loss

Livestock, farms and feeds worth more than Tk 130 crore were destroyed in cyclone Sidr in November, according to the final estimate compiled by the Department of Livestock Services.

Japan beckons local medicine makers

Bangladesh has a good chance of exporting generic drugs and non-prescribed medicines to Japan as companies in the world's second largest economy focus on producing new patent protected drugs.

Stocks slump as investors wait for Jamuna, Meghna shares

Dhaka and Chittagong stocks slumped yesterday, as investors are now waiting to buy shares in state-run Jamuna Oil and Meghna Petroleum, which will make their debut on January 9 and 14 respectively.

Tech body to study feasibility of Teletalk expansion project

The Board of Directors of Teletalk yesterday formed a technical committee to evaluate its much-awaited Tk550crore network expansion project.

Record $6.56b remittance in '07

Bangladeshis working abroad, a key source of economic stability for the impoverished South Asian country, sent home a record 6.56 billion dollars in 2007, officials said Sunday.

Pakistan to hit economic targets despite unrest: Minister

Pakistan will still hit its economic targets this year despite a wave of unrest and turmoil following the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto, the finance minister told AFP on Sunday.

Commodity prices surge on supply-demand tension

The fever sending raw material prices ever higher seems sure to spread to agricultural commodities, where markets are already feeling the effects of increased export taxes on cereals in China and Russia, strong global demand, a grim harvest in Australia and stepped-up speculation.

SEC may allow Summit Power to issue rights share

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) might consider the request of Summit Power Ltd. to review the rights issue subject to submission of particulars of company directors.

India's Jet Airways launches Gulf operations

Jet Airways has become the first Indian private carrier to operate in the Gulf sector on Saturday, launching four daily direct flights from India to Kuwait and Bahrain.

Tk 729cr earned as revenue from Benapole land port in July-Dec

Benapole Customs House collected around Tk729 crore in the first 6 months of the current fiscal year, which is Tk64 37 lakh more than the target set for the period.

World cotton output to rise 5pc in 2008-'09 season: ICAC

The International Cotton Advisory Committee has forecast a rise of five percent in the world cotton production in 2008-09 season.

Reliance mulls power generation overseas

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group's Reliance Power plans to foray into foreign countries for power generation.

Chairman, vice chairman of Continental Ins

The Board of Directors of Continental Insurance Ltd has unanimously re-elected Md Musa Meah as chairman and Mohammed Iqbal as vice-chairman of the board for the term 2008 & 2009.

Office bearers of Bangla-Malaysia chamber

Salahuddin Kasem Khan, managing director of AK Khan & Co Ltd and chairman of TM International (BD) Ltd (AKTEL), has been elected president and Syed Moazzam Hossain, managing director of SMH Engineering Ltd, honourary secretary general of Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BMCCI) for a two-year term (2008-2009).

Metropolitan

Benazir's killing to leave negative impact on subcontinent

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto, former president of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), will leave a negative impact on the stability and security of this subcontinent including Bangladesh, said the speakers at a roundtable yesterday.

Anti-corruption bodies to start functioning at dists, UZs soon

Corruption prevention committees at the district and upazila levels, a move initiated by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) with a view to creating mass awareness, are likely to become functional soon.

Call for trial of war criminals

Paying tributes to Justice KM Sobhan, speakers at a discussion meeting yesterday said he was a pioneer in raising the demand for the trial of war criminals.

Detained DU teachers, students to be released soon

Visiting British Conservative Party MP Anne Main yesterday expressed her hope that the detained teachers and students of Dhaka University (DU) would be released soon through legal process.

Int'l Education Expo begins in city Jan 10

The 2nd Education Worldwide 2008 International Expo begins in the city on January 10.

Furniture trader stabbed to death

A furniture businessman was stabbed to death and his friend injured at Jatrabari while a grocer was shot at Mirpur in the city last night.

Rethink if dev projects of NGOs befitting poor

Economists and development experts urged the government yesterday to rethink if the development projects of the NGOs are really befitting the poor.

Hearing of Bijoy TV Scam Case on Jan 9

A court here yesterday fixed January 9 for hearing of Bijoy TV Scam Case involving Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury.

DAM to rehabilitate 26000 Sidr-hit families

Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) will rehabilitate some 26,000 Sidr-affected families at 20 unions under six upazilas in Barguna, Patuakhali and Barisal districts.

Convicted RU student surrenders

A convicted student of Rajshahi University (RU) surrendered before a court yesterday.

Ambassador Amin's body arrives on Jan 8

Body of Bangladesh Ambassador to France Ruhul Amin will arrive here on January 8 by an Emirates flight.

Britto Int'l Artists' Workshop begins in Bogra

A two-week Britto International Artists' Workshop 2008 began at Noongola in Bogra yesterday.

Two hajj operators blacklisted

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Limited has blacklisted two private hajj operators-- Labbaik Travels and Al Mansur Travels due to mismanagement in the return flight of the hajj pilgrims, Biman sources said.

Libyan relief for distressed people

Libyan government has provided various items of relief materials, including rice and flour, for the country's poor and distressed people.

Rajguru Sreemat Agrabangsho Mahathero passes away

Rajguru Sreemat Agrabangsho Mahathero, chief priest of Rangamati Royal Buddhist Monastery, passed away at the district General Hospital on Saturday night at the age of 94.

One beaten to death in Shariatpur

Terrorists beat a young man to death and injured another while they were pasting posters against the gang in Bilashpur area of Jajira upazila yesterday morning.

'Meet demands of Khulna Jute Mill workers'

Left Democratic Alliance yesterday urged the government as well as the authorities concerned to meet the demands of Khulna Jute Mill workers, who have been demonstrating for their arrears and reopening of seven jute mills.

Artworks invited

National Crafts Council of Bangladesh invites artworks for Shilu Abed Karushilpa Purashkar 2008, says a press release.

Mizanur new envoy to Netherlands

The government has decided to appoint Mizanur Rahman, currently serving as director general in the Foreign Ministry, as the next Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Netherlands.

Housewife commits suicide in Savar

A young housewife allegedly committed suicide at Baghbari under Ashulia Police Station on Friday night.

47 Rab men get certificates for combating crimes

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday awarded certificates to its 47 members for their role in combating crimes and militancy and arresting criminals and militants.

Health centre opens at Keraniganj

The Keraniganj Health Care Centre under Health Care Development Project of Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (DAB) was formally inaugurated yesterday to bring the health care services to doorsteps of the people.

Seven killed in Delhi slum fire

At least seven people were killed when a fire tore through a slum yesterday in the Indian capital New Delhi, the fire department said.

Three drug peddlers held

Police arrested a drug peddler and seized five grams of heroin from his possession at hatchery area in Rangamati town yesterday.

Form taskforce to check soaring prices of rice: Inu

Jatiya Shamajtantrik Dal (JSD) President Hasanul Haque Inu demanded of the government to form a taskforce immediately to check the soaring prices of essentials.

National

Hillocks still barren, gas bubbles seen on water bodies

The hillocks in the area are still barren two years after the Tengratila blowout that left a trail of devastation--burning greens including forests, damaging croplands and displacing hundreds of villagers.

Tk 10,000 a day from vegetable farm

Amirul Islam Graho is now a source of inspiration for many. He earns Tk 10,000-12,000 a day from vegetables grown on banks of ponds.

Arrival of migratory birds poor in southern coasts

Arrival of migratory birds in coastal areas of Patuakhali, Barguna and Bhola have fallen drastically this winter compared to previous years mainly due to the 'ecological imbalance' caused by Sidr, experts and bird watchers here said.

Security alert as jute workers go for road barricade today

Security forces have been asked to remain on high alert as over 3,000 casual workers of six state-owned jute mills in Khulna-Jessore industrial belt have announced road and rail barricade programme today.

18 statues of Buddha recovered in Khagrachhari

Army yesterday recovered 18 statues of Lord Buddha from zero mile of army check post in the Sadar upazila.

Take steps to save coastal ecology

Speakers at a seminar yesterday called for immediate measures to protect the people and environment in the coastal districts from the adverse impacts of climate change including rise of sea-level and salinity in cultivable lands.

UNO sued in Thakurgaon

The Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Pirganj in Thakurgaon district has been sued for allegedly assaulting and humiliating a fertiliser trader, court sources said.

CUTA leaders' resignation demanded

Progotishil Shikshak Samaj, an association of progressive minded teachers of Chittagong University (CU), yesterday demanded resignation of the leaders of CU Teachers Association (CUTA).

BSF returns body of Bangladeshi

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) returned the body of a Bangladeshi citizen after a company commander level flag meeting with Bnagladesh Rifles on Saturday evening.

Letters

Issues and comments

* US-China competition: "China will soon be only second to the United States in the global power games," says Prof. Xuentung of China, well and good for check and balance of superpower politics.

Price of rice

The recent remark of an advisor has added fuel to the already lit inferno razing across the country on rice prices. Instead of putting all out efforts to bring down the price of food grains, the adviser passed a remark which has aggravated the already bad situation with a further rise in the price which now stands at an all time record of Tk 35 per kg even for the coarsest variety. My suggestion would be to stop import of all luxury and non-essential items, including motor vehicles, and divert the funds towards import of rice immediately and flood the market with subsidised prices to save the country from the impending famine. Rapid action in this regard will help defuse the highly alarming situation and we demand immediate action from the government to save the teeming millions. If necessary the current foreign exchange reserve can be utilised for the import of rice. The country is on fire and water MUST be poured in to extinguish it from whatever source available immediately, before it is too late.

The vicious cycle

In our beloved country natural disasters happen so often that probably these should be taken as our natural characteristics. Every year we face them and still we lose our dear ones, our livestock, crops, properties etc. The governments spend millions to build dams, cyclone centres, for irrigation, medical treatment, relief and rehabilitation. But we still bear the losses. Every year our budgets are strained, we take loans from World Bank, ADB etc, but what is the result? Have we ever thought of the vicious cycle concerning this? Projects are taken, some never end, those that end collapse and at last it is the same again. In every country the people build their dwellings according to the nature of their climate, geology and GDP.

Pakistan scene

Mr. Tariq Karim foresees Pakistan's future political development as a final battle between the forces of civil society and democracy and militant obscurantism and military jingoism. He also said lot of nice things about BB. His analysis was fine but I think he somehow fogged the identity of the real enemy of the Pakistani people though he mentioned it. Sixty years of relentless Goebblesian propaganda and Orwellian thought controlling programmed the Pakistani people including the weak civil society to think that the military is the saviour of their country. That it is the real demon which has devoured their souls and made them mere slaves. Not even the Stalinist brain washing on which Orwell based his 1984 society was as effective as the Pakistani military. The Pak military has the advantage of using Islam as the ideological tool which the Stalinists did not have. So if Pakistani people wish to establish democracy they have to wage a war against their own military. But in the current situation it is not going to happen, notwithstanding Mr. Karim's expectations. The Pakistani people are hopelessly divided and against them the military are solidly united as a rock as the only powerful organisation with all the weapons of brutalisation at their command. The military itself is the state in Pakistan. If the military is defeated and removed from power then the state will disintegrate. The comparable scenario is Somalia. The political scientists should ponder over this and produce a new concept to define the Pakistani state.

Poor umpiring

On viewing the two one-dayers played so far between Bangladesh and NZ in the current cricket series, we are very much shocked to see the unjust decisions of the umpires going against Bangladesh only. In the first match, Bangladesh failed to get a positive nod from the umpires against their appeals on a couple of occasions when NZ batsmen were out. Even in the first match the leg umpire stopped a full shot of one Bangladeshi player by his own hand which would have been a boundary. In the second match, Ashraful was given out when the cover fielder caught a bounced ball. This is a huge injustice in any count and unfortunate for Bangladesh! If all the decisions were correct by the umpires, then NZ had really tough days. Their defeat was no far.

Wake-up call

I am shocked to learn the news of the death of Ms Bhutto. She was the best hope for Pakistan to get rid of the fascist elements. We should remember the attempt to kill Sheikh Hasina on 21st August 2004. While the extremists are killing their opponents, amassing money from mid-east and taking control of different powerful government and non-govt positions, our democratic and half democratic parties are busy to meet their own selfish interests.

Our own wonders!

I am a regular reader of your newspaper's Internet and printed editions. As a leading national daily of Bangladesh "The Daily Star" has been taking part in many social activities and I believe it would make more if its readers aware of different issues. Believing this today I would like to request you to publish some articles, features, and quotes on selection of the seven natural wonders of the world and the positions of Cox's Bazar and the Sundarbans in the rating list. I believe this simple initiative of yours would help these natural wonders to maintain their positions firmly in future. Please post a regular section on the position of these natural wonders of Bangladesh on the Internet edition as well as in your regular printed edition to encourage people. It should also be provided with the link to the site directly(http://www.new7wonders.com/nature ) so that people can cast their votes.

Sense of responsibility

In consideration of the theft of valuable artefacts at Zia International Airport, the adviser concerned has resigned, taking full responsibility for the mismanagement. This is exactly what is expected of a person of his stature and position. But alas! Can we expect from anyone else the same degree of responsibility, courage and professionalism on the recent deaths of a dozen innocent workers? Never!

The New Year's promise

We grew up hearing that Bangladesh was the country of gold, golden Bengal, and our future is golden too. During hard times, it was common to hear comments such as “yes, always the future, never the present". Well, things are changing. Is the future here? Or maybe is it around the corner? What does this present situation, the new situation really mean?

Cyclone Sidr

The disaster and devastation caused by the cyclone “Sidr” in such a short span of time (in comparison to two preceding floods) show us how nature may take revenge on us when it is infuriated by the unscrupulous activities of people, particularly those of so called highly industrialised nations. But unfortunately the havoc that nature causes in repercussion is indiscriminate and may befall even those who are not responsible for the misdeeds, as we find in our case.

Yet to be done…

A great many felicitations, no doubt, should go to the caretaker government and its law enforcement agencies for the steps taken against the corrupt politicians and the vested interest groups of our country. Also worth praising is the recent drive against Yaba that arouses a new sense of direction about the ills of a drug. But two more things are yet to be done-- giving a proper reply to the objectionable remarks about our freedom fighters and putting an end to the fussing over the price hike. We, the commoners, respect our freedom fighters for their supreme contributions to our struggle for freedom.

Neruda, Tagore and Iqbal

We can draw a parallel line between the three great national poets, most popular in their respective continents. Rabindranath Tagore can thus be regarded as having an effective visual perception regarding perceptual realism. One can recognise the factor that the poet had his greatest association with Hindu theology. However, if we draw a similar association with the Chilean author and poet Pablo Neruda and of-course no-body can actually forget Iqbal, then one can thus obtain the idea that the functional prowess of their national poetry has not only continued to influence their respective religious ideologies, but their inclination towards their respective beliefs can also be seen.

Cinema

Man seeks pleasure and recreation and cinema is a great source of fun. It is also one of the wonders of modern science. Cinema refers to a stage in which pictures on motion are shown on a screen. Firstly, to produce a cinema, shooting is a must. A number of actors and actresses play in a studio. In most cases they go out for shooting to hills, deserts seas or to places of scenic beauty. Some photographs against some backgrounds are then snapped. These photographs are shown on the screen with the help of cinematograph. When the show goes on, the ribbon of photo-pictures is unrolled and thrown upon the while screen with necessary lights. This produces motion pictures on the screen. Formerly, pictures moved silently but nowadays pictures not only move but also talk and sing.

Modern day barbarism

Who is the greatest killer of the world now? Undoubtedly the answer will be Mr. Bush. In the name of 'war on terror' the Bush government is torturing and killing a lot of innocent people in Afghanistan and Iraq. From immediately after 9/11 of 2001 till now the US soldiers and coalition soldiers are arresting people as suspects. They made so called prisons for the suspects at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and so on to torture and kill people. There is no definite allegation or evidence against most of the detainees. As they are shouting for human rights and humanity, they are the first violators of all such things. They are continuously degrading humanity by their brutal inhumane behaviours. Most of the detainees are innocent and they have no connection with terrorism. But they are passing the worst months and years suffering the ruthless torture of the soldiers. When anyone dies due to their torture, they pass it off as a natural death. You will be surprised to know that the young energetic persons are always the victims of natural death in those torture cells.

Political drama!

A new political drama is unveiled. The health condition of two interned former prime ministers is in the limelight which has given rise to the question of going abroad for better treatment. Health and political approach to this issue is different in case of the two interned leaders. The BNP approach is more prudent, compared to the AL's.

Poor batting

The openers started so well, but then everything went awry. That's cricket, perhaps a bit too much of it! The New Zealanders showed their class in bowling!

International

US military not welcome in Pakistan: Army

The Pakistani military reacted angrily yesterday to reports that US President George W Bush is considering covert military operations in the country's volatile tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

US mediates Kenya crisis as opposition rejects govt offer

The top US Africa envoy on Sunday pushed Kenyan leaders to resolve an electoral row that touched off an unprecedented wave of violence as the opposition rejected a government offer to join a unity cabinet.

'Danger looms for crisis-hit Pakistan'

Rocked by political and street chaos since the slaying of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan faces further danger as it braces for crucial February 18 elections, analysts warn.

Britain plans 'diplomatic surge' in ME, S Asia

Britain is planning a "diplomatic surge" in the Middle East and South Asia to help counter extremism and nuclear proliferation, Foreign Secretary David Miliband said in an article published yesterday.

Aid groups warn of looming Kenyan humanitarian crisis

Aid groups yesterday warned of a looming humanitarian emergency after post-election violence in Kenya as teams struggled to access tens of thousands of displaced civilians across the country. With widespread insecurity and supplies close to depletion, field teams said their worst fears were mainly for the country's western region.

Hillary proposes joint oversight of Pak nukes

US White House hopeful Hillary Clinton late Saturday said she would propose a joint US-British team to oversee the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal if she is elected president.

Bomb attacks kill 14 in Baghdad

A spate of bombings, including a suicide attack on Iraqi soldiers attending an Army Day ceremony, rocked Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 14 people and wounding 32, Iraqi officials said.

Iran expels German diplomat

Iran has expelled a German diplomat for "undiplomatic" behaviour, the Foreign Ministry said Sunday in the wake of a report that Germany had expelled an Iranian consular attache last July.

North Korea steps up anti-US propaganda

North Korea yesterday stepped up anti-US propaganda with a six-nation nuclear disarmament process bogged down and Pyongyang and Washington in dispute over the delay.

'Bush will find no Gulf takers for war with Iran'

US President George W. Bush will not win any support for military action against Iran when he visits four Gulf Arab allies later this month, political analysts in the region say.

Obama overtakes Hillary in New Hampshire: Poll

Barack Obama has overtaken Hillary Clinton ahead of the New Hampshire primary election to be held in just two days' time, according to a new poll released Sunday.

Arabs pessimistic over Bush’s ME tour

US President George W Bush's visit to the Middle East next week will focus too much on Iran to the detriment of providing a much needed shot in the arm for regional peace, Arab commentators say.

Israeli minister threatens to quit over peace talks

Israeli hardline Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned on Sunday that his party would quit the coalition cabinet if revived peace talks with the Palestinians touched on core issues.

Saakashvili eyes victory in Georgian polls

Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili appeared poised for re-election Sunday, but his chief opponent rejected early results and called a street protest, threatening the ex-Soviet republic with turmoil.

Plane crash in Alaska kills at least 6

A small plane crashed Saturday in waters off Kodiak island in southern Alaska, killing six of the 10 people on board, authorities said.

Levee breaks as storms pummel US West Coast

A ruptured levee sent a frigid "wall of water" from a rain-swollen canal into this high desert town early Saturday, flooding hundreds of homes and forcing the rescue of dozens of people by helicopter and boat.

US to defend Israel if Iran attacks: Bush

US President George W Bush said Washington would defend its close ally Israel in the event of an Iranian attack, in remarks broadcast on Israeli army radio yesterday.

US, Turkish presidents set for fence-mending talks

With the United States bowing to Turkey's insistence on punitive action against Kurdish rebels in Iraq, the two nations can look forward to a more harmonious encounter at summit talks here this week.

Sudan ready for any attack by Chad

Sudan will repel any attack by neighbouring Chad, its armed forces said yesterday, the day after Ndjamena threatened to pursue Chadian rebels into Sudan where they have allegedly sought shelter.

Sarkozy to marry girlfriend Bruni

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to marry his new girlfriend, the former model turned singer Carla Bruni, a French newspaper reported yesterday, claiming a wedding was "imminent".

Canadian FM to visit ME, India

Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier will go to the Middle East and India next week in an effort to promote Arab-Israeli peace and improve bilateral ties, the government announced Saturday.

Malaysian cops use water cannon on candlelight protest

Malaysian police used a water cannon to disperse protesters who held a candlelight vigil Saturday against internal security laws being used to hold ethnic Indian activists without trial.

Kenya locked in political stalemate after poll row

Unity government, re-count, re-run, run-off? Possible solutions for the crisis born of last week's bitterly disputed election in Kenya are many, but growing mediation efforts have yet to succeed.

Strong earthquake hits southern Greece

A powerful earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale hit the Peloponnese region of southern Greece yesterday and was felt throughout the country although there were no reports of casualties or damage.

New poll spells more bad news for Japan govt

Almost half of Japanese voters now support the main opposition Democratic Party, according to a new poll yesterday that appears to confirm disenchantment with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's government.

Arts & Entertainment

"Phulbari": Highlighting the mass protest against open-pit mining

ON August 26 2006, thousands of people from adjacent villages headed towards Phulbari town in Dinajpur district to take part in a grand assembly. Their demand: Open-pit mining should not be allowed in the area.

"The Metamorphosis" goes to Bharat Rang Mahautsav

Center for Asian Theatre's experimental bilingual production The Metamorphosis is taking part at the 10th Bharat Rang Mahaustav '08, says a press release. The festival is popularly known as the 'National School of Drama festival'. The festival started from January 3 and will continue till January 20 in Delhi.

Cultural programme for underprivileged students

The Local Union Parishad and Mass Line Media Centre (MMC), a Dhaka based non-government organisation, recently celebrated the 37th 'Victory Day' at Azimpur Union under Biral Upazila of Dinajpur.

"Ekushey Business": TV show on trade and commerce

Ekushey Business, a new programme of Ekushey TV that started recently, will be aired today at 11:00 am. The daily programme features business related issues and updates on global business news.

Latifa Akhand and Saleha Choudhury honoured

Professor Latifa Akhand, winner of Rokeya Padak (2007) and noted writer Saleha Choudhury were given a joint reception by Bangladesh Lekhika Sangha on January 4 at the Karmajibi Mahila Hostel auditorium, says a press release.

BGTF arranges 'director assistance' programme soon

Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF) is arranging a 'director assistance' programme soon. Ten troupes will be selected under the programme to produce new plays.

Britney Spears out of hospital: reports

Britney Spears left a hospital on Saturday where she was admitted following a confrontation at her home, which ended in a fit of hysterics by the troubled pop star, several media outlets reported.

OP-ED

Exit dead horse, enter dark horse

Horse-trading has always been a profitable business. What to do with the dead horse, as even dead horses have market value? Dark horses are generally intelligent, alert, appear unseen, act unheard and disappear quietly. Once trapped, dark horses have proved to be able to contribute substantially.

Mobile phone operators in Bangladesh

Can Bangladesh accommodate a few more mobile phone operators in the near future, when the country is expected to sustain 6% to 7% economic growth per year? Is the presence of six mobile phone operators in the country consistent with the growth of mobile phone penetration? This question comes up as the chief executive of one of the cell phone companies claims that the Bangladesh market is crowded with operators. However, the present six operators do not seem to be experiencing any difficulties doing business in Bangladesh.

Food insecurity in developing countries

In a world where obesity is epidemic in some countries, 25,000 people die daily of hunger and poverty in others. Some 840 million people in the world don't have enough food for their daily needs. The great majority of them -- 799 million -- live in developing countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

Star City

One-man-show with single computer in each zone

Birth registration and certificate issuance procedure at Dhaka City Corporation is in serious disarray for lack of technical support and shortage of skilled manpower.

Trade fair starts in festive mood

Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF), the month long entertainment hotspot for Dhaka dwellers, was full of life during the weekend.

Anti-smoking law still in name only

Within minutes of taking his seat in the bus, Mizan burst into a fit of coughing. As tears came down his cheeks, Mizan's watery eyes met the embarrassed glance of a fellow passenger sitting on his right. With a nervous smile, the man took one long puff from the cigarette before tossing it out the window.

DU to have 'high-class' cricket venue on its playground

The authorities of Dhaka University (DU) are planning to develop a high-class cricket venue on its central playground.

"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.

Erratum

In a caption on this page published yesterday the BGMEA building was shown as FBCCI site. We regret the inadvertent mistake.



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