The Daily Star

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Saturday, May 26, 2018

News of: Monday, 14th of January, 2008

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Court orders trial of Hasina, Rehana, Selim

A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against former premier Sheikh Hasina, her sister Sheikh Rehana and cousin Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim in a Tk 2.99 crore extortion case.

Rice import bill soars 761pc, BoP in pressure

Rice import expenditure increased by 761 percent in the first six months of the current fiscal compared to the expenditure in the same period of the last fiscal, creating a pressure on the Balance of Payment (BoP), says a Bangladesh Bank (BB) statistics.

Faiz meets DU teachers in jail

The government will release the teachers and students charged in two cases for breaching the Emergency Power Rules (EPR) 2007 upon completion of "legal process", said Prof SMA Faiz, vice chancellor (VC) of Dhaka University (DU).

Unfit CNG cylinders pose huge threat

Many CNG-run motor vehicles are believed to be fitted with cylinders that have a high risk of exploding as those were either not built for compressed natural gas (CNG) or their integrity was not timely verified.

Babar sued for hiding Tk 7.6 crore wealth

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against detained former state minister Lutfozzaman Babar for hiding information about wealth worth around Tk 7.6 crore, which is inconsistent to his known source of income.

Rice prices up again in wholesale market

The price of different varieties of coarse rice continued to fall in the retail market while it witnessed a slight rise in the wholesale market in the capital yesterday.

Tk 150cr fine slapped on Citycell

Citycell, the country's oldest mobile phone operator, has been fined Tk 150 crore by the telecom regulator for its involvement in illegal VoIP or international call termination.

AL asks govt to hold talks separately

The Awami League (AL) called on the government yesterday to hold dialogue with political parties separately because they would back out if the administration sits together with all parties, including the Jamaat-e-Islami.

EC may not redraw constituencies, if all parties oppose

The Election Commission (EC) may refrain from redrawing the parliamentary constituencies if political parties oppose the move, an election commissioner said yesterday.

SC hears Feb 13 ACC's plea for stay on HC order

The Supreme Court has set February 13 for hearing of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) petition for staying operation of the High Court order that stalled the ACC notice asking detained former premier Khaleda Zia to submit her wealth statement.

Purchase of 1.6 lakh tonnes of urea okayed

The advisers' committee on public purchase yesterday approved four procurement proposals including import of 160,000 tonnes of urea.

Demo at RU for release of held teachers, students

Students of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday continued their demonstration on the campus demanding the release of the 10 convicted students and an employee of the university.

Corruption case against Hasina sent for trial

The Tk 3 crore graft case against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and seven others was transferred to the Court of Metropolitan Sessions Judge, Dhaka for trial yesterday.

Cops beat up demonstrating RMG workers

Police swooped on a group of garment workers in the city's Sheorapara yesterday after the workers took to busy Rokeya Sarani for their demands and vandalised several vehicles.

Charges framed against Ctg mayor in Bijoy TV graft case

A court here framed charges against the mayor of Chittagong City Corporation, ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury, and two other city corporation officials for illegally test launching a private television channel, Bijoy TV.

9 BRAC Bank staff quizzed

DB police yesterday interrogated nine BRAC Bank officials and three staffs of Hotel Nidmahal in connection with the heist at Dhanmondi Branch of BRAC Bank.

Wazed Miah hospitalised

Dr Wazed Miah, a renowned nuclear scientist and husband of Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina, was admitted to Labaid Cardiac Hospital in the capital yesterday noon.

ACC chairman escapes unhurt in car crash

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury escaped unhurt from a road accident in Comilla Cantonment area yesterday morning.

Astonishing Tk 1.44 crore made by govt typist

The Anti-corruption Commission yesterday filed a case against a detained ex-typist of the land ministry in connection with amassing assets beyond his known sources of income and for covering up the wealth.

IO finds links of 4 teachers, 15 students

An Investigation Officer (IO) yesterday testified in court that he had found involvement of four teachers and 15 students of Dhaka University (DU) in violating Emergency Power Rules (EPR) on the DU campus in August last year.

Tigers face huge loss

Stephen Fleming and Daniel Vettori came close to centuries as New Zealand piled the pressure on Bangladesh in the second Test at Basin Reserve in Wellington on Sunday.

Selim al Deen critically ill

Renowned playwright and cultural personality Selim al Deen's condition remained critical last night after he was provided with artificial life support at city's Labaid Cardiac Hospital.

'Iran world's leading sponsor of terror'

US President George W Bush reached out to the Iranian people yesterday in the keynote address of a Middle East tour, telling them they had a right to live under a government "that listens to your wishes".

Musharraf calls for Benazir exhumation

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, in a US magazine interview released Friday, called for the body of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto to be exhumed as he rejected charges that the government was complicit in her assassination.

Minority vote moves centre stage

With nomination contests in lily-white Iowa and New Hampshire settled, minority voting power now moves into the spotlight.


CA's speech clears the air

On the back of year-end change in the composition of the advisory council and a cabinet meet deciding to initiate dialogue with political parties, Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed, into the second year of his government, has elaborated a series of steps getting underway to set the nation firmly on course to general election.

Question paper leakage

Only the other day we had expressed our dismay at question paper leakage in Dhaka University in this column. We had urged the government to take strong measures to prevent recurrence of such incident so that honest students did not suffer in the process. But before we heard of any worthy measures taken by the authorities towards apprehending the network of criminals, the story of leakage of 2nd year Honours English Compulsory Examination 2006 question paper in the National University (NU) came as a shocker. The leakage fiasco forced students of a number of NU affiliated institutions like Dhaka College and Eden College come out protesting on streets, which subsequently led to the suspension of the examination. We believe NU has formed a three-member investigation committee to get to the bottom of it and submit a report in seven days. It only remains to be seen whether this committee will deliver the goods or meet the same fate like that of the numerous ones in the past thrown into the cold chamber.

The myth of an American Century!

EVEN if obfuscated by gory development in our neighbourhood -- the assassination of Pakistan's charismatic leader, Benazir Bhutto and its widespread repercussions -- two events of global significance couldn't but stand out as the year 2007 eclipsed in the sea of eternity. The first one was Time Magazine giving Vladimir Putin, the steely-eyed Russian leader, the accolade of Person of the Year. The second was the purchase by the China Investment Corporation of nearly 10 percent of the American bank, Morgan Stanley, as it announced the write-off of $9.4bn bad debts. Here is an attempt to put the events in some historical perspective.

Knockout time

THE logic of the last round can be significantly different from the strategies that have sustained a heavyweight bout thus far. When the contestants hear the final bell, they can be sure of two things in a democracy tournament: there will be a winner or a loser, because there is nothing called an inconclusive draw. Two, time is finite.

New date for elections augurs well for Nepal

APRIL 10 has been set as the date for elections in Nepal for a constituent assembly that will frame a new constitution. This has removed the uncertainty that plagued the Himalayan kingdom for sometime past about its future. The agreement between the government and the radical Maoists on the fresh date for the polls has raised hopes that the country, convulsed by political mayhem in the not too distant past, is now moving in line with the new road map aimed at turning the picturesque land into a nation of political and economic stability. However, the road to the desired goal still appears bumpy because of certain complexities but, broadly, a positive ambience exists following the announcement of the elections schedule.


A meek surrender

The first over wrote the second day's script for Bangladesh as the tourists closed their second innings on 51 for 5, a deficit of 199 runs. Five catches were dropped and then the batsmen repeated the same mistakes all over again in the second innings to leave the side in a hopeless position going into day three after New Zealand's first innings had ended on 393.

There have to be some positives!

For any keen Tigers follower, the last few days have been simply terrible. If waking up very early on a cold morning was a tough task, then watching the batting of Mohammad Ashraful's men in New Zealand made it most unpleasant.

Goodbye to grace

"There's no way we're settling for that," Shaun Pollock growled at the umpire. "We didn't come here for a draw -- I want this thing settled, I want a play-off. Nobody's going to bed yet."

Kamalesh takes charge of local paddlers

Record-holding Indian former national table tennis champion Kamalesh Mehta yesterday took charge of a three-week coaching camp for established and young paddlers in Dhaka.

Ex-BFF gen sec Akmal no more

Former Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) general secretary Sheikh Akmal Hossain died yesterday morning at the Gulshan Shikder Medical Hospital after suffering from respiratory and kidney ailments for long. He was 59.

He's for cricket, not film

Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar Sunday dispelled the impression he is keen to join Indian movies and quit cricket, saying he intends to play cricket as long as he is performing.

India hint at bargain

India have hinted at withdrawing a complaint against Australian Brad Hogg if the hosts drop a race charge against their spinner Harbhajan Singh, reports said here on Sunday.

Clarke clears the air

Michael Clarke says he has cleared the air with Anil Kumble over two of the controversies that flared in the second innings of the Sydney Test. Clarke stood his ground after edging Kumble to first slip and then, as India were fighting to save the game, he claimed a catch off Sourav Ganguly while fielding in the slip cordon, although there were doubts over whether the take was clean.

A United masterclass

Cristiano Ronaldo's first hat-trick for Man-chester United sent the champions back to the top of the Premier League in intimidating fashion on Saturday after Arsenal were held to a surprise draw by struggling Birmingham.

Eto'o brace fires Barca

Eidur Gudjohnsen, teenager Bojan Krkic and two late goals from Samuel Eto'o gave Barcelona an emphatic 4-0 win over Murcia which closed the gap on Spanish leaders Real Madrid to four points on Saturday.

Federer hopes for hattrick

Without the glare of the cameras, or the roar of an appreciative crowd, Roger Federer shanked forehands and hit some backhands long inside Rod Laver Arena.

Wenger livid at Gunners

Arsene Wenger has accused his Arsenal stars of complacency after a 1-1 draw with struggling Birmingham allowed Manchester United to knock them off the top of the Premier League table.

Drogba warms up well

Chelsea strikers Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba scored within eight minutes to give Ivory Coast a 2-0 win over Kuwait Saturday in a warm-up match for the African Nations Cup in Ghana this month.

Euro tickets for sale

The German Football Federation (DFB) will put 14,400 tickets for Germany's first round matches at this summer's Euro 2008 on sale from Tuesday.

Schuster elated with Nistelrooy

Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster said Saturday he was pleased that his "sure bet" of a Dutch striker, Ruud van Nistelrooy, had extended his contract with the Spanish giants.

Gen Moeen keen on sporting activities

Chairman of National Sports Council (NSC) and Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed said the government is expected communicate with FIFA to inform the world football governing body about the real condition of the game in the country.

Sr Div football resumes today

Top-seed Arambagh will look forward to their first win as the Senior Division Football League resumes today after a four-day break.

Good start for Bangladeshi chess players

Bangladeshi players got off to bright start in the 6th Parsvnath Open International Chess in Delhi with all four winning their first round matches against Indian players on Sunday.

Handball camp gets underway

A handball training camp for the Under-16 boys, organised by Bangladesh Handball Federation (BHF), began yesterday at the Outer Stadium handball court.

Sufian champ in AFR Hall sports

Abu Sufian emerged champion and Rafiqul Islam runner-up in the annual sports of Dhaka University's AF Rahman Hall yesterday.

'Friends can be racist with me'

Australian Andrew Symonds has further muddied the waters of cricket's latest racism row, telling a newspaper that racial taunts were okay as long as they came from friends.

Sunny slams Procter

Legendary former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on Sunday called for revoking the ban on Harbhajan Singh, saying the match referee's decision was based not on facts, but emotion.

Saif posts solo lead

Abdullah Al Saif led the table of the 28th National Sub-junior Chess Championship yesterday with maximum five points.

Hosts off to bad start

Rajnagar beat Moulvibazar 3-2 in tiebreakers after being locked at 1-1 in the opening match of the DC Gold Cup football tournament at the local M Saifur Rahman Stadium yesterday.

CPA KO cricket

Durbar Tarun Sangha defeated Super Nova by 27 runs in the opening match of the 10th CPA knockout cricket tournament at the Nabin Chandra High School ground yesterday.

Neighbours in eves' kabaddi final

Jatrabari KC and Matuail Milon Smriti Sangsad moved into the final of the EXIM Bank Women's Kabaddi League winning their respective semifinals yesterday at the Outer Stadium kabaddi court.

Sports of autistic children today

The annual sports of the students of the Autism Welfare Foundation will be held today at the Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex.

Win is more important: C'Ron

Cristiano Ronaldo insisted Manchester United's return to the top of the Premier League was far more significant than his first ever hat-trick for the club in the six-goal rout of Newcastle United.

Del Piero spares blushes

Veteran forward Alessandro Del Piero won and converted a last-minute penalty to earn Juventus a 1-1 draw with Catania in Sicily on Saturday.

Benzema inspires Lyon

Lyon continued their march towards a record seventh French league title with a 3-2 win over Toulouse on Saturday as the domestic league resumed after the three-week winter break.

Sven ready to spend

Manchester City manager Sven Goran Eriksson confirmed his club are ready to make a splash in the transfer market after seeing his side lose 1-0 at Everton.

No hurry for Magpies

Newcastle chairman Chris Mort insists the Premier League club won't be rushed into appointing a new manager despite Harry Redknapp's decision to reject their advances.

'Anelka's brilliant'

Chelsea captain John Terry on Sunday hailed centre-forward Nicolas Anelka as one of the top all-rounders in the world.

FIFA adjusts altitude ruling

World football governing body FIFA have fixed an adaptation period for players ahead of matches played at altitude, Bolivian Football Federation (FBF) president Carlos Chavez said on Saturday.

Rafa expects more flak

Rafael Benitez insists he will not be distracted by mounting speculation over his future after Liverpool's latest display all but ended their chances of getting back into the title battle.

Bayern crush China

China's Olympic team suffered a 7-2 mauling at the hands of German giants Bayern Munich on Saturday as their build-up to the 2008 Games suffered a demoralising setback.

Sissoko might leave

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has admitted he would sell Mohamed Sissoko if he gets a good enough offer for the Mali midfielder.


Citycell fined Tk150cr for VoIP involvement

Citycell, the country's oldest mobile phone operator, has been fined Tk 150 crore by the telecoms regulator for its involvement in illegal VoIP or international call termination.

Farmers seek poultry feed subsidy to save industry

Poultry industry players want the government to subsidise imported feed ingredients in the face of a surge in poultry feed prices.

Lack of incentives obstacle to wider application of corporate governance

Lack of adequate incentives is an obstacle to wider application of corporate governance in the country, Finance and Planning Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam said yesterday.

Malaysia eyes 40,000 tourists from Bangladesh this year

Malaysia is aiming to receive more than 40,000 Bangladeshi tourists in 2008, attracted by cheaper airfares and hotel costs, the local agent of Tourism Malaysia said in Dhaka yesterday.

Meghna Petroleum makes stock debut today

Trading of shares in Meghna Petroleum, a state-owned enterprise, begins on Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges today.

Germany girds for rough economic ride

Germany has again lowered its 2008 economic growth forecast and hatched a plan to fend off a possible global recession, Der Spiegel magazine reported in its issue to be released Monday.

Ctg chamber seeks DFID help to develop infrastructure

Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) yesterday stressed the need for developing infrastructure especially for roads, power and energy to help achieve private sector's growth, and sought assistance from DFID in this regard.

Launch of world's cheapest car opens road to huge new market

India's launch of the world's cheapest car will spur creation of a vast new market segment in the nation of 1.1 billion people where the auto sector is already red hot, analysts say.

Growth slows in major developing countries

Most of the world's leading industrialised nations are facing an economic slowdown while China, Russia and Brazil are expected to see improved or continued growth, the OECD said.

Warid Telecom merges its prepaid packages

Warid Telecom has merged its all prepaid packages into a complete package, says a press release.

US automakers face onslaught in 2008

After years of crisis, the big three US automakers face another brutal year with demand expected to dip again due to an economic downturn threatening to snuff out 2007's timid recovery.

China GDP to grow 10.2pc in 2008

China's gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to grow by 10.2 percent to reach 27.93 trillion yuan (US$3.88 trillion) in 2008, and the consumer price index (CPI) is to jump by 4.4 percent, according to a report by the country's major think tank.

Gulf Air places $4b order with Boeing

The Bahrain-based airline Gulf Air has ordered 16 Boeing 787 Dreamliners valued at around four billion dollars and taken options for eight more, an airline official told AFP on Saturday.


Environmentalists’ notice against land allocation

Several human rights and environmental organisations yesterday served a notice on the authorities concerned, including the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC), against the decision of allocating 25 acres of land of Suhrawardy Udyan to Dhaka Club for developing a golf course.

CA assistant’s priority is to expedite process of inviting int’l bids

Dr M Tamim, the newly appointed special assistant to the chief adviser, yesterday said his priority would be to expedite the process of inviting international bids for hydrocarbon exploration in the country's deep sea territory.

Place draft after further changes

The Council of Advisers yesterday discussed elaborately the draft Building Construction (Amendment) Ordinance 2008 and asked the ministry concerned to place it after further trimming.

JP, Workers Party hail CA's speech

Jatiya Party (JP) and Workers Party of Bangladesh yesterday hailed the speech of chief adviser (CA) to the nation while Jatiya Mukti Council criticised the speech.

‘Ensure irrigation, fertiliser to recover losses’

Encouraged by credit disbursement trend in agriculture sector, Bangladesh Bank yesterday stressed the need for ensuring inputs like irrigation and fertiliser for boro cultivation to recover the losses caused by flooding and cyclone Sidr.

Call for proper evaluation of Tajuddin's leadership

Speakers at a discussion have called for proper evaluation of the leadership of Tajuddin Ahmed, the first prime minister of Bangladesh, during the liberation war.

Dhaka firm to expand regional cooperation

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said Bangladesh is deeply committed to expanding regional cooperation.

Road accidents kill five

At least five people were killed in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Munshiganj and Tangail yesterday.

Female student nurse found dead in hostel

A female student nurse of Sir Salimullah Medical College allegedly committed suicide at a nursing hostel in the old part of the city yesterday.

NU registrar, 14 staffs transferred

Fifteen officials of National University (NU), including Registrar Shamsher-uz-Zaman have been transferred yesterday for their alleged involvement in the question leakage in the 2nd Year (Honours) English Compulsory Examinations 2006.

Baby Zinc Sonamoni to be aired on BTV every Tuesday

From now on, a child health show titled 'Baby Zinc Sonamoni' will be aired on Bangladesh Television (BTV) on every Tuesday at 7:30pm to disseminate information about various issues related to child health.

Tremor shakes Rangamati

A mild tremor shook Rangamati hill district and its adjoining areas in Chittagong early yesterday.

First nat'l wall magazine festival begins

Speakers at the inaugural ceremony of the First National Wall Magazine Festival yesterday underscored the need for organising more of such programmes to provide the children a platform to exercise their creativity and showcase their talents.

Nirmul committee protests CJ's remarks

Leaders of Ekattorer Ghatok Dalal Nirmul Committee in a statement yesterday criticised the remarks of Chief Justice Md Ruhul Amin about Islamic law and prevention of corruption at a seminar at the Biam auditorium in the city on Saturday.

4-day painting exhibition begins

A four-day exhibition of paintings selected from an international children's painting competition began at the Shilpakala Academy in the city yesterday.

View exchange meeting in Khulna Jan 17

Sector Commanders' Forum (SCF) will hold a view exchange meeting at Khulna Zia hall on January 17.

Road crash kills Grameen bank official

Two people, including a bank official, were killed in a road accident at Shantinagar crossing in the city yesterday morning.

Factory gutted in city fire, 5 injured

A fire at a plastic factory in front of the Dhaka Central Jail last night gutted all its valuables and equipment.

Toitombur editor Selima passes away

Selima Sabih, the editor of monthly magazine for children and juvenile 'Toitombur', passed away due to a cardiac arrest at her Naya Paltan residence in the city on Saturday night at the age of 60.

CU employee murdered

An employee of journalism department of Chittagong University (CU) was hacked to death by unidentified miscreants on the campus on Saturday night.

'Protect energy, mineral resources from lobbyists of foreign companies'

National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port yesterday urged the government to protect energy and mineral resources division from the lobbyists of foreign companies.

One run over by train in Rajshahi

An unidentified man was killed as a train knocked him down in Rajshahi on Saturday evening.


Fishes decline alarmingly in Kaptai Lake

Fish production in Kaptai Lake, the largest artificial freshwater body in the country, is dwindling gradually.

Ex-BNP MP Habib,14 others charge-sheeted

Investigation authorities yesterday pressed charges against 15 people including former BNP lawmaker Habibul Islam Habib, in the sensational case for killing Tala upazila BNP president ABM Altaf Hossain.

Piranha in Kaptai Lake!

Presence of carnivorous fish Piranha in Kaptai Lake has worried fishery officials and people alike in Rangamati. Some fishermen netted some Piranha fishes from Longudu area in the lake recently.

Jute workers stage sit-in for wage hike, arrears

Casual workers of six state-owned jute mills of Khulna-Jessore industrial belt staged sit-in demonstrations from 9 am to 11-30 am yesterday.

UNO jailed for ignoring HC order

A Bogra court yesterday jailed two persons including a former Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) for six months and fined them Tk 1 lakh for constructing a public toilet on a disputed land at Shajahanpur upazila despite a High Court stay order.

Knitting training centre to open in Nilphamari next month

At the initiative of Army chief General Moeen U Ahmed, a sweater knitting and linking training centre will be opened here next month.

Include food issue in talks with parties: Menon

Urging immediate loan and fertilizer supply to Sidr-affected people, Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon yesterday said the government's proposed dialogues with political parties should include discussions about food crisis and economic stagnancy.

2 brothers killed in Sylhet clashes

Two brothers were killed and five others sustained critical injuries in a clash between rival groups of villagers over a occupying a haor in Companiganj upazila in Sylhet yesterday.

Sarbahara leader Himu sent to jail in Barisal

Sarbahara leader Kamrul Ahsan alias Himu Khan was sent to jail after police produced him before the court yesterday.

2 JCD leaders held in Kushtia

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) on Saturday night arrested two Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) leaders for their alleged involvement with destructive activities.

Nilphamari lawyers join court after 106 days

Lawyers joined the Women and Children Repression Prevention Court here yesterday after 106 days of boycott following transfer of a judge.


“Flaws in CNG conversion”

I came across the letter from my friend Mr. Mansoor on the above subject published in your newspaper on 31st December. I feel I must reply to this as he has found a large number of reasons for the recent CNG explosions. Blaming a lot of people does not help, as the real reason for these explosions cannot be identified by wholesale blaming of everyone.

Election on schedule …

The present CTG deserves our salutes; they've been doing what the whole nation expects them to do. They've uprooted the multifaceted vices that had been eating up the backbone of this country; they've glued up the cracks in the democratic fabric of the republic-- the holes for the rats of the dark are severely battered. The present price hike will hopefully be resolved by this "few good men" soon.

Saga of load-shedding!

The above depressing news was published in the first page of most newspapers on the last day of 2007. A demoralising beginning of the New Year! The Adviser concerned prepared everyone for the worst in his press briefing. Despite all the plans, the proposed rationing (load-shedding) of electricity supply has condemned all of us to living in partial darkness. Hopefully, this time around it will be more democratically administered with equal misery for all and not favouring some at the expense of others, which was the practice in the past.

Benazir Bhutto

Benazir is gone…as soon as I heard this news I felt a kind of trembling inside me, which I was not able to control. Interestingly when Benazir was in the scene years back and she was sent on self-exile, I was just a kid to understand either Benazir or her politics. Just for the last two or three years, I have started generating my own understanding regarding politics and since then I have started admiring Benazir Bhutto, Suu Kyi and Sonia Gandhi. It is true that against Benazir there was charge of corruption and more specifically perhaps her husband is responsible for her downfall. For a girl like me, Benazir was always a charismatic figure with her great look, talent, western education and personality along with media attention. Her uniquely designed coat with milk white scarf, eyes covered with fashion glasses and the fusion of being a mother and a political figure were always eye-catching.

Transparency in government

The people of Bangladesh have yet to witness a transparent government. We expected that the current caretaker/interim government (the actual terminology remains unclear to this day) would pave the way for transparency. Before attempting to bring about positive reforms in the political parties, people expected that the present government itself would practise good governance. We are well accustomed to observing the mud slinging by the ruling and opposition parties in the past. Now we are witnessing the same trend in the present government on the issues pertaining to lifting the ban on politics, ending the emergency rule, bringing the war criminals to justice, sending archaeological artefacts abroad, and skyrocketing price of rice and commodities. Now all blame goes to the major political parties, business sectors, and some vested (yet unidentified) quarters.

Biman issue

This refers to an article on Boeing for Biman appearing in your paper.

Policy guideline for NRBs

The clarion call of the Chief Adviser to the NRBs to contribute in the economy of Bangladesh was timely and thus commendable. Non-resident citizens of China , India , Philippines and Korea, in fact, made massive contributions to their countries' socio-economic development. There should be a well designed guideline indicating their areas of participation and facilities to be provided to them with banking facilities and return of profits.

Is it true?

I wonder if any human rights organisations would be interested in checking out a story I have heard that some of the fishing boats that were lost in the cyclone may very well have not been carrying warning devices of any kind, intentionally. Someone told me that some fishing boat owners do not want their boats to be coming back at every storm warning for fear of loss of income.

Leaders and legal process

A recent news item published in The Prothom Alo caught my attention. In a joint statement forty-one eminent citizens of Bangladesh expressed concern about the illness of the former prime minister and Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina and asked for her release from detention (The Prothom Alo, 2 January 2008). Considering her significant role in establishing democracy, rule of law and people's welfare, the eminent citizens asked the government to release Hasina and to provide proper medical treatment for her illness.

Resuscitation of Mongla Port

The recent reports appearing in different newspapers about the present condition of Mongla Port give an impression that the closing down of the port operation is a matter of time. This news hurt the countrymen, may be highly disappointing news for me, being the ex-chairman of that ill-fated port. There are many reasons for the port to malfunction but the reason most highlighted-- the silt deposit problem of river Pasur-- may not be the correct one. The years 1997 and 1998 when I was the chairman had the record earning and net profit of the port for whatever reason (this is on record). This only establishes the fact that a concerted effort by all concerned can make this port vibrant again. Needless to say, the country with roughly fifteen million people cannot depend only on one seaport i.e. Chittagong. For safety and security of the country we must put all efforts for Mongla Port's survival.


IAEA announces new nuke accord with Iran

The UN atomic watchdog said yesterday that it had agreed with Iran a four-week deadline to clear up all remaining issues regarding Tehran's disputed nuclear activities.

Iraqi Shia and Sunni MPs sign 'unity' pact

Parliamentary blocs representing Sunnis, Shias and independents on Sunday signed on to a common platform stressing the need for Iraqi national unity and central control over oil reserves.

Vital aid to Lanka could be halted

Japan's peace envoy opened talks in Sri Lanka on Sunday, hinting international donors may hold back much-needed foreign aid if the island's decades-long ethnic conflict escalates, officials said.

Pakistanis blame govt agencies

Nearly half of Pakistanis suspect that government agencies or government-linked politicians killed Benazir Bhutto, an opinion poll showed, highlighting popular mistrust in the country's US-allied president ahead of elections next month.

Bhutan to act tough on 'misbehaving' lawmakers

With elections to Bhutan's lower house still to be held, the Himalayan country has already issued a stern warning to its MPs-to-be, saying those found guilty of misbehaving when the National Assembly is in session will be dealt strictly with.

Kenya under pressure for political deal

The death toll from violence in the wake of disputed elections in Kenya has passed 700, police said Sunday, as rival political leaders remained under international pressure to drop all preconditions for talks.

Manmohan in China for boosting partnership

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived here yesterday for talks with China's leaders as the two most populous nations look to turn their combined clout into a major force in global affairs.

9 policemen killed in Taliban attack

A pair of militant attacks killed nine police officers in southern Afghanistan yesterday and the Netherlands announced that two of its soldiers had been killed in fighting in the south.

121 American war veterans linked to killings

At least 121 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have committed a killing or been charged in one in the United States after returning from combat, The New York Times reported yesterday.

121 American war veterans linked to killings

At least 121 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have committed a killing or been charged in one in the United States after returning from combat, The New York Times reported yesterday.

Bush pushes democracy in Gulf nations

President Bush is praising small democratic advances in Gulf nations ruled by authoritarian family dynasties, while reassuring the oil-rich US allies that he does not seek confrontation with Iran in their backyard.

Waterboarding 'would be torture',

US intelligence czar Mike McConnell, in an interview released yesterday, equated waterboarding with torture, and denied that the United States uses torture when questioning terror suspects.

Two Uzbek militants killed in Pak clash

Two Uzbek militants were killed yesterday when a group of them attacked the house of a pro-government tribal elder in Pakistan's troubled tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said.

US spreading anti-Iran sentiment: Tehran

Iran charged Sunday that the United States was trying to spread anti-Iranian sentiment in the Middle East by accusing Iranian boats of threatening US warships in the Persian Gulf.

Republican candidates stump in Michigan

Mitt Romney and John McCain argued about their concern for the auto industry, while Mike Huckabee spotlighted his opposition to abortion, as the Republican presidential contenders campaigned Saturday before Michigan's potentially make-or-break primary.

Bush assured Israel over Gaza violence: Olmert

US President George W. Bush has assured Israel that no peace deal with the Palestinians will be implemented until violence from Hamas-run Gaza stops, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Sunday.

4000 shops gutted in Kolkata

Authorities in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata yesterday called in the army to control an inferno raging in the India's largest wholesale market, officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

“It's the duty of a state to support the film industry” -- Peter Van Bueren

Dutch film critic Peter Van Bueren is in Dhaka to participate at the 10th Dhaka International Film Festival. The seasoned film critic is one of the five jury members of the Australasian Competition section of the festival. Moreover, he read the keynote paper at the seminar titled Aesthetics of Cinema: Critic and reviewer held yesterday at Central Public Library.

Around the world in 40 photos

Abeer Hoque, who is here from the US, writing her book and having published many short stories in the English dailies, is currently having her solo photographic display at the Alliance Francaise Café Veranda. The pictures are a sort of reflection of images, which Abeer has come across in the subcontinent, Bhutan, and European countries. Her novel weaves the lives of many characters who are spread out all over the world; and the pictures are representations of the lifestyles in these different exotic places.

'Cinema of the World' and 'Bangladesh Panorama' begins

'Cinema of the World' and 'Bangladesh Panorama' sections of the 10th Dhaka International Film Festival began simultaneously at two venues -- The National Museum Auditorium and Central Public Library -- on January 12.

Theatre festival in aid of Sidr victims

An eight-day group theatre festival began at the Rangpur Town Hall on January 9.

Silver Jubilee of “Banaphul Lok Lokaloy” celebrated

Silver Jubilee of the BTV programme, Banaphul Lok Lokaloy, highlighting the culture and traditions of the ethnic groups, was celebrated in Khagrachhari recently with a call for upholding rights and culture of these communities.

Noted playwright Selim Al Deen critically ill

A trendsetter in Bangladeshi theatre, renowned playwright Selim Al Deen, is critically ill. He was admitted at the CCU of Labaid Cardiac Hospital on January 11. He has been suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney and diabetic problem.


'Pakistanis know I can be tough'

Since Benazir Bhutto's assassination weeks ago, Pakistan has been plunged into one of the worst crises in its history. President Pervez Musharraf, having recently given up control of the nation's army, remains firmly in charge and as reluctant as ever to share power, despite a rising tide of criticism. He spoke to Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria from his camp office in Rawalpindi.

Withdraw cases against Dhaka University teachers, students

THE demand for withdrawing the cases against the honourable teachers of the University of Dhaka has been growing progressively. According to the news media, most of the eyewitnesses of those cases have not given specific testimony against the accused teachers before the court. We believe, on good faith, that the government will not appeal to the higher court if the teachers are released by the court.

A Pakistani's re-assessment of 1971

As a humanist, I hold this belief in my heart that most common people are good everywhere -- across every race, religion and ethnicity. This is not just a hypothesis for comfort. I have seen this from my own observation.

Star City

Hilsa becoming pricey as export resumes

Delicious Hilsa has become rare and pricey again with the resumption of its export on Wednesday to India.

Leasing out public park to Wonderland was illegal

The lease of Gulshan Central Park to a private commercial company to develop Wonderland, an amusement park, has been made violating rules, says the report of a committee formed to review the lease contract.

Cops, locals unite to tackle crimes

In a renewed commitment to tackling crime in the 'crime infested' Sabujbagh, residents and local organisation leaders from different neighbourhoods are lending a hand to police for making a list of wanted criminals of the area, said police sources.

"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

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