The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of: Friday, 18th of January, 2008

Front Page

Black flags hoisted on DU, RU campuses

Teachers of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday hoisted a black flag on the Arts Faculty building as an expression of their disappointment and resentment over the "unjustified" detention of four teachers and a student.

Manipulation to trick TV viewers

Look at the pictures below and you will know the work of some master manipulators.

HC stays extortion case proceedings

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed proceedings of the extortion case against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina at the trial court until disposal of a rule pending in an HC bench.

Dhaka-Yangon meet next month to clarify maritime line

A high-level delegation will visit Yangon within a month to discuss Bangladesh's longstanding maritime boundary dispute with Myanmar and clarify areas for deepwater gas exploration.

Big plan taken to keep Boro on track

The government will pursue an aggressive plan for higher Boro yield this season as Aman production is down by 18 lakh metric tons from the last fiscal year's.

Verdict in case against teachers, students Jan 21

The verdict of the case against four Dhaka University (DU) teachers and 15 students for violating the Emergency Power Rules (EPR) at TSC, Institute of Fine Arts and Nilkhet Police Camp in August last year will be pronounced on January 21.

Road crashes kill 14 in 2 districts

Al least 14 people were killed and over 65 others were injured yesterday in two separate road accidents in Keraniganj and Tangail.

EC looks for ways to resume stalled talks with parties

Already one and a half months behind schedule, the Election Commission (EC) is still searching ways to resume dialogue with political parties that got stalled under a court order when it invited Saifur-led BNP faction to take part in the talks but pro-Khaleda faction challenged this.

Rice prices fall on wholesale market

Rice prices on retail markets of the capital did not drop despite the fall of prices on wholesale markets yesterday following market monitoring drives by joint forces.

AL for common stance with its allies

Awami League (AL) plans to take a stance common to other components of the 14-party coalition during the proposed dialogue by the government with political parties and the issues to be discussed there.

Pro-Khaleda BNP, Jamaat at odds over talks before her release

The pro-Khaleda faction within BNP appears to be at odds with ally Jamaat-e-Islami over whether to participate in the proposed dialogue with the government without the detained BNP chairperson.

Emergency to be relaxed gradually

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said the state of emergency will gradually be relaxed and it is quite obvious that emergency will not be in place ahead of election.

Laws would be amended if needed to speed up graft cases

Home Adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin said yesterday that laws would be amended if needed, after the state of emergency is lifted, to expedite graft cases filed during the period.

Rejoinder, our reply

The office of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission BTRC) in a rejoinder to The Daily Star news headlined "Moudud bent rules to get Worldtel's Nayeem loan" published on Thursday said that after the changeover of the government, Nayeem did not have any connections with the BTRC.

EC launches website to correct voter list info

The Election Commission (EC) launched a website yesterday to get help from voters in Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) area to correct mistakes in recording their particulars for the voter list with photographs.

People urged to forge greaterunity against war criminals

The sector commanders of the Liberation War yesterday called on the people, particularly the freedom fighters, to forge greater unity against the anti-liberation forces and prepare for a movement to demand trial of war criminals.

Dhaka-Kolkata train service in 3 months

Communications Adviser Maj Gen (retd) Ghulam Quader yesterday said the Dhaka-Kolkata train service will certainly start within three months.

Bogra martyr's son sues 10 'collaborators'

The son of a Liberation War martyr filed a case against 10 alleged collaborators in connection with the murder of his father at Narchi Fakirpara of Sariakandi upazila in Bogra on December 15, 1971.

ACC okays bribery charges against ex-BRTC boss Taimur

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday approved pressing charges against former BRTC chairman Taimur Alam Khandaker in connection with two bribe cases.

Ostrich dies at Dhaka Zoo

The female out of the lone pair of ostriches at Dhaka National Zoo died yesterday, after suffering from an “unknown disease" for seven days.

Abdus Salam Pintu held again

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) last night arrested former deputy education minister Abdus Salam Pintu at his wife's residence in Motijheel.

HC stays case against Ctg mayor

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed proceedings of the Bijoy TV scam case against detained Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury and chief executive officer (CEO) of the company.

Suicide attack kills 8 in Pak mosque

A suicide attacker blew himself up at a Shia Muslim mosque in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar yesterday, killing at least eight people and wounding 20 others, officials said.

US pushes China on new Iran resolution

A top US diplomat urged China yesterday to back a new UN resolution against Iran over its nuclear programme, as Tehran's top atomic negotiator arrived in Beijing to lobby against such a move.

Editorial

Food issues

The government has tried a raft of measures, literally exhausting all conceivable options to bring down the price of rice that spiralled out of affordability of com-mon man. Even the open market sale (OMS) by the government has not reduced the price line significantly. Now the joint forces are planning for a market monitoring exercise from tomorrow that would include scrutinising the purchase and sale receipts at the wholesalers' and retailers' levels.

Dialogue between government and parties

It is certainly heartening for the nation to know that the caretaker government means to initiate a process of dialogue with the political parties. Considering the stalemate that has existed regarding contact between the government and the politicians since the imposition of a state of emergency a year ago, reports about a planned dialogue can only add to our overall optimism about a quick return to democratic, elected government in the country.

Our restless republic

It has been said many times in many ways. We are a nation of fickle minds, which are as quick to remember as to forget. A few weeks ago there was uproar over the sending of our priceless artefacts to a private museum in France. Before that, we were wildly ecstatic over the demolition of a high-rise building. We are also a nation that was once terribly shocked by the scandalous appointment of a fake as High Court judge. But then something happened, and we forgot. We lose interest in the bygones as fast as boys grow tired of toys.

Consensus government

The February 18 elections held under the aegis of the present caretaker government (and that of the present Election Commission (EC)) will be disputed as "rigged." Taking the very unlikely scenario that PML (Q) does not win a single seat, even then neither PPP nor PML (N) can reach the magic 137 number for an outright majority of the 272 NA seats on offer. With Asif Zardari claiming 2/3rds for PPP (more than 181 seats), and the PML (N) claiming a simple majority (137 seats), post-elections confrontation is guaranteed. Given the remote chance that the February 18 elections are really free and fair, it will not only be an exercise in futility, but also an invitation to anarchy. The results will not be acceptable to anyone but the winner, and falling short of a majority even the winner will cry "foul." What we have is a no-win situation!

Japan's war mission gets a controversial boost

Article 9 of the Japanese constitution is seen by many around the world as a worthy example that nations should try to follow if their real desire is to turn the world into a place without war and self-destruction. The present Japanese constitution, that came into effect in 1948, is the only one in the world that renounces war as a sovereign right of a nation, and rejects the right of belligerency of the state.

Sports

Players breathe easy

Cricket players from across the country breathed a collective sigh of relief after Brothers Union's case withdrawal, meaning that local cricket in Dhaka will go ahead as planned.

Tough draw for Bangladesh

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) released Bangladesh's international football schedule for national and club teams for the early part of 2008.

Booters threaten to boycott all competitions

The top footballers of the country once again threatened to take the streets in demand of playing.

India in command

India captain Anil Kumble claimed his 600th Test wicket but it was his unheralded pace attack that left the tourists in control of the third Test against Australia at the WACA on Thursday.

Baghdatis edges a thriller

Roger Federer stretched his unbeaten run to 16 matches at the Australian Open but his efforts were almost overshadowed by 2006 finalist Marcos Baghdatis beating Marat Safin in a five-set thriller.

Kumble, the 3rd 600-man

India captain Anil Kumble became just the third bowler in Test history to claim 600 wickets on the second day of the third Test at the WACA here Thursday.

Youngmen's get 1st win

Youngmen's Club registered their first win in two matches when the Fakirerpool outfit blanked Mohakhali XI 2-0 in yesterday's Senior Division Football league at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur.

Fine start for Ansar, Abahani and Ispahani

Ansar & VDP, Abahani and Ispahani Sporting Club won their respective opening day matches of the Parachute Women's Open Cricket Tournament yesterday.

Nat'l gymnastics from tomorrow

The 30th National Senior and 19th National Junior Gymnastics Championships will begin tomorrow at the NSC Gymnasium.

BDNews, Inqilab in quarters

The Daily Star's hopes to win a quarterfinal berth was dashed when Inqilab emerged Group G champions with a five-wicket win over Ittefaq in yesterday's Pepsi Media Cricket Tournament organised by BSJA.

Awesome Ana

Serbian fourth seed Ana Ivanovic produced an electrifying display to reach the Australian Open third round Thursday as fellow contenders Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova battled through.

Mallorca dump Real

Spanish champions Real Madrid's hopes of a treble this season were shattered on Wednesday as Real Mallorca gained a shock 1-0 win at the Bernabeu to secure a 3-1 win on aggregate in their last 16 Kings Cup clash and inflict the hosts first home defeat of the season.

Rino blasts Domenech

Italy's hardman midfielder Gennaro Gattuso launched a scathing attack on France coach Raymond Domenech in an interview with Sky Sport TV on Wednesday.

Magpies get Keegan back

Kevin Keegan on Thursday insisted he could play the Messiah one more time at Newcastle after making a shock return to the manager's chair at St James' Park.

Elano earns City win

Newcastle United marked the arrival of Kevin Keegan as their new manager with a thumping 4-1 win over Championship (second division) Stoke City in an FA Cup third round replay at St James' Park on Wednesday.

Milan crash out

European champions AC Milan went out of the Italian Cup on Wednesday after being held 1-1 at Catania, while holders AS Roma crushed Torino 4-0 to reach the quarterfinals.

Kahn bemused by Lehmann

Jens Lehmann's decision to stay as second choice 'keeper with Arsenal and not accept the chance of playing for Borussia Dortmund's first team is bizarre admitted his former bitter rival Oliver Kahn on Wednesday.

Pompey rope in Diarra

Midfielder Lassana Diarra joined Portsmouth from Premier League leaders Arsenal on Thursday in a bid for regular football and a place in France's Euro 2008 squad.

One-way journey for Polly

Shaun Pollock said he didn't want his final round of international matches to be a "Polly parade" but it is inevitable that South Africa's star all-rounder will be feted as he makes his last appearances at the country's major grounds during a five-match one-day international series against the West Indies which starts at Centurion Sunday.

Mobil ITF tennis ready to roll

The first round of the Mobil ITF Asian 14/U Championships, organised by Bangladesh Tennis Federation (BTF), begins tomorrow at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna.

Army, Navy to battle in final

Bangladesh Army beat Bangladesh Navy 24-26, 18-25, 25-17, 25-14, 25-12 in the last league match of the President Cup Super Four volleyball tournament at the Dhaka Volleyball Stadium yesterday.

School kabaddi gets under way

Ansar and VDP High School got off to a solid start in the Dhaka Deputy Commissioner's School kabaddi competition beating Brahmanchiron School 44-15 at the Outer Stadium kabaddi court yesterday.

Saif, Shiblu end level

Abdullah Al Saif and Mosabbir Khan Shiblu both drew their ninth and final round matches of the 28th National Sub-junior Chess Championship yesterday to finish level on 7.5 points yesterday.

Humayun acting president of MSC

The executive committee of Mohammedan Sporting Club has unanimously selected senior vice-president Mohammed Humayun as the club's acting president.

Zia win again

Ziaur Rahman defeated India's Bitan Bannerjee in the seventh round of the Sixth Parsvnath Open International Chess Tournament in Delhi yesterday to lead the pack of Bangladeshis with six points.

Zimbabwe look forward

Zimbabwe cricket coach Robin Brown said he was confident his team will reclaim its suspended Test status despite crashing to an innings loss against Pakistan's Patron's XI here on Thursday.

Today could be the day

This Test began with Australia chasing history, and India, at least in the eyes of cricket fans, looking to chase away the ghosts. They last played a Test here 15 years ago and, though the only survivor from that team would have carried happy personal memories, even he would not have forgotten the ignominy of the final innings when ten wickets fell for 59 runs. This Test has not been won or lost yet but, incredibly, it is now Australia who have to chase their worthy opponents.

Palash Gold Cup

Gabtoli beat Nawabganj 3-1 in the Palash Gold Cup football competition held at SM Pilot High School ground yesterday.

Sisters win fashion stakes

After stunning the tennis world with their dramatic on-court comebacks last year, the Williams sisters are now dominating the fashion stakes at this year's Australian Open.

Owen problem for Keegan

Michael Owen may have marked Kevin Keegan's return to Newcastle with his first goal for the club since October 7, but handling the England striker looks like presenting the new manager with his first big test.

Le Mans scalp Lyon

Japan midfielder Daisuke Matsui booked Le Mans's spot in the French League Cup semifinal on Wednesday with a 1-0 win at home against Lyon in what was sweet revenge for their demise to the same opponents in last season's last four clash.

Cahill to play qualifiers

Everton midfielder Tim Cahill says he will return to Australia for next month's opening World Cup qualifier against Qatar if wanted by new national team coach Pim Verbeek.

A violent gesture

The Serbian Orthodox Church in the southern Croatian town of Split said Wednesday it received a letter purporting to be from fans of Croatian First Division side Hajduk Split threatening ethnic Serbs and Jews with 'extermination.'

Greek fan stabbed

A Greek football fan was stabbed to death and another seriously wounded in clashes between rivals fans here late Wednesday, police said.

Business

DSE turnover hits Tk311cr on record Jamuna, Meghna trade

Record trading in Jamuna Oil and Meghna Petroleum shares pushed the turnover on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) to its second highest level at Tk 311 crore yesterday.

'Operating Lease' needed for small firms to grow

Introduction of a new lease-financing product called 'Operating Lease' can be an effective way for small firms to operate businesses, says Sudhir P. Amembal, an expert.

Developers urged to build affordable homes

The 'REHAB Fair, Chittagong 2008', began here yesterday with a promise to offer affordable housing for all.

More independent directors for SoEs sought

Appointment of more independent directors in State owned Enterprises (SoEs) and enhancement of their remuneration in both private and public organisations will bring more dynamism in practice of corporate governance in the country, experts opined this at a seminar yesterday.

Aziz refuses to accept lack of confidence among businesses

Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam has refused to accept that the business community still suffers from lack of confidence to the detriment of economy.

Call centres can disseminate info on farm product prices

Agriculture Adviser CS Karim yesterday said establishment of call centres at grass roots levels will help farmers get information on prices of their produces.

Western backers disillusioned with ADB

Major donor nations to the Asian Development Bank are demanding the Manila-based lender overhaul its operations amid growing disillusionment with the bank's slow pace of reform, a report said Thursday.

Delhi to ease non-tariff barriers to boost Safta trade

India will address the concerns of its Saarc neighbours over non-tariff trade barriers before March this year when commerce ministers of the member-countries meet in New Delhi.

Vietnam may lure $20b FDI this year

Vietnam, though targeting foreign direct investment (FDI) of only 14-15 billion US dollars in 2008, is much likely to attract FDI of more than 20 billion dollars this year like it did last year, according to local newspaper Vietnam Economic Times Thursday.

Beijing intervenes to curb price rises

The Chinese government has started to temporarily intervene in the market to control the prices of a range of daily necessities such as grain and meat, and rein in inflationary pressure.

Gold prices set for $1,000 in 2008

Gold prices could hit 1,000 dollars an ounce in 2008 after this week's record-breaking run that was fuelled by fierce investment demand, precious metals consultancy GFMS said Thursday.

Financial assistance sought for women entrepreneurs

Women entrepreneurs yesterday urged the government and non-government organistions to give financial assistance to women involved in small and medium enterprises at district levels.

Warid offers bonus on scratch card recharge

Warid Telecom has introduced bonus offer for its prepaid Zem subscribers on scratch card recharge, says a press release.

Mesbahuddin takes over as MD of PKSF

Dr Quazi Mesbahuddin Ahmed, former member of General Economics Division of the Bangladesh Planning Commission, has been appointed managing director of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), says a press release.

Mithun Knitting declares 10pc dividend

Mithun Knitting and Dyeing (CEPZ) Ltd has declared a 10 percent dividend for its shareholders for the year that ended on June 30, 2007.

Promo for new dish at Sonargaon hotel

Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel has launched a weeklong promotion of a new dish 'fondue' for food lovers, according to a press release.

Malaysia's growth to slow in '08

Malaysia's economic growth is expected to slow to 5.4 percent this year from 6.1 percent in 2007, and could drop as low as 4.0 percent if the US is hit with a recession, forecasters said Thursday.

Metropolitan

Govt to announce women dev policy soon

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said his government would soon be able to announce a women development policy to ensure equality of men and women in society.

'Bangladesher Muktijudhha' launched

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday launched a book titled 'Bangladesher Muktijudhha' published by Bangladesh Army, chronicling the events of the War of Liberation.

Vocational edn in madrasa can curb militancy

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said vocational education should be included in madrasa curricula with a view to curbing militancy.

Indo-Bangla border talks begin Sunday

A three-day deputy director general level border conference between the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and the Border Security Forces (BSF) of India will begin in Bogra on Sunday.

Arrest warrants against ex-AL lawmaker Helaluddin, his wife

A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against former Awami League lawmaker Sheikh Helalauddin and his wife Rupa Chowdhury in connection with a case filed for submitting false wealth statements and amassing huge assets through illegal means.

Road crashes kill nine

Nine people were killed and 82 others injured in separate road accidents in Bogra, Bagerhat, Satkhira and Sirajganj yesterday

Army officers donate Tk 25 lakh to CA's relief fund

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday handed over a cheque for Tk 24.28 lakh to Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed for the CA’s Relief and Welfare Fund to help the Sidr victims.

‘Vote for Cox's Bazar and Sundarbans’

It was a different scene on the campus of Dhaka University yesterday.

Concern over labour unrest in RMG sector

Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (Skop) and Sramik Nirapatta Forum (SNF) yesterday expressed grave concern over the labour unrest in garment factories at Mirpur in the city and called on the government to take necessary steps to address this issue.

3 arrested with 369 sacks of adulterated fertiliser

The task force members recovered 369 sacks of adulterated TSP fertiliser from Shyamnagar upazila of the district in the last two days.

Jute workers demonstrate in Khulna

Over 5,000 casual workers of six state-owned jute mills of Khulna-Jessore industrial belt put up barricades on BIDC road at Khalishpur to press home their five-point demand.

GBA to set up English medium school in Bogra

A group of expatriates are setting up an English medium school in Bogra with a focus on socially and economically disadvantaged students.

Mob beats one to death

A mob beat a man to death after he allegedly entered the Mymensingh Medical College hostel campus to commit theft yesterday.

21 shops gutted in Sylhet fire

Twenty-one shops were gutted in a fire at a market at Bateshwar on the Sylhet-Tamabil Road yesterday.

Orientation programme held at NSU

The spring semester 2008 orientation ceremony of the newly enrolled undergraduate students of BBA programme of North South University (NSU) was held yesterday at NSU campus, says a press release.

Lindau meetings of Nobel laureates

The 58th meeting of Nobel laureates (dedicated to physics) with the young scientists will be held from June 29 to July 4 and the 3rd Meeting in Economic Sciences from August 20 to 23 at Lindau in Germany, says a press release.

Expats in UAE donate Tk 1.24cr for Sidr victims

Bangladeshi expatriates in the United Arab Emirates have donated Tk 1.24 crore to the Chief Adviser's Relief and Welfare Fund in aid of the cyclone Sidr survivors.

British Council to launch 'Connecting Classrooms'

British Council will launch a new project titled 'Connecting Classrooms' on January 23 linking schools between the UK and Bangladesh.

US mission to remain closed on Jan 20

The American embassy including the consul section and the public affairs section with the Archer K Blood American Center Library and the Student Advising Center will remain closed on January 20, on the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, said a press release.

Admiral Willard reaffirms US support for Dhaka

Visiting US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Robert F Willard has reaffirmed US support for Bangladesh in the wake of cyclone Sidr.

BCS '84 batch reunion Jan 21

A reunion of the BCS 1984 batch will be held at the Biam auditorium at 7:00pm on January 21, marking the completion of 22 years of the batch.

Theatre Festival begins today

A six-day Theatre Festival 2008 will begin at the Mahila Samity Auditorium in the city today, says a press release.

Letters

Anti-thesis of democracy

Democracy was not invented by the Americans or by the British or by the Arabs. Democracy was invented by the ancient Greeks who believed that ordinary people should have a say in the government and aristocrats and oligarchs should not be allowed to dominate them by virtue of their birth. Athenians invented democracy: a beautiful idea of government by and for the people. But like all the beautiful ideas, democracy has some apparent contradictions and the most seductive one is majority rule, and this is not democracy. It is merely a government by and for the majority. Ancient Athenians learned this lesson the hard way. After several bouts of class warfare, they took practical steps to make government involve all citizens and serve the general interest.

Election

There is a lot of hue and cry about re-drawing the territories of the constituencies for election. Although I feel it should be done but this will also take time. It may not be complete in such a short time.

Abolish BCS quota

It has been learned from your paper (07.01.08) that the quota system in recruitment of cadre services will remain unchanged. It is frustrating news for the nation. A nation cannot be developed neglecting the meritorious. As a developing nation, brain drain is eating into the vitals of the nation for which the quota system is one of the main reasons. A number of changes in the selection system for the BCS exams are under process, which is definitely appreciable.

Law enforcers and the law

I was walking today (10/1/08) close to Aarong and Manik Mia Avenue where I saw a shinny looking blue Nissan Patrol stationed next to the road where it read in bright colours 'no parking.' I was mildly amused and was thinking who is this 'rich guy having no civic sense.' To top it off, there was parking space available next to the car. I took interest and peeked in to see that it was none other than a Rab's car where a young adult and a little girl were seated. Without paying much attention, I moved to a close-by house and ran my errands and returned after around 25 minutes and saw that the Nissan Patrol was still resolutely standing in the same position, whereas there were three parkings open where the driver could have easily pulled into. The young adult and child were not there and I could easily put two and two together and realized that the 'official car' was being used for shopping at Aarong or a mall close it. This practice is common in Bangladesh and most people abuse the system and no pointing fingers at this wrong deed are ever labelled at anyone. This sorry state of affairs needs to change, however.

Why at taxpayers' cost?

I find it amazing that Sheikh Hasina and/or Khaleda Zia would consider going abroad for medical treatment and, worse still, there is an expectation that the hard working Bangladeshi tax payers should be bearing the cost of their treatment. What should warrant such preferential treatment? Are they of a higher caste than other good hardworking Bangladeshis who are trying hard to live an honest life?

“Bottomless basket”

The infamous Mr. Henry Kissinger was the foreign secretary of another infamous and disgraced ex-President of the USA Mr. Nixon. Mr. Kissinger was known for his notorious foreign policies and as the architect of heinous plots aiming to eliminate popular leaders of other countries in the world, albeit not compatible with so-called “American interest” and or to terminate popular struggles for independence by the nations who upheld socialist values. No wonder, he despised the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 that he considered as distraction to his top secret China venture and as a result not only under his advice America vetoed UNSC resolutions to stop the Pakistan army junta from continuing the genocide in Bangladesh but also Sheikh Mujib found his place in Kissinger's list of the top three most hated leaders in the then world.

Handloom industry

Handloom industry at Ishwardi in Pabna is on the verge of extinction due to handloom owners' economic crisis, shortage of capital and , above all, price hike of raw materials etc.

Statues and humans!

When the statues of our National Museum were being sent to France for exhibition, there were strong protests by some cultural activists and newsmen which impressed many. My point is that how they were sure that those materials would not be returned? What pains us is that when thousands of innocent children and women were smuggled out (possibly still being smuggled) like commodities, there was no significant protest (at least not noticeable).

Cyclone Sidr

I was very glad to read a letter on the above subject in The Daily Star issue of the 7th instant which was written by one of my revered teachers, Prof. Abul Khairat Majumdar (former Professor of Soil Science of Bangladesh Agricultural Institute, now Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University).

HR situation

The number of deaths of people is not, in my experience, a good indicator of HR situation in a country like Bangladesh. For example, just a few weeks back there was a mega cyclone. Nature has taken thousands of lives. I refer to the compensating effect that a famous economist once mentioned in his theory of economics. Those who have studied economics know it well.

Release of university teachers

For the last few days, Dhaka University teachers and students are staging silent processions, manab-bandhan (human chain), abstention from classes etc. in protest of trial of teachers and students who reportedly incited countrywide violence. They are also demanding unconditional release of teachers & students who were reportedly involved in the incitement.

CI sheet price

Entrepreneurs take industrial ventures when on analysis it appears profitable. The same factors influenced a few industrialists in Bangladesh in the late 90s and early 2000s. They analysed the then fiscal policy of the government and found that it would be profitable to set up and operate Cold Rolling Mills (CRM) to produce Cold Rolled (CR) Coils. The galvanizing factories in Bangladesh then imported CR Coils from abroad to produce Corrugated Iron (CI) sheets and Galvanized Plain (GP) sheets. The duty structure on import of Hot Rolled (HR) Coils, basic raw material to produce CR Coils was low. Only 5% customs duty, 4% DSC, 3% AIT and 1% PSC were imposed on HR Coil import. Encouraged by these fiscal policy, a few reputed industrialists over here established some sophisticated large industrial projects, viz. Cold Rolling Mills (CRM) from 1997 to 2003. Total achievable production of these CRMs stood at 7.5 hundred thousand metric tons. In 2003 the total demand of CR Coils was estimated at 6 hundred thousand metric tons. Before setting up of CRMs in Bangladesh, all the CR Coils were imported from abroad. When the country achieved self-sufficiency in producing CR Coils, the government started to increase customs duty from 5% to 7.5% then 10% there after 15% on import of HR Coils. In addition to that the government imposed 15% VAT on import of HR Coils. On the other hand, the basic prices of HR Coils have increased many folds in international market within a couple of years. All these factors increased the cost of production of CR Coils. As a result, the cost of production of end product, Corrugated Iron (CI) sheets and Galvanized Plain (GP) sheets crossed the purchasing power of the most consumers. It is estimated that annual demand of CI sheets and GP sheets has gone down to 3 hundred thousand metric tons owing to abnormally high prices. To bring down the price to a significant level, the duty structure on import of HR Coils needs to be re-fixed at 5% and VAT needs to be withdrawn as those were before 5-6 years.

Looking back and forth

On 11th January, our present government finished one year in office during which they have tried, and been trying, their level best to give us a corruption free country and true and fair election scheduled to be staged at the end of this year. Prior to Fakhruddin-led government's undertaking, our political situation was potentially turning towards a civil war . And the Iajuddin-led first interim government was acting as a puppet of Khaleda Zia whose main intention was to ascend the throne by whatever means, and her subjects were working according to her plan.

The nation

Our motherland is the only country in the world, which fought to save its language, and the Language Movement in 1952 brought “Bangla Bhasha” for us, then the 1971 war gave us full freedom as a sovereign country.

International

Lanka bombs hideout of Tiger leadership

Sri Lanka's military said yesterday its war planes had Thursday "completely destroyed" a hideout where Tamil Tiger leaders were meeting, a day after its truce with the rebels officially ended.

Effectiveness of Iran sanctions in doubt

The US administration on Wednesday faced calls for a broad review of sanctions it has imposed on Iran over the last two decades, after a congressional audit questioned their impact.

US congress calls for shift in US policy towards Pakistan

The US Congress on Wednesday passed its first 2008 legislation by condemning the murder of Pakistan's ex-premier Benazir Bhutto amid a call for a shift in US policy towards Islamabad.

UN blasts 'indiscriminate' attacks in Lanka

UN chief Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the "indiscriminate attacks" which left dozens of people dead or injured in southern Sri Lanka and urged the rival sides to strive for a peaceful negotiated settlement.

Kenya police kill 7 on 2nd day of clashes

Seven demonstrators were killed in Nairobi slums yesterday in the second day of protests against the re-election of President Mwai Kibaki, opposition leader Raila Odinga said.

India says bird flu spreading

India said yesterday an outbreak of bird flu was spreading in the east of the country, with the World Health Organisation warning the situation was serious.

Israel tests ballistic missile successfully

Israel successfully test-fired a ballistic missile yesterday, army radio said, two days after warning that all options were on the table to prevent archfoe Iran from obtaining atomic weapons.

UN chief lauds reduction in Iraq attacks

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday welcomed the reduction in attacks across Iraq and called for similar improvements in the political arena.

Machines keep Suharto alive

Former Indonesian dictator Suharto's care during his two-week hospitalisation has sparked quiet debate on end-of-life issues in this predominantly Muslim nation.

US ex-congressman indicted in terror funding case

A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted a former US lawmaker for his links to a charity that sent funds to an Afghanistan-based supporter of al-Qaeda through banks in Pakistan.

Arts & Entertainment

Selim Al Deen: A legend

January 14 evening: A news that sent a wave of shock among the people -- the untimely demise of Selim Al Deen, a legendary dramatist in the post-colonial Bangla literature. He passed away at the age of 59; many believe he could contribute more.

Poignancy and philosophy from a prince of paints

Monirul Islam, who was here on a visit to Bangladesh from Spain, recently received an award from Prothom Alo to add to his nonpareil local and international feats. Gentle, yet outspoken he speaks without pause over coffee at his residence in Dhanmandi.

grameenphone Zainul-Quamrul International Children's Painting Competition-'07

The prize giving ceremony of “grameenphone Zainul-Quamrul International Children's Painting Competition-2007” was held at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on January 16. Gandaria Kisholoy Kochi-Kachar Mela arranged the competition, which started from June 12, 2007.

Unsatisfactory turnout: Observations by local participants

A total of nine Bangladeshi movies have participated at the 10th Dhaka International Film Festival. Four Bangladeshi movies -- Ghani directed by Kazi Morshed, Rupkathar Galpo directed by Tauquir Ahmed, Mad_e in Bangladesh directed by Mostafa Sarwar Farooki and Nacholer Rani directed by Wahiduzzaman Diamond -- were screened in the 'Australasian Competition' section. Four were screened in the 'Bangladesh Panorama' section. The films are: Ontorjatra directed by Tareque Masud, Rani Kuthir Baki Itihash by Samia Zaman, Ek Khando Jomi by Shahjahan Chowdhury and Shyamal Chhaya by Humayun Ahmed. Moreover, Badal Rahman's movie Emile-er Goenda Bahini will be screened today at the 'Children Film' section.

Manik Bandyopadhyay's “Putul Naacher Itikotha” on ATN Bangla

Putul Naacher Itikotha, a TV adaptation of the renowned novel by Manik Bandyopadhyay, will be aired tonight on ATN Bangla at 8 pm. The play is directed by Fuad Chowdhury.

Tania to become a radio jockey for a day

Popular actress Tania Ahmed will be a radio jockey for a day on Radio Foorti, says a press release.

OP-ED

Country expects immediate release of DU detainees

According to their decision on January 15, with full support of general students, regarding the release of teachers and students in connection with violating Emergency Power Rules (EPR) on August 20-22, 2007, Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) decided not to hold any admission tests at the University until all the arrested Dhaka University (DU) teachers and students were freed. Two of the four admission tests for nine DU faculties have been held, while two admission tests of Kha and Gha units are scheduled for February 1 and 8, 2008.

Management control in multinational firms

Generally, management control is defined as the process by which managers ensure that resources are obtained and used effectively in the accomplishment of the organisation's objectives. It has three key elements, (a) it is carried out by managers, (b) it takes place in the context of objectives and policies that have been arrived at in the strategic planning process, and (c) the criteria for judging the actions taken in this process are effectiveness and efficiency.

Middle East peace

There appears to be a green signal at the end of the tunnel as President George W. Bush calls for an end to Israel's 41 years occupation of Palestinian lands and states a commitment to forge a peace agreement before the end of his term in office, which expires in January, 2009. The announcement came when President Bush, the first American president to visit Ramallah, went to the headquarters of the Palestinian authority on January 9.

Urban

Hospitals must be in good health

It is not uncommon in this city and elsewhere across the country to find agitated people vandalising a hospital premises following the death of a near and dear one. The feeling they got from the time they brought their patient to the hospital was one of inattention and callousness.

Sick hospitals of Dhaka city

Hospitals are places where people come to recover from serious illnesses. The patients' physical and visual environment has a direct relationship with the architecture of the building. So, the environment of hospitals should be of high quality to accelerate the recovery rate of patients.



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