The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 13th of February, 2008

Front Page

Another Titas tycoon tracked down

A former deputy manager of Titas Gas owns wealth worth over Tk 100 crore, including multi-storey buildings, import and food-manufacturing businesses, about 150 kathas of land, three luxury cars and bank balance of over Tk 10 crore, a task force investigation found.

Fresh probe ordered to find real culprits

A Chittagong court for the second time ordered further investigation into the cases filed in connection with the haul of 10 truckloads of deadly weapons and huge quantity of ammunition at Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Ltd jetty on April 2, 2004 to find out the real culprits.

Hasina verdict not stayed by SC

The Appellate Division yesterday did not stay the landmark High Court verdict that declared illegal bringing the Tk 2.99 crore extortion case against former premier Sheikh Hasina under Emergency Power Rules (EPR) and also scrapped the case.

Contract signed to purchase 5 lakh MT rice from India

The government yesterday signed a contract with India to buy 5 lakh tonnes of rice hours after it approved a proposal to that end.

EC gets it out from law ministry

Annoyed by the law ministry's delay in returning to the Election Commission (EC) the vetted draft electoral rolls rules, two of the commissioners yesterday rushed to the ministry and forced the officials there to release the file.

Sheikh Helal gets 7yrs for extorting Tk 1cr

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced former Awami League lawmaker Sheikh Helaluddin and his aide Munshi Saiduzzaman to seven years' rigorous imprisonment for extorting Tk 1.02 crore from a construction firm owner.

Trains ordered to cut down speed

In just 10 years after the completion of the construction work of the Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge, numerous cracks and other defects on it have put train services including the long-awaited Dhaka-Kolkata service over it in limbo.

Army to play important role in holding fair polls

Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said the armed forces will play an important role in fulfilling the caretaker government's commitment to hold a free, fair and credible election within the shortest possible time.

Indian consumer body asks for Biman penalty

Delhi State Consumer Commission has asked Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd to pay Rs 4.5 lakh to 12 of its passengers for cancelling their seats back in 2004.

ADB for hike in oil, gas prices

Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday reiterated the need for raising gas and oil prices and making the subsidy policy in this sector transparent.

SC upholds HC bail for Dr Toufiq

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday upheld the High Court's (HC) interim bail order for detained former power and energy secretary Dr Toufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury in a Tk 3 crore barge-mount graft case in which detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and six others are also accused.

AL, Samyabadi Dal for dialogue at the earliest

Awami League (AL) and Samyabadi Dal, allies in 14-party coalition, yesterday decided to help the caretaker government to hand over state power to an elected government through holding of the stalled 9th parliamentary election in line with the electoral roadmap announced by the Election Commission.

CA writes to G8 leaders for removing trade barriers

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday wrote a letter to all leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) on behalf of developing countries, urging the most powerful nations to commit to removing trade barriers to allow access of all products from poorer countries.

Hannan Shah freed on bail

Brig (retd) Hannan Shah, adviser to former prime minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, was released from Narayanganj jail on bail last night following a High Court order.

Chittagong cops confess to robbery

An assistant commissioner of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) and his two subordinates, who are on a two-day police remand for robbery, confessed to the crime yesterday.

Sustainable democracy ultimate goal of govt

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the ultimate goal of the caretaker government is to lay a sustainable foundation for democracy to flourish in the country.

Mahbub says they had to sign ready resolution

BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mahbubuddin Ahmad yesterday said they had to sign a "prepared resolution" with a "special context" in the October 29 meeting at Saifur Rahman's Gulshan residence.

Arms, ammo seized from criminals' dens in CHT

Security forces in two separate raids yesterday recovered large number of firearms and ammunition and destroyed two dens of criminals at Mohalchhari and Dighinala upazilas of Khagrachhari.

Businessman shot dead in city

A businessman shot at East Kazipara in city's Kafrul area yesterday morning succumbed to his injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) in the evening.

18 trafficked Bangladeshis return home

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) handed over 18 Bangladeshi men, women and children, who were trafficked to India two years ago, to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) at Benapole checkpost yesterday evening.

Extortion charges framed against Khulna mayor

A Khulna court yesterday framed charges in one of the nine extortion cases against detained Khulna City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman.

Pak envoy to Kabul, nuke experts kidnapped

Pakistani authorities searched for the country's abducted ambassador to Afghanistan and two kidnapped nuclear experts on Tuesday as insecurity mounted ahead of crucial elections next week.

Fresh fighting kills 42 Tigers, 11 soldiers

Tamil Tiger rebels shelled a key military base in northern Sri Lanka yesterday, officials said, as the defence ministry said dozens of rebels were killed in new fighting.

US charges 6 for roles in Sept 11 attacks

The Pentagon has charged six detainees at Guantanamo Bay with murder and war crimes in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks. Officials said Monday they'll seek the death penalty in what would be the first capital trials under the terrorism-era military tribunal system.

Editorial

Dealing with housing corruption

The National Coordination Committee on combating corruption and serious crimes has been doing an appreciable job in dealing with institutionalised corruption. Its efforts to track down wrongdoing in such organisations as Rajuk and Titas Gas have been welcomed all over the country. It then follows that it is now time for the National Housing Authority to be taken to task. That much becomes clear in light of the inquiries already made by the task force of the NCC. What the inquiries have revealed is staggering, and naturally too given the fact that individuals as young as two-year old children have become the proud owners of residential plots. Such dismal realities only hold up yet once more the degree of corruption that has for years undermined the integrity of institutions, to a point where the nation as a whole now faces the uphill task of clawing back to a semblance of order.

Simple rules to keep bird flu at bay

The bottomline about containing the spread of bird-flu is three-fold. One, we handle the affected poultry with gloves and masks; two, we dispose of the feathers, skin and droppings of fowls and their innards by dumping them five feet below the surface; and three, ensure cleanliness of the poultry markets.

The loves and dislikes of America's media

The American media appear to have developed a terrific fascination for Barack Obama. That, in a way, is quite all right. After all, the senator from Illinois is a fascinating figure. He does not deliver a speech. He goes into soaring oratory every time he speaks. And he writes with fantastic skill, as his books have so clearly shown.

Suicide bombers: Why do they do it?

Why do certain individuals become suicide bombers? Experts say that when people think living or dying makes no difference in their situation, as they have been pushed to the wall, they act as suicide bombers.

The perils of passion

Once upon a time there was a primary election, and it was good. Excellent, even. Millions of voters went to the polls, and millions watched televised debates, even though it seemed as though there were millions of debates. Young people awoke from what had been a long and completely understandable somnolence, and older people got a second wind, and people who had felt disenfranchised felt franchised. All the old saws about American apathy had to be packed up and put away.

Sports

No Test down under

Bangladesh cricket team will not play any Test match during their second trip to Australia in August-September this year as Cricket Australia (CA) announced a schedule of only three one-day internationals.

Riding a strange camel!

Poet Shamsur Rahman once wrote that 'the country riding a peculiar camel.' Had he been still alive the witty poet after watching the state of affairs of the ever-declining game of the country might have tempted to write 'our football is saddled on a strange camel'.

Munna remembered silently

As the change of wind in the late winter announces the arrival of spring, another year enters its last season, reminding that it was the time the country had lost a great footballer.

T20 League's dates unveiled

Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) released the fixtures of the Premier Division Twnety20 League with defending champions Mohammedan Sporting Club taking on BKSP in one of the six opening day matches at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium tomorrow.

Lanka lash India

Sri Lanka hammered India by eight wickets on Tuesday to revive their hopes in the rain-hit tri-series.

Kiwis trounce England

A dominant batting performance by openers Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder powered New Zealand to a 10-wicket win over England in the second one-day cricket international here Tuesday.

Indo-Bangla Games briefs

The first Twenty20 cricket match of the Indo-Bangladesh Bangla Games between hosts BCB Academy and West Bengal Under-22 team of India will be held on February 23 at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra.

MSC introduce Ashraful as captain

Mohammad Ashraful was introduced as Mohammedan Sporting Club's captain for the coming season when the traditional club announced their cricket committee yesterday.

Elliott quits

Former Test opener Matthew Elliott Tuesday announced his immediate retirement from cricket in Australia.

Gunners extend lead

Arsenal moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League as goals from Philippe Senderos and Emmanuel Adebayor secured a 2-0 win over Blackburn on Monday.

Milan eyeing UCL spot

AC Milan will move into the coveted fourth spot and a Champions League qualification place if they beat Livorno at home on Wednesday in the last of their games in hand on rivals.

Ramos faces key test

Juande Ramos faces a key test of his ambitious plans for Tottenham as his side are one of five British clubs competing in the UEFA Cup round of 32 first leg midweek clashes.

Arsene warns Man Utd

Arsene Wenger has warned Manchester United that Arsenal won't be affected by the pressure of leading from the front in the Premier League title race.

World's fastest swimsuit

Australian world champions Grant Hackett and Leisel Jones unveiled here Tuesday the new space-age swimwear they will compete in at the Beijing Olympics later this year.

Totti alleges Inter bias

Roma captain and talisman Francesco Totti claimed on Monday that league leaders Inter Milan are consistently benefiting from some dubious refereeing decisions.

Giggs fears more slip-up

Ryan Giggs has warned his Manchester United teammates that one more slip-up could hand the Premier League title to Arsenal.

Robinho may miss Roma tie

Real Madrid's Brazilian striker Robinho is in doubt for their Champions League tie at AS Roma next week after tearing a muscle in his abdomen, the Spanish club confirmed on Monday.

Pfister to remain with Lions

Cameroon coach Otto Pfister has confirmed he will remain with the Indomitable Lions and is focusing on qualification for the 2010 World Cup finals.

Golfing in the Gulf

Tiger Wood's breathtaking win in the Dubai Desert Classic last week has further sealed the emirate's position at the hub of world golf's rapidly-changing landscape.

Business loving it

Millions of cricket-mad Asians are following the game over the internet through computers and mobile phones and big business loves it.

Muslim to play Aussie cricket

A Pakistan-born player is in line to become the first Muslim to play first-class cricket in Australia when he plays for New South Wales in their top-of-the-table match with Victoria here on Friday.

Shoaib, Danish face trouble

Controversial paceman Shoaib Akhtar and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria could face disciplinary action for publicly criticising Pakistan's cricket authorities, the cricket board said Monday.

Youngmen's climb up

Youngmen's Club Fakirerpool thrashed Arambagh Krira Sangha 3-1 in a come-from behind win at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday to climb to the third place in the Senior Division Football League.

Abahani champs in Gaibandha hockey

Abahani Krira Chakra emerged champions in the Gaibandha Hockey League defeating GKSP 3-1 in the final here yesterday.

India want to play Aussies more often

India want to play top-ranked Australia more often to exploit the commercial value of the intense rivalry, a senior Indian board official said.

Business

PLCs with Tk50cr paid up capital must go for IPOs

Public limited companies (PLCs) with a paid up capital of Tk 50 crore or more, and in commercial operations for three years will have to go for initial public offerings (IPOs) within one year.

Zero tolerance to non-compliant RMG factories

Spelling out a firm stand on resolving labour unrest in the ready made garments (RMG) sector, Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said the government will show zero tolerance towards the persistent non-compliant factory owners.

Proposals to lease two jute mills to private operators turned down

The government yesterday sent back the proposals for handing over management of two state-owned jute mills to private operators on lease basis.

Businesses not equipped to analyse trade laws

The business community is unaware that existing business laws require amendments to benefit them.

Performance-based pay key to sound corporate culture

Performance-based pay structure should be introduced for employees in order to develop a sound corporate culture in the country's public and private sectors, says a management expert, AKM Shamsuddin.

Microsoft renews bid despite Yahoo rejection

Yahoo's rejection Monday of Microsoft's buyout offer sets the stage for the US software giant to up the ante or attempt a coup by ousting the Internet firm's board of directors.

Raising output only way to ensure food security

To ensure strategic food security for Bangladesh, the only way is to increase local production and fair distribution of food grain, said the food and agriculture adviser at a symposium in Dhaka yesterday.

Number of outbound workers on the rise

The number of Bangladeshi workers going abroad for employment is continuing to rise as over 65,000 left the country in January this year with government clearance.

BASIS Softexpo begins tomorrow

BASIS Softexpo-2008, the largest ICT exposition of the country, begins at Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre in Dhaka tomorrow, says a press release.

Northern chambers want elimination of business barriers

Business leaders of eight northern districts at a meeting yesterday recommended thirteen-point proposals to eliminate problems of trade and business in the region.

Oil prices ease

World oil prices fell in Asian trade Tuesday with market attention turning back to a slowing US economy, analysts said.

India to invest $2b in Lanka

India's private sector is looking at investing US$2 billion in various projects in Sri Lanka particularly in the IT and textile industrial sectors.

Senior official of TAFE in town

JS Rajkumar, vice president (Exports-Emerging Markets) of TAFE, a leading tractor maker of India, arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a three-day official visit.

GM posts biggest auto loss

General Motors Corp. reported the largest annual loss for an automotive company Tuesday and said it is making a new round of buyback offers to U.S. hourly workers as it struggles to turn around its North American business amid a weak economy.

Metropolitan

Ensure checks and balances in political system

Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said checks and balances in the political system is the core quality the country has to ensure at this phase of democratic progress.

'Make public production sharing contract model'

Expressing doubts about the transparency in recently approved Production Sharing Contract (PSC) model for offshore exploration of oil and gas, academics yesterday called on the government to make it public and consult local experts before inviting tenders from foreign companies.

Newspaper industry going thru' tough times

Senior journalists of different national and local dailies yesterday urged the government to take steps, including selling newsprint at a fair price, to save the newspaper industry which is going through tough times.

US university launches Yunus Scholarship

The City University of New York launched 'Muhammad Yunus Scholarship' programme on Monday.

President calls for upholding values of education

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday called upon the scholarly section of the society for upholding the values of education keeping national interest above everything.

Justice seeks help for treatment

Justice M Bazlur Rahman Talukdar, 71, who has fought against all kinds of injustice throughout his life, is now broke and seeking financial assistance from affluent people for his treatment.

Concern over death threat to Prof Barakat

Eminent citizens in a statement yesterday expressed grave concern over the death threat issued to economist Prof Abul Barakat of Dhaka University on February 6, says a press release.

Valuables worth Tk 10 lakh looted

Armed robbers looted cash and ornaments worth over Tk 10 lakh from the residence of a noted physician at Zakir Hossain Road in the port city yesterday morning.

Plan to ban 2-stroke vehicles in district towns, cities

The caretaker government plans to ban two-stroke vehicles in all the district headquarters and metropolitan cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to hazardous global warming.

JU permanent Shaheed Minar opens today

The first permanent Shaheed Minar at Jahangirnagar University (JU) will be inaugurated today.

NSC deputy asst engr submits wealth statement to ACC

Deputy Assistant Engineer of National Sports Council (NSC) Nurul Amin Talukder submitted his statement of wealth to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday stating that he owns over 28.12 bighas of land, two houses and three shops in and outside the city.

Road accidents kill 2

At least two people were killed and eight others injured in separate road accidents in Brahmanbaria and Chandpur yesterday.

BIWTC to construct two K-type ferries

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTC) has taken up a project of building two new K-type ferry vessels at a cost of Tk two crore during the current financial year.

Charges pressed against Mirza Abbas, Lobi

Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against detained former housing and public works minister Mirza Abbas, former BNP lawmaker Ali Asgar Lobi and a government official in a case filed against them for their alleged involvement in fraudulently allotting an industrial plot.

Hakeem takes oath as CAG

Ahmed Ataul Hakeem was sworn in as Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of Bangladesh, replacing Asif Ali.

Hannan Shah's son seeks security of father

A general diary was filed with Fatullah police on Monday night seeking security of Brigadier General (Retd) ASM Hannan Shah who was granted bail by the High Court on Sunday.

Release ailing Hasina

Acting Awami League President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged the government to release party President Sheikh Hasina immediately on humanitarian grounds, saying that her condition is deteriorating day by day.

Appeal for help

Romana Akter, a student of Master's preliminary course at Chittagong Government College, has been suffering from renal failure, says a press release.

Nazrul Sangeet Shilpi Parishad executives

Ferdousi Rahman and MA Mannan were reelected as president and general secretary of the Nazrul Sangeet Shilpi Parishad for the year 2008-10.

Ahmad Sharif's anniversary of birth today

Today is the 87th birth anniversary of Dr Ahmad Sharif, an eminent writer and scholar and former professor at Bangla department of Dhaka University, says a press release.

DU Basanta Utsab celebration begins today

Two-day Basanta Utsab celebration of Dhaka University (DU) will begin at TSC today.

7th reunion of REMIANS Feb 22

REMIANS, the ex-students of Dhaka Residential Model School and College, organise the REMIANS 7th REUNION on the college premises on February 22, says a press release.

Channel i, Katalyst sign MoU to make TV programme

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed yesterday between Channel i and Katalyst to make new television programme on business and economy, says a press release.

National

More 25,000 hectares under Boro in Sylhet

About 25,000 hectares are turning into double-crop lands in Sylhet district this year with cultivation of Irri-Boro in the current season for the first time.

29 ward commissioners''no confidence', memo for steps

Twenty-nine ward commissioners of Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) yesterday expressed 'no confidence' against SCC chief executive officer Kazi Abdul Noor for his alleged corruption and irregularities.

Trial resumes tomorrow, five accused JMB men yet to be netted

Five out of 19 charge-sheeted accused in August 17 serial blasts cases are yet to be netted though trial of the cases is expected to resume here tomorrow (February 14).

Hell befell them with change of govt

Two adjoining villages in haor areas of Karimganj and Itna upazilas in Kishoreganj could be saved if the work started by a previous government could be completed.

EU mission talks CHT issues in Rangamati

A eleven-member high profile mission of European Union (EU) now on a three-day tour of CHT visited different areas of Rangamati yesterday and talked to public representatives and officials on different issues.

Agri official held for fertiliser racket

Army on Monday night arrested three persons including a sub-assistant agriculture officer for selling fertiliser in black market.

ASI suspended for immoral act

An assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of Juri Police Station in Moulvibazar district has been suspended following allegation of illicit act with a married woman.

NID card being given in Pabna

Two hundred voters of ward No 7 of Pabna municipality area received national identity cards as the programme started in a function held at Pabna Sadar upazila auditorium at about 11:00am yesterday.

Outlaw killed in Pabna

Party rivals chopped to death an outlawed activist to death at village 'Sonakandi' in Santhia upazila under the district early yesterday.

Warrant against 5 PWs to appear before court

A court in Sylhet yesterday issued warrants against five prosecution witnesses (PW) in the case against hanged JMB chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman's wife, daughter and other accomplices, filed under the Explosives Act.

Letters

Defence against sea level rise

There seems to be no doubt that in about 50 years' time the sea level is going to rise dangerously to swamp Bangladesh, killing and displacing millions of people and cause enormous damage to the delta-land.

Soaring rice prices

In this era of globalisation, we have adopted many trade liberalisation policies and are confronting the adverse effects of skyrocketing rice prices. The recent surge in the prices of rice in Bangladesh is the result of the global price hike. It is not the domestic supply and demand of rice that is pushing the prices up, it is the global supply and demand that is affecting the prices.

Zahir Raihan

It is 36 years since the Liberation and 35 years since Zahir Raihan has been missing. Yet we still do not know if Zahir Raihan is alive or if he has left us. He disappeared on January 30 1972 when the country was completely free. So what did really happen to him? Will we ever know for certain? A few years ago, the mayor pledged to erect a monument within a year at the Kayetuli Junction in honour of Zahir Raihan. The year 2008 has arrived but the construction is yet to begin. Why is this not being taken seriously? The problem has not been identified.

Temples in Puthia

Some historically significant constructions have made Puthia a royal village in Bangladesh. It has added to the solemnity of Bengali heritage, and exhibits the brightest past of the northern outskirts of Bangladesh. Puthia, though a small village, has a place in the important pages of our history due to its amazing monuments like Govinda Temple, which was constructed between 1823 and 1895 by one of the Maharanis of the Puthia estate.

War criminals

It is a shame for us that we could not bring the war criminals to justice. The previous governments did nothing in this regard.

Passport seeker's woes

I want to focus on the dire trouble that a passport seeker like me is facing. I applied for my passport in June 2007 in the “urgent” category. But it has not been issued yet.

Local airlines

I have been an avid reader/fan of your newspaper and have been reading it regularly since its inception. This is my first ever letter to your newspaper.

Landmark judgement

Obviously, the landmark judgement given by the Hon'ble High Court on Emergency Power Rules (EPR) will go a long way to enhance the independent image of the Judiciary and defend the sanctity of the constitution of Bangladesh.

Sheikh Hasina's comment

It was reported in your issue of 8 February 2008 that Sheikh Hasina had expressed her surprise as to how elections could not be held now, comparing it to the fact that our country was liberated in nine months.

Janata Bank

A good thing must be appreciated and brought to the notice of the concerned people; else the enthusiasm created in the minds of the performers will disappear. We came to know from a picture which appeared in The Daily Star of 31.10.07 that Janata Bank had been adjudged as the best Bank in Bangladesh for the year 2007 by the New York based financial Magazine "The Global Finance" and was awarded for the brilliant performance. The ambassador of Bangladesh to the USA received the award on behalf of Janata Bank from Josef D Giaraputo, President & Publisher of the Magazine in Washington DC.

Talk shows

Almost every day, there are some talk shows on TV screens. We the common viewers are immensely benefited by the views, suggestions coming from the distinguished guests of various fields like politicians, journalists, teachers, intellectuals, retired high officials, retired judges, retired generals, big business magnets and writers who participate in the discussions. Thanks to the private TV channels who are arranging these talk shows for us. Although some of the participants speak from their own point of views, still we can get in-depth information on many things which we did not know and accordingly we can correct ourselves acquiring knowledge from their deliberations.

Mosquito menace

We, the residents of Santahar town, have been facing the mosquito menace for a long time. It has become a serious problem. With the approach of evening, mosquitoes come whirring in and invade all places. The students are unable to continue their studies. The poor men are the worst sufferers. Even during the day time the mosquitoes disturb us.

Corrupt politicians

My worry is one of Newton's law of physics which is also applicable to our corrupt politicians and the democratically elected governments. Forces of change will be gone with the departure of this current CTG and the evil forces of inertia will be back and will try to take the country and run it their old way.

Perils of private hospitals

A few years ago, Bangladesh experienced an upsurge of private universities. Now the trend is towards private hospitals whose fancy ads are quite regular in different dailies. They share two similarities - one is expected, the other unexpected. The expected similarity is that both are expensive. The unexpected one is the fact that most of the private universities and now allegedly some of the private hospitals have failed to maintain the required standard.

"It's a shame, it's a disgrace"

I refer to the letter written by Lt. Gen. (Retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury, published in your paper on 26 January 2008.

Startling story

An ordinary employee of Titas Gas amassed huge wealth through illegal means. The story was revealed by the NCC.

Education

The education system of our country, after 36 years of independence, still remains the same. Only the grading system has been introduced and every year a large number of students pass their SSC and HSC examinations by acquiring Golden GPA-5 in their exams. But still the main problem in this case is that the books published by the " National Curriculum & Text Book Board' are too elementary compared to the international standards. The syllabuses prescribed by the board which direct the students to do their studies in a planned away are mostly not practical. And majority of Bangla-medium students can't even speak English fluently despite their knowledge of grammar and the introduction of FM method, communicative English and such other processes of English speaking. In addition to this, the English books of primary level truly lack in quality and standard.

Can the EC answer?

It is appreciable that the caretaker government and the Election Commission (EC) have taken a historical step to prepare a computer-based voter list and issue national ID cards to the eligible citizens. The EC is successfully carrying out the task.

Benazir Bhutto's assassination

M.A. Elihan Zakaria (Letter, Feb 4) attributes the death of Benazir Bhutto to the justice of Allah. Her crime, it seems, is that she did not apologise for the sins of her father.

Our football

In all respects, our football is in a mess now. Even after several decades, our national football team could not reach the sub-continental level. The most popular sport of the country is in disarray, as if it lacks everything. This is the exact time to find out through an all-out investigation who are responsible for the current state, what are the causes behind the massive failure in this particular sport, and consequentially we'll find how to improve our position in this regard.

International

Pakistan mobilises troops for election

Tens of thousands of Pakistani troops deployed across the nuclear-armed nation yesterday to provide security for next week's elections after a series of attacks, the interior ministry said.

Ragged Hillary campaign braces for more vote woe

Hillary Clinton's White House campaign faced the prospect of three new hammer blows Tuesday, with Democratic rival Barack Obama tipped to sweep a trio of Washington-area nominating contests.

Israeli top brass calls for toppling Hamas in Gaza

Israel's top brass warned on Tuesday that its patience was wearing thin over rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, as more people were wounded in army incursions into the Hamas-run territory.

Russia, China propose new treaty to ban arms in space

Russia and China have proposed a new treaty to ban the use of weapons in space, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a conference on disarmament in Geneva yesterday.

Suu Kyi's party calls for 'fair political climate'

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy on Tuesday urged the military government to create a "fair political climate," after the regime announced a constitutional referendum for May.

Iran won't stop enrichment, says Ahmadinejad

Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad struck a defiant tone as he spoke to giant crowds marking the 29th anniversary of the Islamic revolution Monday, vowing never to slow down nuclear development and announcing plans for more rocket launches in Iran's space programme.

E Timor capital calm under emergency

East Timor's capital Dili was calm early yesterday with residents packing markets seemingly oblivious to a declared state of emergency after assassination attempts on the nation's top leaders.

New Thai govt mulls self-rule for Muslim south

Thailand's new government will consider granting some degree of self-rule to Muslim-majority provinces hit by bloody separatist unrest, Interior Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said yesterday.

Iraq launches hunt for kidnapped journalists

Security forces have launched a search for two journalists from the American television network CBS who were kidnapped at gunpoint from their hotel in the Iraqi city of Basra, an official said Tuesday.

China bus crash kills 14

Fourteen people were killed and 14 others hurt when their bus plunged into a river yesterday in southwest China as millions headed home at the end of the Lunar New Year holiday, state media reported.

Arts & Entertainment

Anukul's dream world of nebulous figures

Anukul Mojumder's ongoing exhibition at Shilpangan brings in his favourite theme of mother and child with the harmonious elements of nature in the backdrop. His lines and curves follow those of Ajanta and Elora cave drawings, which he merges with his own style to give his paintings and drawings a modern edge. “Of all the creations on earth, I consider human beings to be the most beautiful,” says Anukul”

Tribute to Selim Al Deen in Rajshahi

When actress Shimul Yousuff descended from the stage, performing the last scene of Chaka, the audience seemed spellbound, silent.

“Punorojjibon”: An adaptation of Ibsen's last work

Punorojjibon -- a translation of Ibsen's last (1899), least produced and probably most abstract play When We Dead Awaken -- was staged at the festival arranged by Samay Sanskritik Goshthi. Kolkata based theatre troupe Anik staged Punorojjibon at the National Theatre Stage on February 10.

Sharukh-mania in Berlin

The director of Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival, from February 7 to 17) Dieter Kosslick has invited Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan without probably realising how enormous an impact this would have. In a few days 32,000 e-mails were sent to the Berlinale organisers enquiring about Shahrukh. Many youngsters from all parts of Europe have announced that they want to meet him personally.

Scorsese to make film on Bob Marley

Martin Scorsese will direct a film about Bob Marley. He has already been given authorisation by Marley's family and the release has been set for early 2010. Ziggy Marley, son of the legendary reggae artists, says, “I am thrilled that the Marley family will finally have the opportunity to document our father's legacy and are truly honoured to have Mr. Scorsese guide the journey.”

OP-ED

Thoughts on increasing NRB remittances

Remittances by non-resident Bangladeshis (NRB) through official channels hit $ 6.4 billion in 2007 as per the World Bank, and the caretaker government has shown keen interest in increasing that.

China calling

Some of my readers may wonder why I have decided to write on China, sitting here in Bangladesh with enough of our own problems to spend time on. Well, sometimes it pays off to look at other countries'' experiences for possible sleadolution to one''s own issues.

Star City

Lives of language martyrs still little known to people

More than half a century after the historic Language Movement, the lives and works of the martyrs who made supreme sacrifice for the mother tongue are still almost unknown to people as hardly any research has been done on this subject.

Museum that heralds the history of a movement

Despite limitations and lack of support from the government, the Bhasha Andolan Museum, established to preserve the memories of the historic Language Movement of 1952, carries on its efforts to enlighten the younger generation about the glorious past of the nation.

Traditional sweepers face hard time as others take away jobs

The professional sweepers are facing hard times as mainstream people are gradually replacing them in their only profession that is cleaning the city.

Star Chittagong

Special bus service shatters hope of commuters

The city bus service launched about two months ago to provide special services has shattered hope of the commuters as it failed to keep its promises.

Microbiology lab to relieve pain of BSTI certificate seekers

A microbiology laboratory is being set up in the Bangladesh Standard Testing Institution (BSTI) in Chittagong to cope with the pressure of testing 148 products.



The Daily Star

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