The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, November 1, 2014


News of: Monday, 18th of February, 2008

Front Page

Farms in bird flu peril

The country's poultry industry continues to be in grave peril with sales already halved due to panic among consumers in the wake of recent bird flu outbreaks, operators said.

Edible oil prices shot up by Tk 10 a litre

Prices of edible oil at both retail and wholesale levels registered a fresh hike of Tk 7 to Tk 10 in the last couple of days -- apparently due to price manipulation by a section of unscrupulous traders, said market operators.

3 JMB men given death

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced three activists of the banned Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to death on charges of killing eight people including two Udichi leaders by carrying out suicide bomb attacks at Udichi and Shata Dal Shilpi Goshthi offices in Netrakona in December 2005.

Pakistan on election alert as rigging fears mount

Pakistani security forces were on high alert yesterday, as violence surged and claims of rigging mounted on the eve of elections that could threaten President Pervez Musharraf's grip on power.

Hasina to consider check-up in country

Detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina has decided to consider positively the suggestions by the jail authorities and her personal doctors to have medical check-ups in the country, her physician said yesterday.

Merger of bidders going to cut competition

The Bibiyana 450-megawatt independent power project is set to face lack of competition, as two of the four pre-qualified bidders are going to merge and bid as one consortium.

95,000 fowls culled in Badda farm

Livestock officials culled 95,000 chickens at the bird flu-infected poultry farm at city's Uttar Badda as the culling continued for the second consecutive day yesterday.

EC sets woman post target for political parties

The Election Commission (EC) has set 2020 as the deadline for political parties to have women in at least one-third of the party committee posts at all levels.

Kosovo declares independence

Kosovo yesterday declared its independence from an angry and anxious Serbia in the final fallout from the conflict-strewn breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

ACC to quiz Khaleda in Niko case

A Dhaka court yesterday granted a petition to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to interrogate detained former premier Khaleda Zia at the sub-jail gate in connection with the Niko graft case.

Remand hearing for Huji man tomorrow

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed tomorrow to hear CID's prayer to take arrested Harkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji) leader Moin Uddin alias Abu Zandal on a 10-day remand.

Experts to verify 42 artefacts on return from Paris

The government is going to form a team of experts to verify 42 artefacts on their return from Guimet Museum in Paris.

Adv Razzaq denies link to al-Badr

Abdur Razzaq, a senior advocate of the Supreme Court, yesterday denied his involvement in al-Badr, a local militia which helped the Pakistan army carry out mass killings during the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971.

Tk 10cr fine slapped on AB Bank

AB Bank's merchant banking wing was fined Tk 10 crore yesterday for disbursing excess margin loans in violation of securities rules.

SC critical of red tapes in getting staff in dist courts

The Supreme Court was yesterday critical of bureaucratic attitude in compliance with the highest court's orders for providing supporting staff, transport and other logistics for smooth running of the district-level judicial magistracy.

Musharraf's top advisers expect hung parliament

Top Musharraf advisers are expecting today a hung parliament, which will not survive for more than six months. One of the advisers never ruled out the possibility of a new election after six months. Some diplomats also fear that a hung parliament will not bring stability to Pakistan and the Bush administration will not achieve its goals in the war against terror before the US presidential election, to be held later this year.

MiG-29 case against Hasina resumes Feb 29

After a hiatus of more than five years, hearing on MiG-29 corruption case against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and six other people will be held on February 29.

Tk 30cr medical equipment lying idle for months

Medical equipment worth around Tk 30 crore has been lying idle at Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital in Bogra for months due to structural problems of the hospital building, and unavailability of technicians and chemicals.

CEC criticises colleagues

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said his two colleagues' occasional contradictory statements cause confusion among the people.

Govt gets copy of Hasina verdict

The government is preparing to file leave to appeal with the Supreme Court as it received certified copy of the High Court's judgment that declared illegal the bringing of Tk 2.99 crore extortion case filed against former premier Sheikh Hasina under Emergency Power Rules and quashed the case.

Leaders want stronger city committee

Dhaka city unit BNP leaders yesterday called upon Khaleda-backed BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain to make changes in the city committee to make it more effective.

Arrest warrant against Shajahan Siraj, Mokbul

A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against former minister and BNP leader Shajahan Siraj, his wife Rabeya Siraj, former Awami League lawmaker Alhaj Mokbul Hossain and his wife Golam Fatema in cases filed against them in connection with amassing wealth illegally.

Six killed in Rangpur road crash

Six people were killed and 25 others injured in a road accident at Maderganj on Rangpur-Bogra Highway in Rangpur's Pirganj upazila yesterday.

Advisory council approves repeal of Gram Sarker Act, 2003

The much-debated Gram Sarker is going to be abolished as the caretaker government yesterday endorsed an ordinance to scrap the law that instituted the village-level local-government body.

Blast during Afghan dog fighting kills 80

A suicide blast tore through a crowd of men watching dog fighting in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar yesterday, killing 80 people and wounding dozens more, a provincial governor said.

Indian troops kill 20 Maoists after police carnage

Indian troops killed at least 20 Maoist guerrillas on Sunday in clashes following the killing of 13 policemen by the insurgents in the eastern state of Orissa, officials said.

Congress should renew global AIDS programme

President Bush yesterday said Congress should renew his global AIDS program and preserve a requirement that steers money into abstinence efforts.

Editorial

The most crucial Pak polls

PAKISTANIS go to polls today under international gaze and regional spotlight. Many people look at this election as Pakistan's precious opportunity to transit from a disguised military rule to a civilian elected government. Given unalloyed liveried authoritarian rule in the country for a greater part of its 60-year-long history, the people's longing to see a true democracy flourish has only intensified over time into a virtual crescendo. Pro-democracy agitation centring around Musharraf's ruthless handling of highest judiciary to replace it by his own men, his dubious trickery in securing second term as president by doffing, had added a tremendous value to this election. The stakes grew even higher for the democratic forces with the assassination of charismatic PPP leader Benazir Bhutto and the events following the tragedy.

Provocative act

WE find the republication of a cartoon on the Prophet of Islam by a Danish newspaper extremely provocative, utterly outrageous and malicious in intent. All this is highly condemnable. The cartoon meant to hurt the sentiments of the people of a major religious faith is not only unacceptable, it is diametrically opposite to what the progressive countries of the west preach -- liberalism, tolerance, respect for different faiths and freedom of expression.

A critical look at China as an emerging power

DURING the nineties, in the wake of the Cold War's demise a post-reform China had been in full focus of the West's powerful media, which seldom tired of projecting it as an economic "power house," "fast-growing nuclear military power," and "potentially a superpower" by the middle of the twenty first century. Even today, observers sometimes describe China as a "rising great power" or "a major power," and at other times as a "dominant regional power" or a "sleeping giant which has awakened."

Reflection on book fair

EKUSHEY book fair, the largest and most keenly awaited annual book fair in the country, is now pulsating with life as thousands of book lover are thronging there everyday. There are 370 stalls in the fair this year, whereas there were 412 last year.

Punishing parochial hate-mongering

THE Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is doing in Mumbai what its parent Shiv Sena (SS) did decades ago; incite ethnic violence. The police arrested its chief Raj Thackeray after much dilly-dallying. But he was quickly released. He admits his supporters indulged in violence against North Indians, but says they "reacted" to "provocations."

Sports

Locals pluck 8 Proteas

Hashim Amla produced a stroke-filled hundred but the BCB XI took the honours against formidable South Africa on the first day of the three-day tour opener at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Mohammedan crash out

A five-wicket burst by paceman Ziaur Rahman put Abahani atop their group with an all-win record in the Premier Division Twenty20 Cricket League yesterday but their archrivals Mohammedan Sporting Club's miseries were extended when the defending champions crashed out of the competition following their third successive defeat.

Favourites' fine start

Holders Pakistan opened their bid for a third successive under-19 cricket World Cup title with a fluent eight-wicket demolition of hosts Malaysia in double-quick time here on Sunday.

Local Snippets

West Bengal named their men's and women's football teams for the coping 2nd Indo-Bangladesh Bangla Games to begin in Dhaka on February 22.

Victoria back to winning ways

Victoria Sporting Club returned to winning ways in the Senior Division Football League when they edged Arambagh Krira Sangha 1-0 at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

4th JFA Cup gets underway

The 4th JFA Cup (Under-15) Football Championship qualifiers commenced yesterday across the country with Gaibandha brushing aside Rangpur 8-1 at Dinajpur.

India's woeful batting

India's batsmen imploded as Australia recorded an unlikely 50-run win in their tri-series match here Sunday.

Captain defends Yuvraj

Yuvraj Singh may have squandered yet another chance to impress but his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni insists he has not made any mistake by picking the out-of-form left-hander ahead of swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag.

Murali averts dental loss

An emergency dental operation helped Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralidaran retain his toothy smile, almost by the skin of his teeth.

No Pepsi for Sourav, Rahul

The change of guard in Indian cricket team is reflecting in the endorsement market, with soft drinks major Pepsi deciding to drop Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid as ambassadors while roping in youngsters Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma, in line with its brand ideology.

SL Pakistan's second option

Pakistan are looking to host Sri Lanka if Australia pull out of their scheduled tour of the violence-marred country next month, a report said Sunday.

Barca take the cue

Ronaldinho converted a late penalty to give Barcelona a 2-1 win at Real Zaragoza on Saturday which cut the gap at the top of the Spanish league to five points after leaders Real Madrid had slumped to a shock 2-1 loss at Real Betis.

It's Inter's to lose

Inter Milan took another huge step closer to the Italian title after extending their lead at the top of Serie A to 11 points on Saturday.

Cup magic scalps L'pool

Humble Barnsley produced an FA Cup sensation on Saturday when they came from behind to beat Liverpool 2-1 with virtually the last kick of the game to advance to the last eight in dramatic style.

Ferguson impressed

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United's emphatic 4-0 FA Cup victory over Arsenal could have a major impact on the Premier League title race.

Maldini gets to 1,000

When veteran defender Paolo Maldini replaced Marek Jankulovski after 68 minutes of AC Milan's 0-0 draw at Parma on Saturday he surpassed 1,000 games for club and country.

Di Stefano honoured

Real Madrid's legendary striker Alfredo di Stefano was honoured by the Spanish giants and European football's governing body UEFA on Sunday.

Metz to sue supporter

The French league and first division football club Metz have announced they will be taking legal action against the spectator who issued a barrage of racist abuse at Moroccan international defender Abdeslam Ouaddou this weekend.

I'm in a bit of a rut: Ricky

Captain Ricky Ponting has brushed aside suggestions that off-field distractions centring on Australian participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has led to his current slump in form.

Isinbayeva sets new pole vault world mark

Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia set a new world indoor record in the women's pole vault here on Saturday as she cleared the mark of four metres 95 centimetres.

Poojashree's double crown

Poojashree Venkatesh of India lifted double crown in the Dhaka Bank 22nd Bangladesh International Junior Tennis Championships yesterday when she won both the girls' singles and doubles titles.

Another feather in Bekele's cap

Ethiopia distance-running great Kenenisa Bekele added to his collection of notable landmarks by setting a new world-best performance mark in the two miles at the international indoor meeting here Saturday.

No crisis, says Rafa

Rafael Benitez insisted he was not concerned about his future after Liverpool plunged into crisis with a humiliating 2-1 defeat to Barnsley in the FA Cup fifth round.

Bremen level on top

Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf was a pleased man as his side sealed a 2-0 win over strugglers Nuremberg to draw level on points with Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga.

S Korea better China again

Kwak Tae-Hwi's injury-time goal lifted South Korea to a 3-2 win over hosts China in the opener of the East Asian championship here Sunday, preserving a 30-year unbeaten record against their rivals.

Lyon suffer reverse

French champions Lyon suffered a 1-0 defeat at Le Mans on Saturday which threw the title race wide open and also dented their planning for Wednesday's Champions League clash with Manchester United.

Flamengo in for Ronaldo?

Brazilian club side Flamengo are desperate to get their hands on Ronaldo should he make a full recovery from the knee injury he sustained on Wednesday that has curtailed his season according to Italian agency Ansa.

Merkel fails to inspire Cottbus

Having cheered heartily for her country's national team at the 2006 World Cup, Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel was at the far-less glamorous Energie Cottbus on Saturday to be made an honourary fan.

Still away with the fairies

Luke Steele, who signed for Barnsley on an emergency loan deal from West Brom only on Thursday, made a series of outstanding saves to help his new club knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup.

Three die in Iraq poisoning

Three Iraqis, including two children, have died after eating thallium-laced cake delivered to a football club in Baghdad and eight others are recovering in Jordan, a hospital official said Saturday.

Business

AB Bank merchant banking wing fined Tk10cr

AB Bank's merchant banking wing was fined Tk 10 crore yesterday for disbursing excess margin loans in violation of securities rules.

Infrastructure needed to attract global IT giants

Bangladesh should go for a massive global marketing to introduce itself as an 'IT innovative nation,' observed a Danish information technology expert.

Businesspeople decry PLCs' mandatory listing

Top businesspeople yesterday came down heavily on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) saying that there should not be any obligatory gauge to list a company on stock exchanges.

More spending on farm sector key to food security

Bangladesh needs to enhance expenditure in agriculture to attain food security, according World Development Report 2008, which was unveiled in Dhaka yesterday.

Politicians, professionals call for roadmap to boost IT

IT sector leaders and politicians yesterday called for an integrated roadmap to build up the information technology sector in the short, medium and long term as a 'lifeline of the economy'.

Brand guru pins hopes on Bangladeshi youth

Bangladeshi companies and entrepreneurs have potentials to tap the global branding market share in a span of five to 10 years, Martin Roll, a leading thought-leader on branding told The Daily Star in an interview yesterday.

Ctg int'l trade fair kicks off tomorrow

The 16th Chittagong International Trade Fair (CITF) 2008 kicks off in the port city tomorrow, organisers announced yesterday.

StanChart concludes euro/US dollar derivative

Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh has continued to lead the way as it successfully closed the first euro/US dollar derivative deal in Bangladesh with Square Yarns Ltd, says a press release.

Oneworld airlines confirm dates for London Heathrow moves

Member airlines of the Oneworld alliance that will change locations at London Heathrow this year have confirmed the schedule for their moves and minimum connection times at the airport resulting from the moves, says a press release.

Supreme Jute introduces food rationing for employees

Supreme Jute & Knitex Ltd, an export-oriented jute yarn manufacturing factory at Savar in Dhaka, has introduced food rationing system for its workers and employees in the face of skyrocketing prices of essentials.

Iran opens first oil products bourse

Iran, Opec's number two crude oil producer, on Sunday inaugurated its first bourse for oil products and petrochemicals, in a bid to become a major player in the global downstream industry.

India struggles to keep food cheap for poor

Anand's restaurant has served flat bread, lentils and vegetables to loyal customers every day for four decades but for the past year he's been on the receiving end of almost non-stop complaints.

Emirates wins Monitor-AKTEL Airline of the Year 2007 award

UAE-based airline Emirates has won the 'Monitor-AKTEL Airline of the Year 200' Award', says a press release.

Metropolitan

Re-evaluate non-merit quota in BCS exams

Fifty-five percent of non-merit quota in Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) will have to be re-evaluated, said the experts at a roundtable yesterday.

Formulate nat'l policy to control avian influenza

Speakers at a press conference yesterday demanded of the government to formulate a national policy and take emergency steps to control avian influenza (AI).

Civil-military cooperation can protect democratic institutions

Lt Gen ATM Zahirul Alam yesterday said the military never wants to go back to martial law as was evident in the past, rather it wishes to reduce its gap with the civilians and make its role more transparent.

Romania to recruit more Bangladeshi RMG workers

Romania will recruit more Bangladeshi workers for its garment and textile industries.

Arrest of DU teachers beyond imagination

Speakers at a publication ceremony yesterday said Prof Anwar Hossain in his books has said what the people of the country was afraid to say during the last one year.

Prices of essentials soar in Rajshahi

Prices of essentials have started soaring high again in Rajshahi city causing immense suffering to the common people.

Main accused held in Bagerhat

Police arrested the main accused of sensational Priyanka murder case from Baliadanga village in Fakirhat upazila yesterday morning.

US experts train SWAT men to fight hardcore criminals

A 23-member police team with combat training is being trained to conduct operation against hardcore criminals from next month, official sources said yesterday.

'Introduce disciplines on fine arts, liberal arts at varsities'

Education and Commerce Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman has called for introducing disciplines on Fine Arts, Sculpture and Liberal Arts in the newly established universities.

6 killed in road accidents

Six people were killed and 22 others injured in separate road accidents across the country in the last two days.

Over 100 Indian trucks with rice for Sidr victims arrive in Benapole

Around 100 rice-laden trucks sent as relief by the Department of Sports and Youth of the West Bengal entered the country through the Benapole Port yesterday afternoon.

Cop caught for taking bribe to pass overloaded trucks

Some police guards and employees assigned to look after the Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge are allowing overloaded vehicles to pass the bridge in exchange for bribe.

Students call for re-fixing exam fees

The B Sc first-year students of Textile Engineering College in Noakhali has urged the authorities concerned to re-fix their final examination fees at an affordable limit.

Stripping of ex-air chief Jamaluddin's rank illegal

The High Court yesterday declared illegal the government notification stripping former air chief Jamaluddin Ahmed of his air marshal rank.

RMG factory guard shot

A security guard of a garment factory was shot at Mirpur in the capital last night while a criminal in Kafrul lost his arm when the bomb he was allegedly making went off.

Establishing 'Higher Education Zone' underscored

UGC Chairman Prof Nazrul Islam and visiting Sri Lankan Deputy Minister for Higher Education Mohamed Musthaffa yesterday underscored the need for establishing 'Higher Education Zone' in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Dr Shamsuzzoha's death anniversary today

The death anniversary of Prof Dr Shamsuzzoha will be observed on the Rajshahi University (RU) campus today.

City Ananda Alo Literature Award '08

The City Ananda Alo Literature Award 2008 was announced yesterday.

DU accords reception to Latifa Akand

Department of Islamic History and Culture of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday accorded a reception to Prof Latifa Akand, former teacher of the department, for getting Begum Rokeya Padak 2007 for her contribution to socio-economic development of women folk.

GP distributes winter clothes in Sidr-hit areas

Grameenphone distributed blankets in different Sidr-affected areas in Barisal and Khulna districts recently, says a press release.

Deal between key Iraq Shiite figures collapses

Radical Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's movement yesterday announced it was cancelling a pact it signed four months ago with its main Shiite rival aimed at reducing tension between the two groups.

Chinese spring festival celebrated

Chinese New Year party (spring festival) was celebrated at Confucius Institute at North South University (NSU) on Saturday, says a press release.

National

No let-up in outlaws' bomb attacks despite drives in Jhenidah

There is no sign of let up in bomb attacks by the cadres of outlawed parties in Jhenidah district despite several anti-crime drives and death of at least 53 outlawed cadres in 'crossfire'.

Uncertainty over voter registration of enclave people in 3 N districts

Uncertainty prevailed over registration of voters in 63 out of 65 Bangladeshi enclaves in three northern districts as the Indian authorities are yet to respond to the Election Commission's (EC) request seeking permission to visit the enclaves through Indian territory, official sources said.

Good yield of Amropali mango in CHT expected if weather favours

Massive budding of Amropali, a new variety of hybrid mango, is showing signs of a bumper production this year, to disbelieve of horticulturists in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

Kulboroi brings fortune for Sirajganj youth

Here is a success story of an unemployed young man who became rich by producing plums within a short period.

Make corrupt people culpable: ACC chairman

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hassan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday called upon all to identify the corrupt people and make them culpable through social movement against corruption.

Mayor Tayebur's trial begins in narcotics case

Trial in Narcotic Control Act case against Khulna City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman began in the court of Khulna District and Sessions Judge Mohammad Shafiuddin yesterday.

One to die, 22 to serve life-term for murder

A Rajshahi court yesterday gave death sentence to one person and life-term imprisonment to 22 others in the case for murdering Shafiuddin in Godagari upazila in 1996.

Woman, granddaughter acid-burnt

An elderly woman and her granddaughter received serious burn injuries as criminals threw acid on them at village Baluigachha in Sadar upazila on Friday night.

Three arrested with 21 bombs in C'nawabganj

Rapid Action Battalion yesterday arrested three people and seized 21 bombs from their possession at Bapdanga village in Chapainawabganj district.

Letters

Our history

The history of our Liberation War has already been recorded. Bangabandhu and some other national leaders who contributed to the liberation war are now a past phenomena. These cannot be altered, made or changed or re-written by anyone. The Almighty Allah made it happen and gave us an independent state in 1971.

US presidential election

Did someone ever say America isn't still ready for a President who could either be a women or a black? Yes, many do say. Well, this would make none other than John McCain the perfect individual for presidency. Nevertheless, many might speculate more; as we should be rather considering the real world facts. The American population is not made of one gender. But it's approximately half male and half female population, like everywhere around the globe. So if we want to believe males might not find Hillary as pretty as Cinderella, this theory would also support the fact that female voters would not hesitate to vote for her.

BAU

Bangladesh Agricultural University, a renowned public university, has a great impact on the economy of the country. Lots of graduates from this varsity are serving the country to make it self-dependent in agriculture. We are still committed to making a poverty free Bangladesh by strengthening its economy as well as agricultural economy. A graduate from BAU has been declared as one of the most talented young scientists in the world. The most noticeable thing to say about this university is that there is no sessions jam, while it is the most common phenomenon in other public universities. BAU has started the semester system of education (English medium) in every faculty and this system is running very smoothly. I would like to thank the administration as it has modernised the education system and I believe students are also playing an important role in efficiently running the semester system by cooperating with the faculty members. The university authorities have already ensured residential facilities for every student. I think, very soon it will be a fully residential varsity.

Gulshan-Banani lake

I am glad that, at last, the thinking behind the new Banani-Gulshan Bridge is being questioned on more or less every ground. For myself, I cannot bear thinking about an increase in the level of vehicular traffic in the narrow streets around my home and school on the Gulshan side.

Condolence

I am British with dual Belgian nationality, born and raised in Belgium. It is with a deep emotion that I read the letter of Nazli Kibria about her beloved father. My father died when I was seven and I don't know what in reality a father is. Nazli's father was a good and honest man.

Just a question

Economic inequity and an unjust employment policy brought the East Pakistani people to the battlefield in 1971 for having the basic rights. After 16/12, they won the war and got Bangladesh. But the key problem has not been resolved. The highest recruitment body (PSC) for government services is responsible for the discrimination as the quota system persists. The state of economy is identical too- only 20% people are the owner of all resources. What is the significance of independence, really?

CTG 2007-2008

Former Chief Adviser of the caretaker government of 1996, Justice Habibur Rahman, has given second class pass marks to the present caretaker government and he is ready to give first class after the government is able to hold fair, free and transparent national elections. There is no doubt that this is the best government which we had so far in Bangladesh. We had another good government of Justice Abdus Sattar. Ershad toppled his elected government and pushed the country into darkness for a period of 24 years.

Old cameras

Ghias's poignant article on Nurul Islam's historic century old pin-hole camera, brings back the memories of my photographic days in Dhaka in the 1950s, that started during my school days in Calcutta in 1945! In those days I was the helper to my uncle (Late) Prof. Kazem Ali of BUET. He was a photography bug; having a number of cameras, and his own darkroom in Calcutta. There he used to develop, print and enlarge still films. I was the keen willing helper, learning the fundamentals of the trade from him! It was a wonderful pastime for me which kept me in the house most of the time.

ID card

The main objectives of making voter ID card are identifying the citizens of Bangladesh, evading rigging in the election, facilitating the institutional activities, making certain census of voter statistics and so on. But one objective has been neglected.

Good news but ....

We are a nation of fickle minds. We remember things when it is better to forget and forget those when remembering is in order. So, perhaps we have already forgotten what happened in August 2007 centring around an altercation between the students and the law enforcers, while they were witnessing a football game in DU playground. The incident led to clamping of curfew in the capital and all divisional headquarters as the violence exceeded the limit and was not controllable with even Emergency Power Rules. It is heartening that the university teachers and students have been acquitted but the common people will like to know what really happened on those two days of August 2007, who were behind the scene and with what motive.

British Foreign Secretary's trip

We all wholeheartedly welcomed the timely visit of the very articulate and smart Foreign Secretary of Britain. We hoped, back in London, he would take some lighter time to look back to his short visit to Bangladesh, and assimilate what he has seen, what he has heard and what he has said in public and private for our people, politicians and the government. We only hope that he had opportunities to appraise himself of the current economic and political situation obtaining in Bangladesh in its right perspective.

NRBs' conference

I highly appreciate the recent conference of Non-Resident Bangladeshis that was held at Sheraton Hotel. I am convinced that most of them came to their motherland to help their brothers.

Bird flu and wake-up call

Thanks for taking up the bird flu epidemic which engulfed the country at a galloping speed leading to culling of innumerable poultry, ducks, pigeons, quails, geese etc. The farmers, traders, feed producers and those related to the poultry industries are in deep trouble. Your reference to the observation of Dr. Domenech, Chief Veterinary officer, FAO, may act as an impulse to the fatigued authority to wake up from the deep slumber. Since the first invasion of the virus into the country in March 2007, Avian Flu has left scars of onslaughts in as many as 26 districts. Although no human is yet to contract the disease, there is no reason to be complacent, for disaster may strike any time.

28th BCS

Despite the fact that Bangladesh is beset with various environmental problems, the government of Bangladesh is not creating any opening for the graduates with degree in Environmental Science. Every day we come across news and views on environmental issues of national as well as regional and international dimensions. The BAPA, Paribesh Bachao Andolon, various NGOs and universities organise conferences and awareness programmes to safeguard the environment. The Environment Directorate of the government has many full-fledged programmes to protect our environment. But unfortunately, the only cadre that asked for application for filling in the posts in the 28th BCS exams has been the Forest Department, and that stipulated the educational qualification as having graduation degrees in physics, chemistry, botany, zoology and 'soil, water and environment' - the last one being a department of Dhaka University. But it may be mentioned that Environmental Science/Studies is being offered as an academic discipline in nearly a dozen of public and private universities in Bangladesh. With the above mentioned degree in 'soil, water and environment' as set out by the PSC, the students of DU will get a kind of preferential treatment. It will deprive those having degrees specifically in Environmental Science/Studies from other universities.

Corruption in Titas

I was a bit bewildered after reading the heading of a DS report published on 29 January, wherein it was stated that 126 highly corrupt officials from the Titas gas have vowed to return over Tk. 400 crore earned illegally to the government exchequer. This has been the outcome of the drill- down investigation by the Joint Taskforce aiming to curtail corruption as well as to identify the roots of corruption and the people involved. This is obviously a great achievement.

Justice prevails

The verdict by the High Court Division will remain as a milestone in the history of the judiciary of Bangladesh. This is a great victory for the AL and Sheikh Hasina.

Returning officer or returning body

Roadmap for the election is rolling us to national polls to be held before the year ends. Many proposals are forthcoming to reform the election procedures. But one very important task-- selection of the returning/assistant returning officers-- needs serious review. In the past we saw election engineering/result tempering/media coup, where ROs and AROs played a vital role. In many cases, the returning and assistant returning officers (who have to work alone) could not withstand the pressure mounted on them by powerful quarters. As an insider I have witnessed many a case of willing/unwilling surrender on the part of the officer concerned. Resistance to such pressure often brought unfavourable posting, punishment and even end of career. So I would suggest placing the responsibility on a body, instead of a person. In addition to the Deputy Commissioners, District Judge, Police Super, Senior Engineer, Civil Surgeon, Bar and press club presidents, NGO representatives and members of the civil society may be incorporated.

Illinois shooting

Now another gunman went berserk in Northern University of Illinois and killed at least six students and injured more than a dozen before shooting himself. What we gather from the news is that gunman Steven Kazmicrzak had a mental problem and was on medication for sometime and was also receiving counselling; otherwise according to friends and teachers he seemed to be quite a good natured student and had no criminal records. Now the question that remains to be resolved is what prompted Kazmicrzak to take such hostile actions? A similar incident happened in Varginia Tech a couple of months ago where student Seung-Hui Cho killed as many students during his stooting spree.

International

Sharif warns of chaos if Pak polls rigged

Pakistan's two-time former premier and key opposition figure Nawaz Sharif warned Sunday on election eve that the polls would be "massively rigged" and could plunge the country into chaos.

Musharraf's loss could be world's gain in fight against al-Qaeda

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf faces a no-win situation in today's elections, but his loss could be the world's gain in the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, analysts said.

Israel hits Gaza as PM pledges protection from rockets

Israeli troops killed four Palestinians, three of them militants, in its latest assault on the Gaza Strip yesterday as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert unveiled plans to protect nearby homes from rockets.

Major EU nations join US in championing Kosovo

Four major European Union nations are expected to swiftly back a declaration of independence by Kosovo, although some fellow member states with their own separatists in mind oppose the move.

Lanka military kills 20 more Tigers

Sri Lankan forces killed at least 20 Tamil Tiger guerrillas in clashes in the north of the island at the weekend, defence officials said yesterday.

Obama, Hillary spar over role of 'superdelegates'

The US presidential race heated up yesterday after White House hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton clashed with rival Barack Obama over how the Democratic Party should choose its presidential nominee.

Kenya rejects US pressure over power-sharing deal

The Kenyan government Sunday issued a veiled warning to the United States not to put "a gun to anybody's head", on the eve of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit to push for a power-sharing deal.

Female suicide bomber kills 3 in Baghdad

A female suicide bomber blew herself up in a predominantly Shia area in central Baghdad yesterday, killing at least three people while three others were killed in a car bomb blast in Mosul, police said.

Nepali ethnic protests turn violent

At least 45 people were hurt in violent protests as a general strike in Nepal's southern lowlands continued Sunday, causing nationwide food and fuel shortages, police said.

Abbas-Olmert to meet tomorrow

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas will meet tomorrow for the next round of revived peace talks, a Palestinian official said on Sunday.

India to relax arms purchase rules

India, which plans to purchase billions of dollars worth of military hardware in the next five years, will soon relax strict rules on arms imports, officials say.

Bangladeshis in Saudi Arabia asked to abide by local laws

A spokesman of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment yesterday urged Bangladeshi workers working in Saudi Arabia to abide by Saudi laws, rules and regulations.

Musharraf pledges to be 'father figure' to new PM

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf said he would act as a "father figure" to the country's new prime minister, in an interview with Imran Khan's ex-wife published Sunday on the eve of elections.

40 Muslim Brothers held in Egypt ahead of vote

Egyptian security forces on Sunday arrested 40 members of the government opposition Muslim Brotherhood for campaigning ahead of key local elections in April, a security source said.

Migratory birds disappear in China storms

About 100,000 migratory birds disappeared in recent fierce snow storms in eastern China, state media reported yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Film actor Manna passes away

The movie industry in Bangladesh is shocked at the sudden demise of actor S.M. Manna. One of the leading actors of Dhaliwood, Manna, passed away yesterday at the United Hospital in Dhaka. He died of heart attack.

Two-day Rabindra fair in Mymensingh ends

The two-day long 'Rabindra Mela' marking Nobel laureate Poet Rabidranath Tagore's first visit to Mymensingh, concluded recently (February 16). The programmes held under the canopy of a banyan tree at the Teachers Training College (for men) premises were organised by Rabindra Parshad's local unit.

Harun Farocki with his new vision of films

“I've been to India two years ago, and I expect to go there again next month,” says Harun Farocki, the visiting German film filmmaker, about his intrigue in South Asia. He adds, “I've also been to Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam. They are all interesting places to be in and have a lot of diversity.”

Four plays to be staged today

On the second day (today) of the theatre festival arranged by Bangladesh Centre of International Theatre Institute (BCITI), in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), four plays will be staged.

ITI Worldwide Committee's message

On the occasion of the weeklong theatre festival and seminar by BCITI, The International Theatre Institute (ITI) Worldwide Committee has greeted its Bangladesh chapter. In her message, ITI Executive Director Jennifer M. Walpole has highlighted the arrangement as a “great achievement”.

Boshonto Utshob, award-giving programme in Netrakona

A two-day long Boshonto Utshob was held recently at the Netrakona Public Library premises. Apart from a colourful cultural programme, Boshonto Bondona, the celebration also included conferring the 'Khaleqdad Chowdhury Memorial Award'. Netrakona Sahitya Samaj, a literary organisation, arranged the cultural programme on the occasion.

OP-ED

Hasina should be allowed medical treatment abroad immediately

IN spite of a certain general cynicism (shared by me, I must admit), I am personally now happy that the High Court has, at this time of writing, given its verdict that the charges brought against her under the state of Emergency laws were illegally prosecuted and that she should now be given bail.

Time to restore financial discipline

A few days ago the Securities and Exchange Commission decided that Public Limited Companies with paid-up capital of Tk. 500 crores or more, and in commercial operation for 3 years, must go for Initial Public Offerings (IPO) within a year. The Commission also decided that the Private Limited Company whose paid-up capital reached or exceeded Tk. 40 crores or more must transform into a Public Limited Company within one year.

High-value agriculture and agri-business in Bangladesh

THE demand for food in Bangladesh and around the world is changing rapidly. Driven by economic growth, rising incomes, and urbanisation, demand is shifting away from traditional staples toward high-value food commodities. High value agricultural commodities include fruits, vegetables, spices, fish, and livestock products, many of them processed before reaching the market.

Star City

Khilgaon flyover without lights for over 2 months

Darkness has taken over Khilgaon flyover as around 150 streetlights on this busiest overpass of the city have remained turned off for over two months now.

DCC yet to remove unauthorised structures

Dhanmondi playground has been occupied by Dhanmondi Club illegally for more than four decades in the name of maintenance without any contract or authorisation from the authorities concerned, according to officials.

Water logging in Mirpur to persist as seven canals not restored

Water logging in Mirpur area will persist unless the seven canals -- earmarked by canal restoration and implementation committee under home ministry -- are restored to maintain uninterrupted water flow before this rainy season, said the chief of drainage wing at Dhaka Wasa (Water and Sewerage Authority).

"city express"

The latest crop of quotes from the city's press -- words worth repeating, we feel, for their humour, insight or sheer outrageousness. Star City does not necessarily support the opinions expressed in this column.



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