The Daily Star

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

News of: Monday, 25th of February, 2008

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Criminal courts start in CHT in 10 days

In efforts to ensure access to justice for the hills people, sessions courts will start functioning in the three districts of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) within next 10 days.

EC to ask govt to try war criminals

Responding favourably to a tidal rise of the demand for trial of war criminals, the Election Commission (EC) yesterday announced that it will make a recommendation to the caretaker government to initiate steps for the trials.

Sheikh Helal jailed again for 13 years

A special court dealing with corruption cases yesterday sentenced former Awami League (AL) lawmaker Sheikh Helaluddin to 13 years' imprisonment for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information about wealth from the ACC.

Over 58,000 fowls culled in 8 districts

Authorities concerned culled 58,032 domestic fowls and destroyed 53,434 eggs in eight districts yesterday following detection of avian influenza.

Kallis dashes hosts' hopes

Jacques Kallis' five-for in the morning session all but shattered Bangladesh's dreams of setting a challenging target as South Africa finished the third day of the first Test on the verge of a win at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

Koreans plan world's biggest shoe factory

The Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) is expected to begin its journey in a few months by starting to set up its first industrial unit, claimed to be the world's largest shoe manufacturing factory.

Job remains half-done for red tape

Although the government decided to recruit 13,202 police personnel in 2006-08 fiscal years, only half the target joined the force due to bureaucratic red tape with the deadline expiring in four months.

Council okays construction of fencing boxes near zero line

The advisory council approved a proposal for constructing fencing boxes inside Bangladesh and India 150 yards from the zero point for operating passenger-train services between the two countries.

HC decides not to extend detentions of SQ Chy, Salman

It is becoming exceedingly difficult for the government to keep high profile corruption suspects in detentions as the High Court has decided not to extend the duration of a number of such detentions under Special Powers Act.

Sloan not allowed to hold press confce as he came as tourist

The government did not allow international human rights lawyer William Sloan to hold press conference in Dhaka on February 22 as he came to Bangladesh on a tourist visa, a home ministry release yesterday said.

Gen Moeen starts visit to India

Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed arrived in New Delhi yesterday on a weeklong visit to India at the invitation of Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor.

2 Huji men remanded

Two detained Harkatul Jihad Al Islami (Huji) militants who were involved in the August 21, 2004 grenade attacks were placed on three days' remand yesterday.

Commerce adviser admits govt failure, pledges steps

Commerce Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday admitted the government's failure in controlling prices of essentials and pledged to check the unsteady rise in prices, which is not consistent with the international market.

Dr Kamal vows to resist any move against poll roadmap

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said they would resist any attempts to hinder the present caretaker government announced electoral roadmap.

Mahbub Jamil appointed head of reconstituted Biman board

The government yesterday reconstituted the Biman board of directors and appointed Special Assistant to the Chief Adviser Mahbub Jamil as its head to bring efficiency and dynamism in the activities of the national flag carrier.

Aman transferred punitively to N'Ganj Jail

Convict Aman Ullah Aman, also a former state minister, was shifted to Narayanganj Jail punitively yesterday from Dhaka Central Jail for violating the jail code.

JP (Manju)demands polls under nat'l govt

Jatiya Party (JP-Manju) yesterday demanded holding the polls under the supervision of a 'national government' comprising of all political parties, except the anti-liberation war elements, to make the election acceptable to all.

Kazi Zafarullah indicted for extortion

A special tribunal today indicted former Awami League lawmaker Kazi Zafarullah for extorting Tk 50 lakh from a businessman.

Arrest warrant against Shahjahan Omar, family

A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against former state minister for law barrister Shahjahan Omar, his wife Mehjabin Farzana Omar and their son Adnan Omar in a case filed for concealing information in their wealth statements.

Hannan Shah ready to sit with reformists

BNP chairperson's adviser Brig Gen (retd) Hannan Shah said he is ready to sit with the reformist group without any pre-condition and hoped for forging unity in BNP.

Some EC rules to help black money holders

Left Democratic Front (LDF) leaders yesterday said many people have raised questions about the neutrality of the Election Commission (EC) as it is trying to impose some undemocratic rules in the name of registering political parties.

JMB man held while giving bribe to another at court

Police yesterday detained an alleged Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) member while he was giving money to an accused JMB man at a Chittagong Court.

Pak Taliban ready for talks with new govt

Taliban militants are ready for peace talks with Pakistan's new government, a rebel spokesman said Sunday, after opposition parties trounced President Pervez Musharraf's allies in elections.

Suicide bomber kills 40 pilgrims in Iraq

A suicide bomber blew himself up amid a crowd of Shia pilgrims south of Baghdad yesterday, killing at least 40 people, police and medical officials told AFP.

Iran vows reprisals against any new UN sanctions

Iran vowed on Saturday to retaliate if the UN Security Council imposes new sanctions after the latest UN atomic agency report on its nuclear activities spoke of progress.

Hillary turns up heat to rescue White House bid

The US presidential race turned more aggressive yesterday after Hillary Clinton launched a scathing attack on Democratic rival Barack Obama in a bid to restore her front-runner status.


Poultry industry in dire straits

FOWLS and eggs have dropped off the household menu due to heightened incidence of bird flu. Many restaurants, especially the wayside food vending shops are suspected to be selling curry made of cheaply bought off sick chicken to poor consumers. Due to their initial denial mode, the authorities failed to take timely precautions. The spread of avian flu has overtaken the livestock department's containment measures. Thus we face a fully blown crisis.

Welcome return of artefacts

THE return of the priceless artefacts to their country of origin, Bangladesh, is no doubt an occasion to exult. We are happy that all the 42 pieces of supreme intrinsic value taken in a cultural exchange programme to the Paris-based Guimet Museum have come back in good condition on Saturday. And we take the occasion to thank the French government for sending them back to Bangladesh as per schedule.

Beyond the Pakistan elections

THE pro-Musharaf leaguers wanted at least another term in power, and hoped against hope that the general would oblige them. Belying those hopes, President Musharraf, who had earlier declared both Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto as the most corrupt politicians and accused them of destroying the institutions and bringing the country to the brink of economic collapse, allowed the duo to return and contest the election.

Queue and collect

A Common Man's Budget has some remarkable characteristics. To begin with, it is not very common. The Common Man should consider himself extremely lucky if he gets a budget allotted to him once in the natural life of an elected government. He should thank his fortune, rather than crib, even if this budget turns up only in an election year, the only time that the Common Man gets any attention from a government.

Scandal hits McCain, Hillary fades

Pickering: "Excuse the straight question, Higgins. Are you a man of good character where women are concerned?"


Ashraful is deluded

Despite the fact that the Tigers started the third day of the first Test on top against the formidable South Africa, the turnout was surprisingly low - - sparsely a couple of thousand turned up to watch the start of the day.

Hosts flying high

Bangladesh took revenge of their defeat to West Bengal in the inaugural Indo-Bangladesh Bangla Games when the hosts secured more than half gold medals at stake in the second edition yesterday.

Youths crash out

While their seniors were battling to save a Test match at home against South Africa despite going neck and neck on the first three days, Bangladesh Under-19s lost the tempo after a great show in the group stage when they crashed to a humiliating 201-run defeat to the Proteas in the Under-19 cricket World Cup in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Easy win for Orient

Orient SC registered an emphatic seven-wicket win over Dhaka Wanderers Club in the Metropolis First Division Cricket League at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

3 teams in zonal final

BKSP, Bhola and Moulvibazar moved into the finals of the 4th JFA Cup Under-15 Football Championship yesterday as their respective zonal champions.

Shamima stuns Rani Hamid

Qualifier Shamima Akhter Liza upset defending champion IWM Rani Hamid in the third round of the Aromatic Gold 29th National Women's Chess Championship at the federation chess-room yesterday.

Gambhir ton goes in vain

A sparkling century from Gautam Gambhir could not save India from an 18-run defeat at the hands of Australia in their tri-series match here on Sunday.

Symonds does it again!

Even less than a month after the racism row involving Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh was resolved, the Australian all-rounder once again was seen mired in a heated exchange of words with an Indian bowler -- this time Ishant Sharma.

IPL causes cash frenzy

Cricket is poised for a revolution like never before as the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) takes shape, but there are fears it could change what was once a leisurely afternoon sport for ever.

Buchanan's yes to tour

Former national coach John Buchanan has urged Australia's cricketers to tour Pakistan next month as Cricket Australia prepares for a government briefing about travelling to the strife-torn nation, reports said Sunday.

Sharapova marches on

Maria Sharapova maintained her unbeaten record in 2008 with a hard-hitting win over Agnieszka Radwanska which carried her to the final of the 2.5 million dollar Qatar Open on Saturday.

Dhoni asked to change gloves

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was asked to change his wicketkeeping gloves during his team's tri-series match against Australia on Sunday after pulling off a spectacular catch to dismiss Adam Gilchrist.

South Africa rout Pakistan

Opening bowler Alicia Smith took five wickets for seven runs as South Africa crushed Pakistan by eight wickets in the final of the Women's World Cup Qualifier tournament at the Stellenbosch University ground Sunday.

India reject Pak invite

India has rejected an invitation to play a three-match one-day series in Pakistan in March, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Sunday.

Ryder out for three months

Rising New Zealand star Jesse Ryder is out of cricket for up to three months after injuring his hand in a bar celebrating New Zealand's one-day series win over England, officials said Sunday.

Diego off as Bremen lose

Werder Bremen midfielder Diego was red-carded as his second-placed side were beaten 1-0 by Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday to give Bundesliga leaders Bayern the chance to open a six-point gap.

MU cut Gunners' lead

Manchester United have cut Arsenal's lead at the top of the Premier League back to three points after a Saturday filled with pain for the Gunners.

Juve fall to Reggina

A controversial penalty in the third minute of injury time gave relegation-threatened Reggina a shock 2-1 win over Juventus on Saturday and dented the Turin giants' push for a Champions League place.

Five-star Sevilla run riot

Brazil striker Luis Fabiano scored twice as Sevilla hammered 10-man Real Zaragoza 5-0 with the help of two own goals in the Primera Liga on Saturday.

Lyon ride on Fred double

A Fred double earned Olympique Lyon a 2-0 home win over bottom club Metz as the six-times champions opened a four-point gap at the top of Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Wenger livid at tackle

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could not contain his anger at Birmingham's Martin Taylor after the defender's horror tackle left Eduardo fighting to save his career.

'Expect more rotation'

Rafa Benitez admitted that he is still prepared to rest Fernando Torres despite seeing the Spanish striker rescue Liverpool with a hat-trick in Saturday's 3-2 win against Middlesbrough.

Ancelotti staying at Milan

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani insisted Saturday that coach Carlo Ancelotti was guaranteed his job with the European champions next season despite reports linking Marcello Lippi with the post.

Taylor pleads innocence

Birmingham defender Martin Taylor on Saturday insisted there was "no malicious intent" in the horror tackle which left Arsenal striker Eduardo with a suspected broken leg.

Refereeing blamed

Juventus have hit out at the Italian league and federation after a controversial late penalty handed them a 2-1 defeat at Reggina and hit their hopes of overhauling Roma in second place in Serie A.

DFB launches investigation

The German Football Federation (DFB) have launched an investigation after Germany international Mario Gomez called Karlsruhe defender Maik Franz "an arsehole" live on television.

Fabiano's house burgled

Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano's family were robbed at gunpoint in their home last Friday the day after goalkeeper Andres Palop had his house burgled, manager Manolo Jimenez said.

Jets clinch A-League

Newcastle Jets won a drama-charged Australian A-League grand final 1-0 with the Central Coast Mariners players furious over a disallowed injury-time penalty at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday.


Camera lens plant to expand as focus shifts to hi-tech

The lenses used in some of the world's most famous camera brands are being produced in Bangladesh with such success that the company involved plans to expand it operations.

Rising cost of China products a knock-on effects for the world

As China's factory floors feel the pressure from spiralling costs, there is growing nervousness in the rest of the world that the Asian giant's next big export could be inflation.

Sidr business losses put at over Tk7b

Cyclone Sidr caused Tk7.59 billion of losses to industry, commerce and tourism, according to a report by the joint mission of donor agencies.

Local firm starts shipbuilding today for int'l buyer

Another local shipbuilder, Western Marine Shipyard Ltd, enters the global shipbuilding market today with the company starting construction of two ocean-going ships to be exported to Denmark by 2009.

DSE polls uncertain as all candidates pull out

The election for the posts of directors of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) scheduled for March 9 was thrown into further uncertainty yesterday when the remaining three candidates pulled out of the race.

Sustainable partnerships key to expanding microfinance products

Microfinance stakeholders gathered in Dhaka yesterday to share best practices to establish partnerships and strategic alliance among microfinance institutions (MFIs), regulators, donors and private enterprises.

Poultry policy on cards

The government is to announce a poultry policy aimed at ensuring a hygienic, well-managed and sustainable industry.

SEC chairman cautions investors not to go after rumours

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman, Faruq Ahmad Siddiqi, cautioned the investors yesterday not to buy shares on rumors so as to avoid loss in the capital market.

From houses to airlines, the new face of Sylheti NRB investments

In the villages of Sylhet you don't have to travel far before you find a newly built house, complete with a neat wall and imposing entrance. Chances are it will belong to the family of one of the millions of Bangladeshis of Sylhet descent who now live abroad.

Sylhet chamber chooses lands for special economic zone

Sylhet Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has selected 1,000 acres of land for setting up an special economic zone in order to attract investment especially from the non-resident Sylheties.

Canadian pulse mission due March 3

A Canadian marketing mission, led by the agriculture and food companies of Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP) involved in Saskatchewan's pulse sector, will visit Dhaka and Chittagong from March 3-7.

Asian currencies mostly up against greenback

Asian currencies were mostly up against the greenback this week as concerns in the region continued that there will be a recession in the United States.

Submissions in Holcim Awards close Feb 29

Submissions in the US$ 2 million Holcim Awards competition to promote sustainable construction will close on February 29, says a press release.

Japan launches high-speed Internet satellite

Japan successfully launched Saturday an experimental satellite aimed at providing high-speed Internet access across Asia, even when terrestrial infrastructure goes down, the space agency said.

India to unveil anti-poverty budget

India's centre-left government will focus on fighting poverty and helping debt-hit farmers when it delivers this week what could be its last budget before the next general election, economists say.

Britain nationalises Northern Rock bank

Britain's ailing mortgage lender Northern Rock, hit by a global credit crunch, is now in public hands, the government said Friday after announcing it had acquired all the bank's shares.

Japan's auto sales in Asia to top local market

Japanese automobile sales in other Asian markets are forecast to reach five million units in 2008, surpassing the domestic market for the first time, a newspaper said Sunday.

MTI Consulting, UK's intangible asset valuation firm sign deal

MTI Consulting has formed a strategic alliance with UK's leading intangible asset valuation company Intangible Business Limited, says a press release.


55pc non-merit quota in BCS exams unconstitutional

Fifty-five percent of non-merit quota in Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examination is unconstitutional and it should be revised immediately to enhance the efficiency of the civil service, said the experts at a discussion yesterday.

Beef up security at dormitories

Students of five female halls of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday demanded immediate measures to beef up security at their dormitories in the wake of an incident of theft at Tapasi Rabeya Hall.

'A Golden Age' reveals reality of liberation war

The publication ceremony of a book titled 'Sonajhara Din', the Bengali version of a novel 'A Golden Age' by Tahmima Anam, was held at the Goethe Institut in the city yesterday.

'Hold talks before Mar 25 to set up inquiry commission'

War Crimes Facts Finding Committee yesterday called on the caretaker government to take initiatives to hold a constructive dialogue before March 25 in order to set up an inquiry commission to investigate the war crimes and the crimes against humanity during the War of Liberation.

Visit to Japan will expand ties

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury left for Tokyo yesterday morning on an invitation of Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura.

Four killed in road accidents

Four people were killed and 22 others were injured in separate road accidents in Sylhet, Magura and Sirajganj districts.

Uphold spirit of Language Movement

Amar Ekushey and International Mother Language Day was observed in Bangladesh missions abroad with due solemnity and in befitting manner.

'Leaf colour chart to help produce 30 lakh tons more rice a year’

Additional 30 lakh tons of rice could be produced in the country per year through successful promotion of 'leaf colour chart' (LCC) at the growers level.

HC issues show cause notice to ACC on Ilyas wealth report

A High Court bench yesterday issued a show-cause notice to the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) chairman, ACC secretary, the deputy director of the commission's Sylhet office and the law secretary as to why the issuance of an ACC notice asking for the wealth statement of M Ilyas Ali should not be declared illegal.

HC issues rule on govt

A High Court (HC) Division yesterday issued a rule asking the government to explain why the order to include Moshiur Rahman Kochi in the list of top criminals instead of Omar Faruque Kochi, an accused in 100 criminal cases, should not be declared illegal.

Deposition of witnesses ends

Deposition of the witnesses in the sensational Bahodderhat murder case ended here yesterday.

NDC, DSCSC building Bangladesh's image outside world: President

The 9th joint governing body meeting of National Defence College (NDC) and Defence Service Command and Staff College (DSCSC) was held at Bangabhaban yesterday with President Iajuddin Ahmed in the chair.

Training on disaster management beings

A seven-day training programme titled 'Regional learning by doing VCA (vulnerable capacity assessment) exercise' started at a city hotel yesterday, says a press release.

Unesco book fair on Wednesday

The inaugural ceremony of the Unesco Book Fair 2008 will be held at the Central Public Library at 11:00am on Wednesday.

Anti-adulteration drive soon

Anti-adulteration drive will resume in full swing very soon, said Industries Secretary Dr Mohammad Nurul Amin while inaugurating a One Stop Service Centre at Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute (BSTI) in the city yesterday.

Workshop for women journos begins in city

A weeklong workshop of Bangladesh Nari Sangbadik Kendra began in the city yesterday to help increase the expertise of women journalists.

Woman, her daughter stabbed

A woman along with her daughter was stabbed by her brother-in-law over a family feud at Soilargati under Tongi police station on Saturday.

Dockyard worker murdered

A dockyard worker was stabbed to death at South Keraniganj on Saturday night.

Mason shot by extortionists

Extortionists shot a mason at Rampura in the city yesterday as the owner of an under-construction building where he works refused to pay extortion to the criminals.

Death threat to Anu Muhammad condemned

The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Electricity and Port yesterday condemned the death threat to its member secretary Prof Anu Muhammad.

Death of workers in S Arabia condoled

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday expressed deep shock at the death of four Bangladeshi workers in Saudi Arabia, said an official handout.

Int'l disability confce begins on Wednesday

The three-day third international conference of the Asia Pacific Disability Forum will begin in the city on Wednesday.

Community policing launched at RCC

Community policing was launched at ward no 20 of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) yesterday with a call to make the ward free from different crimes.

President, CA greet Kuwaiti counterparts

President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruiddin Ahmed have greeted their Kuwaiti counterparts on the occasion of the National Day of Kuwait that falls on Saturday.


Language hero Ziaul says youths can change nation

Language movement veteran Khan Ziaul Huq at eighty now works to contribute to nation-building and still dreams that Bangla will be used in every sphere of national life in near future. He also likes to dream a better future for the nation.

Army assistance speeds up CHT road development

Road development projects in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) are progressing fast as Engineering Construction Battalions (ECBs) of Bangladesh Army are working with a few government departments and international organisations engaged in the sector.

JMB 'second in command' in Tangail arrested

An alleged cadre of Jama'atul Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB) was arrested in Tangail Saturday night.

Baukul : The man behind farmers' fortune

Baukul, a wonder fruit, is now an agricultural buzzword and promises fortune for farmers. But few people know about the men behind it.

Migratory birds in Moulvibazar pose bird flu threat

Moulvibazar district is in high risk of avian influenza (bird flue) as haors in the area are favourite places of migratory birds that are potential carriers of the virus.

SCC drive soon to free streams from grabbers

Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) has taken initiative to remove illegal structures along the banks of 15 natural streams (locally called chhara) flowing through the city.

8 cops punished in Barisal in three weeks

Police authorities have taken disciplinary actions against eight police personnel under Barisal range on various charges including that of corruption within three weeks of the current month, sources in the office of the deputy inspector general (DIG) of police said.

6 widows of Liberation War martyrs demand allowance

Six widows who lost their husbands during Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 have appealed to the caretaker government to provide them with monthly allowance needed for their survival.

Akhaura GRP OC closed

A police official has been closed to Chittagong range for his negligence in duty.

Proper use may save 30 lakh MT urea

Agriculture experts at a workshop here yesterday said proper utilisation of urea fertiliser can cut agricultural expenditure by about Tk 630 crore as it would save 3 lakh tonnes tons of urea. Besides, rice production will increase by 30 lakh tones annually by proper utilization of urea.

Vested quarters plotting against Bangalis, alleges Somo Odhikar

Somo Odhikar Andolan (SOA), a platform for Bangali settlers, at a press conference at Rangamati Reporters' Unity office yesterday demanded immediate stoppage of alleged harassment and conspiracies against them in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

Jute workers continue agitation

Aggrieved casual workers of six state-owned jute mills yesterday burnt effigy of BJMC Chairman Ataharul Jslam at on the compound of Eastern Jute Mills at Atra industrial belt.

BSF returns two bodies

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) returned bodies of two Bangladeshis after a company commander level flag meeting with Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday, BDR sources said.

Tiger kills boy

A man-eater Royal Bengal Tiger yesterday morning killed a teenaged boy when he went to collect leaves for the deer of Burigoalini forest office at Bakhrakhali in the Sundarbans.


Democracy & corruption

There is no alternative to democracy for good governance and prosperity of the nation. At the moment we are passing through a crucial period of institutionalisation of democracy in our country. The present government is working to give us a genuine voter list, bringing reforms in the political parties, identifying the corrupt people and musclemen, to keep the electoral process away from their unholy influence. We are very much hopeful about the success of the CTG. The foreign powers are also pressing the government to lift emergency and hold an election as soon as possible because our development partners want to see a democratic Bangladesh as their partner.

Local languages

Many communities like Chakma, Marma and Rakhaines are living in different places in Bangladesh. But they are on the verge of losing their linguistic identity.

Future of United States

We are watching with keen interest the election campaign of the United States. We are excited and engrossed by the unfolding drama and holding our breath to see the outcome of the election.

President Musharraf

There seems to be a huge applause in Pakistan on Musharraf's imminent ouster. We as Bangladeshis welcome the end to a military regime. But we should also not forget that the General is the only Pakistani leader who expressed regrets for the genocide in 1971. During his time, Pakistan enjoyed the best relations with India and had a long economic upturn. It is the same politicians who were ousted for corruption that came back to defeat him. Let it be a reminder for all Bangladeshis that we have to finish the anti-corruption drive and make sure that the rule of law is established.

Role of banks

Thanks to the Bangladesh Bank for the belated step in directing the commercial banks of the country to find ways to reduce the wide gap between lending and deposit rates . But it is not always the deposit rate which affects the cost of funds in a bank. Although it has a direct link, but free money (about 20% app.) in the banking channel plays a great part in arriving at the funding cost of any bank which means actual effective funding cost of any bank is much less than the real deposit rate. Therefore, it would have been better if the equation could be made between their cost of fund and the lending rates. The spread in such circumstances would be more yawning. A spread of seven percent and above at the sweet will of the banks is too high for the entrepreneurs to do business profitably by taking bank loan, and if allowed to continue this trend will undoubtedly impede industrial development in the country.

Pitha Festival-2008

The word "Pitha" gives us the smell of delicious cakes. And to make pithas more popular, pitha festivals are the best occasions. That's why to inspire the young generation not to forget our traditional foodstuff, some people organised a pitha festival in Rajshahi.

The language issue

This editorial of 6 February is quite timely. The problem has arisen because of the clever attitude of some Bangladeshis ( mostly abroad) who have managed to identify the language of Bangla with Matri Bhasha or Mother tongue. Of course a proper language must have its alphabet, its vocabulary and grammar and a standard pronunciation over a large area of population for mutual understanding, and thus Bangla Bhasha has evolved over centuries from many dialects of various mother tongues or brojo-bulee, matri-bulee etc. When a bulee becomes a bhasha with all necessary elements, it is the bhasha which must be given prominence by the educated citizens and matri bulees or dialects must only remain in the background of culture or literature, but never occupy the centre stage.

Marrying a foreign national

After reading a few correspondences in the newspapers on the above issue, I felt an urge within myself to clarify it further. Following is the existing law in brief as per the gazette notification vide the ordinance no. LVII of 1976 relating to the Public Servants ( Marriage With Foreign Nationals ) Ordinance,1976, issued under the signature of the late President A.M. Sayem dated 7th July 1976.

Violating traffic rules

This morning (19 Feb) sometimes after 9:am, I was coming up the Gulshan Avenue (south to north) towards the first circle intersection, when a police pick-up with horn blaring was leading a Bangladesh flagged car.

Rights of minorities

In Bangladesh, we (non Muslims) are the minority. The majority people are better placed. It is natural. But it is also natural to have our right to observe religious festivals established fully. Sadly, the reality does not reflect that. On 11 February, we observed our Saraswati Puja. Almost all of the educational institutions remain closed on this day. But the English medium schools are not caring about our religious values. They were running classes. Saraswati is our Goddess of knowledge, art, music and others. But our English medium students are not getting any chance of praying to our Holy Goddess. This is quite unfair. We must learn English but of course not at the cost of our own religious values.

The old and the new

Warriors and despots are generally bad economists - Richard Cobden, the19th century 'apostle of free trade'.

Quota system

The students of DU should think first whether there is any quota system in their university for 'dependents of DU staffs'. And is it for the fourth class poor employees or for all including teachers and officers? They should abolish it first, if there is any.

Energy policy

The energy policy needs to be publicly accessible and this is a standard practice of any democratic nation. If it is open to general people it will remove the doubts on our leadership. Once the policies are rock solid, sensible and pro-national interest, it will be very easy for the people as well for the investors on energy or other areas to participate in international bidding. If the policies lack clarity, national interest will be harmed.

Hillary Clinton

The recent setback experienced by Sen. Hillary Clinton, a deserving presidential candidate for nomination from the Democratic Party, proves the fact that the Americans perhaps need some more time to fully attain the goal of their propaganda in support of women's empowerment!

Padma bridge

We welcome the announcement of construction of the Padma bridge next year by the respected Chief Adviser. We hope all preliminary work would be completed to implement this "Mega" project to further facilitate our communication link with the southern districts.


Turkey presses offensive in northern Iraq

Fighting intensified Sunday between Turkish troops and Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, amid US calls for Turkey to wrap up its military incursion in the region as swiftly as possible.

Fate of ousted judges hangs over Pakistan

Days after opposition parties triumphed in elections, lawyers chanting for President Pervez Musharraf's resignation were tugging at the barricades around the home of the judge whose ouster and house arrest helped trigger Pakistan's political crisis.

Lankan war outcome appears as uncertain as ever

The battle lines are clearly drawn in Sri Lanka with the government vowing to finish off the Tamil rebels, but after decades of bloodshed a final outcome appears as uncertain as ever.

Manmohan govt looks at April deadline for N-deal

As the clock ticks away for the nuclear deal with the US, the Indian government is planning to conclude a safeguards pact with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) latest by mid-March and has set itself an April-end deadline to force the issue with its Left allies which are determined to thwart the deal.

EU pulls out of divided Kosovo city

The European Union has withdrawn staff from a divided Kosovo city following violent protests by the Serb minority, an EU envoy said Saturday as Russia warned Kosovo's independence could increase terrorism.

Hitler, Frankenstein fight it out in Indian state polls

When politician Adolf Lu Hitler-Marak stands for election in an Indian hill state next month, even he may have a tough time standing out in a field of the most unusually named candidates.

Musharraf clings to power

The motivation of the black-suited lawyer, campaigning noisily in front of barbed wire, barricades and several dozen riot police, could not have been simpler.

White House campaign packs surprises

US presidential campaigns have certain rules: it's best to be rich, famous, show verbal savvy in attacking your opponent, and to have served as a state governor rather than in Congress before aspiring for the Oval Office.

Castro rejects idea of political change

Fidel Castro on Saturday rejected the idea of major political change after Cuba's parliament chooses a new president his final published comments as the nation's longtime leader.

Arroyo not losing sleep over ouster calls

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo is not losing sleep over loud calls for her resignation as a result of the purported bribery and overprice scandal attending the scrapped National Broadband Network project.

Amended constitution issue to rock session

Controversy lies in store for the opening session of the new Pak National Assembly as the interim government's legal experts have decided to get printed a fresh edition of the Constitution, incorporating all amendments introduced by President Pervez Musharraf during the emergency rule.

Unique solar probe freezing to death

The Ulysses solar probe, after 17 years of studying the sun and solar system, is about to die by freezing to death, Nasa and the European Space Agency said Friday.

Japan launches Internet satellite

Japan successfully launched Saturday an experimental satellite aimed at providing high-speed Internet access across Asia, even when terrestrial infrastructure goes down, the space agency said.

3 killed in Lankan suicide blast

Three people were killed in an apparent suicide attack in Sri Lanka's restive east yesterday while security forces threw a blanket of security over the capital to prevent new attacks, officials said.

ICC vows to bring Darfur war criminals to justice

Nine months after the first arrest warrants were issued for those suspected of being behind atrocities in Sudan's Darfur region, the chief international prosecutor believes he has the masterminds in his sights.

Uganda signs permanent truce with LRA rebels

The Ugandan government said it had signed a permanent ceasefire accord with the Lord's Resistance Army rebel group on Saturday, a landmark step in efforts to end more than two decades of civil war.

Attacks down in eastern Afghanistan: US general

Insurgent attacks have tumbled in eastern Afghanistan, notably along the border with Pakistan, in recent months compared to the same period in 2007, a US general said yesterday.

India to host next military exercise with China

India will host the second joint military exercises with China, as the neighbours continue to mend ties after a brief but bitter border war in 1962, a report said yesterday.

China keen to help solve Darfur conflict

China's special envoy to Darfur on Sunday said he wanted to extend a "helping hand" towards solving the Darfur conflict, after criticism over Beijing's role as Khartoum's main arms supplier.

6m N Koreans chronically short of food: UN

Nearly six million North Koreans are in chronic need of foreign food aid this year with children, nursing and expectant mothers and the poor most at risk, the World Food Programme said yesterday.

Russia slams US 'cynicism' over Kosovo

Moscow accused Washington of seeking to humiliate Serbia over Kosovo ahead of a visit today to Belgrade by Russian Deputy Prime Minister and presidential hopeful Dmitri Medvedev.

Castro's influence waning fast

Fidel Castro's daughter said Sunday she believed her father may be deathly ill and was exerting progressively less power, as Cuba's one-party legislature readied to pick his successor.

Arts & Entertainment

"Sheeter Pangktimala" Love & despair in winter

Sheeter Pangktimala, a collection of poems by 45 prominent and promising Bangladeshi poets, was published by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on February 23. Adviser to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Rasheda K. Chowdhury launched the book at the National Music and Dance Centre of the Academy.

Amar Bhashar Cholochchitro '08

To observe 'Amar Ekushey', Dhaka University Film Society (DUFS) has organised a weeklong film screening session titled 'Amar Bhashar Cholochchitro 2008'. The festival is running from February 22 to 27 at the Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) Auditorium, University of Dhaka.

BIT's Silver Jubilee celebration

Bangladesh International Tutorial (BIT) inaugurated the three-day long cultural programme on the occasion of its Silver Jubilee at The Red Brick School Auditorium of its Uttara branch on February 23. Fazle Hasan Abed, founder-chairman of BRAC was present as the chief guest.

Competition on language for students

A daylong competition on language among students was held at Tangail on February 22.

3rd Citycell-Channel i Music Awards today

The gala event of the 3rd Citycell-Channel i Music Awards will be held this evening at the Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre at 6:30 pm. It is the most elaborate award giving ceremony on music in Bangladesh, where singers and technicians will be awarded in twenty different categories.

Art camp in aid of Sidr-affected children

A group of twelve artists from Dhaka have come together in aid of children traumatised by the Cyclone Sidr in Kuakata. Working for Better Life (WBL), a local organisation has coordinated an art camp with the help of the artists including Alokesh Ghosh, Tarun Kumar Ghosh, Ranjit Das, Mohammad Eunus, Kazi Salauddin Ahmed, Tayba Begum Lipi, Nazia Andaleeb Preema, Mahbubur Rahman, Sheikh Ahsan Ullah Mojumder, Kazi Sayeed Ahmed and Nahid Niazi Nipu, says a press release.

Ustad Captain Azizul Islam performs in Chennai

Ustad Captain Azizul Islam performed at the Chennai Seafarers' Club in Chennai, India recently, says a press release. The programme jointly organised by Chennai Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, Institute Of Marine Engineers and Company of Master Mariners was a solo flute recital by Ustad Captain Azizul Islam.

The black and blue world of Amy Winehouse

Born and raised in North London, Amy Winehouse spent her teenage years balancing school and boyfriends with hours locked in her bedroom, ears glued to classic song chord changes. Her voice, however was clearly living a secret life, staying out, getting high, breaking down, going to prison and violating parole by leaving the country with a gun toting maniac gangster. At least it sounds that way.


Bangladesh on higher ground

DESCENDING in a helicopter, through rain and mist, onto a crowded but remote char island, the enormous and immediate dangers of climate change suddenly, ominously, seemed very, very real. The island, in the middle of the massive Jamuna River, is a hostage to erosion, threatened by rising sea levels, and no stranger to severe flooding. On these shifting sands live some two million of Bangladesh's poorest and most vulnerable people; people for whom climate change is not a theory but a fact of daily life.

Sorting out destiny

DR. Mahatir Mohamad, the former PM of Malaysia, had a vision. He converted his vision into reality in his lifetime. In the 1960s and 1970s Malaysia was a developing nation, and its destiny, becoming a middle-income nation, was achieved through the 20 year development plan of Mahatir's government.

Democracy in Pakistan might bring tension with Washington

THE decision by the opposition parties that won Pakistan's February 18 parliamentary election to work together offers the hope of bringing democratic stability to a dysfunctional nuclear state.

Star City

Textbook delay costs 2 academic months

Millions of schoolchildren in the capital city and elsewhere have already lost almost two months of the academic year 2008 for not getting the necessary textbooks due to delay in delivering those by the authorities.

Waste of time forces them to go too fast

Experts say the shortage of textbooks and delay in getting them have serious effect on the students and their parents.

It has become regular feature, just stop it

One of the leading experts of education policy Professor Muzaffer Ahmad said the current textbook crisis in the country is a general reflection of the education sector of Bangladesh. The crisis has become a regular phenomenon and it has to be altered.

DCC playing dubious role on public places

The role of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) in maintaining the city's parks, playgrounds and open spaces has always been dubious, leaving these public places in a deplorable state.

"city express"

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

The Daily Star

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