The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, August 1, 2014


News of: Monday, 3rd of March, 2008

Front Page

Jalil goes to Singapore tonight for treatment

Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil will fly to Singapore tonight for treatment as the government yesterday decided to release him on a 30-day parole considering his critical condition.

Contempt of court ordinance okayed

The cabinet yesterday approved in principle the much-talked about Contempt of Court Ordinance to clarify the definition of contempt, enhance accountability of judges and reduce chances of future arbitrary rulings.

Swindler NGO men flee with Tk 250cr

Mozahar Hossain was enthusiastic about being a member of local NGO Freedom Unnayan Sangstha in Natore depositing only Tk 6,400, as the return seemed very promising. Initially he was asked to bring two more members to start getting Tk 570 a week until Tk 29,540 in 57 weeks.

Relatives retrieve six more bodies

The relatives of missing passengers in Thursday's launch capsize in Buriganga recovered six more bodies from the river yesterday, raising the death toll to 46.

DU teachers, students join sector commanders

Several hundred students and teachers of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday expressed solidarity with the demand of trial of war criminals.

CA for ending disparity in education system

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday called for removing disparity in the education system, especially between urban and rural educational institutions.

Purchase committee okays rental power plant at Ashuganj

The advisers' committee on public purchase yesterday approved a bid for the 50 MW Ashuganj rental power project to be awarded to local Green Power Ltd.

Burned housewife succumbs after 9 days' struggle

A housewife died of burns at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) in the early hours yesterday, nine days after her husband and in-laws allegedly set her on fire as her family refused to give dowry.

First Bangladeshi to get into Interpol

For the first time a senior police official from the country will be posted to Interpol's general secretariat in Lyon of France.

Justice Badrul retires early

Justice AK Badrul Haque, a High Court Division judge of the Supreme Court, yesterday resigned citing 'personal ground'.

Gen Moeen's India visit successful

Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said Army Chief of Staff General Moeen U Ahmed's week-long visit to India has been 'extremely successful' for expanding cooperation between the two close-door neighbours.

Reconsider decision to sue Hyundai

South Korea has requested Bangladesh to reconsider its decision to go to international court against the Korean construction-company Hyundai for the expanding cracks in the Jamuna Bridge.

Voter listing progress hailed

United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Renata Dessallien yesterday called on the caretaker government to complete its proposed reforms, the political parties to adopt democratic practices, and voters to choose competent candidates in the upcoming elections.

Five die of Nipah virus

Five people including three members of a family died of Nipah virus at a hospital in Faridpur on Saturday evening.

Japan to include Padma Bridge project in next year's aid plan

Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said Japan would include the US$ 1.2 billion Padma Bridge project in its rolling plan next year.

Hearing resumes today on EC's letter dispute

Hearing on a High Court (HC) rule regarding Election Commission's invitation letter to BNP for holding dialogue with the commission on electoral reforms will resume today in an HC division bench.

Charge-framing hearing resumes today

The hearing on charge framing against Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina and seven other people in the Tk 3 crore barge-mount power plant corruption case is set to resume today after being postponed five times.

Jail authorities asked to explain failure to produce 3 accused

A Dhaka court issued a show cause notice asking the jail authorities to explain why they failed to produce three accused before it yesterday in connection with the case for making an attempt on former premier Sheikh Hasina's life in August, 1989.

Proteas pace too much for Tigers

Bangladesh batsmen appeared helpless against the fiery South African pace attack as they all but confirmed another innings defeat after the third day of the second and final Test at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Hearing on HC rule against EC March 19

A High Court division bench yesterday fixed March 19 for hearing on a rule to the Election Commission (EC) regarding its failure to hold parliament election within 90 days of the dissolution of parliament in October 2006.

Form national alliance to try war criminals

Demanding trial of war criminals, speakers at an international conference on genocide, truth and justice stressed the need for forming a national alliance in this regard.

40 killed as bomber strikes Pak tribal meet

A suicide bomber blew himself up yesterday at a large meeting called by tribal elders pushing for peace in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 40 people and injuring more than 100, witnesses and officials said.

Abbas halts contacts with Israel

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas formally suspended all contacts with Israel yesterday in protest at the blitz on the Gaza Strip that has killed nearly 70 people, his spokesman said.

Russia elects Putin successor in 'rigged' poll

Large numbers of Russians voted yesterday in a presidential election slammed by foreign and domestic critics as rigged in favour of Vladimir Putin's chosen successor, Dmitry Medvedev.

Editorial

Medical ethics

WHAT could be a better occasion for the chief adviser to caretaker government to counsel the new generation of doctors about medical ethics than the 10th Convocation of Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons (BCPS) held in the city on Saturday? Keeping in mind the glorious tradition of the medical profession in these parts and seized of the erosion of that legacy through a degree of commercialisation, the physicians' somewhat tarred image needs to be positively enhanced. He talked about qualities of a good doctor like treating patients with compassion, setting examples of humane conduct, protecting dignity and privacy of patients and abiding by the principles of medical ethics.

Doubling of overseas employment

IT is very good news that according to government figures, overseas employment of Bangladeshis in 2007 has doubled over 2006. By implication, therefore, we can assume that remittances in this account must have also increased proportionately. And that is what compels us to posit the question whether the conditions of our workers abroad have improved correspondingly in the last one year?

NGOs: A 'new class' shaping the international system?

THE international community is, today, witnessing an interesting devolution of power-hitherto unfamiliar to mankind -- with the vital parts of the states' authority shifting to agencies, organisations like business cartels, international organisations (IO), non-government organisations (NGO), and a myriad other citizens' groups that have emerged as a "new class" in international relations shaping a spanking new global system.

The elusive search for international law against terrorism

THERE are credible reasons to believe that terrorism afflicts the whole world, and has acquired the dimension of an industry. It has become an instrument of international politics. In fact, there are clear instances to prove that armed groups patronised by the superpowers have become armed mercenaries with little or no respect for international borders. The Taliban is a case in point.

EMI-SEZ salesmanship won't do

Now that India has to have a general election within 14 months, if not earlier, the Congress is making moves to face the contest, if not quite fight it. It's doing so reluctantly, without much spirit. Or else, it wouldn't have adopted defensive, dodgy or tactless postures, neglected alliance building, and presented an unappealing appearance.

Sports

'We bounced them out'

One may question whether the Tigers batsmen have got the ability to sustain themselves against a quality pace attack like South Africa's after the way they capitulated against the fiery quick bowling led by young sensation Dale Steyn.

Risky ladder

The iron ladder that connects the two parts (second floor and rooftop) of the media centre at Chittagong Divisional Stadium has been a matter of both discussion and displeasure for local sports reporters since the second Test between Bangladesh and South Africa began on February 29.

Victoria, Biman cruise

Big guns Victoria Sporting Club and Bangladesh Biman comfortably won in the Premier Cricket League but Young Pegasus upset Old DOHS as the first round of the competition concluded yesterday.

Food tastes bitter for cops

Around 100 on-duty police fell sick after taking 'free' meal at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium during the second day's play of the second Test between Bangladesh and South Africa on Saturday.

Aftab out of danger

Things turned bad to worse for the Tigers on the third day of the second Test against South Africa yesterday when middle-order batsman Aftab Ahmed was forced to leave the field after being hit by a bouncer from Jacques Kallis.

Ton-up Tendulkar takes India into the lead

A historic Sachin Tendulkar century ensured India claimed first blood in the tri-series finals with a stunning six-wicket win over Australia at the SCG here on Sunday.

Real gain initiative

Real Madrid carved out a scrappy 3-2 win at Recreativo Huelva on Saturday to open up a five-point lead at the top of La Liga as rivals Barcelona crashed to a 4-2 defeat at Atletico Madrid.

Chelsea castle Hammers

Arsenal left it late to stay top of the Premier League as second-placed champions Manchester United closed to within a point on Saturday.

Dubai Dementieva's

Elena Dementieva produced a major surprise when she captured the ninth title of her career with a victory over her Russian compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova in the Dubai Open.

Ribery inspires Bayern

Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery reinforced Franz Beckenbauer's opinion that the German giants rely too much on the star midfielder by setting up the only goal in Saturday's 1-0 win at title-rivals Schalke 04.

Roma capitalise on errors

Three comical errors from Parma helped gift hosts AS Roma a 4-0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday and moved them to within six points of leaders Inter Milan.

Lyon extend lead

Lyon warmed up for their Champions League return with Manchester United and bolstered their quest for a seventh straight league title on Saturday with a 1-0 away win over Lille before a record first division crowd at the Stade de France.

Trouble at Villa Park

Trouble flared at Arsenal's Emirates stadium on Saturday after a section of Aston Villa supporters sang songs mocking the serious injury sustained by Gunners striker Eduardo last week.

Robben out of Roma clash

Arjen Robben will almost certainly miss Real Madrid's Champions League last 16 second leg match against Roma on Wednesday, according to officials of the Spanish club.

Ali Daei Iran's coach

Iran on Sunday in a shock move chose former star player and world record international scorer Ali Daei as the new coach of the national team, the ISNA news agency reported.

Keegan will stay

Kevin Keegan has been given a vote of confidence by Newcastle chief executive Chris Mort despite his failure to win a game since taking over as coach at the club for a second time.

Seedorf doubtful

Veteran AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf could miss Tuesday's Champions League clash with Arsenal because of an injury picked up in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Lazio.

Local Snippets

Cox's Bazar became the last qualifier for the 4th JFA Cup Under-15 Football Championship final rounds when they defeated Chittagong 6-5 in the tiebreakers yesterday.

Sultan to work till polls

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president SA Sultan wished to be active again and complete the election of the federation by the April 30 deadline. But he was unsure which way things would precede in the next two months.

Title goes to India

Virat Kohli's India juniors won cricket's Under-19 World Cup with a 12-run victory over unlucky South Africa in a rain-hit final here on Sunday.

'Mumbai is Sachin's team'

The Reliance Industries-owned Mumbai franchisee had gone to last month's Indian Premier League (IPL) players auction armed with a strategy and wish-list outlined by master batsman Sachin Tendulkar and executed them to a large extent, according to the chief representative of the franchisee.

Sunrise end with win

Sunrise KC finished third in the Senior Division Football League table when they defeated Dhaka Wanderers 3-2 on the concluding day of the 13-team competition's first leg yesterday.

BOA election this month

The long due election of the Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) is expected to be held this month, informed BOA chief operating officer Col (retd) M Waliullah yesterday.

Div 1 cricket

Gorsthanpara Krira Sangstha defeated Sapient Sporting Club by three wickets in the Naheed Cotton First Division Cricket League at the local stadium here yesterday.

Business

Tata shifts focus from $3b Bangladesh investment

Tata, the Indian conglomerate, is shifting its focus away from its US$ 3 billion investment plan for Bangladesh, with the company's senior representative leaving Dhaka and not being replaced.

Local energy drinks launch export push

The producer of energy drink Royal Tiger has stared exporting the product, competing head to head in the Middle East with international brands such as Red Bull.

Inflation rate drops slightly in January

The overall inflation rate decreased slightly and reached 11.43 percent on point-to-point basis in January what according to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) due to little decrease in rice prices in the month.

Technology comes and stays in Bangladesh

Whatever new technology comes along, it doesn't seem to matter. It all looks so simple when Rafique installs one after another mobile base stations on high-rise buildings throughout Dhaka.

Bangladesh to continue to post budget deficit in 2007-08

Bangladesh will continue to post a budget deficit in 2007-08 fiscal year, as revenue expansion fails to keep pace with growth in spending, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

AB Bank's merchant banking wing submits Tk10cr fine

AB Bank's merchant banking wing yesterday submitted the Tk10 crore fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Thai business jittery at return of Thaksin

Ousted Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra's homecoming has left business leaders wary as the self-made billionaire casts a long shadow over the new government's economic policies.

RMG industry needs to improve designs

Bangladesh's apparel industry should upgrade designs to add more value to products, Executive Director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Mustafizur Rahman said yesterday.

Forex reserve hits $6b

The country's foreign exchange reserve crossed US$ 6 billion mark for the first time, backed by substantial increase in foreign aid coupled with sales proceeds from the majority shares in troubled Oriental Bank.

China fast becoming the world's shipyard

In a drydock at a shipyard in northeast China's Dalian city, a 300,000-tonne oil tanker is ready for delivery to Maersk, its hull painted in the Danish shipping company's trademark blue.

DSE AGM now May 15

The annual general meeting (AGM) of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) will be now held on May 15 instead of March 13.

Asian currencies up against dollar

Asian currencies were mostly up against the struggling US dollar, which weakened further after the US central bank chief expressed concern over the country's economy, saying it faced multiple challenges.

Production in Alim Jute Mills to resume soon

Production in state-run Alim Jute Mills in Khulna will resume soon as the lay-off order was withdrawn with effect from yesterday, mill officials said.

Square Pharma to enter Malaysia

Bangladesh's Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd has received approval for six of its products to enter Malaysian market.

Indian carmakers cut prices

Homegrown car maker Tata Motors Saturday reduced prices of its hatchback Indica and Sedan Indigo by up to Rs 15,300 to pass on the benefit of excise duty cut to its customer.

HSBC posts 12.4pc profit rise

HSBC has been tipped by analysts to report on Monday a 12.4 percent profit increase for 2007 as a strong performance in Asia helped offset rising US bad debts and asset write-downs from the credit crunch.

Opec prepares to meet amid record oil prices

Opec, whose member countries together pump 40 percent of the world's oil, was expected to maintain its official output ceiling on Wednesday as crude prices trade at record highs above 100 dollars.

Doha trade deal still 'doable': WTO chief

The Doha round of world trade talks could still be concluded by year's end, the head of the World Trade Organisation said Saturday, despite a European warning of a "high risk of failure."

ICC-B workshops from today

The International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh (ICC-B) in collaboration with German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) is organising two workshops on international trade payment practices in Chittagong today and Dhaka tomorrow, says a press release.

Metropolitan

South Asia to face absolute food crisis in days to come

Painting a gloomy picture of environmental degradation across the globe, Dr Atiq Rahman, winner of the Champions of Earth Award 2008, yesterday urged the world leaders to make the planet a fairer and better place to live in by establishing social justice.

Customers concerned about compensation

Customers of BRAC Bank Ltd's locker services affected by the recent theft at the bank have expressed concern about the compensation they are to receive in 90 days as committed by the bank.

Hospital ransacked in Chittagong

A gang of musclemen ransacked a private hospital and assaulted the patients and staff of the hospital in the port city yesterday.

CMP to seek court instruction on appointment of IO

Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) would seek court instruction regarding appointment of an investigation officer (IO) for further investigation into the sensational Chittagong arms case.

Road crashes kill 4

At least four people were killed and two others injured in separate road accidents in Chittagong, Gopalganj and Tangail yesterday and on Saturday night.

3 murdered in city

Three people were murdered in separate incidents at Jatrabari, Sutrapur and Khilgaon in the city in the last two days.

Build cross dams, dikes to reclaim new lands

The Dutch government representatives yesterday suggested building cross dams and dikes at specific areas to fetch part of huge sediments flowing into the bay for reclaiming new lands along coastal areas.

Body to re-fix minimum wages for tea workers

The government yesterday formed a committee for re-fixing the minimum wages for the tea garden workers.

Dhaka firm to implement int'l humanitarian law

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said that Bangladesh is committed to implementing International Human Rights Laws and places a priority on the issue.

Verdict in graft case against Abul Hasnat today

A special court dealing with graft charges will deliver today its verdict in a case filed against Awami League (AL) leader and former chief whip Abul Hasnat Abdullah for concealing information in wealth statement and amassing wealth illegally.

CJ calls on president

Chief Justice M Ruhul Amin called on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban yesterday.

Engage Hamas in dialogue to avoid violence: Iftekhar

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday observed that engaging Hamas in a dialogue is necessary to prevent the crisis from spurring out of control, and end the sufferings of the Palestinian people.

Factory worker commits suicide

A worker committed suicide after he was beaten by the owner of his factory for allegedly stealing machine parts of the factory at Araihajar in the district on Saturday night.

Wasim Sajjad meets Fakhruddin

Pakistan Senate Chairman Wasim Sajjad appreciated the caretaker government's efforts, particularly preparation of voter list with photograph, towards holding a free, fair and neutral election in Bangladesh.

UNDP happy over progress in voter registration

United Nations Resident Coordinator Renata Dessallien yesterday praised the Election Commission (EC) and the armed forces for registering 40 million voters, saying this a 'fantastic Job'.

French national doped, mugged at Kamalapur Rly Station

A gang of muggers doped a female French national at Kamalapur Railway Station last night and took away 700 euros, a passport and three air tickets from her.

'Reform edn policy'

Education policy should be reformed to create knowledge-based generation, said the experts at a conference in the city yesterday.

2000 sarees for Sidr victims

Bangladesh Association of Construction Industry (BACI) donated 2000 sarees to the Chief Adviser's Relief Fund for the Sidr victims recently, says a press release.

Valuables worth Tk 30 lakh gutted

A devastating fire gutted valuables worth over Tk 30 lakh burning down a microbus and seven business centres at Katiadi Sadar in the early hours of yesterday.

Bagerhat Jubo Dal president held at jail gate

District Jubo Dal president and Shatgambuz UP Chairman Fakir Tariqul Islam was arrested from the jail gate soon after his release on bail yesterday afternoon.

President, CA greet Bulgarian leaders

President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday felicitated their Bulgarian counterparts on the occasion of the country's Liberation Day that falls today.

One dies in C'nawabganj train accident

An unidentified person was killed in a train accident at Mahadanga near Chapainawabganj Rail Station in the district yesterday morning.

Fertiliser seized in Gopalganj

Police seized 540kg of urea and potash fertiliser in a shop at Moiarbari Bazar under Kotalipara in Gopalganj last night.

Body of BAF officer arrives from Congo

The body of Flight Lieutenant AKM Nazmul Huda, who died of malaria on February 26 while he was on UN Mission in Congo, arrived in the city yesterday, says an ISPR press release.

Technology fair begins at BAU

A two-day technology fair-cum-training on food security for sustainable household livelihoods (FoSHoL) for field officers of NGOs began at the Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) on Saturday, says a press release.

Watsan expo begins tomorrow

A two-day exposition on water and sanitation titled 'Watsan Expo 2008' marking the United Nations international year of sanitation 2008 will begin at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Centre tomorrow.

Winter Exercise of BAF begins

BAF Winter Exercise 'Wintex-08' started at all BAF Bases on Friday, says an ISPR press release.

DU MHE admission test postponed

The admission test of the Masters of Health Economics (MHE) programme for the session 2005-2006 of the Institute of Health Economics, University of Dhaka has been postponed due to unavoidable circumstances, says a press release.

BU spring semester orientation held

The orientation programme of the spring semester of Bangladesh University (BU) was held at the university premises yesterday, says a press release.

Training course on PR begins March 15

Bangladesh Institute of Journalism and Electronic Media (BIJEM) will organise a two-week long training course titled 'Public relations and modern techniques of public relations' beginning from March 15, says a press release.

National

Special policy needed to draw investment in Uttara EPZ

Business leaders in greater Rangpur have demanded a 'special industrial policy' for the monga-prone area to attract investment in Uttara Export Processing Zone (Uttara EPZ) and create jobs.

Fertiliser crisis affects Boro in Kishoeganj

Farmer Shamsul Huq said he went to Alongjury union of Itna upazila eight times but did not get any fertiliser.

RU 4th class staff stage sit-in

Several hundred controversially appointed fourth-class employees of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday staged a sit-in demonstration in front of the Senate Bhaban demanding immediate regularisation of their jobs, campus sources said.

Plum promises fortune for five friends

Initiating a plum cultivation project with modern agriculture technology on six bigha of land six months ago, five friends in Singair upazila in Manikganj are expecting a profit of Tk-10 lakh this year as they have already started reaping the fruit.

Indo-Bangla talks on Kurigram border dispute begins today

A four-member Indian delegation today sits with their Bangladesh counterpart to settle down demarcation on border areas in the district.

Transfer Barnali gang rape, murder case to STT

The Khulna chapter of Bangladesh Society for Enforcement of Human Rights (BSEHR) has demanded transfer of the sensational Barnali Ghosh gang rape and murder case to Speedy Trial Tribunal.

Khulna WASA acting MD appointed

Additional Divisional Commi-ssioner Begum Shamima Sultana was given the responsibility as acting managing director of Khulna Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) with effect from yesterday.

Abduction bid foiled, Indian held

An Indian was caught by local people while he was trying to abduct a grocery shop owner at Samanbhag tea garden in Baralekha upazila in the district Saturday night.

Wife killed for dowry

A housewife and mother of two children was killed for dowry allegedly by her husband at Argarahut of Daipukuria union in Shibganj upazila yesterday, police and victim's family sources said.

Khagrachhari Ananda Mela begins today

A fortnight long Ananda Mela will begin here today.

Letters

RMG workers

We feel embarrassed when we read the news that our garment workers block the streets demanding fulfilment of their basic rights. About 7% of our total exportable income comes from the garments sector and this sector also generates about 20% employment. Despite all this, no long-term policy has been formulated yet for the betterment of the workers and this industry by the entrepreneurs or the government. Should we draw a comparison with other sectors, it will be clear that this sector is not well established, well organised, well salaried (at the workers level), well bonded (between workers & owners) and is based on labour exploitation.

Ekushey

Claude Levi Strauss once remarked that the French Revolution represents an apocalyptic convergence of the past, the present and the future for France as a national entity. I strongly feel that Ekushey February of 1952 is analogous to such an “Epiphany” for Bangladesh. It captures the essence of our nationality. And to make an end is to make a beginning. History will reveal a pattern that Bangladesh is not an ordinary nation among the third world countries to contend with. One can even claim, without any axe to grind, that its people have already proved to be greater than its leaders, who somehow have always failed to measure up to their expectations because of hubris or tragic flaws, inevitably precipitating their downfall.

Talk shows on agriculture

The TV channels are holding talk shows on agricultural production, price level and inflation. The marginal farmers who do not have any TV set or any access to information are not really reaping any benefit from this type of talk shows. Those who listen to this type of talk shows are well aware. It is better to hold a seminar or a talk show at the village or thana level and deliver the message on the spot.

Between the devil….

The general people of Bangladesh are facing a real dilemma with regard to the question of holding the next general election. Some of our intellectuals and political leaders are appealing for an early election as a solution to the current national crisis, particularly the economic one, and some of them do not want an election just for holding another election, that is, an election must be free, fair and impartial, which will produce a functional parliament, not a dysfunctional one.

The language issue

In response to the cover story "Preserving Purity" published in the Star Weekend Magazine (on February 22, 2008), I decided to write this letter to convey a few words about this topic. The theme of the cover story was to save the pure Bangla which is now getting mixed up with the informal one. Actually, language, the way of communication, is based upon change, evolutions and development. So, through formal Bangla comes the informal one just like the English not used traditionally in the day-to-day life of the English speaking people. It is not that I am disregarding my own language for which the valiant sons of Bangladesh gave their lives but today's generation wants to have an easy path of conversation through which they can express their everything freely. There is a need for formal Bangla along with the use of the prevalent one.

Forgetting our culture?

Nowadays the new generation likes fusion, rap, pop, metal, remix etc.

USAID for crop diversification

According to a recent USAID press release, the United States will undertake a programme involving more than $50 million to help the farmers in the Dominican Republic learn how to be competitive by growing new crops and manufacturing handicrafts for the global markets.

Buriganga tragedy

It is the same old story. Launches capsize all too easily and malpractices of owners, IWTA, Ministry of Shipping, police at terminals, and various others are never brought to light, in spite of the so-called committees formed so speedily after so many tragedies in Bangladesh. That has not yielded any results which could bring the culprits to book. It is no secret that the majority of the launches do not comply with the authorised specifications/drawings, they exceed their load capacity, bribe the police and are not operated as per marine laws etc. etc.

My experience with doctors

The caretaker govt's drive against revenue corruption and fraud is being pursued in full swing but another corrupt practice of a very grave nature affecting both the revenue of the govt. and the pocket of general masses is being totally ignored. I am talking about the corrupt practices of the doctors, whether for writing prescription or giving specialised services. I am sorry to see that neither the govt nor the medical council, constituted of doctors only, has looked into this social corruption involving our life and death. In the absence of any strong Regulatory Authority, the doctors are involved in corrupt practices and earning a huge amount of money without paying taxes to the govt. These practices, if left unchecked, will become the greatest social menace.

Dhaka- Kolkata train service

We welcome the initiative of General Moin to sort out differences with the Indian authorities. We are optimistic about improvement in Indo-Bangla relations after his visit.

War criminals & voting right

It seems there is confusion and mix-up on this vital issue of national importance. I am most surprised that even intellectuals and people we regard as having balanced opinion are delivering mixed views.

Doctors

Giving medicare service to people is a noble profession. People from all walks of life are benefited by sincere health services from the doctors and so they respect the doctors wholeheartedly. In spite of all the limitations, their sincere efforts to give better treatment to the patients are commendable. We should not forget that we live in a poverty stricken country. Our govt. with limited resources cannot bring positive changes in the hospitals overnight. In Bangladesh, a person can easily get treatment from a government hospital almost free of cost, but in other countries this is not possible. As per the standards of modern medicare the hospitals are not well-equipped with modern instruments, still the doctors are trying hard to give better service with what they have.

Kosovo: US role

Predominantly Albanian Muslims recently declared their independence in Kosovo backed by the USA and some other European nations. Germany, Britain, Italy, Turkey and a few more countries, meanwhile, recognised Kosovo as an independent and sovereign country.

Hospitals and our leaders

A news item in today's (February 15, 2008) newspapers has attracted my attention. It is on the health condition of Sheikh Hasina, a former prime minister of Bangladesh, who is now in custody suffering from ear and eye ailments and has marginal blood pressure. Some physicians examining her in jail have recommended that she be shifted to the Bangabandhu Hospital for observation and treatment. The IG (Prison) has even assured that she can be sent to any hospital of her choice in Bangladesh for treatment. But she has stated that she is concerned about her security in a hospital in Bangladesh and has expressed her wish to be sent to the US for treatment. Zillur Rahman, a leader of the Awami League, in echoing Sheikh Hasina's wishes, has even suggested that the party (Awami League) will bear all expenses of her treatment in the USA. Sheikh Hasina has been in the USA, during and after her premiership, for treatment of her various ailments.

International

Israel vows to keep up deadly Gaza assault

Israel vowed yesterday to keep up its assault on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, which has killed more nearly 70 Palestinians and has threatened to entomb the recently-revived Middle East peace process. "It must be clear that Israel has no intention to stop for one moment the fight against terror organisations," Olmert said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, adding it would continue to hit gunmen.

Ahmadinejad makes landmark Iraq visit

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived Sunday in Baghdad for the first-ever visit by an Iranian president to Iraq, walking a red carpet past Iraqi troops to meet the president of a once-bitter enemy nation that's now under growing Iranian influence.

Iran military strike 'unlikely to succeed: British MPs

A military strike against Iran would be unlikely to succeed and would only inflame tensions in the Middle East, an influential group of British MPs warned yesterday.

21 Tigers, 3 soldiers killed in Lanka

At least 21 Tamil rebels and three Sri Lankan soldiers were killed in weekend clashes in the north and east of the island nation, the army said yesterday.

Day of destiny looms in White House race

The destiny of the searing Democratic White House battle is on the line in two key states tomorrow, with Barack Obama seeking a knockout, and Hillary Clinton desperately reaching for a lifeline.

Ties with India will not be hostage to Kashmir: Zardari

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said on Saturday that good relations with India would not be held hostage to the Kashmir issue and the two countries would wait for the future generations to resolve the issue in an atmosphere of trust.

Emergency imposed in Armenian capital

Tanks and troops patrolled the Armenian capital Yerevan yesterday after eight people were killed during violent protests against alleged rigging of a presidential election.

Major al-Qaeda figure in Iraq killed, says US

A US military helicopter fired a guided missile to kill a wanted Saudi Arabian al-Qaeda in Iraq leader who was believed responsible for the bombing deaths of five American soldiers, a spokesman said Monday.

Saudi to become solar power centre

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, plans to become an expert in another, cleaner field of energy by investing in solar power, the country's oil minister said in an interview released Sunday.

Way cleared for calling Pak assembly session

The Pakistan Election Commission on Saturday officially notified the results of the Feb 18 polls for all but 41 seats of national and provincial assemblies which were withheld on technical reasons, thus paving way for summoning the sessions of the newly-elected assemblies by as early as next week.

Arts & Entertainment

Patho Natok Utsab '08 inaugurated

A weeklong Patho Natok Utsab (street theatre festival) '08 was inaugurated on March 1 at the Central Shaheed Minar premises. To mark the month of 'Freedom', Bangladesh Patha Natak Parishad (BPNP) has been organising the festival on the first week of March for the last 15 years.

Feroza Begum on her musical journey

The legendary Nazrul singer Feroza Begum, recently spoke on her involvement with the genre and how she struggled to give Nazrul Sangeet the platform it rightfully deserved. As the chief guest she gave an in depth speech on Nazrul songs at North South University. Dr. Azfar Hussain of NSU was the coordinator and the programme was chaired by Dr. Selim Sarwar.

Pancha Kobir Gaan

Titled Dakey Koyela Barey Barey, a musical soiree arranged by cultural organisation Nandan was held at the Ramesh Chandra Dutt memorial auditorium, Chhayanat Sanskriti Bhaban on March 1. The programme featured songs of the 'Pancha Kobi' (five poets) -- Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, DL Roy, Atul Prasad and Rajanikant Sen).

The art of recitation: Then and now

Noted Broadcaster Iqbal Bahar Choudhury needs no introduction to the radio and TV audiences in our country. In fact, Bangla speaking people all over the world know the baritone voice thanks to VOA's (Voice of America) Bangla Service. Choudhury is in Dhaka to attend the 50th anniversary of VOA's Bangla Service -- being celebrated this month. The broadcaster whose career spans over almost six decades went over his experiences, reminisced over the good old days of recitation and his latest projects.

Bon Bibi Mela: An indigenous festival of the Sunderbans

The popularity of the traditional Bon Bibi Mela is on the decline due to a lack of support from authorities. Celebrated in the villages surrounding the Sunderbans, locals of all religions have long prayed to the Bon Bibi for protection, as they believe she has powers over wild animals.

“The Other Boleyn Girl”: Sibling rivalry for royal attention

More slog than romp, The Other Boleyn Girl tells the salacious story of two blue bloods who ran amok in the court of Henry VIII. Best known for losing her head to the king, first metaphorically, then literally, Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman), along with her sister, Mary (Scarlett Johansson), entered the court of the king (Eric Bana) when he was still married to Catherine of Aragon (Ana Torrent). A man of considerable and changeable appetites, the king yearned for a male heir and anything in a frock who wasn't the queen. His wish was their command.

Justin Timberlake to induct Madonna into Hall of Fame

Justin Timberlake will induct Madonna into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Spice Girls in emotional goodbye

The Spice Girls have bid an emotional goodbye to fans in a thank you note on their website.

OP-ED

Kalkey ashen: A national scourge

HAVE you been to some office to resolve a household or personal matter when you have been told "Kalkey ashen (K-A)?" Undoubtedly! Have "you" ever said K-A to someone who came to you to resolve a problem? If so … shame on you!

So far so good

THE aftermath of Pakistan's February 18 parliamentary election has created hope of ending Pakistan's political dysfunction. The voters overwhelmingly rejected supporters of General (retired) Pervez Musharraf at the polls, and the leaders of the country's major political parties have agreed to work together to build a democratic political order.

The cost of conflict

Before America invaded Iraq, officials in the Bush administration estimated that the war might cost tens, at most hundreds, of billions of dollars. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes of Harvard's Kennedy School lay out very different figures in their new book, The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict. In it, they tally data on everything from troop pay to equipment to veteran's entitlements to larger social and economic costs, and examine how mismanagement, opaque accounting, and the privatisation of conflict have resulted in a megabill that Americans could be paying back for the next half-century. Stiglitz recently spoke with Newsweek's Rana Foroohar.

My sports car is not fuchsia

WOMEN in Asia have smaller vocabularies than men but talk more, scientists have discovered. Yet females have a much larger choice of words in certain areas, such as in the description of colours, boffins say.

Star City

Traffic chokes road to campus

Unauthorised parking of vehicles in front of the main gate of Jagannath University is creating serious disorder around the campus, hampering academic atmosphere at the institution.

Playing games in guise of custodian

Gulshan Youth Club has been illegally occupying Gulshan Central Park since 1975 turning the public playground into a money-spinner in the name of maintenance.

"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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