The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, July 22, 2014


News of: Monday, 10th of March, 2008

Front Page

Rice, edible oil prices go up further

Prices of two essential commodities, rice and edible oil, went up further on local markets over the last two days.

Dev outlay faces slash, revenue budget to balloon

The government is likely to revise the budget for the current fiscal year, by downsizing the development budget and expanding the revenue budget.

Hasina stands in dock, doubts getting justice

The hearing on charge framing against Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina and six others in the barge-mounted power plant graft case began yesterday.

MPs' influence in local govt to go

The council of advisers to the caretaker government is set to finalise proposals for revoking power of members of parliament over upazila parishads and to empower the Election Commission (EC) to announce schedules for holding polls to the parishads.

Rupali sale deal to be cancelled today

The government is going to cancel today the process of Rupali Bank sale to Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Saud after deals and negotiations for two years.

Implementation timeframe not fixed

Although the government has announced the much-awaited national policy for women development to ensure equity for men and women in all spheres of life, it has not fixed any timeframe for its implementation.

Hasina should be sent abroad for ear treatment

Three specialist doctors yesterday said detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina should be sent abroad immediately for treatment of her ears as she runs the risk of going completely deaf.

Saifur rejects Hannan offer

M Saifur Rahman, the standing committee-appointed acting chairman of BNP, has rejected pro-Khaleda leader Brig Gen (retd) Hannan Shah's proposal to cancel the decisions made by the party's standing committee on October 29.

EC's only objective is to hold polls by '08: CEC

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said the only objective of the Election Commission (EC) is to hold parliamentary polls by 2008.

No govt move to conserve St Martin's Island

Although St Martin's Island has been announced an ecologically critical area no government agencies are active to conserve endangered resources in and around the country's only coral island.

Make 'crossfire', torture in police custody punishable offence

Participants at a consultative meeting on the proposed police reform ordinance in Cox's Bazar yesterday said 'crossfire' and inhuman torture in police custody should be made punishable offence.

Biman leases Boeing-747 from Nigeria

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd has taken out a lease on a Boeing 747-200 from a Nigeria based airlines in a bid to minimise the disruptions in flight schedules.

Janakantha editor, Rajuk official get 7yrs in bldg design case

A special court dealing with corruption cases yesterday sentenced editor of the daily Janakantha Atiqullah Khan Masud to seven years' imprisonment for getting the design of a building approved from Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakkha (Rajuk) illegally.

Dr Kamal blames parties for emergency

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday held major political alliances responsible for the promulgation of state of emergency in the country.

Badawi rejects calls to quit after polls debacle

Malaysia's prime minister said yesterday he does not intend to quit despite unprecedented electoral losses that gave the opposition control of five states and one-third of the Parliament.

US for free, fair, fully participatory election

The US wants to see a free, fair and a full participatory parliamentary election in Bangladesh by the end of this year, as promised by the present caretaker government.

SA sail on Smith ton

Graeme Smith led from the front with his seventh one-day century as South Africa erased memories of their World Cup defeat to Bangladesh with a crushing nine-wicket win against the hosts in the opener of the three-match series yesterday.

HC gives 7 days to explain land allocation

A High Court division bench issued a rule nisi upon respondents to explain within seven days as to why the allocation order of 25 acres of land of Suhrawardy Udyan for use as a golf course by Dhaka Club should not be declared illegal.

Rajshahi poultry farm owner, family safe from bird flu danger

The poultry farm owner and his wife and son, who were quarantined on suspicion of avian influenza infection, were released from Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) yesterday after pathological tests in the capital produced negative results.

NGO victims seek justice

NGO victims yesterday marched towards Natore district headquarters defying police interception and demanded justice in what they said was a swindle committed in cooperation with local administration.

Extortion charges framed against Khulna mayor

Charges were framed yesterday against detained Khulna City Corporation (KCC) mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman and seven others in the Tk 4.5 lakh extortion case.

Emon admits involvement in 7 murders

Top criminal Sanjidul Islam Emon yesterday confessed to his involvement in seven murders committed between 1994 and 2002.

Saudi Crown Prince Sultan gifts Ershad Mercedes car

Saudi Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz recently presented a Mercedes-Benz 350 car to former president Hussain Muhammad Ershad.

Pak parties agree to form coalition govt

Pakistan's two main opposition leaders agreed Sunday to form a coalition government, and urged President Pervez Musharraf to convene parliament without delay.

Democrats criticise Bush's CIA-bill veto

Democrats and human rights advocates criticized President Bush's veto of a bill that would have banned the CIA from using simulated drowning and other coercive interrogation methods to gain information from suspected terrorists.

Editorial

National policy for women development

THE National Women Development Policy 2004, came under fire of women rights groups and civil society leaders for having done away with some of the equal rights provisions of the 1997 policy guidelines. The women development policy just announced by the interim government is an improved version on that adopted in 2004.

Criminal negligence in hospitals

THE suffering endured by service seekers in a number of government-run hospitals, touched a new low following a10-hour power outage at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area. It speaks of sheer disregard for patients' lives. They failed to live up to the emergency situation by harnessing the needed logistics and thus mitigating the pain and suffering of the patients. The fact that treatment and emergency surgery were held up and ICU units remained non-functional for hours together for the lack of fuel for generators is simply unacceptable to us. That hospital authorities had no contingency plan whatsoever to face the situation became brazenly evident one more time.

Well past its unipolar moment

INTOXICATED with the conquest in the Cold War, American think-tanks and school strategists started describing their great country some times as a hyper-power and at others as an indispensable superpower. Terminologies like "new American century" and "US unipolar moment" proliferated almost overnight in the lexicon of strategic literature.

Indo-US nuclear treaty hangs in the balance?

THE much-talked about Indo-American civilian nuclear cooperation treaty appears to be in jeopardy as no tangible progress is being made towards the implementation of the accord, while Washington warns New Delhi that the "clock is ticking" on the issue. The agreement, seen by many as a "landmark" one in the bilateral relations, was agreed in principle by President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmoihan Singh during the former's visit to India in 2005.The two sides later met several times to hammer out the details, which have also been finalised.

Double play

THE Congress election formula is in place. E=M multiplied by C raised to the power of 2. E stands for Elections. M represents Money, public money of course. And C is for Chidambaram, the finance minister who delivers an annual elixir for permanent youth rather than a mere budget, unlike more pedestrian finance ministers.

Sports

Peerless Tamim

Among Jamie Siddons's charges, a very young team with an average age of less than 21 years, only Tamim Iqbal seemed to show some signs of maturity.

Captain defends decision to drop his deputy

Although the Bangladesh think-tank had not announced the playing eleven on the eve of yesterday's first one-day match against South Africa, it was hinted that Mashrafe Bin Mortaza was going to be dumped.

Lessons we never learn

"Orey marish ne, marish ne. Orey rakh bowlinge," (don't hit him, don't hit him, let him keep bowling) so yelled Jahangir Shah Badsha to yours truly many moons ago as we batted in a match against a particularly innocuous offie. The implication was clear, if we hit him for a few he would be taken off, milk him gently he would pay us in runs.

Chittagong Chillies

While the Proteas kept the Tigers under a tight grip, in all sections of the game, on the green centre of Chittagong Divisional Stadium (CDS) in another frustrating opener of an ODI series, the only positive one may pick would probably be the lively galleries yesterday.

Ashraful, Mashrafe to be auctioned

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful and vice-captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza will join Pakistan's Misbahul Haq and Australian all-rounder Shane Watson among the 18 players included in the second Indian Premier League (IPL) auction to be held in Mumbai on March 11.

Kiwis blow England away

New Zealand thrashed England by 189 runs in the first cricket Test here Sunday when England's second innings disintegrated after Kyle Mills ripped through the top-order.

Barnsley dump out holders

Holders Chelsea were knocked out of the FA Cup in the quarter-finals on Saturday when they lost 1-0 at Championship (second division) side Barnsley.

Inter's big party

Inter Milan kicked off their centenary celebrations with a 2-0 victory over Reggina and followed up with a feast of nostalgia.

Gomez buries Werder

Bayern Munich surged seven points clear in the Bundesliga after Luca Toni and Franck Ribery secured a 2-0 home win over Karlsruhe on Saturday while Werder Bremen were thumped 6-3 at VfB Stuttgart. Karlsruhe held firm at the Allianz Arena until Toni squeezed in a shot four minutes before halftime. Ribery made the game safe with a virtuoso goal in the second half.

L'pool's 'perfect' win

Liverpool piled more misery on Newcastle United with a 3-0 victory at Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday.

C'Ron fears bullies

Cristiano Ronaldo claimed that poor refereeing standards in English football have left him 'scared' to play his natural game after a controversial performance by referee Martin Atkinson contributed to Manchester United's shock 1-0 FA Cup exit at the hands of Portsmouth.

Taken for a ride, Cage style

A prankster pretending to be Oscar-winning American actor Nicolas Cage fooled Real Madrid into thinking he was the real thing and enjoyed red carpet treatment at this week's Champions League match against AS Roma.

The Bird backs his Tykes

Legendary cricket umpire Dickie Bird believes his hometown football club of Barnsley can go all the way and win the FA Cup after the shock 1-0 quarterfinal triumph over Chelsea.

Blatter's no to technology

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has called a halt to the development of goal-line technology with the game's rulers opting to risk human error when it comes to contentious decisions.

PSG lose more ground

Paris Saint Germain slumped closer to the French first division trapdoor on Saturday after a 2-0 defeat at Rennes which was so appalling that even their own fans walked out in protest.

Beckham allays fears

David Beckham shrugged off fresh injury fears on Sunday after a clumsy challenge which looked to have dented his England recall bid.

Press hail Cup magic

British newspapers hailed more major upsets in the FA Cup Sunday after big fish Chelsea and Manchester United were both knocked out by minnows in what one paper called "this hazy, crazy cup year".

Blatter against all-Brit team

FIFA president Sepp Blatter insisted Sunday that a Great Britain football team at the 2012 Olympic Games should feature only English players.

Optimist Ancelotti

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Saturday that his team's dismissal from the Champions League will help them qualify for next season's competition.

'Enough is enough'

Cricket Australia have written to their Indian counterparts demanding they discipline outspoken spinner Harbhajan Singh for a recent outburst against Australian cricketers, reports said Sunday.

Roddick claims Dubai

Andy Roddick produced one of his best performances for many years to win the Dubai Open title with a 6-7 (8/10) 6-4, 6-2 win over Feliciano Lopez of Spain on Saturday.

Sachin hails IPL project

Sachin Tendulkar was today named captain of the city franchise team christened 'Mumbai Indians' to take part in the Indian Premier League and proclaimed that the Cricket Board-promoted event will be a "super hit" tournament.

Bangladesh face Afghanistan in AFC Cup opener

Bangladesh will play their AFC Challenge Cup qualifying round opening game against Afghanistan at the Bishkek Central Stadium in Kyrgyzstan on May 5.

Local Snippets

Rajshahi beat Kushtia 33-23 goals in the opening match of the final phase of the Exim Bank 18th National Men's Handball competition at the outer stadium handball ground yesterday.

Vaughan wants belief

Captain Michael Vaughan says England will focus on lifting confidence ahead of the second Test after New Zealand thrashed them by 189 runs in Hamilton.

Draws order of the day

Sunrise Sporting Club came from behind to play out a 1-1 draw with Jatrabari Krira Chakra in the Super Six match of the Metropolis Senior Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Winning side retained for 2nd Test

New Zealand have retained the same 13-man squad who trounced England by 189 runs in the first cricket Test here Sunday for the second Test starting in Wellington on Thursday.

Proteas to enchant youngsters

Visiting South Africa will play an exhibition cricket match with a team comprising the staffs of series sponsor Warid Telecom and underprivileged youngsters of Sir Salimullah Orphanage today.

Business

Foreign investors oppose trade unions in factories

Foreign investors in and around Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) have warned that the introduction of trade unions at factory level will hold back further investment in the port city.

Winners and losers as Asian rice price spirals higher

The soaring price of rice has triggered a supply and demand crunch that is hurting some of Asia's neediest nations, forcing them to spend more on imports, industry experts and officials say.

Dhaka asks Tokyo to lift export ban on mangoes

Dhaka has officially asked Tokyo to lift the ban on export of mangoes from Bangladesh to Japan, raising hopes for local mango growers.

Industrial, company laws to be reviewed

The government is contemplating reviewing the industrial and company laws to remove any loopholes, targeting more FDI (foreign direct investment) for the country, said the special assistant for industries and civil aviation.

Cartoons draw in business

Donkeys are usually slow and stupid, but Shamsuzzaman's intellectual Donkey named Pachu is exceptional, always making a fool of his owner.

Jewellery trends adapting to record gold prices

Diamonds might be a girl's best friend, but for those buying jewellery at a time of record gold prices, a new trend for lightweight pieces using semi-precious stones and organic materials might be a welcome ally.

Malaysia's polls shock rattles investors

Weekend elections that have reshaped Malaysia's political landscape will reverberate in the stock market and could dampen investor confidence, economists said Sunday.

Decision on appointing PSI firms Thursday

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is likely to decide on appointment of PSI firms at its Proposal Evaluation Committee (PEC) meeting on Thursday.

PSI waived in poultry feed raw materials, farm machinery

The government has waived pre-shipment inspection (PSI) of raw materials for poultry feed and all kinds of poultry-farm machinery considering heavy loss caused to the sector due to bird flu.

Annisul Huq aims to strengthen apex trade body

Annisul Huq, a presidential candidate for the FBCCI election, aims to strengthen and streamline the apex trade body so that the federation can play a major role in accelerating the country's economic growth.

China inflation likely to hit 8.3pc in Feb

China's inflation likely hit a new 11-year high of 8.3 percent last month on the back of rising food prices, state media reported Sunday, triggering speculation of a modest hike in interest rates.

WTO talks face critical period to wrap up new deal

Trade negotiators are entering a critical period in their efforts to wrap up a new world trade agreement by the end of the year.

Bogra int'l trade fair begins today

A month long international trade fair begins in Bogra today with companies from six countries including Bangladesh taking part in the show.

11-day Thai food festival begins in city

An 11-day Thai food festival has begun at the hotel Westin Dhaka in the capital.

Islamic finance expands as wealth grows in oil-rich Gulf

The market for Islamic finance and banking is growing rapidly in the oil-rich Gulf thanks to burgeoning wealth and attractive financial instruments.

China's employment situation 'very severe'

China's labour minister admitted Sunday that the booming economy faced a "very severe" unemployment situation as millions of new jobseekers join the market every year.

Vietnam's small-time investors feel crunch

After he started playing the stock market in early 2006, Tran Duy Thang made more than one billion dong (63,000 dollars) -- enough to buy a bigger home for his family.

Honda to build $485m factory in Japan

Honda Motor Co. will spend 485 million dollars to build a new factory complex in Japan to produce small vehicles as consumers are shifting to less fuel-hungry models, a report said Sunday.

Stocks continue rising

Dhaka stocks continued rising for the fourth day yesterday amid sharp up and down in indices.

Rouf Chy declared valid candidate

President of Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers Association MA Rouf Chowdhury has emerged as a valid candidate to contest the FBCCI election scheduled for March 17.

Metropolitan

70pc of expecting mothers suffer from anaemia

Speakers at a workshop yesterday called for raising awareness among the people in controlling communicable and non-communicable diseases including malnutrition problem.

$35m WB project for handicapped, vulnerable children

The World Bank (WB) has proposed taking up of a five-year long programme, costing US$ 35 million benefiting the handicapped and vulnerable children in Bangladesh.

Trend of terrorism, extremism high under undemocratic govt

Leading counter-terrorism experts yesterday said the trend of rising terrorism and extremism is high during an undemocratic government system as people cannot express their opinion and political parties cannot get involved with them.

Ban on Hilsa export again if necessary

Manik Lal Samaddar, special assistant to the chief adviser, yesterday said if necessary government will impose a ban on export of Hilsa fish again.

Expand bilateral trade

Newly appointed Ambassador of the Philippines to Bangladesh Zenaida Tacorda Rabago presented her credentials to President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban yesterday.

Road crashes kill 4

At least four people were killed and two others injured in separate road accidents in Gazipur, Kishoreganj and Chandpur yesterday.

FNB concerned over fraud NGOs

The Federation of NGOs in Bangladesh (FNB) in a statement yesterday expressed grave concern over the activities of some fraud NGOs in Natore that embezzled crores of money from the people alluring them of job and much profit, says a press release.

Commissioner gets 6 months RI in Khulna

A court here yesterday sentenced Khulna City Corporation (KCC) ward commissioner Sheikh Abul Kalam to six months rigorous imprisonment (RI) and fined him Tk 1,000, in default, to suffer one month more RI in an attempt to murder case.

Bangladesh attaches top priority to ties with Islamic states: Iftekhar

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said that Bangladesh attaches great priority to relations with Islamic states.

Most DU house tutors seldom found on duty

Most house tutors in Dhaka University (DU) residential halls are seldom found on duty although they have been enjoying all facilities to carry out their responsibilities properly.

WFP to continue support in food supply

Representative of the World Food Programme (WFP) Douglas Broderick said that his organisation would continue support to partner Bangladesh in satisfying its food requirements.

Hannan Shah demands resignation of CEC

In line with other BNP leaders, adviser of the BNP chairperson Brig Gen (retd) Hannan Shah yesterday demanded resignation of CEC Dr ATM Shamsul Huda for his recent statements and partisan remarks.

One dies of Nipah virus in Faridpur

A person died of Nipah virus attack at a hospital in Faridpur on Saturday night.

Nat'l election should be CG's priority: LDP

Fresh anarchy and division will be created in the country if the government takes the decision to hold local government election alone without consulting with the political parties, LDP leader Barrister Sheikh Razzaq Ali said yesterday.

ACC files case against Bogra BNP leader Saiful, his wife

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed a case against Bogra district BNP General Secretary Saiful Islam and his wife Ismat Ara with Bogra police station last night.

'Defer SQ method'

A number of guardians of secondary level students in different renowned schools in the city yesterday observed a sit-in at Central Shaheed Minar demanding the government defers the Structured Question (SQ) method, new type of question pattern for SSC examination to be introduced from 2010.

Eco park inaugurated in Sirajganj

An eco park was inaugurated near the Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge in Sirajganj yesterday.

PDB official arrested while taking bribe in Satkhira

An official of local Power Development Board (PDB) office was caught red-handed by the joint forces at his office yesterday while taking bribe from a consumer.

Exhibition of Bangladeshi artworks in Brussels Apr 3-12

An exhibition of contemporary Bangladeshi artworks will be held in Brussels on April 3-12.

One arrested for taking bribe

Joint forces arrested a section officer of Koira Upazial Office of Water Development Board while he was taking bribe from one Fazlu Sarder yesterday.

Body of missing youth recovered in Karnaphuli

The body of a youth who went missing on Friday in the river Karnaphuli was recovered yesterday morning.

Commonwealth Day today

Bangladesh will observe the Commonwealth Day today holding a national seminar on environment in line with the theme of the day this year "the environment our future."

DU to sack 8 teachers

The Dhaka University authorities are likely to sack eight teachers as they failed to resume their jobs after end of their sanctioned leaves for higher studies abroad.

Indian Visa Centre closed today, tomorrow

Indian Visa Application Centre will remain closed today and tomorrow, says a press release.

President, CA greet Russian president-elect

President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed have congratulated President-elect Dmitry A Medvedev on its landslide victory in presidential election of

BJFCI Ctg chapter formed

A 14-member convening committee of Bangladesh Journalists' Forum for Consumers and Investors (BJFCI), Chittagong chapter was formed on Saturday.

TV news presentation course ends

The certificate awarding ceremony of a month-long training course on 'TV News Presentation' organised by Bangladesh Institute of Journalism and Electronic Media (BIJEM), was held at the conference room of the institute on Saturday, says a press release.

Seminar on police role in preventing domestic violence tomorrow

A seminar on “The role of police in preventing domestic violence” will be held at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel tomorrow.

Discussion on Mahbub-uz-Zaman tomorrow

A commemorative discussion on Mahbub-uz-Zaman, former minister and a long serving cabinet secretary, will be held at Biam auditorium in the city at 4:00pm tomorrow.

National

Birshrestha Hamidur museum opens

The newly built Birshrestha Sipahi Hamidur Rahman museum and library, built to commemorate the great freedom fighter, was inaugurated at his native village in Moheshpur upazila yesterday.

Indigenous freedom fighters ignored

"We risked our life for the country's liberation but instead of getting recognition, we are ill-treated as aboriginal tribes," said indigenous freedom fighter Chin Sangma of Madhupur in Tangail.

Mango round the year

It is the month of 'Falgun' when mango trees are in buds. But trees in Shahidul Islam's orchard are full of mature mangoes.

Case against OC for 'killing' wife

A case was filed with Patkelghata police station accusing its officer-in-charge Kazi Mizanur Rahman allegedly for killing his wife Sadia Sultana.

NU to introduce grading system

Acting Vice-chancellor of National University (NU) Prof Syed Rashidul Hasan yesterday said they have taken a decision to introduce grading system which will be effective from 2007-08 session.

'Use mother tongue for schooling indigenous children'

Speakers in a discussion at Khagrachhari yesterday said unavailability of primary education through their mother languages acts as a barrier for indigenous children's schooling in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

Fair polls not possible under present CEC

Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, acting office secretary of BNP, yesterday came down heavily on Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda saying, a free and fair election will not be possible under him.

5 envoys visit Bandarban

The envoys of Myanmar, South Korea, Turkey, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam visited Bandarban hill district yesterday.

Arms recovered from possession of Sylhet Jubo League chief

Acting on his confession, law enforcers yesterday recovered three firearms and some ammunition from a ditch at the house of Sylhet district Awami Juba League chief and ward commissioner Jagadish Chandra Das.

Schoolgirls vow to fight corruption

It was different day at Chapainawabganj Government Girls' High School yesterday where over 600 students, in a unique oath-taking ceremony, vowed to uproot corruption unitedly for ensuring overall development in the country.

Arrest warrant against 4 PWs

Judge Abdus Salam Shikder of Khulna Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal yesterday ordered issuance of non-bailable arrest warrants against four prosecution witnesses in Khulna city Awami League president Manzurul Imam murder case as they did not appear before the court yesterday for deposition.

Letters

Stop acid violence

No other crime is as barbaric as acid throwing. Despite the law being very tough, this crime is still increasing alarmingly.

Role of political parties

Many political leaders, members of different political parties, activists and members of various civil society are asking questions with regard to the timing of and/or holding of the general election by the present government.

Seminar on the disabled

Yesterday (25th Feb) I attended a seminar on Disability Rights in the light of UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that Bangladesh has signed and ratified. Many luminaries attended the seminar from government, diplomatic missions, judiciary, law, media, members of local and international disabled peoples organisations as well as a professor of law from Harvard University. The seminar was a brilliant enunciation for promoting the rights of the disabled to rights-based from the existing welfare-based approach. It gained huge support from all, as it should.

State of economy

Two recent articles by Ahsan Mansur on the current economic conditions of Bangladesh published in DS have received my attention. To start with, I would like to congratulate the author for his interesting thoughts. His second article particularly addresses the concerns of some politicians, TV talk-show hosts and donor agencies who think that Bangladesh is heading towards a recession. Mr. Mansur provides us with some statistics on export growth, domestic credit growth, net foreign asset growth and growth of tax-revenue income for the last year - all indicators show that real economy is in the growth path.

Language issue

According to language experts, every two weeks a language ceases to be spoken.

Ekushey Book Fair

Being a first time visitor I was surprised to see a huge gathering. I have visited many fairs in my life, but I have never seen such a mass gathering. The campus was full of enthusiastic visitors. There was no empty space. But I was surprised when I came to the Bangla Academy gate. The queue was very long. I was not sure whether I would be able to visit the Book Fair as it would take a long time to enter the place.

Swindling by NGOs

Recently, an NGO cheated thousands of people with the help of the local administration. Now the victims are helpless. The NGO shattered their lives.

Gulshan Lake bridge

As is normal, we always wish to oppose and criticise everything without sound reasoning. The work of constructing a bridge across the Gulshan lake is an important project for serving public interest. Excepting the Kamal Ataturk road connection, the only other connection between Banani and Gulshan is the Mahakhali road. Both roads are off limits to rickshaws and rickshaw vans. Extreme difficulty is being faced in transportation between the two parts and it has to be experienced to be believed. Not one but several bridges are required across the Banani-Gulshan lake to facilitate essential movement. The Gulshan Society, BELA, PBA, etc. have no reason to oppose such projects.

Independence of Kosovo

The small captioned news that caught my eyes and made me happy was the Independence of Kosovo.

Whither rule of law?

One may argue with the contents of the letter of Dr. Abdul Moyeen, published in The Daily Star of 29-2-08 under the given caption, albeit it is difficult to contradict his noteworthy conclusion that “Everybody knows how corruption had spread during the five-year rule of the BNP-Jamaat, and how the country was run by the family of the PM and her son's office, Hawa Bhaban. Instead of taking any firm actions against those, the government has given its leaders a fairly royal treatment with almost no cases being filed against them and many of them are still at large, especially the ones who belong to the Jamaat.” I believe that the CTG ( Caretaker Government) would come forward to address this wide spread perception. Further, the following points also demand immediate remedy by the authorities.

University teachers

On 29 January 2008, I was stunned and dismayed to go through the media reports that the DU teachers, soon after their release, issued political statements asking the govt to immediately withdraw the state of emergency and declare specific date of general elections. They directed the CTG to hold immediate dialogue with the political parties. They also demanded release of the two former prime ministers including the detained student leaders. Seems they have not learnt any lesson from their past mistakes. The whole nation sympathised with them for their arrests and subsequent sufferings simply on the consideration that they are the honourable and learned teachers of the highest educational centres and held at the highest esteem by all and sundry.

Spirit of Ekushey

It was good to read, over Ekushey, the number of articles promoting more respect for Bangla and expressing dislike for the various ways in which it is being corrupted. This battle has to continue in all our schools!

International

Anwar bounces back as polls deal stunning rebuke to ruling party

Opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim hailed "a new dawn for Malaysia" yesterday after stunning election results that cemented his political comeback after being sacked and jailed a decade ago.

Left parties not happy with Indo-US nuke deal

The controversial Indo-US nuclear deal has returned to the centre of India's political discourse to once again haunt the relations between India's Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government and its crucial outside supporter the Left parties.

Gambari continues to pursue Yangon

UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari extended a mission to Myanmar by one day yesterday but appeared to have made little progress in persuading its defiant junta to make concessions on democracy.

UN envoy in Myanmar on ‘mission impossible’

The United Nations Special Envoy to Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, is in the country to discuss the military regime's plans for political change. During his trip, Gambari has already met the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and some representatives of the ethnic minority groups.

60 killed over weekend in Sri Lanka

At least 56 Tamil Tiger rebels and four government troops have been killed in heavy fighting across Sri Lanka's embattled north over the weekend, the defence ministry said Sunday.

Mideast peace talks to resume next week

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will resume next week after being temporarily halted by a fierce Israeli military campaign against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, officials on both sides said on Saturday.

Stop threats then we’ll talk, Iran tells West

Iran told the West yesterday it would only hold talks over its disputed nuclear programme if world powers stopped threatening further punitive measures against Tehran.

Spain holds general polls

Spaniards voted in an election yesterday that could give the Socialist prime minister a new mandate to pursue sweeping social reforms, but with the country still stunned by the killing of an ex-politican by suspected Basque separatists.

Attacks kill four in Iraq

Four people were killed and several others wounded in separate attacks in Iraq yesterday, Iraqi security officials said.

Mufti warns Saudis to watch their money

Saudi Arabia's top religious authority warned Saudis against giving money to "evil" organizations, a newspaper considered close to the government reported on Saturday.

Sarkozy faces test in local French polls

French voters headed to the polls yesterday in local elections seen as the biggest public test for President Nicolas Sarkozy since his election 10 months ago.

‘Al-Qaeda will rejoice if Obama wins’

A Republican congressman suggested, in an interview published Saturday, that the election of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will mean a victory for Al-Qaeda and other radical Islamists.

Pak cops teargas sacked judge's supporters

Pakistani police fired teargas at supporters of the country's sacked chief justice protesting outside his official residence in the capital Islamabad on Sunday, witnesses said.

India-Myanmar port development pact likely

India will host a top general from Myanmar's ruling junta next month and is likely to sign a pact to develop a key port in the southeast Asian country, a senior Indian official said yesterday.

Israel okays expansion of West Bank settlement

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has approved the construction of hundreds of new housing units at a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, the housing ministry said yesterday.

Arms dealer arrested in India

An Indian arms broker who has been accused of taking kickbacks to help seal a defence deal with Israel seven years ago was arrested on tax evasion charges at the weekend, a report said yesterday.

Fresh bird flu cases reported in India

Two villages in an eastern Indian state that appeared to have brought a widespread outbreak of bird flu under control last month have reported fresh cases of the disease, officials said yesterday.

China to launch most luxurious train

China will launch "the most luxurious train in the world" to ply the route from Beijing to Tibet's capital Lhasa, state media reported yesterday.

3 held in Goa over British teen's death

Police in the Indian resort state of Goa yesterday detained three men in connection with the murder of a British teenager whose partially naked body was found last month on a beach.

Arts & Entertainment

Saying 'No' to corruption on International Women's Day

To mark the International Women's Day as well as to generate awareness against corruption, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) jointly arranged a concert at the Gulshan Youth Club on March 8. Slogans included “Stand up for Women's Rights” and “Anti Corruption Movement and Women's Rights Movement hand in hand now”. Famed and upcoming bands and solo performers entertained the audience throughout the day.

Natyo Utsab '08 at Jahangirnagar University begins

Jahangirnagar Theatre (auditorium-based), one of the leading and active cultural organisations of Jahangirnagar University (JU), is celebrating its 28th anniversary with a weeklong theatre festival that began at the Mukto Mancho (Ampitheatre) on the campus on March 8.

Celebrations with piano notes and poetry

International Women's Day was celebrated recently at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture. The programme included piano performances by Galina Tihonenko and Galina Makarova. Students of the Russian Embassy School presented songs and recitation in which Irina Gadgieva excelled. This was in English, Russian and Bangla. They read out poems dedicated to the International Women's Day.

Discussion in memory of Language Movement veteran Sofia Khan

A discussion in memory of the late Language Movement veteran Sofia Khan was held in Tangail recently.

Addressing the marginalisation of women Observing International Women's Day

The students and teachers of Gender and Literature, Department of English, Jahangirnagar University observed the International Women's Day on March 8.

Kite Festival at St. Martin's Island

To many, kite flying is an adventure and chasing dreams to touch the sky. Just a decade ago, multi-coloured kites in the bright blue sky and children screaming and running after a fallen kite, were quite common in the villages and towns of Bangladesh.

Book launching ceremony in Mymensingh

The launch of a book titled Atripta Abelay, authored by a new writer Rafiqul Islam Rimon, was held at the auditorium of Mymensingh Press club recently.

OP-ED

Professor Rehman Sobhan in his own words

It has recently been announced that Prof. Rehman Sobhan is to be honoured with the Swadhinata (Independence) Award 2008 for his contribution to research and training, capping a life-time of service to the nation and the common good. Here we reprint a recent interview with the eminent economist conducted by Badrul Alam Nabil, chief reporter of Saptahik 2000 in which Prof. Sobhan speaks candidly about CPD, the current political situation, and the challenges facing Bangladesh.

Asian celebrities' turn to squirm

Top US gossip magazine The Hollywood Reporter is beefing up its operations in Asia, believing the region will become a major source of celebrity news.

Star City

Agony of falling sick on Fridays

Zakir was looking for a doctor in the area as his mother complained of breathing problem. But all the chambers were closed because it was Friday. He could not manage to find a single doctor to consult about his mother's sudden illness.

Now doll up to dance a tango, dear...

After conquering the dance floors in the Americas and Europe, the verve of the Latin dances -- Salsa, Tango, Rumba, Mamba, Merengue and more -- is now captivating Dhaka dwellers especially those belonging to the posh circles.

Honking of horns continues defying ban

A good number of heavy vehicles including buses and lorries are still using shrill horns despite a ban on them.

"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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