The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, August 28, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 19th of March, 2008

Front Page

ACC plans to go after graft by govt staff

The Anti-Corruption Commission is planning to dig out corruption in the civil administration across the country in the wake of enormous pressure from the field level.

Rice price keeps on spiralling up

Prices of rice rose further on both retail and wholesale markets in the capital during the last couple of days while prices of edible oil and sugar continued to fall throughout the week following a sharp rise a couple of weeks earlier.

WFP fears political, social unrest for price hike

The rising prices of food items, especially rice, may cause political instability in the country since poorer households spend up to 80 percent of their income on food, fears the World Food Programme (WFP).

Students in the dark as books not ready

The students of class IX are in the dark about their studies as the government after announcing new question method for 2010 SSC examinations and onwards has neither published new textbooks nor trained up teachers.

EC may ask army to take final voter list printing job

The Election Commission (EC) is now planning to ask the army to take the responsibility of printing the finalised national voter list with photographs in a bid to meet the deadline for finishing the job, stipulated by its own electoral roadmap.

Wari-Bateshwar one of earliest kingdoms

The discovery of silver punch-marked coins of the pre-Mauryan period dating back to 600 BC to 400 BC in Wari-Bateshwar reveals that the place was a Mahajanapada, one of the earliest kingdoms or states in the Indian subcontinent.

Rice import impasse ends

Import of rice from India at the previous cost of $505 per tonne begins today through Benapole land port as India yesterday finally allowed 3,000 rice-laden lorries stranded at Petrapole port for the last 12 days to deliver their consignments.

Bangladesh, UK to begin 'new strategic partnership’

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have agreed that Bangladesh and Britain would enter into a new strategic partnership based on shared values and vibrant economic ties.

MiG-29 case to resume as SC rejects Hasina's petition

The MiG-29 purchase graft case against detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina will resume at the trial court as the Supreme Court yesterday dismissed Hasina's petition for appeal against a High Court order that revived the case.

Radicals out to thwart war criminal trial move

Fundamentalists have made the National Women Development Policy 2008 an issue in a bid to suppress the public demand for trial of war criminals, participants at a roundtable yesterday said.

Emon thrived on Ctg gunrunner's supply

A Chittagong arms dealer supplied dreaded criminal Sanjidul Islam Emon with illegal weapons, which are now in possession of eight top listed criminals of the city.

AL, allies for quick return to democracy

Key leaders of different political parties yesterday strongly demanded that the caretaker government reinstates democracy in the country as soon as possible through holding a free, fair and credible election within the time stipulated by the Election Commission's (EC) roadmap.

Govt to consider salary hike of public servants

The caretaker government will consider increasing the salary of all government officers and employees in the wake of price hike of essential commodities.

Govt has to feed now 1.5cr ultra poor

Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC) head Akbar Ali Khan yesterday said the government has to feed at least 1.5 crore people hit by worsening food shortage and spiraling prices of essentials.

India eager to use Ctg port, wants transit

India is very much eager to use the Chittagong Port and transit facility through Bangladesh, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pinak R Chakravarty said yesterday.

Hasina declines to receive ACC notice

Detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina has refused to receive the Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) letter asking her for a statement in her defence in the Niko graft case.

Tigers win finally

Bangladesh finally ended a 14-match losing streak thanks to an eight-wicket win against lightweights Ireland in the first game of the three-ODI series at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

Power handover by elected govt to unelected one 'undemocratic'

Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar yesterday said it is undemocratic for an elected government to pass power to unelected representatives on dissolution of parliament.

ACC forms team to probe graft in RHD

As a part of the drive against institutional graft the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) has formed a four-member team to investigate graft in Roads & Highways Department (RHD).

WB MD for solution to soaring prices of essentials

World Bank (WB) Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said prices of essentials, particularly baby food, should be kept within the buying capacity of the common people.

Hearing on govt appeal adjourned till April 23

The Supreme Court yesterday adjourned until April 23 the hearing on the government appeal against a High Court order that quashed the proceedings of the Tk 2.99 extortion case against former premier Sheikh Hasina and declared illegal bringing of the case under Emergency Power Rules (EPR).

4 DU students appeal against conviction

Four Dhaka University (DU) students, who were convicted of violating the Emergency Power Rules (EPR) on the campus August 21-23 last year, filed separate appeals with the Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court yesterday challenging their convictions.

ACC sues Shahida Obaid and 12 senior ex- officials

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against 13 senior ex-officials of the Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, Dhaka, including its former chairman, secretary, controller, deputy controller and assistant controller, for misappropriation of about Tk 24.37 lakh.

Meet ends with no decision against suspects

The Syndicate of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) sat yesterday to discuss a review committee report on recruitment corruption there ended without any decision against those involved in the scam.

Sector commanders firm on holding Mar 21convention

Sector Commanders' Forum (SCF) yesterday vowed to carry on with their plan to hold national convention on March 21 after their earlier bid was thwarted as authorities did not give them permission to assemble.

Pak court meets amid looming showdown over judges

Pakistan's top court met yesterday amid a looming showdown between the country's new parliament and President Pervez Musharraf over his sacking of dozens of judges last year.

Obama confronts racial division in US

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama yesterday tried to stem damage from divisive comments delivered by his pastor, while bluntly addressing anger between blacks and whites in the most racially pointed speech yet of his presidential campaign.

Editorial

Exemption of taxes

COMMERCE Adviser Zillur Rahman has given the media to understand that the government is seriously considering exemption of import duty on rice and that there could be duty cutbacks on some other essential commodities. Before taking the steps, the government would have to be first assured of the majority benefiting from such action, he was quick to add. We read a certain hesitancy into the adviser's conditional statement which appears out of steps with the urgency of the price issue requiring quick anti-dotes.

Modernise the railway

ALTHOUGH the number of railway passengers has dwindled because of the improvement in other areas of surface transport in Bangladesh, in terms of actual volume more than 45 million avail the railway to get about within the country annually, a substantial figure indeed given the size of the railway. Yet Bangladesh railway has seen very little substantive improvement to speak of. Apart from occasional addition of imported coaches one finds very little to write home about by way of its development. The basic infrastructure remains archaic.

Faces that are hollow, eyes that are sunken

FINANCE Advisor Mirza Azizul Islam believes the economy is getting better. That presupposes the thought that the economy is at present in a good state. And yet, when you observe conditions around you, you tend not to agree with the advisor. And you do that because of all the realities you live through on a quotidian basis.

Australia's stolen generations: Bringing them home?

IT was a defining moment when the country's rock band "The Midnight Oil" displayed a bold "sorry" emblazoned on their costumes in the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympics in 2000, even if the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd failed to bring himself to articulate the same sentiment for what is widely known as the lost generation of Australia's first people -- euphuism for the victims of a state-sponsored kidnapping of Aboriginal children.

Guilt by association

RIGHT-wing Republican television and radio talk show hosts were ecstatic on Friday, March 14! Finally they had found Barack Obama's fatal flaw, a crack in his armour -- in the person of his pastor Jeremiah Wright.

Sports

Relief in Tiger's camp

'Are you a relieved man now?' was the expected question asked to Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful after his side's comfortable eight-wicket victory against Ireland in the first game of the three-match one-day series at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

Abahani make it big

Abahani maintained their impressive run in the Premier Cricket League when the defending champions inflicted a thumping 150-run defeat on Kalabagan Krira Chakra yesterday.

Booters call strike

Bangladesh's preparation for two international football tournaments -- the AFC Challenge Cup and the SAFF Championship -- ran into in jeopardy as the desperate footballers called a strike yesterday against the football's governing body.

Inzy can't forget Bob

Twelve months after the death of Bob Woolmer, former Pakistan captain Inzamamul Haq has admitted that he will never forget the inspirational cricket coach.

Local Snippets

Milon, Rana and Al Amin found the net once each in the first half as Badda Jagarani crushed Dhaka Wanderers 3-0 at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium yesterday in the super league to remain at fourth place in the Senior Division Football League. Badda followed champions Youngmen's Club (36 points), Sunrise (28) and Victoria (26) with 25 points.

Roma banking on fans

In-form AS Roma face a perilous threat to their recent winning run as they tackle cross-city rivals Lazio in the Rome derby on Wednesday.

Fergie wants goals

Manchester United want to get back on the goal trail when they face Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford here on Wednesday.

Owen the saviour

Kevin Keegan is backing Michael Owen to provide the goals that will keep Newcastle in the Premier League and insists the injury-plagued striker remains a "world class" asset to his squad.

Cole ready for lead role

Joe Cole expects Chelsea to emphasize their Premier League title credentials by gaining revenge over Tottenham in Wednesday's vital clash at White Hart Lane.

Valencia plead for time

Valencia defender Carlos Marchena has called upon critics to wait until the end of the season before passing judgement on coach Ronald Koeman.

Nadal faces Tsonga again

Defending champion Rafael Nadal swept aside US youngster Donald Young and booked a rematch with Aussie Open foe Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Indian Wells ATP Masters Series on Monday.

Henry's no to England return

Barcelona's French striker Thierry Henry, who has admitted he is suffering poor form, has rejected any suggestion that he wants to return to England, where he spent eight seasons with Arsenal.

‘We lack maturity’

Barcelona missed an opportunity to catch up to Real Madrid and showed it lacks maturity with its 2-2 draw at Almeria at the weekend, the Spanish club's midfielder Xavi Hernandez said Monday.

Lucio keen on Barca switch

Bayern Munich's Brazilian defender Lucio said on Tuesday he wants to quit the German league leaders in the summer with Spanish giants Barcelona reported to be interested in signing him.

Di Stefano still Real's best

Real Madrid's iconic former striker Alfredo di Stefano leads an online poll to pick the 100 best players in Real Madrid's history, the Spanish club said Monday.

French honour for Kopa

France was to bestow the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honour on former World Cup star Raymond Kopa at a reception at the Elysee, the French league announced Monday.

If Maradona can…

Diego Maradona and Evo Morales matched soccer skills at a charity game in the Bolivian capital as the Argentine hero joined the soccer-mad president in rejecting a FIFA ban on high-altitude international matches on Monday.

Patel still undecided

The International Cricket Council (ICC) may have jumped the gun while announcing the name of Imtiaz Patel for the chief executive's job.

Lankans in the runs

Malinda Warnapura and Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene warmed-up for the first Test against West Indies later this week when they took advantage of an inexperienced Guyana Cricket Board President's Select XI attack on Monday.

Captain content

England captain Michael Vaughan on Tuesday claimed the decision to drop Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison was vindicated by his side's victory in the second Test.

Pakistan to pick squad next week

Pakistan's national selectors will meet next week to pick the squad for the five-match ODI series against Bangladesh in April. A selector told the News that the selection committee will start taking inputs from the Pakistan team management before naming the squad.

Kartik adds to India's woes

India's injury woes ahead of next week's Test series against South Africa increased on Tuesday after recalled spinner Murali Kartik was ruled out with a torn ligament.

Lee misses maiden ton

Australian paceman Brett Lee fell agonisingly short of his maiden first-class century Tuesday when he was caught on 97 in the interstate cricket final between New South Wales and Victoria.

O'Connor, Ashraf to discuss tour rescheduling

Cricket Australia (CA) chairman Creagh O'Connor has invited Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf to discuss rescheduling the April tour which was postponed last week.

Bracewell sings Southee song

New Zealand are considering turning to teenage newcomer Tim Southee in a bid to secure their first home Test series win against England for 24 years, coach John Bracewell said Tuesday.

Bayliss looks to Murali

Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss has identified off-spin bowling legend Muttiah Muralidaran as the player that will make the difference in Sri Lanka's two-Test series against West Indies in the Caribbean.

Business

Best Air in talks to buy six new planes

Best Air has opened talks with aircraft makers to purchase six new planes in a multi- million-dollar deal as part of its plan to launch several international routes.

Annisul Huq set to become new chief of FBCCI

Annisul Huq is set to become the next president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), as his panel swept elections to the apex trade body.

50pc rise in CI sheet prices in 2 years

High import cost of raw materials soared the prices of corrugated iron (CI) sheet over 50 per cent in the last two years, halving the demand for the product that is mostly used by low-earning rural people.

Dhaka's five-star boom

Dressed in the finest traditional sherwani and paggree, the doorman ushers guests into the marble lobby of The Westin Dhaka, the capital's latest five star hotel situated in the heart of Gulshan.

The falling dollar, good and bad for Bangladesh

The sharp fall in the value of the US dollar in international currency markets will have a mixed impact on Bangladesh, favouring the country's exporters but pushing up the price of imports, experts said.

SEC rejects Grameen Mutual Fund prospectus

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected the prospectus of Grameen Mutual Fund Two for failing to fulfill necessary requirements.

Bangladeshis spend lowest on mobile phone in South Asia

Bangladeshis spend less on mobile phone use than any other people in South Asia, a new study reveals.

4 business houses agree to pay Tk14.5cr duty

Four business houses have agreed to pay Tk 14.5 crore in duty after they were found breaching conditions relating to duty-free import of machinery.

BSRS-BSB merger on cards

The government is going for merger of Bangladesh Shilpa Rin Sangstha (BSRS) and Bangladesh Shilpa Bank (BSB) to strengthen their operations, Finance Adviser Dr Mirza Azizul Islam said yesterday.

Poultry traders urged to take bio-security steps

Speakers at a view-exchanging meeting yesterday urged poultry traders to take proper bio-security measures and build waste management systems in poultry markets to check the spread of bird flu.

Govt likely to announce revised budget month-end

The government is likely to announce the revised budget for the current fiscal by the end of this month or in first week of April.

Fed poised to cut interest rates again

The Federal Reserve is expected to aggressively lower interest rates in its intensified battle against the credit crisis and spreading economic weakness. The question is whether all of the effort will turn the tide.

Banks to be asked to suspend loan recovery from poultry farmers

In the context of an outbreak of bird flu in the country, the Bangladesh Bank (BB) yesterday decided that it would issue directives to commercial banks to suspend their initiatives to recover loans, disbursed to poultry farms, for one year.

Visa set for massive IPO

Credit card giant Visa was set to launch trading Wednesday in the largest share offering in US history, even as stock markets are being tossed by worries about a mushrooming financial crisis.

No country immune from financial turmoil: WB

No country is immune from the ongoing financial crisis, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Monday, rejecting the theory that Asia's fast-growing economies are de-coupled from Western countries.

Europe not threatened by recession: IMF

Europe is not threatened by recession at the moment, but the IMF plans to cut its growth forecast for the region, the top International Monetary Fund official for Europe said on Monday.

JPMorgan Chase buys Bear Stearns

US banking titan JPMorgan Chase prepared Monday to take over the crisis-hit investment bank and brokerage Bear Stearns for around 236 million dollars as a credit crunch rocks Wall Street.

S Korea aims to be top 10 investment market

The South Korean government on Monday outlined the key goals it wants to achieve by 2012 so as to make Korea globally competitive. They include the broad-based adoption of global standards, increasing the nation's self-sufficiency, and making this country an investment attraction.

Metropolitan

Accord to develop ozone-friendly inhalers in Asia Pacific countries

Health and environment officials, industry representatives and patient groups of Asia and Pacific region countries agreed to work together towards a smooth transition to ozone-friendly metered-dose inhalers (MDI) in Asia Pacific region.

Define executive role of local govt commission

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday stressed the need to clearly define the executive role of the proposed Local Government Commission in order to make it effective.

Dedicate life to welfare of nation

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday urged the graduating students of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) to dedicate themselves to the welfare of the nation.

Verdict on Mar 27

The arguments in the sensational Bahodderhat eight-murder case ended here yesterday.

Police foil left parties' human chain

Police yesterday dispersed an effort of Gonotantrik Bam Morcha to form a human chain at Muktangan in the city to protest spiraling prices of essentials and to call for unity of people to resist 'silent famine' in the country.

'Make PRSP more gender-sensitive'

Poor implementation of the provisions relating to women's empowerment in Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) has been hindering development of women as well as the efforts to reduce poverty, speakers at a view sharing meeting said yesterday.

24 get life term in Faridpur

A court here yesterday sentenced 24 people to life term in a double murder case yesterday.

Deadline for registration of voters in Ctg extended

The deadline for voter registration with photograph in the port city has been extended again up to March 20.

Memo for relaxing 28th BCS age limit

Some job seekers who crossed their age limit for government job yesterday submitted a memorandum to the establishment secretary demanding one year relaxation of age for applying in the 28th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examination.

Prof Yunus gets honorary doctorate degree

Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of British Columbia on March 14 when he came to Canada to inaugurate the Michael Smith Nobel Lecture, says a press release from Yunus Secretariat.

Australian Edn Exhibition begins in city

A two-day Australian Education Exhibition began at Sheraton Hotel in the city yesterday.

Storm lashes Narsingdi villages: One killed, 50 hurt

A hailstorm swept through eight villages of Monohardi upazila of the district on Monday night, leaving a man dead and 50 others injured.

Three killed in road crashes

At least three people were killed and three others injured in separate road accidents in Manikganj, Gaibandha and Satkhira yesterday.

Journos demand release of Khaleda

About 700 journalists, including some incumbent and former editors, news editors and journalist leaders in a statement yesterday demanded release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia before the Independence Day on March 26.

Charge sheet against Dipu Chy

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against Sajedul Hossain alias Dipu Chowdhury, son of former state minister for shipping Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, in connection with a case filed against him for non-submission of his wealth statements.

Husband gets life for throwing acid on wife

A Chittagong court yesterday sentenced one person to life imprisonment for throwing acid on his wife.

No Myanmar ban on rice export to Bangladesh

The government of Myanmar has not taken any decision to stop rice export or stop issuance of permits for rice export to Bangladesh as reported in local newspapers.

6 Indian horses arrive today

The six horses presented to Bangladesh Army from the Indian Army are coming today through Benapole frontier.

Appeal for help

The father of a college girl has appealed for financial assistance for the treatment of his daughter who has been suffering from degeneration of the hip joints, says a press release.

Nomination papers submitted

Pro-Awami League 'Blue panel' and BNP-Jamaat-backed 'White panel' teachers of Dhaka University (DU) submitted nomination papers on Monday night for the election of 15-member executive committee of Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta).

Geeta Pasi meets Ershad

US Chargé d'Affaires Geeta Pasi yesterday met Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad and other JP leaders discussing the current political situation as well as status of implementation of the electoral roadmap.

Qulkhwani of Dr Zia Hasan today

Qulkhwani of Dr Zia Hasan, a renowned chest specialist and former student & drama director of Dhaka Medical College, will be held at his residence at House # 12, Road # 4/A, West Dhanmondi, Dhaka after Maghrib prayers today, says a press release.

National

Interne docs on strike at Barisal SBMCH

Treatment at Barisal Shere Bangla Medical College Hospital is facing disruption as Internee doctors started undeclared strike on Monday afternoon and gave ultimatum to start an indefinite strike from today if their four-point demand is not met.

Indigenous leaders demand reinvestigation of Chalesh Ritchil's death

Indigenous leaders have demanded proper investigation into the death of Madhupur indigenous leader Chalesh Ritchil who died on this day last year.

Outlaw hurt in police firing while trying to escape

An outlaw who was arrested in Shailkupa upazila Monday night was shifted to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital yesterday sustaining grievous injuries in police firing after a futile bid to escape, police said.

26 PWs submit deposition in court

Three more prosecution witnesses (PWs) in five August 17 series bomb blasts cases gave statements before a court at Satkhira yesterday in presence of 11 out of 19 charge sheeted accused.

Further probe into Khulna AL leader Manjurul Imam murder ordered

Khulna Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal judge has ordered further investigation into murder of Khulna City Awami League (AL) president Advocate Manjurul Imam.

Gangni Poura chairman held after release on bail

Joint forces arrested Gangni municipality Chairman Ahmed Ali from jail gate soon after he was granted bail from a local court on Monday evening.

Letters

“Shaheed Sagar”

At the North Bengal Sugar Mills Ltd. at Gopalpur in Natore district, about one hundred innocent people, including my beloved eldest brother, then General Manager (Administrator) Shaheed Lieutenant Anwarul Azim, MA LLB, officers, labourers, staffs and others of the mills, were killed on the staircase of a pond in the main mill premises by machinegun burst-fire on May 5, 1971 by the beastly Pakistani soldiers. This holy pond is now called “Shaheed Sagar” by the local people.

Come on, cricketers

Everyone is becoming frustrated with the pathetic batting of Bangladeshi batsmen. In my opinion, the defence “We have the talent. Give us 5 more years then we can show the world what we can do”, should no longer be valid. Five years has long passed by. Now is the time to consider whether we need to improve as a cricketing nation or just stay comfortable where we are.

"Collared" tigers

I am writing this letter in response to the recent article by Mr. Sirajul Hossain, published in your daily concerning the collaring of the Sundarbans tigers and some of the subsequent responses in this section, (Letters to the editor). In my opinion a thorough investigation should be initiated concerning the death of the two collared tigers. Mr. Sirajul Hossain's article uncovers some serious issues regarding the drug used to tranquillise the tigers. Also the method of snaring the tiger before tranquillising should be strongly opposed. There is more than enough evidence in the film by BBC to initiate and pursue a legal proceeding for the neglect shown to the collared tigers. After the death of the first collared tiger, the reason given for death was old age (the tiger died after seven months). If old age was the reason for death, then why was an old tiger collared in the first place? The fate of the second tiger according to the people involved in the collaring process is unknown, but the fate of the second tiger is clearly visible in the BBC documentary "Ganges". It is dead. Why is the collar being removed by re-darting a very sick tiger in the film?

Iran election

On 14 March, parliamentary elections took place in Iran. From all evidences, it is clear that the election was a phoney one which has been stage managed by the Shia Mullahs to tighten their grip on power. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, who came to power in 2005 on a populist platform that promised a better life for Iran's poor, has, three years later, failed to deliver. Despite Iran's enjoying a boom from rising oil prices, unemployment and poverty remain extremely high, while the government has been diverting funds for military and nuclear energy. If discontent over the economy is the only visible sign of opposition to the Iranian state, it is because all other forms of opposition, be they political, ideological, and religious or social, have been brutally silenced.

OIC's call

Islam, unlike other religions, strictly adheres to prayers being offered in a totally peaceful atmosphere and in complete silence signifying voluntary surrender to Almighty and it cannot be a religion that would promote violence and terrorism, as propagated by the West. Rather, Islam preaches and follows a peaceful propagation of the tenets of the religion and peaceful co-existence right from the days of the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh).

Uttara plot allotment

It is very heartening to hear that the caretaker government is making all out efforts to undo the irregularities associated with allotment of plots in Rajuk's 3rd phase of Uttara. It has already cancelled allotment of plots that were found to be allotted beyond lawful means by the previous government. I would like to urge the present government to consider the following while re-allotting the plots in Uttara:

Poor postal service

I refer to the recent letters published in your daily on the above subject. Go to any post office in Dhaka or any other city, you will be appalled to see the situation. Generally, the post offices are over crowded with people standing in long queues. The staff at the counters work with a glum face and it is clear that they are ill fed/under nourished. Therefore, they are just doing their jobs reluctantly.

Rootless people

There are many street boys in our country. They don't have any identity. Their identity is the street. They are called street boys or tokai. It's a great social problem . Many of them become hardened criminals in due course of time.

Teachers and students

Teachers are the builders of a civilized nation and, in fact, their job is dedicated to making good citizens for a country, and in the greater sense, for this world. They are the pioneers of providing education to the uneducated, illuminating them with the light of education.

Playing in Pakistan...

As if defeats after defeats are not enough, Bangladesh cricket bosses have announced their 'Pakistan's face saving' tour just after Australia decided to postpone their scheduled tour over a genuine security fear.

Medium of education

In urban areas we see a tendency among parents nowadays to send their kids to English Medium schools. The reasons are known to all, the parents want to see their next generation not lagging behind others, especially in today's world where English is not only a language but also the medium for career advancement.

Harassment at ZIA

This is in response to the letter dated 3rd January, 2008 by S. A. Mansoor.

Traffic jam

We the common people of the big cities have to suffer a lot because of unbearable traffic jam. As we start for our workplace early in the morning we get stuck up in long rows of vehicles. The huge line of vehicles inches onward, causing irritation to the commuters who travel by bus or CNG run baby taxies. In some thoroughfares it is the rickshaws that are responsible for traffic congestion. Private cars also add to the already aggravated traffic situation. Again drivers often disregard traffic rules, giving rise to a chaotic situation.

Clinton campaign

What the Clinton supporters are saying makes no sense at all. How can you lose the race and still say, "Oh, I think you should be my Vice President..." Secondly, why would the Clinton campaigners even want Obama as a Vice President...a VP will take the president's spot if something happens, so that person should be able to run the country in case of emergency. If Obama, according to them, can't be the commander-in-chief, why would they think it is all right for him to be the Vice presidenthypocritical! I have been watching the race very closely. It's not rocket science. The sooner the majority of America realises that, the better!

Rent hike

It seems that the newspapers do not consider high rent of apartments a burden for the ordinary service holders staying in Dhaka. Recently, all the house owners in Dhaka increased the house rent by almost 50 percent and there is no report on this matter in the press. Only the rise in price of essentials is reported but this aspect of cost of living is not at all reported. Now an ordinary service holder spends more than 70 percent of his salary on rent only. The existence of the middle class in Dhaka will be threatened by house rent increase, if no remedial measures are taken immediately.

International

Obama tackles race and religion as Hillary fights rival lead

Florida will not redo its voided presidential nominating primary Democratic party officials said Monday, as the agonizingly close campaign contest between bitter rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton plays on.

Badawi brings new faces to cabinet

Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi unveiled a slimline new cabinet yesterday, dropping veteran politicians and appointing fresh faces after unprecedented election losses.

Dalai Lama to resign if Tibet violence worsens

The Dalai Lama yesterday vowed to resign as leader of Tibet's exiles if violence back home worsened, just hours before his aides said 19 people were killed in new demonstrations.

Karbala shrine death toll rises to 52

The death toll from a bomb attack near a revered Shiite shrine in the central Iraqi city of Karbala has risen to 52, a health official told AFP yesterday.

Kosovo town tense after Serb riots

A UN policeman in Kosovo has died of injuries suffered in rioting by Serbs, police said yesterday as Nato tried to restore calm after the worst violence since Kosovo's independence declaration.

Copenhagen, Oslo, London world's costliest cities

Tourists to Europe will have to fork out more as currency fluctuations mean they will be visiting some of the world's most expensive cities, researchers from Swiss bank UBS said yesterday.

2 killed in blasts near US embassy in Yemen

A schoolgirl and a policeman were killed in a bomb attack against a girls' school near the US embassy in the Yemeni capital yesterday, police said, describing it as a criminal incident.

Ultra-nationalist rabbi stabbed near Jerusalem

An ultra-nationalist Israeli rabbi was lightly wounded yesterday after being stabbed near the Damascus gate into annexed east Jerusalem's Old City, police said.

Iraq begins national unity Conference

Iraq's feuding sectarian factions yesterday began a conference aiming to resolve their differences amid international concern that insufficient progress has been made toward national unity.

German Court upholds ban on headscarf

A German court yesterday upheld a regional ban on teachers wearing the headscarf in public schools, rejecting the complaint of a convert to Islam.

Jordan appeals for aid for Iraqi refugees

Jordan appealed yesterday for more aid to assist neighbouring countries sheltering hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees uprooted by war, saying the solution lies in their return home.

Blasts kill 7 in Iraq

Insurgents killed at least seven people in attacks across Iraq yesterday, including two policemen in Baghdad, security officials said.

Quake rocks islands off New Zealand

A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the Kermadec Islands north of New Zealand yesterday, the US Geological Survey said.

Separatists kill 11 in India

Suspected separatists fatally shot 11 migrant workers in three separate attacks in India's remote northeast, police said yesterday.

Deal reached on Belgian Coalition

Belgian political parties struck a deal yesterday on a programme for a coalition government under Christian Democrat Yves Leterme, who will take the reins on Thursday, the Flemish leader said.

McCartney divorce ruling criticises ex-spouse

A judge criticised the estranged wife of Beatles legend Paul McCartney as "less than candid" in a ruling on the couple's bitter divorce battle released yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Master Stroke

“I've always been fond of, had the knack for watercolours,” admits effacing Professor Hamiduzzaman Khan, whose solo exhibition is on at Galleri Kaya (House 20, Road 16, Sector 4, Uttara). Although he graduated in painting from the Institute of Fine Arts (DU), this aspect could not be wholeheartedly pursued once he started teaching there, switching to and specialising in sculpture. In this instance, it all began with a watercolour workshop organised by Kaya and one of Dhaka's luxury hotels. Praise from contemporaries Rafiqun Nabi and Samarjit Roy Chowdhury egged Hamid into launching the show, the result of twelve months' work.

World Children and Youth Theatre Day

To observe the 'World Children and Youth Theatre Day', Peoples Theatre Association (PTA), the local representative of ASSITEJ, a global network of theatre for children and young people, has arranged a daylong programme tomorrow (March 20).

Seminar on “Images of women in TV commercials”

A seminar titled “Images of women in TV commercials” was held at the CIRDAP auditorium on March 17. The seminar was organised by Center for Development Communication with the support of Oxfam-GB Bangladesh. Noted media personality Muhammad Jahangir hosted the seminar.

Plight of the marginalised depicted in street plays

Nijera Kori, an NGO organised a two-day long street theatre festival at the Rabindra Sarobar open stage in Dhanmondi that started from March 17.

Poet-translator William Radice to speak on challenges in translation

Dr. William Radice, poet, translator and senior lecturer in Bengali at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, is now visiting Bangladesh. Dr. Radice will speak on "From epic to song: Translation challenges in Meghnadbadh Kabya and Rabindra Sangeet" at the Department of English, Jahangirnagar University tomorrow (March 20). After Dr. Radice's lecture, the teachers and students of JU and some other private universities will share their views on the topic.

Impressive profits from this year's Ekushey Boimela

This year the Bangla Academy sold books worth BDT 70 lakh in the month-long Amor Ekushey Granthamela. Last year, the total sale was BDT 43 lakh. “It could have been 20 lakh more, if we took necessary initiatives in due time,” informed the Director General of Bangla Academy, Syed Muhammad Shahed at a press conference held yesterday. He also spoke on several other issues related to the Granthamela.

Aamir Vs Shahrukh

An apparently light-hearted remark by Bollywood star Aamir Khan suggtesting that he is the number one hero of Hindi film industry was enough to set off a debate who occupies that slot -- Aamir or Shahrukh Khan?

Animated repatriation: Disney art returns home

A Japanese university plans to return about 250 pieces of original animation art to the Walt Disney Company that were mislaid in storage after travelling to Japan nearly five decades ago.

Taslima Nasreen to leave India

Taslima Nasreen, the exiled Bangladeshi writer, said she would leave India after living in hiding there for nearly four months, because of failing health, Reuters reported.

OP-ED

War criminals of 1971: Time to take action

IT is highly misleading propaganda that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's government pardoned all the war criminals. The facts show otherwise. In fact, Bangabandhu's government started prosecuting the perpetrators of crimes against humanity or war criminals immediately after independence, and he also passed the Collaborators Act (1972) and the International Crime Act of 1973 that barred re-entry of any collaborators into Bangladesh. Sheikh Mujib promulgated the Special Tribunal Order on January 24, 1972, fourteen days after his return from Pakistani.

Prioritise implementation of the NPWA 2008

THE National Policy for Women's Advancement 2008 was made public on March 8, which was International Women's Day. The first national women's advancement policy was prepared in 1997 with the active participation of, and in cooperation with, different women's organisations and civil society groups and activists. But that policy was challenged in 2004 as the then government in power made some changes in the 1997 policy, which went against the spirit of the women's rights movement in Bangladesh. That was vehemently protested by all quarters. Consequently, the then government in power was forced do away with the changes.

Biman to fly again?

BIMAN, the national flag carrier of Bangladesh thinks it will fly again. At least that is what the people at "Balaka," the Biman headquarters think, after taking a mega blockbuster decision to procure eight new aircraft costing $ 1.265 billion (Taka 8,728 crore). The decision was taken at a meeting of the newly created Board of Directors on March 10, and the deal was signed with the representative of the Boeing Company on March 15.

Don't stupid-lah, Brudder

A unique brand of pan-Asian English really exists, readers reckon. Its vocabulary comes from English, but grammar and word-order come from Chinese, according to an academic. Singapore already has lots of works in Asian English, but examples can also be found in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Star City

Most sculptures at DU losing grandeur for lack of attention

Precious sculptures on the Dhaka University campus, symbol of many glorious historic events of the nation, are losing grandeur due to lack of proper maintenance.

Winter vegetables disappearing fast

Supply of winter vegetables has drastically decreased in the city raising the fear of sharp rise in prices in the next few weeks.

Bringing culture in old Dhaka to life

At long last, the people of old Dhaka are going to have a boost in their cultural activities as the new auditorium built at Loharpool is opening on Saturday.


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