The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, December 19, 2014


News of: Thursday, 20th of March, 2008

Front Page

Rivers of pollution surround Dhaka

The government over the years has allowed industrialists to pollute the rivers, canals and wetlands in and around the city to such an extent that surface water turned pitch black in several spots.

British PM for smooth transition of power to elected govt

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has underlined the importance of smooth transition of power to an elected government promptly following elections in Bangladesh.

Emon spills more beans about Babar

Detained former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar allegedly hired Sanjidul Islam Emon to have his reported business partner Madan Municipality Chairman Shafiqul Islam Liton killed since he joined hands with Babar's rival former Awami League MP Haji Selim.

Exemption should be specific to stop misuse

Instances of exemption from disclosure of information should be specified in the proposed Right to Information (RTI) ordinance to prevent its misuse, said visiting Indian Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah yesterday.

Ex-IOJ MP Mufti Shahidul gets 10yrs

Detained former lawmaker and Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) leader Mufti Shahidul Islam was sentenced to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment for amassing illegal wealth yesterday.

EC to announce UZ poll timeframe soon

The Election Commission (EC) will soon announce a specific timeframe for holding the much debated upazila elections.

Better social safety net needed to offset price hike: WB MD

Visiting World Bank (WB) Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala yesterday said Bangladesh should adapt to a long-term reality of high food and oil prices by setting up better safety nets, which the lending agency is helping to design.

SC clears way for trial of Tuku

The Supreme Court yesterday stayed operation of the High Court judgment that declared illegal the tax-evasion case against jailed former state minister for power Iqbal Hassan Mahmood Tuku, clearing the way for his trial.

City in grip of power outages

Life in the capital became miserable yesterday with the mercury rising and the effects worsened by frequent power cuts.

Treatment of Hasina’s ear, eye starts

The treatment of the ears and eyes of detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina finally started at the city's Square Hospitals where she has been undergoing treatment since March 11.

2 die as storm lashes capital

At least two people were killed as a storm lashed the capital last night at around 10:30pm.

Emergency to be lifted at right time: CA

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed has said the state of emergency will be lifted at an appropriate time in the transitional process.

Illegal billboards of tobacco products knocked down

A mobile court in an anti-smoking drive yesterday knocked down 12 illegal billboards of tobacco products installed in 12 shops in the city's Motijheel and Khilgaon areas.

Probe report to be placed even if Hasina's version not received

Investigation report in the Niko graft case against detained former premier and Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina and six others will be submitted within the predetermined time even if Hasina refuses to give statement in her defence.

Indian customs still waiting for ministry order

The Indian customs authorities yesterday held up the export of rice to Bangladesh through Benapole port at previous rate of $ 505 a tonne as they are yet to receive written instructions from Indian central commerce ministry.

Govt to procure 50,000 MT wheat from local market

The government yesterday set the target of purchasing 50,000 metric tons of wheat from the local market at Tk 26 per kilogram.

1,000-yr-old statue handed over to archaeology dept

Rab yesterday handed over a 1,000-year-old statue, depicting two Hindu goddesses, to the officials of the Department of Archaeology.

Ex-MP Zafarullah sued for not reporting wealth

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against Awami League presidium member Kazi Zafarullah for not submitting his wealth statement to the commission in due time.

Jamaat retains poll symbol

Jamaat-e-Islami retains its election symbol--the scales--as the Supreme Court yesterday refused to grant leave to appeal against the High Court judgment on the election-symbol issue.

Writer Arthur C Clarke dies

Arthur C Clarke, a visionary science fiction writer who won worldwide acclaim with more than 100 books on space, science and the future, died yesterday in his adopted home of Sri Lanka, an aide said. He was 90.

Tigers look to wrap up series

A seventh one-day series victory would be on Bangladesh cricket team's mind when they face Ireland in the second one-day international at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today.

Zardari may surprise all with PM choice

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Zardari is reported to have selected the party's candidate for the post of prime minister but he will make it public after the announcement of the election schedule.

Bush vows victory in Iraq

US President George W Bush yesterday defended his decision to go to war against Iraq five years ago, vowing no retreat as he promised the battle against extremists would end in victory.

Erratum

The photograph in the photo feature on the first sighting of Albino Duck in the country published in The Daily Star on February 7 was mistakenly attributed to the newspaper. The photo was actually taken by Abdul Hakim Rahul. We regret the error.

Editorial

Protecting consumer rights

THE consumers' rights need legal protection in a society where their rights are conspicuous by their absence. But the draft of the consumers' rights ordinance that has been prepared contains certain provisions which do not go far enough to underpin or protect consumer rights. It has been proposed that the affected consumers will have to lodge a complaint within 10 days of being aggrieved. Clearly, the consumer's interests are not sufficiently underpinned because in some cases it may take a longer time for the consumers to realise that they have been swindled. Secondly, the aggrieved consumers won't be allowed to file a case directly to the court. It has to be routed through a government agency to obtain the right to file a case in the court. In other words, the bureaucracy will practically decide the fate of the consumers' complaints. It is not at all clear why the consumers' right to seek legal aid all by themselves has not been recognised. After all, nothing can be more effective in protecting consumers' rights expect through the law of the land. Like Artha Rin Adalats or loan courts we may have a separate legal setup for redressing grievances related to consumer rights.

Possible salary hike for government servants

THERE is surely a rationale behind the intention of the government to consider a salary hike for government servants, given the runaway nature of the prices of essential commodities in recent times. It is against such a backdrop that the finance advisor's remarks on a need for a salary increase for government servants can be observed.

Our freedom struggle and the enemy within

NEXT week we will observe the 37th anniversary of our independence, the day our freedom struggle began, the day blood-letting started with machine guns let loose on our innocent people by the Pakistan military junta. There will be much joy on this hard fought independence day of ours, but there will also be much sorrow remembering the millions who gave their lives for the happiness of the future generations.

No pardon for Musharraf

PAKISTAN'S newly-elected parliament met on Monday, March 17, to form a new government. Monday was "democracy day," ending the eight years of military rule. Former army chief Pervez Musharraf, however, refuses to step down, and claims to be the nation's lawful president. Close to a two-thirds majority of the parliament, and an overwhelming majority of lawyers of Pakistan, see Musharraf as a usurper. Facing a hostile parliament and an uncompromising Bar, Musharraf would offer to make a deal. He would relinquish power if he could safely leave the country (and perhaps fly away to the United States).

Anwar Ibrahim: 'It was a terrible time’

ANWAR Ibrahim is, for the for the time being, barred from holding office in Malaysia thanks to a politically criminal conviction dating from 1999. But in the general election on March 8, his People's Justice Party scored an unprecedented 31 seats in Malaysia's Parliament, and the broader coalition he is building nearly won a majority, ousting the party than has ruled the country for 50 years. Ibrahim was finance minister and then deputy to strongman Mahathir Mohamad before becoming Malaysia's best-known political prisoner; as such, he has gotten used to great reversals in his life. He spoke with Newsweek's Lorien Holland at his office in Kuala Lumpur about his comeback, the opposition's triumph and his own political ambitions.

Sports

Now it's a team rule!

Ireland cricket team stayed away from any practice yesterday despite going into the second game of the three-match series on the back of a huge eight-wicket defeat at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today.

MSC, Biman on top

Mohammedan Sporting Club and Bangladesh Biman shared joint lead in the Premier Cricket League table with hundred percent record after the fifth round ended yesterday.

'Shocked & disgusted'

Former Pakistan captain Inzamamul Haq said he was "shocked and disgusted" by controversial umpire Darrell Hair's reinstatement, as a former top official described the move as an insult.

Flemo wants final ton

New Zealand batsman Stephen Fleming is aiming to end his illustrious 111-Test career with a big score against England in the third and deciding Test starting on Saturday.

Hassan denies comments against clubs

National football captain Hassan Al Mamun yesterday accused a national daily of damaging his image by misquoting him earlier this week.

Tri-series in June

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) was reconfirmed by their Indian and Pakistani counterparts to hold the much-desired one-day triangular tournament in June this year.

BFF, clubs to make joint announcement

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) is expected to make a joint declaration today with the professional clubs about the transfers for the new season.

Banker's cricket from tomorrow

Export Import Bank take on Eastern Bank in the opening match of the first-ever Banker's Cricket tournament at the Gulshan Youth Club ground tomorrow.

JU inter-varsity cricket champs

Hosts Jahangirnagar University lifted the Inter-university Cricket Championship title with an emphatic nine-wicket win over Dhaka University in the final yesterday.

Local Snippets

Relegation league sides Agrani Bank and Purbachal Parisad shared points in a 3-3 draw in yesterday's lone match of the Senior Division Football League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Referrals in Tests soon

Players during the forthcoming Test series between England and South Africa could ask for decisions to be referred to the third umpire as part of a technology trial, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced at the end of a two-day board meeting here Tuesday.

Nations get veto rights

An agreement for countries to be given a right of veto over their players appearing in the new Indian Premier League has been concluded between the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Indian cricket chiefs, the global governing body announced here Tuesday.

Charl's no to India

Fast bowler Charl Langeveldt Tuesday withdrew from South Africa's tour of India in the aftermath over the controversy of his selection ahead of fellow paceman Andre Nel.

Ramnarine banks on trio

Dinanath Ramnarine, the president of the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA), is confident that Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul will make themselves available for selection for the first two Tests against Australia in May.

Herath takes over

Sri Lanka's bowlers had a decent work-out, after their batsmen, led by Tillakeratne Dilshan, plundered more easy runs against the Guyana Cricket Board President's XI on Tuesday at the Guyana National Stadium.

Lyon ride on Benzema

Lyon and Paris Saint Germain shot into the quarterfinals of the French Cup on Tuesday night with two-goal heroes Karim Benzema and Loris Arnaud respectively.

Reds want to topple MU

Xabi Alonso believes Liverpool's seven-match winning run has given Fernando Torres the perfect platform to shoot down Manchester United's Premier league title defence at Old Trafford this weekend.

Federer back in form

World number one Roger Federer looked like his old dominant self Tuesday as he swept aside France's Nicolas Mahut to reach the fourth round of the ATP Pacific Life Open.

Theo, Becks set for recall

Theo Walcott and David Beckham look set to win recalls to the England squad on Thursday, when Fabio Capello names a provisional 30-man squad for next week's friendly against France.

Maria extends winning run

Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova extended her 2008 unbeaten run on Tuesday, booking a quarterfinal showdown with defending champion Daniela Hantuchova at the Pacific Life Open.

Ruud to go under knife

Real Madrid striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy was Wednesday due to go under the knife following a right ankle injury and is likely to be out until season's end, Marca sports daily reported on its website.

Police raid Birmingham

Police investigating suspected corruption in football transfer dealings on Wednesday carried out a raid on Birmingham City.

Game awarded to Bilbao

The Spanish Football Federation's competition commission on Tuesday awarded a league game to Athletic Bilbao after a bottle-throwing incident in Saturday's match at Betis.

Ronaldinho left out

Ronaldinho has been left out of the Barcelona squad to visit Valencia for their King's Cup semifinal second leg, the Primera Liga club said on Wednesday.

Blind soccer in Germany

Germany will have a football league for blind and partially sighted players when the Blindfootball-Bundesliga begins at the end of the month - just two years after the sport was first introduced here.

'Diego not for sale'

Werder Bremen chairman Jurgen L Born insists Brazilian midfielder Diego will only leave the Bundesliga club over his "dead body" after reports both Real Madrid and Chelsea are interested in signing the play-maker.

Bolivia will sue FIFA

Bolivian president Evo Morales said on Tuesday he intended to take legal action against FIFA for the banning of matches above an altitude of 2,750m.

Dortmund reach final

Brazilian midfielder Tinga helped book Borussia Dortmund's place in next month's German Cup final as both goal-scorer and provider in the 3-0 semifinal win over ten-man Carl Zeiss Jena on Tuesday.

Wrist trouble for Sania

Indian tennis star Sania Mirza bowed out of the Pacific Life Open on Tuesday and said her spell in the California desert had caused a flare up of a recurrent wrist ailment.

Robin told to leave?

India fielding coach Robin Singh will be fired before the home Test series against South Africa starting next week, local media reported on Wednesday.

Aussies hail Hair recall

Cricket Australia welcomed Darrell Hair's reinstatement as a Test umpire Wednesday and said the controversial official should be able to oversee matches in any Test nation, including Pakistan.

Hair will be kept away from Pak matches

As expected, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that Darrell Hair will not be asked to stand in any international matches involving Pakistan.

Business

NBL plans massive rural expansion

National Bank Limited (NBL) plans to go for massive expansion in rural areas, eyeing more income from remittance services, NBL officials said yesterday.

Annisul Huq elected FBCCI president

Annisul Huq was elected president unopposed of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) yesterday, as MA Rouf Chowdhury proposed Annisul's name instead of vying for the post.

Finance adviser for cut in tax on undisclosed legal money

Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday said the high tax rate imposed on undisclosed but legally earned money could be reduced to a certain extent, while stood firm on the whitening of black money, which he said would never be allowed.

Manila hikes spending to avoid rice crisis

The Philippines is spending an additional 36.12 million dollars on higher yielding rice varieties and is implementing measures to avoid a shortage of the staple cereal, officials said Wednesday.

GMG to include new destinations in India

GMG Airlines, the country's first private airliner, plans to include new flight destinations in India to properly utilise the air services agreement between the two neighbouring nations.

Asian stocks soar on US rate cut

Asian stocks soared Wednesday after a big bounce on Wall Street as the US Federal Reserve slashed interest rates in a bid to contain a spiralling financial crisis and risk of recession.

The right to remain unlisted

Sharp movement in stock prices, or market volatility, are usually a reaction to sensitive news on listed companies and/or the economy. However the recent volatility in the Bangladesh's markets has been an exception to this norm, as the source turned out to be the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Govt to train overseas job seekers from 5 monga-hit districts

As part of its policy to ensure that people from all districts can equally avail overseas jobs, the government decided to train ultra poor youths of five monga-stricken northern districts with funds from Pally Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF).

Satkhira poultry farm owners submit five-point demand

In the backdrop of declining demand for poultry products and rising prices of poultry feeds and medicines, the poultry farm owners here submitted a five-point demand to chief adviser through the district commissioner yesterday, urging the government to provide subsidy for the procurement of poultry feeds and make the process of obtaining bank loans easy.

15 firms show interest in 3rd round offshore bidding

So far 15 companies have shown their interest to bid in the third round offshore bidding for exploring gas in the Bay of Bengal.

BTRC to receive applications for call centres from Apr

Bangladesh Telecommunicat-ions Regulatory Commission will start receiving application for license to establish call centres from the first week of next month.

Asia Pacific travel industry to weather US recession: PATA

Tourism revenues in the Asia Pacific region are expected to surpass 4.6 trillion US dollars by 2010 and visitor arrivals should reach close to half a billion people, an industry association said Wednesday.

Orascom Telecom Bangladesh new name of Sheba

Sheba Telecom (Pvt) Limited has changed its name as Orascom Telecom Bangladesh Limited, says a press release.

Bhomra to be turned into land port

Bhomra customs station in Satkhira district will be turned into a full-fledged land port within the next six months as the station has potential, said Bangladesh Land Port Authority Chairman Md Khurshid Alam.

Prime Bank roadshow inaugurated

The first-ever roadshow of Prime Bank Limited showcasing products and services of the bank was inaugurated at its Gulshan branch in Dhaka yesterday, says a press release.

Singer launches 2 sales campaigns

Singer has launched two special promotional campaigns across the country, says a press release.

Dhaka Radisson's official gets award

Saeed Ahmed, director of Sales & Marketing of Radisson Water Garden Hotel Dhaka, has been awarded Order of the Golden Rose, Carlson's highest honour bestowed to Carlson employees globally, says a press release.

Dollar buoyed

The dollar held up close to the key 100-yen level in Asian trade Wednesday after getting a boost from the Federal Reserve's latest interest rate cut aimed at easing market turmoil, dealers said.

Botswana launches its own diamond trading company

Botswana late Tuesday launched its own diamond trading company in a move designed to boost local business and create jobs for citizens of the world's top producer of these precious stones.

World's biggest printing plant opens in Britain

Media giant News International has opened what it calls the world's biggest printing plant, vowing that print newspapers still have a vibrant future despite the massive expansion of online media.

World's biggest passenger jet takes off

The Airbus A380, the world's biggest passenger plane, took off Tuesday from Singapore's Changi Airport for its inaugural commercial flight to London, the jet's first European destination.

UN trade agency chief warns against new protectionism

Countries should resist new waves of economic protectionism as fears mount of a global recession, the head of the UN's trade and development agency urged on Tuesday.

Metropolitan

Release Khaleda before Independence Day

Senior leaders and some former lawmakers of pro-Khaleda faction of BNP and top leaders of party's front organisations in a joint meeting yesterday demanded release of party Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her two sons before the Independence Day.

Some sections 'not pro-people'

Speakers at a workshop in the port city yesterday underscored the need for an act that would help policemen discharge their duty with further accountability and become a public-friendly force ensuring democratic rights and best service to the people.

BBC Bangla on FM radio in six more districts soon

The BBC Bangla service programmes will be available on FM radio in six more districts soon in addition to Dhaka.

Death of schoolgirl sparks violent protests

Death of a schoolgirl in a road accident triggered violent protests in the town yesterday.

Malaysian trade fair begins today

A three-day Malaysian trade fair, 'Showcase Malaysia-2008', will begin today at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel to facilitate interactions between the businessmen of the two countries.

Bogies of train derail in Comilla

Two bogies, including an engine, of a passenger train, derailed near Gunobati railway station in Chouddagram upazila on Dhaka-Chittagong route yesterday.

Seek people's opinion before approval

Speakers at a press conference yesterday called upon the caretaker government (CG) to seek people's opinion before approving any ordinance related to the local government saying that it should be published in the media.

JS seats for indigenous women demanded

Indigenous people should not be looked in isolation from the mainstream population, identifying them as Adivasi, speakers said at a seminar here yesteday.

Resource centres for safe migration soon

Female migrant resource centres will be established under the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) to ensure their safe migration, said the speakers at a workshop yesterday.

BCL factions locked in feud

Two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of Awami League (AL), yesterday were locked in a feud on the Dhaka University (DU) campus over the schedule of its next national council.

40 DU students get Japanese scholarship

A total of 40 students including 10 first year students of the academic year 2002-03 and 30 students of 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2001-02 academic year of Dhaka University (DU) received scholarship of Sumitomo Corporation of Japan yesterday, says a press release.

Call to scrap Official Secrets Act

Speakers at a discussion yesterday called on the caretaker government to bring major changes to the draft of the Right to Information Act and to scrap the Official Secrets Act 1923 that contradicts the RTI Act.

Ministry will organise meet on new SSC question pattern

Education ministry will organise several meetings with students, guardians and teachers on newly introduced question pattern for SSC examinations.

Indian Navy men conduct free medical camp in Ctg

Visiting Indian Naval personnel conducted a daylong free medical camp and voluntary blood donation programme in the port city yesterday.

7,500 mts of Indian rice on way to Ctg port

As part of the Indian government's announcement of supplying 15,000 metric tonnes of rice to Bangladesh during March-April 2008, a commercial vessel carrying 7,500mt of rice is presently bound for Chittagong Port.

TFI members to interrogate Emon, Ishaq

Dreaded criminal Sanjidul Islam Emon and smuggling ring member Ishaq Ali were taken to the custody of Taskforce for Intelligence (TFI) from the custody of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday.

PSI firm's contract cancelled

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday cancelled appointment of Cotecna Inspection SA, a pre-shipment inspection (PSI) company, on charge of violating laws and regulations.

Edn expo, job fair begins tomorrow

A four-day 'Global education expo' and 'Jobs and career fair-2008' will begin at Bashundhara Exhibition Centre in the city tomorrow.

Bangladesh army receives six horses from Indian army

Indian army formally handed over six horses to the Bangladesh army at a ceremony at Benapole in Jessore.

Taslima leaves India for Europe

Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen has left India for Europe after being hounded into hiding by death threats from Islamic militants, her publisher and friends told AFP yesterday.

Draft of pvt university act finalised

Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said the draft of amended private university act was finalised and it would be placed at cabinet meeting at any time for approval.

Pavel wins Award of Excellence

Pavel Rahman, a Bangladeshi photojournalist of the Associated Press (AP), has won the Award of Excellence in the 65th annual Picture of the Year International (POYi) competition judged at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, says a press release.

Photo exhibition at RU begins

A two-day photography exhibition on 'freedom fight of Bangladesh and prohibiting war' began at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday.

Book fair begins in Rajshahi today

A six-day book fair will begin at Rajshahi Collegiate School playground today.

Appeal for help

Sadia Islam Meem, a student of class eight at Safiuddin Sarkar Academy, has been suffering from liver cell cancer, says a press release.

Science fair held in Chhatak

The first ever science fair at Chhatak in Sunamganj was held on Sunday, says a press release.

Barisal hospital interns resume duty

Internee doctors started normal duty at Barisal Shere Bangla Medical College Hospital yesterday morning after hospital authorities assured them of considering their demands Tuesday night.

Obituary

Prof Dr KM Waliuzzaman, an educationist and former teacher of erstwhile Ahsanullah Engineering College, currently Buet, passed away on Thursday last at the age of 73, says a press release.

National

Revise draft right to information act

Speakers at a discussion here have said the right to information law, if enacted without necessary changes, will fail to benefit people.

Chevron got 'all permits' for 3D seismic survey, says its chief

Steve Willson, president of Chevron Bangladesh- a US oil and gas exploration company, yesterday said Chevron has 'obtained all permits and approvals' required for conducting 3D seismic survey in Lawachhera Reserve Forest in Kamalganj in Moulvibazar and the company is in 'full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in Bangladesh'.

Nalchhity UNO, 7 land officials sued

A case was lodged yesterday against eight persons including upazila nirbahi officer and land office staff of Nalchhity upazila under Jhalakati district for attacks on freedom fighter Mahbubul Alam Latu.

'Bangladeshis now part of British society'

The Bangladesh community in the UK is playing a laudable role there and has made its way into the mainstream British society. The success of our new generation in different fields is appreciated, said members of a delegation now visiting Bangladesh.

SCC CEO transferred

Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) chief executive officer (CEO) Kazi Abdul Noor has been transferred to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

3 top Jamaat leaders in Pabna sued

A defamation case has been filed against three Jamaat-e-Islami leaders here.

7 BNP men sent to jail for land grabbing

Seven leaders and activists of local BNP and its fronts Sramik Ddal and Chhatra Dal, including former chairman of Shahzadpur municipality, were sent to jail yesterday on charge of land grabbing during the tenure of four-party alliance government.

Thousands join anti-graft rally in Netrakona

Thousands of people in 10 upazilas yesterday joined at an anti-corruption procession here which was led by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) chairman Lt Gen (Retd) Hasan Mashud Chowdhury.

All 26 acquitted in UP chairman murder case

A court here yesterday acquitted all the 26 charge-sheeted accused in Shurkhali Union Parisad (UP) chairman Jahan Ali murder case.

General

Govt gives nod to sector commanders’ convention

The government yesterday gave permission for the Sector Commanders' Forum (SCF) to hold national convention at Bangladesh China Friendship Convention Centre tomorrow.

Letters

Love and respect for martyrs

I went to local Shaheed Minar (Martyrs' Monument) very early in the morning on Feb 21.

Our cricket

Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainty. It is one of the reasons for attracting the crowd towards the game. Silly things can happen, the master team can lose to the underdogs any time. It's passion, it's imagination & it's pride As such, Bangladesh Cricket team has been congratulated proudly with respect & hope, the only sport to present Bangladesh in the international arena. We always have a glimmer of hope that one day (only) this game can bring the World Cup.

Professor Anu Muhammad

The worst symptom of a disease must be when we are inured to the symptoms.

Make Bangla a UN language

Now every year 'Ekushey February' or 21st February is being celebrated as the 'International Mother Language Day' all over the world under the auspices of the United Nations. This is a great honour for our nation and homage to our Language Martyrs.

Listen to Wendy

Ref: - Kashmiri leaders should also approach USA.
This recent media reported statement of former Ambassador to Pakistan, Wendy Chamberlin, who now heads a Washington think tank, is well intentioned and deserves to be taken seriously . Wendy has proposed the appointment of a US envoy and said that it was this dispute only (disputed state of Kashmir, one part of which is ruled by India and the other divided part by Pakistan and China) which had brought the two countries on the verge of a nuclear war. She said this issue is also coming in the way of restoration of peaceful relationship between Pakistan and India. Wendy added that if the Kashmir issue is resolved then extremism could also be curbed down. This will ultimately lead to peace in South Asia.

Investment in transportation

I would like to see the government building some power plants and improving public transportation as a priority for Bangladesh. We need the funding to come from outside as I'm sure the effects of Sidr have somewhat depleted our government funds for such projects. I think that the underground system was the incorrect choice and that the sky train would have been much better, easier and cheaper for us right now. Bangkok has both systems, but they did the sky train first, it requires little land and problems of flooding do not affect it. Kuala Lumpur also has both including a simple sky train system covering key areas and upcoming areas. They charge 15 baht a ride in Bangkok (around 30 taka), in Bangladesh it would have to be around 15 taka to make it feasible. I read that some local company has been given the contract for its completion in 4 years. This does not sound realistic.

Biggest “failure”

The biggest failure of this most successful govt. is their inability to project properly and extensively their tremendous success in so many areas, to the people of Bangladesh in particular and also to the world at large. This govt. is definitely the best, sincere govt. in the last 36 years. This govt. could arrest two former prime ministers who were also two leaders of the opposition along with a number of senior ministers, the son of a former prime minister, a number of top businessmen (better to say land grabbers, manipulators, extortionists) a number of bureaucrats all at a time. Probably no govt. in the world would dare to touch so many powerful demons in political, bureaucratic, business, circles at a time. This required great courage and great moral strength.

International

Iraq marks five years of bloody war

Iraq today marks the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion that toppled brutal dictator Saddam Hussein, but also plunged a nation of 26 million people into chaos and bloodshed.

'Life or death struggle' over Tibet , says China

China said yesterday it was engaged in a "life or death struggle" over Tibet as it announced 105 people had surrendered over an uprising and exiled groups warned hundreds had been detained.

Obama struggles to defuse toxic race row

Democratic front-runner Barack Obama battled to defuse the most serious threat yet to his presidential hopes after incendiary, racially tinged sermons by his former pastor triggered uproar.

Pak NA elects first female speaker

Pakistan's parliament yesterday elected the first female speaker in the country's 60-year history, a loyalist from the party of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Anwar working to form new govt in Malaysia

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said yesterday he is moving towards forming a new government after landmark elections, with the help of defectors from the ruling coalition.

Western envoys slam UN’s failed Myanmar mission

Western ambassadors on Tuesday voiced disappointment with the outcome of UN troubleshooter Ibrahim Gambari's latest mediation in Myanmar but vowed to keep the crisis in the Security Council's spotlight.

Three more nations recognise Kosovo

Bulgaria, Croatia and Hungary recognised Kosovo's independence on yesterday in a new blow to Serbia's efforts to resist the province's split.

Kuwait's Emir starts talks to resolve crisis

Kuwait's ruler, who cut short a foreign visit to settle a standoff between MPs and the government, started consultations with the emirate's leaders yesterday Wednesday that may lead to dissolving parliament.

Eight die in Iraq violence

Another day of violence has seen eight dead in Baghdad and Kirkuk yesterday.

US raid kills six Afghans

US forces searching for bomb makers raided Afghan homes near the border with Pakistan early yesterday killing six people -- including two children and a woman, Afghan officials said.

Election candidate shot dead in Nepal

Masked gunmen in southern Nepal shot and killed a candidate from a small communist party contesting upcoming elections, police said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Weeklong Jatra Festival inaugurated

To promote and preserve the performing art form jatrapala, which was once one of the most popular performing art forms in rural Bengal, the Department of Theatre and Film of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) has arranged a weeklong Jatra Festival at the Experimental Theatre Stage.

Shaju Khadem and Proitee

Proitee Haque -- daughter of noted TV and theatre personalities Dr. Enamul Haque and Lucky Enam -- and actor-art director Shaju Khadem tied the knot on March 3 this year. In a recent interview with The Daily Star (TDS), the newly married talked about their marriage, how their relationship blossomed, their likes and dislikes. Excerpts from the conversation:

Travelling Children's Film Festival begins in Khagrachhari

Children's Film Society is organising a festival titled 'Travelling Children's Film Festival for a beautiful tomorrow'. The festival commenced at Khagrachhari yesterday and will continue there till March 21, says a press release.

Cornucopia of contemporary art

There was a fine exhibition of contemporary Bangladeshi art at the Drik Gallery recently. Contemporary art in Bangladesh is based on the models of 20th century art as it has an influence all over the world. It has its history dating to 1947 when Zainul Abedin and his colleagues set up the Art College. The modern artists of Bangladesh have used styles and techniques that go with eastern art, and at times there is a blend of the east and west.

Handicraft fair ends in Pabna

The five-day long handicraft fair in Pabna concluded on March 18 at the Pabna Town Hall premises. A discussion was also held on the occasion. The event was arranged by cultural organisation 'Shekor Sanskritik Sangathan'.

Anthony Minghella, director of “The English Patient" dies

Anthony Minghella, the British filmmaker who won an Academy Award for his direction of The English Patient, died Tuesday morning in London. He was 54.

Cultural programme by Ankur Natya Academy

Local cultural organisation Ankur Natya Academy celebrated the completion of an era with programmes at the academy's auditorium recently.

Halle Berry names her firstborn

Halle Berry's newborn daughter is named Nahla Ariela Aubry, her publicist Meredith O'Sullivan told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Nahla was born Sunday to Berry, 41, and her boyfriend, model Gabriel Aubry, 32. It's Berry's first child.

Announcement

The Arts & Entertainment pages will regularly feature exhibitions, cultural programmes, film screenings and more. Cultural organisations and concerned individuals are therefore requested to send us information on their upcoming programmes a few days ahead so they can be highlighted in our 'What’s on This Week' section.

OP-ED

Tiger tales

In July 2009, Bradt Travel Guides will release a new travel guidebook for Bangladesh around the world. A group of five international travel writers and travel agents, including the book author, is currently exploring Bangladesh's tourism potential. What follows is the fourth and final part of the trip diary. The trip wrap-up will be presented in the April issue of the Forum magazine.

The rice price dilemma: Time to worry about low prices?

THE headlines continue to scream about the high price of essentials while our embattled advisors agonise over a situation that is patently well beyond their control. Many ideas have been bandied about in the press and the electronic media by various "experts:" strengthen safety nets (i.e. mainly VGD); expand OMS; revive TCB (the state-owned trade corporation); explore new sources of rice imports, and so on.

Street protest against equal rights: What needs to be done

THE recent street protest in Dhaka of thousands of Muslims against the government's move to give equal rights to women in inheritance is regrettable. What sort of society is it where people discriminate against mothers, sisters and daughters, and even go out in the streets in support of such a move? Is it Islamic? Who are these people talking on behalf of Islam without properly understanding the religion and, especially, the real spirit of the faith?

Arthur C. Clarke and the Ego Chamber

SIR Arthur was lost in his own world, as usual. The last time I saw Arthur C. Clarke, the visionary author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, his hearing had gone.

Star Chittagong

CU non-resident students cry fiasco

Thousands of students shuttle back and forth around 22 kilometers everyday between Chittagong city and Chittagong University (CU) to attend their classes due to lack of adequate dormitories on the campus.

New shifts in five govt schools soon

The government has decided to introduce additional shifts in five government secondary schools in the port city to cope with the pressure of increasing number of students.

The Week That Was

Bay View School annual function held
The annual function of Bay View School was held on Saturday at the auditorium of Engineers Institute, Chittagong.



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