The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, November 26, 2014


News of: Sunday, 23rd of March, 2008

Front Page

Khaleda, Hasina not fit for Truth Commission

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed has said detained former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina will not be eligible to appear before the proposed Truth Commission for pardon as they are already arraigned on corruption charges and facing trial in courts.

Fresh vow to try war criminals by any means

The national convention of Sector Commanders Forum (SCF) was held on Friday in the capital with a vow to put the war criminals on trial by any means so justice can prevail in the society.

Medicare for 1.35 lakh cops in a shambles

Health services at all seven police hospitals in the country are in jeopardy as 380 staff members of the hospitals are not receiving their salaries for the last seven months due to bureaucratic tangles.

Rice allocation for OMS to be doubled

The government will double rice supply for open market sale (OMS) and consider introducing dearness allowance for its employees as part of short-term measures to alleviate public sufferings from price spiral of essentials.

Poor power sector holding back growth

Bangladesh needs to significantly improve its power sector and infrastructure, alongside the ongoing anti-corruption drive, if the country wishes to unleash its growth potential, said World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who left the country on Thursday following a four-day visit.

Wheat raises hope for bumper harvest

The country is expected to have a bumper production of wheat this year that might help ease the current food shortage caused by last year's floods and Cyclone Sidr.

Trade union debuts at 69 EPZ units

For the first time in the country, 69 industrial units in Dhaka and Chittagong export processing zones (EPZ) have introduced workers' associations on the basis of referendums by workers.

Final voter list starts to come out tomorrow

Final voter lists for four city corporations and seven municipalities are scheduled to be published tomorrow, while the final lists for another 230 upazilas are likely to be published by the end of June.

27 vehicles damaged as transport workers clash with JU students

Students of Jahangirnagar University blockaded Dhaka-Aricha Highway near the university for an hour and a half after transport workers vandalised three university buses and assaulted students at Gabtoli Bus Terminal yesterday.

PPP names Gilani as Pakistan PM candidate

Slain former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto's party yesterday named ex-parliamentary speaker Yousuf Raza Gilani as its candidate to be the troubled country's new prime minister.

Cop close to criminal Emon held for quizzing

A Criminal Investigation Department (CID) team yesterday hauled in a sub-inspector (SI) for questioning in the capital after his name cropped up in the statement of top criminal Sanjidul Islam Emon.

Tamim ton completes whitewash

Opener Tamim Iqbal slammed his maiden one-day hundred as Bangladesh completed a clean sweep against Ireland with a 79-run victory in the third and final match at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

Release Khaleda, Hasina by Mar 26

One hundred and eighteen former BNP lawmakers including a number of leaders of pro-Saifur faction of BNP yesterday demanded that former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina be released before March 26.

Elected govt to assume early next year

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda has expressed the hope that an elected government will run the administration from the beginning of next year.

Miladunnabi observed

The holy Eid-e-Miladunnabi, marking the birth and demise of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SM), was observed on Friday across the country as elsewhere in the Muslim world with due religious fervour and solemnity.

Geeta Pasi rebuts claims of interference

US Charge d'Affaires Geeta Pasi yesterday refuted claims of interference in Bangladesh's internal affairs, while Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar A Chowdhury reiterated that the government's recent caution against foreign interference is not directed at anyone in particular.

Army chief verifies prices in market

Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed paid a surprise visit to the wholesale and retail markets at New Market in the city yesterday.

Structure with artefacts found below Paharpur site temple

Archaeologists have found another ancient brick-built structure with floor and artefacts under the basement of the main temple at world heritage site Paharpur.

Intel to provide 1,000 PCs for schools

Intel Corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the education ministry for supplying 1,000 personal computers to schools in the country's 64 districts as part of its plan to introduce information technology based education programme in Bangladesh.

2 shot dead as villagers clash in Sunamganj

Two people were shot dead and 25 others injured during an armed clash over khas land at Jagonnathpur upazila in Sunamganj district yesterday.

34,446 fowls culled in 2 districts

At least 34,446 fowls were culled and 34,623 eggs destroyed at six poultry farms and houses in Thakurgaon and Narayanganj on Thursday and Friday night.

PPP set to unveil Pak PM candidate

Slain Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's party was due Saturday to announce the name of its candidate for prime minister, with every indication he may be elected uncontested.

Opposition wins presidential vote in Taiwan

Taiwan's opposition candidate cruised to victory in the presidential election yesterday, promising to expand economic ties with China while protecting the island from being swallowed up politically by its giant communist neighbour.

Barbs fly in Democratic White House race

Tensions between Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton rose again Saturday after the rival campaigns exchanged harsh words as Obama gained the backing of the country's only Hispanic governor.

Editorial

Sector Commanders' Forum and war crimes trial

The Sector Commanders' Forum, after a period of uncertainty finally has had an opportunity of organising its much-awaited convention. On Friday, a well-attended and, needless to say, well-publicised convention made it clear that the SCF is today determined that the war criminals of 1971 are prosecuted and punished under the relevant national and international laws. It is a goal which surely resonates with the vast majority of the people of Bangladesh. All of us, naturally and for very good reasons, hold the view that the principles around which the nation waged the War of Liberation must be upheld as the core upon which we build our future.

Blasé attitude to human lives

We are dumbfounded at the observation made by a supposedly responsible office bearer of Outdoor Advertisement Owners' Association about the lethality caused to pedestrians by fledgling rooftop billboards. He is quoted in the report as saying, "When a lot of people are getting killed in various accidents ... a few deaths due to billboard collapse are not something exceptional." It amounts to saying, so what if some people die from collapsing billboards! Even though human lives have become cheap these days, his statement is patently outrageous because of the odious way he made light of a palpable danger to human life. Such men are a shame to the humankind. Should he not be taken to task for his remarks.

Can the strains be overlooked?

DESPITE the authorities' strong denial that a state of silent famine exists in the country, the concern expressed by the country director of the World Food Program about the lack of access of the poor and ultra-poor to the food necessary to survive has to be taken note of.

Where do we go from here?

I wish I had an answer to what I call the Sarabjit Singh problem. He is awaiting execution in Pakistan. The media has once again taken the matter to such a pitch that it has got linked with the country's izzat (pride).

Internal power struggle in the offing in Tehran

IRAN held parliamentary elections on March 14. About 4,500 candidates ran for the 290 seats. Many voters in Tehran were reportedly perplexed at having to choose 30 candidates out of hundreds, and some arrived at the polling station with written lists.

Sports

Tigers get back lost confidence

An uncommon scene prevailed as four members of the Bangladesh team appeared in the post-match briefing after their 79-run victory in the third and final one-dayer against Ireland to complete a whitewash at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

An Irish dream

William Kyle McCallan, a 32-year-old right-arm off-spinner, is on his first visit to Dhaka and like the entire Irish contingent, loves every moment of it despite what is being said about the heat. In an exclusive interview with The Daily Star Sport's Mohammad Isam, McCallan reveals that he has enjoyed the new experience of playing in front of big crowds. A firm family man, he is the senior statesman of the team and takes immense pride in playing for Ireland and plans to take his team to the next World Cup in 2011.

MSC take top spot

Mohammedan Sporting Club took pole position after a 35-run victory over Surjo Torun and were helped further by Bangladesh Biman's tie with City Club in the sixth round of the Premier League yesterday.

BFF calls-up 28 booters

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday announced a 28-member preliminary national football squad for two upcoming international soccer tournaments.

Dhaka, BKSP in JFA final

Dhaka meet BKSP in the JFA Cup football championship final on Monday after they won their respective semifinals in Rajshahi yesterday.

Pietersen saves England

A century by Kevin Pietersen saved face for England as teenage debutant Tim Southee gave New Zealand the upper hand on Day One of the deciding third cricket Test here Saturday.

Bernard sets new 100m WR

Frenchman Alain Bernard set a new world record for the men's 100 metres freestyle in a time of 47.60sec at the European Swimming Championships here on Friday.

Trescothick bids bye to England

Marcus Trescothick retired Saturday from international cricket, the England batsman's county, Somerset, announced.

Sri Lanka 85/0

Having notched up a hundred and a fifty in a warm-up match at the Providence Stadium last week Malinda Warnapura returned to the venue, now making its Test debut, and led a most promising Sri Lankan start.

It's all or nothing

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's consistency will prove decisive as their Premier League title challenge enters a defining period.

Valencia shock Barca

Valencia stunned Barcelona 3-2 at the Mestalla to reach the King's Cup final 4-3 on aggregate on Thursday.

Battle of the Reds

Cristiano Ronaldo "has the world in front of him" according to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and the veteran boss wants the Portugal winger to maintain his "fantastic" form against arch-rivals Liverpool on Sunday.

'Mature' Cole praised

Chelsea coach Avram Grant has praised Ashley Cole for the "mature" way in which he apologised for his dreadful tackle on Tottenham defender Alan Hutton.

Barcelona reeling

Barcelona have tried to put a positive gloss on their elimination from the King's Cup even though the competition presented their most realistic chance of winning a trophy this season.

Maria finally falls

Svetlana Kuznetsova handed Maria Sharapova her first defeat of 2008 on Friday to set up a clash with top-seeded Ana Ivanovic in the final of the Pacific Life Open.

'Humility the key to success'

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro believes his country can emulate France by winning the European championships after lifting the World Cup, if they stay humble at Euro 2008.

Ancelotti rubbishes Italy link

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed speculation he is set to take over as Italy coach from Roberto Donadoni after Euro 2008.

Kaka set to miss Sweden match

AC Milan playmaker Kaka has ruled himself out for Brazil's friendly against Sweden in London on Wednesday because of a thigh injury.

Proteas arrive in India

South Africa skipper Graeme Smith on Saturday said he had full faith his team would overcome selection controversies and excel in the three-Test series against India starting here next week.

West Bengal bound U-15 squad named

Iktedar Nazeef Ahmed was named captain of the 15-member Bangladesh under-15 cricket team that will tour West Bengal from March 25.

Pakistan open against WI

Hosts Pakistan and 2006 runners-up the West Indies will open the Champions Trophy on September 11, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Saturday.

Ex-NZ captain Wallace dead

Former New Zealand cricket captain Merv Wallace has died aged 91, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said on Saturday.

Five ICL players denied county registration

Five overseas players who have signed for the rebel Indian Cricket League Twenty20 competition have been denied registration to play English county cricket this season.

'Tendulkar wanted Dhoni'

Sharad Pawar, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has revealed that Sachin Tendulkar had recommended Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the captaincy and suggested that youngsters should be included in the World Cup-winning Twenty20 squad instead of "players of his generation".

Dhoni, Bhajji fit for SA Tests

India vice-captain Mahendra Dhoni and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh passed fitness Tests on Friday ahead of the Test series against South Africa starting next week, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said.

RAWA Club bridge

A day long Pairs bridge event organised by RAWA Club will be held at the club on 26 March. The tournament will start at 9:30 am. The entry fee is Tk. 200 for each pair.

Toroni Kapali passes away

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) condoled the passing away of Toroni Mohan Kapali, father of national cricketer Alok Kapali, who died in Sylhet on Thursday.

Army put five past Mirpur

Bangladesh Army drubbed Mirpur Academy 5-0 in the Dhaka Bank Independence Day hockey tournament at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Business

Private banks going rural to tap business potential

Private commercial banks (PCBs) are increasingly penetrating into rural Bangladesh to tap business potential, according to sources in the banking sector.

Chemical price hike, fund constraints hinder growth

The small and medium scale RMG dyeing and washing plants are now facing dual troubles, one is price hike of chemicals and the other is fund constraint, said an entrepreneur yesterday.

India reduces duties on rice, edible oils

With the inflation inching towards the six percent mark, the Indian government has reduced customs duty on rice and edible oils drastically to rein in their prices in domestic market.

UAE looking for new avenues to hire construction workers

The UAE and other Gulf countries, which are facing acute shortage of workers, are looking at countries like Bangladesh and Nepal to get labourers needed to complete mega projects worth a whopping USD 1.9 trillion.

Bumper potato output puts Rajshahi growers in peril

Potato growers in 16 districts of Rajshahi division are in great trouble due to lack of storage facility following a bumper production of the crop.

BTRC asks BTTB to receive licences for internet, int'l call termination

The country's telecoms watchdog, BTRC, has asked state-run telecoms operator BTTB to receive licences for operating international call termination and internet services.

Malaysian firms eye Bangladesh's Halal product market

Malaysian companies are eying to exploit Muslim majority Bangladesh's market with their 'Halal' products especially the food and cosmetics items.

Money lenders only hope for India's poor farmers

Almost every farmer across India's arid cotton-bearing central plateau is a hostage, in one way or another, to a profitable mega-business of illegal moneylending.

Int'l textile machinery show kicks off in Ctg

A four-day international fair of textile and garment machinery began in Chittagong yesterday.

The law of entropy

I was mystified with the word entropy. The dictionary says it is a measure of the disorder that exists in a system. And the law has something to do with thermodynamics. With a lot of scratching my head, my understanding of the law to me, means, what does not grow, decays. In Newtonian words, what doesn't go up, comes down.

Gold, oil prices blast new highs

Gold and oil prices scored fresh lifetime peaks this week as investors snapped up commodities in favour of the weak dollar and sought safety from falling equity markets.

Fazlul Hoque re-elected BKMEA chief

Fazlul Hoque has been re-elected president of BKMEA (Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association) for 2008-10 period.

Walton's new products hit int'l market soon

Walton, an electronic and electric goods manufacturer that has already set its sight on oversees markets, celebrated yesterday its eight years of business in Bangladesh.

2-day job fair begins at DU

A two-day job fair participated by 13 corporate houses began at Dhaka University (DU) yesterday.

Greenback little changed in Asia

The dollar held steady well above its recent lows against other major currencies in Asian trade on Friday with many players away for a long holiday weekend, dealers said.

Vietnam rice troubles could affect region

Vietnam's farm sector is reeling from outbreaks of pests and disease that could threaten its neighbours including China, according to one of the world's leading rice experts.

US says Doha round not a 'North-South' matter

A White House economic affairs advisor said Friday that developing countries have more to gain than the rich north from the lower tariffs the United States is seeking in the Doha round of trade talks.

S Korea's per capita income tops $20,000

Recently released data by the central bank showed that the South Korea's per capita income surpassed US$20,000 for the first time ever last year on the back of strong exports and a weak dollar.

Samsung to set up major mobile phone plant in Vietnam

South Korea's Samsung Electronics will build a major mobile phone plant in Vietnam to expand its global market share, news reports said Friday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

March 16-March 20 2008
Local FX Market

Local inter-bank FX market was mostly liquid throughout the week but tightened near the end; however the BDT remained almost unchanged against the USD.

Metropolitan

Provide healthcare service at affordable cost: Dr Yunus

Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus has called on physicians to inform the common people of affordable and cost-effective cancer treatment.

'70pc of water, excreta-borne diseases can be prevented'

LGRD and Cooperatives Adviser M Anwarul Iqbal yesterday said it is possible to prevent 70 percent of water and excreta-borne diseases through practicing proper hand washing across the country.

End culture of secrecy

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called for ending the culture of secrecy and introducing e-governance in order to get the most benefit from the right to information law after its enactment.

Construct barrage on Gorai to protect southwestern region

Experts at a dialogue here yesterday urged the government to take immediate steps to construct a barrage on the river Gorai to protect environment and livelihoods in southwestern region of the country.

10 killed in road accidents

At least 10 people were killed and 25 injured in separate road accidents in Narayanganj, Brahmanbaria, Mymensingh, Dinajpur and Sirajganj during the last two days.

$2m Danish aid for local govt support scheme

Danish International Develop-ment Assistance (Danida) signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) yesterday to assist the Local Government Support Programme titled 'Learning Innovation Component (LGSP-LIC)' to enhance decentralisation and local governance in Bangladesh.

150 shanties burn down in Sitakunda fire

About 150 shanties burned down in a fire at Sitakunda yesterday, rendering as many families of fishing community homeless.

President, CA greet Pakistani counterparts

President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday greeted their Pakistani counterparts on the occasion of Pakistan Day today.

'Prompt decision on coal extraction a must as gas depletes fast'

Energy experts yesterday suggested that the government take prompt decision to utilise coal, found abundant in deposit in the country, as an alternative fuel for power generation as gas reserves are getting depleted fast.

Cracks in supply line disrupts gas supply in Noakhali, Laxmipur

Gas supply in Noakhali and Laxmipur districts remained suspended for over six hours due to cracks developed in insulation joint of supply line at Senbagh in Noakhali yesterday.

15 hurt as JCD factions clash

At least 15 students were injured in clashes between rival factions of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of the BNP, at Jagannath University and Tejgaon College in the city yesterday.

AL calls for saving river water from pollution

The Awami League (AL) yesterday called for saving the river water from pollution.

Tributes paid to Masterda

Tributes were paid to the memory of Masterda Surya Sen at the Central Shaheed Minar in the city yesterday on the occasion of his 114th birth anniversary.

4 of a family electrocuted

Four of a family, including a child, were electrocuted on Friday at Zeroin village under Brahmanpara upazila in Comilla.

Freedom fighter Jalaluddin dies in road crash

Jalaluddin Ahmed, a valiant freedom fighter and former chairman of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Central Command Council, and his car driver were killed in a road accident near Kachpur Bridge last night at the age of 58.

University Women Fed executives

Prof Monowara Islam and Rashida Hussain were elected president and secretary general at the general meeting of Bangladesh Federation of University Women for 2008-2010 on March 21, says a press release.

National

Resisting graft is a moral duty

Vowing to contain corruption in the country, Anti Corruption (ACC) Chairman Lt. Gen. Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday called upon the people to raise their voices against the vice, saying it is 'our moral duty'.

Try war criminals

Speakers at a reception accorded to four freedom fighters demanded trial of war criminals to establish rule of law in the country and fulfill the dreams of martyrs.

1,000 MT food allotted for Rangamati

Special Assistant to the Chief Advisor Barrister Devasish Roy yesterday said the government has allocated 1000 tonnes of food grains to face the food crisis in remote areas in Rangamati hills.

Remove flaws in right to info act

The right to information act should be made 'flawless' before its enactment if it is meant to benefit people instead of serving selfish interests of some quarters.

School students vow to resist graft

It was a different day on the premises of Chapainawabganj Horimohon Government High School as over 500 students vowed to root out corruption from the society.

Anti-graft rally held at Rangpur

District Corruption Resistance Committee brought out a large colourful procession in Rangpur town yesterday to raise awareness about combating corruption.

Hold UZ polls first

Tangail unit of Bangladesh Union Parishad Oikya Jote yesterday urged the caretaker government to take steps for holding upazila elections before parliamentary elections.

ACC case against Coco's business partner

The Anti Corruption Commission has filed a case against Arafat Rahman Coco's business partner Sheikh Farid Ahmad Manik, also a BNP leader, with Chandpur model police station for violating ACC Act '04, police sources said.

Letters

The fiery speech

The Language Movement that began on February 21, 1952 when Rafique, Jabbar, Salam and others fell martyrs is now well conceived and rightly propagated as the first element to have sown the seed of separation from Pakistan. And after nineteen years, the historic 7 March (1971) speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib, following Pakistanis' conspiracy not to allow Mujib to implement his people's mandate, the Six-point programme with which his party swept to the election victory made it crystal clear that the Pakistanis' domination and subjugation would soon be over. More so, when Bangabandhu, before the biggest ever meeting of Bengalees in the then Race Course Maidan (now Suhrawardy Uddyan) concluded his speech by a forceful declaration, “Our struggle this time is for freedom, our struggle this time is for emancipation.” The speech just struck the right chord with hundreds of thousands of people there and on the roof-top of each and every building around, (and in reality with the nation as a whole) and they echoed in concurrence in thunderous voice, “Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu.” Flamboyant and fearless, he delivered a poetic, mellifluously worded speech, unique in style and presentation; that also delineated the deprivations in all sectors which Bengalees had to suffer in the hands of the Pakistani rulers since 1947, and cautioned them by uttering, “no more trampling down are dabya rakte parbana”. To frustrate their evil design, he called upon his people to face the Pakistani military by saying, “ Make every house a fortress and swoop on them with whatever you have”. Bengalees were left with nothing short of 'the green signal for disowning Pakistan and for preparing, lock, stock and barrel, for achieving their own homeland, Bangladesh'. And Bengalees already imbued with their leader's directives of 7 March, and final call of 26 March, fought the 9-month long liberation war, literally in his name (though he was absent due to his being taken prisoner to Pakistan on the charge of high treason for declaration of Independence of Bangladesh), and eventually materialised their dream of independent sovereign Bangladesh, but at the cost of three millions lives. Bengalees paid too much price in blood in too short a time. Think about the importance of the speech on 7 March 1971 which is called by many as his swan-song. Verily, that speech was the prelude to splitting of Pakistan and emergence of Bangladesh. Hence the speech is a treasure trove, like all great speeches in the annals of history.

Sculptures at DU

I would like to thank DS for publishing a news item on March 19, 2008 regarding the regrettable condition of precious sculptures situated at DU.

Election funds

I vehemently oppose the proposal put forward by the Awami League recently on the issue of the government funding the political parties which secured at least 10% of the votes in the last parliamentary election for conducting the forthcoming national election. The political parties should conduct election with their own funds and the candidate should bear the expenses required for the purpose. The state's money is meant for meeting the expenses required by the state and the people. It has many other priority areas such as poverty alleviation, creation of jobs for the ultra poor, disaster mitigation, undertaking emergency programmes etc. The nation's other requirement is to address the issues such as food shortage, fertiliser crisis, electricity, gas, agricultural and human development and so on. Therefore, this request should not in any circumstances be taken into consideration.

28th BCS

The circular of the 28th BCS has been issued at last after two and a half years of the 27th BCS circular, though it is supposed to be published every year. This type of gap is, however, not new in the process. In 2003, the circular of the 24th BCS was published after two and a half years of the 22nd BCS circular of 2000, if we do not take into count the 23rd special BCS of 2003. So, more or less a period of five years had elapsed without issuance of any circular. In contrast, the BCS exams held in the period i.e. from 2000 to 2007 covering the 22nd to the 27th BCS were the most controversial and allegedly corrupt. If we consider these two factors, it can be said that a number of meritorious students have failed to qualify in the BCS exams in the said period. It also means that the students who completed their graduation and post graduation in this period have failed to get the cherished jobs not for lack of their merit, rather due to the state of affairs. Though the circular of the 24th BCS exams was published by relaxing the age limit to provide scope to a greater number of aspirants, the scenario is quite different in the case of the 28th BCS.

Dealing with corruption cases

Our long-term national aim is peace and prosperity and the immediate aim is to hold a parliamentary election towards restoration of democracy. What I find is a change of priority by the caretaker govt. in our national agenda. No one will deny the fact that corruption has taken roots in all spheres of our life, that is why for the last few years we are being identified as the number one corrupt country in the world. The present govt. is found to spend most of their energy without focus on eradication of this evil and that too within a short period allotted specifically for the particular job of holding the national election. I find hundreds of people including politicians behind bars for corruption cases. Moreover, for these cases thousands of people are engaged in dealing with them with heavy pressure on the govt. exchequer. The newspaper reports show how the govt. administration, prisons, courts, police department etc. are engaged in dealing with the corruption cases. I don't support ignoring the corruption cases but would like to suggest the following which may be more beneficial for the govt. and the country as a whole:

National government?

Some of our prominent political leaders, especially the reformists of the last government and some eminent personalities are suggesting and seriously advocating formation of a National Government in place of the present CTG. Is this theory a part of our constitution, if not why they are suggesting such form of government in place of the existing one which is somehow constitutionally established? We remember the then Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia commented that “Only the infants and insane are neutral.” However, she had to accept the caretaker government and ultimately the constitution was amended. Our constitution is a sacred document. We should honour this document and run this country as it dictates. I believe those who are advocating for an extra-constitutional National Government are talking from the point of their own political standings. Most of these leaders are politically bankrupt, they do not have much public support.

Bangladeshis in Saudi Arabia

Following allegations of crimes committed by Bangladeshi expatriates, the Saudi government (SG) has decided to reduce the number of Bangladeshis in Saudi Arabia dramatically and put restriction on issuing new visa.

Welfare banking

Understanding the behaviour and practice as well as ethics of welfare banking is still a weak point for the people who deal with the sector. The particular text and presentation on the subject to open up the merits and dynamism of welfare banking is yet to reach the grassroots level people. Although welfare based banks are facing challenges and adopting measures to explore its benefits, the overall results are not yet very good.

False cases

Most criminals act within knowledge of police, says IGP (28 Feb, DS). But when policemen themselves become criminals, people are left with little to do.

Nursing as profession

Bangladesh, as we know, is an over populated country. Our economy is mainly agro-based. Contribution of industry and service sectors is increasing but still it is not very significant. The agriculture sector is considered as overburdened with excess manpower. Unemployment and under employment is an acute problem here

Fast foods

While in a country like ours eating fast food is a 'cool' thing, in the western world eating only nutritious foods is now regarded as 'cool'. The reason is simple, obesity is supposed to be a serious problem in this part of the world together with all the diseases it may lead to. In schools, children are not allowed to eat junk foods and fizzy drinks, they must have five types of fruits and vegetables along with plenty of water. Food choice is made strictly on health grounds.

Sheikh Hasina's treatment

A lot has been said and written about Sheikh Hasina's treatment abroad. All experts in this regard concluded on one point only: Ear treatment has to be done in the United States as it is not available in Bangladesh.

Media and politicians' health

We are flummoxed about why the print media in Bangladesh is haemorrhaging us with updates on health conditions of our former heads of government and high-ups. It is neither appropriate in today's world to openly talk about one's health, nor is it worth a try to kindle compassion of a population that is now aware of many of their bizarre deeds. Moreover, our politicians are endowed with unusually long life span, and, therefore, we do not want to waste our energy on something that we do not have to worry about.

Time for them to go

In light of the recent performances of the Tigers since the Twenty20 World Cup right up to the just concluded South Africa series, one can only come to the conclusion that they are regressing rather than progressing under coach Jamie Siddons and captain Mohammed Ashraful. There has to be some accountability. Cricket is a sport where an impoverished nation like Bangladesh spends millions of dollars each year. Continued lack of performance cannot merely be shrugged off. Jamie Siddons has had enough time and opportunity to show at least minimal success since he took the reins of the Tigers but has failed miserably. Under him the Tigers did not win a single match, be it Tests or One-Dayers against New Zealand or South Africa. More alarmingly, they were not even competitive. These are very poor returns in the field of international sports.

Prince Sultan's gift

The report in The Daily Star (10th March) on a gift by Saudi Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz to former military dictator and president of Bangladesh Hussain Muhammad Ershad has drawn my attention. The gift is a Mercedes-Benz 350 car.

Foreign doctors

You must have noticed that a number of foreign doctors, especially Indian doctors are working in Bangladesh. Some of them are working here in the name of technical collaboration and some of them are simply consulting individually. It is the law of the soil that any foreign doctor must have necessary registration from Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council (BMDC). Not only Bangladesh, this type of law exists in each and every country of the world. We have no objections if some new technologies are introduced and hands-on training are given to our local doctors by the foreign physicians. But this is quite unacceptable that they are violating the existing laws and also some of them are working without work permit. The question arises, why should we need regulatory bodies like BMDC, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. If they think that Bangladesh should remain free for all doctors in the world who could practice here without registration, they should declare that and declare themselves non-existent. We do not need any impotent bodies being run with the money from public coffers.

“Collared” tigers

I am appalled to read that a scientific study of tigers involving radio-telemetry has been suspended by the Bangladesh government because of well-intentioned but entirely misdirected concerns. Adam Barlow who is the victim in this case is a capable wildlife biologist and a student of Dr. David Smith one of the pioneers of tiger research. The drug employed has been used in dozens of immobilizations of wild tigers in Nepal, India and Russia by myself and other researchers. Suspending such an important tiger research project based on mere apprehensions is unjustified.

Land grabbing in CHT

The main problem of Chittagong Hill tracts is complexity of land. Recently, some leading newspapers published reports on this issue. They stated that indigenous people were illegally capturing lands of Bengalis.

Media

It is unfortunate that these days in Bangladesh media we only see some well known personalities who have identified themselves with a particular political ideology.

International

Tigers strike back sinking Lankan navy craft

Tamil Tiger rebels struck back against a mounting Sri Lankan military offensive yesterday by sinking a naval fast attack craft, leaving 10 sailors missing, officials said.

China rejects dialogue, vows to smash Tibetan protests

China turned its back Saturday on appeals for dialogue with the Dalai Lama, vowing to smash anti-China forces in Tibet, where it said the death toll from recent unrest had risen to 19.

Pak leaders plan talks with militants

The leaders of the newly-formed coalition government in Pakistan intend to start negotiations with Islamic militants in the hope of ending a spate of bombings that has shaken the country, The New York Times reported on its website late Friday.

Nepal govt invites armed ethnic groups for talks

Nepal's caretaker government has invited armed ethnic groups from the tense south of the country for talks ahead of crucial polls next month, the country's peace minister said yesterday.

Polls create rifts in Bhutan as king's absolute rule ends

Bhutan's shift from absolute monarchy to the world's newest democracy is creating unprecedented rifts as people row over which party to vote for in next week's elections, observers say.

Palestinians extend reconciliation talks

Reconciliation talks between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have been extended through Saturday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said.

Four US soldiers killed in Iraq

The US military announced yesterday the deaths of four soldiers, including three who were killed in a roadside bombing in Baghdad that also left two Iraqis dead while six Iraqis were killed in US airstrike.

Workers punished for US passport breach

Two companies that provide workers for the State Department say they fired or otherwise punished those who improperly accessed the passport records of the three major presidential candidates. The security breaches touched off demands for a congressional investigation.

US sanctions British, Armenian firms for Iran exports

The United States slapped sanctions on British and Armenian firms Friday for unauthorized re-exports of aircraft to Iran, officials said.

Congress, NCP in straight fight for Meghalaya Rajya Sabha seat

The lone Rajya Sabha seat in Meghalaya will see a fight between Congress and NCP-led ruling Meghalaya Progressive Alliance.

Indefinite curfew imposed in Pak town after sectarian clashes

Indefinite curfew has been clamped on the northwestern Pakistani town of Hangu after sectarian clashes left at least four persons including a policeman dead and 25 others injured.

Arts & Entertainment

Weeklong jatra festival at Shilpakala

Set against the backdrop of the battle between Shamsuddin Elias Shah, the ruler of Bengal and Firoz Shah Tughlak, the Emperor of Delhi; Shanti Ranjan Dey's historical jatrapala, Ganga Theke Buriganga depicts the legacy of struggles for independence by the people of this land.

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People celebrated

To mark the World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People, People's Theatre Association (PTA) arranged a daylong programme at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library on March 20. Hundreds of young theatre activists gathered at the venue to celebrate the day.

Guiding the way through “fast and furious” works

Stephanie Quayle was here from UK to hold a workshop on sculpture with the fine arts students of Dhaka and Rajshahi Universities. The exhibition at Zainul Gallery was the result of the four-day long workshop.

“Ekatturer Dinguli” on Channel i today

Ekatturer Dinguli will be aired today at 2:35pm on Channel i. The programme is based on a book with the same title (Days of '71) by Jahanara Imam who lost a son to the war.

Celebrating spring

To celebrate spring, the Dhaka wing of Jatiya Rabindra Sangeet Sammlan Parishad, (JRSSP) organised a cultural programme at the Rabindra Sarobar open stage at Dhanmondi on March 20.

Kathak performance in Chittagong

Dance enthusiasts here in the port city enjoyed a Kathak performance titled Shinjinee last Thursday (March 20) evening.

'Srotar Ashor' at Chhayanat

Srotar Ashor, a monthly musical programme organised by Chhayanat, was held at the Ramesh Chandra Memorial auditorium, Chhayanat Sanskriti Bhaban on March 20.

Fortnight book fair ends in Joypurhat

A 15-day book fair was recently held at the Abdul Kashem Maidan premises in Joypurhat.

"Disappeared In America" in Spain

Excerpts from Disappeared In America, a series of interdisciplinary art projects on national security panic, created by Visible Collective/Naeem Mohaiemen, will be screened as part of ‘Idensitat', says a press release.

OP-ED

The golden fibre

IN recent weeks much has been written about the "collapse" of the jute industry in Bangladesh, including heart-rending reports detailing the human tragedy in the jute mills in Khulna.

Celebration of new life

THE whole Christian community rejoices today with great voice proclaiming to the whole world: The Lord is truly risen. There is victory over death. Alleluia! Today, March 23, Sunday is Easter Sunday. Easter signifies the celebration of the glorious resurrection of Jesus. And it is the dogma of Christian faith that for the salvation of all mankind Jesus, the fullest revelation of God the almighty Father came to this world, through his words and deeds established the kingdom of God and opened for mankind the way to heaven.

Nor any drop to drink

WATER, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink," lamented the eminent English poet Coleridge in his poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner written over 100 years ago. Such a drastic situation might not exist in Bangladesh, but neither is it so far away, with many of the population having to search frantically for safe drinking water.

The malaria problem

Malaria has been a major public health problem in Bangladesh. According to World Health Organisation reports from 2005 approximately 88% of the total population (106.6 million people) are at risk of malaria. The majority of malaria cases are reported from 13 out of the total 64 districts in the country. These 13 districts have a population of 24 million. The malaria situation in Bangladesh is worsening in recent years particularly in the hilly and forested areas in Hill Tract Districts and also alongside the border belt areas in 11 high endemic districts. These areas are also reporting chloroquine and Fansidar resistant cases.

The games are afoot

THE Olympics are coming to Asia. The venues are rising majestically in Beijing. A canal has been built for rowing, a running track for running and a velodrome, for, er, velling.

Star City

Perilous roads, bone-tiring rides

Patchy, potholed and pebble-strewn, the roads of Uttara Sector-10 present a treacherous path for both pedestrians and vehicle passengers.

Fire-fighters focus on post-tremor tools

The Department of Fire Service and Civil Defence will soon add around 20 types of sophisticated fire-fighting equipment to its current fleet in an effort to modernise the department and carry out rescue operations more effectively.

Plastic money users growing fast in city

Khalid Omar ambles through the rows of cloths in a retail store. He is looking for a new suit to wear at an office party next day.



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