The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, August 28, 2014


News of: Monday, 24th of March, 2008

Front Page

Govt bids to buffer soaring price effect

The government yesterday decided to form a new high powered core committee, headed by the chief adviser (CA), to cushion the effects of soaring food prices, as public discontent over the issue has been rising.

Potato boom made bane for Munshiganj farmers

Middlemen are cashing in on artificial shortage of cold storages by renting huge space, forcing the farmers in Munshiganj to sell potatoes at a loss even after bumper production.

Hasina fit enough to be in court

The jail authorities could not produce detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina before court yesterday because of her “unwillingness” despite being in “fine physical condition”.

SCBA firm on polls despite govt ban

The government yesterday banned holding of the election of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), a day before the poll, claiming that the association did not take prior permission from Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) in accordance with the Emergency Power Rules (EPR).

ADP to be cut by 15 percent

The government is going to slash its annual development expenditure by 15 percent, while allocating an additional Tk 15 crore for programmes to develop the livelihoods of the people of 10 districts, identified as lagging behind in reducing the rate of poverty.

Power Cell finally explains rejection

After dilly-dallying for three weeks, the Power Cell yesterday verbally explained to representatives of Summit Industrial and Mercantile Corporation why its bids in Bibiyana and Sirajganj 450 megawatt (MW) power projects were rejected.

Ex-MPs unite to resist govt move

A number of lawmakers of Awami League (AL), BNP and Jatiya Party from the eighth parliament yesterday vowed to resist together the government move to vacate the Nam Bhaban flats allocated to them.

BNP reformists getting weaker

The pro-Saifur faction of BNP seems to be losing ground as most of the standing committee members of the party except three are siding with the pro-Khaleda faction.

New 'Mr No' of Pakistan

The new prime minister of Pakistan has the distinction of saying a big no to both President Pervez Musharraf and late Benazir Bhutto many times. Yousuf Raza Gilani has always been loyal to his party but he is not a "yes man" and that is the quality which impressed PPP Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari a lot.

540 more OMS dealers appointed

The caretaker government decided to increase the sale of rice under the open-market sale (OMS) operation to alleviate public sufferings caused by high prices of essentials and appointed 540 more dealers across the country.

Cabinet okays 3 local govt ordinances

The Council of Advisers yesterday approved in principle the Local Government Commission Ordinance 2008, the proposed Local Government (Municipality) Ordinance 2008 and the proposed Local Government (City Corporation) Ordinance 2008 placed by the Local Government Division.

Tarique found talking over doctor's mobile

Jail authorities yesterday seized a cellphone of a Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University doctor when detained Tarique Rahman, son of detained former premier Khaleda Zia, was found talking to the outside from the prison cell of the hospital using the doctor's phone.

Dhaka-Kolkata train starts on Pahela Baishakh

Bangladesh and Indian authorities yesterday reaffirmed that the much-awaited Dhaka-Kolkata passenger train service will be launched on Pahela Baishakh (April 14).

Bangla Bhai's wife, 2 JMB men jailed

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced three Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) members including JMB's second-in-command Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai's wife to different terms of punishment for the bombings at Udichi and Shatadal Shilpi Goshthi offices in Netrakona in December 2005.

Release Khaleda before Mar 26

The BNP faction loyal to Khaleda Zia yesterday wrote to the chief adviser to free their party chairperson before the Independency Day on March 26.

Manju, his wife, Quader charged

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against Jatiya Party (Manju) Chairman Anwar Hossain Manju, his wife Tasmima Hossain and detained Awami League (AL) Joint General Secretary Obaidul Quader in graft and bribery cases.

DU int'l hall cuts down tree without permission

The authorities of the PG Hurton International Hall of Dhaka University yesterday felled down a banyan tree and a branch of a Krishna Chura (flamboyant tree) without informing the Arboriculture Department of the university.

St Martin's not safe for turtles

Due to the uncontrolled human activities along the sandy beaches of St Martin's Island, the yearly arrival of turtles on the island for laying eggs has reduced significantly.

AL threatens agitation if Hasina not released

Key leaders of Awami League (AL) yesterday threatened to go on a massive agitation programme if party chief Sheikh Hasina is not released immediately.

Hundreds evicted from Paribagh, Begunbari slums

The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) authorities yesterday retrieved 2.14 acres of its land by evicting over 900 families from the encroached land known as Paribagh slum.

Moeen calls on president

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed called on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban yesterday.

Emon remanded for 3 more days

A Dhaka court yesterday placed dreaded criminal Sanjidul Islam Emon, recently deported from India, on a fresh three-day remand and Ishaq Ali, another deportee, on a four-day remand.

85 more killed in fresh Lankan fighting

At least 80 Tamil rebels and five government soldiers were killed in fresh fighting as Sri Lankan security forces tried to break into rebel-held territory, the defence ministry said yesterday. Fierce battles raged in the north of the island as the military smashed through a bunker line of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) inflicting heavy casualties on the rebels, the ministry said.

Musharraf vows to support new govt

President Pervez Musharraf yesterday pledged his full support to Pakistan's new coalition government led by his political opponents, who have vowed to take on the embattled US ally.

Editorial

Reaching food to people

AGAINST the backdrop of skyrocketing prices of essentials and untold misery of the people of every stratum, government has taken the decision to double the allocation of rice under the Open Market Sale (OMS) programme. To this effect, we understand, an additional 1,200 to 1,500 tonnes of rice will be supplied every day to the OMS outlets until end of April. But, we feel considerable time has been spent by the authorities in taking the vital decision of making food grains available on a wider scale, especially to the ultra poor. The other decision of extending the OMS programme to the rural areas down to union level is a worthwhile decision, but the union council leaders will have to ensure that the allotted rice will reach the needy in their constituencies.

Vandalism on the highway

THE fact that a large number of private and public vehicles were damaged apart from the fact that the only highway, Dhaka-Aricha, connecting the capital with northwestern and eastern parts of the country was blocked for a greater part of two hours evokes instant condemnation. We must have minimum sense to avert such disruptive activities.

The mother of all elections?

THE nation has been, with bated breath, awaiting what seems will be the mother of all elections. At least that's the impression we derive from the people concerned with election 2008. The ideas that have been hawked so far in this connection aim not only at ensuring the most credible election of the country but also one that would redefine Bangladesh polity and change its political ethos through a series of electoral reforms. The caretaker government undertook measures that will drive sleazy, corrupt and criminalised politicians out of the arena to allow space for those who have been handicapped by the primacy and influence of black money and muscle power in the electoral process.

The world is round

IF Dr Manmohan Singh loses the next general election -- predicted for October by the knowledgeable -- he will know whom to blame: his new best friend George Bush. Bush has achieved something unique. He has globalised defeat.

Right to information ordinance

THE draft of the Right to Information (RTI) Ordinance 2008, prepared by an eight member committee headed by a joint secretary of the information ministry and having a representative from an NGO, Manusher Jonno Foundation, has been placed on the website of the information ministry for public scrutiny.

Sports

Issa leaves Abahani

Defending champions Abahani roped in national team's penalty corner specialist Mamunur Rahman Chayan on the opening day of the Premier Hockey League transfer yesterday.

Ashraful attends disciplinary hearing

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Sunday called skipper Mohammad Ashraful for a disciplinary hearing following his scuffle with a fan last week. The board's Disciplinary Committee may give its verdict today.

MU maul 10-man L'pool

Manchester United took full advantage of Javier Mascherano's dismissal to cruise to a 3-0 win over archrivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday

Sidebottom sinks NZ

An inspired spell of precision bowling by Ryan Sidebottom pulled England off the ropes and put them in charge of the third cricket Test against New Zealand as 15 wickets fell here Sunday.

Malinda's lone battle

Three wickets in the final period, including the scalp of Malinda Warnapura for a maiden Test hundred of 120, wobbled Sri Lanka after their batsmen revelled in the opening Test against West Indies on Saturday.

Orient, Brothers post easy wins

Newaz fell one short of a hundred but still Orient Sporting Club thumped Young Pegasus B by 113 runs in the First Division League at the Dhaka University ground yesterday.

Eves' run amok

Salma Khatun snared four wickets as Bangladesh romped to an eight-wicket victory over Hong Kong in the first one-day at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Trent takes break from int'l cricket

Ireland captain Trent Johnston has announced that he is taking a break from international cricket.

Title race blown open

Juventus blew the Serie A title race wide open with a shock 2-0 victory at leaders Inter Milan on Saturday night.

Argentines fire Atletico

Atletico Madrid have never qualified for the Champions League but that wait may soon come to an end after they defeated Sevilla 2-1 on Saturday to move five points clear of their rivals.

Toni brace lifts Bayern

Bayern Munich's Italian World Cup winner Luca Toni struck twice as the German giants went seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with a 2-1 win over title rivals Bayer Leverkusen.

Magpies finally win

Newcastle United eased their relegation fears with a 2-0 home win over Fulham on Saturday as attention focused on the battle to stay in the Premier League.

No favours, says Capello

If David Beckham does reach the coveted landmark of a 100th England cap against France next week, he will have earnt it purely on footballing grounds according to manager Fabio Capello.

Terry backs refs protection

Chelsea captain John Terry has backed plans to curb dissent against referees even if it requires changing the rules of the game

'It's not over yet'

Luca Toni rejected the idea Bayern Munich had clinched the Bundesliga title with Saturday's 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen.

Ribery flattered by comparison

Bayern Munich's French midfielder Franck Ribery admitted on Sunday he is flattered by comparisons to Zinedine Zidane, but wants to match his compatriot's achievements to be worthy of such praise.

Del Piero left out again

Alessandro Del Piero's Euro 2008 hopes suffered a fresh blow on Saturday when Italy coach Roberto Donadoni left the striker out of his squad for Wednesday's friendly in Spain.

Anderson takes Kaka's spot

Manchester United's Anderson will replace the injured Kaka in the Brazil squad for Wednesday's friendly international against Sweden in London.

Local Snippets

Kamol struck a late winner as Badda Jagarani defeated Jatrabari Krira Chakra by a solitary goal in the super league of the Senior Division Football League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

'I'm not Sanath'

Malinda Warnapura feels he has a long way to go before anyone can put his name in the same bracket with Sanath Jayasuriya.

Fish stuns Federer

Mardy Fish pulled off a whale of an upset on Saturday, stunning world number one Roger Federer 6-3, 6-2 to reach the final of the ATP Masters Series Pacific Life Open.

Sunny blasts old firm

England and Australia cannot come to terms with India's growing importance in world cricket, according to Sunil Gavaskar, the International Cricket Council's cricket committee chief.

Pak-SL series under threat

Sri Lanka's proposed series of one-day internationals against Pakistan next month is in jeopardy due to a clash of dates with the cash-rich Indian Premier League.

ICC for better behaviour

India's often ill-tempered tour of Australia, during which players from both sides were hauled up by match officials, has prompted the ICC to formally stress on the need to avoid "obscene, offensive or insulting language". A note, urging players to improve their behaviour, has been issued by the ICC chief executive, Malcolm Speed, and its general manager, David Richardson, to the captains of international teams, Elite Panel umpires and Referees and CEOs of Full Members.

Aussies near IPL go-ahead

Tim Nielsen, the Australia coach, wants a maximum of six days to prepare his squad before it leaves for the West Indies, which would allow the players signed with the Indian Premier League (IPL) to spend two weeks at the tournament. Nielsen is not concerned about the country's contract holders, including Andrew Symonds, Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee, taking part in the Twenty20 competition as long as they return in good shape.

Business

No taka-dollar adjustment by Biman in 10 months

Biman's inaction to adjust taka's exchange rate against dollar over the past ten months have caused a huge amount of financial loss to air passengers and air shippers to and from Bangladesh, industry people said.

Hybrid rice cultivation doubles this year

Hybrid rice cultivation has almost doubled this year amid hectic efforts from government and seed suppliers to motivate farmers for growing more rice to ensure food security.

Excess cash, peg to weak dollar fuel Gulf inflation

Abundant liquidity, triggered by sharply higher oil revenues, and the effect of currencies pegged to a weakening dollar are fueling inflation in the Gulf region, economists say.

Child labour policy next month

The government is to announce 'Child Labour Policy 2008' by second week of next month, the labour and employment adviser said yesterday.

Business-friendly environment now in country

A business-friendly environment has been created in the country now, which needs proper management of land and efficient manpower to become an economically solvent nation, observed a leader of the country's business community.

Raw jute export thru' Mongla port resumes after a year

Raw jute export through Mongla port has resumed after more than one year.

Tea cultivation yet to take off in Lalmonirhat

Tea cultivation is yet to take off in Lalmonirhat district under a tea farming expansion project, although the cultivation was due to start in June last year.

Afghanistan to privatise nat'l telephone firm

Afghanistan said Sunday it planned to sell up to 80 percent of its telecommunications arm in one of the most ambitious parts of the country's ongoing privatisation programme.

South Korean investors quit China over rising cost

Scores of South Korean-owned factories are closing surreptitiously in eastern China as their owners flee rising costs, leaving behind embittered workers like Li Hua.

Rupali Bank sale debacle and possible future direction

Privatisation Commission (PC) was formed with a view to expediting the divestment of state-owned-enterprises (SoEs) in Bangladesh. It was formed as a board, but later converted to a commission empowering it to perform the responsibilities bestowed upon it.

Asian giants seen keeping US trove despite dollar plunge

With the dollar plunging and the Federal Reserve slashing interest rates, markets are on alert for any signs that foreign investors, particularly in Asia, are buying fewer US assets.

DCCI celebrates 50th anniversary

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) brought out a procession on the occasion of the chamber’s 50th founding anniversary in Dhaka on Saturday.

Dhaka Radisson wins two int'l awards

Radisson Water Garden Hotel Dhaka has received two international awards, says a press release.

CEO of Afghan BRAC Bank gets award

Saifuddin M Naser, managing director (currently) and chief executive officer of BRAC Afghanistan Bank, has won an international award named 'The Asian Banker Promising Young Banker Award for Bangladesh' for his contribution to BRAC Bank Limited as the head of retail banking, says a press release.

ROK reports 5pc growth in 2007

South Korea's economy expanded a revised 5.0 percent last year from a year earlier, the central bank said, increasing its earlier 4.9 percent estimate.

India, No 1 remittance receiving country

In a real turn up for the books, the World Bank's latest report released here has stated that India received the largest amount of remittances from migrants in 2007--all of US$27 billion--followed by China, Mexico, the Philippines and France.

Vietnam, 6th largest country to attract FDI

Just over one year after joining the World Trade Organisation, Vietnam ranks sixth in the list of countries attracting foreign investment.

Techno-savvy Iraqis surf cyber waves

Saddam Hussein deemed Iraqis could live without modern technology such as mobile phones and the Internet. Now that his regime has been swept away, they are finding they just can't get enough of it.

'Green' cars boost Thai auto industry

Incentives from the Thai government to encourage automakers to produce fuel-efficient "eco-cars" have yielded a raft of major investments and started to change how Thais drive, experts say.

Metropolitan

Bangladeshi-Britons to retain citizenship automatically

British passport-holder Bangladeshis now would retain their Bangladeshi citizenship automatically under a new rule of Ministry of Home Affairs.

'DOTS strategy enhances success in TB treatment'

Success rate has increased in the treatment of tuberculosis following the introduction of Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) strategy and it is now important to maintain this quality of treatment, said the speakers at a press conference yesterday.

2000MW loadshedding in summer

People's plight for power outages may go from bad to worse when the summer comes with full heat and humidity as the country will experience 1500-2000 megawatts of load shedding.

$6.5b received from expat workers last year: Foreign adviser

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury has urged all Bangladeshis abroad, workers or officials, to remain conscious and proud of their origin.

'Print textbooks with chapter-wise questions'

Academicians and teachers of city's renowned schools yesterday urged the caretaker government to print textbooks with chapter-wise questions and provide sufficient teachers' training so that both the students and the teachers can get a clear idea about the 'Structured Question' (SQ) method, the new question pattern introduced for the SSC examinations.

BJSC submits annual report to president

The 4th annual report of Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission (BJSC) for the year 2007 was submitted to President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban here yesterday.

'Free Hasina, Khaleda for credible election'

Political leaders yesterday demanded release of political prisoners, including former prime ministers Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia, for creating a congenial atmosphere for holding a free, fair and credible election.

Road accidents kill 6

At least six people were killed and 35 others injured in separate road accidents in Mymensingh, Rangpur and Khulna yesterday.

Reception to 4 eminent personalities

Four eminent personalities were accorded a reception for their immense contribution to independence and the liberation war at a programme in the city yesterday.

Deadline for sending views now Apr 3

The government yesterday extended the deadline for sending opinions and views on the preliminary draft of Right to Information (RTI) Ordinance 2008, till April 3.

Recover misappropriated money of FFs' body

Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad yesterday urged the government to recover its Tk 74 crore which has been allegedly misappropriated and arrest the persons responsible for it.

Help prepare flawless voter list: Navy chief

Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Sarwar Jahan Nizam yesterday called upon every conscious citizen to be present in the voter registration centre and help prepare an accurate and correct voter list.

Injured JNU student'clinically dead'

Doctors yesterday declared Kajal Devnath, a student of Jagannath University who sustained severe injuries during Saturday's factional clash between two groups of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), clinically dead.

Work together to improve primary edn

A lesson sharing meeting on early childhood care development (ECCD) and quality primary education was held at LGED auditorium in the city yesterday, says a press release.

Seminar on efficacy of parents in education held

Speakers at a seminar on Saturday said parents can play an important role in developing the mental faculty as well as academic excellence of their children side by side with institutional education.

Army cautions people against frauds

Following a number of cheating incidents over relief and rehabilitation of Sidr victims, the army cautioned local camp authorities and people to remain alert against the frauds.

ADB DG for S Asia in city

ADB Director General for South Asia Kunio Senga arrived here last night on a three-day official visit to Bangladesh.

Capital market journalists' forum formed

Capital Market Journalists' Forum (CMJF), a forum of journalists working on capital market, has been formed recently, says a press release.

Girl succumbs to burn injuries in Rajbari

An unidentified adolescent girl, who suffered burn injuries, died at Sadar hospital early yesterday.

Agricultural fair begins today

An agricultural fair begins in Rajshahi today.

World Meteorological Day observed

World Meteorological Day was observed yesterday in the country as elsewhere in the world with due enthusiasm, says an ISPR press release.

Tk 58 lakh Japanese grant for eye hospital

Japan will provide a grant amounting to US$ 85,236 equivalent to Tk 58 lakh for the extension of Dhaka Progressive Lions Eye Hospital, says a press release.

Appeal for help

Rupa Akhter Mukta, an 11-year-old girl, is suffering from sarcoma, a connective tissue cancer.

CHT affairs secy Shahidul passes away

Mohammad Shahidul Haque, Secretary In-charge of the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs, passed away due to a cardiac arrest at LabAid Hospital in the city yesterday at the age of 55.

National

Growers to face Tk 300 crore loss from potato damage

About 3.20 lakh tonnes of potatoes worth around Tk 300 crore is facing damage as growers in 16 districts of Rajshahi division are compelled to preserve the perishable winter crop in traditional way.

Students ransack RU hall offices

Residential students of Rajshahi University (RU) staged angry demonstration on the campus yesterday demanding smooth water and power supply at RU residential dormitories.

'Practise sanitation to protect health'

Speakers at a symposium yesterday said lack of hygienic sanitation facilities is seriously affecting safe water supply, environment and the public health situation in the district as well as in the country.

Take anti-graft stand at every level: ACC chief

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Moshhud Chowdhury yesterday said every conscious citizen should take position against corruption.

Firearm seized, 2 drug peddlers held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized one firearm, bullet, cocktail, Indian phensidyl, marijuana and nabbed two drug peddlers from different areas in Rajshahi region during the last 24 hours till Sunday.

2 fake navy men held

Police yesterday arrested two fake Navy members and seized false identity cards and an illegal motorbike at Rajshahi continental courier service office.

Tk 5 crore touchstone statue recovered in Kaliganj

Police recovered a touchstone Shib Linga from smugglers on Saturday night.

Lightning kills 3, injures 2 in Netrakona

Three persons were killed and two others injured by lightening at Barhatta upazila in Netrakona district yesterday evening, Barhatta police and locals said.

Fake DB man held in Kaliganj

Jhenidah Detective Branch of Police (DB) arrested a fake DB policeman from Nimtala bus stand in Kaliganj and seized a motorcycle on Saturday evening.

Letters

Rights of women

The United Nations has earmarked 8 March as International Women's Day. Charity begins at home! If at least 50 per cent of the positions at the United Nations headquarters are occupied by women, starting with the president of the UNGA, secretary-general, security council members, general assembly representatives, then it would cause worldwide trickle-down effect.

Obama stands for change

Being a fan of Barack Obama, it was certainly disheartening for me to see him lose in two important states--- Ohio and Texas---which were vital states in the sense that a victory for him in these two states would have made him the clear front-runner. But now the race is once again wide open. And this is certainly Hillary's “comeback” moment.

Police station, schools and environment

I am having bad experience, getting the bad smells from Uttara thana everyday, as I have to pick my child from Scholastica School. Uttara thana, which is located in Sector 4, is causing serious health hazard to everybody, especially to the school children of the area. A number of renowned schools like Scholastica Junior cum Middle Section, Uttara School, RAJUK, Turkish Hope, etc are located near this police station. But it has become almost impossible to walk in front of this police station, as all the drivers, who come early in the morning to pay fines to this station, use the drains as urinals. More than that, you will find all the wrecked vehicles in front of this police station, as if it is a junkyard. And nobody is removing the junks even after several years.

Bazlur Rahman, a good journalist

Bazlur Rahman was an enlightened man of our times. It was enlightenment that he brought into the profession of journalism. But his life came to a sudden, quick end. Throughout his life, Rahman epitomised the sense of aesthetics. If he had not died young, and sixty-seven years is being relatively young when one observes the large canvas on which men like Bazlur Rahman work, he would definitively have further enriched the world of Bangladesh's media. Despite all that, however, in more than six decades that he lived, Rahman surely made a difference.

Hasina's ailment

The media's reports on the former prime minister's ear problem are very confusing.

Two former presidents

It is interesting that two former presidents have formed a coalition to fight in the next election. In fact, Dr. Choudhury was once very critical about the misdeeds of Ershad as president. Now they are speaking about the national government, which is inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution.

Public reaction

Based on the recent media reports that I have read and seen, I have the following questions:-

Price hike

The price hike has ruined the lives of common people. The prices are shooting up every day. That puts unbearable pressure on the general consumers.

Food habits

March 15 was 'World Consumers' Rights Day' & the theorem was 'Keep your child away from unhealthy foods ' , which was observed throughout our country. It's was really a praiseworthy & timely effort. But it is sad that when any special day comes then we all become aware regarding that, which is just confined to that day! Afterwards we forget that. Very sad!! To keep our body fit & improve our immunity, we should practice it throughout our lives.

EC's responsibilities

The BBC Bengali service aired a phone in programme recently. A gentleman from the north has raised a fundamental question about the constitutional mandate of the Election Commission regarding its sphere of responsibility. According to him, the EC has the mandate to conduct the general election and not the local government elections. Violation of this constitutional mandate, according to him, is tantamount to corruption (?).

Driving schools needed

Driving as a profession has good prospect for lower middle class and poor people. Qualified and trained drivers can ensure better safety on roads for both people and vehicles. We did not give due importance to these factors in the past. Trained Drivers can go abroad and earn money for themselves and for their families. Their foreign currency remittances can have a positive impact on the existing deficit balance of payment. The Bangladesh government has been spending a huge amount of money for general education, religious education but not much for technical and professional education. A big amount of foreign exchange is earned by expatriate Bangladeshis. Most of the Bangladeshi workers perform manual jobs abroad.

Role of media

It is regrettable that the media and all those journalists are asking the government to release Khaleda Zia and Hasina and all other so called politicians. Why can't they tell the nation about everything these two ladies did to the country? Why don't they tell what the two sons of Khaleda Zia did and what inheritance money Zia left for those two? The BNP founder brought the Razakars to power. Why are the journalists so scared to tell the truth?

DS award ceremony

I felt privileged to be part of this prestigious ceremony, held at Shaheed Suhrawardy indoor stadium, organised by The Daily Star, as a parent of one of the awardees. I was very glad when my son and the other awardees were listening to your motivating plea for them to be dedicated to the country's development as well as to strive to achieve their personal aims of academic and professional excellence, no matter where in the world they are.

CNG price

What are we the general citizens supposed to say or do? This is the sector where thousands of crores was looted by the corrupt officials. It has been proved. We the citizens paid this money by paying more and more for general commodities. This price hike is the result of the money drained out of the economy by the miscreants. Those people are being punished now. Fine. By checking these grafts the economy will flourish and the citizens will get their cut. At this point what is driving you, the advisers, to impose new punishment on us? Or do you think we do not deserve to be served good with the only affordable resource of our own? Have you raised the pay scale to meet our daily transport fares resulting from this price hike? The transport fare is already irrational. When there is a 2% increase in the fuel prices, the transport union goes for a 44% fare increase, irrespective of petrol or gas and you cannot control it.

The "endangered" Tigers

Our recent series against South Africa has laid bare the weaknesses of the Tigers like an open book like it had on numerous previous occasions. Are we taking lessons from it?

BCB

Following the deplorable defeats in Test & ODI matches of our cricket team against the South Africans, it was expected that the whimsical selectors would resign, but instead of resigning, they boast of making ODI players play Test cricket in place of genuine Test players having patience, experience, form & fitness.

International

Hamas, Fatah to open talks

Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed a Yemeni-brokered agreement on Sunday to open their first direct talks since the Islamists seized control of the Gaza Strip nine months ago. Fatah parliamentary leader Azzam al-Ahmed and Hamas number two Mussa Abu Marzuk signed the so-called Sanaa Declaration in the presence of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, an AFP correspondent witnessed.

Dalai Lama targeting Olympics, says China

China on Sunday accused the Dalai Lama of trying to take the Olympic Games "hostage" over Tibet, as a new official toll of those injured in the unrest in and near the Himalayan region topped 700.

47 killed in Iraq bloodshed

A wave of attacks across Iraq yesterday killed 47 people, while insurgents fired a barrage of mortars at Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, sending US embassy staff scurrying into bunkers.

How Ireland exorcised the ghost of empire

In November 1974, I was racing to Dublin from Belfast at more than 100mph when I was stopped at a police checkpoint. Sorry about the speed, I told the Garda officer who stopped me. "I'm going to be late for the Childers funeral!" The Garda looked at me this was long before speeding became a serious crime in the Republic, and replied: "You will be as dead as Childers if you drive at that speed."

Taiwan-China set to resume dialogue after Ma victory

Taiwan's president-elect Ma Ying-jeou will likely have little problem kick-starting a promised new era in relations with China, but analysts cautioned Sunday against expecting too much too soon.

I will vote for Gillani, says Amin Fahim

PPP Senior Vice Chairman Makhdoom Amin Fahim on Saturday congratulated Yousaf Raza Gillani on being named the party's nominee for the post of prime minister, saying that he would vote for him.

India test fires nuclear-capable Missile

India on Sunday test fired a medium-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile capable of hitting most targets in neighbouring Pakistan, a defence official said.

40 killed in Afghan violence

Afghan and Nato forces killed more than 40 insurgents in a joint air and ground battle in southern Afghanistan, a security official said Sunday. Separately, two soldiers from the US-led coalition died after hitting a roadside bomb. Troops seized dozens of weapons including rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns after Saturday's battle in Dihrawud, a district in Uruzgan province, the Afghan Defence Ministry said in a statement. It said many militants were killed, including a commander, but provided no figures.

US, Russia, China in fierce battle to sell fighter jets in Asia

The United States is bracing for tough competition from Russia and China as cash-flush Asian economies look up to the trio for a new breed of fighter jets to beef up their air forces, experts say.

Four police, top rebel killed in Kashmir

Four policemen and a senior member of a hardline Islamic militant group were killed Sunday in a fierce gun battle near Srinagar in Indian Kashmir, police said.

Indian FM to visit US amid N-deal deadlock

India's foreign minister will visit Washington next week for talks with US leaders, a statement said Saturday, amid uncertainty over a nuclear deal between the two countries.

Man sets himself ablaze in Yangon temple: Police

A 26-year-old man set himself on fire in Yangon's most famous Buddhist temple in an apparent protest against economic hardship in military-ruled Myanmar, witnesses and police said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Liberation War Museum celebrates 12th anniversary

The Liberation War Museum celebrated its 12th anniversary on March 22. Like previous years, the museum has organised weeklong special programmes on the occasion of Independence Day as well. A book fair featuring publications on the Liberation War was also inaugurated at the museum premises. Lt. Col. (Retd) Debendra Sthanpati, one of the Indian instructors at the Murti training camp in 1971, was invited to deliver the memorial speech on the occasion.

Old Dhaka gets its own cultural venue at long last

At long last a venue in Old Dhaka where cultural programmes can be held, has opened. Zahir Raihan Sanskritik Kendra, the new four-storey cultural centre at Loharpul, Sutrapur built by the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC), was inaugurated on March 22. Mayor of DCC, Sadeq Hossain Khoka, inaugurated the centre. Political and cultural leaders of the country attended the inaugural programme.

Hindi TV soaps: Affront to common sense?

Prior to the invention of washing machines, Monday was a dreaded day for housewives in the west. Clothes worn throughout the week had to be washed -- a truly tedious chore. On the contrary, womenfolk in Bangladesh welcome the start of the week -- it's back to a more orderly existence, women old and young -- running to the kitchen to cook up dishes recommended by Siddiqua Kabir or Sanjiv Kapoor.

"Muktijuddher Gaurabgatha" on Channel- i

Channel i has recently started airing a documentary on the Liberation War titled Muktijuddher Gaurabgatha.

Musical soiree in Sirajganj

Sirajganj Zilla Silpakala Academy (SZSA) arranged a musical soiree at the Bhasani Auditorium in the town last Thursday in an effort to promote the institution and its artistes.

An evening with Mousumi Bhowmik

Indian Bengali singer Mousumi Bhowmik was recently invited by the Architecture Department of BRAC University to discuss her research work Journey Through Songs. Angan, a Cultural Club of BRAC University organised the lecture.

Mega serial “Swapnamangal” on ATN Bangla tonight

Mega serial “ Shwapnamangal” will be aired on ATN Bangla at 08:00 pm tonight. The serial is written by Saiful Bari and directed by Kamal Khan.

OP-ED

Barack Obama's magnificent speech on race

FLANKED by eight American flags, with Philadelphia's Independence Hall, where America declared its independence, as the backdrop, on Tuesday, March 18, Senator Barack Obama delivered by far the most comprehensive speech on race relations in America in living memory.

The five dangers of a National Security Council

WITHOUT oversight by elected representatives, the caretaker government is considering some permanent institutional changes in Bangladesh. Among these, the most prominent proposal now is to form a National Security Council (NSC), which would become the top authority to deal with security issues.

Playing a straight bat

THE opening session of Pakistan's newly elected National Assembly has raised hopes and revived fears about the country's return to democracy. The hopes are the result of unprecedented cooperation between the leaders of major political forces. The fears stem from Pakistan's chequered history of political manipulation by an over-arching establishment.

For ex-pats, the smart move is to play dumb

AN inability to speak Asian languages can be helpful, reader Mick Wilkinson discovered.

Star City

Magnificent Barabari also falls victim to mindless demolition

Another magnificent building of the colonial era, located at Farashganj in old Dhaka, is halfway to disappear forever as its owners have started demolishing the edifice.

Once a French business hub

According to Banglapaedia, Farashganj developed around the French market established in 1780 with permission from Naib Nazim Nawab Nawajish Mohammad Khan. The French settlement started with seizure of English Factory in 1750.

Buses block fire headquarters' main gate

Unauthorised and haphazard parking of buses at Fulbaria bus terminal creates severe problem in movement of fire trucks from the fire station at Siddikbazar.

"city express"

The latest crop of quotes from the city's press -- words worth repeating, we feel, for their humour, insight or sheer outrageousness. Star City does not necessarily support the opinions expressed in this column.


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