The Daily Star

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Sunday, April 20, 2014


News of: Sunday, 30th of March, 2008

Front Page

Tk 128cr loss in 2 years

Due to massive project cost escalation and low coal production, Barapukuria coal mine has incurred a loss of Tk 128 crore since it started production two years back, according to a Petrobangla source.

Anti-graft bodies, court to send corrupt people

The Truth and Accountability Commission will have the power to hold closed-door hearings on corruption or corrupt practices in certain cases, although there will be provision of public hearings.

India hikes rice price to $1,000 per tonne

India increased minimum price for export of non-basmati rice to $1,000 per tonne from $650 but food ministry officials believe this move would not have any major impact on Bangladesh.

Motijheel skyscraper develops cracks before completion

The under construction 37-storey City Centre at Motijheel has developed cracks in its walls, prompting police yesterday to evacuate people who live or work in the building and the adjacent area.

Govt to supply 15pc of April rice need

The government will supply 15 percent of the country's requirement of rice next month through various safety net programmes amid continued price escalation.

Electoral reforms to cut money, muscle power

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the objective of the electoral reforms undertaken by his caretaker government is to curb undue influence of money-muscle and misuse of authority in the forthcoming election.

RTI law must protect govt whistle blowers

The proposed Right to Information (RTI) Act must protect government whistle blowers and government officials must change their mindset accommodating the new law in their daily activities in order to make it effective, said India's Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Wajahat Habibullah.

5 held for theft of rail clips

Government Railway Police (GRP) yesterday arrested five people in connection with the theft of 3,510 metal clips of train lines in the capital Friday and one of them admitted to police his involvement in the act.

AL to observe hunger strike next month

Bangladesh Awami League (AL) will stage a daylong mass hunger strike across the country next month to press for its five-point demand that includes announcement of election schedule and release of detained party chief Sheikh Hasina.

Trial of war criminals must for democracy

Trial of war criminals is a must, not just drive against corruption, to ensure justice and democratic rule in the country, speakers said at a reception given to freedom fighters yesterday.

Story of a skewed deal

Top officials of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) helped Belhasa Accom JV Ltd, a UAE-based joint venture with Obaidul Karim's Orion Group, to get the project for constructing City Centre, the tallest commercial tower-cum-car parking in the country.

Formation of review body questioned

The formation of a high-powered committee to review the Women Development Policy 2008 by keeping the women and children affairs ministry in the dark has surprised many quarters, including the government officials.

Akbar Ali calls for 50 percent merit quota

Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC) Chairman Dr Akbar Ali Khan yesterday suggested increasing the recruitment in civil services on the basis of merit to 50 percent from 45 percent at present.

Security upped in jails ‘for fear of militant attack’

Security has been beefed up in jails across the country, fearing attacks on VIP prisoners on the first anniversary of execution of militant top brass including Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) supremo Abdur Rahman and his deputy Bangla Bhai.

Sector commanders to accord reception to Indian generals

The Sector Commanders' Forum (SCF), a platform of the sector commanders of the liberation war, will give a reception to the visiting 1971 liberation war veterans of the Indian Army at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre (BCFCC) today.

RU staff confine VC for job regularisation

Scores of controversially appointed fourth-class employees of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday laid siege to the residence of RU vice-chancellor on the university campus demanding regularisation of their jobs.

Barakat for equal share of women

The government should secure equal share of ancestral inheritance for women and increase allocation of development budget for women, General Secretary of Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) Prof Abul Barakat said yesterday

Hasina not fit to appear in court today

Condition of detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina, now under treatment at Square hospital in the capital, is not fit to appear in court today, according to her lawyers.

Violence aims at jeopardising China's stability

The Chinese embassy in Dhaka yesterday said the Dalai clique provoked and escalated violent incidents in Tibet to jeopardise China's stability.

ACC charge sheet against Tarique likely today

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is likely to press charges against BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman today in a case filed against him for acquiring wealth beyond his known sources of income and concealing information.

New group blames some foreign envoys for crisis

The National Interest Group (NIG), a newly floated organisation, has said that some foreign envoys in the country are to be partially blamed for the present crisis prevailing in the country.

Terrorism first priority, says new Pak PM

Pakistan will fight terrorism as its top priority but will also negotiate with militant groups "willing to lay down their arms," its new prime minister said yesterday.

Arab summit opens amid boycott by many members

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad opened a boycott-hit Arab summit yesterday in the absence of half of the region's leaders, many of whom blame Damascus for the political crisis in Lebanon.

Party fears tight Obama-Clinton finish

For all their delight in soaring voter registration and strong poll numbers, some Democrats fear the contest between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton might have a nightmarish end, which could wreck a promising election year.

Editorial

Dealing with climate change

AT a meeting in Dhaka of editors of Asian News Network on Friday, some eminent environmentalists made it clear how climate change poses a challenge to Bangladesh. And the challenge takes on wider ramifications when one considers the matter as one directly related to justice and security. They have thus taken us back to an issue which has exercised minds in Bangladesh and elsewhere in recent times. Obviously, our concerns with the environment, indeed with climate change, are there because of the grievous impact they will have on our socio-ecological scene. As a small, developing nation, it is only natural that the focus should remain on what we can do, in association with other nations confronted with similar threats, to stem and even reverse the tide of despair we see before us.

Glaring railway pilferage

IT is shocking news that 3,500 metal clips from the railway tracks between Banani and Cantonment stations have been stolen. What is most frightening is that seventeen trains had already crossed that stretch of track before the incident of theft had been discovered. We can only say that it is sheer good luck that none of the trains faced any disaster because of the missing clips. As an immediate step, the railway authorities suspended all communications for five hours on Friday since early morning and undertook the repair work.

Limits to sovereignty

THROUGHOUT history, wars have been fought in the name of saving sovereignty when the people or the ruler of a country felt that external interference in their internal affairs had gone beyond the tolerance limit. Such interference has had undesirable effects and affected the cohesion necessary for a peaceful international order.

Hillary Clinton pursues the "Tonya Harding Option"

WITH the "kitchen sink" strategy of throwing everything at Barack Obama proving ineffective, Hillary Clinton has now adopted the "Tonya Harding Option" of politically incapacitating Obama. Before the US figure skating team trial for the 1994 Winter Olympics, to improve her chances for selection, Tonya Harding had her henchmen club her rival Nancy ("Why me? Why me?") Kerrigan to her knees during practice! Hillary has switched her strategy from projectile-throwing on inflicting permanent damage to Obama through close encounters of the painful kind!

China and Pakistan

THE result of Pakistan's recent parliamentary election has been an unexpected victory for the country's moderate, secular, democratic forces; a defeat for the already discredited president, retired general Pervez Musharraf, and the Islamic parties; a mixed blessing for Pakistan's dominant ally, the United States; and potentially a positive development for the country's low-key long-term ally China.

Sports

Women's clean sweep

As expected Bangladesh women cricketers completed a series whitewash against their Hong Kong counterparts when they registered a 115-run victory in the fourth and final one-dayer at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

Hammam calls for strong club base

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohammad bin Hammam stressed the need for a strong club structure as he inaugurated the foundation stone of the country's first artificial turf at an elaborate ceremony at the BFF Bhaban yesterday.

Draw looms large

A spirited fightback by South Africa after Virender Sehwag's brutal assault the previous day left the first cricket Test against India headed for a draw on Saturday.

MSC-Biman crucial tie today

Mohammedan Sporting Club have the chance to reclaim the top position in the Premier League today as they take on table-toppers Bangladesh Biman at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Local Snippets

Rajshahi's Abir won the boys' under-16 title while it was Gopalganj's Shiuly who won the girls' competition in the Independence Day badminton tournament at the Woodenfloor Gymnasium yesterday.

Mony inaugurates training centre

Asian Football Confederation general secretary Paul Mony laid the foundation stone of the youth football training centre at the Barisal Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Sunnydale, Narinda take titles

The girls' crown went to Sunnydale while Narinda Government High School completed a hattrick of titles in the Bata 17th School Handball tournament at the Handball ground yesterday.

Dravid joins 5-digit club

Rahul Dravid of India on Saturday became the sixth batsman in history to score 10,000 Test runs when he reached 80 with a single to mid-wicket off Morne Morkel in the first Test against South Africa here.

Romario retires finally

Former Brazilian international striker Romario announced Friday that he will retire this weekend when his contract with Vasco de Gama expires.

Jose denies Inter talks

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho vehemently denied on Saturday he had held talks with Serie A leaders Inter Milan about taking over next season from Roberto Mancini as had been widely reported.

Trickett sets new 50m WR

Australia's Libby Trickett became the world's fastest woman in the pool with a world record in the 50-metres freestyle on the final night of the national Olympic trials here Saturday.

Anderson stuns Djokovic

South African qualifier Kevin Anderson sent defending champion Novak Djokovic packing on Friday, ending the third-seeded Serbian's bid for a second straight ATP Masters Series title.

Owen plays down Fabio row

Michael Owen's preparations for a crucial Premier League game against Tottenham on Sunday have been overshadowed by a bitter row over comments made about England head coach Fabio Capello.

Grant will do it his way

Avram Grant insists he is determined to bring the Premier League title back to Chelsea on his own terms.

'Capello lacks int'l experience'

Former England boss Terry Venables believes that Fabio Capello is showing his international inexperience by his decision to rotate captains.

Peru ban duo for 18 months

Peru have banned strikers Claudio Pizarro and Jefferson Farfan from international football for 18 months as punishment for indiscipline.

Madrid to host 2010 UCL final

The final of the 2010 Champions League will be played in Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium, the club announced on Friday.

Aussies will send record-breaking Olympic team

Australia will send one of its strongest ever Olympic swimming teams to this year's Beijing Games with seven individual long-course world record holders named in a 42-strong squad here Saturday.

Bruckner faces 5-week lay-off

Czech coach Karel Bruckner will be laid up for at least five weeks after undergoing a successful operation on his upper spine in hospital, the Czech and Moravian football federation (CMFS) announced on Friday.

Bremen target Pizarro

Bundesliga club Werder Bremen are interested in signing their former Peruvian international striker Claudio Pizarro from Chelsea.

CSA's no to PCB

South Africa will not be playing a Test series against Pakistan in the near future, scuppering the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) increasingly frenzied efforts to try and fill up an empty international calendar.

WI legends ask for cure

West Indies legends Desmond Haynes and Deryck Murray have called for a major shake-up in the structure of cricket in the Caribbean in order to drag the team out of the doldrums.

Dimitri 'taking a risk'

Dimitri Mascarenhas has revealed his fear that playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) could cost him a place in the England one-day international side.

Zia draws in sixth round

Grand Master Ziaur Rahman drew his sixth round board with Vietnamese Grand Master Nguyen Anh Dung but still maintained the lead along with four other players in the third Kolkata Open Grandmaster Chess tournament.

DPMS win in style

Dashara Palli Mangal Samity (DPMS) won the AM Sayeedur Rahman Cricket tournament with an emphatic 133-run victory over Bangladesh Cricket Academy and School (BCAS) at the Shaheed Miraz-Tapan Stadium here yesterday.

Blues complain over fixture change

Chelsea complained on Friday over a fixture change the club said would give an advantage to Premier League title rivals Manchester United and Arsenal. Chelsea's match at Everton has been brought forward 48 hours for television to Thursday, April 17.

Carragher calls for calm

Jamie Carragher believes that Liverpool can only thrive in the Merseyside derby with Everton if they keep their composure.

Lord's, Oval to host IPL

Two of England's leading international grounds, Lord's and The Oval, are considering making an offer to stage exhibition games in the Indian Premier League.

'Result still a possibility'

The events on the fourth day may have dealt a blow for India's chances of taking a lead in the Test series against South Africa, but seasoned batsman Rahul Dravid thinks there is still a chance of forcing a result in the first Test.

Business

Local bank picks up home-grown software for automation

For the first time in Bangladesh a local private bank, Al-Arafah Islami Bank Ltd, has gone for automation using local software, officials said.

Fashion houses eye Pahela Baishakh sales

Local fashion houses expect good sales in Pahela Baishakh or Bangla New Year as demand for trendy local clothing brands is on the rise.

Dhaka needs to seek WTO support to offset impact of food subsidy abolition

Bangladesh should demand emergency support from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to offset the negative impact of gradual elimination of subsidies, especially on foods, independent think tank CPD said yesterday.

Bangladesh follows India as investment destination: Study

After India, Bangladesh with its buoyant economy and untapped market is the next big destination for foreign investors, especially those from the United States and India.

Indian inflation hits 13-month peak

India's inflation rate accelerated to a near 13-month peak, hitting 6.68 percent, according to official data on Friday, dashing hopes of a cut in interest rates to spur a slowing economy.

Availability of staple food for half humanity?

It is the staple food of half of humanity but only a handful of countries have large rice surpluses, leaving even some of the biggest producers scrambling to grow enough to feed their own people.

Untangling VoIP pricing from the regulatory mesh

On 19 Mar 2008 the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) held an open house on call centre draft policy that was so well attended that it filled up the 1000 plus capacity plenary hall of the Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Center in no time.

Investment hinges on democracy, continued anti-corruption drive

If democracy is restored and anti corruption drive is continued, the country will see both domestic and foreign investments in the coming days, speakers at the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap 'Trade and Investment' in Chittagong said yesterday.

Govt plans Tk85,000cr budget

Finance Advisor Dr Mirza Azizul Islam disclosed that the caretaker government plans to announce a Tk85,000 crore budget for the coming fiscal year, accommodating demands of the common man.

Commodity markets up

Global commodity prices rose this week amid fresh concerns worries over tight supplies of raw materials, particularly for crude oil and metals.

CSE capital market fair ends in Sylhet

A two-day exhibition on capital market ended in Sylhet yesterday.

Dhaka-Riyadh economic commission meet Apr 7-8

A meeting of the Joint Economic Commission of Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia will be held here on April 7-8 aiming to bolster economic relations between the two countries.

Islami Bank celebrates silver jubilee today

Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) celebrates its 25 years anniversary today.

IMF board backs modest boost to developing nations' clout

The International Monetary Fund's executive board approved Friday measures that slightly boost the voting power of developing countries within the multilateral institution, officials said.

DSE office in Sylhet opens today

A regional office of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) opens in Sylhet today.

Tata Motors close to building Thai plant

Indian automaker Tata Motors, following its takeover of Jaguar and Land Rover in the UK, will likely have one more achievement to cheer about.

Doha deal still 'possible' with concessions: Bush

President George W. Bush said Friday his administration is prepared to make "serious concessions" to help achieve a global trade liberalization pact if other countries reciprocate.

Power, infrastructure costs cripple Philippines: ADB

The Asian Development Bank sees the "expensive" and "unreliable" electric supply as well as "inefficient" transport network in the Philippines as the two most critical infrastructure constraints to the country's growth.

Japanese electric cars to hit market by '09

Japanese automakers plan to introduce to the domestic market next-generation electric vehicles with improved mileage-per-charge, among other enhancements, as early as 2009.

Weekly Currency Roundup

March 23-March 27 2008
Local FX Market

Local inter-bank FX market was mostly tight throughout the week; however the BDT remained almost unchanged against the USD.

Metropolitan

Proposed NSC must not transcend parliament

Participants at a roundtable yesterday suggested formation of National Security Council (NSC) to ensure political stability, national security and sustained development.

Abducted boy found dead in Savar

The police recovered the body of a schoolboy yesterday 23 days after he was kidnapped from Kafrul in the capital.

Alamgir, Faruque elected DUJ president, secy

Shah Alamgir, head of news of Ekushey Television, and Omar Faruque, senior reporter of BSS, were elected president and general secretary of Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) yesterday.

'Teachers' training a must for quality edn'

Education Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman underscored the need for arranging training programmes to produce quality teachers and ensure quality education in increasing number of educational institutions.

Prof Asaduzzaman laid to rest

Prof Mohammad Asaduzzaman, former chairman of the University Grants Commission, was laid to rest at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals' Graveyard in the city yesterday.

Post-graduation classes of Buet begin May 10

The classes and registration process for the post-graduation in Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) will begin on May 10, says a press release.

AUST permanent campus opens tomorrow

The permanent campus of Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) will be inaugurated at Tejgaon industrial area in the city tomorrow, says a press release.

Give voting rights to Biharis

Speakers at a national consultation meeting demanded voting rights and national identity cards for the camp-based Urdu-speaking people, popularly known as Biharis, living in Bangladesh, says a press release.

Make yourselves worthy of leadership role

Women should make themselves worthy of leadership role through their hard work, efficiency and professionalism, Women and Children Affairs Adviser Rasheda K Chowdhury said yesterday.

NU degree exams begin on Mar 31

Degree pass and subsidiary examinations of 2007 under the National University (NU) will begin across the country on March 31, says a press release.

18 shops gutted in Chittagong

Eighteen tin-shed shops and properties worth Tk 6 lakh were gutted in a fire in the city yesterday.

Informatics Olympiad begins

The Dhaka divisional contest of Bangladesh Informatics Olympiad 2008 was held at Notre Dame College in the city on Friday, says a press release.

Ensure no one is harassed in any way

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Noor Mohammad yesterday asked the police force to be careful in performing their duties so that no one is harassed in any way.

Bangladeshi workers prefer UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become a preferred destination for Bangladeshi workers overtaking long-preferred Saudi Arabia, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

One killed during Rab encounter

A suspected criminal was killed in a shootout between a gang and members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) at Khilgaon in the capital early yesterday.

BNP, Jamaat, Jubo League leaders held in Bogra

Members of the joint forces arrested three leaders -- one each from BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and Jubo League -- in the early hour of yesterday.

Top criminal Mamun held in Tripura

Indian police arrested Mamun, a top listed criminal from Bangladesh, in Tripura Friday.

Birer Protyabartan inaugurated

A monument, commemorating the 37th anniversary of independence of the country, was inaugurated at Badda in the city yesterday.

'Silent famine' prevails in country

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President Col (retd) Oli Ahmed yesterday said the country is now experiencing a 'silent famine'.

National

Hold local govt polls before JS election

Local government leaders in Rajshahi division yesterday demanded holding of upazila and Union Parishad elections before parliamentary polls to make them free of influence of lawmakers.

A ray of hopes for Jamuna shoal people

Coordinated shoal development projects, undertaken by the Army as part of its flood rehabilitation programmes, have raised hopes among the poor and jobless people living in Jamuna shoals in Bhuapur upazila in Tangail district recently.

10 sued for damaging haor environment

Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday filed a case against 10 people including the vice-president of Dakshin Surma upazila BNP, also a UP chairman, for causing harm to a natural haor, in violation of environmental laws.

'Form body to protect land of indigenous people'

Speakers at a meeting here yesterday demanded constitutional recognition of indigenous people and formation of a commission to restore their grabbed lands.

Dalits demand reserved seats in parliament

Gana Forum President Dr Kamal Hosssain yesterday said

40MW Khulna power plant kicks off May 28

A 40 megawatt rental power plant at Kashipur in Khulna is expected to go into production form May 28.

Ex-BNP MP sued for bomb attack

Five people including former BNP lawmaker M Akbar Ali have been sued for bomb explosion at a house of Jhikira village in Ullapara upazila of Sirajganj district.

Listed criminal held with luxury jeep

Moulvibazar police arrested listed criminal Tajuddin Ahmed alias Taj and seized a luxurious jeep and drugs from his possession on Syed Mujtaba Ali Road of the district town on Friday night.

Expat gives stipends to students

The T Hussain Foundation has given stipends to 50 meritorious poor students in Pirgachha upazila.

RU controversial staff stage sit-in

Controversially appointed fourth-class employees of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday staged sit-in demonstrations in front of the campus residence of Vice Chancellor Prof Altaf Hossain demanding immediate regularisation of their jobs.

Muktijoddha Sangsad opens computer centre

As part of its Independence Day celebrations, Mehendiganj unit of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad has opened a computer learning centre on the premises of its office.

Letters

Environment

Our environment is the place where we have to live.

Fighting inflation

I have been observing Bangladesh from away, which gives some advantage of seeing the big picture. I am an economist. I think in this inflationary condition, the policy should be geared towards changing people's expectations.

Rickshaws in the city

To let them roam free as wild gazelles in Sundarbans or to control/eliminate their movement inside the very rapidly growing capital city of Bangladesh: That is the question.

Power crisis

“This government has started to show inefficiency in governing your nation.” These are not my words. These are the words of my foreign buyer. The reason for his remarks is that we do online chat regarding business and for the last couple of days I could not chat with him, nor could I send e-mail to him properly, because of power failure. This really hampered our business due to lack of communication.

Substandard foods

Needless to say, hygienic food is required for sound health.

USAID programmes

According to a recent USAID 'Press Release', more than 150 tons of sweet onions are giving some Bolivian farmers a $340000 harvest! The recent bountiful shipment to Los Angeles marked a three-year USAID effort to make Bolivian onion growers international competitors. It may be mentioned here that the sweet onions, along with a dozen of other crops including chilli, peppers, garlic, grapes, etc. are a USAID training programme to improve Bolivian agriculture.

Looking at Bangladesh

What are the basic assets and liabilities of Bangladesh -- without getting lost in details in specific sectors? Two basic foundations: elbow room and footprint. Fighting for survival decently. The top leadership does not believe in the philosophy of plain living and high thinking. Society is not homogenous in the LDCs and the cracks and barbed wire fencings could be easily detected using common sense. Our leaders are floating in spaceships, ignoring the matri bhumi.

Dying trees

Aged rain trees, located on the road -dividers, beside the sidewalks and other places are dying --a matter of great concern. These trees --I am talking about those of Chittagong --provided balmy shade in the hot summer days. Again these trees took decades to grow --a fact that should be remembered while talking about the diseased trees.

Hospitals and clinics

I would like to bring the following issues to your notice. I was taken to the 'Emergency' of a sophisticated & well equipped hospital in the city following an injury/cut in my forehead in the early morning (7.30am) of 03rd March '08. I was highly frustrated and shocked to see their service and commercial attitude.

Corruption

Corruption has engulfed the whole world. From clerk to prime minister, from Asia to America, many people are involved in corruption. Recently, the UN took an initiative against corruption and they initiated UNCAC (United Nations Convention against Corruption). The government of Bangladesh also joined the programme.

'Parjatan' or tourism

The development of the tourism industry depends on many inter-related issues and policies of the government. Lack of tourism awareness among the common people may also be acting as one of the hurdles to tourism development in Bangladesh.

Purchase of new aircraft

A report on the subject was published in a local English daily on 25 February stating that Biman may go for Boeing's offer for aircraft, which may help the ailing airlines to come out of miseries.

BTTB

While going through The Daily Star of 4 March'08 having a write up on BTTB's plans to cut call charges, which are still high even after the recent reductions, it struck me as strange and also frustrating that while it is essential to cut the call charges, to be competitive, to retain the present subscribers and also to attract new ones to increase BTTB's earnings, why is it that the BTTB has so far overlooked/ignored the idea of including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka & Myanmar in the list of countries where one can make Economic ISD calls? This would definitely increase BTTB's earning and as this facility is not provided by the mobile operators, this can attract new subscribers as well.

Local government

It is obviously good news that an amendment to the Upazila Parishad Act, 1998 will be made. Once the Section 25 of this Act is repealed, I think it will be easier for the local government bodies like Upazila Parishad to decide its matters itself and run on its own.

International

Iraq clashes spread as death toll soars

Fierce clashes between Shia gunmen and troops spread to new Shia areas of Iraq yesterday as the overall death toll from five days of bloodshed surged to nearly 230.

Boucher holds talks with leaders of Pak coalition, opposition parties

US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher has said that Washington is looking for long-term relations with the new democratic government in Pakistan.

Abbas accuses Israel of working against Palestinian state

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas yesterday accused Israel of splitting the Palestinian territories into isolated cantons to prevent the creation of a state despite its pledge to peace efforts.

Hillary rules out leaving presidential race early

If Hillary Rodham Clinton is feeling heat from pundits and party elders to quit the race and back Barack Obama, you'd never know it from her crowds, energy level and upbeat demeanour on the campaign trail.

Dalai Lama urges 'world community' to help resolve Tibet crisis

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama urged the "world community" Saturday to help end the turmoil in his homeland, following renewed calls from world leaders for talks with Beijing.

Mugabe's future on the line as Zimbabwe votes

Zimbabweans voted yesterday in an election, which could see President Robert Mugabe turfed out of power after 28 years in office, with voters desperate for an end to the country's economic meltdown.

Prachanda claims he will be Nepal's first President

Maoist Chief Prachanda has claimed that he will become the first president of Nepal after the crucial April 10 Constituent Assembly elections, even as he expressed doubts over the prospect of polls taking place on schedule.

Earth Hour blackout highlights global warming

Australia's largest city was shrouded in darkness last night as it launched a worldwide campaign stretching from Sydney to San Francisco to highlight global warming.

Arts & Entertainment

Innocent lines in gay profusion

A profusion of children's art was recently on display at the Bengal Gallery. This had been arranged by the M. Nurul Qader Foundation. It was a display of 150 paintings collected over a period of time with the help of Bengal Foundation. It brought in many subjects like man, nature, freedom fighting etc. The exhibition was to celebrate Independence Day. The sale proceeds went to the Sidr affected.

Theatre personalities evaluate Zahir Raihan Shanskritik Kendra

Theatre actors and directors have evaluated the newly built Zahir Raihan Shanskritik by Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) as a quality theatre venue. They are very pleased with the facilities of the modern theatre hall. However, they have pointed out a few flaws, which DCC should take note of.

Shojol: On a rising curve in his career graph

In a recently aired TV play, Shojol portrayed an aspiring young man who wants to be an actor, dreaming that his favourite actresses were his co-stars. One of today's busy TV actors, did Shojol ever nurture such dreams in his early years? Let's hear it from the model-turned-actor, who not so long ago had a chat with The Daily Star.

“The venue will attract leading theatre troupes,”--- Liaquat Ali Lucky

Theatre personality Liaquat Ali Lucky is the chief co-ordinator of the ongoing Mahanagar Natyotshob ‘08. Lucky is satisfied at the success of the theatre festival.

Unadulterated nature in black and white

An exhibition featuring black and white photographs by Hans Benda and Gunter Wessmann's is on at the Goethe-Institut gallery.

Fair on mythological tale on Ramayan and Mahabharat

The villagers of remote Dinajpur organised a month-long fascinating fair marking the Dol-Purnima festival. The function depicted the different activities of male and female deities as well as demons of Four Periods, including Sattya, Trata, Dapar and Kali Joog, excerpted from Hindu holy books Bhagvad Gita and Mahabharat .

Third Parbatya Debate competition ends in CHT

Logic can play a major role in lifting the veils of superstition, blind faith and ignorance -- thereby paving the way for much needed change. Poet and resident editor of the Bengali daily Prothom Alo, Abul Momen said this recently at the closing programme of the 3rd Parbatya Debate Competition. The event was organised by the local social and environmental organisation Global Village Rangamati. Momen was the chief guest while Executive Director of Global Village Rangamati Fazle Elahi presided over the closing programme.

Films enhance a nation's stature, says Catherine

As part of a series of discussions arranged for the visiting editors of Asian News Network (ANN), an alliance of Asian newspapers, a daylong event on board MV Sarina on Buriganga was held on March 28.

Photography exhibition on historical sites

A photography exhibition was held at the Rangpur Cantonment Public School and College auditorium recently to celebrate Independence Day. The works have pride of place in a recently published historical book, titled History in Pictures. The exhibition was open to the public all day. A presentation of the photographs was made by Lieutenant Colonel Nazrul Islam.

OP-ED

Polling and the media

THE CTG is committed to offering a free, fair and credible election for establishing a true democratic order. To fulfill this mission it has taken up the huge task of reorganising, strengthening and making the EC independent to enable it to complete a fresh and accurate voters' list and help in reforming political parties etc.

No more band-aid solution, please

THE food-grain price spiral has been getting worse day by day, and seems to be heading towards an all-out crisis. The pinch, so far felt by low-income groups, is now being felt by the middle-class as well.

The audacity of unity

SMEAR campaign and mudslinging in US politics are nothing new. Senator Barack Obama, presidential hopeful of the Democratic Party, has been confronted with such campaign involving his religious and spiritual guru, Reverend Jeremiah A Wright. Reverend Wright, a former pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, is reported to have made inflammatory remarks about the United States because of the segregation of its black community.

The Malaysian race card

ANWAR Ibrahim's big victory in Malaysia's elections looked on the surface like a triumph for both democracy and multiculturalism -- a major accomplishment in this profoundly divided state. The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party and the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party (DAP) contributed to the opposition gains, but it was Anwar's multiethnic People's Justice Party that bagged the largest share of the popular vote and parliamentary seats.

Star City

From glory days to gloominess

“Princess! If you leave me that's alright, but don't expect me to forget you,” cried the visibly upset prince as the glittering princess flounced off the scene amid rippling tunes of cornet and clarinet.

City streets crammed full of vehicles

Traffic on the capital's busiest thoroughfares has increased by around one-tenth in 2007 with about 120 thousand new motorised vehicles hitting the streets during the period.


The Daily Star

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