The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, October 1, 2014


News of: Monday, 31st of March, 2008

Front Page

Jailers 'force' Hasina to appear in court

Detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday told a special court that the jail authorities are depriving her of fundamental human rights and produced her before the court forcefully although her treatment had not yet completed.

Traders hoard rice, hike prices

In the wake of India's hiking the minimum export price for its rice, traders here have reportedly started hoarding the staple.

No mercy scope if jailed for 2 years or more for graft

People sentenced to two years or more for corruption or corrupt practices won't be allowed to make voluntary disclosure before the Truth and Accountability Commission within five years of their release.

Bangladesh at high risk, but lacks preparedness

Bangladesh due to its geographic location has a high risk of experiencing earthquakes but the country does not have the capacity to combat such natural calamity, experts said at a roundtable yesterday.

Restructure agri system for food security

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday called for restructuring the country's agricultural system to increase the production of food grains for ensuring food security.

German parliamentary team stresses party reforms

A visiting German parliamentary delegation yesterday said Berlin would not show any understanding and would exert political influence if the caretaker government in Bangladesh shows "unwillingness" to pass on power to an elected government.

Reminiscing '71

"We were comrades in arms, we fought together shoulder to shoulder," said Lt Gen (retd) JFR Jacob, former chief of general staff of eastern command of India.

Number of patients soars for want of safe water

The number of severe arsenic contaminated patients is three times higher than the previous estimation done around two yeas ago, says a joint study of the government and JICA.

2 units shut down after explosion

Two units of Ashuganj Power Station were shut down yesterday after a fiery explosion severely burned four people including two engineers of the station.

Bangladeshi peacekeepers get UN medal

Bangladeshi troops serving with the international peacekeeping force in Ivory Coast has been decorated with the United Nations' peacekeeping medal.

Nam flats property of parliament; allotment can't be cancelled now

Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar in a letter to the chief adviser yesterday said the 324 Nam flats are parliament's property and it is not possible now to cancel allotments to former lawmakers of the eighth parliament as asked by the housing and public works ministry.

Jt forces warn retailers of stern action

The joint forces yesterday warned kitchen-market retailers in the city and its outskirts of stern actions for any profiteering.

Purchase body okays import of Indian rice at $430 a tonne

The advisory committee on purchase yesterday approved import of four lakh tonnes of non-basmati rice from India at Tk 29.67 per kilogram (kg) through government channel.

Some people might exploit Commission

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Chairman Prof Muzaffer Ahmad yesterday said that some people will take advantage of the proposed Truth Commission and get themselves acquitted of corruption charges by dint of it.

DCC finds no risk, but prefers to stay alert

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) authorities yesterday said the cracks in the under-construction 37-storey City Centre at Motijheel do not pose any risk, but still they would stay alert.

Home ministry gets the job of nat'l ID cards

The council of advisers yesterday approved the National Identity Registration Authority Ordinance 2008 and tasked the home ministry with providing the national identity cards.

AL demands suspension of Hasina's trial until recovery

Awami League (AL) yesterday reacted sharply over shifting its detained President Sheikh Hasina from hospital to sub-jail and demanded suspension of her trial process until she is completely well.

Indian army veterans meet Gen Moeen

The visiting Indian war veterans, who fought alongside the freedom fighters during the country's independence war, paid a courtesy call on Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed at Army Headquarters in Dhaka yesterday.

GRP, railway investigators differ over theft timing

Government Railway Police (GRP) and Bangladesh Railway investigators made contradictory claims about the 3,510 sleeper clips stolen from train lines in the capital. The GRP investigators claimed that thieves took at least two to three days to steal the clips while Bangladesh Railway investigators claim the theft was committed overnight.

ACC allowed to interrogate Sheikh Selim

A Dhaka court yesterday allowed the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to interrogate detained former health minister and Awami League (AL) leader Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim at the jail gate in connection with his corruption and ill-gotten wealth.

6 Dalit freedom fighters get recognition

Research and Development Collective, a non-government organisation, gave honorary awards and mementos to six freedom fighters of the Dalit community for their contribution in the Liberation War.

Arab summit wraps up without Lebanon breakthrough

An Arab summit failed on Sunday to clinch a breakthrough on Lebanon, spotlighting the rift between host Syria and stay-away US allies, which blame Beirut's political crisis on Damascus.

Opposition claims victory in Zimbabwe election

Zimbabwe's opposition claimed victory yesterday in a general election even before the first results were announced, saying it will not accept any attempt by President Robert Mugabe to "steal" the outcome.

Hillary, Obama press for Texas delegates

Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama scrambled to secure more Texas delegates yesterday as the state pushed to settle the outcome of the March 4 caucus.

Editorial

Political party branch offices overseas

IT is typical of Bangladeshi expatriates that they often take their home-spun feuding abroad with reckless abandon. They open and operate branches, offices or committees of national political parties in their respective places of residence, thereby dividing expatriate population along party lines.

Keeping the prices down

WE have heard for the umpteenth time that the rise in domestic price of essentials is the result of hike in the international markets. But there is more to it.

Spectre of global hunger

SOARING food prices have emerged as a problem of grave concern not only for Bangladesh alone, but also for many other countries. The World Food Program (WFP), the UN agency in charge of alleviating global hunger, may soon be forced to consider rationing food aid because of rising prices.

A real chance in Kashmir

WHAT do Pervez Musharraf, Asif Zardari, Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan, Altaf Hussain (chief of the MQM), Asfandyar Wali Khan (leader of the Awami National Party of the North West Frontier Province, soon to be renamed Pakhtunkhwa) and influential opinion-makers in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad have in common?

A moment of truth for Serbia

IT is rare for a small country to take on the European Union and the United States. But that is precisely what Serbia is doing. With the support of extreme nationalist parties, Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has made Kosovo the defining issue of today's Serbia, and is trying to reverse the independence of Kosovo and reassert Serbian control.

Sports

Youngsters rescue MSC

Rokibul Hasan and Suhrawardi Shuvo showed rare brand of patience and temperament as Mohammad Sporting Club regained the top spot in the Premier Cricket League with a well-merited four-wicket victory against Biman at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

Big hitting day

Mushfiqur Rahim and Rashed Hanif scored centuries on an otherwise high-scoring day in the Premier League yesterday.

GP Academy Cup from April 4

The Grameenphone Academy Cup cricket will kick off with a four-day match between GP-BCB National Academy team and South Africa national academy team at Jessore from April 4.

McKenzie secures draw

Neil McKenzie continued his amazing comeback to the South African side with an unbeaten century as the high-scoring first Test against India ended in a draw here on Sunday.

Tendulkar unlikely for 2nd Test

India's Sachin Tendulkar faces a race against time to be fit for the second Test against South Africa after aggravating a groin injury, captain Anil Kumble said on Sunday.

Akhtar, Asif ignored

Pakistan axed fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif from the team for the first two one-day matches against Bangladesh next month, the chief selector said Sunday.

Zia stays atop

Ziaur Rahman remained atop the table but the Bangladesh Grandmaster was sharing lead with six other players at the end of the seventh round in the 3rd Kolkata Open Grandmaster Chess Tournament at Gorky Sadan, Kolkata yesterday.

M United thrash Villa

Manchester United swept Aston Villa aside to move closer to retaining the Premier League trophy on a day when Arsenal had to produce an extraordinary fightback to prevent their fading title hopes from being extinguished.

Barcelona self-destruct

Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard said he was embarrassed by his team's woeful second half showing in Saturday's 3-2 defeat by Real Betis that could have ended their title hopes.

Inter, Roma both held

Lazio did cross-city rivals AS Roma a favour by holding leaders Inter Milan to a 1-1 draw at the capital's Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Podolski saves Bayern blushes

Supersub Lukas Podolski capped a memorable week on Saturday by saving Bayern Munich with a late equaliser at strugglers Nuremberg on a crazy day in the Bundesliga where none of the top five sides won.

PSG clinch French Cup

A penalty in the third minute of injury time by Bernard Mendy earned Paris Saint Germain a 2-1 victory over Lens in the final of the French League Cup on Saturday.

'Arsenal still in the hunt'

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal are still in the hunt for the Premier League title after their stunning recovery to win 3-2 at Bolton.

Totti out of MU clash

AS Roma suffered a crucial blow to their Champions League hopes as captain and talisman Francesco Totti was on Sunday ruled out of Tuesday's clash against Manchester United.

Fan death disrupts Juve match

Juventus's Serie A clash at home to Parma on Sunday has been called off following the death of a visiting fan at a service station.

Carlo insists Milan stay

Carlo Ancelotti insisted on Saturday that he would not be leaving the AC Milan hotseat, even to take over as Italy coach.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh Air Force take on BKSP today in the opening match of the Independence Day basketball competition at the Dhanmondi Woodenfloor Gymnasium.

Noffke ready for WI

Usually by the end of March Ashley Noffke knows what is happening with his off-season plans. Previous winters have involved stints in England or business duties, family time and fishing trips, but this one threatens to include the tour of the West Indies in May.

PCA warns ECB

The Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) has refused to rule out the possibility of England's leading players joining the Indian Premier League (IPL). Only Dimitri Mascarenhas has so far signed up to the IPL, while the likes of Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen have poured water on suggestions that they and their teammates could be lured to the IPL by money.

Federer starts with a win

Federer shook off his surprising semifinal failure in Indian Wells last week to make a winning start Saturday at the Miami ATP Masters Series.

Old Dhaka face Sipahi Para in final

Old Dhaka moved into the final of the Dhaka Bank Independence Day Hockey tournament after playing out a 2-2 draw with Bangladesh Army in their last match at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

IPL-bound Bracken in doubt

Nathan Bracken, the Australian fast bowler, has revealed how close a knee injury was to ending his international career. Bracken, 30, underwent surgery in Melbourne this week after a scan showed his cartilage was dangerously close to snapping and he has been advised between four to ten weeks of rehabilitation.

Scots produce record income

Scottish Cricket has announced a record turnover of nearly £1.8m for the last financial year.

Amol takes men's title

Amol Roy clinched the men's singles title of the Independence Day Tennis tournament after Shibu Lal retired in the final set during the final at the Ramna National Tennis Complex yesterday.

RU athletics begin

The authority organised an athletics meet at the Rajshahi University after eleven years. The two-day RUCSU (Rajshahi University Central Student Union) athletics competition began yesterday at the university stadium.

Business

Chevron, BP among 76 in race for 28 gas blocks

Over two dozen global energy giants including US-headquartered Chevron, China's CNPC International, UK's British Petroleum and India's ONGC Videsh Ltd, made a beeline for the first-ever international road show organised by Petrobangla, the state-owned oil, gas and mineral exploration company, in Dhaka, that plans to offer 28 blocks for offshore exploration rights.

Koreans, Japanese train local talents to be competitive

Considering the cost effectiveness of Bangladesh technicians, some major foreign investors, especially the Japanese, Koreans and Taiwanese who plan to expand their business here, are now increasingly hiring local workers and equipping them with advanced training and technical know-how.

Washing powder boom bursts laundry soap bubble

Several of the country's leading consumer products groups are making new investments in washing powder production as consumers shift from traditional laundry soaps in search of convenience.

Vietnamese wood exporters face high material costs

Wood exporters in the southern province of Dong Nai have met with many difficulties, as input costs are rising and output has been affected by the ailing US dollar.

Women do business, men bank

A woman entrepreneur in Dinajpur runs a small scrap iron business, but her husband does the banking transactions. Another woman in Cox's Bazar operates a small handicrafts business, but it is her brother who deals with the bank.

Free-market thinking takes hit from US economic crisis

A deepening economic crisis has led to unprecedented actions by US policymakers that raise questions about how far government regulation should go in a free-market economy, analysts say.

Software makers seek tax holiday extension

Software and information services industry people yesterday demanded an extension of tax holiday until 2015 to help develop the software and IT enabled services industry in the country.

BCS IT exhibition begins

Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday urged the country's IT experts to identify specific areas in information technology that Bangladesh could utilize immediately as a weeklong BCS IT Expo 2008 began.

China, New Zealand set to sign free trade deal

China will sign its first free trade pact with a developed country on April 7 when it inks a deal with New Zealand, according to reports here Sunday.

Ministry seeks opinions on draft competition act

The Ministry of Commerce is working towards enacting the Competition Act, 2008 to ensure fair competition in the market.

Probal's panel gets 11 posts

Nabadhara Panel led by Tanveerul Haque Probal bagged 11 posts of directorship in the biennial election of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) held Saturday.

DSE regional office in Sylhet opens

A regional office of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) was opened in Sylhet yesterday.

Swiss chocolate Lindt launched

Swiss chocolate Lindt was launched in Dhaka yesterday.

Economic links top agenda as UAE PM heads to China

The prime minister of the United Arab Emirates heads to China on Monday on an official visit aimed at boosting economic links, underscoring the oil-rich Gulf states' growing ties with Asian powers.

Mitsubishi to make passenger jet

Japan on Friday launched a project to build its first ever passenger jet, a next-generation regional airliner that aims to meet growing demand for fuel efficient planes.

Warid welcomes decision to allow mobile network in hill districts

Warid Telecom has welcomed the government decision to allow mobile network in three hill districts, says a press release.

Asian currencies mostly higher against dollar

Asian currencies ended the week mostly higher against the dollar as traders remained cautious about the risks of the US economic slowdown.

Emirates quits sharing routes with Lanka's carrier

Dubai's Emirates Airlines said Sunday it would stop sharing routes with Sri Lanka's national carrier when its decade-long management contract expires this month.

IDLC declares 25pc stock, 15pc cash dividends

IDLC Finance Limited yesterday declared 25 percent stock and 15 percent cash dividends for its shareholders, says a press release.

Prime Bank okays 10pc cash, 25pc stock dividends

Prime Bank has declared 10 percent cash dividend and 25 percent stock dividend i.e. 1 bonus share for every 4 ordinary shares, says a press release.

Unitrend's senior staff joins McCann Erickson Indonesia

Faiyaz Ahmed, director of Consumer Insight & HFD Officer of Unitrend Ltd, is to join McCann Erickson Indonesia on a transfer programme, says a press release.

US firms brace for new squeeze on high-tech visas

Facing another squeeze on a visa program for skilled workers, US business leaders are stepping up efforts to raise the limits, arguing that the nation is running short of the talent it needs to remain competitive.

Tougher times ahead for Chinese investors

The good times may be over on China's once soaring equity markets, but college student and stock punter Jason Zhao has a piece of advice for the nation's jittery investors: don't panic and sell.

Markets brace for slump in Japanese business confidence

A key survey of corporate Japan is expected to show that business confidence has plunged to a four-year low on worries about high oil prices, a stronger yen and a weak US economy, analysts predict.

Metropolitan

Formulate comprehensive environmental law

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called for formulating a comprehensive environmental law in order to protect the environment.

Introduce zoning system for best use of land

Experts at a national seminar yesterday said priorities-based land zoning system should be introduced to ensure best use of land and water bodies in the country.

Campaign to promote safe migration launched

The Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (Rammru) yesterday launched its countrywide campaign to promote safe migration.

Cooperation to benefit both

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said cooperation between Bangladesh and Myanmar will bring benefits to both the countries.

6 killed in road crashes

At least six people were killed and 20 others injured in separate road accidents in Jessore, Bhola and Manikganj yesterday.

'Awareness can help check diseases'

Speakers in a discussion yesterday said media can play important role to create mass awareness to reduce the incidents of communicable, non-communicable and malnutrition-related diseases.

7 get life for killing woman in Barisal

A Barisal court yesterday sentenced seven people to life imprisonment for killing a woman.

Boy rescued after eight months of abduction

Police rescued a 15-month-old boy from Debidwar in Comilla yesterday eight months after his abduction and arrested two people in this connection yesterday.

Govt urged to introduce rationing system

Bangladesh Workers' Party leaders yesterday urged the government to take extensive efforts, including launching of rationing system and distribution of foods among the mass people, to save the life of people.

Donor funding to Samata cancelled

The UK, Norway and Sweden have cancelled funding to Samata, an NGO, because of misuse and misappropriation of donor funds, says a DFID press release.

Husband, his accomplice get death penalty for killing wife

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced two people to death for killing the wife of one of them in September 2003.

2 held for trying to commit robbery

Two persons including a woman were held by the mob and handed over to police while they were trying to commit robbery in a house in the port city yesterday.

Martyred FF's widow given reception

Muktijuddher Smriti Sangrakhkhan Committee on Saturday arranged reception for a widow of a martyred freedom fighter and the son of a deceased injured freedom fighter at Maligasa, a battlefield of 1971 Liberation War, in Sadar upazila.

Eviction of Jatiya Mukti Council office condemned

Different organisations yesterday condemned the eviction of the office of Jatiya Mukti Council by some miscreants in presence of the law enforcement agency.

Lifting of emergency demanded

Bangladesh Chhatra Union (BCU) observed Shaheed Aslam Day amid different programmes on Dhaka University (DU) campus yesterday.

Sculpture on liberation war at JNU

A sculpture styled "Genocide of 71 and preparation of Liberation War" will be inaugurated at Jagannath University (JNU) today, says a press release.

Appeal for help

Saiful Islam, son of Monsoor Ali Khan of Birpasha in Bauphal, Patuakhali, has appealed for financial assistance for his treatment as he has been suffering from acute renal failure and hypertension, says a press release.

Businessman murdered

Police yesterday recovered the body of a transport businessman from a graveyard under Araihazar upazila of the district.

Robber beaten to death

A mob beat an alleged robber to death and injured one of his accomplices as they tried to run away after robbing a truck driver of Tk 10,000 and a mobile phone on Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Muradpur area on Saturday night.

Son kills father at Demra

A son killed his father at Demra in the city yesterday.

Dhaka Int'l Education fair begins Apr 3

The four-day second Dhaka International Education Fair 2008 will begin at Bashundhara Expo Centre in the city on April 3, says a press release.

TIB calls for polls as per electoral roadmap

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has urged the government and the Election Commission to hold national election as per electoral roadmap.

Implement all charters to combat human trafficking

Home Affairs Adviser Maj Gen (Retd) MA Matin yesterday said it is necessary to implement all the charters, including the Saarc charter relating to human trafficking, to combat trafficking of women and children.

NU exams begin today

Degree pass and subsidiary examinations 2007 under the National University (NU) will begin across the country today.

Buet team to take part in world final

Buet sprinter, champion team of the programming contest ACM-ICPC Asia Region Dhaka site, will participate in the ACM-ICPC World Finals 2008 to be held from April 6-10 at Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada, says a press release.

Navy chief opens modern naval armament store

Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Sarwar Jahan Nizam inaugurated a computerised modern Naval Armament Store at Bhatiary in Chittagong yesterday, says an ISPR press release.

National

Power crisis in 21southwestern dists will not ease soon

Twenty-one south-western districts are reeling under severe power outage since Friday night as four plants of Khulna Power Station (KPS) are out of a order due to technical glitches.

Jamuna Bridge east guide embankment vulnerable

The east side guide embankment of Jamuna Bridge is becoming vulnerable due to erosion caused mainly due to plying of vessels very close it and sand lifting.

'Change draft ordn to make police people-friendly'

Speakers at a workshop yesterday urged the government to either drop or change a few 'not pro-people' sections of the recently prepared draft police ordinance.

Ex-BNP MP, 10 others sent to jail in Narail

Former BNP lawmaker Dhirendranath Saha and 10 others were sent to jail yesterday on their surrender to court in an extortion case.

Steamer runs aground on Meghna shoal

Dhaka bound rocket steamer PS Masud from Barisal with about 600 passengers, caught in a nor'western at around 11 pm Sunday night ran aground on a newly emerged shoal--Char Faruque-- in Meghna, about 30 kilometres south of Chandpur.

Anti-graft rally held in Gaibandha

Teachers and students of Gaibandha Government University College yesterday brought out a procession in the town as part of their awareness campaign against corruption.

Reception turns into condolence meeting

A reception arranged for Kazi Masuma Akter Munia, a first year student of Patuakhali Government Women's College, turned into a condolence meeting as the girl met a tragic death in a road accident on the way to her college.

2 Ruet students expelled, 11 others punished

The discipline committee of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) has expelled two students and gave 11 others punishment including demotion and temporary expulsion from halls for their alleged involvement in anti-discipline activities on Ruet campus.

Letters

EC and war criminals

The EC decides to bar war criminals from polls - this was leading news of The Daily Star of 21 February 2008.

Support for Sidr victims

Professor M Zahidul Haque Chairman, Department of Agricultural Extension & Information system, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka

Discovering Suchitra Sen

Once Suchitra Sen lived in Pabna! The legendary 'first lady of Bangla cinema' was living in Pabna, Bangladesh, before the partition. I came to know this from Mr. Shahnoor Wahid's write-up in the Art & Entertainment page entitled 'Discovering Roma Das Gupta'. I became astonished and excited at the same time. Then Suchitra Sen was Roma Das Gupta. Her father Karunamoy Das Gupta was the sanitary inspector of Pabna at that time.

Farmers

Farmers are the most neglected class in our society, whereas more than seventy percent people are engaged in agriculture. It is hard to believe that most of them are living below poverty line. We have celebrated our thirty-seventh Independence Day but do we ever think seriously about their needs? Every government finishes the task just giving subsidy in the budget but they never did anything worthwhile that could bring some relief to the farmers.

Khulna Medical College

Recently, I wrote a letter on medical education and now I feel my assumptions were very much right, after reading the news of present deplorable status of the Khulna Medical College. Insufficient teaching staff as well as lack of adequate infrastructure and appropriate educational facilities are creating impediments in imparting proper medical education to the students, which are probably most common to all newly established medical colleges except Dinajpur and Bogra that got favourable treatment from the immediate past government.

War criminals

Some time ago it was Dr. Kamal Hossain and now it is Dr. B. Chowdhury who has apologised for failure to try war criminals (DS, March 28). After 37 years, these two gentlemen, like all other political opportunists, now feel the necessity to put the war criminals on trial.

'Chameri House'

I am surprised to see the statement issued by CIRDAP and published in The Daily Star on March 14, '08 in reply to the signature campaign of 91 eminent scholars', professors, poets, journalists, educationists and others. I have witnessed that at least a dozen of national dailies, both English & Bangla, have published their statement to safeguard the heritage building Chameri House-- from the initiative taken to construct a six-story building over there.

Rehman Sobhan

Thanks to The Daily Star that you have published the address of Prof. Rehman Sobhan delivered on the Independence Day after receiving the Award. It has helped us to understand the philosophy of an outstanding son of the soil. We congratulate the government for recognising the contributions of Professor Rehman Sobhan for the independence and socio-economic development of the nation.

Village of 1971 widows

It is better late then never. According to a recent report in several national dailies, on 25th March 2008, the 19th infantry division commander Major General A. K. M. Mujahid Uddin alone with his brigade commander and Sherpur district commissioner (DC) inaugurated a Shaheed (martyrs) memorial plaque and some income generating rehabilitation programmes for the first time for 39 Shaheed families of Shohagpur village in Nalitabari upazila. The barbaric Pakistan army, aided by their local collaborators, on the morning of 25 July 1971 killed 187 innocent men - mostly farmers and day labourers including all the adult males - of that village. Since then Shohagpur village is locally called as 'bidhoba para' or the village of widows. Whoever in the government has initiated this rehabilitation programme, has done a highly commendable job.

Mining and environment

Professor Anu Muhammad has campaigned for reason and fairness in protecting the rights of Bangladeshis faced with expropriation of their land and livelihood by mining developments such as that pursued by the mining companies in Phulbari. Professor Muhammad has rightly pointed out the risks and damages from the proposed open-pit coal mining development, where the costs will be born first by those in the vicinity of the mine and then by all Bangladeshis in the resulting contribution to climate-induced sea level rise. Those who have questioned the Phulbari mining development have been subject to violence and intimidation. This includes the deaths of local protestors after police fired on crowds and the current death threats against Professor Anu Muhammad for speaking out on the project.

South Asian scene

The mass media in South Asia is taking keen interest in the upsets and trends witnessed at the recent general elections in Pakistan. Democracy was not allowed to take roots in Pakistan in the past.

Where are the criminals?

For quite sometime we were talking about the war criminals but now everyone seems to have forgotten this issue.

Entrepreneurship versus corruption

A few days back, I was going through the newspaper and was reading a report on some government employees becoming millionaires. They built up their own industrial kingdom. I was wondering whether the reporter has ever given any thought about their business acumen and entrepreneurship. Maybe at the beginning of their career they earned money through corruption or illegal means which as a conscious human being I cannot approve of . But eventually these men have invested in building industries and creating job opportunities for hundreds of unemployed youths and are generating crores of taka to add to the national GDP growth.

Bird flu

Bird flu has stopped the wheel of our economy. Our economy is now passing through a crucial moment. How can we handle the situation? It is a million dollar question. The government failed to understand this problem at a very early stage. Now it has spread all over the country.

A bank for NRBs

Should it be an existing bank or a new bank that is now the question. Why? Because a) Vast numbers of NRBs are investing overseas through many different vehicles - from banking to real estate, from mutual funds to individual stock portfolios, from pension plans to retirement homes and much more. Yet, due to the lack of an established and secure infrastructure in Bangladesh this money is going to fill the monetary reserves of other countries. Therefore, Bangladesh is losing large amounts of foreign investments (foreign currencies); b) NRBs are no different from resident Bangladeshis and they are not PBOs (people of Bangladeshi origin) who may think differently. How? Consider that most NRBs left Bangladesh when they were adults; therefore, their views regarding money management are similar to local Bangladeshis'. Confidence levels for small community banks (such as Williamsburg Savings Bank) far exceed those for giant investment companies (like Prudential Bache Securities). In fact, they also feel more comfortable investing with Chase Manhattan Bank's Investment Banker over its parent company JP Morgan Chase, (a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.6 trillion). This is probably one of the main reasons why local investment firms have had very limited success in bringing NRB investments to Bangladesh. A bank in Bangladesh established for the NRBs, of the NRBs and by the NRBs would go a long way in attracting many non-resident Bangladeshis to invest in their homeland.

Air link with Rajshahi

Rajshahi Division of Bangladesh comprises 16 districts with an area of 34,495 square kilometres. According to 2001 population census, 3,02,02,000 people live in these 16 districts. It is assumed that the present population is about 4 crore. There were two active airports until January 2007 at Rajshahi and Saidpur. Bangladesh Biman used to operate flights from Dhaka to these airports which facilitated movements of high officials, prospective investors and the patients. Suddenly, Biman stopped their operation on the plea that these routes were non profitable from their business viewpoint.

International

Sadr orders fighters off Iraq's streets

Iraq's radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Sunday ordered his fighters off the streets, paving the way for an end to clashes with security forces that have killed hundreds of people.

Pakistani Taliban welcome new PM's offer of talks

Pakistan's Taliban movement on Sunday welcomed an offer by the country's new premier to hold talks with militants but urged Islamabad to abandon the US-led "war on terror."

Nepal royalists warn of civil war if king ousted

Allies of Nepal's embattled king have warned that the Himalayan nation could slide back into civil war if landmark elections next month lead to abolition of the monarchy.

N Korea threatens to cut all dialogue with South

North Korea's military said that South Korea should retract its top military official's remark about an attack on the communist nation and apologize for it, threatening to suspend all inter-Korean dialogues and contacts, reported Yonhap News Agency.

Rice secures Israeli pledge to remove West Bank roadblocks

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday secured a pledge from Israel to remove 50 West Bank roadblocks to improve the daily lives of Palestinians and reinvigorate Middle East peace talks.

Tibetan marchers light 'independence torch' in anti-China protest

Several dozen Tibetans in India on Sunday unveiled an "independence torch" in New Delhi that will be carried around the world in an anti-China protest ahead of the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

US jittery over Pak war on terror commitment

Pakistan's new premier has vowed to tackle al-Qaeda and the Taliban, but the United States will remain nervous about the commitment of this frontline state in the "war on terror", analysts say.

Bush facing resistance to Nato expansion

Ahead of this week's Nato summit, President Bush has told alliance members he wants to expand the organisation to include three Balkan countries and put Ukraine and Georgia on track for membership.

US jittery over Pak war on terror commitment

Pakistan's new premier has vowed to tackle al-Qaeda and the Taliban, but the United States will remain nervous about the commitment of this frontline state in the "war on terror", analysts say.

Rahul calls the shots in Congress

In a sign of changing times, the grand old party of India, the Congress, is getting younger with Rahul Gandhi and his team increasingly taking centrestage in the political arena.

Pak federal cabinet takes oath today

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf will administer oath to 23 new federal cabinet members today at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Cong lesser evil compared to BJP, says CPM

Four years after the CPM returned a record number of seats in Parliament and took the difficult decision of propping up a bourgeoisie Government at the Centre, the cadres are now looking at the 19th party Congress to provide some crucial answers.

8 Taliban killed in Afghanistan

Eight Taliban fighters were killed in an operation by Afghan and Western troops after the rebels ambushed a civilian supply convoy in troubled southern Afghanistan, police said Sunday.

Cong lesser evil compared to BJP, says CPM

Four years after the CPM returned a record number of seats in Parliament and took the difficult decision of propping up a bourgeoisie Government at the Centre, the cadres are now looking at the 19th party Congress to provide some crucial answers.

Bhutan opposition resigns amid vote row

Bhutan's first week as the world's newest democracy has been marred by the resignation of its opposition amid allegations of foul-play in historic elections that ended a century of absolute monarchy.

8 Taliban killed in Afghanistan

Eight Taliban fighters were killed in an operation by Afghan and Western troops after the rebels ambushed a civilian supply convoy in troubled southern Afghanistan, police said Sunday.

N Korean military hardliners seen behind N-deal deadlock

Hardliners in North Korea's powerful military may be resisting a US-led deal for the hardline communist state to disband its nuclear weapons programme, according to US experts.

France ready to fly out Colombian hostage amid health fears

President Nicolas Sarkozy has placed a plane and medical team on standby to help French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt if she is freed by Colombian rebels, his office said yesterday.

Small jet carrying five crashes into house in SE England

A small jet aircraft carrying five people has crashed into a house in Farnborough, Kent, in southeastern England yesterday, police and fire brigade sources said.

Mekong summit begins

The prime ministers of China and five other Mekong River countries yesterday kicked off a two-day summit in the Lao capital on closer regional integration.

Fukuda urges opposition back to table

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda reached out to the opposition in a live TV appearance yesterday in a bid to break a political deadlock that has sent public support for his cabinet plummeting.

‘Indian cops covered up British girl's killing’

An Indian government-run women's rights body yesterday accused police in the resort state of Goa of trying to cover up evidence in the controversial killing last month of a British teenager.

US cardiologists target stress as key foe

US cardiologists are targeting stress and anxiety as key factors contributing to cardiovascular diseases, according to studies made public at a scientific conference here.

Arts & Entertainment

A nod to Wahidul Haque's vision

To mark the 75th birth anniversary of Tagore exponent and cultural activist Wahidul Haque, Chhayanat arranged a two-day long folk festival titled Desh Ghorer Gaan on March 29 and 30. Folk artistes from different districts of the country performed at the festival -- in two sessions each day -- at the Chhayanat Sanskriti Bhaban and Bakultala, Institute of Fine Arts, DU premises.

Kranti Shilpi Goshthi celebrates 41st anniversary

To celebrate its 41st anniversary cultural organisation Kranti Shilpi Gosthi (KSG) arranged a programme at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library on March 29.

“Mayur Shinghashon": Last play of the festival

The nine-day Mahanagar Natyotyoshob '08, jointly arranged by Dhaka City Corporation and Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation at the Zahir Raihan Sanskritik Kendra, ends today. Plays included at the festival were: Samayer Proyojone, Binodoni, Shat Ghater Kanakori, Khandani Kissa, Totaram, Kanjush, Bhaddornok, Jalodash and Mayur Shinghashon.

Udichi celebrates birth centenary of Satyen Sen

Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigosthi celebrated the birth centenary of the noted litterateur, journalist and social activist Satyen Sen (1907-1981) -- the founder of Udichi -- at the Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium, Central Public Library on March 29. The event included discussion and a cultural programme.

Jatiya Chhara Utsab '08 ends

The two-day long Jatiya Chhara Utsab '08 ended on March 29. With the slogan "Chhara hok muktir jai gaan", the Jatiya Chhara Utsab Committee arranged the programme at the Plaza of National Art Gallery, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. More than 200 chharakar (poets) from all over the country attended at the programme.

Festival featuring Bengali films based on literature

Just a few decades ago, the mainstream Bengali movie industry produced a numbers of quality films based on literature, which achieved commercial success. To reinvigorate literature-based Bengali movies, a film festival is going to be held from April 18 to 24, featuring Bengali films from both Bangladesh and West Bengal, India, says a press release.

Weeklong book fair ends in Tangail

A seven-day long book fair concluded here recently.

Female Freedom Fighters receive financial assistance from NRBs

Eleven female freedom fighters received financial assistance from non-resident Bangladeshis (NRB) at an informal programme in Sirajganj.

Bette Davis centennial

Bette Davis, born 100 years ago this week, made her first appearance on film in 1931 and her last in 1989, and like every star of her generation she was always ready for her close-up. The difference with Davis -- part of what makes her, one of the greatest Hollywood actresses -- was, she didn't need it. You could tell what she was thinking and feeling from across the room, even a very large one like the ballroom she swoops into, wearing a red dress, in William Wyler's Jezebel (1938), scandalising the haut monde of 1852 New Orleans; unmarried young women like her character, Julie Marsden, are expected to wear white. But Julie wants to make an impression, and she does; and as she takes a turn on the dance floor with her stiff-backed escort, you can see, although most of the sequence is long shots, her growing awareness that she has made a terrible mistake, that she has gone, for once, too far.

OP-ED

Important chapter in the history of Bangladesh

THE long and winding road to democracy never really ends for any country. Even the world's oldest democratic nations must continually adapt to the changing requirements of their political environment. For younger democracies, the challenge can be compounded by the need to develop not only the institutions but also the culture of democratic practice.

Why dual citizenship for British-Bangladeshis only?

I read with utmost sorrow the news in a Bangladeshi newspaper that dual citizenship would be offered only to Bangladesh origin British passport holders only. The announcement had been made by none but the Chief Adviser Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed during his recent London visit, in which he is reported to have said that "from now on, British passport-holder Bangladeshis would automatically retain their Bangladeshi citizenships."

Tadbir opens up takdir!

MY friend Shahid, who lives in the US, expressed his annoyance last night as I am yet to get a T&T fixed phone line, because he often gets tired trying to call me over my cell-phone. I am one of those few "anti cell-phone fundamentalists" still hanging around. I do have a cell-phone, but normally prefer to use it only for making important calls.

20 Rules of the Road for surviving off the beaten track

Survived your latest business trip to un-urbanized parts of Asia? Congratulations. It may be luck, or you may have been lucky enough to have absorbed the information you need to know to keep alive.

Star City

Chickens, eggs back on the menu

After a few months break consumers in the city are again opting for chickens and eggs as the bird flu scare is diminishing fast.

Rajuk's compromising stance alleged

The authorities have taken a compromising stance in implementing the development project on the Gulshan-Banani-Baridhara Lake to accommodate the plots created encroaching on the water body during past two decades, alleged sources at Rajuk and environmentalists.

Super fast hassle-free money transfer

Dhaka dwellers will soon be able to enjoy speedy and secure electronic money transfer at the local post offices thanks to a joint venture between the Postal Department and Western Union.

"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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