The Daily Star

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

News of: Tuesday, 1st of April, 2008

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ACC presses charges against Tarique, wife

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against detained BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman, his wife Dr Zobaida Rahman and mother-in-law Iqbalmand Banu for amassing wealth illegally and concealing wealth information.

Naser Rahman jailed for 13yrs

An anti-graft tribunal yesterday sentenced former BNP lawmaker M Naser Rahman to 13 years in prison for concealing wealth information and amassing assets beyond known sources of income.

Prices rise amid market vigil

Although the joint forces yesterday started monitoring the city markets in the wake of persisting price spiral of rice and some other essentials, price of rice varieties rose further at the wholesale markets.

Govt to take $300m hard loans from bank to import fuel

Amid acute liquidity crisis due to under-pricing of imported petroleum products, the government yesterday approved Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation's (BPC) proposal to take $300 million hard term loan from Standard Chartered Bank.

Govt to reconstitute CHT Land Commission soon

The present caretaker government will soon reconstitute the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Land Commission to settle the longstanding land disputes between indigenous communities and settlers in the region.

KL warns of deporting workers living in open space

Malaysia has warned Bangladesh of deporting Bangladeshi workers living in open spaces in Kuala Lumpur if problems regarding those workers are not resolved soon.

Boiler blast in re-rolling mill kills 3 workers

At least three workers were killed and 16 others injured yesterday in a boiler explosion at a re-rolling factory at Kanchpur of Sonargaon upazila.

CA for discipline in business

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday urged all concerned to maintain peace and discipline in the business arena and refrain from activities that cast negative impact on the national economy.

Paban gets 17yrs in arms case

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced Khandaker Akhter Hamid Paban, son of Khaleda-appointed BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain, and four others to 17 years' rigorous imprisonment for possession of illegal firearms and ammunition.

Power abuse, graft bring him in spotlight

Unbridled corruption through abuse of power kept Naser Rahman in the limelight during much of the BNP-led four-party alliance rule.

Dr Kamal for realising compensation from corrupt, plunderers

Eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday demanded compensation from corrupt people who plundered people's assets.

ACC allowed to quiz Babar

The ACC yesterday obtained permission to interrogate detained former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar at the jail gate in the case filed against him for amassing wealth through illegal means.

Gulistan-Jatrabari flyover deal scrapped

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) finally cancelled the contract with Belhasa Accom JV and Associates regarding the Gulistan-Jatrabari flyover project.

Police asked to submit report by Apr 30

A Dhaka court yesterday directed officer-in-charge (IO) of Dhanmondi police to submit a report by April 30 on whether passport of detained former premier Sheikh Hasina would be returned or not.

Optical fibre line snapped, restored after 8hrs

The country's telecommunication and internet links were once again disrupted from Sunday night for about eight hours as miscreants snapped Dhaka-Cox's Bazar optical fibre line that links the nation to the submarine cable system.

Buriganga can be saved thru’ augmentation

Experts at a seminar yesterday said that the River Buriganga can be saved by setting up an augmentation route through the New Dhaleswari-Pungli-Bangshi-Turag-Buriganga rivers.

AL warns of tougher move for Hasina's release

Awami League, its front organisations and former leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League yesterday concurrently warned the caretaker government that they would go for tougher movements if detained Awami League President Sheikh Hasina is not released immediately.

Hasina not forced to appear in court

Refuting news reports that detained Awami League President Sheikh Hasina was compelled to appear before the court, Inspector General (Prisons) Brig Gen Zakir Hasan yesterday said she was not forced to appear before the special court on Sunday in connection with a graft case.

ACC suggests mechanism to examine wealth reports

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday suggested that the cabinet division introduce a permanent system at ministries or government offices immediately for scrutinising the wealth statements submitted by government officials.

Gen Jacob's clarification

A news item published by some newspapers yesterday saying “Jacob wants immediate trial of war criminals” has come to the notice of the retired Indian army general.

Biman to take off with 49pc stake sale this year

The government plans to sell 49 percent of its shareholding in national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd this year through the stock markets.

US airstrikes, assaults in Baghdad kill 41

US airstrikes and military assaults have killed 41 "criminals" in Baghdad, including 25 who died when an alleged mortar team was bombed, the American military announced yesterday.

Archaeologists dig deep to find origins of Stonehenge

A major excavation at England's prehistoric Stonehenge standing stones started yesterday as archaeologists try to work out exactly when and why the first boulders were placed at the site.


Govt should issue formal 'Health Bulletin'

WE think the confusion created due to the lack of information about Sheikh Hasina's health centring around her hospitalisation, sudden discharge and return to sub-jail was entirely unwarranted and avoidable. It should have never been allowed to happen.

Building food buffer stock a top priority

THE issue of food security is high on the government's agenda, particularly because of food production crunch, both domestically and internationally.

Indian Railways make windfall profit, our...!

THE news even astounded most Indians, just as much as it did many other Asians. India's Railways minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has turned the tide and unleashed streams of debates across the vast country. His opponents are trying to play it down while his supporters are trying to hype it up with all their might. So, what has he done?

History -- one of America's blind spots

AMERICA, today, is obviously divided at home and bitterly resented abroad -- a position the global military hegemony can ill-afford to be in. Worse, it confronts a worldwide terrorist movement with an apocalyptic streak, and finds itself in difficult counter-insurgency battles in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even a convincingly re-elected President Bush could hardly allay the anxiety and recrimination among the policy elites and a sizeable chunk of general public; neither could he offer the kind of course corrections that the US allies were hoping for.

Obama's president relatives, Hillary's crooners

FOR anyone wondering why Barack Obama's demeanour looks so presidential, the answer is simple: through his mother Obama is related to six US presidents! Hillary Clinton, who is of French-Canadian descent, is related to three famous female singers. There is also evidence to support the case for Obama and Clinton making good running mates: they are related to Hollywood heartthrobs, actor Brad Pitt and actress Angelina Jolie respectively, who are mates in real life. Pitt and Obama are ninth cousins, as are Hillary and Jolie.


Battle royal today

Mohammedan Sporting Club go into the final game of the first leg of the Premier Cricket League today with an aim to finish atop. But the hurdle they have to overcome is none other than their arch rivals and reigning champions Abahani at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

Experience required

Abu Yusuf gave the national team their first full-fledged training yesterday as six Abahani players joined the camp at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

SA Academy due today

The South Africa National Cricket Academy squad will arrive in Bangladesh today to take part in the Grameenphone Academy Cup also involving academy teams of Pakistan and hosts Bangladesh.

Heera named Tigers' manager

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday appointed former national cricket captain Shafique-ul Huque Heera as national team operations manager for one year.

Zia slumps to third place

Grand Master Ziaur Rahman slipped to third position after losing the eighth round game against Indian GM Sandipan Chanda in the 3rd Kolkata Open Grandmasters Chess tournament at the Gorky Sadan in Kolkata yesterday.

Real thump Sevilla

Real Madrid came out of their recent slump to defeat Sevilla 3-1 on Sunday and stretch their lead at the top of the Spanish first division to six points.

Roma primed for MU test

AS Roma will be without injured captain Fran-cesco Totti when they take on Manchester Uni-ted in Tuesday's Champions League quarterfinal first leg at the Stadio Olimpico.

Old Dhaka hockey champs

Old Dhaka Hockey Association came from a goal down to thrash Sipahi Para of Rajshahi 4-1 in the final and lift the Dhaka Bank Independence Day hockey title at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Canary Wharf football camp from Thursday

The third year of the football coaching camp under the auspices of Canary Wharf, UK will begin at the BKSP on April 3.

Kaif in for Tendulkar

India's star batsman Sachin Tendulkar will miss the second Test against South Africa after aggravating a groin injury, officials said on Sunday.

Tragedy strikes Italy again

Italian football suffered another tragic blow on Sunday as a Parma fan died after being run over by a bus on a weekend that saw AC Milan's Champions League hopes take another costly dent.

Schalke sniff a chance

Schalke 04 have reached the Champions League quarterfinals by the skin of their teeth but after Barcelona's 'shameful' weekend defeat they will feel anything is possible when they host the Catalans on Tuesday.

Raul sets sights on di Stefano

Real Madrid captain Raul Gonzalez now stands joint second, along with Carlos Alonso Santillana, in the club's all-time scorer list after scoring his 290th goal for the club in their 3-1 win over Sevilla on Sunday.

Chelsea stalk United

Ricardo Carvalho kept Chelsea hot on Manchester United's heels as his first goal of the season clinched a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough on Sunday.

Torres gives L'pool the edge

Fernando Torres put Liverpool in pole position to claim fourth spot in the Pre-miership and a place in next season's Champions League by scoring the only goal in the 207th Merseyside derby against Everton to seal a 1-0 win at Anfield on Sunday.

Lyon all but champions

Olympique Lyon stayed on course for a seventh consecutive Ligue 1 title by winning 2-1 at mid-table Valenciennes on Sunday.

Totti aiming for United second-leg

AS Roma talisman Francesco Totti is hoping to be fit for his team's Champions League quarterfinal, second leg against Manchester United at Old Trafford, his personal trainer said Monday.

Stuttgart fail to capitalise

VfB Stuttgart failed to take advantage of a series of mishaps above them when they were held to a goalless draw away to Hanover 96 on Sunday.

Local Snippets

BKSP defeated Bangladesh Air Force 61-41 in the opening match of the Independence Day basketball tournament at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday.

Davenport stuns Ivanovic

Former world number one Lindsay Davenport defeated Serbian second seed Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-2 to reach the fourth round of the WTA and ATP Masters Series hardcourt tournament here Sunday.

Patel's no to ICC

The International Cricket Council's (ICC) search for a new chief executive officer has been dealt an embarrassing blow with the news that Imtiaz Patel, who was offered the job two weeks ago, has "withdrawn his interest" in the position.

Mahela behind new boys

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has assured Malinda Warnapura and Thilan Thusara that they can expect an extended run in the national team.

Milan hit panic button

With just seven matches left in the Serie A season, AC Milan are starting to panic.

BCB not to renew Shaun's contract

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has decided not to extend the contract of Shaun Williams.

India warned over WC

India are in serious danger of losing the right to host field hockey's men's World Cup in 2010, the world governing body warned on Monday.

Spirit satisfies Smith

Captain Graeme Smith praised a South African bowling fightback that allowed them to draw the first Test against India on Sunday.

Selectors angry with Malik

Pakistan's national selectors are unhappy with captain Shoiab Malik for his absence during the selection of the squad for the Bangladesh series.

Veeru overtakes Rahul, Sachin

Virender Sehwag's career best 319 against South Africa catapulted him to the 12th spot in the ICC Test Rankings, making him the highest ranked Indian in the batting chart.

Olympics torch re-lit in Beijing

Chinese President Hu Jintao yesterday officially declared open the start of a grand Olympic torch relay by re-lighting the flame in the host city Beijing, amidst tight security after pro-independence Tibetan protestors marred a similar ceremony in Greece.

Slow South Africa fined

South Africa were fined on Monday for maintaining a slow over-rate in the drawn first Test against India.


Biman set to take on private airlines with 49pc stake sale

The government plans to sell 49 percent of its shareholding in Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd this year through stock markets. The offer, and subsequent listing in the country's stock exchanges, will help the beleaguered state-owned airline improve its cash flows substantially and take on private carriers, a top government functionary said yesterday.

Record levels of foreign investment in EPZs

Foreign investment into the country's Export Processing Zones has hit record levels this year, with the weaker dollar, low labour costs and easy access to markets in Asia encouraging foreign manufacturers.

BTTB launches pre-paid cards to be more competitive

Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB), the state-run land phone operator, launched pre- paid cards last week for as many as 10,000 customers initially in Dhaka city to come back in the competition in the land phone market.

Thais keep vigil over rice

For the first time ever in memory, some Thai farmers are staying up at night to watch their fields - worried that thieves will raid their standing crops or loot their stored rice.

Potato for everyone?

In the face of domestic and worldwide shortage of food production, food prices in Bangladesh have risen rapidly and beyond the affordability of the commons. Rice price increase is what has affected them the most, since it has posed a high threat to the food security of the people, particularly the poor. Wheat has long served as the substitute of rice for the people in Bangladesh but in the background of recent price rise of both rice and wheat at the same time, one might be tempted to look for other substitutes for rice, especially for the poor people whose real income is under serious pressure due to the price hike.

Riceflation and agflation

Global food prices registered an unprecedented 40 per cent increase during 2007. This is fraught with the potential danger of causing large-scale discontent if the situation gets out of hand. Hence, it is urgent for all countries facing this situation to take energetic steps with the objective of reigning in the price-hike of food and other essentials. In 2007, rice price in Bangladesh rose by 42.6 per cent on average whilst wheat price posted a rise of 55.4 per cent. Prices of other essentials rose in tandem soybean oil and milk powder increased by 42.8 per cent and 48.9 per cent respectively in Bangladesh.

Some IOCs seek more time for offshore bidding

Some international oil companies (IOCs) demanded of the Petrobangla to extend time for participating in the offshore bidding in Dhaka on a plea that similar biddings are progressing in India, Australia and Indonesia simultaneously.

Govt needs to assess actual demand, supply of food grains

The government should form a high profile taskforce to measure the actual demand and supply of food grains especially rice since the existing data are not reliable, Atiur Rahman, chairman of research organization Unnayan Shamannay, said yesterday.

MCCI demands tax holiday to local industries for another 5 years

Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) yesterday demanded of the government to renew the tax holiday benefit for another five years to enable local industries gain competitive strength.

India mulls scrapping food import duties to fight inflation

India said on Monday it was considering cutting import duties on a host of food and other products "to zero" to boost supply and tame surging inflation.

Ctg businesses welcome decision to allow only one trade union in ports

Stakeholders and business leaders here yesterday hailed the government for approving the draft of the amended labour ordinance that allows only one trade union for workers and employees at Chittagong and Mongla ports.

Citi's new Organisational structure

Vikram Pandit, Citi's Chief Executive Officer, yesterday announced a comprehensive reorganisation of Citi's structure to achieve greater client focus and connectivity, global product excellence, and clear accountability, says a press release.

Asian stocks close lower on Wall Street's lead

Asian stocks closed mostly lower on Monday, in volatile trade, with sellers stung by negative sentiment from last week's falls on Wall Street winning a tug-of-war battle with bargain hunters.

Islami Bank celebrates silver jubilee

Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited celebrated its 25th founding anniversary on Sunday, says a press release.

Novartis wins national export trophy

Novartis (Bangladesh) Limited has been recognized for its outstanding export achievement with the National Export Trophy (gold) at a ceremony in Dhaka yesterday, says a press release.

Japan's industrial output down

Japanese factories cut their output for a second straight month in February amid weak demand from the sluggish US economy, official figures showed Monday.

Malaysia confident of 6pc growth

Malaysia on Monday said it was confident economic growth for 2008 will hit six percent despite troubles in key trading partner the United States.

India's Hinduja group eyeing France's Valeo

Indian conglomerate Hinduja is in talks to buy a controlling stake in France's automotive supplier Valeo for up to 1.5 billion dollars, a newspaper report said Monday.

US slowdown takes growing toll on passenger flights: IATA

The US economic slowdown is taking a growing toll on the airline industry as passenger occupancy rates hit the lowest level for four years, the top industry association said on Monday.

Air France, Delta launch three new transatlantic routes

Airlines Air France and Delta launched three transatlantic routes out of London's Heathrow airport on Monday in a joint venture which takes advantage of the "Open Skies" agreement to free up the market.


Indigenous FFs yet to get due recognition

Indigenous people made a significant contribution to the War of Liberation, but they are yet to get due recognition, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.

Impart quality education to students

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday called upon authorities of both private and public universities to come forward with state-of-the-art curricula to impart quality and time-worthy education to the students.

Dhaka urges int'l community to help combat poverty

Bangladesh yesterday asked global community to help people of Bangladesh to fight poverty, mostly triggered by natural calamities in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

New UK laws come into effect today

British visa applicants who use deception, withhold information or employ false documents to try to gain entry into the UK will face a ten-year ban.

New train time from Apr 14 to ease city traffic jam

The government has decided to reschedule the timetable of railways to reduce traffic jam in the capital.

Four detained for torturing domestic help

Four members of a family were detained by police allegedly for torturing a domestic help in the port city yesterday.

Police stop JCD meet on DU campus

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), the student wing of BNP, yesterday staged a demonstration on the Dhaka University (DU) campus after police stopped them from holding a pre-scheduled meeting on the campus.

Set up truth commission for war criminals: Akbar Ali

Regulatory Reforms Commission Chairman Akbar Ali Khan yesterday said there should be quota system in government recruitment for the children of freedom fighters, no matter whether the option remains in the constitution or not.

4 killed in road accidents

At least four people were killed and 45 others injured in separate road accidents in Khulna, Keraniganj, Habiganj and Jhenidah yesterday and on Sunday.

Form nat'l task force to solve teachers' shortage problem

Teachers of non-government high schools, colleges and madrasas yesterday urged the caretaker government to set up a national task force for solving countrywide teachers' shortage in educational institutions.

BCL protests Hasina's forceful sent back to sub-jail

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of Awami League (AL), yesterday staged demonstration on Dhaka University (DU) campus protesting the forceful sent back of detained AL President Sheikh Hasina to sub-jail without completing her treatment at Square Hospital.

One unit restored

The 150-megawatts (MW) capacity Unit-4, one of the three power generation units that were shut down on Sunday following an explosion at Ashuganj Power Station, was restored later the same night.

Start OMS at each village

BNP chairperson's adviser Brig Gen (retd) Hannan Shah yesterday demanded immediate launching of Open Market Sale (OMS) at each village to avert what he said not only 'famine' but a 'great famine'.

15 shops, 30 houses gutted at Kamrangirchar

Fire burnt to ashes at least 15 shops of a market and 30 residential houses at Rasulpur under Kamrangirchar in the city early yesterday.

Three injured in bomb blast

Three people were injured in a bomb explosion at Phultala yesterday.

Sculpture on Liberation War inaugurated at JNU

A sculpture, commemorating the War of Liberation, was inaugurated on the Jagannath University campus in the city yesterday.

Make good use of time for quick disposal of cases

Chief Justice M Ruhul Amin has urged all concerned to make good use of time so that cases can be tried within the shortest possible time.

160 rail clips recovered, eight more arrested

The Government Railway Police (GRP) yesterday recovered 160 sleeper clips, out of 3,510 clips stolen from the city's Banani and Gulshan areas, and arrested eight more people in this connection.

Peace support operations exercise begins today

'Shanti Doot-2', a peace support operations exercise, begins in Bangladesh today under the framework of Global Peace Operations Initiative Programme.

New reshuffle in admin

A number of joint secretary-level officials have been transferred and given new postings in the latest reshuffle in the administration.

Stolen electric cables worth Tk 10cr seized in Chittagong

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered a huge quantity of stolen electric cables worth around Tk 10 crore from an illegal factory and arrested 14 workers in the port city yesterday afternoon.

Disciplinary action against 15 Ruet students

Disciplinary actions have been taken against 15 students of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) for violating university rules.

France, Germany close to deal on auto emissions

France and Germany are close to resolving their dispute over EU auto emissions targets that could see a softening of the proposed regulations, a German newspaper report said yesterday.

Norway's first 'organised terrorism' trial opens

Norway's first ever "organised terrorism" trial opened in Oslo yesterday, with three men accused of shooting at a synagogue and plotting attacks against the US and Israeli embassies in Oslo.

Blood Transfusion Society executives

Prof Dr Mujibur Rahman and Dr Md Asadul Islam have been elected president and secretary general of Blood Transfusion Society of Bangladesh (BTSB) recently for the period of 2008-10, says a press release.

SAU Debating Society executives

Foyjul Alam Siddique and Nasir Uddin have been elected president and general secretary of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (SAU) Debating Society, says a press release.

Six criminals arrested

Rapid Action Battalion arrested an alleged criminal along with his five accomplices and recovered two revolvers with seven bullets from their possession in the city's Al Nekir Deuri area on Sunday.

Talks begin on demarcation of maritime boundary

A two-day technical-level discussion on demarcation of the maritime boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar began at the Foreign Ministry yesterday.


Contractors stop govt project work in Kishoreganj

Abnormal price hike of construction materials in last few weeks has stopped works under Kishoreganj Public Works Department (PDB) and Education and Engineering Department (EED).

Kishoreganj municipal chairman suspended

Kishoreganj municipal chairman Abu Taher Mia, a BNP leader, has been suspended after being charge-sheeted in a 'cheating case'.

Lifebuoy Hospital brings new life on Jamuna shoals

Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital, rendering free medical services to the poor and under-privileged people in remote shoal areas on Jamuna basin since 2002, has become synonymous with sincere and efficient service for the suffering humanity.

Commercial cultivation of strawberry promises hefty gains for farmers

Farmers will soon get a new highly value added fruit for commercial cultivation, thanks to years of tireless efforts by two persons.

Mystery shrouds death of SUST student

Mystery shrouds the death of Milon, a student of Shah Jalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) as law enforcers are yet to be ascertain whether he was killed by miscreants or it was just a road accident.

Trial of war criminals demanded

Satkhira district shrimp fry traders association accorded a reception to Saleha Khatun, mother of a martyred freedom fighter, and 15 freedom fighters at the Sadar upazila auditorium Sunday evening.

BDR, BSF trade fire on Satkhira border

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) traded gunfire on Hijaldi border in Kalaroa upazila in the district early morning yesterday.

Journos' seminar at Dinajpur today

A seminar on Role of newspaper and public expectation” will be held at at Dinajpur Press Club today.

10- yr RI in arms case

A court in Sirajganj yesterday sentenced a man to ten years rigorous imprisonment in an arms case.



Apparently, poverty seems to be an almost avoidable problem in Bangladesh. At present the poverty rate in Bangladesh is 40%. If we all do not store up our riches here on the earth, where moths and rust destroy and robbers break in to steal, then the figure will be changed gradually. The absolute poor are those who cannot even have the minimum nutritional requirement of 2112 kcal for survival. They are the victims of malnutrition & suffer from various diseases. That means an average of 40 people in 100 go hungry everyday. So pathetic!! The needy children have to struggle to manage a little bit of something to eat.

Prospects of jute

“The golden fibre” by Abed Choudhury in Point Counterpoint page of your March 23 edition drew my attention. Like him I do believe that there are new opportunities for jute goods, especially, in recent months, when we are watching the new “green movement” by the west. There is a need for reusable and recyclable grocery bags, shopping bags that are environment friendly and biodegradable. However, I disagree with Mr. Abed on the argument that the costly genome sequencing of jute is the answer. I believe the answer lies somewhere between the initiative taken by dynamic entrepreneurs and branding, marketing of such products. I will give you one example of my personal experience to put this into context.

Toll collection

An English daily has reported that toll taking still continues openly at the city bus terminals. This is a criminal practice. What is the CTG doing to stop this illegal activity? Are they not interested in rounding up such gangs, usually associated with politicians and musclemen? If they mean to clean up this illegal source of political financing, they have to act.

Abul Kalam Azad

There have been very few leaders as great as Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He was a great religious leader, educationalist, writer and a great politician.

Biman's new aircraft

I was reading a piece "Boeing! Boeing" in The Daily Star on 16 Mar 08 which was written by Mr. M. Firoze--a steel industry consultant. I was surprised. Who told him that the Bangladesh government is spending $1.265 billion of taxpayers' money on buying eight luxury aircraft? This is not true. Biman itself will bear the costs taking loan from international financing organisations like EXIM Bank --a US banking institution. And a small portion of the total amount will be paid from Biman's own funds. This was in reports published in various newspapers. Even Mr Mahbub Jamil, the chairman of Biman's board of directors, said in a news conference after signing the agreement with Boeing in Dhaka that Biman would not take anything from the government to buy the aircraft.

Defaulters still unpunished

Though most tycoons , particularly the so-called industrialists, must be termed as defaulters, there is no denying the fact that no ruling power can punish them, no legislation can put them into prison. Paradoxically, Manaranjan, an octogenarian of Rangpur district who could not pay his tiny amount of loan, was mercilessly dragged by the police not long ago and this became lead news at home and abroad. Interestingly enough, such elderly persons are, indeed, an easy prey to any ruling class. The persistent problem of loan default got its inception in the 1980s, during the regime of president HM Ershad.

A memorable day

March 15 was the day on which 'The Daily Star' organised its 9th award presentation ceremony for the students of “O” and “A” levels, who had achieved excellent and extraordinary results in their respective examinations. The ceremony was held at the Indoor Stadium in Mirpur. It started with the national anthem and continued through recitations from the holy religious books and speeches from the distinguished chief guest, organisers and sponsors of the event. They gave valuable speeches.

Research and education

To attain our development goals, education is a must. But it can be said that it is lacking in quality here. So we have to come forward to solve this problem. We need to undertake research projects in this area.


Hamas invites Abbas to Gaza for talks

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal invited Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas to Gaza for unconditional talks on the two factions' divisions, in a television interview yesterday.

Musharraf swears in Pak cabinet full of foes

President Pervez Musharraf yesterday swore in a new Pakistani Cabinet made up of political opponents who have pledged to reduce the US-backed leader's once-sweeping powers.

Zimbabwe slowly releases election results

Zimbabwe's Election Commission released a handful of results Monday from presidential and legislative elections, announcing an equal number of wins for both parties after a delay that raised tensions amid fears of rigging.

Clashes kill 42 in Lanka

A series of clashes over the weekend between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels left at least 39 separatists and three soldiers dead, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Iraq wrapping up Basra operation

A key adviser to Iraq's prime minister says military operations in the besieged southern city of Basra will finish before the end of this week.

Freed top Pakistani judge wants job back

Pakistan's deposed chief justice arrived in his hometown Monday to a hero's welcome as he launched a drive to win back his old job and deal another blow to embattled President Pervez Musharraf.

No evidence UK govt killed Diana

The coroner leading the inquest into the death of Princess Diana said Monday that there is no evidence that Prince Philip, the Secret Intelligence Service or any other government agency had anything to do with her death in a 1997 car crash.

Bush seeks to boost ties with allies

President Bush is promoting Nato expansion and trying to shore up ties with allies as he heads to Europe for a week. But many world leaders have begun looking beyond him as his second White House term winds down.

Hillary faces tough odds as Obama's lead widens

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton faced increasing odds against her Monday as a new opinion poll showed rival Barack Obama consolidating his nationwide support.

Arts & Entertainment

An awe-inspiring display of paintings at Saju Art Gallery

Saju Art Gallery's latest grand group exhibition is as impressive and interesting as always. It contains paintings of well-known local artists ranging from Zainul Abedin and Quamrul Hasan to Ahmed Nazir and Laila Sharmeen.

Workshop on Rabindra Sangeet at Shilpakala Academy ends

A musical soiree featuring Rabindra Sangeet was held at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on March 30. The programme was a part of a 10-day workshop on Rabindra Sangeet conducted by two Indian singers -- Shoma Roy and Choiti Majumder. The workshop was jointly organised by BSA and the Indian High Commission in Bangladesh.

Mahurat of Abu Sayeed's next film “Rupantor”

Mahurat of filmmaker Abu Sayeed's upcoming movie was held Rupantor at the Digital Colour Lab Auditorium, Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC) on March 30.

"Ghum Nei" staged after seven years

After seven years, Mahakal Natyasampradaya staged the 70th show of their once popular production Ghum Nei. The play was staged on March 30 at Mahila Samity. The troupe staged the premiere show of Ghum Nei in 1994. The play was staged regularly till 2000.

Weeklong drama festival in Bogra ends

A weeklong drama festival ended with the staging of the play Nuruldin-er Shara Jibon at the Muktijoddha Aminul Karim Dulal Auditorium, Bogra Zilla School premises recently.

Ledger's Joker could be biggest posthumous movie role

Heath Ledger's frenzied reinvention of the Joker had fans and colleagues buzzing. His dreadful clown face was seen online by millions, and stood as the goose bump-raising image upon which nearly all-early marketing of The Dark Knight hinged.


The other side of diplomacy

FOREIGN policy and diplomacy are terms that are cognate in concept, but not quite synonymous or interchangeable. Lord Gore-Booth, who headed the British diplomatic service during 1965-69, explained the difference very lucidly: "Foreign policy is what you do; diplomacy is how you do it."

Eat some dal (lentil) with rice

PEAS, beans and lentils are leguminous crops known as pulses. Pulses have been used as food for thousands of years. The lentil was probably one of the first plants ever to be domesticated by humans.

Herculean effort the prescription for climate change

AT a recent alternative energy/climate change symposium presented by the Wallace Stegner Center for Land Resources and the Environment at the University of Utah, findings revealed the most current information concerning the decline of climate stability and the magnitude of effort required to prevent the planet from being knocked by human pollution of the Earth's climate.

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