The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, November 26, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 2nd of April, 2008

Front Page

Bigwigs' trials linger for slow investigation

Trials of many corruption and extortion cases filed against detained political bigwigs could not be started in about a year as their investigations have been lingering.

Jalil wants 3 more months' parole, govt grants 10 days

The government yesterday extended the parole of ailing Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil by 10 days to continue with treatment abroad, a home ministry release said.

Mad rush to buy rice at BDR shops

The BDR fair price outlets in the capital have been swarming with people from middle to lower-middle class in the last couple of days due to the rising price of rice.

Iftekhar tells Ban Ki-moon about growing demand for UN role in trial

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury has informed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of a "popular sentiment" for involving the UN in the process for trying war criminals of Bangladesh's Liberation War in 1971.

Dhaka-Kolkata train on track from Apr 14

The Indian central government turned down the West Bengal government's request to postpone the launch of Dhaka-Kolkata passenger train service, clearing the way for the launch on Pahela Baishakh, officials here in Bangladesh yesterday said.

Judicial probe body wants code of conduct for DU teachers, students

The Judicial Enquiry Commission that investigated the violent incidents on and around Dhaka University (DU) campus in August last year has asked the government to formulate a code of conduct for the DU teachers, students and officials.

Prof Wahiduddin slates govt for taking loans to tackle liquidity crisis

Economist Prof Wahiduddin Mahmud yesterday criticised the government's decision to take loans from International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a foreign bank to tackle liquidity crisis.

BR to install theft proof sleeper clips on tracks

The Bangladesh Railway (BR) authorities decided to install highly secured modern anti-vandal sleeper clips on rail tracks in theft-prone areas in the country.

Hasina to be brought to hospital today for check-up

Detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina would be brought back to Square Hospitals for eye check-up today, a senior prison official yesterday said.

Ministries can now spend double without approval

The government has doubled the ceiling of spending of different ministries and government organs without approval of the advisory committee on purchase.

India bans export of non-Basmati rice

The Indian government banned export of non-Basmati rice and hiked the minimum export price of basmati rice by $100, having implications for Bangladesh.

No reason yet to worry about militant threat: Rab

The Director General of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) Hasan Mahmud Khandakar said yesterday that there is reason to worry about militant threat in the country as the situation is totally under control of the Rab.

ACC presses charges against Haji Selim

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against former Awami League (AL) lawmaker Haji Mohammad Selim and his wife Gulshan Ara Begum in a case filed against them for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information in their wealth statements.

UN chief lauds reforms in Bangladesh

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has lauded the government's reform initiatives and expressed the hope that these would make democratic institutions in the country sustainable.

RMG workers protest death of co-worker for 'negligence'

Several hundred garment workers yesterday demonstrated at Shyamoli in the city following death of a co-worker without treatment due to alleged negligence of the factory authorities.

Stephen Evans new British envoy in Dhaka

Stephen Nicholas Evans has been appointed the next British High Commissioner to Bangladesh.

US to provide 90,000 MT food aid

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide approximately 90,000 metric tons of food aid worth $67.8 million to Bangladesh this year.

Emon's aide killed in 'crossfire'

Sanjidul Islam Emon's accomplice Taj Mohammad Ponir was killed early yesterday during a "gunfight" between Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel and Ponir's gang members at Jigatala in the city.

Lanka accuses rebels of shelling a hospital

Sri Lanka accused Tamil Tiger rebels of shelling a state-run hospital yesterday as fighting across the northern front lines reportedly left at least 47 rebels dead.

Mugabe aides discuss ceding power

Advisers of President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai are discussing the possibility of Zimbabwe's longtime leader relinquishing power, a businessman close to the electoral commission and a lawyer close to the opposition told The Associated Press.

Hillary is not going to quit

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton says she has something in common with legendary film boxer Rocky Balboa -- she's not a quitter.

RMG workers protest death of co-worker for 'negligence'

Hundreds of garment workers yesterday staged demonstrations for hours in the city's Shyamoli area following a co-worker's death that they blamed on factory authorities' negligence.

DCC sues Obaidul Karim and four others for forgery

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) last night filed a forgery case against Belhasa Accom JV and Associates, the construction firm that saw its contract to build Gulistan-Jatrabari flyover scrapped Sunday.

Editorial

Land Commission for CHT needs reform

FOOD and Disaster Management Adviser AMM Shawkat Ali in a roundtable on "Land Disputes in CHT: Ways to settling the issue" has broken a news. The present government is going to reconstitute the Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Commission. A new chairman and two full-time members will be appointed to the commission to facilitate its working.

Saving the Buriganga

ANY discussion on the Buriganga can only focus on a single point. It is that the river must be saved and allowed to go back to what it has historically been. And it is a point a recent seminar on existing conditions in and around the river emphasised on Monday. That a particular feature relating to restoring the Buriganga to its old position concerns its augmentation has never been in doubt.

Our 1971, our allies and our truths

A few individuals are outraged that some veteran Indian military officers were here recently to be part of Bangladesh's Independence Day celebrations. And they were outraged because they believe, and have always believed, that India has had nothing to do with our liberation in 1971. Of course we do not subscribe to that opinion, for it flies in the face of everything decent and everything that reminds us of values.

Putting remittances to better use

THE remittances from migrants contribute significantly to Bangladesh's socio-economic development. They have a multiplier effect, not only for the family members but also for the people in general.

The question of Tibet

CHINA'S ruthless crushing of Tibetan protests has sparked reactions ranging from disquiet to condemnation the world over. Even India, which views separatist movements with suspicion because of its problems in Kashmir and the Northeast, was "distressed" at the "violence in Lhasa," called upon "all those involved" to "work to improve the situation," and asked Beijing to "remove the causes of such trouble …"

Sports

A dismal derby

Abahani survived a late scare to manage a two-wicket victory against archrivals Mohammedan in a low-scoring match at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday to bounce back in the Premier Cricket League title race.

Biman look to last round

There was no change in Premier Cricket League standings after yesterday's five matches but second-placed Bangladesh Biman, who were not in action on the penultimate day of the competition's first-leg, had their chances of going atop ahead of the Super League brightened.

Cubs ride on Rakin

Touring Bangladesh Under-15 cricket team maintained their winning run, when they beat Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) U-15s by 55 runs in the second one-day match at Malda yesterday.

U-15s face Dutch in opener

Bangladesh take on Holland in their opening knockout match of the Clico International Under-15 Cricket World Championships in Barbados on April 19.

Shoaib banned for 5 yrs

Pakistan banned maverick paceman Shoaib Akhtar from playing cricket for five years on Tuesday for violating the players' code of conduct, the country's cricket chief said.

Zia wins in ninth round

Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman beat Indian International Master Konguvel Ponnuswamy in the ninth round of the 3rd Kolkata Open Grandmasters Chess Tournament at Gorky Sadan in Kolkata yesterday.

11 nat'l hockey players open for transfer

The 11 players who resigned from the national team after failing to secure contracts with any team during the Premier Hockey League transfers, have been released from the national pool.

Spin well taken care of

South Africa are confident of burying India's spin threat yet again with a determined batting performance in the second Test starting here on Thursday.

Akhtar to fight in court

Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar said Tuesday he will fight a five-year ban imposed on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for violating the players' code of conduct.

Bhutia won't carry torch

India's football captain Bhaichung Bhutia on Tuesday refused to carry the Olympic torch when it arrives here this month in protest against China's crackdown in Tibet.

Rivals to break new ground

Arsenal and Liverpool will break new ground in their 115-year rivalry at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday when they meet in European competition for the first time.

EPL edges Primera Liga

Spanish clubs have fallen behind English clubs in recent years, said players who ply their trade in Spain and other football personalities.

Turks to go all-out

Coach Zico says it is imperative Fenerbahce beat Chelsea in Wednesday's Champions League quarterfinal first leg.

Capello investigated

England coach Fabio Capello is being investigated by an Italian state prosecutor on suspicion of withholding information from a court, a judicial source said on Monday.

'Torres will be a threat'

Arsenal will be wary of Fernando Torres when Liverpool travel to the Emirates Stadium for Wednesday's Champions League quarterfinal first leg, Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez said.

Carlo professes love for Roma

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti admitted on Monday that he wants to take over the reins of Serie A rivals AS Roma.

Mercedes gets Stuttgart stadium

Bundesliga champions VfB Stuttgart have leased their stadium name for 30 years to Mercedes Benz, the German car manufacturer confirmed on Monday.

Berlusconi wants Sheva

AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi has backed coach Carlo Ancelotti despite the club's problems and has reiterated his desire to bring back Andriy Shevchenko.

Rome could lose hosting right

Rome's Stadio Olimpico could lose the right to host the 2009 Champions League final if there were further violent incidents at Tuesday's quarterfinal between AS Roma and Manchester United, UEFA said on Monday.

Zenga takes over at Catania

Former Italy goalkeeper Walter Zenga has been appointed coach of Serie A strugglers Catania.

Local Snippets

Four Super League matches of First Division Cricket League will take place on Friday.

Katich handed place

Australia on Tuesday named a revamped Test squad for the upcoming tour of the West Indies, recalling run-maker Simon Katich and including two spin bowlers.

Federer, Henin advance

World number ones Roger Federer and Justine Henin advanced with ease here Monday at a 7.54 million-dollar ATP and WTA hardcourt event, Henin in straight sets and Federer on an injury retirement. Swiss superstar Federer was leading Robin Soderling 6-4, 3-0 when the ill Swedish player retired, advancing the world number one into the round of 16.

Proteas plot Sehwag's downfall

South Africa will target swashbuckling Indian batsman Virender Sehwag with short-pitched bowling in the rest of the series, coach Mickey Arthur said on Tuesday.

CEO hunt on again

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is looking at a speedy resolution to the search for its next chief executive officer (CEO), with Imtiaz Patel declaring on Sunday that he had withdrawn interest in the position. Its four-man recruitment committee may discuss the issue as early as this week and Cricinfo has learnt that Haroon Lorgat, the former convenor of Cricket South Africa's (CSA) selection committee, has emerged as a strong candidate for the post.

Spin the answer?

Stories of the ill-treatment of spin bowlers at the hands of the West Indies selectors over the years are notorious.

Business

Three state-run banks eye IPOs

The three newly-corporatised state-owned banks -- Sonali, Agrani and Janata -- have sought the finance ministry's approval to raise funds from the primary market to shore up their capital. The three banks face a total capital shortfall of Tk 6,500 crore.

Yarn consumption jumps in Jan-Feb

Yarn consumption jumped sharply in the first two months of the current calendar year, reflecting Bangladesh's knitwear sector's growing strength.

Biman listing likely to hit regulatory snag

State-owned Biman Bangladesh Airlines plans to list on the stock markets through a public offer of shares may encounter a regulatory hurdle. The Direct Listing Regulations of Dhaka Stock Exchange require a company to be profit-making in at least three of the immediate past five years to be eligible for getting listed.

Weak exports may pull down China growth: WB

China's economic growth will slow to an estimated 9.4 percent in 2008 from 11.4 percent last year, ending five straight years of double-digit expansion, the World Bank said Tuesday.

WB warns East Asia on food, fuel prices

Soaring food and fuel prices are now East Asia's biggest challenge, even more than the US financial turmoil which is roiling global markets, the World Bank said on Tuesday.

Power to Bangladesh

Bangladesh is the world's fastest growing small gas engines market for power developers, says Stephen R Bolze, president of Power Generation Division of global power giant General Electric (GE) Company.

Business development is Sultana's motto

It runs to 1100 pages and weighs more than two and half kilos, and for many it remains a key guide to the country's business.

Japanese executives gloomiest in years

Japan's top executives are the gloomiest in four years due to a surging yen, high oil prices and a weaker global economy, the central bank said Tuesday, raising fears of a looming recession.

3rd asset management firm gets SEC nod

After a 10-year break the stock market regulator yesterday allowed the third asset management company, Venture Investment Partner Bangladesh Limited, for managing funds including mutual.

BB for tight forex reserve to pay future import bills

The central bank governor yesterday said it will be cautious in spending foreign exchange reserve in view of future demands for commodity import bills.

India bolsters economic ties with Myanmar

India will seek stronger economic ties with Myanmar during a visit starting Wednesday by the regime's number two general, while still nudging the junta towards democracy, officials and analysts said.

Price controls risk worsening inflation in China: WB

Chinese price controls, introduced to rein in inflation which is now near a 12-year high, could backfire and lead to higher prices if they remain in place for too long, the World Bank warned Tuesday.

Asian stocks close higher

Asian stocks closed mostly higher Tuesday but gains were capped amid mixed sentiment in the international economy, and after further subprime related losses were announced.

Japanese business confidence hits four-year low

Japanese business confidence has slumped to the lowest level in more than four years as executives worry about a stronger yen, a weak US economy and high oil prices, a central bank survey showed Tuesday.

Toyota announces new engine plant in northern Japan

Japan's largest automaker Toyota Motor Corp. on Tuesday announced a plan to build a new engine factory in northern Japan with an investment of 50 billion yen (500 million dollars).

WB to provide $250m for transport sector renovation

The World Bank, a multilateral international lending agency, will provide US$250 million in credit to Bangladesh for renovation works in transport sector.

Dhaka-Yangon inconclusive meet won't affect offshore gas bidding

Petrobangla Chairman Jalal Ahmed yesterday said the Bangladesh-Myanmar bilateral meeting that ended inconclusive will not impact the on-going offshore gas bidding conducted by Petrobangla.

Local RMG unit in Ctg EPZ soon

Local company named M/s Delmas Apparels (Pvt) Limited will set up a garments manufacturing industry in the Chittagong Export Processing Zone with an investment of US$ 2.5 million.

$12.7b loan approved for Thai farmers

Thailand on Tuesday approved a 399.6-billion-baht (12.7-billion-dollar) loan scheme for farmers, in the government's latest effort to shore up the economy, the finance minister said.

Maruti posts record annual sales

India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki said Tuesday that sales in the fiscal year through March jumped 13 percent to almost 765,000 vehicles.

NTT sells out in Lanka venture

Japan's Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) sold its 35.2 percent stake in state-owned Sri Lanka Telecom for 297 million US dollars, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) said Tuesday.

US, Australia ink open skies pact

The United States and Australia on Monday inked an open skies aviation agreement eliminating restrictions on air travel between the two allies that would lead to lower fares, officials said.

UBS reveals another $19b subprime drama

Swiss bank UBS revealed a second round of subprime-related writedowns of about 19 billion dollars on Tuesday, becoming the world's worst-hit bank in the US mortgage crisis.

Metropolitan

'Youths have responsibilities to vote right persons to lead the nation'

A two-day National Youth Festival began yesterday in the capital to uphold the views of the young generation and carry messages of building the nation in participation of all.

Hold local govt polls before parliamentary election

Union parishad (UP) chairmen and members at a meeting yesterday demanded holding of upazila and union parishad polls before the parliament election to make them free from the influence of lawmakers.

Bangladeshi workers to help develop infrastructure in S Arabia

President Iajuddin Ahmed hoped that Bangladeshi people would continue to contribute to the infrastructural development of Saudi Arabia.

No specific policy for 75 lakh physically challenged women

Though there are around 75 lakh physically challenged women in the country, there is no specific national policy to protect their rights, said the speakers at a press conference yesterday.

Gas crisis leads to shortage of 728 MW in power generation

The Power Development Board claimed that the gas crisis has led to a shortage of 728 megawatts in power generation.

Designers to pay heavily, says Hannan Shah

BNP chairperson's Adviser Brig Gen (retd) Hannan Shah yesterday said they will have to pay heavily who have designed the so-called 'minus-two formula'.

RU students block Dhaka-Rajshahi highway

Around hundred agitating students of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday blocked the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway for over an hour demanding exemplary punishment of the bus transport workers who severely beat up two RU students.

ACC files case against UP chairman

The Anti-Corruption Commission has filed a case against Nazim Uddin, chairman of Suvaddya union parishad, Keraniganj for amassing huge wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income and concealing information.

Motia Chy hospitalised

Awami League presidium member Motia Chowdhury was admitted to Holy Family Red Crescent Hospital with chest pains yesterday morning.

DU postpones decision over exam fees

The authorities of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday postponed their decision of not publishing the result of first semester examinations of arts and social science faculty until they do not pay Tk 1000 for the semester's exam fee and exam centre fee.

Two antique statues seized

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized two antique statues of Lord Bishnu, a Hindu god, worth about Tk 20 crore in separate drives at Kalkini in Madaripur and at Agoiljhara in Barisal yesterday.

Cancellation of labour ordinance demanded

Leaders of the Democratic Left Alliance yesterday demanded cancellation of labour ordinance terming it an undemocratic one, which allows only one trade union in port areas.

Action against 3 KU students

Punitive action has been taken against three students of Khulna University (KU) for adopting unfair means in examinations.

Exercise Shanti Doot-2 begins in city

Exercise Shanti Doot-2, a peace support operations exercise, began at a city hotel yesterday under the framework of Global Peace Operations Initiative Programme.

Youth beaten to death in Rajshahi

A youth was beaten to death by a group of drug addicts for his alleged refusal to purchase phensidyl from them at Khatur village under Godagari upazila of Rajshahi yesterday.

Date-expired bottled water seized in Rajshahi

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) in a joint operation on Monday night seized huge quantity of date expired bottled mineral water and tea from two stores of Rajshahi city.

Science fair prize giving ceremony held

The prize giving ceremony of a four-day science fair 'Search for Young Scientists: BCSIR Science Fair-2008' was held on the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) premises in the city yesterday.

Informatics Olympiad held at five divisional hqs

The Bangladesh Informatics Olympiad (BIO) 2008 was held in five divisional headquarters of the country recently, says a press release.

Ward commissioner arrested in Mymensingh

Police arrested a ward commissioner of Mymensingh municipality on charge of alleged torture of his second wife from Rally Mour of Mymensingh town yesterday.

Emon placed on fresh 5-day remand

Top terror Sanjidul Islam Emon and another listed criminal Dicon were placed on a five-day remand again yesterday in connection with the killing of cable TV operator Mostafizur Rahman Rubel of Hazaribagh.

Colleagues protest assault on doctor by Kaiser Hamid

Doctors and employees of Dhaka Shishu Hospital formed a human chain in front of the hospital at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar yesterday in protest against the assault on one of its doctors by former national footballer Kaiser Hamid.

Injured MK Alamgir admitted to BSMMU

Detained Awami League leader and former state minister Mahiuddin Khan Alamgir was admitted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) last night after he got injured at Kashimpur Jail in Gazipur in the afternoon.

Joynal Hazari's cadre member arrested

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a member of the notorious 'steering committee' of former Awami League lawmaker Joynal Hazari from a flat at Twin Tower at Shantinagar in the city yesterday.

I won't have food at Bangabhaban if FFs' children go hungry

Chairman of the Regulatory Reforms Commission Dr Akbar Ali Khan yesterday said he would never have food at Bangabhaban if the children of freedom fighters continue to starve.

DU student injured in road accident

A student of Dhaka University (DU) was injured in a road accident on the campus last night.

Accused in murder case escapes from police custody

An accused in a murder case escaped from the police custody during the hearing of the case at a Dhaka court on Monday.

National

Boro fields in Khulna turning yellowish

Boro plants in most areas of Rupsha, Dumuria, Paikgacha and Dakop upazilas in Khulna district are turning yellowish.

Border fencing, killings, smuggling discussed

The officials of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) at a region level flag meeting on Beanibazar borders on Monday agreed to resolve some major disputes through discussions and by taking timely measures.

Jamaat leader held as child dies at his clinic

Police yesterday arrested Ameer of Tangail Pourasava unit of Jamaat-e-Islami, also owner of Dhaleshwari Clinic in Tangail town, Dr Abdul Hamid following allegation of a child's death due to wrong treatment and negligence at his clinic.

Tortured, now under the open sky

A truck driver with his family members including three children is passing days under the open sky, as students and teachers of a Qwami madrasa along with their accomplices burnt down his house on March 23.

4 JCD men among 7 sued

Seven persons including four cadres of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) have been accused in the case for kidnap and murder of schoolboy Abdullah.

12 bombs recovered in Pabna

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered 12 hand bombs from Gopalpur village in Najirganje union under Sujanagar upazila in the district yesterday afternoon.

'Journalists are mouthpiece of people'

Journalists should be the mouthpiece of people, ignoring any fear during any government.

New committee of Sonaimuri Blind Welfare Association

The triennial general meeting of Sonaimuri Blind Welfare Association on Saturday re-elected Md Sahab Ullah and Golam Mostafa Bhuiyan as president and general secretary of the association, says a press release.

Arrest warrant against KCC chief engineer

The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Md. Barakuzzaman has issued warrant of arrest against suspended chief engineer of Khulna City Corporation Liaquat Ali Sharif.

Letters

Food shortage

The government has already declared that it is not possible for it to make the situation stable by importing food grains. I would request the government to activate the TCB immediately and import the essential food items. I think the government can deduct less important projects from the ADP. We are mostly dependent on India, so they get an opportunity to raise the prices of essential items.

Crime against humanity

Five years have passed since the US started the unjust war against Iraq. I was listening to BBC World Service a few days back. A twelve year old boy was interviewed. He said, " I woke up as usual. But this day was different because I was waken by the sounds of US jet fighters which were throwing missiles on my motherland. In this war I lost my father, my uncle, my two legs and of course my good days". The tale of this unfortunate boy was so tragic that I couldn't but weep. This is one of the many unfortunate tales. No one can deny that in the name of war against terrorists, the US is violating human rights in Iraq. This is nothing but injustice.

Smelly and dirty water

For the last one-month or so we the residents of Siddheswari area are being supplied with smelly and somewhat muddy-looking water for our daily consumption.

Love for birds

My family and I live in New York and were deeply moved by the story entitled, "An instance of love for birds" published in The Daily Star on March, 21, 2008, which described the humane acts of some of the students of the Dhaka University, namely, Tapan Kumar Gope, Aniruddha, Palash and Viki of Jagannath Hall and Dipendu and Arnab of Fazlul Haq Hall, in saving the lives of 160 stray kites that had fallen from trees near the Jagannath Hall following a storm.

Bangladeshi politics

Your article "Of people and politicians" by S. I. Zaman dated March 11, 2008 depicted an accurate picture of 'traditional' Bangladeshi politics. What the article lacked is putting proportional blame on the CTG and the media for failing to keep the pressure on, to change the so-called traditional politics of Bangladesh. The politicians who initiated some needed political reforms should have been given support, irrespective of their motive. In light of the fate befallen on the dissident voices during the autocratic rule of the two Begums, these politicians should have been given the benefit of doubt for their silence prior to 1/11. Instead, they faced corruption charges by ACC and were ridiculed by the media. Who in their correct state of mind would take the risk of antagonising these two powerful Begums and incur the wrath of their supporters if they do not get any leeway now? No wonder, quality and quantity of reformers are going down rapidly.

Pakistani journalist

It made me sad when I went through Mr. Abdul Mohsin's letter entitled "Pakistani Journalist" I published in The Daily Star on 21st March, 2008.

“Abuse” of patriotism

How patriotic are we--staring from the top tier of political leadership? Why we need, first, the neutral non-political caretaker government for conducting the general elections; and now, we are under the umbrella of emergency governance, monitored by the armed forces? Some basic traits of nobility and character are missing from our daily lives (starting with the core philosophy of life traits). Why do we patronize unfit leaders?

Truth commission

The government has decided to set up a truth and accountability commission to prevent the corrupt persons from participating in any election and holding public offices.

Collared tigers

I am writing in response to the letter you published from Mr. Ronald Halder (19 March) concerning the radio-collaring of tigers in the Sundarbans. I am the producer of the BBC film 'Ganges: Waterland' to which Mr Halder refers and I want to point out some of the gross inaccuracies in his letter:

Shibir at Shaheed Minar!

It's deeply disheartening to learn that RU students have been forced to see Shibir, student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami which is the most blatant anti-liberation element in the country, observing the Independence Day at the Shaheed Minar.

To the CA…

I want to thank your office and especially you for giving the Independence Day Award to the late Prof. GC Dev; it was long due and you did an excellent job to free us from the guilt of forgetting an eminent son of the soil, an intellectual and above all a fine human being.

Missing rail safety

The news is not only alarming but also indicates how desperate and diverse our enemies can be.

Crisis of confidence

The question whether national election will be held within December 2008 has raised doubts in the public mind. It is true that the Chief Adviser, the Chief Election Commissioner and the Army Chief strongly reconfirmed time and again the government's plan to hold the election on or before December 2008. Nevertheless, it's not easy to assume that things are moving according to the so called 'Roadmap' designed by the EC. Some of our national political leaders demanded announcement of a date of election to create an environment of trust. Will a declaration of election date put an end to the prevailing confusion and distrust ?

Rickshaws in the city

This is in response to Mr. Mohammed Rahat's letter titled "Rickshaws in the city", dated Sunday, March 3, 2008. He refers to the problem of rickshaws plying freely in the streets of Dhaka wreaking havoc within the city's traffic.

Film star's death

Film star Manna who dominated the country's cinema as a hero for more than two decades died of a heart attack very recently. His death was a complete shock to the cinema industry as well as millions of his fans.

Why this negligence?

I have read a special feature by Hana Shams Ahmed entitled 'Accident or negligence." It's about a girl named Afia. After reading the feature I have understood that the negligence of doctors and the diagnostic centre were responsible for her death.

City Centre crack

We are very concerned about the City Centre crack. The relevant authorities should be made accountable, irrespective of the backgrounds of the person(s) in charge of design, contract awarding, construction and those responsible for regular and routine supervision.

We are shocked

Once again, 25th March is here to remind me of the nightmare, my friends and I had experienced in Dhaka Medical College Hostel(Now Dr. Fazle Rabbi Hall). I have no intention to recount that, nor do I intend to retrace our course of action thereafter, 37 years ago.But, our hearts bleed, when we see that those, who continued with their normal activities under General Yahya Khan, and under Lt. Gen. Tikka Khan in the then government of Pakistan and that of the then East Pakistan, are at the helm of affairs again today.

Attention: BTRC

I got an email below a few hours back, from a Bangladeshi VoIP phone service provider to its customer about the service disruption.

No more media exploitation

Presentation of women in many TV commercials in a derogatory manner has brought to the forefront the issue of exploitation of women by the media. A good number of write-ups by renowned columnists, personalities and even by the readers have already appeared on the different leading dailies with regard to this issue. But as far as I'm concerned, a crucial point that can be very effective in order to address this has been missing all the way.

School bus

Needless to say, there is traffic jam in each and every road of the greater Dhaka city, especially where the schools are located. While the children from affluent families use cars to come to the school, the same is not true about the majority of them.

International

Bush support for Ukraine's Nato entry opens up alliance split

President George W Bush said yesterday the United States "strongly supports" Ukraine's bid to join Nato and told Russia it would have no right to veto the move.

Truce calms Iraq, weakens PM Maliki

Rockets fell on the Green Zone and random machine gun fire rang out Monday in the southern city of Basra as Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr sought to rein in his militia after a week of battles that claimed about 400 lives.

N Korea slams South’s Lee, rebuffs his overture

In its strongest attack yet against the new Seoul administration, North Korea yesterday for the first time directly denounced President Lee Myung-bak and blasted his key North Korean policies.

Israeli settlements to expand as Rice wraps up peace push

Israel on Monday announced plans to build hundreds of new houses in a Jewish settlement in annexed east Jerusalem, dealing a new blow to faltering Middle East peace talks.

Zimbabwe nervously awaits vote results

Zimbabwe anxiously awaited yesterday the first results from its presidential election as the opposition nosed ahead of Robert Mugabe's ruling party in the official count in the contest for parliament.

Pak cabinet announces committee on judges

The federal cabinet in its first meeting on Monday, decided to form a committee led by the law minister to make recommendations on the restoration of sacked judges.

Tibetans planning suicide attacks

China yesterday accused "Tibet independence forces" of planning to use suicide squads to trigger bloody attacks the latest in a string of accusations that have taken aim at supporters of the Dalai Lama.

Pre-polls violence rising in Nepal

In spiralling pre-poll violence in Nepal, scores of people were injured in fresh clashes between cadres of Nepali Congress and Left parties, prompting a worried Election Commission to urge parties to refrain from activities that will affect the credibility of the vote.

Finnish FM forced out after SMS Scandal

Finnish Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva was forced to quit his job yesterday after he admitted bombarding a stripper with mobile phone text messages of a sexual nature, his party announced on Tuesday.

40 protesters convicted in secret Myanmar trials: Amnesty

At least 40 protesters in Myanmar, including seven Buddhist monks, have been sentenced to prison after secret trials over last year's pro-democracy marches, Amnesty International said yesterday.

Two killed in militant attack in Pakistan

Pakistani Taliban militants ambushed a van carrying pro-government tribal elders in a northwestern region, killing two tribal leaders and wounding seven others on Tuesday, police said.

Nato strike kills three in Afghanistan

The Nato force in Afghanistan said yesterday it killed three insurgents in a late night air strike, but a government official insisted the men were farmers watering their crops.

Indian police Gun down 8 Maoists

Police killed eight Maoist rebels in a firefight in India's eastern Jharkhand state, an official spokesman said Tuesday.

Two foreign aid workers kidnapped in Somalia

Two UN aid workers, a Briton and a Kenyan, were abducted by armed men Tuesday in southern Somalia, the latest in a string of attacks targeting humanitarian operations in the restive country.

Mahathir urges PM Abdullah to resign

Veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday urged Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to resign following disastrous election results.

Oldest gold artifact unearthed in Americas is 4,000 yrs old

Archaeologists have unearthed a nearly 4,000-year-old necklace which shows that gold was being used as a status symbol in the Americas much earlier than previously thought, according to a study released Monday.

Britain to announce delay in Iraq troop cut

Britain is to announce Tuesday that there are no current plans to reduce troop levels in southern Iraq, following a recent flare-up around Basra, reports said.

'Immigrants putting strain on Britain'

Record levels of immigrants are putting too much strain on British public services and the government has overstated their positive economic impact, a parliamentary report said Tuesday.

Arts & Entertainment

Utsav: Celebrating Tagore in Delhi

Creativity came to the fore at the recent Utsav: Celebrating Tagore in the 21st Century, held in New Delhi. The venue, the India International Centre, buzzed with activity as Tagore lovers -- basically artistes and scholars -- from India, Bangladesh, Italy, Spain, Finland and Canada descended in droves to feast on a medley of Rabindra Sangeet, dance, films on the great bard as well as exhibitions and academic sessions.

"I've been showered with love and affection in this country" – Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay

Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, eminent Bengali author said that he has always found the hospitality and warmth of the Bangladeshi people endearing. On a visit to the Thakur Anukul Chandra Ashram at Hemayetpur, Pabna, the writer spoke to The Daily Star.

Banglavision celebrates second anniversary

On the occasion of its second anniversary, Banglavision has arranged a three-day long special programme starting from March 31. Highlights of the special programmes to be aired today:

Zainul's work sold at Christie's auction

In a recent auction of Christie's New York held on March 20th featuring South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art a work of Zainul Abedin was sold. The artwork originally belonged to the collection of the late Mr. Joseph S. Farland who served as an Ambassador of the United States to Pakistan from 1969 to 1972. The piece was in the possession of a private collector from Virginia before auctioned at Christie's.

Audition round of "Close Up 1" begins in Chittagong

Audition round of the talent hunt programme Close Up 1 Tomakei Khujchhey Bangladesh began in the port city yesterday at the Theatre Institute Chittagong (TIC) amidst much enthusiasm.

“Sagar Utsab” in Kuakata

A three-day long festival titled 'Sagar Utsab' was held recently in Kuakata, says a press release. The event was organised by the Committee of hotel, motel and resort owners and sponsored by banglalink. The local UP Chairman inaugurated the festival.

“Tairalir Bukey Miju Munshir Pao" staged at Narayanganj

To celebrate the Independence Day, Palakar staged a street play titled Tairalir Bukey Miju Munshir Pao at Kalapaharia Union, Narayanganj. It was the 52nd show of the play. Palakar usually stages the play on occasions like the Independence Day, Victory Day and May Day.

Nokia awards winners of “Rediscover The Night”

Nokia Rediscover The Night photography competition was held on March 28 and 29, says a press release. An exhibition of the winning photographs was held at the Drik Gallery. The competition started over a month ago -- users of Nokia Nseries sent their photographs via Internet and the best 30 were selected, with five winners each in six consecutive weeks.

OP-ED

Election: Free and fair

ELECTION may be considered as the gateway to democracy. Democracy is the rule of the people. Representatives of the people selected through a process of election exercise rule.

Proposed local government laws

BANGLADESH has a long history of local government (LG). Through this article we will try to discuss some of the critical issues pertaining to LG, and finally make a recommendation to the government.

Death-traps on rooftops

BILLBOARDS installed on rooftops in the city claimed some lives, and left several others injured, when they collapsed during stormy weather.

Public servant salaries

PUBLIC servants' salaries are in the news. The government is apparently considering raising the salaries of government servants in view of the recent rise in inflation, but many are concerned about the inflationary impact of salary adjustment. The Daily Star in its editorial (March 20) has rightly highlighted the folly of such a policy response, which may end up in the vicious circle of a wage-price spiral.

Star City

Nothing can stop cricket

They play cricket in a new style. They evolved their own rules and play it with a different type of ball.

Children's park finally freed from clutches of occupants

In the wake of public outcry, the Public Works Department (PWD) has recovered a children's park in Dhanmondi from unauthorised occupancy.

Make it toll-free, nationwide

It was about 3 in the afternoon last Sunday. A crowd collecting on a road at Paribagh caught the sight of a newsman who was on the way to his office.



The Daily Star

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