The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, September 2, 2014


News of: Thursday, 3rd of April, 2008

Front Page

Talks with parties likely this month

The caretaker government is likely to begin the much-awaited dialogue with political parties this month.

ACC files graft case against Khoka, family

The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday filed a case against Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka, his wife, son and daughter for amassing wealth illegally and concealing wealth information.

Talks for Hasina's parole on

Detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina is likely to be released on parole within a week for going to US for treatment.

Property's value 13 times his whole life's salary

Amir Khasru, building inspector and a class-three ranked employee, drew Tk 13.94 lakh salary during his 12-year service with Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) since 1995.

GE surprised at power bid cancellation

President of General Electric Power Company Stephen R Bolze has expressed surprise over Power Cell's rejection of their joint bids with Summit in two major power projects on grounds of the latter not having "enough" financial strength.

List of 1,200 war criminals to be disclosed soon

The War Crimes Facts Finding Committee today will announce a list of 1,200 war criminals including members of Pakistan occupation forces who were directly involved in mass killing during the Liberation War.

No let-up in rice price hike

The price of coarse rice rose further on both wholesale and retail markets in the capital yesterday while people continued to throng fair price outlets amid heavy downpour in desperate need of rice.

Stealthy death at night

A 17-month-old baby miraculously survived after a truck crashed into a slum house on the Dhaka-Barisal highway, killing all five members of his family in their sleep early yesterday morning.

CID may file charge sheet this month

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police is likely to submit charge sheet in the August 21, 2004 grenade attack case by the end of this month.

Nor'wester kills two in city

Two people were killed in the city during the nor'wester yesterday while over 100 others were injured in Manikganj.

Govt out to tarnish Zia family's image

A total of 126 Khaleda-loyalist former lawmakers of BNP yesterday in a joint statement said the government is trying to tarnish the image of late president Ziaur Rahman's family by going beyond its constitutional jurisdiction.

Govt trying best to overcome food crisis

Army chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said the country is experiencing a food crisis to some extent and the government is trying its best to overcome it.

ADP sees 6pc GDP growth this year

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected Bangladesh's GDP to grow by six percent and inflation to rise to nine percent in the current fiscal year, amid concerns of risks that could derail the projections.

Govt hands over historic official documents to Nat’l Archives

The government yesterday handed over the minutes, notices and summaries of cabinet meetings and some historic official documents of 11 years until 1982 to the National Archives.

'Varying opinions block natural resources exploration'

Finance and Planning Adviser Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday said difference in opinions has become a major obstacle to exploration of natural resources and their exploitation for generating power.

Govt to give incentives to top taxpayers in each dist

The government will award the top five taxpayers of every district of the country a special card that will enable them to get priority in availing state facilities.

Railway probe finds no proof of 'sabotage'

The Bangladesh Railway (BR) probe committee has found that the theft of 3,510 sleeper clips between Banani and Cantonment stations was not an act of sabotage.

SQ Chy says he is well-known 'razakar'

“I'm a razakar, I'm a well-known razakar," said Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, parliamentary affairs adviser to former prime minister Khaleda Zia, during his trial yesterday at a special court set up at the MP Hostel in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.

Heavy fighting kills 42 more rebels in Lanka

Government troops yesterday captured a strip of land from Tamil Tigers after heavy fighting across the island's north left 42 rebels and a soldier dead, the defence ministry said.

Irish PM announces resignation

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, who has come under growing pressure over alleged financial irregularities, announced Wednesday that he would stand down next month.

Pak army chief briefs PM on militancy

Pakistani premier Yousaf Raza Gilani was briefed by the country's army chief Wednesday as part of his new government's efforts to find political solutions to Islamic militancy, a statement said.

Wyoming governor to back Obama

Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, a former Clinton administration appointee, announced yesterday that he will support Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination.

India exempts Bangladesh

India yesterday exempted Bangladesh from its decisions to ban export of non-Basmati rice and increase the minimum export price of Basmati rice.

Editorial

Political party registration

THE Election Commission has relaxed further the rules concerning the registration of the political parties. Since the registration is mandatory for their participation in the next general election, the political parties have to meet the eligibility criteria to emerge as recognised parties.

War crimes trial and possible UN involvement

WE welcome the step taken by Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury. He has informed UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon of a growing sentiment in favour of a trial of war criminals in Bangladesh. That is a positive reflection of the thinking that appears to have come into government circles and surely will resonate with the people of the country. Additionally, the adviser's belief that Bangladesh's people will welcome the involvement of the world body in the trial only demonstrates the government's acknowledgement of the public demand for such a trial. It also reinforces our growing faith in the machinery of international law to bring to justice those who perpetrated the war crimes of 1971.

Recognising the Indian soldiers' sacrifice

AS a people we are forgetful. We forget a good turn done us by a friend as easily as we forget the transgressions committed against us. While the latter paints us in a good light, the former may cast us in the category of the ingrates. What is even worse is that we not only forget the benefaction, we suffer no qualms whatsoever in denying that the assistance was ever rendered at all. And this is what has happened insofar as the Indian contribution to our Liberation War is concerned. We have done everything to wipe out any reference of India to our liberation, particularly of the Indian soldiers, and any attempt to make amends for the error is castigated as anti-national.

Low-income groups cry for relief

IN spite of the pledges of dalbhat that the alliance government made in its election manifesto in 2001, the grand plan remained an illusion. Bad economics and ill-governance have contributed to recurring crises, which the country now continues to pay through people's suffering under the years of spiralling prices of essentials.

Dream ticket to misery ticket

NOTWITHSTANDING the near impossibility of overtaking Senator Barack Obama in all three categories (winning number of states, popular votes, and pledged delegates), Senator Hilary Clinton is vowing to take her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination (DPN) to the end -- the August 25-28 convention in Denver -- ignoring the "quit now" calls from party bosses.

Sports

Stars by name only

When Minhazul Abedin and Aminul Islam say that something is wrong, it must be serious.

A spoiled talent

A lot has been said about mercurial Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar, but one fact cannot be denied -- his talent has been wasted by a series of injuries, indiscipline and a doping controversy.

BOA polls today

It will be all Kutubuddin Ahmed versus Golam Quddus Chowdhury Babu when the much-awaited election of the Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) takes place today.

India in Kumble scare

India's hopes of finding a winning formula for Thursday's second Test against South Africa here suffered a setback due to fitness fears over skipper and key spinner Anil Kumble.

MU turn on the style

Goal scorers Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney notched up a 2-0 victory at Roma on Tuesday night to virtually assure Manchester United's berth in the Champions League semifinals.

'Ban will last two months'

Former Pakistan greats Tuesday condemned a five-year ban on fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, saying the country's new parliament should sack cricket board officials to save the sport in the country.

Zia fifth

Grand Master Ziaur Rahman finished fifth in the 3rd Kolkata Open Grand Master chess tournament that ended at the Gorky Sadan in Kolkata yesterday.

Akhtar feels 'victimised'

Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said Wednesday that he had been "victimised" by the country's cricket authorities after they banned him for five years for disciplinary problems.

BKSP champs in school cricket

BKSP lifted the Standard Chartered Young Tigers National School Cricket title when they won the rain-interrupted final against Faridpur Zila School by virtue of better average run-rate at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

SL eye clean sweep

Sri Lanka can kill the proverbial two birds with one stone when they face West Indies in the second and final Test, starting on Thursday at Queen's Park Oval.

Smith's hopes on pitch

South Africa skipper Graeme Smith is hoping the pitch for the second Test against India this week will be far more responsive than the benign strip provided in the series opener in Chennai.

Aamir to carry torch

Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan said Wednesday he would take part in the Olympic torch relay in India, spurning calls for a boycott but carrying "a prayer" for the Tibetan people.

After me, its Akhtar

Discarded all-rounder Abdul Razzaq yesterday accused the Pakistan Cricket Board of targeting senior players, the latest being Shoaib Akhtar, and trying to end their international careers.

German duo look at semi meet

German powerhouses Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen will look to record comfortable first leg leads in their UEFA Cup quarterfinals on Thursday and all but set up a tantalising semifinal between themselves.

Barcelona ride on Krkic

Barcelona's teenage striker Bojan Krkic gave his side the initiative in their Champions League quarterfinal after the Spaniards left Germany with a 1-0 win over Schalke 04 on Tuesday night.

Get Gomez for 50m euros

Germany striker Mario Gomez now has a 50 million euros (78 million US dollars) price tag as VfB Stuttgart bosses show their determination to keep their hot-shot who is set to star at Euro 2008.

Federer, Nadal advance

World number one Roger Federer rolled over unseeded Jose Acasuso 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 in a fourth-round match at the 3.8 million dollar ATP and WTA hardcourt tournament on Tuesday.

Moratti denies Jose rumours

Inter Milan owner Massimo Moratti denied on Wednesday persistent rumours that former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is due to take over the club's coaching reins from Roberto Mancini next season.

Div I cricket

Zahid Hossain and Mehedi Hasan slammed centuries as Agrani Bank registered a 93-run victory over Kathalbagan GCC in a rain-interrupted First Division Relegation League match at the City Club ground yesterday.

Anelka accepts his role

Nicolas Anelka insists he is willing to stay in the shadows at Chelsea because he knows he will get the chance to win the game's top prizes.

BOA lottery draw today

The draw of the Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) sports development lottery will be held today at the National Sports Council Gymnasium at 2pm.

'Verdict as expected'

Former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja has supported the decision to impose five-year ban on Shoaib Akhtar, saying the temperamental fast bowler had become a "problem child" and the verdict was just and expected.

Pompey face injury worries

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp is sweating on the fitness of left-back Hermann Hreidarsson ahead of Saturday's FA Cup semifinal against West Bromwich Albion at Wembley.

DU cricket

Tajul Islam struck 54 as Marketing defeated Public Administration by six wickets to become champions in the Dhaka University north zone inter-department cricket competition yesterday.

FA charges Ferguson

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and his assistant Carlos Queiroz were both charged with improper conduct by the Football Association (FA) here Wednesday.

Moulvibazar wants cricket

Members of the Moulvibazar Cricket Unnayan Parishad and cricket players have submitted a memorandum to local administration yesterday to press home their demand to immediately start the local cricket league.

Anelka accepts his role

Nicolas Anelka insists he is willing to stay in the shadows at Chelsea because he knows he will get the chance to win the game's top prizes.

Oddo to have knee surgery

Italy international defender Massimo Oddo was due to go undergo surgery on Wednesday to repair damage to his knee ligaments, according to the AC Milan website.

Maradona film opens in Berlin

Argentinian football icon Diego Maradona is the subject of a new film which is set to open Berlin's Football Film Festival this Friday.

Business

Grameenphone valued at $3.75b

Grameenphone, the largest mobile telephony company in Bangladesh, has told the capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Commission that it had a valuation of $3.75 billion (Tk 25,875 crore).

Companies cry foul over move to cut gas supply to dyeing, re-rolling units

Industrialists yesterday said if the government goes ahead with rationed gas supply to certain sectors, their business prospects would be seriously hit.

Be socially responsible, Mirza Aziz tells industry

Finance Adviser Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday appealed to businesses not to do anything that is socially irresponsible at a time when the country faces challenges of price hike of essentials.

Asia growth to cool in 2008 , says ADB

Asian growth is expected to cool this year, as the region grapples with a global downturn and soaring inflation expected to hit decade-high levels, the Asian Development Bank said Wednesday.

Eastern Bank zooms 36pc on dividend, rights news

Private sector Eastern Bank Ltd on Wednesday announced a handsome 34 per cent stock dividend and a 2:1 rights issue (one share for every two held) that helped the DSE General Index or DGEN close 51.58 points higher at 3,077.15 points compared with 3,025.57 on Tuesday.

Reap maximum benefits from intra-regional trade

The commerce adviser has called upon the businesspeople from both Bangladesh and India to reap maximum benefits from intra-regional trade, pointing to the huge trade gap between the two countries.

Scrap iron stockpiled as iron rod prices up

Around 4 lakh tonnes of scrap iron and scrap vessels, the raw material of iron rod, remain stockpiled in ship breaking yards here as prices of rod are going up.

Another set of incentives for Indian exporters

India has come out with another set of incentives for its exporters hit by appreciating Rupee, its national currency, by announcing refund of tax paid by them on services provided by customs house agents, banking and other financial services in connection with collection of export bills and export letters of credit and foreign commission agents.

Key lending rate in Bangladesh to average at 15pc in 2008: EIU

London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) expects the key lending rate in Bangladesh would average at 15 percent in 2008 as compared to 16 percent in 2007.

Shifting investment from stocks to commodities

High food prices around the world? Blame -- at least in part -- the investors who moved their money into commodities in the past five years, looking for better returns than they were getting from stocks and bonds.

It’s time to reform our financial services

I started my professional career in New York (USA), on completion of my Masters in early 1994, at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (Metlife) with the goal of becoming a stockbroker in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in the near future. The stringent requirements of entry into the financial services industry in the US meant passing two exams successfully for licensing purposes before I could even accept the offer from Metlife as a Sales Executive. It would take three more months training, followed by six months of insurance sales experience, and the passing of another exam, before I was to become a stockbroker a year later (despite having a Bachelors Degree in Finance and a Masters in Economics, both from US institutions).

Asian stocks rally amid hopes of ending to global credit crunch

Asian stocks mounted a strong rally Wednesday, tracking an overnight surge on Wall Street as investors hoped the worst of the global credit crisis was over.

House Building Finance Corporation net profit Tk135.36cr

Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation (BHBFC) earned a net profit of Tk135.36 crore in 2006-07 fiscal, Tk11.26 crore more than the previous corresponding fiscal year.

Cotton yarn sale in China picks up

Yarn is getting short of supply in China, but the cotton/yarn price has not risen so much.

Citibank India’s special offer for expatriates

Citibank India yesterday announced the launch of a comprehensive offering of banking, financial solutions and other relevant value-added services for the rapidly growing expatriate community in India, says a press release.

MD of Venture Investment Partners

Md Harun-Al-Rashid has recently joined the Venture Investment Partners Bangladesh Ltd, a venture capital finance company, as managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO).

IMF cuts 2008 global growth forecast to 3.7 percent

The International Monetary Fund has cut its 2008 global growth forecast to 3.7 percent from 4.1 percent previously, a press report said Wednesday.

Oil prices snap three-day losses, hit $102

World oil prices rose on Wednesday, snapping a three-day run of losses to breach 102 dollars per barrel as traders looked to fresh supply news in key crude producer Nigeria.

Philippine police asked to clamp down on rice hoarders

Philippine authorities on Wednesday ordered police to arrest rice hoarders and illegal traders as the country struggles to cope with rising prices of the key food staple.

Weak economy pushes auto sales off a cliff

The troubled US economy weighed down auto sales in March as skittish consumers cut back on purchases, especially of big luxury cars and trucks, sales reports showed Tuesday.

Russian parliament enacts law to curb foreign investment in energy

Russia's parliament on Wednesday adopted a law limiting access for foreign investors to key sectors of the economy including the oil and gas industries, in a third and final reading.

Metropolitan

Call to build a nation free from injustice, corruption

The two-day National Youth Festival styled 'Tarunner Mela' ended in the capital yesterday with a call to work together to build a nation free from injustice, inequality and corruption.

Dhaka firm to protect rights of people with disabilities

First World Autism Awareness Day and 10th National Day for the People with Disabilities was observed in the country yesterday with a view to creating awareness about autism and developing the autistic children through behavioural intervention.

Some technical issues yet to be resolved

The much-awaited Dhaka-Kolkata passenger train service is likely to kick-start on April 14 (Pahela Baishakh) as the two sides talked on a positive note about the formal run of the Moitree Express on the first day of the Bangla New Year.

UN urged to protect rights of migrant workers

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury met with UN General Assembly President Serjan Kerim at the UN headquarters on Tuesday and underscored the need for the UN to play a greater role in protecting the rights and promoting the welfare of migrant workers.

Action taken against 15,405 cops for corruption: IGP

Punitive action has been taken against 15,405 policemen from the rank of superintendent of police (SP) to constable for their involvement in corruption since the changeover in January 11 last year.

Press remains free under emergency

President Iajuddin Ahmed said the government is extremely cautious of applying the emergency in freedom of expression.

WPB to check soaring prices of essentials

The Workers' Party of Bangladesh (WPB) will soon form Jono Protirodh Committees (people's resistance committees) across the country to check soaring prices of essentials.

Road accidents kill 8, injure 57

At least eight people were killed and 57 others injured in separate road accidents in Pabna, Rangpur, Rajbari, Sirajganj, Lalmonirhat and Khagrachhari yesterday and on Tuesday night.

Italian grant for ultra-poor women

The foreign ministry of Italy has announced a five-lakh-euro financial grant for enhancing food consumption and livelihoods of ultra-poor women in Bangladesh, as the country now reels out of natural disasters.

10th CHT cultural festival begins today

The four-day 10th Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Indigenous Cultural Festival begins on the premises of Tribal Culture Institute in Rangamati hill town today.

Abed architect of modern and beautiful world

Nobel laureate Prof Amartya Sen has said Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of Brac, is one of the architects of a modern and beautiful world.

2nd Dhaka Int'l Edn Fair begins today

A four-day-long Second Dhaka International Education Fair 2008 begins in the capital today, says a press release.

AI, FSB welcome govt initiative

Amnesty International (AI), a London-based human rights watchdog, and Forum for Secular Bangladesh (FSB) yesterday welcomed the government initiative to involve the United Nations in the process for the trial of war criminals.

Preparations afoot to celebrate Pahela Baishakh

The Institute of Fine Arts of Dhaka University has begun its preparations for celebrating the Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bengali New Year -- the biggest festival of Bengalis.

Warrants for arrest of Haji Selim, his wife

A Dhaka court yesterday issued warrants for arrest of 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.

Rohingyas clash with cops

Clash between police and Rohingya refugees at Nayapara near Teknaf yesterday left at least 25 people injured, including 10 police and Ansars.

5,000 Biman staffs submit wealth info

More than 5,000 former and present officials of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Limited have submitted their wealth statements to the taskforce against serious crimes.

Motia Chy out of danger

The medical board formed for the treatment of Awami League presidium member Motia Chowdhury said she is out of danger now and advised her full rest, a press release signed by Monaem Sarkar said.

Kabir made envoy to France

M Enamul Kabir has been appointed the next Bangladesh Ambassador to France.

Release of Hasina, Khaleda demanded

Three hundred Islamic Ulamahs yesterday urged the government to release two top leaders of Awami League (AL) and BNP, and declare the date of general election.

Prof Imtiaz new VC of IUT

Prof Dr M Imtiaz Hossain was appointed vice chancellor of Islamic University of Technology (IUT) at Gazipur, a subsidiary of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), says a press release.

Action against two factories for polluting environment

Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday conducted raid on different industrial units in Savar as part of its drive against environment polluting mills and factories.

70pc merit quota in govt service demanded

Students of Dhaka University (DU), who have been demonstrating on the campus under the banner of Quota Reform Movement (QRM), yesterday demanded implementation of 70 percent merit quota in government service recruitment.

Result of junior scholarship exam today

The result of junior scholarship examination-2007 in Dhaka region will be published today, a handout said yesterday.

Chhatra Front blasts CU's double shifts

The Samajtantrik Chhatra Front (SCF) yesterday said the Chittagong University (CU) is becoming a business institution by introducing double shifts, says a press release.

Final round of first Stamford biz quiz contest held

The final round and prize giving ceremony of First Business Quiz Competition-2008 was held on the Dhanmondi campus of Stamford University Bangladesh on April 1, says a press release.

JU VC seeks cooperation for congenial academic atmosphere

The newly appointed Vice Chancellor of Jahangirnagar University (JU) Prof Muniruzzaman has sought cooperation of teachers, syndicate members and officials for creating congenial academic atmosphere on the campus, says a press release.

Cuta election April 15

Awami League-backed 'Yellow' panel and four-party alliance-backed 'White' panel candidates submitted nomination papers yesterday for the Chittagong University Teachers' Association (Cuta) election scheduled to be held on April 15.

Three held with huge foreign currencies

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested three alleged Hundi traders from a house at Segunbagicha in the city last night and seized about Tk 16.61 lakh, 4,500 euros, 1,330 US dollars and currencies of several other countries.

1.50 kg heroin recovered, five arrested in Benapole

The Directorate of Narcotic Control (DNC) officials in separate drives yesterday recovered 1.50 kilogramme of heroin from Benapole bazaar and arrested five persons in this connection.

Zonta Dist-25 governor arrives today

Manthri Parera, governor of Zonta International District-25 comprising Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, arrives in Dhaka today on a four-day visit, says a pres release.

Paediatric Assoc executives

Shishu Mattri Institute Executive Director Prof Abdul Hannan and Dhaka Shishu Hospital Medicine Department Prof Md Ruhul Amin were elected president and general secretary of Bangladesh Paediatric Association (BPA) on March 21, says a BPA press release.

Justice Murshed's death anniversary today

Today is the 29th death anniversary of former Chief Justice Syed Mahbub Murshed, an eminent jurist, says a press release.

2 maund hemp seized

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police on Tuesday recovered two maunds of hemp worth about Tk 2.5 lakh from a truck on Moulvibazar-Dhaka highway near Jalalabad Gas Distribution office at Moulvibazar town.

One killed in roof collapse

A man was killed when a large chunk from the roof of a restaurant on DB road at Gaibandha town fell off on Tuesday night.

National

50pc people in Rangamati out of food security

"Only God knows what we will eat after a week. The Tk 1000 given by the government will provide for only seven days' food," said Samor Singh Chakma, an indigenous farmer while receiving the relief money at Thegamukh, a frontier village in Barkal upazila in Tangamati district.

15 evicted indigenous families in Patnitala finally get land deeds

Finally, Naogaon district administration yesterday distributed deeds of permanent settlement of about 1.33 acres of khas land among 15 landless indigenous families in North Kazipara in Dibor union under Patnitala upazila.

Indigenous children learn in mother tongue

Children of indigenous communities are leaning in their mother tongue at 60 pre-primary schools set up in remote hills in Khagrachhari with assistance of Save the Children, a UK-based donor organisation.

RU students demand action against law enforcers

Several hundred students of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday staged demonstration on the campus demanding exemplary punishment of the law enforcers who allegedly beat up a RU student on Tuesday night.

Gaibandha traders' noble gesture

Traders in Gaibandha today start selling rice at Tk 25 per kg for the poor and jobless people in remote village areas.

Manikganj rally vows to resist drug menace

Speakers at an anti-drug rally in Manikganj yesterday vowed to do their best to root out criminal activities and build a society free from drugs, corruption and violence.

Team visits sites for Barisal university

A five-member team led by of planning ministry Joint Secretary AZM Shafiqul Alam visited different spots for selecting sites to construct a general public university and an engineering college in Barisal according to the decision of the meeting of the advisory council.

Godown official held for fertiliser scam in Gaibandha

An in-charge of buffer stock fertiliser godown was suspended yesterday and arrested for alleged misappropriation of fertiliser.

Letters

Dhaka's receding groundwater

Your front-page report published on 26 March, based on BADC studies, contains a very serious and relevant piece of information, that needs to be addressed at the soonest. It can no longer be ignored and allowed to go out of hand; for it directly relates to availability of drinking water for the large urban population of Dhaka.

Poverty

In Bangladesh, there are many types of core problems! One of these is malnutrition. Poverty is the major cause of malnutrition which results from inadequate intake of foods. That means it is mainly prevalent among poor children. The usual saying is that 'poverty is a curse', especially in developing countries. Actually it's not a curse, the main curse is our mentality. This curse can be overcome if the affluent realise that they have a duty towards society.

Potatoes

Consumption of potato as an alternative staple for our country is really a good idea. You can find tons of statistics on its use in the western world as staple food.

March 26 celebrations in Fiji

Far from the motherland and thousands of miles away, here in Fiji (popularly known as “Paradise on the earth”) we, a few Bangladeshis, celebrated the 37th Independence Day with great zeal and enthusiasm. As 26 March was a working day here, so we decided to celebrate the day earlier on 23 March, Sunday which is the weekend here.

Books

The practice of reading novels and poems among the students is diminishing day by day. Though every school teacher refers his/her students to read such books, it is very surprising that many of our schools do not have a proper library. Especially, the collection of Bengali books in the libraries of English Medium schools is poor.

Trial of war criminals

People, who witnessed the days of 1971, can understand how horrible an ever known city could look when it was in the midst of a terrible war. People who lost their relatives and belongings can understand the pain of losing the near and dear ones.

The indispensable rickshaw

Rickshaws continue to be banned on so-called VIP roads. Have traffic jams eased or ceased? Are the ex-rickshaw users happy? Are rickshaw pullers and their families well-fed? Are traffic cops' duties easier? Do motorized transport get free access on rickshaw free roads? The answer to all is a resounding no!

Dual citizenship

I wholeheartedly welcome the judicious decision of the Chief Adviser of the caretaker government of Bangladesh to amend the existing legal framework on dual citizenship of Bangladeshi Britons, so that they no longer have to forfeit Bangladeshi citizenship as soon as they become British citizens, unless they want to relinquish it voluntarily. Not having to reapply for retaining the Bangladeshi citizenship will, doubtless, be a privilege for the first generation Bangladeshi Britons to avert a bureaucratic quagmire replete with requirements, that oftentimes discourage them from venturing beyond a “no visa-required” (NVR) seal duly stamped on their host country passport before visiting the sending country as veritable outsiders looking in. It may, very well, generate a sense of entitlement among the post-immigrant generation in the Bangladeshi Diaspora and facilitate them to develop a “transnational social field” incorporating their country of origin. I will plead that this privilege be extended to the Bangladeshi-Americans as well.

International

Vote 'no' on charter, says Suu Kyi's party

Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party urged voters on Wednesday to reject a military-backed draft constitution, saying it was undemocratic and drafted under the junta's direct control.

S Korea urges North to halt hostility

South Korea on Wednesday rejected North Korean demands for an apology over remarks by its top general, and told Pyongyang to stop raising tensions on the peninsula.

US govt memo authorised extreme interrogation methods of detainees

A newly declassified 2003 Justice Department memo gave US military interrogators broad authority to use extreme methods in questioning al-Qaeda detainees, US media said yesterday.

Bush urges allies to send more troops to Afghanistan

US President George W Bush warned yesterday that "innocent civilians will pay the price" if Nato fails to send more troops to Afghanistan to snuff out "terrorists" still lurking there.

Zimbabwe opposition claims victory

Zimbabwe's opposition on Wednesday pre-empted the official results of the country's general elections, declaring its leader Morgan Tsvangirai had delivered a knock-out blow to President Robert Mugabe.

Endgame for Mugabe

Whisper it quietly, but Zimbabwe may be witnessing the final days (if not hours) in office of the only leader it has ever known. While the people of this ruined country waited last night for their electoral voice to be heard, reports from high-level talks between aides of Robert Mugabe and the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai suggested they were edging closer to accomplishing the previously impossible.

New Pak govt bares fangs for showdown with Musharraf

Signalling that it is ready for a showdown with President Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's new government has said "extra-constitutional steps" taken by him during emergency rule last year are not part of the Constitution as parliament is yet to endorse them.

Democrats undecided how to end war

Democratic leaders returned from their spring break this week to declare that Iraq is in turmoil and that they will continue to try to force President Bush to end the war. But facing another uphill battle, party members are undecided on whether to try to cut off money or take a softer approach that is more likely to succeed.

NWFP Assembly slams CIA chief's statement

The NWFP Assembly on Tuesday passed a unanimous resolution calling on the federal government to take serious note of a statement made by United States CIA Chief Michael Hayden.

Two Kashmir rebel commanders killed

Indian troops have dealt a fresh blow to Kashmir's main rebel group by killing two of its top commanders during a gun battle that also left a soldier and a civilian dead, police said yesterday.

AQ Khan calls his detention 'illegal', demands freedom

Pakistan's disgraced atomic scientist AQ Khan, under house arrest for the past four years after admitting to proliferating nuclear technology, has said that he is under "illegal detention" and hopes that the new government will soon lift restrictions on his movement.

Japan okays transit visa for Dalai Lama

The Japanese government has granted a transit visa to the Dalai Lama, who plans to make a stopover in Japan when he changes planes at Narita Airport on a trip to the United States, government sources said Tuesday.

12 killed in Pak building collapse

At least 12 people were killed and 26 others injured yesterday when a two-storey building in central Pakistan collapsed after gas cylinders inside exploded, police said.

'Astro-comb' helps search for Goldilocks Planet

Astronomers looking for Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars have been given a tool that should hugely help their quest, a study published on Wednesday in Nature said.

N Korea exporting rockets to Myanmar

North Korea has started exporting multiple-launch rockets to military-ruled Myanmar, after the two nations agreed to normalise ties last year, a Japanese television report said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Promising dancers perform at Shilpakala Academy

Though for the last three years the Department of Dance and Music, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) has been arranging dance programmes to promote promising dancers of the country, for the first time the department has arranged a talent hunt programme.

Dhaka Padatik Theatre Festival begins

To celebrate its 28th anniversary, Dhaka Padatik has arranged a 10-day long theatre festival. The festival began yesterday at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) in which five local and two Indian troupes will stage nine plays. Eminent playwright Syed Shamsul Haq inaugurated the festival.

Audition round of "Channel i Shera Kantho" begins in Chittagong and Barisal

The preliminary audition round of the talent hunt Channel i Shera Kantho '08 will begin in Chittagong and Barisal from tomorrow (April 4). Competitors registered in these divisions should attend the audition round on April 4, 5 and 6. Twenty judges in ten booths will evaluate the contestants' performances from 9am to 5pm.

Radharaman Utsab '08 at TSC

Students United For Research in Musical Activities (SURMA), an organisation devoted to collecting and preserving rural art forms, arranged “Radharaman Utsab '08” to draw attention to the works of the bard Radharaman Dutta (1834-1915) at the TSC Auditorium, Dhaka University (DU) on April 1.

Weeklong theatre festival in Tangail

A seven day-long theatre festival featuring plays by the prominent dramatist Golam Ambia Nuri was inaugurated in Tangail on March 29.

Asad Chowdhury, Amjad Hossain and Anwara Syed Haque receive Uro Shishu Shahitya Puroshkar '08

Eminent filmmaker, director and actor Amjad Hossain; psychiatrist and author Dr. Anwara Syed Haque and poet Asad Chowdhury have received this year's Uro Shishu Shahitya Puroshkar organised by Bangladesh Shishu Shahitya Sangstha, says a press release.

Helen Mirren to play Mrs. Tolstoy

Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer will star together in The Last Station, a biopic of Russian lit giant Leo Tolstoy. Michael Hoffman's movie, based on the Jay Parini's 1990 novel, will cover the last year of Tolstoy's life. Plummer is playing Tolstoy and Mirren will play his wife Sofia.

Sensuous strokes presenting the mundane

“Dried up flower petals, worn out stalks of flowers, piling of chopped water-melons -- these are my subjects," says Shahid Kabir, whose exhibition is currently on at the Gallery Chitrak. Apart from these are faces of slum children and bathing working women. Out of simple themes he creates something moving and beautiful.

OP-ED

Unforgettable Justice Murshed

I first met Justice Murshed, most probably in the mid-fifties, at a national seminar where issues like interrelationship between nationalism and culture were discussed and debated. He spoke brilliantly. His talk displayed his firm grasp on many dimensions of the subject, intellectual breadth and range, and ability to develop his point of view through lucid logical arguments bolstered by quotations from great writers from several languages, many erudite references and wonderfully felicitous phrases. It was a treat to listen to him. One could easily see that he was interested in the subject he spoke. He spoke seriously and with conviction, and that there was true learning. I was also a participant in the seminar, and later he complimented me on my paper. It was most gracious of him and a source of encouragement to me.

Women's empowerment

BEFORE discussing women's empowerment, let us glance over some facts on the economic and political decision-making status of women worldwide. Only 1% of the world's assets are in the name of women. Men in Arab states have 3.5 times the purchasing power of their female counterparts. 70% people in abject poverty across the world -- living on less than $1per day -- are women. Women's participation in managerial and administrative work is around 33% in the developed world, 15% in Africa, and 13% in Asia/Pacific.

Failed expectations to renewed opportunity

WITH over 60% of the Bangladesh labour force being employed in agriculture, accounting for 35% of the national GDP, it is a tragic irony that hunger and poverty are highest among those who grow food.

Shahidul Zahir: An exceptional public servant

SHAHIDUL Haque (who used the pseudonym, Shahidul Zahir), Secretary-in-Charge, Hill Tracts Affairs, passed away last March 23 at the age of 55, due to a cardiac arrest.

Star Chittagong

2000 prisoners to cram into 1200-men cells on first day

Three five-storey buildings have been constructed at Chittagong Central Jail to ease the congestion of prisoners to a great extent.

Two ministries at loggerheads over new CDA organogram

The finance ministry and the housing and public works ministry are at loggerheads over approval of the new organisational structure (organogram) of Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) with a full-fledged planning wing.

The Week That Was

Call to increase cultural activities
Speakers at a discussion underscored the need for increasing cultural activities at regional level throughout the country and patronising the artistes working at grassroots level for developing the national culture and heritage.


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