The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, December 21, 2014


News of: Sunday, 6th of April, 2008

Front Page

Govt's food distribution, stock targets off track

The public food distribution target for the current fiscal is very likely to be left unmet while the possibility is also very slim of building a 10 lakh tonne government food bank in the coming boro season.

Govt working on modalities

The government is now working out the modalities of its much-awaited dialogue with political parties to hold a focussed discussion with them.

AL warns of tougher agitation for Hasina

The Awami League (AL) yesterday launched a mass signature campaign demanding release of party chief Sheikh Hasina and warned of tougher agitation programmes if the caretaker government does not free her immediately.

CA asks DCs to start polls groundwork

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday told the district administrators to focus on laying the groundwork for the general elections to be held by the end of this year.

Khaleda loyalists want her release before talks

The pro-Khaleda faction of BNP may not take part in the proposed dialogue with the government unless its chairperson Khaleda Zia is released.

25 more BDR fair price shops in city soon

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) is going to open 25 more fair price outlets in Dhaka to sell rice as the number of buyers is increasing every day in the wake of shortage and price hike of coarse rice.

Moeen bins rice crisis

Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday dismissed the notion of any rice crisis in the country, saying "a crisis has been created".

DCs suggest reintroduction of rationing

Deputy commissioners (DCs) from across the country yesterday suggested reintroduction of rationing system and increasing salaries for government employees to enable them cope with the spiralling prices of essentials.

Govt offices flout archiving rules

Government offices are not handing over public records, which have crossed 25 years, to the National Archives although there is a law that specifically says the archives will preserve those and ensure people's access to them.

Upazila polls not after nat'l election

Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hussain yesterday said Upazila Parishad elections would not be held after national polls anyway.

First batch of students welcomed in Ctg

Asian University for Women (AUW) yesterday accorded a reception to its first batch of students promising to provide world-class education to young women in Asia and groom future leaders of the globe.

Passengers go berserk at Biman office in Sylhet

A group of agitated passengers of Biman flights vandalised computers and windowpanes at the Biman office in Sylhet city yesterday morning as the flight schedule was cancelled several times in the last five days.

BDR, BSF bosses talk hosts of bilateral issues tomorrow in Delhi

A six-day border conference between Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and India's Border Security Force (BSF) at director general level will begin in New Delhi tomorrow.

Living on potatoes

Family members of day labourer Abdul Hakim of Nilkanta village under sadar upazila have been solely on boiled potato for the last two days as the price of rice has gone beyond his reach.

Govt asked to seek emergency foreign aid

Political leaders and civil society members yesterday called upon the government to seek emergency international aid to save people facing severe food crisis due to skyrocketing prices.

AK47 rifle, bullets seized in Kushtia

Police recovered arms and ammunition, including an AK47 assault rifle, from Bongram village in Kushtia's Khoksha upazila yesterday.

DU convocation tomorrow

Dhaka University (DU) units of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wings of Awami League and BNP, will boycott the 44th convocation of the university tomorrow.

US says Indian nukes vulnerable to terror targets

India is vulnerable to its nuclear material being targeted by terrorists but this danger is no higher than faced by many other countries including the United States, a senior Bush administration official has said.

8 killed as police fire on Tibetan protesters in China

Police fired on hundreds of protesters in a Tibetan area of western China, killing eight people, overseas activist groups said. State media reported one government official was seriously injured in what it called a riot.

4 killed in Haiti demo over price hike

Four people were shot dead and some 20 injured Friday on the second day of demonstrations in Haiti against rising prices and poverty, a politician told AFP.

Missile defense deal unlikely in Russia

President Bush began a farewell call in Russia yesterday as the White House abandoned hope of a major agreement on missile defence during weekend talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Editorial

Long holidays, empty classrooms

The thought that children in Bangladesh spend less time in school than children in other SAARC nations is dispiriting. With the state of overall education being a live public issue for the past many years, this latest bit of information only reveals what should have been obvious to all and why action on it should have been taken earlier. We cannot but begin doing that by noting the scarce or non-existent classroom interaction between teachers and pupils at present. And that is precisely where the problems begin. With such a staggering number of holidays, 137 days to be exact (apart from unscheduled ones owing to political agitation, natural calamities and the like), such interaction can only be wishful thinking. Whatever classroom engagement there is at present is abysmally low and does not even come up to regional standards.

Arbitrary newsprint price hike

The impetuous raising of price of newsprint by local manufacturers goes down as a bad example of market manipulation in absence of any competition. Clearly, the manufacturer has cashed in on its hold on the monopoly market. The cost of newsprint accounts for 50 percent of the total cost of production of a newspaper; therefore, the price hike has actually struck at the core of the industry. We fail to understand when the previously imposed 30 percent duty on imported newsprint has been drastically reduced by the government, why must the local manufacturers take such arbitrary decision on grounds that are not justifiable. We protest the move with the strongest of words.

It is never too late

CRIME and punishment have attracted the attention of the people from the dawn of history. While in the earlier years punishment was more connected with scriptures, the advent of modernism gave rise to the recognition by humanity that it is responsible for law, both political and moral, and, by extension, the state of the world. Even the constitution of the Nuremberg Tribunal was criticised on the grounds that without law to fit the cases the Tribunal would essentially pronounce ex-post facto political judgment.

A Bali diary

THE rich are different from you and me; they have the same airport. The first casualty of globalisation is identity. Every airport in the developed, or wannabe-developed, world looks the same: a confusion of corridors, conveyer belts, junk shops and a profusion of winding queues at immigration. You can recognise a nation from the look in the queues. There is faintly hidden arrogance on the faces of officials in receiving countries, and barely-disguised relief in the manner of passengers chasing some better horizon than their native land can provide. Delhi is somewhere in the middle, there is both ebb and flow.

Nepal elections: A great event

NEPAL is set for the landmark elections on April 10, with all eyes set on the voting that comes following a phase of uncertainty and instability, promising a new chapter for the nation. Contending parties have great stakes in the polls, and the balloting has special significance -- rather than just producing victors and vanished. The election atmosphere has already been marred by an acrimonious climate, and violence has raised fears. However, just ahead of the voting, things by and large still look conducive for a credible election. The electioneering has reached a crescendo, with all keeping their fingers crossed about the shape of things to come.

Sports

Jamie's guarded optimism

While his predecessor loved to say during the last year of his tenure that the players should go into a one-day match with win in their mind, Jamie Siddons only hopes that his charges show some improvement.

BFF meeting on election today

The executive committee of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) meet at the federation headquarters today to discuss election issues.

Reeza stars for visitors

South Africa Cricket Academy batsman Reeza Hendricks rode Nazmul Hossain's fiery spell to score a brilliant 131 on the second day of the four-day match against GP-BCB National Cricket Academy at the Shamsul Huda Stadium in Jessore yesterday.

Local Snippets

Rajbari, Dinajpur, Rajshahi, Khulna and Pabna advanced to the quarterfinals of the Pepsi Women's inter-district volleyball tournament by winning their respective matches at the Volleyball stadium yesterday.

Proteas thrash India

South Africa relied on their pacemen's disciplined performances to thrash India by an innings and 90 runs on the third day of the second Test here on Saturday.

Lanka's late fightback

Sri Lanka clawed their way back into the second Test on Friday, snapping up six West Indies wickets in the final session to leave the match finely balanced.

Gayle calms rookie

Newcomer Sewnarine Chattergoon has recognised the calming influence West Indies captain Chris Gayle brought to his first innings in Test cricket against Sri Lanka on Friday.

Ishant's fitness test today

Ishant Sharma is set to undergo a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore on Sunday in order to determine his availability for the third Test against South Africa in Kanpur, which starts on April 11. The team for the final match is expected to be selected at the end of the Ahmedabad Test.

Sachin out of 3rd Test

India's injured star batsman Sachin Tendulkar will miss the third and final Test against South Africa, officials said on Saturday.

Provat ride on Tutul

Tutul's four-wicket haul powered Provat Sangha to a six-wicket victory over Bangladesh Cricket Academy (BCA) in the Col Malek Smriti First Division League at the Shaheed Miraj-Tapan Stadium here yesterday.

Exciting draw at Emirates

Arsenal's faint Premier League title hopes were all but extinguished as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Liverpool on Saturday.

Ronaldinho out for season

Barcelona forward Ronaldinho will miss the rest of the season after tearing a muscle in his right leg, the club said in a statement on Friday.

'Ban fixer for life'

The player at the centre of allegations that he helped to fix a match in Britain in the past two years must be named, shamed and banned for life, according to Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager.

Kanu makes the difference

Nwankwo Kanu's second-half goal saw Portsmouth into their first FA Cup final for 69 years as they beat one of his former clubs West Bromwich Albion 1-0 in the first of this weekend's Wembley semifinals here on Saturday.

Ferguson backs C'Ron

Sir Alex Ferguson put up a robust defence of Cristiano Ronaldo last night, saying he was bewildered by the accusations of Roma's David Pizarro that the Manchester United player did "spiteful things" to humiliate his opponents.

Keane still bitter over MU exit

Sunderland manager Roy Keane revealed Saturday that he was still bitter over how he was treated before his exit from Manchester United.

Berlusconi eyes Ronaldinho

AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi admitted on Saturday that he would love to sign Brazil's 2005 world footballer of the year Ronaldinho from Barcelona.

Hyypia commits to Liverpool

Liverpool's Finnish defender Sami Hyypia confirmed Saturday that he has agreed a deal to stay at Anfield until the summer of 2009.

Nadal in final

World number two Rafael Nadal will face fourth-seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko in the Sony Ericsson Open final after semifinal victories on Friday.

Heroes take 1-0 lead

The Lahore Badshahs' unconquered reign was finally brought to a close, as the Heroes defended a target of 144 with a disciplined bowling effort to go 1-0 up in the best-of-three finals. Fortunately for the Badshahs, they can still recover from the blip, but the loss couldn't have come at a worse time.

Mahela disappointed

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene had mixed feelings about the way his side performed on the second day of the second and final Test against West Indies on Friday at Queen's Park Oval.

KCA clinch U-13 title

In an all-Kalabagan Cricket Academy final, the main academy team beat the A side by 22 runs to clinch the Boost Power Cup under-13 cricket tournament at the Kalabagan ground yesterday.

PCB warns Lawson

Demanding an explanation for his statements on the ban imposed on fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, the Pakistan Cricket Board has warned chief coach Geoff Lawson against making further comments on issues which were "not in his domain".

Langford-Smith retires from int'l cricket

Ireland bowler David Langford-Smith has announced his retirement from international cricket.

3 new faces in NZ team

New Zealand will take a reconstructed batting line-up to England after dumping three batsman from the side that lost the series in Napier last month. Matthew Bell, Mathew Sinclair and Grant Elliott have been cut from the squad while Stephen Fleming has retired, leaving Aaron Redmond, Daniel Flynn and Peter Fulton chances to cement spots.

Fan dies during Test

A spectator collapsed and died on Friday while watching action on the second day of the second and final Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka at Queen's Park Oval.

Business

Knitwear output may drop 20pc

Production of knitwear, the country's single largest export item, will fall at least 20 percent if the government rations gas to industrial sectors, manufacturers warned yesterday.

Pharma majors seek export help

Pharmaceutical companies that posted a stellar 47 percent growth in exports -- $28.15 million -- in 2006-07 -- say Bangladeshi missions abroad need to help more to promote their products, especially when the country has a poor image in the global marketplace.

Local banks blame high cost of fund, bad loans for low profit

The profit per employee of foreign commercial banks' (FCBs) has seen a dramatic 26 percent CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) between 2001 and 2006 compared with a meager 3.64 percent for local private banks. State-owned banks, with huge accumulated losses and high non-performing loans, have been posting losses in the last two years.

US job losses deepen as 80,000 posts axed

US employers cut a surprisingly large 80,000 jobs in March, the biggest decline in employment in five years, a government report showed Friday in another ominous sign for economy.

India inflation hits 3-year high of 7pc, fans rate hike fears

Indian inflation accelerated to a more than three-year high of seven percent, data showed Friday, fanning fears of interest rate hikes that could slow growth further in Asia's third-largest economy.

India lifts incentives on Basmati rice export

India has withdrawn incentives on the export of Basmati rice to increase supply and put a halt on the rising prices of the premium foodgrain in domestic market.

Hike in steel, brick prices hits govt’s infrastructure projects

Blaming the hike in prices of construction materials for the slow pace of the annual development programme (ADP), stakeholders have suggested a halt to traders' monopoly in the local market of construction materials and government's support to mass import of these materials.

Donors meet Tuesday to design development schemes in Bangladesh

Government officials, academics and civil society representatives will meet here Tuesday to launch a new project aimed at better understanding the long-term effects of anti-poverty interventions in the country.

Hybrid rice’s struggle to feed the hungry millions

Abdul Latif, 50, is not sure if he should stick to cultivating paddy using hybrid seeds sold by private companies. A reasonably well-off farmer in Baiddya Bari village in Fulbaria, Mymensingh district, he has been using hybrid seeds for the last five years in almost 7 acres of the total 9 acres he has. "I am worried if I am risking my children's farming prospects in the coming years. What will they do if seeds become unaffordable in the future,” says Latif, lost in thoughts about the financial security of his family, even as the country grapples with low yields and a rising population.

Smile... it's good for business

As I checked in at the Taj President, Mumbai, the smiling receptionist handed me the forms to fill in. I was tired, having awoken early to catch the flight to Mumbai, and of course the one and half hour drive to the hotel added to the weariness. The smile lifted the spirits as I looked around wearily. After all, expensive hotels tend to have receptionists with plastic smiles.

Investment zone to attract NRBs mooted

A special investment zone should be established to attract Bangladeshi expatriates' investment, according to a local research organisation, Bangladesh Data Management and Research Centre (BDMRC).

Teletalk services disrupted for 5 hours

The subscribers of Teletalk Bangladesh Limited, a state-run cellphone operator, experienced disruption in its services across the country for over five hours as its network went out of order.

Westin adds Chinese to menu

Food lovers can enjoy Chinese cuisine in The Westin Dhaka as a Chinese cuisine, Beijing Whampao Club, is offering dishes to the gourmets.

IMF chief sees 'major' slowdown in global economy

International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said Thursday he sees a "major" slowdown in the global economy this year amid a credit market crisis.

WB says Laos more attractive to investors

The World Bank says Laos is now more attractive to investors due to new laws which make it easier to do business.

AB Bank gets new DMD

AB Bank Limited has recently appointed Shamim Ahmed Chaudhury deputy managing director, says a press release.

G8 nations, emerging donors start development talks

Development ministers from the richest nations as well as those of the fastest growing economies kicked off two days of talks on Saturday on ways to ease suffering in Africa and other impoverished nations.

Philippines aims for 92pc self-sufficiency in rice in 2008

The Philippines is targeting 92 percent self-sufficiency in rice this year and 98 percent by 2010, an agricultural spokesman said Saturday.

Indian minister sees global growth at 5pc

Global economic growth should range between five and seven percent even if the United States economy slows, India's minister of commerce and industry said Friday.

Asean free trade deal in months

India is hoping to conclude a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations within three months, the country's minister of commerce and industry said Friday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

March 30 April 03 2008
Local FX Market
Local inter-bank FX market was mostly tight throughout the week; however the BDT remained almost unchanged against the USD.

Metropolitan

Try war criminals to safeguard independence, sovereignty

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said trial of war criminals must be held to safeguard independence and sovereignty of the country.

Postpone SQ method

Guardians of secondary-level students yesterday urged the caretaker government to postpone the structural question (SQ) method for SSC examinations in 2010, as most of the teachers, students and guardians are still in darkness about the new system.

'Implement Nat'l Women Development Policy'

Women's rights activists at a discussion yesterday called on the government to implement the National Women Development Policy 2008 for overall development of the country.

Indigenous fish species face extinction

Indigenous fish species, particularly the smaller ones, are on the verge of extinction due to many reasons, including indiscriminate use of harmful pesticides and chemical fertilisers on agricultural lands.

Relations with EU discussed

The cooperation between Bangladesh and European Union is growing at a welcome rate, and in many ways is a model for others of its kind.

Rationing system demanded

The Pragatishil Chhatra Jote (PCJ), a student platform formed by five left-leaning student organisations, yesterday staged demonstration on Dhaka University (DU) campus, demanding controlling of price hike situation and beginning of rationing system.

Road crashes kill 4

At least four people were killed and five others injured in separate road accidents in Naogaon, Chittagong and Satkhira yesterday.

Touchstones seized from ex-Rajuk chief's house

Rab members yesterday recovered two touchstones from the house of former Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) chairman Humayun Khadem at Kharampur village of Akhaura upazila.

Two foreign job seekers missing: Six manpower frauds sued

Wife of a cattle trader of Sharsha upazila in Jessore filed a case with the Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court here yesterday accusing six persons of killing her husband and a son and dumping their bodies after taking them to the capital with a promise to send them to Italy.

Sonologists' team leave for India today

The 3rd batch of a 10-member specialist sonologists will leave the city today for India on a 10-day ultrasound training titled 'Advanced Overseas Medical Ultrasound Training.'

5 boys held on murder charge

Police arrested five boys, who are members of a cellphone-snatching gang, yesterday from Hazaribagh area in the city on charge of killing another boy six months ago.

Contribution of Prof Asaduzzaman recalled

The Department of Public Administration of Dhaka University (DU) at a meeting yesterday condoled the death of former teacher of the department and former chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh Prof Dr M Asaduzzaman.

DCCI celebrates founding anniversary

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) yesterday organised a colourful kite-flying competition at the Gulshan Youth Club ground to mark the 50th founding anniversary of the chamber, says a press release.

Cautionary signal No-3 for seaports

The met office has advised the maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Mongla to keep hoisted local cautionary signal number three as convective clouds have been formed over the north Bay of Bengal, leaving the sea rough with squally winds.

Cop arrested on charge of looting 86,000 Saudi rials

Police detectives arrested a sub-inspector, who was suspended earlier, in the city last night on charge of his involvement in looting 86,000 Saudi rials equivalent to Tk 16 lakh from an expatriate at Mohakhali last month.

Duta polls on April 12

Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) will now be held on April 12 as Dhaka Metropolitan Police gave permission in this regard yesterday.

AMC prize giving ceremony held

The prize distribution ceremony of annual sports and cultural competition of Ahsania Mission College (AMC) was held at the college campus at Pallabi in the city yesterday, says a press release.

Regional science fair held in city

Bangladesh Regional Science Fair (BRSF), affiliated with Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and Society for Science and the Public, USA, was held at International School Dhaka (ISD) in the city on Friday, says a press release.

Bangabandhu birth anniversary essay contest

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Museum has organised an essay competition for children to mark the 88th birth anniversary of Bangabandhu.

Admission at JU vacant seats start tomorrow

Jahangirnagar University (JU) authorities will enroll students in the vacant seats in the first year honours classes under academic session 2007-08 from April 7-10, university sources said.

UPL to launch 'Twenty Great Bengalis'

The University Press Limited (UPL) will launch a book titled 'Twenty Great Bengalis' on Pahela Baishakh (April 14), says a press release.

Razzaque elected SME Foundation director

Abdur Razzaque, president of Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owners' Association (BEIOA), was elected director of the SME Foundation for the one-year term of 2008-09, says a press release.

SC reopens today

The Supreme Court reopens today after a weeklong summer vacation, sources said yesterday.

National

5pc farmers in Patuakhali, 7pc in Barguna get govt assistance

Only five per cent Sidr-affected farmers in Patuakhali district have been brought under government rehabilitation programme. It is 7 per cent in Barguna, according to official sources.

Remedies for hybrid Boro disease

A group of researchers and agriculture scientists said there is no cause to be afraid about the disease in Boro fields in which leaves of plants are turning yellowish in many areas of the country. They have suggested some remedies also.

BNP leader murdered, 2 sons critically hurt

A BNP leader was hacked to death and his two sons and two daughters-in-law were injured in an attack by miscreants at Patlashi village in Niguari union of Gagargoam upazila in the district in the early hours of yesterday.

Rural healthcare poor as doctors don't go there

Advisor for LGRD and Co-operatives Anwarul Iqbal yesterday said mindset of physicians is a great hurdle to improving healthcare services in rural areas as they do not want to go there.

Outlaw killed in police encounter

A top cadre of Gono Bahini (GB) was killed in a 'shootout' between police and his cohorts at Zagannathpur village in Alamdanga upazila in Chuadanga early yesterday.

Dacoit beaten dead in Uzirpur

An alleged dacoit was caught and lynched during robbery at a house at Dosatina village in Guthia union under Uzirpur upazila early yesterday.

Agyan Party worries Satkhira people

Despite alarming rise in the activities of agyan party, criminals who mug people after getting them drugged, law enforcers are yet to nab any of the criminal gang members.

RU JCD demands release of Khaleda, Hasina

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) at Rajshahi University yesterday stages a demonstration on the campus for release of BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and Awami League president Sheikh Hasina before Pohela Boishakh (first day of Bangla new year).

Police finally take case against grabber

At last police took the case for grabbing at least 20 acres of land of indigenous people at Ganjapara under Sadar upazila in Khagrachhari hill district.

Letters

Students and our history

Student politics and ''weapon'' politics in universities and other teaching institutions are not the same thing. So banning student politics may not be healthy for the nation at all. In the last few months a number of so-called intellectuals and non-intellectuals have written, arguing against student politics. The reality is that when big boys ''and big girls'' have failed to understand our politics and economics, it is the students who have shown them the way through theory and practice. There is definitely no question of using weapons, but why should student politics be banned to degrade intellectual and creative ideas? The same point applies in the case of teachers' politics as well.

Power outages

With April in place and a heated climate ahead, the menace of load shedding threatens to cripple life in Chittagong. The fluctuation in the supply is causing untold sufferings to people. With that has come the other danger, price hike of essential commodities, which adds to the peril people face.

Mobile phone manners

Those of us who recall the pre-mobile phone days will remember that it was quite something to have a telephone at home. People who did not would approach their neighbours if they needed to make calls. Some people would put their phones in boxes with secure locks on them. Nowadays anybody can have a mobile phone. But the self-important feeling of having a phone still remains. We are so much conscious of our phones and pay so much attention to them that it makes us forget simple manners and our respect for others. We see important people at important meetings stop or disturb the proceedings by answering calls on their mobile phones. With heads lowered they whisper unimportant things while keeping others waiting.

Of a cricket stadium

Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla stadium is known as the home of cricket. Bangladesh Cricket Board has full, permanent control over that ground. As a result it is better placed to work for development of our cricket.

Ostrich mentality?

I am an expatriate Indian Muslim working in Bangladesh for the last two years. Everyday I read articles about conditions on Bangladesh, especially about its worsening power and water situation and how nothing is being done to bring about a change in the situation.

In response...

I am writing in response to the letter (April 2, 2008) from Dan Rees.

Our 1971, our allies

I thank Syed Badrul Ahsan for his article, “Our 1971, our allies and our truths” (The Daily Star, April 4). I completely agree with him that we cannot deny the valuable contributions of the Indians during our liberation war. And hence the government, in inviting the Indian generals recently, has shown a great gesture. We cannot forget that in that time of distress, horror and unimaginable plight, it was the Indians who provided us with the necessary support. Had it not been for their help, we may have had to endure greater ordeal.

Greasing the palm

Much is being said and done (?) about reducing the levels of graft-- an epidemic in Bangladesh! Definitely resisting graft is our moral fight, as reported by your Satkhira correspondent on 23rd March.

It is our shame!

It is certainly a matter of shame. Women in Bangladesh are not safe, though it is the 21st century. A report in a national daily on March 27, 2008 revealed that Taslima, who had been violated by a mill owner, died in hospital. If we look deeper, we can see that some very common factors have fuelled this incident.

Water and washing cars

As good citizens of Dhaka, we all believe in a healthy environment, but often we sacrifice this by using too much water to keep our cars clean. Of course, we all want to have clean cars. However, do we realise that keeping our cars clean means using up a great deal of water? Even though cars get dirty quickly in Dhaka, if we save water, we will have more to use for households and businesses and maintain a green environment. We propose that the Dhaka city authorities enact a law relating to people washing their cars only one day in a week. But you might say, “I want my car clean for a fancy occasion." You can plan your week to wash your car on the day of the event so it is clean the day you go to the special occasion. Even though windows may get dusty often, you can use your window wipers to clean them without wasting extra water.

Trees on rooftops

We know that trees are the elements which produce oxygen (O2) and at the same time absorb carbon dioxide (CO2). They thus balance the O2 and CO2 in the environment, which is very important for human beings and animals as well. But in Dhaka city, the number of plants and trees is coming down to zero gradually. We need O2 but we live in CO2. So, I suggest that we grow plants and small and medium sized trees on every roof in Dhaka irrespective of whether they are privately or government-owned. I also propose that we make it compulsory. At first people should be motivated. After that, perhaps from 1 January 2009, some penalty may be imposed on those who ignore the matter. A minimum number of trees must be grown as per space available on the roof of a building. In this way we can get some more O2. Without O2 we cannot but die.

International

Nepal ups security ahead of key polls

Nepal's government began air patrols yesterday and deployed thousands of police nationwide ahead of key polls planned for next week that will likely abolish the world's last Hindu monarchy.

Tsvangirai claims presidency, wants talks with Mugabe

Zimbabwe opposition chief Morgan Tsvangirai claimed outright victory yesterday in presidential elections and warned that Robert Mugabe's ruling party would resort to violence to cling to power.

Bush celebrates Nato's eastward expansion

President Bush celebrated Nato's expansion into former communist territory yesterday and urged further enlargement, highlighting differences with Moscow hours before final talks with outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin.

US supports political reforms in Pakistan

Political reforms in Pakistan are not only good for the country but also beneficial for US interests in the region, says the US State Department.

Iran rejects Western incentives to suspend nuclear work

Iran said yesterday it would not make any concession in exchange for incentives offered by the West to halt sensitive atomic activities.

N-deal is still doable, but time running out: US

The United States says its stalled civil nuclear deal with India could still be done before President George W. Bush leaves office next January, while conceding that it might have to be taken up by his successor.

3 Pak soldiers, 5 outlaws killed in gunfight

Three paramilitary soldiers and five outlaws were killed Saturday in a gunfight in Pakistan's restive southwestern province of Baluchistan, officials said.

al-Qaeda hideout uncovered on Iraq island

A suspected al-Qaeda hideout has been uncovered on an island on the Tigris river in central Iraq by a group of Sunni Arabs fighting the Islamist militants, their leader said yesterday.

Heathrow airport terminal faces more turmoil

London Heathrow airport's new Terminal 5 was hit by fresh flights disruption yesterday when the baggage system suffered a major software problem, airports operator BAA said.

British PM rejects Olympics boycott

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday again ruled out boycotting the Beijing Olympics, despite a warning that French President Nicolas Sarkozy could stay away over Tibet.

Arts & Entertainment

A gift of music

Dr. Sanjida Khatun, president and a founder member of Chhayanat, turned 75 on April 4. On the occasion Chhayanat arranged a vibrant musical soiree at the Rameshchndra Dutt Memorial Auditorium, Chhayanat Sanskriti Bhaban.

A tribute to Kanika Bandopadhyay

Legendary Tagore singer Kanika Bandopadhyay passed away on April 5, 2000. To mark her eighth death anniversary; Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) along with Padatik Sangeet Sangsad arranged a musical soiree at the National Music and Dance Centre, BSA on April 4. Noted Tagore singers Bulbul Islam, Nargis Chowdhury and Fahim Hossain Chowdhury performed Rabindra Sangeet at the programme.

Sohana Saba on her new movie “Rupantor”

Actress Sohana Saba is all set to embark on a role in filmmaker Abu Sayeed's latest venture Rupantor. Saba has already made a mark on the film industry by delivering outstanding performances in movies like Aina and Khela Ghar. Recently, she talked to The Daily Star about her part in this unconventional film.

‘Radhuni’ to hold cultural event in Rome

‘Radhuni' the spice brand of Square Consumer Products Limited, will be holding a two-day long grand cultural event in Rome. Titled 'Radhuni Bangladesh Night' the programme will be held on April 13 and 14 and will feature performances by singers -- Sabina Yasmin, Kumar Bishwajit, Ankhi Alamgir, Bari Siddiqui, Biplob, Shanaz Beli, Nakul Kumar Bishwas and actors Mahfuz Ahmed, Tishha, Tinni, Purnima and model Nobel.

Tripura traditional dance 'Hazaghiri' revived after 5,000 years in Khagrachhari

The traditional Tripura dance Hazaghiri, revived after 5,000 years, was recently staged at Semanapara under Dighinala upazila in hill district Khagrachhari.

Painting exhibition at Shanto- Mariam University

A painting exhibition has commenced at the Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology, Uttara, says a press release. The exhibition, which has been arranged in order to mark the occasion of the Independence Day, was inaugurated by Jahanara Abedin, wife of Shilpacharaya Zainul Abedin, and Professor Nazrul Islam, Chairman of the University Grants Commission.

Rahul Bose--along new tracks

Actor Rahul Bose, a darling of art film directors, is now a busy man in Bollywood doing art-house films, some mainstream cinema and has featured in a Hollywood movie that is slated for release in the United States next month.

“Amar Bou Shob Janey” on ntv

Ferdousi Majumdar, Mita Chowdhury and Subarna Mustafa were three prominent faces of the 60's and 70's. They have previously worked in the play Borof Gola Nadi, and after a long interval will be sharing the screen in the TV serial Amar Bou Shob Jane. The serial has been jointly written and directed by Saiful Islam Manu and Shahiduzzaman Selim. The second episode of the programme will be aired tonight on ntv at 08:15 pm.

Mariah breaks Elvis chart record

Singer Mariah Carey has beaten Elvis Presley's US chart record by scoring the 18th number one of her career.

OP-ED

Women's policy: What is the fuss about?

WHY so much noise about a policy which does no more than reaffirm commitments of earlier documents? The protests by a few religious clerics surrounding the declaration of the policy by the chief advisor give rise to suspicions of political machinations. The responses of some members of the advisory council also suggest, at the least, a lack of cohesiveness or coordination in decision making by the Council of Advisors. These events have diverted us from considering the content of the policy and its continuity with previous state commitments, and from formulating an action plan.

Food security vs. farmers' security

FOOD security, of late, has become a major concern for the country's intelligentsia and policymakers in the wake of unusual price hike of food items in domestic and international markets. The price hike is said to be the outcome of the reported slump in production of food items globally. However, there was no report of total unavailability of food items in the international market.

Honour daughters of the soil: Geeta Dutt and Suman Kalyanpur

MOST Bangladeshis do not know that two famous playback singers of Hindi movies in the 1950s and 1960s, the late Geeta Dutt and Suman Kalyanpur, are Bangladeshi natives. Geeta Dutt (Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri) was born into a rich Zamindar family in Faridpur on November 23, 1930 and stayed there until 1942. Suman Kalyanpur (Suman Hemadey) was born in Dhaka on January 28, 1937 and lived there until 1943.

Star City

Ramna Park still dotted with unauthorised private sheds

Ramna Park, one of the oldest open spaces of Dhaka and apparently a well-maintained greenery, continues to be dotted with unauthorised concrete sheds for exclusive use.

Jibon Kheya: A tale of care, compassion for farmers

Fazilat Khatun was lying on a bed at a well-furnished private hospital in the city.

Because of an ambiguous postal law

Taking advantage of an ambiguous age-old postal law, most private courier services are doing business outside the purview of their legal rights.



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