The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, July 25, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 9th of April, 2008

Front Page

Gen Moeen again rules out political ambition of army

Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday categorically ruled out any political ambition of the army and said there would be no deviation from holding the general elections according to the roadmap.

Govt invites BNP groups for informal talks

Two caretaker government advisers separately invited both factions of BNP to 'informal' talks with the government as part of the government's preparation for holding dialogues with political parties.

2nd bidding may be delayed by 45 days

After wasting more than two years with the first tender, Gas Transmission Company Ltd (GTCL) is now trying to delay the second tender to set up four gas compressor stations that would help increase of gas supplies by 800 million cubic feet a day from late 2009.

Pilot killed in BAF fighter crash

A Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) fighter plane crashed in Ghatail upazila of Tangail yesterday afternoon, leaving its pilot dead.

Rice prices start falling in wholesale markets

The prices of rice, following a long spell of spiral, have started to fall at wholesale markets in the capital in the last two days, without having any immediate impact on retail markets.

Canada to grant 2 lakh transparent ballot boxes

The Canadian government has agreed in principle to provide Bangladesh Election Commission (EC) with around two lakh transparent ballot boxes -- free of cost for the upcoming parliamentary election.

Jalil's parole extended for 1 more month

The government yesterday further extended the time of parole granted to ailing Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil by one month to continue his treatment abroad.

Proceedings of case against Zubaida stayed

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for two months proceedings in a graft case against Zubaida Rahman, wife of now detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia's son Tarique Rahman.

10 potato dishes offered to editors

As many as ten potato dishes were served at a lunch hosted by Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed in honour of the editors of print and electronic media.

GMG flight makes emergency landing

A GMG Airlines aircraft heading for Dhaka from Kuala Lumpur made an emergency landing at a Thai airport after a "mentally disturbed" passenger was seen cutting an apple with a 10-inch-long knife.

50 injured as cops, factory workers clash at DEPZ

At least 50 people, including 15 policemen, were injured in a two-hour clash between police and workers of a Pakistani garment factory at Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) in Savar yesterday.

Barely making ends meet

"Life goes on somehow…a bit better than many others," Islam, a philosophy teacher at a government college, blurted in a choked voice with tears welled up in his eyes.

ACC suggests changes to avoid contradiction with other laws

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has suggested amending a few provisions in the proposed Truth Commission Ordinance to avoid contradiction with other laws of the land.

Dhaka-Kolkata train service deal by Apr 11

Bangladesh and India is going to sign a supplementary deal in Dhaka by April 11 to resume train service between the two countries on Pahela Baishakh, 42 years after it was discontinued.

DMP asks BTRC to cancel 200 SIM cards

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) recently sent a list of over 200 SIM cards of different mobile operators to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) recommending cancellation of those as they were used for issuing threats over mobile phones, teasing and extortion.

Tigers falter early chasing huge 323

Bangladesh were up against the tough task of avoiding a heavy defeat against Pakistan in the first day-night one-day international at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore yesterday.

New US envoy due tomorrow

Newly appointed US Ambassador to Bangladesh James F Moriarty will arrive in Dhaka tomorrow to take up his diplomatic assignment.

Govt talks with AL 'fruitful'

The government's meeting with senior Awami League leaders on Monday was "very fruitful" and the government will hold similar meetings with other political parties before sitting for the proposed dialogues.

Human chain to protest grabbing of playground

More than 1,000 students, NGO activists and locals formed a human chain around Gabtoli playground beside Mazar Road in Mirpur yesterday protesting against a move to grab the lone playground of the area.

Muggers shoot BAT staff, loot Tk 30 lakh

Muggers snatched Tk 30 lakh after shooting and hacking two staffers of the local franchise of British American Tobacco in Savar yesterday.

British home minister arrives

The British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith arrived last night on a two-day official visit to discuss the general election with the government and find ways to cooperate in counter-terrorism efforts with Bangladesh.

Rising food prices dent Bangladesh’s prospect of meeting

Rising food prices undermine the country's prospect of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of development targets to be achieved by 2015, says World Bank-IMF Global Monitoring Report, 2008.

Special div court shifted to Sangsad Bhaban complex

The Special Divisional Judge's Court was shifted yesterday to the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) Bhaban complex for the trial of detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the MiG-29 corruption case.

Iran starts installing new nuke centrifuges

Iran yesterday said it had started work to install thousands of new centrifuges to enrich uranium at its main nuclear plant, angering world powers who fear Tehran wants to develop an atomic weapon.

US general wants troop withdrawal suspended

The US general commanding the Iraq war called yesterday for an open-ended suspension of US troop withdrawals this summer, asserting that an overly rapid withdrawal would jeopardize recent security gains.

Editorial

Guaranteeing employment to rural poor

GOVERNMENT'S plan to provide work to the unemployed in the rural areas is an appropriate strategy to address the miseries of the abjectly poor of rural Bangladesh. The plan seeks to ameliorate their sufferings during the lean period for about hundred days, to at least one person of an affected household. But we wonder, given the urgency of the situation, whether it is proper to tag the plan with the next fiscal year that doesn't commence till July.

Elections in Nepal

THE warning served by the United Nations on the political situation in Nepal reflects the growing sense of unease as the kingdom prepares to go to the polls on Thursday. Indeed, matters should not have come to a pass where the world body would need to ask Nepal's political parties to refrain from resorting to violence in the run-up to the voting. By all accounts, the elections should have been peaceful (they still can be that). But going by how the Maoists, now part of mainstream politics, have been conducting their campaign, there is today serious concern about the way the voting will turn out. The bombings as well as killings that have occurred in the past few days can only underscore the gravity of the situation.

The men Ershad raised to heights of glory

NAZIUR RAHMAN was for a long number of years a confidant of General Hussein Muhammad Ershad. There were a number of others who simply built their careers, or climbed to bigger heights of glory, by the grace of the man we know as Bangladesh's second military dictator. If you recall the turbulent 1980s, a time an entire nation spent in trying to run the Ershad dictatorship out of town, you will have cause to remember as well the men and women who joined the Ershad bandwagon and thereby helped an unscrupulous regime preside over our collective destiny for close to a decade.

Global rise in food prices: What Bangladesh can do

IT is the new face of catastrophe, with a storm of food scarcity, global warming, rocketing oil prices, and the world population explosion, that is plunging humanity into the biggest crisis of the 21st century by pushing up food prices and spreading hunger and poverty in developing countries.

'Obama can't win!' : Hillary

GOVERNOR Bill Richardson: Hi Hillary, this is Bill Richardson. It has been an agonising decision, but I want you to be the first to know that I have decided to endorse Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for president.

Sports

CA wants healthy future

Chief Adviser Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday called for waging sport movement across the country to involve people in games for protecting public health and for amusement, keeping politics off the pitch.

Salahuddin determined

Like the election of the Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA), it seems that there would be contest in one major post in the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) polls on April 28.

IOC bowing to protests?

A senior Olympic official Tuesday raised the prospect for the first time of abandoning the international legs of the Beijing Games torch relay, amid a wave of protests targeting the flame overseas.

BFF won't host President's Cup over Apr 20-24

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) will not be able to host the AFC President's Cup's Group A matches in Dhaka from April 20-24 due to election procedures.

Tigers wearing Ihsan clothes

Ihsan Sports has been named official clothing sponsor of the Bangladesh cricket team for the ongoing series against Pakistan.

Women's Asia Cup team named

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced a 14-member national women's cricket team yesterday for this month's Asia Cup to be held in Sri Lanka.

Styen takes No 1 spot

South African pace sensation Dale Steyn has risen to joint number one in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings for Test bowlers alongside Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralidaran.

Only pace in the menu

South Africa will stick to their aggressive bowling strategy of drawing India's heavyweight batting line-up out of the comfort zone, and will take a call on a second spin option only after having a look at the Kanpur pitch on Wednesday, revealed Mickey Arthur, the team's coach.

IPL eases restrictions

The standoff between the Indian Premier League and the media over controversial guidelines for covering the inaugural tournament looks set to ease after a meeting between officials of both sides on Monday. The IPL has toned down some of its earlier restrictions, especially benefiting the print media, though it has not relaxed its ban on websites covering matches from the ground, nor its ban on news agencies supplying websites with images.

Orient, Gazi on right track

Shohag's rapid 41 ensured Orient Sporting Club downed Brothers Union by four wickets in the Super League match of First Division Cricket at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Zonal v'ball from today

The zonal round matches of the inter-district volleyball competition of the men's section begin today at the Pabna Stadium.

Last chance for Kalabagan

Young Pegasus take on Kalabagan Krira Chakra today in the second Relegation League playoff match of the Premier League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

India postpone Zimbabwe trip

India's proposed tour of Zimbabwe in June has been indefinitely postponed, although the exact circumstances of the decision are shrouded in confusion.

Rio doubtful, Totti out

Manchester United could be without defender Rio Ferdinand while AS Roma will definitely be without striker Francesco Totti when the teams meet in the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday.

Barca favourite to progress

Spanish giants Barcelona will be out to ease the pressure on their under-fire coach Frank Rijkaard and president Joan Laporta by progressing to the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday.

Materazzi wins apology

Italian World Cup-winning defender Marco Materazzi won a formal public apology from the Daily Star in the High Court on Monday over its claim that he had racially abused France's Zinedine Zidane in 2006.

Euro 2008 Briefs

The 2008 European football championship in brief:

Ronaldo eager to return

AC Milan's Brazilian striker Ronaldo insisted Tuesday that he was determined to return to top-level football despite making a long and painful recovery from a knee injury.

Atletico eye UCL spot

Atletico Madrid are on track to secure a spot in the Champions League next season after the Spanish club tightened their grip with a 6-3 win over Almeria over the weekend, the club's striker Simao Sabrosa said Monday.

Rosicky could miss Euro

Czech captain Tomas Rosicky is doubtful for Euro 2008 because of recurring knee tendonitis, Czech football federation vice-president Vlastimil Kostal said on Monday.

Koller to quit nat'l team

Czech international striker Jan Koller announced Tuesday that he will retire from the national team after this summer's European championships.

ICC quizzes Akhtar

International Cricket Council investigator has questioned banned fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar over his claims that he was offered money to throw matches, Pakistani sources said Tuesday.

Rare win thrills Ian

Ian Bishop believes there is still much work to be done before West Indies can regain some of their lost prestige, but he likes what he sees coming from the Caribbean side in recent matches.

Mahela blames batsmen

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has identified his side's batting meltdown early in their second innings as the turning point in the second and final Test against West Indies which ended on Sunday.

'No IPL for English'

Giles Clarke, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), said Monday he couldn't see how the likes of leading England cricketers such as Kevin Pietersen would be allowed to play in the 2009 Indian Premier League (IPL) and so risk injury ahead of the next Ashes series.

Willey feels let down

Former Test umpire Peter Willey believes match officials are being let down the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Jubo start with win

Jubo Sangsad won in straight sets against Bridge Road Sporting Club in the Nazia Fashion volleyball league at the local stadium here yesterday.

Tanima in solo lead

Women's FIDE Master Tanima Parveen drew her fourth round board with IWM Rani Hamid to take solo lead in the Prime Bank Women 3rd International Rating Chess Tournament at Hotel Media International at Cox's Bazar yesterday.

Amit misses out on ODIs

West Indies announced a 16-member squad on Monday for the three-match one-day international series against Sri Lanka.

ESS pool title Risalat's

Risalat Khan lifted the title of European Standard School's Fourth Eight-Ball pool tournament beating Ahmed Ullah Fahad in an exciting display of skill and temperament in the final yesterday.

Business

Indo-Bangla $550m steel MoU inked

A consortium of four steel companies S Alam, PHP, KDS and Abul Khair has signed a memorandum of understanding with India's $2.2 billion (Tk 15,400 crore) Essar Group to set up the country's first hot-rolled steel plant.

One Bank to up authorised capital

One Bank Limited, a listed private commercial bank, has decided to increase its authorised capital to Tk 500 crore from existing Tk 120 crore to fund business expansion and fulfil regulatory capital requirements.

Pay your bills, move funds on the Net

Transactions over the Net may soon become a reality in Bangladesh with the rapid growth in the use of credit and debit cards and increased internet penetration prompting the government to consider allowing electronic commerce.

Nassa Group chases $300m garment export target

Nassa Group, one of the largest ready-made garment (RMG) manufacturers and exporters in Bangladesh, has been setting up a string of new factories to fulfill the group's export target of US$300 million in 2008.

Experts push hybrid rice to solve soaring food prices

Hybrid rice, produced commercially by crossing different varieties to attain higher yields, could hold the key to resolving a looming food crisis, the International Rice Research Institute said Tuesday.

Food prices seen leading to strikes, protests in Asia

Asia's governments face strikes, protests and hoarding in response to the spiralling cost of food and other essentials that threatens to damage them at the polls, observers say.

Unemployment a thorny Gulf problem

Governments in the oil-rich Gulf Arab states have so far failed to tackle unemployment among their own citizens despite impressive economic growth fed by record oil revenues.

Safta has not resulted much in intra-regional trade

Safta has not resulted much in intra-regional trade, cross border investment and freer movement of goods and services as has happened in cases of other regional trading arrangements, said the foreign adviser.

ADP's major portion won't be implemented

Despite a 15 percent cut in the Annual Development Programme (ADP), secretaries of different ministries yesterday feared that major part of the revised development programme would not be implemented as contractors are reluctant to work due to price hike of construction materials.

Two new energy drinks to hit fizzing market

Competition in the local energy drink market will intensify in the coming months with another two conglomerates, Pran-RFL Group and Al-Amin Group, launching energy brands.

Prime Bank roadshow continues

Prime Bank Limited has conducted road shows at 10 of its branches under a campaign to promote its products and services.

Saudi minister wants workers with knowledge of Saudi culture

Saudi Deputy Minister for Labour Ahmed Abdulraham Al Mansour Tuesday urged Bangladesh authorities to send workers with adequate knowledge about Saudi culture, lack of which, he said, often embarrasses both the sides.

Turkish keen to go into joint venture

The visiting Turkish ready-made garment (RMG) entrepreneurs have shown keen interest to go into joint venture with Bangladeshi businessmen.

Television programmes on cell phone

Mobile phone users can watch television programmes on their handsets having internet connections.

ICAB Dhaka committee executives

Zabed Ali Mridha and Md Joynal Abedin have been elected chairman and secretary, respectively, of the Dhaka Regional Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh for 2008 at its 28th annual general meeting.

Asian stocks close down

Asian stocks closed mostly down Tuesday as concerns grew about corporate profits amid a faltering US economy and rising inflation, with attention also turning to a key upcoming G7 meeting.

Heidelberg Cement Group chief due today

Dr Bernhard Scheifele, chairman of the Managing Board of HeidelbergCement Group, will arrive in Dhaka today to attend the inauguration ceremony of the second Ball Mill established in its Dhaka factory at Kanchpur, Narayanganj, says a press release.

Prime Finance to manage IPO of Takaful Islami Insurance

Prime Finance & Investment Limited, a leading non-banking financial institution and full-fledged merchant bank, recently signed an agreement with Takaful Islami Insurance Limited to manage the insurance company's proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO), says a press release.

Delhi's duty free tariff preference scheme for 50 LDCs

India yesterday announced a unilateral duty free tariff preference scheme for 50 least developed countries (LDCs) in view of the importance of market access in ensuring the development dimension of international trade.

WTO head says ministers could meet in May on Doha deal

Negotiators have made progress towards a global trade liberalisation accord under the Doha round and a meeting of world trade ministers could now be held in May, the head of the WTO said on Tuesday.

Oil trades slightly lower in Asia

World oil prices traded slightly lower in Asia on Tuesday after comments by the OPEC cartel and an inflow of investor money helped prices surge to near-record levels, dealers said.

Ailing IMF seeks to sell 403 tonnes of gold to boost coffers

The International Monetary Fund Monday proposed the sale of 403.3 tonnes of gold to bolster its sagging coffers as part of a critical financial overhaul.

Metropolitan

Shortage of gas hits power generation

The power-supply situation kept worsening in these hot days because the Power Development Board (PDB) had to shut down more plants for gas supply shortages, badly affecting life and business.

Children sent to jails in violation of HC order

Some 1,712 children were arrested and sent to jail in 2007 though the High Court ruled five years ago that no children should be kept in jail.

Women more vulnerable to violence during floods

Women become more vulnerable to violence during the period of natural disasters such as floods and the number of incidents of violence also goes up, according to a study conducted by the ActionAid.

Develop knowledge, skill to world standards

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday underscored the need for developing knowledge and skill to international standards to sustain in this age of globalisation and exploit the country's growth potential.

DU postpones inauguration of Senate Bhaban

The Dhaka University (DU) authorities have postponed the inauguration of Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban in the wake of demonstrations by student organisations.

Call to take up CDM projects

Speakers at a workshop called for taking up projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which would also help sustainable development of the country.

Withdraw 'explanation letter' to teacher

Around one hundred teachers of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday met RU Vice Chancellor Prof Altaf Hossain at his office and demanded immediate withdrawal of the letter that asked for explanation on the subject matter of a newspaper write-up by a teacher.

Mission starts CHT visit to asses crop damage

A high profile "Needs Assessment Mission" yesterday started their five-day visit to areas in Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachhari hill districts to have an assessment on bamboo flowering and fruiting accompanied by rat plague and consequent crop damage and food crisis in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

Law to free cooperatives from political influence soon

LGRD and Cooperatives Adviser M Anwarul Iqbal yesterday said laws would be formulated to make cooperative societies free from political influence.

Hannan Shah threatens movement to free Khaleda

BNP chairperson's adviser Brig Gen (Retd) ASM Hannan Shah yesterday threatened to launch a movement soon to press their demand for release of Khaleda Zia and immediate holding of fair election.

No Indian insurgents hiding in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) chief Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed yesterday said Bangladesh did not find the whereabouts of any Indian insurgents hiding in Bangladesh as claimed by India.

Yellow, White panels share CU dean posts

Awami League backed 'Yellow panel' and four party alliance backed 'White panel' shared equally the dean election results under four faculties of Chittagong University (CU).

Criminal held at Dohar

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a notorious criminal from Dohar in Dhaka in the early hours yesterday.

ACC Secretary Mukhles made BSFIC chairman

The government has transferred Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Secretary Mukhles Ur Rahman to Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) as its chairman.

Road crashes kill 4

At least four people were killed in separate road accidents in Satkhira, Rajshahi and Chittagong yesterday.

Scouts to hold group secretaries' conference

Bangladesh Scouts will organise a three-day first-ever open scout group secretaries' conference at Mouchak in Gazipur from April 17-19, says a press release.

Gen Monirul made NSI DG

The government has appointed Director General (DG) of Special Security Force (SSF) Major General Sheikh Mohammad Monirul Islam as DG of National Security Intelligence (NSI), according to an official notification yesterday.

Exhibition on clay ornaments begins at RU

A three-day exhibition on clay ornaments began at the hall room of central cafeteria of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday.

JNU students withdraw agitation

Students of Jagannath University yesterday withdrew the agitation programmes after a meeting with the vice chancellor (VC), says a press release.

Chhatra Front demands rationing system

Samajtantrik Chhatra Front (SCF) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) unit yesterday staged a demonstration on the campus protesting price hike of the essential commodities, says a press release.

Court order to maintain status quo on Duta election

A Dhaka court yesterday directed six respondents in a civil suit, filed by a Dhaka University (DU) student, to maintain status quo on the election to the Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) scheduled for April 12.

BCL signature campaign to free Hasina

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of Awami League (AL), yesterday launched a 'Mass Signature Campaign' on Dhaka University (DU) campus demanding immediate release of detained AL President Sheikh Hasina.

WCFFC rejects Jamaat, Islami Oikya Jote claims

War Crimes Facts Finding Committee (WCFFC) yesterday rejected the claims of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Oikya Jote, saying that it has published the list of war criminals on the basis of facts and documents.

NU 1st yr hons results published

Results of the 1st year honours examination 2006 under National University (NU) have been published, says a press release.

5000 Bangladeshi workers released in Jordan

Jordan released around 5000 Bangladeshi workers who were punished for overstaying in that country, said a spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday.

Workers demand 100pc DA

Sramik Karmachari Sangram Parishad, a platform for workers and employees, yesterday demanded payment of dearness allowance to the workers in all sectors and introduction of food rationing as a step towards offsetting the price hike of essentials.

Foundation stone of Allama Iqbal Centre laid

Pakistan High Commissioner to Bangladesh Alamgir Babar unveiled the foundation stone of Allama Iqbal Community Centre in Bogra on Sunday, says a press release.

Shiva statue seized

Members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) seized a 26-kg statue of Shiva worth about Tk 26 lakh from Darbeshpur village at Sadar upazila in Meherpur yesterday.

National

Contractors now seek scrap of govt work order

Contractors now seek cancellation of their contract deeds with government offices in Patuakhali as abnormal price hike of construction materials forced them to virtually suspend work.

Arrest warrant against ex-BNP MP Ilyas Ali in extortion case

A court in Sylhet yesterday issued arrest warrant against former lawmaker and Sylhet district BNP chief M Ilyas Ali in an extortion case, filed by a female Union Parishad (UP) member in his constituency.

Another extortion case against ex-BNP MP Manju

Another extortion case has been filled against detained former BNP lawmaker Majibur Rahman Manju.

No escape for govt if it fails to hold credible polls

Acting secretary general of Bangladesh Awami League (AL), Sayeed Ashraful Islam, has said the caretaker government (CG) will have no scope to escape if it fails to hold a free, fair and credible general election.

Court orders arrest of Torikul's wife, two sons

A court here issued arrest warrant on Sunday against two sons, wife and daughter-in-law of detained former minister and BNP leader Torikul Islam and ordered attachment of goods.

Outlaw killed in shootout with Rab in Pabna

A hardened outlaw of PBCP (Purba Banglar Communist Party- Red Flag) was killed in a shootout with Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the criminal's cohorts in Salaipur village in Goaishpur union under Pabna Sadar upazila in the early hours of yesterday.

KCC chief engr being quizzed

Police, intelligence men and joint forces yesterday started interrogating suspended Khulna City Corporation (KCC) chief engineer Liakat Ali Sharif.

Bangalees, ethnic people clash in Dighinala: 7 hurt

At lest seven people including a child were injured in a clash between indigenous and Bangalee people at remote Rashiknaghor village in Dighinala upazila in Khagrachhari in a land dispute yesterday.

4 more PWs testify

Four more prosecution witnesses in the five August 17 serial bomb blast cases gave statements before a court in Satkhira yesterday in presence of 11 out of 19 charge-sheeted accused.

Letters

Rights of women

The govt has recently announced a pragmatic policy fulfilling the basic and long cherished need to guarantee the rights of women who constitute around 50% of the population and the voters. Their contributions to the family, society, culture, economy etc. cannot be quantified and sometimes beyond comprehension too.

Population boom

Population explosion is a burning issue in our country. Over population is a grave problem and owing to its ill-effects, such as increasing rate of unemployment, scarcity of basic foods, lack of provisions for treatment, lack of space for accommodation provision, waning agricultural fields, depletion of forest areas, traffic jam caused by innumerable vehicles, all sorts of pollution, mugging, robbery, pilferage,illiteracy, unemployment and so forth, we are suffering as a nation.

Humanity at stake

Humanity, in its quintessential form, can be defined as the feeling of being humane towards all people in society, irrespective of caste, creed, colour or religion. It is not only about showing sympathy and creating a sense of affection or compassion for them. But the word "humanity" also encompasses the notion of helping every person in times of need and extending a helping hand to pull them out of every pit of obstacles along with the inborn qualities of benevolence and friendliness, although some may argue that being humane is a recessive trait and is a completely biological term. The 21st century brings up the whole array of work and has created a busy life for us with time only for ourselves. Students are rushing to go to school or college, service-holders are in search of a taxi to get to their destination, and that is how the ongoing cycle of life takes its turn. The hectic schedules of life have made us robotic with no sense of generosity, helpfulness and all the other qualities that make a good man.

Tourism

Bangladesh is known for its natural beauty with the longest sea beach of Cox's Bazar, the largest mangrove forests of the Sundarbans and the greenery of the Hill tracts. In addition to these spots there are other venues that can attract the tourists. In spite of having so many spots with immense potential for tourism, the country lags behind other Asian countries, say, Thailand or Malaysia.

Success of women cricketers

The all-round success of our women's team against the visiting Hong Kong Women XI is a tonic for us; more so after the rout of our men's cricket team by South Africa. Congratulations to our lady cricketers for a well deserved victory. We hope to see them do better and better in future. Maybe they should arrange matches with the South African women's team if possible this summer.

The UN and trial of war criminals

Thanks to the government for informally discussing the trial of war criminals with the Secretary General of the UN. We do not know the basis of such a discussion. We were given no hint that the issue might be raised by the adviser for foreign affairs during his current visit to the UN. If it was done with a purpose, we welcome the move, but we would expect the government to give full details of this action to the nation. The issue is of supreme importance for our survival as independent Bangladesh when the war criminals are receiving strategic support and cooperation from known and unknown quarters at home and abroad.

More power stations needed

If this is just early summer and we are having power cuts every half an hour, I'm dreading what will happen later this summer when it gets unbearably hot. I also want to know why not even a single power station is being built during the tenure of the CTG when it is needed on an emergency basis. We cannot stand still until election time, we still have to work and live. I am sick of hearing generators going off and on all day, this is not a civilised way to live in a capital city. If they had started last January, a power station would be finished in another year or so and would make some difference in 2010. If the current administration wants to prove their worth and gain the support of the people, they have to do more than putting the corrupt in prison. The masses don't care about that, they care about day to day life - food, shelter, power. They need to invest in a decent transport system, invest in the roads and highways, give us electricity to work and live in a decent way. In short, they need to improve the quality of our lives. I also fail to see why Bangladesh is so completely dependent on India for food supplies. There are other surrounding countries that can also supply rice and other essentials.

Collared tigers

The contradiction regarding the Tiger collaring in the Sundarbans is creating conflicting ideas amongst conservationists from different schools of thoughts. This has been going on for quite a while. It is time for the forest department to intervene and issue a public statement to clear this confusion, since they are the bosses who have given the go-ahead to Adam Barlow and his team to continue with the project. It is mandatory for the Conservator of Forests (CF) to come forward to dispel this confusion.

Social responsibility

Every multi-national or big company has social responsibility. From this responsibility, they donate money to the orphanages, hospitals, universities, schools, colleges etc. It helps them to build a strong base in different societies. I appreciate the companies which are carrying it out well. But the question of performing social responsibility needs discussion. We know that we lag behind in using the latest technology. We are still dependent on agriculture, but we have shortage of modern instruments for conducting bio-technology research. Besides, most of the universities have no modern lab facilities where students and teachers work on their research elaborately. We see that companies are more enthusiastic to donate their money in less important areas, rather than in productive and constructive fields. A few days ago, I learned that a private bank donated money for building an art research centre. I am not against the development of art and culture. But the most important thing for us now is to be self-dependent in agriculture. For this reason, we have to do more research on inventing new high quality hybrid seeds. We have to do more research on reducing use of insecticides, so that we can make our environment free from pollution.

Billboards in Dhaka

Living in Dhaka is so intolerable nowadays. There are many problems, but I will point out just one-- the billboards on the rooftop which are responsible for many deaths and injuries. These loosely held billboards become a source of worry when there is a strong wind. The Daily Star rightly highlighted this important issue on the front-page of its March 21, 2008 issue. According to this report, an unidentified youth was killed on 19 March in front of the Chandrima supermarket. From this report, we also learned that 3,000 rooftops billboards are currently installed in Dhaka city. These can cause fatal accidents any time.

Justice KM Subhan

The demise of K M Subhan on the 31st December afternoon was like a bolt from the blue for many of us in the family. It is a shock we still cannot recover from.

Employment in KSA

On March 26, 2008 I was terribly shocked to learn from a press report that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) would no longer recruit Bangladeshi workers in the housing and agriculture sectors. Saudi Arabian Labour Minister Gazi Al-Gosabi reportedly said-"The decision was taken in view of the fact that the quota fixed for Bangladeshi workers in the Kingdom was over". Good! Is this quota like those of the US DV quotas?!

Information dissemination

Development would not sustain if there is no planning behind it. And for a realistic plan that would be applicable for sustainable development, proper and authentic data is needed. In our country's context, if someone wants to gather any information about any matter, in some cases the data would not be at all available and in some cases the data would be available but may not be credible. I need some data urgently. How much land is used for rice cultivation and how much land is used for pulse cultivation, how much land is used for wheat cultivation, how much land is used for potato cultivation etc. And how much storage facility the country has as per the necessity of every agro-product? Somebody may answer saying, “Yes, you would get the information from the authorities concerned. Yes, we can get the information from the authorities but the question is whether the information is credible and even if there is some credible and updated information, then is that being used properly for the greater benefit of our country's people?

The strange unity !

The politicians, beyond their so called norms and ethics of long inherited partisan politics, quite surprisingly unite on an issue when it comes to their own personal interest. The government has recently ordered all MPs of last parliament to leave the Nam flats. Let's not discuss the discretion or justification that triggered this order from the government . But after that, we were stunned to observe that our politicians, irrespective of their congenital conflict and confrontation, started to share the unified voice to retain their tenements. The nation observed the unforgettable and unforgivable ramification of our politics on 1/11 that pushed it to a prolonged uncertainly. We can legitimately ask, at this point of time, why our politicians fail to unite when it comes to the interest of the nation.

Gulshan Lake plots and bridges

The authorities responsible for Gulshan Lake - Rajuk / DCC have gone to great lengths to protect the people who bought illegal plots in the lake. Of course, corrupt employees have benefited which is why they want the whole matter to go away, it is up to the media to ensure that it doesn't. I think that both the buyers and the authorities need to be taught a lesson. All those plots should be cancelled without any discussion, so that buyers think twice before trying to grab lakes. The law enforcers need to immediately take a walk around the lake and take back the plots, dredging out any land filling. They also need to remove the shanty houses which are now filling land beneath them and building solid housing on top. We are yet to see the DCC and Rajuk doing anything about them, when our flower beds are being demolished for being one foot into the pavement with great vigour. The big crimes are being ignored, it just doesn't make any sense! As for filling in the lake for building the bridge, this is the most ridiculous thing I have seen, bridges can be built without filling in any land, we have many of them all over the country already.

For a clean city

The easiest way to clean the dirty Dhaka city is to enforce a simple law. If the government decides to fine the owners of all shops, offices and houses who do not clean their premises and spread this message among the people through the media the whole city will be clean. The amount of money to be realised as penalty for lack of cleanliness should be at least Tk 2,000.

International

Pakistan vows no talks with terror groups

Pakistan's new government will not negotiate with terrorist groups as part of its effort to pursue talks with Islamic militants, the foreign minister said Monday.

Tigers seek Norway help to stop Lanka offensive

Tamil Tiger rebels asked peace-broker Norway on Tuesday to pressure Sri Lanka's government to stop a military offensive in the island's north, saying a venerated Catholic church was at risk.

Hizbollah turns to Iran for war on Israel

The Shia "martyrs" of this hill village are normally killed in the dangerous, stony landscape of southern Lebanon, in Israeli air raids or invasions or attacks from the sea. The Hizbollah duly honours them. But the body of the latest Shia fighter to be buried here from the local Hashem family was flown back to Lebanon last month from Iran.

Pakistan moots 'different' approach on Kashmir

Pakistan's new government has ruled out putting the Kashmir issue on the backburner but said it will not shy away from taking a "different" approach on the problem by using trade with India as means to move from "conflict management to conflict resolution".

Indian soldiers quit military over pay row

Lower level Indian army officers have begun submitting their resignations after generals won higher pay hikes in a move that threatens the military's combat readiness, officials said yesterday.

Nepali royalists will be forced to flee to jungles soon: Bhattarai

Top Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai has threatened to force the royalists into jungles, saying "Now it is their turn to reside in the jungles".

War spreading across Afghanistan: ICRC

The war in Afghanistan is spreading across the country, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes this year, the international Red Cross said Tuesday during the visit of its president.

'All' voters needed to amend Myanmar charter

Myanmar's new constitution would require all of the country's eligible voters to approve important amendments, according to a leaked copy of the military's proposed basic law seen yesterday.

Sadr threatens to end truce

Iraqi Shia radical leader Moqtada al-Sadr on Tuesday threatened to end the ceasefire of his feared Mahdi Army militia, which he announced last August.

US orders staff out of Yemen

The US embassy in Yemen said yesterday it had been ordered by the State Department to evacuate non-essential personnel following attacks in the impoverished Arab peninsula state claimed by al-Qaeda.

Princess Diana unlawfully killed: Inquest jury

The inquest into the death of Princess Diana returned a verdict of unlawful killing Monday, blaming the driving of chauffeur Henri Paul and paparazzi photographers pursuing her car at high speed.

Arts & Entertainment

An impulsive scriptwriter-director

Quite a few women directors have emerged in the TV play scenario in last couple of years. Among them, Matia Banu Shaku has carved a niche for herself with her imaginative serials/ plays. To Let aired on ntv, has earned Matia recognition as a scriptwriter and artiste. The multifaceted Matia recently spoke to The Daily Star on her career and more.

Dhaka Heritage celebrates first anniversary

Dhaka Heritage, an organisation working to uphold and promote the history and cultural traditions of our 400-year-old city, celebrated its first anniversary. On the occasion, Dhaka Heritage arranged a programme at the Bangladesh Film Centre (auditorium of Bangladesh Short Film Forum), Aziz Cooperative Super Market, Shahbag on April 7. The programme featured a discussion and documentary screening.

An Ibsen- Shamsur Rahman Literary evening at Alliance Française

Alliance Française arranged an Ibsen -Shamsur Rahman Literary evening to celebrate the 180th birth anniversary of Norwegian playwright and poet Henrik Ibsen on April 7. The event included a lively discussion on the comparative study of the poets in the context of their respective countries, a poetry reading session and an open discussion.

Moving sketches of the deprived

Arafat Hosen's exhibition at Drik is a welcome change from the experimentations of young artists. The major part of his work comes from the streets of Dhaka, the slums, the train station and railroad shanties. When he works on the details in his pen -and -ink sketches he specially works on the eyes for he believes that "the eyes are the gateway to the soul". Full of talent, determination and drive, Arafat has filled the gallery with traditional sketches and paintings of the destitute and deprived, in an unforgettable manner.

Tête-à-tête with Jhumu Khan

Singer Jhumu Khan, who is also a doctor by profession, talked to The Daily Star recently. The artiste exchanged her views on the gradual changes in the Bangladeshi music scene and her aspirations.

ATN Bangla lends a hand to a veteran comic actor

ATN Bangla has recently made a contribution of Tk. 25000 for the ailing comic actor A.F.M. Abdul Ali Lalu. Director of Progra-mmes, ATN Bangla, Nawazish Ali Khan and Chairman of Debate for Democracy, Hasan Ahmed Chowdhury Kiron gave away the money to the veteran artiste.

Premiere of "Nilambari" to be held today

The premiere show of telefilm Nilambari will be held today at the Liberation War Museum, says a press release. The film has been written by Bipul Hasan and directed by Atiqul Islam Sharif.

“Channel-i Shera Kontho '08” kicks off

The audition rounds of the musical talent hunt by Channel-i, "Channel-i Shera Kontho'08" kicked off on April 4, says a press release.

Government to help reduce dropouts in CHT

Speakers in a recent discussion and prize giving ceremony said that the government is ready to provide assistance for better education, and decrease dropout rates in Chittagong Hill Tracts.

New Indiana Jones to be premiered at Cannes

The new Indiana Jones movie The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May, one of its stars John Hurt has said.

OP-ED

Government has to act, be it hunger, food crisis or famine

THE publication of Mr. Moazzam Hossain's analysis of the government's response to the current food crisis is commendable (The Daily Star March 30). The analysis had technical rigour, unusual for newspapers which prefer simple presentation, but not necessarily weak in analysis or insight. The publication elevates discussion of policy to a new level.

Compact townships

Housing, food and floods! ... Is it possible to have an institutional development that addresses all these issues simultaneously? Prof. Salim Rashid, professor of Economics at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign in US, talks about his vision of a new approach to developing the Bangladeshi rural sector and tackling the impending challenges that the country faces.

What really happens if you throw garbage around

I picked up a jar of turtle fungus paste at a medicine shop on the way home last night. The label said: "It will lower the evil fire." It probably intended to say something dull about reducing one's fever, but I preferred the wording as it stood. We all have evil fires, which occasionally need lowering.

Star City

Traffic 'office' on pickup van

Believe it or not -- police at the city's Pallabi Traffic Zone preserve official documents at a pickup van parked on the road. To find traffic inspector of the zone, one has to search shops adjacent to Mirpur-10 intersection.

Most pvt housing projects missing from Rajuk list

The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) has put on display a list of approved land development and housing schemes but it contains no ongoing private projects.

Fake, substandard cosmetics flood market

Substandard and fake cosmetics products have flooded the city markets rendering millions of users vulnerable to different forms of skin and health diseases.


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