The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, December 22, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 16th of April, 2008

Front Page

Free Khaleda, hold polls by year-end

Pro-Saifur faction of BNP yesterday called for immediate release of Chairperson Khaleda Zia and proposed devising a post-election code of conduct for the political parties.

14 grenades found in 2 days

Law enforcers during the last two days recovered 14 grenades, four bombs, four firearms including a sub-machine carbine (SMC), two SMC magazines and 83 bullets abandoned at Brahmanbaria and Shariatpur.

A day fused with gaiety

The nation welcomed Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla year 1415, on Monday amid fanfare and colourful festivity, leaving behind the gloom of the past year and expressing determination to move forward with its cultural heritage.

A journey down memory lane

The tracks on which the Maitree Express ran on Monday are new, but the hopes it carried were vintage.
To many across the border, it was like “memory express,” not just a train transporting people to a land divided by an international border. And it took the next-door neighbours 43 years to see it possible, so strong was the legacy of a bitter war.

Job project okayed for rural women

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved a project of Tk 943 crore to create employment for 10-20 women in each union with a daily payment of Tk 90-180.

Hasina falls sick

The arraignment hearing of detained former premier Sheikh Hasina in a graft case against her and seven others, in connection with setting up a barge-mount power plant, was adjourned for the third time yesterday till April 17, as she became ill inside the courtroom again.

EC won't invite both factions of BNP to talks

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said he sees no positive signal this moment for unification of BNP, and ruled out any possibility of inviting both factions of the party to EC's electoral reforms talks.

Hearing on govt appeal ends, SC judgment soon

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday completed hearing on a government appeal challenging a year-old High Court (HC) verdict declaring it has jurisdiction to dispose of petitions by persons seeking bail in criminal cases under the Emergency Power Rules (EPR) 2007.

Govt to buy Boro rice at Tk 28 a kg

The government yesterday fixed the procurement price for Boro rice at Tk 28 a kilogramme (kg) in an effort to maintain a safe level of grain reserve in the wake of globally skyrocketing prices of the country's staple.

Tagore to be remembered on board

The Maitree Express service, connecting Dhaka to Kolkata, can now be the venue to celebrate the birth anniversary of one of the greatest Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagore.

Rice prices down slightly

The retail prices of different varieties of coarse rice fell only by Tk 1 a kg at different markets in the capital yesterday despite the falling wholesale prices over the past ten days.

AL demands polls date without delay

Awami League (AL) leaders yesterday said the caretaker government should announce parliamentary election schedule immediately to dispel doubts in public mind about holding of the polls as per the EC's roadmap.

Man found dead in Banani flat along with maid

A Bangladesh-born US citizen and his domestic help were found killed inside his apartment at Banani in the capital early morning Monday.

'No polls if people don't get food'

Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh President AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury yesterday said politics would not sustain and there will be no election if people don't get food.

15yrs in jail without conviction

Four people arrested on charge of robbery have been held in confinement in Dhaka Central Jail without conviction for around 15 years since 1993.

ACC sues Patal, family for graft

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday sued BNP leader Fazlur Rahman Patal and his two family members for amassing assets beyond known sources of income and concealing wealth information.

Left parties form human chain for rationing of essentials

Democratic Left Alliance (DLA) formed a human chain in the capital yesterday demanding introduction of rationing system of essentials across the country and cent percent dearness allowance for labours.

GMG's Dubai flight delayed by 24 hrs

A GMG Airlines Airbus had to return to Zia International Airport (ZIA) an hour after it took off Monday due to technical problems.

DU student commits suicide at Rokeya Hall

A female student of Dhaka University (DU) committed suicide yesterday noon.

Cylinder blast kills balloon seller in city

A balloon seller died on Monday following an explosion in a gas tank at Dhanmondi Lake amid Bangla New Year celebrations.

Can Tigers now pull one back?

The series is over but Bangladesh still have plenty to prove when they go into the fourth one-day international of the five-match series against Pakistan at the Multan Cricket Stadium today.

NSTM galleries to remain open for public

The galleries of National Science and Technology Museum (NSTM) will remain open for all from 9:00am to 5:00pm from Saturday to Wednesday except for the government holidays, says a press release.

Bombings, clashes kill 62 in Iraq

A spate of bombings across Iraq and a fresh surge of fighting between Shia militiamen and US forces in eastern Baghdad killed at least 62 people yesterday, Iraqi officials said.

Abolition of monarchy very soon, say Maoists

Nepal's Maoists said yesterday the abolition of the Himalayan nation's monarchy was now just a "matter of procedure" as they held a commanding lead in the count from last week's landmark elections.

Pak lawmakers press for UN probe

Lawmakers from Pakistan's newly elected parliament have passed a resolution seeking a UN probe into the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, officials from her party said yesterday.

Dozens feared dead in plane crash in Congo

Dozens were feared dead after a passenger plane carrying up to 100 people crashed and burst into flames shortly after take-off Tuesday at Goma in the east of the DR Congo, airport sources said.

Scores killed in DR Congo plane crash

Scores of people were killed when a passenger plane crashed and burst into flames just after take-off yesterday at Goma in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, airport sources said.

Editorial

Maitree service across the border

That which people on both sides of the border between Bangladesh and India waited with bated breath and animated suspense to see happen, has actually turned into a reality. The simultaneous running of friendship trains between Dhaka and Kolkata on Bangla new year's day marks a both historic and festive occasion.

Incentives for SME development

The Bangladesh Bank governor has said recently that the government is considering providing incentives for small and medium enterprises (SME) and food processing industries. The sector deserves massive support and assistance from the government since these have the potential to generate investment, attempt innovation and diversification and employ a large work force, both skilled and semi-skilled. The other advantage is, SMEs do not require heavy machinery or huge start-up capital and therefore they can go into production and earn dividends after a short gestation period.

Potatoes, politics and a few other things

POLITICS and potatoes have been getting into a rather interesting mix of late. With the caretaker government letting us in on the thought that one way of handling all those problems relating to rice would be for us to go for a consumption of potatoes, it is quite evident why potatoes should now take centre stage in our thoughts.

New Delhi turns its eye on Africa

IT appears that India's robust foreign policy is now directing its attention to Africa. On April l8, India hosted a two-day summit in New Delhi with more than a dozen African leaders including the president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki.

Procurement price for paddy

Policy makers and politicians everywhere in the world are faced with almost the same kind of problem: being fair to the farmers without being unfair to consumers, and vice versa. That means, farmers should get a fair price for their produce, say for paddy, without raising the price of rice too much to make it unaffordable for poor consumers. In Bangladesh, the problem has become more acute now because the amon crop was almost totally destroyed by two consecutive floods.

Sports

Ashraful must deliver

Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons urged captain Mohammad Ashraful to start firing and help the tourists achieve a consolation win in the fourth day-night international here on Wednesday.

Imrul's ton takes NCA home

Imrul Kayes continued his rich vein of form with a blazing hundred as GP-BCB National Cricket Academy (NCA) secured a clinical 75-run victory over South Africa Academy to get off to a flying start in the tri-nation Grameenphone Academy Cup one-day series at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Under-15s off to Caribbean

The Bangladesh Under-15 cricket team took off for the West Indies last evening to participate in the Clico International Under-15 Cricket World Championships to begin from April 19.

AFC shifts Cup matches

The AFC has confirmed that the Group A matches of the AFC President's Cup will not be held in Dhaka.

CCDM clears one match

Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) have cleared Surjo Torun and Sonargaon from match-fixing charges on Sunday.

Asif back for Pakistan

Pakistan named paceman Mohammad Asif in a 16-man squad for the fourth one-day international against Bangladesh after a five-month lay-off due to injury.

Senate stands by Shoaib

The Pakistan senate committee on sports has decided the process for Shoaib Akhtar's appeal regarding his five-year ban should continue and that the appellate tribunal should be allowed to take its decision independently. Last week the Pakistan board had appointed a three-man tribunal, headed by a retired High Court judge, to look in to Shoaib's appeal.

Chelsea blow title hopes

Emile Heskey's shock injury-time equaliser struck a massive blow to Chelsea's quest for the English Premier League title as visitors Wigan held the Blues to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

Dhoni's reward for curator

A grateful Mahendra Singh Dhoni sent a note of thanks and 10,000 rupees to Green Park Stadium's pitch curator for preparing the turning track that helped India score a series-levelling win over South Africa in the third Test here.

Inter maintain lead

Inter Milan responded to AS Roma's earlier 3-1 victory at Udinese by beating Fiorentina 2-0 at the San Siro on Sunday to maintain their four-point lead in Serie A.

Ferguson hails victory

Sir Alex Ferguson hailed his Manchester United side's 2-1 victory over Arsenal here at Old Trafford as a decisive moment in this season's Premier League title race.

Real show champion spirit

Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster hailed the champion spirit of his team after they ground out a 1-0 win over Real Murcia on Sunday despite playing 70 minutes of the match with ten men after Miguel Torres was sent off for a crude challenge.

Bayern destroy Dortmund

League leaders Bayern Munich, freshly qualified for the UEFA Cup semifinals, routed Borussia Dortmund 5-0 on Sunday to edge ever closer to a 21st Bundesliga title.

Euro 2008 Briefs

The 2008 European football championship in brief:

McEnroe was wrong: science

"You can NOT be serious," tennis great John McEnroe famously shouted in Wimbledon in 1981 when one of his serves was called out.

Dunga considers Adriano recall

Brazil coach Dunga is considering recalling Adriano after the striker's hot start to the year for Sao Paulo, where he is on loan from Inter Milan.

Roddick sends US into semis

The United States advanced to the semifinals of the Davis Cup with a 4-1 victory over France here on Sunday.

Rosicky will recover

Czech captain Tomas Rosicky will recover from a recurring knee tendonitis which has made him doubtful for Euro 2008 in his homeland, the player announced on his website on Monday.

Sharapova wins first title on clay

Top seed Maria Sharapova won her first claycourt title by defeating Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (9/7), 6-3 in the final of the 600,000 WTA Amelia Island tournament on Sunday.

Primera Liga stronger than EPL: Torres

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres said on Monday that Spain's Primera Liga was stronger than the Premier League despite the presence of three English teams in the Champions League semifinals.

Akram no IPL fan

Former Pakistan bowling great Wasim Akram warned Monday that the Indian Premier League could seriously damage international cricket if the game's governing body fails to intervene.

Vaughan for IPL

Michael Vaughan has said it is "naive" to think England players will not be involved in the Indian Premier League (lIPL) at some point in the near future.

Kallis, Boucher to stay back

South African players Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher might be good enough for the Bangalore IPL franchise to justify paying almost 1.5 million dollars for them, but they are not good enough to make their domestic Twenty20 squad. Both are therefore staying in India and not returning home with the rest of the South African Test squad.

'Don't forget me'

England fast bowler Stephen Harmison has insisted he still has an international future, regardless of his growing band of critics.

Abahani maintain winning record

Abahani handed Bangladesh Sporting Club a 4-0 defeat to maintain their winning record in the Brac Bank Club Cup Hockey tournament at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Aslam, Helal under scrutiny

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) election commission last night received complaints on the councillorships of former national footballer Sheikh Mohammad Aslam and former secretary Anwarul Haq Helal.

Learn from tourists

In few departments of the game have Bangladesh been visibly better than Pakistan in this series. Their batting, though improving, has been fitful and when they have scored runs, they have given away the fruits of their effort. Their bowling has broadly been ineffective, save the admirable Mashrafe Mortaza. Bangladesh's youth possibly edges the fielding stakes, though not by much.

Big guns on track

All three promotion-seeking sides registered wins in the crucial Super League stage of First Division League yesterday.

Coach of 'Forrest Gump' killed

The controversial former coach of a six-year-old Indian distance runner has been shot dead by an unidentified gunman, reports said.

Greene named in doping documents

American federal investigators have been nothing but thorough in their probe of doping in track and field, including naming former Summer Olympics 100-metre champ Maurice Greene in one of their reports.

Morma clinches Boli Khela title

Boli Khela, a traditional game of indigenous people has formally begun yesterday at Khagrachhari Stadium to mark the Bengali New Year.

Prantik make fine start

Prantik Krira Chakra made a sound start to their Second Division campaign, thumping Kalindi Krira Chakra by 68 runs in the opening group B match at the Jagannath Hall ground yesterday.

Prantik make fine start

Prantik Krira Chakra made a sound start to their Second Division campaign, thumping Kalindi Krira Chakra by 68 runs in the opening group B match at the Jagannath Hall ground yesterday.

Gary doubted own loyalty

Gary Kirsten's first official assignment as India's cricket coach happened to be against the team he was once part of, and the former South African opener admitted that there were moments before the drawn Test series when he was uncertain about his loyalties.

Prince's six tops Manik's seven

Dashara Palli Mangal Samity (DPMS) beat Sewta Uday Sena (SUS) by 71 runs in the Col Malke Smriti First Division Cricket League at the Shaheed Miraj-Tapan Stadium here yesterday.

Business

Oriental Bank to allow cash withdrawals in May

Some 200,000 Oriental Bank account holders will be allowed to start withdrawing their deposits from the once scandal ridden bank on May 5, Bangladesh Bank (BB) sources said yesterday.

Gas supply crisis to slow investment in RMG

Investment in the garment sector, the motor of the country's export trade, will be held back by shortage of gas supply, textile mills association chief said yesterday.

Exports mark 22pc growth in Feb

The continued strong growth in demand for Bangladeshi garments helped boost the country's exports in February to US$1.199 billion, up 22 percent on the same month a year earlier.

DSE turnover hits new high at Tk 412cr

Turnover on the Dhaka Stock Exchane (DSE) yesterday hit a new high at Tk 412 crore amid a strong buying support especially from the institutional investors.

Govt to give subsidy directly to farmers

The government has taken initiative to disburse subsidy directly among the farmers, Finance Adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam said on Monday.

Gulf inflation burns up foreign workers' earnings

Foreign workers making up the bulk of the labour force in the robust Gulf economies are feeling the crunch of rocketing prices and weak currencies with some even asking why stay at all.

Farm practices must change to counter high food prices

Farming practices must change to confront soaring food prices that threaten to drive millions of poor people around the world into even deeper poverty, said a new study to be released here Tuesday.

JCI, Brac Bank team up to promote CSR

Junior Chamber International (JCI) Bangladesh yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with Brac Bank to promote Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

SEC fines fake company owner Tk3 lakh

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday fined a fake investment company owner Tk 3 lakh for attempting to start stock business without having licence from the market regulator.

RanksTel selects gPlex call centre solution

Bangladesh's leading PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) operator RanksTel has chosen Genuity Systems gPlex (www.gplex.us) call centre solution for its customer care service.

Tetra Pak launches new visual identity

Tetra Pak, a world leader in food processing and packaging solutions, recently unveiled plans to revitalise its brand in order to strengthen global identity.

Visco 3000 lubricant launched

UK based BP, one of the leading lubricant oil suppliers in Bangladesh, launched a new lubricant under the brand Visco 3000 yesterday in an attempt to raise its stake in the country's about Tk 12,00 crore lubricant market.

Japan, Asean ink FTA

Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations said Monday they had finished signing a deal to tear down trade barriers between the world's second-largest economy and the 10-member bloc.

Al-Arafah Islami Bank MD reappointed

Md Abdus Samad Sheikh has been reappointed as managing director of Al-Arafah Islami Bank Limited for the period 20th June 2008 to 29th July 2010.

EBL appoints new DMD

Mamun Mahmood Shah has been appointed as the new deputy managing director (DMD) of Eastern Bank Limited (EBL), says a press release.

Thai farmers urged to grow maize

Thailand's agriculture and cooperatives ministry has encouraged farmers to expand maize plantation to cover more than 300,000 rai in a bid to reduce imports and profit from high corn prices.

Asian stocks close mostly up

Asian stocks closed mostly up Tuesday but a fresh record for crude oil, fears for US corporate earnings and the slowing global economy limited the recovery from a steep slide in the previous session.

Dollar rebounds in Asian trade

The dollar was little changed in Asian trade on Tuesday as traders awaited earnings reports from major US banks for clues on the depth of the credit crunch, dealers said.

China bids to keep higher industrial tariffs at WTO

China on Monday sought to persuade the World Trade Organisation to let it keep higher tariffs on industrial goods in any global trade deal, sparking fierce opposition from developed countries.

Google-Salesforce alliance aims at Microsoft software market

Google and Salesforce.com on Monday announced an expanded alliance to deliver online programs competing with packaged software at the heart of Microsoft's global empire.

US slowdown curbs profits at India's Infosys

Indian software giant Infosys on Tuesday posted a lower-than-expected quarterly net profit, as the US economic slowdown hit the budgets of clients in its biggest market.

Hot money flows to China up sharply

Hot money flowing into China surged in the first quarter to 80 billion dollars on expectations the yuan will rise further and Chinese interest rates will go up, a senior official economist said Monday.

Metropolitan

Boosting efforts to establish global peace

The word 'soldiers' creates a picture of fight and casualties in the mind, but the ongoing multinational military exercise at Rajendrapur Cantonment forms a different picture -- interaction with general mass and solving their problems through dialogues.

Help face threats to sustain achievements

Finance Adviser Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday sought specific proposals of additional assistance from the international community to help Bangladesh face the threats to sustain the progresses the country has so far made.

Nine killed in road accidents

At least nine people were killed and 25 others injured in separate road accidents in Gazipur, Sirajganj, Lalmonirhat, Satkhira and Chandpur yesterday and on Monday.

Govt urged to introduce SQ method from class six

Academicians and guardians at a view exchange meeting with top officials of education ministry yesterday suggested the government to introduce new examination system titled 'Structured Question (SQ)' method from class six instead of SSC examinations so that students can adjust the new system properly.

People yet to reap benefits of independence

Chairman of the Regulatory Reforms Commission Dr Akbar Ali Khan yesterday said the people of Bangladesh have achieved independence through the War of Liberation but are yet to reap its benefits in the fields of economy and politics.

Worker beaten to death

A plastic factory worker was beaten to death allegedly by his owner and colleagues at Islambagh in the city's Lalbagh area yesterday.

South Korea doubles workers' quota

The recruitment quota for Bangladeshi workers in South Korea has been doubled this year.

Vehicle owners, drivers defy new traffic system in Chittagong

The owners and drivers of city service buses and motorised three wheelers threw an apparent challenge to the traffic department of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) yesterday, completely defying its new traffic system that aimed at easing passengers' hassles and streamlining commuter services in the port city.

Govt to reduce bus routes to 40 from 129 to avert traffic jam in city

The government yesterday decided to reduce the bus routes to 40 from the existing 129 to avert traffic jam in the city.

City AL demands unconditional release of Hasina

Dhaka city Awami League yesterday demanded unconditional release of detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina before ending of their on-going mass signature campaign, says a press release.

Tk 20 lakh looted from city house

Robbers looted Tk 20 lakh and 10 tolas of gold ornaments from a house at South Dania under Shyampur Police Station in the city yesterday.

JCI World chief calls on CA

Visiting Junior Chamber International (JCI) World President Graham Hanlon made a courtesy call on Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed at his office yesterday, when he offered his organisation's cooperation with Bangladesh in any need.

'5.28 lakh children suffer from night blindness'

A total of 5.28 lakh children have been suffering from night blindness in the country mainly due to ignorance in taking vitamin-A enriched food including fruits and vegetables.

Mujibnagar Day tomorrow

Awami League has chalked out elaborate programmes to observe the historic Mujibnagar Day tomorrow, commemorating the formation of Bangladesh's first government at the Baidyanathtola mango grove in Meherpur on this day in 1971.

President apprised of DU housing, transport problems

A delegation of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday called on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban.

20 govt officials get Japanese scholarship

20 young government officials have been nominated finalists for this year's Japan Development Scholarship (JDS), says a press release.

BSF returns 3 Bangladeshis to BDR

Border Security Forces (BSF) of India yesterday handed over to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) three Bangladeshis who spent 13 months in a Kolkata jail after they had been trafficked to India in February last year.

National

A unique gift on Pahela Baishakh

Every Pahela Baishakh (Bangla New Year), a large number of people including women and children come to the house of Abdul Aziz for fruit saplings.

Verdict in arms case April 22

The Third Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge yesterday fixed April 22 for delivering judgement in arms case against detained Khulna City Corporation mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman.

Arrestees name killers, one remanded

Two persons arrested in connection with the killing of train attendant Md Shamsul Haque on March 12 have disclosed the identities of the killers.

Power cut hampers tea processing in Moulvibazar

Tea processing in several gardens in Baralekha and Juri upazilas of Moulvibazar district is being hampered as electricity supply that was cut during Sunday night's storm, could not be restored as of yesterday evening.

Bomb attack kills shrimp farmer

A shrimp farmer was killed when some outlaws threw bombs on him at Gachha village in Tala upazila Monday night.

Minor brother, sister drown in Dakatia

Two children drowned in the Dakatia river Monday evening as their boat, hit by a trawler, capsized boat capsize at Dherora in Hajiganj upazila.

Slow Loris killed in Baralekha

A rare species of monkey has been electrocuted in Baralekha.

20 kg chilli for one kg rice

A farmer has to sell 20 kilograms of chilli to buy one kilogram of rice.

Trader's body found

Police recovered a trader's body from an insurance office at Hasara of Srinagar upazila in Munshiganj on Monday, the first day of Bangla New Year.

Project to develop eunuchs' life

Non-government organisation Losauk has undertaken a project to bring about some changes in the lifestyle of hijras (eunuchs) residing in Khulna city and elsewhere in the district.

Letters

Cultural identity

We have a very rich culture. If we just think about 'Pahela Baishakh' we will understand that we do not have to borrow anything from the western world. But it seems that we are ignoring our own culture. Our dress is getting westernised and we have lost faith in family values which were once the foundation of society. However, the worst thing is what we are doing in the name of so-called individualism. Culture is very important for a nation. But it cannot be retained by observing only some events on some days. We have to treat it as having a lot to do with our identity.

Women's rights

It is very sad that some people in our country do not know how to think outside the box. If women get equal rights in every aspect, everyone in our society benefits because these women are either our sisters or mothers. When my mother gets equal share in her parent's property, I benefit from that. My sisters and I are born of the same parents; sharing parental property with my sisters only makes me happy because it helps my nieces and nephews.

Save Buriganga

The Buriganga river is dying. Do we care? I do not think so. While the dwellers of Dhaka city are neglecting this issue, the river is slowly losing its life day by day. We ourselves are to be blamed for this. It was because of us that Buriganga river is drying up. The government is not doing anything to stop the industrial units surrounding the river from spewing out dangerous chemicals into the river. The government must take appropriate steps to stop further pollution of Buriganga water so that the aquatic lives are saved.

Tibet issue

Brigadier Hafiz's concerns for the Chinese sound hollow from this side of the Atlantic!

Expansion of Nato

Nato (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was formed on 4 April 1949 in the midst of cold war and it is a massive military alliance. Initially, it had twelve members but now it has twenty-seven.

Shocking indeed

It's deeply disheartening that police and activists of the Anti-Quran Law Resistance Committee, on the very premises of a sacred place like Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, engaged in clashes and turned it into a battlefield.

Our problems

I do not disagree with the letter published on 6th April, 2008 entitled, 'Ostrich mentality'. I also do not believe that our 'think tank' has dried out of ideas that would soothe the immensity of the dry season power-cuts and water shortage. Foreigners often complain that Bangladeshis are not being sensitive enough to their problems. Water shortage and power cuts are tolerated and accepted with great patience.

Higher education

To be frank, as a vigilant and regular student of a university, I watch too many irregularities and anomalies at my university. It is clear to all that the institutional objective of this university is to gain profit by fleecing students, rather than imparting education. They (management) want more money ignoring the students' financial condition. They never listen to what the students may have to say.

Upsetting the democratic trend

The wise remarks of the former chief adviser Justice Habibur Rahman at the National Citizen's Dialogue as reported in most papers on 7th. April are a very timely and relevant advice to the present CTG and its mentors. We could have on a short-term basis involved the men behind the scene in an anti corruption operation, and cleaning up of the police establishment with no strings attached. But influencing governance from behind the scene is not the proper method to adopt. Authority without responsibility is the harbinger of instability and other serious issues that destabilise democracy in the long term; though appearing very rosy in the short term! This is unfortunately happening in Bangladesh. It is a fundamental political and governance issue that the nation must resolve, if we want democracy to survive and flourish in the long-term.

Cruelty to animals

Our treatment of animals should be kind. Animals are often mistreated or killed unnecessarily. A few days ago I was stuck and unable to move at Uttara at around 10:am and I witnessed the cruel act of a man. I had dropped my daughter to school and was waiting for the traffic to clear up. I noticed two goats tied tightly to the roof grill of a bus. It was sunny, hot and crowded and the goats' owner ensured that the goats did not fall down. The two ropes were pressed round the necks of the two fragile animals pressing against the arteries. I reckoned it would have been better had the goats' waist or legs (say "wrists") were tightened.

Trial of politicians

It is more than a year, the caretaker government arrested the politicians on charges of corruption and misuse of power. But till today the jailed leaders have not been tried.

People's plight

Recently, the daily Jugantor published an article “Will the people survive?” The news didn't escape the eyes of voracious newspaper readers like me. Nowadays, such articles flood the front pages of the dailies with awkward but colourful and lively photos where we see a long queue of hungry people standing in front of any BDR outlet. Who doesn't know that a huge number of people are now passing their days amid great uncertainty? How long can they fight to survive?

Gulshan traffic

At the crossing of Gulshan Road No. 50 and Kamal Ata Turk Avenue, traffic coming from Kamal Ata Turk Avenue is allowed to turn right. Also traffic coming from Road 50 is allowed to turn right. For some unknown reason, traffic coming from Gulshan 2 is not allowed to enter Road 50. Instead, that traffic is required to make a u -turn at Banani . The crossing at Banani serves in-coming and out-going traffic of Road No.11 and also the traffic of Road No. 27 of Banani.

Price hike

It is timely & praiseworthy that the govt will consider increasing the salary of govt officers & employees. Along with this, the govt should think about the needy people who are in serious trouble now.

Sheikh Hasina's treatment

Former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is now imprisoned. We know that she is suffering from ear problem as well as other ailments. All Awami League leaders, including Sheikh Hasina herself, want her treatment abroad. According to them, proper treatment of her diseases is not possible in this country.

Remove the dustbin

I would like to draw the attention of the authorities concerned to the dustbin lying on the east/Sukarabad side of the Mirpur Road near the BRAC Bank (Dhanmondi Branch) and Daffodil International University. Beside the dustbin there is a narrow pavement which is fenced by a wall on its eastern side. Over the pavement, there are hanging electrical wires. A flock of crows always remains sitting on the wires in the hope of collecting foods from the dustbin. Hundreds of people including school going boys & girls, office going people and others have to walk along this pavement every day, but often they face an odd situation when the crows….

Help the farmers

We have to remember that if agriculture fails, we will be doomed. It is time we took some initiatives to help our farmers. The following needs to be done in the interest of the agriculture sector.

“Histological” examination of history

It appears from one of the news items of today's (12 April 2008) DS: Prof. Anwar Hossain of the history department of Dhaka University noted, “It is not history, rather information on the liberation war was distorted.” The professor was speaking at a book publication ceremony at Liberation War Museum in the capital. Eminent jurist Dr. Kamal Hossain also reportedly spoke on the occasion.

GM foods

Nowadays GM(Genetically Modified) crops are a much talked about subject. Of course it is more productive than local crops. But we should also not forget that quality is often more important than quantity. Still we don't know we are consuming some GM crops. This may expose us to certain physical disorders.

Evicted slum dwellers

Near the newly built posh BIAM Center at New Eskaton, on 5th of March, 08, I was wondering about the unusual gathering of a large number of Hatirpool slum dwellers. While still getting deeper to BIAM, I found a contingent of police, some of them were right inside the slum to ensure safe eviction and some others outside were probably waiting for a provocation. I soon then realised the very purpose of the helpless congregation. The sight of the poor driven out slum dwellers was very sad and pathetic. Some little children were seen playing around the gathered shabby belongings of theirs. The bigger kids were seen really upset and sharing thoughts with their elders "Where shall we go?" The moments of tension made it appear more pathetic and unveiled the cruel reality. Their half starved physical appearance and popped up eyes looked helpless. The eviction of this old slum was either to construct a road for easy movement to posh BIAM Center-Cum School where mostly wards of quick rich governments officials make the most out of it, or make a way for posh apartments for quick rich people. We condemn this inhuman act of bulldozing the slum.

Rickshaws

I would have found Mr. Mohammed Rahat's letter on the subject in DS of 10 Apr 08 and earlier, his and that of Mr Farzand Ahmed of Bangkok, hilarious, if they had not dealt with the very serious problem of Dhaka's traffic jams so flippantly. These two gentlemen seem to be living in an illusory Utopia, with their heads in the sand like ostriches. Mr. Rahat brushes aside the existence of rickshaws and those connected with them with such demeaning expressions as “cancer, nuisance, inhuman, epidemic” and calls for their 'elimination' shades of Auschwitz!

Rice scarcity

Last week, I visited some BDR shops and saw the situation of our country. The queues of people in front of BDR rice selling centres in capital Dhaka and other major townships across the country turned longer this week with increasing number of people joining them. While visiting some BDR outlets, it could be noticed that the majority of the people in the line for rice were women, some cradling their babies in their arms in the unbearable summer heat.

International

Pak ruling coalition vows to reinstate judges

Pakistan's ruling coalition yesterday renewed its pledge to reinstate dozens of judges who were sacked by embattled President Pervez Musharraf, a minister said after a key high-level meeting.

Jets pound Tiger territory

Sri Lankan war planes bombed a communications centre inside rebel-held territory Tuesday after heavy ground battles left seven Tamil Tigers dead, the defence ministry said.

Maoists set to play major role in Nepal

Two years after coming out of the bush, Nepal's Maoists are marching across the Himalayan kingdom just not in the way many thought they would.

Iran would 'eliminate Israel' if attacked

Iran would "eliminate Israel from the global arena" if it was attacked by the Jewish state, the deputy commander of the army warned yesterday, amid an intensifying war of words between the two foes.

Cong faces call to project Rahul as PM candidate

Even though parliamentary election in India is due early next year, the demand for projecting Rahul Gandhi, the scion of Nehru-Gandhi family, as prime minister candidate grew louder from within the ruling Congress on Monday and it was welcomed by a key component of the ruling alliance.

Berlusconi wins third term by surprise margin

Conservative billionaire Silvio Berlusconi won Italy's general elections by an unexpectedly wide margin on Monday, securing a third term as prime minister but warning of tough times ahead for the country in the grip of an economic downturn.

Court scraps demand for Zimbabwe polls results

Zimbabwe's opposition political party called a nationwide strike Tuesday after the country's High Court rejected an appeal for the immediate release of delayed presidential election results.

Global food crisis is now emergency: UN chief

A rapidly escalating global food crisis has reached emergency proportions and threatens to wipe out seven years of progress in the fight against poverty, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Monday.

Priyanka meets Rajiv killing conspirator in prison

The daughter of assassinated Indian premier Rajiv Gandhi on Tuesday confirmed she had met one of the people behind her father's murder.

Massive KL rally marks end of Anwar ban

Malaysia's opposition held a massive rally here last night to mark the end of its leader Anwar Ibrahim's five-year ban from holding political office, with him announcing to a cheering crowd his intention to "take over the government".

Bilawal Bhutto more 'influential' than Bush

Pakistan People's Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari may be included in TIME magazine's 2008 list of the top 100 influential people in the world.

Myanmar detains 20 activists

Myanmar's military junta detained more than 20 activists as they walked through the northwestern city of Sittwe in a peaceful rally against the country's proposed constitution, an opposition party spokesman said Tuesday.

Carter offers to be Hamas go-between

Heading into talks with Palestinian leaders, former US president Jimmy Carter offered to ferry messages from the militant Islamic Hamas group to the United States and even to Israel.

Putin to lead Russia's ruling party as PM

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday agreed to head Russia's ruling party in a significant shift of the political landscape three weeks before he hands power to successor Dmitry Medvedev.

Hillary checks Obama surge in Pennsylvania

Hillary Clinton has checked Democratic foe Barack Obama's Pennsylvania surge, in a new poll Tuesday, partly conducted amid a furore over his comments on "bitter" working class voters.

21 burn to death in Ugandan school

An overnight fire a primary school dormitory in Uganda killed 19 school children and two adults, police said yesterday.

Land mine blasts kill 3 in Pakistan

Pakistan police say land mine blasts have killed three men and injured five others in insurgency-plagued Baluchistan province.

Arts & Entertainment

Ushering in 1415

Sweltering heat has taken over and mango trees are in blossom; and with a forceful nor'wester on the last night of the Bengali year 1414, Baishakh heralded itself.

Surer Dhara's year-end programme

To bid farewell to the Bengali year 1414 and usher in the New Year, Surer Dhara -- a music institution headed by renowned Tagore artiste Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya -- arranged their annual cultural programme on April 13 at the Lalmatia Girls High School. Held on the last day of spring, the programme celebrated the colours and gaiety of the season. The programme also marked the 15th anniversary of the organisation.

'Nokia Fusion Baishakhi Concert' at Gulshan Youth Club

To celebrate Pahela Baishakh, Rupkotha Productions Ltd in association with Nokia, organised a concert at the Gulshan Youth Club ground on April 14.

Wrishiz Shilpi Gosthi's New Year celebration

To celebrate the Bengali New Year, Wrisiz Shilpi Gosthi arranged a lively programme at the Shishu Park entrance on April 14. Mili Rahman, widow of the Birsrestha Matiur Rahman, inaugurated the event.

'Sanggrai' celebrations in Khagrachhari

Sanggrai, the four-day long grand festival of the Marma community, began on April 13 in different parts of hill district Khagrachhari.

Folk music festival on Pahela Baishakh

A traditional folk music festival was held in Pabna Town Hall premises April 14, marking Pahela Baishakh. Ekushey Book Fair Celebration Committee, Pabna organised the festival.

Baishakhi celebration at Bashundhara Convention Centre

To celebrate the Bangla New Year, Adscience Ltd organised a colourful cultural programme titled 'Baishakhi Jhar” at the Bashundhara Convention Centre on Pahela Baishakh (April 14). The highlight of the programme was performances by popular bands 'Souls' and 'Feedback'. Adscience has been arranging New Year celebration programmes since 2003.

BGTF celebrates Chaitra Shankranti

Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF) arranged a special programme to observe 'Chaitra Shankranti', the last day of the Bengali year, at the Mahila Samity Stage.

Special play "Kaanta" on Ekushey TV

On the occasion of its 8th anniversary, Ekushey TV will air a single-episode play Kaanta tonight at 7:45 pm. The play has been written and directed by Arif Khan.

Venezuelan TV channel yanks "The Simpsons”

A Venezuelan TV channel is no longer showing The Simpsons because a government agency says it may be inappropriate for children.

OP-ED

Fostering 'special relations' between Britain and Bangladesh

On a bright sunny morning recently, an ebullient Anwar Choudhury, departing British High Commissioner in Bangladesh, talked to Syed Badrul Ahsan, Editor, Current Affairs, The Daily Star. The conversation, as the following article shows, covered a wide range of issues and brought forth Choudhury's insights into life, diplomacy and politics in Bangladesh and outside it ----

The potato glut

One of the major differences between a developed and a developing country is that a developed country's planners and administrators can think of a possible impact of a policy decision more or less correctly, while a developing country's planners and administrators cannot think of the impact fully ahead of policy implementation because of various deficiencies.

The next generation

Think about all the power that's represented here in all of you. If you all grab that arc, then I have no doubt, I have absolutely no doubt, that regardless of what happens in this presidential year and regardless of what happens in this campaign, America will transform itself," Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Obama (IL) boomed last year to the young crowd at George Mason University's Johnson Center in Fairfax, Virginia.

Star City

Treatment only if ailing heart survives climbing CCU

Bala Ram, an elderly heart patient from Nazira Bazar of old Dhaka, was climbing up the stairs of the newly-built coronary care unit (CCU) at the cardiology department of Mitford Hospital, the second largest public hospital in the city.

Treatment only if ailing heart survives climbing CCU

Bala Ram, an elderly heart patient from Nazira Bazar of old Dhaka, was climbing up the stairs of the newly-built coronary care unit (CCU) at the cardiology department of Mitford Hospital, the second largest public hospital in the city.

Kamalapur station to wear new look

Kamalapur, the largest railway station in Bangladesh, is set to have a new appearance and improved commuter service soon, sources said.

Kamalapur station to wear new look

Kamalapur, the largest railway station in Bangladesh, is set to have a new appearance and improved commuter service soon, sources said.

How safe are the energy saving bulbs?

It was 7 in the evening. Asheque Ahsan, a medical college student, was preparing for an examination scheduled for the following morning. He slammed his pen down on the desk in anguish as his stinging eyes would not let him focus on his notes.

How safe are the energy saving bulbs?

It was 7 in the evening. Asheque Ahsan, a medical college student, was preparing for an examination scheduled for the following morning. He slammed his pen down on the desk in anguish as his stinging eyes would not let him focus on his notes.



The Daily Star

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