The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, December 18, 2014


News of: Saturday, 19th of April, 2008

Front Page

20 lakh deprived of OMS and fair price facilities

Over an estimated 20 lakh people in areas under Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) are left out of the government's safety net programmes like open market sale (OMS) because they live in unions outside the city corporation.

Pro-Khaleda faction for showcause on Maj Hafiz

Pro-Khaleda faction of BNP plans to issue a showcause notice on Major (retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed, acting secretary general appointed by standing committee, for violating party discipline.

PDB retains Hosaf's deal after serving termination notice

After serving it with a contract termination notice last month, the Power Development Board (PDB) allegedly under pressure from an influential quarter Wednesday accepted security deposit from a power company owned by Hosaf Group for setting up Fenchuganj 50 megawatt rental power plant.

Chicken prices mark sharp rise

Prices of battery and free-range chickens registered a sharp rise in the city in last one week as bird-flu panic dies down and supply remains poor following the culling of thousands of birds during the avian influenza outbreak.

Forged ‘photocopy visas’ being used to cheat job seekers

Racketeers using forged 'photocopy visas' sent many Bangladeshi job seekers to Iraq promising well-paid jobs and deserted them in Sulaimaniya and elsewhere in that country to live a subhuman life without jobs, an investigation found.

Arms, ammo being purchased to strengthen jail security

The jail directorate will purchase about 6,500 Chinese rifles with 10,000 rounds of bullet while the Bangladesh Army will provide the jail guards with 550,000 bullets of .303 rifles for free.

Special tribunal without judge for three months

The Sylhet Divisional Special Tribunal has been without a judge for almost three months, which has greatly hampered trials of 26 sensational cases, including one for the grenade attack on the British high commissioner.

BSF guns down Bangladeshi, two Indians

The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) gunned down one Bangladeshi and two Indian cattle traders on Burimari border in Lalmonirhat's Patgram upazila early yesterday.

Two killed as storms lash 4 districts

Two teenagers were killed and at least 17 people injured in nor'wester and thunderstorm which also destroyed hundreds of thatched houses and vast swathes of standing crops in four districts in last two days.

‘Army shouldn’t be called in to hold polls’

The Army should not be called in for holding the general election, said former adviser to caretaker government M Hafizuddin Khan yesterday.

Dialogue will be meaningless if Hasina not treated abroad

Leaders of the Awami League (AL) yesterday said the electoral reforms dialogue with the government will be meaningless if the home adviser's remark is true that the caretaker government is not considering sending Sheikh Hasina abroad for treatment.

Arrested two former secys sent to jail

The two former secretaries who were accused along with former premiers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina in separate cases were sent to jail yesterday.

Islamist groups call off agitation programme

No untoward incident occurred at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque yesterday as the Islamist outfits postponed their earlier announced demonstrations in front of the mosque demanding cancellation of the National Women Development Policy.

Tripura minister resigns over alleged link with Bangladeshi

Sahid Chowdhury, Food and Supplies Minister in the CPI(M)-led government in India's Tripura state, resigned on Thursday in the wake of an inquiry into his alleged link with a Bangladeshi illegal.

Final report of case against Khulna mayor submitted

Police Thursday submitted the final report of an extortion case against Khulna City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman and 12 other people.

Last chance for Tigers

Bangladesh will get their last chance to salvage something from the one-day series against Pakistan when they play the fifth and final one-day international at the Karachi National Stadium today.

Women leaders vow to establish gender-eqality

Around a thousand women yesterday vowed to resist those running a violent street campaign against the national women development policy.

2 school girls ‘abducted’, 2 youths held

Two students of the city's Viqarunnisa Noon School and College were allegedly abducted while returning home Thursday afternoon.

A schoolboy's ‘adventure’

A police constable was stabbed while resisting an attempt to snatch his rifle by an SSC examinee in the city's Kafrul area last night.

Nepal Maoists give king 4 weeks to step down

A top Maoist leader in Nepal, who is tipped to be the country's next prime minister, has given an ultimatum of four weeks to the embattled King to step down and leave the Narayanhiti royal palace.

Food prices to hit Bangladesh anti-poverty drive: ADB chief

Soaring food prices have hampered Asia's fight against poverty and some countries may need foreign aid to feed their hungry millions, the Asian Development Bank president said Friday.

5 years of US in Iraq brought 'failure'

al-Qaeda's No 2 leader claimed in an audiotape released Friday that five years of US involvement in Iraq brought only defeat, and said President Bush will be forced to pass the problem to his successor.

Two-thirds of Britons fear race violence

Around two-thirds of Britons fear race relations are so bad that they could spark violent clashes, according to a poll published by the BBC yesterday.

Suicide blast kill 25 Afghans

The son of the Netherlands' new military chief was among two Dutch Nato soldiers slain on Friday by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, a day after a suicide blast killed 25 Afghans.

Editorial

Keeping anti-women policy elements at bay

THE tough stance adopted by the government on the extremists' response to the proposed national women development policy seemingly prevented any untoward incident on Friday. We only wish the government had acted thus sooner. But now that the extremist elements opposed to the policy have drawn back from the threats they made earlier about opposing the policy, we feel the government should keep up the pressure on them and see that they are no more able to disrupt social order in the name of religion. In the last few weeks, motivated controversy has been generated around the provisions of the proposed women policy. We note that despite reassurances by the government that none of the provisions goes against Koranic principles, a section of the religious right has continued to misguide the public.

Using the boro crop to bring down prices

HOW an intrinsic improvement in the projected output and availability of rice can start impacting positively on the staple market has been proven by the firm predic-tions of bumper boro crop. The private sector has begun releasing their old stocks. The wholesale prices are al-ready tapering off even though any marked fall is yet to be reflected in the retail market.

Hidden hunger, anger, dreams and democracy

SOME intellectuals from the western world have at times suggested that democracy; democratic norms and democratic behaviour are not always synonymous with Islam and Muslim countries. A few of these analysts have also pointed out that real democracy and associated freedom have really been enjoyed by Muslims more in non-Muslim environment rather than in typical Muslim states. In this context, they have referred to democratic rights enjoyed by Muslims within United States, in United Kingdom, in India, in Europe and even in Israel. They have compared such enjoyment of rights and the ability to seek functional legal redress with what has been happening in Pakistan and in almost all the Muslim countries in the Arab world and in Africa.

A lesson for South Asia

ELECTION results in Nepal should not come as a surprise to India when it first persists with kingship and then with a non-performing political party. New Delhi's failure is in not gauging the popular mood. This should be a point of concern because the span of thinking between India and Nepal turns out to be not a few months, but many years. People were changing and New Delhi was stuck in its wishful thinking of saving kingship and its old ally Nepal Congress. The king is as good as gone.

Regulating the US financial market

THERE is no doubt that the recent sub-prime mortgage meltdown has led to a collective loss of faith in the way the United States financial system works. When the turmoil in the sub-prime market spread to other parts of the securities market it created a huge liquidity crisis, forcing the central banks on both sides of the Atlantic to pump billions of dollars into the system to create liquidity. Yet, in spite of these efforts, confidence in the credit market has remained shaky. Financial institutions are still hesitant to extend new credits.

Sports

Siddons seeks big runs

Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons said on Friday that his charges must post a score close to 300 runs to have any chance in the fifth and final one-day international against Pakistan at the Karachi National Stadium.

Tigers' post-WC slide

When Bangladesh beat India and South Africa in the 2007 World Cup, there was reason to believe they would finally shrug off their minnows tag and begin to challenge the top teams more consistently. Both wins were achieved overseas - though conditions were fairly similar to the ones at home - against tough opponents, on the biggest world stage.

MSC taste first victory

Syed Al Masum facilitated Mohammedan Sporting Club a 2-0 victory over Sonali Bank in the Brac Bank Club Cup hockey tournament at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium yesterday.

Media to boycott meet

Agence France-Presse (AFP) and other top news agencies have said they will not cover cricket's inaugural Indian Premier League, which starts Friday, due to curbs on the distribution of photographs.

Tigers fined, Nafees warned

Bangladesh's misery at slumping to their fourth defeat in four one-dayers against Pakistan was compounded on Thursday when they were fined for a slow over-rate and then saw opener Shahriar Nafees reprimanded for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct.

Under-15s face Holland today

Bangladesh take on Holland in a opening day's knockout phase match of the Clico International Under-15 Challenge Competitions in Barbados today.

IPL gets off with a bang

The Indian Premier League (IPL), with its potential to transform world cricket, began on Friday with a spectacular floodlit match in Bangalore.

Dare fix the match!

Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) has taken an extraordinary measure to make sure nothing goes wrong in today's crucial First Division Super League match between Cricket Coaching School and Gazi Tank.

Tutu to give MCC speech

Desmond Tutu, the former Archbishop of Cape Town, will give the 2008 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's Cricket Ground on June 10, organisers Marylebone Cricket Club said Thursday.

McCullum gives IPL a rousing start

Brendon McCullum's memorable 158 dazzled Indian Premier League's opening night and gave Kolkata Knight Riders an mammoth score of 222 for 3 against Bangalore Royal Challengers yesterday.

Chelsea stay in the hunt

Michael Essien kept Chelsea's Premier League title hopes alive as Avram Grant's side all but ended Everton's hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League with a 1-0 victory at Goodison Park here Thursday.

Real look to get closer

La Liga leaders Real Madrid could move one step closer to winning a record 31st Spanish title if they can win at Racing Santander on Sunday.

Mind over matter for Inter

Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini has refused to allow a bitter war of words with Italian league title rivals AS Roma overshadow his team's push towards another Scudetto.

Win to take MU nearer

Manchester United will take a giant stride towards retaining their Premier League title if they beat Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Saturday.

Kahn warns of overconfidence

Bayern Munich's high-profile keeper Oliver Kahn warned of over-confidence ahead of Saturday's German Cup final against Borussia Dortmund, the first trophy towards a possible treble this season.

Talks start on Nedved return

A top Czech football association official said Thursday that he believed national manager Karel Bruckner had begun talks to bring back Juventus midfield star Pavel Nedved into the national squad for the Euro 2008 championships.

Messi expects Ronaldinho will stay

Barcelona's Argentine striker Lionel Messi said Thursday he hopes Ronaldinho, who is being courted by AC Milan, will remain at the club next year.

Raul awaits Euro call-up

Veteran Real Madrid striker Raul Gonzalez said Thursday he was waiting for a Euro 2008 call-up for Spain despite not featuring for his country for two years.

Federer reaches quarters

World number one Roger Federer breezed through irritating showers to shrug off Romania's Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-2 and reach the Estoril Open quarter-finals on Thursday.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh Rifles beat East End Boys Club 3-0 in the inaugural match of the Premier Division Volleyball League that began at the Volleyball Stadium yesterday.

Maria books Serena clash

Maria Sharapova, enjoying a sparkling season so far, will test herself against an old foe in Serena Williams in the quarter-finals of the Family Circle Cup.

'Cricket needs IPL'

Ricky Ponting, the Australia captain, fears for the future of international cricket if administrators don't carve out a six-week window for the Indian Premier League. The tournament opens in Bangalore on Friday and while the cricket world is waiting to see how big it will be, Ponting is concerned about how it could influence players.

'Lure not disloyalty'

Kevin Pietersen has insisted England players' interest in appearing in the Indian Premier League is not a sign of disloyalty but something "anyone in their right mind" would consider seriously.

Freddie bowls for long

Andrew Flintoff's bid to be fit in time for next month's first Test against New Zealand at Lord's received a boost Thursday as the England all-rounder got through 28 overs for Lancashire in the first innings of their County Championship opener against Surrey at The Oval.

IPL launches its website

The Indian Premier League (ILP) has launched its website iplt20.com, developed by Live Current Media (LCM), a Canadian company which bought the portal rights for the next ten years.

Fine start for DCA

Dhanmondi Cricket Academy (DCA) got off to a winning start in the Second Division Cricket League after they beat Kalabagan Cricket Academy (KCA) by 40 runs at the City Club ground yesterday.

Locals demand better facilities

A month-long cricket training programme, organised by the district sports office, concluded on Wednesday.

Shoaib to file fresh appeal

Shoaib Akhtar has been allowed to file a fresh appeal by the appellate tribunal conducting his hearing against the five-year ban imposed on him after his lawyer said he hadn't received some documents from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Windies not coming to Pakistan

The Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) effort to host a home series received another jolt with the West Indies turning down an invitation to play a one-day series later in the year.

Metropolitan

Bangladesh 'on track' to achieve MDG on child survival

Bangladesh is very much 'on track' to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 on child survival, but is far away from the target of reducing maternal deaths -- the goal 5 of the United Nations set for 2015, according to a report available here yesterday.

Take stern action against communal forces

Speakers at a seminar yesterday came down heavily on the caretaker government for its soft stance on communal forces who staged violent protests recently against the national women development policy.

Edible oil price goes up further in Ctg

Price of edible oil both at wholesale and retail markets in the port city registered a fresh hike yesterday due to shortfall in supply.

Declare nat'l minimum wage at Tk 4,500

Leaders of Jatiya Sramik League (JSL) have demanded declaration of national minimum wage at Tk 4,500 and its immediate implementation in all institutes and industries across the country according to scale and grade of the employees, says a press release.

Reforms a must to strengthen local govt system

Local government representatives and politicians at a roundtable yesterday called for reforms to strengthen the local government system for a sustainable development.

Provide rations to needy employees

Finance Adviser Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday advised the profitable enterprises to provide rations to their needy employees for a certain period of time as part of their social corporate responsibility.

Concern over move to fell trees on DU campus

Leaders of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) have expressed grave concern over the Dhaka University decision to fell a number of trees at Jagannath Hall (DU) to construct a new residential building for the students, says a press release.

Export of jute goods thru' Mongla port increases

Export of jute and jute goods through Mongla port to international markets has increased.

Call to raise awareness about reproductive health

Experts yesterday stressed the need to raise awareness about reproductive health among adolescent boys and girls who make up 25 percent of the total population.

Celebrating 400 years of Dhaka city

Taste of Dhaka, a three-day festival celebrating 400 years of Dhaka city, ends today at the Kalabagan playground in the city.

'Remain vigilant against changes in electoral roadmap'

National Awami Party (NAP) President Prof Mozaffar Ahmed yesterday said all should remain vigilant so that the electoral roadmap cannot be changed in the name of reforms and dialogue.

Six killed in road crashes

Six people were killed in separate road accidents across the country in the last two days.

Teachers demand 60pc DA

National Front of Teachers and Employees (NFTE) yesterday demanded 60 percent dearness allowance and supplying rice, flour and edible oil in ration for teachers and employees of the non-government educational institutions, says a press release.

Nat'l convention of BPRA held

The 11th biennial national convention of Bangladesh Public Relations Association (BPRA) was held in the city recently, says a press release.

'Take action against illegal structures on St Martin's island'

Bangladesh Environment Lawyers' Association (BELA) on Thursday sent legal notices to authorities concerned to take steps against unauthorised commercial structures like hotels and resorts on the country's lone coral island Saint Martin's for the sake of its ecological safety.

Newly married woman killed for dowry

A newly married woman was killed by her husband over dowry at Char Koijuri village in Shahjadpur upazila on Thursday night.

First-ever open scout group secretaries confce

The first-ever open scout group secretaries conference organised by Bangladesh Scouts began at Mouchak in Gazipur on Thursday, says a press release.

FA airs concern at Israeli military attacks in Gaza

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury expressed 'grave concern' at the news that Israeli military actions have killed 19 people, including children, in Gaza.

BBC Bangladesh Sanglap today

The 34th edition of the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap will be held at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the capital today.

National

25 Satkhira JMB men charge-sheeted

Twenty-five leaders and cadres of banned Islamist militant organization Jama'atul Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB) have been charge-sheeted here in a case for subversive activities against the state.

Mob assault ASI for 'bribery'

Angered by an assistant sub-inspector's bribery and harassment, people assaulted and detained the police officer at Beltala Bazaar in the city yesterday morning.

Shahidnagar massacre day today

Today is Shahidnagar massacre day.

Saifur Square renamed Muktijoddha Chattar

Following demands from freedom fighters, Saifur Rahman Square at Sherpur, built to commemorate their supreme sacrifice during the Liberation War, has been renamed Muktijudhho Chattar (square).

Tender for 210 MW plant in Khulna under process

Special Assistant to the Chief Adviser for f Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Prof M Tamim yesterday said tender work is under process to set up a 210 megawatt power plant in Khulna.

Forgery case against former MP Ilyas Ali

A forgery case has been filed against absconding former lawmaker and Sylhet BNP chief M Ilyas Ali and four others.

'Start activities of Rangpur university this year'

The Rangpur University Implementation Coordination

Case against Pabna jail super sent to ACC

The case against Pabna jail superintendent Md. Rejaul Karim and two other jail officials for taking bribe has been shifted to Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).

Badhon conducts free blood group test

Rajshahi University (RU) unit of Badhon, a voluntary blood donation organization, arranged a daylong free blood group test programme on the premises of Rabindra Arts building to celebrate its fourth founding anniversary on Thursday.

Education officer charge-sheeted

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) has pressed charges against Sadar upazila education officer Samsunnahar Begum in a case for taking bribe from a schoolteacher.

International

US to curb drone attacks on Pakistani soil

The United States has promised to curb airstrikes by drones against suspected militants in Pakistan, as part of a joint counter-terrorism strategy agreed with the new civilian government led by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in Islamabad, according to a report published in the Guardian on Thursday.

Carter, Hamas leaders talk Gaza truce

Former US President Jimmy Carter and Hamas leaders discussed the possibility of a truce in the Gaza Strip during their talks in Cairo, a leader of the Islamist group said yesterday.

No US plan to fight terror in Pak tribal belt

More than six years after the September 11 attacks, the United States still does not have a coherent plan to destroy a key staging area for terrorist attacks into the country, according to an independent government watchdog.

Brown seeks tighter Iran sanctions

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Thursday called for tightening European sanctions on Iran over its suspect nuclear programme, specifically targeting investments in liquefied natural gas.

New Tibet protest erupts in northwestern China

Tibetan monks staged a protest in northwest China that led to arrests and heightened security, two activist groups and a local hotel receptionist said yesterday, in the latest sign of unrest.

Mugabe rounds on critics, silent on polls outcome

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe came out fighting yesterday in his first major speech since disputed polls, fending off criticism over his rights record and accusing Britain of stirring up unrest.

6 British Muslims found guilty in terror trial

Six British Muslims, including Abu Izzadeen who heckled the then Home Secretary John Reid live on television, have been convicted of terrorist fund-raising and inciting terrorism overseas.

India pitches for civilian nuclear cooperation with various countries

Amid a deadlock on the Indo-US nuclear deal, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today pitched for civilian nuclear cooperation with various countries to achieve energy security.

India returns runaway Pak boys

Two boys who ran away from home and sneaked across the heavily guarded Indian border were back in Pakistan on Friday after Indian authorities swiftly deported them.

8 killed in fresh Lanka fighting

At least six Tamil Tiger guerrillas and two soldiers were killed in fresh fighting in northern Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said on Friday.

Hillary, Obama embark on primary endgame

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama set off Thursday on a five-day dash towards the Pennsylvania primary, as the endgame opens in their gruelling Democratic White House tussle.

UN plans summit on food crisis

The United Nations will call a summit meeting in the coming months to tackle the problems of rising food prices and violence triggered by food shortages, according to a UN document obtained by The Yomiuri Shimbun on Thursday.

Climate change driving war, hunger: France

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday told the world's biggest carbon polluters that global warming was becoming a driver of hunger, unrest and conflict, with the war in Darfur a concrete example.

'Atmosphere of intimidation' clouds Myanmar polls: UK envoy

A top British envoy on Myanmar said yesterday that an "atmosphere of intimidation" was clouding next month's referendum on a new constitution and urged the military-ruled country to let opposition forces take part.

China imposes new visa restrictions

China has imposed further curbs on visitors, just weeks after it stopped issuing multiple-entry visas, Hong Kong travel agents said yesterday, sparking concern among the business community.

UN agency appeals for $256m more in food funds

The United Nations agency charged with relieving world hunger made an appeal yesterday for 256 million dollars more in funds to cope with sharp rises in food prices.

Simplified treatment for malaria

Malaria patients can soon ditch complicated treatment regimes for one combining two drugs in a single dose, a non profit drug development group and a Brazilian pharmaceutical company said Thursday.

Arts & Entertainment

Celebrating 400 years of Dhaka

On the occasion of Dhaka's 400th anniversary, a three-day food festival has been arranged by the Dhaka Mahanagari Samiti (Dhaka Samiti) at the Kalabagan Ground. Starting from April 17, the festival is a treat for the foodies, offering traditional Old Dhaka food.

On the radio

Nusrat, the peppy radio jockey of Amar 88 and Nokia Express Music Hour on Radio Foorti 88.0 FM, is an effective example of the rise of the 'RJ generation' -- a very recent phenomenon. Nusrat opted for this “unconventional” career as a part timer initially, and now is one of the most popular among the RJs. Recently she spoke to The Daily Star and shared her opinion on the current FM radio trends. Excerpts:
The Daily Star (TDS): Radio jockeying is a relatively new profession in our country. How did you start?Nusrat: It was purely out of fun. I was studying at BRAC University then, and was looking for a job. FM radio has gone through a revolution in the country. RJs have a better market prospect today and the radio stations are doing an excellent job in promoting our music.

A medley of paintings, prints and posters

Seventy-seven young artists in their final year at the Institute of Fine Arts (IFA), DU held a two-day exhibition at Zainul Gallery recently. The display included the works of students of drawing and painting, graphic design, printmaking, sculpture, oriental art, craft and ceramic.

"The Forbidden Kingdom": One more time, everybody is Kung Fu fighting

At first glance The Forbidden Kingdom, the first movie to unite the martial arts action stars Jackie Chan and Jet Li, might be mistaken for a pastiche of its genre. Its main character, a Boston teenager named Jason (Michael Angarano), is obsessed with kung fu cinema, and the ways of modern Hollywood might lead the viewer to expect the filmmakers to mock, travesty or wink at this obsession.

'Baha Utsab' in Dinajpur

The indigenous community of North Bengal recently held the traditional Baha Utsab to celebrate the season with religious and cultural rituals including Santali songs and dances. A discussions was also a part of the festival.

Shahrukh Khan learning Bangla?

Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan appears to be learning Bangla after he bought the Kolkata Kinght Riders team to play in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition.

OP-ED

Ten commitments

ONLY the incorrigible skeptics would now entertain doubts about the credibility of holding of general elections by December 2008. This does not mean that doubting Thomas of other descriptions are non-existent in our midst.

A time for farewell

ARSHAD-UZ Zaman, a successful diplomat, political confidant of the nation's high and mighty, and a man of international culture recently passed away at the mature age of 80-plus years. There were few things in life that he left unachieved, but he was also a deeply caring human being which was his life's greatest achievement and that's how we shall remember him.

Resource mobilisation pivotal to poverty reduction

THE Bangladesh government is now working on the draft of the second Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) for the period 2008-2011. Consultants are working on eighteen thematic areas. Of them, resource mobilisation from domestic and foreign sources could be a vital means of poverty reduction at a level set by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Some flaws of the previous PRSP, particularly problems in its implementation, were identified in a meeting of the Planning Commission. In this article, I would like to discuss some points related to resource mobilisation that are important for drafting a realistic PRSP.

Moitree Express for amity

THE passenger train service named Moitree Express has started, creating amity between the people of Bangladesh and India. This has to be recognised as a really good piece of work by Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav, the Indian railway minister, and also by the CTG and the army chief. Let us hope that Bengali New Year, 1415, will usher in a new era of better understanding and cooperation among the people of Bangladesh and India. We have to admit that, despite differences of opinions on some issues, the common people of both the countries want to come closer, particularly after our independence in 1971.

Environment

Kaptai Lake watershed: Agro-ecosystem management constraint

In spite of getting diverse interests of commissioning power plant at Kaptai in Chittagong Hill Tracts, its ecological consequences were many-fold. Firstly, the population pressure increased in the vicinity of the Kaptai lake for swallowing most of the best valley-bottom land and consequently there was an acute shortage of suitable cultivable land. Secondly, competition for jhum land increased so greatly that the fallow cycle has been reduced and the natural system of soil conservation became fragile. Thirdly, destruction of the forest exposed the ground surface to the rainwater and the traditional slash and burn techniques resulted in incessant soil loss, depletion of plant nutrient, competition from weeds and yield decline. Such widespread land degradation manifests itself in a declining rural income, fuel wood shortage and silting up of the Kaptai reservoir. The changes have also greatly increased the fire hazard, environmental pollution, wild life depletion, scarcity of safe drinking water. Therefore, the long-term sustainability of hill land agriculture in the watershed area of Kaptai lake is obviously threatened in terms of productivity and ecology.

Freshwater: A finite but renewable resource

Water, a critical component of the ecological cycles, is theoretically a renewable resource, made continually available -- through the water cycle -- by the constant flow of solar energy to the earth, which evaporates water from the ocean and redistributes it back to the globe as precipitation. As the world population increased, the water demand continued to rise and the per capita availability of freshwater continued to decrease. About 70 percent of the earth's surface is covered with water, but only 2.53 percent of that is freshwater, the rest being saline. Again, most of this freshwater is locked in ice and snow in glaciers and ice sheets. Only 0.26 percent of all freshwater stock (about 90,000 cubic km of water in absolute terms) is globally available to us for use -- from rivers, lakes, soil moisture and groundwater; apparently the quantity is not so small for a world population of 6.4 billion. In reality, however, we (humankind) are living at the mercy of the water cycle, which acts as the bloodstream of the biosphere.

Literature

Houri

“You are an ass and the rest of your life you will remain one,” Rocky Mirza said, condescendingly blowing a ring of smoke at him, “We live only once, mate, my philosophy is live like there is no tomorrow, have fun. Think of our old chum Hafiz; our sad and dejected friend kicked the bucket within two years after his intended dumped him. And here I am drinking bucketsful of pleasure. If it's Samina today, tomorrow it will be Bilkis or Rosina, or Tamanna…”

Sri Lanka: the 2008 Galle literary festival

To many, Sri Lanka seems not to be part of South Asia. Apart from the 22-year-old war that's scarred the country, and cricket, one hardly reads about the lives in the teardrop-shaped Indian Ocean island. When I visited Lanka this spring, the hotel that I checked into was GFH, short for Galle Face Hotel. The name 'Galle Face' was chosen by the English colonialists and attributed to the gate of the Portuguese colonialists' Santa Cruz fortress in Colombo. The hotel faced the commercially important port of Galle on the south of Old Ceylon.

Four Ekushey Boimela Little Magazines

Aninda; Tk 100.00
This little magazine has been around for a long time--as recollected in a anecdotal, semi-brooding piece on Aninda's 20 years by Tapan Barua titled 'Aninda'r beesh bochor, pasha pashi tobuo duray duray.' It reveals the gradual fading away of Barua's generation of little magazine activists, as they've launched into other lives, or simply faded away, ending with a forlorn line that “one day in this Bengal there will be a true literature, a little magazine. From Dinajpur to Chittagong.” This issue is a mix of short stories, a fairly lengthy in memorium of little magazine poet Sonchoy Prothom, essays and translations, and some poems. Interesting reads are Tania Bulbul's semi-fictional 'Durjog Bhromon,' a capable translation 'Time within time -- Tarkovosky's Diary,' and Mohammed Khusru's photo essay 'Mon Poboner Nao.'

A Day at the Zoo

When they pulled the young man into the back of the truck
he banged his head twice –
once against the step, once against the bars of his cage.
He had been jack-hammering the streets with others of the same breed,
punctuating the thick summer air with gunshot slogans, sticks and stones,
trying to exorcise hawk-heads and jackal-butts.
Until tit-for-tatting green-and-blues, khakis and combat gear puppies
forwarded him: return to sender, address unknown.

Fashion Show

My, what terrific figures you all have!
Walking, or floating, you roll and sway
Light spilling from perilous curves.

Star Health

Prostate cancer prevention: What you can do

There is no sure way to prevent prostate cancer — but you can make some choices that might help. Prostate cancer is complicated, and researchers are still trying to understand the full range of factors that cause it — and determine which prevention strategies are safe and most effective.

Health writers and communicators congregated at New Delhi

More than 100 health journalists from print and electronic media from the SAARC region congregated at the First National Health Writers & Communicators Convention recently held at New Delhi, India.

Remember the first three letters — S T R

During a weekend afternoon gathering, Mr Jalil (not a real name) stumbled and took a little fall. After a while, he assured everyone that he was ok. The host offered calling an ambulance or a doctor. But he denied saying that it was of no need. They got him cleaned up and got him a new plate of food. While he appeared a bit shaken up, he went about enjoying himself the rest of the afternoon. Eventually he had been taken to the hospital and passed away that evening.

Lifestyle change key for the success of obesity surgery

Anyone thinking about having weight loss surgery should be sure to do their homework beforehand, and must understand they need to dramatically change the way they eat for the surgery to be successful, advises the head of the U.S. government agency responsible for research on health care quality and patient safety.

Remedies from common natural sources

Garlic
Allium sativum L commonly known as Garlic has long been considered as natural remedy.

Novo Nordisk wins Medical Design Excellence Award

Novo Nordisk, a leading healthcare company for diabetes care has been awarded Medical Design Excellence Award 2008 for its product NovoFine® Autocover® needle, says a press release.

Beacon Pharma launched safe IV Iron “Xenofer”

A new drug for intravenous (IV) iron therapy named “Xenofer” has been launched recently by Beacon Pharmaceuticals Ltd., says a press release.

World Malaria Day | 25 April

Malaria continues to haunt 40% of the world's population. It infects more than 500 million people per year and kills more than 1 million. The burden of malaria is heaviest in sub-Saharan Africa but the disease also afflicts Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and even parts of Europe.

Strategic Issues

Military application of satellites

MAN'S curiosity about the 'heavens' dates back, perhaps, to the beginning of history. Initially he fulfilled a desire to see into the depths of space by using telescopes but the ultimate desire has been to launch himself into space. This required understanding of the laws governing the motions of bodies around the planets. Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton worked out the mathematical laws that govern the motion of bodies in orbit round the heavenly bodies. The laws of motion and the basic notion of differential calculus opened the door to the technology of artificial earth satellites.

The Arab Summit and the US doctrine

THE Arab Summit, which was held on the 29th and 30th of March, 2008 in Damascus, Syria, faced serious regional challenges. This annual summit is usually held in a different Arab capital. The current Damascus Summit was defined by the failure to attend by Saudi Arabian, Egyptian, Jordanian and Lebanese leaders. These four countries made a tragic and strategic mistake by failing to attend the summit. They will become more vulnerable to Arab national voices, which will perceive them as collaborators with the United States.

Addressing political corruption is a new reality in Bangladesh

POLITICAL Corruption” is in fact a matter of debate all over the world. In Bangladesh, the debate and discussion on political corruption is not anything new. I have had knowledge about this term since my boyhood during the Pakistan period. However, in view of the promulgation of emergency as per article 141A of the constitution on 11 January 2007 and various reform actions taken since then in Bangladesh, the topic has become a talk of the country and the people want a positive end to all kinds of corruption.

Star Books Review

An update on the globalisation debate

To both its critics and backers, globalisation is a phenomenon to be seriously studied and debated. And when leading experts like Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Jagdish Bhagwati, representing the two sides of the debate respectively, are brought together in a single volume, one can expect a lively and state-of-the-art discourse on the subject. A recently published high profile book offers exactly just that a reasoned and sophisticated update on the debate about the benefits, risks and future prospects of globalisation.

The invisible bonds between people

The Hundred Secret Senses makes one comprehend the hidden resources within each one of us. We all have senses that are many in number, buried deep within our psyche, that we are often not aware of. We all experience gut feelings; we are able to sense that which is not obvious to our ordinary senses.

Values and the young

All teaching is a matter of involvement. Ask anyone who has been a teacher, especially in a school. There is the likelihood of your coming by a recapitulation of a sense of values, those which in these more uncertain times seem to be falling by the wayside. It just so happens that Angela Robinson is one individual who has held fast to those values even as they constantly appear to be slipping from our grasp. And she does so through informing the young she has been teaching in Bangladesh for a good number of years now that the classroom is but a window to the world beyond it. And that world is of course an appreciation of the truths and the beliefs we have always held dear, for the simple reason that they have underpinned our hold on politics, on history, indeed on the diversity of culture that has kept society in a state of stability for generations on end.

Synoptic tale of a culture struggle

The Language Movement of 1952 was the first step towards the realisation of our dream --- an independent Bangladesh where citizens would be free to pursue their unique identity and consolidate their rich literary and enlightened heritage.



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