The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, August 31, 2014


News of: Sunday, 20th of April, 2008

Front Page

Another Tangail tragedy kills 18 bus passengers

In yet another fatal road accident, 18 persons were killed and 55 injured when a passenger bus skidded off the road and fell on the railway on Jamuna Bridge Approach Road in Kalihati upazila of Tangail early yesterday.

EC may wrap up talks if BNP fails to unite

The Election Commission (EC) may wrap up electoral reform talks with political parties without holding formal talks with BNP if the party fails to unite within the timeframe given to it to join the reform dialogue.

Hasina readmitted to Square Hospital

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina was admitted to the city's Square Hospital yesterday for the second time while in detention.

Ulema body's views go against constitution

The ulema committee's recommendations to curb the rights of women are totally unconstitutional since the constitution of Bangladesh guarantees equal rights for women, speakers said at a roundtable in the city yesterday.

Roads replete with deaths

With official death toll of nearly 4,000 a year, road accidents cause the largest casualties in Bangladesh as neither existing laws nor law enforcement agencies are stringent enough to punish culprit drivers or transport owners.

Dhaka for on-board visa checking, joint customs inspection for Maitree

Bangladesh today formally proposes to India introduction of on-board visa checking and setting up of a common station for joint customs checking of the passengers of Dhaka-Kolkata train Maitree Express.

No talks, no polls without Khaleda, Hasina

Khandaker Delwar Hossain, the BNP secretary general appointed by party chief Khaleda Zia, yesterday hinted at launching a vigorous movement to free the party chief and said the party will not participate in any dialogue or election without Khaleda and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina.

Army to be deployed at Wasa pumps to ensure smooth supply

The government will deploy army at pumps of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) in a day or two to help ensure uninterrupted supply of water during the summer.

Dhaka to press for donors' fund commitment

The government will press for an urgent commitment from the donors to fund projects on climate change mitigation and adaptation at the next month's high-level meeting between Bangladesh and United Kingdom (UK) in Dhaka and the climate change meet in London.

Women, HR bodies to press for implementation

Various women and human rights organisations in the country yesterday announced launching of a movement so the government implements the Women Development Policy 2008.

Cop's quick thought saved many lives

Presence of mind of a constable of Jamuna Bridge East Police Station yesterday saved the lives of many injured passengers trapped inside the wreckage of the bus that was lying upside down across the railway near Ibrahimabad Railway Station.

Diarrhoea patients crowd ICDDR,B

The diarrhoea situation has worsened in the capital city as the extreme hot and humid weather persists.

Butt confirms Tigers whitewash

Opener Salman Butt smashed a record-breaking century to help Pakistan beat Bangladesh by 150 runs in the fifth and final day-night international here on Saturday for a 5-0 series whitewash.

Edible oil, pulses get costlier

Prices of branded soya bean oil went up on the retail market in the city yesterday as retailers said distributors cut supplies following the price hike of the non-brand kind.

2 killed in crossfire

Two outlaws including a regional leader of banned Gono Mukti Fouz (GMF) have been killed in shootouts between law enforcers and the operatives in Kushtia and Naogaon.

Maj Gen Monir new NSI DG

Major General Sheikh Md Monirul Islam has been appointed director general of the National Security Intelligence (NSI).

Mugging suspect dies in custody

A man detained for suspected involvement in mugging was allegedly tortured to death in police custody in Narayanganj on Friday night.

49 killed in intense Lankan clashes

At least 48 LTTE rebels and a soldier were killed in fierce clashes in the restive Northern Sri Lanka, officials said yesterday.

Recounting of ballots begins in Zimbabwe

Officials began recounting ballots for a couple dozen legislative seats Saturday, an exercise that could overturn the opposition's landmark victory.

Editorial

New political realities in Nepal

The electorally victorious Maoists in Nepal have served notice on King Gyanendra that he must leave Narayanhiti Palace in the next four weeks. The move is certainly an indication of the dramatic way politics has been transformed in a kingdom about to turn itself into a republic. There is no question that the emergence of the Maoists as a pre-eminent force in Nepalese politics was as sudden as it was unforeseen. That only places a heavy burden of responsibility on them as they prepare to take charge of the country's next government. For the Maoists, at this point, it becomes necessary to acknowledge the confidence reposed in them by the electorate and move on to build a durable democratic structure in the country.

Trees on DU campus

We are alarmed at the rate century old trees have been going down on the pristine campus of Dhaka University. After standing tall for decades they are being cut down to make room for some brick and mortar structures. In the past, powerful yet unscrupulous factions within the student parties sold off valuable trees from the campus. It was a shameful act that went unchallenged.

Elections in Nepal

ELECTIONS are held to enhance the welfare of the people. In developed countries it is taken for granted that the party that wins majority of votes from an electorate that has given thought to the words spoken by the candidates and the party manifestos forms the government.

Inflated Egos

Is inflation some kind of a sudden plague, which hits without warning, spreads contagious havoc for a while and then disappears as mysteriously as it came? Finance ministers would love such an explanation, wouldn't they? Government propagandists could command a high premium from their masters if they managed to sell such a myth. Unhappily for governments, and fortunately for mere mortals, the voter is not gullible.

Hillary Clinton's Sister Souljah moment

RECENT successful white Democratic presidential candidates, who were perceived to be pro-black, had sent coded messages to blue-collar white voters assuring them that whatever they may have said on the campaign trail, they were actually “one of them.” Candidate Jimmy Carter did so by saying in 1976 that there should be some “racial purity” in the residential neighbourhoods. Meaning: blacks and whites should not necessarily be neighbours. And Bill Clinton invented the Sister Souljah moment in 1992.

Sports

Mehrab leads from front

Mehrab Hossain led from the front with a well-composed 89 as GP-BCB National Cricket Academy (NCA) thrashed South Africa Academy by 119 runs to confirm their final berth in the tri-nation one-day series at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Abahani, Usha enter semis

As expected Abahani and Usha Krira Chakra moved to the semifinal of the Brac Bank Club Cup hockey tournament as the two powerhouses registered their third successive wins at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium yesterday.

Local Snippets

Titas Club beat Sonali Bank 3-0 in the Premier Division Volleyball League at the Volleyball Stadium yesterday.

Gazi, CCS in Premier

Cricket Coaching School and Gazi Tank earned promotion to next season's Premier League after they beat the latter by seven wickets in the Super League of First Division Cricket League at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Asian Wushu from April 23

The 3rd Asian Wushu Championship will begin at the Mirpur Shaheed Suhrawardy Indoor Stadium on April 23.

Hussey whacks Punjab

A pair of Australians, in what was more Pura Cup action than Indian Premier League (IPL), treated a buzzing Mohali crowd to a run-filled Saturday clash as the bandwagon moved north. Unfortunately for Kings XI Punjab, James Hopes's 32-ball 71 couldn't overhaul a massive target of 241, while the Chennai Super Kings had their Western Australia specialist Michael Hussey to thanks for a massive total. His scintillating unbeaten 114, another superb exhibition for this juiced-up format, left Punjab a mountain to climb and with Yuvraj Singh dethroned early they could only muster 207 for 4.

Marauding McCullum

The opening ceremony was a spectacular affair, but what followed was even more breathtaking, as Brendon McCullum destroyed the home team in the inaugural match of the IPL. In what was a brutal one-man assault on the Bangalore Royal Challengers, McCullum blasted an unbeaten 158 from a mere 73 deliveries, the highest score in a Twenty20 match, to propel Kolkata Knight Riders to an imposing 222 for 3. The punch-drunk Bangalore team was in no condition to fight back after that battering, and collapsed limply to 82 to lose by an embarrassing margin of 140 runs, the fourth-largest defeat in this sort of match.

Rules bent in a month

Less than a month after announcing a final list of players for the DLF Indian Premier League (IPL) that kicked off on Friday at Bangalore, the organisers of the Twenty20 tournament seem to have forgotten it by allowing some franchise teams to include additional players.

Yousuf ignored for Twenty20

Pakistan on Friday dropped experienced batsman Mohammad Yousuf for their first ever home Twenty20 international, against Bangladesh.

High on entertainment

If you needed any proof that few of the spectators saw the Indian Premier League (IPL) as anything more than glitzy entertainment, it arrived after the seventh over of the Royal Challengers' comically inept innings. While Sourav Ganguly warmed up for a bowl, with the scoreboard showing a dismal 33 for 4, the boom box started playing a popular Kannada tune. The crowd roared with approval. Could you think of one serious sport where a home crowd of 55,000 would be cheering with their team being cut to pieces as though with a sushi knife? Neither could we.

Gunners restore pride

Arsenal restored some pride by beating Reading on Saturday, though the result will not bother Manchester United who can close in on the English Premier League title with victory at Blackburn.

Rafa's mind on football

Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez has reiterated his desire to concentrate on footballing matters rather than boardroom battles to ensure a successful run-in to the season.

City eye big signings

English Premier League side Manchester City are planning big-name close-season signings to ensure Champions League soccer within the next two years, executive director Taweesuk Jack Srisumrid said.

Wenger looking ahead

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, having seen his season dramatically unravel, is already making plans for the next campaign but insisted he is not in the market for Spanish hitman David Villa.

Barry wants to play in C League

Gareth Barry could be taking part in his final Birmingham derby for Aston Villa on Sunday after admitting that he could be ready to leave the club he has served for ten years for pastures new this summer.

Federer storms into semis

Roger Federer battled changing weather, which went from sun to rain and back, before beating Portugal's Frederico Gil 6-4, 6-1 to reach the Estoril Open semifinals on Friday.

Chelsea sweat on Drogba, Ballack

Avram Grant endured the demands of television schedulers over the rearrangement of Chelsea's Premier League fixture at Everton only through gritted teeth but, privately at least, the Stamford Bridge manager may now appreciate previously unforeseen benefits in the fixture switch. Injuries threaten to decimate his options ahead of next week's Champions League semifinal first-leg tie against Liverpool so, in the circumstances, any extra days to recuperate are gratefully received.

Maldini suffers thigh injury

AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini, who is mulling whether to retire at the end of the season, has suffered an injury to his left thigh.

Rio plans MU finish

England defender Rio Ferdinand hopes to spend the rest of his playing career with Manchester United.

Keegan positive about Owen

Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan believes England striker Michael Owen will sign a new deal to remain at St James' Park.

South Africa to decide on Parreira

The future of South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira will be decided on Monday, the national football association said.

Serena downs Maria

Serena Williams continued her domination of Maria Sharapova with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 win in the quarterfinals of the 1.3 million dollar WTA Family Circle Cup on Friday.

James eyes Lord's Test

James Anderson has known some dramatic peaks and troughs during his five-year England career, and his recent tour of New Zealand provided a perfect microcosm. He was recalled for the second Test in Wellington and starred with five first-innings wickets en route to a series-turning victory, but one match later in Napier his form had fallen away, and he was dispatched for more than six an over by Stephen Fleming in the first innings and Matthew Bell in the second.

Setting the bar

One of the few less-publicised aspects of the Indian Premier League (IPL) concerns the orange helmet kept at each of the eight franchise venues. After each round of matches this strange accessory -- the IPL's answer to the Tour de France's yellow jersey -- is handed to the competition's leading run-scorer. After tonight's piece de resistance at the Chinnaswamy, it will take something bordering on the miraculous to deprive Brendon McCullum of his dubious honour.

Champions League in October?

Following the spectacular start to the Indian Premier League (IPL), its organisers have chalked out plans for an inaugural Champions League featuring top domestic Twenty20 sides from several countries.

Ryder doubtful for Eng tour

Jesse Ryder should have been happy at securing a New Zealand Cricket contract on Monday but instead the prospect of potentially missing the ODI tour of England was weighing him down. Ryder was one of the 20 men to be offered national deals for 2008-09 and although he said he was "stoked" to get the news, his ongoing hand injury remained a concern.

$100m offered for five games

England are set to be offered 100 million dollars (50 million pounds) to play five Twenty20 matches against a West Indies all-star side, according to reports here on Saturday.

Sewta Uday enter final

A three-wicket win over Prabhat Sangha ensured Sewta Uday Sena (SUS) enter the finals of the Col Malek First Division Cricket League at the local stadium here yesterday.

They patch up enmity

Former foes, including Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly, have become Indian Premier League (IPL) teammates and publicly patched up their differences. Ponting and Ganguly played small parts in Kolkata's 140-run thrashing of Bangalore and set out to work together on the field.

Business

Export zone strike ban extended for two years

The government has decided to extend the ban on strikes and lockouts in the country's Export Processing Zones (EPZ) for another two years to keep the specialised investment areas aloof from worker or management agitation.

Hygiene fears reshaping meat market

BRAC and Aftab, two of Bangladesh's leading poultry farmers, have started large scale marketing of processed chicken, in a move that could change the landscape of the country's meat industry.

Steel inspectors ‘panic’ business

Plans to send government inspectors into steel plants to check stock levels will create panic and disrupt production, business leaders warned yesterday.

WB, IMF must focus on food supply: Lamy

The head of the World Trade Organisation, Pascal Lamy, called on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to take action to help tackle rising food prices in an interview Saturday.

IMF team due tomorrow to discuss budget, Rupali fate

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission will arrive in Dhaka tomorrow to discuss with top government officials the next fiscal year's national budget and banking reforms including fresh initiative for privatisation of the Rupali Bank.

Unelected govt has no right to ink any deal on mineral resources

The present government has no right to conduct any deal on mineral resources, as it is not a people's elected one, speakers told a seminar in Dhaka yesterday, urging it not to ink any deal on offshore gas exploration.

Laws needed to protect arable land

The country needs to make laws to protect cultivable land from unplanned use to ensure adequate food production, a roundtable was told in Dhaka yesterday.

Interest rate is still too high

Bangladesh Bank has helped ensure relative monetary stability despite economic setbacks arising from a number of shocks from different fronts, including natural disasters, loss of crops and the inexorable rise in the prices of food grains, petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) and other commodities in the international markets. Food grain prices and international shortage have now created a fundamental challenge for the country, both in humanitarian terms and in terms of the socio-political ramifications.

Beyond human resources

While waiting for some guests at the Sonargaon Hotel lobby, my Human Resources colleague Saidul was greeted by a hotel official. Saidul then introduced Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed who handed me his card Director People Innovation & Education. Noticing my inquiring appearance, Rakib volunteered, “Yes, that's an unusual way of looking at HR. And you are not the first one to react!” It certainly was an odd title, and of course my management instinct got the better of me and I asked him if we could meet so he could explain what was this all about.

Bangladesh trade fairs in Singapore, KL in June

Mission Far-east, a Bangladesh single country trade fair will be held in Singapore on June 13-15 while in Malaysia on June 19-22 targeting to tape huge market of different Bangladeshi products and services.

IFC training on agribusiness concludes

The five-day training course, organised by IFC, a member of the World Bank, for Bangladesh's agribusiness and food processing sectors ended in Dhaka recently, says a press release.

Commodity prices hit record highs

Commodity prices struck new record highs this week, led by oil which surged above 116 dollars for the first time, as investors favoured raw materials, including metals, over a tumbling US dollar.

World tourism chiefs in Dubai as industry bucks economic trend

Global tourism leaders gather Sunday in Dubai to plot future strategy for an industry which, despite a slight downward revision of annual growth estimates, is easily bucking present economic trends.

Islami Bank recommends 25pc stock dividend

The board of directors of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) recommended 25 percent stock dividend, meaning one bonus share against 4 existing shares, for its shareholders for 2007 at a meeting in Dhaka on Thursday.

Dutch-Bangla Bank declares bonus share

Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited has declared bonus share @ 3.94719 shares for existing one share of Tk 100 each for its shareholders for the year 2007.

ADB lends $113m to India wind power projects

The Asian Development Bank said Saturday it will provide a 113 million-dollar loan to develop two wind power facilities in India to improve the country's use of cleaner energy sources.

Citigroup posts $5.1b loss, to cut 9,000 jobs

US banking giant Citigroup reported Friday a 5.1 billion dollars net loss during the first quarter and said it would cut an additional 9,000 jobs as it struggles with bad bets on subprime mortgages.

Iran says oil price too low at $115 a barrel

Even at 115 dollars a barrel, oil is priced too low, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in comments published on Saturday adding that the commodity "should find its real value".

Malaysia to spend $1.3 b to tackle inflation, food security

Malaysia's government said Saturday it would spend four billion ringgit (1.3 billion dollars) to increase food production and tackle price hikes as the country faces spiralling global oil and food costs.

Weekly Currency Roundup

April 13-April 17 2008
Local FX Market
Local inter-bank FX market was mostly tight throughout the week; however the BDT remained almost unchanged against the USD.

Metropolitan

Restore democratic atmosphere for successful govt-parties dialogue

Participants at a discussion yesterday said the proposed dialogue between the caretaker government and the political parties would not be successful until democratic atmosphere is restored in the country.

Authorities yet to take steps to prevent recurrence of suicides

Despite increasing tendency among the female resident students of Dhaka University (DU) to commit suicide in last couple of years, the university authorities are yet to take any effective steps to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

Govt should amend Labour Act after consulting with experts

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said the government should amend the Bangladesh Labour Act 2006 after consulting with labour, trade and legal experts and NGOs.

Call for long-term multi-sectoral plan to face climate change

Experts and civil society leaders at a consultation in the city yesterday laid emphasis on undertaking a long-term multi-sectoral adaptation programme to face adverse impact of climate change effectively as Bangladesh has become the worst vulnerable country to climate change in the world.

'Take steps to prevent cardiac diseases'

Speakers at a seminar yesterday urged the government to undertake a preventive cardiology programme and initiating coordination with the National Centre for Control of Rheumatic Fever and Heart Diseases (NCCRF&HD) to help preventing cardiac diseases in the country.

Govt to promote Bangladeshi art, culture across world: CA

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the government is interested to promote the country's art and culture throughout the world, as Bangladesh takes pride in its thousand-year-old rich and vibrant culture.

Nakhshi Kantha gains popularity in Japan

Nakhshi Kantha, a traditional handicraft of Bangladesh, has been gaining popularity in Japan for its unique beauty and creative designs.

5 killed, 22 injured in road accidents

At least five people were killed and twenty-two others injured in separate road accidents in Gaibandha, Dinajpur and Kushtia yesterday and on Friday night.

400 cans of liquor seized in Ctg

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized around 400 cans of foreign liquor from Patenga Sea Beach area in the early hours of yesterday.

Passengers escape train accident

Several hundred passengers narrowly escaped a train accident yesterday morning as eight fishplates and 24 nuts were stolen from the rail line at Pukuria under Netrakona pourashava on Friday night.

Six held on charges of stealing Tk 12 lakh from bank

Detective Branch (DB) of Police has arrested six people in connection with the theft of Tk 12.24 lakh of Madrasa Education Board from Agrani Bank National Press Club branch in the city on March 4.

25 workers fall sick after inhaling toxic gas in Khulna

Twenty-five workers of a shrimp processing plant in Khulna's Rupsha upazila fell sick after inhaling ammonia gas yesterday.

New 2012 deadline set to rid world of chemical weapons

A body set up to rid the world of chemical weapons agreed yesterday on a new global deadline of 2012, after admitting that Albania is the only country to have completely destroyed its stock.

74 EWU students receive merit scholarships

The merit scholarship award ceremony for the fall semester 2007 and the spring semester 2008 of East West University (EWU) was held at the university auditorium in the city yesterday, says a press release.

CUJ biennial election today

The biennial election of Chittagong Union of Journalists (CUJ) will be held today.

Mobile phone subscribers reach 3.9 cr in March

The total number of mobile phone subscribers in the country rose to 3.89 crore at the end of March from 3.75 crore in February last.

Dr Laila new provost of Rokeya Hall

Prof Dr Laila Nur Islam of Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Dhaka University (DU) has been appointed provost of Rokeya Hall.

National

Remove corrupt persons from public universities

One hundred and fifty-five teachers of Rajshahi University in a statement yesterday urged the caretaker government to remove all corrupt and politically appointed persons from important administrative positions in Rajshahi University and all other public universities.

Reception given to indigenous freedom fighters in Tangail

Indigenous freedom fighters were accorded a reception in Tangail yesterday with a call for trial of war criminals to uphold the spirit of the Liberation War and establish rule of law in the country.

Ensure equal rights of women

A section of students of Rajshahi University yesterday held a rally and formed a human chain in front of the Central Library demanding immediate implementation of the National Women Development Policy (NWDP) and protesting the April 11 demonstrations by fundamentalists in Dhaka opposing the government move.

Five envoys end visit to Khagrachhari

Envoys of five countries yesterday completed their two-day visit to Khagrachhari.

Tk 2cr rural projects kick off in Satkhira

The government has taken up 326 projects involving over Tk 2 crore under its 'Taka for Work Project' in seven upazilas of the district to create jobs for the rural poor.

Forest official suspended

Abdul Mojid, range officer of Rajkandi forest range, was suspended yesterday for his alleged involvement in smuggling of timber from government forest.

Arms, ammo recovered in Mohalchhari

The Army in a raid recovered a revolver with six bullets and one magazine from the house of Benoyboron Chakma in Kengalchhari in remote Mohalchhari upazila in the district.

'Save Jamuna from encroachers'

Speakers at a view-exchange meeting here yesterday demanded demolition of all illegal encroachments on the banks of Jamuna river in Satkhira to restore its normal flow.

Letters

National agriculture policy

It is heartening to know that the Ministry of Agriculture has geared up its efforts to formulate an up-to-date "New National Agriculture Policy". As reported, the ministry will organise a meeting this month to review the draft national agriculture policy prepared by the 'Technical Working Group'. Policy guidelines will cover various agricultural issues including seed, fertiliser, irrigation and agriculture in the draught, flood, salinity prone areas.

'Resumption' of train service

It is wrong to suggest that Dhaka- Kolkata train service has been resumed after 43 years with effect from Pahela Baishakh 1415. Resumption relates to an issue which was in operation in the past and then restarted. In the case of Dhaka -Kolkata there has never been a direct rail link between the two cities. So the question of resumption of train services does not arise. One should term the event as introduction for the first time of direct rail link between Dhaka and Kolkata which has been possible with the construction of Jamuna Bridge. It may be mentioned here that prior to this, 43 years ago, trains used to run from Dhaka to Jagannathganj and then the passengers had to cross the river Jamuna by ferry.

Pahela Baishakh

Welcome Bangla Year 1415. Pahela Baishakh is a great festival for us. It is nice to see thousands of people on the streets wearing saree and panjabi. That gives me a feeling of great happiness. It is true that we are not happy in our daily life because of price hike, load-shedding, water shortage and so on. But we want to forget all our sorrows on joyous occasions.

Footpaths

Footpath is a mysterious issue in our country! When political governments were in power we saw the media being vocal for freeing the footpaths from the illegal occupants. When this CTG started the drive against these occupants we saw the media appreciating it except the issue of evicting hawkers. But now everything is back to square one!

Sad truth

I read in the newspaper that the prices of hilsa fish rose by 50-100% before Pahela Baishakh. Why?

Attack on police

The incidents of last 10th and 11th April are obviously worrying. In the name of opposing the women's development policy, the bigots used the national mosque as the shield! Some so called pro(?) Islamic groups attacked the police using the mosque! It has also been learnt that the bigots used sticks and other weapons kept inside the mosque.

Patients and doctors

The other night I along with my friend, who was suffering from severe pain in his backbone, went to consult a doctor. My friend had the pain all of a sudden and it was so acute that he could not even sit in the waiting room. As we did not make any appointment earlier, I repeatedly requested the man in charge of the chamber to give us an urgent appointment but in vain. Then I requested him to give me permission to talk to the doctor and unfortunately I again failed. He said that he would be rebuked for allowing me to talk to the doctor. He further said that nobody would be allowed to see the doctor without prior appointment. In the meantime the condition of my friend was deteriorating. So we went to a private hospital and took the emergency treatment from a doctor.

Student politics

Chief of the Judicial Commission Justice Habibur Rahman placed the report on the violent incidents on and around Dhaka University campus in August last year to chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed on November 15 last year. It was officially published on 23 March, with 28-point recommendations that include a ban on teacher and student politics by amending the Dhaka University Order 1973 and repealing the Political Parties Regulations 1976, if necessary.

We need a change

Before the Liberation War of '71, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave people the hope of liberating them from the Pakistani tyrants. The people of this country fought hard to get rid of the killers. We got liberated, and the moment we started to see glimmers of hopes, our father of the nation was brutally and mercilessly killed by some ruthless and ignorant enemies of this nation. Since that time all hopes just simply faded away.

Train to Kolkata

I wonder why trains will run only once every week between Dhaka and Kolkata. Can people travelling for business stay a whole week before returning? But what is even more perplexing is that both trains from Dhaka and Kolkata travel out the same day and return back on the same day. This is another amazing schedule, certainly not designed to serve the customers. Presumably, the border stations will be manned for only two days in a week and closed for the reminder of the days.

Environmental problems

Bangladesh suffers from a wide range of environmental problems, arising from drought, flood and other natural hazards because of its geographical location. Frequency of hazards is on the increase day by day. The quality of soil has deteriorated due to excessive use of agrochemicals, unplanned land use, undesirable encroachment on forest areas for agriculture and settlements and indiscriminate disposal of hazardous industrial wastes. Unplanned land use and intrusion of saline water are causing degradation of soil in the coastal areas.

Empowering women

We all want women to be empowered and also think that Bangladeshi women enjoy more respect and honour compared to the women the world over. We also admit that we have a lot more to do. Islam has empowered women in the best possible way (though the so called intellectuals without having adequate knowledge say that Islam has suppressed women) and changing the Sharia will not only be a great blow to the feelings of the common people of our country but will also be a major setback to the scheme of empowering women.

Follow good examples

I heard from reliable elders that during the 1943 Bengal famine, Dhaka Nawab families (Ahsan Manzil-based 2nd family and Armanitola-based 3rd family) had changed their eating habits: whole-grain chapati (servants' food) was included and 'faan' (rice-starch/'maar') was not spared. This is one of the reasons why people had confidence in them and they were the leaders of their times.

Maximising resource utilisation

This letter is in response to Gen. Moeen's interesting article in your Bangla New Year issue of April 14th.

Rights of women

I applaud the recent move by the government to recognise the right of women in the delicate issue of inheritance. For the last 16 years, our country was ruled by female heads of state, yet none of the past administrations recognised the plight of women in inheritance. Due to lack of any initiative and rules regarding the issue, many of our mothers, sisters and aunts have suffered sheer injustice and inequality. I have witnessed this form of injustice against my mom.

Cartoon on corruption

I am referring to Sharier's cartoon published in The Daily Star on Apr. 2 in which it was pointedly shown the mindset of the powers that be! On a weighing scale, some prominent leaders of the Awami League and the BNP were put on either side of the scale.

Number of doctors

The Ministry Of Health & Family Welfare of Bangladesh claims that the country has a doctor patient ratio of 1:3169, considering all the doctors (42,881) registered so far with the BM & DC. However, there is a gross error in the report on working physicians (Govt. & Private) available for care & treatment of ailing patients. Because, many of the doctors (42,881) registered so far with the BM & DC have already expired (dead) & many of the doctors (42,881) registered so far with the BM & DC have left Bangladesh, working abroad (many of whom will not return as they have accepted citizenship of foreign countries), & many of the doctors (42,881) registered so far with the BM & DC are no longer involved in medicare & treatment, that is, they are either involved in business or some other profession, or retired, i.e., they are quite old and infirm for involvement in care & treatment of the people of Bangladesh. When all these factors are rightly considered, the number of working & living physicians (govt. & private) available for care & treatment of ailing patients would be probably less than 13,000. Thus there seems to be a gross error in the report on working physicians available for medicare. This error needs to be corrected. As the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is run by bureaucrats, who de facto possess no responsibility, they will take no steps to correct the statistical errors of health, the BM & DC, the DGHS, the BMA should take the pioneering role in correcting all discrepancies in health statistics. The BM & DC should first enlist the registered doctors who are living & working in Bangladesh. The BM & DC should enlist the registered doctors who have already expired. They should also enlist the registered doctors who are no longer involved in the profession. Moreover, a good number of registered doctors are involved in health administration, who are in no way directly involved in caring & treating patients. They should also be enlisted. The DGHS & the BMA can't avoid their responsibility in correcting the errors in health statistics.

Structured questions

I have read the article of Dr. Siddiqur Rahman of Dhaka University, in the Prthom Alo . His analysis is very nice. Education is the backbone of a nation. Some corrupt people and businessmen are trying to destroy it. I think this system should be revised and it may be started gradually from class six onward, not directly for the students of class nine(that is on SSC exams).

International

Maoists to lead new govt in Nepal

Nepal's Maoists said yesterday they would lead the next government as they staged a victory rally with poll results showing them on track to emerge as the country's biggest party.

Pak militants warned of stern action

Prime Minister's Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik has informed NWFP Governor Owais Ghani that the federal government has decided to deal sternly with militants in tribal areas.

Iraqi troops take control of Basra militia bastion

Iraqi forces took control yesterday of a district of the southern city of Basra which has seen intense firefights between troops and Shia militiamen, the interior ministry said.

Pak govt bringing bill to maintain power balance of PM, president

Pakistan's new government is finalising a constitutional amendment bill to ensure the balance of power between the President and the Prime Minister, Law Minister Farooq Naek said yesterday.

IAEA official to fly to Tehran for more nuclear talks

The deputy director general of the UN's atomic watchdog will fly to Tehran next week for new talks on sensitive areas of Iran's disputed nuclear programme, a spokeswoman said Friday.

3 Palestinians killed in Gaza crossing raid

Three Palestinians were killed and 12 Israeli soldiers wounded on Saturday when Hamas militants, including suicide bombers, stormed a Gaza border crossing with explosives-laden vehicles.

N Korea, trade top Bush talks with South Korean leader

President Bush and South Korea's new President Lee Myung-bak were having fried chicken and potato salad for lunch Saturday, but beef was on the dinner menu when they began two days of talks at the Camp David presidential retreat.

'I was kidnapped', says Pak envoy to Afghanistan

Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan appeared in a video aired Saturday by an Arab satellite channel, saying he was kidnapped by Taliban militants more than two months ago.

Afghanistan detains 68 Pak nationals

The Afghan army detained 68 Pakistani men soon after they entered the country over suspected ties with Taliban-linked rebels, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Pakistan test fires long-range missile

Pakistan successfully test fired a long-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead on Saturday, the military said.

Carter holds meeting with Hamas chief

Former US president Jimmy Carter and Khaled Meshaal, exiled chief of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, held more talks in Syria yesterday focused on a possible truce between Israel and Gaza militants and the release of an Israeli soldier, Hamas said.

Calls for Abdullah to quit grow Louder

After touring the four states which fell to the opposition last month, Umno top guns are hearing a recurrent theme from the grassroots: It is time for a leadership change.

New bird flu vaccine could last longer, protect more

A new bird flu vaccine being developed by US researchers could provide broader protection, last longer and be easier to mass produce than existing vaccines.

Arts & Entertainment

Encouraging theatre in public universities

Theatre troupe Natyachakra has been offering scholarships to the theatre students of Department of Drama and Dramatics, Jahangirnagar University (JU) and Department of Theatre and Music, University of Dhaka (DU), to promote academic performances. Usually Natyachakra announces the scholarships on the occasion of its anniversary programme. But this year the troupe arranged a two-day award giving ceremony on April 9 and 10 at the Experimental Theatre Stage. M. Hamid, the chairman of Natyachakra, spoke to The Daily Star on this regard.

Baishakhi celebration by Bangladesh Loko Sangeet Parishad

With an aim to uphold and promote folklore and traditional songs, Bangladesh Loko Sangeet Parishad (BLSP) regularly arranges cultural programme. The 83rd programme by the organisation was arranged on the occasion of the Bangla New Year.

Masks that laugh and cry

Sandip Kumar Deb Nath's recent exhibition at Zainul Gallery presented masks and sculpture pieces in clay, wood and metal. There were 85 pieces, of which there were 35 masks and eleven metal pieces, while the remaining were in wood. Only five of the pieces were class work while the rest have been at his own time and mood.

Topu talks about his songs, Yaatri and going solo

Rasheduddin Ahmed Topu, widely known to young music lovers as “Topu”, is one of the most promising artistes in the contemporary music scene. Vocalist of the band 'Yaatri', Topu has carved a niche for himself with hummable melodies like Ek paye nupur and more. Recently, The Daily Star caught up with the musician.

Al Jazeera airs documentary on war crimes in 1971

Trial of the war crimes committed by the Pakistani military and their local collaborators during the Liberation War in Bangladesh in 1971 is a much-talked about issue. Popular satellite TV channel Al Jazeera has been airing a documentary on this issue. Bangladeshi authorities claim that three million people were killed, while a Pakistani government investigation put the figure as low as 26,000 civilian casualties.

Discussion and theatre festival held in Netrakona

A discussion on "Culture to uproot terrorism" and a theatre festival were held at Mahua Auditorium in Mukterpara area of Netrakona town on April 17. The programme was jointly organised by Satsanga Theatre Group and Netrakona Community Police.

Kumudini College students stage anti corruption play

Students of the Government Kumudini Women's College, Tangail staged an anti-corruption play in the college premises on April 17.

Banglavision's 2nd anniversary celebration in Dinajpur

TV channel Banglavision recently celebrated its second anniversary here in Dinajpur. The festive occasion was marked by a procession, discussion and cultural programmes.

OP-ED

Will Accra carry a message of hope for Geneva?

THE UNCTAD XII Conference is now taking place in Accra, Ghana, and it is going to continue till April 25, 2008. This year's Conference carries special significance because it is being held at a time when the Doha Development Round of trade negotiations, under auspices of the WTO, is passing through a critical juncture and it is poised in a decisive balance. UNCTAD is (more truly ought to be) all about the development of developing countries.

Capital market, tax rate and financial institutions

THE banks, insurance, and non-banking financial institutions (NBFI) have, since the last few years or so, been very active in capital market operations. These institutions have been the key players of price settlement, demand and supply interaction of share prices, and many other factors. Their operation in the capital market is secondary, these institutions will all claim. However, the huge volume of operation in capital market has made all of them more inclined to that than to their own licensed domains.

Rising rice prices outpacing controls

THE increase in rice prices began in January, lagging nearly two years behind the surge in prices of wheat, corn and other agricultural commodities. Still, the rise in rice prices began well before prices jumped 30% to an all-time high after various governments enacted controls to rein in prices.

Potato as part of our diet

ALTOGETHER, thirteen courses were served at the lunch following the army chief's meeting with the national editors at the Army Headquarters on April 8, 2008. The menu included potato soup, french

Star City

New inmates to bring Dhaka zoo to life next month

Good news for the visitors while the officials at Mirpur zoo in Dhaka are in festive mood as the 'guests' are finally arriving next month after a long wait.

Garden centres see a business boom

Nursery business is thriving in Dhaka city and elsewhere in the country amid growing demand from plant enthusiasts and environment conscious people.

Confusion over control of Taltala park

Although Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) has taken back Gulshan South (Taltala) Park from Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) and handed it over to Gulshan Society for maintenance, DCC still claims its possession.


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