The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, November 26, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 23rd of April, 2008

Front Page

Govt guns for major ICT goal

As part of the government's move to create a better business environment in the country, different authorities are taking up a number of major steps ranging from installation of a private sector submarine cable to launching of a national communications satellite.

EC finally invites pro-Saifur BNP

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday again invited Saifur Rahman-led faction of BNP to an electoral reform dialogue scheduled for next Sunday, as its move to reunite the party had failed.

Cry for water

It was time for Zohr prayers. After the azan, the muezzin of Shah Sahebnagar mosque in Mirpur made an announcement through the microphone yesterday: “Please perform ablutions before coming to the prayers as there is no water at the mosque.”

Delwar alleges 'govt agency' interference

Chief of pro-khaleda faction of BNP Khandaker Delwar Hossain, yesterday alleged that different government agencies are mounting pressure on party leaders and workers across the country to work for the rival faction led by former finance minister M Saifur Rahman.

Shajahan Siraj gets 13 years for illegal wealth

A special court yesterday sentenced BNP leader and former minister Shajahan Siraj to 13 years' imprisonment for amassing assets illegally and concealing wealth information from Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Biman signs deal to buy 8 Boeings

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd yesterday signed the final deal with US plane-maker Boeing to procure eight new-generation aircraft--four 777-300ER and four 787-8--at a cost of $1.26 billion (Tk 8,728 crore).

EC-promised city polls in May not in sight

The Election Commission (EC) appears to have failed to go by its promise to hold elections to four city corporations and seven municipalities next month.

Govt talks with pro-Khaleda BNP faction today

The pre-dialogue talk between the pro-Khaleda faction of BNP and the advisers of the caretaker government is scheduled for this evening at the state guesthouse Meghna.

AL going for 1-point free Hasina demand

Awami League top leaders yesterday said their 5-point demand is gradually turning into a one-point demand for unconditional release of detained party chief Sheikh Hasina.

Moeen asks edible oil importers to maintain smooth supply

Army chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday asked leading importers of edible oil to maintain smooth supply of the essential commodity in the country.

Yunus wants global move to tackle rising food prices

Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus has proposed a coordinated global initiative to ease the pressure on the poor due to rising food prices.

Dr Kamal for lifting state of emergency for meaningful polls

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday demanded withdrawal of state of emergency to make the long-awaited parliamentary polls meaningful.

Wheat purchase proposal rejected

The Advisers Committee on Public Procurement yesterday rejected a tender proposal of Food Directorate for procuring 43,000 metric tons of wheat, saying that the government stock of wheat is good.

CA asks business community to contribute more to economy

Terming private sector engine of growth, Chief Adviser Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed has urged the business community to contribute more to the national economy by creating a business-friendly atmosphere with joint efforts of the government and businesses.

3 criminals killed in 'shootout' with Rab

Three criminals were killed in a 'shootout' with Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) at Aminbazar of Savar early yesterday.

BNP standing committee member 'picked up, freed later'

BNP standing committee member Chowdhury Tanvir Ahmed Siddiqui was learnt to have been picked up by men of an intelligence agency and set free later yesterday, party sources said.

Shazneen's 10th death anniversary today

Today is the 10th death anniversary of Shazneen Tasnim Rahman who was murdered inside her Gulshan house in 1998 at the age of 15. She was a student of class nine at Scholastica School.

HC takes action on 8-yr-old girl's arrest, asks govt to explain

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a Suo Moto rule asking the government to explain within two weeks as to why the arrest of an eight-year-old girl on charges of carrying twenty bottles of Phensidyl and the order to send her to jail should not be declared illegal.

UN body to help stabilise food prices

The United Nations (UN) will establish a high-powered task force to stabilise world food prices and plan long-term solutions to food security challenges such as land utilisation and agricultural productivity.

Khulna mayor acquitted in arms case

A court here yesterday acquitted Khulna Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman in an arms case.

Heat leads to widespread diarrhoea

The number of diarrhoea patients being admitted to hospitals in the capital has been steadily increasing over the last few days.

Blair’s wife in city

Cherie Blair, wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair, arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a private visit.

UN meet starts with call to protect rights of indigenous people

Indigenous peoples are one of the main protectors of environment and the Mother Earth, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message on the 7th Session of UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues held in New York on Monday.

Pennsylvania a must win primary for Hillary

Democrats in Pennsylvania were choosing between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in a bitterly-fought primary yesterday that Clinton must not only win, but win convincingly to rescue her trailing White House bid.

Nepali Maoists meet to map out new govt

Top leaders of Nepal's former rebels met yesterday to map out a future government for the Himalayan nation, which they will most likely lead, officials said.

Pak coalition fails to agree on restoring judges: Sharif

Pakistan's ruling coalition has failed to agree on a plan to restore judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf, but will reinstate them "soon," former premier Nawaz Sharif said yesterday.

al-Qaeda no 2 says group still targeting the West

Osama bin Laden's chief deputy warns that al-Qaeda still has plans to target Western countries involved in the Iraq war in a new audiotape released Tuesday to answer questions posed by followers.

Editorial

Planners look ahead on food security

Apparently buoyed up by prospects of a record boro harvest, the Centre For Policy Dialogue (CPD) organised a dialogue session on 'Boro Procurement and Food Security Strategy an Actionable Agenda'. High government functionaries, planners, academics, farmers, rice mill owners and rice importers spoke by turn putting together an action strategy to build a food buffer stock for this year and beyond.

Assault on newsmen

On Sunday, activists of the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal and Bangladesh Chhatra League, student fronts respectively of the BNP and the Awami League, beat up the university correspondents of the Prothom Alo and Dainik Dinkal. It was behaviour that was as reprehensible as it was unwarranted, for it smacks of the authoritarian tendencies among certain classes of people which have regularly undermined our efforts to establish a proper democratic order. That these activists could pounce on these young reporters, themselves students of the university, without anyone reining them in is unbelievable.

Bengali women, equal rights and obscurantism

THERE are questions you need to ask today about the ruckus whipped up by men unhappy about women enjoying the same rights as they, in this country. And the first question that you need to raise, and expect an answer to, relates to the equality enshrined in the nation's constitution for women. Obviously, if you hold absolute faith in democracy and everything that gives it a definitive flavour of the modern, you will not deny that Bangladesh's women do have a place in the political and social scheme of things. The constitution may have been tampered with in many ways and has, through years of arbitrary government, been rendered emasculated at places. But one truth it has upheld is the esteem in which Bengali women are held, and will be held in the times to be. That being so, you go on to the next question.

'Peace train' between Dhaka and Kolkata

THE opening of the passenger train service between Dhaka and Kolkata, on Bengali New Year's day, has ended the 43-year hiatus in Dhaka-Kolkata rail link. The service that was introduced during the British days was snapped in March 1965 due to the India-Pakistan war.

How to win in Iraq without losing to Iran

THE testimonies of General David Petraeus, commander of the American forces in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador in Baghdad, to the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees have thrust the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq to the center of the presidential campaign.

Sports

Look up, Tigers

An international team cannot just lose five one-day matches in a row at the blink of an eye. Essentially, it takes five days and fifty wickets and a thousand runs and a few missed catches before a group of individuals are trounced so badly. Basically, a lot has to go wrong before you can lose every match on a tour.

Salahuddin's candidature questioned by councillor

A councillor from Chittagong challenged the candidatures of Kazi Salahuddin, Ahsrafuddin Ahmed Chunnu and Golam Rabbani Helal for the April 28 elections of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF).

One giant set to exit

The two semifinals of the Brac Bank hockey tournament will be held at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium today.

Academy Cup final today

The GP-BCB National Cricket Academy (NCA) take on visiting Pakistan Academy in the final of the triangular Grameenphone Academy Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Women win warm-up tie

Bangladesh women's cricket team managed a 13-run victory against the U-16 Private Academy selection team in a practice match at the Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex yesterday.

Rakib stay on top

Grand Master Abdullah Al Rakib continued his winning run to take the solo lead in the 34th National Chess Championship at the federation hallroom yesterday.

Pioneer football from Friday

The Dhaka Metropolis Pioneer Football League will begin at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Friday.

Ws sparkle for Royals

Australian domination in the Indian Premier League (IPL) continued as the two Shanes -- Watson and Warne -- starred with bat and ball respectively to power Rajasthan Royals to their maiden victory in the tournament, fittingly in front of their home crowd at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium on Monday.

Will Messi or C'Ron triumph?

Manchester United return to Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium on Wednesday, the scene of one of their greatest victories, with the Champions League final again in their sights.

MU relishing Barca tie

Manchester United head into their Barcelona showdown with Cristiano Ronaldo warning that they still have to earn the plaudits that have been showered on them this season.

Koeman quits Valencia

Valencia said Tuesday their Dutch coach Ronald Koeman is leaving the post after a series of disastrous results that have left the former Spanish champions hovering above the relegation zone.

Del Piero deserves call-up: Buffon

Alessandro Del Piero's Juventus teammate Gianluigi Buffon on Monday called on Italy coach Roberto Donadoni to restore the veteran striker to the national team set-up.

Record-breaking suit causing controversy

Speedo's record-breaking suit may have got the backing of swimming's world governing body but it has caused a tidal wave of controversy as athletes battle to book their spot in the Beijing Olympics.

Santana to rescue SA

Flamengo coach Joel Santana is set to fly to the rescue of 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa following the departure of his Brazilian compatriot Carlos Alberto Parriera.

Man City in Ronnie talks

Manchester City executive director Taweesuk Jack Srisumrid revealed Tuesday the Premier League club have held talks over a possible move for Barcelona star Ronaldinho.

Park called up for Olympics

Manchester United star Park Ji-sung will be called up as an over-age player to represent South Korea at the Beijing Olympics, the national coach said Tuesday.

Rijkaard's home burgled

Thieves broke into the home of Frank Rijkaard as the Barcelona coach and his wife were at the villa, police said Tuesday.

Lahm might leave Bayern

German international defender Philipp Lahm is free to leave Bavarian giants Bayern Munich after the club announced on Tuesday that talks over his contract extension have broken down.

Heitinga going to Atletico Madrid

Dutch giants Ajax revealed Monday they have agreed to the transfer of international defender John Heitinga to Spanish side Atletico Madrid.

Safin eases into Round 2

Marat Safin's latest bid to reignite his colourful, rollercoaster career enjoyed a boost with a 6-3, 6-2 Monte Carlo Masters first round victory over Belgium's Xavier Malisse on Tuesday.

Nat'l handball from Apr 25

The Exim Bank National Women's Handball Championship will begin in Bagerhat on April 25.

Jadeja, Salunkhe win Warne's heart

Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne has heaped praise on youngsters Ravindra Jadeja and Dinesh Salunkhe, saying they are superstars of the future.

Hayden admires Dhoni

Australia opener Matthew Hayden, member of the Chennai Super Kings, was all praise for Indian Premier League teammate Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday.

Shining Shanes

While Yuvraj Singh and Tom Moody were being made to walk slowly over red-hot coals after a second successive defeat, the two Shanes, Warne and Watson, sat in the seats reserved for the media. When Moody was asked whether he had expected the "journalist in blue" to bowl as well as he had despite his preparation consisting largely of playing poker, the answer was revealing.

Pink future?

The first trial of a pink cricket ball took place at Lord's on Monday with MCC taking on Scotland in a 50-over friendly, as the lawmakers of the game investigate ways to find a more durable ball than the existing white one used in limited-overs cricket.

Baliadangi thump Road Juba

Baliadangi defeated Road Juba Sangsad 3-0 in the inaugural match of the regional volleyball meet at Thakurgaon Zila School ground yesterday.

Champs League finale at Lord's?

England may not have much of a representation in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) as of now, but the home of cricket, Lord's, could play host to the grand finale of the cash-rich venture's international tournament -- the Champions League.

PCB warns players

The Pakistani cricketers playing in the Indian Premier League have been advised to be careful about the company they keep following inquiries by ICC's Anti-corruption unit this month.

Business

New frequencies to give lift to mobile phone services

The telecom regulator is expected to allocate additional frequencies for mobile phone operators next week in a step that will remove one of the major barriers to improving phone services in the country.

Meghna Group joins shipbuilding boom

A local company, Meghna Ship Builders and Dockyard, is to set up a huge US$ 40 million facility to build ocean-going vessels, the move is an example of the country's booming shipbuilding industry.

Many small RMG owners fail to execute minimum wage

A year and a half after the publication of the new minimum wage for garment workers labour leaders claim many of the small producers are still failing to honour the agreement.

Inland container depot plans to raise Tk10cr

Summit Alliance Port yesterday submitted plans to become the first inland container depot listed on the country's stock exchanges, proposing to raise Tk10 crore to fund its expansion.

Era of cheap food over: ADB

The era of cheap food is over, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) official said Tuesday.

Oil climbs past $118 for first time

The price of New York crude rocketed to a record high point of 118.05 dollars per barrel on Tuesday, lifted by unrest in Nigeria, weakness of the dollar and OPEC's reluctance to raise short-term output, traders said.

US economy shrinking?

The dreaded 'R' word--'recession'--once whispered only by the most bearish of forecasters is now being cited openly by policymakers.

Taiwan tourism sector eyes China boost

Takings are thin for Taiwanese guide Edven Lin, who hasn't been hired by a single Chinese tour group this month, but he's hoping for a lift when the island's new government takes power next month.

BB reviewing home loan rules to make scheme effective

Bangladesh Bank is reviewing its low-cost housing loan rules for the middle and lower income group due to the failure of financial institutions to disburse less than 8 percent of the money available for the year.

Bangladesh can have a stake in global market for multimedia games

Bangladesh has a huge potential for establishing multimedia games industry, as the industry occupies a significant global market share, said Stephan Natkin, an IT expert, yesterday.

Potatoes in Munshiganj cold storage rot

Around five thousand tonnes of potatoes, stored in a cold storage in Munshiganj, have rotten due to a collapse of its cooling system.

Probe body formed to find reasons behind rod price hike

A 7-member probe committee with housing and public workers secretary as convenor was formed yesterday for investigating price hike of MS rod and working out remedies.

Currency swap facility at int'l airports in Bangladesh

The central bank yesterday issued a circular allowing foreigners and non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) to convert local currency into any foreign currency at the amount of highest $100 while departing through any international airports in Bangladesh.

GMG to add another Boeing 747 to fleet

GMG Airlines, the country's first private carrier, is going to add another Boeing 747 to its fleet soon, ATM Nazrul Islam, director (human resources and PR) of GMG, told a press conference in Dhaka yesterday.

S'pore Airlines offers holiday destinations

Singapore Airlines and SilkAir (the regional wing of Singapore Airlines) have jointly launched 'great Asian holiday destinations offers' from April 12, 2008, says a press release.

Samsung chief to step down

South Korea's most powerful businessman announced Tuesday he is stepping down after 20 years at the helm of the Samsung group, following his indictment for tax evasion and breach of trust.

Asian stocks close mostly down

Asian stocks closed mostly down Tuesday after oil prices hit yet another record high and investors reassessed the view that the worst phase of the global financial crisis had passed.

Uttara Finance declares 30pc cash dividend,

Uttara Finance and Investments Limited has declared 30 percent cash dividend for its shareholders for 2007 at the 13th annual general meeting (AGM) of the company, held in Dhaka yesterday.

High oil prices could trigger recession: IEA

High oil prices could tip the world economy into recession, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned on Tuesday.

Japan to take up rising food prices at G8 summit, WTO

Japan's farm minister said Tuesday he will bring up food security in talks at the World Trade Organisation and G8, fearing that soaring grain prices will hit importers.

Indonesia among the most optimistic markets

Indonesia is the third most optimistic market in Asia after India and China, according to a quarterly investor survey by Dutch financial institution giant ING.

Bank of England unveils credit crunch package

The Bank of England unveiled a 100-billion-dollar plan Monday to get Britain's home loan market moving again in the latest attempt to combat the global credit crunch.

Metropolitan

No alternative to dialogue with political parties

Speakers at a seminar yesterday called for dialogue with the political parties to reach a consensus on people's aspirations.

Judgement on Apr 30

Judgment of a 16-year-old corruption case filed against former president and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad, detained former chairman of Bangladesh Shilpa Bank AKM Mosharraf Hossain and four others will be delivered on April 30.

Take initiative for demarcation of maritime boundary

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday gave directive to the foreign ministry to take necessary initiatives for demarcation of the country's maritime boundary.

Police explore publisher's link, Faruk on 3-day remand

Police are exploring a publishing house owner's link with the murder of writer Mumina Deyasini.

TB infection rate 20 times higher among prisoners: Study

The rate of being affected by Tuberculosis (TB) among the prisoners is 20 times higher than the rate among general population, a study said yesterday.

‘Introduce countrywide rationing system’

Leaders of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) yesterday submitted a memorandum to the food adviser urging introduction of countrywide rationing system, extending OMS programme and establishing a state buffer stock of essential items to rein in price spiral.

Continue feeding extreme poor

Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC) Chairman Dr Akbar Ali Khan yesterday urged the government to continue feeding the extreme poor despite good prospect of boro harvest.

65pc people got warning before 24hrs of Sidr

Sixty-five percent people living along the coastline had received warning signal before 24 hours and 28 percent got 12 hours before the super cyclone Sidr that hit the country last November, revealed a survey.

Conjoined baby undergoes operation to repair cleft lip

Hasan, the lone conjoined baby in the country, underwent another operation yesterday to repair his cleft lip.

DAB, ORBIS deal to provide diabetic eye care services

An agreement was signed between ORBIS International, Bangladesh Country Office and the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (DAB) recently to develop comprehensive diabetic eye care services for the remote rural population of the country's northern region, says a press release.

Punishment to JCD, BCL cadres demanded

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD)-backed Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday demanded exemplary punishment to JCD and BCL cadres who assaulted two university correspondents on Dhaka University (DU) campus on Sunday.

Climate change pact on troubled path

Agreement on a new climate change treaty could run the risk of failure at talks in Copenhagen next year if governments do not narrow their differences, a top UN environmental official said yesterday.

Attack on hilly village condemned

Different organisations yesterday condemned the attack on a hilly village at Baghaichhori in Rangamati on April 20 and demanded punishment to the people responsible who ransacked houses at the village.

Work efficiently on serious crimes

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday called upon the ACC officials to prepare themselves to work with the same efficiency in absence of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on serious crimes and corruption in the future.

'Formulate policy for welfare of Dalits'

Leaders of Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM) yesterday demanded formation of a commission to formulate policies for their welfare.

5 Jubok officials held on charge of cheating

Police yesterday arrested five officials of Jubok, an NGO, on charge of cheating.

Contaminated blood thinner from China in 11 countries

A contaminated blood thinner from China linked to 81 deaths in the United States is present in drug supplies in 11 countries, the New York Times said yesterday, citing federal regulators.

Netherlands sees spy threat from China, Russia

The Dutch intelligence service AIVD highlighted yesterday the threat to Dutch interests of espionage activities by Russia and China, as it presented its latest annual report.

Dr Atiq receives Champions of Earth award in Singapore

Dr Atiq Rahman, executive director of Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS), received the Champions of the Earth 2008, the highest UN environmental award, in Singapore yesterday.

BCL leader Sima demands punishment to culprits

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leader Sima Islam yesterday demanded exemplary punishment to those who assaulted her on Dhaka University (DU) campus on Sunday.

Govt urged to ensure proper investigation

Bangladesh Manobadhikar Bastobayan Sangstha urged the government to ensure proper investigation and punishment to the killer of writer and former teacher of Udayan School Mumina Deyasini, says a press release.

'Free Bishil Bidya Niketan from criminals'

Students of Dakkhin Bishil Adarsha Bidya Niketan and local people at Mirpur in the city yesterday formed a human chain and urged the government to free the school compound from the grip of terrorists, says a press release.

Yaba tablets seized, 3 held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel arrested a model girl along with two others, including a university student, from the city's Shantinagar area and seized 23 Yaba tablets and 20 bottles of phensidyl from them on Monday night.

Modern treatment of TB underscored

Health experts at a scientific seminar stressed the need for adopting modern treatment and availability of free medicines to prevent the tuberculosis (TB).

Desa engr held

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday detained an executive engineer of Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (Desa) on charge of taking bribe.

DIG of police made OSD

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of the Police Headquarters Mohammad Sohrab Hossain was made officer on special duty (OSD) and attached to the establishment ministry yesterday.

CEC hands over certificates to MIST students

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday handed over certificates to the students of Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), says an ISPR press release.

$1.6m more Dutch help for Sidr victims

The Netherlands government will provide an additional amount of $1.6 million as food assistance for the victims of cyclone Sidr raising the total amount of the Dutch support for the Sidr victims to $10 million.

Germany to help establish good governance

Germany will intensify its support to Bangladesh for the establishment of transparent, citizen-responsive administration (good governance) in cities and municipalities of the country.

Police citizen charter published

Bangladesh Police on Monday have published a citizen charter to reach and ensure its services to the people.

Green University 2nd syndicate meeting held

The second syndicate meeting of the Green University was held on Friday at boardroom of the university, says a press release.

Licences of 3 recruiting agencies cancelled

The licenses of three recruiting agencies have been cancelled and its entire deposits confiscated on charges of cheating and realising excess money in the name of manpower export and violating Code of Conduct of the recruiting agent.

New Asian era is dawning

An 18-member delegation of Indian Foreign Service Trainee Officers called on Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury at his office yesterday.

Businessman donates Tk 10 for cancer hospital

Businessman Shafiq Ahmed Khan Warsi has donated Tk 10 lakh for the construction of Ahsania Mission Cancer Hospital (AMCH), says a press release.

Seminar on e-tourism technology

An international seminar on "Development of e-tourism technologies in Islamic countries" was held at the auditorium of Islamic University of Technology, Gazipur yesterday, says a press release.

Siemens CFO Bernd passes away

Bernd Luetkenhoener, a German national, chief financial officer (CFO) and executive director of Siemens Bangladesh Ltd (SBL), passed away at his residence on Monday night at the age of 53, says a press release.

Aamra Apparel closed sine die

The authorities of Aamra Apparel Ltd at Savar yesterday declared the factory closed for an indefinite period.

Govt to amend fisheries policy

The government has taken initiatives to amend the existing fisheries policy for making the water bodies suitable for fish production.

VoIP equipment worth Tk 20 lakh seized in city

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) last night recovered equipment of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) worth about Tk 20 lakh from a building at Mirpur in the city.

Two cops jailed for taking bribe

A special court here yesterday sentenced two policemen to five months jail for taking bribe.

National

Outlaws active again in south-western districts

Leaders and cadres of banned outlawed parties are reportedly returning to their hideouts in remote areas of Tala, Assassuni, Paikgachha, Keshabpur, Manirampur and Dumuria upazilas in under different districts in south-western region.

'Strengthen local bodies for good governance'

Speakers at a workshop yesterday called for greater empowerment of local government bodies to institutionalise democracy and ensure good governance and take its services to people's doorsteps.

3 food staff, trader charge-sheeted in rice theft case

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has submitted charge sheet against five people including three food officials for stealing rice from a food godown in Jessore.

Brac gives 83735 mosquito nets in Khagrachhari

Brac has distributed 83,735 Long Lasting Mosquito Net (LLMN) among the poor and distressed people in remote areas of eight upazilas in hill district Khagrachhari to protect people from malaria.

Charge framed against Ariful, wife

Sylhet District and Sessions Judge's Court yesterday framed charges in the case filed by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) against Sylhet city BNP chief Ariful Haque Chowdhury and his wife Shyama Haque Chowdhury.

3 policemen closed for misconduct

Three policemen of Kishoreganj Sadar Police Station were closed to Kishoreganj Police Lines on charge of negligence of duty and misbehaviour with detained persons yesterday.

6 Shibir men sued for mugging

Six leaders of Islami Chhatra Shibir, including Azizul Huq College unit president Shahin and general secretary Badsha, were sued yesterday for snatching ornaments and valuables and attacking students of the college on Sunday.

3 policemen closed for misconduct

Three policemen of Kishoreganj Sadar Police Station were closed to Kishoreganj Police Lines on charge of negligence of duty and misbehaviour with detained persons yesterday. They are SI Bodrul Islam and constables Mojaffar Hossain and Sirajul Islam.

Letters

Wasa's incompetence?

Wasa Chairman talks about deployment of the army at the WASA pumps, saying "Like previous years, they will help us operate the pumps"! Does this imply that the Wasa personnel are not competent to operate their pumps?

Power crisis

Every year, at the beginning of the summer a crisis looms large - power shortage. It has been going on for decades and there is no sign of relief in reality other than some vague statements from our leaders, especially political leaders and sometimes from the bureaucrats in order to please their bosses. But I do not see any real action or policy in place that can solve the problem even in the next 10 years. As a professional engineer working in the power sector, I feel for the people in Bangladesh and am worried about the financial impact the crisis is causing (going to be worse in the coming years). It is like a vicious circle, we have to spend more because we do not have enough which drives us to an even poorer level to spend even more. The industries and housing sectors are using expensive generators and we are wasting millions of hard-earned dollars on these equipment and the fuel because we do not have a reliable power system. The production cost of garment sector is higher because they have to use generators and expensive fuel. A reliable power system would lower the production cost of all products and make Bangladesh more attractive to the buyers.

Rights of women

A controversy has arisen about granting equal rights to women. The central issue being a policy formulated by the government keeping provision of equal rights or shares for women in all worldly affairs. It is OK so far it does not contradict any Islamic law. But unfortunately it is learnt that the policy or guideline (as the government prefers to say) contains something that goes against the law of the Holy Quran. The government is playing a mysterious role by not clearing telling the people what is really there in the “National Women's Development Policy” that has been formulated to ensure equal rights of the women.

Give it a try…

The overall condition of the country is not at all satisfactory.

Taliban and Italian Mafia

Pakistani journalist Hassan Kilde Bajwa wrote recently in Lahore's Daily Times: "The Taliban wants peace to call for war. Let's say they get the peace with the government which they seek. The very nature of the Taliban's credo encourages conflict and armed opposition. If their message is spread successfully, then the inevitable result will be a population that is spoiling for war. Ultimately, the Taliban will have to resort to armed opposition and conflict with the government if they are to stay true to their purpose."

Bangladesh Bank's decision

Bangladesh Bank announced recently that it wants to appoint two depositors as directors in each private bank to 'protect the depositors' interest'. But why are the foreign banks exempted from this?

Politics and Dr. Yunus

As per the electoral roadmap, the next election in Bangladesh will be held by December 2008 under the present caretaker government. But we are disappointed to see that the old parties and their leaders will take part in the next election. So we cannot expect much change in the coming years through these fellows who have taken politics as their business.

Shia-Sunni issue

This is in reply to Mahmud Elahi, Ottawa, Canada--letter published on Editor this week!

Benefits of 1/11

It seems that the nation has lost its sense of direction. The memories of pre “One-Eleven” are so horrifying that we never want to look back. The whole country was literally hostage under the then triangular power struggle between the caretaker government and the two large political parties. To the media in the western world Bangladesh was on the verge of being declared a failed state. Many observers commented that the nation was in the “Intensive Care Unit”. The social and economic activities almost came to near standstill.

Emaciated horses!

Horse carts have been part of Dhaka for ages. It was once a major means of transport. Nowadays you'll only see them on the DU campus on special occasions and in Gulistan every other day. Recently, you might have noticed that many firms are using horse carts to publicize their products. Well that's not really what I want to talk about….a question for all of you….Are we blind??

Thoughtful analysis

Thanks to Dr Moshiur Rahman, former secretary to the government of Bangladesh for his very thought provoking analysis of the current political issues discussed in GP T-MATRA on Thursday (California time). Right from the beginning I have been talking about unnecessary items getting priority in the preparatory phase of the election. Dr Rahman has confirmed that by his brief presentation of the irrelevant items included in the voter registration form. Time and policy permitting, he could have presented more of such irrelevant information needed for voter registration.

What about muggers?

Shahidul Islam's first hand report in your April 17th. issue clearly demonstrates the open house of lawlessness in Chittagong, the second largest city of Bangladesh! Meanwhile our CTG and their backers go around hunting for corrupt suspects and politicos, very few of whom, by the way, have been convicted till date. However, catching muggers and robbers seem to be beyond their capability!

Blueberry

Are you worried about getting forgetful due to old age? Nothing to worry about! A research team from the University of Reading and the Peninsula Medical School, UK have some good news for you!

Brutality at ZIA

The recent incident at ZIA in which a British Bangladeshi gentleman, Barrister Rizwan Hussain, was brutally beaten up by airport officials for entering a restricted area of the check-in zone of the airport is utterly deplorable and terribly shocking. It is indeed a shameful incident that will scar the nation's reputation, an event that is not just a reflection of ZIA service standards, but also an insult to the citizens of the country. It is my hope that the government makes it a priority to bring the five culprits, who have resorted to such brutal violence against a fellow countryman, to justice as soon as possible. I hope they will be punished accordingly.

Bangabandhu

Recently, I read an article on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the first thought that came to mind was the man we saw and heard in the penultimate days of East Pakistan and the man who lead the war of independence. There wasn't the information to match the person we knew. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the man who created a nation and proved to the world that one of the most powerful and disciplined military forces couldn't subjugate and suppress the unarmed and impoverished Bengali nation. He was the man who stirred the nation out of its slumber, galvanized it and inspired it to turn every home into a fortress, armed with mostly bamboos and antiquated weapons to rise up and free the country from the clutches of subjugation. He was the man who won a landslide victory in the 1970 elections. People reposed in him the huge responsibility of giving them a direction and showing the way to the bliss of freedom. He was given the power to spearhead the revolution. All these I witnessed in my teens in the turbulent years of the late 60s till the early years of the seventies. Were all these illusions and mirages?

International

Pakistan makes peace with pro-Taliban group

Pakistan freed a pro-Taliban cleric and quickly signed an accord with his hardline group Monday, the first major step by the new government to talk peace with Islamic militants and break with President Pervez Musharraf's policy of using force.

Taliban torch schools, kidnap teachers in Afghanistan

Militants torched two mixed-sex schools near the Afghan capital, police said yesterday, and the Taliban said it had kidnapped two teachers and a school superintendent.

Zimbabwe intervention calls mount

Calls for international intervention to defuse Zimbabwe's post-election crisis mounted on Tuesday with church leaders warning violence could reach genocidal levels if unchecked.

Foreign experts step up HR criticism of Lanka

A team of international legal experts Tuesday stepped up their criticism of Sri Lanka, noting that repeated calls to improve its record on the issue had fallen on deaf ears.

'New Iraq' seeks Arab support at conference

Iraq, backed by the United States, urged its Sunni Arab neighbours yesterday to offer diplomatic and economic support to a "new Iraq" that promotes national unity and ends sectarian divisions.

Alien but primitive life likely, says Hawking

Famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has been thinking a lot about the cosmic question, "Are we alone?" The answer is probably not, he says.

Maldives seeks help for 'paradise drowning'

Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom made an impassioned plea Tuesday for a cut in global greenhouse gas emissions, warning that rising sea levels could submerge his paradise island chain.

Nepali politics parties face power-sharing dilemma

As the largest party in the constituent assembly but without a majority, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is certain to lead a coalition government. What is uncertain, however, is what sort of coalition it would be and how power will be shared among the major parties.

IAEA presses Iran on weapons claims

A top UN nuclear official was holding a second day of closed-door talks in Tehran yesterday seeking answers from Iran over claims it has studied how to design nuclear weapons.

Pakistan not holding talks with al-Qaeda: Solana

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said yesterday he backed the new Pakistani government's moves to hold talks with Taliban militants, but ruled out any negotiations with al-Qaeda.

Pak SC strikes down BA condition to contest election

A seven-member bench of the Supreme Court on Monday unanimously revoked the graduation condition for contesting elections of the Senate and the national and provincial assemblies, declaring the provision ultra vires.

6 police, 9 Taliban killed in Afghan violence

Six Afghan policemen and nine Taliban militants were killed in fighting sparked by an insurgent raid on a police post in the south of the country, officials said yesterday.

Israeli soldiers kill 3 Palestinian militants

Israeli troops killed three Palestinian militants in overnight clashes in the northern Gaza Strip Tuesday after fighters attacked a military position near the border, the armed groups said.

Arts & Entertainment

Showcasing works of aspiring filmmakers

The ubiquitous combat between evil and good, or uncomplicated stories from everyday life; the harsh effect of industrialisation or following the trail of migratory birds -- all came together under one umbrella as aspiring filmmakers offered these images in their short films (under ten minutes) screened at the '2nd International Inter-University Short Film Festival 2008'.

Spurlock searches for "bin Laden" after "Super Size Me"

Morgan Spurlock scored a breakout hit with his documentary Super Size Me a few years ago, mixing satire, reportage and advocacy in the tabloid style popularised by Michael Moore. Spurlock may not have finished off junk food as we know it, but at least he could claim some responsibility for highlighting the flaws of fast food.

"Mohiniattam": Gait of the enchantress

Pallavi Krishnan, the leading exponent of Mohiniattam, one of the oldest existing Indian dance forms, conducted a lecture at Chhayanat on April 21. In the presence of an enthusiastic audience at the Rameshchandra Dutta Memorial Auditorium, Chhayanat Sanskriti Bhaban, the artiste went over the history, basic features and other aspects of Mohiniattam with some demonstrations.

Sheter Bangla Temple: Over 200-year old terracotta work in ruins

The Sheter Bangla Temple in Handial village, Pabna, features some of the oldest existing terracotta works in the country. Overlooked by the authorities, this temple with intricate terracotta decorations is now on the verge of dilapidation.

"Satyajit Ebong Satyajit" on Ekushey TV

On the occasion of legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray's death anniversary, Ekushey TV will air a special documentary, Satyajit Ebong Satyajit today at 5:15 pm.

Mahua Utsab at Jahangirnagar University

'Mahua Utsab' which was initiated by the late Selim Al Deen was celebrated at the Jahangirnagar University (JU) on April 20. The department of Drama and Dramatics, JU organised the festival in cooperation with Prothom Alo Bondhu Shabha.

OP-ED

The big questions for 2008

THE air is full of chatter about politics and economics. We have elections in the near future for Bangladesh and the United States. The emerging line up of the political parties in Bangladesh is obscure. We do not know who will be the Democratic party's candidate for president of the United States.

The roar of the radicals

THE disturbing happenings of April 11 in Baitul Mukarram Masjid square are a stark reminder to all of us that the specter of religious extremism continues to hang over our head like the proverbial sword of Damocles. It is a serious threat to our social fabric unless we deal with it firmly now. Thanks to wide media coverage, a worldwide audience watched with awe video footages of hirsute young men in white robes and armed with sticks chasing police and hurling bricks and stones that were presumably stored near the mosque.

Tremor on the roof of the world

A wave of protest and riots has rocked Tibet since March 10 -- the 49th anniversary of a failed rebellion led by the Dalai Lama in 1959, and has drawn global condemnation of China's alleged human rights record in Tibet. The impression given is that China is using its police and army to violently enforce a brutal occupation on peaceful Tibetans.

How to get married, Asian style

WARNING: never attend an Asian wedding. You may have an unexpected attack of marriage.

Star City

Patients everywhere, on the verandas and corridors

Dhaka Medical College Hospital's (DMCH) burn unit is witnessing an overwhelming number of patients since its inception and treating burn victims around four times its capacity.

Rajuk set to take back all open spaces from DCC

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) is set to take back all the parks, playgrounds and open spaces in the city from DCC in the wake of decade-long poor and frustrating performance of the city corporation in maintaining them.



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