The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, November 27, 2014


News of: Friday, 25th of April, 2008

Front Page

CNG price doubled

Ending a four-year hiatus, the government has almost doubled the price of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Hafiz hopes for united BNP in EC talks, polls

Pro-reform BNP acting Secretary General Maj (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed yesterday reiterated that the party would unitedly participate in the April 27 dialogue with the Election Commission and also in the next general elections.

Constitutional rules not followed: PSC

The Public Service Commission (PSC) thinks the government did not follow the constitutional provisions in freeing the Election Commission (EC) Secretariat from control of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

3 SCBs to have own higher pay scale

Three state-owned commercial banks (SCB) are going to introduce pay scales of their own to enhance staff salaries in line with the private commercial banks so that they can compete with the private banks with skilled human resources.

Bapex for hiking gas tariff over 3 times

Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration Company (Bapex) Tuesday during a presentation before the chief adviser sought a gas sale tariff of Tk 25 per thousand cubic metre of gas for the next two years instead of a measly Tk 7 to help the company achieve break even.

ACC okays charge sheets against Mirza Abbas, Shamim Osman

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday approved the submission of four charge sheets in four corruption cases filed against high-profile people.

Eminent citizens for implementing women's policy

Eminent citizens yesterday said the government should implement the National Women Development Policy (NWDP), 2008 for the empowerment of women and punish the people who are guilty of the violence on the National Mosque premises demonstrating against the policy on April 11.

Structured questions in SSC exam partially from 2010

The much-talked-about Structured Question (SQ) system, a new type of question pattern, will be partially introduced from the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination 2010 due to lack of preparedness of the government.

Hasina falls sick in court again

Detained former premier Sheikh Hasina yesterday became ill for the third time this month during the hearing of charge framing in the barge-mounted power plant graft case, prompting the court to adjourn the proceedings until April 30.

Huji man Sumon visited S Africa to meet Aug 21 mastermind

Arif Hasan Sumon, arrested suspect of the August 21, 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally, last year visited South Africa where Maulana Tajuddin, one of the alleged masterminds of the attack, is believed to have been hiding.

Allow Hasina to go abroad for treatment

Former British prime minister Tony Blair's wife Cherie Blair yesterday urged the caretaker government to allow detained former premier Sheikh Hasina to go abroad for emergency treatment.

Laws on local govt okayed

The Council of Advisers yesterday finally approved the Local Government Commission Ordinance, 2008 to form a three-member commission "for infusing dynamism" in the local-government institutions through participation of grassroots people in planning and implementation of development projects.

SC Bar body censures SC ruling on bail

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) yesterday censured Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling stripping the High Court of its jurisdiction to deal with bail petition in criminal cases being tried under the Emergency Power Rules (EPR).

Gen Moeen opens Boro harvest in Bhabadaha

The Chief of Army Staff Gen Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said that unused land in the country has to be brought under cultivation to combat the prevailing food crisis.

BDB, PDP for polls under emergency

Bikalpadhara Bangladesh (BDB) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday asked the government to hold the national election under the state of emergency to ensure fairness in the polls.

Rejoinder, our reply

The Power Development Board (PDB) in a rejoinder to The Daily Star news headlined, "PDB retains Hosaf's deal after serving termination notice" published April 19, said the PDB did not issue any termination notice, but a "notice of default and notice of intent to terminate" the contract of Energy Prima of Hosaf Group.

CA reaffirms support to One China policy

Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi yesterday met Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed and invited him to visit China at the latter half of this year.

AL accuses govt of dillydallying over polls

Awami League leaders yesterday accused the government of resorting to dillydallying tactics over the stalled parliamentary polls to hold an election of conspiracy.

8 killed as trucks collide in Sirajganj

At least eight people were killed and 13 others injured in a fatal road accident on the Dhaka-Bogra Highway in Raiganj upazila of Sirajganj on Wednesday night.

Gateman, drivers responsible for train-truck collision

Five persons including the gateman and drivers of the train and the passenger bus were responsible for the tragic accident occurred at a level crossing in Tangail on April 16, said the Bangladesh Railway probe body in its report.

Saline price spikes on diarrhoea spurt

Short supply and price rise of oral rehydration saline while diarrhoea is spreading over the last few days have added to sufferings of people attacked with the disease.

8-yr-old girl arrested for drug peddling freed from jail

The eight-year old girl, arrested on charge of drug peddling, was released from Khulna district jail at noon yesterday after an appeal by a rights organisation challenged the validity of the charges framed against her, and her arrest.

Maoists vow swift exit for Nepali king

Nepal's Maoists pledged yesterday that the world's last Hindu monarchy will be abolished swiftly after final results from landmark polls gave the ultra-leftists a resounding victory.

Pak al-Qaeda chief orders end to attacks

An al-Qaeda-linked Pakistani warlord accused of masterminding the slaying of Benazir Bhutto has issued a letter ordering an end to attacks on security forces, witnesses said yesterday.

Editorial

Voter registration quality assessed positively

It is a cheery piece of news that a survey sponsored by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has found the ongoing voter registration process in Bangladesh to be of international standard. The imperfections detected are 'negligible' and can be set right without difficulty. Admittedly though, it was a sample survey and not a national one, its coverage was not small either: 9,793 persons took part in it from as disparate places as Rajshahi City Corporation, Raozan Pourashava of Chittagong and Taherpur upazila of Sunamganj. The survey gave an idea of the trend and direction of things, which can be extrapolated for the entire operation.

Worsening conditions in Sri Lanka

Conditions in Sri Lanka have in recent days taken a nosedive. With 52 guerrillas and 38 government soldiers dead in northern Jaffna, it is easy to understand how swiftly the country may be sliding back to full-scale hostilities between the government and the Tamil Tigers. The latest incident of violence has been a direct result of Colombo's bid to seize territory under the control of the LTTE and only underlines the ferocity and desperation with which the two sides are now locked in a battle of wills. But anyone who has some understanding of the long history of the conflict, which began in 1972, will also be aware of the tortuous and eventually fruitless negotiations undertaken to bring about peace in the country.

Avoid perceptions becoming a reality

Delwar Hussain -- leader of a faction of the BNP (pro-Khaleda, as commonly designated) -- has asked for the resignation of the CEC and the other two commissioners. He feels that the current EC has lost its credibility by sticking to its position regarding the leadership question of the party, having invited Saifur group to attend the political dialogue which the EC is holding with the major parties. Equally disconcerting is the fact that this faction of the party feels that the caretaker government is "making a blueprint for the upcoming election and working towards achieving the goal of holding the election in line with that blueprint."

A walk of shame

It was a gruesome parade on the political catwalk when a former finance minister, who is the acting chairperson of one of the two factions of his party, was recently dragged in and out of a press conference. His disheveled clothes and incoherent speech suggested that he was gravely ill, and the microphone slipped out of his hand again and again while he couldn't even lift his head to face the audience. The rude reality of life is that what goes around also comes around. At times leaders exploit the party. At times the party exploits them.

Let good apples drive out the bad

After the British left the sub-continent more than half a century ago, there were high hopes among Hindus and Muslims alike since two nations were created: Hindu majority India and Muslim majority Pakistan. All the hopes shattered within weeks of August 14/15 1947, when a few million people left their ancestral homes and property behind because of the fear of an ethno-religious cleansing and took shelter in new lands (Indian Muslims to Pakistan and Pakistani Hindus to India).

Sports

Abahani-Bank final

Abahani ousted defending champions Moha-mmedan 5-4 in the tiebreakers to set a Club Cup hockey final clash against surprise pack Sonali Bank, who upset Usha Krira Chakra 2-1.

Women eye one win

Zafrul Ehsan, coach of Bangladesh women's cricket team, has targeted a win over Pakistan in their first international appearance, at the Asia Cup to be held in Sri Lanka from May 2.

Campaign in motion

Campaign for Monday's election of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) got momentum yesterday after both the panels tried to attract the media in different ways.

Rajshahi protests floodlights shift

News of the Rajshahi Divisional Stadium floodlights being taken away to Dhaka sparked sharp reaction among sport lovers here who condemned the incident and announced protest movement.

Local Snippets

Fire Service beat East End Boys Club in straight sets in the Metropolis Premier Division Volleyball League at the Dhaka Volleyball Stadium yesterday.

Chennai scrape through

A spirited late assault from Abhishek Nayar and Harbhajan Singh threatened to gatecrash the Chennai Super Kings' first home game in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but, with the match in the balance in the final over, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side held their nerve to clinch a thrilling six-run win.

Tendulkar turns 35

The longest-serving current international cricketer Sachin Tendulkar turned 35 on Thursday, feeling as excited and enthusiastic about the game as he did on debut 19 years ago.

Stalemate at Nou Camp

Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo fluffed an early penalty as his side drew 0-0 with a dominant Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.

Gerrard backs Torres

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has backed striker Fernando Torres to help end the side's poor record at Stamford Bridge and get the result they need against English rivals Chelsea that will see the Reds into next month's Champions League final.

Fergie warns Barca

Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Barcelona to brace themselves for an Old Trafford backlash when the two sides resume battle next week.

Nadal reaches quarters

Triple champion Rafael Nadal moved closer to a historic fourth consecutive Monte Carlo Masters title on Thursday when he beat Spanish compatriot Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4, 6-1 to book a quarterfinal place.

Maradona involved in a scuffle

Former soccer star Diego Maradona threw a wild punch and some insults at a crush of television reporters who crowded him Wednesday as he left a courthouse following an arbitration hearing with his former manager.

Aurelio out for season

Liverpool defender Fabio Aurelio is likely to miss the rest of the season after the Brazilian was ruled out for at least three weeks with a torn abductor muscle.

Rosicky's injury improving

The Czech Republic's injured captain Tomas Rosicky announced Wednesday an improvement to the knee problem which has cast a major doubt over his Euro 2008 participation.

Own goal devastates Riise

Liverpool defender John Arne Riise has revealed his misery at the own goal which threatens to derail his side's Champions League challenge.

Aussies make winning start

Defending Olympic champions Australia battled back from a first-half deficit to beat China 2-1 in the opening round of the four-nations field hockey tournament here on Wednesday.

Euro 2008 Briefs

The 2008 European football championship in brief:

Rakib shares lead with Zia, Sagar

Grand Master Ziaur Rahman and FIDE Master Minhajuddin Ahmed Sagar joined defending champions GM Abdullah Al Rakib at the top of the points table in the 34th National Chess Championship at the federation hall-room yesterday.

Pioneer League from today

The Dhaka City Corporation Pioneer Football League begins today at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

TT ropes in AB Bank

Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation (BTTF) yesterday signed a deal with AB Bank to get a handsome amount of sponsorship for the 29th National Table Tennis Championships and two training programmes.

ECB mulls IPL model

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has begun canvassing the views of players with the aim of setting up its own version of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Popularity more than Bollywood

Jaw-dropping action, nerve-wrecking thriller, high glamour quotient and song-and-dance to boot, the Indian Premier League is threatening Bollywood's popularity across the border, according to Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik.

ICC AGM in Dubai

The International Cricket Council (ICC) annual conference will be held in Dubai this June, ending a 99-year association with Lord's.

Yuvi, Bhajji eager to win

With no certain word still on Sachin Tendulkar's Indian Premier League debut on Friday, Kings XI Punjab will be eager to take the opportunity to clinch an elusive win at home turf against Mumbai Indians here.

Business

DBH shares skyrocket 1450pc on first day

Shares in Delta Brac Housing Finance Corporation (DBH) rocketed by more than 1450 percent on their debut on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday, as retail investors scrambled to purchase stakes in the company.

BTTB fights back with call rate cuts

State-owned land phone operator BTTB will introduce the market's lowest call tariffs next month as its battles to reverse its fall in subscribers in the face of intense competition from private rivals.

Pharma ingredients park delay holds back Tk2000cr investment

Serious delays in setting up the proposed Active Pharmaceuticals Ingredient (API) park are holding back around Tk 2000 crore of private sector investment for manufacturing basic pharma raw materials.

Exporters sit on Tk500cr processed shrimps on falling global prices

The falling world price of shrimp and stricter hygiene controls are causing concern in the country's second largest export earner, with industry sources claiming exporters are now sitting on around Tk 500 crore of processed shrimps.

Merkel calls for action on food crisis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Wednesday on the international community to stave off a global food crisis by doing all it could to lower prices.

RMG makers demand continuation of tax holiday

Apparel manufacturers at a pre-budget consultative meeting yesterday demanded the continuation of tax holiday and a duty free import of raw materials and capital machinery.

Govt to focus on raising number of taxpayers

The focus of the upcoming budget will be on increasing the number of taxpayers, instead of imposing new taxes, along with streamlining of the tax payment procedures, Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam said yesterday.

Review compulsory listing decision

Business leaders yesterday urged the stock market regulator to review the notification on compulsory listing of companies with paid up capital of Tk 50 crore or more and in commercial operations for three years.

An industry on the carpet

In the shadow of idle carpet making machines, hundreds of women crouch on the stone factory floor, quilting small heart shaped jute rugs ready for export by Bengal Braided Rug.

Chinese want cars that glide through the gridlock

Traffic gridlock is emerging as a challenge to auto sales in China, with many potential buyers saying lack of space on the country's roads is a major factor in whether or not they will buy a car.

President stresses pharma industry expansion

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday underscored the need for farsighted planning to further develop and expand country's pharmaceutical industry to accelerate the present flow of progress in the sector.

Microcredit fair begins today

A five-day long fair on microcredit begins in Dhaka today aiming to promote the market expansion of the products manufactured by borrowers, small entrepreneurs.

Bepza gets new executive chairman

Brig General Jamil Ahmed Khan joined Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza) as its executive chairman yesterday, says a press release.

Citycell prepaid users get internet

Citycell has launched wireless internet facility for its pre-paid customers, says a press release.

Samsung Group strives to get back on track

Samsung Group is planning to speed up decisions on major investment and recruitment plans for this year, which have been delayed due to the recent corruption investigation into the conglomerate.

VW plans two new Chinese plants

Volkswagen, the biggest European carmaker, plans two new production sites in China to meet growing demand there, a press report said Thursday.

High costs slow Vietnam's construction projects

A sharp increase in the cost of construction materials and difficulties in land clearance led to the slow disbursement of basic construction capital in the first quarter of 2008, according to Pham Sy Liem, deputy chairman of Viet Nam Federation of Civil Engineering Associations.

China cuts stamp tax to revive stock market

China slashed the trading cost for stock investors on Wednesday in the latest attempt to rebuild confidence in its flagging equity market.

Euro slides against dollar

The European single currency fell against the dollar on Thursday, retreating further from this week's record high after a disappointing survey on business confidence in Germany, analysts said.

Asian stocks close mixed

Asian stocks closed mixed Thursday but China shone as the Shanghai market rocketed nearly 10 percent after the government slashed stamp duty to shore up share prices.

Metropolitan

Face global food crisis unitedly

Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus has said the international community should be united to face global food crisis, otherwise the development targets of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) would be hampered severely.

Road crashes kill 12000 a yr: ARI

About 50 percent of road traffic deaths happen within 15 minutes of the accident as a result of injuries to brain, heart and large blood vessels, 35 percent die in next one to two hours of head and chest injuries and the rest 15 percent die over the next 30 days from sepsis and organ failure.

Bangladesh a true friend of China: Yang Jiechi

Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi yesterday said Dhaka's 'firm support' for One China policy and recent Chinese actions in Tibet testifies that Bangladesh is a 'true friend of China'.

'Reform quota system'

Speakers at a seminar in the port city yesterday underscored the need for reforming the existing quota system in the public service examinations to recover the esteem and improve the quality of the public service.

Jabbarer Bolikhela today

The traditional Jabbarer Bolikhela (Jabbar's Wrestling) will be held at the historic Laldighi Maidan in the port city today.

60,000 affected a yr

The 1st World Malaria Day will be observed in the country today as elsewhere across the globe to create awareness among people about the preventable disease that affects around 60,000 people every year in Bangladesh, while more than 500 patients die due to the disease.

Cherie Blair visits Brac projects

Cherie Blair, wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair, yesterday visited some healthcare, children's education and microcredit projects of Brac in the city.

Stipends for 60pc pry students to reduce dropout: Rasheda

Primary and Mass Education Adviser Rasheda K Choudhury yesterday said 60 percent children in primary level will be given stipends for reducing dropout rate and increasing girls' education in the country.

ICT fair begins in city

A three-day inter-school ICT Fair 2008 began on Oxford International School premises at Dhanmondi in the city yesterday.

Probe into attack on hilly villages demanded

Pahari Chhatra Parisad (PCP), an organisation of indigenous students from the hilly districts, yesterday staged demonstration on Dhaka University (DU) campus protesting the attack on four hilly villages at Baghaichhori in Rangamati on April 20.

Phensidyl seized, 3 arrested in city

A team of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday seized 22 kilograms of cannabis and 96 bottles of phensidyl from two passengers of the Bangladesh Railway.

Tobacco ad billboards demolished

A mobile court during an anti-smoking drive yesterday knocked down 11 illegal billboards of tobacco products installed in 11 shops in Chouddagram area in Comilla.

Khepupara Radar Station inaugurated

Khepupara Radar Station in Patuakhali went into operation yesterday to monitor tropical cyclones generated in the Bay of Bengal and strengthen the early warning system to reduce casualties by natural disasters.

Punishment to culprits demanded

Adivasi Chhatra Parishad of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday condemned the attack on a hilly village at Baghaichhori in Rangamati on April 20 and demanded punishment to the people responsible for the assault.

Emon on 4-day fresh remand

Infamous criminal Sanjidul Islam Emon was placed on a four-day fresh remand yesterday in a double murder case filed with Dhanmondi Police Station in 2003.

Ward commissioner arrested for violating EPR

The law enforcement agencies, including Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police, arrested Pabna municipality ward commissioner and Jubo Dal leader Md Faridul Islam Dalu from his municipal office yesterday afternoon.

Int'l seminar on peptic ulcer

An international seminar titled “An Update on Peptic Ulcer Disease” was held at Rose View Hotel in Sylhet yesterday, says a press release.

Rab man dies of heatstroke while on duty

A Rab official died of a heatstroke while he was on duty in the Karwan Bazar area under Tejgaon Police Station in the city yesterday evening.

Deferring polls to be suicidal

Leaders of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) yesterday demanded holding of the national election within the shortest possible time and said it will be suicidal if the election is deferred.

Worker falls off scaffolding, dies

A construction worker was killed after he fell from a bamboo-made scaffolding of an under-construction building at Kafrul in the city yesterday.

Letters

Women's representation in parliament

It is time again to bring the issue of women's representation in Parliament to the forefront as the general election is going to be held in December 2008 according to the roadmap designed by the govt and the Election Commission.

St. Martin's Island

Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers' Association (BELA) has been working on the legal aspects for preservation of the environment and has also accomplished significant tasks in this field. The recent news in your newspaper (DS 19-04-2008, pg. 2) regarding BELA serving legal notices against illegal structures in St. Martin's Island attracted my attention. The structures in St. Martin's Island were not constructed overnight. The foundations of some of the structures were laid as early as 1996 even before the Island was declared as an Ecologically Critical Area (ECA) in 1999. Most of the construction took place during 1997 to 2004. Thereafter with the growing concern and discussion about the fate of these structures slowed the construction spree. At present the government authorities are not allowing any further concrete construction by the outsiders who have bought land in the island. However, to avoid the present restriction on construction local people in partnerships with outsider businessmen started to make edifices on their own. Further, the local people are in favour of building structures as they will be benefited monetarily. In my article on this construction issue in St. Martin's Island (DS: 05042008), I raised the question whether restriction on construction will help save the island's biodiversity while other factors responsible for habitat degradation, biodiversity loss continue unabated.

Food crisis

The government needs to stipulate the maximum retail prices of rice. Hopefully, this may afford relief to a populace that has been suffering as a result of high rice prices for a long time.

Bangla Calendar

I cannot praise enough the splendid article, “Our fiscal year should be based on Bangla Calendar” by Syed Muazzem Ali. I invite all to read it and contemplate. For the not-to-be-easily-convinced, a second or third reading is recommended.

Silent famine

A man with a pale face, skeleton like figure in dirty dress has been living for some days in front of a community centre (Mirpur -6) beside a drain with no roof, no cot but he is living there as if it were his house. Who knows when he had bathed last and for how many days he has been starving (without meal). People cannot stay at the place where he lives. However, he is one of the many homeless people in Dhaka city. This clearly shows that Dr. Akbar Ali Khan rightly observed that a silent famine is going on in Bangladesh. The present government which came to power for only three months and to arrange a free, fair and credible election should acknowledge the situation. But ironically it is not doing so, rather we found the responsible people making fun with the poverty of the hapless people by advising them to eat potato, instead of rice. However, my question to the people who gave the potato theory: did you try potato instead of fast food at your home or in any advisory council meeting? We know the answer must be: No. So don't you think you are being unkind? My request to the people at the helm: acknowledge the famine like situation first and try to solve the problem.

National Women's Development Policy

The government, in all its wisdom, has referred the National Women Development policy to a committee of ulemas. The following are just some excerpts drawn from The Daily Star of Friday, April 18 which highlight the ulemas' response.

Gas-driven generators

There was a news item on April 12, in a local English daily about Wasa utilising "Gas driven generators" at its Water Treatment Plant, which provides relief from power failure and is cheaper! This is only the confirmation of what is known to the industrial sector and is happening in practically all industrial units in Bangladesh. All of these provide prime power from their own generators, mostly gas driven except diesel driven where gas mains are not available!

Women's rights

In light of the review committee's report, my question is did they publish a more formal report where they said a little more than "it clashes with the Holy Quran's teachings" and said "just rights" should be ensured for men and women in light of the Holy Quran and Sunnah"? My question here is simple, did they give elaborate quotations from the Holy Quran and Hadith that support their ideas? Islam is not some scientology that the information is all obscured and granted only to a few. We have access to all the info, materially anyway, that the ulemas and the muftis have; so, I think it is only fair(since we are talking about the word so much anyway) that we the people ask for clear and unambiguous quotations from the sources that are guiding their beliefs and that are helping them 'decide' which laws need amendment.

Remittance

Myself and millions of other remitters send millions of dollars to banks of Bangladesh. My humble question is, how has the money been spent? Expatriates who are spending sleepless nights in middle eastern countries shouldn't be ignored. Has the govt formulated any policy for the NRBs?

Madrasahs in India

India is attempting an innovative approach to strengthen its madrasahs. As of this week, the National Monitoring Committee for Minorities' Education in India has recommended to the Central Government's Ministry of Human Resources Development to integrate the madrasahs in each State with the syllabus of respective State's government schools. The recommendation, part of a larger initiative to modernise the madrasahs, envisages that a government school, closer to a madrasah, will be given the responsibility of supplying the madrasah with textbooks in English, other languages, science, math. and social sciences. Teachers from the government schools will also conduct tests and examinations for the madrasah students. In explaining the rationale for this recommendation, the Minorities Commission reasoned this measure as a way to enable the madrasah students attain a larger world vision, as was indeed the original philosophy many decades back.

VAT

The Bangladesh government is continuously losing a huge amount of VAT and duty because of inept Customs/VAT inspectors. Not only is the government losing VAT/Duty but the businessmen are also facing harassment by the inspectors due to the latter's inadequate knowledge of different products.

Tackling food crisis

Voices from different corners are being heard in favour of reintroducing the rationing system in the country to cope with the food crisis. The government is trying its level best to tackle the situation with the present food policy of open market sale. But unfortunately what we are observing is not working properly.

Explosion of gas cylinder

On Pahela Baishakh when the people were enjoying and celebrating the "Nabobarsho", a young but poor balloonwallah (seller) met a tragic death as one of his gas cylinders blasted with a terrible sound. With the cylinder the man was flown into Dhanmondi Lake. I heard such kind of explosion of a gas cylinder for balloons a few years ago in old Dhaka. Not only the balloonwallah but also the children who are attracted to buy these balloons can be hit or killed. So a restriction must be imposed on the use of these cylinders.

American Ambassador

On behalf of the people of Bangladesh, I would like to extend a warm welcome to the new American Ambassador His Excellency James F Moriarty. We hope that he will work for improving the relations between the two countries and have an enjoyable stay here.

Bus service

The other day, I was returning to my hall from Gulshan. I was on the bus having a 'sitting service'. But the bus was full of people. The conductor took the full fare from all the passengers. The driver stopped the bus several times to take passengers, though his bus was full.

Trial of war criminals

We are living in an independent country. But we could not punish the war criminals in 37 years.

Pope's address to the UN

I commend Pope Benedict XVI for his profoundly moving address to the United Nations which emphasized the need for universal human rights, based on natural law, as a condition and foundation for world peace.

Obnoxious

Everyday, we, the students of East West University, have been suffering in the hands of hermaphrodites, who walk in a swaggering manner, and ask for money from the students and vendors whose shops are situated near the campus area.

International

Turkey relayed Israeli offer to swap Golan for peace

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad confirmed in remarks published on Thursday that Turkey has relayed a message from Israel expressing a readiness to swap the Golan Heights for peace.

Lanka strikes back with air attacks as losses mount

Sri Lanka carried out retaliatory airstrikes against Tamil Tiger rebels Thursday, a day after intense artillery battles left hundreds killed or wounded, according to officials on both sides.

N Korea sees progress in US nuke talks amid proliferation claims

North Korea Thursday reported progress in talks with a visiting US team aimed at restarting a stalled nuclear disarmament deal, as US intelligence officials in Washington accused Pyongyang of sharing atomic technology with Syria.

US works to determine how to deal with Nepali Maoists

This month's surprising election victory for ex-rebels in Nepal could force the Bush administration to deal with a group it has considered a terrorist organisation.

Abbas appeals for more ME peace helps in US

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas wants the Bush administration to press Israel to stop expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank a step he says is needed to make progress in Middle East peace talks.

Zimbabwe ruling party raises prospect of power sharing

Zimbabwe's ruling party floated a proposal Wednesday for forming a government of national unity led by President Robert Mugabe as a way out of a political crisis that has dragged on for weeks.

New Zealand's largest glacier shrinking fast

New Zealand's largest glacier is shrinking fast due to climate change and will eventually disappear altogether, scientists said yesterday.

EU mulls new Myanmar sanctions

The European Union is preparing to extend and even boost sanctions against Myanmar, the EU's Slovenian presidency said Wednesday.

Saddam's number 2 captured in Iraq?

A man suspected to be Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, who tops the Iraqi government's list of most-wanted fugitives, has been captured in Iraq, Al-Arabiya television reported Wednesday.

2 Indian weddings hit by accidents: 43 feared dead

Two Indian wedding celebrations were marred by separate accidents that left 43 people feared dead, police said Thursday.

NDA disrupts Parliament over price rise issue

The NDA's agitation on price rise issue rocked Parliament on Thursday with both the Houses being adjourned for two hours as opposition disrupted proceedings over UPA government's "failure" to contain inflation.

Arts & Entertainment

"Sonata: A Story of Autism"

“One step, then the other -- the little boy walks towards a new dawn”: This is the story of Tamzid, an autistic child whose mother has not stopped dreaming big. Sonata: A story of Autism (2007) is a documentary that traces the journey of a mother with her autistic child.

Promoting classical musicians

Seasoned musician Ayub Bachchu is considered one of the best guitarists and composers in the subcontinental rock music arena. Because of his ability to produce 'aggression' and long 'sustained notes', like that of a violin, Bachchu has stirred audiences in Kolkata and Delhi in India at the fusion concerts with renowned classical musicians such as tabla player Vikram Ghosh, drummer Nandan Bagchi and a French band, Richard Atlegan. Now, the guitarist is promoting renowned Bangladeshi classical musicians through a TV programme, Sa 2 Sa. Hosted by Bachchu, the show is aired in Channel-i.

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy's tribute to Nurul Momen

Department of Theatre and Film, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) organised a special programme in memory of Nurul Momen (1908-1990), one of the pioneering dramatists in Bangladesh, on April 23 at the Experimental Theatre Stage. The programme included a discussion and staging of Nurul Momen's play Nemesis.

Classical music at Shilpakala Academy

At the ongoing four-day classical music programme, arranged by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) at the auditorium of Music and Dance Centre, six artistes performed different raagas on April 23.

Cannes Festival line-up

The 61st Cannes Film Festival will present films by Clint Eastwood and Steven Soderbergh in a main competition that will be reduced to 20 films this year from 22 in 2007, The Associated Press reported.

Alpana's solo exhibition in Kolkata

Bangladeshi artist Murshida Arzu Alpana's solo exhibition of paintings was held recently at the Gallery Chitrakoot in Kolkata, says a press release. Artist Jogen Chowdhury and art critic Pranab Ray inaugurated the exhibition. Several art critics, artists and art enthusiasts attended the event.

Lavlu, Chanchal and Mosharraf in tonight's "Ainaghar"

Tonight's episode of Ainaghar on Ekushey TV will feature Salahuddin Lavlu, Chanchal Chowdhury and Mosharraf Karim. The show will be aired at 08:15 pm.

Habib and Ferdous Wahid are on the Hot Seat

The audiences of Radio Foorti will get an opportunity to have Ferdous Wahid and Habib on the programme Hot Seat to be aired on April 26, from 7 to 10pm.

OP-ED

Boro: Expectation and reality

An increase in rice growing area (horizontal expansion), by 0.22-0.26 million hectares (ha) from last year's 4.58 million ha, during the boro cropping season is expected to partly offset the flood and Sidr losses. It may reduce the area under aus, aman, jute and sugarcane in the next cropping season.

Promise of a democratic Bangladesh

The caretaker government took over in January 2007 with the responsibility of creating an atmosphere for a free, fair and credible election, which is expected to take place at the end of 2008. This government has promised to clean up corruption before the elections, and has set up fast-track courts to prosecute dozens of high profile political figures. Some big-shots who were involved with corruption have already been apprehended, along with hundreds of politicians who have been charged with felony. This, without a doubt, is a praiseworthy, and much needed, move by this government.

Women and local government

In an article published in this newspaper on April 18, Rehana Begum Ranu proposed several recommendations to bring meaningful reforms in the local government system in Bangladesh. These recommendations are very relevant and demand closer examination. I will address just one of these recommendations which deals with women's participation in the local government.

Kids want phones, but I am totally not c%l with th@

Terrible news was delivered to an Asian men's discussion group I belong to. "Some idiot father bought a mobile phone for his eight-year-old daughter. So now my daughter says she needs one too," spluttered one red-faced, hyperventilating dad (okay, it was me).



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