The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, October 2, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 30th of April, 2008

Front Page

133 constituency boundaries changed, Dhaka gets 20 seats

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday unveiled a draft list of parliamentary seats with their boundaries redrawn district-wise.

Nargis gathers strength, moves slowly

Almost stationary in the Bay, cyclone Nargis has gathered more strength, intensifying into a "severe cyclonic storm", and is moving north very slowly. It may hit the Bangladesh-Myanmar coast.

Donor policies led to rice boom, doom

When Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Chief Jacques Diouf recently blamed the World Bank and the IMF policies for dismantling systems to protect farmers, he introduced a new chapter to the ongoing debate on rice crisis.

20pc hike in govt staff salary on cards

The government is going to increase the salaries of its employees by around 20 percent in the next fiscal year considering the price hike of essentials.

UN forms task force to tackle food crisis

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday ordered a top level task force to take on the global crisis caused by rising food prices and urged key producer nations to end export bans.

Advisers place report today to CA on informal talks

The five advisers who wrapped up their pre-dialogue talks with political parties, business community and civil society on Monday will submit their report to the chief adviser today.

Birth registration time may be extended for slow progress

The government is thinking about extending the time for the universal birth registration programme for the third time as only 2.80 crore people received their birth certificates since July 3, 2006.

50 hurt in student-cop clash at Dhaka College

More than 50 people including students, teachers and police were injured in a three-hour clash between Dhaka College students and the law enforcers on and around the campus yesterday.

Poor farmers can't reap high Boro price

With Boro harvest having started across the country, marginal farmers in northern districts who borrowed money to meet high production cost are now forced to sell rice to moneylenders and hoarders at prices cheaper than the government rate.

Reformed AL, BNP best defence against extremism

An international organisation focussed on preventing deadly conflicts in a report said that a reformed, secular Awami League and BNP that respect the democratic rules, both internally and externally, is the best hope for democracy in Bangladesh and the best defence against religious extremism.

Businesses, individuals deposit Tk 352cr

Eight businesses and five individuals voluntarily surrendered their illegally earned Tk 352 crore to the state exchequer between November 2007 and April 2008.

Last two of eight cases against Tarique stayed

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed the proceedings of two more extortion cases against Tarique Rahman, senior joint secretary general of BNP and elder son of detained former premier Khaleda Zia.

Dhaka-Kolkata train trip to take 2 hrs less in a few days

Dhaka-Kolkata passenger train is going to take at least two hours less than what it takes now -- 13 hours -- within a few days.

Baghaihat arson pre-planned, orchestrated

Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord was signed to ensure peace in the region, but a section of the population there is always involved in terrorist activities in an effort to sabotage the areas development, said Army Chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed.

Chevron resumes seismic survey at Lawachhara

International oil company Chevron yesterday resumed its 3D seismic survey at Lawachhara national forest under its Moulvibazar gas-field domain as an inquiry found no link between its works and the recent bushfire.

Ex-whip Jamal, family own Tk 150cr illegal property

A taskforce of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has detected that former BNP whip Shahidul Huq Jamal and his family members have property worth Tk 150 crore beyond their known sources of income.

Tata investment talks to resume next month

The Bangladesh government and Indian conglomerate Tata are going to resume talks on a Tata investment proposal sometime in the first week of next month.

CA stresses more investment in agriculture

Chief Adviser Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the country's food security must be given due importance in the wake of the global food shortage.

Bangladeshi shot dead on Sharsha border

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel and troops of the Border Security Force (BSF) of India traded bullets at Sharsha border of Benapole after BSF gunned down a Bangladeshi farmer yesterday.

Shafique elected SCBA president

Barrister Shafique Ahmed has been elected president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA).

US envoy hopes polls to be held in time

US Ambassador James F Moriarty yesterday hoped that the planned elections in Bangladesh would be held in time.

Court Martial formed to try air force men

The authorities constituted General Court Martial, the highest court in Air Force law, to try its personnel responsible for the assault on Bangladeshi British national Barrister Rezwan at Zia International Airport on April 14.

CNG-run bus owners demand rise in fare

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) run bus owners yesterday issued a three-day ultimatum to the government to increase CNG-bus fares by 45 percent and threatened to go for tougher action if their demands are not met.

Saifur's younger son sued for ill-gotten wealth

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against Shafiur Rahman Babu, younger son of former finance minister M Saifur Rahman, for amassing wealth beyond his known sources of income and concealing wealth information.

Judgment in graft cases against Ershad, Aman today

The judgement in a 17-year-old corruption case against Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad, detained former chairman of Bangladesh Shilpa Bank AKM Mosharraf Hossain and four others, and of an extortion case against detained former BNP lawmaker Amanullah Aman and 11 others will be delivered today.

Bush pushes Congress to move on farm legislation

President Bush yesterday accused the Democratic-led Congress of blocking his proposals to deal with rising gas prices and dragging its feet on measures to address the sagging economy. He said he was "open to any ideas," including a proposal backed by presidential contenders John McCain and Hillary Clinton to suspend gas and diesel taxes this summer

Editorial

Pressing need for police reform felt

At a roundtable titled, 'Proposed Police Ordinance and Citizens' Thinking', a consensus was reached on Monday among leading legal experts and civil society members for the process of police reforms to be initiated during the tenure of the present caretaker government. Notable exceptions were, however, politician-participants who advocated enactment of the reform bill through an elected government.

Rising dangers in Afghanistan

How dangerous a place Afghanistan continues to be has just been demonstrated yet once more. President Hamid Karzai has escaped assassination at the hands of the Taliban and that too in the capital Kabul. The incident proves the volatile nature of politics, or the lack of it, in the country. A number of global leaders have meanwhile condemned the incident and some have even lauded the brave work they believe Karzai has been doing in his country. We, like everyone else, are happy that the Afghan leader has survived the onslaught. At the same time, like everyone else, we feel that there are some intrinsic problems in or with Afghanistan that need to be handled if a semblance of normalcy is to be restored there.

Of politics, criminals and cohorts

There is such a thing as conscience. There is such a thought as principles. And when many of us, or most of us, tend to think that an incarcerated politician should be freed, we do so out of the conviction that the charges of corruption or criminality that have been levelled at them may not be true.

Chinese foreign minister's visit to Dhaka

Chinese Foreign minister Yang Jiechi arrived in Dhaka on April 24 on a two-day visit. He was warmly welcomed at the airport by his counterpart, Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury.

Hillary the destroyer

One way to take the measure of a person is to listen to what the person's enemies say about him or her. William Safire, a Republican and a columnist of The New York Times, once called the Clintons "congenital liars," who would cheat, say anything, do anything, and break any rule to have their way.

Sports

Stop the propaganda!

Before we go any further, a commendation is in order.

New EC welcomed

The triumph of a 'mixed-panel' in the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) election was hailed by different quarters but too much expectation could put the new executive committee led by Kazi Salahuddin under pressure from the word go.

Yusuf names team

With a goal of playing all out football in the AFC Challenge Cup, Bangladesh coach Abu Yusuf yesterday declared his team for the competition's qualifying rounds in Kyrgyzstan.

No Shakib for Tigers

The Tigers returned to business after a break of one week to prepare for the tri-nation tournament involving two traditional rivals India and Pakistan in June.

Abahani begin brightly

Abahani began defence of their Green Delta Insurance Premier Hockey League title comfortably when they defeated Wari Club 3-1 yesterday.

Nat'l cycling from May 1

The NCC Bank 32nd National Cycling Competition will begin at the Outer Stadium on Thursday.

Dhoni devises win

The Chennai Super Kings overcame two adverse situations, the first with the bat and then with the ball, to extend their unbeaten streak in the Indian Premier League to four matches, defeating the Bangalore Royal Challengers by 13 runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday.

BCCI probe soon

The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) investigation into Harbhajan Singh's spat on Friday with Sreesanth, his India teammate, will examine the background of the incident to find out whether the off-spinner was instigated in any manner, the Indian board's probe commissioner has told Cricinfo.

Harbhajan's chequered career!

Harbhajan Singh's boorish behaviour again blighted the India spinner's career when he was banned on Monday from a domestic Twenty20 league for slapping a rival player.

Chelsea start favourites

Chelsea hold the aces going into the second leg of their Champions League semifinal at home to Liverpool on Wednesday.

Gunners thrash Derby

Emmanuel Adebayor came off the bench to score a hat-trick as Arsenal thrashed already-relegated Premier League basement side Derby County 6-2 at Pride Park here Monday.

Veterans given hope

German national coach Joachim Loew admitted on Monday that he would be prepared to extend his preliminary squad for Euro 2008 to more than the obligatory 23 so as to give veterans Bernd Schneider and Christoph Metzelder time to prove their fitness.

Police question Ronaldo

Soccer star Ronaldo was questioned by police early Monday after a run-in with Brazilian transvestites in a Rio de Janeiro motel.

Rafa wary of Drogba antics

Rafael Benitez wants referee Roberto Rosetti to take a strong line with Chelsea forward Didier Drogba as Liverpool attempt to reach the Champions League final for the third time in four years on Wednesday.

Football making Britain rude

Britain, which long prided itself on a reputation for good manners, is becoming increasingly rude, according to a poll out Monday.

40m euros for Ronaldinho

Barcelona will not sell Ronaldinho for less than 40 million euros, club President Joan Laporta said.

FIFA wants Spain to bid for 2018 WC

Sepp Blatter, president of soccer's governing body FIFA, has said it was about time Spain hosted another World Cup.

Del Piero gets Euro boost

Italy coach Roberto Donadoni said in an interview published in La Repubblica on Tuesday that as things stand he will take Alessandro Del Piero to Euro 2008.

Bayern after records

With a 12-point lead, Bayern Munich have virtually won this season's Bundesliga title, but are still chasing records for the largest winning margin and the lowest number of goals conceded in a league season.

'Not enough good players'

Italy World Cup winning coach Marcelo Lippi sympathised with England manager Fabio Capello on Monday, claiming he doesn't have enough good players to choose from.

Local Snippets

Kalindi Krira Chakra earned an exciting one-wicket victory over Kakrail Boys in the Second Division Cricket League at the City Club ground yesterday.

AGM in Dubai: ICC

The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Monday that its 2008 annual meeting in June and July will take place in Dubai, where the global governing body has its headquarters.

Ideas aplenty for EPL

County chiefs are split on the make-up of a potential English Premier League as they prepare to meet in London.

A Test team?

About three overs into the Bangalore innings there was a grim suspicion -- one which would come back to haunt them later in the evening -- that Rahul Dravid had actually chosen a Test team looking as much like a Twenty20 franchise as the bearded women resemble men in The Life of Brian's stoning scene.

Duo bothered us too: Arthur

A day after the Indian Premier League (IPL) banned Harbhajan Singh for slapping Sreesanth after a match in Mohali on Friday, it has emerged that the behaviour of both players had come under the scanner during the recent South Africa series in India, too.

Appeal to help footballer Mari

The family of former footballer Ching Hlang Chowdhury Mari yesterday appealed to Bangladesh Football Federation and all sports lovers to come forward to help the diseased star of the yesteryear.

Shoaib sorry for actions

Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has tendered an unconditional apology to a tribunal hearing his appeal against a five-year ban, the tribunal head said Tuesday.

Business

Govt, Tata re-start $3b investment talks next month

The government and Tata are going to restart talks on the Indian conglomerate's stalled investment proposal sometime in the first week of next month.

Food price inflation on the rise

Food price inflation has been on the rise, both in urban and rural areas, while the overall inflation rate on point-to-point basis decreased slightly by 0.10 percentage point from that of February and stood at 10.06 percent in March.

Bank branch without manpower

It may sound quite alien to many in the country that a bank branch can be operated without any staff. But it's going to be true today.

Scrap sells at govt fixed price, ship breakers claim

Ship breakers have claimed they began selling raw materials for MS rod at government fixed prices, but manufacturers find the prices still higher.

Moratorium on Oriental goes

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) issued a circular yesterday withdrawing its moratorium on the transactions of the once scandal-ridden Oriental Bank.

Food rationing for RMG workers within a month

The BKMEA will introduce food rationing system for the garment workers within one month, said the association's president in Dhaka yesterday.

DCCI seeks policy on tax holiday, PSI system cancellation

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry sought a clear-cut policy on tax holiday for next ten years in the coming budget, as the caretaker government envisages incentive packages for industrialization.

Gender-friendly transportation needed for women

Urban women need safe and gender-friendly transportation system to ease their suffering, a workshop was told yesterday.

BGMEA seeks Tesco initiative to raise workers' wage

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Tuesday sought the world's 3rd largest retailer's initiative to mobilise support of the apparel buyers to raise the wages of the workers hit hard by the price-hike of essentials.

Affluent Singapore feels pinch of inflation

From taking fewer taxi rides to eating out less and shortening shower time, residents of affluent Singapore are trying to cope with inflation, which has soared to 26-year highs.

Speculators welcome too!

A stunning blonde in a sharp business suit was announcing an early session rally in the DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average), the benchmark index for US markets, as I turned the tube on to CNN on a Monday evening few weeks back. The rally, as the blonde continued, was driven by a rising General Motors (GM) stock, a major component of the DJIA, on announcement of FY2007 financial results. Most of us would assume, naturally, bumper profits in 2007 pushed the stock higher. But actually not so, GM made no profit rather a staggering US$ 38.7bn loss in 2007, the largest in the history of the auto industry! So why is the stock going up on heavy volume?

Rajshahi businesses seek separate industrial policy

Business leaders from Rajshahi division yesterday demanded a separate industrial policy for the region.

New chairman, vice chairman of Dhaka Bank

Altaf Hossain Sarker and Mohammad Hanif have been elected chairman and vice chairman of Dhaka Bank Limited, says a press release.

Subprime-hit German bank posts loss

Troubled German business lender IKB posted Tuesday a net loss of 965 billion euros (1.5 billion dollars) for its fiscal first half after pulling back from the brink of bankruptcy.

BMW Q1 profit falls

German luxury car group BMW said Tuesday that its first quarter results were hit by the global financial crisis despite a rise in sales.

BGMEA gets new vice presidents

M Harun-Ar-Rashid assumed the position of the vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

Asian stocks close mixed ahead of Fed meeting

Asian stocks closed mixed Tuesday as investors looked ahead to a key US central bank meeting expected to cut American borrowing costs.

GSP Finance declares 5pc cash, 10pc stock dividends

GSP Finance Company (Bangladesh) Limited has declared 5 percent cash and 10 percent bonus shares for the shareholders for the year 2007.

US secretary concedes biofuels may spur food price rises

Setting aside farmland to produce biofuels like ethanol may be partly to blame for driving up world food prices, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday.

Thailand to sell its entire rice stockpile

Thailand's premier said Tuesday the country would sell all of its 2.1 million tonnes of stockpiled rice at a cut price to relieve shortages and try to curb soaring domestic prices of the staple grain.

India's central bank hikes cash reserve ratio to fight inflation

India's central bank on Tuesday hiked the amount of cash banks must hold in reserve for the second time in two weeks, as it struggles to tame inflation in Asia's third-largest economy.

Oil prices ease as Scottish refinery strike ends

World oil prices eased on Tuesday after Scottish refinery workers ended a two-day strike which helped send prices to record highs.

Correction

In a news item headlined 'Trust Bank enlists AB Bank Foundation as brokerage house' published on this page on Tuesday, the designation of Sajedur Seraj was not correct. In fact, he is the vice chairman of AB Bank Ltd. We regret the mistake.

Metropolitan

Set specific agenda before formal dialogue: Bhuiyan

Former BNP secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, one of the top leaders of pro-Saifur faction, yesterday said specific agenda should be set prior to the formal dialogues between the government and political parties to make them successful.

Cancel seismic survey at Lawachhara

Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) yesterday demanded immediate cancellation of the three dimensional (3D) seismic survey conducted by Chevron at the Lawachhara National Forest and its adjacent areas to save the country's lone rain forest and its bio-diversity.

11pc of injured fall victim to permanent disability

Eleven percent of the people that sustained injuries during Sidr strike fell victim to permanent disability, said a study conducted by the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB) yesterday.

Bangla-Pak ties to strengthen

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday hoped that the existing bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Pakistan would strengthen further in the days to come.

'Include harmful effects of drugs in school curriculum'

Law Adviser AF Hassan Ariff yesterday said harmful effects of drugs should be included in school curriculum to raise awareness among the youths about the menace of drug addiction.

Five killed in road accidents

Five people were killed and 42 people were injured in separate road accidents in Bhola, Narsingdi, Comilla and Naogaon in the last two days.

OMS programme ends today

The open market sale (OMS) programme of food directorate across the country ends today.

Charge sheet not submitted

The charge sheet in connection with Tk 21 crore bribery case could not be submitted yesterday due to some technical difficulties.

Monitor income generating schemes for ultra poor

Speakers at a seminar Tuesday laid emphasis on strong monitoring system to the income generating schemes for the ultra poor (poorest of the poor), funded by the micro-finance institutions (MFIs), for their sustainability in the development programme, says a press release.

We need co-fighters to curb corruption

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (Retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday said we need co-fighters to curb corruption in the society.

32 appointed after 7 years

Thirty-two successful candidates of the 23rd Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations were formally appointed under different cadres of the public service after seven long years, a handout said yesterday.

WB team meets DU acting VC

A two-member delegation of the World Bank (WB) called on Acting Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University (DU) Prof AFM Yusuf Haider at the latter's office on Monday, says a press release.

'Pre-dialogue meetings meaningless'

Workers' Party of Bangladesh (WPB) President Rashed Khan Menon yesterday said the pre-dialogue meetings of the government with the political parties were not meaningful and also could not grab confidence of the countrymen, says a press release.

Female tenant killed following altercation

A female tenant was killed at Bonosree of the city's Khilgaon area yesterday after wife of the house owner allegedly pushed her following an altercation over water supply.

Benazir to join UN unit of Peacekeeping Mission

Benazir Ahmed, deputy inspector general of police (Finance and development), is going to join as the chief of Management Unit of Peacekeeping Mission at UN headquarters in Washington on May 5, says a press release.

Lion dist 315A2 executives

Lion Saiful Islam PMJF and Lion Mozammel Huq Lalu MJF have been elected district governor and vice governor of Lion district 315A2 for 2008-09, says a press release.

Road crash kills Bangladeshi expatriate in Malaysia

A Bangladeshi expatriate living in Malaysia was killed when a lorry ploughed through a restaurant at Jahur Baru town close to Kuala Lampur on Saturday.

Minor boy stabbed to death

A child was killed after he was accidentally stabbed while playing with a knife with two others at Shibganj upazila in the district on Monday.

Emon on 3-day fresh remand

Top criminal Sanjidul Islam Emon was placed on a three-day fresh remand yesterday in a murder case filed with New Market Police Station in April last year.

AAA celebrates founding anniversary

The American Alumni Association (AAA) celebrated its 10th founding anniversary on April 25 on its office premises, says a press release.

Window shade falls on city tin-shed house, woman injured

A window shade of an under-construction four-storey building fell on a tin-shed house, leaving an elderly woman injured at Tajmahal Road in the city yesterday.

SCBA election ends, result today

A two-day voting for electing new leadership of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) ended yesterday peacefully, court sources said.

Epr Case Against Hasina

Prolonged hearings on government appeal against the High Court judgment invalidating trial of former prime minister Sheikh Hasina under emergency rules in an extortion case concluded yesterday in the Supreme Court.

Doctor killed in city road accident

A doctor was killed and two pedestrians were injured in a road accident in the Nikunja area under Khilkhet Police Station in the city yesterday afternoon.

CA's support to FF, physically challenged artist

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed donated Tk 1.5 lakh from the CA's discretionary fund for treatment of a freedom fighter and a boy and encouraging an artist to go on with his artworks.

Naziur's son Andaliv new BJP president

Andaliv Rahman, son of Naziur Rahman Manzur, has been made chairman of Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP).

'Bangladesh not technologically sound to face disasters'

Acting Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University (DU) Prof Dr AFM Yusuf Haider yesterday underscored the need for creating mass awareness about the causes of environmental disasters.

'Promote research on CHT medicinal plants'

Speakers at a seminar yesterday urged the caretaker government to promote research on medicinal plants of Chittagong Hill Tract as these plants can be used in making medicine and nation can save around Tk 100 crore per year.

Experts deactivate grenades in Ctg

The hand grenades that were found at a village under Boalkhali upazila in Chittagong on Monday were deactivated yesterday.

British HC closed tomorrow

British High Commission in Dhaka and its office in Sylhet will remain closed to the public tomorrow for May Day.

National

No let-up in outlaws' bomb attacks in Jhenidah

Despite drives by police, joint forces and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), there is no let up in bomb attacks and other crimes in Jhenidah, mainly by outlaws.

Govt orders strong vigil against rice smuggling

The government has asked all law enforcement agencies and the civil administration in 16 northern districts, the main rice producing region, to maintain vigil against smuggling of Boro paddy and rice.

Samo Adhiker demands punishment of culprits

Bangali Chhatra Parishad, student forum of Parbatya Chattagram Samo Adhikar Andolon (PCSAA), yesterday observed 22nd anniversary of massacre on Bangali settlers in Khagrachhari district.

10 to die for murder in Bagerhat

Bagerhat District and Sessions Judge's Court yesterday sentenced 10 people to death for killing a man in 2003.

12 get life for murder in Magura

Additional District and Sessions Judge's court here yesterday have life term rigorous imprisonment (RI) to 12 people and fined Tk 20,000 each, in default to suffer 6 months' more RI in a murder case.

Bomb blows away farmer's hand in Jhenidah

A farmer's hand was blown away and his two eyes were damaged in a bomb explosion in Jhenidah yesterday. He also suffered injuries in other parts of his body.

RU BCL rally demands Hasina's release

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at Rajshahi University yesterday staged demonstration on the campus demanding immediate release of Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina for the sake of establishing democracy in the country.

Noted Islamic scholar laid to rest in Jhalakathi

Azizur Rahman Nesarabadi alias Qayed Saheb Hujur, an eminent Islamic scholar, was laid to rest yesterday amid mourning by thousands of his followers.

Fishing ban in Kaptai Lake from May 1

The district administration has put a ban on catching all kinds of fishes in Kaptai Lake for an indefinite period from May 1.

Sust students demand action against culprit

Students of Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST) yesterday continued their agitation demanding punitive steps against Mahbubur Rahman Shamim, who kidnapped a Sust student and tortured her days ago.

Correction

The headline “Former Jessore BNP MP charge-sheeted by ACC” published on page 14 of The Daily Star on April 29, mistakenly mentioned Jessore BNP MP. Shahidul Islam Master, the lawmaker referred to in the story, was elected from Jhenidah-3 constituency. We regret the inadvertent mistake.

Letters

Bangladesh and ICT

ICT plays a vital role in economic and social development of a country. It not only develops the communication technology but also increases the productivity of a country. But it is a matter of regret that Bangladesh is lagging behind in the ICT sector. The World Economic Forum has issued 'The Global Information Technology Report' 2007-08 on the basis of the following things: quick internet facilities, poverty alleviation, ensuring national activities through maximum utilisation of ICT, inventions and e-skills, business network, transmission for IT generation etc. In that report Bangladesh has been given the 124th position out of 127 countries, our IT ranking and the score is 2.65 which is very shameful for us. In South Asia, computer came first in Bangladesh. Yet we are lagging behind other nations in the region. The position of other countries are Nepal 119th (2.88), Pakistan 89th (3.37), Sri Lanka 79th (3.58), India 50th (4.06). On the other hand, some poverty, hunger, war affected countries have done very well. But it is a very interesting development that the present government is issuing licence for Call Centre. It is a positive sign of improvement in the IT sector. Bangladesh needs a definite plan. It has a lot of potential in this sector and also a bright future.

Research and wildlife

Years have lapsed since we spoke against the Aerial Seismic Survey in the Sundarbans that was envisioned by Shell Company in September 2003. Now it's Chevron's turn to take steps to conduct Aerial Seismic survey (ASS) in Lawachhara forest and in addition we hear there will be small charges of seismic explosives (biodegradable they claim). Lawachhara is a forest very rich in flora and fauna. Our concern is why are we heading for this survey in the first place? If a better prospect of gas is found in the area, will the next step be to start digging up the forest to claim the gas fields? In the past during the BNP government, the pipeline was laid through the Lawachhara forests and announced when it was nearing completion. Can our forest department or for that matter MoEF take decisions without public opinion? The first lesson in democracy tells us to seek public opinion for state owned property.

National ID

I was awfully shocked when I received my national ID card. I could not recognise my photograph in the card. Those who came to collect their respective National ID card were flabbergasted to see their photographs. They could not, like me, recognise their own pictures. Not a single person was satisfied with the distorted photograph in the identity card. Crores of taka have been spent by the government for the National ID card. The photograph in the identity card is neither colour nor black and white. It is simply an irritating and confusing picture.

Water crisis

We read very frequently about the drinking water crisis in Dhaka City. How can the consumers expect safe drinking water when Dhaka Wasa does not use sufficient doses of chemicals to kill the bacteria, but they pay the bills to the suppliers of chemicals!!

Fare hike

The news of government fixing fares of CNG-run autorickshaws and AC/ non-AC taxicabs published in The Daily Star on 04/2008 has not had any impact on the situation.

Food crisis

Bangladesh's poor people are bearing the brunt of the food price rise as part of the global food crisis. According to a large number of critics the cause of the present food problem in Bangladesh is the inefficiency of the caretaker government. If we do not try to understand the problem in the global context, then the government or the public will not be able to solve or alleviate the food problem to reduce the sufferings of the poor.

Eight-year old accused!

It was a news report in The Daily Star that an 8-year old girl was arrested for drug peddling. I cannot understand why the law enforcers did not apply their common sense and work out that an eight-year old could not commit such a crime. They should have understood that even if an eight-year old girl is found with drugs, she is to be treated as a victim of the circumstances. However, she was freed eventually. I would like to thank the reporter and the DS team.

National Women Policy

After reading The Daily Star report on the Ulema Council's review comments on the National Women Policy, I feel it necessary as a citizen of Bangladesh to put in my "two cents" on several of the issues debated by the Ulema Council as presented in the DS report.

Commuter's life

This objective oriented diagnosis is for finding a solution-- so I studied my daily commuting experience in Dhaka Metropolitan City (DC) roads. We need a turnaround or I call it “branding” to make the road management effective. This does not require 'rocket science software', as Deming's plan-do-check-act PDCA cycle - a world class execution recipe, can do it effectively.

Love for animals

Our treatment of animals should be full of sympathy. But not all of us show sympathy. Animals are often mistreated or killed unnecessarily. They are subdued for man's pleasure.

Working women

In our country, a high percentage of non-working women have husbands with a high level of income. Another important finding is that less educated women have more children than more educated women, regardless of their working status. The level of education and work status of women would determine the variation in their performance in different areas at home. As expected, non-working women are found to spend more time in child care, personal care and other activities at home than working women. On the other hand, working women are found to be more efficient in raising mentally- developed and well- adjusted children. Working women take greater control in decision making at home than non-working women. Husbands seem to be more satisfied with the non-working wives than the working wives. A greater percentage of unhappy wives are also working women. Job satisfaction of working women can only make up partially for their discontent regarding child care and house care.

People in trouble

Due to the whimsical actions of the present government and especially due to the abnormally high prices of essential commodities like rice, oil, pulses etc, the common people find themselves in a very difficult situation.

Hillary Clinton

Following the win in the Pennsylvania primary, Sen. Hillary Clinton's race for Democratic presidential nomination got a momentum. Congrats, Hillary!

Hydraulic horns

A few days ago I had to go to Chittagong from Dhaka by an AC bus. The journey was comfortable. But I was surprised to see that almost all the buses and trucks on the trunk road were using "hydraulic horns" causing loud noise. This is causing much discomfort to the passengers as well as the people residing on both sides of the National Highway.

“Babu” English

The interview piece on Babu English by Ahmede Hussain on Bangladeshi writer in English Tabish Khair (DS Star Weekend Magazine, 14- 3- 08) was interesting, but ticklish for the lay readers. The questions were of intellectual level; but it is encouraging to note that Bangladeshi writers are appearing in the world of global English (latest T Aman).

Dialogue

It appears that the Election Commission (EC) is engaged or at least trying to get engaged in a fruitless "dialogue" and spending months trying to talk to politicians and so-called "dozen men" political parties and wasting its time. It's just waste of time. They are all the same bunch of people who are responsible for bringing the county to this messy situation. I am sure if the EC goes on like this forever, no fruitful result will come out of it.

CNG drivers

My means of transport is CNG. However, when we want to go to any place like Dhanmondi, Rajarbagh or Gulshan, the CNG drivers just reject us rudely. When they do agree they charge double the amount of money, instead of going by the meter as they are supposed to. Add to that, they are always complaining about how they cannot afford the money that they need to give to the owners. But I can always see one or two CNG's sitting idle near every roadside teashop.

International

Palestinian militants talk truce in Cairo

Palestinian militant groups were in Cairo yesterday for Egyptian-mediated talks on a possible truce with Israel that has already been approved by the Islamist Hamas.

Karzai was warned of assassination plot

President Hamid Karzai was warned of a weekend assassination plot against him, Afghanistan's intelligence chief said Tuesday, while admitting failings by security services.

CPN-UML offers conditional support to Maoist-led Nepali govt

The Communist Party of Nepal (UML) yesterday offered conditional support to a Maoist-led government, demanding a common minimum programme based on "national consensus" and one of the top three posts.

BJP asks Delhi to mediate between Lanka and LTTE

Asking the Centre to play a 'major role' to bring both the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE to negotiating table, the BJP today said the recent meeting between Priyanka Vadhra and Nalini, a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case, was done with a 'motif'.

Reinstatement of Pak judges may take two weeks: Zardari

The judges sacked on November 3, 2007, will be restored through a constitutional package likely in two weeks, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said on Monday.

al-Qaeda's HQ in tribal areas

A damning report by the European Police Office puts Pakistan in the spotlight, pointing an accusing finger at the tribal areas as the "command and control centre" for al-Qaeda's "remaining core leadership" planning attacks in the EU.

Reluctant Rahul wades into political warfare

Reluctant "crown prince" Rahul Gandhi is finally getting his hands dirty in India's tumultuous politics after years of dithering about filling the boots of his illustrious forebears.

China jails 30 people over Tibet unrest

Chinese authorities on Tuesday jailed 30 people for between three years and life for their role in last month's Tibetan unrest, state press reported.

Lanka turns to less critical donors

Sri Lanka hailed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit Monday as an important step in cementing closer ties between the two nations.

US does not consider nuke deal 'dead’

As uncertainty loomed over the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, the Bush Administration said it is "never" going to declare the stalled pact "dead" since the deal is considered "critically important".

London mayor hopefuls battle for Muslim vote

Muslim voters have emerged as a key battleground in London's mayoral elections this week, the first chance for most to vote since the 2005 suicide bombings by Islamic extremists in the city.

Austrian kids locked in basement, never saw sunlight

The children locked in the basement never saw the light of day for years. A retired electrician has confessed to imprisoning his daughter for 24 years and fathering seven children with her in a windowless cell sealed by an electronic keyless-entry system, police said Monday.

China blames high speed for train disaster

Chinese authorities on Tuesday blamed excessive speed for the nation's worst train crash in more than a decade, amid fears the death toll would climb past 70.

Arts & Entertainment

Highlighting dancers from all corners of the country

As part of this year's three-day long International Dance Day celebration, on the second day (April 28) the organisers -- Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) and Bangladesh Nrityashilpi Sangstha (BNS) -- arranged several programmes at different venues in Dhaka.

Dance for the masses

To generate interest on dance amongst the masses, dancers from all over the country performed at TSC, University of Dhaka and Rabindra Sarobor on April 28. The event was a part of ongoing International Dance Day celebration programme.

The current trend of Manipuri dance in Bangladesh

Sylhet based seasoned Manipuri dancer, director and researcher Anil Kishan Shingha had arrived in Dhaka to participate at the International Dance Day celebration progranmme. Shingha is one of the pioneering dancers who popularised the ritual based Manipuri dance as an art form in Bangladesh. He has been experimenting on the traditional Manipuri dance form since 1960s.

"Dancers have a bright future"- Kochi Rahman

Kaththak dancer, director and choreographer Kochi Rahman teaches at institutes such as Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts, Shanto Mariam University of Creative Technology and his own organisation Aakrity -- a dance institute and troupe. Rahman is also active at the grassroots. Under the aegis of BSA, he has traversed many districts of the country to teach and popularise Kaththak.

On the light fantastic toe

To celebrate International Dance Day, the Russian Centre for Science and Culture arranged a programme on April 28 showcasing various types of dance. These included Latin American pieces by artistes led by Nadim, a Nepali dance, and Bangladeshi dances by students of Sohel Rana.

Workshop on "Mohiniyattam" at Rajshahi University

The Music and Drama Department, Rajshahi University in association with assistant Indian High Commission of Rajshahi, organised a daylong workshop on the Mohiniyattam dance of South India at the RU Deans' Complex auditorium.

"Close Up 1" auditions in Barisal and Khulna

The regional audition round of the talent hunt Close Up 1: Tomakei Khujchhey Bangladesh was held at the Barisal Club Auditorium recently.

Dancers bring out a procession

A colourful procession, carrying banners and portraits of legendry dancers, was brought out from Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) yesterday morning. Over 300 dancers from Dhaka and other districts participated at the procession, which travelled Shegun Bagicha area.

Material woman, restoring her brand

When in doubt, take Madonna at face value. Since the beginning of her career she has telegraphed her intentions and labelled herself more efficiently than any observer. She has titled albums Music, Erotica and, in 2005, Confessions on a Dance Floor for a collection that mingled personal and Biblical reflections with club grooves. Flaunting her ever-changing image, she named one tour Who's That Girl?, another Re-Invention.

OP-ED

Managing food crisis

AT the first World Food Summit held in Rome in 1996, the heads of states of all countries in the world had "reaffirmed the right of access to safe and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger." The world leaders at that time agreed to halve the number of hungry people in the world by 2015.

Woes of the housing industry

IT is often said that the housing industry is a fair barometer of the country's economy. Invariably, a successful and thriving economy is represented by a booming real-estate market. A few good examples are Hong Kong and Singapore in the recent past, and India, China, Dubai at present.

Art for Ray's sake

APRIL 23 was the sixteenth death anniversary of Satyajit Ray. The extraordinary talent of Satyajit Ray came to mean a great deal of pride and honour for anyone born in the sub-continent. What started as a daring exposure of life under rural poverty in Pather Panchali, Ray continued in his long journey and went on to open up new vistas in the difficult task of cinematic art. To this world of art, however, Ray was a relative newcomer. But, such was the power of his creative genius that he met with success almost from the very start.

In Asian elections we are all losers

TODAY is the anniversary of the first time a US president appeared on TV: Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. These days we have wall-to-wall coverage of these guys. Who cares? The three people campaigning for the job today may have very different faces, but from an Asian point of view, they are triplets. They are all in favour of money, democracy, and the continued export of American, er, "culture." (I use the term broadly.)

Star City

Few know use of fire-fighting tools, no drill for residents

Many of the city's high-rise apartment and office buildings do not have proper fire safety measures like fire exit and firefighting equipment.

Nuisance of thunderous noise from car stereos

Just after midnight, Modhubagh resident Julfikar Ahmed jolts out of his sleep by a thunderous noise roaring out from speakers attached to a car in the adjacent street.

DCC to recycle wet market waste

Dhaka City Corporation has taken initiative to produce livestock and fish feed by recycling waste generated from poultry markets and slaughterhouses in the city.



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