The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, November 29, 2014


News of: Saturday, 3rd of May, 2008

Front Page

High demand, fewer stations cause chaos

The CNG refuelling stations in the capital are struggling to cope with the ever-increasing demand for the fuel as conversion of petroleum-run vehicles continues at a very high pace.

Nargis finally lashes Myanmar coast after missing Bangladesh

People of the country heaved a sigh of relief as cyclone Nargis did not finally hit Bangladesh, changing its course eastward and starting to cross Myanmar yesterday evening.

Ensure fair wages, safe environment for workers

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed on Thursday urged the employers to ensure fair wages for workers, timely payment, well-defined work-hours and safe and healthy working environment.

Cheated workers forced to buy fake passports

The Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia allegedly has been exhibiting unwillingness to stand by its compatriot migrant workers there, while a well organised racket of Bangladeshi passport forgers comprising nationals of both countries is raking in a large sum of money by selling fake passports to workers desperate to return home.

Outlaws kill cop, loot firearms in Rajshahi

Suspected outlaws shot dead a policeman, injured four others and snatched five firearms from them in an attack on a police patrol team at Taherpur of Bagmara upazila yesterday evening.

Unholy nexus influences investigations, drivers go unpunished

Public transport operators have formed an unholy alliance with a section of police on the basis of bribery and extortion to go unpunished for the deaths often caused due to reckless driving.

Storms kill 3, destroys over 1,000 houses

Nor'westers lashed the capital last night and four other districts--Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Rangpur and Mymensingh--early yesterday and Thursday night, killing three persons and damaging over 1,000 houses.

13 grenades, ammo found in Chittagong

Thirteen more grenades, seven magazines and 2,184 bullets were recovered at a canal in Boalkhali upazila of Chittagong during the last two days.

Delwar accuses EC of planning farcical polls

Khandaker Delwar Hossain, BNP secretary general appointed by its chairperson, yesterday said the Election Commission (EC) is trying to pull rank on the political parties to form “a rubber-stamp parliament through a stage-managed election”.

Washington lauds Dhaka's anti-terrorism efforts

The US State Department in its annual report on terrorism lauded the efforts of Bangladesh government in curbing terrorist activities but said porous borders and internal political strife threatened the progress made against violent extremists.

AL rejects constituency delimitation

Awami League (AL) yesterday disapproved of the Election Commission's move for delimitation of parliamentary constituencies, saying the EC has no jurisdiction to do this.

Remote controlled bombs used in Ramna blast

Remote control was used to detonate the bombs at Ramna Batamul during the Pahela Baishakh celebration on April 14, 2001 and one of the attackers was killed in the blasts as he could not escape before the mechanism was activated.

Dumped bodies of 2 schoolboys found in city abandoned house

Unidentified criminals have stabbed to death two schoolboys and dumped their bodies in an abandoned house at Nayatola in the city.

Trader killed in hail of bullets in city

Unidentified armed assailants killed a building material supplier in the capital Thursday noon, pumping at least 15 bullets into the victim.

6 children rescued from Benapole

Police rescued six children from Sadipur border in Benapole while they were being trafficked to India yesterday.

Over 50 BCL men sued for breaking EPR

Police filed a case against 50 to 60 leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Chittagong University (CU) unit Wednesday night in connection with bringing out a procession on campus violating the Emergency Power Rules (EPR).

Century-old monastery lies in ruins

A 127-year-old Hindu monastery at Goyhata in Nagarpur upazila goes to rack and ruin with wild plants pervading the structure that still boasts some intricate terracotta plaques.

Prof Wahiduddin suggests forming task forces to check rice price

Eminent economist Dr Wahiduddin Mahmud yesterday said he has proposed to the caretaker government to form two task forces to keep rice price within the purchasing capacity of people at all levels, and ensure food security for all.

2 muggers beaten to death in Ctg

Two alleged muggers were beaten to death in the port city and in Fatikchhari upazila on Thursday.

Car plunges into river, 3 of a family missing

Three of a family went missing in the Padma as a car carrying the family of four skidded off a pontoon and plunged into the river at Mawa Ferry Ghat yesterday.

Road crashes kill 9 in 5 districts

Nine people died and 34 others were injured in road accidents in Rangpur, Kushtia, Jhenidah, Sylhet and Patuakhali districts in the last two days.

Diarrhoea situation worsens

The diarrhoea situation across the country has worsened during the last few days.

Palm oil prices higher than govt-fixed rate

Retailers across the country continue to sell palm oil at Tk 103 to Tk 104 a litre even though the government fixed its retail price at Tk 96 three days ago.

Girl commits suicide after being 'raped'

A garment worker died in Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) Thursday after taking poison the day before. She was reportedly gang raped on April 25.

18 killed in Yemen mosque blast

Eighteen people, mostly soldiers, were killed in Yemen yesterday when a blast blamed by authorities on Shia insurgents exploded at the entrance to a mosque in the rebels' stronghold.

Suicide bombings kill 35 in Iraq

The US military yesterday blamed al-Qaeda in Iraq for a double suicide bombing that killed at least 35 people during a wedding procession through a crowd of people cheering the bride and groom in a town northeast of Baghdad.

Bush seeks $770m to face food crisis

US President George W Bush urged lawmakers Thursday to approve 770 million dollars in new aid to cope with soaring food prices that have left many hungry and fuelled angry protests around the world.

Judges to be reinstated on May 12: Sharif

Former Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif said yesterday that judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf will be reinstated on May 12.

Editorial

A positive draft

We welcome the draft electoral law of the Election Commission (EC) for the very reason that it has incorporated many of the hitherto unfulfilled aspirations of the people of the country. The EC made it clear in the draft that if any candidate attempts to hide or give false information about personal records or election expenditure, his/her election results will be cancelled and the seat will be declared vacant. There will be provision for holding re-election for that seat at a later date. The other pertinent point is that political parties will also face cancellation of registration for failing to submit an authentic election expenditure record of the party and individual candidates. Here we find the provision of outright cancellation a bit severe, and feel a system of issuing a first warning and then suspension for a specific period could be introduced. If a party failed for the third time to come up with the accounts, EC will then take the final decision regarding cancellation of registration. Nevertheless, we strongly hold the view that these are some of the basic tenets without which no credible election can be held.

Facing a global food crisis

The call by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for a top-level task force to address the issue of the spiraling cost of food worldwide is precisely the kind of co-ordinated global action that is necessary at this precarious moment in history, and could not have come at a better time.

Becoming an Asian tiger

Quite often we refer to certain countries in Southeast Asia as 'emerging tigers'. Their economies and their progressive economic development are analysed and extolled for their performance. Such an approach also draws our attention not only to the manner in which such countries identified the weaknesses within their development paradigm but also how such measures to overcome challenges subsequently facilitated foreign direct investment.

Police reforms and criminal justice

The philosophy behind penology consists of the following elements: deterrence, retribution and reformation. We may refer to the Holy Quran's Surah Al-Bakara - A178/179 wherein Allah ordains 'Kesas', which 'ensures security to life'. If one would fathom the depth of its deeper meaning one will realize that it essentially points towards 'deterrence through retribution' which is likely to reduce the recurrence of crime, particularly, the heinous ones and ensure security to life.

Not beyond a point

The escalating violence in the country is frightening. Still more frightening is the shape it is taking. Somewhere it has turned communal, somewhere regional and somewhere ideological. Whatever the direction, it indicates a trend where the rule of law is lessening and where the use of force is gaining legitimacy.

Sports

It's just a rumour!

The employees of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) spent a very panicky May Day due to a rumour that the newly elected executive committee has asked all the staff to resign.

Comfortable wins for giants

Russel Hassan Rony slotted the first hattrick of the Green Delta Insurance Premier Hockey League as Abahani brushed aside Bangladesh Sporting Club 7-0 at the at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Booters off to Bishkek

The national football team left Dhaka for Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek yesterday morning to take part in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers.

Bangladesh suffer huge loss

A crushing 182-run defeat at the hands of India gave Bangladesh women's cricket team their first real taste of international cricket in their opening Asia Cup match at Welegedara Stadium in Kurunegala yesterday.

Shamsur's 82* salvages NCA

Shamsur Rahman staved off the disciplined Pakistan Cricket Academy bowling attack to ensure GP-BCB National Cricket Academy (NCA) were still batting after the end of the first day in the second four-day match at the Rajshahi Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Local Snippets

Defending champions Bangladesh Ansar led the NCC Bank 32nd National Cycling Championships medal table with seven gold after the second day's competition at the Paltan Maidan yesterday.

Under-15s go down in semis

Bangladesh Under-15 cricket team's campaign ended when they Pakistan beat them by six wickets in the semifinal at the Clico International Under-15 Cricket Championship at La Sagesse Park in Grenada on Thursday.

Zia stays atop

Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman defeated Debaraj Chatterjee in the 11th round of the 34th National Chess Championship yesterday to stay atop the points table.

Marsh pilots Punjab

There were plenty of star batsmen on show but the two best innings of an absorbing encounter came from two youngsters. Shaun Marsh's unbeaten 84 on his IPL debut, carrying Kings XI Punjab to a comfortable seven-wicket win -- their third on the trot -- and fourth place in the points table, followed Rohit Sharma's 76, which lifted the Deccan Chargers to a respectable 164.

Rajasthan win big

An irrepressible Rajasthan Royals side got their fourth successive win of the tournament and nudged past Delhi to second place in the points table with a 45-run win over a listless Kolkata Knight Riders. 'All the King's men' might be Kolkata's advertising tagline, referring to team owner Shah Rukh Khan, but here it was a more apt description of Shane Warne and his team. His decision to bat first -- allowing his bowlers respite from the Jaipur heat -- was justified by attacking half-centuries from debutant Swapnil Asnodkar and Yusuf Pathan, and disciplined bowling by the Rajasthan quicks.

Bayern crash in Russia

Zenit St Petersburg booked their first UEFA Cup final place in Manchester on May 14 after out-classing Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich with a 4-0 rout in Russia on Thursday night.

Win will take MU to the brink

Manchester United and Chelsea, who already have a date in the Champions League final to determine continental bragging rights, first must settle the matter of domestic dominance this weekend entering the final strait of a thrilling English Premiership season.

Drogba creates Chelsea history

Didier Drogba sent Chelsea to their first Champions League final and got revenge on Rafa Benitez as his double strike clinched a 3-2 win against Liverpool in Wednesday's semifinal second leg.

Real ready to celebrate

The champagne is on ice for Real Madrid as they travel to Osasuna this Sunday knowing a win would secure a 31st championship with three games to spare.

Rangers reach final after shoot-out

Plucky Rangers reached the UEFA Cup final after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Fiorentina in the semifinal second leg here on Thursday.

Viduka spared surgery

Mark Viduka is to have an injection to help him recover from a niggling Achilles problem but will not require full-scale surgery, Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan revealed on Friday.

Cole hails Lampard

Joe Cole on Thursday hailed teammate Frank Lampard after the England midfielder's penalty helped Chelsea to reach their first ever Champions League final.

C'Ron completes award double

Cristiano Ronaldo been voted footballer of the year by English Football Writers' Association, completing a double after receiving the same accolade from his professional peers last week.

Schneider out of Euro 2008

German international midfielder Bernd Schneider has lost his battle to be fit for Euro 2008 after undergoing a back operation, the German Football Federation (DFB) announced on Friday.

'Flintoff ready for Tests'

Andrew Flintoff could make his Test comeback as part of a four-man attack against New Zealand at Lord's on May 15, after England's captain, Michael Vaughan, told The Times that he was in favour of throwing his allrounder back into international cricket as a No. 7 batsman and out-and-out strike bowler.

McGrath takes four

Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan laid out the carpet and Glenn McGrath, returning the best figures in the IPL's brief history, walked over it as the Delhi Daredevils got themselves back on track after a blip in their last game. It wasn't a comfortable win, as the Bangalore Royal Challengers kept them to 191 for 5 when 205 seemed an easy total and later when Jacques Kallis and Rahul Dravid threatened to chase it down, but another choke from the visiting side - who for the third game running left Misbahul Haq on the bench - put Delhi at second in the points table.

IPL undecided on Shoaib ban

The Indian Premier League is yet to finalise its position on barring Shoaib Akhtar, the banned Pakistan fast bowler, from playing in the inaugural season of the tournament.

Tendulkar a step closer

Sachin Tendulkar is one step closer to getting fit. He had a long batting session on Thursday at the Bandra Kurla cricket stadium where Mumbai Indians assembled for nets ahead of their clash against Delhi Daredevils at home on Sunday.

Lee's wickets cost $80k

Speedster Brett Lee returned home as the richest Australian cricketer, taking home a whopping $80,000 per scalp for his four wickets from as many games in the cash-rich Indian Premier League.

Metropolitan

Allocate funds in budget to boost tourism at Durgapur, Kamlakanda

Speakers at a discussion yesterday urged the caretaker government to allocate special funds or incorporate projects in the national budget of the next fiscal year to boost environment and people-friendly tourism business in the discriminated and backward areas enriched with mineral and natural resources and beauty.

Call to implement UN convention that comes into effect today

National Alliance of Disabled Peoples Organisations (Nadpo) yesterday urged the government to take necessary steps in implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which is coming into effect from today.

Play role to foster understanding among S Asian nations

Eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said the media can play a critical role in fostering mutual understanding, trust and cooperation among South Asian nations by making accurate portrayals and representation of neighbours.

RMG workers suffer health hazards for use of synthetic materials in factories

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said ready-made garment (RMG) workers are subjected to a variety of physical, chemical and biological hazards due to use of natural and synthetic materials in the factories.

Ties with Bangladesh to be strengthened further

The British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Anwar Choudhury has said bilateral relation between the UK and Bangladesh has reached a high level and it should be developed further in the years to come.

Take swift decision on coal mining, gas exploration

The business people in the port city on Wednesday urged the government to be aggressive in taking decision on coal mining and gas exploration to help rapid industrialisation and accelerate economic growth.

'Poor english, math knowledge main cause of SSC failure'

Poor knowledge of students on English and Mathematics is the main cause for low pass rate in Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations, said Chairman of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, Comilla Prof M Atiqur Rahman.

Security service driver flees with Tk 70 lakh

A driver of a private security service company fled away with Tk 70 lakh of a private farm in the city on Wednesday.

May Day observed

The historic May Day was observed in the country in a lackluster manner under the state of emergency that restricts open rallies of any kind of political and trade-union hues.

Monju meets US Congressmen

Jatiya Party (Monju) Chairman Anwar Hossain Monju last week met a number of US congressmen in Washington DC, reports News Agency ANA.

Salahuddin freed on parole to attend father's janaza

Former deputy minister for communications Salahuddin Ahmed was released yesterday on parole for six hours to attend the namaz-e-janaza of his father, Saidul Haque.

Two journalists assaulted in Shariatpur

Two local journalists were assaulted by the brick field workers and employees at Atong village in Sadar upazila yesterday while taking video footage on burning timber in the kiln.

Valuables worth Tk 5 lakh looted

Armed miscreants looted valuables worth over Tk 5 lakh from the passengers of 10 vehicles on Sylhet-Fenchuganj road on Thursday night.

Cab drivers protest hike in deposition money

Several thousand drivers of CNG-run taxicabs on Thursday observed a work stoppage in the city protesting an increase of rate of daily money deposition by the owners.

World Press Freedom Day today

World Press Freedom Day 2008 will be observed today in the country as elsewhere across the world.

Jahanara Imam's anniversary of birth today

Today is the 79th birth anniversary of Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam.

Lost SSC answer scripts found in Bogra

Police yesterday recovered 399 answer scripts of SSC examination out of 400 scripts from Bogra town, which were lost on Wednesday.

Rasheda Mohiuddin passes away

Rasheda Mohiuddin, a prominent Awami League (AL) leader and social worker, passed away at Lab Aid Cardiac Hospital in the city on Thursday at the age of 48.

Kuet student drowns in pond

A first year student of Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (Kuet) drowned in a pond adjacent to the Khanjahan Ali residential hall in Khulna city yesterday.

Khela Ghar marks 56th anniversary

The 56th founding anniversary of the Kendriya Khela Ghar Asar, an organisation that works for the children, was observed amid a gala ceremony yesterday.

BBC Bangladesh Sanglap today

The 36th edition of the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap will kick off at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city today.

Pak air chief leaves Dhaka

Pakistan Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed left Dhaka after a five-day official visit to Bangladesh on Thursday, says an ISPR press release.

RU journalism alumni forum launched

Journalism Alumni Forum of Rajshahi University (Jafru), a new platform of the former students of the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at the university, was launched here on Thursday for the welfare of the journalism students.

National

Bagaihat Reserve Forest in Rangamati being gobbled up

Bagaihat Reserve Forest in Rangamati is threaten with extinction due to grabbing and illegal felling of trees by loggers and timber traders.

Stop seismic survey in Lawachhera

Different environmentalist organisations yesterday formed a human chain at Lawacheera Reserve Forest in Moulvibazar to press their demand to stop the seismic survey there by US oil company Chevron.

Country needs people like Mokbul Hossain

Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury has said the society now needs people like Mokbul Hossain Chowdhury, a luminous figure in the field of journalism and politics in the then Assam-Bengal region.

3 major roads to be built in Rangamati, Bandarban

Commerce and Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said the caretaker government has undertaken different development programmes for creating infrastructure to bring Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) under sustainable development programmes.

2 held, 4 bombs recovered in Jhenidah

Jhenidah police arrested two bomb throwers with four powerful fresh bombs from Arappur area of the town on Thursday.

9 tonnes of wheat seized in Patuakhali

Baufal police seized nine tonnes of wheat meant for 'Food for Work' projects as it was being sold in the black market from a wooden trawler on Thursday.

Citizens' dialogue in Nilphamari uncertain

The citizens dialogue entitled, 'Jatiyo Challenge Mokabilay Jatiyo Oikyo', scheduled to be held at different upazilas of the district today, has become uncertain as home ministry did not give permission as of yesterday evening.

Highway robbery in Sylhet, one stabbed

Armed miscreants looted valuables worth about Tk 5 lakh from passengers of 10 vehicles on Sylhet-Fenchuganj road Thursday night.

Ex-UP leader held, arms recovered

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a former UP chairman and his employee and recovered a country-made shotgun on Thursday night.

Acid attack on woman in Patuakhali

A woman has acid burned as quarrel with a disputed land on Thursday night.

International

ME Quartet presses Israel over settlements, Gaza blockade

The Middle East Quartet called yesterday on Israel to freeze the construction of further settlements in the West Bank, while voicing deep concern over the Gaza Strip due to an Israeli blockade.

Fighting kills 35 in Lanka's restive north

At least 34 Tamil Tiger rebels and a soldier died in the latest battles in the island's restive north, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Thailand PM issues coup warning

Thailand's prime minister on Friday urged opposition supporters not to incite another military coup with their provocative rhetoric over proposed amendments to the country's constitution.

Suu Kyi listed as Myanmar begins releasing voters' roll

Myanmar's military authorities began Friday to pin up voters' lists for the referendum on their proposed constitution, and confirmed that opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi would be allowed to vote.

Tibetan envoys head for talks in China

Two Tibetan envoys will arrive in China today to start talks with the country's leadership after bloody riots in Lhasa, a spokesman for the Tibetan government in exile said.

US envoy in Nepal meets terror-listed Maoist leader

The United States ambassador to Nepal has met for the first time with the Maoist leader, the embassy said Friday, despite the former rebels still being on a US list of terrorist organisations.

Laden's son to appeal British residency rejection

Osama bin Laden's son Omar is to appeal after his application to move to Britain with his British wife was rejected because his presence might cause "considerable public concern," his wife said on Thursday.

Brown suffers blow in local polls

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown admitted Friday that his party had suffered a "bad" blow in key local elections, as forecasts predicted the worst results for Labour since the 1960s.

Zimbabwe's opposition disputes official results

Zimbabwe's opposition challenged official results Friday that say its leader has won the first round of the presidential election with 47.9 percent of the vote more than longtime President Robert Mugabe but not enough to avoid a runoff.

Obama's distractions give Hillary hope

Hillary Rodham Clinton has an unmistakable bounce in her step these days a sense of energy and optimism that somehow belies the daunting challenge she faces in wresting the Democratic presidential nomination from Barack Obama.

Olmert questioned over alleged corruption

Israel's fraud squad on Friday questioned Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who has been dogged by corruption scandals that surfaced after he took office in 2006, police said.

Bush unveils new US sanctions on Myanmar

US President George W. Bush said Thursday he had imposed fresh US sanctions on state-owned Myanmar companies whose earnings support the country's military regime.

US missile strike kills al-Qaeda leader in Somalia

US missiles destroyed the house of the man identified by the US military as the top al-Qaeda commander in Somalia, killing him and 10 others Thursday in a pre-dawn attack that analysts warned could torpedo peace talks.

Arts & Entertainment

Homayra's journey into the media

TV actress Homayra Himu plays the role of Suru in the popular drama serial Ghor Kutum on Channel-i. Recently, Homaayra talked to The Daily Star about her journey into the media world and how she would like to see herself in the future.

Rushing to the rescue of Kuakata

In aid of the cyclone Sidr affected children of Kuakata an art camp was held at Kuakata at the end of February 2008. Participating were known artists. Their works were exhibited at Alliance Francaise and Drik Gallery under the title "Resurrecting Kuakata". At the end of the exhibition an auction was held. The sale proceeds of which went to charity.

Dhaka auditions of ''Close up 1'' begins

The audition rounds of the talent hunt Close up 1 Gao Bangladesh Gao are nearing a conclusion.

Training workshop on dance at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy

Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) arranges a fortnight long training workshop on dance from May 6, says a press release. Eminent dance artistes and directors Shamim Ara Nipa and Shibli Mohammad will conduct the workshop.

Baishakhi open-air concert in Tangail

A Baishakhi open-air concert was held in Tangail town recently.

Friends and fellow poets remember Sumon Prabahan

Mashiur Rahman Sumon, known as 'Sumon Prabahan' to his friends and readers, passed away on April 19, 2008. He committed suicide. Sumon was an upcoming poet, writer and artist. His works were published in several little magazines including Kalnetra and Buktan. He was one of the editors of Buktan. Sumon was born in November 11, 1976 in Patuakhali.

Matri Bhasha Public Library: A catalyst of change

'The Matri Bhasha Public Library', founded at a remote village, has become an inspiration to develop the reading habit of the locals. This institution is providing books to the people living in 10 nearby villages since July 13, 2001.

Traditional horse race in Pabna

A traditional horse race was held at the Natabaria village, Chatmohar upazila, Pabna recently. The NGO 'Chalan Beel Uddyog' organised the event. Hundreds of people from Pabna, Sirajganj and Nator joined in to celebrate the event. People of this region celebrate the festival in Baishakh.

"Tumi ami ebong Satyajit" on ntv

Single episode play Tumi ami ebong Satyajit will be aired on ntv tonight at 09:00 pm. The play is directed by Golam Sohrab Dodul.

Erratum

In the article "Making the nation laugh", printed on April 30, the name of Ishtiaque Hossain as founder editor and publisher of the satire magazine Unmad was inadvertently dropped. The error is regretted.

OP-ED

1/11 and lessons thereof

It is not uncommon these days to see many concerned citizens and experts of different disciplines speaking intensely on the virtues of unfettered democracy and how its absence has been adversely affecting the orderly and civilized growth of our society. Curiously enough, a good number of such impassioned advocates of freedom and liberty were conspicuously quiet when the very durability of our democratic polity became doubtful in the not-too-distant past.

Rating system for universities only?

Alleging corrupt practice in higher education, Dr. Akbar Ali Khan's call to introduce a rating system for universities hit the headlines recently (DS April 26). Any reference to corruption is explosive substance -- and rightly so -- especially when the education system is concerned.

SME: Thrust sector deserves appropriate support

SME has been considered as the thrust sector in the economic development of the country with growing importance from all walks of life. It is evident that, substantial increase in SME and Retail Credit portfolios along with commercial, corporate and institutional lending, would lead the banks to its higher trajectory of growth, minimizing the risk of lending through portfolio diversification. As such, most of the banks have taken up aggressive marketing policy to augment their exposure in SME and Retail Credit. Though SME concept is nothing new, as evident from the establishment of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), but a fresh look into and endeavour to boosting the sector are still imperative. Bangladesh Bank re-finance scheme for SME is laudable. The role of IFC-SEDF for creating awareness among the entrepreneurs and banks/NBFIs to be more focused in SME deserve appreciation.

Environment

Enhancing forest cover to combat climate change and biodiversity loss

It is common knowledge in Bangladesh that our forests have been decimated in recent decades. Less apparent than the loss of forests is the loss of other goods and services that forests provide particularly to the neighbouring poor people whose well being and livelihoods depend on these forests.

Time for Plan C

To all intents and purposes, the Kyoto Protocol is dead, and unless urgent action is taken its successor, the Copenhagen process, may turn out to be dead on arrival or comatose. Kyoto never delivered reductions of CO2 emissions, but still binds 174 nations until 2012. Meanwhile, global greenhouse gas emissions have steadily increased since the reference year of 1990.

Literature

A Winter Night*

Halku came into the house and said to his wife, “The moneylender's man has come. Give him the money we have; let's get him off our backs.”

A shoot, biryani and betel leaf spitting

My relocating to Brooklyn in 2003 was the result of an abrupt decision. My expectations were not too high and neither did I have much enthusiasm. But on the bright side what if I had to move to someplace like Albuquerque or Idaho? What would my life be like then? At the time I needed a change. I had graduated with a degree in computer science and gotten a so-so job at Time Warner Cable. Like any American I started to pay my student loan, $20,000 that the federal student loan program had given the City University of New York. I also managed to save enough money to buy a 3-year-old silver Ford Taurus, which in course of time became my companion for many occasions.

Penguin Modern Classics : translations of Premchand's stories

One of the oft-told stories about Premchand, considered the greatest fiction writer in Hindi, is of a literary seminar organised in Patna. Premchand was to preside over it. He was to arrive a day before the seminar. A number of people came to the railway station to meet his train, but as it happened, none of them had met the author before. They only had a photograph to go by.

Twilight Hour

Darkness descends
In a limitless, soundless stream:
A hushed-blood, tired western sky,
Above the parched tuberose
Evening's stunned laughter.

Star Health

Guide for a healthy summer

With the rise of temperature in summer, the incidences of heat-related illness increase significantly to rush into hospitals. The scorching heat can beat our body leading to heatstroke, gastro-enteritis, diarrhoea, water borne diseases like typhoid, jaundice, skin diseases, eye injuries, lethargy and loss of appetite. With a little precaution and appropriate measures, we can remain proactive, heal and hearty during summer.

Why people's interest in public health is less?

Whenever we think about health we usually think of three 'D' — Disease, Doctor and Drug. In other words we think of hospitals and doctors' chamber. But this perception is only half of what healthcare is all about. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), health is a complete state of physical, mental, social and spiritual well being and not merely the absence of disease or disability.

Overweight warning: More than exercise needed

Exercise will not cut the risk of heart disease in those who are overweight unless they also slim down, according to a study of thousands of U.S. women published on Monday.

May be more stressful than you realise

An excessive noise level is a general threat to health and well-being. Although loud sounds like thunder storm are part of nature, in recent times big cities have become chronically very noisy. Even the towns are increasingly noisy.

Tele health service at 10600-1

Mr Syedur Rahman, lecturer of a private college in Sylhet was worried about the health of his mother Anowara Khatun, a house wife staying at Rajshahi and suffering from severe pain in the joints of her legs and back. Though it is a relatively common problem among the older ladies of our country, he could not arrange any consultation with a physician for her mother due to the distance between Sylhet and Rajshahi.

Group urges ban on medical giveaways

An Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) task force urges drug companies should be banned from offering giveaways to doctors, staff, and students at medical institutions, reports the New York Times.

Strategic Issues

National Security Council for Bangladesh

I once sat in a high profile meeting when the country had an elected government as a Director General in the Foreign Ministry. Those who attended that meeting were the Ministers of Foreign and Home Affairs with their respective Secretary and top level representatives of civil and military intelligence. Security issues were on top of the agenda of that meeting. I was astonished to learn at that meeting that on crucial national security issues, the Foreign Minister was in total darkness and that intelligence available to the military was unknown to the civil intelligence. At the Home Ministry, what the Secretary knew was not in his Minister's knowledge. Since that strange meeting, I always felt Bangladesh needed a National Security Council for a professional and transparent way to deal with national security and intelligence issues that are vital for formulating the country's foreign and defense policies.

Islam, Muslims and terrorism

Islam is being invariably associated with terrorism both in media as well as in political circles, especially in Western countries. When they hear it being condemned by Muslim theologians, it is celebrated as something unusual. It is strange irony of both misunderstanding and motivated propaganda that if a small band of Osama's followers give call for jihad, it is taken as authentic Islamic call and if it is condemned by mainstream Islamic theologians, it is accepted with mixed feelings of celebration and skepticism. The mainstream condemnation of terrorism is somehow not accepted with conviction.

S. Korea to buy 21 more fighters from Boeing

South Korea will buy 21 fighter jets from Boeing by 2012, bringing to 61 the total number of its next-generation fighters, the defence ministry said April 25.

Star Books Review

The rise and steady decline of our cinema

Although not unprecedented, yet Bangladesher Cholochitro Shilpo assuredly is rather unique in the sense of its being the product of a research work carried out systematically and that in turn attains academic standard as a thesis. The book raises a number of questions, diagnoses the malaise that has been eating into the vitals of our film industry, in particular since the 1980s. Once the diagnosis is made correctly, etiology is determined and thus very confidently the writers come up with a prescription to be administered to cure the ills of the disease prevalent in the films that are there.

Brick Lane observed in great passion

The first question that would possibly pop up in one's mind even before one starts reading Salaam Brick Lane is why Tarquin Hall wanted to write a book on Brick Lane. But, then, when you begin reading the book, you will discover the fact that the writer must have felt passionately about the whole of the East End neighbourhood. His Salaam Brick Lane is an honest account of what led Tarquin to be in Brick Lane and what happened once he was there.

Depicting the power of the male

Zaitoon, a young girl of sixteen, is going to the hilly regions to be married to a “tribal” whom her father has chosen for her. She has been brought up by Qasim since the partition of India in 1947. As the British fled the country after ruling for over 200 years, they sowed the seeds of communalism. The Muslims and the Hindus have since been rivals. There were riots in every part of the subcontinent in order to make it their respective strongholds. No one knew which part would belong to whom even till the last minute while the country was being demographically changed. Lahore, a stronghold of the wealthy Hindus, was supposed to become part of India. But it went to Pakistan. Jullander, Sikh territory, was allocated to India. Qasim flees from Jullander; on the same train travel Sikander and Zohra with their two children from Ludhiana. When the train reaches Lahore men squatting on both sides torch the train and kill as many people as they can. Munni loses her parents and holds on to Qasim, who finds solace in holding a child who reminds him of his lost one. After that they live as father and daughter.

The birth and death of a state

The Bangla terms 'darshan' and 'darshonic' imply very grave meanings which are related to philosophy and philosophers respectively. The inner meanings of these terms are comparatively clear to students and teachers of philosophy. Ordinary men's understanding of them is of course rather different, perhaps even difficult. And yet ordinary people can understand 'darshan' easily when it means 'to look at' or 'to see'. But a 'seer' or 'onlooker' cannot be a 'darshonic' in any sense. The author of the well-known, notable prize-winning book Pakistaner Janmomrittu Darshon has rightly claimed himself as an onlooker of the birth and death of Pakistan and also as an expositor of the philosophy of its birth and death in light of the traditional socio-political history of our subcontinent.



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