The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, April 18, 2014


News of: Monday, 5th of May, 2008

Front Page

Big budget planned to cast safety net wide

The size of the next fiscal year's budget may cross Tk 100,000 crore as the government is planning expenditure increases in different sectors to reduce public sufferings caused by price spiral of food and other commodities.

Hasina firm to run in upcoming poll

Detained former premier and Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed her resolve to take part in the upcoming parliamentary election as a recent signature campaign of her party has proved that people are beside her.

2 launches set ablaze at Keraniganj

Two launches were set ablaze and six others looted on the Buriganga yesterday as thousands of shop owners and workers at South Keraniganj demonstrated against the closure of a jetty near Sadarghat launch terminal.

Auction flaws led to Tk 80cr food spoilage

Imported perishable foods worth over a staggering Tk 80 crore were spoiled or exceeded expiration date for consumption in the last fourteen months due to inefficient auctioning mechanism of unclaimed containers at Chittagong Port.

Parties misread EC's jurisdiction

Some political parties including Awami League (AL) and BNP seem to have overlooked the Election Commission's (EC) constitutional jurisdiction and legal obligation to re-demarcate parliamentary constituencies, as they have been criticising the commission for its recent move to comply with the law.

351 killed as Nargis batters Myanmar

At least 351 people were killed and nearly 100,000 left homeless when tropical cyclone Nargis tore through Myanmar, razing thousands of buildings and knocking out power lines, state media said Sunday.

Islam recognises women's rights

Women's rights is recognised in Islam and we should study the religion in depth to sincerely understand such issues as women's rights, Prof Muzaffer Ahmed, chairman of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) said yesterday while speaking about the National Women's Development Policy (NWDP) 2008.

Reforms done to make election free from money, muscle power

Chief Adviser Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the caretaker government has carried out reforms to create a level playing field and rid the election of the influence of money, muscle and the misuse of power.

BTTB to be made public limited co

The Council of Advisers yesterday finally approved the Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (Amendment) Ordinance 2008 to remake the state-owned BTTB into a public limited company.

AL stages limited scale hunger strike today

Awami League (AL) will observe a token hunger strike programme in the capital today demanding unconditional release of detained party chief Sheikh Hasina and sending her to the US for treatment.

Emergency was not declared as per constitution

Khandaker Delwar Hossain, BNP secretary general appointed by chairperson, yesterday questioned the legitimacy of the government and said the state of emergency was not promulgated as per the constitution.

Biman flight escapes major accident at ZIA

A Biman Airbus went onto the grassland beside the tarmac at Zia International Airport last evening after the pilot reportedly lost control of the aircraft when it was entering the taxiway from the runway.

Another cyclone likely in Bay this month

At least one cyclonic storm may develop from the depressions in the Bay of Bengal this month, the met office said yesterday in its long-range forecast for May.

'Enroll expats in voter list without delay'

Probashi Manob Kalyan Foundation (PMKF) at a press conference yesterday urged the government to enroll the expatriate Bangladeshis in the voters list without making any delay, saying that they play a significant role for the country.

Family members urge govt to punish killers

Family members and relatives of Biplob, one of the two schoolboys stabbed to death at Meerertek in the city's Ramna on Tuesday, requested the government yesterday to ensure exemplary punishment to the murderers.

UN members urged to ensure indigenous people's rights

Indigenous leaders around the world urged the UN member states at the closing session of the UN Permanent Forum on May 2 to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Capsules seized contain heroin, other drugs

The 105 kilograms of capsules seized at Zia International Airport (ZIA) on April 27 contained 35 kg heroin, 47 kg methamphetamine and 23 kg methadone, according to laboratory test.

Amini threatens to paralyse nation if women policy executed

Leaders of Islamic Law Implementation Committee (ILIC) yesterday threatened to paralyse the country if the government does not scrap what they termed as 'anti Islamic provisions' in the National Women Development Policy (NWDP) 2008.

Rajib secures final GM norm

Enamul Hossain Rajib will be the fifth chess Grand Master in Bangladesh after ensuring the third and final norm yesterday during the 32nd National Chess Championship.

BDR seizes 7kg heroin

The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday seized Tk 7.5 crore worth of heroin from drug traffickers at Hakimpur village under Alatuli union in Chapai Nawabganj sadar upazila.

Storm kills 2

Two persons including an elderly woman were killed and 10 others injured as nor'wester swept through Barisal and Magura Saturday night.

BCL leader Roton freed, arrested again

Mahfuzul Haider Chowdhury Roton, general secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), was arrested again yesterday at around 4:15pm -- immediately after he was released from Mymensingh Central jail.

Fresh Lankan battles kill 43 combatants

Heavy weekend fighting between government troops and Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka's war-ravaged northern region left 35 rebels and eight soldiers dead, the military said yesterday.

4 US marines killed in Iraq blast

Insurgents blew up four US marines in Iraq's Anbar province, marking one of the deadliest attacks against US troops in the former Sunni rebel bastion in months, the military said yesterday.

Iraqi first lady unharmed after bombing

A bomb hit a motorcade carrying Iraq's first lady through Baghdad yesterday, while the US military said a roadside explosion killed four Marines in the deadliest attack in western Anbar province in months.

Editorial

Free media the cornerstone of democracy and development

Let us be perfectly clear on this point. After the restoration of democracy in 1991, our free and vibrant media has been Bangladesh's greatest achievement since independence. And, equally important, the vibrancy and vitality of the media has been crucial to our development and advancement.

Nargis passes away

Bangladesh's sense of relief at the passage of Nargis away from its coastal line is as profound as its sorrow at the devastating sweep of Myanmar has been overwhelming. When the eye of the developing cyclonic storm was scowling, as it were, at the bumper boro harvest we were reaping in our land, an impending sense of loss was pervading our consciousness. The worst kind of premonition set in. Thank stars, however, we have been spared another bout of calamity. Nevertheless, much as we take heart in the providential escape from a cyclone that remained unpredictable till the very end as to its final direction, we cannot but feel deeply concerned over the trails of damages left across Myanmar, especially Yangon, its capital.

The world's crumbling food security

All the evidence suggests that the food crisis now gripping the world will only aggravate over time, and may even trigger conflicts. Indeed, it has already rocked several countries, including Bangladesh, where simmering discontent over scarcity and spiraling prices of cereals has been becoming volatile, with the public ire targeted at the authorities unsuccessfully grappling with the issue.

The alibi game

Logic and politics are not necessarily incompatible. If you live by the sword, you die by the sword. If you live by market forces you die by market forces. Inflation is the most logical face of market forces. It is the market that sets the agenda. It is the market that raises prices based on its assessment of supply, demand and profitability.

Celebrating the Spanish intifada

The inhabitants of Madrid have just celebrated with much pomp and pride the two hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the "intifada" against the French occupiers of their country. Although the uprising first started in Madrid on May 2, 1808, it soon spread like wildfire to other parts of Spain and then evolved into a full-fledged war of independence in which Napoleon's imperial army, the most powerful military machine of its time, was pitted against bands of ill-armed and loosely organised Spanish peasants and workers.

Sports

Rajib new GM

Country's new grandmaster of chess Enamul Hossain Rajib once again urged the Bangladesh Chess Federation to increase facilities for the chess players.

Bangladesh, Afghanistan play in opener today

Bangladesh will look forward to a winning start when they take on fellow South Asian opponents Afghanistan in the opening match of the AFC Challenge Cup Group C qualifying rounds in Bishkek today.

Batsmen let NCA down

GP-BCB National Cricket Academy (NCA) produced an all too familiar batting failure that allowed Pakistan Cricket Academy (PCA) walk all over them at the end of the third day of their second four-day encounter at the Rajshahi Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Zia's 10th nat'l chess crown

Ziaur Rahman regained the national chess crown yesterday when the Grand Master defeated FIDE Master Mohammed Javed after 30 moves in the final round at the Chess Federation hall-room to win the 32nd National Chess Championship.

Premier Super League from May 9

The Premier Cricket Super League will kick off in Dhaka on May 9 with Biman, Mohammedan and defending champions Abahani beginning a three-way race for the title.

Akhtar cleared for IPL

Shoaib Akhtar has been cleared to play in the IPL after the Appellate Tribunal decided to suspend his five-year ban for one month, until they reconvene on June 4. The PCB has, in turn, granted Shoaib a No Objection Certificate to feature in the IPL, where he will play for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Pollock propels Mumbai

A magnificent all-round performance by Shaun Pollock produced the biggest upset of the tournament as Mumbai Indians - languishing with just one win in five games - pipped the fancied Delhi Daredevils by 29 runs in a gripping contest at the DY Patil Sports Academy Stadium on Saunday.

Inter lose Milan derby

AC Milan triumphed 2-1 over Inter in the Milan derby at the San Siro on Sunday to boost their hopes of Champions League football next season and delay their city rivals' title celebrations.

Atletico boost UCL hope

Atletico Madrid heaped the pressure on their Champions League rivals with a 3-0 home victory over Recreativo Huelva to move five points clear of fifth-placed Racing Santander.

Win pleases Fergie

Manchester United took a huge step towards retaining their Premier League title on Saturday, beating West Ham United 4-1 despite playing more than half the match with 10 men.

Bremen delay Bayern party

Werder Bremen beat Energie Cottbus 2-0 on Saturday to strengthen their grip on second place in the Bundesliga and leave Bayern Munich on the brink of their 21st league title.

An all-Spanish affair

Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer have guaranteed that a Spaniard will triumph for a sixth straight year in Sunday's Barcelona Open final after both leading seeds Saturday reached the title match.

Nice hand Bordeaux lifeline

French league minnows Nice held Lyon to a scoreless draw on Saturday to boost Bordeaux's hopes of causing a late championship upset.

Keegan eyes Chelsea scalp

Kevin Keegan will forever be associated with a televised rant against Sir Alex Ferguson more than a decade ago.

Suicide attempt disrupts match

An Italian second division match between Treviso and Grosseto was suspended on Saturday after a policewoman shot herself outside the ground in an apparent suicide attempt, police said.

Becks double delivers draw

David Beckham scored two first-half goals to deliver a 2-2 draw for the Los Angeles Galaxy against Real Salt Lake Saturday in a Major League Soccer contest.

Aussies edge China in shoot-out

Olympic champions Australia edged out China in a penalty stroke shootout to sweep the four-nations field hockey tournament series here on Sunday.

Magpies owner wins in roulette

Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan's hopes of a summer transfer treasure chest may have risen after the club's billionaire owner Mike Ashley won a windfall on the roulette wheel, the Mail on Sunday reported.

Local Snippets

Rajshahi emerged Group A champions in the Exim Bank 19th National Women's Handball Championship beating Joypurhat 13-6 in the super three match at the Rajshahi Divisional Women Sports Complex yesterday.

Rimon hattrick sinks Bima

Rimon Kumar struck a hattrick as Sonali Bank thrashed Sadharan Bima 6-2 in the Green Delta Insurance Metropolis Premier Division Hockey League at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Footballer Anwar due in Dhaka tomorrow

Bangladeshi-born British footballer Anwar Uddin will arrive in Dhaka tomorrow to visit the youth football camp at BKSP under the assistance of Canary Wharf, UK.

Mark hits 99th hundred

Mark Ramprakash completed his 99th first-class century as Surrey drew with Division One champions Sussex at Hove.

Covering the cracks

There were times tonight when Bangalore Royal Challengers and Deccan Chargers felt like the resistible force and the movable object. Both sides came into the game with one win and four defeats behind them; both seemed afraid of victory. And, well though Praveen Kumar and Zaheer Khan bowled at the death, it seemed appropriate that the final nails were banged into the Hyderabadis' coffin by two poor leg before decisions -- one each by Billy Doctrove and Suresh Shastri.

Punjab ride on Pathan

Incisive new-ball spells in helpful conditions by Irfan Pathan and Sreesanth ensured several trends continued -- Kings XI Punjab maintained their momentum with a fourth successive win while the Kolkata Knight Riders slumped to their fourth straight defeat. Both innings were characterised by late bursts. Punjab hit 21 off their final over which put the match just beyond the reach of Kolkata, who scored 75 off overs 15 to 19, but still fell nine short after a sluggish start.

Inter-varsity cricket soon

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will launch the inter-university national cricket competition very soon.

Ishant fined for kicking stumps

Ishant Sharma, the Kolkata Knight Riders fast bowler, has been fined 10% of his match fee for kicking the stumps down during the IPL match against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali on Saturday. Clive Lloyd, the match referee, found Ishant guilty of a level 1 offence (clause 2) as per the ICC's Code of Conduct, which relates to abuse of ground equipment.

Injury scare for Vettori

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori suffered a finger injury that needed two stitches during his country's tour match against Essex on Saturday.

Steve ponders retirement

Steve Harmison is likely to quit cricket if he fails to win back his England place, the fast bowler said on Sunday.

Business

Govt mulls direct banking with Myanmar

Bangladesh is examining introducing direct banking with neighbouring Myanmar to facilitate trade between the two countries, Bangladesh Bank (BB) sources said yesterday.

11 firms aim to raise Tk 222.50cr from stock market

Eleven companies from services and manufacturing sectors aim to raise Tk 222.50 crore from the public through initial public offerings (IPOs).

Use jute geo-textile in road construction

The International Jute Study Group (IJSG) has suggested that Bangladesh government should use jute geo-textile with concrete in construction of roads and highways in order to enhance jute usage.

Japan warns rising food prices could lead to unrest

Soaring prices for food staples, especially for rice which have tripled over the past year, could lead to social unrest in Asia, Japanese Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga warned Sunday in Spain.

Agrani Bank aims high, banks on reforms

When Syed Abu Naser Bukhtear Ahmed took over as the CEO of state-run Agrani Bank in October 2004 under a World Bank-funded reforms project, daunting challenges awaited him. He inherited a balance sheet full of negative figures. By the time he finished his tenure in October 2007, some indicators, including capital adequacy ratio, non-performing loans and profits, showed improvement.

From cartels to rice export curbs

Rationing, subsidies, price-fixing cartels, export curbs -- you name it, governments across the world are trying it out as they seek to shield their populations from the soaring price of rice.

Budgetary allocation for jute industry demanded

Leaders of the Committee for Protection of Jute and Jute Industry, Khulna have demanded of the government to allocate necessary fund for the jute and jute industry in the upcoming national budget to save the industry.

NBR going for online tax payment system

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is heading towards the online tax payment system for bringing efficiency and transparency in tax administration.

Concord building World Trade Centre in Ctg using new method

Concord Engineers and Construction Ltd has introduced an advanced technology -- top-down construction method -- for constructing the World Trade Centre (WTC) here in the port city.

Asian currencies fall against dollar

Key Asian currencies ended the week mainly down against the US dollar as the greenback found new strength on limited signs of optimism in the troubled US economy.

Shahjalal Islami Bank declares 20pc stock dividend

Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd has declared a 20 percent stock dividend for its shareholders for the year that ended on December 31, 2007.

Microsoft abandons Yahoo bid

Microsoft Corp. withdrew its $42.3 billion bid to buy Yahoo Inc. on Saturday, scrapping an attempt to snap up the tarnished Internet icon in hopes of toppling online search and advertising leader Google Inc.

Asean committed to FTA with Australia, NZ

Asean was showing strong commitment to try to wrap up negotiations on a free trade pact between the regional grouping, Australia and New Zealand, Australian Trade Minister Simon Crean said Sunday.

Japan's Toyota to hike prices in North America

Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corp. will raise sale prices in North America this month in a bid to offset rising production costs and the stronger yen, a report here said Sunday.

Malaysia mulls using ID to stop foreigners buying cheap fuel

Malaysia on Sunday said it was considering using its chip-based national identity card to prevent visitors from Singapore and Thailand buying cheap subsidised fuel meant for locals.

3-day tourism fair starts May 24

In a bid to promote tourism in the country, a three-day travel and tourism fair will be launched in Dhaka on May 24.

Global MindShare integrates its services

Global MindShare, an advertising agency, is undergoing restructuring by integrating its services with all functions and staff moving into the core organization, says a press release yesterday.

IDLC launches Boishakhi Deposit

IDLC Finance Limited, a non-bank financial institution, launched IDLC Boishakhi Deposit Festival 1415 on April 14, on the eve of Bengali New Year.

TBWA's Asia Pacific EVP in Dhaka

Ian Thubron, executive vice president of TBWA\Asia Pacific and CEO of TBWA\Hong Kong, is now in Dhaka, says a press release.

Metropolitan

Wage can't earn two moderate meals a day

The amount of wages for garment workers is so meagre that it becomes almost impossible for them to manage two moderate meals a day due to soaring prices of essentials, let alone taking care of health, grudges a garment worker.

Unite to face crisis in media

Print and electronic media are currently facing severe crisis due to price hike of newsprint, decrease in income from advertisement, and people's reluctance to buying newspaper following increased cost of livelihood, said the speakers at a seminar yesterday.

Architectural edn should focus on global warming

Architectural education will have to focus on the need for mobility of architects and the university courses on global warming.

CA to clarify govt stance by May 8

An adviser of the caretaker government yesterday hinted a progress of the much-talked-about dialogue between the government and political parties in a couple of days.

‘Make their simple dreams come true’

They cannot see, speak or walk but they dream, a long-cherished dream of performing on a stage amid a huge round of applause.

'Dhaka committed to Iraq's sovereignty'

Newly appointed Iraqi chargé d'affaires Mohammad Sabri Rashid presented his credentials to Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday.

Four listed PBCP men remanded

Four listed outlaws belonging to Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) were remanded yesterday after they had revealed important information about the attack on police at Taherpur on Friday.

Number of patients on rise

The number of the patients undergoing treatment for diarrhoeal diseases shows sharp rise this week.

Non-govt primary teachers demand job nationalisation

Teachers of non-government primary schools yesterday demanded nationalisation of their job and urged the government to increase their basic salary and other allowances at a national council in the city.

$40m US food aid for primary children

The United States will donate $10 million in emergency food aid and another $30 million in food aid through a three-year school feeding programme in the country.

Quality management in health sector stressed

A two-day workshop on 'Quality management in health' ended at Brac Centre at Mohakhali in the city yesterday.

Result of secretary post challenged

A Dhaka court yesterday issued a show cause notice upon nine defendants, including newly elected secretary, in connection with the results of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) election.

Dhaka elected to 3 UN bodies

The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations has elected Bangladesh to three prestigious bodies, a foreign ministry spokesman said yesterday.

Language Movement veteran Syed Ashraf no more

Language Movement veteran and a key organiser of the Liberation War in Patuakhali Syed Ashraf Hossain passed away at Eastern Hospital at Lalmatia in the city on Saturday night at the age of 78.

Cab drivers continue protest

Several hundred drivers of CNG-run taxicabs yesterday staged a sit-in in front of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) in the city protesting an increase of rate of daily money deposition by the owners.

Gono Forum protests attack on religious minorities

Leaders of the Gono Forum yesterday protested the attack on religious minority people at Gachbari village under Uzirpur upazila in Barisal, says a press release.

Ershad demands UZ election before nat'l polls

Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said those days are not far away when his party will regain power.

Road crash kills 4 in Keraniganj

Four people were killed when a bus hit a tempo at Abdullahpur on Dhaka-Mawa highway in South Keraniganj yesterday.

Probe demanded

Speakers at a condolence meeting yesterday demanded proper investigation into the death of Rasheda Mohiuddin.

North Bengal Sugar Mills to observe Shaheed Day today

North Bengal Sugar Mills will observe the "Shaheed Day" today in memory of the martyrs of the Liberation War, says a press release.

MJF signs MoU

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was singed yesterday between Department of Social Services (DSS) and Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) for ensuring effective, quality and sustainable services of the existing safe homes in Khulna and Rajshahi divisions, says a press release.

National

Jum cultivation in Bagaihat Reserve Forest defying law

At lest 20,000 acres of Bagaihat Reserve Forest in Bagaichhari upazila in Rangamati have been brought under jum cultivating in the current season by ethnic farmers, defying forest laws.

'Retain Satkhira-3, 5 constituencies'

Local elite including leaders of different political parties at a press conference at Shyamnagar yesterday demanded withdrawal of Election Commission's (EC) draft gazette notification on delimitation of Satkhira-5 (Shyamnagar upazila) with Satkhira-3 (Assassuni) constituencies.

CU Syndicate condemns Shibir assault on proctor

Chittagong University (CU) Syndicate yesterday condemned the attack on two proctors of the university and formed a three-member probe committee two investigate the matter.

Moeen's promised relief distributed in Bagaihat

Relief goods committed by Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed for Bagaihat Apreil 20 fire victims were handed over yesterday at Sajek in Bagaichhari upazila in Rangamati hill district.

2 units of Ashuganj power station silent

The 140 MW Unit-4 and 130 MW Unit-5 of Ashuganj power station went out of order at about 10 Am yesterday due to technical fault.

Bodies of college teacher, NGO official found in Khulna

Decomposed bodies of missing Prof Arabinda Das and NCO official Alamgir Hossain were recovered yesterday from the bank of Darhatana river and Muniganj ferry ghat in Bagerhat Sadar upazila.

Letters

Political scenario

Reference to a letter in the DS, My prediction is coming true. The national ID Card project and voter listing are going to face deep trouble. Those who were over confident about smooth progress can now reassess their viewpoint. A couple of new dimensions has been added with the existing crisis in management of the affairs of the Republic. The new dimensions are: Dialogue or monologue without any positive purpose; delimitation of the proposed NA constituencies ; price hike in energy sector without going into planned analysis or plan of operation keeping in mind the serious economic condition of the middle and low income groups; the advisers are preoccupied with political game play putting all but limited efforts to solve departmental issues ( lack of professionalism is party responsible for this ); the National Women Development Policy; the election roadmap itself; the latest episode is over the role of the police force to control the clashes between the students and transport workers in Dhaka College, teachers inside the office room have also not been spared from police action.

CNG price hike

The present caretaker government has very abruptly increased the CNG prices by almost 100%, which is totally imprudent and illogical in view of the current economic situation of the country. Moreover, prices of consumable goods have been increased manifold. Therefore, this increased price of CNG would be an additional burden on people, except some fortunate ones!

Some suggestions

I am very much surprised that no party has raised the issue of Bicameral Parliament at the pre-SANGLAPH! When will we be a political nation? What the Romans knew in 509 BC, we don't understand even after 2500 years!

ETP

We have come to know from a DS report that the caretaker government has instructed all industrial units to install ETP plant. But the problem here is that many of such industrial units don't know how to operate such plants.

Global warming

Our beautiful planet is in peril. And we, humans, are to be solely blamed for this. We are destroying the planet that God has given us. We all can contribute to save the planet Earth from losing its life. This is the time and we all should work right now! We should remember that the survival of our future generation depends on us. Here are some of the things which we all can do. You can pass on these tips to your friends and relatives as well:

Structured questions

The decision of introducing structured questions at the SSC level from 2010 is a laudable initiative indeed. Thanks to the education ministry for arranging meetings with eminent academic personalities to share and exchange views, opinions & recommendations prior to commencement of the system.

Welcome news

The statement of the Bangladesh Chief Adviser's Press Secretary that the government is likely to begin the much-awaited formal dialogue with the political parties in the first or second week of May is highly welcome news for the entire region of South Asia as much as Bangladesh, because despite all its faults it has been well established that democracy still remains the best form of governance found so far and certainly much better than any dictatorial venture.

Elimination of rickshaws

I noticed a few letters on this subject recently. Before rickshaws can be eliminated it is necessary to make all roads pedestrian friendly and safe, so that it becomes a pleasure to walk short distances without falling into open manholes or being tripped over by uneven pavement surface. At night the pavements should be well lighted. Maybe the rickshaw pullers can take over the manual work of maintaining such pavements. Buses and other forms of transport would then only be necessary for commuting between localities which can also be served by the proposed underground system. So, safe and easy “pedestrianisation” of all roads (non trunk) should be adopted as a policy for Dhaka and other cities in Bangladesh as in most of the developed countries.

"Selective loadshedding"

I fully agree with the views expressed in Mohammed Alauddin's letter published in your daily on 24/04/08 under the above heading. It is true that some posh areas in Dhaka are getting preferential treatment in case of load shedding. In spite of promises by BPDB, their website is still not carrying the daily schedule of load shedding. This prior notification will also save us from many hazards like being trapped in the lift etc. Is it to avoid being caught for the selective load shedding to keep some quarters happy? It shouldn't be selective.

Cherie Blair and we

The recent comments by Cherie Blair regarding our democracy, I think, were totally out of place. She told the reporters that Bangladesh was not going to be another Myanmar and that Sheikh Hasina's trial would follow the due course of law. Whatever my personal opinion regarding the present government may be, I totally fail to see the point of her remarks, unless of-course as the spouse of a former British premier, she has Hillary Clinton inspired objectives.

BB's decision

I found the report on BB's decision not to disburse home loan to govt. employees in your Star Business page. I was disappointed. I was waiting eagerly to have the loan. I told my wife and children that I should avail myself of this loan to buy a flat at Dhaka. We were never told that the govt. employees would be out of the Tk.300 crore home loan scheme.

Why carbohydrates only?

It's encouraging that our nation, present CTG and the media are interested in potatoes. If we don't want to be tunnel visioned we should think collateral. What about protein consumption? During the 1960's, an average Bengalee took 85gm protein daily, now they are taking below 50gm.

Load shedding

People are suffering due to acute load shedding all over the country. We are fed up with daily load shedding in this hot weather. The HSC candidates are the worst victims. Their exam is knocking at the door.

Malaria

Malaria, a disease without borders, is preventable and treatable. However, it needs a bolder commitment from donors and member states if it is to be brought under control.

Poor show

We knew that Pakistan were going for a 5-0 whitewash. We also lost the only 20-20 match. It was a great shame for us and for our nation. Because we are no longer a new cricket playing country.

Sale of pirated books

Barua's report from Chittagong on the matter in your issue of April 24 saddened me. True, it deprives the government of revenue in terms of import duties and VAT etc. However the really deprived are the poor, even middle class students, the vast majority whose need for reasonably priced books have been severely undermined-- given the prohibitive prices of original prints! This is an area where a lenient approach from the authorities would be really beneficial for a large majority of students, who depend on pirated books for higher and technical studies!

Politics

As the election date is nearing our politicians are becoming as active as they were during the pre-one-eleven times. As a mark of their “hyper activity”, some politicians are demanding resignation of the present CEC who, according to them, is not impartial and is not working in the way these politicians want him to work. According to them, this CEC took about a year to make a voter list which a former CEC could do in one day!! The former CEC, a trusted man of the politicians, defying the HC order corrected the voter list in less than a week's time all over the country. What a fast man he was!! But the demand for resignation of that CEC was very strong. The whole nation was looking at him but he did not bend although he was illegally holding two positions concurrently, violating the public service rules. He brought the nation almost to the brink of a civil war.

China foreign minister

We do not know how the government would evaluate the visit of China Foreign Minister. We hope this would not empower the government to change its course from road to democracy to road to Burma!!

Adieu, Anwar Chowdhury

The first time I met you at the French Embassy on Bastille Day soon after taking over your assignment in Bangladesh, I spoke to you in Sylheti & asked if you could speak & understand Sylheti . Your reply to me at that time was 'thura, thura'.

International

Nepali Maoists have revived communism: Prachanda

The leader of Nepal's Maoists, Prachanda, says the victory of his left-wing former rebels in last month's landmark elections is a sign of the global resurgence of communism.

Tiger rebels unload 3 arms shipments

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have received at least three shipments of military hardware in the recent months, a news report said Sunday quoting the island's intelligence agencies.

Rice prods Israel on West Bank barriers

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on Israel to take more concrete steps to ease the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank on her latest trip to the region to boost sluggish peace efforts.

Taliban to resume talks with Pak govt soon

A deadlock in talks between Taliban and government of Pakistan will be over soon. Taliban of Pakistani tribal areas will release kidnapped Ambassador Tariq Azizuddin as a goodwill gesture and they will restart their negotiations with the government officials within a few days.

150 Kurdish rebels killed in Iraq raids

More than 150 Kurdish rebels from the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have been killed in Turkish bombing raids carried out in northern Iraq this week, the Turkish army said Saturday.

Poll rout raises questions over British PM's future

Britain's Gordon Brown is battling to steady his Labour Party's nerves after its worst election defeat for 40 years, but the rout raises serious questions about his future, commentators say.

Asian vultures face extinction in India

Asian vultures may face extinction in India unless a farm drug responsible for their large-scale decimation is banned outright, according to a report Sunday citing researchers.

Myanmar voters in dilemma

Myanmar's voters will Saturday cast ballots for the first time since 1990, but some fear that the junta -- determined to secure approval for its draft constitution -- will be watching their every move.

Gilani to work for independence of Pak judiciary

Pakistan government will take along all political forces as it works to ensure independence of the judiciary and to strengthen national institutions like the parliament, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said today.

Chinese president hopeful on Tibet talks

President Hu Jintao said he has hopes for a positive outcome between representatives of the Dalai Lama and Chinese officials at talks that began Sunday the first since violent anti-government protests erupted in Tibet in March.

More cross-LoC bus services on agenda

Keen to take the peace process with Pakistan forward, India is expected to press for launch of more cross-LoC bus services and propose some other confidence building measures during the upcoming visit of External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Islamabad.

Naxals 'very active' in rural India, says US

Leftist extremist groups are "very active" in wide areas of impoverished rural eastern and Central India, the US State Department has said.

8 S Koreans killed by large wave

A sudden high wave crashed into a bulwark near a western coastal beach, leaving at least eight people dead and 12 others injured yesterday, the South Korean Coast Guard said.

Obama wins Guam, looks to Indiana, N Carolina

Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama on Saturday defeated rival Hillary Clinton in caucuses on the tiny US Pacific island of Guam, a small but welcome victory after several rough weeks on the campaign trail.

Arts & Entertainment

A family of bauls at an urban outlet

To catch this multi-talented baul trio in action, visit the Banani handicrafts shop, Jatra on Thursday and Friday evenings. The family head, Mohammed Abdul Alim Bayati is accompanied by his teenage children, son Lokman Hakim and daughter Musammat Rozina Akhter. Descending from four generations of bauls (his father and grandfather were skilled ektara players) Alim grew up in Kalipur village, in the Sunamganj district. As a teenager, he was blinded by a bout of small pox, but, undaunted, continued his religious education at the local madrassa. Alim's curiosity was whetted by the background strains from the radio, and during the holidays, he learned Nabitatwa Gaan (religious songs), and to play the two-stringed dotara and shoraj.

Prints in monochrome colours

Print making has never been easy, whether it be on wood, stone or metal. However, Farhana Yasmin and Tariq Julfiqar have fascinated their viewers with their recent combined exhibition of prints at Samatata Gallery. The two artists have different views and themes, both living in a world of their own.

A journey through the works of artist Mohammad Kibria

In the midst of a crisis where art is striving to carve a niche in the global arena, a book on art, titled Kibria was recently launched to make for a smoother path.

TV Southasia takes off

“We are South Asians
We're proud to tell the world
We're singing in one voice now
It's time for us to be heard.”

Sharmin Lucky on Radio Foorti

Fans can now listen to popular TV show host Sharmin Lucky on radio as well. Lucky is hosting a show called My Time with Sharmin Lucky on Radio Foorti.

"Rang Rasiya": Ketan Mehta's latest art house project

Every time acclaimed film director Ketan Mehta comes out with a new film, lovers of meaningful cinema are agog. And it is no exception this time as his latest work Rang Rasiya (Colours of Passion), based on the life and times of eminent 19th century painter of Kerala, Raja Ravi Varma, is ready for commercial release next month.

Drama serial “Ak-e Shunyo Dosh” on Ekushey TV

The second episode of the new drama serial Ak-e Shunnyo Dosh will be aired tonight on Ekushey TV at 8:15 pm. Written by Ishaq Khan and directed by Kaisar Ahmed, the serial follows the life of an imbecile named Lebu.

OP-ED

Burma's referendum: A done deal

ON May 10, Burma goes to the polls to vote on a new constitution. A constitution that very few people have actually seen, and certainly one which cannot be criticised publicly. But the new constitution is going to move the country into a significantly new political era, even if the military leaders remain in power. A period of massive change is inevitable.

Time to bury a dangerous legacy

ONE month after the terrorist assault on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, on October 11, 2001, President George W. Bush faced a more terrifying prospect. At that morning's presidential daily intelligence briefing, George Tenet, the director of central intelligence, informed the president that a CIA agent codenamed "Dragonfire" had reported that Al Qaeda terrorists possessed a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb, evidently stolen from the Russian arsenal. According to Dragonfire, this nuclear weapon was in New York City.

Youth role models set astonishing new records for egotism

THIS is a key week in the history of youth culture for three reasons. Three of the world's top role models for young people are poised to take the limelight.

Star City

Lone high school for hearing impaired in a sorry state

The lone high school for the hearing-impaired people at city's Bijoynagar has been riddled with problems since its inception about 42 years ago.

Purpose of an underpass undermined

The biggest underpass of the country at Bangabandhu Square (Gulistan) in the city has failed to serve its main purpose even after eleven years into its construction as pedestrians still prefer to stay away from it.

"city express"

The latest crop of quotes from the city's press -- words worth repeating, we feel, for their humour, insight or sheer outrageousness. Star City does not necessarily support the opinions expressed in this column.


The Daily Star

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