The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, April 23, 2014


News of: Monday, 12th of May, 2008

Front Page

Relocation of polluting tanneries in limbo

The much-awaited relocation of tanneries from Hazaribagh to proposed 'leather estate' in Savar is facing various complications as the government and the industry owners have yet to settle several issues even three years after inauguration of the relocation project.

EC to collect records of war criminals’ trial

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said the commission will collect records of war criminals' trials under the now defunct collaborators act, in a bid to permanently disqualify war criminals from contesting in any election.

Govt retreats from pledge

In a surprise move the caretaker government has retreated from its earlier pledge of reserving 40 percent seats for women at all tiers of the local government system for three consecutive terms.

Mirza Abbas gets 8yrs for tax offences

A special court dealing with graft cases yesterday sentenced detained former housing and public works minister Mirza Abbas to eight years' imprisonment on charges of dodging tax and furnishing false information in his tax returns.

Hasina asks AL men to launch movement

Detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday instructed her party colleagues to forge a movement to force the government to meet the five-point demand including her release and immediate withdrawal of the state of emergency.

Saifur, Mannan add new twist

A group of former BNP lawmakers, who are known as Saifur loyalists, yesterday in a meeting blasted their Acting Chairperson Saifur Rahman for his recent remark that his leadership has become ineffective.

Talks with Tata restart

The government yesterday resumed talks with Indian conglomerate Tata Group after a two-year hiatus, reiterating that it would be unable to supply two trillion cubic feet (TFC) of gas over a 10-year period to Tata considering Bangladesh's current gas reserves.

CA likely to address nation today

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed is expected to address the nation today in which he will give specific directives on lifting the state of emergency and restriction on indoor politics and announce a schedule for the much-talked-about political dialogue.

Charge sheet in Gatco case likely today

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is likely to submit today the charge sheet against detained former premier Khaleda Zia, her younger son Arafat Rahman Koko and 22 others for illegally awarding container-handling job at two container depots in Dhaka and Chittagong to Gatco.

SC lawyers to abstain from proceedings for 2 hrs Thursday

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) yesterday decided to stay away from moving cases in the Appellate Division for two hours from 9:00am Thursday to protest against a few recent judgments delivered by the apex court.

Task force to find Biman irregularities

A special task force has been formed in order to make Biman Bangladesh Airlines a more dynamic and profitable organisation by removing corruption and irregularities from the national airline.

Probe body formed to find reason for rice dumping

A nine-member probe committee was formed yesterday to investigate why over 400 MT of good, edible rice was being dumped and who took such a decision.

Jalil's parole extended by 2 months more

The government has extended the parole of ailing Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil, currently undergoing treatment in Singapore, by two months, a home ministry release said yesterday.

Hasina files writ petition against graft case proceedings

Detained Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday filed a writ petition with the High Court (HC) challenging the legality of the trial proceedings of the barge-mount power plant corruption case against her.

AL hopeful about Hasina's release before polls

Awami League (AL) yesterday expressed hope that its detained chief Sheikh Hasina would be out of jail before the parliamentary elections and would lead the party to polls.

Writ petition filed against re-demarcation of JS seats

Former BNP state minister Abdul Mannan yesterday filed a writ petition with the High Court (HC) challenging the legality of the Election Commission's (EC) move to redo the demarcations of 133 electoral constituencies.

Over 3 lakh cases pending in lower courts

A total of 3,07,322 criminal cases were disposed of in lower courts six months into the separation of the judiciary from the executive, Supreme Court Registrar Iktedar Ahmed yesterday said.

Diplomats or govt staffs can now marry foreigners

The Council of Advisers yesterday approved legal amendment allowing diplomatic job-holders or any employees of the republic to marry foreigners.

Businesses decry high licence fees for industrial generators

Leaders of major chambers and business associations have criticised a recent decision of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) to take huge amount of licence fees for industrial generators.

More aid finally reaches cyclone victims

Food and water reached cyclone victims in greater amounts yesterday after many roads were cleared, but there was no sign Myanmar's military rulers would allow foreign experts to handle the distribution, international aid groups said.

NU employees besiege VC to retain job

Around 100 employees of National University (NU), recruited through a fake advertisement of 2004, besieged the vice-chancellor's (VC) office yesterday in a bid to mount pressure on the university authorities to keep their jobs.

Next budget to set 6.5pc growth target

Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday said the next fiscal year's budget would set target to achieve 6.5 percent growth in GDP and keep the inflation rate within 9 percent.

Next budget to set 6.5pc growth target

Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday said the next budget would set the GDP growth target at 6.5 percent and seek to keep inflation within 9 percent.

Mobile goes to Khagrachhari

State-owned cellphone operator Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd yesterday launched its operation in Khagrachhari following Rangamati and Bandarban, covering now all the three hill districts.

Parents of murdered school kids seek justice

“Why did they have to kill my only son?” Jusna Begum wailed as she broke down into convulsions.

No deal yet over reinstatement of Pak judges

Pakistan's ruling coalition has not reached an agreement to reinstate judges fired by US-backed President Pervez Musharraf, a party official said yesterday, ahead of a looming deadline.

Arab foreign ministers for end to Lebanon violence

Arab foreign ministers holding crisis talks in Cairo yesterday appealed for an end to violence in Lebanon after fierce clashes erupted in mainly Druze areas southeast of Beirut.

Editorial

CA's all-important speech in the works

Since his take-over of the reins of government in January last, Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed is perhaps going to make the most important speech of his tenure. Well past the half-way point of a two-year roadmap for return to democracy through credible elections based on reforms, he has the dual task of responding to public questions about the scorecard of his government vis-à-vis the priority areas of its responsibility and inspiring the nation to support the changes his government has already brought about and the plethora of electoral and political reforms that must be carried out if we are not to return to status quo ante.

Myanmar people's plight

It is incomprehensible the way the military government in Myanmar continues to turn a blind eye to the imperiled plight of its own people. We are afraid, after the devastating cyclone, the country is now in the midst of a man-made disaster because of the complete lack of sensitivity of the military government to human suffering. The fear is accentuated by the fact that over 1.5 million survivors are now faced with hunger, lack of clean water, disease and exposure to rough elements of nature.

A new class of corporate warriors

A new class of combatants emerged in the US forces with the proliferation of what has been come to be known as war services industries. It was essentially necessitated by the country's military involvement in Iraq one of the longest conflicts in the US history, shorter only than the Vietnam war.

The threat of global food shortages

THE potentially serious consequences of sustained high food prices were recently underlined by Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, who suggested that 100 million individuals could be pushed below the poverty line, thus wiping out seven years of gains against poverty. There is, however, no agreement as to what explains the dramatic rise in food prices One thing seems certain though: Absent a global understanding between producer and consumer countries, current high prices could last for a long time.

Will we, won't we?

ONE of the minor attractions of a foreign hotel room is the chance to switch on a strange television channel. The field is open; any country with a reasonable budget and a desire to be seen as an international player now has a state channel airing its version of events.

Sports

A body blow to BCB

It was expected that the triangular series involving India and Pakistan in June would be the much-needed financial boost for Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

Jamie meets coaches

After a two-day break, the Premier Cricket Super League resumes at three different venues today.

Usha win 10-goal thriller

Despite a second-half surge of their opponents Usha Krira Chakra maintained their winning run in the Premier Division Hockey League when they won the high-scoring encounter against Sonali Bank 6-4 at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium yesterday.

Women return from SL today

The Bangladesh women's cricket team are due to return home today from Sri Lanka after participating in the Women's Asia Cup.

Khulna zonal champions

Khulna rode on Mosaddek's century to become zonal champions of the 28th National Cricket League when they crushed Magura by 100 runs at the Jessore Stadium yesterday.

Ganguly all around

After a torrid run through the first seven matches of the Indian Premier League, Sourav Ganguly the batsman finally made his presence felt in stunning style on Sunday at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, carving a 57-ball 91 to fashion a convincing 23-run win for the Kolkata Knight Riders, their fourth of the tournament.

Balaji swings out 5

A match that swung from one side to the other was decided by two exceptional overs from Lakshmipathy Balaji, the India international: he first picked up two crucial wickets in the 13th over to seize the initiative for his side, then picked up the IPL's first hattrick in the final over to finish the match on Saturday.

A nail-biting finale

Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc is confident his side have what it takes to claim their first French league crown in nine years at the expense of champions Lyon as both won their penultimate games on Saturday to ensure the title race will be decided on the final day of competition.

Roma close gap on Inter

Plucky Siena produced a stunning backs-to-the-wall display at the San Siro to keep the Serie A title race alive with a 2-2 draw against Inter Milan.

Platini looks for glory

For the most gifted footballer of his generation UEFA president Michel Platini probably didn't accrue the titles his talents deserved.

The surprising co-hosts

This year's European football championship will be hosted by two countries - Austria and Switzerland - better known for their mountains and their prowess on skis rather than with the round ball.

Djokovic Rome Master

Third seed Novak Djokovic pounced on a series of unforced errors from final opponent Stanislas Wawrinka to win the Rome Masters here on Sunday.

Minnows relegated

Duisburg and Hansa Rostock were relegated from the Bundesliga on Saturday while champions Bayern are on the verge of the record for the least amount of league goals conceded in a season.

Mourinho to return soon

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said Sunday that he will return to coaching shortly, but refused to reveal for which club or in what country.

Turkey name Euro squad

Turkish coach Fatih Terim unveiled Sunday his 26-man squad for the Euro 2008 finals.

Massa wins Turkish GP

Brazilian driver Felipe Massa won the Turkish Grand Prix here on Sunday for the third successive year and his seventh career victory.

Safina clinches German Open

Dinara Safina battled back from a set down to beat Elena Dementieva in an all-Russian final at the German Open here on Sunday.

Galatasaray claim title

Galatasaray claimed their 17th championship title Saturday as the Turkish league drew to a close.

Austria train in Sardinia

The Austrian national football team flew Sunday to Sardinia for a six-day training camp, ahead of the European football championship at home in June.

Think local, act global

By the end of this Indian Premier League season, Yusuf Pathan should have an identity of his own. He strikes the ball cleanly and with breathtaking power, a lot like his brother really. The Deccan Chargers were destroyed by his strokeplay at the top of the order on Friday night, and with Shane Warne giving him license to express himself; they might not be the last to suffer.

Return of Hoggard

Yorkshire seamer Matthew Hoggard has been recalled by England for this week's first Test against New Zealand at Lord's.

India's 4th title in a row

India clinched their fourth successive women's cricket Asia Cup title by thrashing Sri Lanka by a massive 117 runs in the final at the Welagedara Stadium in Kurunegala yesterday.

Mike surprised by IPL century

Not known as a big hitter in the league of his IPL teammates Matthew Hayden and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Michael Hussey said he was surprised by his hundred for Chennai Super Kings in an IPL match which, he claimed, earned him more adulation than the Australian opener or the India ODI captain.

BHF eye Asian hockey meet

Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) is keen to win the bid to host next year's 8th Asia Cup.

Vaughan vows Ashes return

Michael Vaughan has warned Australia that England now have the strength in depth to win back the Ashes next year.

G-Team lift sixes title

G-Team clinched the WECCA six-a-side cricket tournament beating Cavaliers by two wickets at the Jagannath Hall ground on Saturday.

Aussies off to Windies

Australia's cricketers flew out of Sydney on Saturday bracing themselves for a tough tour of the West Indies.

Business

Ananda wins $67m German order to build four ships

Ananda Shipyard and Slipways yesterday inked a $67 million deal with a German company to supply four ships, a further evidence of the recent boom in Bangladesh's shipyards.

Forex regulations being rationalised

The central bank governor has said it is rationalising the foreign currency exchange regulations to facilitate more foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.

Legal moves halt govt share sales

The sale of more shares in four state-run enterprises has been halted by a legal action taken by company employees to prevent the government giving up majority control of the companies.

Ad firms come under NBR lens amid VAT evasion allegation

Advertisement firms are now under strict surveillance by the Central Intelligence Cell (CIC) of National Board of Revenue (NBR) amid allegations of VAT evasion.

Tk 20 crore Islamic mutual fund next month

A Tk 20 crore Islamic mutual fund, sponsored by Islamic Finance Investment Ltd, will be floated next month.

Garments workers demand factory based rationing

Garments workers have demanded immediate introduction of factory based rationing to enable them to cope with the run away food price hike.

Food crisis bites in Vietnam factories

On the outskirts of Vietnam's capital, where modern industrial parks eat into centuries-old rice paddies, farmer's daughter Le Thi Luyen is struggling to carve out a living with a factory job.

Catching a ride on the IT gravy train

The global offshore IT outsourcing market is estimated at around US$ 300 billion for 2007 by market study firms such as Dataquest, AC Nielsen, IDC and XMG. During the past 10 years many people in this country from government policy makers to industry executives have expressed optimism that Bangladesh can garner at least 1 percent of the offshore IT outsourcing market. If this had happened we would by now be looking at an extra US$3 billion in export earnings.

Dollar holds up against most Asian currencies

Key Asian currencies ended the week mainly down against the US dollar as the greenback continued to strengthen amid hopes that the subprime credit crisis is over.

Special allocation sought for silk industry in budget

Special allocation for silk industry in the next national budget was demanded at a function here yesterday.

China gives top priority to financial safety

China will learn from the US subprime crisis and further strengthen supervision on financial innovation to ensure the safe operation of its capital market, the head of the country's stock market regulator said on Friday.

Jakarta plans scrapping subsidies for wealthy households

The Indonesian government plans to scrap electricity subsidies for middle and upper-income households to ease pressure on the state budget.

Big eurozone firms facing tighter credit conditions: ECB

Financial market turbulence has led to a tightening of eurozone credit standards, particularly for loans to big companies, the European Central Bank said on Friday.

US House-approved mortgage crisis bill faces veto

The US House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that lawmakers hope could stem the tide of home foreclosures due to the subprime mortgage crisis, but it faces a presidential veto.

Brazil warns Europe against biofuel import barriers

Brazil on Friday warned Europe not to "distort" trade in biofuel, saying Brasilia was ready to defend its interests before the World Trade Organization if necessary.

Steel product price to stay high in China

China's price of steel products is predicted to maintain the growing momentum in the coming period of time.

China unveils new jumbo jet company

China unveiled its own jumbo jet maker in Shanghai on Sunday, state press reported, in a move that could eventually rival Airbus and Boeing.

New GCC law to ensure safety of foreign housemaids

The GCC countries are planning to formulate a new law that will ensure the safety of foreign housemaids working in the Gulf countries.

Global slowdown batters Philippine exports

Philippine export earnings fell 6.8 per cent year-on-year in March, after a 10.5-per-cent growth posted in February, as shipments of electronic products decreased sharply because of the US-led global economic slowdown.

Malaysia to spend more on subsidies than development

Malaysia says it will spend more money subsidising oil and gas this year than on developing the country with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi calling for a review of all major projects.

Volkswagen, Sanyo to develop lithium-ion battery

Volkswagen AG will join forces with Japan's Sanyo Electric to develop a lithium-ion battery, a key component of hybrid and electric cars, the Nikkei newspaper reported Sunday.

Summit Power recommends 20pc stock dividend

Summit Power Ltd has recommended a 20 percent stock divided for its shareholders for the year that ended on December 31, 2007.

HP expands virtualisation capabilities

HP introduced technologies that integrate virtualisation capabilities into the HP ProLiant server platform, allowing for rapid and simple visualisation of server environments.

Clarification

Some facts were wrongly reported about Madura Coats Pvt Ltd, India in a news item 'Indians plan to set up bonded leather plants in Bangladesh' that was published in The Daily Star Business Page yesterday.

Metropolitan

Build pvt-public partnership to ensure poor people's rights

Expressing deep concern over the deprivation of poor people in the rural areas, eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday called for increasing budgetary allocation and building public-private partnership to ensure their denied rights.

Stand against corruption

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (Retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury at a rally here yesterday urged the young generation to come forward and stand against corruption in the country.

Outsiders intensify clashes at polytechnic instt

Participation of the neighbouring slum dwellers intensified the two-day clashes between the students of Dhaka Polytechnic Institute and law enforcers over a student's death in road accident on Friday night.

Announce Int'l Mother's Day as national day

Speakers at a discussion on International Mother's Day yesterday said the Mothers' Day should be announced as a national day and the budget should be mother-centered to build a healthy nation.

Illegal structures on road to be demolished in Ctg

Concerned authorities in the port city yesterday decided to evict the illegal structures on both the sides of the city's busiest Agrabad Access Road to address the frequent traffic congestion in the area.

Declare poll date

Bikalpadhara Bangladesh (BDB) President AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury yesterday urged the chief adviser (CA) of the caretaker government to declare specific poll date while addressing the nation.

Brother says Rasheda died due to wrong treatment

Dr Najmul Karim, elder brother of late Rasheda Mohiuddin, an Awami League leader, yesterday demanded an investigation into the cause of the death of her sister alleging that she died due to wrong treatment by dental surgeons at the Modern Hospital in the city.

'Set up army camps at risky spots in CHT'

Speakers yesterday urged the caretaker government to re-set up army camp at all risky spots in CHT areas for establishing equal rights both for Bangalees and hilly people.

Valuables worth over Tk 80 lakh gutted in Ctg

Two warehouses, two tin-shed dwelling houses and properties worth over Tk 80 lakh were reduced to ashes in a fire in the port city's Majhir Ghat area in the early hours yesterday.

RMG workers vandalise factory in Ctg

Workers of BLP Warm Fashion Limited in the port city yesterday vandalised a section of the factory and staged a demonstration demanding immediate realisation of their demands.

Quarterfinals today

The fourth day of the 15th All Asian Inter-Varsity Debate Championship 2008 experienced some enthusiastic and lively debates yesterday.

Huji leader Sumon on 5-day remand

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday took Harkatul Jihad (Huji) leader Arif Hasan Sumon to its custody from jail three days after a Dhaka court placed him on a five-day remand in connection with the bomb blast on a CBP rally on July 20 in 2001.

New BCL hall committees at DU soon

The new hall committees of the Dhaka University (DU) unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) will be announced soon in 12 dormitories but a number of controversial candidates might get the nods.

Ban on movement on heavy vehicles from May 15

The roads and highways authorities imposed a ban on the movement of heavy transports, including truck, bus and cargo van, from May 15 for emergency repairing of the Meghna-Gomti Bridge on Dhaka-Chittagong highway.

Boy found dead in city canal

Police recovered a floating body of an unidentified child from a canal at Kamrangirchar in the city yesterday.

Sweater factory workers protest cut in addl work

Workers of Pandora Sweater Factory yesterday staged a demonstration protesting reduction of daily additional working hour and demanding overtime and implementation of labour law.

Concern over food poisoning at Savar factory

Karmojibi Nari (KN) expressed concern due to food poisoning at Cosmo Politan Industries Ltd at Savar and urged the authorities concerned to arrange proper medical treatment for workers, says a press release.

DU dev studies admission test result published

The result of the admission test of Masters of Development Studies (MDS) at Dhaka University (DU) was published yesterday, says a press release.

Berger award for young architects

Berger Paints Bangladesh Limited (BPBL) organised an award giving ceremony of the Berger Award for the Students of Architecture, Buet (BASAB), in collaboration with the Department of Architecture, Buet at the Buet auditorium recently, says a press release.

Over 500 get free treatment in B'baria

Over 500 poor patients have received free treatment at a charitable dispensary in the haor areas of Sarail upazila in the district on Friday.

Rakhaing women condemn Myanmar's referendum

Rakhaing Women's Union (RWH) strongly condemned holding referendum by the Myanmar's military junta for approving the draft constitution and opposed illegitimate result of May 10, says a press release.

Humayun made non-resident envoy to Brazil

M Humayun Kabir, currently serving as Bangladesh Ambassador to USA, has been appointed non-resident Ambassador to Brazil.

National

Sust English students stage hunger strike for holding exams

English department students of Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST) observed a hunger strike and confined Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar at their offices yesterday to press holding of two remaining examinations and two other demands.

Kuet classes suspended till May 31 as rival students clash

Authorities of Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET) yesterday suspended all classes till May 31 with immediate effect.

Patient released from RMCH after 3 days 'without treatment'

A patient was released from a surgery ward at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) Saturday night allegedly after keeping him waiting for three days virtually without any treatment for want of a senior doctor.

Arrest warrant against OC for killing wife

Satkhira Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court yesterday issued warrant of arrest against suspended officer-in-charge (OC) Kazi Mizanur Rahman of Patkelghata Police Station following submission of a charge sheet in the case for killing his Sabiha Akhtar.

Fake medicine factory detected in Jhenidah, five arrested

Police yesterday seized spurious medicine worth around Tk 10 lakh and medicine making materials from an illegal medicine factory at Chaklapara in the town.

Agri official held for stealing farmers' diesel subsidy

Joint forces Saturday night arrested a sub assistant agriculture officer (SAAO) of Mithapukur upazila for his alleged involvement in misappropriation of government diesel subsidy for Boro farmers. Abdul Wadud was arrested for allegedly misappropriating the money by enrolling some fake farmers.

Training for newsmen begins in Mymensingh

A week-long foundation training course for journalists working in different national and local dailies began at Mymensingh Press Club yesterday.

'Save Rajshahi silk industries from ruination'

Silk traders and workers at a discussion held here yesterday demanded special allocation in the upcoming budget to save silk industries of Rajshahi region from ruination.

UP chairman held with guns, cocktails in Pabna

Police arrested Goaishpur Union Parishad (UP) chairman Md Ibrahim Ali Mridha at Dhopaghata village and recovered two shutter guns and four cocktails from his possession Saturday night.

Trawler sinks in Meghna with sugar

A sugar-laden trawler capsized in the Meghna near Puran Bazar in Chandpur Sadar thana following a nor'wester at around 9 pm on Saturday.

Letters

Nargis victims

For a country that has received so much aid and assistance over the years through all the disasters it has face, it is pathetic that the powers that be in the country do not have the wit to immediately offer aid, in whatever capacity, to the disaster struck people of Mynamar. That's what neighbours are for!

Election in Nepal

The victory of the Maoists in Nepal shouldn't be dismissed lightly. It shows that a socialist order still has appeal to the people in a third world country.

Global warming

Manir Hossain , Dept. of Environmental Science and Resource Management, Maulana Bhashani Science and Technology University Tangail
Global warming means increase in the average temperature of the earth. The average temperature of the earth is about 15-22C. But in recent times, the average temperature is increasing due to various reasons which may include- Greenhouse effects, extensive deforestation, burning of fossil fuels, changes in climatic pattern, atmospheric changes etc.

Ban on rice export

My attention has been drawn to your front-page news entitled “Export of rice, except for aromatic varieties, banned till Nov 7”. More interesting is the sub-caption “Shoot at sight order to check rice smuggling”. Though late, undoubtedly this is a good decision. Here I would like to suggest something more, which may be considered by the caretaker government.

Taxing senior citizens

Soon the National Budget will be announced. Many senior citizens of modest means who are subsisting on their savings or are still forced to work for a living have been waiting for a long time for some relief from taxes that are heavily eroding their savings. While the sky-rocketing prices of essentials are taking a heavy toll of their earnings and savings, there are other direct/indirect taxes constantly chipping away at what remains, VAT on practically everything, this Fee, that Fee etc. etc. Present anomalies in tax are:

ZIA incident

On 14 April 2008, inside Zia International Airport, a British Bangladeshi (well known community worker Barrister Rizwan Hussein) was brutally tortured by airport officials or security personnel. As a result of this incident, Barrister Rizwan has suffered severely and is now in a wheelchair.

EC reform

It was great to read that the EC has finalised the new rules for political parties and politicians for Future Elections and everything looks very promising. The rules are to be followed by the parties and politicians --if they don't they MUST be punished for breaking EC rules.

Tata's investment proposal

It is good that efforts are on to restart talks with Tata, as reported by Jasim Uddin Khan in your business pages on April 30. Some of the reasons behind the 2008 statements are summarised below for the guidance of our negotiators.

Development

The UN and the developed world are trying their best to have a hunger free world and to ensure a sustainable socio-economic progress in the third world. Billions of dollars is being spent for the purpose.

Mother's Day

Professor M Zahidul Haque, Chairman, Department of Agricultural Extension & Information System, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University Dhaka
May 11 was the International Mother's Day! Education has become an integral force for accomplishing success in an individual's life as well as for attaining national development. A mother plays a key role in educating her children and subsequently in building up an educated nation. No doubt, ignoring all the pains and difficulties, our mothers have been playing their due role in this field and I take this happy occasion to heartily congratulate our respectable mothers. May the mothers living in both rural and urban areas of our country get proper treatment and due respect from their wards. We should always look after the welfare of our mothers while they are alive to extend their heartfelt love and affection to us. And when they leave us forever, we should always pray for the salvation of their departed souls. Happy Mother's Day to all!

Rickshaws

Much has already been written on the topic-- namely, the banning of rickshaws from the streets of the capital city. Yes, rickshaws--slow moving as they are-- contribute to traffic jam. The pullers often turn a blind eye to the traffic rules. Sometimes they violate the lanes while driving-- a dangerous practice. They park the rickshaws haphazardly and block the movement of other vehicles.

Rejoinder

This letter is in response to the article by Mr. Inam Ahmed published on the 4th of May, 2008 titled "Blast blown out of proportion" I was quoted as saying, "The explosions were so mild and brief that it hardly mattered." I did say the explosions were relatively mild, but I did not say it hardly mattered. I further said that this was the nesting season of many rare species of birds such as the Pittas that fly all the way from South-east Asia to breed in this forest. The timing of these explosions could not have been worse! Hundreds of people running about laying wires through out the forest were bad enough, let alone setting off explosions.

English language

I agree with Mr. Andaz regarding "Babu" English(Letters, 29/04/08).

Pahela Baishakh & Hindi songs

This is once again in response to the letter of Mr. Ahmad Ferdous Bin Alam published in DS under the above title on 7th May.

Billboard hazard

Billboards(hoardings) placed on roadside & rooftops in Bangladesh injured several and even claimed lives when they collapsed during heavy gusts of Kalboishakhi (Norwesters). A man was killed at the Chandrima Supermarket in March 2006 when a billboard fell on him. A guard at a gas filling station was killed in a similar accident in June the same year & a boy died last year when a billboard fell on him in front of Shishu (Children's) Park. It appears that no step has been taken to check recurrence of such accidents & at the same time no action has been taken to find a solution to the issue.

Employment problem

We are Bangladeshi physicians working at various levels of Rijal Almaa Hospital located in Assir region of KSA for a variable period of time under some Saudi companies. On successful completion of our working contract with the recruiting companies, most of us have been selected to work as physicians under the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Saudi Arabia. Those who have not been selected by MOH, have already managed jobs at some other private hospitals. Not only physicians but also nursing staffs, paramedics and technicians of this hospital are under the same process. This unique opportunity is appropriate not only for the medical staffs of Assir region but also for five other regions of this country. But due to some unwanted incidents involving some Bangladeshis that happened several weeks ago, the whole process of transfer of these staffs from the company to the ministry or other private hospitals has been stopped by the Ministry of Immigration of KSA. Near about 1500 Bangladeshi medical staffs including physicians, nursing staffs and paramedics from different regions of Saudi Arabia along with thousands of other professionals are going to be affected by the problem of transfer of ownership which is known as 'kafala transfer' locally and are in fear of forced exit from this country. We already have informed the Bangladesh Embassy about it and so far got no reply from them.

International

Race to prevent diseases in Myanmar cyclone zone

Preventing a disease disaster in Myanmar is now a "race against time," as many impoverished victims still await help a week after the brutal cyclone, experts warned Saturday.

Lanka govt wins key polls in boost for war effort

Sri Lanka's ruling coalition was declared the winner of key elections yesterday in the east of the island, and hailed its victory as a major boost for the war against Tamil rebels.

Cyclone victims suffer in silence

Apart from the sound of children crying, the town of Labutta is strangely silent.

Army deployed throughout Lebanon amid clashes

The army deployed throughout Lebanon on Sunday as clashes broke out between rival factions in the north and southeast while the Arab League met to try resolve the country's ongoing political crisis.

Obama outlines plans for race against McCain

Barack Obama began sketching the outlines of his expected presidential contest against Republican John McCain on Saturday, saying the fall election will be more about specific plans and priorities than about questions of political ideology or who is more patriotic.

Signs of normalcy in Sadr City amid ceasefire

Militants were withdrawing from the streets and shops were reopening on the first day of a cease-fire between Shia extremists and US-backed Iraqi forces following two months of intense clashes.

Israel to consider Egypt-backed Gaza truce proposal

Israel said on Sunday it would consider an Egyptian-brokered Gaza Strip ceasefire proposal signed by 12 Palestinian factions but remained non-committal about its prospects for success.

Tornadoes kill 19 in Missouri, Oklahoma

Many have fled this depressed, pollution-scarred mining town. Those who have chosen to stay or have not yet relocated face a new heartache. A tornado ripped through a 20-block swath of Picher late Saturday afternoon, killing at least seven people. The same storm system then moved into southwest Missouri where tornadoes took the lives of at least 12 others, authorities said.

Lankan planes bomb rebel arms dump Fighting in north kills 29

Sri Lankan warplanes bombed a rebel arms storage base, while artillery duels between security forces and Tiger rebels killed 29, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Congress trails in Karnataka polls

India's ruling Congress party trailed its main rival after the first round of balloting in a crucial state election seen as the precursor to a national vote, according to an exit poll Sunday.

Jenna Bush's wedding is low-key affair at ranch

Jenna Bush couldn't see herself getting married at the White House surrounded by antique furniture and oil portraits of presidents. She and Henry Hager said "I do" Saturday at President Bush's ranch in Crawford where the corn is thigh-high, roads are named Cattle Drive and the Texas flag is painted on the rooftops of barns.

Sudan cuts ties with Chad after rebel attack

President Omar al-Bashir announced Sunday he severed relations with neighbouring Chad, accusing the government of supporting rebels who attacked the Sudanese capital, according to state media.

Arts & Entertainment

Nandan celebrates Rabindra Jayanti with music

On the occasion of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore's 147th birth anniversary, cultural organisation Nanadan arranged a musical soiree titled Toma majhhey ashimer chirobishshoy at the Ramesh Chandra Dutt Memorial auditorium, Chhayanat Sanskriti Bhaban on May 10. The event was Nandan's 19th arrangement since it's establishment in 2003.

Exhibition of architectural designs at Bengal Gallery

A three-day exhibition of the Projects from an open design competition for extension of Islamia Eye hospital is being held at the Bengal Gallery.

Solo banshi recital by Ustad Azizul Islam

A solo banshi recital by Ustad Captain (retd) Azizul Islam was held at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on May 10. The programme was organised by the Department of Dance and Music, BSA.

Suchet Malhotra: Percussion unlimited

It was a musical evening like no other: imagine instruments that recreate the eerie sounds of a jungle, or the gentle yet rough ocean waves breaking in. And turning from the introspective and surreal to just having fun with a variety of percussion instruments. That was a round up of a recent performance in New Delhi by percussionist Suchet Malhotra, who plays an amazing array instruments ranging from the zarb and def from Iran, cajon, caxixi and paxixi from Latin America and the tabla from the subcontinent.

Zoglul Alam passes away

Young theatre talent Zoglul Alam passed away yesterday. He had been suffering from cancer. He was 35.

Rabindra Sangeet and Poetry Recital at RU

Jatiya Rabindra Sangeet Sammilan Parishad of Rajshahi University recently organised a "Rabindra Sangeet and Abbriti Utsab" at Shahidullah Arts building to celebrate the 147th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore.

Pachishey Baishakh celebration at Shahzadpur

A three daylong programme marking 'Rabindra Jayanti' was held at the auditorium of Rabindra Kacharibari in Shahzadpur, Sirajganj district.

Tagore birth anniversary observed in Pabna

A discussion and cultural programme titled Rabindra Shandha was held in Pabna Town Hall premises on May 9. The programme marked the 147th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore. The Ekushey Book Fair Celebration Committee, Pabna, organised the programme.

Bob Dylan artwork to go on show

An exhibition showing singer-songwriter Bob Dylan's artistic talent will open in London in June.

Gibson is back

Mel Gibson has signed up to star in Edge of Darkness, his first leading role since Signs in 2002. The film is based on a classic BBC miniseries about a police investigator who discovers a web of corruption surrounding the death of his daughter. Martin Campbell, who directed the original series, is behind the camera for the movie.

OP-ED

The crisis and coping capacity of the ultra-poor

In this column today, we shall present livelihood patterns of various types of poor households -- specially extreme or ultra poor -- in rural Bangladesh. The idea is to show that although the ultra-poor are seemingly homogeneous, but each type have different livelihoods and poverty dynamics. To this effect, from the list of ultra-poor households collected from 62 villages by a recent Brac-supported survey in 2008, we have randomly picked a few cases for closer look at poverty correlates, socio-demographic transition and poverty traps.

Revisiting the DU Order, 1973

An article under the above caption by Dr. Kamal Hossain was published in the Daily Star of April 29. In his write-up, Dr. Hossain mentions the glorious past of Dhaka University in terms of its beautiful campus with magnificent buildings and, more importantly, its high academic standard "which earned for it recognition as a centre of excellence of an international standard."

Take off your hat but leave the rest of your clothes on, please

We'd like to ask readers to remove their hats as a sign of respect before reading this column. Thank you. Today we are going to discuss an extremely solemn topic. (Cue church organ music.) We are going to talk about funerals. Or to be more precise, the most popular part of the North-East Asian funeral service, which is, of course, the strip show.

Star City

300-bed plan cut down to half, equipment rust in storerooms

Delay in implementing an extension project for the National Institute of Cancer Research & Hospital (NICRH), coupled with shortage of resources and dysfunctional equipment, is hampering treatment at the hospital.

Controversial coffee shop at DU still has strong blessing

The Dhaka University (DU) authorities remain firm on protecting the controversial renter of a coffee shop located behind Mokarram Hossain Bhaban on the Science Annex premises where it is planning to construct a 10-storey mathematics building.

BTTB slowly packing up card phone booths

The card phone booth near the Salimullah Muslim Hall looked deserted. Its rusty and dust covered interior suggests that no one has entered it for quite a while.

"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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