The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, December 21, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 14th of May, 2008

Front Page

Khaleda, BNP bigwigs charged with Gatco graft

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) last night pressed charges against detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, her younger son Arafat Rahman Koko and 22 others in the Gatco graft case.

6 parties invited to talks with govt

The chief adviser's office yesterday invited six political parties in political dialogues, beginning on May 22.

At least eight killed as trains collide at Ashuganj

At least eight people were killed and around 100 others injured when two passenger trains collided at Ashuganj station in Brahmanbaria in the early hours today.

Bar on party factions to do indoor politics

A part or faction of a political party from now on cannot formally do indoor politics like a fully-fledged party as the caretaker government on Monday cancelled its earlier notification that had given factions full party status.

Parties disappointed at CA's speech

Most major political parties yesterday in their official reactions expressed disappointment over the chief adviser's (CA) address to the nation.

Parties won't be forced to adopt nat'l charter

Communication Adviser Ghulam Quader yesterday asserted that the government would not force the political parties to adopt a national charter if they do not reach a consensus on it.

Death toll in launch capsize rises to 42

The death toll from Monday's launch capsize in Ghorautra river at Nikli upazila rose to 42 as rescuers yesterday recovered 38 more bodies.

Shibir cadre Nasir gets 17yrs in arms case

A court here yesterday sentenced notorious Islami Chhatra Shibir cadre Mohammad Nasir alias Shibir Nasir to 17 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) in an arms case filed in 1992.

They were ready for arrest

As soon as the charge sheet in the Gatco graft case was submitted, rumours began to go around that the law enforcers were moving to arrest the former BNP and Jamaat ministers charged with graft last night.

Leaders of BNP factions meet over unity, no decision yet

Leaders from both factions of BNP sat at a meeting yesterday to find out ways to reunite the party as soon as possible.

Journalists want end to emergency

Calling for an end to the emergency rules, editors and senior journalists of the print and electronic media yesterday protested against the interference of government and military agencies in the everyday task of the media.

Khaleda Zia's assignment officer Firoz jailed for 10yrs

A special court dealing with corruption cases yesterday sentenced former prime minister Khaleda Zia's assignment officer Dr Firoz Mahmud Iqbal to 10 years' imprisonment for amassing wealth beyond known sources of income.

Murder charges pressed against Bashundhara Group chief's son

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has pressed charges against the son of Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan Shah Alam -- Shafiat Sobhan Sanvir -- and four others in a case filed for killing Humayun Kabir Sabbir, a director of Bashundhara Group in July 2006.

He controls Ctg underworld from jail since 1998

Although Nasir remained in prison since 1998, the infamous Shibir cadre kept a strong grip on the Chittagong underworld through regular contacts with his accomplices by mobile phones and other means in connivance with some corrupt jail staff and police.

Rescue workers dig through flattened school, homes

The toll of the dead and missing soared as rescue workers dug through flattened schools and homes yesterday in a desperate attempt to find survivors of China's worst earthquake in three decades.

EC sends poll reform proposals to govt

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday sent the much talked about finalised electoral reform proposals to the government for making them into laws.

Govt asked to provide staffs, transports by May 27

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday directed the government to comply with its earlier order for providing staffs and transports for judicial magistrates as part of completing separation of the judiciary from the executive by May 27.

3 Ctg cops charged in robbery case

Police yesterday submitted charge sheet against three policemen including an assistant commissioner (AC) to a Chittagong court in a robbery case.

Rice, edible oil prices increase

The wholesale and retail prices of different varieties of rice increased in the capital yesterday while edible oil prices saw a hike during the last two days.

SC lawyers now divided on work abstention programme

The Supreme Court (SC) lawyers are divided into two groups on the issue of two-hour work abstention programme in the Appellate Division announced for tomorrow.

UK hails CA's address

The United Kingdom (UK) yesterday welcomed the chief adviser's address to the nation and termed it a positive statement.

Khaleda, five others have to appear in court May 20

A Dhaka court yesterday directed the jail authorities to turn in detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia and five other people to court on May 20 in connection with Niko graft case.

30 dead as bomb blasts rock Jaipur

Five bombs ripped through crowded parts of an ancient city in western India yesterday, killing at least 30 people and wounding 100 others, police said.

Sharif's party quits Pak cabinet

Pakistan faced a new political crisis yesterday after former premier Nawaz Sharif pulled his party's ministers out of the country's six-week-old coalition government, officials said.

Criminal killed in 'shootout'

A criminal was killed during a “shootout” between Rab and his cohorts at Modhupur village under Jhenidah Sadar upazila early yesterday.

Editorial

CA's address strikes a defining note

GIVEN our context, marked by the political parties aiming to secure maximum fulfillment of their demands, the interim government in a naturally probing, cautious mode, and the people expectantly awaiting an accelerated journey to democracy, the chief adviser's address to the nation was indeed set against a daunting backdrop.

Earthquake casualties in China

THE magnitude of the earthquake in China has shocked people everywhere. With reports coming in of 8,500 people, perhaps more, dead and as many as 10,000 others badly injured from a tremor on a Richter scale of 7.8, we can only imagine the terrible destruction that such a disaster can have brought about. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has described it as a major disaster, a view that we fully share. In such circumstances, it becomes the responsibility of the Beijing authorities to go full steam into the job of ensuring the rehabilitation of those affected by the earthquake. It appears, happily for everyone, that such measures have already been taken by the authorities, with the result that the risks of a bigger fallout from the earthquake have been appreciably minimised. This is in contrast to the slow, rather indifferent approach taken by the Myanmar authorities towards tackling the consequences of the recent cyclone in their country.

Our citizens abroad -- harassed, hounded and humiliated

POLICEMEN in Saudi Arabia have been tearing up work-related documents of Bangladeshi migrant workers in that country. And they have been doing that without any thought to the predicament such action can and will cause to these hapless people. That is impunity of the highest order, especially when you think of the sheer high-handedness of people who are unwilling to abide by norms, by the general standards of civilised behaviour we expect from governments everywhere. And then there are the many instances in which Bengali workers have been and are being mistreated in Malaysia, with really no one to speak up for them.

The rise of the rest

AMERICANS are glum at the moment. No, I mean really glum. In April, a new poll revealed that 81 percent of the American people believe that the country is on the "wrong track." In the 25 years that pollsters have asked this question, last month's response was by far the most negative. Other polls, asking similar questions, found levels of gloom that were even more alarming, often at 30- and 40-year highs. There are reasons to be pessimistica financial panic and looming recession, a seemingly endless war in Iraq, and the ongoing threat of terrorism. But the facts on the ground -- unemployment numbers, foreclosure rates, deaths from terror attacks -- are simply not dire enough to explain the present atmosphere of malaise.

Pakistan's new tack on fighting terror

WHILE the election of a civilian government in Islamabad has been universally welcomed as part of Pakistan's democratic transition, the new government's approach to counterterrorism has evoked misgivings in Washington. Reacting to what is viewed as President Pervez Musharraf's US-backed militarised effort to defeat terrorism, the elected government headed by Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani has sought a more balanced policy, combining force with a "civil dialogue" with misled extremists. Instead of dismissing this as yet another bound-to-fail approach, Washington should be patient and let Gillani recover the legitimacy of Pakistan's counterterrorism policy.

Sports

SAFF camp from today

The final preparation camp for the fifth SAFF Football Championship will begin today at BKSP but the number of players to be in the squad was not finalised even last night.

Cruciani interested

Former national football coach Diego Cruciani would consider returning to Bangladesh if the newly elected executive committee of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) wants him back.

BCB to play waiting game

Bangladesh Cricket Board's working committee on Tuesday has decided to take a few more days before finalising the title sponsor for next month's triangular series involving India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Prime Bank secured as sponsors

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday renewed its ties with Prime Bank as sponsors of the coming B. League.

Rangpur take zonal honours

Rangpur became zonal champions with a massive 122-run victory over Rajshahi in the rain-interrupted final to reach the final round of the 28th National Cricket Champion-ship yesterday.

Domestic stars under payroll

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will bring nearly ten top performers from the National Cricket League and the Premier League into the payroll from next month.

2nd win for Mariners, Azad

Ranjan Banik slotted a brace to help Mariner Youngs Club record their second successive win in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Hockey League yesterday.

Sachin boosts Mumbai

Sachin Tendulkar has said he is fit and will lead the Mumbai Indians in their next home game, against the Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday at the Wankhede Stadium, in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Marauding Marsh

The troubles don't seem to abate for the Bangalore Royal Challengers; off-field controversies plagued the bottom-placed side going into the match against Kings XI Punjab, and a nine-wicket mauling in Mohali Monday night leaves the second-most expensive franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL) all but out of the semifinals.

Hadlee encourages him

England seamer Ryan Sidebottom has said he is flattered at being identified as the key threat to New Zealand during their upcoming series by Sir Richard Hadlee.

Zenit target glory

Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg are out to cap a memorable run in the UEFA Cup with victory in Wednesday's final in Manchester against Scotland's Glas-gow Rangers.

Drogba fit for Moscow

Didier Drogba insists there is no chance he or John Terry will miss Chelsea's Champions League final showdown against Manchester United.

Swiss gamble on Muller

Swiss national football coach Jakob "Kobi" Kuhn said he was taking a gamble by including defender Patrick Muller in his initial Euro 2008 squad released on Tuesday.

Selection worry for Fergie

Sir Alex Ferguson admits he faces one of the hardest decisions of his career as the Manchester United manager prepares for the Champions League final.

Rivals fear Bayern power

Bayern Munich's domination of the Bundesliga this season may have gone down well at the Allianz Arena, but their fourth domestic double in six years is causing alarm bells to ring in Germany.

Seedorf stuns Van Basten

Dutch coach Marco van Basten admitted on Tuesday to being stunned by veteran Clarence Seedorf's decision not to be considered for selection for the Euro 2008 squad.

C'Ron happy at United

Cristiano Ronaldo has denied reports that he would consider a move to Real Madrid by insisting Manchester United is the perfect club for him.

Scolari snubs Maniche

Inter Milan midfielder Maniche was the surprise absentee from the Portuguese squad selected by coach Felipe Scolari for the Euro 2008 finals which are being co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland and runs from June 7-29.

Lehmann holds Stuttgart talks

Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, out of contract at Arsenal this summer, is in discussions to join Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart according to German tabloid Bild on Tuesday.

Parma sack Cuper

Parma stunningly sacked coach Hector Cuper on Monday with just one match of the season remaining, the club's president Tommaso Ghirardi said.

Cambiasso out of season finale

Argentina midfielder Esteban Cambiasso is out of Inter Milan's final league match of the season against Parma on Sunday due to an ankle injury, Italian press reported on Monday.

Ferguson wins double award

Sir Alex Ferguson has won two Manager of the Year awards in recognition of Manchester United's Premier League triumph.

Local Snippets

The zonal phase of the 29th National Table Tennis championship will begin across the country on June 2.

Kiwi openers found?

New Zealand head into their Test series with England hoping they have at last found an effective opening partnership.

KP tells Eng to lift game

England must "move on to the next level" if they are going to compete with South Africa later this season, according to Kevin Pietersen.

Colly feeling fine

England all-rounder Paul Collingwood on Monday has declared himself fit for Thursday's first Test against New Zealand.

Davydenko moves on

Nikolay Davydenko cruised into the third round of the Hamburg Masters by defeating Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 6-1 Tuesday, and two more players retired because of injuries.

Quake will not affect Games & torch relay

Organisers on Tuesday said that Olympics in the Chinese capital, including the ongoing torch relay within the country, would not be affected by the earthquake disaster that has killed thousands of people in Sichuan province.

Samuels found guilty, faces long ban

West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels has been found guilty of breaching regulations after a probe into allegations of links with a bookmaker, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) said on Monday.

ULAB makes fine start

Mehdi picked up three wickets to fire University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) to a facile 96-run win over Brac University in the Fair Play Twenty20 tournament at the ULAB campus cricket ground in Ramchandrapur yesterday.

Business

Orascom wants to invest in banking sector

Egypt-based Orascom Group, the owning company of mobile operator Banglalink, yesterday expressed its interest to invest in Bangladesh's banking sector.

Efficient management cuts business costs at Ctg port

Strict vigilance and efficient management reduced the business costs at Chittagong port in 2007.

Biggest-ever mutual fund gets SEC nod

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the biggest-ever mutual fund, Grameen Two, yesterday.

Ananda hands over first ship to Danish buyer tomorrow

Bangladesh is set to emerge as a ship exporting nation tomorrow when Ananda Shipyard officially hands over its first ship “Stella Maris” to a Danish buyer.

Agriculture, rural employment to get priority in budget

Chief Adviser Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said priority will be given to agriculture and rural employment in the upcoming budget to boost rural economy.

Move to channel CSR funds to grassroots development

A new initiative to pool CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds and channel them to fight poverty has been undertaken by Management and Resources Development Initiative (MRDI), says a press release.

UN food task force meets

A UN special task force on the world food crisis sweeping the globe met for the first time on Monday with the aim of designing an action plan to combat high prices and food shortages.

India's industrial output marks sharp decline

Against the backdrop of a three-and-half-year high inflation, India's industrial production slumped to 8.1 percent in 2007-08 from 11.6 percent recorded a year prior to that, posing the classical dilemma for the government and the country's central bank: whether to promote growth or rein in spiralling prices.

IDB, Islami Bank Foundation sign $4.5m MoU to help Sidr victims

Islami Bank Foundation (IBF) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) of US$ 4.5 million with Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to operate and administer agricultural component of IDB programme for the cyclone Sidr victims in Bangladesh.

Phone banking from home or car

Abdul Khaleque, 60, a wholesaler in the old Dhaka's Chawkbazar area, now feels more safe and comfortable to bank. Because it has become so easy that he does not even need to take the trouble to remain present at his bank in person to have an access to banking.

Inflation hits Indonesia's poor

Jakarta street food seller Dairah is among millions of poor Indonesians feeling the pinch as soaring commodities prices threaten the fragile stability of Southeast Asia's largest economy.

MD of Social Investment Bank re-appointed

KM Ashaduzzaman has been appointed managing director of Social Investment Bank Limited for the second term for a period of three years, said a press release.

Asian stocks close mostly up

Asian stocks closed mostly up Tuesday, helped by an easing in oil prices from record levels, but the Chinese market slipped back in the wake of the deadly earthquake in Sichuan province.

Hitachi annual losses widen

Japanese electronics maker Hitachi Ltd. said Tuesday its annual net loss widened as it restructured its hard-hit flat-panel business, but it forecast a return to profit in the current year.

Paper Rhyme, Igloo Sugar sign deal

Marketing communication company Paper Rhyme recently signed an agreement with Abdul Monem Sugar Refinery Ltd.

Radio Today celebrates 2nd anniversary

Radio Today FM 89.6 celebrated its 2nd founding anniversary on Thursday in Dhaka.

UK inflation spikes to 3pc

British inflation jumped to an annual rate of 3.0 percent in April from 2.5 percent in March, official data showed on Tuesday.

$458m subsidy for Malaysian rice farmers this year

Malaysia will spend 1.472 billion ringgit (458 million dollars) this year to subsidise rice farmers and import more rice from Thailand to bolster its stockpile, the agriculture minister said Tuesday.

Nissan Motor warns of sliding profits

Japan's Nissan Motor Co. said Tuesday it expects net profit to tumble almost 30 percent this year due to sluggish sales in maturing markets, a stronger yen and high material costs.

Attractive incentives for halal industry in Malaysia

The Malaysian government is offering attractive incentives to attract businesses for the halal industry in the country.

Morgan Stanley, rivals raise billions for infrastructure projects

US investment bank Morgan Stanley said Monday it had raised four billion dollars for a new investment fund that will target large-scale global infrastructure projects.

Australia boosts skilled migration numbers in budget

Australia will boost its skilled migrant intake 30 percent to record levels in a bid to overcome a shortage of skilled workers, the government said Tuesday.

Metropolitan

Budgetary allocation a must to end gender discrimination

Speakers at a meeting yesterday demanded specific budgetary allocation and investment for women to ensure their rights and eliminate discrimination against them.

Climate change forcing people to migrate to urban areas

More and more people are migrating to urban areas because of climate change as it is causing frequent natural disasters, making the disaster-prone areas unlivable, experts said at a seminar yesterday.

Reach consensus on party reforms

The politicians should reach a consensus on some reform issues within their parties -- such as no leaders can be elected president or secretary general for more than two terms, speakers at a roundtable said yesterday.

Dev not possible without women’s rights

Former chief justice Syed JR Modassir Hossain at a seminar yesterday said development of a country as well as a society is not possible if rights and responsibilities of women are not distributed properly.

Ctg RMG unit closed due to ‘ghost’ scare

The authorities of Universal Garments of Pacific Jeans at Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) yesterday morning shut down the sewing section of the factory following illness of two of its workers due to ghost scare .

Bangladesh ratifies UN optional protocol

The government has ratified the optional protocol of the UN on rights of the people with disability, says a press release of the Social Welfare ministry.

Nat'l Law School of India becomes champion

National Law School (NLS)-B1 team of Bangalore, India, emerged as the champion while NLS-B3 team became the runner-up at the 15th All Asian Inter-Varsity Debating Championship 2008 that ended in the capital yesterday.

Withdrawal of army vehicle torching case demanded

Seven students of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday demanded the withdrawal of the only case which was not withdrawn when they were released from jail in January this year in connection with the last year's August campus violence.

Grameen Healthcare, SGHG to establish trust

Grameen Healthcare Trust and Saudi-German Hospital Group (SGHG) of Saudi Arabia yesterday signed a cooperation agreement for establishment of a trust to build social business hospitals which will bring health services to the country's poor and disadvantaged people, says a press release.

Police ask US embassy to give info about drug carrier

Police sent a letter to the US Embassy in Dhaka two days ago seeking details of US citizen Joybunnessa who fled away leaving 105 kilograms of illegal drugs at Zia International Airport (ZIA) on April 27.

Tamim's effigy burnt

Dhaka University (DU) unit of the National Committee for Protection of Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port yesterday burnt effigy of Dr M Tamim, special assistant to chief adviser, accusing him of handing over national mineral resource to foreign companies.

HC contempt rule against 4 govt officials

The High Court yesterday issued a contempt rule against four senior government officials, including Abdur Rashid Sarker, secretary to the jute ministry, for violating a court order regarding Aleem Jute Mills in Khulna.

BSF returns 6 fishermen to BDR

Border Security Force (BSF) of India handed over six Bangladeshi fishermen to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) at Benapole check post yesterday.

BAF Qirat, Azan competition concludes

The Inter-base Qirat and Azan competition of Bangladesh Air Force concluded at the central mosque of BAF Base Paharkanchanpur yesterday.

President visits ailing education secretary

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday visited ailing Education Secretary Mohammad Momtazul Islam at the United Hospital in the city yesterday.

Three shops gutted in city

A fire damaged three furniture and decoration shops at DIT Road in the city yesterday.

Iftekhar shocked at loss of lives in China

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday expressed deep shock at the loss of lives and properties caused by a powerful earthquake that struck China Monday.

New building plan at SAU research plot protested

Teachers and students of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (SAU), members of Save the Environment Movement, and Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association (BELA) jointly organised a seat-in protest programme yesterday protesting the plan of erecting a building in a research plot of the Horticulture department of the university, says a press release.

Road blockade over killing of a madrasa student

Angry mob blockaded the Port Connecting Road here yesterday following the death of a madrasa student in a road accident.

Road crashes kill seven

At least seven people were killed and seven others injured in separate road accidents in Comilla, Magura, Bogra and Gaibandha yesterday.

Last date for depositing haj money July 6

The government has announced the haj package 2008 fixing the last date for depositing money for haj on July 6.

Training on disaster management begins

A three-day training workshop on comprehensive disaster management began at CDMP conference room at Disaster Management and Relief Bhaban in the city yesterday, says a press release.

National

Rajshahi BNP in crisis as bigwigs in jail or hiding

With opening of indoor politics, the leaders and activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in Rajshahi are facing crisis due to lack of guidance in absence of party bigwigs.

15 of 23 'top' outlaws stay in India, run parties thru'cell phone

Twenty-three hardened outlaws and gang leaders in Kushtia and Chuadanga are yet to be netted despite all out attempts by law enforcers including announcement of bounty for their arrest three years ago.

Wife alleges Jamaat discrimination

The wife of former Jamaat lawmaker Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury has alleged that the party showed 'discriminatory treatment' towards her husband.

Probe body for removal of legal adviser Ruba

The four-member probe committee formed on April 21 has recommended immediate removal of advocate Nurul Hasan Ruba from the post of legal adviser of Khulna City Corporation.

BDR rescues 29 people from traffickers

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) rescued 29 people from traffickers at bordering village Charboairmari under Godagari upazila in Rajshahi on Monday night.

Shibir show of strength on RU campus

Several hundred cadres of Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) including outsiders staged a show of strength on Rajshahi University campus, hunting for Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activists who on Monday beat a Shibir leader at Shahidullah arts building.

Ariful falls sick in court

As Sylhet city BNP chief Ariful Haque Chowdhury fell sick in the courtroom, the judge adjourned deposition of the prosecution witnesses in the case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission against him yesterday.

Body of missing trader found in Jhenidah

Body of a trader missing since Monday was recovered from a roadside in Keshobpur village in Moheshpur upazila of the district yesterday.

Letters

Our priorities

Our long-term national development projects, especially the one for energy and mineral deposits, have not been planned on regional basis--the northern districts are less developed than the South and SE. Is the extraction of coal in the North being deliberately delayed by vested groups? The record of the political regimes since 1991 has been dismal (too much lobbying through the backdoors).

Why this sweet name?

Cyclones are always devastating. They create havoc over the areas they pass throughdestroying houses, trees, cornfields and killing hundreds of thousands-- a dark scar in the socio-economic condition of the people of those areas which takes time to heal.

NWDP

The insurrection of the radical Islamists to protest the new Women's Development Policy has disappointed me extremely as I viewed the violent agitation as an impediment to the general progression of our society. It's regrettable to see that when the entire civilized world is prepared to uphold the principles of equal rights for women by giving up the egregious practices of gender discrimination, a few mullahs are raising voices against it in a country where the establishment of women's rights is absolutely imperative for the general socio-economic development.

Food crisis

The world is going to face an acute food crisis as the production of food grain is not adequate to feed the population. Because of the shortage of food the third world countries may face a famine-like situation. Shrinkage of arable land, erratic weather pattern, desertification --these are some of the factors that contribute to the crisis.

Time has no value?

Last week, I faced a very difficult situation on my way to Khulna from Dhaka. My bus reached Paturia ferry ghat and it needed more than six hours to cross the Padma river in a ferry. That's why I missed my class test and attendance.

Visionless parties

The CTG and the people behind them are trying to give an idea to the nation that politicians and student politics had created all the economic and political problems of the country. This might be a clever distraction and may not be the whole truth! Our constitution is not working from 1975 onwards and we know the consequences of that.

Climate change

Generally speaking, individuals themselves may not be able to take any significant steps about resisting the great threat of global climate change on health. Therefore, in this case, as in many other cases, the national and international policy-makers should think globally and act locally and there is only one suggestion for facing such problems: seek divine mercy.

DU teachers' stand

It was reported in The Daily Star on May 01, 2008 that a total of 201 white panel teachers of Dhaka University (DU) demanded immediate release of the detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia and other political leaders. In that statement DU teachers said "Reconstitution of the Election Commission (EC), withdrawal of emergency and, above all, holding of the parliamentary election are needed for the welfare of the nation".

Hindi songs on Pahela Baishakh

This is in response to the letter of Mr. Nazmus Saquib in DS on May 12, 2008 regarding the above issue.

Combating corruption

The methods and practices of corruption (used in a wider sense) in Bangladesh have apparently been undergoing changes in qualitative, quantitative and other terms, besides the continuation of old methods and practices - where feasible - relative to time space and other variables. The questions now are: Are those developments in the domain of corruption being triggered and guided by the doctrine of necessity or the principle of survival of the fittest (in a sense) or a change in the phase of corruption cycle or otherwise - under the present day changed circumstances? Will those developments lead to eventual repositioning of corruption - as a modified product with a new look - in the market of Bangladesh and elsewhere? What will be the future of corruption and anti-corruption in Bangladesh, per se?

Rajuk and the new rule

We the small land owners owning property up to 10 katha in Dhaka city were very hopeful after the declaration published in the national dailies dated 28th march,2008 by the ministry of housing and public works that the government had accepted in principle the idea of allowing the small land owners to build houses after giving up 30% instead of 40% of the total land area for the sake of creating better environment in this mega city.

Brake on climate change!

I wrote various letters in your daily in the recent past scientifically queering the 'blind bandwagon following' of climate change adherents and the purported perils facing the world and Bangladesh from climatologists and economists.

Electoral boundaries

The most debated issue is electoral boundaries reshaped by the Election Commission. Last night we had the opportunity to hear a former BNP lawmaker and a retired bureaucrat in gp-t-matra. DS has published an editorial promoting the idea to look at it from demographic consideration and arrive at an acceptable agreed solution.

Food shortage

I have read your editorial regarding global food crisis. But I think we should think about our food crisis, rather than global food crisis. Our main food is rice, not potatoes or bread. The main reason behind the food price hike, especially rice, is the irresponsible behaviour of the businessmen. Our businessmen are trying to be as non corporative as possible with the present non-elected government. The situation of our business field has always been bad. There is a lot of “middlemanship” in our present business. Businessmen can do anything with the price rate of their products, especially food products because they are united. I know the present government has imposed some impractical decisions which have gone against the interests of businessmen but that doesn't mean they have every right to do whatever they like. Our businessmen should import some “limited sense of humanity” for themselves.

Gerrymandering?

Well, one fine morning, Thursday, May 1, 2008 through the daily Prothom Alo, we came to know out of the blue that one hundred and thirty-three constituencies had been reformed. We understand a constituency can be changed for many reasons. There may be rationale for administrative account or may be for transportation or agricultural block development or anything else which are beyond the discernment of general people like me. But one thing comes to my mind that the Election Commission has just finished their pre-discussion meetings with different political parties, and arguably they got the opportunity to share their idea about constituency reformation. If they shared their views regarding this reformation there should be no objection from the political parties, while they publicly published it. But we know the situation is completely different as just after the publication of the new constituency definition, the Awami League, a large political party, rejected the new constituency reformation. Some other parties also raised objections. Now the question arises as to why the Awami League does not agree with the reformation. Do they find it some kind of gerrymandering? If so, gerrymandering for whose benefit and against whom? Why the EC is silent?

Nuclear power

I am writing with reference to letter by Nokib-e-Kibria (May 10).

International

Myanmar regime accused of hoarding cyclone aid

The United Nations said yesterday that only a tiny portion of international aid needed for Myanmar's cyclone victims is making it into the country, amid reports that the military regime is hoarding good-quality foreign aid for itself and doling out rotten food.

Parties set new conditions to join Maoist-led govt

Efforts to form a new government in Nepal suffered a jolt yesterday with two leading mainstream political parties setting fresh conditions to join a Maoist-led dispensation in the Himalayan nation.

150 rebels killed in Afghanistan

International and Afghan troops forged ahead with an offensive against the Taliban near the Pakistan border yesterday, with a governor insisting 150 rebels had been killed in the past week.

World powers, Asian neighbours offer help

World powers and Asian neighbours rallied around China with sympathy and pledges of help after a massive earthquake that left tens of thousands dead, missing or trapped.

Rescuers hear cry for help in quake rubble

Rescuers scrambling over the twisted metal and concrete of this devastated Chinese city said Tuesday they can still hear voices from the rubble more than 24 hours after it was hit by a quake.

Bush warns Syria, Iran over Lebanon violence

US President George W. Bush Monday warned Iran and Syria that the international community would not allow Lebanon to fall under foreign domination again, as he vowed to shore up the Lebanese army.

Lebanon army ready to use force to halt battle

Lebanon's army, backed by US pledges of support, said it was ready to use force yesterday to restore order after six days of deadly sectarian gunbattles that have shaken the nation to the core.

40pct of Myanmar dead are children

At least 40 percent of those killed in Myanmar's cyclone were children and hundreds more have lost their parents, a leading charity said yesterday, as the UN warned young victims now face further trauma.

Hillary poised for West Virginia primary win

The Democratic presidential race runs on two tracks now, one snaking through the West Virginia primary yesterday and the other mapped out by Barack Obama through battleground states in the fall.

11 killed as violence intensified in Lanka

At least 10 Tamil Tiger rebels died during battles with government troops and a policeman was shot dead in Sri Lanka's restive north, the defence ministry said yesterday.

‘Kidnapped Israeli soldier won't be part of any truce’

The Islamist Hamas movement yesterday said the release of an Israeli soldier captured in 2006 would not be part of a proposed Gaza truce, despite Israeli demands for progress on the issue.

Baghdad truce under pressure as new clashes kill 11

Eleven people were killed in overnight battles between US troops and Shia militia in Baghdad's Sadr City, officials said on Tuesday, pressuring a truce aimed at ending seven weeks of deadly fighting.

Arts & Entertainment

Diving into the world of opportunity

Young entrepreneur Syed Zakir Ahmed Rony stepped into the world of acting when his friend, TV play director Ananta Hira, offered him a role in one of his productions. The play was never aired, but Rony's acting career did take off. He made his debut in a TV serial Mohona, aired on ATN Bangla in 2005. The Daily Star recently caught up with this upcoming actor.

New inspiration for artist Andaleeb

Andaleeb Preema has recently returned from the international art residency programme at Kompeung, Chiang Mai, in Thailand. "This is one of the popular residency programme and so I applied for it," says Andaleeb. "The reason why I like to attend such programmes is that if I stay in Dhaka and work, my feelings and emotions become stereotyped. If I remain in one place for too long I sense a lack of creativity. The diverse cultures and customs and the varied environment inspire me. In the last seven years the art scenario has changed a lot and is not confined to the canvas any more."

Chhayanat celebrates Tagore birth anniversary

To celebrate the 147th birth anniversary of Noble Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, Chhayanat organised a musical soiree "Rabindra Jayanti-1415" at the Shawkat Osman Memorial Auditorium, Central Public Library on May 12.

Adivasi cultural festival at Birishiri

A two-day long cultural festival featuring performances by artistes from local indigenous communities -- Garo, Hajong, Coch, Banai and Hadi -- ended here last Sunday. The festival was held at Birishiri Tribal Cultural Academy in Durgapur upazila, Netrakona district.

Rabindra Jayanti celebration in Sylhet

On the occasion of Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore's 147th birth anniversary, different organisations and institutions arranged programmes in Sylhet recently. These included discussions, music, dance and more.

Rushdie tipped for Booker treble

Author Salman Rushie is the bookmakers' tip to win the Booker of Booker prizes, adding to his existing two awards.

“Dainik Tolpar” on Channel-i tonight

The 9th episode of TV serial Dainik Tolpar will be aired tonight at 9:35 pm on Channel-i. The serial has been written by Anisul Haque and directed by Ashrafi Mithu.

OP-ED

Recruitment at the top

IMAGINE a hypothetical situation: a few thousand candidates are appearing in an examination conducted by the Pubic Service Commission to select a suitable candidate for the post of the chief executive of the country, the prime minister or the president. The successful candidates appear for the viva voce examination and the best candidate is selected for the post of the president or the prime minister, the chief executive. The scenario is ludicrous, not because it is illogical but because it is not seen anywhere in the world.

Low income food insecurity

RESIDENTS of Dhaka city, and others across the country, see daily lines of hundreds of people in fixed price shops in various neighbourhoods. Being lucky enough to still be insulated from food inflation, I ventured into one of the shops to obtain first hand information.

Designing Asia

ALTHOUGH the balance of power in Asia is stable, the balance of influence is shifting in favour of China. Will China's rising influence translate into political domination, forcing Asians to choose between Beijing and Washington and undermining their national autonomy? Can the United States accommodate China's legitimate interests and compete peacefully for influence? What can other Asians do to recapture lagging US attention and ensure a stable, peaceful and prosperous environment?

Villains from East and West battle for dumb criminal title

WESTERNERS reacted with outrage to my claim that Asian dumb criminals were dumber than American dumb criminals. I got a large number of reader emails, both of which insisted that US thieves were stupider. One said they were "the dumbest in the world bar none." I hadn't realised what a matter of pride this was. Ownership of this title is clearly among the most deeply held beliefs of intellectual Americans.

Star City

Punitive measures planned to tame the jaywalkers

Bad news for the jaywalkers. The revised Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1983 will soon have the provisions to penalise pedestrians for crossing busy thoroughfares without using footbridge or underpass.

When lawmen hesitate to punish the law-breakers

As water supply situation is worsening, house owners in many areas of the city are violating Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) regulation that bans use of pumps to draw water from the supply pipe.

Hotel guests have to reply to at least 24 questions

The new rules for residential hotel boarders that will make it mandatory for them to provide personal information in a prescribed form may cause hassles for the boarders, say both lodgers and hoteliers in the city.

Renovation work of box culvert channel finally starts

Fifteen years after the inception of Shegunbagicha box culvert, a 2.88km channel from Shegunbagicha to Kamalapur railway culvert, the Drainage Department of Dhaka Wasa has begun the renovation work of the channel to check water-logging in a vast area.



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