The Daily Star

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Monday, September 1, 2014


News of: Thursday, 15th of May, 2008

Front Page

AL, BNP factions, 11 other parties invited

The caretaker government yesterday invited 13 more political parties including the Awami League (AL) and both the factions of BNP to the electoral reform dialogue, which will begin at the chief adviser's office from May 22.

Law drafted for access to information

The caretaker government has moved to ensure that people get information about functioning of local government bodies as part of efforts to establish accountability and transparency in their activities.

A city in itself set to dot Dhaka horizon

The northern horizon of Dhaka City is going to see a lot of changes as Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) is developing its most ambitious residential project yet in a nine-square-kilometre vast wetland in Uttara.

Ex-state minister Omar, Mockbul's son jailed

A special court yesterday jailed former state minister for law barrister Shahjahan Omar for 13 years for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information in his wealth statement submitted to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

BNP factions reach consensus on unity

Leaders of both factions in BNP in a crucial meeting yesterday reached a consensus and prepared a draft charter for reuniting the party, which will be made public soon, according to meeting sources.

Nizami sees move for depoliticisation

Jamaat-e-Islami Amir Motiur Rahman Nizami yesterday alleged that the caretaker government is not taking proper initiatives for the electoral reform dialogue with political parties and is rather making a fresh move to arrest political leaders.

Towns in China quake zone razed to ground

Some towns near the epicentre of China's huge earthquake have been 'razed to the ground' with no houses left standing, a People's Armed Police official was quoted by state media saying yesterday.

Shipping cops proposed to watch river routes

The Department of Shipping has proposed forming shipping police to intensify patrol on river routes for strengthening enforcement of rules and checking launch disasters.

Upaban driver, stationmaster blamed

The collision between two passenger trains at Ashuganj early yesterday took place due to violation of signal by the Sylhet-bound Upaban Express drivers and negligence on part of Ashuganj stationmaster, a top railway official said.

Move on against people out to hoard rice

Food ministry will send a letter to the Bangladesh Bank (BB) today urging it to ask private commercial banks not to provide loan facilities to individuals who might use it for stockpiling rice.

Jail prepares for more VVIPs

Several rooms at Dhaka Central Jail have been kept ready for accommodating more high profile prisoners, jail sources said last night.

Research in universities slips into sorry state

Although universities are meant to bring forth new ideas and knowledge through comprehensive research, the picture in Bangladesh is quite opposite due to a lack of well-qualified teachers and necessary funds.

SC lawyers to stay away from court today

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) lawyers are scheduled to refrain from attending the Appellate Division proceedings for two hours from 9:00am today, protesting a recent few judgments of the court.

CA to attend grand rally of farmers in Dinajpur today

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed will attend a farmers' grand rally at Cheradangi High School ground, about four kilometres from Dinajpur district headquarters, this morning.

ACC submits charge sheet against Mirza Abbas, wife

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against detained former housing and public works minister Mirza Abbas and his wife Afroza Abbas in a case filed for amassing wealth through illegal means and providing false information about wealth to the commission.

Cabinet okays Upazila Parishad Ordinance

The Council of Advisers yesterday approved in principle the Upazila Parishad Ordinance 2008, creating two posts of vice-chairman in the local government body, one reserved for women.

Khaleda Zia's assignment officer Firoz sued again

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Tuesday night filed two more corruption cases against former premier Khaleda Zia's assignment officer Dr Firoz Mahmud Iqbal and two government officials.

Envoy in Abu Dhabi sued for misuse of power

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday sued Bangladeshi ambassador in Abu Dhabi ATM Nazimullah Chowdhury on charges of causing loss to the state exchequer through misuse of power and deception.

Three more bodies found, toll now 45

The death toll from Monday's launch capsize in Ghorautra river at Nikli upazila rose to 45 yesterday with the recovery of three more bodies by the locals.

Iftekhar slates Jaipur bombing

Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday strongly condemned the bomb explosions in India's Jaipur.

Jail authorities asked to produce Hasina at court on May 21

A Dhaka court yesterday directed the jail authorities to produce detained former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and two other detainees before it on May 21 in connection with the Niko graft case.

Govt urged to reserve 40pc seats for women in local govt

Women leaders yesterday urged the caretaker government to honour its earlier pledge of reserving 40 per cent of seats for women at all tiers of the local government system so that female representatives can be elected through direct elections.

Another cyclone heads toward Myanmar

Another powerful storm headed toward Myanmar's cyclone-devastated delta, where so little aid has reached that the UN warned yesterday of a "second wave of deaths" among an estimated 2 million survivors.

Youth shot dead in city by robbers

Robbers yesterday shot dead a youth in the city's Jigatola.

Hillary wins West Virginia, vows not to quit

Hillary Clinton scored a crushing win over Barack Obama in West Virginia's primary Tuesday, but it did little to dislodge his stranglehold on the Democratic White House race.

Editorial

Politicians' responses to CA's address

THE major political parties appear to be unhappy with the contents of the recent address by the Chief Adviser. There have even been hints from some politicians that they might boycott the planned dialogue beginning May 22. In other words, the underlying tone of the parties' reaction is one of rejection. We understand their concerns, but as we have already noted, there are both positives and negatives in the CA's address and things should move along keeping such considerations in mind.

Coalition experiment in Pakistan in doldrums

THE decision of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) to withdraw their nine ministers from the PPP-led coalition government, barely six weeks old, is a major setback to the process of restoration and consolidation of democracy in the country.

How to solve the rice crisis

THE policy followed by all governments of Bangladesh to maintain a balance between rice producers and consumers need to be critically reviewed at a time when both rice price and stock are in a volatile situation. Although the rice price crisis started at the end of 2006, prices have gone up very rapidly within the last one year.

Target: Iran?

GENERALLY speaking, six decades after the founding of your nation, you shouldn't still be fighting for your right to exist. You should have achieved at least that much. And after the wars of 1948, '67 and '73, and other conflicts -- including two intifadas -- many Israelis would like to think they've honourably battled their way to the right to existence.

Rules? What rules?

IF and when Hillary Clinton quits running for the Democratic presidential nomination, she will do so kicking and screaming. In the meantime, she is busy exposing Barack Obama's weaknesses to the fullest. The West Virginia primary on May 13, which, as expected, Hillary won in a landslide (66% to 27%), is a case in point.

Sports

Will it be 3rd in a row?

While Abahani will try to maintain their hundred per cent success against their traditional rivals this season, Mohammedan Sporting Club will desperately want to be third time lucky to stay alive in the title race when they lock horns in a crucial Premier Cricket Super League match today.

Veterans recalled

Coach Abu Yusuf recalled Arif Khan Joy and Nazrul Islam for next month's SAFF Football Champion-ship in a bid to strengthen Bangladesh's campaign in the regional football extravaganza.

Evra to make amends

Patrice Evra is relishing life in the fast lane with Manchester United and the France defender is determined not to let his side's Champions League bid get shunted off the road.

Lord's Test starts today

England captain Michael Vaughan has already started talking about next year's Ashes while Kevin Pietersen believes the greatest threat facing the team this season will come from South Africa.

Bhajji banned for five ODIs

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) banned off-spinner Harbhajan Singh for five one-day internationals on Wednesday for a slapping incident involving Shanthakumaran Sreesanth during a domestic Twenty20 league match last month.

Summary Of Euro Finals

Brief summaries of previous Euro finals in the lead-up to the Euro 2008 edition which is being co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland and runs from June 7-29:

Euro 2008 Groups

At-a-glance guide to the Euro 2008 groups:

Transfer starts today

The transfer of the B. League begins today but most of the clubs have yet to decide on their future in the second edition of the professional football league.

Rakib shares top slot

Grand Master Abdullah Al Rakib maintained his place on top with two other players in the fifth round of the Mayor Cup International Open Chess tournament in Mumbai yesterday.

Gerrard wants big spending

Steven Gerrard admits Liverpool will only challenge for the Premier League title next season if Rafa Benitez spends big money.

Cannavaro backs Del Piero

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has thrown his considerable weight behind the clamour for the inclusion of veteran striker Alessandro Del Piero in the country's Euro 2008 squad.

Local Snippets

Matuail Cricket Academy celebrated their promotion to next season's Second Division with a resounding 94-run victory over Talent Hunt Cricket Academy in the Third Division final at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Aaron, the future Mark?

Back in 2004, New Zealand saw an opening batsman who started off as a spin bowler before re-igniting his professional career with Otago score 93 and 101 in the first Test at Lord's.

Abahani ride on Shuvo brace

Abahani posted their sixth straight win in the Green Delta Premier Hockey League when the reigning champions thrashed Sonali Bank 4-0 at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Pakistan to host India in January

The dates for Australia, India and Sri Lanka to tour Pakistan next year were announced after a meeting of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday.

Ispahani sponsor for three matches

Ispahani Mirzapore Tea will sponsor three matches of the Premier Cricket Super League.

Linu wins BOA by-election

Record-breaking former table tennis player-turned official Jobera Rahman Linu was elected a member of the Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) yesterday.

Medvedev signs UCL visa waiver

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday signed an order allowing fans to use match tickets as entry visas for next week's Champions League final in Moscow.

Cech committed to Chelsea

Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech dismissed speculation over his future insisting here Wednesday that he was committed to Chelsea.

Sweden name Euro squad

Sweden's provisional squad for the Euro 2008 finlas which are being co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland and run from June 7-29 announced on Tuesday:

Nedved extends with Juventus

Veteran Czech midfielder Pavel Nedved has signed a one-year contract extension with Juventus, the club said on Tuesday.

Messi happy at Barca

Barcelona'a Argentine striker Lionel Messi, who has reportedly sparked interest from English Premiership side Chelsea, said on Tuesday he wants to stay at the Spanish club.

Regional U-16 from today

Sylhet take on Rajshahi (north) in one of two opening day matches of the Under-16 Young Tigers Elite National Divisional competition at the Bir Shrestha Shahid Motiur Rahman Stadium in Khulna from May 15.

Easy win for Safin

Former world number one Marat Safin continued his comeback with a straight-sets win over ninth-seed Tomas Berdych in the second round of the Hamburg Masters Series here on Wednesday.

Akram to groom pace aspirants of Pakistan

Pakistan's former captain and fast bowling great Wasim Akram will hold a specialised training camp for aspiring pacers across the country.

Business

Japan's NTT DoCoMo bids for AKTEL stake

NTT DoCoMo, Japan's leading mobile phone company, has submitted a bid to buy the 30 percent of AKTEL owned by A K Khan and Company, a stake previously valued at over $300million.

Management to be transferred to private banks

Management of the Equity and Entrepreneurship Fund (EEF) will be handed over to private banks and other financial institutions from the Bangladesh Bank (BB) to give the private sector easy access to equity, sources said.

Home textile maker to double production

Ritz Textiles Limited, a local home textile producer, will invest Tk 7 crore this year to double its production as the company is getting increased export orders, an evidence of the country's booming home textile sector.

China export regime 'considerably more restrictive': WTO

China has made its export regime "considerably more restrictive" due in part to efforts to reduce its large trade surplus, said the World Trade Organisation in a review of the country's trade policies.

Shipbreakers to shipmakers

The bright red paint was splashing all over the clothes of Ismail Hossain, but nothing could cover the radiant smile of the youngman as he brushed on the colour to the deck of the 'Stella Maris'--the ship that heralds the return of Bangladesh to the global shipbuilding industry.

Please leave a tip!

When it comes to breakfast in Dhaka, I enjoy the 'Eggs Benedict' at the Westin as much as the 'Parata Ghila Kolija' from a nameless street side restaurant. Although I usually leave a tip at the Westin, knowing very well that the price tag of Tk500 includes a 10 percent service charge, I don't feel compelled to tip for the Tk40 breakfast where no service charges or even VAT is imposed on the food. Maybe this is because the server makes me feel like he is doing me a favour or the fact that no one else tips and the servers do not expect it. Why have we not developed a culture where service and the people who provide it are appreciated?

Citycell continues to face loss

Citycell, the country's oldest mobile phone operator, continued to lose money in the full year ending March 31, as it battled stiff competition and paid the price of its involvement in the illegal call termination scandal, according to its largest shareholder Singapore Telecommunications.

Cut in import duty on ship scrap, rod making chemicals

The government yesterday decided to reduce the import duty on ship scrap, melting scrap and rod manufacturing chemicals to create a competitive domestic rod market.

Desa-Citibank MoU on online bill payment

Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (Desa) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Citibank. NA, Bangladesh, which will enable Desa clients to check and pay their monthly electricity bill online.

Grameenphone launches trial service in Rangamati

Grameenphone (GP), the country's leading cell phone operator, launched its network service on trial basis in Rangamati from 5 in the afternoon yesterday.

Asian stocks close mostly up

Asian stocks closed mostly up Wednesday as investors set aside jitters about the US economy, with the Chinese market rallying despite shock at the devastation caused by the Sichuan earthquake.

Sony’s annual profits triple

Japan's Sony Corp. said Wednesday its annual net profit almost tripled to hit a record high as brisk sales of digital cameras and laptop computers offset continued losses from the PlayStation 3.

BAIRA gets new president, secy general

Gulam Mustafa and Kazi Mohammed Mofizur Rahman have been elected as the president and secretary general, respectively, of BAIRA (Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies) for two-year term, from 2008 to 2010.

Youth Brand Fair from June 26

In a bid to raise awareness of brands among the youth and popularise the brands of different companies, a three-day 'Youth Brand Fair-2008' will begin in Dhaka on June 26.

New DMD of Standard Bank

Md Nazmus Salehin joined Standard Bank Limited as deputy managing director, says a press release.

Asian economies holding up: Merrill Lynch

Asia's strong economic growth will persist despite an ailing US economy as the region diversifies its export markets and a new breed of young and wealthy citizens drive consumption, investment bank Merrill Lynch said Wednesday.

Central bankers urge more action to cut risks in forex trade

Central bankers on Tuesday urged that more action be taken to reduce risks when settling foreign exchange transactions, according to a report published by the Bank for International Settlements.

India mulls steel makers' plea to remove export duty

Indian government is “seriously considering” doing away with export duty after steel makers lowered prices to help contain inflation.

Tin price hammers record high above $25,000

The price of tin hit a historic high on Tuesday above 25,000 dollars per tonne as the base metal was supported by dwindling global supplies and production problems, traders said.

S Korean market finally to get a taste of BlackBerry

South Korea has opened its restricted telecommunications market slightly to allow the BlackBerry to go on sale but only to corporations and not individuals, officials said Wednesday.

Metropolitan

Political parties urged to exercise pure democracy

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called on major political parties to exercise pure democracy within the parties.

Street dwellers lack access to healthcare services

Street dwellers in the city are extremely vulnerable in terms of their health needs, hygiene and utilisation of healthcare services and this marginalised group is neglected by public and private sectors, a study conducted by Institute of Cholera and Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) revealed yesterday.

Special drive on to nab illegal arms holders: DMP

A special drive is underway to nab illegal arms holders following some shooting incidents in the capital in the last several days.

Nutrition situation deteriorates with outbreak of diarrhoea

Nutrition situation is deteriorating in the country with the outbreak of diarrhoea when 12 to 15 percent of children are already suffering from malnutrition due to poverty, food insecurity, low birth weight, lack of awareness and hygiene practice.

DU employees protest teacher's misbehaviour

Employees and officials of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday staged a demonstration inside the registrar building for five hours demanding punishment to a university teacher for misbehaving with a group of employees.

Dhaka now important player in many int'l issues

Outgoing British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury yesterday said Bangladesh has become an important international player in many international issues like climate change and poverty alleviation.

SMC launches micronutrient programme

Social Marketing Company (SMC) launched its micronutrient programme in the city yesterday through introduction of 'MoniMix' -- a micronutrient powder which can be easily mixed at home to fortify foods to address childhood Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA), says a press release.

Hindus lost 26 lakh acres of land from 1965 to 2006

Members of the Hindu community have lost 26 lakh acres of land from 1965 to 2006, while an estimated one crore Hindus were forced to leave the country from 1964 to 2001 because of communal conflicts and deprivation caused by the Enemy (Vested) Property Act, according to a study.

Nine Ctg BCL activists held over clash

Police arrested nine activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Chittagong Commerce College unit yesterday following a factional clash over admission in vacant seats.

Low over east central Bay likely to intensify

The well-marked low formed over the east central Bay and adjoining area is likely to intensify further as it persisted there at 6:00pm yesterday.

Probe body formed

Dhaka University (DU) authorities on Tuesday night formed a probe committee to investigate the incident of sexual harassment of a female student of Psychology Department by a teacher of the same department.

Int'l Museum Day Sunday

The International Museum Day will be observed in the country on May 18 (Sunday) as elsewhere across the globe.

President, CA express shock at loss of lives and property

President Iajuddin Ahmed and Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday expressed deep shock at the loss of lives and property in a devastating earthquake in China.

Build attitude to hate corruption to establish HR

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Chairman Prof Muzaffer Ahmad yesterday called on all to build an attitude to hate corruption for establishing human rights in the country.

Some speakers draw ire for using vulgar language

Some speakers at a roundtable yesterday drew ire from the audience for using vulgar language to express their views about equality between men and women.

Two killed in road accidents

Two people were killed and 25 others injured in separate road accidents in Rajshahi and Lalmonirhat yesterday

Fake electronic items worth Tk 50 lakh seized

Rapid Acton Battalion (Rab) yesterday seized fake electronic items worth over Tk 50 lakh from a storehouse at Nawabpur in the city and arrested the owner of the fake company.

18th anniversary of Fatickchhari, Ctg Post held

The 18th founding anniversary of monthly Fatikchhari and Weekly Chittagong Post, and a reception to distinguished personalities were held at the Chittagong Club auditorium in Chittagong recently, says a press release.

Reshuffle in police admin

The government yesterday gave new postings to 11 top police officials in a reshuffle in the police administration, sources in the police headquarters said.

Urs held

The 49th holy Urs Mubarak of Hazrat Shah Sufi Syed Mazharul Haque Lakitullah Sani, popularly known as Fazle Haque Hazrat Shaheb (R), was held at Azimpur Dayera Shariff in the city on Tuesday, says a press release.

EWU summer freshers' reception held

East West University (EWU) accorded a reception to the freshers admitted in summer 2008 at the university premises yesterday, says a press release.

Man dies in rooftop fall in city

A Bangladeshi-born US citizen succumbed to his injuries early yesterday after he fell down from the rooftop of his three-storey building at Mohammadpur in the city on Tuesday night.

National

Frustration grips Satkhira BNP

Frustration has gripped the BNP rank and file in Satkhira as there is none to lead them while indoor politics has been allowed.

All private clinics in Rajshahi city stop admitting patients

Around 60 private clinics and diagnostic centre owners in Rajshahi city went on an indefinite work-stoppage yesterday afternoon for what they said 'unjustified fining' by the government.

Tariqul taken to Jessore court

BNP vice chairman and former minister Tariqul Islam was produced before a special court in Jessore yesterday in connection with charge framing of a corruption case.

Tayebur's 2 cases sent to other courts as judge 'embarrassed'

Two extortion cases against detained Khulna mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman have been transferred to two other courts as Additional District and Sessions Judge (3rd court) Mohammad Barekuzzaman felt 'embarrassed' to try them.

Freedom fighter protests his name in Jamaat's so-called FF body

Freedom Fighter Sheikh Zahur Ali of Sanka village in Kaliganj upazila in a statement yesterday protested inclusion of his name in the Satkhira district committee of so-called Jatiya Muktijoddha Parishad formed by Jamaat-e-Islami.

BNP memos for CA in 2 dists for Khaleda's release

BNP leaders and workers of Rajshahi and Panchagarh districts yesterday submitted memorandums (memos) to the chief adviser (CA) of caretaker government demanding fulfillment of their 11 points including release of party chief Khaleda Zia.

Child injured in bomb explosion

A child was injured in a bomb explosion at Kanchon Nagar in Jhenidah town yesterday.

Chevron begins seismic survey in Komolganj

US oil company Chevron yesterday began its 3D seismic survey in Baligram and Bagmara villages in Komolganj upazila in the district. The area is about five kilometers from Lawachhara reserve forest.

Fake ACC official held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested a fake officer of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) from Natia Malipara Land Office in Tarash upazila of Sirajganj district, when he was realizing toll from a revenue collector of the office.

Letters

Rickshaw debate

The newspapers are full of feedback from the readers on the cycle rickshaw nuisance in Dhaka city (apart from the talk shows of the experts on the electronic media). I have been living in Dhaka since my schooldays (several decades ago), and have grown along with the city's problems and developments. I remember when there were no cycle rickshaws, and the hackney carriages charged one rupee for every three hours (when the pound sterling was Rs 12 only; beef was four annas per seer, and messing charge was less than Rs 20/pm.

Floods in Sirajganj

Sirajganj is one of the natural disaster prone areas in Bangladesh which is affected by flood every year. The greater parts of this district are dominated by alluvial plains with numerous stream channels. The main rivers are the Jamuna and the Karatoa. During the monsoon heavy rainfall occurs in the upstream area. Rainfall run- off from this vast area coupled with snowmelt brings a huge inflow of water with higher percentage of sediment. During the receding monsoon period, between September to October, heavy siltation takes place in the beds of the Jamuna and its tributaries. In this region the main cause of siltation is the Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge. The pillars of the bridge act as a barrier against the main flow of the river and create silt in the upstream near Sirajganj. And the flood flow capacity of Jamuna decreases. Now flood causes every year.

Nuclear power plant

In Bangladesh, due to shortage of electricity, the economic units of the country are experiencing a setback. The cost of production and marketing has increased many-fold. The small industrial units are the worst sufferers. If this situation persists for some more time, there would be a serious adverse affect on Bangladesh's economy.

Consumption of potatoes

There has been a bumper production of potatoes this season in Bangladesh, which is no doubt good news at a time when we are passing through a period of acute food crisis. The army chief has been rightly urging the people to consume more potatoes in the interest of farmers as well as the nation.

Violent protests

The so-called students are causing so much damage again! What has the government or anybody else got to do with the death of a student? Police have already arrested the driver and they know which company the bus belongs to. Surely it's in the hands of the law. What right do these students have to damage other vehicles and cause roadblocks? The government should not tolerate this kind of behaviour, especially when the country is under emergency rule.

Mother's Day

Please convey my felicitations and best wishes to all the mothers who bore us for several months. My best wishes to the fathers who had taken care of the mothers whilst we were nothing but a 'thing'. I repent and ask forgiveness to all the mothers and fathers as they are the only individuals who would ever love us unconditionally. I myself have not seen my mother for years and have no shame in accepting that owing to my mistakes, arrogance and disobedience my parents suffered.

Indispensable rickshaw

In addition to his 10th letter which appeared on page 13 of your daily on April 3, 2008 on the subject noted above, I have read all his other nine letters well-written by Mr Sikander Ahmed of Niketon Housing, Gulshan-Tejgaon, Dhaka, and published in DS on the same/similar subject. I fully subscribe to his contentions.

Good governance?

On 15 April 2008, I was in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) waiting for my return flight to Dhaka- MH 196.1 was standing in line to check in where the people in front of me were Bangladesh government officials which I got to learn from their conversation after standing beside them for about 30 minutes. They came to Malaysia for a weeklong trip to know about different measures of good governance. The person in front of me who was also a government official was halted in the security check due to his cabin baggage. The security personnel asked him politely to open his bag. I could see bed sheet, cups and an electronic kettle and other things with HILTON KUALA LAMPUR written on them. When the security personnel pointed out that it was prohibited to carry an electronic item on board and, secondly, the things the passenger was carrying belonged to a hotel in Malaysia, our government official had a reason which was valid to him, that he paid USD 150 per night and he could take away all the things in the hotel room. This scuffle went for about 20- 25 minutes, until he finally surrendered reluctantly the items collected from the hotel. I was thinking while boarding the plane that a responsible government official should have the common sense to understand that you cannot walk away with towels, bed sheets, etc from your hotel room. The Bangladesh government can always verify this matter with the Malaysian customs authorities as I am sure they keep record of all such events.

International

Myanmar tightens access to cyclone disaster zone

Myanmar's ruling junta has tightened access to the cyclone disaster zone in the country's south, frustrating aid groups trying to bring help to survivors, reporters and aid agencies said yesterday.

Historic city Jaipur reeling from deadly blasts

The historic Indian city of Jaipur usually draws millions of domestic and foreign tourists but is reeling after serial blasts tore through crowded markets, killing at least 63 people.

Arab League in bid to resolve Lebanon crisis

An Arab League delegation was meeting with rival leaders in Beirut yesterday in a bid to mediate a settlement to deadly sectarian gunbattles that have driven Lebanon close to civil war.

RoK likely to submit nuke declaration within few days

North Korea is expected to submit a long-awaited declaration on its nuclear programme within a few days and six-party disarmament talks may resume early next month, South Korea's foreign ministry said yesterday.

Lankan troops kill 11 Tigers

Air force jets pounded a Tamil Tiger rebel training base deep in the jungles of northern Sri Lanka early yesterday and troops killed 11 guerrillas in other fighting, the military said.

Four killed in Israeli raids on Gaza

Four Palestinians were killed yesterday in Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip, medics said, as US President George W Bush landed in Israel on the first leg of a Middle East tour.

Iran arrests 15 over mosque bomb blast

Iran has arrested a total of 15 people over a deadly mosque bombing in April in the southern city of Shiraz, the intelligence minister said yesterday.

Militants behead 'US spy' in Pak tribal area

Pro-Taliban militants beheaded a soldier in a Pakistani tribal area after accusing him of spying for US forces across the border in Afghanistan, an official said yesterday.

China quake survivors huddle in tent cities

Zhang Chengqiang, 50, prepares a meagre lunch for his family over a flame fuelled by bottled gas. His youngest, aged four, sleeps on a cot nearby, under a small bit of plastic sheeting.

Pro-Mugabe lobby urges state of emergency

A pro-government rights outfit has urged Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to consider declaring a state of emergency to stem a tide of post-election political violence, state media said yesterday.

Malaysia's court quashes Indian activists' freedom bid

Malaysia's highest court yesterday refused to release five ethnic Indian activists being held indefinitely under a tough security law for mounting an anti-discrimination rally.

Russia urges security guarantees for Iran

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called yesterday on the top UN powers to give Iran security guarantees to help resolve the crisis over Tehran's nuclear programme, Russian news agencies reported.

Arts & Entertainment

Ode to motherland

Bengal Foundation launched the album Mukto Koro Bhoy at Bengal Shilpalaya, Dhanmondi on May 13. The album is a compilation of 12 patriotic Rabindra Sangeet rendered by Iffat Ara Dewan, Fahim Hossain Chowdhury, Sajed Akbar, Mita Haque, Bulbul Islam, Mohiuzzaman Chowdhury, Laisa Ahmed Lisa and Aditi Mohsin. This was Bengal's way of celebrating Rabindranath's 147th birth anniversary. The programme also included live performances by the artistes.

Egg tempera with a flare

Shahid Kabir, who is here for a while from Spain, conducted a workshop with over 300 students at the Institute of Fine Arts DU, recently. The paintings, the result of the workshop are now being displayed at Zainul Gallery-2.

Poetry recitation at Russian Centre of Science and Culture

The 147th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore and the 185th birth anniversary of Russian playwright Alexander Ostrovsky were celebrated by the literary society Jionkathi with a recitation programme at the Exhibition Hall of Russian Centre of Science and Culture on May 13. The programme featured recitation of both Tagore and Ostrovsky's writings.

"Akhtari Banu": Plight of a Geneva Camp dweller

Noted actor-director-playwright Mamunur Rashid's latest digital film Akhtari Banu will be premiered today at the Liberation War Museum. The film addresses the "identity crisis" of the people living at the Geneva Camp in Mohammadpur. Rashid is the screenplay writer and director of the 45-minute-long film.

Generating awareness through plays at primary schools

Primary Education Department, Pabna has taken an initiative to stage plays at primary school premises to generate awareness among the students. The play Shopno Puron was staged at four primary schools in Faridpur upazila and Ishwardi upazila last Monday.

Bauls honoured in Sylhet

At their second anniversary celebration, Baul Kalyan Samity, Sylhet honoured four renowned bauls of Sylhet. artistes are, Kafil Uddin Sarker, Sabul Miah, Waris Ali and Ataur Rahman.

"Madhur Jhamela" on ATN Bangla

A single episode TV play Madhur Jhamela will be aired on ATN Bangla today at 11:15 am. Cast of the one hour play includes Masud Ali Khan, Dilara Zaman, Mir Sabbir, Tisha, Zillur Rahman, Mina and child artiste Pidim.

OP-ED

The rise of the rest: The good news

THE threats we face are real. Islamic jihadists are a nasty bunch -- they do want to attack civilians everywhere. But it is increasingly clear that militants and suicide bombers make up a tiny portion of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims. They can do real damage, especially if they get their hands on nuclear weapons. But the combined efforts of the world's governments have effectively put them on the run and continue to track them and their money.

University sector reform

WITH the announcement by the government of introduction of open advertisement for the appointment of vice-chancellors of public universities (The Daily Star, March 21), the long-awaited reform of the university sector seems to be back on the agenda.

Save the forests, save the world

AT last, the Conference of Parties (COP 13) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) in Bali, Indonesia, has agreed upon the future of the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation in Developing countries (REDD) as a carbon reduction tool in the post-Kyoto protocol regime that will come into action after 2012.

The worst song lyrics ever will have you reaching for a ladder

SCHOOLS all over Asia have started teaching English poetry using pop song lyrics. This plan is excellent in every way, except for one small drawback: the average pop lyricist has as much poetry in his soul as a bag of ready-mixed concrete with accountancy qualifications.

Star Chittagong

CCC move for a clean city fails

Plan to keep the port city clean in the daytime is yet to see the success as the garbage continues to pile up in the roadside dumping spots throughout the day.

Water crisis aggravates in port city

Mainul Haq, a senior executive of a shipping company, requires water supply at least thrice a day to carry his daily household work and other needs of a four-member family at his Agrabad CDA Colony residence.

The Week That Was

German co to develop commuter train service
German Mobility Company has shown keen interest in introducing commuter train service in Chittagong with a view to helping thousands of people commuting the city from outskirts everyday.


The Daily Star

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