The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, July 28, 2014


News of: Monday, 19th of May, 2008

Front Page

Bhuiyan, Shamsul sent to prison; Nizami held; Anwar absconding

Police last night arrested Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami at his Moghbazar residence hours after BNP leaders Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and M Shamsul Islam were sent to jail on surrender to a Dhaka court.

Drama at Nizami’s house

Jamaat Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami was finally arrested last night on graft charges.
As police went to make the arrest, several hundred Jamaat leaders and workers gathered around his Maghbazar residence and staged fierce demonstrations amid heavy downpour.

Hasina indicted, trial starts May 21

A special court yesterday framed charges indicting detained former premier Sheikh Hasina and seven others in the Tk 3 crore graft case in connection with setting up 100MW barge-mounted power plant in Khulna.

Stranded Biharis now Bangladesh citizens

The High Court (HC) yesterday ruled that about three lakh Biharis living in different parts of the country are citizens of Bangladesh.

Desa clerk owns Tk 40cr property

A clerk of Dhaka Electricity Supply Authority (Desa) allegedly owns property worth around a staggering Tk 40 crore including a six-storey building, a flat, over 50 bighas of land, savings certificates and businesses.

Talks will not be fruitful without AL, BNP participation

The much-talked-about dialogue between the government and political parties would not be fruitful without participation of the two major political parties--Awami League (AL) and BNP, an adviser of the caretaker government said yesterday.

2 lakh transparent ballot boxes to arrive from Canada by Sept

The Election Commission (EC) will receive around two lakh transparent ballot boxes from Canadian government free of cost by the end of September for the upcoming parliamentary election.

Anti-terror ordinance okayed

The Council of Advisers yesterday approved the Anti-Terrorism Ordinance 2008 with a tough legal provision for death sentence as the maximum penalty or life imprisonment of an offender along with his patron and shelter-giver.

Unite under Khaleda's leadership

Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, former secretary general of BNP, yesterday urged the party workers to strengthen the party by uniting under the leadership of Khaleda Zia, forgetting all the past confusion and disputes.

Manju gets 7yrs for taking bribe

A special court dealing with graft cases yesterday sentenced Jatiya Party (Manju) Chairman Anwar Hossain Manju to seven years' imprisonment in a bribery case filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

Arrest of JU students sparks violence

Students of Jahangirnagar University went on the rampage Saturday night following the arrests of three university students on 'mugging' charges.

Scrap review body, its recommendations

Samajik Protirodh Committee, an alliance of 46 women, human rights and social organisations yesterday demanded that the caretaker government immediately cancel the 'so-called review committee” formed for the National Women Development Policy (NWDP) 2008 and reject all its recommendations.

Khaleda files petition for quashing Niko graft case

Detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia yesterday filed a petition with the High Court (HC) for quashing the proceedings against her in the Niko graft case filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

Commonwealth award for 'A Golden Age'

Tahmima Anam's A Golden Age won the Overall Best First Book Award 2008 at the Franschhoek Literary Festival in Cape Town, South Africa yesterday, says a press release of the Commonwealth Foundation.

Search for China quake survivors bleak

The search for survivors in the rubble of China's powerful earthquake grew bleak Sunday, with rescuers in some areas no longer listening for trapped victims.

3 criminals still at large

The law enforcing agencies are yet to trace down and capture the three outlaws who escaped from Chuadanga District Jail on Thursday night.

Prince Aga Khan due today

Prince Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, arrives Dhaka today on a four-day state visit.

Buddha Purnima today

Buddha Purnima, the biggest religious festival of the Buddhist community, will be celebrated across the country today with due religious fervour.

61pc indigenous people face discrimination

A survey on 332 indigenous people shows about 61 per cent of them are discriminated against in different ways while 76 per cent fall victim to violence and threats.

Charges framed against Tariqul, family

A Jessore court yesterday framed charges against former BNP minister Tariqul Islam and four of his family members in a case filed for hiding information about wealth to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Bush addresses Arab world on political reform

President Bush lectured the Arab world yesterday about everything from political repression to the denial of women's rights but ran into Palestinian complaints he is favoring Israel in stalled Mideast peace talks. "Freedom and peace are within your grasp," Bush said despite scant signs of progress.

Bush, Gilani agree to fight 'terrorism'

US President George W. Bush and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday pledged at their first meeting to combat "terrorism", but gave no public indication of a future joint policy.

NOTICE

In view of sudden surge in current news items, we have postponed our announced series 'The Import Scandal' by a day. The four part series will now start to appear from tomorrow.

Editorial

Terrorism in Jaipur

KNEE-JERK reactions to incidents are almost always counter-productive. And yet a knee-jerk reaction to the recent blasts in Jaipur has come from the authorities in Rajasthan. The off-handed way in which the police administration in the Indian state has pointed the finger at extremist elements in Bangladesh raises a good number of questions about the manner in which such a conclusion has been drawn. A senior police officer has told the media that the way the bombs were manufactured and concealed in bags is similar to the way Huji operate. Now, that is as queer a conclusion as any. Are we now to suppose that terrorists can be identified through the bags they use? And is it fair, even before thorough investigations have been undertaken, to draw inferences the objective of which is clearly targeting a country, in this case Bangladesh?

News like this gives a leap of the mind

JUST take a pause and think of the impregnable stature our garment sector has reached in recent times defying daunting odds. Pitted against the storms of post-MFA challenge, internal political turbulence, closure of factories, labour unrest over minimum wages and poor working conditions, the sector has evolved into a reputable state worthy of attention in newer areas of the world. The credit goes to 2.5 million skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers in woven, knit wear and textile sectors, of whom remarkably 80 percent are women.

The IPI gas pipeline: No more a pipedream

EVEN though much more remains to be done, Pakistan and India seem to have made a major breakthrough on the issue of the much-hyped gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan and India late last month. Given the history of the project, tied as it is to the mercurial bilateral relations between Islamabad and New Delhi, as well as domestic politics in both the countries, optimism without reservation would, however, be unwarranted. This approximately 2775 km pipeline project has already bumped into uncertainty, with India somewhat sidelining it since the US nuclear deal was under consideration in the Lok Sabha. Several other factors also stood in the way of materialisation of the IPI although the idea was broached originally as far back as in 1993, when it was expected to cost $3.3 billion. With the prospect of the US nuclear deal having been shelved for now, India has renewed its interest in the project, although its cost has now escalated to $7.6 billion.

The dance of ghosts

OLD rules get old because they have legs to walk through generations. Time, then, to recall one of the oldest: When you are dead, lie down. So many politicians simply don't get this, whether they are provincial wannabes like the erstwhile Congress satrap from Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Das, or the woman who wanted the White House, Hillary Clinton.

Lending and deposit rates spread

ON May 6, bdnews24.com quoted Bangladesh Bank's (BB) Deputy Governor Nazrul Huda as saying that BB would hold back issuing licenses to private commercial banks (PCB) for opening new branches if they didn't slash interest rate spread (IRS) between deposit and lending. He also warned about taking measures against PCBs with regard to opening of foreign exchange branches and other issues.

Sports

Abahani alive

Nazmul Hossain kept Abahani in the Premier League title race with a telling four-wicket burst that spelled doom on Bangladesh Biman in the vital Super League tie at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

BFF defuses boycott

The so-called 'gentlemen's agreement' among the eight Dhaka clubs to shackle the top footballers for the B. League transfers resulted in a national camp boycott yesterday morning.

Mohammedan drop stars, win easy

Mohammedan Sporting Club dropped six players including captain Mohammad Ashraful, Aftab Ahmed and Zunaed Siddiqui but went on to beat City Club by seven wickets at the BKSP in Savar yesterday.

Local Snippets

East End Juniors blanked Adamjee KC 3-0 in the Pioneer League at the Jagannath University ground in Dhupkhola yesterday.

No room for Trezeguet

Juventus striker David Trezeguet missed the cut for the preliminary 30-man France squad for Euro 2008, unveiled Sunday by coach Raymond Domenech.

'I have nothing to prove'

Cristiano Ronaldo insists he has nothing to prove to the critics who claim the Manchester United winger will never be a truly great player until he shines in the biggest matches.

Lyon's magnificent seven

Lyon wrapped up their seventh straight French championship on Saturday with a 3-1 win at Auxerre while Paris St Germain saved their top flight status by winning 2-1 at Sochaux to relegate Lens.

Bayern set new record

Luca Toni scored a hat-trick to secure his place as the Bundesliga's top-scorer as Bayern Munich broke the 20-year record for the least goals conceded in a league season after Saturday's 4-1 win over Hertha Berlin.

Torch relay halted for earthquake mourning

The Beijing Olympic torch relay will be halted for three days as part of a national mourning period following a devastating earthquake, Games organisers said Sunday.

New Zealand claw back

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori took two wickets in as many balls as England struggled to 239 for six at tea on the fourth day of the first Test at Lord's here on Sunday.

Arambagh first at it again

Like the inaugural edition of the professional football league last year, Arambagh also came alive first in the transfer of the 2nd B. League yesterday.

Usha atop alone

First-half goals by Zahidul Islam Rajan and Tariq Aziz gave Usha Krira Chakra solo lead in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Hockey League table for the first time after the defending joint champion's 2-0 defeat of Mariner Youngs Club yesterday.

Zia shares 2nd place

Reefat Bin Sattar and Abdullah Al Rakib lost in the tenth round of the Mayors Cup 1st International Open Chess tournament yesterday in Mumbai but their fellow Bangladeshi grandmaster Ziaur Rahman drew with Uzbekistan GM Anton Filipov.

Trouble thy name is Shoaib

Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday threatened to take "all actions including legal" against Pakistan's daily Nation for its report that fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was questioned at the Karachi airport for allegedly carrying a large number of syringes.

Azlan Shah Cup Argentina's

Mario Almada struck a golden goal as a spirited India suffered a narrow 1-2 defeat to Argentina in the final of the Azlan Shah hockey tournament on Sunday.

Zlatan leads Inter to glory

Inter Milan won their third straight Italian Serie A title with a 2-0 victory at Parma on Sunday.

Nadal dethrones Federer

Rafael Nadal beat world number one Roger Federer 7-5, 6-7 (3/7), 6-3 to claim his first Hamburg Masters Series title here on Sunday.

Jose hopes to return in one month

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said Sunday that he hoped to return to coaching within four weeks.

Jankovic ends Cornet run

Serbian defending champion Jelena Jankovic ended the giant-killing run of French qualifier Alize Cornet on Sunday at the WTA Rome International, trouncing the 18-year-old 6-2, 6-2.

Giresse quits Gabon

Frenchman Alain Giresse has quit as coach of Gabon over security fears in the wake of his side's 2-0 loss to Cameroon.

Business

New milestone in mobile phone use

Bangladesh passed a new milestone in mobile phone use in April with the number of subscribers exceeding 40million, and with no sign of any slowdown in the phenomenal growth of the industry.

Bangladesh economy can grow 7pc or more: ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) country director in Dhaka has said Bangladesh has the potential to achieve 7 percent or more economic growth a year, despite challenges of political uncertainty, weak infrastructure and vulnerability to natural disaster.

First-ever holiday home estate to be built

Jamuna Resort is to develop the country's first-ever holiday home estate aiming to start construction on a site near the Jamuna River this August.

Malaysia offers to swap palm oil for rice

Malaysia is prepared to offer palm oil in exchange for rice to any rice-exporting country in a bid to stabilise domestic supply.

Soaring food prices forcing millions of Filipinos into poverty

Soaring food prices are forcing millions of Filipinos into poverty, the Asian Development Bank said in a study released here Sunday.

Initiative to help overseas job seekers from monga-hit areas

Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Bureau of Manpower Export and Training (BMET) yesterday singed a Memorandum of Undersatnding (MoU) to help the unskilled and semi skilled workers from the monga-affected (near famine situation) areas.

FBCCI urges Turkish to invest in Bangladesh

FBCCI President Annisul Huq yesterday urged a visiting Turkish delegation to convey the message for their potential investors to invest in Bangladesh, where the investment policy is very transparent and favorable.

ICB Islamic Bank signs deal to offer advanced banking system

ICB Islamic Bank Limited, formerly Oriental Bank, yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia-based Silverlake Corporation (Silverlake) for the technologically advanced Islamic Core Banking System.

African bloc says rising oil price a challenge to growth

West African regional bloc ECOWAS said Saturday rising world's oil prices is a major challenge to economic growth in the sub-region.

Shahjalal Bank offers new products

Shahjalal Islami Bank yesterday launched 11 new products for its customers.

Era of cheap Chinese goods threatened

Migrant workers, for years the backbone of China's export miracle, are discovering their economic muscle, threatening an end to the flood of cheap goods heading west, the author of a new book said.

Cell phones contributing to development

There is an established saying-an increase of 10 mobile phones per 100 people boosts GDP growth by 0.6%. In the recent years Bangladesh mobile sector witnessed a phenomenal growth with a staggering BDT 24,000 crore flowing into this sector, subscriber base increased from mere 4 million in 2004 to 40 million in April 2008. Mobile sector now contributes 1.46% of GDP and this sector contributed BDT 5,639 crore to the government in 2007 in terms of direct and indirect tax, VAT, revenue sharing with Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board. The contribution in 1997 stood at only BDT 62 crore.

Canadian Auto Workers ratify new contract with GM, Chrysler

Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) overwhelmingly approved new labor agreements with General Motors and Chrysler, rounding out the year's contracts with North America's Big Three auto producers, the union said Saturday.

Kenya banks on full tourism recovery

Kenya's critical tourism sector, hit by the post-election violence that wreaked havoc across the country, could be back to pre-poll levels within a year, officials said.

Asian currencies mixed against dollar

Asian currencies ended the week mixed against the dollar with the yen slipping on speculation that a round of US interest rate cuts may have come to an end.

French minister sceptical about single eurozone

French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde voiced scepticism Friday over calls for a single eurozone seat to be established at the International Monetary Fund.

EU, Latin America leaders struggle with trade talks

EU and Latin American leaders held talks Saturday on free trade deals that had become bogged down over differences between some South American countries.

Goldman Sachs axed from SKorea shipyard sale

US investment bank Goldman Sachs has been axed as coordinator for the sale of South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, the world's third largest shipyard, a creditor bank said Sunday.

EBRD focuses on global economic woes at Kiev meeting

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development kicked off its annual meeting here on Sunday to discuss the impact of global economic turmoil and soaring food prices in the former Soviet bloc.

India to import 1.5m tonnes pulses next fiscal

The Indian government has decided to import 1.5 million tonnes of pulses in 2008-09 fiscal through public sector trading agencies, a move aimed at increasing the domestic availability and curb rising prices of the commodity.

Metropolitan

Raise teachers' salary to attract meritorious persons

Teachers' salary at primary level, especially in non-government primary schools, will have to be raised to ensure quality education by attracting meritorious persons to this profession, said the educationists at a view-exchange meeting yesterday.

Experts against privatisation of community, union clinics

A group of health experts yesterday opposed the government's decision to lease around 516 community and union clinics to different private healthcare organisations, service delivery contractors and non-government organisations.

Workers Party threatens movement

Workers' Party of Bangladesh (WPB) yesterday threatened to forge movement along with other like-minded parties to force the government to implement their 11-point charter of demands including lifting of the state of emergency immediately for making the upcoming parliamentary election free, fair and credible.

'14 lakh children engaged in hazardous jobs'

The draft National Child Labour Policy, which was circulated for opinions from the stakeholders, will soon be placed before the Council of Advisers for approval, said Labour and Employment Adviser Anwarul Iqbal yesterday.

10 killed in road accidents

Ten people were killed and 35 others were injured in separate road accidents across the country yesterday.

Mass awareness a must to curb corruption: Prof Muzaffer

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Chairman Prof Muzaffer Ahmad yesterday said corruption prevails everywhere in the society which is not possible to be uprooted overnight.

'Liberation war, mass upheaval should be base of nat'l charter'

Leaders of Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) at a meeting yesterday said national unity created during the liberation war and mass upheaval in '90 should be the base of the national charter proposed by the chief adviser (CA) in his address to the nation, says a press release.

5000 phones inoperative for cable theft

Five thousand telephones of Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) went out of order since yesterday morning as the underground cable was stolen, says a BTTB release.

HC stays injunction on function of SCBA secretary

The High Court yesterday stayed for three days operation of an ad-interim injunction by the lower court directing newly elected Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Secretary Advocate Nurul Islam Sujan not to continue his function.

UN food aid for 1.20 lakh CHT people

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has started distributing food assistance to meet the immediate food needs of over 120,000 people affected by rodent attack in Rangamati and Bandarban districts.

Bangladesh cultural show enthralls Washington DC audiences

As part of cultural tourism, Washington DC's new annual celebration of international culture showcasing, Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC held Embassy Open House on Saturday.

Turkey to help build shelters for Sidr victims

Turkey will provide assistance in building 1,000 cyclone shelters and schools at Golachipa in Patuakhali.

Youth found dead in Wasa pond

Police recovered the floating body of an unknown youth from a Wasa pond at Shyampur in the city yesterday.

13 criminals held in city

Thirteen alleged criminals were arrested in separate drives at Pallabi and Kafrul area in the city yesterday.

Gonotantrik Bam Morcha files writ with HC against EC

A writ petition was filed yesterday with the High Court (HC) challenging the legality of some actions of the Election Commission (EC) including its rules making the political parties' registrations mandatory.

6 JCD leaders expelled

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), yesterday expelled its' six leaders accusing them of violating organisational disciplines, says a press release.

Christian Assoc demands punishment to killer rapist

Bangladesh Christian Association demanded punishment of the culprits who have raped a mother and her daughter and killed the daughter at South Vadarti village under Kaliganj upazila in Gazipur on April 30.

European Commission supports trial of war criminals

The European Commission yesterday agreed, in principle, with the demand for trial of war criminals of 1971 at a meeting with Sector Commanders' Forum (SCF).

Rotary Int'l president calls on Iajuddin

Visiting Rotary International President Wilfried J Wilkinson paid a curtsey call on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban here yesterday.

Int'l Museum Day observed

International Museum Day was observed across the country yesterday in the most befitting manner, says a press release.

Dutch envoy meets Iftekhar

Dutch Ambassador Bea ten Tusscher yesterday called on Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury and discussed the prospects of widening economic and political relations between the two friendly countries.

DU linguistics deptt celebration

The Department of Linguistics of Dhaka University will celebrate its 15 years of establishment on June 1 at the Teachers-Students Centre, says a press release.

Platinum jubilee of St Alfred's School

A celebration committee was formed in the city yesterday to celebrate the platinum jubilee of Saint Alfred's High School at Bakerganj in Barisal, says a press release.

National

Include North Rajshahi Irrigation Project in budget

Experts at a seminar here yesterday urged the government to include the proposed surface water based North Rajshahi Irrigation Project (NRIP) in the upcoming budget to increase food production in there district.

Ex-BNP MP Habib charge-sheeted for extortion

Investigation authorities yesterday pressed charges against three people including former BNP lawmaker Habibul Islam Habib in an extortion case filed for demanding Tk 30 lakh as toll.

Satkhira AL demands trial of war criminals

Leaders of Satkhira district Awami League (AL) in their first district executive committee meeting yesterday demanded the trial of war criminals.

Leadership crisis in Tangail BNP

Tangail BNP faces a leadership crisis as four ministers and state ministers during BNP-led alliance government from the district are either in jail or virtually inactive since declaration of emergency.

Sylhet gets one third of power needed

Severe power outage in sultry summer heat has made life miserable in Sylhet.

Land subsides again in Barapukuria

About five acres of land at two villages adjacent to Barapukuria Coalmine in Dinajpur has subsided again by two to six inches, second such incident in two weeks.

One gets 46 years for rape, abduction

A Satkhira court yesterday sentenced a man to 46 years rigorous imprisonment for raping a girl after abduction.

Bomb-making materials, arms recovered

Police yesterday recovered arms and bomb-making materials and arrested a suspected woman from her house at Bihoroil-Kalitala village in Kamargaon of Tanore upazila.

2 Rab men among 17 hurt in B'baria clash

At least 17 persons including two members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) were injured during a chase and counter chase between villagers and Rab members at Bramhangram village under Kasba upazila in the district Saturday night.

Missing NU answer scripts found, GD filed

The Chittagong Government College authorities Saturday night lodged a general diary (GD) with Chandgaon police station (PS) following recovery of missing answer scripts of masters preliminary examinations near a pond at Bahadda here.

Pirates abduct fisherman for ransom

Pirates abducted a fisherman with nine boats and 18 fishing nets demanding ransom of Tk 3 lakh from Malanchi River in the Sundarbans last night.

Misappropriation Of Fund

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) here yesterday submitted charge sheet with Sirajganj chief judicial magistrate's court against a former manager of Islami Bank and another businessman for misappropriation of over Tk 25 lakh, ACC sources said.

Letters

Women workers

It is an established truth that without women's participation national development cannot be expedited. Every year we observe May Day in a befitting manner. We hold meetings and seminars, but that don't change the lot of the common people. University teachers, NGO representatives and human rights activists are seen in these seminars. But the ground situation remains unchanged.

More fertiliser factories needed

When one looks back to the agriculture scene of the past in Bangladesh, it would be seen that the government agencies motivated farmers to use fertilisers to increase farm production. Urea and other fertilisers are indispensable to get higher production. The farmers agitate when they do not get fertilisers. The media tries to influence the government to maintain an adequate supply and to keep the prices low. If any problem arises, the government is blamed. The Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) has set up some fertiliser factories and has been operating those for a long time. The demand of fertilisers has been increasing rapidly. The local production can meet only 50 per cent of our requirements. But in the past fifteen years, the last three elected governments and private entrepreneurs did not come forward to set up any fertiliser factory . About 1.5 million metric tons of fertilisers has to be imported every year.

Potato campaign

This year Bangladesh witnessed a bumper production of potatoes. An extra 3 million metric tones of potato has been produced by the farmers. The World Food Program (WFP) has also declared 2008 as the Potato Year.

A good interview

Atiqa Odho has conducted an interesting interview with former Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. The interview was one of the products of Odho Corporation telecast by GEO news channel of Pakistan on the evening of 10 May 2008. The outcome of the interview can be, in many respects, considered as revealing, lesson bearing, advisory, and an antidote or a response (or both) to the present day criticism of the acts and deeds during his (I mean, PM Aziz) premiership. Aziz was appreciative, in relevant ways, when it comes to matters pertaining to effectiveness of overall leadership of President Pervez Musharraf and his personal commitment towards Pakistan and Pakistanis, among other things.

Rickshaw-free capital

After reading Mr. Sikander's letter published in DS on May 9, 2008, I could not help but write once more on this subject.

Price hike

The prices of essential commodities are shooting up. I hardly go to kitchen market because I am dependent on others but the reaction from them and the media is really terrible & pathetic. The queue for OMS (BDR market) is lengthening. The middle class people are the worst sufferers, as they can neither buy from the shops, nor stand in the queue.

Top leaders

“Two top Bangladeshi political parties” and two top leaders are under prosecution since the current caretaker government has taken over. We all know the caretaker government is trying to bring back democracy. I just cannot grasp why our political leaders are mounting pressure on the government for unconditional release of the two top leaders. They should rather understand that by establishing the rule of law they can free their leaders (if they are innocent) .

No trip to Savar?

I noted with interest the itinerary of Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood's visit to Bangladesh. Significantly, a visit to Savar is missing from his trip here. Why? All dignitaries, and particularly dignitaries from Pakistan, should be taken to the Smriti Shoudho in Savar to pay respect to the millions killed by the Pakistani army, in one of the worst genocides of the 20th century. At a time when Bangladesh is agitating for the trial of war criminals, why is Mr. Mahmood not being taken to the Smriti Shoudho? Surely, the Pak Air Force chief could spare an hour of his time to pay his respect to the martyrs of 1971.

Political parties

These days the political reforms are the talk of the town. It is people's hope that in the coming days all sorts of election will be freed from the influence of the black money and muscle power.

Important developments

This morning we have heard and watched two important reports on Channel- i. These are regarding a) anti-corruption drive seminar b) Acquisition of 3 -crop agriculture lands in Munshiganj for EPZ. I think both the reports deserve close scrutiny.

Burmese military junta

It is a universal fact that any government worth its name is responsible for the welfare of its people. The Burmese military junta has shown themselves as an exception. It is reported by the Indian authorities that they had informed Burmese authorities that the cyclone was moving towards the Burmese coast two days before it struck Burma.

A query

Those involved in the real estate sector of Bangladesh are aware that there are arrangements for land development by developers on a 40:60 or 50:50 sharing basis and landowners have to bear no construction costs for their share of apartments. It would be highly appreciated if a clarification is given on how to update the tax-file of a landowner after the land is completely developed and ready apartments are handed over to the landowner, and whether the landowner is required to pay any taxes.

Diversifying exports

It is a very good thing that exporters are trying to diverse the product and service base from Bangladesh.

Obscurantism

Islam respects women more than any other religion. It has given permission to women to work anywhere using hijab but our fundamentalist Islamic leaders want to keep the women caged even in the 21st century. The government should take necessary steps to contain obscurantism.

A dubious practice

Some men and women earn greatness during their lifetime by making outstanding contribution to their own nation, or to the world civilization. As a mark of respect and gratitude to these great persons and to glorify their contribution, institutions and establishments are generally named after them after they die. This is also done to inspire the members of the younger generation to follow the footsteps of these great souls. But in Bangladesh we just see an opposite trend. Here some people in authority, especially the politicians, who are mostly corrupt, are in a great hurry to immortalize themselves while they are still alive! They don't want to wait till their death when people could evaluate their contribution and, if felt necessary, could decide to name some institution(s) after them. In the last three decades, we saw a mad rush by the corrupt political leaders of our country to name educational institutions, students' halls of residence, hospitals and other welfare institutions after their own names. In almost all such cases these persons did not spend money from their own pockets to establish these institutions. They all did it either by managing the required money out of the public exchequer, or by indulging in extortion from the general public, by exercising their political power. All this is being done in very bad taste, to say the least.

Back to Obama!

I have been reading for long the pieces written by Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed in op-ed pages of The Daily Star. His recent articles, mostly on the ensuing US presidential elections (I remember one exception being an article suggesting that Bangladesh consider giving honorary citizenship to some noted Indians who were born in Bangladesh), have been interesting. But I am constrained to point out one particular streak of opinion in his recent articles on US presidential elections: the betting horse must always win the race, no matter what. The week before last i.e. before the Indiana and South Carolina primaries, he bemoaned Senator Obama's several political mistakes; criticised him for his failure to denounce his one-time religious leader, Jim Wright; took him to task for his unguarded comments regarding the mental make-up of small-town voters in Pennsylvania; and seemed to have rebuked Senator Obama for remaining elitist in attitude (gulp the coffee being offered even if you need orange juice).

Tolerance needed

Thanks to AMK Chowdhury for his concern about ''derogatory practice '' an issue he raised in an article published in a weekly.

International

Myanmar children could starve to death within weeks: Aid group

A leading aid group warned yesterday that thousands of young children in cyclone-ravaged Myanmar could starve to death within weeks unless emergency food supplies reach them soon.

ME peace needs 'tough sacrifices', says Bush

US President George W. Bush said on Sunday that peace in the Middle East was possible by the end of the year but that it needed action on both sides and "tough sacrifices".

World faces limits to ship aid to Myanmar

It is a life-or-death question: If millions of people are at risk, is it acceptable to sit on the sidelines and watch an undemocratic and unprepared regime mismanage a crisis?

Lankan air force bombs rebel centre

Sri Lankan air force helicopters bombed a Tamil Tiger rebel operations centre in the contested north, while separate ground battles killed 17 insurgents, the military said Sunday.

‘Jaipur blasts targeted improving Indo-Pak ties’

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has warned that the recent blasts in Jaipur were of a piece with the objectives of their perpetrators to derail improving ties with Pakistan. Dr Singh also spoke on Saturday of the need to thwart these attempts with a sound strategy.

Parties not to become hostage to Musharraf's wishes: Gilani

Political parties will not become hostage to President Pervez Musharraf's wishes but they had to have a working relationship with him “despite our reservations”, according to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Afghan army kills 15 militants in gunbattle

Fifteen Taliban rebels were killed in an operation by the Afghan military in a troubled southwestern province, a military commander said here yesterday.

‘Diseases pose threat to quake homeless’

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday warned that mass epidemics in China's Sichuan province are a live threat in the aftermath of Monday's 7.9-magnitude earthquake.

Britain hub of Islamic terrorism: EU report

Britain's controversial foreign and military policy has made UK the hub of Islamic terrorism across Europe, and turned the country into a fertile ground for jihadist recruiters, a report by the EU warned.

Lebanese rivals struggle to iron out differences

Rival Lebanese leaders pressed on with talks on Sunday to try to end a feud that pushed the nation towards all-out sectarian war, with the focus on a disputed electoral law and the divisive issue of Hezbollah weapons.

Militants occupy Pak MP's house in tribal area

An armed group of pro-Taliban militants occupied a lawmaker's house in a Pakistan tribal area yesterday, taking his relatives and servants hostage, witnesses and officials said.

BJP questions Manmohan's commitment in fighting terrorism

A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pitched for a federal crime agency, the BJP on Sunday questioned his commitment to fight terror and said a new agency would be of no use unless it is armed with a POTA-type stringent anti-terror law.

Plot fears cripple Zimbabwe's opposition

Fears of an assassination plot prevented Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai from taking part in the start of his election campaign on Sunday ahead of a presidential run-off next month.

Obama seeks focus on end of primary campaign

Attempting to lay a symbolic claim to his party's presidential nomination, Democrat Barack Obama will mark the latest round of primary voting with a rally in Iowa, where his solid win in January caucuses propelled him to his status as the front-runner.

Arts & Entertainment

Man and nature in Selim Al Deen's drama

A seminar titled "Man and nature in Selim Al Deen's drama", organised by Bangladesh Patho Natok Parishod (BPNP) was held at the TSC Seminar Room, University of Dhaka on May 17.

Preoccupation with nature

Mahmudul Haque, whose solo exhibition is on at the Bengal Gallery, is exhibiting in Bangladesh after five years. In between he has participated in various joint exhibits as in Romania, Brussels, the US etc.

A festival for farmers

The Santals, one of the indigenous communities of the northern districts, welcomed the Chief Adviser (CA) Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed last Thursday with their traditional songs and dances, marking the Boro harvest in Dinajpur.

Warfaze to release new album in July

After nearly five years, popular rock band Warfaze is set to release their new album. The album A Chosen Glimpse is expected to be released in Bangladesh and in India sometime in July. The album includes reproductions of some of their popular songs.

Fahmida and Shuvro Dev on “ATN Unplugged”

ATN Bangla will air the musical programme ATN Unplugged tonight at 8:45 pm. Hosted by popular musician Sumon, the programme is aired on Mondays, fortnightly.

"Indiana Jones" rides into Cannes

Whip-wielding archaeologist Indiana Jones rode into Cannes on Sunday, with star Harrison Ford, director Steven Spielberg and creator George Lucas hoping to avoid a critical lashing.

OP-ED

The usual suspects

"They let us cook rice-daal for them, let us raise their children, trust us with the keys to house-home-jewelry. And then they turn around and vote for people who call us terrorists and want to cut us into pieces and bury us inside the ground."
-- Bangladeshi taxi driver in Delhi (author interview, 2005)

Buddhism and its universal message

THE sacred Buddha Purnima is the full-moon day of Vesakha, when Goutama Buddha was born in the Lumbini Garden at the foot of the Himalayas, attained enlightenment under the Bo-tree at Gaya, and passed into Mahaparinibbana at Kushinara. This day is of great significance to the Buddhist world, and brings love, peace, happiness and purity.

Dear senator Obama …

YOUR campaign has been brilliant. It has given you more support and more momentum than most analysts expected a year ago. Keeping things simple and vague has worked so far, and it might work all the way to the White House. "Change you can believe in" is a great all-purpose slogan. It allows every person to fill in his or her own interpretation of what it means. In some ways, it's reminiscent of Jimmy Carter's 1976 promise to run "a government as good as the American people."

Earth scientists greet the people of Mars

SCIENTISTS are sending a DVD to Mars. It is due to arrive on the surface of the Red Planet on May 25th, which is next Sunday.

Star City

Classes held 'anywhere', 6 chairs for 7 lecturers in one room

Sir Salimullah Medical College (SSMC), the second largest medical college of the country, has only 11 classrooms for around 660 students, which is quite inadequate for smooth running of academic activities.

Centre for visually challenged students at DU needs care and attention

The first ever resource centre for visually challenged students at Dhaka University needs immediate expansion as the place is now frequented by more students.


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