The Daily Star

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Friday, June 22, 2018

News of: Friday, 23rd of May, 2008

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Govt pledges to ensure all-party participation

The government yesterday started the pre-polls formal dialogue with political parties, meeting the Workers Party of Bangladesh (WP) and Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) and assuring them all "necessary" steps to ensure other parties' participation in the talks.

EC violated constitution

The High Court (HC) yesterday said the Election Commission (EC) has violated the constitution by not holding the general election within the stipulated 90 days since dissolution of parliament.

RU teacher, 3 others sentenced to death

A Rajshahi court yesterday sentenced to death four persons including Rajshahi University (RU) teacher Dr Mia Mohammad Mohiuddin for the gruesome killing of RU geology and mining department teacher Dr S Taher Ahmed.

PSI system of imports to stay till 2009-end

The mandatory system for pre-shipment inspection of imports is to stay till 2009-end as the present contract with three companies expires in August amid uproar over irregularities in imports.

AL, BNP talk to allies to set strategies

The Awami League (AL) and BNP have started talks with their allies to settle strategies for dealing with crucial issues including release of former premiers Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia and their participation in the ongoing dialogue with the government.

EC for constitutional review commission

The Election Commission (EC) will ask the government to form a constitution review commission to recommend amendments critical to ensuring a strong parliamentary democracy.

Desa engineer owns 500 kathas of land

A diploma engineer of Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (Desa) resides in a palatial house on a 45-katha land worth Tk 15 crore in the city's posh Banasree area.

Escapee shot dead during 'shootout'

Tagar, one of the four criminals who escaped from Chuadanga district prison last week, was killed in a shootout between the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and his cohorts at Patikabari village in sadar upazila in Kushtia district early yesterday.

Death of CU student sparks violence

A student of Chittagong University (CU) died yesterday crushed by the wheels of the university shuttle train after he attempted to jump from a foot over-bridge onto the roof of the moving train at Sholoshahar Railway Station in Chittagong.

Boy found dead in Rab mess

A 10-year-old boy was found dead inside the mess of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) 10 camp at Lalbagh yesterday.

Ershad acquitted in another graft case

Former president and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad was yesterday acquitted in another corruption case filed against him 17 years ago.

Hasina's trial adjourned till Sunday

The cross-examination of the barge-mounted power plant graft case against former premier Sheikh Hasina and seven others continued yesterday with the defence asking the plaintiff whether he investigated the case being directed by the high-ups.

ACC okays charge sheet against Jalil

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has approved the charge sheet in a corruption case against detained Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil.

Clarification, our reply

Anjan Chowdhury, managing director of the Square Toiletries Limited, sent a clarification May 21 on our report under the headline 'Hummer hums graft galore in imports.

2 Huji men shown held in CPB rally blast case

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday showed two operatives of the banned militant organisation Harkatul Jihad Al Islami (Huji) arrested in the CPB rally bomb attack case and filed a petition with a Dhaka court seeking a 10-day remand.

Saifur has to appear in court by May 28

A Dhaka court yesterday directed the authorities concerned to publish an advertisement in two national Bangla dailies asking seven 'absconding' accused -- including former ministers M Saifur Rahman and Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury -- to appear before it by May 28 in the Gatco graft case.

Aga Khan for quality edn to end confusions over Islam

Prince Karim Aga Khan yesterday stressed the need for acquiring quality education by young students to fight out the clash of ignorance about the Muslim ummah, which is wrongly perceived as clash of civilisation.

Child infected with bird flu virus cured

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) yesterday said a child was infected with the deadly H5N1, the strain of bird flu that infects people, in January this year and was cured before diagnosis.

JP rejects govt talks letter for 'wrong' name

Jatiya Party (JP) yesterday rejected the government letter inviting them to participate in the formal dialogue, saying it did not address the party properly and left out the name of the party secretary general.

No more funds for unnecessary bridges under construction

Finance Adviser ABM Azizul Islam yesterday said no more money would be spent for the under construction bridges across the country that have already been identified as unnecessary.

Sweden Aslam gets 17yrs in arms case

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced top listed criminal Sweden Aslam and two of his accomplices to 17 years' rigorous imprisonment in a case filed against them in 1997 for possessing illegal firearm and ammunition.

3 murdered in city

Three people were killed and two critically injured in separate incidents in the city over the last 36 hours.

BSF kills 1

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi cattle trader on Jhaubari border under Roumari upazila of the district early yesterday.

Oil prices spike to historic high beyond $135

World oil prices broke yet more records on Thursday, catapulting above 135 dollars a barrel for the first time on runaway fears about rampant demand exceeding supply, analysts said.

Ban sees Myanmar 'flexibility' on relief

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday that Myanmar's junta had shown some flexibility over calls for a scaled-up international relief effort after Cyclone Nargis.


Police efficiency in Dhaka

INCREASING demographic pressure on the metropolis and high incidence of crime must have prompted the government to decide to add eight more police stations to the existing 33 in the capital city. The metropolitan police commissioner while announcing the decision admitted that they were hectically looking for suitable buildings to house the police stations, which seem to be in short supply in the city. Meeting the specifications of a standard thana complex is a logistical issue of a specialised nature. Apparently, this was lost on the decision-makers so that the commissioning of the thanas is set to be delayed till such time as suitable accommodation has either been found and hired or built up by the police authorities themselves to suit their purposes.

India-Pakistan deal

THE signing of a deal by India and Pakistan on an exchange of prisoners augurs well for peace and stability in South Asia. The fact that such a deal has been agreed upon by visiting Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi reflects somewhat a new spirit in relations between the two countries in light of a new, elected government having taken over in Islamabad. Although it is too early to say if indeed a breakthrough will be achieved in relations, there are fairly good reasons to think that a change in attitude between the leaders of the two nations is possible.

Compromise, Bangladesh style

HERE we go again. Is it just me, or does it seem like we have been here before. Elections are on the horizon and talks are underway to set the ground rules for the upcoming polls and their aftermath. It seems to me that things are a little reminiscent of where we were in the middle of 2006. Two years on, we are back where we started.

A win-win dialogue

GEORGE Bernard Shaw said America and England were two countries separated by a common language. Since the chief advisor of the caretaker government addressed the nation on May 12, we happen to be in a similar fix. One side believes it has said enough, but the other side claims it has heard nothing. The chief advisor's speech was a communication dud. It failed to impress upon the politicians.

Who's the real appeaser?

PRESIDENT Bush chose an odd place and time to claim that talking to "terrorists and radicals" in the Middle East is like appeasing Hitler in the 1930s. As Bush was speaking in Israel, his preferred strategy against such adversaries was collapsing next door in Lebanon.


Four rookies called up

Four uncapped players have been drafted when Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced a 25-member preliminary squad for the upcoming Asia Cup to be held in Pakistan from June 24 to July 6.

Just Mushfiqur

There is only one player from the current Bangladesh team among the top Premier League batsmen and bowlers.

Yusuf reasonably happy

National coach Abu Yusuf had a satisfactory practice match yesterday but admitted he was worried about the footballers' casual approach towards the final whistle.

Indian selectors to meet on May 30

The Indian board selection committee will meet on May 30 in Mumbai to pick the squad for the forthcoming tri-series in Bangladesh that begins on June 7 in Dhaka. The selectors will be watching a few IPL games before taking their decision.

Manchester celebrates, London riots

Manchester United fans prepared Thursday to welcome home their heroes after a dramatic Champions League victory in Moscow, as bitterly disappointed Chelsea fans began arriving back in London.

Batsmen untouchable?

Michael Vaughan insisted England's top order had not become a "cosy" club after naming an unchanged side for the second Test against New Zealand starting here Friday.

Rain forces Kolkata's early exit

Kolkata became the third team to be out of the running for a spot in the final four after rain completely abandoned their Indian Premier League match against hosts Delhi at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium last night.

Shah Rukh to stay away

In an emotional outburst, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan yesterday said that he would stay away from the remaining matches of the Indian Premier League till he understood the code of conduct expected of him at the matches, a statement which has the potential to throw the tournament into a fresh controversy.

Cricketers plot penalty drama

Just a short walk from the 'other' Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, England's cricketers staged Thursday their own version of the Reds' penalty shoot-out Champions League win.

Terry's tearful miss

Anyone but John Terry. Anyone but the man with this club truly in his blood. Deep wounds like this take years to heal. Sometimes, you know, they never fully disappear. May 21, 2008: a date Chelsea's captain will never forget.

C'Ron gives mixed signals

The one cloud on Manchester United's horizon after their Champions League triumph here is the continuing uncertainty over the future of their most valuable asset, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Fergie savours success

Sir Alex Ferguson will savour a Champions League triumph over Chelsea that has cemented his standing as one of the greatest coaches in European football.

Giggs wants more

Ryan Giggs insisted nothing will ever quench his thirst for success as the Manchester United midfielder celebrated his second Champions League victory.

Van der Sar hailed

Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Edwin van der Sar's penalty shoot-out heroics as "no accident" after the Manchester United goalkeeper clinched the Champions League trophy with his stop from Chelsea's Nicolas Anelka.

Lampard ready for talks

Frank Lampard has told Chelsea chiefs he is ready to discuss a new contract after playing in England's forthcoming friendly internationals.

Kaka may need knee surgery

World Player of the Year Kaka will meet a specialist in Brazil to determine whether he needs surgery on his knee, AC Milan confirmed on Thursday.

Grant gutted by defeat

Chelsea boss Avram Grant insisted his side had done enough to lift the Champions League trophy after losing out to Manchester United in a final decided on penalties here on Wednesday.

Milan target Drogba, Eto'o

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has targeted Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o or Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor as potential close-season signings.

Euro 2008 Briefs

Briefs for Euro 2008 finals which are being co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland and run from June 7-29:

Local Snippets

Dhaka reached the semifinal of the 28th National Cricket Championship with a 19-run victory over Comilla in the rain-interrupted final round opener at the Sylhet Stadium yesterday.

Roma coaches in action

The YKK-Roma project kicked off yesterday at the BUET ground in the city with Italian Serie A club AS Roma's coaching panel trading the secret of the game to local football coaches.

Hair back in business

Australian umpire Darrell Hair's controversial exile from elite cricket will come to an end when he stands in the second Test between England and New Zealand at Old Trafford here Friday.

Road to WC 2011 starts

It may be three long years away, but the road to the 2011 World Cup begins this week in the unlikely setting of Jersey. More famed for its cattle and potatoes than a venue for cricket tournaments, Jersey plays host to 12 of the world's lesser-known teams in Division 5 of the World Cricket League (WCL), as they battle to climb the ladder to the fourth division and dream of a World Cup place in Asia.

First win for BSC

Bangladesh Sporting Club (BSC) registered their first win in the Premier Division Hockey League when they beat Wari Club 1-0 at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium yesterday.

Sumathipala pardoned

An appeal court on Thursday overturned a two-year prison term for breaking immigration law and dropped all charges against former cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala.

Umpire points at run-out law

Suresh Shastri, third umpire of last night's thrilling IPL tie between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab, yesterday said he simply went by the law book in the match where the hosts looked at the receiving end of a few contentious run-out decisions.


Company recasts board in line with SEC directives

In a significant development in the country's corporate sector a listed company yesterday reconstituted its board in line with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) notification to improve the company's performance.

BTTB fails to attract new subscribers in 4 months

State-run land phone operator BTTB has failed to attract new subscribers in the first four months of 2008 as private operators added around 68,000 new subscribers during the same period.

Prices of MS rod shoot up again

Prices of MS (mils steel) rod, a construction material, have shot up again in Dhaka retail market, despite government moves to bring the item's price under control.

Oil above $135

World oil prices broke yet more records on Thursday, catapulting above 135 dollars a barrel for the first time on runaway fears about rampant demand exceeding supply, analysts said.

Mirza Aziz asks banks to protect depositors' interest

Finance Adviser Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday asked commercial banks to take proper measures to protect depositors' interests.

Stable macroeconomy needed to cut poverty

The government needs a stable macroeconomic environment to sustain strong economic performance and reduce poverty, a seminar was told yesterday in Dhaka.

Spain keen to invest in Bangladesh

A private sector Spanish business team will soon visit Bangladesh to explore the possible investment potential, said Arturo Manuel Perez Martinez, the ambassador of Spain.

BTRC issues showcause notice to AKTEL

The telecoms watchdog has issued a show-cause notice to the country's third largest mobile operator AKTEL accusing it of forgery in the on-going mobile phone subscribers' re-registration process.

Citi tops Asiamoney's structured product poll

Citi has topped several of Asiamoney's structured products polls for 2008, says a press release.

Short supply irks customers

Iqbal Hossain (45) of the Dhaka city's Lalbagh area is quiet unhappy with the erratic supply of milk by a processor. “My customers grumble as they face the short supply of the item,” said the retailer, adding: I could have sold some 20 bags of milk a day, if the supply was aplenty.”

Surging oil could deal blow to sputtering world economy

The feared super-spike in crude oil prices that appears to be underway could deal a crippling blow to a global economy already reeling from the US housing slump and tight credit, analysts say.

Asian stocks close mostly down

Asian stocks closed mostly down Thursday as crude oil rocketed past 135 dollars per barrel for the first time, stoking concerns that rising prices will hit consumers and squeeze business profits.

Dollar finds firmer footing in Asia

The dollar steadied against the yen in late Asian trade on Thursday, clawing back early losses as traders found little incentive to keep buying the Japanese currency, dealers said.

IMF says Japan's economy showing resilience

The Japanese economy is holding up well in the face of the US economic slowdown but interest rates still need to be kept low until uncertainty over the outlook clears, the IMF said Thursday.

China promises more flexibility on currency, trade

China said Wednesday it would make its foreign exchange regime more flexible and boost domestic demand so as to reduce massive trade surpluses which have sparked US and European complaints.

Rice crisis costs extra $158m to Philippines

The National Food Authority of the Philippines has already used 6.9 billion pesos (US$158.89 million) in import-tax subsidies from the national government in the first four months of the year, representing the amount it used to settle liabilities to the Bureau of Customs arising from its rice imports.

American Airlines to cut flights, jobs as oil prices spike

American Airlines announced Wednesday it would cut domestic flights significantly, shed workers and raise some fees charged to passengers as it battles to offset rocketing crude oil prices.

Samsung consolidates lead in global TV market

Samsung Electronics Co has raised its share of the global TV market beyond 20 per cent in the first quarter of this year, consolidating its leadership in a cutthroat competition with top-tier global electronics brands, data showed Wednesday.


Proper laws needed to check food adulteration

Upgradation of moral values, raising mass awareness, and formulation of proper laws and their strict implementation are the imperatives to check food adulteration in the country, said the speakers at a seminar yesterday.

Hearing on Khaleda's petition resumes Sunday

The High Court (HC) for the second consecutive day yesterday heard the petition filed by former prime minister Khaleda Zia for quashing the proceedings against her in Niko graft case.

Bodies of mother, 2 kids recovered

Police recovered the floating bodies of the mother and her two children in the last two days who drowned in the Buriganga on Tuesday night.

Tk 520cr Aussie support for poverty reduction

Australia will donate Tk 520 crore over the next four years to lift the extreme poor out of poverty and improve health of women and children, says a press release.

'Restrict alien species of trees, animals to save biodiversity'

Experts at a discussion yesterday urged the government to restrict introduction of alien species of trees and animals into the biological diversity of the country as they harm biodiversity and agriculture.

30 drug-addicted children died in five years

The number of drug addicts, specially among the children of day labourers, is increasing in the Bogra town, but the authorities remain indifferent.

Acid survivors to make five documentaries on acid violence

A group of acid survivors will make five documentaries on acid violence after receiving training in this regard.

'Ensure supply of diesel to jute yarn mills'

Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association yesterday urged the government to ensure regular supply of diesel to operate standby generators for uninterrupted production at jute yarn mills in the southern region of the country.

Bagerhat BNP leader, 5 others sued for extortion

General Secretary of Bagerhat district BNP Shamsul Alam Talukder and five others of the same party have been sued in an extortion case on Wednesday afternoon.

Barisal FF body executives

Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad has formed a new convening committee of its Barisal District Unit Command dissolving the existing convening committee.

US embassy closed May 25

The American Embassy, including the Consular Section and the Public Affairs Section with the Archer K Blood American Centre Library and the Student Advising Centre, will remain closed on May 25 on the occasion of Memorial Day, an American national holiday.

Prof Harun made PSTU VC

Prof Dr Md Harun-or-Rashid, dean of agriculture faculty, has been appointed vice-chancellor of Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU).

14 fishermen return home from India after serving 18 months in Jail

Fourteen Bangladeshi fishermen yesterday returned to the country after serving eight months in Indian jail.

Butenis in city on private visit

Former US Ambassador to Bangladesh Patricia Butenis arrived here yesterday on a private visit, an official of the American Centre said.

Ferdousi receives lifetime achievement award

Renowned singer Ferdousi Rahman received the lifetime achievement award 2008 at the Meril-Prothom Alo Award ceremony yesterday for her outstanding contribution to Bangla music.

British survey vessel arrives in Ctg Sunday

HMS ECHO, a survey vessel of the UK's Royal Navy, is due to arrive in Chittagong Port on Sunday, heralding the first visit by a Royal Navy ship to Bangladesh since the late 1990s.

Ex-BNP lawmaker Joynal held at jail gate

Former BNP lawmaker Joynal Abedin Faruk was arrested yesterday afternoon at the Dhaka Central Jail gate soon after his release from the jail.

SWID-Bangladesh celebrates Tagore's birth anniversary

Ramna Branch, SWID-Bangladesh celebrated the Bangla New Year and the 147th birth anniversary of poet Rabindranath Tagore in a befitting manner at Alamgir MA Kabir auditorium in the city recently.

2 get life for killing woman

A Sirajganj court yesterday sentenced two people to life imprisonment for killing a woman in 2007.

Itna Massacre Day today

Today is Itna Massacre Day.

BPSA conference on May 31

Conference of Bangladesh Political Science Association (BPSA) will be held at Sheraton Hotel in the city at 9:30am on May 31.

Subarna Express to run today

The Subarna Express, which runs on the Dhaka-Chittagong-Dhaka route, will also ply on the weekly holiday today (Friday) to facilitate the movement of the passengers, a press release of the Bangladesh Railway said.

Woman killed in road crash

A woman was killed and three others were injured severely in a road accident yesterday at Tipna village of Dumuria upazila in Khulna at 11:45am.


Population explosion

One hundred forty million people in one hundred forty-seven thousand square kilometres of land is beyond the carrying capacity of the land by any measure. The density of 950 persons per square kilometre is unprecedented in this earth. Land, ecology, climate and society are vitiated and becoming unliveable with an expanding sea of humans. But there is still no let up. Every day 5500 new mouths are added to the existing stock of people, leading to around 22 lakh additional humans each year.

Water pollution

Water is the most vital element and crucial for the survival of all living organisms. The environment, economic growth and development are highly influenced by water. Spatial and seasonal availability of surface and groundwater is highly responsive to the monsoon climate and physiography of the country and upstream withdrawal for consumptive and non-consumptive uses. Our country is the lower riparian of three major river systems, the Ganges-Padma, the Brahmaputra-Jamuna and the Meghna (GBM). The problem is that we have too much water during the monsoon and too little in the dry season.

Education and research

Education is the key to success for development of a country. Research, on the other hand, has a close association with education. If we consider education as a "body" and research as "ornaments", integration makes education worthy to the people.

Tobacco cultivation

Production of a few food items has increased owing to adoption of modern agriculture technology like, use of chemical fertilisers; pesticides & high yield variety seeds. Notwithstanding all these advancement, Bangladesh could not become self-sufficient in foods and other agro products.

Shocked O Level examinees

It was the last day of O Level exams of my daughter. We the parents were waiting anxiously outside the exam hall. We expected a happy face coming out of the venue as she was confident of her last day subject, which was accounting.


A few days ago I was reading an article in a daily newspaper that the land grabbers are again filling up a portion of the Buriganga illegally. What is our government doing about it? The country is going through a state of emergency but the "land grabbers" are still very active.

Prison break and negligence

The prison break at Chuadanga starkly contrasts the skill and capabilities of the prisoners compared to the inefficiency of the prison authorities. However the authorities' capability to pass the buck on is nothing short of remarkable!

CNN, BBC and Bangladesh

As a regular viewer of both CNN and BBC news, I am getting just a little bit weary of their negative attitude towards Bangladesh. CNN has reported that there is shortage of food in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I am sure there is, as there is worldwide. But did CNN not think it worthwhile to perhaps report the bumper Boro crop, the bumper potato, the maize and wheat crops, which have also been good this year? Or does that not meet its agenda on Bangladesh? Where do they get their news from? As for BBC, the less said about them, the better. It seems as though they are disappointed when they do not have anything bad to report from Bangladesh. How about reporting the ban on plastic bags in this country, in effect for years now? How about reporting the use of CNG for public transport and how environmentally friendly it is? Or again, do they not meet their goals, i.e. only the negative about this country?

Where are those billboards?

During the tenure of our late President Ziaur Rahman several billboards were erected throughout the city at prominent locations including one just outside the third gate. Significant verses from the Holy Koran were printed in bold letters on those boards with translations in vernacular. The verses used to include warning to the wrongdoers and advice to mankind to follow the right path. City dwellers passing by those boards used to read and be reminded of the guidelines as ordained in the Holy Koran by Allah..

"Why this sweet name?"

I am writing this letter to give the answer to Wally Rahman's question “Why this sweet name?” You have to read the ancient mythologies to find the answer to this question. In every ancient mythology you will find that the people always liked to worship the evil powers in different manners so that they might not harm them. Devastating and destructive phenomena like cyclone, flood, storm, earthquake, thunderstorm, deluge were always worshiped by people in various manners. They liked to call them by beautiful names (Most of them are female names), they used to sacrifice animals (sometimes virgin girls) so that those evil powers (natural calamities) might not harm them. Still, consecutively or traditionally we are doing the same thing (almost) all around the world by giving them beautiful names.


Corruption is a complex phenomenon that has deep psychological and cultural roots. Beyond the actions of our leaders and institutions, we need to believe that corruption can be eliminated. Such change may take generations and will require a concerted effortfrom our family, schools, varsities and other institutions. But perhaps more importantly, it requires our commitment to be part of such efforts to effect the change we would like to see. We must understand the reasons why corruption continues to exist in the country and we have to do something about it. People commonly define corruption as some form of malpractice. Corrupt acts fall into two types: small scale (those done by individuals as citizens or in a business context) and large scale (those associated with the government).

An appeal

I would like to draw the kind attention of the Chief Adviser to the fact that the poor people are suffering due to the wrong policies and inefficiency of the government.


When the entire nation is struggling to get out of the "hartal" and "boycott" culture once and for all, it is very distressing to see that a section of lawyers who grace the corridors of the highest seats of justice engage in such activities.

High price of bread

It has been observed that recently the price of “bread” has shot up.

FCC story

Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed's write-up in your April 26 issue on the 50th anniversary of Faujdarhat Cadet College (FCC) brings back a well of memories. I was not a Faujian - but my younger brother Tanwir was in the first batch of class VII in 1958. There was nothing much for outing in Chittagong in those days - except going to Patenga sea beach. So, when my brother was accepted in the very first batch in 1957, we began visiting Faujdarhat to have glimpses of how a cadet college looked like where my brother would be studying for the next few years! If I recollect correctly, it was Mr. Moidul Islam who was supervising the activities at that time as acting principal until Col. Brown arrived in 1958. Capt. Moshrul Hoque was the first Adjutant cum teacher.

Unbearable sufferings

Price hike of essentials, water crisis and load shedding have become a regular phenomenon in the lives of city-dwellers, especially in Dhaka.


It is heartening to see that this debate that I initiated eight months ago with the first of my 15 letters to-date, is now gaining ground on DS pages. I thank all participants whether they agree with me or not. Lately, readers from Khulna and Chittagong have joined in as have the venerable Messrs O H Kabir, A Husnain and Ghiasuddin Ahmed with many logical and workable solutions to our worst nightmarethe traffic jams, that often turn us to jelly.

Noise pollution

In Dhaka city noise pollution is increasing day by day, causing suffering to the inhabitants. It seems no one is looking into this problem.

Upgrading of scales

The other day, newspapers published the report that Inspectors of Police (IPs) or Officers in Charge (OCs) of Police Stations will be upgraded as first class but non-gazetted officers. At present they are second class gazetted officers. The news of upgrading is really inspiring but the aim is questionable, particularly for the local level policing. When almost all other government officials at the upazila level are Class-1 gazetted officers of the senior scale, what is wrong with the police to provide an officer of equivalent rank as upazila police officer? In reality, the BCS police officers are not willing to go to the upazila and hence they try to be placed at the district headquarters. The aim of decentralization is to bring the administration closer to the people. Upazila administration has been the centre of all development activities and the functions and responsibilities of police with all other departments at the upazila have increased.


Pak peace deal depends on Sharia enforcement: Taliban

Pakistani Taliban militants said Thursday that the success of a peace deal with the government in a northwestern area depends on the complete enforcement of Islamic law in the region.

Mynamar junta should be tried for crimes against humanity : EU parliament

The European Parliament yesterday called for Myanmar junta leaders to be brought before the international court in The Hague if they continue to prevent aid from reaching cyclone-stricken regions.

Musharraf to resist moves to oust him

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has served notice that he would firmly resist moves to curb his powers or remove him from office, saying he has the support of "powerful" friends like the US.

China appeals for 3.3m tents to shelter homeless

China said the death toll from last week's powerful earthquake jumped to more than 51,000, as it appealed Thursday for millions of tents to shelter homeless survivors.

Israel, Syria 'satisfied' with talks: Turkish FM

Three days of indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria, mediated by Turkey, "satisfied" both sides and will continue periodically, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said yesterday.

Lebanon leaders clinch deal to end crisis

Rival Lebanese leaders clinched a deal on Wednesday to end an 18-month political feud that exploded into deadly sectarian fighting and threatened to plunge the nation into civil war.

Pakistan to ask UN for Benazir probe 'soon'

Pakistan's new government will "very soon" submit a formal request to the United Nations for a probe into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the foreign minister said Thursday.

Nepali king to quit Kathmandu palace

Nepal's embattled king is expected to quit his Kathmandu palace soon, reports said yesterday, just days before the Himalayan nation's monarchy is due to be abolished.

Zardari calls for troop reduction in Kashmir

Following up on Pakistan's commitment of working for "grand reconciliation" with India, the ruling Pakistan People's Party today made two proposals -- reduction of army's presence in Jammu and Kashmir and creation of economic zones along the Indo-Pak border.

No truce unless Israel lifts Gaza blockade: Hamas

Hamas insisted on Thursday there would be no Gaza truce unless Israel lifts its blockade of the territory, where a militant was killed in a failed suicide truck bombing near the main border crossing.

China preparing to restart Taiwan talks

China said Thursday that it was preparing to resume direct talks with Taiwan for the first time in over a decade, in a sign of improving relations after the inauguration of the island's new leader.

Arts & Entertainment

Shyamal Sarker: Winner of Best Award in Sculpture

Young sculptor Shyamal Sarker has won the Best Award in Sculpture at the ongoing 16th Young Artists' Art Exhibition at the National Art Gallery, organised by the Department of Fine Arts, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. He has won the award for his work titled Centre Table.

Widening the horizon of Nazrul Sangeet

National Nazrul Sangeet Convention 2008 at Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library ended on May 21 with promises to take the initiative to generate wider interest in Nazrul's works.

Remembering Zoglul Alam

Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF) organised a memorial programme "Aamra Kandchhi Zoglul Hashchhey" for the recently deceased theatre activist, Zoglul Alam. The programme was held at the Mahila Samiti Auditorium, Natok Shoroni on May 21. Noted theatre personalities spoke on the life and works of Zoglul at the programme.

A brilliant end to a dance workshop at Shipakala

A 15-day dance workshop arranged by noted dancers Shibli Mohammad and Shameem Ara Nipa, in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) concluded on May 21. The comprehensive workshop, conducted by Shibli and Nipa, started on May 6; around 200 participants from all over the country were selected to participate. The closing programme was held at the National Theatre Stage, BSA.

Grameenphone donates proceeds from concert to Muktijodhha Kalyan Trust

Grameenphone (GP) recently handed the proceeds from its Independence Day concert to the Muktijodhha Kalyan Trust, says a press release.

BFFS announces winners of Film Award '06

Bangladesh Federation of Film Societies (BFFS) announced the winners of "BFFS Film Award '06" recently. Tareque Masud's digital film Ontarjatra was selected as the best film, according to a press release. A five-member jury that included Mustafa Monwar (as chairman); Syed Bazle Hossain, Masihuddin Shaker; Nasiruddin Yousuff and Sajedul Awal selected the winners in nine categories.


Political smokescreen and economic reality

WHILE watching TV talk shows and reading press reports on various local seminars, we come out with the impression that the real economy in Bangladesh has collapsed and tens of millions of families have been pushed below the level of absolute poverty.

Freedom of the press

FREEDOM of the press is a much talked about subject, mostly in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, where democracy is often in short supply and floundering, where freedom of expression is stifled, the press is gagged and censored, where public interest, welfare of people, rule of law and human rights suffer neglect and denial under a despotic rule. Yet, freedom of press, apart from legislature and an independent judiciary, is the most important prerequisite of democracy, which alone can ensure public interest and welfare of people and promote rights, equality and justice in society.

The highest road

ON his last night as president of the United States, Bill Clinton issued a pardon for a man named Marc Rich. Later, Clinton would write a long op-ed piece on the reasons, but the reason seemed obvious to observers: the fugitive financier was what just plain folks call stinking rich, and his ex-wife had given nearly a half-million dollars to Clinton's presidential library. Even the president's customary allies did not find it in their hearts to justify his action.

Embarrassing minefields for Asian speakers of English

THOSE of you who follow important items of international news will have heard that branches of Starbucks in Asia are now selling a new snack from the west.


Golden opportunities for local companies

The landscape of the local ICT industry is systematically changing day by day. The government's proactive role, public private partnership and foreign investment are the underlying reasons for the progressive move of native ICT industry.

Brac introduces internet at its Gonokendros

Brac moves a step forward by dissemina ting internet facilities for the rural students at its two Gonokendro Pathagars in Narsingdi on May 12. Through this out of 632 IT enabled Gonokendros 10 get the internet connectivity.

Global Brand introduces ACTAtek security system

Global Brand Pvt Ltd, one of country's leading IT accessories vendors, has introduced ACTAtek security system in the local market on May 15.

Nokia opens retail stores in Bangladesh

Ever had a feeling of uncertainty when purchasing a Nokia set from a mobile store in Bangladesh? There's always that accompanying question mark as to whether the set, its parts or warranty papers are truly genuine and authentic or not.

The Daily Star

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