The Daily Star

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Saturday, May 26, 2018

News of: Saturday, 24th of May, 2008

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Wholesale rice prices mark significant fall

Rice prices in the city's wholesale markets dropped by Tk 20 per maund in 24 hours till 5:00pm yesterday.
Wholesalers said the prices may remain unchanged for quite some time. The price fall, however, did not trickle into the retail markets.

Hundreds of DU students stay at mosques, corridors

Resident students of first and second semesters at Dhaka University (DU) continue to suffer the brunt of seat crisis compounded by a good number of former students still occupying rooms at the halls.

‘Positive outcome a must for an acceptable poll’

There is no alternative to a positive outcome of the ongoing dialogues between the government and political parties, for creating a congenial atmosphere for a free, fair and credible election in the country, observed former caretaker government advisers, members of the civil society, and educationists.

Five slain in city, four in critical condition

Five people were killed and four others injured in three incidents in the city's Khilgaon, Sutrapur and Adabar areas yesterday.

City, municipal bodies to charge annual fees from pvt institutions

The caretaker government has made new laws empowering city corporations and municipalities to collect annual fees from private hospitals, paramedical institutes, tutorial schools, and coaching centres set up within their jurisdictions.

SCBs plan 3 special increments, to up retirement age

Four state-owned commercial banks (SCBs) plan to give three special increments to their staffs before implementation of a separate pay scale, and increase retirement age to 60 from 57.

Agri subsidy to continue, incentives for investors

The government will give a job for 100 days to a member of each poor family or give them cash money for the period from next fiscal year, Finance and Planning Adviser AB Mirza Aziz said yesterday.

Poor nations have to spend more on food imports: FAO

Poor countries, relying on food imports, are expected to spend 40 per cent more this year than the last year, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has said.

45 hurt as Rab, villagers clash in Kushtia

At least 45 persons were injured, one with bullet, during a clash between Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and villagers of Bahalbaria in Mirpur upazila of the district yesterday when the law enforcers went there to rescue an abducted man.

Arms snatched from police in Gazipur

Miscreants attacked a police patrol team and snatched a shotgun from the law enforcers at Konabari under Sadar upazila of the district early yesterday.

2kg heroin seized in Benapole, C’nawabganj

Law enforcers seized two kilograms of heroin in separate drives in Benapole and Chapainawabganj yesterday and on Thursday night and arrested an alleged heroin smuggler.

Govt hopeful of dialogues with all parties

The government is hopeful about the participation of all political parties, including the Awami League and the BNP, in the ongoing dialogue, Education Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said.

Govt working to update national forest policy

The government is working to update the national forest policy and amend age-old forest laws to properly equip the forest wing for conservation and extension of the country's woodland.

‘Save CHT forest, stop evicting hill people’

Environmentalists yesterday called on the government to stop the encroachment of forest land in the name of industrialisation.

RU students unhappy at acquittal of Salehi

Different student organisations of Rajshahi University (RU) expressed discontent at the judgment into the Prof Taher murder case and rejected the verdict that acquitted the "main" killer of the RU teacher.

Abducted trader freed in Rajshahi

A mango trader, kidnapped here Thursday evening, was rescued by BDR personnel at Muktarpur in Charghat upazila yesterday morning.

1 killed, 20 hurt as Bandarban villagers clash

One person was killed and 20 others were injured in a clash between two groups of villagers at Muslim Para under Lama upazila of the district yesterday.

8 ‘outsiders’ held at Sholoshahar

Police have arrested eight ‘outsiders’ for their alleged involvement in Thursday's incident at Sholoshahar Railway Station.

Nor'wester lashes Chandpur, boy killed, 10 hurt

A nor'wester lashed East Sahadevpur union under Kochua upazila of the district Thursday night, killing a boy and injuring 10 others.

China, Russia sign N-deal

China and Russia on Friday signed a one-billion-dollar deal to expand a nuclear energy facility in the Asian nation, a Russian official said.

Myanmar to allow all aid workers: UN chief

Myanmar's junta leader yesterday agreed to allow access to all foreign aid workers to help with the relief operation after Cyclone Nargis, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.

Suicide bomb kills 5 Afghans

A suicide bomber blew himself up as an Afghan army convoy slowed to pass a pothole-riddled section of road Friday in eastern Afghanistan, killing four soldiers and a child, a defence official said.

Blow for Brown as opposition wins British by-polls

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown suffered another severe blow to his authority Friday as his Labour Party saw the Conservatives seize a seat it has held for two decades in a by-election.

Suicide bombing in Iraqi town kills 6

A suicide bomber killed at least six Iraqi civilians in an attack on a checkpoint in the Sunni Arab town of Fallujah on Friday, police there said.

Israeli PM grilled again in graft probe

Police grilled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Friday for a second time in three weeks in the latest corruption probe against him, which has sparked calls for his resignation.


A welcome beginning

The commencement of formal dialogue between the government and the political parties is a welcome step forward. In fact, the first meeting with the Workers Party of Bangladesh (WP) and subsequently with Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) has opened a new window of opportunity for everyone towards resolving the ongoing political stalemate, especially centering around the issue of holding elections within the stipulated time. We believe both the government and the two political parties deserve a pat on the back for taking the first steps to set the ball rolling. It is now for the others to follow suit. This perhaps needs to be said that the entire nation was waiting for the dialogue to start, considering that it is something that the political parties have been demanding for quite some time.

Water pollution is the least addressed issue

It is a typical syndrome with civic, industry monitoring and environmental bodies that the firmness with which they take a decision would invariably taper off into a whimper as the dusts blown by newspaper reports would settle down. There are clear reasons for such shameless volte-face. First, the original decision when announced was more a reaction to pressure rather than a product of self-realisation. It carried no conviction, what was said was not meant.

Looking for a 'healthy and stable' democratic process

THE Administration's efforts over the past year has been aimed at reforming the factors associated with the holding of a fair, free, neutral and credible election. I shall try in the next few paragraphs, with the help of quoted texts from the Chief Adviser's latest speech, to analyse the emerging situation.

On mindful application of anti-terror law

THE advisory council has reportedly approved the draft anti-terror ordinance. It is, therefore, a matter of time by which the long-awaited anti-terror legislation becomes a reality. Events in the country and the neighbourhood have convinced many that gone are the days when the need of anti-terrorism law was questioned.

Unprofitable loan should be discouraged

LOANS are taken to be utilised ultimately for benefit. Such loans as ultimately bring benefits are infact tools of development. But such loans as can not be utilised beneficially are just burdens. These eat away the benefits of development.


Abahani secure top 9

Defending champions Abahani looked all set to retain their last season's squad for the coming B. League when they confirmed services of nine current national footballers on Thursday.

2007 brings Ashraful to the limelight again

It came as a spell of rain falling in the desert when Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful was declared the Sportsperson of the Year during Grameenphone-Prothom Alo sports awards ceremony yesterday.

SAFF squad likely to be named today

The national football team will play their last preparation match at home today ahead of next month's SAFF Football Championship.

Barisal reach semifinal

Barisal rode on Masud to book a place in the semifinals of the 28th National Cricket Championship after a three-wicket victory over hosts Sylhet yesterday.

Sonali's third in a row

Goals from Sheikh Nannu and Selim Khalid gave Sonali Bank their third consecutive victory in the Green Delta Insurance Premier Hockey League when they routed Dhaka Mariner Youngs Club 2-0 at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Local Snippets

Team Red face Green in the opening match of the Under-19 Challenge Series at the BKSP in Savar today.

Taylor takes NZ ahead

Ross Taylor's dashing, unbeaten 67 kept England's attack at bay before bad light forced an early halt to the first day's play of the second Test here at Old Trafford on Friday.

Ponting punishes WI

Three wickets, two to Darren Sammy, and purposeful bowling from West Indies slowed Australia down before lunch on the second day in the opening Test here on Friday.

Punjab serve warning

Despite having little to play for in this dead rubber, Kings XI Punjab put on an imposing performance against the Deccan Chargers at Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on Friday and gave the other teams plenty to think about ahead of the semifinals.

Back to basics

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has so much enjoyed the change of pace of the longer form of the game that he obliged with his 35th Test hundred of 158 helping his side reach 301 for four against West Indies when stumps were drawn on the opening day of the first Test on Thursday at Sabina Park.

Mancini's last match?

Roberto Mancini will take charge of Inter Milan in Saturday's Italian Cup final against AS Roma at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, possibly for the last time.

Romania look to upset

On paper Romania look to be the punch bag of Euro 2008's Group of Death but it would be foolish to discount them from turning the tables on their rivals.

Top coaches' big gamble

Being second only to the World Cup on the international footballing calendar Euro 2008 should bring together the cream of the continental crop -- which is doubtless why under-achieving England must watch at home.

A nervy two weeks wait

A nervy two week countdown starts on Saturday as the 16 Euro 2008 finalists put the finishing touches to their squads ahead of the opening game between co-hosts Switzerland and the Czech Republic in Basel.

Ferguson slams Real

Sir Alex Ferguson has launched a stinging attack on Real Madrid, accusing the Spanish champions of 'lacking morals' in their attempts to lure Cristiano Ronaldo to the Bernabeu.

Celtic celebrate title

Celtic players were ecstatic after winning the Scottish Premier League title in dramatic fashion following their 1-0 win at Dundee United on Thursday.

Kaka to have operation

AC Milan's Brazilian playmaker Kaka, the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year, will have an operation on his right knee on Friday, the Italian first division club said.

Henry thought about quitting after Euro

France striker Thierry Henry admitted Friday he has had thoughts about quitting after next month's Euro 2008.

Villarreal snap up Edmilson

Spanish league runners-up Villarreal have signed up Brazilian World Cup winner Edmilson, whose contract with Barcelona was at an end.

Owen out for England

Michael Owen is set to miss England's upcoming friendlies against the United States and Trinidad and Tobago.

Steaua boss promises big bonus

Steaua Bucharest owner Gigi Becali has promised a 5.5-million-euro bonus for the Romanian squad should they win Euro 2008.

Messi prefers Olympics

Barcelona's star striker Lionel Messi said on Thursday he had decided to play in August's Beijing Olympics with Argentina's under-23 side, meaning he will miss Barcelona's Champions League third qualifying round. Barca, who finished third in the Spanish league following last weekend's final round of matches, must win the two-leg tie to enter the money-spinning group stage of the world's most high-profile club competition.

Harry wins legal battle

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has won his legal battle over a police raid on his home that may have scuppered his hopes of becoming the manager of England.

Testing start for Federer

Birthday boy Novak Djokovic, the best player in the world in 2008, emerged the big winner after the French Open draw placed a succession of booby traps in the paths of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Nel returns for Proteas

Fiery paceman Andre Nel returns to the squad as South Africa announced a battery of fast bowlers for their tour of England on Friday.

Van der Bijl new umpires' manager

Vince van der Bijl, the former Natal and Middlesex fast bowler, has been appointed the ICC umpires' and referees' manager. Van der Bijl, who will "have overall responsibility for the management and smooth running of the umpires and referees section", will work under the board's cricket operations department and report to Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager (cricket).

Clarke flies off to Caribbean

Australian batsman Michael Clarke departed for the West Indies on Friday after delaying his trip to the Caribbean for family reasons.

Huge turn awaits

West Indies debutant spinner Amit Jaggernauth said he expected the Sabina Park wicket for the first test against Australia to be offering "huge" turn in the latter stages.


No progress in bringing persons responsible to book

Though 10 months have already passed since the investigation committee's report on recruitment scam at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) was submitted to the vice-chancellor, there is no progress in bringing the persons involved in the scam to book.

Only 6 shuttle trains for over 12000 non-resident students

Apparent indifference of the authorities to transport crisis has been forcing several thousand students of Chittagong University (CU) to risk their lives while travelling between the university campus and the city everyday.

6 killed, 32 injured in road accidents

At least six people were killed and 32 others injured in separate road accidents in Khulna, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Bagerhat in last two days.

Social negligence frustrates people with disabilities

The three children were born with physical disabilities but with the firm determination of their mother they are learning to overcome their challenges.

Denmark sees unlimited IT potential in Bangladesh

Denmark see the IT sector in Bangladesh to have an outstanding advantage in attracting foreign investment in comparison with many other competing countries.

Introduce health insurance for govt employees

Prof Muzaffer Ahmad, chairperson of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), yesterday said health insurance could be introduced for government employees instead of existing medical allowance.

Safe water transport system demanded

Nirapad Nou Chalachal Bastabayan Movement yesterday took out a mourning procession demanding implementation of a safe water transport system in the country.

Healthcare awareness campaign for farmers

Japan-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital (JBFH) and Hridoye Mati O Manush yesterday organised the 13th socio-psychological and healthcare programme at Chandanaish upazila in Chittagong to provide medical services and raise awareness among farmers.

'Gang leader' Abdur Rahman held in Moulvibazar

Alleged gang leader and drug trader Abdur Rahman Asid was arrested by Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) from Salami Tila area of Moulvibazar town yesterday.

Zonta Club Dhaka III executives

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Zonta Club of Dhaka III was held recently.

HSC, Alim exams begin May 29

The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent examinations, including Alim and HSC in Business Management (BM), will begin across the country on May 29.

CU shuttle train movement uncertain

Uncertainty looms over the plying of the shuttle trains in between Chittagong University (CU) campus and the Chittagong city as the equipment and signal instruments of the Sholoshahar Station were damaged completely following the Thursday's arson and vandalism.

Nazrul's birth anniversary programmes

The 109th birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam will be celebrated tomorrow with extensive programmes taken up by the government and various socio-cultural organisations.

WEAB comes to aid of acid survivors in Sidr-hit areas

With a view to raising fund for acid victims in Sidr-affected areas to make them self-reliant, Women Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh (WEAB) yesterday organised a discussion, mini exhibition, sale of paintings and cultural programme at Gulshan Club in the city.

CU student suspended for two years

Chittagong University (CU) syndicate has suspended a Shibir activist for two years on charges of assaulting two teachers in separate incidents.

Tk 11.36 lakh recovered, one held

Lalbagh police yesterday arrested an employee of a wholesale shop and recovered Tk 11.36 lakh, out of Tk 14.65 lakh he stole from the shop at Moulavibazar in the city several days ago.

Fazle Hasan Abed honoured

Brac Founder and Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Law by Columbia University of the United States for his comprehensive approach to fighting poverty, the powerful model of social change, and abiding commitment to serving the poorest and most vulnerable.

BBC Bangladesh Sanglap today

The 39th edition of the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap will be held at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the capital today.


Tea output may fall by 25pc this year

Tea production in Sylhet region may fall by around 25 per cent this year due to inadequate rain and attack of plants by insects including red spider, industry sources said.

Prof Taher's family, RU teachers feel insecure as Salehi released

Family members of murdered Rajshahi University (RU) teacher Dr S Taher Ahmed and many other RU teachers are feeling insecure after release of key killer-suspect Salehi from jail.

PKSF to provide jobs to 5 lakh poor in 5 N dists

Polli Karma-Shahayak Foundation (PKSF) has undertaken an ambitious programme in five northern districts to alleviate monga (near famine situation) under its integrated programme 'Prime' during 2008-2009 fiscal.

'Implement National Women Development Policy'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday urged the caretaker government to implement the National Women Development Policy (NWDP) 2008 for empowering women at all levels in the society and accordingly declare an action plan in the next budget.

Dewan Basit's son to run in polls race

Dewan Shamim Afzol, youngest son of late Dewan Abdul Basit, who was leader of the house in the then East Pakistan parliament and also a central minister, yesterday said he will be an independent candidature from Moulvibazar-3 constituency (Sadar and Rajnagar Upazilas) in the next general election,

Painting competition marks Zainul's death anniversary

A painting competition for school children was organised by Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala (art gallery) on its premises yesterday marking the 32nd death anniversary of Shilpacharya.

Threat to blow up KCC office

Criminals have threatened to blow up the newly constructed building of Khulna City Corporation (KCC) in a bomb attack anytime.

Recovery of water bodies begins in Khagrachhari

The district administration yesterday started an eviction drive here to recover rivers and water bodies grabbed by influentials.

Journo released in Moulvibazar

M A Muhit, Moulvibazar correspondent of Jugantor, was released from jail Thursday evening after 13 months.

Coal import thru Tamabil border to resume soon

Stalemate over coal import from Indian State of Meghalaya through Tamabil Land customs station is expected to end soon, coal importers in Sylhet yesterday said after a meeting with the Indian exporters on Tamabl border.


Lankan troops kill 19 civilians: Tigers

Sri Lankan government commandos yesterday killed 19 civilians in mine attacks inside the guerrilla-held north of the island, the rebels said.

Aid agencies ready to step up Myanmar aid

Aid agencies say they are ready to step up relief to cyclone victims in Myanmar following the announcement of new openness by the country.

China monitors flood threat from blocked rivers

Earthquake survivors living downstream from lakes formed by blocked rivers were being evacuated for fears that aftershocks could unleash flooding, and the death toll from the disaster rose Friday to more than 55,000.

China eyes 3 years to rebuild quake zone

China said yesterday it would take up to three years to rebuild its earthquake zone as the death toll from the nation's worst disaster in a generation surpassed 55,000.

Musharraf hurdle between people, democracy: Zardari

President Pervez Musharraf is a “relic of the past” standing between the people of Pakistan and democracy and there is tremendous pressure on the new government to ensure his ouster from office, Pakistan People's Party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said in an interview with the Press Trust of India on Thursday.

Ancient Chinese irrigation system stands test of time -- and quake

High above the world's oldest operating irrigation system, Zhang Shuanggun, a local villager, stands on an observation platform cracked by China's massive earthquake last week.

Five killed in police firing in Rajasthan

Five persons, including a policeman, were today killed in police firing and violence during protests by Gujjars demanding scheduled tribe status in Rajasthan's Bharatpur district.

Five Palestinian fighters killed in Gaza: Hamas

Five Palestinian fighters were killed during an Israeli military incursion in the Gaza Strip on Friday, Islamist armed groups said.

US to keep up Iran sanctions: Rice

The United States will keep up its sanctions on Iran until it renounces its programme of enriching uranium, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday.

China, Russia condemn US missile defence

The presidents of China and Russia have condemned a US plan for a global missile defence system.

India tests ballistic missile

India's military yesterday conducted a successful test of a short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile, defence sources said.

Bush bid to isolate ME hardliners backfires

The Bush administration's campaign to isolate Iran and Syria has backfired as the two Middle East hardliners ended up this week sidelining the United States, analysts said.

Mahathir warns of unrest amid political turmoil

Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad warned Friday of possible unrest in the multi-racial country, accusing his successor, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, of failing to assert his authority.

World Court gives lighthouse island to Singapore

The International Court of Justice yesterday awarded Singapore sovereignty over a disputed island at the eastern entrance of the Singapore Straits.

‘Cancer train' offers uncertain route out of despair in India

In India the "cancer express" is a train on which cheap cancer treatment is offered on the move.

US probe to make perilous landing on Martian arctic

After a nine-month journey through space, the US probe Phoenix will land on the arctic surface of Mars tomorrow to dig for ice in a new quest for signs of life on the Red Planet.

Pak children in danger from food crisis: Unicef

Pakistan's government must take urgent action to protect children from the effects of the global food crisis, a senior UN children's fund official said yesterday.

WB, UN agency chiefs to discuss food crisis

The World Bank, the World Food Organisation and other aid groups will hold an emergency meeting next week to discuss ways to deal with the global food crisis, a World Bank official said Friday.

Arts & Entertainment

Sheikh Mohammad Rokonuzzaman: Winner of Best Award in Print-making

This is for the second consecutive time that artist Sheikh Mohammad Rokonuzzaman has won Best Award in Print-making at the Young Artists' Art Exhibition organised by the Department of Fine Arts, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. At the 16th Young Artists' Art Exhibition Rokonuzzaman has won the award for his lithograph titled Journey by Boat 2. Earlier at the 15th session of the exhibition he won the award for his work titled Cycle.

Newest "American Idol" crowned, ratings up

The duel between the two Davids brought an estimated 31.7 million viewers to the Fox finale of American Idol, a million more viewers that last year's showdown between Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis, Nielsen Media Research reported Thursday.

An introduction to Sri Lankan rhythm and dance

Bangladeshis are not that familiar with Sri Lankan culture -- dance, music, traditions and such -- despite the latter being a neighbour and a SAARC member.

"Shayaner Gaan": A breakthrough album

Every artiste has (or should have) a unique style of presentation. Listening to the album, Shayaner Gaan -- the artiste with her powerful voice, uttering the edgy words with so much ease and emotions -- almost makes you feel as if she is singing to you, for you, narrating your personal stories.

Dr. Noazesh's projection of "Dhanshiri Nadi"

Dr. Noazesh Ahmed talking about his latest creation, Dhanshiri Nadi, based on the poetry of Jibanananda Das, says, "In my film I presented the poet's Dhanshiri Nodir Tirey. I took 22 of his poems and illustrated them through photography. In the video clips, included in the presentation, I've used natural sounds, such as that of the birds, moving wind and water lapping.

Film Screening at IFA

To preserve the heritage of fine arts, Bengal Foundation has taken an initiative and as part of that, the organisation has already made twenty documentaries on eminent artists of the country. Screening of the documentaries began at the department of Print-making, Institute of Fine Arts, DU on May 20.


Country and democracy more important than individuals

WHETHER the chief adviser's address to the nation on May 12 was good or not depends on who does the assessment. This issue is left aside as a lot has already been said about it. However, it goes without saying that a national charter in the form of consensus on major political and social issues facing the nation is a must for an acceptable election with a view to establishing an acceptable form of democracy, not the type that the country has been experiencing for the last 37 years.

Surging crime : Arrest this dangerous trend

HORRIFYING incidents of violence and terrorism stalk the land with immunity again. Terrorism or extortion or rape or murder is no longer an abstraction or something confined to the metropolitan cities and towns. These have again become the most defining -- and destabilizing -- factor in the lives of people across the country.

Urban poverty: Disquieting phenomenon

ACCORDING to the estimate of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, 43.2 percent of the urban populations were below the poverty line as recent as in 2005. In aggregate it included 14.8 million people. In percentage point poverty reduced but not in terms of the number of people. For example, in the estimate of 1991-92 the percentage was 46.7 while the aggregate population was 6.8 million, the jump was by more than cent per cent, just in one and a half decades!


Saving the coral biodiversity of St. Martin's island

St. Martin's, a small continental island in the Bay of Bengal, is located on the southern most tip of Bangladesh separated from the mainland by a channel which is about 9 km wide. The distance between the island and Teknaf (the head of mainland) is about 34 km. It is said that in 1926, the District Collector of the British government Mr. Martin brought this island under settlement record following which the island was named “St. Martin's Island”. Local people call this island “NARIKEL JINJIRA” because of large production of coconut in the island. The north portion of the island is called “Cheradia Dwip”, because during high tide, this portion of the island is separated from the other and also considered as the last southern landmark of Bangladesh (Fig 1)002E

Accentuating environmental degradation: Impact on development

Bangladesh faces a number of environmental problems due to its geographical location and setting, high density of population, poor socio-economic development, inefficient resource management and institutional framework. A study on Bangladesh state of environmental has been able to identify five environmental issues on a priority basis as points of national concern. On the basis of the methodology used by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development which is termed Pressure-State-Impact-Response (P-S-I-R) framework analysis, these key environmental issues have been critically analyzed. Some appropriate and necessary responses with regards to policies/programmes will be proposed so as to alleviate further environmental deterioration, thereby enhancing and modifying the environmental conditions positively, as well as improving the environmental quality of life in Bangladesh.


Wax Doll

a drop of sweat is born
above her eyebrow
it slowly gathers weight
attains adulthood
until the moment
it is perfectly
then motion
breaks apart its surface
its liquid interior coming
forth, the drop slides
inexorably downwards
and disappears

Of History and Memory

There seems to be a great spurt of cultural activity in the city from literary, music and other events at the T2 Café, I had written about earlier and last weekend, there was a well-attended panel discussion on Fault Lines: Stories of 1971 edited by Niaz Zaman and Asif Farrukhi. This is a really important and groundbreaking collection, because it brings together, for the first time, so many different, moving and often, unflinching stories of that war, told by writers in both Pakistan and Bangladesh. I cannot presume to imagine/comment upon what anyone from Bangladesh might have to say about this, but from this my own perspective I think the book can go a long way towards generating a meaningful dialogue.

Taxes, the caretaker government and UPL book sale

One of the areas that the caretaker government has not turned its reformist glance at is the exorbitant taxes imposed on imported books by Bangladesh, as well as the indiscriminate way various governmental agencies apply it. It results in untold miseries for booksellers in terms of customs clearance and confusion about categories of books liable for taxation (textbooks on Shakespeare, for example, may be taxed by one not-too-bright customs officer while let go under a loophole by another). It also has resulted in an ever-diminishing supply of quality books into Bangladesh and a consequent pauperization of its intellectual and literate bases, never too strong to begin with. Good foreign books are in short supply. They have become hideously expensive, a situation that causes outrage when one reflects on the fact that Bangladesh has the highest tax rate on imported books in the whole of South Asia. How can the Nepalese and Sri Lankese (both in far more roiling national turmoil than us) pay less for the same book? And why? Additional outrage is fueled by the knowledge that such taxes were originally imposed by unscrupulous elements in the domestic book publishing industry by lobbying past governments in order to have a captive market for their products. While their protectionist efforts were directed at books from West Bengal ('if you can't match them, ban them' is the motto here), the indiscriminate application of such a duty meant that nearly all categories of imported books came under the ax. No amount of appeals to previous authorities, indifferent to issues of books and literacy, held hostage hand and foot by publishing lobbies, managed to have it even reviewed, let alone rescinded.

In Memory of Afghani Women

For a moment I thought it was just another bundle of old clothes
Until suddenly it made a movement
As if to prove to itself that there was still
Something living within.

Star Health

How to cope with rheumatoid arthritis

The nagging pains and physical limitations of the more than 100 forms of arthritis are common to millions of people. Rheumatoid arthritis is among the most debilitating of all forms, causing joints to ache and throb and eventually become deformed. Sometimes these symptoms make even the simplest activities — such as opening a jar or taking a walk — difficult to manage.

Proper skin care: Cleanse, moisturise, protect

Your skin is among your body's most conspicuous features. It helps protect you against the environment and plays a major role in your appearance. But your skin needs regular care and attention in order to remain healthy and attractive. Taking good care of your skin — including proper cleaning, moisturising, use of sunscreen and shaving — can help prevent skin-related problems, such as dry or rough skin, deep wrinkles, liver or brown spots, and skin cancer.

The sweet solution - 2

Honey's reputation as a ‘universal remedy’ may be a subject of debate among scientists, but much contemporary research support its long list of beneficial functions. It is found that mixture of honey with different items can be used to remove the symptoms of various diseases.

Vienna selected to host international conference on HIV/AIDS in 2010

City's proximity to eastern europe and central asia, and strong commitment to HIV by government, scientists and civil society among the reasons vienna selected to host XVIII international AIDS conference
Vienna, Austria has been chosen to host the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010), the largest international meeting on HIV, where every two years 25,000 participants representing all stakeholders in the global response to HIV meet to assess progress and identify future priorities.

Dental implant or bridge?

Recently one of my relative came to Singapore for some official training of two weeks and suddenly he developed a toothache. So I brought him to our dental center unit of National University Hospital (NUH) and only found that one of his teeth is in very bad condition and needs to be removed.

Strategic Issues

India's planned manoeuvre of influence and the departure of Abe and Howard

INDIA, despite its demographic burden, is the fifth largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity and it has the third largest investor base in the world. India has proved itself to be one of the most vibrant democracies in the world. The US, on the other hand, emerged from the Cold War not as a country with unchallenged economic power and political influence, but as a superpower with unmatched military firepower. Many in the US felt that the country had overextended itself in international affairs at the cost of domestic issues and argued in favour of reviving the country's economic competitiveness, educational excellence and law and order situation.

The end of the Abu Mazen track and the Olmert dilemma

CURRENTLY, both the Israeli and the US doctrines are to maintain the status quo. Both sides see eye to eye regarding the situation with the Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and Syria.

S. Korea's Navy Chief visits India

Indian and South Korean naval officials are exploring possibilities for maritime cooperation in the region. The matter was discussed at length during the first-ever visit of a South Korean Navy chief to India.

Japan passes law to allow military use of space

Japan passed a new law May 21 allowing the use of space for defence, an official said, reversing a decades-old policy amid increasing concern about military threats in the region.

BAE team among 4 picked for UK fleet tanker bid

A BAE Systems-led team has been pitted against rival bids from Italy, South Korea and Spain to build a fleet of naval tankers to support Royal Navy operations.

Star Books Review

Shaping fantasies to depict reality

Shaheedul Zahir suddenly died of a heart attack on March 23, 2008. He was only fifty four. His death left us speechless in grief. A writer of rare quality, he was perhaps the most gifted storyteller of his generation. In fact he was one of the all-time best Bangladeshi writers of fiction. Like James Joyce, Manik Banerjee, Kamalkumar Majumder, Syed Waliullah and Syed Shamsul Huq, he was a writer's writer. Writing his fiction in the trend of magic realism, he emerged as the pioneer of this Latin American genre in Bangladesh. He was a bachelor. Poet Golam Faruq Khan, who was quite close to him, compares him with a tree of flowers which has fragrance but has no fruit. Let me assure Khan that Zahir the writer bore fruits which will live for a hundred years or more and fascinate writers and readers for many, many years in the future.

Seduced women and matadors in rings

Writing in English is no longer the patrimony of the Anglo Saxons. Under British colonial rule, English travelled almost the whole world, producing lots of writers in that King's language. The number is multiplying with the rise of postcolonial/diasporic consciousness. The situation is as if coloniser Prospero (The Tempest) is being rewritten by colonised Caliban with the same language the latter was taught by the former for utilitarian purposes. The Empire is writing back to its Centre (Rushdie). And thus is the number of writers in English rising across the globe. Bangladesh too is not lagging behind. The trend initiated in India by Raja Rammohon Roy and enriched by R.K.Narayan, Mulk Raj Anand, Nirad C. Chaudhuri et al has naturally flowed down to Bangladesh. This can quite justifiably be called 'English Writing in Bangladesh' regardless of any nomenclature. Adib Khan, Kaiser Haq, Razia Khan Amin and Tahmima Anam have emerged as the vanguard of this trend.

Smacked across the face with a wet Hilsa

I must confess to a certain weakness for works of fiction by women authors.

Interpreter of people's lives

This is a revealing biography of Amrita Sher Gil, who has remained a symbol of modern Indian art since the early twentieth century. Sher Gil's passionate intensity and devotion to art placed her at the core of aesthetics in the Indian sub-continent in the early 1930s. In her unfortunately short life, she blazed across the Indian art scene and challenged the landscape of Indian thoughts, feelings and imagination. She gave a touch of the modern to and a fresh look at Indian modern art. The book deals extensively with the ins and outs of the painter. One can easily finish reading it in one sitting owing to its soothing and alluring language. The writer has tried to draw on all aspects of Sher Gil's brief life in her engaging work.

The Daily Star

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