The Daily Star

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Monday, October 20, 2014


News of: Monday, 26th of May, 2008

Front Page

Truth commission okayed

The cabinet yesterday approved formation of the Truth and Accountability Commission (TAC), providing corruption suspects with an avenue to avoid imprisonment in exchange for confessions and surrender of their illegally earned wealth or the equivalent amount in cash to the state.

Grassroots leaders for joining talks

Most grassroots leaders of the Awami League (AL) are for recommending the central leadership of the party to participate in dialogues with the government and for pressing for realisation of the party's six-point demand including release of party chief Sheikh Hasina prior to the national elections.

Saifur group hopes for unity signal from Khaleda

Leaders of the pro-reform BNP faction expect that detained Chairperson Khaleda Zia, scheduled to appear before a court today, would give the nod for reconciliation move allowing them a dignified return to the fold.

Horror strikes

Police yesterday arrested a woman after she admitted to masterminding the killing of her drug-addicted son failing to endure his torture.
The mother, Momtaj Begum, also told the police that her only daughter assisted her in making the plan while three men executed the murder of her son Riaz Ahmed Chowdhury alias Suman.

Ex-army chief Gen Mustafiz arrested

Police yesterday arrested retired army chief Gen Mustafizur Rahman, an accused in the MiG-29 purchase scam case, at a city hospital where he has been undergoing treatment.

JSD proposes nat'l govt for 3-5 years

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) on the second day of dialogue between political parties and the government yesterday proposed formation of a 'national government' for three to five years after the elections to ensure sustainable democracy in the country.

Govt cancels licences of 32 agencies

The government has cancelled the licenses of 32 travel and recruiting agencies in the last two months for irregularities in manpower business and involvement in human trafficking.

25 injured as private university students clash in Uttara

Clashes between students of two private universities in Uttara left 25 students and policemen injured yesterday.

Dab leader Dr Zahid gets 13yrs

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced AZM Zahid Hossain, secretary general of Doctors Association of Bangladesh (DAB), a pro-BNP doctors' association, to 13 years' imprisonment for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information about his actual wealth in the wealth statement submitted to the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

Fortune-seeker returns as broke, ends up in hospital

Monir Hossain went to Malaysia in July last year with high hopes of earning a lot, but after his return on Thursday, he was hospitalised yesterday for severe weakness caused by over work and lack of adequate food.

MM Ruhul Amin new chief justice

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday appointed MM Ruhul Amin as the next chief justice (CJ), superseding Justice Mohammad Fazlul Karim, the most senior member of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court after the incumbent CJ.

Hasina, Khaleda to be brought to courts today

The two former premiers of the country, Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia, will appear before separate courts on the Sangshad Bhaban premises this morning.

CA for strong measures to control law and order situation

Chief Adviser Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday directed the authorities concerned to strengthen security measures and monitoring to maintain law and order across the country.

Khulna mayor jailed for 7yrs for extortion

A Khulna court yesterday sentenced Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahman and KCC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Sarder Abu Taher to seven years' rigorous imprisonment in an extortion case.

ACC official cross examined during trial of Hasina

The cross-examination in the barge-mounted power plant graft case against former premier Sheikh Hasina and seven others continued yesterday for the third day.

2 jail guards punished for attacking Star reporter

Two guards of Tangail Jail were stand-released Saturday night in connection with attacking Mirza Shakil, the Tangail correspondent of The Daily Star.

2 jail guards punished for attacking Star reporter

Two guards of Tangail Jail were stand-released Saturday night in connection with attacking Mirza Shakil, the Tangail correspondent of The Daily Star.

CEC for holding JS, UZ polls together

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday reaffirmed the Election Commission's (EC) commitment to holding a credible parliamentary election that will ensure a good government in the country.

Quader optimistic about AL, BNP participation

Communications Adviser Ghulam Quader yesterday expressed his firm optimism about Awami League's (AL) and BNP's participation in the ongoing dialogues between political parties and the military backed caretaker government.

US envoy hopes for credible polls on time

US Ambassador to Bangladesh James F Moriarty yesterday expressed hope that the Election Commission would be able to hold a free, fair and credible election with participation of all political parties as per its roadmap.

Tarique files petition for quashing bribery case

Tarique Rahman, elder son of former premier Khaleda Zia, yesterday filed a petition with the High Court (HC) for quashing the proceedings against him in the case of Tk 21-crore bribery following the murder of Humayun Kabir Sabbir, a director of Bashundhara Group.

UNHCR chief arrives today

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka today on a two-day visit that will highlight the need to find a lasting solution to the issue of around 27,000 Rohingya refugees living in the country.

Mojahid seeks anticipatory bail from HC

Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid yesterday filed a petition with the High Court seeking ad-interim anticipatory bail in the Barapukuria corruption case.

7 engineers of RHD to be released

A Dhaka court yesterday ordered to release seven engineers of Road and Highways Department (RHD) and an official of a construction firm in connection with a Tk 14 lakh bribery case.

Powerful aftershock hits China: 1 killed

One of the most powerful aftershocks to hit quake-ravaged central China killed one person, left dozens more injured and levelled homes yesterday, as soldiers carrying explosives hiked to a blocked-off river to alleviate the threat of floods.

Lebanon elects president after months of turmoil

Lebanon's army chief Michel Sleiman was sworn in as president on Sunday in a first step towards defusing an often deadly 18-month standoff between feuding political factions.

Editorial

Warning to forest grabbers

THE chief adviser's voicing of resolve that zero tolerance has been ensured in all spheres of forest administration to curb corruption, mismanagement and malpractice is reassuring. Evidently, it is set against the revealing tales of plunder of forest resources by officials of the forest department denying the national exchequer millions in revenue. Their misdeeds exemplified the classic aberration of the gateman becoming poacher.

New road in city

WE welcome the government decision to construct a new link road between Old Airport Road and Rokeya Sarani to reduce unbearable traffic congestion in that part of the city. The proposed road will be used by vehicles wanting to go westward - Agargaon, Shaymoli, Mohammadpur and Mirpur - instead of taking a detour from the Bijoy Sarani. The planners claim that the link road will save several minutes of the commutation time for travelling from east to west and vice versa. It is heartening to know that the road will become operational by the end of the current year.

An eclipsed fortune for new Labour

ON a sunny Friday in the month of May, by the sparkling water of the Thames, Tony Blair, Britain's former prime minister famously declared that a new dawn had broken. It was eleven years ago that new Labour was gripped with an unprecedented euphoria, portending a period of its unprecedented triumph for over a decade.

Obama's foreign policy stance

EVEN though Senator Barack Obama is not yet the official presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, he is already in a fierce debate with President George Bush and his possible successor Republican Party's presumptive nominee Senator John McCain about diplomacy versus confrontation with countries such as Iran and North Korea. John McCain has already accused former president Clinton of "appeasement" for engaging North Korea, instead calling for “rogue state rollback.”

Double jeopardy

THERE is a television game called “Double Jeopardy” built around a rather depressing thought that the answer to a problem might be a problem in itself. India's Marxists have just discovered that this game could spill over into reality.

Sports

Usha's 9 out of 9

Tactical masterstrokes by Rana Jahir and clinical finishing from the forwards helped Usha Krira Chakra outplay Abahani 4-2 in the concluding match of the Green Delta Insurance Premier Hockey League yesterday.

Brothers' big bite

Brothers Union and Mohammedan came alive in the transfer market in the last two days to strengthen their squads for this year's B. League.

Rangpur bag last semi spot

Rangpur completed the last four of the 28th National Cricket Championship after they coasted to a five-wicket win over Khulna in Sylhet yesterday.

Bangladesh in final

Bangladesh women's handball team reached the final of the 3rd South Asian Handball Championship beating Pakistan 23-16 in the last league match in Lucknow yesterday.

BFF delegation leaves for FIFA Congress today

A three-member Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) delegation led by president Kazi Salahuddin will leave Dhaka today for Sydney to attend the FIFA Congress.

Local Snippets

Eskaton Sabuj Sangha emerged champions of Second Division Cricket after a 13-run win over Prime Dholeswar Sporting Club in the final at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Panesar claims six

Monty Panesar returned his best figures in Test cricket here Sunday but England were still left needing to rewrite the record books at Old Trafford to beat New Zealand.

WI spark collapse

Australia suffered a rare batting collapse at the start of their second innings after Shivnarine Chanderpaul survived a stunning blow to the head and scored his 18th Test hundred for West Indies in the opening Test on Saturday.

Sourav's gift to Kolkata

Sourav Ganguly ensured a winning departure for Kolkata Knight Riders as his fantastic unbeaten 86 fashioned a close three-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab at the Eden Gardens last night.

Roma gain revenge

AS Roma retained the Italian Cup after a 2-1 victory over Champions Inter Milan at the Stadio Olimpico here on Saturday to gain revenge for their defeat in the Serie A title race.

Chelsea sack Grant

Avram Grant was sacked as manager of Chelsea on Saturday after less than one season in charge and in the immediate aftermath of the club's heartbreaking Champions League final defeat.

Last chance of glory

His spot-kick stop from Nicolas Anelka crowned Manchester United kings of the continent but Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar might prefer it if penalties do not stand between success and failure for the Netherlands at Euro 2008.

Lyon complete double

Lyon completed a memorable first league-cup double on Saturday when they beat Paris Saint Germain 1-0 in the French Cup final to add to their seventh successive championship.

Hamilton masters Monaco

Briton Lewis Hamilton won Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix and reignited the scrap for this year's drivers' world championship with a memorable drive for McLaren in a race of treacherous wet and dry conditions.

A 'really bad' season

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has described Chelsea's season as “really bad” and said their campaign could be described as great only by someone with “the philosophy of a loser”.

Kaka battles for fitness

Brazilan striker Kaka, who has had an operation on his left knee, left hospital here on Saturday.

Kahn in Kolkata

Famous German soccer team Bayern Munich arrived in Kolkata by a special Lufthansa flight from Indonesia.

Terry haunted by memory

John Terry, whose penalty miss cost Chelsea the chance of winning the Champions League final, said he will be "haunted forever" by the memory of that moment.

Dutch thump Ukraine

Liverpool pair Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel were both on target as the Netherlands beat Ukraine 3-0 in a Euro 2008 warm-up match here on Saturday.

Greece suffer setback

Defending European champions Greece slumped to a 3-2 defeat to Hungary on Saturday, just two weeks before the Euro 2008 tournament gets underway in Switzerland and Austria.

Greece suffer setback

Defending European champions Greece slumped to a 3-2 defeat to Hungary on Saturday, just two weeks before the Euro 2008 tournament gets underway in Switzerland and Austria.

Switzerland see off Slovakia

Switzerland enjoyed a 2-0 friendly win over Slovakia on Saturday, just two weeks before the Euro 2008 championships, which they are co-hosting, get underway.

Croatia edge Moldova

Croatia won 1-0 against Moldova at the coastal town of Rijeka on Saturday in their first warm-up match ahead of next month's Euro 2008 finals.

Serbian duo struggles

Serbian duo Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic, both tipped as potential Roland Garros champions, endured struggling starts to the French Open on Sunday.

Pace reminds of past

For an hour on Saturday at Sabina Park, West Indies cricket took a step back in time.

Abahani women make good start

Abahani beat Jawlakhel Sports Club of Nepal in straight sets in the opening match of the International Beach Volleyball tournament (women's section) at Laboni Point.

Flynn cleared of concussion

New Zealand batsman Daniel Flynn was cleared of concussion by a neurosurgeon Saturday after being hit on the head 24 hours earlier in the second Test against England here at Old Trafford.

Injury worry over Smith

Graeme Smith, the Rajasthan Royals' opener, is likely to miss their next match against the Mumbai Indians on Monday after pulling a hamstring during the Chennai game, said captain Shane Warne.

Samuels disputes ban

The two lawyers that represented Marlon Samuels at the West Indies Cricket Board's disciplinary hearing to determine his links with an alleged Indian bookmaker intend to challenge his two-year suspension from the game.

Business

Chinese firm to shakeup animal feed market

The country's multi-billion taka animal feed industry is facing a major shake up with one of China's largest animal feed producers, New Hope Group, starting production in Bangladesh.

Sales of IPS units jump on load shedding

Sales of Instant Power Supply (IPS) units have jumped sharply this year as the urban middle class has joined businesses in trying to shield themselves against the constant round of load shedding.

Competition hardens on prestigious Dhaka-Bangkok route

Competition has intensified on the Dhaka-Bangkok route as another local private airline Best Air commenced its international operation yesterday by launching its first international flight on the route.

Power outage, labour unrest cost jute mills corp Tk 100cr

Power failure and labour unrest caused a Tk100crore loss to the cash-struggling Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, BJMC sources said.

Govt urged to lift restrictions on taking foreign loans

The country's apex trade body has urged the government to lift restrictions on borrowing by exporters from foreign countries.

Decision on Sheraton's new management by end of next month

Bangladesh Services Ltd (BSL), the owning company of Dhaka Sheraton hotel, intends to take decision on appointment of a new company to manage and operate the hotel by the end of the next month.

RMG factory installs software to monitor real time production

Viyellatex Group, a leading apparel manufacturer and exporter, installed the expensive Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) software yesterday for the first time in the country's textile sector to monitor real time production.

Special budget funds for Ctg sought

The upcoming budget should allocate special funds for the development of Chittagong, a meeting was told.

Multiplan real estate fair begins

A 12-day fair, organised by Multiplan Limited, a real estate company, was inaugurated in Dhaka yesterday.

Pricing mechanism issue comes to the fore

The pricing mechanism issue has come to the fore once again before the submission of application by Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company, a state-run enterprise (SoE), for getting listed to the country's prime bourse in Dhaka very shortly.

Even wealthy Finland sees food queues flourish

Reijo Miettinen, 62, never used to worry about going hungry, but as global food prices swell he has joined a growing number of Finns forced to turn to charity to fill their bellies.

DSE gains as insurance stock prices keep soaring

Stocks at the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) gained yesterday amid continuous surge in insurance companies' share prices.

Japan hosts Africa confce with eye on Asian rivals

Japan will hold a major conference on African development this week amid growing competition with its regional rivals for influence in the poverty-stricken but resource-rich continent.

Tourism shaken in China quake zone

A sculpture proclaims Dujiangyan the "top tourist city in China." But at the ancient irrigation works, a World Heritage site, the ticket office is now a smashed reminder of a devastating earthquake.

Iran to raise domestic gas prices

Iran plans to hike domestic gas prices in order to encourage consumers to conserve and to help to free up supplies for export, officials said on Saturday.

Japanese firms slowing down capital investment

Japanese companies are slowing down their capital investment in the face of a stronger yen, rising material costs and concerns about the US economy, a report said Sunday.

Business portal Tejari appoints Axiom agent in Bangladesh

UAE-base business to business portal www.tejari.com has appointed Axiom Technologies Ltd its agent in Bangladesh, says a press release.

Marico chairman due in Dhaka today

Harsh C. Mariwala, chairman and managing director of Marico Limited, is due today in Dhaka on a 3 day, says a press release.

Australian firm to invest $20m in S Korea

Australia's Woodside Petroleum will invest at least 20 million dollars in exploring for oil off South Korea's east coast, the economy ministry said Sunday.

S’pore inflation hits record

Singapore's annual inflation rate rose to a new 26-year high of 7.5 percent in April as food, housing and transportation costs soared and is now a risk to the economy, the government said Friday.

US home sales decline

The troubled US housing sector saw little relief in April as sales declined and prices fell further, creating a record glut of homes for sale, an industry group said Friday.

US already in recession: Buffet

While economists quibble, the world's richest man has decided: the United States is already in recession. So Warren Buffet tells German magazine Der Spiegel in an interview to be published on Monday.

British, US trade unions to merge

Britain's biggest trade union is set to announce a merger with a US counterpart to eventually create the first global labour organisation, a British press report said Sunday.

Sri Lanka sharply raises fuel prices

Sri Lanka Sunday hiked the price of diesel and gasoline in a response to galloping world crude oil prices, the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation said.

High oil prices hurting airline stocks

With crude oil prices hitting new records every day, investors are not to be blamed for shunning the airline sector.

Metropolitan

Study Nazrul's works to build knowledge-based society: CA

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday called for research on Nazrul's works for building a knowledge-based society.

Two Huji men placed on 3-day remand

A Dhaka court yesterday placed two operatives of the banned militant organisation Harkatul Jihad Al Islami (Huji) on a three-day remand for interrogation in connection with the CPB rally bomb attack case.

Hold general election before local govt polls

Politicians and civil society members yesterday said the caretaker government (CG) should give priority to holding general election before local government polls so that no confusion arises in the minds of people over the parliament election.

2 domestic helps jump from rooftop to escape torture

Two domestic helps were injured as they jumped from the six-storey building to the rooftop of a nearby building at Mohammadpur in the city yesterday in a desperate bid to escape from alleged torture and sexual abuse by their employer.

11 Biman, customs staffers detained on graft charges

Members of the joint forces yesterday detained 11 officials and employees of Customs Department and Bangladesh Biman at Zia International Airport (ZIA) on charges of irregularities and corruption.

Street children need immediate rehabilitation

Liton, a 12-year old boy sells betel leaves at a park and lives with his distant aunt and her son in a slum at city's Tejgaon area.

'Implement Hatirjheel project as per original plan'

Residents of West Merul in the city yesterday demanded implementation of the Hatirjheel project according to its original plan to save numerous residential quarters and business establishments from destruction.

Motijheel Ideal School, Siddeshwari Girls' College clinch titles

Motijheel Ideal School and College and Siddeshwari Girls' College emerged as champions at the UCB Second Inter School and College Debate Championship 2008 in the school and college categories respectively.

Low develops over Bay

A low has formed over northwest Bay along costal Bangladesh, said a Met office release yesterday.

Social Welfare Instt teachers to take classes from today

Teachers of the Institute of Social Welfare and Research at Dhaka University (DU) finally took decision to start taking classes of master's students after getting assurance from the vice chancellor of appointing a new director at the institute.

Nazrul's birth anniversary observed

The 109th birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam was observed with due festivity yesterday.

SC to publish annual report for the first time

The Supreme Court (SC) is going to publish its annual report on May 31 for the first time in its history.

CU classes resume tomorrow

Classes at Chittagong University (CU) will resume tomorrow after a three-day unscheduled suspension.

Quayes made envoy to Russia

The government has appointed Mohamed Mijarul Quayes, presently high commissioner of Bangladesh to the Maldives, as the ambassador to Russia.

Shotgun snatched from police recovered

The police yesterday recovered the shotgun that was snatched from two police constables in Konabari Bazaar area in Joydevpur on Thursday night.

Boy killed in road accident

A boy was killed and four people were injured in a road accident at Banshmangol in Sadar upazila yesterday morning.

CAB executives

Borhan Ahmed and Kazi Faruq have been elected president and general secretary of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) for a two-year term.

Tk 19cr Japanese scholarship grant

Japan will provide a grant of Tk 19.30 crore this year to Bangladesh under its Human Resources Development Scholarship project.

Gazette of 7th Wage Board Award published

The gazette of the 7th Wage Board Award 2008 for journalists, press workers and employees of newspapers and news agencies has been published.

National

Vow to maintain peace in CHT

Indigenous and Bangalee people in their thousands yesterday joined peace rallies in Badhaichhari and vowed to ensure communal harmony and resist those trying to create discord in the hills.

3-day Nazrul celebrations begin at Darirampir

A three-day programme marking the 109th birth anniversary of national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam began at 'Nazrul Mancha' at Darirampir in Trishal upazila yesterday.

Ariful has specific graft charges

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had made specific allegations of corruption against former Sylhet city BNP chief Ariful Haque Chowdhury, who had been charged for amassing wealth beyond his known sources of income.

Four accomplices of jail-breaker outlaws held in Kushtia

Police Saturday night arrested four accomplices of the convicted outlaws who escaped from Chuadanga Jail on May 15.

Daughter seeks father's recognition after 39 yrs

Halima Begum Rubi, now a 39-year-old woman with four children, wants recognition by father and paternal rights.

Attack on Star reporter condemned

Journalists of different newspapers and electronic media in Sirajganj and Netrakona yesterday protested and condemned the barbaric attack on The Daily Star Tangail Correspondent Mirza Shakil while doing his professional duty at Tangail prison compound on Saturday.

Another kingpin of Allaher Dal held

Gaibandha police arrested another important leader of banned Islamist militant outfit Allaher Dal from Gaibandha Poura Park yesterday.

Rape case against ex-chairman of Srimongal pourasava

A rape case has been filed against former chairman of Srimongal Pourasava and former president of Srimongal upazila BNP Md Mohsin Miah Modhu.

Promotion after 14 months of death

A late lecturer of Srimongal Government College has been promoted to the post of assistant professor after 14 months of his death.

Outlaw held, arms seized

An arrested regional leader of outlawed Gono Mukti Fauz got bullet injuries when he attempted to shoot police at Berbari village under Shailkupa upazila in Jhenidah yesterday morning.

Letters

Chakoria incident

It is a matter of disgrace to the police (a man was reportedly beaten to death by a police officer at Chakoria). The distance between the police and citizens is increasing day by day. The sense of responsibility and humanity has completely vanished from the minds of police. Most of the time they work for the rich (who give them bribes) rather than poor, weak people. The rate of corruption in the police department is so high that now we can't think of any honest policeman. But the situation was quite different in the past (May be during the British period). Police used to command a lot of respect at that time. Even at the time of our liberation war, many policemen fought like tigers. But the situation has completely changed.

Population problem

These days many people are found talking on TV on various subjects. There is no dearth of subjects. They talk on dialogue with the parties, jute, price hike of rice and other commodities, increase in oil and gas prices, Nargis and Sidr and so on, but nobody talks about a major problem of the country and perhaps of the world. What is that? Well, that's the 'population problem of Bangladesh'.

Water logging

Water logging is a great problem that occurs (as is common for salinisation) in poorly drained soils where water can't penetrate deeply and that are poorly drained topographically. The raised water table results in the soils becoming waterlogged. When soils are water logged, air spaces in the soil are filled with water, and plant roots essentially suffocate -- lacking oxygen. Water logging also damages soil structure. Worldwide, about 10% of all irrigated land suffers from water logging. As a result, productivity has fallen about 20% in this area of cropland. The ultimate results are soil pores have no oxygen, vegetation can turn yellow, growth is stunted and thin, trees and plants can die, bare patches of soil appear, plant species more tolerant of saturated conditions will take over.

Govt high school & college

In Sabujbag residential area, mostly middle and lower middle class people live. But the government has not set up any high school or college over here. The private high school and college in the locality are sub-standard.

War crimes

At the heart of the concept of war crimes is the idea that an individual can be held responsible for the actions of a country or that nation's soldiers. Genocide, crimes against humanity, mistreatment of civilians or combatants during war can all fall under the category of war crimes. Genocide is the most severe of these crimes. In the context of war, a war crime is a punishable offence under international law, for violations of the laws of war by any person or persons, military or civilian. War crimes can be committed during international armed conflict or internal armed conflict.

Patgati bridge

In 1999, the then government started construction of the Patgati bridge over the Madhumati to connect Pirojpur and Bagerhat districts with Gopalganj. Though the bridge would make easier highway links from the southern part towards the rest or the country through Gopalganj, when completed, only two pillars of the bridge have been constructed so far.

Beggars

The number of beggars is increasing in the city day by day. They make roads and passages unclean and unhygienic. The Bangkok city authorities made the capital free from beggars and rickshaw pullers since the mid seventies which helped the city to be attractive to the tourists.

Costly errors

Rectifying a mistake can rather be an easy task, but one wishes that the same could be said about errors in judgement as well…. especially with regard to politics. If unleashing a lethal political vendetta between two ladies (leading two major political parties in Bangladesh) for years to score petty-political gains (a major political mistake) was an act of political misdemeanour, then the unwillingness of (a grave error in judgement) these two ladies and their surrogates to realise that they are not invincible was nothing but a political felony/crime. And crime does pay very dearly and perhaps unfairly, at times.

Lebanese scene

Recent attacks by Shia Hezbollah on the Sunni-led government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora in Lebanon signalled the coming bloodbath between two hostile Muslim sects in the region. Heavily-armed Shiite gunmen belonging to Hezbollah are slaughtering mostly unarmed or lightly armed Sunnis with the aim to establish a Shiite hegemony in Lebanon and unless other Arab countries stop Hezbollah, Lebanese Sunnis might face a mass slaughter.

Chittagong British Council library

Once Chittagong British Council library boasted a good collection of books. On the cards issued by the library it was labelled as a charity. Hence a good number of students and readers visited the library. Thus the library played an important role that was both educative and charitable.

Abduction of a Pakistani envoy

It now appears from a BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) report, the ambassador of Pakistan to Afghanistan - who was reportedly abducted by Taliban militants, a few months ago was released recently by his captors. It should be a piece of good news for family and friends of the envoy plus government of Pakistan, per se.

Edward Kennedy

American Senator and a friend of Bangladesh Ted Kennedy is seriously ill with a deadly brain tumour. He is the man who supported Bangladesh during our glorious liberation war, while his country supported Pakistan.

Purchase committee

Some former members of the Khaleda cabinet who, being members of the then Cabinet Purchase Committee, have recently been arrested for their alleged involvement in the 'Gatco Corruption Case'. Some such arrested former ministers, some 'Talkers' in the local TV channels and some journalists, through their writings and speeches, are trying to give an impression to the nation that the said Cabinet Purchase Committee was nothing but a mere rubber stamp without any significance. As an ordinary citizen, I do not know what is written in the 'Rules of Business' on the duties and responsibilities of the members of the purchase committee. But I can assume that a committee on which sits a number of senior cabinet ministers, and on whose recommendation the prime minister gives his/her decision cannot be a committee on paper only. If the members of the committee conducted themselves as the “domestic aides” of the prime minister and, knowing the prime minister's mind recommended something which the prime minister wanted to do, the committee members concerned cannot escape the responsibility for the wrong doing by the prime minister.

Dwindling BTTB

This refers to the Star Business report (DS, 23 May) on the dwindling BTTB subscribers. I am not surprised to see its gradual decline. Even making BTTB a public limited company will not be an appropriate solution. As per this report quoting a BTTB high official, it is not the 'limited capacity to accommodate new connections' rather the backward looking and stagnant outlook of the Board that has created this situation. Mind that there is a huge amount of unpaid bills pending with the government organisations and, on the other hand, the individual subscribers are virtually being held hostage by the 'hon'ble linemen' all over the country. And the BTTB has failed to do anything about it as the Board is also being controlled by highly politicised union people.

US presidential election

Forrest Cookson's gloomy piece predicting that John McCain will win the next US Presidential election may be prophetic. It also is right out of the Republican playbook, despite Mr. Cookson's suggestions to the contrary. I share the view that Mr. McCain has better chance of capturing the presidency than many observers suspect. But the exciting thing is that the rise of Mr. Obama has been both spectacular and unprecedented. Who, six months ago, would seriously have expected him to be ahead of such an establishment figure as Mrs. Clinton? What happens from now on depends on whether Mr. Obama runs a campaign that continues to challenge the conventional rules of US politics, and whether he is able to transcend the past. It is certainly possible that he will do so, and that he will win a decisive victory that may be seen as a turning point. To foretell his failure at this juncture is out-of-touch with the situation on the ground, and is exactly what the McCain camp is counting on. Mr. Cookson's piece is little more than a stealth endorsement for Mr. McCain, and readers need to know that.

DU students' plight

I would like to draw your attention on the news about resident DU students living in complete misery. It's a pathetic view of our best university. When the VC is living in a nice building , I guess, his students are sharing floors in a completely dire situation. I don't know how the administrators themselves used to live when they were students, but I think they should be sympathetic and take necessary steps. Since DU is one benchmark and reflection of country's educational system, where can I hide my face when our national dailies reveal such unpleasant truths. I was a student a few years back though not from DU but I feel sorry for them.

Rajuk's role

It is incomprehensible what The Daily Start tried to mean by its very news item captioned “A city itself set to dot Dhaka horizon” dated 15th May 2008. The content of the news item says that Rajuk is filling up wetland with an area of over 2,000 acres in Uttara. The story is also full of pleas Rajuk usually made in the past in grabbing valuable farmland, evicting the owners, for distribution among the members of the unholy alliance of the politicians, bureaucrats and the businessmen. In this distribution of looted items the Rajuk officials also get a chunk.

International

Donors pledge cyclone aid at Myanmar conference

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he is hopeful "a turning point" has been reached in Myanmar's cyclone crisis as an international conference yesterday pledged tens of millions of dollars for some 2.4 million survivors in need of aid.

BJP wins Karnataka election

The BJP's dream of ruling a southern state appeared certain on Sunday with results in Karnataka showing that it would emerge as the single-largest party in the state.

Foreign aid gains pace as rain clouds threaten China quake zone

More foreign help arrived in China yesterday as forecasts of heavy rain threatened to pour more misery on survivors of the devastating earthquake that killed more than 62,500 people.

LTTE should give up demand for state: US

The US has asked LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran to give up demand for a separate Tamil state saying the community wanted a solution to the over two-decade-old ethnic conflict within a "united" Sri Lanka.

Pak-Taliban accords must not put coalition soldiers at risk, says Nato

Nato yesterday asked Pakistan to avoid agreements that "put our troops and our mission under threat" with peace talks on that side of the border linked to an increase in attacks in Afghanistan.

Foreign trooper among 16 killed in Afghan clash

A foreign soldier, two policemen and a dozen Taliban were killed in clashes in a key Afghan opium-producing area on Sunday, while three troops were hurt in a suicide blast in Kandahar city.

Nations urge deep emission cuts by US, Japan

European and developing countries urged the United States and Japan on Sunday to commit to deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 a step they say is needed to defuse a coming ecological disaster caused by global warming.

Israel serious about peace with Syria, says Olmert

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said yesterday that indirect peace talks with Syria, a process begun more than a year ago and confirmed this week, will be conducted seriously and in secrecy.

Iraqi army seizes arms from Sadr City

Iraqi forces deployed in the Shia stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad under a truce deal have seized a large haul of weapons and bombs in search operations, the US military said yesterday.

S African violence kills 50 as concerns mount

The death toll from two weeks of anti-immigrant violence in South Africa rose to 50 yesterday as concerns mounted for an estimated 35,000 people who have been displaced by the backlash.

Torrential rain kills 10 in northwest Pakistan

At least 10 people including six young children from the same family were killed as torrential rain lashed Swat Valley in northwestern Pakistan, police said Sunday.

37 killed in caste riots in India

Authorities invited leaders of one of India's lowest castes for talks as the death toll rose to 37 Sunday from three days of bloody demonstrations over caste classification.

Mugabe fights for survival with start of campaign

With his rival back in the country, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe fought for his political survival Sunday as he kicked off his election campaign.

Arts & Entertainment

A lost soul

Nazrul was restless -- a defining trait in his character. He had been granted permission to come down from heaven to his beloved country to see for himself how his devotees were celebrating his 109th birthday. While the angels draped him in his favourite 'gerua khadder panjabi', he put on his black military boots that he always wore. His trademark -- untamed long curls falling loosely from underneath the bright yellow silk turban, he hummed a favourite tune Sheye choleye gecheye boley... The twinkle in his eye said it all -- he would hardly wait.

“Nazrul Mela” by Channel-i

May 25 marked the 109th birth anniversary of our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. His works -- poetry, songs, features, essays and more -- played a great role during the movements against the British Raj. During the Liberation War his songs and poetry inspired the nation.

Kabir Sumon and his “Jibonmukhi Gaan”

On Fridays, the busy city life shifts into a slow gear. Last Friday (May 23) many music aficionados gathered at the National Museum to enjoy a solo performance by Kabir Sumon. The main auditorium was packed; some waited outside hoping to get tickets. A local organisation Chirkut organised the programme.

Highlighting Bangla music trends of 19th and 20th centuries

Department of Production of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy organised a research-oriented programme titled "Bangla music trends during 19th and 20th century" at the Music and Dance Centre on May 25.

A spectacular display of Korean dance and music

Korean natural beauty and traditional culture were presented through dance performances by BJ Dance Group, an organisation of Cultural Foundation of National Foundation, South Korea. The troupe performed two contemporary and five traditional dance compositions at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on May 23.

OP-ED

The rebel poet

IT is our privilege that Kazi Nazrul Islam was made the national poet of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Nazrul's song Chal-Chal-Chal Urdo Gogoney Bajey Madol was adopted as the national military song of Bangladesh.

Looking beyond election

WITH the arrests of Sheikh Hasina and Begum Khaleda Zia there should not have been any doubt in any quarter, especially among the detractors of this caretaker government, that the government will not waver in its resolve to cleanse politics from the garbage of crime and corruption -- the twin banes of this nation.

Walk away

KENNY Rogers, one of country music's icons, has a line in the song "The Gambler" in which a card shark tells a greenhorn that he needs to "know when to walk away and know when to run." This piece of homespun wisdom may or may not have much value for poker players. However, in the game of international politics, where the stakes are considerably higher, it is invaluable advice. As the Bush administration enters the high noon of its negotiations with India over a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement designed to end India's decades-long nuclear isolation -- a result of unwillingness to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) -- the United States needs to heed the gambler's admonition.

Insanity is all relative, especially in my clan

YOU think the Middle East Conflict is a tough problem to resolve? You should try the Vittachi family reunion. Admittedly, slightly fewer rocket-powered grenades are involved. But in terms of the complexity of issues, the two events are pretty much on a par.

Star City

Citizenship debate comes to end but doubts and worries remain

Biharis residing in camps are in a fear of eviction and uncertainty after the High Court on May 18 granted them citizenship, ending a long-lasting argument over their status.

Where every family is an island

Fatima Ahmed has been getting a foul smell in her apartment. Her bedroom reeked of something faecal. And it did not take the schoolteacher long to find the culprit--a leaking toilet pipe coming from the apartment above hers.

"city express"

The latest crop of quotes from the city's press -- words worth repeating, we feel, for their humour, insight or sheer outrageousness. Star City does not necessarily support the opinions expressed in this column.



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