The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, July 31, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 28th of May, 2008

Front Page

Most houses out of sewage net

The sewage treatment plant of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) remains underused for years due to non-cooperation of the house owners.

4 ex-alliance ministers quizzed at jail gate

Detained former ministers Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, Motiur Rahman Nizami, M Shamsul Islam and Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday denied any wrongdoing in awarding the Barapukuria coalmine deal to CMC, saying they "only" approved the deal on the basis of recommendations from the ministry concerned.

Minus-2 'conspiracy' still on: Hasina

Detained former premier Sheikh Hasina yesterday said a 'conspiracy' is still on to implement the minus 2 formula in a bid to render her ineligible for contesting in the next parliamentary election.

Jalil charged with ill-gotten wealth

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil in a case filed for amassing wealth worth Tk 36 lakh illegally and concealing information in his wealth statement.

Falu sued for dodging Tk 2.75cr income tax

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday filed a case against detained former BNP lawmaker Mosaddak Ali Falu for dodging Tk 2.75 crore income tax between 1996 and 2006.

Bid to revive deal for repatriation

Bangladesh and UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, yesterday agreed to revive the tripartite agreement under which Rohingya refugees would be able to voluntarily return to their homeland in Myanmar.

Manpower export to Bahrain stops

Employment of Bangladeshi workers in Bahrain comes to a halt, as the country on Monday stopped issuing work permits to Bangladeshis, Bahraini newspaper Gulf Daily News reported yesterday.

EC gets 1057 appeals from the aggrieved

Aggrieved by the Election Commission's (EC) move to redraw parliamentary constituencies, politicians and other people have filed 1,057 appeals with the EC against re-demarcation of 43 constituencies.

Subsidence continues in 10 Dinajpur villages

Several pieces of land in 10 villages adjacent to the Barapukuria coalmine in Dinajpur have subsided recently and the cultivable lands have now gone under water.

AL won't join talks if Hasina not freed

Awami League (AL) yesterday said it would not join the ongoing dialogue with the caretaker government without its detained President Sheikh Hasina.

Ex-MP Salim gets 7yrs in extortion case

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced former BNP lawmaker from Bagerhat MAH Salim to seven years' rigorous imprisonment for extorting Tk 12 lakh from the owner of a construction firm in September 2006.

Govt sits with business leaders today to set time

The government sits today with business leaders to set the schedule for a dialogue with them as part of its talks with citizens’ groups in parallel with the ongoing dialogue with political parties.

Khaleda's petition for quashing case rejected

After four days of hearing on Khaleda Zia's petition to quash the Niko corruption case filed against her, the High Court (HC) yesterday rejected the petition considering it as not submitted before the court.

Old man freed after 14yrs in jail without trial

A sexagenarian who languished in Bagerhat jail for 14 years on end without trial was released on Monday, three weeks after the High Court granted him bail.

HSC exams begin tomorrow

A total of 6,20,020 students sit for the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examination and its equivalent Alim and Business Management examinations tomorrow under nine education boards of the country.

Home mulls reviving 1996 murder case

The home ministry is seriously considering reviving the murder case of an expatriate Bangladeshi who was killed 12 years ago in Dhaka inside Zia International Airport (ZIA).

Charge hearing deferred till June 3

The hearing on charge-framing in the case of Tk 21-crore bribery following the murder of Humayun Kabir Sabbir, a director of Bashundhara Group, has been deferred to June 3.

Village named after language martyr Salam

Language martyr Abdus Salam's ancestral village Laxmanpur in Daganbhuiyan upazila of the district has been renamed Salamnagar.

Hearing on HC rule begins

The High Court (HC) yesterday started hearing on the rule it had issued earlier on a writ petition filed by former prime minister Sheikh Hasina challenging legality of trial proceedings of the barge-mounted power plant corruption case against her.

BNP to announce stance soon

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is likely to spell out soon its position on joining the ongoing political dialogue with the caretaker government.

Tangail jailer transferred

The Jail Directorate authorities yesterday transferred Tangail jailer Nazrul Islam to Meherpur jail in punitive measures after complaints were filed against him for assaulting the Tangail Correspondent of The Daily Star on May 24.

2 ex-MPs sued for ill-gotten wealth

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed two cases against two former lawmakers for amassing illegal wealth.

100-acre land in Delhi allotted for South Asian University

The Indian government Monday allocated a 100-acre land in South Delhi for setting up the main campus of the South Asian University.

Nepali parties agree on ceremonial president, executive PM

Nepalese leaders yesterday agreed to create a ceremonial president, with the executive powers in the hands of the prime minister ahead of a key Constituent Assembly meeting tomorrow that is set to abolish the 240-year-old monarchy and declare the country a republic.

Myanmar junta extends Suu Kyi's house arrest

Myanmar's ruling junta has extended the house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi by another year, an official said Tuesday, as 16 of the democracy leader's supporters were arrested.

Obama signaling he will fight for Western states

It's the first event on the first day of a campaign swing through three Western states, and Barack Obama is covering all his bases.

Editorial

AL's extended meet decision for movement

THE decision taken at an extended meeting of the Awami League, based on the sentiment of its grassroots leaders and workers, not to participate in the on-going dialogue and general elections unless party chief Sheikh Hasina is freed introduces a worrying new element into the political dynamics of the moment. The concern is fundamentally that if the AL sticks to its decision to boycott the voting, a situation will likely arise that can only complicate an already fraught political atmosphere. We at this newspaper have stated earlier that our politicians and our political parties must put the national interest above any other considerations. It is especially at a time like the present that such maturity is called for.

Prioritising agricultural research

AGAINST the backdrop of intermittent food crises in the country, the government decision to allocate funds to the tune of Tk. 622 crore to carry out agricultural research is a timely step. The research endeavours will be directed towards finding ways and means to increase production of essential agricultural commodities to meet the need for food. The burgeoning population and growing demand for food make such research all the more pressing at the moment. Reportedly, the fund under the project titled National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) will be distributed in two phases, one for research and another for extension services. It has also been said that a sizeable portion of the fund will be spent for building an effective marketing system for farm products, project preparation and coordination. According to the government, the implementation of NATP would raise production of crops, fish and livestock by 10 percent and increase farmers' income by 20 percent.

History can reclaim territory it has lost

THE reformists, if they are really that, in the Bangladesh Nationalist Party have clearly fallen on bad days. Saifur Rahman has made a safe exit out of the country. How he managed to do that and who let him go remains a mystery. Mannan Bhuiyan is in jail. Both men have now seen fit to acknowledge once more the primacy of Khaleda Zia in the party. That has left Major Hafizuddin Ahmed in the soup. The army officer-turned-footballer-turned-politician now tells us that the caretaker government has taken the country back by a decade. Really? If that is an expression of wisdom, we the people will be content to confine ourselves to the kingdom of naivete.

POTA + federal agency not the answer

THE Jaipur blasts, which claimed 66 precious lives, are horrible reminders of how vulnerable Indian citizens remain to the depredations of fanatics who consider mass murder a legitimate means to further political goals. Official agencies haven't identified the crime's perpetrators.

Crisis and response

THE "responsibility to protect," or R2P, endorsed by world leaders at the United Nations in 2005, is a call to action -- not the opening lines of a Socratic dialogue by diplomats. Its origins lie in our collective failure to prevent or halt mass killings and ethnic cleansing in Rwanda, the Balkans and East Timor in the 1990s.

Sports

New face is Dollar

Uncapped pace bowler Dollar Mahmud was the only surprise when the national selectors announced the teams yesterday for next month's tri-series at home and the Asia Cup to be held in Pakistan.

Booters off to Bangkok

Winners of 2003 and losing finalists in 1999 and 2005 SAFF Football Championship, Bangladesh reached Thailand yesterday to play two preparation matches in Bangkok ahead of the fifth edition of the June 3-14 biennial South Asian football meet.

Tigers crowd A team

As many as twelve national players were picked in the 15-member Bangladesh A team for the tour to England in July.

5-star Usha crush Ajax

Usha Krira Chakra got off to a flying start in the Super 5 of the Green Delta Premier Hockey League when the leaders thrashed Ajax Sporting Club 5-0 yesterday.

Beach v'ball semis today

The men's and women's semifinals of the International Beach Volleyball tournament will be held today in Cox's Bazar.

Pioneer League

Mir Hazirbagh KC crushed Nasrin Sports Academy 5-1 in an east zone match of the Pioneer Football League at the Jagannath University College ground in Dhupkhola yesterday.

Clark sinks Windies

Clark's dismissal of Smith was far more straightforward. The left-handed opener was adjudged lbw for 28 in the seventh over of the morning, when he offered no shot to a ball that pitched and straightened.

Gayle, Taylor boost for WI

Chris Gayle has been included in West Indies' 14-member squad for the second Test against Australia, starting on Friday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua.

Chennai in semis

Chennai Super Kings grabbed the last available semifinal spot in the Indian Premier League after beating Deccan Chargers by seven wickets in their last league match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

Kuznetsova sails in rain

Torrential rain washed away top seed Maria Sharapova's eagerly-awaited 2008 French Open bow on Tuesday as Russian compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova sailed into the second round.

Terry will lead England

John Terry has been restored as England captain for Wednesday's friendly against the United States at Wembley.

Swedes look to Zlatan

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be just as well called an 'enigma' than his nickname 'genius' given his inconsistent displays for club and country.

Marin likely to play

The old adage of sink or swim could well be the term to be applied to German teenager Marko Marin as he looks likely to be one of the surprise selections for Euro 2008 after sparkling in a training camp.

Kahn's final appearance

Some 100,000 Indians came together to bid legendary German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn a fond farewell when he began his last match as a professional for Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

'It is up to C'Ron'

Real Madrid is awaiting a decision by Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo on his possible transfer to the Spanish champions, but are hopeful of signing him, Spanish newspapers said Tuesday.

Ballack fired up

German captain Michael Ballack shrugged off his disappointment at losing out to Manchester United in last Wednesday's Champions League by saying on Monday he couldn't wait for Euro 2008 to begin.

Euro 2008 Briefs

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

Sweden edge Slovenia

Tobias Linderoth's first goal in more than seven years for Sweden saw the Euro 2008 finalists beat Slovenia 1-0 in a warm-up match for the finals on Monday, though, worryingly star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic sat out the match with his knee bandaged.

Macedonia hold Poland

Poland's dreams of making an impression at their first ever appearance at a European championship finals looked anything but likely after a 1-1 draw with Macedonia in a warm-up match on Monday.

UAE to host Club WC

The United Arab Emirates will host the Club World Cup in 2009 and 2010, world governing body FIFA announced here on Tuesday.

Guus unveils Euro squad

Russia coach Guus Hiddink on Tuesday unveiled his final selection of 23 players to play in the Euro 2008 finals.

FIFA shelves altitude ban

World governing body FIFA has shelved its controversial ban on international football matches played at high altitude, its president Sepp Blatter said Tuesday.

Sidebottom's year

When Ryan Sidebottom was slicing through New Zealand's raw top order back in March, Jeremy Coney, the former Kiwi captain, bemoaned that the batsmen were "making him look like Wasim Akram". He followed up with something along the lines of "and he's no Wasim Akram".

Youth over experience

Those who doubted that cricket could be a demanding and capricious mistress needed only to watch the last ball of this incredible game between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals on Monday. A current Indian under-19 star and one from the not-too-distant past ranged against a side with a wealth of international experience. Two runs for the win, one for the tie. Who would your money have been on?

'Back from dead'

England captain Michael Vaughan admitted his side were close to being "dead and buried" in the second Test against New Zealand before coming back for a six-wicket win.

Vettori hails scheduling

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori believes the fixture schedule can help his side level their Test series with England after a deflating six-wicket defeat here at Old Trafford.

Aussies fallible, says Dyson

Australia beat West Indies in the opening Test of their three-match series on Monday but West Indies coach John Dyson said his side had learnt the visitors were fallible.

Business

BB allows hedging against commodity price risks

The central bank yesterday published guidelines allowing hedging the price risks of commodities in Bangladesh.

Two listed firms merge next month

Two listed companies under the same ownership will merge next month as part of a new business strategy, a move market experts say will strengthen the country's stock market.

10-yearly trade licence under scrutiny

The Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) mayor has assured businesspeople of examining the possibility of issuing trade licences to them for a period of 10 years, instead of the existing 5-yearly licences.

Women's earnings lower than men's: BIDS study

Although women's employment in manufacturing sector is growing at a faster pace, their earnings are still significantly low compared to their male counterparts, a study finds.

Ex-Siemens official admits setting up slush funds

The first hearing on corruption at Siemens began Monday with a defendant acknowledging the existence of a slush funds at the giant German industrial group.

State-owned banks achieve only 8.02pc of recovery target

Four state-owned commercial banks (SCBs) achieved only 8.02 percent of their loan recovery target from the top 20 defaulters and 16.64 percent from other defaulters in the first quarter of 2008.

Another firm to recast board in line with SEC directives

Following Mona Food's board reconstitution, another listed company, Niloy Cement Industries, is going to recast its board in line with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) notification, to improve the company's performance.

Bangladesh to request IDB to double its financing for fuel imports

Bangladesh will request the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to double its financing for fuel oil imports, a meeting on fuel oil financing at the Planning Ministry decided yesterday.

BB asks commercial banks to open SME centres

The Bangladesh Bank has asked the scheduled commercial banks to earmark 40 percent of its SME loans to small enterprises, besides allocating 15 percent of the total credits to female entrepreneurs, the central bank sources said.

Airline, casino builder eye Vietnam's skies, beaches

An Australian low-cost airline and a Canadian luxury resort and casino developer have launched two ambitious projects that aim to revolutionise Vietnam's fast-growing tourism industry.

Who's afraid of Warren Buffett?

Warren Buffet, the world's richest man, arrived in Germany last week with his cavernous wallet looking to buy solid, family-run firms in the country's world-beating small and medium-sized business sector.

Dubai's Al Ghurair group opens flour mills in Lanka

Dubai's Al Ghurair group commissioned a 56 million dollar flour mill in Sri Lanka on Monday, ending a monopoly on milling held by Singapore's Prima group, officials said.

Asian shares close mostly up on bargain hunting

Asian shares closed mostly up Tuesday as investors hunted for bargains in the wake of steep falls triggered by worries about soaring oil prices and rising inflation.

Citycell launches services in Bandarban

Cellphone Citycell recently launched its services on trial basis in Bandarban, says a press release.

Vietnam inflation hits 25pc in May

Vietnamese consumer prices surged by over 25 percent in May compared to the same month last year, a trend driven mainly by sharply higher food prices, the communist government said Tuesday.

GlaxoSmithKline declares 25pc dividend

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Bangladesh Ltd. has declared 25 per cent dividend for its shareholders for the year 2007.

S’pore receives record visitors in April

Singapore received a record 826,000 visitors in April, up 0.8 percent over the same month a year ago, tourism officials said Tuesday.

New DMD of Jamuna Bank

Md Abdus Salam has recently joined Jamuna Bank Ltd as deputy managing director, says a press release.

DSE indices fall amid profit taking

Price indices on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) fell yesterday amid profit taking.

Dollar subdued in Asian trade

The dollar was narrowly mixed in subdued Asian trading on Tuesday as players fretted about high oil prices and the state of the US housing market, dealers said.

Philippine imports rise 12.2 pc in March

Philippine imports in March rose 12.2 percent year-on-year to 5.12 billion dollars in March as the cost of oil imports surged, the government said.

China plans creating three telecom giants

China plans to create three telecom giants as it seeks to bring balance back to an industry where mobile operators have seen the fastest growth by far, the government and state press said Tuesday.

Moves to cut oil taxes

Russia's government on Monday proposed tax cuts that would save oil majors billions of dollars (euros) as part of measures to boost production in response to record prices, reports said.

Malaysian to ban border fuel sales to foreigners

Malaysia said Tuesday it will ban petrol stations on its borders with Thailand and Singapore from selling fuel to foreigners, in an attempt to contain the spiralling cost of subsidies.

France, Ireland lead EU alarm over WTO talks proposals

France and Ireland poured cold water Monday on proposals to kick-start World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks, with Paris and Dublin indicating a sizeable gulf with EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson.

Metropolitan

Change negative attitude towards people with disabilities

Expressing their concern over the negative attitudes of society towards people with disabilities, speakers at a discussion have said little care and recognition can surely change the scenario.

Washing hands before eating food can halve diarrhoea, RTI patients

The Health Impact Study Baseline Survey, conducted by Institute of Cholera and Diarrhoeal Diseases and Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) last year, revealed that still 13 percent people are practising open defecation and the practice is most common among children and the hard core poor.

RMG worker murdered, teenager found dead on rooftop of train

A garment worker was beaten and stabbed to death in Khilgaon neighbourhood in the city early yesterday, police said.

New law to violate autonomy of public varsities

The caretaker government's move to approve the draft of Umbrella Act for all public universities will destroy the autonomy of the universities, speakers at a discussion said yesterday.

Pry teachers reject govt decision

Primary school teachers of the country threatened to go for tougher movement against the government decision of handing over the responsibilities to Brac, a non-government organisation, to supervise all primary schools in 30 upazilas.

Bangladesh gets priority in new Pak foreign policy

Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday said he has initiated a move to pursue an eastward foreign policy with Bangladesh receiving the top priority.

'Stop harassment of fishermen'

Small fishermen and fish traders yesterday placed an eight-point demand, including sufficient allocation in the upcoming budget for the welfare of fishermen.

20m infected with Hepatitis B virus a year

At least 20 million Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), 2.0 million Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and 0.26 million HIV new infections are associated with unsafe use of injections every year across the world, experts quoting a WHO report said yesterday.

2,000 GMG passengers stranded for technical maintenance

Some 2,000 passengers of GMG Airlines got stranded as its Dubai-bound airplane Boeing-747 was grounded for “technical maintenance” at Zia International Airport on Monday.

Laptop operator killed, 17 injured as jeep hits tree

A laptop operator under the voter-registration programme was killed and 17 others, including army and police personnel, were injured when a jeep crashed into a roadside tree on Choumohoni-Feni road yesterday morning.

DU likely to place Tk 152cr budget for next fiscal

Dhaka University (DU) is likely to place its annual budget of around Tk 152 crore for the fiscal 2008-09 at its senate meeting next month.

Move to abolish Pirojpur-2 constituency protested

Local people of Kaukhali and Bhandaria in Pirojpur yesterday protested the Election Commission's decision to abolish the Pirojpur-2 constituency comprising the two areas.

Dhanmodi Police Station OC, 2 SIs suspended

Officer-in-charge (OC) and two sub-inspectors (SI) of Dhanmodi Police Station were suspended yesterday on charges of registering a robbery case as a theft case.

Jubo Dal demands release of Khaleda

Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal, youth front of BNP, yesterday announced its 12-point demand including release of former premier Khaleda Zia after withdrawal of all cases so that she can participate in the formal talks.

Telephony in 8 dists suspended for 3 hours tomorrow

Due to repairing works of optical fiber cable at Bogra-Rangpur route, BTTB telecommunication service will remain suspended tomorrow from 12:00am to 3:00pm in eight districts -- Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon and Panchagarh.

DU student missing

Abdullahil Kamil Shiblee, a fourth year honours student of Persian language and literature department of Dhaka University (DU), has been missing for the last 13 days, says a DU press release.

Call for greater unity of Muslim Ummah

Speakers at a programme yesterday underscored the need for greater unity among the Muslim Ummah, saying the lack of unity has led to factions and sufferings among the Muslims across the world.

Appeal for help

Md Jamil Khan, an eight-year-old boy, has been suffering from aplastic anaemia, a serious rare disease that develops when the bone marrow fails to produce blood cells, says a press release.

Two brokers arrested

The US Embassy in Dhaka congratulates Dhaka Metropolitan Police for arresting two men alleged to be involved in an extortion scheme against a US diversity visa winner recently.

Agyan Party men rob 3 of Tk 3.5 lakh

Members of 'Agyan Party', a gang of criminals, took away Tk 3.5 lakh from them in two separate incidents in the city yesterday.

Call to formulate policy to rehabilitate hawkers

The government should formulate a national policy to rehabilitate the urban poor, including hawkers, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.

Train derails in C'nawabganj

A Chapainawabganj-bound passenger train derailed near Rahanpur railway station yesterday.

Navy kicks off tree plantation campaign

Bangladesh Navy has launched a massive tree plantation campaign at all Naval Bases and other shore establishments in Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Mongla and Kaptai and various places of coastal belt as a part of Tree Plantation Campaign-2008.

CU BCL demands withdrawal of case against activists

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Chittagong University (CU) unit gave a six-day ultimatum to the university authorities for taking step to withdraw the case filed against the BCL men on charge of violating Emergency Power Rules (EPR).

BARD observes 49th founding anniversary

Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD) in Comilla observed its 49th founding anniversary yesterday, says a press release.

National

Jubo Dal trying to keep BNP alive in Khagrachhari

BNP rank and file in Khagrachhari is gripped with frustration as most of its front ranking leaders are either in jail or on the run to evade arrest for alleged corruption.

Released AL leader flees Meherpur fearing arrest again

A court in Meherpur granted bail to Ahmed Ali, suspended chairman of Gangni municipality, Monday evening.

Sunamganj BNP demands removal of 'reformist' president

Sunamganj district BNP at a meeting yesterday urged the party high command to remove former lawmaker Nozir Hossain from the post of party's district unit president for his links with reformists in Dhaka.

'Don't take any decision harmful for local people'

Leaders of National Oil, Gas, Power, Mineral resources and Port Protection Committee at a meeting yesterday urged the caretaker government not to take any decision that will go against the people's interest.

WFP starts food aid for victims

World Food Program (WFP) yesterday launched its three-month-long food aid programme for the jhum cultivators in the rat-infested areas in Rangamati and Bandarban hill districts.

Outlaw killed in Chuadanga 'shootout'

A regional leader of the outlawed Purbo Bangla Communist Party (PBCP-ML) was killed in a 'shootout' between police and his cohorts in Chuadanga yesterday.

Huji member held in Magura

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested a suspected member of banned Islamist outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad (Huji) from his Sonatundi village house in Sreepur upazila in the early hours of yesterday.

2 BNP leaders arrested in Khagrachhari

Matiranga police yesterday arrested two BNP leaders from Matiranga municipality area on charges of extortion, corruption and other crimes.

2 bombs, bomb making materials recovered

Jhenidah police recovered two powerful bombs, bomb making materials and a handcuff from the house of district microbus owners association Secretary Abdul Matin at Paglakanai of the town early yesterday.

Jugantar newsman held, freed on bail

Netrakona police yesterday morning arrested the district correspondent of Dainik Jugantar and ETV, Yasinur Rahman Ripon from here on charge of extortion, police said.

Letters

Unique model

Mirdha's report on the new methodology of handling garment factory issues is clear and something to notice! This matter should be brought to the notice of all garment factory owners. It might be an easy and entertaining approach which might resolve many unnecessary factory disputes.

Citizenship for the Urdu-speaking

Three lakh Urdu-speaking people have been declared citizens of Bangladesh. Thanks a lot to the caretaker government, people and the judiciary. Although born and educated on the soil of Bangladesh, I used to feel bad for not having my legal citizenship. My Bangladeshi brothers never reminded me that I was not a citizen of this country, even then I always felt that I am not a legal citizen of this country. This is of course a great day for everyone of us who can feel the meaning of citizenship.

Medical ethics and advertisement

Recently a letter was published in The Daily Star drawing the attention of all with comments on the Ethical Aspects of the medical profession. He is right that medical profession is different from others as a human service within the framework of strong ethical guidelines. It is not a mere provider of service commodities in exchange of money or price, rather beyond that. Advertisements on medical practice and service that are common today are more reflective of general trading. There is dire lack of agreed consensus based moral code of conduct or guidelines in any arena where human interactions take place. Moreover, the little which is there is fast evaporating. Medical practice is one of them. It has been expected that a government should be the prime mover of this matter. But the government of Bangladesh has endorsed the present commercialisation process of the medical practice by imposing VAT on specialized medical practice.

Democracy

Democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people (Abraham Lincoln). Democracy is the ruling system by which the will of general citizens gets priority in governmental activities. Democracy helps to foster or sustain the process of good governance which is the latest element of development in the third world countries.

Politics of unfinished bridges

The respected Senior Assistant Editor of DS in the above titled piece mentioned that the PWD, RHD and WDB carry out the task of construction of bridges, in places not necessary, due to political desire of the local MPs. There are factual errors in it. First, the PWD is not concerned with construction of bridges, it is mainly the job of RHD and sometimes WDB. Both the organisations are not in the good books of the MPs as they conduct comprehensive feasibility study requiring much time before taking up any project, especially projects like construction of bridges which generally involve high costs. LGED, however, is the eye candy of the MPs as it is famous for its quick implementation with no or little feasibility study and donors also like it as it can spend funds very fast.The finance ministry and the line ministry of the engineering department concerned is responsible for timely disbursement of allocated funds in the four quarters of a financial year. Sometimes progress of work may get hampered as funds are not released in time.

Dhaka city

The city usually has about 20 million people during daytime and 12 million at night, as about 8 million people rush to the city and leave it after the day's work. Of the inhabitants of Dhaka city, about 25% people live in unhygienic places and without any good civic facilities like water, gas electricity. It is a matter of great regret that each and every day people are facing serious traffic jams.

Load-shedding

We need more power to develop faster.

Private universities

Private universities are free of student politics. But, are we to assume that they are free of corruption too? There is a sinister side to the issue that seldom gets mentioned.

Where is our tea?

Since childhood I am well aware of Sylhet's prominence as 'A land of a bud and two leaves', which refers to the tea, of course. We all know how tea is embedded in our Bengali culture and heritage. No meal, conversation and hospitality is complete without this hot beverage. It also plays an important part in earning valuable foreign currency for our country by being exported. Right?

Naeem's article

I particularly loved Mr. Naeem Mohaimen's article on May 19th, entitled 'the usual suspects'. He made some great points (with a great deal of wit as well) about the tendency of the Indian administration of treating Bangladesh as its scapegoat for everything that happens to go wrong. I greatly appreciated his reasoning in the article and it truly was a delightful read!!

Nargis

It was the responsibility of this government to warn the Myanmar authorities that hurricane Nargis was going to hit them. It was very odd to witness the government being relieved to watch that Nargis was heading towards Myanmar. This is not the way to develop good neighbourly relations. But couldn't this government warn the Myanmar authorities? Maybe such a high cost in life could have been avoided. Cooperation in weather forecasting was necessary.

Congratulations!

Two teams have participated in the BFF election held recently and nearly an equal number of contestants from the two sides have come out victorious. Salahuddin, the country's best and legendary striker, is the new president. On the other hand, Salam, another popular striker who has the record of scoring the maximum number of goals in a single season in Dhaka League, was elected senior vice-president. Not only Salahuddin and Salam but also Aslam, Badal Roy, Helal, Babul, Rupu and many other popular footballers have won this year.

Polythene bags

The govt. banned the use and production of poly-bags all over the country on March 1, 2002. But it is a matter of great regret that poly-bags are still available in the market. Both shopkeepers and customers are unwittingly using poly-bags to carry goods.

Capital city

Obviously Dhaka is choking due to its size. Pressure must be taken off this monster.

Biofuel or food?

In recent decades, economics studies have gotten us used to seeing our shared property - the atmosphere, the water, natural resources, fauna and flora - as something to be taken for granted. Land and water used in the past to grow food have been allocated for crops used to produce different types of biofuels, and the result has been an increase in food prices that today threatens quite a few countries. Feasibility studies of these projects must take into account the costs which, in the past, we used to overlook. We must decide what we want to consume - automotive fuel or food? Biofuels are a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional transport fuels and are climate-friendly. "Not all renewable energy is totally 'green," Wind turbines, for example, disrupt scenic panoramas, are often a source of noise pollution and harm fauna in their vicinity, such as birds. When calculating costs, a zero cost is affixed to birds, but it should not be forgotten that animals are part of the food chain, and the elimination of one species affects other species of flora and fauna and thus ecological balance is disrupted. Many countries are converting rainforests, savannas, or grasslands to produce food-based biofuels. They are just thinking about the economic benefits and environmental impacts are not taken into consideration.

Drug abuse

I was gratified to offer my expertise on preventing drug abuse among the young kids in a drug awareness programme for parents in a reputed English medium school in Dhaka. We were a four member team who were involved in developing and facilitating the presentation. By the way I am not one of the seasoned social workers or an expert on the public health issues. And being an amateur, I, out of passion, opted to participate. In the back of my mind I always kept a strong wish to synchronize my passion and prior real life experiences to build a professional carrier in this field.

“Free lunch” for farmers

The finance adviser while addressing a seminar recently on agricultural credit reminded the farmers that “there is no free lunch”. It was a misplaced accusation and at the same time very derogatory to the farming community. The farmers not only feed themselves but all of us by producing enough in all adversities. This year's bumper boro and potato harvest is a testimony to the above mentioned fact.

Wasa water

I had to visit the Dhaka Education Board office a few days ago. While waiting there, I went to the canteen to have a cup of tea. To my horror, I found the (so called) waiters filling water jugs directly from the Wasa tap, in front of everyone. Immediately that jug went to a table, and the water in someone's stomach.

English teaching

As far as English teaching at the SSC and HSC levels is concerned the motto has been communicative English. It emphasises communicative competence whereby a learner is able to produce meaningful sentences in different contexts. In other words, in communicative method, two skills-- listening and speaking --get the priority. The irony is that in our country the students of those classes have to sit for a written test where the two skills--reading and writing---are tested.

International

China orders evacuation amid flood fears

Chinese authorities yesterday ordered the evacuation of 80,000 people as troops scrambled to hold back a dangerously swelling lake formed by this month's devastating earthquake.

US pact must not harm national interest: Iraq

Iraq's national security council has asked Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to ensure that a pact under discussion to extend the US troop presence beyond 2008 will not harm the national interest.

Lanka vows non-stop war against Tigers

Sri Lanka's president vowed yesterday to press on with a military campaign to crush Tamil Tiger rebels, a day after guerrillas set off a bomb inside a train killing nine and wounding 84 people.

Iran may be withholding nuke study info: IAEA

Iran may be withholding information needed to establish whether it tried to make nuclear arms, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday in an unusually strongly worded report.

Foreign aid workers enter Myanmar cyclone zone

Foreign aid workers yesterday pressed into Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta, testing the junta's pledge to open up areas where one million people have yet to receive aid three weeks after the cyclone.

Pakistan must 'strike back' at terror: US

Pakistan should strike back at “terrorism” or it will see more attacks like the one that killed Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, United States Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff said on Monday.

12 die in Afghan blasts

Twelve people including three policemen were killed yesterday in two bomb attacks in Afghanistan, officials said, pinning the blame on Taliban extremists.

Bin Laden in K2 mountains?

al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden is hiding in the Karakoram segment of the Himalayan range, Arabic television network Al-Arabiya quoted its sources as saying on Monday.

UK asks Pakistan, Afghanistan to tackle militancy together

Britain today called on Pakistan and Afghanistan to work together to face the challenge posed by the Taliban, saying a "committed regional approach" alone could help build on progress made so far in tackling militancy.

Israel obliged to negotiate with Syria, says Olmert

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told MPs on Monday that Israel was left with no choice but to launch indirect peace talks with Syria, a top Israeli official said.

Peacekeepers 'abusing children'

Children as young as six are being sexually abused by peacekeepers and aid workers, says a leading UK charity.

US millionaire admits giving cash to Olmert

A US millionaire who is the key witness in the latest corruption probe against Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert admitted in sworn testimony on Tuesday that he gave large sums of cash to the premier.

Israel has '150 or more' nuclear weapons, says Carter

Israel has "150 or more" nuclear weapons, former US president Jimmy Carter said at a press conference over the weekend, a spokesman for the literary festival at which he was speaking confirmed.

HR rights talks with China 'constructive', says US

The United States held "constructive" talks with China on a wide range of human rights issues, a US envoy said here Tuesday as he praised the communist government for its earthquake response.

Archaeologists discover statues of Cleopatra, Aphrodite

An alabaster head of Cleopatra and a mask thought to belong to her lover Mark Antony have been found near Egypt's Mediterranean city of Alexandria, antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said on Monday.

Arts & Entertainment

Rabindra-Nazrul Jayanti celebration by UODA

Department of Music, University of Development Alternative (UODA) arranged a cultural programme to mark the birth anniversaries of Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on May 26. Students and teachers of Music Department, UODA rendered Rabindra and Nazrul Sangeet.

Nazrul Jayanti celebrations in Sylhet

On the occasion of 109th birth anniversary of our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, different organisations and institutions arranged discussions and cultural programmes featuring music, recitation, dance and more last Sunday.

Subachan Natya Sangsad stages "Khona"

Few theatre troupes have staged performances based on the legendary astrologer Khona, who is popular for her adages for the welfare of the masses known as Khonar Bachan. Subachan Natya Sangsad's production Khona highlights the woman behind the myth.

Sydney Pollack, Oscar winner film director, passes away

Sydney Pollack, a Hollywood mainstay as director, producer and sometime actor whose star-laden movies like The Way We Were, Tootsie and Out of Africa were among the most successful of the 1970s and '80s, died Monday. He was 73.

Afroja's tableware with a distinction

It is so much more interesting to have coffee or tea in a handmade ceramic mug rather than in the commercial counterparts. Similarly the artistically inclined in Dhaka often treat their friends to evening tea and snacks in ceramic tableware. Afroja Chowdhury recently had a solo exhibition of her ceramic ware and terracotta wall hangings at Zainul Gallery and managed to sell half of her creations. "The pleasure lies in getting viewers and appreciation for one's works," says Afroja.

Nazrul birth anniversary observed in Pabna

The National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam's 109th birth anniversary was celebrated recently in Pabna. A discussion and cultural programme were held in Pabna Town Hall premises last Sunday evening to mark the occasion. Ekushey Book Fair Celebrating Committee, Pabna was the organiser.

French classroom drama wins Cannes' top prize

The French film The Class, a frank tale about classroom life using real students and teachers at a junior high school, won top honours Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival.

OP-ED

The challenge is even bigger

THE present non-political caretaker government, that came to power on January 1, 2007, under emergency rules apparently with the objective of setting things right for a free, fair and credible election, and transition to a sustainable democracy, has been since then treading through a hazardous path to reach that goal.

A roadmap to wilderness?

SINCE its inception in 1971, more than once, Bangladesh has been at the crossroads. The most recent such critical juncture gave rise to so-called 1/11 that resulted in the promulgation of emergency and the consequent suspension of the fundamental rights of its citizens.

Aid agencies await the green light

INTERNATIONAL aid agencies are planning to test the Burmese government's promise to allow more disaster experts into the country's worst affected areas. Many foreign staff with the UN and other independent international organisations are preparing to head down to the cyclone-ravaged Irrawaddy delta in the next day or two, according to aid relief workers in Rangoon.

The reason why rock stars find it hard to write the next line

SO many readers wrote in with examples of shockingly awful song lyrics that I could fill this whole newspaper with them. Don't worry -- I won't. But I would be interested to see more examples of Canto-pop or other East Asian lyrics. In the meantime, here are 10 astonishingly bad lyrics from international stars.

Star City

Heritage buildings vanishing fast from city's skyline

There was a time when a walk through the meandering alleys of old Dhaka would remind one of the rich past of the city. A large number of beautifully designed old buildings used to adorn the streets. But now scores of high-rise apartment buildings have replaced them.

Students fear soon there will be no sites for study

Conservation architects and students of conservation architecture fear that they will have to remain content with the photographs, sketches and written accounts of the heritage buildings in future as many of the city's prominent heritage buildings have fallen victims to mindless demolition.

Impure fuel worries vehicle owners

The sale of adulterated petroleum continues in the city with the authorities taking no steps to check the unscrupulous business by a section of fuel dealers.


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