The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of: Friday, 30th of May, 2008

Front Page

One out of 88 DCC typists passes test

Bribery was the key to landing a job for 88 typists at the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) in 2006.

Tofail, family sued

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against senior Awami League (AL) leader Tofail Ahmed, his wife Anwara Ahmed and daughter Taslima Ahmed Zaman for corruption.

Over 23pc drop out of HSC exams

Over 23 percent students registered in class XI to sit for the HSC examinations this year have dropped out due mainly to financial constraints.

Biman strikes deal with Boeing in 2 weeks

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd is likely to strike a deal with US plane-maker Boeing to procure two Boeing 737-800s within the next two weeks.

CA reiterates commitment to peace missions

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said Bangladesh's commitment to the United Nations is backed by her readiness to make substantial contributions to peace missions and tackle any challenging and complicated situation.

No farewell for CJ on last working day

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) did not accord farewell to outgoing Chief Justice Md Ruhul Amin on his last day in office yesterday in protest against some recent judgments of the apex court.

Dialogue with business leaders June 3

The government will meet business leaders, non-resident Bangladeshis and workers' representatives to discuss the electoral roadmap and political stability.

Vital documents eaten up by termites

Important documents of the barge-mounted power plant graft case against former premier Sheikh Hasina and seven others have been found eaten up by termites.

Ex-secy Akhter, 15 others charged

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against detained former power secretary ANH Akhter Hossain, incumbent Managing Director of Desco Saleh Ahmed and 14 others in the Desco share scam case.

Charge sheet against Huji cadres Abu Zandal, Gharami

A Satkhira court yesterday framed charges against Zandal and Gharami, operatives of banned Islamist outfit Harkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji), for possession of 44 grenades.

Law ministry to sponsor TAC

The government yesterday decided in principle that the Law Ministry would sponsor the Truth and Accountability Commission.

Zia's death anniversary today

The crisis-riddled BNP observes the 27th death anniversary of late president Ziaur Rahman today, with party Chairperson Khaleda Zia and dozens of senior leaders detained in jails on charges of corruption.

Diplomatic move continues to lift Bahrain ban

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said diplomatic efforts are underway to lift Bahrain's ban on the Bangladeshi workers.

No dialogue, no polls without Hasina,Khaleda

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said there would be no dialogue and election in the country keeping the major political parities and their party chiefs out of the process.

Graft suspect Elias Ali made convenor of Sylhet BNP

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday reconstituted the party's Sylhet district unit with Elias Ali, a corruption suspect on the list of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), as its convener.

Hearing for framing charges against Khaleda, Koko June 4

The hearing on charge framing in the Gatco graft case against detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia, her younger son Arafat Rahman Koko and 22 others will begin on June 4.

Mojahid quizzed in Barapukuria graft case

Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General and former minister Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid was yesterday interrogated by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in connection with the Barapukuria graft case.

Student protesting sister's insult fighting for life

Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology student Mehedi Hasan Rana, who was beaten up by some students of Asian University on May 20, has been fighting for life in a city hospital for the last 10 days.

Ousted Nepali king packing up

Nepal's ousted King Gyanendra was said to be packing his bags yesterday, a prominent newspaper editor told AFP, the day after a Maoist-dominated assembly voted to abolish the country's monarchy.

Suicide bombers kill 20 in attacks on Iraq police

A suicide bomber shattered a police base in northern Iraq while another blew up a patrol on Thursday, killing 20 people, just as the US military announced plans to withdraw 4,000 more troops.

China, Taiwan agree to resume talks within 2 weeks

China and Taiwan announced yesterday they would quickly resume talks that have been suspended for more than a decade, in the latest sign of a dramatic thaw in tensions between the rivals.

Editorial

Bahrain's ban on Bangladeshi workers

The manner in which the Bahrain authorities have imposed a ban on any further recruitment of manpower from Bangladesh is cause for extreme concern. At the same time, it is for us a genuine reason to feel outraged. Coming on the heels of the sufferings Bangladeshi workers have been going through in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, this new move can only add to our growing disquiet about the future of our manpower export sector. What makes the Bahrain move extremely shocking is that it was recommended by a group of lawmakers in that country following the alleged perpetration of a crime by a Bangladeshi.

Nepal becomes a republic

The abolition of the monarchy in Nepal by an overwhelming parliamentary vote on Wednesday heralds a new beginning for the country. With as many as 560 lawmakers in the newly elected 601-member constitutional assembly voting to declare the country a republic, it is clear where the sentiments of the population lie. While it can be argued that the struggle against the monarchy was spearheaded by the Maoists, who now dominate Nepalese politics, it is also true that Nepalese in general have been yearning to see the back of the royal family for quite sometime. Former king Gyanendra made matters worse not only for himself but for his people as well when a few years ago he tried to impose his arbitrary authority by pushing politicians aside. He has now paid the price for that miscalculation.

Cards on the table

Game on. It is a testament to the circular nature of politics in Bangladesh that I used the same heading and same introduction to a column almost three years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same. The dynamics are different now, of course, with both AL and BNP in the opposition, so to speak, but once again the issue is elections and whether or not to participate.

The New Conversation

EVERY time you talk about corruption, others throw back aphorisms like revelations. They tell you that corruption is a fact of life. That everyone has a price. That character is nothing but lack of opportunity to do mischief. That even the holiest man will have the urge to clean up an unprotected house. That pure gold doesn't make ornaments. So, if you give one reason why we should fight corruption, others give more reasons why we shouldn't. In our bid to fight the virus, the virus has contaminated our souls.

Is referendum a first step to democracy in Myanmar?

ON May 10, the people of Myanmar (in 1989 the military leaders changed the name of Burma to Myanmar) voted on a referendum for a new constitution that military leaders claim is a "road map for democracy." The 75-year-old military strongman, Than Shwe, heads the regime.

Sports

Bangladesh's 2nd warm-up today

Bangladesh get their last chance to rectify all the mistakes in the past two months as well as find the right combination for next month's SAFF Football Championship when they play a warm-up match against Thailand's Bec Toro Sasana FC today.

Mohammedan edge Ajax

No-hopers Mohammedan Sporting Club recorded a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Ajax Sporting Club in their opening Super 5 match of the Green Delta Premier Hockey League yesterday.

Blatter assures help to BFF

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has promised to give his organisation's full support and help to the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF).

B-Licence for ten coaches

Ten local coaches have received the AFC B-Licence coaching certificate after successfully passing the course organised by the Bangladesh Football Federation under the auspices of the Asian Football Confederation.

Local Snippets

The Dhaka-Narayanganj final of the 28th National Cricket Championship will be held today after it was abandoned due to rain at the Sylhet Stadium yesterday.

Aussies unsettled

Australia are looking to wrap-up another series victory in the Caribbean, but they will be making a bittersweet entry into the second Test against West Indies, starting on Friday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

Sachin to miss tri-series & Asia Cup

Sachin Tendulkar will miss the upcoming tri-series in Bangladesh and the Asia Cup that follows because he hasn't recovered fully from his groin injury.

Wasim wanted as bowling coach

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) wants former Test captain and legendary pacer Wasim Akram to take over as the national bowling coach.

Nadal storms through

Defending champion Rafael Nadal eased into the French Open third round on Thursday with a 6-4, 6-0, 6-1 win over French qualifier Nicolas Devilder.

'Dropping stars was tough'

France coach Raymond Domenech admitted the toughest thing for him ahead of the Euro finals had been to drop seven men from his initial squad and he was still suffering from the aftermath.

Iraq cheers ban lift

Iraqis celebrated on Thursday after world football governing body FIFA lifted the threat of a 12-month ban, clearing the way for the Asian champions to play a key World Cup qualifier against Australia this weekend.

Terry smiling again

John Terry finally had something to smile about as he marked his return as England captain with a goal in Wednesday's 2-0 friendly win over the United States.

Messi eager for Brazil rematch

Argentina's World Cup qualifier against Brazil next month would be the ideal opportunity to reverse some poor results against their South American opponents, forward Lionel Messi said on Wednesday.

Russia warm-up with Serbia win

Russia recorded a 2-1 win in a Euro 2008 warm-up match with Serbia played in the German town of Burghausen on Wednesday.

Zidane cancels Aussie trip

Three-time world footballer of the year Zinedine Zidane has pulled out of his trip to Australia, forcing the cancellation of Sunday's exhibition match here, organisers said Thursday.

Jankulovski best Czech player

AC Milan defender Marek Jankulovski was Wednesday voted Czech footballer of the year in a poll of players and coaches in Prague.

Fergie, Queiroz found innocent

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and his assistant Carlos Queiroz were found not guilty of improper conduct by the Football Association on Wednesday.

Zambrotta on way to Milan

World Cup-winning Italian full-back Gianluca Zambrotta could soon be joining the ranks of giants AC Milan, if the club can agree terms with Barcelona.

IPL won't count

The Indian Premier League might have provided a launching pad for a number of previously unheralded players but the Indian national selectors are unlikely to be heavily swayed by Twenty20 performances when they choose the squad for the forthcoming tri-series in Bangladesh and the Asia Cup in Pakistan.

No change for Kiwis

John Bracewell, the New Zealand coach, has confirmed the side will retain the same batting line-up for the third and final Test at Trent Bridge starting on June 5, despite their six-wicket defeat at Old Trafford. New Zealand's inexperienced batting was exposed after they capitulated for 114 in the second innings, squandering an imposing first-innings lead of 179.

MacGill worries Aussies

Several concerns emerged from Australia's effort in the first Test, where the world's No. 8 team seriously challenged them, but the most worrying aspect was the form of Stuart MacGill. The team management has been adamant that MacGill remains the top spinner in Australia and can be a valuable asset for the next couple of years. His performance in Jamaica might have the selectors and coaches wondering if they spoke too soon after his return from surgery.

Hayden ruled out of tour

Australia received a jolt ahead of Friday's second Test with Matthew Hayden returning home after failing to recover from a lingering Achilles injury. Ricky Ponting's team missed Hayden in the first Test in Jamaica, especially in the second innings when they collapsed to 18 for 5 before recovering to score 167.

IPL popular with English

Despite claims from England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke that the IPL will not impact on the England team, speculation is growing that leading players are preparing to use the window between the end of the West Indies tour and the start of the 2009 season to head to India.

Ryder ruled out of ODIs

New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder has been ruled out of next month's one-day series against England after failing to recover from a hand injury.

Tim impressed with Windies

West Indies' fighting performance in the first Test has convinced Australia's coach Tim Nielsen that his opponents are on the way up the world rankings. Currently placed at No. 8, West Indies battled with Australia over the opening four days in Jamaica before folding in the 95-run loss.

McKenzie, Morkel given contracts

Neil McKenzie, Robin Peterson and Albie Morkel have been upgraded to national contracts in a bid to plug some gaps identified by Cricket South Africa (CSA). Gerald Majola, CSA's chief executive, confirmed the deals on Wednesday -- a month after the initial contract list was announced -- as he called for South Africa to push on further.

Afridi predicts bleak Tests

With the Indian Premier League taking Twenty20 cricket's popularity to dizzying heights, Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi foresees a bleak future for Tests as the five-day format would struggle to find favour among fans seeking instant entertainment.

Business

Internet fees for home users drop 25pc

The average internet access charge for home users will come down by 25 percent to Tk 750 a month, president of the Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) said yesterday.

Rahimafrooz to set up new auto battery plant

Rahimafrooz, the country's leading automotive battery manufacturer and exporter, is setting up a separate plant at Ishwardi in Pabna district to produce batteries to meet growing demand worldwide.

Samuda aims to be major producer of industrial chemicals

An industrial chemical manufacturing company aims for expansion to become the leading local producer of hydrogen peroxide.

Govt urged to up essential drug prices

Around two dozens of local pharmaceutical companies have urged the government to increase prices of some essential drugs on the plea that raw materials of those have marked a sharp rise in the global market.

US slowdown spooks Asian SMEs

A possible economic recession in the United States is creating anxiety among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Asia, a survey by UPS showed Wednesday.

No new gas connections in northern region until December

No new gas connection will be offered to the northern region of the country until December due to gas shortage.

Frequency allocation among 3 main mobile operators next week

Bangladesh Telecomm-unication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is now at final stage to determine charges for new frequency to be allocated sometime next week among the three main mobile operators.

2nd generation entrepreneurs need to be encouraged

The second generation entrepreneurs should be encouraged and trained to boost their businesses, a workshop was told yesterday.

BSRM launches 500-grade rod

BSRM Group, the largest steel manufacturer of the country, introduced a new kind of construction rod in the local market, which, the manufacturer thinks, will reshape the domestic construction market.

Hilsa leaves fishermen with bitter taste

The mouthwatering smell of freshly fried hilsa fills the air at Mawa Ferry Ghat on the banks of the Padma. Travelers on their way to Shariatpur, Madaripur, Faridpur, Khulna and Bagerhat queue, trying to grab the hotel boys' attention so they can buy small pieces of the delicacy.

Slowdown looms on Indian economy

A slowdown looms for India's economy amid global financial turmoil even though it may post better-than-expected growth for last year in official data due on Friday, economists say.

Bank shares up at DSE

Dhaka stocks continued gaining for a second day yesterday with the benchmark index hitting all time high at 3167.99 points led by banking sector shares.

Receive VAT from small traders once annually: CCCI

President of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) Saifuzzaman Chowdhury yesterday requested the government to receive the value added tax (VAT) and other taxes from small traders and shopkeepers once annually as per the previous rate and provision.

In'l trade fair in Khulna kicks off Sunday

A month long International Trade Fair (ITF) will begin in Khula from Sunday.

DHL opens Leipzig hub in Germany

DHL, world's leading express and logistics company, has opened its new European air freight hub at Leipzig/Halle Airport in Germany.

Oil retreats but stays above $130

World oil prices retreated but stayed above 130 dollars in Asian trade on Thursday amid growing jitters about falling US gasoline consumption spooked by skyrocketing pump prices, dealers said.

German inflation accelerates

German inflation accelerated sharply in May, preliminary data showed Wednesday, adding to worries about Europe's largest economy and further dashing hopes of a cut in eurozone interest rates.

Dollar edges higher

The dollar posted modest gains in Asian trade on Thursday, supported by better-than-expected durable goods orders which helped to calm market jitters about the US economy, dealers said.

Japan calls for major boost in investment in Africa

Japan pledged Thursday to help its businesses double investment in Africa, saying the continent needed better roads and security to bring about Asian levels of growth.

World Bank studying food aid to ease crisis

The World Bank is studying the creation of a special fund to help combat aspects of the global food crisis which is threatening an increasing number of developing nations, a source said Wednesday.

US, Japan file WTO complaint against EU

The United States said Wednesday that it had filed a complaint along with Japan against the European Union over tariffs levied on high-technology goods.

Oil surge could trim 1.5 points off US economic growth

A top White House economic aide to President George Bush said that the surge in oil prices could cut at least 1.5 percentage points off US economic growth if it continues.

Metropolitan

End dialogue soon to hold polls within timeframe

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said the government's dialogue with political parties should find a quick finale in order to hold the national elections within the declared timeframe.

Allocate special funds for local govt in budget

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday urged the caretaker government to allocate special funds in the national budget for strengthening the local government and decentralising its activities.

8 lakh suffer from blindness

Experts at a conference yesterday said around eight lakh people are suffering from blindness in the country, and 80 percent of them are blind due to cataract which is a preventable form of blindness.

Road show kicks off today

A road show with the slogan 'Esho Bangladesh Gori' (Come forward to build a new Bangladesh) kicks off today with a view to raising awareness among the people.

Six killed in road accidents

Six people were killed in separate road accidents in Kushtia and Dhaka yesterday.

'Take steps to encourage expats to invest in country'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said the government should take innovative steps to encourage Bangladeshi immigrants of the developed countries like the USA or the UK to make more investments back at their home country and strengthen linkages for mutual benefits.

Provide job opportunities for char dwellers

The government should introduce an array of job opportunities in char areas in a bid to change the lot of the char dwellers, speakers suggested at a seminar yesterday.

ACC finds graft allegation against Mayor Mohiuddin not true

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) placed a final report in a Chittagong court yesterday recommending exoneration of imprisoned Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury and four others from a corruption charge.

Alleged criminal killed in encounter with Rab in city

An alleged criminal was killed in an 'encounter' between his accomplices and Rab in the capital's Adabar early yesterday.

123 students expelled on first day of HSC exams

A total of 123 examinees were expelled on charges of cheating in English first paper examination on the first day of the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent Alim and Business Management examinations yesterday.

Two firearms, 3300 bottles of phensidyl seized

Police and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) in separate drives seized two firearms and 3300 bottles of phensidyl from Benapole and Satkhira in the last two days.

Yellow, White panels share CU dean posts

Prof Gazi Saleh Uddin of Awami League-backed 'Yellow Panel' and Prof Harunur Rashid of pro-BNP-Jamaat 'White Panel' have been elected deans of the social science and commerce faculties of Chittagong University (CU) respectively.

9 get life for raping housewife

A Chuadanga court yesterday sentenced nine people to life imprisonment for raping a housewife in 2004.

ACC withdraws allegation against Salman F Rahman

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has withdrawn an allegation of forgery of land documents against Awami League leader Salman F Rahman and five officials of Beximco Holdings Ltd and four former officials of AB Bank.

Criminal shot dead

A wanted criminal was shot dead while an engineer was shot at in two separate incidents in City's Sutrapur and Shyamoli areas yesterday.

One to die for killing Dr Naznin

A speedy tribunal yesterday sentenced a person to death for killing Dr Naznin Akther and her domestic help Parvin at her Central Road residence in the city three years ago.

Outgoing chief justice calls on president

Chief Justice M Ruhul Amin, on his last day in office, paid a courtesy call on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban yesterday.

Ctg BNP leaders demand release of Khaleda

Leaders of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chittagong (north) district unit yesterday demanded immediate release of the party's central leaders, including former premier Khaleda Zia, to make the ongoing dialogue meaningful.

Two women electrocuted in Joypurhat

Two women were electrocuted and a young man was injured yesterday when they came into contact with the electric pole in front of Sadar Police Station on the busy road of the town.

Acid survivor seeks security of family

An acid survivor yesterday said the accused in the acid throwing case, who were acquitted of the charges by a court, are now threatening her family.

Condition of Binod Bihari improves

Condition of Binod Bihari Chowdhury, an anti-British movement veteran, has improved slightly, doctors said yesterday.

490 bottles of Phensidyl

Police seized 490 bottles of Phensidyl and arrested two people in separate drives at Badda and Shyampur in the city yesterday.

Bangladeshi trader shot dead by BSF

Members of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) fired across the Maheshpur border killing a trader at Shyampur border village of Maheshkhali upazila in Jhenidah yesterday.

Safe motherhood programme ends in Narsingdi

A five-day safe motherhood programme concluded at six upazilas in Narsingdi yesterday that aimed at reducing maternal and neo-natal mortality in the country.

Letters

Power generation

Construction of the Chernobyl power station began in the 1970s. The first of the four reactors was commissioned in 1977. Reactor No. 4 began producing power in 1983 and within three years it exploded on Saturday, April 26, 1986, at 1:23:58 a.m. local time. This plant was built by Russia. The Chernobyl accident cost the former Soviet Union hundreds of billions of dollars, and some observers believe it may have hastened the collapse of the Soviet government. Massive amounts of radioactive materials were released into the environment resulting in a radioactive cloud that spread over much of Europe. The greatest contamination occurred around the reactor in areas that are now part of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. After the accident, the Soviet authorities resettled more than 350,000 people outside the worst affected areas, including all 50,000 people from nearby Pripyat, but millions of people continue to live in contaminated areas.

“Regulate number of rickshaws”

This refers to the editorial in The Daily Star on Thursday, May 22, 2008 under the title “Regulate number of rickshawsTraffic jam needs some easing.”

Population boom

I would like to extend my heartiest thanks to Mr. Shafiqul Islam Bhuiyan for his letter on ”Population problem” published on Monday, May 26, 2008.

Bush and bias

The write-up from Mr. Harun-ur-Rashid regarding the Bush visit to Israel on its 60th anniversary is an enlightened summary of the Israeli occupation. Mr Rashid's conclusion that, “if the Bush administration initiates a policy of inclusion and impartiality on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it may see the light in resolving one of the most intractable disputes in the world.” This sense of fairness will never happen from the West.

Regional cooperation

The other day I came across an interesting article on international gas pipeline. I am talking about Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) 2775 kilometre gas line which was mooted back in 1993 involving an expected cost of $3.3 billion which has now jumped to the haggard figure of $7.6 billion. This was stalled due to the laxity of India since the US Nuclear deal was under consideration of Indian Parliament. As we see everywhere in the world, America was pulling the strings here too. American hostility towards Iran stood in the way of this project. As a result of American pressure India sidelined this issue and did not attend the three meetings between Iranian and Pakistani officials during the last nine months. It may be mentioned here that it was also due to American pressure that India voted against Iran at the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). However, the pressure of the Indian opposition outweighed the American pressure. There was another factor working simultaneously, I mean, Pakistan's invitation to China to join the IPI project. All these together hastened Indian oil Minister's visit to Islamabad to clinch this deal as both Pakistan and India announced in a press conference in Islamabad on April 25 that a final agreement would be signed within weeks if not days. In this perspective the forthcoming visit of Iranian President to Islamabad and New Delhi will be of great significance. There was another development in the shape of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India 1680 kilometre gas pipeline project with the backing of America and its henchman Asian Development Bank just to put IPI in limbo. Unfortunately for Bush this TAPI project fizzled out first because doubts persisted about Turkmenistan's actual gas reserve and secondly because whether those gas reserves are under Turkmenistan's control or were pledged to Russia. On the other hand, Iran assured abundant gas supply from Iran's South Pars gas fields. The IPI gas line is expected to be complete by 2012 and will carry 2.4 billion cubic feet of gas per day to be equally shared by India and Pakistan. The fees will be worked out when Pakistan completes its portion of the pipeline. It is expected that Pakistan will earn about $ 148 million per year as transit fee at the rate of 40 cent per million British thermal unit of gas.

TV programmes

There are many talent hunt shows for singers on private TV channels but none for the young scholars. Boys and girls from all walks of life are coming to participate to get cheap popularity and an easy way of success in life.

Our gas and coal prospects

Khan's front-page news item (May18) is a comprehensive viewpoint of some energy sector officials on what could and should be done to free ourselves from the noose of prolonged expensive energy imports. If these steps are not taken promptly, then our financial and economic collapse is not far away. Unfortunately, our CTG seems to have washed its hand off any forward going move in the energy sector. Similarly, the immediate past government (BNP) also ignored the sector and cancelled an already signed MoU when they took up the reins. Their whole period of government was wasted away in trying to maximise their own larder from energy investment! The CTG's attitude on new energy investment is simple: do nothing! Is this not shirking a critical national issue? But who are we to question why?

Dialogue and the big two

It didn't come as a surprise that the two large political parties were contemplating whether they would join the government-political parties dialogue. These parties have reason to be worried about the dialogue session as well as the upcoming elections. As concerned citizens of the country we also feel that the speech of the Honourable Chief Adviser was far below our expectation. I personally was expecting the Chief Adviser to chalk out extensive plans so that the doubts regarding the elections were dispelled. The government should make efforts to bring the two large parties, the Awami League and the BNP, to the dialogue and also ensure their participation in the upcoming elections. An election without the participation of these two major parties will not ensure its credibility.

Park needed

The residents of Shaheenbag, Nakhalpara, Teskonipara and Arjotpara under Tejgaon police station have very little scope to find some open space for a morning or evening walk. Children are the most deprived group. So, the majority have to spend their afternoon at home. Their rooftops are the only place to meet the requirement. But, regular exercise through sports is important for mental and physical growth of children. We think it is their civic right as well. Besides, the incidence of diabetes and hypertension is alarming in the city. So, walking is a must for everyone as suggested by the physicians.

FDI

One news item has drawn my attention, that the government held talks with delegates of TATA regarding the proposed $3 billion investment in steel, fertiliser and power. The conglomerate revealed their interest to use the uninterrupted gas supply after four years, not right now. Despite having huge potentiality of this sector, unfortunately Bangladesh could not be a gainer from it since many FDI proposals were not assessed properly over the years by our respective government authorities.

“Wonderland”

Has Bangladesh become a wonderland? Lawyers are routinely passing comments on cases that are under trial in the country's courts of law. How is this possible?

Rickshaw free capital

Thanks to Mr Rahat for his letter in DS,19 May, but sadly it is once again a strange and hilarious mixture of pure guesswork, passing the buck, grudging admission, plaintive cries, palpable falsehood, blaming others, impractical solutions, pipe dreams, wishful thinking, pious hopes and suppressed facts. Point by point he says:

International

Nepalese celebrate new era of republic

Nepal celebrated a new era as the world's youngest republic yesterday after consigning its centuries-old monarchy to the history books and ordering god-king Gyanendra to quit his palace in two weeks.

Tigers kill 13 in Lankan navy camp raid

Separatist Tamil fighters launched a pre-dawn attack early yesterday against a naval camp on an island off northern Sri Lanka, killing at least 13 sailors, a pro-rebel website said.

Is Musharraf planning to call it a day?

Political circles in the Pakistani capital were today abuzz with reports that President Pervez Musharraf might opt to step down in the wake of a meeting with the army chief though the Presidency said he had no plans to quit.

Myanmar approves visas for UN aid workers

Myanmar's military rulers have approved visas for dozens of international relief workers and were allowing more foreigners into areas devastated by a cyclone that left millions in need of aid, the United Nations said yesterday.

Corruption fears as world gives billions for China quake

People around the world have reached deep into their pockets to help survivors of China's devastating earthquake, but fears are growing corruption will mean not all donations reach the millions in need.

Obama eyes victory over Hillary next week

Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama said he was on the verge of wrapping up his epic contest with Hillary Clinton next week once their bruising nominating battle climaxes.

Nato airstrikes on a militant fort kill 30

A suicide attack targeting US-led troops killed three Afghans here yesterday, as officials reported that Nato airstrikes on a militant fort in the remote southwest of Afghanistan left 30 Taliban dead.

Kashmir separatists to visit Pakistan for talks with new regime

Leaders of Indian Kashmir's moderate separatist alliance will visit Pakistan next month for talks with the newly elected government there, a leading separatist said yesterday.

US was 'not alone' in belief Iraq had WMDs

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday the Bush administration was "not alone" in believing Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as she fended off new charges about the reasons for invading Iraq.

Musharraf loyalist army commander replaced

Amid speculation that President Pervez Musharraf may step down, a top Pakistan army commander seen as his protege has been replaced.

40 survivors rescued 16 days after quake

Forty half-starved earthquake survivors have been rescued from a remote area in southwestern China a full 16 days after the disaster, state press reported on Thursday.

China, Taiwan agree to restart formal talks

China and Taiwan Wednesday agreed to restart formal talks at the earliest date, a move expected to swiftly pave the way for direct weekend flights and allow more mainland tourists to visit the island.

Arts & Entertainment

Facets of Nazrul Sangeet

Kazi Nazrul Islam's characteristic diversity set him apart from his contemporaries. His songs epitomise that multifaceted trait. Nazrul fortified the bond between Indian classical music and Bangla songs -- incorporating dhrupad, adopting khayal and at times pursuing the techniques of tappa and thumri in his compositions. Nazrul even concentrated on reintroducing obsolete or on the verge of becoming obsolete raagas. In the process he created some original raagas.

Nazrul Jayanti celebration in Mymensingh ends

The three-day celebration highlighting cultural programmes marking the 109th birth anniversary of Kazi Nazrul Islam at the 'Nazrul Mancho' in Darirampur, Trishal ended with a discussion recently.

"Chokher Dekha, Praaner Kotha"

Samina Chowdhury's upcoming album will present the popular artiste in a new light. Titled Chokher Dekha, Praaner Kotha, the album features renditions of Rabindra Sangeet by Samina who has established herself in the adhunik genre.

Shamsul Huda: A music collector and artiste

Shamsul Huda is a dedicated singer, music director, actor and music collector. Huda did his Masters in Classical Music from Lucknow, India. He returned to Bangladesh in 1988 and his passion for music took him to the remote corners of the greater Mymensingh region in search of folk songs. There he collected the lyrics and recorded the songs performed by the local folk artistes.

“Channel i Shera Kontho '08”

Talent hunt Channel i Shera Kontho '08 is in full swing. The Joyjatra round (second round) of the programme is about to end. A total of 51 contestants made it to the third round called Swapnodanay, scheduled to start soon. Subir Nandi, Abida Sultana and Kanak Chapa were the judges in the second round.

Tagore-Nazrul birth anniversary observed

The cultural institutions of Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh and Joypurhat celebrated the birth anniversary of Tagore-Nazrul with diverse programmes.

McCartney given honorary degree

Sir Paul McCartney has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale University in the United States.

OP-ED

Fear of a Muslim Planet: Hip-hop's hidden history

Journalist Harry Allen once called Islam "hip-hop's unofficial religion." This theme is echoed by Adisa Banjoko, unofficial ambassador of Muslim hip-hop, who says: "Muslim influence was at the ground floor of hip hop. Hip hop came from the streets, from the toughest neighborhoods, and that's always where the Muslims were."

Women warriors

I could hardly contain my excitement when I first discovered, far away from Dhaka, in a little village in Sharupkathi, that a group of young girls had taken up arms to protect themselves and their village from the enemy during the war of liberation. Long before the Mukti Bahini entered the village, or even before sector 9 was formed, Bastokathi had already built an organised resistance, led by Bithika and her brother Shamiron.

The Maobaadi triumph

For thirty years, modern Nepal was ruled by a royal autocracy. Then, starting in 1990, the people began to experience inefficient, perhaps, but real democracy, through the medium of political parties. In 1996, one of these went underground to engage in Maoist revolution, picking up the gun against the multiparty system of the day. Though gaining momentum, and spread over the first seven-odd years, by 2005 the insurgency had achieved a stalemate with the state security. The rebels then decided to relinquish the "people's war" and, along with the other parties, helped generate the People's Movement of April 2006 against the king, Gyanendra -- who had in the meantime taken over. Two years later, on 10 April 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) made a leap into the government, winning an astounding 50 percent of elected seats in the Constituent Assembly, and nearly 30 percent of the proportional-representation votes. In so doing, they trounced the two main forces of yesteryear, the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), and gained a definitive mandate from the people.

Going underground

The recent decision to build a metro (underground rail) system in Dhaka has met with a range of responses. On one side is the "Hallelujah" response -- at last, the government is taking public transit seriously, with plans to invest serious funds (at least $3.2 billion) into making life easier for the masses.

Where is the conscience of our nation?

Why speak up about things that don't seem to affect you? Silence is, after all, protection. In recent definitions of "patriotism" where demanding accountability and seeking dignity is slandered as "anti-state activity," it is better to save one's skin by not raising one's voice.

Can you tell me how to get to Sisimpur?

Somewhere, sometime in Bangladesh there's a fairy tale land. If you're lucky enough to reach this magical place, you'll find the classrooms have no walls. The sky is the limit and the earth is the floor. Halum, Tuktuki, Shiku, Ikree Mikree and friends wait on their chariot to take you on a "magical mystery tour" to places beyond your wildest imagination. Yes, imagination is the key word to enter and travel in this magical land -- a land where all entrants are treated equally. The way it should be.



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