The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, April 21, 2014


News of: Saturday, 31st of May, 2008

Front Page

Train travel now risky

Dilapidated condition of over 2,000 km of the country's 2,835-km railway network and 675 unauthorised level crossings have made train journey quite risky.

Altaf, Mosharraf interrogated

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) officials yesterday questioned two more detained former ministers at Dhaka Central Jail gate in the case filed in connection with illegally awarding the Barapukuria coalmine deal to Chinese company CMC.

Advisers have little time to visit rural areas, oversee dev activities

As the caretaker government has been busy negotiating with political parties since early April, most of its advisers seem to have little time to visit places outside the capital, although a decision was taken earlier to boost development activities countrywide.

People won’t accept phony dialogue, rigged election

Demanding release of all detained political leaders including two former prime ministers, pro-Khaleda BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said the people will not accept any 'pre-scripted dialogue and rigged election' in the country.

Malaysia tightens visa rule for Bangladeshis

Malaysia is introducing new visa rules for Bangladeshi and Indian tourists in an effort to curb illegal immigration, The New Straits Times reported yesterday.

People’s fate not leased out to any person or party: Dr Kamal

The fate of the people is not leased out to any person or any political party, and the country is not anyone's family inheritance, eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain said yesterday.

Private partnership soon to finance power sector

The government is preparing a policy to finance the power sector with private partnership, said Special Assistant to the Chief Adviser for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Prof M Tamim yesterday.

Medical college student beaten at DU, dies

A student of Bangladesh Medical College (BMC) was beaten to death allegedly by a group of Dhaka University (DU) students yesterday.

Pro-Saifur men declare Ilyas ‘unwanted’

The pro-Saifur faction of Sylhet unit BNP yesterday declared the party's new district convener M Ilyas Ali persona non grata (unwanted), inviting sharp retorts from the other group.

Bangladeshi on death row in Bahrain to be executed

Bahrain will execute a Bangladeshi in firing squad for killing a fashion designer of that country, reported All Headline News, a US-based news website on Thursday.

Zia’s death anniversary observed

The 27th death anniversary of president Ziaur Rahman, the founder of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was observed across the country yesterday.

Missing Tagore memorabilia recovered after 13 yrs

A large number of misplaced memorabilia of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore have been recovered from different areas in Sirajganj, Natore and Naogaon.

Vegetable prices fall, oil and rice stable

The prices of vegetables came down by Tk 2 to 5 per kilogram in the capital's kitchen market in the last week.

‘S’pore a good destination for Bangladeshi workers’

Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said Singapore is a good destination for skilled and semi-skilled Bangladeshi workers.

All eyes on palace for Nepal king's eviction

Nepal's government said yesterday it has started an audit of palace property after an historic assembly abolished the monarchy and gave Hindu 'god-king' Gyanendra a two-week eviction order.

‘No need for chocolate bars, survivors can eat frogs’

Myanmar's ruling junta lashed out at foreign aid donors Friday, saying cyclone victims did not need supplies of "chocolate bars" and could instead survive by eating frogs and fish.

No Tendulkar, Dravid or Ganguly

India yesterday named uncapped pair Yusuf Pathan and Pragyan Ojha in a 15-man squad for a one-day tri-series in Bangladesh and the Asia Cup in Pakistan next month.

Obama expects Hillary knockout next week

White House hopeful Barack Obama believes he is on the brink of eliminating Hillary Clinton from the Democratic fight as their exhausting primary season heads to a climax next week.

Motor mechanic shot dead

Criminals gunned down a motor mechanic in the city's Mohakhali area yesterday morning.

Road accident kills 3 of a family in KSA

Three members of a family were killed in a road accident in Saudi Arabia yesterday.

Bodies of two youths found on rail lines

Railway police yesterday recovered two mutilated bodies of unidentified youths on rail lines near Ghatina Bridge in Ullapara upazila of Sirajganj.

Train derails at Feni, 12 injured

A Chittagong-bound express train derailed at the local station early yesterday, leaving at least 12 passengers injured.

Bamboo poles being used to supply power

The Power Development Board (PDB) is using bamboo poles for supplying electricity to different areas in Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) violating existing rules.

Eight killed in Yemen mosque shooting

Eight people were killed when a gunman described as mentally unbalanced opened fire inside a mosque in a village north of the Yemeni capital during Friday prayers, an official told AFP.

Editorial

Luck smiling on the RMG sector!

GIVING a lie to post-MFA doomsday prophesies for Bangladesh garment sector stuttering on being thrown out of sheltered market of quotas, our RMG products have come to enjoy a high demand profile. Thanks to China's currency appreciating against dollar and her cost of doing business rising due to increase in workers' wages, Chinese apparels' competitive edge over Bangladesh has eroded giving our products a bigger market share. Compared to the high prices of apparels made in China, the Bangladeshi good quality readymade garments selling at bargain prices are widely sought after.

Pakistan's fragile politics

THE replacement of a key Musharraf loyalist in the Pakistan army has led to all kinds of speculation about the future of the embattled president himself. Brigadier Asim Bajwa has been commander of the 111 Brigade, a unit that has been instrumental in enforcing coups, especially in 1977 and 1999, launched by the army. His departure leaves General Musharraf, in the opinion of many, in a lonely state. Indeed, rumours are said to be floating around about the president finally deciding to call it a day. Such rumours have been fuelled by a meeting the president has had with the new army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, at army headquarters in Rawalpindi.

The gathering storm

ONE had hoped that the normal sequel to the talks between the caretaker government and the political parties would have been the parliamentary elections. One had also hoped that the political parities would have agreed to embark on the much talked about political reforms that would have given our politics a new character.

The collection, sharing and projection of data

ADVANCES in technology mean people now generate much more personal data. There is also a greater appetite for that data -- the basic raw material in the fight crime and terrorism -- in today's globalised world. However, there is also greater sensitivity about how that data used within the paradigm of justice, freedom and security.

Nepal: A glorious chapter ushered in

THE South Asian country of Nepal is now a Republic. Definitely, it is big news. The nation has consigned the 240-year old monarchy into history, and a glorious chapter begun for its people when the constituent assembly near unanimously voted for turning the

Sports

'Better than money'

The incomparable experience of sharing a dugout with the best players of the world and training with them easily surpassed the boredom that Abdur Razzak felt during his stint with the Bangalore Royal Challengers during the Twenty20 Indian Premier League.

Usha closing in on title

Krishna Kumar's hattrick went down the drains as Sonali Bank lost 6-3 to Usha Krira Chakra, who came on the verge of sealing their third consecutive Premiership hockey title yesterday.

Time to focus on planning

Having weathered the early storm, Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) will now have to focus on setting programmes for future.

SAFF squad draw with Bek Toro

Bangladesh national football team shared a goalless draw with Bek Toro Sasana FC in their final warm-up match in Bangkok before leaving the Thailand capital for Colombo last night.

Rajasthan in final

This was Shane Wat-son's match. Imposing himself on the first semifinal, he boosted Rajasthan Royals with an electric fifty before rattling Delhi Daredevils' top order with an outstanding opening spell. Shane Warne had complained about being deprived of home advantage but his side adjusted perfectly to the conditions at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai yesterday, putting on a show that illustrated exactly why they have been the stand-out team in the competition.

Serena knocked out

French Open drawcards Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova survived French Open scares on Friday but 2002 women's champion Serena Williams was knocked out in her worst performance in Paris since 1999.

Battle of the Kings

Having beaten the same opponents twice in the league stage, Chennai Super Kings coach Kepler Wessels said his side would go with the psychological advantage when they clash with Kings XI Punjab in the second semifinal of Indian Premier League here today.

Local Snippets

India became champions in the men's section while Indonesia clinched the women's title of the International Beach Volleyball tournament at Cox's Bazar yesterday.

DPMS clinch Div I title

Dashara Polli Samity (DPMS) clinched the Colonel Malek Smriti First Division Cricket League title with a massive 128-run victory over Sewta Uday Sena (SUS) at the Shahid Miraj-Tapan Stadium here yesterday.

Pawar rules out two IPLs

Indian board president Sharad Pawar has ruled out the possibility of executing Lalit Modi's idea of two IPL tournaments a year, saying the ICC calendar offers no such scope.

Australia 70/1 at lunch

Australia emerged from a painstakingly slow start to reach 70 for one in their first innings before lunch in the second Test against West Indies on Friday.

FIFA endorses '6+5' quota

Sepp Blatter is convinced Europe will come on board and agree with his foreign player quota for club teams after an overwhelming endorsement by the FIFA Congress here Friday.

Mancini gets the sack

Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini must be wondering what the football world is coming to following his sacking after three consecutive Italian league titles (2006 to 2008) and two Italian Cups (2004 and 2005) in four years.

Expectation burdens Italy

Coming into the tournament as the reigning world champions and on the back of topping a qualifying group that included France and Ukraine, it would seem on the face of it that Italy will be the team to beat in Austria and Switzerland.

Dutch defence frail

Holland showed worrying defensive frailties in their 1-1 Euro 2008 warm up international friendly draw against Denmark here on Thursday night.

Capello backs star duo

Fabio Capello insists he will do everything possible to get Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard into England's midfield.

Real won't get C'Ron

Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has admitted his club's bid to sign Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo is destined to end in failure.

Zidane refutes Aussie trip

Three-time world footballer of the year Zinedine Zidane on Friday denied that he had ever agreed to travel to Australia for an exhibition match.

Cassano seals move to Sampdoria

Italy striker Antonio Cassano has moved from Real Madrid to Sampdoria on a permanent basis after a successful loan deal with the Serie A club, the Primera Liga side said on Friday.

Kranjcar wants to surpass hero

Niko Kranjcar was a starry-eyed 13-year-old schoolboy when Robert Prosinecki inspired Croatia to finish third at the 1998 World Cup and now the Portsmouth midfielder aims to surpass his hero by leading Slaven Bilic's side to their first major honour.

Chelsea remove Ten Cate

Chelsea assistant manager Henk Ten Cate was sacked on Thursday as the Dutchman became the latest victim of the Premier League club's close-season clear-out.

Turkey impress in warm-up win

The 2002 World Cup semifinalists Turkey put in their most impressive performance of their warm-up matches for Euro 2008 here on Thursday as they eased to a 2-0 win over Finland.

'A grand vision'

The Indian Premier League, which will wrap up its inaugural season on June 1, is just the first step of a "grand vision" that will eventually lead to the birth of a network of similar franchise-based models across the major cricket-playing nations culminating in the annual Champions League that will rival its football counterpart in terms of quality, money and glamour, a top IPL official has said.

Ambrose called up

Tim Ambrose has been called up to England's one-day squad for the series against New Zealand. Ambrose, who took over from Matt Prior in the Test side earlier in the year, replaces Phil Mustard and is the only uncapped player in a 14-man squad.

Strauss stands firm

Michael Vaughan was right: that win has to be very close to being one of his best as captain. I know the Old Trafford pitch eased up on the fourth day, but there was still something in it for the bowlers, so to get 294 was a huge effort. Monty Panesar bowled very well to set things up, and I'd like to congratulate Andrew Strauss on his century. He has not had an easy time of it in the past year, but it was a reminder that it's very difficult to find people of that character. I like to call them solid citizens.

Dharmadasa fined over share prices

Sri Lanka's former cricket chief Jayantha Dharmadasa was on Friday fined 31,000 dollars by the securities regulator over his alleged role in manipulating share prices.

Abuse of resources

Thanks to the ever-weakening Rand, English counties have been able to plunder a steady fountain of talent from South Africa, via the aquaduct provided by Maros Kolpak, the Slovakian handball player and a most unlikely agent for dramatic cricketing change.When the left-arm spinner Claude Henderson, rather perplexingly ignored by the national selectors, signed for Leicestershire in 2004 as the pioneering Kolpak player, the general reaction of South Africa's cricketing stakeholders was: "Gee, he's been hard done by, he deserves to earn himself a nice retirement package."

CSA send 7 spinners

Seven promising young South African spin bowlers would attend a two-week course on spin bowling in Mohali, Punjab from the next week.

Metropolitan

Pedestrians account for 51pc of road crash victims in city: Study

Pedestrians are the most vulnerable group in Dhaka city when it comes to road accidents, as they constitute 51 percent of the victims of traffic fatalities, says a study suggesting immediate steps for pedestrianisation to revitalise the urban life.

Locals stop felling of rain tree in Ctg

Local people at Lalkhan Bazar in the port city yesterday prevented contractors from felling a century-old dead rain tree as new leaves have started growing on the tree.

Consult constitution to avoid mistakes

Justice Mohammad Ghulam Rabbani yesterday called on all concerned including the chief adviser (CA) of the caretaker government to read the constitution at least for three times to avoid mistakes.

Saarc Food Bank in the offing

The Saarc Food Bank is likely to be operational soon with the completion of ratification by the member states, reliable sources said.

Land offices increase to nine

Nine land offices will start functioning under three assistant commissioner (land) offices in the port city from tomorrow as the land management authority has completed its massive restructuring process.

Public-pvt collaboration needed to cut maternal mortality rate

Collaboration between government and non-government organisations is needed to establish the right to sexual and reproductive health reducing maternal mortality rate across the country, said the experts at a roundtable yesterday.

10 killed in 7 days

Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Nayeem Ahmed yesterday said they are strengthening the ongoing drive against illegal arms holders to control the law and order situation in the city as some 10 people were killed in last seven days.

Bogra drug addicts lack access to treatment

At least 147 drug addicts are lying on their deathbeds in the district town of Bogra, says a survey report of the Programme for Eco-Social Development (PESD).

18 eminent personalities of Sylhet honoured

Eighteen eminent personalities of Sylhet have been awarded Sylhet Ratna Sammanana Puraskar 2008.

Debapriya presents credentials to Pope

Bangladesh Ambassador to the UN Offices in Geneva Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya yesterday presented his credentials to Pope Benedict XVI as concurrent envoy to the Vatican.

Lift emergency, release Hasina

A total of 231 teachers of Dhaka University (DU) have urged the government to withdraw the state of emergency immediately to overcome the prevailing crises in the country.

British MPs laud Brac projects

Three British MPs visited several Brac projects in Gazipur and Dhaka as part of their weeklong study tour to Bangladesh to learn about efforts to combat tuberculosis (TB) and poverty.

Four killed in road crashes

Four people were killed and six others injured in separate road accidents in Bagerhat and Kishoreganj yesterday.

Call to increase public transport

Speakers at a discussion meeting suggested providing fuel subsidy for transport sector and increasing the number of public transport to ease suffering of the commuters.

World No Tobacco Day today

World No Tobacco Day will be observed in the country today as elsewhere in the world focusing on stopping tobacco use especially among the youths.

Elderly prisoner dies at Ctg jail

An elderly prisoner died of a cardiac arrest at Chittagong central jail yesterday.

32 DMP personnel get training in life support for cardiac arrest victims

A total of 32 personnel from Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) are being imparted training in basic life support for victims of sudden cardiac arrest including arrestees and policemen.

Piracy in Sundarbans continue unabated

Piracy in the Sundarbans continued unabated as six more fishermen were kidnapped on Wednesday morning from Charkhali area under Sharankhola upazila in Bagerhat district.

Valuables worth Tk 10 lakh looted in Narayanganj

Robbers looted valuables worth around Tk 10 lakh from a house at Raypura village of Araihajar upazila in the district early Thursday.

Khulna BNP factions observe death anniversary of Zia separately

A faction of Khulna BNP observed the 27th death anniversary of late president Ziaur Rahman yesterday while the other faction will hold a discussion and milad mahfil on June 5 on the occasion.

5 RU BCL activists expelled for stabbing rivals

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Rajshahi University (RU) unit yesterday expelled its activists on charges of stabbing rivals of the same front.

Death anniversary of Ratan today

Today is the 20th death anniversary of martyred student leader Jamil Akhtar Ratan, who was assassinated by the cadres of Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS), says a press release.

50-day road show opens

A road show, styled 'Let's build a new Bangladesh', started from the capital yesterday in order to encourage all classes of people, including farmers, to boost production and fight corruption.

VoIP equipment seized in Chittagong

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized huge illegal VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) equipment after conducting a raid at a house at Jamalkhan Bylane of Kotwali Police Station in the port city last night.

Asia Journalists Assoc committee

An 11-member executive committee of Asia Journalists Association (AJA), Bangladesh chapter, was formed at a meeting at the Jatiya Press Club yesterday.

DU summer vacation begins tomorrow

The month-long summer vacation at Dhaka University (DU) begins tomorrow.

National

Reformist ex-BNP MP Ebadur 'excluded' from party activity in Moulvibazar

Two factions of Baralekha upazila BNP in Moulvibazar held a meeting together and decided to exclude 'reformist' leader former state minister Ebadur Rahman Chaudhury from party activities in the upazila.

Open pit mining to affect food security in Dinajpur

Leaders of National Oil, Gas, Power, Mineral Resources and Port Protection Committee said here yesterday the food security will be affected in the district if the coal in Phulbari is extracted through open pit mine method.

Grabbers turn Ichhamoti into canal in Pabna town

Ichhamoti River flowing through Pabna town has narrowed down to a canal as unscrupulous people have grabbed over 60 acres out of 84-acre river areas in the town during the last several decades.

IO says outlaw Shahadat gave vital info on murder plan

Outlaw Shahadat Hossain of Janajuddha faction of outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) has given very important information about the murder of veteran Awami League leader advocate Manjurul Imam of Khulna.

Ex-AL MP charge-sheeted for hiding wealth info

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has submitted a charge sheet against former lawmaker and Jessore district Awami League president Ali Reza Razu on charge of amassing vast wealth illegally and hiding information statement.

Satkhira lawyers demand Hasina's release

A total of 139 lawyers of the district judges' court in Satkhira in a statement yesterday demanded release of Awami League (AL) chief and former prime minister Sheikh Hasina before the government proposed dialogue.

SI held with phensidyl

A police sub-inspector and another person were arrested with phensidyl at Baliadangi Bazar in Baliadangi upazila in Thankiragon district Thursday evening.

25 hurt in JCD clash at Sust

At least 25 people were injured as rival factions of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) clashed at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) yesterday over observance of the deathn anniversary of BNP's founder late president Ziaur Rahman.

Satkhira court orders fresh probe by CID

A court in Satkhira yesterday rejected the charge sheet of landless woman Sabiran Bibi murder case in Kaliganj upazila and sent the case to Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for fresh investigation.

International

Lankan troops capture rebel base in north

Government troops have captured a Tamil Tiger rebel base in northern Sri Lanka after three days of fighting that killed seven rebels and one soldier, the military said yesterday.

Taliban capture a remote district

A soldier in the US-led coalition and several militants have been killed in separate clashes in Afghanistan, officials said Friday, while the Taliban attacked and captured a remote district.

Over 100 countries agree to ban cluster bombs

A landmark international convention banning cluster munitions was formally adopted by some 111 countries here Friday, in a move supporters hope will stigmatise the lethal weapons as much as landmines.

US changes terror policy to deal with Nepali Maoists

Years after being a top supplier of weapons against Nepal's Maoist rebels, the United States acknowledged Thursday it has made a turnaround to talk to the guerrillas set to assume government control after sweeping elections.

3 killed in Gujjar-police clash in Rajasthan

The Gujjar movement for affirmative action took another violent turn on Friday in Rajasthan with three people killed in clashes with the police, just as some leaders were attempting to hammer out a compromise with the state government to end the eight-day impasse.

Myanmar forcing storm victims from camps: UN

Myanmar's military government is removing cyclone victims from refugee camps and dumping them near their devastated villages with virtually no aid supplies, the United Nations said yesterday.

Pakistan needs more time on militants

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said Friday that Pakistan's new civilian government needed more time to effectively tackle extremists on its border with Afghanistan.

US general calls on Pakistan to help with insurgents

The American commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan says insurgents will pose a challenge for years if safe havens continue to exist across the border in Pakistan.

Fears of political unrest grip Bangkok

Scuffles last weekend between pro- and anti-government demonstrators in Bangkok as well as ongoing anti-government protests have sharpened fears of another upheaval in Thailand in the weeks or months ahead.

AQ Khan blames Musharraf for Pakistan's woes

Pakistan's disgraced nuclear scientist A Q Khan has turned against embattled President Pervez Musharraf, who pardoned him for proliferation activities four years ago, blaming him for the various problems confronting the country that had "gone to the dogs".

Hindu nationalists take office in Karnataka

A 30-member cabinet headed by India's main opposition Hindu nationalists took office Friday in southern Karnataka state, home to the country's computer software industry.

Stonehenge was a burial site for centuries

England's enigmatic Stonehenge served as a burial ground from its earliest beginnings and for several hundred years thereafter, new research indicates.

Breakthrough China-Taiwan talks on June 11

China and Taiwan yesterday (May 29) agreed to reopen formal talks next month in a major breakthrough in relations between the long-time rivals.

Uncontacted Indian tribe spotted in Brazil

One of Brazil's last uncontacted Indian tribes has been spotted in the far western Amazon jungle near the Peruvian border, the National Indian Foundation said Thursday.

Pressure increases on Israeli PM to quit

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert suffered another blow Thursday when a key rival for power in his political party suggested the embattled leader should be replaced because of a widening corruption investigation.

China rushes to move radioactive sources from quake zone

Chinese authorities are working urgently to remove 99 radioactive sources downstream from a "quake lake" that could burst and send torrents of water into populated areas, state press reported yesterday.

Iran urges Iraqis to resist US military pact

Iran's powerful parliament speaker Ali Larijani has urged Iraqis to resist a pact under discussion to extend the US troop presence there beyond 2008, the official IRNA news agency reported on Friday.

al-Qaeda near defeat in Iraq: CIA chief

CIA chief Michael Hayden, in an interview published Friday, said al-Qaeda is essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive elsewhere, including the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Arts & Entertainment

Painting, photography exhibition and film screening for poet Samudra Gupta

Students of the Institute of Fine Arts (IFA), DU have arranged a fundraiser for the ailing poet Samudra Gupta. Gupta is suffering from gallbladder cancer and is currently admitted to Square Hospital. Painting and photography exhibitions are on at the IFA premises. A film screening began at the IFA auditorium from May 27.

16th Young Artists' Art Exhibition

For his acrylic on canvas titled "Perception 40", Subrata Das has won Honourable Mention at the ongoing 16th Young Artists' Art Exhibition, organised by the Department of Fine Arts of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). Two paintings of his "Perception" series are on display at the exhibition, which will continue till June 6 at the National Art Gallery.

A young soprano in aid of less fortunate children

The 13-year-old soprano singer Tara Venkatesan has a dream -- to make this world a better place for the less fortunate children. In continuation of this dream she recently performed in "Music 4 Kids by Kids" in Delhi.

Chhayanat to open a resource centre

With support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy, leading cultural organisation Chhayanat will establish a multi-facilitated resource centre.

Life in Iran, etched with suspicion and humour

Decades before Marjane Satrapi drew the first frame of her celebrated comic book memoir Persepolis, the Iranian satirist Ardeshir Mohassess, now 69, was making black-and-white drawings whose blend of humour and reportage made him a cult figure for artists and intellectuals in his country.

Discussion and painting competition on Zainul's death anniversary

A discussion on the life and works Zainul Abedin was held at the hall room of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala (art gallery) on May 28.

Rabindra-Nazrul Jayanti celebrations in Pabna

Annada Gobinda Public Library, Pabna organised a discussion and cultural function recently at the library auditorium marking birth anniversaries of Rabindranath and Nazrul. Speakers at the programme expressed the view that Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore and our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam are integral parts of Bengali culture and literature.

OP-ED

Political economy of crime and lawlessness

IN spite of the fact that lawlessness has a significant impact on economic development, a rigorous analysis of the linkages between the two remains conspicuous by its absence in general economic literature. The only redeeming feature of the literature concerned with the identification of sources of economic growth is that during the last half of the previous century, empirical research has come to focus on the relationship between political instability (one obvious manifestation of law and order situation) and economic growth.

Primary schooling in disarray

THE recent move, a long awaited one, by the ministry of Primary and Mass education to set up BCS Primary education cadre is a very welcome gesture signaling a change in the declining quality of primary education. A draft proposal in this connection , it is learnt through reports carried by some Bangla dailies on May 25 last, has been sent to the Chief Adviser's office for final approval. It is worth mentioning that out of 11 lakh officers and employees in the government sector 8 lakh officers and employees are covered by 29 cadres but there exists no such cadres in the country to bring about effective management, in still efficiency, enhance quality of education and improve working condition for more than 3 lakh teachers and officers working in 83 thousand government and non-government schools.

Foreign policy under Ziaur Rahman

Yesterday May 30 was President Ziaur Rahman's 27th anniversary of death. On the occasion one feels it worth to recall his foreign policy among other achievements. When Ziaur Rahman took over on April 21, 1977, he not only consolidated his power base but also made foreign policy dynamic.

AIDS: Concern for Bangladesh

Bangladesh, with a population of over 140 million, is surrounded by India, and Myanmar, where the number of HIV positive cases has been growing at a high rate. Bangladesh is considered fortunate to be low-prevalent, but South-East Asia has the second highest incidence of HIV in the world after Sub-Saharan Africa.

Money laundering, war criminals and other issues

At the very outset I would like to thank the honourable Chief Adviser (CA) for his straight forward speech and making the cloud clear in respect of holding election by December 2008. Secondly, by attending the farmers' rally at Dinajpur and encouraging them to boost production he expressed his honest and sincere desire to support the farmers and allocate maximum budget provision in agriculture sector.

Urban

Child matters are most serious

The anguish and anxiety of parents when something, anything happens to a child is known to every parent and each child. That taxonomy includes every member of the human kingdom. The subject of child safety to prevent injury and trauma cannot therefore be over emphasised. But, in reality, there is never more than a whimper on the matter.

Designing for child safety in living spaces

"Children are more vigorous and exuberant users of buildings than adults, they use parts of the building and its surroundings as play equipments.” Ralph Sinnot

Literature

Experience

The question has been on my mind since that day. I could of course ask the man if I met him again. Actually, we weren't supposed to meet at all. The whole thing happened quite by chance. And there's no guarantee that I'll recognize him if we meet again. Even if I have seen him sometime, I don't remember where.

April Days

March winds and April showers
bring forth May flowers.
Red sky at night,
shepherd's delight;
Red sky at morning;
shepherd's warning.

First Proof and Atlas

Penguin India's third book of new writing from India showcases some impressive young fictional talent, namely Kishore Valicha, whose short story, 'Strawberries', is a darkly explosive fantasy of sensuality wherein a man wishes to file a complaint against a strawberry-vendor at a police station, who has tricked him into buying fake fruit. He captivates the incompetent police officer with his luxurious tale of strawberries larger and juicier and redder than life that little by little become interchangeable within his unfolding description of the vendor's alleged seduction.

A seedy, unsavoury air

All revolutions produce counter-revolutions, a dialectic that is played out over the long term in an inexorable cycle. In the case of Bangladesh, sadly enough, the counter revolution of 1975 came shockingly early, and in a bloody manner. In these collected letters (mostly translated from Bengali) of Dr Sajjad Husain, one can glimpse its mindset. It is not a pretty sight. On December 16, 1971 Dr. Sajjad Husan, professor of English literature and ardent Pakistani regime man, was the serving vice chancellor of Dhaka University. He was arrested and jailed, and after his release left for Saudi Arabia. There he stayed (on a Bangladeshi passport!) teaching English till 1985, until his return to Dhaka on the back of changed political circumstances and stayed here till his death in 1995.

Iqbal's Halal Shop

He leans on the blade to scrape the fat
from the chopping board; then he sharpens
the knives, puts on display choice cuts
of lamb legs; shoulders and necks, plump pink
chickens, liver and kidneys and some masala
fish; whispers bismillah and turns on the till.

Star Health

Towards tobacco-free youth

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world. It is the only legal consumer product that kills one third to one half of those who use it as intended by its manufacturers, with its victims dying on average 15 years prematurely.

The Tobacco Control Act: A disgraceful scenario

Today tobacco is considered to be the greatest single health hazard for mankind. It is the only legal consumer product that kills one-third to one-half of those who use it as intended by its manufacturers, with its victims dying 15 years prematurely on an average.

Health effects of smoking among young people

* Among young people, the short-term health consequences of smoking include respiratory and non respiratory effects, addiction to nicotine, and the associated risk of other drug use. Long-term health consequences of youth smoking are reinforced by the fact that most young people who smoke regularly continue to smoke throughout adulthood. Cigarette smokers have a lower level of lung function than those persons who have never smoked. Smoking reduces the rate of lung growth.

A call for action

Call to policy-makers:
* Require by law a comprehensive ban on all forms of advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products. Be aware that voluntary policies do not work and are not an acceptable response to protecting the public, especially youth, from tobacco industry marketing tactics;

Hazards of working with tobacco

Quite apart from the health impacts of smoking or chewing tobacco are the health hazards of working with tobacco. The nicotine inhaled from smoking or absorbed from chewing tobacco is also rapidly absorbed through the skin when harvesting tobacco, leading to a condition called ‘green tobacco sickness’ (GTS). GTS has been reported to occur in 1-10% of US tobacco workers and younger workers are at higher risk, which means that the prevalence may be even higher in developing economies where children play a substantial role in harvesting and processing tobacco.

Why is smoking an issue for non-smokers?

There are some 4000 known chemicals in tobacco smoke; more than 50 of them are known to cause cancer in humans. Tobacco smoke in enclosed spaces is breathed in by everyone, exposing smokers and non-smokers alike to its harmful effects.

Youth and tobacco

The vast majority of smokers begin using tobacco products well before the age of 18 years. It was predicted that if the pattern seen nowadays continued, a lifetime of tobacco use would result in the deaths of 250 million children and young people alive today, most of them in developing countries.

Strategic Issues

Foreign Policy: Should not be 'foreign' to ordinary people

FOREIGN policy is an umbrella term and covers the entire gamut of foreign relations in such areas as, security, trade, manpower export, foreign direct investment, foreign aid, monetary management, cultural matters, curbing terrorism, humanitarian, and environmental issues.

The Prime Minister's Office: A critical reform area

THESE days we are talking of reforms in governance and institutions of governance and very rightly so. We hear of reform of the Public Service Commission, the Election Commission, Police administration, etc. Yet one office at the nerve centre of governance that attained a great deal of notoriety under elected governments and added significantly to the deterioration of governance, the Prime Minister's Office, or the PMO, has so far escaped attention. To bring the point home, this is what happened to the top PMO officials under Khaleda Zia's premiership. She sent her own secretary to jail. At present her principal secretary is accused for corruption; another secretary is in jail for corruption; one of her political advisers is also in jail while another has been convicted and at present a fugitive from justice.

Cluster Bombs Ban text agreed after British move

The text of a landmark international convention to ban cluster bombs was agreed May 28 by delegates from more than 100 countries meeting in Dublin, an Irish foreign ministry spokeswoman told AFP.

S. Korea considers buying second hand US copters

South Korea is considering a US offer to sell secondhand attack helicopters as part of its drive to upgrade military equipment, officials said May 27.

European SATCOM procurement cell on the way

A European Satellite Communication (SATCOM) procurement cell may be up and running by 2010, European Defence Agency (EDA) officials said May 26. The idea is to harmonize military requirements and aggregate the growing defence demand for third-party SATCOM capacity through a single European point.

Shangri-la Dialogue set to begin in Singapore

The largest defence and security dialogue among Asian nations is set to begin this week in Singapore.

Star Books Review

Growth of a nation . . . and the health of a society

Nehal Karim does a good job of presenting Bangladesh's history in a nutshell here. Well, it is not exactly a nutshell in that he stays away from the temptation of providing readers with a dry enumeration of events and personalities. On second thought, it is a good deal more, seeing that he offers up a background to the incidents and happenings which were to pave the way to the growth of nationalism in Bangladesh. There is an absence of pontification here, which is why the work acquires a charm all its own. In socio-political conditions where the tendency, or call it trend, is toward an esoteric analysis of history, Karim avoids the pitfalls of seeing his book turn into just another tome to be displayed on the shelf.

Women of magic and men of sweet tooth

While reading Blood Brothers: A Family Saga, I felt as if it was a sequel to Shahidullah Kaiser's Sangshaptak: A Bengal Saga. Both the books are marvellous works on the socio-cultural history of Muslim Bengal, skillfully crafted prose in beautifully blended fact and fiction. Book-wise the two are blood brothers!

Secret thoughts of a romantic hero revealed

It is not too hard to imagine Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy writing a diary. Indeed any Austen fan could readily visualise Darcy's handsome, and proud, head bent over a table writing away, most likely wearing his skin-tight breeches and the handsomest cravat ever.

Truncated bodies and ministering nurses

Slow Man is the latest novel by Nobel Laureate (in 2003) and Booker Prize winner (1999) JM Coetzee. After his novel Disgrace, which won the Booker Prize in 1999, he has written three novels: Youth, Elizabeth Costello, and now Slow Man. South African literature has now come to mean more than Cry, the Beloved Country, and the white South African writers Nadine Gordimer and Athol Fuggard. But not everybody realises this truth. I was rather surprised when a senior journalist in Dhaka, who is now with an English language daily newspaper, was asking about the background of JM Coetzee after he had won the Nobel Prize as this journalist had not, till then, read any of his novels. Coetzee is an exception rather than a typical representative of Black South African fiction writing. His fiction does not exploit the readymade plots of racial violence, social apartheid and interracial love affairs doomed from the beginning.


The Daily Star

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