The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, September 3, 2014


News of: Sunday, 1st of June, 2008

Front Page

Voters' number to fall by 1cr

Only 10 upazilas and one city corporation saw increase in the number of voters in fresh electoral roll with photographs while the others recorded staggering decrease compared to the number of voters in the 2006 list.

Sudden crackdown on political leaders, workers

Over 200 people including 33 district and upazila level top leaders of Awami League, BNP and their front organisations, municipality and union parishad chairmen and transport leaders were arrested as of yesterday during a sudden crackdown by the joint forces starting Friday midnight.

Govt service delivery improved, but its accountability dipped

A study has found that the government delivery of services to the people improved last year while living standards, business confidence, and investment dropped compared to the records of 2006.

Party stand on talks final, says Hasina

Detained former prime minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina yesterday told her lawyers that the decision taken by her party's grassroots leaders as well as the central working committee on political dialogue with the caretaker government is final.

Use 2.5b tonne coal for energy security

A UNDP-Bangladesh report recommends increasing the use of coal resources to avert a deep energy crisis that would affect economic growth in near future.

AL, BNP slate arrest drive

Awami League (AL) and BNP yesterday strongly criticised the arrest of political leaders in the crackdown across the country.

Demand under consideration for success of dialogue: Zillur

The demands for the release of Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia are being seriously considered for the success of the ongoing dialogue between the government and political parties, said Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday.

Khaleda loyalists at odds over unification

BNP's pro-Khaleda camp appears to be headed for a conflict as two of its top leaders are at loggerheads over issues pertaining to unification and organisational decisions.

Jails desperate for doctors

As doctors are unwilling to work in jails, the Directorate of Prisons proposed the government to allow appointment of all doctors in jails on deputation basis and with special facilities.

Nepali king to leave palace quietly

Nepal's deposed monarch is willing to leave his palace quietly to begin life as a commoner but wants help finding new accommodation for himself and his elderly relatives, an official said yesterday.

Afghan forces kill over 100 rebels

Afghan authorities said yesterday they have killed more than 100 Taliban-linked militants in an operation to retake a remote district from the rebels in southwestern Afghanistan.

FBCCI chief warns of another 1/11

President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Annisul Huq has cautioned the nation of another 1/11 if the ongoing dialogue with political parties fails due to non-participation by the major parties.

Govt, parties must come to agreement

US ambassador James Moriarty yesterday said the government and political parties must come to an agreement to hold talks to avoid disappointing the people of the country and the international community.

Oli wants BNP, AL to join talks without Hasina, Khaleda

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President Col (retd) Oli Ahmed has urged the two detained former premiers to allow their parties to join the ongoing government-sponsored dialogue and the upcoming elections for the sake of democracy.

Murder case filed against 5 DU students

A murder case was filed against five Dhaka University students, two SM Hall guards and around 15 other students of the university yesterday in the death of a Bangladesh Medical College (BMC) student.

Textile workers clash with cops, 20 injured

At least 20 people, including four policemen, were injured in a clash between textile workers and the law enforcers at Chawala industrial zone here yesterday.

5 killed in truck-tempo collision in Rajbari

Five people died and three others were injured when a tempo collided with a truck on the Doulatdia-Khulna highway early yesterday.

Sewerage line repair work causes public sufferings

A lane in the capital's Rokeya Sarani stretching from Mirpur-10 roundabout to Shewrapara remained closed for the second day yesterday due to maintenance works of a Wasa sewerage line near Shewrapara.

Tigers reject devolution plan, kill 31 troops

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels condemned government moves to devolve more power to the north and east as they reported killing 31 troops in fresh fighting, according to a pro-rebel website yesterday.

N Korea tests missiles off its west coast

North Korea has fired three short-range missiles into waters off its western coast in an apparent routine test, Yonhap news agency reported Saturday.

Bush renews support to Musharraf

US President George Bush has offered renewed backing to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf saying he looked forward to continuing to work with him along with leaders of the newly elected government who are seeking his ouster.

Bone drug helps fight spread of breast cancer

A drug to prevent bone loss during breast cancer treatment also substantially cut the risk that the cancer would return, results that left doctors excited about a possible new way to fight the disease.

Editorial

The sad plight of Bangladesh railways

NEWS from the railways sector, as a front-page report in yesterday's issue of this newspaper makes clear, is not encouraging. More than 2,000 kilometres of the 2,835 km railways network are in a dilapidated shape. Add to that the 675 level crossings which have increased the risks to railway travel in the country. And then come the poor and often inefficient handling of the signalling system that only add to the sense of gloom about the railways in Bangladesh. Besides, there are the reports of the casualties arising out of railway accidents or plainly hazardous use of railway tracks by individuals.

Disgraceful!

THE incident in which a private medical college student was beaten fatally by some students at SM Hall to which the former succumbed has been both disgraceful and appalling. It speaks of the moral degradation of a section of students who lose their calm at the slightest pretext and take the law in their own hands. We are not ready to hear whether the young student of Bangladesh Medical College was guilty of stealing a cell phone from the room where he was staying overnight as the guest of a friend. All we want to know is what right the students of that particular dormitory had to beat the life out of that young man. Moreover, different reports point at elements of mystery in the way the young man was accused and how the execution took place. What was expected of the hall students was to hand over the alleged offender to the police with evidence, if any. But instead of doing that, they acted on their own and brutally like no one with student identity is expected to do. The tragedy makes us wonder whether the price of a cell phone is more than that of a human life!

Relative calm

WHEN a piece of good news is yearned for in the nation, at the time of difficult economic and political situation, the news that Bangladesh ranks first among the states in the region in the ranking of peaceful nations in 2008, bears a special significance for all of us.

Whither secularism?

I do not want to belittle the Bhartiya Janata Party's victory in the Karnataka state election, which has given it a foothold in the South for the first time since independence. My contention is that every such success lessens the space for secularism in India. When the chips are down, the BJP represents Hindutva and all that goes with it. The Congress may be opportunist in outlook, dynastic in attitude and authoritarian in approach, its ethos is secular. It represents pluralism, which was also the characteristic of the freedom struggle.

Pollution free growth

THE Daily Star's May 24 editorial on “Water pollution” came as a delightful coincidence right when the authors of this article were sharing ideas about the dyspeptic river pollution, public health, and economic well being of the people of Bangladesh.

Sports

Aftab scare for Tigers

Aftab Ahmed is unlikely to play the upcoming tri-series and Asia Cup as the aggressive middle-order batsman suffered a finger injury during practice at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Abahani hit 7 past Ajax

Abahani did a demolition job of Ajax Sporting Club by putting seven past their hapless opponents in the Green Delta Premier Hockey Super League at the Maulana Bhashani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Booters land in Colombo

Bangladesh football team reached Colombo early on Saturday to participate in the 5th SAFF Championship to be held from June 3 in Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Local Snippets

Impressive pace bowlers from this season's domestic competitions will take part in a trial at the BKSP in Savar from tomorrow.

It's Chennai v Rajasthan

An inspired Chennai Super Kings shrugged off the underdogs' tag with a comprehensive display to thrash Kings XI Punjab by nine wickets and join Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League final. Punjab's batting had been in superb form through most of the tournament, but they came completely unstuck in the face of some accurate and relentless seam bowling by Chennai's three fast bowlers, folding for a paltry 112 in Mumbai last night.

Almost perfect

Two moments encapsulated the Rajasthan Royals' overwhelming superiority in this semifinal. Yusuf Pathan had already clubbed Glenn McGrath for a straight four off the first ball of the penultimate over and, when he decided to throttle back for the final delivery, Pathan's response was telling. Picking the slower ball early, he smeared it flat over midwicket with the sort of violence that used to leave George Foreman's opponents with autopsied faces.

Clarke close to century

Michael Clarke was within sight of his seventh hundred as Australia continued to bat themselves into an impregnable position before lunch in the second Test against West Indies on Saturday.

Ponting ignores stats

Ricky Ponting has played down his achievement of becoming the seventh batsman to pass 10,000 runs in Tests, rejoicing more at the length of his career.

'More cricket left in me'

Nineteen years of international cricket may have taken a toll on his body but Sachin Tendulkar on Saturday made it clear that he has no immediate plans of quitting the game, saying he definitely has cricket left in him.

Maria enters last 16

Maria Sharapova led a Russian charge into the last 16 at the French Open on Saturday finally shaking off the poor form that has seen her struggle to live up to her top seeding.

Italy outplay Belgium

Antonio Di Natale scored twice to help world champions Italy to a 3-1 win over a woeful Belgium in their final friendly before Euro 2008 on Friday.

Klose craving glory

He already has a World Cup golden boot to his name and three domestic titles this season, but Germany striker Miroslav Klose is craving a European crown when his country open their Euro 2008 campaign.

Mourinho meets Moratti

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is close to being named the new boss of Inter Milan according to Italian press reports following the release of pictures of the Portuguese coach meeting with Inter president Massimo Moratti in Paris.

Adriano warns Argentina

Brazilian striker Adriano said on Friday that he wanted Argentina to be afraid of him.

Scolari denies Chelsea link

Portugal boss Luiz Felipe Scolari on Saturday played down a possible move to Chelsea, insisting the Premier League side have made no contact with him over their managerial vacancy.

Eduardo to return in August

Arsenal's Croatian striker Eduardo Da Silva, who suffered a horrific leg break earlier this year, said doctors had given him the all-clear to return to action in August, Croatian sports daily Sportske Novosti reported on Friday.

Eto'o headbutts a journalist

Cameroon international striker Samuel Eto'o has been accused of headbutting a journalist during a heated Indomitable Lions press conference, according to press reports here on Saturday.

Sionko fires Czech

Two second half goals from Libor Sionko led the Czech Republic to a 3-1 victory over Scotland in their final friendly before Euro 2008 on Friday.

Emre set for Fenerbahce

Newcastle's Turkish international midfielder Emre will sign a three-year deal with Istanbul side Fenerbahce next week, the Turkish press reported Saturday.

Frei seals Swiss win

Swiss captain Alex Frei broke his country's scoring record on Friday, netting twice for the Euro 2008 co-hosts, who enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 warm-up win over Liechtenstein.

Juventus snap up Amauri

Juventus have signed Brazilian striker Amauri, widely seen as one of Serie A's best midfielders, from Palermo in a deal worth nearly 23 millions euros.

Vieira shortens training session

France captain Patrick Vieira cut short his training session here on Friday after pulling his left thigh towards the end of the run-out.

A special ton

Simon Katich marked his return to the Australia Test side with his third Test hundred on the opening day of the second Test against West Indies on Friday which he has dubbed as "special".

Lesson in leadership

Captains have had a bigger than expected role in Indian Premier League (IPL).

Jordan hold S Korea

South Korea squandered a two-goal lead in front of 53,000 fans here Saturday as Jordan battled to a 2-2 draw in the third round of Asian World Cup qualifying.

Watson's return

Only last year Shane Watson was willing to go to any lengths for a remedy to the recurring hamstring injuries that had curtailed his blossoming career. His frustration was so extreme that he was even thinking of getting cow's blood injected into his hamstrings to make them stronger.

Ton-up Aaron

Aaron Redmond's second hundred of the tour helped New Zealand reach 329 for eight at the close on the first day of their tour match against Northamptonshire here on Friday.

Dewan passes away

Former footballer Mosharraf Dewan died at National Hospital in Dhaka yesterday at the age of 45.

Business

New essential drug list after 25 years

The Ministry of Health has finally approved a new list of essential drugs after 25 years, aiming to make key medicines available and affordable throughout the country.

Unregistered cellphones cut off from today

Up to a million mobile phone subscribers are facing the prospect of having their lines cut off as they failed to re-register their phones before yesterday's deadline.

French fry maker eyes export market

A local French fry producer plans to increase its production in a bid to tap the export potential.

NGOs forum to run 'parallel' with world food summit

Dozens of non-governmental organisations and small farmers' groups plan a forum in Rome next week to coincide with an international summit on food security hosted by the UN food agency.

Govt to take action against malpractice

The government will take action if it finds any malpractice in awarding companies with the Tk542 crore network expansion project of state-run mobile phone operator TeleTalk, said telecoms ministry in-charge Brig Gen (retd) MA Malek yesterday.

DSE maintains bearish trend

Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) maintained a bearish trend last week for the second consecutive week with the turnover going up by 30.84 percent.

Deep-sea port to boost Bangladesh economy

A deep-sea port in the Bay of Bengal would boost the country's economy and enhance its bilateral and multilateral trade relations, said an economist yesterday.

Business-media ties key to better reporting, better business

Journalists are facing problems in gathering information needed for complete and objective reports due to their poor access to information, a discussion was told in Dhaka yesterday.

High-end hip hotels fuel Thai design innovation

Duangrit Bunnag scans the murky white high-rises that sketch Bangkok's haphazard skyline, despairing of the drab view from his architecture firm's clean and minimalist office.

Fast forward pace

Have you felt the impatience of things not happening as fast as you want? Oh the bureaucracy, you must have exclaimed! It is all about the pace at which things happen in an organisation.

Seminar on water supply, sanitation

A seminar on water supply and sanitation, under the purview of the draft of the 2nd Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), was held in Dhaka last week.

New GM of Westin Dhaka

Stephane Masse has taken over as the new general manager of The Westin Dhaka, says a press release.

Oil prices dive after recent record highs

Oil prices last week sank further from record heights above 135 dollars a barrel as concerns eased over tight supplies, high demand and as the dollar recovered. Metals slumped in oil's wake, traders said.

German retail sales post surprise fall

German retail sales released Friday posted a surprise monthly fall in April, adding to evidence that rising prices are keeping consumers away from the shops.

India to ease external commercial borrowing norms

Hit by tightening liquidity conditions in domestic market, India has decided to ease the external commercial borrowing norms for infrastructure companies and other corporate houses.

Ford to build low-cost Fiesta car in Mexico

Ford Motor Company said Friday it will build a new low-cost, small car for the North American market at its Mexican plant as part of a three billion dollar expansion.

Sri Lanka's inflation hits 26.2 percent in May

Annual inflation in Sri Lanka hit 26.2 percent in May, according to official data on Friday, driven by higher food, fuel and other prices.

Bear Stearns shareholders approve sale to JPMorgan

Shareholders of Bear Stearns, the most high-profile victim of the US subprime property crisis, accepted a deal Thursday to sell the Wall Street firm to banking giant JPMorgan Chase.

Weekly Currency Roundup

May 25-May 29, 2008
Local FX Market
Local inter-bank FX market tightened during the week as the demand for dollar rose. The BDT remained almost unchanged against the US dollar.

Metropolitan

Form Haor Development Corporation

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday urged the government to form an autonomous Haor Development Corporation for the overall development of haors and the people living in adjoining areas.

NGO to implement only the pilot project: Adviser

Primary and Mass Education Adviser Rasheda K Choudhury yesterday said a non-government organisation (NGO) has been given permission to supervise all primary schools in 20 upazilas across the country through a pilot programme for improving the standard of primary education.

No recruitment in 8 years led to backlog of cases in lower courts

Outgoing Chief Justice Md Ruhul Amin on the last day of his office yesterday said he had to preside over a very important transition period of the judiciary.

Tobacco to kill 5 million people in 2008

Tobacco will kill more than five million people, mostly youths, globally this year superceding the death tolls from tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria, according a report of The Union, a France-based charity.

2 union parishads at Tangail achieve 100pc sanitation

Two union parishads -- Daptiar and Dhuburia -- at Nagarpur upazila in Tangail have set an example by achieving hundred percent sanitation in their respective areas.

Dhaka proposes 5-point strategy to address security concerns

As climate change posed a new challenge to humanity, Dhaka has proposed a five-point strategy to address looming security concerns from such non-traditional factors in the Asia-Pacific region.

Remain alert against any evil design to thwart polls

Taking a swipe at the Awami League and BNP leaders for demanding release of Hasina and Khaleda, Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said they want return of unhealthy politics and misrule in the country.

Delwar urges workers to strengthen party

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday called on the party leaders and workers to strengthen the party, saying that the party would be well organised with the dedicated and honest leaders who would not deviate from principles.

Call to enforce anti-tobacco law strictly

The World No Tobacco Day was observed yesterday with a call for enforcing the anti-tobacco law strictly and strengthening anti-smoking campaign to prevent tobacco-induced diseases.

Dr Kamal visits ailing Binod Bihari Chy

Eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain visited ailing Binod Bihari Chowdhury, an anti-British movement veteran, at the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) of Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) yesterday morning.

Separate dev authority demanded for DND area

Speakers at a view exchange meeting demanded a development authority for Dhaka Narayanganj Demra (DND) area and effective measures for welfare of its residents.

Expats in US to meet June 7

Expatriates for the Trial of 1971 War Crimes (ETWC), a USA-based organisation, will hold its first general meeting at Raleigh in North Carolina on June 7.

Five army men injured in pick-up plunge in Bandarban

Five army men were injured when a pick-up van fell into a hilly ravine at Farook para on Bandarban-Chimbuk road yesterday.

Young woman found dead

Police recovered the body of an unidentified woman aged about 24 from a drain at Sector-6 at Uttara in the city yesterday.

Labour unrest in Savar garment factory

At least 15 garment workers injured in a clash at Narsinghpur yesterday after the owners refused to meet their 13-point demand.

Swasthoseba Hospital opens at Bogra

The Bogra Swasthoseba Hospital under the Health Care Development Project of Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (DAB) opened in Bogra yesterday with a view to bringing the health care services to the doorsteps of the people in the northern region, says a press release.

Film Censor Board publishes citizen's charter

Bangladesh Film Censor Board has published a citizen's charter with detailed description of its services.

BCF forms central committee

Bangladesh Chhatra Federation (BCF), a left-leaning student body, has formed its 15-member central committee, says a press release.

National

Hasina will be freed to lead AL in dialogue, hopes Ashraful

Awami League (AL) chief Sheikh Hasina will be freed and will lead the party in dialogue with government, its acting general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam hopes.

Try war criminals

Leaders of district Workers Party in their first district extended committee meeting yesterday demanded the trial of war criminals as they were involved in killing, loot, rape, arson during the Liberation War in 1971.

Ensure law and order at any cost

Advisor for home affairs Maj. Gen. (Rtd) M A Matin ordered high officials of law enforcing agencies to ensure law and order by any means.

'Ban Jamaat-Shibir politics'

Leaders of Workers Party and its students' wing Chhatra Moitri yesterday demanded a ban on politics of 'Jamaat-Shibir' across the country.

Kamal Ibne Yusuf declared 'unwanted' in Faridpur

Faridpur district BNP and Jubo Dal declared Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf, Akmal Ibne Yusuf and Shah Zafar persona non grata in Faridpur.

Storm lashes areas in Thakurgaon, Panchagarh

Houses were demolished, electric poles and trees uprooted and mango and litchi orchards damaged as nor'wester lashed different places of Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts on Friday night.

Satkhira BNP factions hold separate meets

The two rival factions of Satkhira BNP yesterday held separate meetings in the town in observance of the 27th death anniversary of party's founder late president Ziaur Rahman.

'Sylhet-Dhaka rly track safe'

Sylhet-Dhaka railway track is not at risk although cracks developed on earth in different places in Kamalganj upazila.

'Stop tobacco farming in hills'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday urged the government to take steps to protect the forests and soil of Khagrachhari hill district from tobacco cultivation.

Moulvibazar BNP closes ranks

After about six years, BNP leaders in Moulvibazar closed ranks and held a meeting on Friday marking the death anniversary of party's founder late president Ziaur Rahman.

'Create awareness against eve teasing'

Gaibandha district community policing committee yesterday brought out a big procession in the town to create public awareness against eve teasing.

Letters

Research: pertinent thoughts

Bangladesh has surged into the era of research. Research has been going on in various NGOs which are doing research on a regular basis as part of their projects. Another group of researchers comprises students engaged in research needed for their thesis for various academic programmes. The question is: Who regulates all this research which is going on haphazardly, the majority of which involves human subjects. After completion of this research some of the findings are not even disseminated for the benefit of the masses. Many organisations prefer to publish the research findings selectively so as to maintain a politically correct image. The question is: is this ethically correct?

Our tea

I want to congratulate the writer M.M. Rahman for his letter on “Sylhet Tea” or “Bangladesh Tea”. There is no tea growing area in the UK, we know that. Right?

Sundarbans

The Sundarbans is the world's largest mangrove forest. This forest represents the blessings of nature bestowed on the Earth.

Load shedding

Life's become unbearable due to frequent load-shedding across the country. The city dwellers are the worst victims.

Violent students

There was a news report in The Daily Star about the CU students who staged destructive protests over the death of a fellow student who was crushed under the wheels of the university shuttle train after he attempted to jump from a foot over-bridge on to the roof of the moving train. His jump turned into a nightmare as he failed to maintain balance and fell through the gap between two compartments. In reaction to his premature death, the students barricaded the station and torched its furniture, railway office, police rooms and train compartments. The students demanded Tk 30 lakh compensation to the family of the ill-fated student, removal of the VC and exemplary punishment for the “guilty” railway employees.

Serious concerns

a) The leaders of the AL are only concerned about Hasina. They are unable to work to protect the interests of the millions of Bangladeshis without their leader Hasina. The AL fought to create Bangladesh, and in 1971, we all fought even in the absence of our leader Bangabhandhu. Through the years, the AL must have created many leaders with true vision and wisdom to run the country.

Religious harmony?

Once again, I am left shaking my head in disbelief as The Daily Star publishes the claim of the nation's leaders that Bangladesh is a country of religious harmony when, bless it, it does not hesitate boldly to inform its readers again and again to the contrary!

Old wine….

It was sometime towards the end of 1968. I was a student of Dhaka University. Once I was walking along the road near Hotel Sheraton. To my surprise, I found hundreds of school children were lining on both sides of the airport road. At some places young girls and ladies wearing colourful sarees were practising some kind of dancing with the national flags in their hands. They were waiting to give a civic reception to General Ayub Khan-the then President of Pakistan. I felt so sad.

A prisoner of conscience

It is now an open secret that the Executive Chief of the Pakistani daily 'Frontier Post' has been made victim of an engineered and cooked up case. Thanks to the apex court of the country-- Supreme Court of Pakistan-- which converted his death penalty into life imprisonment. Otherwise, everything is possible in this country of ours!!!

Next election

In the upcoming general elections the educated, honest and the reputed politicians must seek nominations from the recognised, registered and revered political parties and after holding of free, fair and credible elections, the majority will form the popular government as treasury members in the Jatiyo Sangsad.

Congrats, GM Rajib!

Rajib, the talented player, obtained his third GM norm from Bangladesh Chess Championship held recently. Earlier, he got his other two norms one from abroad, another from a grandmaster chess tourney held in Bangladesh. Rajib has joined the elite grandmaster club of Niaz Murshed, Ziaur Rahman, Rifat Bin Sattar and Al Rakib. It is now a matter of time that FIDE (World Chess Federation) makes an official declaration in this regard.

In response....

I have read your editorial entitled 'Monga victims to get overseas jobs' and I must salute you for writing on a very important but quite neglected matter. You have just written on a burning issue. The people of 'monga' affected areas are dying slowly and silently. Instead of protesting, they are fighting with dignity, with courage but they are not doing well because they are very simple or even naïve.

A tale of rickshaws

A wonderful weather, gentle breeze--- no doubt you will love to roam around the city by a rickshaw with no time limit and no specific destination!!

Why not Obama?

Of course anyone following world news would know the name Barrack Obama. He's the one making, or we can say forcing to make headlines by turning the US presidential campaign more and more interesting. He's not just famous. In Israel, around 95% don't wish Obama to be the president. Nevertheless, an Obama win can rather be beneficial, for most, the Americans as well as even us!

Dealing with population boom

In the seventies, the population of our country was around eight crore and now it is almost double. But the land mass has not increased even by an inch. On the contrary, a good part of our arable land has been usurped by human habitation, various industrial developments and also erosion of land by rivers during the monsoon. With the present growth rate of population, any sane person would shudder to think about the situation that shall befall the country after 20/25 years.

Shocking news

I was a student of Ideal School and College. This school is still regarded as the best educational institution of our country due to its strict discipline and academic performance. The teachers of Ideal School are also very qualified and they teach us not only about the educational matters, but also how we can become good human beings.

Separate pay scale for BB employees?

Two news items published on 19-05-2008 in 'The Ittefaq' and 'The Daily Star' have drawn my attention. First, the caretaker government (CTG) is planning to provide a separate pay scale for the employees of Bangladesh Bank (BB) and the second one is that educationists have emphasised the need for raising the salary of teachers at primary level to ensure quality education by attracting meritorious persons to this profession. It is astonishing to me that the CTG is taking steps to implement the first one ignoring the second. And if it finally happens, a few people will be benefited. But it will obviously create a discrepancy and dissatisfaction among the employees of other government organisations. Because if BB proposed pay scale were implemented, then the salary of third class employees of BB like drivers, telephone operators etc. will be higher than that of a first class cadre service officer ( First class officers' initial salary scale is Tk 6800--13090 and third class BB employees' proposed initial salary scale is Tk 7000--12000). So finding no other option, the employees of other government organisations will also demand a separate pay scale like 'Judiciary employees' pay scale', 'University teachers' pay scale', 'RAB pay scale', 'Administrative cadre service pay scale' and so on. As a result, the aim of the national pay scale will not be attained. But it is a matter of regret that the area the CTG should give much more attention to remains ignored.

Achievements of CTG

I think the present caretaker government will be remembered for its bold steps against corruption, along with the noble effort of cleansing the mess as well as the separation of judiciary from the executive.

Dacoity

We live in a village in Nawabganj where dacoity is taking place regularly.

International

Over a million wait as China poised to drain 'quake lake'

China was poised yesterday to drain a dangerous "quake lake" in an attempt to avert a disaster that could have flooded the homes of over a million people.

US terrorism list also a political tool

North Korea has not been linked to a terrorist attack in more than two decades, but it is still on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism. Now, it may be on the verge of its coveted goal of getting removed for reasons having little to do with terrorism.

Myanmar warned against premature resettlement

A UN official yesterday warned against prematurely resettling parts of Myanmar destroyed by a cyclone and human rights groups lashed out at the country's military leaders for evicting storm refugees from relief camps.

Lanka rebels show no signs of peace: Official

The Tamil Tigers have shown no sign they are genuine about wanting peace even though the door remains open for a return to negotiations, a senior Sri Lankan official said yesterday.

Myanmar cyclone aid delay costs 'tens of thousands of lives': Gates

The Myanmar military junta's delay in allowing international aid into the cyclone-hit country cost "tens of thousands of lives," US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday.

Opposition mounts to US-Iraq security deal

Tens of thousands rallied in several cities Friday against a proposed US-Iraqi security agreement, raising doubts that negotiators can meet a July target to finalise a pact to keep US troops in Iraq after the current UN mandate expires.

Key provincial polls split Sunnis in Iraq

Plans for provincial elections in Iraq by the fall have already set Sunni Arabs against each other as factions prepare to compete for control of the local governments that will wield considerable power over security and finances.

Passenger jet crashes in Honduras: 4 killed

A jetliner overshot a runway and raced onto a busy street in the Honduran capital on Friday, killing the pilot, two passengers and a motorist on the ground. At least 65 people were injured.

Iran not seeking to build nukes: Putin

Iran is not trying to acquire nuclear weapons but Tehran should avoid "irritating" its neighbours, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said yesterday in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde.

N Ireland's veteran firebrand leader steps aside

Ian Paisley, a giant of Northern Ireland politics for 40 years, handed the leadership of his party Saturday to Peter Robinson, who becomes First Minister of the British province next week.

Lebanese PM wraps up talks on new govt

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora wrapped up two days of talks with leaders of rival parliamentary blocs yesterday on forming a national unity government but gave no date for a new line-up.

Upbeat CIA assessment on al-Qaeda challenged

CIA director Michael Hayden came under stiff challenge Friday for portraying al-Qaeda as on the defensive after global setbacks, even in its safe havens along the Afghan-Pakistani border.

Gujjar agitation: Rajasthan govt replaces top cop

The Rajasthan Government has removed Director General of Police (DGP) A S Gill, apparently unhappy over his handling of the ongoing Gujjar clashes in which at least 42 people have been killed.

Ex-Pak minister denied entry to India

Indian immigration authorities refused entry to a former Pakistan human rights minister who helped Indians imprisoned in Pakistani jails, including a convicted spy who spent 18 years on death row, officials said yesterday.

Thai PM orders crackdown on anti-govt protest

About 1,200 riot police assembled on Saturday in central Bangkok, waiting for an order from the Thai prime minister who has threatened to forcibly break up an extended anti-government protest.

Obama, McCain in fierce new duel over Iraq

Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain fought a fierce political duel over Iraq Friday, in the latest testy escalation of their fast-evolving White House race.

Arts & Entertainment

Feeding the future of the world

It's hard to concentrate when all you can think of is food. About 59 million children attend school hungry (according to a United Nations World Food Programme publication). Ninety-three percent children at primary schools in poor areas of Bangladesh are malnourished. This does not end here, however. It's a vicious cycle. An estimated 17 million babies born each year are underweight, inheriting hunger from their mothers, who are malnourished as well. The world's poor simply pass on their hunger from generation to generation.

Kites fly high at Kishoreganj

Kite Festival '08 was held at Kishoreganj's new stadium last Thursday. The aim was to acquaint the younger generation with what was once an integral part of our folk culture.

Of quaint flora and fauna

Zahir Hossain Newton's acrylic work seen recently at Gallery Zoom at Alliance Francaise deals with nature. He brings in trees, leaves, grass, cacti and birds. At times he introduces the face or figure of a woman onto the paper. Apart from painting, Newton does woodcarving too, and onto the wood surface he introduces his preoccupation with nature.

Concert for a cause

When we think of a seven- month- old, the first impression we get is of a playful child who is smiling and playing. But not all are so lucky. Samia Mahjabin Nayantti, a seven- month-old is suffering from Biliary atresia, a rare condition in newborn infants in which the common bile duct between the liver and the small intestine is blocked or absent.

Chhayanat launches new programme 'Waheedul Haque Sangeet Prabrajya'

To Chhayanat goes the credit for promoting Rabindra Sangeet. In particular, Waheedul Haque's name should be mentioned as one of the front liners in this genre.

Fatema-Tuz-Zohra in "Waiting for Baby"

On the occasion of Children's Day, Channel- i will air a special play, Waiting for Baby, starring eminent Nazrul singer Fatema- Tuz- Zohra, tonight at 9:35 pm.

The Beatles: Two days in the life ...

When Honey magazine commissioned photojournalist Michael Ward to follow and photograph an up-and-coming music group called The Beatles in February 1963, he had never heard of the Liverpool-based rock band.

OP-ED

Moving forward

THE year 2007 was the most significant for Bangladesh after our liberation on December 16, 1971. The 35 years of chaos and confusion reached a crescendo towards the end of 2006. Although we have not seen the end of it all yet, we can only pray and hope we don't have to see such ruthless violence in the near future as witnessed in October 2006.

Will cricket ever be the same again?

THE late legendary Omar Kureshi used to say that Test cricket is like ballet dancing and ODI is like belly dancing. I wonder how Omar would have described Twenty20 cricket. Rock & Roll, Big Bang, Big Bash, Crazy Cricket. It is anybody's guess. But the unmistakable fact is that T20 has captured the imagination of the spectators and TV viewers. It is absolutely certain T20 is sheer exciting entertainment with inevitable consequences for Test and ODI cricket.

The 18th hole: Pakistan's futile constitutional amendment

THE Pakistan People's Party (PPP) will soon propose to the Parliament the 18th amendment to the 1973 constitution. The proposed amendment would reportedly abolish Article 58 (2)(b) of the constitution, which empowers the president, in his sole discretion, to dissolve the National Assembly. The amendment would also strengthen Article 6 of the constitution to punish judges who would in future support military coups and constitutional subversions.

Brig. Sabihuddin Ahmed: An intrepid soldier passes away

BRIG. Sabihuddin Ahmed, the founding chairman of the Rural Electrification Board, passed away quietly on May 30 in Maryland, USA, far away from the country he loved, worked for, and was devoted to.

Star City

A silver lining in the clouds

At last the government has taken a concrete step to save the heritage buildings of the capital city by constituting a subcommittee that will make a list of the heritage sites and take necessary actions.

The myth and mystery of CNG refuelling

Kabir Wahid takes a furious look at the tiny red dot gleaming beside his steering wheel as he waits for the long queue of car in front of him to move.

Exotic, fast-growing plants first choice at fair

The National Tree Fair on the old airport premises is gaining momentum slowly with streams of tree lovers starting to visit the fair that showcases a wide array of plants.


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