The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, May 27, 2018

News of: Monday, 9th of June, 2008

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Court clears way for Hasina's going abroad

Detained former premier Sheikh Hasina is set to be released from a special jail, which might be a big leap forward in the Awami League (AL) chief's trip abroad 'for better treatment', as a special court yesterday removed the legal barriers.

I will not go abroad

Detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia yesterday ruled out any possibility of going abroad, saying that she would have medical treatment at home if necessary.

Perils of bad times

It is going to be an unusual year for any finance minister and a perilous one as well. The pressures on the economy are rising from too many fronts and so the stakes of tackling them are also going up. Along with the economic factors, the non-economic issues are becoming ever larger and may invade into the economic playing field.

Army to help recover Tk 642cr BTTB bills

The army will assist BTTB in recovering its Tk 641.81 crore outstanding bills of which Tk 120 crore is due with government organisations.
BTTB Divisional Engineer Mahbubur Rahman yesterday filed a case with Ramna Police Station against seven BTTB officials accusing them of misappropriating Tk 7.45 crore of government money using fake vouchers between 2000 and 2006.

Food budget to bloat by 120pc

The government is increasing budgetary allocation for food by 120 percent in the coming fiscal year 2008-09, the major chunk of which will be spent for providing the poor with low-price food and keeping market prices stable.

Govt asked to explain some provisions

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain why some provisions of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2008, including the rules of complaining against a judge and criticising judgments, should not be declared beyond the powers of the constitution and void.

Jamaat won't join dialogue unless Nizami, Khaleda, Hasina are freed

The Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh formally declared yesterday that they would not join the government-sponsored dialogue with political parties without the unconditional release of their Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina.

Lt Gen Masud posted to foreign ministry

Lt Gen Masud Uddin Chowdhury was posted to the foreign ministry only six days after he was moved to the National Defence College (NDC) from his high-level post as the principal staff officer of the Armed Forces Division (AFD).

Budget placed at Advisory Council meet

The proposed national budget for 2008-09 was placed before the council of advisers yesterday.

Khaleda's assignment officer Firoz gets 5yrs

A special court yesterday sentenced former prime minister Khaleda Zia's assignment officer Dr Firoz Mahmud Iqbal to five years' rigorous imprisonment in a graft case filed in connection with misuse of government vehicles.

DCC misses out on Tk 23 lakh a month

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) has been losing about Tk 23 lakh a month in revenue for the last eight months, due to cancellation of two rounds of biddings for leasing out the managements of three inter-city bus terminals in the capital.

Tigers open with a loss

Bangladesh suffered yet another huge defeat at the hands of Pakistan, this time in the Kitply Cup opener at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

1,548 more put behind bars

The joint forces held 1,548 more people including 109 in the capital, in the last 24 hours until 8:00am yesterday raising the number of arrests to 18,464 in the special drives that began on May 28 across the country.

Delwar gets Khaleda blessing

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has sided with her Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain in his feud with Brig Gen (retd) Hannan Shah over handling the affairs of the party, according to BNP leaders.

Hearing on right to bail adjourned by a week

The High Court (HC) yesterday adjourned for a week the hearing on the writ petition challenging the legality of a number of provisions that deny people's right to bail. The provisions apply to people arrested in cases filed under Emergency Powers Ordinance, 2007 and Emergency Power Rules, 2007.

Coarse rice prices go up in city

Prices of coarse varieties of rice have increased in the city markets yesterday due to BDR-run fair price outlets remaining shut for the third day that sent demand for rice high at kitchen markets.

Nadal remains clay king

By the fourth game, Rafael Nadal had Roger Federer kicking the clay in frustration. By the second set, the normally stoic Federer was screaming at himself.

Allies’ runaway wishes to bear on Obama

The world is agog at the prospect of a Barack Obama presidency, but are expectations of a revolution in US diplomacy justified?

Pak coalition leader asks president to quit

A senior ruling coalition leader in Pakistan and an opponent of US-backed President Pervez Musharraf urged him on Sunday to step down immediately.


Reduced ADP for 2008-09

The new ADP marks a departure from the pattern of ambitious development programs that we ended up revising year after year and yet not implementing even the whittled down physical targets of development. While in the past, financial targets got somewhat met with hurried low quality expenditure at the fag end of the year, the end results would invariably fall far short of the targets. This is glaringly exemplified by hundreds of unfinished bridges and culverts across the country as depicted lately in the pictorial news report in a prominent Bangla daily.

Primary education upgrade

The Primary and Mass Education Ministry's proposal to create a separate BCS cadre service for primary education is a long overdue one, and we are gratified to see that the government is taking this up for consideration. As long ago as 1992, a government taskforce recommended this measure, and the government of the day pledged to adopt it by 2005, so it is to the credit of the current government that a step is being taken for the betterment of the sector.

America's flawed imperial policy

The much-touted American century practically began with the end of the Second World War, when a new shape of things emerged in all economic, socio-cultural and politico-strategic arenas with the world's centre of gravity shifting to the other side of the Atlantic. Notwithstanding a rival superpower America, with her tremendous power, enjoyed undisputed primacy in global affairs, with a pax Americana surreptitiously replacing pax Britannica in a world exhausted with the blood-letting of the devastating war.

Social vulnerability in coastal areas

Bangladesh is recognised around the world as a disaster-prone country. This isn't because God is angry with us (as some would maintain!) but rather our unique location at the crossing point of two different environments (the Himalayas in the North and the Bay of Bengal in the South). The topography is low and flat, with 10% of the land barely 1metre above the mean sea level (MSL). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2001 identified countries like ours as the most vulnerable to climate change.

As the oceans rise

Journalists consider themselves crusty, unsentimental creatures who, their battered fedoras shoved back on their heads, have slouched out of Ben Hecht's 1928 play "The Front Page," oozing skepticism from every pore. Actually, they are round-heeled romantics, such pushovers for a new swain that they did not laugh until their ribs squeaked when Barack Obama concluded his triumphal St. Paul, Minn., speech by proclaiming: "I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick …"


Defeated before defeat

Pakistan coach Jeff Lawson specially thanked the rain gods after his side secured an emphatic 70-run victory against hosts Bangladesh in the Kitply Cup opener at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Bangladesh bow out

Bangladesh crashed out of the fifth SAFF Championship from the group stage when the 2005 runners-up lost 1-0 to Sri Lanka in the final Group B match in Colombo.

Why give away free tickets?

"Come on man, take one at least" was what this reporter faced while entering the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium before the Bangladesh-Pakistan Kitply Cup opener began yesterday. It was not a friend offering a piece of candy but a blacker, and one can find at least 10 to 15 of them roaming around the main gate.

Modric sinks Austria

Croatia opened their Euro 2008 account with a predictable but unconvincing 1-0 victory over co-hosts Austria at the Ernst-Happel Stadium here in Vienna on Sunday.

Four-tastic Nadal

Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer in the French Open final for the third year running on Sunday and joined Swedish legend Bjorn Borg as the only man to win four straight titles at Roland Garros.

India in town

The Indian cricket team arrived in the capital yesterday to take part in the ongoing tri-nation Kitply Cup.

Swiss feel robbed

Switzerland will head into Wednesday's make-or-break clash with Turkey fired up by a belief that poor refereeing robbed them of victory against the Czech Republic.

Asif's fate not yet decided

The case involving Mohammad Asif, the Pakistan fast bowler detained in Dubai for possession of an illegal substance, has been referred to the Attorney General.

Monem Munna Bridge goes official today

The bridge at Dhanmondi Road No. 8 (old) will be officially called the Monem Munna Bridge from today.

Raina banks on IPL success

Talented Indian batsman Suresh Raina hoped that he could replicate his Indian Premier League form during the Kitply Cup.

Injury toll mounts

Even before opening match protagonists Switzerland and the Czech Republic had kicked a ball in anger a growing clutch of the 16 participating nations were seeking a clean bill of health in vain on Saturday.

Portugal lay down marker

Portugal avoided the same fate that befell them in 2004 when getting their Euro 2008 campaign off to the perfect start with a 2-0 win over Turkey here on Saturday.

Dutch look for revenge

Holland embark on yet another major finals campaign with high expectations but their first clash of Euro 2008 will evoke memories of another failure to cash in on their constant conveyor belt of talent when they face world champions Italy here on Monday.

Underdogs plot French fall

Romania's Scottish Premier League-based striker Marius Niculae believes his countrymen should use a little Highland know-how if they are to belie their underdog tag and silence France's bark in Monday's Group C opener in Zurich.

Pepe thrilled by his goal

Brazilian-born central defender Pepe, capped for the first time seven months ago, expressed his joy over scoring his first goal for Portugal at Euro 2008 on Saturday.

Euro 2008 Briefs

AFP Euro 2008 briefs on Sunday:

GENEVA: A beer will cost more in Geneva than in Zurich during the Euro. The official lager, which has a monopoly in all the stadia and public viewing zones, left it to the cantons to decide on the price, in true Swiss fashion. The result: one decilitre of beer will cost 1.20 Swiss franc (0.74 euro) in Zurich, compared to 1.65 in Geneva. Authorities there said they wanted to prevent excessive drinking. The alternative? Apple juice, which will cost only 1 Swiss franc for 3 decilitres.

City in pursuit of Ronaldinho

Manchester City have edged closer to sealing the signature of former two-time World Footballer of the Year Ronaldinho by travelling to Brazil to meet the player's agents, reports said Sunday.

Sverkos savours imperfection

Czech Republic striker Vaclav Sverkos may have scored his first international goal on Saturday but he still managed to find fault with it.

Chelsea agree to sell Drogba

Chelsea have given AC Milan the green light to approach Didier Drogba about a possible transfer but they are not willing to sell back former player Andriy Shevchenko, the Serie A club's vice president said.

Yobo provides Nigeria luck

Lucky Nigeria snatched a dramatic 1-0 away win over Sierra Leone this weekend to maintain a perfect record in the 2010 World Cup-African Nations Cup qualifiers.

Ana on top of the world

Move over Maria, its Ana's time at the top.

NZ crash to Sidebottom

Ryan Sidebottom's devastating spell of four wickets for five runs in 19 balls propelled England to an innings and nine run third Test victory against New Zealand at Trent Bridge here on Sunday.

Pabna, Rangpur in TT finals

Rangpur and Pabna men's teams ensured final round berths in the AB Bank 29th National Table Tennis Championships when they won their respective groups in the qualifying zone D yesterday.

Windies bring in rookie paceman

West Indies have fortified the profile of their fast bowling attack with the selection of uncapped Kemar Roach for the third and final Test against Australia.

Pioneer League

Arambagh KS Juniors brushed aside Uttaran Jubo Sangsad 7-0 in a West Zone match of the Pioneer Football League at the Outer Stadium yesterday.


StanChart set to expand home mortgage business

Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) aims to expand its home mortgage scheme as the business grew 900 percent last year, a top official of the bank said.

Eskayef to buy medicine licences in UK

Eskayef Bangladesh Ltd., a leading pharmaceutical company in the country, is going to buy several pharma product licences registered in the United Kingdom (UK) to produce those at the company's new plant for marketing the item to the lucrative European market.

Duty hike fear leads to used car import frenzy

Importers of reconditioned vehicles are now in a frenzy to import vehicles from Japan apprehending a hike in duty, possible tougher import policy in the budget to be announced today (Monday) and stiff competition with the brand new vehicle importers.

Foreign firms reluctant to list due to lack of incentives

Multinational companies are unwilling to be listed on the stock exchange, as there are no proper incentives for doing so, said the president of Foreign Investors' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

G8, Asian powers urge oil production hike

Eleven nations that guzzle nearly two-thirds of the world's energy called Sunday for an urgent hike in global oil production as host Japan warned the world could plunge into recession.

DSE turnover hits all-time high at Tk550cr

In the backdrop of a overpriced Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) with turnover hitting all-time high at Tk 550 crore yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will review the market situation in an internal emergency meeting today.

Budget expectations

Budget- take it or leave it- can't address every wealth creation, savings mobilization, driving growth or equitable distribution issues. Ultimate growth and development require commitment from the political regime, better governance, accountable civil bureaucracy and effective local government.

Investing in long-term economic future

Given the triple global shocks of US recession, record oil prices and rampant food inflation, the relative strength of the Bangladesh economy is something that the country can be proud of. Add to this the lagged impact of cyclone Sidr and the current projected official growth rate forecast of 6.2 percent for FY 2007/08 is a testament to resilience of entrepreneurs and workers in the private sector.

Focus on agriculture for food security

As we await the announcement of the Budget for 2008-9 let us spare a thought for what the honourable finance adviser has to contend with: record oil prices, soaring food prices and shortages, financial crises and recessionary economies and major natural disasters. Compounded with the political crisis in Bangladesh pre 1/11, the heightened expectations of the people after 1/11 and the current political crisis, delivering this budget is a daunting task. Especially as this next budget must deliver on certain key areas.

Priorities for IT sector

In this budget the IT industry is anxiously waiting to see some pro-active measures to save the sector from further stagnation. Both the domestic and export markets have literally taken a nose dive in the last two years. Export revenues have registered 4 percent and 34 percent drops in the last two years according to the latest figures from EPB. Needless to say that a thriving IT sector is a sine qua non for the economic development of the country in the 21st century. To reverse this alarming trend the government needs to give the market the right cues for bringing growth back through appropriate financial incentives and facilitation measures. Let me take you through some of these:

BoI reviews plan for investment climate improvement

The Board of Investment (BoI) at its 20th meeting held here yesterday reviewed both local and foreign investment positions and discussed formulation of a strategic plan to improve the investment climate in the country.

Stress on better understanding of global currency, commodity markets

Experts at a seminar yesterday stressed the need for better understanding of the trend of global currency and commodities markets to enable the country to narrow down risks resulting from any volatile situation on the world market.

DCCI launches web portal

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) yesterday launched its web portal jointly with Tejari FZ LLC, a Dubai-based online business portal.

Key Asian currencies mixed against dollar

Key Asian currencies ended the week mixed against the dollar as the United States announced hefty job loss figures and amid predictions of a US interest rate rise. The Thai baht fell further as foreign investors took fright over domestic concerns.

Vietnam tourism needs infrastructure overhaul

The tourism industry needs serious infrastructure development to meet Government economic expectations, investors at the Viet Nam Business Forum recommended this week. Institutional, transport and educational infrastructure were highlighted.

Russians keen to buy shrimps from Bangladesh

Russian importers at an international fair held in Moscow showed their interest to buy shrimps from Bangladesh.

CSE arranges seminar on financial derivatives for journos

A seminar on financial derivatives for journalists was held in Dhaka yesterday.

NGO seeks budgetary allocation for disabled people

An NGO working with disabled people sought special budgetary allocation in order to bring the disabled people into the country's mainstream development process.

Thai inflation seen peaking in Q3

Thailand's headline inflation is likely to peak in the third quarter and is expected to rise to 8.3 per cent or higher this month after reaching a 10-year high of 7.6 per cent in May, according to Prapas Tonpibulsak, chief investment officer of Ayudhya Fund Management.

S Korea announces $10b energy package

South Korea on Sunday announced a 10 billion dollar energy package aimed at helping consumers cope with the effects of rising oil prices.

Vietnam asked to scrap seafood import tax

The Vietnamese government should axe excise duties on seafood imports to boost the domestic economy, according to the deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP), Nguyen Huu Dung.

Malaysia scrambles to soften fuel price blow as protests loom

Malaysia's government scrambled Sunday to cushion the blow from a 41 percent fuel price hike, as activists planned more rallies to denounce the decision.

Iranian inflation tops 25pc

Inflation in Iran, the subject of heavy criticism against the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, rose again over the past month to over 25 percent, the central bank said on Sunday.

Philippine inflation soars to 9yr high

Filipino households had to pay 14.30 pesos more in May for the same amount of food that had cost them 100 pesos in May last year, according to official inflation data released Thursday.

Berger Paints declares 110pc cash dividend

Berger Paints Bangladesh Ltd has declared a 110 percent cash dividend for the year 2007.


My present goal is to ensure healthcare for Bangladeshis

Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus has said he would make every effort to provide healthcare facilities to all Bangladeshis.

Non-communicable diseases responsible for 60pc death

The number of people suffering from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is increasing day by day although these are preventable through behavioural changes, said the experts at a workshop yesterday.

Eliminate criminalised trend in politics

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said the politics of the country needs qualitative change by eliminating the criminalised trend of politics and establishing that of honest people.

Resist those who push students to crimes: Dr Kamal

Eminent Jurist Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said young students are being involved in crime and violence by some vested quarters to achieve their selfish interests.

CG move to hold local govt polls 'unconstitutional'

Speakers, mostly left-leaning party leaders, yesterday described the caretaker government's effort for holding the local government election as 'unconstitutional' as the newly introduced law for the election is contrary to the constitution.

Dhaka elected to Council of Int'l Sea Bed Authority

Bangladesh has been elected to the Council of the International Sea Bed Authority for a period of four years beginning January 2009.

Adaptation, mitigation can reduce high risks of climate change

Experts at a workshop yesterday said climate change as well as its effect is an alarming news for Bangladesh and adaptation and mitigation processes can only reduce the high risks of the climate change.

Graft suspects in committee to review BSMMU irregularities

The high-level officials of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), allegedly involved in corruption and irregularities during the last government, have been included in a newly formed committee to review irregularities at the institution.

12,209 students with disabilities receive stipends

Directorate of Social Welfare (DSW) yesterday distributed stipends among 12,209 students with disabilities across the country to facilitate their studies.

Verdict in corruption case against Ershad June 18

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed June 18 for pronouncing verdict of a corruption case filed 16 years back against former president and Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad.

HC directs inquiry into shalish over rape case

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the authorities to conduct an inquiry within two weeks into a so-called shalish (arbitration) inflicting a young girl, a rape victim, with dorrahs (cane sticks) at Sadar upazila in Laxmipur.

Momen made envoy to Italy

Masud Bin Momen, Director General (UN and Human Rights) of Foreign Ministry, has been appointed Bangladesh envoy to Italy.

Air Arabia starts operation

The UAE-based low-cost carrier Air Arabia started its operation from the Zia International Airport (ZIA) in the city yesterday, which will help Middle East-bound Bangladeshi workers travel at a lower price.

HC quashes proceedings against Tasmima

The High Court (HC) yesterday quashed the proceedings against Tasmima Hossain, wife of former minister Anwar Hossain Manju, in a corruption case filed by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Newly appointed British HC takes over June 23

The newly appointed British High Commissioner (HC) Stephen Nicholas Evans will take over his charges on June 23.

'Walk the World 2008' held in Jessore

World Food Programme (WFP) Jessore Sub-Office organised 'Walk the World 2008' in the district yesterday as part of 'End Hunger: Walk the World' campaign organised by WFP and its partners, says a press release.

Bodies of two indigenous men found in pond

The bodies of two indigenous people were recovered from a pond at Bhabanipur village in Nababganj upazila yesterday.

Proposals for further empowerment of women

A 10-member delegation of Nari Uddyog Kendra (NUK), a platform of elected representatives of local government bodies, called on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban in the city yesterday and put forward proposals for further empowerment of the womenfolk.

Citizens' charter for textile ministry ready

A citizens' charter has been prepared for the Ministry of Textiles and Jute aiming at bringing dynamism and improving standard of its work.

Israil made DG of Attorney Department

M Israil Hossain, joint secretary of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry, joined the Attorney Department as its Director General on June 4.

RU BCL demands Hasina's release

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Rajshahi University (RU) unit yesterday demanded immediate and unconditional release of Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina.

Bombs recovered in Jhenidah

Three powerful bombs were recovered at Mathpara village in Shailakupa upazila yesterday.

GP signs deal with Dana Group

Grameenphone Ltd recently signed an agreement with Dana Group for the installation of a co-generation service system for the Grameenphone Headquarter Building at Bashundhara in the city, says a press release.

Jamuna Fertiliser resumes urea production

Production of urea resumed at Jamuna Fertiliser Factory (JFF) at Tarakandi in Jamalpur yesterday after suspension of the production for technical glitches for four days.

Victim of mugging dies after fighting for life for 9 days

After fighting for life for nine days, the production official of Kohinur Chemical Company who was stabbed by the muggers in the city, succumbed to his injuries yesterday.

Bangladeshi dies in US road accident

Babar Zaman, a young Bangladeshi working in Dallas, USA, died in a tragic road accident on May 31, says a press release.

Eastern University freshers' orientation held

The orientation ceremony for summer semester 2008 of Eastern University was held at the university auditorium on Saturday, says a press release.

TV news presentation course ends

The concluding and certificate awarding ceremony of a month-long training course on TV news presentation, organised by Bangladesh Institute of Journalism and Electronic Media (BIJEM), was held at the conference room of the institute on Saturday, says a press release.

BAF tree plantation begins

Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal SM Ziaur Rahman inaugurated the tree plantation programme of Bangladesh Air Force yesterday by planting a star-apple sapling at Air Headquarters premises, says an ISPR press release.

Workshop for English teachers held at Laxmipur

A month-long workshop for English teachers of 10 schools at Laxmipur was held at the auditorium of Khilbaisa GF Union High School last month, says a press release.


Over two lakh families still live in tents in Patuakhali

With the monsoon adding to their sufferings, over two lakh Sidr-hit families still live in tents in Patuakhali as the cyclone damaged their houses.

Acid violence rises in Satkhira

At least 11 incidents of acid violence were recorded in the district in last six months while only three such incidents were recorded in last year, speakers said at a view exchange meeting yesterday.

Incentive for investment in Uttara EPZ

Chairman of Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority (BEPZA) Brig. Gen. Zamil Ahmed Khan yesterday called upon businessmen in northern districts to set up agro-based industries at Uttara EPZ in Sayedpur.

4 die, 50 fall sick after eating potka fish in Natore

Four persons including a mother and her son and a child died and at least 50 people fell sick after eating puffer fish (Potka fish) in some villages in Singra upazila of the district yesterday.

'Implement nat'l women dev policy'

Speakers at a discussion held here Saturday night urged the government to implement the national women development policy-2008 for establishing women's rights.

2 minor boys drown in Ctg, Rajshahi

Two minor boys drowned in Chittagong and Rajshahi yesterday and the day before.

Brac schoolteacher killed after rape in Khagrachhari

A Brac schoolteacher was killed after rape at Lalchhari under Ramgarh upazila on Saturday.

Northern Jute Mill workers on strike

Production at Northern Jute Mills in BSIC is suspended as workers stopped work on Saturday demanding increase of their salary and other facilities.

VDP member takes life in Khagrachhari

A member of Village Defence Party (VDP) allegedly committed suicide at Sobahan Sarder Para village in Matiranga yesterday.


Upcoming budget

The 2008-2009 budget is going to be announced very soon. There are great expectations among the people from the budget. I think that the budget should be pro-employment, because the burden of unemployment is growing day by day in our country. Besides employment, the budget should be pro-education, pro-agriculture, pro-investment & pro-development. The industrial & telecommunication sector should be emphasized. The size of the ADP should be reasonable. Utilisation of funds, transparency & sustainability should be ensured. And both formal & informal sectors have to be given due importance.

Water pollution

Water, the vital element, is being polluted in different ways. Industrial effluents, pesticides etc contribute to the aggravation of water pollution. Whereas human waste is biodegradable, industrial waste requires treatment. Untreated waste causes damage to the eco-system and leads to many problems. In addition, polluted water poses great health hazard.

Rickshaw free capital

Thanks are due to Mr Qamruddin Chowdhury from Kuwait for his letter in DS on 25 May 2009. He has undoubtedly provided the 'mother of all solutions' to our worst nightmare, the traffic jam and more than justified this and my previous 16 letters on the subject. He advocates:

River erosion

River erosion is a serious problem in Bangladesh. The three mighty rivers-- Brahmaputra, Jamuna and Padma-- have swallowed up about 3970 hectares of land, 530 hectares of settlement, 2,020 meters of roads in districts and 2,390 meters of roads in villages in 2007. According to the reports, these rivers also devoured 40 educational institutions, nine market places, five government offices, one non-government office and two health centres during the period.

TB/HIV co-infection

On June 9, for the first time, governments, public health and business leaders, heads of UN agencies and advocates are coming together at United Nations (UN) Headquarters to acknowledge addressing HIV/TB as an urgent priority . This first HIV/TB Global Leaders' Forum, convened by Dr. Jorge Sampaio, the UN Secretary-General's special envoy to stop TB, seeks to galvanise leadership at all levels.

Expensive bread

The price of bread has increased rapidly during the last few months. The price of a medium sized bread was Tk. 15 each. This has now increased to Tk 45 to Tk 50. This means an increase of 300%! This is too much.

Indian visa

This is a special request to H.E. Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh. Please set up a separate entrance for people aged over 60 years at your visa office.

Menon's comment

I am writing with reference to your report on the statement by Rashed Khan Menon that Sheikh Hasina should be released because her arrest was for political reasons. Mr Menon is a veteran politician and has also been a student of law, so he must surely know that the charges filed against Sheikh Hasina allege several cases of corruption in procurement, approval of tenders, accepting payments etc. She has not been arrested on political charges of sedition, dissent etc.

Our politics and NRBs

As expatriate Bangladeshis we are earning foreign currency and remitting it to Bangladesh. We don't know how that money is spent in the country.

Workers in the Middle East

The remittances of Bangladeshi people working abroad are the main source of foreign currency of our economy. Without this income Bangladesh has no future. The recent news that our people in some countries are in serious trouble is cause for extreme concern. The Bangladesh govt. must take some strong action to improve the image of our country.

Parochial demand

A section of teachers, staff of Sher-e -Bangla Agricultural University and also Khulna University have demanded that the VC be appointed from their own university. Any eligible citizen of the country or even from abroad should be able to apply and may be recruited for the position including the SBAU or KU if found best. What BNP cadre VCs did could not be a reason for restricting competition.

What's going on?

Dr. Hossein Zillur Rahman has been found active on dialogue. He is the one speaking to the media most of the time. As the two main political parties of Bangladesh refused dialogue with this government, keeping their party chiefs in the jail, the government immediately filed a case against a senior leader of the Bangladesh Awami League, Mr. Tofail Ahmed.

English question paper

I happened to come across an unsuccessful degree student who failed in the compulsory English paper (subject code 105) of the examination. I found the girl too weak to pass but what appalled me is that the said English question paper had no less than three printing mistakes, and when I asked the girl if these mistakes were pointed out and rectified by the invigilating teacher in the examination hall she answered in the negative. She even could not think of any mistake creeping in the question paper.

Pope's initiative

I wish to commend Pope Benedict XVI for his most recent liturgical initiatives. Some may recall that a few months ago the Pope celebrated Mass in the Sistine Chapel facing the East rather than the people. More recently, on the feast of Corpus Christi (May 22, 2008), Pope Benedict XVI, for his papal Mass outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran, had a kneeler placed at the foot of the altar and distributed Holy Communion to four dozen communicants - all of whom knelt and received the Eucharist on the tongue. This latest initiative is in keeping with those orthodox practices which the Church strongly recommends. Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, commented on the significance of the pope's gesture saying: "I hope this practice spreads."

Foreigners and we

On May 6, 2008 we saw the photograph of Mr Anwar Chowdhury the out-going British High Commissioner in Bangladesh calling on the BNP Chairperson's nominated Secretary General Khondkar Delwar Hussain at his residence. On May 7, 2008 we saw another photograph of Anwar Chowdhury calling on the acting Secretary General of BNP (SR), Major Retd Hafizur Rahman, at his residence .

Four years in Dhaka city

This is just to express my feeling about Life in Dhaka City as an expatriate. I am from Bangkok, Thailand and have been living in Dhaka for the last 4 years. Before coming here, what I heard about Bangladesh was mostly about the unfortunate natural disasters, the violent political strikes and the sunken overloaded ferries. Of course the scenes of poverty and hunger were also common on international news channels.

Our achievement(?) in smoking!

A press report from Geneva, published in a local English daily on May 31, ranks Bangladesh among the top ten tobacco smoking countries! If use of chewing tobacco was included, we could well have ranked among the top five!


I am pleased that people in Gaibandha or anywhere are campaigning with marches against 'EVE-TEASING' but surely the first thing that needs to be done is to abandon this ridiculous expression!


Parties closer to consensus on Nepal power-sharing

Nepal's three big parties in the constituent assembly have come closer to a consensus on most of their differences including amendment of the constitution following parleys at bilateral meetings Saturday.

US First lady in Afghanistan to highlight progress

First lady Laura Bush, on a mission to highlight signs of rebirth in war-weary Afghanistan, ventured outside of Kabul on Sunday to an area that symbolises both the destruction of war and Afghanistan's attempt at rebirth.

Myanmar dead may never be identified

Tens of thousands of people killed in last month's cyclone may never be identified because their bodies have decomposed so badly and many ended up far from home, an aid organisation said Sunday.

28 rebels killed in Lanka clashes

Sri Lanka's defence ministry said yesterday its forces had killed at least 28 Tamil Tiger rebels in the latest clashes across the north of the island.

US security deal with Iraq won't harm Iran: Maliki

Iraq's prime minister sought to ease Iranian fears over a proposed security deal with the US Sunday, saying his government will not allow Iraq to become a launching pad for an attack on its neighbour.

Seven killed in Tokyo stabbing frenzy

A man went on a stabbing spree yesterday in a Tokyo neighbourhood famed for comic-book subculture, killing at least seven people and leaving around a dozen injured in Japan's deadliest crime in years.

Lankans live on the edge as rebels turn war on civilians

Each time Indika Jayawickrema uses public transport, his wife Chamindri anxiously waits for a telephone call to let her know he has safely reached his destination.

Qaeda cell busted in western Iraq

Iraqi police yesterday dismantled an al-Qaeda cell of would-be suicide bombers in western Iraq and seized 50 explosive belts primed for use, a local mayor said.

Questions linger over Obama's Asia policy

Will he sit down with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il? Order trade sanctions against China? Send US troops into Pakistan to flush out Islamic militants?

Kosovo prime minister's home attacked

Armed assailants trying to break into the home of Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci exchanged fire with guards, but the leader was away and his family was not hurt, police said Saturday.

Hundreds of students still stranded in Gaza

They squander their days watching TV and surfing the Web instead of studying, but it's not for lack of discipline: Gaza students accepted at foreign universities are stuck at home because Israel and Egypt won't let them leave the blockaded territory.

China, Taiwan look to build trust at talks

China and Taiwan will this week hold historic talks aimed at building trust following decades of angry rhetoric and military tensions that made their relationship one of the world's potential flashpoints.

Earth is 'beautiful', says Japanese astronaut

Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, on his first mission in space, said Sunday he was in awe of the Earth as he spoke with his prime minister in Tokyo.

37 missing in Ukraine mine blast

Thirty-seven people were missing Sunday after an explosion ripped through a coal mine in eastern Ukraine, an emergency official said.

Arts & Entertainment

Ensuring the rights of lyricists and music composers

When a song becomes a hit, most of the credit goes to the singer. The artiste becomes a celebrity overnight enjoying fame, glory and more. But the songwriter or the music composer often do not get the recognition they deserve. This has been a familiar story in our music industry until now.

Lines that bring in tranquillity and harmony

Nurul Islam, in his 70s, is having his 5th solo exhibition at the Bengal Gallery. A student of Zainul Abedin and Qamrul Hassan, he is a talented and dedicated painter, who however, has not had the recognition that he deserves.

Production of documentary "Bhashkorjey Muktijuddho" resumes

Production of the documentary on sculptures around the country on the theme 'Liberation War', titled "Bhashkorjey Muktijuddho" has resumed, according to a press release.

Film screening organised by Bangladesh Film Archive

A film screening session was organised by Bangladesh Film Archive (BFA) at the Digital Lab Auditorium, Bangladesh Film Development Corporation (BFDC) on June 7. The programme marked the completion of the Second Higher Film Appreciation Course and Seventh Film Appreciation Course organised by BFA.

Farida Yasmin performs on TV after 30 years

After a hiatus of almost three decades, eminent singer Farida Yasmin will appear in a musical programme Chirokaal Chirodin, to be aired on ATN Bangla tonight at 8:45 pm. Directed by Mukaddem Babu, the special episode of the show will be hosted by renowned singer Subir Nandi.

AFA institute in Pabna celebrates 4th anniversary

AFA Institute, a cultural organisation in Pabna, celebrated its fourth anniversary on June 6. A daylong programme marking the occasion began with a colourful procession brought out from Pabna town hall premises. Former head of Bangla department, Pabna Edward College, Professor Md. Kamruzzaman inaugurated the event.


Fertility decline: Rhetoric or reality?

The total fertility rate of 2.7 per woman, as at present in Bangladesh, could be considered as low fertility by any standard. This rate is lower in comparison with many Asian and most African countries. Mr. Arthur Erken, Country Representative of UNFPA, has advised adoption of appropriate future strategies keeping Bangladesh as a low fertility nation in view.

Hillary Clinton's decline falls into a pattern

Hillary Clinton has taken herself out of the presidential race on her terms. That may sound like an understatement, for even if she had fought on, Barack Obama would still emerge as the Democratic nominee for the November election.

Gandhi family charisma on the wane

Two days after the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh celebrated its fourth anniversary in the office, voters in the southern state of Karnataka gave it a big jolt when they elected its archrival and main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power.

What to do if you have way too much money

Every now and then, top government officials look at their coffers, and say out loud: "Wow. We have way too much money. How can we blow the lot?"

Star City

DU wakes up to worrying trend of suicides among students

Increasing cases of suicide among the Dhaka University students, especially girl students, have prompted the authorities to go for appointing psychologists in the dormitories.

Helping out victims of criminal offence

In a groundbreaking initiative the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) with the aid of Police Reform Programme (PRP) of UNDP is going to introduce a full-fledged centre for helping out victims of criminal offence.

"city express"

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

The Daily Star

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