The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, August 2, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 18th of June, 2008

Front Page

India, Myanmar raise objection to bidders

India and Myanmar have raised objections about oil and gas exploration in several blocks bordering their maritime boundary, which may slow down Petrobangla's bid to find hydrocarbon resources offshore.

Niko sued for Tk 746cr over Tengratilla loss

The government yesterday filed a damage suit with a Dhaka court against Niko Resources Bangladesh Ltd, claiming Tk 746.50 crore in compensation for destroying properties and gas reserves in and around the Tengratilla Gas Field in Sunamganj.

Schedules for city polls Friday

The Election Commission (EC) has decided to announce on Friday the schedule for holding polls in four city corporations and nine municipalities by the end of July, which will be the first elections under the state of emergency.

Original of independence proclamation missing

The original copies of the country's proclamations of independence, formation of the first government, and the laws' continuance enforcement order of 1971 are missing from government custody.

Financing budget deficit a real challenge

Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday said there are no immediate remedies to the budget implementation crisis unless long-term investment is made in the public sector.

WB okays $320m budget support loans

The World Bank (WB) yesterday approved two budget support programmes worth $320 million to assist the government implement its wide-ranging governance and economic policy and energy reforms.

50 Bangladeshi women trafficked to India a day

Every day 50 Bangladeshi women are lured to India and sold there, Home Adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin yesterday told the inaugural ceremony of a new police investigation unit formed to strengthen fight against human trafficking.

40 injured as RMG workers clash with cops

At least 40, including 11 policemen, were injured in sporadic clashes between garment workers and the law enforcers at Sheorapara in Mirpur yesterday.

BNP, allies want release of all political leaders

Demanding release of all political leaders including BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, the BNP-led four-party alliance yesterday said people would not accept trials under the emergency power rules that it said do not allow the judges to work independently.

AL demands lifting of emergency before polls

Awami League (AL) yesterday renewed its call to the government for creating a congenial atmosphere by lifting the state of emergency immediately and holding parliamentary elections ahead of other polls.

Hold general elections first

Local government elections should not be held before the parliamentary election, said Samyabadi Dal during a dialogue with the government yesterday.

Reforms in bureaucracy not done yet

The caretaker government has implemented many landmark governance reforms, but unfortunately one major reform that has remained untouched is of the sluggish and complex bureaucratic structure of the government, said Hua Du, country director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Govt to import 12,000 tonnes of fertiliser from Qatar

The advisory committee on purchase yesterday approved a proposal to import 12,000 tonnes of urea fertiliser at a price of $666 per tonne from Qatar.

Hasina undergoes eye check-up

Doctors examined eyes of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina at Yale University Medical College in Connecticut State of the United States yesterday morning.

The great Taliban robbery

Believe it or not but Taliban have captured one Chinook and one Black Hawk helicopter of the US armed forces in Pakistani tribal areas. This "Taliban robbery" is actually the main cause of recent tensions between US and Pakistan. The parts of these helicopters were loaded in eight big containers from Karachi port a few days ago and these containers were on their way to Afghanistan by road from Karachi to Jalalabad. When these containers entered Khyber Agency area near Jamrod, Taliban stopped the containers and looted all the parts of world's most expensive and lethal helicopters. Pakistani para military forces in the area tried to confront Taliban but they suffered heavy losses due to the darkness of night. This is the area from where Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan

Huge smuggled electronics seized at ZIA

Customs officials seized smuggled mobile phone handsets and other electronic items worth about Tk 70 lakh at Zia International Airport yesterday.

British minister for int'l dev arrives today

British Minister for International Development, Shahid Malik, arrives today on a two-day visit to the country.

300 shanties demolished

The Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) yesterday demolished over 300 illegal shanties on the Begunbari canal near Tongi Diversion Road.

4 Huji cadres jailed for 20yrs for keeping explosives

Four Harkatul Jihad (Huji) cadres were sentenced to 20 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) in an explosives case in Magura yesterday.

Heavy rain paralyses life in Ctg

Life became paralysed in Chittagong yesterday as major parts of the port city were submerged in knee-deep water following heavy rains throughout the day.

Rejoinder, our reply

The Cabinet Division yesterday in a rejoinder protested a news item published in The Daily Star on June 13 under the headline "EC Secretariat yet to get full autonomy".

Traffic police's wit saves traders from being abducted

A traffic sergeant's presence of mind saved two traders from being abducted in city's Panathopath area yesterday.

Rice prices mark rise

Prices of different varieties of rice continued to rise both in wholesale and retail markets in the capital while potato price came down yesterday.

Saarc Summit to focus on food, fuel security

Food and fuel security will be high on the agenda of the upcoming 15th summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) in Colombo in August.

Musharraf will be replaced soon

With rival-turned ally Nawaz Sharif stealing the limelight with his full-throttle demand for Pervez Musharraf's ouster, PPP Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has said his party will soon "appoint" the next president, hinting that the former general's days in office could be numbered.

EU to sharpen Iran sanctions

The European Union agreed Monday on the need to sharpen sanctions on Iran possibly targeting the oil and gas sectors in what would mark Europe's strongest punishments yet to discourage Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Major dinosaur fossil discovery in US

A newly discovered batch of well-preserved dinosaur bones, petrified trees and even freshwater clams in southeastern Utah could provide new clues about life in the region some 150 million years ago.

Editorial

Upazila Parishad ordinance

The upazila ordinance repealing the Upazila Parishad Act (UPA) 1998 awaits promulgation by the President. This will clear the course for holding upazila polls by the EC which will declare the schedules for election instead of the LGRD, or for that matter, the government, as used to be the case before.

Reclaiming and restoring a canal

The re-opening of the Shubhadya canal in Keraniganj to navigation is a sign of how corrective measures can be taken in certain crucial areas. The canal, in a state of disuse for the last six years because of the depredations of a section of unscrupulous people, will now once again serve the people in the area. It is to be especially noted that the canal will once again benefit traders who operate in the four markets situated along the banks of the canal. Moreover, the reopening of the canal to boats, steamboats and similar means of transport now means that unfettered access to movement has been restored.

Agartala Conspiracy Case forty years on

FORTY years after June 1968, the Agartala Conspiracy Case instituted by the government of Pakistan against Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and thirty-four other Bengalis remains a point of reference for students of Bangladesh's history. In these forty years, much debate has ensued about the way the case changed the course of Bengali history and transformed the nature of politics and geography in South Asia, especially in the context of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Review of the Constitution

THE review of the Constitution of 1972 is not only an important issue but also goes to the heart of the political malaise in the country as manifested before January 11, 2007.

America loves a winner!

AMERICANS do not quite subscribe to the British saying, “It is not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.” In America, it is not about simply playing the game, it is all about winning.

Sports

Yusuf wants to leave

Abu Yusuf has asked the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) to relieve him of his duties as the federation coach following the national team's disastrous performance in the recently concluded SAFF Championship.

Italy into last 8

World champions Italy beat old foes France 2-0 here on Tuesday to go through to the Euro 2008 quarterfinals as Group C runners up with a helping hand from Holland whilst their rivals and 2006 World Cup finalists exited.

'We are the underdogs'

Match-winner Michael Ballack admitted Germany would be underdogs against Portugal in the Euro 2008 quarterfinals after his goal defeated Austria 1-0 to earn his team second place in Group B.

'Seniors must serve'

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has called on his squad's senior players to help his side salvage something from a tour of England which threatens to end without an international victory.

Dutch make it 3 out of 3

Holland marched into the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 with a hundred per cent record in group C and their mome-ntum intact after their reserves strolled to a 2-0 victory over Romania here on Tuesday.

Shiv calls on youth

Shivnarine Chanderpaul acknowledges that West Indies have made strides in their series against Australia, but he wants the less experienced players in the side to learn the nuances of the game much quicker.

Abahani held

Abahani's only preparation match ahead of this month's AFC President's Cup ended in a draw when the Dhaka giants were held 1-1 by Narayanganj Khelwar Kalyan Samity yesterday.

Teammates fret over Asif's fate

Mohammad Asif's prolonged detention in Dubai has left the entire Pakistani cricket team concerned, says coach Geoff Lawson, who wants to have the embattled pacer back in the side as soon as he is released.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh will play their third group match today against hosts Singapore in the 3rd Men's AHF Cup Hockey Championship.

Pakistan gets ICC approval

Pakistan was given a vote of confidence Tuesday by international cricket bosses as it gears up to host the Champions Trophy later this year.

Sreesanth out of Asia Cup

Indian fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth has been ruled out of the Asia Cup in Pakistan. Sreesanth, who also missed the Kitply Cup in Bangladesh, has not recovered from the side strain he sustained during the Indian Premier League.

Press praises 'Bilic boys'

The Croatian press on Tuesday praised the 'Bilic boys' after Croatia garnered a perfect nine points in their Euro 2008 group after they beat Poland 1-0 on Monday.

Loew will learn fate today

Germany coach Joachim Loew will learn today whether he will be able to take his place in the dugout for Thursday's Euro 2008 quarterfinal with Portugal after being sent to the stands during Monday's 1-0 win over co-hosts Austria.

Reserves get a chance

Coach Luis Aragones will give Spain's reserves a chance to prove themselves when the Euro 2008 quarterfinalists face Greece in their final Group D game on Wednesday.

Arshavin boost for Russians

Russia can unlock the most dangerous weapon from their arsenal when playmaker Andrei Arshavin returns from suspension to face Sweden in their decisive Euro 2008 Group D match on Wednesday (1845 GMT).

Media lament early exit

In the end there was to be no "miracle" of Vienna for the Austrian national side, whose early exit from the Euro 2008 championships they co-hosted with the Swiss the media lamented on Tuesday.

Rehhagel to stay on

Otto Rehhagel is to stay on as Greek coach till the 2010 World Cup finals despite Greece being deposed as European champions, the Greek Football Federation (EPO) president said on Tuesday.

Gungor blow for Turkey

Turkey suffered a blow ahead of Friday's Euro 2008 quarterfinal with Croatia in Vienna when it was announced by the Turkish Football Federation that key defender Emre Gungor was out of the tournament because of a calf injury.

Aragones set for Fenerbahce

Turkish giants Fenerbahce are close to signing Spain's national coach Luis Aragones to a two-year deal replacing Brazilian Zico, a Spanish newspaper said Tuesday.

C'Ron closer to MU exit

Cristiano Ronaldo appears to be edging closer to joining Real Madrid after reports in England on Tuesday claimed the Manchester United winger is ready to demand a transfer after Euro 2008.

'Winning matters'

Ricky Ponting admits that Australia are clearly in transition, but he emphasises that they continue to win Test matches and Test series which is very important.

KP a freak: Shah

Owais Shah has no plans to copy the switch-hitting exploits of Kevin Pietersen despite seeing his "freak" of an England teammate strike two sixes batting 'left-handed'.

Pawar still BCCI chief

Sharad Pawar, the BCCI president and ICC vice-president, can continue as the Indian board's president till his term ends in September as it has emerged that an ICC rule barring dual roles does not apply to a president-elect. Pawar was expected to quit his BCCI job soon after assuming the additional role of president-elect early next month, but officials from both organisations have told Cricinfo the ICC rules do permit him to stay on.

iSixes cancelled

The iSixes World Series, a new tournament billed as a six-a-side extravaganza featuring some of the top names in the game, has collapsed, organisers told AFP Tuesday.

Olympic torch relay starts Xinjiang leg

Police imposed a security lockdown as the Olympic torch Tuesday started its run through China's mainly Muslim region of Xinjiang, seen as one of the most sensitive legs on its nationwide journey.

V'ball camp concludes

A volleyball training program concluded at the Moukhara High School playground in Baraigram upazila of Natore on Tuesday.

Camp for young athletes soon

Bangladesh Amateur Athletics Federation (BAAF) will soon arrange a training camp with the potential athletes for higher intensive training.

Cook injured, Strauss in

Alastair Cook will miss England's second one-day international against New Zealand at Edgbaston with a shoulder injury.

Business

GMG's flight to Saudi Arabia uncertain as Biman won't quit slots

GMG Airlines' plans to fly to Saudi Arabia has been blocked by state-owned Biman that has refused to allow the country's largest private carrier to use its idle landing rights to the lucrative Middle East destination.

Medicine makers vent concern over price control formula

The apex trade body for the pharmaceutical sector has expressed concern over the government's approval of a list of essential drugs and its move to bring some of these products under price control formula.

ADB for use of Ctg port by neighbours

The ADB (Asian Development Bank) outgoing country director has stressed upgradation and opening up of Bangladesh's premier Chittagong Port for the usage of eastern Indian states and other landlocked neighbouring countries to develop it a regional hub, which could be a major driver for the country's economic development.

8 insurers' share trading halted

Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) authorities yesterday suspended trading of eight insurance companies' shares for the day, as prices of most of them rose by more than 10 percent.

World faces big economic crisis

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Monday called for international cooperation to fend off "the worst economic crisis since the 1970s oil shock".

Two firms get nod to raise Tk 19cr

The stock market regulator yesterday approved the initial public offering (IPO) prospectus of two companies, Summit Alliance Port and Takaful Islami Insurance, to raise a total of Tk 19 crore from the stock market.

Strong local govt needed to implement social safety net programme

Speakers at a seminar have warned without the involvement of a strong local government, it will be difficult to ensure that the huge sum of money, allocated for social safety net programme, will reach the deserving poor.

BGMEA, SEDF sign MoU to ensure compliance at RMG factories

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and International Finance Corporation-SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility (IFC-SEDF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday on social compliance monitoring to pursue the compliance issues at garment factories.

India's Ambani brothers slug it out in telecom row

India's billionaire Ambani brothers are battling again -- this time over a blockbuster deal being negotiated by the younger sibling Anil to create an emerging-market telecoms behemoth.

Lower costs drawing users to mobile internet

Lower costs are drawing more and more users to access the Internet via their mobiles, and opening up opportunities for advertisers, industry players said Tuesday.

Asian stocks close mixed

Asian stocks closed mixed Tuesday with even more gloom enveloping the Chinese stock market after it tumbled to its lowest level in over 15 months.

Weekly tea sale witnesses strong demand

Weekly tea sale was held here yesterday with a very strong demand prevailing during the sale particularly towards the second half where prices appreciated substantially.

China to benefit from tough IPR laws

China's point man on US trade ties on Tuesday said China stands to gain economically by improving intellectual property protection and that its efforts were already having an impact.

World Bank eyes new role in Russia

The World Bank will change its role in Russia to take into account the country's rapid growth by using its global expertise to help diversify the economy, the bank's president said on Tuesday.

New DMD of Janata Bank

The government has appointed Md Jahangir Miah as deputy managing director (DMD) of Janata Bank Ltd, says a press release.

New chairman of Eastern Bank

Mir Nasir Hossain has been elected the new chairman of Eastern Bank Ltd.

Etihad opens new business class lounge at Abu Dhabi airport

Etihad Airways has opened a new business class lounge at the airline's Abu Dhabi airport home base, says a press release.

French minister optimistic on EU-Korea trade pact

France will intensify efforts to help South Korea and the European Union agree on a free trade pact in the second half of this year, a visiting minister said Tuesday.

UK inflation hits 16-year high

British 12-month inflation leapt to a 16-year high point of 3.3 percent in May, when food and energy prices surged higher, official data showed on Tuesday.

Philippines may sell oil stake to help poor

The Philippine government is considering selling its remaining 40 percent stake in oil refiner Petron to raise money to help the poor, Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said Tuesday.

SKorean strike halts trade worth almost five billion dollars

Export-dependent South Korea said Tuesday that a strike by container truck drivers in protest at soaring fuel prices has disrupted international trade worth almost five billion dollars.

Australia, EU to hold talks on 'open skies' aviation pact

Australia and the EU will next month launch talks on forging a historic "open skies" aviation pact that could remove restrictions on flights between the two continents, a minister said Tuesday.

Uganda says no plans to export crude oil

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni on Monday ruled out exporting crude oil and instead invited foreign firms to set up refineries in Africa's newest oil producer.

Nokia launches new phones

Finnish telecom giant Nokia has launched two new email-capable handsets for business users and vowed to defend its position as the world's leading mobile phone maker.

Metropolitan

Legal migration, jobs for the poor can reduce trafficking

Experts at a consultation yesterday said encouraging legal migration in the developed countries and creating employment opportunities for poor section of people in the country all the year round can be effective means to prevent human trafficking and labour exploitation.

Develop drought-, flood-resistant crops to face climate change

Global warming will lead to increasing frequency of drought, which sometimes has greater negative impacts on crops than other natural calamities do, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.

Increase budgetary allocation for persons with disabilities

The budgetary allocation for persons with disabilities will have to be increased in order to bring them into the mainstream development process of the country, economists and physically challenged people at a view exchange meeting said yesterday.

'Formulate policy for private healthcare service providers'

Bangladesh Private Clinic and Diagnostic Owners' Association (BPCDOA) at a roundtable yesterday recommended the government to formulate a policy for private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres setting minimum, moderate and high criteria for their operation.

'Natrilix SR' brings new hope for hypertensive patients

Cardiologist Prof Abdullah Al Shafi Majumder at a symposium said anti-hypertensive drug 'Natrilix SR' reduces mortality by 21 percent among the elderly hypertensive patients by controlling blood pressure effectively.

Work to create atmosphere for election: Dr Kamal

Eminent jurist and Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday called for working unitedly to create a congenial atmosphere for the upcoming general election as well as establishing effective parliament.

HC hearing on writ for due share of Ganges water resumes

The High Court (HC) yesterday began hearing on a writ petition seeking directions to the government to take necessary steps to ensure the availability of due share of Ganges water at Farakka point as per the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty between Bangladesh and India.

Protest against approval of Upazila Ordinance

Workers Party of Bangladesh yesterday protested the approval of Upazila Ordinance, terming it a part of the government plan to depoliticise the local government.

'Not-for-sale' medicines worth Tk 50 lakh seized

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members seized a huge quantity of 'not-for-sale' medicines worth about Tk 50 lakh during a raid on wholesale drug stores at Babubazar in the city yesterday and arrested 13 traders.

KCC announces Tk 333cr budget

Khulna City Corporation (KCC) yesterday announced a budget of Tk 332.92 crore for fiscal 2008-09, with special focus on improvement of its services to the city dwellers.

Six killed in road accidents

Six people were killed and another was injured in separate road accidents in Dinajpur, Rajshahi, Naogaon and Manikganj in the last two days.

KCC PRO Abu Taher sent to jail upon surrender

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Sarder Abu Taher, who went into hiding after being awarded 17 years of rigorous imprisonment in two extortion cases, surrendered to the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge (4th Court) Sheikh Nazrul Islam yesterday.

Call to re-fix CNG-run bus fares

Consumers Association of Bangladesh (Cab), the country's only watchdog body that promotes and protects consumer rights, yesterday demanded the government to re-fix the fares of CNG-run buses.

Children's art competition held

Helen Keller International (HKI) Bangladesh organised a children's art competition at Shishu Academy in the city yesterday celebrating the 30 years of HKI in the country, says a press release.

Birth certificates for street children

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka yesterday termed the birth registration in Dhaka city a great challenge and sought cooperation from all quarters in this regard.

Road show caravan reaches Khulna

The 'road show' with the slogan 'let us build Bangladesh' reached in Khulna city at noon yesterday from Jessore.

61 sacks of fertiliser seized

Sixty-one sacks of urea fertiliser were seized from a business firm at Chuniapara area on Monday on charge of hoarding the fertiliser illegally.

Train derails in Rangpur

Two compartments of a train derailed at Rangpur railway station yesterday.

Death anniversary of Dr Neelima Ibrahim today

Today is the sixth death anniversary of eminent academic and writer Dr Neelima Ibrahim, says a press release.

US team visits Benapole land port

A seven-member US official delegation visited Benapole land port yesterday to acquaint with the system of customs and immigration at the check-posts.

National

11 risky bailey bridges on Sylhet-Bholaganj road need urgent reconstruction

All the 11 bailey bridges on Sylhet-Bholaganj road have become risky due to excess traffic and frequent plying of trucks over-loaded with stones from the country's biggest stone quarry at Bholaganj in Companiganj upazila.

12 hurt as students go berserk

Aggrieved students of Sirajganj University College yesterday staged demonstration, ransacked office, classrooms and vandalised furniture, demanding removal of a teacher, leaving 12 people including students and teachers injured.

EC training for SCC polls candidates today

For the first time, a training workshop for the probable candidates for the posts of ward commissioner and mayor will be held in Sylhet today.

Renovated canal brings boon for Rangpur town dwellers

About 1,20,000 dwellers of Rangpur town have started getting benefit following renovation of century-old Shyama Sundari canal.

12 people get life-term for killing Jubo Dal leader

A Narail court yesterday sentenced 12 people to life-term rigorous imprisonment (RI) in a case for killing a local leader of Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal.

Wife killed by husband in Faridpur

A housewife was allegedly killed by her husband in Tepakhola river embankment area in the town yesterday.

29 JMB men produced before court

Police yesterday produced 29 Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) men, including two capital punishment awardees and wife of executed JMB kingpin Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai before the Court of Fourth Additional Judge in Mymensingh.

Journo gets 2 yrs RI for extortion

A court here yesterday sentenced a journalist to suffer two years rigorous imprisonment (RI) in an extortion case.

4 sent to jail

Four people including a former ward commissioner of Sylhet City Corporation (SCC), who were caught on Monday for running Yaba trading in Sylhet, were sent to the jail from a court yesterday.

Outlaw killed by rivals in Pabna

An outlaw was hacked to death allegedly by party rivals at Satgasa village in Atghoria upazila Monday night, police said.

Letters

The city

Since the time Bangladesh emerged as an independent country with Dhaka as its capital, the city has been expanding rapidly in a very unplanned and uncontrolled manner. Today nearly 10% of the country's population live in Dhaka. The pressure of population is increasing every day. Our country does not have the resource or the means to maintain such a mega city with the required facilities. Our traffic system is terrible and even after massive investment in underground trains and multi-storeyed overhead roads the situation will only marginally improve. It will not be considered satisfactory. Then there is shortage of electricity, water, gas and other essential services. Most of the multi-storeyed housing complexes will not be able to withstand a earthquake of the magnitude that struck China recently. We are in the earthquake zone. The last major earthquake to hit the city was nearly 100 years ago and another major earthquake is due any time. Should a earthquake strike Dhaka city, it will become a city of rubbles. There will be huge loss of life and property.

Garment industry

The garment industry has become the main export sector and a major source of foreign exchange in Bangladesh over the years. It currently exports about $5 billion worth of products each year giving employment to 3 million workers of which 90% are women.

Huge communication gap

The political dialogue started in the fourth week of May, but the communication gaps are huge (amongst the citizens, politicians, and the foreign observers who also act as advisers).

Child labour

I was on my way to Mymensingh from my uncle's residence at Shankar bus-stand in Dhaka.

Price of urea

It's a distress to the farmers. Field level agricultural officials and staff have to play the role of shock absorbers to the farmers.

Education loan

There are many poor students in our country. Some of them drop out every year. Many students are involved in private tuition or part-time jobs. It is not beyond our knowledge that only a few organisations provide scholarships for students which is insufficient for them. Though some banks provide education loan but such loans are not easy to get.

Comments on commentary

While chasing the target of 233, Bangladeshi batsmen could not face the challenge. Towards the end of the match, when defeat of Bangladesh was certain I switched on to Bangladesh Betar commentary of the match as the electricity went off. The commentator was showering praises on Md. Ashraful for the innings he played using such words which were an exaggeration, to say he least. It seemed that Bangladesh was in a winning position where Ashraful played an epic innings creating history in the world of cricket. It's obviously a positive thing that our captain is back to form. But I have enough doubt whether that particular innings of Md. Ashraful had anything that could make it a memorable one. All he could do was to decrease the margin of defeat and not for a moment it seemed that he (or his boys) was competing for a win. It would be a lot better if Bangladesh could manage 163 in 30 overs for all ten wickets. But praises showered by the commentator were really beyond my understanding as if getting a fifty is the best achievement a batsman could have.

Political unrest

Being an optimistic citizen, I always think that this is the time we can overcome the political unrest, but now we observe new clouds on the horizon.

Threat to Biman?

The report by Rashidul Hassan, published on June 8, about Air Arabia starting flights from Dhaka to Middle East destinations can be a serious threat to Biman's near monopoly on these routes. Though Air Arabia is a low cost airline, Biman's passenger handling starting at check-in counter is in no way better; maybe even worse than the new low cost carrier! Their edge however will be the cheaper fare as reported.

Youth and tourism

The World Youth Student & Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation is a non-profit organisation that represents the world's leading youth travel and student travel. Its global community of 550+ members in 119 countries provides international travel and educational experiences to 10+ million students and youth each year.

Prime minister

According to article 55(1), “There shall be a cabinet for Bangladesh having the Prime Minister” at its head and comprising also such other Ministers as the Prime Minister may from time to time designate.”

Democracy?

I applaud the number of articles in Te Daily Star in which noble souls express the wish that Bangladesh should become more democratic and more tolerant but the degree to which this is a challenge is illustrated by something I find acutely embarrassing:

Daily Star-DHL Business Awards

There is no doubt that the DS-DHL Annual Business Awards are the premier and most prestigious awards for the entrepreneurs and corporate entities of Bangladesh. While the recipients of the accolades are no doubt deserving, I have a feeling that these awards have missed out on two points.

Dhaka's traffic congestion

The city's main roads do not have any rickshaws to be blamed for the traffic congestions. For example, five kilometer distance from Mohakhali Flyover to Dhanmondi road # 32 on a Friday takes 10 minutes, whereas the same route on a weekday will take around 45-60 minutes. Now I do not see any rickshaws for this congestion. It's simply because we have too many vehicles on the roads and the number of roads are limited. Moreover, the drivers of the cars (as majority of the vehicles plying on this particular route are cars) need to be educated by the person(s) sitting on the backseat “The owner(s)”. Now the question is, is the car owner himself aware of the traffic rules? I personally believe they are not. I have seen many times the owner honking for no reason on a red light, taking over another vehicle from the wrong side and parking the car in a no parking zone.

Judges

I refer to the suggestion of Rayhan Uddin from Chittagong under the above heading (June 12) to amend Article 97 of the Constitution because it apparently conflicts with Article 96. The recommendation of Supreme Judicial Council is required to remove any Judge (Article 96) whereas the President can remove the Chief Justice without any such recommendation if the President is satisfied that the "Chief Justice, on account of absence, illness, or any other cause is unable to perform his functions".

Diplomats

A very common and popular topic of talk show discussion is rationalizing the direct interference of diplomats in our political matters. One of such discussions was held in the GP Tmatra recently. The participants were a former adviser of the CTG and an educationist-cum-diplomat. It is nice to hear them pointing out at the weaknesses of the country to firmly handle such so-called diplomatic “indiscipline”. The other catch ward we hear is: It is a breach of Geneva Convention. If it is a real breach of Geneva Convention, why Bangladesh cannot seek legal remedy from the UN which is the ultimate custodian of this Convention ? I do not know whether the UN has any role in monitoring the observation status of such an important UN Convention to protect the rights of the citizens of an under-developed and poor country like Bangladesh;

"Rude foreigners"

It is incredible that grumbling, however rudely, by two foreigners about delays at the payment counter can lead to such a generalization about foreigners (DS 15/6/08 ). Such rude grumbling is not the exclusive domain of the English and is certainly well within the domain of Bangladeshis. If such a generalization is acceptable, it is no wonder that Bangladeshis are all painted with the same brush in the Middle East. It would have been more appropriate to complain about the rudeness of the two English ladies without referring to 'these foreigners'. The generalization that foreigners are rude is itself far ruder than rude grumbling about customer service.

International

Nepali Maoists issue 24-hr ultimatum to PM

Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist has given a 24-hour ultimatum to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala to facilitate formation of the next government.

Taliban prepare for battle outside Kandahar

Taliban militants destroyed bridges and planted mines in several villages they control outside southern Afghanistan's largest city in apparent preparation for battle, residents and officials said yesterday.

Israel, Hamas agree to Gaza truce

Israel and Palestinian militant groups including the Islamist Hamas movement which controls Gaza have agreed to a truce in and around the territory, the deal's Egyptian mediators said yesterday.

No threat of war with Pakistan

A spokesman for President Hamid Karzai yesterday downplayed the Afghan leader's threat to attack militants in Pakistan, saying that there was no intention to start a war with the neighbouring country.

Pranab meets Karat to push nuke deal

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met CPI-M leader Prakash Karat for half an hour Monday night and sought the Left's support in finalising an India-specific safeguards agreement with the IAEA - a crucial step in the conclusion of its nuclear deal with the United States.

France plans return to Nato

President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday launched a major overhaul of the French military, cutting back the armed forces, beefing up intelligence and setting a course for France's return to Nato command.

Fresh clashes in Lanka: 13 killed

Even as Sri Lanka's defence ministry yesterday said that 11 Tamil Tigers and two soldiers had been killed in two separate gun battles in the northwestern district of Mannar, a state-run newspaper reported that the president is keen on setting up a security council to protect civilians from terrorism.

6 'suicide bombers' held during Pakistan march

Pakistani authorities arrested six would-be suicide bombers last week during a protest by lawyers demanding the reinstatement of sacked judges, a top official said yesterday.

Myanmar health system 'back on its feet': WHO

The World Health Organisation said yesterday that the health system in cyclone-battered Myanmar was "back on its feet," but warned that disease risks remained.

Gunmen kill 4 Shia Muslims in Pakistan

Gunmen opened fire on a vehicle carrying four Shia Muslims in northwestern Pakistan Tuesday, killing them all, officials said. It was unclear whether the attack was sectarian.

Indirect talks with Syria will continue

Israel and Syria concluded a second round of indirect peace talks under Turkish mediation on Monday and agreed to continue meeting on a regular basis, a senior Israeli official said.

Astronomers discover clutch of 'super-Earths'

European scientists on Monday said they had located five 'super-Earths', each of them between four and 30 times bigger than our planet, in a trio of distant solar systems.

Sadr reforms movement to consolidate power

A decision by Iraq's firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to boycott provincial elections and restructure his militia aims to reform his powerful Shia movement and consolidate power, analysts said.

Bush, Musharraf least trusted leaders across the world: Poll

Embattled Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and his US counterpart George W Bush are among the world's least trusted leaders along with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a new survey in 20 countries, including India, shows.

Khan denies selling advanced nuke blueprint

Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan on Tuesday denied selling blueprints for an advanced nuclear weapon to Iran or North Korea, telling AFP that Western countries were to blame.

Obama plans pre-polls trip to Iraq, Afghanistan

Democrat Barack Obama, bidding to shut down scornful attacks on his White House credentials by Republican rival John McCain, said Monday he plans a pre-election trip to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Arts & Entertainment

Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra Parishad formed

After 37 years, artistes and technicians of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra (SBBK) came forward to form an organisation to preserve the history of the radio station. The formation of the organisation called “Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra Parishad (SBBKP)” was officially announced on June 16, at a discussion and cultural programme held at the Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium, National Museum.

Rediscovering beauty in everyday life

Four young friends, set to go overseas for studies, had a joint exhibition of their photographic feats at the Zoom Gallery, Alliance Francaise recently. They have completed a diploma course in photography from the Ecole de Cinema under Mujibur Rahman. Together they present photo features of a brick worker's day, a devotee at a Hindu temple and other assorted events in daily lives.

A lasting career in music

"Music is an inherent instinct in me," said Rafiqul Alam, popular adhunik and playback singer. During a recent interview with The Daily Star, the artiste talked about his first steps into the musical world and reminisced performing at the International Music Conference back in 1973.

10th Calligraphy Exhibition at Shilpakala

For the 10th consecutive time, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and Sahitya Sanskritik Kendra have jointly organised a calligraphy exhibition. The 10th Calligraphy Exhibition was inaugurated on June 15. The exhibition will continue till June 30 at the National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

Three-day Mango Fair and Gambhira Festival in Rajshahi

Amidst festivity, a three-day Mango Fair and Gambhira Festival concluded in Rajshahi last Sunday at the Loknath High School premises.

TV serial "Josnadhara" on Rtv tonight

TV serial Josnadhara will be aired tonight on Rtv at 11:00 pm. Tarin, Anisur Rahman Milon and Hillol play the lead roles in the serial.

OP-ED

Towards people-centred forestry

THE salience and urgency of moving away from the custodial-policing mode of forest management regime to more participatory, people-centred forestry practices are now unequivocally established, both amongst the academia and the forestry practitioners in Bangladesh.

Resurgence of malaria

THE resurgence of malaria in some Asian and African countries has become a matter of concern for governments and doctors, as the disease and the mosquitoes that carry it are increasingly developing resistance to the traditional methods of control.

Attention must be paid

CONGRATS, Senator Obama, from one of those middle-aged white women who voted for Hillary Clinton in the primaries. Everyone is suggesting you'd better pay close attention to us, especially since we're used to being chronically overlooked, and we're more than a little steamed about that fact. I agree completely, although not for the reasons you're hearing elsewhere.

Asia is the only place where you actually get weather

DON'T go out," she warned. "It's raining." I was standing in the doorway of a house in London, about to step outside.

Star City

Autistic children's schooling needs a little more care

Preeti, mother of 3-year old autistic child Plabon, came to Dhaka with lots of hopes to get her son admitted to a school which will educate and improve his behaviour.

Sweet fragrance of season's fruits

A fiesta of mouth-watering fruits has dazzled the city dwellers this week.


The Daily Star

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