The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, October 2, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 25th of June, 2008

Front Page

'Criminals' back on scene with hope of running in polls

Many grassroots level political leaders of major parties including incumbent ward commissioners, who were allegedly involved in criminal activities, are preparing to contest in the August 4 polls to four city corporations.

Political transition must be smooth to save economy

The World Bank (WB) yesterday said Bangladesh's economy would be affected unless a smooth political transition takes place through election, but it would continue to support the country's development agendas.

PDB to face Tk 112cr loss a month

The monthly loss of Power Development Board (PDB) will shoot up to Tk 112 crore from the present Tk 70 crore when it starts purchasing 300MW power from eight rental power plants.

Detained Nasim suffers stroke, taken to hospital

Detained former home minister Mohammad Nasim was admitted to city's Labaid Specialised Hospital (LSH) yesterday, after suffering a stroke.

Khaleda to endorse 4-party decision on local polls

Detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said she would go by whatever decision the four-party alliance should take regarding the local elections scheduled for August 4.

Morshed Khan, wife charged with amassing Tk 1.67cr illegal wealth

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against former foreign minister M Morshed Khan and his wife Nasrin Khan in a case filed for amassing Tk 1.67 crore wealth illegally and giving false wealth information to the commission.

Plastic mix to save Tk 1500cr a year

Blending plastic waste with bitumen in laying tarmac could increase road durability, drastically reduce maintenance costs; help save the environment and save the country Tk 1507.60 crore in maintenance cost a year.

BNP, allies await AL plan, may use different banner to contest

The BNP-led four-party alliance may allow its leaders to take part in local government elections under a different banner if Awami League (AL) decides to go for the polls, alliance sources indicated.

Summit appeals again for pre-qualification in Bibiyana bid

Summit Industrial and Mercantile Corporation Ltd Monday filed a fresh appeal with the government to get pre-qualified for participation in the tender for Bibiyana 450 megawatt (MW) private power project.

Turbulent Jamuna causes massive erosion

River erosion has taken a turn for the worse in five upazilas of Sirajganj on the western bank of the Jamuna devouring large areas and making people homeless.

NCC legally not valid

The National Coordination Committee (NCC), formed to deal with serious crimes, will no longer handle corruption cases as the body has no legal validity, its chairman yesterday said.

Tigers see off UAE

Bangladesh put an end to their seven-match losing streak when they scored a comfortable 96-run win against United Arab Emirates in their opening match of the Asia Cup at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore yesterday.

EC to warn candidates to abide by code of conduct

The Election Commission (EC) will issue a circular by tomorrow, instructing prospective candidates for the August 4 polls to four city corporations and nine municipalities to abide by the electoral code of conduct.

Pre-poll reforms to ensure better future of nation

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday told visiting World Bank Vice President Praful C Patel that all pre-poll reforms are being done by the caretaker government for a better future of the people.

Iajuddin improving

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed and Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed visited ailing President Iajuddin Ahmed at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) yesterday.

Goods imported with false declaration seized in port

Customs officials at Chittagong Port yesterday seized two containers loaded with electrical good that were imported as capital machinery with false declarations.

Customs to destroy 200 MT date-expired powdered milk

The customs authority yesterday started destroying 200 tonnes of date-expired powdered milk worth over Tk 2 crore.

Hasina in Florida for ear treatment

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday flew to Florida's Orlando from Washington DC for follow-up ear treatment slated for today.

Petition for Koko's exemption from court appearance

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's younger son Arafat Rahman Koko yesterday petitioned the trial court to exempt him from appearing in person at trial proceedings in Gatco corruption case on health grounds.

ACC to freeze bank accounts of Huda couple

A Dhaka court yesterday granted the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) permission to freeze the bank accounts of detained former communications minister Barrister Nazmul Huda and his wife Advocate Sigma Huda in connection with a Tk 6 lakh bribery case.

Arms, ammo seized from criminals' dens

The army seized arms and ammunition from remote criminal hideouts at Golakka Para in Khagrachhari's Mahalchhari upazila early yesterday.

Moeen stresses cleaning up 'venal politics’

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed has said there is an urgent need for cleaning up the country's 'cynical, venal and corrupt politics'.

AL for full withdrawal of emergency before any polls

Awami League (AL) has called for a complete withdrawal of the state of emergency before holding any elections.

26 more killed in Lanka fighting

At least 21 Tamil Tiger rebels and five security personnel have died in fighting in Sri Lanka's north-east, the island's defence ministry said yesterday.

Nato raids kill 15 in Afghan mountains

Coalition warplanes swooped down on militants withdrawing from a firefight with police into the mountains of eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing 15 of them, officials said.

Koirala may announce resignation today

Nepal's Premier G P Koirala may announce his resignation today during the Constituent Assembly meeting if the ruling multi-party alliance fails to break the two-month deadlock over the issue of power-sharing.

Bill Clinton offers support to Obama

Former President Clinton said through a spokesman that he is committed to helping Barack Obama become president, his first comments in support of his wife's former rival since their primary ended three weeks ago.

Editorial

Transport fare anarchy

EVER since last Saturday's tragic incident in which a passenger belonging to a city hospital was pushed over a fare row by conductor of a running bus on to the street to be only fatally run over, things have hardly improved in the city transport sector. On the contrary, commotion among passengers resenting arbitrary fare hikes by transport operators has led to brawls, vandalism and loss of property.

Our stranded workers in Kuala Lumpur

THE difficulties in which 32 Bangladeshi workers have found themselves in Kuala Lumpur raise once again the issue of what is yet not being done to ease the plight of our citizens abroad. We have earlier and on a number of occasions drawn the attention of the authorities here in Bangladesh about the paramount need to ensure that recruiting agencies follow rules and norms aimed specifically at ensuring the welfare of Bangladeshis sent abroad to work in various firms. While we realise that a good number of such agencies have indeed been operating on the basis of standard procedures, there have been quite a few others which have not exactly been above board in their dealings with the workers they send abroad. At the same time, we think it is time to inquire into the workings of the overseas firms responsible for the shoddy deals with local recruitment agencies regarding our workers.

These are not momentous times . . .

WE are living through some rather interesting times. These are not momentous times and we are surely not making history that could leave an enormous impact on our future. But, yes, these are interesting times, and just as well, and they are because of everything that is happening and, conversely, for everything that is not happening. A former prime minister has flown out of prison and out of the country. Another insists that she will stay in it, but that should be no reason for her incarcerated children not to make it abroad for medical treatment.

Turmoil over US beef

IN politics, a week is a long time, as the saying goes. A flawed decision of the government could change dramatically the political landscape. Volatile public opinion is one of the challenges politicians face. This has occurred in South Korea.

Mr. Obama's Washington

THE life of a young senator in Washington can be lonely. After winning a Senate seat from Illinois in 2004, Barack Obama became a part-time bachelor. He lived three or four days a week in a one-bedroom apartment a few blocks from the Capitol. He worked all day, and at night he missed his daughters and his wife, Michelle, left behind in Chicago. "I have chosen a life … that requires me to be gone from Michelle and the girls for long stretches of time and exposes Michelle to all sorts of stress," Obama wrote in The Audacity of Hope. "Rationalisations seem feeble and painfully abstract when I'm missing one of the girls' school potlucks because of a vote, or calling Michelle to tell her that session's been extended and we need to postpone our vacation."

Sports

Deutsch divided within

Football-crazy Germany is lapping up this month's European Championships but with a three-million Turkish minority, the country, it seems, has two national teams -- who face off on Wednesday.

Abahani's early exit

Abahani bowed out of the AFC President's Cup following their second successive defeat in Group A when the Bangladesh professional league champions went 2-1 down to Regar-TadAZ of Tajikistan yesterday.

Nayeem propels Bangladesh A

Nayeem Islam's unbeaten hundred gave Bangladesh A the first-innings lead against Ireland A on the second day of their tour opening three-dayer at the College Park in Dublin yesterday.

Gambhir reveals secret to runs

India's in-form batsman Gautam Gambhir has credited captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the newfound confidence which has helped him cement his one-day spot.

Dhoni aims to emulate Dev

India captain Mahendra Dhoni would love nothing more than to emulate the feats of predecessor Kapil Dev and lead his country to World Cup glory at Lord's.

Turkish dream in danger

Turkey's bid to beat Germany and reach the final of Euro 2008 is in danger of being wrecked by injuries and suspensions.

Hamit spills the beans

Hamit Altintop is using insider information to help Turkey plot Germany's downfall in Wednes-day's Euro 2008 semifinal.

Italy need a fresh start

It may be two years too late but the feeling that Italy need a revolution rather than an evolution has possibly never been greater.

Xavi's warning to Russia

Spanish midfielder Xavi Hernandez on Tuesday warned Euro 2008 semifinal opponents Russia he and his compatriots were out "to make history" as they target a first title since 1964.

What's Turkey doing in Euro?

Austrian far-right politician Joerg Haider questioned Tuesday why Russia and Turkey were allowed to participate in the European soccer championships, the Euro 2008.

Croatia will get bonus

The defeated Croatian squad will be get a 6.25 million-euro (9.7 million-dollar) bonus for reaching the Euro 2008 quarterfinals, the country's football association said Monday.

Saenko doubt for Russia

Russia striker Ivan Saenko has a foot injury and did not take part in training, coach Guus Hiddink said, adding a decision would be taken on Thursday on whether he would play against Spain.

Keepers provide suspense

Vienna was the setting for Graham Greene's post Second World War classic The Third Man but at Euro 2008 it's not Harry Lime but Turkey's three keepers that are providing all the suspense.

Venus, Sugiyama sail

Defending champion Venus Williams successfully launched her bid for a fifth Wimbledon title on Tuesday as a sun-kissed All England Club waited to greet fellow superstars Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova.

Fawad, Tanvir rescue Pakistan

Left-handers Sohail Tanveer and Fawad Alam batted Pakistan out of trouble with fighting half-centuries as the home team made 288-9 against Hong Kong in the Asia Cup here on Tuesday.

Feeling like a Kiwi

South Africa's cricket team arrive in England later this week but New Zealand's Grant Elliott is adamant he is not in the wrong tour party after turning in two standout performances for his adopted country.

6 members for B. League committee

Two ex-general secretaries of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) were named in the B. League committee yesterday.

Biman, Ansars cruise

Favourites Bangladesh Biman and Bangladesh Ansar won their respective group finals in the men's team event on the opening day of the AB Bank 29th National Table Tennis Championships yesterday.

Dhalpur, Matuail win big

Dhalpur Krira Chakra recorded a comfortable 69-29 win over Maniknagar Kabaddi Club in yesterday's First Division Kabaddi League at the Outer Stadium kabaddi court. The winners led the first half 46-10.

'83 heroes off to London

The Kapil Dev-led Indian cricket team, which won the 1983 World Cup, left for London on Tuesday to celebrate the silver jubilee of their historic triumph at Lord's.

Harbhajan, Sreesanth back to work

While the Indian ODI team play in the Asia Cup in Pakistan, some of the Test players will assemble for a seven-day camp under the supervision of Anil Kumble on June 24 in Bangalore. Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth will get another chance to rebuild their relationship after the infamous slap incident during IPL as both will be involved in the camp.

Obituary

Razia Rahman Chowdhury, mother of former national cricket coach and veteran journalist Jalal Ahmed Chowdhury, died at the Lab Aid Hospital yesterday of old age ailments. She was 90.

Business

Final push for insurance industry reforms

Moves to set up an independent regulator to monitor the insurance industry are expected to be finalised in the coming weeks, as the government attempts to bring regulatory procedures in the expanding sector up to international standards.

New textile policy to focus on facing China challenges

A new textile policy will be placed before the council of advisers next week with a special focus on challenges stemming from withdrawal of safeguard measures on Chinese exports, a senior government official said on Monday.

Helicopter services struggle to take off

Business in the private helicopter services sector in the country has marked a fall in recent days due to inadequate rental orders from people.

Nat'l branding logo caught in red tape

Bureaucratic tangle is delaying the process of making a national logo for to brand a positive Bangladesh, Chairman of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) Shafique Alam Mehdi said yesterday.

Oil prices won't come down: Opec

Opec president Chakib Khelil rebuffed on Tuesday calls from oil consuming countries to increase supply, saying that the cartel had already done what it could on high prices.

Housing sector guideline on cards

The government has taken an initiative to bring the booming real estate sector under a strict guideline with provisions of jail and fine against those who will run a housing project without approval from the relevant authority and violate any agreement with buyers.

Govt mulls corporate tax exemption for CSR spending: Aziz

Finance Adviser Dr Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday said the government is considering tax exemption on a part of corporate incomes to be spent on discharging corporate social responsibility (CSR).

A pricey investment?

At the end of May 2008, the price-earning (PE) ratio of Eastern Lubricants stock stood at over 366. That means if you had bought a share it would take 366 years before the company earned enough profits to equal the value of your investment.

Taiwan doctors, tourism sector eye China boost

Taiwanese ophthalmologist Lin Pi-jung is eagerly anticipating a flood of new patients to his already busy clinics, after the recent historic talks between the island and mainland China.

Dhaka stocks bounce back after 4 days

Following a four-day slump, Dhaka stocks bounced back yesterday with almost all the shares gaining.

HSBC launches Dhaka's map

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) in Bangladesh yesterday launched a map containing details of Dhaka's historical places to celebrate the city's 400th founding anniversary.

Global CEO of MTI Consulting due today

MTI Consulting's global CEO Hilmy Cader arrives today in Dhaka on a daylong visit to meet government bodies, existing corporate clientele and business leaders in Bangladesh, says a press release.

Chartered Secretaries Ordinance promulgated

The government has promulgated an ordinance titled 'The Chartered Secretaries Ordinance 2008' for development of the services of this category of officials in a coordinated away.

Thailand, US to resume free trade talks

Thailand plans to resume free trade talks with the United States, which were put on hold after a military coup in 2006, a Thai government spokesperson said Tuesday.

Toyota's US sales may fall

Japan's Toyota Motor, in a close race with General Motors for the title of the world's top automaker, may suffer a decline in US sales for a second straight year, a top executive warned Tuesday.

Asia should move away from subsidies

Subsidies pose an increasing fiscal burden that emerging Asian economies should move away from, the former International Monetary Fund chief said Tuesday.

Biz Letters

Anomalies in the steel industry


I would like to highlight the following serious anomalies in the Budget in regards to the steel industry.

Malaysia-US trade talks resume July 14

Malaysia and the United States will begin their next round of talks on a free-trade deal on July 14, a minister said Tuesday.

ArcelorMittal agrees to buy US coal mining group

Arcelor Mittal, the world's biggest steel producer, said Monday it had agreed to buy US coal mining group Mid Vol Coal for an undisclosed sum.

Shell, PetroChina, Qatar eye new China refinery

PetroChina said Tuesday it had signed a preliminary agreement with Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell and Qatar Petroleum International to study building a new refinery in China.

China agrees to nearly double ore price

China's Baosteel said Tuesday it would nearly double the price it pays mining group Rio Tinto for iron ore, in a deal experts said underscored the Asian giant's lynchpin role in the commodity boom.

Metropolitan

Strengthen homestead food output for nutrition security

Food and nutrition experts at a seminar yesterday suggested strengthening homestead food production programme in order to ensure food and nutrition security for the poor people in rural areas.

'CG has no secret deal with any political party'

The caretaker government made it clear that it has no 'secret understanding' with any political party.

Extortion case filed against Bogra mayor

A contractor yesterday filed the second extortion case against Bogra Pourshava Mayor advocate Mahbubur Rahman.

Allocate more funds for indigenous people

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called on the government to allocate more funds in the national budget for the development of indigenous people.

SSC results tomorrow

Results of the 2008 Secondary School Certificate (SSC), SSC vocational and Dakhil examinations under seven education boards, Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB) and Madrasa Education Board will be published tomorrow concurrently at all examination centres.

Two rice-laden trucks seized, five arrested in Chittagong

Members of the joint forces yesterday seized two trucks laden with government relief rice and arrested four employees of a rice godown and a truck driver at Chaktai, one of the commercial hubs in Chittagong.

Listed criminal killed in gunfight with Rab

A listed criminal was killed in a gunfight with members of the Rapid Action Battalion at Tongi early yesterday.

Antique idol seized in Rangpur

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized an antique idol made of black stone in Sadar upazila on Monday night and arrested two persons in this connection.

Two killed in road accidents

Two people were killed in separate road accidents in Brahmanbaria and Satkhira yesterday.

Ex-JP MP Kamran arrested

Former Jatiya Party lawmaker Kamran Hossain Chowdhury was arrested from his Gulshan residence in the city yesterday in connection with a cheating case.

Public-private partnership a must for afforestation

A month-long tree fair ended in the city yesterday with a call for countrywide afforestation.

Drug addicts responsible for most muggings

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Naim Ahmed yesterday said drug addiction is now the city's biggest problem and the addicts commit most of the muggings to manage the additional money.

BATB to distribute 22 lakh saplings in Ctg division

British American Tobacco Ltd (BATB) yesterday launched its annual sapling distribution programme at a ceremony in Chittagong Cantonment area.

Call to raise awareness about CNG cylinder

Speakers at a seminar yesterday called for raising awareness about the use of substandard gas cylinder in vehicles in order to prevent explosion of cylinders in the CNG-run vehicles.

US ambassador visits Sidr-hit Sharankhola

US Ambassador James F Moriarty visited Sharankhola upazila in Bagerhat district yesterday, says a press release.

DU to cancel deal with GP

Dhaka University (DU) authorities yesterday decided to cancel the 30-year partnership agreement between the Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) and Grameenphone (GP).

One held for filing false kidnap case

Police personnel yesterday arrested a person from Bohaddarhat area in the port city on charge of filing a 'false' abduction case in order to harass a small trader.

Domestic help commits suicide

A 13-year-old domestic help committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan, as the security guard of the house did not allow her to flee the place at Shewrapara in the city yesterday morning.

DU urges mayor to remove electronic billboard

Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University (DU) Prof SMA Faiz yesterday sent a letter to Dhaka City Corporation Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka urging him to remove the electronic billboard set up at Shahbagh intersection to raise awareness about voter registration.

Exempt tax for church hospitals

The National Christian Fellowship of Bangladesh (NCFB) yesterday appealed to the chief adviser for exemption of Value Added Tax (VAT) and income- related tax for church hospitals and healthcare institutes.

Shaheen School certificate award ceremony held

The annual cultural function and certificate awarding ceremony 2008 of BAF Shaheen English Medium School (SEMS) was held at Shaheen Hall at Tejgaon in the city yesterday, says an ISPR press release.

50 pry students fall sick after taking deworming tablets

Over 50 students of a primary school at Kalkini fell sick yesterday after taking deworming tablets distributed by Kalkini Upazila Health Complex in Madaripur.

Tk 5 lakh more donation for cancer hospital

Begum Dilras Banu, a housewife, donated Tk 5 lakh to Ahsania Mission Cancer Hospital (AMCH) yesterday, says a press release.

Criminals fire gunshots at transport office in city

A gang of armed criminals fired gunshots at Sohag Paribahan office at Malibagh in the city yesterday afternoon, leaving one of its sales executives injured.

Freshers' self-dev workshop at AUB

University Students Study Forum of Asian University of Bangladesh (AUB) organised a workshop on self-development, assignment and presentation for freshers on AUB campus recently, says a press release.

Chartered Secretaries Ordn promulgated

The government has promulgated an ordinance titled 'The Chartered Secretaries Ordinance 2008' for development of the services of this category of officials in a coordinated away.

Meghna-Gomati bridge opens to traffic

Meghna-Gomati bridge on Dhaka-Chittagong highway opened to traffic yesterday afternoon after an emergency repairing on its segment joints.

Clay art exhibition begins

The week-long clay art exhibition of five young artists of Institute of Fine Arts of Dhaka University began at Zainul Gallery of the institute yesterday.

Death anniversary

Today is the second death anniversary of Col (retd) Akbar Hossain, Bir Pratik, a former minister, says a press release.

National

BCL withdraws indefinite programme on assurance of action against attackers

Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday observed students strike on the campus demanding 'proper action' against the people responsible for Thursday attack on BCL men by Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD).

KMP initiates fresh probe into 12 murder cases in Khulna

Sensational cases filed for murders of four political leaders, four journalists and four policemen of Khulna will be reinvestigated to detect real planners, financiers and killers, Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP) Commissioner Md Helaluddin Badri said yesterday.

Three get life for rape in Satkhira, Mymensingh

Three persons have been awarded life term imprisonment for separate incidents of rape in Satkhira and Mymensingh.

Four die in Padma boat tragedy in Pabna

At least four people including a woman and a child drowned as a passenger boat capsized in the Padma at Char Raninagar of Nazirganj union in Sujanagar upazila Sunday night, police and locals said.

7 robbers arrested in Barguna

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested seven armed robbers at Potkakhali in Barguna Sadar upazila Monday night.

Man beaten to death by son in Barisal

An elderly person was beaten to death by his son at Jalalabath villege in Muladi upazila on Monday.

2 drug traders held in C'nawabganj

Police arrested two drug traders with 700 gram of hemp at Railpara in Chapainawabganj municipality area early yesterday.

Fugitive criminal arrested in C'nawabganj

Police arrested a fugitive criminal from Nayalavanga village of Shibganj upazila early yesterday.

Father, son jailed in arms case in Sirajganj

Sirajganj District and Sessions Judge's Court yesterday sentenced a father and his son to 10 years rigorous imprisonment (RI) in an arms case.

Letters

Students going abroad

At present it is a very common phenomenon that most of the talented students of our country are keen to go abroad for the sake of a better living in the name of education. We can guess it if we see the long queues of students in front of foreign embassies. There is hardly anyone who can accomplish higher education in a foreign university because of high educational expenses. So they do odd jobs.

Overbridge

An overbridge for the pedestrians is essential in busy roads. The main objectives of constructing such overbridge are to enable the pedestrians to cross the road safely, ensuring that no mishap takes place, creating provision for smooth traffic system, no waiting for crossing, and last of all, making life easier etc. But the truth is that many of our pedestrians have forgotten the objectives.

Water pollution

I would like to salute The Daily Star for the June 15 news “River void of life forms” and the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology for their study on water pollution. It touched my heart and took me back to the past.

Taxi cab

When taxi cab was first introduced in Dhaka city in the late 90s, people thought that the transportation problem would be solved to some extent. But due to lack of proper administration, taxi cab is now a problem to the people of Dhaka city. There are many allegations against the taxi drivers. They refuse to go by the passengers' needs.

Shishu Park

The National Shishu Park, a major recreational centre not only for children but also for adults, has become a dull and dreary place. The park has remained unchanged since its inauguration in 1979. Very few new things have been added to it. Some of the rides might have also become rather risky, as no maintenance work is visible.

Female students

It is a matter of great regret that our daughters do not find the universities a safe place. We are so unlucky. When two of our leaders, Hasina and Khaleda, were arrested the intellectuals continued to write so many articles in newspapers, but they have no time to write about girls and women in general.

Treatment abroad

Khaleda demands treatment abroad for her sons, arrested on massive corruption charges. Her sons are not like the ordinary people. Their mother was the prime minister for a long time. Her claim shows that she should be accountable for miserably failing to develop the country's healthcare facilities, if we have to travel abroad for treatment.

Role of a politician

Welcome thinking on the part of the political parties to reform their constitution. Hope they will evaluate the educational background of the people seeking nomination. Honest, sincere and successful professionals, lawyers, scientists, intellectuals and educationists should be invited to come forward and play a role in politics.

BBC's comedy serial

I am a long time fan of comedy serial “Keeping up appearances” - one of the products of British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC. A brief analysis of the serial would reveal, among other things, it has been designed for depicting pertinent aspects of superiority and inferiority complexes associated with human personality against the backdrop of an English social setting.

Khaleda's demands

We are very much annoyed, angry and also amused by the recent demands or 'abdars' of Khaleda Zia. Her two knee joints have been replaced in the USA and her favourite retreat KSA. Her other demand of sending Tarique Rahman and Koko abroad for treatment is far away from ground reality. The situation, circumstances and cases against Khaleda Zia are entirely different from that of Sheikh Hasina. Tarique Rahman with active connivance and consent of his mother inflicted the heaviest ever blow to our politics, economy, morality and society. Nothing moved without paying due percentage to 'Juboraj'.

Half-yearly budget?

More than a week after the budget was announced through the media some members of civil society have suggested that it be made half-yearly, as the current caretaker government's tenure will end in December. Why are they so late to say so? Shouldn't have they floated the idea before the budget was announced?

Eco-toilet & bio-fertiliser

I fully support the use of eco-toilet but I do not endorse the idea of converting human excreta collected from eco-toilets into bio-fertilizer. As far as my knowledge goes, some countries including Afghanistan use such manure. But the side or adverse effects of crops and vegetables grown by the manure on human health are yet to be known. In fact, not all the technologies are good for humans and it takes a long time after the use of a technology to figure out its adverse effects on human beings. For instance, tube-well has contributed to the creation of a serious health problem, i.e. Arsenicosis. Recently, researchers found that arsenic is being deposited in rice plants during nutrient uptake, thereby putting this hazardous element into the food chain. Again poultry litter also contains good amount of arsenic which is now widely used as fertilizer in our country.

Good sign!

It is a matter of hope that we are going to be a middle income country. Now the per capita income of our people is 599 dollars, which is 12.5% higher than the previous years's (2006-07 fiscal year). To be a middle income country, a country should achieve the marginal level of 750$ per capita income. The increase in GNP is good, because our country passed through some crises last year, like the devastating cyclone Sidr, two consecutive floods and economic instability. Most of the sectors performed poorly, yet the per capita income has gone up. Here remittances from abroad played the main role.

Imported paper

In the budget for the current year, the duty on imported paper has been reduced. But the paper mill owners have claimed that it will put in jeopardy an investment of around Tk 3,000. In the recent years, a huge amount of tax was imposed on imported papers. And the local paper mills took advantage of the situation and increased the prices of papers. And students are the main victims.

Khaleda Zia and her sons

While appearing in the court on June 16, 2008 as an accused in Gatco case Begum Khaleda Zia claimed that her two sons Tarique and Koko are not “faltu loke” (insignificant persons) in our society. In a society where a “personal valet” is catapulted overnight into the position of a national VVIP, an alleged smuggler (now convicted for corruption) is made a minister, Tarique and Koko are certainly not “faltu loke”. Begum Zia is very right to claim so. She ruled Bangladesh for ten years and has been ruling over her party BNP for the last twenty six years with the same perception. What makes the people of Bangladesh in general, and the admirers of Shaheed President Ziaur Rahman in particular, sad is the way Begum Zia, after the assassination of her illustrious husband, groomed her two sons to their present shameful position. If even only 10% of the details of their activities as published in the media after 1/11 is true, it leaves no doubt in the minds of the ordinary people that Tarique and Koko did not grow up in the company of good friends and well wishers. As the sons of President Zia these two young men had no business to be friends of people like…. In the absence of their father, Begum Zia should have been more careful in grooming up Tarique and Koko.

Barack Obama

Former US Vice President and Presidential candidate Al Gore has endorsed Barack Obama. It is very significant as Al Gore is a personof great intellect, he opposed the war in Iraq, is concerned about global warming and climate change, he is anxious about the future of this planet and trying his best to do something.

A suggestion

Salaried people are badly bruised by an unprecedented galloping double digit inflation and skyrocketing of the prices of essential items in the last one year. Considering the misery of this vast section of people, the CTG should seriously consider increasing the present tax free limit from Tk.150,000/- to Tk.300,000/.

Water pollution

On an average a human being consumes about 2 litres of water every day. Water accounts for about 70% of the weight of a human body. About 80% of the earth surface is covered by water. Out of the estimated 1,011 million Km3 of the total water present on earth, only 33,400 m3 of water is available for drinking, agriculture, industrial and domestic consumption. Rest of the water is locked up in oceans and polar ice-caps and glaciers. Considerable part of this limited quantity of water is polluted by sewage, industrial waste and a wide array of synthetic chemicals. Various types of water pollutants are responsible for the pollution of water such as, organic pollutants including- oxygen demanding waste, disease causing waste, synthetic organic compounds, sewage and agricultural runoff, oil ; the inorganic pollutants including various metals and metallic compounds, suspended solids and sediments, radioactive materials etc. Water pollution is indicated by various water quality parameters such as- colour, odour, DO (Dissolve Oxygen), COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand), BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand), pH, temperature range, turbidity, acidity, alkalinity etc. There are many environmental effects due to water pollution.

Documents go missing!!

I was astonished to read the news report entitled “Original copy of independence proclamation missing” (June 18th DS). It is indeed a shocking revelation that the original copy of the April 10, 1971 proclamation of independence, through which the first government was formed and the March 26, 1971 declaration of independence was approved, is missing! It appears from your report that after the August 15, 1975, these documents were deliberately “ lost, removed or destroyed”, by the people who were in power.

The law shall rule…

“The people said to Gideon, rule over us, you and then your son and then your son's son …but he said to them 'I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you”- The Old Testament.

Teaching English

Whenever the education policy is discussed, English is always given a priority. At the tertiary level English is given so much importance that in almost all the universities, there is a foundation course on English. But all talks, all seminars, conferences go in vain when I notice the faulty methods of teaching English adopted in schools. In the schools of rural areas if there is any lacking, it is because of the absence of well trained teachers. But when there is negligence in the renowned schools of urban areas, who are to blame? Let us take an example of teaching English in a very renowned school in Azimpur area, Dhaka. Teaching writing skills to the students of class eight is not an easy job. What does a teacher do in such a class? He comes and takes the syllabus asking students to know where they face problem in understanding grammar. He talks about grammatical rules insisting that such rules will not be found anywhere(it indicates his desire to draw the attention of the students to private tuition!) . He takes a chalk and duster to talk about grammar. Hardly there is any session of practising what he teaches because it is a class of 45 minutes. Because of this poor perception the students have to approach their parents as well as private tutors for a better understanding. Many rush to coaching centres for help. Usually composition is a part of English second paper. So after discussing grammar in a half hearted manner, the teacher switches over to the writing course. Suddenly, he will say. “ For tomorrow's class your writing assignment will be about a rickshaw-puller and a letter to your mother on hostel life.” He will not give any guideline on how he/she should start writing. He can give the students some key words to write compositions. This needs a lesson plan and it also involves an innovative approach.

International

Musharraf could be impeached in July

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf could be impeached in July, albeit via an indirect route, with parliament washing its hands of the issue, a report in Islamabad said yesterday.

Sarkozy speaks out for Palestinian state

French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday spoke out strongly in favour of a Palestinian state after talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in the occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem.

Pak govt to challenge Sharif election bar: PM

Pakistani Premier Yousuf Razai Gilani said yesterday that his government would challenge a court decision barring Nawaz Sharif, a partner in the ruling coalition, from contesting elections.

Fair presidential election impossible in Zimbabwe

Outraged at the turmoil in Zimbabwe, the UN Security Council declared that a fair presidential vote is impossible because of the "campaign of violence" waged by President Robert Mugabe's government.

US may open diplomatic outpost in Iran

The Bush administration is considering setting up a diplomatic outpost in Iran in what would mark a dramatic official US return to the country nearly 30 years after the American embassy was overrun and the two nations severed relations.

Indo-Pak officials begin anti-terror talks

Pakistani and Indian officials held counter-terrorism talks in Islamabad yesterday, the foreign ministry said, in the latest step of a slow-moving peace process between the nuclear rivals.

Afghanistan blames ISI for Karzai attack

Afghanistan's government yesterday said a "foreign intelligence agency" was behind an April assassination attempt on President Hamid Karzai during a military parade in Kabul.

Flood situation improves in West Bengal districts

The flood situation has eased considerably in both West and East Midnapore districts in West Bengal with major rivers flowing below the danger mark, but the outbreak of diarrhoea in some of the worst-hit areas has become a cause of concern.

4 Americans, 6 Iraqis killed in bomb blast

Two US soldiers, two American civilians and six Iraqis were killed in a bomb attack on Tuesday in the district council building of the Iraqi capital's Shiite bastion of Sadr City, officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

Discussion on Khan Ataur Rahman at Shilpakala

Labelling Khan Ataur Rahman as one of the "pioneers of Bangladeshi Film Industry," discussants pointed out his remarkable contribution to Bangladeshi cinema at a programme held at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on June 23. Department of Theatre and Film, BSA arranged the programme at the Experimental Theatre Stage.

Painting competition to generate awareness on forestation

Pabna Shishu Academy organised a painting competition for children to generate awareness on environment preservation and forestation. The competition was held at Pabna Shishu Academy premises last Monday.

Pantene YGTL '08 underway

The pageant "Pantene You Got the Look" (YGTL) is back. Sponsored by Procter & Gamble, this year's YGTL has an impressive array of patrons. With co-sponsor Gallery Apex; hair and make-up partner Herbal Solution Spa & Beauty Studio; www.bangladeshinfo.com as online partner; and Radio Foorti as radio partner backing the event, YGTL 2008 is set to be a spectacular event.

OP-ED

Creating a better business environment

THE Bangladesh Better Business Forum (BBBF) is an unprecedented organising apparatus for partnership between the public and private sectors in Bangladesh. It aims to implement reforms to improve the business environment. BBBF planned to achieve concrete results in the short-term through ministerial action, and a pragmatic and focused approach was taken, knowing that certain long-term reforms would require legislative action.

The Kosovo question

KOSOVO'S independence is a triumph of the right of self-determination and freedom. Serbian military and security forces had for years suppressed the freedom movement of the people of Kosovo through one of the worst genocides in history. Following Nato intervention and resistance by the KLA, Serbian military and security forces were forced to withdraw from Kosovo. This was followed by the formation of a United Nations interim government under UN Security Council resolution 1244. The main objective of the UN resolution was to prepare Kosovo for a democratic, multi-religious, multi- ethnic and multi-cultural society, paving the way for resolving its final status. It was clear that Kosovo would not revert back to the rule of Belgrade after the genocide.

An amazing health persona

AN eminent medical scientist and physician of Bangladesh, Major General Mahmudur Rahman Choudhury was born on June 1, 1928 in Sylhet. He had to his credit a brilliant academic and professional career. All through his school and college life he received stipends.

The rock festival finally comes to Asia

CONSIDER the following offer. How would you like to pay a small fortune to sit in a muddy field for two days in damp weather, surrounded by intoxicated strangers, and deafened by a constant barrage of ear-splitting noise?

Star City

Playground remains a plaything

Government agencies concerned have taken a dubious position on removing illegal set-ups from Gulshan Central Park to make the playground freely accessible to the public.

Phoney organisations prey on job seekers

Some phoney organisations are preying on aspiring job seekers with empty promises of job opportunities only to rip them off their money.

Caught in the middle of legal battles

About a thousand plot owners at Pallabi in the city are caught in the middle of legal battles between two ministries over ownership of the land.



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