The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, December 19, 2014


News of: Sunday, 29th of June, 2008

Front Page

Move to complete forgotten bridges

The government has embarked on a Tk 437.40 crore project to complete 65 bridges that have been lying incomplete for years for want of funds and proper attention of the authorities concerned causing acute public sufferings.

BNP grassroots press top leadership for joining elections

The BNP leadership appears to be under growing pressure from the grassroots to participate in the August 4 polls to city corporations and municipalities.

Upazila polls before JS elections: CA

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said elections to upazila parishads would be held before general elections and the government will help ensure that the polls are free from the influence of black money and muscle power.

Dhaka College students go for car bashing after accident

Dhaka College students yesterday went on the rampage and set fire to a microbus following a road accident that left one of their fellow students seriously injured.

Raina outdoes Kapali

Alok Kapali's dazzling 115 gave Bangladesh a fighting chance, but their inability to hold on to catches meant that India breezed past another stiff target for a comfortable seven-wicket victory over the Tigers at the National Stadium in Karachi yesterday.

Govt may raise income tax ceiling

The government may bring a few changes in the proposed budget including raising the income tax ceiling and withdrawing tax on the profit of deposit pension schemes.

Call for making NGOs transparent, accountable

Adviser Rasheda K Chowdhury and Prof Muzaffer Ahmad were scathing about the country's non-government organisations' (NGOs) activities yesterday while urging them to become transparent, accountable and well governed.

14-party men to use 'Nagorik Committee' banner in polls

The 14-party alliance led by Awami League (AL) might field candidates under the banner of "Nagorik Committee" to contest the forthcoming elections in a number of city corporations and municipalities.

63 out of 91polling centres 'vulnerable'

More than two thirds of the Barisal City Corporation (BCC) election centres are vulnerable, Barisal Metropolitan Police (BMP) concluded.

21 rescued from Rajshahi border

The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) on Friday rescued 21 people including women and children while they were being trafficked to India through Charmazdiar border across the Padma in Rajshahi.

Bapa for change in bldg design to save trees

Bangladesh Poribesh Andolan (Bapa) yesterday again said that a large number of old trees could be saved by slightly deviating the design of the proposed dormitory for Jagannath Hall at Dhaka University (DU).

CG won’t amend constitution

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the caretaker government is not taking any step to amend the constitution as doing so is not their business.

Nasim's condition stable, say doctors

Doctors yesterday stated that former minister Mohammad Nasim's condition remains stable as his family said that delay in getting his medical reports is causing setbacks in arranging his treatment abroad.

Outlaw killed in 'shootout'

A regional leader of outlawed Biplobi Communist Party (BCP) was killed yesterday in a shootout between police and his cohorts at Houspur village in Kushtia.

One killed as boiler explodes at rice mill

One person was killed and seven others suffered burns when the boiler of a rice mill exploded at Dhanghora bazaar in Sirajganj's Raiganj upazila yesterday, police said.

Hasina spends time with sister, daughter

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday spent time with her family members including her younger sister Sheikh Rehena and daughter Saima Wazed Putul at Putul's residence in Canada.

ASP found guilty of stealing mobile at ZIA

Assistant superintendent of police (ASP) Mahiuddin Faruqi yesterday was found guilty of stealing a mobile phone set from a Thai national at Zia International Airport (ZIA) on Friday.

Four killed in city road accidents

Four people were killed in separate road accidents within 24 hours in city's Khilgaon, Motijheel, Airport and Gulshan areas yesterday.

44 Tamil Tigers killed in Lankan fighting

Sri Lankan security forces killed at least 44 Tamil Tiger rebels for the loss of two of their own soldiers in fresh ground battles in the island's embattled north, the defence ministry said Saturday.

Pakistan bombards Taliban hideouts

Pakistani forces bombarded suspected militant hideouts with mortar shells yesterday as the government launched a major offensive against Taliban fighters threatening the main city in the country's volatile northwest, officials said.

Bush orders sanctions against 'illegitimate' Zimbabwe govt

US President George W Bush said yesterday he had directed that sanctions be drawn up against the "illegitimate" government of Zimbabwe after a run-off vote boycotted by the opposition.

Obama plans visits to Europe, Mideast this summer

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama plans to visit the Middle East and Europe this summer, taking time off from campaigning in the United States in an effort to boost his foreign policy credentials.

UK soldier killed in Afghanistan

A UK soldier has died in Afghanistan after his patrol vehicle rolled over, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.

McCain, Iraqi president say 'fragile' progress being made

Appearing together in solidarity, Republican John McCain and Iraq's president said yesterday that the war-ravaged country is making significant but fragile progress.

Editorial

AL's wise decision

We welcome the Awami League's (AL) decision to take part in the upcoming election for city corporations and nine municipalities on August 4. If not anything else this reflects the party's inner strength of sagacity to recognise ground reality, the pro-election sentiment of the people, and strategise its policy accordingly. What is laudable is that the decision has come after a two-day meeting of the AL Central Working Committee where the highest-level policy makers had deliberated on the pros and cons and finally opted in favour of election. The interest of democracy, peace and stability of the country were the factors behind the decision, asserted the AL acting president Zillur Rahman.

Remembering Sam Manekshaw

The death of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw brings to an end a life that was as noted for its longevity as for its achievements. Manekshaw was ninety four when he passed away on Friday. To that extent, he lived a full life in a country that he honoured and which in turn remained ever grateful to him. All Indians will remember for long the singular contributions he made toward upholding the prestige of their country through shaping a military victory against Pakistan in 1971.

The corruption conundrum

THE National Household Survey on corruption 2007 by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) was among the startling revelations in the past week. The survey covering the period between July 2006 and June 2007 tends to suggest that corruption remains as pervasive as it was earlier. The survey suggests that corruption in various utility service sectors has even increased despite the caretaker government's anti-corruption drive.

War and consequences

GEORGE Bush went to war in Iraq in order to create a new Middle East. Six years later, much to the shock of his allies and the horror of perceptive Americans, he has. The shock and horror arise from the fact that the Middle East has been changed by the Bush intervention in a direction sharply divergent from America's fundamental interests as perceived by the Bush doctrine.

Anwar keeps them guessing

IT has been like trying to squeeze blood from a stone getting the Pakatan Rakyat politicians to talk about their top-secret meeting in Anwar Ibrahim's house last week. One of them jokingly called it a meeting of the "government in waiting."

Sports

Alok stamps his class, at last

It may have taken a long time but Alok Kapali on Saturday reminded everybody about his class with a magnificent hundred against India in the Asia Cup Super League match at the Karachi National Stadium.

Life at a standstill

Life in Germany and Spain is expected to come to a virtual standstill on Sunday when most of the combined population of 128 million in the two countries turn their attention to the Euro 2008 final.

Venus, Jelena move on

Jelena Jank-ovic avoided a black day in Wimbledon women's his-tory on Satur-day while four-time champion Venus Williams joined the Serbian world number two in the last 16.

Styris powers Kiwis

Veteran all-rounder Scott Styris's quickfire 87 was the cornerstone of New Zealand's 266 for five in the fifth and final one-day international against England at Lord's here Saturday.

'I wasn't prepared'

Ana Ivanovic admitted her decision to take time off after winning the French Open had backfired as she was dumped out of Wimbledon by Chinese wildcard Zheng Jie.

Spain eye history

Spain will head into Sunday's Euro 2008 final against Germany here confident that they have overcome the mental fragility that has so often dogged them in the past.

Villa will miss final

Spain striker David Villa, who injured his leg against Russia, will definitely miss Sunday's Euro 2008 final against Germany in Vienna, the country's football federation said.

Best player undecided

It is not just the Henri Delaunay trophy up for grabs in Sunday's Euro 2008 final as just about any stand-out individual performance by a Spaniard or German could secure him UEFA's Player of the Tournament award.

Brazilian taste to finale

No South American has ever picked up a winner's medal in the European Championships - but that will change on Sunday when either Marcos Senna tastes glory with Spain or Germany's Kevin Kuranyi shares in a win for Die Mannschaft.

Spaniards rush for Vienna

Spanish travel agents were inundated on Friday with requests from Spaniards desperate to get to Vienna for Sunday's Euro 20008 final against Germany.

'No doubt over Colly'

Geoff Miller, England's national selector, said Friday there was no reason why Paul Collingwood should not return as captain of the England one-day team after his four-game ban.

Ljungberg quits int'l football

Sweden captain Fredrik Ljungberg has announced his retirement from international football, the country's TT agency reported on Friday.

Guus amazed by reception

Russia football coach Guus Hiddink was amazed at the reception his team received here on Friday after returning to the country following the exploits at the Euro 2008 championships in Switzerland and Austria.

Euro 2008 Briefs

Euro 2008 briefs on Friday:

Road to final

Paths to the Euro 2008 final on Sunday in Vienna:

Spain-Germany recent matches

Recent encounters between Euro 2008 finalists Germany and Spain, who meet in Sunday's trophy game in Vienna with the Germans to date having won eight of 19 meetings overall and Spain five with six games drawn:

Solo effort from Clarke

Michael Clarke enhanced his reputation with a handy all-round performance that gave Australia a 2-0 lead in their five-match one-day international series with West Indies, when they won the rain-affected second match by 63 runs on Friday.

Bangladesh A lose in T20

Bangladesh A were routed by 82 runs in a Twenty20 match at a windswept and blustery Eglington on Friday.

Habul to play in England

Bangladesh hockey captain Maksud Alam Habul is likely to play in the English hockey league scheduled in Hamestreet in September this year.

Sanath sees no reason to retire

Swashbuckling Sri Lankan batsman Sanath Jayasuriya celebrates his 39th birthday on Monday with no retirement plans in sight.

Gautam, Saleha take TT titles

Gautam of Bagerhat clinched the men's singles title by default in the AB Bank 29th National Table Tennis Championships at the NSC gymnasium yesterday.

Ponting fined for dissent

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has been fined 30 per cent of his match fee for dissent during Friday's second one-dayer win over hosts West Indies.

Injury forces Haddin home

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin will return home from Australia's tour to the West Indies after not recovering sufficiently from a broken finger, Cricket Australia said Saturday.

Pakistan need to up security

An expert said Saturday that security in Pakistan for the biennial Champions Trophy needed to be fine-tuned, with several foreign players expressing concerns about touring the troubled nation.

Business

4 pharma firms' double-digit sales growth

Four pharmaceutical companies out of top ten Bangladeshi companies achieved double-digit growth in sales during the January-March period of this year, said global pharmaceutical market intelligence agency IMS in its first quarter report.

Pran may get Tk100cr IFC loan to support expansion

The country's one of the leading agro-processors Pran Group is likely to get about $ 15 million or Tk 100 crore loan from global private sector lender International Finance Corporation to support its big expansion programme.

Foreign RMG buyers urged to follow ethical practices

The local ready-made garment (RMG) exporters yesterday urged foreign buyers to follow ethical buying practices to make Bangladesh more competitive in the global market.

Telecom company board meets today

The board of the newly formed Bangladesh Telecom Company Ltd (BTCL), the formerly BTTB, sits today for the first time to discuss ways to breathe life into the struggling state-run landline operator.

NBR for scanners at Ctg port by July

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) will soon place a proposal to buy container scanners for Chittagong Seaport with the government's purchase committee for approval as the regulator intends to end a protracted course by July.

Govt urged to probe graft in jute sector

The government should form a committee to investigate the corruption in jute sector, speakers at a discussion said yesterday.

Good governance key to ensuring CSR

The government needs to ensure good governance to make corporate houses and factories adopt the practices of corporate social responsibility (CSR), an international seminar was told yesterday.

India inflation maintains upward trend

India's annual rate of inflation has risen to 11.42 percent on the back of rising prices of food, fuel and manufactured goods, government data released Friday showed.

Bill Gates' teary goodbye

Bill Gates spent his last day at Microsoft Friday, bidding a teary goodbye to the company he built into a global software colossus.

Silver lining

It was the mid 80s and I was looking for a replacement for a colleague who had decided to leave. As she walked into my office for the interview, she was all smiles. That is her trademark, her beaming ear-to-ear smile. Fresh out of IBA, she was looking for a job. Meet Rupali Chowdhury.

FBCCI invites applications for internship

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) is inviting applications from prospective MBA/ students of MBA of reputed institutions for an internship programme, says a press release.

UCB celebrates 25th founding anniversary today

United Commercial Bank (UCB) Ltd will celebrate its 25th founding anniversary today, says a press release.

Sony Ericsson issues warning on Q2 profit

Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson warned Friday that its second-quarter results would be dented by a difficult commercial environment.

Bangla-Denmark Business Forum office bearers

Bangladesh-Denmark Business Forum elected its new executive committee, says a press release.

China's forex reserves hit $1.8 trillion

China's foreign exchange reserves, by far the largest in the world, hit 1.80 trillion dollars at the end of May, state media reported Friday.

Citi appoints new country treasurer

Citibank, N.A. has appointed Sajedul Islam as the new Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities (FICC) head and country treasurer for Bangladesh, says a press release.

Oil hits record, gold shines

Oil prices hit fresh record highs above 142 dollars this week as a high-level energy summit between consumers and producers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, failed to dampen the red-hot market.

Reckitt Benckiser declares 220pc dividend

Reckitt Benckiser (Bangladesh) Ltd has declared a 220 percent dividend for its shareholders.

Green Delta Ins okays 15pc cash, 35pc stock dividends

Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd has declared a 15 percent cash dividend and a 35 percent stock dividend for the year 2007.

Global aviation's future seen 'bleak' without reforms

The future for global aviation is "really bleak" unless the industry takes drastic measures including mergers and substantial fare increases, Malaysia Airlines said Friday.

Lanka's national carrier slaps fuel surcharge

Sri Lanka's national carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines, will re-introduce a fuel surcharge to cover rising jet fuel costs, the airline said Saturday.

Japan's core inflation surges to decade high

Japan said Friday core inflation accelerated to the fastest pace in a decade on soaring oil costs while consumer spending tumbled, fanning jitters about the outlook for Asia's largest economy.

Tata Steel almost triples profit

The world's sixth-largest steelmaker, Tata Steel, announced Thursday it had almost tripled its consolidated full year net profit to 2.9 billion dollars, boosted by last year's acquisition of Corus.

Canada urged to ease foreign ownership, investment rules

Canada must reduce barriers to foreign investment in its airline, uranium mining, banking, broadcasting and telecommunications sectors to be more competitive, a report said Thursday.

Indonesia sees oil prices easing next year

The cost of global crude oil may ease in 2009 as current record prices will weaken demand for oil products, Indonesia's Opec Governor Maizar Rahman said Friday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

June 22 June 26, 2008
Local FX Market

Local inter-bank FX market was liquid during the week as the demand for dollar rose. The BDT remained range bound against the US dollar.

Metropolitan

Take steps to reduce suffering of migrant workers

Former chief adviser to the caretaker government Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman yesterday called on the government and Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) to take steps to ensure that Bangladeshi migrant workers receive proper wages.

Support to local govt polls before general election

A cross section of people who attended a lively dialogue here yesterday afternoon, spoke on a number of issues ranging from upcoming local government and national elections to some local problems of the port city.

'Establish secular, democratic govt for indigenous people's rights'

Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Regional Council Chairman Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma alias Shantu Larma yesterday said a secular, democratic and progressive government is a must to ensure the rights of the indigenous people as well as the students.

Vow to establish good governance

The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) at its national conference yesterday vowed to work towards establishing good governance in order to ensure basic rights of the people.

Road show held in Mymensingh

Marking the arrival of the road show titled 'Eso Bangladesh Gori' (Let us build a new Bangladesh) in Mymensingh, a daylong fair was organised on the local Circuit House ground yesterday morning.

Job-oriented edn stressed

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday laid emphasis on public-private partnership to introduce job-oriented education in the country to face the challenges of globalisation.

Tk 52.60cr JU budget okayed

Jahangirnagar University (JU) Senate yesterday approved Tk 52.60 crore budget for 2008-09 fiscal for the university, says a press release.

Road accidents kill 4

At least four people were killed and 27 others injured in separate road accidents in Dinajpur, Brahmanbaria and Sylhet yesterday and on Friday night.

City AL leaders pledge to work unitedly

City Awami League (AL) leaders yesterday vowed to work together in order to strengthen the party by ironing out differences among themselves.

DU Day on July 1

Dhaka University (DU) is going to celebrate the 'Dhaka University Day' on the campus on July 1.

LDP to take part in local body polls

Leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) yesterday said they will participate in the upcoming local body election.

CJFD executives

Shilabrata Barua of Dainik Samakal and Saif Islam Dilal of Dainik Amar Desh were elected president and general secretary of Chittagong Journalists' Forum-Dhaka (CJFD) yesterday.

Contribution of Manekshaw to War of Liberation recalled

More organisations yesterday expressed profound shock at the death of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who was the chief of Indian army during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.

Tk 72.80 crore CU budget approved

Chittagong University (CU) Senate at its 20th annual meeting yesterday approved a budget of Tk 72.80 crore for the fiscal 2008-09.

Women scientists' assoc holds AGM, seminar

The annual general meeting (AGM) of Association of Women Scientists in Bangladesh was held on the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) campus in the city on Friday, says a press release.

Low over Bay moves northwestward

The low over north-west Bay and adjoining area moved northwestward and now lies over Gangetic West Bengal and adjoining area.

Apollo Hospitals observes Int'l Nurses Day

Apollo Hospitals, Dhaka observed International Nurses Day recently, says a press release.

N'ganj Press Club executives

Rumon Reza of the daily Janakantha and Channel i, and Abu Saud Masud of the daily Amar Desh were elected president and general secretary of Narayanganj Press Club for the year 2008-10, says a press release.

One held for extortion in name of Subrata Bain

Detective Branch (DB) police yesterday arrested one Amit Mitra, 43, who was demanding money from businessmen and industrialists in the name of Subrata Bain, a fugitive top terror in the city, from Rayerbazar in the city.

Admission fair begins

A five-day-long admission fair began at Time International Academy (TIA) in the city yesterday, says a press release.

Moderate quake felt in city

An earthquake was felt at the Dhaka Seismic Centre at Agargaon in the city at 9:27am yesterday.

National

One-fourth of 4 lakh acre Kachalong Reserve Forest grabbed in Rangamati

Gradual depletion of vast Kachalong Reserve Forest in Rangamati hill district is causing environmental degradation and silting up of rivers including Karnaphuli.

Emergency must go before national polls

The grass-roots level leaders of Tangail district unit of Awami League (AL) yesterday said the state of emergency must be lifted before the national election to make it credible.

'Formulate tough law to punish drug traders'

Tobacco, Drug and HIV/AIDS Prevention Forum in Rajshahi yesterday urged the government to immediately formulate tough law for punishment of drug traders and smugglers.

'Take steps for indigenous people's development'

Adibasi Students Association of Rajshahi University (ASARU) at a press conference held at Rajshahi University Press Club yesterday demanded constitutional recognition to the indigenous people.

1,500 people join UP 'open budget session' at remote Satkhira village

It was a different day for the villagers at Brahmmarajpur, a remote union in Satkhira Sadar upazila.

18 Jhenidah school students fall victims of 'mass hysteria'

Eighteen students fell victims of 'mass hysteria' at Sabdulpur Munsur Ali Academy in Kotchandpur yesterday, the headmaster said.

Jahanara Imam's death anniversary not held as Shibir hinders

A programme on the occasion of fourteenth death anniversary of Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam could not be held at Carmichael University College yesterday.

Workers of three Khulna jute mills observe strike from today

Workers of three state-owned jute mills have decided to go for agitation to press home their various demands.

Agri staff, UP member held for misappropriatingdiesel subsidy

An agriculture official and a Union Parisad (UP) member have been arrested on charge of misappropriating Tk 4 lakh government subsidy for diesel, intelligence sources said.

Letters

A question…

The fear that Bangladesh might turn back to the 1/11 era is suddenly back in people's minds. The leading political parties hardly seem to realise why we are no longer a democratic nation, why all the big heads of our so-called democratic politics are behind the bars. They are opposing the local election for obvious reason: it would hamper their way to establishing illegal power at the grassroots level which plays a very vital role in determining the results of our national elections. The reason might be clear to us but it seems that even intellectuals, like university teachers, fail to understand why the present govt wants to hold local elections first.

Decentralising Dhaka

A report published in your daily dated: 22-06--2008 stated that at a roundtable discussion the speakers emphasised the need for decentralisation of power and spreading out the economic activities across the country in order to save Dhaka city from any disaster. This is a good approach if it is done efficiently as this will create employment opportunities for people. Dhaka is already overcrowded and the people of the entire country depend on Dhaka one way or the other.

Cricket in ruins

This is a reply to a letter published in The Daily Star entitled "Cricket over-publicised" which appeared on 23 June. I cannot acquiesce in the opinion of Mr. Sohel because I feel he has just made his statements rather sententiously. Immature players overburdened with expectations from the media and fans are according to him the main reasons for the poor performance of the Tigers. But he has overlooked that young Tigers have taken Bangladesh in the Super Eight stage of last year's 50-over World Cup where Bangladesh defeated India and South Africa while one of the most senior members of the side Habibul Bashar failed to deliver. Not giving debut to young cricketers would be like giving indemnity to senior cricketers despite their poor performance. The selectors are given the responsibility to choose the best team and not the "oldest team" for the country.

Corruption

The tree is still alive. Though it has lost some branches and leaves, it is still luxuriant with leaves. And there is no dearth of people who sprinkle water on its roots, put fertilisers and make sure that it remains in good shape. In all probability, the tree will grow taller day by day and continue to bear poisonous fruits.

A university for women

At the beginning of the 20th century it was very difficult for women to obtain university education. In 1870 Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon helped to set up Girton College, the first university for women. But nowadays every country has a special university for women. But in our country, we have no such university even after 37 years of independence. In Japan, there are at least ten women's universities, among them Nara, Mukogawa, Kochi, Bunka, Showa and Jissen universities are mentionable. In Korea, there are five universities for women.

Leaders

We don't really know how we find our leaders, we never asked ourselves where they were born, where they come from etc. But we all support someone as our leader, and we blindly follow him/her, and even sometimes sacrifice our lives on their calls. We voted them to power believing their hollow promises before election. We do not even mind fighting among our fellow brothers. We make them political hero without questioning his/her identity or past records. Banking on our, I mean the people's unstinting support, these leaders sit on the dais of power. Then they totally forget us and start doing whatever they need to do, to change their own fortune unless and until he/she is in trouble created by opponents.

A microbiologist's view

As a microbiologist I feel it is my responsibility to write after reading the report “Fatal Bacteria Found in Drinking Water in Rajshahi Div” as the report(published on 21 June 2008) has wrong information and misinterpretation.

Closure of BDR shops

Closure of BDR low price shops is a poor decision on the government's part. When the poverty-stricken people are struggling to manage one meal a day due to sky rocketing of prices of essentials, this decision was not expected. It is the government's responsibility to fulfil the basic needs of the people.

Our dreams and politics

We became independent after a nine-month long struggle against the Pakistanis. Though we got independence after nine months but our struggle for it had begun during the British regime. During the Pakistani regime, we were exploited in many ways.

Is this patriotism?

After her release from the sub-jail, our former prime minister Sheikh Hasina travelled by a BA flight to London, on her way to the USA for treatment, but not by Biman , the National Flag Carrier. This is just normal for the former prime minister. It is on record that she never travelled by Biman while travelling abroad privately at her own cost. But in contrast to this, during her tenure as the prime minister she travelled throughout by Biman, since it used to be at state cost and with very special arrangements organised by the national airline.

Commercialisation of Gulshan

Gulshan Model Town was the forerunner which was conceived to be an ideal township & a showpiece designed for planned urbanisation of a very progressive cosmopolitan Dhaka. Alas! It was not to be thanks to Rajuk.

Hillary's campaign

It's commendable that Hillary would campaign for Obama, despite being defeated by him. How is it possible for a political leader? Yes, this is only possible in a true democracy.

City and municipal polls

Your editorial on 22 June is an excellent balanced exposition of the situation. All sane people must urge the disgruntled parties to take part in democratic polls whenever and wherever it is held and thus act in a positive manner for the furtherance of democracy and the country. The days of negative attitudes and actions like boycott and hartal due to immature emotional sullenness, or some legal technicalities in the Constitution (which obviously and of necessity is in temporary abeyance) must be banished. However, it remains a holy obligation for the government to ensure that all the polls are fair and credible to the nation and are adjudged as such by the foreign observers.

Judicial magistrates

The CTG has done a commendable job in implementing the long overdue separation of judiciary from the executive branch of the government. This has already been yielding excellent results. Disposal of cases has been expedited and the volume of transacted business has gone up substantially. The Supreme Court has asked the government to provide the judicial magistrates with all facilities. The immediate need of judicial magistrates is residential accommodation. Hence, I would request the caretaker government to provide funds and arrange residential accommodation for them urgently in all district headquarters to enable the magistrates to discharge their functions smoothly.

Local body election

In the last fifteen days, I talked to about fifty of my friends and relations who are not blind supporters of any political party about election in local bodies. All of them supported the move of the present govt. to hold election of local bodies before the national assembly election. I asked for their reasons to support such a move and the interesting answers are:

Deep seaport

We Bangladeshis are one- track-minded people. We have put all our eggs into one basket in Dhaka which now has become an unmanageable city. We have developed only one port to meet all our trading needs. The country is now in an economic take off stage. I am sure that if our politicians do not mess it up, then we will surely be a middle income country in the next five to ten years, and during this period our trade will increase manifold. Under political government, our port is unable to perform satisfactorily and cannot meet the trading needs of the country. If the situation remains as is common during political government, we will not be able to handle our trading needs and the country's trade will come to a standstill.

Arsenicosis

Arsenic is a poison that can take our lives. At present it is found in most of the tubewells in Jhenidah district. The arsenic contaminated tubewell water must be avoided for the safety of our lives. Arsenic causes a disease called arsenicosis. The person affected by it suffers from various complications. The patient loses stamina, the skin becomes rough. Soars are also found and bleeding is common. It causes stomach disorders and even cancer.

International

Pakistan wants solution to Kashmir dispute

Pakistan's foreign minister said Friday his government was eager to find a solution at next month's peace talks to the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, which has been at the heart of the bitter rivalry between his country and India.

Taliban likely to step up Afghan attacks

The Taliban has regrouped after its initial fall from power in Afghanistan and the pace of its attacks is likely to increase this year, according to a Pentagon report that offers a dim view of progress in the nearly seven-year-old war.

Kashmir a 'solvable problem'

Describing as "solvable" the Kashmir issue with India, Pakistan's ruling PPP chief Asif Ali Zardari has said the two countries should not allow slow progress on it to be an obstacle to work in other cooperative matters.

30,000 troops heading to Iraq in 2009

The Pentagon is preparing to order roughly 30,000 troops to Iraq early next year in a move that would allow the US to maintain 15 combat brigades in the country through 2009, The Associated Press has learned.

Chief of Iran's elite force issues new warning to Israel

The chief of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards has issued a new warning against Israel not to attack it, saying the Jewish state is well within range of its missiles, a newspaper reported yesterday.

Widespread intimidation in Zimbabwe vote

Roaming bands of government supporters heckled, harassed or threatened people into voting in a runoff election Friday in which President Robert Mugabe was the only candidate, ensuring he will remain in power despite international condemnation of the balloting as a sham.

Complex issues remain on N Korea nukes

It took years of talks, coddling and concessions to prod North Korea to step back from its decades-long effort to make atomic weapons, leading to Friday's dramatic destruction of its nuclear reactor cooling tower.

Obama, Hillary appeal for Democratic unity

Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton sought Friday to turn the page on their bitter, history-making fight for the Democratic presidential nomination, declaring the next chapter is about beating Republican John McCain.

Rice urges N Korea to give up all N-weapons

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pressed North Korea Saturday to take the next step and give up its atomic weaponry after it disclosed some nuclear secrets and demolished part of its reactor.

North Pole may have no ice this summer

There could briefly be no ice at the North Pole this summer, a US scientist said Friday, an event that would mark a new stage in the melting of the Arctic ice sheets due to global warming.

US Senate moves to lift Mandela's 'terror' label

The US Senate has approved a bill to remove former South African president Nelson Mandela and his African National Congress from the US terror watch list, lawmakers said Friday.

Guatemala minister and deputy die in chopper crash

Guatemala's Interior Minister Vinicio Gomez and deputy minister Edgar Hernandez were among four people killed Friday in a helicopter crash, a presidential spokesperson said.

Protests over shrine continue in Kashmir

Tens of thousands of demonstrators paralysed cities in Indian-controlled Kashmir yesterday with protests against what they charge is a government plan to build Hindu settlements to change the religious balance in the Muslim-majority region.

Syria unearths 2,300-year-old pharaonic Engraving

Syrian archaeologists have unearthed a hieroglyph close to Damascus which dates back to the pharaonic period around 1,300 years BC, the official SANA news agency reported on Saturday.

18 bodies recovered from Indonesia plane

Rescuers recovered all 18 bodies yesterday from the wreckage of an Indonesian military plane that crashed into a jungle-clad mountain, a military official said.

Somali Islamists snatch aid workers: UN

Islamist militants kidnapped two Swedes working for the United Nations and a Somali aid worker when the fighters seized control of a town Saturday, several sources told AFP.

Arts & Entertainment

Recitation evening and award giving ceremony by Swanan

Cultural organisation Swanan arranged a programme, featuring recitation and award giving, at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library on June 27. Three organisations were awarded with “Nazim Mahmud Smriti Pranadana” and “Nazim Mahmud Sammanana” at the programme.

Tapestry: Homage to Rashid Chowdhury

The exhibition titled 'Tapestry: Homage to Rashid Chowdhury' by artist Tajul Islam is going on at Galleri Kaya. This is artist Islam's 5th solo on tapestry: Hand-woven colourful textile fabrics with figures or designs. The exhibition is a homage to art maestro Rashid Chowdhury who is best known as the innovator of tapestry as an art form in the subcontinent.

Tarin, basking in her spring

Popular TV actress Tarin received the Meril- Prothom Alo Awards for Best Television Actress for her single- episode play Maya. In the light of this achievement, The Daily Star interviewed her to know more about her experience while shooting for the play and her latest works.

Emdad Haque's fashion workshop concludes with a splendid exhibition

Distinguished fashion designer and director of the fashion house Banglar Mela, Emdad Haque conducted a workshop with 12 young designers at the beginning of this year. Seven of the participants displayed their creation in a two-day exhibition that was held at Drik Gallery, Dhanmondi from June 26- 27. Celebrities such as Kaniz Almas, Minu Haque and pop singer Mehreen were present at the inauguration.

New kids on the block in Bollywood

If some of Bollywood's big stars are competing with each other to grab the eyeballs on the small screen, just the opposite is happening on the big screen where two new kids are on the starting block.

Talent hunt in Khagrachhari to begin

Khagrachhari Hill District Council (KHDC) is set to begin a talent hunt programme from July 10 at nine venues in the hill district. KHDC has taken the initiative to bring to light promising young artistes in the remote areas of the district.

Celebrating 400 years of Dhaka city

HSBC launched a historic map of Old Dhaka on June 25 to mark the occasion of 400 years of Dhaka as a capital city, says a press release. The map features 58 of the city's most significant landmarks with photographs and a brief narrative about each site. The proceeds from the sales of this map will directly benefit charitable causes within Bangladesh, like helping the needy and disabled, and providing education for underprivileged children.

“Shopnochura” on Banglavision tonight

TV serial Shopnochura will be aired tonight on Banglavision at 9:45 pm. Written by Aniket, the serial is directed by Fazlur Rahman.

Shelu Barua working on new album

Artiste Shelu Barua is set to release his new solo album of adhunik songs. The album tilted Kachhe Thako Chhuye Thako, featuring ten songs, will be launched some time in July. “The album will feature adhunik songs with a tinge of ghazal,” Barua informed.

Mandela joins stars at London gig

Nelson Mandela joined music stars on stage at a concert in London's Hyde Park on June 27 to celebrate his 90th birthday.

OP-ED

The minister and the media

I had an interesting argument recently with a former adviser of the caretaker government on the excessive indulgence of the advisers with the media. This was at a typical Dhaka dinner party. As soon as I explained my views on the issue, he dismissed them summarily. He argued that transparency required ministers/advisers to interact with the media regularly because people have a right to know about government policy from the horse's mouth. He further argued that for the CTG, the importance of advisers talking to the media is indispensable because the parliament has been abrogated.

In defence of local government

THE then British rulers introduced local government in India through the Bengal Chowkidari Act 1870. On the recommendation of the Famine Commission (1880) it was strengthened and extended. In 1882 the then governor general introduced a responsible and democratic local government system.

Voice of the private sector

THE role of trade organisations in a country pursuing private sector-led economic growth cannot be ignored if the government really means business. It's the bounden responsibility of the trade bodies to put forward their suggestions to the government on matters relating to formulation of various policies affecting the overall growth and development of the national economy.

E-government readiness

IN this age of technological advancement, a new kind of rationalisation has been introduced in the public sector. The key role in this connection is related to the use of modern information and communication technologies (ICTs). There is no doubt that governments all over the world are fully cognisant of this potential, and thereby employ it to support the activities being carried out to serve its customers.

Star City

29 new guests at Dhaka Zoo

Visitors swarming the Dhaka Zoo at Mirpur to have a look at 29 new inmates from South Africa that arrived Thursday after a long wait.

Traders stave off electronic cash register

A divisive policy to enforce the use of electronic cash registers at small and medium retail businesses in the city has been postponed until January next year.

DMP has only 13 run-down tow trucks to tackle trouble

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has only 13 run-down tow trucks for handling any trouble with about 10 lakh vehicles in the capital city.



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