The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, July 30, 2014


News of: Monday, 30th of June, 2008

Front Page

Rural, urban gap in education widens

The record-breaking SSC results demonstrate the widening gap between urban and rural education standard as most urban schools put on outstanding performance, while the bulk of failure goes to rural institutions.

EC to see if partisan hoopla is illegal

The Election Commission (EC) will look into whether the ongoing flurry of activities of Awami League (AL), BNP and other political parties centring the August 4 polls to four city corporations and nine municipalities violate the new electoral law.

Colombo Saarc Summit to focus on connectivity, food

The upcoming 15th Saarc Summit in Colombo would focus on greater connectivity, food security and meeting growing demand for energy in the member countries, visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday said.

Euro glory for Spain

Spain ended their 44-year wait for a major international title with a 1-0 victory over Germany at the Euro 2008 final here on Sunday.

Boro procurement set to fall short of target

The food department has unofficially stopped Boro procurement short of target in 16 northern districts of the country due to short supply and unpredictable weather.

Embassy staff to meet Kuwaiti officials today on workers' plight

Bangladesh Embassy officials in Kuwait today hold talks with Kuwaiti authorities to discuss the plight of 765 Bangladeshi workers -- which include over 300 women -- who have not been paid for the last six months by their employers.

4-party won't take part if emergency not withdrawn

The BNP-led four-party alliance will not participate in the August 4 polls to city corporations and municipalities if the government does not meet its demands including withdrawal of the state of emergency.

AL urges all parties to avoid poll boycott culture

The Awami League (AL) yesterday decided to participate in the upcoming city corporation and municipality elections with other components of the 14-party combine, and members of civil society and pro-Liberation War forces under the banner of Nagorik Committee.

Cabinet okays FY09 budget, income tax ceiling raised

The council of advisers yesterday approved the proposed budget for 2008-09, bringing a few changes including raising the ceiling of individual income tax.

Ministry opposes Biman plan to up Hajj fare

Just three months after increasing the airfare to and from Saudi Arabia to $1,350 for hajj pilgrims, Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd has proposed increasing it again by $171 quoting rise in fuel price.

Ex-additional IG Shahidullah gets13yrs

A special court yesterday sentenced former additional inspector general of police Shahidullah Khan to 13 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) for amassing wealth illegally and concealing wealth information from the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

Hearing on Tarique's plea for exemption deferred

A special court yesterday deferred to July 6 the hearing on a petition to exempt detained Tarique Rahman from appearing in person during trial proceedings of a Tk 21-crore bribery case involving the murder of a Bashundhara Group director.

Cloth trader accuses Rab of 'putting him in crossfire'

A cloth trader undergoing treatment in Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) after being injured with bullet wounds alleged that Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel attempted to kill him by 'putting him in crossfire'.

Chowdhury Alam gets 12yrs for Tk 24cr extortion

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced detained Dhaka City Corporation Councillor, formerly ward commissioner, Chowdhury Alam to 12 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) for extorting Tk 23.93 crore from 2370 shop owners of Bangabazar Complex between 2003 and 2005.

Move to import non-urea fertiliser at state level

The government is going to import non-urea fertiliser under state-to-state arrangements in the wake of 42 to 290 percent price hike of fertilisers in international market during the last one year.

Nizami taken to hospital for back pain

Detained Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami was admitted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) for back pain yesterday.

India to send troops to Sri Lanka for Saarc summit

India is to send thousands of troops, war ships and helicopters to Sri Lanka as part of security for next month's South Asian summit in Colombo, diplomatic sources said yesterday.

Sangakkara & Mendis script easy SL win

Spinner Ajantha Mendis took four wickets and Kumar Sangakkara carved a meticulous century as Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 64 runs in their Asia Cup Super League match at the National Stadium here on Sunday.

40 Indian cops go missing after Maoist attack

At least 40 members of an elite Indian anti-insurgency unit were missing in the east of the country yesterday after their boat capsized following an attack by Maoist rebels, police said.

Editorial

Barring the convicted and corrupt from polls

We welcome the decision of the caretaker government to enact laws to bar the corrupt, the loan defaulters, criminals, and those convicted by the court from par-ticipating in the forthcoming elections.

Dhaka College incident

What happened in and around Dhaka College on Sat-urday should not have come to pass. In an unfortunate accident, a speeding microbus had hit a student while he was crossing the road in front of the college and in the process received grievous injury. We are sorry to hear that the student’s legs were fractured and needed hospitalisation for treatment. By all means, he must be given all sorts of medical and financial assistance by the government and the college authorities for his recovery and rehabilitation.

The brouhaha over a trifle

The caretaker government's dialogue with political stakeholders is tapering towards a denouement, with an odd few still opting out of it. The BNP, with a bruised image and wobbly organisation, has preferred to reject both the dialogue and the election unless its supremo is unconditionally freed from her incarceration.

The electric vehicle solution

A massive transportation crisis is growing in South Asian cities, marked by high congestion, heavy pollution, and chaotic, unsafe traffic. This is lowering the quality of life in three ways, besides contributing massively to climate change -- the gravest threat humanity faces today.

Fixing the First War

They seem an odd couple: the general who engineered President Bush's surge in Iraq, and the presidential candidate who has promised to undo it. But look again. Gen. David Petraeus's broad new agenda as the likely next commander of Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees US forces in the entire Middle East and Central Asia, seems to echo some of Barack Obama's views about the critical front in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Sports

Viva Espana!

Thousands of ecstatic Spanish fans danced and chanted "Viva Espana" in central Madrid as the country's first major international football trophy in 44 years sparked a nationwide fiesta.

Kumar, Ajanta SL stars

Kumar Sangakkara hit a fighting hundred and spinner Ajantha Mendis took four wickets to power Sri Lanka to a 64-run win over Pakistan in their Asia Cup Super League clash here on Sunday.

Tigers in 'what if' phase

In a history of Bangladesh's glorious "what ifs" (read: Fatullah, Multan), the Mirpur ODI, where they let India off the hook after having them at 144 for 5 chasing 251, is one of the less documented ones. Bangladesh were at the best of their cricketing form, India at their worst in recent times. A few less-than-prudent captaincy moves and poor fielding lost them a match that they dominated for 80% of the duration. Bangladesh have only gone downhill since, and India have not looked back. The sense of "what if" still haunts from the Mirpur match.

Another Ballack near miss?

Germany on Saturday rated captain Michael Ballack as doubtful for Sunday's Euro 2008 final against Spain after revealing he had strained his right calf in training.

Spain turns red

Excited fans gathered in front of giant outdoor television screens, newspapers ran front pages in the team colour of red and shops planned to close early as Spain was gripped by football fever ahead of the Euro 2008 final Sunday.

No Mullers on the horizon

Once more, Germany are in the final of a European Championship, their sixth.

Of the touchline talismans

The fates and fortunes of the Euro 2008 coaches:

Kiwis clinch series

Scott Styris starred for New Zealand as the Black Caps finished their tour of England in style with a 51-run series-clinching victory in the fifth one-day international at Lord's here Saturday.

A Spaniard already wins

Rafael Nadal struck a blow for Spain on the eve of the Euro 2008 football final when he beat Germany's Nicolas Kiefer to reach the Wimbledon last 16 on Saturday.

Vettori truly upbeat

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori challenged his side to go on and win the Champions Trophy tournament later this year after they sealed a 3-1 one-day series victory against England here at Lord's.

BCB may stay in line with neighbours

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is thinking in line with the Asian bloc of cricket nations regarding the issue of Zimbabwe Cricket.

Dhoni blasts schedule

Mahendra Singh Dhoni doesn't usually complain at press conferences so his statements on Saturday night, after a match where India were visibly tired against a spirited Bangladesh, should make the game's administrators sit up and take notice. "We were a bit disappointing, but one of the reasons for it is that we have played cricket for 36 of the last 84 hours," Dhoni said. He didn't mention the travel, the training sessions, the warm-ups, the cool-downs, the post-match presentations and the press conferences.

'I'm a new batsman'

Reflecting on his swashbuckling hundred, Alok Kapali said that it was his new beginning as a batsman.

Campbell fails to qualify for Olympics

World champion Veronica Campbell failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics in her signature event and Usain Bolt won the clash of the sprinting titans at the Jamaican Olympic track and field trials.

Murali targets Akram's feat

Sri Lanka's spin wizard Muttiah Muralidaran said his immediate target at international level is to overhaul Pakistani bowler Wasim Akram's world record of one-day wickets.

National women's h'ball from today

Seven matches will be held on the opening day of the Exim Bank 19th National Women's Handball Championship, which kicks off this morning at the Shaheed Suhrawardy National Indoor Stadium in Mirpur.

Wimbledon Round16 line-up

Wimbledon schedule (Round of 16) on Monday, the seventh day of the 2008 championships (x denotes seeding):

Div II cricket

Jagarani Krira Chakra defeated Khaled Smriti Sangsad by 67 runs in the opening match of Second Division Cricket League at the local stadium here yesterday.

Business

Temporary staff of mobile operators losing jobs

Hundreds of temporary employees of the country's telecoms operators lost their jobs in the last few months as major cellphone companies resort to cost cutting measures amid intense competition that leads to call tariff drops.

Investors protest as SEC changes mutual fund rules

Investors took to the streets yesterday to protest the stock market regulator's decision to modify the rules regarding mutual fund.

Vow to hike RMG prices, workers' wages

The two-day long seminar on ready made garments (RMG )concluded in Dhaka yesterday with a vow to hike both the prices of the prime exportable item and workers' wages.

Jewellers still charge credit card users extra

There are continuous allegations from buyers and bankers that jewellery traders charge an additional amount of 3 percent from their customers who use credit cards.

Oil leaders meet again today after Jeddah failure

A week after failing to deflate record oil prices at a summit in Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest crude producers and consumers will get another chance to tackle the problem at a meeting this week.

Govt must create jobs to eradicate poverty

The government must create extensive employment opportunities to eradicate poverty from the country, said chairman of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) yesterday.

Market for Bangladeshi labourers continues to expand, says adviser

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said the overseas market for Bangladeshi workers continues to expand and the government intends to pursue such expansion.

Dhaka-Colombo direct air link soon

Direct air link between Dhaka and Colombo is likely to resume soon as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have finalised the Air Services Agreement.

HSBC showcases Bangladesh's business opportunities in US

Global banking giant HSBC has recently showcased different business opportunities in Bangladesh to representatives from around 50 major US companies at the bank's New York City office, says a press release.

Battlelines drawn for WTO talks

Even as strategies for the crucial battle at the World Trade Organisation mini-ministerial on 21-24 July are being worked out over agriculture and NAMA (non-agriculture market access), developing countries led by India are seeking to extend the ambit of the talks to include areas of concern such as fisheries subsidies and bio-piracy.

Chinese hydro-dams bring hope and fear to Cambodia

Hydropower is held up as the beacon of hope for millions of electricity-starved Cambodians, with ten planned hydro-dams set to power up their homes for the first time.

Oilfield thefts in Texas as prices boom

The wide open oilfields of West Texas are ripe pickings for thieves these days.

Asian currencies mixed against dollar

Major Asian currencies ended the week mixed against the US dollar after oil prices soared to new records and the US Federal Reserve left lending rates unchanged.

BGIC declares 17.5pc stock dividend

Bangladesh General Insurance Company (BGIC) Ltd has declared a 17.5 percent stock dividend.

Union Capital okays 30pc stock dividend

Union Capital Ltd has declared a 30 percent stock dividend for its shareholders for the year 2007.

People's Leasing and Financial Services declares 35pc stock dividend

People's Leasing and Financial Services (PLFS) Ltd has declared a 35 percent stock dividend for its shareholders for the year 2007.

Singapore Airlines collects fifth Airbus jet

Singapore Airlines has taken delivery of its fifth Airbus A380 superjumbo which will be used for its Singapore-London service starting on July 16.

High food prices to cut subsidies, boost production: OECD

Industrialised countries should seize the opportunity of high world food prices to cut subsidies for farm production, the OECD advises in a review of agriculture policies.

Taiwan adopts package for stock market

Taiwan's cabinet has adopted an eight-point package to support the domestic stock market, which has been battered by surging oil prices and a volatile Wall Street, officials said Sunday.

Beijing hikes minimum wage as inflation soars

China's capital Beijing is to raise its minimum salary by 10 percent in a bid to help the worst-off cope with rising inflation, state media said Saturday.

Australia's Fortescue joins Rio, BHP in iron ore boom

Australia's economy was once described as "riding on the sheep's back" but the fortune created by iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group shows it is now booming as Asia's quarry.

Metropolitan

'Transfer staffs to revenue sector to improve healthcare service'

Healthcare services are being hampered in the country's seven police hospitals, that are supposed to take care of 1.35 lakh police personnel, owing to lack of initiative for transferring the posts and manpower recruited under the police hospitals modernisation project to revenue sector.

Ensure access to land, forest resources for women, indigenous people

Primary and Mass Education Adviser Rasheda K Chowdhury and Special Assistant to the Chief Adviser Raja Devasish Roy at a workshop yesterday called for ensuring access to land, water and forest resources for the poor, women and indigenous people.

Violence hinders women's political participation, empowerment

Violence against women in politics hinders their political participation and empowerment in South Asian countries, said speakers yesterday at a regional experience sharing programme.

Ensure rights of indigenous people, recover lands

Speakers at a meeting yesterday said the next elected government should give constitutional recognition to the indigenous people as well as state recognition to the tribal freedom fighters.

Unite for security, development

Speakers at a national seminar yesterday urged the minority people living in remote areas to unite themselves for their socio-economic security and development.

Four killed in road accidents

At least four people were killed and 30 others injured in separate road accidents in Magura and Chandpur in last two days.

13m euro EC grant to help Sidr victims

The European Commission (EC) will provide a grant of 13 million euros to Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (Brac) in support of sustainable recovery and rehabilitation of agriculture-based and non-agriculture-based livelihood in cyclone Sidr-affected coastal areas.

Heavy rains across country

A buoyant monsoon, prodded by the low pressure emerging from the Bay of Bengal, triggered massive rainfalls across the country, of which 150mm were recorded in the capital in 30 hours till 12:00noon yesterday, met office sources said.

'Reconsider decision on MPO facilities for non-govt teachers, staffs'

National Front of Teachers and Employees (NFTE) yesterday urged the government to reconsider the decision of postponing MPO facilities to teachers and employees of non-governmental schools, colleges, madrasas and technical educational institutes.

President back to Bangabhaban

President Prof Iajuddin Ahmed returned to Bangabhaban yesterday after receiving treatment at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in the capital.

Migratory birds responsible for bird flu: Study

Migratory birds are mainly responsible for the outbreak of avian influenza (AI) or bird flu in the country, according to a study report.

Brunei seeks Bangladeshi workers for construction sector

Brunei has sought skilled, semi-skilled and low-skilled workers from Bangladesh for its construction sector.

Youth beaten to death

A youth was beaten to death by a mob at Kholamora Model Town under Keraniganj Police Station yesterday for harassing girls in the area.

More hearing on remand for Babar tomorrow

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed tomorrow for further hearing on the five-day remand prayer to interrogate detained former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar in a case filed for taking bribes to cover-up Sabbir's murder.

‘Take comprehensive plan to offset climate change impacts’

Speakers at a seminar yesterday underscored the need for taking a comprehensive working plan to offset the effects of climate change.

Dhaka College students attack journos

A group of students at Dhaka College yesterday attacked some journalists and damaged their vehicles in protest against the injuries to one of the fellow students who was hit by a microbus in front of the college on Saturday.

CNG-run bus, minibus owners asked to display fare chart

The government has asked the CNG-run bus and minibus owners and operators to display the BRTA-approved fare chart at the ticket counters across the city.

Dialogue on Dhaka and West Bengal today

A 16-member delegation of Bangladesh chapter of South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) left here yesterday for Kolkata of India to attend a two-day dialogue on 'Dhaka and West Bengal' beginning today.

Mahmood made envoy to Germany

The government has decided to appoint additional foreign secretary MAK Mahmood as ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany.

Seminar on supply chain management

The School of Business of University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) organised a seminar on 'Overview on supply chain management' on Saturday, says a press release.

Final decision on re-demarcation of constituencies next month

The Election Commission (EC) will finalise its decision on re-demarcation of constituencies by the first week of next month, Election Commissioner M Sakhawat Hossain yesterday said.

ASP Mahiuddin suspended on charges of stealing mobile

The home ministry yesterday suspended Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mahiuddin Faruqi on charges of stealing a mobile phone set from a Thai national at Zia International Airport (ZIA) on Friday, sources said.

7 trafficked Bangladeshi teenage girls return home

Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday returned seven Bangladeshi teenage girls, who were trafficked to India, to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday.

Criminal held with firearm in Benapole

The police arrested a notorious criminal along with a firearm at bordering Krishnapur village in Sharsha upazila on Saturday night.

Community-based solid waste management launched

The Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) has introduced the community-based waste management to its ward no. 69 aiming at engaging community groups in managing solid waste.

'Implement noise pollution rules'

Speakers at a seminar yesterday underscored the need for implementing the Noise Pollution (control) Rules 2006 immediately to save the people from sound pollution.

New chief of Bangladesh Scouts

M Abul Kalam Azad yesterday formally took over the charge of chief national commissioner of Bangladesh Scouts.

Pirates abduct 11 fishermen for ransom

Pirates looted 20 fishing trawlers and held 11 fishermen hostage to realise ransom for their release near Kachikhali in the Bay yesterday evening.

DAG Haider Ali resigns

Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Syed Haider Ali resigned yesterday on personal grounds.

Lok Utshab ends in Khulna

Lok Utshab, a three-day annual folk festival, ends in Khulna yesterday, says a press release.

Iftekhar greets new Canadian foreign minister

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday extended his heartiest congratulations to David Emerson on his appointment as the foreign minister of Canada.

National

Hundreds become homeless as rivers devour villages in Netrakona, C'nawabganj

With swelling of rain-fed Padma and Someshwari rivers in Chapainawabganj and Netrakona districts, hundreds of people have become homeless in a couple of days.

17,000 indigenous students taking lesson in mother tongue

Around 17,000 under-privileged indigenous students in Khagrachhari are getting the opportunity to learn through their mother languages in 686 Brac schools in the hill district.

WP leader Bablu sent to jail on surrender

Tala upazila Workers Party (WP) general secretary and Khalilnagar Union Parisad (UP) chairman Pranab Ghosh Bablu was sent to jail on surrender before a court here yesterday, court sources said.

District administration starts removing illegal structures in Khagrachhari

The district administration, in an eviction drive conducted here yesterday, demolished illegally-built houses, business establishments and other structures from the bank of Bangabridge canal here.

Three get life for killing in Barisal

First Additional District and Sessions Judge's Court here yesterday sentenced three persons to suffer life term rigorous imprisonment in Sagir murder case.

Engineer Faruk murder: 4 killer suspects held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested four killer suspects of Barisal Pally Biddut Samity assistant engineer SM Faruk Hossain, 35, from Ruptali area here Friday night.

Identify so-called reformists

District BNP leaders, at their first meeting after withdrawal of ban on indoor politics, at Pabna Press Club on Saturday demanded immediate release of party chief Begum Khaleda Zia and her two sons. They also demanded identification of so-called by a committee formed at the meeting.

Letters

Tourism

Nowadays, tourism has become an industry all over the world. Tourism can go a long way to developing our country. Bangladesh has a golden opportunity to earn from this unexplored sector. And naturally our country is endowed with enchanting beauty having a colourful landscape. We have the world's largest sea beach, the Sundarbans, Hill tracts of Chittagong and Sylhet, mighty rivers, Bay of Bengal etc. As a result, tourists from every corner of the world visit our country.

SSC results

It is a matter of great hope that our 'public exam results' are getting better day by day. Owing to the great care taken by the teachers, guardians and well wishers, students are doing well. But I think 'some students' of 'some institutions' are getting some special benefits. I am a student of Dhaka University. I am doing my M.A in English. Like most of the students, I also do tuition. From my experience, I can say that there must have been something wrong in 'some special schools'. I taught some students who, I think, never deserved A+. But they have got it. How? From the school they are supplied with very 'short suggestions'. Those students devour them & get all the questions at the exam hall!

Voter list

The EC has by now perhaps made available the correct and updated voter list to the intending candidates of the 4 city corporation and 9 municipal bodies. Besides the voter list, the EC has an authenticated version of the voter list with photo. This would be used to verify the genuine voter by looking at the photo. The voter list with photo will not be available for general use, if I have understood the EC correctly. The political parties and the candidate will only get the voter list without photo.

Vital issues

Now food inflation rate has risen to about 18%. No doubt food inflation is the main obstacle to achieving MDGs. Every year 30 lakh people are added to the population. This burgeoning population leads to depletion of farmland. Unplanned industrialisation and urbanisation is another cause behind depletion of farmland. But these two major issues are not included in PRSP draft which aims to halve the extreme poverty by 2015.

Spelling

In our country, when we write Bangla words in English language, we do follow the British style of writing. Why? Why do we write Comilla, Jessore, Sylhet, etc. instead of Cumilla, Joshore & Sylet.

Death of a tiger

While visualising a Royal Bengal Tiger, the picture I get is deadly and ferocious. But the news published in The Daily Prothom Alo on 22nd June 2008 showed me something else: A tiger taking shelter on the roof of a village hut. Its eyes were baffled and the ferocity was replaced by abysmal fear for life. We came to know that the tiger killed three people in the village of Dakkhin Kadamtala in Satkhira. So, to “avenge” the deaths it was killed and hung on a tree. Reading this in various newspapers, I had the following questions: 1) Why did the tiger come to the village? 2) When the tiger was already captured, was it really necessary to kill it? And 3) What is the rule for similar situations? The answer to the first question is easy as we all know that generally a tiger does not come out of forests to take a 'morning walk'. It came to the village because it could not find any food in its habitat.

Justice

When no conventional laws exist in a society, when people are corrupt in every way - at times there will be people who will come forward and do justice in a non-conventional ways. Think about our country when the BNP, the AL and the JP were in power and involved in corruption, nobody, not even the civil society, came forward to protest it. There were individual efforts, but no collective one.

Why this U-turn?

I cannot but appreciate Mr. Nayem Jafar of New Jersey, USA, for the opinion he expressed about the U-turn the CTG has taken about political bigwigs in recent days and then I also thought against whom the corruption charges are left to be levelled ? For only the small fries of society? Well, it seems everything is fine in the political melodrama. People by and large liked the action the government had taken against corruption at the initial stage. And if they found it difficult to hold trial for such massive loot & plunder, they could seek the public mandate for such action and set an example for the future generation.

Learning English

I read with interest the letter written by Mr. Kamaluddin Ahmed under the heading "Teaching English", published in your issue of 25 June 2008. My observation on the subject is as follows:

Rickshaw issue

This three wheeled vehicle was seen in many countries in the past. But it has been replaced gradually by different engine-driven vehicles. Even Pakistan was able to eliminate rickshaws from Karachi and other main cities many years ago. Yes, the rickshaw has two points in its favour. It needs no fuel, and so it is environment friendly.

Rickshaws!

I would appeal to Mr. Sikander Ahmed of Gulshan whose letter was published in The Daily Star on April 16, 2008, that we all maintain calm and put comprehensive, collective and decisive thought into this very obvious problem of rickshaws in our city streets.

Tarique's health

The Internet edition of almost all the newspapers from Bangladesh is raising a lot of hoopla about the deteriorating heath condition of the two ex- prime ministers. Reluctantly, I am willing to grant them medical treatment of the highest quality in foreign land after all they led the nation with people's legitimate mandate. But there is no reason why Tarique and Arafat should be accorded the same treatment. They are no superior to any other citizen in a similar situation.

Our tourist spot

In the latest Seven Wonders, Cox's Bazaar of Bangladesh got the second position. if we want to select Cox's Bazaar for the final, we have to vote for it. We can easily cast our vote by www.new7wonders.com/nature or www.vote4bangladesh.com.

Adding insult to injury!!

We have seen media reports quoting some "doctors" that Tarique Rahman's spinal problem is an old one.

Pied pipers of BNP

Abdul Hafiz in his article on the subject published on 23 June has given a fair and pragmatic critical analysis of the BNP chairperson and her tunnel vision on all matters, except self! She is still hankering after the Chair of Bangladesh. The leader still leads the most transparently corrupt party in our political history, ably supported by the organised "lathials" of the Jamaat, with access to "muscle" as and where needed!

Lessons learned from 1/11

If you are one of the two party chiefs:

Murky politics

1.Tantrums of a former premier.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to the man who was arrested and imprisoned for life.

Seedy greedy…

We are appalled at the greed of our “seedy ever needy” politicians. They are clamouring for the national election so that they are vaulted into power as soon as possible. They are absolutely allergic and sometimes antagonistic to local body election. Incidentally, local body is the backbone of development in any developed and developing country. Look at the USA, the UK, other EU countries, the Philippines etc. Strong local bodies like 'upazila' in our country form the very foundation of these countries. Former President Ayub Khan is remembered for the historic Muslim family law ordinance 1961 and President Ershad for introduction of 'Upazila system'. The BNP ruthlessly dismantled the best commendable work of Ershad, the development friendly 'upazila system' out of vengeance and the Awami league was afraid to hold local body elections. Interest and welfare of the people should be the top priority, not 'barking' of politicians.

A hapless girl

Has anyone seen Lamia? About 7 years old? Pretty little round face and short hair? Usually begging with her sister, Taslima, near Gulshan 2 circle? They made about 300 taka a day which kept their non-working parents in the manner to which they had become accustomed.

International

Pak forces take control of Khyber region

Paramilitary troops returned yesterday to posts they had been forced to abandon and Pakistani forces widened their offensive against militants operating in a volatile tribal area along the Afghan border, an official said.

Maoists set to form Nepal's first post-royal govt

Impoverished Nepal is set for more momentous change over the coming week as former Maoist rebels set about forming the newly republican nation's first post-royal government.

Go ahead with N-deal, lose our support

The impasse over the Indo-US nuclear deal threatened the very survival of the Congress-led coalition, with the CPM formally deciding to withdraw support in concert with other Left parties if the UPA government proceeded with the "harmful" agreement.

British soldier among 23 killed in Afghan unrest

A British soldier with Nato forces was killed yesterday in southern Afghanistan, officials said, as 12 policemen and 10 Taliban rebels died in different incidents elsewhere in the war-wracked country.

Get ready for polls: Sonia

Trapped in a make-or-break standoff with her Left allies over the Indo-US nuclear deal, the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, on Saturday (June 28) asked her party top brass to switch to poll-mode and step up hammering the organisational machinery into shape by August, possibly eyeing the prospects of heading for Lok Sabha elections along with Assembly elections in several states, including the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, which are slated for November.

Israel approves prisoner swap with Hezbollah

Israel's cabinet yesterday gave the green light for a prisoner swap with Hezbollah, although Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said two soldiers held by the Lebanese militia are known to be dead, public radio said.

Cong-led coalition plunges into crisis in Kashmir

The Congress-led coalition in militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir state plunged into a crisis when its key component People's Democratic Party (PDP) headed by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, withdrew support over transfer of government land to a Hindu shrine.

Mugabe won in cities

Zimbabwe electoral officials say President Robert Mugabe won in the main cities in an election that has been widely denounced.

Explosion kills 6 in India's Northeast

An official says an explosion at a roadside pig market in India's northeast has killed six people and injured 40.

Blast, shootings kill two Pakistani soldiers, four civilians in Swat

A bomb blast Sunday killed two soldiers, while unknown gunmen shot dead four people in Pakistan's restive northwestern Swat valley, the military and police said.

Obama, McCain spar for Latino vote

Republican presidential hopeful John McCain and Democratic rival Barack Obama called for immigration reform on Saturday as they courted America's ever-growing Latino voting population.

Tibet-China talks to resume in early July

Chinese authorities will resume talks with representatives of the Dalai Lama in early July following a request from the exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, state press said yesterday.

40 years on, NPT in urgent need of overhaul: Experts

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, which celebrates its 40th birthday this week, may have succeeded in keeping the number countries in possession of nuclear weapons down to a mere handful.

Ban urges Japan to take lead on tackling climate change

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday urged Japan to take a greater lead in the fight against climate change, as the nation prepares to host next month's Group of Eight summit.

EU plans to ease rules for cross-border patients

Europeans will be able to get medical treatment elsewhere in the EU without prior authorisation, and get refunded, under draft rules which the European Commission will put forward this week.

Major G8 tech investment to fight global warming

The Group-of-Eight industrialised nations will jointly invest more than 10 billion dollars a year on research and development of technology to combat global warming, a report said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

“Phire Chol Matir Taney”

The Department of Production, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) arranged a research-based folk dance programme titled Phire Chol Matir Taney at the National Theatre Stage, BSA on June 28. Different troupes performed indigenous dances of rural Bengal including Bratachari Bandana, Kathi Nach, Lathi Nach and Raibenshey Nritya at the programme.

Shubochan celebrates 25th show of “Khudhito Pashan”

To celebrate the 25th show of Khudhito Pashan, an adaptation of Tagore's short story with the same title, Shubochan Natya Sangsad organised a seminar and prize giving ceremony at Mahila Samity Stage on June 28.

Road Show welcomed with much verve in Mymensingh

Marking the arrival of the road show, titled "Esho Bangladesh Gori" in Mymensingh, a cultural programme was held at the local Circuit House premises on June 28. The daylong programme included discussion, debate, essay competition and screening of videos. A daylong fair was also inaugurated that day. The road show reached Mymensingh on June 27.

Runa Laila to judge talent hunt on Zee Bangla

Eminent singer Runa Laila has been signed to be a judge on a new talent hunt Bishwa Shera, which will be aired on Zee Bangla soon. Recently the diva went to Kolkata on this regard. Talking to The Daily Star, Runa explained the concept of the show and shared her views on the numerous talent hunt shows that are on air now.

Poet Bonde Ali's 29th death anniversary celebrated in Pabna

Poet Bonde Ali's 29th death anniversary (June 28) was observed in Pabna. On the occasion, a daylong programme was organised in 'Debuttor Kobi Bonde Ali High School' in Atghoria upazila, Pabna.

New serial "Baishakh Thekey Srabon" on ntv

A new serial Baishakh Thekey Srabon will begin tonight on ntv at 9:45 pm. The cast of the serial includes Sharmili Ahmed, Tarin, Masud Ali Khan, Keya Chaudhury, Apurbo, Nova, Nirob, Neerob (RJ of Radio Today), Hillol, Himu and Dipali.

“Shopnomongol” on ATN Bangla tonight

The 31st episode of mega serial Shopnomongol will be aired tonight on ATN Bangla at 8:00 pm. Written by Saiful Bari, the serial is directed by Kamal Khan.

OP-ED

Eating an elephant

HARDLY a week, may even be a day, passes by that someone does not deliberate on Dhaka traffic, more so, the scourge of it. Like Mark Twain said: "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." Regarding Dhaka traffic, we have about the same impasse, except that while a lot of people are talking about it many are also planning to do a lot of things.

Need for respect

LOOSE cannon Han Han has got into trouble again. He is being lambasted for criticising the literary giants of the last century.

Blaming the bureaucracy

A level playing field for a free and fair election through the restoration of confidence in the Election Commission and Returning Officers is a must for creating equal opportunity in a system of multi-party democracy. The people are, by and large, encouraged to go to the polling stations to exercise their voting right where such an environment exists.

The ten plagues of the age of irony are upon us

I was walking through a wet market with my children when we noticed something odd. One whole row of stalls had no customers except us. Even the stallholders seemed to have disappeared. It was the poultry section.

Star City

Last vestiges of Jagannath Mandir set for oblivion

Last vestiges of the hundred-year-old Jagannath Mandir, one of the oldest temples at Tantibazar, is now at the final stage of its demolition process with the authorities showing utter indifference to its protection.

Challenging task of birth registration

Munna is bubbling with joy as he has got his birth certificate, although he is not quite sure what the certificate is actually meant for.

Quest for more professional and service-minded cops

Dhaka Metropolitan Police in a praiseworthy bid to make the police stations more professional and service-based has formed an operational and administrative monitoring cell.


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