The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, August 31, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 9th of July, 2008

Front Page

Code of conduct violators to face criminal cases

The Election Commission (EC) this week will instruct the law enforcement agencies and returning officers (RO) to file criminal cases against violators of the code of conduct for August 4 polls.

CA proposes funds for food, energy at D8 meet

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed mooted a five-point recommendation for effective cooperation among the D8 member-states in energy, food, trade, climate change and migration at the sixth summit of the forum here yesterday.

Rice stocking emerges as stiff challenge

With less than a half of the food procurement target attained in about three months, the interim government will face an immense challenge to reach its goal by the end of next month, food ministry officials said.

700 tolas of gold looted in city

Robbers yesterday looted about 700 tolas of gold worth over Tk 1.5 crore and Tk 4.07 lakh in cash from a jewellery shop in the capital's Mirpur.

Voter registration field task ends today

The field level task of voter listing with photographs ends today.

Voters denied right to know candidates

Speakers at a views exchange meeting in Rajshahi city yesterday said the Election Commission (EC) is depriving people of their right to information by not providing detailed information on mayoral and councillor candidates in local government elections.

Redwan, wife charged with amassing Tk 3cr illegal wealth

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against detained former BNP state minister Redwan Ahmed and his wife Momtaj Ahmed in a case filed in connection with illegally amassing wealth worth Tk 2.95 crore and concealing wealth information to the commission.

D8 chalks out 10-yr economic roadmap

The foreign ministers of the eight developing Islamic countries (D8) have approved a 10-year roadmap for economic cooperation among the member countries.

Gen Mustafiz exempted from court appearance

A special court yesterday exempted former army chief Gen (retd) Mustafizur Rahman from appearing in person before the court during trial proceedings of the MiG-29 purchase scam case.

Date-expired blood again on sale at blood banks

A raid by a mobile court of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in city's Mohakhali area yesterday found two private blood banks not complying with regulations and selling date expired blood, which are also untested.

3 muggers beaten to death in Ctg

A mob beat three muggers to death at North Kattoli in the port city yesterday.

Doc husband used to torture Nazma regularly

Family members of Fahmida Akhter Nazma, whose tortured body was discovered from her house on Sunday night, yesterday described how her cruel husband repeatedly tortured Nazma and -- as they suspect -- also killed her.

Govt appeals for vacating HC stay on Hasina's 2 graft cases

The government yesterday filed two separate petitions with the Supreme Court (SC) to vacate the High Court (HC) orders that stayed the proceedings of the Niko and barge-mounted power plant cases filed against former premier Sheikh Hasina.

Rice buoyant for farmers' stocking: Zillur

Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said price of rice did not come down even after the Boro harvest this year as farmers are stocking the staple.

World of poetry shattered in acid agony

Rupganj upazila, Narayanganj. A Wednesday evening. While walking on balcony Suma Akhter was reciting a poem not noticing anything around. Suddenly she saw three men approaching and before she realised anything, a flash of something put her in deep agony.

HC asks ACC to submit relevant papers

The High Court (HC) yesterday asked the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to submit the relevant documents on the ACC's permission for filing the Niko corruption case against former premier Khaleda Zia to the court today.

4-month HC stay on several graft, extortion cases

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for four months the proceedings of corruption and extortion cases against former health minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, former state minister Aman Ullah Aman, Khulna City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Tayebur Rahamn, and former BRTC chairman Taimur Alam Khandker.

5 die as boat capsizes in Surma

Five people died and five others went missing after a boat capsized in the river Surma yesterday.

Illegal VoIP equipment seized in city

Rab in two separate drives yesterday seized sophisticated equipment for running voice over internet protocol (VoIP) business illegally in the capital's Dhanmondi.

G8 agrees to halve emission by 2050

Eight of the world's most powerful leaders called yesterday for efforts to cool sizzling oil prices, warning soaring fuel and food costs were a threat to world economic growth.

Left parties quit Indian coalition

A bloc of Indian left-wing and communist parties announced yesterday they were pulling out of the country's coalition government in protest against a nuclear energy deal with the United States.

Afghan govt blames ISI for Indian embassy attack

The Afghan government said yesterday it had evidence that Pakistan's intelligence agency was behind an attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul that left 41 people dead.

Pet owners prefer McCain over Obama

If the presidential election goes to the dogs, John McCain is looking like best in show.

Editorial

Men of dubious reputation back in politics?

THE Election Commission is deeply worried about the way things are going in the run-up to the corporation and municipal polls. That is only natural, given that a number of those who have submitted nomination papers are individuals with a questionable past. And that is what the EC, reconstituted following the imposition of a state of emergency last year, was supposed to avoid. Its job, one it went into with gusto, was to clear the Augean stables of the accumulated mess of years and so make it possible for democracy to take new roots. That was the ideal before it. It still is. The difficulty is that despite all the scrutiny it has so far engaged in regarding candidates for the upcoming polls, it does not seem to have been able to prevent a good number of old faces, with unsavoury reputations to boot, from entering the electoral fray.

Another highway tragedy

ONCE again there has been another horrific accident on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, the country's main inter-city thoroughfare. This time it was two buses colliding head on, leaving, at last count, 22 dead, with many more fatally injured so that the grim toll is certain to rise higher.

Who said anything about Shaista Khan?

FINANCE Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam appears to be quite irritated about our worries. We, the people, have been getting into ever deeper tunnels of gloom where managing a decent living for our spouses, children and siblings is concerned. And we have found ourselves in that precarious position because of all the food that we cannot afford to buy any more, because of everything that is fast becoming memory owing to all those happy traders sinking their avaricious hands into our pockets and taking away all we have.

Will G-8 address the core issues?

AMONG all the problems besetting us at present, the most pressing are:

Presidential candidates snub Muslim Americans

RECENTLY, two Muslim American women wearing the traditional Muslim headscarves, hijab, were barred by campaign volunteers from sitting directly behind the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Senator Barack Obama, at a rally in Detroit. They did not want Muslim women wearing headscarves popping up in photographs behind Obama.

Sports

Ashraf skins the Tigers

Gazi Ashraf Hossain on Tuesday painfully observed that the country is really unfortunate to live with so many incapable players competing in international cricket.

Reds against all odds

'Muktijoddha Sangsad began their training session for the coming football season'.

China confident of success

China voiced confidence on Tuesday that the Olympics would be a success, although it warned exactly one month ahead of the Games that hostile forces were still intent on derailing the historic event.

Time to settle scores

South African veterans Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher said Monday they are raring to go for the Test series against England starting Thursday, given their 2-1 loss to their hosts ten years ago and a draw on their last tour in 2003.

Cricketers to learn English in AIUB

In order to bring fluency to their English language, American International University of Bangladesh (AIUB) are all set to help the national cricket players.

Shakil new game development chief

Former cricketer Shakil Kasem was yesterday made the chairman of game development committee of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

Open squash

Towhid, Muhit, Jagdish and Omar became group champions to reach the A Division semifinals of Delta Life Open Squash tournament at the Dhaka Club Squash court yesterday.

'Lamps wants to stay'

Luiz Felipe Scolari revealed Tuesday that Frank Lampard has told him he wants to stay at Chelsea but the London club's new boss was unable to offer fans similar reassurance about the future of Didier Drogba.

Ronnie in Olympic team

Out of form Ronaldinho has been included in Brazil's squad for the Olympic Games as an overage player.

Media speculate on C'Ron at Real

Spain's sports media on Tuesday continued to speculate about the arrival of Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid, one day after the Portuguese winger was operated on his ankle.

'Crank up the pace'

South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel has promised to 'crank up' his pace during the upcoming Test series with England.

There's no magic: Guus

Guus Hiddink, christened the "wizard" by grateful Russian media, said Tuesday there was no magic to his giant-killing exploits as a coach in big international tournaments.

ECB replaces Zim with SL

Sri Lanka will play two Tests and three one-day internationals in England next April and May, stepping into the fixture gap created by England's decision to break off cricket relations with Zimbabwe.

N Korea target WC

It may not please the purists, but North Korea's football team is firmly on course for the 2010 World Cup after reaching the last round of qualifying without losing or even conceding a goal.

Clarke elated with drubbing

Michael Clarke is thrilled that Australia were able to complete a rare One-day International series sweep over West Indies in the Caribbean.

UEFA Cup to be renamed

European soccer's governing body UEFA is considering changing the name of its second tier UEFA Cup competition to the UEFA Europa League.

3-dayer heads for draw

The three-day match between Bangladesh A and England Under-19 was headed for a draw on the third and final day at the Hazelgrave Ground in Loughborough yesterday.

Exhausted Nadal takes a break

Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal has pulled out of this week's Stuttgart Cup due to a knee injury.

Mohona makes good start

The Standard Chartered 10th School Chess tournament began with 240 participants at the hall room of Bangladesh Chess Federation yesterday.

Scolari did not push C'Ron to quit MU

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari insists he has never made an attempt to persuade Cristiano Ronaldo to quit Manchester United for Real Madrid.

Referral system to suit India

India have been a victim of wrong umpiring verdicts and the referral system to be trialled during their forthcoming Test series against Sri Lanka will benefit them, feels top legal expert Senaka Weeraratna.

Barca refuse to increase Arshavin bid

Spanish club Barcelona refused to increase their initial 15-million-euro bid for Russian international forward Andrei Arshavin, Saint Petersburg side Zenit official site announced Monday.

ICC to pump in more cash

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will pump in around $300 million (152 million pounds) to develop the game worldwide, the governing body announced on Tuesday.

Milan keen on Drogba, Adebayor

AC Milan technical director Brazilian Leonardo admitted Monday the Italian club were running the rule over Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor.

Laporta set to resign

The under-fire president of Spanish football club Barcelona, Juan Laporta, will resign from his post on Thursday, the Catalan daily Sport reported on their website Tuesday.

Vaart not moving to Spurs

Holland midfielder Rafael van der Vaart on Monday said he was not in line for a move to English Premiership side Tottenham Hotspur.

Guiza going to Fenerbahce

Mallorca striker Daniel Guiza, top scorer in Spain last season, is on the verge of joining his former Spain coach Luis Aragones at Turkish giants Fenerbahce, Spanish media reported Tuesday.

CA decides on Pak tour in fortnight

Australian cricket officials said on Tuesday they could decide within a fortnight whether or not to pull out of the Champions Trophy in Pakistan because of security concerns.

Business

Mortgaged assets of listed company auctioned off

Bangladesh Shilpa Rin Sangstha (BSRS), the state-run industrial lender, has sold all mortgaged properties of a listed company, Pharmaco International, to realise its default loans, putting public shareholders into deep trouble to get back their investment.

Long-term steel policy on cards

The government is going to formulate a long-term policy for the steel and mild-steel (MS) rod products with a view to keeping the market stable, according to the commerce ministry.

Mirza Aziz seeks Bimstec cooperation for food security

Finance Adviser Dr Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday called for effective regional cooperation among Bimstec (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) member countries to ensure food security and prevent negating the gains already achieved in poverty alleviation.

Developing nations adopt trade blueprint

Leaders from the D8 group of developing nations on Tuesday adopted an ambitious 10-year blueprint designed to substantially increase trade between their countries.

Bangladeshis pay highest in S Asia for ME jobs

The Bangladeshis need to pay the highest amount of money compared to how much the other South Asians pay for going to Middle East (ME) countries with temporary jobs under low-skill categories, researchers said at a workshop in Dhaka yesterday.

Steps taken to make workers skilled, CA tells Badawi

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has appreciated the good working experience of Bangladeshi workforce but emphasised that they should be more respectful to the rules and regulations of the land.

Govt plans to hand over largest depot to food department

In a bid to ease food grain storage crisis and ensure food security, the government has decided in principle to handover the country's largest state-owned depot in Chittagong to food department.

Regulator blamed for delay in IP telephony licence

The country's internet service providers yesterday held the telecom regulator responsible for delaying the licence issuance process of Internet Protocol (IP) telephony, a technology that uses the internet protocol's packet-switched connections to exchange information.

Most of flood-hit handlooms in Sirajgang yet to resume production

Thousands of handlooms that faced a severe damage during the last year's flood are yet to resume production due to financial constraints, according to owners and official sources.

Oil workers strike gold as crude price soars

These are booming times for the oil industry and the sector's workers are reaping the benefits as a lack of qualified labour has led to soaring wages, experts say.

Chinese workers bearing the brunt

Last year, more than 20 workers at a factory in Wuxi, Jiangsu province that produces nickel-cadmium batteries for electronic products giant Panasonic were found to be suffering from high levels of cadmium, a toxic and cancer-causing chemical.

Asian stocks down

Asian stocks tumbled Tuesday as concerns about the global credit squeeze and surging inflation flared again, with the G8 industrial powers warning soaring food and fuel prices threaten world growth.

Biz Letters

Ship building: A new way of earning forex
Bangladesh has branded itself as a readymade garments (RMG) exporting country. In the face of numerous challenges in the RMG sector, a new horizon of re-branding Bangladesh has been explored, and that is the 'ship building industry'.

Spain to cut oil imports by 10pc

Spain plans to introduce energy saving measures that will allow it to reduce its annual oil imports by 10 percent and save five billion euros (7.8 billion dollars) per year, Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian said Tuesday.

Nepal oil corpn warns of fuel supply shortage

The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has waned that the long running fuel supply shortage can become worse as there is no concrete plan to address NOC's deepening financial crisis due to soaring global oil prices.

Power cuts turning investors off Indonesia

Foreign investors are shying away from Indonesia due to chronic power outages, the chairman of the country's business association said Tuesday as Jakarta prepared for two weeks of blackouts.

European construction sector headed for sharp slowdown

The European construction sector is headed for a sharp slowdown likely to last until 2010, a leading German think-tank said Tuesday.

Australian business conditions at seven-year low

Australian business conditions and confidence slumped in June to their lowest levels since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, a survey found Tuesday.

Philips to transfer its PC monitors business

Dutch electronics giant Philips said Tuesday it planned to transfer its PC monitors business, IT Displays, to the world's largest producer of the commodity, TPV Technology Limited.

Berlin to turn to foreign labour to plug gaps

Germany plans soon to adopt measures aimed at relieving a shortage of qualified workers in certain sectors by attracting foreign labour, an official spokesman said Monday.

Metropolitan

Mindset change a must for woman-friendly bus journey: Study

Mindset change is imperative for making journey in the buses more woman-friendly, a study report of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) revealed yesterday.

Community pry teachers threaten hunger strike

Teachers of Community Primary Schools will go for indefinite hunger strike from August 1 if their demand for 20 percent dearness allowance is not met by July 31.

Social enterprises reduce donor dependence

Brac released its Annual Report 2007 at a press meet at its head office in the city yesterday, says a press release.

6 robbers to die

A Chuadanga court yesterday sentenced six robbers to death and another robber to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment for killing a transport worker during a highway robbery about two years ago.

Preserve history of liberation war

Freedom fighters yesterday called on the government to preserve the history of the liberation war and try the war criminals in a special tribunal.

Cabinet meeting in Sylhet July 21

A cabinet meeting will be held at the divisional headquarters of Sylhet on July 21.

Moriarty visits solar project, hospital in Cox's Bazar

US Ambassador in Dhaka James F Moriarty yesterday visited a solar project, run by Grameen Shakti and Malumghat Christian Memorial Hospital in the district.

BSEHR demands punishment to killers

Bangladesh Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights (BSEHR) yesterday expressed grave concern at the murder of a housewife at Mirpur and demanded that the killers be brought to book.

HC asks govt not to harass former BNP lawmaker Joynal

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government not to rearrest or harass, without due process of law, former BNP lawmaker Joynal Abedin Faruk, who is now on bail.

Meet 4-party's demand to end stalemate: BJP

Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP) at its presidium meeting on Monday called on the government to meet the five-point demand of the four-party alliance in order to rid the country of the present political stalemate.

Students attack Bogra school teacher's house

Students of Bogra Zila School yesterday attacked the residence of a teacher and broke some benches in the school after a section of teachers submitted a memorandum to the director general of Directorate of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education demanding the removal of its headmaster.

AL asks govt not to hold upazila polls before nat’l election

Awami League (AL) yesterday asked the government not to hold upazila polls before the parliamentary election.

BAAIGM team calls on health adviser

A delegation of the Bangladesh Association for the Aged and Institute of Geriatric Medicine (BAAIGM) yesterday met with Health and Family Welfare Adviser Dr AMM Shawkat Ali.

One killed, 60 injured in Dinajpur road accident

A man was killed and 60 others were injured in a road accident on Dinajpur-Rangpur Highway at Alokdihi village under Chirirbandar upazila in Dinajpur yesterday morning.

BNP activist sent to jail in cheque forgery case in Kishoreganj

A BNP activist has been sent to the jail yesterday when produced before the court in connection with a bank cheque forgery case.

Akhtaruzzaman released from hospital

Awami League (AL) Organising Secretary Akhtaruzzaman was released from the hospital yesterday.

Website for people living with HIV/AIDS launched

Ashar Alo Society (AAS) yesterday launched its HIV Help Line Project and a website to provide treatment and other support for the people living with HIV/AIDS maintaining confidentiality.

Tk 3cr Indian clothes seized in Ctg

Members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday seized a huge quantity of Indian clothes worth around Tk 3 crore from a market in Chittagong.

Govt subsidy at DU canteens demanded

Chhatra Odhikar, a platform of Dhaka University (DU) students, yesterday staged a demonstration on the campus to realise their three-point demand, including the government subsidy on food items at the hall canteens.

Bangladesh's role in health sector lauded

Sarah Sullivan, an expert of World Health Organisation, yesterday lauded the role of Bangladesh in the health sector for achieving targets in major areas with sustained efforts continued by the health related workforce.

Mahbub Anam's seventh death anniversary today

Today is the seventh death anniversary of eminent journalist and author Mahbub Anam, former editor of the now-defunct Bangladesh Times, says a press release.

HC stays NBR notice to Moudud

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for three weeks the operation of a notice issued by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) asking detained former law minister Barrister Moudud Ahmed to reopen an income tax file.

Fake cosmetics factory unearthed, 2 held

Detective Branch (DB) of police yesterday unearthed a factory of fake cosmetics in the city's Paltan area and seized huge adulterated face washing cream worth Tk 33 lakh.

BOU Zia Parishad executives

Dean of Open School Prof Mohammad Alinur Rahman and Dean of School of Law Shahid Ahmed Chowdhury were announced as convenor and member secretary of Bangladesh Open University (BOU) unit Zia Parishad, says a press release.

Scrap trader shot in city

A scrap trader was shot by a gang of armed criminals in the city's Gandaria under Shyampur police station last night.

600 Yaba tablets, 978 bottles of phensidyl seized in city

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police in separate drives yesterday recovered 978 bottles of phensidyl and 600 Yaba tablets in the city and arrested eight people with three microbuses.

Ex-energy secy Toufiq granted ad interim bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad interim bail to former energy secretary Dr Toufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury in a general diary filed against him on charges of violating Emergency Power Rules (EPR).

Urs

The annual Urs of Hazrat Shah Syed Azizul Bari (RH) Shah Saheb of Paribag will be held on Friday on the Mazar premises at Shahbagh in the city, says a press release.

National

Too many aspirants worries AL supporters

Awami League (AL) is yet to decide about giving green signal to a single candidate in mayoral polls in Sylhet City Corporation (SCC).

Strengthen ACC to contain graft

Speakers at a workshop in the city on Monday night stressed the need for immediate formulation of a National Integrity Strategy (NIS) for establishing good governance and practice of morality at all spheres of life.

Road show a 'ridiculous game' with people

Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mujahid yesterday said the government is playing a 'ridiculous game' with the people by holding the Esho Bangladesh Gori road show while they are hard pressed under 'unexpected price hike of necessities'.

Holding local body polls earlier not unconstitutional

Former president Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said holding of local body polls before national election is not unconstitutional.

Ishwardi mayor sued for extortion

An extortion case has been filed against detained mayor of Ishwardi municipality and three others in Pabna Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court.

Charge framed against newsman for extortion

A court in Rajshahi framed charge against journalist Jahangir Alam Akash in an extortion case yesterday.

Licence of 31 rice mills cancelled in C'nawabganj

The Food Department cancelled licence of 31 rice mills in the district for their failure to supply rice and paddy to government godowns during the ongoing food procurement drive.

Kaptai plant generates 120MW power

All four units of Kaptai Hydroelectric Power Plant (KHPP), lone hydroelectric power project of the country, are now in full operation while another one is still under repair.

Father alleges murder attempt by drug addict son

A businessman in the town has alleged that his drug addict son is trying to kill him.

Letters

Expansion of the city

It's about time that Dhaka should go for vertical, instead of horizontal expansion. It is learnt from government and NGO statistics that the city has a population of 1.80 core, which is something one gets to see in developed cities like London, New York or Sydney. I have no actual figure of how much the Dhaka city is in square kilometres, but I can say it's about time that the people and the government think about expanding the city vertically.

Lost glory

Dhaka University's main contributions are its role in the Language Movement and the Liberation War. Independent Bangladesh has turned 38. Now time has come to assess what DU had achieved under a sovereign state. Its research portfolio and indigenous and global applications of the research have to be quantified to evaluate the university's performance in an independent country. In this matter everyone will not give good marks to the university.

Massive river erosion

The water levels of different rivers are increasing due to heavy rain and the rush of water from upstream. Rising water has inundated many low-lying areas and is causing massive erosion all over the country. River erosion has taken a turn for the worse. Vast areas of paddy, jute and vegetable fields in the shoals have gone under water. The erosion is threatening many structures and establishments including schools, colleges, madrasas and bazaars.

Vulnerable women

I felt so sorry to learn that five women were slaughtered at Mehendiganj in Barisal. Such heinous crimes are still committed in our society. It is an example of how vulnerable women are in this male-dominated society. Repression on women is increasing day by day. In June 2008, 333 crimes were committed against women, among them 73 were rape cases and 9 acid throwing.

Price hike

After a long time the common people of Bangladesh were optimistic that they would recover from the days of Khaleda and Hasina. In the initial days of the CTG, they did a lot of revolutionary work like the drive against corruption. But the price hike has actually neutralised all that has been done in public interest.

Withdrawal of all cases against Hasina?

It is reported in the front-page news of 2nd July DS that the Awami League (AL) will include among others, demand for withdrawal of all, what they called false, cases filed against their party chief Sheikh Hasina. Previously, the party was demanding her release and sending abroad for her specialized treatment of serious ear and eye ailments.

Manners and mobile phone

Further to my letter a few months back about manners and mobile phones, there was another incident to which I was witness that shows how ill mannered people can be when it comes to their precious mobile phones. In a seminar, a professor from abroad was giving a talk to Bangladeshis about the problems of Bangladesh. At the end a gentleman from the audience asked him a question through a microphone when the musical tone of his mobile phone started ringing. He continued asking the question with the music in the background now amplified by the microphone, so we had music with the narrative! When he finished the question and the professor started addressing him with his answer, the phone rang again. Without any hesitation the man answered the call while the professor went on speaking.

Admission in college

Currently, admission into the college is made on the basis of grades obtained in the SSC examinations. On the other hand, in case of the same grade, relatively higher age is considered as criterion for admission instead of merit. This year the number of successful students with golden GPA-5 is very high compared to the previous years. The figure is about 10,000. Whereas, the number of seats in the renowned colleges of the capital is relatively much less. Moreover 10% seats in the capital colleges will remain reserved for the rural students. Thus it appears that many meritorious students having “Golden GPA-5' may not get chance of studying in their preferred renowned colleges, simply due to their relatively lower age.

Power crisis in Chittagong

A very interesting and informative front-page news on the subject was published on July 3 in a local English daily.

New campus?

It is learned that Dhaka University is planning to set up a new campus in the vicinity of the city to accommodate more students. While the government has to provide huge subsidy to Dhaka University at the cost of the poor tax payers, setting up of a new campus is felt to be most ill conceived. Students studying in Dhaka University are mostly the children of the richer section of society. That means poor people are subsidizing the education of the children of rich people! It is not also possible to raise tuition fees of Dhaka University or, for that matter, of other public universities to a reasonable level as it may lead to an uproar among the vested interest groups. People do not mind paying high tuition fees to private universities.

Back to square one?

AL chief Sheikh Hasina has been freed from executive-jail on executive orders and she is now in the USA for treatment. The common people really do not know why she was detained and under what arrangement she has been released. The whole process is shrouded in mystery. On the other hand, the detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is also probably going to be released very soon, apparently under a similar arrangement, along with her two sons who were arrested on specific corruption charges. The government is claiming that everything is being done as per the law and for greater interest of the country and the people.

Barbed wire on road divider

It is with great concern that I note that someone has ordered putting up barbed wires to fence in the road divider along Gulshan Avenue.

Water logging

A letter of mine on water logging was published in The Daily Star almost one month ago. In that letter I requested the authorities concerned to take effective measures so that we do not have to suffer in the rainy season. But the authorities seem to wake up very late!

What is going on?

Who will say that Bangladesh is a civilised country? People are going to be paupers or may die due to the unprecedented price hike, whilst our advisers don't see anything. Their activities seem to beef up friendship with those who are hoarding different commodities illegally. General people know everything as to how the businessman are hoarding commodities. But what measures has the present caretaker government taken to stop such activities?

High duty on children's books

Children love to paint. It is an exercise that helps their mental growth. You just have a look at a kid's painting .What strikes you is colour-- green, yellow or red run riot through the whole piece. The point is that a child is liberal as far as putting colour on paper is concerned. A child, in other words, paints a dream-like image. There is something special about children's painting : it manifests imagination in the raw.

Ground reality

Students who came out successful in the SSC examination this year with flying colours are in fear of being denied admission to the colleges of their choice.

Recognising Kosovo

It now appears from a UNB-Dhaka report carried by a daily on 02nd day of July 2008, Bangladesh has not yet been able to decide on matters pertaining to recognition of Kosovo. Despite persistent diplomatic efforts by US Ambassador James Moriarty and others, it also appears the move towards recognising Kosovo by Bangladesh is restricted by factors associated with “perceived national interest” - according to the foreign affairs adviser.

Spelling

Why do we not change the English spelling of our towns the way they are pronounced in the vernacular? For instance why do we still write 'Comilla' for 'Cumilla' ? Mr. S Rasul ( 30.06) and Mr MM Rahman(2.07) also gave many instances of how we changed Dacca into Dhaka and the Indians changed Calcutta to Kolkata and Bombay to Mumbai and Madras to Chennai etc.

International

BJP to move no-confidence motion against govt

The BJP was contemplating to move a no-confidence motion against the UPA government through one of the smaller parties of the BJP-led NDA, party sources said.

More hurdles seen for US-India nuclear deal

India has given the kiss of life to a civilian nuclear deal with the United States but the American Congress may not have enough time to give it the mandatory approval under President George W. Bush's tenure, experts say.

Kashmir heads for governor's rule

A day after the Ghulam Nabi Azad government bowed out of office, the focus has now shifted to Raj Bhawan as Jammu and Kashmir is likely to be brought under Governor's rule for the fourth time.

Pakistan to fight terrorism with 'iron fist': PM

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said yesterday his country had suffered more than any other from terrorism and that it would fight the scourge with an "iron fist".

19 Tigers, 2 soldiers killed in clashes

At least 19 LTTE cadres and two soldiers were killed in fierce clashes in Sri Lanka's restive northern region, where troops also captured a key rebel position, officials here said yesterday.

Iran would strike Israel if US navy attacks

Iran would "set on fire" Israel and the US navy in the Gulf as its first response to any American attack over its nuclear programme, an aide to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned yesterday.

Taliban, tribal elders agree to expel Uzbeks

Local Taliban and tribal elders decided at a meeting on Monday to expel Uzbek militants and their local collaborators from the areas of Ahmadzai Wazir tribe in South Waziristan.

Pakistan govt in disarray

What a difference 100 days make.

Assad wants French role in Syria-Israel talks

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, expected in Paris this weekend, has welcomed a "break" in France's policy toward Damascus and invited Paris to play a role in possible direct negotiations with Israel.

Afghan parliament slams US airstrikes

The Afghan parliament condemned Monday civilian casualties in US-led air strikes after Afghan officials said more than 40 people were killed in two recent raids, including one that struck a wedding.

Turmoil puts Afghanistan at centre of White House campaign

Fresh carnage in Kabul and a rising death toll among US troops are thrusting once-forgotten Afghanistan into the thick of the intensifying White House showdown between John McCain and Barack Obama.

North Korea nuclear talks to resume

Negotiations on North Korea's nuclear programme will resume this week for the first time in nine months, China said yesterday.

Thaksin on the dock for graft

Thailand put billionaire former premier Thaksin Shinawatra on trial for corruption yesterday, almost two years after he was toppled from power in a military coup.

US Senator Webb rules out Obama VP nod

Virginia Senator Jim Webb, a gruff marine veteran and military expert with blue collar appeal, on Monday definitively ruled out serving as Barack Obama's Democratic vice presidential running mate.

Sodomy victim dares Anwar to swear innocence

Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan who alleged he was sodomised by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim recently is daring the latter to swear on the Quran to prove his innocence.

Paralysed Palestinian girl gets stay from Israeli court

Israel's Supreme Court delayed on Tuesday a decision to transfer to the West Bank a Palestinian girl paralysed in an Israeli air raid who must spend the rest of her life on a respirator.

G8 leaders seek sustainable use of biofuels

The Group of Eight powers yesterday agreed to explore ways to reduce the impact of biofuels on food prices amid concern they may be hurting the poor and adding to global warming.

Arts & Entertainment

A medley of promising paintings

The recent joint group exhibition “Charukola-87”, at Zainul Gallery, was a fine one indeed. This brought in the styles and imagination of ten young painters

Serene style

Day two (July 7) at the Aromatic Gold Dhaka Fashion Week was packed with razzmatazz as four brilliant designers displayed their collections. The theme of the day was 'Natural environment of the city.'

Actress Subarna Mustafa marries TV play director Soud

Renowned actress Subarna Mustafa, 48, and TV play director Badrul Anam Soud, 32, got married last Monday, according to sources. The denmohor was set at Tk 10 lakh.

Locals demand restoration of historic ‘Neel Kuthi’

In 1847, construction of a 'Neel Kuthi' at Hat Khalishpur Bazar at in Jhenidah, by the Kapotakkho River was completed. The English indigo planters used this structure as a stronghold and forced the farmers of East Bengal to produce "neel" (indigo). Those who did not comply were tortured. Certain rooms in the now dilapidated Kuthi witnessed the torture.

Talent hunt in Sylhet by Nupur Sangeetalay

Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Sylhet, Harun Ur Rashid Khan said that the greater Sylhet region has an affluent and unique cultural. Yet a good number of young talents remain undiscovered in the remote areas. They should to be encouraged and nurtured.

Road Show in Comilla

Marking the arrival of the road show titled "Esho Bangladesh Gori," a two-daylong fair along with other programmes were arranged at the Comilla Stadium in Sadar upazila last weekend. The road show caravan from Brahmanbaria reached Comilla last Thursday. Friday's programme in the morning included a colourful procession that began from the Kotbari BARD Academy and ended at the Alekercher 'Jodha Vasan'.

National Tabla Festival '08 to be held soon

Padakkhep Bangladesh is organising a daylong tabla festival titled "National Tabla Festival 2008", to be held on July 16, says a press release. The programme will be held at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Public Library.

Kidman, Urban name their newborn girl Sunday Rose

As with most new parents, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban might have difficulty telling what day it is.

Resurrection staged

Resurrection, a Centre for Asian Theatre production, written and directed by Kamaluddin Nilu, was staged at National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on July 7. The plays analyses the contemporary socio-political milieu of the world from 'Ibsen's eyes'. An imaginary world has been created through the conversation between Ibsen with his wife Susan as well as the characters of his plays to feature Henrik Ibsen's biography, philosophy and approach to art. Subsequently, the play features what the great Norwegian playwright Ibsen, who has dealt with issues such as freedom, gender inequality and others, might have written if he were alive today.

OP-ED

Measuring corruption

WHILE people perceive that there has been a reduction in corruption severity, the 2007 survey by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) claiming that there has been no decline in pervasive corruption has been disquieting to many. The watchdog is "disappointed" that it does not see any significant improvement in the corruption situation. TIB also claims that corruption severity under the caretaker government (CTG) remains unabated. I intend to address the disparity between the common perception and survey results.

Declare oil a public good?

THE inflationary pressure on the economies of the South Asian region is mounting with the spiraling oil prices and volatile oil markets. Governments are becoming unpopular for sustaining the regimes as the common people are affected by the ever-rising prices of essential consumption goods.

What are we doing about the threat?

FROM expert opinions and periodic survey reports of the National Aids/STD program of the government of Bangladesh, one can infer that it is quite serious and the facts deserve wider dissemination in society. It is often said that Bangladesh is sitting on a HIV time bomb that is ticking unheard in our midst.

How Bill Gates got into my home dressed as a dinosaur

MICROSOFT boss Bill Gates has just retired. The first thing he is going to do is sit on a huge pile of money, throw it up in the air and then roll around in it.

Star City

Baldah gasping for sunlight

Baldah Garden, which preserves the richest collection of exotic plants in the country, is gasping for sunlight as several high-rise buildings have surrounded three sides of the garden, casting shadow on the plants round the year.

They trade risking life and limbs

A passenger train announced its arrival at the Malibagh rail crossing with its shrill horn, triggering a bustle of activities on the railway tracks.

Making a costly living

While meandering through certain lanes in old Dhaka one will see dozens of shops selling shilpata, a stone slab with a stone grinder for smashing spices.


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