The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, September 17, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 16th of July, 2008

Front Page

Candidates pledge graft-free city admin

The mayoral candidates of Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) yesterday said they, if elected, would work to make the city corporation administration free of corruption and solve problems the city dwellers are facing.

Barring convicts still an unresolved issue

It still remains unresolved whether an aspirant electoral candidate is disqualified from contesting in polls on conviction by a trial court for a criminal offence involving moral turpitude or the person is allowed to contest in polls as long as an appeal against the verdict is pending in a court, which might go on until the appeal is adjudicated in the Appellate Division of Supreme Court.

Gatco, Niko graft cases against Khaleda stayed

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for two months the proceedings of Gatco corruption case filed by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) against detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia.

Adviser accused of code of conduct violation

Two mayoral candidates in Khulna have accused Jute and Textiles Adviser Md Anwarul Iqbal of violating electoral code of conduct by reopening a privatised jute mill at Khalishpur as it would directly benefit another mayoral candidate.

Why city, municipality polls without final voter list not illegal

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government and the Election Commission (EC) to explain within eight days as to why the EC's August 4 schedule for holding elections to four city corporations and nine municipalities without the final voter list should not be declared illegal.

Nizami freed on bail

Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami was released last evening from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) hospital prison cell on a two-month ad interim bail given by the High Court (HC).

House rebuilding still a long wait

Eight months into losing their homes to Cyclone Sidr, nearly 23,000 families may not see their houses rebuilt before this winter, as the countries that promised assistance in the reconstruction are yet to complete their formalities.

Fraud, high costs put workers in trouble: ILO

Excessive cost of finding overseas employments and fraud lead to situations where workers find themselves in debt and enter indentured and slave-like labour, said International Labour Organisation (ILO).

No decision on transit in Delhi talks

No decision on India's proposal for transit will be taken at the foreign secretary-level talks beginning in New Delhi tomorrow, said Foreign Secretary Touhid Hossain who flies to the Indian capital today.

UNDP commends ACC progress in anti-graft drives

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has lauded the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for making 'significant progress' in its fight against corruption but did not make any specific reference regarding the matter.

US envoy holds closed-door meeting with parties, lawyers

Leaders of major political parties, including Awami League (AL), BNP and Jatiya Party (JP), yesterday told the US ambassador to Dhaka that the state of emergency must be lifted before holding parliamentary polls, scheduled for December.

Nobel Committee chairman says climate change challenge not Bangladesh's alone

Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Ole Danbolt Mjøs yesterday said tackling the adverse effects of climate change in Bangladesh is not a job only for Bangladesh but also the rest of the world.

Ershad acquitted in ENG case

A Dhaka court yesterday acquitted former president HM Ershad on corruption in purchasing electronic news gathering equipment, saying investigations into the allegations against the Jatiya Party chairman were inadequate and flawed.

4-party for scrapping RPO ordinance

The BNP-led four-party alliance yesterday demanded withdrawal of the Representation of the People Order (RPO) Ordinance 2008 that the government Sunday approved in principle, saying nobody would accept a decree "designed to control" political parties.

Night shelter for homeless males opened in city

The government yesterday opened a male-only night shelter for homeless people who usually sleep through the night on streets, at Mirpur in the city.

4 grenades, ammo found in Khulna

Workers of Khulna City Corporation found four grenades and 50 bullets of 0.303 rifles while working near Tayeba Colony at Khalishpur around noon yesterday.

Ex-chief engr of RHD sued

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against former chief engineer of Roads and Highways Department AKM Faizur Rahman for amassing illegal wealth and hiding information about it.

Babar to be quizzed at jail gate

A Dhaka court yesterday rejected 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 the murder of Humayun Kabir Sabbir.

Rab constable arrested for extortion

A Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) constable and two of his associates were arrested yesterday for extorting Tk 1,100 from a roadside tea stall at Azampur in Uttara in the city.

Power lines of 215 rice mills snapped

Power connections of 215 rice mills in four northern districts including Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh and Joypurhat have been disconnected for non-compliance with government rules.

2,800 pieces of saris seized

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) seized 2,800 pieces of saris meant for government relief from a wholesale sari shop at Patuatuli in Old Dhaka yesterday.

Suicide blasts kill 37 in Iraq, minister escapes

A string of suicide attacks against Iraqi security forces killed at least 37 people yesterday, including 28 when two suicide bombers blew themselves up among a crowd of recruits at an army base.

Dozens of Tamil Tigers killed in fresh fighting

Dozens of Tamil Tiger rebels and four soldiers have been killed in the latest fighting in Sri Lanka's north in the past two days, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Talks with US possible in near future

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has struck a more moderate tone towards the United States ahead of a key meeting on Iran's nuclear drive, saying talks with its arch-enemy were possible in the future.

7 soldiers killed in blast in Chechnya

Seven soldiers were killed yesterday by an explosion of ammunition in the war-ravaged southern Russian province of Chechnya, Russian news agencies reported, citing the defence ministry.

Editorial

Jamaat and Bangladesh's history

WE thought we have heard it all. We were wrong. The Jamaat-e-Islami has now laid claim of a sort to the War of Liberation. For a party which actively collaborated with the Pakistan occupation army, and formed the al-Badr and al-Shams goon squads whose specific job was the abduction and killing of Bengalis, this is quite a claim. The nation would have been happy to see this new face of the Jamaat if meanwhile it had done something about its past. To suddenly appear before the country with a so-called Jatiyo Muktijoddha Parishad and tell people that Jamaat supported our Liberation War and it honours our freedom fighters seems at best a joke and at worst a travesty of history. The joke and the travesty both have been emphasised by the recent ugly incident of a genuine freedom fighter being subjected to physical assault at a meeting of the so-called parishad.

Saudi ambassador's welcome assurances

IT is reassuring to hear from Saudi ambassador Dr Abdullah Bin Naser Al-Busairi that his country has not imposed any restrictions on hiring of Bangladeshi workers by Saudi companies. After this, we believe, the air would be cleared of the confusion created in the sequel to Saudi labour minister's reported announcement of a ban on recruitment of Bangladeshi workers in agriculture and household sectors.

Badsha's retreat and secular unity

FAZLE Hossain Badsha has proved to be a thorough gentleman. He did not need to withdraw from the mayoral race in Rajshahi, for he had been nominated by the fourteen-party alliance. He could have stuck to his guns and gone into battle with Khairuzzaman Liton on election day, if it came to that. Maybe he would have won. Perhaps he would have lost. But that he would have been on perfectly tenable ground as a candidate, as a worthy nominee of the alliance that was behind him, would never have been in doubt.

D-8 summit in Kuala Lumpur: Some concrete promises

THE D-8 summit, consisting of eight most populous Muslim majority nations, took place on July 8 in Kuala Lumpur. The chief adviser of the caretaker government of Bangladesh, Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed, attended the summit. The participation of the chief adviser has demonstrated the importance Bangladesh gives to the D-8 summit, which is held every two years. It was the 6th Summit since 1997.

Republicans make Barack Obama the issue

AMERICAN economy is tanking. Gasoline prices have tripled in the last seven years. Food prices have skyrocketed. Homes are foreclosing everywhere. Iraq war remains immensely unpopular, as does the Republican President Bush. In fact, the Republican brand is so damaged that Republican senators and congressmen seeking reelection have been advised by strategists to distance themselves from their own party!

Sports

Akhtar back for Pakistan

The Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday included fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar in the provisional 30-man squad for the Champions Trophy, but dropped Mohammad Asif amid new drugs allegations.

BFF expects good harvest

Bangladesh Football Federation's ongoing under-18 coaching camp would be helpful in a bid to start competitions in the districts, said federation vice-president Badal Roy.

Mohona takes girls' title

Indian players dominated the girls' competition of the 10th Standard Chartered School Chess tournament by clinching the top five positions at the National Sports Council (NSC) conference room yesterday.

Iran, Britain at odds

Iran and its traditional foe Britain have found themselves at odds again over the cancellation of a football match between the Iranian national team and English outfit Charlton Athletic.

Resolution in 72 hours

Barcelona and Brazil forward Ronaldinho have given themselves 72 hours to decide upon the player's future following a meeting at the Nou Camp on Monday, the Primera Liga club said.

Hashim secures draw

Hashim Amla became the sixth batsman in the match to score a century as he saw South Africa to the safety of a draw against England in the first Test at Lord's here Monday.

Yao Ming returns this week

China's Yao Ming is likely to play his first competitive game since having surgery on his foot in March at this week's Stankovic Cup pre-Beijing Olympic basketball tournament, local media reported on Tuesday.

Juve snap up Poulsen

Danish international midfielder Christian Poulsen signed for Serie A giants Juventus on Tuesday for 9.75million euros from Spanish outfit Sevilla, the buying club announced.

'Freddie is no wizard'

England captain Michael Vaughan warned fans against expecting too much from Andrew Flintoff after the all-rounder was recalled in a 12-man squad for the second Test against South Africa at Headingley, starting Friday.

Amla satisfied

Hashim Amla was a quietly proud man after his unbeaten century helped see South Africa to the safety of a first Test draw against England here at Lord's and in the process erased some painful memories.

A swift fall

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif has gone from bright new hope to fallen star in the space of just two years and his latest troubles could spell the end of his career.

PCB bans Asif

The Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday suspended fast bowler Mohammad Asif from all competition until an inquiry is completed by India, where he tested positive for a banned substance.

New format for Premier League?

If the new chairman of Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) chief has his way, the country's most coveted domestic one-day competition would become a two-day affair.

Bangladesh A face Foxes

Bangladesh A team meet Leicestershire in the third three-day match today at the Grace Road, Leicester.

Booters blamed in BFF probe report

A three-member probe committee headed by Harunur Rashid blamed the national footballers for the failure of the national team in the fifth SAFF Championship.

BHF, BAAF polls next month

The elections of Bangladesh Amateur Athletics Federation (BAAF) and Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) will be held next month, announced National Sports Council (NSC) director M Haiul Qayyum yesterday.

Bangladesh face Singapore

Bangladesh face Singapore today in a place-deciding match of the 6th Men's Junior Asia Cup Hockey in Hyderabad.

Div II Cricket

Sangskritik Biplobi Sangha (SABIS) reached final in the Sunlife Insurance Second Division Cricket League with a 30-run victory over Sir Shahadat Ali Memorial Club (SSAMC) at the Shahid Miraj-Tapan Stadium yesterday.

Gunners enter race for Barry

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is considering a last ditch bid to snatch Gareth Barry from Aston Villa.

Hamburg pay-off Sorin

Former Argentinian international captain Juan Pablo Sorin had his contract paid off on Tuesday to the tune of a million euros by Bundesliga side Hamburg.

Barca expects FIFA backing over Messi

Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola expects world football governing body FIFA will back the club in the on-going wrangle over Argentina's Lionel Messi's participation in the Beijing Olympics.

Poyet rubbishes United link

Tottenham assistant manager Gus Poyet has rubbished reports he is ready to join Manchester United as Sir Alex Ferguson's number two.

Scots shelve Argentina friendly

Scotland have shelved their proposed friendly against Argentina after their Tartan Army fans claimed they wouldn't be able to afford the ticket prices.

Celtic tie up Samaras

Scottish champions Celtic signed Greece international striker Georgios Samaras from Manchester City on Tuesday.

Werder won't release Diego

Brazil suffered a blow to their hopes of a first ever Olympic football gold on Monday when Werder Bremen refused to release playmaker Diego for August's Games in Beijing.

Business

IMF suggests tight monetary policy

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday suggested a tight monetary policy for Bangladesh, saying the existing policy is 'too expansionary' to deal with soaring inflation.

Foreign investment in EPZs grows 100pc in FY08

Foreign investment grew almost hundred percent to $302 million in the country's eight export processing zones (EPZs) in 2007-08 fiscal.

Bangladesh fails to utilise duty-free access to Taiwan

Bangladesh is missing out on the opportunity of duty-free access to Taiwanese market as the government fears allowing exporters to exploit the facility would contradict its one China policy.

Finance adviser denies rise in poverty

Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday turned down the claim of increase in number of poor people and said the country has achieved progress in reducing poverty.

Fresh move to deal with anti-dumping measures

The government last week reshuffled a committee to deal with anti-dumping measures in the wake of growing concerns expressed by local manufacturers over possible dumping from competing countries, sources said.

Saudi Fund may provide soft loan for fertiliser: Iftekhar

Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said there is a possibility that the Saudi Development Fund may be in a position to provide Bangladesh soft loan for the procurement of fertiliser from Saudi Arabia.

Ericsson's 3G trial in Bangladesh in a month

Ericsson Bangladesh Limited, a telecoms vendor, will introduce 3G technology for the first time in Bangladesh on a trial basis within a month.

'Know Bangladesh' programme kicks off

A programme styled 'Know Bangladesh' under the auspices of Biswa Shahitto Kendro (BSK), a centre for promoting readership, and mobile phone operator Grameenphone's youth brand djuice started yesterday.

It's not a wonderful life for worried IndyMac investors

Bewildered and anxious investors queued up to withdraw savings from a branch of failed California-based bank IndyMac here Monday, ignoring assurances that their money would be safe.

German auto makers on board the electric bandwagon

Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW -- all of Germany's biggest car makers now want to launch electric cars, getting on the environmentally friendly bandwagon after lagging behind their peers.

Rupali Bank share trade resumes Sunday

Share trading of the Rupali Bank, which has remained suspended since November last year, will resume on Sunday.

BoJ leaves rates unchanged, downgrades outlook

Japan's central bank on Tuesday left its super-low interest rates unchanged as it cut its growth forecast for Asia's largest economy for the second time in less than three months.

Malaysia's Petronas posts $18.1b profit

Malaysian state energy firm Petronas on Tuesday announced a record 18.1 billion dollars in net profit for 2007/2008 and said it was still keen on pursuing Iran's Pars liquefied natural gas project.

Thailand unveils $1.46b package to cut poverty

Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej on Tuesday announced a 49 billion baht (1.46 billion dollar) raft of benefits to counter poverty caused by soaring living costs.

Global stocks dive on scepticism over US mortgage rescues

World equity markets and the dollar fell heavily on Tuesday on scepticism that a dramatic weekend US government rescue of two mortgage giants would contain crisis in American finance, analysts said.

Japan's finance minister to visit oil-rich nations

Japan's finance minister said Tuesday he would visit the Middle East and Central Asia to strengthen ties with oil exporters and seek investment in Asia's largest economy.

Philippines overseas remittances up 15.6pc

Money sent home by Filipinos working abroad rose 15.6 percent in May from a year earlier to 1.4 billion dollars, the Philippine central bank said Tuesday.

Bush lifts offshore drilling ban

US President George W. Bush on Monday lifted a White House ban on offshore oil drilling and urged lawmakers to follow suit amid an election-year fight over painfully high gasoline prices.

More plane orders to land at Farnborough air show

European planemaker Airbus was expected to announce further orders for its aircraft on the second day of the Farnborough International Airshow here on Tuesday.

Biz Letters

The price hike of fertiliser and its impact on farmers
The price hike of all main essential commodities is a common phenomenon in the market. It is said that the rise in the prices of all commodities is due to the increasing oil prices in the international market. Only four months ago oil was sold at $ 100 per barrel, but at present it is sold at $ 135 per barrel. It is expected that by the end of the year, oil prices may be $ 200 a barrel. Oil prices always dominate our markets and they mainly affect transport, goods, daily essential food items, electricity, and growing crops.

Metropolitan

Scrap proposed vested property ordn

Human rights activists yesterday called on the caretaker government to scrap the proposed 'Vested property verification, selection and settlement ordinance, 2008', saying that it will encourage the land grabbers again to gobble up lands of the minority community.

Salary hike of RMG workers a must to boost economy

Garment Sramik O Shilpa Rakkha Jatiya Mancha (GSSRJM), a platform of different trade unions of garment workers, yesterday placed their six-point demand at a press conference yesterday.

Call for concerted efforts to build better nation

A daylong programme to mark the ongoing road show titled 'Esho Bangladesh Gori' (Let us build a new Bangladesh) was held on Uttara High School premises in the city yesterday.

Call for proper steps to ensure food security

Proper steps should be taken immediately to ensure food security as the impacts of global climate change would seriously threaten it, Agriculture Adviser CS Karim said yesterday.

Cooperate with law enforcers to make society drug-free

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Mohammad yesterday said police are ready to cooperate in holding a free, fair and credible election.

Preserve heritage of old Dhaka

Speakers at the launching ceremony of a little magazine yesterday said everybody should work unitedly to preserve the heritage, tradition, culture and environment of old Dhaka.

Focus on gender-sensitive edn in Saarc summit

Speakers at a discussion yesterday called on the government to focus on the issue of introducing a gender-sensitive education in the upcoming Saarc summit to empower women as well as making them skilled, confident and self-esteemed.

Pvt varsities oppose new ordn

Leaders of the Association of Private Universities of Bangladesh (APUB) yesterday protested the proposed Private University Ordinance-2008, saying some of the rules in the ordinance will change the basic structure of private universities.

'Refix licence fees for blood banks'

Bangladesh Blood Bank Kendriya Kalyan Samity called on the government to refix the licence fees for blood banks at a rate similar to that for the pathological laboratories.

Bar candidates with political link

The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday demanded cancellation of the candidature of those contesting the upcoming nonparty election to city corporations and municipalities under the banners of political parties.

Tk 2115crore projects approved

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved six projects involving a cost of Tk 2,115 crore.

HC stays trial of ex-AL MP Habib

The High Court yesterday stayed for one month the proceedings of a graft case against former Awami League lawmaker Habibur Rahman Mollah.

JCD demands release of Khaleda, her sons

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of BNP, yesterday observed an eight-hour hunger strike on Dhaka University (DU) campus demanding release of detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, her two sons Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko, and detained JCD President Azizul Bari Helal.

Licences of 2 recruiting, 14 travel agencies cancelled

The government cancelled licenses of 14 travel agencies and two recruiting agencies on charges of violating government rules, mismanagement and irregularities and for not renewing their licences timely.

Road crash kills one

One person was killed and four others were injured in separate road accidents in Thakurgaon yesterday.

AL leader Quader falls sick in court

Detained Awami League leader Obaidul Quader fell sick during his trial in a bribery case at a special court yesterday.

Hearing on writ petition resumes today

The hearing on a writ petition challenging the legality of the president's proclamation of the state of emergency in the country will resume in the High Court today.

'Bring change in party leadership'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday called for bringing change in the political party leadership and including young leadership from grassroots level.

BCL protests assault on FF, burn effigies of Razakars

Dhaka University (DU) unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of Awami League (AL), yesterday staged a demonstration on the campus protesting the assault on freedom fighter Sheikh Muhammad Ali Aman by Islami Chhatra Shibir cadres.

College teacher found dead in Comilla

A college teacher was found dead in Comilla town last night.

'Take action against encroachers to save Buriganga'

Dhakabashi, a socio-cultural voluntary organisation engaged in upholding tradition and cultural heritage of Dhaka city, held a rally at Hazaribagh Park in the city yesterday with a call to save the river Buriganga.

Trial of war criminals demanded

National Coordination Committee of Muktijuddher Chetona Bastobayon O Ekatturer Ghatok Dalal Nirmul and Central Committee of Amra Muktijoddhar Santan yesterday demanded trial of war criminals and fake freedom fighters under section 420.

Two found dead in city

Two persons were found dead in the city yesterday morning.

300 bottles of phensidyl seized

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-3) early yesterday arrested a driver of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and recovered 300 bottles of phensidyl and 5.3 kilograms of cannabis.

National

Punishment of culprits, trial of war criminals demanded

Protests mounted yesterday in several districts against assault of a freedom fighter by Jamaat-Shibir activists in the capital on Friday.

Tk 2cr drugs seized in Dinajpur, Joypurhat in 2 days

Law enforcers including BDR, police and RAB recovered huge quantities drugs including cocaine and hemp worth Tk 2 crore from different places of Dinajpur and Joypurhat districts in two days.

555 rice mills lose licence in six dists

Authorities have cancelled licences of 555 rice mills in six districts for their failure to supply rice and paddy to the government godowns at official rates during the ongoing rice and paddy procurement drive.

'Private sector to run jute mills'

Jute and Textiles Adviser M Anwarul Iqbal yesterday said the government is encouraging operation of jute industries by private entrepreneurs as BJMC-run jute mills failed to be profitable during the last 37 years of independence.

Ex-BNP MP in Satkhira sued for evading tax

A case was filed Monday evening with Satkhira Sadar police station against former BNP lawmaker Habibul Islam Habib and his sister-in-law Shahidul Islam for evading tax through forgery.

4 shelters in Khagrachhari for vulnerable people

As part of initiative to save most vulnerable 140 families from hill slides in Khagrachhari, the district administration has opened four shelter centres at different places of Sadar upazila.

120 polling centres in Sylhet city

The Election Commission has prepared a list of 120 polling centres for the ensuing Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) elections, according to Deputy Election Commissioner for Sylhet division Khondaker Mizanur Rahman.

Memo to Baderganj UNO to stop eviction

About 100 villagers including indigenous people of two unions in Baderganj upazila in a memorandum submitted to the upazila nirbahi officer urged the administration to stop planned eviction of about 1200 landless families from forest areas till their rehabilitation.

Letters

Power failure

Power failure is a burning issue. People are suffering as electricity is snapped frequently. Students suffer most when electricity goes off for hours together.

CU shuttle train

As a former student of Chittagong University, I always feel proud of being part of two of its unique characteristics. Besides the natural beauty, the university has a shuttle train--only a few universities like Kent, Indiana have the same feature. Disappointingly, rather than being a vehicle to higher education, the shuttle service has become a death trap.

"No vote"

Last week I went to my native village. My mother has not done any higher education like graduation or post graduation. But she is a conscious woman, I must say. This time we were talking about the voting system. She was talking about the 'no vote' system. She was very upset for not having 'no vote'. But now the government is going to introduce this process in the election. This process will help the people to express their views regarding the candidates.

US double standards

I am appalled to learn that the United States is contemplating an attack on Iran to stop the latter's nuclear programmes.

Pharmaceutical industry

The govt has declared pharmaceutical industry as the thrust sector. That's good news, no doubt. The country has a commendable track record and has achieved almost self sufficiency in pharmaceuticals production. Currently, at 700 million dollar, this industry has attracted huge public and media attention. Over the years, the sector has attracted overseas buyers, mostly in unregulated markets, and it has earned good reputation as a quality drug manufacturer. I am talking about top manufacturers. It is indeed encouraging when we hear about its tremendous export potential in the dailies, talk shows. With recent certifications of top 3-4 pharma facilities by major drug regulatory agencies like UKMHRA, TGA etc, the sector has reached new heights. I am not contradicting the popular notion but would like to draw your attention to some of the ground realities. The country certainly has huge potential in the pharmaceutical sector. But what have we done to realize that potential? Since the DOHA declaration, six years have elapsed. How far have we progressed in terms of infrastructure development or competitiveness? Nothing mentionable. After many years of tiring efforts by the pharma industry association, the govt. has just allocated land for the proposed central API (active pharma ingredient) facility. Isn't it quite a big lapse when the time factor is critical? Again, the industry is yet to have any bioequivalence testing facility which is mandatory for product registration in developed markets, and there is mounting pressure from even semi regulated markets for such compliance. Unless you prove that your medicine is equivalent to the originator brand in terms of safety and efficacy, by conducting bioequivalence testing in human subjects, you cannot make any foray into the regulated markets like US, EU, Australia etc. The cost of doing such test is exceedingly high in developed countries ranging from Tk 70-90 lakh per study; in India it costs around Tk 40 lakh. A central bioequivalence facility in the country can largely benefit the industry by saving foreign currency, at the same time this will significantly improve the quality of our medicines. I know the govt and the industry are currently working on this. Again the same question arises- why is the delay in taking action? Couldn't this be done much earlier? By the time the central API and bioequivalence facilities are ready, there is no clear timeline though, 2016 is knocking at the door -- the waiver period will expire without any real benefit to the industry. Having so many advantages, as many experts say, how is the industry equipped to realize them is a million dollar question. When we have generic drug producers like India and China, we will have to make double the efforts required to enter any export destination. Is India sleeping? India has over 100 US FDA-approved pharma plants, the highest number outside the US; and they are increasingly focused on R&D.

Fuel price hike….

The fuel price in our country has been hiked between 34 to 66 percent. The new price is petrol Tk 87/l, diesel 55/l and CNG 16.75/c.m. The authorities concerned have said that they had no alternative because the government could no longer afford to give the staggering amount of subsidy to the sector. Even with the price hike, the government will have to spend Tk 100 billion in subsidies on fuel over the next financial year, which is 40% of government's developmental budget.

Radio and television

In western democracies, radio or TV broadcasting is not in the government's hands. Why should our government own any electronic media? The government ownership results in more disservice than providing neutral views/information to people. On behalf of the government, these media provide only the regime's views and development stories, as if all steps were good and for the people.

Upazila election: legal questions

We have heard arguments and counter arguments regarding holding of the upazila election before the general election. The government and the EC are showing one major reason and one major strategy to hold it before the GE. These are:

Jamaat's FF front!

It is alarming news! A Jamaat-Shibir stalwart was seen kicking a valiant, old freedom fighter on the back because of uttering the truth to a TV channel while leaving the gathering. The gathering was arranged by the Jamaat-Shibir - well-known as collaborators (in 1971) or their loyal progeny. My question is how the collaborators could collect a number of freedom fighters forming a front named 'Jatiya Muktijoddha Parishad' (National Freedom Fighters' Council)? Don't the freedom fighters know them?

An assault on the nation

An assault on a freedom fighter means an assault on our motherland and this is exactly what some operatives of the Jamaat-e-Islami and its students' wing Shibir did on Friday with success. We ourselves are to be blamed for this. Had we driven out these Razakars from our soil in 1971, then they would not have existed today.

Damaged road

A month has passed since we saw Cantara Wali Ruhi's letter on the damaged road of Khilkhet, but the authorities have not responded to it.

CTG and price hike

I was really shocked by Dr M. Hussain's letter about the rule of the CTG entitled "Our mistakes" published on 11/07/2008.

Iran and Israel

On Wednesday Iran test-fired no less than nine missiles, including one Shahab-3 intermediate range ballistic missile IRBM with a 1,250-mile range. In a second round of exercise more long-range missiles were shot into the Persian Gulf by Iran 's Revolutionary Guards the next day.

A visionary leader

For over a couple of days, I have been a bit worried about the future of the country. Several reports in your newspapers shocked me a great deal. The report shows that the Election Commission (EC) has accepted nominations filed by mayoral and councillor aspirants having criminal records.

Level playing field

We have been listening from different political parties, different political leaders even from different ambassadors regarding the “Level playing field” for the parliamentary elections since the BNP-Jamaat alliance handed over power in 2006. What I understand regarding the level playing ground is that all, parties and individuals want a fair election and as a law abiding citizen I also want the country to have a fair election.

International

Power-sharing talks on Nepal govt end inconclusively

A crucial power-sharing meeting between Maoists and the CPN-UML ended inconclusively here yesterday as the two parties failed to sort out differences over the key issue of the election of the president, deepening further the three-month-old political deadlock in Nepal.

Kabul pulls out of talks with Pakistan

Afghanistan said on Monday it would boycott a series of upcoming meetings with Pakistan unless “bilateral trust” was restored after attacks it blamed on its neighbour's intelligence and military.

Shiromani Akali Dal to vote against UPA govt

Putting to rest all speculation on party's stand on the nuclear deal, the Shiromani Akali Dal, which has eight members in the Lok Sabha, yesterday said it would vote against the Congress-led UPA government during the trust vote.

Iran, EU to discuss nuclear 'timetable': Ahmadinejad

Iran said on Monday its top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana will this week discuss a "timetable" for future negotiations to break the deadlock in the atomic crisis.

Indian govt behind anti-Maoist attacks

At least 100,000 villagers in eastern India have been forced to flee their homes in spiralling violence spurred by a state-backed anti-Maoist vigilante group, a US-based rights group said yesterday.

Surge in attacks prompts concern in Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been hit by a surge in attacks that show more skill and planning than routine Taliban violence, suggesting the influence of more hardened militants, perhaps from Iraq, analysts say.

IAEA board to meet Aug 1 on India nuclear deal

The board of governors for the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency will meet Aug. 1 to vote on a deal that would allow international monitors to inspect some of India's atomic facilities, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Israel okays Hezbollah prisoner swap

Israel's cabinet gave the final go-ahead yesterday for a prisoner swap with Hezbollah, despite Prime Minister Ehud Olmert saying the Lebanese Shia group did not fully keep its side of the bargain.

UN pulls staff from Darfur after world court move on Beshir

The United Nations was pulling non-essential staff from Darfur on Tuesday as Islamist protesters rallied behind Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir over allegations he masterminded a campaign of genocide in the war-torn region.

Iraq, Afghanistan wars hurting bid to destroy surplus arms

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are undermining efforts to destroy surplus weapons by creating new markets for countries to sell their unwanted firearms, according to a survey published here Monday.

Researchers flee melting Arctic ice floe

Russian scientists are evacuating a research station built on an Arctic ice floe because global warming has melted the ice to a fraction of its original size, a spokesman said.

Mandela turns 90

Nelson Mandela, the hero of the struggle against apartheid and South Africa's first black president, turns 90 on Friday amid an avalanche of birthday wishes for the world's best-loved statesman.

Somnath takes on Karat, says don't make me quit

After refusing to quit his post despite pressure from the CPI-M leadership, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has now written to party General Secretary Prakash Karat saying he doesn't want to vote with the BJP against the Manmohan Singh Government.

Pakistan wants more restrictions on AQ Khan, says lawyer

Pakistan's government is seeking to tighten restrictions on nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan in response to a legal challenge seeking his release from house arrest, his lawyer said yesterday.

Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Anwar

Malaysian police issued an arrest warrant yesterday for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in connection with a sodomy accusation by a male former aide, his lawyer said.

Interrogation video of Guantanamo Bay prisoner released

Lawyers for a Canadian prisoner at Guantanamo Bay released excerpts of videotaped interrogations yesterday, providing a first-ever glimpse into the secretive world of questioning enemy combatants at the isolated US prison in Cuba.

Global warming may increase kidney stones: Researchers

More Americans are likely to suffer from kidney stones in the coming years as a result of global warming, according to researchers at the University of Texas.

Arts & Entertainment

"Manush Bodol": Animesh Aich talks about his latest project

The script is complete and Animesh Aich is all set to begin shooting for his first drama serial Manush Bodol. Animesh is the writer and director of the serial. Ali Bashir is the producer of the serial.

Silver jubilee of Mahakal Natya Sampraday

Theatre troupe Mahakal Natya Sampraday is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. As part of the celebration, the troupe arranged a two-day-long programme at the Neelima Ibrahim Auditorium, Mahila Samiti, Natok Sarani. On the first day (July 14), a discussion, award-giving ceremony were held and a play was staged. Speakers at the discussion called for a unification of all cultural activists.

Aniruddha Kar's silent manuscript

Aniruddha Kar, whose recent exhibition "My silent manuscript" was held at Zainul Gallery, says that he is influenced by contemporary happenings around him. He says these they include socio economic and political incidents. "My paintings reflect my time and this is often seen in the form of symbols," says Kar.

"Ulto Rathjatra" in Tangail

Local Hindu devotees celebrated the annual "Jagannath Ulto Rathjatra" last Saturday. One of the major religious festivals of the Hindus, the district came alive with religious fervour and festivity.

Fulki observes 22nd anniversary in Faridpur

Fulki, a cultural organisation for children and youngsters of Faridpur, observed its 22nd anniversary with a cultural programme at the Faridpur Ainjibi Samity auditorium recently.

Nirmalendu Goon honoured in Mymensingh

Two books -- Naf Thekey Mahananda and Muktijuddher Certificate -- written by Monjur-ul-Haque and Hamidul Alam Sakha respectively were launched at the Mukul Niketan High School auditorium recently. An album featuring recitation titled Janmabhumir Shurjo Shontanera, edited by poet Mosharraf Karim, was also launched on the occasion.

Generating awareness on the ills of early marriage

Rishilpi, an Italian NGO, based at Binerpota village in Sadar upazila, is continuing with the innovative cultural programme to generate awareness among the people to confront early marriage and dowry.

Reception and cultural programme in Pabna

'Football Referee Sammity', Pabna district unit, organised a reception and cultural programme recently, at the Pabna Police auditorium. Three renowned individuals of the district were accorded a reception for their contribution to the fields of culture, sports and journalism in the district level.

OP-ED

Indo-Bangla meet: Talks on transit and water issues

THE Indian high commissioner's observation that transit rights through Bangladesh is essentially an economic issue, not political, is, prima facie, correct. In view of this, and to extend friendly cooperation in the area of transit transport, Bangladesh, after gaining independence in December 1971, restored the "Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade" in 1972, which was suspended by the Pakistan authorities after the Indo-Pak war of 1965.

Youth to the fore

AGES ago, Rabindranath Tagore said: "Youth, I do adore thee, Age, I do abhor thee." Tagore recognised the ultimate torchbearers of a nation, who are the youth. Like Tagore, I also believe in youth, and I consider myself as an active supporter of empowerment of the young in the development of the nation. The nation, today, needs leadership by physically active and educated people. In this article, I will concentrate on the role that the youth played and could play.

The ugly face of human rights

IN this age of globalisation, we are tired of hearing the term "human rights." And the northern hemisphere, which is more educated, developed and rich, is the leading campaigner of human rights. By now we all know what human rights means. What many of us may not know is the very hypocrisy in human rights, and the politics of human rights. How has it come to this stage? Let us try to know that.

Why get free air outside when you can pay for it?

I wrote a column recently about the stupidity of people who pay vast sums for bottled tap water when they have the exact same stuff free on tap in their homes.

Star City

Fake CNG conversion centres mushrooming in city

Automobile owners looking forward to convert their fuel-run cars to CNG-run are concerned over unauthorised and unscrupulous conversion workshops.

Giant digital billboards raise fears

It was 11 in the morning on Monday. Shahbagh, one of the busiest intersections of the city, was as usual buzzing with moving vehicles and pedestrians. When the signal turned red, rows of buses snarled up and pedestrians from both sides started crossing the busy street.

Yellow auto rickshaws to finally hit the streets

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) is finally going to invite applications from drivers next week as part of its plan to distribute 5,000 more CNG auto-rickshaws.



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