The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, August 1, 2014


News of: Sunday, 20th of July, 2008

Front Page

Education privilege abused for politics

Over 5,000 educational institutions were unnecessarily entitled to monthly pay order (MPO) by the last two political governments, leading to an annual loss of Tk 600 crore.

ACC fails to move on from agency probes

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has yet to act on around a dozen investigation reports on high profile graft suspects' involvement in money laundering.

Dhaka lodges strong protest with Delhi

Dhaka has lodged a “strong protest” with New Delhi against intrusion of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) into Bangladesh territory and killing of two Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel at Chapainawabganj border in the early hours of Friday.

Shamim Iskander sent to jail

Shamim Iskander, younger brother of detained former premier Khaleda Zia, was sent to jail yesterday after he was arrested in connection with a case filed on charge of concealing information about his wealth in the wealth statement.

Caretaker govt can't violate constitution

Speaker Barrister Jamiruddin Sircar yesterday observed that local government polls cannot be held before the national elections saying it would violate the Constitution and existing laws.

9 VIP prisoners vie for treatment abroad

At least nine VIP prisoners have so far appealed to the government for going abroad for treatment while many others do not appear before the court during trial proceedings of cases filed against them on grounds of being ill.

Mayor aspirants vow to check crime, graft

Twelve mayoral candidates of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) polls during a meeting with people of the city yesterday vowed to resist crime and corruption.

BNP waits on fate of writ petition

The BNP high command might decide on the fate of the defiant party leaders for their participation in local government elections following High Court order on a writ petition questioning the legality of the elections before finalising voter rolls.

AL vows to resist polls under state of emergency

Awami League (AL) yesterday vowed to resist any poll under the state of emergency while reiterating its demand for holding the parliamentary poll before upazila elections.

Arrest culprits or face consequences

Sector Commanders' Forum (SCF) yesterday warned the government that there would be serious repercussions if the persons responsible for the recent assault on a freedom fighter are not brought to trial immediately.

Honest people to assume power through polls

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed has said efforts are on so that honest, competent, dedicated and patriotic leaderships can hold the helms at local levels and in parliament for building a prosperous and democratic Bangladesh.

No more gas based power plant: Tamim

Chief Adviser's Special Assistant for Power and Energy Ministry Tamim yesterday said no more gas-based power plant will be set up in the country as there is a shortage of the fossil fuel.

Acid burnt Rokeya loses battle for life

Rokeya Begum, a victim of acid crime, has lost her battle against death after suffering for over two months.

Koko off to Bangkok

Arafat Rahman Koko, youngest son of detained former prime minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, left Dhaka for Bangkok with his family yesterday.

Arrest aimed at pressurising Khaleda

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said the arrest of Khaleda Zia's younger brother Shamim Iskander is a government manoeuvre aimed at pressurising the party chief.

Build graft-free Bangladesh

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday called for taking a vow to give the responsibility of running the country to honest and competent leadership.

5 killed in Sirajganj road crash

At least five people including a physician were killed and 35 injured yesterday in a road accident at Konabari in Sirajganj.

Indian HC terms media reports 'inaccurate'

The High Commission of India in Dhaka has expressed concern at the "inaccurate" reports in some sections of the media that have alleged violence by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) leading to the death of some personnel of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR).

CA to attend dialogue in Sylhet today

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed will participate in two citizens' dialogues today in Sylhet.

Poet Samudra Gupta passes away

Noted poet Samudra Gupta passed away yesterday morning at the Narayana Hridayalaya Hospital in Bangalore, India, at the age of 62.

CA seeks WB support for food security

Chief Adviser Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed has sought support from the Global Food Crisis Response Programme in building food security for Bangladesh, apart from enhanced World Bank (WB) assistance.

Criminal shot dead in Rab 'shootout'

A criminal was killed in a 'shootout' between his accomplices and the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members in Jheelmil project area in south Keraniganj in the early hours yesterday.

Student held with firearms

Rab yesterday arrested an A-level student and recovered four illegal firearms and ammunition from his possession in the city's Mirpur area.

Iran declines to shelve uranium enrichment

Tehran yesterday ruled out freezing its enrichment programme, casting doubt over the sense of key nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers less than an hour after they began.

19 Tamil Tigers killed in fresh fighting

Sri Lanka's army chief said yesterday his forces had wiped out two-thirds of the Tamil Tigers' military capability, and that the decades-old conflict with the rebels was at its tail-end while 19 more rebels killed in fresh fighting.

Nepal assembly fails to elect first president

Lawmakers in Nepal yesterday failed to elect the country's first president and end weeks of political deadlock following the abolition of the Himalayan monarchy, official television said.

Editorial

The killing of the BDR men

THE killing of two BDR men by India's Border Security Force the other day is an act that cannot but cause deep concern in Dhaka. Coming at a time when there are noticeable changes for the better in relations between the two countries and especially when the foreign secretaries of the two countries have been meeting in Delhi, the shooting by the BSF has laid open to question the modus operandi on which it operates at the border. Indeed, in the past too there have been reports of indiscriminate firing by the BSF on people in Bangladesh territory and especially of BDR personnel.

Anti-dumping issue

WE are concerned at the news of huge quantities of foreign goods being regularly dumped in the country by overseas manufacturers. A report in the business page of this daily gave details of how despite the existing international law prohibiting export of goods at a lower price than the price in the domestic market, many countries are flouting the law, especially when exporting goods to Bangladesh. And because of this practice, one can easily see how shops in every corner are overflowing with imported consumers goods, mostly cheap and substandard as far as price and quality are concerned. This no doubt is forcing the local manufacturers to face uneven competition and financial loss at the end of the day. But World Trade Organisation (WTO) clearly states that export of a product may be termed dumping if the exporting company sells it at a price lower than the price it normally charges in the domestic market. Bangladesh has officially adopted the anti-dumping rule in 1995 following an agreement at the WTO but so far it has not been able to reap any benefit from it.

Remittance and resilience in rural areas

THE seven billion dollar remittance flow into Bangladesh should be seen as a sigh of relief when the economy is caught in a catalogue of economic crises. This amount is roughly 12% of our GDP. Analysts say that our workers from foreign countries sent more money this year to help families faced with price hike. For us particularly, right at the moment, the sauce matters -- not the source. However, foreign exchange flows are not an unmixed blessing, as they might fuel money supply to further inflationary spiral unless properly "sterilized" by the central bank. Assuming that happens, such a big rise in remittance could keep us cool for a while.

The convicted and corrupt at the polls

ELECTIONEERING has kicked off in four city corporations and nine municipalities for the August 4 polls, as the candidates running for mayor and ward councilor posts have formally started their campaign after the Emergency Power Rules (EPR) was relaxed further. But allowing a good number of convicts and corrupt people to run in the polls is surely a disturbing development. Most of these contenders are ward commissioners, who were either behind bars or in hiding after promulgation of the emergency.

The necessity of inter-faith dialogue

FRANCE'S top administrative court has recently turned down the application of a Moroccan lady for citizenship because she wears a burqa and her religious practices are not compatible with French laws on secularism and gender equality. Nicholas Sarkozy's urban affairs minister, herself a practicing Muslim of Algerian descent, views women wearing burqas as people living in prison and "an insignia of a totalitarian political project that advocates inequality between the sexes and is totally devoid of democracy."

Sports

Prince gives SA lead

Ashwell Prince's second hundred in as many matches against England helped guide South Africa into a first innings lead in the second Test at Headingley here Saturday.

Sachin, Dinesh in runs

Sachin Tendulkar and Dinesh Karthik were the only batsmen to get meaningful practice ahead of the first Test as the rest of the Indians fell cheaply on the second day of the three-day tour game against Sri Lanka Board XI on Saturday.

Athletes shrug off pollution

US Olympians take a matter-of-fact approach about pollution fears at the Beijing Olympics, basically seeing any possible breathing problems as an equal headache for everyone involved.

BCB releases NZ tour schedule

New Zealand will arrive in Dhaka on October 4 to play three one-day internationals and two Tests.

Sabira breaks record

The national club (men's and women's) weightlifting competition was held yesterday at the National Sports Council gymnasium.

GP-BCB team to hold training camp

GP-BCB National Cricket Academy team will have a ten-day training camp in Bogra for next month's tour of South Africa.

BOA executive meeting today

Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) will hold an executive committee meeting today at the Kurmitola Golf Club.

Pioneer football

Golam Mostafa Lane Kishore Sangha managed a solitary goal victory over Dhaka XI in the opening match of the second phase Metropolis Pioneer Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Deco likes it tough

Luiz Felipe Scolari may have been charged with restoring some King's Road swagger to Chelsea, but old habits clearly die hard for the Brazilian.

Spurs blast Fergie

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy on Friday described the conduct of Manchester United and Liverpool as "disgraceful" in their respective pursuits of Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane.

Iran angry over pullout

The Iranian Football Federation on Friday said that it will complain to football world governing body FIFA over Egypt's decision to cancel a friendly match because of a controversial film.

Kaka not for sale

AC Milan on Saturday dismissed reports that their Brazilian star Kaka is set to move to English Premier League side Chelsea on a world-record transfer worth 80 million pounds (100m euros, 160m dollars).

Totti hints at return

Francesco Totti is not ruling out a return to the Italian national team, the AS Roma captain said.

Rosicky hopes for Sept return

Czech and Arsenal midfield star Tomas Rosicky insisted Saturday he hopes to be recovered from a knee operation and playing again in September.

Bastian wants new deal

Bayern Munich's international midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger on Friday said he was determined to sign a new deal with the German first division champions.

Zaragoza loan Matuzalem to Lazio

Real Zaragoza have agreed to loan their Brazilian midfielder Francelino Matuzalem to Italian side Lazio for one season, the Spanish club said Friday.

PSG to appeal League Cup ban

Top French side Paris St Germain on Friday said they would appeal a Professional Football League (LFP) ruling banning the club from defending its League Cup title, according to the club's website.

Hoggard fears for future

Matthew Hoggard fears he may have played his last Test for England after former roof-tiler Darren Pattinson was dramatically plucked out of county cricket obscurity for a shock international debut at the Yorkshireman's Headingley home ground here Friday.

Akhtar awaits dope test

Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar Saturday moved to dispel any suggestion he was running away from dope tests ahead of the Champions Trophy, saying he will be the first to give a sample.

Pattinson call-up shock Aussies

The Australian cricket community was caught by surprise on Saturday at Australia-raised paceman Darren Pattinson's bolt from obscurity to the England Test team.

'Mother Cricket' at play!

South Africa coach Mickey Arthur said England captain Michael Vaughan had got what he deserved from "Mother Cricket" after the first day of the second Test here at Headingley was overshadowed by two controversial examples of disputed catches.

Age-group swimming

The Keya Cosmetics 24th National Age Group Swimming Championship begins today at the National Swimming Complex in Mirpur.

Rating chess

Fifteen players won their respective third round matches of the third Greenwich University Open FIDE Rating Chess Tournament to share the lead with maximum three points at the National Sports Council (NSC) conference-room and federation hall-room yesterday.

Shoaib left out of Kakul camp

Shoaib Akhtar has been left out of an eight-day training camp at the Army School of Physical Training in Kakul beginning on July 21 after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expressed concern over his fitness.

Captaining India is Yuvi's dream

Yuvraj Singh may not be in India's Test scheme of things right now but the swashbuckling left-hander harbours the dream of taking over as the captain of the side at some point in his career.

Pakistan hope for the best

Pakistan cricket authorities Saturday hoped for a positive decision on their hosting of the Champions Trophy in September amidst security concerns in the country.

Award named after Nannu

Sonali Otit Club has introduced an award for the football referees from this year named after late star footballer Monwar Hossain Nannu.

Business

Moody's, S&P respond to credit rating proposal for Bangladesh

Two international credit rating agencies -- Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service -- have responded to the central bank's proposal to conduct credit rating for Bangladesh, a move that will help the country attract more foreign investment and receive international aid easily, sources said.

Citi sees 5.7pc growth for Bangladesh in FY09

Bangladesh will see a moderate 5.7 percent growth in the current fiscal, down from 6 percent in the last fiscal, due to intensifying political uncertainty, rising prices and a weak global environment, said a report of US-based financial giant Citi.

Match price doubles in retail market

Retailers have hiked the price of a box of match from Tk 1 to Tk 2, registering a 100 percent increase.

Firm asked not to indulge in unlawful reinsurance brokering

The government has warned Tyser Risk Management (Bangladesh) Ltd, a concern of UK-based insurance giant Tysers, for its involvement in reinsurance brokering bypassing local insurance companies that is not permitted by law.

MCCI hails monetary policy

The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) has applauded the central bank's decision on continuing accommodative monetary policy, said a press release.

Pay tax to make the country self-reliant

National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Muhammad Abdul Mazid yesterday urged businesspeople and wealthy people at grassroots levels to pay income taxes regularly to make the country self reliant.

US banking sector faces fresh test

A rebound in the beleaguered banking sector faced a fresh test Thursday as two key financial firms prepared to release quarterly results.

The IT song and dance routine in Bangladesh

A former commerce minister used to often say that Information Technology (IT) is a national buzzword and in every town and village-market and people talk about it all the time. Another former Science and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) minister once narrated a story that after a severe flood in a rural town, one family appealed to him only for replacing their damaged home personal computer (PC).

Jogajog launches Dhaka-Kolkata Volvo bus service

Jogajog, a local firm, has recently introduced luxurious Volvo bus service between Dhaka and Kolkata, said a press release.

Market access of apparel products crucial for LDCs' economic security

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters

Bearish trend continues

Bearish trend continued for fifth consecutive week on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) last week, despite the total turnover slightly increased by 3.58 percent over the previous week.

India, S Africa mobile phone firms call off merger talks

India's Reliance Communic-ations and South African telecom major MTN have called off their talks on an intended merger that could have created a powerhouse spanning Asia, Africa and the Middle East with a market capitalization of 70 billion dollars.

Asean ministers to tackle rising oil, food prices

Ministers from the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) are expected to hammer out possible solutions to rising oil and food prices amid warnings inflation could threaten political stability, officials said.

Thai budget airline suspends services

Thailand's low budget airline One-Two-Go announced Saturday that it was suspending its operations for eight weeks, to allow time for financial restructuring.

UK paints bleak picture of economy

Britain's economic downturn is worse than previously thought and there is no extra money available for public spending, finance minister Alistair Darling said in an interview published Saturday.

Oil price plunges

Oil prices slumped this week as traders worried the slowing US economy would dampen demand from the world's biggest energy consumer, sparking losses across other key commodity markets.

Sony Ericsson cuts 2,000 jobs

Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson announced Friday it was cutting 2,000 jobs worldwide after reporting an operating loss in the second quarter due to difficult market conditions and the global economic slowdown.

Citigroup posts loss

Citigroup Friday posted a 2.495 billion dollar quarterly loss on more hefty real estate write-offs in results not as bad as feared, as markets mulled prospects for an end to the banking sector's woes.

Global economy in 'tough spot' despite higher growth: IMF

The IMF on Thursday lifted growth forecasts modestly for the world including the United States but said the global economy is in a "tough spot" due to rising inflation amid a slowdown.

Sri Lanka's trade gap narrows

Sri Lanka's trade deficit narrowed to more than two billion dollars in the first five months of the year, despite spiralling crude oil and food import bills, the central bank said Friday.

Indian software firms cautious despite strong Q1 results

Two of India's key software exporters, Wipro and Satyam Computer, posted better-than-expected first quarter results Friday, but gave cautious outlooks amid uncertain US economic conditions.

Vodafone takeover of Ghana Telecom delayed by opposition

Opposition lawmakers in Ghana's parliament on Friday blocked approval of the sale of a majority stake in state-owned Ghana Telecom to Britain's Vodafone.

Metropolitan

Try war criminals, ban Jamaat-Shibir politics

Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, a forum for Secular Bangladesh and Trial of War Criminals of 1971, yesterday brought out a protest procession on the Dhaka University (DU) campus demanding the trial of war criminals.

CU, Ispahani school, Ctg high school clinch titles

Ispahani Public School and College, Chittagong Govt High School and Chittagong University (CU) yesterday emerged as champions in the 'Mutual Trust Bank-The Daily Star Debate Contest 2008'.

‘Forge strong bond among South Asian peoples for poverty alleviation’

Saarc-Jica Alumni Association Forum (SJAAF) was formed at a seminar yesterday with a view to forging strong bond among 150 crore peoples of South Asia and helping the governments eradicate poverty from their countries.

Road crashes kill 13, injure 50

Thirteen people, including a doctor, were killed and 50 others injured in separate road accidents in Sirajganj, Netrakona, Savar and Bogra yesterday.

BCL factions clash at JNU: 15 injured

At least 15 activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of Awami League, and a policeman were injured in a factional clash on Jagannath University (JNU) campus yesterday.

Protest against attack on freedom fighter continues

Dhaka University (DU) unit of Pro-JSD Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and 'Amra Muktijoddhar Santan', a platform of children of freedom fighters, yesterday staged a demonstration on the campus protesting the attack on freedom fighter Sheikh Mohamamd Ali Aman by the Shibir cadres.

Killing of 2 BDR men by BSF condemned

Different organisations yesterday protested the killing of two members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) by the Border Security Forces (BSF) of India on Thursday night.

HC judgement on appeal against trial court verdict today

The High Court (HC) will deliver judgement on appeal against the trial court verdict in sensational Jayanti Reza murder case today.

2 Chhatra Mukti men assaulted

A group of students beat up two activists of Chhatra Mukti, student wing of controversial Islamist group Hijbut Tahreer, on the Dhaka University campus yesterday.

Kader, Lablu elected CPB Dhaka unit president, secy

Abdul Kader and Ahsan Habib Lablu were elected president and general secretary of the Dhaka unit of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB).

Prof Shamsul, Fazlul Majid honoured

Bangladesh Forum for Educational Development (BAFED) awarded honorary 'life membership' to its two members -- Prof Dr Shamsul Haque and AF Fazlul Majid -- at a ceremony at FREPD auditorium at Nilkhet in the city yesterday.

Female police informant burnt to death by 'rapist'

A young girl, who died on Friday morning due to severe burn injuries, was identified as an informant of police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab).

Call to form citizens' body

Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) yesterday urged the government to form citizens' committee to ensure proper implementation of the Management Ordinance for Sale and Purchase of Private Plot and Flat.

Implement nat'l women dev policy

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) president Ayesha Khanam yesterday urged the government to implement the National Women Development Policy-2008 for establishing rights of women.

Educational instt staffs demand 100pc DA

Bangladesh Educational Insti-tution Employees Federation demanded formation of permanent pay commission and 100 percent dearness allowance.

Engineer electrocuted in city

An electrical engineer was electrocuted while repairing the machines at a steel mill at Shyampur in the city yesterday.

National

65,000 to boycott JS vote in B'baria

At least 65,000 voters in Budunti, Chandura and Harashpur unions in Brahmanbaria Sadar upazila will not cast their votes in the next general election protesting delimitation of Brahmanbaria2 and Brahmanbaria-3 constituencies, their leaders said at a press conference here yesterday.

Demand for trial of war criminals gets louder

Protests mounted yesterday in several districts against assault of a freedom fighter in Dhaka by activists of Jamaat-Shibir on July 11.

Good catches of hilsa in Patuakhali

Huge catches of hilsa fish is being netted in the coastal waters of the Bay.

Khulna mayoral contenders vow to fight crime

Five mayoral candidates for August 4 polls to Khulna City Corporation (KCC) yesterday pledged that they would, if elected to the post, eradicate criminal activities and drug trafficking from the city.

1,000 BNP men join AL in Tangail

About 1,000 leaders and activists of BNP and its various wings joined Awami League (AL) in Gopalpur upazila, party sources said.

Govt fails to prove graft charges against Kamran, says Suranjit

Awami League (AL) presidium member Suranjit Sengupta said the government failed miserably to prove corruption charges brought against Sylhet Mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran even after14 months of his arrest.

'Give equal seats to female candidates'

Female candidates contesting for councillorship in Barisal City Corporation yesterday said women should be given equal seats like their male counterparts in city corporation election.

Barisal mayoral candidate assaults rival activist

Barisal City Corporation mayoral candidate advocate Kabir Uddin Hannu allegedly assaulted a Jubo League activist yesterday evening when the latter was campaigning in favour of Shawkat Hossain Hiron, mayoral candidate nominated by 14-party alliance.

Fugitive UP chairman arrested

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a fugitive Union Parishad (UP) chairman from Atia Mamudpur area in Mirzapur upazila yesterday for his alleged involvement in criminal activities.

All lights on Patuakhali Bridge out of order

All 70 sodium lights installed on Patuakhali Bridge have gone out of order due to lack of maintenance within three years of its inauguration in 2005.

Letters

Promote jute

Many developed countries like Canada and Britain are trying to discontinue plastic bags in favour of cloth and paper bags. This provides an excellent opportunity for Bangladesh to promote jute bags as an eco-friendly and cheap commodity. Paper bags are hardly environment-friendly as they require trees to make paper, leading to de-forestation.

Dhaka's glorious past

All the mega, modern & prestigious cities in the world have a glorious past and all of them have cemented their glorious history by preserving the oldest part of the city. Dhaka, which will soon be celebrating its 400th birthday, also has a glorious history, culture and lifestyle but we have failed to uphold the history and glory of our city.

Doctors and hapless patients

When no one is accountable for one's own deeds and go unpunished for mischief year after year, then anything is possible in a country.

Dilapidated cyclone shelter

As part of my office assignment recently I visited Subornochar, Noakhali. Local people requested me to see a cyclone shelter at Char Clerk. It was built a few decades ago. Its present condition is very dangerous and it may collapse any time. There is an adjacent school and playground. Its collapse can lead to a disaster.

US envoy's response

I was surprised by your editorial of July 17, which implied that foreign diplomats should not talk to politicians. In my role as a diplomat in Bangladesh, I need to understand the issues of the people and the government here. The only way to understand is to communicate, to listen and question the person on the street as well as the leaders of the government and political parties.

How much land does a man need?

It is a story we read in our school life. It was an interesting story for teenagers and I believe most of the people of our age must have read it in the Rapid Reader. However, for the information of others who have not read it, very briefly I put here the gist. The story went like thi-- a rich man having huge landed property wanted to help his onetime friend, who was very poor. One day he called his poor friend and told him that he would give as much land as he could circle around by running from sunrise to sunset. Accordingly, on a fine morning, in presence of some witnesses, the poor friend started running from a fixed point to circle as much area as he could circle by sunset. From the very onset, the man started running as fast as he could covering more and more better lands he found to bring into his fold. He totally forgot that he would have to return before the sun is set. The greed overtook him and failed to notice that the sun was gradually setting on the West. His only concentration was covering more and more better land he found on his way. While little time was remaining for the Sun to set he was standing far away from the starting point and out of reach. Sensing this difficult situation he increased his speed at the top of his capacity. He used all his physical powers to return to the starting point before sunset but all in vain. Finally, while he was just a few yards away from the touching point he fell down on the ground and died of exhaustion. The rest of the story need not be mentioned here.

Rajuk's new rule

At last the cat was out of the bag on 29 May 2008. The government issued the gazette notification on the building construction act dated 27 May 2008. Our long waiting and anxiousness has come to an end after a year and a half. For the first time appreciable guidelines/ rules have been incorporated in the above gazette, to be followed by the developers and the land owners.

No dearth of talent

I was quite amazed when I saw a report in your daily on July 10, 2008 about a young boy of Dinajpur who had invented an environment-friendly power plant that can be operated without any fuel input like gas or coal. The report also specifies that it will also not emit smokes. This again proves that our country really has talented people. All we need is a visionary leader to guide these talented people towards betterment of the country.

Indo-Bangla mobile phone service

I was wondering if mobile phone service providers in Bangladesh could come into an agreement with their counterparts in India and offer cheap call rates for the benefit of the peoples of both the countries. It is not that we cannot reach our relations and friends in India over our mobile phones but the rates are so high that you have to think twice before dialling a call. It is an irony that we can call on our mobile phones to our relations and friends in Europe, US and the Far East at a concessionary rate but making a call to India costs three times more!

TV advertisements

Children love to discover new things from different sources, especially television. Generally, they are very inquisitive about everything. In this case, TV advertisements (Ads) are a great source of their entertainment as well as learning. But various advertisements present their message in such a way that the kids don't learn better things. Those Ads are misleading and sending incorrect messages. So, the authorities should be much more conscious in this respect. Some examples will help us to realise the issue.

Flood resistant rice plant

Your report with photograph, published on 12 July on the subject, joint effort of IRRI and BRRI scientists, is the best news for Bangladesh today. It will herald a new era of rice productivity for us. I salute the scientists for their dedication and hard toil unknown to us!

Persistent load shedding

We have to suffer due to electricity disruption for at least five-six hours every day. Actually, sufferings of the general people have increased as the prices of almost every essential commodity have gone high. However, people work after sunset because daytime is not enough to finish all the works. The frequency of load shedding has gone up with the per unit cost of electricity. On the other hand, people need to spend money for making the provision for light at night.

BRTA registration and annual tax

There have been numerous claims against false registration of cars as well as yearly tax deposit. Despite the various measures adopted by the government, some unscrupulous people in different post offices have made their fortunes by resorting to fraudulent activities. Most interestingly, one can't detect this until & unless the person is going to sell his/her car to somebody else. During this sale /purchase, the owner of the car knows the actual picture as the buyer who checks the same with the BRTA authority finds that the seller has 4/5 years' registration fees unpaid. In fact the seller paid his dues to BRTA authorities through post offices on yearly basis but those amounts were never deposited!!

School students' ordeal

In a recent news report covering a road show, we saw school students welcoming the dignitaries waiving flags. It is good to see on television. But we do not see the other side of the picture. How long did these students wait in the road? We have no idea how many of them got sick for doing so.

BTCL: can it change course?

The state owned BTTB has been changed into a company named BTCL and it started its journey from 1st July this year with its old staff and a huge liability on its shoulders. Everyone knows about the infamy of BTTB. People heaved a sigh of relief when mobile operators came to the market. The linemen of BTTB were more powerful than its chairman!!

Transit issue

This refers to the news item 'Indo-Bangla FS level Meet, Water, Transit to figure in talks' published in the front page of 11 July 2008 issue of The Daily Star.

Daytime lorries

There is a law of the DCC that heavy lorries cannot enter the city during daytime from 8:00am to 8:00pm. But the truck owners are violating this law. As a result, city dwellers have to face huge traffic jam. Moreover, some accidents take place on a regular basis.

International

Close call for Manmohan govt as trust vote looms

The future of Congress-led UPA government and a controversial atomic energy deal with Washington hang in the balance with the coalition facing a confidence vote on Tuesday seen as being too close to call.

BJP to airlift ailing MPs for trust vote

They are seriously unwell, strapped to their hospital beds and need constant medical care. But for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), their vote is crucial to topple the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in Tuesday's floor test.

Indo-Pak officials strike accord to expand LoC contacts

Pakistan and India have agreed to expand 'people-to-people contacts' for Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and worked out modalities for intra-Kashmir trade and a Muzaffarabad-Srinagar truck service.

10 Taliban militants killed in Pak clashes

At least 10 Taliban have died in fierce fighting between two rival militant groups in northwestern Pakistan, a government official and Taliban spokesman said Saturday.

9 Indian soldiers killed in Kashmir explosion

Nine Indian soldiers were killed and 16 others injured in a landmine blast yesterday in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, the army said.

Bush, Maliki, agree on 'time horizon' for US troop cut

US President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki have agreed to set a "time horizon" for US troop withdrawals as part of a long-term security pact.

Iran press hails US presence at talks

Iran's press on Saturday hailed the presence of a US envoy at talks in Geneva on the nuclear crisis as a "taboo-breaking" move, calling on Tehran's arch foe to recognise its atomic rights.

Obama visits Afghan war zone

Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama arrived in Afghanistan yesterday, the first stop on a campaign-season tour of war zones, a spokesman said.

US does not have any problem with Pak govt

The United States has said it does not have any problem with the Pakistani government and stressed that fighting terrorism is not the only issue in the relationship between the two countries.

Mandela hosts new generation of leaders at birthday bash

Nelson Mandela, fresh from being feted at home and abroad on his 90th birthday, hosted a banquet Saturday for the new generation of South African leaders as well as hundreds of friends.

Brown wants to cut troops in Iraq

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, speaking after talks with his Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad, said on Saturday he wanted to cut the number of Britain's troop in Iraq but would not set some artificial timetable for this.

Pope apologises for clergy sex abuse

Pope Benedict XVI used some of the strongest language yet in his apology yesterday for the sexual abuse of children by Australia's Roman Catholic clergy, but his words were just more of the same for the victims.

McCain backer riles Muslims with 'kneel or kill' comments

A supporter of Republican presidential hopeful John McCain on Friday said that Muslims wanted to kill Americans, provoking anger among Muslims and a hasty clarification from the campaign.

Afghan forces search for kidnapped aid workers

Authorities were Saturday searching for two French aid workers kidnapped in central Afghanistan, but the Taliban denied capturing them.

Arts & Entertainment

Sayeed Ahmed's book with its cultural gleanings

About his book "In Pursuit of Culture", which was launched at "Etcetra" on July 18th, Sayeed Ahmed speaking to The Daily Star said, " I tried to use my visits to not only see the countries but to dwell deep into their cultural and traditional aspects. When I went to Moscow, for instance, I linked up the experience of ballet with the famous British ballerina Margot Fontyn with that of Maya Plistskiya so that this was a presentation of a long chain of cultural events. In Nepal I met a famous writer and poet Balakrishna Sama and in the midst of the intellectual contributions, I brought out their traditional behaviour and ways of life in the simplest of words.

90th birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela celebrated

July 18 marked the 90th birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela. On the occasion, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) organised a discussion and a cultural programme in association with the Wrishiz Shilpi Gosthi at the Department of Dance and Music, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

“Magic Tin Chakar Taroka”

At present, talent hunt programmes are the rage. Several TV channels and corporate houses have been arranging talent hunt programmes concerning different sectors of art forms over the last couple of years. Why should rickshaw-wallahs and CNG (auto-rickshaw) drivers be excluded from such programmes?

A cornucopia of music

From the nostalgic Irish number Should old acquaintance be forgot to the catchy Bangla song Elo barosha jey to the captivating Hindi rendering of Jaane kya -- it was all in a day's work for Keya Chattopadhyay. At a recent concert in New Delhi, the internationally reputed vocalist, music teacher and composer did justice to her entire repertoire. As she pointed out at the outset, “Inspired by the original English, Scottish and Irish music, Tagore used similar tunes in Bengali numbers.”

Debate and cultural programme held

'Sandhani Donor Club', Pabna celebrated its 20th anniversary in Pabna on July 18 amidst festivity and colourful programmes. The debating competition, discussion meeting and reception programme were held in 'Pabna Bonomali Auditorium' marking the day long anniversary programme.

ntv offers audience chance to be playwrights

Popular satellite channel ntv is to make a new drama serial based on stories sent by the audience. Designed by Mustafa Kamal Syed and Dipankar Dipon, the serial will be directed by Dipankar Dipon.

New Drama serial " Ishkool" on Ekushey TV

Conceptualised and designed by Abdus Salam, chairperson of satellite channel Ekushey TV, new drama serial Ish-kool will be aired on every Sunday at 8:15 pm. The serial is written and directed by Shakhawat Al Mamun.

Kanak and Mithu win gold

Kanak Chanpa Chakma and Khalid Mahamood Mithu have been awarded a gold medal each from the Olympic Fine Arts 2008. The awards are for Kanak and Mithu's works “Amity of Torch” and “Target-2”, says a press release.

Torched Hendrix guitar to be sold

The guitar torched by late rock legend Jimi Hendrix during a live performance in London is expected to fetch £500,000 at auction in September.

OP-ED

Monetary policy and competitive exchange rate

Bangladesh Bank has released its monetary policy statement for the first half of fiscal year 2009 last Thursday. Here BB has recognised the risk of inflation trickling down from the price hikes in the world commodity markets. However, monetary policy tightening has not been endorsed because of a risk of productivity slowdown and employment loss.

Homestead forestry

In the backdrop of the predatory nature of deforestation, limitations of the public forestry activities, and abject rural poverty and livelihood insecurity, rural home gardens have assumed a special significance in recent times.

The Asean problem

On August 8, Asean will celebrate its 41st anniversary. Yet, the organisation's limited institutional capacity to provide prosperity for all Southeast Asians is frequently criticised.

What should the White House do about globalisation?

Dear Mr. President, Congratulations on your convincing win. As you settle into the Oval Office, you must address an urgent problem that went unmentioned during the campaign. The American business community is rapidly globalising and expanding internationally, particularly in new, emerging markets. Yet political, media and educational, let alone the broader American public, do not understand this trend and feel threatened. If nothing is done, you will face severe policy crises.

Star City

Shattering tales of tattered mosques

As the city prepares to celebrate its 400 years as the capital of Bengal, a good number of old mosques and some Mughal-era edifices are in a vulnerable state due to ignorance and negligence of the authorities.

A museum missing in the labyrinth of corridors

Finding the Postal Museum located at a distant corner on the second floor of the GPO building is a befuddling walk for its visitors. The only hint to the existence of the museum is a modest sign at the large post office lobby near the entrance. And it can be easily missed amid scores of other signs scattered throughout the floor.

Death invades Dhaka Zoo

Death of two new inmates out of 29 brought in from Johannesburg, South Africa last month has ruined the festive mood at Dhaka zoo in Mirpur.


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