The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, August 20, 2014


News of: Monday, 21st of July, 2008

Front Page

Loan defaulters' polls bid over

Loan defaulters will not get any opportunity of becoming eligible to contest in the upcoming upazila and parliamentary polls by rescheduling their loans, although the new electoral laws allow them to become eligible by rescheduling the loans within specific timeframes before submissions of applications for candidacies.

Bureaucracy reform move goes into hibernation

The caretaker government's move to infuse dynamism, accountability and transparency into the public administration has hardly seen any progress since the initiative was taken a year ago.

Govt ordinances salvaged

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday stayed for one month the High Court (HC) judgment that declared illegal and void the Muslim Marriage and Divorce (Registration) Amendment Ordinance 2008 promulgated by the president.

Shamim rode on Biman

Shamim Iskander, a former flight engineer of Biman and brother of ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia, made a fortune taking commissions on lease and maintenance of aircraft and purchase of spare parts, said airline sources.

Judges embarrassed to hear Nizami plea

A division bench of the High Court (HC) yesterday felt embarrassed to hear a writ filed by Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer and former industries minister Motiur Rahman Nizami challenging legality of the Gatco corruption case.

Border talks begin in Kolkata today

The border security forces of Bangladesh and India begin a four-day negotiation in Kolkata today amid persistent killings of Bangladeshis by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) that sparked military tension along the entire frontier area.

DND area braces for waterlogging

Despite the emergency measures taken by the government, including excavation and cleaning of canals in the Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra (DND) dam area, to check severe waterlogging, the region looks set to suffer from water logging for some time more.

Poll candidates' info to EC grossly inconsistent

Shushashoner Janney Nagorik (Shujan) yesterday said the information provided to the Election Commission (EC) by the candidates contesting the city corporation polls was highly inconsistent and inadequate.

Hasina challenges legality, petitions HC for quashing

Awami League president Sheikh Hasina yesterday filed a writ petition with the High Court (HC) challenging the legality of MiG-29 corruption case against her.

3 Ctg traders fined

A mobile court fined three traders Tk 1.10 lakh on different charges at Ovoymitra Ghat and Khatunganj in the port city yesterday.

Preparations for JS polls at final stage

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said preparations for holding the general election is at the final stage and it will be held in the third week of December as announced by the Election Commission.

ACC allowed to quiz Khaleda, Tarique on fake orphanage

A Dhaka court yesterday allowed the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) to interrogate detained former premier Khaleda Zia and her elder son BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman at the jail gate in connection with a corruption case.

Salahuddin made new attorney general

Additional Attorney General Salahuddin Ahmad was made attorney general yesterday two days after Fida M Kamal stepped down from the post.

Tofail, Sajeda, MK Anwar granted bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted bail to former Awami League (AL) ministers Tofail Ahmed and Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury and former BNP minister MK Anwar in separate corruption cases filed by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Govt asked to explain why declaration of emergency not illegal

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule asking the government to explain within four weeks why the proclamation of the state of emergency in the country on January 11 last year should not be declared illegal and unconstitutional.

WB to provide $100m for food security

The World Bank (WB) will increase its support for Bangladesh in facing the challenge of ensuring food security, new WB Vice President for South Asia Isabel Guerrero said yesterday.

Rejoinder, our reply

In response to a news item titled "Aman may miss target for fertiliser shortage" published in The Daily Star on July 19, Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Rajshahi Region Additional Director Abul Bashar said he was misquoted in the report.

BNP hails AL move to resist polls under emergency

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday asked the government to announce schedule for the national election and withdraw the state of emergency without further delay.

12 officials to return Tk 2cr illegal money

Twelve officials of the Bakhrabad Gas Systems Thursday have agreed to return ill-gotten money amounting to Tk 2 crore to the state exchequer.

Extortionist beaten to death in city

A mob yesterday beat an extortionist to death as he tried to flee after throwing bombs at a garment factory official in the capital's Pallabi.

Case proceedings against RHD official quashed

The High Court (HC) yesterday quashed all proceedings of a corruption case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) against Abul Kalam Shamsuddin, former administrative officer of Roads and Highways Department.

Salman granted 2-month bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad interim bail for six months to Beximco Group Vice-chairman Salman F Rahman in a money laundering case.

Trial court asks for copy of HC order by Jul 24

The trial court dealing with the Gatco corruption case against detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and 23 others yesterday asked the defence lawyers to submit the certified copy of the High Court (HC) stay order by July 24.

Army man's money stolen in cantonment

Pickpockets stole Tk 97 thousand from an army sergeant in the Dhaka Cantonment Post Office yesterday.

Indian ruling coalition in race to secure support

It was a day of mixed fortune for India's beleaguered Congress-led UPA coalition government yesterday as it braced for a confidence vote in special Lok Sabha session beginning today.

Iran given 2 weeks to answer nuke queries

Iran was yesterday facing a two-week deadline to give a final answer to world powers seeking a breakthrough in the nuclear crisis, after talks with the EU foreign policy chief ended in stalemate.

Editorial

Public access to information about candidates

IT is reported that out of 46 candidates for mayoral election to four city corporations as many as 12 have not furnished details about themselves such as education (in case of city corporation election), source of income, immovable property, tax return, loans and liabilities, criminal records, if any, which was obligatory for them. According to law, if seven stipulated information are not furnished through affidavit the candidature is liable to be cancelled, but to our knowledge, none of such incomplete nomination papers have been rejected so far. In some of the information provided there is apparent fabrication, inconsistency and discrepancy and against few items the word non-applicable has been used. There is a veiled, or not so discreet, attempt at suppression of facts.

Mandela - a living legend

MANDELA'S turned 90 on 18th of July, and the world at large celebrated with enthusiasm the accomplishments of a man whose life has been a gift to the world - and whom many unhesitatingly refer to as a living legend.

The merchants of democracy and human rights

AFTER having taken over the "white man's burden" from once-imperial Britain, it was America's monopoly to trade democracy, the rule of law and, of course, human rights with the "lesser breeds" by occupying their lands, capturing their resources and establishing hegemony over those countries.

Inflation hits Delhi politics

IT was as easy to esteem Chaudhry Charan Singh as to underestimate him. I knew him reasonably well during the critical days when he brought down the Janata government in 1979 and won the undying contempt of urban India, which had invested so much passion in the first non-Congress government in Delhi. At one level, he had charming simplicity. There was nothing he enjoyed more, after work, than playing ludo with his wife.

Barack, please pick Hillary

CONVENTIONAL wisdom has it that Barack Obama should not pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate, unless he is trailing so badly in the polls that without Hillary he cannot win.

Sports

Anik grabs glory

BKSP's Anik Islam hogged the spotlight on the opening day when the Keya 24th National Age Group Swimming Championships got underway at the National Swimming Complex in Mirpur yesterday.

Bangladesh A to face Derbyshire

Bangladesh A face Derbyshire in the fourth three-day match today at the County Ground, Derbyshire.

AB follows Ashwell suit

AB de Villiers continued to defy England's attack with an unbeaten century as South Africa all but batted Michael Vaughan's men out of the second Test here at Headingley on Sunday.

Harmison hurt

Stephen Harmison has said England's decision to select Darren Pattinson for the ongoing second Test against South Africa at Headingley betrayed a lack of confidence in the country's up-and-coming quicks.

Women's kabaddi begins tomorrow

The zonal round of the Spectra Group National Women's Kabaddi Competition will begin tomorrow at different venues across the country.

City begins shutdown

Beijing's Olympic shutdown begins Sunday, a drastic plan to lift the Chinese capital's gray shroud of pollution just three weeks ahead of the games.

BOA to include golf, wrestling

The executive committee of Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) has decided to include wrestling and golf as the two new disciplines of Bangladesh's choice as hosts of the 2009 SA Games.

Tame draw at Colombo

India's only chance to acclimatise before the Test series ended in a tame draw with less than three days' play at the Nondescripts Cricket Club in Colombo on Sunday.

Hackett hits new mark

Australian Grant Hackett broke his own shortcourse 800 metres freestyle world record in seven minutes 23.42 seconds here on Sunday.

Culture shock for Jose

After his first week of training at Inter Milan, Jose Mourinho has admitted that he is suffering from culture shock. Football fans in Italy, he says, are far more intense than their English counterparts.

Follow Rooney model: Lippi

Italy coach Marcello Lippi says he wants his players to copy the selfless style of Manchester United's England forward Wayne Rooney.

Door open for Raul

Spain's new coach Vicente del Bosque insisted Sunday that the door is not closed on out-of-favour international Raul.

Kaisers hold Man Utd

Manchester United came from behind to force a 1-1 draw with the Kaiser Chiefs in the first match of an exhibition series on Saturday.

Fabiano staying at Sevilla

Sevilla's Brazilian-born striker Luis Fabiano, the Primera Liga's second top scorer with 24 goals last season, has extended his contract with the club until June 2011, the Spanish side said Saturday.

Decision later this week

Pakistan's wait to know whether they will host the Champions Trophy in September has been extended with the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board expected to take a final decision later this week.

Amla praises Prince

Hashim Amla paid tribute to fellow batsman Ashwell Prince after the South Africa vice-captain's second hundred in as many matches against England steered the Proteas into a commanding position in the second Test here at Headingley.

Rs resume rivalry in Toronto

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal resume their rivalry on the North American stage on Monday as the summer crush of hardcourt events begins with the Toronto Masters.

Flintoff to be monitored

England will have to monitor the workload of fit-again all-rounder Andrew Flintoff so he does not risk further injury, the team's bowling coach Ottis Gibson said on Saturday.

Asif wants B sample test postponed

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif on Saturday has asked for his B sample test, which had been scheduled for July 28, to be postponed. His lawyer, Shahid Karim, wants more time to prepare for the case and make travel arrangements.

Shipperd could coach Kiwis

The Herald on Sunday has reported that Greg Shipperd, the Victoria coach, could be one of the contenders to replace John Bracewell, whose term ends in April 2009. Shipperd apparently has the backing of the New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, who was impressed by the Australian during their stint with the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.

Cavendish pulls out

Quadruple stage winner Mark Cavendish has pulled out of the Tour de France prior to the 15th stage, the first of three days in the Alps here Sunday, according to his Columbia team.

ICC to inspect ump referral

International Cricket Council (ICC) general manager (cricket) Dave Richardson will be here next week to inspect the infrastructure that has been put in place to operationalise the umpire referral system which goes on trial during the India-Sri Lanka Test series.

Kapil blasts Yuvi's habits

Former India captain Kapil Dev yesterday slammed Test discard Yuvraj Singh for attending late night parties instead of focussing on cricket.

Malik's plea to Trophy teams

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik on Sunday urged Champions Trophy teams to dispel their concerns about security in Pakistan ahead of September's tournament.

Business

Tk 573cr TeleTalk expansion project gets go-ahead

State-run mobile operator TeleTalk finally gave the go-ahead for its much-talked-about Tk 573 crore network expansion project as the company last week awarded two of its existing vendors the first phase of the scheme.

DSE for quarterly reports of firms

The country's premier bourse yesterday proposed to make it mandatory for listed companies to submit financial statements in every three months so that adequate disclosure of corporate financial information is ensured in a short span of time.

WTO ministers gather for crunch summit to nail Doha deal

Trade ministers from more than 30 countries, deeply divided and still clinging to core interests, mount another bid Monday to nail down a global trade accord before the arrival of a new US president early next year.

Cable industry thrives on housing growth

Domestic cable industry has been growing for the last 10 years mainly due to the enormous growth in the country's housing sector.

BSTI compiles response to draft guideline on standards for social responsibility

Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) has finished compiling Bangladesh's overall response to the working draft of ISO26000 as the guideline on standards for social responsibility in 2010.

Anti-graft drive helps NBR cross revenue target

Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam said yesterday that the anti-corruption drive might have helped net huge revenues, which surpassed the amended target for the very first time in the country's taxation history, in the last fiscal (2007-08).

Air India Express starts Dhaka-Kolkata flights

Indian state-run Air India's subsidiary carrier Air India Express yesterday started regular Dhaka-Kolkata flights, offering attractive economy fare, according to a release.

Vietnam Asia's biggest exporter of timber furniture

Vietnam has become the biggest furniture exporter in the Asean market, according to the country's Ministry of Industry and Trade.

China's firm to set up 3G network in Italy

Chinese telecom equipment maker Potevio will team up with an Italian company to build a trial 3G (third generation) mobile phone network in Italy, based on TD-SCDMA, a Chinese home-grown standard.

Nomination deadline for Citi Awards 2008 to close Aug 15

The deadline for submitting nominations for Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards 2008 will close on August 15, 2008, according to a press release.

Display of Bangladesh RMG to be held in Denmark

A display of Bangladeshi readymade garments (RMG) and one-to-one business meeting with Danish importers will be held at Copenhagen on October 6-8 this year.

Etihad Airways places order for up to 205 aircraft

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has placed one of the largest aircraft orders in commercial aviation history at the Farnborough International Air Show in the UK.

Gulf states to harvest food from foreign investment

Faced with a scarcity of fertile land, water shortages and surging world food prices, wealthy Arab states in the Gulf are seeking to secure their food supplies by investing in agriculture abroad.

European tourists flock to Florida as dollar slides

Reeling from a real estate collapse and battered by hurricanes, Floridians can at least take heart from one economic bright spot: European tourists are coming to spend, spend, spend.

ECB fight against inflation a tough sell as economy stumbles

The European Central Bank is trying to convince people in the eurozone that taking a tough stand on inflation will get them through lean economic times, arguing that long-term gains warrant short-term pain.

S Korean airline to buy 30 A350 planes

Asiana Airlines Inc has agreed to buy 30 new A350 XWB aircraft from Airbus, in response to the growing challenges of the business environment, S Korea's second-largest carrier said on Thursday.

City Bank's new head of marketing, brand

Aftab Mahmud Khurshid has joined City Bank as head of marketing and brand communications, says a press release.

Iran, China interested in Ecuador oil refinery

China and Iran are interested in investing in a six-billion-dollar oil refinery Ecuador is building with Venezuelan help on the Pacific coast, President Rafael Correa said Saturday.

Sri Lanka bans duty free imports of white goods

Sri Lanka will ban its citizens from bringing duty free items ranging from air conditioners to washing machines into the country as part of their baggage allowance, a Customs ruling said Sunday.

Malaysia's Proton needs foreign partner

Malaysia's national carmaker needs to hook up with a foreign company if it is to compete in the automotive industry, the trade minister said according to Sunday news reports.

Philippines leader gets oil firms to cut diesel prices

President Gloria Arroyo has prevailed on oil companies in the Philippines to trim diesel prices to help ease the pain of surging inflation, her spokesman said Sunday.

China warns ExxonMobil to drop Vietnam deal

China has warned US oil giant ExxonMobil to drop an exploration deal in the seas off Vietnam and said the project could threaten any future mainland contracts, a Hong Kong newspaper reported Sunday.

Metropolitan

Campaign against corruption in govt offices soon

Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday called upon the government officials to refrain themselves from corruption and help uproot the seed of graft from everyone's mind.

3 killed, 5 hurt in wall collapses in Sirajganj, Comilla

At least three people were killed and five others injured in wall collapses in Sirajganj and Comilla yesterday.

Tarique to be treated in US after release

Preparation for the treatment of Tarique Rahman, elder son of former prime minister Khaleda Zia and BNP's senior joint secretary general, has been taken at a hospital in New York as he is likely to be freed for treatment under parole.

Poor dental patients bear brunt

The access of poor patients to oral treatment and dental surgery is very limited due to lack of facilities in government hospitals and high costs at private dental clinics.

Protect antiquities, archeological heritages

Speakers at a seminar yesterday urged the government to establish a national committee and formulate a policy to protect the antiquities and archeological heritages of the country.

Pak drug, cigarette, clothes worth Tk 40 lakh seized

A surveillance team of Customs at Zia International Airport (ZIA) yesterday seized huge quantity of smuggled Pakistani drug, cigarette and clothes worth over Tk 40 lakh and arrested three people in this connection.

'Stop sexual harassment at educational institutions'

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) President Ayesha Khanam yesterday urged all the university authorities to implement the sexual harassment protection policy at university level.

Brother, brother-in-law murdered Swapan

Police have come to the conclusions that Swapan Barai, a carpenter who was killed in the city's Khilkhet area six days ago, had been murdered by his brother Dulal Barai and brother-in-law Nokul Mandal.

Writ against giving transit to India

A writ petition was filed yesterday with the High Court (HC) to direct the government to refrain from giving transit facilities to India.

6-yr-old boy rescued 18 days after abduction

Detective Branch (DB) of Police yesterday rescued a six-year-old boy from Noakhali 18 days after he was abducted from Badda in the city and arrested four from Dhaka and Noakhali in this connection.

'Implement 7th wage board immediately'

Journalists at a rally in the port city yesterday called for immediate implementation of the 7th wage board in all newspapers.

DCC, JICA hold workshop for city cleaners

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) in association with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) organised a workshop for its cleaners on Sunday to raise awareness about personal and environmental cleanliness among them.

Poet Kaikobad's 57th anniversary of death today

Today is 57th death anniversary of Mohakobi Kaikobad.

Two killed in road accidents

At least two people were killed and 27 others injured in separate road accidents in Tangail and Magura yesterday.

BRTA to serve notice on bus owners

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) will serve show cause notice to the owners of city bus services, those kept their busses off the road in Chittagong metropolitan area.

Hundi trader held with Tk 27 lakh in foreign currencies

Detective Branch (DB) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) in a raid here yesterday arrested a hundi trader and seized foreign currencies worth over Tk 27 lakh from his possession.

Former ADB president Chino passes away

Tadao Chino, former president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), passed away in Tokyo, Japan on Thursday at the age of 74, says a press release.

Four get life for murder

A court here yesterday sentenced four people to life term imprisonment in a sensational murder case.

VoIP equipment seized in Ctg

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) equipments worth around Tk 10 lakh from Kazir Dewry area in the city yesterday.

Leadership training for youths begins

Bangladesh Youth Leadership Centre (BYLC) began its journey on Friday with the inauguration of 'Building Bridges through Leadership Training' programme in Chittagong, says a press release.

Killing of BDR men by BSF condemned

Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP) expressed concern and condemned the recent killings of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) members and farmers by Indian Border Security Forces (BSF), says a press release.

Diane Lindsey new country director of HKI-Bangladesh

Diane Lindsey has been appointed the new country director of Helen Keller International (HKI) - Bangladesh, says a press release.

Smuggled goods worth Tk 4 crore seized

The coastguard personnel during their month long drive seized huge quantity of smuggled goods worth about Tk 4 crore, coastguard official sources said.

JCD men beat up 4 students at DU

A group of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activists yesterday beat up four students at the Institute of Education and Research (IER) building of Dhaka University (DU).

PSC submits report on civil service quota

The Public Service Commission (PSC) yesterday submitted recommendations on quota system for civil service recruitments to the caretaker government, a government handout said yesterday.

Abdullah Al Mamun's condition still critical

The condition of Abdullah Al Mamun, a noted actor, playwright and director, is said to be critical, and he has been provided with artificial life support at the Square Hospital in the city.

Body found in city lake

Police recovered a body of an unidentified youth aged about 25 from a lake at Kawla near Zia International Airport in the city yesterday.

BCL threatens strike at DU for indefinite period

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of Awami League, yesterday said it would call strike at Dhaka University (DU) if the authorities do not take effective steps immediately to release detained BCL General Secretary Mahfujul Haider Chowdhury Rotan.

Reunion held

The 24th BCS Forum held its reunion at BCS Administration Academy auditorium in the city on Friday.

National

Aman uncertain in Sidr-hit Patuakhali, Barguna

With increased salinity on large areas of agricultural land in Sidr affected coastal districts Patuakhali and Barguna, cultivation of Aman, the main crop of the area, has become uncertain.

'Ban Jamaat's fake FFs body'

Freedom fighters, joined by different organisations, continued protests in districts against assault of a freedom fighter by Jamaat-Shibir in the capital on June 11, demanding punishment of the culprits and trial of war criminals.

'Warning for first time violation as rules are quiet new'

Independent mayor candidate Siddikur Rahman gave an undertaking at Rajshahi deputy election commissioner's office yesterday that he would no more violate election rules by using loudspeakers beyond the officially fixed time limit.

Negate corrupt people thru' ballot

Prof Muzaffer Ahmad, president of Shushashoner Janney Nagorik (Shujan) yesterday urged people to vote for honest, competent and reliable candidates for development of the areas.

Nominate honest people in JS polls

Speakers at a workshop held here yesterday urged political parties to nominate honest people in next parliamentary election.

Cheated teenager burns herself

A teen-aged girl yesterday committed suicide by burning herself after her lover decided to marry another girl.

13 acquitted in Barisal

Ziaur Rahman Zia, chief of Al Ikram Islami Social Welfare Society, an NGO, and 12 others were acquitted of charge in a verdict pronounced by a speedy trial tribunal yesterday in another case of serial blasts here on August 17, 2005.

Freedom fighter laid to rest with state honour

Freedom Fighter Md. Hossain Ali was laid to rest with state honour at Birganj upazila in Dinajpur yesterday.

Drug traders hurt policeman, Ansar in Natore

Drug traders injured a police constable and an Ansar member when police arrested a drug peddler at Chowdhury Barogacha in Natore town on Saturday night.

3-day anti-graft fair begins at C'nawabganj

A three-day anti-graft fair began here yesterday.

Correction

A caption published on the National page of The Daily Star on July 20 wrongly mentioned the designation of Maj Gen Abdul Hafiz as director general of Ansar VDP Academy. In fact Abdul Hafiz is the director general of Ansar VDP. We regret the inadvertent mistake.

Letters

Share market investors

We find DSE website very busy during. Most of the companies have converted their share transaction system through BOI/electronic or computerized account. It makes life easier for the shareholders. You can see the market status through Internet or TV channel and you can decide whatever shares you want to buy or sell. This reduces lot of paperwork. This is one of the factors to eventually attract general people to this business. There are some common terms used for this case. IPO, primary share, stock, secondary share, bond, dividend, lot, face value, bonus share, EPS, spot sale, portfolio, A, B, Z, N, G category, etc. Presently, students, teachers, service holders, businessmen, retired personnel all are investing some of their money to learn and see the return.

Priority areas

We achieved our freedom sacrificing much in terms of lives. The first govt. of Bangladesh was supposed to rebuild the nation with a clear philosophy and motto. But unfortunately we lost the chance at the very beginning.

Government subsidy

It is baffling to castigate donor agencies for closure of our jute, sugar and steel mills of the country. The Adviser Finance had to swear a few months ago in a public seminar of his receiving no such advice from donor agencies. The distinguished academicians (especially Russian educated) continued their anger on those agencies without looking into ground realities in the industrial arena owned by the government. Mismanagement, corruption, nepotism went unchecked by the successive governments. All the officials engaged in those producing units and their controlling head offices had no accountability. Industrial management experts having both academic qualifications and practical experience had no place rather only politically and bureaucratically favoured people got the upper hand which led to closure of mills culminating in heavy losses.

War criminals at work

Kicking a freedom fighter ( by the war criminals ) is the reality of our present state of affairs. The sector commanders routinely protested the dastardly act. The politicians of pro-liberation gharana also lamented the incident. Students of Dhaka University paraded the streets of their campus. But our government, caretaker for two years, virtually ignored the matter.

'No vote'

The freedom of choice is a beauty of democracy. This freedom reflects two alternatives. Firstly, given a desirable option against an undesirable one, it is the authority to choose the former and reject the latter. Secondly, if undesirable options are forced upon, it is then the capacity to react.

SSC results

We are very happy that our young learners have achieved good results. This year more than 52 thousand students have secured GPA-5, the highest grade point. The achievers, of course, deserve congratulations. I have, still, some questions. First, we should consider that only three or four years ago, a few students got such grading. But within three or four years there is a big change. It is said that in the grading system, teachers are liberal in examining answer scripts.

High level cheating

Cheating in public services by highly placed professionals is difficult to eradicate, as these officials control the field level staffs who monitor and implement the rules and regulations.

Road shows

The government has much enthusiasm for the road show. We are given the impression that road shows can contain corruption. When many people cannot manage their two meals, spending so much money on such a programme is simply useless. I do not find any difference between the road march that the political parties used to arrange before one-eleven and the so called road shows being organised these days.

Israel and the US

Israel, a rogue state, has grown very powerful. It is a bully and threat to the entire Middle East.

Universities and power supply

Nowadays the private universities are not getting enough electricity during their stipulated time of research.

'Rebranding Bangladesh

Thank you, Mr. Mamun Rashid, for a wonderful article on rebranding Bangladesh. I am an NRB and a regular reader of your newspaper. I have never seen such a positive article from a Bangladeshi newspaper. Being an NRB we all try in our own way to be the best ambassadors of our country, and honestly we the NRBs are also a valuable product of our country. But as you said, in the Western world, the name Bangladesh is always attached with poverty, natural disaster and poor government. But if you look at each and every bad thing that happens to Bangladesh, its people tried to overcome all the obstacles and shine.

Politicians

I was watching a famous film called Man of The Year, starring Robin Williams. It is a commentary on American politics.

Life in Dhaka

I am a university student studying History at Drexel University in the US. I am currently in Dhaka for the summer visiting relatives. I have been reading The Daily Star and feel it is both a comprehensive newspaper and a responsible one, admirably living up to its "without Fear or Favour" motto.

Monitor the market

Although it is said that the price of edible oil i.e. soyabean oil (per kg.) should be Tk 112 (source: The Daily Star & the daily Prothom Alo-- 10th July 2008), it is seen that in many markets soyabean oil is sold at a much higher price.

Tigers subdued

The Asia Cup Cricket started nicely for Bangladesh, though the opposition was U.A.E. The poor batting display however continued and as predicted by many, Bangladesh would get only one win (against U.A.E) and that was it. In my previous letter (23.06.08) I predicted that Bangladesh would have 10% success in the near future. But looking at the just concluded Asia Cup, I just have a feeling that I have probably predicted a bit too much.

Mockery of humanity!

I was watching a news documentary on CNN the other day. It was a wonderful show of humanity on the part of the American authorities. They were taking an extreme care of a burnt out Iraqi boy the boy, named Yasuf, was severely burnt and wounded recently in an attack. Doctors were examining his physical and mental conditions, and treating him accordingly. It was a show that makes others think or believe that humanity still exists.

SAU's location

This refers to Prof. SAM's letter (DS, dt.14/07/2008) on the above subject which he has written in reply to my previous letter on the same issue (ref: DS, dt.11/07/2008).

Don't overlook…

I am writing to you to enquire about the state of coverage regarding RAB and the associated activities being carried out by them in Bangladesh. Specifically, the concern revolves around coverage of such deplorable activities by the government agencies and under-reporting or no reporting of context and content by large circulating newspapers in Bangladesh.

US strategy

The Bush administration is going to execute its designs against Iran following three ways-- 1. Stimulating extremist movements in oil rich areas; 2. Provoking Iranians to adopt the oppressive way over the separatists; 3. pressurising other countries to avoid Iran in terms of trade and commerce and bilateral agreements.

International

Pakistan coalition to devise anti-terror strategy: PM

Leaders of Pakistan's ruling coalition will meet in Islamabad next week to devise a comprehensive strategy to root out terrorism and extremism, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said late Saturday.

Taliban gear up for attacks across Pakistan

The Taliban in Pakistan are gearing up for attacks across the country in the wake of an army operation against militants in the North West Frontier Province that has resulted in the killing of 15 rebels.

US watching trust vote with fingers crossed

With the fate of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government hanging in balance over the India-US civil nuclear deal, the Washington establishment is keeping its fingers crossed and lips sealed before Tuesday's trust vote.

5,000 Tigers killed this yr, claims Lankan military

More than 5,000 Tamil Tiger rebels have been killed by Sri Lanka's military since the beginning of the year, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Nato airstrikes kill 9 Afghan policemen

Nine policemen and four civilians were killed in Afghanistan yesterday in international military air strikes called in when police and troops clashed after mistaking each other for Taliban, authorities said.

US warns Iran as nuke talks yield no deal

World powers' latest bid to make Iran halt its nuclear programme stalled Saturday as high-level talks involving US and Iranian officials ended without a deal and Washington warned of possible further "confrontation."

US should leave as soon as possible: Iraqi leader

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says US troops should leave Iraq "as soon as possible," according to a magazine report, and he called presidential candidate Barack Obama's suggestion of 16 months "the right timeframe for a withdrawal."

Obama meets Karzai

US Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama yesterday met here with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has been criticised by the Illinois senator for not doing enough to rebuild his war-torn country.

Pak foreign secy in India for talks

Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir has arrived in India through the land transit route at Atari border to hold the fifth round of foreign secretary level Composite Dialogue Process (CDP) in New Delhi today.

Pak lawyers ask govt to restore sacked judges by Aug 14

Pakistan's influential lawyers' movement has set the August 14 deadline for the PPP-led government to restore the judges deposed by President Pervez Musharraf during last year's emergency rule, else it will intensify its protests across the country paralysing courts.

Former Nepali king leads lonely life as commoner

With few friends coming to visit and his son and one-time heir now living in Singapore, the new life of Nepal's ousted king as a commoner is by all accounts a lonely, meditative one.

Indian soldier, police officer killed in Kashmir fighting

An Indian soldier and a police officer were killed and three others were seriously wounded in a gunbattle with militants in revolt-hit Indian Kashmir on Sunday, an official said.

British PM pledges more support for Palestinians

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday pledged further economic aid to the Palestinians aimed at bolstering the US-backed Middle East peace process.

Cambodia informs UN of alleged Thai incursion

Cambodia has complained to the UN Security Council that Thai forces have violated its territory near an ancient World Heritage Site temple where hundreds of troops continued to face off yesterday.

1st trial of Guantanamo inmate begins today

A special military trial at Guantanamo is due to open today as detainee Salim Hamdan, who worked as a driver for terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, faces the first US war-crimes tribunal since the end of World War II.Hamdan, who is from Yemen, is the first "enemy combatant" from the US "war on terror" to face a full-scale trial since the prison camp at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba was opened in late 2001.

Arts & Entertainment

Blending the calm of nature with its restlessness

Khursheed Alam Saleem, settled in New York for the past 22 years, is having a solo exhibition of abstract expressionistic works titled, "Images of Nature", at the Bengal Gallery. His works pulsate with chromatic and tactile nuances.

Theatre for and by the people

Chhayanat regularly organises programmes on music, recitation and dance. Recently, Chhayanat has initiated a new programme called "Nirdharito Baktritamala" (lecture series). Each instalment of the series features a selected topic and an in-depth lecture by a personality from the related field.

Theatre workshop for indigenous children of greater Dinajpur

A daylong workshop on drama for indigenous children of greater Dinajpur region was held at the Dinajpur Adibashi Academy Auditorium on July 19.

Monsoon in Rabindra Sangeet

“Emon din-e taarey bola jaye, emon ghanoghor barisha-e," wrote Tagore. Monsoon's presence in the Nobel laureate poet's songs and poetry is at times subtle, at times bold but in a nutshell -- ubiquitous. To celebrate the season, cultural organisation Dakkhini Rabindra-sangeetangan and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) jointly organised a musical soiree titled "Rabindranath-er Gaan-e Barsha" at the National Music and Dance Auditorium, BSA on July 19.

Cultural programme by Nandan

On July 19, cultural organisation Nandan held a programme titled "Namilo Srabon Shondha" featuring Tagore songs and poetry on rain at Ramesh Chandra Dutt Memorial Auditorium, Chhayanat Sangskriti Bhaban.

Ledger's compelling Joker thrills, saddens fans

As Chris Finegan watched Heath Ledger's stunning portrayal of the Joker last weekend in "The Dark Knight," he couldn't help but think of another actor who wasn't on the screen: James Dean, who also died prematurely and tragically, nearly 53 years ago.

OP-ED

A true leader

July 18 marked the 90th birthday of Nelson Mandela, leader of South Africa's freedom struggle and icon of the 20th and 21st centuries. Here we reproduce passages from Long Walk to Freedom, the acclaimed memoir of this remarkable man whose life is an inspiration to all those around the world fighting for human rights and human dignity. Nelson Mandela's life is a testament to the power of true leadership and how one man's courage and moral example can change the course of history and lead a nation to freedom.

Rice haves versus rice have-nots

ONE of the basic necessities of a commodity's availability is trade. Adam Smith, in his seminal work in 1776, had shown that comparative advantage of nations through trade was the key to increasing the economic wealth of all nations.

Return of the tainted?

POLITICS and its accompanying episodes have of late taken a significant turn. This was visibly heralded by the temporary release of Sheikh Hasina on parole for her treatment abroad, and more so by the special attention given her by the caretaker government (CTG).

The colonial club is alive and well, but still won't let me join

SO there I was, applying to join a swanky, high-class leisure club with leather armchairs and stuffy waiters. Me? Elitist? No way. I have the utmost respect for the people who live around me, even though most of them are low class, smelly rabble with foul, uncouth habits typical of the poorly bred.

Star City

A richly ornate temple at risk of ruination

Walking by the narrow lanes of Tantibazar one will see a small wooden door almost hidden in the midst of congested buildings.

Increasing Wasa water pumps increasing risks and worries

In the wake of rapidly increasing water demand in the city, Dhaka Wasa is raising the number of pumps to lift underground water despite being aware of the dangers of depleting groundwater table.

Swimming fast gaining in popularity

Swimming is fast becoming one of the most popular forms of exercise, entertainment and leisure activity among the Dhaka dwellers.

"city express"

The latest crop of quotes from the city's press -- words worth repeating, we feel, for their humour, insight or sheer outrageousness. Star City does not necessarily support the opinions expressed in this column.


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