The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, September 21, 2014


News of: Monday, 28th of July, 2008

Front Page

19 sitting judges oppose HC rule

Nineteen judges of the High Court (HC) yesterday filed an application with the Supreme Court (SC) against the HC judgment that directed the government to reappoint with seniority 10 additional judges not confirmed during the BNP-Jamaat coalition government's rule.

HC rules against Aug 15 politics by BNP-led govt

The High Court (HC) yesterday declared illegal immediate past BNP-led 4-party alliance government's order for cancelling observance of national mourning day and a public holiday on August 15.

Top outlaw Dr Tutul killed in 'crossfire’

Chief of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP Marxist-Leninist) Lal Pataka faction Dr Tutul was killed in "crossfire" between police and his accomplices before dawn yesterday in Naogaon.

Golden past of olden Dhaka

Md Sharifuddin is too old to do any hard work. He spends most of his time sitting at a quilt shop just opposite the Binat Bibi Mosque in Narinda. He was born and brought up at a house behind the oldest mosque of Dhaka.

3 mayor aspirants under EC watch

The Election Commission (EC) will look into the allegations of violating the electoral rules by three mayoral candidates in Rajshahi, Khulna and Barisal.

Parties hail verdict

Most of the major political parties yesterday welcomed the High Court (HC) verdict that declared illegal the cancellation of National Mourning Day and a pubic holiday on August 15.

India urges for calm, army called out

Indian leaders issued appeals for calm yesterday as the army was called out after a wave of bombings killed 45 people in Ahmedabad, a city rocked by deadly Hindu-Muslim riots six years ago.

Elderly man dies in panic

A panic-stricken elderly man died of a heart attack in Sirajganj minutes after yesterday's earthquake that shook the country.

Emergency can be eased further

The government will consider relaxing the emergency rules further, if necessary, for candidates to conduct campaign in the upcoming local elections, Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed said yesterday.

Dr Mosharraf sued for tax evasion

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday filed a case against detained former health minister Dr Khondaker Mosharraf Hossain for evading over Tk 63 lakh in income tax from 1995 to 2005.

Indian army chief in city

Indian Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a six-day visit following Bangladesh Army Chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed's visit to India last February.

Fugitive Ilias Ali appears, disappears from HC

Despite an arrest warrant, former BNP lawmaker M Ilias Ali yesterday walked into the High Court (HC) and left unhindered as the law enforcers on duty there stood by.

Ex-BNP MP Nazimuddin Alam held

Former BNP lawmaker Nazimuddin Alam was arrested yesterday from the city residence of party leader Brig Gen (retd) Hannan Shah.

Subject-based training needed to qualify as primary teachers

Prospective teachers should be provided with subject-based training to qualify as primary school teachers to improve the quality of education in the country, a Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) report has said.

Jamdani industry thrives on child labour

Children from very poor families are falling victim to slave labour in the thriving Jamdani industry of the country as weavers are exploiting poor children as young as five years old.

Back to where he belongs

Nasima, a teenage mother, had no clue about the ill motive of the two ayas at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) while handing over her 24-day-old sick son Rimon to them for medical treatment.

More low-lying areas inundated as flood situation worsens

The flood situation of the country deteriorated yesterday as several rivers were flowing above their danger marks and a number of them continued to swell and burst their banks.

SMS to know your polling centre

Voters in four city corporations and nine municipalities where polls are scheduled for August 4 can know locations of their designated polling stations by using short message service (SMS).

Plan to set up fair-price shops in Ramadan

Considering the high commodity prices on the domestic market, the government has decided to open fair-price shops (FPS) across the country for poor people in the month of Ramadan.

HC bench drops from docket bail petitions of Hasina, Selim

The High Court (HC) yesterday dropped two separate petitions filed by Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina and former minister Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim from its docket on request of their counsels who sought bail for the two in the extortion case filed by Azam J Chowdhury.

On-arrival visa in Malaysia for Bangladeshis

From now on Bangladeshi nationals will be able to obtain Malaysian visa on arrival, a foreign ministry press release said.

Draft voter list of Dhaka put on display

The draft voter list for Dhaka City is on display at ward commissioners' and election offices for public view so voters can correct information, Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain yesterday said.

2 wives, son of ex-MP Giasuddin sent to jail

A special court yesterday rejected the bail petitions of detained former BNP lawmaker Mohammad Giasuddin's two wives and son and sent them to jail after they surrendered to the court in connection with a corruption case.

Rahul Gandhi due Aug 1

Indian Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi, son of Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi, will visit Bangladesh on August 1 on a five-day trip to get a first-hand experience of rural development projects run by Grameen Bank and Brac, an NGO.

Saarc meeting begins, crackdown on stray dogs

A meeting of officials of South Asian countries began here yesterday, after an unprecedented crackdown on stray dogs ahead of the Saarc summit early next month.

Gunmen in Iraq kill 7 Shia Muslims

Gunmen hiding in reeds in a Sunni town south of Baghdad killed seven Shia pilgrims yesterday as they were marching to a shrine in the capital for a major holiday, officials said.

Editorial

Floods around the corner

WE believe, given the latest information, the flood situation seems to be unfolding rather rapidly in the country. We should face the facts squarely that large areas under Netrakona, Pabna, Rangpur, Faridpur and Khulna districts are getting inundated as water level of the Padma, the Jamuna and the Teesta is rising steadily. Already 10,000 people have been affected in Faridpur and hundreds of acres of cropland have gone under water. In Khulna district a number of embankments have been washed away by floodwater thereby rendering hundreds of people homeless.

A useful scheme at risk

THE grim prospect of seeing the community schools closing down entirely is becoming a reality. Already such schools in 10 districts have been unofficially closed. And the reason is that the teachers are no longer able to make both ends meet with the paltry sum that they get as pay. One is at a loss to understand how such a meagre amount of Tk1200 was determined as their monthly pay in the first place? The pattern would appear even more ridiculous when one considers that Tk. 500 was the pay of these teachers almost a decade ago, and increased to the current level of 1200 from Tk 750 in 2007.

The mystery of nuclear proliferation

IN 2004, a scandal originating from the nuclear Shangrila of Pakistan's Kahuta was first spotted by the IAEA, the international nuclear watchdog. It exploded like a bombshell, and an embarrassed Pakistani establishment quickly swept the whole shady affair by making Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the nuclear scientist behind Pakistan's bomb, responsible.

The headmaster of a school for scandal

IN the end it's the jokes that get you, isn't it? SMS, that deadly virus, has been spreading sound bites like "Sting is King." Its first cousin, email, has been circulating emotional pleas to the heartless finance minister: "Don't you know how old MPs are? They have bad backs! Can't you print Rs 100,000 notes instead of measly little thousand-rupee notes? Do you know how heavy a sack of 30 crores is?" There are heart-rending stories of MPs breaking down because they did not know how to take their loot, collected in Delhi, back to the security of their small towns.

Manmohan government survives … for now

EVEN before the dust raised by the confidence vote in the Indian parliament, that saw the survival of the Dr. Manmohan Singh government in tense and dramatic conditions, could settle down, unexpected incidents were unfolding in the political scene of the world's largest democracy.

Sports

Tigers batting quietly

Mohammad Ashraful's men have been preparing for the upcoming four-nation Twenty20 tournament in Toronto and three-match one-day series against Australia in Darwin, quite silently.

BKSP take off with win

BKSP managed a solitary goal victory over Bangladesh Police in their opening group A match of the Citycell Federation Cup Football qualifying rounds at the Army Stadium yesterday.

Match trudging towards a draw

South Africa opted for batting practice in the final day of their three-day match against fellow visitors Bangladesh A at the New Road ground in Worcester yesterday.

India exposed

For a side aspiring to be number one, nothing stands out more than the fact that India have not been able to string two consecutive Test wins in the last three years.

PCB not bothered

Pakistan's cricket chief Saturday said he was not worried over the prospect of top players pulling out of the Champions Trophy, which the South Asian country hosts in September.

'Reviews fix mistakes'

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has backed a new experimental rule allowing players to seek a second opinion on umpiring decisions, saying it has succeeded in cutting down mistakes.

Gala opening for village

The Athletes' Village for the Beijing Olympics held its official opening ceremony Sunday, an all-Chinese curtain raiser with basketball stars Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian and Wang Zhizhi heading a 265-member delegation of athletes and officials.

Seventeen to fly to Beijing

A 17-member contingent will represent Bangladesh in the Beijing Olympics to be held from August 8.

In defence of smoking

Pictured lolling in a swimming pool during his honeymoon in June, Wayne Rooney looked like many young Englishmen abroad: high-street Bermudas, lobster tan, can of fizz, cigarette. This Englishman is, however, the country's most talented footballer, and the cigarette caused a rumpus. Pundits grumbled their disappointment and anticipated the hairdryer treatment from his manager. Other commentators - the smokers, at a guess - came to Rooney's defence. There was little agreement on how the occasional stick might affect his football.

'Olympics tougher than WC'

Securing a first Olympic title will be a tougher job than the World Cup, Brazil's coach Dunga said Sunday, and insisted his young team was up to the task of football gold at the Beijing Games.

Scolari defends Asian tour

Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has defended the club's Asian tour after reports emerged of backroom unrest among players unhappy with the rigorous pre-season trip.

MU win Vodacom Challenge

Sir Alex Ferguson insisted Manchester United will tour South Africa again after winning Vodacom Challenge on Saturday -- but admitted that plans to return in 2010, World Cup year, are unlikely to bear fruit.

Lack of finances no excuse

The lack of financial fire-power felt by Germany's top clubs compared to their European neighbours is no excuse for failure in the Champions League, insists Bayern Munich coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Penalty miss behind Natale

Udinese forward Antonio Di Natale said on Saturday he has put June's costly Euro 2008 penalty miss against Spain well and truly behind him.

Messi hits hattrick in Barca win

Argentine star Lionel Messi, currently at the centre of an Olympic Games club-or-country row, hit a hattrick in Barcelona's 5-1 pre-season friendly win over Scotland's Dundee United on Saturday.

Schuster's dig at C'Ron pursuit

Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster is concerned that his club's obsession with signing Cristiano Ronaldo could cause them to miss out on buying other players.

Friedel seals Villa move

Goalkeeper Brad Friedel completed his 2.5million pound move from Blackburn to Aston Villa on Saturday and vowed to help the Midlands side break into the Premier League top four.

Hamburg win, Bayern draw

Hamburg's new recruit Jonathan Pitroipa celebrated his debut with the winning goal as the Bundesliga side beat English Premier League side Manchester City 1-0 on Saturday in a pre-season friendly.

Chimbonda joins Sunderland

French defender Pascal Chimbonda has joined Sunderland from Premier League rivals Tottenham on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee, the north-east club announced Saturday.

Bosingwa out of season opener

New Chelsea signing Jose Bosingwa will miss the start of the Premier League season after being forced out of their Asian tour with a thigh injury, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said on Saturday.

10 fans hurt in Budapest riots

At least 10 people were injured Saturday when supporters of Budapest football club Honved clashed with fans of Austria's Sturm Graz during a match in the Hungarian capital.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh Ansar started their Spectra Group National Women's Kabaddi campaign in great style by outclassing Jhenidah 47-3 in the opening match at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday.

Bolt unsure about double

Usain Bolt's coach is worried that going for the sprint double at the Beijing Olympics could hurt the 100-meter world record holder's chances of winning gold in his stronger race, the 200.

Nadal to face Kiefer in final

Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal will face Nicolas Kiefer for the third time in four months in the Toronto Masters final on Sunday as the unstoppable Spaniard aims for a third Masters title of 2008.

Middlesex clinch T20

South Africa's Tyron Henderson held his nerve as Middlesex beat Kent by three runs in the final of English county cricket's Twenty20 Cup at the Rose Bowl here Saturday to set themselves up for a cash bonanza.

Iraq's last ditch effort

An Iraqi delegation headed to Switzerland on Saturday for talks with the International Olympic Committee over a ban on Iraq competing in the Beijing Games, government officials said.

Gayle likely to quit captaincy

Chris Gayle is likely to step down as the West Indies captain, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has reportedly indicated. The board however said it is yet to receive official word from him.

Business

Fish hatchery law on cards

The government is set to introduce a law to bring discipline and accountability in fish hatchery industry that has grown sporadically in the last couple of decades, a senior official at the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry said yesterday.

First batch of 60 skilled RMG workers fly to Russia in 3 months

The first batch of a group of 60 skilled garment workers that has been chosen by a local overseas recruiter for a Russian employer now awaits its flight to that country sometime in the next 3 months.

Largest-ever syndicated loan for power generation

Two power companies of Summit Group, are to receive Tk 395.5 crore, the largest- ever amount under a syndicated term loan agreement in Bangladesh, to produce 110 megawatt (MW) of electricity from early next year.

Private ambulance services boom

Private ambulance services have been thriving in Dhaka in recent years, as the hospitals in the city do not have enough vehicles to carry critically ill patients and bodies.

Two more US banks shut down

The US Treasury has shut down two affiliated western banks as the impact of the US real estate crash rolls through the country's financial institutions.

Experts for central body to promote corporate governance

Experts yesterday stressed the need for establishing a central coordinating agency to provide a regulatory framework and to promote and monitor the best corporate governance practices in both the public and private sectors.

Accurate, timely info key to preventing financial fraud

Accurate and timely information in addition to an exercise of due diligence is key to the prevention of frauds, the International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh (ICC-B) president said yesterday.

Key players look to bolster consensus at WTO talks

Top negotiators prepared Sunday to try to firm up emerging signs of consensus on a new global trade pact, with signs that marathon talks here will spill into another week.

Will depositor directorship in banks click?

Choosing directors from depositors' side for banks has recently become a talk of the banking circle.

Roadblocks hit historic India, China mountain pass

Guo Ting stands patiently in the drizzling rain hoping to sell her wares, about half a dozen blankets wrapped in plastic, but only a few shoppers show up and nobody is buying.

DSE indices up slightly

Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) started the week yesterday with a slight rise in price indices.

DHL targets business growth in Bangladesh

DHL, the world's leading express and logistics company, has experienced double-digit growth in the last few years and has moved to introduce more of its best-in-class products and services to consolidate its market leadership in Bangladesh, according to a press release.

Economic shocks to put16m people into extreme poverty

Top United Nations experts on Latin America and the Caribbean have warned that global economic shocks could throw some 16 million people of the Americas into extreme poverty, threatening important gains toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the region.

Media agency Maxus' 3rd anniversary today

Today is the 3rd anniversary of media agency Maxus, according to a press release.

Banglalink sets up huge network of customer service points

Mobile phone operator Banglalink has established a huge network of customer service points across the country to cater to the need of customers, said a press release.

Lufthansa faces strike during peak holiday season

Lufthansa, the biggest German airline, faces a tumultuous strike during its busiest season after members of the German trade union Verdi voted to press demands for pay raises.

US satellite radio firms to merge

US regulators formally approved the long-delayed billion-dollar merger of the nation's only two satellite radio companies, combining Sirius and XM into a single network with 18 million subscribers, the FCC said Saturday.

SKorea's LG cuts down on LCD production

LG Display, the world's second-largest liquid crystal display maker, has cut down on production in the short term amid a global supply glut and falling prices, a report said Sunday.

Malaysia to stabilise falling palm oil prices

Malaysia will put in place a series of measures to stabilise plummeting global palm oil prices including selling off crude stocks, a report said Sunday.

Nokia to reimburse German state to end plant closure row

Nokia will reimburse a German state over 1.3 million euros (two million dollars) to resolve a plant closure dispute that has cost the mobile phone giant tens of millions already, officials said Saturday.

BASIC Bank gets new MD

AKM Sajedur Rahman has joined Bangladesh Small Industries and Commerce Bank Ltd (BASIC Bank) as the managing director recently, says a press release.

New MD of IPDC

Masih-ul-Huq Chowdhury joined Industrial Promotion and Development Company of Bangladesh Limited (IPDC) as new managing director & CEO yesterday, says a press release.

Metropolitan

Case against us part of plot by recruiting agency

Returnee workers, who have been sued on charges of fleeing workplace in Romania, yesterday denied the allegations saying that they were actually forced to return home.

Meeting on gas, power begins with high hope in Ctg today

The high-powered committee formed to suggest policy in order to overcome gas and power crises in Chittagong will hold a national-level meeting at Chittagong Circuit House today.

Prepare action plan for skill dev suiting overseas jobs: CA

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday directed the authorities concerned to prepare a three-year midterm action plan for skill-development training to cater overseas employment demand for skilled manpower.

Refrain from privatising public hospitals

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday urged the government to refrain from privatising the public hospitals in the name of making them autonomous hospitals saying in that case poor people would not get health facilities.

One-sixth of people suffer from NTDs worldwide

With a view to eliminating the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that result in suffering of the world's one-sixth people, a two-day international conference will begin in the city today.

Dhaka to sign SDF, draft SARSO agreements

Bangladesh will sign the Saarc Development Fund (SDF) agreement at the 15th Summit on August 2-3 in Colombo, aiming to ensure welfare of the people in the region, improve lifestyle and economic growth and alleviate poverty.

DU to shift 600 students to safer places

Dhaka University (DU) authorities yesterday decided to shift around 600 hundred resident students of three DU dormitories to safe places at the university, observing their current places are too frail for the earthquake.

Five killed in road accidents

Five people were killed and 12 others injured in separate road accidents in Tangail, Faridpur and Sirajganj yesterday.

Unite to resist fundamentalists in national elections

Speakers at a citizens' dialogue yesterday called on all progressive, non-communal and pro-liberation war forces to get united in a bid to resist anti-liberation war and communal forces in the next election.

Preserve old court bldg for judicial activities

Leaders of the Chittagong District Bar Association (CDBA) at a press conference yesterday urged the government to take proper steps to preserve the renovated court building for running judicial activities there as it was used for the purpose in the past.

RCC mayoral aspirants pledge education for all

The mayoral aspirants of the Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) have visited Rajshahi University with a pledge to build a better Rajshahi city.

HC verdict July 30

Seven children of former deputy inspector general (DIG) of police Anisur Rahman were produced before a High Court (HC) bench yesterday prior to delivery of the judgement in a writ petition seeking their custody.

BCL factions clash at CU:10 injured

A clash between two rival groups of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Chittagong University (CU) unit yesterday left at least 10 activists and general students injured at Fateyabad Railway Station.

4 fake journos arrested on extortion charges in Ctg

Police yesterday arrested four fake journalists of a so-called newspaper on charge of demanding extortion from the Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) commissioner at his office in the port city.

JCD memo to president to free Khaleda

Police yesterday intercepted a procession of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD), student wing of BNP, at Doyel Chattar intersection on Dhaka University (DU) campus while they were proceeding towards the Bangabhaban to submit a memorandum to the president.

'Release BCL gen secy Rotan'

A group of Dhaka University (DU) students formed a human chain on the campus yesterday demanding immediate release of detained Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) General Secretary Mahfujul Haider Chowdhury Rotan.

Next hearing Aug 3

A special court yesterday set August 3 for next hearing on Tk 2.99 crore extortion case filed against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and her cousin former state minister Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim.

Body of one student recovered, two others still missing in Bay

The body of one of the three students, who went missing while swimming in the sea at Cox's Bazar on Saturday, was recovered yesterday.

DU cancels fake admission of 12 students

Dhaka University (DU) Syndicate, the highest decision making body of the university, cancelled the admission of 12 more students on Saturday for taking their admission into the university through fraudulent processes.

Khulna JP backs AL's Talukder

Khulna unit of Jatiya Party yesterday extended full support for Talukder Abdul Khaleque, a candidate supported by AL-led 14-Party alliance, for the KCC mayoral post.

One gets 5-yr RI for attempt to rape

One person was sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment by a court here yesterday for attempting to rape a teenage girl at Palsha under Durgapur upazila in Rajshahi seven years ago.

Healthcare programme at Natore

Japan-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital (JBFH), Channel i and Hridoye Mati O Manush on Saturday organised a daylong healthcare programme at Laxmipur Kholabaria in Natore to raise awareness among the farmers.

27 shops gutted in Munshiganj

A total of 27 shops were gutted in a fire at Digheerpar Bazar of Tongibari upazila in the district on Saturday night.

Complete projects timely

Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Adviser M Anwarul Iqbal yesterday directed the officials concerned for timely implementation of the projects and remain alert about maintaining the quality of works.

BHRC to monitor local govt polls

Bangladesh Human Rights Commission (BHRC) will monitor local government elections at four city corporations and nine municipalities scheduled to be held on August 4.

Jute mill workers begin indefinite hunger strike

Twenty-seven workers of state-owned Crescent, Star and Platinum Jubilee Jute Mills started observing an indefinite hunger strike yesterday to press home their eight-point demand.

'One dental surgeon for 80,000 people'

Speakers at a seminar in the city yesterday said a healthy oral hygiene is essential for a sound health status.

'Take steps to reduce dropouts in disaster-hit areas'

Speakers at a workshop with the media personnel yesterday underscored the need for taking proper steps to reduce the dropouts from primary schools after natural calamities like flood and cyclone in the country.

'Ban politics of Jamaat-Shibir'

Progressive organisations of the students and the youths demanded banning religion-based politics of Jamaat-Shibir who have assaulted a freedom fighter for demanding trial of the war criminals.

Appeal for help

Sohel Munshi, a student of class seven of Ghunshi High School in Madaripur, has been suffering from heart disease.

Saudi envoy emphasises increased bilateral trade

Newly appointed Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Dr Abdullah Bin Naser Al-Bushari yesterday laid stress on enhancing trade and investment between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia.

National

Magura BNP extorts Tk 15cr thru' tender scam in 5 yrs

Grass-roots level activists of Magura BNP have formally raised their voices against alleged misdeeds by district leaders during the 4-party alliance rule.

Sylhet election officials' training starts today

With only a week to the Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) polls, preparations are almost at the final stage.

Try war criminals, ban fake FFs' body

Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangshad, Thakurgaon unit command formed a human chain and held a meeting at the town protesting Jamaat-Shibir men's assault of freedom fighter Sheikh Mohammad Ali Aman in the capital on July 11.

'Land to landless is a constitutional right'

Over 5000 landless people at a memorial meeting yesterday urged the government to distribute khas lands among landless people, saying it is their constitutional right.

WFP Country Director visits erosion victims in Haimchar

WFP Country Director in Bangladesh John Aylieff visited river erosion affected areas in Haimchar upazila in Chandpur yesterday. He was accompanied by WFP Deputy Country Director Edward Kallon and Programme Advisor Tariq Mehmood Awan.

5 JMB men arrested in Gopalganj

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested five members of the outlawed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) here Saturday night.

Drive in Khulna city, 5 upazilas to nab terrorists

Khulna district police launched combing operations from Friday midnight in five outlaw-infested upazilas to maintain law and order during Khulna City Corporation polls.

Woman killed, 15 hurt as 2 trawlers collide

A woman was killed and 15 others were injured as two trawlers collided on the Buragourango river in Galachipa upazila Saturday night.

Voters decline by 14.20pc in Tangail

About 14.20 percent voters declined in 12 upazilas in the district in comparison with the previous voter list prepared in 2006, sources in the Election Commission (EC) said.

'City corpn polls an acid test for nation'

'Ex-lawmakers' Forum, Bangladesh', a newly floated body comprising former lawmakers of Jatiya Party, at a press conference here yesterday said the August 4 city corporation elections would be an acid test for the nation.

Letters

400 years after...

Dhaka, a city of historical importance, is now celebrating 400 years of its existence.

USA, Palestine and Israel

The so called 'two state' Palestine and Israel policy is farcical.

Price hike and poor management

The majority of people of our country are very poor. Their living standards and lifestyles are of very poor quality due to low income, under employment and unemployment. The ever increasing price hike of commodities has affected the lower, middle and fixed income groups, severely aggravated their condition and prolonged their indescribable sufferings and pangs from starvation. The prices of foods and other essentials have more than doubled in a year and gone beyond the purchasing capacity and affordability of the majority of the people. The people are to spend more than 70 percent of their daily income only for food purchase. The sky-rocketing prices of essentials have pushed about 60 percent people of the country under the poverty line. Eight lakh school teachers have demanded food rationing. The school-going children are seen standing in the long queues of BDR run shops during school time. We cannot forget the mad rush of the poor people to the BDR run shops from the early morning to buy rice at reasonable price. The exorbitant increase in prices of commodities has resulted in reduction of daily calorie intake and of baby food consumption, ingestion of sub-standard foods and starvation in the extremely poor families are causing serious malnutrition and ill-health. The bulk of the people are struggling to enhance their purchasing capacity and affordability to cope with the prices of foods and other essentials.

Discouraging youthful talent

A front page report published in a local English daily on July 21 was simply unbelievable! How can we consider more age as a qualifying criterion and lower age in passing SSC examination as a disqualifying criterion for admission; where college seats are scarce, particularly in good and established colleges? This is a sad reflection where age is preferred when scholastic performance is identical! It is one of the absurd decisions that we have in Bangladesh governance and the military backed CTG is no better.

Nuclear energy and Bangladesh

With the looming energy crisis, the importance of utilising nuclear energy as a possible replacement of depleting bio fuels is quite evident. Nuclear energy is being harnessed in more than 30 countries to produce electricity and this figure is projected to escalate substantially in the years to come, especially in Asia. According to World Nuclear Association (WNA), Asia alone may be producing one third of the total electricity generated using nuclear power by the year 2020. Though a mammoth task, the idea of setting up a nuclear power plant on our very soil for the sole purpose of being in compliance with our burgeoning energy demand is by no means a utopian scheme.

Count Tolstoy's immortal story

“ How much land does a man need” is a widely read short story by Count Leo Tolstoy, who is adjudged by the literary critique of the world as the greatest novelist of all times . One should therefore be more careful in using similes with such a story and the characters portrayed therein to emphasize the greediness and the corrupt activities of the politicians of our country.

BSF atrocities

If you are a regular reader of The Daily Star and have access to the Internet, why not do some cyber research? Asking on what? Why not linguistic research? It's fun, I guarantee. Just go to DS home page (http://www.thedailystar.net ) and write “BSF kills” in the space provided for search. You will be amazed at the harvest of human crops reaped by BSF at regular intervals. Please do it just to understand how cheap, easy and fun shedding Bangladeshi blood is. Not many intellectuals and media people in Bangladesh are interested in writing on this harvest of blood. But that's quite alright. Not everyone's blood is equally important to everyone.

Attention: law enforcers

I was so scared that I did not even bother to go to the law enforcing agencies. It would have been even dangerous for me and for my kids. But I could not tolerate it anymore. I thought that writing to you might help me a bit.

Teachers' demand

Some of our colleagues are sitting in front of the administrative building of Shah Jalal University for more than two weeks. They have demanded 'Upgrading' of service. All of them have achieved their Ph.D. and other required degrees. About one year ago they were eligible for promotion. But the authorities are delaying the process. It's disgraceful for the teachers that the upcoming professors are sitting on the ground.

Drive against corruption

Corruption in the two major political parties is known to all and supporting it in some way or the other is to be condemned by all. Those not happy with the action being taken against the corrupt elements should see the DS report "Shamim rode on Biman”.

Waste management

The disposal of domestic rubbish at certain places selected by the DCC becomes a vital task to get rid of an unhygienic ambiance. In every civilised country, people dump these materials into dustbins in a safe manner. What is most appalling in our country is the lack of our spontaneity to handle the garbage materials properly. In most of the cases, people throw away the waste materials anywhere! Horribly enough, I have seen people throwing domestic garbage from high-rise buildings on pedestrians' heads!

Working for the poor

Ref: Zafar Sobhan's "Deep in the heart of nowhere" which appeared in your issue of July 25. It appears that Zafar Sobhan has been misinformed that Friendship is "the only organisation, governmental or other, that works together with the people of the islands to make their lives safer and more secure."

ICMA admission

The Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Bangladesh (popularly known as ICMA) has been playing an important role in the fields of accounting, finance, management and business in our country. This institute produces every year a good number of professionals who later contribute to their respective fields. Minimum requirement for entering this course is a bachelor's degree which should be changed, I think.

Car owners' predicament

Recently, I went for my car fitness certificate renewal (previously done by others). While the present government is trying to simplify the service sector, the BRTC is unreasonably complicating the process. First, I filled up three pages of BRTC deposit book of Tk.445 (45 for label sticker) for depositing to local Gulshan P.O. After about half an hour in queue, I deposited Tk.445 and the man at the counter wrote another set of receipts and returned one copy of this receipt + 2 copies of BRTC book. Then I went to the BRTC office in Mirpur at about 11-30am, again after half an hour they gave an application form (why?) to fill in and told me to give the photocopies of current tax token and the previous year's chalan deposit (both are already in their file) + TIN certificate. (I had). Finally, the car was inspected in 5 minutes and I got the certificate without a sticker label (but a rubber stamping- no label was issued though Tk 45 had been deposited) at about 2-30pm i.e. after 3 hours.

BCS

The HC rejected the writ petition filed by a few successful candidates challenging the decision taken by the government to cancel the final result of the 27th BCS exams. The new results will be published soon.

Gas prices

The Daily Star reported recently that The Petrobangla had made a proposal to Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) for enhancing the fuel gas price. From the report, it has been revealed that nine widely varying rates have been in force for different groups of consumers buying the same gas.

Three problems

Global warming, political instability and inflation are three main problems plaguing the world nowadays. Global warming leads to natural disasters.

International

New Nepali president appeals for end to political deadlock

Nepal's first president on Sunday appealed for rival parties in the newly-republican nation to form a consensus government and end weeks of political deadlock, in his maiden address to the people.

Thousands hit by flash floods in Assam

Flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Assam have displaced more than 225,000 people, besides destroying a large number mud homes, officials said on Sunday.

Hamas presses on with security crackdown

Clashes broke out in Gaza City on Sunday, wounding at least six people, as Hamas-run security forces pressed on with a territory-wide crackdown on rival Palestinian factions after a deadly bombing.

70 militants killed in Afghanistan fighting

Up to 70 insurgents were killed in Afghanistan early Sunday when helicopter gunships and ground fighting repulsed an attack by about 100 rebels near the Pakistan border, officials said.

‘US sanctions to stifle Zimbabwe reforms’

The latest US sanctions against President Robert Mugabe's regime are designed to stifle economic recovery in Zimbabwe, his chief spokesman was quoted Sunday as saying.

Pakistan flip-flop on ISI creates confusion

The Pakistan government's notification yesterday, reversing an announcement made a day before to place the two top intelligence agencies under the interior ministry, has led to further confusion with a former top spy saying a conspiracy was foiled.

13 Tigers killed in fresh Lanka battle

At least 13 Tamil Tiger rebels have been killed by security forces in fresh clashes in northern Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Raul fails to announce reforms in Cuba

President Raul Castro warned Washington that Cuba would keep its defences up no matter who wins November's US presidential election, but failed to announce any new changes to the communist system during a speech Saturday.

Smell of blood hangs in air after Indian blasts

Buckets of water were piled up in a corridor as hospital workers in an Indian city devastated by a wave of bombs scrubbed furiously at the bloodstains, but still the metallic tang of blood and explosives refused to go.

Ruling party claims victory in Cambodia polls

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling party on Sunday claimed victory in polls overshadowed by a military standoff with Thailand, setting the stage for him to extend his 23-year grip on power.

3 troops, 15 militants killed in Pakistan

Suspected tribal insurgents ambushed a security forces patrol in southwest Pakistan, and three troops and 15 militants were killed in the fighting, an official said Sunday.

Bush, Gilani to grapple with militancy

Concerned by Afghanistan's worsening insurgency, US President George W Bush is expected to quiz Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in talks this week about his new government's counterterrorism strategy or, as some experts see, the lack of one.

Legendary Egyptian film-maker Chahine dies

Egyptian film-maker Youssef Chahine, Arab cinema's most celebrated director, died on Sunday aged 82 after several weeks in a coma, his friend and fellow director Khaled Yussef said.

Iran hangs 29 people

Iran hanged 29 people at dawn on Sunday after they had been convicted of murder, drug trafficking and other crimes, state run television reported.

No 'blank check' for Iraq war: Democrats

Sen Jack Reed says America can't afford the Republican strategy of continuing to write blank checks for the Iraq war.

Arts & Entertainment

Rain songs of ‘Panchokobi’ at National Museum

Cultural organisation Dakkhini Rabindra Sangeetangan in association with Connecting Dots and Sampriti arranged a musical soiree titled Aapon Gaaney Matao Bhuban at the Shaheed Zia Auditorium, National Museum on July 26. Noted singers performed songs on rain at the programme.

Shilpa Shetty turns producer, alcohol brand ambassador

Actress Shilpa Shetty may have been absent from Bollywood limelight for quite some time but she says it does not mean that her career is not going anywhere. In fact, according to the actress, her hands are full with assignments.

Tagore Lodge recovered and renovated

Tagore Lodge, the ancestral house of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore in Kushtia town has been converted into “Tagore Museum”. The museum also houses a library.

Udichi Shilpi Goshthi remembers Samudra Gupta

A musical soiree was held in Sirajganj town last Friday, remembering eminent poet Samudra Gupta, who passed away recently.

Laisa Ahmed Lisa enthralls Delhi audience

It was a nostalgic evening when I went to the India Habitat Centre, Delhi to attend a performance by renowned Bangladeshi singer Laisa Ahmed Lisa. Going to the green room before her concert, Laisa, clad in a beautiful blue jamdani saree exchanged a few updates on Dhaka.

Rolling Stones moving to a new label

The Rolling Stones, the world's top-earning music act last year, have signed a long-term, exclusive worldwide contract with Vivendi SA's Universal Music, dealing a major blow to the group's former recording company, EMI Group PLC.

OP-ED

Is G8 a parallel UN Security Council?

WHAT is the yardstick and rationale for forming an international organisation? Is it military might? Is it financial strength? Is it the level of GDP? Or is it population? There can be various combinations for forming an international organisation.

In search of safe water

PEOPLE need clean water and sanitation to maintain their health. Water also sustains ecological systems and provides an input into the production systems that maintain livelihoods. Water security is an integral part of a broader conception of human security.

The traffic commentary

MY article is in response to the recently published column "Spinning our wheels" by Mr. Nasim Manzur. Instead of simply agreeing with all the facts and figures given by the aforementioned writer, I would also like to reiterate some of the problems and possible solutions to solve this "metro-crisis." Although, I am an expatriate residing in New Jersey, I spent my entire childhood in Dhaka and, therefore, my article will be biased towards the capital.

The men-only shrinking disease that is spread by phone

NOW I had better warn you before we start that today's column focuses on an extremely serious topic of a highly delicate and mature nature. It should therefore be read with your hand over your mouth, sniggering quietly to yourself.

Star City

Dhakaiyas drifting to new city

Azim Baksh, a 61-year-old resident of Gulshan, always feels nostalgic whenever he crosses Fulbaria, where starts the Old Dhaka established more than 400 years ago.

Death of a heritage site

The 350-year old Churihatta Mosque, the only mosque in the city with chou-chala or bungalow type roof demolished about 50 years ago evokes a sad memory as Dhaka prepares to celebrate 400 years.

'Too dirty, it makes you vomit’

“It's too dirty to use. This makes you vomit,” said Mustakim, a shopkeeper, showing the floor of a DCC-run public toilet at Jatrabari, overflowed with filthy water.

"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.



The Daily Star

© thedailystar.net, 1991-2014. All Rights Reserved