The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, August 1, 2014


News of: Monday, 4th of August, 2008

Front Page

Polls in 4 city corporations today under emergency

Four city corporations and nine municipalities go to polls today with the emergency power rules (EPR) back in full force.

Tac gets going

The much talked about Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac), the newest institution for dealing with graft charges in the country, finally started operating yesterday letting corruptionists seek mercy by voluntarily confessing to their graft, and by depositing their ill-gotten wealth to the state exchequer.

Saarc meet ends with vow to implement Safta

South Asian leaders pledged to implement the South Asian Free Trade Area (Safta) by removing trade barriers and giving special consideration to the bloc's least developed countries (LDCs), at the closing session of the 15th Saarc Summit in Colombo yesterday.

Saifur, 3 ex-MPs get HC bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted anticipatory bail for six months to former finance minister M Saifur Rahman in Gatco corruption case filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

Kuwait warns firms against poor pay

Kuwait warned companies employing Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait of punitive actions if they fail to pay the workers the government-fixed minimum 40 Kuwaiti Dinar.

Wildlife disappears with forest destruction

It came as a shocking reality to us at the end of our five-day trip to the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) that this vast area hardly supports any wildlife any more.

Poll spending crosses limit by wide margin

Campaign expenditure of most mayoral and councillor candidates, especially of politically nominated ones, doubled the limits by the time electioneering in Rajshahi metropolis ended at zero hour Sunday.

ACC presses charges against Khaleda's nephew Tuhin

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against detained former premier Khaleda Zia's nephew Shahrin Islam Tuhin and Awami League (AL) presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury's son Shahdab Akbar in separate cases filed for amassing wealth illegally.

A costly game

After a long 19 days of duel with death, the little schoolgirl from Keraniganj finally gave in to her burn injuries early yesterday morning amid all the groaning and squealing at burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

Fire in city building kills 9

At least nine people, including women and children, were burned alive and over 20 others were injured when a fire devastated a seven-storey building in Old Dhaka early today.

Babar framed SP in bribing case

The case against suspended Special Superintendent of Police (SP) Muhammad Abdul Baten filed for offering bribe to the then state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar has been finally proved false and fabricated.

Gen Mustafiz passes away

Former chief of Army Staff General (retd) Muhammad Mustafizur Rahman, Bir Bikram, died of Pancreas cancer at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka Cantonment yesterday morning.

Threat, blame, money factors surface in Barisal

Threats, accusations and counter-accusations, allegations of distributing money to buy votes, efforts to control slum dwellers and rumours heated up the atmosphere in Barisal city yesterday ahead of today's polls to the city corporation.

Govt wants to create a group thru' farcical local body polls

BNP leader Khandker Delwar Hossain yesterday termed the caretaker government 'unconstitutional' and said it has planned to create a group through local bodies elections that would allow them to cling to power.

Zillur accuses govt of double standards in freeing leaders

The Awami League's (AL) acting President Zillur Rahman yesterday accused the government of double standards when it comes to arresting and releasing political leaders.

Extortion case proceedings against Hasina adjourned

A special court yesterday adjourned trial proceedings of the Tk 2.99 crore extortion case against former premier Sheikh Hasina and her cousin former state minister Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim till August 18.

4 agreements signed at Saarc Summit

Four agreements were signed yesterday as concrete outcome of the 15th Saarc Summit for boosting trade and economy, social development and curbing criminal offences and terrorism for building a peaceful abode for the peoples of South Asia.

2 killed in 'shootouts'

A close aide to top criminal Emon was killed yesterday in a shootout between his cohorts and Rab-2 in the capital's Mohammadpur.

Seven lawyers appointed state counsels

The government has appointed seven lawyers as state counsels for conducting the Jail Killing Case in the High Court (HC) on behalf of the family members of the four national leaders killed in Dhaka Central Jail in 1975.

DAB leader Zahid fired

Former professor of Dhaka Medical College Hospital Dr AZM Zahid was dismissed form service yesterday.

Sylhet voters happy with preparations

Although the metropolis was not overwhelmed by election euphoria even until yesterday voters interviewed by The Daily Star said preparations so far "seem to be fair."

Traffic in city gets standstill

City dwellers yesterday experienced severe traffic jams across Dhaka causing delays in reaching their destinations.

Ex-APP gets five-yr RI for filing false case

A court in Bogra yesterday sentenced Nazmul Huda Paban, former assistant public prosecutor (APP), to five-year rigorous imprisonment (RI) and fined Tk 20000 for filing a false case.

India, Pakistan agree to give peace a chance

Tensions between India and Pakistan overshadowed a South Asian summit that ended in Sri Lanka yesterday, but the two nuclear-armed rivals vowed to work together and save a tenuous peace process.

123 killed in Indian temple stampede

More than 120 Hindu worshippers were killed yesterday in a stampede during a religious festival in the northern Indian hill state of Himachal Pradesh, police said.

Editorial

Important elections today

TODAY'S mayoral and municipal elections are indeed of great significance. A successful election would bear out the fact that we might just have managed to get out of the corner that we were in, with both democracy and politics in the limbo, and on our way to full democratic governance with people's representatives in control.

People-police cooperation

WE fail to understand why the Bangladesh Police Ordinance 2007, an instrument of immense importance, should at all need advocacy for its implementation. With the spectre of crime and criminality not showing any sign of going away soon, we feel the sooner the ordinance is promulgated, the faster the force will become effective in maintaining law and order in the country. It is true that making the instrument effective would also help bridge the gap between the people and the members of the police force, which we believe is vital for removing certain misgivings in the minds of the common people. There is no denying the fact that common people are often subjected to harassment both inside and outside police stations, which at times crosses the boundaries of civility and the concept of human rights.

BNP blowing in the wind

VIEWED purely from a political angle Madam Khaleda Zia's release from detention is a logical sequel to the freeing of Sheikh Hasina a month ago in the name of treatment abroad. After all, the compulsion for doing so, if any, on the part of the ruling dispensation is the same. The prospect that the madam also will be released soon in a similar manner has already been on the cards. The release of Coco, one of her indicted sons, seems to have put the process in motion.

Band aid for cancer

IN the general elections of 2004, the irrepressible and sometimes irresponsible Lalu Prasad Yadav used to tow around a maulvi when in campaign mode. Nothing particularly wrong with that. Politicians have this tendency to turn mullahs into best friends during election time. What was the particular competence of this maulvi which attracted Lalu Yadav? Was he a great alim, or scholar, erudite in the finer points of Sharia? Was he a fine economist with specialised knowledge in the intricate problems of rural Bihar?

McCain mocks, ridicules and trivialises Obama

SENATOR John McCain has adopted the Karl Rovian tactic of attacking his opponent's strengths, defining his opponent as a caricature of himself and running against that caricature.

Sports

Abahani face early heat

Abahani has been placed in a slightly tough group when a draw for the final round of the Citycell Federation Cup was held at a local hotel yesterday.

India level thru' Ishant

Teenager Ishant Sharma gave a superb display of fast bowling to help India square the series with a 170-run victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test here on Sunday.

Weather the main concern

Storms threaten to hit Beijing on the day of the Games opening ceremony in five days time, weather forecasters warned Sunday, while Olympic head Jacques Rogge fended off the IOC's own dark clouds.

Vaughan steps down

Michael Vaughan and Paul Collingwood announced on Sunday they were stepping down as England's Test and one-day captains.

MU win Ole's testimonial

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's testimonial saw Manchester United beat Espanyol 1-0 on Saturday though the 68,868 crowd saw little in the way of goalmouth action.

Juve setback for Gunners

Arsenal's uncomfortable pre-season shows no signs of improving as Emmanuel Adebayor was jeered by his own fans during Saturday's 1-0 defeat against Juventus in the Emirates Cup.

Liverpool floor Rangers

A classy Liverpool comprehensively swatted Rangers 4-0 in a pre-season friendly at Ibrox on Saturday.

Djokovic stuns Nadal

Novak Djokovic handed number one in waiting Rafael Nadal his first defeat in nearly three months, stunning the Spaniard 6-1, 7-5 to reach the final of the Cincinnati Masters.

Captain leads Proteas to historic win

South African captain Graeme Smith made a magnificent century to lead his team to a series-clinching victory on the fourth day of the third Test against England at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Kovalainen wins maiden Grand Prix

Finn Heikki Kovalainen secured his maiden Formula One motor racing victory in dramatic circumstances Sunday when he won the Hungarian Grand Prix for the McLaren Mercedes team.

Torch touring Sichuan

The Olympic torch relay made its way through southwest Sichuan province on Sunday, three months after the area was devastated by a huge earthquake, state media said.

Rubel keeps hopes alive

A three-wicket burst from Rubel Hossain could help Bangladesh A an unlikely victory over Durham in a low-scoring affair at the Riverside ground in Chester Le Street yesterday.

CA to give two practice games

Cricket Australia has agreed in principle to arrange two one-day practice matches for Tigers before the start of the three-match one-day series in Darwin.

Academy go to SA today

GP-BCB National Academy team will fly today for South Africa to play two four-day and three one-day matches during their three-week stay.

Zia stays in lead

Grand Master Ziaur Rahman drew his sixth round board with Indian International Master Himanshu Sharma but still kept the top spot along with two others in the 8th United Insurance & United Leasing International Masters Chess tournament yesterday.

Real see off Hamburg

Real Madrid defeated Hamburg 2-1 in the Emirates Cup on Saturday then set their sights on completing a swoop for the German club's playmaker Rafael van der Vaart.

C'Ron saga destabilising Real

Real Madrid's Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy believes that the constant speculation over the future of Cristiano Ronaldo has had an unsettling effect on the team.

Drogba ready for new deal

Ivory Coast international striker Didier Drogba said Sunday he was ready to sign a new contract at Chelsea.

Rio backs Rooney

Rio Ferdinand believes that his Manchester United and England teammate Wayne Rooney will step out of Cristiano Ronaldo's shadow and be the star of Old Trafford this season.

Bordeaux edge Lyon

French league runners-up Bordeaux on Saturday ousted champions Lyon to win the Champions Trophy traditional curtain-raiser 5-4 on penalties after a goalless draw over 90 minutes.

VDV wants dream move

Dutch international midfielder Rafael van der Vaart, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, said Sunday a transfer to the Spanish giants would be a dream come true.

Local Snippets

Jatrabari Jhatika Sangsad outplayed Lalbagh Tarun Sangha 4-0 in the Dhaka City Corporation Pioneer Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Hackett leads Aussie swim team

Legend Grant Hackett arrived here Sunday at the head of Australia's 42-strong swimming team and said that he was ready to try and grab an unprecedented third 1500m Olympic title.

Bolt to go for double

Jamaica's 100m world record holder Usain Bolt will attempt the 100m/200m double at the Beijing Olympics, agent Norman Peart said.

Cibulkova meets Safina in final

Unseeded Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova seeks to continue her giant killer form after booking a berth in the WTA Rogers Cup final on Saturday.

Business

3 IP telephony licenses for local firms by Oct

The country's telecom regulator yesterday said it decided to issue IP (internet protocol) telephony licences to three local internet service providers by October.

Tk10,000cr investment in basic steel sector planned

Local industrial conglomerates are now preparing to go for a $ 1.5 billion or Tk10,000 crore investment in the basic steel sector on the Indian Tata Group's pull-out from its proposed US$3 billion investment plan, according to sector people.

Govt to start FTA talks with India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

The government yesterday decided to start talks for bilateral free trade agreements (FTA) with neighbouring India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Survey launched to address shortage in skilled textile technologists

The government has launched a survey project to address the issue of an acute shortage of skilled textile technologists and skilled manpower in the textile and RMG sub-sectors.

First-ever private security printing press in Rupganj

Japan Bangladesh Group, a joint venture initiative, has set up a security printing press at Tk 130 crore.

Fresh WTO talks must wait until after US election: Economists

Any new attempt to grasp the grail of a world trade pact will probably have to wait until next year, after elections in the United States and India, despite some calls for more talks now, economists say.

Coffee culture grinds Starbucks' Australian operation

Starbucks hit a roadblock trying to export its business model to Australia, a robust coffee culture where customers already knew the difference between a macchiato and an affogato, local traders say.

Exceptional ECB meeting to leave interest rates alone, analysts say

The European Central Bank holds an exceptional meeting this month amid signs of persistent market turmoil, but analysts expect interest rates to stay on hold even though the eurozone might be stumbling toward recession.

DCCI held meeting with entrepreneurs, consultants

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and SEQUA, Germany jointly organised a meeting of entrepreneurs with consultants of DCCI in Dhaka recently, said a press release.

China moves to make energy-efficient television

"Is it energy-efficient?" With an increasing number of consumers asking this question when they are purchasing household appliances, a green campaign is under way in China's electronics market.

The Olympics: A Chinese tragedy for pharma?

The run up to the games of the XXIX Olympiad has stumped the global pharmaceutical industry with an unexpected 'Chinaman Delivery' - to use an analogy from a non-Olympic sport. While the world is waiting with bated breath for the games in Beijing to start, people from the pharmaceutical industry just cannot wait for the flame to go out.

Stocks slump amid investors' shakiness in buying

Stocks slumped yesterday as the leading sectors such as bank and pharmaceuticals fell amid investors' shakiness in buying.

CBOSS-ICE Tech to set up branch office in Dhaka

CBOSS Corporation, a global telecommunications and business intelligence software solution provider, will open its branch office in Bangladesh with ICE Technologies as its partner, said a press release.

Kuwaiti PM in Cambodia for trade, oil talks

Kuwait's Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed al-Ahmed al-Sabah arrived Sunday for trade talks in Phnom Penh, where he was expected to discuss Cambodia's fledgling oil and gas industry.

Fed to leave rates unchanged amid economic uncertainty

A powerful US central bank panel, led by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, is widely expected to keep its key interest rate unchanged in the coming week amid growing economic uncertainty.

Feathers are future of Asia construction

A Filipino scientist says he has created a new composite building board made of chicken feathers that could be a major breakthrough for the construction industry in Asia.

Malaysia's Proton develops new hybrid car

Malaysia's state-owned carmaker Proton is developing a new, fuel-efficient hybrid car to beat rising costs and address environmental concerns, reports said Sunday.

Indonesia wants higher wages for maids in Malaysia

Indonesia will seek higher wages for its nationals working as domestic helpers in Malaysia as the cost of living rises, the country's ambassador said in an interview published Sunday.

Metropolitan

Ill-motivated politics hinders rule of law

Even after 37 years of the liberation war, democratic values and rule of law could not be established due to ill-motivated politics in the country, said the speakers yesterday.

Hearing on charge framing Aug 31

A Dhaka court yesterday re-fixed August 31 for hearing on charge framing against 22 accused, including detained former state minister Abdus Salam Pintu and Harkatul Jihad (Huji) chief Mufti Abdul Hannan, in connection with the August 21 grenade attack case.

2 sections of ACC challenged

A writ petition was filed yesterday with the High Court (HC) challenging the legality of two sections of the Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Ordinance 2007 empowering the anti-graft body to arrest any person on assumption without filing any case and baring the courts in granting bail to the accused in the cases filed by the ACC.

Road crashes kill 2

Two people were killed in separate road accidents in Satkhira and Brahmanbaria yesterday.

Flood situation in 5 dists may improve

The flood situation in Munshiganj, Manikganj, Faridpur, Madaripur and Shariatpur districts and Dohar and Nawabganj upazilas in Dhaka is likely to improve gradually, Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) reported yesterday.

Split in PDP imminent

A faction of Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) led by Tajul Islam Chowdhury and Col (retd) HMA Gaffar Biswas will form a counter committee within a few days.

DU evicts illegal occupants to construct hall for female students

Dhaka University (DU) authorities yesterday evicted illegal occupants, mainly slum dwellers, from the land that was proposed to house a residential building for the female students of the university.

Jamaat support may not benefit BNP candidates as infighting widens

Pro-BNP mayoral candidates in Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) election are unlikely to achieve any gains despite Jamaat's last moment support due to widening infighting between them.

Agriculture in Bangladesh world's '8th wonder'

Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Wu Dawei, who is attending the current Saarc Summit as an observer, called on Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury at his hotel suite in Sri Lankan capital on Saturday evening.

Lifting of emergency demended

Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal yesterday observed a token hunger strike in the city demanding withdrawal of the state of emergency and release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

3 indigenous people innocent not robbers

Three indigenous people of Lambaghona village under Teknaf Police Station have been awarded punishment as the loggers handed them over to the police station terming them as robbers.

Arrest of Sajid demanded for torturing wife in New York

Samajik Protirodh Committee, an alliance of rights organisations, in a statement yesterday demanded arrest of Sajid Haque who brutally tortured his wife Nadin Murshid in New York.

HC order on Tarique's petition today

The High Court (HC) will deliver order today on a petition filed by Tarique Rahman, elder son of former prime minister Khaleda Zia, quashing the proceedings against him in the case of Tk 21 crore bribery following the murder of Humayun Kabir Sabbir, a director of Bashundhara Group.

River cruise for Golden GPA-5 holders Jan 19

Students who achieved Golden GPA-5 in this year's SSC examination under nine education boards, will be invited to a river cruise on the rivers Meghna, Buriganga, Shitalakkha and Padma on January 19, 2009.

Hearing on charge framing against Babar Aug 7

A special court yesterday set August 7 for hearing on charge framing against detained former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar in a corruption case filed for accumulating illegal wealth and hiding information about his actual assets from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Bangladeshi-American students win US college polls

Bangladeshi-American students won a big victory in the election to the executive committee of City University York College Student Government.

Int'l inter-varsity photography exhibition begins

International Inter-University Photography Exhibition (IIUPE) began at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy yesterday.

Bholahat UNO sued on charge of looting valuables

A criminal case has been filed against Abul Kalam Azad, UNO of Bholahat upazila in the district along with his associate, yesterday on charge of looting valuables from a house.

Outlaws demand extortion from Magura health officials

The outlawed Sarbohara Party men yesterday demanded extortion money to four upazila health and family planning officials of Magura.

5 BAF officers promoted to rank of air commodore

Five officers of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) have been promoted to the rank of Air Commodore from Group Captain yesterday, says a press release.

UK aviation minister visits Doulatdia brothel

United Kingdom Aviation Minister Jim Fitzpatrick, MP visited the Doulatdia brothel yesterday and exchanged views with local civil society members.

CPB congress begins Aug 7

The three-day ninth congress of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) will begin August 7 at Mahanagar Nattya Mancha in city.

Huda returns to jail after routine check-up

Detained former communications minister Nazmul Huda returned to Dhaka Central Jail after his routine medical checkups at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday.

Prasad, Ejar JICA alumni president, secy general

Nepal and Bangladesh have been made the president and secretary general of the newly formed JICA Alumni Associations' Forum of Saarc Countries (JAAFSC).

Bhola Forum demands Nazim Uddin's release

Bhola district Jatiyatabadi Forum in Dhaka yesterday demanded release of former BNP lawmaker Nazim Uddin Alam.

Police foil token hunger strike

Police yesterday foiled a token hunger strike of “Amra Raozanbasi” organised here demanding the release of Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury.

Dhaka welcomes Pak-Afghan communiqué

Bangladesh welcomed the Pak-Afghan joint communiqué issued after a meeting between the Pakistani and Afghan leaders in the Sri Lankan capital yesterday.

Send Obaidul Quader abroad for treatment

Dhaka City Awami League (AL) in a joint statement yesterday urged the government to send detained AL leader Obaidul Quader abroad for better treatment.

National

Hope for a different polls in Khulna city

For the first time since independence, Khulna, which was once known as valley of death, may witness a peaceful city corporation election today with no criminal activities, use of muscle power and black money and violence.

Wrecked roads, terminals in coastal Patuakhali

About 10 lakh inhabitants of six upazilas in Patuakhali district are suffering as half of the 150 km roads connecting the areas is in a deplorable condition.

People wait for political govt

Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said the country may go back to pre-1/11 situation if identified dishonest and corrupt leaders are not punished.

Stranded BIWTC ship tugged to Horina ferryghat

Two tugboats yesterday tugged stranded rocket steamer PS Masud towards Horina ferryghat from Nayarhat (Katakhali), said Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) officials here.

UGC probe team arrives RU

A four-member probe committee of University Grants Commission (UGC) reached Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday to investigate alleged irregularities and corruption in recruitment at RU.

'Vote for Cox's Bazar as one of 7 wonders'

The district administration has taken initiative to create awareness among the people of Khagrachhari hill district to vote for Cox's Bazar through Internet to ensure its places among seven natural wonders in the world.

3km human chain for new upazila

Hundreds of people yesterday formed a three-kilometre human chain at Fakirhat of Pabnapur union in Palashbari upazila with a demand for setting up a new upazila there.

Teachers wear black badge, give Aug 12 deadline for action

Wearing black badges, members of Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) Teachers Council yesterday brought out a silent procession on the campus protesting assault on house tutor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall Assistant Professor Md. Wakilur Rahman allegedly by some Chhatra League activists Monday night.

Letters

Workers returning from Kuwait

Kuwait has started deporting Bangladeshi workers who are doing menial jobs there after it faced strong demonstration by Asians demanding better wages, humane working environment and regular payment. One can easily realise their deplorable condition by seeing the faces of the returning workers, with tearful eyes, dressed in one cloth, empty hands and signs of physical abuse. These people are mostly employed by companies engaged in cleaning & other nominal maintenance jobs of municipalities & hospitals, offices & markets, schools & mosques etc. They are poorly & irregularly paid and live in houses resembling prison cells. The money they earn from legal employment for the first contract period of about 2-3 years is spent just to realise what they paid to the recruiting agency.

“Lifetime” of Bangladesh

"There was a tiny country named Bangladesh (1971-2071) beside giant India." As per some so-called environmental experts or bodies, people after 2071 are likely to read the above sentence about us. They may also read, "The country was born in blood and died just after 100 years submerged in seawater." We cannot believe it.

Irresistible Nadal!

Rafael Nadal, world number two. The tennis maestro has recently rocked the court with his fiery performances at the Wimbledon championship and the Toronto Masters. The epic final of the Wimbledon this year between Nadal and the world number one Roger Federer was one of the most sensational grand slam finals of tennis history. From the very beginning to the end, in that final, Nadal was clearly ahead of Federer. It was in the third game that Federer made a comeback shot, which ultimately though, did turn towards Nadal.

Neglected DU students

It's a story. Once, there was a building in Jagannath Hall of Dhaka University. It was almost broken. Students found their lives at risk. But, as students are not human beings, so, they didn't have any choice and got themselves used to living in such a building. Some students, out of fear, made a mistake: they demanded security of their lives, and wanted the DU administration to repair the worn out building. But, the DU administration didn't pay heed to the misguided students; they didn't repair it.

Election and euphoria

This is the usual mechanism by which modern democracy fills offices in the legislature, sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and for regional and local government.

Noisy car mufflers

Through your newspaper I would like to draw attention of the city's traffic authorities to the loud noise making car mufflers. During last several years it has become a fashion, especially for young people, to remove the original silencer and replace them with extremely loud noise producing mufflers. These mufflers are as bad or even worse than hydraulic horns, the use of which was stopped successfully by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

Why photos only?

Seemingly every issue of The Daily Star features a photograph of environmental degradation in Bangladesh; often on the paper's very front page, in full colour. However, rarely, if ever, does any kind of investigative report accompany such photographs.

CTG and politics

The non-political CTG, couldn't care less if Nizami, a tainted criminal related to killing, rape and torturing Bengalis during the 1971 holocaust, is bailed out, or may be even set free! They only want to account for illegal wealth.

Thoughts on elections

Sitting thousands of miles away, watching 2 satellite television channels and reading the daily internet edition of more than 10 Bangladesh newspapers, my conclusion about the “over promised” election being organised by the military backed government is that it might not bring any positive change. Just to inform our readers, I am also educating myself on democratic values watching the full coverage of the US Presidential election process and campaign on major television networks, although I know that one would be more frustrated if one ever tries to compare the two situations. Nevertheless, it is raising our expectation to see more civil-democratic order in our country. Unfortunately, the impact of our deliberately mismanaged state affairs is just opposite. That is why I see all efforts of the EC and the government have made the general election look very “ugly”. The reasons why I say ugly are:

Poorly paid teachers

On July 27, 2008, Mr. Suranjeet Debnath wrote a very good article on the poor salary of community school teachers in Bangladesh. Sometimes I wonder if I write any article whether that would have any impact. Though I am not optimistic about it, I still write and try to convey the message. I am surprised to see that the teachers are getting salary of Tk 1,200 per month, after months of agitation and hunger strike. This monthly salary can only buy 30Kg rice at the current market price. If this is the case, how could these teachers and their families survive? What are the top level government officials doing? Does anyone understand the impact in the long run? Does anyone care about this situation? It seems to me that government decision makers do not care about educating our children in the rural areas of Bangladesh, because most of the top decision makers live in the capital city or district headquarters. They work in air conditioned rooms, live in government houses, use government cars, get good retirement benefits and educate their children in good urban schools. It is very unfortunate that these government officials are completely out of touch of common villagers and perceive themselves as the Masters. I think our government officials must be retrained to change their attitude to become servants, not masters of the people. Like Dr. Barakat, I strongly feel that the salary of the primary school teachers in rural areas should be increased for the sake of ensuring standard education.

International

Afghanistan, Pakistan agree 'to re-engage' to fight extremism

The leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed yesterday to "re-engage" in the fight against Islamic extremism, a joint statement said, after ties had soured following an attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul.

22 killed in latest Sri Lanka clashes

At least 21 Tamil Tiger rebels and a Sri Lankan government soldier have been killed in the latest clashes in the island's north, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Zardari to meet Sharif to discuss future of ruling coalition

PPP chairman Asif Ali Zardari will hold a crucial meeting this week with his ally PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif that could decide the future of Pakistan's ruling coalition, which is under strain over its failure to reinstate judges deposed by President Pervez Musharraf.

Iran aims to reinforce nuclear rights

Iran will not give up "a single iota of its nuclear rights," the country's president said Saturday, rebuffing an informal deadline to stop expanding uranium enrichment or face more sanctions.

20 killed in Mogadishu bomb carnage

A roadside bomb caused carnage in Somalia yesterday with a group of women sweeping a Mogadishu street "torn to pieces" amid a body count of at least 20 civilians, according to witnesses and medics.

4 Qaeda leaders killed in Afghanistan

al-Qaeda has posted a statement on the Internet saying four of its Afghanistan commanders have been killed, including an explosives expert wanted by the US.

Fleeing Fatah men return to Gaza after Abbas request

Israel began returning Fatah members who had fled deadly clashes in the Gaza Strip to the territory yesterday following a request by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, Israeli security officials said.

Top Syrian general assassinated

Arab media reported yesterday that a brigadier general thought to be the Syrian regime's liaison with Hezbollah in Lebanon has been assassinated.

Truck bombing kills 12 in Baghdad

A truck bomb exploded during rush hour yesterday on a busy commercial street in northern Baghdad, killing at least 12 people and wounding about two dozen, Iraqi police and health officials said.

US to work hard to push India's case at NSG

Keen to put the Indo-US nuclear deal on fast track, the US is poised for a diplomatic overdrive to ensure there are no hurdles at the Nuclear Suppliers Group after the atomic safeguards pact faced some reservations at the IAEA before being cleared.

40 killed as bus plunges into Indian river

At least 40 farm labourers were killed and dozens more wounded after the overcrowded truck they were travelling in plunged into a river in northern India, police said yesterday.

Blair slams Brown in memo

Former British prime minister Tony Blair sharply criticised his successor Gordon Brown in a memo, accusing him of having "disused our own record", according to the Mail on Sunday.

Obama accuses McCain camp of cynicism

Republican candidate John McCain's presidential campaign is cynical, not racist, in its efforts to distract voters from real issues, Democratic rival Barack Obama said Saturday.

New UN rights envoy on first mission to Myanmar

The UN's new human rights envoy for Myanmar arrived yesterday for his first mission to the military-run nation, where his predecessor made little headway in pushing the junta to reform.

Indonesian forest fires spark haze fears in Malaysia

The growing number of forest fires in Indonesia's Sumatra island has triggered warning bells that hazy skies could return to neighbouring Malaysia, environmental officials said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Revisiting a creative bond

Abdullah Al Mamun is a name intertwined with the media and theatre world of our country. Simultaneously a powerful playwright, actor, director, producer and filmmaker, Mamun has shaped the theatre and TV industry in post-Liberation War Bangladesh. He is the central figure in the group, 'Theatre', and has written scripts for acclaimed plays like Akhono Kritodash, Tomrai, Kokilara and Meraj Fakir-er Maa for the troupe. Alongside enriching the theatre movement of Bangladesh, he has contributed to our cinema, with films like Akhoni Shomoy, Shareng Bou, Dui Jibon and more.

Incorporating CGI into mythology

The selfless and valiant warrior Karna (one of the central roles in the epic Mahabharata) was the subject of a play called Karna: Warror of the Sun. Before launching into specifics, here's what captured the attention of viewers -- the stupendous sets which deployed the Computer Generated Images (CGI) for the first time in India.

Subrata's nightmarish visions of twisted tubes

Subrata Das, whose exhibition of acrylic on canvas paintings is being held at the Alliance Francaise gallery, presents mostly his own paintbrushes. These objects are exaggerated, elongated and overwhelming. The brushes are not something beautiful` or soothing but formidable and bewildering.

Musical programme featuring songs by Satya Saha on ATN Bangla

Musical programme Chirokaal Chirodin featuring some classic adhunik songs will be aired on ATN Bangla tonight at 8:45 pm.

'Geetanjali Lalitokala Academy' celebrates 4th anniversary

‘Geetanjali Lalitakala Academy' celebrated its 4th anniversary at the auditorium of Small and Cottage Industry Training Institute, Uttara on August 1, says a press release. On this occasion, "Geetanjali Shommanona Padak 2008" was conferred to Professor Rafiqul Islam, Vice Chancellor of University of Liberal Arts and president of the Trustee Board, Nazrul Institute. Producer of ATN Bangla, Shampa Mahmud and singer Nigar Sultana Rumki were given special awards for their contribution to Geetanjali Lailtakala Academy.

Songs highlighting the beauty of Khagrachhari

Artistes rendered at least 20 songs written by local cultural personality M.A. Murtoza Polash at a cultural programme held at the district Shilpakala Academy in Khagrachhari town.

'Sangram' celebrates 12th anniversary in Pabna

Sangram Pabna, a leading sports and cultural organisation recently celebrated its 12th anniversary with much festivity. A daylong programme was held marking the occasion. The highlights of the function were a discussion, reception, and a cultural programme at Pabna Bonomali Auditorium.

Nritya Shilpi Sangstha celebrates monsoon in Sylhet

Sylhet Bibhagiyo Nritya Shilpi Sangstha organised a colourful programme to celebrate the monsoon recently. Performers from different organisations of Sylhet division participated at the programme titled "Kalo Megher Anando Jagno" held at the Saifur Rahman Auditorium.

Alicia Keys asks cigarette maker to stop branding show

Philip Morris International has pulled down billboards and posters promoting an Alicia Keys concert Thursday in Indonesia's capital after the singer protested the cigarette company's sponsorship.

OP-ED

Farmers eye new areas for crops

CRITICAL food shortages and growing demand for bio-fuels and hydro-electricity, due to high fossil fuel prices, rank among the greatest threats today to the preservation of precious wetlands worldwide as farmers and developers look for new areas for agriculture, energy crop plantations and hydro dams.

Religiosity and the Aids scare

NO, it's not the Communists that are instilling fear into leaders and populations across borders -- this time it's a transnational epidemic, on the brink of attack. While organisations in countries such as Brazil, South Africa and India have already implemented a counterattack on the disease, launching nation-wide "red" campaigns on HIV/Aids awareness, Bangladesh has certainly lagged behind in its effort to acknowledge the gravity of the Aids epidemic.

A triumph of style over substance

THE geopolitical reality of the 21st Century is such that the legitimacy of almost any multilateral body that predates the end of the Cold War, has become obsolete, as if expiring. Almost all of them, from the UN to the World Bank, are the flora of a different political landscape, planted in the period after the Second World War when Europe was still being reconstructed under the auspices of the Marshall Plan, and the Americans and Soviets were locked in an ideological battle with no real end in sight. But as history will testify, the geopolitical sands are always shifting.

How not to raise a sports nut

IT was a Saturday afternoon. My wife had taken our girls out to do Girl Stuff (shopping). The males in the family had been left alone to do Guy Stuff (fighting and eating junk food).

Star City

Jagannath to have a new lease of life

The Jagannath Mandir Committee has finally given one month's time a private organisation working to save heritage site, to restore the century-old temple in Tantibazar.

Thousands suffer as roads dug up for canal recovery

About 40,000 people residing in two housing estates in Rayerbazar have been facing immense trouble for the last six months as most of the roads in the area have been dug up by the authorities to recover the Hajaribagh canal.

Vegetables dearer due to scant supply

Vegetable prices have increased significantly in the city kitchen markets in the last one month due to a fall in supply from the districts, wholesalers and traders said.


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