The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 6th of August, 2008

Front Page

Dress rehearsal promises further success

Monday's local government elections were more or less a success for the government and the Election Commission (EC), with some minor but important problems to be accounted for.

Voters stay loyal to old faces

As many as 36 out of 46 mayoral contestants in four city corporations lost their deposits and almost all of those who did not forfeit the sum belong to either Awami League (AL) or BNP.

Hasina's parole extends by month

The government yesterday extended the parole of ex-premier Sheikh Hasina by a month until September 6 to facilitate her treatment in the United States hours into her husband's appeal with the government.

Parties stick to their guns

Following the caretaker government's hint about holding parliamentary polls under the state of emergency leaders of major political parties said they would not step back from their demand for full withdrawal of emergency before the all-important election.

Separate wildlife department key to saving forest

Creating a new wildlife department separating it from the forest department has become urgent at the moment to save the country's remaining wildlife and forests, speakers said at a roundtable.

Kuwait fixes foreign workers' wages

The Kuwaiti government on Monday announced monthly minimum wage for foreign workers -- KWD 40 (Tk 10,306) for unskilled workers and KWD 70 (Tk 18,035) for security guards.

Police dept executes new constable-friendly policy

Lower-ranking police personnel, over 71 percent of the total force, can now expect promotion and posting in a systematic way -- thanks to a new comprehensive human resources policy adopted by the police administration.

Party's image, split down BNP candidate

AHM Khairuzzaman Liton sailed through the race on the back of the BNP's image crisis and a congealed pro-liberation force to fend off Jamaat that backed BNP candidate Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul at the last moment.

10 months' nightmare

After Arzina ducked the lighted matchstick, her husband chased and caught her and set fire to her, this time, with a gas lighter before locking the door from outside to ensure her death.

How Santu upstaged Kamal

Influence of black money, uncertainty regarding Jamaat support, and confusion among party activists and supporters about whether to vote or not in Barisal City Corporation (BCC) election, resulted in BNP-led four-party alliance supported candidate Ahsan Habib Kamal's outright defeat in Monday's mayoral race, according to observers.

HC upholds death penalty of 9 outlaws

The High Court yesterday upheld the death sentences given by the trial court to nine cadres of a banned outfit for mowing down Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) president Kazi Aref Ahmed and four other party leaders in Kushtia nine years back.

Barisal result sparks off high tension

Polytechnic College polling centre on Kalu Shah Road in Barisal has only 2,074 voters and is only a kilometre away from Barisal Election Commission office on C&B Road; yet the election officials took about 13 hours to announce its result creating uncertainty and a tense atmosphere in the city.

8 suspected militants held in Bandarban

Intelligence officials yesterday detained eight activists of an organisation named 'Islami Samaj' on suspicion of militancy when they were distributing leaflets that denounce the democratic electoral system on Bandarban District and Sessions Judge's Court premises.

Sylhet still hangs in balance for a mayor

Sylhet having a new city father still hangs on the balance as the mayor-elect Badaruddin Ahmed Kamran is still awaiting a court verdict on four charges of corruption and crime.

Maiden AL triumph in Khulna

The Awami League (AL) has captured the mayor office of Khulna City Corporation (KCC) for the first time since its inception in 1984, ending the 16-year run of detained BNP leader Sheikh Tayebur Rahman.

Khaleda ill, not taken to court

Detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was not taken to the court for appearance in the Gatco graft case yesterday as she was ill, a defence lawyer said.

OMS of rice to start Aug 20

The government is going to start countrywide open market sale (OMS) of rice at Tk 28 a kg on August 20 for the benefit of poor and middle-income people as Ramadan begins days later.

Ex-whip Ashraf denied bail, sent to jail

Former BNP whip Ashraf Hossain was sent to jail after being produced in a court here yesterday in connection with a case filed under the Emergency Power Rules (EPR).

Migrants' rights bodies worried at Kuwaiti police action

Migrants' rights bodies in Europe yesterday expressed grave concern over police atrocities on Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait, their arrest and subsequent deportation from the Gulf state.

BCL men go on rampage at DU VC's office

Leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday laid a siege to the office of Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University (DU) Prof SMA Faiz and kept him confined for four hours in protest against fresh arrest of BCL General Secretary Mahfuzul Haider Chowdhury Roton.

Why bribery case against Babar won't be quashed

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain within four weeks why proceedings of the Tk 21 crore bribery case against former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar should not be quashed.

HC stays tax evasion case against Dr Mosharraf

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for three months the proceedings of a tax evasion case against detained BNP leader and former health minister Dr Khandker Mosharraf Hossain filed by the National Board of Revenue (NBR).

Army chief calls on president

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday called on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban.

Correction

In our report headlined "Observers give clean chit" on the front page yesterday, it was mistakenly mentioned that Brotee found the number of fake votes cast has so far been only 2 percent. In fact, it should have been 2. We regret the error.

Editorial

Elections to corporations and municipalities

THE elections to the four city corporations and nine municipalities should give the country reasons for optimism. The manner in which the elections were conducted leave us with little doubt about the fairness and transparency of the entire process. A general atmosphere of peace prevailed during the voting; and with no sign of any interference or manipulation or intimidation noticed anywhere, there is reason to believe that a restoration of democracy could finally be turning out to be an attainable goal. The turnout of voters, especially where women's participation is concerned, has been significant.

Preparedness against earthquake

TWO images about the latest tremor in Mymensingh and Dhaka have jolted us into a sort of apprehension of what could have happened if the intensity of the earthquake were higher on the Richter scale. First, as it is, damages were inflicted at Dhuraura and Haluaghat in Mymensingh, Durgapur in Netrakona and Nalitabari in Sherpur. Secondly, panicked students of Dhaka University jumped out of their dormitories, many of them hurting themselves and landing in hospitals.

This long, patient wait for democratic revival

IT is time we got serious about elections. With the rest of the world going about life, going through it in the way everyone should, it is surely not right that we should be falling behind. In these long months since the end of the BNP-Jamaat government in this country, elections have thrown out governments and brought in new administrations around the world.

Rahul Gandhi in Bangladesh

INDO-Bangladesh relations are so pervasive and multi-dimensional that they exist independent of governments and policies. The arrival of Rahul Gandhi in Bangladesh on August 1, for a five-day visit to get first-hand knowledge of the activities of Brac in various sectors, and micro-finance projects of Grameen Bank, is a testiomony to this fact.

Imperative to form a new government in Nepal

NEWLY elected President Ramboron Jadav of Nepal invited the Maoist CPNM to demonstrate its majority in the Constituent Assembly (CA) within a week and, thereby, form the next government. Election to the CA was held in April, so why the delay in forming a new government? The answer lies in the result.

Sports

Real battle starts today

The season's curtain-raising tournament, the Citycell Federation Cup, kicks off today with defending B. League champions Abahani taking on Jatrabari Krira Chakra in the opening match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

China guarantees safety

China declared Tuesday it could guarantee a safe Olympics, even as it announced that Islamic militants were trying to wage a holy war aimed at destroying the Beijing Games that begin in three days.

Manik's dream come true

The national team management committee (NTMC) of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has confirmed Shafiqul Islam Manik as the new national football team coach yesterday.

Rafiq's two concerns

Fitness problem and opening combination have appeared as main concerns for the national selectors ahead of picking the final Tigers squad for three-match one-day series in Australia.

Greats join Olympic push

Former Australia Test captain Steve Waugh has thrown his weight behind Twenty20 cricket becoming an Olympic sport, saying it would help globalise the game.

'KP at a crossroads'

Australian cricket legend Shane Warne on Tuesday warned his former Hampshire teammate Kevin Pietersen he will need to "reconsider his whole outlook" as he takes over as England captain.

Ruud quits int'l arena

Netherlands striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has retired from international soccer to concentrate on his club career with Real Madrid, the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) said on Monday.

India eye 'best ever' Games

India hope to make up for the absence of their trademark field hockey team at Beijing by providing their "best ever" finish at the Olympics.

Archrivals drawn to meet in semis

The Olympic men's football competition, which kicks off Thursday under a pall of legal action, shapes as a South American extravaganza featuring Argentina and Brazil -- but not in the final.

Nadal feeling tired

Soon to be world number one Rafael Nadal said Tuesday he was still feeling weary after his first training session here in Beijing ahead of the Olympic Games competition.

Domenech not a 'yes' man

Under scrutiny France manager Raymond Domenech told the country's footballing authorities on Tuesday that he will never be a 'yes' man, warning that he did not intend to change his methods.

Johnson gives back relay gold medal

Athletics legend Michael Johnson has handed back the 4x400 metres relay gold medal he won in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president Thomas Bach confirmed here on Tuesday.

VDV Real's only recruit

Dutch international midfielder Rafael van der Vaart will "almost certainly" be Real Madrid's only new signing of the season, the president of the Spanish champions, Ramon Calderon, said Tuesday.

Ronaldinho targets gold

Superstar Ronaldinho Tuesday compared winning an Olympic gold medal with winning the World Cup, as he vowed to create history for Brazil by claiming the title for the first time.

Torres happy with Keane

Fernando Torres believes his partnership with Robbie Keane can help Liverpool end their 18-year wait to win the Premier League.

Usain unaware of double bid

Jamaica's world 100m record holder Usain Bolt touched down in China on Tuesday apparently unaware that he will be going for an Olympic sprint double.

Bolt & Robles's world marks ratified

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has had his 100 metres world record ratified by the sport's governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Khulna, Imrul big winners

Khulna batsman Imrul Kayes was announced the player-of-the-tournament in last season's Ispahani Mirzapore Tea National Cricket League in an award giving ceremony yesterday.

Bad luck for Sharmin

In a major setback, shooter Sharmin Akhtar lost her place as a participant in the 10m air pistol discipline of the Beijing Olympics that begins on August 8.

Strauss would have 'liked Test job'

Andrew Strauss has admitted he was disappointed to miss out on the England captaincy to Kevin Pietersen.

Dinesh in solo lead

Indian International Master Dinesh Kumar Sharma took solo lead in the 8th United Insurance & United Leasing International Masters Chess tournament after the end of the eighth round at the federation hall-room yesterday.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh Kabaddi Federation have selected fifteen players for a residential camp ahead of the 3rd Asian Women's Kabaddi Champion-ship that begins in India's Tamil Nadu on September 19.

Friendly soccer match at RU

A friendship football match between Adivashi Chhatra Parishad and Pahari Chhatra Parishad units of Rajshahi University was held at the Shaheed Habibur Rahman playground to celebrate the International Day for the World's Indigenous People.

Kirsten given leave to see ailing mum

India coach Gary Kirsten will leave the team's Sri Lanka tour and fly home to South Africa Tuesday to visit his critically ill mother, the cricket board said here.

Ctg Media Cup semis today

The semifinals of the first Press Club-A & J Media Cup Football will be held today at the MA Aziz Stadium.

Deco backs Robinho bid

Chelsea midfielder Deco has told Luiz Felipe Scolari to do whatever it takes to sign Robinho.

C'Ron skips MU talks

Cristiano Ronaldo has refused to return to England for talks with Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson over his desire to join Real Madrid, a Spanish newspaper reported Tuesday.

N Korea won't play South's anthem

North Korea is again refusing to let South Korea play its national anthem and fly its flag at a 2010 football World Cup qualifier scheduled in Pyongyang, officials said Tuesday.

Counterfeit shirts seized

Spanish police said Tuesday they have seized thousands of counterfeit football shirts and other items following complaints by manufacturer Nike and top European clubs Manchester United, Arsenal and Celtic.

Iraq line up star-studded friendly

Iraq's national football team will face a line-up of some of Europe's top players in a friendly scheduled for October 6 in Rome, the chief of the Iraqi football federation told AFP on Monday.

Sneijder out for 3 months

Real Madrid said Monday that Dutch international Wesley Sneijder would be out of action for three months but did not have to undergo surgery after injuring his knee during a match in London.

Traore signs new deal

Arsenal defender Armand Traore signed a new long term contract with the Premier League club on Monday.

Business

AKTEL share offloading by year-end

AKTEL, the country's third largest mobile operator, has said it is now working on listing it on the capital market by the year-end, bringing another good news for the continued bearish market.

Exports post 15.87pc growth in FY08

Bangladesh earned US$14.110 billion in exports in 2007-08 fiscal year, registering a growth of 15.87 percent over the previous fiscal, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data.

US concerned for workers' rights in Bangladesh

The office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has again expressed concern over workers' rights in Bangladesh, especially in the country's readymade garment sector.

Export price of maize fixed at $600

The government yesterday moved to restrict the export of locally produced maize by fixing its minimum export price at $600.

Record remittance in July

Bangladesh fetched record $829.50 million in remittances in July, the first month of the fiscal year (FY) 2008-09, despite workers'trouble in Kuwait, the third largest importer of Bangladeshi workers.

DSE suspends mutual fund share trading

Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) authorities yesterday suspended trading of shares/units of all mutual funds until the bourse receives official confirmation regarding the High Court's restrain order on changes in mutual fund rules.

BSFIC cuts sugar price

State-owned Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation (BSFIC) on Sunday reduced the mill rate price of sugar to Tk 29 from Tk 31 per kg to be more competitive in the local market, said a senior official of the corporation.

MCCI seeks licence fee withdrawal from captive power plants

Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) urged the government to immediately withdraw the provision in the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission Licence Regulations, 2006 that imposed licence fee for establishing captive power plants.

3-day Bank and Non Bank Financial Institutions Fair begins tomorrow

A three-day fair for showcasing the product and services of banks and non-banking financial institutions will be inaugurated at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel in Dhaka tomorrow.

Asian stocks close mostly down

Asian stocks closed mostly down Tuesday as investors worried about the cooling world economy, disappointing corporate profits and crucial upcoming interest rate decisions.

Australian mining boom leaves workers rich, but homeless

Wharfie Tony 'Turtle' Hampson lives the Australian working man's dream -- plenty of work, plenty of beer and a fat weekly paycheck which allows him to spend months of each year travelling.

Brand banks: It's time to get innovative

Branding has certainly become the buzzword in the financial arena in 2008! A good brand is like gold in the vault for the finance industry. A quantum leap is occurring in the way brands influence financial services recently.

Stocks bounce back

After a slump for five consecutive days, Dhaka stocks bounced back yesterday mostly due to a record volume of trading in Titas Gas shares.

HSBC to help NRBs invest in stock market

The HSBC Bangladesh yesterday launched a new product titled 'Smart Capital' to help Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) invest in the country's capital market.

ACI Pure Brown Atta hits market

ACI Pure Flour Ltd recently launched a new product 'ACI Pure Brown Atta' for its health conscious consumers, says a press release. It will be available at various supermarkets around the city.

KONKA introduces new ultra-slim television

Electro Mart Ltd(EML), the sole distributor of KONKA brand colour television and electronic appliances, introduced the new "Prince" series ultra-slim colour television range.

Dollar mixed

The dollar rose against the euro but fell against the yen on Tuesday as dealers awaited the latest decision on American interest rates from the US Federal Reserve.

Fed likely to keep rates on hold

Amid heightened economic uncertainty, the Federal Reserve is widely expected to keep its main interest rate unchanged Tuesday at 2.0 percent.

Eurozone business activity close to seven-year low

Business activity in the 15 countries using the euro in July fell to the lowest level since November 2001, as consumer spending falls, surveys showed on Tuesday, raming up fears of recession.

China to fine firms employing illegal foreign labour

Companies in south China's Guangdong province that employ foreign labour without work permits could face fines of up to 50,000 yuan (7,300 dollars), state media said Tuesday.

StanChart shakes off credit crunch as profits soar

Standard Chartered said on Tuesday that its push into Asia, Africa and the Middle East had fuelled a profits surge at the emerging markets bank despite a jump in bad debts caused by the credit crunch.

Biz Letters

Eliminating poverty
Nasreen is a 25-year-old mother of three who lives in a village near Patuakhali. She took a loan of Tk 10,000 from a local Non Government Organisation (NGO) to start a poultry business of her own. Her husband is disabled and stays home all the time. The entire family depends on Nasreen's income.

Metropolitan

No compromise on corruption

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yesterday called on the young generation to play a significant role in eliminating corruption from the country.

Build capacity of diplomats to improve country's image

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said Bangladesh should develop the capability of professional diplomats as well as the foreign ministry for improving the country's image abroad.

People won't accept Monday's polls

BNP Secretary General Khandker Delwar Hossain yesterday said the caretaker government has held an election according to their blue print.

10 killed in road accidents

Ten people were killed and 77 others injured in separate road accidents across the country in the last two days.

Youth held on charge of money laundering

Ramna police on Monday night arrested a youth from the city's Maghbazar area and seized Tk 35 lakh from his possession on suspicion of his involvement in money laundering.

2 crushed under train

Two unidentified people were crushed under the wheels of a goods-laden train early yesterday at Rangiarputa rail crossing under Kotchandpur upazila in Jhenidah.

CHT Commission co-chair Lord Avebury arrives today

Chittagong Hill Tract Commission (CHTC) Co-chairman Lord Avebury arrives in the city today to hold introductory discussions with key stakeholders and settle the Commission's programme.

Rahul Gandhi leaves for Delhi

Indian Congress leader and Parliament member Rahul Gandhi left Dhaka for Delhi by a Jet Airways flight yesterday morning after a five-day visit to the country.

7 trafficked girls return from India

The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday handed over seven girls, who were trafficked to India, to Bangladesh Rifles.

Hiroshima Day today

Liberation War Museum along with young learners will observer Hiroshima Day in the city today.

'Uphold country's positive image in int'l arena'

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday urged foreign service officials to uphold Bangladesh's positive image in the international arena.

250kg adulterated ghee seized

An anti-adulteration mobile court led by Rapid Action Battalion in separate drives on Monday seized 250 kilograms of ghee and realised Tk 2.30 lakh from a ghee factory and three shops in Keraniganj and the city's Kaptanbazar.

HC asks Shirsho Kagoj editor, reporter to reveal sources

The High Court (HC) yesterday again directed the editor and a reporter of the weekly Shirsho Kagoj to reveal the sources of a report headlined 'A High Court judge whitens black money' by affidavit by August 11.

Petition for quashment of case against Jalil

Counsels for Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil yesterday submitted a petition to the special court seeking quashment of a corruption case against him.

Elephant kills 2 in Bandarban

A woman and her son were trampled to death by a wild elephant at Tulatoli under Naikhangchhari upazila of the district on Monday night.

PDP rejects Barisal mayoral polls results

Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday rejected the results of the Barisal City Corporation mayoral elections, bringing allegations of irregularities in vote counting.

'Health Rights Project builds strong govt, NGO, civil society network'

The Health Rights Project of Population Services and Training Centre (PSTC) has significantly facilitated building a strong network among the government, NGOs and civil society and increased awareness among the community people in its working area, speakers said yesterday.

GPA-5 achievers enjoy spectacular day at Nandan

GPA-5 achievers in this year's SSC examinations spent the first day of a two-day programme at Nandan Park in a euphoric state with students, guardians, artists and writers thronging the venue in hundreds.

National

700 irregular appointments at RU on political consideration

Rajshahi University authorities recruited over 700 people including teachers irregularly in last 10 years.

3000 MT more rice by harnessing hill waters in Khagrachhari

Creek barrage, an innovation to harness water from streams in hilly areas for farming, has brought prospect for better production and poverty alleviation in hill district Khagrachhari.

Unofficially elected councillors in 4 cities

Sylhet
30 councillors of Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) were declared unofficially elected, reports our staff correspondent.

10 re-elected SCC councillors face cases

Among the elected councilors in Sylhet city Corporation, 10 are accused in criminal cases.

Vitamin A dose at birth reduces infant death by 15pc

A dose of vitamin A to newborn babies within seven hours can reduce infant mortality by 15 percent in Bangladesh, says findings of a research study.

Int'l congress on animal reproduction begins at BAU today

The 15th two-day international congress on 'Biotechnology in Animal Reproduction' will begin today at Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin auditorium of Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU).

Letters

Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait

The recent torture on the poor Bangladeshi workers by the Kuwaiti government is outrageous. Reports say that hundreds of Bangladeshi workers were tortured and sent back home, within this week, with no pay while they were demanding an increase in payment. We have also seen the video footage of how the Kuwaiti police were torturing these workers who went to this foreign land to make a few dollars to support their family back home. Some sources say that these workers are getting about $30 a month. Wow! Only one dollar per day for 8 to 10 hours of hard work. It is hard to believe what this oil producing nation of the Middle East is doing to the people from the poor nations. As the citizens of the world, we condemn both the physical abuse and the unfortunate low payment to these workers, and we demand an increase in their salary.

Adulteration of foods

Adulteration of food has taken a serious turn. The unscrupulous elements are taking advantage of the absence of any provision for strict punishment and administrative supervision for implementation of the same to discourage and deter them from such heinous and dreadful activities. Pouring of various types of chemicals for preservation and ripening of various kinds of foods, edible oil, fish, vegetables, fruits etc. is the order of the day with very little resistance from the administration. Use of DDT on dry fish which is a poison is very common these days. The consumers are totally helpless before these traders or businessmen in the absence of any support from the country's legal system and the administration. Some casual drives are made occasionally by the administration in some places here and there and imposition of nominal fines or three months' simple imprisonment hardly made any lasting impact on the dishonest traders and their heinous activities are going on unabated. Food adulteration is a criminal offence of highest magnitude and, therefore, would warrant maximum punishment for the offenders such as capital punishment. Capital punishment for adulteration of food is normal all over the world. But why the law is so lenient to the offenders in our country for such a grave offence which amounts to slow poisoning of the entire population is anybody's guess.

Internet facilities

Internet has become the life-blood to modern civilization. But in Bangladesh this great opportunity has not reached all the students due to the shortage of computers. It is true that nowadays a lot of institutions based on Internet have emerged but the number is still not enough.

Admission battle!

More than 7 lakh students have passed the SSC exams this year. And now it seems that it is a fault of theirs! They are now suffering, because they are not getting the opportunity of admission to a good college or a college at all. Thousands of students have achieved very good results. And generally these meritorious students want to get admitted to a good and renowned college. But the reality is that the colleges cannot accommodate the students. This problem is getting serious year by year. The situation makes the students frustrated. The problem must be addressed as a matter of top priority. The government should take the initiative to increase the number of quality educational institutions.

Caged students!

My vision got glued into many pairs of little hands sticking out, holding the steel rods of a heavily ribbed closed front gate of an English medium school at Uttara the other day while I was passing by to meet an urgent piece of business. The time was during the tiffin break. I could only mange to see some dark figures of those caged children holding the gate, it seemed as if they were trying to breathe some fresh air.

Letters column

The letters column is the most interesting and instructive column for the curious and serious newspaper readers. It covers almost all subjects imaginable; from the ridiculous to the sublime! It's an interesting melting pot of ideas covering every imaginable theme, and written by people of various hues; serious, curious and even quixotic and sometimes witty.

SAU's location

In reply to my letter dt.21/07/08 Prof. SAM has once again written on the above issue (Ref: DS, his letter, dt.30/07/08).

Real estate management

Recently, the caretaker government endorsed an Ordinance named “Real Estate Management Ordinance-2008”. No doubt it is a good effort to remove the forgeries in real estate market of Bangladesh.

City polls

Most of the contestants in the city and municipality polls have questionable credentials. They were orchestrating to comeback and take away the country to the position before the changeover. The voters have no alternative but to vote for the corrupt candidates because there are very few candidates with a clean image. The ray of hope is fading away…

Saarc and people

After a long time of its inception, if we try to justify the existence of Saarc, we have to think for a while to get the right answer. This regional organisation is always busy arranging formal meetings among the leaders. But the ultimate achievement is a big zero.

Truth Commission

The revised ordinance has made it possible to compose and commission the long awaited Truth Commission (TC). The chairman of the TC during his short interview with the satellite television channels apprehended that if the proceedings of the commission were made public through the media, the targeted beneficiary might be discouraged to appear before the TC. Therefore, it might be camera sessions with no public access to its proceedings.

NRBs

Finance Adviser Dr Mirza Azizul Islam has called upon the NRBs to send more remittances. Well, we are trying our best but the government needs to change a number of existing policies that discourage NRBs to come and invest in various sectors.

ACCA admission

ACCA (The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the oldest (more than 100 years old) professional accounting body in the world. Its acceptance is world-wide and still it is growing. Some people call it 'British CA' as this degree-holders can conduct audit work in England like CAs (Chartered Accountants). Knowing its goodwill and reputation, Bangladeshi students are becoming interested in enrolling in this course. More than 10 local tuition providers are imparting this course in our country so that students can participate in it staying in his/her country.

Standard of teaching

It has come to my notice that some teachers of English medium schools in Dhanmondi and other areas are not at all qualified. Recently, I went to admit my daughters at a renowned school in Dhanmondi and to my surprise I was baffled after meeting with the teachers. The attitudes of the teachers clearly indicated that they were merely housewives who have joined schools to pass their time.

For a better Bangladesh…

A few recommendations to our government for our growth and prosperity.

Price hike

Nowadays, price hike is a common phenomenon. The market prices of commodities have gone beyond the purchasing power of common people. As a result, a kind of inflation is emerging in our economic system.

Extra-judicial killing

We are anxiously observing the incidents of extra-judicial killing by the law-enforcing agencies. This savage and barbaric act of killing in the name of crossfire was introduced by the last four-party government, but such things exist nowhere in the modern world except Bangladesh. The criminal also has the right of self-defence and has to suffer a punishment if convicted or proved to be guilty by a legal court of justice. But, interestingly, Razakars are safe in our country.

Crimes against humanity

Radovan Karadzic is now facing trial for committing war crimes including genocide against Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat civilians during the Bosnian War (19921995). But Bush's murders are sophisticated with the pre-approval of the United Nations! During the tenure of senior Bush 500,000 Iraqi children died due to the unjust sanctions. In the recent years, people of the globe observed that for a non-existent cause millions of Iraqis are dying. Why is the world so imperfect?

International

Furious protesters clash with police in Kashmir

Muslim protesters hurling bricks battled police in Indian Kashmir's main city Srinagar yesterday as fury intensified over attacks on Muslims by Hindus.

Pakistani suspect's family refute US terror charges

The sister of a Pakistani neuroscientist extradited to the United States on terror charges said yesterday her sibling was innocent and accused US forces of secretly holding her for the last five years.

US$ 51m needed for Myanmar's rice fields, UN says

Three months after much of Myanmar's fertile land was washed away by a devastating cyclone, a rescue effort remains critically underfunded, the United Nations said yesterday.

Mount K2 survivor safe in base camp

A frostbitten Italian climber said he was glad to be alive yesterday as he limped into K2 base camp after surviving an ice avalanche which killed 11 people on the world's second highest peak.

Iran faces new ultimatum over nuclear row

Iran delivered a message to the EU yesterday as it faced a fresh ultimatum from six global powers to accept an incentives package to freeze sensitive nuclear work or face more UN sanctions.

Security tightened in Xinjiang after attack

Police tightened security in China's western Xinjiang region Tuesday and Olympic organizers sought to reassure residents and visitors after a deadly attack on police heightened jitters just days ahead of the games' opening ceremony.

Oil giants counting on McCain: Obama

Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama yesterday charged that oil giants were betting that only his Republican rival John McCain would let them keep on raking in record profits.

Israel threatens new strikes on Gaza

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Israel would go back to carrying out military strikes on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip despite a month-old truce, army radio reported yesterday.

Lebanon-Syria summit next week

Lebanon's President Michel Sleiman will visit Damascus next week for talks with Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, as the two neighbours move to establish diplomatic ties, an official said yesterday.

Iraq President slams vote bill

The president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region Massud Barzani has sharply criticised a provincial election bill as a "conspiracy," deepening a political rift over the oil-rich Kirkuk province.

PPP may ask Musharraf to seek trust vote

The Pakistan People's Party is considering to ask President Pervez Musharraf to seek a vote of confidence from the National Assembly, in what is seen here as an effort to placate the Pakistan Muslim League-N to ensure continuation of the ruling coalition.

Terrorism is a global concern, says Boucher

Staying away from the "blame game" between India and Pakistan for the last month's terrorist attack on Indian embassy in Afghanistan, the United States has said terrorism is a threat for the whole world and it needs to be tackled by all.

Karzai 'confident' of Pak link to bombing

Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday repeated allegations that Pakistan was linked to a car bomb attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul, saying he was "confident" of the evidence.

Tremors shake China's Sichuan

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit southwest China's Sichuan province yesterday, close to the area that was devastated by a quake earlier this year, the US Geological Survey said.

Families bury victims of India temple stampede

Mukesh Chabba lit the funeral pyre on which seven of his relatives including his wife and daughter were cremated Monday, the day after a stampede at a remote mountaintop Hindu temple killed 145 people.

Muslim rebels attack troops in Philippines

Muslim separatists traded mortar fire with troops in the southern Philippines just hours after the Supreme Court stopped a land deal between them and the government, the military said yesterday.

One dead, 4 missing in Tokyo rains

One worker was killed yesterday and four others were missing after being swept away while carrying out repairs in a Tokyo sewage system as torrential rain drenched the Japanese capital, officials said.

Violence continues in Sri Lanka

At least 26 Tamil rebels and a government soldier were killed in fresh fighting in Sri Lanka's north, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Shantiniketan days

Shantiniketan, a small town near Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, India, is famous for Visva Bharati University established by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore with the vision of learning in a natural environment. Most of the leading Tagore singers of Bangladesh are graduates from Visva Bharati University, under Central Government of India.

Envisioning what's left unsaid

"Like billions of Bengali children, my initiation into singing includes Amar sonar Bangla. Needless to say, as a nation our introduction to Tagore, or to be more precise Rabindra Sangeet, happens effortlessly," says Fahmida Nabi.

Eleven years of bliss

From 1976 to 1987, Durba Roy Chowdhury spent much of her days in the inspiring and idyllic milieu of Visva Bharati at Shantiniketan. A devoted classical and Rabindra Sangeet artiste and trainer, Durba replicated her Visva Bharati experience at her own music school 'Gayoki'. In a recent conversation, the artiste shared her fond memories of Shantiniketan with The Daily Star.

Bengal's first modern artist

The basic thing to understand about Rabindranath Tagore, says Lala Rukh Selim, of the Department of Sculpture, DU, is that he was active in almost every field of culture. "He contributed to almost every field of culture, specially the development of modern literature, music, fine arts, etc. of Bengal. Regarding his contributions to fine arts of Bengal, he has contributed uniquely; He was present during one of the crucial stages of Bengal art, when the people of Bengal realised anew that India had a unique cultural past and the artists of Bengal wanted to go back to the past and bring it to the present context, with transformations which gave rise to the Bengal School. When Abanindranath Tagore and others established the Bengal School of Art, Rabindranath was active at that time."

Special attractions on the small screen

On the 67th death anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore different satellite channels will telecast special programmes today.

OP-ED

National Mourning Day

BANGLADESH came into existence because of the folly of the pro-establishment politicians and the misjudgment of the ruling military junta, who were in power between 1958 and 1971. During this period, the people of Pakistan were ignored by the military regimes. Naturally enough, there was no participatory democracy. The Basic Democracy of Gen. Ayub was a mockery of democracy. Nothing better could be expected of the military rulers of the then Pakistan.

Autumn sonata

IT was a get-together of my school friends. The host, a retired engineer, like the rest of us is in his autumn age. More precisely, we are in our sixties. One of the guests, a self-employed friend of ours, asked our host the engineer what he did with his time. Our host replied that he had earned the retirement and he did not intend to make mincemeat out of it. Besides, with so many television channels, it is no longer a task.

Revisiting the "Axis of Evil"

AS the debate on Iran rages in the United States, the hawks need to examine the 2003 Iraq War and its aftermath, pondering the wisdom of George Santayana: "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Defeating President Saddam Hussein's army was the easy part; what followed proved catastrophic for both the United States and Iraq.

The difference between Eastern and Western bosses

SOME critics have accused this column of being anti-Western. Not true! When I describe Western civilisation as "a loathsome, suppurating planet-sized disease blighting the planet" I mean it as a compliment.

Star City

Serene on crowded campus

Devotees slowly begin to gather for the weekly prayer. Men and women with traditional headgears assemble around the head priest and the holy book. Hymns of verses like 'Prabhu milbe ko pritman lagi' (Lord, I have this ardent urge to meet you) create a spiritual ambience while the devotees listen to them intently.

Mindless demolition of a rooftop temple

An ornate temple atop an old building at Shankhari Bazar is being mindlessly knocked down by its owner.

Why 'extra' fare if passengers hang on to bus doors?

On Monday July 21, hundreds of Titumir College students rioted in downtown Mohakhali battling police and damaging buses on the street. Police clubbed the students while the protesters responded by hurling pieces of bricks at the police.



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