The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, September 24, 2014


News of: Monday, 11th of August, 2008

Front Page

Upazila polls may become political

Political parties will be able to contest in the upcoming upazila elections after all, as the Election Commission (EC) finally decided in principle to scrap its earlier plan of rendering the long over due polls non-partisan, sources in the commission said.

Govt reinstates Aug 15 as Nat'l Mourning Day

In compliance with a recent High Court (HC) ruling, the government yesterday reinstated August 15 as National Mourning Day and a public holiday to commemorate the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

'Unconditional' release for Khaleda very soon

Detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will be released "unconditionally" very soon as the caretaker government has finalised all procedures in this regard. She is expected to be freed under an executive order.

AL to complete district bodies for JS polls

Awami League (AL) has decided to shore up its grassroots base by completing district committees as part of preparations for the parliamentary election and, if necessary, movement.

Workers vandalise 15 RMG factories; 60 units close

Garment workers demanding back pay yesterday ransacked at least 15 garment factories and four shopping centres at Jamgorah in Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital.

Lone bidder's condition makes Bibiyana power project uncertain

The Bibiyana 450 megawatt power project has become uncertain due to poor handling by the Power Cell of the power ministry as its lone bidder Powertek Consortium has imposed a condition that the government will be responsible for paying up to $15 million for cancelling the project before its financial closure.

Gold-gunner Phelps off the mark

Swimming superstar Michael Phelps launched his quest for Olympic Games immortality on Sunday by smashing his own world record in winning the first of a potential eight gold medals.

Army officers privately advise President Musharraf to resign

Pervez Musharraf is very much angry with his friend George W Bush and some of his old friends in uniform. He tried to speak his American friend many times in last few days but the President of USA is not available to President of Pakistan on phone this time.

Bashundhara Group chief, family charged with amassing Tk 107cr

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan (Shah Alam), his wife, and their four sons in a case filed for amassing wealth worth about Tk 107 crore beyond their known sources of income.

Engr Mosharraf, Ilias Ali granted HC bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted bail to former Awami League (AL) minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain in a case filed for breaking the emergency power rules and ex-BNP lawmaker Ilias Ali in an extortion case.

Office timing for Ramadan announced

The Council of Advisers yesterday at a meeting approved the timetable for government offices for the upcoming month of Ramadan.

WB arbitration court to hear Petrobangla's arguments in Dec

The World Bank's international arbitration court in Washington has set December 1-5 for hearing Bangladesh's statement on US energy company Chevron's claim for payment of 4 percent of the gas bills that its buyer Petrobangla deducts as wheeling charge.

43 more back from Kuwait

Another 43 deported Bangladeshi workers reached Dhaka yesterday from Kuwait, raising the total to 914, said Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET).

Friends here, foes back home

Their countries may be in a conflict, but a Russian and a Georgian shared a podium and an embrace after winning Olympic medals Sunday.

Musharraf under pressure from allies to resign

Pakistan's embattled President Pervez Musharraf was under mounting pressure to quit, with his allies joining ruling coalition calls for him to go before impeachment proceedings begin today.

Russia seizes S Ossetia as wider conflict feared

Russian troops backed by tanks and fighter jets seized control of South Ossetia yesterday as fears grew of a wider conflict with Georgia over the separatist region.

Price spiral has pushed 4cr more people below poverty line

The country has seen an increase in its poor population due to the recent skyrocketing of the prices of essentials, economist Dr Abul Barkat said yesterday.

Santu demands cancellation of poll results

Defeated Barisal City Corporation (BCC) mayoral candidate Sharfuddin Ahmed Santu yesterday demanded cancellation of the election result and urged the Election Commission (EC) not to publish gazette notification of the result.

Fema sees Aug 4 polls free, fair

Fair Election Monitoring Alliance (Fema), an election-monitoring organisation yesterday said that the standard of polling at the August 4 local body elections held under the state of emergency was better compared to any other elections in the past.

Rajshahi wife finally gives up battle for life

Arzina Khatun, whose husband allegedly set fire to her after pouring kerosene 13 days ago, succumbed to her injuries yesterday at a city hospital.

Danish envoy for lifting emergency soon

Danish Ambassador in Dhaka Einar H Jensen yesterday said his country would like to see the emergency rules lifted soon and a free and fair general election held in Bangladesh later this year.

Defence counsels conclude submissions

The High Court (HC) today starts hearing the prosecution arguments in the 1975 Jail Killing Case, as the defence counsels have concluded their submissions yesterday.

Court rejects Shamim Iskander's petition for quashing case

A Dhaka court yesterday rejected a petition for quashing a case filed against detained former Biman flight engineer Shamim Iskander for hiding information from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

No expiry dates found in 450 MT powdered milk

Customs officials at Chittagong Port could not find any manufacturing or expiry dates of the powdered milk inside 18 containers the authorities seized Thursday.

2 Huji men denied bail

A Dhaka court yesterday rejected the bail petitions of two Harkatul Jihad (Huji) members in a case filed for blasting grenades at an Awami League (AL) rally on Bangabandhu Avenue on August 21, 2004.

Teachers plan agitation against Brac supervision

Teachers of non-government primary schools will hold a grand rally in the capital on August 20 demanding cancellation of Brac supervision over all primary schools in 20 upazilas under a pilot project.

Corruption probe against major's in-law lands UNO in trouble

Mehendiganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) filed a general diary (GD) against an army major after he allegedly threatened the official with dire consequences when the UNO refused to back down from investigating corruption charges filed against the major's brother-in-law.

Lankan troops push into rebel territory: 43 killed

Sri Lankan soldiers launched a pre-dawn attack on Tamil separatists in the embattled north yesterday, killing 15 rebels, while other battles in the region left 27 rebels and one soldier dead, said the military.

Editorial

Sabotage at Ctg Customs House

WE were elated on Saturday at the news of installation of two sophisticated automation equipment inside the customs house at Chittagong Port. Understandably, it was a happy occasion when the port authorities switched on the Import General Manifest (IGM) and Export General Manifest (EGM) module under the first phase of introduction of automation at the customs house. The automation aimed at completing all customs formalities in only six steps against about 42 under the previous system. The objective behind taking the step was to increase revenue earning, minimise irregularities and enhance efficiency of the biggest seaport of the country.

Rights of the indigenous people

THE assurance by an advisor to the caretaker government that there would not be retracing of steps insofar as the rights of the indigenous people are concerned is very heartening indeed. We would like to think that the commitment expressed by this government would be carried forward by the future elected governments.

Indo-Pakistan dialogue under stress?

ON the ground, there is hardly any sign of success emanating from the Indo-Pakistan composite dialogue now underway. Yet, a desperate optimism sustained it, which survived the vicissitudes of time to reach up to its fifth round. However, at this stage, both India and Pakistan had to struggle to hide their exasperation with each other at the start of the latest round of talks between their foreign secretaries in New Delhi on July 21. Indeed, the talks got off to a rocky start.

Monetary policy and inflation targeting

MY August 2 piece "Dichotomy of inflation and credit expansion" argued that inflation inhibits growth through dissuading investment -- and governments (where the central bank isn't independent) must create a favourable credit expansion environment through adopting inflation managed economic growth policy framework. This article sheds some light on that framework.

And John McCain is an honourable man!

AFTER Senator John McCain clinched the Republican primary victory in March, he received a congratulatory phone call from Senator Barack Obama. McCain thanked Obama and told him that he was determined to run the most civil and honourable presidential campaign. Something happened to the Straight Talk Express. It must have run into a mud ditch, because all McCain has been doing lately is throwing mud at Obama.

Sports

Shakib back for Tigers

Mushfiqur Rahim was left out from the 15-member squad for the upcoming tour of Australia after the wicketkeeper became the only player out of four to have failed a fitness test for the three-match series.

Rice rips WR apart

Stephanie Rice has already received plenty of attention for her high-profile relationship with fellow swimmer Eamon Sullivan. Now the Australian is in the spotlight for a different reasonshe's an Olympic champion.

Abahani, Ctg MSC in last 8

Abahani and Chittagong Mohammedan became the first teams to qualify for the Citycell Federation Cup quarterfinals yesterday.

Lanka halfway there

Sri Lanka tightened the screw on India with a superb all-round performance on the third day of the crucial third and final Test here on Sunday.

AB defies England

A defiant fifty from AB de Villiers gave South Africa a fighting chance on the fourth day against England at The Oval. South Africa were reduced to 168 for 5 at lunch, leading by 46, but lost only two more wickets by tea to extend their lead to 143.

Mohsin to join BFF as paid executive

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) is all set to engage yet another footballer for one of its projects as it will soon announce Mohammed Mohsin as a paid executive.

Rubel last among 45

Bangladeshi swimmer Rubel Rana finished last among 45 competitors in the heats of the men's 100m backstroke at the Beijing Olympics 2008 yesterday.

One match per day!

The timing of the ongoing Citycell Federation Cup second-phase has deprived fans from not only watching their favourite teams in action but also the readers from getting reports of the late night matches.

Delhi to host final on Wednesday

The AFC Challenge Cup final and third-place playoff matches, scheduled for yesterday, will be played at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi on Wednesday.

Records tumble in Cube

Michael Phelps electrified the Water Cube on Sunday, smashing his own 400m individual medley world record to claim the first of a possible historic eight swimming gold medals at the Beijing Games.

Owe it to a fortune-teller

Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakon thanked a fortune teller for what she said was a lucky name change after claiming gold in the women's 53kg weightlifting at the Beijing Olympics here on Sunday.

Big guns enter quarters

Ronaldinho was back to his best as he led Brazil on a 5-0 romp over New Zealand Sunday to confirm their quarterfinal berth in Olympic men's football along with Argentina and Italy.

Guo, Wu dive to glory

Defending champions Guo Jingjing and Wu Minxia of China won the Olympic women's synchronised three-metre springboard diving gold medal here on Sunday, having led the competition from the start.

S Korea gain archery gold

South Korea beat China to win gold in the women's team archery on Sunday, earning their sixth Olympic title in a row.

Gay very confident

U.S. sprinter and gold medal contender Tyson Gay said Sunday he's confident and “injury free” after completing a workout during which he showed no obvious signs of discomfort from the hamstring he hurt last month.

Ivanovic pulls out

Top seed Ana Ivanovic pulled out of Olympic tennis tournament on Sunday with a thumb injury, calling it "the worst moment of my career" and dealing a fresh blow to the injury and rain-hit event.

'I could have won eight'

US swim legend Mark Spitz thinks Michael Phelps could beat his record tally of seven gold medals at a single Olympics, but says if things were different in his time, he could have had eight.

Bojinov sinks Milan

Manchester City striker Valeri Bojinov continued his promising comeback from long-term injury with the only goal in Saturday's 1-0 friendly win over AC Milan at Eastlands.

Czech, China dominate

Unheralded Czech Republic matched the formidable Chinese on the Olympic shooting ranges as reigning champions fell by the wayside on Sunday.

Chelsea set for Kaka swoop

Chelsea are set to swoop for AC Milan's Brazilian international Kaka, the player's personal assistant Diogo Kotscho claimed on Sunday.

ICC denies venue change

The ICC has denied that England is being sounded out as an alternative venue for the Champions Trophy if Pakistan is deemed unsafe for the tournament.

Ferguson still angry at Real

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted Sunday that the summer-long Cristiano Ronaldo transfer saga has created a permanent rift with Real Madrid.

Business

Banks to double capital in three years

Bangladesh Bank got government's nod to double all banks' capital base to Tk 400 crore in three years, sources said.

Dhaka to focus on maximisation of exports with trading partners

Dhaka will emphasise bilateral negotiations with its trading partners along with existing multilateral initiatives in order to maximise export trade.

Ericsson launches high-speed internet service thru' 3G tech

Ericsson, one of the world's leading telecom technology and equipment providers, yesterday launched high-speed broadband internet services through 3G (3rd generation) technology under a pilot project.

Denmark may procure more ships

Danish Ambassador in Dhaka Einar Hebogaard said that he would encourage the buyers to come and buy ships from Bangladesh as he sees the country as holding a bright future in the area.

New site selection mooted for economic zone in Sylhet

A donor supported pre-feasibility study has recommended for selecting a new site for establishing an economic zone in Sylhet as the current site does not allow a profitable public-private partnership (PPP) due to its high developing costs.

Policy formulation to encourage participation in CSR practices in progress

Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam said on Saturday the government is framing a policy to encourage greater participation of corporate bodies in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) practices.

IMF wants full reform in VAT system

Jonathan C Dunn, resident representative of IMF yesterday said a thorough reform is urgent Bangladesh's value added tax (VAT) system to make it business-friendly.

Need for Saarc common market emphasised

Saarc countries' policy makers should establish a unique customs union and set up a South Asian common market for an overall economic development of the region, speakers said at a press conference in Dhaka yesterday.

IFC-BICF launches Regulatory Reform Core Group

The IFC Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund (IFC-BICF) will launch today its Regulatory Reform Core Group at an event entitled 'Stimulating Private Sector Development Reforms for Economic Empowerment of Bangladesh' at Pan Pacific Sonargaon in Dhaka.

Joint Stock Companies automation system begins

The automation system of the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms' (RJSC) began yesterday, said a press release.

Asian int'l trade expo begins today

A 10-day international trade exhibition begins today at Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre in Dhaka.

Manila's public transport system shows the strain as prices soar

Belching thick clouds of black exhaust smoke, a dilapidated "jeepney" minibus brims with commuters jammed together like sardines during rush hour in Manila.

'Dowry degenerates self-dependent attitude of men'

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said dowry is a social malady that degenerates the self-dependent attitude of men and this practice hinders a good relationship between the provider and receiver.

Oil prices risk new rises on supply shocks

World oil prices, which have plunged from recent record heights, could spike higher again should the market be rocked by new supply-side shocks, according to industry experts.

Stocks down on selling pressure

Stock prices on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday declined significantly following the selling pressure and inactive mood of the institutional investors.

Miles Young appointed global CEO of The Ogilvy Group

Miles Young, chairman of Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide Asia Pacific, has been appointed global chief executive officer (CEO) of The Ogilvy Group, according to a press release.

Japan Inc sees bigger profit fall

Japan Inc has forecast a bigger profit decline than its earlier estimate for the year to March 2009 due to price hikes and an economic slowdown at home and in the United States, a daily said Saturday.

ASEAN to prepare oil stockpiling roadmap

The ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) plus 3 (China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea) recently has agreed to jointly study how to prepare a regional oil stockpiling plan to prevent shortages and reduce impacts of oil price surges in the future.

China's power enterprises urge govt subsidy

China Electricity Council, an organization of all China's power enterprises, urges the government to subsidize power enterprises to maintain their normal operation, reported Xinhua-run Shanghai Securities Journal.

Indonesian airline fires half of its workers

Indoensia's state airline PT Merpati Nusantara has been forced to ax more than half its workers and receive a government bailout in a major restructuring programme designed to stave off a collapse.

Spain facing worse economic slowdown than expected

The Spanish economy, long a motor of growth and job creation in the eurozone, is facing a deeper and faster-than-expected slowdown as the impact of the end of a property boom spreads to other sectors.

Metropolitan

$165.7m WB project to improve city water, sanitation services

The World Bank (WB) funds a new project to improve water and sanitation services by Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (Dwasa), says a press release.

Bodies of 3 Bangladeshis to arrive soon

Bodies of three among four Bangladeshis killed in a gas cylinder explosion at Dammam in Saudi Arabia last Friday would be brought back home at the earliest, said Foreign and Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday.

Meghna to be model basin for flood forecasting, rainfall

Bangladesh is going to evolve a model for forecasting flood and rainfall in the Meghna and after completion of the Meghna model by 2011, all the river basins of the country will be brought under the model attuned to the Meghna.

Refusal to love, altercation over land main reasons of acid violence

Speakers at a discussion here on Saturday said refusal to proposals of love or marriage and altercation over land are among the main reasons of acid violence and all forms of such violence occur for such incidents.

Community-based waste management stressed

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) held a 'Kickoff meeting for promoting community-based solid waste management for ward no 75' at a local community centre recently with a view to introducing participatory solid waste management in which communities actively engage in and understand their responsibilities of waste collection, says a press release.

Death of critical patients to reduce, hope experts

Doctor of Medicine (MD) course in Critical Care Medicine (CCM) was introduced at Birdem hospital in the city yesterday.

Acid thrown on three in city

Three people received acid burns when unknown miscreants sprayed acid on them in the old part of the city yesterday.

Ban on movement of trucks during daytime in Ctg

A restriction on movement of trucks and covered vans and loading and unloading of the vehicles during the daytime in Chittagong came into effect from yesterday.

Bangladesh fails to restore CPA membership

Bangladesh failed in its appeal to restore its membership in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) as the parliamentary government has not yet been resumed.

8 fishermen rescued, 5 still missing

Eight fishermen, who went missing on Saturday after a trawler sank at the estuary of the Bay of Bengal near Nijhum Dwip, were rescued in a critical condition yesterday.

Sylhet local body elections were free, fair

Democracywatch, a leading election monitoring organisation, yesterday said the local body elections in Sylhet were held in a free, fair and peaceful atmosphere.

Three killed in road accidents

Three people were killed in separate road accidents in Kishoreganj and Thakurgaon in the last two days.

Dialogue on education for sustainability tomorrow

The Centre for Global Environmental Culture (CGEC) of International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT) will organise a dialogue on 'education for sustainability' at 11:00am tomorrow at the Cirdap auditorium in the city, says a press release.

Manjurul, Mujahidul CPB president, secy

Manjurul Ahsan Khan was re-elected president and Mujahidul Islam Selim general secretary of the 51-member central executive committee of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) at the 9th national congress of the party in the city yesterday.

Set up girls' cadet college in Rajshahi

Around 100 female students of Rajshahi University (RU) have urged the caretaker government to establish a girls' cadet college in Rajshahi and ensure equal rights for women in education sector.

30th meeting of CPD Board of Trustees held

The 30th meeting of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) was held at CPD Dialogue Room yesterday, says a press release.

BAU founding anniversary celebration Aug 17-18

Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) will celebrate its 48th founding anniversary with a series of programmes on August 17-18, says a press release.

Road accident kills schoolgirl in city

A schoolgirl was killed and her mother critically injured when a covered van hit their rickshaw on the way to their relative's house in the city's Shyampur last night.

College girl attempts to commit suicide

A college girl yesterday tried to commit suicide with her father's pistol at a residence in Dhanmondi area in the city.

DU MCJ Alumni Assoc formed

The Teachers-Students Centre (TSC) of Dhaka University (DU) became full of life last night as hundreds of former students of Department of Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) of the university gathered on the occasion of formation of DU MCJ Alumni Association.

Victim locker holders demand due compensation

The victim locker holders of Brac Bank last night staged a demonstration inside the Asadgate branch of the bank alleging that the compensation the bank offered them was too low.

Chhayanaut recalls contribution of Farida Hasan

Chhayanaut, a cultural organisation, in a condolence message yesterday expressed deep shock at the death of Farida Hasan, a cultural personality renowned for his contribution in waging cultural movement against communalism, says a press release.

Time won't be extended for submission of moallem fees

The government will not extend time of submitting moallem fees of the aspirant hajis, Religious Affairs Secretary Muhammad Ataur Rahman yesterday informed different hajj agencies who yesterday demanded to give a chance for at least a day to submit moallem fees.

Sri Lankan navy chief arrives in city

Sri Lankan Navy Chief Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda arrived in the city yesterday on a five-day visit to Bangladesh.

CPIM leader's death condoled

The left-leaning parties in the city yesterday held a condolence meeting at the death of veteran politician and former general secretary of Communist Party of India (CPI-Marxist) comrade Harkishan Sing Surajit.

Jalalabad Assoc executives

Dr CM Dilwar Rana and Akbar Hossain Manju were elected president and general secretary of executive committee of Jalalabad Association, Dhaka.

Rupnagar Janakalyan Samity executives

ABM Osman Gani and Md Tawhidul Bashar were elected president and general secretary of Rupnagar Janakalyan Samity on Friday, says a press release.

Meet to condole death of Samudra Gupta today

A memorial meeting will be held at the auditorium of Bangladesh Short Film Forum at Aziz Supermarket at Shahbagh in the city today to pay tribute to poet Samudra Gupta, says a press release.

Appeal for help

Kamrun Nahar, 40, a helpless mother of two children, has been suffering from ovarian tumor.

Scholarships distributed

The 'Rahimafrooz-Remians Scholarships 2008' were distributed amongst meritorious students and children of the staff of Dhaka Residential Model College (DRMC) on Friday, says a press release.

National

Fertiliser crisis dashes hopes for better tea yield

With favourable weather, prospect of tea production in country's main tea valleys in Sylhet seems to be better this year, according to sources in gardens and Bangladesh Tea Research Institute (BTRI).

Security tightened at Mongla Port as jobless workers intensify agitation

With tension mounting at Mongla Port following death of dock worker Delwar Hossain on Friday night, security measures have been stepped up there to stave off any untoward incident.

Charge framed against Satkhira doctor, nurse

A Satkhira court yesterday framed charges against Dr Syed Kamruzzaman, a physician of Khulna Diagnostic Centre in the town, and nurse Firoza Khatun of the same centre, in a case for alleged violation of a female patient who came to the centre on February 3 last year.

Barisal AED staff abstain from work

Officials and staffs of Agriculture Extension Department (AED) in Barisal region have abstained from official works demanding immediate removal and punishment of AED additional director who beat up a staff on Saturday.

Rotten fish recovered from MMCH kitchen

A mobile court led by Magistrate Begum Merina Akhtar conducted drives at private hospitals, clinics and at the kitchen of Mymensingh Medical College Hospital (MMCH) yesterday.

BCL demands punishment of Shibir men

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leaders at Rajshahi University yesterday met acting Vice Chancellor Prof Mamnunul Keramat at his office and demanded punishment of Islami Chhatra Shibir activists who assaulted the VC on the campus on Friday.

Shibir leader sent to jail for assaulting college principal

Bagerhat District Islami Chhatra Shibir general secretary Manjurul Huq Rahat was sent to jail by a court here yesterday after his arrest on Saturday, court sources said.

WFP country director visits Manikganj

John Aylieff, country director of United Nation's World food Programme (WFP) in Bangladesh, yesterday visited Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) programme activities in Harirampur and Sadar upazila in Manikganj.

Moheshpur OC closed

Moheshpur Police Station acting officer-in-charge (OC) Md Shafiqur Rahman was closed to Jhenidah Police Line on charge of bribery Saturday night, police said.

Letters

Diplomatic failure in Kuwait

We strongly condemn the tyranny unleashed by the Kuwait authorities on the workers of Bangladesh who have been deprived of their legitimate remunerations and other benefits by the employers there. They simply gave vent to their anguish and agony suffered at the hands of the employers in Kuwait for long and certainly did not deserve to be treated like beasts who have been beaten mercilessly by the Kuwait police in captivity. These workers have been subjected to inhuman torture by their employers right under the nose of the Kuwait authorities and perhaps at their behest. It is, therefore, everybody's right to protest against injustice which actually the Bangladeshi workers did. Any protest against injustice is called “Jehad” in Islam. It is highly unfortunate that instead of addressing their legitimate grievances, the authorities there maltreated and sent them back home without any payment even. Most of them could not bring their personal belongings even. Our Prophet (SM) had instructed, “Pay the wages of labour before drying up of his sweat”, whereas the wages of these workers were either not paid or paid partially in violation of contract. In Islam honouring of any lawful contract by both the parties is binding on each other. There were reports that the maids hired in that country from various countries including Bangladesh were treated like slaves and even were subject to sexual abuse ! So what kind of Islamic law is pursued in that country?

Powerless people

A new country was born in 1971 after a bloody war of nine months with a hope & dream that from then on the country would rise to the top step by step. It had been ruled by foreign invaders for 225 years-- two hundred years by the British and 25 years by Pakistanis. It is very unfortunate for us to mention after long 37 years of independence that the hope has been shattered and the dream has become a nightmare. Today is August 5, 2008 and in the last 24 hours there was no electricity in my area (Pallabi) for 7 hours. That is, the electricity went off due to load shedding 7 times in 24 hours and each time for an hour. It may also be mentioned here that the electric supply during pick hours is not available.

Elections

The Election Commission very successfully organised free, fair , participatory, credible elections to the four city corporations and nine municipalities, where the people were able to cast their votes for their chosen candidates, whom they felt competent, honest and reliable.

Earthquake

An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the earth's crust that creates seismic waves. Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to earthquakes. Now we are facing many problems due to the vulnerability to earthquake. The causes of earthquake are as follows: most earthquakes are caused by the sudden slip of rock mass along geologic faults and fractures, the collisions between tectonic plates and increased pressure within the rock's crust that exceeds the strength of the rocks and the filling of reservoirs that may increase the stress in the Earth's crust.

Use of chemicals in foods

Whenever I see pictures and read about the use of deadly chemicals on fruits by the growers and vendors to ripen and make their produce look attractive, taste better and to boost their production, I shudder. How can the government look away and not take appropriate, strong and quick steps to stem this diabolical practice of poisoning fruits and vegetables and cheating the public to buy them? This is a horrendous case of systematic destruction of society. The authorities have the knowledge of how bad is the effect on the consumers and how serious this despicable act is, but, they are not doing enough to save the consumers and protect them from the evil of these people who have no conscience and behave without compunction. They are horrible elements whose only aim in life is to extract maximum profit even if society has to suffer and pay an enormous price. This is destroying the vitality and vibrancy of the society affecting the younger generation more, in a way, which is irreversible. These elements are slowly and sneakily destroying us. We have to do something and not let it go on unpunished and unchecked. These sinister people are holding us hostage, doling out their goods and forcing us to eat because we have no choice as apparently every item you buy is affected, though the sellers will vouch their merchandise is clean and pure.

IT education

Information Technology is not only an integral component of modern civilization but also a vehicle that helps our dreams come true. The whole world is now a village owing to the effective use of IT. The development of every sector in the world is based on IT. In the age of IT excellence, we cannot afford to lag behind because IT has the potential to promote economic growth and can facilitate the integration of Bangladesh into the global economy. I believe, like all of you, that proper use of IT can contribute actively to our national development.

Emergency and election

It is clear, at least after the recent mayoral elections, that the caretaker government intends to hold the general election without lifting the state of emergency. This intention, till now, is opposed quite strongly by both 14-party and 4-party alliances. Yet, the persistence of the caretaker government with this particular agenda is creating confusion among the politically conscious citizens regarding the motive behind it. Legally, holding elections under the state of emergency is unheard of. In theory, the state of emergency refers to a situation where a citizen's basic civil and political rights are curtailed and the fundamental rights of people are re-established only when the emergency is withdrawn. Therefore, the coexistence of emergency and election is in essence contradictory. However, if the government intends to legalize such exercise through finding small loopholes in our legal framework then one cannot stop them from doing so. But, as citizens we still want to know the logic behind the caretaker government's persistence with this particular agenda. The government's clarification on this issue is important since it will help create a consensus among the political parties which is needed for political stability. If the government has a practical reason which is fuelling their desire to hold elections while maintaining the state of emergency, then they need to discuss their point with the political parties and civil society and create a socio-political consensus regarding this issue. Otherwise, all the elections conducted by this caretaker government will be questioned by political quarters, and this will not be good for us in the long run.

Polls under emergency

From the news reports published in the dailies we have come to learn that the EC has claimed that emergency would ensure extra security.

Obama and "change"...

Much has been witnessed, much has been talked about in America and outside about the upcoming presidential elections. Senator Obama, the Democratic candidate, has by now charmed his people and others across the globe with his magical and magnetic prowess in terms of outward and the inward manifestations of the much talked about "change". It is that magic that the Americans are desperately looking for. It is indeed that hope of "change" in American policy that the people of the world are also looking for. We've seen, till date, that a black young, charismatic and flamboyant leader in Obama that has already captured the mandate of the Europeans (recent historic Europe tour) is striking gold to be the first non-white American president. We'll see in future that America is being ruled by a woman president --- democracy has reached its peak there. Now it all depends on the American people whether they will elect Obama or not.

Set the priorities right

France is a developed country having the fifth largest economy in the world. Its land size is more or less equal to Bangladesh. But Bangladesh is one of the least developed countries having a huge population. The French are running about five hundred engineering collages and seventy-eight universities. They are also very advanced in medical education. After gaining political independence, Bangladesh could not establish even thirty-seven engineering collages in the last thirty-seven years!

Not surprising…

He has said what he was supposed to say in line with his party's political culture. We were, in fact, expecting this reaction from the BNP (Khaleda) before even the mayoral and municipal elections were held on 4 Aug. So we were not surprised at all. Khandaker Delwar Hossain has categorically said that the election was “patano nirbachon”. He blamed existence of emergency rules and termed this election as CTG's game-fixing election, although all the election observers including the foreigners have expressed satisfaction about the turnout, peaceful atmosphere and enthusiasm among the voters and finally peaceful voting. The BNP's own grassroots level leaders have congratulated the winners in front of the TV cameras, some were seen sharing sweets together with their rivals after conceding defeat. This is a rare scene which the Bangladeshi people could see for the first time in 37 years.

When memories are all you have…

On reading the feature "Daddy's little girl" by Ms. Fariha Shafi in your Star Campus issue of July 27, 2008, I was absolutely overwhelmed with grief. There was a lump in my throat and I became so depressed that I still can't get over from thinking how much the writer is missing her late lamented father.

SAU's location

I support Prof. Zahidul's suggestion that(Ref: DS, letter Dt. 6 Aug. 2008)the government as well as the United Nations should come forward to declare the SAU's (Sher-e Bangla Agricultural University) location with its greenery, rare plant species, foundation stone laid by Sher-e Bangla AK Fazlul Haq etcetera, as a national and world heritage. In addition to that, to make it more befitting as an oasis in the harsh city centre, the government should also immediately consider shifting of this agricultural university to a new countryside location to fit its purpose and nature of education which I proposed earlier through letters in this column.

Economic crisis

Our nation has been suffering from inflation for quite a while now. The immediate past government didn't do anything about it. The inflation rate is rising every day, the prices of essentials like rice, oil, vegetables, etc. are skyrocketing.

Letters

The letters column can be considered as the comic relief from the serious reports on current affairs like local polls, graft cases, corruption cases, arrest and bail, and violence or nightmare. Generally, most of the pages deal with merely happenings, while the letters column is covering a wide variety of themes as Mr. S.A. Mansoor points out. He is absolutely right as we readers are tired of observing the same type of reports every day. Many reports are being printed on contemporary national and international issues. Most of them are very conventional which are already known to the readers. These dimensionless and casual reports are not capable of sharing views or ideas but merely repeat the information cycles.

International

Musharraf was advised to resign two months ago, says Zardari

Expressing confidence that the ruling coalition would succeed "110 percent" in its move to impeach President Pervez Musharraf, PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari has said he had advised the embattled leader through a "common friend" to resign two months ago but he paid no heed.

Indian govt appeals for calm in Kashmir

India's home minister appealed for calm yesterday in Muslim-majority Kashmir, gripped by the worst religious tensions in decades.

100 militants, 9 soldiers killed in Pak clashes

More than 100 militants and nine Pakistani soldiers have died in four days of fierce fighting in a tribal region bordering Afghanistan, the military said yesterday.

BJP looks for divine aid with eye on polls

It's back to Hindutva for the Bharatiya Janta Party, which is raking up all the issues it hopes to get maximum political mileage from ahead of the polls.

Airstrikes, clashes kill 11 in Afghanistan

Airstrikes and clashes north of Kabul killed 11 people, some of whom might be civilians, Afghan officials said yesterday.

Evacuation gathers pace for foreigners in Georgia: Warsaw

Hundreds of foreign nationals caught up in the Georgian conflict have begun to be evacuated into neighbouring Armenia and Turkey, the Polish foreign ministry announced.

Georgia takes on impossible odds in battle against Russia

Georgia's army of less than 25,000 men is confronting a Russian force, which can count on more than one million troops -- and experts say their conflict cannot last.

Suu Kyi meets lawyer

Myanmar's democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi held a rare meeting with her lawyer following a visit to the country by a UN rights expert, her party said yesterday, but the junta continues to haul in activists.

Immediate withdrawal of N Korea from terror list unlikely: US

The United States said yesterday it was unlikely North Korea would be immediately taken off the US list of countries that sponsor terrorism.

Zimbabwe rivals close in on deal

South African President Thabo Mbeki held talks with Zimbabwe's political rivals yesterday as they edged closer to a power-sharing deal following Robert Mugabe's widely condemned re-election.

Low turns into depression, crosses over to Orissa

The well marked low in the northwest Bay of Bengal turned into a monsoon depression and crossed the Orissa coast at noon yesterday, Met office sources said.

Russia marks strategic red line with Georgia fight

With its military charge into a rebel pocket of Georgia, Russia has staked out a strategic red line and it will not allow its perceived interests there to be thwarted without a fight, analysts said Sunday.

CPI-M asks its cadres to isolate BJP and oppose Congress

Preparing itself for early elections to the Lok Sabha, the CPI-M has asked its state units to immediately identify the seats from where the party should contest and formulate a poll strategy to "isolate" the BJP and "oppose" the Congress.

UNSC fails to agree on call for truce

UN Security Council efforts to end fighting in the breakaway Georgian enclave of South Ossetia were deadlocked yesterday after envoys failed to agree on a call for a truce between Russia and Georgia.

Israel mulls halting arms shipments to Georgia

The Israeli foreign ministry has recommended a complete halt to the sale of arms to Georgia for fear of spurring Russia to increase its support of Syria and Iran, an Israeli newspaper reported yesterday.

Suicide bomber kills 7 in Algeria

A suicide bomber rammed a van full of explosives into a police post in eastern Algeria, killing seven people and injuring 19 others overnight, Algerian public radio reported yesterday.

9 killed in Iraq attacks

A spate of bomb attacks across Iraq yesterday targetting a bank, a town hall and a string of military patrols killed at least nine people and wounded more than 50, security and hospital officials said.

Earthquake in Indian Ocean

A powerful 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of India's Andaman islands in the Indian Ocean yesterday, the US Geological Survey said, followed by a series of strong aftershocks.

Arts & Entertainment

Projecting Old Dhaka in Germany

To celebrate Dhaka's 400 years, Buriganga Arts And Crafts organised an art workshop at Shilpakala recently. Jamal Ahmed conducted this event, in which eager young artists participated. Professor Samarjit Roy Choudhury inaugurated the workshop. The paintings culled from the workshop was exhibited in Germany this month. The venue was FzKKE, Euskirchen.

Int'l Day of the World's Indigenous People observed in Tangail

Indigenous communities in Tangail observed the International Day of the World's Indigenous People on Saturday with demands to ensure their rights to land and preserve their heritage.

Nature and lifestyle in the frame

"International Inter University Photography Exhibition (IIUPE)" is one of the most anticipated events for the amateur, student photographers. North South University Photography Club (NSUPC) has been arranging the event annually since 2003, highlighting photographs taken by university and college students from home and abroad. In this year's exhibition -- held at the National Art Gallery, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy from August 3 to 9 -- 47 universities from 13 countries participated. The exhibition featured 502 photographs by 201 photographers.

Taslima Nasreen back in India

Controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen has returned to India to renew her visa, which expired on Tuesday, officials said.

Fundraiser for a mother

On August 9, TSC auditorium, Dhaka University (DU) was packed to its full capacity as students and teachers came together to attend a grand musical event titled Mayer Jonyo Gaan.

World Friendship Day celebration

A colourful cultural show and a reception of promising students were held in Tangail town to mark World Friendship Day on August 8.

Comedian and actor Bernie Mac dies at 50

Comedian and actor Bernie Mac, who starred in few black sitcoms and appeared in the "Ocean's 11" movies, died in Chicago last Saturday after a bout with pneumonia. He was 50.

OP-ED

Execution is the challenge

WHEN a country goes through an economic downturn, the government usually assumes the responsibility of accelerating that; especially if the economic slowdown is the result of not incorporating a prudent long-term outlook in its policy framework.

Can China rule the Olympics?

THE economic story of the past several years has been China's massive growth as it has nabbed market share in important international competition and assumed a higher profile on the global stage. Nothing exemplifies China's rise more than its hosting the 2008 Olympics. Could it put an exclamation point on its upward trajectory by dominating the Games?

Burma's democratic revolution

THOUSANDS of people joined mass protests outside Burmese embassies throughout the world yesterday to commemorate the tragic events in Rangoon twenty years ago. Many international personalities, including actress Mia Farrow, joined them, all calling for the immediate release of the detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and a swift move towards democracy. Before leaving for Beijing to attend last night's opening ceremony for the Olympics, President Bush and his wife Laura added their support to the cause during their visit to Thailand.

Asia, Australia and the sex of potatoes

READERS often write to ask me whether I think Asia exists. And I reply: Yes, it does. It's a big place full of non-pink people on the right of the world map.

Star City

Rescue Pogose house before too late

Weis House, one of the magnificent structures built by Nicholas Pogose, an Armenian elite in the late 19th century, at Weisghat in the city is now under threat of being occupied illegally.

Fear of falling into owners' clutches

The process to add 5000 more CNG run auto rickshaws to the current fleet in the city finally began ignoring all hiccups and previous disagreements.

"city express"

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



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