The Daily Star

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Friday, May 18, 2018

News of: Monday, 18th of August, 2008

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EC watches time tick away

The Election Commission (EC) might not be able to ensure registration of the political parties and intra-party reforms before the ninth parliamentary polls due to time constraints.

Civil, police admin to be reshuffled in two weeks

The government is going to rearrange the civil and police administration in two weeks through transfer and posting, and through withdrawal of officials facing specific allegations or having poor performance records, officials say.

New DMP branch to police political parties

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has launched a new intelligence wing recently to gather information in advance about the activities of different political parties and their front organisations.

Suspects get bail, cases stayed on law loopholes

Corruption suspects are getting released on the High Court (HC) bail and cases against them are being stayed because of loopholes in the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) laws and rules, observed a few Supreme Court (SC) lawyers.

Unelected govt can't do good for people

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina said the massive public misery in the last one and a half years has proved that unelected governments cannot bring any good for people.

Musharraf given 2 days to quit power

Pakistan's ruling coalition tightened the screw on President Pervez Musharraf yesterday, saying that it had readied impeachment charges against him and was giving him two days to stand down.

Phelps swims into history

Michael Phelps cemented his place in Olympics history Sunday, capping a sensational week by becoming the first athlete ever to win eight gold medals in one Games.

Security stepped up on third anniversary of JMB serial blasts

Law enforcement agencies stepped up security in the capital and other places across the country to avert any attack by the activists of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) as August 17 was the third anniversary of the countrywide near simultaneous bomb blasts.

Nasim freed on bail

Detained Awami League presidium member and former home minister Mohammad Nasim was released on Friday on a High Court bail two days after jail authorities received the court order.

Shab-e-Barat observed

The holy Shab-e-Barat was observed across the country on Saturday night with due solemnity and religious fervour.

Plan to extend deadlines as projects not completed

Even though there is no legal provision, the power ministry plans to extend deadlines of the contracts by several months for five failed rental power projects, totalling 200 megawatt (MW), which are due to expire within a month.

Kamran to be freed on parole for attending mother's funeral

Detained Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) mayor-elect Badar Uddin Ahmad Kamran will be freed on parole today to attend the namaj-e-janaza of his mother Nurunnesa Lalon who passed away yesterday.

Dhaka's steps against money laundering to be checked

A five-member expert team from the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) will do an evaluation of the country's safeguard against money laundering and terror finances from today through August 31.

Blasts that rocked her life forever

In a tiny hut in Swarupnagar Moholla in Chapainawabganj municipality, a 76-year old woman sits boiling a paste of wheat over a mud stove for her lunch.

Shelly-Ann leads Jamaican sweep

Shelly-Ann Fraser led a historic Jamaican sweep of the Olympic women's 100-metre here on Sunday, finishing ahead of compatriots Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart, who dead-heated for silver.

Gulf nations move to limit workers' stay

The labour ministers of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have made a proposal for not allowing expatriate workers to stay in the GCC countries for over five years, said Kuwaiti Labour Minister Bader Al-Duwailah.

RCC polls engineered

Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul, the defeated BNP-backed mayoral candidate in the Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) election, yesterday alleged that the August 4 RCC polls were engineered on a large scale.

3 DU students expelled for assaulting teacher

The Dhaka University (DU) authorities expelled three students temporarily on Saturday for assaulting a teacher of statistics department during a clash between two groups of students on August 14.


In a rejoinder to a news titled "Untreated industrial wastes pollute cropland, river", published in The Daily Star on August 13, Comfit Composite Neat Ltd in Gorai industrial area of Mirzapur upazila in Tangail said the news lacked information and sufficient data.

BDR begins sales from 28 shops in Ctg

The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) has begun sale of essential commodities at subsidised prices from 28 fair price shops in the port city and different areas in greater Chittagong since Friday.

Russia signs ceasefire deal with Georgia

Russian troops will begin pulling back Monday from their positions throughout Georgia toward the country's separatist-held region of South Ossetia, the Kremlin said yesterday.

Truck crushes 3 kids to death

Three children were crushed to death and one seriously wounded by a speeding truck on Airport Road near the Ambarkhana government colony mosque in Sylhet early yesterday morning.

Lankan army captures rebel training base

Sri Lankan troops captured a massive Tamil Tiger training base with underground bunkers, lecture halls and a cemetery as government forces pushed ahead with their offensive against the rebels, the military said yesterday.


Why bomb blasts remain a mystery for so long?

THREE years ago, on August 17 2005, extremist elements belonging to now banned Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) had exploded bombs in 63 districts. It was a dark day in our history when, through the brazen act, the obscurantists imparted the message that they had no allegiance to the laws of the land. They openly announced that they did not give any credence to the country's constitution. It remains a mystery as to how, with so many members of the intelligence and law enforcing agencies active in the field, so many people could carry bomb making materials to 63 destinations and detonate them without a single one getting caught.

Election of new Nepali PM

THE election of new Nepali prime minister augurs well for Nepal in more ways than one. Firstly, it has ended a long political deadlock following the general election which gave the Maoists a clear majority. Secondly, it will, one hopes, prepare the way for a multi-party democratic order in a republican Nepal. Perhaps most important is the election of a rebel leader as the prime minister and the way an insurgent group has got the opportunity of integrating within the body-politics of Nepal, after ten years of violence and disturbance. This reflects a new found maturity in Nepal's polity.

Celebration or turning point?

GREAT events for a nation are few and far between. The nations often create them with sustained bids. Winning the bid to stage the 2008 Olympic was thus justifiably described in China as the realisation of a "century old dream." Ever since, China had awaited with bated breath the arrival of the cherished event amid hostility, cynicism and frustration caused, among others, by the crisis in Tibet.

Melody needed poetry: Sound needs phonetics

A child born in the year that Kishore Kumar died would be 21 years in the first week of August, out of college and already well into the most movie-and-music intense phase of his life. And if he had been born on July 31, 1980, the day Mohammad Rafi died, he would most likely be sharing baby duties with his wife. Would either be aware of the age of melody that they had missed?

Racism may doom Obama

WITH the unpopular Iraq war raging, the economy tanking, and gas and food prices soaring, generic Democrats lead Republicans by about 15% in national polls. The Democrats are salivating at the prospect of adding 30 more seats to their House majority, and reaching the filibuster-proof 60 Senate seats in November's election.


Jamaica roar out of blocks

When it comes to Olympic sprints, nobody does it better than the Jamaicans. Yeah, mon.

Manik's job official

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) will officially announce Shafiqul Islam Manik as the national football coach for the next three and half months.

Ashraful promises fight

Mohammad Ashraful, the Bangladesh captain, has stressed the need to be competitive after his side arrived in Darwin for their three-match one-day series against Australia.

Tigers' first practice tie today

While Saturday's practice was all about getting the bodies moving and easing into training Sunday morning's session of the Tigers at the Marrara Oval was far more intense.

BCB Academy suffer heavy defeat

GP-BCB National Cricket Academy team's brittle batting helped their South African counterparts level the two-match four-day series in style as the home side secured a massive innings and 63-run victory in the second game at the Laudiam Oval in Pretoria on Saturday.

Bangladesh's Olympics over

Bangladesh's dismal campaign in the Beijing 2008 Olympics Games ended Saturday with Nazmun Nahar Beauty finished overall 62nd among 85 competitors in the heats of the Games' hot event of women's 100-metre sprint.

An explosive duel

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene are looking forward to an explosive start to their one-day international series starting here Monday.

Fed Cup soccer resumes today

The Citycell Federation Cup football tournament resumes today after a week's break with two matches taking place at different venues.

Nataliia delivers gold

Nataliia Dobrynska of Ukraine fell back on her strength in field events to win the heptathlon gold medal at the Olympics on Saturday.

Beyond all borders

I keep staring at this photograph. Above me, the crowd is still cheering, still standing, still trying to find the words that match the emotions of watching Michael Phelps win his eighth gold medal of these Olympics. Impossible? Incredible? Unthinkable? It's like Phelps has forced the thesaurus into early retirement.

Romero creates history

Britain's Rebecca Romero made Olympic history here Sunday when she became just the second woman to claim medals in two different sports at the summer Games.

Phelps' tribute to Spitz

Michael Phelps paid tribute to Mark Spitz after breaking his fellow US swimming legend's record of seven gold medals at a single Olympics, saying it had provided the inspiration he needed to keep going through day after day of gruelling training.

Bush hails Phelps

US President George W. Bush on Sunday telephoned Michael Phelps and told the US Olympics swimming sensation "if you can handle eight gold medals, you can handle anything," the White House said.

Slovenia cheer with Kozmus

Slovenia's Primoz Kozmus picked up his country's first Olympic Games gold medal in men's track and field competition when he won the hammer final at Beijing's National Stadium on Sunday.

Nadal takes gold

Spain's Rafael Nadal added Olympic gold to his glittering season collection as he destroyed Chilean Fernando Gonzalez in the men's singles final on Sunday.

Messi sets up Brazil tie

Players and coaches heaped praise on Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi after he steered defending champions Argentina into a glamour Olympic semifinal against Brazil.

Jamaica celebrate Bolt's gold

Fans of the world's fastest man sprayed Red Stripe beer into the air on Saturday as Usain Bolt crossed the finish line in world-record time at the Olympics' 100-meters final.

Chelsea off to a flier

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari enjoyed a spectacular debut as his side turned on the style to rout Portsmouth 4-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Liza 43rd

Woman FIDE Master Shamima Akhter Liza finished 43rd in the girls' section of the World Junior Chess Championship in Turkey.

'Cricket not Olympic'

Cricketers might be excited at the idea of competing in Olympics but former champion Linford Christie has strongly opposed it, fearing the sport would "hamper" prospects of individual disciplines which wait for the Games to showcase their talents to the world.

Chawaguta in for Brown

Walter Chawaguta, the former Zimbabwe Under-19 coach, has taken charge of the national team, Cricinfo has learnt. Chawaguta replaces Robin Brown, whose contract expired in July, making him the third person to coach Zimbabwe in a year.


BTRC to discipline rogue ISPs

The telecom regulator has moved to legalise about 500 unauthorised internet service providers (ISPs) that serve broadband connections mainly to home users.

Sweater exports mark rapid rise

Sweater item exports are increasing rapidly as Bangladesh has become a lucrative destination for readymade garments (RMG) outsourcing on the appreciation of Chinese currency and increase in workers' wages in competing countries, according to industry insiders.

Local developer to build high-end condominium

A local real estate company has begun constructing a housing project with an investment of Tk 200 crore in Dhaka, which it claims to be a high-end condominium in the country.

Agro-processed food exports keep up growth

Export earnings from agro-processed foods grew 77 percent to $40.65 million in fiscal 2007-08, rising from $22.94 million a year ago, buoyed mainly by a surge in the exports of dry foods, rice, fruit juice and biscuits.

Unplanned overseas jobs for low-skilled workers push them into poverty

Overseas employment for low-skilled workers in an unplanned manner is pushing them towards poverty, academics and civil society members said at a citizens' dialogue in Dhaka yesterday.

Voting campaign to promote Cox's Bazar, Sundarbans

A voting campaign to promote Cox's Bazar and the Sundarbans to the top of the list of the seven natural wonders of the world takes place today on Dhaka University campus.

Local corporate minds for world companies

His team-mates find him to be a caring elder brother rather than a boss, whose passion to groom and build a team of world-class business leaders has brought them all on the same board. They are leading Citigroup to reach milestones in Bangladesh.

Asian currencies down against dollar

Asian currencies ended the week down against the dollar as the greenback rallied strongly on sentiment that the US was best placed to combat a global economic downturn, dealers said.

Olympics: Business as usual for Beijing copyright pirates

China has muffled dissidents and thinned out its notorious traffic for the Beijing Olympics, but its brazen peddlers of counterfeit goods are proving tougher to bring to heel.

Stocks move past 9th bearish week

A bearish trend on the Dhaka Stock Exchange continued last week, as investors were yet to regain confidence from nine weeks of a slump.

Pakistan to pip India in list of top rice exporters

For the first time in several years Pakistan is expected to pip India in the list of rice exporting countries because of export curb imposed here.

Japan, China foreign ministers discuss gas projects, NKorea

The foreign ministers of Japan and China were to meet Sunday to discuss joint development of gas fields in the East China Sea and North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals, an official said.

Tibet tourism suffers from March unrest

The number of tourists visiting Tibet in the first half of the year fell 70 percent from the previous year, state media reported Saturday, following unrest in the Himalayan region in March.

Former Siemens management lax on anti-corruption

German engineering giant Siemens ignored its own anti-corruption procedures in a slush fund scandal that has brought down a number of former group executives, Spiegel magazine said.

HK air passenger growth drops

Growth in Hong Kong air passenger traffic slowed last month to the lowest rate this year as soaring crude oil prices dampened demand for air travel, the airport authority said Sunday.

India may allow duty free steel export under Adv Licence Scheme

In a respite to steel industry which is holding the price line for over three months now, the government may exempt value-added steel from the purview of export duty if products are made out of imported raw material.

Weekly Currency Roundup

August 10- August 14, 2008
Local FX Market
This week, there was ample liquidity in the local market, and US dollar rose slightly against the Bangladesh taka. The demand for dollar was steady.


Negotiate compensation to face impact of climate change

Saying that financing for climate change is a right of the people of an affected country, the speakers at a conference yesterday urged the government to negotiate for compensation to face its possible adverse impact instead of seeking loan or grant.

Proposed RTI ordinance to further restrict access to info

Journalist leaders yesterday rejected the proposed Right to Information Ordinance 2008 saying it is full of 'inconsistencies' which would further restrict people's access to information.

'Unite to try war criminals, resist fundamentalists'

Leaders of different left-leaning parties yesterday said the progressive and democratic forces should be united to try the war criminals and resist fundamentalist elements.

CU expels 4, warns 13 students for vandalism

Chittagong University (CU) expelled four students for one year and warned another 13 for their involvement in different clashes and vandalism.

Formulate policy to stop sexual harassment:PCJ

Pragatisheel Chhatra Jote (PCJ), an alliance of left-leaning student organisations, yesterday urged the authorities concerned to formulate a policy to stop sexual harassment in the educational institutions across the country.

JP is platform of nationalism, Islamic values: Ershad

Jatiya Party (JP) is the only platform which has a combination of nationalism and Islamic values, said its Chairman HM Ershad when a former BNP lawmaker joined the party yesterday, says a press release.

Road crashes kill 14, injure 57

Fourteen people were killed and 57 others injured in separate road accidents across the country in the last three days.

Bangladesh missions pay tributes to Bangabandhu

National Mourning Day was observed in Bangladesh missions as well as among Bangladeshi community people across the globe on August 15.

BCL, Shibir clash at CU: 15 injured

Separate clashes between Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) on the Chittagong University (CU) campus on Saturday left at least 15 leaders and activists of the both organisations injured.

8 cops blamed for harassing rights activists

Two members of Ain Sahayata Kendra (ASK), a human rights organisation, yesterday alleged that eight police officers are harassing them by filing false cases as they have revealed the corruption of the police officers.

Udichi protests use of its name

The Central Committee of Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigoshti yesterday protested the use of its name for organising a programme by a London-based organisation in the city tomorrow.

Leadership training programme held

Bangladesh Youth Leadership Centre (BYLC) organised its first leadership training programme 'Building bridges through leadership training' at the Theatre Institute of Chittagong yesterday.

CA greets new Nepalese PM

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday extended his warm felicitations to Pushpa Kamal Dahal on his election as the prime minister of Nepal.

US, UK chapters of BNP observe Khaleda's birthday

BNP leaders and activists in New York and London celebrated the 64th birthday of Khaleda Zia on Friday, says a press release.

Tributes paid to poet Shamsur Rahman

The nation paid tribute to poet Shamsur Rahman on his second death anniversary yesterday.

RMCH interns on strike

Intern doctors at Rangpur Medical College Hospital (RMCH) yesterday called an indefinite strike protesting the alleged attack on some intern doctors and hospital employees by the attendants of some of the patients.

Bangladesh-US joint surgical exercise begins

A week-long surgical interoperability exercise styled 'Sight, sound and smiles 2008', organised jointly by Bangladesh Army and US Army medical team, started at the Combined Military Hospital at Bogra Cantonment on Saturday.

One killed in N'ganj clash

At least one person was killed and 11 others were injured in a clash among the villagers at Araihazar upazila in Narayanganj yesterday.

3 injured in cracker blast

Three people, including two minor boys, were injured in a cracker explosion at a residence at Sayedabad in the city on Saturday night.

Bapa team visits landslide-hit Sunamganj

Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) yesterday visited the river Jadukata and Taherpur village of Sunamganj where they found that the whole area have been seriously affected due to Indian landslide.

Police, pirate clash in Noakhali

At least 10 people, including three policemen, were injured in a clash between a gang of pirate and police at Companiganj in Noakhali yesterday.

10 RMG workers injured in boiler explosion

At least 10 workers were injured in a boiler explosion at a garment factory at Pallabi in the city yesterday.

First breast cancer operations in Bangladesh

Surgical operations for breast cancer of three female patients were performed yesterday at Japan-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital (JBFH) at Dhanmondi for the first time in the country, says a press release.

BCL expels 5

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday expelled its five members of Zia Hall unit at Dhaka University on permanent and temporary bases on charges of their involvement in anti-organisational activities.

Execution of court verdict demanded

Bangabandhu Ain Chhatra Parishad has demanded immediate execution of the court verdict in Bangabandhu murder case.

South Asia Soroptimist Confce ends

A two-day South Asian Soroptimist Conference with the theme 'Women's Rights: South Asian Perspectives' ended in the city on Saturday.

Online magazine for Bangladeshi expats launched

An online magazine styled 'Prabashi Dotcom', targeting the Bangladeshi expatriates residing in the United States and other parts of the world, was launched here on Thursday.

Indian HC celebrates independence day

The High Commission of India in Dhaka celebrated the 62nd Independence Day of India with traditional pomp and gaiety, says a press release.

Marina Mahathir visits Brac programmes

Paduka Marina Mahathir, daughter of former prime minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohammad, visited different programmes of Brac in the city on Saturday.


Tk 50 crore water vessels of Railway decaying at Balashi and Bahadurabad

At least 30 water vessels including two large ferryboats are decaying at Balashi and Bahadurabad railway ferry ghats as they have remained idle since closure of the ferry route in 2005.

Agitation against Nilphamari SP as trader implicated in false case

Hundreds of people under banner of 'Nilphamaribashi' spontaneously observed a one-hour work stoppage here yesterday demanding withdrawal and punishment to Nilphamari superintendent of police (SP) Abdul Kuddus Amin and other police personnel for their 'misdeeds'.

'Take initiative to tackle misuse of small arms'

Speakers at a daylong media workshop in the city have urged effective steps to stop misuse of small arms.

70 high schools lose MPO

The government monthly pay order (MPO) of 70 secondary schools in six northern districts has been cancelled for showing 'very poor' performance in the SSC Examinations this year.

CU BCL announces blockade from today

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Chittagong University (CU) unit yesterday announced an indefinite blockade on the university campus from today to press home their eight-point demand including punishment to the attackers on their mourning procession on Saturday.

BSF kills 2 Indian cattle traders

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) gunned down two Indian cattle traders at Dubli, a border village near Kushkhali border in Satkhira Sadar upazila Saturday.

3 policemen suspended, sent to jail in Dinajpur

Three personnel of Parbatipur Police Station including two sub-inspectors (SIs) were suspended and sent to jail yesterday for allegedly firing gunshots on four onion traders of Rangpur on August 11 causing injuries to them, police said.

2.40kg heroin recovered

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) recovered heroin worth 2.40kg from an intercity train at Birampur railway station yesterday, police said.


Democratic practices

We attained independence 37 years ago for establishing a democratic and exploitation free society. Although we started our journey by introducing parliamentary type of democracy but the journey was halted time and again. After 1990 we got another chance which we failed to sustain. As an inevitable result, we faced 1/11. Now we have got yet another chance to establish a democratic society. But democracy cannot be imposed; it must come from society itself. The political parties must practise democracy within the parties and also adhere to the norms and practices of democracy.

Municipal elections

Amidst boisterous clamours, peremptory assertions, threats of 'resistance' and rejections by our old band of politicians, the elections to a number of municipalities and four corporations were held on 4 August. They were peaceful, free, fair and spontaneously participated by more than 80% of voters. In some centres it was up to 93%. This record turn out sends a message clear and loud. The political parties especially the big two who developed a mindset of leading the nation alternately as self-appointed guardians of the people, do not miss a single opportunity to affirm that they are the voice and conscience of the nation and decisions of the CTG ought to be taken as per their demands and dictates. The vast majority of the people wanted elections at grassroots level for their welfare to be brought about by leaders of the locality. The so-called national leaders' best endeavours to stall the local elections were set at naught forcing them to join the campaign at the end. However, some parties that remained “uncompromising” in their stance to oppose it found themselves as sick and wounded lions, and ultimately extended support to the rebel party candidates. The elections established the following facts.

Poverty and environment

Although the affluent people degrade the environment directly, mostly the poor are affected by environmental degradation.

PSC and BCS results

Firstly, I would thank the present interim government for their initiative to restructure the PSC. After restructuring of the PSC, I was very optimistic that transparency and accountability would prevail there. Here I would like to say that when the present govt cancelled the final results of the 27the BCS they promised that the viva-voce would be taken as early as possible.

Manpower export

Due to the rapid development of technology & communication, the world market has become very competitive, especially in manpower export. We know that it is really tough to send our workers to a foreign job market. Unfortunately, we are getting back thousands of workers from the Middle East. It's not clear to us what our embassy officials are doing. It was expected that a high-powered delegation would visit Kuwait and discuss the matter with the Kuwaiti government.

Too many cars, beggars

Since the time of our liberation, till now, the distance between the poor and rich has grown bigger. The economic discrimination among the subcontinent's peoples is a common phenomenon. In case of our country, this discrimination is more visible.

Erratic power supply

We are witnessing a dramatic show of power supply.

Income tax anomalies

According to an earlier government order a sanchaypatra holder who had submitted statement of sanchaypatras purchased by him, had to pay income tax for income above Tk 25,000/-. Subsequently, income up to Tk 1,50,000/- was precluded from taxation, and this order was given retrospective effect to from 1-7-2007 vide Income Tax (Modified) Ordinance, 2007 (Ordinance No 32, 2007) as passed on 29-10-2007. It further enjoined that the excess payment of I/T so made during this period would be paid back to the taxpayer or adjusted against his tax liability. The Income Tax Fixation Ordinance, 2008 and the Income Tax Fixation Supplementary Ordinance, 2008 (Finance Ordinance, 2008), have raised the ceiling of tax from Tk 1,50,000/- to Tk 1,65,000/- for general public and to Tk 1,80,000/- for women and people above 70. But despite the said statutory limits of tax from income, the agencies obtain the statement of sanchaypatras from an individual and realise income tax for income below Tk 1,80,000/- from a woman or a person above 70. Nor do they adjust the refundable excess amount earlier realised while deducting tax.

Creative education

There is no alternative to creative education. For effective teaching and learning of English, teachers should use the following ways so that the students can practice the language more and get the opportunity to do better.

Anti-corruption drive

Our attention is drawn to your news report dated 07/8/08" Lobbying may let 2 rental companies off the hook".


Finance Adviser Mirza Aziz has urged NRBs to remit more foreign currency to Bangladesh. Good piece of advice. But it's also his responsibility to give an idea how the money received so far has been spent.

Save Uttara Lake

It is really sad that we have not learned to take care for our natural resources. Our country has got rivers and lakes but we do not know how to protect them. Rather, we know very well, how to destroy these water bodies. Uttara Lake is one such lakes in Dhaka that has become the victim of human intrusion. The water of the lake has become smelly and it is highly regrettable that human wastes and other waste materials are the cause behind such pollution.

Changing familyscape

I was travelling from Calcutta to New Delhi on a train when I came across an Irishman travelling on the same train. We struck a lively conversation and at one stage he asked me, “Why is it that people (in India) ask me if I am married?” I could not at first reckon what was wrong with the question. I, however, explained that it was customary in the East to ask about marriage, family, etc. The Irishman replied that in his society one wants to know if a person is married only when he or she wishes to marry the latter. The incident was amusing but it made me conscious of the different values that exist in the East and the West. While in the East, especially in the developing countries, the society and culture are mainly family based, in the developed countries of the West the concept of family is literally in bits and pieces.

Foreign investment in housing sector

Khan's report (Aug;10) on the Rakeen Development Co. from the Middle East getting permission to participate in the house building sector in Bangladesh is a mixed blessing for us. The positive aspect is that it will bring scarce foreign currency into Bangladesh. The important negative aspect is that the investor will naturally repatriate its incomes from Bangladesh from sale of land, buildings and flats. Assuming even a modest return on investment, of say twelve percent, the company will remit back US$1.12 million for every US$1 million brought into Bangladesh, if I am not mistaken! Will it not result in more outflow of foreign currency from Bangladesh?

Khaleda's stand

On 12 August, most of the newspapers carried the report, as if it were the most important news, "Khaleda is unmoved" to enlist her name as a voter. We know Begum Khaleda Zia is an important person and anything she says or does is news. That is acceptable and people are eager to listen to what she says as she is a former prime minister and chief of a major political party.

Set up a folklore museum

Each nation has a folklore tradition which has been inherited and developed through generations. Our nation is a cultured one with a long history and has inherited and developed its folklore traditions finer than those of other nations.

Fight against heart diseases

Korean scientists used adult stem cells taken from human adipose or fat tissue and differentiated them into smooth muscle cells. They have transformed human stem cells into smooth muscle cells that control blood pressure and allow the normal functioning of organs.

Sending the wrong signal

In recent city corporation elections, some of our fellow citizens have voted and elected some of the (allegedly) corrupt elements. Consequently, we as citizens have sent the wrong signal to our leaders. The election results have indicated that leaders can get away with anything and everything. Our fellow citizens must understand that this signal is bad for our future. It is not the caretaker government's responsibility alone to fight corruption, we as citizens should also take some responsibility.

Education for children

In our country most of the school going children have no command over English or computer based programmes which are needed to find a job in future. They can't do progressively well due to our poor educational system

A pertinent legal point

We often read stories in our newspapers about murder of people by criminals who were arrested before, but were freed on bail. What is the bail given for? As a chance to purify themselves? Is killing supposed to be treated as a result of purification? Is not our judiciary system capable enough to identify which criminals are dangerous enough not to be granted bail?

Transportation system

Every day if one just has a look at Farmgate bus stand during the peak hours, it will become clear how hard it is to get into a bus. The situation in other bus stands is more or less the same. People have to suffer a lot for the lack of transportation services in the city.

Rainwater harvesting system

Water is the most vital thing for the survival of all living organisms including human beings. Access to safe drinking-water is a human right. But, ensuring safe, sweet, potable and drinkable water to the people is a great challenge for Bangladesh.

Neglected Munshiganj

Munshiganj is the place where I have been living for many years. It is my birthplace and I love the place a lot. But this is to inform everybody that still now the people of Munshiganj are neglected and deprived of all kinds of facilities.


73 Taliban, 15 troops killed in Afghan clashes

Scores of police manned checkpoints around Afghanistan's capital yesterday after authorities ordered more than 7,000 officers to secure Kabul ahead of the country's Independence Day, an indication of how militants pose a growing threat to the capital.

Pak sectarian clashes kill 200 in 2 weeks

Almost 200 people have died in nearly two weeks of fierce sectarian clashes between Sunni and Shia Muslims in a remote Pakistani tribal region, officials said yesterday.

US asylum for Musharraf 'not on the table': Rice

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday granting asylum to embattled Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was not currently under consideration by the United States.

Prachanda to take charge as Nepal PM today

Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda, the former guerrilla leader who led a successful war on Nepal's omnipotent royal dynasty, will finally take charge as the prime minister of the Himalayan republic today, ending a four-month political vacuum.

France warns Russia of 'consequences' if Georgia deal not respected

Russian relations with the European Union will be seriously damaged if Moscow fails to fully implement the peace deal it signed with Georgia, French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned Sunday.

Musharraf woe worries Pak anti-terror allies

Western allies are preparing for life without President Pervez Musharraf, but fear for Pakistan's ability to fight the "war on terror" if he is forced out of power, analysts said.

'New world order' seen as powers square off on Georgia

When Georgia attacked South Ossetia late the night of August 7, it was clear that something out of the ordinary was afoot.

Obama's struggle to exorcise Clintons

Like ghosts at the feast, Hillary and Bill Clinton threaten to project a baleful presence at what is meant to be Barack Obama's coming-out party as the Democrats' White House champion.

'Myanmar jails 5 activists for '88 memorial march'

Myanmar's military authorities have jailed five young activists for taking part in a small street rally marking the anniversary of a 1988 pro-democracy uprising, an opposition party member said Sunday.

Soren demands CM post, threatens Jharkhand govt

With Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Shibu Soren's deadline to be made the Chief Minister of Jharkhand a deal he brokered with the UPA in exchange for support coming to an end, time is running out for Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda.

Zawahiri slams Musharraf as 'enemy of Islam'

al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri slammed Pakistan's embattled President Pervez Musharraf as an enemy of Islam, in a first audio message in English posted online on Saturday.

Next president could be a woman, says Zardari

A woman might become Pakistan's next president, but any decision will be taken after evolving consensus, Pakistan People's Party Co-chairman Asif Zardari said on Saturday.

Thai MPs up in arms over Thaksin

Members of Thailand's People Power Party Saturday vented their anger at Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej for failing to protect the reputation of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Israel approves release of 200 Palestinians

Israel will free about 200 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to the Palestinian government.

Indian police arrest 10 for serial blasts

Indian police announced Saturday the arrest of 10 people over a string of blasts that killed 49 people last month in western Ahmedabad city.

Anwar accuses govt of 'dirty tricks' in by-election

Malaysia's opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim on Sunday accused the government of using "dirty tricks" to disrupt his campaign to return to parliament in a by-election.

Millions of Shias mark Iraq pilgrimage

More than three million Shias marked a revered annual pilgrimage to the Iraqi holy city of Karbala amid tight security to thwart attacks, officials said yesterday.

Zimbabwe deal targeted as summit enters final day

Southern African leaders were gathering yesterday for the final day of a summit overshadowed by Zimbabwe's crisis, amid a push for a deal between the country's rivals before the meeting wraps up.

Arts & Entertainment

Wari-Bateshwar: In search of origins

The history of human race is about 24,00,000 years old, but it was not until 10,000 years back that humans started making settlements. As the pre-historic people mostly lived in stone-caves, it is commonly thought that there cannot possibly be any trace of humans from that period in Bangladesh. But archaeological excavation of the Wari-Bateshwar site in Narsingdi district indicates just the opposite. Wari-Bateshwar, two neighbouring sites on the Pleistocene flat surface of the eastern Madhupur tract proves the existence of an ancient fort-city (dating back to the year 450 BC) on the bank of the river Buriganga.

Recalling Bangabandhu

August 15, 2008 marked the 33rd death anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding leader of Bangladesh. On the occasion Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) organised a discussion and a cultural programme at National Theatre Stage, BSA.

RU students demand war criminals' and Bangabandhu murderers' trials at programme

Rajshahi University (RU) students demanded immediate steps to bring the war criminals to justice and staged a daylong cultural programme recently. A symbolic hanging of the killers of Bangabandhu and war criminals, terming them "enemies of the nation", was also staged at the programme.

Selim Al Deen's birth anniversary celebration begins today

Dhaka Theatre and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) have jointly organised a six-day elaborate programme to celebrate the 59th birth anniversary of eminent playwright-theoretician Selim Al Deen, which begins today. The celebration programme features theatre performances, exhibition, installations, documentary film screenings and seminars.

Snaps: Nirob

Model turned actor Nirob says he has had ample preparation for his "sudden" breakthrough into the world of media. At present Nirob is doing his Honours in Pharmacy at Asia Pacific University.


First principles

THE quality and relevance of primary education, along with the rates of enrollment, dropout, completion and progression, continue to be ever-growing concerns, but without any redress since the overall efforts, of late, have been derailed of the right track of fulfilling the fundamental requirements and the development goals and targets.

Musharraf past his shelf life

DESPITE the brave front being put up by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in face of ever-increasing pressure on him to resign even before the impeachment motion is tabled in the parliament, it is becoming increasingly likely he will not be able to withstand the momentum of the political onslaught against him and in the coming days he will be forced to quit. The Provincial Assemblies resolution, being tabled in the Punjab Assembly today, also asks for his resignation forthwith.

Tuning the administration

AN academic study of public administration must be linked to that of government because the subject is linked to political environment. Policy decisions may be deeply affected by the administrative question of how effectively they can be carried out.

An Asian meets a haggis on the streets of Scotland

WALKING the dark streets of Edinburgh late at night, I had a terrifying experience. A crazed-looking gang jumped out of the shadows right into my path.

Star City

Glory of Jamdani glimmers amid winds of change

Once adored by the Sultans and Nawabs, Jamdani, the descendant of ancient fine muslin cloth, still remains the pride of Dhaka. Yet, with all its fame and glorious journey through centuries, the splendid cloth faces a few stumbling blocks that threaten its existence.

Untrained traffic staffs more a hindrance than help

While Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) is struggling to improve the city traffic system, a considerable number of the 2,272 members of DMP traffic wing, ranging from constable to sergeant, lack necessary trainings on traffic rules.

"city express"

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

The Daily Star

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