The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, November 24, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 20th of August, 2008

Front Page

Graft trial caught in HC tangle

The military-backed caretaker government has won all cases so far in the fast-track special courts but failed to cross the next hurdle when top graft convicts challenged the verdicts in the High Court.

AL seeks urgent talks over polls

The Awami League (AL) yesterday sought appointments with the chief adviser and chief election commissioner (CEC) for immediate talks on holding of the parliamentary elections and upazila polls to "clear growing confusion over the polls".

Musharraf's exit: Lessons for them and us

The most obvious and truly heartening meaning of Pervez Musharraf's ouster is that democracy is the best form of government and it is the only one that people prefer. There have often been talks of this or that country, or people not being ready for democracy. Such views are archaic, self-serving and devoid of all lessons of history. People everywhere prefer freedom and the political system that has been found, over and over again, to fulfill that irrepressible aspiration of the people is democracy. However, flawed democracy was and remains the best option for people everywhere. A lesson that we in Bangladesh have learnt the hard way and one that we are determined to preserve under all circumstances.

Landslide zones in Ctg to be marked

The government initiated the process to mark hillsides and valleys, where landslides are possible, as "Red Zones", evacuate people living in those areas and bring those areas under afforestation.

Harris, family charged with amassing Tk 85cr wealth illegally

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against Harris Chowdhury, political secretary to former premier Khaleda Zia, his family members and five others in a case filed for amassing wealth worth Tk 85.88 crore illegally.

Fake visas fail to wake up authorities

Dubai-bound Bangladeshi jobseekers are being scammed with fake visas more than ever, but the authorities are yet to take any effective measure to remedy the situation.

BDR-BSF talks begin today

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) will bring up the issue of killings of Bangladeshis by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) at the director general (DG)-level talks with BSF beginning in Dhaka tomorrow.

Argentina thrash Brazil, set up final with Nigeria

While China's gymnasts completed one of the most dominant Olympic performances ever with more gold Tuesday, defending football champions Argentina thrashed Brazil 3-0 in one of the biggest mismatches between the two South American rivals.

Govt resumes OMS of rice today

The government today starts its nationwide open market sales (OMS) to stabilise rice prices ahead of the month of Ramadan.

Thai Airways, Biman avert accidents

Passengers and crew of two aircraft--a Thai Airways Boeing 777 and a Biman DC 10--were unhurt when tyres of the planes burst while landing at Zia International Airport (ZIA) in Dhaka and Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong yesterday.

12 more govt staff seek to confess graft

Twelve more government officials have applied for the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) permission to seek exemption from prosecution in return for confession of corruption to the Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac) .

First day of Musharraf without office

August 19th was a unique day in the life of Musharraf. It was his first day without power after nine years.

Pro-BNP white panel sweeps DU deans polls

The white panel backed by pro-BNP-Jamaat teachers swept the deans' election at Dhaka University (DU) yesterday, bagging eight of the ten posts.

412 juvenile crime suspects still in jail

At least 412 juvenile crime suspects are being detained in different prisons across the country for years -- a clear violation of Child Law 1974 and Child Regulations 1976.

Rab rescues 25 people from traffickers

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) rescued 25 people including five women and 14 children from a hotel in Rajshahi city as they were being trafficked to India yesterday.

RU students, shopkeepers clash, 10 hurt

Hundreds of Rajshahi University (RU) students clashed with shopkeepers at a market adjacent to the campus last night, leaving some 10 people injured and three shops torched.

Ex- BNP MP Anne sent to jail

A Dhaka court sent former BNP lawmaker Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Anne to jail yesterday after he surrendered before it and sought bail in a case filed against him for extorting Tk 25 lakh from a construction firm.

10 French soldiers killed in clashes with Taliban

Ten French Nato soldiers were killed in a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan, officials said yesterday, the deadliest incident for foreign troops in battle here since the US-led war was launched in 2001.

43 killed in attack on Algeria police school

A suicide attack on an Algerian police school at Issers, 60km east of Algiers killed 43 people and injured 38, the interior ministry said yesterday.

Editorial

Mudslide deaths

THE death of eleven people in a landslide in Chittagong raises all our old concerns about the precarious way lives are lived in this country. The fact that huge chunks of mud from a hill descended on fourteen homes, part of a slum, and took the lives of two families would be called by fatalists as an act of nature against which people have hardly any defence. But in reality this was courted, thanks to fiddling with nature and imprudent choice of site for habitation with commercial interests thrown in. There is here the very critical question of how we have in these past many years ignored the rampant felling of trees, indeed the indiscriminate destruction of forests, that has gone on everywhere and especially on the hills in the south-east of the country.

Stupendous feats at Beijing

CERTAINLY Beijing Olympics have lived up to its hype. From the opening ceremony to the many disciplines of sports since Aug 8, 2008, the world has been left wondering at the excellence of human performance where records have tumbled by the day. Individuals and teams have competed to the limit of human endurance and the best have come out with honours. In this regard several individuals and countries have stood out because of their extraordinary feats not accomplished ever before.

Rejoice, for one more dictator bites the dust!

IT is a most healthy thing when a dictator leaves office quietly, having first acknowledged the idea, however reluctantly, that he is not wanted any more. When Pervez Musharraf had his soldiers commandeer Pakistan in one of its more infamous moments in October 1999, he certainly could not imagine that the politicians he was sending packing would come back to banish him into the woods. But that again was quite natural, for men who seize power by means foul often forget the way history works. That is how they make themselves suffer and their nations go through agony.

Lessons to be learnt

GEORGIA'S President Mikhail Saakashvili was naïve enough to believe that he could take on Russia on the issue of break away South Ossetia. His American-trained officers commenced military operations to integrate South Ossetia with Georgia on the very day when all world leaders focused their eyes on the opening of the Olympics in Beijing (August 8). He hopelessly miscalculated the situation in South Ossetia.

Smear campaign against Obama

A smear campaign is intended to tarnish the image of an individual or political figure. Smear campaigns in the United States are as old as the republic. In the 18th and 19th centuries, political parties did not care to buy advertising per se, because they were owners of the newspapers. Political parties used to publish their own house journals, in which they dug up or invented dirt about the other side. Parties also circulated pamphlets attacking opponents.

Sports

Argentina bury Brazil

Two quickfire goals from Sergio Aguero powered defending champions Argentina into the Olympic final as they put the sword to South American rivals Brazil in a 3-0 win at the Workers' Stadium on Tuesday.

Mendis the menace

India one-day captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday conceded it was not easy to read Sri Lanka's unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis.

Mukti's first win

A second half strike by Rokonuzzaman Kanchan gave Muktijoddha Sangsad their first win in the Citycell Federation Cup with a 1-0 defeat of Khulna Abahani at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Lolo falls in final hurdle

Christine Ohuruogu's remarkable return from a year long ban for missing three dope tests was capped here on Tuesday as she added the Olympic 400 metres crown to her world and Commonwealth ones.

Tigers aim to improve

After their narrow loss in the first warm-up game against the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS), the Bangladesh cricket team will want to give a much improved display, particularly in the bowling department when the sides meet again at the Gardens today.

Of fashion statements

Ever brighter, ever tighter - hot pants for the sprints, ringed socks for the long jump, "whole-body condoms" for swimming. You'd think the Olympics were a fashion, not sports, show. Just about everyone wears as little as possible. The flapping shorts and sloppy tops look is for ball sports only, apart from the volleyballers.

China overpowers rivals

China completed the most dominant Olympic gymnastics performance from any nation for 20 years here Tuesday after yet another judging controversy involving the home nation.

Faith no hindrance

Roqaya Al-Gassra is adding a distinctive touch to the 200 meters at the Beijing Olympics.

An unreachable goddess

A night at the pole vault with Yelena Isinbayeva is like a flirt with an unreachable goddess on a world stage. If 100m world record holder Usain Bolt is called "The chilled out flying machine" then Isinbayeva has every right to be called "The attention-craving vaulting queen."

British rule the roost

Britain confirmed their status as rulers of the Olympic velodrome Tuesday, claiming two of the last three track cycling gold medals on offer to finish with seven out of 10.

For his dead wife

Germany's Matthias Steiner on Tuesday held a picture of his deceased wife Susann as he was presented with the Olympic gold medal for the men's 105kg and above weightlifting division. Steiner, who was born in Austria and competed for them in Athens four years ago, applied for German citizenship after marrying his wife Susann in December 2005.

Nike denies Liu allegations

Nike on Tuesday issued a strong denial of Internet rumours that it forced Chinese athletics hero Liu Xiang to pull out of the Olympics, adding it had asked authorities to investigate the posting.

Phelps the 100 million dollar man

Olympic medal record-holder Michael Phelps could earn 100 million dollars through endorsement and sponsorship deals, his agent told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Monday. Phelps, who won a historic eighth gold medal Sunday, currently earns an estimated 3 million to 5 million dollars - a huge amount for an athlete in a niche sport that's only shown on mainstream US television during the Olympics.

ICC chief worried

World cricket's leading administrator has said the "perilously close" start of next month's Champions Trophy in Pakistan made the ongoing uncertainty over the tournament a "concern".

Friendly tests for big guns

Less than two months after Spain were crowned as the best team in Europe, the continent's big guns take to the stage anew Wednesday for friendly tests as they finalise preparations for their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Asif faces lengthy ban

Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Asif is facing a two-year ban from cricket after his 'B' sample tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Academy's first 1-dayer today

The first one-day match between GP-BCB National Cricket Academy and South Africa Academy takes place at Dobsonvile in Johannesburg today.

Eng-SA T20 called off

England's Twenty20 International against South Africa on Wednesday evening has been called off following heavy rain at the Chester-le-Street ground.

Sehwag out of ODI series

India's opener Virender Sehwag has been ruled out of the ongoing one-day series against Sri Lanka due to an ankle injury, a top official said here on Monday.

ITF under-14 meet starts

The Prime Bank ITF under-14 tennis tournament began yesterday at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna.

Premier h'ball from today

The 14th Cute Premier Division Handball League begins today at the Outer Stadium handball ground with two matches billed for the opening day.

Adebayor signs new deal

Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor has signed a new improved deal with the club tying him to the Gunners until 2012, according to an official statement Monday.

Business

Govt cuts jet fuel price

The government has cut jet fuel prices by about 5 percent to $1.19 a litre from $1.25 amid falling petroleum prices on the global market, triggered by recession fears in developed economies.

Stock jitters linger

The capital market regulator sits with managing directors of seven leading merchant banks today to find ways of overcoming the ongoing bearish trend in the stock market.

Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait end strike

Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait called off their strike after reaching a settlement with employers, said a Bangladesh Embassy official yesterday.

10.48pc rise in default loans

Default loans increased by 10.48 percent, or about Tk 2,373 crore, in the six months to June due to poor loan recovery performance of some of the commercial banks during the period.

Cable operators fear collapse if pay channels digitalised

As the government moves to digitalise operations of pay channels, cable operators running on analogue system fear their business will collapse.

More investment in farm sector stressed to rein in inflation

A senior official of the central bank has called for more investment in agriculture sector to boost farm production and rein in inflation.

Govt urged to be cautious in execution of WTO patent law

The government should be cautious while implementing the agreement on trade related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPs), commonly known as patent law of World Trade Organisation (WTO), a workshop in Dhaka was told yesterday.

Garment leaders, workers differ on trigger in unrest

Garment manufacturers yesterday observed that the juvenile age of workers and recent price hike of essentials had sparked the latest labour unrest.

Banks face deadline to appoint depositor directors

Bangladesh Bank set September 30 as the deadline for the appointment of two directors in each of the banks from their depositors, said a circular issued yesterday.

Indian tea tourism helps spread Darjeeling aroma

Touring tea gardens in India's famous Darjeeling hills and tasting several varieties of the gold-coloured brew has got Audrey Dreyer thinking about a career in the trade.

Banker-turned-baker aims to whip Asia into a cupcake whirl

When Lachlan Campbell found himself working 20-hour days to get his new Hong Kong bakery off the ground, it was not quite the lifestyle he had envisioned when he gave up a lucrative banking career.

Asian stocks close down

Asian shares closed mostly down Tuesday after a slide in US stocks, with Japan tumbling over two percent as its central bank held interest rates steady and sounded a warning about economic growth.

NBR to observe Income Tax Day in Sept

National Board of Revenue (NBR) will observe a day of the next month as the first-ever National Income Tax Day.

Jewellery business policy sought

Bangladesh Jewellers' Association (BJA) yesterday urged the government to formulate a pragmatic policy for jewellery business in the country.

Biman launches direct flight on Dhaka-London route

Biman Bangladesh Airlines from Monday launched direct flights on Dhaka-London route by DC 10-30 flight, reducing travel times of the passengers.

Nestle's net profit grows 6.1pc

Nestle Group, one of the world's biggest food companies, said its net profit grew 6.1 percent to US$ 4.74 billion in the first half of this year from $4.46 billion a year earlier.

SKorea firms cool on investment at home, look abroad

South Korean companies invested more abroad in the first half of this year but domestic investment was sluggish due to high costs and an uncertain business environment, officials said Tuesday.

Australia's Virgin Blue says oil prices hurt more than 9/11

Australia's second largest airline Virgin Blue said Tuesday soaring oil prices were hurting the industry more than the September 11 attacks on the US, as it reported a 55 percent fall in net profit.

T-Mobile to launch first Google-powered mobile

T-Mobile said Monday it plans to launch a mobile phone powered by Google's Android software, making it the first operator to do so and posing a direct threat to Apple's popular iPhone.

China loans more to small businesses to boost employment

China's central bank has more than doubled the amount entrepreneurs and small businesses can borrow as part of efforts to boost employment, officials said.

Biz Letters

Differentiate Bangladesh
Okay. Here are the real facts. No matter what it takes, Bangladesh has to be the wealthiest nation in the world. Rather than asking ourselves how this will be possible, we have to tell ourselves that no matter how difficult it is we have to accomplish it. The question that haunts us is, if South Korea can, if Malaysia can and if Singapore can, then why can't we?

Metropolitan

Hand over N'ganj lands to municipality

Environmentalists and rights activists yesterday called on Rajuk to hand over its lands in Narayanganj to the local municipality, instead of selling them, so that the proposed children's park and educational institutes can be set up there.

Govt firm to withdraw child workers by 2015

With a view to monitor the implementation of child labour programmes in the country, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has formed a Child Labour Unit (CLU) recently.

7 to die for killing 2 women after rape

Seven people were sentenced to death for the second time by a special tribunal for killing two young sisters after rape and their four other family members last year.

Bangladeshi shot dead in Florida

An expatriate Bangladeshi succumbed to his bullet wounds in Florida, USA, on August 18, a day after he was shot by robbers in his shop.

Call for separate edn policy for indigenous students

Speakers at a roundtable said a separate education policy should be formulated for higher education of the indigenous students.

DAB Hospital to be set up at Wari

A Matin Chowdhury, a businessman and social worker, handed over his multi-storey building at Wari in the city to Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (DAB) for using it as a hospital for ten years without rent.

Rangpur road crash kills 5

Five people were killed and 25 others injured in a head-on collision between a bus and a tanker at Mirzapur on Rangpur-Bogra Highway in Rangpur's Mithapukur upazila yesterday.

Make effective plan, take steps to solve waterlogging: CA

The caretaker government yesterday asked for urgently undertaking the long-neglected Eastern Bypass-cum-Flood Control Embankment construction project to protect the eastern part of the city from floods.

Appeal to bring Milon's body home

Family members of Milon, an expatriate worker who was killed in Malaysia on August 7, at a press conference yesterday demanded that his body is brought back and the owner and brokers of the recruiting agency that sent him abroad illegally are punished.

HC hearing tomorrow

The High Court yesterday set August 21 for hearing explanation from government side as to why the Niko and the Barge-mounted power plant graft cases against former premier and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, now abroad on parole for treatment, should not be quashed.

Nasim flies to Singapore for treatment

Ailing Awami League (AL) presidium member and former home minister Mohammad Nasim, who was released on a four-month bail on Friday, flew to Singapore yesterday evening for better treatment.

CCC councillors observe hunger strike to free Mohiuddin

Councillors of different wards of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) observed a token hunger strike in the port city yesterday demanding immediate and unconditional release of detained CCC Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury.

Charges framed against Nanak

A special court yesterday framed charges against Jubo League Chairman Jahangir Kabir Nanak in a corruption case filed for accumulating wealth illegally and hiding information about his wealth from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Hasina in Canada to meet daughter

Former prime minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina went to Canada yesterday to meet her daughter and will return to the US on September 2 for the follow-up treatment.

Youth stabbed to death in city

A gang of unknown criminals stabbed and slaughtered a youth to death at West Tejturi Bazar under Tejgaon Police Station in the city on Monday night.

BCL calls off CU blockade

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Chittagong University (CU) unit called off their indefinite blockade yesterday following an assurance from the university authorities.

HC extends bail to Khoka

The High Court yesterday extended the interim bail granted earlier to Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka in a graft case until disposal of its rule.

HC rule on govt

The High Court (HC) on Monday issued a rule upon the government to explain why a new law would not be formulated to stop sexual harassment of women at all government and private organisations and the educational institutions.

Transport owner shot in city

A transport businessman was shot by an unidentified armed assailant at Sayadabad Bus Terminal in the city early yesterday.

Salam Talukder's anniversary of death today

Today is the ninth death anniversary of Barrister Abdus Salam Talukder, a former minister and former secretary general of BNP.

Passengers suffer as pilots refuse to fly Airbus

One hundred and sixty Sylhet-bound Biman passengers from London had to wait at the Zia International Airport (ZIA) for seven hours yesterday as the pilots and the crew of an Airbus refused to fly the aircraft.

ACC to ask Khoka's son, daughter to submit wealth info

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is going to serve separate notices to Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka's son and daughter soon directing them to submit their wealth statements under the current purge.

BNP leader Javed gets three yrs' RI

A special court yesterday sentenced BNP leader and agriculturist Javed Iqbal to three years' rigorous imprisonment for not submitting wealth statement to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in due time.

National

Rift, leadership crisis grip Jhenidah BNP

With frustrated grassroots leaders and activists, BNP in Jhenidah is disarray as most party bigwigs are engaged in bickering and intra-party feud.

Heads of instts have to take lead in anti-graft campaign

Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Hasan Moshhud Chowdhury yesterday said corruption still prevails in society though a vigorous drive against the vice is going on.

Millers in 22 dists threaten to stop rice supply to govt

Rice mill owners in Rajshahi and Khulna regions yesterday threatened to stop rice supply to government godowns if their 10-point demand is not met by August 31.

50,000 marooned in Netrakona

Heavy rain and onrush of hill waters from across the border have triggered flash flood in the district.

3 outlaws arrested in Jhenidah

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested three wanted cadres of the outlawed Biplobi Communist Party (BCP) at Ibrahimpur village of Shailkupa upazila in the early hours of yesterday.

28 JMB men produced before court in Mymensingh

Twenty-eight members of the outlawed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) were produced before the Fourth Additional District and Sessions Judge's Court here yesterday, court sources said.

PSTU to have disaster management instt

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed yesterday between Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) and Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP), a UN project, on exchange of knowledge, experience and research.

Kamran improving at hospital

Sylhet mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran, undergoing treatment at Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital, is improving.

Hearing of ACC cases not held

Hearing of the charge sheet in the case filed by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) against Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran and his wife could not be held yesterday due to a stay order from the High Court.

Karim Bharsha for action against his brother

Rangpur Jatiya Party (Ershad) President Karim Uddin Bharsha yesterday demanded action against his elder brother and district BNP president Rahim Uddin Bharsha for alleged corruption.

Language hero Ehia's death anniversary observed

The second death anniversary of Language Movement hero in Magura AKM Hamiduzzaman Ehia was observed here yesterday.

Letters

Human rights and we

Standing at the doorstep of the new millennium, when the entire world is progressing towards success and prosperity through modern technological as well as economic advancement, where are we going? A country like Bangladesh is far away from the concept of "Human Rights". When there is an occasion to say something in social gatherings, educated people like us speak a lot about human rights and what can be done to improve the condition etc. But honestly speaking they themselves don't know what it really means.

Indigenous People's Day

The Indigenous people from all over the world celebrated the "International Day of world Indigenous people" on August 9 every year. The Day was declared as such by the UN General Assembly on December 23,1994. This year the Day has been celebrated with the theme " The Economic and Social Rights of Indigenous People". UN Secretary General Ban Ki -Moon in his special message on the occasion of the Day has mentioned, "Indeed the sufferings of indigenous peoples include some of the darkest episodes in human history". Needles to say, the indigenous people suffer oppression, grave human rights abuses, even the threat of extinction in this country. For example, this year on the night of April 20 some land grabbers attacked indigenous people in Rangamati. They set fire to Indigenous people's houses and continued to occupy their lands forcibly. But they too are citizens of this country.

Swimming to glory

The whole set up of modern Olympics is such that only rich nations can hope to win anything of significance, because the preparations, training, sponsorship and proper facilities require enormous expenses. The ancient Olympic ideal of involving only the athletic field events and individual competitors have given way to multifarious team events on land, water, ice, etc, and recently some strange events like synchronising swimming, diving have joined the list.

Poor healthcare

Our medicare system is in dire need of patient-centered reform, not broad expansion. Working closely with McGill University Health Centre as a student of Health Science, I can attest that Bangladesh medicare is shabby. It views care primarily in terms of money and the number of people technically covered. Patients are often told which doctors they may see and which treatments are permissible. Medical decisions, perhaps our most personal, are often made by bureaucrats, rather than doctors and patients. Positive reform requires fundamental change that puts patients first. Incentives must be offered to contain costs, but our city based private clinics' health care system is incapable of providing patient - centered change. Instead, we should reform our national tax policy to ensure it makes financial sense for all Bangladeshis to be insured. The system needs to be overhauled so that insurance is owned and controlled by the patient, regardless of who is paying the bill.

Liberation war history

I would like to know if any census was done on the number of people killed during our liberation war of nine months. If no census was done before, it is better to do this immediately. It is necessary for any nation to know the actual history and the number of martyrs. It can be done by collecting information from each family residing in a ward (which has to be divided into several units to collect correct information) and side by side a history also can be prepared as to how and where these people were killed (this can be collected from their family/friends/local government records).

Paintings: food for thought

Note the paintings behind the cycle rickshaws, and look at a Zen painting. Too many additions in one painting, and minimum use of ink/paint, strokes, and time. What is the difference between additive art and subtractive art? Look at the other. The latter looks simple, natural and attractive. Why? One reason is the interactive reaction between the artist and the viewer --the latter completes the picture in his own way, and is happy. Zen art is sort of timeless. A consumer product independent of cultural differences of the users would sell more (subject to budgetary limitations).

Enough on SAU

I think enough is enough. In the last three months, there was hardly any day when the newspapers did not write something about SAU. We have another 26 public universities, which are running with so many problems. Please highlight other universities as well to develop their education system and research facilities.

For better English…

Indians are good in English. That's why India is now an emerging tiger in the world. We can't ignore this reality. Therefore we hope that our coming government will come up with a definite policy on English education.I would like to make some suggestions regarding methods to develop communication ability in educational institutions.

A party leader's prerogatives?

I'm talking about a prominent politician. The intransigence of this person and her party led to the pre-1/11 turmoil and still they are trying to create so many impediments in the way to the next general election in December. Most surprisingly, she is now dictating terms to the government for her release. Her secretary general issued a 72-hour ultimatum to release her (already expired !). She refused to be a voter if not released unconditionally and wants her sons to be sent abroad for “treatment”; she even wants the govt. to recast the EC according to her wish.

Price hike

I am living in Australia for the last couple of years. I have seen that all businessmen sell their products at a discount rate on the eve of different occasion like X-mas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and so on. But in Bangladesh the situation is different. Businessmen wait for the occasion to earn extra money by increasing the prices of commodities. I think that they are getting ready for the upcoming Ramadan, Eid and Puja. They know that people have no alternative to buying goods from them. People of Bangladesh can sacrifice money but they cannot sacrifice their festival. Businessmen know this weakness of the people and increase the prices of commodities. As a result, people are compelled to pay the extra money which is really unfair.

Humour and satire

I think a lot of interesting events and characters are emerging in our political arena. These can easily be produced as live comedy serial in the media networks. I am sure this would be popular and commercially viable, and our aesthetic values would receive a new dimension. Our talented drama scriptwriters might consider this. Here are a few ideas:

A silver medal!

I am feeling very happy with the news of Bangladesh winning a silver medal in the Beijing Olympics for its national anthem.

Grabbing local politics?

I would like to thank Mr. M.A.S. Molla for his article enitled “Political psyche against upazila polls” (Aug. 14, 2008). I completely agree with him. However, I want to add one more point. This is the politics of grabbing the local politics by some central leaders. Bypassing the local party members' choice, they want to nominate personally over-loyal local leaders for the upazila elections. We remember the very recent event of nominating the candidate for Rajshahi Mayoral election. Actually, the present central leaders are the barriers. They are not willing to practise democracy. That is why, during the last four decades, the natural progress of our democratic leadership has been in decline.

Combating corruption

Transparency international of Bangladesh says that incorporation of general people is a must to make the movement against corruption a success. It is not possible for a single institution to curb corruption, and corruption will be rooted out from society if the organisations ensure transparency and accountability. It is essential to incorporate the young generation into the movement as their ideas are important to stamp out corruption. Besides, awareness about corruption will be raised among the mass people if the anti-corruption activities and programmes are put in the website.

Road Show

I'm an ordinary citizen of this country. Whatever I do, directly or indirectly, I try my level best to do something better for my motherland from my humble position. In fact, many people are trying to do the same thing, mostly unrecognised.

National Mourning Day

According to a High Court (HC) order, the government has declared August 15 as the National Mourning Day. There is no need to mention why the day is significant in our life. However, this day is being observed differently by the political parties, which is indeed painful.

'Terrible tailbacks, agonising waits'

This is a well-written piece and quite timely. But what is not stressed is the current half-heartedness of the traffic police. Even a year back they used to act against the traffic light violators. Now mostly they remain unconcerned. Another common practice is the deliberate deviation from the colour of traffic light sense. This develops a lack of alertness in the mind of drivers. If every time I find that I can go on when the light is red (under police prompting), I fail to react when there is no police. This is human nature. Another factor is the rampant practice of using the footpath for everything else but the pedestrians. Buildings are sloping away their fronts so that pedestrians cannot walk there and cars can be parked unhindered.

Gas disaster!

Once we heard that Bangladesh is floating on gas. The policy makers were so confident about the storage of gas resources that they were considering exporting gas to neighbouring countries. But unfortunately in a few years we have started facing shortage of gas. Supply of gas has been prohibited to newly established industries. The government has informed us that before 2011 it's not possible to provide gas to the newly set up industries. Recently, we have been informed that the load shedding at Chittagong is the highest in the country. But in Sylhet we are not far behind. The main reason behind this is the shortage of gas supply to the electricity power plants.

International

Pak coalition fails to agree on reinstatement of judges

Top leaders of the ruling coalition in Pakistan yesterday again failed to arrive at a decision on the reinstatement of judges sacked by former President Pervez Musharraf and skipped the issue of future of the ex-military ruler.

23 killed in Pakistan hospital bomb blast

A suicide bomber blew himself up yesterday at a hospital in a northwestern Pakistani town that has been plagued by sectarian violence, killing at least 23 people, police said.

Pakistani nukes unlikely to be affected by Musharraf exit

Pervez Musharraf's departure from the presidency is unlikely to have a significant impact on how Pakistan's nuclear weapons are controlled.

Georgia dismisses Russian pullback as 'show'

Georgia's Interior Ministry yesterday dismissed a pullback of Russian military vehicles from the city of Gori as a "show" and insisted no pullback was under way.

How Bush was persuaded to let Musharraf go

The coalition government used Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's visit to Washington last month for convincing US President George W Bush to stop supporting his old ally, Pervez Musharraf.

Pak turmoil unlikely to end soon

The dictator has gone. Now the battle for his spoils begins.

Pak army chief in Kabul for talks on militant crackdown

Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani travelled to Kabul yesterday for talks with Afghan and Nato officials on cooperation against Islamic militants, a Pakistani military statement said.

Musharraf to seek refuge in London

Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf could seek refuge in London, a British newspaper reported yesterday.

Pak Parliament sets up panel to monitor Kashmir situation

Ignoring India's assertions that Islamabad should not interfere in its affairs, Pakistan's Parliament today decided to set up a panel to monitor human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir and mobilise world opinion in support of the "right of self-determination" for Kashmiri people.

Obama close to naming VP pick

Speculation about Barack Obama's vice presidential nominee hit new heights as a report said he had all but settled on a number two and could reveal his choice as early as Wednesday.

Arts & Entertainment

Selim Al Deen's birth anniversary celebration

A six-day elaborate programme to celebrate the 59th birth anniversary of eminent playwright-theoretician Selim Al Deen began simultaneously in the presence of a remarkable number of Al Deen enthusiasts at three venues of BSA on August 18.

Int'l Day of the World's Indigenous People celebrated in Dinajpur

The two-daylong celebration of International Day of the World's Indigenous People ended in Dinajpur recently. The programme included roundtable discussion, festive procession, mela (fair), art competition and recitation of prose and poems with the call of establishing social and economical rights of indigenous people.

Rhapsody: Featuring the cream of art from Bangladesh and India

A total of 47 recent art works of leading artists of Bangladesh and India are on display at Galleri Kaya. The six eminent Bangladeshi artists include Aminul Islam, Murtaja Baseer, Qayyum Chowdhury, Rafiqun Nabi, Ranjit Das and Kazi Rakib. From India are five renowned artists: Bijan Chowdhury, Kashinath Salve, Prakash Bhise, Gautam Partho Roy and Sukhomoy Majumder. The exhibition is titled Rhapsody.

Shukonya: A cultural troupe for underprivileged children

Many underprivileged children have excelled in theatre, music, dance and recitation. Behind the scenes, several cultural organisations have targeted this section. In their ranks is the Feni-based Shukonya, which largely addresses itself to the girl child.

Selim Al Deen's birth anniversary celebrated at JU

The 59th birth anniversary of playwright Professor Selim Al Deen was celebrated at Jahangirnagar University (JU) on August 18, according to a press release. To mark the day, a procession was brought out that started from the Department of Drama and Dramatics premises at 10 am. Professor Mohammad Muniruzzaman, Vice-Chancellor of JU; acting Registrar Abu Bakar Siddique; theatre personalities Nasiruddin Yousuff, M. Hamid and Jhuna Chowdhury; Dr. Aminul Islam, Chairman, Department of Drama and Dramatics; Professor Afsar Ahmed of Drama and Dramatics and others took part in the procession.

Muzaffar Ali: A chance meeting

Guess who I bumped into today? None other than famous filmmaker, fashion designer, poet, artist, music lover and social worker, Muzaffar Ali himself. At a function organised by The Richmond Fellowship Society, India, Delhi branch, he talked about the challenges of dealing with mental health and the need for organisations such as the Society which is now setting up a new halfway home and day care centre, called Vishwas (trust) in Greater Noida (on the outskirts of Delhi).

OP-ED

Privatisation and the World Bank

IT was very refreshing to read Fozia Akhtar's article on the captioned subject in this newspaper. The article discussed the negative consequences of privatisation, particularly for developing countries. While a debate on privatisation is nothing new, it is particularly relevant and timely for Bangladesh.

End of an era

THERE was no electricity at our place in Karachi this afternoon, but it was cool so we hadn't turned on our little generator. "Aren't you watching our president's speech on TV?" asked a friend on the phone. On came the generator. Live on Geo, the TV channel that spearheaded the media boom under Musharraf, was the president in a dark western suit and tie (rather than the high-collared sherwani that leaders tend to don when trying to appease nationalist or religious forces).

Nepal has launched real democracy

PRACHANDA has become the first republican prime minister of Nepal, ending months of political deadlock that followed the sacking of the unpopular king Gynendra and the abolition of the 240-years old monarchy. Lawmakers in Nepal on August 15 voted in former rebel Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal who took the name "Prachanda," which means "the fierce one," when the extreme poverty of Nepal drove him to take to violent politics.

How not to be not funny, Asian style

THERE was a heated debate the other day on the Internet. "Asian comedians are retarded," complained Wah Jai on Asian-Central.com. "They give Asians a bad name. Anyone who finds them funny are only laughing because they make fun of the Asian stereotype with the retarded accents they have."

Star City

Fresh air for jail kids

From now on children living with their detained mothers in the Dhaka Central Jail will get a chance to visit parks and other recreational centres.

Children's playground turns into planners' plaything

The city has lost another children's playground as the authorities have planned to build residential quarters for Ansar members at the place.

Cable TV men face barrage of complaints

Despite its immense popularity, the cable television industry is still facing nagging complaints from consumers and scrutiny from the authorities.



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