The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, July 30, 2014


News of: Sunday, 24th of August, 2008

Front Page

Half of UZ poll budget sought for security

The Election Commission (EC) Secretariat has proposed that Tk 100 crore, over half of the estimated total cost for upazila elections, be spent to ensure foolproof security.

Waterlogging worsens as remedial steps stagnant

Inadequate and faulty drainage network, filling up of drainage canals and lack of proper cleaning of drains are the main reasons behind waterlogging in the capital, experts said.

Zardari to run for Pak presidency

The widower of Pakistan's assassinated former premier Benazir Bhutto has decided to run for president in the wake of Pervez Musharraf's resignation, a senior party official said yesterday.

JS election by Dec, reaffirms CA

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed has reaffirmed that the general election will be held before the end of next December and urged voters to elect honest and capable candidates, taking it as their social responsibility.

Archives of neglect

Over the last 30 years, successive governments' reluctance to formulate a policy for Bangladesh Film Archive (BFA), prepare a decent organogram for it and their use of the BFA for political purposes turned it into a poorly functioning institution.

Move to regularise 72 RCC staff sparks controversy

A fresh controversy is racking Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) as the corporation authorities are getting ready to give permanent appointments to 72 temporary staff just ahead of the new mayor-elect's induction to the office.

DU teachers, students observe 'Black Day'

Dhaka University (DU) teachers and students observed 'Black Day' yesterday marking last year's campus unrest that led to the arrest of several teachers and students on charges of breaking the Emergency Power Rules.

35 new UNOs appointed with magisterial powers

The government has appointed 35 new upazila nirbahi officers (UNOs) in a latest reshuffle in the field-level administration.

Janmashtami today

Hindus will celebrate Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, today amid festivity and religious fervour.

AL demands JS polls in Oct-Nov

Acting Awami League President Zillur Rahman yesterday demanded that the government hold the stalled parliamentary polls in October or November.

Pay salary, iftar in time, police ask RMG owners

Police authorities yesterday asked owners of garment factories in Tejgaon Industrial Area to pay workers their salaries, tiffin, iftar and other allowances in time during Ramadan since non-payment of them often leads to unrest in this month.

US-led forces kill 88 Afghan civilians

An Afghan human rights group said Saturday that at least 88 people were killed in a battle between US-led coalition forces and militants in western Afghanistan.

China to finish atop

Hosts China made sure on Saturday of topping the Olympics medals table for the first time, dethroning the United States which had dominated the last three Games since finishing second to the former Soviet Union in Barcelona in 1992.

Big hilsa now rare, dearer

Consumers have rarely seen big size hilsa fish at city markets this year as a large number of the fish is being exported following withdrawal of a ban on it on December 10 last year.

Tarique needs treatment abroad

A doctor who sits on all the three medical boards formed for detained Tarique Rahman's treatment yesterday recommended the authorities send the senior joint secretary general of the BNP abroad for treatment.

Motijharna hills in Ctg see landslide again

A big landslide from a hill occurred at Motijharna of Lalkhan Bazar in the port city yesterday, only five days after a mudslide from a nearby hill claimed 11 lives.

Khowai embankment project limping for four decades

The Khowai embankment project could not be completed in about four decades due to frequent design changes and half-hearted attempt at implementation.

Obama taps Biden to be running mate

Barack Obama named Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware as his vice presidential running mate early Saturday, balancing his ticket with a seasoned congressional veteran well-versed in foreign policy and defence issues.

Electricity line without cords!

Intel on Thursday showed off a wireless electric power system that analysts say could revolutionize modern life by freeing devices from transformers and wall outlets.

UN envoy fails to meet Suu Kyi

UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari failed to meet detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi before he left Myanmar yesterday, an apparent setback in his bid to promote democratic reforms in the country.

Rahul wants to spread Grameen Bank's concept across India

India's ruling Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi is impressed by Grameen Bank's 'huge success' in Bangladesh, and has said he wants to propagate the concept of micro financing and self-help groups across India.

Editorial

Consumer rights law in sight

AFTER one decade and a half of deliberations marked by repeated drafting of a law to provide protection to consumer rights, often blatantly violated in a patently sellers' market, we have, at long last, the final draft approved by the council of advisers. Under the ordinance, not merely retailers would be penalised or imprisoned for shortchanging customers in price, quality, weight and measure but an aggrieved consumer could seek remedy against any unfair practice adopted by a producer, manufacturer or distributor of goods and services. Cheating consumers through false advertisement about product features and selling of adulterated foods will be liable for punishment.

A celebration of life

THERE has regularly been talk of latent talent lying generally undiscovered all over Bangladesh. Such talent has not so often been spotted and brought into the limelight. Against this backdrop, on Friday, Celebrating Life, a cultural event organised by The Daily Star in association with Standard Chartered Bank brought to the fore an array of talented young people in such fields as lyrics, photography and documentary films. What Celebrating Life asserts is the principle that searching for talent throughout the length and breadth of the country cannot but be a continuous, deeply satisfying affair. In this connection, the quality of the lyrics, photography and films that was on display on Friday was a very strong indication of how much more can be spotted and harnessed in Bangladesh through such culture-specific steps. Indeed, with such aspects of culture not adequately focused on in recent times, it is important that more be done to reinforce the traditions that have historically solidified our society.

Why is the price of rice still so high?

WHY did the rice price not fall after a bumper boro harvest? We all have been hunting for an answer to this crucial question that made policy makers perturbed and astonished academicians. Historically, harvest sales led to an augmentation of supply in the market to reduce price down in the post-harvest period.

Facing post-transition challenges

DEMOCRACY," writes Francis Fukuyama, "is the right held universally by all citizens to have a share of political power that is the right of all citizens to vote and participate in politics. The right to participate in political power can be thought of as yet another liberal right-- indeed the most important one -- and it for this reason that liberalism has been closely associated historically with democracy."

Triumph of democracy

PRESIDENT General Parvez Musharraf is not a popular figure in India. He is associated with the war at Kargil, where New Delhi's loss in terms of men was heavy. His abrupt withdrawal from the Agra summit, on being accused of encouraging militant across the border, still rankles in the minds of people.

Sports

Messi's golden gift to Argentina

Argentina remain Olympic football champions after a goal engineered by superstar Lionel Messi inspired them to a 1-0 win over former champions Nigeria in the gold medal match at the Beijing Games on Saturday.

Tigers beaten easily

The third warm-up match again showed how good a batting track the Gardens Oval has as the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) chased Bangladesh's 270 with 11 balls and five wickets to spare here yesterday.

F'ganj's double delight

Farashganj Sporting Club had two reasons to celebrate yesterday at the Bangabandhu National Stadium. First, it was their clinical 2-0 victory over Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra in their last Group A match and second, and most importantly, the win helped them avoid giants Mohammedan Sporting Club in the upcoming quarterfinals.

Relay redemption for US

Sanya Richards needed a furious comeback. Jeremy Wariner could have walked to the finish.

Noble Bolt

Triple Olympic sprint gold medalist Jamaican Usain Bolt on Saturday made a personal donation of 50,000 dollars to children in the earthquake-stricken Sichuan Province, and wished people there to "get through from the tragedy" and move forward with the inspiration of the Olympic Games.

Local Snippets

The Dhaka Metropolis Women's School football tournament will begin in the third week of October.

Academy's last game today

GP-BCB National Cricket Academy take on South Africa Academy in their third and final one-day match at Lenasia in Johannesburg today.

Ashraf given PCB farewell

Nasim Ashraf, the former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), was given a warm send-off by his colleagues after he visited the board headquarters in Lahore on Friday for a farewell meeting.

Bekele's stunning double

Ethiopian phenomenon Kenenisa Bekele completed a stunning double Olympic title triumph on Saturday as he eased home in the men's 5000m to add to his 10,000m victory.

Norway outlast Russia

It was a battle of two Olympic unbeatens, European powerhouses in women's handball that had never won gold.

Thorkildsen defends crown

Norway's Andreas Thorkildsen won his second consecutive Olympic men's javelin title on Saturday with an Olympic record throw of 90.57 meters.

Maradona fumes over final heat

Diego Maradona claimed on Saturday it was "inhuman" to play the Olympic Games men's football final in temperatures recorded at a sizzling 42 degrees Celsius.

Royal celebration for Jongjohor

Thailand's Somjit Jongjohor held aloft a picture of his king after he erased his Athens 2004 heartache by sealing the second Olympic boxing title in the country's history on Saturday.

Germany win hockey gold

Power-packed Germany won the Olympic men's hockey gold medal after 16 years with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Spain in the final on Saturday.

Batting has to improve

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is looking forward to an improved batting performance from his team in the third one-day international against India here on Sunday.

KP leads from front

Kevin Pietersen's golden start to the England captaincy continued as he hit 90 not out to set up a 20-run win in the first one-day international against South Africa at Headingley here on Friday.

Anil stands by middle-order batsmen

Anil Kumble, India's Test captain, has backed his senior middle-order batsmen against criticisms on their poor performance on the Sri Lanka tour. Kumble said it was harsh since they had been performing over the last decade.

Marshall breaks ODI sixes mark

Xavier Marshall hammered a record 12 sixes in an unbeaten 157 to propel West Indies to 303-4 and a 49-run win in the Canada Cup Tri-Series in King City on Friday.

Hair quits for coaching

Darrell Hair, the Australian umpire, has handed in his resignation to the International Cricket Council (ICC) in order to take up a coaching role.

Kaka to miss season start

Brazilian football star Kaka of AC Milan will miss the start of the Italian football season on August 31, the club's website said Friday.

Business

Bank CEOs lag in scorecard

Chief executive officers of state-owned commercial banks (SCBs) Sonali, Janata and Agrani have failed to improve the banks' performance in "core areas" in the last six months of corporatisation.

Tk260cr resort planned for business travellers

A local developer will build a Tk 260 crore luxury resort in Savar mainly to accommodate readymade garment business travellers, an official of the company said.

Private exchanges promise to cut call-barring monopoly

Two interconnection exchanges (ICXs) launched by local private operators promise to reduce telecom companies' traditional call barring practice.

Desco to expand prepaid meter system to new areas

Induced by huge response from customers, the Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (Desco) will bring more areas under its pre-paid meter system to relieve them of bill payment hassles through banks and prevent misuse of electricity.

FBCCI, govt agencies to monitor prices of essentials in Ramadan

The monitoring taskforce of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) in association with government agencies concerned will monitor the price situation to keep the prices of essential commodities stable during Ramadan.

Coal-fired plants to resolve power crisis

Energy experts said yesterday the government should immediately establish coal-fired power plants, even if it means that coal has to be imported, as it would take some time to extract local coal reserves to solve the power crisis in Dhaka.

1.4m more RMG workers needed to meet long-term export target

Ready-made garment (RMG) industry will require additional 1.4 million workers as the industry aims to export garment items worth $25 billion by 2013.

Realtors propose arbitration tribunal to address customers' complaints

Realtors at a seminar on the capital's housing affairs yesterday decried government move to promulgate an ordinance for regulating the country's fast-growing housing-sector business.

Lack of subsidised fertiliser to hurt tobacco leaf exports

Tobacco leaf exports worth about $32 million will be at stake on the government's refusal to give growers subsidised fertilisers, say companies and farmers.

CA opens fish resource uplift campaign in Sunamganj

Chief Adviser Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday formally inaugurated the eight-day Fish Resource Development Campaign 2008 through releasing fish fries in the river Surma.

Islami Bank introduces mobile banking services

Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd (IBBL) and SSL Wireless have entered an agreement to provide Mobile Banking Services, according to a press release.

Cubicles now 'home'

It sounds like the ultimate solution for the low-cost traveller looking for a place for the night: a cubicle featuring a computer to surf the Internet plus a reclining chair to sleep in, though with barely enough room to stretch one's tired legs.

Last 100 days

I'm sure you've heard of people getting to leadership positions and coming up with a first 100 day plan of action, going through brisk activities to get things done, thus setting the tone of their leadership style. However, the book, 'Chasing Daylight' is about the last 100 days of Eugene O'Kelly's life. This is his story; at the pinnacle of his life at 53 years, chairman and chief executive officer of KPMG (US), he discovers he has brain cancer and has only 3 months to live.

Stocks show signs of rebound

After nine bearish weeks, Dhaka stocks were up towards the end of last week as the capital market regulator started a series of meetings with leading merchant banks and brokerage houses.

International Jute Study Group appoints new chairman

The Private Sector Consultative Board (PSCB) of the International Jute Study Group has appointed KR Hasan as chairman of the association, according to a press release. Prior to this appointment, Hasan was acting as the vice chairman of the association.

Bex Pharma declares 5pc cash dividend

The shareholders of Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL) approved five percent cash and ten percent stock dividend, as recommended by the board of directors for the year 2007, at the 32nd annual general meeting (AGM), says a press release.

Malaysian inflation hits a new 26-year high in July

Malaysia's inflation rate rose to a new 26-year high of 8.5 percent in July, driven higher by the escalating cost of fuel and electricity, according to official data released Friday.

WTO, US trade chiefs in bid to revive Doha Round

World Trade Organization chief Pascal Lamy and US trade negotiator Susan Schwab held talks in Washington Friday in an effort to breathe life into the moribund Doha Round of negotiations.

British economy faces recession after zero growth

Britain faced the threat of a recession on Friday after official figures showed the economy stuttered to a halt in the second quarter with its weakest performance for 16 years.

Fed chief says economic storm 'has not yet subsided'

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday the financial storm that began last year "has not yet subsided," creating "one of the most challenging" economic environments in memory.

Japan's economic package to reach $73b

Japan is set to unveil a stimulus package worth eight trillion yen (73 billion dollars) in a bid to shore up the economy, a report said on Saturday.

US group buys German subprime casualty

US private equity group Lone Star is to take over IKB, the German bank rescued by state development bank KfW after falling victim to the subprime mortgage meltdown, KfW said Thursday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

August 18-August 21, 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.

Metropolitan

Call to form national level body for elderly people

Speakers at a meeting yesterday called for establishing a national level organisation for the welfare of elderly people.

RU blames businessmen for clash

Rajshahi University (RU) authorities yesterday blamed the local businessmen for last Tuesday's clash between students and businessmen, including transport workers, that left 60 people, including teachers, students and policemen, injured.

Formulate policy against sexual harassment in universities

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said in absence of a specific provision to punish the perpetrators of sexual harassment in the university acts and proctorial laws, the students are being exploited and harassed by some teachers.

Plainclothes policewomen to be deployed at shopping malls

Several hundred plainclothes policewomen will be deployed at the important shopping malls, markets and strategic points in the city as part of beefed up security measures to check robbery and snatching during Ramadan.

Rokeya Network to share ideas, experience

Women and Gender Studies department at Dhaka University is going to form a common platform titled 'Rokeya Network' with an aim to share ideas, knowledge and experience among the researchers, academicians and grassroots level workers who work in the gender-related fields.

Bangladesh may face severe climate consequences

A six-day international symposium on 'Climate Change and Food Security in South Asia' will begin in the city tomorrow.

Promote environmental awareness technology for sustainable dev

A certificate awarding ceremony of the three-day course on 'Clean technology and cost saving (CTCS)' was held in the city yesterday, says a press release.

'Build buildings considering natural disasters'

The four-day real estate fair styled 'Abasan Mela' began in the port city yesterday with a view to bringing the real estate companies, intending customers and manufacturers of construction materials under one roof.

Declining sunshine takes toll on food production

The sunshine has reduced between 3.3 and 5.2 percent per decade putting long-term effects on food production particularly on rice and wheat in the country.

Int'l probe demanded

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday formed a human chain on the Dhaka University campus demanding international investigation and punishment to the culprits of August 21 grenade attack incident on Awami League rally in 2004.

JCD demands release of Khaleda

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) yesterday brought out a procession on the Dhaka University campus demanding release of the BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her elder son Tarique Rahman.

Schoolboy murdered by friends in Savar

A schoolboy was murdered allegedly by his friends at village Chhoto Walia here on Friday.

Road crash kills schoolteacher

A schoolteacher was killed when a speeding bus hit him at Tannery Bottali area under Bayazid Police Station in the port city yesterday morning.

BDR hands over 13 Indians to BSF

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) handed over 13 Indian nationals to Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday after completion of their prison term.

Low pressure over Bay

A low pressure area was formed over the northwest Bay of Bengal yesterday afternoon, met office source said.

BIWTC suspends sea truck service in Barisal

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) suspended plying of sea trucks between Barisal and Majuchowdhurir Hat via Bhola for an indefinite period from yesterday.

Feroz, Nasiruddin FEMA president, secy gen

Feroz M Hassan and Nasiruddin Ahmed were elected president and secretary general of national executive committee of FEMA for the term 2008-11, says a press release.

'Observe Yasmin Day today'

Karmojibi Nari (KN) at a discussion yesterday urged all to observe Resistance of Violence Against Women Day or Yasmin Day today.

'Use modern techniques to learn English'

Speakers at a workshop yesterday said in the era of globalisation, students should use modern techniques to learn English as a foreign language in an easy way, says a press release.

'Food habit, meditation, exercise can check heart diseases'

Balanced food habit, meditation and regular physical exercise can cure heart disease better than medicine.

Iftekhar greets Nepalese FM

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury has congratulated Upendra Yadav on his appointment as the Foreign Minister of Nepal.

Qulkhwani of Abdullah Al-Mamun today

Qulkhwani of Abdullah Al-Mamun, an eminent playwright and filmmaker, will be held after Asr prayers today at his residence, Elephant Crown, at 273/1 Elephant Road, says a press release.

National

Thakurgaon, Panchagarh AL leaders eager to contest upazila polls

Encouraged by the results of recently held elections in four city corporations and nine pourasabhas, grass roots Awami League (AL) leaders and activists in Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts are now enthusiastic about participating in the upazila elections, whenever held.

Hold polls to 524 UPs in 8 northern districts

Bangladesh Union Parishad Forum (BUPF) has demanded election in 524 Union Parishads (UPs) in eight northern districts whose tenure expired much earlier.

Barge with 475 MT urea capsizes in Passur

A barge carrying 475 tonnes of urea capsized in Passur in the early hours of yesterday, partially damaging the consignment worth about Tk two core.

Pirganj upazila agri officer to face action

Rangpur district fertiliser monitoring committee has made a proposal to the Director General (DG) of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) to take action against Pirganj Upazila agriculture officer for his involvement in the recent fertiliser scam in which 300 bags of TSP were sold in black market by a dealer.

BTSP exchanges views with Khulna chamber

Bangladesh Trade Support Programme (BTSP), funded by European Union, organised a 'visibility campaign' yesterday at the conference room of Khulna Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).

Vow to resist acid violence in Satkhira

It was a unique event for the people of remote Dhalbaria union in Kaliganj upazila where about 400 people including local government leaders at a meeting yesterday vowed to fight against acid violence.

11 of 17 JMB men yet to be arrested

Law enforcers have failed to arrested 11 of 17 charge-sheeted JMB militants in four separate cases of August 17 serial bomb blasts of 2005.

Child dies for 'wrong' treatment, quack held

A child died due to alleged wrong treatment at Shailkupa town in Jhenidah district on Friday.

32 held while crossing border

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) arrested 32 people including women and children from Gazipur border in Satkhira Sadar upazila and Kulia border in Debhata upazila while they were trying to go to India illegally.

Letters

Poor diplomacy!

It is a sad truth that our diplomats are not diplomatic enough when it comes to performing their duties. Once again our image has been blurred abroad due to poor diplomacy. The recent "Kuwait issue" is the living example of our poor diplomacy. In foreign countries, particularly in the Middle East, Bangladeshi workers have faced a lot of problems.

RMG sector

The readymade garments industry in Bangladesh is in jeopardy. It started a few years back--'the unrest', stoppage of work, creating havoc, and damaging valuable assets in and around the factories and even in the streets.

Students in trouble

Shah Jalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, is one of the well-known public universities of Bangladesh. But now it is facing many problems. Students of SUST are facing the problem of transportation, because the number of buses for the students is inadequate. There are nearly 6,000 students. Among them 4,000 are dependent on the university bus. But the number of buses is only 12. As a result, every day students have to struggle for seats. The sufferings of the female students know no bounds. Recently, the three advisers of the caretaker government inaugurated eight 'new' BRTC buses and an academic building. But the eight buses are new only on paper. These buses also have far fewer seats.

Future of democracy

I appreciate the decision of the government and also of the judges on releasing political prisoners on medical grounds. Unfortunately, politicians are demanding the release of all prisoners even if they are convicted of corruption and murder. I am certain soon after the takeover of power the political government will release all the criminals or will influence the court to release them. I want the political government to take over power as soon as possible and at the same time I am afraid that godfathers will reappear again with their ugly faces and the helpless people will become more helpless. The irony is that I find many so called intellectuals supporting those criminals' release.

School textbooks

Almost every year our school children face a severe problem with their textbooks. The Textbook Board fails to send the books to all the students in the country before end February. Hence many students waste their valuable time for non-availability of new books in their new classes. But the board should make the necessary arrangement so that the students get the books after their annual exams.

Zia Udyan

Zia Udyan is one of most well-known places where thousands of people either in the morning or evening go for a walk or exercise for health reasons or to breath fresh air. Zia Udyan, a very cool place, has various kinds of trees and the Crescent Lake on the roadside has made the place even more attractive to the visitors. They usually converge at the lakeside for gossiping , little entertainment in an open place for a few hours.

Landslide

Six people were killed in a landslide in Chittagong. It is not the first landslide accident. We hear from time to time the sad news of landslide in Chittagong that results in many deaths. During the rainy season when torrential rain takes place, landslide accidents occur. Yet, the authorities concerned pay very little attention to this issue.

Superman Phelps

US swimmer Phelps made Olympic history by becoming the first swimmer ever to win eight gold medals in one Olympic, overtaking his fellow US legend Mark Spitz's seven gold medals at Munich 36 years ago.

CU campus

The majority of students at CU are not involved with the political parties. Their main intention is to complete the study for getting a good job. But campus violence seriously obstructs their progress.

Leaders and their enemies

March 26, 1971. From radio a voice of hope, an announcement of a lifetime, a direction for a nation, a piece of news for the world was heard. A war hero, a sector commander of Mujib Nagar Sarkar, a valiant freedom fighter, who later during the crisis period of the nation again came to the scene and took over power in his hands to rule the country, was speaking. Later he floated a political party to start the democratic process in this country. But he was brutally killed in a failed coup in 1981. This was the brief history of Major Zia, ex President Ziaur Rahman, commander of Z Force during the liberation war. During the liberation war he offered his life, during the crisis of 1975 he also came forward and finally he was killed while on duty for the country. The name of President Zia will ever be remembered with respect.

Tale of our workers abroad

Yes, the sordid condition strikes us, stirs our senses as well. The expatriate labourers broke down in tears. Returning home they buried all hopes, aspirations and dreams not only theirs but also that of the near and dear ones. Many sold land, livestock, some even living place for bearing the expenditures. Now what they will do is a big question. As time goes on, people fall in different types of difficulties. The old wound will dry up; people will have new dreams. They can recover! I saw in my childhood Asane bhai, local name, our neighbour, collecting money to go to Saudi Arabia. And he went away. Staying there for a few years, he returned home carrying goods and a bagful of dreams! He could restore a bit of lost property. Then he flew for Saudi Arabia again. After that no one knows what happened to him. There's rumour that he went there illegally and the Saudi authorities caught and imprisoned him. After getting released he returned home. But they confiscated his money which he deposited there. He returned in a wretched condition. But where he took shelter no one knew. One night he emerged from somewhere else. People thronged to see him, which happens in villages. He left the village alone and forever! Alas! Asane bhai, the dream he dreamt broke down into debris. But some lessons remain for us.

Strengthen family bonds

Children often disregard poor parents and are less interested to visit them even once in a year. Even though “blood is thicker than water,” we Bangladeshis evade the responsibility of taking care of poor family members. I believe that harmonious family relationship is the basis of a healthy society. We have to pass down our traditional virtue of respecting our parents, regardless of their income and position in society. Things have changed a lot.

27th BCS results

The Public Service Commission (PSC) showed the highest sense of responsibility by issuing a press release on 19 May 2008, clarifying the status of 27th BCS results. This is a rare case of showing respect to the public sentiment by a statutory body like the PSC. The people have the right to know the status of the results. The PSC, before anybody's pointing of finger, disclosed the truth before the public. The PSC, in other words, performed the job of ensuring people's right to information. Every government department should follow the example of the PSC.

Political intelligence office

I congratulate the caretaker government on its proposed Political Intelligence Office. It is imperative for the state to keep an eye on the people who have made the lives of anonymous, hardworking, ordinary people like me miserable, to put it mildly.

Indo-US nuclear deal

The long-term implications of the recent Indo-US nuclear pact have to be carefully analysed by the political players in Dhaka, on future Western ambitions in South Asia. Analysts in the media point out that the deal would open future US investment by more than USD 10 billion, and provide job security to more than 200,000 Americans.

Retirement age

A secretary proposed to the CA that the retirement age of government officials and employees be raised from the existing 57 years to pave the way for them to contribute more. It is good for the officials but bad for the unemployed young generation. On the other hand, judicial officials serve up to 67 and university teachers' retiring age is 65.

Where is Asif?

No doubt Asif could be a legend for Bangladesh. He might have won a gold for Bangladesh. But that has not happened. Let us look back. It was on 2nd October 2006 that we, the people of Bangladesh, were speechless. What happened on that day? Our boy Asif was beaten by the police and sent to court.

Higher education

Knowledge is a shimmering beacon of light. It is a gift from the Almighty “Allah”. It is a gift which needs to be embraced not to be thrown away.

South Ossetia

A conflict over a tiny piece of land has sparked a catastrophe in the Caucasus. The epicentre is South Ossetia.

We need supporters, not slaves

It will appear to any casual observer that in Bangladeshi politics the leaders do not have supporters or followers. They have slaves. These slaves blindly support their respective leaders, even if such leaders are grossly wrong, corrupt and unpatriotic. These slaves are mostly created by sycophants, and dalals (paid agents) employed by a leader in exchange of undue favour. The media, which in most cases in our country are owned by corrupt businessmen, also play a big role in making a corrupt person a big leader. What is most shocking is that many highly educated members of our civil society and intelligentsia shamelessly enrol(ed) themselves as the slaves of one leader or the other to become vice chancellors, pro vice chancellors, ambassadors, DGs etc.

SAU campus

It was a debatable issue since the Bangladesh Agricultural University was established. As formerly BAI was the first agricultural institute, it had the option to become a full university. Due to the nepotism of a political leader at that time it had to sacrifice that option. But the students, teachers, well wishers did not deviate from their mission of setting up a university.

Tsunami and Bangladesh

Tsunami is a series of very long waves generated by any rapid, large scale disturbance of the sea or by sea floor displacements from large undersea earthquakes. Thus tsunami is defined as a large destructive ocean wave caused by an underwater earthquake or some other movement of the earth's surface or some geologic processes like undersea landslide or volcanic eruption.

International

Troops kill 35 militants in NW Pakistan

Pakistani troops killed up to 35 Taliban militants Saturday in a major army offensive in the restive northwest, while at least 12 people were killed in separate attacks, officials said.

Lankan military moves to take Tiger capital

Sri Lanka staged local elections under tight security yesterday as troops pushed deeper into Tamil Tiger territory, closing in on the rebel capital in the war-ravaged north, officials said.

Russia aims to keep control of Georgian port city

A top Russian general yesterday said his country's forces will continue to patrol a main Georgian Black Sea port city even though it lies outside the 'security zones" where Russia claims it has the right to station soldiers on Georgian territory.

Pro-independence strike cripples life in Kashmir

A massive pro-independence strike brought Indian Kashmir to a halt yesterday, a day after a huge separatist rally in the revolt-hit region where 15 people were killed in a border gunbattle.

India will not accept conditions to clinch US nuclear deal

India will not accept any new conditions to win approval from nuclear supplier nations for lifting a decades-old embargo on nuclear trade with New Delhi, a report said yesterday.

Bush to accept Iraq withdrawal timetable

After years of denouncing timetables for a US withdrawal from Iraq, US President George W. Bush seemed poised Friday to accept late 2011 as a target date for a complete US troop pull-out.

Pentagon considers independent operations in Pakistani tribal belt

Senior Pentagon officials are debating whether the US military should undertake independent operations against Islamic militants operating in Pakistan's northwestern tribal areas, The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday.The newspaper said these internal debates followed US intelligence warnings that al-Qaeda and other militant groups are consolidating their hold on northwestern Pakistan.

Biden, a national security veteran

Barack Obama's running mate, Senator Joseph Biden, 65, brings decades of national security experience to the Democratic White House ticket, an area where the presumptive nominee is seen as lacking.

No talks with militants who kill poor

Pakistani Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani Saturday said his government would not negotiate with militants but would tackle the poverty and unemployment at the root of the unrest, which has claimed hundreds of lives.

Prachanda asks armed forces to forget 'bitterness' of past

Republic Nepal's first Premier Prachanda, whose Leftist group's main target were security personnel before it gave up the decade-long insurgency in 2006, today appealed to armed forces and police to "forget the bitterness of the past" and extend support to his government.

Philippine peace on shaky ground after attacks

The latest violence in the southern Philippines took the government and the military by surprise, coming just weeks after Muslim rebels initialled a peace accord.

Iraqi court sentences ex-minister to death

An Iraqi court has condemned to death in abstentia a Sunni Arab former minister for his role in the murder of a fellow Sunni politician's two sons, the court's spokesman told AFP on Saturday.

Train catches fire after derailment in Oklahoma

A train derailment in central Oklahoma on Friday sent fireballs into the sky but caused no injuries.

Study finds new quake dangers for NY City

An analysis of recent earthquake activity around New York City has found that many small faults that were believed to be inactive could contribute to a major, disastrous earthquake.

US, N Korea hold talks to break nuclear impasse

The United States and North Korea held talks Friday to break a deadlock over measures to verify Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme that could pave the way for removing the hardline communist state from a terrorism blacklist.

Sadrists slam emerging US-Iraq deal

Several thousand supporters of anti-American Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr protested Friday against an emerging US-Iraqi security agreement, saying it would turn Iraq into a US colony.

A look at Zardari

Key facts about Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan.

US 'concerned' over planned Russian arms sale to Syria

The United States is "very concerned" over reports that Russia wants to sell weapons to Syria, a State Department spokesman said Friday.

Arts & Entertainment

Celebrating Life,Celebrating Bangladesh

August 22, 2008: As the guests among whom were the Chief Adviser to the caretaker government, diplomats, renowned artistes and others, took their seats at the Plenary Hall, Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre, dancers of Nrityadhara took the stage. Accompanied by an instrumental piece -- featuring setar, tabla and banshi -- composed by Shimul Yousuf, the dance was choreographed by Minu Haque in association with Munmun Ahmed, Kabirul Islam Ratan and Dipa Khandoker and highlighted the seasons of Bangladesh. As one group of dancers in saffron and crimson enacted the season of summer, another group in blue depicted monsoon. Then came the hide-and-seek of the sun and clouds. One after another, groups of dancers enacted the serenity of autumn, the shrouds of winter and the colours of spring. The composition was a meticulously planned fusion of different classical dances like Kathak, Manipuri and Bharatnatyam.

Rafi Hossain, In Charge of Star Insight, mastermind behind the contest:

“In ancient times, kings and emperors were patrons of arts and cultural practices. Unfortunately, there are no such patrons now. But cultural activities do need sponsorship and the few patrons in our country mostly concentrate on the popular aspects of art. So I thought why not arrange a platform for talented young individuals scattered all over the country in different sectors apart from the performing arts. When I approached our editor, Mahfuz Anam, he gave his consent at once. The event needed financial backing and Standard Chartered Bank, one of the corporate giants, came forward to sponsor it. We have searched for the talents through an extended period of time and I'm proud to say we have come across some impressive and creative individuals."

Excerpts from speeches:

Mahfuz Anam, Editor and Publisher, The Daily Star: “It is easy to feel frustrated and we find ourselves burdened with challenges. We often overlook our achievements. Through this competition we wanted to celebrate everything that encourages us.

Stories behind achievement

Selim Newaj Bhuiyan:
Selim Newaj Bhuiyan of Dinajpur received the first prize in the photography category. Expressing his reaction on receiving the award, Selim said, "Definitely this is one of my happiest moments. I have been involved with photography since 1983 as an amateur and have won many awards. But this award is special to me because the theme of this competition is quite timely at present. I hope this competition will be held every year and open a window of opportunity for promising photographers."

The Hamiduzzaman experience

Hamiduzzaman Khan is a Bangladeshi sculptor who has carved a path distinctly his own in our art arena with significant forms, themes and variations of work. Hamiduzzaman, may be regarded by art critics and other art experts as having been most influential in the 60s, but in effect he has continued to exercise a profound sway not only over art in this region but also of the contemporary art world in general.

“Smrititey O Srijoney Tumi”: Documentary on Abdullah Al Mamun on ntv

Smrititey O Srijoney Tumi, a documentary on recently deceased theatre personality and filmmaker Abdullah Al Mamun, will be aired on August 25 at 6:45 pm on ntv. The documentary is directed by Nazmul Huda Shapla and Swikriti Prashad Barua.

Book deal for Michael Phelps

Olympic superstar Michael Phelps will write a book telling the story behind his historic eight gold medal swims just in time for the holiday season, Free Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, announced Friday.

OP-ED

Economic symbiosis

Aprevious study found that there is a strong relationship between per capita income (PCI) and several indices such as life expectancy, infant mortality, male and female illiteracy rates, percent urban population, commercial energy use, etc. All the indices improve with the increase in the PCI. The implication of this important finding is: if the Bangladeshi development practitioners and policy-makers can increase the national PCI, improvements in the socio-economic indices will naturally follow.

Punishing the guilty

IF an offender, say a murderer, is not punished and the judge trying him sets him free on the plea that the prosecution case was not strong enough in terms of evidence produced, and other legal nuances, to warrant punishing the accused, who is to blame for allowing a criminal like this to go unpunished and commit many more such heinous crimes and terrorise the people in the society?

Obama picks Biden as his veep

THROUGH text messaging and e-mails, Democratic presumptive nominee Senator Barack Obama let his millions of supporters know early Saturday morning that former presidential candidate, Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, will be his vice presidential running mate. The selection of Joe Biden was widely anticipated and predicted. Biden is considered a "safe" choice, who fills in the foreign affairs and national security voids in Obama's resume. Senator Biden is the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Star City

Mosquito making life miserable but DCC shrugs off complaints

Mosquito menace has taken an alarming turn in many parts of the city afflicting scores of people with dengue in this late monsoon, a perfect weather for mosquito breeding.

Construction of wholesale markets faces setbacks

Construction of the four wholesale kitchen markets by Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) is limping because of fresh setbacks.

Money transferring through post offices sees a good start

The postal department saw a good response from clients in the first one month of working as the principal agent of Western Union -- an internationally renowned money transfer service provider -- in Bangladesh.


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