The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, July 31, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 27th of August, 2008

Front Page

Upazila elections from Oct 23 in two phases

The Election Commission (EC) has finally decided to start holding the much-talked-about upazila elections from October 23, braving political parties' strong opposition to holding these polls before the national election planned for December.

JS polls schedule after final voter roll

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said it is the responsibility of the Election Commission (EC) to announce the schedule for national elections after completing voter list across the country.

Food price hike pushed 40 lakh into poverty

The recent food price hikes following natural disasters in the country and the volatility in international food market might have pushed over forty lakh people into poverty, said a World Bank (WB) projection yesterday.

Khaleda, Nizami, Tarique, SQ Chy get HC bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted a four-month ad interim bail to detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman in the "Zia Orphanage Trust" fund embezzlement case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

300 cars requisitioned every day by cops

In the name of public interest, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) continues temporarily requisitioning around 300 private vehicles on a daily basis through a controversial requisition law that the police chief himself terms a "black law".

Steps to prevent landslides soon

The government-formed Hill Management Committee has decided to immediately implement protective measures to prevent landslides and make the dwellings in foothill areas risk-free instead of going for large-scale evacuation.

Six areas identified in facing climate change

The country is preparing to face the aftermath of climate change in around 50 different sub-sectors under six thematic areas of agriculture, health, livelihoods, disasters management, environment and development.

Delhi to press Dhaka for extradition treaty

The three-day ninth home-secretary level meeting between Bangladesh and India begins in Dhaka Friday, with New Delhi likely to press for an extradition treaty to exchange criminals hiding in each other's territory to escape arrest at home.

Police scrap PIO amid criticism

The police department cancelled all functions of the newly launched Political Intelligence Office (PIO) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) in the wake of severe criticism from political parties and people of various other sectors.

Parties must get registered

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said political parties must register with the Election Commission (EC) as the EC cannot deal with so many political parties in the country.

Manju jailed for 13yrs

A special court yesterday sentenced Jatiya Party (JP-Manju) Chairman Anwar Hossain Manju to 13 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information in his wealth statement submitted to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Iceland president due Friday

Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson arrives in Dhaka on Friday on a four-day visit to Bangladesh.

JCD vows to 'oust govt' if Tarique not sent abroad

The day after their violent outburst in the capital, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) leaders and activists yesterday threatened to forge a 'tougher movement for ousting the caretaker government' if BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman is not sent abroad immediately for treatment.

Nazrul's death anniversary today

The 32nd death anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam will be observed across the country with due respect today.

Cops asked to ward off further violence

The home ministry yesterday asked the law enforcement agencies to guard against the recurrence of violent incidents like the ones in and around Dhaka University on Monday.

Police slap ban on 4-party human chain

The police department last night imposed a ban on four-party alliance's human chain programme, set for today, saying the programme will violate the Emergency Power Rules, 2007.

Arrest warrant against Bulu, Alamgir families

A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against former commerce adviser Barkat Ullah Bulu and his family members, and detained Awami League leader Dr Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir's family members and two others in two graft cases.

Bomb attack injures 5 in Old Dhaka

At least five persons including a traffic constable and an ansar member were injured when criminals charged two hand bombs at Roy Saheb Bazar of under Kotwali Police Station in Old Dhaka yesterday.

Govt asked not to harass Moudud, Mosharraf, Patal, Anne

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government not to harass or arrest three former BNP ministers and a lawmaker without following due process of law after their release from jail custody.

AL talks with EC Sept 4

The Awami League (AL) will hold second round talks with the Election Commission (EC) on September 4 over issues including holding of parliamentary election before upazila polls, political parties' registration and lifting of the state of emergency.

BSF kills 1

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot dead a Bangladeshi national on Shyamkur border under Moheshpur upazila yesterday morning.

Zardari says sorry to Sharif, asks him to rejoin coalition

Pakistan People's Party chief Asif Ali Zardari has apologised to PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif, who pulled out of the ruling coalition after accusing the PPP of reneging on promises and asked him to rejoin the government for the sake of the country and democracy.

Lankan battles kill 15 rebels, 7 soldiers

A series of gunbattles between government forces and the Tamil Tigers killed 15 rebels and seven soldiers in war-torn northern Sri Lanka, the military said yesterday.

Oil prices rise again

Oil prices swung rapidly higher yesterday as Hurricane Gustav threatened major oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Editorial

Unwarranted violence

THE rapid-fire eruption of violence engulfing Dhaka University, Dhaka College and BUET campuses following news about Tareq's injury evokes instant condemnation. It has not only caused death, injuries and smashing of vehicles but the manner in which violence has been wreaked has had a sinister ring about it.

Pakistan's coalition collapse

THE deepening political crisis in Pakistan threatens to mar its newly found democracy. The withdrawal of Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League from its coalition with the Pakistan People's Party, because Mr. Sharif thinks Mr. Zardari has reneged on a promise to restore to their positions the judges sacked by former president Pervez Musharraf, is a development that disappoints not only Pakistanis in general but also people who are worried about the growing power of the Taleban and al-Qaeda along the country's western frontier. Indeed, Asif Ali Zardari, who aspires to Pakistan's presidency following the resignation of General Pervez Musharraf, has let it be known that the Taliban are winning the war in Pakistan. That statement, in light of the uncertainties now confronting the country, seems aimed more at gaining political mileage than an exposition of hard realities. It can only make things even harder for the government Zardari's party leads.

Of contradictions, assassinations and birthdays

ON National Mourning Day, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party's Khondokar Delwar Hossain informed the country that he saw no contradiction between observing the death anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and celebrating the birthday of former prime minister Khaleda Zia on the same day.

US-Russia relations hit a new low

AFTER their first meeting in 2001, President Bush said that he had looked into the eyes of President Putin and got "a sense of his soul," but he subsequently pursued policies that Putin vigorously opposed, or just tolerated. Russia was then coming to terms after the disastrous years of President Boris Yeltsin.

Expatriate woes

THOUGH Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries, it has some achievements as a nation, like the language movement, liberation war, and the participation of the armed forces in UN missions.

Sports

Mohammedan ride on Bukola brace

Mohammedan were on full throttle on way to the semifinals of the Citycell Federation Cup when the black and whites dumped 2005 runners-up Muktijoddha Sangsad out of the competition with a 2-0 victory in yesterday's second quarterfinal.

Jamie remains confident

Bangladesh will get their last chance to get back some confidence ahead of three-match one-day international series against Australia when they meet Northern Territory Chief Minister's XI in a one-day match at the Gardens Oval in Darwin today.

Nadal off and running

Reigning Olympic champions Rafael Nadal and Elena Dementieva got their US Opens off and running Monday, facing stiff challenges from a pair of unseeded players.

PCB looks for matches

Pakistan are confident that they will be able to confirm a tri-series in either South Africa or Australia in order to fill the gap created by the postponement of the Champions Trophy which was scheduled to be held in September.

Fletcher, the unlikely hero

Darren Fletcher was the unlikely goal hero for the second match in a row as Manchester United got their Premier League title defence up and running with a 1-0 victory at Portsmouth on Monday.

Real make Villa bid

Real Madrid have offered over 45 million euros (65 million dollars) for Valencia striker David Villa, the top scorer at Euro 2008 which was won by Spain, Spanish media reported Monday.

Stars fighting jet lag

The rings of the Olympics are not the only ones in common for Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and the Williams sisters.

40 years of Open era celebrated

As busy as Chris Evert's summer has been, she still found her way back to Flushing Meadows as the Grand Slam celebrated 40 years of the Open era on Monday night.

Carragher warns L'pool

Jamie Carragher has warned that Liverpool could pay the ultimate price for complacency if they underestimate Standard Liege in Wednesday's Champions League qualifier second-leg at Anfield.

Sheva seals Milan move

Ukraine forward Andrei Shevchenko completed his move to AC Milan on Monday after passing a medical and his arrival is set to spark some last ditched transfer activity in the country.

Aus celebrates 100 yrs of The Don today

Australia will celebrate the centenary of their greatest sporting legend Donald Bradman on Wednesday by naming the star batsman's sleepy boyhood town "the world's spiritual home of cricket".

Paul denies pact

Paul Collingwood returned to England's one-day side against South Africa yesterday after the completion of a four-match ban reaffirming that there was no pact, or even discussion, between himself and Michael Vaughan that caused both to resign from their respective roles as England's Test and one-day captains within a matter of hours.

Haddin most excited

A short one-day series against Bangladesh in Darwin might not sound tempting for some of Australia's seasoned international cricketers, but wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin can't wait.

Change in Tigers' SA schedule

Cricket South Africa (CSA) have made changes to the itinerary for the home series against Bangladesh in November.

Fourth ODI re-scheduled

The fourth one-day international between India and Sri Lanka at the Premadasa Stadium was called off without a ball being bowled due to rain here on Tuesday.

Quality, Regency split points

Quality Sports Club and Regency Sports Club shared points in a goalless draw in the ANZ Properties Premier Division Football League here yesterday at the MA Aziz Stadium.

East End win

Ismail struck the all important goal on the hour to help East End Club beat Matuail Udayan Sangsad by a solitary goal in yesterday's Second Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur.

Broad 5-for wrecks SA

A five-wicket haul from England paceman Stuart Broad shot out South Africa for just 83 at Trent Bridge in Birmingham yesterday.

Local Snippets

The semifinal line-up of the Premier Bank 23rd National Basketball Championship was completed at the Rajshahi Divisional Sports Complex and District Gymnasium yesterday.

Spurs want Berbatov out

Tottenham will dump striker Dimitar Berbatov in the reserves if Manchester United do not come up with the 30million pounds (42 million euros) they want for the 27-year-old Bulgarian striker who has handed in a transfer request to try to force a move.

Baros signs for Galatasaray

Czech international Milan Baros on Tuesday signed a three-year deal with Turkish champions Galatasaray, the club confirmed.

Rivaldo set to exit Greece

Brazilian superstar Rivaldo told a Greek radio station Monday that he is leaving AEK Athens and will be playing this season for a club in Uzbekistan.

US diplomat escapes gun attack in Pakistan

Gunmen opened fire on the top US diplomat in northwestern Pakistan early yesterday as she left for work in her armoured vehicle, police and embassy officials said. No one was killed in the attack.

Business

Mobile banking rattles banks

Banks, the traditional leader in payment systems, see mobile banking as a new threat if private telecom operators are allowed to use their outlets for money transfer without law.

Policy dilemma holds back Taiwan jobs for 3,000 workers

Taiwan government's proposal to recruit 3,000 workers from Bangladesh a year, placed four years back, has not yet got any response from Dhaka, primarily owing to the government's foreign policy dilemma.

Asean steps up economic integration

Asean took more steps towards economic integration on Tuesday, when its economic ministers agreed to a comprehensive set of new measures that include the dismantling of non-tariff barriers and free-flow of talent.

High-profile teams to visit CIS to expand export basket in Jan

Two high-profile government trade delegations will go to Russia and some other CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries next January for better trade ties, especially for augmenting Bangladesh's export volume.

Three Beximco units to merge

Shareholders and creditors of Beximco yesterday approved a draft on the merger of three industrial units of the business conglomerate.

Study finds major obstacles in women entrepreneurship

A study paper identified six major obstacles in the development of women entrepreneurship in the country's small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Hope dims for PSTN operators

Multiple problems cast dark shadows over the entry of new private landline operators, leading them to question the recovery of investments.

US subprime crisis: All aboard the foreclosure bus

Have a little money saved up? A few hours to kill? Why not take a new kind of tour -- to peruse the bank-seized properties of homeowners fallen on hard times?

Stocks perk up

Dhaka stocks rose for a fourth day as investors kept buying yesterday after a nine-week slump.

Aviana opens direct flight on Dhaka-Syedpur route

Aviana Airways yesterday launched a direct Dhaka-Syedpur flight to establish an efficient air communication network between Dhaka and the northern part of the country.

Jute policy to revive the industry demanded

Jute mill labour leaders yesterday demanded of the government to formulate a jute policy in order to revive the past glory of the jute sector.

Warid's new prepaid package

Warid Telecom yesterday launched yet another exciting prepaid package that comes with a Samsung C 160 handset and talk-time of Tk 4,000 in addition to a Zem prepaid connection.

BAFEDA holds 15th AGM

Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers' Association (BAFEDA) held its 15th annual general meeting (AGM) on Monday.

European shares suffer fresh losses

Europe's main stock markets sank Tuesday after heavy declines in Asia and on Wall Street that were sparked by renewed fears about further fallout from the global credit crunch, analysts said.

India's Infosys acquires UK-based Axon for $753m

India's second largest software exporting firm Infosys Technologies have announced that the company is on its way to acquire the UK-based consultancy services company Axon Group for 753 million dollars in an all-cash deal.

Hu says China committed to economic reform

President Hu Jintao said Tuesday that China remains committed to bold economic reforms introduced 30 years ago and urged South Korean firms to invest more in his country's modernisation.

Dollar jumps to six-month euro high

The European single currency slumped under 1.46 dollars on Tuesday after the release of downbeat consumer confidence and business sentiment surveys in Germany.

Singapore's Temasek reports record profit

Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, which invested billions in investment bank Merrill Lynch, on Tuesday reported a record profit of 18.2 billion Singapore dollars (12.8 billion US).

Biz Letters

Common issues of G8 summit and Bangladesh
The 34th Summit of the Group of Eight (G8) was held in Tokyo, Japan on July 7-9, under the chairmanship of Yasuo Fukuda, prime minister of Japan. The G8 countries include Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States. The agenda for the summit included the new global challenges and pressing issues, such as world economy, climate change, soaring food and oil prices, development of Africa, nuclear proliferation, terrorism.

Metropolitan

Unite against corrupt politicians: Dr Kamal

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday called upon the people to be united against corrupt politicians to protect the country's economy and politics.

Develop Phulbari coal mine to resolve power crisis

Business leaders of different chamber bodies of northern districts at a discussion at a city hotel yesterday urged the government to move to develop the Phulbari coal mine without any further delay.

11 tiny tots return home

Eleven kids, rescued from Pallabi area in the city on Monday evening, returned to their parents in the early hours of yesterday.

Involving locals in running schools begins to show results

A government initiative to involve local communities in the improvement of education imparted by government primary schools has begun to show results in some schools.

Two youths beaten to death in city

Two youths, including a rice trader, were beaten to death in separate incidents in the city's Shahbagh and Sutrapur areas on Monday night.

Bangladeshi diaspora plays laudable role in British society

British High Commissioner in Dhaka Stephen Evans yesterday said the Bangladeshi community in the UK has been playing a laudable role in the British society for long.

HC order not to recruit 85 more within one month

The High Court yesterday directed the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Election Commission (EC) not to take any step within one month to recruit 85 upazila election officers as per the announcement of the PSC chairman.

Call to set up 'legal clinics' in all UZs to help victims

Experts at a seminar yesterday said 'legal clinics' will have to be set up in all upazilas across the country for creating mass awareness against human trafficking and providing legal aid to the victims.

'Protect local species of fish'

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday called for initiating effective steps to protect the traditional local species of fish in the public interest, as it is the country's major source of protein.

4 killed in road accidents

Four people were killed and four others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Rajshahi and Satkhira in the last two days.

Trial deferred to Sept 1

A special court yesterday deferred the trial proceedings in the Tk 2.99 crore extortion case against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and her cousin former health minister Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim to September 1.

HC issues status quo on formation of governing bodies at private banks

The High Court yesterday issued a status quo order for three months on the formation of governing bodies at private banks under the Bank Company Act (Amendment) Ordinance 2007.

Four staffs feared drowned

Four staffs of a cargo vessel were feared drowned in the Meghna near Mohanpur area under Matlab North upazila of the district as it sank after a violent collision with another vessel on Monday night.

Trial adjourned till today

A special court yesterday adjourned the trial proceeding in the Tk 21 crore bribery case against detained BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman, former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and six others till today.

Lack of adequate number of ferries causes immense traffic jam at Daulatdia

About 200 vehicles, including buses, were stranded at Daulatdia ferryghat yesterday noon, causing immense suffering to the travelers and delay in transportation of goods and commodities.

Hearing on writ petition begins

The High Court yesterday started the hearing on the writ petition challenging the legality of the Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac) Ordinance 2008.

Set up separate land commission for indigenous people

Speakers at a workshop yesterday urged the government to establish a separate land commission for the indigenous people in order to ensure their welfare.

'Women's participation negligible in policymaking level'

Women participation in August 4 city corporation and municipality elections showed their terminal position in political empowerment once again, said the leaders of Bangladesh Nari Pragati Sangha (BNPS) yesterday.

Japan writes off $680m in debt

Japan will write off $680 million in debt overdue from Bangladesh under a debt-relief agreement.

ACC without secretary for over 4 months

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is running its activities without a secretary for more than four months.

China blast kills 4

An explosion at a chemical plant in southern China killed 11 people, injured 57 and forced the evacuation of more than 11,500 others on Tuesday, a local government website reported.

Businessman robbed of Tk 2.6 lakh

Firing gunshots in a filmy style, armed muggers riding on a motorbike yesterday looted Tk 2.6 lakh from a businessman in the city's Uttara area.

Course on human disaster, risk mitigation held

A daylong orientation course on 'human disaster and risk mitigation' was held at Naval Headquarters multipurpose hall in the city yesterday, says an ISPR press release.

Graft case filed against former BTCL official

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed a case against former deputy director of Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Ltd (BTCL) Mohammad Tawfique on charges of amassing huge wealth through illegal means.

Workshop on Hyogo Framework of Action held

A consultation workshop to review the implementation status of Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA) in Bangladesh and finalise the yearly progress report of the HFA, which Bangladesh government will submit to the concerned desk of the United Nations, was held in the city yesterday.

Punishment to Jamaat leader demanded

Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association (BNWLA) demanded exemplary punishment to a local Jamaat leader at Pirgachha in Rangpur and schoolteacher Nurul Huq for sexual harassment to his girl students, says a press release yesterday.

2-day Australian edn exhibition begins in city

A two-day Australian Education Exhibition began at the Dhaka Sheraton Hotel yesterday with a view to disseminating information about the educational facilities in Australia among the Bangladeshi students.

Arrest warrant against 5 Ctg cops

A court here yesterday issued arrest warrant against five police officers on charges of not appearing before the court for giving deposition in three cases filed in connection with August 17 bomb attack by Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

EWU scholarships distributed

The merit scholarship awarding ceremony of East West University (EWU) for the summer-2008 was held at the university auditorium yesterday, says a press release.

National

Meet 6-point demand, expel Asia Energy

Leaders of National Oil, Gas, Minerals and Power and Port Protection Committee yesterday reiterated their demand for implementation of the six-point agreement signed on August 30 in 2006.

'Talk to parties to hold national polls in time'

Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon yesterday demanded holding of parliamentary election first, saying it will be affected if upazila polls are held before it.

Chandpur town protection embankment threatened

With sudden erosion by Meghna River, parts of Chandpur town protection embankment have become vulnerable.

Barisal medical students sued

Several students of Sher-e-Bangla Medical College (SBMC) were sued on Monday on charge of killing a plumber on Sunday.

Free fishermen from mohajans

Participants at a day-long seminar here yesterday urged the government to frame a fishermen-friendly fishery policy to improve their lot and develop open water fish resources in the country.

Trial of Aug 17 blasts begins in Pabna

Pabna Special Court-1 yesterday recorded statement of the first prosecution witness (PW) of the sensational August 17 serial blasts case here.

'Cheap treatment can check diabetes'

Speakers at a discussion held in Sylhet yesterday said diabetes is a growing global epidemic with Asia bearing the heaviest burden.

Letters

Climate change

Bangladesh has experienced some of the worst climatic changes, bringing sufferings to millions of people. The media continue to report on the aftermath of the cyclone SIDR which razed human settlements and infrastructure to the ground along the coastal districts, leaving a trail of destruction along its path.

Dhaka's traffic system

The good news is that the government has decided to introduce a modern traffic control room in the capital. To reduce traffic jams, the timetables of schools' morning classes will be adjusted to accommodate the extra pressure on the roads. The education ministry would fix a schedule and send letters to the schools. The ministry will also monitor whether the decisions are being followed. This certainly looks like a good decision and shows that the government is trying its best to bring the Dhaka traffic to a tolerable level.

Do we have a choice?

Why does everybody including the CA urge people to choose an honest and efficient candidate in the forthcoming national election? Do the people really have a choice wide enough? Aren't they more or less confined with an 'yes' or 'no' option like various surveys made by the media? Nobody seems to be prepared to urge or request the political parties to nominate honest and efficient candidates for the people!

Location of schools

The mushroom growth of English medium schools has reached menacing levels. The residents of Dhanmondi and Gulshan are the worst hit people. The government -- particularly the education ministry-- must come up with short term and long-term plans to cope with the situation. The recent government circular to start the morning shift at 7.30am is a positive move forward and is only a short term arrangement.

Bus service

Every day people waste their valuable time remaining stuck in the vehicles. As small vehicles occupy more space compared to the number of passengers, we should impose restrictions on private cars, rickshaws, baby taxies etc. And therefore we are in favour of more bus services in this capital city. But our buses are very old and most of them are not big enough. Side by side, there are spacious and more comfortable buses. The government should inspire people to invest in this type of buses which will certainly mitigate the sufferings of the commuters.

Rationalise "quota system"

Bangladesh, a poor country plagued by myriad problems and numerous constraints, apparently and indispensably requires an effective, pragmatic and efficient leadership provided by the Bangladesh Civil Service that should have the most brilliant, prudent and talented persons competent enough to address the public affairs, national issues and problems. Hence, the recruitment, selection and appointment of the people to the civil service should unconditionally be on the basis of merit to uphold the national interests. Regrettably, merely 45 percent candidates are recruited on merit and the rest 55 percent on quotas; 30 percent from freedom fighters' children, 10 percent from women, 10 percent from district quotas and 5 percent from tribal people. The quota system was introduced in Bangladesh by an executive order on 5 September, 1972 during a constitutional interregnum in the wake of a destructive war of independence. The constitution that came into effect on 16 December 1972 enshrined the principles of non-discrimination in the Public Service. The Articles 27 and 28 of the constitution stipulate that there shall be no discrimination in the recruitment of the people to the public service irrespective of caste, religion and sex. Though, later, the quota system was constitutionally validated showing the reason of advancement of the backward sections of society. But the provisional measures for proportional representation can not continue for an indefinite period. The long term bad impact of the quota system is being felt now. The quota system has paved the way for rampant corruption. Through the quota system, a large group of relatively poor calibre officials get entry into the civil service and ultimately weaken the entire service.

Same story?

The way things are now going on and the way the things we really want to be are opposed to each other. With the release of most of the accused of graft/corruption cases now under trial and/or punishment, the people are confused. So far so good was our instant reaction to the 1/11 initiations. We then heaved a sigh of a great relief. But looking into what is going on now, we are really afraid to see that we are about to meet the same old fate as we had experienced with our past political governments.

Set up more universities

This refers to Dr. Sakina Khanam's letter. I support her view of turning Eden College into a university for women, and establishing an Agricultural University by using the facilities of Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and Veterinary Training Institute (VTI) in Gaibandah. I think it is a very good proposal in the country's context.

Exporting brain!

Every year, thousands of students get admitted into public and private universities for higher education.They have a dreamafter finishing their studies they will get a good job. Like them, I had also a dream as a student of Chittagong University. We felt proud when we got a good subject. But now we feel that the reality is different. Getting a good job is not easy!

A holiday?

It is a sad occurrence that we as a developing nation fail to acknowledge the core values of our people even at the best of our educational institutions. The 24th of August 2008 was nationally declared as a public holiday for “Janmashtami”, a religious event of the Hindu community in our country. But in certain institutions I have noticed that they do not acknowledge this day as a national holiday and therefore remain open for business as usual. Students are expected to attend classes, regardless of their obligations and expectations.

Attention: CTG

Considering the recent events in educational institutions, labour unrest and local governmental matters, one can easily predict that the nation is going to watch more and more recurrence of trouble and instability in these areas. The ministry of education and the ministry of commerce are definitely not compatible.

Learning English

Your news feature yesterday had an article on learning English. Indeed, ability to read, write and express oneself in English is indispensable. It is estimated that over 80% of the internet and scientific literatures are expressed in English. This means that one deprives oneself of 80% of the knowledge of the modern world by not having English skills. Fortunately, one does not need to preach Bangladeshi population about the importance of English, by now almost everyone is convinced of its importance. The question is how to acquire this essential skill. In Bangladesh, there is an acute shortage of teachers with English skills; as a result, most of institutions including some of the prestigious ones are not able to deliver this skill to the students. It is encouraging to see that many private centres have come forward to fill in the gap although; the standards of most of these institutions are being questioned.

Prices of rice

We take a lot of interest in your articles. However, it is not right to say that the prices of rice are still high. You are aware that road communications have improved. People are using mobile phones to know the price of rice all over the world. They also know the prices of fertilisers in the world market. The prices of fertilisers are now 10 to 5 times more than what they were in 2007.

Bangladeshis in Los Angeles

The Bangladesh Association of Los Angeles (BALA) is undergoing a major awakening following a decade-long stalemate in its activities. Thanks to the valiant efforts of Mohammed B. D. Khan, the Chief Election Commissioner and his team of Commissioners, BALA will hold its next election on October 26, 2008.

National Haor Festival

The haors, baors, beels or the wetlands in general, occupy a significant place in the culture, tradition, lifestyle, livelihood and economy of our people and the country.

SUST diary, calendar

Producing required stationeries like diary, calendar etc. is the heritage of the public universities of Bangladesh. At present private universities also offer these as the effective tools of promotion. All the universities try to produce these essential products timely. But for unknown reasons SUST authorities have failed to bring these out in time.

International

Pak turmoil deepens after coalition split

Pakistan's political turmoil deepened yesterday after the two main parties in the ruling coalition split, weakening the fragile government just a week after president Pervez Musharraf resigned.

Russia recognises South Ossetia, Abkhaza as independent states

Russia yesterday formally recognised the Georgian rebel regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states in a startling new challenge to the West.

Hillary nudges supporters towards Obama at DNC

Hillary Rodham Clinton, formally abandoning her presidential dream for now, is urging her supporters in a fractured Democratic Party to do the same and line up behind the man who wrested the nomination from her grasp.

Iraqi leader insists on US pullout deadline

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki dug in his heels Monday on the future of the US military in Iraq, insisting that all foreign soldiers leave the country by a specific date in 2011 and rejecting legal immunity for American troops.

Thai PM vows action as protesters besiege state offices

Thousands of Thai protesters stormed a state-run TV station and the seat of government on Tuesday, in what Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said was an effort to provoke another coup.

Pak coalition collapse a bad omen for war on terror

The collapse of Pakistan's ruling alliance has come as a disappointment for many Pakistanis longing for political stability, but it might also be a bad omen for Western allies who want to see the country focus on its fight against Islamic extremists.

Afghanistan wants int'l forces to stay: Govt

Afghanistan is not asking international soldiers to leave the war-torn country, a government spokesman said yesterday, but wants a review of the rules regulating the presence of the forces.

Protests in Kashmir despite curfew

Indian police used teargas and gunfire to disperse hundreds of protesters in Kashmir yesterday as the death toll among defiant demonstrators rose to five, officials said.

Swiss authorities shelve money laundering probe into Bhutto, widower

Swiss authorities on Monday shelved a long-running probe into alleged money laundering against slain former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband, Swiss news agency ATS reported.

Questions arise over UN envoy's Zardari

Senior officials in the administration of US President George W Bush have questioned US ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad over "unauthorised" ties to Pakistan's Asif Ali Zardari, the New York Times reported yesterday.

Anwar wins landslide victory in by-polls

Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim won a "landslide" victory yesterday in a by-election to return him to parliament, and said he was on track to oust a weakened government.

Plot to kill Obama uncovered Four detained

Four people have been arrested in Denver amid fears of a plot to kill Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama, a local report said Monday.

Suicide blast kills 25 Iraqi police recruits

A suicide bomber yesterday rushed into a crowd of police recruits in central Iraq and detonated his explosives-laden vest, killing at least 25 people and wounding 40, the local police chief said.

Settlements unhelpful to peace talks: Rice

With hopes fading for brokering an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal by year's end, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice offered few signs of progress Tuesday, saying only that talks are "serious" and again chiding Israel for continuing settlement construction.

Arts & Entertainment

Understanding Nazrul

Mafizul Islam has a right to feel disgruntled whenever discussions about the state of Nazrul Sangeet come up. Although not a household name, Islam has been a lifelong follower and practitioner of Nazrul Sangeet, more intent on maintaining its pristine quality in his rendition of the songs than seeking limelight. Trained under the most reputed artistes of his generation, Islam has recorded some of Nazrul's most brilliant and little known compositions. His renditions are marked with minute intricacies.

Bridging home and the world

Compared to Rabindranath or other pioneering poets/lyricists/ writers of his time, Kazi Nazrul Islam's travel credentials would not be considered that impressive. The furthest he went was Karachi, where he was posted after joining the 49 Bengal Regiment in 1917. This experience however, provided him with an exposure to other cultures and languages -- an exposure that would have a major impact on his poetic style. During his stay in the army, Nazrul learnt Farsi (Persian). Son of an imam, Nazrul's introduction to Arabic happened at an early age. As an adolescent he joined a leto group and developed a skill in composing poems and songs at short notice. Through his association with the leto group, he also began learning about the Hindu puranas.

Drawing the young to Nazrul Sangeet

A frequent scenario today is the young generation attending rock and pop concerts. One often wonders why they are not captivated by the vivacious tunes of Nazrul. Going over this issue, The Daily Star talked to some young artistes who have a sound foundation in Nazrul Sangeet.

A lifetime of preserving Nazrul's music

Nazrul Sangeet exponent and artiste Sudhin Das needs no introduction; his contribution in identifying and publishing the accurate notations of Nazrul Sangeet helps a lot to ensure the originality of melody of the genre. His wife, Neelima Das, has never enjoyed mass media exposure but is considered one of the most talented radio artistes of the '50s (Television was yet to come) and has been effectively assisting her husband in the research. In an interview with The Daily Star, this artiste duo talked about their passion for Nazrul Sangeet, life and more.

Tracing the track of the comet

The Indian High Commission in Dhaka screened a documentary, Kazi Nazrul Islam: The Rebel Poet, by Anjan Das on August 23 at the Indian Cultural Centre in Gulshan. The documentary, which was recently released in India by Indian External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, is produced by the Public Diplomacy Division, Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India.

OP-ED

Usain Bolt, not Michael Phelps, is the star of Beijing Olympics

I have always admired Michael Phelps's swimming prowess, and along with the rest of my family have rooted vociferously and celebrated his stupendous successes. His unprecedented exploits in the swimming pool, both in Athens in 2004 where he was the superstar, and in Beijing in 2008 where he was also a superstar, left me speechless.

Finally, the clock has turned back

THE gods in Greek mythology condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly roll a rock to the top of a mountain only to see it roll back where it lay at the beginning, and to roll it back to the top and see it roll back, and so on and so forth ad infinitum. And what better way to mete out a dreadful punishment than this futile and hopeless labour.

Youth culture and our future

WHEN a few years ago I wrote about the importance of an English education in our lives, I ignorantly expressed my views from a narrow English medium mindset. Incidentally, after four years of an American education and once again returning home, I have started realising the importance of all three kinds of education in a Bangladeshis life -- Bengali medium, English medium, and the madrassah system.

For coffee lovers, plop goes the weasel

THERE is a vile myth going around that Asia has great food, but totally sucks in the beverages department.

Star City

Land grabbers gobbling up Rupnagar main canal

Due to a lax rescue effort by the authorities, land grabbers are filling up the Rupnagar main canal at Pallabi by constructing road and tin-shed houses across the canal.

No queue, pay gas bill thru' mobile

The hassle of standing in queues to pay utility bills is about to become a thing of the past for Dhaka dwellers. Bill payment is becoming as simple as sending an SMS to a friend.

Osmani Udyan not fully congenial to visitors

Despite a number of steps taken to improve the environment of Osmani Udyan, one of the last remaining open spaces in the city, the historical park situated on 23 acres of land is not yet fully safe and secure for the visitors.


The Daily Star

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