The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, December 20, 2014


News of: Monday, 1st of September, 2008

Front Page

Tarique's hope for release gets a blow

The possibility of Tarique Rahman's release hit a fresh snag yesterday after the government and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) appealed against the High Court (HC) bail orders in seven of the 13 cases filed against him.

EC regrets BNP handling

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday apologised for the way the Election Commission (EC) dealt with BNP over invitations to its electoral dialogue with the political parties last year.

Flood feared to turn ominous in 48 hours

The overall flood situation in the country has deteriorated suddenly and experts say the situation could worsen in the next couple of days.

AL mulls agitation to force govt to drop all charges against Hasina

The Awami League (AL) may go for tougher programmes, including street agitations, in a couple of weeks to force the government to withdraw all charges against Sheikh Hasina and lift the state of emergency.

Over 150 top graft suspects get bail

Over 150 bigwigs obtained bail from the High Court (HC) in last two months in different cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the government and individuals, and most of them have already been released from jails.

Fire in city skyscraper

At least 20 of the panic stricken occupants of a 23-storey building were injured in the capital's Banani area yesterday after a minivan parked in the underground parking lot caught fire engulfing the building with dense smoke.

Politicians welcome proposed RTI

Welcoming the caretaker government's move to formulate the right to information (RTI) law, leaders of different political parties yesterday promised to include in their election manifesto pledges to implement it.

Upazila polls go political

The upcoming upazila elections will finally not be non-partisan as the Election Commission (EC) has prepared the draft code of conduct for the polls without any provision to prevent political parties from electioneering for candidates they back.

Credible polls in time

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said his caretaker government is moving ahead towards holding a free, fair and credible general election in due time.

Jalil returns home

After about six months of treatment in Singapore, ailing Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil returned home last night.

22 parties take forms for registration

Twenty-two political parties have collected forms for registration with the Election Commission (EC) until yesterday.

Dhaka, Delhi focus on insurgent outfits

Dhaka has sought New Delhi's cooperation in taking preventive measures against the anti-Bangladesh insurgent outfits and criminals operating from Indian territory.

BNP to contest if JS elections held first

The BNP will participate in the parliamentary elections if the government assures them of holding the elections before any other polls.

Ramadan begins tomorrow

The holy month of Ramadan begins tomorrow as the Ramadan moon was not sighted anywhere in the country yesterday.

Pay Commission formed

The government yesterday set up a pay commission to review and recommend a revised salary structure for employees of the government and autonomous bodies.

Justice Fazlul to be charged

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will press charges against Justice Fazlul Haque, former law adviser in the Iajuddin-led caretaker government, today in a case filed in connection with amassing illegal wealth and hiding information from the commission.

Lax in publishing probe reports dents HR situation

The government's reluctance in publishing probe reports on extra-judicial killings and punishing the offenders has been the key impediment to improving human rights situation in the country, observed rights bodies.

45-day amnesty for foreigners to regularise stay in Kuwait

Kuwait on Saturday declared a 45-day amnesty to foreigners living in the gulf country without proper documents. This allows them to regularise their status or leave the country without paying a fine, reported Arab Times yesterday.

Three secys transferred

The government yesterday transferred three secretaries, a member of Planning Commission and rector of Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre (BPATC).

Iceland president visits Sundarbans

President of Iceland Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, who is on a three-day visit, toured the Sundarbans yesterday.

Ex-ambassador Nazim sued for embezzlement of govt fund

The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday sued former Bangladesh ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Nazim Ullah Chowdhury for embezzling Tk 65 lakh of government funds.

Five injured in clash over eviction drive

At least five people were injured yesterday in a clash between police and locals over an eviction drive by the Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) at Mirzarpool in the port city.

'Establishment' not opposed to my candidacy

Eyeing presidency after the Pakistani army's very own Pervez Musharraf's departure, Asif Ali Zardari, the ruling PPP's candidate for the top post, says the 'establishment' is with him in his quest to succeed the former military ruler.

Georgia refugees appear free to return but fearful

Traffic moved through a Russian checkpoint yesterday, but crowds of refugees remained camped nearby, preferring hot tents and filthy toilets to the violence they fear awaits them at home.

Editorial

Climate change and Dhaka Declaration

What the declaration made in Dhaka, following a six-day long 'International Symposium on Climate Change and Food Security' jointly sponsored by several national and international agencies, has helped to highlight is the fact that it is not only an environmental issue but also one that affect our very existence. And one couldn't agree more with the comments of the visiting Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson that climate change has the potential to be the most significant challenge to human security in the near future.

Safety nets missing the needy

For a country that has a significant poverty problem, with an additional 4 million people slipping below poverty line due to the recent and on-going hike in the prices of essentials, there remains far too much ineffectiveness and inefficiency in the government's approach to the issue.

For China it is mission accomplished

AS the curtain fell on the Beijing Olympics on the evening of August 24 the joy written on the faces of the Chinese was palpable, and so too was the relief at the end of an event that marked their coming-out party as a sporting world power.

Three questions for the wandering Indian

TO jaded Delhi eyes, the sky is much more vast in Canada. That could only be an illusion, right? Wrong. The horizon is not limited by claustrophobic cement, concrete, stone; the vision is not trapped by the tensions of road-crawl, or blocked by the arrogance of bullies who believe that a steering wheel has lifted them out of the demands of common decency.

A door opens for reform in Pakistan

BEFORE the ink was dry on President Pervez Musharraf's resignation letter, and before Pakistanis could celebrate the end of his nine-year rule, remorse filled the air.

Sports

No clear favourites

There will be no clear favourites when the country's most popular clubs Abahani and Mohammedan -- on equal terms in current form and strength unlike the recent past -- clash in the final of the Citycell Federation Cup this afternoon.

Nadal rolls into round 4

World number one Rafael Nadal rolled into the fourth round of the US Open, winning the final 11 games Saturday to answer a fightback while serving notice he could take his first Flushing Meadows title.

Father knows best

If it wasn't for some frank words from his father, Brett Geeves would have been toiling away in a manual labour job in the miserable, wintry Tasmania weather on Saturday. Instead, he was working hard in draining heat for the priceless reward of two wickets in his one-day international debut.

The Kamikaze Kid

More than two-and-half hours into a marathon US Open slugfest, Japan's Kei Nishikori sat down during the break between sets and pulled a small red and blue book out of his gym bag and started to read.

What next for Roy?

Andrew Symonds is committed to forcing his way back into the Australia team but whether that is possible for October's tour of India is uncertain, according to his agent Matt Fearon. Symonds was thrown out of the squad in Darwin after missing a team meeting because he went fishing.

Rokibul jolt for Tigers

Rokibul Hasan is doubtful for the next two one-day internationals against Australia as the middle-order batsman fractured his right thumb during the first match at the TIO Stadium on Saturday.

Foreign players to play Ranji

The Indian cricket board on Saturday decided to allow international players to take part in its first-class domestic championship starting this year.

BCB, AIUB sign MoU

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB) yesterday in a bid to improve the English language efficiency and leadership skills of the young cricketers.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh Rifles retained the title when they became champions of the 28th National Kabaddi competition with a 29-9 victory over Bangladesh Army in the final at the Comilla Stadium yesterday.

Vintage Gunners

Emmanuel Adebayor believes Arsenal can make a serious challenge for silverware if they show the quality and spirit that swept aside Newcastle 3-0.

Schalke reach summit

Schalke 04 went top of the Bundesliga on Saturday thanks to a superb header from Germany defender Heiko Wester mann to seal a 1-0 win over VfL Bochum to knock Hoffenheim from top place.

Robinho wants Chelsea

Real Madrid's Brazilian striker Robinho said Sunday that his "head was at Chelsea" and that he was determined to leave the Spanish club despite efforts of team bosses to keep him.

Jose debuts with draw

Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was left frustrated in his first Serie A match in charge of Inter Milan as the champions were held to a 1-1 draw at Sampdoria.

Villa leads Valencia

Spain's European championship hero David Villa celebrated his contract extension at Valencia with a goal as his side routed Real Mallorca 3-0 on Saturday.

Zabaleta moves to Man City

English Premier League outfit Manchester City announced on Sunday they had clinched the transfer from Spanish side Espanyol of Argentinian defender Pablo Zabaleta.

Marseille atop

Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda made two crucial saves in the last five minutes to ensure a 2-1 victory at home to Sochaux, keeping them top of the French league championship on Saturday.

C'Ron could be back in weeks

Cristiano Ronaldo believes he could be back playing for Manchester United by the end of September after completing his recovery from ankle surgery.

Sosa inspired by Beijing gold

Bayern Munich's Argentinian midfielder Jose Ernesto Sosa insists the gold medal he won at the Beijing Olympic Games will inspire him to help put the German giants back on top of the Bundesliga.

Hamburg seal Neves deal

Bundesliga side Hamburg confirmed on Sunday the arrival of the attacking midfielder Thiago Neves from Brazilian club Fluminense.

Akhtar set for Surrey

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has cleared controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar to play a couple of matches for English county Surrey in September.

Spurs hold Blues

Chelsea were forced to settle for a frustrating 1-1 draw against Tottenham on Sunday as Darren Bent staged a smash and grab raid at Stamford Bridge.

'Dhoni's return helped'

Dilip Vengsarkar, India's chairman of selectors, has praised captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his role in the 3-2 series win in the one-dayers in Sri Lanka. Dhoni was rested for the Test series, which India lost, but his contributions with the bat, his handling of the Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis and his leadership skills have impressed Vengsarkar.

Tutul fires Muktis

Tutul's double propelled Mukti-joddha Sangsad Sporting Club to a 3-0 win over Chittagong Brothers Union in an ANZ Properties Premier Football League match at the MA Aziz Stadium yesterday.

PCB look for 'educated' players

Aware of the fact that players with humble backgrounds often struggle with their fame and success, the Pakistan Cricket Board will soon launch an ambitious programme aimed at providing specialised coaching and higher education opportunities to the young players at the same time.

Henriques gets surprise call

Moises Henriques, the Portuguese-born New South Wales allrounder, will join the Australia squad in Darwin as a replacement for the demoted Andrew Symonds. But Henriques, 21, is almost certain to take no part in the remaining two matches against Bangladesh and is being added to the group largely to give him experience around the national side.

Lawson sad at snub

The Australian coach of the Pakistan team Geoff Lawson has described as "very disappointing" the decision by some countries not to send their teams to Pakistan for the Champions Trophy leading to the postponement of the eight-nation competition last week.

Hasib lifts men's singles title

Hasib of Bagerhat upset Biman's Edison in the men's singles final of the Federation Cup invitational table tennis tournament at the Woodenfloor gymnasium yesterday.

Business

EPB to go stronger

The government has moved to empower the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) to cancel licences of exporters or suppliers or take legal action against rogue operators for their involvement in fraudulent activities, an official said yesterday.

Govt weighs options to raise Padma bridge funds from own sources

The government is considering different options to raise Tk 4,485 crore ($650 million) from internal sources to start the construction of the country's largest bridge, which will cost Tk 12,420 crore.

Square backtracks on PSTN plan

Square, one of the leading local business groups, has backtracked on its plan to go into landline business, as it found that the country's PSTN industry is not big enough for investment.

Separate body to regulate realtors suggested

The government should establish a separate regulatory body to regulate the real estate sector, a roundtable in Dhaka suggested yesterday.

8 awarded for SME women entrepreneurship

Eight women entrepreneurs in three categories were awarded the maiden national SME women entrepreneurship award 2008 yesterday.

ADB mission gets new chief

Paul J Heytens joined ADB's Bangladesh Resident Mission as its new country director yesterday, an official statement said.

Bangkok wants to double trade with Dhaka

Thailand wants to double bilateral trade with Bangladesh to $1 billion a year through signing a free-trade agreement and greater investments in the next five years.

Income Tax Day on Sept 15 every year

The Council of Advisers decided that September 15 would be observed as National Income Tax Day every year with the aim to encourage people to pay tax.

Garment industry in shadows of violence

Complaints are endless. Defence is strong.

Reaching out to Bangladeshis, everywhere

In an article written for the June 2008 IT Outsourcing seminar, organised by the New Jersey (USA) chapter of the Association of American Bangladeshi Engineers and Architects (AABEA-NJ), I have written about the promise and pitfalls of the IT industry in Bangladesh and what the country could do to move forward and join the ranks of the regional IT powerhouses as an outsourcing destination of choice.

Stocks start week on upbeat note

Dhaka stocks, powered by mutual fund and insurance shares, started the week up yesterday.

Phuket airport reopens

The airport on Thailand's resort island of Phuket resumed flights on Sunday, two days after being forced to suspend operations by anti-government protesters, the airport director said.

Asian currencies lower against dollar

Asian currencies ended the week lower against the dollar as the greenback gained ground on the back of stronger than expected US economic data and hopes of US rate cuts.

Aziz leaves for Accra today

Finance Adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam leaves Dhaka today for Accra in Ghana to attend the third high-level international meeting on aid effectiveness.

Global Ins gets new chairman, vice chairman

The board of directors of Global Insurance Ltd has elected AKM Shaheed Reza as chairman and Md Abdul Khaleque as vice chairman of the company in its recent board meeting, according to a press release.

ICSMB’s new president

The council of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Managers of Bangladesh (ICSMB) unanimously elected Mohammad Asad Ullah as president of the institute for the term 2008-09 at the 113th meeting held yesterday, according to a press release.

Eurozone interest rates to be kept on hold

The European Central Bank is widely expected to leave its main lending rate at 4.25 percent on Thursday despite growing signs of a sharp eurozone economic slowdown, analysts say.

China's fixed asset investment in textiles slows down

The fixed asset investment (FAI) in China's textile and apparel industry kept slowing down in the past seven months.

Indian tycoon K K Birla dies at the age of 90

Indian tycoon Krishna Kumar Birla, whose family empire spanned industries from sugar to newspapers, died Saturday at the age of 90, an aide said.

Hynix urges Japan to scrap chip duty

South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor on Sunday urged Japan to immediately scrap punitive tariffs on its memory chips following a ruling by the World Trade Organization.

Kuwait inflation spurred by external factors: banker

Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz al-Sabah has said inflation in the oil-rich emirate, which has hit record levels, is mainly caused by external factors.

Metropolitan

Hold upazila polls before parliament election

Upazila polls should be held before parliament election to make local government more strengthened and infuse more dynamism into its activities, said the speakers at a national conference yesterday.

8 Huji men asked to appear before court by Sept 21

A court in Dhaka yesterday directed eight absconding Harkatul Jihad (Huji) members including brothers of detained former BNP lawmaker Abdus Salam Pintu to appear before the court by September 21 in connection with the August 21 grenade attack case.

Country closer to sustainable democracy

President Iajuddin Ahmed last night said the country is now in the final phase of desired transition to sustainable democracy through polls going to be held before the end of this year.

3,000 additional cops in city during Ramadan

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) authorities will deploy around 3,000 additional policemen during the month of Ramadan to ensure public security and smooth vehicular movement.

Joint forces deployed at DGHS office to probe irregularities

A team of joint forces yesterday took its position at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) office to investigate the issues of corruption and irregularities of the directorate.

Ensure free, fair election with participation of all

The European Commission (EC) has termed the state of emergency in Bangladesh a problematic point and urged the government to improve certain things to guarantee freedom of the voters and free and fair election with participation of all.

Women's participation reduces

A total of 70 women candidates or 19 percent female candidates have reduced their participation in city corporation and municipal elections on August 4 this year, a study of an NGO revealed yesterday.

Canada monitoring preparations for polls

Canada continues to monitor preparations for Bangladesh's parliamentary elections and has shown interest in supporting the electoral process.

Provide market, need-based edn

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday called upon all to work unitedly for building a happy and prosperous Bangladesh.

'Save schoolchildren from quake'

A safety movement titled 'Earthquake: School Safety Programme' was launched in the port city yesterday with an aim to save the schoolchildren from earthquake.

Preserve archaeological sites

Speakers at a seminar yesterday urged the authorities concerned to preserve the country's glorious ancient history and traditional archaeological sites for the future generation.

Withdrawal of proposed ordinance demanded

The Association of Private Universities of Bangladesh (APUB) yesterday sought more cooperation of the government in running the private universities smoothly.

Ordns banning teachers from local govt polls challenged

A writ petition was filed yesterday with the High Court (HC) challenging the legality of three ordinances issued by the government prohibiting the teachers from contesting the local government elections.

Make no politics with Tarique's illness

Counsels of BNP's Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman yesterday urged the politicians not to make politics with his illness.

'Construct underpass at Shahbagh crossing'

Dhaka University (DU) unit of Samajtantrik Chhatra Front (SCF) yesterday staged a demonstration on the campus demanding construction of an underpass at Shahbagh intersection in the city.

River police cop gets 7 yrs RI

A special court yesterday sentenced Golam Azam, a river police constable under Goalando Police Station in Rajbari district, to seven years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) for trying to bribe a former deputy inspector general (DIG) of police.

Birth anniversary of Osmani today

Today is the 90th birth anniversary of MAG Osmani, commander-in-chief of the Liberation War, says a press release.

BUBT students go on rampage

Several hundred students of Bangladesh University of Business and Technology (BUBT) and Commerce College yesterday went on rampage after three of their fellow students were assaulted by the cadres of a local influential businessman in the city on Saturday evening.

Tk 5.5cr Japanese grant for BSMRAU

Bangladesh will receive Tk 5.5 crore from Japan for the project titled “The Improvement of Academic and Research Capacity of Bangabadhu Sheikh Mujubur Rahaman Agricultural University (BSMRAU)”.

Arms, phensidyl seized; fugitive arrested in Ctg

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered three firearms, 73 bottles of phensidyle in an abandoned state and arrested a convicted fugitive from different places of Cox's Bazar and Chittagong in last 24 hours ending at 12:00 noon yesterday.

Library cum edn dev centre to be set up in every upazila

Non-government college teachers have started to set up library cum centre for development of education in every upazila with access to students and guardians along with teachers, says a press release.

CMC students demand full-fledged dental college

Students of the dental unit of Chittagong Medical College (CMC) yesterday demanded establishment of a full-fledged dental college in Chittagong division and addressing the problems the unit has been facing for long.

'Eat as much as you can' offer again

Pizza Hut has once again brought the 'Eat as much as you can' offer, says a press release.

14th council of Chhatra Moitri begins today

The 14th council of Bangladesh Chhatra Moitri (BCM) begins today at the Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) auditorium at Dhaka University, says a press release.

Poor countries to be worst sufferers of climate change: Experts

The poor countries and their poor people will be the worst sufferers of the climate change, experts said at a two-day media workshop on Saturday.

Relations with Iceland to be strengthened

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said that an important outcome of the visit of Iceland president to Bangladesh was a commitment on the part of both parties to increasing cooperation on a number of issues of common interest.

Hasina flies to US tomorrow for follow-up treatment

Former prime minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina will arrive in Washington DC tomorrow for the follow-up treatment of her eye and ear.

Youth Journalism, Human Rights Camp ends

A two-day Youth Journalism and Human Rights Camp ended at TARC at Savar yesterday with an aim to developing journalistic and technological knowledge of rural youth, mostly secondary school students from the country's poor community.

Monitoring team to visit newspaper offices

A tripartite monitoring team for implementation of the 7th Wage Board Award starts visiting newspaper offices from next week to exchange views with managers and employees.

Minimum wage Tk 4500, DA demanded

Garment workers yesterday staged a mass hunger strike demanding minimum wage of Tk 4500, 50 percent dearness allowance, introduction of rationing system and lifting of restrictions on trade unions.

'Bring prices of essentials within buying capacity'

Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) Convener Khalekuzzaman yesterday urged the government to bring the prices of essentials within people's purchasing capacity.

Reshuffle in admin

The government yesterday transferred three secretaries, a member of Planning Commission and rector of Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre (BPATC).

Law website launched

Chancery Research and Consultants Trust (CRC Trust) yesterday launched a website containing a number of law related issues including judgments delivered by the Appellate Division of Supreme Court, law dictionaries and abbreviations, says a press release.

Two killed in road accidents

Two people were killed in separate road accidents in Jhenidah and Pabna yesterday.

National

All 13 acquitted by Barisal STT

All the 13 accused in another case in connection with August 17 serial bomb blasts were acquitted by Barisal Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal (STT) yesterday.

MPs should resign for failure to meet polls pledges

Participants in a workshop of Transparency International of Bangladesh (TIB) held in Barisal have demanded inclusion of term of resignation for the elected lawmakers in case of failure to fulfil their election promises.

Reopen RU, cancel political appointments

Teachers of Rajshahi University (RU) under the banner of Progressive Teachers Society (PTS) yesterday called upon the authorities to immediately declare specific date to reopen the university soon.

7 of a family get life for murder in Barisal

A Barisal court yesterday convicted seven people of a family to life-term imprisonment in Yunus Bepari murder case in Mehendiganj.

'AIDS increasing alarmingly in greater Mymensingh'

Speakers at a seminar here called for launching a massive awareness campaign about AIDS in Mymensingh as the disease is increasing alarmingly in the district.

Storm lashes six Kurigram villages

A storm lashed six villages of Omar Majid union in Rajarhat upazila Saturday night damaging 216 houses in the affected areas.

BAU BCL appeals for withdrawal of Syndicate decision

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) unit at Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) at a rally on the campus yesterday appealed to BAU authorities to reconsider their decision taken at Saturday's Syndicate meeting to expel two BCL leaders from the university for assaulting a teacher.

Kamran quits party post, may be freed in a few days

Detained Sylhet city mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran quit his party position yesterday.

4 Barisal JP leaders expelled

Four Jatiya Party (JP) leaders here were expelled from the party for doing anti-party activities, JP sources said.

Letters

“Proper” Bangla

It is true that we Bangladeshis are the only nation in the world who sacrificed their lives for our mother language, which is Bangla. After long 56 years, what we have achieved is a question to many including myself as far as speaking Bangla is concerned. Majority of Bangladeshis hardly speak Bangla in their daily life. What we all speak is some sort of distorted Bangla in local (Ancholik) accent.

Who killed the leaders?

Our four National Leaders, Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, M Mansur Ali, and AHM Qamaruzzaman (we remember them with due respect)) were killed inside Dhaka Central Jail on November 3, 1975. But only one man is responsible for their deaths! It's heartbreaking and shameful news undermining the sacrifice of the leaders who laid down their lives for our country.

HC verdict

The judicial pronouncement of a bench of the High Court has curtailed the authority of the president to appoint the judges. By this judgment the court has ensured the freedom and prestige of the judicial department and has closed the door of the executive branch to exert influence on appointment of judges. This judgment is very important. In the past, we saw that every government exerted influence on all such matters. This tendency of the governments has created a lot of controversy. In these circumstances, such a verdict was much expected. So, we welcome this epoch-making verdict and hope that it will ensure the freedom of the judicial department.

River erosion

It is important to know what steps are being taken to avoid the loss of land and maintain navigability of all the rivers round the year.

Subversive politics

I am writing about the incident that took place on the Dhaka university campus and in the adjacent areas of it, following the news of Tarique Rahman's injury, which is totally unacceptable. The people who had vandalised the taxicab and set it on fire, that left one businessman dead, are the so-called students of the university. They remain in the university year after year as student to serve their political parties' interest.

Whither Saarc?

Saarc having entered the 24th year of its existence is now a full grown youth. Unfortunately, Saarc hardly achieved anything whatsoever to go ga-ga over or write home about.

Our Asif, their Bindra

On the eve of participation in any international competition, the officials always say that it is not the prize, rather the participation is the main objective and spirit of the game. We have been hearing this since the independence of our country. And thus we are always satisfied with our dismal results in almost every competition. Our results are bad even in SAF games, let alone Commonwealth or Olympics.

Detained BNP chief

I would like to comment on the much expected release of the immediate past prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia and her eldest son Tarique Rahman. From the very beginning of the anti corruption drive, the present military backed interim government arrested a large number of veteran politicians, including BNP, AL, Jamaat chiefs who were imprisoned for several months. AL president Sheikh Hasina along with Jamaat Amir Moulana Motiur Rahman Nizami were released after a couple of months. Unfortunately, BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia is yet to be released.

Uttara Gonobhavan

The historic Uttara Gonobhavan in neglected northern region, consisting of a total of sixteen districts, has been functioning as another presidential palace since the days of President Ayub Khan of Pakistan.

Hospitals or death traps?

Bangladesh earned fame in terms of establishing some well-equipped reputed hospitals. Some of them are highly expensive and one has to pay through the nose. Still people try to admit their dear ones in such hospitals with the hope of getting better medicare. Alas!! The doctors here pay little attention to the past history of the disease and remain concerned only with the present complaints of the patients. As such it further deteriorates the condition of patients. So instead of being cured, mostly the patients return home unwell due to improper treatment. The so-called consultants have manifold explanations in support of their misdeeds.

Attack on RU VC and teachers

It is learnt from the newspaper that Shibir cadres assaulted the RU acting VC and some other teachers on 08 July, 2008, when they went to request the Shibir men to withdraw a road barricade on Dhaka-Rajshahi highway at Binodpur Bazar in Rajshahi. This attack was outrageous and has been condemned by all.

Harassment in government offices

Harassment in the government institutions is a very common in our country. We live in a free country but when we have to go to the government offices, we at once forget about the feeling of freedom due to the rude behaviour of the government officials. We hoped that this government would change the situation, but they disappointed us. It is really sad to know that even a peon can harass a common citizen easily. It is because there is no transparency in the activities of government institutions. Without transparency, it will be impossible to think about a welfare state. We see that still so many corrupt officials have been retained in their respective jobs and they seem to be above the law. This kind of disparity encourages corruption all the way. Such indulgence always delivers a negative message for our next generation. The prime condition of a welfare state is social justice. The government's attitude should never be negative but we see here the situation is totally different. When a government official does anything offensive, the government will try hard to save him from the allegation and sometimes we saw that such officials were rewarded for their misdeeds. It shows that we are really a failed state.

End politics of violence

I am an international student working part time for a security company. It's a twelve hour night shift. Today I am in a construction site. Whenever I am in a construction site I am really bored. But nowadays I have a laptop and mobile broadband modem. I can listen to music, have a peep in youtube, and, most important of all, I can browse all the newspapers from Bangladesh. Before the introduction of Internet, I was isolated from my beloved country. As a full time student, life for me is very hectic here.

Landslide

Landslide is a common affair in our country, particularly in the rainy season. A few days ago 11 people died in Chittagong. Recently, such a collapse occurred in Moheshkhali. So, undoubtedly it is a matter of major concern for us. We expect that the authorities will address the issue with due sense of urgency.

Close up 1 and democracy

The other day I was watching Close up 1, the talent hunt programme for singers that I very enthusiastically watch every year. The arrangement is satisfactory, for it accommodated public opinion with that of the experts. But I was dumfounded when I saw a singer, Tasmih, who in the opinion of the judges scored the highest while in the opinion of the viewers she scored poorly. It was the opposite for her competitor Robin who scored substantially less than Tasmih but received tremendous compassionate support of the viewers. Earlier, Robin had very wisely reminded the viewers not to vote for him just as a matter of sympathy for his being lame but to vote for him considering his performance. Viewers were not to heed to the appeal and the viewers' love for Robin overrode his appeal. Ultimately, the outstanding talent of Tasmih was subdued by the emotion of the viewers. This is an inherent flaw of democracy that nothing can be done against the popular opinion. However, in this talent hunt programme, I suppose measures were taken to weigh everything carefully to search out for the best. This reminded me of the cardinal bottom line of democracy that in democracy majority must be granted and also the fact that democracy counts head equally not actually what is there in each and every head. Yet, in many countries arrangement is made to elect the best of the candidates. When in the developed countries most people are capable of making sound decisions regarding competence of a candidate, the situation is not the same in poor countries where majority of the population are illiterate. In imitating the developed countries we find in most cases that we elect the wrong candidates. Despite the unprecedented caution on the part of the administration in the recent local election, there was no significant change. In line with this, it can be presumed that in the parliamentary election also, after two years of preparation, no significant change shall occur. I think our emerging civic society should contemplate as to how to develop a democratic system by which we shall be able to elect the best candidate. No one should feel complacent that the American system is foolproof; it too needs periodic reform to address the time.

Delta policies, economics and politics

The delta regions in the world are fertile: low flat fertile lands, plenty of water; and natural fertiliser effect due to silt layers after periodic flooding. Farming and agriculture thrive; and the human fertility rate is also higher (higher density of population), providing plenty of human resources. How are we taking advantage of this natural situation?

RPO provisions

I refer to your excellent editorial on this (26 August). I appreciate personally the provisions pertaining to front organisations, and foreign chapters. These are the most insidious ones that undermine the national character and are a bar to proper education and future of our country. Take for instance the most recent riot by JCD i.e. BNP student wing, which caused the death of one person and they vandalised many cars and buses in support of Tarique Rahman. Also many roads and highways throughout the land were blocked by the BNP student wing for hours causing immense trouble to the general public. Front organisations are the tools to exercise violent power without any responsibility and to corrupt the students.

Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway

The very important Dhaka-Mymensingh highway is in precariously dilapidated condition. Hundreds of vehicles ply this road every day.

Length of government service

A question has arisen regarding the length of government service. Like all other countries, it has really become necessary to raise the retirement age of government servants. The reasons behind it have already been discussed in many meetings, seminars etc. So there is nothing new to say about the reasons.

International

Flood situation grim in Bihar

The surging waters of the Kosi river continued to rise in Bihar, inundating fresh areas as hundreds of villages remained under water on the 14th day of the floods yesterday and millions were displaced and crying for rescue.

Israel favours ME peace deal without Jerusalem

Israel wants to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians by the end of the year but postpone a final agreement on the future status of Jerusalem, a senior government official said yesterday.

Italy apologises to Libya for colonial era damage

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday apologised to Libya for damage inflicted by Italy during the colonial era and signed a five-billion-dollar investment deal by way of compensation.

Religious rioting goes on in Orissa

Two people were injured when police fired on rioters in the latest religious violence between Hindus and Christians in eastern India, officials said yesterday.

Gustav heads for US after pounding Cuba

Gustav roared into the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico as a ferocious Category 4 hurricane yesterday after destroying homes and roads in Cuba. The mayor of New Orleans ordered residents to flee the "storm of the century" by morning.

Lankan forces shell village: Five killed

Five civilians, including two children, were killed when Sri Lankan security forces shelled a village in the island's rebel-held north, Tamil Tiger guerrillas said yesterday.

Six killed in Pakistan missile strike

A missile fired from an unmanned aircraft hit a house in a restive Pakistani tribal area on Sunday, killing six suspected militants, residents and officials said.

Russia seeks to avoid EU wrath over Georgia

Russia sought yesterday to ease tensions with the West ahead of an EU emergency summit on the Georgia conflict as Britain pushed for a "root and branch" review of the bloc's relations with Moscow.

Thai lawmakers hold emergency session to help end crisis

Thailand's Parliament convened an emergency session yesterday at the request of the country's prime minister, who acknowledged that his administration cannot control spiralling anti-government protests.

Past evidence boosts concern for Greenland icesheet: Scientists

Scientists Sunday said they could no longer rule out a fast-track melting of the Greenland icesheet -- a prospect, once the preserve of doomsayers, that would see much of the world's coastline drowned by rising seas.

Conclusion of N-deal will be a milestone in India-US relations

Likening the existing barrier in nuclear cooperation with India to an "800-pound elephant", the United States has said conclusion of the Indo-US nuclear deal will be a "milestone" in the bilateral relations which will be pushed to the "next level".

Curfew imposed in Jammu, army called out

The authorities in Jammu and Kashmir imposed curfew and called out army all over the Jammu region early on Sunday anticipating a terrorist strike at the rally planned by Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti later in the day.

Dr Birla's will likely to be opened next week

The complete succession plan of the Rs 10,000-crore KK Birla Group is likely to be known next week, when the will is opened.

Australia warns of high risk of terror attacks on US flights

Australia on Sunday warned of a "high risk" of terror attacks on domestic and international flights in and to the United States, urging citizens to be vigilant while in the country.

Rescuers head to quake site in southwest China

Rescue teams headed to China's southwestern Sichuan province after a 6.1 magnitude earthquake killed 28 people and injured hundreds, local authorities said Sunday.

Nigeria militants kill 29 military personnel

Nigeria's main militant group claimed Saturday that it killed at least 29 military personnel in three separate attacks across the restive southern oil region.

Diplomat's plan to give Europe to Nazis, world to Britain

A British amateur diplomat tried to stop World War II by offering Nazi Germany rule over Europe if the British Empire could rule the rest of the world, according to secret files declassified yesterday.

Georgia warns of 'domino effect' in Caucasus crisis

Georgian Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili yesterday warned of a "domino effect" in the Caucasus region and Ukraine after Russia moved troops into Georgia, and ruled out any talks with Moscow in the short term.

Arts & Entertainment

And the winner is...

The much-awaited grand finale of Channel i Shera Kontho 2008, the first musical talent hunt on Channel i, featured several spirited live performances at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre. The results of the neck-to-neck competition, based on both judges' and audiences' opinions, were also revealed at the three-and-half-hour finale on August 30. Zanita Ahmed Jhilik was crowned as "Shera Kontho 2008".

Samageet celebrates the birth centenary of Manik Bandyopadhyay

May 19, 2008 marked the birth centenary of Manik Bandyopadhyay (1908- 1956), one of the most influential novelists in Bengali Literature. Samageet, a Narayanganj-based progressive cultural organisation, celebrated the occasion on August 30 with a discussion and a cultural programme at the Ali Ahmed Municipal Library auditorium, Narayanganj.

Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation pays tribute to Abdullah Al Mamun

Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF) paid tribute to Abdullah Al Mamun on August 30 at the Mahila Samity Stage. Discussants at the programme focused on Abdullah Al Mamun's multi-facetted talent. The programme also featured excerpts from plays written and directed by Abdullah Al Mamun, screening of video clips and presentation of natoker gaan.

National Film Awards for the last fours years announced

The government has announced National film awards for the years 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 recently, says a press release. An eleven-member jury board chaired by the additional secretary of the Ministry of Information selected the winners in different categories.

Wasim Akram in a reality show

He has made leading batsmen squirm with his swing bowling. And now he is ready to play on an entirely different pitch -- a judge at a television reality show and that too with actress Sushmita Sen.

Photo exhibition in Sylhet

A five-day photography exhibition featuring works of photojournalist Javed Ahmed ended at the Shahid Soleiman Hall in the city's Dargah Gate area last week. The exhibition drew a good number of visitors every day. The photographs won public appreciation in a big way. About 200 photographs on nature, historic and archaeological sites, culture, indigenous life, political events and more were on display at the exhibition.

Citycell-Channel i Music Awards ‘08 to be held in December

With an aim to promote Bangladeshi music, Citycell-Channel i music Awards have been conferred to talented artistes and musicians of the country since 2004. At a press conference held yesterday, the organisers addressed this year's Citycell-Channel i music Awards.

OP-ED

Tribute to General Osmany

THE culture of writing memoirs and narrating eyewitness accounts of the Liberation War is quite rich in our country; yet, I have developed only the habit of reading others' accounts rather then writing them. It pains me to see that very few have written about Bongobir General M.A.G. Osmany. Even those who enjoy the fruits of General Osmany's role do not remember him.

The feeling is mutual

THE SEC implemented revised mutual fund regulations on July 22. According to the amended rule, mutual funds are prohibited from issuing new shares either in the form of right or bonus shares to increase their capital bases.

Infrastructure distribution

This piece is the fourth in a series of summaries of papers presented at the "Bangladesh in the 21st Century" conference held at Harvard University. The views expressed in the articles are expressly those of the authors.

The land where zblnknutie is not a misprint

As war in Georgia intensified, the United Nations last night called for an urgent redistribution of vowels across the world.

Star City

Luxury tomtoms on last legs

Gani Mia, the 20-year-old kochoan (coachman), was feeling quite blissful sitting on his newly decorated carriage tomtom, though yoked to two malnourished horses. Compared to the dreary look of other tomtoms standing nearby, Gani's one was shimmering amidst the hustle and bustle of Gulistan.

Stadium that bears ravages of neglect

After years of lacklustre state, the Birshreshta Sipahi Mostafa Kamal Stadium at Kamalapur was finally shaping up to be a decent sporting turf for footballers. That was until last month when hundreds of people marched inside the ground for a cultural celebration.



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