The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, November 28, 2014


News of: Monday, 8th of September, 2008

Front Page

BNP allies decide to boycott talks

Election Commission's (EC) efforts towards a consensus on registration of political parties before the parliamentary polls seem unlikely to succeed as the BNP-led four-party alliance remains opposed to joining talks with it.

8 more govt staff confess to graft

Eight more government servicemen, including two Titas Gas officials and an executive engineer of Bangladesh Inland Water Transportation Authority (BIWTA), yesterday confessed to having ill-gotten wealth worth Tk 2.57 crore before the Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac).

Govt mulling cut in OMS of rice

The government is considering trimming down open market sales (OMS) of rice following a sharp fall in the number of consumers rushing to the outlets for the staple, Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman said yesterday.

Jamuna embankment develops fresh breach

Another 30-metre section of a flood-protection embankment on the Jamuna at Chandanbaisha was washed away yesterday, triggering fears that a vast area in Bogra would be inundated.

Govt to ban 18 armed groups

The government is planning to officially ban 18 splinter groupings of clandestine armed communists soon, as law enforcing agencies identified them as organisations engaged in anti-state activities in 13 north-west and southern districts.

Cars packed like sardines at Ctg port

Unable to find space in Chittagong Port sheds for unloading cargo, a vessel loaded with 1,399 imported reconditioned vehicles worth over Tk 100 crore is likely to leave the port's outer anchorage soon.

Education flood-hit in 23 districts

Academic activities of institutions, from primary schools to college, are being seriously hampered as several hundred institutes in 23 districts are either submerged or have been turned into shelters for flood-affected people.

HC hears last 2 bail petitions of Khaleda tomorrow

The High Court (HC) will hear tomorrow the petitions filed by detained BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia seeking bail in Gatco and Niko corruption cases against her.

4 IT students held as suspected hackers

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested four students of a private technology institute in the city's Mirpur in connection with hacking its website after around 24 hours of the incident on Friday.

CA pledges permanent solution to river erosion

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the government is working on a permanent solution to the havoc caused by river erosion by building permanent flood-protection embankment and implementing other measures in the country's flood-prone areas.

Tarique, family seek UK visa

BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Tarique Rahman, released recently from detention, his wife Zubaida Rahman and daughter Zaima Rahman yesterday submitted visa applications to the British High Commission through a lawyer.

Trade unionism allowed on a limited scale

The government has relaxed the ban on trade-union activities at industries, commercial enterprises, ports and factories on certain conditions.

Dhaka to present climate change plan

Britain and Bangladesh will jointly hold a high-level conference on climate change on Wednesday in London to launch a possible Bangladesh-specific climate change action plan and trust fund in line with the Bali Declaration.

CA to visit China Sept 15-18

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed will pay a four-day official visit to China from September 15 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Zardari faces pressure to tackle militancy

Pakistan president-elect Asif Ali Zardari faced immediate pressure yesterday to tackle an upsurge in militant violence, as the toll from a suicide blast in the country's troubled northwest reached 35.

Jamaat not eligible for registration

The Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) yesterday asked the Election Commission (EC) not to register Jamaat-e-Islami as the party is not eligible for registration.

JMB threatens bomb attacks on advisers

Banned militant outfits Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) in a letter to Rapid Action Battalion-5 (Rab) headquarters and Rajshahi Metropolitan Police threatened bomb attacks on the homes and offices of all advisers to the caretaker government.

IT study to be made compulsory in SSC, HSC

The government will make computer and information technology a compulsory subject for the class-IX, X and higher secondary students for spreading computer education in the country.

Urdu-speaking people 'forced' to be voters

Urdu-speaking people in the country have accused some BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami leaders of using threats and violence to force them to enrol their names in the Election Commission's voter list.

Ex-Barisal mayor Sarwar, wife sued for evading tax

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday filed two cases against ex-mayor of Barisal City Corporation and former whip Majibor Rahman Sarwar and his wife on charges of evading Tk 6.37 crore in income tax.

57pc pass in degree exams '07

National University (NU) yesterday published the results of its degree pass, subsidiary and certificate examinations of the year 2007.

Ex-MP Pintu, wife get bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted four months' bail to former BNP lawmaker Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu and his wife Nasima Akhter Kalpana in two separate tax-evasion cases filed by the National Board of Revenue (NBR).

Bandit killed in police firing

A robber was killed in police firing in an attempt to dacoity in a passenger night coach at Komtopur under sadar upazila in Chuadanga early yesterday.

India exultant over end to nuclear isolation

The Indian government exulted over a decision by nuclear supplier nations to end the decades-old ban on trading with the country, and open up a reactor market worth billions of dollars.

Peres opposes attack on Iran's N-sites

Israeli President Shimon Peres said yesterday he opposes a military strike on Iran and prefers the use of international economic sanctions to persuade Tehran to halt its nuclear enrichment programme.

Editorial

Garment owners' threat to close down factories

THE ultimatum of the RMG factory owners of Ghazipur, to close down all RMG factories in that area unless adequate security was provided to them by September 25, is surprising. But this is reflective of the state of desperation they are in, with the situation going out of their control. To say the least, the owners' response is least expected, come as it does from the captains of this industry. It amounts to an attitude of chopping off one's head to cure the headache.

Zardari at the helm

AFTER nearly a decade of autocratic rule of Parvez Musharraf, Pakistan has got a democratically elected president in the person of Asif Ali Zardari. He secured 281 out of 426 parliamentary votes, and won a majority vote in three of the four provincial assemblies forming the presidential electoral college. Jubilant as they are, his close aides lost no time in saying that it was a historic win, a victory for democracy. Zardari's sweeping to victory provides an occasion to reflect on 'tides in the affairs of man' in the Shakespearean aphorism. A man not having many credible years as a politician, and someone who has left an indelible trail of controversies behind, it is indeed worthy of note how he rose to the most powerful position enduring jail terms for nearly 11 years as well as a long exile. There were charges of wide-scale corruption and even murder against him. Ironically, an amnesty signed by Parvez Musharraf last year had cleared him of all the charges. And this ought to be remembered that his remarkable turn around happened only nine months after the assassination of his charismatic wife, Benazir Bhutto.

Rising poverty

FOUR with six zeroes looks tidy as a figure, but it gives us an uneasy feeling when the World Bank says that four million people in the country have been pushed back further below the poverty line, due to abnormal rise in food price. The WB on August 26 said that the food price shock is projected to have raised poverty rate by around three percent from the baseline poverty rate of 40 percent in 2005.

On Sharada Prasad

HIS laugh was always a little less than a laugh, and his smile much more than a smile. This was not uncertainty; it was a discretion that suited the gentle character of a true gentleman, H.Y. Sharada Prasad, aesthete, scholar, author, adviser to two prime ministers and a muse to whoever was privileged enough to be friend.

John McCain is no war hero

THE Republican Party has utter contempt for the American voters, especially women. They believe that the Americans are so dumb that they will believe anything they are told if repeated often enough through television commercials.

Sports

Bouncer awaits Siddons

The Tigers' dismal show in Australia has served as a wake-up call to Bangladesh's cricket authorities as they are all set to probe the coaching staff, along with the players.

Federer outguns Djokovic

Roger Federer moved within one victory of his fifth consecutive US Open title Saturday, firing 20 aces to overpower Serbian third seed Novak Djokovic 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.

Salahuddin to follow nat'l team

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president Kazi Salahuddin wants to watch the national team's performance in two international tournaments this year on his own for an assessment for future planning.

Austria scalp France

France, the 1998 world champions, suffered an embarrassing 3-1 defeat to lowly Austria on Saturday to endure a nightmare start to their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.

No. 1 ranking on the line

Jelena Jankovic and Serena Williams will have to wait until Sunday to meet in the US Open final with the added incentive of the WTA's world number one ranking on the line along with the final Grand Slam title of 2008.

Du Toit wins gold

The United States and Britain set the early pace at the Paralympics Sunday as Olympic swimmer Natalie du Toit claimed her first gold and Chinese officials played down an embarrassing security breach.

Extra night wait for Murray

Andy Murray has to wait an extra night to see if he can complete a stunning upset of world number one Rafael Nadal and reach the US Open final against four-time defending champion Roger Federer.

Abahani meet Brothers in futsal final

Abahani walked into the Citycell Futsal competition final after Mohammedan Sporting Club forfeited the first semifinal against their archrivals yesterday.

Washout at US Open

Rain has washed out the remainder of Saturday play at the US Open, pushing the women's final to Sunday and forcing the first Monday finish for the men's championship since 1987.

Spared no insult

Former world champions France were given no quarter by the press Sunday a day after a catastrophic start to 2010 World Cup qualifying with a resounding 3-1 defeat to European minnows Austria.

Argentina's lucky escape

Paraguay's 1-1 draw against 10-man, Olympic champions Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday was enough to retain their lead at the top of the South American World Cup qualifying table.

Crucial win for Japan

Japan and Qatar clinched crucial World Cup wins in the crushing humidity of the Gulf on Saturday to hammer home a double warning to Australia of the dangers ahead on the road to the World Cup finals.

No Loew points

Germany coach Joachim Loew highlighted his side's offensive strengths against a "defence-minded" Liechtenstein after the minnows were routed 6-0 in their opening World Cup 2010 qualifier on Saturday.

Wc Qualifying Results

European Zone
Group 1

At Tirana

Hamilton wins Spa thriller

Britain's Lewis Hamilton reinforced his world championship lead by claiming his fifth win of the season at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Jansen faces fitness race

Virus victim Marcell Jansen faces a race against time to be fit for Germany's second World Cup 2010 qualifier against Finland in Helsinki on Wednesday after suffering with a chest infection.

Zola in West Ham's shortlist

Gianfranco Zola and Roberto Donadoni appear the frontrunners to take over from Alan Curbishley as manager of West Ham, but the club insisted Sunday there were no clear favourites as they confirmed a four-man shortlist.

Socceroos stun Dutch

Australia warmed up for their final round of World Cup qualifiers in style on Saturday by stunning the Netherlands 2-1 in a friendly international.

Much to consider

India and Australia are supposed to be formidable forces preparing to renew a fierce struggle for supremacy. Instead both sides have much on their minds.

Freddie pretty pleased

Andrew Flintoff says he's enjoying playing in a new, winning England set-up under a confident Kevin Pietersen. Flintoff was the leading run-getter and wicket-taker in England's 4-0 triumph ODI over South Africa, and feels the present ODI team is a well-balanced outfit that could turn into a champion side given a decent run.

Hussey wants Roy aboard

Michael Hussey has not given up hope of Andrew Symonds joining Australia's tour of India, although he concedes the team is still "up in the air" just two weeks before the squad departs. Australia consider a Test trip to India the toughest challenge in world cricket and several senior players have had less-than-ideal preparation for the four-Test tour.

ICC shortlists awardees today

International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat will announce the short-lists for this year's LG ICC Awards here today.

SA rejects tri-series

The proposal for a tri-series in South Africa, also involving Pakistan and probably Sri Lanka has been rejected by Cricket South Africa, who said their top players need to rest after the recent tour of England.

MS stays put

Mahendra Singh Dhoni hung on to his place atop the ODI batting chart but Australian Nathan Bracken surrendered top slot in bowlers' rankings to Daniel Vettori after his relatively disappointing series against Bangladesh.

Clark doesn't agree with Kirsten

Australia pacer Stuart Clark has dismissed India coach Gary Kirsten's recent comment that all-rounder Andrew Symonds's likely absence from next month's four-Test series would ease tension between the two sides.

Business

Wal-Mart wants rebate on garment orders

Readymade garment (RMG) exports are likely to suffer yet another blow as Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer of clothing, wants a 2 percent rebate on its current orders of Bangladeshi RMG products.

New car sales regain steam

Sales of brand-new cars have regained momentum after a downtrend since January 2007, said Rangs Limited, the sole distributor of Mitsubishi vehicles in Bangladesh, yesterday.

Uncertainty looms over AB Bank ATM project

AB Bank's hunt for partners to set up a Tk 100 crore automated teller machines (ATM) network is yet to get proper response from banks despite its relentless efforts over the past one year, officials said.

Nuclear waiver promises to widen India's investment scope

India's leading chambers of commerce and industry yesterday welcomed the historic decision of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to lift a 34-year-old ban on global atomic trade with the country.

Lighting up faraway homes

Housewife Fatema Begum has mastered the art of assembling and installing solar home system accessories, independently setting up solar lampshades and mobile battery chargers.

Thai political turmoil shakes tourists

The political turmoil playing out in Thailand's capital is damaging the kingdom's economy, hitting its thriving tourism sector and making investors wary, business leaders said.

Stocks trade upbeat

Dhaka stocks started the week on an upbeat note yesterday, with turnover also slightly rising.

Aziz for donors' accountability

Finance and Planning Adviser Dr Mirza Azizul Islam has urged the donors to establish a system of accountability of donors in an effort to make foreign aid effective.

China RMG unit in Karnaphuli EPZ soon

A chinese company will set up a garments manufacturing industry in the Karnaphuli Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) with an investment of Tk 34 crore.

Satkhira shrimp output may miss target

The target of shrimp production may not be achieved in Satkhira district this fiscal due to widespread virus infection in the shrimp enclosures.

Japan fails to achieve WTO minimum rice imports

Japan has failed to achieve its minimum access levels for rice imports for fiscal 2007 as required under an accord with the World Trade Organisation, government sources said Thursday.

Asian currencies lower against dollar

Asian currencies ended the week mostly down against the US dollar despite growing concerns over the world's biggest economy and data from Washington showing rising unemployment.

Economic squeeze in Europe has hit rock bottom: ECB

The president of the European Central Bank said Saturday that the economic squeeze has "hit rock bottom," telling Italian television that he expects a "gradual revival" over the course of 2009.

Iran wants Opec output cut to target quotas

Iran said on Sunday that OPEC members should cut output to the agreed target quotas in the face of falling oil prices, two days before the cartel meets in Vienna, state-run IRNA news agency reported.

McCain backs government takeover of mortgage giants

Republican presidential hopeful John McCain backed a government takeover of two mortgage giants Saturday while his Democratic rival warned that taxpayers should not bail out their shareholders.

HK Disneyland lures Chinese as it marks third birthday

Hong Kong Disneyland will celebrate its birthday on Friday after three difficult years, as its new managing director juggles a grab for Chinese visitors with a battle over how to fund expansion.

Taiwan mulling further package to lift sagging economy

Taiwan plans to take more steps to prop up a sluggish economy that has shaken the public's faith in the new government more than three months after it took office, officials said Sunday.

Iran's inflation tops 27pc

Iran's inflation hit 27.6 percent in the calendar month of Mordad that ended August 21, the central bank said Sunday, as Iranians were again battered by rising prices of basic foodstuffs and goods.

Sony recalls Vaio laptops

About 85,000 people in the Asia-Pacific region, including Singapore, are carrying around Sony laptop computers that are in danger of overheating.

Prime Bank gets new MD

Prime Bank Ltd has appointed Mohammad Ehsanul Haque as its new managing director, effective since September 2, says a press release.

McCann Worldgroup executive due today

David McCaughan, executive vice president of the Regional Strategic Planning Director of the Asian Pacific McCann Worldgroup, is due in Dhaka today on a two-day visit to Bangladesh, according to a press release.

Canada jobless rate steady

Canadian employers added 15,000 jobs in August while the jobless rate held unchanged at 6.1 percent, Statistics Canada said Friday.

Metropolitan

National unity, political will needed to save rivers

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said national unity as well as political will is needed to save the country's rivers from dying.

2,000 industrial units

At least 2,000 industrial units operating in the city are constantly releasing toxic wastes polluting the environment at an alarming rate that result in spreading of diseases, including cancer.

Social movement a must to eradicate illiteracy

Speakers at a seminar yesterday underscored the need for raising a social movement to eradicate illiteracy from the country.

British PM struggles to mount fightback

Beleaguered British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will launch a fresh bid to revive his government's dire fortunes this week, but deepening economic gloom and growing party sniping threaten any fightback.

Tk 1,200cr project for export infrastructure dev

An export infrastructure development project worth Tk 1200 crore has been approved to reduce growing pressure of export and import in the Chittagong port.

Vow to institutionalise democracy

Eight non-government organisations yesterday launched a grouping, National Alliance for Election Monitoring (NAEM), with an aim to strengthen citizens' vigilance over electoral process and institutionalise democracy.

One killed, 26 injured in road accidents

A man was killed and 26 others injured in separate road accidents in Gaibandha and Patuakhali yesterday.

12 arrested with fake passports in Chittagong

Detective Branch (DB) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) yesterday arrested 12 members of a syndicate and seized many passports and documents from their possession.

Release Khaleda, withdraw cases against Tarique

US chapter of BNP and its front organisations demanded immediate release of party chairperson Khaleda Zia and withdrawal of all cases against Tarique Rahman, reports US-based news agency News World.

Project to improve quality of university edn

The government and the World Bank have recently appraised the proposed Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project which is expected to improve the quality of teaching and research environment in universities, strengthen the institutional capacity and effectiveness of the higher education sector and raise connectivity of the universities both among themselves and with the academic communities abroad, says a press release.

Malaysia's Anwar faces sternest test as 'power' deadline looms

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim faces one of the sternest tests of his tumultuous political career in coming days, as the deadline he has set to seize power approaches.

ACC hands over annual report to president

A delegation of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) led by its chairman Lt Gen (Retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury called on President Iajuddin Ahmed at Bangabhaban in the city yesterday.

Killing of man while trying to save girl from kidnappers condemned

Leaders of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) yesterday expressed grave concern over the death of a man who was killed while trying to save a girl from kidnappers.

Three join JP

Former Biman official Mohammad Mashiur Rahman, former government officer Dabir Uddin Ahmad and noted businessmen Mohammad Dewan Zillul Haq Chowdhury yesterday formally joined the Jatiya Party (JP), says a press release.

Woman arrested for drug peddling in Ctg

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a woman on charges of illegal drug peddling from her residence at Chotopol under Halishahar Police Station in the port city on Saturday.

Students, bus staffs clash in city: 10 hurt

At least 10 people were injured in a clash between the students of Shyamoli Ideal Technical Institute and bus employees at Mohammadpur in the city yesterday.

Demand for separate physiotherapy college iterated

Students of the physiotherapy department of National Institute of Traumatology and Orthepaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) yesterday reiterated their demand to establish a separate college for physiotherapy in the country.

Indian cloths worth Tk 3cr seized

Task Force yesterday seized cloths worth Tk 3 crore smuggled from India from a godown at Sangkarpur in the town.

Iajuudin greets Zardari

President Iajuddin Ahmed has congratulated the newly elected President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari.

Each of 30000 families to get Tk 10000

Families of some 30,000 children engaged in hazardous labour will receive Tk 10,000 each as part of the government's initiative to eliminate hazardous child labour in the country.

Youth found dead at Pallabi

A youth was found dead in a house Pallabi in the city yesterday.

'Introduce separate pay scale for public university teachers'

Leaders of the Federation of Bangladesh University Teachers' Association on Saturday called on the government to introduce a separate pay scale for the public university teachers in order to improve the quality of education by attracting meritorious individuals to the profession.

Nakshi Kantha workshop begins at Benapole

With a view to upholding traditional rural heritage, a daylong workshop titled 'Nakshi Kantha' on vegetable dyeing and block print began at Japan-Bangladesh Cultural Exchange Association office at Navaron in Jessore yesterday.

Cardiac patients receive free consultations at Birdem

Around 100 cardiac patients received free consultations at 'Free Heart Camp' at Birdem Hospital in the city on Saturday.

Ruet new VC takes charge

Prof Dr Mohammad Fazlul Bari, the newly appointed vice-chancellor of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet), formally took charge of the office yesterday.

Call for launching drive against illiteracy

Today is the International Literacy Day.

National

Outlaws regroup in southwestern districts ahead of polls

Listed outlaws and criminal gangs have regrouped in several southwestern districts including terror-infested Meherpur, Chuadanga, Jhenidah and Kushtia ahead of the upcoming upazila and parliamentary elections.

Jute workers snap power, water lines of officials' quarters

Angry jute workers yesterday disconnected electricity and water supply lines of administrative buildings and officials' quarters of state-owned Crescent Jute Mill, Star Jute Mill and Platinum Jubilee Jute Mills to press their eight-point demand including payment of arrear wages.

All 16 Shibir men acquitted

A Rangpur court yesterday acquitted all of the 16 activists and leaders of Islami Chhatra Shibir in the case for ransacking Carmichael College building and the house of a college teacher on February 6.

Death threats to bank, agri officials for toll

Officials of different banks and the agriculture department in several upazilas in Khulna and Bagerhat are panicked as extremists threatened them with death for non-payment of tolls demanded earlier over cell phones.

2 policemen held for mugging

Two policemen were caught red-handed after they snatched a mobile phone at Mirza Jangal in the city yesterday afternoon.

Two arrested with arms

People of Satarpara in Daulatpur upazila held two gangsters with arms and handed them over to police on Saturday evening.

CARE worker held with drugs

Police arrested a field worker of CARE Bangladesh with intoxicating injections from in front of Mymensingh Museum in the town yesterday noon.

2 brothers held for cheating Tk 2 crore

Police arrested two brothers on charge of cheating 87 people of Tk 2 crore in the town in the name of Destiny 2006 Ltd.

Letters

Bibiyana gas field

Once Bangladesh was supposed to be abundantly rich in natural gas and also supposed to be able to export gas, after meeting the growing demand of the country but the ground reality is just the opposite now. A grave crisis is looming large on the sectors dependent on gas, as the quantity of gas reserves is rapidly decreasing.

Holy Ramadan

The holy month of Ramadan is here. This month is devoted to fasting and observed by the Muslims throughout the world as one of the “five pillars” of Islam.

Poor cricket, poorer umpiring

The performance of our national cricket team seems to have hit rock bottom. Such a disastrous Australian tour wasn't really expected. We are definitely better than our latest performance suggests. After such a performance even the most ardent supporter hangs his head down in shame and others take out their sharpest knives for further sharpening. In the midst of all this we seem to have overlooked a few things. A genuinely neutral umpire (which Peter Parker is not) would have given Michael Hussey out caught behind when he was trying the reverse sweep, and allowed Ashraful to have the benefit of doubt (the ball had pitched a shade outside the leg stump, part in, part out). Ashraful would probably have been out the very next delivery, but that is not the point that I am trying to make. The point that I am trying to make is that umpires automatically favour the top teams and the top batsmen. This was made clear in the recently concluded Test series between India and Sri Lanka. If the referral system had not been in place, the Sri Lankans would have been in deep trouble. In the ODI series, without the referral system, the result was reversed. Put your mind back to the time when the South Africans came to Dhaka to play their first Test series. Six decisions went against us. Khalid Manhood Sujan lost his match fee for protesting. The underdog has a chance of winning if the referral system becomes mandatory.

Pay Commission

The previous Pay Commission took almost a year to suggest a new pay scale for the employees in the public sector. They needed this time to study the pay scales in neighbouring countries, the “calorie requirements” of employees and their families and such things. The highest pay suggested by them was Tk. 27,000/= per month. However, the international donor agencies warned the government of the negative impact of this pay hike, and the proposed pay-scale was discarded by the government, and a modified pay-scale with Tk. 23,000/= p.m. as the highest monthly pay was finally adopted.

Foot overbridge

We, the city dwellers, always condemn the city corporation for not building foot overbridges, speed breakers etc on city roads. But sadly enough, there are several foot overbridges on every busy road in Dhaka city which a few people use.

Fast moving vehicles & rickshaws

Knowing that this subject was much too important to be kept under the rug, I am glad to see letters and articles on the subject reappear in the DS after a gap of nearly two months-- MZ Haider's article on 20 Aug, Sohel Ahmed's on 27 Aug. and Asadullah Khan's article on 30 Aug. We are pleased to read that the DMP has an action plan to streamline traffic, but filled with consternation at the concessions given by the NBR to car importers and lo and behold, a 'tiny' sum of $ 5.52 billion (Taka 40,000 crores) to be spent on STP over 20 years to make traffic congestion history!!!

Internet facility

The majority of Bangladeshis, especially in the rural areas, do not have access to the Internet. Nowadays the world is moving very fast and the number of Internet users is increasing rapidly, but in our country most of the people are still deprived of this opportunity. Internet service, a new horizon, has been opened in the field of education, research, business and entertainment. With the expansion of online Internet facilities, various institutions and organisations have started to release their self-introductory web pages. For scholarships, admission to foreign universities and also business, one can find all the necessary information through the Internet. So it's necessary for all.

Permanent mission's job

The permanent mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York covers a wide range of the activities undertaken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-- peaceful settlement of disputes, promotion of human rights, protection of environment, sustainable development and so on. The permanent mission with support from other government ministries represents Bangladesh in every negotiation that takes place at the UN in New York, ensuring that Bangladesh's interests and views are taken into account by UN bodies and the other member states. Hours are long and negotiations can be tough and intricate. But playing a key part in achieving a successful outcome can be very rewarding. Bangladesh as a UN member state plays a key role in providing information from the Bangladesh's diplomatic network, negotiating, and lobbying for right actions and resolutions.

Ramadan and power rationing

In a shocking statement, the government has announced that shops and markets can remain open till 09:00pm in the first week of Ramadan and the government will review the power situation after a week of observation.

Dictator vs “democratic” dictator

The split between Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif will not surprise anyone. Both of them are corrupt beyond comprehension. They are so greedy that they don't even want to share the “rewards” with their coalition partner they both want to have everything alone! Naturally, there is a split. (Readers are recommended to watch the classic, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”)

Mugging

It is really very alarming that after sunset mugging in passport office to Shisu Mela road area is taking place on a regular basis.

Truth Commission and law

Now that a case has been brought to the HC by an interested party, the legality of the Commission is for the court to decide. I would only draw attention to the fact that unless such an interested party raised the issue in court, the court was powerless to decide anything in respect of it. Similarly all criminal cases are brought before the courts for judgement and sentencing in the interest of the nation by the government prosecutors throughout the civilised world, and the government has an inherent right to 'plea bargain' with the 'accused' to get voluntary disclosures and admission to reduce the work load of the police and courts. And the timing and modus operandi of such 'plea bargaining' or any formal charges are entirely up to the government prosecutors ( i.e. the Ministry of Law).

Our future leaders

It is a sad truth that our meritorious students are not eager to become political leaders. If we go back to our history, we will see that we had a glorious tradition of student politics. It was because of the youth that they were full of spirit and courage to protest against all social injustice. The leadership during the Language Movement in 1952, the mass upsurge in 1969 and the War of Liberation in 1971 was supported by students.

Politics and violence

This refers to Sumon's letter from the UK on September 1 in your daily. We have seen democracy in our beloved Bangladesh. Misguided politics, bombing, killing and looting of national resources are part of life in Bangladesh. We don't want to see those things any more. During the last 18 months, many good things happened.

Disturbing calls

The prevalence of disturbing calls is a disgrace which demands immediate remedial action. The aim of phone stalkers, 'to make friendship' or even to find a spouse, is an indictment on the institution of arranged marriage and threatens to unravel the moral fibre of our nation.

Report on Chittagong port

NBR chairman's observations about container loads of rubbish imported at Chittagong port deserve continuous press follow-up. The reasons behind this could be far more than what meets the eye. However, I do not go along with the suspicion about sabotage! Was it the sabotage of the country's image, where even rubbish can be imported?

SUST students' predicament

I am a student of Shahjalal University of Science & Technology. I live in a rented house at Madina Market under SUST. The majority of the university students live in Madina Market area. But it is a matter of great regret that there is not a single university bus for Madina Market area.

Uphold sanctity of Ramadan

The Holy Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a blessing from the Almighty to mankind revealed through Prophet Muhammad (SM).

New school timings

Recently, the government directed all the schools to start at 07:30am just to avoid traffic jam. Well, the attempt to solve the traffic jam problem is appreciable. But have the authorities thought about the consequences of such order about school timings? A kid of KG or class I to Class V will have to get up at 6:00am in the morning to reach the school by 7:30am! Is it possible and if possible how much pain they will have to bear?

Hurricane Gustav

Hurricane Gustav is the seventh tropical cyclone, third hurricane and the second biggest major hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. The US government should learn from the mistakes committed after Hurricane Katrina struck three years ago . It was surely a good decision as Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency in the state. Evacuation planning was done earlier to prevent casualties.

International

India focuses on care for flood victims

India was grappling on Sunday with the task of feeding and housing close to a million villagers displaced by huge floods in the eastern state of Bihar, as the rescue effort wound down.

Kashmir separatist warns India crackdown could fuel revolt

Kashmir's top separatist has warned India's heavy-handed crackdown on protests in the Muslim-majority region could trigger a renewed violent upsurge in the long-running separatist revolt.

Pak military unlikely to put pressure on Zardari

Pakistan's president-elect Asif Ali Zardari is unlikely to have the country's powerful military breathing down his neck as did his slain wife during two stormy stints in power, analysts said.

Lankan air force pounds rebel camps

Sri Lanka's air force launched attacks on two Tamil separatist camps in the embattled north Sunday, and infantry clashes elsewhere in the region killed eight rebels and three soldiers, the military said.

Fight against N-deal not over: CPI-M

Describing India's bid to gain the NSG waiver as "another surrender", the CPI-M on Sunday said its fight against the Indo-US nuclear deal was not over and it would work now to see a new government in power, which would terminate the 123 Agreement.

Abbas casts doubt on ME peace deal this yr

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Saturday said there were "no signs" Israel and the Palestinians could reach a peace deal by the end of the year as had been hoped.

8 killed in suicide blasts at Afghan city police HQ

Two suicide bombers struck inside the police headquarters in Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar yesterday, killing at least eight people, a senior local official told AFP.

World leaders vow to cooperate with new Pakistani president

Leaders in Western countries and neighbours Iran and Afghanistan congratulated Pakistan's new president Asif Ali Zardari upon his election Saturday.

Sharif urges Zardari to restore supremacy of Pak parliament

Pakistan president-elect Asif Ali Zardari must reverse controversial changes made to the constitution under military rule and restore the powers of parliament, the country's opposition said Sunday.

Zardari must prove he is trustworthy: Media

Pakistan's president-elect Asif Ali Zardari must work quickly to remove all doubts about his chequered past and prove to the people that he can be trusted, local media said yesterday.

Pakistan to get 100 fighter jets from China, US

Pakistan will acquire over 100 fighter jets from China and the US as well as airborne warning and air-to-air refuelling aircraft to maintain numerical parity with the Indian Air Force which enjoys a "qualitative advantage", the country's air force chief has said.

Maldives set for first multi-party election

The Maldives is to hold its first multi-party presidential election next month as part of sweeping political reforms in the Sunni Muslim nation, a minister said yesterday.

Thai leader dismisses talk of military coup

Thailand's embattled prime minister denied a rift with the army Sunday and dismissed the possibility of a coup when he travels to the UN General Assembly in New York later this month.

White House race a cliffhanger as home stretch looms

The historic, twisting, cliffhanger White House race is swinging into an eight-week sprint to the finish, with John McCain and Barack Obama locked up in the polls and bare knuckle-rhetoric flying.

Japan snap polls in Nov likely

A senior lawmaker in Japan's ruling party yesterday suggested that snap polls could be held in November, as the party prepares to choose a new prime minister later this month.

Democrats face key test as Hong Kong votes

Hong Kong voters headed to the polls yesterday, with the city's pro-democracy parties scrambling to avoid heavy losses and several high-profile politicians facing potential defeat.

Germany's SPD names Steinmeier as chancellor candidate

Frank-Walter Steinmeier said yesterday his centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) has chosen him to run for chancellor in elections in 2009 against conservative incumbent Angela Merkel.

Philippine military, villagers search for landslide survivors

Authorities in the southern Philippines yesterday ordered the evacuation of 50,000 people following two landslides in a remote mining village that left 25 dead or missing.

Australia urges Zardari to focus on security

Australia yesterday welcomed the democratic resolution of Pakistan's leadership as it urged the country's new president to focus on security issues, particularly in the Afghan border region.

Arts & Entertainment

Samina and the heights of music

The second phase of the Celebrating Life Festival, which is to provide exposure to the winning entries (taking them to 12 districts in Bangladesh), is currently underway. This tour is the uniqueness of the Celebrating Life contest, that the orientation is not Dhaka-centric. The more we can take these events to the remote corners of Bangladesh, the faster will our arts and culture develop. Musicians and music directors are still busy recording the last few tracks out of the 10 award winning lyrics of the Celebrating Life contest, and we at The Daily Star are busy coordinating with them. Samina Chowdhury, one of the artistes working with us, has sung three songs of Celebrating Life -- one with Fahmida Nabi, one with Pancham, and one in chorus with Fahmida Nabi, Syed Hasan Tipu and Shafin Ahmed.

Off the Beaten Path

Twenty artists from five South Asian countries -- Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan -- are participating at the group exhibition titled "Off the Beaten Path."

Talent hunt with a difference

A talent hunt with a difference, Magic Tin Chakar Taroka, for only rickshawallahs and CNG drivers, has been on air on ATN Bangla since September 1. The second episode of the competition will be aired tonight at 8:45 pm.

Mickey Rourke’s roaring “Wrestler” wins Venice’s Golden Lion

Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler," starring gritty survivor Mickey Rourke, won the coveted Golden Lion at the Venice film festival on Saturday.

Metallica album leaked

Metallica's forthcoming album has been leaked online, NME.com reported. The leak happened after the album, Death Magnetic, scheduled to be released on September 12, was said to have been sold at a record store in France.

Snaps: Rony

Young entrepreneur Syed Zakir Ahmed Rony stepped into the world of acting when his friend, TV play director Ananta Hira, offered him a role in one of his productions. The play was never aired, but Rony's acting career did take off. He made his debut in a TV serial “Mohona,” aired on ATN Bangla in 2005. So far, Rony has been featured in 12 TV plays and serials including “Kobi,” “Seat Khali Bhara Hobey,” “To let,” “Aguner Alo” and “Aloknagar”. The actor recently finished working for the upcoming film “Kaalpurobi.”
Date of birth: December 26
Sun sign: Capricorn

OP-ED

End of the line?

WE are totally confused. Certainly we did not expect such a miserable end for a neutral, non-accountable government. People are now even questioning whether the government set up to rescue the 4-party alliance from wrath of the people and not to save the sovereignty of Bangladesh or its people from total disaster.

Why Kosovo wasn't worth it

IN February, with US backing, Kosovo declared its independence -- nine years after Nato went to war to end Serbia's thuggish behaviour in the province. Shortly after Kosovo hoisted its new national flag, Russia, Serbia's patron, warned (in the words of its foreign minister) that the theory of secession used to strip away Kosovo had "created a precedent" applicable elsewhere.

There is no honour in killing

GIVEN the multiple issues facing Pakistanis, the last thing we need is for a legislator to defend a heinous crime in the name of tradition. We don't need the heinous crime either, in this case the murder of women who were apparently defying their families by trying to marry of their own choice.

Beggars and other high-class professionals

LIFE is tough. You now need qualifications to be a beggar in Asia.

Star City

Dhaka-Kolkata train shuttles almost empty

The Dhaka-Kolkata train service is witnessing great disappointment as the number of passengers is going down steadily due to unwise timing and delay in checking papers at the customs and immigration on both sides of the border.

Tightening grips on the cable TV operators

Cable television operators will be required to focus more on customer service under the new policy of the information ministry.

Chawkbazar air full of iftar aroma

It was about 2:00pm in the afternoon. The road towards Chawkbazar was completely blocked with thousands of people from different parts of the city swarming the area from all directions. Their common destination is the iftar market of Chawkbazar.

"city express"

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



The Daily Star

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