The Daily Star

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Sunday, April 20, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 17th of September, 2008

Front Page

China pledges help in N-power project

China will provide special preferential treatment for access of some Bangladeshi products to its market to reduce the prevailing trade imbalance between the two countries and cooperate in paving the way for implementation of the Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant.

BNP asks EC to invite its allies to dialogue

Demanding lifting of the state of emergency and holding of the parliamentary election ahead of any other poll, BNP-led four-party alliance yesterday urged the caretaker government and the Election Commission (EC) to invite all of its components to the anticipated dialogue.

BB moves to make farm loan mandatory

Bangladesh Bank (BB) will make disbursement of agriculture loans among farmers mandatory for all banks, including the foreign ones, to ease farming activities in the country.

Strong tidal surge swamps the coast

Over a hundred fishermen went missing when their trawlers capsized in rough waters caused by depression in North Bay Monday night.

Hasina, Selim get bail in Ajam J case

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted three months' ad interim bail to Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina and her cousin Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim in the extortion case filed by businessman Azam J Chowdhury.

AL working on poll alliance

Awami League (AL) yesterday said it is working to forge a grand electoral alliance to face the BNP-Jamaat coalition in the parliamentary election planned for December.

Restive politics to jolt economy badly

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said any political disruption in the run-up to the parliamentary polls and its outcome will pose a major risk to the economy.

Street watch goes up for safe Eid shopping

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) have stepped up street patrols and intelligence activities to ensure security for Eid shoppers in the capital.

Roads risky even for walking

The school van drops off Mitu, a Viqarunnisa Noon School student, at Sipahibagh, about a mile from her residence in Bhuiyanpara.

DUTP works plagued by poor coordination

Lack of coordination between agencies concerned became so acute in Dhaka Urban Transport Project (DUTP) that parts of newly-constructed roads had to be dug to install sewerage, gas and telephone lines spoiling large amount of public money.

VIP gridlock avenue

The stretch of the VIP road from Shahbagh to Jahangir Gate has apparently lost its status taking into account the persisting traffic congestion on the thoroughfare all day long.

Work unitedly for restoration of democracy

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon her party leaders to work unitedly for the restoration of democracy in the country and to make the "2020 vision" successful.

Hasina-Khaleda Consensus will benefit Bangladesh

Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Dr Abdullah Bin Naser Al-Bosiari yesterday said any consensus reached by former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina on national issues would be beneficial to the people of Bangladesh.

Banks asked to provide info on ex-minister Azad, 15 others

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday asked all commercial banks to provide account information of 16 people including former state minister Lutfar Rahman Khan Azad, former power secretary Toufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and former FDC managing director Mohammad Musa.

6 political leaders get HC bail

Eight people including six political leaders yesterday secured ad-interim bail for three months from the High Court (HC) in separate cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and National Board of Revenue (NBR). Following separate petitions filed by the accused, a vacation bench of the HC comprising Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Mamnoon Rahman stayed case-proceedings against them for the same period.

Special step taken to enrol Khaleda, other left-out VIPs

The Election Commission (EC) is making a special arrangement to register former prime minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and other VIPs, left out during the nationwide voter-listing drive, as voters.

Talks on river channel issue continues

No progress was made in the second day of Bangladesh-India Maritime Delimitation Talks as the delegations decided to continue their talks on the third day on the same Hariabhanga channel issue.

Koko's parole extended

The government yesterday extended the parole of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's younger son Arafat Rahman Koko by a month.

Warrants from fake court saw 3 arrested

They did not commit the crime yet they were arrested upon fake warrants issued by a fake court in connection with a case filed with Motijheel Police Station in May this year.

New law on cards to deal with sexual harassment

The government is preparing a special act, which is expected to be enacted at all educational institutes of the country within the next two months to prevent sexual harassment.

7 more utility service men confess to graft

The Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac) yesterday heard seven more government officials from Dhaka Power Distribution Company, former Dhaka Electricity Supply Authority, and Titas Gas who claimed to own ill-gotten wealth worth Tk 13 lakh only.

Obaidul Qader to go to India for treatment

Awami League (AL) Joint General Secretary Obaidul Qader will go to New Delhi for treatment within a couple of days as a medical board at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) advised his treatment abroad.

No question of pressure

Backtracking from his previous comments on putting pressure to make the chiefs of Awami League and BNP -- Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia -- sit together for talks, Commerce and Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said the question of any pressure on them from the government side does not arise.

Steps taken to ensure safe river journey

Shipping Adviser Major General (retd) MA Matin has asked the authorities concerned to ensure smooth and safe journey of passengers on river vessels before and after Eid.

Cops yet to find motive

Police are yet to find out the motive behind the murder of industrialist Mohammad Abdus Salam Babu who was shot dead in broad daylight near his office in Kakrail yesterday.

Pakistan orders its troops to retaliate

Pakistan's military has ordered its forces to open fire if US troops launch another air or ground raid across the Afghan border, an army spokesman said Tuesday.

Tamil Tigers kill 22 soldiers

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has ruled out a ceasefire with the Tamil Tigers and said troops were on track to capture the rebels' political capital by the end of the year.

US joint chief of staff in Pakistan

Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, arrived in Pakistan on an unannounced visit yesterday to discuss operations underway on the Afghanistan frontier with Pakistan's leaders, the Pentagon said.

Editorial

Home adviser's alarm at law and order

THE Home Adviser's expression of alarm at the slide in law and order is a matter of serious concern. It is not that the deteriorating state of law and order has escaped citizens' attention, but when no less an individual than the Home Adviser admits to the growing problem, it says something more about the situation. It was only on Monday that a businessman was killed in broad daylight in the city. And over the past few days, there has generally been a spate of crime committed in different parts of the nation's capital at a time when Eid-ul-Fitr approaches. If such is the condition in Dhaka, the situation in other regions of the country can only be imagined.

DMCH's requirements must be met urgently

THE drawbacks of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, the medicare facility of the last resort for the poor and middle income group patients and the premier medical teaching institution of the country, are much too known to bear anyrepetition.

The nature and practice of sycophancy

A veteran politician was unambiguous about it the other day. Begum Khaleda Zia, he informed the country loudly and with a clearly perceptible sense of happiness, would provide leadership to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party for as long as she lived. He probably did not realise -- and neither did anyone else around him -- that it was just the sort of attitude that had made a casualty of democracy in this country over a long stretch of years.

Do free trade agreements undermine the Doha Round?

FREE Trade Agreements are being concluded among many countries. In South Asia, India and Sri Lanka concluded a FTA, while India proposed to conclude a similar deal with Bangladesh. Bangladesh reportedly replied that it would consider the proposal once the implementation of South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) took place.

It's time to look forward

THE two presidential nominees, Sen. John McCain and Barack Obama, made the ground-zero their common ground, free of politics and infused with memory as the 9/11 attacks remain a deeply emotional issue in the United States, even if polls show that pocketbook concerns, particularly the parlous state of the housing market, now top terrorism fears.

Sports

Dhaka Warriors is born

The desperate effort of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) or the lack of it finally saw the rebellion that hit the headlines on Sunday culminated in an uninterrupted transition after Shahriar Nafees and Alok Kapali sneaked through the green channel of the Zia International Airport yesterday and flew to Delhi to usher in a successful coup by the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Aminul, Naimur slam rebels

Former national captain Aminul Islam called the attitude of the rebel cricketers who signed up for the Indian Cricket League (ICL) as 'unprofessional and childish'.

VOX POP: Readers speak out on player exodus

Obviously these players made a wise decision to resign from the BCB. Aftab and Nafees are the glittering stars of Bangladesh, however BCB are ignoring them.

Youness fires Russel

A brace including a late penalty goal by Touati Youness gave Sheikh Russel a thrilling 3-2 win in their opener of the Citycell B. League yesterday.

Bringing surfing here

With his fluorescent board shorts and muscular body, Jafar Alam does not look like a typical Bangladeshi.

Villa dump Spurs

Spurs problems deepened further on Monday as they were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa to leave them bottom of the Premiership with just a point after four matches.

MU open title defence

No club has retained the Champions League since the format was introduced in 1992 - but Manchester United will look to break the mould when they embark on this season's campaign at home to Villarreal of Spain on Wednesday.

Toni wants glory

Bayern Munich striker Luca Toni says he wants to win the Champions League title at the first attempt as he prepares to make his competition debut, aged 31, in Romania on Wednesday.

Cahill keen on Liege test

Tim Cahill cannot wait for Thursday's UEFA Cup clash with Standard Liege after marking his return to Everton duty after six months out injured with the winner away to Stoke last weekend.

United unaffected by sponsor trouble

Manchester United are set to emerge unscathed even if shirt sponsors AIG (American International Group) follows US bank Lehman Brothers in going bust.

'CA's double standards'

Australia decided Tuesday to go ahead with their upcoming tour of India despite security concerns following a series of deadly bomb attacks in New Delhi, drawing scathing criticism from Pakistan.

Pistorius breaks 400m WR

"Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius won 400m gold in world-record time to complete a Beijing Paralympics sprint treble on Tuesday.

Gilly rates Indo-Aussie Tests very highly

India's cricket encounters with Australia are so closely fought that they are challenging the Ashes for prominence back home, retired Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist said on Tuesday.

Siddons won't comment much

Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons cannot wait to take the challenge after the mass resignation of the national cricketers to join the banned Indian Cricket League (ICL) which hit Bangladesh cricket hard.

Academy have upper hand

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Development XI were all out for 252 runs in their first innings against GP-BCB National Cricket Academy team on day one of the second four-day match at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday.

ICL makes it official

The rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) yesterday announced the launch of its ninth team the Dhaka Warriors during a press conference in New Delhi, according to the organisers' website.

'I was in Kuakata, for God's sake!'

"Those who have a lack of self-confidence can only take such a decision".

Kiwis concerned with ICL exodus

There are grave concerns over the standard of competition the Black Caps will face on next month's tour to Bangladesh.

Div II football

Dhanmondi Club and Friends Social Welfare Organisation earned identical 1-0 wins at the Kamlapur Stadium yesterday.

Ravi awarded

Ravi Bopara was named as the Young Cricketer of the Year for 2008 by the British-based Cricket Writers' Club at an awards ceremony in central London on Monday.

Shoaib has to pay fine if he wants to play

Troubled fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar will remain barred from all Pakistani cricket until he pays an outstanding fine, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) legal adviser said Tuesday.

City not after Ronaldo

Manchester City have decided against following up an interest in former Brazil striker Ronaldo, the club said on Tuesday following claims by the player that he was set to move to England.

Carrick out for 6 weeks

Michael Carrick is to miss the start of title-holders Manchester United's Champions League campaign after being ruled out on Tuesday for four to six weeks with a broken bone in his foot.

Pirlo will miss UEFA Cup tie

AC Milan playmaker Andrea Pirlo will miss Thursday's UEFA Cup first round, first leg clash against FC Zurich after pulling a thigh muscle, his club said on Tuesday.

Robinho joined a 'mediocre' club

Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster said Monday that Brazil international Robinho, who made a shock move from the Spanish champions to Manchester City earlier this month, had joined a "mediocre" club.

Terry's ban overturned

The red card given to Chelsea's John Terry during their Premier League victory away to Manchester City last weekend has been overturned, the Football Association announced here on Tuesday.

Thiago Silva joining Inter

Brazilian press said on Tuesday that Fluminense centre-back Thiago Silva will join Italian champions Inter Milan in the January transfer window.

Clarke to assist Zola

West Ham United appointed Steve Clarke as their first-team coach, working under new manager Gianfranco Zola, on Monday after agreeing a compensation deal with London rivals Chelsea.

Simic bids farewell

Croatia defender Dario Simic has decided to retire from international football after notching up a record 100 caps, he said in a report here on Tuesday.

Koller quits int'l football

Record Czech Republic international scorer Jan Koller confirmed his retirement from international football on Tuesday despite pleas from coach Petr Rada to change his mind.

SHARE YOUR VIEWS

The mass resignation of the national cricketers on Sunday created a stir in the country's sporting fraternity. We believe the readers of The Daily Star have their own way of looking into the stunning episode. We are inviting our valued readers to comment on it by emailing us at sports@thedailystar.net. Your comments will be published.

Business

ADB backs fuel price cut on zero subsidy

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has suggested the government consider a reduction in petroleum prices if Bangladesh no longer requires subsidy thanks to a further fall in global oil prices.

Local shoes losing shine

When fashionable Bangladeshi footwear is hitting global market, domestic market dependent local shoes are increasingly losing their clutches to low-cost and eye-catching Chinese shoes.

Eid to push remittance 20pc up

Banks are expecting over 20 percent rise in overseas remittance inflows by Bangladeshis due to the Ramadan and the Eid festival, officials said.

High food prices feared to continue

The high prices of food worldwide are not likely to fall any time soon, and there are no quick solutions to the problem, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warned Tuesday.

Oil prices sink briefly under $90

World oil prices dipped briefly beneath 90 dollars a barrel on Tuesday amid growing economic gloom and fears of slowing energy demand, traders said.

RMG buyers urge Dhaka to review workers' wage

MFA Forum, a global collaboration of RMG and textile buyers and stakeholders, has urged the Bangladesh government to urgently convene the Minimum Wage Board for the RMG workers and introduce an annual review of their wage levels.

Energy ministry asked to decide on PSC with IOCs

Energy Ministry has been asked to take decision on signing of production sharing contract (PSC) with the selected bidders under the recently invited 3rd round offshore bidding.

World stocks in freefall for second day

Global equities tumbled for a second day running on Tuesday as anxious investors waited to see if US insurance giant AIG would suffer the same fate as bankrupt US investment bank Lehman Brothers.

Biman gets new MD

Board of Directors of Biman Bangladesh Airlines yesterday appointed Air Commodore (retd) Zahed Kuddus as its managing director and chief executive officer (CEO).

Asian banks less exposed to Lehman chaos

Asian banks could be spared the worst of the global financial meltdown thanks to conservative lending that has avoided the worst mistakes of risky subprime US mortgage loans, analysts say.

Wanted for RMG industry: Ghost busters

Like most people whenever I hear talk of “conspiracy theories” I disregard the rest as it has become the most used and abused excuse for all our ills, be they political, social or economic. Exhorting the people to resist the evil designs of “foreign powers or aliens” has been the most popular diversionary tactic used by our leaders. I confess therefore that I have always been highly sceptical about the conspiracy theories floated by our garments industry from time to time as an explanation for the random and increasingly frequent violence plaguing their industry. But the specific events of Diganta Sweaters that occurred a few weeks ago have changed my point of view. I watched at great length the innumerable news reports and talk shows that day and read also many of the newspaper reports on the same.

Two IPOs get go-ahead

The stock market regulator yesterday approved IPO plans of two companies for raising Tk 45.50 crore from the capital market, and the entry of the sixth asset management company for managing funds.

Philippines jobless rate drops

The number of people out of work in the Philippines for the quarter to July eased slightly to 7.4 percent, the government said Tuesday.

Insurance giant AIG faces failure

US insurance giant AIG raced against the clock to avert collapse Tuesday after three blows to its credit standing, and central banks pumped out 160 billion dollars to prop up financial markets.

Vietnam asks EU to end antidumping duties on leather shoes

Vietnam called on the European Union to end its antidumping duties on leather footwear, denouncing the "hard" impact it has on local companies and employment.

Wall Street chaos to hit Japan economy

A senior Japanese official said Tuesday that the meltdown on Wall Street will hit Asia's largest economy by slowing demand for Japanese exports.

Trade liberalisation brings little gains to Africa: Unctad

Africa has opened up its markets significantly to trade, but the move has not given the needed push to the continent's export performance, a United Nations trade and development agency report said Monday.

Metropolitan

100-year master plan a must for city's dev: Khoka

Dhaka City Corporation Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka at a view exchange meeting yesterday stressed the need for taking a 100-year master plan instead of a 20-year plan considering the future needs of the city.

15 lakh girls still out of pry school

About 15 lakh primary age girls in the country still remain out of school, speakers at a national consultation meeting on 'United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI)' said yesterday.

Call for single-stream edn system

Academicians, politicians and experts at a seminar yesterday called for a uniform standard of education in the country through introduction of a single-stream education system, which should be universal and non-discriminatory.

Warrants for arrest of 3 war criminals

A Chapainawabganj court yesterday issued warrants for arrest of three alleged war criminals in the martyred freedom fighter Haider Ali Master murder case.

'Make probe report public'

Students and academics yesterday demanded that the Jahangirnagar University (JU) authorities make public the probe report on sexual harassment by Sanwar Hossain Sunny, associate professor of Drama and Dramatics department of the university.

DMCH staff protest transfer of 35

More than hundred employees of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) yesterday laid siege to the administrative block following a mass transfer order from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Road crashes kill 4

Four people were killed and another was injured in separate road accidents in Pabna, Barisal and Dinajpur in the last two days.

Security beefed up in KCC

Security measures have been beefed up in Khulna metropolitan city area in a bid to contain different criminal activities ahead of the holy Eid.

'Free children's park from control of Ansar, VDP'

Several eminent personalities yesterday called on the authorities to take steps to free a children's park at Khilgaon in the city from the control of Ansar and VDP forces.

City Jubo League leader shot by extortionists

A city Jubo League leader and phone-fax trader was shot by extortionists at Sutrapur in the city last night.

Mohanganj declaration announced

Save the Environment Movement at a press conference yesterday announced the 'Mohanganj Declaration 2008' identifying different problems of haor (water body) areas.

Concern over 'fatwa' incidents

Samajik Protirodh Committee in a statement yesterday expressed grave concern over the recent 'fatwa' incidents in Comilla and Narail.

Detained Manzurul shifted to hospital

Detained BNP leader Manzurul Ahsan Munshi was shifted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) after suffering a mild stroke yesterday.

Awareness drive against noise pollution on

The department of environment (DoE) during an awareness drive filed cases against 14 vehicles, including bus, mini-bus and cab, and seized four vehicles in the city yesterday for creating noise pollution.

Monitor polls in neutral way

National Alliance for Election Monitoring (NAEM), a newly formed election observer, yesterday exchanged views with the Election Commission (EC) on election monitoring in the upcoming election.

AL-BNP clash leaves 25 injured in Munshiganj

At least 25 people were injured in a clash between the activists of Awami League and BNP at Nowabda Dhalikandi village under Sadar upazila in Munshiganj yesterday.

ACI money yet to be recovered

Tk 46 lakh looted from the ACI staff was not recovered till yesterday night, though three days have already elapsed.

Tk 10cr VoIP equipment seized

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and civil administration officials sized a huge quantity of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) equipment from a godown of Maim Food Products in Bogra yesterday.

Passengers stuck as bus service withdrawn

Thousands of Munshiganj-bound passengers yesterday had to face huge sufferings as a private bus service Dhaka Transport Line has withdrawn its services to Muktarpur, five kilometres away from the town.

Food shop, oil mill fined in Chittagong

A mobile court during separate drives in Chittagong yesterday fined a food shop and an oil mill Tk 70,000 for preserving food items in unhygienic condition.

Private teachers asked to draw salaries by Sept 23

Teachers and employees of private educational institutions have been requested to draw the government portions of their salaries from the head offices of Agrani and Rupali banks and local offices of Janata and Sonali banks by September 23.

Body of Bangladeshi peacekeeper arrives

The body of Bangladeshi UN Peacekeeping soldier Mainul Islam, who passed away due to a cardiac arrest at Darfur in Sudan, arrived here yesterday.

Historic Education Day today

Historic Education Day will be observed today.

Indian clothes seized in Chittagong

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) here yesterday seized Indian smuggled clothes, including sarees, worth around Tk 8 lakh and arrested two people in this connection.

8 eateries fined for food adulteration

A mobile court during separate raids in Rajshahi city yesterday fined eight hotels and restaurants Tk 40,500 on charges of selling stale and adulterated foods.

Appeal for help

Rashida Khatun, a teacher of MM Sunrise Pre-Cadet and High School at Munshipara in Satkhira, has been suffering from leukaemia, a type of blood cancer, says a press release.

National

500 MT production loss a day due to gas crisis

Jamuna Fertiliser Factory (JFF) incurs a production loss of 500 tones of urea in a day due to less supply of gas.

Passengers suffer as only 2 launches ply either way

Defying the rules and regulations for route permit issued by Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), Launch Owners' Association has continued self-imposed 'rotation system' on Barisal-Dhaka route, much to the inconvenience of passengers.

Patuakhali coasts under 3-5 feet water

Vast areas of Patuakhali district including 40 chars in Galachipa, Kalapara, Dashmina coastal upazilas have been inundated due to rain and high tide under the influence of full moon. At least 40,000 people have been affected in the areas.

Attack on community policeman for protesting irregularities

A community police personnel sustained serious injuries in an attack by musclemen of an influential as he protested illegal occupation of a public tube-well at Palita village of Khali Union in Rajoir upazila on September 11.

Tk 13 lakh missing from Baghabari Janata Bank

A team of inspectors of Janata Bank Ltd found Tk 13 lakh missing from the vault (strong room) of the bank's Baghabari branch in Shahzadpur upazila of Sirajganj district on Monday morning.

Illegal power lines to Kotwali police, outpost, club snapped

The West Zone Power Distribution Company (WZPDC) yesterday snapped illegal electricity supply lines to Barisal Kotwali police station, Natun Bazar police outpost and Police Club under Barisal Metropolitan Police.

Action against cop demanded for threat to withdraw case

A woman, claiming that she was sexually harassed by a physician, has demanded action against Sub-inspector Ahad Ali of Phultala police station in Khulna for threatening her to withdraw the case she filed against the doctor.

Fertiliser truck seized in Jhenidah

Jhenidah police recovered a truckload of fertiliser from near a filling station in the town when the truck was going to Chuadanga without valid documents.

Acid attack on couple

A couple is fighting for life at Enayetpur Khaja Yunus Ali (RA) Hospital as criminals threw acid on them following previous enmity at Goprekhy village in Shahzadpur upazila early yesterday.

Letters

STP and traffic in Dhaka

Our government has announced a 20-year Strategic Transport Plan (STP) to get rid of intolerable traffic jams in Dhaka.

Substandard foods

The sight of people relishing foods from roadside restaurants exposed to pollutants is quite common in this metropolis. It always makes me wonder how can these people take the foods so nonchalantly. Is it because they are not aware of the consequences, or just don't care, and the sight and smell of the cuisines are too tempting to resist ? It is quite evident that the conditions that prevail in these mobile restaurants are not up to the standard. Hygiene and cleanliness are apparently missing and preparing of foods is done in a shabby manner, which exposes the consumers to different health hazards.

Rebel cricketers

The Daily Star carried the story on "Rebellion in Tiger camp" in its front page on 15 September 2008. It reminded us of the traditional fear of facing new challenges (and opportunities) from outside - and the first reaction was no different from the tradition - one that in subtle words flags 'patriotism' but effectively protects the status quo, and despises (rather envies) the new movers to avail market opportunities as 'opportunists'! Unfortunately, such juxtaposition is all too common in our intellectual and media culture! Absolutely, there is no attempt to understand and explain what is going on! The sports reporter owes some obligation to the readers; and I raise some questions to him.

Bridge over Surma

The Keane Bridge, an icon of the glorious history of Sylhet-- the sacred land of great Muslim saint Hazrat Shahjalal (R)-- was constructed over the river Surma in 1936. From the very beginning, Keane bridge is known all over Bangladesh. “Thela” is part of this bridge. It is a local word; it indicates those people who help rickshaw pullers pushing their rickshaws from behind. Thela is not available on other bridges. But in this respect Keane bridge is different from others.

Street children

The real picture of the street children of Bangladesh is very pathetic. Today's child is tomorrow's future, but these children are deprived of all sorts of basic rights. They have no particular place to live in. About 5 lakh street children of our country live simply an aimless life and completely depend on others' charity. They are found begging on the street or in different public places or doing risky jobs. It is a matter of great regret that people do not care to notice them.

A cyclist's thoughts

There is no doubt that far too many people in Dhaka city, the eleventh mega city of the world, drive cars. This leads to congestion on the roads, pollution in the air and of course, a serious depletion of one the world's most precious natural resources--oil.If more people were to turn the bicycle as a means of transport, think how much more pleasant our city would be! The bicycle costs a mere fraction of the cost of cars and needs far less maintenance. They take up far less parking space and are almost silent, even when ridden at speed. They also provide people with a very healthy form of exercise. This would surely benefit the individual and the nation.

Hackers

If a Bangladeshi can hack your site in 11 hours, Pentagon and others would hack it in 11 minutes. How can you arrest them? I hope you are aware that only the exceptionally talented programmers can become successful hackers. If someone wanted to hack your site with bad intention, he was intelligent enough to hide himself from you. So, do not be complacent that you have tracked him down in 24 hours. Use him, utilise him and others like him to make your information safe.

Dealing with traffic jam

The present government and especially the law enforcers of Bangladesh are to be given their due credit for taking serious and specific steps in improving Dhaka's traffic condition.

Wasting assets

Over population is the main problem which includes Bangladesh in the category-- “third world”. Still it is blessed with many treasures and one of them is aquatic being. Fish can improve the country's economic condition as it can be easily exported to other countries. But already many kinds of fish have become extinct due to human activities. Rivers are mostly polluted by industrial effluents. As a result, many aquatic beings are affected by detoxification and finally become extinct. Laws are already there to save different species of fish but none are followed.

A young man's dream

I'm writing about the BCS. I've completed graduation from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. During that time the last political government started corrupt practices for recruiting officials in all departments. Therefore, I became hopeless and decided to go to the USA. I also got a scholarship in the year 2008. But by that time a new government had come to power. After thirty-seven years of liberation, Bangladesh wants to live again. If the people on whom the country's administration is dependent are not honest, courageous and patriotic, then development is never possible.

Mystery of fall-outs!

The newspapers are full of fall-outs and mergers in different sectors, including economic and political. Dhaka political stock exchange is hot, before the coming elections. The stands and antics of the political parties are confusing for the voters. This is the penalty we are paying for the sustained systems losses since we gained freedom and/or independence in 1971.

Awami League's politics

It is a pity that the Awami League leaders could meet and sit together with the Jamaat leaders, after being invited by Saudi Ambassador to an Iftar party. Jaamatis are, by and large, razakars, no doubt about that but how could the Awami League play a dual role in a different context and on a different pretext. Before election, the Awami League could make an alliance even with the fundamentalist groups while claiming that the party is championing the cause of secularism. How long can it play such an hypocritical role? Is this the Awami League that gave overwhelming leadership in 1971 to create an independent secular Bengali nation?

New school timings

Recently, the CA has directed all the schools in Dhaka city to start the morning shift at 07:30am just to avoid traffic jam during office hours. Well, it may attain the objective to some extent. We have to think about the consequences of such order related to the level of students, locality, availability of transport, number of children in a family, availability of school bus/van, affordability of parents etc. However, it may be a temporary arrangement and the authorities have to find some other ways to resolve the traffic jam issue.

Deduction of tax from interest

Finance ordinance, 2008 which has been given effect to from 1-7-2008, provides that any person responsible for paying any amount on account of interest of post office savings Bank A/C shall deduct tax at 10% on such amount as excludes Tk 1,50,000/- during the year. Now the post office has been realising tax for the financial year 2007-08 at 10% of the interest whatever its amount is, at each withdrawal on deposits made before 1-7-2008 in postal FD/savings A/C. The post office is of the opinion that the benefit of tax relief up to the income of Tk 1,50,000/- shall be allowed only in respect of deposits made on 1-7-2008 and afterwards. In a court order, the Shanchay Patra holders are allowed interest up to 1,50,000/- a year without deduction of tax at source in respect of all Shanchay Patras, no question about those being purchased before 1-7-2008.

Corrupt police officers

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has requested all government employees and officials to submit their wealth statement to the government (The Financial Express, 09 Sept. 08). I read this news when I was visiting Rajshahi.

A poor captain

Why is Ashraful still the captain? He has no leadership attributes. He has no sense of responsibility. He has no sense of planning. I simply cannot understand how professional cricketers forget how to play cricket and start playing like school children playing in the streets.

International

Pakistanis, Afghans must lead fight along border

Pakistan and Afghanistan must take the lead in clamping down on violent extremism stemming from their border region, Britain's Gordon Brown and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said after talks Tuesday.

Bombs kill 35 in Iraq

A suicide bomber blew herself up Monday among police officers who were celebrating the release of a comrade from US custody, killing at least 22 people, Iraqi officials said. Separate bombings in Iraq killed 13 other people.

Indian home minister ready to quit

Under attack over his handling of internal security, Home Minister Shivraj Patil has said that he will quit the post if the Congress leadership is not with him.

UN rights chief slams Afghan civilian killings

The top United Nations human rights official on Tuesday slammed growing civilian casualties in Afghanistan as new figures showed August was the deadliest month since the fall of the Taliban.

11 killed in clashes between Hamas and Gaza clan

At least 11 people were killed yesterday when Hamas-run security forces clashed with a powerful local family in Gaza City, Palestinian security officials said.

Ailing Suu Kyi accepts food rations: Myanmar

Myanmar's detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has accepted food rations for the first time in a month, an official said Tuesday, after her doctor found her so weak that he placed her on a drip.

Iran boasts its forces can control the Gulf

Iran has the power to control the Gulf as no vessel can cross the vital seaway without coming in range of its sophisticated weaponry, a top aide to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said yesterday.

Past hostilities haunt Zimbabwe power-sharing deal

Past hostilities between Zimbabwe's political rivals could make a historic power-sharing deal a worthless piece of paper if the parties allow personal grudges to persist, analysts warned yesterday.

Nato membership 'wide open' for Georgia

Nato chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer yesterday said Georgia's path to Nato membership remained "wide open" despite last month's war and warned Russia against trying to block the alliance's expansion.

Ukraine's pro-Western coalition collapses

Ukraine's governing coalition collapsed yesterday, the parliamentary speaker said, raising the prospect of the country being knocked off its pro-Western course and left leaning more towards Moscow.

Anwar insists he has enough MPs' support to form govt

Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim insists he has the numbers to form the next government. However, he did not give details of how many ruling Barisan Nasional members will cross over, or their names.

Morales gets regional support, eyes talks with Bolivia foes

Bolivia's leftist government and rebel rightwing governors were readying negotiations yesterday aimed at ending a bitter and enduring political conflict that last week blew up into deadly street violence.

Zimbabwe unity govt talks postponed

Talks to appoint ministers in Zimbabwe's new unity government were postponed to Wednesday due to "unforeseen circumstances", a spokesman for a splinter opposition party said.

Thai ruling party claims consensus on PM candidate

Thailand's ruling People's Power Party has reconciled with a renegade faction and agreed to nominate Somchai Wongsawat to become prime minister.

N Korea won't see military takeover after Kim

North Korea will not see a military takeover when its leader Kim Jong-Il dies and the power transfer will be peaceful, a top defector from the communist state was quoted as saying yesterday.

Indian protesters back at Tata plant

Tens of thousands of demonstrators staged fresh protests yesterday outside the Indian factory slated to make the world's cheapest car after claims of broken promises.

Arts & Entertainment

Birth of a song: The whole nine yards

“At an adda, my friends and I made up a song. Giasuddin Selim was there and he liked the sound. Later he told me he wanted to use the song in his upcoming film (Monpura),” says lyricist/composer/singer Kazi Krishnokoli Islam.

Novel visions by young painters

It is a good time for Bangladeshi artists, as more of them are carving a niche in the international art scene. Bangladeshi artists are now receiving international exposure and participating at various competitions. Nowadays, the scope for pursuing fine arts is much wider than ever before. Solo and group exhibitions are now a regular feature in our urban areas.

Art workshop for young Bengalis in Toronto

A month-long art workshop organised in Toronto, Canada ended recently. The "Open-air workshop" was inaugurated by eminent expatriate Bangladeshi artist (living in Spain) Shahid Kabir. Mohibul Islam, the founder of Nandonik Fine Arts in Toronto, organised the programme.

“Conversations with God”: Listening to that inner voice

A starving hobo scrabbling in garbage heaps for much needed food, humiliating rejections professionally and relationships that have fallen apart. This is the compelling story of the film Conversations with God which relates the painful saga of Neale Donald Walsch.

Tanvir Mokammel invited to India under the “Distinguished Visitors Programme”

Noted Bangladeshi filmmaker Tanvir Mokammel has been invited by the Indian Government for a 10-day India tour in October, as part of the "Distinguished Visitors Programme," says a press release.

“Neer”: Drama serial on familial issues

Drama serial Neer will be aired on ntv tonight at 9:50.

OP-ED

Ramadan: Its message for the followers of Islam

THE holy month of Ramadan comes every year with a clear message from Allah to fashion our day-to-day life as per the teachings of the holy Quran, seek forgiveness from Allah, and make a fresh vow not to tread the path forbidden by Him. In return, Allah promises to forgive all our sins and wrongdoings and offers us a place in Heaven.

Female schooling in Bangladesh

THE secondary school madrasa (known as Aliya) sector is the fastest growing education sector in Bangladesh. Apart from reasons related to economic efficiency, madrasa education has been problematic from a gender view-point, given that, historically, madrasas in South Asia have only educated boys.

A reality check on 'change'

SO far the fall campaign has majored in Sarah Palin, with a minor in the false ads launched (rarely widely aired) by John McCain. Rather than debating whether Barack Obama voted to teach sex education to kindergartners (he didn't) or called Sarah Palin a pig (he didn't), it would be nice if the central dynamic of this contest were about, say, the record and temperament of each candidate. Is that asking too much?

The great truths of life, assembled in a convenient list

HELP. I'm having an aphorism attack. Does this happen to everyone, or just me?

Star City

Backyard poultry now a thing of the past

Not so long ago, backyard poultry used to be a part of most city household.

DMP's closed-circuit camera project hangs in balance

Dhaka Metropolitan Police's (DMP) ambitious plan to bring the city streets under the scrutiny of closed-circuit cameras is yet to see any notable progress although the project was supposed to be completed over a year ago.

Five handloom fairs on to attract Eid shoppers

Dhaka city is witnessing a bustling bazaar of handloom and cottage industry products as five big exhibitions are going on to attract the Eid shoppers.


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