The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, September 2, 2014


News of: Sunday, 21st of September, 2008

Front Page

JS polls on Dec 18

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed last night declared that the much anticipated ninth parliamentary election will be held on December 18 this year, and the polls to upazila parishads will be held in two phases on December 24 and 28.

BNP, allies stand against electoral reforms

BNP and its allies yesterday told the Election Commission (EC) they will not accept the new electoral provisions being implemented in the upcoming parliamentary polls.

RTI given go-ahead

The council of advisers yesterday gave final approval to the much-awaited Right to Information (RTI) Ordinance 2008 aimed at ensuring people's right to information.

Mayhem at Malibagh

At least 30 people, including seven policemen, were injured and about 40 vehicles vandalised in clashes between garment workers and the law enforcers in the city's Malibagh area yesterday.

Govt probing militant links for sometime

Investigators are now probing Hizb ut-Tahrir Bangladesh's suspected involvement or link with militancy at home and abroad following Thursday's arrest of 10 of its leaders and activists in Rajshahi.

40 killed in Pakistan car blast at hotel

At least 40 people were killed in a massive car bombing at the Marriott Hotel in the Pakistan capital Islamabad on Saturday in what appears to have been a suicide attack.

Political parties hail speech with some reservations

Hailing the announcement of election dates, political parties last night said it will help dispel confusion and doubts over holding of the long-stalled parliamentary polls.

West offers guarded reaction

The United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union have made guarded response to Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed's speech, announcing the dates for parliamentary and upazila parishad elections.

Night time gridlock in Kalyanpur

Inter-district buses are halting at counters in Kalyanpur and Shyamoli in the capital to pick up and drop passengers despite a government ban, adding to existing traffic congestion.

BSTI moves to test all registered brands

The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) yesterday collected samples of powder-milk brands available on the market to test for melamine.

Reformists left out of BNP team

Division in BNP still exists as no so-called reformist BNP leaders were included in the delegation that sat for the electoral dialogue with the Election Commission yesterday.

Minor tremor jolts Dhaka

A minor earthquake shook the capital and parts of the country yesterday evening causing panic among the people.

Dhaka condemns Pak blasts

Dhaka strongly condemned the deadly bombing of a hotel in the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad, which left at least 40 people dead.

Politics, poll process need some reforms thru' consensus

Former adviser to a caretaker government Dr Wahiduddin Mahmud yesterday said some kind of reforms should be brought into the country's politics and electoral process through a consensus among the parties before the next parliamentary elections.

Rajabazar roads lack repair, full of sewage

Rehana Akter was waiting with her two children in front of their house in West Rajabazar, hoping to be lucky enough to get a rickshaw on a road named Ahmed Khaner Goli, a part of which always remains inundated by sewage.

Money took them to Indian rebel cricket

Cricketers and cricket officials observed that money lured some Bangladeshi players to risk their careers on international and domestic circuits for the banned Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Easy loans fuel car imports

Easy car loans for officers and employees in the private sector corporate world, including banks, have considerably helped surge car imports, according to a central bank report.

Subrata Bain, Jisan groups behind killing

Detective police in a predawn raid yesterday arrested two suspected killers of garment factory owner Abdus Salam Babu from a house in Kafrul area of the capital.

Hasina to seek bail in Noor Ali case today

A petition is likely to be filed today on behalf of Awami League president Sheikh Hasina, now abroad on parole for treatment, with the High Court (HC) for bail in an extortion case filed against her by businessman Noor Ali.

Bangladesh not going back to chaos

Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman has said the caretaker government has not moved away from its goal to establish a sustainable democracy through holding a free, fair and credible election before the end of 2008.

JMB threatens to bomb Rajshahi police stations

Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) yesterday threatened to bomb police stations and check-points in the city.

SA President Mbeki set to step down

South Africa's ruling party said yesterday that President Thabo Mbeki had agreed to resign after being asked to step down, a move that could heighten turmoil in Africa's economic powerhouse.

6 cops among 50 hurt in Sylhet clash

At least 50 people, including six cops, were injured in a fierce clash between two groups of villagers at Sridhora village under Bianibazar upazila on Friday night.

Bush offers $700b in 2-yr rescue plan

President George W. Bush's administration has proposed a 700-billion-dollar bailout of the troubled financial sector over a two-year period, according to a draft proposal sent to Congress and released Saturday.

Lankan battles kill 26 rebels

Government soldiers and Tamil Tiger rebels fought a series of battles across Sri Lanka's war-ravaged northern region, killing 26 rebels and one soldier, the military said Saturday.

3 int'l soldiers, two Afghans killed in blasts

Three international soldiers and two Afghan civilians were killed yesterday when bombs struck patrols in separate incidents in Afghanistan, the international military forces said.

Thirty hurt in anti-India clashes in Kashmir

Thirty people were injured in fresh clashes in Kashmir during an anti-India protest strike that shut shops, schools and offices Saturday in the latest trouble to hit the scenic region.

Editorial

The Hizbut Tahrir issue

Everybody must have the right to practice his or her religion. But nobody can impose it on others. It is the tone of force or the tenor that concerns us and the sheer audacious manner in which some of those involved with it have been going about speaking of the objectives of the outfit.

Back with vengeance

It was the height of barbarism perpetrated on a visiting family passing the night at their brother-in-law's house at Araihazar in Narayanganj. A band of acid throwers who had come looking for Mozammel Haque with whom they had an inimical relationship hurled the lethal liquid on the parents and their infant burning them severely. So blinded by rancour, vicious with intent and hell-bent on harming people were they that who fell victims to their heinous act hardly mattered to them. Such has become the manifestly dehumanised dimension of acid throwing.

Pathways from poverty

THIS is the story of a poor-turned rich household from Shibchar village under Laksmipur district. We have picked up this household from a sample of 2010 under a Brac-backed repeated sample survey carried out in three periods: 1988, 2000, and 2007.

The perils of unfettered capitalism

NO doubt, these are difficult times for the US financial market. Convulsion after convulsion is shaking the very foundations of the system. Institutions which were until recently considered as icons of capitalism are either filing for bankruptcy or being taken over by other banks with US government guarantee or being nationalised.

Sovereignty and the rules of engagement

IN a recent report The New York Times revealed that in July this year President Bush had authorised US troops stationed in Afghanistan to carry out ground assaults in Pakistan without the permission of the Pakistani authorities. Under the new policy, the US would only have to inform the Pakistani government, but would not have to take permission.

Sports

Focus on grassroots, better attitude, competent people on board needed

Unanimously agreeing that more concentration must go to the grassroots, speakers at a roundtable organised by The Daily Star discussed several issues including the need for an efficient and professional management, better pitches, quality umpiring, exemplary leadership and contribution towards a positive attitude.

Ctg Abahani dump Reds

Chittagong Abahani extended Muktijoddha's woes in the Citycell B. League when the hosts defea-ted the Dhaka heavyweights 1-0 in yesterday's match here at the MA Aziz Stadium.

Tigers' camp for NZ series tomorrow

The national selectors are likely to announce the preliminary squad today as the camp for the home series against New Zealand starts tomorrow.

Academy's first one-dayer today

The GP-BCB National Cricket Academy team will take on Sri Lanka Academy in the first limited-overs game of a three-match series at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo today.

Ponting backs Watson

Ricky Ponting has backed Shane Watson to make his Test comeback during the upcoming series against India, and will be "surprised" if the allrounder doesn't play the opening Test in Bangalore, beginning on October 9.

All-Russian final

Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova set up an all-Russian final with crushing wins at the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament on Saturday.

Progoti, Friends bag full points

Karwan Bazar Progoti Sangha blanked Dhanmondi Club 2-0 in the Second Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Sachin pulls out of Irani Trophy

Sachin Tendulkar has pulled out of the Irani Trophy to recover from his elbow injury ahead of the Test series against Australia starting October 9.

Chopra brace sinks Boro

Sunderland striker Michael Chopra made amends for a miserable start to the season as his double-strike clinched a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough on Saturday.

City wait for success

Harry Redknapp may admit to glancing enviously at Mark Hughes' spending power but Manchester City are still waiting for their new-found riches to translate into significant success on the pitch.

El Gordo linked to City

Despite denials from Manchester City's new owners, the Brazil striker Ronaldo insists that he in talks with the club about becoming their latest signing.

Big impact by Asian Baggio

Monaco's Korean star Park Chu-young may have already made a big impact in the French top flight, but the "Asian Baggio" says he still feels like a footballing apprentice.

Helmes leads Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen's Patrick Helmes scored a hat-trick in their 4-0 home victory over Hanover 96 on Friday to shoot them to provisional second spot in the German league table.

Henry sidelined

Barcelona said Saturday they have told French striker Thierry Henry to stay at home and recover from illness as they travel to Sporting Gijon for a must-win third league match of the season.

Boca build own hotel

Argentinian side Boca Juniors will open their own 15-million-dollar hotel in 2010, the club said Friday, with rooms in the 17-floor development named after some of their most famous players, including Diego Maradona.

Scolari wants C'Ron

Luiz Felipe Scolari has lit the fuse on Chelsea's explosive Premier League showdown with Manchester United by admitting he could make a move to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.

Spain, Argentina close in on final

Spain and Argentina capitalised on their home clay court advantage to move closer to a Davis Cup final showdown after taking control of their semifinals on Friday.

SLC pleases Marvan

Sri Lanka Cricket's decision to lift the domestic ban on five of its Indian Cricket League (ICL) cricketers is a "strong message" to other national boards, according to Marvan Atapattu, the former Sri Lankan captain. Atapattu, who plays for the ICL's Delhi Giants, said the decision will lead to a situation where Sri Lankan cricketers can play for their country and choose between the unauthorised cricket league and the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Srinivasan to replace Shah

Treasurer N Srinivasan is all set to take over as the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) new secretary as incumbent Niranjan Shah steps down from the post at the September 27-28 BCCI AGM in Mumbai following the expiry of his tenure.

India approves Pakistan tour

Grappling with the postponement of the series against Australia and the Champions Trophy, the Pakistan Cricket Board received a shot in the arm after India approved the itinerary and the security plan of its tour next year.

Reefat, Nasir closer to title

Grandmaster Reefat Bin Sattar shared lead with FIDE Master Sheikh Nasir Ahmed with the final round remaining of the Destiny 2000 3rd Open Rating chess tournament.

Mixed day for Bangladesh

Bangladesh women's kabaddi team had another mixed day in the 3rd Asian Women's Kabaddi Championship in Madurai, India yesterday.

Pawar to represent Mumbai

Sharad Pawar, who is to step down as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on completion of his term at its AGM next weekend, will represent the Mumbai Cricket Association at the two-day sitting.

Inzy lashes out at ICC

Lashing out at the International Cricket Council (ICC) for being a mute spectator to Australia's "double standards" on security, former Pakistan cricket captain Inzamamul Haq said the governing body's inaction was encouraging teams to violate tour commitments at will.

Business

Global turmoil threatens RMG

Exporters fear fallout from the global financial turbulence on the local garment industry as the country's major export destinations are hit hard by the economic turmoil stemming mainly from the US subprime crisis.

Cost of office space soars high

Real-estate companies construct increasing numbers of commercial buildings to meet growing demand for office space in the capital. The high cost of office space makes business expensive.

AKTEL goes fully foreign-owned

AKTEL becomes a 100 percent foreign-owned company as Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo acquires a 30 percent local stake in the company for $350million, according to Bernama.com, Malaysia's official news agency.

NBR extends tax-returns time to Oct 31

The government has approved extension of the deadline for submission of income tax returns to October 31, a top official said yesterday.

McCain to 'gamble' away pensions as Wall St reels: Obama

Democrat Barack Obama accused his White House foe John McCain Saturday of wanting to "gamble" away Americans' life savings by privatizing Social Security at a time of crisis on the markets.

Parjatan Corpn plans massive privatisation

Bangladesh Parjaton Corporation, the state-run tourism promotional agency, will go for massive privatisation in order to provide more efficient services for tourists and to check on public money wastage as well, said its top official yesterday.

Govt urged to lower home lending rate

Speakers at a seminar here yesterday urged the government to lower bank interest rates for the housing sector.

USAID to assist potato farmers to boost exports

The USAID has recently signed an agreement with Surovi Agro Ltd, a local firm, to train up farmers for increasing potato yield and boosting its exports, according to a press statement.

NBR's hunt for rogue vehicle importers remains hazy

Investigation against rogue vehicles importers by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has remained incomplete, as the agency failed to get any clue behind a sudden influx of imported vehicles at Chittagong Seaport just before this fiscal year's budget announcement.

Great Depression memories come into play

While its details have not been formally disclosed, economists say a US government plan to rescue the financial industry described as the "mother of all bailouts" will not be a simple task and could cost up to a trillion dollars.

Does bailout show US double standards?

The United States criticised Asian economies for attempting to bail out cash-starved companies during a regional financial crisis a decade ago -- yet now throws a lifeline to its own companies ravaged by a credit crisis, a move experts say smacks of double standards.

Dhaka stocks pass bearish week

After three bullish weeks, Dhaka stocks traded mostly down last week on selling pressure, especially from retail investors ahead of Eid.

KL to resort to nuke energy by 2023

Malaysia will turn to nuclear energy to generate electricity by 2023 as supplies of fossil fuel eventually run out, a minister said according to Saturday news reports.

China challenges US on steel pipe, tyres antidumping at WTO

China said Friday it had lodged a challenge against the United States at the World Trade Organization over anti-dumping measures by the US on some steel pipes, tyres and laminated woven sacks.

Apple to replace iPhone 3G power adapters

Apple said Friday it will replace power adapters sold with its popular iPhone 3G mobile telephones because of a risk prongs will snap and cause people to be jolted by electricity.

Wall Street surges

Wall Street roared higher Friday as confidence was lifted by news of the US government's broad assault on the financial crisis including a plan to save banks drowning in toxic mortgage debt.

China recalls milk in food scare

Chinese store shelves were emptied of some of the country's most popular dairy brands Friday, as shoppers vented their fury amid a snowballing crisis over the poisoning of the nation's milk supplies.

India lifts ban on local editions of foreign news magazines

In a move to further liberalise the print media, India has withdrawn a decades-old ban on local editions of foreign news magazines but limited the ceiling of 26 percent on foreign direct investment (FDI) in such joint ventures.

HSBC says it scraps bid to buy S Korean bank

Banking giant HSBC announced Friday it has scrapped a six billion dollar deal to buy a major South Korean bank after the international credit crisis cut asset values worldwide.

GM eyes selling truck business to Japan's Isuzu

Struggling General Motors Corp. is talking to Isuzu Motors about selling its truck business, in what would mark the first Japanese takeover of a business from the US Big Three, a report said Friday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

September 14-September 18, 2008
Local FX Market
This week, there was ample liquidity in the local market, and US dollar was stable against the Bangladesh Taka. The demand for dollar was steady.

Metropolitan

Make TV-radio autonomy functional

Giving Bangladesh Television (BTV) and Bangladesh Betar autonomy will not yield any positive results if this autonomy cannot be made functional, said the speakers at a roundtable yesterday.

Maternal allowance can help reduce in mortality rate

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said maternal allowance can ensure proper healthcare facilities to poor women in the country and help create awareness among the people about healthcare services.

Focus on indigenous people's rights

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said the media should focus on the rights of indigenous people rather than only portraying their livelihoods and cultural activities.

Full text of chief adviser's speech

Following is the text of the speech of Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed

'Rampant hill cutting main reason for landslide in Chittagong'

Geologists at a seminar yesterday said rampant hill cutting is the main reason for increased landslide in and around Chittagong city.

Adopt integrated transport policy to ease gridlock

Speakers at a discussion yesterday called on the government to adopt an integrated transport policy coordinating rail, road and waterway transportation systems inside and outside Dhaka city for removing its intolerable gridlock.

Allow Obaidul Quader to go abroad for treatment

Some 101 doctors yesterday called on the government to take necessary measures immediately so that Awami League leader Obaidul Quader, who is suffering from severe health complications, can go abroad for his better treatment.

Reshuffle in police admin

Two superintendents of police (SP) were promoted to the posts of additional Deputy Inspector General (DIG) while one additional DIG and five SPs were transferred yesterday.

Call to fully implement CEDAW

Speakers at a seminar yesterday called on the government to fully implement the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to ensure women's rights.

CA's participation in UNGA to raise country's int'l profile

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said yesterday the participation of Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed at the forthcoming session of UN General Assembly will “raise Bangladesh's international profile.”

Ban Chhatra Mukti activities on DU campus

Bangladesh Chhatra Moitri (BCM), a left-leaning student organisation, demanded immediate ban on the activities of Chhatra Mukti, student front of outlawed Hizb ut-Tahrir, on the Dhaka University (DU) campus.

DU admission test form distribution begins Oct 19

The admission process for the 1st year honours courses at Dhaka University (DU) for the academic session 2008-09 will begin on October 19.

Phensidyl, liquor recovered in Comilla: 3 held

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police, in a joint raid, recovered 3,700 bottles of phensidyl and liquor from a house at Gouripur village in Daudkandi upazila yesterday.

Murad new chairman of Stamford varsity media deptt

Manzare Hassin Murad, a film personality and documentary film producer, joined as the chairman of the Department of Film and Media of Stamford University Bangladesh recently, says a press release.

Boy rescued seven hours after abduction in Ctg

The police rescued a four-year-old boy yesterday just seven hours after he was kidnapped from his home in Chittagong city.

Fish trader hacked to death

A fish trader was hacked to death at Lakhaijani village in Sadar upazila headquarters on Friday night.

CMC interns postpone work abstention

Intern doctors of Comilla Medical College, who started work abstention following Thursday's clash with local people, postponed their programme yesterday for a week.

Iftar party for underprivileged children

Dhaka Club Limited hosted an Iftar for orphans on the club premises on Friday.

Special trains, buses on Eid

Bangladesh Railway will operate seven pairs of trains while BRTC 50 additional buses everyday to facilitate the journey of homebound passengers during Eid-ul Fitr.

Three killed in road accidents

Three people were killed in separate road accidents in Satkhira, Chapainawabganj and Rajshahi in last two days.

Sheikh Jalal's anniversary of death today

Today is the 5th death anniversary of Sheikh Ahmed Jalal, a freedom fighter and diplomat, says a press release.

National

Uneasy calm in Moulvibazar BNP

Return of 'reformist' BNP leader and former finance minister M Saifur Rahman to the mainstream of the party has given rise to new speculations among the BNP leaders and activists in Moulvibazar.

Khulna BNP expels 'reformist' ex-president, ex-secretary

Convening committee of Khulna City BNP yesterday removed former president of Khulna City BNP ex-lawmaker M Nurul Islam Dadu and former general Secretary of the same committee Nazrul Islam Manju from party posts and cancelled their primary membership of the party.

Once flooded, trapped for months

Over 35,000 people are marooned in 15 villages in Gabura and Munshiganj unions in Shyamnagar upazila as the flood water that entered the areas through breaches in Kobadar at Lebubunia is not receding.

Agitation by RU 'controversial' staff for job regularisation

Some 200 'controversially appointed' fourth-class employees of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday staged a sit-in in front of the administrative building demanding regularisation of their jobs.

People are my security

City Mayor Talukder Abdul Khaleque yesterday said he would not receive any service from police for his security.

BIWTC special Eid service from Sept 25

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) will begin a special Eid service on Dhaka-Barisal route from September 25.

Month long agitation to save Nazrul Academy

A month long agitation programme was announced yesterday to save the Nazrul Academy in Sylhet from land grabbers.

Vow to work for political empowerment of women

It was a different day for women folk here as male political leaders yesterday vowed to work for political empowerment of women.

Enforce law to check violence against women

Speakers at a workshop held here yesterday stressed on proper execution of law for prevention of violence against women.

Letters

Waste disposal & public health

Our huge population is responsible for production of a large amount of wastes daily. These wastes range from household garbage, sewage, old papers, packaging materials, wood, plastic products, glass, metals to various industrial effluents such as: toxic inorganic heavy metals, organic solvents, reagents, dyes, thermal discharges, tannery disposal etc.

Our ICL warriors

In a resounding post editorial 'Rebel Warriors' on 19 September, Mr. Zafar Sobhan uttered the voice of all sensible Bangladeshis which should be read word by word several times by our cricket governors and their wailing sycophants. Mr. Sobhan categorically explains some solid points: firstly, our cricketers did not do any crime comparable a wee bit to any egregious practice like match-fixing; secondly, ICLunlike the IPLhas truly honoured our cricketers by creating a wide opportunity for them to compete as a 'Bangladeshi' team with international teams; and finally, playing or not-playing for the board has nothing to do with the issue of patriotism. Remember, ICL is at best 'unrecognised', not 'banned', by ICC. The reason is also known: ICC survives on BCCI's wealth. Come on, money talks! Whatever our BCB has done out of BCCI appeasement is laughablegiven that BCCI hasn't allowed a single Test series against Bangladesh in their soil in the last three years.

Jahangirnagar University, again!

Before settling the issue of harassment of girl students, the JU authorities have decided to violate the green environment of the JU. They have decided to cut more than 400 rare and environment-friendly trees. The reason, as reported in the media, is simply unacceptable to anybody with sound mind and heart. These beautiful trees are going to be the victim of the total mismanagement of the JU authorities.

Rights of indigenous people

This is good news that with great enthusiasm a special day is being observed for the indigenous people in our country. Over forty minor ethnic groups are living in Bangladesh for a long time. They are fighting for establishing their human rights, own culture and language related to their individual ethnic identity.

Gone with the wind?

So, finally all the promises for political and electoral regulatory reforms, corruption free society, freeing politics from musclemen and black money holders etcetera have now ended in fiasco like bursting of bubbles in the ocean. All the alleged corrupt politicians, money launderers, political musclemen, are now back in the arena due to wielding of “magic wand” and are now vying with renewed vigour to stage a comeback. It appears the country is now set to be taken over by the same people again who through their misdeeds during the last thirty years brought the nation to a virtual collapse. Autocracy and anarchy under the guise of democracy will prevail again. Imagine, how the news of a “fall” in bathroom of an under trial prisoner could lead to premeditated street vandalism by the political cadres, resulting in loss of life and property ! Vandalism by the frontline organisations of the parties in various campuses, especially in DU, has already led to clashes amongst various factions and the academic atmosphere is disrupted. The ominous sign is everywhere. All hopes and aspirations of the peace loving general public are now shattered who, in the absence of the proposed electoral reforms, now have no role to play except watching and praying for the better days ahead keeping their fingers crossed. No doubt the nation has lost the golden chance for restoration of an orderly and proper democratic administration led by the educated and honest patriotic political leadership. Now who is to be blamed for the debacle? Undoubtedly the two major political parties. Their controversial intransigent leaders put each and every kind of impediment in arriving at any sensible solution through the reform process the present administration was aiming at. While they are looking at the long term national interest, the major parties stuck to their guns of self interest only. National interest is an issue unknown to the politicians of our country. The present administration, having the overwhelming initial support in the wake of the national catastrophe created by the disgraced politicians, perhaps could take a stronger position against any unreasonable demands of the dishonest politicians. Perhaps their greatest folly was their initial misunderstanding and soft handling of the controversial politicians who tried to defy any kind of improvement in the political order of the country. Fishing in troubled water was the politicians' prime intention for survival.

Cox's Bazar

Cox's Bazar was the number one wonder of nature for many days, but recently it was dropped from the list because of alleged fake voting. It's still not clear to us why it was left out.

Internet rates

In the present era of communication, Internet is the most used medium. As the cable broadband connection is expensive, most of the subscribers prefer wireless internet services provided by the mobile operators. But it is a matter of great regret that the cost of this service is beyond the means of many subscribers, especially students. Operators are charging Tk0.02 per KB. Apparently, it seems cheap, but if we download a tiny/small file of 3MB, it costs around Tk 65. India's mobile operators are offering unlimited monthly Internet package for rupees 250 with 2mbps speed, whereas Bangladeshi operators are providing this service for Tk 800-1150 with maximum 128 kbps speed. Why should there be such a huge difference between two neighbouring countries? Why is the government reluctant to do anything in this respect?

Rickshaws and Dhaka

I do agree with the points highlighted by Mr. Sikander Ahmed on the rickshaw issue ( DS 08.09.08) and express all my sympathy for the senior citizen of the country. I personally feel his agony as I was also living at Niketon a few years back.

“A welcome move”

This refers to the editorial of Sept. 12, with the above title.

Potato seeds

Four thousand tonnes of high yielding 'Diamond' variety potato seeds will be imported from Holland by November. Growers are in a worry of price hike of seeds. Last year they had to pay very high prices which resulted in high production cost and eventually it led to price hike of potatoes. This artificial crisis was created by hoarders.

Electricity without fuel

I read a news report in a Bangla daily dated September 12, 2008 (online version).

NU website

The National University website is one of the problematic, troublesome websites in our country, especially when the results are published. Those cyber-cafe owners get the maximum benefit from it. They charge Tk 20 to 30 from students for each result seen. There is hardly a chance to see the result without the roll number, though there is an opportunity to see it college wise and department wise. National University has a huge number of students but it is not aware of the needs of the students.

Leaders

The caretaker govt. has failed to punish the top ranking political leaders for their corruption. The minus two formula has now turned into “managed two”. We don't want corrupt leaders in the political arena of Bangladesh. We need a statesman like Mahathir Muhammad.

Spirit of Ramadan

Ramadan or fasting is meant to teach the devotees patience, sacrifice, humility and encourage them to extend a helping hand to the less fortunate. Ramadan is the time to fast for the sake of Allah, pray for guidance to the right path, ask for help in refraining from everyday evils and purify ourselves through self-restraint and good deeds.

CTG in limbo

I was in a foreign capital when 9/11 occurred. I got many encouraging phones and emails from relatives and friends, that the situation has changed, the country is back to the right track and the atmosphere is congenial for normal life. Like all homesick Bengalees, I shortened my stay and returned. The army backed government of eleven educated people was running in full steam. Law and order was normal, no hartal , no agitation even the road discipline improved. The only problem the government faced was slowing down of economic activities. We took it as the teething period and hoped for improvement in no time. The government reformed some public institutions like ACC, PSC and EC. Many corrupt businessmen and politicians were detained and harrowing stories of corruption were unearthed. Even a state minister in charge of the home ministry was reported to have hushed up a murder case in lieu of crores of taka. Stacked up money was recovered from most unlikely places like mattresses/pillows.

Teaching in school

Our secondary education system is poor compared to the developed countries and our students do not get enough care from our so-called school teachers. When I was studying in high school, I saw that our school teachers were not serious enough while teaching. They had no responsibility for our academic results. They did not teach well in school. But they were so much responsible and attentive to their own students who attended coaching classes at the teachers' homes . Because it was a source of their extra income. The students who could not attend such classes were deprived of good teaching.

“Tomakei kujchhe Bangladesh”

“Tomakei kujchhe Bangladesh” is one of the popular talent hunt programmes which is telecast by ntv. Getting inspiration from ntv, some other channels are going to launch this type of programmes. My question is, is it an appropriate title? “Tomakei kujchhe Bangladesh” (Bangladesh is looking for you).

International

US-Pak accord on border strikes soon: Brown

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown voiced opposition Friday to US strikes against Islamic militants in Pakistan but said the two sides were close to reaching a deal on the issue.

Suicide bomber hits Pak convoy: 6 killed

A suicide bomber attacked a Pakistani military convoy near the Afghan border yesterday, killing two soldiers and four civilians, the military said.

Six Afghan civilians, one coalition soldier killed

Six Afghan civilians and an international soldier were killed in extremist-linked unrest in Afghanistan as President Hamid Karzai called Friday for all sides to respect "Peace Day" this weekend.

Indian PM to take tough line in talks with Pakistani leader

In the wake of the serial bomb blasts in the Capital New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is expected to take a 'tough stand' when he meets Pakistan President, Asif Ali Zardari, in New York next week.

Russia rejects fresh UN measures against Iran

Russia said yesterday it had rejected US proposals for new UN Security Council measures against Iran over its suspect nuclear programme amid deteriorating ties between Moscow and Washington.

Obama, McCain point fingers as crisis swirls

The White House contenders played the blame game Saturday as the US government readied an astronomically expensive rescue package to avert disaster on Wall Street.

Brown battling for survival at Labour conference

Gordon Brown faces the fight of his life at the Labour Party conference opening Saturday to squash a revolt, which could topple him and prove he can lead Britain through global economic turmoil.

Palestinians despairing of independence effort

Prominent Palestinians are lighting a fire under Israel's feet by proposing a peace in which there would be no separate Palestine and Israel, but a single state with equal rights for all.

al-Qaeda threatens more attacks in new video

al-Qaeda threatened major new attacks in Afghanistan and vowed to keep fighting in Iraq even after Americans leave, in a new video to mark the anniversary of the Sep. 11 attacks.

Gates warns Europe over de-militarisation

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates warned Europe Friday that it had gone too far in de-militarising and should rebuild its defences at a time of uncertainty over Russia's intentions.

Fumes kill 15 trying to steal fuel in India

Fifteen people trying to steal fuel from a freight train died yesterday in northeastern India when they were overcome by toxic fumes, railway officials said.

Indian Hindu leader held for church attacks

Police in southern India have arrested a senior leader of a right-wing Hindu group in connection with attacks on Christian churches and prayer halls last weekend, an official said Saturday.

India floods, rain kill 23

Thousands were evacuated and at least seven people swept away in eastern Orissa state after four rivers burst their banks and inundated scores of villages, officials said Saturday.

Blair's sister-in-law leaves Gaza

Lauren Booth, the sister-in-law of former British prime minister Tony Blair, left the Gaza Strip on Saturday nearly a month after sailing in to protest an Israeli blockade of the territory.

Thai flooding kills 14

Floods in Thailand have killed 14 people and sickened more than 53,000 others, including many who contracted waterborne ailments after wading through floodwaters, the government said Saturday.

Arts & Entertainment

Rangamaton Solaiman Mela

Theatre enthusiasts gathered at the National Theatre Stage on September 19, Shilpakala Academy, on September 19 to celebrate the daylong Rangamaton Solaiman Mela organised by Theatrewala, a little magazine on theatre.

Shefaly: A nightingale from the hills

Growing up in Baghaichhari, in the hilly district Rangamati, Shefaly did not have many who appreciated her passion for music. Yet the talented singer emerged as one of the best 35 contestants on the mega-popular talent hunt Close Up 1 this year.

Film on Sonia Gandhi to see the light of day

A feature film loosely based on the life of Sonia Gandhi, the chief of India's ruling Congress party, is set for release after its makers won a two-year court battle against the censor board.

Prachyanat premiers “Kinu Kaharer Thetar”

Prachyanat now brings its 15th production titled Kinu Kaharer Thetar on stage. The premiere of the play was staged at the experimental theatre hall at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on August 18.

“Banglalink Banglar Pothey” on Channel i

Banglalink Banglar Pothey, a reality travel show, will be aired tonight at 9:35 pm on Channel i. The aim of the show is to present different districts of our country along with its history, natural beauty, culture and other interesting aspects. The audience gets a glimpse of different districts of the country without actually going there.

Cannes winner submitted for Oscar

The Class, winner of the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Festival, has been named as France's official entry for the 2009 foreign language film Oscar.

OP-ED

The parley between the two ladies

Hat's off to the endless energy of the military-backed caretaker government of Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed. After carrying out one after another futile exercise with politics -- minus two, king's party, national government, government of national unity, political reform, to name a few -- they seem to have still enough energy to undertake some more. They are now planning to have the two ladies, Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia, sit face to face and sort out the things. I wish them all success.

So, another Eid is approaching

We have seen over the last many years a mad rush of people making beelines to rail or bus stations or to river ports for their journey home to celebrate Eid with their near and dear ones. The number of transports available was far short of the requirement. This forced the people to find entry to the transports even through windows, as the doors were too crowded to find a passage to their designated places -- sometimes only to find an unauthorised occupant.

All in the family

Thailand has a new prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat -- the brother-in-law of the ousted premier, Thaksin Shinawatra, who is currently in exile in England. But while the new PM's election ends days of uncertainty, it will not resolve the political crisis that has gripped the country for the past few weeks.

Pakistan on the brink

For the past seven years the Bush administration studiously ignored the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda leadership gathering in the tribal areas of Pakistan, and now scrambles to make up for lost time.

Star City

Dec 15 deadline likely to meet some hurdles

The Bijoy Sarani-Tejgaon link road is unlikely to be completed by December although the government has set December 15 as deadline to complete the project.

Fruits too pricey this Ramadan

Prices of fruits this Ramadan have gone beyond the buying capacity of the common men although most fasting Muslims love to see fruits at iftar.

Massive drive against honking of horns after Eid

On a fine morning last week, uniformed law enforcing officers equipped with signs, leaflets and stickers with 'no unnecessary honking' slogans took over city streets.


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