The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, July 25, 2014


News of: Sunday, 28th of September, 2008

Front Page

Party registration process hits snag

The Election Commission's (EC) efforts to ensure registration of the political parties before the December 18 polls have run into difficulties with Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) of the BNP-led alliance opposing some of the criteria.

Pay Tk 30, buy a pound of acid

Acids are sold freely at the city's Tantibazar, only a quarter of a kilometre away from Deputy Commissioner's (DC) office which is responsible for controlling production, transport, storage, usage and sale of acids.

Govt urged to finalise Tk 560cr MRP project

With only 18 months left for Bangladesh to meet an international deadline, the Department of Immigration and Passport has recently requested the government to immediately finalise the five-year project for switching over to machine-readable passports (MRP) and visas.

No new gas lines in N-districts for 'crisis’

Pashchimanchal Gas Company Ltd (PGCL) is not giving any new connection in Bogra, Pabna and Sirajganj for the last nine months showing gas and pipe 'crisis' and Petrobangla 'directives'.

Obama, McCain spar over Iraq war, taxes

In a faceoff that returned again and again to judgment, John McCain portrayed himself as a battle-tested elder running against a naive rookie, while Barack Obama suggested the Republican is a hothead who made the wrong choices on the Iraq war, corporate taxes and more.

Bomb blast in Delhi market: Two dead

A bomb blast at a crowded flower market in South Delhi yesterday afternoon killed a 13-year-old boy and an unidentified 60-year-old man and injured 17 others, seven of them seriously.

Khaleda to start party activities from new office after Eid

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said she would sit in her new office at Banani after Eid to formally resume party activities.

Bangladesh may lead int'l stabilising force for Somalia

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said Bangladesh may become the lead country of the proposed international stabilising force for Somalia.

Hasina to file bail petitions in 2 graft cases tomorrow

Two separate petitions will be submitted to the High Court (HC) tomorrow (Monday) for bail in favour of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, now abroad on parole, in the Niko and barge-mounted power plant corruption cases filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

Obaidul Qader barred from going abroad

Awami League (AL) Joint Secretary General Obaidul Qader was barred by immigration officials at the Zia International Airport (ZIA) yesterday from leaving the country for India for medical treatment.

Lailatul Qadr observed

Muslims across the country observed the holy Lailatul Qadr last night.

Rejoinder, our reply

In response to a report titled 'Illegal branches of university bid to attract admission seekers despite ban' published by The Daily Star on September 20, three educational institutes claimed that the news has affected their reputation.

Eid food items dearer in city markets

The prices of chicken, beef, mutton, sugar, vermicelli, onions and edible oil have risen further in the city kitchen markets ahead of Eid.

Probe complete, recommendation to press charges against Khaleda

The investigation report of Zia Orphanage Trust graft case has been submitted to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) with recommendation of pressing charges against former prime minister Khaleda Zia, her eldest son Tarique Rahman and five others.

Natore Sugar Mill MD killed in road crash

The managing director (MD) of Natore Sugar Mill and his jeep driver were killed yesterday in a head-on collision between the jeep and a bus on Dhaka-Tangail highway at Basail in Tangail.

Ex-Ansar member shot dead by robbers

A gang of robbers shot a former Ansar member dead after entering his house at early hours yesterday at city's Uttar Khan area.

Balcony of worn out Bihari camp bldg collapses

The balcony of a four-storey dilapidated building at Wapda Bihari camp in Mirpur-11 collapsed yesterday morning trapping around 40 members of five families in the building for several hours.

AL starts work to amend party constitution

The Awami League (AL) has started its work to amend the party constitution and is expected to get the amendment approved by a meeting of its working committee to be held after AL President Sheikh Hasina returns home.

11-party for total lifting of emergency

The 11-party alliance yesterday demanded complete withdrawal of ban on political activities and implementation of the Representation of the People Ordinance (RPO) to prevent communal and corrupt people from contesting the election.

Home adviser hospitalised

Home Adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin was admitted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka last night after he fell sick.

Foreigner 'raped' in Cox's Bazar rest house

A foreigner was allegedly raped at a guesthouse of Kalatoli beach in Cox's Bazar.

Lankan military kills 63 in airstrikes, battles

A wave of gunbattles, artillery attacks and airstrikes across northern Sri Lanka killed 60 Tamil Tiger rebels and three soldiers, the military said yesterday.

Pak tribesmen vow to fight US 'until the last soul'

Toting rocket launchers and Kalashnikovs, the bearded tribesmen say they back the Pakistani government -- yet pledge they will fight to the death against US incursions on their soil.

First Chinese space walk

A Chinese astronaut completed a space walk Saturday, state television said, as the Asian power became the third nation to perform the feat after the United States and the former Soviet Union.

Paul Newman passes away

Paul Newman, the Academy-Award winning superstar who personified cool as the anti-hero of such films as ''Hud,'' ''Cool Hand Luke'' and ''The Color of Money'' -- and as an activist, race car driver and popcorn impresario -- has died. He was 83.

Editorial

Theatrics about Hasina-Khaleda talks

MUCH talk has lately been going on about the projected meeting, or the need for a meeting, between Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia. On the one hand, there is the clear feeling that the chiefs of the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party should get down to one on one discussions. On the other, much theatrics has come into the entire matter, especially since Barrister Rafiqul Huq in off the cuff remarks said that the two leaders should talk directly to each other and that he was trying to bring them together. Huq's acceptability to both sides attracted public attention and generated a good deal of interest.

Lailat-ul-Qadr

THE Holy Prophet (PBUH) has enjoined upon us to seek Lail-at-ul Qadr, Night of Power, in the last ten nights of Ramadan and says that he who spends the Night in worship, with a pure motive of faith and devotion, will have all his past sins forgiven.

Whither rural non-farm activities?

QUITE a number of scholars have dwelt on the role of the rural non-farm activities (RNFA) in greasing growth and reducing poverty in rural areas. The most recent empirical evidence also points to a preponderant growth of RNFA throughout Asian rural areas. It has been revealed that RNFA constitute one-fifth to one-fourth of household income and account for 20-40 percent of rural employment generation. More important than this, they are bracketed as a beacon in the rural livelihoods.

Can a political party be banned?

THE definition of a political party from the time of Edmund Burke as "an organised assembly of men united for working together for the national interest" has changed over time to one that may not accept members from a minority community and insists on establishing khilafat. Indeed, the head of the Hizb ut Tahrir (Bangladesh) publicly announced: "We always want to oust all governments in all Muslim countries in the world to establish khilafat states."

The one-state solution

IN a recent report, Peace Now (an Israeli NGO) revealed that since President George W. Bush convened the Annapolis peace talks last October, the number of construction tenders issued in East Jerusalem has increased by a factor of 38 compared to the previous year. Since 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza, and especially since the Madrid peace negotiations of 1993, Israel has built almost 13 new neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, which is now home to more than a quarter million Israelis -- almost the same number as Palestinians allowed to reside within the city.

Sports

Amazing Alfaz

Seasoned striker Alfaz Ahmed celebrated his national call-up with a hattrick as Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra thrashed Khulna Abahani 5-0 in the Citycell B. League at the Banga-bandhu National Stadium yesterday.

It only amuses Greg!

Former India coach Greg Chappell, who is now Australia's assistant coach, said he was "amused" by concerns that he would share inside information about the Indian team with Australia.

Vaughan not touring India

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have confirmed that Michael Vaughan won't be selected for the Test series in India, the squad for which will be announced on Monday.

Kris first paid selector

Kris Srikkanth, the former India opener, will head India's first-ever paid national selection committee which will be officially appointed during the two-day annual general body meeting starting in Mumbai on Sunday. In another significant development, a new post -- vice-chairman of the IPL -- has been created to accommodate Niranjan Shah, the outgoing secretary of the board.

Manohar new BCCI chief

India's newly-appointed national selectors, the first set to be paid by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), will be on a four-year contract which will be reviewed annually, according to Shashank Manohar, the board's new president. Manohar was confirmed as Sharad Pawar's successor at the annual general meeting in Mumbai, while Kris Srikkanth was appointed the new chairman of the selection panel.

Katich left high & dry

Simon Katich top-scored with 73 as the Australians were all out for 218 in a two-day practice match against a local side here on Saturday.

SL squad declared

Sri Lanka Saturday named a 15-member squad Saturday for the inaugural four-nation Twenty20 tournament to be played in Toronto next month.

Kaka wants consistency

AC Milan's world player of the year Kaka says a victory over Italian champions Inter Milan in Sunday's city derby would be great but it is consistency that his team needs the most.

Hughes looks to Robinho

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes is backing 32.5-million-pound striker Robinho to help banish the hangover from an embarrassing midweek trip to Brighton.

Torres double lifts L'pool

Fernando Torres's double was enough to secure Liverpool a 2-0 victory over neighbours Everton and move Rafael Benitez's side to the head of the Premier League table after the Merseyside derby was marred by yet another dismissal.

Henry set for Barca exit?

Unsettled Barcelona striker Thierry Henry was on Saturday tipped by the Spanish media for a winter return to the English Premier League.

Football's most fertile week

On September 22 1976 a great footballer was born in Rio.

Spurs draw Liverpool

League Cup holders Tottenham were handed an intriguing tie against Liverpool in Saturday's fourth round draw which will see Ireland captain Robbie Keane return to face his former side.

Saturday Scores

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Aston Villa 2 (Young 18, Carew 33) Sunderland 1 (Cisse 10)

Given doubts Kinnear

Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given has questioned Joe Kinnear's appointment as the new interim manager at the troubled Premier League club.

Schalke lose to Cologne

German first division leaders Schalke 04 went down 1-0 away to Cologne on Friday, but retained top spot in the Bundesliga.

Sneijder set for return

Dutch international midfielder Wesley Sneijder is set to return to play for Spanish champions Real Madrid after recovering from a left knee injury, the club announced on Friday.

Kirsten backs Dravid

Rahul Dravid came for the Irani Cup here with a cloud of uncertainty hovering over his future but the under-pressure middle order batsman returns with some runs under his belt and, more importantly, the backing of both India captain Anil Kumble and coach Gary Kirsten.

'Migraine, not temper'

Delhi captain Virender Sehwag returned home midway through the Irani Cup owing to migraine and not because of any resentment, a senior team official said.

Durham's maiden title

Callum Thorp produced the bowling performance of his career, and Steve Harmison overcame a fractured left wrist to scythe through the tail, as Durham marched towards their first County Championship title with a thumping innings-and-71-run victory against Kent at Canterbury. The celebrations had to be put on hold for a while, as their only remaining rivals, Nottinghamshire, were set a massive and improbable 442 for victory against Hampshire, but at 3.57pm, Nottinghamshire's challenge officially petered out, and an historic achievement could be formally recognised.

Djokovic-Tsonga showdown

Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will face off on Sunday in a repeat of their Australian Open final seven months ago after both advanced in at the Thailand Open.

Bhajji sinks Delhi

The challenge facing Delhi on the fourth day -- they needed 265 runs with seven wickets in hand -- was always going to stretch them, and their batsmen, with the exception of Gautam Gambhir, caved without a fight. They were bowled out within the first session: Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh exploited the cracks in the pitch to pick up seven wickets, and Rest of India won the Irani Cup for the 21st time by 187 runs in Vadodara.

Jankovic, Roddick in finals

Andy Roddick was forced to dig deep to beat his unfancied opponent in his China Open semifinal Saturday as women's top seed Jelena Jankovic continued her march towards the title.

Massa pips Hamilton to pole

Ferrari's Felipe Massa stormed to pole position for the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix Saturday, topping the times during qualifying ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

Stanford blocked from arbitration

Digicel, the main sponsors of West Indies cricket, has refused to allow Stanford to participate in the legal action the telecommunications company has brought against the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) in relation to the Stanford Super Series. A Stanford media release said "Digicel claims that to permit Stanford 20/20 such access would 'disrupt' the arbitration" which is set to begin on October 3 in the High Court in London.

Putin throws birthday bash for Advocaat

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin threw a special birthday bash at his country retreat for Zenit St Petersburg coach Dick Advocaat on Saturday.

Business

Local investment plans spike

Domestic investment proposals, both in terms of numbers and volume, are set to surpass all records this year although foreign investment has witnessed a broad decline, Board of Investment (BoI) officials said.

Seagull plans Tk600cr hotel in Teknaf

Seagull Hotels Ltd, the owning company of five-star Seagull Hotel in Cox's Bazar, is going to set up another five-star hotel in Teknaf, a southern resort and coastal area, 500 kilometres away from Dhaka.

United takes off Barisal route today

Private airline United Airways is set to open its fifth domestic route flying to Barisal today.

Yunus spells out lessons for bankers

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus has said philanthropy has to change from a system where people receive charity to one where they learn how to empower themselves.

WaMu collapse stokes market jitters

The collapse of Washington Mutual, the nation's biggest bank failure ever, and the sale of its assets to JPMorgan Chase highlighted the deep troubles of the sector amid a fast-moving US financial crisis.

$2.05b remittance in Q1

Bangladesh expatriates sent US$ 2054.64 million home during the first quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal.

ACCU calls for efforts to help development

The 2008 forum of the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU) came to a close yesterday, says a press statement.

World Tourism Day observed

The World Tourism Day was observed in the country as elsewhere in the globe yesterday in a befitting manner.

US storm sucks in 'little guy'

The biggest US bank to fail in history still promised dreams Friday. All clients demanded was to know whether they still had any money.

Measuring network readiness

The World Economic Forum based in Geneva over the past few years has consistently ranked Bangladesh in the bottom quintile of around 130 countries in network readiness. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), the watchdog for the telecoms industry, estimates internet penetration rate at around nothing-to-cheer-about 0.5 percent. Despite dismal prognostications, it is nothing short of amazing that three telecom consortia last week agreed to plunk down more than $30 million each to obtain licences to roll out WiMax network services across the country.

Stocks pass bullish week

Dhaka stocks passed a bullish week amid buying spree of investors ahead of a nine-day Eid vacation.

Asian stocks fall on US bailout

Asian stock markets fell Friday as lawmakers in the US were gridlocked on a 700-billion-dollar rescue plan for the US financial system despite earlier hopes that a deal was near.

High inflation a bigger worry than global crisis: IMF

The International Monetary Fund has called on emerging economies like the Philippines to continue efforts to curb inflation and not be distracted by the ongoing global financial crisis.

HSBC to cut 1,100 jobs worldwide

Banking giant HSBC is to cut 1,100 jobs worldwide because of the volatile global financial environment, a spokesman said Friday.

Dollar weaker

The dollar dipped against the other main currencies Friday as traders awaited the fate of a a huge financial rescue package aimed at stabilizing the global finance sector and economy.

Oil prices fall amid uncertainty over US financial bailout

Oil prices fell Friday amid uncertainty over the fate of a proposed US government bank bailout mired in wrangling between the White House and Congress.

Fortis battles liquidity concerns

Belgian-Dutch financial group Fortis battled Friday to dispel liquidity concerns hammering its shares, insisting there was "not a single chance" of failure as it replaced its chief executive.

Bradford & Bingley may be nationalised

British mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley, which has been hit by a housing downturn and weakness in the wider economy, may be nationalised, newspapers reported Saturday.

Whistle blows for German rail privatisation

Germany's rail operator announced the timetable Friday for its long-awaited stock market listing next month, one of the biggest in Europe in 2008, despite a "tense" situation on financial markets.

Weekly Currency Roundup

September 21-September 25, 2008
Local FX Market
This week, there was ample liquidity in the local market, and US dollar fell slightly against the Bangladesh Taka. The demand for dollar was steady.

Metropolitan

Nepal to discuss transit issues with India

Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda on Friday said Nepal has no problem with Bangladesh and the countries have friendship for a long time.

When everybody wants to go home, they opt otherwise

Perching on the edge of a raised platform outside the Kamalapur Railway Station in the capital yesterday, they wore the same expression -- a kind of vacant look on their faces.

Education summit in Nov to formulate nat'l policy

Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said an education summit will be held in November in the city to formulate a national education policy.

Persuade political parties not to nominate 'unwanted' persons

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said Bangladesh would face a serious setback in future, if the next elections are not held fairly and acceptable to all.

Measures to be taken to improve quality of life

Both Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia will take measures to improve the quality of life of Bangladeshi workers and promote their welfare.

Integrated education policy a must for pvt universities

University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Prof Nazrul Islam yesterday said the commission cannot guide private universities in the country due to lack of an integrated education policy.

'Fair elections under emergency impossible'

The leaders of Left Democratic Alliance at a press conference yesterday said the military-backed government is trying to legalise their wrongdoings by holding the national elections under the state of emergency.

'Hasina's permanent release demanded'

The leaders of Bangladesh Awami Ainjibi Parishad demanded permanent release of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina and withdrawal of all cases against her.

APUB against new private university ordinance

Members of the Association of Private Universities of Bangladesh (APUB) yesterday strongly protested the government move, saying some of the rules in the proposed private university ordinance-2008 will change the basic structures of the universities.

Low over Bay moves northwards

The well-marked low formed over the north-west Bay off Bangladesh-West Bengal coast moved northwards inland and lay over the southwestern parts of Bangladesh encompassing Barisal, Patuakhali, Madaripur and Khulna.

AL to return to power thru' Dec 18 polls

Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil yesterday said his party will return to power with people's mandate in the parliament elections slated for December 18.

Hasina's 61st anniversary of birth today

Today is the 61st birth anniversary of former prime minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina.

'Stop process to lease offshore blocks to foreign co'

A total of 128 teachers of different universities yesterday urged the government to stop the process of leasing offshore blocks to foreign companies terming it 'anti-people, unconstitutional and illegal'.

One killed in crossfire with police in Bogra

A man was killed in 'crossfire' between a gang of robbers and the police at Teghari village in Nandigram in the early hours of yesterday.

Puja mandap shifted from Gulshan ground to Banani

The Puja Udjapan Committee yesterday agreed to shift the venue of puja mandap from Gulshan ground to Banani ground at Kemal Ataturk Avenue in the city after a meeting with the authorities concerned.

Removal of PSC chairman demanded

The unsuccessful candidates of the 27th BCS examinations have demanded immediate removal of PSC Chairman Prof Saadat Hussain putting a question on the legality of the second phase results of the exams.

CPB protests price hike of electricity

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) yesterday protested the decision of increasing price of electricity.

'Refrain from smoking in public places'

Pratyasha, an anti-drug club, and WBB Trust organised a campaign at Sadarghat launch terminal yesterday with a view to creating awareness about Tobacco Control Act.

4 killed in Faridpur road crash

Four people were killed and 25 others injured in a road accident on Dhaka-Khulna highway at Salildia under Bhanga upazila in the district yesterday.

Running car catches fire in city

A running private car caught fire at Dhanmondi in the city yesterday.

RMG workers demand arrear salaries, Eid bonus by today

National Alliance for Protection of Garments Workers and Industries formed a human chain at Topkhana Road in the city yesterday demanding payment of arrear salaries along with Eid bonus by today, says a press release.

New CID cell to arrest extortionists

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police opened a new cell to arrest extortionists.

'Pay arrears, Eid bonus to RMG workers'

The leaders of Revolutionary Garments Workers Solidarity yesterday demanded payment of arrears, salary, overtime bills including Eid bonus of the garments workers before September 29, says a press release.

49 freed from Comilla jail ahead of Eid

Some 49 prisoners were freed yesterday from Comilla Central Jail ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr under government general amnesty.

Cop informant shot in city

An informant of police was injured by shot of criminals at Motijheel in the city yesterday.

One electrocuted in Netrakona

A man was killed and four others were injured as they came in touch with live electric wires at Kusirgao village under Mohonganj upazila in the district yesterday.

Suspected arms dealer held with arms in city

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a suspected arms dealer at Phulbaria Nagar plaza under Kotwali Police Station in the city yesterday.

Moyez Uddin's anniversary of death observed

The 24th death anniversary of former Awami League (AL) leader and lawmaker Shaheed Moyez Uddin was observed in the city yesterday, says a press release.

Chinese citizen electrocuted

A Chinese citizen was electrocuted yesterday morning while working in Radiant Pharmaceutical at BSCIC in Tongi.

Result to enroll as advocate published

A total of 1886 candidates out of 4771 have successfully passed in the written and viva-voce examination held on August 30 and September 6 to 21 respectively in the Bar Council to enroll their names as advocate.

Qulkhwani

Qulkhwani of Dr Fasihuddin Mahtab, former minister and general secretary of Bangladesh Diabetic Association will be held at Banani central mosque after Johr prayers today.

National

2 lakh farmer families outside post-flood rehabilitation programme in 3 N districts

The Agriculture Extension Department (AED) is yet to take any initiative to rehabilitate more than 2 lakh flood-affected farmer families in Bogra, Gaibanda and Kurigram districts.

Kulaura BNP removes party chief's adviser Mufazzal, ex-MP Shahin

Kulaura upazila BNP has adopted a resolution to 'remove' AH Mofazzal Karim, BNP chairperson's adviser and a 'reformist' leader of the party, and MM Shahin, former lawmaker from the party.

'A few clauses of Right to Information Act need change'

Speakers at a discussion in Barisal yesterday said a few flawed clauses are to be changed if Right to Information (RTI) Act is to ensure people's right to know and good governance.

Forces deployed at markets, risky points in Khulna

The commissioner of Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP) has issued an order to deploy forces at all 62 shopping centres and other vulnerable points in order to intensify their drive against criminals.

RCC concillors demand removal of DB AC for assaulting colleague

Forty councillors of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) yesterday formed a human chain in front of RCC building demanding immediate resignation of Detective Branch (DB) of police Assistant Commissioner (AC) Mahafuzur Rahman, accused of assaulting Shahadat Ali Shahu, a councillor of ward No 17, on Thursday night.

'Unconstitutional' meet cancelled

Amidst protest from the life members of Satkhira Red Crescent Society, the officials of the organisation finally postponed the general meeting convened by its ad hoc committee scheduled on September 25.

Jute workers bid to snap road-rail links foiled

Police foiled a bid of workers of seven state-owned jute mills of Khulna-Jessore industrial belt yesterday to snap road and rail communications to and from Khulna.

Plying of small water vessels stopped on 76 Barisal routes

Operation of ML type water transports which are less than 65 feet in length were stopped along 76 routes in Barisal region due to bad weather condition since Tuesday last.

Tk 3.75 lakh cash, valuables looted in Rajshahi

A gang of criminals looted money in cash, gold ornament, cell phone sets and other valuables worth about Tk 3.75 lakh from a house at Hetemkha in Rajshahi city yesterday.

3 held for extortion

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested three transport workers including a transport leader when they were realising illegal toll from passenger buses at Mirzapur bus stand yesterday.

Letters

South Asia in trouble

Lately, the noise and disorder levels in South Asian countries have risen, especially in the countries forming the former British India-- India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka. It is curious to note that this could hardly be a coincidence. If there is a blueprint behind in the background, one would not be surprised.

Dhaka Warriors in ICL

The recent drama with the cricketers and the BCB officials regarding ICL is creating a huge controversy. I have got mixed feelings about the whole issue as I see strong points both in favour and against these players. I will try to share my points of view and concerns which are solely my personal opinion. I don't expect everyone or anyone to agree with me; I am just trying to bring a different perspective into the issue:

Polythene coming back

It is matter of great concern that the polythene bags have staged a comeback after a gap of six years. Thanks to the strict measures taken by the authorities, the production, supply and consumption of these bags were brought to a minimum level. Consequently, the environment became a bit cleaner. But of late the situation has taken a turn for the worse .

Hizbut Tahrir protests

We note with grave concern that The Daily Star, in its issue of Sunday, 21 September 2008, carried a misleading editorial regarding Hizbut Tahrir Bangladesh. The editorial is baseless and clearly motivated. On behalf of Hizbut Tahrir, we register our protest at the editorial. The following is our response to some of the comments made in the editorial in question.

Acid throwing

On 16 September another barbaric incident of acid throwing took place. This time the victims were a two-year-old infant Ashiqur and his mother. The baby was seriously and the mother was partly burnt. It was utterly shocking news.

Fuel prices

When fuel price was higher in the global market, the govt. increased the price to reduce its subsidy. And we are the worst sufferers. Our monthly income or salary was not raised. Now in the global market fuel prices have gone down to 97-100 $.

Load shedding during Iftar

It is no better a government than its predecessors. The CTG was supposed to set examples of capability and efficiency and clean out all corrupt practices! Now it seems that they need cleaning up badly; while we head on towards God knows where. Living behind the Gulshan First Market, our power is shed regularly without fail for the last fortnight promptly at 6:00p.m., and comes back when they wish. We break our fast and offer namaz in total darkness! This Iftar time blackout for us is religiously sustained by DESA. For the rest of the day, power availability is at the mercy of the power distribution centre. Continuous power, an essential service, has now become a scarce rationed item that brings back childhood memories of rationing in wartime Calcutta in the early 1940s! Even then, however, except during air raids, power was always there!

Health policy

Very recently I read an article on '' updated health policy ''by Farhad Mazhar. We are surprised by the fact that the task force has been sent to DG Health office and at the same time health policy has been updated in favour of multinational companies. Very confusing steps. There was no discussion with conscious citizens. I watch all the channels of TV including BTV. Why this confidentiality? We are also not against privatisation in a controlled way. But preserving the rights of mass people is very important.

Crackdown on Hizbut Tahrir

The crackdown on Hizbut Tahrir has apparently proved the fact that many militant outfits are still active in Bangladesh, which can be a potential threat to our sovereignty in the future if they are not nipped in the bud at the earliest possible time. Regrettably, three of the men arrested were 'respectable university teachers', who are supposed to be our ideal role models. We should carefully underscore the fact that these people have the scope and ability to influence the youth and they are capable of persuading them to adopt their destructive principles. It's also perplexing to wonder how such an extremist group was allowed to exist in our progressive political milieu, even after so many fatal terrorist attacks that virtually shook the foundation of our national security. Similarly, I don't understand why in a democratic nation this fundamentalist group should be allowed to hold a press conference and permitted to announce an audacious ultimatum that demanded the release of their detained associates within the next 48 hours, who were actually convicted of drawing the foundational blueprints of multidimensional terrorist activities. Don't we have any standard codes of law and order in this country? It really doesn't matter what enlightened principles these 'overexcited' people are adhering to. The 'means' they have chosen to achieve their objectives should be viewed as absolutely unacceptable in this liberal era of democratisation.

Enforcement of traffic rules

Too often we hear complaints of insufficient laws and rules which contribute to the chaos and nightmare on the roads of Bangladesh in general and Dhaka in particular. I would rather contend that whatever rules we have are not enforced, resulting in the arrogant attitude of drivers and owners. I have driven in the US for over 14 years and 9 years on the streets of Bangladesh. I have been ticketed in the US for changing lanes too abruptly and for driving above the speed limit. However, the streets of Dhaka are more like jungles of Africa, where hordes of animals roam the plain freely, than the streets of a modern city, where traffic laws would rule the roads and courtesy should rule the hearts of the drivers. Being ticketed for changing lanes without signal is a joke. Instead of writing a long article on what is wrong and how to fix it, which would probably end up being a 10-chapter book, I list five violations for the police to look at...let's start somewhere...

Flood affected people

Although the rainy season is a blessing for us but it is not so all the time, particularly when floods occur. At present, many places and roads have gone under water due to floods. Many people have already lost their homes, cattle and crops.

Hypocrisy

How can we relate sociology , politics, religion and economics to each other? I am a bit puzzled.

Undue favour

To favour a student illegally is one kind of corruption. Every student should be judged on his or her performance, what he or she achieved in the exams or any other evaluating task. Of course judgment should not go over the essentials.

Education

Today parents are spending more time and money for their children's education. Even in a village a farmer is found sending his children to nearby school or any educational institution. This is a positive and pleasant picture in Bangladesh.

A failed mission?

Has our caretaker government headed by Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed failed in its mission?

Only Two?

I wrote a letter titled, “Back to square one” that was published in The Daily Star on 9 July, 2008.

International

28 die in latest northwest Pakistan offensive

Pakistan's security forces pounded militant positions near strategic areas in a tribal region bordering Afghanistan, killing 25 suspected insurgents in a new round of a military offensive that also left three troops dead, officials said.

US seeks to ease tension with Pakistan

Chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff Admiral Michael Mullen Friday sought to ease tensions with Pakistan after an incident on the Afghan-Pakistan border, urging calm cooperation.

Furious spinning on TV after McCain-Obama presidential debate

It was hard to tell if there were more disagreements voiced during the presidential debate between John McCain and Barack Obama or after it on television.

Obama passes presidential threshold in first debate

Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain landed a knockout blow in their first presidential debate late Friday, but the youthful Democrat may have just scored a points victory by standing his own.

Car bomb kills 17 in Syria

A car packed with explosives detonated on a crowded residential street yesterday, killing 17 people and wounding more than a dozen others, state-run television reported.

Six powers agree to confirm existing UN Iran sanctions

Six major powers papered over differences on Iran Friday and circulated a new Security Council draft resolution that reaffirms existing UN sanctions over Tehran's nuclear programme.

Pakistan, US close to accord on neutralising militant groups

Pakistan and the US are close to reaching "a wider understanding" on how to neutralise militant groups and leaders like Lashker-e Toiba founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Jaiseh-e Mohammed's Maulana Masood Azhar who had been protected by the "secret establishment" here.

High level UN talks set to grapple with Myanmar issue

Ministers from UN Security Council permanent member states and mostly Asian nations are to hold their first meeting yesterday aimed at pushing for reforms in military-ruled Myanmar.

Britain voices worry over Lanka battle

Britain voiced deep concern Friday about the situation in Sri Lanka, where government forces have advanced to the outskirts of the northern Tamil Tiger rebel capital.

150 kidnapped Afghan labourers freed

Taliban militants on Saturday released the last of approximately 150 Afghan labourers they had abducted for almost a week after suspecting the workers of being Afghan soldiers, officials said.

ME Quartet is pro-Israel

The Islamist Hamas movement on Saturday denounced statements made in New York by the Middle East Quartet, claiming the diplomatic group is biased towards Israel.

Koirala slams Prachanda for undermining Nepali democracy

Nepal's former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala today accused the Maoist leadership of hatching a conspiracy to end parliamentary democracy in the country.

'I yelled, Bush smiled', says Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday thanked US President George W. Bush for freeing his country from the Taliban for improving the quality of life -- and for weathering bouts of yelling.

India joins Japan in renewed push for UN reform

India joined Japan on Friday in calling for more determined efforts to reform the United Nations as the two Asian powers pitched for permanent seats in the Security Council.

Obama vows to 'take out' terror targets in Pakistan

Democratic White House contender Barack Obama said Friday he would launch military strikes on extremist targets inside Pakistan if the Islamabad government is unwilling or unable to act.

Hospital deaths of 40 newborns shocks Turkey

Outside the Zekai Tahir Burak maternity hospital stands a bronze statue of a mother nursing a baby with an inscription from the Prophet Mohammed: "Paradise lies at the feet of the mother."

Arts & Entertainment

The rage that’s costume jewellery

If our women had their way, they would deck themselves from their forehead to their toes. With Eid around the corner, the Dhaka malls, such as Rapa, Anam, Orchid and Muscat Plaza, are out with their ware of trinkets and jewellery that will easily delight the feminine eye. These contain bangles of all shapes and sizes, wrought in gold metal and decked with imitation pearls, rubies, amethysts and emeralds. They are made to match with clothes and are within the budget. They look real and are designed with bells and flowers. Coloured glass bangles are there too and often they are imported. These too come in a wide range of scintillating shades. The necklaces and earrings, even the ones at Hallmark and Archie's, are irresistibly delightful.

Handloom fabrics of Rangamati: Prospects and shortfalls

The handloom industry in the Rangamati Hill District is a welcome employment opportunity for unemployed young females and underprivileged women, particularly the indigenous womenfolk.

A legacy of unparalleled work

Lata Mangeshkar, the greatest Indian songstress of all time, turns 80 today (September 28). Like a flash of lightening, she illuminated a musical world on the verge of change in 1949 and it has never been the same since.

Art competition to generate awareness against bird hunting

Eleven year-old Athay detests hunting birds. Athay took part in an art competition where he was asked to depict his anti-bird hunting attitude. The young boy portrayed a courtroom where a bird hunter with some of his preys in hand is on the dock for trail.

“A Matter of Love” on Channel i

Telefilm "A Matter of Love" will be aired on Channel i at 10:30 am on the third day of Eid.

“Bhalobeshe Dhonyo Koro” on ntv

TV play Bhalobeshe Dhonyo Koro, featuring Tinni, Hillol, Nasim and Simla, will be aired on ntv on the fourth day of Eid at 9:30 am. The play is based on a story by Askar Ibne Shaikh. The script is by Mujtaba Soud. Sadek Siddiqui has directed the play.

OP-ED

Lailat-ul-Qadr

WE celebrate Lailat ul-Qadr on the auspicious night of 27th Ramadhan. But nobody knows definitely when the Great Revelation came down to the benighted world through the agency of the angelic host, representing the Mercy of Allah. The Night has been variously fixed as the 3rd, 12th, 21st, 25th, 27th or the 29th of Ramadhan. It is probably one of the last three. Ibn Hambal reported that Ibn Omar had narrated a Hadith in which the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "Whoever seeks the Night, let him seek it on the 27th."

Falling leaves

ON my way back home from work I am always stuck up in snarling traffic. The vendors try to make a living out of it. During the dying hours of Ramadan they sell mineral water. These nimble-footed briskly moving vendors generally sell popcorn. They also sell lemons, roses, fried peanuts in little packets, picture books, maps, and even dolls. I am deeply attracted by the urgency with which they sell their items. Sometimes I wonder how much they make out of it! I like their zest for living against great odds. I wish Bangladesh could catch this commercial spirit.

Mahalaya

COME September, and Hindus all over the world get enthused in festive fervour. Come Mahalaya and Bengalis get busy to complete the final preparations for their greatest festival -- Durga Puja.

Colon health, dating and surviving an evening with a zombie

MEN and women read different books. And most people can tell immediately from a book's title which sex it is for.

Star City

Sutibhola resurrected

Turning Sutibhola canal of Badda into its original state by Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) to facilitate city's circular waterways and storm water discharge is expected to be complete by mid October.

'Unblinking eyes' to keep watch on prisoners, hooligans

A sophisticated system of video surveillance is likely to be installed at the Dhaka Judge's Court to closely observe the activities of prisoners.

Fresh notes still remain the hottest Eid selami

Abidur Rahman, a resident of Tajmahal Road in Mohammadpur, stood in a queue for about two hours at a commercial bank in Karwan Bazar on Thursday. Apart from drawing money for Eid shopping, he went through extra hassle gladly to have new taka bills exchanging old and soiled notes worth around Tk 500.


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