The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, April 18, 2014


News of: Sunday, 19th of October, 2008

Front Page

Toxic milk fear mounts as DU sticks to test result

With mothers worried and confused about what to feed their babies, the chemistry department of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday reconfirmed that the eight popular brands of powdered milk indeed contain toxic melamine.

BNP, allies wait for govt talks as time ticks away

BNP will apply for registration with the Election Commission (EC) by tomorrow, the closing date for applications.

6 Shakib wickets clip Kiwi wings

For the second day in a row, a smiling Bangladesh team marched out of the Chittagong Divisional Stadium after Shakib Al Hasan's virtuoso six-wicket haul put them in command after suffering a morning jolt against New Zealand on Day Two of the first Test yesterday.

Over 100 trees cut down; more may go

Over 100 trees on a Rokeya Sarani pavement have been chopped down for construction of Agargaon-Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue link road, though design of the road does not entail felling of the trees.

Ershad for emergency until polls over

Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad has once again said the state of emergency should continue till the December 18 national election is over.

No shift from Dec 18 election fixture

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday reassured a crowd of professional experts and politicians that the parliamentary poll will be held on the announced date of December 18.

An Asian dream come true

Asian University for Women (AUW) in Chittagong was inaugurated yesterday with Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus expressing the hope that the new university would bridge different nationalities, their cultures and values, and create new human beings who would be leaders to build societies free of all sorts of discrimination.

Diplomats must not try to dictate elections

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday asked the foreign envoys to adhere to diplomatic norms and not interfere with affairs unique to the country.

Fresh dialogue with parties soon: Adviser

The government this week will hold a fresh round of dialogue with political parties for "qualitative improvement of electoral environment and politics".

Police hunt for Mojahid

Police conducted several raids at the residence of Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid at Uttara in the capital yesterday but failed to arrest him.

Final HC hearing today on petition against EC

The High Court (HC) will hold today the final hearing on the petition challenging the Election Commission's (EC) re-demarcation of parliamentary constituencies.

Gas exploration held back for 24 years

A proposal to drill an oil and gas exploration well in Mubarakpur of Pabna-- shelved for 24 years due to bureaucratic bottlenecks -- might see light at the end of the tunnel within a couple of months.

ACC starts talks today with officials

As part of its drive to deal with institutional corruption, the Anti-Corruption Commission starts exchanging views today with the officials of different ministries and departments under them.

Madrasa students vandalise DU VC office

A group of recent madrasa graduates vandalised the office of Dhaka University (DU) Vice-chancellor (VC) Prof SMA Faiz yesterday spreading panic on the campus.

Asian women look to Ctg for their lighthouse

"I want to be a prime minister. I came to this university because its vision is to prepare world leaders and one day I hope to be the prime minister of my country."

Protests go on against removal of sculptures

Teachers and students of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday protested the removal of five sculptures of bauls in front of Zia International Airport in the face of protests by Islamist groups.

Tough agitation if polls delayed

Awami League (AL) presidium member Tofail Ahmed warned yesterday of a mass movement in the country if the parliamentary election is delayed.

UK plans tougher restrictions on immigration

Britain will impose tougher restrictions on immigration as the global financial crisis lifts unemployment to the highest rate in nearly a decade, the country's new immigration minister said yesterday.

India ready to hand over Subrata Bain

Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakraborty has said New Delhi is ready to hand over to Dhaka top listed Bangladeshi criminal Subrata Bain, now detained in Kolkata, under a swap.

China to help build 2 N-plants in Pakistan

Pakistan said yesterday that China will help it build two more nuclear power plants, offsetting Pakistani frustration over a recent nuclear deal between archrival India and the United States.

Iraqis stage mass anti-US rally

Tens of thousands of followers of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr rallied in Baghdad to protest a draft US-Iraqi security agreement.

Israelis held by disgruntled Chinese workers released

Israelis held on a small Atlantic island by Chinese construction workers angry over unpaid salaries were released yesterday after their employers agreed to pay their wages, the foreign ministry said.

Editorial

Abandoning the sculpture project

The removal of five baul sculptures, including that of Lalon Shah, from around the traffic intersection in front of Zia International Airport under threats from a group of zealots flies in the face of our commitment to age-old cultural and religious values and pride in our national heritage. There may have been genuine questions about the aesthetic deficit, flawed design or lack of proportion in the cluster of structures raised, but the real reason for which these have been ultimately pulled down is far more insidious and unacceptable than any artistic naivete or design fault. This is pure genuflection before the forces of orthodoxy topped off by some ulterior political motives that the nation needs to take guard against.

The unending crisis in Thailand

The political crisis in Thailand appears to have taken on increasingly serious overtones. Ever since the army overthrew Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006, Bangkok has gone from one governmental experiment to another, with of course the soldiers playing a clear role in the process. The fact that the judiciary at one point banned Thaksin's Thai Rak Thai party did not deter his followers from quickly forming another and romping home to victory in a new election. But that was swiftly followed by an opposition campaign aimed at toppling the new government. Eventually, it was on a technicality (the prime minister was found guilty of conflict of interest by taking part in a television culinary programme) that the courts ordered the head of government out of office. Meanwhile, Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife, having travelled to China on bail to watch the Olympics, suddenly made their way to Britain, where they have now sought political asylum.

Is capitalism on the wane?

DEVELOPING countries, particularly the least developed among them, are often torn between the promises of a capitalist society in which it is not a sin to be rich and where people like Warren Buffet who spent about $26 billion in the last eight months (Buffet just bought $5 billion perpetual preferred stock of Goldman Sachs that has a dividend of 10% and is callable at any time at a 10% premium) are worshipped and the practical realities of everyday life full of want and desire that cannot be met.

Too late for a two-state solution

I never imagined that anything that an Israeli politician could say or do would surprise me. But a few days ago, when I heard on the radio that Mr. Ehud Olmert, the soon-to be ex-prime minister of Israel had said in a farewell statement that Israel "will have to pull out from almost all the territories (in the West Bank), including in East Jerusalem, including in the Golan Heights" -- I just could not believe my own ears.

Obama is winning the debates, but the polls remain close

BY all account, Barack Obama won the third and final presidential debate against John McCain on October 15 handily. Yet, the polls continue to show a tight race.

Sports

6-shooter Shakib puts Tigers on top

After the second day's play of the first Test against New Zealand, Shakib Al Hasan took very little time to tell everyone that he is playing this game as a spinner first and then a batsman.

Chits From Chittagong

The surface did play up and it made the batsmen struggle throughout the day, reflected clearly by the 15 wickets that fell yesterday.

Anisur propels Rajshahi

Anisur Rahman slammed an unbeaten hundred to put hosts Rajshahi on top against Chittagong on the first day of the four-day Ispahani Mirzapore Tea 10th National Cricket League yesterday.

Second defeat for Bangladesh

Bangladesh suffered their second defeat in the Merdeka Cup when neighbours Myanmar handed them to a 1-0 defeat in the Group B match at Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

India corner Australia

Debutant leg-spinner Amit Mishra picked up two key wickets as India pushed Australia into a corner on the second day of the second Test here on Saturday.

Pakistanis hail Tendulkar

Pakistan cricket greats Saturday showered praise on Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar becoming Test cricket's leading run-maker, saying his feat is a matter of pride for the sub-continent.

Inter-varsity football

The 'Mentors Inter Private University Tournament 2008', organised by Auritro, kicks-off at 3pm today at the Army Stadium in the city.

McGain has shoulder op

Leg-spinner Bryce McGain, who returned home injured from Australia's current tour of India, underwent shoulder surgery Saturday, Cricket Victoria said.

All eyes on ICC

With talks between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Indian cricket League (ICL) on officially accommodating the Twenty20 league having failed, the spotlight now is on the next move by the parties concerned. The ball appears to be in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) court; it will be briefed -- before November 4, under its own stipulation -- by the Indian board on Thursday's meeting in New Delhi, and has been asked by the ICL to convene a board meeting by November 7 and decide on the issue.

Five-star Chelsea

Unbeaten Premier League leaders Chelsea defied the absence of 100 million pound of talent to run riot with a stunning 5-0 victory at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Jol won't blame anyone

Former Tottenham manager Martin Jol insists no one's to blame for the Premier League side's worst start in almost a century under his successor, Juande Ramos.

Diego eyes Argentina job

Argentina superstar Diego Maradona said on Friday he wants to succeed Alfio Basile as the national team coach and take them to the World Cup finals.

Fergie rules out England

Sir Alex Ferguson would never have considered managing England.

Hamilton snatches pole

Britain's Lewis Hamilton coolly snatched pole position in the dying seconds of qualifying on Saturday to boost his chances of sealing the Formula One world title at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Frings undecided on int'l future

Germany midfielder Torsten Frings is in no rush to make a decision over whether to continue his international career.

Ballack has foot op

Germany skipper Michael Ballack underwent surgery on his feet on Friday and could be out of action for around two weeks.

Milan open door for Beckham

AC Milan have opened the door to a possible January move for David Beckham by revealing that they would have no problem if the midfielder wished to train with them once his season with Los Angeles Galaxy comes to an end. Newspaper reports in Italy, however, have claimed the training invitation by Milan could precede a formal transfer bid.

Saturday Scores

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Arsenal 3 (Nasri 48, Van Persie 70, Walcott 90) Everton 1 (Osman 9)

Murray stuns Federer

Andy Murray took his revenge for a US Open finals loss to Roger Federer six weeks ago with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 comeback win in the semifinals of the Madrid Masters on Saturday.

Tendulkar v Lara

India's Sachin Tendulkar is celebrating breaking Brian Lara's world record for most runs in Test cricket, but he lags behind the West Indian when it comes to playing marathon innings.

Lawson couldn't care less

As Pakistan cricket undergoes its umpteenth revamp and a new Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman with new ideas and possibly personnel settles in, Geoff Lawson, Pakistan's coach, remains indifferent to the criticism directed at him after an uncertain year in charge.

'Sachin a special talent'

Former India opener Sunil Gavaskar on Saturday led a galaxy of cricketing greats in praising record-smashing Sachin Tendulkar, saying his compatriot had always been an extraordinary batsman.

Empty stands worry ICC

Concerned by dwindling spectator interest in Test matches, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday said it was looking into ways to jazz up the long version of the game.

Shoaib hearing after Oct 24

A Lahore court has postponed a hearing into Shoaib Akhtar's pending fine until October 24.

2010 World T20 Championship in Caribbean

The West Indies will host the World Twenty20 Championship in 2010, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced here on Saturday.

Business

BB wants control on non-productive credit

Worried by high growth in credit to non-productive sectors, the country's central bank in a policy shift will ask commercial banks for lending the sectors that generate employment, farm and industrial output.

Banks may suffer liquidity crunch

Banks may face a liquidity constraint due to any delay in repayments from commodity importers for loans and manufacturers may incur losses because of a freefall in inventory value.

No chance for complacency in case of prolonged crisis

Brushing aside the notion that the current global financial crisis has brought an opportunity for the country to avail of, President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Fazlul Hoq said Bangladesh cannot avoid the shock of the turmoil if it prolongs.

BB spots anomalies in bank services

A Bangladesh Bank investigation into the service quality of commercial banks has revealed irregularities.

Simplify visa for South Asia to enhance trade ties

The Truth and Accountability Commission chairman has suggested simplification of the visa system between the South Asian regions to ease transfer of goods and enhance trade.

Germany adopts 480b euro bank bailout

Germany's 480-billion-euro (650-billion-dollar) bank bailout flew through parliament in an historic fast-track vote Friday to restore shattered confidence in the crisis-ridden financial sector.

Ensure proper use of remittance

Speakers at a discussion in Tangail said on Saturday Bangladeshi expatriates from different countries have been sending remittances of about $6.4 billion a year -- an amount that promises to make the country self-sufficient.

Credit crisis brings job losses

Fallout from the financial crisis grew Friday as fresh job losses were blamed on the turmoil and bank chiefs faced a backlash, while stocks closed a tumultuous week with more wild swings.

Good to greed

As we exchanged Eid greetings, Masud Bhai, a colleague-turned consultant, recalled a past column in which I had noted the influence of Jim Collin's book, Good to Great, on Rahimafrooz. The conversation turned to the ongoing financial meltdown on Wall Street and beyond. We wondered if some of those great companies studied in the book were also victims of the meltdown. And if so what had happened?

Stocks face downtrend

Dhaka stocks fell last week amid selling pressure, especially from retail investors.

Wall Street ponders if rebound is for real

A strong rally that lifted Wall Street from last week's multiyear lows has investors pondering whether the worst is now over for the stock market battered by its worst bear market in decades.

Dollar firms

The dollar traded generally higher Friday, with anxiety about the global financial crisis overshadowing the latest grim news on the US economy.

India's central bank workers plan strike for Tuesday

Thousands of employees at India's central bank plan a nationwide walkout on Tuesday to push for better pensions in a move that threatens to throw the nation's financial system into turmoil, reports said.

Karl Marx classic 'Capital' selling well in crisis, publisher says

Whether it is simply a fashion cycle or a sign of the times, books by communist icon Karl Marx are selling well, German publisher Joern Schuetrumpf said Friday.

Russia promises state aid for crisis-hit companies

The Russian government will offer credit to companies in the agriculture, defence, energy, construction and automotive industries hit by the financial crisis, the Kremlin said on Saturday.

Pakistan central bank cuts cash ratio to inject liquidity

Pakistan's central bank moved to inject liquidity into the country's struggling financial system on Saturday by cutting the amount of cash commercial banks must hold in reserve.

China to boost its property market

Facing a housing market lull which could drag China's economy further in the backdrop of a worldwide financial crisis, Beijing is probing possibilities to loosen its macro control to activate the real estate sector.

Bush assures US economy will rebound

President George W. Bush reassured Americans Saturday about the long-term health of the economy, insisting that the United States is still "the best place in the world to start and run a business."

Weekly Currency Roundup

October 12-October 16, 2008
Local FX Market
This week, the market was a bit tight, but the US dollar was almost unchanged against the Bangladesh taka. The demand for dollar was steady.

Metropolitan

Set up land commission to protect rights of indigenous people

Speakers at a seminar yesterday demanded the government constitute a permanent land commission to protect the land rights of the indigenous people in Chittagong hill tracts and plainland areas.

Religious leaders urged to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS

The speakers at an inter-divisional dialogue here yesterday called on the religious leaders to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and anti-social activities.

Call to establish peace in Saarc region

The week-long 6th SAF Scout Friendship Camp concluded yesterday with a call for Rover Scouts to help strengthen relationship among the Saarc nations through deepening friendship and establishing peace in the region.

CJA confce ends with call for focus on climate change

The Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA) ended its conference in Malaysia yesterday with a call for focus on the impacts of climate change in its member countries.

Develop eco-friendly rice varieties

Agriculture and Water Resources Adviser CS Karim yesterday said the country needs to develop different eco-friendly rice varieties locally to meet the challenges of global climate change.

BNP special meet held amid chaos in Chittagong

A special meeting of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chittagong North District unit was held here yesterday amid chaos and scuffle between rival groups.

'E-governance can improve govt activities, curb graft'

ICT experts at the launching ceremony of a book yesterday suggested introducing electronic governance in Bangladesh as they said it would not only improve the process of the government activities but also ensure transparency and check corruption.

Husband kills wife in city

A private security guard surrendered to the police after killing his wife in the city yesterday.

Politics should be strong enough to avoid military intervention

The political culture should be more healthy and the politics should be strong enough to avoid any further military intervention in the country, said eminent political scientist and vice-chancellor of University of Development Alternative Prof Emajuddin Ahmed in the city yesterday.

BCL factions clash in Faridpur college

Ten activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League were injured in a factional clash at Government Rajendra College yesterday.

Slain teenage girl named, her daughter missing

The teenage girl whose body was found at Sat Tala slum in the city's Gulshan area on Friday was identified as Sharmin Akhter, wife of a garments accessories trader Sohel Ahmed, the police said yesterday.

Direct hajj flights from Sylhet still uncertain

Direct hajj flights from Sylhet is still uncertain as Bangladesh Biman yet to finalise its flight schedules for 1500 intending pilgrims from this region.

Three killed in road accidents

Three people were killed in separate road accidents in Jhenidah and Comilla yesterday.

Fisherman killed in Pirojpur

A young fisherman was killed by another fisherman at Sapleja village in Kaukhali upazila on Friday night.

Eid reunion of BUETAA held

The Eid reunion of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology Alumni Association (BUETAA) was held at Buet auditorium on Friday.

People won't tolerate dismantling warship 'Akram'

Bangladesh Kalyan Party Chairman Maj Gen (retd) Syed Muhammad Ibrahim yesterday said the people wouldn't tolerate dismantling the warship 'Akram', an artifact of the country's liberation war.

50 sacks of fertiliser seized

Some 50 sacks of Indian banned fertiliser were seized in Sharsha upazila on Friday.

Bring folklore department under social science faculty

Students of Folklore Department of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday submitted a memorandum to RU acting vice chancellor Prof Mamnunul Keramat demanding immediate inclusion of their department under social science faculty.

Body of Ctg mayor's daughter arrives today

The body of Fauzia Sultana Tumpa, daughter of Chittagong City Corporation Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury, will arrive in the port city today from Bangkok.

Burglar beaten to death after he stabs man to death

A suspected burglar was beaten to death after he stabbed a house owner to death at Lampur village in Sadar Dakkhin upazila early yesterday.

4 inter-district robbers held

Four inter-district robbers, who were preparing to commit robbery, were arrested at West Bhurulia in the town early yesterday.

2 drug peddlers held in Sylhet

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested two alleged drug peddlers along with 37 bottles of beer from Baram Siddiqpur village in Companyganj upazila on Friday.

Letters

Environmental degradation

The world is getting alarmingly warmer. On the other hand, all the major factors of our environment like air, water are getting polluted badly. We really do not care about our environment.

Election debate

Let me begin by saying that it gave me great pleasure reading what appeared in a front page article of your daily on 15 October 2008, “With the completion of the electoral roll with photograph, Bangladesh is now also the proud owner of the world's largest electronic database of 8.11 crore voters” this is really commendable.

Easing traffic jam

Numerous reports and letters appear almost regularly in your daily relating to frustrating traffic jams in Dhaka city and valuable time lost by commuters. One may observe that even if there are only ten cars on the road the drivers will block each other on red signal without any consideration to which way they will go on green signal. I personally believe if some common sense approach is applied and strictly implemented by the police, there is every possibility that traffic jam will be eased. There are a few basic traffic rules that should be strictly adhered to and the violators must be punished with heavy fines. First, all roads must have two lanes, one for vehicles that intend to take a left turn and another for vehicles intending to go straight or turn right. No U turns or changing lanes, even if one lane is empty, should be allowed. For buses to drop or pick up passengers a parking bay should be created at all bus stoppages. Heavy fines should be imposed for illegal parking. By the way, let illegal parking be handled by a private company as done in London.

Thoughts on cricket

The two-page report on the Round Table on Cricket covered a fairly wide range of cricket related issues. This letter reflects my opinions, related to some of the matters discussed, along with some memories from the past which were not well covered in the discussions! The last time I played cricket, was way back in the 1960s in friendly inter-project games while in Khulna Newsprint Mills, which in those days had a regular cricket pitch!

Corruption everywhere!

Congratulations to Mr. Wahid for his article (October 7th) 'The toll collectors are here', which explained to us how corruption actually works and how it can get such a grip on our society.

Callous doctors

The consumer society in Bangladesh is constantly being cheated and deprived of services due to lack of awareness and accountability. I would like to share my bitter experience of a malpractice in what I think is a violation of consumer rights. It was last Wednesday evening when I drove all the way to a hospital in Uttara to get medical care for my wife. I enquired if gynaecologists were available for consultation, paid the fee for “fast-track” service and walked my ailing wife up to the doctor's chamber hoping to get some kind of speedy service and proper care for my time and money's worth. As we approached the chamber a matron took the slip from our hands, motioned us towards an empty lounge saying, “the doctor is attending to other patients, I will call you as soon as she is done with them,” and vanished inside the doctor's room. We waited in good faith, counting the minutes as my wife shifted uncomfortably in her chair in pain. I walked up and down the lounge looking at new patients arrive, go in and come out through another chamber close by, but neither our doctor nor our matron ever materialized to deliver that “fast-track” service we paid for. When it seemed we had had enough of waiting I managed to draw the attention of the neighbouring doctor's matron and solicited her help. This brought our matron out of the room just to let us know that the doctor was still looking at patients and we had to wait further. There was something strange in her attitude which made my wife ask, “Is the doctor in her chamber at all?” To this the matron, surprisingly replied, “actually…no, she is in the ward now, but don't worry she will be right back.” I wanted to know when she would return, again came the matron's vague reply, “probably half an hour,” and looking at my face turning red in anger, quickly corrected herself, “no, maybe five to ten minutes, please wait.” I decided not to and ran downstairs and asked the guy behind the counter to cancel my slip and issue me a new one for the other doctor who was truly available. The man reluctantly looked at his computer screen and said, “Don't think I can do that, you have already made payment and the record has been saved in our system, it will be a big hassle if you want to change doctors now.” I asked how could we see the doctor when she was not in. It suddenly dawned on me that here I was talking to an accomplice because he wasn't supposed to issue me the slip in the first place. Sensing that he was close to getting into trouble, the guy hurriedly got hold of the missing doctor on telephone telling her that her patients were about to leave. An animated conversation followed and to my utter surprise I overheard that our doctor was actually not even in the premises but away in a totally different hospital!! As if this was not enough, the guy reported that the doctor wanted us to wait for “just” ten more minutes by which time she would be right back! I was appalled at the unscrupulous practice and lack of professionalism from someone in the ranks of a teacher in a medical university. What is even more appalling is that at a time when we have started to lose hope in our public hospitals, the private ones remain our last resort and if they follow suit, I guess our last vestige of hope would be gone and it would be no surprise if people rush to Bangkok, Bangalore or even Kolkata for treatment.

Population boom

I am amazed at the total lack of any concern whatsoever in Bangladesh about the menacing problem of population boom. That this menace is eating away at whatever little progress we have hitherto made does not seem to attract the attention of anyone either in the media, or the social elite, intellectuals, policy makers, think tanks, and least of all, the politicians. The discussions day in and day out revolve around elections or Hasina /Khaleda and their activities.

Unbearable…

This incident occurred a month ago. I was standing in the balcony looking at the starry sky and recalling past memories. I was brought back from my dream world by the sudden crashing sound of a car. Hearing the sound my mother came rushing to the balcony asking me what's the matter. After a long time I came to know that a sports-car hit the cart of a chotpotiwala while the car hit one of the walls. Within a few minutes the car took a reverse gear and sped away. In the meantime the people gathered around the chotpotiwala. No one bothered to take the man to hospital. Unable to bear the anger anymore I called the security guard to know what was going on there. He replied that the chotpotiwala was dead. Putting a decent suit on, I ran downstairs. One more shocking news was awaiting me. GOD BLESS ME! The chotpotiwala was the same man from whom I used to have chotpoti regularly. He was very excited as his daughter-in-law gave birth to a son. The police arrived and took his corpse away. Suddenly something caught my attention. One of his fists was tightly clutched to something. On opening his fist, I saw that it was a toy. OH DEAR! Rubbing the tears of my eyes I walked along the path of the most ruthless, arrogant and vicious country!

Asian Highway Network

A report in your daily of 12.10.08 indicates that Bangladesh is in danger of missing the right to join the Asian Highway Network (AHN) due to its inability so far to meet the deadline for signing the AHN Agreement. A direct access to this 1,41, 000 Km long transport artery across Asia up to Europe and the wide network of roads coupled to it, without the slightest doubt, is of great importance for trade, commerce and tourism in Bangladesh, no less than that of all the participating countries and beyond. Although Bangladesh by historical inheritance was one of the founding members of the Asian Highway Network, it has lost that status in the meantime by failing to sign up in 2005, and now it has a mere observer status. Bangladesh will be a total outsider if it fails to sign up the Agreement this time as well.

The citizenship issue

On 18 March 2008, Chief Adviser Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed stated at a news conference in London that Bangladeshis holding British passports would retain their Bangladeshi citizenship automatically unless one relinquishes one's allegiance to Bangladesh 'voluntarily' (The Daily Star, 24 March 2008). By doing so the Chief Adviser has provided the correct interpretation of the Bangladesh Citizenship (Temporary Provisions) Order 1972 (P.O. N. 149 of 1972) , further amended by the Ordinance No. VII of 1978 which under clause 2B states, " A citizen of Bangladesh shall not, merely by reason of being a citizen or acquiring citizenship of a state specified in or under clause (2) [i.e., any state of Europe or North America], cease to be a citizen of Bangladesh". This position of the Government of Bangladesh is accepted by a number of governments of Europe including Sweden. This was confirmed in a communication from the Director of Citizenship, Government of Sweden, on 2nd February 1989 that stated , " The legal text shall be interpreted such as that a citizen of Bangladesh who obtains citizenship of a European or a North American state can retain the Bangladeshi citizenship". Since a Bangladeshi citizen does not lose his/her Bangladeshi citizenship by acquiring the citizenship of a European state such as Sweden, the question of applying for a citizenship of Bangladesh after acquiring citizenship of a European state is irrelevant and redundant.

International

Indian PM concerned over civilians caught in Lankan conflict

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday told Sri Lanka he was deeply concerned about the "deteriorating humanitarian situation" in the war-torn island and urged it to protect Tamil civilians caught in the conflict.Singh conveyed his worries when Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse telephoned him to discuss "recent developments" in the country, the Indian leader's spokesman said in New Delhi.

Nuclear cooperation with Pakistan not on table: US

Describing the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement as "unique" which cannot be replicated elsewhere as a model, the Bush administration has made it clear that Pakistan cannot be the beneficiary of a similar deal and no such cooperation with Islamabad is on the table.

India seeks consensus on non-discriminatory nuke disarmament

Vowing to work for a world free of atomic arms, India has asked the UN General Assembly to help forge consensus on moving towards non-discriminatory universal nuclear disarmament at a time when the concept is gaining momentum.India has consistently attached highest priority to nuclear disarmament, the country's delegate Vishvjit P Singh said at the Assembly's Committee on Disarmament and International Security.

Musharraf eyeing a political career

Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf is planning a full time career in politics.

50 soldiers killed in S Russia clashes

An opposition website in southern Russia said more than 50 soldiers were killed by militias yesterday in clashes that officials told Russian news agencies had killed only two soldiers.

Effigies of Bush, Rice burnt in Baghdad mass march

Angry Shias chanted anti-US slogans and burnt effigies of American leaders at a mass rally Saturday in Baghdad called by radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who urged Iraqi lawmakers to reject a planned US-Iraq security deal.

Zimbabwe seeks foreign aid as ministry spat stalls power deal

Zimbabwe's power-sharing talks hinge on control of the home affairs ministry, state media said Saturday, as President Robert Mugabe and his rival asked neighbouring nations to help break their impasse.

McCain jumps around in bid to stop Obama

The misadventures of Joe the Plumber were just the latest stumble for Republican John McCain as he veers from one idea to another in a thus-far elusive quest to slow Barack Obama's momentum.

Obama, McCain camps trade barbs in voter fraud spat

Barack Obama's presidential campaign accused rival John McCain of using a false crusade against voter fraud to suppress legitimate votes in a growing spat over ballots ahead of the November 4 poll.

Nasa to launch probe to map solar system's edge

A small Nasa spacecraft embarks on a two-year mission today to give scientists their first view of the happenings at the edge of the solar system.

Pak MPs losing interest in joint session

The in-camera joint session of the two houses of parliament appeared to be running out of steam as only about 60 of the 440 lawmakers were in the house at one stage during the debate on the war on terror policy.

Japan wins seat at UN Security Council

Japan was elected Friday to a seat at the UN Security Council for 2009-2010, displacing a bid by Iran for a place at the head table of international diplomacy.

Jordanian king 'pessimistic' about ME peace deal

Jordan's King Abdullah II said he doubted a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal will be clinched by January 20 when President George W. Bush steps down, in an interview Saturday in Spain's El Pais daily.

Mexican drug wars intensify, killing 400 in two weeks

Almost 400 people have died in the past two weeks in an intensifying drugs war in Mexico despite a government crackdown on cartels, trafficking and related violence.

Arts & Entertainment

Lalon death anniversary observed at Chheuria

To mark the 118th death anniversary of Fakir Lalon Shah, a three-day programme was held at the Lalon Akhra at Chheuria in Kumarkhali, near Kushtia town.

A celebration of cultures in motion

A weeklong travelling photography exhibition titled "ACCU Asia-Pacific ESD Photo Message Contest: Celebration of Our Living Culture" was held recently at the National Museum.

Beauty comes in small packages

Weathered looking trunks with numberless branches and twigs. The banyan tree stands straight on moss-covered earth. Next to it is a tomal tree, and then a pakur, dumur, kamini, hijol, sheora and what not. It seems that enigma and beauty of these trees have become more intense in their miniature versions. When it comes to bonsai, beauty does seem to come in small forms.

“Shoot on Sight”

Actor Naseeruddin Shah is on a roll. Not that he has never been on a roll but the actor has three consecutive films in recent months to showcase the talent that one has always known him to have.

“Jochhna O Jananir Galpo” on BTV

Drama Serial Jochhna O Jananir Galpo will be aired tonight after the 8 pm news at on Bangladesh Television. The serial is an adaptation of Humayun Ahmed's historic fiction with the same title.

Drama serial “Shoa Paanch Arai Lane” on ATN Bangla

Drama serial Shoa Paanch Arai Lane will be aired tonight at 8:00 pm on ATN Bangla.

The new “Star Trek”

An early look at the new crew of the Enterprise and their Romulan nemesis from the summer 2009 J.J. Abrams franchise reboot:
Clockwise: USS Kelvin: Before Kirk is even born, this ship comes under Romulan attack, launching the plot for the new movie; Chris Pine as Capt. James T. Kirk; Eric Bana as the Romulan villain Nero; Zachary Quinto as Spock.

OP-ED

'JP will never form alliance with BNP'

H.M. Ershad, chairman of Jatiya Party (JP), as army chief, usurped state power in a coup d'etat on March 24, 1982, and ruled the country first as chief martial law administrator and then as president. He was compelled to resign from power in December 1990 following a mass upsurge. Later he was elected to the fifth parliament from jail and JP became the third largest party in the parliament. Rashidul Hasan and Suranjith Deabnath took his exclusive interview.

Just an election is not democracy

THERE is no denying the fact that free, fair, and credible election is essential for transition to democracy. But election by itself will not help democracy strike roots in this country unless the government and the election commission ensure that those who are going to be elected representatives of the people and who are going to wield political power to rule this country for the next five years are all men and women of impeccable credentials.

Time to re-think our 'development' paradigm?

THE world's literature on development talks overwhelmingly about economic growth. Writers Dani Rodrik and Jeffrey Sachs are well known for their liberal ideologies and pro-development bent. In "One Economics, Many Recipes," Rodrik points out the need for developing countries to shape their own policies and develop their institutions. In "The End of Poverty," Sachs talks about how the world has the capacity to bring all the countries on to the path to development, and to help the extreme poor to step on the first rung of the ladder of economic development.

Star City

Making them vocal about rights from childhood

Children of all ages gathered at Ramna Park last Thursday to launch Child Protection Movement, a national platform run exclusively by children, aiming to ensure their rights in Bangladesh.

Dream come true for many

Government employees have been enthused by the proposed multi-storey housing scheme for them as they will be able to buy those on easy instalments.

Transporters care little, still zip across streets in daytime

If you are a resident of Faridabad, then possibly your daily commuting experience is anything but pleasant thanks to the frequent presence of heavy transportation vehicles in the local streets.


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