The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, October 20, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 29th of October, 2008

Front Page

DCs told to be totally neutral

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday censured deputy commissioners (DCs) for their 'roles in past elections', and asked them to work with complete neutrality for the December 18 parliamentary poll.

8 'toxic' milk brands pulled off shelves

Law enforcers and mobile courts seized a huge amount of banned powdered milk of different brands from stores in the capital and elsewhere in the country yesterday and collected Tk 2.31 lakh in fines for displaying and selling those.

Militant patrons stay safe for lax law

Despite repeated pledges made by the interim government early last year to punish the masterminds and patrons of outlawed Islamist militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), no effective measures have been taken so far.

Many malpractices to be put to rest

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said the use of translucent ballot boxes in the upcoming general election will prevent many of the past electoral malpractices.

Reshmi takes its toll on crops

Incessant rains and gales brought on by Cyclone Reshmi have destroyed vast swathes of crops and vegetables in southern districts including Barisal and Patuakhali.

Menon for bidding confrontation bye

Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon has said the next government should uphold the democratic character of politics, shunning its confrontational nature.

Submission deadline now Nov 6

The government has again extended the deadline for submitting income tax return up to November 6 from October 31.

Implement 7-point demand before November 2

The BNP-led four-party alliance yesterday called on the government to implement their seven-point demand, including lifting of the emergency rules before announcing election schedule on November 2.

CG lenient with Jamaat-Shibir in enforcing EPR, says AL

Awami League (AL) leaders yesterday blamed the caretaker government for 'leniently' applying emergency power rules for Jamaat-Shibir and communal forces.

HC bench did not refuse to hear petitions

Advocate Habibul Islam Bhuiyan and barrister Abdur Razzaq, two senior lawyers of the Supreme Court, in a statement yesterday said the High Court (HC) bench comprising Justice Md Muzammel Hossain and Justice Afzal Hossain Ahmed had not refused to hear the petitions filed by five former ministers and one state minister for quashing the proceedings of Barapukuria coalmine case filed against them.

EC accepts objections

The Election Commission (EC) has accepted the objections formally raised by different quarters against Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami's possible registration as a parliamentary political party with the commission.

Nobel laureate Ernst for finding own solutions to local problems

Visiting Nobel laureate Prof Richard R Ernst has preferred local solutions to local problems, using the talent and intelligence of Bangladeshi people.

One shot dead, two wounded in city

Gunmen shot dead one and injured two employees of a transport company at its office in the city's Wari area last night.

Govt role favoured extremism

Further delay by the caretaker government regarding reinstallation of sculptures of bauls removed recently from the airport area would only confirm the government's patronisation of extremist politics in the country, speakers at a discussion said yesterday.

No trace yet of abducted Brac officials

Frustration grips the families of two Brac officials abducted in Ghazni province of Afghanistan on Thursday as their whereabouts are still unknown.

Go for nuke power to tackle outage

The government should immediately go for nuclear power to mitigate acute power crisis, which is hindering the country's economic growth, said speakers at a dialogue yesterday.

Shahid Nagar goes under water with a little rain

Residents of Shahid Nagar in the city's Lalbagh area suffer waterlogging even in light rains as drains there are choked with garbage and can hardly carry away rainwater.

Constituency re-demarcation a must after every census

The Election Commission's (EC) counsel Advocate Mahmudul Islam yesterday told the High Court (HC) that the commission is constrained to delimit the parliamentary constituencies for the next parliamentary polls as per the constitutional rules.

Tigers make it a match

Bangladesh turned the 'two-day' second and final Test against New Zealand into a contest after losing three unnecessary wickets late yesterday.

Charges framed against Mayor Mohiuddin

A court here yesterday framed charges against Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury in a tax evasion case.

5 cops asked to appear in court for assaulting shooter Asif

A Dhaka court has summoned five police personnel to appear before it on February 4 next year in connection with the assault of three shooters, including Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Asif Hossain Khan, on October 2, 2006.

Confusion about 2 ex-PMs' poll contesting over

Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said “confusion over polls participation of former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina is gone”.

Mufti Hannan remanded in abduction case

A Dhaka court yesterday placed Harkatul Jihad (Huji) chief Mufti Abdul Hannan on a two-day remand in a case filed for kidnapping a physician in the capital's Mirpur in September 2003.

SUST bans students' demo on campus

The syndicate of Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST) has slapped a ban on demonstrations on the university campus until December 4.

15 hurt by land grabbers during eviction drive

At least 15 people including a photojournalist and 13 officials of Narayanganj municipality were injured in an attack by land grabbers during an eviction drive on Mir Jumla Road in Narayanganj yesterday.

US poll race enters nail-biting final week

Two white supremacists have been arrested for threatening to kill Barack Obama in a chilling twist revealed by officials as the race for the White House headed for its final seven days.

1 billion people to go hungry next year

Rising food prices will push the number of hungry people in the world over one billion next year, a UN expert warns.

Syria closes US centre after raid

Syria decided yesterday to close the US cultural centre and the American school in Damascus after a deadly US raid on a village near the Iraqi border, the state news agency SANA reported.

Editorial

Well on the way to election

We are heartened by Khaleda Zia's enthusiasm and her desire to participate in the forthcoming election something that she has asserted very definitively to the media the other day. This is a positive indication by itself. We are sure that such a disposition holds true in the case of Sheikh Hasina as well.

Cyclone Reshmi aftermath

Cyclone Reshmi has come and gone. It is now time to assess the damage it has caused in parts of coastal areas of the country. The picture is clear. A very large swathe of the coastal region has taken the brunt of the cyclone, with the result that as much as 30 per cent of the harvest has been destroyed there. Besides, hundreds of thatched huts have been battered, several lives have been lost and a number of fishermen have gone missing. In Chandpur, 630 hectares of vegetables have been ruined. Overall, therefore, the picture is one of devastation. What must now be done is for relief to be provided to the affected people in order for them to get back to a state of normalcy.

Where are all the scholar-teachers gone?

MADRASA students aspiring to admission at Dhaka University have thrown down the gauntlet. They have demanded that the university relax its stringent admission rules in order for them to be accommodated in some significant departments of the university. And they have made sure that their demand is not trifled with. In the presence of the vice- chancellor of the university, they have vandalised his office and so have hinted at the kind of future they mean to shape for education in this country.

India enters the space race

PRIDE and patriotism swept India October, 22, after the successful launch of an unmanned mission to the moon for the first time.

What if Pakistan does default?

DEFAULT is a dreaded likelihood. BoP crunch worries the government and the media. One concurs, and regards the situation as dangerous. A naughty thought arises though: What precisely will happen if indeed the dreaded meltdown happens? Who will gain and who will lose? Since the future of the economy is everybody's concern let's find out what precisely will happen.

Sports

Kiwis make a fist of it

The Sher-e-Bangla National stadium was bathed in brilliant sunshine yesterday as play in the second Test between Bangladesh and New Zealand got underway after three frustrating days of wash-outs.

Kumble back for India

Fit-again Anil Kumble will be back to lead India in the crucial third Test against Australia on Wednesday with the tourists bolstered by the return of fast bowler Stuart Clark.

Return for Rokibul, Nazmul

Fit-again Rokibul Hasan and Nazmul Hossain were recalled when the national selectors announced a 15-member squad for a Twenty20 international and three one-day internationals in South Africa.

3 more for Challenge Cup

Alfaz Ahmed has been given another chance to return to the national fold when the ace striker was included in the preliminary squad for Bangladesh's trip to Myanmar.

Stanford sees Tests safe

Allen Stanford says Test cricket can continue to survive alongside the newer Twenty20 format.

Allen's antics with English WAGs

Matt Prior did not appear to be suffering from whatever was causing the rest of his teammates to drop catches, but no one would have blamed the England wicketkeeper if he had spilt a chance after looking up at the giant screen to see his pregnant wife sitting on the knee of a middle-aged billionaire.

ECB invites Windies

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has invited West Indies to replace Sri Lanka in a tour of England next April and May for a Test series and one-day internationals.

Kop can afford to dream

Liverpool fans may not know whether to laugh or cry now that former captain turned football pundit Alan Hansen has said this season represents the best chance for their first title since 1990.

Top of the table clash

What should be an intriguing top of the table clash at the Stadio Artemio Franchi between Fiorentina and Inter Milan on Wednesday is being overshadowed by the spectre of fairplay.

Top three is Bayern's goal

After climbing up from 11th to 5th in the Bundesliga last weekend, defending champions Bayern Munich aim to break into the top three when they travel to face struggling Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday.

Hands-off from Moratti

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti said on Monday that he would not be drawn into interfering in relationships between coach Jose Mourinho and the club's players.

ACL to be revamped

The AFC Champions League received a huge boost Tuesday with prize money for next season's revamped tournament massively increased to 14 million dollars.

Third round finally begins

Play finally started in all three venues in the third round of the National Cricket League yesterday.

Oram injury not serious

Injury-prone New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram expressed relief Tuesday after being cleared of any serious back injury following his early return from the Bangladesh tour.

Ronaldinho, Flamini out

AC Milan pair Ronaldinho and Mathieu Flamini are out of the club's Wednesday night match against Siena at the San Siro, the team's doctor said Monday.

Goals not the sole judge

Cristiano Ronaldo insists he should not be judged by how many goals he scores as Manchester United prepare to take on West Ham at Old Trafford.

Gilardino gets two-match ban

Fiorentina are to appeal the two match ban handed out to Italian international striker Alberto Gilardino for the goal he scored with his forearm in his side's 3-1 victory over Serie A rivals Palermo on Sunday.

Identical wins for BIT, Aga Khan

Five-goal Lubaba inspired BIT to inflict a massive 8-0 defeat on Green Herald in the Dhaka Metropolitan Women's School football tournament at the Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex yesterday.

Municipality ride on Rubel

Rubel slammed a hattrick to help Tangail Municipality brush aside Modhupur Adivasi Ekadash 4-1 in the inaugural match of the Shouhardo Cup football tournament here at the Tangail Stadium yesterday.

IBAIS-IUBAT final tomorrow

IBAIS defeated Northern University 3-1 to set a clash against IUBAT in tomorrow's final of the mentors' Inter-private University football tournament.

Amol cruises to last 16

Top-seeded Amol Roy moved into the Round of 16 in the Cox's Bazar Open Tennis beating Murad Hossain 6-3, 6-3.

Business

Exporters see silver lining

Garment exporters and major buyers say the global economic crisis will not affect Bangladesh's readymade garment sector as it exports mainly basic products.

Consumer law violators to face jail

The much-awaited consumers' rights protection law has come into effect with the provision of Tk 2 lakh in fine or three years in jail or both for traders adulterating food and medicine or cheating people by any means.

Highspeed teams up with Japan firm

Highspeed Group has signed an agreement with Japan's Mitsui OSK Lines, known as MOL, to start direct shipping business in Bangladesh from January next.

BB may pick S&P, Moody for sovereign rating

The central bank is at the final stage to hire two international credit rating agencies -- Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service to conduct a credit rating for Bangladesh.

ICB seeks to manage EEF

The Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) is keen to manage the Equity and Entrepreneurship Fund (EEF), as the government wants to separate the EEF management from the central bank.

Bangladesh can cash in on global crisis

The current global economic crisis may be a blessing for Bangladesh, said British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Stephen Evans yesterday.

Search for new export avenues suggested

Bangladesh needs to diversify exports and explore new markets to offset the current global economic recession, said Debapriya Bhattacharya, ambassador and permanent representative of the Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN office and WTO in Geneva yesterday.

Rural electrification strategy should fall in line with urban's

The rural electrification strategy should be in line with that of urban to keep the country's economic growth steady, experts said yesterday.

Citibank honours online banking clients

Citibank NA yesterday held a programme to honour the clients of its online banking services as part of the celebration of winning the Best Corporate/Institutional Internet Bank Award in Bangladesh for 2008.

PRICE, WorldFish partner to raise shrimp yields

The USAID-funded Poverty Reduction by Increasing the Competitiveness of Enterprises (PRICE) Project and the WorldFish Centre has recently completed a partnership agreement to raise shrimp farm yields for the benefit of the entire shrimp sector, says a press statement.

Timepieces stand test of time

Ranjana Fatema is deep in thought as she ponders over what to give her cousin as a wedding gift. She realises that gold ornaments would be too expensive for her, especially after a spike in world gold prices.

World turmoil may spur Islamic finance

The fast growing Sharia financial system may receive a further boost as an alternative to capitalism amid the credit crunch and banking crisis, Islamic academics and clerics believe.

Biz Letters

We need to thrive globally
In this world of globalisation, the survivability of a nation is only possible if the commerce of that nation thrives well in other countries. A nation cannot expect to grow economically if it only thinks of its local market alone. A nation like Bangladesh, for instance, must never think that the economy of the nation will grow if only it has a strong domestic economic system. Our economy is thriving but in order to thrive beyond one's own imagination we must move on and thrive strongly in other nations.

Stocks return from slump

After a two-day slump, Dhaka stocks bounced back yesterday after the market regulator's warning that it would not support any attempt to "destabilise" the market with forced sell-offs.

Oil prices firm after striking 17-month lows

Oil prices firmed on Tuesday but were not far from recent 17-month low points amid concern that a global economic slowdown would significantly weaken the world's appetite for energy, analysts said.

Dutch insurer Aegon gets 3b euro cash injection

The Dutch state gave a three-billion-euro (3.75-billion-dollar) cash boost to insurer Aegon on Tuesday in the latest bid to shield a financial institution from the world financial crisis.

Nissan's Ghosn warns worst to come in economic crisis

The head of the Renault-Nissan automaker group on Tuesday warned that the worst of the global financial crisis was yet to come, saying it could last into 2010.

One million Thai workers risk losing jobs in 2009

One million Thai workers are at risk of losing their jobs next year because of a sharp fall in export orders, the Federation of Thai Industries said Tuesday.

Tougher entry rules will not deter migrants: UN official

Moves by countries to block the entry of foreign workers in response to the global economic crisis will not succeed, the UN's top advisor on migration issues said Tuesday.

Market turmoil pushes Japan's Nomura deep into red

Japan's top broker Nomura Holdings posted a large loss Tuesday because of turmoil in world markets and warned that it could suffer further due to exposure to Iceland's financial meltdown.

Iceland seeks aid from ECB

Iceland jacked up its key interest rate to 18 percent and announced a request for help from the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve in twin moves on Tuesday to stave off national bankruptcy.

Metropolitan

Implement RTI to ensure good governance

Speakers at a discussion yesterday called for proper implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Ordinance, saying that it will take the country a step forward towards ensuring good governance.

Integrated water management a must to address waterlogging

Speakers at a discussion yesterday stressed the need for setting up an integrated water management project to avert water-related hazards, including waterlogging problem.

Nation marching towards holding Dec 18 election

President Iajuddin Ahmed said yesterday that the whole nation is marching towards holding general election scheduled for December 18.

Inspectors frequent visit to slums may help achieve target

Speakers at a dialogue yesterday underscored the need for frequent visit of sanitary inspectors in the concerned areas and increasing associations of target people to make the sanitation programme a success by 2010, a timeframe declared by the government.

'Introduce e-Krishi for dev of agri sector'

Experts at a workshop yesterday stressed the need for introducing e-Krishi for the development of the country's agriculture sector.

Process of changes on following institutional reforms: CA

Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the process of changes is going on in Bangladesh following institutional reforms undertaken by the present caretaker government.

5 killed in road accidents

Five people were killed and 31 others injured in separate road accidents in Noakhali, Netrakona, Chandpur and Khagrachhari yesterday.

Court acquits 10 cadres of 'Allahar Dal' in Chuadanga

A court yesterday acquitted 10 cadres of 'Allahar Dal' of the charges in a case filed against them for their alleged involvement in destructive activities and conspiracy against the government.

B Chy for national consensus govt

Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh President Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury yesterday emphasised forming a national consensus government to curb corruption and terrorism in the country.

Call to work together to end domestic violence

Speakers at a meeting yesterday called on all to work together to turn the campaign to end domestic violence into a social movement by carrying out the campaign across the country.

Dengue diagnosis possible in a day

A Bangladesh-born immunologist yesterday claimed that he has developed the most effective tool for early diagnosis of dengue infection that results in high fever from mosquito bites in tropical countries.

Two JMB men get 10 years

A Bogra court yesterday sentenced two leaders of banned Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to 10 years' imprisonment for possessing explosives and bomb-making materials.

UK to issue ID card for foreign nationals

The UK border agency will begin issuing compulsory ID cards from November 25 to nationals of countries outside the European Economic Area who apply to remain in the UK either as students or on the basis of marriage or partnership.

Badsha, 15 others acquitted

A Rajshahi court yesterday acquitted Workers' Party leader Fazle Hossain Badsha and 15 others of charges of violence in a case filed by the police in 2002.

Proceedings against Bulu stayed for 3 months

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for three months the proceedings against former commerce adviser Barkat Ullah Bulu in a tax evasion case filed by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) against him.

Ex-BNP MP Moni, his brother sent to jail

Former BNP lawmaker Nurul Islam Moni and his younger brother Saiful Islam Jamal, also a BNP leader, were sent to jail after they surrendered to a Barguna court yesterday.

Police foil 'court arrest' of BCS exam candidates

The police yesterday intercepted a procession of unsuccessful candidates of the 27th BCS examinations in front of the Institute of Fine Art of Dhaka University (DU) when they were marching towards Shahbagh Police Station to court arrest.

Saudi help for Sidr-hit people

Saudi Arabia will provide Tk 9,06,40,000 to the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management to support its rehabilitation activities for cyclone Sidr-affected people, says a press release.

Train-truck collision leaves 6 injured in city

A collision between a train and a cement-laden truck at Sayadabad level crossing in the city left six people injured last night.

NU pro-VC removed on charges of irregularities

Prof Syed Rashidul Hasan, pro-vice chancellor and treasurer of National University (NU) was removed from his post yesterday for his alleged involvement in irregularities.

Outlawed party leader killed in mob beating

A regional leader of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-ML) was killed in a mob beating at Bhalaipur village under Sadar upazila in Chuadanga on Monday night.

DU student expelled temporarily

A student of Dhaka University (DU) has been expelled temporarily for misconduct with a teacher.

Six firearms seized in Ctg

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized five firearms from coastal Banshkhali upazila in Chittagong yesterday.

Poet Talim's 90th birth anniversary today

Today is the 90th birth anniversary of poet Talim Hossain, says a press release.

Holy Cross College Science festival begins tomorrow

A three-day Pran Fruto-Holy Cross Inter College Science Festival 2008 will begin tomorrow at the college premises at Farmgate in the city.

National

Pricey cow milk contaminated as melamine scare spreads

Melamine contamination in a few popular foreign brands of powdered milk has made the panicked parents of babies to buy cow milk from the open market, making it pricier in northern districts.

BNP stronghold in Tangail weakens as 4 bigwigs not in scene

Participation of four former BNP ministers from Tangail is still uncertain as they are either in jail or virtually inactive since declaration of emergency, political circles said.

Widow demands security, trial of husband's killers

A widow with her baby is moving door-to-door demanding security of life and trial of her husband's killers at Baoikhola village in Raiganj upazila of Sirajganj district.

'Birshrestha Hamidur Rahman is pride of the nation'

Speakers at a discussion held at Hamid Nagar (former Khordakhalishpur) village in Moheshpur upazila yesterday paid rich tributes to Bir Shrestaha Hamidur Rahman by terming him as our national pride who sacrificed his life for independence of motherland rather than retreating in battlefield during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.

Teachers, students demand punishment as culprits at large

Teachers and students of Asian University at Rajshahi campus yesterday urged the chief advisor to the caretaker government to take steps for immediate arrest and punishment of the criminals who cut off two wrists of a student of the university.

AL men demand party candidate in Shyamnagar

Shyamnagar upazila Awami League at an extended meeting has demanded nomination of a party candidate in Satkhira-5 constituency in the upcoming national election, widening the difference between AL and its possible 'grand alliance' partner Jatiya Party (Ershad) in the area.

OC declines to record murder case, alleges victim's mother

Mother of a teenaged girl who was killed after rape at her master's house here on October 13 brought an allegation against the officer-in charge (OC) of Khalishpur Police Station for not recording a murder case against the culprits.

Boy freed on ransom payment

A three-year-old boy was freed by abductors on receipt of Tk 1 lakh as ransom paid by his father at Harinagar ferry ghat Monday night.

Letters

Ashraful's captaincy

Since Ashraful has become the captain of the Bangladesh Team, his batting performances has been deteriorating, with the exception of a few good innings. He rarely was able to lead the team from the front. In addition, I think, he lacks the urge to win the games. We need a captain who is a fighter, who fights till the last ball is played and who does not give up on any game. Certainly, Ashraful is not the man.

Tipaimukh Dam

Unilateral construction of Tipaimukh Dam by India, in addition to Farakka barrage, is not only violation of int'l law but it will also have impact on the environment, ecosystem, life and livelihood in the downstream region. But, I wonder, political parties of Bangladesh and the so-called civil society are keeping mum about the issue. Therefore, shall we see that in near future our green country will turn into a barren desert?

In memory of my student…

It is about six months that we sought blessings for an ailing student Fowzia Sultana Tumpa, who was suffering from cancer at a hospital in Bangkok.

No to Hartal !

It seems that the election will be held as per schedule. It is sincerely hoped that neither the party in power nor the parties in opposition will go for hartal (strike) on any ground whatsoever after re-installation of an elected democratic government in Bangladesh. In the past, we suffered huge economic loss through calling and observing hartals! Now it's time for us to devote in nation building activities thereby making Bangladesh a poverty free prosperous Bangladesh.

Vocal on testing of Branded liquid milk

Presently everybody is concerned about the powder milk. A lot of talking is going on about its testing method and its result but nobody is talking about the method of sample collection.

Hospitality in hospital!

We were astounded to read the report captioned 'Hospital hospitality' in The Daily Star on October 20. These people looted, plundered, vandalized and indulged in highest degree of financial and moral corruption in the country. We still call them VIPs and mete out 'Jamai ador' to them in hospitals. Shame on our doctors, and the relevant authorities! They are ought to be called VCPs (Very Corrupt Persons). By no definitions thieves can be honoured and called VIPs.

Weekly holiday

I like to draw the attention of the Chief Adviser Mr. Fakhruddin Ahmed regarding the above mentioned issue. Recently it has been covered in different newspapers that the present government is considering to cancel present weekly holidays and reintroduce one day weekly holiday. It has been reported that the one-day weekly holiday would be observed on Sundays, instead of Fridays and Saturdays, to be in touch with the western world. I like to inform the present government that those of us who are doing private service, two-day weekly holiday gives us an opportunity to get some relief and do some social and family activities. I believe one-day weekly holiday will definitely increase the productivity of some companies but the monetary impact will be enjoyed only by the owners of those companies and not by the common people.

Road crisis

Recently, the crisis that commuters face on the roads have risen to such an extent that even a standard trip from one place to another by any means of transport requires a war to be waged on anyone and everyone, anything and everything. I live in Bonosree, Rampura, and I travel daily to my workplace in Dhanmondi. Earlier, I would take an auto-rickshaw or taxi, and reach fairly on time. Nowadays, it's getting tougher to get any kind of transport. Not a single person (Auto-rickshaw or taxi) agrees to go the length, and even if they do, they ask for a sky-high price, which at most times, is way beyond reasonable. They give excuses like too much traffic jam, lack of enough gas, malfunctioning engine (whereas if any agreeable passenger with a more agreeable destination comes along, all of a sudden, the engine sings sweetly enough to work!). My personal favourite excuse, which keeps recurring, is when the drivers whine about not getting any other passenger from Dhanmondi. Is that believable? In a place like Dhanmondi, auto-rickshaw/taxi passengers are not available?! Incredulous!

Power wastage by the powerful

Letters on a wide variety of subjects by the prolific Mr S A Mansoor have adorned the Letters Page of the DS for a long time. He has simultaneously hit the jackpot and the nail on the head in the concluding para of his last letter “Temporary Relief” in DS, 20 Oct 08. This is well worth repeating:

I am a voter...

I am 21. Therefore, definitely I did not see the 1971 Liberation War, but I had felt the cruel nature of war through 1/11, the political upheaval in the history of Bangladesh. So far we have seen many trends in political arena whereby 1/11 was the most remarkable one. The 1/11 has exhibited the sheer spectacle of all the major parties to become the rulers, divulging their avarice of grabbing the power. Does democracy mean that country will be hampered in its many systems like in terms of education, in case of earning foreign currency through export, and running business smoothly without any interruption? In our country, democracy is not of the people, by the people, for the people; rather it's like democracy is of the politicians, by the politicians, for the politicians. Other than the general citizens, politicians are earnestly concerned about bringing back the democracy even when many of their accomplices are languishing in jail, and others are at large.

The advantages of rickshaws

Given the crowded conditions of Dhaka's roads, when total trip time is considered, motorized transports have little advantage in speed over non-motorized. In addition, unlike motorized vehicles, when rickshaws are caught in traffic jams they emit no air pollution, waste no fuel, and make no noise.

Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway

I would like to invite you to travel for a couple of hours towards Mymensingh in the morning hours and return after three to four hours. Please let me know which day you are free and what time. No I will not take you to Muktagacha for Monda or Mymenshingh for Malaikari of Shudhir Gosh. But I would like to show you the miserable condition of Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway. This is a shame for the R&H or rather I should say it is a shame for the division of R&H concerned. Do they have any (shame)? How are they continuing with their job and drawing salary from public money? This poor and devastating condition did not happen in one or two days or months but we are seeing this for years together with no end in sight.

Roaming in Dhaka city

Few days ago my cousin came from Europe with his parents and we decided to roam the Dhaka city. My cousin was having some health problem he was not happy about staying in Bangladesh. One day we took a CNG taxi at Farm Gate where some buses and cars made a complete mess. The bus moved haphazardly and my cousin was totally afraid. He thought that the drivers were drunk and the sound, the pollution and the huge mass of people walking here and there aggravated the whole situation and finally after waiting in the traffic Jam we reached the parliament building. Then for the first time I heard something positive about Bangladesh from him when he said that the parliament building is really beautiful. But he complained about the rubbish thrown here and there by the people. As we were returning home we did not get a taxi and my cousin got very angry. Luckily we got one at double the usual fare but he was quite afraid because of the way it was running. When I arrived home he said he had experienced many thrilling, exciting and scary adventures in many places of the world but the one in Dhaka was one of the most terrible ones. I tried to defend my pride by saying that we Bengalis are braver than others so we don't fear these small things.

Is Homeopathy a science?

More or less two decades ago an essay was published in the "Gonosastho" a monthly Bangla publication from the Gonosastho Trust titled: "Is Homeopathy a science?" The writer in his research work was in doubt and expressed his opinion giving many examples. As it was the cover feature of that issue, it attracted people's attention at that time. But at present we see a Homeopathy department in the Gonosastho Hospital. Would the authority of the hospital admit now that Homeopathy is a science?

International

Pak-Afghan meeting mulls talks with Taliban

Pakistani and Afghan officials and tribal elders Tuesday discussed the possibility of holding talks with Taliban militants to try to end deadly violence on their porous border, officials said.

Obama, McCain battle to attract Hispanic voters

Some nine million US Hispanics are eligible to vote in the November 4 presidential election and both Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain are pulling out all the stops to gain their support.

Peace talks in doubt as Israel prepares for polls

Israeli political parties yesterday launched talks to set a date for snap elections to replace scandal-plagued Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, with the Middle East peace process at a standstill.

Heavy fighting on northern fronts in Lanka

Government forces and Tamil Tiger separatists fought pitched battles in the rain and mud in a ring of villages outside the rebel administrative capital in northern Sri Lanka, the military said yesterday.

Raid into Syria complicates Iraq's ties

The deadly US raid into Syria may complicate efforts to win approval for a new US-Iraqi security deal by drawing attention to a fact many Iraqis detest that they can't control everything American forces might do.

Soldiers, UN retreat as rebels advance in DR Congo

Congo rebels closed in relentlessly on the provincial capital of Goma on Tuesday, despite being attacked by UN peacekeepers in helicopters. Government troops scrambled south in a full-scale retreat, fleeing in tanks, trucks and on foot.

Nepali PM vows to integrate ex-rebels

Nepal's Maoist prime minister pledged on Tuesday to rehabilitate 19,000 former rebel fighters confined to UN-monitored camps since a 2006 peace deal.

Maldives nationals vote in presidential run-off

Voters turned out in strength yesterday to choose the Maldives' first democratically-elected president in a run-off between Asia's longest serving leader and a former political prisoner.

'Pakistani girl mauled by dogs, shot dead by inlaws'

A pregnant Pakistani teenager was mauled by dogs and then shot dead by her inlaws over a property dispute, the girl's parents and a human rights group said.

Alaska Republican Senator found guilty of corruption

Veteran Republican lawmaker Ted Stevens was convicted Monday of corruption charges, putting his once-secure US Senate seat in jeopardy and improving Democrats' chances of reaching the all-important political threshold of 60 seats in the chamber.

Musharraf to face 'consequences' if he destabilises govt: PPP leader

Former president Pervez Musharraf will have to face "dire consequences" if he hatches any plan to destabilise Pakistan's new democratic government, a senior leader of the ruling Pakistan People's Party has said.

Arts & Entertainment

Rivers, Dhaka, nature and more

A group photography exhibition titled "Andharer Alo" ended at Gallery Nitya Upahar, Aziz Co-operative Super Market yesterday. Fashion house Nitya Upahar arranged the exhibition, which highlighted works by four young photographers -- Kamrul Hasan Mithon, Md. Farhad Rahman, Mahamudul Hasan and Syed Fayez Hassan.

The Last Thakur

A stranger arriving to town is poised to quell the town's long-standing feud, but it soon becomes apparent he has his own vendetta to resolve.

Mahasthan Museum: Relics await identity

Upon reaching the Mahasthan Archaeological Museum, a keen visitor has to cross a concrete road on foot. Beyond awaits a world of exquisite and ancient art dating back to the Maurya, Shunga, Gupta, Pala and Muslim dynasties.

Book launch programme by Lekhak Forum

Lekhak Forum, a Dinajpur based platform for Bangladeshi writers, recently launched a book titled, “Madhyaprachyer Dinlipi”. This is the seventh book written by Anwara Azad.

Concert to generate awareness on substance abuse and corruption

A concert to generate awareness on substance abuse and corruption was held in Faridpur last Sunday.

“Kichhu Kotha Kichhu Gaan” on ntv

“Kichhu Kotha Kichhu Gaan,” a programme featuring songs of yesteryears, will be aired tonight on ntv at 8:50 pm. Noted singer Rafiqul Alam will perform several romantic songs of the '50s in this episode. Artiste Ankhi Alamgir will perform a duet with Rafiqul Alam. The singers will also share their thoughts on music on the show.

Drama serial “Rangeela Bao” on ATN Bangla

Drama serial “Rangeela Bao” will be aired tonight at 9:20pm on ATN Bangla. Written by Ahmed Shahabuddin and directed by Syed Shakil, this is the 47th episode of the serial.

OP-ED

'Minus-two formula was not to minus two leaders, it was to minus democracy'

Rashed Khan Menon is the president of Worker's Party. He started his political career during student life and was elected vice-president of Dhaka University Central Student's Union. Menon was elected member of parliament twice, in 1979 and 1991, from Barisal. He played an important role in the liberation war in 1971 and in the anti-autocratic movement against H.M. Ershad. Shariful Islam and Suranjith Deabnath took the interview.

Power play

THE other day, a prominent business leader was on a TV talk show, one of the many that private satellite channels telecast in large numbers. He was projecting a doomsday scenario of the government power sector.

The twin crises of finance and food

AS world leaders struggle to halt the crisis spreading across the global financial markets, analysts and economists are attempting to gauge the magnitude of this meltdown. Will it rival or surpass the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Black October of 1987 or the Asian Economic Collapse of 1997? In fact, it has the potential to be far worse, and the reasons are high food prices and food shortages, and the steady erosion of agriculture and rural economies.

Star City

One-stop passport service boon for applicants

When Mushfiqur Rahman set off from his home on an overcast Monday, he thought it was going to be a rowdy morning.

Low-cost housing planned for slum dwellers

A low-cost housing project has been undertaken under the joint initiative of the government and NGOs for slum dwellers and low-income people of the city.

Terrible traffic jam chokes Mirpur-10 roundabout

Terrible traffic jam at Mirpur Section-10 roundabout has become a headache for the residents of the Mirpur-Pallabi area, one of the most densely populated areas of the city.



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