The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

News of: Sunday, 9th of November, 2008

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Myanmar building up troops on border

Tension between Bangladesh and Myanmar intensified Friday as Myanmar started reinforcing border troops after talks in Myanmar over disputed waters in the Bay of Bengal failed.

More time mulled for nomination

The Election Commission (EC) is considering whether to extend the deadline for submission of nomination papers for the ninth parliamentary election by a few days.

Melamine just harmful

Some leading multinational powdered milk producers, in the face of a serious worldwide outcry of consumers, are propagating an acceptable level of melamine in milk products, prompting severe criticism from doctors and scientists who term it as 'nothing but an aggressive sales drive at the cost of public health'.

BTCL wary of 'forced' partnership

The decision to take WiMAX licence would push Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Ltd (BTCL) to have private partnership, form a separate company, invest in excess of $250 million and take significant long-term business and technological risks.

78pc seats in govt TT colleges stay vacant

As much as 78 percent seats of the country's public teachers training (TT) colleges remain vacant, resulting in a shortage of qualified teachers and sub-standard education for the schoolchildren.

80 hurt in AL factional clashes in 3 districts

More than 80 people were injured as Awami League factions clashed over finalising the panels of candidates for the upcoming parliamentary polls in Patuakhali, Noakhali and Comilla yesterday.

82 killed as Haitian school collapses

Rescuers uncovered a classroom full of dead students early yesterday after searching through the night for survivors of a school collapse in a Haitian shantytown which killed at least 82 people.

Call to scrap RPO to create uncertainty

Former adviser of caretaker government Hafizuddin Khan fears the country might 'plunge into uncertainty' if BNP sticks to its demands for scrapping of the RPO amendments, withdrawal of graft cases against its leaders and resignation of the election commissioners.

22 parties get registration; 47 rejected

The number of political parties and candidates, who will contest in the upcoming parliamentary election, will be much lesser than that of the previous ones as only 25 parties will be registered as parliamentary parties this time around, Election Commission (EC) officials said.

AL to accept schedule change, but wants polls on Dec 18

The Awami League (AL) will have no objection to deferring the election schedule, given that polls be held as slated for December 18.

Connectivity, trade to rule Bimstec meet in Delhi

Trade and connectivity will be high on the agenda at the second Bimstec summit in New Delhi on November 13.

Voter list for upazila polls finalised

The Election Commission (EC) has finalised the voter list for upazila elections to be held on December 28.

Moeen urges saving RMG sector from 'vested quarters’

Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday called upon all to help protect the country's largest export earning garment sector from being damaged and destroyed by vested quarters.

5 die taking toxic liquor

At least five people died and three others fell ill after taking rectified spirit at Ramchandrapurhat in Chapainawabganj.

4-party's joining polls depends on govt response to 7-pt demand

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said the BNP-led four-party alliance's participation in the general election hinges on what decision the government and the Election Commission make about their seven-point demand.

BNP's issues to be resolved through talks

Education and Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman said yesterday that all issues raised by BNP, including its demand to change the election schedule, could be resolved through dialogue.

Income disparity, job big hurdles ahead

Increasing inequality in people's income, widespread unemployment and underemployment and proper utilisation of available resources are the challenges to achieving the country's socio-economic goals despite consistent economic growth during 1995-2005.

Hunger strike to protest tree felling

Environmentalists and people of different organisations yesterday observed a token hunger strike in Sylhet city protesting against the government's decision to fell thousands of trees in the Khasia habitat in Srimangal-Komolganj forests.

CG to face court if fair polls not held: Dr Kamal

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain said yesterday that if the caretaker government fails to hold a free and fair election, then they would have to face a court of law to answer for their actions.

JU teachers to boycott classes indefinitely

Jahangirnagar University Teachers' Association (JUTA) has decided to boycott classes indefinitely demanding permanent expulsion of the JU students involved in the assault on drama and dramatics department Chairman Sanowar Hossain.

Tigers look to bounce back

Bangladesh promised to be better equipped to tackle fiery South African paceman Dale Steyn when they play the second one-day of the three-match series at Willowmoore Park in Benoni today.

AL nomination process ends

The collection of nomination forms by aspirant parliamentary election candidates of Awami League (AL) and their submission at the AL head office on Bangabandhu Avenue ended yesterday with 2,758 forms handed in.

BSF kills 1

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot a Bangladesh national dead on Chamta border of Kaliganj upazila in Lalmonirhat early yesterday.

Saudi envoy meets Hasina

Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Abdullah bin Naser Al-Busairi yesterday met Awami League President Sheikh Hasina at Sudha Sadan and discussed various matters, including the upcoming parliamentary election.

Taliban gun down Afghan governor

Afghan government and international military officials said yesterday that Taliban insurgents had gunned down a district governor overnight and about 30 militants had been killed in various clashes.

Partnership in war on terror to go on

US President-elect Barack Obama called Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari yesterday morning and assured him that his administration would take Islamabad along in all decisions regarding the war on terror. Zardari is likely to meet Obama during his trip to the US next week.

UK revokes visas of Thaksin, wife

The British Embassy has revoked entry visas of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Pojaman.

Rail link with Sylhet snapped for 6 hrs as train derails

Train communication on Sylhet-Dhaka and Sylhet-Chittagong routes was disrupted for six hours late Friday night after a goods train derailed at Maizgaon Railway Station.


Election at hand

WHEN the pathway to national election seems well laid out, the BNP, a major stakeholder in electoral politics, has chosen to strike a discordant note. BNP leader Begum Khaleda Zia in her address to a massive gathering at Chittagong has reiterated her seven-point demand, asserting that unless these were met her party wouldn't take part in the election.

TT colleges in a shambles

TEACHERS Training (TT) colleges are held in high esteem for the role they play in imparting training to teachers to master the art and science of teaching and managing school affairs, too. When bright graduates receive skill and knowledge development training at the TT colleges they become better teachers and better managers. But, we feel dispirited when news of several TT colleges falling victim to human greed and corruption reach us. We cannot but express our deep concern at the reports that many of such institutes are actually engaged in "selling certificates" instead of providing quality training.

Passing on the torch

ON November 4, Barack Obama created history. He was elected the 44th president of the United States, the first from the minority community in US history. His election reflected a generational divide, passing of an old order, and flexibility of the US society to embrace what was once thought impossible, a signal that African-Americans, Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, and, most importantly, the youth, together can change Martin Luther King's dream into a reality.

In search of a new global financial system

AN international summit meeting on the economy is scheduled to be held in Washington on November 15 with the objective of devising new rules for the global financial system. Although a detailed agenda has not yet been drawn up, it is almost certain that the role of the US dollar in international trade will occupy an important position in it.

Well done, America!

HISTORY was made on Tuesday (November 4) at 11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (10 a.m. Wednesday morning in Bangladesh). Barack Obama had already won over 200 Electoral College votes by then. When polls closed in California (55 Electoral College votes), Oregon (7), Washington (11), and Hawaii (4) at that hour, the networks immediately called all those states for Obama, hurtling him past the winning target of 270 Electoral College votes, and proclaimed Obama the 44th president of the United States.


'Captain has to perform'

It is a forty-five minutes drive from Johannesburg to Benoni where Bangladesh play their second one-day match against South Africa today at the Willowmoore Park, the home of Easterns Cricket.

Tigers' opening jam persists

There is always the requirement of a good start to build an innings and here lies the big problem in Bangladesh's batting. The outcome from the opening pair in the last ten one-day matches was simply pathetic and the fact is that the Rafiqul Alam-led selection panel has tried as many as four opening pairs in that time.

Nasri Gunners' hero

Samir Nasri got Arsenal back in the groove as the French midfielder scored twice to give the Gunners a much-needed 2-1 win against Manchester United on Saturday.

India have upper hand

Australia's hopes of levelling the series suffered a setback as they failed to counter India's defensive tactics in the fourth and final Test here on Saturday.

NCL 5th round starts today

Table-toppers Rajshahi take on Khulna in the fifth round of the Ispahani Mirzapore Tea 10th National Cricket League at the Khulna Divisional Stadium today.

Dissent in Pak camp

Much of the surprise over the appointment of Intikhab Alam as coach of Pakistan has emanated from not knowing precisely what he brings, in this day and age, to the set-up. Yet days ahead of his first assignment, it is becoming clearer what qualities he will bring.

BHF election disputed

A High Court Bench last week issued a rule nisi on Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) asking why the October 28 elections of the federation and the subsequent executive committee would not be declared illegal.

Ince relishes Blues tie

Paul Ince, the Blackburn Rovers manager, faces Chelsea on Sunday expecting the Premiership title hopefuls to provide his team with a strong, physical challenge.

Serena pulls out

Serena Williams' chances of ending the year on a high note evaporated unexpectedly when she withdrew Friday from the Sony Ericsson championships with a stomach muscle problem.

Wenger not quitting

Under-pressure Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger denied he could quit the Gunners following criticism of recent performances, saying on Friday: "No, I love it here."

Spurs test for City

They might have broken the British transfer record with the astonishing 32.5-million-pound move for Robinho on September 1, but Manchester City are quickly discovering that keeping goals out is just as important as providing the Brazilian forward with the chances to score.

Spalletti calls for calm

AS Roma coach Luciano Spalletti has moved to calm down expectation following Tuesday's stunning 3-1 victory over Chelsea.

Toni ready to return

Italian World Cup winner Luca Toni will return to action for Bayern Munich on Sunday against Schalke 04, the Bundesliga champions announced Friday.

Van Nistelrooy faces long layoff

Real Madrid's talismanic Dutch striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy could be sidelined for two to three months if he undergoes surgery on his injured knee, according to reports.

Boruc to have knee surgery

Poland goalkeeper Artur Boruc is to have knee surgery after his club Celtic's Scottish Premier League match with Motherwell here on Saturday, the Scottish champions announced Friday.

A Ricky revelation

Ricky Ponting has said he was approached by a senior member of the India touring party during the acrimonious Sydney Test and asked to drop Australia's complaint against Harbhajan Singh. Harbhajan was alleged to have racially abused Andrew Symonds during the game and Ponting said that even before Harbhajan's three-Test ban was handed down it was clear the matter would not be straightforward.

Local Snippets

The 29th National Cricket Championship will begin across the country from November 10.

Muktis win at last

Muktijoddha had a reason to smile for the first time this season after beating Rahmatganj 1-0 in the Citycell B. League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Ali College lift Souhardo Cup

The Government Maulana Mohammad Ali College of Kagmari won the Souhardo Cup football tournament after a 1-0 win over Tangail Municipality 1-0 in the final at the local stadium here yesterday.

WC cricket preparations behind schedule

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has asked the 2011 World Cup organising committee to begin preparations for the tournament for which they are already ten months behind schedule.

Rajib remains in 2nd place

Enamul Hossain Rajib was sharing the second position along with 23 others with 5.5 points after the seventh round of the 12th Bavarian Open International Chess Championship at Bad Wiessee in Germany when the Bangladeshi Grandmaster drew with German IM Henrichs Thomas on Friday.

Booters leave for Myanmar

The Bangladesh football team left here last night for the Myanmar capital Yangon to take part in the 3rd Grand Royal Challenge Cup.

Howarth no more

Hedley Howarth, who was New Zealand's leading slow bowler during the early 1970s and a key man in their first Test win on the subcontinent, has died at the age of 64.

Pepsi-DRU cricket

Inqilab, Bangla Bazar, Channel i, Karotoa, Bangla Vision, Jugantar and the New Nation won their respective matches on the opening day of the Pepsi-DRU six-a-side cricket tournament at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.


IT leaders rap banks

Local software makers yesterday came down hard on banks for choosing software of foreign firms over the local ones although local firms were able to provide necessary services.

Tesco outsourcing jute bags from Bangladesh

Global retailer giant Tesco has started outsourcing jute-made shopping bags from Bangladesh as part of its move to promote environment-friendly products worldwide, said an official of a local company yesterday.

Janata Bank ranks 3rd in CAMEL rating

Performance of state-owned Janata Bank improved in the first half of this year when the condition of Agrani Bank worsened during the period, according to the CAMEL rating by Bangladesh Bank.

Advanced Angel City to be built in Savar

Advanced Development Technologies Ltd (ADTL) has undertaken the country's "biggest" private housing project.

Exporters take $59m in spot orders at Batexpo

Bangladesh received spot orders for garments worth $59.47 million from foreign buyers at the just-concluded Bangladesh Apparel and Textile Exposition (Batexpo).

Productivity stressed for RMG industry

Textile experts yesterday advised Bangladeshi entrepreneurs to take initiatives to enhance productivity and the quality of goods if they want to exploit potential for the garment industry.

Commodity prices mixed on recession fears

Commodity prices saw mixed fortunes this week, with crude oil falling in value and metals switching between losses and gains on world markets as recession fears intensified.

Distribution of resource to ease Monga

Redistribution of resources to ensure ownership of land to landless people in the northern region of the country can resolve the near-famine situation known as Monga, said Kazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmed, chairman of Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad (BUP).

EU, US on common ground ahead of finance summit

The White House said Saturday it believed there was common ground between the European Union and United States on reform of the world financial system ahead of a summit in Washington next week.

Obama will be positive for Asia: Economists

As the election euphoria from Senator Barack Obama's historic United States presidential election victory subsides, more sober questions are emerging.

Regency gets new chief of marketing

Dhaka Regency has appointed Neena Ahmed as head of marketing for the hotel, according to a press statement released yesterday.

A new generation treat

The time was against the tide then. Jahir Uddin had to knock at the city's cyber cafe one after another just to post a simple application for getting a scholarship at a foreign university. Internet access was one of a rare treats for him in 1997.

Too little of a good thing

Access to internet in Bangladesh has had a checkered past. In the mid-nineties when Pradeshta, the first commercial e-mail service provider, started operation, it was on off-line basis. Mails would be downloaded on an hourly basis from an internet access point in Singapore and clients here would need to dial into the mail service provider's server to download their mails.

Stocks persistently in red

Dhaka stocks slumped for a fifth week amid continuous selling pressure from investors with the benchmark index of the bourse losing around 300 points.

Wall Street may find respite from turmoil

After weeks of high volatility, Wall Street may find next week's quiet macroeconomic calendar the perfect opportunity to regroup and plan for the final stretch of the dangerous year.

Oil closes mixed

Oil prices closed mixed Friday after striking 21-month lows as investors worried about deteriorating energy demand amid a global economic slowdown.

Key emerging economies want financial system overhaul

The world's top emerging economies -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- want "a reorganization of the world financial system," Brazilian Economy Minister Guido Mantega told reporters Friday after meeting his counterparts from the other countries.

Obama sets sights on stricken US auto industry

US President-elect Barack Obama vowed swift moves to help the country's auto industry recover from an economic crisis that has brought car-making giants to their knees, after General Motors said on Friday it was on the brink of collapse.

Cambodia and Vietnam agree on rail link

Cambodia and Vietnam have signed a deal to link their railways, Cambodia's foreign minister said Saturday, helping revive long-running plans to link Asia by rail.

Allianz announces 2b euro net loss in Q3

German insurance giant Allianz late Friday announced a net loss of two billion euros in the third quarter of 2008 against a profit of 1.9 billion euros in the same period last year, admitting it was affected by the world financial crisis.

Weekly Currency Roundup

November 02 – November 06, 2008
Local FX Market

This week, the market eased a little and the US Dollar fell slightly against the Bangladesh Taka. There was ample demand for dollar in the market.


Involve people in city planning for successful implementation

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called for involving people in city planning for its successful implementation.

Poverty level increased to 48pc in 2007: Survey

Poverty situation in the country has deteriorated due to natural calamities and price hike of essentials while improvement in primary education is remarkable to reach millennium development goal (MDG).

'Uphold cultural spirit to eliminate communal forces'

National Prof Kabir Chowdhury at a cultural convention yesterday said cultural spirit should be upheld to eliminate the communal forces from the country.

No-confidence against B'baria mayor

Thirteen out of 16 councilors of Brahmanbaria Pourasabha at a meeting yesterday expressed no- confidence against Mayor Md Hafizur Rahman Molla for his alleged corruption.

1.6m children under five die a yr for lack of clean water

Every year, 1.6 million children under the age of five die lacking access to clean water while 110,000 children of the same age bracket fade out in Bangladesh from water borne diseases.

BTV held hostage under OSD's dictatorship

Bangladesh Television (BTV) has been under the dictatorship of an officer on special duty (OSD) for the last three weeks.

RU 'controversial' staffs lay siege to VC office

Some 200 'controversially appointed' fourth-class employees of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday kept Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Mamnunul Keramat confined to his office for one hour to press home their demand for regularisation of their jobs.

'Form commission to monitor NGO activities'

Speakers at a book launching ceremony yesterday called for establishing an NGO commission to monitor the activities of NGOs.

BIOJ, SIJ leaders call on Hasina

Leaders of Bangladesh Islami Oikya Jote (BIOJ) and Sammilito Islami Jote (SIJ) called on Awami League President Sheikh Hasina separately at her Sudha Sadan residence in the city yesterday to discuss issues relating to parliamentary elections, polls schedule and the grand alliance.

2 murdered in city

A wholesale paper businessman was shot dead at Sayedabad last night while an old man killed by unidentified criminals at Madhubagh in the city yesterday.

Unsuccessful candidates continue hunger strike

Unsuccessful candidates in the second-phase result of 27th BCS Examinations yesterday observed their 8th consecutive day of fast unto death with eminent economist Dr Abul Barakat expressing his solidarity with them.

'Nominate minority candidates in 20pc JS seats'

Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad yesterday called on the political parties to nominate candidates from the minority communities in 20 percent of constituencies for the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Dhaka Textile Tech College to be upgraded to university soon

Commerce and Education Adviser Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman yesterday said the College of Textile Technology in Dhaka would be upgraded to a university “soon”.

Allama Iqbal's 131st birth anniversary today

The 131st birth anniversary of great poet and philosopher Allama Iqbal will be observed today in a befitting manner.

Two Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims die in Saudi Arabia

Two Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims died of heart attack in Saudi Arabia on Friday.

DU to build mausoleum on grave of Nazrul

The construction of a mausoleum on the grave of national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam in the adjacent area of the Central Mosque at Dhaka University will begin soon, says a press release.

$109m IDA credit for cyclone-hit areas

The World Bank on Thursday approved 109 million US dollar credit to Bangladesh in support of government's efforts to repair infrastructure and restore the livelihoods for thousands of families affected by last year's cyclone Sidr.

Jamaat ready for elections, movement

Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami yesterday said that a vested group is conducting propaganda against his party regarding its participation in the general election, says a press release.

Call for long-term, short-term plans for S-W zone

Speakers at a meeting yesterday said long-term and short-term plans should be undertaken with the participation of the local people to address the problem of waterlogging in the southwestern zone of the country.

4-party demand a matter of govt to resolve

Reaffirming that the polling will be held on December 18, Election Commissioner Brig Gen (Retd) Sakhawat Hossain yesterday said the demand of four-party alliance is a matter of the government to resolve.

Reach undistorted teachings of Islam to people: Saudi envoy

Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Bangladesh Dr Abdullah bin Naser Al-Busairi yesterday urged the Bangladeshi scholars obtained degrees from different Saudi universities to work together to reach the undistorted teachings of Islam to the people.

Mohiuddin returns home today after treatment in Bangkok

Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury is scheduled to return home today from Bangkok where he underwent treatment for ten days.

Girl commits suicide by setting fire to herself

A 20-year-old girl committed suicide by setting fire to herself after pouring kerosene over herself at her house at Lalbagh in the city yesterday.

Edible oil prices go up in Ctg

The prices of different types of non-branded edible oils shot up again here in the last three days.

Gen Nasruddin leaves Dhaka

Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff of Sudan Armed Forces General Muhammad Abdul Qadir Nasruddin left Dhaka yesterday after a six-day visit to Bangladesh.

BNCC capsule camp ends at JU

A seven-day capsule camp of Bangladesh National Cadet Corps (BNCC) ended on the Jahangirnagar University campus yesterday, says a press release.

Tk 3 lakh property gutted in Ctg

Property worth around Tk 3 lakh were gutted in a fire at Pahartali in Chittagong on Friday.

Road crashes kill 2

Two people were killed in separate road accidents in Rajshahi and Panchagarh yesterday.

Idu, Habibul elected Udichi president, secy

Golam Mohammad Idu and Habibul Alam were elected president and general secretary of Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigoshti on the concluding day of its two-day conference yesterday, says a press release.

Garment Workers' Demand Fortnight begins

Garment Workers' Demand Fortnight is being observed from November 8 to 22.

Novartis Int'l Biotechnology Camp held

Novartis International Biotechnology Leadership Camp, an annual event for postgraduate students with high management and leadership potential, was held in Hong Kong recently, says a press release.

AUAP 8th confce held

The eighth general conference of the Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific (AUAP) was held at Hotel Westin in the city yesterday, says a press release.

'119 acid, 419 rape victims in 10 months'

Speakers at a workshop here yesterday said 119 women fell victim of acid violence and 419 were raped during the last 10 months across the country.

Monsur elected to UN body on rights of persons with disabilities

Monsur Ahmed Choudhuri, a visually impaired development practitioner in Bangladesh, has been elected a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, says a press release.

Ittefaq-Stamford national debate contest begins

The 3rd Ittefaq-Stamford National Debate Championship-2008 began at Siddeswari campus auditorium of Stamford University Bangladesh in the city on Thursday, says a press release.

BSAF executives

Wahida Banu was elected chairperson of the executive board of Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) for the term 2008-09, says a press release.


AL in 3 dists demands party candidates in JS polls

Awami League units in Khagrachhari and Pabna at meetings yesterday selected panels of nomination seekers and demanded fielding of party candidates in the upcoming parliament election.

Resist Tipai Mukh dam, save Bangladesh

Environmentalists joined by professionals, political activists and cross-sections of people staged demonstrations and held rallies in Sylhet and Chandpur yesterday protesting planned implementation of Tipai Mukh dam project in Indian state of Manipur that will create an ecological disaster in Bangladesh.

Magura AL factions hold separate meets

Tension mounted in Awami League (AL) rank and file in Magura yesterday as rival factions of Sreepur upazila AL held separate meetings over sending a panel of five possible candidates for the December 18 national election.

3 RU cultural activists file GD

Three cultural activists at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday filed three general dairies (GD) with Motiher Police Station on receipt of death threats from the cadres of Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) on Friday.


Save the Sundarbans

The country and people of all walks of life are busy grappling with the high prices of essentials, traffic congestion and power failure in Dhaka and all over Bangladesh. Since Dhaka is the capital city the topics related to Dhaka get highlighted in all the print and electronic media.

Snapshots of events

The last 15 days have been immensely significant for Bangladesh's political future. Why am I making this gross comment? Let me bring our attention to some recent events and Bangladesh related activities around the world. Event one: the Election Commission announced that they would not be able to announce election schedule (tafsil) within the previously stipulated date. However, they claimed in a low voice that election would be held on 18 December. Event two: Sheikh Hasina meets Richard Boucher in his office. Event three: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives in Dhaka. The UN-SG meets the chief of staff of Bangladesh army. After the meeting the chief announces firmly that the election is going to be held on 18 December without any doubt. Event four: the EC announces the polls fixture. Future direction: the CTG assures the UN chief of credible polls.

Fading glory of DU

Dhaka University---it could be said (and I suppose most of you will agree) is the soul of the country. Why? Because DU is partly the reason behind our independence. If the students of this university had not raised their voices against the Pakistanis, then probably we would not have been independent (at least I would not have been sitting here writing this letter). In 1952, it was the students of this very university who made Bengali the state language of this country. Today we can speak in Bengali freely at school or at home because of those martyrs. And it is said that this fight for language finally led the way to our independence.

Tourism sector

The tourism sector in Bangladesh has great potential. In Bangladesh we have many natural beauty spots like the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forests in the world, and Cox's Bazar which is the longest sea beach. Many domestic tourists visit these places but the number of foreign tourists has declined significantly.

Retirement benefits

Considering the price hike, the Bangladesh government was kind enough to declare 20% D.A. from 1 July 2008, even for those who are enjoying LPR. Pension/gratuity benefits are calculated excluding this D.A. It is a known practice that D.A. is converted into basic pay only when the new pay scale is executed. In fact, those on LPR will be deprived of pension/ gratuity benefits out of D.A. as soon as they go on pension.

Overseas studies

There are some limitations in remitting foreign currency for the purpose of studying professional courses like ACCA. As a result, the students who want to pursue the course at home face serious problems. For example, some foreign banks are able to draw a draft only for the initial registration for the ACCA but cannot remit for other exam-related payments, because there is no permission from the central bank. If this was allowed the students would not have faced such a situation,

Careless walk on railway track

Thanks for your graphical picture on the subject (29 Oct.). It shows a hearing impaired (as reported) woman walking totally unaware on a railway track, with a passenger train approaching hardly fifty meters behind her, on the same track! The picture possibly confirms her hearing impairment, as she is totally unaware of the life threatening danger right behind her.

Bangladesh and Asian Highway

Recently many people are writing about the failure of the present Bangladesh government as well as previous regimes to sign as a member of the Asian Highway Network. Bangladesh did not ink the papers because of unfounded fear of allowing transit facilities to India. Bangladesh is insisting on diverting the road network through Myanmar, ultimately connecting with China. The recent lobbying of Bangladesh with the Myanmar government is yet to produce any positive results for our country. Legally, Bangladesh cannot lobby for changes in routes unless it becomes a member. Our position has been demoted to the status of observer from member.

Enough is enough!

I am talking about our national cricket team captain. Bangladesh was fighting hard to save the match in Mirpur. The rain was a blessing and respite for us and for our failed captain. One need not mention anything about the performance of the captain as a batsman and team leader.

Child politics!

Some days ago a news report drew my attention. It was about a 15-year old boy who died in a clash between AL and BNP supporters, following a kabadi match in a village. The boy was quoted as an AL worker. How can a 15-year old become a political worker? He was not even mature enough to enter into student politics! But we see many teenagers being drawn into politics. During hartals, strikes or processions they are used as pickets.

Baul sculptures

It is very unfortunate that the anti-liberation forces are trying to destroy our cultural heritage.

Mashrafee, our choice

The way Mashrafee and Shakib put their heads down and saved Bangladesh from the ignominy of following on in the two-day Test at Mirpur against New Zealand is really commendable. Both of them also showed great maturity in the Chittagong Test.

Interesting discovery

It was earlier believed that staples like rice, wheat, barley, and legumes were the first domesticated crops. But Archaeobotanists at Harvard University and Bar-Ilan University have recently revealed a startling fact published in the Science Journal that fruit trees are the oldest known domesticated crops. According to their findings, the dawn of agriculture may have come with the domestication of fig trees in the Near East some 11,400 years ago!

Nobel laureates and election

It is learnt from an email that 76 Nobel laureates from Science in America were in election campaign for Obama. This was an impressive message. People from every discipline should express their own opinions regarding selection of the leadership. It helps them to cross the barrier between the decision/policy makers and the professionals like scientists. Just because of lack of understanding, the country suffers, particularly the scientists. Nowadays, this problem comes up in almost all scientific events and lots of discussions are held on a regular basis.

Baul statues

I commend Syed Bayazid for his rational, unbiased views about the Baul statues issue published in a letter on 31 October. Ever since the statues were knocked down for whatever reasons, I have been reading comments, opinions of contributors, readers as well as reports of continuous protests by the cultural activists almost on a daily basis. The reason I appreciate Mr. Bayazid's views is that unlike most of those contributors, readers, protestors who have no hesitation whatsoever to term these 'mullahs' bigots, he has presented an acceptable, accurate account of the issue consistent with our democratic values.

Dhaka Zoo

Eight newly procured animals have died in Dhaka Zoo. The Ministry of Fisheries & Livestock allotted Tk 5.5 crore for the purchase of the new inmates. A total of 87 animals were added. Of the total, 27 rare species were bought from South Africa. Death of these eight animals caused the government a loss of Tk 60 lakh so far.

Foreign intervention

I have been observing with keen interest the political developments in Bangladesh over the last 30 years. I was there on Jan 11, 2006 and stayed a whole year. I was extremely disturbed by the blatant interference of the British, Americans, European Union countries in our domestic affairs.

Politics and religion

I watched from my home in UK Mr. George Hargreave on Revelation TV channel at 2.30pm on Sunday 02 November 2008. He is the President of Christian Peoples Party which is a registered as a political party in the United Kingdom. The leader was explaining how his political party being a party having faith in Gospel, Trinity and Jesus could still ask for votes from people from all religions and faiths. He also mentioned that as Christianity was based in the belief of God and service of mankind, it should apply to all humanity in UK.

Shining Warriors

Congratulations to Dhaka Warriors for their third win in the ICL! It was a great pleasure to watch and follow a team from Bangladesh. The point is that they are doing well. In a recent picture posted in cricinfo, you can see how happy and exuberant these players look, while our national players always carry a look of fear and intimidation on them.


Obama promises action on economy

Inheriting an economy in peril, President-elect Obama warned on Friday that the nation faces the challenge of a lifetime and pledged he would act urgently to help Americans devastated by lost jobs, disappearing savings and homes seized in foreclosure. But the man who promised change cautioned against hopes of quick solutions.

Hamas boycotts Palestinian reconciliation talks

A senior Hamas official in Syria on Saturday announced that his group was boycotting this weekend's Palestinian reconciliation talks with rival Fatah.

Lankan military bombs rebels in north

Air force bombers attacked a gathering of Tamil Tiger rebels who were preparing to fight government troops in northern Sri Lanka, the military said yesterday.

Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons 'unacceptable'

US President-elect Barack Obama said Friday that Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons was "unacceptable" and the Islamic Republic must stop supporting "terrorist organisations."

India, Qatar to sign defence pacts

India and Qatar will sign two agreements on defence and security during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the Gulf nation beginning on Sunday evening - the first by an Indian head of government.

Brother visits Bali bombers' prison as execution looms

The younger brother of two militants on death row over the deadly 2002 Bali bombings visited their island prison yesterday as speculation mounted over their impending executions.

African leaders slam Congo peacekeepers

African leaders criticised the world's largest United Nations peacekeeping force Friday for failing to protect civilians and end the violence that is convulsing eastern Congo and threatening to spread.

NZ's opposition party wins polls

John Key's centre-right National Party swept to power on a theme of change in New Zealand's elections yesterday, ending the nine year reign of Helen Clark's Labour Party.

Obama faces early test in Iraq

Iraq will serve as an early test of Barack Obama's skill in weighing options and measuring risks. The next few months should give an indication whether he can end the Iraq war without risking new violence that could threaten US interests throughout the Middle East.

Iraqis still need US: Dy PM

Iraq's deputy prime minister says Iraqis still need the US military and time is running out for approving a security agreement with the United States.

Senior al-Qaeda member killed in Iraq: US

US and Iraqi forces killed a senior al-Qaeda leader allegedly responsible for organising car bombs and suicide attacks in a firefight outside Baghdad, the US military said on Saturday.

5 killed while trying to dismantle artillery shell in India

At least five people were killed when they tried to dismantle a discarded artillery shell in the northern Indian town of Meerut, police said.

Taliban militants kill two 'spies' in Pakistan

Taliban militants killed two Afghan men Saturday in Pakistan's restive tribal belt after accusing them of spying for US-led forces deployed across the border, local officials said.

2 pro-democracy lawyers jailed in Myanmar

Myanmar's High Court sentenced two lawyers from Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party to four months each in prison for contempt of court, a party spokesman told AFP yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Capturing vignettes from the life of Krishna

Indigenous troupe Manipuri Theatre arranged a two-day programme at the Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy to celebrate its 12th anniversary. On the first day (November 7), the troupe staged its production “Shree Krishna Kirtan” and a traditional Manipuri art form “Natpala”.

Dhaka Nrittya Utsab: A vibrant and lively show

A three-day dance festival, titled Dhaka Nrittya Utsab, has been organised by Bangladesh Nrittyashilpi Shangstha. Beginning from November 7, at the Music and Dance Centre of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, the performance is being held at Segun Bagicha in the city.

Pomp and festivity in Magura

Magura resonates with the vibrant traditional Katyani puja. This puja, one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals in the district, is usually observed annually close on the heels of Durga puja. This year the five-day long Katyani puja ended on November 8. The idols of Katyani puja are akin to that of Durga.

Humour and laughs

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend, inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”--Groucho Marx

Drama Serial “Bhara Bari Bara Bari” on ATN Bangla tonight

ATN Bangla will telecast the fifth episode of drama serial “Bhara Bari Bara Bari” tonight at 9:20 pm. Written by Nazrul Islam and directed by Humayun Faridee, the story revolves around a dispute over a flat. The landlord doesn't take bachelors as tenants since he has a unwed daughter. Mum Rahman, one of his long-term tenants, approaches the landlord with the request to lease a flat for his bachelor cousin. The landlord turns down his request. Eventually the landlord rents out the flat to Jafri and his family-- but there is a bachelor brother. When a vengeful Rahman finds out he takes this very personally and begins to hatch plots against Jafri and his brother. As the serial progresses, many hilarious events start to unfold.

Jugal Hansraj marks his directorial debut

Remember the cute boy child actor in the highly-adorable 1983 Hindi feature film Masoom starring Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi? Well, Jugal Hansraj has come a long way since then and is today set to make his directorial debut with an animation film “Roadside Romeo” that also marks leading Hollywood studio Walt Disney Pictures entry in the Indian movie market.


Longing for Bangladeshi Obamas

AMID a breezy fall campus night when old leaves were falling in the wind, new hopes rising and students cheering, I watched Obama moving America to tears as he gave his victory speech. We all have been moved by the poetry of his improbable journey and the melody of his symbolic victory.

'The best of times has become the worst of times'

Former adviser to the caretaker government in 2001, Hafizuddin Khan was born in Sirajganj in 1939. He obtained BA (hons) and MA degree in political science from Dhaka University in 1960 and 1961 respectively. He was additional secretary in the Prime Minister's Office and secretary of ministry of disaster management and relief, and posts and telecommunications, before retiring as the comptroller and auditor general in 1999. Among other senior posts, he has been a director of several banks and is currently chairman of Bangladesh NGO Foundation, a trustee and treasurer of Transparency International Bangladesh, and vice-chairman of Shujan. Shamim Ashraf took the interview.

The madrassa case

BEING a former madrassa student who later studied at Dhaka University, I feel a moral obligation to write a few words on the controversy over admission of madrassa students to Dhaka University. Ever since the row began, the media has been writing about the madrassa students, portraying them as violent and irrational, without giving the rationale for the demands from their point of view.

Easy come, easy go

THE US is currently experiencing a severe credit crunch, which is the gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The crisis has already spread out to Europe and Asia, and is expected to be global soon. Many economists believe that the US economy has entered a recession that might be longer than usual, sending the whole world into a slowdown. Here, I attempt to address the question of how the US financial system got there.

Star City

Metro rail: Look before you leap, suggest experts

Leading transport planners suggest that the government should go for feasibility study on the proposed underground rail system in Dhaka involving experts with adequate knowledge and expertise in developing such a system.

Electronic ticketing for buses under study

A private bus operator's desire to begin a new era in ticketing may not come true as early they may have wanted. But the days are not too far away.

1000-taka bills on sale!

The recently released 1000-taka bill has become a source of curiosity and attraction for many who are collecting them from the street vendors.

The Daily Star

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