The Daily Star

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

News of: Monday, 17th of November, 2008

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Huge explosives haul after JMB man held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized 70kg of explosives following the confessional statement of an ehsar (full time member) of the banned Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) whom they arrested Saturday at Mirpur in the city.

BNP may buy few days, not months

Despite tremendous public demand and pressure from donor countries for holding the parliamentary poll on the announced date of December 18, it might be deferred for a few days if BNP-led alliance gives formal assurance of contesting in it on the new date without any condition, according to sources.

Tac set free for a month by SC

The Supreme Court yesterday stayed for one month Thursday's High Court order, which declared the Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac) and its activities illegal and unconstitutional.

Rohingya repatriation in the doldrums

The long-standing Rohingya issue is unlikely to be resolved in near future as Myanmar is not responding to Bangladesh's appeal to take the refugees back and they also don't want to go home.

Three Bangladeshis killed in ‘drunk shooting’ by BSF man

At least three people including a mother and her child were shot dead and another was injured yesterday as a ‘drunken’ member of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) ran amok at Majhipara of Tetulia upazila in Panchagarh.

1/11 should change politicians' attitude

Barrister Shafique Ahmed, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, favours an agenda-based meeting between Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia, which he said would bring "concrete and acceptable" solutions to the existing crises.

AL, BNP want 24 poll observers out

Awami League (AL) yesterday lodged objections with the Election Commission (EC) to 20 organisations monitoring the December 18 national election and BNP to four.

Stay off disputed waters

Bangladesh wants Myanmar to stay off the disputed waters while conducting oil and gas explorations until a maritime delimitation agreement is signed between the two countries.

Saifur, Nizami, Mojahid freed on HC bail

Former BNP minister M Saifur Rahman, Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Matiur Rahman Nizami and Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid were released from jail yesterday on High Court bail.

CA's meeting with DCs, SPs today on poll law and order

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed is to hold a meeting with the deputy commissioners (DCs) and superintendents of police (SPs) of districts at his office today on law and order ahead of the December 18 parliamentary elections.

Some central leaders left out of AL ticket

Several central leaders including four organising secretaries of Awami League (AL) did not yet get nominations, though the party has almost finalised its candidates for the December 18 parliamentary polls.

6 HC judges take oath

Six of the seven newly appointed additional judges of the High Court (HC) took the oath of office yesterday.

WB aid beyond FY08 uncertain

Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam said yesterday the inflow of World Bank assistance beyond 2008-09 has become uncertain as the country is not prepared with project proposals for seeking fund support.

Harassed, girl takes her life

Teasing and harassment by local degenerates led yet another girl to take her own life on Friday.

2 sued for milk adulteration in Sirajganj

Sirajganj District Health Department yesterday lodged two separate cases with Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court against two officials of a milk collection centre and a 'chhana' (curdled milk) production centre on charge of their involvement with milk adulteration.

Delwar hopes govt will meet 7-pt demand

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday hoped that the government and the Election Commission (EC) would fulfil four-party alliance's seven-point demand to facilitate its participation in the elections.

Acid-burnt baby dies as parents fight for life

Two-month-old Ahnaf Imtiaz lost the battle for survival at the Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) early yesterday. He was one of the unlucky ones who were burnt when an acid-laden truck collided with a bus on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway in Comilla on November 6.

Kashmir votes today amid boycott call

Revolt-hit Indian Kashmir begins voting in state elections today amid appeals for a poll boycott by Muslim separatists who have spearheaded a wave of massive pro-freedom protests.

Race crimes go up in US

Cross burnings. Schoolchildren chanting "Assassinate Obama." Black figures hung from nooses. Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.

Proshika chief, son charged with money laundering

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against Proshika chief Kazi Faruque Ahmed and his son Kazi Rubayat Ahmed, chief executive officer of Computer Systems Trust of Proshika, in a Tk 1.03-crore money laundering case.

Tariqul sued for graft

The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday filed a case against former BNP Minister Tariqul Islam, sitting Planning Division Secretary Zafar Ahmed Chowdhury and former chief conservator of forests Anwarul Islam for causing huge loss to the government.

Koko's parole extended by 2 months

The government has extended the parole of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's younger son Arafat Rahman Koko, who is undergoing treatment abroad, by two more months until January 16, 2009.

Petitions filed for stay on HC orders

Two petitions were filed yesterday with the Supreme Court to stay the High Court (HC) order that directed the government to retest samples of eight brands of powdered milk and submit the results within 21 days.


Say 'no' to hartal

LIKE many occasions in the past, business leaders have once again urged the political parties to refrain from calling country-wide hartal, as a way to bargain with the power that be. With the people expecting a qualitative change in politics the call has a special ring of relevance to it. Such call has come from a sense of urgency for keeping economy at the centre of national priority objectives. The ongoing global economic meltdown further reinforces the need for constructive politics as opposed to hartal-centric confrontational politics.

Deaths due to negligence

A few more of those who suffered from serious acid burn as a result of a collision between an acid laden truck and a passenger bus last week near Comilla have lost their battle, and succumbed to injuries. More than twenty were injured in the accident; regrettably, many of the injured, reportedly, have little chance of pulling through. These deaths are nothing but willful killing.

An exercise in surrealism

IN a troubled time, when the regular political process is in suspended animation, the best bet for the politicians is to lie low and let the storm blow over. While it's prudent not to make insinuative remarks in political discourse, it's equally wise not to react to innuendoes thrown by others. After all, it's an unusual time!

In the semi-final analysis…

THE current assembly elections are not quite the semi-finals that they are being billed to be, for the nationwide electorate will determine the fate of the UPA government, and not just voters in six states. But it is beyond debate that these results will set the mood for general elections, now expected at the very last legal minute, which means April-May. These are arguably the most important of the mini-general elections that have dotted the political calendar over the last two years.

What now in the Middle-East?

AS US citizens prepare to usher in a new president and Israel likewise welcomes a new administration, the long-lasting Israeli-Palestine conflict will again be on the agenda and get a fresh look. In the political and strategic calculations inevitably to be made about one of the world's toughest problems, decision-makers would do well to ponder the silent but inexorable fact of demography that defies any short-term calculation.


Rahim, Kayes fine-tuned

Mushfiqur Rahim and Imrul Kayes struck beefy 80s as Bangladesh made full use of the two-day warm-up match against SAA Challenge XI at the De Beers Diamond Oval ground here on Sunday.

Much to learn for Bangladesh

In our country any international series means a number of subcommittees has been formed to run the show. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has been trying to bring professionalism in their administrative activities but the way they operate everything during a series hardly reflects that fact.

Arun Nandi no more

Country lost a sporting legend and freedom fighter when renowned swimmer Arun Nandi breathed his last in Kolkata yesterday, just ten days before what would have been his 67th birthday.

Yuvraj doubtful, Ishant out

India's Yuvraj Singh, who pounded England with a match-winning century in the first one-day international, could miss Monday's second match due to a back injury.

Fifth round from today

The fifth round of the Ispahani Mirzapore Tea 10th National Cricket League will see a clash of the table toppers today when Rajshahi take on Barisal at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium.

Enamul to umpire in SL

Umpires Enamul Haque and Mahbubur Rahman will conduct matches in Sri Lanka from November 16.

Booters to return in groups

The Bangladesh football team will return from Myanmar in two groups with the first one due to land in Dhaka tonight.

ICL title goes to Lahore

It was complete annihilation. In retribution for last year's reverse and the recent controversy, Lahore Badshahs drubbed Hyderabad Heroes in style to lift the Indian Cricket League trophy yesterday. Hyderabad were restricted to 158 and Imran Nazir sizzled with a 44-ball 111 to end the chase in a blink at Ahmedabad.

Local Snippets

The 2nd Orient Bread Tokai (street urchins) Kabaddi competition will begin at the Kabaddi Stadium tomorrow.

Bangladeshi teams win in 3rd round

Bangladesh men's and women's teams both won their third round ties at the 38th Chess Olympiad at Dresden in Germany on Saturday against African opponents.

Pakistan whitewash WI

Rao Iftikhar returned career-best bowling figures while Younus Khan struck a brilliant hundred to guide Pakistan to a 31-run win over the West Indies in the third and final one-day here on Sunday.

Villa down Gunners

Arsenal's title challenge suffered a hammer blow on Saturday as a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Aston Villa left them nine points adrift of the Premier League pacesetters Chelsea and Liverpool.

Valladolid stun Real

Managers don't last long at Real Madrid and German coach Bernd Schuster could be heading for the exit door after the Spanish champions fell to a 1-0 defeat at Valladolid on Saturday.

Kalle slams Bayern

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rumme nigge has accused the German giants of carelessness after allowing struggling Borussia Moenchengladbach to score two late goals in Saturday's 2-2 draw.

Ibra magic fires Inter

Two goals from striking magician Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a 2-0 victory at Palermo shot Inter Milan three points clear at the top of the Italian league table on Saturday night.

Marseille implode

Marseille were sailing to victory against Lorient on Saturday before imploding in front of their Velod-rome fans to lose 3-2 and squander the chance to gain ground on league leaders Lyon.

Loew to lay down the law

Germany coach Joachim Loew will on Monday lay down the law to his players after last month's public spat with captain Michael Ballack as die Mannschaft prepare for the friendly here against England.

No room for Beckham

David Beckham has been axed from Fabio Capello's 23-man England squad for Wednesday's friendly against Germany in Berlin, while there was a surprise call-up for Chelsea defender Michael Mancienne.

Lampard made the right call

Chelsea's England midfielder Frank Lampard says he is sure he made the right call to stay at Stamford Bridge instead of moving to join former mentor Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan.

Sagna out till December

Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has been ruled out until December after suffering an ankle injury in the 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday.

City can rival Real: Robinho

Manchester City's Brazilian forward Robinho says his team can rival the likes of Real Madrid and hence he is happy to pledge his long-term future to the English Premiership side.

Heroes level finals

Drama. Farce. Jangling nerves. A great catch. Controversy. A run out. Phew. Game over. Hyderabad Heroes won a thrilling eight-run victory to push the ICL championship into the third final. Abdul Razzaq shocked the top order and Chris Harris rocked the middle to shove Lahore Badshahs to an unexpected defeat.

Djokovic Shanghai Master

World number three Novak Djokovic thrashed Russia's Nikolay Davydenko 6-1, 7-5 in the Masters Cup final on Sunday to lift his second major trophy this year.

Dhoni & co break rule

The presence of three members of India's one-day squad -- the captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Zaheer Khan and RP Singh -- at a private function in a Maharashtra town on Saturday has raised eyebrows over its clear departure from practice. The three cricketers attended, with the permission of the BCCI, the inauguration of a private cricket academy in Bhandara while the rest of the squad was in Indore for the second ODI in the series against England.

Three 50s keep SL at bay

Half-centuries from Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza and Stuart Matsikenyeri ensured the four-day contest between Zimbabwe Select XI and the Sri Lankans ended in a draw at the Queens Sport Club in Bulawayo. After rain made only 38 overs possible on the third day, a wet outfield delayed the start by an hour on Saturday. The Sri Lankans opted to push for a result, declaring their first innings at 567 for 4 -- a commanding lead of 408.

Taibu unsure for ODIs

Zimbabwe's selectors are sweating on the availability of former captain Tatenda Taibu for the five-ODI series against Sri Lanka starting in Harare on Thursday.

Dhoni slams Hayden

Unamused by Matthew Hayden's 'Third World' remark, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday hit back at the Australian opener and said the Aussies are always slow in going through their overs, no matter which part of the world they play.


BTRC takes tough line on rogue ISPs

The telecom regulator yesterday took a tough line on errant internet service providers (ISPs) and said it would scrap licence of any ISP without explanation, if it is found guilty of running illegal VoIP business.

Zero tariff benefit to double exports to Taiwan

Local traders see exports to Taiwan double next one year availing of a duty-free facility Taiwanese government offered for the least developed countries (LDCs).

Global media not convinced over G20 summit impact

At best cautious, at worst downright cynicism was expressed by the world's media Sunday over the results of the Washington economic crisis summit.

Financial crisis won't hurt RMG: BB

The garment sector is unlikely to take a hit from the global financial meltdown as exporters sell low-end products with demand expected to be elastic, according to Bangladesh Bank.

Citycell fined for import irregularities

The Office of the Joint Commissioner (Customs), Dhaka has fined Citycell Tk 2.90 lakh for

ACI eyes Tk 52cr profit in 5 years

ACI Formulations, a subsidiary of ACI Limited, has set a target of making net profits of Tk 52.6 crore over the next five years with a compound average growth rate of 30 percent, officials said.

Packaging earns $1b a year

Bangladesh earns around $ 1 billion from export of packaging a year and the volume will be over $1.5 billion if accessories are counted, Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman said yesterday.

Local firm to make deep sea fishing trawler

Narayanganj Engineering and Services Ltd (NESL) is building a deep sea fishing trawler of 'purse seining type', designed and built in Bangladesh for the first time, said a press release.

Singer Plus launches Eid campaigns

Singer Plus launched two special campaigns yesterday on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, says a press release.

BTRC seeks views on IPTSP licensing

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has published the draft guidelines for the Internet Protocol Telephony Service Provider (IPTSP) licence seeking views from the industry.

Benefit from meltdown

In today's integrated and global world economy, no country will remain untouched by the current global financial turmoil. Every nation will face an impact, either directly or through side effects, says Ravi Kapoor, a senior official at Citi South Asia.

Financial rout and future options

In a recent article (Who are the Architects of Economic Collapse? Will an Obama Administration Reverse the Tide, Global Research, November 9, 2008), Michel Chossudovsky noted that the "bailout" proposed by the US Treasury does not constitute a "solution" to the crisis. On the contrary, he predicts, it will cause further collapse. To quote him: “We are dealing with an absurd circular relationship: to finance the bailout, Washington must borrow from the banks, which are the recipients of the bailout.”

DSE turnover sinks to 16-month low

Dhaka stocks slumped yesterday with turnover hitting a 16-month low at 135.90 crore.

Time extended for commodity import loan repayment

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has extended the time limit for repayment of loans financing only the import of wheat, pulses and edible oil, from three months to five months, following a sharp decline in the prices of these items in international market.

Libya can use incentives for foreign investors: CA

Chief Adviser Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed has said Libyan investors can invest in many areas availing the existing investment friendly environment and attractive incentive package for foreign investors offered by Bangladesh.

Dhaka stresses LDCs’ say at economic summits

Foreign Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said yesterday that representative of the 50 least developed countries (LDCs) of the world should also have a seat in future global economic summits.

Gulf stocks plunge as G20 fails to halt panic

Stock markets in the Gulf states plunged on the week's opener Sunday as panic from the fallout of the global economic crisis continued to dampen investor sentiment.

India in strong shape, says business body

India's top business body insisted Sunday the economy was in strong shape to ride out the global financial storm but conceded corporate confidence was a big problem.

Germany to aid automakers

Signs grew Sunday that Berlin may do more to help Germany's entire industry a day ahead of a crisis meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and executives from cash-strapped Opel.

Economic crisis tops agenda of Apec leaders' summit

The crisis plunging the world into a recession is to dominate an Apec summit in Peru next weekend, along with efforts to firm up an international response to the turbulence.

Taiwan mulling shopping scheme to boost consumption

Taiwan plans to launch a multi-billion-dollar shopping coupon programme to stimulate domestic consumption amid the global economic crisis, it was reported Sunday.

IMF welcomes G20 action plan, calls for more stimulus

The International Monetary Fund chief Saturday welcomed the outcome of the Group of 20 summit, calling it a step toward resolving the world's financial crisis.

Russian crisis could slip from Kremlin's grip

The ruble is losing value, thousands of jobs are being cut and Russia's oil boom is over: after years of economic and political stability, the Kremlin could be losing its grip, experts said.

Youngone chief honoured

South Korea has awarded 'Order of Industrial Merit Gold Tower', the highest honour given by Korean president to an entrepreneur, to Kihak Sung, chairman of Youngone Corporation.


Advisers okay signing of Bimstec convention on int'l terrorism

A meeting of the council of advisers with Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday approved for signing Bimstec Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Transnational Organised Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking.

Call for concerted efforts to promote greater understanding

A three-day international symposium on 'Islamic Civilisation in South Asia' began in the city yesterday to look back on this part of the history and identify and research on the contributions made by Islam to different areas of life in South Asia.

'Rehabilitation of Sidr-hit people frustrating'

Rehabilitation of Sidr-affected people in last one year is frustrating, said the speakers at the book launching ceremony yesterday.

Bahauddin Nasim sent to jail after his surrender

A Dhaka court yesterday rejected the bail petition of Awami Swechchhasebak League President AFM Bahauddin Nasim and sent him to jail after his surrender in an extortion case.

10 injured in BCL factional clash at RU

At least 10 activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) were injured when two factions of the Rajshahi University unit were locked in a clash over welcoming the admission seekers on the campus yesterday.

Make election pledges to ensure equal rights of women

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad yesterday called on the political parties to make specific commitments in their election manifestos with a view to ensuring equal rights of women and establishing social equity.

Death anniversary of Maulana Bhasani today

The 32nd death anniversary of Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, a veteran political leader, will be observed today.

One to die, two others jailed for killing boy

The Chittagong Speedy Trial Tribunal yesterday sentenced a man to death and two others to jail terms of six years and seven years for killing an eight-year-old boy in Comilla in 2007.

'Parking guideline needed to ease traffic congestion'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday stressed the need for preparing parking guideline and its proper implementation to ease traffic congestion in the city.

SC upholds HC orders granting bail to Moudud

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday upheld two High Court orders granting bail to former law minister Moudud Ahmed in two separate cases filed by the National Board of Revenue (NBR).

Suspended envoy gets five years

A special court yesterday sentenced suspended Bangladesh Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates ATM Nazimullah Chowdhury to five years' rigorous imprisonment for embezzlement of state funds through misuse of power and deception.

Two JMB men acquitted

A Dhaka court yesterday acquitted two members of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in a case filed against them for possessing 21 grenade shells.

Admin reform body to decide candidates' fate

The government yesterday assigned the advisory committee on administrative reform commission and good governance to resolve the crisis over the 27th BCS examinations results.

Urs at Hazrat Shahjalal shrine in Sylhet begins tonight

The annual Urs of Hazrat Shahjalal (RA) begins at the shrine of the great saint in Sylhet tonight.

Call to demand adaptation cost from rich states

The government should make sufficient homework so that it can raise the concern of the country and negotiate properly with the developed partners at the Poznan Climate Change Conference to be held in Poland from December 1 to 12.

CU asstt proctor resigns

An assistant proctor of Chittagong University (CU) resigned from his post yesterday.

Jharna Das Purakayastha wins Anannya Literary Award

Noted litterateur Jharna Das Purakayastha has won the Anannya Literary Award for the Bangla year 1415.

Nat'l Museum gets replicas of 5 Egyptian antiques

Egyptian Ambassador in Bangladesh Fayez Mustafa Noseir handed over five replicas of Egyptian antiques to Cultural Affairs Adviser Rasheda K Chowdhury at the National Museum yesterday, says a press release.

Tk 10 lakh VoIP equipment seized

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized huge quantity of VoIP equipment worth around Tk 10 lakh from a house at Shamimabad in the city yesterday.

'Ensure security of women during elections'

Speakers at a press conference yesterday called on the government to ensure security of the women before and after the elections slated for December 18, says a press release.


AL hopeful of bagging most JS seats in Rajshahi

Delimitation of constituencies has raised the number of Jatiya Sangsad seats in Rajshahi to six from five and changed areas of three of them, making local Awami League leaders hopeful of making a dent in BNP-Jamaat strongholds in the upcoming election.

Shibir threatens RU cultural activists with death

Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) activists of Rajshahi University yesterday staged an angry demonstration on the campus and threatened to burn to death cultural activists of RU on the campus.

AL demands party candidate as JP 'loses' vote bank

The grassroots leaders and activists of Awami League (AL) in Tangail-5 (Sadar) constituency have demanded nomination of a party candidate in the constituency for December 18 parliamentary election.

'Protect natural resources from foreign companies'

The convener of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port, Engineer Sheikh Muhammad Shahidullah called upon the people to strengthen their ongoing agitation for protection of natural resources from multinational companies and local agents.

Hardened Shibir cadre Zafar held

Police Thursday night arrested Zafar Babu, a notorious cadre of Islami Chhatra Shibir from Milik Bagha village in Bagha upazila.

Khagrachhari mayor faces no-confidence

Ten out of 12 councilors of Khagrachhari municipality yesterday expressed 'no-confidence' against Mayor Mohammad Joynal Abedin and demanded his removal for his alleged corruption.

Discussion on Sri Chaitanya held in Moulvibazar

Probhu Pran Kishore Seba Parishad, a Hindu religious organisation, here organised a two-day programme to mark 500 years of asceticism of spiritual leader Sri Chaitanya Deb.


Politicians fail miserably

As general citizens we have seen different types of regimes after liberation which our leaders offered us in the name of democracy. We were governed severely, less severely, technocratic way, bureaucratic way and autocratic way.

Tribute to Humayun Ahmed

November 13 was the birthday of Humayun Ahmed. Like all the fans of the writer, I am also feeling happy. In the world of Bengali literature he is a prominent figure.

Admission ordeal

University is the highest academic place for students. Every student has a dream to study in a public University.

CTG slackening its grip?

We do not want to believe the present caretaker government basically stood on the quick sands. The army stepped forward to save our country from a civil war or some happenings extremely deleterious for the country at that crucial time. The then caretaker government, the Election Commission and the militant political parties were obsessed with playing a highly destructive game. The people became helpless spectators having no direction as to what to do. At that crucial juncture the army came to their rescue and the present caretaker government came into being. So it will not be wrong to presume that this caretaker government stood basically on a hard ground backed by the strong custodian of our sovereignty. It performed a lot of good jobs for the country and the people and made some mistakes also during its tenure of eighteen or nineteen months. It is our bad luck that the evil forces prevalent in our country have become triumphant again to portray the good jobs as bad and the mistakes as blunders. They restored their grip on the politics of the country and want all their criminal hands out of handcuffs.

Iran & nuclear issue

Obama, the president-elect of the US said on November 07, 2008 that Iran must be prevented from developing nuclear weapons.

Hasina's return

Sheikh Hasina's returning home may have created a lot of enthusiasm, zeal and excitement among her supporters, but the way thousands of supporters blocked the roads with processions during office hours just to welcome the leader was unacceptable, to say the least. It caused harassment to common people going to workplaces in the morning. There were even minors, who could not be voters, showing extra enthusiasm, making a chaotic environment all around.

BCS botched up

The BCS exams were held at least a year ago, but it is a matter of great shame that the PSC still can not fix up who actually passed or failed. Some examinees decided to kill themselves if their demands were not met. But now we have come to know that others, who were selected later, also decided to kill themselves.


Poverty cannot be removed overnight. What we need is some good planning & implementation of those plans to mobilize manpower towards effective production.

Voter turnout in US elections

On the basis of population the US is the third largest country of the world. Also, it is the second largest country practising democracy. But voter turnout in US elections is one of the poorest among the advanced industrial nations of the world. A little over 50 percent of the voting-age population take part in US presidential elections. There was plenty of euphoria in the recently held US election as many claimed a record voter turnout. This exuberance was primarily based on the observation that voters in many locations had to stand in long queues for hours, primarily arising out of shortage of polling centres. The arithmetic of voter turnout has indeed been a dismal one, not significantly different from those of the previous years. Based on a number of reliable sources available on the Internet, it appears that the voter turnout in the present election was around 122,457,990 out of a voting-age population of 231,229,580.

Utilise natural resources

We have to ensure equal development in all places. Though we know we have many shortcomings but we can change our condition by using the available wealth properly.

Myanmar's misadventure

Our neighbouring country Myanmar made an expedition on the Bay of Bengal in search of oil and gas. As far as I know, according to international navigation laws no country can make such kind of exploration in the territory belonging to some other country.

Dress codes

Nowadays non-Islamic acts are encouraged strongly in society. Most "modern" people in our country don't have proper faith and young people who are growing up now are encouraged to practise western dress codes. This is termed as being "modern" & "smart" but none realizes that this is bringing obscenity to society. I don't know what good can come out of it. We should wear nice dresses, but these should be modest.

Taxpayer's query

As faithful citizens we are obliged to pay taxes as per laws of the government to enable the latter to carryout the duties entrusted on it. Paying taxes is actually a give-and -take matter. If a citizen finds that his or her basic rights are being well taken care of by the government, then he or she shall come forward to pay the taxes voluntarily or will not feel that the tax-payment is a penalty.

Secondary education

In the name of quality education, teachers of secondary schools are getting training from TQI (Teaching Quality Improvement project). All the teachers including head teachers of secondary schools (around 15 thousand) will be trained by 2011. But everybody knows about the quality of the training.

No committed leader!

We got independence shedding blood of millions of people. But we did not get a leader after the long liberation war dedicated to the cause of the nation. It is the reason for which we, the citizens of Bangladesh, always face the problems like strike, vandalism.

American scene

Congratulations to President-elect Barack Obama and consolation to Senator McCain. Both of them deserve appreciation for the spirit they have shown in upholding and retaining the democratic norms and values one by winning the election and the other by graciously conceding defeat!

Points to ponder

The Almighty is above any kind of controversy, question and criticism. Now the question is whether the judges shall also enjoy the same immunity of faith that they are above criticism or not accountable for their acts and deeds. No way one can question about any judicial matter.

BJI's game plan

You will agree that in the recent days the Jamaat [renamed themselves as BJI] was hyperactive. Their attitude showed that they were the prime power players of the 4-party alliance. Soon after the one/eleven, except the Jamaat, all other political parties went through humiliations. The BJI managed to hide themselves under the bed sheet. The CTG and the law enforcers could not find them! Their leaders claimed that they did not participate in the plundering during the BNP-Jamaat led government that ruled Bangladesh between 2001 and 2007. Now two of their 'gang or ring' leaders were sent to jail. They protested, as if either of the two 'Begums' [as mentioned in the Economist] were sent to jail!

Bay crisis

There were some dismal and worrisome headlines published in your daily for a few days. On November 3: "Myanmar brings warships to explore Bangladesh waters." On November 4: "Myanmar defies warnings." On November 5: "Myanmar sends another warship" and on November 6: "Myanmar suspends exploration in Bay." These headlines clearly give us the true impression how volatile the situation really was. This news also gives us a warning sign that we are in danger of foreign invasion and our armed forces should be constantly ready to face any eventuality.

Commuters' nightmare

With gas prices ever on the rise, people living farther from the workplace, and traffic conditions worsening by the week, the daily commute is increasingly having an impact on our wallets and our lifestyles -- as well as global climate change. From getting the best gas mileage to work-from-home jobs to reducing air travel and international travel (by holding teleconferences, for example), improving your commute means improving your quality of life.

Obama and Latin America

One would imagine that America's southern neighbours would have been electrified at the prospect of a black person running their northern neighbour. Guess what?


Pak troops target militants in 2nd tribal area

Pakistani helicopter gunships engaged in a bitter offensive against militants in a northwest tribal region struck targets in a neighbouring area yesterday, a sign that the conflict may be widening to other parts of the rugged zone bordering Afghanistan.

Lanka bombs Tigers' northern defence line

Sri Lanka's air force pounded the Tamil Tiger rebels' main northern defence line yesterday, a day after government forces dismantled the last rebel stronghold on the island's west coast, the military said.

Iraqi cabinet approves US military pact

Iraq's cabinet defied fiery opposition from Shia hardliners yesterday to approve a wide-ranging military pact that includes a timetable for the withdrawal of all US troops by the end of 2011.

Truck movement halt on Pakistan passage could dent US supply

Pakistan temporarily suspended oil tankers and trucks with sealed containers from using a key passage into Afghanistan, an official said yesterday, a move that will likely impact supplies heading to US and Nato troops.

Nato soldier, 10 militants killed in Afghanistan

A bomb blast and clashes have killed an international soldier in the Nato-led force in Afghanistan and 10 militants, including some allegedly linked to al-Qaeda, the military said yesterday.

Israel accuses Hamas of 'shattering' Gaza truce

Interim Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert accused the Islamist Hamas movement yesterday of "shattering" the Gaza truce, after two rockets hit Israel prompting an airstrike which killed four Palestinian militants.

UN envoy meets Congo rebel chief amid fresh fighting

UN special envoy Olusegun Obasanjo started talks Sunday with rebel leader Laurent Nkunda in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo, as fresh fighting broke out in the region.

US pact holds pitfalls for Iraq's feuding factions

Most of Iraq's political factions believe that a military pact approved by the Iraqi cabinet Sunday offers the best hope for eventually expelling foreign troops, but convincing the public could prove divisive, analysts said.

Thaksin's divorce won't free frozen funds

A lawyer for Thailand's opposition party said Sunday that billionaire ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra would not recoup his frozen assets simply by divorcing his wife.

Wildfires in Los Angeles reduce hundreds of homes to ash

Southern Californians endured a third day of destruction Saturday as wind-blasted wildfires torched hundreds of mobile homes and mansions, forced tens of thousands of people to flee and shut down major freeways.

Obama reaches out to former rivals

Presidents typically say they want to be surrounded by strong-willed people who have the courage to disagree with them. President-elect Barack Obama, reaching out to Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republicans, actually might mean it.

Somalis govt on verge of collapse: President

The Somali government is close to collapse because disputes within its ranks have allowed armed Islamic insurgents to take control of much of the country, the president said.

Skin cancer vaccine may be within reach

An Australian scientist who developed a vaccine for cervical cancer said Sunday a vaccine which could prevent some skin cancers may be possible within a decade.

Arts & Entertainment

Rare Rathindranath letters uncared for

The rare letters of Rathindranath Tagore and his spouse have been found at Potisar area in Atrai upazila of Naogoan district recently along with Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore's memorabilia like chairs, mirrors and cupboards.

Nabanno Utshab ushering in the season of harvest

“Nabanno” is the traditional annual event celebrating the harvest of new crop. The nation celebrated this occasion amidst a festive atmosphere on November 15.

Radharaman's death anniversary observed at ancestral village

“Bhromor koiyyo giya, Sri Krishna bichchheder anoley ango jaye jolia rey bhramar koiyyo giya…” -- the familiar song reverberated in the air of Keshabpur village in Sunamganj district. Radharaman Smriti Sangha organised the daylong programme including a cultural function and more on the occasion of the legendary bard's 92nd death anniversary at his ancestral village last Wednesday.

Rash Festival draws big crowd to Kantanagar Temple

The historic Rash Festival, a 500- year-old traditional religious festival of the Hindu community at Kantanagar Temple at Kaharol upazila of Dinajpur, began recently with much enthusiasm.

Natyalok celebrates 9th anniversary

Natyalok, an organisation of theatre artistes in Sirajganj town celebrated its 9th anniversary amidst much festively and enthusiasm on November 15. On the occasion, the organisation arranged several programmes including processions, discussion and cultural events.

Concert at Bangladesh China Friendship Conference centre

At the Hall of Fame of Bangladesh China Friendship Conference centre on November 15, hundreds of young music lovers were eagerly waiting for Atif Aslam, the Pakistani rock singer whose popularity has transcended the boundaries of his country. When the star appeared on the stage, the crowd went wild. Atif did not waste a moment and started with a performance of his claim to fame number “Woh lamhey.”

Theatre festival in Manikganj

Katigram Sporting Club organised a theatre festival in Manikganj to generate awareness on dowry, drugs, bribes, corruption and crime.

Srotar Ashor at Chhayanat

Chhayanat's monthly musical soiree “Srotar Ashor” was held on November 15 at the Rameshchandra Dutt Memorial Auditorium, Chhayanat Sanskriti Bhaban.


'Yes, I think a jolt like 1/11 was necessary'

President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Barrister Shafique Ahmed was born on July 16, 1937, in Comilla. He obtained his Honours and MA in geography from Dhaka University in 1958 and 1959. He obtained LLB from Dhaka University in 1963 and later completed Bar-at law in 1967 and LLM in the same year. He taught in Dhaka University from 1969 to 1973. He was also a teacher of Principal City Law College. He was enrolled in the High Court as an advocate in 1967 and in the Appellate Division in 1989 as a senior advocate. He was elected as the president of SCBA twice. Wasim Bin Habib and Ashutosh Sarkar took the interview.

Turning over a new leaf

I returned recently from Bangladesh after a month's stay, following a hiatus of nearly three years. Much has changed in the country in these three years, the most obvious of which is running of the country by a non-partisan government. It was a pleasant experience of not encountering hartals, or being stopped on the roads for political demonstrations that not only thwarted traffic, but also posed serious threats to life and property.

Winds of change

CHANGE has come to America, intoned Barack Obama with the messianic zeal of a preacher and eloquence reminiscent of John F. Kennedy. He was responding to the exultant jubilation of one hundred fifty thousand strong cheering supporters who have put their trust in the change that Obama promised.

How many jokers needed to change a light bulb joke?

CORRUPTION investigators in Bangladesh recently uncovered a case in which 122 workers were paid to fix a single toilet.

Star City

Hatirjheel project ignores STP recommendation

The ongoing Hatirjheel project has been undertaken ignoring recommendation for an elevated roadway in the Strategic Transport Plan (STP), a much cheaper option than the peripheral surface roads being built under the scheme, said experts.

Moving towards Khilgaon flyover

It was 7:00pm Wednesday. The left lane of the Khilgaon flyover leading to Malibagh and Bashabo was completely deserted, letting some people take a late evening stroll.

"city express"

The latest crop of quotes from the city's press -- words worth repeating, we feel, for their humour, insight or sheer outrageousness. Star City does not necessarily support the opinions expressed in this column.

The Daily Star

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