The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, April 16, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 19th of November, 2008

Front Page

Govt talks in vain as BNP, AL won't budge

The government's renewed scramble for reaching an all party consensus about the parliamentary poll date failed to produce any result yesterday as BNP stuck to its demand for postponing the poll at least until mid-January next year while Awami League-led alliance refused to accept any date past the year end.

JP aboard AL polls boat

Awami League (AL) and Jatiya Party (JP) yesterday said they will take part in the December 18 national election as an alliance and form government if voted to power.

AL discards fly off the handle

Awami League's nomination of candidates in the upcoming parliamentary polls kicked up an uproar among grassroots leaders, activists and supporters in some constituencies, with protesters donning shrouds in the capital.

Four-party plays on ‘religious sentiment’

The BNP-led four-party alliance is using religion as a political weapon--violating the electoral code of conduct--to force the caretaker government and Election Commission (EC) to reschedule the December 18 parliamentary polls, said legal experts.

Drug marketed to cure or kill?

A black foreign particle was found in an ampoule of Amibac 500mg injection manufactured by Popular Pharmaceuticals Ltd and widely used for short-term treatment of serious infections.

Polls to be free of arms, criminals

Chiefs of police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday made public announcements promising to make sure that the upcoming elections are unfettered by hooliganism and use of illegal firearms.

EU to send 150 poll observers

The European Commission (EC) has decided to deploy election observers for the December 18 general election, a European Union (EU) announcement in Dhaka yesterday said.

Warrant issued to arrest 2 Chinese milk distributors

The government yesterday filed two separate criminal cases against two local distributors of Chinese powdered milk Yashili-1, Yashili-2 and Sweet Baby-2 on charges of importing and marketing those without approval of the authorities concerned.

Bank borrowing leaps on 100-day job plan

Though only nine percent of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) allocation was spent in the first three months of the current fiscal year the government borrowed 48 percent of the annual target from the banks in the first four months.

Building Sidr-victims built through bribery

Ayesha Begum and Prafulla Adhikari each had to bribe the local union parishad (UP) member Tk 5,100 to get the construction materials that the Saudi government sent as relief for the victims of Cyclone Sidr.

Cases against Sajeda, Shamsul, Anwar, AKM Mosharraf stayed

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for two months the proceedings against former ministers Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, M Shamsul Islam and MK Anwar, and former state minister AKM Mosharraf Hossain in two corruption cases filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

62 more get AL ticket

Awami League yesterday issued letters of party nomination for the upcoming parliamentary election to 62 more candidates.

War leaders to boycott function over invitation to war criminals

Leaders of the Sector Commanders Forum (SCF) has decided to boycott the reception ceremony of Armed Forces Day on November 21 since war criminals have been invited to the function.

Massive hunt for killers of 3 indigenous leaders

Security forces yesterday started a special drive at bordering Thanchi upazila in the district following killing of 'mouja headman' Pai Thoai U and two other tribal men by the armed criminals at two points within a short span of time Monday night.

Mosharraf gets nomination

Awami League has nominated Engineer Mosharraf Hossain for contesting the upcoming parliamentary election from Chittagong-1 constituency.

Better rice seed can yield production revolution

Over 8.93 million tonnes of additional Boro and Aman paddy production worth Tk 13,395 crore can be achieved every year if a slightly-tweaked traditional seed processing technology is used across the country.

Graft alleged against Westmont

Former financial consultant of Westmont Power (Bangladesh) Limited Syed Arif Niazi yesterday brought allegations of financial corruption and irregularities against the multinational company.

Kamal against deferring polls

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said he is against deferring the general election in the face of any threats, but suggested that the Election Commission may yet consider changing the polls schedule if the BNP's demands are logical.

Ex-mayor Minu acquitted in extortion case

A High Court bench yesterday acquitted Mizanur Rahman Minu, the former Rajshahi City Corporation mayor, in an extortion case as the charges brought against him were not proved.

All 6 accused in Nilphamari acquitted

A court here yesterday acquitted all the six accused in a case filed in connection with the August 17 serial bomb blasts in Nilphamari.

Nizami urges ulema to foil ‘conspiracy’

Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami has urged the ulema (Islamic scholars) to foil the conspiracy of Jews and idol-worshippers against the country and the Muslim Ummah as a whole.

Hearing of civil suit against Golam Azam, others deferred

A Dhaka court yesterday deferred the hearing of a civil suit filed against 36 people for alleged war crimes to November 27.

Kader Siddiqui left out of new poll alliance

Former president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury-led Bikalpadhara Bangladesh (BDB), Dr Kamal Hossain-led Gono Forum and a few other political parties yesterday launched a new alliance styled 'Jatiya Juktafront'.

Tigers meet Proteas in 1st Test today

Bangladesh will face a tough challenge in an attempt to improve their performance against South Africa when the first Test begins at the OUTsurance Oval here today.

Obama, McCain to work together

The bitter general election campaign behind them, President-elect Barack Obama and Sen John McCain are seeking common ground on a range of issues in hopes of engendering greater bipartisan cooperation in Washington.

Hillary to accept Obama offer

US Sen Hillary Clinton plans to accept the job of secretary of state offered by Barack Obama, who is reaching out to former rivals to build a broad coalition administration, the Guardian has learned.

9 militants killed in Swat valley

At least nine militants and a soldier were killed in exchanges of fire in Pakistan's northwest while 10 people were killed in gun battles between Taliban militants and pro-government tribal leaders in the same region yesterday.

Editorial

The BNP's ultimatum to government

THE chairperson of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party has served notice on the caretaker government that it must meet its four demands within 48 hours if it wants the party to participate in the elections. The notice, which is really an ultimatum, comes as an unfortunate surprise at a time when the country is in the mood for elections and other political parties are busy finalising their preparations for the elections. More importantly, when the government has been taking steps to accommodate the demands and desires of the political parties, especially of BNP, it makes little sense for any party now to issue ultimatum to have their way. The Election Commission, in order to ensure the participation of all parties, agreed to reschedule the date for submission of nomination papers. It also made changes in the timetable of the upazilla polls. The government has also engaged in serious, concerted dialogue with the parties. In other words, to date the government and the EC have been even-handed in the way they have gone about planning the general elections.

CA's exhortations on DCs and SPs

THERE is hardly any need to stress the importance of the role played by the deputy commissioners and the superintendents of police in any election -- more so in the forthcoming one. The nation, having waited for the last two years, cannot afford to have the election tainted through any inability of the DCs to play their due role as returning officers, or due to lapse in law and order function of the police.

Good people, bad governments and hartals

THE nation's business leaders have appealed to the political parties for an end to hartals in the future. As citizens who remain aware of what has not been achieved in Bangladesh in the last thirty-seven years, and what must be done in order for us to come level with the rest of the world, we will tell these good men and women that we are with them.

Challenges for the president-elect

STANDING before 250,000 fans at the Grant Park, Chicago on November 4, when the sweet scent of victory was fresh in his nostrils, president-elect Barrack Obama, in his victory speech, underscored that it was important that everybody understood that the promises he has made during the campaign could not be fulfilled overnight. There has to be a realistic expectation of what can happen and how quickly.

Obama's 250 tough calls

WHAT should Barack Obama do with the 250 men who are still locked up in the Guantánamo Bay prison camp? Of the many problems the new president will face, this is the most difficult, and one he must get right.

Sports

Ball in Mashrafe's court

It apparently looked that the team management threw the ball into the court of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza about his fitness ahead of the first Test of the two-match series which will start today at the OUTsurance Oval.

The Steyn-factor

Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons said that the toughest challenge for his charges would be to encounter the deadly Dale Steyn when the first Test against South Africa starts at the OUTsurance Oval today.

Sports family pays homage to Arun

Freedom fighter and legendary swimmer Arun Nandi left his hometown Chandpur by Sonar Tori (launch) at 2.40 pm on November 3 to cure various diseases but it was his dead body that returned home yesterday.

Barisal stay in hunt

Talha Jubair and Hannan Sarkar kept Barisal afloat in the crucial sixth round tie of the National Cricket League against Rajshahi at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra yesterday.

ICL Bangladesh off to India

The Habibul Bashar-led cricketers left the capital yesterday to play the rebel Indian Cricket League World Series that starts from November 23.

Giants date on November 24

Eight members of the national football team including team leader Badal Roy returned home on Monday night after their campaign in the 3rd Grand Royal Challenge Cup ended in Myanmar.

Badal admits weakness

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) vice-president Badal Roy realised that the national team's strength is two weak to compete against higher-ranked teams in the continent after their failure to win a single match in five internationals.

'Argentina must fight to win'

Diego Maradona, who took his first training session on Monday night since being appointed Argentina head coach, says his players must fight to win against Scotland here on Wednesday.

Vieira boosts France

Inter Milan midfielder Patrick Vieira is expected to make his first international appearance in nine months when France welcome Uruguay to the Stade de France for a friendly game here on Wednesday evening.

Spotlight on rising stars

With both teams top of their World Cup qualifying groups, respective coaches Joachim Loew and Fabio Capello believe Wednesday night's Germany-England friendly here is a chance to put some new talent in the spotlight.

'Becks should end career'

David Beckham's career should be over, England's 1966 World Cup winner Martin Peters said following the LA Galaxy midfielder's run of substitute appearances.

Jose wants to popularise Italian game

Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho on Monday said he regretted that the Italian game was perceived elsewhere as being a cagey, less entertaining affair than other European leagues.

Drogba admits charge

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba admitted on Monday a Football Association (FA) charge of violent conduct after throwing a coin back into the crowd at Stamford Bridge during last Wednesday's League Cup defeat against Burnley. An FA statement said a regulatory commission would hear Drogba's case on Tuesday based on video evidence and written submissions.

Bin Hammam not yet ready

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) chief Mohamed Bin Hammam admitted Tuesday he was ambitious but played down suggestions he could run for FIFA president.

Aussies weak: McCullum

New Zealand remain full of hope as they attempt to break a 23-year drought without a Test win in Australia and erase some poor recent results. The tourists barely managed to beat Bangladesh in the first Test last month and lost a warm-up game against New South Wales on Sunday, which was not ideal preparation for Thursday's opening match at the Gabba.

'Dhoni is lucky'

The success of Mahendra Singh Dhoni as Indian cricket captain is a combination of some skill and loads of good fortune, feels senior Pakistan batsman Younis Khan, who says it would be interesting to see how he fares once his luck runs out.

Khulna zonal champions

Khulna took the zonal honours after a six-wicket victory over Jessore in the 29th National Cricket Championship at the Jessore Stadium yesterday.

BCB declares U-17 team for Nepal

Khulna's Jayanto Das will lead the Bangladesh Under-17 cricket team for a tour of Nepal that begins on November 21.

Yuvraj gets top backing

Kris Srikkanth, the chairman of India's national selectors, has backed Yuvraj Singh to take the Test middle-order spot vacated by Sourav Ganguly, the former captain who has retired.

Bangladesh return to winning ways

Bangladesh men's and women's teams returned to winning ways at the 38th Chess Olympiad on Monday, defeating Albania and Iceland in their respective fifth round ties at Dresden, Germany.

Big win for East End

East End Club and Prantik Krira Chakra recorded comfortable wins in yesterday's Second Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Business

Rod price drop fails to cut flat costs

Although prices of mild steel (MS) rod, which accounts for 30 percent cost of flat construction, have declined by 20 percent in local market recently, it is not affecting apartment costs.

Cement makers eye ME, Africa

Local cement makers now weigh the feasibility of several import proposals they recently received from Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Kenyan companies.

ACI, Shinepukur get off to a good start

ACI Formulations and Shinepukur Ceramics, two private sector companies, received good responses from retail investors yesterday, on the very first day of their share trading, an evidence of encouragement for listing profitable companies under direct listing regulations.

Banglalink posts 19pc revenue rise

The country's second largest mobile phone operator Banglalink posted a 19 percent revenue increase in third quarter compared to the previous quarter, thanks to its lower subsidy given to new connections.

RMG exports shake off credit crunch fallout

The export promotion boss yesterday ruled out any fallout from the global credit crunch on Bangladesh's garment exports after two main items, woven and knitwear, registered 44.66 percent growth in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

Margin loan ratio reset at 1:1.5

The stock market regulator yesterday raised the margin loan rate by 50 percent re-fixing the margin loan ratio at 1:1.5, instead of 1:1 ratio, officials said.

CNG show kicks off Nov 22

A four-day exhibition on compressed natural gas (CNG) is set to begin in Dhaka on November 22, aiming to expand the market for natural gas-based vehicles and accessories, by creating awareness about the technology and safety issues, organisers said yesterday.

GPL looks to Europe, ME

General Pharmaceuticals Limited (GPL), a first generation medicine manufacturing company in Bangladesh, signed a Tk 65 crore syndication loan agreement with some local banks on Monday to set up an internationally accredited manufacturing plant.

Asian stocks tumble

Asian stock markets tumbled Tuesday as fears of a painful global recession were reinforced after US banking giant Citigroup slashed 50,000 jobs and the financial crisis showed no sign of easing.

RMG under rebate pressure

Bangladesh's ready-made garments (RMG) sector, it seems, is stuck between two walls made of glass. On one hand, exporters operate under intense competition, pushing selling prices to rock bottom. On the other hand, international buyers are playing ace after ace, as they demand rebates or discounts on shipped products.

Thai tourism in blues

Sitting outside his Thai kickboxing equipment shop in Bangkok, Soombut Yinglap says he has a plan for coping with the global financial downturn -- eat less and hope the tourists eventually arrive.

Biz Letters

Reforming revenue administration: The other view


The write-up titled “Reforming the revenue administration” by the banker- columnist Mamun Rashid, prompted me to go through the article. I surely know him to be a serious person as far as issues of fiscal policy or, NBR reforms are concerned.

Stocks fall for third day

Dhaka stocks fell for a third day with investors still remaining cautious about investment in securities.

Iran keen to hire skilled workers

Iran has shown its keen interest in providing employment for skilled Bangladeshi workers and assisting in energy sector.

Edexcel offers course on RMG

UK-based organisation Edexcel yesterday launched its new course on the garment industry in Bangladesh.

Western Union cuts service fee

Money transfer service provider Western Union revised its charges for transferring money from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Bangladesh, said a press release.

Laos appoints consul in Dhaka

The Consulate of Laos appointed Md Syedur Rahman as honorary consul of the Laos People's Democratic Republic in Bangladesh.

Yahoo CEO steps down

Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, who earned the ire of many share-holders for rejecting a 47-billion-dollar takeover offer from Microsoft, is stepping down as chief executive of the Internet company.

India sees growth rising to 9pc

India insisted Tuesday its economy would rebound next year from the global financial crisis, saying it expected to return to robust growth of nine percent.

Ford to sell stake in Mazda

Embattled US carmaker Ford said Tuesday it will sell a 20 percent stake in its Japanese partner Mazda for 540 million dollars to raise cash.

Wolseley to axe 2,300 jobs

Wolseley, the world's biggest distributor of plumbing and heating products, said on Tuesday it planned to cut more than 2,300 jobs, mainly in Britain but also in the Nordic region, as its profits slump.

Oil makes slight gains in Asia

Oil prices rose in Asian trade on Tuesday after falling around two dollars on worries over a deepening global financial crisis, dealers said.

Metropolitan

Dalits subjected to serious human rights violations

Rekha Ali Basko cannot forget the days when she was not allowed to drink water with the glass used commonly by others at her school as she was born in a Harijon family.

'Include child rights issues in election manifestos'

Speakers at a press conference called on the country's major political parties yesterday to incorporate the child rights issues in their election manifestos for the next general elections.

Save a war-maimed freedom fighter

Karuna Begum, a war-maimed freedom fighter, has been fighting for life at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) for last three months.

Anti-liberation forces damage Baul statues

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said the defeated forces in the liberation war have recently vandalised the precious Baul sculptures to wipe out thousand years' traditional culture, history and heritage of the nation.

Society lacks awareness about autism

The society still lacks awareness regarding the issue of autism although it has already addressed different types of disabilities successfully, speakers at the inaugural session of a two-day workshop said yesterday.

Kalyan Party nominates 43 candidates for JS elections

Bangladesh Kalyan Party (BKP) has nominated 43 candidates to contest the 9th parliamentary elections.

CA witnesses BAF annual firing exercise

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed witnessed the spectacular firing exercise of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) "Fire Power-2008" at the BAF Firing Range yesterday.

Three killed in road accidents

Three people were killed and 15 others injured in separate road accidents in Netrakona and Brahmanbaria yesterday.

Nari Maitree celebrates silver jubilee

Nari Maitree, a women's rights organisation, celebrated the silver jubilee at Cirdap auditorium in the city yesterday.

'One-sided' polls will deepen political crisis

Five eminent citizens of the country in a joint statement yesterday said any “one-sided and incomplete” election initiative will intensify the prevailing political crisis, instead of brining any solution to the problems which will be unfortunate for the nation.

BDR hands over border guard to BSF

Panchagarh BDR handed over the border guard to BSF members yesterday after he was detained in a drunken stupor on Sunday midnight while he along with eight to 10 members were entering Bangladesh territory through Tetulia frontier.

Bar Council polls tomorrow

Election to Bangladesh Bar Council will be held tomorrow.

Election can't be deferred even for a day: AL

Awami League leadership yesterday said parliamentary elections cannot be deferred for a single day from December 18.

Bangladesh-Korea Technical Training Centre

Bangladesh-Korea Technical Training Centre was inaugurate at Mirpur in the city on Monday, says a press release.

HC exempts Prothom Alo editor, publisher from appearing in court

The High Court yesterday exempted the Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman, Publisher Mahfuz Anam and reporter Mizanur Rahman Khan from appearing in person before the court in connection with a contempt case.

Donation for cancer hospital

A total Tk 16.1 lakh was received as donation in October for construction of Ahsania Mission Cancer Hospital (AMCH).

US deputy asstt secy of defence arrives today

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence (DASD) for South and Southeast Asia James Clad arrives in Dhaka today on a two-day visit, says a press release.

Bar Council election tomorrow

Election to Bangladesh Bar Council will be held tomorrow.

Shahadat made envoy to Qatar

M Shahadat Hossain, currently serving as the high commissioner of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka, has been appointed the ambassador to Qatar.

Training on development of prison management

Robert Allen and Andrew Barclay, British experts from the International Centre for Prison Studies, held a daylong training programme with Bangladeshi prison officers on the development of prison management techniques and procedures yesterday.

136 policemen, 2 doctors get UN medals

One hundred and thirty-six members of Bangladesh Police and two Bangladeshi doctors have been awarded UN Peacekeeping Medals for their outstanding contribution to establishing peace in Darfur, Sudan.

Major Jalil's death anniversary today

Today is the 19th death anniversary of Major (retd) MA Jalil, commander of the Sector 9 during the War of Liberation, says a press release.

National

AL tickets trigger protests in several districts

Grassroots Awami League leaders in several districts yesterday expressed sharp reaction over nomination of candidates, saying that the party high command fielded candidates ignoring their suggestions and depriving dedicated and acceptable leaders.

Angry protests against AL tickets in Rajshahi-4,5, 6

Awami League leaders and activists burst into angry protests in three constituencies in Rajshahi yesterday against party nominations to businessmen newcomers, instead of senior party leaders suggested from the grassroots.

Road blocked for 4 time winner Roy

Grassroots leaders of Awami League of Biral and Bochaganj upazila of Dinajpur blocked Dinajpur-Bochaganj highway for hours yesterday demanding nomination of Shatish Chandra Roy from Dinajpur-2 instead of Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury and threatened to resign from their party for non-compliance. Roy won from the seat four times since 1979.

Over 1,800 AL men resign in Patuakhali

Over 1800 leaders and activists of Awami League and its front organisations in its Galachipa unit yesterday tendered resignation en masse protesting the nomination of Golam Moula Roni, a member of the party in ward no. 54 in Dhaka city, to contest the upcoming parliamentary election from Patuakhali-3 constituency (Galachipa-Dasmina).

AL offices locked at Jhenidah, Moheshpur

Anrgy leaders and activists of Awami league (AL) and its front organizations in Jhenidah yesterday staged demoinstrations and locked the patry's district office and its Moheshpur upazila office protesting nomination for Jhenidah 2 and Jhenidah-3 constituencies.

3 Allahr Dal men held in Nilphamari

Police arrested three alleged activists of banned Allahr Dal at Domar bazar Monday night.

Khulna Hardboard Mill closed

Khulna Hardboard Mill was closed Monday night due to severe crisis of furnace oil.

Moriarty launches IPAC project in Rangamati

US Ambassador James F Moriarty said ethnic communities in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) contributed a lot to enriching Bangladesh's culture and tradition.

A different scene in B'baria

Awami League (AL) activists here expressed their happiness after learning the news of party nomination of six local AL leaders Monday evening for contesting the upcoming parliamentary elections from six constituencies of the district.

Letters

Election 2008

As far as my memory goes, I was born in Bangladesh which is in South East Asia. What I understand listening to the elders and reading books is that this part of the world was civilized much before Europe and America.

Political turmoil

Hartal, procession and turbulence are very common things prior to election in our country. I have never seen any election without these 'essentials'. Lately, the apprehension of three political leaders has exhibited a sign of imminent political unrest. Besides, one of the major political parties has announced its seven point demand, signalling the impending political unrest. We understand that election under the state of emergency is unconstitutional and unlawful, but is creating anarchy and crippling the country by calling hartal and putting it into a deadlock lawful? Everybody wants a free and fair election but many of us don't want to make it happen under the state of emergency, why? We know that people do not enjoy fundamental rights, while living under emergency rules. Actually, what is our fundamental right-- is it like acting as a suicidal bomber, slaying innocent people and battling each other for grabbing power and freely getting involved in corruption to be rich overnight? Have we ever thought when does a country need to go under the state of emergency rules? In fact this govt. was necessary for this country to bring back the lost gloss of everything. Albeit the entire country has not yet been free of venality, but its authority has been striving their level best to eliminate the venal groups for the sake of prosperity. Already crores of taka illegally gotten by our so-called politicians has been refunded to the govt. exchequer for future development of this crippled country. Not only they (politicians) have proved that they will be on the rampage, making a chaotic situation, but also they will be indulging in corruption as soon as the emergency goes.

Garments industry's prospects

A great possibility has emerged in exporting garments products of our country. Many world famous retailers in this sector are eager to buy such products from our country.

IT at SSC level?

We heard that IT study would be made compulsory at the SSC level. Obviously, it is very good news. But the reality is different. Most of the rural secondary schools have no electricity. I visited some rural schools recently. I knew that a school in rural areas in Rangpur got three computers, printers, computer tables and accessories and even a teacher trained on computer under this project from NOTRAMS some years ago. But I found nothing except three computer tables and the school has no electricity till now!

Buying gas, a tricky affair

When our cars were run with octane, we could easily maintain log of how much oil was taken, how many kilometres the cars ran and keep our drivers' 'bad habits' under control (to some extent). With our cars being converted into gas, this has become quite difficult. However, I would like to share my experience which I think may help some of the car owners.

Muslims in Philippines

A couple of days ago I was reading a news item in your newspaper that around ten Muslim rebels were killed in a six-hour fire fight in the southern Philippines. They were recognized as the members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). However, there were no casualties on the government side, while 15 other MILF rebels were wounded.

Melamine tests

The High Court's ruling on melamine tests as reported in a local English daily on November11 is a step in the right direction. One however wonders if it really covers all the milk, imported or produced in Bangladesh based on imported milk powder.

Sick mentality?

I do not think any patient will be kept in hospital in any country of the world month after month, year after year. If there is no hope for the patients, they will be transferred to the rehabilitation centre. If the patient is terminally ill, the life support will be taken out with the permission of the patient's relatives. It is out of the question that a patient will occupy a bed or a cabin in the hospital forever under any circumstances. The politicians can fool the people of Bangladesh but not the rest of the world. How dumb our authorities are! I think Bangladesh should be given an international award for its dumbness.

Good leader

A good leader must have a projected plan, programme and a decision-making body before taking up the highest seat of the republic with the latest equipment and the most competent persons.

Agarwalla's comments

Instead of taking offence at Mr. Niraj Agarwalla's harsh comments on my letter, I feel I should enlighten him about the reasons behind my scepticism. It is very easy to be passionate and make sweeping remarks when you have no knowledge of how this group of people has suffered in the past and also how recent incidents have been surfacing on and off, giving fleeting glimpses of what easily could have been another Bradley Effect. Echoing my fear was my way of awakening all to what the consequences could be and how the world would look at it, if a man with Barack Obama's standing is not elected. This would have had a catastrophic effect on the world. We would have remained enslaved forever.

Commuters' sufferings

I am writing on a serious problem that the majority of Mohammadpur residents are facing. It is the problem of commuting. The restriction on non-motorised vehicles on some roads such as the Mirpur road and the Karwan Bazaar road has created a serious problem for the commuters.

Lift ban on ICL players

In the latest version of thrilling cricket, ICL 20-20 championship, 2008/09, Dhaka Warriors with all Bangladeshi players and at their first appearance secured the fifth position surpassing Delhi Giants, Ahmedabad Rockets, Chandrigarh Lions and Mumbai Champs in the Standings Table.

Cox's Bazar

Cox's Bazaar has only one unique feature , and that is its length--more than 100km, and that's all. The tourists once going there will never think of going again. The beach has no security. After evening! God help you. No lights, no security personnel, no transport and what else do you expect? Can't the authorities make some safety arrangement for the people who go for swimming? It's not that difficult. Just put more people to take care of swimmers. The canyons in the shore are not too many. They can be covered by strong poles and even nets with large holes, which will not resist the water flow but stop the people from falling into the trap of those deep holes or canyons.

Advertisement ethics

The UK government has recently amended its employment laws to restrain any job vacancy advertisement which restricts applicants within an age bracket. It is inhuman and a national financial loss to restrict a massive experienced wise workforce from offering the nation its expertise by restricting age-limits of the applicants.

Back to 1971

Everyone knows that the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 gained momentum due to the political party " Awami League". And its slogan 'Joy Bangla' worked as a strengthening factor in the battle for our political freedom.

CA's bold decision

The Chief Adviser has finally spoken and vowed to hold the national election as per schedule he promised to the nation time and again. The nation has felt a sigh of relief hearing this news. This is what the people of all walks of life were waiting for. I believe the people of Bangladesh will remember the CTG if this happens and an elected government is in place at the dawn of 2009. Bangladesh is not anybody's personal property and an individual however powerful he/she may be cannot manipulate on his or her sweet will and dictate things as he/she wishes. If the people of Bangladesh have learnt something from 1/11, they should back the present CTG to bring change in the age-old confrontational politics based on lies, fake hopes and unhealthy rivalry.

Say 'no' to drugs

Nowadays young generations of the country, boys and girls, are going for drug abuse. Furthermore, because or the inactivity of law enforcement agencies, the business of drugs is going on freely. Although the media is trying its best to raise social awareness among the general public, it is not enough to deal with the menace in the long run.

International

US, UK acted as 'vigilantes' in Iraq invasion

One of Britain's most authoritative judicial figures last night delivered a blistering attack on the invasion of Iraq, describing it as a serious violation of international law, and accusing Britain and the US of acting like a "world vigilante".

Lanka troops in sea battle as LTTE-held towns fall

Sri Lanka's navy traded fire with a flotilla of Tamil rebel boats off the island's northeastern coast yesterday, a day after ground troops captured three guerrilla-held towns, defence officials said.

Taliban reject Afghan president's talks offer

Taliban militants rejected an offer of peace talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, saying Monday there would be no negotiations until foreign troops leave Afghanistan.

Israeli tanks rumble into Gaza

Palestinian residents in the Gaza Strip say Israeli tanks have moved into the area for the first time in a week. Militants say they fired rockets and mortars at the tanks.

Somali pirates hijack Saudi supertanker

In a dramatic escalation of high seas crime, Somali pirates hijacked a Saudi supertanker loaded with crude hundreds of miles off the coast of East Africa defeating the security web of warships trying to protect vital shipping lanes.

20 killed in Philippine clashes with rebels

Around 20 people were killed in a series of clashes between Muslim separatist guerrillas and government forces in the troubled southern Philippines, officials said yesterday.

Obama vows to boost ties with allies

US president-elect Barack Obama vowed to strengthen Washington's ties with its allies in a message read out Tuesday at a Nato Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Spain.

Nato fires artillery at militants in Pakistan

Nato troops in eastern Afghanistan fired 20 artillery rounds at insurgents inside Pakistan after coordinating with Islamabad, officials said yesterday.

Nepal's Maoist chief, senior leader at loggerheads

The central committee (CC) meeting of Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) held on Monday saw party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and leader of the hard-line faction Mohan Baidya present separate political documents.

Iraqi cleric repeats concerns on pact

Iraq's top Shia cleric said yesterday that the US-Iraqi security pact would only be viable if the country's main political groups backed it and it restored the country's full sovereignty.

Taliban threaten France with attacks in video

A Taliban military leader threatened to carry out attacks in Paris unless French troops are pulled out of Afghanistan, in a video broadcast Monday on Al-Arabiya television.

Punish Indian police for torturing Muslims

A leading human rights group yesterday called for Indian police to be punished for torturing Muslim men detained after bomb attacks in a southern city last year.

Congo troops flee as rebels advance

Rebels steadily advanced in eastern Congo on Tuesday, and fleeing government soldiers even fought with their allies as army control in the region broke down, witnesses said.

Arts & Entertainment

Sidr Diary A national tragedy in stills

Zaid Islam is a freelance photographer. This is hardly an apt introduction of a man who snapped photos at a time when the nation was mourning the after-effects of a natural disaster, Sidr; a name that conjures up senses of trauma, loss and tragedy even now.

Abu Sayeed’s Rupantor gearing up for Indian film festivals

Bangladeshi filmmaker Abu Sayeed's latest work "Rupantor" will be pitted against 14 other films in the competitive section of the upcoming International Film Festival of India beginning in Goa on November 22.

All things old and wonderful

Freshly baked mounds of 'bakarkhani' and little potato 'shingara' can be seen at every street corner. There was a palpable festive feeling in the air for it was just a few days before 'Kali puja'; Kali is the fiery reigning goddess of Shakhari Bazar. Idols abound in different stages of completion, their straw innards covered and moulded with clay by artisan families; her tongue sticking out, on realising she has trodden on her destroyer god consort, Shiva.

A celebration for Ramendu Majumdar

Production house Expressions Ltd. has arranged a cultural programme this evening at 7:30 pm at Saffron Restaurant in Gulshan. The event is a celebration of Ramendu Majumdar being elected the president of ITI. Ramendu Majumdar is also the managing director of Expressions.

McCartney hints at “mythical” Beatles track release

An unreleased, experimental track by British band The Beatles could be made public 41 years after it was recorded at London's Abbey Road studios, ex-member Paul McCartney has said.

Mela on Nat’l Agriculture Day in Chapainawabganj

A daylong 'mela' was held in Chapainawabganj amidst much festivity last Saturday. Different species of trees were on display at stalls set up by different government, private horticulture centres and NGO's at the Chapainawabganj Government College premises.

2nd Int’l Children’s Film Festival to be held in January

Children's Film Society Bangladesh will arrange the "2nd International Children's Film Festival" next year, says a press release. For this purpose, the organisation has asked Bangladeshi directors to submit their films.

OP-ED

Election for the economy

OVER the last two years or so, Bangladesh had to live without an elected government. This goes against the very spirit of the constitution, which stipulates sovereignty of people to choose their own representatives to rule the country. In a modern world, nothing short of an elected government would be expected to claim a berth in a club of civilised nations. Why it took so much time to turn to election is a long story, and the author has no intention of delving into it. Suffice it say, however, that the country had been under emergency rule for the longest period in its history.

Politics of race

IT is perhaps a bit late in the day, nearly two weeks after November 4, to be writing about Barack Obama's electoral victory. This want of alacrity, however, is intentional.

Inside the new US-Iraq agreement

AS recently as last May, American and Iraqi negotiators were at a dead end in efforts to forge a security agreement that would cover withdrawal of US forces. For one thing -- an important thing -- some opponents of a deal were framing the discussion in terms of the Americans trying to establish a permanent occupying force in the country.

K. Z. Alam, my friend

THE news of his passing away came late to me, but did not come as a shock. It came as an immense sadness. K. Z. Alam, Shelley to his friends, had been fighting death for many long months. He lost the battle on September 14.

Star City

Nurturing the rare plants

The rare medicinal plant collection at the National Botanical Garden in Mirpur is getting more attention in recent times from enthusiasts amid growing popularity of herbal medicines in the country.

Plants That Fight Common Illness

Some of the medicinal plants are widely used across the country.

Dhaka Amar Dhaka opens Nov 28

The 400th anniversary of Dhaka as the capital city will be celebrated amid massive festivity and colourful activities.


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