The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, September 19, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 26th of November, 2008

Front Page

Parties get into full swing of polls

Political parties are gearing up for the December 29 elections as candidate nomination and seat-sharing negotiations by both major alliances are in full swing despite reservations of the two main parties about electoral rules and upazila polls.

AL gambles on seven new faces in Dhaka

Awami League (AL) has picked seven new faces for constituencies in the capital mainly on grassroots recommendations backed by its President Sheikh Hasina.

Convicts, reformists too rush to get BNP ticket

Convicts under Emergency Power Rules, so-called reformist leaders of BNP and many fresh faces collected nomination forms from BNP central and city offices in Naya Paltan yesterday, the first day of BNP's nomination process.

EC moves to stave off influence by high-ups

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday decided to formally ask 39 registered political parties and their nominees for the upcoming parliamentary election to abide by the electoral laws and code of conduct.

Emergency to go fully before polls

The caretaker government yesterday announced that the state of emergency would be lifted at a 'reasonable time' before the parliamentary polls scheduled for December 29.

BNP grassroots wait to be asked for nomination

BNP leaders at the grassroots level are still in the dark as they have not yet received any instruction on sending panels of nominees for the December 29 parliamentary election.

UN pre-poll team hopes emergency to go soon

A UN election assessment team took an overview of election affairs in a meeting with three advisers to the caretaker government yesterday and expressed the hope that the state of emergency would be lifted before the polls now slated for December 29.

HC stays bar on Khoka to run in JS polls

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for four weeks operation of the Election Commission's (EC) decision banning Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka from running in the parliamentary polls.

AL to offer opposition dy speaker post, if elected

If Awami League (AL) is voted to power, it would take initiatives, including request names from the opposition parties for the post of deputy speaker, in order to make the parliament effective.

Change of UZ poll schedule not practical

The Election Commission (EC) thinks the upazila election has to be held according to the current schedule since holding it under a fresh schedule could push the election date to the end of 2009.

5 powder milk brands won't be advertised until Jan 3

The High Court (HC) yesterday ruled that five powdered milk companies in question would not publish any advertisement for their brands until January 3, 2009.

Ministry forms probe body to examine toxic oil tanker

The Ministry of Shipping has formed a committee to investigate the toxicity of oil tanker 'MT Enterprise' blacklisted by environmental group Greenpeace for containing hazardous substances.

Inflation drops in October

The overall inflation rate on a point-to-point basis dropped by 2.93 percentage point to 7.26 per cent in October as prices of both food and non-food items fell.

Ctg JMB chief, three others get 20yrs

The Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal here yesterday sentenced Chittagong divisional chief of banned Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Javed Iqbal and three other JMB cadres to 20 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) each for bomb attack on a judge in 2005.

Thai govt 'goes into hiding' amid protest

The Thai government insisted yesterday it was "fully functional" but refused to disclose where officials were working to avoid provoking more protests with anti-government activists who have vowed to bring the administration to a standstill.

Arrest warrant against Ovi

A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrant against fugitive former Jatiya Party lawmaker Golam Faruq Ovi, who is accused of murdering model Tinni.

7 special trains to tackle Eid rush

Bangladesh Railway (BR) has arranged seven special trains and 40 extra coaches to facilitate the journey of homebound passengers on the occasion of upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.

Kitchen market waste turns bio-fertiliser

Bio-waste generated at the city's kitchen markets might no more be used for land filling and such other purposes since it is now being utilised as a raw material for producing quality bio-fertiliser.

Lankan troops poised to take Tiger HQ

Security forces ambushed and killed scores of Tamil Tigers in northern Sri Lanka yesterday, the defence ministry said, adding its troops were poised to take the rebels' political capital.

20 hurt as students clash with traders

At least 20 people were injured yesterday in a clash between students of Habibullah Bahar University College and businessmen of Karnaphuli Garden City shopping complex at Shantinagar in the city.

Tigers brace for pace

Bangladesh batsmen need to come up with their best to survive against the lethal pace attack when they meet South Africa in the second and final Test at the SuperSport Park in Centurion today.

PSC won't change 27th BCS results

Public Service Commission (PSC) will not change the announced results of the much-talked 27th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations although the education adviser a few days ago assured the unsuccessful agitating candidates of considering their demand.

70 fishermen kidnapped by pirates

Pirates kidnapped 70 fishermen for ransom and injured 12 others in the Bay near Mongla and Sharankhola upazila early yesterday.

Bridge blast kills 5 Indian police officers

Suspected communist rebels blew up a bridge in India's restive east yesterday, killing five police officers who were escorting election officials, police said.

Proceedings against ex-whip Zahed stayed

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for two months the proceedings against former BNP Whip Zahed Ali Chowdhury in a corruption case filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

Somali pirates hijack Yemeni cargo ship

Somali pirates have hijacked a Yemeni cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden, a maritime official told AFP yesterday.

Pope prefers dialogue of cultures, rather than religions

Dialogue between religions, in the strict sense of the term, is impossible, said Pope Benedict XVI in the preface to a book published in Italy yesterday.

Editorial

Full steam ahead

At this stage in the proceedings, there is broad agreement between the major political parties and alliances and the EC on all major issues, and, as such, there should be no bar to the holding of parliamentary elections participated in by all parties on December 29 as scheduled.

Violence and the young

One could call it a storm in a teacup. And yet what happened in the Dhaka University area on Monday turned out to be something worse. An argument at a tea stall between students and the stall owner over change for a hundred taka note took an unexpected turn when policemen tried to calm everyone who happened to be getting agitated. And so what followed was predictable. Students of the university tried to resist the police, who in turn went into action to discipline the young men. What happened to the tea stall owner is not known. That is natural, for all too often the causes of a bad situation often get lost when bigger elements are thrown into the chaos.

A rush of smiles on a sprawling lawn

Everyone is talking about the moment Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia met the other day, about the way they greeted each other and smiled at each other. Knowing the way things go in Bangladesh, you can be sure that it is a subject over which a lot of people will spend a lot of time talking. The process is already under way, and not even the adviser for home affairs could resist the temptation of telling us what actually transpired at the armed forces day reception. It was he who let us in on the revelation that the Awami League chief had sometimes cooked her own food while in incarceration and had sent some of it to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson. We have not been told, though, if Begum Zia had done some cooking on her own and whether she had reciprocated Sheikh Hasina's gesture.

On the edge

A flicker of hope appeared amid the lingering gloom of uncertainty over the ensuing national election when its latest rescheduling, with the shifting of vote-casting day to December 29, and the BNP welcoming the move conditionally. Although no unequivocal declaration of the BNP's participation in the election was made, it was taken to be a positive stance of the BNP in favour of its participation in the election.

Sports

Plan damage limitation

It doesn't get any tougher than playing South Africa in their own den and for the Tigers it was like a knife's edge that ripped them apart in the first Test which they lost by an innings and 129 runs last week.

Russel back on top

Captain Touati Youness fired a 90th minute winner to help Sheikh Russel reclaim pole position with their fifth win and end Brothers Union's unbeaten run in the Citycell B. League yesterday.

Barisal hand Khulna two-day rout

If 250 was the par score on Day One, it was the turn for scores below 100 runs as Khulna were destroyed and Chittagong struggled on the second day of National Cricket League's seventh round yesterday.

India sense 7-0 sweep

India will approach Wednesday's fifth one-day international against England as the start of a new series after clinching a decisive 4-0 lead, with the tourists out to salvage some pride.

Primed to play

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said he is ready to return to international cricket after a spell on the sidelines since standing down as skipper in August.

BCB's new EC makes debut today

The newly elected executive committee of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is expected to elect a senior vice-president and two vice-presidents through secret ballot in its first meeting this afternoon.

Rasel uncertain for SL series

Left-arm seamer Syed Rasel will have no activity for up to three weeks, according to chief selector Rafiqul Alam.

Muktijoddha in more trouble

Muktijoddha Sangsad's struggle continued despite the club received Tk ten lakh from their B. League sponsors recently.

Men's team clinch 47th place

Bangladesh men's team blanked Thailand 4-0 in the 11th and final round of the Open Section on Monday to finish 47th among 154 teams at the 38th Chess Olympiad at Dresden, Germany.

Top spot up for grabs

The carrot of qualifying for the last 16 of Europe's premier club competition is dangling in front of some of the biggest teams involved in this year's Champions League.

Djeparov Asia's best

Uzbekistan's Server Djeparov was Tuesday named Asian player of the year while Gamba Osaka was voted club of the year and Japan the national team of the year at a glittering ceremony in Shanghai.

An unusual celebration

The entire Indian squad came out onto the field hours after play got over. They had the run of the empty stadium, and a jubilant team made the most of it. Running, screaming and having fun -- -- a victory lap and a victory dance away from the fans, but in the middle of the stadium -- -- the perfect way to celebrate.

Dhoni finds few friends

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's threat to resign to back a player of his choice did not find much support among former cricketers, who Tuesday insisted that while a captain does have the right to give his inputs, the final call should rest with the selectors.

Abdullah takes 100m crown

Corporal Abu Abdullah set a new national mark in the 100-meter sprint of Bangladesh Army Annual Athletics Championship with a timing of 10.13 seconds on the closing day of the meet at the Army Stadium in Banani yesterday.

Moles new NZ coach

Former Warwickshire batsman Andy Moles was Tuesday appointed to replace John Bracewell as the new coach of the New Zealand cricket team, after front-runner Matthew Mott pulled out at the last minute.

UIU lift TT team title

United International Univer-sity (UIU) clinched the team title of the 3rd UIU-Bank Alfalah table tennis tournament defeating Brac Univer-sity 3-1 at the UIU auditorium yesterday.

Cesc proud to be captain

Cesc Fabregas said it was a "proud moment" and a "great honour" after being handed the captaincy of Arsenal.

Fatigue worries O'Neill

Aston Villa's bright start to the season could be undermined by fatigue, coach Martin O'Neill has said.

Velappan slams Hammam

The Asian Football Confederation is becoming increasingly authoritarian, a former top official said Tuesday, urging member nations to block an "insulting" plan to shift its headquarters from Malaysia.

Records tipped to tumble

Revolutionary starting blocks are expected to send world swimming records tumbling again in 2009, after an Olympic year when hi-tech suits helped competitors go faster than ever.

Camara sinks Everton

Senegalese international Henri Camara's goal gave Wigan a much-needed 1-0 win over Everton here on Monday in their Premier League clash and lifted them out of the relegation places.

FIFA bans Peru

Football's world governing body FIFA said Tuesday it has suspended Peru's Football Association (FPF) with immediate effect over a row with the government over alleged political interference.

Mourinho agent meets Drogba

Chelsea forward Didier Drogba has been in talks with the agent of Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho, the Gazzetta dello Sport website reported on Tuesday.

Motijheel in 2nd spot

Motijheel T&T Club advanced to second position in the Second Division Football League after a 1-0 win over Euro Famous Club at the Kamalapur Stadium yesterday.

Pindi gets the chop

Pakistan's cricket chief on Tuesday said Rawalpindi has been dropped as a venue for the upcoming home series against India because the central city's stadium is not ready.

'Indian duo favourites'

All set to begin a new innings as a commentator, maverick South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs said barring miracles, either Rajasthan Royals or Chennai Super Kings would clinch next month's Champions League Twenty20.

Crucial win for Biman

Biman Bangladesh crossed major hurdle in the Fahami Group First Division Badminton League when they edged fellow title contenders Knitt Concern 3-2 in the men's competition at the NSC Woodenfloor Gymnasium yesterday.

Business

Germany eyes broader business in Bangladesh

Germany targets Bangladesh as a lucrative investment destination considering the latter's steady economic growth for the past several years despite political instability.

OECD makes gloomy forecasts for rich world

The rich world is plunging into the worst economic downturn in decades, the OECD forecast on Tuesday, as governments scrambled to prepare their nations for soaring unemployment and recession.

Stocks skid on low investor spirits

Dhaka stocks slumped yesterday for a second day, driven mainly by a persistent lack of confidence among investors.

Textile industry fears hit from EU's possible change in GSP

Bangladesh's textile industry apprehends an economic shock on a European Union move to change the rules of origin (RoO) by the year 2010 that favours a single-stage transformation with regard to garment manufacture.

New indicators to weigh budget implementation

The government is set to introduce key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor work of ministries on a quarterly basis to speed up implementation of the objectives laid out in the budget.

Pakistan gets $7.6b from IMF

The International Monetary Fund said Monday its executive board had approved a credit of 7.6 billion dollars for Pakistan, the Fund's first rescue in Asia since the global financial crisis began.

Watch fallout from financial crisis

Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) President Fazlul Hoque yesterday asked the government to properly monitor the global economic crisis to save the country from its brunt.

BTRC to discipline rogue ISPs

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has drafted guidelines for licensing the unauthorised small internet service providers (ISPs) at minimal fees.

German consumer confidence up

German consumer confidence has risen slightly despite Europe's biggest economy falling into recession, but could drop quickly if hit by gloomy jobs news, a poll released on Tuesday showed.

DBH rated top scale 'AAA'

Delta Brac Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DBH) was rated 'AAA' (triple A), top of the rating scale for long term and ST-1 for short term for the third consecutive year.

Insurance assoc new executives

AKM Rafiqul Islam has been elected chairman and Nizam Uddin Ahmed vice chairman of Bangladesh Insurance Association (BIA) for a two-year term (2009-10), said a press release.

Banglalink launches ‘healthlink’ services

Banglalink has recently launched 'Healthlink Service' for its subscribers, according to a press statement.

Asian stocks rise on Citigroup bailout

Asian markets surged yesterday following a rally on Wall Street after the US government agreed a massive support package for banking giant Citigroup.

US trade show Feb 26

The 18th annual US Trade Show will begin here at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel on February 26 next year.

Events bring students jobs

An executive-looking young man in crisp black and white uniform welcomes a visitor to a stall. The look is unbeatable, as sharp as the brand he is representing.

Citigroup bailout breeds relief, caution

The rescue of US banking giant Citigroup and steps by governments to spur economic growth calmed fears of financial turmoil on Tuesday, tempered with caution over the wider scope of the crisis.

Global stocks soar

Asian stocks soared Tuesday after stellar gains on US and European markets as investors welcomed a rescue of US banking giant Citigroup and steps by governments to spur economic growth.

Biz Letters

EPB and jute exports


I was browsing the Export Promotion Bureau's (EPB) website the other day and it gave me a dismal scenario. In the introduction it is stated, “Employment opportunities can be created in a populated country like ours with the promotion of export.” Authorities of EPB can easily say this but I am skeptical about how much help the exporting companies receive from EPB in this regard.

Oil slides

Oil prices slid on Tuesday as traders banked profits following sharp gains won a day earlier, analysts said.

BHP Billiton drops Rio Tinto takeover bid

The world's biggest miner BHP Billiton announced Tuesday it was dropping its controversial hostile takeover bid for rival Rio Tinto due to the state of the global economy.

ECB lends eurozone banks more than 334b euros

The European Central Bank said on Tuesday that it lent eurozone banks more than 334 billion euros (429 billion dollars) for a week in its latest operation to boost interbank lending on money markets.

Airbus may cut production if crisis worsens

The boss of European aircraft manufacturer Airbus says he has not ruled out a cut in production if the economic crisis worsens, while promising to back clients facing difficulties financing the purchase of planes.

Skanska announces 3,400 job cuts

Swedish construction group Skanska announced on Tuesday that it is to cut 3,400 jobs in the Nordic region of which 2,000 are to go in Sweden owing to slowing activity in the economy.

Metropolitan

Awareness a must to prevent HIV/AIDS

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said though the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is still only one percent, there is nothing to be contented as Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries for its geographical location, huge population and low-level educational status.

DAP deviates from master plan

Architects, planners and environmentalists at a press conference yesterday said the final draft of Detailed Area Plan (DAP) of Dhaka metropolitan city has deviated from the original Dhaka Metropolitan Development Plan (DMDP), also known as master plan.

Transparency in govt instts can curb graft

Ensuring transparency and accountability in the government institutions can effectively curb corruption in the country, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury said yesterday.

Call to eliminate violence against women

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was observed across the country yesterday.

Restrictions on media obstacle to fair elections

Speakers at a seminar yesterday criticised the Election Commission (EC) for framing a code of conduct for the mass media covering the national election, saying that such restrictions may lead to a 'controlled' election and manipulation.

Pollution a threat to dev

Speakers at a seminar yesterday expressed concern over high level of natural and man-made environmental pollution.

Fakhruddin undergoes minor operation

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday had a minor operation at Dhaka Combined Military Hospital.

One day Eid holiday for EC staffs

The Election Commission (EC) has shortened the holidays of Eid-ul-Azha from three days to one day for its officials and employees due to parliament and upazila elections.

Workshop on anti-trafficking intervention

A two-day regional workshop on rights-based approach in anti-trafficking intervention was held at Brac Centre Inn in the city yesterday.

Tourist sites being destroyed for lack of coordinated policy

The country's tourist sites are being destroyed due to lack of a coordinated policy as businessmen and opportunists are cashing in on the unrestricted sites, speakers said at a programme yesterday.

One in seven suffers from kidney disease in Bangladesh

One in every seven people in the country has been suffering from kidney diseases and 40,000 die of longtime kidney failures annually, experts told a convention and scientific seminar yesterday.

Police asked to quicken probe into blast cases

Home Adviser Maj Gen (Retd) MA Matin yesterday asked police to speed up the investigation into the Ramna Batamul bomb blast and the SAMS Kibria murder as a high-level meeting reviewed the probe progress of sensational cases.

'Raise voice against sexual harassment'

Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday called on the youth to be conscious against the sexual harassment and exploitation at the education institutions.

Rally of martyrs' families tomorrow

Sector Commanders' Forum-Muktijoddha '71 will organise a rally of the family members of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives during the War of Liberation in 1971, demanding trial of the war criminals at Rabindra Sarobar at Dhanmondi in the city at 3:00pm tomorrow.

Save Toma

Taslima Akter Toma, founder principal of Rajdhani Preparatory School and Girls' College in Rayerbazar, has been suffering from breast cancer.

'Establish land rights of indigenous people'

Leaders of Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) and Indigenous Rights Movement demanded rights to land and constitutional recognition of the indigenous people.

Set up nat'l commission for biotechnology

Speakers at a dialogue yesterday underscored the need for encouraging the use of biotechnology to make the country's position stronger in the global revolution of its use.

'Form left unity '

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) leaders at a meeting of the election coordination committee of the party yesterday said the path to go to power could be established by allying with war criminals and autocrats but that will not resolve the fundamental problems of the people.

Death anniversary

Today is the 37th death anniversary of Yusuf Ali Chowdhury (Mohan Mia), a renowned politician of the sub-continent, says a press release.

One killed in road accident

An elderly person was killed in a road accident at Nawabganj in the district early yesterday.

12 poachers arrested in Sundarbans

Forest officials, in separate drives, arrested 12 poachers from the Sundarbans area early yesterday.

Skilled workforce has huge potential in UK eateries

Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said non-resident Bangladeshis have been contributing a lot to the country's national economic development for decades.

Call to ensure violence-free society for women

Speakers at a seminar yesterday called on the civil society members to come forward to ensuring a violence-free society for women.

Tk 8.5cr fake stamps, 1500 bottles of phensidyl seized in city

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-4) seized fake revenue stamps worth about Tk 8.5 crore in the city on Sunday night and arrested two traders.

Three golden statues seized

Members of Rapid Action Battalion in separate drives yesterday recovered three golden statues, heroine, Yaba tablets and arms and arrested three people.

Jamaat leader Shahjahan freed on bail

Convicted former Jamaat lawmaker Shahjahan Chowdhury was released on bail here yesterday.

Campaign for Cox's Bazar, Sundarbans

University of Information Technology and Science (UITS), Rajshahi campus and Banglalink jointly launched a programme to vote for Cox's Bazar and the Sundarbans in the global contest for new seven wonders of the nature at UITS campus yesterday.Teachers, students and officials of the university joined the programme.

Robbery in city house

Robbers looted gold ornaments and other valuables worth about Tk 15 lakh from the house of a banker at Mirpur in the city yesterday morning.

Make best use of knowledge Japanese envoy urges JDS fellows

Japanese Ambassador Masayuki Inoue said, "We expect a great deal from Japanese Development Scholarship (JDS) fellows for the development of their own country through making the best use of knowledge and experience acquired in Japan," says a press release.

National

RU authorities ignore death anniversary

The 37th death anniversary of martyred Rajshahi University teacher Mir Abdul Quayyum passed off yesterday without any programme by the university authorities.

Jamaat wants tickets in JS seats of Aminul, Dulu, Nadim

As some BNP bigwigs may not be able to run the polls race, the party is in great problem in selecting candidates in five constituencies in Rajshahi, Noagaon and Natore.

20 vessels stranded in Jamuna

With receding of water in the Jamuna River, at least 20 vessels including fertiliser and fuel laden ones have remained stranded for several days at different points of Jamuna River due to navigability problem in the dry season.

Saifur's last desire in politics

BNP stalwart M Saifur Rahman will contest from Moulvibazar-3 (Sadar and Rajnagar) constituency as the last polls race of his life.

High alert in Khulna divn jails

All jails in Khulna division were put on high alert from yesterday on order from the Inspector General of Prisons.

6 looted rifles recovered in Mymensingh

Police in the early hours of yesterday recovered six rifles looted from an ansar camp in Bhaluka upazila after about one and a half hours of their loot.

Bombs, Indian fertiliser seized

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in separate drives in last two days in six northern districts seized 47 bombs, and Indian fertiliser, currency and vaccine.

Kamanna shaheed day today

Today is Kamanna shaheed day.

Release Tayebur for treatment abroad

Wife of former mayor of Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Sheikh Tayebur Rahman yesterday urged the government to release her husband immediately for his treatment abroad.

Khulna health director made OSD

The director of Khulna Divisional Heath Directorate, Dr Aftabuddin Ahmed has been made an officer on special duty (OSD) on charge of corruption.

3 BSF men sued in Panchagarh

Three members of Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) were sued yesterday for killing three Bangladeshis including a minor boy and wounding another one at Maynakuri village near Majipara border of Tetulia upazila in Panchagarh on November 16.

18th KU day observed

Khulna University observed its 18th founding day yesterday with pomp and grandeur.

Letters

Meeting of the Two

The nation is again in the grip of the two leaders, Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia. What they did during their stay in power in the past is known to all and what they will be able to do in future is also not beyond imagination. They have become leaders not by their leadership qualities but by virtue of luck and the failure of other politicians in both major political parties to come out of the shadows of the two ladies. I was in Saudi Arabia for a long time and had to listen to the joke from Saudis that there was no man in Bangladesh having moustache! This is the fate of this nation.

Street children

Street children are a worldwide phenomenon. That they are in the streets for many different reasons should not discourage attempts to look at their problems as a global responsibility. If you are an adult and you live on this planet, be aware now that many of our children are going to sleep hungry tonight, in the streets, with no adult protection or care. Millions of children are living in the streets, and the number is rising.

Political reforms

I refer to the PCP article by Professor Nazrul Islam entitled "Vital Reforms Ignored" on 21 Nov. His recommendations to reduce the tenure of an elected government from 5 to 4, to induce tolerance by the losers for the winner, is indeed a pragmatic idea and a newly elected parliament must take this on board for consideration. Four years has been the tenure of the elected US President from the inception of its constitution about 2 centuries ago and it has proved its worth over this time for the unity of such a disparate nation, and for the development of a tolerant democracy.

Edible oil price

Edible oil price in local market has gone up again.

Election date

The BNP's backing down indicates that they would not boycott elections at all, even if they were held on the 18th as scheduled. Delaying the polls by 10 days really does not benefit the BNP. The rescheduling of the dates for nominations gives them a little additional time to prepare, but as far as the polls are concerned, 10 days will make absolutely no difference to their preparation or chances. The only logical reason that I can see for this demand is that delaying by a week to 10 days puts the elections during Christmas time. Many foreign observers will cancel their trips. I'm sure you are aware that there are still a fair number of BNP sympathizers within the administration, especially the EC, etc.

Change for the better

Change, change, and change. Change is everywhere and change is part of life. If we accept good changes, we will grow, if we reject them we will be lost. America shows that you can change yourself to new choices, new relations, new ideas, and finally to a new life. The question is how many of us are ready to embrace this shift in our paradigm.

Agriculture Day

Declaration of Pahela Agrahayan as the 'National Agriculture Day' by the government has sparked pulsation to the community life of our farming people. Farmers throughout the country have celebrated the Day with great enthusiasm and jubilation. The government deserves appreciation for declaring the National Agriculture Day by recognizing the men behind the plough who are actually the prime driving force of our economy.

Experience!

I would like to pinpoint the present situation of our job market and the attitude of the employers of multinational companies. There is scarcity of job opportunities and the job seekers have to face the question-- "experienced or inexperienced?". My point is, nobody could be experienced while seeking his/her first job!

Rats

Rat killing drive is launched in our country under the patronage of the agriculture department of the government. The drive should be launched on a regular basis and the whole nation must be included in this task for the greater interest of the country.

Michael Jackson

None of the criminal cases against Michael Jackson could be proved beyond reasonable doubt. None of the civil suits could be proved with balance of probability. He is a clean man as per the definition of law. He even moved to the Middle East. But the witch hunting continues which is paradoxical to the human norms and laws of lands. He is innocent as not proven guilty. Now he has been confirmed to have converted to Islam like many other celebrities in the West against all propaganda and media campaigns against the faith. The Sun is one of the best selling tabloids in the UK where the story has grabbed the headlines of its 22 November issue with a shocking ridicule against Islam which put Jackson in a Burkha, as if Islam and Burkha were synonymous terms. Absolute example of disgusting taste in any form of civilised journalism.

Secondary education

The government and NGOs are working for improving the quality of secondary education across the country. Particularly BRAC and TQI (Teaching Quality Improvement Project) are providing training to head teachers and teachers. Obviously, there are other projects and NGOs also working for the betterment of English teaching-learning situation in secondary schools.

Education and employment

Bangladesh is fighting against poverty since 1971. Till now a significant chunk of the population is poor. Ensuring two meals a day is a major challenge for this country. The government is trying to ensure education for all to fight against poverty. But only a small section of our people is getting higher education facilities. It is a matter of regret that those seeking higher education are also not being educated according to the needs of the age.

Limited resources

Our resources are limited. We waste our resources indiscriminately. If it goes on, one day there will be no resources for our general use.

Licensed and illegal arms

In the last few days, most national dailies have published photographs or reports about owners depositing their licensed arms in police stations. That is good news, as far as it goes, for reducing the possibility of violence during the election period. However, the real and important thing is seizing the unauthorised arms, bombs and explosives; as well as eliminating the many workshops where these are being manufactured. This is a critical need to ensure not only a peaceful election, but also a peaceful country, which we badly need.

Truth Commission

It is interesting to see the Truth Commission, which shoulders the mammoth task of exorcising some accused with such alacrity, has got the dose of legal medicine, that is, the very legality of it formation is now in question.

International

LTTE chief to issue rallying call as fiefdom crumbles

The reclusive leader of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers is to deliver his annual policy address this week from a besieged jungle hideout that could soon be totally overrun by government troops.

Indo-Pak secretaries talk terror in Islamabad

India and Pakistan began crucial talks in Islamabad yesterday on combating terrorism, drug trafficking and liberalising the visa regime under the composite dialogue process, as authorities freed 101 Indian prisoners, most of them fishermen in a goodwill gesture.

Britain clamps down on forced marriages with eye on Pakistan

Britain introduced a new law yesterday bolstering rules against forced marriages, after Foreign Secretary David Miliband highlighted a case in Pakistan ahead of a visit there.

Israel again seals off Gaza

Israel reacted on Tuesday to militant rocket fire by again sealing off the Gaza Strip, where officials said the territory's sole power plant was forced to shut down because of the crippling blockade.

Qaeda brands top Pak leaders agents of US

al-Qaeda is becoming a great uniting factor between the political and military leadership of Pakistan. In a new 30 minutes video statement American born al-Qaeda leader Adam Yahiya Gadahn declared President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kyani as the agents of American imperialism.

Obama pushes for swift action

President-elect Barack Obama was set to expand his call for swift action to revive the stricken US economy yesterday in his second press conference in as many days focused on unveiling his economic team.

No coup looming despite protests

Thailand's powerful army chief on Tuesday vowed there would be no coup in the kingdom, despite pleas by anti-government protesters for the military to step in to end the current political crisis.

No basis for denying Syria help on N-plant

The head of the UN atomic watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, said Monday the IAEA had no legal right to deny Syria help in a nuclear power project, as called for by a number of western states.

US taps online youth groups to fight crime, terrorism

The US State Department announced plans on Monday to promote online youth groups as a new and powerful way to fight crime, political oppression and terrorism.

Iraqi MPs in final push before vote on US pact

Iraqi lawmakers made a final push yesterday to assemble a commanding majority to approve a controversial military pact that would allow US troops to remain another three years.

Bush, Olmert bid farewell saying ME talks to go on

President George W Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that the Middle East peace process which has so far failed to yield results will continue after the two lame-duck leaders leave office.

Pak parliament to discuss US missile attacks

Pakistan's parliament will hold a session next week to talk about United States missile attacks on militant targets in the northwest of the country, defence minister Ahmed Mukhtar said yesterday.

Kuwait in new crisis as cabinet quits

Kuwait was plunged into a new crisis yesterday after the cabinet in the oil-rich Gulf state resigned over a standoff with parliament, in a move, which could lead to early elections.

Arts & Entertainment

‘Living colours and dancing lines’ in Monir’s paintings

Monirul Islam can interpret life's diverse dimensions with his remarkable style, techniques where colours, lines, textures and forms blend in synchronisation. Controlling the medium and technique with skilled mastery, he projects an aesthetic and stylistic uniqueness. Monir's paintings speak to the viewer in an intimate voice about childhood -- most often the favourite chapter of human life, immersed in bliss, woes and boundless endeavours. The result is a display of art centring on nature, human relationships and the meaning of life.

Final resting place of Siraj Shah in need of attention

Renowned Darbesh (sage) Siraj Shah was born in 1750 at an area that is currently under Shailkupa upazila. His outstanding philanthropy and philosophies attained recognition throughout this region. In fact even mystic bard Lalon Shah called him "guru." Unfortunately Siraj Shah's 'mazaar' (shrine) has not been demarcated. There is no auditorium, library or a club within the precincts of the final resting place of this sage.

Digital film Kua premiered in Sylhet

“Kua," a digital film produced Jol Foring-er Dol was premiered recently at the Sylhet Shilpakala Academy, says a press release.

Urbashi celebrates 16th anniversary

Urbashi Abritti Parishad, Sylhet held a programme on the occasion of its 16th anniversary last Friday evening at the Saifur Rahman auditorium in the city. Sylhet Zilla Parishad's Chief Executive Officer Maniruzzaman was present as chief guest. Acting Editor of the daily Sylheter Dak, Dewan Toufique Majid; Principal Mahiuddin Shiru; Sammilita Natya Parishad's Shamsul Basit; Nazrul Academy General Secretary Mishfaque Ahmed and Mokhlisur Rahman also spoke on the occasion. Urbashi President Mokaddes Babul chaired the event.

Swapnodanay

Golam Rabbanai Biplab's internationally film "Swapnodanay" (On the Wings of Dreams) will be screened at the Kuala Lumpur International Film Festival, Malaysia on November 27, says a press release.

Luhrmann offers “Australia” as an escape from fear

The Outback epic "Australia" is director Baz Luhrmann's first film since he dazzled audiences with "Moulin Rouge!" seven years ago, and critics are wondering if the $130 million drama can live up to its hype.

Erratum

In the feature "All things old and wonderful" published on November 19, 2008 issue of Arts & Entertainment, it was inadvertently written that Dhaka's first urban re-development project can be traced back to the early 1900s... It should have read "The first urban re-development plans for Dhaka were conceptualised in the 1860s."

OP-ED

Towards a credible election

IT appears that we are now on the highway to a participatory and credible election in just over one month. This optimism stems from the fact that BNP led 4-party alliance has finally whittled down its initial 7-point demand to two points as pre-condition for participation in election on December 29. The two points are lifting of emergency from the last day of withdrawing nomination and scrapping of Section 91 (E) of the amended RPO.

An end to hartal: A far cry

BUSINESS leaders have asked the political parties to include in their election manifestoes a commitment to ban hartal, gherao and similar other programs -- if need be, by enacting a law in the next parliament. They have also decided to put up an economic program for the first 100 days of the elected government that is likely to take office by the end of the year.

Remembering Mohan Mia

IF any politician of this country is to be remembered for uncommon qualities of head and heart for nearly half a century of dedicated and selfless public service, the name of Yusuf Ali Chowdhury, known as Mohan Mia, comes to the fore. He died on November 26, 1971 at the age of only 66, with his dream of making a significant contribution to building the new country of Bangladesh remaining unfulfilled.

Yes, they're back again

THERE was an article in the press the other day saying that the world's first piece of humour had been found: an ancient riddle composed in Sumeria, now called Iraq.

Star City

DCC itself occupying roads instead of keeping them free

Instead of freeing the public roads from illegal occupancy, Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) has embarked on leasing out roads of a residential area for car parking.

Savoury delicacies of old Dhaka

Although the quality is going down every day, the once famous delicacies of old Dhaka still today attract the food connoisseurs and gluttons.



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