The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, July 25, 2014


News of: Monday, 8th of December, 2008

Front Page

Appeals of rivals wear EC out

The Election Commission (EC) is facing tremendous difficulties in resolving a plethora of problems regarding finalising parliamentary candidacies within the deadline, as rival candidacy seekers lodged complaints with it against acceptance of 81 party nominations.

35pc aspirants pay no tax or lack TIN

A total of 865, or 35.22 percent, of the people who filed nomination papers for the upcoming parliamentary polls neither pay income tax nor have any Tax Identification Number (TIN).

All roads lead to home

Thousands of home-goers flocked to the bus, railway and launch terminals in the capital yesterday, the last working day before the Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest religious festival of the Muslims, to be celebrated tomorrow across the country.

Build economy on Allah's rule

A human tide washed over Mount Arafat yesterday as hundreds of thousands of devoted Muslims performed the key events of the hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

Falu stripped of division for hospital meet

The jail authorities yesterday cancelled the division status of detained former BNP lawmaker Mosaddak Ali Falu on charge of holding a meeting with Islami Oikya Jote leader Mufti Shahidul Islam at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

McCain warns Pakistan of Indian strikes

US Senator John McCain has said he believes that if Pakistan does not act against individuals and groups linked to the Mumbai terror attacks, it could be a "matter of days" before India carries out surgical strikes against such elements.

Eid cattle sale yet to get momentum

The sale of sacrificial animals in the capital was yet to gather momentum yesterday even though tomorrow is Eid-ul-Azha. Traders were demanding high prices saying there are fewer animals on sale this year.

Bogra RO ignores Shokrana's past

The deputy commissioner (DC) and returning officer (RO) of Bogra has okayed the nomination paper of four-party alliance candidate Mohammad Shokrana although police informed him of criminal records the MP aspirant had concealed.

Bangladesh given major role in UN climate change measures

Bangladesh has been nominated for the vice-chair of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) that implements all decisions of convention and protocol under United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCC).

Ecnec okays projects worth Tk 2,954cr

Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved 14 development projects with a total outlay of Tk 2,954 crore in communication, education, power, defence and local government sectors.

BNP asks EC to ease polls campaign rules

BNP yesterday urged the authorities to ease the campaigning rules to ensure smooth electioneering for the December 29 parliamentary polls.

Speaker, his deputy asked not to use govt vehicle for poll

Like every other candidate, speaker and deputy speaker of parliament must follow the code of conduct for the general election, said the Election Commission (EC) yesterday.

Ex-Saarc secy gen Abul Ahsan passes away

The first Saarc secretary general and former foreign secretary Abul Ahsan died of cardiac arrest early hours yesterday at a city hospital. He was 71.

Govt appeals for stay on HC order

The government yesterday filed an appeal with the Supreme Court (SC) to stay the High Court (HC) judgment which declared illegal the provision of the Emergency Power Rules (EPR), 2007, that deny right to bail to people accused under the rules.

Jatiya Jukta Front ready to field 165 candidates

Jatiya Jukta Front, a new electoral alliance initiated by AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury and Dr Kamal Hossain, yesterday finalised its 165 candidates to contest the upcoming national election from 160 constituencies.

Fuel price review likely this month

The government is mulling a review of petroleum prices this month before the three-month timeframe since the last review is over, as the prices continue to decline on the global market.

Judicial probe into Nurul’s death sought

Ganotantri Party leaders yesterday demanded judicial investigation into the mysterious fire at the residence of late party president Nurul Islam.

Over 160 US, Nato supply trucks torched in Pakistan

Militants blasted their way into two transport terminals in Pakistan yesterday and torched more than 160 vehicles destined for US-led troops in Afghanistan, in the biggest assault yet on a vital military supply line, officials said.

2 more milk collection centres sued

Pabna District Health Department yesterday filed three cases against two private milk collection centres and a milk supplier on charges of adulteration in milk.

5 killed in truck crash

Five brickfield workers were killed and 15 others injured in an accident as a truck carrying them fell into a ditch off the flood-damaged Raumari-Rajibpur road in Raumari upazila of the district early yesterday.

Editorial

The essence of Eid-ul-Azha

THE nation will observe Eid-ul Azha tomorrow with the usual religious gaiety and fervor. For Muslims the occasion should not be confined to the ritual of sacrificing animals only. It is essential to understand the true spirit behind the religious practice that commenced with Allah putting Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) to a most difficult trial, to test the depth of his love for, and faith in, the Almighty, by calling upon Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) to sacrifice his most beloved possession. Not only did the Prophet Ibrahim readily surrender to the will of the Almighty, Ismail, his son, also readily agreed. And the rest is known to all of us.

Business goals

THE business leaders of the country have identified some important goals for the next government's consideration in order that Bangladesh can become a middle-income country. Towards attaining the 8 percent growth target the elected government will have to overcome the power crisis with greater acumen, take steps to increase private sector investment, encourage foreign direct investment and strategise effective branding of Bangladesh. The clarion call came from a seminar titled “Maximising Growth for Bangladesh: A Private Sector Vision”, organised by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) in the city. Eminent economist Wahiduddin Mahmud made it known that “Bangladesh is the only nation in South Asia, which maintained 5 percent GDP growth rate in five successive years, despite some major obstacles.”

My role model

IF you have asked me last week who, if any, is my role model, I would have emphatically said none. To me having a role model meant: “I'm second to someone.” But it's now much too late to tell the person that in life and now in his deathand for as long as I livehe was and he will always remain my role model.

Gagsters and gangsters

WE have enough evidence: there is a cabal of cyber terrorists employed by mobile phone companies to destabilise the honourable government of Dr. Manmohan Singh with evil jokes. Who else could be manufacturing those SMSs that begin to circulate whenever opportunity arises? This is a professional hit job. This is not the work of amateurs.

The limits of US power

THE United States is in deep trouble in the Middle East. Despite Barack Obama's promises to withdraw from Iraq, the debacle there shows no sign of ending soon. Hamas rules in Gaza; Iran is quickly moving to acquire a nuclear deterrent. We need a radically different strategy for the region.

Sports

Race to intensify after resumption

The final week's play of the Citycell B. League first-leg will see the four-way league race intensify with the title challengers feeling the heat.

A modest C'Ron

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo denied here on Sunday that he had ever claimed he was the best player in the world.

L'pool in pole position

Liverpool remained in pole position in the English Premier League as the top four in the table all won on Saturday.

Moores eyes full squad

England coach Peter Moores is convinced the entire squad will travel to India for the two-Test series should final security clearance be granted on Sunday.

Jason blasts CA

Former Australia paceman Jason Gillespie has slammed Cricket Australia (CA), saying it doesn't have the courage to stand up to the Indian cricket board, reports said Sunday.

Manik's job at stake?

Shafiqul Islam Manik's future as national football coach looks uncertain after the National Team Management Committee (NTMC) seemingly fell divided on the issue.

Mixed bag for Bangladeshi players

Three Bangladeshi players secured one point each after end of the second round of the Asian Junior Chess Cham-pionship in Chennai in India.

Barca destroy Valencia

Thierry Henry grabbed a hattrick as Barcelona romped to a 4-0 demolition of title rivals Valencia at Camp Nou on Saturday to extend their lead at the top of the Spanish first division to six points.

Benitez stays confident

Rafael Benitez insists his Liverpool team can stay at the summit of the Premier League despite their stuttering form and bring the English title back to Anfield for the first time since 1990.

Nantes stun Lyon

Marseille overcame a resolute Nice on Saturday to claim a precious 2-1 league win, three days ahead of a potentially volatile clash with Champions League opponents Atletico Madrid.

Maradona pays homage

Football legend Diego Maradona Sunday paid homage at Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity order in Kolkata at the end of his first visit to India.

Blues dismiss dissent

Chelsea's assistant manager Ray Wilkins dismissed suggestions of dressing room dissent after Luiz Felipe Scolari's side returned to winning ways at Bolton.

Diarra to go under knife

Real Madrid's Mali international Mahamadou Diarra will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Monday, the club said Saturday.

Marseille clash worry Atletico

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo says he is "worried" about his side's Champions League match at Marseille on Tuesday after a Spanish court sentenced a supporter of the French side to jail for attacking a police officer.

Anderton bows out happily

Former England midfielder Darren Anderton marked his final game as a professional footballer by scoring the winning goal in fourth-tier Bournemouth's 1-0 victory over Chester City on Saturday.

Morgan's call to fans

International Cricket Council (ICC) president David Morgan has urged fans to join him in attending the upcoming India-England Test series and so demonstrate that "we will not be dictated to by terrorists".

Inter cruise past Lazio

Inter Milan went nine points clear at the top of Serie A after a stunning 3-0 win at Lazio on Saturday as AS Roma wracked up their 1,000th top flight victory with a 1-0 success at rock-bottom Chievo.

BCB condoles Rahman's death

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) expressed deep shocks over the death of grounds supervisor Mohammad Abdur Rahman.

Amjad in for Ryan

Kent fast-bowler Amjad Khan has been called up by England to replace the injured Ryan Sidebottom in the squad for the scheduled two-Test tour of India.

WI practise batting

The West Indies warmed up for the first cricket Test against New Zealand with valuable time in the middle as their three-day match against Auckland ended in a draw on Sunday.

Business

Shipbuilders fear strain

Shipbuilders have said foreign buyers are delaying payments for orders in growing signs of fallout from the global financial crisis on the country's nascent industry.

8 vie for merchant bank licence

Seven commercial banks and at least a non-banking financial institution have applied for licences to the stock market regulator to act as merchant banks.

Opec head predicts output cuts

Oil markets should brace for a surprise decision on output cuts when Opec meets Dec. 17, the cartel's president said Saturday, suggesting that reductions could be deeper than expected.

Oil may fall below $25

Crude oil may dip below $25 a barrel next year if the recession that is slashing fuel demand around the world spreads to China, according to a Bloomberg report.

Romania urged to recruit Bangladeshis

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday said Romanian government could contribute more in their economy recruiting skilled and semi-skilled workforces from Bangladesh.

Export of vessels to begin through Mongla port

Export of vessels will begin soon through Mongla port, the second largest maritime port of the country, for the first time.

US economic skid raises fears of deep downturn

A housing and credit crisis brought the US economy to a halt in 2008, creating a firestorm that has engulfed the world.

Making a mark in man's world

Sabina Begum wakes early in the morning and walks instinctively to a tiny room next to her home. She unbolts the factory; double-checks machinery and raw materials and takes a deep breath to begin a new day.

Indian stocks resilient despite attacks

It was business as usual for Mumbai's stock exchange last week, as the city's investors shrugged off the terror attacks that brought India's commercial capital to a halt.

Yen rises against dollar as recession looms

The yen advanced against the dollar over the past week while other Asian currencies fell as fears deepened over a looming global recession.

India unveils $4b stimulus

India yesterday announced an extra four billion dollars in spending to shield the country's economy from the impact of the global financial crisis.

Financial crisis to cut cost of air travel

The price of air tickets should start coming down soon because of the world financial crisis, experts are predicting, while ruling out a plunge that would endanger the health of airlines.

Garment workers stage demonstration

Hundreds of garment workers took to the streets in the city's Maghbazar area yesterday afternoon in protest against non-payment of their wages. The angry protesters put a road barricade for around two hours resulting in severe traffic congestion.

Citi's DCC services from Dec 15

Citibank NA Bangladesh will formally launch direct custody and clearing (DCC) services in Bangladesh from December 15, according to a press statement.

Auto supporter unsure bailout can pass Congress

One of the auto industry's biggest supporters in Congress says he does not know if there are enough votes to pass a rescue plan.

Eastern Housing declares 15pc cash dividend

Eastern Housing Limited has declared 15 percent cash dividend for the year ended on July 31, 2008.

Zimbabwe to introduce 200 million dollar note

Inflation-wracked Zimbabwe plans to introduce a 200 million dollar note just days after a 100 million dollar note came into circulation, the government announced Saturday.

High-spending Swedes slightly deterred by crisis

Swedes are still expected to spend more than last year at the Christmas period despite the global financial crisis, though the increase will be less than usual, a traders' group said Saturday.

Investor fear drives US Treasury yields to near zero

The panic in global financial markets has sparked an unprecedented rush into safe US Treasury securities, driving yields on short-term government notes down to almost zero.

SKorea's Hynix announces new cost-saving steps

South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor Sunday unveiled new cost-cutting steps such as early retirement, unpaid leave and lower pay aimed at saving 100 billion won (68 million dollars) as the global downturn bites.

Argentina unveils $9b to fuel demand for cars, stem job loss

Argentina announced Saturday it would make nine billion dollars available to finance car purchases in an attempt to slow job losses in one of the industries hardest hit by the global credit crunch.

Metropolitan

Dhaka to be habitable city

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday hoped that Dhaka would be turned to a better habitable urban city through the united efforts and ideas of government-private sectors and the stakeholders.

Ruling-opposition cooperation a must for development

Cooperation between ruling and opposition political parties after the national election is a must for the development of Bangladesh, said USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Asia Margot Ellis yesterday.

Respect for HR necessary to ensure peace, democracy

Respect for human rights is a must to ensure peace and democracy in a society, said the speakers at a jamboree marking the 60th anniversary of the adoption of universal declaration on human rights yesterday.

Human security now depends on socio-economic factors

Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said modern notion of human security has shifted from military considerations to social and economic factors.

Agyan party members become active

Members of Agyan party, who rob people after drugging them, have become active in the capital and on different routes to the capital ahead of Eid-ul Azha.

Amended Town Improvement Act okayed to revamp Rajuk

The Council of Advisers at a meeting yesterday approved in principle major amendments to the Town Improve-ment Act 1953 with an aim to bring dynamism, transparency and accountability in the activities of Rajuk, ridden with alleged wrongdoings over the years.

Relatives yet to get justice

December 8 is 'Netrakona Tragedy Day'.

Govt plans night shelters for 4 lakh street children in city

Special Assistant Brig Gen (retd) MA Malek yesterday said the government aims at provide night shelters for around four lakh street children living in the city to ensure minimum safety for them.

Call to boycott war criminals in polls

Speakers at a discussion urged the people to boycott the war criminals in the upcoming polls and demanded punishment in the special tribunal.

Three killed in road accidents

Three people were killed and 35 others injured in separate road accidents in Barisal, Faridpur and Bagerhat yesterday.

Take steps to cut trade gap

President Iajuddin Ahmed has urged the Malaysian government to take effective steps for reducing the existing trade gap between Bangladesh and Malaysia.

Prices of onion, chicken soar

Prices of onion, chicken, cucumber and milk have soared again as they are in great demand in city markets ahead of Eid-ul Azha.

Loan default charge baseless

Deputy chief of the liberation war and an Awami League nominee Air Vice Marshal (retd) AK Khandaker yesterday said loan default charge against him, for which his nomination was rejected, was illegal and based on partiality.

Deposition of IO recorded

Deposition of the investigation officer in the case concerning the grenade attack on the then British high commissioner Anwar Choudhury was recorded at Sylhet divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal yesterday.

Hasina ready to work on nat'l issues unitedly

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed her readiness to work unitedly sinking all political differences on national issues after the election.

Army always with CHT people

Army Chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed yesterday said the army will always be with the people of Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) areas for their socio-economic development.

Work for alliance candidates

Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad has called upon party leaders and activists to work in favour of grand alliance candidates.

Depression over Bay moves westwards

The depression over southwest Bay moved slightly westwards over the same area at 3:00pm yesterday.

Main Eid congregations in city

The main Eid jamaat (congregation) of the Eid-ul-Azha will be held at the National Eidgah on the High Court premises in the city at 8:00am. In case of inclement weather, the congregation will be held at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque at the same time.

Magura Free Day celebrated

Magura Free Day was celebrated yesterday amid various programmes organised by Magura district unit of Muktijoddha Sangsad.

Six get life for killing college student

A Barisal court yesterday sentenced six people, including a UP chairman, to life imprisonment for killing a college student at Baufal in Patuakhali.

Satkhira Mukta Dibas observed

Satkhira Mukta Dibas (Liberated Day) was observed in the city yesterday with due respect to the martyrs.

Pankaj released

Detained Awami Swechhasebak League General Secretary Pankaj Debnath was released on a High Court bail yesterday.

Canadian envoy meets Khaldea

Canadian High Commissioner Robert McDougall made a courtesy call on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan office yesterday evening and discussed upcoming election and economic cooperation between the two countries.

Minu released on bail

Mizanur Rahman Minu, former mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation and BNP lawmaker, came out of Rajshahi Central Jail yesterday after one and a half years.

British HC closed Dec 9,10

British High Commission in Dhaka and its office in Sylhet will remain closed to the public on December 9,10 due to Eid-ul-Azha, says a press release.

British envoy meets Nizami

British High Commissioner in Dhaka Stephen Nicolas Evans paid a courtesy call on Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Maulana Matiur Rahman Nizami at the party central office in the city yesterday.

Prof Atful joins UGC as member

Prof Dr Atful Hye Shibly of History Department of Rajshahi University yesterday joined the University Grants Commission (UGC) as its full-time member, says a press release.

National

'No vote' campaign against anti-liberation elements

Family members of Kaliganj massacre victims during Liberation War in Jaldhaka have decided to launch a campaign for casting 'no-vote' in Nilphamari-3 (Jaldhaka and part of Kishoreganj) constituency, protesting nomination of anti-liberation persons by the two alliances in the upcoming Jatiyo Sangsad (JS) election.

4 still face corruption, criminal charges

The contestants in the ensuing Jatiya Sangsad election from Rajshahi constituencies include at least four who are still accused in different corruption and criminal cases.

5 non-graduates among 20 candidates in Pabna

Five candidates in five constituencies in the district, including the presidents of district Awami League and BNP, are non-graduates.

Khagrachhari AL, BNP reject party nominees

Leaders and activists of Awami League and BNP in Khagrachhari are unhappy as both the parties have fielded new faces in the constituency in the upcoming national election.

Shama poses challenge to AL stalwart Sajeda

Contest between two women candidates from two major parties- Awami League presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury and BNP nominee former lawmaker KM Obaidur Rahman's young daughter Shama Obaid in Faridpur -2 is getting heat day by day.

Ctg candidates pledge to develop port city

Candidates from different political parties have pledged to work for development of the port city as commercial capital of the country in true sense if they win the upcoming parliamentary election.

5 RU teachers, 2 RMCH docs back Jamaat candidate

Five Rajshahi University (RU) teachers and two Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) physicians are voluntarily bearing election expenditure of Jamaat-e-Islami candidate Ataur Rahman who is contesting in Rajshahi-2 and 3 constituencies.

The poorest and the richest candidates in Khulna

Grand Alliance candidate and prominent Awami League (AL) leader Advocate Sohrab Ali Sana who is contesting in Khulna-6 (Koira-Paikgachha) constituency is the poorest candidate among 38 candidates in six constituencies here.

JP candidate 'unwanted' by 14-party

Leaders and activists of 14-party alliance at a press conference declared Jatiya Party (JP-Ershad) nominee Abdul Awal Mia unwanted in Kushtia-4 (Khoksa-Kumarkhali) constituency.

Field Gaffar and Modhu or face protest, say JP leaders

Khulna district and city units of Jatiya Party have demanded nomination of its central organising secretary Abdul Gaffar Biswas from Khulna-3 (Khalishpur-Daulatpur) and district unit general secretary Shafiqul Islam Madhu from Khulna-6 (Koira-Paikgacha) constituencies as candidates of 14-party alliance in the upcoming parliamentary election.

Letters

Seats in public universities

Getting opportunity to study in a public university, undoubtedly, is a major concern for the applicants as well as the guardians. They appear in admission tests in different universities, and finally very few get admission. The number of seats, in proportion to the demand, is very few.

Voters' duty

I would like to request all voters of our country to choose honest and patriotic people in the next elections. After a long time we have got this chance to practice our rights and to select the government which will rule this country for the next five years. So, we all have to be very careful to make the correct decision.

Indigenous cultural festival

A three-day indigenous cultural festival was held recently at Bangladesh China Friendship Convention Centre with the slogan " Weave our hearts together with a thousand colourful threads." There a total of 14 ethnic groups got together and they exhibited their handicrafts, traditional attires, and foods and arranged cultural programmes. Besides indigenous people, this festival attracted others too.

Post-election scenario

Come 2009, the eagerly awaited election will only result in the same old tarnished politicos in the same old parties; still tied to the tail of their founders' names, and practicing autocracy in the garb of democracy, once again ruling the roost! Will there be any change in their attitudes, mind-set and smelly practices? I wonder! It will be only more of the same; and as we say "Old wine in old bottles" with nothing new to write home about.

Reach out and seek help

The mindless carnage of 26th November in Mumbai has immensely angered the Indian government, people and also us all. We all condemn the terrible act in the strongest possible terms. The Indian government needs to devise means to combat terrorism in its own soil and safeguard its populace, and prevent its escalation in other Asian countries. A pertinent question arises- why does it keep on happening? India experienced terrorist attack in 2003 and then it kept on repeating. Early finger pointing at Pakistan or Bangladesh or Nepal will not help solve the problem, rather it will alienate them and the situation will turn more difficult.

Mumbai attacks

Re: Op-Ed: "This fire needs to be put out," by Fareed Zakaria (Dec. 2).

Uttara and Purbachal plots

I am a non-resident Bangladeshi living in Canada, working as Software Engineer. Recently RAJUK invited applications for plot allocation in Uttara and Purbachal. They have given the opportunity for expatriates also, but the time is so short that it is almost impossible to collect all those papers . They asked to scan and email all the papers, I am sure most of the people will have problem to do that because that will be a huge file to email, there will be the bandwidth issue which RAJUK never considered.

Indian propaganda

I watched with horror how some Indian media tried to implicate Bangladesh in the Mumbai terror attack. MSNBC cable TV of USA was feeding from NDTV of India and it was reporting on the very second day that 29 Pakistani and 11 Bangladeshis were in the terror group! MSNBC, I'm sure, was sucked into NDTV's agenda driven, unsubstantiated, innuendo based news. NDTV dished out anti Bangladesh propaganda to US viewers with the help of MSNBC.

Railways

Bangladesh railway is doing a great job from its introduction. It's one of the most comfortable and secure mode of transportations since the British period. Commuters of our country feel comfortable to make their journey by train because of reasonable prices of tickets. We usually see the long lines of commuters in front of railway stations.

Canadian immigration rules

Due to changes in the Immigration and Refugees Protection Act (IRPA), Federal skilled workers' applications received on or after February 27, 2008 will now be assessed for eligibility according to a set of instructions issued by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Canada.

PSC's decision

The PSC has introduced a new method in the 28th BCS exams. Well, basically a change is for betterment. But the change in BCS exams is a suicidal one-- deduction of 0.5 marks for each wrong answer. Has PSC been highly inspired by the caretaker government's mission against corruption? The drastic decision taken by the PSC can destroy all dreams & hopes of BCS candidates. The PSC should reconsider the decision.

McCain's visit

Needless, to say that the visit of U.S. Senator John McCain, carried much importance. After the Mumbai massacre, the arrival of McCain added a new dimension to the oriental politics.

Irony of our politics

The BNP has flouted the provision of the RPO (in nominating their candidates for the parliamentary polls) which required grassroots leaders to send panels of candidates and then only would the parliamentary board select candidates from that list. The BNPPB has instead unilaterally nominated candidates. To make matters worse they have nominated people with dubious backgrounds, accused criminals (an Aug 21st grenade accused has also got nomination!) and convicted persons. The recent HC verdict barring EPR convicts from polls has been a positive decision and hopefully this will keep away some of the notorious persons. While the AL has followed the grassroots' recommendations (though in some cases they have not), their alliance with the former military dictator H.M.Ershad is a sign of AL's "win at any cost" mentality. Ershad, it appears is keen to get the post of president (as a part of a deal with AL) to lead the last days of his life "respectably."

Education and private tuition

Our whole education system is completely enveloped by an invisible curtain namely "Private tuition" which is absolutely responsible for producing the unemployed educated (!) groups. Private tuition is now a better job than teaching in any reputed school or college or university. Most of the teachers are highly interested to serve as an expert "private tutor" rather than a skilled teacher in any educational institution. For this reason, the students who are regular in their academic classes are being deprived. Moreover, they, the private students, achieve good results through those teachers who taught them in private and the students who did not join the private classes get poor marks in that subject. This is not an ideal situation.

Mumbai mayhem

Words are insufficient to condemn the terror attack in Mumbai.

Electoral debates

It's really nice to hear that the Election Commission (EC) plans to organise electoral debates on crucial issues before the December elections. It would be really good to get academics and thinkers to ask the political leaders detailed questions on their plans to turn Bangladesh around and also on their visions for the country.

BBC and Awami League

The news story entitled "Dhaka [BCS] exams row sparks violence" on BBC website (Tuesday, 2 December 2008) does not seem to meet the usual BBC standard of neutrality and fairness.

Pakistan and terrorism

"Pakistan rallies support as tension with India rises" was news headlines of some dailies after a couple of days of the Mumbai terror attack. Myself and rest of the Bangladeshis would like to see which country supports the terrorist nation if there is a fourth war between Pakistan and India.

Minister resigns

After terror attacks in Mumbai, the Indian Home Minister resigned as he thought he had failed to do his duty properly for the security of India. With him, the National Security Adviser of India also submitted his resignation.

International

Over 160 US, Nato supply trucks torched in Pakistan

Militants blasted their way into two transport terminals in Pakistan yesterday and torched more than 160 vehicles destined for US-led troops in Afghanistan, in the biggest assault yet on a vital military supply line, officials said.

Pakistan feared Indian attack after Mumbai mayhem

Pakistan feared India was planning a military strike amid heightened tensions between the two nuclear powers following the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan's high commissioner to London told the BBC Saturday.

India attacker rose from crook to militant

The lone gunman to survive the Mumbai terror attacks was a petty street thug from a dusty Pakistani outpost who was systematically programmed into a highly trained suicide guerrilla over 18 months in jihadist camps, India's top investigator into the attacks said Saturday.

Lankan troops in 'kissing distance' of Tiger HQ

Sri Lankan troops have killed scores of Tamil Tiger rebels in the past few days and are within "kissing distance" of their political capital, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Thaksin loyalists desperate to stay in power

Loyalists of exiled former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra tried desperately to remain in power Sunday, even offering the prime minister's job to smaller parties that have abandoned their coalition and joined the opposition.

Angry Greek youths wreak havoc after police kill teen

Hundreds of protesters set cars ablaze, lobbed molotov cocktails at banks and clashed with police in several Greek cities on Sunday in a night-long display of anger at the police killing of a teenager.

12 militants, 5 soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Twelve Taliban militants and five Afghan soldiers were killed in separate violence across the country over the weekend, officials said yesterday.

Afghanistan situation will get harder: McCain

Sen. John McCain said Sunday that the situation in Afghanistan will get more difficult before it gets easier "just like the surge in Iraq was."

Hispanic leaders urge Obama to tackle immigration reform

Hispanic leaders urged president-elect Barack Obama to issue a moratorium on immigration raids and deportations at a rally in Chicago Saturday.

Sunny von Bulow dies after 28-yr in coma

Martha "Sunny" von Bulow, an heiress who spent the last 28 years of her life in oblivion after what prosecutors alleged in a pair of sensational trials were two murder attempts by her husband, died Saturday at age 76.

S Korea pessimistic over 6-party nuclear talks

South Korea's nuclear envoy yesterday expressed pessimism about upcoming six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear programme as negotiators arrived in Beijing to prepare for the meetings.

Nepali Maoists clamour to join national army

After years spent fighting security forces and dressing battlefield wounds, former Maoist rebel Namuna wants to join Nepal's army.

Clashes disrupt fourth phase of Kashmir polls

Large crowds voted in several towns in Indian Kashmir on Sunday, while separatists in other areas boycotted the polls and clashed with government forces in the fourth phase of state elections in the disputed Himalayan region.

Iran tests medium-range missile

Iran said that it has test fired yesterday a surface-to-surface missile during manoeuvres in the Sea of Oman, the Fars news agency reported.

Economy to get worse before it improves: Obama

President-elect Barack Obama said the economy seems destined to get worse before it gets better and he pledged a recovery plan "that is equal to the task ahead."

Arts & Entertainment

Eid Bonanza: A feast of TV shows

On Eid, it's time to unwind in front of the small screen. All the Bangladeshi channels are offering a surfeit of entertainment ranging from special TV plays, telefilms, musical shows to magazine programmes. Whatever the medium, there's likely to be something for everyone. A rundown of the Eid-special programmes on different channels:

OP-ED

Eid-ul-Azha

EID-ul-Azha brings an opportunity to receive Allah's mercy and reward through sacrifice and patience. Popularly known as Bakrid, it is celebrated on the tenth of Dhul-Hijja through sacrifices and prayers in memory of the glorious sacrifice of the Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail (peace be upon them), and shows the way in which both father and son cheerfully offered to suffer any self-sacrifice, however painful or difficult, in order to obey the Allah's command. Although the world "Eid" in Arabic means "joy," Eid-ul-Azha is certainly not an occasion for unbridled fun and frolic, not an opportunity for immoderate gluttony or gourmandism, but is a solemn, sacred festival which enables a person to enjoy through Azha -- sacrifice and surrender, resignation and renunciation, selflessness and total submission to the will of God.

Deprivation or abstention?

IN our last two pieces (published in these pages on Dec 4 and Dec 7), we focused on centres with incredibly high voter turnout. While the high turnouts point to irregularities, significantly low voter turnouts may also be problematic, particularly in the context of alleged deprivation of minority groups from casting their votes. This is the focus of the current piece.

A dream manifesto

Election 2008 will be an unprecedented one as it is going to be held in a completely different context, because the failure of the immediate past CG headed by Prof. Iajuddin Ahmed in resolving political crisis brought in the incumbent government on January 11, 2007.

Tainted products from the West

BUYER, beware. Tainted products are heading back into the headlines. But this time they're moving from West to East.

Star City

Crimes, social nuisances haunt residents of posh Gulshan area

Reckless commercialisation, mugging on streets, drug peddling and floating prostitution continue to dog the people in the city's posh Gulshan residential area, said the residents and community leaders.

DCC wakes up to make a good fist of managing Eid waste

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) is gearing up activities to remove the waste generated from the sacrifice of animals as the city dwellers prepare for Eid-ul-Azha.


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