The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, December 22, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 17th of December, 2008

Front Page

Emergency out, rights in

The nation has its fundamental rights reinstated today after around two years as an ordinance promulgated by the president Monday ends the state of emergency.

Army proves a point

The army has proved it wants nothing but the development of Bangladesh as it is happily returning to barracks, said Chief of Army Staff General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday, a day before the withdrawal of around a two-year-long emergency.

War crime bill in first JS session

Sectors Commanders of the Liberation War from a victory day celebration yesterday asked next lawmakers to table a bill in the 9th parliament to try war criminals.

Khaleda sees 2/3 majority again

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday hoped that the four-party alliance would regain power through the upcoming election securing two-thirds majority in parliament.

All steps at stake

Flawed saving clauses in the newly promulgated ordinance that repeals the emergency power ordinance and rules, make uncertain the fate of ongoing anti-graft activities initiated under the state of emergency, according to legal experts.

Vote for Boat for digital Bangladesh

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said she faced "foreign" pressure to sell country's natural gas to other countries during her rule between 1996 and 2001 but did not give in.

1971 remnants still active in politics

A band of key players, who made a botched attempt to abort the birth of Bangladesh, is none other than the top brass of Jamaat-e-Islami, young in 1971.

Flawed city area plan set to get govt nod

The government is set to approve the Detailed Area Plan (DAP) of Dhaka metropolitan city soon despite strong objections by experts and environmentalists due to its serious flaws that are likely to have terrible impact on urban life and environment.

Heavy fighting kills 145 in Sri Lanka

Intense fighting in northern Sri Lanka yesterday left at least 25 government troops and 120 Tamil Tigers dead in the ongoing battle for the rebels' political capital, a military spokesman said.

Nizami sings old Jinnah song

On the occasion of the country's Victory Day yesterday, Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami repeatedly expressed his support for Pakistani leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah's two-nation theory basing on which Pakistan was created in 1947.

Ershad beats Rowshan in possessing ornaments

Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad has more ornaments than his wife has and fewer assets than she owns, reveals his wealth statement submitted to the Election Commission along with nomination papers.

NID number a must to get loan

Bangladesh Bank is going to make mandatory the inclusion of national ID card number with the particulars of loan applicant to stop cheating by loan defaulters.

6 burnt alive in Khagrachhari

A devastating fire burnt alive six people including four children yesterday in the Roads and Highways Department's staff quarters of Dighinala upazila in Khagrachhari district.

Kuril flyover work to start in March '09

The capital is going to have its third flyover at Kuril intersection on Airport Road and Pragati Sarani to be built by Rajuk at a cost of Tk 303 crore.

'Negligence' causes death of 65-yr-old at city hospital

A 65-year old man died at the Holy Family Hospital in the city on Monday night due to negligence by doctors on duty, his family has alleged.

Indo-Pak peace process on hold

India's foreign minister said yesterday the peace process with Pakistan had been put on hold in the wake of last month's Islamic militant attacks on Mumbai.

Hillary loves Bangladesh, waits to visit

US foreign secretary nominee Hillary Clinton has said she loves Bangladesh and is looking forward to visit the country.

Editorial

Emergency goes

WE heartily welcome the lifting of the state of emergency from today, which actually fulfills the last major precondition for a smooth, participatory return to a democratic order. We expect the political parties to think likewise, as they have been consistent and relentless in demanding the withdrawal of the state of emergency. It has set the stage for the political parties' spontaneous participation in the December 29 parliamentary elections, without any demur and hesitancy.

Thailand's continuing crisis

IN a new twist to its politics, Thailand finds itself under a new government, the third in as many months. There is surely nothing wrong with governments collapsing for lack of parliamentary strength or electoral support and being replaced by new ones. The problem, though, with Thailand in these past two years has been a growing propensity on the part of powerful quarters to weed out governments in a process that laid itself open to criticism as being arbitrary. In September 2006, the military ousted Thaksin Shinawatra's elected government and so started the process that has now led to the present crisis. Thaksin enjoyed the support of a majority of Thais, particularly in the rural regions and among the poor. Those who welcomed his overthrow were the urban elite and the royalists. Despite his removal, however, Thaksin saw two governments, both formed by his loyalists, come to office.

Manifestos, much hubris and no contrition

THERE was little contrition. There was much hubris. And there was a load of anger in Begum Zia as she made public her party's electoral manifesto the other day. Hubris is understandable. Lack of contrition is not.

Fettered by fear

INDIAN Muslims will get development the day they vote for development. For sixty years they have voted out of fear, so that is what they have got from those they elected: the politics of fear. Fear is the menu, recipe and diet: and the Muslim voter laps it up with the appetite of the traumatised.

American pressure

THREAT from the anger in India, following the Mumbai terror attacks, has added to other pressures that were, and are, far more persistent. Indian pressure is a familiar reality. The two states have run a cold war, interspersed with hot wars, for long.

Sports

Shakib's timely ton

All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan returned to form at the right time with a strokeful hundred as Khulna remained in a comfortable position to win the penultimate round of their National Cricket League match against Dhaka on the third day at the Khulna Divisional Stadium yesterday.

SA's chance to be No 1

South Africa will look to their pace attack to take charge of the series when the first Test against Australia starts in Perth on Wednesday.

Shaheed Jewel XI win V-Day match

Leg-spinner Raihanuddin Arafat's four-wicket haul was the only shining light in an otherwise dull encounter that saw Shaheed Jewel XI win by 28 runs against Shaheed Mushtaque XI in the annual Victory Day match at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Lorgat lauds Eng, India

International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat praised both India and England following the first Test in Chennai.

SL can tour Pakistan

As doubts continue to hover around India's tour to Pakistan next month, options have finally begun to emerge for a cricket-starved Pakistan. Though no official contact has yet been made between the boards, Sri Lanka has already expressed its readiness to replace India for the tour.

Bradman's cap incurs loss!

The baggy green cap worn by Australian cricket legend Donald Bradman at his final Test sold for more than 400,000 dollars (267,000 US) Tuesday, less than its vendor paid for it in 2003.

Shahadat fined for swearing

Shahadat Hossain was fined half his match fees for abusing a batsman during the second day of the Khulna-Dhaka National Cricket League tie at the Khulna Divisional Stadium yesterday.

India discuss Dravid form

India's chairman of selectors has had talks with Rahul Dravid about the veteran batsman's poor recent form.

Army clinch v'ball title

Bangladesh Army clinched the Pepsi Victory Day volleyball tournament by defeating Bangladesh Navy in straight sets in the final at the Volleyball Stadium yesterday.

KP plays with fractured rib

England captain Kevin Pietersen revealed he played the Chennai Test with a fractured rib and oozed confidence of playing the Mohali Test as well despite the injury.

'Real can bounce back'

Reigning Spanish champions Real Madrid can bounce back despite being 12 points adrift of leaders Barcelona after their weekend loss to the Catalan giants, Real's new coach Juande Ramos said Monday.

Blackburn sack Ince

Premier League strugglers Blackburn Rovers announced Tuesday they had sacked Paul Ince as their manager - just six months after appointing the former Manchester United and England midfielder.

Fergie defends Club WC

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson came to the defence of the Club World Cup Tuesday, calling it a prestigious tournament that was important for his team to win.

Spurs plan new stadium

Tottenham Hotspur gave their fans a glimpse of the future by revealing the first images on Monday of the club's proposed new 60,000-seater stadium.

Capello wants World Cup

Fabio Capello believes the hard work has only just begun as he tries to conquer England's impossible job.

Rooney not punished

Wayne Rooney has escaped a sanction from European football's ruling body UEFA following an alleged stamp in a Champions League match last week.

Govou held for drunk driving

French international midfielder Sidney Govou was held in a police station overnight Sunday after he was found to be over the limit while driving following the 0-0 draw with Marseille.

Van der Sar delighted at new deal

Veteran Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar says he is delighted to have signed a new contract and didn't think twice before putting pen to paper.

City lose Benjani

Mark Hughes, the Manchester City manager, admits Zimbabwe striker Benjani Mwaruwari could be out of action for "a number of weeks" because of a hamstring problem.

Diarra going to Bernabeu

Portsmouth's French international midfielder Lassana Diarra is close to signing with Real Madrid, Spanish sports newspapers reported Tuesday.

Ferguson rubbishes 39th game

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson on Tuesday rubbished the idea of a 39th Premier League game played in Asia, saying he does not believe it will ever happen.

Press pardon England

The British press on Tuesday broadly excused England's defeat by India in the first Test in Chennai, saying the importance of their presence far outweighed concerns about their performance.

Onus on pacers

Dale Steyn and his fast-bowling colleagues have attracted all the attention but both teams have taken a conservative approach by leaning towards including a spinner on the bouncy WACA pitch.

Monty lacks practice

Monty Panesar needs more first-class bowling if he is to test the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, says the England spinner's county coach.

Maintain standard of Tests: Clarke

English cricket's leading administrator has called for a reduction in the volume of Test cricket in order to ensure standards in the five-day format are maintained.

Lot at stake at the top

As well as looking to wrap up the series 2-0, India will look to regain the No. 2 spot in the International cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings with a win in the second Test against England in Mohali starting Friday. Having briefly secured the second spot with a 2-0 win against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in October-November, they were toppled by South Africa who beat Bangladesh 2-0 in the two-Test series at home, towards the end of last month.

Moores won't blame tactics

Peter Moores, the England coach, has refused to blame tactics for the six-wicket defeat in the first Test against India in Chennai on Monday. England lost the game after being in the driver's seat for three days and two sessions.

Captaincy not on Malik's mind

Shoaib Malik on Tuesday said he is not weighed down by thoughts about the future of his captaincy, a decision on which will be taken by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in the next two weeks.

Vodafone ends ECB relation

Mobile phone firm Vodafone announced Tuesday they would not be renewing their sponsorship of the England cricket team when their current deal expires in 13 months.

Oram out of 2nd WI Test

New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram was Tuesday ruled out for the second Test against the West Indies due to a lingering calf strain.

Business

RMG exports to US faring fine

Export of readymade garments (RMG) to USA, one of the major export destinations for Bangladeshi apparels, will maintain its previous growth also in October as sales of low-end products in this particular market are still high, exporters said.

Janata Bank to take Tk 900 premium for shares

Janata Bank has decided to take Tk 900 as premium against its share's face value of Tk 100 only, says the bank's managing director and chief executive officer.

Siemens bribed officials in Bangladesh

German industrial giant Siemens agreed to pay nearly one billion euros ($1.4 billion) to US and German authorities on Monday to settle a sprawling corruption scandal that also involves allegations of bribing public officials in Bangladesh.

Plot aspirants struggle as Rajuk sets tight deadline

The aspirants for getting allotment of Rajuk plots are facing sufferings to submit their applications and deposit money due to inadequate time and a lengthy procedure.

Citi to sell Japanese unit

As part of a global restructuring, Citigroup will sell its Japanese trust banking unit to Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp, the US firm's Japanese subsidiary said Tuesday.

Mass awareness stressed to ensure consumer rights

Mass awareness and strong movement are necessary to ensure consumer rights and implement the 'Consumers Rights Protection Ordinance' in the country, a press conference on Monday in Dhaka was told yesterday.

Fed eyes record low rates to battle deflation threat

Federal Reserve policymakers debated cutting key rates close to zero Tuesday to revive a moribund economy amid new data highlighting the deepening recession and threat of deflation.

ROK faces worst slump in job market

The number of unemployed and part-timers has topped 3.17 million this year, up 167,000 from a year ago, as experts predict the worst of the job market is yet to come.

China's factory output hits new low

China's industrial growth slowed more sharply than expected in November on declining orders and investment stagnancy both at home and abroad, with some sectors like electricity and auto slipping into the red further, according to the latest official data.The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday said industrial growth last month rose 5.4 per cent year-on-year, plunging 11.9 percentage points from a year earlier. The November figure is the country's weakest in the last ten years.

Mass awareness stressed to ensure consumer rights

Mass awareness and strong movement are necessary to ensure consumer rights and implement the 'Consumers Rights Protection Ordinance' in the country, a press conference on Monday in Dhaka was told yesterday.

Fed eyes record low rates to battle deflation threat

Federal Reserve policymakers debated cutting key rates close to zero Tuesday to revive a moribund economy amid new data highlighting the deepening recession and threat of deflation.

ROK faces worst slump in job market

The number of unemployed and part-timers has topped 3.17 million this year, up 167,000 from a year ago, as experts predict the worst of the job market is yet to come.

US scamster boasted about profit

The money manager accused of duping investors in one of Wall Street's biggest Ponzi schemes once boasted to the Securities and Exchange Commission about how much money he earned and formally advised the US government on ways to protect investors from scam artists.

Migrants at sharp end of economic crunch

Erik Bengoche came to the United States with high hopes, ready to sweat it out as a laborer and short-order cook, and expecting to send home a modest stack of greenbacks.

Europe battered anew

The economic crisis bit ever deeper into European industry on Tuesday as world markets held their breath for an expected record cut in US interest rates and the dollar dipped again.

China's factory output hits new low

China's industrial growth slowed more sharply than expected in November on declining orders and investment stagnancy both at home and abroad, with some sectors like electricity and auto slipping into the red further, according to the latest official data.The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday said industrial growth last month rose 5.4 per cent year-on-year, plunging 11.9 percentage points from a year earlier. The November figure is the country's weakest in the last ten years.

Asian stocks mixed on US rate call

Asian stock markets were mixed Tuesday as analysts predicted the US Federal Reserve would cut interest rates to almost zero in a new move to tackle the world economic downturn.Tokyo closed 1.12 percent down and Sydney lost one percent. But Hong Kong was 0.6 percent higher and Seoul's KOSPI added 0.3 percent.

Biz Letters

Faulty Bangladesh logo and brand


I was surprised to see the new Brands Bangladesh logo in Star Business on December 7, 2008. Bangladesh's national colour is green and we celebrate our sporting victories with a tree branch of green foliage. Green is our pride and we all are fighting to preserve and expand our greenery. I failed to understand how a boastful claim of 'Beautiful Bangladesh' can be complete without the slightest patch of the green colour.

Russian industrial output slumps in November

Russia's industrial output slumped by 8.7 percent in November compared with the equivalent figure last year, the statistics office said Tuesday, fuelling fears of a recession in the country.

Toyota to negotiate lower steel prices

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to negotiate a 30 percent cut in prices with steelmakers as raw materials costs ease in light of the global downturn, a report said Tuesday.

German small businesses wavers on job-save offer

Small and medium-sized companies, the backbone of the German economy, reacted coolly on Tuesday to a proposal by blue-chip firms to guarantee jobs next year despite a biting recession.

HSBC to cut 300 jobs in Taiwan

HSBC bank said Tuesday it would cut 10 percent of its staff in Taiwan, about 300 jobs, through a voluntary redundancy program amid slower loan growth in the global recession.

Philippines joblessness grows

A slowing economy pushed the Philippines' jobless rate to 6.8 percent in October, half a percentage point up from a year earlier, the government said Tuesday.

Dollar hits new 2-month low against euro

The dollar fell to a fresh two-month low against the euro in Asia on Tuesday as traders bet the US Federal Reserve would cut interest rates again this week.

More China rate cuts likely in near term

The head of China's central bank said Tuesday that interest rates would likely be cut in the short term as Beijing moves to boost consumer spending to offset slowing exports.

Asean nations press on with trade pacts

Six southeast Asian nations signed trade agreements on Tuesday paving the way for a single market in the region, pressing on with the pacts despite the postponement of a key summit.

Japan urges central bank to take action on economy

Japan's central bank came under pressure from the government Tuesday to take fresh steps to revive Asia's biggest economy, which is slipping deeper into recession.

European new car sales plunge 25.8pc

New car sales in Europe plunged in November by more than a quarter as financial and economic turmoil hit the industry hard, the European automakers association ACEA announced on Tuesday.

HSBC to cut 300 jobs in Taiwan

HSBC bank said Tuesday it would cut 10 percent of its staff in Taiwan, about 300 jobs, through a voluntary redundancy program amid slower loan growth in the global recession.

Philippines joblessness grows

A slowing economy pushed the Philippines' jobless rate to 6.8 percent in October, half a percentage point up from a year earlier, the government said Tuesday.

Biz Letters

Faulty Bangladesh logo and brand
I was surprised to see the new Brands Bangladesh logo in Star Business on December 7, 2008. Bangladesh's national colour is green and we celebrate our sporting victories with a tree branch of green foliage. Green is our pride and we all are fighting to preserve and expand our greenery. I failed to understand how a boastful claim of 'Beautiful Bangladesh' can be complete without the slightest patch of the green colour.

Metropolitan

Pledge to reject war criminals in polls

The nation yesterday celebrated 37 years of liberation, saluting the valiant sons and daughters of the soil who made the supreme sacrifices in the Liberation War in 1971 for a modern and democratic state.

'Try war criminals'

The country observed the Victory Day yesterday with a call to try the war criminals and their collaborators.

Vow to reject war criminals in national elections

Dhaka University (DU) students and cultural activists yesterday celebrated the Victory Day on the university campus yesterday with a vow to reject war criminals in the upcoming national election.

Road accidents kill 5

Five people including a police constable were killed in separate road accidents in Rajshahi, Narail, Thakurgaon and in the city yesterday.

Cuet closed sine die

Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet) was closed sine die yesterday following tense situation on the campus over Sunday's clash between students and outsiders.

44 get honorary commission

A total of 44 armed forces personnel, including 36 from Bangladesh Army and eight from Bangladesh Navy, were granted honorary commission and promotion on the occasion of the Victory Day.

Bijoy Sarani-Tejgaon link road opens

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed formally inaugurated the Bijoy Sarani-Tejgaon link road yesterday, which will help ease traffic congestion in the city.

ACC probe against 12 begins

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has begun investigations against 12 people, including five former lawmakers of BNP and one of Jamaat-e-Islami, as the Supreme Court (SC) removed the legal bar to starting the proceedings of the cases.

No forces can foil elections

Allaying doubts about the national election, Communications Adviser Maj Gen (retd) Ghulam Quader has said it is not possible for any forces to foil the elections scheduled for December 29.

12 injured in BNP factional clash in Chandpur

At least 12 people were injured in a clash yesterday between two groups of BNP activists in a sequel to Monday night's manhandling of BNP rebel candidate Mahbubur Rahman in the town.

Names of fake FFs, Rajakars on memorial !

People did not pay their tribute at the victory memorial on Satkhira Collectorate premises, as the authorities failed to inaugurate the memorial erasing the names of the fake freedom fighters and Rajakars engraved on the memorial.

Deposition ends

Recording of the deposition of prosecution witnesses in two cases, one for murder and the other for grenade attack on the British High Commissioner, ended at Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal on Monday.

Affected people demand Rajuk plots

People who have lost their land and homesteads due to construction of Bijoy Sarani- Tejgaon Link Road yesterday demanded plots from the on-going projects of Rajuk.

Expat to die, 4 get life in Sylhet

Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal yesterday handed down capital punishment to an expatriate and fined him Tk 10 lakh in a sensational triple murder case.

7 injured in Bagerhat

Seven people were injured in a pre-poll violence at Baruipara Bazar under Bagerhat sadar upazila on Monday.

Final hearing on writ today

The High Court (HC) is likely to hold final hearing today on the writ petition challenging the legality of Dhaka University's new admission conditions that disqualify Aleem graduates for their admissions to seven departments at the university.

Noman falls sick, hospitalised

Abdullah Al Noman, BNP joint secretary general and candidate for Chittagong-9 (Double-mooring Pahartali) constituency, fell sick while paying tribute to the martyred freedom fighters on the occasion of the Victory Day yesterday morning and later he was shifted to United Hospital in Dhaka.

Cop killed in city road accident

A police constable was killed in a road accident at Jatrabari in the city yesterday morning.

Italian team to provide free treatment

A team of surgeons from the Plastic Surgeons Interplast Italy will visit Bangladesh to provide free treatment to patients at Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) from December 30.

'Conspiracies still on against independence'

Conspiracies are still going on against the independence and sovereignty of the country, said the speakers at a discussion yesterday.

3 indigenous people kidnapped in Bandarban

Three indigenous people were kidnapped by miscreants in Bandarban Hill Districts Monday night.

Victory Day observed in Geneva

The Bangladesh mission in Geneva observed the Victory Day in a befitting manner yesterday, says a press release.

PBCP activist arrested in Sirajganj

Police arrested an outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) activist from Bollahvengur village at Raiganj in the district on Monday.

Bar Council executives take office Dec 22

The newly elected members of Bangladesh Bar Council, the highest body for regulating the country's lawyers, will take office at the first meeting of the council on December 22.

One murdered over land dispute

One person was murdered over land dispute and leasing of a local launch station at Dakkhin Baliatali village of Muladi upazila in Barisal yesterday.

Bombs, drugs seized

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in separate drives yesterday seized 8 bombs, 3 shutter guns, fertiliser, cosmetic goods, and drugs from Rajshahi and Joypurhat.

Bahauddin Nasim freed

Awami Swechchhasebak League President AFM Bahauddin Nasim was released on a High Court bail on Monday.

National

Khaleda's peace move falls flat as rivals unmoved

The national election is days away, but the 4-party alliance camp is yet to mend their internal feud, which might dim its election prospects in the district.

Most candidates in Barisal show much lower value of gold assets

In their wealth statement submitted with nomination papers in six constituencies in Barisal district, at least 20 candidates, mostly from major political parties, showed the value of gold ornaments as low as Tk 1000 per tola.

Jamaat introduces Montu as 'freedom fighter'

Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and activists are conducting a massive election campaign in Nilphamari-2 (Sadar) constituency in favour of their party candidate Moniruzzaman Montu introducing him 'a veteran freedom fighter'.

Six Rangpur, Kurigram renegades remain worries for grand alliance

Six independent candidates in six constituencies in Rangpur and Kurigram districts are now worries for grand alliance and Jatiya Party candidates in the upcoming Jatiya Sangsad election.

AL's Shamim gets back ticket thru' HC order

Finally Ataur Rahman Shamim of Awami League has got back his candidature for Moulvibazar-2 (Kulaura and 4 unions of Kamalganj) in a High Court order.

AL eyes adibasi votes as alliance banks on unity

All eyes are riveted to the bordering Netrakona-1 (Bordering upazilas Kalmakanda and Durgapur) constituency where two new faces and ex-student leaders Barrister Kaiser Kamal and Mostak Ahmed Ruhi have locked horns in the polls battle.

AL hopes to bag 3 out of 5 seats in Gaibandha

Awami League (AL) this time is hopeful about capturing three seats out of five in Gaibandha district in the upcoming general election.

UPDF to cast 'no vote' in Rangamati

United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF), an underground political platform which has been opposing the CHT peace accord since its signing, will cast 'no vote' in Rangamati constituency in the upcoming national election.

Tangail AL expels rebel Baten, 85 party men

Tangail District Awami League (AL) has expelled its executive committee member Khandakar Abdul Baten for running the polls race in Tangail-6 (Nagarpur-Delduar) constituency as an independent candidate, a press release signed by district AL publicity secretary Wazir Hasan Khan Sharif Hazari said.

Runners find it tough to win their hearts

Voters of Sidr-hit constituencies in Khulna and Bagerhat districts will be guided no more by party affiliation while casting their votes in the upcoming national election.

Two big alliances to lock horns in Moulvibazar

The main contest in all the four constituencies in the district will be between the nominees of Awami League-led Grand Alliance and BNP-led Four-party Alliance.

Peace in hills, if elected, promises grand alliance candidate

Jatindra Lal Tripura, the grand alliance candidate in Khagrachhari in a meeting yesterday said only Awami League could bring peace in Chittagong Hill Tracts through various development initiatives.

Bimal Biswas says attack on him part of ploy to foil polls

Bimal Biswas, General Secretary of the Workers' Party and Grand Alliance candidate for Narail-1 seat Tuesday said, sensing their defeat the unruly supporters of the candidate of four party alliance and his associate, an independent candidate, launched attack on him at a meeting on Monday.

Grand alliance to face hurdles in Kushtia-2, 4

Two grand alliance candidates are likely to face problems in two Kushtia constituencies as the leaders and activists of Awami League (AL) say 'no' to them.

When the RO sought his certificate...

At last his educational qualification came down to class eight from HSC within a few hours.

Hannan lone independent candidate in Netrakona

Abdul Hannan Khan, former deputy inspector general (DIG) of police, is the only independent candidate in five constituencies of Netrakona district in the upcoming general election.

Faruque Kader being treated as 'outsider'

Jatiya Party (JP) candidate Kazi Faruque Kader who won nomination of Grand Alliance for contesting in Nilphamari-3 (Jaldhaka and part of Kishoreganj upazila) is and 'outsider' in the constituency.

Correction

A news item published on Page-5 of The Daily Star on December 16 erroneously carried the headline 'Latif's withdrawal to better Azad's chance'. The headline would be 'Azad's withdrawal to better Latif's chance'. We regret the inadvertent mistake.

Letters

Monorail system: a personal view

May I refer to the report published in your newspaper on 27th November 2008 (Thursday) after the roundtable titled “Significance and task of rail in developing economy and communication”. Prof Dr M Anwar Hossain, Vice-chancellor, Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology (AUST), Dhaka has given the clear and rightful message that underground rail system would not be an economic and effective viable option to reduce traffic congestion and transport crisis. I agree 100% with Prof Dr. Anwar Hossain, about their conclusion after the round table discussion. I feel that the government and its relevant agencies should think twice, if not thrice, before they start digging mass graves all over Dhaka city considering the geographical condition of our soil, electricity problems and other factors related to construction and maintenance of underground rail system.

Mortally sick Buriganga

Let me start with an observation made by late American President J.F. Kennedy about half a century ago: "Man have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world or to make it the last." All our activities prove that we have chosen the second option, that is, to make it last.

Well done, forest department

Bangladesh is rich in biodiversity even though it has a lot of problems to tackle. Among the faunal composition of its rich natural heritage there are several species that deserve high priority attention both from the general masses and also from the relevant government department. The Forest Department (FD) is the management authority for the wildlife in Bangladesh.

Retire at 60!

I am seriously thinking to help mobilize public opinion to put a plan for all stakeholders in the power game, including civil society members, to go for retirement after 60 years of age. This also applies to all public servants including the politicians and bureaucrats, irrespective of the service he or she belongs to. Just to give a chance to our new generation to try, but be careful about the business community, they are more Christian than the Pope.

Political killing

Zafar Sobhan's "Straight Talk" on 12 December points out the role of violence and its impact on voting. Our political process has examples of killing prospective candidates; with the "bullet" being more effective than the "ballot" to keep away the better candidate, permanently! This has happened in our political arena and may well happen again.

Newspaper holiday

Many of us cannot think of even a single day without newspapers. But on account of many occasions our newspaper offices remain closed and we are deprived of it.

Bangladesh economy

Today as we look at the prices of daily necessities, in particular the food staffs, from the point of view of an economist they would term it as “MARKET FAILIURE”(i.e. right goods are not available at right price & in right quantity). The free market forces of demand-supply are unable to meet the consumer demand. Although some people particularly those who have affordability are still having a pleasant life . But just imagine what type of life the majority of our people are living? They are finding it hard to have meals twice a day. The main reason behind it is lack of job opportunities due to low business confidence.

Teachings of religion

Combined effort is absolutely essential to uphold the message of religion. Showing abhorrence to it and thinking of a 'tit for tat' policy will just keep the solution far.

Great contributions

Bangladesh or Bengalis made quite a few contributions to mankind of which Oral Saline, Micro-credit and UN Peace Keeping are well known. We are so proud of these great achievements.

Our leaders

……..If sadness, Oh mother mine, casts a gloom on your face, my eyes are filled with tears………. (Tagore)

Global financial crisis

The current global economy is experiencing slowdown and crisis. Stock markets around the world have been rocked by a massive crisis of confidence, stocks and shares dropped to the lowest level across the world in October.

Open University

Bangladesh Open university (BOU) is a great platform mainly for the dropped out students. It is furnished with good establishments all over Bangladesh. Luckily, I am a degree student of BCU. My Tutorial Centre (TC) is one of the colleges in Dhaka, so my Regional Resource Centre (RRC) is Dhaka. This why I am to visit Dhaka RRC very often to collect programme related information. But as ill luck would have it, recently I had to acquire some sad and bad experience at Dhaka RRC. I want to mean that some officials concerned of the RRC don't attend the students professionally. They always seem to be annoyed with the students, so non-cooperation is a regular phenomenon at the office. Very often, officials refer the students to the lower staff who are quite unable to solve the problems. There are some problems which might be solved by the officers only. Actually many students don't know even where they will complain against the ill-behaved staff. Even I don't know the table where I should go to for seeking remedy. It must be noticed that BOU is a public university; it runs with taxpayers' money. So the students have every right to be treated well at the BOU office.

Math competition

A math competition was held recently at Latu Mondol High School in Mymensingh. Hundred and twenty-one students from 7 educational institutions participated in the event.

International

US missile strike kills 2 in Pakistan

A suspected US missile strike killed two people in Pakistan near the Afghan border, officials and a witness said Tuesday, as two prominent US senators visited Islamabad amid flaring tensions over the Mumbai attacks in India.

India, China confirms new bird flu outbreak

Authorities in eastern India and China yesterday confirmed a fresh outbreak of bird flu after thousands of chickens were found dead and another Indian state struggled to bring the virus under control.

Renewed rocket fire as Gaza truce nears end

Militants in Gaza fired rockets at Israel yesterday, just two days before the end of a troubled six-month truce, which the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers say they are unlikely to renew.

'Non-US foreign troops to go out of Iraq by July'

All foreign troops except for those of the United States will be out of Iraq by the end of July, the Iraqi parliament's foreign affairs committee head said yesterday.

New Thai PM faces deep divisions

Thailand's new prime minister faces the difficult task of unifying a country torn apart by months of violent anti-government protests demonstrations that battered the key tourism industry just as the global economy was slipping into its worst crisis in decades.

Bush's Iraq assailant has broken arm, ribs

The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at US President George W. Bush has a broken arm and ribs after being struck by Iraqi security agents, his brother told AFP yesterday.

Indian cabinet approves federal agency to probe terror attacks

India's cabinet Monday gave the go-ahead for the creation of federal agency to probe all terror-related crimes as part of efforts to revamp national security in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, a report said.

Illinois lawmakers move to impeach governor

Illinois lawmakers have moved toward impeaching their governor, whose alleged efforts to sell Barack Obama's senate seat have cast a shadow over the president-elect's transition to power.

Over 2 trillion tons of arctic ice has melted since 2003

More than 2 trillion tons of land ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska have melted since 2003, according to new Nasa satellite data that show the latest signs of what scientists say is global warming.

Pakistan rejects British request to grill Mumbai attack suspects

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has turned down a British request to question suspects arrested in connection with the Mumbai attacks, his office said Monday.

100 arrested in raids to thwart Mafia regrouping

Italian police backed by helicopters arrested almost 100 suspected mobsters yesterday and thwarted a plan by the hobbled Sicilian Mafia to reconstitute itself and form a new ruling commission to set strategy, authorities said.

Lashkar vows to continue fight against India in Kashmir

The Islamic militant group blamed for last month's attacks in Mumbai vowed yesterday to continue its armed struggle against India's hold over a part of the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir.

Police find dynamite at Paris store

A group demanding that France withdraw its troops from Afghanistan claimed it planted dynamite found Tuesday at a major Paris department store, officials said.

Caroline Kennedy wants Senate seat, says NY governor

Caroline Kennedy told New York's governor on Monday that she's interested in the US Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, making her the highest-profile candidate to express a desire for the job.

Arts & Entertainment

Call to revive the spirit of Liberation War

A three-day celebration by 'Banglar Sanskriti Andolon' under the 'bakul' tree at the Faculty of Fine Arts (FFA), Dhaka University was vibrant with the presence of a young crowd. Arranged on the occasion of Victory Day, the programme featured traditional Bengali songs (Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrul Geeti, songs of five poets, Gano Sangeet, folk songs) along with music by contemporary artistes, pala gaan, plays, film screening, performances by indigenous artistes, puppet show, art exhibition and more. The aim was to entertain and inspire the enthusiastic audience -- reviving the spirit of our Liberation War.

Victory Day celebration at the Liberation War Museum ends

Victory Day celebration programme at the Liberation War Museum (LWM) ended yesterday. Organised by LWM, the four-day programme began on December 13. The third day's programme featured recitation of poetry and eyewitness accounts of war atrocities, songs and more, while 'jatrapala' was the highlight of the forth day's programme.

Bangladesh Udichi Shilpi Sangstha celebrates Victory Day

Bangladesh Udichi Shilpi Sangstha held a cultural programme at Charukala, Bakultala premises (Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University) on the occasion of Victory Day.

Bijoy Mela by Channel i

Like last year, to celebrate the Victory Day, Channel i organised 'Wheel-Channel i Bijoy Mela' at its Tejgaon office premises yesterday. Music, dance, recitation and reminiscence on Liberation War marked the fair. Eminent personalities of different sectors of the country attended the fair.

Singer Momtaz honoured in Manikganj

Momtaz, known as "the uncrowned queen of popular folk music," was honoured at her hometown Singair, Manikganj last Saturday afternoon. Students of Singair Pilot High School formally handed over a crest to the singer.

Bijoy Mela begins in Manikganj

A 15-day long Bijoy Mela (Victory Fair) began on December 13, at the Government Boys High School playground in Manikganj. The mela has been organised over the last 18 years to mark Manikganj free day.

OP-ED

Eyes wide shut?

IN the expanding business of democracy promotion, election monitoring has become a prominent part of the global project to promote democratic norms and practices. The presence of neutral observers, it is believed, promotes conformity with emerging international standards for the conduct of elections.

Dilemma for the young voters

SOMEONE told me of a Lebanese proverb that says: "Bad is better than worse." Watching elections frenzy and thinking of the Bangladesh politics, I was thinking of young voters who, faced with a dilemma, may use this proverb while making their electoral choice.

Between enemy lines

IT'S high time we had a debate between the two political arch-rivals. Yes, it's been too long for a country to be without a democratically elected government, but have the political parties changed for the better? Do the leaders (netris) have a changed mind-set now? Sadly, no!

Economy will hit the wall

WHAT will the economy do in 2009? Will it recover? Will it fall further? We asked representatives of every major professional group to sum up their members' opinions in a single sentence. The results are in.

Star City

Booming population eating away living standard

After nearly a decade in the city of their dreams, Khasru Hossain and his wife Rahela Begum boarded an inter-district bus headed towards Tangail at Mohakhali bus terminal earlier this month, bidding goodbye to the capital.

Bumpy, potholed roads at Dania unrepaired for long

The main road of Dania at the southeastern end of Dhaka where four lakh people reside has been in a dilapidated condition for the last two years.



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