The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, August 28, 2014


News of: Monday, 12th of January, 2009

Front Page

Ouster for failure

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday categorically warned her cabinet colleagues that she will not hesitate to remove them from offices if they fail to fulfil her party's election pledges to the people, or if allegations of corruption are brought against them.

US, UK seek help to recover kickbacks

The US and UK yesterday sought Bangladesh's assistance in their bid to recover around $200 million allegedly paid in kickbacks to former prime minister Khaleda Zia's son Arafat Rahman Koko and some ministers of the last BNP-led government.

BPC nets staggering profit as fuel price not adjusted

In absence of proper retail price adjustment, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) is reaping a very high profit of Tk 6 per litre of kerosene and diesel and Tk 30 per litre of octane and petrol.

AL wants all key JS bodies in first session

Awami League (AL), the ruling party, plans to complete formation of all important parliamentary bodies in the inaugural session of new parliament to ensure the executive's accountability to the legislature, right from the beginning.

Fighting rages in Gaza

Israel indicated for the first time yesterday that an end was in sight to its war on Hamas, amid some of the heaviest clashes of an offensive that has killed nearly 900 people in the Gaza Strip.

Tight race at BNP stronghold

More than two lakh voters of Noakhali-1 constituency go to polls today to elect their representative in the ninth parliament.

Wives of Quader, Pankaj freed on bail

Fugitive wives of ruling Awami League lawmaker Obaidul Quader and Awami Swechchhasebak League General Secretary Pankaj Devnath were enlarged on bail as they surrendered to the High Court yesterday.

High-ups' wealth must be known to public

The new government should soon ask the ministers, lawmakers and secretaries of all ministries to declare their wealth statements as part of its commitment to establishing good governance in the country, Shushashoner Janney Nagorik (Shujan) said yesterday.

EC eyes another success

Bolstered by the success in holding last month's credible parliamentary poll, the Election Commission (EC) is now ready for the upcoming upazila parishad polls, as it ordered all law enforcing agencies yesterday to ensure peace by any means during the local government elections.

Govt to form expert body to review constitution

The government has decided to constitute a high-powered expert committee for a thorough review of the constitution, said a senior minister.

EC to seek expert opinion on polls

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday decided to seek constitution experts' opinion on whether the EC is legally bound to hold election to 45 reserved parliamentary seats for women before the inaugural session of this parliament on January 25.

A murder pushed into oblivion

Haider Kutti, who gradually went insane witnessing the murder of his brother in broad daylight allegedly by BNP lawmaker-elect from Barisal-5 Mojibor Rahman Sarwar, still wanders around the killing spot.

A village still in mourning for Nurul Islam

Despite today's polls in Noakhali-1 constituency, all seemed quiet yesterday in Noakhola village of Chatkhil upazila, the birthplace of late Nurul Islam, a candidate of grand alliance for the constituency for the December 29 polls whose mysterious death led to the deferment of the polls.

BNP man killed in Ctg; 25 hurt in Natore

A pro-BNP labourer was killed in Chittagong city Saturday night while at least 25 people were injured in a clash between the supporters of Awami League (AL) and BNP in Lalpur upazila of Natore yesterday.

Rice Tk 10 a kg never pledged

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday said Awami League did not make any pre-poll pledge of giving rice at Tk 10 per kg and fertilizer free of cost.

Full court to hear leave to appeal

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday adjourned for four weeks the hearing of the long pending leave to appeal filed by then BNP-led alliance government against the High Court (HC) verdict that declared illegal the fifth amendment to the constitution approving late President Ziaur Rahman's takeover and previous acts from August 15, 1975.

2 murdered, 2 shot in city

Two youths were hacked to death by unknown criminals in the city's Kotwali and Demra areas early yesterday amid growing incidence of crime in the last few days.

BNP moves to find able men at grassroots

BNP high-ups have decided to assign some party leaders to find out efficient grassroots-level leaders across the country as part of a move to strengthen the party.

Biman makes emergency landing at ZIA

A Boeing 747 of the country's flag carrier Bangladesh Biman had to make an emergency landing in the first hour of today at Zia International Airport (ZIA) about an hour into its take off, due to malfunctioning of one of its engines.

RMG workers clash with cops: 15 hurt

At least 15 garment workers were injured in two separate clashes with police and factory staffers in the city's Uttara and Adabar yesterday.

Monitoring cell to be strengthened

Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Farooq Khan yesterday said the existing price monitoring cell at his ministry would be strengthened to keep the prices of essentials at tolerable level.

Prof Faiz to quit as DU VC

Dhaka University (DU) Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof SMA Faiz decided to step down and requested the education ministry to take necessary steps in this regard.

Currencies worth Tk 50 lakh seized at ZIA

A surveillance team of customs at Zia International Airport (ZIA) last night seized currencies of different countries worth around Tk 50 lakh from a Bangladesh national heading for Singapore.

46 killed as militants clash with Pak troops

Hundreds of foreign militants attacked Pakistani forces near the border with Afghanistan, sparking clashes that left six soldiers and 40 militants dead, the military said yesterday.

US rejects Israel's plea for strike against Iran

US President George W Bush last year rejected a secret Israeli request for an air strike against the main Iranian nuclear complex using US bunker-busting bombs, The New York Times reported on its website late Saturday.

Wild elephants trample woman

A herd of wild elephants trampled a housewife to death and injured two others in Gogalia area under Lama upazila in Bandarban early yesterday.

Editorial

Demonstrate zero tolerance to vandalism

THE frenzied car-bashing orgy carried out by the students of Titumir College at Mohakhali area on Saturday afternoon was an outrageous act of the most despicable nature. Hundreds of students went berserk and broke windshields and windows of nearly 150 vehicles on the false report of a student of the same institute having been crushed under the wheels of a car. The utterly disgraceful and irresponsible acts unleashed before bothering to find out the truth is totally unacceptable and we strongly condemn the occurrence. We fully echo public sentiment in demanding exemplary and demonstrative punishment to the perpetrators of such horrendous acts of vandalism. It is high time zero tolerance was demonstrated to such destructive behaviour by punishing it.

The child labour issue

THE picture carried by this newspaper on the front page of its yesterday's issue spoke volumes about how our children are still being exploited. It showed under-aged children working in a balloon factory and handling hazardous chemicals. It defies all common sense that the young boys are made to work for more than nine hours a day and for less than Taka two hundred a week. For all we know, there are young boys working in lathe factories, ship breaking yards, chemical factories and the like. These young workers are made to work under the most hazardous and most deplorably unhygienic conditions risking their health.

Beyond the change of guard

UNEASY lies the head that wears the crown, so goes the old adage. Last Tuesday, Sheikh Hasina wore that proverbial crown as she was sworn in as the country's twelfth prime minister. She, however, sprang a surprise in selecting her cabinet by discarding most of the party stalwarts and replacing them with young and fresh faces who would constitute her dream team.

Getting Pakistan to act

SIX weeks after the Mumbai attacks, India is still groping for a strategy to get Pakistan to crack down on Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and other extremists. Islamabad has finally admitted that Amir Ajmal Kasab is a Pakistani.

Hasina's steps to good governance

I applaud Sheikh Hasina on the make-up of the new cabinet. What I applaud the most is the appointment of Motia Chowdhury, Sahara Khatun and Dipu Moni, plus young and enthusiastic politicians -- none tainted by mischief mongering.

Sports

Mahela not taking Zimbabwe lightly

"If anything goes wrong against Zimbabwe, you guys will have a lot to write about," joked Mahela Jayawardene yesterday.

Hosts' contrasting day

Khulna Abahani's miseries continued when the B. League's bottom team suffered their 13th consecutive defeat despite taking lead in a 4-1 crash at home to Rahmatganj yesterday.

Barisal equal with Rajshahi

Barisal repeated their success against Rajshahi to share the lead in the National Cricket League when they won the second-leg one-day match at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Mashrafe, Tamim join Abahani

The second day of the inter-club players' transfers came alive yesterday when Mashrafe Bin Mortaza entered the crammed corridors of the BCB offices in the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

BFF plans academy, more int'l exposure

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) is about to finalise plans to set the first football academy in the country.

Richardson allays fears

ICC general manager Dave Richardson gave an indication that there was nothing for Bangladesh cricket to be worried about, concerning the International Cricket Council's (ICC) future plans.

Hayden takes a week's time

Matthew Hayden will spend the next week pondering his future after insisting he had not yet decided whether to retire from international cricket having been axed from Australia's one-day team. Hayden said he had not been given an ultimatum by the national selectors and he was considering whether to try and push on for next month's tour of South Africa and the Ashes in England later in the year.

Asif didn't know!

Pakistan's troubled fast bowler Mohammad Asif, who has faced multiple doping charges, told prosecutors in Dubai he thought the opium found in his possession was a herbal remedy, a report showed Sunday.

Dravid is not Challengers captain yet

Bangalore Royal Challengers owner Vijay Mallya on Sunday made it clear that he has not yet finalised Rahul Dravid as captain of the Indian Premier League (IPL) outfit.

Warner blows SA away

Debutant David Warner hit the second-fastest Twenty20 fifty ever as Australia beat South Africa by 52 runs in the first Twenty20 international at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday.

KP vows to be back

Kevin Pietersen has revealed the background into his astonishing removal as England captain while insisting he hopes to regain the post in the future.

Either Ronaldo or Torres

Cristiano Ronaldo has the chance to win a third award in recognition of his 42 goals in a season as he attends the 2008 Fifa World Player Gala in Zurich.

Tevez out, Benzema in?

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has pinpointed Lyon's French international striker Karim Benzema as his chief summer target, suggesting the European champions will let Carlos Tevez go in the summer, media reports said Sunday.

Pulsating draw at Mestalla

Valencia were left kicking themselves at surrendering a two-goal lead as Villarreal stormed back to claim a point in a topsy-turvy 3-3 derby draw at the Mestalla Stadium on Saturday.

Zlatan saves Inter blushes

Defending champions Inter Milan endured a disappointing start to 2009 when they were forced to come from a goal down to salvage a 1-1 draw against Cagliari at the San Siro on Saturday.

Marseille win in the cold

Marseille's 2-0 victory at Auxerre earned the three points their club president would have happily given away on a Saturday where temperatures plunged below freezing and brought three postponements.

Cilic Chennai Open champ

Marin Cilic of Croatia ended Indian wildcard Somdev Devvarman's dream run on home soil to win the 450,000-dollar ATP Chennai Open crown here on Sunday.

Twins might switch teams

Manchester United's Brazilian twins Fabio and Rafael have revealed that former Red Devils assistant boss Carlos Queiroz is keen for them to switch allegiance to Portugal.

Murray retains Qatar Open

Britain's Andy Murray defeated Andy Roddick of the United States 6-4, 6-2 to retain his Qatar Open title on Saturday and boost his chances of a Grand Slam breakthrough at the Australian Open.

Sanogo not for sale

Werder Bremen said Sunday that Ivorian international striker Boubacar Sanogo was not for sale, despite interest from Marseille.

Dim on court, dazzling off it

Serena Williams produced a dazzling performance off the court at the Sydney International on Sunday, sporting a 3.5 million dollar (2.5 million US) diamond necklace.

Business

Exports post 13pc rise

Exports went up by 13.37 percent in November of the current fiscal year bagging $1.3 billion against the same month last year, and diffused the fear of a long-term effect of global recession in export assumed through the negative export growth in October.

BB spots rising shady transactions

Bangladesh Bank (BB) received 466 suspicious transaction reports (STR) in fiscal year 2007-08, a 412 percent rise from 91 cases reported in previous fiscal, BB officials said.

LankaBangla to open three more branches

LankaBangla Securities, which performed best on the country's two bourses by turnover in 2008, will open at least three more branches in and outside Dhaka this year.

Corporate dealmaking hit by financial crisis

The global financial crisis put a dent in corporate dealmaking in 2008, and activity will likely be subdued in 2009 with many deals being "mergers of necessity," analysts say.

BGMEA to accord reception to 27 MPs

BGMEA, the country's apex trade body for apparel sector, will accord a reception at a city hotel this evening to its 27 members who have been elected Member of Parliament (MP) in the 9th national election.

Minister, businessmen vow price control

The commerce minister and businessmen yesterday vowed to control the price spiral of basic commodities in local markets through discussions.

Ficci demands review of work permit policy for foreigners

Foreign investors have demanded that the government review the existing work permit policy for foreign nationals as they face difficulties in obtaining such a permit on time.

A tie-up for the rural poor

Fundamental healthcare services are the rights of every citizen of a nation. Unfortunately, in a country like Bangladesh, such rights are mere dreams of the lot and come as a reality for only those who can bear the price tag.

Boss matters

I asked Patricia Butenis what prompted her to leave the US ambassador job in Bangladesh all of a sudden to take up the post of a deputy chief of the mission in trouble-torn Iraq.

Stocks in freefall

Dhaka stocks started the week with a sharp fall yesterday, triggered by a bear-run in bank and power shares.

Merkel urges carmakers to go green

Germany's renowned car industry must start producing cleaner, more innovative models if it hopes to remain competitive, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview published Sunday.

Govt urged to make public the foreign deals on gas exploration

Through negotiations with the neighbouring countries, Bangladesh government should immediately take measures for demarcation of the country's maritime boundary, suggested the leaders of the National Committee on Oil, Gas and Port Protection.

Bangladesh trade fair in New York in October

A five-day Bangladeshi product-based exhibition will begin in New York from October 2 in a bid to promote the country's world-class commodities in the United States.

GMG Airlines may fly to Singapore from Feb 10

GMG Airlines, the country's first and biggest private airlines, is likely to operate its new flight on the Dhaka-Singapore route from February 10.

Bull run over for S’pore property

The Year of the Ox begins later this month but the bull run is already over for Singapore's property sector, described as the world's hottest market just two years ago.

India names new board for fraud-hit Satyam

Indian authorities on Sunday installed three prominent business leaders to run scandal-hit software giant Satyam Computers in an effort to salvage the country's damaged international business image.

China forecasts 188m rail travellers over Lunar New Year

Chinese authorities are expecting 188 million people to travel by train over the Lunar New Year holiday, an important annual family get-together, a railways spokesman said Saturday.

ECB under pressure to cut lending rates this week

The European Central Bank is under pressure to lower its main lending rate this week owing to stark evidence of a worsening recession and sinking inflation, analysts say.

Dutch finance minister cashes in on world economic crisis

Six months ago, his political fortunes were failing. But Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos has emerged from the global economic crisis as the country's favourite and most trusted politician.

Qatar Airways expects to expand

State-owned Qatar Airways expects to add new destinations and fly more passengers this year despite the global financial crisis that has hit the aviation industry, a company executive said on Sunday.

Obama urges changes to financial bailout

US president-elect Barack Obama called for changes to the government's 700-billion-dollar financial bailout, saying in an interview aired Sunday that he wanted the program to offer direct help for homeowners and small businesses.

Barclays Capital Singapore MD declared CIP

The government has selected Lutfey Siddiqi, managing director of Barclays Capital Singapore, as a commercially important person (CIP), according to a recent circular issued by the finance ministry.

Eastern Bank gets new DMD

Eastern Bank Ltd (EBL) has recently promoted Fakhrul Alam to deputy managing director, according to a press statement.

Barvida executives

Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (Barvida) has elected its 25-member executive committee with Habibullah Don, Mahbubul Haque Chowdhury Babar and Md Nazrul Islam Alam as president, general secretary and treasurer, according to press release.

Metropolitan

Upazila health services to be strengthened

Every physician under BCS health cadre will have to work in rural areas initially for two years, and if anybody violates the directive, he will not be allowed to pursue post-graduate degree, said Health and Family Welfare Minister AFM Ruhal Haque at a view exchange meeting with the journalists at his office yesterday.

A great day for drug users at rehab centre

Moslem (not his real name) was busy with making paper bags at the Drop in Centre (DIC) in the city's Nayabazar area along with some other injective drug users (IDUs).

JCD threatens to call indefinite strike

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) leaders yesterday threatened to call a strike on the Dhaka University campus for an indefinite period if a congenial atmosphere for peaceful coexistence at the residential dormitories is not ensured by tomorrow.

'Holistic approach to edn a must for sustainable dev'

Speakers at a workshop yesterday stressed the need for a holistic approach to education as it is an effective tool for achieving sustainable development.

FSP project helps poor get out of poverty

The poorest of the poor used to earn too little even to qualify for many of the ongoing microcredit programmes.

Help implement election pledges

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday said the information cadre officers would have to play an important role in implementing the election pledges of the Awami League-led grand alliance government.

25 injured in AL-BNP clash at Lalpur

At least 25 people were injured in a clash between the supporters of Awami League and BNP over the possession of shops at Beelmaria Bazar in Lalpur of Natore district yesterday.

Speeding bus kills three in Tongi

Three people, including a woman, were crushed under the wheels of a speeding bus on Dhaka-Mymensingh road at Tongibazar in Gazipur district last night.

Call to relax immigration rules

A four-member delegation of Bangladesh Caterers Association (BCA)-UK yesterday met British High Commissioner Stephen Nicholas Evans at his office in the city, says a press release.

Order on acceptance of charge sheet Jan 20

A Dhaka court could not give any decision on acceptance of the charge sheet of the case relating to the Ramna Batamul bomb blast filed under the Explosive Substances Act, as the jail authorities failed to produce six detainees before it yesterday.

Saarc ministers' meet in Colombo Feb 27

The two-day meeting of the council of ministers of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) will begin in Colombo on February 27.

'Buy non-judicial stamps from post offices at due price'

Bangladesh Postal Department has requested people to buy non-judicial stamps from the post offices at due price, says a press release.

Fugitive convict held

Members of Detective Branch (DB) of police yesterday arrested convicted Zahid Hossain alias Natka Babu who was an accused of Lalbagh sensational seven murder case in 1994.

2 bombs found at NAEM compound

Police recovered two handmade bombs from the compound of National Academy for Educational Management (NAEM) in the city yesterday.

HC rejects 3 petitions of Shamim Osman

The High Court (HC) yesterday rejected three petitions filed by former Awami League lawmaker Shamim Osman seeking directions not to harass or arrest him in three separate cases filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) and National Board of Revenue (NBR).

None arrested yet

Police could not arrest any body for vandalising over 150 vehicles in Mohakhali, Gulshan and Banani in the city following a rumour of the death of a female student of Titumir College in a road accident on Saturday.

Gonotantri Party urges govt to reconstitute probe body

Gonotantri Party yesterday demanded reconstitution of the probe committee to investigate the fire incident in which party chief Nurul Islam and his son died.

Struggling family gets sewing machine, Tk 5,000

Members of a family, struggling hard for survival at Kapashatia village in Harinakundo upazila, yesterday got a sewing machine and Tk 5 thousand, thanks to a generous person who was moved by reading a news item published on The Star Insight on December 20.

Two killed in Dinajpur road accidents

Two people were killed and 16 others injured in separate road accidents in the district in the last two days.

Two kidnapped boys rescued in Thakurgaon, one arrested

A Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) team of Rangpur camp yesterday rescued two minor boys and arrested one kidnapper from Salondar village under Sadar upazila in the district.

IUB welcomes US students

Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) hosted a dinner to welcome a team of American students as part of Bangladesh Study Abroad Programme (BSAP) in the city on Friday, says a press release.

Madla tahsildar held on charge of bribery

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday caught Md Rajibur Rahman Apel, deputy assistant land officer (tahsildar) of Madla Tahsil Office under Sajahanpur upazila red-handed while taking Tk 1000 as bribe in the name of preparing necessary documents for the ownership of a land.

Six shops gutted in Mymensingh

At least six shops were gutted in a devastating fire at Trishal upazila bus stand bazar early yesterday.

HC continues hearing today

The High Court (HC) yesterday continued for the third day the hearing on a writ petition challenging the legality of Dhaka University's additional admission conditions disqualifying the Aleem graduates for their admissions to seven departments at the university.

Press Club new committee takes charge

New committee of the National Press Club took its charge yesterday for the term 2009-10.

Kachi Kanchar Mela programmes

Kendriya Kachi Kanchar Mela organises a children's painting and recitation competition and science fair on January 16 and 17 to observe the birth anniversary of artist Zainul Abedin, poet Jasimuddin and scientist Abdullah Al Muti Sharfuddin.

JU Day today

Jahangirnagar University (JU) Day will be observed today.

Saim Tipu dist governor of Apex Bangladesh

M Saim Tipu, an organiser and journalist, has been elected unopposed as district governor of Apex Bangladesh for the year 2009.

National

Reject Jamaat in upazila polls, Rajshahi BNP leaders tell party men

Five front ranking BNP leaders who lost the national election in Rajshahi and grassroots party leaders from their areas at a meeting here have called upon all party men and supporters to reject Jamaat-e-Islami candidates in the upcoming upazila election in the district.

She died to save neighbour from killers

She died showing a rare courage of braving bullets and bombs of miscreants to save her neighbour.

Punish Shibir men for using mosque for politics

Leaders of Rajshahi University (RU) unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday met RU acting Vice Chancellor Prof Mamnunul Keramat at his office and demanded punishment of the Islami Chhatra Shibir men who held political meeting at the university central mosque.

AL men occupy office from BNP in Natore

Pro Awami League bus owners backed by party cadres yesterday forcibly occupied the office of the district Bus Minibus Owners' Association in Natore, which was dominated by pro-BNP bus owners earlier.

Police club AL men in Batiaghata

Police charged batons thrice Saturday to quell clashes among Awami League activists during selection of party candidate to contest for the post of chairman of Batiaghata upazila parishad.

Hill cutter sued in Khagrachhari

Following order from Executive Magistrate Mohammed Zahedur Rahman, Matiranga police yesterday filed a case against Habibur Rahman Selim on charge of hill cutting.

5 newsmen honoured

Five journalists working in print and electronic media received awards as Mymensingh Press Club arranged a function for 'The Best Reporters of the Year-2008' at Mymensingh Press Club auditorium yesterday.

Letters

Women ministers

Hats off to Sheikh Hasina, she has formed a bright brilliant cabinet- no controversial figures initially, concise but precise in size, female ministers in important portfolios. Her inclusion of women leaders such as Matia Chowdhury, Advocate Sahara Khatun and Dr. Dipu Moni as full ministers reminds us of a Sanskrit proverb“The man who stays behind you during good days, follows you to the court or to the burial ground , helps you during the famine and the national crisis is the real friend.”

Save Palestinians

Palestinian father wails over the bodies of his children, killed by Israeli tank shells. Israeli bombardment hits outside a U.N. school where hundreds of Palestinians had sought refuge on Tuesday. Palestinian medics said at least 34 people died. A lot of the wounded were missing limbs and were in pieces many of them were children. It was the second fatal strike, and the deadliest assault since Israel sent ground forces into Gaza last weekend. More than 600 Palestinians have been killed. Ignoring international calls for a cease-fire, Israeli soldiers edged closer to Gaza's major population centres. A total of 58 Palestinians were killed in Tuesday fighting. Many women and children wheeled in, many children were among the dead. Parents slapping their faces in grief, screaming, some of them collapsed to the floor. They knew their children were dead in the morgue; most of them killed appeared to be children. Nearly 600 Palestinians have been killed, including more than 100 civilians, according to United Nations and the latest Palestinian figures.

Whither tourism?

We read a lot about the bright potential of tourism in Bangladesh, but the sector is not taking off since the last two decades (ignoring the first decade after 1971). Why? Neglect by the political regimes; who have other priorities (short-term, not long-term-not allow the completion of a project by the next succeeding regime--credit trade-off).

Lesson for BNP and Jamaat

The BNP and the Jamaat must have learnt the lesson of history and should objectively review their failure and open up the door for reform. It is time for the Jammat to turn into a democratic minded part, rather than a religion driven ideology based party. The people have spoken against their exploitation of religion. Compared to the Jamaat, the BNP has a harder task to initiate reform in the party. Their dependency on the Jamaat is one of the major causes of their landslide defeat. The BNP will have to consider seriously their political ideology which has gradually turned them against the foundation of a democratic Bangladesh and introduced a big ideological difference with the creation of Bangladesh. This has made the BNP and the Jamaat a divider of the nation-- a bad political strategy followed by these alliance which made Bangladesh an almost failed state. The people have spoken and now accept the verdict gracefully and make self assessment of failure and put all energies to bring reform in the party to survive democratically and not on failed ideology. We hope good sense will prevail and we will see that necessary reform measures will be taken as soon as possible. The Jamaat has a simple task. The people have cut them to size. Now it is time to stand on democratic values, rather than on politics of religion.

Khaleda Zia

I have lived in the UK virtually all my life. What I have seen at the conclusion of general elections here is that the defeated leaders always resign. It is a way of conceding that they have failed the party and also that they are bowing to the will of the people.

Terrorism and Muslim countries

Nearly two hundred innocent people including women & children were killed in Mumbai on 26th November '08 by the militant fanatics. Some months back in Assam seventy innocent people were killed in market places in bomb explosion. Twin-tower in the USA or Bali club in Indonesia, Marriott Hotel in Pakistanthe victims are only innocent people which can be termed as "wanton killing" but in the holy name of Islam.

What a victory!

December 29, polling day, was a historic day. The election took place peacefully with a huge turnout. And the AL bagged most of the seats in the election. Since the beginning of democracy through the election in 1991, it would be the highest number of seats in parliament for a single party. Such landslide victory has opened up a window of opportunity for the AL to run the country efficiently towards better democracy in future.

Unexpected

A strict electoral code of conduct imposed by the Election Commission (EC) forced all candidates to behave and pursue their campaigns in a decent manner. But the news came just a day after the election that the cadres of a BNP leader in Chittagong intimidated and tortured the minority people and burnt out a house at Nanpur village in Fatikchhari for creating panic and preventing people from casting their votes. It is quite unacceptable that such incidents are still taking place in Bangladesh.

Israeli aggression

What is happening in Gaza, the monstrous way Israel is behaving is unbelievable. We are watching the carnage with deep anguish, innocent people including children and women are dying in hordes. The scene is heart rending.

Absolute majority

In the recently held election, the AL won absolute majority, which is no doubt the reply of the people against the misdeeds of the BNP -Jamaat rule. But we will miss a strong opposition and parliament will lose its attraction to a great extent. Absolute majority often leads to autocratic behaviour. Newaz Sharif of Pakistan won two-thirds majority but his misdeeds created the conditions for Pervez Mosharraf's entry into power/politics of that country. Immediately after independence, the AL also obtained the same majority but they had to form BAKSAL which did not meet with popular endorsement. After getting such majority, the BNP-Jamaat forgot everything and tried to have control over every sector and people rejected them by eliminating them from power.

Fake TIN

The attitude of Rajuk has been expressed clearly in regard to fake TIN. The generous intention has been highlighted in all the dailies. Fake TINs are those which have been manufactured and have got no legal support. “Rajuk has expressed its intention to cancel allotment of the plots to those who used fake TIN.”

Points to ponder

The nation is in hysteria with the landslide mandate that one party received in national elections. The media, both electronic & print, are abuzz with the excitement of experiencing a 'free' and 'fair' election. The spontaneity of the voters is also being praised. The CHANGE we have been looking for in the last two years, the 'din bodoler pala' we have been eagerly awaiting has finally arrived. ...Or, has it?

EC's positive role

It has been a hard fought two years for some. The EC has done a good job. We should appreciate CEC ATM Shamsul Huda, Commissioner Shakhawat Hussain and Commissioner M Sohul Hussain and all other EC officials for the service they have rendered to the nation.

Thanks to caretaker government

We know that after 1/11/2007 the present caretaker govt. took charge of Bangladesh. The main duty of this govt. was to hold a free, fair election. They achieved their goal in on 29 December, 2008. They formed an efficient Election Commission and this Commission organised a black money free, fair election. Voters went to the polling centres without any fear and the turnout was 87 percent, which broke all the previous records.

Greatest moment!

It is the greatest moment for the many who lived through the tumultuous days of Bangabandhu's uncompromising and unyielding role, that he played for the emancipation and freedom of his beloved Bangalees from the clutches of Pakistanis, and for those still alive by His mercy to see Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina trying to translate Bangabandhu's hopes and aspirations for Sonar Bangla into a reality. Sheikh Hasina again made herself uniquely and unequivocally popular to the people of Bangladesh, irrespective of their cast, creed, race or religion, poor or rich which has been impeccably reflected in the 29th December election giving her a grand victory. So our mirth and measure of delight knows no bounds, and I, on behalf of my family and friends, convey to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina my heartiest congratulations and felicitations.

"Bangla, not Bengali"

A letter under the above heading was published in The Daily Star on 5 Jan 09. The letter was highly rated and was very popular with the readers.

Congratulations!

My heartiest congratulations to you and your team on winning the election with such a huge mandate. I also second the opinion of those who say that this election is comparable to the election your father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, won in 1970. That too was in the month of December. Had my father been alive, he too would have been a very proud citizen today. The people have indeed spoken clearly. This election has been a verdict against unbridled corruption that has taken endemic proportions in our society.

International

Patrolling Egypt-Gaza border at heart of truce talks

How to prevent arms smuggling along the porous border between Gaza and Egypt is at the heart of talks that Cairo is conducting on ending Israel's deadly war on Hamas, officials say.

Obama vows ME peace effort from 'day one'

US president-elect Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast yesterday he will create a special team that will engage in Middle East peace efforts immediately after he takes office on January 20.

Battered Hamas puts faith in street fighters

The only way for Hamas to salvage the Gaza war is to lure Israeli troops into street battles in the crowded enclave's myriad backstreets and hope the toll rises, analysts say.

Lankan soldiers seize rebel training camp

Sri Lanka soldiers captured a Tamil Tiger training camp as government troops pressed ahead with their offensive against the guerrillas in the country's embattled north, the military said yesterday.

Storm sinks Indonesian ferry with 250 passengers

An Indonesian passenger ferry sank in a storm Sunday with around 250 passengers and 17 crew onboard after being battered by seven-foot (two-meter) waves, officials and witnesses said.

Pak state actors not behind Mumbai attack

The United States of America's Ambassador to India David Mulford does not agree with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh statement that Pakistani state agencies were involved in planning and executing the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

European protesters call for halt to Gaza carnage

Tens of thousands of demonstrators rallied across Europe on Saturday to call for an end to Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Biden, Afghan president discuss 'war on terror'

US vice president-elect Joe Biden and President Hamid Karzai met for several hours Saturday, discussing all aspects of US help for Afghanistan's efforts to fight extremists and rebuild, an official said.

Gaza onslaught boosts Islamists' popularity

Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip is boosting the popularity of Hamas and other Islamic groups in the Arab world where people are dismayed by the passiveness of their regimes, analysts said yesterday.

Prince Harry apologises for racist language

Britain's Prince Harry has apologised for using racist language after a Sunday newspaper reported he had filmed himself calling an army colleague a "Paki" and telling another he looked like a "raghead".

Thai by-elections to test PM's political strength

Thais voted in parliamentary by-elections Sunday in the first test of political strength for Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's ruling coalition since it took power in December after months of unrest.

Obama vows swift Iran engagement

President-elect Barack Obama said he expected to "move swiftly" to engage Iran, whose nuclear quest he said would be one of his administration's biggest challenges.

Pakistan shells militant hideouts after sectarian unrest

Pakistani helicopter gunships yesterday shelled radical Muslim militant hideouts in the remote northwest, where nine people were killed in weekend sectarian clashes, a local official said.

Soren's allies demand his resignation

Allies of embattled Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren have demanded that he quit immediately to clear the political uncertainity following his failure to enter the state assembly.

Arts & Entertainment

The lure of ‘roopkotha’

Who has not heard or read fairy tales in childhood? To every child 'roopkotha' (fairy tales) from "Thakurmar Jhuli" (grandmother's repertoire), involving 'ponkhiraj' (flying horse), 'Rakkhosh Puri' (den of demons) have always been a subject of great fascination.

Juneer’s alien, yet relevant images

Shaded, subdued colours, distinctly delicate technique and imagery are the ingredients that mark the works of Juneer Kibria -- a young painter who likes to delve into enigmatic views through abstract images.

Songs of our roots

Bengal Foundation has been promoting traditional Bangla songs over the last two decades. As part of the initiative, the organisation arranged a musical soiree, "Praner Khela", at Bengal Shilpalaya, Dhanmondi on January 10. Accomplished folk singer Chandana Majumdar performed a dozen folk songs of five iconic bards -- Lalon, Bijoy Sarkar, Radharaman, Rajab Ali and Shah Abdul Karim -- at the programme.

A vibrant get-together away from the city

Naib Uddin Ahmed, an internationally acclaimed photographer, and his brother Dr. Nawazish Ahmed, an agro-scientist and environmentalist, recently held a get-together in Paril Nawadha, a village 40 km from Dhaka city, under Singair upazila in Manikganj. The brothers organise such celebrations annually in winter.

Women in Politics and Good Governance on ATN Bangla

The seventh episode of the TV serial titled, 'Women in Politics and Good Governance' will be telecast tonight on ATN Bangla at 6:20 pm. The programme focuses on the capacity building of the recently elected women MPs. The aim is to enable them to have a major impact in the new Parliament through effective training and a media orientation.

Eit Kather Khacha on ntv

Drama serial "Eit Kather Khacha" will be aired tonight at 8:15 pm on ntv. Written and directed by Shihab Khan the story of the serial revolves around three couples.

Slumdog favourite as Golden Globes launch Oscars countdown

The race for honours at next month's Oscars cranks into overdrive here Sunday as a galaxy of stars descends on Beverly Hills for the 66th Golden Globes.

OP-ED

Getting the math right

THE ninth parliamentary elections in Bangladesh saw a landslide victory for the Awami League. The high-turnout election also saw Bangladeshi voters turn away from the BNP and its alliance partner, Jamaat-e-Islami.

There is no innocence in distance

WHO among us is silent today? Silence is unadulterated culpability. Yet, rejecting the Israeli terrorisation of 1.5 million residents of Gaza should not have to mean supporting Hamas. Censure of the destruction wrought by the IDF does not indicate that there is no problem of Islamic extremism, or that democracy is flourishing in Arab societies. Why are people not allowed to reject terrorism and dictatorship, while also disapproving of the wholesale neglect of human rights by the Israeli government?

The new cabinet

I hate to quote people I do not particularly admire. But Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has put me into a situation when I have to do exactly that. So I will quote Mr. Donald Rumsfeld, former US Secretary of State: "There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know." This is how I feel about Sheikh Hasina's new cabinet line up.

Exclusive: Bush on Asia

US President George W. Bush is shortly to hang up his holster. How has his reign changed the relationship between Asia and the West? In an exclusive interview, a relaxed, candid Bush reveals all.

Star City

Horrible hostel, hostile to study

Rima wakes up at five in the morning to start her day standing in a queue with 60 other girls in front of the washroom. The room she resides in is crammed with rows of single beds, each for two girls.

BRTA move for 'speed governor seal' hits a bad patch

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) is facing difficulty in implementing the decision to install 'speed governor seal' in all automobiles as the mechanism is only available in diesel-run vehicles.

"city express"

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


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