The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, April 25, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 14th of January, 2009

Front Page

Extortion back

Greengrocers have to pay illegal toll to Aratdars in the city's three premier kitchen markets and, in turn, they force consumers to pay for that.

Hawa Bhaban boys on list of 25-plus

More than 25 bigwigs including some ministers of the last BNP-led four-party alliance government and some Hawa Bhaban people were also allegedly involved in the raging scandal of laundering over $200 million, paid by foreign businesses in kickbacks, sources in the Attorney General's Office said yesterday.

EC in upazila soup

The Election Commission (EC) is looking at an avalanche of unexpected extra work with only eight days left for the upazila parishad elections, as many candidacy seekers previously disqualified by returning officers, are showing up with court orders reinstating them as candidates.

Govt sees 90pc ADP implementation

The new government expects to implement 90 percent of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) by the end of the fiscal year, although only 24 percent has been implemented in first six months.

9 out of 11 BNP bodies limping for years

Nine of the 11 associate bodies that pump political lifeblood into the BNP have remained without valid committees for the last two to 12 years as the party ignored democratic practice within itself focusing only the top leadership instead.

Israeli airstrikes, tank fire pound Gaza City

Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen fought fierce night-time clashes around Gaza yesterday, with Israeli tanks making their deepest incursion yet into districts of Gaza City, witnesses said.

BNP MPs-elect take oath tomorrow

BNP lawmakers-elect will finally be sworn in tomorrow as almost all its policymakers are in favour of joining the inaugural session of the ninth parliament on January 25.

Voter list to be updated in Apr-May

The Election Commission (EC) will update voter list in April and May for listing 18-year-old citizens as fresh voters and those who earlier failed enrol themselves, Election Commissioner Muhammed Sohul Hussain told reporters at his office yesterday.

Ershad still hopes to be president

Jatiya Party (JP) chairman HM Ershad yesterday said he would become the country's president anytime.

JRC meet to resume shortly

The long-stalled Bangladesh-India Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) meeting is likely to be held soon to find a solution to water-sharing issues of a number of rivers flowing through the two neighbouring countries.

Dense fog halts ferry services

Several hundred vehicles, including passenger buses, got stranded on the both sides of Paturia-Daulatdia and Paturia-Kazirhat routes yesterday as ferry services were disrupted for over eight hours due to dense fog.

Mahbubey Alam new attorney gen

After being appointed attorney general yesterday, advocate Mahbubey Alam stressed the need to work out solutions to the problems regarding appointment of judges to the High Court.

Cheated workers forced to return from S'pore

Several thousand Bangladeshi workers who went to Singapore with valid documents are being forced to return home in small groups as the Singaporean labour supplying companies allegedly cheated them by not arranging jobs for months.

First admin reshuffle by new govt

In its first reshuffle in the administration, the Awami League-led grand alliance government yesterday appointed Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTA) Chairman ASM Ali Kabir as acting establishment secretary.

Ministers, MPs to give wealth reports in Feb

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said as per their election pledges the ministers and lawmakers of Awami League (AL) will make public their wealth statements next month.

EC appointments under law to avoid controversy

The Election Commission (EC) will send a proposal to the new government to enact a law on appointment of chief election commissioner (CC) and election commissioners to end the long-standing controversy over formation of the EC, an election commissioner said yesterday.

India may snap its business, transport links with Pakistan

India may break off business, transport and tourist links with Pakistan if it fails to help to investigate the Mumbai attacks, Home Minister P Chidambaram has warned, pressing Islamabad to "cooperate soon." "There are many, many links between India and Pakistan, and if Pakistan does not cooperate and does not help to bring the perpetrators to heel, those ties will become weaker and weaker and one day snap," Chidambaram told 'The Times' daily.

Four arrested for Tk 27 lakh cheque fraud

Police have arrested four of a cheque fraud gang for conning a garment factory in Tongi out of over Tk 27 lakh.

Padma Bridge work to start in 2011, end in 3 years

Construction of the proposed Padma Bridge will start in 2011 and be completed in three years to connect the southwest region with Dhaka, Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain said yesterday.

Graffiti on woman ban erased

After The Daily Star ran a report yesterday on a self-proclaimed Pir who put graffiti on a wall by a Pirojpur road, prohibiting movement of women on that road, Mathbaria police removed the writings and are hunting for the Pir.

Pak envoy hopes BNP to help govt

Pakistan High Commissioner in Dhaka Alamgir Khan Babar hoped that BNP would fully cooperate with the present government for the welfare of the people.

Ex-BRTC boss Taimur jailed for not giving wealth report

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced former Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) chairman Taimur Alam Khondaker to two years' simple imprisonment for failing to submit his wealth statement to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Info minister pledges free media

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday assured editors and senior journalists that his government would ensure the free flow of information and freethinking of journalists in the country.

One held for mugging at IFIC Bank

Police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) made little headway in the efforts to recover the money -- Tk 2.73 lakh -- snatched from a client inside Dhanmondi branch of IFIC bank on Monday.

Tigers must win today

Rubel Hossain will make his international debut when Bangladesh play the last league match of the Grameenphone tri-nation tournament against Sri Lanka at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Editorial

Fifty per cent of textbooks yet to be printed!

It is that time of year when students in secondary school should be walking into class with new textbooks in hand. Unfortunately, as much as fifty per cent of them simply cannot do that because the number of books printed so far is far short of demand. In other words, it is the same old problem, which comes up on an annual basis, only that it has come about in a much aggravated forms this year. The authorities are now of the opinion that those students in classes VI to X who do not have textbooks will need to wait for anywhere between two and three months before their needs can be fulfilled.

Simply unheard of!

As reported in this newspaper yesterday a public road in Mathbaria of Pirojpur district has been made off limits to women by a self-styled 'pir' of the area. And this has been so, as we understand from the report, for quite sometime. It should put all right thinking person to shame to see such a state of affairs prevail in this age.

Diplomacy and enlightened self-interest

FOREIGN Minister Dipu Moni has re-emphasised the traditional basics of Bangladesh's foreign policy, those the new government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will carry forward as a matter of continuity. It was Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who first took the cue from Abraham Lincoln, back in 1972, to enlighten us on the principle that Bangladesh's diplomacy would work on. This country, said he, believed in friendship with all and malice towards none.

Getting down to action

BEFORE pointing out the faults of a new government it would be just to consider its initial problems. The new mahajote government has accepted the challenge thrown by the new generation of voters for a change. The world is passing through a severe economic depression. According to some of our eminent economists, Bangladesh may not be badly affected due to mainly two reasons.

What makes Ahmadinejad smile?

EXPLAINING the scale of Israel's actions in Gaza, several prominent Israelis have argued that the real enemy they are taking on is not Hamas but Iran. Michael Oren, who is currently serving as a press officer in the Israeli military, has argued along with Yossi Klein Halevi that “the operation against Hamas represents a unique chance to deal a strategic blow to Iranian expansionism.” The logic is that Hamas is an Iranian client.

Sports

That's it for Hayden

One of Australia's greatest opening batsmen Matthew Hayden called stumps Tuesday on one of international cricket's most imposing careers.

'Like a final'

It seemed that the whole Bangladesh team wanted to take inspiration from the very familiar words 'anything can happen in cricket' ahead of their do-or-die challenge against the Sri Lankans in today's tri-series match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

C'Ron wins FIFA gong

Manchester United and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo was on Monday named FIFA World Footballer of the Year for 2008.

Mohammedan ruin Brothers hopes

Mohammedan crushed Brothers Union 3-1 in the clash of heavyweights yesterday to move to the second place in the Citycell B. League.

Nasir takes Barisal ahead

Nasir Hossain struck a crucial unbeaten half-century to take Barisal on top of the National Cricket League one-day competition after a seven-wicket win over Khulna at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Dave happy with progress

ICC general manager David Richardson was impressed by the way Bangladesh cricket has made significant progress.

Rajshahi start with a bang

Rajshahi took advantage of Chittagong's wayward bowling and won the opening match of the Women's National Cricket League by 150 runs at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Rooney wants more

Wayne Rooney has urged reigning champions Manchester United to take full advantage of their games in hand and leave themselves looking down on the rest of the Premier League once again.

Roma feeling positive

AS Roma coach Luciano Spalletti is feeling positive ahead of his team's clash at home to Sampdoria on Wednesday.

Serena powers thru'

Serena Williams stepped up a gear dispatching Italian Sara Errani in quick time to power into the quarterfinals of the Sydney WTA International on Tuesday.

Must win for Scolari

Chelsea travel to Southend for an FA Cup replay on Wednesday where an upset win for the minnows would leave Roman Abramovich's club in crisis and manager Luiz Felipe Scolari's job in jeopardy.

Marta set for US

Brazilian forward Marta, who won her third FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award for her 2008 heroics, will join the Los Angeles Sol of Women's Professional Soccer for the upcoming season.

Fiorentina sweat on Mutu, Frey

Fiorentina are counting the cost of a disastrous match against Lecce at the weekend as captain Adrian Mutu and goalkeeper Sebastien Frey could both miss Saturday's trip to AC Milan.

Beattie joins Stoke City

Former England international striker James Beattie signed for Premier League strugglers Stoke on Monday from Championship side Sheffield United for a fee that could rise to 3.5million pounds on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

NZ take series

An opening batting blitz and timely rain gave New Zealand a nine-run victory in the winner-takes-all final one-day international against the West Indies here Tuesday.

Hamann faces long lay-off

Manchester City's Dietmar Hamann faces a lay-off of up to three months with a suspected ruptured tendon in one of his toes, the club's manager Mark Hughes revealed Tuesday.

Hussey beats Duminy

Michael Hussey's cool head and some force from Cameron White were responsible for driving Australia to back-to-back victories in the Twenty20 warm-ups for the start of the CB Series in Melbourne on Friday. Hussey was badly out of form during the Test campaign, but he showed both mind and muscle during an unbeaten 53 from 32 balls as Australia reached 4 for 161 in reply to South Africa's 5 for 157, a total set up by JP Duminy's unbeaten half-century.

Polsha and Mirzapur win titles

Polsha Adarsha Primary School of Mymensingh emerged boys' champions in the Standard Chartered National School Kabaddi Championships yesterday.

India to fill gap with SL tour

India will play five one-dayers and a Twenty20 international against hosts Sri Lanka next month to help fill the gap created by their cancelled tour of Pakistan, officials said Tuesday.

Trezeguet back in training

Former France striker David Trezeguet started training with his teammates again on Monday for the first time since having knee surgery in September, the club said on its website.

Morte, Kilbane going to Hull

Premier League newcomers Hull have agreed a fee with West Ham for Portuguese winger Luis Boa Morte and are hoping to reach a similar accord with Wigan over Kevin Kilbane.

Business

Govt may alter laws for business

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said yesterday the government is pledge-bound to amend any laws to help business activities run smoothly.

Mobile subscription grows 30pc

The country's six mobile phone operators added 10.27 million customers in 2008, posting a 30 percent growth compared to a 62 percent growth recorded in 2007.

Emirates moves to secure foothold

Emirates seeks to tap the potential of attracting more travellers, profiting from the high load factors of its flights and the suspension of operations by some local and global airlines that are flying to the Middle East and Europe.

RAK Airways halts flights from Bangladesh

UAE-based carrier RAK Airways suspended its operations from Bangladesh after its aircraft went out of order last month, officials and travel agents said yesterday.

BB hikes cash reserve ratio for banks

Bangladesh Bank yesterday increased the rate for daily cash reserve requirement (CRR) against deposits by 50 basis points to help banks manage liquidity better than before.

Aziz tells Muhit not to worry about economy this year

Former finance adviser to the immediate past caretaker government Dr Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday assured his successor, new Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhit, that there is no reason for him to worry about the economy this (calendar) year.

Asian markets lower as corporate fears shake investors

Asian stocks fell Tuesday as investor confidence was dealt a blow by more bad corporate news as fears about the global economic slowdown continued to spread.

Popular Life shareholder pays Tk 1cr fine

The capital market regulator yesterday realised Tk 1 crore fine from Arif Ahmed, a shareholder and a relative of some sponsor directors of Popular Life Insurance, who was found guilty of involvement in stock market manipulation.

Business leaders call for better climate

Business leaders of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) yesterday demanded that the government continue measures to keep up a congenial atmosphere at the Chittagong Port.

Strawberry flavours export dream

The Quantum Foundation authorities in Rajshahi bought over 1,000 strawberry plants for Tk 20,000 a month ago. They spent a further Tk 13,000 cultivating a fallow eight decimal pieces of land in Shitlai Kazipur area. They are now waiting to cash nearly Tk 2 lakh, six times the amount they invested, by selling 250kg of the lip-smacking fruit, in just 10 days.

Automakers put on brave face at Detroit show

Automakers put on a brave face Monday as they introduced new models at the Detroit auto show amid a collapse of industry sales that could lead to the disappearance of iconic brands.

Biz Letters

Towards a stable Bangladesh


The year 2009 started with great hopes and expectations as we witnessed the coming of a new government to power through a free and fair election. The military backed caretaker government ruled the nation for almost two years. Now, as the nation welcomes the newly elected democratic government, who came to power after a landslide victory, people's expectations have also become more demanding.

Stocks shake off losses

Dhaka stocks rose yesterday after a two-day fall, driven by gains in the companies with low-market capitalisation.

Euro drops sharply

The euro fell to one-month lows against the dollar and the yen on Tuesday as traders anticipated a deep interest rate cut by the European Central Bank this week.

Healthy profit for India's Infosys, but still caution

India's second-largest software exporter Infosys saw a healthy rise in profits Tuesday, beating market expectations and giving a rare boost to the country's battered IT sector.

China's exports fall for 2nd month amid crisis

Chinese exports extended their decline into a second month in December as the global crisis continued to impact its heavily trade-dependent economy, state media reported Tuesday.

Cathay passenger, cargo figures drop again in Dec

Cathay Pacific suffered a 0.3 percent year-on-year drop in passengers in December, company figures released Tuesday showed, as the global slowdown piled further pressure on the Hong Kong carrier.

Study finds people still spending on beauty

That dream holiday may have been shelved by the economic downturn, but consumers worldwide say they will still be spending on some things that count more -- beauty and health-care products.

Metropolitan

Trial of war criminals demanded

Bangladesh Awami Olama League (Baol) yesterday demanded trial of war criminals and necessary steps so that newly appointed Imam of Baitul Mokarram national mosque can join his work immediately.

Protest against Israeli air strikes on Gaza

Dhaka University students yesterday staged demonstrations on the campus protesting Israeli air strikes on innocent civilians in Gaza Strip and continuous US backing behind this barbarism.

Research needed to combat terrorism

Speakers at a dialogue yesterday underscored the need for research on terrorism to combat the menace that poses serious threats to security, stability and prosperity of the country.

Three killed in road accidents

Three people were killed in separate road accidents in Pabna, Bagerhat and Thakurgaon in last two days.

BCL men occupy rooms of Shibir activists at RU halls

Tension mounts high on Rajshahi University campus as Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists have forcibly occupied rooms of Islamic Chhatra Shibir (ICS) men at Nawab Abdul Latif Hall and Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Hall on Monday night.

Theatre in the sky

It was three o'clock in the afternoon. Sea giant whales, dolphins, jellyfish, python, butterfly and what not. They were flying in the sky enthralling the spectators. No, they were not real animals. They were kites in the shape of living creatures.

Application deadline extended again

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) yesterday extended the deadline, for the second time, for collecting and submitting application forms for plots at Purbachal New Town project and Uttara Model Town (third Phase).

Work together to make digital Bangladesh

Post and Telecommunications Minister Razi Uddin Ahmed Raju yesterday called for working together to make a digital Bangladesh.

Five injured in BCL factional clash in Ctg

Five students were injured during a clash between two rival factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at Chittagong Polytechnic Institute yesterday afternoon.

Three children rescued from traffickers

The police yesterday rescued three children from a gang of traffickers at Dumuria yesterday.

Arrest of culprits responsible for Sathi's suicide demanded

Classmates, teachers and neighbours of Sathi, 18, a brilliant student of Rampal College who committed suicide on September 27 of last year, formed a kilometre-long human chain from Sipaypara to Rampal school under Sadar upazila yesterday demanding immediate arrest of the culprits responsible for the incident, says a press release.

KU admission tests begin tomorrow

Admission tests of first year courses at Khulna University for the sessions 2008-2009 begin tomorrow, says a press release.

State minister Osman visits ICT Incubator

State Minister for Science & ICT Yafes Osman paid a surprise visit to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Incubator and Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) at Karwan Bazar in the city yesterday.

25th anniversary of Sunshine Grammar School today

Sunshine Grammar School and College, one of the leading English-medium educational institutions in the port city, celebrates its 25th anniversary today amid various programmes with the theme 'Let us save our earth'.

BNCC team to attend Republic Day Camp in India

A 13-member delegation of Bangladesh National Cadet Corps (BNCC) left for New Delhi yesterday to attend the Republic Day Camp 2009.

Further price cut of diesel demanded

Different organisations yesterday criticised the government for its price cut of diesel by Tk 2 only terming it a cheating with the people, and demanded further price cut in line with the international price.

Indiscriminate vandalism of vehicles protested

Social Workers' Forum yesterday protested indiscriminate vandalism of vehicles in the city's Mohakhali, Gulshan and Banani areas on Saturday.

160 kg govt rice seized, 2 held in Bagerhat

The police seized 160 kg of government rice from the house of a UP chairman at Depara in Sadar upazila yesterday afternoon.

Dalits to hold nat'l confce Jan 16-17

The dalit and excluded community will hold a two-day national human rights conference on January 16 and 17 demanding an end to the discrimination they have been experiencing.

Dr Ibrahim wins Prix Caritas Award

Dr Muhammad Ibrahim, founder and director of the Centre for Mass Education in Science (CMES), has been awarded the Prix Caritas Award 2009 by Caritas Switzerland, says a press release.

Bus burns down during welding work in city

A bus burned down after it caught fire during welding work on its roof in the city's Sayedabad Bus Terminal yesterday.

Programmes on Zia's birth anniversary

BNP has drawn up elaborate weeklong programmes beginning on January 18 to observe the 73rd anniversary of birth of its founder president Ziaur Rahman.

400 sacks of urea seized, three held at Teknaf

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawans seized a cargo trawler laden with 400 sacks of urea fertiliser from the Naf river on Teknaf border in Cox's Bazar yesterday while those were being smuggled to Myanmar through the sea route.

Fire in navy ship

A fire broke out in Bangladesh Navy ship 'Durdando' when it was going for a sea trial near outer anchorage of the seaport following a repair of its engine.

Muggers stab driver, take away money, cell phone

Muggers stabbed the driver of a private car and snatched money and cell phone from him in the city's Palashi area yesterday.

Books by Obaidul Haque donated to JU

Hasina Shams Foundation has donated 20 copies of two books by Obaidul Haque Sarker to Jahangirnagar University (JU) yesterday, says a press release.

Community welcome programme held in Ctg

Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) organised the Community Welcome Programme for the Global Xchange Team-79 at Theatre Institute Chittagong on Sunday.

'Meet people's expectation to avoid uncertainty'

Awami League (AL) lawmaker and presidium member Amir Hossain Amu yesterday said the country would face uncertainty if the grand alliance government fails to meet people's expectation.

Eight criminals arrested with firearms in Mymensingh

Police arrested eight criminals during a raid on a club at College Road in the district town and recovered two guns and one pistol loaded with seven bullets form their possession last night.

UCEP executives

Dr Ubaidur Rob and Parveen Mahmud have been elected chairperson and vice chairperson respectively of the Board of Governors of UCEP-Bangladesh for 2009-10, says a press release.

National

Pro-AL teachers lobbing for posts of RU VC, Pro-VC

Pro-Awami League (AL) teachers of Rajshahi University are lobbing with government high-ups for appointment as vice-chancellor and pro-vice-chancellor of the university.

Protests mount as culprits escape police net

A large number of children from primary schools in Sujanagar upazila, joined by their teachers, held a rally at the upazila headquarters yesterday demanding arrest and punishment of the culprits who gang-raped and killed schoolgirl Ridi, a class four student.

Women's death from violence shots up in 3 SW dists

At least 157 women were killed last year in three southwestern districts of Kushtia, Meherpur and Chuadanga due to violence against them against 82 in the previous year.

Hasina promised to make me president, Ershad says

Jatiya party chief HM Ershad yesterday said Sheiakh Hasina gave him ward that he will be made president any time during the tenure of the present government.

Pabna BNP divided over UZ poll candidacy

Internal feud in Pabna BNP has surfaced centring candidacy for the post of Sadar upazila chairman.

2 Shibir leaders sent to jail

President of Khulna city unit of Islami Chatra Shibir Mian Mojahidul Islam and secretary of Daulatpur Government BL University College unit of the party Azizul Islam Farazi were sent to Khulna district jail yesterday as Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Md Barekuzzaman rejected their bail petition when they surrendered to court along with ten others.

Ex-MP charge-sheeted for murder gets bail in Satkhira

A court in Satkhira yesterday granted bail to former BNP lawmaker Habibul Islam Habib a charge-sheeted accused in Tala upazila BNP president A B M Altaf Hossain murder case. Habib appeared before the court as per a High Court directive given on December 15.

Letters

Israel's brutality

It has been a week that Israel has been slaughtering innocent Palestinians indiscriminately in Gaza . About 900 civilians, women and children along with others of all age groups, have been killed, while more than two thousand people are mortally wounded. Reports say, BBC- AL JAZEERA and CNN, wounded people are confronting an acute shortage of medical support and other necessities around.

Population boom bogey?

Is Bangladesh 'overcrowded' -- with a birth rate of below two per cent per annum?

Drug addiction

The number of addicted people is increasing day by day. I know a boy, who is my neighbour belonging to an educated family, badly addicted by drug. In his early stage he was a good student and had a sound personality also. Several times, I tried to pursue him and tried to rescue him from this world, but he did not pay heed to my words.

Unguarded remarks

I hope that the newly installed elected AL government ministers have realised by now that unguarded and politically provoking remarks in the media might bring more harm than benefit to the individual and the party. The statements of the finance minister and the commerce minister on market management, especially on breaking the syndicates, were not based on facts. They should gather full information first and then give a policy prescription. This has only encouraged the private policy oversight institutions to come up with explicit comments on the syndicate issue. It is also important to note that the same person of this powerful oversight institutions has also provoked the existing syndicate to determine their course of action in the backdrop of the political note of warning and how they are going to respond negatively. We heard the commerce minister on channel i “First Minister” programme. He was informative and adopted a more practical approach to handle the syndicate. The most important thing he mentioned was that the syndicates exist and operate harmfully when political support is extended by the party in power. This is the catch issue. I hope both the ministers would keep this in mind as policy guideline. By the way, we are hearing about the syndicates since the BNP government. Tell us openly who are they or ask the FBCCI to find out who are they, why and how they operate.

Mumbai attack: a warning

The financial nerve centre of India (Mumbai) faced the worst terrorist attack at 10 important sites. At least 195 people were killed. Mumbai was paralysed for 62 hours!

Obama's silence

People across the world became hopeful and happy when Barack Obama was elected US president, thinking that they were going to get rid of the ruthless terms of President Bush. But Obama's silent support to Israel's massacre is making people frustrated and they are losing their trust in him. Just at the moment US is the most powerful country of the world and their support to anything gains the highest weight. Israel is continuing its barbaric attacks upon the innocent Gaza people. Gaza has become the death-trap for thousands of helpless women and children. In the name of weakening Hamas they are carrying out both air strikes and land attacks on the densely populated areas of civilians and killing the innocent.

English medium schools

The big advantage of a good English medium school is high standard of education. Students are being admitted to English medium schools from the early stage and they get the opportunity to learn English.

Obama's victory

The people of the whole world found their expectations come true with the election which Barack Hossain Obama won by a big margin. He has acquired a mandate for change. Braving all odds he moved forward to create a new history. His election message 'Change' touched the hearts of the American people which helped him to conquer the White House putting the racial issue in the coffin. It reminds us of the film "The Roots" where we saw the bravery of another great "Kuntakinte" who refused to change his name as suggested by his captors one hundred years ago. People around the world are now looking forward to watching the mettle of this young leader in tackling various issuesnational and international.

Discriminatory education policy

We always talk about democracy, but how much democracy is there in the educational system? When we see the educational systems of city schools and village schools, we can realise that there are many differences. Most of the teachers of village schools, who have no experience, are not good enough. They cannot teach the students properly or appropriately.

Free market economy?

For developed and industrialised countries free market economy is a means to affluence and prosperity. Their mastery over science and technology and industry have enabled them to produce a plethora of agricultural crops, high standard varieties of goods and commodities, equipment and machineries, arms and ammunition, war-planes, motor vehicles, warships, submarines, atom bombs and what not!.

Small cabinet

Last Tuesday, the new prime minister and ministers took oath. Through the oath ceremony, Awami League president Sheikh Hasina was sworn in as the country's new prime minister and 32 surprise picks also were sworn as ministers to run the ministries. The people of Bangladesh were surprised after witnessing a small cabinet. It's also surprising to note that AL president Sheikh Hasina has left most of her senior party colleagues out of the new cabinet and brought some young, competent and talented people. It is also to be noted that, from 32 ministers, 24 are new and young who have no idea about the ministries. Though they are new and inexperienced, they are honest and competent persons. Now, they have to show their ability in future through firm decisions and activities because ability is something different from honesty.

Learn from your mistakes

The 9th parliamentary election has worked like a mirror which has reflected the results of the activities of political parties and significance of people's might. Results of mistakes committed by the political parties have also been reflected in this election. It seems that it has issued a warning to the political parties“Learn from your mistakes and do not repeat them.”

Energy efficient boiler

Your report on the use of energy efficient boilers, published on 6 January, is a generalised logical statement. To make the industrialists interested to convert their boilers (if possible) more cost benefit advantages should have been spelled out. A simple statement that a 10 ton/hour boiler raising saturated steam at 10bar if replaced by an efficient boiler would cost say Tk.10 lakh, and the fuel saving per annum would be Tk 1 lakh indicates a pay back period of ten years.

BNP leader's assertion

Emergence of SQ Chowdhury as seen on local TV coverage also heard on BBC (Bangla service) for two days with his usual arrogance apparently confirms his position as the new leader in the helm of BNP. He claims his party still with three crore voters behind should be a force to reckon with; which certainly is a matter of fact.

Stop them!

A group of people, and their media partners, have been playing havoc in the country in the last two years. We have been along with sane media units insistently protesting against the nefarious activities of the "worms of hell". These are some so-called members of "Shushil Shomaj" and some print media units and a TV channel. They had been praying and hoping against hope that “elections will not be held and the Army will continue to rule the country by proxy.” They conducted all sorts of evil and malicious propaganda against the leaders of this country, dead and alive.

International

Israel not respecting HR laws: EU commissioner

Israel is not respecting international human rights law in the Gaza Strip, where it is giving insufficient protection to the civil population, an EU commissioner said in comments published Tuesday.

UN chief demands immediate truce

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday demanded an immediate end to the fighting in the Gaza Strip, as he embarked on Middle East tour in hopes of speeding a truce between Israel and Hamas.

War strains Gazans' survival skills

In 18 days of war, Hisham Abu Ramadan has fallen into a new routine.

All weapons legal: Israel

The Israeli army on Monday insisted all weapons being used in its Gaza war were within the bounds of international law amid accusations it was using white phosphorus and other deadly munitions.

Lanka gains ground from rebels

Sri Lankan troops have captured more territory from Tamil Tigers in fierce battles around the rebels' last stronghold in the northeast of the island, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Biden affirms 'responsible' US pullout from Iraq

Vice President-elect Joe Biden told Iraqi leaders yesterday that the incoming US administration is committed to a responsible troop withdrawal that does not endanger improvements in security, an Iraqi spokesman said.

Palestinian divide keeps West Bank calm

Despite an appeal by Hamas for a third Intifada, few in the West Bank appear to have much appetite for a new uprising in a mark of deep Palestinian divide and growing disenchantment with their leaders.

Ministers voice fears Gaza will radicalise British Muslims

Government ministers expressed concern Monday that Israel's military campaign in Gaza was radicalising Muslims in Britain.

Obama agrees to major US force increase in Afghanistan

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan to gain time to review the conflict, the Washington Post reported yesterday.

'Mission accomplished' banner was a mistake

President George W Bush admitted Monday it had been a mistake to hang a banner saying "mission accomplished" on a US battleship where he declared major combat operations in Iraq over in 2003.

N Korea vows not to give up nukes

North Korea said yesterday it will hold onto its nuclear arsenal until it is satisfied the US is not hiding atomic weapons in South Korea and Washington establishes diplomatic relations with the regime.

Obama plans Guantanamo closure order on first day

Barack Obama plans to order the Guantanamo Bay "war on terror" detention camp closed on his first full day in office, the New York Times reported yesterday, citing people briefed by Obama transition officials.

Afghan, Nato forces kill 12 insurgents

Troops have killed 12 Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan and shot dead a would-be suicide attacker apparently planning to attack a patrol, officials said Tuesday.

US sanctions Khan, associates linked to his nuclear network

The United States on Monday unveiled sanctions against detained Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, 12 associates and three firms linked to his nuclear proliferation network.

Militants attack Nato truck depot in Pakistan

Taliban militants launched a rocket attack on a Nato supply depot in northwest Pakistan early Tuesday, torching one truck and damaging three others, police said.

Afghanistan hostage to its own insecurity

More than seven years and billions of foreign aid dollars after the Taliban were toppled, Afghanistan remains hostage to its own deadly insurgency -- and a nightmare for the incoming US administration.

Earth's magnetic field impacts climate

The earth's climate has been significantly affected by the planet's magnetic field, according to a Danish study published on Monday that could challenge the notion that human emissions are responsible for global warming.

US cannot solve world's problems alone: Clinton

US President-elect Barack Obama's pick for secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said US and world leaders must work together to "solve the most pressing problems," according to remarks prepared for delivery yesterday.

Experts plead to save tropical forests in peril

US experts on Monday pleaded for boosted efforts to protect tropical forests, which are key to ensuring biodiversity and fighting climate change but are increasingly threatened by deforestation.

Arts & Entertainment

1st death anniversary of Selim Al Deen

As homage to 'Natyacharya' Professor Selim Al Deen on his 1st death anniversary (January 14), a five-day programme titled "Selim Al Deen Swaran Utsab" begins today at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) premises. In association with Selim Al Deen Pathshala, the programme is being jointly organised by Dhaka Theatre and Bangladesh Gram Theatre. Renowned theatre personality and ITI worldwide President Ramendu Majumdar will inaugurate the programme.

Bari Siddiqui unplugged

Do bring your flute along when you come next time," I requested Abdul Bari Siddiqui.

Pinter, Huntington and gaps in the drawing rooms

Two men, one a Briton and the other an American, died on Christmas Eve 2008. Harold Pinter probably did for English drama what few have done. Indeed, it was said of him that he did to plays what Auden once said should be done. He cleaned the gutters of the English language, so that afterwards it flowed more easily. And so on and so forth. By the time he died at seventy-eight, Pinter had turned into a rounded character, in that particular phrase normally reserved for individuals peopling drama. He was a dramatist, he was a critic, he was a polemicist. That last bit came off rather strongly, and to the delight of many, when he accepted the Nobel Prize for literature in 2005. He excoriated the Bush administration over its adventures abroad.

Vidya brings Chaurasia on stage

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. Age has not withered the flute maestro as was evident at a recent concert in Delhi. Organised to mark the 25th anniversary of NGO Vidya, the function was a delight with Chaurasia in full form. Another attraction was music and dance presented by the young children who are part of the Vidya family.

Traditional horse race in Mymensingh

To encourage a tradition that is on the verge of extinction, a horse race was held at the Kokil village under Sadar Upazila in Mymensingh last Friday.

Festival in Bhola to welcome migratory birds

'Pakhi Boron Utshob', a festival for welcoming migratory birds was inaugurated at Lalmohan Upazila town in the coastal district of Bhola recently.

Ei Je Ami Documentary on Selim Al Deen

On the occasion of his first death anniversary, "Ei Je Ami", a documentary on the late theatre icon Selim Al Deen, will be aired on ntv today at 6:45 pm.

Stage play to generate awareness

To generate awareness on tuberculosis, the Bangladesh Centre of Communication Programme (BCCP), recently staged a play at Shaheed Satu Hall in Chapainawabganj town. The play, “Ekjon Sheuly”, was staged by Anushilan Natyadal of Rajshahi University.

French director Claude Berri dies

Oscar-winning director Claude Berri died Monday in a Paris hospital, according to a statement from French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office.

OP-ED

True change

SHEIKH Hasina has not only talked about din badal (change), she is determined to implement. One should not bother about whether she got it from Obama or whether it was her real desire to bring about changes in Bangladesh politics following 1/11. The situation before 1/11 called for a real change from hartal, forced closure of business and industries, destruction of private and government properties by political mobs, parliament boycott, etc.

What we need

FINALLY, we now have an elected government after nearly two years under a caretaker government. Sheikh Hasina has been sworn in as the prime minister amid great expectations that she will not waver in keeping her pre-poll commitments to usher in genuine democracy and rule of law.

As good as it gets

LAST month a financial tidal wave washed over Indonesia, but not the one kicked up by the global credit crisis. Money flooded into government coffers from individuals and corporations eager to avail themselves of Jakarta's "sunset policy" on tax delinquency, which forgave past evasions in exchange for good behavior going forward.

CEOs get a union

NOW this is weird. The economic downturn means that in many countries white-collar workers are being laid off, but blue-collar workers are more in demand than ever.

Star City

Dangers at flyover ramps

The ramps of Mohakhali and Khilgaon flyovers in the city have become major accident spots due to absence of safe way for pedestrians to cross the road.

Chaotic traffic making a comeback in Dhanmondi

Dhanmondi residents enjoyed a month-long run of virtually empty, traffic-free streets thanks to the back-to-back holidays of Eid-ul-Azha, national elections and year-end as most of the educational institutions were closed during the time.


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