The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, September 18, 2014


News of: Friday, 16th of January, 2009

Front Page

BNP pledges to work with govt for nation's progress

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said her party deputies will attend parliament from its inaugural sitting and play a constructive role there. She urged them to lead honest and constructive lives, shunning luxury.

Govt moves to boost power, gas production

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday formed a special cell for the power, energy and mineral resources ministry aiming to scale up country's power and gas production.

Govt lifts duty on solar energy tools

The government has decided to withdraw all duties from solar energy equipment to encourage use of solar energy, especially in the remote and economically backward locations.

Fertiliser subsidy: Winding way to wealth creation

The price reduction of fertiliser has given rise to new thoughts on how the rice -- a commodity with less price elasticity -- will behave on the market, and how and whether the Tk 2,700 crore subsidy will translate into wealth creation.

Siraj, Tariqul, Mamun to be charged with graft

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday approved the charge sheet to be submitted soon against seven bigwigs, including former BNP ministers Shajahan Siraj and Tariqul Islam, in the case filed for abusing power in leasing 13 acres of forestland at Bhawal National Park in Gazipur.

Khaleda to lead smallest-ever opposition

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is going to be recognised as the leader of the smallest-ever opposition that has pledged to play a strong role to make parliament effective.

BTV ignores BNP MPs' oath-taking ceremony

The swearing-in of the lawmakers from BNP and allies yesterday was not aired live on Bangladesh Television.

Sahara asks law enforcers to go tough on extortionists

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday asked the law enforcement agencies to smash the hands of extortionists, whoever they may be, to stop overt or covert toll taking.

Israel shells UN office, hospital in Gaza

Israeli strikes set media and UN buildings and a hospital ablaze yesterday as tanks rolled deep into Gaza cities even amid hope that the war on Hamas that has killed nearly 1,100 people may soon end.

RMG workers vandalise 10 vehicles

Garment factory workers demonstrating for arrears vandalised at least ten vehicles on Tongi Diversion Road in the city's Tejgaon industrial area yesterday evening.

Factories, 100 houses gutted in city fire

A devastating fire gutted at least 10 small plastic factories and over 100 houses at Namapara of Islambagh in the capital last night.

Sircar changes mind, won't quit politics

Outgoing Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar yesterday said he would not quit politics; a contrary view from what he told a few days back that he would call it a day from politics after the new speaker was elected.

US action has no link with Bangladesh politics

The US Department of Justice believes that there is corrupt money in bank account in Singapore and the department's actions in this regard have nothing to do with Bangladesh politics, said US Ambassador James Moriarty.

Dr Toufique made adviser to PM

The government yesterday appointed former energy secretary Dr Toufique-e-Elahi Chowdhury Bir Bikram as an adviser to the prime minister.

Tk 88cr misused in manpower bureau: ACC

An Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) probe reveals that around Tk 88 crore of the expatriate welfare fund at the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training has been misused, wasted or misappropriated between 1999 and 2007.

EC to warn Rajshahi MP for violating electoral code

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday decided to warn an Awami League (AL) lawmaker for violating the electoral code of conduct of the upazila parishad elections in its efforts to refrain MPs from influencing the crucial polls to local government bodies.

8 killed as truck collides with train in Jamalpur

At least eight labourers were killed and another 20 seriously injured when the truck carrying them collided with a shuttle train at Beltoli Bazar near Dewanganj Railway station in Jamalpur district at around 11.45 pm Wednesday.

Fog disrupts ferry services, flights

The entire country plunged under a shroud of dense fog yesterday disrupting normal life across the country and affecting the flight schedules, launch and ferry services and vehicular movement especially on long routes.

Near-extinct vulture caught in Tangail

A Cinereous Vulture, commonly known as the black vulture and considered to be near extinct globally, has been caught at a village in Tangail on January 6.

More shake-up in admin

Three secretaries have been transferred to different ministries in a reshuffle in the administration by the new government.

Prof Arefin made DU VC

Professor Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique of Mass Communication and Journalism Department was appointed 27th Vice-chancellor (VC) of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday.

Rajshahi Jubo Dal leader murdered

Unidentified criminals killed Tanore upazila Jubo Dal convener Matiur Rahman Babu on Wednesday night at Bagdhani of Paba upazila of the district.

Tigers meet SL in tri-series final today

Bangladesh take on Sri Lanka in the final of the Grameenphone Tri-Nation Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur today.

10 injured as Shibir attacks BCL men

At least 10 students of Government Homeopathy Degree College in Mirpur were injured yesterday when Islami Chhatra Shibir cadres attacked Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists in the college dormitory.

Britain asks Pakistan to act against militancy

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband yesterday called on Pakistan to show "zero tolerance" towards militant groups based in the country that have been blamed for the Mumbai terror attacks.

Editorial

A farmer-friendly pro-agriculture step

In a timely, bold and decisive move, the government has halved the price of non-urea fertiliser, a major input required for high-yield boro cultivation. Farmers so far applying only urea fertiliser having been inhibited by the high price of non-urea fertiliser have been given a strong signal about where the government's focus lies and the area that the government aims to provide a thrust to.

A matter of 80 gold-plated gifts, for a lawmaker

A newly elected lawmaker from the Awami League was presented with eighty gold-plated miniature boats at a civic reception in Natore the other day. The lawmaker in question, Abdul Quddus, a former minister of state elected from Natore-4 constituency, later defended his acceptance of the gifts as a response to the love of the people. That was as untenable a statement as anyone can imagine, for there was something grossly wrong about the ethics behind the gifts. While those who took the initiative of making those presents to the MP (and they included businessmen and school teachers) should have realised that they were not doing the right thing, it should have been for the MP to dissuade his well-wishers from indulging in such an effusive and eyebrow-raising act.

Vox populi

AN often overlooked point about the recently concluded elections is the extent to which they signal that we are perhaps now entering into a period of increased political sophistication, both in terms of how elections are conducted as well as, hopefully, how elected governments conduct themselves.

South Asia in focus

THE curtain was brought down on 2008 with national elections in Bangladesh. The year saw significant developments in the democratisation of the South Asian region. Bhutan's monarch is seeking to involve people in governance. All this augurs well for the region. Unfortunately, the region also experienced tension between India and Pakistan.

Blood does not sleep

SALADIN, the greatest of Muslim warriors, died of fever and old age on the morning of March 4, 1124. He was the iconic believer.

Sports

Opportunity beckons for Bangladesh

Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons gave a long look at the pitch prior to his charges' practice session ahead of the today's tri-nation final at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Mahela's men ready

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said that his team were ready to put aside their disappointing defeat to Bangladesh in the last group match when they meet the spirited hosts in the final of the tri-nation ODI tournament at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Barisal fly high

A tight one-wicket win over Sylhet kept Barisal in top position of the National Cricket League one-day competition yesterday.

Enamul's high five

Farashganj recorded their biggest ever victory in the top flight of domestic soccer when Enamul Haque fired five goals in the riversiders' 7-0 thrashing of visiting Khulna Abahani in the Citycell B. League yesterday.

Start of a new era

This really has been a season of evolution in Australian cricket. For the past 16 years the sight of Australia crushing whoever visited for Tests was as much a fixture of the Australian summer as the one-day tri-series, which lasted nearly three decades. Now both eras have ended. Friday's ODI at the MCG is the first of a five-match series against South Africa, after which New Zealand will visit separately for the same number of games.

Mashrafe scare for Tigers

An injury to pace ace Mashrafe Bin Mortaza gave a scare to the Bangladesh team ahead of their all-important Grameenphone Tri-nation Cup final against Sri Lanka today.

A rare incident

When the Sri Lankan cricketers got off from a local transport at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday, everybody present there was taken by surprise.

Dhaka on top, Ctg's 1st win

Dhaka shot to the top of the Women's National Cricket League with a massive 202-run victory over hapless Sylhet at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Niaz tastes 1st defeat

Bangladesh Grandmaster Niaz Murshed suffered his first defeat in the 7th Parsvnath International Open Chess Tournament in Delhi, India when he went down to local player Vishnu Prasanna yesterday.

Elena dumps Serena

Russian Elena Dementieva stretched her winning streak to nine matches with a dominant straight-sets victory over a subdued Serena Williams to reach the final of the Sydney WTA International on Thursday.

Time for young talent

After a summer spent agonising over the fate of a veteran trying to revive his game, Australian cricket has restored its willingness to take a punt on younger blokes. Nor can the first flush be the last. Indeed the strategy ought to be extended to the Test team with Phillip Hughes taken to South Africa.

Simon lets hopefuls open

Simon Katich, the Australia opener, will drop down the order for New South Wales to allow Phil Jaques and Phillip Hughes to have the best chance of enhancing their claims to partner him in the Test side. Hughes, Jaques and Victoria's Chris Rogers are the leading contenders to replace Matthew Hayden, who retired on Tuesday, and each batsman will have one Sheffield Shield game to impress ahead of the announcement of the squad for South Africa.

Extra Test, T20 for India in NZ

New Zealand has agreed to add a third Test and an extra Twenty20 match to India's tour starting next month.

No more trouble from Gambhir

His temper was as much a talking point as his fantastic run with the bat in 2008 but Indian opener Gautam Gambhir promises to be more responsible this year and has vowed to avoid a repeat of the 'elbow-hitting' incident that resulted in a one-Test ban last season.

Saif shares lead with 4

Defending national sub-junior champion Abdullah Al Saif shared the lead with four other players at the end of four rounds of the 29th National Sub-junior Chess Championships yesterday.

Deaf cricketers' camp Jan 5-16

Bangladesh Deaf Cricket Association (BDCA) will organise a training camp from January 5-16 for Bangladesh's participation in the 2nd Deaf Asia Cup and the 3rd Deaf World Cup cricket tournaments in Pakistan and New Zealand respectively.

Eng-Scot T20 tie?

A cricket match between Scotland and England looks set to be played as England prepare for the summer ICC World Twenty20 competition, the England and Wales Cricket board said on Wednesday.

ICC queries PCB on Asif

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has asked officials in Pakistan to explain what action it plans to take against troubled fast bowler Mohammad Asif after his drugs arrest, an official said Thursday.

SA, NZ & Aus plan T20 league

Players' representatives from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have begun talks on an IPL-style tri-nation Twenty20 league that will involve franchises from the three countries and begin from 2011.

MU see off Wigan

Wayne Rooney kept Manchester United on course for the Premier League's top spot before being struck down by injury as the European champions secured a tense 1-0 win at home to Wigan on Wednesday.

Kaka move in doubt

Manchester City's reported world record bid for AC Milan's Brazilian playmaker Kaka hung in the balance on Thursday with conflicting reports on how the transfer talks were progressing.

Lippi tough on Totti

Italy coach Marcelo Lippi has calmed talk of a return to the national team for AS Roma forward Francesco Totti by insisting that only he would decide who earns a call up to the squad.

Blues hit back strongly

Chelsea flirted with FA Cup humiliation before coming from behind to beat Southend 4-1 in a third round replay that epitomised the best traditions of the world's oldest knockout competition.

Roma climb up table

Two-goal Brazilian forward Julio Baptista was the star of the show in AS Roma's 2-0 home victory against Sampdoria at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday as the Cup holders reignited their Champions League challenge.

Barca brush aside Atletico

An under-strength Barcelona side was still too good for Atletico Madrid on Wednesday as they inflicted a fourth successive defeat on their opponents with a 2-1 victory (5-2 on aggregate) and a place in the Spanish Cup quarterfinals.

Milan sign Gremio star

Italian giants AC Milan have signed Brazilian full-back Felipe Mattioni from Gremio, the player's agent said on Thursday.

Messi is the best: Robben

Real Madrid striker Arjen Robben claimed Lionel Messi of arch-rivals Barcelona was the best player in the world two days after Cristiano Ronaldo won the 2008 FIFA Player of the Year award.

Juve coast into qtrs

Italian giants Juventus coasted into the Italian Cup quarter-finals with a comfortable 3-0 win over Catania at Turin's Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.

Blackburn rope in Givet

France defender Gael Givet has joined Blackburn Rovers on loan from Marseille for the rest of the season, the Premier League side announced on Thursday.

Ibisevic suffers shock injury

Hoffenheim's surprise challenge for the German title suffered a serious blow on Wednesday when it was feared that Bundesliga leading scorer Vedad Ibisevic had torn cruciate ligaments in his right knee in a friendly match with Hamburg.

Business

BB mulls farm credit target for banks

Bangladesh Bank (BB) mulls fixing a farm credit target to boost agriculture production, officials said.

Tk 50cr subsidy ended up in wrong hands

The direct cash subsidy programme for diesel in the last Boro season suffered various setbacks with around Tk 50 crore feared to have gone to ineligible farmers due to irregularities in the listing and disbursement process, a study said yesterday.

Asians must pull together to ride out recession: UN

Asia's economies must work closely together and not treat each other as rivals if they hope to weather the global economic downturn, United Nations experts said Thursday.

Retailers promise to rein in prices of essentials

Retailers yesterday made a commitment to the commerce minister to keep the prices of basic commodities at tolerable level to help the market function smoothly.

Ministry designs draft rules on real estate

The housing and public works ministry has completed the draft rules under the Real Estate Development and Management Ordinance 2008 to discipline real estate under a strict guideline.

World stocks slide as New Year optimism fades

Asian and European stocks fell sharply on Thursday, with Tokyo slumping almost five percent to a one-month low, following another deluge of grim economic and corporate news.

BERC to decide on power tariff hike in May

Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has accepted in principle electricity-price readjustment at retail level but will announce its decision within May as to whether or not to allow the power-distribution companies to raise the tariffs.

China preparing to bailout more industries

China is planning more help for its steel, textile, shipbuilding and other key industries, analysts said Thursday, a day after the government unveiled a stimulus package for its ailing auto sector.

Asia spending to boost finally, says Morgan Stanley official

The massive slowdown in demand for Asia's exports will force the region to "get religion" and finally boost its consumer spending, the chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia Stephen Roach said Thursday.

Shahjalal Bank gets new addl MD

Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd promoted Md Jillur Rahman to additional managing director of the bank, according to a press release.

WEAB gets new leader

Rehana Rahman has been elected the president of Women Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh (WEAB).

A desperate lifeline

SME entrepreneur Kumkum Rahman was once fresh out of college, with a million dreams and full of fresh ideas. She desperately sought entrepreneurship independence, wanting to do her own thing. However, her family had other plans for her and another major obstacle was finance.

Best practices in managing IT

Most Bangladeshi companies with internal IT business support systems are struggling to formalise discipline (policy, process and procedure) to ensure appropriate service. Critical issues such as service delivery, accounting, managing (especially adopting new business process changes) and supporting are turning into a big challenge.

Stocks mostly down

Dhaka stocks fell with a topsy-turvy trading yesterday, showing a lack of investors' confidence.

Oil falls to near $36

Oil prices fell to near $36 a barrel Thursday in Asia as rising crude inventories and falling retail sales in the U.S. provided investors with further evidence of faltering consumer demand.

Microsoft considering significant job cuts: WSJ

Microsoft Corp is considering "significant" layoffs across various divisions that could be announced as early as next week, The Wall Street Journal reported late Wednesday.

Indian inflation falls for tenth straight week

India's inflation fell for a tenth straight week, according to official data Thursday, creating more room to boost the nation's slowing economy, economists said.

US foreclosures spike 81pc in 2008

US home foreclosures, the epicenter of the global financial crisis, spiked 81 percent in 2008 despite efforts to slow the "tsunami," a data tracking firm said Thursday.

Bank of China VP warns of fresh financial crisis

A top Bank of China official warned the world should brace for "a second round of financial crisis" due to rising bad loans as the real economy falls into recession, in remarks published Thursday.

Metropolitan

Keraniganj police refuse to file case against criminals

An orphan boy yesterday alleged that police did not record a case against the criminals who attacked his mother on the night of January 10, leaving her seriously injured.

Coalition to protect rights of indigenous people

With a view to protecting the rights of indigenous people a coalition was formed in the city yesterday.

Lawmaker calls for fresh investigation

As the probe committee of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) did not find any evidence against two policemen charged with demanding toll from an expatriate, lawmaker MA Latif on Wednesday called for fresh investigation by a neutral body into the incident.

85m at risk of arsenic poisoning

Speakers at an international conference yesterday urged the government to implement the national arsenic mitigation policy and action plan to reduce the risk of arsenic.

BCL factions clash at RU: 2 journos beaten

At least 10 students, including the correspondents of two dailies, were injured during a clash between two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at Rajshahi University over establishing supremacy on the campus yesterday.

Cut relations with Jamaat

Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, a platform of cultural activists, yesterday urged BNP to cut all ties with Jamaat-e-Islami, the party crammed with Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams, who committed war crimes during the liberation war.

Fresh probe demanded

Khulna journalists have demanded reinvestigation of all journalists' murder cases and the arrest of the financiers and planners of the killers.

9th JS to be rubber stamp

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said opposition parties will have no scope to play any vital role in the ninth parliament as it will be a rubber stamp one.

Noted director Tapan Sinha no more

Noted Bangla film director Tapan Sinha, whose cinematic works mostly focused on the struggles of the common men, passed away due to a prolonged illness in Kolkata yesterday at the age of 84.

CID probes unveil mysteries of over 200 cases

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probes into around 200 pending cases in the last one year unveiled mysteries behind the lawsuits which the investigators of other branches failed to do.

Sex worker commits suicide in city

A young woman allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a tree on the premises of Martyred Intellectuals' Graveyard at Mirpur in the city yesterday.

6 killed in road crashes

Six people were killed and 24 others injured in separate road accidents in Narsingdi and Tangail yesterday.

Fatullah Jubo Dal leader succumbs to injuries

The local Jubo Dal leader succumbed to his injuries yesterday after criminals attacked him on Tuesday at Panchabati under Fatullah police station.

Formulate comprehensive policy for adolescents

Speakers at a daylong convention yesterday urged the government to formulate a comprehensive separate policy for adolescents to address their concerns and needs.

Pinak meets Muhit

Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty yesterday met with Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhit at his ministry when they discussed bilateral matters, including

Goods-laden train derails in C'nawabganj

A Rajshahi-bound train derailed at Alinagar near Chapainawabganj railway station yesterday morning suspending the communication links between Chapainawabganj and other areas.

Death anniversary of Nawab Sir Salimullah today

Today is the 94th death anniversary Nawab Sir Salimullah, founder of Sir Salimullah Muslim Orphanage, says press release.

Exam centres to be free from unfair means

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said necessary steps will be taken to stop leak of question papers and make the examination centres free from all kinds of unfair means ahead of the SSC examination.

Appellate Div upholds HC order

The chamber judge of the Appellate Division yesterday upheld a High Court (HC) order asking the government to return the passport of former BNP state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar.

Shykh Seraj honoured

Sir William Beveridge Foundation, an international charity, has honoured media personality Shykh Seraj with special recognition for his contribution to the development of agriculture and rural economy, says a press release.

Australian HC meets FM

Outgoing Australian High Commissioner Douglas Foskett paid a farewell call on Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at her office yesterday and they discussed ways of furthering the bilateral cooperation in different sectors.

1,261 more held

Police in separate raids arrested 1,261 people on various charges from different parts of the country in last 24 hours as of 6:00am yesterday.

Dr Omar wins Teaching Excellence Award

Dr Ikhtyar Omar, associate chair in Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Engineering Technology Programs at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), Canada, has received a Teaching Excellence Award from National Institute for Staff and Organisational Development (NISOD), says a press release.

Improve treatment facilities at burn unit

The National Human Rights Commission has called on the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital authorities to take immediate measures to increase the number of doctors and nurses for its burn unit and improve the facilities for the treatment for patients.

Cracks in houses as land subsides

Cracks developed in 10 concrete houses as a vast area of land subsided near Bara-pukuria coalmine at Moupukur in Dinajpur on Wednesday night, prompting local people to stage violent protest since yesterday morning.

Two-day regional confce on autism begins today

The two-day 3rd South Asian regional conference on autism titled 'Support through understanding' organised by Society for the Welfare of Autistic Children begins in the city today.

Nine criminals arrested

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab)-1 arrested nine people in three separate incidents in the city during the last two days on charge of possessing illegal arms, snatching and drug peddling.

Justice Fazlul Karim acting CJ

Justice M Fazlul Karim, the senior-most judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, will discharge the responsibilities of the Chief Justice (CJ) during the absence of

Moazzam Hussain Chy

Today is the 5th death anniversary of Moazzam Hussain Chowdhury, a member of the first batch of Civil Service of the then Pakistan, says a press release.

Dr Syed Fazlul Haque

Today is the 5th death anniversary of Dr Syed Fazlul Haque, former professor of Radiology, Medical Colleges of Bangladesh, says a press release.

Obituary

Kazi Md Solaman, 73, a former UNDP staff, passed away at the United Hospital in the city yesterday, says a press release.

Chehlum

Chehlum of Dr Muhammad Ishaque, former chairman of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Dhaka University, will be held today, says a press release.

Letters

People's power

The result of the just concluded general election is a puzzle for both the winners and losers. The unprecedented victory of the 14-party alliance came through a humiliating defeat of the 4-party alliance. Despite Begum Khaleda Zia's complaint of election engineering, this poll with about 80% turnout has widely been accepted as free and fair, and will remain as a model not only for Bangladesh but also for many nations of the world. People with new voter ID exercised their power.

Political culture

We are the people of Bangladesh. We know how we achieved our independence in 1971. From the very beginning, we were cherishing the hope that our country would be a prosperous one, but still now we are not capable of translating our dream into reality. After passing a crucial period, we can see a new sun in a new horizon. New and the next generations want to get a new Bangladesh where corruption, violence etc will be absent.

Genocide in Palestine

You have been giving us news for long of massacre of our brethren in Palestine, whose lives were never safe, (but) tell me what could we do, when the rest of the world remains a powerless observer!

Winter

When the winter becomes severe, the destitute people lead their lives in poor condition. We see, especially in Dhaka, that at least 3.5 lakh people have no habitats.

Change, the key to success

Change is one of the most critical aspects of effective management or governance. There has never been an age in which change has not taken place. The demographic profile of a country is changing. So the country looking forward for development must adjusts itself with the changing environment. Every individual, organization and country has the responsibility to change themselves or help in changing people, if it is positive! The recent endeavour of Prothom Alo as an organisation to encourage people to change is worth mentioning. Especially the oaths sworn by different group of people given in Radio Foorti or FM are really promising. It will definitely have a positive impact if people have the intention to change. Besides the oaths are easily understandable especially to the people who are illiterate and are turned to radio for entertainment but unfortunately it will be difficult for the illiterate people to understand the slogan as they can not read the slogan given in the advertisement "Bodle jao bodle dao" (change yourself and change others) which was widely displayed all around Dhaka city and other places. Anybody who doesn't know how to read will think that this should be the system, like men should sit and women should stand, or interpret it in their own way. I, out of curiosity asked my helping hand (maid) what she understands from the picture as she cannot read. She just explained that the guys sitting are feeling irritated by the woman as she is standing in front of them! As she is not able to read she understood it in her own way. I always think that the posters should always be positive and should be developed keeping the illiterate people or general people in mind.

Gulshan-Banani Bridge

"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever," But the Gulshan-Banani Bridge, the so-called concrete 'beauty' has become a beast for the residents of Gulshan, particularly for my family and I who are the worst victims.

Congratulations!

My heartfelt congratulations to the grand alliance for achieving an unprecedented win in the recently held general election. But they should not forget the people and party workers who gave their lives over the past 7 years just to bring this change and to bring the country back to the path of democracy. Especially, we should not forget Ivy Rahman who lost her life under most tragic circumstances.

Be discreet, please

Recently, our newly appointed home minister told that the post-election clashes were the results of internal conflicts in the BNP. She might be right. But holding a highly responsible position she should refrain from blaming others.

Mistakes, again

I am very sorry to see that Sheikh Hasina is again making some mistakes from the very beginning. The first priority should be to give autonomy to all media outlets including TV channels which are run by taxpayers' money but fail to talk about the real problems of Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina had made the same mistake in 1996. Which party doesn't want poverty alleviation? So please stop non-specific distraction because people are conscious and today or tomorrow you have to pay for this intentional “mistakes”.

Bold decision!

Recently, the Awami League President Sheikh Hasina has been sworn in as the new prime minister. Thirty-one others have been inducted into her council of ministers. We have seen that the cabinet comprises 23 ministers and eight state ministers. Of them, only AMA Muhith, Matia Chowdhury, AK Khandaker, Syed Ashraful Islam, Syed Abul Hossain and Dipankar Talukder have previous experience. Three came on technocrat quota. Many senior leaders including presidium members Amir Hossain Amu, Abdur Razzak, Tofail Ahmed, Abdul Jalil, Suranjit Sengupta, Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, Saber Hossain Chowdhury, and Asaduzzaman Noor were left out. Workers Party President Menon and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal President Inu were not also included though they were widely expected to be ministers.

Where is the UN?

We often hear much about human rights from the UN. But when it comes to a Muslim country, the UN remains quite silent. If we look back to the last few days, we can see that more than 900 hundred people have been killed and scores of civilians were wounded in Israeli military operations. Even the injured people are being barred from getting medical treatment. What is more, a mosque in the northern part of Palestine has been hit. Thus Israeli continues its blatant violation of human rights.

MPs and duty free cars

Congratulations to the newly elected MPs. There will be a total of three hundred and 45 MPs, including the selected women MPs. Now if each MP avails the tax free car facility for Tk. 2 crore BMW then with the 200% duty waiver the total amount will be Tk. 1,380 crore. Moreover, many of the cars will be used by unnamed friends and business partners of the MPs.

Prime task

I must congratulate the grand alliance for having secured the historic victory. But they should not be overwhelmed by this victory. They should bear in mind that people have elected them with a dream of better life, corruption free good governance and trial of war criminals. However, the prime task of the government must be controlling the prices of essentials. And I believe, the newly formed government will have every scope to control the prices. I believe this from my past experience in the AL tenure after the 1996 election. Nowadays, the prices of crude oil as well as edible oil in the international market have fallen significantly. But we find little reflection of this in our local market. Bus fares had been increased sharply with price hike of crude oil in the international market. But after the price fall, we hoped the bus fares would be reduced but nothing happened The newly formed government can bring about the desired change in this regard by rescheduling the bus fares.

Thanks to EC, CTG

As the New Year began and a new government took office, I felt I must write a note of thanks to the outgoing caretaker government and the Election Commission for managing the most peaceful, decent, disciplined and efficient national vote ever experienced in this country.

Hasina's call to opposition

I am not directly or indirectly related to any political parties but I maintain tacit support to a party over 20 years that sometimes gives some insights for my personal development in fulfilment of some social, moral political obligations.

International

Indian army chief confirms Pak troop movements

The head of India's army on Wednesday confirmed that Pakistan has redeployed troops along the two countries' tense border but said he regarded war as a "last resort."

Gaza civilians hide where they can as battles rage

Gripping their wailing children, terrified Gaza civilians scuttled for any shelter they could find yesterday as Israeli tanks barrelled into the heart of a residential neighbourhood in Gaza City.

Tin-pot rockets won't open a second front

The "Popular Front for the Liberation of PalestineGeneral Command" the quotation marks are necessary since this outfit controls at most 500 cadres is responsible for all the tin-pot rockets fired into Israel from Lebanon this past week.

'War on terror' was wrong

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Thursday delivered a sharp critique of outgoing US President George W. Bush's foreign policy, declaring the concept of a "war on terror" was "mistaken."

Afghan general among 13 killed in army chopper crash

An Afghan National Army (ANA) helicopter crashed yesterday in western Afghanistan, killing the top general for the region and a dozen other people on board, defence officials said.

Troops capture LTTE airstrip

Sri Lankan troops have captured another airstrip used by Tamil Tiger guerrillas as ground battles escalated across the troubled region, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Global outrage over Israeli attack on UN Gaza office

UN chief Ban Ki-moon led international protests yesterday describing the Palestinian death toll as "unbearable" as Israeli air strikes set hospitals, media and UN buildings ablaze.

Israeli official in Cairo to hear Hamas's truce 'vision'

Senior Israeli defence official Amos Gilad arrived in Cairo yesterday to hear Hamas's response to an Egyptian-mediated plan for an end to the fighting in the Islamist-controlled Gaza Strip.

Indian general elections in early April

India is to hold general elections in early April, an Election Commission official told AFP yesterday.

Qaeda remains 'number one threat' to US: Obama

President-elect Barack Obama said Wednesday that al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden remain the "number one threat" to US security, after a new voice recording emerged from the terror group's leader.

Call to stop Israeli aggression on Gaza

Teachers and students on the Dhaka University campus yesterday burnt the effigies of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and US President George W Bush on the campus protesting Israeli massacre of innocent civilians in Gaza City.

Arts & Entertainment

Shoker Padabali screened at Shilpakala Academy

On the first death anniversary of 'Natyacharya' Selim Al Deen, a five-day programme titled "Selim Al Deen Smaran Utsab" started at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) premises on January 14. In association with Selim Al Deen Pathshala, Dhaka Theatre and Bangladesh Gram Theatre have jointly organised the programme. ITI worldwide president and renowned theatre personality Ramendu Majumdar inaugurated the programme.

The thriving art scene in Dhaka

In recent years Bangladeshi artists have demonstrated a distinct edge in the international art circuit. They now receive international exposure and participate at various competitions. Nowadays, the scope for pursuing fine arts in Bangladesh is much wider than ever before.

31st anniversary of Padatik Natya Sangsad

Theatre troupe Padatik Natya Sangsad celebrates its 31st anniversary this evening at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). On the occasion the troupe will announce winners of this year's 'Kochi memorial Award'.

OP-ED

Zionism in Gaza's shattered mirror

AT a time when Palestinians, corralled in the ghetto of Gaza since 1948, are being relentlessly bombed, it is instructive to turn to some of the founding fathers of Zionism and ask what they might have thought about this obscene consequence of their messianic vision.

Religious education for the 21st century

MUCH has been written about the divide between madrasah education and standard government SSC/HSC education. However, it is worth considering this question from a fresh angle; namely, what is really valued by the public and worth retaining from the traditional madrasah approach? The answer to this question should dictate the means of unifying the various educational systems in Bangladesh.

'We will act again'

In spite of a UN ceasefire resolution passed late last week, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was talking tough in an interview with Newsweek's Lally Weymouth. She appeared confident that Israel had dealt a setback to Hamas, the Islamist group that governs the Gaza Strip and has been firing rockets into Israel. She warned that further provocations would be met with force.

StarTech

Banks get tech smart

The commercial banks in Bangladesh are fast catching up with the rest of the world in terms of the use of the most advanced technologies. Starting from online banking and SMS banking, we have also seen the arrival of innovative technologies like the mobile ATM and many more.

Bangladesh celebrates IYA-2009

Bangladesh has already started celebrating the International Year of Astronomy (IYA). The local inaugural ceremony of IYA2009 was held on January 1 at Enayetpur, which is 80 miles northwest of Dhaka and is widely known as the 'Space Village' for its high profile celebrations of the World Space Week since 2005.

Consumer electronics show woos visitors in Las Vegas

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicked off here on January 8 with exhibitors displaying gadgetry ranging from snazzy new smartphones to envelope-sized computers to 3D high-definition television sets. The show came to an end on January 11.

Apple chief Steve Jobs takes medical leave of absence

Apple chief Steve Jobs is taking medical leave of absence because of "complex" health issues, sparking worries about the future of the iconic maker of iPhones, iPods and Macintosh computers.



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