The Daily Star

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

News of: Monday, 19th of January, 2009

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Mosharraf's million found in UK vaults

BNP leader and former minister Khandeker Mosharraf Hossain, his wife and a son have huge wealth in the British Isles, found investigators in the United Kingdom.

BNP aspirant given right voter numbers

An investigation by the Election Commission (EC) revealed yesterday that the BNP nominee in Naogaon-6 constituency in the recent parliamentary election had been provided with the flawless result sheet of Gahelapur High School polling station showing no sign of vote rigging there.

BCL antics irk AL top brass

The Awami League (AL) high command might soon dissolve the central committee of its associate body Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) in the wake of recent series of violence at several educational institutions across the country.

AL's crime dons show up at HC

Five former Awami League (AL) lawmakers and the Jatiya Party (Manju) chief appeared before the court for bail yesterday, but only godfather HBM Iqbal was granted bail, although all were convicted of similar graft offences.

Gunshots test Gaza truce

Israeli troops and Hamas fighters traded their first shots yesterday, puncturing a tenuous truce in Gaza, as dozens of bodies were pulled from the rubble after Israel halted its war on Hamas.

Army gets down to another poll task

Army rolled out yesterday for maintaining law and order in the January 22 upazila parishad elections as grassroots level leaders of the two major political rivals--ruling Awami League and opposition BNP--face off in the crucial battle of ballots.

Over Tk 1cr brought back at taskforce initiative

BNP standing committee member and former minister Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain brought back 76,282.07 pounds (equivalent to about Tk 1.04 crore) from the UK at the initiative of now-defunct taskforces.

Hasina seeks more US investment

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the United States to invest in Bangladesh in larger volume and laid emphasis on more US cooperation in energy and power sectors.

CU unlocked after 2 days

Authorities of Chittagong University (CU) early today broke open the locks on the university main gate and faculty buildings ending a two-day siege of the campus by activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League.

Khaleda talks to top leaders on JS strategy

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia held a meeting at her Gulshan office last night with BNP's top leaders to discuss party strategy in the opening session of the ninth parliament on January 25.

Further probe, IO change ordered

A Chittagong court yesterday ordered further investigation into the sensational Chittagong arms haul case of 2004 and change of the investigation officer (IO) of the case for the third time.

Give enough loan to Boro farmers

Bangladesh Bank yesterday directed the banks to provide adequate loans to farmers during the Boro season.

BCL erases Khaleda, Saifur's names

Activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) changed the names of two female dormitories of Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Saturday night, erasing the names of Khaleda Zia and Saifur Rahman.

Zia's birth anniversary today

Today is the 73rd birth anniversary of late president Ziaur Rahman, the founder of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

BDR asked to check fertiliser smuggling

Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Abdur Razzak yesterday directed BDR officials to take steps so that fertiliser cannot be smuggled into India by taking advantage of its low price in the country.

Thailand probing reports

The Thai government is investigating and verifying all the facts and circumstances relating to the recent news reports on 'illegal migrants' found in the Andaman Sea, said Thai ambassador in Dhaka Chalermpol Thanchitt in a media release yesterday.

Tigers take on Zimbabwe today

Bangladesh will look to erase the heartbreak of Friday's tri-series final loss to Sri Lanka when they take on Zimbabwe in the opening match of the three-match series at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur today.

Hundreds feared dead at sea

India said yesterday that hundreds of people were missing at sea, believed to be part of a wave of boat people allegedly dragged out to the middle of the ocean by Thailand and left to die.

Lankan soldiers surround Tigers' base

Sri Lankan government troops have almost completely cornered the Tamil Tigers in their northeastern jungle base and the rebels' leader may already have fled the island, the army chief said.


Apply brake on BCL excesses

WE have been urging the government to rein in Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists since the first reports poured in about their take-over bids in hall dormitories. If it were heeded earlier on, the situation wouldn't have perhaps come to this pass.

Concern over industrial pollution

IT is a matter of utmost concern that many industrial units in the country keep releasing toxic gas and chemicals into the environment to the peril of human health, crops and aquatic resources. What is supremely ironical is, while the owners of these industrial units as responsible citizens contribute significantly to the growth of the economy and generation of employment opportunities, they prefer to remain indifferent to the vital issue of environment pollution and the resulting damage to eco-system.

Price stability and political commitment

UNDOUBTEDLY, the most immediate task of the newly elected government would be to arrest the price spiral. Inflationary pressure left poor people impoverished for the last few years. And that has already been mentioned by the newly elected PM as well as her ministers in the cabinet.

Gaza is burning

THE world is witnessing a replay of Israel's 34-day war with Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006, with some variations. Israel is unleashing hell to "defend" itself as President Bush and president-elect Obama would have us believe. In 2006, the invaders received a befitting response from Hezbollah, but Hamas has been operating in an occupied zone with severe limitations of finances and training facilities. So, Hamas may be unlikely to give Israel the punishment which Hezbollah inflicted on it.

India's own Enron-plus

THE Satyam scandal has been wrongly called “India's Enron,” after the gigantic 2001 fraud in the US company. In fact, the Satyam scam is much bigger in magnitude and impact. The amount stolen from Enron was Rs. 2,866 crores at current exchange rates. In Satyam, according to promoter B. Ramalingam Raju, Rs. 7,136 crores were involved.


Ash expects hundreds

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful has put the onus on himself and fellow top-order batsmen, asking them to score some big runs against Zimbabwe in the three-match Grameenphone Series that begins today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

Abahani extend lead

Abahani warmed up for next week's mega clash against archrivals Mohammedan when the defending B. League champions crushed Arambagh 4-0 yesterday.

Aussies draw level

Shaun Marsh continued his good form as Australia beat South Africa in the second one-day international to level the one-day series at 1-1 in Hobart on Sunday.

We want to Prosper

Zimbabwe captain Prosper Utseya is confident enough to state his intentions of winning every game they play on tour to Bangladesh.

Dawn of the Big Four

Men's tennis has moved swiftly from one dominant player to two, then the Big Three and now the Big Four, making this year's Australian Open the least predictable in recent history.

Pakistan readying for Magical Ms

Sri Lankan spin magicians Muttiah Muralidaran and Ajantha Mendis loom as major threats for Pakistan in their three-match one-day series which opens here Tuesday.

Rajshahi go on top

Rajshahi edged past Dhaka by eight runs to move to the top of the Women's National Cricket League along with Khulna who destroyed Chittagong yesterday.

Niaz holds Ukraine GM

Grand master Niaz Murshed drew his ninth round match of the 7th Parsvnath Inter-national Open Chess Tournament yesterday in Delhi, India after two successive wins.

Onus on sisters

The Williams sisters have emerged as the bookies' favourites for more Grand Slam glory at the Australian Open, but the field remains wide open.

Strauss bucks KP up

New England captain Andrew Strauss expects batsman Kevin Pietersen to star for England in the West Indies and in time become a cricket "legend".

India call up rookie for SL ODIs

India's cricket selectors on Sunday included uncapped all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja for the five one-day matches and a Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka starting later this month.

Ana wants to make up for BBQ blues

Glamorous Serb Ana Ivanovic admits she was not the life of the party when her Melbourne-based relatives threw a barbeque in her honour following her defeat in last year's Australian Open final.

Palolic shock champs Russel

Newcomers Palolic upset defending champions Sheikh Russel KC 3-1 on the opening day of the Senior Division KDS Metropolis Table Tennis League yesterday at the Woodenfloor Gymnasium.

Siam on top

Ikramul Haque Siam maintained solo lead in the 29th National Sub-junior Chess Championships with maximum seven points after yesterday's 7th round games at the BCF hall-room.

Asif released after airport confusion

Suspended Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif nearly landed in another controversy on Saturday. Asif, who arrived in India to sort out financial issues with his Indian Premier League (IPL) team Delhi Daredevils, was stopped at the Delhi airport due to visa-related problems, but was later allowed to move out following intervention by the Pakistan High Commission officials, PTI reported.

The €110m hype?

The will he, won't he transfer saga of Brazilian star Kaka's potential move to Manchester City for a record fee is "ridiculous" hype engendered by his club AC Milan, according to a source close to City's Arab owners.

Milan still in the hunt

AC Milan put the Kaka transfer saga behind them to earn a vital 1-0 Serie A victory over Fiorentina at the San Siro on Saturday to keep their title hopes alive.

Rafa shadow hangs heavy

Rafael Benitez has attempted to reassure Liverpool fans that uncertainty over his future will not seep through to the dressing room ahead of Monday's crucial derby game with Everton at Anfield.

Barcelona blistering

Barcelona were back to their brilliant best crushing Deportivo La Coruna 5-0 at Camp Nou on Saturday to move 15 points clear of Real Madrid and 12 ahead of Sevilla at the top of the Spanish first division.

MU provisionally top

Dimitar Berbatov scored a last-minute winner to sink Bolton and send Manchester United to the top of the Premier League for the first time this season on Saturday.

Joe Cole out for season

Chelsea winger Joe Cole will miss the rest of the season after surgery on a ruptured cruciate knee ligament on Saturday.

Poldi all set for Cologne

German international striker Lukas Podolski will return this summer to former club Cologne from Bayern Munich, where he has had an unhappy time since joining in 2006, a Cologne official said Sunday.

Boluda will not be candidate

Real Madrid's caretaker president Vicente Boluda said Sunday he would not be putting himself forward as a candidate when elections to appoint a full time president are held later this year.

Moyes accuses Pompey, Hammers

Everton manager David Moyes has accused Portsmouth and West Ham of pursuing transfer policies that are "a danger to football".

Buffon down with the flu

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon's brief return from injury has come to an abrupt end due to the flu, the Turin club said on Saturday.


Recession fears loom over shrimp exports

The shrimp industry foresees the toughest time this year on a continuous fall both in the price and demand in the troubled developed economies, main consumers of the item, according to industry people.

No TCB reactivation, 10-yearly export plan under consideration

The commerce minister prefers ensuring all kinds of cooperation to business communities rather than reactivating the state-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) to arrest the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities in the local market.

Broiler chicken soars 51pc

The prices of broiler chicken have jumped over 51 percent because of short supply as fears over probable bird flu attacks slowed farming last month.

ACI to raise Tk 130cr in bonds

Advanced Chemical Industries (ACI) Limited has decided to borrow Tk 130 crore through issuing convertible zero coupon bonds for loan repayment and fresh investment.

Committee on shipbuilding set to make recommendations

A 14-member committee led by Bangladesh Bank Deputy Governor Nazrul Huda is set to recommend assistance, including banking facilities, for the shipbuilding industry.

Coordinated industrial policy soon

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday said the government is going to formulate a coordinated industrial policy to attract local and foreign investment in the country by creating an investment-friendly environment.

Obama stimulus not sure bet

Barack Obama and his congressional allies are gambling that the largest public spending program since World War II and a new round of tax cuts will pry the economy from the recession's iron grip and avert another Depression.

How is gas crisis affecting Europe?

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian Premier Yulia Tymoshenko met Saturday in Moscow for crunch talks that the EU described as the "last and best chance" to resolve the gas dispute.

Russia asserts clout in Ukraine

In forcing Ukraine to accept a fast shift to market prices for its gas, Russia has managed to remind all in stark terms that it still has considerable influence on its ex-Soviet neighbour, analysts say.

Dhaka stocks end lower

Dhaka stocks fell on the first trading day of the week, despite the debut of two issues yesterday.

Asian currencies mixed

Asian currencies ended the week mixed against the dollar, on concerns about the health of the global economy and a turbulent performance by world stock markets.

Global crisis to hit China toy exports

China's toy exports have taken a beating from the global financial crisis, with demand shrinking in the key US and European markets, state media reported Sunday.

Taiwan hands out vouchers to lift faltering economy

Taiwan started handing out shopping vouchers to each of the island's residents on Sunday, as part of a 2.5-billion-dollar scheme aimed at boosting the island's flagging economy.

Citycell launches inter-standard global roaming service

Citycell, the country's only CDMA mobile operator, has introduced the first inter-standard global roaming service in Bangladesh, allowing customers to roam in both CDMA and GSM networks of over 450 operators in more than 200 countries around the world.

Iran bases budget on oil

The Iranian government has based its budget bill for 2009-10 on an oil price of 37.5 dollars per barrel, the semi-official news agency ILNA reported on Sunday.

Pakistan eager for stronger business ties

Pakistani High Commissioner in Dhaka Alamgir Babar announced that a meeting between the Joint Business Council and the Joint Economic Council of Pakistan and Bangladesh would soon be held in Islamabad, according to a press release.

Debt-plagued EU companies face refinancing test

Although the global credit crunch has shown signs of easing recently, many European companies face a make-or-break year as they struggle with debt levels higher than their US competitors.

BNP Paribas executives forgo bonuses

Executives at the helm of French bank BNP Paribas have agreed to forgo their 2008 bonuses following conditions President Nicolas Sarkozy set for state aid this week, an official said Saturday.

Fresh EU forecasts to shed new light on depth of recession

The EU economy faces a new round of bad news on Monday when the European Commission issues new forecasts against the backdrop of a worsening recession and spiralling public deficits.

Chinese banks report sharp drop in non-performing loans

Chinese commercial banks reported a sharp drop in non-performing loans last year despite the impact of the global financial crisis, state media said Sunday.


'Nobody will be allowed to destabilise campuses'

Nobody will be allowed to destabilise the congenial atmosphere of educational institutions, said State Minister for Home Tanjim Ahmed Shohel Taj yesterday.

Landowners to get due compensation

Land Minister Rezaul Karim Hira yesterday said the landowners from whom the government would acquire lands to build the Padma Bridge will get proper compensation.

Govt firm to free edn sector from graft

Finance and Planning Minister AMA Muhit yesterday said the government is committed to bringing major changes in the education section by purging it of corruption with all-out efforts by all concerned.

UK ready to support in combating terrorism

The British government wants to work with the Bangladesh government in the sectors of combating terrorism and extremism, economic cooperation, health and education.

BNP to be rectified

BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said they would rectify the party in case of any deviation found to take the party forward.

JCD seeks security, peaceful coexistence

Leaders of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) yesterday submitted a memorandum to Dhaka University (DU) Vice Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique demanding security of JCD men on the campus and peaceful coexistence at the university dormitories.

Combined move a must to cut poverty

Unnayan Shamannay Chairman Dr Atiur Rahman yesterday said a combined move, ranging from the government and private sector, is necessary to eradicate poverty from the country by 2015.

Expert body finalises recommendations

The expert committee, formed to review the ordinances promulgated by the military-backed caretaker government (CG), has finalised its recommendations to be placed at the cabinet meeting.

Criminal shot dead in city

A most wanted criminal was gunned down by one of his accomplices at Manda in the city yesterday.

2 secretaries made OSD

The government in an important decision yesterday made two secretaries and director general of Islamic Foundation officer on special duty (OSD), says an official announcement.

Uphold country's image abroad

President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday termed foreign service officials mirror of the county and hoped they would uphold Bangladesh's image abroad.

Scrap vested property return ordinance

Eminent citizens in a statement yesterday urged the government to scrap the Vested Property Return (Amendment) Ordinance, promulgated by the previous caretaker government.

Rajuk to involve Buet in plot allotment

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) will involve Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) for preparing database of the applicants and conducting lottery for the allotment of plots at Purbachal New Town Project and Uttara Model Town (Third Phase).

DFID director gen due today

Director General for Country Programmes in the UK government's Department for International Development (DFID) Mark Lowcock arrives in Dhaka today on a four-day visit aimed at updating development partnership between Bangladesh and the United Kingdom.

President's JS speech to be placed in cabinet today

A cabinet meeting to be held at the Bangladesh Secretariat this morning is set to approve the draft speech of the president for the inaugural session of the ninth parliament.

NITOR nurses clash: 10 injured

At least 10 nurses were injured during a clash between pro-BNP and pro-Awami League nurses over occupying the trade union office at National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR) yesterday.

Indian FM due Feb 8

Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will arrive here on a two-day visit on February 8.

Ex-air chief Jamaluddin takes over as Biman chairman

Former air chief Jamaluddin Ahmed has taken over as chairman of board of directors of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd.

Shakil appointed deputy press secretary to PM

Mahbubul Haque Shakil, an assistant secretary for Awami League's subcommittee for Research and Information, has been appointed as deputy press secretary (DPS) to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Committee to probe Rajshahi jail incident

The headquarters of prisons yesterday formed a two-member investigation committee to probe into a demonstration by the jail guards in Rajshahi Central Jail on Saturday.

HC rule on govt

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain why it should not be directed to constitute the National Food Safety Advisory Council as per provisions of Pure Food Ordinance 1959 for obtaining appropriate advices and policies related to food safety and quality control.

Private University Ordinance '08 challenged

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain within two weeks why the Private University Ordinance 2008 promulgated by the immediate past caretaker government (CG) should not be declared illegal.

3rd Edn Worldwide Expo begins Thursday

A four-day education exhibition on information of courses, programmes and facilities offered by different private universities and other educational institutions will begin at Bashundhara Expo Centre in the city on Thursday.

Orientation of NSU Spring 2009 Semester

The orientation ceremony of the students of Spring 2009 Semester of North South University (NSU) was held at NSU main campus at Bashundhara in the city for the first time yesterday.

Contribute significantly to Sangsad

Women in Politics at its executive committee meeting urged the women lawmakers to contribute significantly to parliament for welfare of women as well as the country, says a press release.

Plastic surgery for poor patients

A team of plastic surgeons from Japan led by Dr Terasima will carried out operations of burn contracture, cleft lip and cleft palate at Joiramkura Mission Hospital in Mymensingh from February 7-14, says a press release.

Orientation of IUB

Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) organised an orientation programme for the new students of the Spring Semester 2009 on its Baridhara campus on Saturday.

UN disturbed by Gaza violence

The United Nations (UN) is shocked by the unrelenting Israeli attacks on Gaza, the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Renata Lok Dessallien said yesterday.

Injured upazila polls candidate dies in Bogra

Abu Zafar Md Khalilur Rahman, chairman candidate at Kahalu upazila polls in Borga, succumbed to his injuries at Ibn Sina Hospital in the city yesterday following a criminal attack on him and his supporters when they were going to campaign on Thursday night.

Mymensingh AL expels 16

A total of 16 leaders and activists of Awami League (AL) in Mymensingh were expelled from the party yesterday for running in the upazila polls violating directives of the party.

Khulna admin to monitor distribution of fertilisers

All district administrations and agriculture extension offices in Khulna division will jointly monitor distribution of fertilisers so that farmers can get it in time at the reduced rate fixed by the government.

Saree, Yaba tablets, marijuana seized

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized huge quantity of Indian saree, Yaba tablets and marijuana from Rajshahi, Naogaon and Dinajpur, and arrested three people in this connection in last two days.

New DU VC calls on PM

Newly appointed Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office in the city yesterday.


Urdu used in campaign as Bihari voters emerge as decisive factor

Candidates for the posts of chairman and vice-chairman in Saidpur upazila are widely using Urdu in their campaign to woo Urdu speaking people, who comprise half of the voters in the upazila.

Tangail AL men worried over multiple candidacy in upazilas

Activists and supporters of Awami League (AL) in Tangail are confused over the candidature in the upcoming upazila election on January 22 as more than one party leaders are contesting for chairman post in different upazilas in the district.

BCL seize 19 dorms in Rajshahi city after Dec 29 polls

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists have taken control of around 19 dormitories in different educational institutions in Rajshahi city after Awami League-led grand alliance won in the December 29 parliament election.

'Land grabber' in UZ polls race

An alleged land grabber is contesting the upcoming upazila election in Sadar upazila.

BDR seeks villagers' help to stop fertiliser smuggling

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) organised 25 motivational meetings in border villages of the district in last two days to create awareness among villagers to halt fertiliser smuggling to India.

5 BNP men hurt by AL workers in Pabna

At least five BNP men including two brothers of a former lawmaker of the party were injured in an attack by workers of the ruling Awami League (AL) at village Vitbila in Sujanagar upazila yesterday, party sources said.

BCL men beat JCD leader at RU

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists severely beat up a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) leader on the of Rajshahi University campus on Saturday night.

Body of Bangladeshi handed over to BDR

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) returned body of a Bangladeshi cattle trader to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) after a company commander-level flag meeting yesterday evening, BDR said.


Bringing down prices

Much is being published in the dailies by the new government about containing the prices; and today (10th. Jan.) the Hon. Commerce Minister gave a time frame of one month as reported. This naturally should remain this government's top priority agenda. This is what will make or mar this government; of which I am sure they are fully aware.

Agenda for change

The people of Bangladesh have once again asserted that they are serious about their rights and responsibilities; they cannot be sidelined and ignored; and moreover, they are not apolitical. They have delivered their verdict for change and the change is for peace and progress for the entire population across the country. They have clearly ordained that the people's wish is the supreme.

Plastic products

Plastic product is a threat to health & environment. It destroys the environment in a many ways. Throwing plastic products on land destroys the soil fertility and makes the soil barren and infertile.

Virulent student politics

It hasn't even been a week since we got our “democracy” back and already there have been clashes amongst the student fronts of our political parties over establishing their supremacy at some residential halls of DU. This sort of monkey business will not be tolerated.

Poverty alleviation

Poverty alleviation in this country is really a mammoth task. Nevertheless, Bangladesh has been struggling hard to get over abject poverty. It is, indeed, a big challenge for our country because poverty is still so deep-rooted here.

My teacher

My heart broke, sank deeply when I heard the news of Alok Sir committing suicide. He was my beloved teacher of the Journalism Department of Chittagong University (CU). As a student, I feel guilty that we could not help when he was in distress. Some rotten, filthy people poured so much poison that he couldn't bear. He was so innocent, simple and guileless. The nastiness of this vindictive society did not allow him to live. Shame!

"Diplomacy and enlightened self-interest"

Reading Syed Badrul Ahsan's invaluable write-ups is a great pleasure always. His writings based on the ground realities reflect the pros and cons of the issues that he pens through. Take the one titled "Diplomacy and enlightened self-interest", for example. Here he makes a pragmatic analysis of diplomacy and the diplomats and their role given the changing situations in the country and abroad.

Our culture

As a Bangladeshi, I like our culture. I feel proud when I see that all Bangladeshi people celebrate 21 February, 16 December and Pahela Baishakh. I also become proud when I listen to Rabindra Sangeet, Palliigeeti and Lalongeeti .But at present it is a matter of great regret that our time honoured culture is on the wane. Our own culture and tradition are going to be replaced by alien culture. Our young people are being influenced by such culture.

Smoking in public places

Smoking in public places is restricted in our country. Our government has also formulated a law on the issue. But it is a matter of great regret that people are smoking openly violating the law. Even the members of law enforcing agencies violate the law. The government has failed to enforce the law strictly.


I follow the cricket results in The Daily Star ever so often and would appreciate if the latest scores were included at the top of the article as it proves, in my opinion, quite challenging for readers to gauge the actual score after reading the report. And sometimes people would just like to glance at the scores without reading the entire report.

Scientists and politicians

Nobel Laureate Professor Dr. Abdus Salam established the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Italy with the objective of developing the third world countries through utilization of basic sciences. Prof. Abdus Salam was from a developing country, Pakistan. He wanted to establish the research centre in a developing country but he was not given support to establish such an important institute by any country of the third world. The reasons are political, social and financial. But the most important reason was lack of importance given by the politicians to the issue. To tell it more clearly many political leaders of the developing countries did not understand what the famous scientist was going to do at that time. Now many politicians and scientists of those countries understand what mistake they committed by turning down the request of Prof. Abdus Salam.

"Inspiration from Bangladesh"

It was different from the usual report on Bangladesh in German dailies.

RR neglected

During the BNP-Jamaat rule, the development of Rajshahi and Rangpur was neglected. Most of the ministers were from certain areas and so-called development took place in those areas only. Bogra and even Ishwardi (very near to Rajshahi) got pipeline gas some years ago, but still now Rajshahi is far behind it. There are lots of issues I can mention in this regard.

University at Barisal

Barisal Public University, the name of a unique higher study hub, has been demanded by people of the southern region of Bangladesh. This grand educational pyramid had been coated by golden hopes of millions of common people of Barisal. In 1979 President Ziaur Rahman had pledged to establish this varsity but this dream project was dead along with this visionary. But his political party, the BNP, ruled the country for two five year terms in the last 15 years. In those terms of governance, Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia pledged more than 7 times to establish this university but in reality nothing has been done.

Arabs and religion

There is a widespread belief among the general Muslims in our country that native Arabs living in Middle East will be faithful adherents to Islam as they are the inhabitants of the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad(Pbuh). This assumption, however, is not a valid or logical one: just because people live in the birthplace of the Prophet (Pbuh) does not necessarily mean that they will be truly religious in essence. Christianity, for instance, originated in the present day Middle East, nonetheless we will find the majority of faithful Christians living in other places such as the USA, Canada and so on. Similarly, Buddhism originated in present day Nepal, but the vast majority of Nepalese are not Buddhists, rather we see a significant number of practising Buddhists living mainly in the South-East Asia or other regions.

Government colleges galore

At present there are over two hundred and fifty govt. colleges in Bangladesh. The number of govt. colleges was about ten in 1970 and their performances were enviable. But during Ershad regime private colleges were nationalized right & left for the sake of cheap popularity. On the one hand, this has resulted in huge recurring expenditures from public funds and on the other hand performance of many of these colleges has gone down dismally. Instead of improvement in teaching standard & performance in exams, the result has been just the opposite because teachers are more interested in private tuition rather than classroom teaching. This is because they feel that their jobs are secure. Performances of many private colleges are much better then a large number of nationalized colleges.

Jamaat's ghost…

After independence when people's dream was not being fulfilled, Freedom Fighter Ziaur Rahman emerged in the political arena of Bangladesh and people started gathering en masse behind him. In 1971, people had heard his voice from Kalurhat Betar Kendra and were inspired to a great extent to fight against the Pakistani invaders. If Zia were not a Freedom Fighter, people would not have supported him. Actually Zia appeared in our political sky like a comet. His personal honesty was a great plus point amongst dishonest politicians.


Gazans survey damage after 3 weeks of war

As Hamas congratulated Palestinians on their "victory" from mosque loudspeakers yesterday, shell-shocked residents surveyed the debris of the deadliest offensive ever launched by Israel on Gaza.

Egypt hosts Gaza summit

European and Middle Eastern leaders held a summit in Egypt yesterday aimed at shoring up a fragile truce in the three-week war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.

Displaced Gazans have little faith in Israeli truce

Word has spread among sheltering Gazans that Israel will soon hold its fire, but those who have fled its onslaught are wary of venturing back to homes that may no longer exist.

Rights groups to ask world court to probe Israeli 'war crimes'

An international group of lawyers and jurists said Saturday they would ask the International Criminal Court to probe alleged "war crimes" committed by Israel during its offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Ceasefire 'insufficient', says Abbas

Israel's unilateral ceasefire in Gaza is insufficient, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said yesterday, calling for a complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the territory.

Gaza battles show 'nasty' face of urban combat

Nearly a decade ago, the US Marines staged mock urban battles designed to test future tactics for fighting in streets and alleys. The war games featured an array of advanced military hardware, including aerial drones with the laser-sharp cameras and micro-robots to scout for mines and potential ambushes.

Arab peace plan 'not dead' despite Gaza war: Blair

Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair said on Sunday that an Arab initiative for peace in the region was "not dead" despite Israel's lethal 22-day war on the Gaza Strip.

Gaza counts the cost of Israel's onslaught

Gaza, one of the world's most impoverished strips of land, has been plunged deeper into the abyss by Israel's three-week war, which has reduced vast swathes of the territory to rubble.

Obama rolls into capital for tomorrow's inauguration

Invoking hope and history, President-elect Barack Obama rolled into the capital city Saturday night after pledging to help bring the nation "a new Declaration of Independence" and promising to rise to the stern challenges of the times.

Pakistan troops kill 15 Taliban

Pakistani paramilitary forces killed at least 15 Taliban militants in intense gunbattles in a northwestern tribal area bordering Afghanistan, a security official said yesterday.

Obama must shift from poetry to prose

The power of words helped propel Barack Obama to the presidency -- a power hewn with a writer's sensibility and honed with the help of a youthful cadre of speechwriters.

Nato slams 'ineffective' Afghan govt

Nato chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on Sunday denounced Afghanistan's "ineffective" government and said the authorities there were almost as much to blame for the country's plight as the resurgent Taliban.

Taliban video claims Pakistan attacks

Taliban militants yesterday released a rare video of statements from purported suicide bombers and footage of deadly attacks they claimed to have perpetrated in Pakistan.

Arts & Entertainment

Radiance, beauty and talent combined

Amidst razzle dazzle the grand finale of "Lux Channel i Super Star 2008" was held at Bangladesh China Friendship Convention Centre on January 17.

Walking a distinct path

Hilali Gurukul School in Siraganj town is a unique institution. In addition to academics, the school offers dancing classes to the young ones. No wonder that within a few years of its establishment, it has achieved much popularity in the district.

Muktodhara turns twenty

Muktodhara Sanskriti Charcha Kendra, a TSC based organisation of reciters observed its 19th anniversary with a two-day programme at the Shawkat Osman Memorial auditorium, Central Public Library. On January 16, a recitation programme titled "Jugalbandi: Abritti o Jiboney" -- featuring eminent reciter couples -- was held. "Balika Ashram", a Muktodhara production, was staged for the fifth time as part of the anniversary programme on January 17.

A taste of Japan in India

Amidst the string of concerts in Delhi, one such event stood out in public memory: The Trio Concert, organised by the Japan Foundation in collaboration with the India International Centre (IIC). In the spotlight were three well known artistes, Mizuno Nobuyuki (horn), Matsuoka Mie (piano) and Kyoko Saburi (violin) who played to an entranced audience.

Robert Redford sums up the state of Sundance

Wannabe filmmakers are going to have to want it more than ever now.


Brain gain

IT would be wonderful if Bangladesh could be transformed into a modern, technologically advanced and prosperous country by 2021, the 50th anniversary of our independence. It is a long term and ambitious objective that is definitely attainable if we can provide modern and appropriate education and training to our young generation, make research and innovation the major focus of our higher education sector, and use science and technology as the major tool for meeting our development goals. Without these, Vision 2021 and "Digital Bangladesh" will be no more than mere election slogans.

Righteousness not sin

LEADERSHIP is primarily the responsibility of faithful stewardship. Stewardship is the faithful use of all resources and opportunities that is within the care of the government. It is entrusted with the sacred responsibility of profitably using all the resources -- man, material, merit -- for the fulfillment of the hopes and dreams of the people.

Population bomb ticks against Israel

THE UN partition plan of 1947 for British mandated territory of Palestine gave 56% of the land to 31% of the total population who were Jewish. Ironically, the Jewish land ownership in Palestine was less than 7%. The demography of Palestine at the time of partition was 1.2 million Palestinian Arabs and 0.6 million Jews.

Fake it till you make it

YOUR humble narrator has been travelling for almost 24 hours, right across the world to Europe. I have just settled into a hotel room in The Hague, Holland. It's funny, in cartoons of Holland, you always see windmills and wooden clogs and tulips -- well, the real thing also has all those things in clear view.

Star City

Construction of all but one at Mahakhali hits snag

Construction of the proposed wholesale kitchen markets by Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) in the city faces further delay, as land acquisition in three locations could not be completed yet for multiple reasons.

Revivifying wall magazines

Wall magazines with stories, poems, cartoons, paintings, science fictions and other articles with beautiful illustrations adorned the walls of the Bangla Academy as a national competition on wall magazines has just ended there.

The Daily Star

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