The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, April 24, 2014


News of: Sunday, 25th of January, 2009

Front Page

JS rides on hope, goes into session today

The long awaited ninth parliament begins its journey this afternoon with the responsibility to deliver on people's high expectations that it will put the country on the right track towards prosperity.

6 more given ministerial job

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday appointed six new faces as state ministers expanding her council of ministers formed 18 days ago.

The PM is being embarrassed by her own party

Even if her enemies had tried they couldn't have done a better job of embarrassing Sheikh Hasina and her barely two-week-old government. First the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of Awami League (AL), and now the party's grassroots leaders, including a cabinet minister and an MP, have done precisely the things that she has promised, and is trying to, totally move away from. Their actions have brought blemish upon her and her party's brilliant electoral victory and raised unnecessary doubts in the public mind as to how serious is the AL chief's commitment to bring “change” in politics and in governance.

Beckoning of fortune traps Rohingyas

Driven by abject poverty, Rohingyas living in Cox's Bazar camps and adjacent areas undertake perilous sea journeys in search of better lives in Malaysia via Thailand.

Shocking display of greetings at DU

The Dhaka University (DU) yesterday witnessed an ignoble rat race among teachers to get to the newly appointed university officials to pay their admiration and adulation depriving students of their precious classes.

Thailand calls regional conference on refugees

Thailand offered yesterday to host a regional conference to prevent the mass migration - and resulting suffering - of refugees after the Thai navy was accused of brutally mistreating boat people from Bangladesh.

Wealth cards to be published by Feb

Finance minister AMA Muhith has written letter to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and National Board of Revenue (NBR) regarding publication of wealth statements of the prime minister, ministers, members of parliament and other 'powerful persons' within next month.

Ordinance on RTI not on JS bill list

The Right to Information Ordinance proclaimed by the immediate past caretaker government appears unlikely to be ratified by parliament anytime soon.

Khaleda talks JS strategy with BNP MPs

BNP Chairperson and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia at a meeting with party lawmakers yesterday discussed their strategy at the inaugural session of the ninth parliament today.

Sircar reveals seating plan at Sangsad

The treasury bench is annoyed as Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar overruled the chief whip's seating arrangement and made a new arrangement for the opposition ahead of today's parliament session.

Desperation lost in sea

Madina Begum still cannot accept the fact that her husband Abdul Malek, a day-labourer, will ever return.

Madrasa students clash with jail guards: 46 hurt

At least 46 people, including 21 jail guards and 20 madrasa students were injured yesterday in a clash between the two sides over control of a playground in the capital's Lalbagh area.

2 judges tipped for Appellate Division

Two senior most judges of High Court Division of the Supreme Court (SC) -- Justice Shah Abu Nayeem Mominur Rahman and Justice Md Abdul Aziz-- will be appointed judges of Appellate Division of the SC, law ministry sources said yesterday.

Frozen bank accounts won't be freed in a week: Muhith

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said the bank accounts frozen by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) would not be restored in a week.

The lost parakeet

Alexandrine Parakeet, locally known as Chandana, is now on the verge of extinction in Bangladesh because of loss of habitat, poaching and pesticide use. A flock of eight pairs of the parakeet was recently found at Beelbharat village of Bhayadanga union in Sreebordi of Sherpur by Dr Reza Khan. Explaining the reasons for their near extinction from Bangladesh, Prof Anwarul Islam of zoology department of Dhaka University said these birds compete with other hole nesters like barbet and woodpecker. So they are vulnerable to the loss of nesting sites and competition with other nest dwellers. Trade in parrot also led to the swift decline in their numbers. But at Beelbharat village, these eight pairs have found a safe haven although one of them had been captured as a chick and caged by a resident. These emerald green birds are larger than the common parakeet found elsewhere and have reddish streak on wings, but from a distance they are hard to recognise.

200 pirates active in Buriganga

Over 200 pirates of six to seven gangs rob 15-20 vessels a day in the Buriganga between Fatullah in Narayanganj and Postagola, a number of detained pirates said yesterday.

Villagers beat leopard to death

Villagers beat a leopard to death yesterday after it attacked seven people at Bagdanga village in Kurigram.

30 hurt as RMG workers clash with cops

At least 30 people, including a police officer, were injured in a clash between garment workers and police in front of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute on Dhaka-Gazipur highway yesterday following injury of a worker in an accident.

2 killed, 58 hurt in post-polls violence

Two people were killed and 58 others injured, including nine women, and five houses were ransacked in post-upazila poll violence in seven districts Friday night and yesterday.

10 power plants on govt's priority list

As part of its efforts to resolve the country's chronic power crisis, the new government is set to implement 10 power plant projects initiated by previous governments.

Fog disrupts flights, ferry services

Dense fog disrupted road and river communications across the country and caused the suspension of flight operations at Zia International Airport (ZIA) for hours yesterday.

Dido arrives to coach footballers

Brazilian coach Edson 'Dido' Silva arrived yesterday to take charge of the national football team and he was impressed after watching his first match in Dhaka.

Jagannath students confine VC

Students of Jagannath University yesterday confined its Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Abu Hossain Siddique in front of his office for half an hour demanding steps to free university dormitories from illegal occupants.

4 die after taking spirit

At least four drunken people died while two others fell sick yesterday in the city's Ramna area after they took rectified spirit Friday night.

Obama's green agenda to impact global climate

International environmental groups have praised evidence of swift change by US President Barack Obama in his inaugural week, saying it could transform Washington from a green "pariah" into a world leader.

Hillary phones Israeli, Arab, Pak leaders

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has telephoned the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian territories as well as the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, spokesman Robert Wood said late Friday.

Clarification

The National Heart Foundation Hospital & Research Institute refuted a part of the report headlined 'Illegal Blood Bank-busted in City' published in The Daily Star on January 15.

Editorial

Annoyance is not enough

AGRICULTURE Minister Matia Chowdhury has informed the nation about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's annoyance at the behaviour of a minister and a ruling Awami League lawmaker at the recent upazila elections. That is as it should be, for no individual holding a responsible position should be allowed to do anything that is unethical and unbecoming of his or her position. What Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas did is unpardonable and so is the behaviour of the young MP from Cox's Bazar-4. In this regard, the assertion of the prime minister that the Election Commission is free to take action against these two individuals is welcome and we hope an example is set that will act as a deterrence against similar activities by anyone in future.

Congratulations to Shakib

WE are bit confused! We can't easily tell which one is the cake and which the icing on it. Is Shakib-al Hasan's coming first among the top ten all-rounders in world cricket is the cake, or Bangladesh national side's near- consistent performance against world cricketing power Sri Lanka followed by a convincing ODI series win against Zimbabwe is. Depending upon which is perceived to be truer, the one that is outvoted would obviously be the icing of the cake.

Israeli terrorism in the Middle East

ONE wonders where the concept of the responsibility to protect has taken refuge when Israel's devastating three week long offensive in Gaza left about thirteen hundred Palestinians dead and wrought destruction that may cost up to two billion dollars to rebuild.

Market solutions for Qawmi madrasas

PERIODICALLY, the topic of low-quality education imparted by some private universities becomes a matter of debate. However, there is a much bigger problem of low-quality education in Bangladesh; namely, the thousands of Qawmi madrasahs across the country.

Better lives for Bangladeshi women

BANGLADESH'S elections were a great achievement: free, fair and even festive, with a massive voter turnout. But, as I return to this remarkable country after four years, what sticks in my mind are the vivid images, flashed across our screens, of women queuing patiently to vote on that chilly December day. Of the 82 million Bangladeshis that were registered as voters, 41 million were women: hugely impressive for any country.

Sports

Last laugh Abahani's

Abahani shrugged off a shaky start to nip archrivals Moha-mmedan 2-1 yesterday in a come-from-behind win that put them on track to retain the B. League title.

He who can, and he who can't

The Bangladesh-Zimbabwe series that ended this Friday will always be remembered fondly by one player and at the same time, pass off as yet another listless episode in the career of another more illustrious player.

Winners take it all

A lone figure was sitting in the dugout even when the lights were put off last night. The Bangabandhu National Stadium was all but deserted for Maruful Haque, who was in pain after his side's loss to Abahani in a crucial B. League match.

Jewel Rana's last bow

Former national football captain Jewel Rana hanged up his boots yesterday when he played his last domestic match as Mohammedan captain.

Muscles flexed at BCB

An untoward incident happened at the Bangladesh Cricket Board's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium headquarters in Mirpur yesterday when some unruly people entered the office room and hurled abusive language towards board officials present.

Shakib, Tigers rewarded

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has rewarded Shakib Al Hasan for becoming the world's number one all-rounder in the ICC ODI rankings.

Nadal cruises along

Powerhouse Rafael Nadal shot down Tommy Haas to make the second week of the Australian Open Saturday while rusty triple champion Serena Williams booked a fourth round clash with Victoria Azarenka.

SL blow Pakistan away

A hundred from Tillakaratne Dilshan followed by devastating spells from Sri Lanka's bowlers handed Pakistan their heaviest one-day defeat in the third and final clash here on Saturday.

Premier Division T20 starts today

The Premier Division Cricket League gets underway today with the Twenty20 version as Abahani takes on Partex Sporting Club at 9:30 am at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur while Victoria meets Old DOHS at BKSP also at 9:30 am. Mohammedan will encounter Young Pegasus Club at the same time at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium in group A matches.

Mushy bucks Monty up

England's spin coach Mushtaq Ahmed has tipped Monty Panesar to bounce back from a disappointing series in India in the Test matches against West Indies.

Div I T20 Kalabagan on winning run

Kalabagan K.C yesterday beat Dhaka Wanderers Club by a narrow margin of 10 runs at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium in the third day of the Dhaka First Division T20 Cricket Tournament.

Niaz on a roll

Grand Master Niaz Murshed continued his winning spree when he beat Saravana Krishnan of India in the fourth round of First Gurgaon Open International Chess Tournament in Haryana yesterday.

Metropolitan table tennis

Wari Club defeated Engineers Club by 3-0 in the senior division league of the KDS Dhaka Metropolitan Table Tennis Championship.

DU Cricket

Dhaka University Marketing Department reached the semifinals of the DU inter department cricket tournament 2009 by beating International Relations Department by 39 runs at the Jagannath Hall ground yesterday.

Asif heard

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif appeared before an Indian Premier League (IPL) tribunal on Saturday to defend charges over a failed dope test, officials said.

Hughes has full control

Indiscipline is not a problem at Manchester City, according to manager Mark Hughes, who has insisted that he has the backing of the club's billionaire owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan to enforce his own code of behaviour.

Heskey moves to Villa

Wigan on Friday sold Emile Heskey to Aston Villa for 3.5 million pounds and immediately snapped up Egypt striker Mido on loan from Middlesbrough as cover until the end of the season.

Benitez eyes revenge

Rafael Benitez expects Liverpool to shrug off the dual distractions of takeover talk and Steven Gerrard's court appearance by gaining revenge over Everton in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Anelka fancies English

Chelsea's French forward Nicolas Anelka confidently claimed the three English teams facing Italian opposition in the Champions League second round will record a clean sweep.

Chelsea won't sell Drogba to City

Chelsea assistant coach Ray Wilkins on Friday attempted to quash speculation that Didier Drogba could be sold to cash-rich Manchester City before the end of the January transfer window.

Angry Saviola wants out

Javier Saviola wants Real Madrid to decide whether to play him or let him leave, the Argentina striker said on Saturday.

Hull sign Bullard

Hull have bolstered their squad by signing midfielder Jimmy Bullard from Fulham for a club record fee of five million pounds.

Frey wants to top Buffon

French goalkeeper Sebastien Frey said he is fed up with playing second fiddle to Italy's number one stopper Gianluigi Buffon in an interview published in the Gazzetta dello Sport on Saturday.

Business

Recession hurts bicycle exports

Bicycle exports have marked a sharp drop in recent months due to the ongoing global financial meltdown that rocked the developed countries since mid-last year, said government data and industry people.

Leather exports slow in financial rout

Exports of finished leather and leather goods declined by around 18 percent in July-November period of the current fiscal year, which the industry insiders blame on the global financial meltdown.

Obama pitches his plan to reverse economic slide

President Barack Obama on Saturday laid out more pieces of an economic plan he says would add 3,000 miles of electrical lines, increase security at 90 ports and double the United States' renewable energy capacity within three years.

BFTI assigned to research on commodity market

The government has vested the responsibility of a research work on basic commodity market upon the Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute to prepare an effective market intervention guideline.

SEC stresses listing of big companies

The chief of the stock market regulator yesterday asked bourses and other stakeholders to create a congenial atmosphere in the capital market to encourage big companies to go public.

REHAB fair kicks off Thursday in Ctg

The Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) will organise a three-day fair in Chittagong from Thursday.

Community-driven dev approach to quicken poverty cut efforts

Bangladesh can make quick progress in its poverty alleviation efforts with Community Driven Development (CDD) approach, as the country's 'great human capital' still remains largely untapped, said a World Bank economist.

Seminar in March to make branding popular

Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF) is set to organise a two-day 'BBF Seminar 2009 on Surviving within Hyper Competition' from March 28 under the theme of connecting consumer emotion, said the founder of the organisation yesterday.

Wall Street trades mixed

US stocks closed mixed Friday, with financials gaining interest but sprawling conglomerate General Electric's grim outlook unnerving investors.

GP launches in-flight roaming service

Grameenphone (GP), the country's largest mobile operator, has recently launched in-flight GSM roaming services with AeroMobile, GP said in a statement yesterday.

Dollar up against euro

The dollar ended higher Friday against the euro and the pound on negative economic news from Europe, but the greenback remained under pressure from the rising yen.

Indian court turns down Vodafone plea

In a major setback to Vodafone, the Indian Supreme Court on Friday refused relief to the telecom major in the tax claim case of about US$2 billion, asking it to respond to the I-T authorities' showcause notice.

Gloomy tone for economy

The world economic crisis deepened Friday as US President Barack Obama called for urgent action, Britain slumped into its first recession since 1991 and profits at US giant General Electric plunged.

An open letter to Obama

Dear Mr President Obama,
The last two decades have seen the geo-political lines redrawn on a scale not seen since the Second World War. The drama is still playing itself out at many war theaters around the world from Afghanistan to Iraq, from Congo to Sudan, from Abkhazia to Chechnya, from East Timor to Tibet and from Assam to Kashmir the global village is more akin than ever to a cauldron of suffering humanity fought by warmonger chieftains supported in many cases by the war machines of great powers, the greatest of which is of course the USA.

Stocks pass third week in the red

Indices of the Dhaka Stock Exchange fell for a third week, despite prices of majority securities, especially of the small market capitalisation companies, gained last week.

Commodity mixed

Oil prices were mixed and base metals dropped this week but cocoa futures struck a 23-year peak as US President Barack Obama began work on saving the ailing US economy.

GE profit drops 46pc as finance unit struggles

In a discouraging report for the American economy, General Electric Co. posted a 46 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings on Friday and warned of a tough environment this year as it struggles with its ailing finance business.

Beijing relaxes rules on foreigners buying property

Restrictions on foreigners buying property in the Chinese capital have been relaxed for 2009, state media reported Saturday, as Beijing moves to stimulate a sluggish housing market.

Australia boosts economic stimulus to save 50,000 jobs

The Australian government Saturday unveiled a four-billion-dollar (2.6-billion-US) stimulus plan for the building industry, taking its spending to combat the global economic crisis to 40 billion dollars.

Japan to offer public funds to non-financial firms

The Japanese government plans to provide public funds for industries beyond the banking sector in a bid to support non-financial firms hit by the economic crisis, news reports said on Saturday.

Metropolitan

KG students block road to protest eviction bid

Students of a kindergarten school at Fatullah and their guardians put up a blockade on Dhaka-Narayanganj Link Road for around half-hour yesterday protesting an attempt to evict the school.

Form special tribunal to try war criminals

The lawmakers who defeated anti-liberation forces in the December 29 parliamentary elections yesterday called for forming a special tribunal immediately to try war criminals.

BNP to resist transit facilities to India

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said they will resist any government initiative giving transit facilities to India.

Ensure access to legal and social support services

Speakers at a meeting yesterday stressed the need to raise awareness about human rights and to ensure access for all to legal aid and social support services so that everyone can enjoy their human rights.

Try war criminals thru' special tribunal

Projonmo'71, a platform of children of the martyrs in the liberation war, demanded steps to start the process of trying war criminals through a special trial tribunal, says a press release.

Help govt ensure good governance

Some lawmakers elected from greater Dhaka yesterday urged journalists to extend their cooperation to government for establishing good governance in the country.

Call to re-fix minimum wage of RMG workers

Labour leaders yesterday demanded the government re-fix the minimum wage of garment workers considering the price hike of essentials.

Repeal Vested Property Act

Leaders of Bangladesh Minority Sangram Parishad (BMSP) yesterday urged the government to take immediate steps to repeal the Vested Property Act which has been causing sufferings to people of minority community for the last four decades.

Ministers, lawmakers from Ctg pledge to work together

New ministers and lawmakers from Chittagong yesterday pledged to work together for faster development of the district as it was neglected for over decades.

9 burglars held, huge gold ornaments seized in Ctg

Police arrested a gang of nine burglars and recovered huge looted gold ornaments from different parts in the port city yesterday.

Two teenage boys murdered in city

Police yesterday recovered the blood-spattered bodies of two unidentified teenage boys from the city's Dhanmondi and Jatrabari areas.

Historic Mass Upsurge Day observed

The nation observed the 40th historic Mass Upsurge Day yesterday commemorating the deaths of valiant sons of the soil who sacrificed their lives during the mass upsurge in 1969 that culminated in the country's independence.

Solar eclipse tomorrow

An annular eclipse of the sun will occur tomorrow.

Nat'l Poetry Festival begins Feb 18

The 23rd National Poetry Festival will begin on the Dhaka University Library premises on February 18.

Foundation Day of IUBAT

The 19th Foundation Day of International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT) was celebrated yesterday.

Criminals take out anti-crime procession!

Some identified criminals took out an anti-crime procession with deadly weapons in their hands at Chitashal in Fatullah on Friday.

Call to cancel circular for new nurses

Bangladesh Unemployed Diploma Nurses Association yesterday demanded immediate cancellation of the circular for recruiting new nurses in the national dailies.

2 extortionists caught with Tk 5 lakh in N'ganj

Two extortionists were caught red handed with money worth Tk 5 lakh in Narayanganj yesterday.

Palestine Solidarity Day today

The Palestine-Iraq Solidarity Council will observe 'Palestine Solidarity Day' today to protest the Israeli air strikes on innocent civilians in Gaza.

UZ elections credible

A group of election observers yesterday said the January 22 Upazila election was credible but expressed concern about low turnout of voters and violence in some places during the voting.

Trader murdered in Kushtia

A trader was murdered by unidentified criminals in the town on Friday night.

One killed, 13 injured as villagers clash

One person was killed and 13 others were injured in a clash between two groups of people at village Kharkharia in Tarash upazila yesterday over establishing supremacy on a piece of disputed land.

Public health edn at pvt universities to continue

Newly appointed Director General of Health Services Prof Shah Monir Hossain vowed to patronise the non-government initiatives in order to continue public health education at private universities, says a press release.

Training on HIV/AIDS stigma begins

A two-day training on 'Reduction of stigma and discrimination against people with HIV\AIDS' began in Sylhet yesterday, says a press release.

Labourer dies as earth collapses on him

An day labourer was killed yesterday as a large portion of earth collapsed on him while he was cutting earth on the west bank of the Jamuna river in Bearaghat area at Sirajganj Sadar upazila.

BYLC distributes winter clothes

The first leadership pro-gramme graduates of Bangladesh Youth Leadership Centre (BYLC) in Chittagong launched a winter clothes distribution campaign at Kushumbagh on Friday.

Correction

ABMG Kibria, president of Anjuman Mufidul Islam, has received blankets from Aktel officials for distribution among the poor people. The photo of the event was published in The Daily Star on Page 5 on January 21. But the caption has inadvertently identified him as Relief Committee Chairman Abdus Samad.

Justice Amirul visits Ranglai at hospital

National Human Rights Commission Chairman Justice Amirul Kabir Chowdhury yesterday visited indigenous leader Ranglai Mro at the National Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases (NICVD) in the city.

Dilip Barua visits ailing Nirmal Sen

Minister for Industries Dilip Barua yesterday visited veteran politician and journalist Nirmal Sen at his residence in the city who is suffering a massive heart disease for three years, says a press release.

Baset elected vice-chairman

Senior lawyer of the Supreme Court (SC) Advocate Abdul Baset Majumder has been elected vice-chairman of Bangladesh Bar Council.

Polytechnic students block road

Several hundred students of Dhaka Polytechnic Institute put up a barricade on Tongi Diversion Road in the city's Tejgaon Industrial area for an hour demanding deferment of their examination scheduled for February 11.

SARA Int'l School orientation

The orientation programme for the freshers of SARA International School and College was held on the institution premises at Dhanmondi in the city on Friday.

National

Treatment eludes patients in Khagrachhari

At least 32 unregistered clinics and pathological laboratories have continued operating illegally in eight upazilas under Khagrachhari hill district and cashing in on patients' plight allegedly in collusion with a section of government doctors and nurses.

Confusion, symbol mistakes cost huge number of votes

The recently concluded upazila elections has seen cancellation of a large number of ballots in different areas of the country.

Teesta Irrigation Project

Breach in embankment of Teesta Irrigation Project damaged crops on about 6,000 acres of land in three villages of Kishoreganj upazila of the district yesterday.

22.5 tonnes of Boro yield expected in 10 south-western dists

The Agriculture Extension Department (AED) is expecting achievement of production target of 22,40,63 tonnes of Boro rice in 10 south-western districts under Khulna division in the current season.

More results from dists

MYMENSINGH
Mymensingh Sadar--Fayzur Rahman Fakir (AL rebel), Gafargoan--Fahmi Golandaj (AL rebel), Muktagacha--Advocate Badar Ahmed (AL), Bhaluka--Kazimuddin Ahmed (AL), Iswarganj--Sumendra Kishore Chowdhury (AL), Gouripur--Ali Ahmed Khan Pathan (AL), Dhubaura--Furkan Uddin Selim (AL), Trishal--Abdul Khaleque (BNP), Phulpur-- Abdul Matin (BNP), Haluaghat--Ali Azgar (BNP), Phulbaria-- Anwar Hossain (BNP)

Outlaw held, arms seized

Police arrested a top cadre of outlawed new Biplobi Communist Party (NBCP) and recovered firearms from Bakhoi village in Kumarkhali upazila in the district on Friday night.

Farmers agitate for fertiliser

Farmers of Mulia union brought out a procession at Mulia Bazar under Narail Sadar upazila last night and put out a barricade on the road for adequate supply of fertiliser.

Letters

A new era begins

The world has happily witnessed the historic event of America's 44th president Barack Hussein Obama's assuming the office the other day. The vibrant inauguration programme, the historic presidential speech by the president and the teeming crowds of the people flocking around Washington D.C. and beyond marked the occasion to such an extent that people across the world are, as it appears, struggling to find the fitting term to attach to the day --- the day's spirit! It is, as some tend to say, the most important day on this earth in this twenty first century with all its difficult twists and turns, as people across the globe have found a fitting leader with vision and clarity of thoughts and action in the 44th president of the USA.

Zionist aggression

Smoke rose above the Gaza strip as the Zionist entity Israel continued its assault on the Palestinians in the region. Schools, mosques and civilian buildings were being subjected to indiscriminate bombing from Israeli fighter jets. There are reports that Israel had even used unconventional weapons against civilians in Gaza. The world was witnessing another severe blow against the principles and values of humanity. Yet the international community could do nothing to stop Israel from killing innocent civilians. The UN Security Council, the job of which was supposed to ensure global peace and security, miserably failed to condemn Israel's disproportionate use of force in Gaza.

Indigenous peoples' expectations

It is estimated that there are 370 million indigenous peoples in more than 70 countries around the world. They represent over 500 languages and cultures. As per available information here in Bangladesh more than 45 indigenous communities can be found. They have been living here from time immemorial. The United State's Permanent Forum on Indigenous issue, an advisory body established by the Economic and Social council in 2000, has been working with the mandate to address indigenous issues related to economic and social development, education, health and human rights. The UN declared an “ Indigenous Decade” (1995-2005) and called upon all the countries to join hands in preserving and developing the unique cultures, religion and languages of indigenous peoples. Many countries came forward but the then government of this country did not support the declaration. Rather the government said, “ There are no Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh.” Such an irrational statement shocked the indigenous peoples in the country.

Nury Vittachi's column

Nury Vittachi's struggle to break down the barrier of cultural stagnation and indefatigable effort to bring a way of expressing feelings through a humorous but standard way should be appreciated. Visiting the website www.vittachi.com I came to know about Asia's one of the most widely published writers. His dialogue based columns added a new frame in writing columns. His way of pointing fingers towards problems of our society is really unique. In a column named "We are all robots", he wrote that people can be incredibly stupid. There were some reasons behind pointing finger towards journalists. I think it would be bit better to say, "People (excluding me) can be incredibly stupid. because I have discerned the problem."

Cases against Hasina

Three extortion charges were filed against Sheikh Hasina in June 2007, which led to her arrest on July 16 that year. Those were the grounds for arresting her and detaining her for nearly a year and on parole to date.

Obama makes history

Barack Obama has stepped into the history of America as the first black African-American leader swearing in as the 44th US President. We whole-heartedly congratulate Obama as the new American President and leader of the world and would like to remind him of the pledge 'Change We Need' he made with the people and urge him to follow the true democratic principles in governance and in maintaining foreign policies. Reasonably, we hope his pragmatic and efficient leadership will bring about qualitative changes.

Obama's silence

Obama remained silent during the Gaza crisis. Barack Obama's chances of making a fresh start in US relations with the Muslim world, and the Middle East in particular, appeared to diminish with each new wave of Israeli attacks on Palestinian targets in Gaza.

An open letter to PM

First of all, I would like to felicitate our honourable PM, Sheikh Hasina on her taking the leadership of the country. Your election manifesto was so forward-looking, innovative and visionary that most of the first-time voters were galvanized to support you and your party. Actually, the people of Bangladesh were passing through a very crucial time for the last seven years. We wanted a change. The people of Bangladesh voted for you with a great hope to shape up their destiny. But will they be able to do that? I strongly hope that you will play your due role in this regard. We want that you do nothing but fulfil your poll pledges. If you fulfil your commitments, we will not have any complaint against you and your government or party. I earnestly implore you to pay attention to the following demands:

Arab leaders

It will be in vain for the Arab leaders to approach America on the issue of Palestine, as Israel is a disobedient son of the USA.

Where is the change?

The BCL clashes with their rivals in the educational institutions are really unfortunate and unacceptable. The present government has been sworn in power to bring about positive changes. We have been passionately and resonantly waiting to witness the change.

Poor decision making

I really wonder when the BCB and its selectors would come to a firm decision on captaincy. This man has all the excuses in the world to explain why Bangladesh is failing in the critical situations. He never told us about his own failure as captain, though. His funny comment is, " If we played better; so and so did better, we would have won the game!!” He has failed as captain and is now gradually falling behind his potential as batsman too.

Lobbying by teachers

A recent article in your daily titled "Hectic lobbying for university posts" (DS Jan 21)reflects how politics has deeply entered into the public universities of our country. The report says that some pro-AL teachers of different public universities are now trying to get the posts of VC, pro-VC and other important posts by lobbying with the government high-ups. Unfortunately though, this has been the usual story of public universities where VCs, pro-VCs etc are appointed on the basis of their partisanship rather than on the basis of teaching experience, seniority and quality.

Gulshan-Banani Bridge

A few days ago a resident of one of the houses around the new Tk 32 crore Gulshan-Banani Bridge wrote a long letter in the DS, describing how life for the nearby residents has become intolerable because of the shenanigans of the youth disembarking all around the bridge from expensive cars, who carousel loudly far into the night disturbing the peace of the area while indulging in their expensive “hobbies”- fast cars and faster women, loud music and louder stimulants from bottles and packs.

Don't blame cricketers

Last Friday we all witnessed an epic final which eventually turned into a tragic moment in the short history of Bangladesh cricket. After that I heard many people blaming our captain Ashraful for this defeat. He was barely getting any kind of support from the people who actually call themselves or act like real supporters. But they don't realize how difficult it is to lead a team which is struggling so much for existence in the international arena. I agree that our team has lost a golden opportunity to win their first tri-nation cup. But people should accept it as a positive thing.

Pollution

Pollution is the most talked about issue these days. There are many reasons behind pollution of the environment. Smoke that comes out from the brickfields is a major reason behind such pollution. From the chimney which is used to burn raw bricks smoke comes out continuously and pollute the environment severely. But we cannot think of modern civilization without bricks. As there is no alternative to burning bricks we should be a bit careful in doing so for our own survival. Smoke mixes up with air & pollutes our environment if the chimney is not very tall . A tall chimney can minimize the harmful effect of smoke in the environment. When the chimney is high enough smoke that comes out vanishes in the steam & it can not pollute the environment as it does when the chimney is low. Again, in the brickfield there work children aged 10 to 15 years, though it is very risky. It is want of food that compels those children to do hard work while it is time to study & play. The owners of the brickfields are making money, showing no concern for the future of those poor children.

International

Residents claim all killed were civilians

The US coalition in Afghanistan opened an investigation into an overnight raid early yesterday that American commanders say killed 15 armed militants but that two Afghan officials say killed 11 civilians.

Gaza children go back to school bearing scars of war

Some 200,000 Gaza children returned to school yesterday for the first time since Israel's offensive, many having lost family members, their home and their sense of security.

Indian PM stable after heart surgery

The heart bypass surgery performed on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday was successful, a spokesman for the ruling Congress party said yesterday.

UN concerned for safety of Lankan civilians

The United Nations expressed growing concern Friday for the safety of tens of thousands of children and other civilians trapped in the war zone in northern Sri Lanka and called on the Tamil Tiger rebels to let them leave.

Death toll in US missile strikes rises to 22

Seven more bodies were recovered from the rubble of an Al-Qaeda den hit by a suspected US missile, pushing the death toll in two separate strikes to 22, security officials said yesterday.

Assad greets Hamas on Gaza 'victory'

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad congratulated Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal on the Islamist movement's "victory" over Israel in Gaza at a meeting in Damascus yesterday, official media said.

Sudan denies human rights violations

Sudan has denied committing human rights violations against displaced people in Darfur, where 33 civilians were killed by security forces in August according to a UN probe.

Saudi warns US over Middle East

A senior member of Saudi Arabia's ruling family has warned the US that it needs to change attitudes over the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Bomb kills three police in Fallujah

Three Iraqi policemen were killed and nine people wounded yesterday when a car bomb exploded near the western city of Fallujah, a senior police officer told AFP.

Belgian charged for killings at creche

A 20-year-old Belgian man has been charged with killing two infants and a 54-year-old female employee at a child daycare centre and has been remanded in custody, a prosecutor said yesterday.

Japan launches orbiter to probe greenhouse gases

Japan on Friday launched the first satellite to monitor greenhouse gases worldwide, a tool to help scientists better judge where global warming emissions are coming from, and how much is being absorbed by the oceans and forests.

Indian court prevents killing of stray dogs

Animal rights campaigners yesterday welcomed an Indian Supreme Court ruling preventing the killing of stray dogs in Mumbai, which prompted a high-profile intervention from US actress Pamela Anderson.

Arts & Entertainment

The Frost Haired and the Dream Seer: A dream-play with a message for humanity

It was an astonishing theatrical experience for the Bangladeshi audience to have a glimpse in the world of the Sámi, the indigenous people of Arctic Europe. Centre for Asian Theatre(CAT) in collaboration with Beaivváš Sámi Theatre, the first Sámi theatre in Norway, provided an unique opportunity for theatre enthusiasts of the city to enjoy the play, " The Frost Haired and the Dream Seer." The play was staged at the National Theatre Stage of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on January 23.

Munmun Ahmed: First person singular

Popular danseuse Munmun Ahmed got together with The Daily Star recently. The conversation veered to her views on dance, life and other matters.

Fakir Aftabuddin Khan: Musical Savant

Mian Tansen, the famed maestro of Akbar's Court, is a very important milestone in the field of Indian classical music, which in its turn has influenced the very development of music itself in the sub-continent. He was the introducer of the Seni Gharana. The heritage of Mughal Music did not in filtrate Bengal till the advent of the English. But since then Bengal has played a very significant role in this line. Bangladesh today enjoys a very important position in the realm of music, Indian classical music in particular. In this connection, the Khan family of Brahmanbaria have a traditional heritage as the flag-carriers of the Seni Gharana which Tansen had introduced in the 16th century Mughal Court. This family has contributed immensely to the expansion of Indian classical music, not only through the hereditary practice of the 'ragas' and 'raginis' but also through the creation of new musical instruments and production of illustrious musicians who have introduced the wonderful sublimity and finesse of Indian Music to the outside world through the ages. The central figure in the 'Sangeet Sadhana' of the family undoubtedly was 'Sur Samrat' Ustad Alauddin Khan, the younger brother and disciple of Aftabuddin Khan.

Three-day Rabindra Sangeet by Dakkhini Rabindra Sangeetangan

Cultural organisation Dakkhini Rabindra Sangeetangan has arranged a three-day musical soiree featuring Tagore songs. The event at the auditorium of National Music and Dance Centre, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, began on January 23.

Taj Mahal wows Julia Roberts

Hollywood's Oscar-winning "Pretty Woman" Julia Roberts is wowed after a visit to the 17th century monument of love, the Taj Mahal, on Thursday.

Short film Missing Moment to be screened at Children's Film Festival

“Missing Moment", a short film, will be screened at the 2nd International Children's Film Festival '09.

Mahanagar reaches 300

Banglavision will telecast the 300th episode of the daily soap “Mahanagar” tonight at 8:15 pm. Written by Ferdous Hasan, the serial is jointly directed by Sajjad Suman and Ferdous Hasan.

“Prioyodarshini” on Rtv tonight

Rtv will telecast TV serial “Priodarshini” tonight at 10:00 pm. Written by Pronab Botto, the serial's director is Arun Chowdhury.

OP-ED

Wrong signal on upazila

LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam got it wrong when he said on Thursday, after a meeting with members of the Local Government Commission, that lawmakers should be given a role in the Upazila Council in order to allow them to "adopt and implement projects according to their promises" to their constituencies. Let's hope this is not the considered position of the ruling alliance and the cabinet.

Women to the fore

THE recent election, held after preparation of more than two years, deserves our attention, particularly from the perspective of restoring democracy and political stability, which is our most precious goal or concern.

Black without being black

AS I had lunch with family and friends at Art and Soul Restaurant, it appeared to be a microcosm of pre-inauguration Washington, throbbing with excitement on the eve of Barack Obama's swearing-in as the 44th president of the United States.

Obama is the ultimate example of globalisation

SECURITY guards at the airport just made me take off my belt. Huh? How could my belt be a threat? Did I really look like I could subdue 300 people on a jumbo jet using only a 30-inch strap designed to stop my trousers falling down?

Star City

Mindless construction puts Mughal-era Eidgah at risk

The oldest surviving Mughal Eidgah structure in the capital stands eclipsed by permanent structures as a local mosque committee has turned a grocery shop into a 'research centre' and is erecting a six-storey mosque on the Eidgah premises without Rajuk approval.

DCC cleaners sweep streets after sunrise

If you are having a stroll or on way to your office in the morning, there are chances that you would see plumes dust trailing the broomsticks of cleaners working on the street.


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