The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, October 22, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 28th of January, 2009

Front Page

Multi-party JS body to check ordinances

Parliament will constitute a 15-member special committee today to scrutinise the ordinances to be tabled as bills and make recommendations on those.

Govt goes for 4-lane Dhaka-Ctg highway

The project for upgrading Dhaka-Chittagong Highway to a four-lane road is about to get a new lease of life, as the Awami League (AL) government is scheduled to publish an international invitation for pre-qualifying tender for it today, following cancellation of the immediate past bids.

Old Dhaka turned battle zone

Jagannath University authorities yesterday closed the university sine die following three-hour-long clashes between students and police that left at least 100 people including 25 policemen and 20 female students injured.

Poll results of seven upazilas cancelled

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday suspended poll results of seven upazila parishads on grounds of massive irregularities in the elections, following an investigation sparked by an onslaught of complaints from defeated candidates.

PM seeks UN assistance

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought help of the United Nations in holding trial of the war criminals, saying prosecuting them has become a national demand.

Govt-opposition talks fail to settle seat plan

Talks between chief whips of the treasury and opposition benches to resolve the row over seating arrangements in the House yesterday ended inconclusively as none agreed to budge on their stance.

Khaleda to pick deputy leader at her convenience

BNP Chairperson and Leader of the Opposition in parliament Khaleda Zia will nominate deputy leader of the opposition at a convenient time, party Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain said yesterday.

HC rules on Jamaat registration with EC

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the Election Commission (EC) and Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami to explain why the registration of Jamaat as a political party with the EC should not be declared illegal.

Administration cringes at lobbying

The government officials, including those who were 'deprived of due promotion and postings' during the BNP-led coalition government are now lobbying frantically at the secretariat for getting better postings and promotion in the administration.

US not your enemy

US President Barack Obama Monday told the Muslim world that "Americans are not your enemy" and renewed his pledge to travel to make an address in the capital of a major Muslim nation.

Govt to engage 1,500 BADC dealers to distribute fertiliser

The government has decided in principle to incorporate around 1,500 seed dealers of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) temporarily into the fertiliser distribution system for ensuring uninterrupted supply of the agri-input during the current boro season.

Global meltdown downs revenue

Revenue income at import level dropped by about 14 percent in last December due to the impact of the global economic recession creating an apprehension whether the country's revenue target will be achieved or not in the current fiscal year.

Thailand detains 78 more Rohingyas

Thai authorities have detained 78 more boat people from Myanmar, police said yesterday, as premier Abhisit Vejjajiva proposed a regional forum on the issue after reports that the army mistreated migrants.

Khatib stays put

The government has decided not to tolerate further untoward incidents at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque centring newly appointed Khatib Maulana Muhammad Salahuddin.

Govt decides to drop 'Janatar Mancha' case

The government has decided to withdraw the Janatar Mancha sedition case filed against Awami League (AL) lawmaker and former state minister for planning Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir and seven others filed in April 2002.

FAO pledges help to ensure food security

UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has assured Bangladesh of providing all possible assistance to ensure the country's food security.

New wing to deal with special crimes

The government is going to set up a National Crime Control and Operation Monitoring Centre to deal with some special types of crime.

IG-prisons transferred

Inspector General-Prisons Brig Gen Zakir Hassan was transferred yesterday, home ministry sources said.

New govt will ensure fair probe into Kibria killing

Asma Kibria, wife of slain former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria, yesterday hoped that the Awami League-led government would carry out a fair investigation into the killing of her husband.

Editorial

State sector white elephants

WE have been made aware courtesy the anti-corruption commission's probe that the telegraph offices in the country, 450 of them, employing 3500 persons, have been spending much more than their allotted funds and so much more than what they earned annually. The ACC's recommendation that all the telegraph offices in the country be closed down merits consideration.

Mro's delayed release on bail

RANGLAI Mro has been freed on bail nineteen long days after the High Court ordered the move. In those nineteen days, he was kept confined to his prison hospital bed, in handcuffs and in clear contravention of all norms of law and civility. The question here is why it took so long for the indigenous activist to be released. For an answer, one has to go to the police authorities. They explain away the whole sordid episode by informing people that the HC order was sent to Bandarban judicial magistrate's court, from where it took such a long time to reach Dhaka, by post! Of course the police are not responsible for the delay, but we wonder why a court order must take so long to reach the appropriate authorities even assuming that the order was first sent to Bandarban before being forwarded to Dhaka. In this day and age, with all the advances in communication, to suggest that delays are normal is unacceptable.

Bringing foreign policy out of atrophy

THIS country should now be ready to demonstrate some assertive diplomacy. Having played a passive role in international affairs for an inordinately long time -- and that includes issues relating to the South Asian region -- Bangladesh should now be in a position to call the shots in areas that truly matter.

Bush's farewell to the White House

FORMER president George W. Bush (62) reportedly began his last day (January 20) at the White House by waking early and visiting the Oval Office shortly before 7 AM, when he began calling some of his closest aides, including Condoleezza Rice, to thank them.

Obama's activist Middle East policy

IT'S no secret that America's Middle East policy has always been one of support to, and protection of, Israel while cajoling the rulers of the region that are privately and diplomatically cozy with Israel. To both Israel and America, Iran and Syria are the two blots on the landscape.

Sports

Bukola lifts MSC

A demoralised Mohammedan scraped through to a 1-0 win against Rahmatganj yesterday to take revenge of their first-leg defeat to the old-Dhaka outfit.

Younis new Pak captain

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday replaced Shoaib Malik with Younis Khan as captain of the national cricket team after a humiliating defeat against Sri Lanka, its chairman said.

Archrivals battle early

Defending Twenty20 champions Abahani take on archrivals Mohammedan Sporting Club in a crucial group match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Djokovic pulls out

An invincible Roger Federer moved a step closer to a record-equalling 14th Grand Slam title Tuesday as Novak Djokovic's defence of his Australian Open crown ended in misery.

All eyes on Murali

Sri Lankan ace spinner Muttiah Muralidaran, who is already the world's leading taker of Test wickets, is poised to become the leading bowler in one-day internationals.

ICL stars to fight with PCB

Pakistan's Indian Cricket League (ICL) recruits have finally restarted a legal process to fight the bans imposed on them by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) from playing domestic and international cricket.

England's good workout

England enjoyed another productive day in their opening tour match against St Kitts and Nevis on Monday even though the casualty list continued to mount.

Robinho fully committed

Robinho is determined to put a turbulent few days behind him by showing he remains fully committed to Manchester City.

Safina ends Dokic run

Russian third seed Dinara Safina said she needed all her new-found mental toughness to shut down tenacious Australian wildcard Jelena Dokic and reach the final four at Melbourne Park Tuesday.

Rivals hope to exploit

AC Milan and Juventus will be hoping the recent controversy at title rivals Inter will distract the leaders enough that they drop points during Wednesday's full Serie A programme.

Everton test for Gunners

Game by game and piece by piece, Arsenal are beginning to stitch their tattered season back together.

Tourists take all

The visiting Friends of the Stadium Clubs women's football team from India swept the friendly series 3-0 when they brushed aside Dhaka Metropolis Women's Football XI 4-0 in their last match of the tour at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Shahid's team lift Pro-Am title

Shahid Khan's team clinched the Pro-Am event of the City Bank-Dhaka Bank Bangladesh Open 2009 golf title at the Kurmitola Golf Club (KGC) yesterday.

Khelaghar & Dhanmondi keep winning

Khelaghar and Dhanmondi Club maintained their fine run in the Division I T20 Cricket League by winning all their games.

No luck for Niaz

Grandmaster Niaz Murshed again lost in the 1st Gurgaon Open International Chess Tournament when he went down to GM Turi Solodovnichenko of Ukraine in the seventh round at Gurgaon in Haryana, India on Monday.

Junior chess from today

The Basic Bank 30th National Junior (Under-20) Chess Championships will start today at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall-room

Clarke, Bracken back for Aussies

Australia have decided not to meddle too much with their squad for Friday's dead rubber against South Africa in Perth, where the only changes are the return from injury of Michael Clarke and Nathan Bracken. The 13-man squad does not feature Ryan Harris or Nathan Hauritz, who have made way after one appearance each.

Sathi meets Ayami in final

Top seed Sathi Sarkar set a final clash in the women's singles final of the Runner Group tennis tournament and BKSP's Ayami yesterday.

Div 3 soccer kicks off today

Muslim Institute will face BKSP in today's opening match of the Citycell 3rd Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur.

Brazil recall Ronaldinho

Former European footballer of the year Ronaldinho was on Monday recalled to Brazil's squad by coach Carlos Dunga for a friendly international against Italy in London next month.

Abbondanzieri rejoins Boca

Getafe's Argentina international keeper Roberto "Pato" Abbondanzieri has signed a two-year contract with former club Boca Juniors for 400,000 euros, the Spanish first division club said on Monday.

Mikel charged with drunk driving

Chelsea and Nigeria's John Obi Mikel has been charged with drinking and driving, police confirmed Monday.

West Ham sign German starlet

English Premiership club West Ham have signed Ugandan-born Germany Under-20 forward Savio Nsereko from Italian second division side Brescia.

Spurs resign Chimbonda

Tottenham Hotspur resigned Pascal Chimbonda from Premier League rivals Sunderland on Monday.

Business

Spinners in the shadows of recession

The ongoing global recession has caught up with the country's yarn industry with a substantial fall in its local and export demand and the piling of a huge amount of unsold yarn.

Digital Bangladesh pledge rings again

Stakeholders of the ICT industry breathed a sigh of relief, as government high-ups yesterday reiterated their commitment to do whatever needed for the development of the sector.

Caviar days over for Davos crisis debate

Lavish parties thrown by top Wall Street bankers used to be the talk of the annual Davos forum but the economic crisis has forced belt tightening this year.

Six bus operators eye digital ticketing

Bus service operators demanded that the government allocate spaces near different stoppages to set up stations for introducing digital tickets, which will benefit both the commuters and owners.

Investors shaky over Beximco Pharma's deal with US firm

Investors are in confusion over Beximco Pharmaceuticals' subscription agreement with a global investment firm.

Diversify exports to bypass recession: Japan envoy

Bangladesh should diversify export destinations and products to ride out the impact of global recession, Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Masayuki Inoue said yesterday.

Govt sets sights on deeper regional partnership: Minister

The government has initiated negotiations with its regional partners to benefit more from the trade in services agreement, the commerce minister said yesterday.

FBCCI team off to Tripura to explore business

A business delegation that left Dhaka for Tripura yesterday will explore prospects for Bangladesh's more exports to the Indian north-eastern state where local products are in huge demand.

Bailout for Thai farmers likely

Thai Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij promised on Monday that he would seek an extra 17.5 billion baht (US$501.07 million) for the 2010 state budget to help tackle farmers' debts.

Asian stocks rise

Asian stocks rose in quiet trade Tuesday as dealers took a lead from a jump on Wall Street and some rare positive economic data from the United States amid a slew of grim employment news.

34 items gain Seoul's zero-tariff facility

South Korea has expanded its zero-tariff facility for Bangladeshi products from this year. Under the scheme, 34 additional Bangladeshi items, including RMG, ceramic tableware and jute carpet, will receive duty-free access to the Korean market, according to a press statement issued by the country's embassy in Dhaka yesterday.

Samsung reports first loss in 8 yrs

Samsung Electronics has posted its first quarterly in eight years in a sign that even the mighty technology giant has succumbed to the global economic downturn. And the worst is yet to come.

Govt slashes sugar price

The government cut down the price of sugar at dealer level by Tk 3,000 per tonne for nine days “in public interest”.

Tourism numbers may fall by 2pc: UN

World tourism will stagnate in 2009 with numbers dropping by up to two percent as the economic downturn bites, the United Nations' tourism agency said on Tuesday.

Euro climbs on positive German data

The European single currency on Tuesday advanced against the dollar as data revealed an improvement in German business confidence during January, traders said.

Student loan, not so

A Dhaka University student, who intends to go abroad for higher studies, expresses anguish after visiting a few private commercial and foreign banks for loans. It depresses him to see banks making a special offer, called 'student loan', but the service is actually tailored to the income capacities of their parents.

US bets on bank execs to fix this mess

They've been bailed out, but not kicked out. At banks that are receiving federal bailout money nearly nine out of every 10 of the most senior executives from 2006 are still on the job, according to an Associated Press analysis of regulatory and company documents.

Stocks fall for second day

Dhaka stocks slid for a second day in what market analysts said was irrational behaviour.

Oil prices climb

World oil prices climbed on Tuesday with traders increasingly convinced of Opec's commitment to cut production in the face of weak global demand for crude.

India lowers growth forecast, keeps rates steady

India's central bank reduced its growth forecast for Asia's third-largest economy on Tuesday due to the deepening worldwide recession as it held leading interest rates at historic lows.

Fed eyes new tools to ease crisis, instil confidence

Federal Reserve policymakers open a two-day meeting Tuesday in search of new tools to stimulate lending and revive an economy that has so far failed to respond to its zero-interest rate policy.

Automakers welcome tighter emission standards

Cash-strapped US automakers took a U-turn Monday and welcomed a move by President Barack Obama to potentially tighten emissions standards in the hope that it will free up research funds and simplify a patchwork of US regulations.

GM must present better action plan for Saab: Sweden

US carmaker General Motors must present more credible plans for its Swedish unit Saab if it wants state credit guarantees from the Scandinavian country, a Swedish government official said on Tuesday.

Notice

Our regular "Biz Letters" could not be published for unavoidable reasons. We regret inconveniences to readers.

Metropolitan

Police asked to submit flawless charge sheet

Home Ministry yesterday instructed the police to submit flawless charge sheet of acid-throwing cases as the National Acid Control Council (NACC) expressed dissatisfaction over conviction rate in such heinous offence.

Japan to hold further talks on funding Padma Bridge

Japan will hold further discussion with the Bangladesh government on the funding of the mega-bridge Padma on completion of its design, Japanese Ambassador Masayuki Inoue said yesterday.

BNP starts reorganising party next week

The high-ups of BNP, which faced defeat on the December 29 parliamentary election, have decided to start process of reorganising the party from the next week, said the insiders.

Wife rejects probe report, seeks PM's interference

The wife of late Ganotantri Party chief Nurul Islam yesterday rejected the final report of the inquiry committee on the fire that broke out at their house and killed Nurul Islam and his son.

Prof Sultana dedicates her life to caring for deprived people

Prof Dr Sultana Sarwat Ara Zaman dedicated her life to caring for physically and mentally challenged children -- the most deprived group in society -- and proved that they also can contribute to society if they get proper opportunities.

EC asks 38 parties to submit statement

The Election Commission (EC) will today send letters to 38 political parties took part in the ninth parliamentary elections, asking to submit their statement of election expenditure by March 31.

Next hearing Feb 2

A Dhaka court yesterday recorded statement of Sub-Inspector Sharif Faruque Ahmed of Motijheel Police Station, complainant of the August 21, 2004 grenade attack cases.

'Remove adviser Toufiq-e-Elahi to protect nat'l resources'

The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port yesterday demanded removal of Dr Toufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury as the adviser to the prime minister for his alleged controversial role in the energy sector.

72 joint secretaries promoted to additional secretaries

In a major move, the Awami League government yesterday promoted 72 joint secretaries to the rank of additional secretaries and attached them with the establishment ministry.

'Include Kibria's life, works in textbooks'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday called upon the government to include life and works of slain Awami League leader SAMS Kibria in textbooks so that the future generation can know about this great son of the soil.

NDI keen to arrange orientation for MPs

The Washington-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) has expressed its interest in organising an orientation course for the newly elected members of parliament (MPs), as many of them are first-timers.

Ferry services suspended for 8 hours

Ferry services in Paturia-Daulatdia and Paturia-Kazirhat routes were suspended for eight hours yesterday due to dense fog.

BNP factions clash in Bogra

The supporters of BNP leader Sarker Badal and Shahjahanpur BNP President Fazlul Haque Ratan yesterday clashed over nomination in the upazila election.

3 held in Bogra for selling Indian fertiliser

Bangladesh Rifles JCO AK Enamul Haque yesterday filed a case with Adamdighi Police Station against three people on charges of packing Indian adulterated fertiliser in packets of local fertiliser of different brands and selling them.

Three snatchers held in Bogra

Bogra Police yesterday arrested three snatchers from Panchpukuria area under Shahjahanpur upazila while they were fleeing the scene after snatching a rented microbus.

One killed in road accident

A man was killed in a road accident on Netrakona-Mymensingh road at Challisha in the district yesterday.

BCS Info Assoc executives

AKM Shameem Chowdhury and Md Akhtaruzzaman were elected president and secretary general of BCS Information Association for the next two years, says a press release.

Nobel laureate Prof Lee to join chemical congress at DU

Nobel laureate in Chemistry Prof Yuan T Lee will attend the three-day Bangladesh Chemical Congress 2008 scheduled to be held on January 30 on the Dhaka University campus, says a press release.

Website of child news agency launched

www.shishuprokash.com, the website of Shishu Prokash, a news agency consisting child journalists, was launched during the 1st Child Journalist Convention 2009 at the Bangladesh Shishu Academy auditorium yesterday.

FIR dictated by police lodged

An FIR, allegedly dictated by the police, was lodged on Monday evening in connection with the murder of Jessore BNP leader Khalilur Rahman.

Wind of change blows across country thru' victory: Menon

Workers' Party of Bangladesh President Rashed Khan Menon at a meeting yesterday said the landslide victory of the AL-grand alliance in the 9th parliamentary election ushered a wind of change in the country.

Robbery in city house, two stabbed

A group of robbers stabbed two people and took away valuables, including gold ornaments, from a house at Kajla in the city's Jatrabari area yesterday.

Officers Club Ananda Mela begins tomorrow

The women committee of Officers Club Dhaka is going to organise a three-day 'Ananda Mela' on the club premises tomorrow, says a press release.

More Bangladeshis to be recruited by Saudi Arabia

BNP Chairperson and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Khaleda Zia yesterday hoped that the government of Saudi Arabia would take proper steps to ensure welfare and rights of a huge number of Bangladeshis working in the Middle-Eastern country.

'Try war criminals under Int'l Crimes Act'

The trial of war criminals should be conducted under the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act enacted by the government of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1973.

Tarique's bail extended for five months

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday extended for five months its earlier order granting bail to Tarique Rahman, elder son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, in the Tk 21 crore bribery case involving the murder of Bashundhara Group Director Humayun Kabir Sabbir.

2,250 Yaba tablets seized

Rab members yesterday seized 2,250 pieces of contraband Yaba tablets and arrested two peddlers in this connection from the city's Shyamoli area.

Abducted trader yet to be rescued

Parents of an abducted trader have sought intervention of the prime minister to rescue their son, saying that the police did little to this end.

60 shanties gutted in city slum fire

At least 60 shanties were gutted in a devastating fire in a slum at city's Meer Hajirbagh under Shyampur Police Station last night.

3 more held

Detective police yesterday arrested three more suspects, including a woman, in connection with the sensational break-in at Bangladesh Railway headquarters in the city on January 18 night, totalling the number of arrestees to 11.

'Stop publishing misleading ads by developers'

Four environmental groups have urged Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakkha (Rajuk) to take initiative to stop publishing in the dailies misleading advertisements by Real Estate Developers for selling their unauthorised plots.

National

Fertiliser supply to 16 N districts hampered

With navigation problem taking a serious turn in the Jamuna channel following drastic fall of water level at different points, fertiliser transportation to 16 northern districts through Baghabari river port has remained suspended for over a month.

500 rice mills in Pabna lying idle for a week

Rice production in over 500 rice mills of the district has come to a halt due to continued dense fog and bad weather prevailing in the area for last one week, mill sources said.

Clash over control of bus stand in Rangpur: 20 hurt

At least 20 people were injured in a clash between two factions of Sramik League over control of Rangpur central bus terminal yesterday.

Nilphamari rally demands release of 'innocent' people

Speakers at a meeting at Darwani Market in Nilphamari Sadar upazila on Monday night demanded immediate release of 'innocent' people arrested from the market and surrounding villages following a police case centring violent protest after a street accident on 14 January.

Lalmonirhat students yet to get textbooks

An acute crisis of textbooks has been prevailing here since beginning of the new academic session.

Firearms, gunpowder seized in Jessore

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered two foreign-made firearms, one bullet and one Kilogram of gunpowder from a passenger bus at Jessore on Monday night.

2 die, 28 missing as trawler sinks in Arial Kha

Two bodies of 30 missing passengers of a capsized trawler were recovered from the Arial Kha River at Kalkini yesterday.

BDR seeks people's help to check smuggling

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) officials have sought cooperation of people from all walks of life in border villages to resist smuggling of fertiliser, diesel and drug into India.

Letters

Scarcity of textbooks

It is reported that there is a scarcity of textbooks for the schoolchildren. We all know how eagerly children wait for their textbooks to start their classes. If they do not get books in time, their interest in education to some extent receives a body blow.

Israeli aggression

Israeli aggression is a matter of great concern for all the people across the world. Israeli has mercilessly and brutally attacked innocent people of Gaza killing till now more than 1,200 and injuring 5,000. But killing of innocent people, women and children is a work of the terrorists, not of a state. Israeli is doing crime against humanity.

A R Rahman : Mozart of Asia

Once again A R Rahman can easily be called the 'Mozart of Asia.' He has proved his calibre by winning the coveted Golden Globe for his refreshing music in much-hyped Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire". Rahman's journey from the ad jingles to Jai Ho for which he received the award, has been terrific, as he has given us revolutionary music throughout his career. Since the day when this musician was approached by Mani Ratnam to compose music for Roja he has not looked back and performed in a fantastic way. The Chennai born music composer is the first to draw international attention.

Death of a leopard

The death of the leopard at a village in Kurigram marks the saddest day for the wildlife lovers in the country. This proves that the absence of a separate wildlife department has created a vacuum in the minds of the public. They have developed a negative attitude towards the wildlife. I wish the govt would create a separate wildlife dept and give them the responsibility to save the wild animals of the country through a massive public awareness campaign and through an integrated management system.

Higher education

Over the last couple of years Bangladesh has been moving forward with the establishment of a large number of higher educational institutions, publicly and privately. In the recent past a number of public universities have been established, particularly in the headquarters of greater districts including a few medical colleges.

Upazila election

The Upazila election held on 22nd January after one and a half decades is a success of EC. Although there were incidences of sporadic violence here and there in some places, the overall situation was good and election was held quite fairly all over the country "except a few centres".

Recent violence

When I read about the oath taking ceremony of the opposition and how the BTV ignored it by not telecasting it live, I felt a strong sense of anger and chagrin. Why should callous and malicious actions be allowed after we have gone through so much and presumably learned our lesson? Or is it that the politicians have not learned enough from the recent events and the election? It is absolutely absurd and unacceptable to resort to such behaviour; this exposes the authorities and reveals the depth of intolerance and immaturity on their part. I hope the government will take stock of it and ensure that such stances are not repeated. Such actions only taint the image and invite condemnation by the public. We hope that the new inspiring mandate will help the politicians understand that the electorate wants results and not mudslinging and blame-game. This election should wake the people up in charge of running a democratic government and make them realize that the country cannot afford to once again slide into corruption, incompetence and moral turpitude. So, to make sure that partisanship and bias don't become obstacles the government must stay awake with eyes wide open and remain alert at all time to what's happening around it.

Ransacking railway offices

The ransacking in railway offices occurred simultaneously in Dhaka and Chittagong but in such a short time the link between the two events may not be established. The matter definitely needs in depth investigation; however within a reasonable time.

Oath with holy books

Please note that the newly elected US President Barack Hossein Obama is taking oath putting his hand on the Holy Bible and Congressman Mr. Keith Allison is doing so putting his hand on the Holy Quran. I think this is the right commitment for each and every person sworn in public positions to serve people of their respective countries, as religious faith can refrain one from committing any kinds of crimes. Confessing or denying any crimes touching the Holy Quran is a common practice among the Muslims everywhere in our country and it is followed as a last resort when no other alternatives work. Many Hindus and Christians also follow the same practice as and when required.

To foreign minister…

Congratulations on being appointed as our country's first woman foreign minister. It is a honourable and a respectable position. Now, you have been appointed as our foreign minister at a time when the entire world is in a chaotic situation. Conflicts between nations are taking place in several places around the globe. We expect you to play a constructive role in all such matters as our foreign minister.

Melamine

The High Court's ruling on melamine leaves much to be desired. What the court should have done is:

Why new cars?

I am a poor Bangladeshi national full of dreams in mind. After the general election held in 2008 I am starting to see more and more of such dreams. But now I am frustrated knowing that the newly elected MPs and Upazila Chairmen are going to get new cars for their use. I strictly believe this will be a very bad example for Bangladesh's economy and culture.

Dissatisfactionof EC!

Upazila Parishad Election has been observed all over the country last Thursday. The newly reformed election commission (EC) had shown great interest for conducting this poll from the very beginning. Interestingly, most of the political parties were reluctant regarding this election; on the other hand, EC has tried its best to prove that the mass people want this poll strongly. After rescheduling it has finally been conducted. But we have been astonished that one of the commissioners, by 11am on the day of election, has shown his great dissatisfaction towards the performance. In the afternoon CEC himself had showed the similar reaction. What does it mean?

Fall of BNP: a reader's view

This is in response to the letter by Ms. Nurjahan from Chittagong on January the 11th. She attributed the epic defeat of BNP to three reasons (1) Corruption (2) The issue of war criminals (3) Price hike of Commodities.

Maritime border disputes

The recent maritime border disputes between nations have caught large-scale attention. Appearance of ships from Myanmar and India in the territorial waters of Bangladesh has also instilled a deeper fear in the minds of the people of Bangladesh. Moreover, the treaty of Myanmar with the exploring companies of South Korea, India and China to export gas from the Rakhine coastal region, near the border of Bangladesh, could yet again bring up the issue in the spotlight. It is high time for the newly elected government to go for a tripartite discussion with India and Burma instantaneously so that the concerned countries maintain and stay within the picture-frame of their country. Since we have not much dealt with the issues of maritime borders including strategic sea resources, government should immediately create a team of experts to settle all sorts of maritime and territorial matters particularly with India and Myanmar. Delay may lead the government to get stranded with the blame for being soft on India and the so-called “India factor” might unnecessarily hit the headlines again. Only political will and leadership of the concerned countries can solve the issues.

International

US cuts Pakistan's aid for fighting terrorism

The US has deducted $55 million out of the $156 million bill set by Pakistan for rendering its military services to fight against Taliban and al-Qaeda in volatile bordering tribal areas adjacent to war-torn Afghanistan.

Obama chooses Arab TV for 1st interview

President Barack Obama on Tuesday chose an Arabic satellite TV network for his first formal television interview as president, delivering a message to the Muslim world that "Americans are not your enemy."

Troops savour victory over retreating Tigers

Sri Lankan soldiers yesterday sipped sweet tea, smoked and chatted after digging foxholes in the town of Mullaittivu, the rebel stronghold that they overran after months of fighting.

3,000 US troops deployed near Kabul, says Nato

Thousands of US troops originally destined for Iraq have deployed south of Afghanistan's capital in the first illustration of a new military focus on the increasingly difficult fight in the South Asian nation, Nato said yesterday.

Troops, militants clash in Gaza despite truce

A Palestinian was shot dead and an Israeli soldier reportedly killed in a blast yesterday as the deadliest flare-up since the end of the Gaza conflict cast a dark shadow over the new US peace envoy's maiden mission to the region.

Two Nato soldiers among 9 killed in Afghanistan

Two soldiers in the Nato-led force helping the Afghan government fight an insurgency were killed Tuesday, while five Taliban militants and two policemen died elsewhere, security officials said.

Global warming 'irreversible' for next 1,000 years: Study

Climate change is "largely irreversible" for the next 1,000 years even if carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could be abruptly halted, according to a new study led by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

US envoy predicts 'direct diplomacy' with Iran

President Barack Obama's administration will engage in "direct diplomacy" with Iran, the newly installed US ambassador to the United Nations said Monday.

Woman gives birth to octuplets in California

A woman gave birth Monday to eight babies, only the second time in history octuplets have survived more than a few hours, doctors said.

Arts & Entertainment

Civilisation in peril

Art enriches and broadens our soul. Art develops the aesthetic sense and enriches the quality of human beings. Art helps us to live and makes our life more interesting; it develops our cultural and social level. Art is greatly connected to our economic and cultural ambiance. The soul is always modified by the revolutionary changes of cultural, social, political and economical structure.

Creating scope for potential filmmakers

As part of the ongoing 2nd International Children's Film Festival '09, a daylong seminar was held at the Seminar Room, Central Public Library, Shahbagh yesterday. In collaboration with the daily Prothom Alo, the seminar was organised by Children's Film Society Bangladesh (CFSB). The seminar was held in four sessions addressing as many topics highlighting scopes of and problems faced by child filmmakers in Bangladesh. Noted film and media personalities attended the seminar.

Pint-sized singers, mega talents

"Meridian Channel i Khudey Gaanraj' 08" on Channel i is moving forward with the goal of finding the best child singer in the country. So far eight contestants have made it to the top and the selection of the 'Gaanraj' is just a few episodes away.

Call for more TV programmes on indigenous communities

Speakers at a discussion, recently, said that Channel 1 has made significant contributions to peoples' access to information through its programmes. In the bargain, it has won the hearts of many.

Teletalk Banijyo Mela Protidin on ATN Bangla

"Teletalk Banijyo Mela Protidin", a special programme on the ongoing International Trade Fair, will be aired today at 5:10 pm on ATN Bangla. The programme is aired live from the fair premises everyday.

OP-ED

Words of wisdom that could be

WHEN President Barack Obama entered the White House after his historic inauguration as the 44th president of the United States of America he discovered a letter from the outgoing president George W. Bush waiting for him at the Oval Office.

The case of the Alaei brothers

AFTER six months of detention and interrogation, Tehran's Revolutionary Court convicted the Alaei brothers for what has been called "designing a velvet revolution to overthrow the Iranian regime," BBC reported.

Y kant we spel inglish werds rite?

THE Hong Kong Government is reintroducing English-medium teaching to hundreds of schools. Every place I've lived in, including Sri Lanka and Malaysia, has regular heated debates on whether Asian kids should be taught in English.

Star City

93 heritage buildings, sites listed for preservation

At long last, a government-formed expert body has come up with a preliminary list of heritage buildings and sites in the 400-year old capital city for preservation.

Electronic billboard that hinders study at a school

Afia, a student of Tejgaon Government Girls High School, was attending her mathematics class sitting beside the window. While simplifying a differentiation of calculus suddenly she looked out of the window. Outside an electronic billboard was displaying the music video of her favourite song.

Two govt schools of same name on same compound

The names of the two schools are the same -- National Government Primary School. They share same premises and same playground. But they have two headmasters, separate administration, separate students and teachers.



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