The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, July 23, 2014


News of: Monday, 2nd of February, 2009

Front Page

All 21 opposition demands rejected

Speaker of the Parliament Abdul Hamid yesterday turned down all 21 notices from BNP-led opposition lawmakers for holding discussions on various issues adjourning other scheduled businesses of the House.

Pilgrims seek global peace

Over two million Muslim pilgrims from home and abroad took part in the Akheri Munajat (final prayer) of Biswa Ijtema, the second largest Islamic congregation after the hajj, seeking divine blessings from the Almighty for the Muslim ummah.

No thanks for president

Awami League (AL) lawmakers in parliament yesterday blasted President Iajuddin Ahmed for "violating the constitution and conspiring against democracy" in the last two years.

AL men grab taxicab business at ZIA

Leaders and activists of Airport police station unit of Awami League (AL) and its front organisations yesterday took control of the cab service counters at Zia International Airport after driving out the three lessees of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB).

Govt to ensure campus peace

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government would ensure congenial atmosphere in all educational institutions across the country and reduce session jam at any cost.

Health minister, Inu yet to turn in returns

Health and Family Planning Minister AFM Ruhul Haque and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) President Hasanul Haq Inu are among those who have yet to turn in their election expenses returns.

BNP starts process to reorganise party

The BNP National Standing Committee (NSC) yesterday decided to call in its grassroots leaders to the capital and give their opinions on party activities so it can finalise strategies to reorganise the party from top to bottom.

DCC elections to miss ward update

The Election Commission (EC) is preparing to hold the long overdue election to Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) based on a 15-year old delimitation of its wards, risking a lopsided representation of voters in the next city administration.

Birds galore in Cox's Bazar

A total of 15,933 birds of 52 species have been spotted in Cox's Bazar, according to a census of aquatic birds.

Ministries to get climate cells

The government has set up a secretariat on climate change under the environment and forest ministry to monitor the activities for combating climate change and deal with the climate change fund.

5 banks get BB notice

Bangladesh Bank yesterday issued show cause notices to five banks for not informing the central bank about suspicious transactions.

BNP boycotts JS as seat row not resolved

The BNP-led opposition yesterday decided to abstain from parliament proceedings until the speaker decides on their demand for three more seats in the front row of the House.

2 die, 200 injured on way back from Ijtema

Two devotees drowned, and over 200 others were injured in two separate accidents when people were heading home from Biswa Ijtema yesterday.

Transit used as political weapon

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday blamed politicians' attitude towards trade for their failure in understanding the potentials of trade.

More shake-up in admin

Two secretaries and two additional secretaries were made officer on special duty (OSD) and attached to the establishment ministry yesterday in another shake-up in the civil service.

Preliminary test results published

The Public Service Commission (PSC) yesterday published the preliminary test results of the 28th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations with a total of 11,785 candidates qualifying for the written test.

Khaleda spent only Tk 3 lakh in Bogra-6

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia spent only Tk 3 lakh in Bogra-6 (Sadar) constituency in the last parliamentary election when her nearest rival Awami League Bogra unit President Momtaj Uddin spent Tk 14.92 lakh.

Ex-MD of RPGCL charged with graft

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against former managing director (MD) of Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited (RPGCL) ABM Fazle Elahi in connection with embezzlement of Tk 7.33 crore from public fund.

Huda freed on bail

After over two years of imprisonment, former BNP minister Nazmul Huda was released on bail last night from the prison cell cabin at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Hospital.

2 policemen beaten for assaulting housewife

Villagers beat 2 policemen including a sub-inspector and kept one confined, for assaulting a housewife at Vatiari in Sadar upazila.

Danish climate minister arrives today

Danish Minister for Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard arrives today to open a conference on 'Bangladesh on the road to Copenhagen - towards a global deal on climate change at COP15, December 2009'.

Nadal lifts first title in style

Rafael Nadal won a classic Australian Open final against Roger Federer to secure his first hard-court Grand Slam title and stop the Swiss equalling the all-time Majors record on Sunday.

Govt appeals to withdraw petition by CG

The government yesterday prayed to the Supreme Court (SC) for withdrawal of the pending appeals filed by the Fakruddin-led caretaker government against the High Court (HC) judgment that directed the government to reappoint 10 additional judges with seniority.

17 killed in post-polls violence

Violence after the December 29 national elections caused the death of 17 people and left 500 injured, human rights organisation Odhikar said yesterday.

Contractor gunned down in city

Unidentified criminals gunned down a contractor in the city's Khilgaon area yesterday.

Aid groups, diplomats warned in Lanka

Sri Lanka's top defence official has threatened to expel aid agencies, diplomats and foreign journalists seen as supportive of Tamil rebels cornered by troops in the island's north, a report said Sunday.

Kenya oil tanker fire kills 111

An overturned petrol tanker exploded as hundreds of people were trying to scoop up free fuel, killing at least 111 people and wounding 200, officials said yesterday.

Priyanka Gandhi due tomorrow

Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of the current President of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi, will arrive here tomorrow afternoon to get a first-hand experience of rural development projects run by Brac.

Israel vows tough rocket response

Israel vowed to strike back at Hamas yesterday after renewed rocket fire from the Islamists' Gaza stronghold two weeks after the end of a bloody war in the battered Palestinian territory.

Alert on Indian passenger jet at Delhi airport

An Indian jet with 150 people on board was taken to an isolated area of New Delhi airport yesterday after a male passenger started behaving in an unruly manner, officials said.

Editorial

RTI ordinance deserves to be passed into law

We welcome the government's decision to have all the 122 ordinances, promulgated by the erstwhile CTG, scrutinised by a special committee of the parliament, notwithstanding an expert committee's recommendation in this regard to be selective about it. Not only should all these be scrutinised, they must be put up in the House for discussion before adoption or rejection, as deemed appropriate. That, we are certain, will cause the ownership of the laws passed to devolve on to the current parliament. And that is as it should be.

Demolishing reputed schools is a bad idea

Binod Bihari Chowdhury strikes a responsive chord when he demands a cancellation of plans to have two old and reputed schools demolished in Chittagong. More to the point, the veteran revolutionary echoes our collective belief that heritage, being a part of a nation's history, cannot be subsumed to interests of a mundane nature. That is why the plans of the Chittagong City Corporation to have the two schools, Aparna Charan City Corporation Girls' High School and Krishna Kumari City Corporation Girls High School, demolished so that a 16-storey structure can be constructed on the premises appear untenable not only to residents of the port city but also citizens all across the country. It is simply outrageous that the city corporation plans to relocate the schools in the new building and set up with it a number of commercial establishments.

Deja vu all over again

In a democratic polity a political party with big electoral win is never a boon for it might develop a jaundiced outlook. Worse, it tends to take everyone and everything for granted -- a syndrome of authoritarian impulse. But many small political outfits breed instability and horse-trading of coalition politics. An ideal equation is perhaps one where political parties of comparable strength exert their weight on politics and keep the country on an even keel. We have seldom came across that scenario.

Education and Vision 2021

The Ministry of Education seems to have rightly (and quickly) taken on board the issue of formulating an education policy for the country. This is reflected from a recent meeting of the Hon'ble education minister with renowned educationists of the country. I would like to present a personal perception on education to invoke insights.

Digital Bangladesh and the young

The honeymoon period for the newly installed government is yet to be over. Various analyses of the electoral results have revealed that the young generation, who were more than one-third of the voters, had indeed brought this overwhelming victory for AL. Presumably, the visionary approach of AL's manifesto might have allured the young voters, especially its "Vision 2021" which envisions a "digital Bangladesh."

Sports

Indefatigable Nadal denies Federer

Rafael Nadal held off Roger Federer in another momentum-swinging, five-set final to win the Australian Open on Sunday, keeping the Grand Slam singles record safe for now.

Promises to keep

Despite having a six-point lead in the Citycell B. League table, leaders Abahani are not going to relax when they face Brothers Union in today's heavyweight clash at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Emotions took over Roger

Roger Federer says he was overcome by the emotions of a major defeat when he broke down in tears on the presentation dais after losing the Australian Open to Rafael Nadal on Sunday.

Kiwis steal Perth win

Ross Taylor was New Zealand's hero as they won the first game of their one-day international series against Australia in Perth by two wickets on Sunday.

Pakistan arrive today

Pakistan women's cricket team will arrive in Dhaka today to take part in a tri-nation tournament also involving Sri Lanka.

Trophy not in Pakistan

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Sunday decided to relocate the 2009 Champions Trophy from Pakistan due to lingering fears over the security situation in the troubled nation.

Niggling Tigers inching back

Ahead of Tuesday's Premier Division Twenty20 semifinal, Biman face an injury scare to their superstar Shakib Al Hasan, who is reportedly suffering from a groin problem.

Jr tennis begins in BKSP

China's Yuan Tao Pan beat Taiwan's Chi-Shan Jao 7-5, 6-3 in the AWR 7th BKSP International Junior Tennis Championships at BKSP yesterday.

Full points for Dilkusha

Dilkusha Sporting Club handed a 2-0 defeat to Swadhinata Krira Sangha in the Citycell 3rd Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Real cut gap at top

Real Madrid's captain marvel Raul joined Alfredo di Stefano as the club's all-time leading scorer with 307 goals on Saturday as he helped his team cut Barcelona's lead to nine points.

Hoffenheim go top

Hoffenheim went back to the top of the Bundesliga on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Energie Cottbus to prove they can cope without injured striker Vedad Ibisevic as their fairytale run continues.

Indians claim crown

Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza say their historic Australian Open mixed doubles success on Sunday will give the sport a huge boost back home in cricket-obsessed India.

Ronaldo the difference

Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot as Manchester United beat Everton 1-0 on Saturday to open up a five-point gap at the top of the Premier League.

Four reach finals

Narayanganj, Ansar, Rangamati and VDP stormed into the final round of the First Citycell National Women's Football Championship by winning their respective matches yesterday.

Abahani agree to host qualifiers

Abahani have finally agreed to host their qualifying group of the AFC President's Cup, the continental club competition for third-tier nations in the Asian rankings.

Cagliari stun Juve

Serie A's in-form team Cagliari stunned Juventus 3-2 at Turin's Stadio Olimpico to put a huge dent in the Italian giants' title hopes on Saturday.

Bayern loan out Kroos

Defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are to loan teenage wunderkind Toni Kroos to Bavarian rivals Bayer Leverkusen for 18 months, his club have announced.

TT camp gets underway

The month-long AB Bank national table tennis coaching camp began at the Woodenfloor gymnasium yesterday.

Maple Leaf sports

The Maple Leaf annual sports competition began at the Sultana Kamal Women's Sports Complex on Saturday.

Liza shares lead with Saif, Sagar

Shamima Akter Liza, Abdullah Al Saif and Mohammad Sagar continued their winning runs to share the lead in the BASIC BANK 30th National Junior Chess Championships at federation hall-room.

Afghans reach WC qualifier

Afghanistan booked their place in April's qualifying event for the 2011 World Cup on Saturday when they defeated the Cayman Islands by 82 runs to finish top of the World Cricket League Division Three.

England bats in the runs

Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, and Paul Collingwood all came close, but failed to cross over the hundred-run threshold as England's tour match against West Indies-A ended in a draw on Saturday.

Business

Trade analysts see benefit from regional transit

International trade analysts yesterday stressed regionalisation of transit in South Asia to benefit the countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal.

Informal economy may cut poverty

Empowerment of the poor, mainstreaming informal economy and developing the agricultural sector are keys to poverty reduction through trade in South Asia.

Ctg REHAB fair bags Tk 200cr

A three-day housing fair organised by REHAB concluded here in the port city on Saturday making a business of Tk 200 crore, with the organisers and participants expecting an additional Tk 100 crore from the intended customers.

The poor yet to benefit from duty-free access

The poor, or workers are yet to benefit from the zero tariff facilities Bangladesh enjoys from developed economies with an objective of poverty reduction and development, a Dhaka seminar was told yesterday.

20,000 jute workers lost jobs in 2 months

Around 20,000 contractual workers in the jute industry were forced out of their jobs in the last two months on the back of a decline in demand for jute in the international market, said industry people.

Muhith hints at taka devaluation

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said it might not be possible to keep the current exchange rate of the taka against the dollar due to sharp devaluation of the currencies of major trading partners.

BTMA points to 'crisis' in primary textile sector

Spinning mills, apparently affected by the global financial crisis, have reported Tk 30,000 crore worth of yarn in unsold stocks.

Davos signals era of big govt

The world is entering an era of big government with only state muscle powerful enough to fight the economic crisis, top leaders signalled at the Davos summit.

Business to fight poverty

After 38 years of international donors working with NGOs in Bangladesh and millions of dollars spent to try to alleviate poverty, 40 percent of the population still live on less than $1 per day with an annualised progress rate of about 1 percent. Surely after such a long experiment and such a slow progress, it is time to look for new methods to deal with this problem.

Asian currencies lower

Asian currencies ended the week down against the dollar in light trade ahead of the release of US growth data, which showed the worst contraction in the world's biggest economy in 26 years.

China sees 'toughest year' for farm policies

China's government Sunday warned 2009 could be the "toughest year" since the turn of the century for development of the countryside, which has fallen behind as reforms favoured the cities, state media reported.

Dilip stresses flourishing motor industry

Industries Minister Dilip Barua said the government would give priority to flourish motor industry alongside the other industrial units in creating employment opportunity for the unemployed population.

Asian airlines trim down for expected hard landing

Asian airlines are cutting routes and taking other measures to avoid flying half-empty planes during a travel slump caused by the global economic crisis, analysts and industry players say.

Int'l telecom fair in Sylhet from April 1

To make people aware of the latest cellular phone technologies, the first Sylhet International Telecom Fair 2009 will begin in the divisional city from April 1.

Crisis hits China Yiwu market

The global financial crisis has started to weave its way into Yiwu, the world's largest wholesale market for small consumer goods, but the city in east China still nurtures expansion plans.

$3.9b Panasonic loss

Japan's Panasonic Corp. will incur a consolidated net loss after tax of about 350 billion yen (US$3.9 billion) in fiscal 2008, The Yomiuri Shimbun learned Saturday.

Japan's listed firms hit by 71pc profit slump

Japanese listed companies suffered a 71 percent fall in pre-tax profit in the three months to December due to shrinking demand and the yen's surge against the dollar, a newspaper survey showed Sunday.

Europe struggles for unity in face of recession

Despite promises to tackle recession together, EU governments are scrambling each in their own corner to come up with new measures to revive their economies, threatening the bloc's unity.

US banks sought foreign workers

Banks collecting billions of dollars in federal bailout money sought government permission to bring thousands of foreign workers to the U.S. for high-paying jobs, according to an Associated Press review of visa applications.

'Superman' Brown falls to earth as recession hits Britain

A blizzard of bankruptcies and job cuts has brought British Prime Minister Gordon Brown crashing back down in the opinion polls, after an initial ratings boost from his handling of the credit crunch.

US Senate braces for stimulus package debate

The US Senate begins debate Monday on President Barack Obama's massive economic stimulus package, with opponents vowing to stand firm against the 819-billion-dollar plan that passed in the House of Representatives with no Republican backing.

Jamuna Bank gets new MD

Jamuna Bank Limited has recently appointed Md Motior Rahman as the bank's managing director, says a press release.

Strike by 24,000 refinery workers averted for now

A strike by some 24,000 refinery workers was averted, at least for now, as both sides agreed to extend negotiations for at least 24 hours.

Execs of BCS tax assoc

Bangladesh Civil Service (Taxation) Association has elected MA Quader Sarker, commissioner of taxes, its president and Salim Afzal, additional commissioner of taxes, secretary general for a two year term, says a press release.

NBC sells out Super Bowl ads for record $206m

NBC said on the eve of Sunday's Super Bowl that it has sold the last two of the 69 advertising spots for the game, pushing total ad revenue for the event to a record $206 million.

Rejoinder

Aftab Automobiles Ltd in a rejoinder to a report headlined 'Aftab Auto soars on Navana listing rumour', published yesterday, differed with part of the report, "Kamal admitted that Aftab has shares in Navana CNG but did not disclose the shareholding positions". The rejoinder said: "Neither Shafiul Islam (Kamal) admitted this nor Aftab has shares in Navana CNG."

Metropolitan

Govt to resolve CHT land disputes

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government is weighing measures to settle the land disputes between indigenous communities and Bangla-speaking settlers in Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) areas.

Ensure jobs for youths as per electoral pledge

Leaders of the Youth Gono Forum yesterday urged the government to take immediate steps to ensure employment for youth as per electoral manifesto.

20 BNP men killed since Dec 29 polls

BNP Secretary General Khandker Delwar Hossain yesterday expressed grave resentment over the killing of party activist Daud Hossain by the ruling party cadres at Baneswar union under Puthia upazila in Rajshahi.

Zeal marks first day of book fair

The month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair began on the Bangla Academy premises in the city yesterday amid much enthusiasm among readers, writers and publishers.

Exclude 13 Islamic religion-based questions

Different student organisations yesterday demanded the National University (NU) authorities evaluate the answer scripts of the admission test for the first year honours excluding 13 Islamic religion-based questions in general knowledge section.

Writ for probing 2001 post-polls violence

A writ petition was filed yesterday with the High Court (HC) for directing the government to form a judicial commission to probe into the post-election violence in 2001.

Major reshuffle in administration

Newly promoted Additional Secretary Dr Khandoker Shawkat Hossain has been made the divisional commissioner of Dhaka.

China to further consolidate relations with Bangladesh

Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Zheng Qingdian yesterday paid a courtesy visit to the office of The Daily Star in the city.

6 killed, 41 injured in road accidents

Six people were killed and 41 injured in separate road accidents across the country yesterday.

'Tourist police for CHT visitors soon'

Additional Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nobo Bikram Kishore Tripura yesterday said tourist police unit will be set up soon to ensure the security of visitors in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

22 get Gandhi Peace Award

Speakers at an award distribution ceremony yesterday emphasised the importance of a non-violent policy of Gandhi in the present unstable world order.

2 murdered in N'ganj

Snatchers killed one of their fellows over sharing of the booty after a snatching in Narayanganj yesterday.

Poverty-hit mother cries for bringing back expat son's body

The poverty-stricken mother could not bring back home the body of her expatriate son, who was killed in Saudi Arabia, due to lack of money.

Contempt of court petition against Prothom Alo journo

A contempt of court petition was filed yesterday with the High Court (HC) against Mizanur Rahman, a senior journalist of the daily Prothom Alo, for publishing a news item titled 'Various events with the bail of Babar' on January 29.

Nat'l defence course inaugurated

The inaugural ceremony of National Defence Course-2009, which is being conducted by National Defence College (NDC), was held on the college premises at Mirpur Canton-ment in the city yesterday.

Seminar on impact of climate change on agriculture

Internationally acclaimed economist Prof Chamhuri Siwar of National University of Malaysia at a seminar yesterday stressed the need for rural development strategies.

Ahad Chy sued

A freedom fighter yesterday filed a civil suit against Abdul Ahad Chowdhury on charges of holding the post of chairman of the Central Command Council of Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad (BMS) illegally as his tenure of office expired four years ago.

Re-election demanded

Democratic Left Alliance yesterday demanded holding re-election of Madarganj upazila election under Jamalpur district as it was farcical.

New chairmen of 3 edn boards

The government has given appointment to the posts of chairmen of Dhaka, Jessore and Rajshahi Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Boards on deputation.

Motorcyclist killed in train accident

A motorcyclist was killed in a train accident at Shyamlagachhi rail crossing at Sharsha of the district.

Suman's photo exhibition begins

A week-long solo photography exhibition of artist Suman Shams began at Zainul Gallery of Fine Arts Faculty of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday.

Day-long Pitha Utsab at RU

The Fine Art Department of Rajshahi University organised a daylong Pitha Utsab (cake festival) on the department premises yesterday to celebrate winter.

500 bottles of phensidyl seized

Members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) seized several hundred bottles of phensidyl and several bottles of Indian liquors and arrested six people in this connection at Sharsha in Jessore yesterday.

Sharing session of CRP's ex-staffs held

Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) celebrated its founding anniversary on Saturday through a searing session of its former staffs as part of its monthly celebration on reaching 30 years, says a press release.

Dr Hossain joins BFRI as DG

Dr MG Hossain has been appointed Director General (Administration and Finance) of Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI).

Mayoral confce in Switzerland February 4

Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor Alhaj ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury will leave Dhaka for Switzerland today to attend a three-day mayoral international conference.

Mother fails to bring back expat son's body

The poverty-stricken mother could not bring back home the body of her expatriate son, who was killed in Saudi Arabia, due to lack of money.

Death anniversary

Today is the third death anniversary of Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury, former prime minister and one of the organisers of the Liberation War, says a press release.

Dr Abu Taher Haor Unnayan Board DG

The government recently appointed Dr Mohammed Abu Taher Khandaker (PEng) as the director general of Haor Unnayan Board, says a press release.

Ophthalmological Society executives

Prof Ava Hossain and Dr Md Sharfuddin Ahmed have been elected president and general secretary of the executive committee of Ophthal-mological Society of Bangladesh for the term 2009-10, says a press release.

Dhaka Bar Assoc executives

Advocate Arfan Uddin Khan and Advocate Babu Pran Ballav Ghosh have been elected president and secretary general of the Dhaka Metropolitan Bar Association at its annual election in the city recently, says a press release.

Sangbad Pathak Samity executives

Aminul Haque and Nilufar Karim have been elected president and general secretary of Bangladesh Sangbad Pathak Samity for the years 2009-1010 at its 12th Annual General Meeting in the city recently.

Seminar on heart disease held

Parkway Health, which owns and operates Mount Elizabeth, Gleneagles and East Shore Hospital in Singapore, organised a seminar on 'Heart disease and neck and back pain' at Hotel Lake Shore in the city on Saturday.

Pirojpur Govt School reunion on Feb 13

A reunion of former students of Pirojpur Government High School living in the city will be held at Biam auditorium at 5:00pm on February 13.

National

Trapped into 'slavery' in fishermen's colonies

Victims of forced child labour, a large number of minor boys are passing days amid horrendous conditions in the fishermen's colonies along the coastal belt of Dublarchar from where law enforcers rescued over a thousand of minor boys in last four years.

Leaf blight disease dims potato prospect in Thakurgaon

Spread of 'leaf blight' disease, locally known as patamora rog, has put potato farmers in five upazilas of Thakurgaon district in a difficult siatuation.

Textbook crisis persists in C'nawabganj, Faridpur

Crisis of textbooks is hampering study of students of high schools and madrasas in Chapainawabganj and Faridpur districts.

Paddy price fall makes farmers loser in Barisal

With around 25 percent fall in prices of paddy in the local markets during the recent days, marginal farmers in Barisal district are facing huge losses.

Execution of verdict demanded

Teachers, students and employees of the Geology and Mining Department of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday demanded execution of the verdict in Prof Taher Ahmed murder case.

Housewife killed for dowry

A young housewife was killed for dowry allegedly by her husband at village Chaltartol in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila yesterday, police said.

5 hurt by tigers in Thakurgaon

Five people were injured seriously as two tigers coming from India swooped on them at village Basnahar in Ranishankoil upazila yesterday, police said.

Letters

Make Parliament effective

A few days ago our democracy was at stake. After two years of hiatus, we have again embarked on the road to democracy through the Awami League's winning a landslide victory at the elections. The result is unprecedented in our political history. Having the earlier experience of the BNP regime vivid in our minds, we are worried that this absolute power could lead the AL to an unfair exercise of power and consequently dysfunctional democracy.

Waste not, want not

Energy resources like water, gas, electricity and petroleum crude oil are indispensable in the running of a country. In our daily life we use them for making our lives easier. But the thing is that our manner of using these is indiscreet, as we do not hesitate squandering them carelessly. For instance, let us consider water and how we misuse it.

Child labour

Though children's labour may be necessary to the survival of some families, it does not represent the ideal for children or their families. Putting children to work too early can stunt their development socially and educationally as well as expose them to physical risks. This does not even factor in the daily peril faced by children working as prostitutes or soldiers.

Emerging university in Pabna

It is learnt from The Daily Star (26 January 2009) that Pabna University of Science and Technology (PUST) is going to admit 200 students under two faculties. The subjects that will be taught are Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) and Mathematics under the faculty of Science and Engineering. The other faculty is Business Studies, with the subject Business Administration.

Digital Bangladesh and new generation

The Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN) is one of the new initiatives endorsed by ASEM III (October 2000, Seoul, Korea) to connect research networks between Asia and Europe by linking EU's GEANT, the pan-European gigabit research network, with Asia's research networks such as the APII Testbeds in order to promote information exchanges in research and development and education.

Banani noise

Road 11 in Banani has become a nightmarish highway of sorts!

Mujib and Zia

In politics, no ruler or politician is above criticism. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has faced multifarious criticisms, particularly over the actions of his administration after our liberation. There are people who believe that he was a first class leader but not an administrator of that rank. But we all ought to admit that he was the main architect and founder of our country.

Obama's call to Muslim world

CNN recentlyreleased an exclusive interview of US President Barack Obama with Al-Arabia Television. This interview is considered as part of President Obama's commitment during his election campaign to improve relations between the US and the Muslim world.

Not bad at all!

I was not at all surprised. I have rather been trying to look for the benefits from the DU teachers' greeting spree! Though students missed their classes, with this hands-on demonstration on “political science” the students can learn “constructive politics” and master the art of succeeding in traditional Bangladeshi Politics. Not bad!

University in Barisal

Although Barisal is one of the six divisions, it has been neglected by all governments. All previous governments made promises but their words did not come true. Education is imperative for all development activities but there is no university in Barisal city. If we look at all other divisional cities, we will find a different picture. Even many district towns have public universities. Doesn't it bear testimony to the unequal treatment meted out to Barisal? Although the present government has already treated Barisal badly not including anyone in the cabinet from the region, we hope it will set up a university in the city in order to make Barisal a part of Digital Bangladesh.

'No' to 2nd deputy speaker

The AL said before the election that it would appoint the deputy speaker from the opposition. Within days of winning the election the AL has forgotten that pledge. We feel disgusted, but we are not surprised. Clearly, what was once a “pledge” has now become a “lie”. And to cover up that lie the AL is now planning to create a new seat for a second deputy speaker!

Weekly holiday

There is an unnecessary obstacle in our economic sector.

Mohakhali foot overbridge

A few years ago Mohakhali Railway overbridge was constructed and it has facilitated traffic movement on the road to some extent. But a big problem still continues to afflict the residents of the area. People of Mohakhali DOHS, Shahinbag, Arjat Para, etc., have to go to Mohakhali kutcha bazar everyday with big serious risks to their lives as they cross the road. This is an everyday hazard which puts a lot of pressure on their nerves. Hence a foot overbridge connecting Mohakhali kutcha bazar is a long felt necessity.

Balance of merit

A daughter of mine recently got her Ph.D from Harvard and came home for a few weeks to meet family and friends before returning to Harvard to do research as a prestigious Swartz Fellow in the newly established Department of Neuroscience. Her sponsors were so keen to have her that they paid a huge amount of money as special fees, so that her H-1B visa for a temporary worker could be processed in only two weeks. The embassy here too was very cooperative and gave her a visa within two days of the interview.

International

Deadline expires for Lankan civilians trapped in fighting

Fears grew yesterday for tens of thousands of civilians trapped by fighting in Sri Lanka as a government deadline expired for cornered Tamil Tiger rebels to allow non-combatants to leave the conflict zone.

Pakistan is key to fixing Afghanistan militancy

Peace will only come to Afghanistan if Pakistan can sort out the militants on its side of the border, where US strikes are not helping, the head of Britain's armed forces told The Sunday Times newspaper.

Pak troops kills 16 militants in troubled Swat valley

Pakistani troops killed at least 16 militants in the troubled northwestern Swat valley, the military said yesterday.

Indo-Pak cooperation crucial for prosecution of Mumbai culprits

Cooperation between India and Pakistan will be crucial for the successful prosecution of persons involved in the Mumbai terror attacks, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said today.

PPP-PML-N rift deepening

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif said on Saturday the rift between the PML-N and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) was deepening with the passage of time, a private TV channel reported.

Iraqi govt allies see gains in elections

Allies of Iraq's US-backed prime minister appeared yesterday to have made gains in the provincial elections, rewarding groups credited with reining in insurgents and militias, according to unofficial projections.

Gaza war strengthens hardliners

The biggest gains in the Gaza war have gone to the hard-liners on both sides. Hamas is declaring victory, while Israel's leading hawk is the front-runner in elections just over a week away.

Thai govt rejects quit call by protesters

Thailand's deputy prime minister on Sunday rejected an ultimatum by thousands of protesters demanding the government step down, raising the prospect of more rallies in the turmoil-wracked kingdom.

Obama, Pentagon pull in different directions on no nuke goal

President Barack Obama has set a goal of a "world without nuclear weapons" but the Pentagon is leaning in a seemingly contradictory direction: a modernised nuclear arsenal.

Fire kills 23 at Russian retirement home

Russian authorities said yesterday they had found the remains of 23 people who died when a fire gutted a wooden retirement home in the country's remote northwestern republic of Komi.

FBI wants to question Fahim, Sabbauddin

Officials of Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) have requested to interrogate Fahim Arshad Ansari and Sabbauddin - two terrorists arrested earlier by the Uttar Pradesh Police and questioned by Mumbai Police in connection with the 26/11 terror strikes.

India wary of Obama's S Asia focus

With US President Barack Obama still in the early days of his presidency, India is keeping a wary eye on policy changes that could irritate what has become a key strategic relationship.

N Korea hails 'invincible' army, warns of conflict

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has hailed his troops as "invincible" as state media on Sunday warned of a possible military conflict with South Korea amid heightened tensions.

Indian PM discharged from hospital

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was yesterday discharged from AIIMS, more than a week after he underwent a successful coronary by-pass surgery at the prestigious hospital.

Obama's Kenyan relative arrested on drug charge

The half-brother of President Barack Obama was arrested for alleged possession of marijuana on Saturday near his home in a Nairobi shantytown, police said.

Indo-Bangla joint celebration on Feb 21

The friendly people of the neighbouring country India and Bangladeshis will observe the International Mother Language Day at zero point on Benapole border this year.

36455 held in Jan

Police detained 36,455 people from across the country on charge of various crimes and recovered 157 firearms and 59 explosives in January.

Poverty, shrinking freedoms fuel Madagascar woes

Economic hardship and shrinking civil liberties in Madagascar are the root of the discontent spearheaded by a charismatic young mayor against the regime, analysts said yesterday.

UN envoy in Myanmar meets Suu Kyi liaison

The UN's top envoy to Myanmar on Sunday met the minister tasked with liaising with detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, an official said, in the latest talks aimed at nudging the junta toward reform.

Arts & Entertainment

Mahmudul Haque: A track less treaded

I remember being introduced to Mahmudul Haque (affectionately known as 'Botu Bhai') on a winter evening at his Jhigatala home. It was pretty chilly and there was continuous drizzle. The city was quiet because of the cold weather. Eminent sculptor Syed Abdullah Khalid introduced me to him. At first glance, he seemed to be an individual who has struggled long and hard. He was a bohemian, yet completely sociable. Anyone who had once been introduced to him would never forget his warmth and generosity. His expressions were distinct. He was the focal point at any social gathering.

Shibli Muhammad

Debut performance
It was a live performance in the mid-1980s at the Bishwa Shahitya Kendra. Among the audience were Abdullah Abu Sayeed, Asad Chowdhury and KM Harun who appreciated my performance. Soon after, I was invited to perform on television.

Using fame to promote social causes

Versatility is his strongest point; he renders radically different songs at equal ease. In an era when the younger generation is headed towards rock and hip hop, he has managed to play an important part in revitalising 'adhunik' Bangla songs and become one of the most celebrated singers of our time. Yes, we're talking about the multi-talented Asif Akbar.

New drama serial “Mama Bhagney” on Banglavision

From February 2, new drama serial "Mama Bhagney" will be aired on Banglavision Mondays and Tuesdays at 8:15pm. Jointly written by Nazrul Islam and M.S. Rana, and directed by Golam Sohrab Dodul, the humorous serial depicts the relationship of a man and his three nephews.

Oscar nominee spotlight: Anne Hathaway

At 26, she's the youngest of this year's Best Actress nominees.

Poet Mohidur Rahman passes away

Veteran poet and author, Advocate Mohidur Rahman, passed away at his home in Bandutia village, Manikganj, last Saturday. He was 75. He was ailing from diabetes and other age-related diseases.

The Class : Learning to be the future of France

“The Class," the new film from director Laurent Cantet ("Time Out," "Heading South") comes garlanded with the top prize from the Cannes film festival and an Oscar nomination for best foreign-language film.

OP-ED

Is bipartisanship workable in Bangladesh?

Bipartisanship means cooperative efforts of the government and the major opposition party to adopt legislation or resolve contentious issues. Consensus and compromise are the core of bipartisanship. Bipartisanship is also a strategic reaction to the demands of the electorate. Sometimes, partisan power struggle prevents a country from acting with a purpose and also tends to distort a political system.

The Gaza Horror Show

Now is the time for President Obama to face the truth about Palestine and Israel. But what is this truth?

Talking monetary policy

Bangladesh Bank (BB) issued its Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) on January 14. The MPS almost went unnoticed, except for the envisaged surge in credit to the public sector and a decline in the growth rate of credit to the private sector envisaged for the second half of FY 2009.


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