The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, August 2, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 4th of February, 2009

Front Page

Half of ordinances to be left out

The special committee of the parliament yesterday okayed for ratification only 44 of the 122 ordinances promulgated just before and during the immediate past caretaker government's regime.

Tragedy written on old city wall

Monday night's collapse of roof plaster at Shankharibazar is a chilling reminder that run-down buildings in this part of the city could cost lives any time and the government cannot afford delays in dealing with the looming disaster.

BNP to wait on speaker action

The BNP-led opposition will continue boycotting parliament proceedings until it receives a "positive and respectful" decision from the speaker about their demand for three more seats in the front row.

Tk 340cr boost for Bapex

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved a Tk 340 crore project that would help Bapex increase its oil and gas exploration capability and Bakhrabad Gas Field Company to boost gas supply to Chittagong within two years.

Say bye to Jamaat

Grassroots level leaders of BNP yesterday proposed to party high-ups that it should not continue ties with Jamaat-e-Islami considering the new generation's sentiment, and drop all controversial leaders from party committees at all levels.

Star, Aktel reach out to school-goers

The Daily Star and Aktel will jointly launch an English language programme for school-goers in all district and upazila headquarters.

Reinstate SSF for Khaleda

Main opposition party BNP yesterday demanded reinstating Special Security Force (SSF) protection for its chairperson Khaleda Zia considering the perspectives of national and international trends of terrorism as well as security threats on her.

Only 3 confessed graft on their own

Only two to three government officials out of the 452 graft-accused sought clemency at the now-defunct Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac) on their own after amassing ill-gotten wealth.

Myanmar migrants set adrift by Thais

Myanmar boat people found off Indonesia said yesterday they had been towed out to sea and set adrift by Thai forces, fuelling allegations which have severely embarrassed Bangkok.

60,000 Mros made gypsies of the hills

He grew up chasing wild boars and working in the jhum filed. Walking for hours in the hilly paths was part of his usual but hard life. But that son of the hills, Ranglai Mro, is so weak now--his face is so pale--that he cannot talk for more than a few minutes at a stretch.

Govt to speed up Hatirjheel project

State Minister for Housing and Public Works Abdul Mannan has directed the authorities concerned to expedite implementation of Begunbari-Hitirjheel integrated development project in the capital for its completion as soon as possible.

CCC backtracks on school demolition

In the wake of strong protest, the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) has decided to scrap its plans for a 16-storey multi-purpose commercial building on the land of two schools in Chittagong.

52 killed in fresh Lanka fighting

Sri Lanka's army said yesterday it had captured an elaborate underground bunker complex believed to have been the home of the leader of the Tamil Tigers, as well as the rebels' last jungle airstrip.

Food rationing mulled for poor

The government is actively considering reintroduction of food rationing system for the low income group of the population, following its imposition of a ban on rice export till May 5 of this year.

PM asks for rehabilitation of victims

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the authorities concerned to make a list of the families whose homes have been affected by the subsidence of Barapukuria coalmine site.

Priyanka meets PM

Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi and late Indian premier Rajiv Gandhi, met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Sudha Sadan Tuesday night.

Priyanka meets PM

Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi and late Indian premier Rajiv Gandhi, met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Sudha Sadan Tuesday night.

Results delayed for incorrect info from ROs

The publication of upazila election results is getting delayed due to incorrect and incomplete result sheets sent by returning officers, Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda said yesterday.

Ctg Port yards crammed with imported cars again

The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) is now forced to keep imported vehicles in the container yards as the port sheds for vehicles have already been crammed with around 5,000 cars against the capacity of only 2,800.

Transit, Tifa await cabinet approval

Proposals for the 'Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa)' with the US and transit with India are lying before the cabinet for approval.

Priyanka visits Brac schools

Priyanka Gandhi, who arrived in Dhaka yesterday, visited Brac schools and is likely to finalise discussions with the NGO to introduce its education programme in India.

Sahara admits slide in law and order

Home Minister Sahara Khatun admitted that criminals, extortionists and militants have raised their heads once again.

Adaptation main challenge

Adaptation to climate change is one of the biggest challenges for Bangladesh right now, and it is already making efforts to face this challenge and should share its knowledge and experience in this field with other countries.

FM calls for protecting LDC interests

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said the current round of WTO negotiations must ensure duty- and quota-free market access for the products of Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

DGFI, infantry divisions under new chiefs

The authorities have brought some changes in the top echelons of Bangladesh Army including the heads of DGFI and infantry divisions, said highly placed sources.

Rajpunnah in Bandarban today

The 'Bomang Rajpunnah', the oldest traditional festival in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), will be held in the Rajbari compound in the town tomorrow.

Intelligence to identify culprits

Intelligence agencies have been asked to identify people who are responsible for creating the artificial crisis of textbooks for secondary level students.

Boi Mela sees 78 new books on third day

A total of 78 new books from 30 publications arrived at the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela on the third day of the fair yesterday.

Thousands flee Swat as Pak troops kill 50

Pakistan said yesterday 50 Islamist militants were killed in an overnight ground and air offensive in the crisis-hit Swat valley, where around 20,000 civilians have fled pitched battles in a week.

Australian Muslim cleric, 6 others jailed on terror charges

A Muslim cleric and six followers were jailed for up to 15 years Tuesday for forming an Australian terror cell that plotted bomb attacks designed to kill thousands.

Editorial

Dr. Yunus' lone voice at Davos reverberates

NOBEL Laureate Muhammad Yunus, alone among all participants at the World Economic Forum in Davos, has spoken of the need for a safety net for the world's poor. His remarks, made against the backdrop of the on-going global recession, drive the point home that for all the bailouts that governments have been planning for global corporate business not much can be expected if the plight of the poor is ignored. We are of the opinion that by focusing on the issue, Yunus has in his own way drawn necessary attention to a crisis that just might be up ahead for the poor nations of the world. It should now be for the more prosperous, though gravely afflicted affluent societies, to refocus on the issue. With former US president Bill Clinton endorsing Yunus' suggestions, the shaping of a concerted approach here ought not to be a problem.

Ekushey book fair

THE book fair in February, commonly known as Ekushey Boi Mela, began with characteristic fervour on the premises of Bangla Academy early this month. The yearly event is organised to commemorate the sacrifices and achievements of the people of Bangladesh through a relentless struggle to uphold their mother tongue Bangla against stunning odds. This saga is known as 'Language Movement' of 1952, which laid the foundation of our historic War of Liberation in 1971. Since then the book fair has become a coveted feature in our cultural calendar.

Of dormitories and schools

YOU cannot, you must not disagree with the students of Jagannath University. They have been demonstrating on the roads, they have been getting clubbed by the police and they have been hauled away to prison. As with all young men and women worried about their future, as also the future of education, they have tried to uphold a cause. It is a proper cause, a right cause.

American foreign policy: New direction

PRESIDENT Obama's first few foreign policy moves have underscored what was missing in Bush's administration -- realism, dialogue and inclusiveness.

Bangladesh on the road to Copenhagen

THE consequences of climate change are dire. And they are already taking place. Like Bangladesh, many other regions in the world will be hit hard by climate changes. Floods are getting more common, storms are getting tougher, and land droughts are getting longer. The melting of the ice caps in Greenland and the Arctic is picking up pace and sea levels are rising. The habitats of plants and animals are threatened. Food production is under pressure. All over the world the weather is changing.

Sports

Gazi-Mohammedan showdown today

Gazi Tank stopped Abahani's triumphs in all major domestic games while Mohammedan crushed Biman to storm into the final of the Premier Division Twenty20 tournament at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

India take series in style

Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralidaran equalled the one-day bowling record before India clinched the series with a crushing 147-run victory in the third match at the R Premadasa Stadium here on Tuesday.

Windies no pushovers

West Indies have promised to make life tough for England when the sides start a four-Test series on Wednesday at Sabina Park.

Salma to lead Bangladesh

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday announced a 14-member squad for the upcoming tri-nation Women's Cricket Tournament, which starts from February 6.

Symonds in hot water

Andrew Symonds's international playing future is in serious doubt after Cricket Australia's directors ruled he should be stood down from a second consecutive overseas tour. Symonds will not be considered for Australia's three-Test contest in South Africa when the selectors convene on Wednesday.

Murali touches Akram's mark

Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralidaran on Tuesday equalled former Pakistani paceman Wasim Akram's world record of 502 wickets during the third one-day international against India here.

Pakistan will play 2 T20s in Dhaka

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday released the itinerary for Pakistan cricket team's tour of Bangladesh next month and confirmed that the visitors will play two Twenty20 matches.

Rupa slams hattrick

Rupa slotted a hattrick as Jessore brushed aside Rangpur 5-0 in a Teesta zone match in the Citycell National Women's Football Championship at the Dinajpur Stadium yesterday.

Women's TT title Biman's

Biman dethroned Abahani as the women's league champions when the national airliners lifted the KDS Dhaka Metropolis Table Tennis Women's League trophy beating Abahani 3-1 yesterday.

Stars unhappy with ECB

English players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) are said to be very unhappy at having to pay 10 per cent of their share of their auction price to their counties.

Keane rejoins Spurs

Robbie Keane rejoined Tottenham Hotspur from Liverpool on Monday's transfer deadline day barely six months after leaving the London club for their Premier League rivals.

Riquelme left out

Argentina coach Diego Maradona has picked midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron amongst five other players called up to complete their squad for a friendly against France on February 11 in Marseille.

Arsenal sign Arshavin

Zenit St Petersburg confirmed Tuesday that their international midfielder Andrei Arshavin has been signed by English Premier League giants Arsenal.

Torres warns Everton

Fernando Torres has told Everton they will face a more confident Liverpool side than at any time this season when the Merseyside rivals meet for the third time in 16 days on Wednesday.

Becks wants to stay

AC Milan believe David Beckham wants to remain at the club when his short-term loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy comes to end.

'Messi is like Maradona'

Argentine playmaker Lionel Messi's style is very similar to that of legendary footballer Diego Maradona, his Barcelona teammate Thierry Henry said Monday.

Chelsea snap up Quaresma

Ricardo Quaresma has joined Chelsea on-loan from Italy's Inter Milan for the rest of the season, the English Premier League side said on Monday.

Dull draw at BNS

Rahmatganj ensured a place in the proposed Super Cup when they drew goalless with Muktijoddha in yesterday's lone Citycell B. League match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Brazil won't replace Fabiano

Brazil coach Carlos Dunga has not called up a replacement for injured striker Luis Fabiano for their friendly international against Italy next week, the country's football federation (CBF) said on Monday.

Bosingwa escapes FA action

Chelsea defender Jose Bosingwa escaped any disciplinary action Monday for deliberately kicking Yossi Benayoun in the back during the Blues' 2-0 Premier League loss to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

Dacourt moves to Fulham

France midfielder Olivier Dacourt has joined Fulham on loan for the rest of the season from Italian giants Inter Milan, the English Premier League side announced on Monday's transfer window deadline day.

Shilpa buys RR stake

Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and a partner have bought a stake in an Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket team.

BOA shows respect to sponsors

Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) yesterday accorded a reception to its sponsors and the organisations for giving their financial support to the sports federations.

Sagar topples Liza

FIDE Master Minhazuddin Ahmed Sagar won the seventh round board against Shamima Akter Liza to snatch the lead in the BASIC Bank 30th National Junior Chess Championship yesterday.

Gaibandha cricket

Club Infinity defeated Sammonoy Sangha by seven wickets and DCP Club beat Lenin Smrity Sangsad by 59 runs in the Gaibandha Second Division Cricket League yesterday.

Div 3 soccer

Both the Citycell 3rd Division Football League matches ended in draws at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal in Kamalapur yesterday.

Top seeds advance

The top seeds of the AWR 7th BKSP International Junior Tennis Championships got off to sound starts when they won their respective matches convincingly at the tranquil settings of the country's lone sports institution in Saver yesterday.

Fred fit for First Test

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has been passed fit to play in the first Test against the West Indies at Sabina Park, Jamaica on Wednesday.

Marathon at Cox's Bazar on Feb 7

With a view to make friendship with nature, two marathon competitions will be held on Marine Drive road in Cox's Bazar on February 7.

Lanka bring in rookies

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Tuesday named uncapped batsman Tharanga Paranavitana and paceman Suranga Lakmal in a 15-man squad for an upcoming two-Test series in Pakistan.

Ponting, Clarke share Medal

Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke have jointly won the Allan Border Medal, the first time in the award's ten-year history that it has been shared. At the end of a year of decline for Australia, it was notable that it was their captain and vice-captain who stood at the top with 41 votes each.

Chess qualifiers from Feb 8

The preliminary phase of the 30th National Women's Chess Championship will start February 8 at the federation hall-room.

Business

Exports splutter down

Export earnings went down by 10.07 percent in December of the current fiscal year against the same month in last fiscal, indicating that the Western financial trauma has begun to weigh on the country's export sector.

Tk 650cr glassware plant to come on stream

Nasir Group is going to set up the country's first glassware and energy saving tube plant within this year at a cost of Tk 650 crore.

Spending cuts likely in revised budget

The total expenditure this fiscal year is likely to be revised to Tk 99,000 crore through a 0.90 percent cut from the original outlay of the national budget.

Good news for car owners, bad for thieves

The telecom watchdog has moved to introduce the vehicle-tracking system, good news for car owners, bad for thieves.

Govt mulls measures to face losing trade competitiveness

Finance Minister AMA Muhith has said the government is considering measures to face the losing competitiveness in trade amid heavy devaluation of currencies against US dollar by major trading partners.

Seek public opinion on transit to India

Trade analysts yesterday urged the government to seek public opinion on any plan to allow transit to India, an issue deemed sensitive to many.

Protecting LDC interests urged

Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni has said the current round of WTO negotiations must ensure the long awaiting duty-free quota-free market access for the least developed countries (LDCs).

Remittance inflow marks record

In January a record $865 million remittance flowed into the country to mainly pay for the national and upazila election expenditures and to bear the applicants' security money for residential plots in the Uttara and Purbachal projects of Rajuk.

BB halts dollar purchase

The central bank halted the purchase of dollars for the past two days after a three-week intervention to keep the inter-bank foreign exchange market stable, officials said yesterday.

Bata opens Asia’s largest showroom

Bata, the country's leading shoe-company, yesterday opened a mega showroom, the largest in Asia, at Bashundhara city.

BASIC Bank gets new chairman

Industries Secretary Dewan Zakir Hossain has been made the chairman of BASIC Bank Limited, according to a press release.

Low-cost flats can fix crunch

The government should assist developers by providing land at low costs to solve the city's chronic housing problems, says Sheikh Aftab Ahmed, chief operating officer of Shanta Properties.

9,000 job cuts a day

In this day and age of gyrating markets, crashing consumer sentiment, failing banks and seemingly endless tales of greed and fraud, one number on the internet recently really hit home for me. In January 2009 the economies of the world shed 9,000 jobs per day on an average. The people lost their jobs in sectors ranging from electronics to telecom to pharmaceuticals to toys. On a single day alone January 26, there were 80,000 job cuts.

Most Asian markets rise

Most Asian markets rose modestly Tuesday but trimmed their early gains, as optimism over billions of dollars in new stimulus measures in Japan and Australia gave way to concerns about the sputtering global economy.

Sona Masjid revenue reaches Tk 138.66cr

The government has earned Tk 138.66 crore in revenue through Sona Masjid land port during the first six months of the current fiscal (2008-09), exceeding the target of Tk 96.66 crore.

Japan to buy $11b bank shares

Japan's central bank said Tuesday it would buy one trillion yen (11.2 billion dollars) worth of shares held by commercial banks to fight a credit crunch in Asia's biggest economy.

Economic or political issue?

The relationship between India and Bangladesh is dated long back. But we find these nations have a big trade gap. A large number of issues like water-sharing, maritime border, transit, adjustment of the Rules of Origin, non-tariff and para-tariff barriers (as set in Safta) remain unsettled so far.

Africa and Asia Trade Organisation

In this world of globalisation, countries have come closer to each other due to the advancement of technologies. Business should be dealt with all around the world based on opportunities. And in order to find opportunities, accessibility to other countries is a must. We are talking about transit facilities and the advantages and disadvantages we will face. But let us now talk about it on a much bigger scale.

Electricity for Boro farmers

Electricity and diesel are the main elements for Boro farming. Farmers want an uninterrupted supply of electricity and diesel. A scarcity of electricity and diesel directly hampers the growth of paddy. Hence the government has to face a severe economic pressure. The ministries of industry, agriculture, oil and mineral resources and finance are directly involved with the issue.

Euro nears 2-month lows

The euro was close to two-month lows against the dollar in Asia Tuesday ahead of inflation data in Europe that could support the case for lower interest rates in the region, dealers said.

Governments urged to avoid protectionism in slump

Governments came under mounting pressure on Tuesday not to resort to protectionism to cushion themselves from the impact of the economic slowndown as unemployment levels grew and exports dwindled.

African leaders discuss economic crisis

African leaders discussed Tuesday ways to ride out the global economic downturn, fearful that 2009 will see trade hit and reductions in much-needed aid and development finance.

Saudi prince says Gulf jobs should go to Arabs

Gulf Arab states, where foreigners make up half the workforce, should give employment preference to their citizens over expatriate labour, a prominent member of the Saudi royal family said on Monday.

EU ups pressure on US over Buy American stimulus plan

The European Union ratcheted up pressure Monday against US President Barack Obama's Buy American stimulus plan, sending letters to the White House and Congress in protest.

Metropolitan

Call to stop harassment of migrant workers in Malaysia

Speakers at a press conference yesterday demanded an end to harassment and corruption in sending workers to Malaysia.

25 injured as students, traders clash in city

At least 25 people, including five policemen, were injured in a clash between the students of Daffodil International University (DIU) and local traders at Shukrabad in the city's Mohammadpur area yesterday.

'Killers now threaten slain Asgar's family'

Family members of slain pay phone trader Ali Asgar yesterday demanded arrest of all the killers and exemplary punishment to them.

CUCSU polls demanded

All the student organisations of Chittagong University (CU) are united on the demand of holding CU Central Student Union (CUCSU) elections to create scope for upholding the opinions of the general students.

Two robbers lynched in Narayanganj

Two robbers died in a mob beating at Dighi Barabo at Rupganj in the district on Monday night while they were taking preparation to commit robbery.

'Save Titas canal'

Environmental activists held a rally and formed a human chain in front of the local press club at Brahmanbaria yesterday urging conservation of Titas canal.

Build civil-military relations

Director of Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies (APCSS) Lt Gen (retd) Ed Smith yesterday stressed the need for continual education of civil and military leaders together in order to build trust between them and ensure that they respect each other by removing suspicion.

Set up task force to ensure food security

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said the government needs to play the main role by activating a task force maintained by concerned ministries and departments for achieving food security in the context of global climate change.

Excessive salt intake increases risk of high blood pressure

Experts at a press conference in the city yesterday said excessive intake of salt increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, heart and kidney failure.

Political parties must recognise human dignity of individual

Political authorities must recognise human dignity of every individual to bring about true development in Bangladesh, speakers said at a discussion yesterday.

Gas to be supplied from Simutang for Ctg units

Industry Minister Dilip Barua at a discussion yesterday said the government has taken an initiative to extract gas from Simutang gas field under Manikchhari upazila in the hill district to ensure its smooth supply to all industries in Chittagong.

RMG workers block Ctg road for 3 hrs

Hundreds of workers of a sweater factory blockaded the port city's Dewanhat intersection for three hours protesting the reduction of rate per piece of sweater yesterday.

3rd South Asian regional confce on autism held

The Welfare of Autistic Children (SWAC), the pioneer institution in Bangladesh to fight autism, organised the 3rd South Asian Regional Conference on Autism recently.

BFUJ, DUJ concerned

Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) President Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Secretary General Altaf Mahmud and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) President Shah Alamgir and General Secretary Omar Faruk yesterday expressed concern as journalists were barred from entering into the parliament when it is not in session, says a press release.

Corruption-free road sector soon

Labour and Employment Minister Engineer Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday said necessary measures will be taken soon to remove all sorts of irregularities and corruption in road and transportation sector.

5 extortionists caught red-handed

Locals caught five extortionists red-handed and gave a good thrashing that left them injured in the city's Pallabi yesterday.

Hasina to visit Saudi Arabia soon

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit Saudi Arabia shortly to strike agreements aimed at enhancing trade and investment between the two countries.

Australia cuts rates

Australia's central bank slashed interest rates by one percentage point to a 45-year low Tuesday in the latest in a series of aggressive cuts sparked by the global financial crisis.

World Cancer Day today

Today is World Cancer Day. Different organisations will observe the day in the country as elsewhere across the globe to raise awareness on cancer and its prevention.

Digital land survey to end harassment

Land Minister Rezaul Karim Hira yesterday said harassment of common people will end if land survey is conducted on digital method instead of traditional methods.

'Concerted effort needed to empower people with disabilities'

Social Welfare Minister Enamul Haq Mostafa Shahid yesterday said concerted effort is needed to empower the people with disabilities and the government would continue its efforts to mainstreaming them.

Brig Gen Moqbul Hossain made IG-Prisons

Brig Gen AHM Moqbul Hossain was made the new Inspector General-Prisons yesterday.

Future Group starts journey

Future Group, an education-based group of companies, was launched in the city yesterday with a view to providing different types of courses for the students, especially language and computer-based training courses.

Madrasa student strangled

Unknown criminals strangulated to death a madrasa student at Gazipur in Araihazar upazila and local Awami League cadres stabbed a Union Parishad member at Silmondi village.

6 killed in road crashes

Six people were killed and 18 others injured in separate road accidents in Bagerhat, Satkhira and Magura yesterday.

'Monpura' to be released Feb 13

The romantic film 'Monpura' will be released on February 13 at Balaka and Star Cineplex cinema halls in the city.

Police assault Rajshahi journo

Members of the Detective Branch (DB) of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP) assaulted an on-duty journalist at Ganakpara in the city yesterday.

Matribhasa Festival Feb 20

Swabhumi, an organisation of writers and artists, will organise the 'Matribhasa Festival 2009' on February 20.

Call to implement Women Development Policy '97

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) leaders yesterday urged the government to implement the Women Development Policy of 1997 as soon as possible to ensure gender equality politically, socially and economically for establishing the rule of law in the society.

BSF returns body of Bangladeshi

Border Security Forces (BSF) of India returned the body of a Bangladeshi cattle trader after a company commander-level flag meeting with Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday.

Moudud for nat'l enquiry commission

Former law minister Moudud Ahmed yesterday urged the government to constitute a national enquiry commission to probe the “unlawful and unconstitutional acts” of the immediate past caretaker government.

Acting AG to make submission today

A High Court (HC) bench yesterday asked the Attorney General's office to place its submissions today on the bail petitions filed by some politicians who were earlier convicted in absentia in criminal cases.

'Re-examine managing body ordn'

National Front of Teachers and Employees (NFTE), a platform of eleven teachers organisations, yesterday placed a proposal to re-examine the Managing Committee Ordinance-2009 for non-government educational institutes.

AR Mallick's anniversary of death today

Today is the 12th death anniversary of Dr AR Mallick, an eminent educationist and former finance minister, says a press release.

Correction

The headline of an interview with Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury published in The Daily Star on Page 5 yesterday should read 'Lengthy legal war wears out ACC: It stresses faster case disposal mechanism at trial courts' instead of 'Govt to saw legal link off illegal wood trade: Plans to stop special permits for buying logs from forest depot'. We regret the inadvertent error.

National

Mindless sand lifting on from Kuakata beach

A key area of Kuakata sea beach is now under threat as a contractor is lifting sand illegally from the beach for several days to repair a nearby rest house cum biogas-plant owned by Local Government Engineering Department (LGED).

Stabbing of student sparks violent protest in Pabna

Students of Pabna Edward College went on the rampage yesterday after a student was stabbed by a gang of criminals on the campus on Tuesday night.

JP, AL leaders lobby for party ticket

Several leaders of Jatiya Party (JP) and Awami League (AL) have started lobbying with the party high ups for nomination for contesting the by-election to Kurigram-2 constituency vacated by JP Chairman HM Ershad.

Strawberry, the juicy red money-spinner

Strawberry, usually a fruit of the winter countries, has been successfully cultivated in Panchagarh district, thanks to the initiative of Jessore Golden Seed Farm.

Tendons of BNP activist severed

Tendons of legs of a BNP activist were cut allegedly by Awami League (AL) activists in Protyasha residential area here yesterday.

7 of a family 'outcast' for a month

Declared 'social outcast' by a village arbitration one month ago, seven members of a family at Ghritokanchon village in Kolma union of Tanore upazila are still facing the ordeal.

Tk 8cr low quality fertliser seized at Nagarbari

Agriculture officials yesterday seized substandard fertiliser worth about Tk 8 crore from five vessels at Nagarbari ghat, official sources said.

Outlaw killed in 'shootout'

An outlaw was killed in a 'shootout' with law enforcers at Kotchandpur bus stand in Jhenidah yesterday.

Letters

Textbook crisis again!

With the academic year of the secondary level students already in progress from this month, more than 50 percent of the students will have to wait for the books prescribed by the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) due to an artificial crisis alleged to have been created by NCTB itself and syndicates of textbook publisher and sellers. The situation, however, prevailing now is not new at all as the failure and indifference of the authority concerned have been reflected time and again.

Ekushey Book Fair

Ekushey Book Fair is the largest book fair in Bangladesh. With February comes the book fair. We wait for it the whole year. This fair reminds us of our language movement and the language martyrs - Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Zabbar and many more - who sacrificed their lives for our mother tongue Bangla in 1952. Ekushey Book Fair introduces us to the new and the old writers. We take vow standing here to save our language Bangla and to serve the nation.

Rickshaws

I would like to call upon the new government to take a decision on the fate of rickshaws. Rickshaws are not only environment-friendly, no fuel consumed, and cheap means of transportation, it is also a source of employment. Previously it was proposed on a number of occasions to construct a separate lane for rickshaws on different main roads of the metropolis. It is expected that the government would take necessary action to implement the above proposal.

Street children

Children are the potential foundation for the future development of any country. Unfortunately, in Dhaka we find a lot of street children living or working on the street, although they are supposed to be at school for their own future as well for their nation. These children could be teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers, police officers, judges...but they are killing their and the country's future only for their survival due to poverty, family disintegration, abandonment, neglect and social unrest.

Power base

The first free, fair and credible election, held in the country on December 29, has amply proved that the ultimate power is the "people", the days of election engineering, through various party fronts, and methods like using muscle power for capturing of polling centres, snatching of ballot boxes, creating panic among the voters, is out of date. The students' fronts, namely Student League, Jatiyotabadi Chhatra Dal, Shibir, could not do much to bring their sponsor parties to power, because the people, this time, could vote freely and express their individual opinions freely. I hope the political parties have realised where their power base is. It is the people and not a few student fronts of the AL that have brought the party to power.

Rohingya issue

According to an AFP report, 'Thailand says 126 asylum-seekers from the Burmese Rohingya minority, who were detained by the military a week ago, have been sent back out to sea.' The report also added, 'Last month almost 1,000 Rohingyas were detained and then towed out to sea by Thai security forces in boats with little food and no motors.' We want the Rohingya sufferings to come to an end. Such oppression on them must be stopped.

Quality education

Once upon a time cheating was a common phenomenon in all public examinations. Students did not study in the class, rather they found out institutions where they could get facilities for copying and they made necessary arrangements regarding attending public examinations. Now the situation has changed tremendously. Guardians are interested to admit their kids in good institutions in Dhaka as well as all over the country. The new government should work in this regard so that all secondary schools could be centre of excellence and can catch the attention of the guardians.

Rangpur University

After more than 30 years of politics of erection and uprooting of foundation stones of Rangpur University, it finally came into being in November, 2008. It not only met the dream of the people of Rangpur but also fulfilled a long cherished demand for higher education of this less developed region of northern Bangladesh. Within the shortest possible time, the university authority successfully completed the admission test, processed results and completed enrolment formalities with the help of college teachers hired for the purpose (as it had no teaching staff of its own). That is, the whole process took about a month, so that classes could start from 28 January as declared.

Seating row

Yes, the out going speaker has left behind his legacy while making the seating arrangements for the MPs. Thanks to the government party for accepting the situation peacefully and perhaps temporarily; otherwise, this could lead to a very unpleasant scene in the parliament. The thing which has drawn my attention is regarding the seating arrangement of Sheikh Selim. He has been allocated a seat in the same row of the PM keeping a number of senior members of the AL behind. I guess the outgoing speaker did not intend to embarrass the PM by putting her relative in the front row. The Minister for foreign affairs is a lady and at the same time holding one of the most important portfolios. I think injustice has been done to her including countless others. I think the outgoing speaker might feel shame for his action which betrays his attempt to spoil the atmosphere in the parliament from the very first session.

Child welfare via 2009 calendar

The concept, the planning, the production, the distribution, the anticipated outcome and other aspects associated with 2009 UNICEF calendar, focusing on certain core aspects of child welfare, facilitated by a set of children's photographs can, among other things, be considered as a product of meaningful, intelligent and laudable effort on the part of UNICEF, Bangladesh, towards promoting the relevant dimensions of child welfare in the country - predominantly against the backdrop of the organization's present day vision and mission - unite for children. Congratulations!

A freedom fighter as the second Deputy Speaker

The ninth parliament has unanimously elected (Awami League-led alliance nominee) two freedom fighters -Advocate Abdul Hamid and Colonel (Retd) Shawkat Ali, as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively, in its first sitting. Both are veteran parliamentarians. Colonel (Retd) Shawkat Ali - then a Captain of Pakistan Army and an accused in the 'Agartala Conspiracy' case (officially called 'State vs. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and others' ) of 1968 - is a historical figure of Bangladesh freedom struggle. Advocate Abdul Hamid was the youngest ever member of Pakistan National Assembly in 1970, at the age of 25. In fact, freedom fighter heroes have presented Bangladeshi people the right to vote and the parliament.

Humongous bureaucracy

The bureaucracy that Bangladesh has today was the brainchild of the British colonial masters. It was known as the “Steel Frame” of British Raj. Rightly so, because it served the real purpose of the British, which was to extract taxes from the natives and plunder their wealth by all coercive means. Unfortunately, sixty years after their departure, this country is yet to get an efficient and effective civil service. The colonial footprint on the functioning of the administrative machinery is still very visible.

Sadek Hossain Khoka Sarak?

Recently I noticed a plaque in Gobibagh area mentioning "Sadek Hossain Khoka Sarak". The road is just behind the Sonali Bank quarters and near the ancestral house of our mayor. It is difficult to believe that it is a road. After 9am it becomes very difficult to cross the road as it turn into a workshop/garage. They repair different types of vehicles in the middle of the road forgetting the sufferings of the people. Nobody dares protest.

Diabetes

The number of diabetics in our country is rising day by day. But all of us are not aware of this disease. The term 'diabetes' refers to a medical condition caused by a lack of insulin, and insulin is a very essential chemical substance produced in the human body, which controls the amount of sugar in the blood. Diabetes deteriorates the injured part of the body, causes serious kidney problems and affects the eyesight. The primary symptoms are: producing lots of urine, feeling very thirsty, hungry and weak. The most important thing is that, a person may get this disease at any age of his life. So, it is high time we went for a medical check-up and kept a good discipline in life, especially by taking a diabetic diet and doing enough exercise everyday.

Slumdog Millionaire

What a shocking experience! I just watched Slumdog Millionaire, the movie that won 4 Golden Globe awards this year and also got 10 Academy Award nominations. Obviously my expectation was pretty high before I got in to the theatre. But after watching the movie I now doubt the nomination process of these Hollywood awards.

Missing mug shots

I have tried to get used to not seeing the photos of your esteemed journalists on top of their articles. I have reminded myself how much I respect the editorial board and sternly told myself that such authoritative figures MUST know best - but it is no good, I don't like it.

A young citizen's reaction

An article entitled 'What Is at Stake' written by Sajeeb Wazed was published in the Forum, in its December' 08 issue. I'd gone over it once before 29 December general election, and thrice or more after it, with a view to getting an impression about national issues on which Sajeeb Wazed, as a rising politician, wanted to put emphasis. He tried his best in his article to establish two things, as I could find out. Firstly as a political party, only Bangladesh Awami League is the party that can run the country in the right way, and secondly, for economic development, some special policies need to be adopted which Awami League did in its last regime, that's why then the price-inflation was under control.

International

India asks Pakistan to act against terror

India yesterday urged Pakistan to act with "sincerity and decisiveness" against the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage and said it was in the interests of the region if they were brought to book.

Patients flee hospital under attack in Lanka

Patients are fleeing a hospital that was hit four times by artillery shells in the war between Tamil Tigers and government forces in northern Sri Lanka this week, the Red Cross said yesterday.

India signs nuclear inspections deal

India signed an inspections agreement with the UN atomic watchdog on Monday as part of a deal lifting a 34-year-old embargo on nuclear trade with New Delhi, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.

Pakistan militant attack halts US, Nato supplies

Militants blew up a bridge in northwest Pakistan yesterday, temporarily cutting a major supply line for Western troops in Afghanistan, a government official said.

Taliban violence spreads in Afghanistan: US report

The Pentagon said Monday that insurgent violence was on the rise across Afghanistan and that international forces lacked the troops and resources to control the country's south.

Divided Indian EC meets to discuss polls

The Election Commission is today meeting with political leaders to invite their suggestions on the Lok Sabha polls likely to be held sometime in April-May.

Zardari asks US to give aid, share information

President Asif Ali Zardari called for increased US aid to Pakistan's ailing economy and enhanced intelligence sharing between the partners in the war on terror, in a meeting with a six-member US congressional delegation on Monday.

UN envoy wraps up Myanmar trip after talks with Suu Kyi

The UN's Myanmar envoy was wrapping up his trip to the military-run nation Tuesday after meeting democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi but with no prospect of crucial talks with senior junta members.

Protester throws shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in UK

In a throwback to the George Bush shoe-throwing incident, a protester on Monday threw a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao interrupting his speech at the Cambridge University in London.

Arts & Entertainment

Images from All Roads Film Project at Asiatic Gallery

Asiatic Gallery of Fine Arts is one of the venues holding exhibitions that are part of the ongoing 'Chobi Mela V.' The current exhibition at Asiatic Gallery features works of awarded photographers -- Alejandro Chaskielberg (Argentina), Rena Effendi (Azerbaijan), Khaled Hasan (Bangladesh), and Farzana Wahidy (Afghanistan) -- who participated in the National Geographic's All Roads Film Project.

Amar Ekushey Boi Mela ‘09

On the second day (February 2) of the month-long 'Amar Ekushey Boi Mela '09,' 22 new books including novels, essays, poetry and publications on Liberation were launched. A discussion and a cultural programme were also part of the day's programme.

Artistes demand resuming Nilphamari Shilpakala Academy activities

Cultural activists of the district demanded resuming the activities of District Shilpakala Academy immediately. According to them, the academy has not functioned in the last seven years.

Saraswati Puja celebrated joyously in Trishal

The students of Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University in Trishal recently observed Saraswati Puja with a day- long celebration at the campus premises. The programme included an offering, Anjali, a musical soiree and a play.

Pitha Utsab whets visitors' appetite at RU

The Fine Arts Department of Rajshahi University organised a day-long Pitha Utsab (cake festival) at the department premises on Sunday celebrating winter.

Street Theatre Festival in Barisal

The three daylong Barisal divisional 'Patha Natya Utsab' (Street Theatre Festival) was inaugurated in Barisal on February 2.

New musical show “Saap Ludur Gaan” on Banglavision

“Saap Ludur Gaan” a musical programme with a difference, commences from tonight on Banglavision. The programme will be aired every Wednesday at 11: 25 pm.

Selim Al Deen play “Trinar Galpo” on ntv tonight

The first episode of new drama serial "Trinar Galpo" will be aired tonight at 9:45pm on ntv. Written by the late playwright Selim Al Deen, the play is directed by Golam Sohrab Dodul.

OP-ED

Textbook crisis

IT is a pity that the government has failed to provide most of the textbooks to the students of secondary schools. The education sector had not been given enough attention during the last 37 years, though it is a very sensitive sector. It is true that governments have gradually increased budget allocation to this sector. This has, however, been more helpful for the teachers and the management, but the students were not much benefited, particularly those of primary and secondary schools.

A welcome move

THE decision of the Election Commission (EC) to suspend results of 23 upazillas and order judicial enquiry following reports of gross irregularities is a welcome one.

Revitalising education

ON March 2, 2008 the chief adviser of the former CTG, Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed, provided some guidelines for educational priorities during a conference on Governance in Education. These guidelines can help establish improved quality of education and prepare our younger generations to compete in the 21st century.


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