The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, December 22, 2014


News of: Sunday, 8th of February, 2009

Front Page

JS body sews legal wrap for CG rule

The special committee of the parliament is trying to work out a way to give legality to the immediate past caretaker government's rule of about two years, since it stayed in power beyond the three months timeframe allowed by the constitution.

US to support regional effort

The US will give support to the proposed anti-terrorism South Asian task force to prevent militancy and terrorism in the region, visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard A Boucher said yesterday.

Pak claims binned by Indian probe

The investigation into the Mumbai attack is throwing up new links and it's not just limited to Pakistan. Lashkar-e-Toiba's (LeT) link to Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) in Bangladesh is now being actively looked into.

Sylhet Gas scraps third tender, goes for another

Smelling foul play in the bidder selection process, the Board of Sylhet Gas Field Company Ltd (SGFL) has cancelled the third tender for installation of a highly technical Tk 157 crore gas processing plant and asked the authorities to float a fourth tender within this week, competent sources said.

One teacher for 55 students

Lack of contact hours behind students and teachers at primary level is one of the main reasons behind poor quality education imparted at primary schools across the country.

Tk 60cr govt land grabbed in Bogra

The Bogra district administration has filed a civil case to recover 29 decimal government land at Bogra New Market area worth about Tk 60 crore which alleged war criminal Rafique Khan and his associates grabbed immediately after the War of Liberation.

Smog thins, but not enough

The eagerly awaited recess bell finally rang and the children ran out of the classrooms in joy. Some boys started playing cricket on the school premises, while some of the girls immediately walked to the pickle vendor. Others were watching the game and chatting.

BNP to play constructive role

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said her party will play a constructive role in parliament to strengthen democracy and that she hopes the government will create an atmosphere conducive to doing so.

Rejoinder, our reply

In a rejoinder to our report headlined "Sheraton's Star At Risk" -- in its front page on 6th February, Bangladesh Services Ltd (BSL) said that it has tried its best to get a world class Hotel management company for operation and management of the hotel.

Barefoot, they sent out for lunch

Achhia and Kulsum wear ankle bracelets like many other girls, but the fashion becomes a source of embarrassment at lunchbreak as they must go outside the workplace barefoot.

Jamaat warns govt of security threat

Jamaat central executive council meeting yesterday cautioned the government against giving corridor to India under the transit agreement that will jeopardize national security and interest.

Govt to build road, railway links with Myanmar

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain said the government will start implementing election pledges from the south-east by building connecting road and railway from Ukhia of Duhazari to Myanmar's Ghum Dhum point.

PM to hear people on Saturdays

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will hear people's complaints and opinion every Saturday from now on at her political office in the capital's Dhanmondi.

Noble initiative from Nanok

It was a good sign reflected in the behaviour of state minister for LGRD Jahangir Kabir Nanok yesterday as he listened to various city problems and gave directives instantly to resolve those issues for ensuring his accountability before the people as a lawmaker.

Govt asked to make Sangsad effective

The government should take steps to make parliament effective, increase quality of education, establish rule of law and prevent corruption to fulfil its pledge to build a "digital Bangladesh", speakers said at a roundtable yesterday.

RU tense over Shibir showdown

Islami Chhatra Shibir activists along with outsiders staged a big showdown on the Rajshahi University (RU) campus yesterday to celebrate the 32nd founding anniversary of the student organisation, creating panic among general students and teachers.

3 Chinese crew found dead in Ctg

Three Chinese crew members of a tanker laden with crude palm oil were killed Friday after they fell into an air-tight tank in their ship near the Myanmar coast in the Bay of Bengal.

Bangladeshi businessman killed in SA

Robbers killed a Bangladeshi stationary shop owner in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday and looted valuables from the shop.

Weekend sees high book sale

The Amar Ekushey Boi Mela drew a large number of youths and children on the weekly holiday yesterday and saw a high sale of books in last two days.

4 mortar shells seized

The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) members seized four mortar shells from a hilly area under Thanchi upazila in Bandarban on Friday evening.

Road blocked over death of student

Several hundreds agitating students of Mirpur Bangla College yesterday put up a barricade on Mirpur road in front of it in the city's Darussalam area for one hour demanding compensation for a fellow student who was killed in a road accident on Friday.

Housewife succumbs to burn injuries

A teenage housewife succumbed to burn injuries yesterday after fighting for life for seven days at the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

Rights body may inquire into specific complaints

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman Justice Amirul Kabir Chowdhury yesterday said enquiries would be held if there are specific complaints of human rights violation against former ministers, MPs and others while under detention during the immediate past caretaker government's rule.

National Poetry Festival starts on Feb 18

The 23rd National Poetry Festival will be held on February 18, 19 and 20 with the slogan 'joy jonotar, joy kobitar,' meaning 'victory to the people, victory to poetry'.

Strike halts work at Akhaura Land Port

Akhaura Land Port was brought to a standstill yesterday after the Export and Import Association here called an indefinite strike in protest of the arrest of a truck driver and his helper in India.

Thousands of civilians trapped in Lanka war

Sri Lanka yesterday accused international media and aid groups of siding with the Tamil Tigers, a day after an angry mob stoned the offices of the international Red Cross in the capital Colombo.

4 Gaza tunnels bombed

The Israeli military says its warplanes have attacked four smuggling tunnels and a weapons depot in Gaza.

US must rethink policies for reconciliation: Iran

Iran sternly dismissed decades of US policies targeting Tehran and declared Friday that the new American administration had to admit past wrongs before it could hope for reconciliation.

Editorial

Why all these political theatrics?

Ever since Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Dhaka had been slated, the opposition BNP found it politically convenient to raise concerns over perceived transit and corridor accords between India and Bangladesh being in the offing. Then, with the Cabinet approving renewal of the pre-existing bilateral trade agreement, the BNP has literally raised a hue and cry threatening street protests.

Hospital land commandeered in Tejgaon

Now that an elected government is in office, it is time to expect swift action on some prime plots handed out by the previous BNP-Jamaat alliance government to its loyalists and friends between 2002 and 2006. Originally marked out as a site for a future hospital back in 1973 (and in fact the foundation for the building was laid by then prime minister Sheikh Hasina in 2001), the 25 bighas of land in question were and are the property of the ministry of health. The alliance government simply commandeered 14 bighas of the land and gave them out to its friends and supporters at throwaway prices. Indeed, among those who benefited from such questionable munificence of the then government were some media people only too happy to be part of what came to be known as a media palli loyal to the powers that were.

So far away

THE government's plan to send some 40 lakh skilled or unskilled workers abroad during its tenure to fulfill the election pledges for poverty alleviation, outlined by the expatriate welfare and overseas employment minister on January 28, is merely wishful thinking far away from reality.

Riders to the bank

J.M. Synge is not a name to send a modern aesthete into ecstasy, but in the days when English literature was taught in schools and colleges, rather than merely English, his plays were a standard text. Riders to the Sea, a moving depiction of the sorrows of fishermen who went out into the treacherous Irish Sea, was a personal favourite.

Quality of growth

A recent World Bank study found that while the world faces unprecedented opportunity to reduce global poverty and improve human welfare, much depends on the quality of growth pursued by different countries.

Sports

Premier cricket begins today sans a sponsor

If cricket officials of the country were proud of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Mohammad Ashraful on Friday, they should now be thankful to the duo for bringing some much-needed buzz into this year's domestic competition and lure a sponsor that they are yet to get for the premier club event.

Battle of Bollywood

The phrase 'when the going gets tough he gets going' perhaps fits more appropriately for Mashrafe Bin Mortaza. A cricketer with both his knees operated on and has been fighting against freakish injury ever since his Bangladesh debut in 2001 added another daring chapter in his never-say-die career on Friday. He entered the auction of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a minimum floor price of 50,000 dollars and made a triumphant return with a mind-boggling cheque of 600,000 dollars.

Ashraful stays skipper

Mohammad Ashraful and Mashrafe Bin Mortaza got another good news a day after their IPL achievements as they were retained as captain and vice-captain respectively till the next tour of West Indies in July-August.

SL's winning start

Sri Lanka got off to a sound start in the Grameenphone women's tri-nation cricket tournament when they handed a three-wicket defeat to Pakistan in a low-scoring match at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra yesterday.

Gayle, Sarwan take Windies in front

Skipper Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan hit centuries as West Indies edged into a 34-run lead, with three wickets remaining, at stumps on the third day of the first Test here on Friday.

Satkhira blank Dhaka

Satkhira and Khulna reached the zonal finals of the Citycell Women Football Championship beating their rivals in Buriganga Zone yesterday.

Brothers survive a scare

Brothers Union survived a scare to secure a 3-2 win over Rahmatganj in the Citycell B. League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Bellamy fires City

Shay Given enjoyed a debut to remember as Manchester City piled more misery on Middles-brough with a 1-0 win at Eastlands on Saturday.

'MU better than Inter'

World Footballer of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo has laid down the gauntlet to Inter Milan ahead of Manchester United's Champions League clash against the Italian champions at the end of the month.

Quaresma to help Scolari

Ricardo Quaresma believes he can help Luiz Felipe Scolari get Chelsea back on track now the Blues boss has given him the chance to kickstart his career.

Arshavin set for debut

Even the wordiest of Russia's great novelists would have struggled to match the epic length of Arsenal's pursuit of Andrey Arshavin.

Fergie warns rivals

Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Manchester United's Premier League rivals that his side are mentally tough enough to survive any test on the road to a third successive title.

Keane has no regrets

Tottenham's Robbie Keane looked forward to Sunday's clash against rivals Arsenal with no regrets about his time at Liverpool, saying: "Sometimes the manager just doesn't fancy you".

Buffon, Pirlo back for Italy

Italy coach Marcelo Lippi has recalled Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and AC Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo to his squad for Tuesday's friendly against Brazil at London's Emirates Stadium.

Kinnear in hospital

Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear was admitted to hospital on Saturday after complaining of feeling unwell.

Friedrich out of friendly

Experienced Germany defender Arne Friedrich has been forced out of next Wednesday's friendly international against Norway with a back injury, it was announced on Friday.

'Phelps was lucky'

Michael Phelps was "extremely lucky" to escape with only a three-month ban from competition after a photograph was published appearing to show him smoking marijuana, Australian Olympic champion Libby Trickett told a newspaper here on Saturday.

Del Bosque concerned

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is concerned with speculation in England that racism could mar next week's friendly in Seville.

India eye top spot

Having achieved their best-ever one-day ranking by displacing world champions Australia as the number two team, a confident India would be eyeing a series whitewash when they take on Sri Lanka in the fifth and final one-dayer here today.It has already turned out to be a dream series for Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who made it to the record books by becoming the first Indian captain to win nine ODIs on the trot and the flamboyant wicketkeeper-batsman would like to keep the winning momentum going in the last game.

Ponting returns early

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has cut short his break from the game to lead his team in Sunday's crucial third one-day international against New Zealand.

Shah's goal Ashes place

England batsman Owais Shah was auctioned off for 275,000 dollars at the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Thursday, but admitted he was still sold on building a Test career with England.

Hong, Chuhan lift crowns

Chuhan Wang of China came from behind to lift the boys singles title of the AWR 7th BKSP International Junior Tennis Championships at the BKSP Tennis Complex in Savar yesterday.

Younis's complaint

Pakistan's cricketers got a raw deal from the Indian Premier League (IPL) and were paid less than what they deserved, complained Younis Khan after watching English players fetch record bids in the IPL second season auction despite their limited availability.

A Broad optimism

Stuart Broad insists England still have the advantage in the first Test as the West Indies have to bat last on a difficult surface in Jamaica.

Gaibandha cricket

Young Pegasus defeated Table Tennis Sangstha by eight wickets while Sunrise Club beat Rose Smrity Sangsad by seven wickets in the Gaibandha Second Division Cricket League yesterday.

Div III soccer

Anirban Sangha thrashed Santinagar Club 4-1 in the Citycell 3rd Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Women chess

The qualifying phase of the 30th National Women Chess Championship will start at the federation hall-room today.

Unbelievable they feel!

England stars Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff were drowned with an "unbelievable" feeling at becoming joint highest paid players in the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and said they could not wait to feature in the lucrative Twenty20 extravaganza.

Business

Nasir Glass exports rise on Indian foothold

Nasir Glass Industries Limited (NGIL) exported more than Tk 20 crore worth of glass in 2008, a chunk of which went to the northeastern states of India.

DITF bags Tk 20cr spot orders

Businessmen bagged Tk 20.59 crore ($3 million) worth of export orders from the 14th Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF), which came to a close yesterday.

RMG exporters upbeat on target

Top readymade garment (RMG) makers are optimistic about meeting the export target in the current fiscal year although exports of some other products from Bangladesh declined in July-December period.

Tea output slightly below target

The tea industry failed to meet its production target last year, owing mainly to a delay in the supply of fertiliser by state-run Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC).

Recession to hit Bangladesh

The global financial crisis will certainly affect Bangladesh as the country is exposed to global economies, said Prof Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).

BEA-member MPs promise to work on farm uplift policy

The government should uphold national pride, ethics and equal rights of each citizen while formulating new policies, said Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) president yesterday.

NBR chief promises taxpayer-friendly budget

Muhammad Abdul Mazid, chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR), yesterday said the number of taxpayers would have to be increased to carve out a business- and taxpayer-friendly budget.

Focusing domestic demand is secret to their success

While automakers and electronics makers are posting huge losses amid the global economic slowdown, some companies are making record profits.

Taiwan may close its Dhaka office

Taiwan may shut down its representative's office in Dhaka but expects to open new offices in Japan and Turkey to boost trade and investment there, says a Taipei-datelined news report.

Steps on to build Digital Bangladesh Minister says

Industries Minister Dilip Barua said yesterday the government has stepped up efforts to build an industrialised, digital Bangladesh by 2021 to fulfill its commitment.

Japan Airlines sees $374m annual loss

Japan Airlines, Asia's largest carrier, said Friday it expected a net loss of 34 billion yen (374 million dollars) in the year to March as the global economic crisis hits demand.

Pran signs deal on $15 lakh exports to Somaliland

Pran Export Ltd, a local company, will export processed agro-food products worth $15 lakh to Somaliland over the next one year.

Study Indian market before FTA

Bangladesh should go for a comprehensive approach, including through research on Indian market, before striking a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India, the biggest economy in South Asia, says a Sri Lankan economist.

Trade: The case with India

The government last week approved a bilateral trade pact with India that has received a lot of media attention and which also has been at the centre of tea storms around the country.

India defends ban on Chinese toys

India on Friday defended its ban on Chinese toy imports, saying it acted out of safety fears, following a report that Beijing might challenge the move before the World Trade Organisation.

Trade thru' Akhaura land port suspended

Trading through Akhaura land port was suspended as the exporters and importers went on an indefinite strike yesterday in protest against arrest of a truck driver and his helper.

French 'rogue trader' blames bosses

Alleged rogue trader Jerome Kerviel, accused of losing his bank 4.9 billion euros (7.1 billion dollars), blamed his bosses on Friday in an emotional radio interview ahead of his trial.

Govt to bring more private companies to stock market

Finance Minister AMA Muhith has put a suggestion that more private sector engagement in portfolio investment could make the capital market buoyant.

Oil sinks below $40

Oil prices plunged below 40 dollars a barrel in New York on Friday, as grim unemployment data stoked concerns about weak energy demand in key consumer the United States, traders said.

Wall Street sees a bit of daylight

Bruised and battered by the worst economic slump in memory, Wall Street has begun to look past the grim statistics toward a recovery, even if that seems far off, analysts say.

Dollar falls against euro

The dollar weakened against the euro Friday trade after another horrific set of US employment figures dented its safe-haven allure.

IMF urges action on stimulus, bank clean-up

The roll-out of stimulus packages and the clean-up of banks must be accelerated, the head of the International Monetary Fund said Saturday, urging action to avert "a repeat of the Great Depression".

Economic crisis hits China's toy exports: state media

Growth in Chinese toy exports slowed sharply last year as the global economic crisis hit demand, state media said Saturday, citing customs figures.

US unemployment hits 7.6pc, 598,000 jobs lost

US unemployment surged in January to 7.6 percent, the highest since 1992, as 598,000 jobes were cut, the Labour Department reported Friday.

Weyerhaeuser Q4 loss balloons to $1.2b

Weyerhaeuser Co said Friday its fourth-quarter loss ballooned to more than $1 billion as the rapidly deteriorating U.S. housing market forced the timber and wood products company to book a massive charge and write down other assets.

Metropolitan

Fulfil poll pledges

Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) yesterday urged the Awami League-led grand alliance government to fulfill its election pledges, including combating corruption, cutting poverty and ensuring human rights.

Political transition paves ways for stronger ties

Leaders of the visiting high-profile Chinese delegation yesterday said the installation of new elected government in Bangladesh after a smooth political transition paved ways for enhanced Dhaka-Beijing ties as China was exploring means to ensure balance in its relations with South Asian nations.

2 housewives commit suicide in city

Two housewives committed suicides by one taking poison and the other hanging herself in the city's Kotwali and Motijheel areas yesterday and on Friday night.

Decision on transit facility thru' Ctg port after talks with India

Shipping Minister Afsarul Amin yesterday said the government would take the decision on any transit facility for India through the Chittagong port after high-level discussions between the two countries.

Plan for fresh survey before raising production

In the wake of a debate among experts about the reserve in the country's second largest gas field at Bibiyana, state-owned Petrobangla is planning to conduct a new survey before going for enhancing the field's production capacity.

Create jobs for persons with disabilities

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday put emphasis on the training, internship and employment of persons with disabilities so that they can live with dignity in the society.

Take initiative in resolving Rohingya crisis regionally

Bangladesh should take the initiative in resolving the Rohingya problem regionally for the sake of its own interest.

Road crashes kill 5, injure 50 RMG workers

At least five people were killed and 50 garment workers injured in separate road accidents in Chittagong and Laxmipur yesterday.

Protect Chalan Beel, Boral river

Speakers at a meeting yesterday demanded of the government to protect the Chalan Beel and Boral river from illegal occupation by stopping their leasing.

Submission of entries by March 10

Submission of entries for this year's ICE Today-Aqua Paint Interior Design Awards-2009 begins on February 10 and continues until March 10, announced the award organisers at a press conference at a city hotel yesterday.

Ainapur High School clinches title

Ainapur High School at Jhenaigati upazila in Sherpur clinched championship title in the final round of the Brac inter-school debate competition yesterday.

'Stop pollution to save lives'

Speakers at a seminar said the country is facing a massive natural disintegration as nature is losing its balance as a result of unrealistic development materialisation, chemical reaction, deforestation, extinction of creatures and population explosion, says a press release.

Help implement Vision 2021

Energy of youth and direction from the old together can implement the Vision 2021 as announced by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

9th Nat'l Rover Moot inaugural ceremony today

The formal inauguration of the 9th National Rover Moot will be held at the Rover Scout Training Centre at Bahadurpur in Gazipur today, says a press release.

Discard old mindset to ensure quicker dispensation of justice

Law Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed yesterday called upon the trainee judges at the subordinate courts to work with fresh vigour discarding the old mindset to ensure quicker dispensation of justice.

6,000 students receive prizes in book-reading programme

The two-day prize giving ceremony of the book-reading programme of Bishwa Sahitya Kendra concluded yesterday with about 6,000 students receiving the prizes in the two days.

Madrasa on temple's land protested

Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad condemned the construction of madrasa on the land of Kantaji Temple in Dinajpur.

Valerie Ann Taylor honoured

Unitrend Ltd has honoured Valerie Ann Taylor at a ceremony in recognition of her magnificent work in helping the physically challenged people and changing their lives with her love, care, divinity and utter dedication, says a press release.

Resignation of RU VC demanded

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Rajshahi University unit yesterday staged a demonstration on the campus demanding immediate resignation of the RU acting Vice Chancellor Prof Mamnunul Keramat for his alleged linkage with Jamaat-e-Islami.

Nat'l Poetry Festival begins Feb 18

The 23rd National Poetry Festival will begin on February 18 on the Dhaka University (DU) campus with the slogan 'People's Victory, Poetry's Victory'.

CAB demands consumers ministry

Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) yesterday demanded the government form a separate consumers ministry in order to protect the interests of consumers and continue anti-adulteration drives across the country, says a press release.

Ekushey Book Fair begins in Ctg

The 16-day Amar Ekushey Book Fair began in Chittagong city on Friday.

'Reinstate terminated journos from BSS, BTV'

Leaders of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) yesterday demanded reinstatement of the journalists terminated from Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) and Bangladesh Television during BNP rule.

English-Speaking Union opens its branch in Bangladesh

The London-based English-Speaking Union (ESU) opened its 67th branch in Bangladesh with an objective to 'create global understanding through English'.

BCL activists beat 3 for teasing girl at RU

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists of Rajshahi University unit yesterday beat up three students in presence of police for alleged teasing of a female student.

2 BCL activists hurt in clash at CU train

Two activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Chittagong University (CU) unit were injured in a factional clash at the university Railway Station yesterday.

Two prisoners die in hospital

A prisoner convicted for life passed away due to respiratory problem at Bagerhat Sadar Hospital on Friday night.

National

Teesta drying up killing many Nilphamari rivers

Teesta, the biggest river in the district, has alarmingly dried up, posing threat to several other linked rivers in Nilphamari.

Indefinite strike at Akhaura land port

A section of the business community yesterday called an indefinite strike demanding release of a truck driver, his helper and the seized truck, which paralysed activities at Akhaura land port.

Move to reopen KNM, resolve industrial crises

Industries Minister Dilip Barua and Jute and Textiles Minister Abdul Latif Siddique are expected to visit Khulna on February 10 to discuss the issues relating to reopening of Khulna Newsprint Mills (KNM) and other industrial units.

9 Khagrachhari AL leaders suspended

Awami League (AL) Khagrachhari district unit has suspended nine leaders, including its secretary, for their alleged involvement in anti-party activities during December 29 parliamentary elections.

Landless allege bid to evict from khas land

Around 100 landless people at a press conference here yesterday alleged that some influential people with the help of police are trying to evict them from khas land in Borobilay area under Poba upazila.

Reception to 7 noted persons of Rajshahi

Seven distinguished persons were accorded a warm reception at local Padma Ranga Mancha on Friday for winning national and international awards in recognition of their contributions to the respective fields.

Letters

Traffic congestion

Dhaka is being held to ransom by the public transport system. The city buses and trekkers stop anywhere for any amount of time which creates artificial traffic jam. The driver does not even care to look behind to see how much traffic chaos he is creating. Sometimes buses create a road train by stopping at bus stops in a line. It can be often seen in all the busy areas in the city-- Mirpur, Mohakhali, Farmgate, Rampura, resulting in pollution and health hazards for the pedestrians. They suddenly stop on the slightest signal without considering that they are driving on a public road which may lead to an accident.

Parliament session

The way the MPs are behaving in making parliament the focal point of all development and political activities is not producing any results due to the absence of the opposition from parliament on childish grounds and possible lack of quorum due to the absence of the government party members. The childish issue of sitting arrangement is condemnable by any standard. I think the outgoing speaker applied very bad judgment to make the issue, and the present speaker is equally ineffective to take any agreeable decision. The other striking factor is the continuous “no talk” policy between the two top leaders of the country. Why these two leaders of this unfortunate nation are not talking yet is beyond our apprehension. The political parties have changed their political strategy without any change in their policy!

Public health issue

Every morning when I pass through the main gate of Kaderabad Housing in Mohammadpur, a bad odour comes to my nose & my mood changes. Common people use that place as a public toilet. We frequently see that vehicles of the DCC carry wastes, creating air pollution. Sometimes I see dead animals lying beside the road.

Students and politics

I am writing today with a heavy heart about a concern equally shared by many of the ex-DU students, after seeing so much of tension, violence and agitation being spread out across the colleges and universities of my beloved country.

Depoliticise public institutions

The new popular regime has one basic undertaking: to depoliticise the established public institutions. We all have bitter experience of the adverse and negative cumulative effects.

Inaccuracy

An English language daily recently published an article “Utopia in the Constitution of Bangladesh” on its editorial page. It was written by a retired judge. The article appears prima-facie to be informative, among other things. Congratulations!

BNP and Zia

The BNP is clamouring as to why the name of the late Ziaur Rahman was not cited in the president's speech in the inauguration of the ninth parliament. They are very unhappy and hurt. Our reaction is 'why the hell?' Historically, Ziaur Rahman is not at par with the other national leaders of Bangladesh. His contribution towards the political movements, mass upsurge, emancipation, freedom of Bengali nation, liberation war etc. is not at all comparable to the contributions of Bangabandhu, Sher-e-Bangla, Moulana Bhashani, Shaheed Suhrawardy, Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, Monsur Ali, Kamruzzaman, Gen. Osmani etc. His name can not be taken at the same breath and with the same respect and honour as the above mentioned ones. Contribution of Ziaur Rahman is comparable with that of Shafiullah , Khaled Musharraf and other sector commanders.

Political leader's misdeed

Recently a local political leader of Barabagh area under Mirpur-2 has set up a “kitchen market” at the entrance road of a residential area known as “Popular Housing-1”. People from the adjacent areas use Popular Housing-1 approach road to go to Monipur School to drop their children. Popular Housing-1 is located at Barabagh under Mirpur-2 and this is a very busy connecting road between Monipur and Barabagh. At the starting point of the approach road the local leader has set up the kitchen market occupying the city corporation road. The market starts at 7:00am and continues up to 1:00pm. Different types of traders gather here and set their shops occupying almost 70-80% of the road to do their trading. During this time it becomes extremely difficult for us to go to school. The shopkeepers and some unruly boys tease the school girls while they pass through this road.

Vice chancellors

A vice chancellor is the academic and administrative CEO of a university. To understand the great importance of the post one must know what the principal function of a university is. Like all other educational institutions a university also propagates knowledge. But a university is different from all of them for the unique role it plays. A university creates knowledge, others do not. Therefore, a vice chancellor himself must have an outstanding academic career. He must have the academic excellence to create knowledge by carrying out research work himself in his own field of knowledge. He must also be able to provide leadership and guidance to other research scholars under him. The universally accepted yardstick to measure such academic competence is the number of publications he publishes per year in internationally reputed professional journals.

Neglected students

Thanks are due to Syed Badrul Ahsan for speaking up, in no uncertain terms, about the plight of students in 'On dormitories and schools' (DS 4.2.09). The problem goes even wider.

Ensure non-partisan bureaucracy

The Sheikh Hasina-led government has started reshuffling the civil administration with a view to translating the pledged “Digital Bangladesh” into reality but in the same way that every political government, after holding the state power and authority, forthwith does. The government at hand is restructuring the administration by promoting the persons dedicated to the party to the higher ranks on the basis of political consideration, rather than seniority that contradicts democratic principles. The civil bureaucracy administered by inexperienced and partisan personnel can neither produce the desired results, nor serve the gross national interest. Reasonably, it should be run by the experienced, competent and efficient personnel. Therefore, the government should prioritise seniority and meritocracy, irrespective of party loyalty, as the principles of promotion in the bureaucracy and should shun the path repeatedly followed by the past political governments to set a good example before other political parties.

JS stalemate

Although the outgoing Speaker Mr. Jamiruddin Sircar has proved his bipartisan role once again by putting the last nail on the board, I think it is not a big deal for the party in power to negotiate with the opposition by providing them one more seat in the front row of parliament. It will rather strengthen their image further to public.

Shab-e-Barat

Since Shab-e-Barat is not mentioned in the Holy Quran and since its status is disputed by the ulema groups, so we should not observe the day as a govt. holiday.

International

Red Cross urges safe passage for sick in Lankan war zone

Hundreds of sick and wounded people are stranded in a makeshift hospital in war-wracked northern Sri Lanka, the Red Cross said Saturday as it urged the government and Tamil Tiger rebels to let the patients out of the conflict zone.

Pakistan wants no-strings aid from US: Diplomat

Aid from the Obama administration to Pakistan should come without strings attached, Pakistan's ambassador to the US said in a newspaper interview published yesterday.

US willing to talk to Iran, but is ready to act

Vice President Joe Biden delivered a clear message to Iran, saying Saturday the US was willing to talk, but will act to isolate and pressure Tehran if it does not abandon its nuclear ambitions and support for terrorism.

Nato lashes European allies over Afghanistan

The head of Nato and US Vice President Joe Biden joined forces Saturday to urge European allies to step up efforts in Afghanistan, as the United States prepares to send in thousands more troops.

Obama considering 2 Iraq withdrawal plans

The White House is considering at least two troop withdrawal options as it weighs a new Iraq strategy one that would preserve President Barack Obama's campaign pledge to get all combat brigades out within 16 months and a second that would stretch it to 23 months, two officials said Friday.

Bomb attack at Pakistan police checkpoint kills 7

Assailants threw a bomb at a police checkpoint in eastern Pakistan before dawn yesterday, killing seven officers, police said.

17 killed in Afghan unrest

Bomb blasts, ambushes and other incidents left seven Afghans dead, including government officials, authorities said yesterday, also reporting that security forces had killed 10 insurgents.

Raging wildfires kill 14 in Australia

Fourteen people died and more than 100 homes were destroyed in wildfires raging through southeastern Australia yesterday, with arsonists suspected of starting several blazes, police said.

Madagascar police kill 7 opposition protestors

Madagascan police shot dead at least seven supporters of opposition leader Andry Rajoelina Saturday as they tried to march on a palace of President Marc Ravalomanana during a protest.

Sadrists complain of vote fraud

Iraqi politicians backed by the radical anti-US cleric Moqtada al-Sadr yesterday said they would lodge an official complaint about votes being excluded during last weekend's provincial elections.

BBC presenter won't apologise for calling British PM 'idiot'

BBC television presenter Jeremy Clarkson said yesterday that while he was sorry for having made fun of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's appearance, he would not apologise for calling him an "idiot".

Terror infrastructure in Pakistan 'existing and active': Army chief

Terror infrastructure in Pakistan is "existing and active", according to Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor, who puts the number of terror camps there in between 30 and 50.

BJP rakes up Ayodhya with eye on polls

BJP, which had kept its pet issues like Ramjanambhoomi on the backburner because of coalition compulsions 10 years ago, today revived the Ayodhya chant saying it would build a magnificent temple for Lord Ram if it gets a majority on its own.

Pakistan seeks to calm nuclear worries over AQ Khan's release

Pakistan yesterday sought to allay international concerns that the release of its disgraced nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan could lead to renewed nuclear proliferation.

Arts & Entertainment

Drishyapat celebrates 18th anniversary

Theatre troupe Drishyapat celebrated its 18th anniversary by honouring eminent cultural personality Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed, The event was held at the National Theatre Stage, BSA on February 6. Mahfuzul Haque, principal, Dhaka Imperial College was present at the event as special guest. Drishyapat also staged its successful production "Socrates-er Jobanbondi " at the event.

Mir Mosharraf auditorium moves in slow pace

Construction of a Taka 54 lakh auditorium has begun at Lahinipara in Kushtia. The venue is the ancestral homestead of Mir Mosharraf Hossain, a renowned poet, novelist and playwright of the country.

Three-day Patha Natya Utsab held in Sylhet

The Sylhet divisional chapter of the three-day Jatiya Patha Natya Utsab ended in Sylhet recently with a demand for the trial of the war criminals and the corrupt elements of society. Thirty two organisations from the region took part in the programme: 12 from Sylhet, five from Moulvibazar and four from Habiganj. However, no organisation from the Sunamganj district participated on the occasion.

Shilpakala Academy of Nilphamari resumes operations

It was a red letter day for cultural activists of the district recently when Nilphamari Shilpakala Academy opened its doors after a hiatus of seven years. Earlier, the artistes had handed over a memorandum to the deputy commissioner of Nilphamari with a call for the immediate resumption of Academy activities. The decision to resume operations was also hastened by a Daily Star report to this effect on February 4.

A tribute to the Language Movement

A painting and recitation compe-tition was held at the premises of Public Library in Sirajganj town on Friday. The programme was organised by Jatiya Kabita Parishad, district unit, Sirajganj to mark the month of the Language Movement.

Telefilm "Agontuk" on ATN Bangla

Telefilm "Agontuk" will be aired on ATN Bangla at 3:15 pm today. Written by Kamrul Ahsan, the telefilm is directed by Abu Sayeed.

Meena Day observed in Chapainawabganj

On the occasion of Meena Day, a unique cultural programme was held at the Chapainawabganj Government Model Primary School premises last Thursday. The programme included a music and art competition, a prize giving ceremony and a discussion.

OP-ED

The bio-tech solution

INFORMATION and Communications Technology (ICT) and bio-technology are the two technologies that have made the biggest impact on human development in the last quarter century. The importance of ICT is well understood in Bangladesh and the in-coming government has promised a "Digital Bangladesh" by 2021.

Change for the better

MY fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed."

Rushing to the temple is the only logical thing to do

PEOPLE are flocking to churches and temples, scientists report. Faith groups can expect a 50 per cent jump in growth rates thanks to the financial crisis, New Scientist says. The magazine concludes that uneducated people seek comfort in irrational beliefs.



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