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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

News of: Wednesday, 11th of February, 2009

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City traffic, life choked

Traffic system in the capital virtually collapsed yesterday due to several processions and demonstrations that forced thousands of vehicles to remain stranded for hours and inflicted untold sufferings on commuters.

11 more upazila poll results to be probed

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday announced it will have judicial enquiry into allegations of electoral irregularities in 11 more upazilas, raising the number of such local bodies to 18.

CNG scam related to finance ministry

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday put the blame on finance and commerce ministries for the much-talked-about corruption in importing CNG-run autorickshaws during the rule of last BNP government.

Seat row to linger

Prime Minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday spoke against more front-row seats in parliament for BNP.

Govt body to probe dorms grabbing

A six-member committee has been formed to prepare recommendations on recovery of 12 grabbed dormitories and other properties of the Jagannath University (JNU).

Sajeda to fill Zillur's shoes

Awami League (AL) Presidium Member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury is expected to be the next deputy leader of the House as veteran leader Zillur Rahman is all set to be declared the next president of the country today.

PM shocked at Australian wildfires

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed her deep shock at the loss of lives and properties caused by the devastating forest fire in the state of Victoria, Australia.

Polytechnic students keep on agitating

Over 280 people, mostly students, were injured yesterday in a series of clashes between police and students of polytechnic institutes in different districts who were demonstrating against new examination rules.

Govt to unfreeze 270 accounts conditionally

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has decided to conditionally reopen 270 bank accounts that were frozen during the immediate past emergency regime, as democracy has been restored.

India blames Pakistan for delaying probe

India yesterday accused Islamabad of delaying its investigation into the Mumbai attacks, which have been widely blamed on militant groups based inside Pakistan.

Man kills wife, infant daughter

A man killed his wife and 11-month-old daughter at Adabor in the capital yesterday out of suspicion that the wife was having extramarital affair.

DCC's mosquito control drive lacks monitoring

Mosquito menace now tops as one of the major problems in the capital since Dhaka City Corporation's (DCC) mosquito control programme is limping due to lack of monitoring.

BB pushes break on fringe lending frenzy

Bank loans to unproductive sector increased remarkably in one year until September last, prompting the central bank to ask commercial banks to cut loans to this sector.

Board clarifies new rules

Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB) in a statement yesterday clarified its new provision of the referred examination system saying that discontent occurred in different technical institutes for the last couple of days due to a rumour about the system.

Market 18 lakh textbooks by tomorrow

The taskforce on textbooks yesterday asked the publishers to market 18 lakh books in the third phase by tomorrow.

Qaeda warns India of more Mumbai-style attacks

A top al-Qaeda commander, who was reported killed in a US drone strike last year, has appeared in a video warning India of more Mumbai-style terror attacks if it tried to attack Pakistan.

Staggering bank service charge

Bangladesh Bank has expressed its disappointment over charging 1,900 percent or 19 times higher service charge by some local and foreign private commercial banks than the state-owned banks (SoBs) for operating savings account.

Staggering bank service charge

Bangladesh Bank has expressed its disappointment over charging 1,900 percent or 19 times higher service charge by some local and foreign private commercial banks than the state-owned banks (SoBs) for operating savings account.

BTRC chief resigns

Bangladesh Telecommuni-cation Regulatory Commission (BTRC) chief Manzurul Alam resigned yesterday to make way for a new chief to be appointed by this government.

Fair draws huge crowd

The crowds have been growing steadily at the Ekushey Boi mela each day with yesterday no different despite it being a working day.

2 former VCs in plagiarism debate

Two former vice-chancellors of Dhaka University and Jahangirnagar University, and a journalist allegedly plagiarised a research work about the contribution of women in the country's liberation war, and published a book titled 'Women in the Liberation War'.

Obama looks for Iran talks

US President Barack Obama on Monday renewed his call for direct US dialogue with Iran, saying he hoped to create the conditions to "start sitting across the table, face to face" in the coming months.

Jubok director sent to jail

Jubo Karmasangsthan Society (Jubok) Director Syed Rashedul Huda Chowdhury was sent to jail after being produced before a Dhaka court in connection with a Tk 12 crore embezzlement case.

Rwandan rebels go missing

Some 150 Rwandan Hutu rebels due to be repatriated from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have gone missing, the UN said in a statement.

S African polls set for April 22

South Africa will hold general elections on April 22, President Kgalema Motlanthe announced yesterday, setting the stage for the most hotly contested race since the first multiracial polls 15 years ago.


Pranab Mukherjee's productive visit

A good degree of significance was attached to the just-concluded visit to Dhaka by Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. It has been lived up to by the fact that two agreements were signed by India and Bangladesh during the minister's visit. Of course, one of the two deals is basically a renewal of an old one. It is, however, the new agreement, the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (Bipa), which can be considered as a distinctly forward-looking move in relations between the two countries. The benefits that will accrue from the deal will be of a mutual nature. But what is certainly important from Bangladesh's perspective is that Bipa allows Dhaka to invest in the Indian market, particularly in the northeast of that country. For a nation that has for years been endeavouring to have its goods gain a market in India, Bipa should make a difference. Besides, Bangladesh's need to have India cutback on the negative list involving Dhaka's exportable goods to Delhi may finally be met, hopefully a good part of the way. The reality is that from here on, India and Bangladesh will enjoy Most Favoured Nation relations with each other. That is surely a good augury.

Water supply hiccups

APART from falling far short of the demand, water supply is often erratic, and over the past two weeks, residents of Dhaka are finding Wasa water to be smelly and dirty.

Of books, of proximity to power

IT is often a good thing when someone in the corridors of power, or one who has enjoyed being in power, comes forth with a book. The general feeling, though, is that when men who no more happen to be in power or around it get down to the business of writing books, they arouse our genuine pleasure in reading what they have to tell us. By that measure, so the consensus goes, General Moeen U. Ahmed should have appeared before us with his new book quite sometime, or a long time, after he had departed from the position he happens to occupy at this time. His new book has generated quite a good deal of talk, especially in the drawing rooms of the urban elite. For obvious reasons.

Transit issue with India

A debate has been raging in the country on whether transit facilities should or shouldn't be given to India. Some argue that it shouldn't be given unless some core bilateral issues with India are resolved, while some have advanced the view that transit is an economic issue for trade facilitation and should not be politicised. Some have argued that what India wants is not transit but a corridor.


Focus on Gazi, Abahani

The spotlight will be on the battle between defending champions Abahani and Gazi Tank when the second round of the Premier Division Cricket League starts today at the three different venues.

Pathans power India

Brothers Irfan and Yusuf Pathan plundered 59 runs off 25 balls as world champions India posted a thrilling three-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the one-off Twenty20 international match here on Tuesday.

Husseys do it for Aussies

David Hussey's 79 was the top score as Australia cantered to a six-wicket victory in the fourth match of their one-day series against New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.

Dilshan lifts Lanka

Tillakaratne Dilshan smashed a maiden half-century to help Sri Lanka post 171-4 in the one-off Twenty20 match against India here on Tuesday.

Butt won't resign

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt has dismissed calls for his resignation by members of the Senate Standing Committee on Sports, claiming that he continues to have the backing of PCB chief patron Asif Ali Zardari.

Too much rest for top footballers!

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) kept its promise to keep the game on field for at least ten months every year but the partial domestic calendar (till December 2009) published for the season 2009-10 shows that the country's top footballers will get very little action in six months.

Chelsea want Hiddink

Guus Hiddink will talk to Chelsea's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich over the managerial vacancy at the club following the sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari, his agent said Tuesday.

Diego focused on task

Bringing his unique blend of feisty bullishness and a combative nature to the table Diego Maradona will mark 100 days in charge of Argentina with Wednesday's friendly away to France.

Germans target victory

After his public spat with coach Joachim Loew last October, Germany captain Michael Ballack will win his 90th cap in Wednesday's friendly against Norway with the issue forgiven - but clearly not forgotten.

Dunga backs Scolari

Brazil national coach Dunga spoke out in support of Luiz Felipe Scolari following his dismissal by English Premier League side Chelsea on Monday.

Spotlight on Beckham

David Beckham will steal the headlines if he wins a record-equalling 108th cap for England in Wednesday's friendly against Spain, but Rio Ferdinand hopes the match proves far more significant for the long-term development of Fabio Capello's team.

Tri-nation moves to Khulna

The women's cricket team of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka reached Khulna yesterday evening from Bogra to participate in the second round of matches of the GrameenPhone Tri-Nation Women's Cricket Tournament.

Malik a loner: report

Pakistan's humiliating defeat against Sri Lanka in the one-day series last month forced the removal of captain Shoaib Malik, rubbished as a "loner" who lacked leadership, a report said Monday.

Khelaghar on form

Khelaghar continued their good form into the longer version of the game after winning the T20 title, when they beat Orient in the Dhaka First Division Cricket League at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium (DCS) yesterday.

Boycott blasts England

England great Geoffrey Boycott has slammed the current side for "spinelessly" collapsing during their innings-and-23-run first Test defeat against the West Indies in Jamaica.

Identical wins in Div 3

Shantinagar and Mirpur XI recorded identical 1-0 wins in the Citycell 3rd Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

'No need for change'

England opener Alastair Cook claimed there is no need for radical change ahead of the second Test against the West Indies in Antigua on Friday.

Ctg MSC's double against Reds

Chittagong Mohammedan kept their slim hopes alive for a fourth-place finish in the Citycell B. League with a comfortable 2-0 win over Muktijoddha yesterday.

Serena plots 'Family Slam'

Having already held all four Grand Slams titles at the same time, newly installed world number one Serena Williams has a fresh target in her sights - the 'Family Slam'.


The Sunnydale Mini Handball Tournament will start from today with 22 school teams split into 7 groups participating. Banani Bidya Niketan will play Rifles College at 3.45 pm in the opening encounter.

Ponting & co to see bushfire frontline

Australia's national cricket team will visit one of the towns lying in the path of bushfires that have claimed 181 lives in the south of the country, the Australian Associated Press reported Tuesday.

SARADO meet, workshop in city

The South Asian Regional Anti Doping Organisation's (SARADO) board meeting and a workshop will begin today in Dhaka.

Pakistan turn to Kamal

Pakistan's cricket selectors Tuesday recalled middle-order batsman Asim Kamal in a 22-man training squad for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka later this month.

Frings puts Loew spat behind him

Torsten Frings returns to the international fray for Germany in Wednesday's friendly with Norway intent on putting his public spat with Joachim Loew behind him.

Keraniganj cricket

Kalindi Krira Chakra defeated Mandail Pragti Sangha by 145 runs yesterday in the Keraniganj Cricket League.

Toni is selfish, says Kaiser

Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer labelled his club's star striker Luca Toni "selfish" after he failed to score in his side's 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.

Scolari sacking to prove costly

Chelsea's decision to sack Luiz Felipe Scolari as their manager could cost the Premier League side up to 15 million pounds (22 million dollars) in compensation.

Huntelaar wants Real stay

Real Madrid's Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar denied on Monday Spanish media reports that he wants to leave the club because he was given few chances to play by new coach Juande Ramos.

US revamps for London Olympics

USA Track and Field will revamp Olympic preparation and training methods in the wake of a disappointing Beijing performance under recommendations revealed on Monday from a nine-member panel.

Ribery remains ambiguous

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery is refusing to commit himself to the club beyond the end of this season but insists he is happy at the Bundesliga club.

Player breaks referee's arm

A Croatian footballer broke the arm of a referee after attacking him for being red-carded during a minor league match at the weekend, a daily reported on Tuesday.

Theo closing in on return

England winger Theo Walcott hopes to be back in action for Arsenal by the end of the month.


Shun risky banking: BB

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) yesterday asked the bankers to shun risky banking, lower overall service charges and take initiative to increase remittance inflow by awarding stimulus to the expatriates.

Twin deals open broad scope for Dhaka

Bangladesh and India signed two deals relating to trade and investment last Monday. One, bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement (Bipa), is fresh and the other is a renewal of the 1980 trade pact.

Stock protests continue for second day

Stocks slipped yesterday amid sell-offs, forcing a section of worried investors to take to the streets for a second day in Dhaka and Chittagong.

Privatisation Commission gets new chairman

Mirza Abdul Jalil, a former secretary and agriculture specialist, was appointed chairman of the Privatisation Commission yesterday.

Govt for RMG workers' pay hike, owners fear export price-drop

The government has started reconstituting the wage board for garment workers, but manufacturers and exporters say they do not have any scope to increase wages now, as they apprehend price falls because of the global economic recession.

BPC to bear extra cost as tankers charge high

Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) is poised to count an additional transportation cost of Tk 70 lakh annually as the owners of tankers, engaged in carrying petroleum oil across the country, show reluctance to cut fare.

Australians urged for more investment

President Iajuddin Ahmed urged Australians to invest more in Bangladesh taking advantage of the investment-friendly atmosphere here.

Pabna Sugar halts production on sugarcane crunch

Production came to a halt at Pabna Sugar Mill without reaching this fiscal year's target due to a crunch of sugarcanes in the district, officials said yesterday.

'Neo-liberal' globalisation is over: ILO chief

The head of the International Labour Organisation on Tuesday declared "neo-liberal globalisation" over and called for Europe to take the lead in easing the fallout from the economic crisis.

US readies bailout overhaul

The Obama administration, seeking to deal with the political outrage over the handling of the government's $700 billion financial rescue programme, plans to impose tough new standards on future payments to banks. It is also greatly expanding an effort to unclog credit markets to provide loans to consumers and businesses.

Islamic bonds to ease Indonesia crisis

Indonesia launched its first retail Islamic bond this month hoping to catch up with its neighbours in the Islamic finance business and help fund a six-billion-dollar economic stimulus package.

Desco posts Tk100cr profit, offers dividends

The Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (Desco) has recorded more than Tk 100 crore in profit in fiscal 2007-08.

EU wants budgets balanced

All European Union nations should balance their budgets by 2012, the Czech EU presidency said Tuesday, saying there was a joint will to cut deficits after the emergency stimulus spending is over.

Urea, a far cry for farmers

Urea fertiliser production in the factory at Ghorasal, Narshingdi was suspended on August 11, 2007 due to an unavoidable carbon dioxide (CO2) compressor explosion.

DITF eyes local business only

The recently concluded 14th Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF-2009), organised by the Ministry of Commerce and the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), needs to take some urgent steps.

Asian shares mixed

Asian stocks were mixed Tuesday with some traders awaiting the passage of a stimulus package in the United States, while China announced inflation was heading lower.

Oil creeps above $40

Oil prices crept above $40 a barrel Tuesday as investors looked to a massive US stimulus package to counter falling crude demand.

G7 to discuss 'Buy American' stimulus clause: Japan

Finance chiefs from the Group of Seven rich nations are expected to discuss the "Buy American" clause in a US economic package when they meet this week, Japan's finance minister said Tuesday.

WB calls for economic 'Marshall Plan'

The World Bank's chief economist called Monday for a "Marshall Plan" to help rebuild the global economy in the manner of the massive US aid plan for Europe at the end of World War II.

Eurogroup chief urges joint moves to handle toxic assets

European finance ministers could on Tuesday agree on broad, coordinated measures to deal with the "toxic assets" weighing down Europe's banks, Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said late Monday.

Deflation alarm as prices weaken further in China

Chinese inflation slowed further in January as activity in the world's third-largest economy weakened, government data showed Tuesday, with economists warning deflation was imminent.

New MD for Jiban Bima Corporation

Kaosar Zahura, a joint secretary to the government, has been made the managing director of Jiban Bima Corporation, it said in a statement yesterday.

Green Delta gets new addl MD

Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd has recently appointed Farzana Chowdhury as its new additional managing director.

Temasek portfolio falls 31pc in six months

The portfolio of Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, which helped bail out Wall Street icon Merrill Lynch, fell 31 percent over six months last year, a minister said Tuesday, according to local radio.


Help implement party's electoral pledges

Awami League (AL) yesterday called on the party men to help implement the party's electoral pledges to bring about positive changes in the country without becoming complacent in the wake of landslide victory in the parliamentary and local government elections.

Women MPs vow to ensure women's empowerment

Women lawmakers yesterday vowed to work towards ensuring women's empowerment and to be vocal on women's rights issues in parliament.

2 factions face to face

Two factions of Muktijoddha Sangsad, Kendriya Command Council, came face to face yesterday as both the groups tried to show their strength.

Two posts of judges still lying vacant

Two posts of judges at the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) still remain vacant although four months have elapsed after the Supreme Judicial Commission recommended the appointment of judges.

'Halt construction of ship breaking yard at Sonaichuri'

Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers' Association (Bela) yesterday served legal notices to three ministries, including environment and forest and several other government departments, and demanded immediate halt to the construction of ship breaking yard, causing deforestation in the coastal areas of Sonaichori Mouza at Sitakunda.

Include human trafficking issues in primary education

Speakers at a workshop yesterday emphasised the importance of including human trafficking issues in the school curriculum at primary level.

Five killed in road accidents

Five people were killed in separate road accidents in Habiganj and Bogra in last two days.

Hearing on appeal likely today

Hearing on the long pending appeal against the High Court (HC) verdict that declared illegal the 5th amendment to the constitution approving late President Ziaur Rahman's takeover and previous acts from August 15, 1975 is likely to be held at the Appellate Division today.

President visits village home

On the penultimate day in his extended presidency, President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday visited his native home at Noyagaon under Sadar upazila exchanging pleasantries with his compatriots for the last time as president.

Maintain neutrality in revealing truths

Most of the newspapers are striving to save their registration while some others are compromising for collecting advertisements, said former chief election commissioner Justice Abdur Rouf at a discussion marking the 30th founding anniversary of 'North Bengal Express', a weekly newspaper, at the National Press Club yesterday.

BNP criticises Indian HC for comments

BNP at its National Standing Committee meeting last night criticised the Indian High Commissioner for his 'objectionable' remarks about the reaction of political parties to the transit issue.

NU VC resigns

National University (NU) Vice Chancellor Prof M Mofakkharul Islam yesterday resigned under pressure from the NU officials and employees.

SSC, Dakhil, vocational exams begin Feb 15

Around 10.6 lakh students will appear at the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and its equivalent Dakhil and SSC vocational examinations under the country's 10 education boards beginning on February 15.

'Promote human rights'

Objective journalism can help reducing marginalisation of the ethnic communities and it could be a way of promoting their human rights.

ACC clears AL leader Zafarullah's wife, sons of graft charges

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday submitted final reports clearing Awami League leader Kazi Zafarullah's wife and sons of corruption charges filed against them for amassing illegal wealth and concealing information in the wealth statement.

Russia keen to help in power sector

Russia expressed its desire to extend cooperation to Bangladesh's power sector as a 10-member high-powered delegation led by the Economic Development Secretary will be visiting Bangladesh soon.

Tk15 lakh valuables stolen from shops, house in city

Burglars stole valuables worth around Tk 15 lakh from five shops at Sundarban Square Market at Gulistan and from a house at Mohammadpur in the city yesterday.

Help develop skilled manpower

Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Abdur Razzak yesterday sought the World Bank (WB) assistance in developing skilled manpower for better disaster management and reduction in casualties.

Chhatra Front's silver jubilee celebration begins

The yearlong silver jubilee celebration of the Samajtantrik Chhatra Front (SCF) began through rally and colourful procession on the Dhaka University (DU) campus yesterday, says a press release.

Minu assures RCC mayor of all help

Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton appreciated some achievements of former mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu whereas Minu assured cooperation in development work of the mayor at a programme on Monday evening in Rajshahi.

Hearing adjourned again

The High Court (HC) yesterday again adjourned for one week the hearing on the bail petitions filed by some politicians who were earlier convicted in absentia in corruption cases.

'Withdraw false cases against JNU students'

The students of Jagannath University formed a human chain on the campus yesterday to realise their eight-point demand, including withdrawal of false cases filed against them.

Biharis demand proper rehabilitation

Urdu speaking people, popularly known as Biharis, living in various camps in Dhaka staged a demonstration at Muktangon in the city yesterday demanding their proper rehabilitation.

Hunger strike continues

The candidates who came out successful in the 1st phase result of the 27th BCS examinations but were later dropped from the 2nd phase result have continued their hunger strike unto death at the Central Shaheed Minar in the city.

FFs'certificates of 1997-01 to take effect

The government would accept the freedom fighters certificates issued under Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad during 1997-2001 with sign of then prime minister.

HC tribunal to hear AL candidate's petition

An election tribunal of the High Court (HC) yesterday accepted for hearing an election petition seeking cancellation of the result of December 29 parliamentary polls to Barisal-5 constituency and to hold a fresh election to this constituency.

Focus Bangla steps into fifth year

Focus Bangla, a digital news and photo agency, stepped into five years of its service in the city yesterday.

HC jails three acquitted by lower court

The High Court (HC) yesterday sentenced three people to jail for life for killing a woman at Homna upazila in Comilla.

Six held with phensidyl

Detective Branch of police recovered 189 bottles of phensidyl and arrested six people at Alaul Avenue at Uttara in the city yesterday.

Lecture on medical physics

Prof Salahuddin Ahmad, director of Medical Physics and Dosimetry, Department of Radiation Oncology, Oklahoma University, USA, delivered a lecture on 'Scope and prospective of medical physics' at Gono Bishwabidyalay on Saturday, says a press release.


Protests against 'madrasa' on temple land continue

Protests continue as 'madrasa rooms' illegally built on the deity land of historic Kantajieu Mandir, in Birganj upazila in the district, are yet to be removed.

7 Khulna-Jessore jute mills on brink of closure

Seven state-owned Jute mills in Khulna-Jessore industrial belt are now on the brink of closure due to acute fund crisis.

20 arrested in Pabna

At least 20 people were arrested in connection with a violent clash between two groups of villagers at remote Char Kamalpur village in Ishwardi upazila on Monday.

9 women lobby for AL tickets in Satkhira

Nine women leaders of the ruling Awami League are aspiring for party nomination to become a lawmaker from Satkhira-Jessore reserved seat.

Last of the ten generators comes to halt

Thakurgaon power station stopped operation Monday night due to acute fuel crisis.

Imam held for alleged bid to harass girl

A local Jamaat leader was arrested yesterday for his alleged bid to sexually harass a nine-year-old girl at village Raghunathpur under Gaibandha Sadar upazila.

Statue seized, 2 arrested

Rab yesterday recovered a touchstone statue of Radha worth about Tk 2 crore from a Dhaka-bound bus coming from Pabna at Bangabandhu Bridge east end, Rab sources said.


New government's tasks

The 2009 parliament of Bangladesh is truly unique in many ways. Among its many uniqueness, one that will top the list is its biggest number of fresh and young members. Analysts across the board are full of praise and hope for this new lot. While doing so they are too cautious even to examine the risks that are associated with inexperience. Such is the predicament of the so called “brute” majority. People become hesitant to give free flowing opinions.

End of Aussie hegemony?

The recent disasters of Australian cricket team clearly indicate the end of their hegemony as a cricketing superpower. We've been eagerly waiting for this for a decade. We're tired of watching the Aussie juggernaut. It's true Australia is passing through a transitional period after so many great players retired & they will overcome this in near future.

Use of national ID

It is very unfortunate that the chief election commissioner has recently discouraged the use of national ID number on the plea that it is not hundred percent complete and there are some errors in some of them.

Indian visa hassle

For two consecutive days I have unsuccessfully stood in queue for submitting my application for Indian visa at the Indian Visa Application Centre (IVAC) at Gulshan, Dhaka, and returned home disappointed and sick. I joined the queue at seven in the morning but found hundreds of others in queue since midnight. Being an elderly person it was a torture for me to stand in queue for hours and then return home disappointed. Added to my woes while in queue were pestering of visa brokers.

What does he stand for?

Have you heard what OBAMA stands for? This is now making the rounds in America as a popular topic in light hearted office gossip!

India and Obama

When Barack Obama became President of the United States, people around the world became euphoric because they were looking forward to the change he will bring about - a welcome relief from Bush administration.

Second best joke!

DS of 27 Jan 09 featured your commentary : “Best Joke of the Year” on the front page. After a long interval, it was a welcome resumption to the usual home truths by you. I wonder, however, if anyone noticed the 2nd Best Joke of the Year, that appeared on the 2nd page with a picture on it on the last page in the same issue.

Outgoing president

President Prof. M Iazuddin does not draw any respect from anybody in Bangladesh. Last year when my son graduated from a private university, I had to attend the convocation where Mr. President delivered the chancellor's speech. I saw no mark of respect in anybody's face. Students, who received the all important certificates, walked mechanically, guardians cheered in the same way. When he walked up and down many even did not stand to show respect.

Regional transit

Please refer to a write-up published in the business page in your daily dated February 2, 2009 entitled " Trade analysts see benefit from regional transit". The subject is very sensitive as far as Bangladesh is concerned. Nazneen Ahmed rightly pointed out that things have to be considered dispassionately. Regionalization in western countries & South Asian countries is different. It purely depends on the role of the big country.

Letter to Sheikh Hasina

Please, step into your father's shoe. Correct his mistake and glorify the father and the daughter and the nation at large.

No consensus!

This refers to the question of understanding between the two major parties in our parliament. After the last American elections a friend of mine drew my attention to the speech given by John McCain and said, "See how civilized they are"? There is no problem between the two candidates any more. Why can't our politicians learn from this? I asked him three questions.

Padma bridge

We just noticed a few days back that the present democratic government have given the consultancy of "The Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project" to a renowned consultant--MANUSELL AECOM. It appears from their record that they are a well reputed consultant having experience of working in Australia, New Zealand & Asia region with good reputation. After taking over office after the just concluded parliamentary election in December 2008 the present government has kept their word of giving top priority to construction of this mighty & longest bridge in Bangladesh . Within one month, they have signed an agreement for design & consultancy of Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project & awarded it to a reputed consultant to prepare design & other related things.

Stop human trafficking

Sexual trafficking of children, women and girls through commercial exploitation, is a fundamental violation of their rights. It is a universal and complex problem, which defies both simplistic analysis and easy answers. It encompasses a range of abusers, different forms of abuse, and differs in the type and degree of impact on the victim. Every year, more than 1 million women and children worldwide are reportedly trafficked and sold for a variety of different purposes - many end up in the sex trade. This number comes to nearly 3,000 women and children per day.

Darkness in Swat

During the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, women were not allowed to go out of their houses. Female doctors had to quit their jobs; girls were not permitted to go to school. In fact, all girls' schools were closed in the face of threats from Talibans.


The above mentioned letter by Mohammed Alauddin was published in DS on February 8, 2009.


Pakistan-US agree on team to redesign anti-terror strategy

Pakistan and the United States agreed yesterday to set up a joint team to review policy and formulate a new strategy to counter extremism, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said.

LTTE guns down civilians fleeing Lankan war zone

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas yesterday shot dead 19 civilians and wounded 75 others fleeing territory still under rebel control, military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said.

Obama vows to prevent al-Qaeda, Taliban from operating 'with impunity'

President Barack Obama vowed to prevent al-Qaeda from operating "with impunity" in Afghanistan and urged a combined effort to eradicate safe havens for the Taliban and other militants there.

Australian wildfires claim more lives

Australian firefighters fought yesterday to save communities from wildfires that have claimed 181 lives and left a trail of charred bodies in blackened homes and twisted car wrecks.

Time of US pressure in Iraq is over: Maliki

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told reporters yesterday that the time when the United States could put pressure on Iraq had passed.

Gaza truce depends on Israeli election: Hamas

Hamas is awaiting the outcome of Tuesday's Israeli election to know whether a long-term truce deal in Gaza can be reached, senior Hamas member Osama Hamdan told AFP.

Sarkozy urges Europe to rebuild ties with Iraq

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, on his first trip to Iraq, urged other European leaders yesterday to follow his lead and rebuild ties with the country that were frayed by the US-led war.

Pakistan kills 11 militants near Afghan border

Pakistani troops backed by helicopter gunships killed 11 rebels and pounded suspected militant hideouts in a tribal town on the Afghan border, the military said yesterday.

US military now focusing on Afghanistan: Mullen

The chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff said Monday the United States was still "not done" in Iraq but that the military's primary focus was now the war in Afghanistan.

Israelis vote with Livni, Netanyahu in close race

The two front-runners in the race to rule Israel made last-minute appeals to voters as polls opened Tuesday in a close general election whose outcome could determine the course of Mideast peace negotiations.

10 policemen killed by Indian Maoists

Indian Maoists have killed 10 policemen in the eastern state of Bihar, where a rebel insurgency has been active for decades, police said yesterday.

Pakistan to curb nuke scientist's travel: US

Pakistan has told the United States it will put some curbs around freed scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan to prevent him from becoming a renewed nuclear proliferation threat, a US official said Monday.

BBC suspends Lanka programme over 'interference'

The BBC has suspended its FM programming to Sri Lanka's national broadcaster because of what it claimed was "deliberate interference", it said Monday.

Storms batter Britain and France

Severe winds and rain lashed France and Britain on Tuesday, knocking out power to half a million homes and forcing the closure of Paris' two international airports for the first time in 34 years.

Arts & Entertainment

Flashback: 1971

Drik Gallery-2 is one of the venues holding exhibitions as part of the ongoing Chobi Mela V. The photography exhibition titled, "Bangladesh 1971," featuring our Liberation War ended at Drik on February 9. On the closing day photographers shared their experiences of documenting the Liberation War with images at a discussion arranged by Drik. Veteran photographers Abdul Hamid Raihan, Rashid Talukdar and Sayeeda Khanam were the discussants at the programme.

Tagore’s letter

A rare hand written letter by Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore was recovered recently from Patisar village under Atrai Upazila in the northern district of Naogaon. It's a landmark discovery, as this is the first document carrying Tagore's handwriting.

FTII’s homage to Ekushey February

In a fitting tribute to Ekushey February, the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune will for the first time organise screening and discussions on films and filmmakers from Bangladesh on February 21 and 22.

Swagga Like Us

“I fly like paper, get high like planes
If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name
If you come around here, I make 'em all day
I get one down in a second if you wait...”

-- “Paper Planes” by M.I.A.

Priceless coins recovered in Bhola

A significant number of ancient coins have been recovered at Joya village under Gangapur union of Borhanuddin upazila, Bhola district.

Cine Hits on Ekushey TV

Film-based show "Cine Hits" will be aired today on Ekushey TV at 7:40 pm. This episode of the show will focus on the much-talked about upcoming film "Monpura."

Poet Abu Zafar’s birth anniversary observed

The 75th birth anniversary of poet Abu Zafar Obaidullah was observed with much fanfare at Baherchar under Babuganj upazila of Barisal district on February 8.


Syed Mujtaba Ali - a pioneer of our Language Movement

WE all know Syed Mujtaba Ali as a satirist, a romantic, a linguist, and a great storyteller, but how many among us know him as a great nationalist or a language movement activist? Surely, his is a name to reckon with in contemporary Bangla literature. His first book, Deshe Bideshe, was adjusted the best book of that year, and he was awarded the prestigious Narasinghe Das prize in 1949. His other thirty books are equally popular, and they speak volumes about his versatility and vast intellectual strength. But Syed Mujtaba Ali a pioneer language activist? Yes, I had heard about it from my elders but I had forgotten.

Tilting at telecom windmills

DON Quixote exemplifies persistent engagement in futile activity. The Bangladesh government's efforts to control the termination of international calls are quixotic.

The glamorous life of the business traveler

BUSINESS travelers are whiners. They live a glamorous, jet-setting life, yet all they do is moan about it. They should try being stuck at a desk, see how they like it.

The Daily Star

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