The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, August 20, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 18th of February, 2009

Front Page

Train rams truck on open level crossing

At least 13 people were killed and 50 others injured when a train rammed a truck on the unprotected level crossing at Kashiabari in Sadar upazila of Joypurhat yesterday noon.

Local development to sink in MP meddling

Demanding immediate ratification of the local government ordinances promulgated by the caretaker government, experts and newly elected upazila officials yesterday said if members of the parliament (MP) are allowed to meddle in the affairs of upazila parishads, that will be a violation of the constitution.

More fortunes found stashed in UK, HK

United Kingdom and Hong Kong have informed Bangladesh that some of its former ministers, lawmakers and businessmen and their relatives have houses and money in banks in the two countries, highly placed official sources said.

Local MPs to be made advisers

The government has decided to make the local lawmakers adviser to the Upazila Parishad, a move vehemently opposed by newly elected representatives of the parishad.

Govt bound to hold trial of war criminals

Speaker Abdul Hamid in a ruling yesterday said the government must implement the resolution on holding trial of the war criminals, which was unanimously adopted by the House calling the executive to hold the trial.

MPs shout, bang desk at JS for role

Parliament witnessed a brief commotion yesterday as lawmakers shouted and thumped desks, demanding restoration of their authority to oversee development activities in their constituencies.

BCL dissolves JU unit after gunfight

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) has dissolved its Jahangirnagar University (JU) unit while police arrested 31 BCL activists Monday night and yesterday following the gunfight between its two factions on the campus that left 50 injured.

CG, Iajuddin ignored SC directive to repeal 9 laws

Immediate past caretaker government and president Iajuddin Ahmed have ignored the Supreme Court's (SC) directives by repealing at least nine laws enacted by the previous parliaments, the special committee of the Jatiya Sangsad said.

MPs cannot use mobile in House

Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday asked lawmakers not to use mobile phone inside parliament.

Govt to recast CHT Land Commission

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government will recast the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Land Commission to settle the longstanding land disputes between indigenous people and Bangalee settlers in the region as per the CHT peace accord.

'Politically motivated' cases to be dropped

The 10-member high-powered committee for reviewing 'politically motivated' cases filed during past governments, in its first meeting yesterday formed a central subcommittee and 64 district committees to expedite the process.

PM asks for plan to end power crisis

The prime minister has directed drawing up short, medium and long-term plans to resolve country's nagging power crisis, PM's Adviser Dr Toufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury said yesterday.

Lower courts to get 207 judges soon

Some 207 new assistant judges are going to be appointed to the lower courts across the country for quick disposal of pending cases.

MRP scheme not placed in Ecnec meet

The much-awaited machine-readable passport (MRP) and visa project was not placed in the meeting of Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec).

Two held for killing ntv video editor

Four days after the killing of private television channel ntv's video editor Atiqul Islam, detective police recovered the snatched motorbike of the victim and arrested two persons yesterday.

AL old guard to head JS bodies

Parliament yesterday formed 15 standing committees headed by the ruling alliance bigwigs who could not gain a berth in the council of ministers.

ACC spending on lawyers to be probed: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said “rationality and righteousness” of the spending of a huge amount of money on hiring lawyers by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will have to be investigated.

Ctg student lands in hospital with teacher's kicking

A student was seriously injured when a teacher kicked him at Little Jewels English Medium School yesterday.

Proshika chief surrenders; gets bail

A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to Proshika Chairman Kazi Faruque Ahmed and four others after they surrendered to the court seeking bail in connection with $24.69 lakh money laundering case.

Poetry books outnumber novel, fiction

Collection of poetry tops the number of newly arrived books at Amar Ekushey Boi Mela whereas novels and story collections rank second and third positions in the list in first 15 days.

Support centre set up for victims of violence

The Victim Support Centre (VSC) set up at the city's Tejgaon Police Station formally started working yesterday to provide legal support to women and children who fall victim of different types of violence, including rape and acid throwing.

Forest boss Gani's HC bail stayed

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday stayed the High Court (HC) bail order to former chief conservator of forests Osman Gani for one month in a corruption case filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

Marines to move out of Japan

Hoping to give new momentum to a plan to rework the deployment of US troops in the Pacific, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton signed an agreement Tuesday with Japan that will move 8,000 Marines off the southern Japanese island of Okinawa to the US territory of Guam.

Tigers killing civilians fleeing war zone: UN

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels lashed out at the United Nations on Tuesday after it accused them of shooting civilians who try to escape the island's bloody ethnic conflict.

Khmer Rouge genocide trial opens in Cambodia

The boss of a prison where some 16,000 men, women and children were tortured and executed appeared before Cambodia's genocide tribunal yesterday in its first trial over the Khmer Rouge reign of terror more than three decades ago.

Editorial

BCL in-fights take an uglier form

THAT the ruling party high command has lost control over its student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League(BCL) in the academic institutions has once again been proven by the long drawn gunbattle in Jahangirnagar University on Monday into Tuesday.

VVIP movements

PRESIDENT Zillur Rahman's move towards easing road traffic during VVIP movements is admirable. Given the horrendous proportions that traffic congestion in the capital has acquired in recent weeks and months, the presidential action, especially considering the plight of SSC students, should make a difference in the way VVIP movements are organised. The presidential entourage in its movements will now keep the interests of citizens uppermost in mind. Even as we appreciate the presidential gesture, we would like all concerned authorities to take a cue from this and try and conduct movements of high dignitaries in a way, albeit with full attention paid to security detail, that public mobility can be eased on such occasions.

Of men who misinterpret historical truth

A superannuated bureaucrat horrified us all the other day (and he was on one of those inane, live television talk shows) through his convenient forgetting of national history. Or was he deliberately informing us that what we went through in 1971 did not matter any more, that the distortions we have lived through since August 1975 are all?

All fundamentalists are the same

GIVEN the staggering backlog of cases that clog the Indian judicial system, is it necessary to put Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik through the full rigours of the wrench? Here is a suggestion for cruel and unusual punishment that can be administered immediately: he should be forced to see a collection of item numbers from Hindi movies.

In defence of standard Bangla pronunciation

IMAGINE writing this in English. But bear with me. It is not that I could not have written this in Bangla. I could, and would probably have done at least as good a job as anyone who writes in the vernacular. I could write an article in Bangla. But I would have remained as anonymous as ever to editors and readers of Bangla newspapers, and my labour would have been in vain. Let me therefore stick to The Daily Star and its readership.

Sports

SL lift tri-series title

Sri Lanka emerged champions in the Grameenphone Women's tri-nation tournament after beating Pakistan by six wickets in the final at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Russel finish third

Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra blanked Farashganj Sporting Club 2-0 to finish third in the Citycell B. League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Indo-Pak tension no threat to 2011 WC

The 2011 cricket World Cup will go on as scheduled in South Asia despite growing political tensions between co-hosts India and Pakistan, the sport's governing body said on Tuesday.

Acid test awaits Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni faces the toughest challenge of his fairytale-like career to date when he leads India in New Zealand from this month, his first full tour as captain.

England in command

Paul Collingwood became the second century-maker in the England first innings when he hit his eighth Test hundred against West Indies in the third Test here on Monday.

Brilliant return for Eduardo

Arsenal forward Eduardo made a triumphant return after his injury nightmare as the Croatian's double clinched a 4-0 win over Cardiff in Monday's FA Cup fourth round replay.

Nani being realistic

Nani has attempted to put into perspective suggestions Manchester United can make a clean sweep of European and domestic trophies as Wayne Rooney prepares to make his comeback.

Milan face Bremen test

European action kicks off for 2009 on Wednesday as David Beckham's AC Milan and a strong contingent of English and French clubs restart their attempt to deny UEFA Cup holders Zenit St Petersburg a consecutive title.

McEnroe turns 50

He was once the raging, wild-haired, enfant terrible of men's tennis who blew like a hurricane into the All England Club, sending shivers down Wimbledon's genteel spine.

Focus on Fatullah

After two days break the Premier Division Cricket League resumes today at three different venues.

Dhanmondi's second win

Ali Arman Raju's unbeaten 74 of 123 balls saw Dhanmondi score their second consecutive win against Badda by 7 wickets at the City Club Ground yesterday in the Dhaka First Division Cricket League.

German hockey coach in town

German hockey coach Peter Gerhard Rach arrived Dhaka yesterday to discuss with Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) officials over his possible appointment as the head coach of the national team.

Hiddink takes charge at Chelsea

Guus Hiddink took charge of his first Chelsea training session on Monday with the club's England midfielder Frank Lampard saying the Dutchman was already making his presence felt.

Nesta fighting to save career

Injury-plagued AC Milan defender Alessandro Nesta will undergo another back operation on Tuesday to try to save his career.

No place for politics in tennis: Peer

Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer, refused a visa into the United Arab Emirates for the WTA Dubai Open, Tuesday insisted there was no place for politics in sport while recognising it would not have been right to stop the tournament going ahead.

Smith likes the favourites tag

Australia will be a touring team under pressure, according to South Africa captain Graeme Smith.

Isinbayeva sets indoor WR

Russia's athletics icon Yelena Isinbayeva set a new indoor world pole vault record of five metres at the annual Bubka memorial tournament here on Sunday.

A Ponting warning

Australia captain Ricky Ponting said on Monday the pressure was on South Africa ahead of the three-Test series beginning next week.

Local Snippets

The six-team Shaheed Smriti Hockey Tournament, organized by Bangladesh Hockey Federation, begins today at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium in Dhaka.

Shahzad, Ali hit contrasting tons

Openers Ahmed Shahzad and Azhar Ali hit contrasting centuries for Patron's XI in the warm-up match against Sri Lanka here Tuesday to press claims for a Test place.

Colly backs Eng chances

Paul Collingwood believes batting will become a lottery over the last three days on an Antigua Recreation Ground pitch that has started to play unevenly and this favours England to win the third Test against West Indies.

PCB lifts ban on six ICL players

A Pakistani court Tuesday lifted domestic bans on the country's last six active players who joined the unofficial Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Business

Banks set sights on Cox's Bazar tourism

Banks moved to exploit tourism business potential at the world's longest sea beach in Cox's Bazar.

Curbs on NBFIs' foreign bank borrowing may go

Restrictions on non-bank financial institutions' (NBFI) borrowing from foreign banks are likely to go but the institutions are to go by a guideline from the central bank.

Khadi festival begins

The use of locally produced cloth should be increased to give the local handloom industry a strong foothold, said finance minister yesterday.

Yet another SEC measure to bring back market stability

The regulator now moves to bring more stability in the stock market. From Sunday it will hold one-to-one meeting with leading merchant banks and brokerage houses.

Janata to roll out merchant banking

Janata Bank is set to begin full-fledged merchant banking in the first week of March, aiming to contribute to the liquidity inflow into the stock market.

Pakistan to seek $4.5b from IMF

Pakistan is to ask for an additional loan of 4.5 billion dollars from the International Monetary Fund to patch up an economy wilting under a widening trade deficit, an official said Tuesday.

'Buy American' clause under fire

A "Buy American" clause in a giant US stimulus package would undermine efforts to revive the ailing global economy, George W Bush's top White House adviser on trade issues warned yesterday.

Bangladesh holds out hope for FDI in 11 sectors

Eleven sectors in Bangladesh deserve to receive foreign direct investment (FDI), said Asian Tiger Capital Partners (AT Capital) yesterday.

NBR chief vows to curb import of luxuries

The new government will press a harsh brake on the brisk import of luxury items in the next budget to give a solid ground for the local producers at a changed time when developed countries are blamed for pursuing a sort of protectionism.

Obama heads west to sign huge stimulus bill

President Barack Obama headed west Tuesday to sign his huge stimulus bill with a flourish meant to be a rare bright moment for the ailing US economy, and to confront a punishing wave of foreclosures.

Russia set for 2.2pc GDP contraction

The Russian economy will contract by 2.2 percent this year, a minister warned Tuesday, the first time GDP is to shrink in the world's largest country since the 1998 financial crisis.

Recession impact to be less: UN official

Visiting UN Assistant Secretary General Ajay Chhibber said yesterday Bangladesh would be much less affected by the global recession than any other countries in South Asia, as the country is not much integrated with the global financial system.

Hong Kong's unemployment rate rises to 4.6pc

Hong Kong's unemployment rate jumped to 4.6 percent in the three months to the end of January, as economic gloom meant more than 14,000 people lost their jobs, official data showed Tuesday.

Dutch economy may shrink 3.5pc

The Dutch economy is set to shrink by 3.5 percent in 2009, the government's budget policy advice body said Tuesday as the prime minister spoke of a "heavy recession" in the country.

Recession crashes dream weddings

Maria Ayson and Nolan Green Jr should be married by now.

Necessity compels ...

Amidst a flood of reports on collapsing banks, global meltdown and vanishing jobs, The Daily Star delivered good news, “Local RMG carves niche in Chinese market”, on Sunday.

Asia shares fall amid turmoil

Asia shares tumbled Tuesday as the resignation of Japan's finance minister bolstered concerns over Tokyo's handling of the economic crisis and Singapore exports took a record plunge.

Biz Letters

Flowers, a hit on Valentine's Day


Valentine's Day is observed all over the world, including Bangladesh, with much grandeur and pomp. Many express their love for others by exchanging flowers, bouquets, etc. Love is not a trifle matter and it should be extended to the family, society, country and all human beings.

Euro slumps to 2-month low

The euro tumbled on Tuesday to a two-month low against the dollar after ratings agency Moody's warned that western European banks may suffer downgrades because of problems in Central and Eastern Europe.

Thailand approves $143m tourism loan package

The Thai cabinet on Tuesday approved a 143 million dollar tourism rescue fund to combat waning profits resulting from the downturn in the global economy and last year's Bangkok airport closures.

L'Oreal 2008 net profit falls 27pc

French cosmetics maker L'Oreal said Monday that annual net profit fell 27 percent after disappointing American holiday sales, although the figures from a year earlier were boosted by a one-off gain.

Daimler posts loss of 1.53b euros

German automaker Daimler AG on Tuesday reported a euro1.53 billion fourth-quarter loss and warned that sales of its marquee Mercedes-Benz cars would decline through 2009 because of the economic meltdown's pinch on the automotive industry.

Fujitsu exits HDD business, sinks deeper in red

Japan's Fujitsu Ltd. said Tuesday it would transfer its struggling hard disk drive business to rival Toshiba Corp., a deal that will push it deeper into loss this year than previously expected.

SME Foundation gets acting MD

SME Foundation has recently appointed Dr Momtaz Uddin Ahmed as acting managing director of the foundation, according to a press release.

Metropolitan

Prices to decline further if traders help

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday said prices of essentials started to decline and it would come to a tolerable level if businessmen extend a bit more cooperation.

Work unitedly on poverty, terrorism

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged all South Asian countries to work unitedly to eliminate poverty and terrorism that batter the region.

Jui's body exhumed 24 days after burial for post-mortem

The body of Sultana Razia Jui, a fashion designer, was exhumed in presence of a magistrate from a city graveyard yesterday, 24 days after its burial, for post-mortem.

Wasa inspector fined for illegal connection

A mobile court fined an inspector of Dhaka Wasa (Water Supply and Sewerage Authority) on charge of conniving at an illegal water connection at Banani on Monday.

Foreign ministry begins shake-up

With the inauguration of the new government, the foreign ministry is poised to go through an overhaul with new postings, transfers or retirements of diplomats.

'Admin being prepared to build digital Bangladesh'

Establishment Secretary ASM Ali Kabir yesterday said they have started preparing the civil administration to implement the 'Vision 2021' and build a 'digital Bangladesh' as planned by the Awami League-led grand alliance government.

Alliance for Smile brings hope for cleft-lipped children

Alliance for Smile (AfS), a US organisation working with plastic reconstructive surgery, brings hopes for the children with cleft lips and palates.

Govt to go ahead with trial of war criminals

Participation of women at all levels should be ensured for developing their leadership, said the speakers at a seminar in the city yesterday.

Countrywide drive against polybag begins tomorrow

Department of Environment (DoE) will start a countrywide drive against manufacturing and selling of polythene shopping bags tomorrow, says a press release.

Village courts likely to reduce pressure on regular courts

LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday said the government is likely to form village court to reduce the pressure of a huge backlog of cases on regular courts.

Take measures to ensure CHT food security

Speakers at a seminar yesterday feared that food security in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) areas would be jeopardised if proper measures are not taken in time.

Pak envoy's comment on trial of war criminals protested

Forum for Secular Bangladesh and Trial of War Criminals of 1971 yesterday condemned the statement of the special emissary to Pakistani president Zia Ispahani on the issue of the trial of war criminals.

3,030 absent, 66 expelled on 2nd day

A total of 3,030 candidates were absent on the second day of SSC, Dakhil and SSC vocational examinations yesterday, while 66 students and three teachers were expelled for adopting unfair means.

2 Bangladeshi cattle traders killed by BSF

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) gunned down two Bangladeshi cattle traders on Ghojadanga border opposite Bhomra border in Satkhira Sadar upazila on Monday night, according to a report received here from across the border.

Bangladesh Navy Ship to join exercise in Pakistan

Bangladesh Navy Ship Abu Bakr left Chittagong Port on Monday to join Exercise Aman in Pakistan scheduled to be held on March 5, says an ISPR press release.

AL form distribution ends today

Distribution of nomination forms of Awami League (AL) for the reserved seats for women in parliament is ending today.

21 lakh unemployed in country

Labour and Employment Minister Engineer Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday said in the parliament that the number of unemployed people in the country is 21 lakh.

BNP men demand action against corrupt, reformist leaders

A group of BNP workers and supporters staged demonstration in front the party's central office at Naya Paltan in the city yesterday demanding stern action against corrupt and reformist leaders.

Cox's Bazar on top of list of natural wonders

Cox's Bazar sea beach yesterday scored top position in group 'G' in the ongoing competition of selecting world's seven natural wonders.

PM to hand over Ekushey Padak Feb 20

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will hand over the Ekushey Padak-2009 among 13 eminent personalities at Osmani Memorial Auditorium at 11:00am on February 20, a day ahead of the Amar Ekushey February, the International Mother Language Day.

Indian, Turkish presidents greet Zillur

Indian President Pratibha Devsingh Patil and Turkish President Abdullah Gul have congratulated President M Zillur Rahman on his assumption of the office of President.

Court staff held for taking Phensidyl

Zahidul Islam Apu, a bench assistant (peshkar) of the Metropolitan Magistrate's Court-16 in Dhaka, was detained yesterday as he took contraband Indian Phensidyl syrup on the court premises.

Protest continues

Several hundred people yesterday staged a demonstration in Tejgaon Industrial area in the city in protest against the initiative of demolishing their houses for the Hatirjheel project.

India should declassify documents

Documents on the War of Liberation which have been preserved in India should be declassified so that Bangladesh can preserve the real history of the war, Lt Gen (retd) Yogender Bammi of India said yesterday.

AG opposes bail prayers of politicians

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam yesterday strongly opposed the bail prayers filed by some politicians convicted in absentia in the cases against them.

HC vacates stay order

The High Court (HC) yesterday vacated its earlier order staying the proceedings against former director of the Narcotics Control Department Syed Bazlul Karim in the Janatar Mancha sedition case filed in April 2002.

Tk14.26 lakh smuggled goods seized at ZIA

Customs officials at Zia International Airport (ZIA) seized smuggled electronics goods and VoIP equipment worth about Tk 14.26 lakh early yesterday and arrested three people in this connection.

'Prepare DAP to make Dhaka environment-friendly city'

Leaders of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) has urged the state minister for housing and public works to take necessary steps in preparing a detailed area plan (DAP) reflecting peoples' expectation and making Dhaka an environment-friendly city.

Tiger kills fisherman in Sundarbans

A fisherman was killed by man-eater Royal Bengal Tiger while he was catching fish in Nuchkhali canal in the Sundarbans area yesterday.

Alliance Francaise's celebration begins tomorrow

Alliance Francaise de Dacca will celebrate its 50 years in Bangladesh amid different programmes throughout the year.

UGC Officers' Assoc executives

Md Khaled, secretary of University Grants Commission (UGC), sand Md Shah Alam, assistant director of the UGC, were elected president and general secretary of the executive committee of the UGC Officers' Association, says a press release yesterday.

Thakurgaon BCL leader sent to jail

A local leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), student wing of ruling Awami League, was denied bail and sent to jail yesterday.

1,000 kg jatka seized in N'ganj

Members of the Coast Guard yesterday seized 1,000-kilogram of jatka (hilsha fry) from Dharmaganj on the river Dhaleswari under Fatullah Police Station in Narayanganj.

Chandpur mayor asks Jubak to stop activities

The Chandpur municipality mayor yesterday directed the Jubo Karmosangsthan Society (Jubak) to stop its activities following complaints that Jubak has misappropriated the money of its members.

Govt hailed

Unsuccessful candidates in the 2nd phase results of the much controversial 27th BCS examinations yesterday hailed the government for giving its assurance of recruiting all 1,137 unsuccessful candidates in different public services.

Dr Zoha's anniversary of death today

The death anniversary of Prof Dr Shamsuzzoha will be observed on the Rajshahi University (RU) campus today.

2 DAGs resign

Two more deputy attorneys general (DAGs) and one assistant attorney general (AAG) appointed by the previous governments resigned yesterday citing personal reasons, sources at the Attorney General Office said.

National

Stop this inhuman move

A number of political and socio-cultural organisations of Rangpur formed a human chain at Rangpur Press Club yesterday to protest a move to establish a children's park on the land owned by a 6-member family of physically challenged.

Asar Ali poor but not poor in heart

Asar Ali, a tea stall owner at remote Bagitpur village under Birtara union in Dhanbari upazila of the district, serves tea free of cost to freedom fighters as token of respect to glorious sons of the soil.

Jatra team evicted, classes resume

Classes at Dhekuria Government Primay School in Kazipur upazila resumed yesterday after Kazipur police and upazila administration evicted the jatra team from the school premises.

Bar Shibir from Shaheed Minar

Rajshahi University (RU) unit of Sammilito Sangskritik Jote (SSJ) yesterday urged the RU authorities not to allow any anti-liberation organisations at university Central Shaheed Minar for holding 'Amar Ekushey' programme.

Malaria claimed 92, attacked 65,000 in 3 hill dists last year

Malaria took lives of at least 92 last year and attacked over 65,000 in the three districts of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

AL men beat up Kendua BNP leader

A group of Awami League (AL) cadres attacked and injured a Kendua upazila BNP leader immediately after their release on bail yesterday, police and local people said.

3 indigenous men held for abetting criminals

Security forces have arrested three indigenous people including a village chief from Sukra Moni Karbari Para in Ruma upazila for their alleged link with criminal groups, official sources said.

AL-backed panel wins Barisal Bar polls

Awami League (AL)-backed Sammilito Ainjibi Samannaya Parishad swept Barisal District Bar Association election beating BNP-led Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum.

Letters

Role of ACC

The last caretaker govt declared a crusade against corruption. This crusade was directed by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC). Many heavy weight ministers, MPs & other corrupt people were arrested. Even two former prime ministers were arrested. At that time the ACC was in an active mode but now it is silent.

Hasina and Obama

US President Barack Hussein Obama has emerged as a world leader at a time when the world is desperately looking for a worthy leadership less to talk about the Americans.

Dead sea turtles

This happens every year although the frequency of the sea turtle deaths has increased in last couple of years. These turtles visit our coastal areas, beaches to accomplish their biological needs - to lay eggs and ensure their future progeny. But ALAS! What we human beings are doing is wiping out these harmless creatures.

Oppressed RMG workers

A caption with photo published in the back page of The Daily Star of February 8 has appalled me. I came to know from the story of the report that the female garments workers of a factory at Banani in Dhaka are not allowed to use sandals during their lunch break so that they cannot go far away. It is very tough and tormenting to walk barefoot on the rough pavements. The factory authorities argue that if the workers are not allowed sandals, they will return to their work in time! Such type of treatment is very barbaric and inhuman. We all condemn this strongly. This behaviour reminds us of the infernal days of slavery. We know that the garments workers contribute a lot to national economy. They toil to keep the economy stable. But unfortunately they are treated very badly. They do not get their dues. Their salary is very poor and even they do not get their salary in time. Sometimes they need to take to the streets to realize their wages. The working conditions are not conducive at all. Actually, they work in sweat shops. The owners as well as the government do not address their problems sincerely. They are always neglected. Actually, the owners need to ensure their rights to enhance their productivity that will be a win-win situation for the workers and the owners of the factories. The NGOs and human rights groups should come forward in this regard.

Stinky water

Last week I had to go to Dhaka. As a newcomer to the city, I was able to notice the strange smell of the drinking water. Though I had access to the water supplied by the WASA, I had to drink it with my nose closed. It was boiled water, but it stank! I don't know how the rest of the millions of city-dwellers manage to put up with this unbearable stuff.

World order

Margaret Thatcher once asked British Parliament to support the Gulf War and any other US steps unconditionally, because the US was behind them during the Falkland war. Yes, that was the baseline philosophy of western ''democratic'' thinking. Indirectly she was asking to unite the axis of devils and nullify the UN. Now Sarkozy is joining them, coming from the country of Voltaire, Rousseau and Satre .

Toll collectors at DU!

Rakib's Ahmed's front-page report on 10 February is indeed a shame for this premier education institution. It represents the low level that we have reached; when criminal activities become part of university life! The Hon. Prime Minister being an ex-student herself should see that such things at the university are stopped once and for all.

Community radio

I would like to extend my heartiest felicitations to Bangladesh NGOs' Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) for bringing out the “Handbook: Community Radio for Good Governance and Development”(in Bangla “Shushashon O Unnayane Community Radio” which is indeed an important step towards initiating and popularising community radio in Bangladesh. It may be mentioned here that BNNRC has been playing a pioneering role for introducing community radio in our country.

Roads in bad shape

We are facing a lot of problems in our locality. In the rainy season the roads get damaged with mud and sometimes they are flooded with water. And some roads need to be repaired.

Full moon

Did you see the full moon overruling the blanket of mist in this wintry sky accompanied by flee fleecy cloud? Unlike the sun, the moon is not heavy with masculinity, much less temerity?

Transit issue

Before deciding on giving transit to India we should analyse the issue very carefully.

Gaza situation

As the Gaza issue slowly begins to sidestep from the headlines, one can't stop contemplating over the tragedy that has struck the Ummah. There are some fundamental lessons to be learned from the massacre in Gaza.

Those Bangladeshi-Americans

I'm writing in support of what was written in The Daily Star recently about the ex-U.S. president George W. Bush with a little caveat. It is true that Bush left the office not only with the lowest approval rating, but also with a lasting damage done to the United States and the world community, in general. Particularly, he has done more damage to the Islamic countries including Bangladesh than any other US president, except, probably, Richard Nixon opposing our liberation war in 1971. Ironically, it is the US Muslim community that brought Bush an arrogant, unintelligent and ignorant individual - to the White House. It is still debated among the American Muslim community that had 537 Florida Muslims including Bangladeshi-Americans, not voted for this mediocre Texan, the US Supreme Court could not have made him the president. After a series of flawed recounts, 537 votes separated Bush from Gore, but we may never know the actual number. Although the Democratic party contender Al Gore won the popular vote in spite of the Muslim rejection, he lost the presidency due to a controversial loss in the electoral college votes resulting from a number of unfavourable and unfortunate events including the 20,000 or so discarded butterfly ballots, the irregularities in counting the votes through entire Florida and, ultimately, the refusal of the five supreme court justices to recount the controversial Florida county votes. In the aftermath of the election, the first independent recount was conducted by The Miami Herald and USA Today. They found that if all votes where the intent of the voter was clear were counted properly, Gore would have won, using any consistent standard for 'clear intent of the voter'. That's a different story.

International

Pakistan army vows to hold fire in Swat

Pakistan's military yesterday vowed to hold fire and respect a controversial agreement signed between the government and militants to enforce Islamic law in the violence-torn Swat valley.

Afghan civilian deaths rose 40pc in 2008: UN

The number of Afghan civilians killed in armed conflict rose 40 percent last year to a record 2,118 people, the UN said in a new report Tuesday.

Pak ruling parties ask US to stop drone attacks

Leaders of the ruling coalition parties in Pakistan have expressed their anger towards terrorists and also on the violation of Pakistani territory by the United States.

Lanka rebels sign up child soldiers for final battle: Unicef

Sri Lanka's cornered Tamil Tiger rebels have intensified conscription of child soldiers, some as young as 14, the United Nations agency for children said yesterday.

Pakistani militants talk peace amid criticism

Pakistan dispatched a pro-Taliban cleric to talk peace with militants in the former tourist haven of Swat yesterday, a day after it agreed to a truce with the extremists and pledged to implement Islamic law in the region as part of a widely criticised deal.

Musharraf was playing 'double game' with US

Washington sent Special Forces into Pakistan last summer after intercepting a call by the Pakistani army chief referring to a notorious Taliban leader as a "strategic asset," a new book has claimed, suggesting that former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf indulged in double dealings during his tenure.

Economic crisis, terrorism threaten to blow India off course

The global economic crisis and the threat of terrorism have combined to deliver a rude awakening to India's dream of continued peace and prosperity after successive years of sustained growth.

Prachanda warns against toppling Maoist-led govt

Warning of "anarchism" if his Maoist led government is toppled, Nepal Prime Minister Prachanda today appealed to the fragmented communist parties to join hands to thwart the designs of the opposition. "It is the time for the communists and they show of their skills.

UN seeks direct contact with Pak kidnappers

The United Nations on Tuesday urged the Pakistani kidnappers of an American official to make direct contact, calling for his immediate release.

Israel must give up some land for peace: Livni

Tzipi Livni, who hopes to be appointed Israel's prime minister-designate, said Monday Israel must give up considerable territory in exchange for peace with the Palestinians, drawing a clear distinction with her rival, Benjamin Netanyahu.

JuD leader shifted from Rawalpindi to Lahore

Senior Jamaat-ud-Dawah leader Nazir Ahmed, who has been under house arrest since early December in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, has been shifted from Rawalpindi to Lahore.

Hillary warns North Korea against missile test

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said yesterday a possible missile launch hinted at by North Korea should not be carried out.

Sudan signs accord with Darfur rebels

Sudan and Darfur's most active rebel group the Justice and Equality Movement signed an agreement on Tuesday paving the way for broader peace talks aimed at ending the six-year conflict in Darfur.

Iran moves to boost its air defence capabilities

Iran restructured its military in an effort to improve its air defence capabilities, military commanders have said.

Australia wildfire death toll reaches 200

The confirmed death toll from Australia's deadly wildfires reached the grim milestone of 200 Tuesday, and a police official said some bodies reduced to ash in the inferno would never be identified

Historians rank Lincoln best US president

Days after celebrations honouring his bicentennial, Abraham Lincoln kept his rank as best US president, according to a survey of 65 historians that landed George W. Bush 36th out of 42 overall.

Arts & Entertainment

Shanto-Mariam Foundation honours Amala Shankar

In 1929, Amala was born in a remote village of Narail district (part of the then Greater Jessore). A trader by profession, her father Akshay Kumar Nandi was an enlightened man involved in journalism and politics and a strong supporter of women's rights. At the age of 11, Amala was sent to Paris to participate in a cultural programme. There she met the iconic Indian dancer Uday Shankar and his family. A talented young girl, Amala received tutelage in dance from the maestro. In course of time she herself became an internationally renowned dance artiste and guru. She got married to Pandit Uday Shankar in 1942, thus adapting the last name Shankar.

Paula Luttringer’s wailing walls

Argentine photographer Paula Luttringer's exhibition "Lamento de los Muros" (The Wailing of the Walls) started at Drik Gallery on February 11. The exhibition is part of the second phase of Chobi Mela V, which will continue till February 20 at several venues in the city.

The French connection

French cultural wing Alliance Francaise de Dacca (AFD), which started its journey in 1959, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To mark this very special occasion, the organisation has planned special cultural programmes throughout the year. At a press conference held yesterday at its main centre in Dhanmondi, director of AFD Saliha Lefevre briefed the media on the yearlong programme.

Soaeb - Saga of an actor

“I strive to be at my best when I am acting. To me every act should be better than the previous one,” said Mohammad Soaebul Islam, speaking to The Daily Star recently.

Prothom Alo Language Festival in Rangpur

Hundreds of parents and students of eight northern districts thronged the Rangpur Zila School premises to participate at the 'Prathom Alo Language Festival' recently.

Sita Sings the Blues

What do a 3,000-year-old Sanskrit epic, a '20s-era jazz singer and Indonesian shadow puppets have in common? They're all part of the eclectic cultural tapestry that is “Sita Sings the Blues,” an 82-minute animated feature that combines autobiography with a retelling of the classic Indian myth, the "Ramayana," and that required its creator, the syndicated comic-strip artist Nina Paley, to spend three years transforming herself into a one-woman moving-picture studio.

Science Fair and cultural programme in Rangamati

Speakers at a cultural function held recently called upon students to be more science-oriented. This step, they said, would ready the latter to be worthy citizens.

OP-ED

Digital underground

NEW technologies require new laws and regulations. But these regulations must be sensible and they have to be enforced uniformly. The tragedy in Bangladesh is that we make senseless regulations and do not enforce the sensible ones. As a result, businesses get destroyed, our workers migrate and then we highlight "record remittances" to console ourselves.

Rehabilitating migrant workers

THE economic meltdown that started with the US economy is causing repercussions all over the world and pulling nearly all developed and non-developed economies into a recession, which experts believe will continue for at least a few years.

Syed Nazrul Islam: A tribute

SYED Nazrul Islam was one of the closest and most faithful aides of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Loyalty to the leader and dedication to his country and people were his supreme ideals. He gave proof of this at different critical stages of the country's political history, especially as acting president of the nine-month-long government-in-exile at Mujibnagar. He was one of the moving spirits of the struggle for freedom, which culminated in the liberation war.

The ten silliest real-life phone transcripts

IN Asia, we mostly try to do business in English. But we all speak our own versions of the language. And for some unknown reason, the most ridiculous conversations always seem to happen when one phones a business in Hong Kong.


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