The Daily Star

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

News of: Friday, 20th of February, 2009

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27 killed as cargo ship rams launch

Twenty seven bodies were recovered and more than a dozen are still missing after an overcrowded launch, being hit by a cargo vessel, sank in the Kirtonkhola in Barisal yesterday.

DCs left out of by-poll duties

For the first time in its history, the Election Commission (EC) has appointed its own officials as returning and assistant returning officers to conduct by-election to seven constituencies on March 30.

Mojahid, Babar barred from going abroad

Immigration officials at Zia International Airport (ZIA) yesterday prevented Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid and former BNP state minister for home affairs Lutfozzaman Babar from leaving the country.

Speaker mediates talks on JS seat plan row

The chief whip-level talks mediated by Speaker Abdul Hamid to resolve the row over seating arrangements in the House yesterday ended with neither side agreeing to disclose the outcome to the media.

Armed forces to be kept above controversies

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government would keep the armed forces above all controversies and build up them as a patriotic, brave, efficient and invincible force.

ACC spends Tk 7.74cr on hiring lawyers

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday said it has spent over Tk 7.74 crore since January 2008 for hiring lawyers in 500 corruption cases.

BNP lawmaker Harun lands in jail

A Dhaka court yesterday rejected a bail petition from BNP lawmaker Harunur Rashid and sent him to jail after he surrendered before the court and sought bail in a forgery case.

Amar Ekushey tomorrow

The nation pays tribute to the language movement martyrs by placing wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar from midnight today.

Steps taken to ensure power for irrigation

The state minister for power yesterday informed the House that the government has taken measures to ensure uninterrupted power supply for irrigating farm land, but a number of treasury bench lawmakers described how irrigation is being badly hampered due to acute shortage of power.

Gang kills man, loots truckload of rods in N'ganj

A gang of criminals hacked a man to death while looting a truckload of iron rods at Rasulbagh under Fatulla in Narayanganj early yesterday.

Anti-terror, RPO ordinances get cabinet nod

The special cabinet yesterday gave final approval to the Anti-Terrorism Ordinance 2008 with provisions for death sentence as maximum penalty or life imprisonment for offences like financing and patronising terrorist activities and murder.

Mob clashes with BDR over smuggled goods: 40 hurt

At least 40 people, including five journalists, were injured when Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel charged truncheon following a feud over BDR refusing to disclose seizure list of smuggled goods at Shantahar in Bogra.

8 JMB men charged with Prof Yunus murder at RU

A Rajshahi court yesterday framed charges against eight operatives of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in the long anticipated Rajshahi University (RU) teacher Muhammad Yunus murder case.

86 made joint secretaries

In a major decision, the Awami League (AL) government yesterday promoted 86 deputy secretaries to the rank of joint secretary.

Anti-polybag drive begins

The National Taskforce on polythene bags launched fresh drives across the country yesterday to check environmental pollution.

New writers unhappy over sales

A good number of new books arrived at the Ekushey Boi Mela this year but dismal pictures of sales of these books let new writers down.

India gets crucial FBI evidence on Pakistani link

A team of Mumbai police is headed home armed with crucial evidence provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicating that the Nov 26 Mumbai terror attacks were planned in Pakistan.

UN asks Lanka not to kill civilians

The United Nations' top humanitarian official urged the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels yesterday to do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties amid accusations that 100 more civilians were killed in Lankan airstrikes.

Kyrgyzstan MPs approve closure of US air base

The Kyrgyz parliament voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to close a US military base on its territory that serves as a key supply route for coalition forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.

CIA using Pak airbase to attack militants

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has secretly been using an airbase in southwestern Pakistan to launch the predator drones to attack the militants within the country, a report said.

Ex-warlord sees prolonged conflict in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan troops face another 18 months of fighting even after they have all Tamil Tiger territory under their control, a former rebel has warned.


Withdrawal of 'politically motivated' cases

AS disclosed by the law minister, the government is to review all the cases that it considers were instituted with a political motive, against political opponents, by past governments -- since 1971. And for this purpose, a 10-member high powered committee has been formed at the apex, with subcommittees in all the 64 districts, to review the cases in a bid to withdraw the ones found to be politically tainted. The initiative of the government sounds reasonable if it leads to setting the innocent victims free and reducing the burden of the courts and meeting the ends of justice and not an exercise for partisan purpose.

Manna Dey in our midst

THERE is always a certain joy in music, in partaking of it as well as participating in it. And when the maker of such music is Manna Dey, it is a whole world of melody that opens up before those who believe that music and poetry and song are all. Nothing else is. That is a lesson we have learnt once again with the legendary artiste's latest visit to Bangladesh. Coming as it does at a time when we in this country recall once more the young men who sacrificed their lives in defence of the Bangla language, Dey's trip is a fitting tribute to that our glorious saga. Manna Dey, it may be recalled, has made music in a number of South Asian languages, notably Bangla, Urdu and Hindi.

Spare change

IS change in the air, as pledged by the ruling AL? The early indications are certainly not promising, but perhaps one should heed the prime minister's admonition that it is still too early to tell.

Presidency needs to be more than symbolic

CONGRATULATIONS to the 19th president of Bangladesh, and I wish him long life and good health, needless to say, a full and successful term in office. May I say let bygones be bygones. We need a twist in the presidency.


Opening ceremony at BNS?

The 'Home of Cricket' might be denied a chance to host the opening ceremony of the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup with the Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS) emerging as the front-runner ahead of the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium for the showpiece event of cricket's biggest bonanza.

A day for openers

Gazi Tank returned to wining ways in the Premier Cricket League with their top order shaping a five-wicket victory against lowly Young Pegasus yesterday.

England scent a win

England were eyeing a series-levelling victory, after setting West Indies 503 to win the third Test on Wednesday and at stumps on the fourth day needed seven wickets on the final day to secure the win.

Super Cup from Mar 6

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has finally decided to launch the Super Cup, the richest ever tournament in history of the country, on March 6.

Local Snippets

Dhaka University Begum Rokeya Hall held their annual sports competition at the hall playground yesterday. Supriya Rani Das of Bangla Department became champion and Charukola's Neelima Sarkar finished as runner up.

India seek elusive win

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's all-conquering India flew out to New Zealand on Thursday with confidence high they can redress a miserable Test record there.

Against the fame game

He owns a Ferrari but has not driven it for a year -- just one price that Sachin Tendulkar pays for his iconic status in cricket-mad India.

Facile victory for N'ganj

Narayanganj cruised to a 3-0 win against Satkhira in the final round of the Citycell National Women's Football Championship yesterday.

Kalabagan, Agrani on top

Kalabagan KC and Agrani Bank CC won their respective matches in the Dhaka First Division Cricket League yesterday.

Div III soccer

Anirban Sangha and Swadhinata Krira Chakra recorded identical 1-0 wins in the Citycell 3rd Division Football League yesterday.

Zenit win, Milan held

Competition-rusty champions Zenit St Peters-burg braved minus 10 degrees temperatures to beat VfB Stutt-gart, St Etienne relived the glory days and AC Milan and Aston Villa drew as 2009 UEFA Cup action kicked off on Wednesday.Petersburg, fixtureless since December 10, showed no little match fitness in beating their German opponents 2-1 at home in this last 32 match.

Full marks for MU

Wayne Rooney ended his six-week injury lay-off with a goal as Manchester United moved five points clear of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League with a 3-0 victory over Fulham at Old Trafford on Wednesday.Rooney, sidelined since straining a hamstring against Wigan on January 14, scored from South Korea winger Park Ji-Sung's cross moments after replacing Dimitar Berbatov to put the seal on United's latest victory.

Williams sisters on collision course

The Williams sisters moved within one match of another meeting when Serena Williams produced a performance of firm commitment and heavy hitting to reach the quarterfinals of the Dubai Open here on Wednesday.

Schaaf not happy

Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf claimed his side deserved more out of their UEFA Cup tie with AC Milan.

DFB slates Loew

Following consecutive home defeats, Germany coach Joachim Loew was criticised on Wednesday by German Football Federation (DFB) president Theo Zwanziger for the first time since taking charge.

L'pool ask for date change

Liverpool have written to UEFA to ask that the date of their potential Champions League quarterfinal second leg be changed to avoid a clash with the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Fergie counts Chelsea out

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes Chelsea have effectively ruled themselves out of the Premier League title race after sacking Luiz Felipe Scolari.

UEFA Cup results

UEFA Cup, round of 32, first leg results on Wednesday:

Kelly Smith joins Boston

Kelly Smith, the England forward who was a finalist for FIFA Women's Player of the Year in 2008, signed a multi-year contract on Wednesday with the Boston Breakers of Women's Pro Soccer.

Pak ready for Test return

Pakistan will hope to put a series of on and off-field disasters behind them and rebuild under new captain Younis Khan when they play their first Test in 14 months against Sri Lanka from Saturday.

Azharuddin enters politics

Former India cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin, who was forced to quit the game after a match-fixing scandal, entered the country's turbulent political scene on Thursday.

Where is Stanford?

Authorities were trying to track down Texas billionaire financier Allen Stanford on Thursday as fraud charges against the cricket promoter prompted panicked investors to withdraw cash from his banks.

Defar sets new WR

Ethiopia's 5,000 metres world champion Meseret Defar set a new world indoor record in the women's 5,000 metres at the Stockholm meeting on Wednesday.

Aus aim to acclimatise

Sydney to Potchefstroom in less than 48 hours. That was the whirlwind trip that greeted those members of Australia's Twenty20 side which beat New Zealand at the SCG on Sunday and were then required for the tour of South Africa. As preparation for a crucial Test series goes it's not ideal, so Australia's only warm-up game ahead of the first Test in Johannesburg will be a vital step as they aim to cling on to the No. 1 ranking that they now hold by their fingernails.

BSJA/Kool awards on Feb 28

The Bangladesh Sports Journalists Association (BSJA) awards for the years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 will be given at a formal ceremony on February 28 at the NSC Tower.


Counterfeit bearings roll into market

Counterfeit bearings have flooded the lucrative domestic market, affecting productivity mainly of industrial and agricultural sectors, two major bearing consuming sectors.

Scottish city to emulate Grameen Bank model

The Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) authorities and Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus yesterday signed a deal to replicate the Grameen Bank model in Glasgow to help reduce poverty in the Scottish city.

ADB asks Bangladesh to prepare for recession risk

ADB Deputy Director General for South Asia Frederick Roche said yesterday Bangladesh needs to begin preparation by now to face any worst situation of the global economic recession, which has gone beyond predictions by the world's top economists.

Muhith stresses CSR efforts for welfare

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday asked the business community to come forward to contribute to people's welfare, as it is difficult for the government alone to ensure all facilities for the entire population.

Kay & Que share rockets 58pc in one month

Share prices of Kay & Que, a concern of Multimode Group, rocketed by more than 58 percent in just one month, riding on a speculation that the listed company is going to start CNG refuelling business very soon.

Developing Asia doing worse than expected: ADB

Asia's developing economies are suffering more than expected from the global slowdown and must take steps to reduce their reliance on exports, the head of the Asian Development Bank said Thursday.

Muhith hints at emergency steps for crisis-hit sectors

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday indicated emergency contingency measures -- beyond budgetary provision -- for the frozen food and other sectors, already affected by the fallout from the global recession.

Barua seeks Chinese investment

Industries Minister Dilip Barua hoped that Chinese entrepreneurs would come forward to invest in Bangladesh's potential industrial sectors, including agro-based industries, tourism, light engineering and petrochemical fertiliser factories.

Ekushey, boom time for books

Little Maumita gestures disapprovingly, as she tightly holds on to two nursery rhyme books she got. She is not willing to share the books she bought from the book fair.

Effective economic diplomacy amid crisis

While Economic Diplomacy is something of a buzz phrase these days in policy circles, its importance has undoubtedly grown in a face of a global financial crisis that is expected to intensify over the balance of 2009.

Stocks marginally lower

Stocks closed the week marginally lower yesterday with institutional investors still in a buying mood.

Ctg trade fair kicks off tomorrow

The 17th Chittagong International Trade Fair (CITF)-2009 will kick off on the Railway Pologround here tomorrow with a view to promoting domestic products in the international markets.

Bangla processing software launched

The Centre for Research on Bangla Language Processing (CRBLP) at BRAC University yesterday launched the first official release of a Bangla language processing software package.

World focuses on SE Asia for economic revival: Thai minister

The world is increasingly focusing on Southeast Asia as a possible source of economic recovery, Thailand's finance minister said ahead of a key meeting of his regional counterparts.

Oil higher in Asian trade

Oil prices were higher in Asian trade Thursday ahead of a report expected to show a build-up in US crude inventories during the recession, dealers said.

HK's economy to contract in 2009

Hong Kong's economy grew 3.0 percent in 2008, while the government is expecting it to contract between 2.5 and 3.5 percent in 2009, Dow Jones Newswires said Thursday citing an unnamed source.

Asia shares edge higher

Most Asia markets rose Thursday as a weaker yen eased concerns over Japanese corporate earnings, despite investor caution elsewhere driven by doubts hanging over US and European economic outlooks.

India's fraud-hit Satyam sharply cuts costs

India's fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services announced stringent cost-cutting moves Thursday, warning it faced "extraordinary" challenges due its own financial woes and those worldwide.

Bankruptcy stalks automakers

Even if General Motors and Chrysler obtain billions more in government loans, the threat of bankruptcy remains high for the troubled automakers, analysts warned Wednesday.

Apollo signs deal with GBG

Apollo Hospitals Dhaka has signed an agreement with Global Benefit Group/Tie Care International (GBG) to help GBG-insured members with priority corporate benefits and medical services from the hospital.

Axa reveals 83pc profit slide

French insurance group Axa on Thursday reported an 83 percent plunge in 2008 net earnings that it blamed on asset writedowns and a weaker performance in its life insurance unit.

Japan steps up efforts to tackle recession

Japan's central bank on Thursday announced new emergency measures to tackle a deepening recession in Asia's biggest economy as it left its super-low interest rates unchanged for a second month.

India's inflation falls to 13-month low

India's inflation rate fell to a 13-month low, slipping below four percent, official data showed Thursday, stoking expectations of more interest rate cuts to spur a flagging economy.

Norway's economy to contract in 2009

Norway's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract by 1.7 percent this year as its economy is hit by the global economic downturn, the national statistics agency said Thursday.

Starbucks plays down British economy row

The Starbucks coffee chain sought to mend fences in Britain on Wednesday after Business Secretary Peter Mandelson slammed its chief executive for talking down the British economy.


Comprehensive reform in agri sector soon

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury at a workshop yesterday said the government is working to bring comprehensive reform in the agriculture sector to make Bangladesh a food surplus country.

Govt, UNDP sign $ 30.8m electoral database agreement

The Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) yesterday signed an agreement for the implementation of a new development project entitled “Construction of Server Stations for the Electoral Database ”.

MPs should not be advisers of UZ parishads

Speakers at a press conference yesterday called for self-governing of all local government institutions including upazila parishads to strengthen democracy at grassroots level.

Hasina asks partymen to be humble

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the party leaders and workers to be self-sacrificing and humble keeping in mind “there is someone above all.”

Accept CJ's suggestions

Eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday told the Supreme Court (SC) that if the recommendations of the chief justice (CJ) are not accepted in appointing judges to the High Court (HC), then the highest person of the judiciary will be turned into a less important person and the rule of law will be hampered.

Project for safe drinking water

The newly appointed High Commissioner of Australia to Bangladesh Dr Justin Lee and his spouse yesterday visited Manikganj to inaugurate a workshop promoting safe drinking water for local people, says a press release.

BNP to take hard line against move to eliminate opposition

Terming the post-election violence “a drive to eliminate the opposition from the country,” BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday asked the government not to make any situation so that the opposition party will be forced to take any extreme decision that will make 'single party parliament'.

Security tightened on Amar Ekushey

Both Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police have taken strict security measures with the deployment of around 8,000 forces ahead of the smooth celebration of 'Amar Ekushey' and International Mother Language Day tomorrow.

Cousin not Poly's killer

Five days after the gruesome murder, detective police arrested Eden College student Poly's killer from the Stadium market area in Paltan yesterday.

Ban Ki-moon supports govt for democracy

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Zillur Rahman on his assumption of the office of president and assured his maximum cooperation with the new government.

Mother tongues need to be nurtured: DU VC

Dhaka University Vice Chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique at a programme yesterday said mother tongues of different communities across the world should be preserved showing respect for the cultural diversities worldwide.

Barkal upazila chairman yet to be rescued

Santosh Kumar Chakma, a newly elected chairman of Barkal upazila, was not rescued even one month after his abduction.

40,000 eggs seized

At least 40,000 Indian eggs were seized from bordering Chouara Bazar area under Sadar Dakshin upazila in Comilla yeserday.

Citizenship (Amend) Ordn placed in JS

The government yesterday placed a bill in the parliament to ratify the citizenship (amendment) ordinance, beginning the process to translate 54 ordinances out of 122 ordinances promulgated during the tenure of caretaker governments into laws.

Re-excavation at Wari-Bateshwar tomorrow

The archaeological excavation at the historic Wari-Bateshwar village is going to start for the eighth time tomorrow.

Pak's envoy comment protested

Eleven-party alliance formed a human chain in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday protesting the comment by Zia Ispahani, who is visiting Bangladesh as special envoy of Pakistan president, on trial of war criminals.

Fire breaks out at warehouse of city garment factory

Huge quantity of clothes and accessories were gutted in a fire at a warehouse of a garment factory at West Hazipara in the city yesterday.

Boy falls from fourth floor of building, dies

A seven-year-old boy died after he fell from the fourth floor of a five-storey building while he was looking outside through a window at Lalbagh in the city yesterday evening.

1 killed, 50 injured in Netrakona clash

One person was killed and 50 others were injured in a clash between two groups of villagers at Sukhari village under Atpara upazila in Netrakona yesterday.

1 killed, 55 injured in road accidents

One person was killed and 55 others were injured in separate road accidents in Gopalganj and Pabna yesterday.

Cop killer arrested

Mugger Mamun who stabbed to death a police sub-inspector and injured three other policemen on Wednesday was arrested at Bhairabpur Government Adarsha Shishu School in Bhairab upazila yesterday.

Afazuddin wins Channel i Agri Award 2009

Afazuddin, a marginal farmer from the village Kholabaria in Natore who later became the pioneer of herbal plant cultivation, has won this year's Channel i Agriculture Award 2009.

Ensure women representation in CHT local bodies

Women leaders at a workshop said representation of women in every sector in the CHIT region is a must to strengthen their rights.

RCC to seek less compensation from PGCL for gas supply

Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) yesterday decided to reduce the compensation it had earlier demanded from Pashchimanchal Gas Company Limited (PGCL) for road digging by Tk 16 crore with a view to ensuring early availability of natural gas supply.

Islamic varsity standstill without VC

Kushtia Islamic University is now at a complete standstill as no new vice chancellor (VC) has been appointed yet.

5 PBCP cadres arrested in Sirajganj

Police in two separate drives arrested five cadres of outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) from Ullapara and Tarash in the district early yesterday.

2 held with arms in Bandarban

Two alleged terrorists were held with two firearms on Myanmar-Bangladesh border at Beng Charipara under Roangchari upazila in Bandarban on Wednesday.

Jessore BNP leader gets nine years

A court yesterday sentenced Jessore district BNP Vice-president (VP) Nurunnabi to nine years imprisonment and fined him Tk 1.5 lakh for concealing information and amassing wealth beyond known sources of income.

Ex-BNP MP Hafiz freed on bail

Former BNP lawmaker Hafiz Ibrahim was released on bail from Dhaka Central Jail yesterday.

Training for police on child rights

The concluding ceremony of the two-day training workshop titled 'Training for trainers of law enforcing agencies on the issue of child rights, protection and the responsibilities of law enforcing agencies' organised by Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) was held at the conference room of the mission in the city yesterday.

Mamun's detention illegal

The High Court (HC) yesterday declared the detention of controversial businessman Giasuddin Al Mamun illegal.

Mohammadpur School reunion

A reunion of the former students of Mohammadpur Government High School will be held soon, says a press release.


Our man Mashrafe!

Is he lucky? No, never! Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, the Bangladeshi player with whom 150 million people may take pride, has been sold at $600,000 and he brought priceless pride for Bangladesh. This is it. The luxurious and expensive cricket auction of Indian Premier League 2009 ends and Mushrafe stuns millions of cricket fans round the world. Is $600.000 unbelievable price for Mashrafe? I disagree, why we should forget that we have some world-class cricketers. The world knows them but is reluctant to acknowledge. Bangladesh, a country of countless miseries, has gifted many hidden talents like Mashrafe. His price shows the dawn of Bangladeshi cricket. Now we of course will be getting due evaluation from cricket experts.

Children with asthma

There were nearly 200,000 hospitalisations and 750,000 emergency room visits for children due to asthma in 2004 worldwide. If you're unsure about the severity of your child's asthma, talk to your child's healthcare provider.

Information gap?

After a long wait Upazila Parishad Election was held on 22 January 2009. Nevertheless, the election couldn't elicit much praise compared to the national election. This is also a great achievement that we got an important tier of local government after 17 years.

Functioning parliament

The two former and one late & the incumbent speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad never thought that the House could be turned into a temporary court for running smoothly the sessions & the special committee meetings.

Critical phase

How can we relate sociology, politics, religion, economics? I am puzzled right at this time. In Bangladesh we can see bad coins replacing good ones. This law of economics is operating nearly in every area of our national life.

Indian HC's comments

The BNP has officially refuted the Indian High Commissioner for his, what the party has termed as, undiplomatic remarks on BNP's statements on Indo-Bangla relationship. The Indian High Commissioner might have gone a bit out of diplomatic norms because he has been accredited to Bangladesh to represent his country to maintain and further develop relationship with this country. We do not support the way he has remarked on the remarks of the BNP over the expected signing of some agreements between the two countries. But we feel the BNP, which came to power twice and ruled this country for over a decade, should now return to sense and speak things of merit.

PM in traffic jam

In your paper I saw the photograph of the Prime Minister convoy stuck in the Farm gate traffic jam which made me very happy because this is definitely a change that we the ordinary citizen welcome. We do want to see our VVIPs going about in the city without making a nuisance of stopping the traffic for hours till they cross as has been practised so long. Prime Minister Hasina had promised 'changes' in her manifesto and she surely showed that with her cabinet choice. Then one of the first parliamentary decisions has been the trial of the war criminals.

Rangpur University

This is a matter of great satisfaction that Rangpur University is now a reality. Although, from its very outset, the university has been facing various obstacles.


Though it's too early to comment on the activities of the AL government, I am not happy to see the proceedings actually. Particularly, the picture that was published in the front page of The Daily Prothom Alo was so disheartening for me. I voted for the AL for a change but what I saw is something that makes me confused about the future of Bangladesh. A few days ago, you commented in your writing about the theme (digital Bangladesh) of the AL's election manifesto. You rightly said that before making Bangladesh digitally developed, the AL should make itself digitally equipped. I am so much disheartened to see such a picture that makes me feel shy to my friends and relatives whom I suggested to vote for the change. But the AL has failed to get rid of the allegation that is said brought by their rivals, which is that it is the “factory of hooligans.” Now I think I have to believe in this allegation.

Indian FM's visit

Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee paid a brief visit to Dhaka recently and signed some agreements and called on the Prime Minister. These were expected.

Deprived enclave people

The world, despite having 194 independent states, has turned into a global village with the blessings of information technology. Every nation enjoys the facilities and services of an invention by a particular nation. In this era of modern nation state, the citizens are ensured all kinds of rights and facilities and even modern amenities for the ultimate advancement of the nation. In this modern age, more than hundred thousand Bangladeshi citizens living in the 33 enclaves in four Lalmonirhat Upazilas are deprived of fundamental rights and facilities; free movement, proper education, healthcare facilities, employment opportunities and communication, security of life and property and administrative facilities, due to the isolation of enclaves from the mainland by two kilometres. Whereas the countries manifold bigger than Bangladesh can properly ensure the citizens' due rights, we are reasonably optimistic about our government's ability and efficiency to do so.

Dead turtles

A revealing news item published in The Daily Star of February 10 stated that hundreds of dead turtles were found ashore along the coastal lines from Cox's Bazar to St Martin's Island. The report is very alarming for our ecology. We came to know that the fishermen killed the turtles entangled in their fine fishing nets indiscriminately. They did not prefer to release them. Some fishermen told that it was a very hazardous task to release the turtles into water. Actually, the ignorant fishermen are not aware of the repercussion of their insensible act. They are ruining the biodiversity and polluting the environment immensely. The experts warn of an impending environmental disaster as the aftermath of the large scale deaths of the turtles in the Bay of Bengal. The authorities should take some effective measures to motivate the illiterate fishermen, so that they stop such insensible acts.

Nation must know…

It is just a month that the AL government has come to power after a landslide victory in the last general election. Recently, General Moeen U Ahemd has launched his book titled “Shantir Swapney” where he explained how martial law was averted during 1/11 changeover. The speculation which was in the air prior to that change is now found to be true as Mr. Moeen wrote in his book that it sounded like a veiled threat to him when envoys of some powerful countries told him that they would request the UN to withdraw Bangladeshi peacekeepers if the army cooperated in holding the elections on January 22, 2007 without participation of all the parties. This is a proof that the vital internal matters of our country are being controlled by outside forces.

Save BTV

BTV and BTV world are the government televisions which people have easy access to all over the country. I didn't normally watch BTV due to its o “loyalty” to the ruling party or the government. I had a satellite connection with our television before the AL government came to power. After the grand achievement of the grand alliance, I have also disconnected satellite connection.

Old habits…

It seems old habits die hard, especially for our honourable ministers and lawmakers. Just a few weeks ago they were busy bragging about making parliament effective and now they are fighting about seat arrangements when the whole nation is falling apart. I am grateful to The Daily Star for exposing the horrendous state of our primary schools across Bangladesh but what do our politicians care about, when they can afford to send their kids to schools such as ISD, AISD, etc.

A Banani resident speaks

I have been living in Banani for the past nine years. Before that, I used to come here for a visit from time to time. The house is my grandparents' home. From the year 2000 till date, I have seen many changes in my locality, both good and bad, but never could fight the bad ones out. But now I am seeing things and finding no one to help me back my wishes.

Congratulations, Akash Pradip

I read your novel 'After the Road Accident'. It is a masterpiece. Before I read your several articles in DS. From Gaza to Sri Lanka about many things you wrote. But this time you have written about the most burning issue of Bangladesh i.e. 'road accident'. I enjoyed the novel.

City within a city

This may sound like a commercial. No, this is not a shopping mall, this is not an advertisement for a supermarket. This is the present picture of a residential place called Dhanmondi. Yes, this is the once Dhanmondi residential area now which can be termed as the capital of Dhaka. It may sound funny and sarcastic but the reality is as follows:


Nato ministers review Afghan strategy

Nato defence ministers reviewed yesterday strategy on Afghanistan under pressure to match fresh US efforts to combat a virulent Taliban-led insurgency.

Israel nears decision on truce with Hamas

Top Israeli Cabinet ministers opened debate Wednesday on a proposal for a sweeping ceasefire deal with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, seeking to deliver quiet to the country's south and bring home a captive soldier before the government leaves office in the coming weeks.

N Korean disarmament stalled by possible succession: Hillary

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday a looming leadership change in North Korea seems to have stalled its nuclear disarmament and that a new strategy is needed to break the deadlock.

Iran 'considering' offer of US talks: FM

Iran is considering holding face-to-face talks with Washington but first needs to see a concrete shift in US policy, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said yesterday.

Cleric, Taliban leader talk peace in Pakistan

A hardline cleric sought yesterday to convince the Taliban to disarm under a pact with Pakistan's government that has been criticised at home and abroad as giving into militants ravaging the country's northwest, a militant spokesman said.

Pakistan unrest displaces over 300,000 in northwest

More than 300,000 people in northwest Pakistan have been displaced over the last six months because of fighting between Taliban insurgents and government troops, officials said Wednesday.

Lankan troops unearth LTTE aircraft research site

After uncovering attempts of Tamil Tigers to build crude submarines, Sri Lankan forces yesterday said they had unearthed a possible rebel aircraft research wing that apparently studied ways to either repair planes or construct new ones.

Lankan troops unearth LTTE aircraft research site

After uncovering attempts of Tamil Tigers to build crude submarines, Sri Lankan forces yesterday said they had unearthed a possible rebel aircraft research wing that apparently studied ways to either repair planes or construct new ones.

Journalist killed while covering Swat peace rally

Musa Khankhel, A local journalist, was killed by unknown assailants in Matta area of Swat district on Wednesday Musa Khankhel, correspondent of The News and Geo TV was kidnapped by unidentified people from Matta area, where he was covering the convoy of the Tehreek Nifaz-i-Shariat Muhammadi's chief Maulana Sufi Mohammad.

UN on alert ahead of Beshir arrest warrant decision

Peacekeepers in Sudan are on high alert for fear of a potential hostile reaction against foreigners if the International Criminal Court accepts a recommendation to issue a warrant for the arrest for President Omar al-Beshir.

Shoe-thrower defiant as Iraq opens trial

The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George W. Bush defiantly defended his actions in court on Thursday, saying he had become emotionally overwhelmed when confronted by the ex-US president.

US, Poland ink special forces cooperation deal

The United States and Poland yesterday inked a deal boosting cooperation between their special forces on the sidelines of Nato talks in Krakow, senior US and Polish officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

Naeem Mohaiemen takes a look at fear mongering

Naeem Mohaiemen's photo installation "Otondro, Guarding Who, Against What" is one of two installations at the ongoing Chobi Mela V. The other is Camille Zakharia's "Marking." Both installations are being held at the National Art Gallery, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

25th anniversary of short and alternative film movement

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of short and alternative film movement in Bangladesh, a four-day screening titled "Short and Alternative Film Festival" was inaugurated at Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library on February 18. The festival, arranged by Chalachchitram Film Society, also marks the 25th anniversary of two pioneering Bangladeshi short films -- Morshedul Islam's "Agami" and Tanvir Mokammel's "Hulia."

“Hridoye Mati O Manush” turns six

Channel i's acclaimed agricultural programme “Hridoye Mati O Manush” is turning six on February 21. On the occasion a press conference was held at Channel i's Siddeshwari office yesterday.

Aronney: Theatre on a tree

A troupe of Rajshahi Theatre artistes returned home after overwhelming a sizeable audience in Behrampore of Murshidabad district, India, staging a unique play on a tree.

Language competition by HSBC and Prothom Alo

Final round of the Bangla Language Competition titled "Bhasha Protijogita' (Barisal zone) ended in the town with a vow to promote the mother language.

Rajrupa's solo sarod recital

Rajrupa Chowdhury, born in Kolkata, started her 'taalim' in sarod at the tender age of five under the aegis of Siddhartha Roy Chowdhury. She secured the first class first position in her Masters in Instrumental Music from the Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, in 2006. The virtuoso sarod player now lives in Dhaka.

Shah Abdul Karim's 94th birthday celebrated

A bard of the masses, Shah Abdul Karim, also known as "Baul Samrat," has shaped the music of the northeastern part of the country. His songs emit passion unbound and have won the hearts of people from all walks of life. This living legend's birth anniversary should be celebrated on national level, conveyed speakers at a discussion held as part of observing of the 94th birthday of Karim last Sunday at his home village Dhol, under Derai upazila in Sunamganj district.

Sonia crowned in Khagrachhari Talent Hunt ‘08

Sonia Das has reason to be elated. Hailing from the remote area of Guimara under Ramghor upazila, she was crowned the winner of the Khagrachhari Talent Hunt, 2008 in the final round held at the district town hall on February-16.


Development as freedom?

"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."
John F. Kennedy

Growing green

ECONOMIC stimulus is the order of the day. This is as it must be, as governments around the world struggle to jump-start the global economy. But even as leaders address the immediate need to stimulate the economy, so too must they act jointly to ensure that the new de facto economic model being developed is sustainable for the planet and our future on it.

Afghan pitfalls

AS the United States prepares to escalate its eight-year war against the Taliban, it might be useful to weigh its chances of success.

The Daily Star

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