The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, December 23, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 25th of February, 2009

Front Page

Army-BDR's poll day power cut

Parliament yesterday passed a bill scrapping the authority of the military and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel to arrest anyone without warrant for violation of electoral laws on the polling day.

MP advice not a must for chairmen

The government yesterday placed a bill in parliament seeking revival of the defunct Upazila Parishad Act, 1998, scrapping the controversial provision of the act that made it mandatory for the parishads to follow suggestions of local lawmakers.

Govt to review draft coal policy soon

The Awami League government will soon start reviewing the draft coal policy left by the immediate past caretaker government that many people believe has become complicated, anti-investment and discouraging for development of the coal sector due to pressure from various groups.

Ganges Barrage scheme put on ice for decades

Although the foundation stone of the Ganges Barrage Project was laid nearly three decades ago, successive governments could not even finalise a site for the barrage yet, leading to continuing deterioration of the ecology and agriculture of southern Bangladesh.

96 ordinances come to a full stop

Ninety six of the ordinances promulgated just before and during the immediate past caretaker government are null and void this morning as the parliament neither ratified those nor did it get them as bills for ratification by yesterday.

Two finance ordinances ratified amid walkout

Amid walkout of BNP-led alliance lawmakers, the House yesterday ratified two finance ordinances legalising imposition and realisation of taxes during the immediate past caretaker government rule.

Bigwigs to go to grassroots

Considering the recommendations of grassroots level leaders, BNP may assign senior leaders to visit districts across the country next week to start the process of reorganising the party.

Four public universities get new VCs

The government yesterday appointed new vice chancellors (VCs) of another four public universities-- Jahangirnagar, Rajshahi, Chittagong and Shahjalal universities--education ministry sources said.

No respite for Abu Karim

Two sedition cases were filed yesterday against the force-retired information secretary on charges of writing a satirical verse on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members and publishing malicious remarks subversive to the state.

DCC polls on April 10-12

The Election Commission (EC) has sent a proposal to the government for holding the long due election to Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) by April 10-12, and announcing the polls schedule early next month.

Govt plans dredging in Gorai

The government will soon carry out dredging in the riverbed of Gorai, a key river in the southwestern region, to increase the flow of salinity-free water essential for agricultural production in winter.

Uttara torn up

All hell seems to break loose in city's largest residential area Uttara every morning as school goers and commuters begin their daily journey to their destinations.

Don't fell trees to set up ship breaking yards

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon five owners of ship-breaking yard and the concerned government authorities to show cause why the construction of the yards, causing deforestation in the country's coastal areas, should not be declared illegal.

Outlaws regrouping in SW under political cover

Several outlawed parties and gangs in the country's south-western region have started regrouping and resuming their activities under the command of over 50 kingpins.

Thaksin supporters surround PM office, demand snap polls

Thousands of anti-government protesters besieged the Thai prime minister's office yesterday to demand snap elections, unleashing fresh political turmoil days before the kingdom hosts a key summit.

Price spiral pushed 40 lakh people into poverty in 2 years

Almost four million (40 lakh) people have been pushed into poverty due to price hike of essentials during last two years when half the total population, including 36 percent hardcore poor, was already under poverty line a study said.

Bangladesh won't let its land used for terrorism

Bangladesh would not allow anyone to use its territory as a springboard for terrorist activities, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday while addressing a function at Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters marking the BDR Week-2009.

WB to fund power plants, distribution

The World Bank has assured the government of providing funds for setting up new power plants, renovation and enhancing capacity of old ones and development of distribution system in rural areas.

Ship-breaking worker killed in Sitakunda

A ship-breaking worker was killed when a heavy iron-wire fell on him in Bhatiari area of Sitakunda upazila yesterday morning.

Recession sends them home

In early signs of fallout from the global economic meltdown, Bangladeshi migrant workers have started returning home from abroad, battered by layoffs and forced vacations without pay.

Ex-Prime Bank high-ups asked to show cause

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) issued a show-cause notice on Thursday to former high-ups of Prime Bank Limited asking clarification about the bank's involvement in mysterious transactions happened during the tenure of last four-party alliance government.

Plan taken to build subway in Dhaka

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain informed the House yesterday that the government has undertaken a plan to construct subway in Dhaka city to help ease traffic congestion.

Dictionaries top Bangla Academy sales this year

Bangla Academy has made sales over Tk 51 lakh at the Ekushey Boi Mela so far this year with dictionaries topping their sales list.

Fake milk factory unearthed

A factory producing adulterated ghee and milk was unearthed yesterday at Ramnagar village of Sadar upazila Monday night.

Satellite to monitor CO crashes into ocean

A US satellite to monitor global carbon dioxide emissions failed to reach orbit early yesterday and crashed into the ocean near Antarctica, an official said at a Nasa press conference.

George Harrison returns to who he sang for

It is more than a song. It is testimony to a great soul empathising with a nation fighting for independence.

HC judges' petition reflects political intention: AG

Attorney General (AG) Mahbubey Alam yesterday told the Supreme Court (SC) that contents of the leave to appeal petition filed by 29 sitting judges of the High Court (HC) against the HC verdict concerning 10 unconfirmed judges apparently reflect the political intention of a vested quarter.

Editorial

Letting UZ parishad work to potential

The government is all but decided to reintroduce the UZ Parishad Act 1998, albeit with certain amendments, in place of the Local Government (Upazilla Parishad) Ordinance 2008, promulgated by the erstwhile caretaker government. And in this matter we share some of the concerns expressed by the vast majority of the recently sworn in chairmen and vice-chairmen of UZ parishads.

Remittance slump in offing?

That recruitment agents fear a 50 per cent slump in the demand for migrant workers due to the on-going global economic crisis, which could lead to a corresponding slump in remittance earnings, is worrisome news for the economy.

The Tipaimukh issue

INDIA is constructing the Tipaimukh barrage barely one kilometer away from Bangladesh's northeast border, threatening to dry up the flow of the Surma and Kushiara rivers during the lean period. The Daily Star carried this report on February 15 showing the barrage on the Barak River at Churachandpur in Assam will render barren vast arable lands in northeast Bangladesh, and change the ecology and climate in the region.

Time to let Myanmar in?

IT is reported that Myanmar, now observer in the Saarc has, in May 2008, officially applied to the Saarc Secretariat for full membership. India is believed to be endorsing Myanmar's bid, and that has encouraged the latter. The application could be considered at the 16th Saarc Summit in the Maldives in 2009.

Single-faith nation an invitation to Taliban

BREAST-beating has its dangers. You could lacerate yourself while the assassin laughs all the way to the graveyard. The international lamentation over the negotiated surrender of Swat in Pakistan to what might broadly be called the Taliban is high on moaning and low on illumination.

Sports

BCB stalled?

A lot was expected when the tried and tested organisers took over the office of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), the richest sports body in the country, after a fervent election in November last year.

1st Indo-Kiwi T20 today

New Zealand have drawn on the inside knowledge of former India coach John Wright as they prepare to play the side they regard as the best in the world.

Younis sets records roll

Younis Khan smashed several records on his way to a pugnacious maiden triple hundred as the first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka headed for a draw here Tuesday.

No progress in ICL talks

The International Cricket Council (ICC), Indian Cricket League (ICL) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) failed to reach a resolution after a three-hour meeting in Johannesburg on Monday on the unauthorised league's request for official recognition. No further discussions are scheduled and the ICL's application will be now be considered once again by the ICC executive board in April.

Benitez plots an upset

Rafael Benitez and his array of Spanish stars return to their homeland on Wednesday as Liverpool tussle with Spanish champions Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu with both vying for a first leg advantage as they bid to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

Klinsi waits on Toni

Bayern Munich are hoping to have Luca Toni back for their Champions League clash at Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday after the Italian striker recovering from a heel injury.

Return of Ranieri

If the pronouncements emanating from Stamford Bridge this week are to be believed, Guus Hiddink walked through the door and suddenly all was harmony and common purpose once more at Chelsea.

Woodgate sinks Hull

A late goal from Engl-and defender Jonathan Woodgate gave Spurs what could be a crucial three points in the fight against relegation as they beat fellow Premiership strugglers Hull 2-1 here on Monday.

Murray limps thru'

Andy Murray, who injured an ankle while winning the Rotterdam tournament the week before last, appeared to have injured it again while reaching the second round of the Dubai Open in an oddly ironic finish.

Local Snippets

National star-studded Usha KC came from behind to beat Bangladesh Navy 4-1 to reach the final of the Need For Speed Shaheed Smriti Hockey Tournament at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

BFF in search of GS

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has finally decided to appoint a general secretary after the post laid vacant for about ten months.

Sajid powers Wanderers

Dhaka Wanderers rode on a blistering 116 by Sajid to defeat Kalabagan at the Dhaka University Ground in the Dhaka First Division Cricket League yesterday.

Krirapally for SA Games trainees

The krirapally at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium will be allotted only for the South Asian Games trainees, said National Sports Council (NSC) chairman General Moeen U Ahmed yesterday.

Liza shares lead with two

Last year's runner-up WFM Shamima Akter Liza shared lead with Sharmin Sultana Shirin and Masuda Begum after the third round of the 30th Parachute National Women's Chess Championship at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall-room yesterday.

Aussie cause for concern

Australia, clinging on to their world championship, have selection posers ahead of the first Test against challengers South Africa, starting at the Wanderers Stadium Thursday.

AB awaits bowling strips

AB de Villiers has predicted a tough time for batsmen from both sides in the Test series that begins in Johannesburg on Thursday, with plenty of swing expected to give the fast bowlers a boost. That could mean an advantage for South Africa, who boast one of the world's strongest pace attacks, while Australia will field a vastly inexperienced group led by Mitchell Johnson.

England draw tour match

England had a decent workout on the final day of their tour match against the Barbados Cricket Association President's XI which ended here on Monday and ended in a draw.

Flintoff keen to play IPL

Andrew Flintoff has said he has no plans to pull out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in April, despite England's concerns over the hip injury that has already forced him to miss Thursday's fourth Test against West Indies in Barbados.

Clarke ECB boss again

Giles Clarke was formally re-elected as chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday, despite criticism of his role in getting the England team embroiled with Allen Stanford, the Texas businessman accused of a nine-billion-dollar fraud.

Abu Dhabi group now after Milan

Manchester City's Abu Dhabi owners are interested in buying a forty per cent share in Italian giants AC Milan, the Corriere della Sera reported on Tuesday.

AirAsia, Sahara in MU shirt sponsor race

Malaysian budget airline AirAsia on Tuesday joined the race to become Manchester United's shirt sponsor as India's Sahara group said it was still in talks with the club.

Grandchild revitalises Maradona

Argentina boss Diego Maradona said on Monday he was revitalised and raring to go following the birth last week of his first grandchild Benjamin to daughter Giannina and Atletico Madrid star Sergio Aguero.

Fletcher's family burgled

The fiancee of Manchester United star Darren Fletcher had a knife pressed to her throat during a "terrifying" burglary at his home, police said on Tuesday.

Business

Workers return home in crisis

Migrant workers have started returning home, battered by early lay-offs and 'long vacations' without pay, as recession is drying up businesses in host countries.

Heated arguments halt BGMEA polls briefly

The BGMEA polls came to a 30-minute halt yesterday due to heated arguments over an alleged move by FBCCI President Annisul Huq to seek votes for a candidate at the election centre in Dhaka.

Landline industry growth falters

The landline phone industry continues performing below the mark, recording a mere 0.7 percent rate of growth in new customer addition in the month of January.

BB recommends fiscal safeguard against recession

The central bank yesterday advised the government to keep a “fiscal space” to support sectors that may feel the pinch of the global financial crisis.

Sammilito Parishad leading in BGMEA polls

Abdus Salam Murshedy-led panel from Sammilito Parishad was leading in 25 out of 27 posts of directors in yesterday's election of BGMEA, the apex trade body for the highest export-earning sector.

SEC scraps licences of two merchant banks

The stock market regulator yesterday scrapped the licences of two merchant banks, aiming to cart off "inactive elements", officials said.

Recession unlikely to affect trade ties with US

The global financial meltdown would not affect bilateral trade relations between the United States and Bangladesh, said deputy chief of political economic affairs of the US Embassy yesterday.

Next budget to address recession: NBR chief

The government will design the next budget keeping in mind the preparations for coping with the impact of the worldwide recession.

Financial crisis boon for SMEs

The global financial crisis may brighten prospect for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Bangladesh, speakers said yesterday.

Taskforce to monitor recession

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said yesterday the government is set to form a high-powered taskforce within the next week to face the challenges stemming from the ongoing global financial recession.

Biz Letters

Women entrepreneurs in Sylhet


Sylhet is a prominent city in Bangladesh for diverse reasons, such as the great saint Hazrat Shahjalal (R). More than a thousand years ago, he came here and once it was the center of Islam in the South Asian region in terms of publicity. His arrival distinctly differentiated the identity of the people in the district as well. Till now, there is a heritage that the people of this region are pious. They generally are assumed to follow the rules and regulations of Islam.

Asians in for a bumpy ride

In its final look at Asian economies and their unique methods of combating the recession, Asia News Network brings down the focus to The Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos and finally, Bangladesh.

Who's minding your food?

So, a guy walks into a restaurant. Who makes sure his food is safe?

Asian markets tumble

Asian markets tumbled Tuesday, taking their cue from a rout on Wall Street overnight as investors expressed disappointment and uncertainty over the Obama administration's bank rescue plan.

Oil prices hold steady

Oil prices held firm on Tuesday after losses the previous day but gains were capped by lingering demand concerns and sliding equity markets, analysts said.

China to spend billions in European spree

Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming was set to fly to Europe Tuesday at the head of a 300-strong team charged with spending billions of dollars on European products, state media said.

Eurozone current account drops into deficit: ECB

The flow of current payments into and out of the eurozone switched sharply to show a deficit last year from a surplus in 2007, figures from the European Central Bank showed on Tuesday.

Philippines migration up despite economic crisis

Tens of thousands more people are leaving the Philippines to work abroad despite the global economic downturn which was expected to hit overseas employment, the labour department said Tuesday.

German Ifo confidence index falls to record low

German business confidence hit an all-time low in February, the closely watched Ifo indicator revealed Tuesday, as leaders in the manufacturing sector reported deeper gloom in Europe's biggest economy.

Metropolitan

FM favours talks with extremists to resolve any problem

There is scope for discussions with extremists for the sake of resolving any problem, Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni said yesterday, as an international meet began brainstorming here on counter-terrorism measures.

Owners renting rooms to militants will also face trial

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday warned that any house owners renting rooms to people linked to militants or involved in militancy would be charged with aiding and abetting the militants and face trial.

'Co-management vital to ensure livelihood, revenue'

Speakers at a workshop yesterday underscored the need for introducing co-management system involving local communities in the management of the country's water bodies to ensure livelihood of the rural communities as well as generating revenue incomes.

Target deferred for three years

Evaluating the present situation in primary education, the government has deferred one year from the target to bring all children in schools and three years another goal to ensure cent percent literacy rate in the country.

Total enrolment of children in primary edn by 2011

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid at a discussion yesterday said half of the country's population are illiterate after six decades of the language movement and four decades of independence.

Call to consider migration risk in making strategy

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday called upon the international community to design climate change adaptation strategy considering the possibility of huge migration from the areas of Bangladesh, vulnerable to sea level rise due to climate change.

'Children drugged to sleep'

Sometimes at the traffic signals, some women are seen begging with sleeping children in their laps. But they do not wake to the blaring horns of passing cars and buses or even to rain or scorching heat.

Political parties won't waste time on minor problems

Political parties in Bangladesh will not waste their energy fighting each other on minor problems, rather they will work together for development of the country, leader of the German parliamentary delegation Sebastian Edathy expressed this optimism yesterday.

Saudi assistance to continue

Saudi Ambassador in Dhaka Dr Abdullah bin Naser Al Busairi yesterday said his country would continue their assistance in different development programmes of Bangladesh.

IO seeks 4-day remand for two accused

Investigation Officer (IO) of the much-talked-about '10 truck-loaded Arms Case' in the port city yesterday sought a four-day remand for each of the two prime accused.

Danish princess visits UCEP school

Danish Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein visited the Underprivileged Children Educational Programme (UCEP) school at Mirpur in the city yesterday.

Titas trade unionists fight over supremacy

Leaders and supporters of two trade unions of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd yesterday chased each other over establishing supremacy in the organisation.

Results of registration exam published

The result of the Non-government Teachers Registration Examination-2008 was published yesterday with pass rate 32.38

Madrasa students catch 3 mobile libraries

Madrasa students with the help of locals caught three persons of a mobile library in the city's Bakshi Bazar area Monday night and handed over them to police suspecting their involvement in militancy.

Road crash kills boy in city

A minor boy was killed in a road accident at Rupganj at Pallabi in the city yesterday.

Contribution of Dr Ahmad Sharif recalled

The 10th death anniversary of Prof Dr Ahmad Sharif, a renowned scholar, researcher and a forerunner of free thought movement, was observed yesterday.

Muggers kill one in city

Muggers killed a trader in the Civil Aviation area near Zia International Airport while seven others sustained injuries in four separate snatching incidents in the city on Monday night and early yesterday.

Birth anniversary of Prof Jamal Nazrul celebrated

The 70th birth anniversary of Professor Emeritus Dr Jamal Nazrul Islam, an eminent scientist, was celebrated in the port city yesterday.

Air chief calls on president

Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal S M Ziaur Rahman called on President Zillur Rahman at Bangabhaban yesterday.

BBC World Debate today

BBC World News in association with the BBC World Service Trust will hold a debate titled 'Are there too many people in the world?' at Lalbagh Fort in the city today.

VoIP equipment seized in Ctg

Detective branch of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) seized huge quantity of illegal Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) equipment from Enayet Bazar in Chittagong yesterday.

Students block road

Several hundred students of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) put up a barricade on Dhaka-Rajshahi highway yesterday night protesting assault on a Ruet teacher by ticket sellers at Rajshahi rail station.

Prof Yusuf new CU VC

Former pro-vice chancellor Prof Abu Yusuf Alam has been appointed the vice chancellor (VC) of Chittagong University (CU) yesterday.

Digitalise Bangla language

Speakers at a seminar yesterday urged the government to save Bangla and digitalise the language to build a 'Digital Bangladesh'.

BMSP executives

Binoy Krishna Mollick was elected president of the executive committee of Bangladesh Manobadhikar Samonnoy Parishad (BMSP) recently.

SKorea keen to recruit more manpower

South Korea is keen to recruit more manpower from Bangladesh and increase its assistance for the development of solar and coal energy sectors, and Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant.

BOU exam results published

The subject-wise and final results of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th semester examinations, held in 2007, of BA and BSS programme run by School of Social Science, Humanities and

National

Rampant shark poaching on

Indiscriminate shark catching continues in the coastal areas to the south of Patuakhali and Barguna districts defying ban and threat to ecology in the Bay.

Launch owner sues owner of cargo vessel

Owner of passenger launch ML Fahmida Happy Express that capsized in the Kirtankhola River on Thursday has lodged a case against the owner and eight crew and staff of cargo vessel MV Sanim that caused the accident, demanding Tk 8 lakh as compensation.

Reopen mills, pay arrears

Over 1,000 laid-off workers of People's Jute Mills yesterday staged demonstration in front of the administrative building demanding payment of their arrear wages and reopening of the mills.

'Robber cop' closed

A sub-inspector (SI) of police of Ulipur Police Station was closed to Kurigram Police Lines Monday night for his alleged involvement in a robbery.

Jubok staff denied bail

Four officials of Jubo Karmasangsthan Society (Jubok), arrested on Monday on charge of embezzling Tk 35 crore of its members, were yesterday refused bail and sent to jail.

Enemies damaged Mahasthangarh ramparts with explosives!

The southern ramparts of Mahasthangarh archaeological site were damaged due to an 'explosion' in the seventh century, says a report by Bangladesh-France joint excavation team.

Crops washed away in dam collapse

Crops on about 50 acres of land washed away following collapse of a Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) embankment at Sondaha point in Bera upazila yesterday morning, officials said.

2 UPDF men abducted

An armed gang on Monday abducted two activists of the United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) from in front of Kakali Cinema Hall in the district town.

Contractor, Jubo Dal man sued

Owner of a construction firm and a Jubo Dal cadre have been sued for assaulting an engineer of Barisal Sadar upazila local government engineering department.

Letters

Ekushey Book Fair

February 21 has become synonymous with our collective spirit of an independent nation. The students' rise for the cause of the mother tongue on 21st of this month in 1952 against the Pak regime was the prelude to the subsequent emergence of an independent Bangladesh.

Traffic jam

This has reference to article "TRAPPED IN TAILBACK" by Helemul Alam, The Daily Star dated 13th Feb 09, regarding traffic jams.

Noise pollution

Noise pollution is one of the emerging threats to health. The ill effects of acute and chronic effects of noise are though well known to doctors and scientists, people of Bangladesh are largely ignorant about it. We not only damage our health but also many pregnant women, aged persons and children are badly affected by it. Increasing noise level in public places from various sources, industrial activities, construction, generator sets, loud speakers, public address systems, music systems, vehicular horns and other mechanical devices have deleterious effects on human health and the psychological well being of the people.

Wretched mothers

A DS report entitled 'Love lost, yet it goes on' was published on 15th February, 2009 which reflected the agony of a wretched mother who is confined to bed and kept under treatment. Her progenies don't inquire about her and left her in a miserable state. I would like to thank DS for publishing such news and making us aware of those hapless persons who are neglected by their sons or daughters in the final stages of their lives. It is a common feature in Bangladesh that parents don't have any individual dream and all the expectations centre on the welfare of their progenies. But in many cases, people are reluctant to provide mental support to their parents and also to pay attention to their medical needs in their old age. It corroborates that nothing can be more demonic than man and nothing can be nobler than man.

Myanmar nationals

The recent incidents of drifting to the deep sea by the Thai law enforcements agencies of the Rohingya boat peat approaching the Thai shore and their subsequent rescue by Indian and Indonesian navies have created a hue and cry all over the world.

Law and order

I am so much concerned about the law and order situation that has deteriorated after the political government's coming to power. I am really frustrated to see the return of things that we almost forgot during the caretaker government's regime. Almost every day we get news of murder, hijack, roadblock, brawls etc. I don't know what is going on all over the country. I don't know why the administration became slack after the formation of a political government. I think the government should take immediate steps to find out the reasons behind this laxity. If the previous caretaker government could make it happen, what's the problem of a political government?

What is going on?

When I went to live in Road 33, Gulshan 2, in 2007, I was very impressed by the development of the lakeside pathway which extended right up to the bridge at Kamal Attaturk Avenue. It was an enchanting walk. All human life was there a real glimpse of what I believe is the real Bangladesh - rich and poor, young and old, enjoying the beauty of the scenery. I took lots of photos.

Underground railway for Dhaka

Traffic congestion in Dhaka has assumed such a menacing form that it has become a nightmare. Every day things are going from bad to worse. Successive govts. have been paying only lip service and no sincere & serious attempts have been made so far to address the problem. Economic cost of man-hour lost everyday is simply incalculable.

Politically motivated cases!

The reports carried by the dailies of 18 Feb. 09 said that the present government was going to drop cases lodged against some leaders, activists and supporters of their rival parties by the last alliance government which were reportedly framed purely on political motivation. The government has already moved ahead on the issue and constituted committees to examine merits of those cases. Most of the people will support and welcome the move because people believe that none should suffer for not doing any wrong and only wrong doers should face trial and get punishments.

We need a change

There was a massive train-truck collision on 17 February 2009 that left 13 people dead and many more injured. The reason being a truck got stuck-up while trying to cross the unprotected level crossing. The High Court has given an ad interim order to the authorities concerned to submit the list of the unprotected level crossings across the country. There are numerous unprotected and unmanned crossings, especially in the rural areas.

A suggestion

The number of satellite channels in Bangladesh has increased rapidly in the last few years. They are arranging different types of competitions. Recently, Channel-i arranged the grand finale of an attractive competition 'Meridian-Channel-i Khude Gaan Raj'. Certainly, it was a good venture of the sponsors and channel authorities. Luckily, the nation has found some 'God gifted voices' for enrichment of our cultural field in future. Congratulations to the competitors, especially the Gaan Raj!

Ads and ethics

The boy was too short. His friends laughed at him and he felt very unhappy. Then the mother of the boy started feeding her son a particular brand of powder milk. Miraculously, the short-statured boy became taller than his friends and the boys began to call him "bhaia".

Local government and MPs

A fundamental question is, why do we need members of parliament ? The answer seems quite simple. Since our population is very large and they can not represent themselves in state governance, they require to elect somebody to act as their attorneys in the 'Jatiya Sangshad'. So, the only job of an MP is to look after the interests of the populace. But the field realities are quite different from their assigned job descriptions. We find that the public representatives are more interested in cars, jeeps, land plots and other perks.

Smelly Wasa water

I am a resident of Shantinagar/Nayapaltan locality of Dhaka city. For over a month or more, we have been experiencing the worst kind of water quality supplied by Dhaka WASA; the stench and sewer-like smell make it impossible to drink and all kinds of boiling or filtering would fail to get rid of the stench. Food prepared with the water itself becomes smelly. I am not sure of the risk of health hazard as it was not tested but if bad smell is any indication of health risk, this water would score a perfect 10 in that scale.

International

Lankan troops enter last rebel-held town

Sri Lankan forces entered the last northern town under rebel control Tuesday, the military said, as the government brushed aside international calls for a cease-fire to allow tens of thousands of civilians to escape the war zone.

Pakistan militants declare indefinite truce in Swat

Pro-Taliban militants Tuesday declared an indefinite ceasefire and vowed to release prisoners in Pakistan's Swat valley, where they have fought for nearly two years to enforce Sharia law.

India, Pakistan both want communication for probe

India is open to continuing communication with Pakistan over the investigation into the Mumbai attacks, a report said yesterday.

Sonia, Advani locked in a close fight for PM's post

Even before the 2009 General Election campaign has taken off, Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi have squared off publicly.

Pakistan to abolish National Security Council, says Gilani

Pakistan government has decided to wind up the controversial National Security Council (NSC), the top decision-making body on security-related matters set up during former President Pervez Musharraf's regime, Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani said today.

No secret accord with US signed for drone attacks: Musharraf

Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf has said that no secret agreement with the United States was signed during his rule that allowed drone attacks on Pakistani soil.

Obama wants to see Slumdog Millionaire

The US President, Barack Obama, wants to watch "Slumdog Millionaire", the White House has said.

FBI warns of Mumbai-type terror attacks on US cities

Extremists 'with large agendas and little money can use rudimentary weapons' to sow terror, raising the spectre that the Mumbai attacks could embolden terrorists seeking to attack US cities, the top US investigation agency FBI warned.

China closes Tibet to foreign tourists

China has closed Tibet to foreign tourists ahead of next month's highly sensitive 50th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule, tour agencies and other industry people told AFP yesterday.

N Korea is preparing for satellite launch

North Korea said yesterday it is preparing to shoot a satellite into orbit, its clearest reference yet to an impending launch that neighbours and the US suspect will be a provocative test of a long-range missile.

'Urgent need' for end to Lanka crisis: UN

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon restated his concern Monday about continued hostilities between rebel and government forces in Sri Lanka, and called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

US senators for rethink on Pak aid

US senators on Monday urged a rethink on aid to Pakistan after a watchdog said more than 12 billion dollars in US spending had failed to eliminate the country's militant haven.

ME truce deal could mean return of Barghouti

While a possible Israeli-Palestinian prisoner swap focuses on a famous Israeli soldier, the prisoner most likely to affect the direction of Mideast peace is a brash and chubby Palestinian long seen as a potential successor to his people's aging president.

Arts & Entertainment

Another feather in the cap

International Theatre Institute (ITI), worldwide President and renowned cultural personality Ramendu Majumdar is among the 13, who received 'Ekushey Padak' this year. Majumdar, a seasoned theatre activist, received the accolade for his immense contribution in generating interest in the medium throughout Bangladesh and taking our theatre to the world.

Beauty, grace, eloquence personified

She is a popular TV personality who exudes glamour. She has been featured in many ads and plays and has made a name for herself. Model turned actress, and now also a TV show host, Farah Ruma, began her career at a young age.

Nirod Biswas: From struggle to success as a musical instrument maker

Age has not slowed down 72 year-old Nirod Biswas. He continues to attract a large clientele with his well-crafted musical instruments. Today he supplies harmoniums to different areas of Bangladesh and various reputed institutions in Jhenidah use his musical instruments.

Keeping alive the values of Ekushey

The Sirajganj district administration arranged a five-day programme featuring a discussion, hand writing and painting competitions, prize giving and a cultural function to mark International Mother Language Day.

Bangladeshi Film Festival in India

A festival of Bangladeshi films, the first of its kind organised in India, was recently held at the renowned Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), says a press release. Running from February 20-22, the festival featured a selection of films by some leading Bangladeshi filmmakers. The festival was organised by FTII in collaboration with the National Film Archives of India.

Drama serial Tomtom on Ekushey TV

Drama serial "Tomtom" will be aired on Ekushey TV at 9:30 pm. Written by Hafiz Redu and directed by Kaisar Ahmed, the serial celebrates the 400th anniversary of Dhaka city as a capital.

More “Madea” from Tyler Perry

He survived abuse as a child and lived in his car at one point. Then Tyler Perry channelled his emotions into a series of popular stage plays and blockbuster movies featuring his mad, black alter-ego Madea.

OP-ED

Launch tragedy

ON February 19, M.L Fahmida Happy Express went down in the Kirton Khola near Barisal with more than 100 passengers on board after being hit by a cargo vessel. At least 40 people died, many were missing.

With Richard Holbrook around…

President Obama's priority is to kick-start the American economy. His next priority is Richard Holbrook's mission to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The Indians had their name struck out, but Holbrook has visited India, and why forget his thinking that the three countries were linked and had to be tackled together.

The warts-and-all guide to your animal zodiac sign

I can't believe it's already the Year of the Ox. I'm still writing "Year of the Rabbit" on my cheques. Anyway, by popular demand, here are my warts-and-all animal zodiac readings for this year.



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