The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, August 22, 2014


News of: Friday, 13th of March, 2009

Front Page

Govt seeks control of judicial power

The parliamentary standing committee on law ministry yesterday decided to recommend that the House vest the authority in the government to empower executive magistrates to take cognisance of offences in "extraordinary circumstances".

JMB hand found in BDR carnage

Commerce Minister Lt Col (retired) Faruk Khan yesterday linked the carnage at BDR Pilkhana headquarters to Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

Dhaka urges KL to review its decision

The government has been trying to convince Malaysian government to review its decision on cancelling visas for over 55,000 Bangladeshi jobseekers who were scheduled to enter Malaysia gradually.

Missing BDR arms cause for concern

Daisy Ahmed missed a heartbeat when she saw something wrapped in BDR uniform lying abandoned at the entrance to her house in Ganaktuli, a locality adjacent to the fifth gate of border guards' headquarters.

Food security gets major boost

The United Kingdom will give Bangladesh assistance for coordinated development of the country's coastal areas under a £60 million (over Tk 560 crore) trust fund. The UK also pledged to help the country's food security programme.

Govt to enact law next week

Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said parliament is likely to pass a law on the ordinances separating the judiciary from the executive next week.

Independence Day parade cancelled

The government has cancelled the national parade on March 26, the Independence Day, against the February 25-26 carnage backdrop at the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters.

12 grenades defused at BDR HQ

A team from bomb disposal units of Bangladesh Army, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday defused 12 grenades found abandoned at different places inside the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters during the mutiny.

Free ACC vital

The European Union (EU) thinks it is very important for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Bangladesh to remain as an independent institution for the continuation of the country's democratic government.

Govt expected to deliver fully on poll pledges

UK Minister for International Development Mike Foster said yesterday the recent carnage at the BDR headquarters is the 'first test' of the new government, and its responsibility is to bring the matter to 'a conclusion through judicial process'.

RU restricts politics on campus

Rajshahi University (RU) authorities yesterday imposed restrictions on political activities including processions and rallies following a clash between Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Islami Chhatra Shibir on the campus last Wednesday.

Govt to probe BDR intelligence failure

The government considers the carnage at the BDR headquarters last month a consequence of "massive intelligence failure" and decided to launch an enquiry into the matter.

Direct election to 100 reserved JS seats

The number of seats in parliament will be increased to 400 from present 345 keeping 100 reserved seats for women to be elected directly.

ADP may be cut by 10pc

The size of Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the current fiscal year may be cut down by 10 percent (Tk 2,600 crore) to Tk 23,000 crore because of resource constraints and slow implementation.

Recession package by this month

The government will offer a 'recession package' including cash subsidy and bank facility for the export-oriented industries affected by the global meltdown.

Hizb ut-Tahrir men to be charged with sedition

The government has authorised 14 police stations in the city to bring sedition charges against 27 Hizb ut-Tahrir operatives detained for “distributing provocative leaflets” over last month's BDR carnage.

Clashes mark Pak protest

Cheering opposition activists and lawyers set off for the Pakistani capital yesterday vowing to stage a sit-in outside the parliament building, defying a government ban on protests and hundreds of arrests nationwide.

Mother Teresa Centenary Award goes to Bangabandhu

Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has been selected for posthumous conferment of the Mother Teresa Centenary Award.

Ctg rain trees back to life

Hundreds of century-old rain trees at different locations around the port city which were struck by a fungal disease about two years ago prompting authorities to start cutting down the trees, have begun growing new leaves and branches over the last week.

SC stays bail of ex-forest boss Gani

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday stayed the High Court (HC) order granting bail to former Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) Osman Gani in a corruption case filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).

2 top ex-CUFL officers held

Two former high officials of Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited (CUFL) were arrested in connection with the sensational 10 truckloads of arms haul case yesterday.

Murals of Zia removed from Ctg airport

Some wooden murals of former president Ziaur Rahman were removed from the lounge of Shah Amanat International Airport in the port city Wednesday night.

Lanka seizes hospital from rebels

The Sri Lankan army yesterday seized the last remaining medical facility held by separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in the north of the island and killed 12 rebels in fighting, a military official said.

Iraq jails Bush shoe attacker

An Iraqi court yesterday jailed for three years the journalist who shot to fame in the Arab world for throwing his shoes at former US president George W Bush.

Editorial

K L's move is worrisome

THE Malaysian government's decision to cancel visas already granted to Bangladeshi workers is a serious blow not only for the workers but for the nation as a whole. At a time when Bangladesh has been exploring various avenues, especially through its manpower sector, to solidify its economic base, the move by Kuala Lumpur can only pour cold water on our collective aspirations. We of course realise that the Malaysian authorities have their own economic compulsions in view of the on-going global recession. At the same time, we fail to accept the argument that those already granted visas to travel to Malaysia and work there can be dealt with in such cavalier fashion. The difficulty for us, though, is that it is a decision made by a country in its national interest, which means that Bangladesh does not have much of a say here.

Acute water shortage in the capital

IT seems that the people living in the capital are destined to suffer from the lack of some essential basic facilities forever. Coupled with the severe shortage of electricity, life has become even more unbearable with lack of adequate water supply. Some specific areas of the city, particularly the old Dhaka area, are suffering more than others. And the members of parliament of the affected areas rightly fear that there might be, as a manifestation of the people's resentment, a general display of public anger against the government for its failure to ameliorate their sufferings.

Q & A

It has been a full two weeks since the Pilkhana massacre, but the intervening time has done little to defuse tensions or bring about any kind of resolution to the issue.

Random rigmarole

HOW are you? Yes sir, I am talking to you. Sorry, if I gave you a start, but I am not a finicky foreigner, or a wonky World Banker. Neither am I an elf from the IMF. I am sir, one of your very own, your fellow countryman, another victim who suffers with you. Don't get me wrong. I am not curious to find if your misfortune surpasses mine. I know you suffer no less than I do.

Sports

Bukola the difference

Local giants Mohammedan and Brothers Union both struggled to impose themselves during their respective opening encounters of the money-spinning Super Cup at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Tareq wins last over thriller

Sri Lankan great Sanath Jayasuriya continued his Dhaka jinx but Mohammedan rode on Tareq Aziz's heroics with bat and ball to shoot Biman down with a two-wicket victory, in an exciting encounter of the Premier Division Cricket League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Sangakkara SL skipper

Sri Lanka on Wednesday promoted Kumar Sangakkara to captain for the upcoming World Twenty20 series in England, the sports minister said.

ICC clears Razzak

There is no bar on Abdur Razzak to bowl in international cricket as the International Cricket Council (ICC) lifted the suspension on the Bangladesh left-arm spinner.

Clean sweep for English

All four of England's teams in the European Champions League advanced to the quarterfinals for the second straight year, led by defending champions Manchester United.

Hammam seeks BFF's support

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohammad bin Hammam flew into Dhaka yesterday for a brief visit to discuss the progress of the game in the country.

Still a lot to play for NZ bowlers

New Zealand's bemused bowlers play a dead rubber in Auckland on Saturday that has a lot at stake for them. A win will help them restore some credibility, Daniel Vettori had said minutes after Virender Sehwag smote his side into submission in Hamilton on Wednesday.

Local Snippets

Agrani Bank snatched a 73 run victory over Uttara SC in the First Division Cricket League at the Dhaka University Ground yesterday.

Thankful Aussie press

Australia's media on Thursday praised Ricky Ponting's inexperienced side for retaining the title of the world's top Test team in South Africa, declaring them favourites for this year's Ashes.

India ride on Mithali

India ensured that they did not have to depend on net run-rates to qualify for the Super Six by beating Sri Lanka by 35 runs at the Bankstown Oval in Sydney on Thursday. It was India's second victory in the group stage while Sri Lanka finished without a win from three games.

Barca turn on style

Goals from Thierry Henry, Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto'o inspired Barcelona to an emphatic 5-2 victory over Lyon here on Wednesday night that booked their place in the Champions League quarterfinals.

Gunners survive shootout drama

AS Roma's Max Tonetto skied his penalty miles over the bar to hand Arsenal a place in the Champions League quarterfinals following a tense match that went to the spot-kick lottery on Wednesday.

Fergie not pleased

Sir Alex Ferguson demonstrated why he has been Manchester United's special one for over two decades as he laid into his players in the aftermath of a 2-0 win over Inter Milan that sent them into the last eight of the Champions League.

Mourinho defends team

Jose Mourinho is confident Inter Milan will bounce back from the disappointment of their Champions League exit and go on to claim a fourth consecutive Serie A title.

Shakib out of Premier League

World's number one all-rounder in ODI's, Shakib Al Hasan has been diagnosed with a groin injury which will rule him out for the remainder of the Premier League season.

Kallis, not Prince

Ashwell Prince's appointment as South Africa's Test captain has lasted less than 24 hours. The day after Prince was named as the stand-in leader for the Cape Town Test in the absence of Graeme Smith, Cricket South Africa (CSA) reversed its decision and instead handed the captaincy to Jacques Kallis.

Kirsten better India coach, says Wright

John Wright, the former India coach, has said the incumbent Gary Kirsten is "probably better" in that role than him. Since taking over last year, Kirsten has overseen India's Test victories over Australia and England at home, and several highs in ODIs as well, including the longest winning streak by an Indian side.

Kiwis bring in rookie pacer

New Zealand have named uncapped pace bowler Brent Arnel in their squad to face India in the first of three Tests starting on March 18.

Porto scrape through

FC Porto scraped into the Champions League quarterfinals on away goals after a battling goalless draw against Atletico Madrid here on Wednesday.

Cash windfall for Bayern

German giants Bayern Munich stand to make at least 40 million euros (51m US dollars) from their record-breaking 12-1 slaughtering of Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League Round of 16 tie.

Jose allegedly punches fan

British police are investigating an alleged assault by Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho on a supporter after their Champions League defeat here at Old Trafford, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

Arsenal fan injured in Rome

An Arsenal supporter was attacked by a Roma fan here an hour before the teams met in the last 16 of the Champions League, the British embassy in Rome told AFP on Thursday.

Business

January exports upbeat

Exports increased by 11.86 percent in January over the same month a year ago, while officials said the country would be able to meet the over $16 billion export target for the current fiscal year despite being affected by the global financial downswing.

Strawberry eyes Tk 10cr a year

Strawberry growers and traders in Bangladesh are expecting Tk 10 crore in annual turnover, as they go into its first-ever commercial cultivation this year.

DSE turnover sweeps to new record

Turnover on the Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday crossed the Tk 600 crore mark for the first time, but indices closed nearly flat due to the price adjustment of two securities and a big drop in the prices of insurance shares.

Bangladesh's share in US RMG market widens

Bangladesh's share in the US apparel market is getting larger as cheap clothing (basic garment items) sales in that market are increasing in global recession, market operators said.

Govt to issue on-arrival visas to tourists

The government has decided to issue on-arrival visas to tourists to encourage more foreign backpackers to visit the country, said the civil aviation and tourism minister yesterday.

Recruit more Bangladeshi manpower

President Zillur Rahman urged the Arab countries to recruit more Bangladeshi manpower to help the country reach its desired development goals, as Middle-eastern diplomats met him yesterday and discussed matters of common interest.

Encourage government officials to fight corruption

The Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) chairman yesterday called on businessmen to publicly reward honest and good government officials, to encourage acts against corruption.

SEC's outgoing chief stresses more textile companies' listing

The outgoing chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday stressed more textile companies' listing to get a better reflection of the country's real economy in the stock market.

Gates comes back on top

US tycoons are back on top with Microsoft founder Bill Gates again the world's richest man in a year when even billionaires felt the heat of the global recession, Forbes magazine said Wednesday.

Stabilising share market

The main index, the DSE Composite Index, went down 87 points to 2416.67 on February 11, 2009 from 2503.21 on the previous day. This prompted a group of investors to demonstrate in front of the DSE building.

Asian markets down

Most Asian stock markets slipped on Thursday amid more grim economic news from Japan and China, with the broad market index in Tokyo sinking to a 25-year low.

China export sees biggest drop in a decade

China's foreign trade volume shrank sharply in February, according to figures released by the General Administration of Customs on Wednesday.

Maxus Asia Pacific gets new CEO

Maxus Asia Pacific recently appointed Neil Stewart as chief executive officer of the company, according to a press statement.

Consumer spirits down in Thailand

Thai consumer confidence fell to a seven-year low in February as shoppers tightened their purse strings, worried by dire economic news at home and abroad, researchers said Thursday.

New DMD for Social Investment Bank

Social Investment Bank Ltd recently appointed Md Abul Shahjahan as its deputy managing director, says a press statement.

Swiss interest rate cut to historic low

The Swiss central bank on Thursday cut its key interest rate by a quarter point to a range of zero to 0.75 percent, matching a historic low to counter a sharper than forecast recession.

Dollar hits 2-week low

The dollar struck a two-week low versus the yen on Thursday as a slight improvement in confidence trimmed the US currency's attractiveness as a safehaven, traders said.

Discord sets scene for G20 finance meeting

Deep splits over action to halt the raging economic crisis and a German-French drive to focus on cross-border rules for finance are souring the air before a G20 finance ministerial meeting near here Saturday.

South Korea unveils $4b relief package for jobless and poor

South Korea on Thursday unveiled a four-billion-dollar emergency package to help the elderly poor and jobless survive the global economic slump.

Cambodia garment exports drop by half

Cambodia's garment exports have dropped by half amid the global economic downturn, the commerce minister said Thursday, as a union leader announced tens of thousands of job losses.

Gloom persists as China's factory output, sales slow

China on Thursday said factory output and retail sales were slowing, but banks were also pumping more credit into the economy as the country battles the global downturn.

Metropolitan

Rights movement a must to institutionalise democracy

Citizens' rights movements must be strengthened and spread countrywide to continue political reforms and institutionalise democracy, said eminent citizens yesterday.

Formulate strict policy to stop violence against women

Speakers at a seminar yesterday underscored the importance of formulating a strict policy and its implementation to ensure legal action to stop violence against women and girls.

35,000 people die of kidney diseases every year: Experts

With the slogan 'Keep your blood pressure under control', the World Kidney Day was observed in the country as elsewhere across the globe yesterday with a call to create awareness of kidney diseases and their treatments.

Diarrhoea breaks out with rise of temperature

With the early rise of temperature this year, the city dwellers witnessed the outbreak of diarrhoeal diseases earlier than usual.

'Recognise ethnic groups to ensure their rights'

Speakers at the inaugural function of a three-day Adivasi Cultural Festival yesterday said ensuring basic rights and improving social status of indigenous people is not possible without giving constitutional recognition to them.

Dr Matthew donates EMG & NC machine to BPF clinical centre

Dr Matthew Pitt of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, UK, one of the world's most widely respected paediatric neurophysio-logists, has recently donated an electro-myography (EMG) and nerve coduction (NC) machine to the Clinical Neurosciences Centre of Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation (BPF) from his hospital, says a press release.

Govt accepts resignation of Debapriya

The government has accepted the resignation of Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, ambassador and permanent representative to the UN Office and other international organisations in Geneva.

Conspiracy on against AL, democracy: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said vested quarters are still trying to stop the march forward of Awami League and democracy to block the country's development process.

Need for strengthening UP underscored

State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak at a workshop on rural development yesterday underscored the need for strengthening the union parishad as a one-stop service delivery station.

10 injured in train accident

An express train collided head on with a fuel carrying train at Ishwardi Bypass Railway Station early yesterday leaving at least 10 people injured.

5 engrs sent to jail

A Dinajpur court yesterday rejected the bail petitions of five engineers and sent them to jail in a graft case filed by the Dinajpur Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on charges of embezzling Tk 63 lakh from the project funds of Dinajpur Municipality.

'Govt keen to ensure smooth functioning of Ctg port'

One of the major concerns of the government is to ensure smooth functioning of the Chittagong port and it won't tolerate any acts disruptive to this, warned lawmaker Nurul Islam yesterday.

9 sued for killing FF during War of Liberation

A case was filed with a Khulna court on Wednesday against nine people for killing freedom fighter Moslem Golder of Baliadanga village, Batiaghata, during the War of Liberation.

Milad mahfil for Col Gulzar today

A milad mahfil seeking the salvation of the departed soul of Col Gulzar Uddin Ahmed will be held at Udayan Apartment at Shahid Mainul Hossain Road in Cantonment in the city after Asr prayers today.

Additional attorney gen resigns

Mansur Habib, additional attorney general, appointed by the last caretaker government, resigned yesterday.

Katka Tragedy Day today

Students and teachers of Khulna University (KU) will observe the Katka Tragedy Day today, says a press release.

28th BCS exam begins April 30

The written test of the 28th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations will begin on April 30.

Reunion

Reunion of the students of Daud Public School, Jessore, scheduled to be held on February 27, will now be held at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city on March 27, says a press release.

Proceedings against CCC mayor stayed for 2 months

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for two months the proceedings of a corruption case against Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury.

Inter-school science fair begins in city

A three-day Inter-school Science Fair-2009 began at St. Gregory's High School in the city yesterday.

AL demands removal of 6 Rajshahi cops

Rajshahi city unit of Awami League at a press conference yesterday demanded removal of six police officers for allegedly favouring Islami Chhatra Shibir cadres during the violence on Rajshahi University and Rajshahi Medical College campuses.

BNP likely to decide Tanbir's fate tomorrow

The National Standing Committee of BNP may sit tomorrow to settle the fate of its member Chowdhury Tanbir Ahmed Siddiky whose son brought allegation of demanding Tk five crore against the party chairperson.

Mugger beaten to death

An angry mob beat a mugger to death and injured four others of the gang in the capital's Kazipara early yesterday.

ACC to continue drive with full vigour in future

Although the drive against corruption currently appears to have lost its pace, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) would continue its drive with full vigour in the future with the help of the government, its Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury said yesterday.

Empower women to achieve prosperity: Dilip Barua

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday emphasised the need for empowering women to lead the country towards prosperity.

HC issues guideline for media

The High Court (HC) has strictly prohibited forthwith the publication of any photograph or the real name and identity of a child accused or offender in any print and electronic media.

HC issues guideline for media

The High Court (HC) has strictly prohibited forthwith the publication of any photograph or the real name and identity of a child accused or offender in any print and electronic media.

Raju Day today

Raju Day will be observed today, says a press release.

US embassy closed Mar 15

The US embassy, including the consular section and the public affairs section with the Archer K Blood American Centre Library, and the Student Advising Centre, will remain closed on March 15 in remembrance of the people who were killed on February 25-26 during the BDR mutiny and in sympathy with their families and the people of Bangladesh, says a press release.

Letters

Polluted Buriganga

The river Buriganga is used for river transportation, fishing and maintaining links with southern river ports of Bangladesh.

National mosque

An editorial titled 'Sanctity of the national mosque' appeared in The Daily Star of January 18, 2009. What was happening there at the mosque every Friday since the beginning of this year is a shame for all of us.

Israel's atrocities

Israel's latest offensive is Gaza is not an isolated incident. They seem to be very much enthusiastic about killing the innocent Palestinians, even on a lame plea. The Israeli armed forces call themselves a moral force. The type of morality they have shown through their brutal actions against the Lebanese and the Palestinian people is far too evident. In an aggression on Lebanon in 1982, they killed more than seventeen thousand people most of whom where innocent people. In the same year in a genocide, almost one thousand and seven hundred people were killed in 'Slabrashatila ' refugee camp in Lebanon. In Kana mass killing in 1996, 106 people were killed more than half of them were children. It is worth mentioning that all those killed in the camp were under the shelter of the UN. In 1997, an Israeli helicopter killed some innocent Palestinians in an attack on an ambulance. The Israelis claimed there were Hamas members in that ambulance which was a complete distortion of truth. During the latest offensive on Gaza, Israeli soldiers carried out an attack on the refugees taking shelter in a UN school killing at least 40, not to mention the total number killed and the trail of destruction left.

Sound pollution

We, the city dwellers, are highly conscious of the necessity of providing the required education to the children of our country and appreciate the establishment of big, medium and small schools, colleges and universities all over our cities. These institutions are functioning, due to lack of any alternative, in the residential areas.

First session

Having just watched the proceedings of the first session of the national assembly as a veteran citizen, many hopes and dreams arise, as with millions of my fellow countrymen and women, on the expected changes we were starved of during the preceding decades.

Education

In view of the recent horrendous massacre at BDR headquarters, repeated attacks by JMB, excesses by Jamaat et all, killing of SAMS Kibria, Ahsanullah Master, grenade attack of 21st August etc, it has become absolutely necessary to impart certain education to the students. They are our future. The idea is to catch them young when they can form opinions.

Unacceptable!

This is unacceptable! As if our country does not already have enough problems. And who has created these problems? The very people who are supposed to protect us and our country. How are we to trust them with guns again? If they had issues, then there are ways to handle this. Killing people, looting valuables are the work of professional criminals, not border guards I always thought no matter how poor we are as a nation, we were still better off than those living in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia etc, but now I am beginning to wonder.

Save innocent Sri Lankans

It is a matter of great concern that thousands of civilian in the northern part of Sri Lanka especially in the Tamil inhabited areas have been suffering in the wake of a civil war between the Lankan govt. forces and the LTTE. Every day we are hearing the news of people's sufferings in terms of death, loss of houses and properties and in lot many ways. Whenever there is a war, there will be immeasurable sufferings for the peace loving general civilians who are innocent and always like peace and abhor violence. They are the victims of any kind of war whether it is domestic or international. The situation in Sri Lanka is so severe that different aid agencies operations as well as medical services have become impossible to run. People are leaving their homes and valuables to escape death .

Violence against women

It is really sad that violence against women is taking place on a regular basis.

PM's decision

Prime minister in her question hour informed the House that the government in implementing one of her election pledges will rehabilitate the illegally forced retired officers. This is a most welcome move. The PM specified that dues would be given to the deprived officers. But is that enough? As we know most of such officers winning the court cases are already eligible for such benefits. Perhaps now the payments and post facto promotions will expedite. To rehabilitate and also to derive benefit from this move the government may utilize their services; they may be re-posted to sensitive positions where the government needs honest, sincere and committed officers. As we know the present bureaucracy was highly politicised by the past BNP-Jamaat alliance government for which they resorted to “ethnic cleansing” forcing exit of brilliant non partisan officers.

Reduce salt intake

Human body needs salt but that is a very little amount less than a tea spoon or 5gm every day. Salt is used mostly in the processed foods. Fast foods and Chinese foods also contain excessive salt. Excessive intake of salt increases the risk of high blood pressure.

Rural secondary schools

The 306 non-government rural secondary schools in 64 districts across the country will be model schools under a project. It is undoubtedly a good and timely initiative when the standard of education in the rural secondary schools has deteriorated. In 2007, no one could pass the SSC exams from 248 secondary schools and all are rural schools.

A question

We could not co-exist with the British, the Hindus, the Muslims and now we cannot co-exist with the Bengalis that we ourselves are!

Wildlife conservation

Our forests and wild landscapes face fresh and bigger threats. Most of us might not have given a serious thought to wildlife conservation. This should be a serious issue, the touchable and intangible profits we receive from wildlife conservation directly concerns over 70 percent of our country's population who depend upon the traditional occupationrain-fed agriculture.

Polybags

The use and production of polybags do a great deal of harm to our environment and drainage system and to air, water and soil. In our country, thousands of pieces of polythene are being used everyday. This huge amount of polythene is neither being re-used nor being decomposed in a natural way. Most of the bags are just thrown out after its first use. They find their way into the drains. Then the polybags block our drainage system, barricade regular flow of water, obstruct the rainwater flowing into the drains etc. As a result low-lying areas in the cities frequently go under water. Flood occurs every now and then. Whenever, these polybags go inside the cultivable land, it loses fertility and crops do not grow in such lands. Polybags remain unchanged like a curtain through which nothing can pass.

JNU dorms

The fresh protest of Jagannath University students to recover the illegally occupied halls exhibits the awareness of getting their rights established.

Tourism

Bangladesh has great tourism potential. The only thing we have to do is make the best use of our resources through proper planning.

MRP programme

A few days ago, there was a news report published in almost every major daily of the country regarding the machine readable passport programme (MRP) taken up by the Bangladesh government. With vision of the modern days it is a must for countries like Bangladesh which are LDCs to have MRP as it was learnt that from April 2010 most of the developed countries will not allow the present manual passport which is issued by the government for visa/travel and immigration clearance purpose. From the past experience of our different Bangladeshi governments, we have seen that whatever they do, they do it at the pace of a snail and they fail to meet the target on 95% of the time and many excuses are given by the concerned authorities and departments. Compared to the total population of the country, the users of Bangladesh international passports are probably 8-10% at the most (It's a guess as we do not have any data available of the passport holders of Bangladesh). By number this may sound small but it is very important that the present government prioritise this issue and keep our different foreign offices up to date so that Bangladeshi wage earners who are living aboard and those who are planning to go before or during this transitional time do not face any difficulty with the foreign immigration departments. The project is also very crucial for our businessmen who are frequent flyers for meeting different buyers for export of readymade garments and other items.

International

Pak PM offers concessions ahead of long march

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani held out the prospect of concessions to political opponents Wednesday, saying he wanted to end an unpopular governor's rule in Punjab province.

Would 'Third Front' be viable?

A motley group of Left parties and regional outfits launched a third political front at a rally in a small town of the southern state of Karnataka yesterday seeking to provide an alternative to India's two main players --Congress and BJP-- in coming parliamentary elections.

Thai PM, ministers face no-confidence motion

Thailand's opposition yesterday filed a censure motion against Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and five government ministers, accusing them of corruption.

Indians are positive about 'no vote'

With General Elections around the corner, it is not just politicians but Netizens, too, who are busy launching campaigns in cyberspace.

Rights group slams Pak crackdown

A US-based human rights watchdog Thursday criticised Pakistan for arresting hundreds of opposition activists and charged that the crackdown imperilled the country's transition to democracy.

Ice Age CO2 emissions hold a modern day warning: Study

A mysterious rise in carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere at the end of the Ice Age could hold clues to the climate change processes underway today, a new study suggests.

Pak govt admits its failure to nab Lahore attackers

Over a week after the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket players, the Punjab government has admitted that it has failed to nab any of the culprits who had carried out the attack.

US House offers strong backing to Tibet

The US Congress nearly unanimously urged China to end "repression" in Tibet, ignoring Beijing's warnings just as its foreign minister prepared to meet President Barack Obama.

Palin daughter splits with fiance

The unmarried teen daughter of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, whose pregnancy became a US presidential campaign issue in 2008, has reportedly split with her young fiance.

N Korea to launch sat in early April: S Korea

North Korea has scheduled a satellite launch for early next month, South Korean officials said Thursday, as Washington and Seoul told Pyongyang to scrap what they see as a disguised missile test.

EC slaps a notice on SP for giving cash to voters

The India Election Commission (EC) yesterday slapped a notice on Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav for alleged distribution of cash by his party workers at a Holi function.

Arts & Entertainment

Tropical Paradise makes its debut

“Grishmo Mondolio Swargo" (Tropical Paradise), a 'jatra' produced by the Drama Club of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), made its stage debut at university's Bashundhara campus on March 9.

Grand finale of Style Icon tonight

Grand finale of the beauty pageant "Style Icon" will be aired live on ATN Bangla tonight at 7:45 pm. The event will be held at the theme park, Fantasy Kingdom, in Ashulia. Top 10 finalists competing for the crown are Kumkum, Maliha, Tithi, Tania Rauf, Tamanna, Sormin, Naynna, Pinky, Shifa and Jhinuk. The two-hour extravaganza will be graced with the presence of several eminent personalities.

Sand Sculpture Festival to be held in Cox’s Bazar

Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, Department of Sculpture (Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University) and Green World Communication Ltd are jointly arranging a sand sculpture festival in Cox's Bazar. The festival will be open to public on March 24 after a workshop (starting from March 21). Chairman of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, Shafique Alam Mehedi, will inaugurate the festival.

Nonagenarian educationist honoured

Ninety-six year old Joynab Khatun has won accolades for her stellar contribution to education in Pabna district, especially for women in the early 19th century. Eminent teachers of various educational institutions flocked to her residence in village Krishnapur, on International Women's Day to congratulate her on her achievements. Amra Pabnabasi, a social organisation of the district, was the organiser of the event.

Angina commemorates anniversary with a play

Marking its 2nd anniversary, Angina Natya O Shangskritik Goshthi, staged a play titled "Aag-er Kotha" at Mymensingh Central Shaheed Minar premises recently.

South Asian Superstar on Rtv tonight

Organised by TV South Asia, musical talent hunt titled "South Asian Superstar" began in December 2008 in Kolkata. The show is aired on Rtv (Bangladesh), Image Channel (Nepal), MTV (Sri Lanka), and Aaj TV (Pakistan). First of the final two episodes (pre-taped) of the show will be aired tonight at 11 pm.

OP-ED

Bangladesh's 9/11: Looking beyond the tragedy

NO, I am not endorsing any conspiracy theory. I am not looking for a smoking gun. I am not finger pointing at a tall bearded man hiding in some glens. We all should let the inquiry commissions do their job to determine who did it and why.

An officer and a gentleman

I came to know Maj. Gen. Shakil Ahmed in June 2007 when I invited him to a discussion that I used to moderate on BTV titled "Shomoyer Kotha." One such discussion was on rising prices of essentials and BDR's dal-bhat operations. From the first interaction during a TV program to the last exchange on the fatal day when he was leaving for Darbar Hall meeting, Gen. Shakil was one of the finest gentlemen I have met from the armed forces.

Truthful slogans for Asia

WARNING: The following article, on truthful slogans, was rated "hilarious but too cheeky to be publishable" by top international magazines. Read at your own risk.

StarTech

Laptop vs desktop: an austerity look

Nagging power crisis has become a major concern for the government of any country, especially for the developing ones. Due to increasing use of electricity in all aspects of life, saving of energy has turned out to be an issue that needs to be dealt with.

Living room of the future

The beauty of arithmetic and mathematics hidden in nature...The fun is natural science in daily life. This is the theme of world famous electronics manufacturer Panasonic. Panasonic generates ideas for life...today and tomorrow.

Apple's small new 4-gigabyte iPod shuffle can talk

Apple Inc. unveiled a minuscule new iPod Shuffle on Wednesday that takes it's "smaller is better" mantra to a whole new level.


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