The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, October 2, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 18th of March, 2009

Front Page

Ship-breaking ordered shut

The High Court has directed the government to close in two weeks operation of all ship-breaking yards for running without environmental clearance.

ACC sues Koko for money-laundering

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday sued Arafat Rahman Koko for laundering money he had illegally taken from a Chinese company, Siemens and other sources in exchange for helping them get government contracts.

EC moves to get back its registration power

The Election Commission (EC) has decided to ask the government to reinstate its power to take action against political parties breaching certain registration provisions.

Stop running probe commentary, please

An investigation starts and before it reaches halfway to filing of its report, people know from the horse's mouth what it is gunning for. Yes, we are talking about the probe in the recent BDR massacre and what its chief coordinator has been dishing out on a daily basis, almost like a running commentary.

Killer of Gen Shakil, 2 others identified

At least three of the detained BDR men were among the mutineers who gunned down their DG Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed and some other senior army officers at the Pilkhana Headquarters.

348 workers still stuck at KL airport

At least 348 Bangladeshis, who reached Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8 and 9, are still stranded at the airport as their employers did not receive them or the Malaysian immigration restricted their entry to the country.

BDR stays alert on Myanmar border

Bangladesh border guards stay alert on Myanmar-Bangladesh borders following the neighbouring country's move to erect barbed-wire fences on its side of 200-kilometre land borders with Bangladesh.

Security beefed up across country

The government yesterday beefed up security across the country, putting reinforcement at the key-point installations (KPIs) and other major establishments, including the Bangladesh Secretariat to prevent incidents like the Pilkhana and Bashundhara City tragedies.

SC asks for security

The Supreme Court (SC) authorities have requested the government to take immediate steps to ensure security on the court premises.

Sircar sees bid to tarnish image before by-polls

Former Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar yesterday rejected outright all graft allegations against him and said the aim of forming a parliamentary probe body by the present speaker is to tarnish his image ahead of the by-election.

Iskandar asked to give wealth report in a week

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday issued a notice on Major (retd) Sayeed Iskandar, younger brother of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, asking him to submit wealth statement in a week.

Vigil upped for fugitive BDR men with arms

Commerce Minister Lt Col Faruk Khan said yesterday that 'if any links are found between any militant group and the BDR mutiny' then the government would take steps against them as per the law of the land.

BDR jawan dies, 7 others hospitalised

A Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) member died yesterday at Pilkhana and seven other BDR personnel with 'various diseases' were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

Chy Tanbir expelled from BNP

BNP Standing Committee has expelled its member Chowdhury Tanbir Ahmed Siddiky from the party for his son's "derogatory remarks" about party chief Khaleda Zia and some other leaders in his presence.

BB doubles banks' lending capacity

Loan giving capacity of the four state-owned banks (SOBs) has been doubled so that investment situation in Bangladesh improves despite the global economic meltdown.

Dhaka-Delhi sea border talks begin

The maritime delimitations talks between Bangladesh and India started yesterday in the Indian capital of New Delhi.

27 Shibir men get 2-month bail from HC

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted anticipatory bail to 27 activists of Rajshahi University (RU) unit Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) for two months in a case filed for assaulting Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men on the campus.

Nat'l education policy to be based on Khuda Commission

The government will formulate the National Education Policy soon based on the Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission report-1974, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said yesterday.

2 CUFL officials remanded

Former Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited (CUFL) managing director Mohsin Talukder and general manager (Administration) Enamul Haq were placed on a three-day remand each in the sensational Chittagong arms haul case.

More shake-up in admin

Four additional secretaries and 10 joint secretaries have been transferred and given new postings in the latest round of reshuffle in the administration.

Sheikh Helal elected MP uncontested

Awami League's Sheikh Helaluddin has been unofficially declared elected lawmaker from Bagerhat-1 (Fakirhat-Mollahat and Chitalmari) constituency, as there was no other contender against him for the by-election scheduled for April 2.

Production may begin in May

A 51-megawatt rental power plant at Fenchuganj of Sylhet may start commercial production in May.

No bailout package for poor: Yunus

Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Muhammad Yunus on Tuesday warned that the global economic crisis will hit the world's poorest people the hardest and that "there is no bailout package for them."

11 sacked Pakistani judges reinstated

At least 11 sacked Pakistani judges have been reinstated yesterday, a media report said.

40 more Tamil Tigers killed in fighting

At least 40 Tamil Tigers were killed and scores were wounded when fierce clashes broke out between the advancing troops and the rebels in the island's north, military sources said here yesterday.

Editorial

PM's call for security coordination

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the various intelligence agencies to work in a coordinated manner so that the kind of tragedy that befell the Bangladesh Rifles last month and other tragic happenings in earlier years do not recur. The prime minister's thoughts are not only appreciated but also shared by the nation as a whole. There can be no denying that repeated intelligence failures, beginning with the assassinations of Bangabandhu in 1975 and President Ziaur Rahman in 1981 and leading up to the BDR carnage on February 25, have left the nation traumatised. All these failures have now thrown up the question of what must be need to restructure or reconfigure the intelligence bodies as a way of ensuring foolproof national security in the future.

Good sense prevails in Pakistan

We are hugely relieved at Pakistan's pullback from the precipice of a dangerous slide into destabilisation. As opposition leader Nawaz Sharif's defiant long march on Islamabad was building into a crescendo, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced a package of concessions on Monday defusing the tension to a very large extent. What was threatening to become a full-blown political crisis centring around reinstatement of Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhury as Chief Justice along with six other judges has, hopefully, been averted.

Pakistan and its brave new men and women

Quite a few heroic men and women have emerged in Pakistan in these past few days. It is surprising, indeed amazing, that in a country where politics has either been conspicuous by its absence or had with regularity been pushed over the cliff, it is now democratic politics that has now asserted itself. And the one individual who clearly deserves credit for this reawakening in Pakistan is a reinvented Nawaz Sharif.

Safety is paramount

Pain and distress gripped businesses and people around Basundhara City on Friday, March 13th as they helplessly watched a devastating fire on the 17th floor.

Change in Islamabad

Restoration of the twice-deposed chief justice of Pakistan on March 16 is a significant change. How real is it? The long struggle began when Pervez Musharraf sacked him in 2007. This is the first time in Pakistan's history that a popular agitation has attained its objectives. But will it last?

Sports

Abahani flying high

An understrength Abahani put on yet another clinical display to finish the first phase campaign of the Premier Cricket League with a high note when they handed a 38-run defeat to Biman at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Cricket? Not really

What happened during the Premier Cricket League match between table-toppers Abahani and Bangladesh Biman at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday was not a good sign for our cricket.

MSC puncture Gazi Tank

A highly anticipated contest involving Mohammedan and Gazi Tank turned into a complete mismatch when the Black and Whites thrashed the otherwise durable water tankers by 174 runs in a crucial Premier Cricket League match at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Semifinalists urged to behave

The organisers urged the four semifinalists of Citycell Super Cup's Cup stage to keep cool during the last four battles.

Jayasuriya hails Sangakkara

Sri Lanka marvel Sanath Jayasuriya has hailed new captain Kumar Sangakkara, considering him to be the fittest man for the job right now.

Govt no to Pak series

The government has decided not to go ahead with the postponed limited-overs home series against Pakistan.

Nat'l volleyball League opens

The Nakoshi KC blanked Hobokhali KC 3-0 in the opening match of the Rangs National Volleyball League at Narail yesterday.

JFA to offer youth coach to BFF

Japan Football Association (JFA) will provide a youth coach for Bangladesh this year, informed Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president Kazi Salahuddin yesterday.

Stanfords in tax trouble

Disgraced cricket mogul and financier Allen Stanford and his wife owe at least 227 million dollars in back taxes, US tax officials said in court filings Monday.

India start favourites

India regroup after outplaying New Zealand in the one-day series with an even more ominous line-up for the first Test starting here Wednesday.

Baggies hold Hammers

West Bromwich Albion were left four points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League after an uninspiring goalless draw away to West Ham at Upton Park here on Monday.

FIFA reveals 11 WC bids

FIFA announced Tuesday that 11 bidders are officially in the race to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

Wenger backs Walcott

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger marked the 20th birthday of Theo Walcott by predicting there was still more to come from the Gunners forward.

Neil may sue West Ham

Former Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock is seriously considering whether to pursue a personal compensation claim against West Ham United over the Carlos Tevez affair.

Pompous versus thin-skinned

There's a story film director Billy Wilder used to tell about the process of shooting Some Like It Hot. Some of the crew kept complaining about the difficulties of working with Marilyn Monroe, and in particular her tendency to arrive on the set hours late.

Klose to miss C. League quarterfinal

Germany striker Miroslav Klose will be sidelined for "six to eight weeks" following an operation on his injured right ankle, his club Bayern Munich said on Monday.

UEFA ready to consider Reds plea

UEFA said on Monday that it would do its utmost to ensure that Liverpool do not have to play their Champions League quarter final tie on the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Vidic banned for 2 games

Nemanja Vidic will miss Manchester United's next two games, the Football Association confirmed here on Monday, after being sent-off in last weekend's shock 4-1 loss to title rivals Liverpool.

Abbiati out for season

AC Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati has been sidelined for the rest of the season after suffering a freak knee injury in the opening minutes of Sunday's 5-1 Serie A rout of Siena.

Johnson gets into his swing

Batsmen the world over must be whispering to each other in hushed, worried tones. Word is spreading that Mitchell Johnson has found it. The second top wicket-taker in Tests last year, Johnson picked up his 63 breakthroughs without the key weapon of swinging the ball in to right-handers. Observers wondered how good he could be if he ever mastered that skill. The world is about to find out.

Federer moves on

Roger Federer was more than a match for the firepower of Ivo Karlovic Monday, beating the towering Croatian in straight sets to reach the fourth round of the Indian Wells hardcourt tennis tournament.

Eng storm into final

England marched into the final and further cemented themselves as favourites with a strong win against West Indies at Drummoyne Oval on Tuesday. It will be England's first appearance in a final since their victorious home campaign in 1993.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh Police recorded an emphatic 3-0 victory against Titas Club in yesterday's NBL Premier Volleyball League. Police won the sets 25-14, 25-18 and 25-17 at the Dhaka Volleyball Stadium.

BSWA honours Ranjit in Sylhet

The Sylhet district unit of Bangladesh Sports Writers Association (BSWA) at a function yesterday accorded reception to national sports award recipient and veteran footballer Ranjit Dass at the Zilla Krira Bhaban.

Marriage matters most!

Australian batsman Adam Voges put his upcoming wedding ahead of representing his country Tuesday when he withdrew from the one-day and Twenty20 squad to play in South Africa.

Kabir clinches qualifying title

Sirajul Kabir became unbeaten champion in the Metropolitan Selection Chess Tournament -- the qualifying competition for the 35th National Chess Championship -- which concluded yesterday at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall room.

Pakistan will still gain

Pakistan will still pocket 2.75 million dollars from the Champions Trophy despite the event being shifted to South Africa for security reasons, a top cricket official said here Tuesday.

Viv Stadium suspended

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has informed the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) that no more international cricket can take place at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua until extensive remedial work is carried out and it passes an inspection by the ICC.

Rajshahi in final

Rajshahi moved into the final of the Sheikh Russel cricket tournament defeating Dinajpur by two wickets here yesterday.

Business

State banks better off

Four state-owned banks performed better than before by realising around 50 percent of their default loans from top 20 defaulters and pulled off 94 percent of their targets from other defaulters in 2008, according to a central bank review released yesterday.

MCCI meets Hasina over recession today

The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) is set to turn in a "contingency plan" to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today to help tackle fallout from the global recession on the local economy.

Tech-savvy businesses to propel economic engine

Bumping up the use of latest technological infrastructure will propel the country's economic engine faster as technology is considered the backbone of any organisation, said State Minister for Science and ICT Yeafesh Osman yesterday.

Organic tea grower enters Japan

The country's lone organic tea grower has recently bagged export orders from the quality-conscious Japanese market, opening a new avenue for the local tea sector.

DSE halts trade of two firms

In response to share price jumps of Aftab Automobiles and Eastern Housing, the Dhaka Stock Exchange management yesterday halted trade of the two companies to make way for a market probe, a move to prevent unusual security price hikes.

New law to boost tourism

The government is considering approval of the Bangladesh Tourism Ordinance 2008 by June, says Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister GM Quader.

Cheapest car to test consumer appetite

The world's cheapest car, the Tata Nano, will be launched next week with backers hoping its troubled birth and the global economic crisis will not put off buyers from India's emerging middle-classes.

BTRC to solve PSTN-mobile operators row

TheBangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has assured struggling PSTN operators that it would stop mobile phone companies from cutting off interconnectivity between the two technologies for non-payment of arrears and resolve the problems related to interconnection charges.

Govt promises to boost herbal medicine sector

The commerce minister yesterday promised to offer incentives to boost the export of herbal medicine, saying his ministry would support the sector to fortify its position in both local and global markets.

Barua seeks Tata's help for ICT development

Industries Minister Dilip Barua sought Tata's help for flourishing the country's Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector, as the Indian conglomerate looks for investment opportunities.

New income tax ceiling likely

Amid the ongoing global recession and sliding

Asian bull run continues

Asia's stock market rally accelerated on Tuesday, with Tokyo leaping 3.18 percent, but a sharp fall in exports from Singapore underlined the severe problems facing the region's economies.

Oil prices drift lower

Oil prices slipped Tuesday, extending losses on lingering disappointment over Opec's weekend decision to hold current production levels amid a spreading global recession, dealers said.

New BJMC boss stresses raising productivity

The new chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, T D Mitra, has emphasised a halt to wastage of money and raising productivity to sustain the jute industry.

Citi grants for four institutions

Citibank NA Bangladesh recently contributed $1,15,000 to four academic and non-profit organisations to support their programmes, says a press statement.

$15m IFC loan for PRAN business expansion

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, has financed 15 million dollars to PRAN group, a leading agro processing and export company in the country.

Fed eyes new tools to lift economy

Deprived of its main weapon to revive economic activity, the Federal Reserve meets Tuesday to consider new tools to open up credit markets and tackle the worst crisis since the 1930s.

Nokia to lay off 1,700 worldwide

Nokia Corp said Tuesday it will lay off 1,700 people worldwide to cut costs, as the global economic downturn strikes deeper into the mobile phone sector.

Bank of Japan announces new crisis measures

Japan's central bank said Tuesday that it would lend up to 10 billion dollars to commercial banks in the latest effort to tackle a deepening recession in Asia's biggest economy.

Singapore key exports plunge 24pc in February

Singapore's key exports plunged 24 percent in February, in a further sign the city-state is headed for its worst-ever recession amid plummeting global demand for its products.

Hitachi replaces president, to split off businesses

Japanese high-tech giant Hitachi Ltd. said Monday that it was replacing its president and splitting off its consumer electronics and automotive systems businesses as it braces for a massive loss.

NOTICE

Bizletters could not be published today for unavoidable reasons. We regret the readers' inconvenience.

Metropolitan

Remain alert to conspiracies

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called on the countrymen to unite and remain alert to conspiracies to destabilise the country.

Govt plans comprehensive mechanism to face disaster

The government is developing a comprehensive mechanism for responding to any disaster in a widespread manner through ensuring participation of government and NGO aid partners,

'72 pc of high-rises lack safety measures'

Some 72 percent of high-rise buildings in the city do not have necessary arrangements to handle disasters like fire and earthquake, according to a survey report released yesterday.

Bring war criminals to book to foil conspiracies

Jamaat-e-Islami and its allied forces who opposed the Liberation War in 1971 are still hatching conspiracies against the country and trying to jeopardise democracy by killing people with the spirit of the Liberation War, speakers at a discussion said yesterday.

Continued support for women empowerment assured

A three-member Canadian parliamentary delegation led by Lois Brown, member of parliament of the ruling Conservative Party, called on Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday.

'Strengthen surveillance to ward off avian influenza'

Health Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Haque emphasised strengthening the surveillance system in the country to ward off the avian influenza so the malaise cannot affect poultry industry once again.

Line up under army officers

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Director General Brig Gen Moinul Islam yesterday ordered the BDR members to line up at their respective sectors, battalions and training institutes under the army officers in line with the chain of command as government authorities began rebuilding the border force virtually from its ruins.

Call to stop use of children in begging

Projonmo Bachao, an alliance against child abuse, organised a human chain programme in the city yesterday to raise awareness about the use of children in begging.

Agricultural dev a must for food security

Speakers at the inaugural ceremony of the 7th Annual Scientific Conference-2009 of Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (CVASU) yesterday emphasised the need for food security and food safety to tackle the food crisis and disasters like bird flu and melamine in milk across the globe.

'Execute verdict in Bangabandhu murder case'

Freedom fighters, academics and students at a discussion yesterday reiterated the demand for trial of the war criminals and execution of the verdict in Bangabandhu killing case saying those criminals are continuing conspiracy against the government to destabilise the country.

Borders are fully secure

The home ministry yesterday requested the people not to be misled by incorrect reports in a section of the media claiming rising smuggling along the border following last month's BDR carnage and killing in Pilkhana.

HC asks Ansar DG to stop construction

The High Court has passed an order of injunction restraining the Director General (DG) of Bangladesh Ansar and Village Defense Party from carrying out any further construction work in the Khilgaon Shishu Park in the city.

HC grants bail to Irad Siddiky

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted anticipatory bail for two months to BNP leader Chowdhury Tanbir Ahmed Siddiky's son Chowdhury Irad Ahmed Siddiky in a defamation case filed by BNP Chairperson's Adviser ASM Hannan Shah.

Shantu Larma, 14 others get bail

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted anticipatory bail for two months to Chittagong Hill Tracts Council (CHTC) Chairman Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma alias Shantu Larma and 14 others in an attempt to murder case in Ranagmati.

BJSC annual report 2008 submitted to president

President Zillur Rahman yesterday asked Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission (BJSC) to select meritorious and committed candidates for the judicial service for ensuring justice and establishing the rule of law in the country.

Diarrhoea situation improves slightly

The rush of diarrhoea patients to the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases and Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) decreased slightly yesterday.

Road crashes kill 3

At least three people were killed and three others injured in separate road accidents in Gazipur, Satkhira and Gaibandha yesterday.

Abul Mansur Ahmad's 30th anniversary of death today

Today is the 30th death anniversary of Abul Mansur Ahmad, a renowned litterateur, journalist and politician of the sub-continent, says a press release.

PM's support for families of Capt Mazharul, Lt Col Elahi

Family members of Capt Mazharul Haider and Lt Col Elahi Monjur Chowdhury, killed during the mutiny at BDR Headquarters in Pilkhana, received prime minister's personal letter of compassion and cheque for Tk 10 lakh each yesterday.

Obituary

Firoza Begum, wife of late Matiur Rahman, passed away due to kidney problems at Bangladesh Medical College Hospital in the city on Sunday at the age of 76, says a press release.

National

30 killed since independence but no instance of justice

At least 30 people including 27 students were killed and over 2,500 injured in some 60 incidents of student violence on campuses of different educational institutions in Rajshahi since the independence.

7 outlaws get life for murder in Tangail

A court here yesterday sentenced all seven members of an outlawed party to life term rigorous imprisonment (RI) in the sensational medicine trader Kamrul Huda Ponir murder case.

Rivals in politics, partners in tender scam

Although rivals in politics, leaders of BNP and Awami League in Rangpur have showed up as 'friendly partners' to manipulate tender for two construction work orders worth Tk 3 crore under Local Government Engineering Department (LGED).

Pro-AL employees at Ruet assault pro-BNP teachers

A group of pro-Awami League employees of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) yesterday assaulted pro-BNP teachers over teachers' association election slated for March 22.

Indigenous people still deprived of rights

Indigenous people are major victims of human rights violation for the last 38 years since independence despite their contributions to various movements in the country including liberation war in 1971and language movement in 1952.

Rapist of dumb girl gets life

Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal in Kurigram yesterday sentenced a man to life-term imprisonment for raping a dumb girl.

Principal's room ransacked, 8 teachers hurt in attack

A gang of around 20 allegedly led by a local BCL leader yesterday attacked the office room of the principal of Mohendra Nagar College under Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila to take control of the college management.

Cancellation of 'stage-managed' college union poll demanded

Khulna city unit of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) yesterday demanded cancellation of the 'stage-managed' election of students' union of Government Majid Memorial City College.

Letters

Insufficient fire fighting system

The fire in Bashundhara City once again confirmed our inadequacy in extinguishing a devastating fire in a multi-storeyed building. We are totally handicapped with our limited and primitive fire-fighting equipment. Thousands of pedestrians were helplessly looking at the building.

Irrigation with waste water

A very interesting report from Narsingdi, on the subject was published by a local English daily on March 4. It is a positive reflection on the initiative of BADC officials there. They have managed to utilise the waste cooling water from two power plants for irrigation! With their initiative, they have arranged to irrigate around 45, 000 acres of land for rice plantation which is expected to produce about 78,500 tonnes of Irri and boro paddy!

Pre-monsoon drive

In the 1960s and early 1970s, the pre-monsoon city sewerage and drainage systems cleaning drive used to be a major annual activity of Dhaka City Corporation and Wasa. This operation helped prevent occurrence of water logging of Dhaka streets during monsoon. It is not known why such an important operation was abandoned resulting in flooding of the city streets during every monsoon. Lest the new govt miss this impending crucial problem through oversight, I would like to draw the attention of the MPs concerned, before it is too late, to the crux of the problem. It is believed that the following cleaning operation in a professional and concerted manner would greatly reduce the intensity of the Dhaka city water logging during the coming rainy season.

Power supply disruption

At present after traffic congestion, power cut is the second gravest problem in Dhaka city. On a daily basis, we have to suffer at least 4-5 hours from persistent electricity disruption. However, it's no longer a new issue in Dhaka city. It's been discussed many times, but no effective measures have been taken to solve this problem. We see many experts talking about nuclear power generation, but so far nothing effective has been implemented. Are all these experts supposed to only talk on this issue or can they be utilized to fix this problem through implementing the nuclear project by means of government's direct intervention?

Children with disabilities

Entrance of children with disabilities to education is limited. An unequal educational structure, inflexible & unfriendly education programmes, lack of consciousness of parents, compounded with the insufficient knowledge of teachers and the inhospitable environment existing in the majority of the institutions, have done incredibly little to support education of children with disabilities in Bangladesh.

Not really funny

This is a very ordinary event and may have escaped attention. But I was shocked and surprised. I cannot forget it. It has a continuous presence in my mind although I did not see this incident myself - a visitor threw a chocolate in front of the cage of a bear in Dhaka zoo. The bear for nearly half an hour tried through the small hole of the cage with its outstretched tongue to catch the chocolate and eat it. It looked like the bear brought out his tongue about a foot to reach the item. He finally failed. Nobody helped the bear to get it. People witnessing this would surely have been jubilant at this `funny' scene. But was it a fun? I feel bad when I think how hungry the bear was. Is it not cruelty? This is one example. There are countless incidents of cruelty meted out to the animals and birds of zoo/circus and in other places. Imagine how it would be like if we hear this type of 'fun' made with helpless starving children! Do the authorities of the zoo properly feed captive animal/birds? Do they take care so that the visitors do not disturb the zoo inmates ?

Carpetbaggers?

It is a common practice for the leaders of political parties to stand for elections in as many as three constituencies. If they succeed in obtaining multiple seats, they have to retain one and surrender the others. This paves the way for by-elections, and in most cases other local candidates submit their nomination papers. In Bogra this year, two of the Opposition Leader's seats have fallen vacant and thus there will be two by-elections, as she has chosen to retain her seat in Feni.

BDR mutiny

In order to avoid mass killing, the prime minister's speech to the nation, particularly to the BDR mutineers, was perfect and timely. The speech definitely expedited the process of the mutineers' surrender. The PM's decision to negotiate with the leaders of the mutineers was absolutely correct both diplomatically and politically. But now that some officers unearthed their untold sufferings and are arguing in favour of raid by the armed forces soon after the attack, many people are in confusion and are passing the comment that the government decision was probably late and wrong.

Pakistan-a failed state

It is clear that Pakistan is about to fall in the category of a “failed state”. Since its birth, the military has been dominating over everything including governance. In the past it looted the wealth of its East wing (now Bangladesh) - at present they are involved in fighting with each other. Who is ruling the country? President, army or some other force? No one can say.

Reorganise BDR

I wholly support former president Hussain Mohammad Ershad's view with regard to disbanding the present BDR.

Iraq's orchards

It is heartening to learn that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Future Agriculture Development Organization (FADO) have undertaken a program to help invigorate Iraq's horticultural industry. As a part of this programme, 50,000 high-yield grape vines and fruit tree-stock grown in California nurseries are being distributed among the farmers to assist them revitalize their once vibrant orchards and vineyards.

Role of MPs

I would like to convey my gratitude to Md. Anwarul Kabir for his recently published article, entitled "Role of MPs in light of constitution". In this scholarly write-up, Mr. Kabir has rightly pointed out the constitutional role of our MPs. Unfortunately, in our country, deviated from the constitutionally defined role, the MPs are very eager to involve themselves in local development work. Mr. Kabir has revealed that the major motivation on their part to be MPs is to be millionaire within a short span of time by indulging in corruption and the local development works give them such opportunity. This culture must be changed. The Honourable Prime Minister has called for changes in her electoral pledge. We want to trust our leader. So, for the better future of the country, we would like to urge the prime minister to empower the local government, especially the upazilas and let them carry out all development works. MPs must concentrate on the issues of state policy making which is their prime obligation. This, in turn, will reduce corruption at the state level, we believe.

DS awards

Thanks for giving awards to the students who excelled in O and A level exams. You are giving such awards for the last ten years inspiring thousands of brilliant students. This was my first opportunity to attend this function as a proud guardian. I felt happy to see you and Mr. Zafar Iqbal as you are from the same generation to which I belong.

A digital Bangladesh?

The present democratically elected Awami League government has made the promise to the young generation of building a digital Bangladesh. For some reason, the government has banned youtube for Bangladeshi users. This is unthinkable in this world of information technology. In this 21st century, when we are dreaming of moving forward, our government has stepped backwards. Will they again say that they will make a digital Bangladesh?

Traffic congestion

Yesterday, when I was going to my school early in the morning I was facing a lot of problem going through the road. There was a huge traffic jam in sector 11. I had to wait for half an hour to go through this traffic congestion. And I missed my math exam. During this traffic jam I saw that the students of Mastermind and Milestone were heading for the same sector, which was sector 11 because both the schools are on the same road. There were no traffic policemen to resolve this traffic congestion.

Hostage crisis management

Mr. Muhit Rahman certainly deserves thanks for his write up published in the editorial page of 12 March 2009. Like many, it appears that Mr. Muhit had been a keen observer of the recent Pilkhana incident and burnt midnight candle to gain knowledge on the Hostage Crisis Management. But to me it appeared that he had been rather unkind in making certain comments.

International

Some US lawmakers against Pak aid

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Pakistani leaders that some US lawmakers "may not feel inclined" to support aid to Islamabad if political chaos continues, a top US official said Monday.

Suicide bombing kills 14 in Pakistan

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a restaurant in Pakistan's garrison city of Rawalpindi, killing 14 people and wounding 18 others, police said yesterday.

New PPP-PML-N alliance can't be ruled out: Gilani

Vowing to take all parties on board for national reconciliation, Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani today said the possibility of forging a fresh alliance between the ruling PPP and Nawaz Sharif's PML-N cannot be ruled out.

Lanka situation risky and dangerous: EU official

The situation in Sri Lanka was 'very risky and dangerous', a senior EU official has said.

Israel-Hamas prisoner swap talks sink

Eleventh-hour talks on a Israel-Hamas prisoner swap appeared to collapse yesterday as both sides accused each other of about-turns and bad faith in their Egyptian-brokered negotiations.

BJP rift widens as Jaitley skips party meet again

The rift is out in the open. On Tuesday, BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley skipped the meeting of the party's Central Election Committee (CEC).

EC files criminal case against Varun Gandhi

Cracking the whip, the Election Commission on Tuesday moved against Varun Gandhi, BJP candidate and a member of the Gandhi-Nehru family, for his anti-Muslim speeches and police quickly filed a case against him.

Nepal refuses to extend terms of army generals

Maoist government retired eight top generals of the Nepalese Army in a continuing tiff with services high command.

Govt wins floor test by one vote in Meghalaya

Amid high political drama, the ruling Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) scraped through a crucial floor test Tuesday with Speaker Bindo Lanong breaking the tie by voting for the government.

Walking, talking female robot to hit Japan catwalk

A new walking, talking robot from Japan has a female face that can smile and has trimmed down to 43 kilograms (95 pounds) to make a debut at a fashion show. But it still hasn't cleared safety standards required to share the catwalk with human models.

Music can enhance kids' reading skills

Music lessons can significantly improve children's cognitive performance in reading skills, says a new study.

Arts & Entertainment

Three stalwarts honoured

On the concluding day of its three-day theatre festival, Bangladesh Manabadhikar Natya Parishad (MANAP) honoured three eminent personalities for their contribution in their respective fields. The recipients were Language Movement veteran, Abdul Matin, seasoned theatre actor, Khandakar Golam Kader and the editor of the first illustrated magazine exclusively for women, Nurjahan Begum.

Homage to Waheedul Haque

To celebrate Waheedul Haque's 76th birth anniversary, cultural organisations Chhayanat and Anandadhoni arranged a memorial programme at the main auditorium of Chhayanat Sangskriti Bhaban on March 16. Both the programmes marked renditions of Tagore songs, recitation and more. A painting exhibition for children was also part of the programme.

Francophonie festival begins in Dhaka

An eight-day Francophonie Festival 2009, organised by the Alliance Francaise de Dacca, began on March 16. On the occasion, a press conference was held at the café of Alliance Francaise de Dacca. Robert Mc Dougall, Canadian High Commissioner; Ahmed Al Shourbarg, DCM of the embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Charley Causeret, Ambassador of France; Driss Hachaq, Deputy Head of Mission of Morocco Embassy; Juerg Siegenthaler, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Switzerland and Nguyen Van That, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam spoke on the occasion.

Three new books hit the stands

Bengali International, a socio-cultural organisation, held a publication ceremony to launch three new literary books on Saturday evening at Raja Rammohan auditorium.

Raga based Tagore songs light up the evening

The High Commission of India, in association with cultural organisation Bishwabeena Performing Arts Institute, arranged a musical evening of classical- based Tagore songs recently. The programme was held at the Indian Cultural Centre, Gulshan.

Go Yamagata: Visions of wild Africa

From the regal Himbas, a semi-nomadic pastoralist tribe, to the majestic lion and other unusual animals, to matchless landscapes. All these images from Southern Africa have been captured on camera by Japanese photographer Go Yamagata. And for a change, instead of dwelling on the poverty stricken Africa, Yamagata has managed to give a refreshing perspective of the continent. “Through my exhibition, I convey the beauty, diversity and power of wild Africa,” says the young photographer.

Passion unbound for words

The Reading Circle (TRC) celebrated its third anniversary recently at Words n' Pages.

OP-ED

Redefining secularism

Establishing secularism was one of the principles of our Liberation War. After liberation, the 1972 constitution incorporated secularism as one of its salient features. However, post-1975 politics changed the situation and we reverted to the realm of communalism.

Good rule of good law

Rule of law is a catchy slogan. It has tremendous appeal for the general members of the public and intellectuals alike. People tend to believe that no injustice and exploitation exist in a society administered by rule of law. In other words, absence of rule of law is the source of all evils in the society. Looks fine, but only when read superficially.

Important note regarding financial advice

This is an apology and correction issued by the global financial industry (formerly known as the Masters of the Universe, the Lords of Capitalism, the Gurus of Free Market Economics and so on). Our headquarters were in Wall Street, New York, but we had representatives in every major city on the planet.



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