The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, September 20, 2014


News of: Monday, 23rd of March, 2009

Front Page

Mega malls nearly unfit to fight fire

Most of the shopping malls and markets in the capital are running without proper firefighting equipment and expertise, posing a serious threat to the life and property of owners, tenants and customers.

Yet another BDR man dies

Yet another member of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) died in mysterious circumstances at the city's Pilkhana headquarters yesterday.

Graft, politics push hospital into sickbed

Partisan politics of doctors and government's interference plunged Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) into a vicious circle of immoral practices that earned it the name "hospital of corruption".

61pc driving licences obtained without test

Sixty-one percent drivers have got driving licences from Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) without sitting for the required test while 54 percent of them drive vehicles on roads in the country with expired licences.

Bidi factory dodges Tk 44cr in taxes

The owner of a bidi factory in Bogra was found to have evaded over Tk 44 crore in taxes during September 2004-December 2008, according to the district Customs, Excise and VAT Division.

BSMMU VC, pro-VC, treasurer resign

Amid mounting pressure from the government, Vice-chancellor (VC) of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and its three senior officials resigned yesterday.

Separation of judiciary spirit at stake

Empowering executive magistrates to take cognisance of offences for trial in any case is against the sprit of the constitution and separation of judiciary from the executive, barrister M Amir-Ul Islam told the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday.

Deranged man kills 4 kids

A deranged youth yesterday hacked four children to death and injured five others at Zinnagarh under Char Fashion upazila in Bhola.

Govt ready for year-long ration

The government has sought cooperation from apparel factory owners to provide ration for readymade garment (RMG) workers throughout the year.

President hails govt role in handling BDR carnage

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina yesterday paid a courtesy call on President Zillur Rahman and apprised him of the government's performance and its handling of the troubles inside the BDR headquarters.

BNP rejects probe body on Sircar's 'graft'

BNP yesterday rejected the all-party parliamentary body, formed to probe allegations of financial anomalies and wastage of public money against former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, saying that the probe body will not be able to carry out the investigation fairly.

Akhtar Hamid sued for cheating

A case was filed yesterday against former Deputy Speaker Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui with Mohadevpur police station in Naogaon on charge of cheating authorities of a private primary school.

War criminals barred from going abroad

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government will take necessary steps to gather documents on genocide in 1971 and bring back war criminals who fled the country then.

Rab arrests 'Leather' Liton

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel last night arrested listed criminal "Leather" Liton at a Hazaribagh house in the city in connection with last month's BDR carnage in Pilkhana.

Former CBA leaders called for quizzing

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has sent notices to five former CBA (Collective Bargaining Agent) leaders of Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited (CUFL) to appear for questioning in the sensational Chittagong arms haul case.

EC decides not to contest writ petition

The Election Commission (EC) decided not to defend in court its decision that allowed Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami get registered with the EC as a parliamentary political party, saying the matter is "sensitive".

Wajed Miah leaves for Singapore for treatment

Dr M Wajed Miah, ailing nuclear scientist and husband of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, left for Singapore in the early hours of today for better treatment.

Sramik Dal GS Jafrul sent to jail

A Dhaka court yesterday sent Jatiyatabadi Sramik Dal General Secretary Jafrul Hassan to jail after rejecting his bail petition in a case filed for concealing wealth statement of Tk 1.24 crore to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Russia keen to set up nuke power plant

Russian Ambassador to Bangladesh Gennady P Trotsenko yesterday submitted a formal proposal to State Minister for Science and ICT Yafez Osman for setting up a nuclear power plant to meet Bangladesh's growing demand for energy.

7 JMB men get life in Rajshahi

The first court of Rajshahi Divisional Special Judge yesterday sentenced seven militants of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) for life in connection with the August 17 serial bomb blast case filed with Motihar Police Station.

BNP starts meeting with div teams

BNP Standing Committee yesterday started discussions with the Chittagong division central team about its report on reorganising the party's grassroots-level committees in that division.

Govt okays import of 60,000 MT Indian wheat

The cabinet committee on purchase yesterday approved the proposal for importing 60,000 tonnes of wheat from India to meet domestic demand but it did not okay six other proposals, including construction of over 500 flats for public servants.

Pak PM, Sharif call for reconciliation in talks

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif called for reconciliation to end Pakistan's political crisis but stopped short yesterday of announcing concrete agreements.

WWF pledges action on water

A seven-day focus on the world's water crunch wound up here yesterday with a pledge by more than 100 countries to strive to provide clean water and proper sanitation for billions in need and shore up defences against drought and flood.

Core of Qaeda in Pakistan

Stating that the core of al-Qaeda has shifted from Afghanistan to Pakistan, Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday said that Britain was about to take the war against terror "to a new level".

Five soldiers, 6 militants killed in Kashmir battle

Five Indian soldiers and six Muslim rebels were killed in separate gunbattles in Kashmir yesterday, police said, a day after Pakistani and Indian troops traded fire across the de facto border.

Editorial

Avoid reverse politicisation

WE are both surprised and frustrated at the news that Vice Chancellor, Bangabandhu Medical University Prof. Nazrul Islam has been called to quit by the Health Minister without assigning any reason whatsoever. As if in a gesture of favour being done to him, he is asked to resign citing personal reasons -- the highhanded manner could hardly be disguised in a wrap of superficial courtesy.

Wild cat strike by interns?

THE 14-hour strike by the DMCH interns ended on Saturday, after the health minister and the health adviser had intervened to bring the striking doctors back to duty. The strike was called to protest the alleged misbehaviour by the relatives of a man who had died half an hour after his admission in the hospital.

Elephant in the room?

THE wielders of power, ensconced in its citadel, seldom venture demolition of established order so that their vested interests are protected from its falling debris. Until their moribund equation with the existing systems crumbles their preferred choice is status quo -- whether it is the BNP or AL holding the sceptre.

Landmark change in Pakistan

IT was the moral strength of the civil society mobilisation to restore Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry that peacefully brought President Zardari to his knees. The agitation has broken the fear barrier. This is a historic gain.

Power management

THE country is running acutely short of power nowadays. As a result, load shedding and the consequent suffering of the people have become grave and chronic. Many areas in the capital itself go dark and dry without power and water for hours everyday.

Sports

Abahani, Gazi in testy battle

The focus will be on the battle between defending champions Abahani and Gazi Tank when the Premier Division Cricket Super League gets underway today at three different venues.

Brothers' uphill task

Brothers Union will give a last shot at the Citycell Super Cup title today when they take on favourites Abahani in the second-leg of the first semifinal, which kicks off at the Bangabandhu National Stadium at 5 pm.

Johnson delays defeat

Mitchell Johnson hit an 86-ball century for Australia before South Africa completed an innings and 20-run win on the fourth day of the third Test at Newlands Sunday.

Russel play Farashganj in Plate final

Farashganj set a final clash against Sheikh Russel in the Plate stage of the Citycell Super Cup after beating Rahmatganj 5-3 in the penalty shootout in yesterday's battle of the riversiders.

BFF assured of govt support

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has finally decided to start its football academy in Sylhet but will need government support to fulfil its dream.

Security fears force IPL to go abroad

Cricket's lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held abroad this year, organisers said Sunday, blaming the government for being unable to provide security for the showpiece tournament.

Day of shocks

Sir Alex Ferguson has been forced to admit the Premier League title race is back on after watching his side slump to a 2-0 defeat at Fulham in a match where Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney were sent off.

England lift women's World Cup

England woke up on Sunday morning to find their women crowned world champions for the third time following a final in which they had the edge throughout against New Zealand in Sydney on Sunday. As Jonny Wilkinson had kicked his rugby side to glory in 2003 in the same city, so England's Nicky Shaw sealed success for her team to see them home, having taken a career-best 4 for 34.

T20 meet in May!

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is planning to stage a T20 tournament involving the Dhaka Premier League clubs as part of the national team's preparation for the Twenty20 World Cup in England in June.

City sink into Div I

Mirpur minnows City Club has dropped down onto the Dhaka First Division League when they lost to Victoria by four wickets in the relegation phase of the Premier Cricket League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh Police AC emerged champions in the National Bank Dhaka Metropolis Premier Division Volleyball League beating Power Development Board (PDB) 3-2 (23-25, 25-12, 25-21, 20-25, 15-12) in an exciting last league match at the Volleyball Stadium yesterday.

Foreign referees for semis, final

Abdur Rahman, a referee from Qatar, arrived in Dhaka yesterday to officiate the second leg semifinals of the ongoing Citycell Super Cup.

BCB Academy-U 19s to play exhibition

A limited overs exhibition match between GP-BCB National Cricket Academy and Bangladesh Under-19 will be held on March 26 on the occasion of the Independence Day at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Nadal-Murray showdown

World number one Rafael Nadal will try to add the first Masters Series title of 2009 to his Australian Open crown when he meets Andy Murray in the final at Indian Wells on Sunday.

PWD, Swadhinata promoted to Div II

PWD confirmed promotion to next year's second division when they emerged champions in Super League Group A of the Citycell Third Division Football League yesterday.

SA ready to host IPL

South Africa will enter into negotiations which could lead to the country staging the second season of the Indian Premier League, according to Cricket SA chief executive Gerald Majola.

Bayern cut gap to one

Defending champions Bayern Munich beat Karlsruhe 1-0 Saturday, without injured striker Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose, to close the gap behind league leaders Hertha Berlin who were humbled in Stuttgart.

Treble for Kanoute

A hattrick from Mali international Freddy Kanoute masterminded Sevilla's 4-1 win over Valladolid on Saturday as they stayed six points ahead of Villarreal in the Champions League race.

Marseille end 10-year wait

Renato Civelli and Brandao fired Marseille to a 2-0 victory over Nantes on Saturday to shoot Eric Gerets' men to the top of the French championship for the first time in 10 years.

Juve rout Roma

Juventus beat injury-ravaged AS Roma 4-1 at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Saturday to keep alive their faint Serie A title hopes.

Hundred 100s in Sachin's sight

Sachin Tendulkar may not want to talk about it, but the foremost batsman in the world today has in sight what once seemed an unachievable record -- a century of centuries.

Form to be Becks's marker

England coach Fabio Capello insists David Beckham's form will dictate the player's World Cup destiny and not his advancing years.

SA deny Dalai Lama entry

South Africa's embassy in New Delhi has denied travel documents to Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, barring him from attending a peace conference in Johannesburg, activists said Sunday.

Klinsmann a happy man

Bayern Munich boss Jurgen Klinsmann was delighted the defending Bundesliga champions ground out a 1-0 win over Karlsruhe to narrow the gap on leaders Hertha Berlin to just a point.

Germany lose Frings, Friedrich

Veteran midfielder Torsten Frings and central defender Arne Friedrich are both out of Germany's upcoming World Cup qualifiers, the German Football Federation (DFB) announced on Saturday.

Business

Air freighters fear slack times

Movement of air cargoes to and from Bangladesh is feared to lose pace in the days to come as overseas trade is on the downturn amid recession, operators of air freighters said.

Accessory makers may lose edge

A prolonged recession is likely to hit garment accessory manufacturers as new orders are slowing and past bookings are drying up.

Tata Motors launches ultra-cheap Nano car today

Tata Motors said it will launch its ultra-cheap Nano car in Mumbai on Monday - a vehicle meant to herald a revolution by making it possible for the world's poor to purchase their first car.

Libya keen to deepen manpower ties with Bangladesh

The Libyan ambassador said yesterday his country would increase the number of Bangladeshi workers recruited by his country.

Tent city for America's homeless

A year ago, home for Renee Hadley was a comfortable apartment in the trendy West coast city of Seattle, Washington.

Can't decide which handbag to buy? Rent it first

A Louis Vuitton bag, diamond-inlaid guitar, Gucci shades and a dog. Total cost? Less than 1,000 Singapore dollars (654 US). The catch is, you're only renting.

United Airways set to launch Ctg-Kolkata flight

United Airways is scheduled to begin operations on the Chittagong-Kolkata route on March 30, to cater to the growing needs of the residents of the port city.

Jute traders in Khulna face loss on recession

Global recession has created an adverse impact on jute export in Khulna district as around five lakh bales of high quality raw jute are still lying unsold in warehouses at Daulatpur, a hub of jute export trade in the south-western region of the country.

Bepza reviews economy, trade, business

Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza ) Board of Governors in its 30th meeting at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday discussed various issues, prospects and problems of the country's economy, trade and business.

Bangladesh to join trade ministers' meet in Turkey

Bangladesh will participate in the Trade Ministers' Summit in Turkey, which will begin on June 1.

Stocks in the red

Stocks continued to decline for a fifth day, led by a price fall in the shares of non-banking financial institutions, insurers, services and real estate, tannery, pharmaceuticals and cement companies.

Asian currencies gain

Asian currencies ended the week higher against the dollar in reaction to the Federal Reserve's decision to pump more than a trillion dollars into the financial system.

Obama defends Geithner, focuses on passing budget

Amid the continuing backlash over AIG bonuses, President Barack Obama is defending his embattled treasury secretary and touting his ambitious $3.6 trillion budget proposal as a boon for ordinary Americans.

AIG bonus bill runs into Senate objections

Top US senators expressed disquiet Sunday over a populist bill aimed at taxing nearly all of AIG-style bonuses, querying whether it was constitutional and if it might delay economic recovery.

China stimulus to contribute 1.9pc to growth

China's huge stimulus package is expected to contribute at least 1.5 percent to the nation's economic growth this year, a top official said Sunday, as the Asian giant continues to fight the crisis.

Hairdressing industry seeks govt support

The hairdressing industry might be a great way of employment generation, eliminating poverty, which needs government attention to grow, a press meet in Dhaka was told yesterday.

Transcom Foods wins awards

Transcom Foods Ltd, the sole franchisee of Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken in Bangladesh, has been recently awarded the CEO's Award of the year for KFC and Running Great Restaurants for Pizza Hut by Yum! Restaurants (India) Pvt Ltd, says a press release.

Steel workers in China protest over salary

Nearly 1,000 steel workers took to the street in central China to demand payment of their salaries and insurance premiums, state media said Sunday.

Sony Ericsson issues profit warning after 2008 losses

Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson on Friday issued a profit warning for its first-quarter results, saying sales and earnings were being hit by the slump in global demand in the economic crisis.

Thai unemployment to hit one million this year: PM

Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva warned Sunday that the number of jobless could nearly double to one million people this year because of global and local financial turmoil.

G20 summit will not halt downturn: British minister

British Foreign Office Minister Lord Mark Malloch Brown on Sunday played down hopes for next month's G20 London summit on the credit crunch, saying the downturn "is not going to stop on April 2".

'Virtually impossible' for Australian economy to grow

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Sunday it was "virtually impossible" for Australia's economy to grow in the current climate, all but conceding a recession is looming.

CERAGEM Bangladesh gets new MD

Yoo Hong Yeol has been appointed as managing director of CERAGEM Bangladesh Limited, a subsidiary of World's largest USFDA and ISO certified thermal acupressure device manufacturer CERAGEM of South Korea.

New DMD for National Bank

National Bank has recently promoted Md Baidul Alam to deputy managing director, says a press release.

Correction

We regret the mistake in the March 5 news item, headlined "Qatar Airways cuts ticket prices", as the airline has actually brought down fuel surcharge, not fare.

Metropolitan

Govt keen to implement '96 water treaty with India

State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak yesterday said the government is working to implement the water sharing treaty with India signed in 1996.

153 more suspects shown arrested

A total of 153 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) mutiny suspects were shown arrested yesterday in the mutiny case filed with Lalbagh Police Station and sent them to jail.

Remain cautious so that none can use ACC

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) must remain cautious so that none can use the commission and its anti-graft drive for political purposes, said speakers at a roundtable yesterday.

Bain loom in dying state

Speakers at a regional conference yesterday said centuries old back-strap weaving craft of the indigenous people is in danger of becoming extinct in absence of patronisation for its immediate revival.

Trial of war criminals still possible

Trial of the war criminals in Bangladesh is still possible although a long time has elapsed, much like in the case of Cambodia, Dr Helen Jarvis, chief of Public Affairs of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), said yesterday.

Land, waterbody commission to be formed

The grand alliance government will form a land and waterbody reform commission to ensure proper management and distribution of khas lands as the process has long been unfinished since 1950 state acquisition of the property by the feudal lords called zaminders.

Biman to add Boeing 747 to its Hajj fleet

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Limited, the national flag carrier, is going to add a Boeing 747 aircraft to its fleet under Aircraft Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (ACMI) wet lease system to strengthen its services during the Hajj period.

President seeks Chinese help

President Zillur Rahman yesterday underscored the need for massive Chinese investment in Bangladesh, especially in textiles, agro-processing, energy and power, pharmaceutical, communications and infrastructure development, to reduce the existing huge trade imbalance between the two countries.

Waste management strategy for toxic-free environment soon

State Minister for Environment and Forest Mustafizur Rahman said the government is going to develop a strategy soon for sustainable waste management to keep the environment toxic-free.

'Generation of 3000MW renewable energy possible by 2020'

Generation of around 3000 megawatts of renewable energy is possible by 2020 through a united effort in the country, speakers said at a seminar on Dhaka University campus yesterday.

'La Madre a masterpiece in Italian literature'

Asian Cultural Federation, an interracial cultural organisation, launched the Bangla version of the Nobel-winning Italian novel titled 'La Madre' of famous Italian writer Grazia Deledda in the city yesterday.

2 killed, 37 injured in road accidents

Two people were killed and 37 others injured in separate road accidents in Thakurgaon and Thakurgaon in last two days.

Two shot in city

Two people sustained injuries in separate incidents as some unidentified armed criminals sprayed them with bullets in the city's Ibrahimpur and Badda areas yesterday.

JCD threatens strike at DU on Mar 29

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) leaders yesterday threatened to observe strike at Dhaka University (DU) on March 29 to realise their six-point demands including peaceful co-existence of students at residential halls at the university.

HC asks govt to explain

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain within six weeks why it (government) should not be directed to arrange sufficient fire fighting equipment to ensure safety in country's high-rise buildings.

Tanjim asks law enforcers to ensure security

The government, responding to a recent rumour that terrorists might attack the schools, has asked the law enforcers to take tight security measures at all the educational institutions so that students can attend classes without any disturbance.

Probe body report today

The committee to probe into the fire at Bashundhara City Complex will submit its report to the government today.

'Release Akhtar Hamid'

BNP yesterday demanded immediate release of former deputy speaker and party leader Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui who was arrested on Saturday under the Special Powers Act (SPA) for making 'seditious statements'.

20 Hindus injured in clash with land grabbers

At least 20 people of Hindu community were injured in a clash with the land grabbers following the disputed Mondir land. The incident took place at the village Samaj Gram of Chatmohar upazila under Pabna district on Sunday evening. The clash erupts following the disputed land of 'Hari Mondir' of the village. Of the injured 15 people including the women are admitted to Chatmohar health complex.

HC bench delists contempt petition

A High Court (HC) bench yesterday dropped from its list the contempt of court petition filed against Barrister Rafique-Ul Huq on charge of using 'abusive' and 'objectionable' language about a judge of the court.

Concern over restrictions on freedom of movement

US Ambassador James F Moriarty yesterday expressed concern over the recent media reports of restrictions being placed on the freedom of movement of individuals seeking to travel outside Bangladesh.

Zia Fertiliser inoperative again

Zia Fertiliser Company Limited (ZFCL) at Ashuganj became inoperative again yesterday due to a technical fault developed in its cooler unit of ammonia plant.

Ad-interim bail to Jamaat leader Razzaq, wife

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted anticipatory bail for three months to Jamaat leader barrister Abdur Razzaq Siddik and his wife Saleha Razzaq Siddiq in a case filed by the police on charges of criminal intimidation to on-duty police and trespass.

World Meteorological Day today

World Meteorological Day will be observed today in the country in a befitting manner like the other member countries of the globe.

Two boys rescued from traffickers

Police rescued two minor boys while they were being trafficked yesterday at Maksudpur in Gopalganj.

Australia reaffirms support in boosting trade

Newly appointed Australian High Commissioner in Dhaka Dr Justin Lee paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) yesterday.

Court records statement of injured AL leader

A wounded Awami League (AL) leader yesterday appeared before a Dhaka court and sought exemplary punishment to the culprits responsible for carrying out the grenade attacks on a rally on Bangabandhu Avenue on August 21, 2004.

'Ensure security of female students'

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad yesterday demanded proper investigation into the mysterious burn and death of a residential student at Barisal Government Women Collage.

Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital opens new CCU

Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital and Research Institute opened a new Coronary Care Unit (CCU) on the 3rd floor of the hospital in the city Saturday.

Fake cosmetic factory unearthed

Detective Branch (DB) of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP) unearthed a fake cosmetic factory in the city on Saturday night.

President, PM greet Pakistani counterparts

President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday greeted their Pakistani counterparts on the occasion of Pakistan Day today.

BNCC founding anniversary today

The 30th founding anniversary of Bangladesh National Cadet Corps (BNCC) and the BNCC Day will be observed across the country today.

Students continue sit-in

The fourth year BSS honours students of Department of Political Science at Dhaka University (DU) continued their sit-in programme in front of the office of the chairman yesterday demanding immediate publication of results of their honours final examinations.

National

Water table falling by 2ft a year in Barind area

Villagers in Barind Tract area in Godagari upazila are always after water as the underground water table is going down by 1 to 2 feet every year.

Drought-like situation dims Boro prospect

The ongoing drought-like situation dims the prospect of this year's Boro cultivation in north-eastern greater Sylhet region.

OC asked to record case against 9 in Khulna

The chief judicial magistrate, Khulna, has asked the officer-in-charge (OC) of Batiaghata Police Station to record a case and take necessary legal action against nine 'rajakars' for killing a man during Liberation War in 1971.

21 AL men sued in Barisal

A case has been lodged with Mehendiganj Police Station against 21 leaders and activists of the local unit of Awami League following death of a BCL man during AL factional clash on Saturday.

JMB leaflets seized in Khulna, two arrested in Satkhira

Police recovered 19 brochures and some leaflets of the banned Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from Hotel Al- Baraka in city on Saturday night.

BCL groups fight for control of RMC campus

Two rival groups of Bangladesh Chhatra League Rangpur Medical College (RMC) unit chased each other yesterday and the day before to take control of the college campus.

Robbers kill woman at Chittagong flat

Criminals strangled an elderly woman and injured her husband before looting valuables from their rented flat in the port city yesterday morning.

Letters

Separation of judiciary

Parliament is supreme in the land for making law and it is the function of the courts and the Judiciary to interpret and apply such law. Judges can make some law (case law) in areas where there are no parliamentary statutes. A statute will supersede any case law and take its place and there can be no conflict. Claims of such conflict are mere exaggeration and like the proverbial storm in a teacup.

Tea workers

There are about160 tea gardens in Bangladesh. These tea gardens are located mostly in Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Sylhet and Chitagong Hill Tracts. Though these tea gardens increase natural beauty of Bangladesh and add to our foreign currency earning, the woes of tea garden workers have a dampening effect on their performance. Tea labourers have a significant role in the tea industry. The progress of the tea industry depends on the hard work and motivation of tea labourers. But they never got their due in terms of salary and other benefits.

Myanmar's negative attitude

Myanmar has totally failed to show due respect and good neighbourliness towards Bangladesh. Once Myanmar was a rich country in Asia, it was earning a considerable amount of foreign currency exporting surplus rice, logs etc. But the military junta has destroyed the country's wealth as well as good norms and values to a great extent.

Gulshan

It is appalling and shocking what Dhaka city residents are being subjected to lately. Apart from frequent load shedding, unbearable traffic jams, water shortage etc, to which everyone seems to have got used to, now, in a posh area like Gulshan, prostitutes are openly moving around in broad daylight! Beggars of every description, not to speak of the women carrying someone else's babies, knocking on car windows are now a part of the traffic scene in Gulshan 2.

Priorities

It is imperative that the incumbent grand alliance government lay emphasis on the priorities like ensuring clean water supply, more gas supply, increasing the generation of electricity & resolving the traffic jams across the country.

Drug menace

Drug addiction is a serious threat to humanity, especially young generation all over the world. It engulfs all values and destroys the social fabric.

Crime and punishment

The nation is aghast, stunned into silence at the indescribable acts of violence at BDR Headquarters at Pilkhana recently. It is only logical and fair to demand exemplary punishment to the conspirators, perpetrators and their cohorts. However I would like to raise an issue that seems to have escaped most of us. The disciplined BDR jawans who risked their own lives to protect the army officers and their families should be duly and suitably rewarded for their heroic deeds.

Slum dwellers

It drew our attention that “Court permission will be required to evict slums, a private bill by Saber Hossain Chowdhury” published in The Daily Prothom Alo on 24 February. We express our deep gratitude to the member of parliament, Saber Hossain Chowdhury for tabling such a Bill. We express our full support to the initiative.

The poet

Shamsur Rahman is a star in Bangla literature known for his creative works. He was a journalist, dramatist, novelist and a poet who had worked relentlessly all his life.

Fertilisers

To increase production use of fertilisers is a common practice among the farmers. Though farmers can make much benefit by using fertilisers on the soil, it is having a negative impact on soil fertility. The use of fertilisers on the soil destroys its original fertility. The use of insecticides helps destroy the harmful insects. But sometimes these insecticides mix up with the surface water which is a big health hazard.

Points to ponder

ABM Musa, the respected journalist, highlighted his point of view on a Channel-i programme on issues of BDR enquires and terrorism scare in the government. We are not aware whether the government has any system to listen to and act or react to such comments coming from a popular media programme. The issues Mr. Musa raised should be an eye opener for the government policy makers.

Australian visa

The system of skill category migration has been in place in Australia for long. There are some methodologies/procedures/rules to get/obtain skill category migration. Initially, the applicant has to obtain 90-120 points to apply for skill category migration. This point is measured based on the applicant's age, proficiency in English and job offer in Australia. It should be learnt that the Australian government prepares a migration occupation list each year. An applicant who does not have any job offer, whatever qualification s/he has, will not qualify to apply for the skill category migration.

HSC exams

Unlike other years, this year the HSC examination is scheduled to start from the middle of April-- probably the hottest month of the year. In the previous years, the exams were held in June--the month when monsoon arrives .As we know, load shedding becomes a very common affair in the summer, making life difficult through the length and breadth of this land.

Corruption

Corruption is a multi-faceted term these days. Corruption may be committed in two ways --corruption above the table and corruption under the table. Mahathir Mohammad once said the former can be checked through the rules or laws but the latter cannot be rooted out through the mundane rules, it is related with the moral values and norms. Corruption is a practice which deviates from the accepted norms. It is prevalent in every society from primordial times. In the eighteenth century the level of corruption in America and the UK was less in comparison with the later centuries.

Fate of a migrant worker

I want to start my story with a proverb; wherever the luckless goes, he would get the same result. Since my childhood, I heard the buzz proverb several times. Though I could not understand the actual meaning of that, but today, the alarming rate of our migrants coming back due to global economic recession makes it clear to me.

Power supply

In light of the current huge shortage of electricity and future increase of demand and scarcity of gas for large-scale power generation, it can be said that the county's electricity supply situation will never be normal without at least one 1000mw N-power plant.

RU incident

A few days ago, we witnessed a shameful incident at Rajshahi University . Our past heritage provides us with ample evidence of students' glorious presence in and contribution to politics. Past studies show that in our language movement and the movement of our independence the students had contributed a lot.

Redefining secularism

"Redefining secularism, published in the DS, is an extra-ordinary article indeed. Mr. Anwarul Kabir in this prudent write-up has rightly defined secularism. While defining secularism at the state level, we must consider the people and their psychology. Secularism devoid of religion will not be acceptable to the people of present Bangladesh. Rather, we have to think about religions with liberal views. As long as religions remain flexible and show tolerance, establishing secularism of our style is possible. Restricting religions to the private sphere of the life, as western notion suggests, is not possible right now. Even western society is now in a dilemma and with the increase of Muslim population, some countries in Europe and America are considering installation of Sharia Board (e.g. Canada). France is also compromising in the context of wearing Hizab in public schools.

Poor decision

I was really shocked to see on BBC that Bangladesh had banned YouTube for broadcasting certain things. I do understand that there is classified information which should not be published. Whoever had uploaded those things did not act like a good citizen. But, unfortunately, my concern was more about the way the government had tried to resolve the matter by banning YouTube in Bangladesh. Such action was not expected from the party that has promised to build a digital Bangladesh. I believe the situation could have been dealt with more efficiently. Before banning, did anyone from the government request YouTube to restrict viewing the news from Internet concerning our internal security? I believe they would have got a good response.

Administrative chaos

The sloth in the ministries- panic caused by random reshuffle in the administration: loyal civil servants get favourable transfer and posting and the disloyal ones end up as OSDs and go on forced retirement.

BDR carnage

The entire episode was eye-opening. Stark was the absence of a national crisis management mechanism designed to swing into action. The prime minister's meeting with mutineers to settle issues 'politically' was in itself a breach of security protocol. Equally absurd was professionally ill-equipped Home Minister Sahara Khatoon and State Minister Jahangir Nanak's role as negotiators.

Our students

Population boom is one of our main problems. About five lakh job seekers are not getting jobs, as the job market is small. Our students cannot study in good universities in developed countries due to lack of required standards and poor performance in English. There are many reasons behind these. One of them is student politics. Our students do not study as per requirement. After taking admission into the public universities, they start indulging in politics for getting undue facilities.

International

US mulls 'political role' for Taliban to end protracted stalemate

To bring the Taliban into the Afghan political process in order to achieve a peaceful resolution to the war in Afghanistan, the United States has signalled a new initiative.

Israel, Hamas talks on prisoner swap not dead

A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says attempts to win the release of a captured Israeli soldier have not stopped despite strong signals from Olmert that no deal was likely during his last days in office.

Pak CJ at centre of turmoil back at work

Pakistan's top judge resumed his post at the Supreme Court yesterday following two years of political turmoil over his ouster in the al-Qaeda-threatened, US-allied country.

US Predator strikes hurt al-Qaeda

A six-month campaign of Predator strikes in Pakistan has seriously damaged the al-Qaeda structure there, forcing militants to turn on one another as they search for culprits, The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. Citing unnamed US intelligence and counter-terrorism officials, the newspaper said on its website that the pace of the attacks has increased dramatically after the administration of former president George W. Bush made last August a previously undisclosed decision to abandon the practice of obtaining permission from the Pakistani government before launching strikes from the unmanned aircraft.

LTTE offers fresh talks without precondition

After being pushed to a small strip of land, the beleaguered LTTE has offered fresh talks without pre-conditions but the Sri Lankan government snubbed the proposal, asking the Tamil Tigers to lay down arms first.

No US-Nato force on Pak soil for curbing terror breeding grounds

Raising serious concerns over the terror safe havens in Pakistan, which are being utilised by different terror outfits to carry out their activities across the world, the US's Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has said that Pakistan it self should act to tackle this menace.

Pope decries African wars at Mass

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass Sunday with hundreds of thousands of Angolans and decried the "clouds of evil" over Africa that have spawned war, tribalism and ethnic rivalry that he said condemned poor people to virtual slavery.

Need to resolve Kashmir to focus on terror

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani today underscored the need for an early resolution of the "core issue of Kashmir" with India to allow Islamabad to concentrate on eradicating extremism and terrorism.

Rights abuses threaten Nepal peace: UN

A visiting senior UN official warned Nepal yesterday that the country's peace process could be derailed by the failure to bring to justice those guilty of widespread and continuing human rights abuses.

'Third Front' off to rocky start

With a month to go before Indian elections, the "Third Front," launched amid much fanfare to challenge the two main political parties, has got off to a rocky start.

UK hotels vulnerable to Mumbai-style attacks

Days before world leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrive here for the G-20 summit, security officials said the event posed an "unprecedented" challenge and the threat of Mumbai-style terror attacks on luxury hotels in Britain is at the "severe end of severe".

Reality TV star Jade Goody dies after cancer fight

Jade Goody, a dental assistant turned reality-TV star whose whirlwind journey from poverty to celebrity to tragedy became a national soap opera and morality tale in Britain, has died.

NC rejects Prachanda's offer to join govt

Striking a conciliatory note, Nepalese Premier Prachanda has asked the opposition NC to join the Maoists-led government, an offer spurned by the party saying accepting it would be "suicidal".

Data theft attempt from Indonesian mobile firm

Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies has suspended an employee suspected of trying to steal data from Indonesian mobile firm Excelcomindo (EXCL.JK), according to officials at the firms on Friday.

Arts & Entertainment

A lifeline that blesses and destroys

Artist Monsur Ul Karim came to prominence in the late '60s. His works are exhibited regularly. As an experimental painter, he delves into figures, themes, colours and textures. In particular, Monsur emphasises on facial expressions. His works zoom in on the struggles and yearnings of his subjects.

Doyel O Kaak-er Golpo on Banglavision

Special TV play "Doyel O Kaak-er Galpo" will be aired on Banglavision on Independence Day at 9:05pm. Written by Kazi Mahmudur Rahman, the play has been directed by Kamal Chakma.

121st birth anniversary of Thakur Anukul Chandra

Devotees from the northern districts recently celebrated the 121st birth anniversary of Thakur Anukul Chandra in Dinajpur with colourful programmes, including recitation and spiritual songs.

Traditional horse race in Narail

Traditional horse race is held in different places of Narail district in the month of Chaitra. Local people arrange the event annually. One such horse race was held at Boramara village in the district recently.

Ekhon Jamgachhtai Shudhu kandchhey on ntv

“Ekhon Jamgachhtai Shudhu kandchhey,” a TV adaptation of litterateur Syed Shamsul Haque's work, by debutant director Biplob Pal will be aired on March 26 at 9pm on ntv.

Grand celebrations on Fantasy Kingdom’s 7th anniversary

Theme park Fantasy Kingdom celebrated its 7th anniversary on March 20. To mark this joyous occasion, Fantasy Kingdom arranged a daylong event for the visitors at the park, says a press release. Prince Ashu and Princess Liya of Fantasy Kingdom with lawmaker Talukdar Mohammad Towhid Jung Murad as chief guest; Chairman of Concord Group, S.M. Kamaluddin; Deputy Managing Director of Concord Group, Shahriar Kamal and Senior Executive Director of Concord Entertainment Co. Ltd, Air Commodore (retd.) Rashid Ahmed inaugurated the ceremony by cutting a cake and releasing balloons.

Nirobey on ATN Bangla

As part of the special programmes on March 26, ATN Bangla will air the tele-fim “Nirobey.” The film has been written by Siddiqur Rahman and directed by Muhammad Mustafa Kamal Raaj.

OP-ED

Manpower maelstrom

THE Malaysian government's decision to revoke 55,000 Bangladeshi work visas has shocked everyone. This shows the lack of preparedness of this government for dealing with situations out of the ordinary.

The truth about electric cars

DON'T talk to me about the pleasures of driving. I pay a fortune for petrol. I pay speeding fines. I pay parking fines. I get abuse from young people who blame me personally for global warming. I was once arrested for a motoring offence. And I don't even own a car!



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