The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, August 31, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 25th of March, 2009

Front Page

Militants' 'ammo factory' busted

In a chilling reminder of how the militants are still alive and kicking, the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday unearthed a mini-ammunition factory inside a madrasa-cum-orphanage in a remote village of Bhola.

MP advice to be made must again

Members of the parliamentary standing committee on LGRD ministry yesterday agreed in principle to recommend that the House reinstate the provision that makes mandatory for upazila parishads to seek suggestions of lawmakers concerned in running their activities.

No footage of Darbar Hall meeting found

Investigators of the BDR Headquarters carnage have so far recovered CCTV footage from the arsenals and DG office but not any footage of the meeting held at Darbar Hall on February 25, CID sources say.

Power situation may improve next week

The persisting bleak power situation is expected to improve slightly from the end of this month with the commissioning of a “spur-line” to boost gas supplies from Jalalabad gas field.

Steps for quick disbursement of cash incentive

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday immediate steps would be taken for quick disbursement of export cash incentive, and rules to get clearance from the credit information bureau (CIB) for loans would be relaxed.

EC still can cancel party registration

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday claimed that the Election Commission's (EC) authority to take action against registered political parties breaching certain registration provisions was not curtailed.

BNP to dissolve dist bodies before council

BNP will form convening committees in its organisational districts to prepare for councils planned to reorganise the party down to the grassroots level.

Rights bodies slam KL over job-cut policy

Migrants' rights bodies yesterday slammed the arbitrary retrenchment of Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia, saying such policies go against international labour laws and humanity.

Dhaka-Delhi inland water transit, trade protocol renewed

Bangladesh and India renewed the protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade to enhance trade between the two countries through waterways.

Govt to ensure balance in role of MPs, upazila chairmen: PM

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina said there would be balance and coordination between the works of members of parliament (MPs) and upazila chairmen to avert any scope of conflict.

Another BDR man dies of heart attack

A BDR man of 9 Rifles Battalion in Bagaichhari upazila of Rangamati district died of cardiac arrest yesterday, sources said.

Savar ancient site left 'unprotected'

The "Harishchandra Rajar Dhibi" in Savar may appear to the visitors as a dump, garage, poultry farm or any sleazy place, but obviously never a 'protected' archaeological site.

RMG owners fear unrest ahead

BGMEA leaders yesterday sought assistance from the government to check labour unrest that they fear will flare up in the coming months.

10 HC judges reappointed

Ten High Court (HC) judges who were not confirmed by the BNP-Jamaat government despite the chief justice's positive recommendation, were finally reappointed as regulars yesterday as per the Supreme Court guidelines.

BNP demands EC action for fair by-polls

The BNP has suggested the Election Commission (EC) inform polling agents about the number of ballot boxes before vote casting begins in the coming by-election and ensure the agents' maximum presence in presiding officer's room to make vote counting credible.

ACC starts probe into Koko's case

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has started investigation into the case of money laundering filed against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's younger son Arafat Rahman Koko.

500 database centres for regular update of voter list

More than five hundred permanent database centres at a cost of Tk 206.70 crore would be set up across the country to provide adequate infrastructures at upazila, district and divisional levels for regular maintaining and updating voter list with photographs.

Rajshahi edn institutions to reopen in a week

Top officials of all closed higher educational institutions in Rajshahi last night at a meeting decided to reopen almost all their institutions within a week enforcing a three-month ban on student politics.

US asks India to back Pak anti-militant battle

The United States called Monday on India to support rival Pakistan in rooting out extremism as Washington drafts a new "war on terror" strategy in South Asia.

Rail link with Ctg, Sylhet snaps for 7hrs

Train communication on Dhaka-Chittgaong and Dhaka-Sylhet routes was suspended for around seven hours as the engine of a parcel train derailed at Ghorashal early yesterday.

Black night revisits

The black night of March 25 is here again, evoking the painful memories of how thousands of unarmed Bangalees were slaughtered by the Pakistani occupation forces in 1971.

Woman's body found in travel bag

Police yesterday recovered body of an unidentified young woman in a travel bag in the city's Saidabad bus terminal.

BSMMU gets new VC, pro-VCs

The government yesterday appointed new vice-chancellor (VC), two pro-VCs and treasurer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).

Huji man on 4-day remand

Maulana Sheikh Abdus Salam, a founding member of Harkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji) and the ameer of Islamic Democratic Party (IDP), was taken on a four-day remand yesterday in connection with the bomb attack on a CPB rally on January 20 in 2001 that killed five people.

Changes in civil admin, armed forces

The government has transferred several officials to new posts in the latest shuffle in civil administration and armed forces yesterday.

Two fishing cats beaten to death

Villagers in Natore and Moulvibazar, in two separate incidents yesterday, beat two fishing cats to death.

Frequent reshuffle troubles govt officials

The secretary level committee on administrative development at a meeting yesterday observed that the government officials are facing serious difficulties in discharging their duties due to frequent reshuffles in the administration.

PM given documentary

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was presented with a documentary titled 'History of Liberation' depicting the Liberation War of Bangladesh, a private television channel reported yesterday.

Pak CJ vows to end judicial corruption

The Pakistani chief justice whose ouster sparked political turmoil called for an end to judicial corruption upon returning to his office yesterday, a day after the president who had long blocked the judge's reinstatement reached out to reconcile.

Scientists identify two new potent greenhouse gases

Scientists have identified two new greenhouse gases - one emitted by the electronic industry and the other used in pest control, which are rapidly accumulating in the atmosphere.

Barak faces showdown over coalition deal

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak faces a key showdown with his Labour party on Tuesday as he asks the deeply divided faction to back a coalition deal with premier-designate Benjamin Netanyahu.

Editorial

In defence of migrant workers

FIFTY civil society groups straddling South and South-east Asia have come to the defence of hapless migrant workers, especially in Malaysia. The move reflects the urgency of the situation in which these workers, a very big group of which comes from Bangladesh, find themselves at present. The points which the civil society groups have raised certainly make much sense since they are aimed at cushioning the pain that migrant workers go through when they are informed suddenly that they cannot work any more. In these past many weeks and months, thousands of workers from Bangladesh have had to bear the brunt of the arbitrary moves made by the Malaysian authorities. The latest has been the cancellation of work visas issued to 55,000 Bangladeshi workers even before they could travel to Kuala Lumpur. Making matters worse was the plight of hundreds of others stranded at the airport in the Malaysian capital because they were not being allowed entry.

Save dying city rivers

STINKING waters of rivers girdling the metropolis and the physical encroachment on them are strangling the wind pipe of Dhaka city, as it were, to its virtual death. Add to this, the grabbing of wetlands and lakes, and you have an apocalyptic picture of urban ruination, just waiting to happen.

A bitter opposition is bad for democracy

THE chief whip of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party in the Jatiyo Sangsad has declined to attend any meeting of the all-party parliamentary committee that will probe allegations of corruption against former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar. Joynal Abedin Farroque has let the nation know that his decision comes in light of the instructions he has received from Begum Khaleda Zia.

People's power in Pakistan

ORDINARILY one connects Pakistan's politics with military coups. But this time what occurred in Pakistan on March 16 was, for the first time, a successful manifestation of people's power to restore democracy and rule of law. This is a great victory for the people, signaling detribalisation and secularisation of politics in Pakistan.

Reaching the most vulnerable

THE impacts of the current financial crisis are being felt around the world. But whilst the media focus is on the collapse of the big banks, the silent victims are the poor. For countries like Bangladesh, the economic crisis underlines the importance of building up its economy using the talent and resources available in its population.

Sports

MSC-Abahani final

Aminul Haque's three heroic saves in the penalty shootout booked Dhaka Mohammedan's place against archrivals Abahani in Friday's final in the Citycell Super Cup despite their 1-0 loss to Chittagong Mohammedan yesterday.

IPL in South Africa

The 2009 Indian Premier League (IPL) will now take place in South Africa.

IPL in South Africa

The 2009 Indian Premier League (IPL) will now take place in South Africa.

Pegasus down to First Division

City Club's maiden Premier League win hastened Young Pegasus's plunge into First Division Cricket after a 26-run defeat at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Another noble gesture

After the successful ending of the first regional talent hunt programme for the country's intellectually challenged athletes, Grameenphone, in partnership with Special Olympics Bangladesh, is organising a second such regional programme in Chittagong division.

Plate final today

The Citycell Super Cup plate stage final between Sheikh Russel and Farashganj will be held at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

Klinsi hungry for more

Bayern Munich coach Jurgen Klinsmann claims he has already fulfilled the main target he was given when he took over at the German champions, but knows he cannot afford to rest on his laurels.

King pulls out

Ledley King has withdrawn from England's squad for Saturday's friendly international against Slovakia and next week's World Cup qualifier with Ukraine.

Pressure on MU: Riera

Liverpool winger Albert Riera believes the pressure is getting to Manchester United now the Anfield club have turned what seemed like a procession for the English Premier League title into a true race.

Jose causes new storm

Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho has infuriated his peers by strongly hinting that Italian coaches are influenced by their club presidents when making team selections.

'Pak players should be allowed to play now'

Shoaib Akhtar is hopeful the Indian Premier League's (IPL) impending move to South Africa or England could pave the way for Pakistani players to return to the lucrative Twenty20 tournament. Pakistan's cricketers were denied permission to play in the IPL by the Pakistan foreign office in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, but the tournament's likely move away from India has raised hopes the door may again be opened.

Moratti doesn't want Ibra to leave

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti tried to dampen down speculation that striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic might leave at season's end by saying he couldn't imagine the club without the Swedish star.

Bucknor praised

West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor has been praised after he stood in his 128th and last Test in South Africa's win over Australia in Cape Town.

HC rules in BCCI's favour

The Bombay High Court has cleared the way for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to seek a new broadcast deal by rejecting a plea from Sony TV, which had challenged the Indian cricket board's decision to terminate its five-year deal to televise the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Local Snippets

The games of the preliminary phase of the Mercantile Bank 35th National Chess Championship start today at 3.30pm at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall room.

Two rookies on WI team

Uncapped Barbados batsman Dale Richards and Trinidad fast bowler Ravi Rampaul have been included in the West Indies squad for the third and fourth one-day internationals against England.

BKSP school champs again

BKSP school team became champions of the Standard Chartered Young Tigers under-16 national cricket tournament at the City Club ground yesterday.

BSJA hands out 7-year awards

It turned into a get-together for the sports personalities at the NSC Tower on occasion of the Kool BSJA Awards 2002-2008 yesterday.

How comes in as cover for India Test

Batsman Jamie How was brought Tuesday in as cover for New Zealand in the second Test against India as Daniel Flynn struggles to overcome a hand injury.

Nobel meeting postponed

A planned South African peace conference involving Nobel laureates has been postponed over Pretoria's refusal to grant a visa to Tibet's Dalai Lama, organisers said Tuesday.

Cech best Czech footballer

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech was named best Czech footballer of 2008 here on Monday evening, following a poll of players, coaches, officials and journalists.

'Sacking Gareth won't help Boro'

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has said sacking manager Gareth Southgate won't be the cure-all in the north-east club's battle to avoid relegation from the lucrative English Premier League.

Bayern hunt McGeady

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has revealed that Bayern Munich are tracking Celtic winger Aiden McGeady.

Cambiasso extends with Inter

Argentinian defensive midfielder Esteban Cambiasso has extended his contract with Inter Milan until 2014, the Italian league leaders announced Monday.

Abete re-elected as president

Giancarlo Abete was on Monday re-elected as president of the Italian Football Federation at a general assembly of the sporting body here on Monday.

Rooney escapes further action

England striker Wayne Rooney will not face further disciplinary action following the red card he received against Fulham last weekend.

Law signs for Derbyshire

Former Australia batsman Stuart Law is to play one-day English county cricket for Derbyshire in the upcoming season, it was announced on Tuesday.

Business

End of an era

British Airways (BA) is set to bring down the curtain on Bangladesh next week, ending an era of direct Dhaka-London flights.

District-wise budgets planned for future

The government will take initiatives to frame district-wise budgets in future, said the finance minister yesterday.

Airlines face losses of $4.7b in 2009: IATA

Airline industry association IATA on Tuesday sharply increased its loss forecast for carriers to 4.7 billion dollars in 2009, which is set to be "one of the toughest years" that the sector has faced.

BTRC keen to ease costs of 3G licensing

The telecom watchdog is looking for a suitable way to award mobile phone operators 3G licences to ensure licence-acquisition fees are not a burden to prospective operators.

Demand for rate cuts kicks up debate

Demand for lowering bank-lending rates has come to the fore, kicking up a debate on the issue.

Motorola launches WiMax trial programme

Motorola Telecommuni-cations Bangladesh yesterday expressed its readiness to provide cost-effective services to prospective WiMax operators here.

Mega plan to develop tourism soon

The government will soon take up a mega plan to develop tourism campaign or festivals in rural, tribal and 'haor' (a water body) areas and arrange river cruises, aiming to enhance the country's image through attracting more foreign visitors.

Insurance ordinances en route to parliament

Dr Mashiur Rahman, economic affairs adviser to the prime minister, yesterday assured insurers that two insurance ordinances promulgated by the past caretaker government would be placed in the next session of parliament for ratification.

China calls for ditching dollar as reserve currency

China has called for ditching the US dollar as the international reserve currency, sweeping away a decades-old system to stabilise the world monetary climate and protect its massive forex reserves.

Etihad completes flight transfers at Abu Dhabi Airport

Etihad Airways, a fast growing private airliner, has successfully completed its phased move into Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi Airport with the transfer this week of the final four long-haul services from Terminal 1 into the new passenger building.

BGMEA expected to meet PM today

The newly elected BGMEA leaders are scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today to seek cooperation from the government to help run the largest export-earning sector, said a top official of the association.

Eurozone business activity picks up slightly

Business activity in the 16 countries sharing the euro picked up slightly in March although from depressed levels, according to a new survey on Tuesday.

BGIC holds mangers' meeting

Bangladesh General Insurance Company (BGIC) held its annual review meeting of branch and zonal managers on March 22-23, says a press release.

Cosmetics brands beat all odds

Sanjida Rahman, a 29-year-old lawyer, loves using internationally renowned cosmetics, as these brands are reliable and available in the local market.

Rave reviews for Nano

Motoring experts in India on Tuesday gave a rousing reception to the Tata Nano, hailing the world's cheapest car as "one of the greatest bargains of all time" and "a triumph of Indian ingenuity."

$20.9b ROK extra budget to fight slump

South Korea Tuesday announced a record 28.9 trillion won (20.9 billion dollar) extra budget aimed at pulling the country back from the brink of its first recession in 11 years.

US seeks powers to seize non-bank financial firms

US Treasury and Federal Reserve chiefs asked Congress Tuesday for unprecedented powers to seize financial companies outside the banking system in a bid to maintain economic stability.

World stocks soar on US plan

Global equities rallied Tuesday in response to Washington's one-trillion-dollar plan to cleanse banks of toxic assets and spark a global economic recovery, analysts said.

Oil prices dip

Oil prices slid Tuesday on profit-taking after hitting four-month peaks on news of the US government's massive plan to clear toxic assets from bank balance sheets.

AIG to give back $50m in bonus cash

Executives with AIG's financial products division have agreed to pay back 50 million dollars in bonuses amid outcry over the insurance giant's use of taxpayer cash for executive perks, officials said.

Arroyo says 41,000 Philippine jobs lost to crisis

At least 41,000 people in the Philippines have lost their jobs amid the global downturn, President Gloria Arroyo said Tuesday.

Obama sees good signs in US economy

President Barack Obama has expressed growing confidence in efforts to revive the economy ahead of a White House press conference on Tuesday aimed at rallying Americans behind his reform and recovery efforts.

Vietnam's first-quarter inflation almost 14.5pc

Vietnam said Tuesday that inflation was almost 14.5 percent year-on-year for the first quarter of 2009 as consumer prices continued to ease from a record high seen last year.

Metropolitan

Dhaka to further strengthen ties with Asean countries

Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni yesterday said Bangladesh would further strengthen its ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries.

Early marriage major obstacle to fertility decline

Early child marriage and early child bearing are still major obstacles to fertility decline in the country, according to Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) report 2007.

Int'l dialogue on migration begins in Geneva today

A two-day international dialogue on migration begins at the International Conference Centre in Geneva (CICG), Switzerland today focusing on practical protection of human rights of the migrants.

Female RMG worker strangled

Unidentified criminals strangled a female RMG worker while she was returning home from her workplace at Fatullah in Narayanganj on Monday night.

45pc population living below poverty line

The number of people living below poverty line has been increasing for the last two or three years, Food and Disaster Management Minister Md Abdur Razzaque said yesterday.

Pichchi Masum arrested in N'ganj

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a criminal, Sarder Pichchi Masum, and recovered five rounds of bullets and explosives from him after he stabbed a youth at Pathantuli in Narayanganj on Monday night.

'Ensure transparency in trial process'

The government should review the International Crimes Tribunal Act, 1973 before holding the trial of war criminals in order to ensure transparency in the trial process, international law expert Dr Ahmed Ziauddin said yesterday.

Ashuganj fertiliser co inoperative again

Ashuganj Zia Fertiliser Company Limited (ZFCL) became inoperative again at around 10:30am after its two and half-hour's resumption yesterday.

Swadhinata Utsab begins

Speakers at the inaugural ceremony of the three-day Swadhinata Utsab yesterday demanded immediate trial of the war criminals.

Khulna bus owners enforce strike from today

Khulna Divisional Bus-Minibus Owners' Association has called a strike on 14 routes of the country for an indefinite period from today to press home its five-point demand.

DU expels one for harassing female student

Dhaka University authorities yesterday expelled a student for six months from the university on charge of physically harassing a female student.

Fugitive convict held at Fatulla

Police arrested a fugitive convict at Fatulla in Narayanganj on Monday night.

Bullet-hit body of youth recovered in city

Police recovered the bullet-hit body of a youth from the field near the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre at Sher-e-Banglanagar in the city yesterday.

Students asked to devote more to knowledge-based learning

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Hasan Mahmud has said students should devote themselves more to knowledge-oriented learning to pave the way for establishing a Digital Bangladesh within the next ten years.

Domestic help strangled in Bogra town

A teenage domestic help was strangled at Madhyapara under Nishindara in Bogra town yesterday.

Promote volunteerism to achieve MDGs

Speakers at a workshop yesterday said media can play an important role in promoting volunteerism in the country as a long-term strategy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

SCBA polls begin

The two-day polling of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) for its 14 executive posts, including president and secretary, began yesterday.

Deprived cops demand appointment

The sub-inspectors and sergeants, who were deprived of appointment in 2005, along with their guardians formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in the city yesterday demanding their immediate appointment, says a press release.

City's diarrhoea situation deteriorates

The city's diarrhoea situation has slightly deteriorated in the last three days, Prof Shahadat Hossain, scientist and head of longer stay unit of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases and Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), said yesterday.

HC grants bail to 199 RU Shibir activists

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted anticipatory bail for two months to 199 activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir of Rajshahi University unit in five separate cases filed against them for assaulting Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men on the campus.

BDR-BSF confce cut short by 3 days

The six-day director general (DG) level conference between the border guards of Bangladesh and India, which was scheduled to start in New Delhi on March 27, has been cut short by three days due to the last month's carnage at BDR headquarters.

Prioritise activities to address overpopulation

Speakers at a report launching ceremony urged both government and non-government officials to work out ways to ensure better programme implementation.

2 accused flee Jatrabari police station

Two accused in a snatching case escaped from Jatrabari police station breaking open the ventilator of a toilet yesterday morning.

Schoolgirl hacked to death by madrasa teacher

A schoolgirl was hacked to death by a madrasa teacher in Munshiganj yesterday.

Correction

Lawmaker ABM Abul Kashem sent a clarification regarding The Daily Star report headlined "Ship breaking ordered shut" published on March 18.

National

'Risky bridge' since 2003 but no step yet for repair

The worn-out bridge over the Swarnamoti river in Aditmari upazila on the Lalmonirhat- Burimari highway has become risky for people and vehicles as it may collapse any moment.

Govt-run computer academy chief, aides sued for cheating

Director of National Academy for Computer Training and Research (NACTAR) and his associates have allegedly embezzled huge amount of money promising jobs to a number of people.

Rajshahi Shibir files 3 more cases against 248 BCL men

Islami Chhatra Shibir men filed three more cases in connection with their bloody clashes with the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at Rajshahi University on March 13 and Rajshahi Medical College on March 10.

Rajshahi Polytech closed indefinitely

The authorities of Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute (RPI) have suspended all classes and examinations for an indefinite period following clashes between two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) over establishing supremacy on the campus on Monday and the day before.

13 sued for '71 killing in Mymensingh

A case was filed with Senior Judicial Magistrate's Court, Mymensingh, on Monday accusing 13 'rajakars' of killing a man in Gofargaon upazila during Liberation War in 1971.

10 get life in 2 murder cases

Ten people have been sentenced to life imprisonment in two separate murder cases in Faridpur and Panchagarh districts.

Robber killed in mob beating

A robber was killed in a mob beating at Vallukshi village under Agoiljhara upazila early yesterday.

Shrimp farmer murdered

A shrimp cultivator was killed by unidentified assailants at Khankar Char in Debhata upazila yesterday night, police said.

Letters

Chemical pesticides

In order to protect the vegetables from pests, chemical pesticides are used. But the producers as well as consumers are not aware of the ill effects of the pesticides. Nowadays, we observe some efforts by the law enforcers to ensure formalin-free fish and stop adulteration of restaurants foods. But they overlook the pesticides used while growing vegetables and other agricultural products.

Crafty game?

Thanks to our Dhaka Stock Exchange new President for his powerful strides to bail out our capital market from the vicious cycle around Z category shares wrought about by some crafty wrong doers. Z category shares transaction in percentage of our total turnover may not be that high. But the damage caused by it goes much deeper down the spine of our capital market system. It has produced such satire in our capital market that sounds as it were: Invest in bad shares and be rewarded. Invest in good shares and be punished. This hints at decaying of intrinsic value in our capital market system.

Tourism potential

No doubt Bangladesh has immense potential in tourism. But still it is not developed due to the lack of interest and proper policy of the government. The recent announcement on establishing a national tourism board is a ray of hope for the development of tourism industry in Bangladesh. But it is not enough, because tourism industry is an amalgam of other industries like transportation, accommodation, international technology etc.

National security

National security is matter of topmost priority. That BDR Headquarters and other military establishments exist without adequate video surveillance and digital identification is just unthinkable to me. Even before Bangladesh goes digital, our armed forces need to do so immediately. It is sad to read how the investigators have to rely on amateur cell phone videos to look for suspects. Many rosters had been burnt which make it impossible to determine the whereabouts of the personnel. This could easily have been avoided if each personnel were assigned a digital identification card. This would make their whereabouts easier to find and also the information could not be burnt as it would immediately (at the speed of light to be precise) make its way to a central digital information storage hub (say a facility in the cantonment).

Misguided elements

The fundamental principle of all religions is to try to be a good human being, though there are different ways to achieve the goal. Our Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Pbuh) is the truest human being the world has ever seen. But some people, who claim to be the followers of Islam, engage in activities that violate the basic tenets of the religion.

Obama's overture

US President Barack Obama on March 20, 2009 made a historic appeal to the Iranian people, urging an end to decades of animosity and offering a honest engagement with the Islamic Republic. It proves that he is a person of great wisdom who wants to have a peaceful relationship with every country.

Quality of local products

A few days ago I purchased a hot water bottle from a drug store. I wanted to buy a local product but was told that the quality of the local product is not good. Hence I had to buy an imported product at a higher cost.

Pak tour cancelled

I would very much welcome the cancellation of Pakistan cricket team's tour of Bangladesh. I think this is a very good decision by the government. There is no denying that terrorists have got no sympathy even for sportsmen who are considered goodwill ambassadors of their country. The recent attack by the terrorists on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan is an example that even the sportsman are not sparred by them. Thank God, the Sri Lankan team members narrowly escaped.

Rohingyas

The rulers of Myanmar are oppressing the Rohingya Muslims. Though they are the legal citizens of Myanmar, but their social and political rights have never been recognised. They can't perform their religious duties, they can't marry without the permission of the govt. They can't move from one town to another without permission. The dictators are trying their best to finish the Rohingya Muslims. The Rohingyas are now foreigners in their own country. There were 3.5 million Rohingyas, and 1.5 million have escaped from Myanmar and they are passing through great uncertainty.

Paramita's patriotism

Recently, Paramita's story in DS drew my attention. I was astonished to see her patriotism and love for the mother tongue. I can visualise my own childhood in the eyes of this little girl. She spent her money which she got as prize for poetry recitation, for building a Shaheed Minar. She did this spontaneously to show her love for the martyrs of the language movement. It was a spontaneous expression of her love for her mother tongue too. Nowadays what our countrymen lack is patriotism. But when I read the story of a school girl's love for the country and our mother tongue, I got back my lost faith.

Rehabilitate street children

Thanks to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for directing the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs to arrange special programmes for rehabilitating the hapless street children and ensuring social and economic security of women.

ACCA students

The ACCA students, particularly in Chittagong, are facing many problems. Since the course is not so established and familiar in the context of Bangladesh, students cannot determine what is happening during taking tuition. The main problem is created by tuition providers, especially the new ones. They lack experienced and skilled personnel in administration. In fact, their management is too weak to run such a professional course. Furthermore, it is widely complained that, they take the ACCA fees from the students but do not pay to the ACCA in time.

Bonus bonanza!

AIG and the other failing banks in the USA have set new and absurd standards for executive privileges. They give guaranteed bonuses; while the organisation reels under astounding losses! Funnily, individual amounts of this bonus are more than the gross income of many US taxpayers! Indeed the USA is the land of milk and honey! These fat salaried executives get the honey of bonuses in these hard days of economic downturn, regardless of losses suffered, conveniently milked from poor taxpayers! This is the refined way of robbing the bank without guns and masks!

Rickshaws, again

I am really sympathetic towards Md. Lutfar Rahman (Letter to DS on March 20, 2009), as I too am feeling the pain and suffering each and every day caused by the careless behaviour of the rickshaw-pullers on Dhaka streets.

Co-ordination in human body

In the human body, all the systems simultaneously work in a co-ordinated way and in full harmony for a definite purpose, namely, to keep the body alive. Even the smallest movements we do everyday, such as breathing or smiling, are outcomes of perfect co-ordination in the human body.

Performance of ministers

I am very sceptical about the selection of the AL cabinet. Most of them do not have any technical knowledge or experience in their respective fields. It takes knowledge, vision and administrative skill to run a ministry. As a supporter of the AL, I wish the situation will be rectified very soon, before further damage is done to the economy.

International

Manmohan slams Advani as sectarian opportunist

India's ruling Congress Party unveiled its election manifesto yesterday, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh setting the tone for the campaign by labelling his main rival a sectarian opportunist.

Lanka accuses aid groups of seeking to prolong war

Sri Lanka's military yesterday accused "a vicious coalition" of international aid groups of harbouring terrorists and seeking to prolong the island's civil war for economic gain.

Judge's return raises hopes for missing Pakistanis

With Pakistan's top judge back at work, Zahida Sharif has new hope that her husband will be found, her toddler son will know his father and justice will be served.

India-US 'move beyond' nuclear row -- for now

The United States and India have "moved beyond" bitter differences on nuclear weapons, a senior US official said, but more feuds could be on the horizon as President Barack Obama takes a harder anti-nuclear stance.

Robots take centre stage in US war in Afghanistan

The US military is deploying the robots to Afghanistan to navigate the country's treacherous terrain.

UN rules detention of Suu Kyi illegal

The United Nations has ruled the continued detention of Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi violates the country's own laws as well as those of the international community, a legal document says.

US failed to accomplish desired goals so far in Afghanistan: Zardari

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said the US and Nato troops have been waging anti-terror war in Afghanistan for last seven years, but they have failed to accomplish the desired goals so far.

Britain's new anti-terror strategy eyes Pakistan

Britain published a new counter-terrorism strategy Tuesday, notably highlighting the risks posed by potential extremist activity in Pakistan and Somalia.

Sharif, Gilani back as a team

It's official: Pakistani opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani are back together as a team though the contours of their revived friendship are yet to be defined.

Japan to host Pakistan donors meet next month

Japan will host a donors meeting for Pakistan on April 17 that is set to be attended by the country's President Asif Ali Zardali and US envoy Richard Holbrooke, officials said yesterday.

I am not going to be PM, says Sonia

Congress president Sonia Gandhi asserted Tuesday that she had no desire to be the prime minister of India.

Cong makes last-ditch efforts to retain PMK in UPA

Amid reports that PMK has decided to join hands with AIADMK for the Lok Sabha polls, Congress is making last-ditch efforts for its continuance in UPA with senior Congress leaders set to hold talks with Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss.

Red meat raises death risk, white meat lowers it

People who eat more red or processed meat have a higher risk of death from all causes including cancer, while a higher consumption of white meat reduces such risks, a decade-long US study released Monday found.

24 killed in Kashmir forest gunbattles

Indian troops in revolt-hit Kashmir shot dead five Islamic militants Tuesday, bringing the death toll on both sides from several days of forest gunbattles to 24, the army said.

Militants warn Pakistan to stop mobile phone network expansion

Militants yesterday warned the Pakistan government to stop expanding the mobile telephone network in a restive tribal area, worried it could be used to spy on their activities.

Arts & Entertainment

Homage to Language veteran Rani Bhattacharjee

A citizens' condolence meeting was held recently at the Barisal City College grounds in memory of Rani Bhattacharjee, a veteran of the Language Movement and president of Mohila Parshad Barisal branch.

Journey to the roots

As part of the regular lecture series of Chhayanat, noted Indian artiste Moushumi Bhoumik presented a talk at its Ramesh Chandra Dutta Memorial Auditorium on March 23. The lecture, "Gaaner Manchitra Nirman: Bangla Lokogaaner Pothey Jatra," delved deep into the origin and ethnicity of Bangla folk music.

Old is gold-- A need to preserve Indian films

Veteran Bengali director Mrinal Sen is looking for funds. Not to make new films but to preserve some of his works made years ago.

Book reading festival in Sylhet concludes

“Our aim is to bring about major changes in society so as to ensure good governance and enlightenment,” said Finance Minister AMA Muhith. “We need the cooperation of all our countrymen, including the civil society,” he added.

Federation Mela ‘09 held in Thakurgaon

Amidst much festivity, a two-day long Federation Mela with a call to 'Empower the poor through federation' concluded recently at Bhuli College Ground under Sadar upazila in Thakurgaon.

Muktijuddher Itihash on ATN Bangla

A documentary on the Liberation War titled, "Muktijuddher Itihash" will be aired on March 26 at 8:40 pm on ATN Bangla. The documentary was planned and directed by ATN Bangla Chairman, Dr. Mahfuzur Rahman.

Kokkho Pother Juddho on ETV

On the 38th Independence Day, special TV play "Kokkho Pother Juddho" will be aired on Ekushey Television at 10:10 pm. Written by Mezbahuddin Sumon, the play has been directed by Taher Shipon.

Khudey Gaanraj share stage with artistes of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra

A special musical programme “Jodi Partam Juddhey Jetam” will be aired on Channel i at 7:50pm tonight.

OP-ED

The end of capitalism ?

MANY analysts view the current global financial crisis as a failure of market-based capitalist principles. Some have gone to the extent of speculating that the failure will lead to the re-emergence of socialist economic management

The most tragic night in our history

THE night of March 25, 1971 is the most tragic, and the saddest, in our history. Fierce animals in the form of Pakistani soldiers jumped on the sleeping citizens of Dhaka. Nearly twenty five thousand people were killed in only a few hours.

Time to rebuild trust

I teach applied lung physiology to over 200 first year medical students in the United States. Every year I start the class with a confession and an apology. My students pay $40,000 a year only as tuition. An overwhelming majority of these students finish medical school with an average loan of $200,000.


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