The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, September 3, 2014


News of: Monday, 6th of April, 2009

Front Page

Process of war crime trial kicks off Apr 8

The process of trying war criminals is expected to begin on April 8 with the appointment of an investigation officer and a public prosecutor.

Daylight saving time likely from June

The government is likely to forward Bangladesh Standard Time by one hour from June under a proposed Daylight Saving Time (DST) plan to manage the power crisis.

Trapped by nexus of brokers, employers

The employment was supposed to be permanent and the monthly wages were promised to be 600 Ringgits (RM). But they were employed for only 22 days in the first three months and paid just RM 200.

Plan to extend primary education up to class-8

The government plans to modernise the primary education system by extending it up to class VIII and introducing a final examination at the end of this level.

BCL men threaten to quit, want Hasina back

Most central leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday threatened to resign from their posts if Awami League President Sheikh Hasina does not reconsider her decision of withdrawing herself as the organisational chief.

Heated debate in JS over rice price

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury and her predecessor BNP lawmaker MK Anwar yesterday locked horns in parliament over prices of rice and production of food grains during the regimes of past Awami League (AL) and BNP governments.

Metro rail scheme stuck in red tape

The private company that was awarded the contract to build the capital's metro rail system has urged the government to clear soon the bureaucratic bottleneck, so it may begin construction within six months.

2 bidi factories evade Tk 36 lakh tax a month

The owners of Jainal and Amena bidi factories are allegedly evading at least Tk 36 lakh taxes a month showing fake production statements in the last five years, according to a preliminary investigation.

BCL bodies inactive, fail to meet regularly

The central executive committee of Bangladesh Chhatra League failed to hold a single general meeting in its three years' existence.

Returnees stage sit-in at ZIA

Thirty deported workers from Malaysia yesterday staged a sit-in at the Zia International Airport, demanding compensation from the government for their being cheated and the huge amount of money they spent for preparing legal papers and getting jobs.

6 BCL men expelled from JU

The Jahangirnagar University (JU) authorities yesterday expelled six students for six months for their involvement in Friday's violent incident in its Mir Mosharraf Hossain Hall.

Thanks-giving motion to be passed Tuesday

Passage of a resolution to thank former president Iajuddin Ahmed for his inaugural speech in the ninth parliament was deferred till Tuesday as Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia declined to speak on the motion yesterday.

Re-election in 5 upazilas today

Re-election to five upazilas among six where polls were postponed due to various reasons will be held today.

BCL men beat up DU contractors

A group of leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) allegedly beat up some listed contractors of Dhaka University yesterday over tender for two development works worth Tk 10 lakh on the campus.

5 jawans make confession, 24 remanded

Five more Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawans yesterday confessed to magistrates that they were involved in the February 25-26 mutiny in the BDR headquarters.

Scrap UZ law or face movement

A group of upazila parishad chairmen yesterday threatened to go for movement if the government does not cancel the proposed Upazila Parishad Act, 2009 that allows lawmakers to meddle in the affairs of upazila parishads.

Mega plan to ease traffic jam in city

The government has taken various steps, including introduction of bus route franchise (BRF) with auto ticketing system, to solve traffic congestion in the capital, Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain told the House yesterday.

Fugitive BDR men to lose job: Faruk

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday said those BDR members who still remain absconding would be considered deserters and would lose their jobs automatically after 60 days' absence from the duty as per the BDR rules.

Russell gives confessional statement

Arrestee Maulana Mohammad Russell of Green Crescent Orphanage and Madrasa yesterday in a confessional statement said one Hasan Saifuddin Badal and Humayun Ahmed used to hold meetings at Green Crescent.

BRTC to procure 400 more buses

Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) has taken an initiative to procure 400 CNG-run buses in a bid to expand the state-run transport service, communications ministry sources said yesterday.

Razzak granted anticipatory bail from HC

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted six months' anticipatory bail to Jamaat-e-Islami leader barrister Abdur Razzaq in connection with the BDR mutiny case.

Students block road for 3hrs for fee hike

Students of Home Economics College yesterday staged demonstrations and blocked the road in front of the college in the city for three hours protesting hike in their admission fees.

Bangladesh among 23 nations under €1b EU food facility scheme

Bangladesh will be one of 23 developing countries expected to benefit from the first phase of European Commission's (EC) €1-billion food facility programme.

3 held with snake venom

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel recovered three pounds of snake venom and arrested three people in this connection at a hotel in the city's Karwan Bazar last night.

N Korea launches rocket defying world pressure

North Korea fired a rocket over Japan yesterday, defying Washington, Tokyo and others who suspect the launch was cover for a test of its long-range missile technology.

Suicide bomber kills 22 in Pak mosque

A suicide bomber attacked a crowded Shia mosque south of the Pakistani capital yesterday, killing 22 people and wounding dozens more, officials said.

Jackson fails to prevent auction

A US judge has rejected a request from pop star Michael Jackson to stop an auction of the singer's possessions from taking place later this month.

Lankan troops kill 420 rebels in 3-day battles

Sri Lankan forces have killed 420 Tamil Tigers in the last three days and pushed the rebels back into a "no-fire" zone set up to protect civilians trapped in the fighting, the military said yesterday.

Russia to unveil spaceship plans

The Russian space agency is expected to unveil development plans for a next-generation manned spacecraft today.

Editorial

PM's distancing act

THE decision taken by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to step down as the organisational chief of Awami League's student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), following the latter's notorious activities across the campuses, has been received with mixed reaction by people in general. We would like to believe that it is not merely an expression of disgust but one of determination to cry a halt to BCL tyranny that has been wreaking havoc as much on higher education as people's confidence in the credibility of the ruling party and the government.

MPs on school and college committees

THE reported move by the government to have local Members of Parliament play a major role in the management of non-government schools and colleges is rather disquieting. It is so because of the negative consequences such a move may have on these institutions where a proper and efficient administration is concerned. In this respect, it is the past record of non-government educational institutions under political management that we are reminded of. And we cannot but say that the record has never been a good one given the propensity of political figures on the management committees to give a partisan colour to the running of schools and colleges and thereby inject controversy into the entire process.

A losing battle from slippery slope

THE month of March commemorating the first days of the struggle for liberation in a series of elitist formal gatherings in the capital gave the beleaguered Awami League government a feel good commercial behind which it could conveniently take refuge from the ugly realities that have befallen the dispensation ever since it took charge. Though commoners like us enjoyed no access to the elites' celebrations, we did commemorate by reminiscing about those glorious days. However, the reprieve was soon over.

Sanjay Gandhi is reborn in the BJP

THERE are two ways of seeing Varun Gandhi's anti-Muslim speeches in Pilibhit, where he's contesting as a BJP candidate. The first views him as an insecure, pathologically disturbed person, obsessed with getting attention, and prone to anti-social behaviour. Given his psychological makeup, he was bound to make trouble.

Sports

A Torun surprise

Surjo Torun completed a near fairytale run in the Premier League in dashing style when they handed champions Abahani a four-wicket defeat at the BKSP in Savar yesterday.

Ash in Mumbai colours

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful left the capital yesterday with a promise to live up to his billing as a 'pocket dynamo' for his star-studded side Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) that starts in South Africa from April 18.

BFF plans Awards Night

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) is planning to hold an Awards Night sometimes in May to bring more attraction to the game.

Kayes guides Gazi

Opener Imrul Kayes scored a fine hundred against Partex yesterday to take his team Gazi Tank to victory by 30 runs in the last day of the Premier Cricket League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Local Snippets

Fide Master Taibur Rahman became the champion in the preliminary phase of the Mercantile Bank 35th National Chess Championship at the chess federation hall room yesterday.

Gambhir lays path for series win

Opener Gautam Gambhir scored a magnificent 167 to close the door on New Zealand's faint hopes of saving the series in the third and deciding cricket Test here Sunday.

South Africa level 1-1

Opening bowlers Dale Steyn and Wayne Parnell produced devastating performances as South Africa bounced back with a convincing seven-wicket victory in the second one-day international against Australia at Centurion Park here on Sunday.

Eto'o the difference

Barcelona's weary collection of international globe-trotters produced a workmanlike performance to beat Valladolid 1-0 on Saturday with Samuel Eto'o scoring the only goal.

Liverpool leave it late

Rafael Benitez claimed Liverpool's last-gasp winner at Fulham was proof of the "winning mentality" his squad has developed in their pursuit of Manchester United.

Benzema fires Lyon

Karim Benzema scored twice for seven-time reigning champions Lyon in a 3-1 victory at Le Mans on Saturday to boost their French title chances and ensure they finished the weekend at the top of the table.

Wolfsburg bury Bayern

Wolfsburg strikers Edin Dzeko and Grafite both struck twice on Saturday to inflict a humiliating 5-1 defeat on defending champions Bayern Munich to put their side top of the Bundesliga.

Button wins again

Jenson Button won a chaotic Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday for a second straight victory after the race was abandoned when a ferocious storm lashed the Sepang circuit.

Lovenkrands in hospital

Newcastle winger Peter Lovenkrands was taken to hospital wearing breathing apparatus after suffering an injury during his side's 2-0 defeat by Chelsea on Saturday.

Jens ready to make int'l comeback

Ex-Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann said on Saturday he would like to come out of international retirement having extended his contract with Bundesliga club Stuttgart for another year.

Cazorla breaks his leg

Villarreal, who tackle Arsenal in the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday, suffered a major blow on Sunday when midfielder Santi Cazorla broke his right leg in the 3-0 Spanish league defeat to Almeria.

Victoria stuns Serena

Belarussian teenager Victoria Azarenka clinched the first major title of her career on Saturday by beating top seed and world number one Serena Williams 6-3, 6-1 in the Miami WTA hardcourt final.

'Most satisfying'

India's opening batsman Gautam Gambhir's near faultless 167 against New Zealand Sunday has highlighted the purple patch of form he hit since returning to the Test side last year.

Watson geared up

Many of the world's leading cricketers are packing their bags at present, but none quite on the scale of Shane Watson. Like his Rajasthan Royals team-mates, Watson is preparing to fly to South Africa to defend the IPL crown won in dramatic circumstances last year. But, equally as pressing, Watson is in the process of relocating from Brisbane to Sydney, where he hopes a change of scenery will also lead to a change of cricketing fortune.

Bangladesh, Vietnam in next round

Bangladesh and Vietnam became Group B and A champions respectively and qualified for the Group-3 of Davis Cup Asia Oceania Zone after the Group-4 matches ended at the National Tennis Complex yesterday.

Under-16 cricket

Kabi Nazrul Shikhya Manzil of Meherpur defeated Pabna Zilla School by three wickets in the Standard Chartered Young Tigers Under-16 National School Cricket competition yesterday.

Strauss backs Flower

England skipper Andrew Strauss believes Andy Flower should be handed the job of coach on a permanent basis with the formidable mission of reclaiming the Ashes this summer.

Taylor to miss IPL

Jerome Taylor, the West Indies fast bowler who was picked up by Kings XI Punjab in this year's auction, has been ruled out of the IPL due to an injury, the franchise owner Ness Wadia said. He also said that he didn't expect the franchise to lose much money because of moving the tournament to South Africa as the IPL would underwrite some of the costs.

Esktaon thrive on Saddam

Eskaton completely outplayed Indira Road by 106 runs in a First Division Super League match at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Business

Remittance growth slows

Remittance inflow to Bangladesh in March recorded $881million, but in terms of growth rate it was only 9 percent, the lowest in the last nine months because of the ongoing global recession.

Job scheme restarts next fiscal year

Adequate funds will be allocated in the budget for the next fiscal year to ensure smooth running of the 100-Day Employment Generation Programme (EGP) designed by the caretaker government to support the ultra poor, said Food and Disaster Management Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque yesterday.

S Alam Cold Rolled Steels' trade halted

The premier bourse yesterday halted trade of S Alam Cold Rolled Steels' shares on ground of acquisition of a financial institution by the listed firm's parent company S Alam Group.

Global crisis has silver lining for IMF

From the ashes of global prosperity the International Monetary Fund (IMF) emerged this week as the bulwark against the economic crisis, its role and finances heavily bolstered by world leaders.

Mobile operators get fewer customers

Six mobile phone operators added only 0.47 million customers to their networks in February, taking the number to 45.21 million.

Bangladesh can take advantage of global crisis

Bangladesh can take an advantage of the global financial crisis by producing items at competitive prices and exporting them to rich nations, said the industries minister yesterday.

Govt to seek foreign investment in ICT

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said yesterday the government would seek foreign investment to facilitate the production and exports of computer hardware accessories.

Committee stresses Ctg port efficiency

The Public Undertakings Committee yesterday emphasised implementing the development projects required for turning Chittagong Port into a centre of regional transport in future.

A glimpse into the complex world

Secular forces are at play in the world of finance. They are putting pressure on financial executives. Globalisation, greater availability of financial information, fierce competition and consumer sophistication have diminished the scope for balance-sheet arbitrage. The same factors have compressed fees associated with basic financial services.

Recession in G20 and Bangladesh

The G20 summit hogged the headlines all last week. It ended with the bang of a trillion dollar pledge by the G20 nations to save the world economy from tumbling into a recession.

Cairn posts $367m profit

Cairn Energy Plc has reported net profits at $367 million, according to a press statement released yesterday. Cairn's disclosure is based on its preliminary results for 2008.

Spain's Inditex turns sight on India

Spain's Inditex, Europe's largest clothing retailer, plans to start opening stores of its flagship Zara brand in India next year as part of its aggressive expansion into the fast-growing Asian market.

Asian currencies mixed

Asian currencies ended the week mixed against the dollar as hopes of an economic recovery prompted speculators to sell the yen and take more risks.

Delays in WTO bid 'irritate'Russia

President Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday that delays in Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organisation "irritate" Moscow but added that his country was still ready to join the global trade body.

India's scandal-hit Satyam to pick winning bid April 13

India's scandal-tainted Satyam said Saturday it expected to announce the winner of bids for a majority stake in the struggling outsourcing giant on April 13.

Asean summit to discuss G20 plans: Thai PM

Southeast Asian nations and key regional partners will use a summit next week to discuss their follow-up to a G20 plan to lift the world out of recession, Thailand's premier said Sunday.

Taiwan slashes jobs for foreign workers

Taiwan has cut the number of foreign workers and maids working on the island by 24,000 since November, as a result of the global economic slowdown, it was reported Sunday.

Britain's recession worse than thought: Minister

Britain's recession is worse than the government expected and the economy is unlikely to return to growth at least until the end of the year, finance minister Alistair Darling said Sunday.

ICAB Dhaka regional body gets new chief

The Dhaka Regional Committee of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) has recently elected Md Harun-or-Rashid and Netai Chand Talukdar as its chairman and secretary, says a press statement.

Kuwait sovereign fund head urges coordination

Heads of sovereign wealth funds which control three trillion dollars of assets opened a meeting in Kuwait on Sunday with a call for coordination in the face of the global economic meltdown.

Corporate Watch

Pioneer Insurance
The board of directors has recommended 20 percent cash dividend for the year 2008, according to the Dhaka Stock Exchange website. The 13th AGM will be held on May 12, 2009 at 11 am at the National Shooting Auditorium, Gulshan-1 in Dhaka. The record date will be April 21, 2009.

Metropolitan

Cabinet body nods PMO to buy 3 frequency jammers

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs yesterday approved a proposal moved by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to procure three vehicle mounted frequency jammers (VMFJ) for security purpose of the VIPs.

25m people at risk of arsenic contamination

About 20-25 million people of the country are at risk of exposure to arsenic contamination, speakers said yesterday at the inaugural ceremony of an international conference.

Steps to be taken to stop dropout from schools

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government would take effective steps to stop dropout of students from schools.

Steps soon to appoint new HC judges

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government would take steps soon to appoint some competent, honest and neutral judges to the High Court (HC) in order to relieve the litigants of their woes through speedy disposal of the pending cases.

Establish accountable parliament to ensure women's rights

Speakers at a discussion yesterday underscored the need for establishing an accountable parliament and good governance to ensure equal rights of women in the society.

Rajshahi has potential of 125MW power plant

Rajshahi has potential for setting up of a 125-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant at Katakhali within three years, a PDB survey team informed RCC Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton yesterday.

Garo students' memo to edn minister

Bangladesh Garo Chhatra Sangathan handed a memorandum over to Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday with their five-point demand, including ensuring education of the indigenous community.

2 shop employees shot

Two shop employees were shot during a gunfight between two groups of criminals in the city's Basabo under Sabujbagh Police Station last night.

AL lawmaker Latif misbehaves with govt official yet again

Awami League lawmaker from Chittagong-10 (Bandar and Patenga) constituency MA Latif once again misbehaved with a government official yesterday.

Dutch support in water management reiterated

The Netherlands yesterday reiterated its willingness to assist Bangladesh in strengthening its water management.

DMC to reopen this week

Health Minister AFM Ruhal Haque yesterday said Dhaka Medical College (DMC), which was closed last week following clashes on the campus, would reopen this week.

By-elections acceptable

The Election Working Group (EWG) in a statement yesterday said that despite some isolated incidents at some centres, the parliamentary by-elections on April 2 were conducted in a manner consistent with international standards of freedom, fairness and security.

SSKOP token strike on Apr 12

Sangbadik Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SSKOP) will hold a token strike on April 12 demanding implementation of the 7th Wage Board Award in all the newspaper houses and formation of a national newspaper industry policy.

4 donors sign MoU with TIB to support new initiative

Four leading bilateral development organisations -- DFID of the UK, SIDA of Sweden, SDC of Switzerland and Danish embassy -- yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) to support its new initiative, says a press release.

Swiss help for economic dev sought

State Minister for Environment and Forest Advocate Mostafizur Rahman yesterday sought more assistance from Switzerland for the economic development of the country.

Maintain status quo

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the authorities concerned to maintain status quo for three months in respect of management and publication of the daily Ittefaq by the Ittefaq Group of Publications Limited.

Prof Tofail made NU pro-VC

The government yesterday appointed new pro-vice chancellor and treasurer of National University (NU).

Tk 70,000 snatched from bus counter

A gang of muggers snatched away around Tk 70,000 from a bus counter at Phulbari in the city leaving its manager stab-injured last night.

Chinese team due April 8

An eight-member high-level Chinese delegation from the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) led by Feng Zuoku, vice-president of the CPAFFC, will pay a good will visit to Bangladesh from April 8-10 at the invitation of Bangladesh China People's Friendship Association, says a press release.

National

Police sergeants paint grim picture of sealed fate

“It's over 24 years that I am in the same post. Some people who were born in the year of our joining are now working with us in the same rank. There are instances of our batch-mates' daughters getting married to see us as colleagues of their husbands enjoying the same rank and status.”

36 sued in Rajshahi, Comilla for '71 killing

Two separate cases were yesterday filed against 36 alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces for killing two freedom fighters in Rajshahi and Comilla in 1971.

VC, teachers confined for realising demand

The students of Hajee Danesh Science and Technology University (HSTU) yesterday confined Vice Chancellor Prof Md Afzal Hossain along with several other teachers and staffs for realisation of their demands including introduction of internship programme with 'decent allowance'.

Sacked dockers call hartal at Mongla

Over 4,000 sacked dockers of Mongla port have called a half-day hartal (strike) at Mongla upazila headquarters including the port area on Tuesday to press home their five-point demand.

They clash even at festival

At least five BCL men were wounded in a factional clash at Basanti Puja festival at Borobari in Bochaganj upazila yesterday, police and party sources said.

Rural livelihood fair ends

A three-day 'rural livelihood fair' arranged by NGO Development Wheel on Pogaldigha College ground at Tarakandi in Shahrashabari under Jamalpur district ended yesterday.

Cop's arms 'missing'

A pistol and 16 bullets of a police official of Patkelghata Police Station in Tala upazila 'mysteriously went missing' on Saturday night.

Letters

Fire safety measures

The DS-IBA round-table on the matter, published by you on April 1 is quite welcome. It is good that public awareness about fire hazard is increasing after the recent Bashundhara fire. About the recommendations of the round table, I would like to add a few ideas which can be introduced by the government to increase protection against fire disasters.

Environmental degradation

The Dhaka city environment with scarcity of safe drinking water, fresh air to breathe & the mosquito menace is almost a hell for many of its dwellers except a very few fortunate people. One has to just see the state of the rivers; Buriganga & Shitalakhya to realise the extent to which we all are so indifferent to allow such dangerous level of pollution. Polluted air with unabated mosquito breeding everywhere are examples of total failure of the civic authorities.

Footpath luxury

Markets, bazaars, pharmacies at every street corner. But how do I get there? There's the option of taking a rickshaw, but that would cost money. What about taking the car? Don't want to get stuck in the traffic jam. Or there is another option...walking. Yes. That's a good idea. Doesn't cost money, can get some fresh air, and exercise.

A great initiative

A few days ago, we observed the International Women's Day. Women are constantly facing repression and injustice. Among these, acid violence is the most deplorable form of crime against women. School and college going girls often become the victim of acid violence. To raise awareness a commendable programme is being telecast at the initiative of Dutch Bangla Bank. Dutch Bangla Bank deserves appreciation.

National Water Policy

The National Water Policy, promulgated in 1999, provides policy direction for the water sector. Water resources in the country are facing a great challenge. The most significant of these are alternating floods and water scarcity.

Who is responsible?

A group of undergrad students of certain level of our university recently left a note of greetings (of course in a different style) with a marigold flower pasted on our doors with transparent adhesive tape saying “Baromasher Semester, Salam” (Twelve months' semester, greetings).

Obama and NATO summit

With the end of the G-20 summit in London, President Barack Obama arrived in Strasbourg for attending the two-day summit marking the 60th anniversary of the birth of NATO. After his talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Obama said “This is not an American mission, this is a NATO mission, this is an international mission.” These words reflect the fact that the US definitely is seeking more European help in dealing with its war against Afghanistan. In other words, Obama is basically trying to convince the European nations to pledge sending more troops into Afghanistan. And if not military troops, Obama expects that they will at least provide more non-military aid in terms of helping to train the Afghan army and police; sending civilian experts to assist the Afghan government and providing financial aid to run these schemes.

BCS written exams

I have passed the 28th BCS preliminary. I noticed in some daily newspapers that the PSC is going to start the 28th BCS written exams from April 30. On the other hand, HSC examinations will start from April 16. In the past, the PSC never took the BCS written exams during public exams(SSC and HSC), because some of the candidates are now serving in non-govt colleges. Most of the teachers of non-govt colleges will be engaged with the HSC exams.

State minister's comments

The state minister's comments on the corruption charges against some politicians are an eye-opener to the people. Moreover, his concern about public money and his wish of filling the vacant position of ACC chief with a "GENTLEMAN" is highly appreciable!

Power management

DST means resetting of time in the summer. At the very beginning of the summer, the clock time is to be advanced one hour and at the end of the season it will be set as it was.

Poorly managed tourist spot

We went to visit Shalbon Bihar (Maynamati, Comilla) on Friday, 27th March 2009. We hired two microbuses from Mymensingh to make our journey. This was the first trip for all of us to Shalbon Bihar. Naturally, we all were very excited to have a close look at this renowned historical place. We reached Shalbon Bihar at 12:30pm. We got down from the bus hurriedly to buy tickets for the entrance. When we reached the ticket counter we found it closed, nobody was around. Upon checking with the guards at the main entrance, we were surprised to know that the tickets won't be available till 2:30pm. And we also noticed a signboard on the right side of the gate where it was written that the gate would remain closed from 12:30pm to 2:30pm on Friday. I would like to ask the authorities-- how have you introduced such a timing on the weekly holiday? To add to this, when we tried to visit the museum in the afternoon at 4:45pm, we found it closed too, as the man in charge was not around.

Police and magistracy

It has been reported in an English daily that police wants magistracy power in the metropolitan areas. The concept is against the principle of separation of judiciary from the executive. We think the provision will break the fundamental principles of justice that policing and magistracy should not be vested in one authority. Bangladesh throughout its 38 years of journey has passed and practiced undemocratic norms of legal and policing functions. We can see the emergence of district police officer as equal to district magistrate, an issue which never came up for compromise in the past. The police department has already earned the privilege to be equal to the executives. Now they are asking to share the judicial powers as magistrate. The question is how one looks at it. The dictators, and undemocratic governments will always look for support from the law enforcing agencies and would always agree to enhance their power and privileges violating the fundamental principles of justice. I do not know what provision exists on this issue in a democratic country like India. Nevertheless, I think the principle should get precedence over individual needs. The issue needs to be reviewed at all levels of the government.

Preparing for exams

Studying without aid is one of the most effective approaches to prepare for exams. It enhances not only the personal study skills but increases the ability to handle some critical study-related issues. Though it is quite difficult for some students, it can be fruitful if they stick to it.

Reckless driving

May I make a modest suggestion to help in the slow and essential process of holding the owners and drivers of vehicles accountable for how they are driven? In the UK, the backs of many trucks, buses and other vehicles on the road display a telephone number and a notice 'Driven well? If not, report to....' After all, bad driving not only threatens life and limbs but the profits of a business…

Nuclear power plants

Bangladesh has started negotiation with Russia to set up two 1000mw nuclear power plants. This is most welcome news for all of us. Nuclear power is the cheapest, cleanest as well as one of the most sustainable power sources. But there are two important tags attached to such projects. Initial installation cost is huge and secondly, and perhaps most importantly, safety aspects are very important. For a poor but densely populated country both aspects need careful study. Cost-wise may be Russia will give a better offer but as far as safety is concerned perhaps we should consider the French power plant as an alternative. France has the most advanced nuclear power technology where almost 80% of their need is met by nuclear plants with an enviable safety track record. Our policy planners may search other alternatives as well. But we must keep in mind that safety comes first, particularly when we deal in anything nuclear.

Rising salinity and agriculture

As I travel to the southern parts of Chittagong, I can see acres of waste land --tracts of land lying idle. There is little sign of green--the landscape looks almost grey. In the past, the farmers used to grow crops in those lands during this time of the year. Unfortunately, the scene of lush green paddy field is now a part of the memory. In fact, one can see only caked earth covered with dead stubbles and weeds.

International

Obama launches effort to reduce nuclear arms

President Barack Obama yesterday launched an effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons, calling them "the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War" and saying the US has a moral responsibility to lead as the only nation to ever use one.

World leaders ponder how to punish N Korea

North Korea has once again created an international crisis by launching a rocket, once again thumbing its nose at a world community wondering how to deal with the rogue communist state.

Rocket a DPRK ploy to draw attention

With North Korea's rocket launch, Kim Jong Il has the world exactly where he wants it: with all eyes on Pyongyang and its defiance of demands by the US, South Korea and Japan to cancel the firing.

Indonesians lose faith in Islamic parties

As Indonesia heads to legislative elections this week, Islamic parties in the world's largest Muslim-majority country are facing the daunting prospect of their worst election showing yet.

Europe praises Obama, pledges few troops for Afghanistan

European leaders enthusiastically praised President Barack Obama's new Afghan strategy at a Nato summit Saturday but held their ground on a central disagreement and offered only military trainers and extra security forces for upcoming elections.

UPA is very much intact

Asserting that UPA is not disintegrating, Minister for External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee today said that it "was very much intact” while at the same time the NDA is breaking.

Pakistan finds 46 dead Afghans in container

Pakistani and Afghan officials were Sunday preparing to send home the bodies of 46 Afghans found crammed into a truck container believed to have been bound for Iran, officials said.

Courtroom ready soon for Mumbai trial

The trial of the suspect charged over the Mumbai attacks would start soon as the court being built for the case was nearing completion, the special public prosecutor said yesterday.

Pak kidnappers set free American UN official

The American UN official kidnapped in Pakistan two months ago was released unharmed yesterday, ending the most high profile hostage ordeal for a Westerner here since Daniel Pearl's 2002 killing.

Setback for BSP as 6 of its MLAs join Cong in Rajasthan

Six Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs in Rajasthan have joined the Congress, giving the ruling party a majority in the state assembly.

India welcomes US bill linking aid to Pakistan to anti-terror steps

India yesterday welcomed the introduction of a bill in the US Congress which links financial aid to Pakistan to the condition that it stops supporting terror groups active across the border.

New Afghan policy of US could fail

The new Afghan policy of the US will remain ineffective and further multiply problems for the Nato forces until a solution to the war was found through political means, governor of Pakistan's restive North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) has said.

Lashkar chief challenges detention in Pak court

Chief of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant outfit Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, who is the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks, has moved the Lahore High Court challenging his detention.

US congressmen in Syria amid warming ties

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met a US congressional delegation on Sunday, the official SANA news agency reported, amid warming relations between Washington and Damascus.

US 'now ready to lead' on climate change

US President Barack Obama promised on Sunday to take the lead in global efforts to tackle climate change, which Europe has long accused Washington of failing to address seriously.

'Asia forking out on defence despite slowdown'

Increased military spending by China and India is forcing other Asia-Pacific countries to modernise their armed forces despite the severe impact of the global financial crisis, experts say.

Cambodian border village in ruins after clashes

Lifting out blackened jewellery and bottles of whiskey, Cambodian troops comb through the wreckage of a village destroyed in a bitter battle with neighbouring Thailand.

Nafisa replaces Dutt as SP's candidate

With Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt out of contention, social activist Nafisa Ali was on Sunday announced as the Samajwadi Party candidate from the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.

Arts & Entertainment

Sanat Kar’s satirical images

Sanat Kar is one of the noted figures in Indian printmaking. He has added a new dimension and given a novel look to contemporary Indian art. Kar was born in 1935 and grew up in Calcutta (Kolkata). Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts in Dhaka has organised a solo exhibition of Sanat Kar, now on at Bengal Gallery in Dhanmondi.

An imaginative portrayal of reality

Padatik Natya Sangsad staged its 27th production, a mimodrama titled "Dinlipi" (A Day's Tale) on April 4 at the Experimental Theatre Hall, BSA. The play premiered in January this year.

Mystic Pagla Kanai’s 199th birth anniversary observed

The 199th birth anniversary of mystic bard Pagla Kanai was observed on March 4 in Jhenidah in a befitting manner. The programme was arranged by 'Pagla Kanai Smriti Shangrakkhan Shangshad' of Berbari village, Jhenidah. The anniversary programme began last Friday.

When Baby Naznin met Larry King

Singer Baby Naznin recently went to Manhattan to attend the Bollywood Music Award show. During her visit she took the opportunity to browse the Sacks 5th Avenue outlet. And while looking for the perfume 'Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia,' exclusively available in Sacks only, she unexpectedly bumped into Larry King, host of the hugely popular talk show "Larry King Live" on CNN. One of the leading TV personalities of modern times, King has conducted some 40,000 interviews with politicians, entertainers and other newsmakers.

Baul conference in Satkhira

A daylong conference of Bauls was held on April 4 at Kalaroa Public Institute premises at the Upazila headquarters amidst much festivity and enthusiasm.

George Harrison to get Hollywood Walk of Fame star

Paul McCartney may have a knighthood, but it's George Harrison who is receiving the royal treatment from the Hollywood Walk of Fame this month.

Single-episode play Bodhodoy on ATN Bangla

Single-episode TV play, "Bodhodoy," will be aired tonight on ATN Bangla at 8:45pm. Written by Lipi Monwar, the play has been directed by Chayanika Chowdhury.

OP-ED

Departure of an icon

IN my sole communication with Lt. Gen. (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury in December 2007, I wrote: "In my personal opinion, your appointment as the chief of ACC is the best decision of this government and you have been doing a superb job of leading our collective wishes to get the nation out of the curses of corruption."

Bangladesh corporate standards

THE Daily Star, along with DHL, organises Bangladesh Business Award every year. For facilitating the nominations they have published a criteria booklet, which focuses on innovations, financial performance/productivity, company management and contribution to the community, while making a nomination for enterprise of the year. They have also asked for clean banking and tax records. They have asked companies to improve their productivity level as well.

This song will slay you

AN angry amateur pop singer posted on this site a furious comment about my allegation that modern music lyrics were meaningless strings of randomly chosen words.


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