The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, October 25, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 8th of April, 2009

Front Page

Hasina, Khaleda face off

Opposition creating unrest; unhappy with success of govt


Staff Correspondent
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday accused the opposition parties of attempts to plunge the country into chaos.

MPs' advisory role to create chaos

A good number of upazila parishads might have difficulty functioning properly as they will have more than one lawmaker as advisers as per the upazila bill passed on Monday.

Faisal puts blame on his local aides

British national and founder of Green Crescent Madrasa-cum-orphanage in Bhola Faisal Mostafa pinned the blame of recovered arms, ammunition and explosives on the madrasa's caretaker and his local associates as his 10-day remand started yesterday.

Tk 50,000 bounty on each fugitive BDR man

The government has announced Tk 50,000 bounty for handing over to the authorities each fugitive Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) member suspected of involvement in the February 25-26 mutiny and carnage at the BDR headquarters in the capital.

BB fixes lending rate limit at 13pc

Bangladesh Bank (BB) is going to cap lending rate of all types of loans except credit card and consumer loans at 13 percent to offset the fallout of global meltdown.

Food ration for RMG workers uncertain

The food rationing programme for garment industry workers, which was scheduled to start in the first week of April, has become uncertain because of low market prices of rice, resulting in poor response to the government open market sales (OMS) of food.

Brokers maintain close ties with mission in KL

The labour wing of the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur has not only been lenient towards unauthorised manpower brokers but have also patronised the brokers as they hired surplus workers against fake documents, ultimately leaving thousands of Bangladeshis stranded jobless across Malaysia.

BNP goes slow in reorganising party

BNP, the main opposition in parliament, failed to dissolve its organisational district committees within the time stipulated by the standing committee due to slow pace of the reorganising process.

Heritage sites left in ruins

Years of irregularities and neglect by the authorities concerned have led to damage, destruction and even occupation of priceless archaeological sites across the country, but such persisting loss of national heritage has failed to yield their attention.

EC to hire accountants to audit poll expenses

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday decided to appoint chartered accountants for auditing the return statements of election expenditures submitted by the candidates for the ninth parliamentary elections.

Iajuddin gave major chunk to his district

Individuals of Munshiganj, the home district of former President Iajuddin Ahmed, got priority over all other citizens in the country in receiving donations from the president's discretionary fund last year.

Habibur made acting ACC chairman

President Zillur Rahman has appointed Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Commissioner Habibur Rahman as acting chairman of the commission following resignation of Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury.

Joj Miah tells CID of torture, pressure

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday recorded the statement of Joj Miah who was forced to give confessional statement by three former CID officers on the August 21 grenade attack on Awami League rally.

CrPC bill passed empowering admin magistrates

The Jatiya Sangsad yesterday passed a bill relating to continuation of separation of the judiciary, allowing the government discretion to empower executive magistrates to take cognisance of offences.

Govt plans to introduce transparent ACR system

The government is going to introduce a new system for evaluating performance of public servants from end of this year cancelling the existing Annual Confidential Report (ACR) system.

RMG workers go on rampage after accident

Agitating garment workers yesterday torched two trucks, damaged several vehicles and barricaded the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway following an accident that left two garment workers and a rickshaw puller dead on Boardbazar highway in Gazipur.

36 identified as Bangladeshis

The Bangladesh mission in Tripoli has identified 36 Bangladeshis among other nationals who were rescued from a Europe-bound rickety boat off Libyan coast on March 27, said an official yesterday.

3 witnesses cross-examined

A Dhaka court yesterday recorded statements of three prosecution witnesses in connection with the August 21, 2004 grenade attack case.

Fight for office of DG shipping

The post of director general (DG) of shipping seems too attractive to let go for recently transferred AKM Shafiqullah as he went to court to get an order in his favour and illegally occupied the DG's office for two days.

BCL men stage hunger strike to protest PM's decision

A group of Chhatra league adherents yesterday observed a one-hour symbolic hunger strike on Dhaka University campus urging Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina to reconsider her decision of stepping down from the position of their organisational chief.

Another BDR man dies of cardiac arrest

A Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) member died of 'cardiac arrest' last night at the city's National Kidney Institute Hospital.

Strict security for Pahela Baishakh celebration

The government is going to take stringent security measures for Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla New Year on April 14, deploying over 8,000 law-enforcing personnel in and around the Ramna Park, the main venue of the traditional celebration.

73 Tamil rebels killed in fresh fighting

Hunting for elusive top LTTE leadership after overrunning almost all the rebel bases, Sri Lankan troops have killed at least 73 Tamil Tigers in fierce clashes near the 'no-fire zone' in Mullaittivu in the embattled north.

Thaksin's supporters attack Thai PM's car

Anti-government protesters attacked Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's car and trapped him inside a beach hotel Tuesday as the kingdom's political turmoil boiled over into violence.

Journalist hurls shoe at Indian minister

An angry journalist threw a shoe at India's top security official after a confrontational exchange during a press conference over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that left thousands dead.

India's diversity promises shaky coalition yet again

India's masses go to the polls next week in a wide-open election that no single party can win, leaving the prospect of a shaky coalition government of disparate and often ill-suited "allies".

Castro welcomes US lawmakers seeking to break the ice

President Raul Castro has welcomed US lawmakers in his first meeting with US officials since he took Cuba's helm last year, state media reported, ahead of potential dialogue with the United States.

High security for Indian PM in Assam after blast

Police tightened security yesterday in India's northeastern Assam state for a visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a day after a series of explosions in the region killed 10 people.

Israel tests Arrow interceptor missile

Israel yesterday carried out a successful new test of its Hetz (Arrow) interceptor missile, a project launched two decades ago, public radio said.

Editorial

Election expense ceiling made a farce of

It is something of a heartbreak. The election that we have been so proud of and which earned wide international acclaim for being a massive demonstration of a people's right to franchise was not without a blemish after all. A TIB survey covering 88 candidates for 29 December parliamentary election pronounces the message loud and clear: 87 percent spent on average Tk 44 lakh to come out winner as against the stipulated ceiling of Tk 15 lakh. Just how fiercely competitive the money spending spree got is exemplified by a single candidate spending Tk 2.81 crore. Thirteen percent that kept within the expenditure limit were all defeated.

Raising primary education to Class VIII

On the face of it, the government's thoughts on restructuring primary education by extending it up to Class VIII sounds pretty good. If, however, children now at the primary level (and that is up to Class V) do not learn much or what they get to learn is not of good quality, then what guarantee is there that adding a few more stages to primary-level education will make a big difference in the children's learning process?

When men in authority choose to be rude

A ruling party lawmaker went about admonishing a senior official of the Chittagong Port Authority in public the other day. It was absolutely outrageous behaviour. He asked the official to shut up and not interrupt him. As if to remind the hapless man of the power he wielded, he told him darkly: "I am a Member of the Parliament." By the way, you do not use "the" when you refer to the legislature in this particular sense. But that is another matter altogether.

Hillary the peacemaker

ON March 2, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton embarked on her first official visit to the Middle East region. She attended an international donors' conference at the Red Sea resort, Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), and visited Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The summit and global recession

THIS year's summit of the G- 20 countries was held with much fanfare. In spite of the deep divides over how to the tackle the recession the leaders seemed to be quite happy about the final outcome. President Obama, who made his debut on the world stage at this summit, described the meeting as a "turning point" in the world leaders' fight to rescue the world economy.

Sports

India end long wait

India secured their first series win in New Zealand since 1968 on Tuesday despite rain cheating them of a huge victory in the third Test here Tuesday.

Dhoni thanks mates

India's Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said Tuesday a magnificent team effort had led to the country's first series win in New Zealand for four decades.

Nazrul Shikkha Manzil school champions

Kabi Nazrul Shikkha Manzil of Meherpur clinched the title of the Standard Chartered Young Tigers National School Cricket tournament with an exciting one-wicket victory over Railway Hospital Colony City Corporation High School of Chittagong yesterday.

India's 'best ever' team

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men were Tuesday hailed as India's "best ever" cricket team after winning the country's first Test series in New Zealand in 41 years.

NZ gamble on Oram

New Zealand's selectors have gambled on injury-prone all-rounder Jacob Oram being fit for the ICC World Twenty20 in June, naming him in a 15-man squad announced Tuesday.

India remain third in ICC rankings

India might have clinched a historic Test series triumph over New Zealand on Tuesday, but the team did not gain from it in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings, remaining static at the third spot in the latest list issued later in the day.

BFF, Nokia to strike deal

Mobile phone giant Nokia is all set to revive their relationship with Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF).

Torres sure of success

Fernando Torres believes his lethal partnership with Steven Gerrard will help Liverpool hand Chelsea another dose of Champions League misery in Wednesday's quarterfinal first- leg.

Robinho cleared

Manchester City and Brazil striker Robinho will not face charges following allegations of a serious sexual assault made in January, police announced here on Monday.

Barca start favourites

No Spanish side has ever won the treble of league, Kings Cup and Cham-pions League but Barcelona have it in their sights with German powerhouse Bayern Munich the next obstacle on Wednesday.

Grafite eyes Brazil WC spot

Should Brazil coach Dunga be looking for an alternative to strikers Kaka and Robinho at next year's World Cup, Wolfsburg forward Grafite confidently believes he's the man for the job.

Iran appoint Mayelikohan

Less than 10 days after sacking its national football team coach, Iran on Monday named Mohammad Mayelikohan as its new coach to try and revive their faltering 2010 World Cup finals qualifying campaign, the ISNA news agency reported.

Australia favourites

England do know what it is like to win the World Cup on Australian soil and they have had the measure of their oldest enemy in recent times.

'Fergie scared of L'pool'

Rafael Benitez has launched another attack on Sir Alex Ferguson after claiming on Tuesday that the Manchester United manager is running scared of Liverpool.

Khelaghar in race of three

Khelaghar SKS jumped to top of the First Division Cricket League points table defeating title favourites Kalabagan by six wickets in a Super League match at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Key interest for T20 WC captaincy

Kent captain Robert Key has expressed his interest in leading England for the World Twenty20, after Andrew Strauss was left out of the squad of 30 for the tournament in June. Kent were beaten finalists in last year's domestic Twenty20 Cup under Key's leadership, and the 29-year-old sees himself as one of several plausible candidates to lead the country.

When the coaches box!

Two boxing coaches were involved in a minor jostling over the training schedule of the camp for the upcoming South Asian Games at the BKSP yesterday.

Lazio angry at MU over Macheda

Manchester United have been accused by Lazio of snatching away their star youngster Federico Macheda, who made a sensational Premier League debut when scoring the winner against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Sheva wants Milan stay

Ukrainian striker Andrei Shevchenko, on loan at AC Milan from Chelsea, said on Monday that he hoped to prolong his stay at the Italian giants beyond the end of the season.

Lucas set to play

Lucas is set to take the place of the suspended Javier Mascherano in Liverpool's Champions League quarterfinal first leg tie with English rivals Chelsea at Anfield here on Wednesday.

Fernandes breaks his leg

Valencia's Portuguese international defender Manuel Fernandes will miss the rest of the season after he broke his left leg during a weekend Spanish league match, the club said on Monday.

Edwards and Gayle's IPL to be short

Chris Gayle and Fidel Edwards will be appearing for the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Deccan Chargers respectively in this season's Indian Premier League (IPL), but will be available for a little less than two weeks.

Buchanan votes for Flower

John Buchanan has added his voice to the chorus of those backing Andy Flower for the England coaching position. Buchanan, who was himself approached to take on the role by the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) head-hunting firm, suggested Flower's inside knowledge of England's personnel and structures would ensure a smoother transition in an Ashes year.

News agencies to boycott IPL

Major international news agencies would not be covering this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) because they are unhappy with the tournament's media guidelines.

Ponting asks batters to lift

Ricky Ponting has called for greater consistency from his batsmen ahead of Thursday's crucial encounter against South Africa in Cape Town. The hosts levelled the series 1-1 in Centurion on Sunday when the visiting top-order collapsed, but Ponting has rejected the need for a player revamp.

Local Snippets

Children Academy and Viqarunnissa Noon School retained their respective boys and girls' titles of the Europa School Volleyball Tournament winning the final matches at the Dhaka Volleyball Stadium yesterday.

Business

Rate cut not enough, say businessmen

Terming the central bank's decision on bringing down the lending rate of commercial banks to 13 percent as insufficient amid recession, business leaders yesterday reiterated their demand for a single-digit rate.

Mobile market set for overhaul

Some major mobile operators are adopting a conservative tariff strategy to buck the losing trend that has been continuing for years.

Market back in red

The market was back in the red from Monday's sudden gain, partly because of interest rate cut by the central bank that prompted bank share prices to go down yesterday.

Hopes for recession turnaround take a hit

A grim forecast for East Asia and news of a deeper than feared recession in the eurozone unsettled investors Tuesday and revived fears the current downturn has longer to run.

Come up with own safeguard plans to battle global crisis fallout

The industries minister has suggested different industries come up with safeguard plans of their own, as the government of a poor country like Bangladesh would not be able to provide incentives for all industries to battle the global financial crisis.

Misery as plug pulled on Ireland's Dell City

When US computer maker Dell moved to the Irish city of Limerick in 1991, it brought a burst of dynamism and money to a relatively poor backwater.

Brac to continue microcredit efforts

The founder and chairperson of Brac yesterday said he would continue to develop micro-finance to reduce poverty by strengthening the private sector.

Rangs Motors fair kicks off in Ctg

A three-day vehicle fair began amid grandeur here yesterday.

Business team leaves for Libya

A 10-member high profile business team left here for Libya yesterday to tape business of manpower, garment and medicine.

KFC Bucket now available

KFC, a world famous restaurant chain, launched its much-awaited "bucket” in Dhaka yesterday.

World Bank sees shrinking China exports in 2009

China's exports are likely to shrink in 2009 due to the effects of the global crisis, but the economy as a whole will probably pick up in the second half of the year, the World Bank said Tuesday.

The invisible hand of microfinance

One bright spot shines in the lives of the poor: microfinance. It is the next best thing for nongovern-mental development organisations to fight poverty with -- in a country where 40 percent of the population lives under the poverty line.

Offsetting recession fallout

The global financial crisis has generated a lively debate in Bangladesh. At the initial stage the debate centred on whether Bangladesh was insulated from the crisis. Many argued that Bangladesh was safe, as it did not have any connection with the toxic assets that caused the turmoil. This was rather naive because in the modern inter-connected world economies are inter-dependent in a variety of ways including through trade, capital flows, tourism, and remittances. Thankfully this debate is now over as evidence of slowdown in growth of export earnings and remittances along with further evidence that these trends will likely become worse in 2009 have convinced all that the adverse effects are real and may last for sometime. At the least 2009 will be a very difficult year for all countries including Bangladesh and this may even spill over into much of 2010. So, the debate has now shifted to what needs to be done to address the difficulties caused by the global crisis.

Asian markets end lower

Asian markets were mostly lower on Tuesday as investors took profits from a four-week rally, following a slide on Wall Street.

Oil on agenda as Chavez visits China

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was set to arrive in China Tuesday on a visit likely to deepen strong ties that focus on oil but branch out into areas stretching from the military to the media.

Australia announces $30b broadband plan

Australia announced plans Tuesday to build a 30 billion US dollar broadband network, its biggest infrastructure project ever, opting to retain government control rather than contract out the deal.

French state holds 17pc of BNP Paribas

The French government now holds a 17-percent stake in banking giant BNP Paribas after a capital increase last year worth 5.1 million euros (6.83 billion dollars), the market regulator said on Tuesday.

East Asia faces slower growth, fewer jobs: WB

Developing nations in East Asia face a sharp slowdown in economic growth and a "painful surge" in unemployment that will prevent millions of people escaping poverty, the World Bank warned Tuesday.

Bank of Japan leaves interest rates unchanged

Japan's central bank held its super-low interest rates steady Tuesday and widened its emergency lending programme as Asia's largest economy struggles through its worst recession in decades.

Clarification

Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) has sent a clarification on an April 5 report, "Uniform rules for telecom sought".

Metropolitan

Govt considers raising judicial stamp price: Muhit

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said the government would consider raising the prices of judicial stamps in the next budget.

PM seeks foreign help

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina yesterday said Bangladesh needs foreign assistance for offshore gas exploration and installation of hydroelectric and solar-energy plants.

Formulate guidelines to promote volunteerism

The government should formulate guidelines to promote volunteerism, which is the best tool to achieve sustainable development, speakers at a national workshop on volunteerism said yesterday.

MPs' new role in Upazila to jeopardise local govt system

Different socio-political organisations yesterday expressed deep resentment over the passage of the 'Upazila Parishad (Reintroduction of the Repealed Act and Amendment) Bill 2009', saying that it would jeopardise the entire local government system as well as weaken democracy.

'Govt trying to ensure loophole-free trial'

The government will start the process of trial of the war criminals after taking all-out preparations so that none of them can avoid the trial and no quarters can create obstacles to the trial, State Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Qamrul Islam said yesterday.

Form single regulatory body for all utility services

Regulatory Reforms Commission (RRC) Chairman and former finance adviser Dr Akbar Ali Khan yesterday suggested the government to form a single public utility regulatory commission (PURC) in the place of separate commissions for separate utility services.

Call to increase healthcare facilities

The World Health Day was observed in the country as elsewhere across the globe yesterday with a commitment to increasing health care facilities to provide utmost services for the disaster-hit people during emergency situations.

Rights bodies concerned over lack of govt steps

Human rights bodies yesterday expressed grave concern over lack of government steps to address the demands of the 30 cheated workers, who have been demonstrating at Zia International Airport after being forced to return home from Malaysia on Monday.

Remain vigilant to ensure trial of war criminals

To ensure the trial of war criminals, the countrymen should keep an eye on the activities of the government and the committee which will be formed to investigate the war crimes, speakers at a roundtable said yesterday.

Work to be completed on schedule: Mannan

State Minister for Housing and Public Works Abdul Mannan Khan yesterday said the Hatirjheel-Begunbari Khal project work would be completed on schedule.

Ensure quality edn to make students competent

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday called on the private universities to make every effort to ensure quality education in order to make students competent and efficient so that they can cope with the challenging world in the new era.

Major reshuffle in KCC admin

Khulna City Corporation (KCC) has brought a major reshuffle in its administration.

Minister hints at massive changes in BDR

Commerce Minister Col (Retd) Faruk Khan yesterday hinted at a sea change in the battered Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) through its resurrection as he presented a comparative picture of the border security forces of neighboring countries like India and Pakistan.

Appeal for help

Hasina Begum, a superintendent at the Directorate General of Food, has appealed for financial assistance for her treatment as she has been suffering from lung cancer for about six months, says a press release.

Bangladesh to attend Al-Quds body meet in Morocco

Bangladesh will participate in the 20th meeting of the Al-Quds Committee to be held at Rabat, the capital of Morocco, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Hasan Mahmud said yesterday.

'Train health workers to deal with HIV patients'

Experts at a programme yesterday said that alongside raising awareness, it is imperative to train the health workforce to deal with the people living with HIV/ AIDS properly.

Sino-Bangla military, trade ties stressed

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said Bangladesh attaches due importance to its bilateral relations with China and believes in the “One-China Policy”, pursued by Beijing.

Non-govt pry teachers for sufficient funds

Bangladesh Non-Government Primary Teachers' Association yesterday demanded allocation of sufficient funds in the upcoming national budget.

6 of a family sustain burn injuries

Six members of a family sustained burn injuries in a fire that erupted from a gas burner at a house in the city's Darussalam area yesterday.

Khetmajur Samity council begins tomorrow

The 7th National Council of Bangladesh Khetmajur Samity will begin in Dhaka tomorrow, says a press release.

Home Economics students boycott classes, exams

Students of the Home Economics College yesterday boycotted their classes and examinations protesting hike in their admission fee.

Auto-rickshaw driver killed

A CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver was killed by members of Agyan Party after abduction here Monday night.

Why Lobi won't be allowed to go abroad

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain within two weeks why it (government) should not be directed to allow former BNP lawmaker Ali Asgar Lobi to go abroad for treatment and return to the country.

Helal made BSS chief editor

The government yesterday appointed senior journalist Ihsanul Karim Helal as the new Managing Director and Chief Editor of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS).

Call to help build confce centre in Ctg

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hasan Mahmud Monday said Bangladesh and China are close as well as friendly neighbouring states.

Three killed in Mymensingh road accident

Three people were killed and three others were injured in a road accident on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway at Naudar Lakerpar at Trishal in the district yesterday.

Planning Week begins at Buet today

A three-day Planning Week will begin at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) auditorium today.

DU Master of Dev Studies admission test Friday

The written test of the qualifying examination for admission into Master of Development Studies (MDS) course at the Department of Development Studies for the session 2009-2010 of the University of Dhaka will be held at 10:00am on Friday at the Examination Hall 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and Room No 5002 and 5014 of the Arts Building of the university, says a press release.

Workers demand reinstatement

The 56 labourers of Barapukuria Power Plant, who were retrenched on April 1, yesterday brought out a protest procession at Phulbari town to realise their six-point demand, including reinstatement in their jobs.

1,188 more arrested

Police in separate raids arrested 1,188 people on various charges from different parts of the country in 24 hours as of 6:00am tomorrow.

Baishakhi Mela at St Gregory's High School April 14

A Baishakhi Mela organised by Gregorian Association will be held on April 14 at St Gregory's High School, says a press release.

BSCIC

Staff correspondent adds: Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) will organise a 10-day 'Baishakhi Fair' on Bangla Academy premise from the Bangla New year day on April 14.

Sculpture of Zia at Mujibnagar memorial project demolished

A sculpture of late president Ziaur Rahman has been demolished at the Liberation War Memorial Museum on the Mujibnagar Complex in Meherpur.

I'm not eager to become deputy leader of opposition

BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed yesterday said he is capable of playing the role of the deputy leader of the opposition in parliament, but he is not eager to have the post.

National

Jamaat asks people to join party to 'protect Islam'

After Islami Chhatra Shibir, now the Jamaat-e-Islami has started persuading people in Rajshahi city and elsewhere in the district to become its supporters to 'protect Islam'.

Fund crisis, threats to SCC men halt demolition drive

The Sylhet City Corporation (SCC)'s bid to remove illegal structures from along the banks of 15 natural streams (locally called chhara) has been facing much resistance and threats from the grabbers.

17 sued in Mymensingh, Khulna for '71 killing

Seventeen collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces have been sued for allegedly killing 17 people, including four freedom fighters, in Mymensingh and Khulna in 1971.

Shahina was cheated, raped and killed by 'fiance'

A college girl died at Kushtia General Hospital on Monday after fighting for life since Thursday when she was set afire after rape by her so-called fiance.

Dockers call off hartal

Dockers have called off today's half-day hartal (strike) in Mongla upazila and port areas and cancelled its all other programmes.

RDA traders observe strike

Hundreds of traders at Rajshahi Development Authority (RDA) market under the banner of General Businessmen's Association observed a half-day hartal (strike) yesterday demanding fulfillment of their 11-point demand.

PM's Office orders probe

The district administration has initiated quick investigation into the suicide of rape victim teenaged orphan girl Fancy following instruction from the Prime Minister's Office.

Letters

Saint Martin's Island

As the only coral island of Bangladesh, I can understand the interest it draws from us Bangladeshis. But do we have to go for the overkill and ruin it in the process?

Car parking

The parking of automobiles is clearly a wasteful use of road space, but the alternativesproviding all off-street parkingis a wasteful use of other resources. A compromise is thus needed to improve the efficiency of road space without inflicting inordinate costs on society in terms of paying for off-street parking.

Landlords' decree

The fixed income city dwellers comprising both middle and lower middle class households are in real trouble to tackle the rising house rent in the country. Most landlords, in the recent years, have increased their rentals on the plea of increase in prices of the essential commodities, construction materials, holding tax and cost of the utility services.

BCL and violence

On the issue of BCL violence, the editorial of 5th April asked: will it ever end? Well, here is a financially viable, easily enforceable and the most accurate answer in the universe: to completely end all this violence, our political parties must dissolve all their student wings. Or, we can beat around the bush and come up with all sorts of condemnations, suggestions, analyses and fancy articles. But that would all be pointless. We would simply be fooling ourselves, yet again.

Rein the BCL in

Being allured with the slogan "din bodoler sonod" we the young generation voted for this present government. After coming to power our prime minister announced that terrorism would be wiped out from our country. Hearing this the nation became very optimistic but the prevailing hazardous situation, especially on the campuses , makes the nation pessimistic. What's going on on our campuses in the name of so-called student politics? On 31 March, we lost Rajib in Dhaka Medical College. The nation has lost a doctor. We have seen clashes between two groups in Shamsunnahar Hall of DU. It is a very awkward situation for the nation to see its female students engaged in political turmoil. If such a situation continues, very soon the nation will be in dire trouble.

Traffic jam

Thanks are due to Mr. Muffazel Hossain who wrote an article of substance describing the ills of Dhaka's traffic in DS of 26 March 2009. The options he has highlighted are constructive and feasible and should make a difference on Dhaka's road very quickly, if implemented. A few more options that could be considered are:

Muggers operating freely

I'm writing this on behalf of my father who is a service holder at Petrobangla, Dhaka. At around 10:00pm, he was coming from Gabtoli bus stand to Banani road no 2 by a CNG baby taxi. The CNG driver's appearance was harmless, so my father thought he would go home safely. But he was wrong. The CNG driver stopped his baby taxi twice on the way.

Chartered Accountancy

Accounts are the language/blood of business. Not only the business houses, non-trading organisations also need to maintain accounts. But as the world of business and organisation is expanding and involving more and more complicated situations, the academic accountants (B.com, M.com) cannot cope with it.

Nuclear power plant

Lots of talks are going around about building a nuclear power plant. Several countries are interested, as I understand from the news. Our bureaucrats are running fast with this prestigious project and as usual I'm afraid they are going to make a deal which will be a losing one for us. There are experts and professors who are dealing with it, but do they have any professional experience? I don't think so. You can't run a nuclear power plant theoretically (none of other industries either). A simple example is the placing of the power plant. What I know from the news, they are talking about the old proposal of Ruppur. But the basic rule for a nuclear power plant is its safety and that can't be located in a place where surroundings are densely populated. The second thing is the cooling system and availability of water supply. I don't think Ruppur fulfils any of them. These are only a few examples and there are many more.

Arab leaders' empty show

The Doha press report, published in most dailies on March 29, was an empty talk show of Arab leaders without any substance. Most of these leaders are dynastic despots, governing their subjects by might, rather than any right, by and large more autocratic than democratic!

Why?

News published on 23.03.09: "Amid mounting pressure from the government, vice-chancellor(VC) of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical university(BSMMU) and its three senior officials resigned yesterday".

Private residence in cantonment

The issue will generate a lot of political tension now. I hope the PM was quite aware of the political reaction from different quarters, especially from the well-wishers of Begum Zia and the BNP. We heard a university professor giving his view point from legal perspective and human emotion attached to it. I think it is also necessary to analyse the statement of the PM in parliament. She has raised a question about the legal process adopted in giving the house to the BNP chairperson by the then government of president Ershad. The PM has made an appeal to the chairperson to handover the house to the cantonment board, not necessarily any counter legal action to force her to leave the place.

International

Pakistan 'fighting terror for its survival': Zardari

The United States' military commander and regional troubleshooter Tuesday held key talks in Pakistan, where President Asif Ali Zardari told them his country was fighting terror for its survival.

Rescuers still hope for Italy quake survivors

Rescuers worked frantically in this central Italian city early yesterday, scooping through piles of rubble with their hands in the search for survivors after the country's deadliest earthquake in nearly three decades.

UN voices worry over 100,000 civilians in Lankan war zone

The United Nations on Tuesday expressed "deep concern" for the safety of 100,000 civilians trapped in Sri Lanka's war zone as troops prepared for a final offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels.

Bollywood gets political for Indian elections

Attracting legendary actors such as Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan, India politics have long been irresistible to Bollywood stars, who bring with them star quality -- and a touch of intrigue.

India's ruling party unveils security agenda

India's ruling Congress Party trumpeted its anti-terrorism credentials Tuesday ahead of general elections, with Home Minister P. Chidambaram warning of a "ring of fire" surrounding the country.

Pak Army ready to counter 'internal and external' threats, says Kayani

Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General, Ashfaq Kayani, has said yesterday, the army is fully capable of meeting all "internal and external threats" facing the country.

Egypt suggests delaying Palestinian unity govt

Egypt has proposed that Fatah and Hamas suspend efforts to form a unity government and instead coordinate their rival Palestinian administrations, a senior Palestinian official said yesterday.

US is not at war with Islam, says Obama

Barack Obama on Monday seized upon his first symbolism-laced visit to the Muslim world as US president to declare that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam.

N Korea's Kim 'weeps' as US urges response on rocket launching

North Korea hailed its controversial rocket launch as a famous victory yesterday but said reclusive leader Kim Jong-Il wept tears of regret that the money could not have been used to help his people.

Baby survives Iraq bombing in mother's lap

A baby miraculously survived a Baghdad car bombing cradled in his mother's lap as she was burned alive in a blast that claimed the lives of eight people on Tuesday, witnesses said.

Quake predictability still distant dream

Claims by an Italian technician to have foretold the devastating quake which struck central Italy prompted seismologists yesterday to shake their heads in sadness and skepticism.

N Korea space programme OK after denuclearisation

Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said yesterday that North Korea had the right to develop a space programme -- but only after it denuclearised and no longer posed a threat.

Toll in China disease outbreak rises to 31 children

The death toll in China from a highly contagious disease which is especially dangerous for young children has risen to at least 31 so far this year, government and state media said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Guiding the nation through good times and bad

From the turbulent times when the nation started realising the need to form a sovereign country, through the Liberation War and numerous movements against tyranny, socio-cultural crises, to the contemporary volatile days -- these personalities, whose literary careers have enriched our literature and educated, enlightened many, have been guiding the nation as lighthouses. Literary icons -- National Professor Kabir Chowdhury, Professor Zillur Rahman Siddiqui, Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman and Hasan Azizul Haque -- were honoured by cultural organisation 'Alokito Nagori' on April 6. The event was held at Bengal Shilpalay Cafe.

Ebong Bidyashagor staged at Aboyob Theatre Festival

On the fourth day of the ongoing theatre festival by Aboyob Natyadal, theatre troupe Aranyak staged its latest production "Ebong Bidyashagor" at the National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). To celebrate its 12th anniversary, Aboyob Natyadal has organised the festival, starting from April 3.

Jhar Jailya : Molla Sagar’s new documentary on the riders of the sea

Independent filmmaker Molla Sagar's new documentary "Jhar Jailya" (Natives of Tornado) premiered on April 6 at the Shawkat Osman Auditoium, Central Public Library.

A complete insight into Nazrul and his works

Nazrul Sangeet Shilpi Parishad (NSSP), in association with Prime Bank Limited, is launching a CD on our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. The announcement was made yesterday at a press conference held at National Press Club.

Nafisa Ali on the political trail

Recall Ruth Labadoor, the daughter of a British army officer on the run with her mother after the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny, in veteran director Shyam Benegal's acclaimed movie “Junoon,” starring Shashi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah?

ICE Today-Aqua Paints Interior Design Award 2009 announced

Five interior design projects have won best awards in two categories at the ICE Today-Aqua Paints Interior Design Award 2009 gala held at the Westin Dhaka on April 4, says a press release. Three commendation awards were also conferred in these two categories.

Erratum

In the article titled “Abdur Rauf, founder-curator of Bangladesh Film Archive, remembered” (printed on April 3 issue of the Arts & Entertainment page), it should have read, A.K.M Abdur "Rouf" was the "calligrapher" of the constitution (1972) of People's Republic of Bangladesh. We regret the error.

OP-ED

Five years of RAB

ON March 26, the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) completed what may be termed its "early evolutionary period." From its inception, Rab has drawn the public's attention, and a perceptual shift has taken place in people's minds during this time about Rab's image. This article shares insights into how the journey has been so far for Rab.

Tibet anniversary

THE fiftieth anniversary of the Dalai Lama's escape from Tibet was observed last month. This major event continues to reverberate as a defining moment in the difficult relationship between China and its Tibetan region. The Tibetans in exile with the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government marked the occasion in greatly contrasting styles; the Buddhist leader issued a statement recalling Tibet's suffering and struggle, his hopes for the future and his renewed wish for a negotiated settlement acceptable to both parties, while China promised stern action against separatism and declared a public holiday to celebrate the end of serfdom in Tibet.



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