The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, October 1, 2014


News of: Monday, 13th of April, 2009

Front Page

ACC accused of contempt of JS

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Undertakings yesterday accused the immediate past chief of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), its incumbent acting chief, the other incumbent commissioner, and one of its former secretaries of contempt of the parliament.

Sircar drew Tk 28 lakh illegally, finds JS probe

A parliamentary probe body has found that immediate past speaker Jamiruddin Sircar "illegally" drew Tk 27.86 lakh as medical bill.

8 JMB men held, bomb-making materials seized

The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested eight operatives of banned Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and recovered bomb-making materials in the capital's Khilkhet area.

Back to rice farming after 25yrs

Thousands of farmers in three upazilas of Khulna district have decided to turn their backs on shrimp cultivation, choosing instead to return to farming on their croplands to live a more sustainable life.

No fresh deadlines for rental power firms

The power ministry has decided in principle not to extend deadlines for four rental power projects totalling 155 MW capacity for their repeated failure to launch commercial operation and would ask the Power Development Board (PDB) to take action as per contracts.

State of emergency slapped in Bangkok

Tanks and armoured vehicles rumbled across Bangkok yesterday as Thai premier Abhisit Vejjajiva cracked down on protesters leading the most serious challenge yet to his four-month rule.

Govt directs Cantt Board to scrap lease

The government has directed the Dhaka Cantonment Board to take necessary action to cancel the lease allocation of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia's cantonment residence.

Sonadia best site for deep-sea port

An international consultant for the proposed deep-sea port project said the Sonadia-Moheshkhali point is the best site for the project.

Govt decides to form jt working group with UK

The government yesterday decided in principle to form a Joint Working Group (JWG) on counter terrorism with the UK next month for exchanging information and training on counter-terrorism.

PM asks for import of sugar, pulses thru' TCB

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the industries ministry to import sugar and pulses through Trading Corporation of Bangladesh for making those available to people at lower price.

380 workers back from abroad

As many as 380 Bangladeshi labourers who were cheated by recruiting agencies returned home from Malaysia and Dubai yesterday.

OMS price of rice slashed to Tk 16

The government yesterday brought down the price of rice at Open Market Sale (OMS) to Tk 16 from Tk 18 for per kilogram in the wake of low price of rice at local markets and poor response to the OMS programme.

BPC goes for costly diesel purchase

Import of diesel at higher premium is costing Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) dearly in this quarter--April to June, 2009.

Updating of voter list starts in May

The Election Commission (EC) will start updating the countrywide digitised photo voter list next month with inclusion of newcomers and left-out voters.

Plaintiff seeks to drop cases against Sheikh Helal, Mamun

The last caretaker government forced Reza Construction Ltd to file four extortion cases against Awami League lawmaker Sheikh Helaluddin and businessman Giasuddin Al Mamun with political motive, firm officials alleged yesterday.

Garment makers fear labour unrest

Garment makers fear widespread labour unrest because of shutdown of some factories and deferred payment to workers as fallout from global recession bites Bangladesh.

Tight security for Pahela Baishakh celebration

A three-tier security measures has been taken for Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla New Year on April 14, deploying around 10,000 Rab and police men in and around the Ramna Park, the main venue of the traditional celebration.

PM flies to Saudi Arabia on April 20

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave for Saudi Arabia on a four-day official visit on April 20 when she will meet Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and perform Umrah Hajj, officials said here yesterday.

Indian FS in Dhaka, meets PM

Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina yesterday night.

Rescue of a rare primate

Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh crew revisited Mahadebtila of Harinchhara Tea Estate in Srimangal area to investigate the habitat of the rare bird Silver-breasted Broadbill. This time they spent 3 days but couldn't locate any Broadbill. However, they were able to rescue a rare primate: Slow Loris (Lajjaboti Banor in Bangla). WTB member Enam Ul Haque and researcher Samiul Mohsanin bought it for Tk 500 and released at the same place where a local had captured the primate the night before they arrived. We feel that a countrywide campaign against capturing and killing of our threatened wildlife need to be seriously addressed. Slow Loris is globally vulnerable and it is critically endangered in Bangladesh, that is at the verge of extinction.

10-yr-old girl found dead, hanging from ceiling fan

A 10-year-old schoolgirl was found hanging from a ceiling fan in her sister's house in Darussalam in city's Mirpur area yesterday.

Private car of Nanak's PS hijacked

A gang of muggers shot and wounded the private car driver of State Minister for LGRD and Co-operatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak's private secretary (PS)-2 and snatched the vehicle from city's Uttara area Saturday night.

None can evict Khaleda, says Delwar

None will be able to evict Khaleda Zia from her cantonment residence, said BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday urging the government to cancel its decision to revoke the allotment of the house to Khaleda.

20 hurt as AL factions clash in N'ganj

A clash between supporters of an Awami League (AL) lawmaker and an AL-backed upazila chairman in Sonargaon, Narayanganj, yesterday left at least 20 people, ple, including three policemen, injured.

Nestle denies allegation of 'repacking'

Nestle Bangladesh has denied the allegation of repacking of its fortified milk in order to extending the product's expiry date saying "There was no repacking and no attempt to extend the shelf life of the product."

BDR men who fled during mutiny taken back to HQ

The Bangladesh Rifles authorities have started taking back the border guards, who fled from the headquarters during the mutiny and later joined different camps across the country.

Lanka declares 48-hr ceasefire in civil war

Sri Lanka's president yesterday ordered government troops to halt their offensive against cornered Tamil rebels for two days to give tens of thousands of civilians a chance to escape the fighting.

Editorial

Towards a new education policy

THE education ministry seems all geared up to place before the nation a new education policy within the next three months. A 16-member committee is working at it. As stated by the education minister, the new policy would aim at improving the present state of education at all levels, giving special emphasis on setting up institutions for providing vocational education at all upazilas across the country. Theoretically, all this sounds good, but we wonder whether he is living up to his own criticism of the culture of frequent shifts in policies by himself initiating yet another policy.

Thailand's descent into chaos

A summit of ASEAN leaders was aborted in the Thai beach resort of Pattaya on Saturday when hundreds of supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra descended on the venue to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. Obviously, it was an embarrassing sight in full view of the world and it certainly put Thailand's embattled government to shame. The incident clearly shows the pitfalls the country's fledgling democracy has been up against, especially since a coup in September 2006 deposed Thaksin and replaced it with what has come to be seen as unending chaos.

Love's labour's lost

IT goes to the AL's credit that it has been able to establish itself as a pro-people, secular and progressive political outfit. The public was never found wanting in passionately backing the AL throughout its chequered history. It had the unique privilege of drawing popular support which, in fact, sustained the party through the vicissitudes of time.

The woes of Dhaka city

IF the proverb "All that glitters is not gold" needs an example, the city of Dhaka might be a good example. It has skyscrapers, dazzling shopping malls, big business houses, posh golf courses, expensive Japanese, American and European cars, eye catching fast-food shops -- all that is needed for a city to look modern. Yet, it does not have the basic requirements of a modern city.

Show-down

LAST week, US Attorney General Eric Holder moved to dismiss several counts of corruption charges against former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevenson after discovering evidence of prosecutorial misconduct in his conviction.

Sports

Bashundhara surprise

Everyone was in for a big surprise at yesterday's press conference at the Kurmitola Golf Club (KGC), organised by the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) to confirm a deal worth Tk 4.5 core with Bashundhara Group.

BFF ready for nat'l school, club meets

A total of 100 schools will participate in the National School Football Championship, which will kick off on May 2 across the country.

PCL from April 29

With the much-needed final nod from Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) the sports organisers of Chittagong has gladly taken the challenge to launch Bangladesh version of Twenty20 cricket styled PCL (Port city Cricket League).

Moeen clears rumours

Chief of Army Staff and National Sports Council (NSC) chairman General Moeen U Ahmed said that the Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS) has been solely allotted to the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) for training and matches.

Series win will be a big boost: Akhtar

Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar believes beating Australia in the limited-overs series in the UAE would help send a strong message to other nations to tour Pakistan. "If we beat Australia we can send a strong message that we are a good side and they should come (to Pakistan) and play against us more often," Akhtar said.

SA go for the series

Two more matches and a long and fascinating summer that has been played out between South Africa and Australia will be at an end. One more victory and South Africa will finish on a high. They took a 2-1 lead in Cape Town on Thursday and can wrap up the ODI series with a win in Port Elizabeth today.

Mirka, Roger tie the knot

Men's world number two Roger Federer on Saturday married his fiancee Mirka Vavrinec in his home town of Basel, Switzerland, he announced on his website.

DCA start off with big win

Dhanmondi Cricket Academy (DCA) rode on Sujan's devastating 40-ball 72 to rout Young Cricketers by 117 runs in the Second Division Cricket League at the Dhaka University ground yesterday.

Buck gets his own back on Gavaskar

Former Australian coach John Buchanan on Sunday hit back at Sunil Gavaskar for taking a dig at his modest playing career and questioning his success as coach, saying his similarities with ex-captain Steve Waugh took the team to dizzy heights.

Waqar doubts rebels' loyalty

Former pace great Waqar Younis has questioned the national commitment of those Pakistan players who are competing in the unauthorised Indian Cricket League.

Warne will miss them

Shane Warne admits his Rajasthan Royals team have suffered a big blow with the absence of Shane Watson and Sohail Tanvir, two of the stars of the underdog franchise that won the first Indian Premier League (IPL).

Hewitt breaks clay jinx

Lleyton Hewitt of Australia reached his first clay court final in a decade with a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Evgeny Korolev of Russia at the US Men's Clay Court Championships on Saturday.

Andy made permanent?

England are expected to unveil Andy Flower as their team director this week. Flower is believed to have been interviewed by a panel chaired by Hugh Morris, the managing director of the England team, last week and if the details of a contract worth about £250,000 can be agreed he should be confirmed in his position by Wednesday.

IPL to give up a few boxes

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to make its second major concession in a week, with executives close to a compromise with the South African provinces over the allocation of corporate suites. Indian officials had initially demanded control over the boxes, much to the chagrin of their South African hosts, but a series of meetings during the week have resulted in the IPL softening its stance considerably.

Tresco's no to Strauss

Marcus Trescothick, the former England opener, says he has turned down a request from Andrew Strauss to make himself available for selection to the squad for the World Twenty20 in June. Trescothick said though he would have loved a return to the England side, he knew the dangers to his health of committing himself to international cricket would be far too great. England announced a preliminary squad for the tournament earlier this week.

Royals lose warm-up

Shane Warne's Rajasthan Royals made a losing start to their South African campaign when they lost by 27 runs against the Cape Cobras in an Indian Premier League warm-up match at Newlands Saturday.

Barca consolidate

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said the pressure was now on Real Madrid after his side beat Recreativo Huelva 2-0 at Camp Nou on Saturday to open up a nine-point gap at the Spanish League summit.

Bayern roar back

Bayern Munich bounced back after two chastening defeats to rout Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 on Saturday with Franck Ribery the main architect of this much needed pick-me-up.

Jose confident of title

Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho said his side can win the title next week in Turin despite dropping two points at home to Palermo on Saturday.

'Macheda is special'

Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed Federico Macheda as "something special" after the Italian teenager rescued Manchester United for the second week in a row.

Bordeaux go top

Bordeaux dethroned champions Lyon, at least overnight, from top spot in the French league on Saturday after a 2-0 win at Auxerre achieved with goals from Brazilians Fernando and Geraldo Wendel.

Rafa stokes the fires again

Rafael Benitez has re-stoked his feud with Sir Alex Ferguson by suggesting the Manchester United manager has been made "nervous" by Liverpool's late charge for the Premier League title.

Terry pleads for Hiddink

John Terry believes Guus Hiddink is the only man to lead Chelsea after reports linked the Premier League club with a move for AC Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Fergie draws the line with C'Ron

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has warned star winger Cristiano Ronaldo that he can't have everything his own way.

Ancelotti rules out Chelsea

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti categorically ruled out a move to Chelsea on Saturday following his side's 1-0 win at Chievo in Serie A.

Business

Deep-sea port feasible

Shipping Minister Md Afsarul Amin yesterday urged multilateral lenders to finance development of a deep-sea port at Sonadia Island to help accommodate large vessels and emerge as a regional hub in future.

Sheraton likely to stay on

Starwood Hotel and Resort, the parent company of Sheraton chain of hotels worldwide, is likely to operate and manage Bangladesh's first-ever five star hotel for another term.

Higher farm, industrial growth forecast for FY09

Around 0.2-0.4 percentage point agricultural and 0.5-1 percentage point industrial growths have been projected for this fiscal.

Panchagarh tea on a roll

Tea cultivation in the country has peaked in Panchagarh, leading the sector to further bloom and creating employment for thousands, especially women, across the district.

DSE seeks tougher rules on mutual funds

Dhaka Stock Exchange will urge the market regulator not to approve any new mutual fund worth below Tk 50 crore to prevent an unusual price hike in the fund's unit prices on debut.

New import policy to focus on financial crisis

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said yesterday the next import policy for 2009-12 would target measures to tackle the global financial crisis, ensuring a hassle-free business atmosphere and protect the local industries.

Illegal VoIP hurts call handlers

The illegal VoIP technology poses a threat to international call handlers, as some big cracks remain in call termination channels, industry people said yesterday.

$739.43m remittances for Islamabad in March

Pakistan's overseas workers sent the highest-ever amount of $739.43 million as remittances in March 2009, surpassing the previous record of $673.50 million received in December 2008.

Summit debacle sets back Asia

The dramatic cancellation of an Asian summit after rampaging Thai protesters stormed the venue has set back a regional effort to tackle the global economic crisis, analysts said.

Tougher times for MBA graduates

Once every six weeks, fund manager Anthony Siwawa hops on a plane from Botswana for a 10-hour flight to Singapore, where he doing a master in business administration (MBA) degree.

Market rises on bank shares

Dhaka market rose moderately yesterday riding on banking sector shares that boosted by the news about impressive gains in banks' operating income.

MediaAxis, Carat tie up

Independent media communications agency network Carat has tied up with MediaAxis to operate in Bangladesh, according to press statement.

Thai tourism under assault

Thailand's battle-hardened tourism sector faces being brought to its knees by two fresh blows -- a state of emergency in the capital and a violent end to a beachside summit, experts warned Sunday.

Asian currencies lower against dollar

Asian currencies ended the week mostly lower against the dollar as positive news from the US banking sector raised hopes that the world's largest economy may be turning a corner.

Bank of Japan to bolster capital

The Bank of Japan plans to reinforce its capital to secure the credibility of the yen and enhance its ability to implement additional economic measures, The Nikkei business daily said Sunday.

Bids for India's disgraced Satyam to open today

India's Satyam Computer Services could have a new owner Monday when bids are opened for the disgraced outsourcing giant, officials said.

China to keep 'loose' monetary policy

China's central bank said Sunday that it would maintain a "moderately loose" monetary policy amid the worsening global financial crisis.

SKorea offers tax break on old cars in stimulus bid

South Korea's government offered a tax break Sunday to motorists who replace ageing cars with newer models, in bid to boost sagging demand in the auto industry.

Toyota set to suffer second straight loss

Toyota Motor, the world's biggest automaker, is expected to suffer a second consecutive annual loss because of the global economic slump and a stronger yen, Japan's Nikkei daily reported Sunday.

Metropolitan

PM for regional cooperation to eradicate poverty

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday stressed the importance of stronger regional cooperation to eradicate poverty from South Asia as it is the common enemy of all the countries in the region.

'Form bodies at hospitals to address emergencies'

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday underscored the need for forming disaster management and preparedness committees at hospitals to ensure healthcare facilities during and after the emergencies.

Agri labour law to be formulated

The government will take steps to formulate agricultural labour law to give proper recognition to farmers and ensure their welfare, Labour and Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said yesterday.

Two murdered in city

Two people were killed in separate incidents in Dakkhin Khan and Airport police station areas in the city yesterday.

Cancel decision to withhold promotion

Primary schoolteachers yesterday demanded cancellation of the decision of the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) to withhold the promotion of teachers who do not have the Certificate-in-Education (C-in-Ed).

Convict allegedly conceals info to secure bail

Former Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) ward commissioner Abdul Aziz, a convict in the sensational Lalbagh seven-murder case, has secured bail from the High Court (HC) by allegedly suppressing information about the number of days he spent in jail.

HC stays Agrani Bank's decision

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for three months the Agrani Bank authorities' decision to sanction loans to its high officials for purchasing cars and for their maintenance without any interest.

9 killed in road crashes

Nine people were killed and 16 others injured in separate road accidents in Dinajpur, Gopalganj, Bogra, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj in the last two days.

AL factions clash in Munshiganj

At least five people were injured in a clash between two factions of Awami League (AL) centreing acceptance of a tender for leasing of a water body at Sadar upazila parishad auditorium in Munshiganj yesterday.

Call for uniform education policy

Speakers at a conference yesterday called for uniform education policy to save the country from a national crisis.

Industrial units asked to set up ETP by June 30

The government yesterday set anew June 30 as the deadline for installation of Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) in factories that are releasing chemical wastes alarmingly polluting the water and environment.

Govt to build new rail track on Dhaka-Ctg route soon

The government is going to build a new rail track from Laksam to Chinki Astana on Dhaka-Chittagong route, said a PID handout.

SC again extends stay order

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday again extended for two weeks its earlier order staying a High Court (HC) verdict that directed the government to allow reactivation of all frozen bank accounts and FDRs of former law minister and BNP leader Moudud Ahmed.

Make integrated efforts to tackle militancy

A parliamentary body yesterday asked the foreign ministry to make integrated efforts to tackle 'rising militancy' and global economic meltdown which are big challenges for the present government.

Tejgaon College principal held, freed on bail

Police arrested Principal of Tejgaon College Abdur Rashid from his Monipuripara residence in the city early yesterday on charges of misappropriating Tk 3 crore and trading fake certificates.

Japan hands over materials for 92 portable steel bridges

Japan yesterday formally handed over to Bangladesh materials for constructing 92 portable steel bridges at upazila and union levels.

Newspapermen stage sit-in

Journalists and employees of different newspapers yesterday staged a four-hour sit-in at their offices demanding solving problems of different newspaper offices, including the daily Ittefaq, The Bangladesh Observer, the daily Janakantha and the daily Dinkal.

CPB to observe 'local govt empowerment day' today

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) will observe 'Local government empowerment day' today with a demand of establishing a self-governed local government system through curtailing authority of lawmakers in local government.

Hillary says 'Shubho Nobo Borsho'

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says “Shubho Nobo Borsho” by sending greetings to all around the world who are celebrating Pahela Baishakh, the Bengali New Year.

Akhter made press minister

The government yesterday appointed journalist Akhter Ahmed Khan as press minister at the Bangladesh Mission in Washington.

Attack on journo in Mymensingh condemned

Journalists in Mymensingh yesterday condemned the attack on Gafargaon Upazila Correspondent of the Daily Shamokal Abdullah Al Amin Biplob by miscreants on Saturday and demanded punishment to the culprits.

US embassy closed tomorrow

The American Embassy, including the Consular Section and the Public Affairs Section with the Archer K Blood American Centre Library and the Student Advising Section will remain closed tomorrow on the occasion of Bengla New Year's Day, says a press release.

Books for Viqarunnisa school

Mutual Trust Bank Limited donated 10,000 books on moral values for the school wing students of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, says a press release.

National

In dark alley of early marriage

“At the age of 12, I was married to my cousin Zahural Islam, 18, just to ensure that I would take care of my ailing father,” said Ruma Khatun, now 16, who along with her husband have been living in her father's residence at Belgachhi village in Sherpur upazila of Bogra district since their marriage four years ago. Recently a baby was born to them.

Govt staffs keep off office

Government officers and employees at Kumarkhali upazila headquarters yesterday abstained from work protesting assault on upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) allegedly by some activists of the Ruling Awami League and its front organisations.

Vow to eliminate inequality, fight dowry menace

Around a thousand people at remote Boterhat village under Biral upazila in the district yesterday pledged to work together for elimination of all sorts of discrimination against women.

RU students to miss Pahela Baishakh

Teachers and students of Rajshahi University will not be able to welcome Bangla New Year on the campus due to unscheduled closure of the university.

Ban on rallies on CU campus extended

The Chittagong University (CU) authorities have extended ban on rallies, meetings and processions on the campus for another two months.

7 fishermen abducted from Sundarbans

Pirates abducted seven fishermen for Tk 1lakh ransom from Fatiker Canal in the Sundarbans Wednesday evening, according to a report received here yesterday.

Jubo League leader held

Police have arrested a leader of Awami Jubo League from Kapsanda village in Assassuni upazila as he is accused in several cases for murder, extortion and abduction.

Letters

Daylight saving

In the backdrop of scarcity of electricity one may think of daylight saving by advancing clock timing which is in practice in Europe and other countries. Bangladesh is a tropical country where difference of day and night time is not too wide. Sun shines 10 to 12 hours in daytime around the year. As such advancing the clock by an hour will not be useful for us. The concept of day light saving is very much correct and we should utilise it in a customised way but not by advancing clock time. This is not also practised in our neighbouring countries India and Pakistan. We can do it by designing and constructing houses and offices very much accessible to daylight. In contrary to that we see that houses and offices have no access to light, even in secretariat building windows and doors are covered by heavy curtains to make artificial dark and then light it with many unnecessary decorative lights consuming a huge amount of electricity. We should immediately stop this culture to get the benefit of daylight.

Primary education

I am really disappointed to know that our government is planning to raise primary education to Class VIII. As an ex-student of Bangladesh Primary School, I would like to share the following with the readers, policy makers and concerned institutions. The Simon Fraser University, Canada conducted a study in 2006, the author was Sandra Nikolic, titled "Educating the future: Raising the quality of primary schooling in Bangladesh". This study investigates the low quality of primary school education in Bangladesh. Elite interviews suggest that GoB (Government of Bangladesh) primary schools fail to provide students with quality education, demonstrate poor teacher performance, have overcrowded classrooms, and weak management and administration. Quantitative analysis of parents with primary-aged children reveals that of the four principal primary schooling options available, public primary schools are more likely than other primary schooling options to exhibit components of poor quality. The findings indicate that parents are equally concerned about male and female education; that administration functions are a matter of concern, and that poverty is an overarching barrier to attendance and retention rates. The important policy message is the need for establishing a system of accountability of school performance to parents and communities. All stakeholders, in turn, should be involved in partnerships affecting primary school conditions.

Hospital for all

Khwaja Yunus Ali Medical College and Hospital is a world-class hospital situated in a rural char area in Enayetpur, Sirajganj. The vision and mission of the hospital is to give gold standard service to the poor at a minimum cost. At this moment, the cancer institute adjacent to the hospital is the pioneering cancer treatment centre in Bangladesh and the service is unique in nature in South and South East Asia. The patients do not need to go to Singapore or India because a minimum cost helps the cancer patient to survive. The hospital has varieties of specialty and also has specialty in heart surgery. All types of cardiac surgery are performed here at one-third cost, compared to private hospitals in Dhaka.

Of guidebooks

We've talked a lot about the guidebooks menace so far; we've talked and written a lot on the mushrooming coaching centres and their activities in the name of inculcating “knowledge” to the students at large. Yet, very unfortunately, we haven't been able to stop the “guidebook business” in the open perimeter of the institutions and beyond --- they are being printed and sold out to the students. It is unfortunate because most of the guidebooks, as it has been reported frequently, are full of mistakes, haphazard organisation of ideas, and most tragically, misleading. Despite the government's ban on the guidebooks they are on the open platter in the markets for the education pursuers.

Stop the goons

All dailies in a front-page news report on 1st. April covered the DMCH incident triggered by BCL's violence on the campus. It is a poor reflection on the AL's management capabilities. If they cannot manage their party's activities; how can they manage the various problems of Bangladesh?

Student politics

The glorious past of student politics is now waning because of present so-called student politics. Student politics is now a horrendous proposition. Today student politics means extortion, tender hijacking, admission business, occupying dormitories, taking free-meals, seat politics, controlling campus, chanting slogans in favour of their god fathers or so called leaders etc. Not an iota of activities in favour of general students is visible. So, why is student politics prevailing on campus? Obviously, not for students, but for the ruling party and the opposition.

A tragic death

The boy with a bright future is gone. He has left all of us and has gone to such a place from where he will never ever come to us. Sayem, a brilliant Dhaka University student of Psychology, was like my younger brother. He passed away on April 8, 2009 after suffering from cancer for almost a year. We met a couple of times and I have always found this boy sober and calm. He was ambitious and was always optimistic. He always looked at the positive sides of life. Even, the last time when I met him at the hospital a couple of weeks ago, he was hopeful and positive that he would recover soon and start attending his classes again. I was shocked when I heard about his death. It was unbearable for me to witness the death of such a young optimistic boy. Now, I can only tell myself, Sayem, my brother, today you are no more with us, but your memories will always be in our hearts and we pray to the Almighty for your eternal peace.

Smoking in public places

This is in reference reply to my letter by A. Bashar, published on April 10, 2009. The writer accused me of charging smokers in a wholesale manner in my letter, disregarding the tobacco act. My point is that when a doctor examines a patient suffering from tobacco related diseases he never asks whether the patient had smoked cigarettes maintaining tobacco code or not or whether he had smoked in the public places or private places designated by the government. It seems the writer is a supporter of smoking and I had hurt his sentiment by comparing the smokers with terrorists and by appealing to the present government which initiated the anti-smoking law to enforce the same very strictly. Smoking is harmful and injurious to health which may cause death as is evident from the statutory warning on every cigarette packet.

A profitable business

When a new party assumes power, their student wing is found to be in a hurry to regain control over all the educational institutions, defeating other student wings. After that they start to fight among the groups of their own parties. They always try to reign supreme on the campus. Why do they adopt such a policy? Actually, it is a profitable business. The student wing of the ruling party tries to control all activities and take a big share of money spent on different projects.

Clemency by TAC

Recently, the government disclosed the names of officials seeking clemency from the Truth and Accountability Commission (TAC). But the officials opted for voluntary disclosure with confidentiality guaranteed by the then government. Disclosure of their identity was indeed not fair to them.

Construction Act

The Construction Act gazetted on 27th May 2008 and published on 29th May 2008, is no doubt appreciable in many a respect, but the new floor area ratio (FAR) seems to be unrealistic, in the context of our availability of land mass. The FAR table deserves revision for the benefit of the small landowners. As per the FAR, small landowners possessing up to 10 katha or less have to keep almost 50% of the plot vacant all around to conform to the new regulations. It is simply not feasible to construct a liveable house by the land owners/developers on the plots measuring up to 5 katha or less. We have come to know through media that large number of applications filed by such landowners is pending, awaiting approval of the offices of Rajuk in view of above provisions.

Price of rice

Referring to the report in your daily on 6th April on a comment by the agriculture minister, "Prices of rice had been between Tk 9 and Tk 9.50 a kg during the tenure of the last AL government between 1996 and 2001, which increased to Tk 22 to Tk 23 during the BNP regime." Such a comment to prove the weakness of an opponent is not judicious.

Harassed twice!

Income tax & Value Added Tax (VAT) of a business is assessed on the basis of sale or turnover. This is unbelievable but believe it that in Bangladesh the sale or turnover of a business is always assessed twice by two different govt. departments & the sale or turnover figure assessed by the two departments for the same business is always different. This funny thing is happening because Income tax & VAT is assessed by income tax & customs departments respectively and there is no co-ordination between the two departments. As a result, a businessman is harassed twice for the same business, which is completely unnecessary.

BRTA's blank cheque?

Some time back, prices of oil were up for a while for which a transport company raised their bus fare from Dhaka to Chittagong and vice versa from Tk. 465 to Tk. 565 for non executive seats. Has the BRTA any consideration of such factors on which a reasonable bus fare is to be decided?

A good novel

An exceptional book 'After the Road Accident' was available in the last book fair by Akota Prokash. It's an outstanding novel that focuses on the tragic occurrence of a road accident and its inevitable consequences on a person's life against the background of our socio-economic and cultural reality. This novel is written by Akash Pradip. The language of this novel is extremely simple. Any ordinary person can read this novel.

Exit of ACC chairman

He was a General and still a General and acted like a great General. He demonstrated his courage, a rarity in our country's context. He did not compromise with what appeared bad. He did the right thing to quit his position, being helpless as a lone soldier to fight. Only a few people are happy and many are not. His sincerity and honesty of purpose and integrity are beyond any question. He is a decent man also. Hats off to him.

International

Thai deputy PM appeals to police, army to act

Thailand's deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban yesterday appealed directly to soldiers and police to act to enforce a state of emergency.

Mumbai attacks suspect 'prime target' for extremists

Mohammed Ajmal Amir Iman, accused of being part of a 10-man group that attacked the Indian city of Mumbai, was ripe for recruitment by Islamist militants, police and security experts say.

Unite to fight terrorism stalking Manhattan to Mumbai: Obama

US President Barack Obama Saturday asked nations around the world to come together to solve global problems like a recession, climate change, nuclear proliferation and international terrorism that has claimed innocent lives 'from Manhattan to Mumbai'.

Troops kill 40 militants in Afghanistan

Afghan and international forces killed 40 Taliban militants in separate battles in the troubled country, authorities said yesterday.

Prabhakaran agrees to rescue mission by a Western country

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, who is said to be facing a military rout at the hands of the government troops, has "agreed to a rescue mission by a western country," a state-run media report said Sunday.

Militants torch US-Nato supply trucks

Some 150 militants armed with rockets and automatic weapons attacked a northwest Pakistani terminal that lies along a key supply route used by US and Nato troops, wounding three guards and torching eight cement trucks yesterday, police said.

World powers must accept nuclear Iran, says Larijani

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said yesterday world powers must accept the Islamic republic as a nuclear power as top officials vowed no let-up in Tehran's sensitive uranium enrichment drive.

US ship reaches Kenya minus kidnapped captain

Nineteen American sailors who escaped a pirate hijacking off the Horn of Africa reached safe harbour on Saturday, exhilarated by freedom but mourning the absence of the captain they hailed for sacrificing his freedom to save them.

Netanyahu vows to talk peace with Abbas

Israel's hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Sunday to hold talks with the Palestinians, in his first remarks on the troubled Middle East peace process since taking office.

New orangutan population found in Indonesia

Conservationists have discovered a new population of orangutans in a remote, mountainous corner of Indonesia perhaps as many as 2,000 giving a rare boost to one of the world's most endangered great apes.

Obamas pick 6-month-old Portuguese water dog

It's decided: the Obamas have chosen a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog to be the first pet.

Muslims in Andhra may back Congress

Muslims in Andhra Pradesh are likely to throw their weight behind the ruling Congress party in the elections to parliament and the state assembly.

Sonia, Mamata to share dais in West Bengal

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee will share the campaign platform with Congress president Sonia Gandhi April 27 at a rally in West Bengal's Jangipur, from where External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is seeking re-election to the Lok Sabha.

Professionals look to clean up India's 'dirty politics'

Middle-class professionals have been spurred into standing in India's general elections, fed up with what they say are declining standards of governance and complacency, corruption and cronyism.

US on tightrope seeking N Korea dialogue

One week after North Korea defiantly launched a rocket, the United States is working on a delicate balance between condemning the communist state and nudging it back to dialogue.

S Korean ex-leader's son, wife grilled over graft

State prosecutors in South Korea have questioned the wife and son of former president Roh Moo-Hyun in an escalating corruption probe, officials said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Right to the streets

Global social and human rights organisation, Drishtipat, arranged a unique rally in the city last Saturday to promote the dignity of women and the rights of pedestrians on the streets. Titled, 'Ei Poth Amadero' (The Roads Belongs to Us Also), the rally, drawing people from different backgrounds and professions, started off from the National Museum premises and ended at the Shaheed Minar.

Essence of rural Bengal

On the occasion of Pahela Baishakh, (the Bengali new year) Bangladesh Photo Journalist Association (BPJA) is holding a three-day photography exhibition at the organisation's office at Purana Paltan, Dhaka. The exhibition titled “Ruposhi Bangla Jatiyo Photo Prodorshoni O Protijogita 1416” was inaugurated yesterday. Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad was present as chief guest at the inaugural. Sri Lankan High Commissioner V. Krishnamoorthy and Shawkat Mahmud, president, National Press Club were special guests at the programme. Among others Nuruddin Ahmed, general secretary, BPJA and Mahbub Hossain Khan Nobin, convenor of the exhibition were also present at the occasion.

Port city all set to usher in Pahela Baishakh

The port city is all set to usher in the Bengali New Year 1416 with vibrant cultural functions.

Enamul Huq evaluates Hridi’s debut as a director

"1920," a new mega-serial on the lifestyle and views of youngsters in their late teens, goes on air from tonight on ntv. The serial is being scripted and directed by talented TV and theatre actor Hridi Huq. Noted theatre personality Enamul Huq, Hridi's father, talked to The Daily Star on how he envisages her debut as a TV serial director and more.

Felicitation for Dr. Karunamaya Goswami

Renowned music researcher and Nazrul exponent Dr. Karunamaya Goswami received the Bangla Academy Literature Award '08 for his research-based works published throughout last year. To mark this achievement, Centre for Oriental Art (COA) arranged a programme at Bengal Shilpalaya, Dhanmondi on April 11. Noted cultural personalities greeted Dr. Goswami with wreaths.

Remastered Beatles records to be released

The Beatles' entire record catalogue is to be released in digitally remastered form for the first time later this year, their music company said Tuesday.

IFA, Pabna celebrates 46th anniversary

Lalitakala Kendra (Institute of Fine Arts), a leading cultural organisation of the district, celebrated its 46th anniversary recently. The daylong programme, held at the organisation premises, included a discussion and cultural programme.

OP-ED

Pilkhana tragedy and its aftermath

SINCE the incident at Pilkhana, many retired military officers, civilian intellectuals, and media personalities have been expressing their views or expert opinion on TV talk shows. Some speakers, although having no expertise on the subject, spoke omnisciently, misguiding the listeners and the nation.

A blatant misuse of legislative authority

THE Upazila Parishad Act, passed during the first session of the 9th parliament represents a self-interest driven blatant misuse of legislative authority. The act provides for, among other things, that MPs be advisers to the Upazila Parishads and makes it mandatory for the parishads to accept their advice. Each parishad is specifically required to accept the advice of the MP concerned with respect to development plans and their implementation. The parishad must also keep MPs informed of any contact with the government.

Life Style

Retro returns the styles that never died

She half slid half dragged herself along the snow and apparently that was choreography enough. Attire: light, transparent sari. Colour: Olive with excessively eye-catching polkas. Blouse: Short fitting sleeves, deep necked. Make-up: Natural tones with slightly accentuated eyes. Actress in question: Sharmila Tagore. Backdrop: 60s Hindi movie set.

Frame it!

In a world that is being laid siege upon by a blizzard of contact lenses, spectacles are still in reigning order. After all it is so much easier to stick something on top of your eyes rather than inside them! And what with cleanliness, cost and overall hygiene, spectacles are just the easier and better option. And don't trust those fake fashionistas that frown on eyewear. Hey, if Miranda Priestly could carry them off with panache in The Devil Wears Prada, so can you! The key is to find a frame that fits your face.

The perfect date

Dating…the sweet old time spent in getting to know each other, sharing thoughts and hoping that it leads to something more permanent. Yes all those Hollywood flicks were not lying: going on a date is a big deal. After all a date is the only official time when two people really get to hang out, talk and find out more about one another in person. Yes, late night phone calls are adventurous and e-cards at work are cute but it is actually when you spend time in each other's company that really tells you whether this rendezvous is worth the effort.



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