The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, December 19, 2014


News of: Sunday, 19th of April, 2009

Front Page

No respite from power crisis this year

Scorching heat and irrigation pressure have pushed the "official" power demand up to 5,050megawatt (MW) while failure of some rental power projects to launch operations deepened the ongoing power crisis.

Administration limps as reshuffles go on

The civil administration saw widespread changes including making many officers OSDs (officer on special duty) in the first 100 days of Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance government, hampering smooth functioning of the bureaucracy, and governance as a whole.

Steps taken to up PM's security

The government has taken necessary measures to ward off terror attacks following India's warning of plots to assassinate top political leadership including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Cyclone Bijli fizzles out with no major damage: 5 killed

Life was returning to normal in the coastal districts and the Chittagong and Mongla ports and Chittagong airport resumed operation as the weakened cyclone Bijli turned into a land depression yesterday morning.

Upazila Parishad law goes against SC verdict

Provisions of the newly-enacted Upazila Parishad Act, 2009, that empower lawmakers to meddle with the functioning of upazila parishads, go against a Supreme Court (SC) verdict.

Thousands suffer from drinking water crisis

A few decades of shrimp cultivation has rendered the surface and ground water sources too saline for consumption in two upazilas in Khulna and an acute drinking water crisis has arisen in the area affecting thousands of locals.

Coordinating BDR probe gets tough

Investigators of the BDR mutiny case find it difficult to coordinate activities of different agencies and departments engaged in the probe process, sources said.

City cops face housing crisis

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) can provide quarters to only 617 police families against the demand for 16,652, leaving them in a serious housing crisis.

Kawmi madrasa leaders to help govt fight militancy

Kawmi madrasa leaders yesterday promised to help the government in identifying the patrons of militancy and bringing them to book.

Muhith to announce bailout plan today

Finance Minister AMA Muhith today is going to announce the much-expected recession package for the industries affected by the global meltdown.

Govt mulling smaller PMO

The government is mulling over reducing the manpower of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), private television channel desh.tv reported yesterday.

Criminals open fire at RMG factory

Three security guards of a garment factory sustained bullet injuries as a gang of unidentified criminals sprayed bullets on them in the city's Pallabi yesterday.

Kawmi madrasas to get govt recognition

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government is sincere to recognise the Kawmi madrasa education by bringing it in the mainstream of the country's general education system.

31 Hizb-ut Towhid men sent to jail

A Kushtia court yesterday sent to jail 31 Hizb-ut Towhid men, including its regional chief, who were arrested on Friday.

MP's men return two cheques

Local Awami League (AL) lawmaker's men in Bagmara yesterday returned only two cheques, each worth Tk 1 lakh, out of 19 they took away after prime minister's adviser HT Imam on Wednesday distributed those among the victims of Bangla Bhai-led gangs.

Saifur quits active politics

Veteran BNP leader M Saifur Rahman yesterday announced his retirement from 'active politics'.

Tragic death of a boy

A teenage boy was killed in a tragic incident at the International Trade Fair in the district town Friday night.

Nor'wester lashes 4 Kurigram upazilas

A nor'wester lashed four upazilas of the district Friday night leaving a trail of devastation in Kurigram Sadar, Ulipur, Chilmari and Roumari.

2 killed in clash over land

At least two people were killed and two others injured yesterday in a clash between indigenous people and a group of locals over land at Kachua village in Dinajpur.

Govt to give farmers higher price for produce

The government will purchase food grains at higher prices to help the farmers meet their production cost, but will not give any cash subsidy.

Bangladeshi tortured to death in Malaysia

A Bangladeshi worker, who recently died in a Malaysian detention camp, was allegedly tortured by the special immigration police of that country.

150 injured in AL-BNP clash in Sirajganj

At least 150 people including four policemen were injured in a fierce clash between supporters of Awami League (AL) and BNP at Reshombari in Shahzadpur upazila yesterday.

No agitation if AL shows restraint: BNP

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said it (BNP) will refrain from waging any agitation programme if the ruling Awami League exercises restraint over the issue of Khaleda Zia's cantonment residence.

New weather cautionary signal system likely from May

A new cautionary signal system for forecasting rough weather is likely to be in effect after April 30 depending on government approval.

Obama offers talks to Cuba to break hostility

US President Barack Obama seized on an extraordinary overture from Cuba to propose talks aimed at breaking the half-century hostility born between Washington and Havana during the Cold War.

Suicide bomber kills 20 at Pak checkpoint

A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a military checkpoint in Pakistan's troubled northwest yesterday, killing at least 20 people, officials said.

Pakistani terrorists planned to attack Malabar Hill: Kasab

In another stunning disclosure, captured Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab has confessed that he and his associate Abu Ismail were planning to attack the posh Malabar Hill area of south Mumbai Nov 26 last year.

Saarc nations to spend $305m on South Asian University

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) nations will spend an estimated 305 million US dollars to establish a South Asian University (SAU) in New Delhi, the local Hindi daily Hindustan reported on Friday.

Extortionists attack bus counters

Two bus counters came under attack in the city's Lalbagh yesterday as their owners refused to pay the money demanded allegedly by some local Awami League (AL) men.

Editorial

Mayhem at Barisal Medical College

Despite severe warnings from the prime minister, despite all the expressions of outrage about their destructive activities, the unruly elements of the Chhatra League go on creating disorder and so causing public worries. This time it is Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College which has had to be shut down for an indefinite period because of the violence let loose on its campus by two factions of the BCL. One need hardly describe here the nature and dimensions of the violence for the simple reason that the pattern has been similar to what the cadres of the organisation have been doing elsewhere in the country. These activities by the BCL, centering around tenders and all other things that students are not expected to be involved with, have already led to the closure of a number of educational institutions. The irony is that at a time when its patron organisation, the Awami League, is in power, the BCL appears not to be unduly worried about the damage it is doing to a government led by individuals it considers its philosophical and political mentors.

Sorry tale of footbridges, underpasses

The photograph of a dilapidated footbridge at Shahbagh intersection of the metropolis on the back page of The Daily Star on Saturday says aplenty about the extent of mismanagement of the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) when it comes to providing essential public service. We spend huge sums of money to erect these structures but once built, they are left to caprice of the elements and human vagary. They are mostly in derelict conditions with no repair work having been done since their construction. Lighting arrangements in the bridges and underpasses are conspicuous by their absence. They become dark tunnels at night, booby-traps laid by snatchers. On top, the steep stairs make climbing and descending veritable ordeals for the users.

Overcoming student agitation

THE problem of student unrest is not an uncommon phenomenon particularly in developing countries. In Bangladesh the role of student politics has some special significance. Historically, the students have been at the vanguard of various national struggles. They have proven that good leadership during turbulent times can bring results.

US-Pak differences widen

Barack Obama's review of the Afghan-Pakistan policies has created a rift in its relations with Pakistan. The new US representative Richard Holbrooke and the head of US military, Admiral Mike Mullen, came to Islamabad on April 6 for seeking a new modus operandi. The indications were that the new democratic Islamabad would welcome closer cooperation with the US the way the Americans want. The Americans were surprised at the strong differences that emerged in the relationship.

A Prime Minister and his house

PROFESSOR Nurul Islam, Deputy Chairman of the first Planning Commission and an economist of international repute, was a close associate of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the realm of economic matters in both pre and post independence periods.

Sports

Missing that vital cog

As yet another 'invasion' halted play at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium, a disgruntled player yelled at the intruder: "This is a serious cricket match, you're not supposed to be inside like this."

Sachin has first laugh

Sachin Tendulkar hit an unbeaten half-century as he led the Mumbai Indians to a 19-run win against the Chennai Super Kings in the opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at Newlands on Saturday.

It's unjust: Pakistan

Pakistan's top cricket officials and players Saturday slammed the decision by the sport's world governing body to strip their country of its 2011 World Cup matches, saying the decision was "unjust."

Booters warm up with 1-0 win

Ahead of their AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers, Bangladesh national football team managed a morale-boosting victory when they won their one-off warm-up match against Nepal Police 1-0 in Kathmandu yesterday.

ICC rejects ICL plea

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has rejected the Indian Cricket League's (ICL) application for official recognition and has said the status of the league's players will be decided by individual member boards.

KKR's point to prove

Their owner may have been the most visible presence in the pre-tournament build-up, but the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will seek to show they are capable of playing good cricket when they open their Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign against the Deccan Chargers at Newlands on Sunday.

BFF to go for huge publicity

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has decided to go all out on the publicity front for the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers.

Yasir stars for U-15s

Yasir Ali slammed 63 as BCB Under-15s managed a decent total on the first day of the two-day match against visiting Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) Under-15 at the Mymensingh Stadium yesterday.

SL U-19s' practice game from today

Mahmudul Hasan will lead a Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) Under-19 side against visiting Sri Lanka in a two-day practice match at the BKSP from today.

WC qualifier final today

Ireland will lack star batsman Eoin Morgan whey they face Canada here on Sunday in the 2011 Cricket World Cup Qualifier final.

Aussies' double delight

Australia regained their world number two ranking with a comfortable 47-run win over South Africa in the fifth and final one-day international at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday.

Win satisfies Ricky

Ricky Ponting is confident that Australia's series-ending victory in Johannesburg will give the team some spark heading into next week's one-day contest against Pakistan. Australia lost to South Africa 3-2 but the visitors claimed a comfortable 47-run win in the final game at the Wanderers, where their batsmen posted 303 for 7.

Djokovic in final

Novak Djokovic engineered a comeback to post his fifth straight win over Stanislas Wawrinka, advancing 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 into the final of the Monte Carlo Open here on Saturday.

ICC to review security at int'l matches

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday agreed to review security at international matches following the ambush of the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March which left eight policemen dead.

England delay naming squad

England's selectors have chosen to delay the announcement of their first Test squad of the summer, originally scheduled for Monday, to enable the players to have an extra round of county matches in which to prove their form.

Schalke coast to win

Schalke's caretaker coaching trio made it three wins from three with a rout of Energie Cottbus in the Bundesliga tonight.

'We owe Guus a trophy'

Michael Essien has revealed the prospect of delivering silverware for temporary manager Guus Hiddink is proving a major incentive for the Chelsea squad.

Walcott ready to learn

As a season of fluctuating fortunes and injury woes approaches a thrilling climax, Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has begun to reflect on what has been a steep leaning curve.

Gerets turns down Belgium

Marseille's Belgian coach Eric Gerets has turned down the chance to become the coach of his country's national team, the Belgian Football Federation (URBSFA) revealed on Friday.

Lifeline for Viduka

Mark Viduka could remain at Newcastle beyond the end of the season, manager Alan Shearer has revealed.

Klinsmann is optimistic

Bayern Munich coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Friday said he was optimistic the club would retain the league title and that his job was safe.

Business

General insurers post high growth

General insurance companies' gross premium income grew by 16 percent in 2008 despite a reduction in business activities in the last quarter on the global recession coupled with a drastic fall in commodity prices.

Citigroup returns to profit

Citigroup swung to profit in 2009 with first-quarter earnings of 1.6 billion dollars, coming back from massive losses in 2008, the troubled banking giant said Friday.

Energy, power shares claw back ground

A steady performance by energy and power sector companies has made their stocks lucrative, leading to an increasing demand for their shares among the investors.

Revenue outlay to face cut in revised budget

Revenue expenditure will be brought down by Tk 1,762 crore in the current fiscal year's revised budget as the subsidy requirements for different sectors have been reduced.

2 more US banks fail

US regulators on Friday shut down two more banks, boosting the number of failures this year to as many as in all of last year.

Jute millers seek protection

Jute millers yesterday urged the government to make rules to ensure compulsory use of jute sacks and bags in the packaging of public and private sector industrial commodities such as cereals, fertiliser, sugar and cement.

Poultry farm sets unique example

Advance Animal Science Co. Ltd., a dairy and poultry farm, has an electricity connection from the Rural Electrification Board (REB), but it hardly depends on power supply from the national grid as it has its own arrangement to meet its electricity demand.

Financial crisis tests Spain's love of fiesta

It's 11:00 pm in the Biotza bar and restaurant in Madrid's upscale Salamanca district and the place is bustling as dozen of customers kick off the four-day Easter weekend in an exuberant mood.

The worst is over, perhaps

Fast forward to the seventeenth century. In the Dutch Golden Age, contract prices for bulbs of the tulip peaked to an extraordinary high only to collapse. The phenomenon came to be known as tulip mania dating back to 1637. By one estimate, tulip contracts sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. It is generally considered the first recorded speculative bubble. It is also a byname for any large economic bubble.

China looks to farmers to boost economy

With his sun-baked face and rough peasant hands, 47-year-old Chen Meiji does not look like the saviour of the Chinese economy, but that is the role his government wants people like him to fill.

Top diamond producer to halve output

Botswana, the world's largest diamond producer, will slash its output by more than half this year due to plummeting demand for the gems, the main diamond company announced Friday.

Oil prices stage slight rebound

World oil prices rebounded Friday from earlier losses as sentiment was boosted by better-than-expected US company results and bargain-hunting ahead of the weekend.

Youngone's new incentive scheme for its workers

In a bid to give a support to its workers, Youngone, one of the country's largest multi-national companies in the ready-made garment sector (RMG) operating from Dhaka and Chittagong EPZs, has introduced an alternative Production Incentive Scheme yesterday.

Dollar gains

The dollar was firmer Friday, supported by strong US corporate results, while the euro came under pressure from expectations the European Central Bank will have to do more to halt the economic slump.

Market rebounded last week

The market rebounded last week following a long stretch of bearish mood. Within the period, a trading session was missed because of Pahela Baishakh, a public holiday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

April 12th-April 16th, 2009

GE profit down 35pc

US conglomerate General Electric on Friday reported a 35 percent drop in first-quarter profit to 2.89 billion dollars, but beat expectations as its financial arm remained profitable.

Toshiba to raise $5b

Japan's electronics giant Toshiba Corporation plans to raise around 500 billion yen (five billion dollars) in a bid to reverse its worsening financial situation, news reports said Saturday.

Crisis could hit remittances to Philippines: WB

The global financial crisis could have a major effect on the remittances of overseas workers that have long kept the Philippine economy afloat, the World Bank country director said Friday.

IMF approves $47b credit line for Mexico

The International Monetary Fund approved a 47-billion-dollar credit line for Mexico Friday under a new scheme designed to throw a cash lifeline to countries hit by the global economic crisis.

As revenue drops, Cathay asks staff to take leave

Cathay Pacific said Friday it will slash flights and ask staff to take unpaid leave as the Hong Kong airline reels from a crisis it says has hit harder than the SARS outbreak and the September 11 attacks.

Metropolitan

Cut in prices of agro materials a must to offset output costs

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said prices of diesel, fertiliser, seeds and other agriculture-related materials must be decreased in order to reduce production costs of food items.

Two brothers electrocuted

Two brothers were electrocuted when they came in contact with live wire at Chikon Mati Dhusa Para village in Domar upazila Friday night.

Trial of war criminals soon: Sajeda

Deputy Leader in Parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury yesterday said the trial of war criminals as well as execution of the verdicts of Bangabandhu murder case and jail killing case would be started soon.

Norwegian State Secy for Int'l Dev in city

Norway's State Secretary for International Development Hakon Arald Gulbrandsen arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a four-day official visit.

Pahela Baishakh celebrated in Islamabad

Pahela Baishakh was celebrated at Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad yesterday amid enthusiasm and gaiety, says a press release.

Son kills father in Bhandaria

Deranged son hacked to death his septuagenarian father at Bhandaria yesterday.

US to help preserve Sundarbans

A dialogue was held on future management of the Sundarbans Reserve Forest in Khulna yesterday.

Radiology & Imaging Society executives

Prof Syed Mizanur Rahman and Prof Md Enamul Haque were elected president and secretary general of the executive council of Bangladesh Society of Radiology and Imaging (BSRI) for the term 2009-10, says a press release.

Oikya Parishad forms panel of registered graduates

Awami League-backed Gonotantrik Oikya Parishad yesterday formed a panel of 25 candidates to contest the upcoming Dhaka University (DU) Senate elections for the seats of registered graduate representatives.

Absconding criminal held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday arrested a notorious absconding criminal and outlaw in Tultulipara village under Puthia upazila in Rajshahi.

2 missing in Arial Kha river

Two people, including a girl, were missing while they went to have a bath in Arial Kha river in Madaripur yesterday.

Power crisis created to serve certain sections

The government must ensure adequate gas supply to its own power plants, instead of feeding rental and captive plants to overcome ongoing power crisis, said the speakers at a press conference yesterday.

Solve problems of migrant workers in ME

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday called for solving the problems of migrant workers who send billions of dollars keeping the country's economy moving.

Conversion of GPA into division demanded

A group of Dhaka University students, who passed their SSC examinations in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and completed HSC exams in 2003, formed a human chain on the campus yesterday demanding an education ministry circular to convert grade point average (GPA) of SSC and HSC levels into first division, second division and third division.

Minister seeks Chinese help in five priority projects

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at Boao in China and handed him a letter from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on matters of common interest of the two countries.

DU student, outsider held

The police arrested a Dhaka University (DU) student and an outsider on the campus in the early hours of yesterday on charges of bringing false allegations of theft against another student.

Call to make people aware of rescheduled weather signals

Speakers at a workshop yesterday stressed the need for creating awareness among the people, especially those living in the coastal areas, about the rescheduled cautionary signals by the metrological office which will come into effect from April 30.

Workshop on HIV-related stigma begins

A two-day workshop on 'Reduction of stigma and discrimination against the people with HIV/AIDS' began at the Chittagong Press Club in the port city yesterday, says a press release.

Reopen RU, other Rajshahi educational instts soon

Rajshahi unit of Workers Party staged a demonstration at Shaheb Bazar zero point in the city yesterday demanding immediate reopening of Rajshahi University (RU) and five other educational institutions.

Police to probe role of Nanak's private secy

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Shahidul Haque yesterday said the police will investigate whether Matiur Rahman, private secretary (PS) to State Minister for LGRD Jahangir Karbir Nanak, has a role in the hijacking of a government car he used.

Two brothers held with arms

Sharsha police yesterday arrested two brothers Mostaq and Kabir from Bagachra Bazar and seized two foreign revolvers from their possession.

Baby girl murdered in sleep in Satkhira

A 7-month old baby girl was murdered in sleep at a house at village Sekendra in Debhata upazila yesterday.

3 more upazilas come under cell phone network in Khagrachhari

Three more upazilas -- Panchhari, Dighinala and Manikchhari -- of Khagrachhari came under cell phone network as Tele Talk started its operations in these areas yesterday.

Amend UZ act to resolve crisis

The 11-party, a partner of the ruling Awami League-led grand alliance, yesterday said that giving authority to lawmakers in upazila parishad in the Upazila Parishad Act 2009 goes against the sprit of the independent local government system and such a provision is inconsistent with the constitution.

Call to probe causes of deaths of BDR jawans

Speakers at the BBC Bangladesh Sanglap yesterday called for an investigation into the recent deaths of BDR jawans inside the BDR headquarters and BDR sector lines in other districts, saying that such deaths are not normal.

Azad seeks constructive criticism from media

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday sought assistance, honest advice and constructive criticism from media.

National

No sign of let-up in killings, extortion by Janajuddha

There is no sign of let-up in killings and toll collection by Janajuddho faction of Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) in Jhenidah despite launching of several anti-crime drives and death of at least 26 cadres including its chief Abdur Rashid Malitha alias Dada Tapon in 'crossfire' incidents.

Jobless youths fall prey to swindle in Jhenidah

A cheat defrauded scores of unemployed youths of crores of taka by supplying fake visa in Jhenidah. He decamped with the money and is now residing in Dhaka. If anyone asks for return of money, the cheat harasses him by filing false case.

Quacks cash in on villagers' woes

Quacks are doing brisk business in the name of treatment after three people died of 'unknown disease' in two villages of Shailkupa upazila under the district.

RU Shibir stages showdown, blocks highway

Activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir and their parent organisation Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday staged demonstration on Rajshahi University (RU) campus and blocked Dhaka-Rajshahi highway near Binodpur Bazar, creating panic among local people and traders.

Nasim applies for review of 'false murder case'

Former home minister Awami League leader Mohammad Nasim has submitted an application to Pabna district magistrate's court for withdrawal of a 'false' case against him.

Dalits demand welfare steps

Speakers at a discussion on the occasion of 118th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar, the great leader of the scheduled caste people (Dalits), have demanded government steps for development of the community, says a press release.

BCL factions clash at BM College: 4 hurt

Two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Barisal Government Brojo Mohon (BM) College unit clashed over 'admission business' on the campus yesterday, leaving four injured.

Letters

Let ACC survive

We all were shocked at the sudden departure of Lt. Gen. (retd) Hasan Mashhud Choudhury, the former chairman of the ACC. He is a man of moral rectitude and professional commitment. He showed us a ray of hope through his endeavours and patriotism. But in his resignation letter he very categorically mentioned that it was very tough to work in the changed situation under the political government. His abrupt and unfortunate exit connotes that the AL led politically elected government has made him resign. I think the political leaders have done it for personal reasons. After the election, the ACC is not functioning properly. It has lost the momentum that it had got during the caretaker regime. Actually, the political leaders do not want that the ACC perpetuates its legal proceedings and the anti-graft drive against the corrupt people. The AL has come to power on the promise of rooting out corruption. But it has failed to keep its promise. The government is rehabilitating the corrupt people in society again.

Scourge of arsenic

Arsenic is a toxic constituent that can contaminate water, land, crops and the overall environment, finally affecting human health and welfare. It occurs in nature in diverse minerals. Natural phenomena, collectively with human performance, are accountable for its discharge into the atmosphere, soil and water. Individual exposure risks are mainly restrained to regions where pollution of natural possessions such as water, soil, and air is occurring. There are two major ways in which humans are exposed to arsenic. First, directly through arsenic-laden water that people drink; and secondly indirectly, through food crops grown on soils polluted by long-term irrigation with arsenic-rich irrigate. Arsenic may also affect animals if they are fed with high-arsenic straw, which can be an additional indirect hazard for humans. The most dangerous aspect for humans is the release of arsenic into underground water from sediments through natural chemical and biochemical processes like the oxidation of arsenic-rich sulphide compounds and the reduction of arsenic containing iron oxides.

Global warming

Today in the 21st century the biggest threat to the world is global warming, especially for a low lying country like Bangladesh. If we ponder deeply over the matter we will realize that this is due to massive cutting down of trees. Trees are useful for us and we cannot live without the trees as our life is directly and indirectly dependent on trees. No doubt trees increase the beauty of this earth and another fact is that it purifies carbon dioxide and produces cool oxygen which is a necessity for all living beings to survive.

Banking policy

In an instant reaction to the government directive to cap the lending rate at 13%, the BB chief stated the measure would lead to reduction of the deposit rates by the commercial banks, as the public deposit was the “only” source of their funds. I think the remark was unfortunate, incorrect and not in the spirit of the government's honest intention. Instead of accepting the challenge gracefully at the government move to augment investment, he preferred to offer his counter strategy to offset the spirit of the move.

Foreign currency reserves

It is a good news that our US dollar reserves have reached a new peak of 6.23 billion and the taka is getting stronger. Now the Bangladesh Bank is buying the US dollar from the local market to hold the exchange rate. But, has the government considered that if the taka gets a lot stronger due to the fall of the value of the US dollar in the international market, it will reduce the value of our reserves substantially?

Windmills

Colourful windmills should be constructed in Cox's Bazar sea beach to make it more attractive to tourists and to produce renewable energy as well.

Metro rail

Over the last couple of years, we have been reading and hearing many interesting news on the planning of establishment of metro rail in Dhaka city and the people have been very passionately waiting to commute by the metro rail, which to many of us is a great dream. The metro rail, elevated rail are all excellent ideas and a very ambitious plan but to lessen the heavy traffic rush of the city we need to proceed fast to get rid of traffic mismanagement. It is a huge, large, expensive and highly technical project. However prior to implementation, we need to ensure and assert its durability with efficient management that should be thoroughly reviewed in the best possible ways taking into consideration the impact and implications as well as the hazardous situation the people and the city dwellers would face and suffer for a few years during the early implementation phase.

Belligerent BCL

The Honourable Prime Minister has given up the position of the 'Head' of the BCL as she was annoyed with the present activities of the organisation in many educational institutions in the country. But I think it is not the solution to tackle the situation.

Foot overbridge

On the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, Rayerbagh is an important place as the surrounding areas are growing fast. Every day thousands of people including school going children cross this busy highway risking their lives.

Teaching mathematics

Many students are afraid of mathematics. And if it is not so, they at least find no interest in this subject. The main reason behind their fear or disinterest is that they are not taught properly. A general perception among the students about math is that it means memorizing some formulas to solve problems. It's not a fault of the students, rather it is teachers who are responsible for presenting the deduction of the formulas in front of the students. As for geometry, illustrative discussion is a must. But in our context, the teachers very often go through a geometrical problem without elaborating.

Bloodbath in Sri Lanka

Now, as the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is fighting for a Tamil state in the north and eastern part of Sri Lanka, the country is on the brink of a total disaster. I am wondering about the future of major separatist/ insurgent movements in South Asia in the coming years.

Some pertinent points

Recently, the commissioners of the ACC in their statement told the newsmen that they would not be summoned by the cabinet, as the ministers have no legal authority to summon them. As far as I know, all the government affiliated institutions are supposed to follow the government decree from top to bottom for establishment of complete accountability and transparency. The citizens of Bangladesh have the right to quiz the government officials regarding their activities and go to court if they are involved in illegal deals.

Governance

Our TIB is doing some good work quietly in the background. The recent findings in BRTC and BTRC are appalling. Add two more entrenched establishments: Rajuk and DCC, (not to speak of the energy and power sectors. The activities of the ACC became very much visible during the tenure of the caretaker government during the past two years; but the new political regime is bringing about changes in the environment [Medical University, to start with...].

English learning centres

We all have to start learning a, b, c, d with Bangla alphabets almost at the same time. But it is a matter of regret that after finishing college education, even university, many of us fail to write a correct English sentence. So, there are many English learning centres here and there which have been set up with the purpose of earning money from the those who wish to learn this international language.

A martyr?

A martyr is someone who dies for his religious faith, as stated in the Cambridge dictionary.

Regrettable

I feel pity for the government because the landslide victory has not made it magnanimous, instead it has become mean.

Utilise fallow land

Homestead area means the area surrounding the home. In most cases, we ignore the homestead areas. Most of the areas remain uncultivated owing to lack of awareness among the family members. In our country, every homestead has a fallow land, if we bring the fallow land under vegetable and fruit cultivation then we can meet up the nutritional requirement of a family.

Education and politics

Acquiring knowledge is the prime objective of education. Unfortunately, the state of our education is poor.

International

Pakistan aid beats hopes but more needed

A day after international donors pledged more than $5 billion to Pakistan, US envoy Richard Holbrooke said yesterday that the aid exceeded expectations but far more is needed to strengthen the country's economy and fight terrorism.

Lanka keeps up offensive despite calls for truce

Sri Lankan troops yesterday kept up their offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels cornered in the northeast, the defence ministry said, ignoring mounting international appeals for a ceasefire.

Suicidal to stagger polls in Maoist strongholds

Indian Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami Saturday defended the poll panel's move to include most Maoist affected constituencies in the first leg of Lok Sabha elections, saying it would have been 'suicidal' if this was spread over another phase.

FBI played 'vital role' in Mumbai attacks probe

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation played a key part in establishing the case against the suspected Pakistani gunman on trial in India for last year's Mumbai attacks, a court heard yesterday.

Zardari calls for help in fighting terrorism

Pakistan's president appealed yesterday for help in combating terrorism in the region, a day after international donors pledged more than five billion dollars to stabilise the troubled country.

Week of change for Obama

In a whirlwind week of change, President Barack Obama jettisoned Bush administration policy on greenhouse gases, shone an unforgiving light on its support for torture as an interrogation tactic and eased its restrictions on Cuba.

13 people killed in Afghan violence

Thirteen people including two civilians were killed in violence across insurgency-hit Afghanistan, officials said yesterday.

Israel preparing for aerial strikes on Iran's N-sites

Israel's military is preparing so it could launch major aerial attacks on Iranian nuclear sites if ordered to by the new government, a British newspaper said Saturday, quoting Israeli defence and intelligence sources.

Iran urges regional peace at army parade

Iran marked Army Day yesterday with a low-key military parade and a speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that contrasted sharply with his confrontational tirades of previous years.

S Korea studying North's proposal for talks

South Korea said Saturday it is reviewing a North Korean proposal for talks on a key joint industrial complex where the North is holding a South Korean man, amid rising tensions over the North's recent rocket launch and its expulsion of nuclear monitors.

18 killed in China coal mine explosion

A warehouse explosion killed 18 people and injured three at a coal mine in central China, a provincial official said yesterday.

Nato nets 7 pirates, sets free 20 fishermen

A Nato spokesman says pirates attacked a tanker in the Gulf of Aden. Nato forces then detained seven Somalis behind the assault and freed 20 Yemenese fisherman being held hostage by the pirates.

Mumtaz Bhutto accuses Zardari of causing rifts in Bhutto family

Sindh National Front chief and late Benazir Bhutto's uncle Mumtaz Ali Bhutto has claimed that Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is causing rift in the Bhutto clan.

Iran sentences US reporter to 8 years in jail

An Iranian revolutionary court has sentenced US journalist Roxana Saberi to eight years in jail after she was charged with spying for the United States, her lawyer said yesterday.

Congress also to blame for Babri Mosque razing: Lalu Prasad

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad has declared that the Congress party too was to blame for the 1992 demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya.

US pledges 'great energy' to two-state ME peace deal

US envoy George Mitchell said yesterday that the new administration of President Barack Obama would exert "great energy" in pursuit of a two-state Middle East peace settlement.

Arts & Entertainment

Tazin Ahmed: A multi-tasking persona

Versatility could very well be Tazin Ahmed's middle name. She is a multi-tasking celebrity who has made her mark in many fields -- ranging from performances in the theatre and small screen, as a journalist, playwright, TV anchor and director.

Bacon retrospective at Prado

Francis Bacon is an internationally reputed painter whose retrospective exhibition is now on at the Prado Museum (Museo Del Prado), Madrid, one of the oldest and significant museums in the world. Prado has jointly organised the exhibition with Tate Britain in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Cultural activists in Saidpur stand tall after devastation

The cultural activists of Swatirtha Shahitya Shangskritik Shangathan, a leading literary and cultural organisation of Saidpur, are trying to get back on their feet after a fundamentalist group set their office ablaze in the dead of night. The incident occurred a few months ago and the apparent motivation for the deadly deed was the organisation's vocal opposition to this group.

Keeping alive the legacy of Kangal Harinath

To mark the 113th death anniversary of Kangal Harinath, the pioneer of rural journalism, a discussion was held at Kumarkhali Press Club in Kumarhali town last Thursday evening.

New drama serial Bhuter Gali on ATN Bangla

New drama serial "Bhuter Gali" goes on air tonight on ATN Bangla. Written by Hafiz Redu and directed by Taher Shipon, the first episode of the serial will be aired at 8:40pm.

Drama serial Bhangan on Desh TV

Drama serial "Bhangan" will be aired tonight on Desh TV at 9:30pm. Written by Touhin Hasan and directed by Parvez Amin, the serial is aired on every Sunday and Monday.

Eight local artists win awards in Khagrachhari

Khagrachhari Hill District Council (KHDC) recently handed out awards to eight top artistes of the first musical talent hunt programme in Khagrachhari district.

Traditional ‘Charak’ festival in Pabna

The traditional annual Charak festival was held recently amidst much festivity at the Bothor village in Chatmohar upazila under Pabna district. The three- day long festival marked the end of the Bangla year 1415. Bothor Shib Mandir was the organiser of the festival.

OP-ED

Financial crisis and climate finance

THE financial crisis is already manifesting its impact particularly on downsizing economic activities. Even with the huge rescue packages amounting to a few trillion dollars, there are speculations about its impact. In such a critical time, climate change negotiations are entering into a crucial phase, leading to COP-15 of the UNFCCC in Copenhagen in December 2009. As is known, COP-15 is expected to cobble a new climate architecture.

Can leftists retain West Bengal as their citadel?

INDIA, world's largest democracy, has begun voting for national elections in a phased manner from April 16 and the polls have generated widespread interest not only in India, but also in the region and far beyond for obvious reasons.



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