The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, April 20, 2014


News of: Monday, 20th of April, 2009

Front Page

Tk 3,424cr stimulus plan rolled out

The government yesterday announced a Tk 3,424 crore stimulus package to cushion the blow of global economic downturn.

NSI officer held for hiring trucks

A National Security Intelligence (NSI) field officer was arrested and placed on a two-day remand yesterday for allegedly hiring the 10 trucks that were supposed to carry the arms and ammunition seized at the CUFL jetty.

BCL troubles remain as major annoyance

The reputation of Awami League-led grand alliance government was besmirched, in the first 100 days of its rule, mostly by the ruling party's student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL).

JS body questions process of buying car for minister

A parliamentary standing committee yesterday raised questions about the propriety of a tender invitation for buying a luxury automobile for official use by Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain.

MP's men finally return all cheques

Local Awami League (AL) lawmaker's men in Bagmara have returned all the cheques they took away from the victims of atrocities committed by Bangla Bhai-led gangs.

Dhaka's detailed area plan grossly flawed

The draft Detailed Area Plan (DAP) of Dhaka is full of anomalies and favours private housing businesses at the cost of flood flow zones vital for the sustenance of the capital city and its environment, DAP review committee members said in their report.

Upazila chairmen demand end of MPs' control

Leaders of Bangladesh Upazila Parishad Association yesterday alleged that lawmakers have already started creating complexities in the functioning of upazila parishads across the country.

Costly equipment lying idle for lack of radiation-proof condition

Radiation-proofing work requiring less than Tk 36 lakh at the Radiotherapy Unit of Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital in Bogra has stood in the way of functioning of the unit's Tk 25 crore equipment for the last two years.

Investigating agency to be formed today

Investigating Agency to inquire into the war crimes committed during the Bangladesh Liberation War will be constituted today, State Minister for Law Md Quamrul Islam said yesterday.

Diarrhoea situation worsens

Diarrhoea outbreak has taken a serious turn in the capital as the number of patients suffering from the waterborne disease continues to increase.

PM goes to Saudi Arabia today

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to Saudi Arabia will focus on crucial issues that include lifting of restrictions on recruiting Bangladeshi workers there and seeking Saudi support in trying war criminals.

Investigators find 60 more BDR jawans involved

Sixty more Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel are likely to be indicted for their alleged involvement in the February 25-26 carnage in the BDR headquarters.

Justice Rashid made Law Commission chairman

The government has appointed former High Court judge Md Abdur Rashid as chairman of the Bangladesh Law Commission.

Experts for giving free textbooks up to secondary level

The national textbook expert committee recommended giving free textbooks to secondary-level students and suggested that the curricula, texts and syllabuses be made available online so that anybody can collect or print them.

Interns go on strike at MMCH

Some 110 interns at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital (MMCH) went on an indefinite strike from yesterday protesting the assault on them by a dead patient's attendants on Saturday.

UP chairman declared winner 6yrs after polls

The Election Commission (EC) has decided to declare Azizul Haque chairman of Damodar union parishad of Badarganj upazila in Rangpur to do 'justice' to him after over six years of his election.

UZ chairmen honoured in new law

Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad advocate Abdul Hamid yesterday said upazila chairmen have been honoured more by the Upazila Parishad Act passed in the current parliament than the earlier act.

Six hurt as BCL factions clash at CU

At least six activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Chittagong University (CU) unit were injured during a clash between two groups yesterday morning.

JMB leader arrested in Nilphamari

A regional leader of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was arrested from a remote village on the bank of Teesta river in Jaldhaka upazila yesterday morning.

3 killed in city

Three people were killed in the city's Sabujbagh and Gulshan areas early yesterday.

South Korea accepts North's rare talks offer

South Korea on Sunday accepted the North's offer to hold talks about a Seoul-funded joint industrial estate -- the first face-to-face meeting between officials of the two countries in over a year.

FBI agents to testify at trial

More than 100 witnesses, including US FBI agents, will testify at the trial of the man police say is the only surviving gunman in the bloody Mumbai siege, Indian prosecutors said Saturday.

Barak seeks parallel talks with Syria, Palestinians

Defence Minister Ehud Barak has proposed that Israel's new government should hold parallel peace talks with both Syria and the Palestinians, an official said on Sunday.

No sign of LTTE chief as troops close in

As Sri Lanka's decades-long civil war moves into what appears to be a bloody end game, all eyes are on a small strip of coastal jungle, looking for signs of the elusive leader of the Tamil Tigers.

End of Cuba embargo 'way down the road': US

The United States cautioned yesterday that any lifting of its embargo on Cuba was "way down the road" despite hopes raised at a Summit of the Americas by President Barack Obama, who opened the door to talks with the communist island.

Ahmadinejad urges 'justice' for jailed US reporter

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Sunday for fair treatment of US reporter Roxana Saberi, who has been sentenced to eight years in jail as a US spy, Iran's state news agency IRNA reported.

Thailand extends state of emergency in capital

Authorities on Sunday extended a state of emergency in Thailand's capital, saying efforts to restore security were still incomplete after anti-government rioting last week and a brazen attack on a protest leader.

Deccan win at a canter

A fantastic four-wicket haul from left-armer RP Singh helped Deccan Chargers destroy Kolkata Knight Riders by eight wickets in the Indian Premier League at Newlands in Cape Town yesterday.

50 hurt, 10 shops looted in Cox's Bazar clash

A group of armed miscreants yesterday looted and ransacked eight dwellings and 10 shops and injured 50 people including women and children at Konarpara in Khurushkul union in Cox's Bazar.

Editorial

PM's meeting with qaumi madrasa leaders

We have noted with due concern that in recent weeks much discussion has gone on about the alleged links of qaumi madrasas to religious militancy in the country. Against this backdrop, a team of religious leaders met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday and apprised her of their grievances vis-Ó-vis some comments on qaumi madrasas allegedly made by some senior government figures. The prime minister, we are happy to note, reassured them that the comments had been taken out of context and that her government sought the cooperation of the ulema in combating religious militancy. Clearly, the meeting has proved to be a useful exercise in establishing rapport between the government and the ulema community, a move that bodes well for the country. For their part, the qaumi madrasa representatives assured the PM of their cooperation in stamping out religious militancy wherever it might surface.

Lingering power crisis

From all the discourses that we are getting to hear on the power situation prevailing in the country the impression we get is that the government is not moving fast or diligently enough to reduce the suffering of the people caused by constant power outages. And one does not even have the correct figure of actual shortage of electricity since there is an 'official' and an 'unofficial' figure. Taking the government statistic as a datum, the current shortfall remains high in spite of the 700 megawatt of additional capacity provided in the last three months; and the peak season has not yet come.

Pied pipers of our politics

HUMBLED in the last general election the once arrogant BNP still licks the wounds of its defeat. The party is in total disarray, with no visible initiative to reunite or reconsolidate the party split during Begum Khaleda Zia's incarceration. Amid post-electoral Awami bashing, party activists are closely watching the denouement of the catastrophe that has befallen them. In the meantime, the ruling Awami League also isn't faring any better. Mired neck-deep in the mess left by the preceding governments, it will take them far longer than many anticipated to put the polity back on the rails and devote itself seriously to the business of governance.

What future for the Third Front?

WHATEVER its outcome, India's general election will be remembered for many peculiarities. First, there are no major issues at stake, no ideological contentions, and no political fault-lines.

Challenges from within

WHILE the BDR incident had been a real acid test for the Awami League led grand Alliance government in its first 100 days, some challenges from within the party rank and file have emerged sharply, and put it in a rather disadvantageous situation.

Sports

PCL gains momentum

Preparations for the PCL (Port City League), set to be kicked off on May 2, stepped up further yesterday with the signing of title sponsor agreement with a prominent business group.

Club Cup renamed

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has decided to change the name of the Club Cup.

BCB suspends Shaju sine die

Bangladesh Cricket Board's game development committee has yesterday suspended Shahjahan Shaju for his assault on an umpire last week.

Vettori spins Delhi to victory

New Zealand left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori took three for 15 as the Delhi Daredevils won a rain-shortened Indian Premier League match against Kings XI Punjab by ten wickets at Newlands Sunday.

Hasan warms up with 82

Mahmudul Hasan led from the front with a steady 82 on the opening day during Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) Development Squad's two-day practice match against the Sri Lanka Under-19 side at BKSP yesterday.

U-15s' cricket match drawn

Satyki Dutta spared the blushes of visiting Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) under-15 side on the final day of the two-day match against BCB under-15s that ended in a draw at the Mymensingh Stadium yesterday.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh Hockey Federa-tion (BHF) will get a donation of Tk 12 lakh for the Asia Cup to be held from May 9 in Malaysia.

PCB considers switch

Pakistan are considering whether to switch a home series to New Zealand after the Black Caps refused to tour the troubled country, a cricket official said Sunday.

Rayer Bazar, DCA notch huge wins

Rayer Bazar and Dhanmondi Cricket Academy (DCA) banked on devastating bowling performances as they won their respective Second Division matches yesterday.

Sachin sets the tone

For gnarled, one-year veterans of the Indian Premier League there will be always be Brendon and Bangalore. The bar was set so high by last year's curtain-raiser, when Brendon McCullum lit up the night sky with a pulsating 158 not out, that whatever happened today was destined to feel like an anti-climax. Sure enough, Sachin Tendulkar's unbeaten 59 from 49 balls was a model of good sense. Despite the impression given by some of its officials, the IPL can't have everything.

Glitzy IPL off with upsets

The Indian Premier League started on foreign soil with an explosion of entertainment and two cricket upsets at Newlands Saturday.

KP makes perfect start

No one can accuse Bangalore Royal Challengers of not preparing properly. Their new captain, Kevin Pietersen, was on the phone repeatedly with their new coach, Ray Jennings, ahead of the tournament. Tactics were discussed, names learned. Earlier today, as Mumbai Indians got things under way against Chennai Super Kings, the pair of them were side by side in the media centre, watching, analysing, possibly fine-tuning. Neither was involved last year, when Bangalore lost 10 games out of 14, but they share a sense of responsibility now. And how. The champions didn't know what hit them.

Nadal's fifth in a row

World number one Rafael Nadal survived a battling Novak Djokovic to clinch a fifth successive Monte Carlo Masters title on Sunday and equal a century-old record at the Country Club.

Pakistan to decline games in India?

The 2011 World Cup, scheduled in the sub-continent, ran into fresh trouble with a senior cricket board official here indicating that Pakistan might decline to play its matches in India.

Jilani asks ICC to reconsider

Pakistan Sports Minister Pir Aftab Shah Jillani has asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to review its decision to shift the 2011 World Cup matches from the country due to security reasons.

Leverock hangs up big boots

Dwayne Leverock, Bermuda's most recognisable player, has hung up his boots after the side lost their ODI status and failed to qualify for the 2011 World Cup.

Andy, Brooklyn tie the knot

American tennis star Andy Roddick married swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker on Friday, the second top 10-player to tie the knot recently after Roger Federer went down the aisle last weekend.

Chelsea in final

Guus Hiddink enhanced his reputation as the Midas man of management by leading Chelsea to the FA Cup final after a nervy 2-1 victory over Arsenal on Saturday.

Grafite Wolves on

Brazil striker Grafite kept up his phenomenal scoring record with two goals on Saturday as Bundesliga leaders Wolfsburg stayed three-points clear at the top with a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.

Real keep up chase

Double champions Real Madrid kept up the pressure on Barcelona in the Spanish title race defeating Recreativo Huelva 1-0 on Saturday to stay six points behind their arch rivals.

Juve's late salvo

Czech full-back Zdenek Grygera scored a dramatic injury-time equaliser to earn 10-man Juventus a 1-1 draw at home to leaders Inter Milan at Turin's Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Hiddink hails Drogba

Guus Hiddink hailed Didier Drogba as one of the best strikers in the world after the Ivory Coast forward fired Chelsea into the FA Cup final at the expense of Arsenal on Saturday.

Boro look doomed

On the day that Wolves clinched their return to the Premier League, Middlesbrough were left looking doomed to relegation after they failed to beat Fulham at the Riverside.

Business

Stimulus falls short of expectations

Business leaders yesterday expressed dissatisfaction over what they said was the neglect of the readymade garment sector in a stimulus package, but lauded the government's "timely" steps for other areas to tackle fallout from global recession.

BB issues lending rate notices

With the announcement of the government's stimulus package yesterday, the central bank simultaneously issued two circulars relating to limiting lending rate and loan rescheduling.

Emirates upbeat on Bangladesh

Emirates still enjoys growth in operating flights from Bangladesh, despite a dip in traffic flow being faced by several local and foreign carriers, as recession hurts overseas jobs for migrant workers and, also corporate travels, a senior official of the airline said.

Fresh bid to privatise Rupali Bank

The Privatisation Commission (PC) has again initiated a move to privatise the state-owned Rupali Bank to make it more profitable.

Next budget to focus on people's buying capacity, says PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said yesterday the upcoming national budget would focus on raising the purchasing capacity of the ordinary people and protecting domestic industries.

Credit, deposit must fall in line

The third generation private commercial banks (PCBs) have propelled the deposit rates up in Bangladesh. Some banks have offered high rates to attract deposits and other banks had to follow suit, in their frantic efforts to retain clients.

Wanted: Computer hackers ... to help US govt

Federal authorities aren't looking to prosecute them, but to pay them to secure the nation's networks.

Prime Bank mutual fund soon

A Tk100 crore close-end mutual fund, sponsored by Prime Bank, will be floated very soon, an evidence of further intensifying the capital market depth.

Stocks win solid gains

The Dhaka market opened the week with solid gains for a fifth day, riding on the shares of banks and fuel and power companies.

HK shares set for choppy week

Hong Kong share prices look set for a choppy ride over the coming week as upcoming US economic figures could dampen the belief that the global economy has begun to recover, a dealer said.

China PM Wen reassures over economy

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao reassured an international meeting on Saturday that his nation's economy was faring "better than expected" despite exports falling because of the global slowdown.

Govt wants strong Better Business Forum

The government took stock of the activities of Bangladesh Better Business Forum (BBBF) yesterday, aiming to strengthen the high-powered body for boosting the country's trade, industry and economy.

US economy still facing 'substantial risks'

The US economy still faces "substantial" downside risks, US President Barack Obama's chief economic adviser Larry Summers told NBC television Sunday, as a regional Americas summit wound down.

Russia needs 1m temporary jobs

Russia needs a package to create over one million temporary jobs to help workers and small business overcome the economic crisis, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday.

German chip maker seeks state shelter

German chip maker Infineon is in negotiations with the government over state guarantees worth several hundred million euros (dollars), the Welt am Sonntag paper reported Sunday.

US venture investment falls

US venture capital investments sank 61 percent in the first quarter, dropping to the lowest level in 12 years as financiers became even warier about sinking funds into startups during a deepening recession.

Britain set for crunch recession budget

Britain will unveil a recession-fighting budget this week, seen as vital for Prime Minister Gordon Brown as he struggles to boost his flagging fortunes ahead of a likely election next year.

Gas powers dramatic Qatar growth: Kuwait bank

Qatar's economy made massive strides in 2008 as gas production enabled the tiny Gulf state to mitigate the impact of the global meltdown, a Kuwaiti bank said on Sunday.

Obama to convene cabinet to cut govt spending

US President Barack Obama, faced with mushrooming budget deficits, announced he will convene his first full cabinet meeting Monday and ask his secretaries for specific plans to cut spending.

Vietnam reduces taxes to push up demand

Vietnam will reduce some tariffs on goods and services to push up demand in the face of an economic slowdown, according to a decision signed by the prime minister.

Metropolitan

Awareness campaign in coastal belts soon

The government plans to launch a massive awareness campaign soon among the people in the coastal belts before introducing the new storm danger signal system to be initiated before November, usually a month of depression in the Bay of Bengal.

Petition for banning books for distorting history

A writ petition was filed yesterday with the High Court (HC) to direct the government to ban the books titled 'History of Bangladesh War of Independence' published in June 2004 by then BNP-led four-party alliance government stating that Major Ziaur Rahman made declaration of independence on March 26, 1971.

BNP meets to finalise convening committees

National Standing Committee of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) last night continued meeting to finalise the names of conveners and joint conveners of organisational district committees in a bid to reorganise the party.

Crime on the rise in city

In a span of three hours yesterday, three people succumbed to their injuries raising the number of killings to nine in the city last week, while at least 20 people, including traders and transport workers, sustained bullet injuries as armed extortionists failing to realise tolls sprayed bullets on them.

Eight killed in road accidents

Eight people were killed and 28 others injured in separate road accidents in the city, in Manikganj, Narail, Madaripur and Barisal yesterday.

Bangladesh key ally of US: Moriarty

US Ambassador in Dhaka James F Moriarty on Saturday here said Bangladesh is an important friend and ally of the United States.

Document on lease of land handed over

Housing and public works ministry yesterday handed over the document of a lease of 2.5 bighas of land at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar to the Liberation War Museum to set up it in a permanent place.

Supply gas to start operation

The authorities of a private 44 MW power plant here yesterday demanded immediate supply of gas to the plant which has been fully prepared to go into power generation since June last year.

London discussion on Bangladesh today

A discussion on the prevailing situation in Bangladesh and the plans and programmes of the grand alliance government will be held at the British parliament today.

Call to stop anti-militancy drives in Quami madrasas

Islamic scholars yesterday demanded an immediate halt to the recent anti-militancy drives in Quami madrasas and stoppage of 'propaganda' against the madrasas of patronising militancy in the country.

PM receives annual audit report

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Ahmed Ataul Hakeem yesterday handed over the annual audit report on spending from the state coffers to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Prime Minister's Office.

Concern over closure of RMG factory at DEPZ

Karmojibi Nari (KN) General Secretary Sharmin Kabir and Executive Secretary Rokeya Rafiq in a joint statement yesterday expressed their concern for closure of Youngone garment factory at Dhaka EPZ in Savar, says a press release.

1374 more held

Police, in separate raids, arrested 1374 people on different charges across the country in last 24 hours as of 6:00am yesterday.

Degree pass exams begin May 12

The Degree Pass, Subsidiary and Certificate Course Exami-nations 2008 under National University will begin across the country on May 12, says a press release.

100 hurt in Netrakona clashes

Over 100 people were injured in two separate clashes in Atpara and Kalmakanda upazilas of the district yesterday.

Fresh BCL feud at JU

Two factions of BCL Jahangirnagar University (JU) unit staged a chase and counter chase over a trifling matter on the campus yesterday, leaving six students injured.

ASK concerned over death of migrant workers

Human rights body Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) yesterday expressed deep concern over the growing number of bodies of Bangladeshi workers being brought home almost everyday.

Leather Tech College classes resume today

Bangladesh College of Leather Technology authorities have decided to resume classes of all the academic years except 2008-09 from today.

Indonesian team arrives today

A six-member delegation of the Group of Bilateral Cooperation of the House of Representatives of Indonesia arrives here today on a three-day visit.

144 expelled on second day of HSC exams

A total of 144 examinees were expelled for adopting unfair means at different centres across the country on the second day of the HSC and its equivalent Alim and business management (BM) examinations yesterday.

Wasa gets temporary MD

The government yesterday assigned a joint secretary as the managing director (MD) of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) as an additional charge.

Khaleda visits Dr Nazrul, ailing Kangalini Sufia

BNP Chairperson and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Khaleda Zia visited injured pro-BNP physician Nazrul Islam and ailing noted folk singer Kangalini Sufia at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and Hospital yesterday evening.

Drug peddlers still active at Agargaon

Drug peddlers are still running their business in the city's Agargaon area where they attacked a police patrol car and ransacked a police check post on Saturday night when a police team raided the area.

Shahidnagar people recall mass killing by Pak army

Freedom fighters and different political and socio-cultural organisations of Santhia upazila observed Shahidnagar mass killing day yesterday.

Finnish cooperation in Rly sector sought

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain called on Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen at Boao in Hainan province of China and discussed issues of bilateral and mutual interest.

Two bodies recovered from Arial Kha river

Two bodies were recovered from Arial Kha river at Kumarbadi area under Madaripur sadar upazila yesterday.

Rizwana wins Goldman Environmental Prize

Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers' Association (BELA), has been awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize 2009 for the Asia region in recognition of her contribution to the conservation of the environment.

Laid-off Ctg Chemical reopens on April 24

The government is going to reopen the Chittagong Chemical Complex on April 24 that was laid-off on December 15, 2002, Industries Minister Dilip Barua said yesterday.

Navy chief leaves for China

Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral ZU Ahmed yesterday left Dhaka to attend the founding anniversary programme of the China Navy scheduled to be held on April 23, says an ISPR press release.

4 hurt as sacks of bran fall on rickshaws from overloaded truck

Four people, including a schoolboy, were injured when two sacks of bran fell from an overloaded truck on two rickshaws at Jamtola in the town yesterday.

Prof Majedul made Khulna dist BNP convener

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) formed convening committees of Khulna district and city units on Saturday dissolving the present committees.

AL lawmaker's APS arrested in N'ganj

Police yesterday arrested assistant personal secretary (APS) of a ruling party lawmaker in Mograpara Chowrasta area in Sonargaon.

Int'l workshop begins at BRRI tomorrow

A three-day international workshop will begin at Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) in Gazipur tomorrow, says a press release.

Khulna Jubo League man shot

A Jubo League activist was shot by a group of miscreants in the Gallamari area under Sonadanga police station yesterday morning.

Chand Sultana Literacy Award for Saleha

Saleha Begum popularly known as Saleha Chachi of Golachipa has been selected for Chand Sultana Literacy Award-2008 of Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) in recognition of her multifaceted contribution to the field of education and social development, says a press release.

Unilever distributor mugged of Tk 17.30 lakh

A distributor of Unilever Company was mugged of Tk 17.30 lakh at Chandina crossing in Sadar upazila yesterday.

Reception to Kamal Lohani

The weekly Natun Katha yesterday accorded a reception to Kamal Lohani for becoming director general of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, says a press release.

National

Militancy threat to Islam and country's peace

Leaders of Quami Madrasa and Olama Oikya Parishad in Rajshahi yesterday vowed to remain vigilant so that none can use quami madrasas as cover for their terrorist activities.

BCL expels BM College leader for chaos on campus

Moin Tushar, joint convener of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Brojo Mohan (BM) College unit, has been expelled on charges of violating party discipline and creating chaos on the college campus.

Ruet, RMC to reopen April 26

Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) and Rajshahi Medical College (RMC) will reopen on April 26.

Cheated job seekers in Bogra stage protest

A large number of frustrated job seekers formed a human chain at Satmatha in Bogra town yesterday morning demanding return of their deposit money from so-called Bogra-based NGO -- Science and Information Technology (SIT) Foundation.

Diarrhoea follows the dinner

A minister and 22 others were attacked with diarrhoea after taking dinner at the residence of eminent industrialist Mir Nasir Friday night.

Acid victim fighting for life

A housewife who sustained serious burn injuries in an acid attack at her father's house at village Naikati in Shyamnaagr upazila on Saturday is now fighting for life at Satkhira Sadar Hospital.

'Nab attackers of Gafargaon newsman within 24 hrs'

Journalists at a rally held here yesterday gave an ultimatum to the administration to arrest the culprits who attacked a journalist working at Gafargaon within 24 hours.

2 attacked by wild bear, hospitalised

Two indigenous villagers sustained severe injuries as they came under attack of a wild bear at village Dhurong Para in Mahalchhari upazila yesterday.

Letters

Hundred days of the govt

What we can see in Bangladesh is just a repetition of the past government, except that the AL government looks closer to the people. This is the only success I can see. In reality they have added more problems to their list of what they inherited. The BDR carnage, the BCL crisis, MPs vs. upazila chairmen are some examples of what is going on. The parliamentary sessions are practically limited to a few items but no major legal reforms were initiated. The performance of parliament as of now is:

Wetlands

About 50% of the land in Bangladesh is classified as wetlands, and major part of this area is covered by freshwater wetlands, the total area of the wetlands of the country has been estimated at seven to eight million hectors. Wetlands of Bangladesh have great diversity, which are classified on the basis of their hydrological and ecological functions such as saltwater wetlands, freshwater wetlands (haors, baors & beels) and human-made wetlands.

Restrictions on milk import

The honourable commerce minister stated that the government was going to impose restrictions on import of powdered milk in next three years' import policy to discourage its import. I would like to draw the attention of the government to consider the situation from the consumers' point of view. The BNP led government imposed high customs duty, VAT, supplementary duty, AIT, PSI etc. to discourage import of powdered milk on the plea that production of milk in the country would be increased manifold within a couple of years as a result of such measures. The government also introduced cash subsidy for cattle farmers. But the government could not continue the programme due to mismanagement of subsidy funds. In practice people did not get adequate supply of milk in the last one and a half decade.

Economic recession

Economic recession has hit the whole world. Economic condition is at low ebb in most of the developed countries. The economy of a third world country like ours is interrelated with the economy of first world countries.

Daylight saving scheme

What should have been done ages ago has been sent to different ministries for opinion. This is not the Friday-Sunday issue to be debated upon. If you want to save energy by closing down shops and businesses at 8:00pm, then adopt the daylight saving scheme to save more. Pushing the clock in summer by one hour, you actually save daylight. You do not need artificial light when the sun has not yet set. The statistics are as simple as that.

Woes of a power consumer

For years, Dhaka Electricity Supply Authority supplied one KW of electricity with a single or multiple number of electric meters as desired by a house/building owner in Dhaka. The house/building owner purchased the required number of electric meters at a fixed price from the electricity supply office.

Sexual harassment

Every now and then the print and electronic media cover horrifying news of sex-related crimes that are going on unabated in our society and the country as a whole. They (the occurrences of deplorable sex crimes) give us enough food for thought and at the same time raise the question as to what kind of society we have been living in.

Obama's solution

I have been campaigning for positive engineering solutions for a few years now and have written many articles and letters in the media. The carbon restriction appears to be a purely negative activity, the result of which seems to be too slow, tenuous and uncertain.

Overbridge in bad shape

I hasten to inform everybody before an accident takes place that the foot overbridge at Asad Gate is in very bad condition. The steel plates have developed holes due to rust in many places. Like this foot overbridge, many over bridges in Dhaka are in poor condition.

To the Speakerů

As a Bangladeshi by birth we follow the BD politics with keen interest, we watch different TV channels of Bangladesh. We had the opportunity to watch segments of the proceedings of the recently concluded first session of the 9th parliament. We were very shocked to see that some members of this parliament were telling things far away from the truth. For example, they said that they have doubts that Shaheed Ziaur Rahman took part in the liberation war. We are very upset that their statements were not expunged from the parliament proceedings. What a shame for a parliament! It reinforces the common belief that the Bangladesh Awami League is run by highly biased people.

Poor decision

I am angered by the government's move to dole out Tk.3,000 crore to exporters. If one looks at the genesis of this generosity(?), one can easily find that it is very easy to give away somebody else's money for bailing out the exporters. It is people's money kept in government custody. The doled out amount will ultimately benefit the consumers of the importing countries (the developed ones, who are responsible for the financial meltdown) at the cost of our hard working and often deprived common people. Our poor people, who earned this amount, will never have a chance to get its benefits.

Transcript and students' sufferings

Transcript is essential for students who want to study abroad. But some Dhaka University staff make profit on this. I'm also a sufferer. I visited Bangladesh in August, 2008. I deposited Tk. 800 on Janata Bank for a transcript. I submitted all necessary papers to DU staff to issue the transcript on August 21, 2008 and they were supposed to send it within a month. Till today, nothing was sent. I called the staff twice in the month of October, 2008 from here (Canada) spending my scholarship money. In December, 2008 I sent one of my friends to the staff to get information. Every time they told that my transcript would be sent soon. From May, 2009 my father, who is 65 years old, is going to that man. Till today, my father met with him about 10 times, but with no outcome.

Opposition bashing

The government has removed all the nationalist-minded officers, educationists, military officers, etc. from their positions and then put its blind supporters in those positions. Their golden boys have forced closure of many educational institutions across the country. They are saying in parliament that Shaheed Ziaur Rahman was a Pakistani agent, he did not take part in the war of liberation!! And then your cabinet has asked Begum Khaleda Zia to leave her house in the Dhaka Cantonment. Well done!! Do you know that powers of dictators are not ever lasting??

Memorable Baishakh

My mother and I went for the Baishakhi shopping. The market was certainly crowded as people were engaged in shopping for the Bengali New Year. The shops had the time of their sales with several people emerging in and out of the shops with loads of shopping bags in their hands. In this very crowd while seeing a pair of earrings, I noticed a very young lady with two kids holding her hands. What surprised me was that when several people found it difficult to spare time so as to pay at least a single visit in every shop (since the shops are instructed to be shut by 8.30) this young lady was staring at the bright, colourful objects from the glass windows, not even bothering to ask the price. Just then her young daughter called out to say 'Maa. ajkeo ki amra kichoo kinbo na?' (Mother, aren't we going to buy anything even today?). The mother replied very softly- 'na maa kalke kine dibo (No, my child I'll buy you something tomorrow). Those were the only few words that a mother could say to console her daughter. The three of them didn't stand there any longer. Instantaneously, I felt my eyes watering, my heart crying out and found it difficult to shop anymore. I came out of the mall and took a deep breath. Why is that when flowers of happiness shower upon this mighty world only few are fortunate to get them while the others are turned away empty-handed?

Why this duplicity?

The Foreign Minister on Saturday, 11th April, described Bangladesh as secular with a majority Muslim population, and not a moderate Muslim state as portrayed by the international community. She further stated that the ruling Awami League, which led the nation in 1971 Liberation War against Pakistan, never believed in the idea of moderate democratic Muslim country. Both of her claims, undoubtedly, appear to be consistent with her party's fundamental policy. However, is not it the same party that pledged to the nation that, if elected to power, it would not pass any laws contradictory to the Holy Quran and Sunnah? Apart from frequent use of religious terms before the election, did not the party begin its election campaign by visiting the shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal(R) in Sylhet and seeking divine guidance?

Dubious policy

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is loved by the majority of the people of Bangladesh which was reflected in all the elections, held lately.

International

3,000 more civilians flee Lankan war zone

Nearly 3,000 civilians escaped from Sri Lanka's war zone and sought shelter with security forces, the defence ministry said yesterday as troops stepped up an offensive against cornered Tiger rebels.

Manmohan, Advani trade barbs for top job

For all the talk of a fractured electoral mandate and important role of regional parties and their leaders, the campaign for Indian parliamentary election has so far been more about two personalities --about a Prime Minister "by accident" Manmohan Singh and his main challenger LK Advani aspiring for the top job.

BJP solely to blame for Babri Mosque demolition: PM

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday rejected Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad's charge that the Congress too was to blame for Babri Masjid, saying the BJP was solely responsible for the 1992 mosque demolition.

Pakistan 'in danger', says Musharraf

Warning that Pakistan "is in danger", former President Pervez Musharraf on Sunday said its leadership must take cognisance of concerns expressed by world community about security situation in the country but asserted that nobody should dictate any course of action to it.

Pak troops raid militant bases: 12 killed

Pakistani jets and helicopters attacked suspected militant bases in a tribal area on the Afghan border yesterday, killing at least 12 rebels, a military official said.

Obama assessing Cuba's next steps

President Barack Obama says America's estranged relationship with Cuba will not change overnight. It just did at least in tone.

Karzai urges Nato to explain civilian death

President Hamid Karzai called the top US and Nato general in Afghanistan again to explain civilian casualties caused by international forces, while an insurgent attack yesterday on a security checkpoint killed five police, an official said.

Nato ships, helicopters foil pirate attack

Nato warships and helicopters pursued Somali pirates for seven hours after they attacked a Norwegian tanker, Nato spokesmen said yesterday, and the high-speed chase only ended when warning shots were fired at the pirates' skiff.

Swat deal to remain intact if peace lasts: Gilani

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Saturday that Pakistan would coordinate with the United States on its policy to combat terrorism during talks in Washington next month.

UN anti-racism meet falters amid Western boycott

A UN conference on racism was undermined by a growing boycott by Western nations yesterday amid concern that it will serve as a bully pulpit against Israel, which slammed the meeting as a "tragic farce".

Mandela gives ANC a boost in final polls rally

Former South African president Nelson Mandela made a surprise appearance Sunday at a final election rally of the ruling ANC party, drawing wild cheers from a throng of 100,000 people.

US environment agency deems CO2 a health risk

The US Environmental Protection Agency shifted course Friday by deeming carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases a health risk, in a landmark turnaround that could impact climate change regulation.

India's eunuchs avoid polls over 'third sex' dilemma

India's one million eunuchs face a unique dilemma every election season -- do they stand in the men's or women's queue at polling stations or stay away altogether?

Arts & Entertainment

Dancers take to the floor from April 23

Over the last six years, Bangladesh Nritya Shilpi Shangstha (BNSS) has been celebrating the International Dance Day (April 29) with much festivity. This year the organisation has planned to commemorate the day with a weeklong programme, which will commence on April 23 at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA).

Documenting Bangladesh 3

Documentary films portray reality as it is in an artistic way. Thus it can be both a living document of history and a powerful force against social injustice. Though there are several non-fictional, documentary based programmes aired on different TV channels, except on some special occasion, very few documentary films are aired on the TV channels in our country. Addressing this issue, a roundtable was held on the third day of the documentary festival, "Documenting Bangladesh 3", which began at the Central Public Library on April 16.

Deep Nevar Ag-E: Breaking free from one-dimensional war movie mode

Movies on Liberation War, in particular those featuring combat scenes, are few and far between. Another issue that mars this genre, according to film enthusiasts, is that these movies are mostly one-dimensional.

Srishti Cultural Center to hold dance festival

To celebrate International Dance Day on April 29, dance organisation Srishti Cultural Centre (SCC) will hold a two-day dance festival at National Theatre Stage, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, starting from April 25.

Pahela Baishakh celebration in Satkhira

Various socio-cultural organisations and political parties in Satkhira celebrated 'Pahela Baishakh' (Bengali New Year) amidst much festivity. Cultural activists and locals observed the day with rallies, discussions, cultural programmes and 'mela.' The main rally started from Shaheed Abdur Razzak Park and went through the main thoroughfares in the town. The masked participants carried colourful festoons.

OP-ED

7-Cs: Prerogatives for a new education policy

THE present government is designing yet another "new" national education policy. This is indeed timely, especially in a globalising world in which other countries have catapulted themselves into the 21st Century by vigorously engaging in "knowledge revolution" and by developing their human resources that are aligned with the global knowledge architecture.

Perennial problem

WHEN a delegation from reporter's unity called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, she told them that her government was going to construct an elevated expressway from Gazipur to Narayanganj via Tongi to ease traffic congestion of Dhaka city. She also said that there were plans to build a sky rail, a ring road and a modern river transport system around Dhaka. Earlier her communication minister told us about sub-way train service for the city.

Trying to right a wrong

IN a democracy no one, not even the government, can get away with doing a wrong or not doing enough to right a wrong. Good and democratic governance over the years have taught the people to denounce and reject the wrong and espouse the right. In a democracy the judiciary, the police, the bureaucracy, the media and the civil society are so strong, independent and public welfare oriented that they would just not allow any wrong to go unaddressed and fester.


The Daily Star

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