The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, December 28, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 22nd of April, 2009

Front Page

Quick energy fix mulled

Faced with a deep energy crisis due to gas shortage that cannot be overcome overnight, the government considers importing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), increasing efficiency of bulk gas users to reduce demands and setting standards to promote energy efficient electrical equipment, says Dr Towfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy adviser to the prime minister.

Salary of govt staff likely to double

The Seventh Pay Commission is going to submit its report with recommendations for increasing salaries of the government staffs by up to 95 percent and allowances for their children's education.

BNP to fight it legally; may even boycott JS

Apart from launching a legal battle and protest programmes, BNP may even boycott the next budget session of parliament if the government does not withdraw its notice asking Khaleda Zia to vacate the cantonment house.

Manpower, RMG export top agenda

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Saudi king Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud discussed yesterday a wide range of bilateral issues encompassing recruitment of skilled and semi-skilled workers and import of ceramics and garments from Bangladesh.

Outraged by outage

Several thousand angry residents including workers of Araihazar area yesterday damaged a power sub-station, and attacked a rural power supply office and a police outpost, protesting against repeated long periods of load shedding.

Agents hailed as heroes

Ruling Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil yesterday alleged that many ministers in the grand alliance government are “paid agents of DGFI".

AL constitution breached to neutralise Jalil

Making Awami League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil inactive in running the organisation goes against the party's constitution.

Boro farmers frown as rice prices fall

Farmers may again suffer huge loss from Boro cultivation because of downtrend in rice price, which comes as a 'stronger blow' to the peasants who also incurred a huge loss in potato and wheat cultivation in winter season.

121 firearms still missing

Some 121 firearms went missing from the BDR headquarters during the February 25-26 mutiny.

Hasina talks worker issue with Saudi FM

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Conference Palace in Riyadh yesterday and discussed various bilateral issues.

Cops arrest Pall Mall Group staff

The head office of Pall Mall Group in Gulshan remained closed for the third consecutive day after Sunday's clash between staff of the group and workers of Khan Jahan Ali Paribahan, owned by Awami League MP Sheikh Helal.

JS body's ACC intent called into question

Speakers at a workshop yesterday termed the summoning of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) by parliamentary standing committee on public undertakings 'malafide' since, they claimed, the standing committee is headed by a convict.

NBR scales revenue target up

Revenue collection target of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) in the next fiscal year (FY) may be at least Tk 60,000 crore.

Stimulus sought for more sectors

Business leaders will seek cash incentives from the government for a few more export sectors next week to accommodate in the April-July stimulus package announced Sunday.

Onus of climate battle on all

Terming Bangladesh 'a role model in battling climate change in the region', Hakon Arald Gulbrandsen, Norwegian state secretary for international development, said all nations have to contribute to find a truly global answer for saving the world from the effects of global warming.

Envoys willing to invest in water treatment plants: minister

LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday said many ambassadors are expressing willingness to invest in water treatment plants but the process is delayed by the Economic Relations Division of the finance ministry.

30 hurt in clash over lottery

A mob laid siege to Birganj police station for two and a half hours Monday night and vandalised the office protesting police action at a nearby fair.

Govt plans to rehabilitate youths lured into militancy

State Minister for Home Affairs Tanjim Ahmed Sohel Taj yesterday said meritorious youths indoctrinated into militancy are entering different fields including the administration, armed forces, and media after higher education and trainings at home and abroad.

Oil refiners clarify report

Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers' Association has clarified part of a report headlined "Govt fixes edible oil prices" published in The Daily Star yesterday.

Nails driven into hands of 3 over toll refusal

A local gang hammered nails into the hands of three men hired to paint a house in Fatullah Monday afternoon after the owner of the house refused to pay toll to the gang.

Ahad Ali made NSC chairman

The government yesterday appointed State Minister for Youth and Sports Ahad Ali Sarkar as the chairman of National Sports Council (NSC), said a PID handout.

2 murdered in city

A jewellery trader and an unidentified youth were found dead in the city, both with bullet wounds, yesterday.

Lankan rebels ignore surrender deadline

Sri Lankan troops on Tuesday seized more ground from the Tamil Tigers, as the rebels ignored a deadline to surrender and accused government forces of killing 1,000 civilians in their offensive.

Clinton wants to bolster ties with Libya

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called last night for stronger ties between the United States and its former foe Libya, during a meeting here with a son of Colonel Moamer Kadhafi, the Libyan leader.

Kidnappers seize father of Afghan minister

Taliban militants kidnapped the father of Afghanistan's education minister in a central province, while a Predator drone crashed in the country's east, officials said yesterday.

Elephants kill 3 in Cox's Bazar

A man and his two nieces were trampled to death by a herd of wild elephants at Lechhuaprang village of Teknaf upazila in Cox's Bazar yesterday.

Two Koreas end rare talks without agreement

Rare talks between North and South Korea ended without agreement late yesterday after just 22 minutes, Seoul's unification ministry said.

Editorial

Govt to closely monitor service delivery in districts

THE government's initiative asking the deputy commissioners to file reports to the establishment secretary by the 10th of each month elaborating on anti-corruption activity, state of education and service delivery at the district and sub-district levels instantly strikes a responsive chord in us. These are not meant to be proforma reports, something that is refreshingly revealed through some excerpts of the letter which the establishment secretary had dispatched to the deputy commissioners.

Boycotting Ahmadinejad in Geneva

THE conference on racism that the United Nations has organised in Geneva has run into trouble. It should not have, considering that the issue on the table is of grave importance to the international community. But that does not appear to have been taken into account by the western, largely European, nations which chose to boycott the conference because they did not approve of Iranian President Ahmadinejad's criticism of Israel. The boycott has obviously left UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon feeling justifiably embarrassed. His ire shone through his remarks, in which he clearly notes that nations that could help to forge a path to a better future were not to be seen. And among those nations have been the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Poland and the Netherlands.

History and the search for scapegoats

HISTORY, for some men, has regularly been a search for scapegoats to explain away some monumental failures. It is a feature of the collective human experience that will likely not go away any time soon. Watch Saifur Rahman. He has, for yet one more time, decided to retire from politics. There can be nothing wrong with that, considering that Rahman has had a rather long day in the sun and considering too that his party is now in a state of bad health.

What about the poor?

THE G-20 leaders met in London on April 2 to discuss plans to tackle the current global economic crisis. The G-20 is a group of the world's most powerful countries that together represent 85% of the world's economy.

Run you run

IT wasn't at the finish line when I felt my heart jump out of my body, but it was somewhere in the middle. Actually, it was in the beginning now that I think about it. Thousands of others around me stood together, running shoes, running shorts, with their best runner's faces on, and I was one of them. It was a marathon, 26.2 miles, or 42.2 kilometers, to conquer, and all I had to depend on were my legs and a mind that said I could do it.

Sports

Jamie focused on T20 World Cup

Ahead of the ICC World Twenty20, Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons has his eye more on the world cricketers playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) rather than his two charges -- Mohammad Ashraful and Mashrafe Bin Mortaza -- who are yet to make the first eleven.

Kolkata ride on rain, Gayle

Chris Gayle hammered an explosive 44 not out to power Kolkata Knight Riders to an 11-run victory over Kings XI Punjab in a rain-hit Indian Premier League match on Tuesday.

Pakistan finds a home

Security-hit Pakistan finds shelter in the United Arab Emirates as they host Australia in the first one-day international here on Wednesday, with a hope that the desert venues continue to be their new home of cricket.

Pressure on IPL stars

Andrew Strauss has a "fairly good idea" who will be batting No. 3 for England against West Indies and hinted that those candidates in county cricket could edge ahead of those plying their trade in the IPL.

Hughes's big dream

Australia batsman Phillip Hughes says it will be the realisation of a childhood dream if he plays against England in the Ashes this year.

Fergie defends Berbatov

Sir Alex Ferguson has leapt to the defence of striker Dimitar Berbatov as Manchester United look to put their season back on track following their unexpected FA Cup exit.

Drogba confident

Didier Drogba believes Chelsea will prove they can last the pace in the Premier League title race by brushing aside fellow FA Cup finalists Everton on Wednesday.

Wembley needs step up

Football Association (FA) officials admitted Monday that the much criticised pitch at Wembley Stadium needs improvement.

Blues to gamble on Mancienne?

Michael Mancienne has emerged as a potential candidate for the unenviable role of man-marking Barcelona star Lionel Messi when Chelsea face Barcelona in next week's Champions League semifinal.

Culinary lesson for Tigers' family

Fitness is an integral part of any modern game and cricket is no exception. Admittedly one should maintain proper training to keep himself fit enough to fulfill the demand but on top of everything, a healthy diet is a vital prerequisite for good fitness.

BFF can afford one month

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president Kazi Salahuddin said that they could not afford to spare the Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS) for more than one month for the inauguration ceremony of the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

KKR's inside news leaked?

Things just aren't going right for the Kolkata Knight Riders. After the captaincy controversy and a disastrous first game, they now have to deal with bouncers and googlies of a different kind - the writing of a mystery blogger, who claims to be a member of the team and seems determined to out every team secret, warts and all. The jury's out on the blogger's identity he blogs as 'Fake IPL Player' - but the writing indicates a keen knowledge of the team's working and the typical daily grind of an overseas tour. Few players are named but the nicknames are unambiguous the blogger's “team-mates' include a former India allrounder called Kaan Moolo, an opener called Calypso King, a former captain in Lord Almighty and an opening bowler called Little John.

U-19s 3-dayer from today

Bangladesh Under-19s take on the visiting Sri Lankan Under-19 side in the first three-day match at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium today.

No showdowns!

As with the Kolkata captaincy issue, the showdown between England's two big beasts, Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen, did not quite live up to its billing. The pair did come face to face, but not as everyone had hoped: it was Pietersen, with his lesser-spotted offbreaks, who ended up bowling to Flintoff, with his well-disguised fear of getting out to his international colleague, not - as had been hoped - the other way round. And even then, curious onlookers had to settle for a pulled boundary and a couple of bunted singles. As Pietersen said after claiming he had got an inside edge to the ball from Muttiah Muralitharan that removed him for a golden duck, such is life.

Hurt by the snub

With five sons, four daughters and a wife to feed, Mohammad Rasheed has become a casualty of Pakistan's descent into the sporting wilderness.

Dyson slams pitch

West Indies coach John Dyson criticised the state of the Grace Road pitch after 14 wickets fell on the first day of his side's opening tour match against Leicestershire here on Monday.

Sports minister new NSC chief

State Minister for Youth and Sports Ahad Ali Sarkar has been appointed chairman of the National Sports Council (NSC). He fills the gap left by General Moeen U Ahmed's resignation.

BKSP champs

Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan (BKSP) emerged champions in the Standard Chartered Young Tigers Dhaka Metro Private Cricket Academy competition defeating Dhaka Metro Cricket Academy by 67 runs in the final at the Gulshan Youth Club ground yesterday.

When President met the Prince

George Bush tried and failed to swat a tennis ball with a cricket bat on a trip to Afghanistan in the dog days of his presidency, but the meeting between Brian Lara and President Barack Obama in Trinidad was an altogether more successful affair.

BHF delivers reception at last

The Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) accorded a reception to the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Cup heroes ten months after the national team clinched the AHF title to qualify for next month's Asia Cup.

Grace's bat to be auctioned

A 113-year-old bat used by WG Grace will be auctioned at Sotheby's in London next month for an expected £30,000. The legendary cricketer used the bat while bringing up his 1,000th run in Test cricket against Australia at Lord's in June 1896.

FIFA to earn $2.7b from WC TV rights

World football's governing body FIFA will earn 25 billion rands (2.7 billion dollars, 2.1 billion euros) on television rights to broadcast the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the organisation said on Monday.

Cannavaro in Juve talks

World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro's agent revealed on Monday that talks have opened over a possible return to Juventus for the Real Madrid centre-back.

Becks launches anti-malaria campaign

England football star David Beckham and world-class British tennis player Andy Murray joined Prime Minister Gordon Brown to launch an anti-malaria campaign on Monday.

Platini tough on racism

UEFA boss Michel Platini revealed on Tuesday that European football bosses are considering suspending matches for 10 minutes if fans take part in racist chanting.

Blatter can't drive for a month

FIFA president Sepp Blatter's driving licence was suspended for a month after an accident last October while he was overtaking in his sportscar, the Swiss news agency ATS reported on Monday.

Bellamy out for season

Manchester City have suffered a blow to their chances of claiming a place in Europe for next season following confirmation that Craig Bellamy is likely to miss the Premier League run-in.

'Moyes world's best manager'

Forget Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink, Everton coach David Moyes is the best manager in the world, club chairman, Bill Kenwright claimed on Tuesday.

Business

Realtors face slack sales

Apartment sales have marked a 35percent drop in the first three months of 2009, which developers think is a consequence of fears about fallout from the global financial firestorm, now gripping prospective buyers.

BTRC may scrap call centre permits

Over 250 call-centre licensees may lose their permits as they failed to start operations within six months into the receipt of licences at only Tk 5,000 each.

Private banks cap deposit rate at 10pc

Private commercial banks (PCBs) have capped the interest rate for fixed deposit at 10 percent following the central bank's order to fix the lending rate at a maximum 13 percent, bankers said.

India's central bank cuts key rates to spur demand

India's central bank on Tuesday cut two key short-term interest rates by 25 basis points each, in a bid to kickstart the Asian giant's sluggish economy.

Govt still eager to consider stimulus for RMG: Minister

The government would provide a financial package to assist apparel exporters, if required, as room for discussion is still open, said the LGRD minister yesterday.

Bibir Bazar landport opens tomorrow

Newly constructed Bibir Bazar landport at Comilla border opens tomorrow with traders hoping of increased volume of trade with Tripura and adjoining states of India.

German economic indicator positive

Germany's ZEW economic sentiment index posted its first positive reading in almost two years on Tuesday, pointing to a possible pick-up in Europe's biggest economy in the second half of 2009.

Singapore stopover for $1

Singapore Airlines, the Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Changi Airport will offer its customers a stopover package' for just $1 for the first night stay in the city state, says a press release.

Robust profits mask problems in bank sector

A string of surprisingly strong earnings reports suggests US banks are emerging from a near-death experience, but some analysts say the troubled sector faces more pain.

Asian stocks slide

Most Asian stock markets fell sharply Tuesday following heavy losses on US and European markets, where fresh jitters emerged over the health of the US banking sector.

Private jute mill shut in Khulna

Mohsin Jute Mill, a mill under private management, at Shiromoni in the city was laid off for 90 days yesterday.

Call to save natural resources

The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port yesterday urged the government to protect energy and mineral resources from foreign company lobbyists.

Two Mercantile Bank officials become DMDs

Mercantile Bank Ltd has recently promoted two of its senior vice presidents, Md Abdul Jalil Chowdhury and Monindra Kumar Nath, to the bank's deputy managing director's post, says a press release.

Czechs expect contraction of up to 2pc

The Czech National Bank (CNB) and the finance ministry said Tuesday they expected the country's economy to contract by up to two percent in 2009 and to recover next year, the CTK news agency reported.

A ray of hope for workers

BKMEA's Rangpur Training Institute has trained Ferdousi Begum well. She now works in a factory, Southern Knitwear Ltd in Gazipur, as a quality controller.

Creating Social Stock Exchange Asia

My phone beeps. I forgot to put my mobile phone in silent mode. I am thoroughly embarrassed because I am sitting in the first of hopefully many important meetings with the officials of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. We are discussing the merits of situating a Social Stock Exchange in Singapore. I cannot resist -- I look at my phone under the table and see that the text message is from the company registration board telling me that the registration of Social Stock Exchange Asia (SSXA) has been approved.

Market down on profit taking

The Dhaka market ended its bullish appearance with the key indices declining by more than 1 percent yesterday, backed by profit taking sales in bank stocks.

Dollar mixed in Asia

The dollar was mixed in Asian trade Tuesday as traders focused on fresh signs of trouble in the US banking sector.

Tesco rings up record results despite recession

Britain's leading retailer, supermarket giant Tesco, on Tuesday announced record-beating annual profits and sales despite a spreading global recession and deepening losses at its US division.

Thai economy counts toll of political unrest

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva admitted Tuesday that the economy could shrink by as much as five percent as the kingdom counted the cost of its latest bout of political unrest.

HSBC lays off 100 private bankers

Global banking giant HSBC said Tuesday it had laid off 100 private bankers in Hong Kong as demand for their services has shrunk amid the economic downturn.

Morgan Stanley eyeing regional US banks

Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley is considering buying a regional bank in the United States to expand its retail banking business, a report said Tuesday.

Metropolitan

Change attitude towards people with disabilities

Antara Ahmed, who lost her ability to walk when she was only two, has now become a role model to young people with disabilities.

Fix minimum wage on the basis of market prices

Garments workers' leaders at a roundtable yesterday asked the owners of garments to increase the minimum wages of the workers saying that it should be fixed on the basis of current market prices.

BNP rejects notice, threatens movement

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday rejected the notice issued to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia that asked her to leave cantonment residence within 15 days.

Neonatal, maternal mortality rates still high

Although the country has made significant progress in reducing under-five child mortality, the rates of neonatal and maternal mortality still remain high, creating obstacle to achieving the target of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) four and five by 2015.

8pc of population infected with hepatitis B virus

Experts at a thanksgiving ceremony yesterday said around eight percent of the country's total population is infected with hepatitis B virus, while below one percent with hepatitis C virus.

Ensure access to proper assistive devices

The issue of assistive technology for persons with disabilities should be incorporated into national policies and effective measures should be taken to ensure that they have access to assistive technology devices that are best suited to individual needs, speakers at a workshop said yesterday.

Expand purview of maternal allowance programme

Speakers yesterday urged the government to expand the purview of the maternal allowance programme.

Return of migrant workers to create social tension

International Organisation for Migration (IOM) yesterday said return of retrenched migrant workers would create social tension if steps are not taken to address the issue.

Voter list updating starts in May

The Election Commission will start next month updating the voter list with photograph across the country to include the new and leftout voters.

NSU starts course on digital online librarianship

The inauguration of the 8th batch and certificate awarding ceremony of the 7th batch of Certificate Course on Digital and Online Librarianship was held at the library of North South University on Monday, says a press release.

Air chief calls on president

Air Chief Air Marshal SM Ziaur Rahman, who flies to India tomorrow, paid a courtsey call on President Zillur Rahman at Bangabhaban yesterday and apprised him of different development activities of his force.

Take stern action against criminals

Admitting that the number of crimes has increased in the capital recently, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) chief yesterday said the police will launch some package programmes to arrest the criminals through beefing up intelligence and surveillance.

Diarrhoea situation worsens in 48 dists

The diarrhoea situation in the city remains unchanged for more than one month, while the situation in 48 districts across the country has also worsened by this time.

Woman gets 30 years for selling girl to brothel

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced a woman to 30 years' rigorous imprisonment for kidnapping a 16-year-old girl and selling her to a brothel in May 2004.

Norway to help manage post-quake situation

Norway yesterday pledged aiding Bangladesh in social safety-net programmes and managing post-earthquake situation.

Road crashes kill 1

A schoolboy was killed and 15 others were injured in separate road accidents in Chapainawabganj and Pabna yesterday.

7 Dawat-e-Islami members held

The seven Dawat-e-Islami members held for suspected link with militant activities were acquitted of charge and released yesterday.

4 snatchers held with arms in Ctg

Mob held four snatchers with firearms, ammunition and chopper from Aturer Depot area in Chittagong yesterday and handed them over to police after giving a good beat.

Mohammadpur govt school ex-students' reunion

A reunion of former students of Mohammadpur Government High School will be held.

Online quiz kicks off

ACI Pure Salt and Aamra Infotainment Ltd, a concern of Aamra Group, have jointly launched an online competition styled the "ACI Pure Salt Desh Ke Jano" on Monday, says a press release.

Crisis in power sector part of a conspiracy

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Shamsul Haque Tuku yesterday said the crisis in the power sector is part of a conspiracy against the country and its democracy.

German envoy calls on Speaker

German Ambassador Frank Meyke and Deputy Head of Mission Rolf Dieter Reinhard called on Speaker M Abdul Hamid Advocate at the latter's office in the city yesterday.

Grilling of NSI officer ends with no lead

The interrogation of NSI Field Officer Akbar Hossain Khan, who was placed on a two-day remand in connection with sensational Chittagong arms haul case, ended here yesterday.

3 BCL activists arrested

Police yesterday arrested three Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists.

HC contempt rule on sessions judge

The High Court has issued a suo moto contempt rule on Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge ANM Bashir Ullah on charges of flouting its (HC) order and making undermining remarks about this court (HC) regarding dispensation of justice.

Pro-BNP panel announced

The BNP-Jamaat-backed Jatiyatabadi 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.

National

RU takes 15-pt step to stop violence on campus

Rajshahi University authorities yesterday imposed restriction on movement of outsiders on the campus as part of the 15-point action policy to keep RU campus violence free.

No gate men, no gates even

Vehicles carrying passengers and goods have to cross 70 rail crossings under Thakurgaon rail zone amid risks, as there is no gate men there.

GD against 150 students alleging delinquency

The authorities of Khulna Nursing Training Institute (NTI) have filed a general diary (GD) with Sonadaga Police Station against 150 out of 170 students, bringing allegation of 'delinquency' against them.

Two women murdered in Barisal

A woman and her daughter-in-law were found dead at their Daptarkhana residence in Barisal city on Monday night.

7 Bogra NGO men sued for 'fraud'

A job seeker filed a case with Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court here yesterday accusing chairman of Bogra based NGO--Science and Infor-mation Technology (SIT) Foundation Abdul Manna, his son Rawshan Kabir and five others of cheating in the name of providing job.

More funds for 'neglected' Satkhira demanded

Leaders and activists of Satkhira Unnayan Jubo Sangram Parishad on Monday brought out a procession and held a rally to press their 14-point demand for development of the district.

Letters

Trial of war criminals

Reading Syed Mohammad Ali's letter entitled “Stories of war criminals” published (April 10, 2009) in The Star Magazine, I cannot but thank him for his observations that will help the authorities conduct the trial in an appropriate way. It is really unpleasant to think that the war criminals will not be punished for the crimes they committed. Without their trial, the sacrifice of martyrs, who laid down their lives for liberating people from slavery of Pakistan, will not be respected, even not upheld.

Is it real democracy?

I think it's high time that people like us start questioning whether democracy really exists in this country. Lets not go to what's happening outside because we have a lot to do in our homes. If we don't look at the mirror now to see how disgusting we have started to look, then we probably will never realize the point.

Water crisis

Dhaka is facing a new problem in the form of water crisis because of continuous dry weather condition. Still the people are not paying much attention to this problem. Water is being wasted continuously in household activities and sometimes even water taps are kept open unnecessarily. But time has come to use water in the most judicious manner. Everything in our earth is limited. Water is also limited. If this dry weather continues Dhaka will soon become waterless. Nobody can survive without water. And if we do not take any step to preserve our most precious resource then Dhaka will become a desert. Everybody will have to cry for a drop of water.

Decimate student politics

No doubt, student politics is a nuisance for us at present. It is a threat for the smooth progress of Bangladesh. Most of the educational institutions of Bangladesh are vulnerable to this epidemic. The recent decision of our PM Sheikh Hasina to jettison the responsibility of overseeing BCL has perplexed all of us. By quitting the post of the organizational head of the BCL, she has tried to eschew the liability. Actually, she should be more progressive and forward-looking in taking decisions about student politics. We know about the bright credentials of student politics and the people of Bangladesh are thankful for its contribution to the Language Movement and the Liberation War. I was proud of being a resident student of Zahurul Huq Hall of DU, as this hall produced many student leaders like ASM Abdur Rab and Tofael Ahmed. We know that bright students do not join politics any more. Some hooligans use the banner of student politics, that is a win-win situation for both these so-called student leaders and the political parties. Political leaders use these student activists for their personal gains. I am not against student politics. But student politics must be for the students, by the students and of the students. The existing student politics is hindering the normal functioning of the educational institutions. The general students are the victims of this social malady. So, I urge our Honourable PM to rethink about student politics. Please ban student politics by promulgating new laws for the greater benefit of the nation. You know what BCL activists are doing across the country. Are they enhancing the party image? Do they have any contribution to your landslide victory? Will they ensure your next triumph? Do you think that they are really students? They may be, but they are diseased and perverted.

Khaleda's house

I am not sure what is playing in the minds of the opposition leaders regarding the cantonment house. The role of the party is more like an adventure of "Bhumi Dosshu". Why they are eager to hit up the street when two other most legitimate and civilized options are opened for the leader to choose from-- the moral and the legal step. I doubt there is any sensible person in the BNP or its Think Tank to advise the leader to take a moral stand and leave the place to its rightful owner. We know that it is the most difficult decision for her to take. The simple reason is that the BNP is born to oppose the AL as a political power and would go to any length to undermine their services to the nation. Our political history is very clear in this respect.

Cyclone Bijli

It was a stroke of genius naming the latest cyclone Bijli. Whoever named it so, deserves a medal because approaching the shores of Bangladesh it fizzled out, bringing cooling breezes to the despairing citizens vigorously waving hand fans and much-needed rain for the parched fields. BIJLI was even a boon for boro because now REB's anaemic bijli would not be required for a few weeks.

Blackout?

For a couple of days now, people of Mirpur area, especially East Monipur and West Senpara, have been facing uninterrupted power outage.

JU VC's remarks

Congratulations for the editorial dated 18.04.09 regarding JU VC's rash remarks blaming intruders for the recent spate of violence on the JU campus.

Two legendary women

On 6th April we observed the birthday of Suchitra Sen. On 19th June we will observe the birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi. Both these women are extremely popular. Their name and fame did not remain confined within the political boundaries of their respective countries.

Politicians Vs ACC

It is disgusting to note that since the present government took over, a group of MPs from both the opposition and treasury bench are launching a campaign against the Anti Corruption Commission and its chairman. It is understandable why these MPs are against the ACC.

Rehabilitate widows of Feb. 25

The carnage at BDR headquarters undoubtedly was a shameful and heinous incident. The massacre caused massive losses to the country and tarnished its image.

Education or business?

With much unease at heart I begin to retell how the unauthorized institutions are playing havoc with our education system and the education pursuers in the country in general, and in Chittagong city in particular.

Wrong priorities!

I have just read a DS report on the formation of three sub-committees by the government to investigate all the 'misdeeds' of the former speaker, Jamiruddin Sircar. Do we really need three sub-committees for that? The new AL-led government seems to have gone mad about forming panels, committees and sub-committees, allegedly, to investigate all the misdeeds that took place under the previous government. My personal opinion on this is that, all these investigations by the newly elected government are absolutely pointless. After wasting a lot of money and time, all these committees and probe-bodies are going to let us what we already know: the BNP-led government plundered our country like never before in our history. Unfortunately, and predictably, Khaleda Zia will deny everything and instead accuse the government of launching a smear campaign against the BNP!

Erratic rainfall

As the world is getting warmer, the pattern of rainfall is likely to change. It is believed that some of the areas of the globe will become arid owing to a decline in precipitation. On the contrary, some other zones will become wetter because of more rainfall. Simply put, the earth is likely to face erratic weather patterns --a fallout of global warming.

True Muslims

The word “Muslim” refers a person who submits his will to the Almighty Allah, follows the commandments given in the glorious Quran, and runs on the path shown by our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). But presently the meaning of Muslim has been altered. Our Creator has certainly forbidden all the evil acts [2:60] “….and do no evil nor mischief on the (face of the) earth”. Our beloved Prophet (pbuh) showed the art of living through his prophetic teachings. But some criminals are committing malevolent acts, using the name of Muslims and Islam.

Opinion poll

Congratulations for conducting the survey, which demonstrates The Daily Star's commitment to truth and facts "without any fear or favour."

Cultural heritage

Pahela Baishakh is a cultural expression of the Bengalis and an inseparable part of our own culture and heritage. It is the most colourful and joyous festival of the year. Thousands of people from all walks of life came out on the streets wearing our traditional dresses to celebrate the day. We welcome the New Year with "Esho hey baishakh Esho, Esho" echoing throughout the country. Pahela Baishakh has immense significance in the life of all Bengalis. But the point that is above all other things is our language. Some people are mixing Bangla with English in conversation. They can't speak properly either in Bangla or English.

Grameen's initiative

This refers to your news item “Yunus briefs Hillary about Grameen healthcare plans” (DS, 17th April 2009) in which Prof. Yunus discussed with Mrs. Clinton 'the proposed creation of a Grameen Medical College and teaching hospital as joint venture collaboration with a leading school of medicine of a premier US university'.

Good work

Referring to the letter “A good novel” by Md. Mostafa Zaman, on the 13th April, I want to add a few more words. I have also read the novel “After the road accident". Each and every line created an echo in my heart.

Stimulus package

Last Sunday the government announced a stimulus package of Taka 3,424 crore to fight global economic recession. The package is 43% for agriculture, power 18%, agricultural loan (recapitalisation) 15%, exports 13% and for social security(food) 11%.

International

Curtain falls on campaigning for second phase of polls

The cacophony of rallies and processions ended yesterday coinciding with the 48-hour mandatory campaigning ban deadline set by the Election Commission as India prepared for the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Thursday covering 141 of the 543 seats.

Country faces threat from within

Reiterating her controversial remark, Congress president Sonia Gandhi yesterday said the country faces a threat from forces within that were trying to divide it in the name of religion.

Lawyer of Mumbai suspect asks for trial halt

The lawyer for the Pakistani on trial in India over last year's Mumbai attacks on Tuesday asked for the case to be adjourned for one month to allow him to construct a proper defence.

BJP only 'truly' secular party in India: Advani

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani has said that the BJP is the only "truly" secular party in the country.

Oxfam predicts millions more victims of climate change

Hundreds of millions of people will become victims of climate change-related disasters over the next six years, Oxfam said yesterday, urging governments to change the way they respond to such events.

Thousands trapped in 'catastrophic' Lanka conflict: ICRC

The Red Cross yesterday warned that the situation in Sri Lanka's conflict zone was "catastrophic" and called for immediate action to rescue tens of thousands of civilians trapped there.

Advani not a 'Iron Man', says Rahul

Attacking BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani, AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that it was wrong to call him as a 'Loh Purush' (Iron Man).

Indian SC to hear lawsuit on funds stashed abroad

The Supreme Court will Wednesday hear a lawsuit asking the the government to explain what steps were being taken to bring back over Rs70 lakh crore (Rs 7 trillion) of Indian black money alleged to be stashed in foreign banks all over the world.

Indian EC always works as a team: new CEC

Taking charge as the new Chief Election Commissioner of the country, Navin Chawla Tuesday asserted that the poll panel worked as a team and took all decisions in consensus.

Somali pirates free Philippine tanker, 23 crew members

Somali pirates freed a chemical tanker and its 23 Filipino crew members Tuesday after holding them hostage in the Gulf of Aden for more than five months, the ship owner and officials said.

Clock ticking for Lankan civil war solution: US

A US official warned on Monday that time was running out for a deal that he hoped would bring lasting peace to Sri Lanka as he pressed for both sides to halt the fighting.

'Top Qaeda, Taliban leadership based in Pakistan'

Warning that the top leadership of al-Qaeda and Taliban was most likely based in Pakistan, a US South Asia expert has suggested that President Barack Obama shift the focus of his much talked about Afghanistan-Pakistan policy to Pakistan.

Lanka war unites European Tamils in protest

Anger at a fierce Sri Lankan army offensive in their homeland has brought thousands of Tamils into the streets of Paris and shone a light on their well-organised and successful European diaspora.

Now Sharif warns against impending Taliban threat to Pakistan's existence

Former Pakistan prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has said that following forcing the government to give in to its demand to implement Islamic law in the Swat Valley, the Taliban is now aiming to establish its writ over other parts of the country too.

Pak provincial assembly's deputy speaker killed

Deputy Speaker of Northern Areas Legislative Assembly (NALA) Syed Asad Zaidi was killed by gunmen in Gilgit region in north Pakistan, Geo TV reported yesterday.

29 killed as Kenya town battles violent gang

Vigilantes in a central Kenyan town took up arms against a violent gang, sparking fierce battles in which at least 29 people were stoned and hacked to death, police and medics said yesterday.

Hawking remains hospitalised

Cambridge University says mathematician and physicist Stephen Hawking remains hospitalised.

Arts & Entertainment

HSBC rings in Bangla New Year

HSBC held a two-day programme (starting on April 19) at Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre to celebrate the Bangla New Year. Highlighting traditional Bangla songs, dance, poetry recitation and more, the event entertained HSBC's select and corporate clients.

Int’l French Theatre Festival ends on a positive note

The weeklong International French Drama Festival '09, held at the National Theatre Stage of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, ended with a promise to come back next year on a grander scale. On April 19, at the closing ceremony of the festival, the organisers expressed the hope to make the festival an annual event, as this year's success with more than 3000 audiences, inspired them.

An egotistical, suicidal poet

Jibanananda Das is considered to be one of the brightest poets in the post-Tagore Bangla poetry scene, discussants claimed at a programme held at Bengal Shilpalay, Dhanmondi on April 20. Monthly literary magazine 'Kali O Kalam' arranged the informal discussion on Das' life and works, where the late poet's friend, the Kolkata-based poet-physician, Bhumendra Guha reminisced on Das and disclosed many unknown facets of his life.

New programme Ishkool on Ekushey TV

To generate awareness on the public education system in Bangladesh, a new programme title "Ishkool" is going on air on Ekushey TV, starting from tonight. Jointly produced by Ekushey TV and Plan Bangladesh, the programme will be aired live at 8:30 pm every Wednesday.

Golpo Thekey Natok on Desh TV

"Golpo Thekey Natok: Bindu Thekey Britto" will be aired on Desh TV at 10:02 pm. Nahid Ahmed is the director of the play.

OP-ED

Sufferings of our children

I am with an international organisation that works for the development of poor children. Recently, I conducted two researches; one on street children and the other on children in domestic work. It is mind-boggling to see the way we behave with poor children.

Sending in the drones

IN a case filed with the Pakistan Supreme Court, the petitioner states: "The Americans, like in Musharraf's time, have also been given a free hand by President Zardari and fundamental rights of the indigenous people are being violated daily in tribal areas and in northern areas of Dir, Swat and Chitral. Many indigenous people have migrated from these areas and suffered tremendous losses, with no hope of returning to their homes because of US drone attacks, but the government is sitting as a silent spectator."

A gentleman of the old school

APRIL 17 was the 80th death anniversary of Nawab Bahadur Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury, a benevolent zamindar of Dhanbari village under Tangail district. He was an outstanding socio-political figure of the then Bengal during the period covering the last two decades of the 19th century and the first three decades of the 20th century.

We love dinosaurs especially curried

FILIPINO fishermen last week caught one of the rarest sea creatures in the world, the megamouth shark, and ate it. The news didn't surprise me at all. I've been to zoos in China where the information board by each animal tells you how they are best cooked.



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