The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

News of: Friday, 24th of April, 2009

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Front Page

82pc pay boost for govt employees

The Pay Commission yesterday submitted its report to the finance ministry with recommendation to increase the salary of government staffs by 82 percent, on an average, with the condition that they pay their own income taxes.

SC blocks ways to get bail in upper court

A Supreme Court (SC) order yesterday virtually sealed the fate of those who were convicted in absentia for corruption but later got bail as the SC asked one such convict, former state minister for law Shahjahan Omar, to surrender to the lower court where he was tried.

Job switch liberty to put workers' misery to rest

Bangladeshi workers in Saudi Arabia now can change their jobs to get better facilities as the Saudi Council of Ministers Monday passed a series of regulations facilitating transfer of jobs of people employed by operation, maintenance, catering and cleaning companies in government departments.

Expatriate welfare bank pledged

Bangladeshi expatriates in Saudi Arabia have expressed interest to invest in reopening and reviving the country's closed and sick industries.

Bibiyana power project draws 6 bidders

Six international and local consortium and companies have submitted their papers yesterday for the pre-qualification bid for the 450 megawatt Bibiyana Power Project under the Power Cell of the Ministry of Power.

Revoke notice on Khaleda in 5 days

A legal notice has been served on behalf of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on the government yesterday to withdraw or revoke within five days its notice for vacating her Dhaka Cantonment residence.

JS body asks for report on 4-party's power sector spending

A parliamentary committee yesterday asked the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources to place a detailed expenditure report regarding power generation during the BNP-led four-party alliance government's tenure, before the committee in its next meeting.

Return of a godfather

After around eight years in hiding abroad, former Awami League lawmaker Shamim Osman, the once feared godfather of organised crime in Narayanganj, is getting back to 'his usual self', fear locals.

Boro purchase may begin on May 1

The government is considering purchasing Boro rice at higher price to benefit the farmers amid low price of rice in the local market. The drive is likely to begin on May 1.

BNP declares month-long programme

The main opposition BNP yesterday announced month-long agitation programmes from May 5 protesting 'the government's failure to rid the people of electricity, water and gas crises.'

Startling confession from CUFL's ex-MD

Former managing director of Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited (CUFL) Mohsin Talukder yesterday implicated the then industries secretary and Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) chairman in the offloading of the 10 truckloads of arms and ammunition hauled in 2004.

Meeting with Nasaka ends without result

The battalion-level flag meeting in Myanmar territory between border force BDR and Nasaka ended yesterday without any understanding to resolve the dispute over construction of embankment within 50 yards of the zero line.

RMG factory vandalised for arrears

Enraged workers went on a rampage at a ready-made garments factory in the port city yesterday as the factory owner failed to pay wages of last month.

Ctg Port operations resume partially

Operation of larger vessels at Chittagong port resumed partially yesterday morning as all nine vessels with export cargoes left their jetties.

22 held in Barisal on suspicion

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested 22 people, including 21 female, in Barisal yesterday. Some religious books were seized from their possession.

JS probe finds Hamid clean

A parliamentary sub-committee yesterday said Abdul Hamid was not involved in any irregularity in recruiting employees during his over three-month tenure as the speaker of the House in the seventh parliament.

Indian envoy meets Khaleda

Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia and Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty agreed that there should be regular discussion at all levels between Bangladesh and India for further strengthening bilateral ties.

Probe body examining TV coverage

The national committee formed to probe the BDR carnage is now examining the electronic media coverage of the BDR mutiny and conversing to senior journalists of private TV channels about it.

Steps taken to keep essentials prices stable

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday said the government has taken necessary steps to keep prices of essentials stable in the local market, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.

ASK worried at deaths of 16 BDR men

Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), a human rights watchdog, expressed deep concern yesterday over unnatural deaths of 16 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Jawans after the mutiny at Pilkhana.

Rajasthan win a humdinger

Yusuf Pathan slammed 18 runs off four balls as the Rajasthan Royals snatched victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders in a 'super over' after their Indian Premier League match ended in a tie at Newlands Thursday.

73 killed in twin suicide blasts in Baghdad

The Iraqi military announced the capture yesterday of the man they say is the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, as at least 73 people were killed in two bloody suicide bombings.

Millions vote in 2nd round of Indian polls

An estimated 55 percent of nearly 195 million Indians exercised their franchise yesterday in the second phase of parliamentary elections.

Tamil Tigers still cordoned off

Tamil Tiger rebels encircled in a tiny strip of land by Sri Lankan troops are still putting up stiff resistance despite calls for their surrender, the military said yesterday.

India PM calls special meet on Lanka

India's prime minister Wednesday called a meeting of his aides on the war in neighbouring Sri Lanka as his ruling Congress party pressed for an immediate ceasefire, officials said.


An eye for the obvious

WE are heartened to learn that the government is going to reduce land registration and other related fees and, more importantly, unify the hitherto disparate fee collection mechanism. These have been public interest issues that although live and burning had customarily failed to receive attention of governments given to other remote-to-people agenda.

Sunken vessel at Chittagong port

THE capsize of a clinker-laden vessel in the estuary of the river Karnaphuli on Tuesday has brought all shipping movements at Chittagong port to a virtual halt. The seriousness of the situation can be gauged from the fact that all medium and large vessels are now unable either to leave or enter the port. That not only means a stop to all maritime activities but also promises to leave a bad impact on the port economy. For the ships stranded at the port, the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) will lose $10,000 every day. And if the port is not cleared soon, a huge logjam will be created with the arrival of more ships from various parts of the globe. The clearance, of course, involves salvaging the sunken ship with a sense of immediacy in order for the port to get back to working order. The question, though, is whether the CPA is equipped to do the job.

Put down the bottle of hemlock!

You have got to be kidding me. The headline tucked away on the eighth column of the Daily Star front page yesterday really needed to be seen to be believed: "BDR men to be motivated not to commit suicide."

A pluperfect dream

WHAT do we do with the emotional residue of this business?" Lance Morrow asked in Time magazine after the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. In this country, we also have a business in hand ever since the chairman of the National Sports Council drew criticism for sharing the stage with an alleged convict at a signing ceremony. Now that he has resigned from his post citing personal reasons, what do we do with its emotional baggage?

Imagine a day of silence in the politician's life

ISN'T it extraordinary that the country with the largest Hindu population is unaware of the most remarkable holiday in Hinduism? The largest Muslim country in the world, Indonesia, declares a national holiday each year to mark Hindu-majority Bali's day of silence, Hari Raya Nyepi Tahun Baru. This beautiful concept has been absorbed into the syncretic Muslim-Hindu culture of that unique nation.


Nokia renews BFF sponsorship

Cell phone giants Nokia renewed their sponsorship deal with the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) for a second year at the BFF headquarters in Motijheel yesterday.

Chandimal stands in Munna's way

Sri Lanka Under-19 captain Dinesh Chandimal played a lone hand with an imperious unbeaten 179 on a day when Noor Hossain Munna grabbed four wickets at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

PCL gearing up big time

Preparations are in full swing to host the country's first-ever high budgeted competition -- Habib Group Port City League (PCL) Twenty20 -- beginning here on May 2 in the smash-and-grab style of the IPL.

De Villiers drives Delhi

AB de Villiers won the battle of the master blasters against Matthew Hayden on Thursday to give Delhi Daredevils a nine-run win over Chennai Super Kings in an Indian Premier League thriller.

'Runs over wickets'

Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi said Thursday said he preferred scoring runs to taking wickets, as his fans liked him more for hitting boundaries than dismissing batsmen.

'Outsiders rule IPL'

The Indian Premier League may have brought money and fame for many, but the glitzy Twenty20 tournament is proving a bitter pill for many home-grown players.

Women's h'ball from today

Hosts Rangamati take on Bandarban in the opening match of the Exim Bank 20th National Women's Handball competition at the Rajbari Stadium in Rangamati today.

Women's rating chess begins

Eight players won their respective matches in the opening day of the Prime Bank 4th International Rating Women's Chess Championship at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall-room yesterday.

Injured Marsh returns home

Shaun Marsh, the Australian opening batsman, will return home to Australia after injuring his left hamstring during the first ODI against Pakistan in Dubai on Wednesday. Marcus North, the Western Australia batsman who is currently with Hampshire, will replace Marsh for the remainder of the series which includes four more ODIs and a Twenty20.

North Bengal shock Wari

North Bengal Cricket Academy upset the Second Division applecart with a three-wicket win over strong Wari Club at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Strong statements

The wisdom ahead of this tournament as experts tried to compare and contrast Indian conditions with those in South Africa was that the new ball was going to be crucial. Here, finally, would be the chance for Indian Premier League seamers to get their own back after last year's succession of subcontinental shirt-fronts left them desperately searching for creases and rivets. And it's true: the new ball has indeed been crucial. Just not in the way people expected.

A welcome win

It really didn't matter that Pakistan chased down their target tonight with all the assurance of a one-legged man roller-skating in quicksand with his hands tied behind his back. It only mattered that they chased them down at all, even if at one stage it seemed Misbah-ul-Haq was bent upon wresting his countryman's hold on the longest international innings of all time.

Not in a spin: Clarke

Michael Clarke has defended Australia's reputation against spin after Shahid Afridi's career-best figures gave Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the five-game one-day series. Australia tumbled from 95 for 1 in the 19th over to 168 all out, a total Pakistan overhauled with four wickets in hand.

'ICC's ruling hasty'

Javed Miandad, the former Pakistan captain and PCB's director general, has said he was 'shocked' by the ICC's 'hasty' decision to move the World Cup out of Pakistan.

You don't get the pitch Dyson!

John Dyson, the West Indies coach, won't be leaving Grace Road with many friends after his first-day remarks about the pitch didn't go down well with the Leicestershire. Just to make sure the club's feelings were clear they have denied the tourists the use of the pitch for extra practice on Thursday.

'London on right track'

The International Olympic Committee's chief inspector said Thursday preparations for the 2012 London Olympics were "on the right track" and seemed unaffected by the global economic downturn.

Naved given deadline

Pakistan fast bowler Navedul Hasan has been given until 5pm on May 1 to rejoin the Yorkshire squad otherwise his contract will be terminated.

Lee unlikely for Ashes

With the pace of his recovery rather slow, Australian pacer Brett Lee could be left out of the squad for the Ashes Series against England in July.

Keep selectors' faith, Clarke tells Symonds

Australia's stand-in captain Michael Clarke thinks Andrew Symonds owes a debt to national selectors for choosing him for the one-dayers against Pakistan despite a poor domestic form and off-field controversies and now he should repay it by strong performance.

Everton blues for Blues

Chelsea's Premier League title challenge is fading after the Blues were held to a 0-0 draw by Everton on Wednesday.

Wiese puts Bremen thru'

Goalkeeper Tim Wiese held his nerve to make three consecutive saves as Werder Bremen beat 10-man Hamburg 3-1 on penalties in their German Cup semifinal on Wednesday.

Barca trounce Sevilla

Barcelona turned on the style again at Camp Nou on Wed-nesday, crushing Sevilla 4-0 to restore their six-point lead at the La Liga summit.

United get closer

Goals from Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick gave Manchester United a 2-0 win over Portsmouth that saw them go three points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Jose slams Italian football

Jose Mourinho hit out at Italian football once again on Wednesday, insisting that the English league is a paradise for coaches in comparison.

Lazio oust Juventus

Lazio beat Juventus 2-1 at Turin's Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday to reach their first Coppa Italia final since 2004 with a 4-2 aggregate victory.


Shine off ceramics exports

Local ceramic tableware makers feel the pinch of the global financial crisis, as exports have plummeted over the last few months.

Stocks fall on profit-taking

The Dhaka market closed the week with a fall, which continued for a third day, as share prices in all sectors except fuel and power went down mostly on profit-taking sales.

Unpacked palm oil turns dearer

The price of unpacked palm oil increased by Tk 2 per kg at wholesale level in the city market in an excuse of short supply of the item, traders said yesterday.

After 6 years, Chittagong chemical plant reopens

Chittagong Chemical Complex (CCC) reopens today after a six-year suspension of its operations.

UPS profit plunges more than 55pc

UPS Inc, the world's largest shipping carrier, said Thursday first-quarter profit plunged as fewer people sent packages and used premium services like next-day air amid the global financial crisis. It also gave a disappointing second-quarter outlook, and it disclosed it shed 10,000 domestic jobs during the first three months of the year.

Minister stresses dairy farmers' safeguard

Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas called upon milk processors yesterday to safeguard the interests of the dairy farmers instead of focusing more on making their own profit.

Global crisis hampers 85pc of Chinese overseas business

The world financial crisis has severely dampened Chinese companies' enthusiasm for investing overseas, although many of them said they still want to go global, results of a survey showed on Wednesday.

FBCCI suggests revenue target at Tk 55,000cr

The country's apex trade body, FBCCI, urged the government yesterday to keep the revenue collection target at Tk 55,000 crore in the budget for fiscal year 2009-10 with an estimated growth rate at six percent.

Steps taken to keep prices of essentials stable: Faruk

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said yesterday the government took necessary steps to keep prices of essentials stable in the local market, especially during

Malaysia relaxes rules for investors

Investors in parts of Malaysia's services sector no longer have to find Malay partners who will own 30 per cent of the business.

Prime Bank's new SEVP

Shawkat Hossain took over as senior executive vice president and head of SME at Prime Bank Ltd recently, according to a press statement.

World leaders in tight corner

World finance officials may be faced with the worst global downturn since the Great Depression, but that doesn't mean they are ready to stop squabbling over the details of a plan to get out of the mess.

Efficiency can help manage financial turmoil

To successfully manage the recent global recession, leaders in G-20 summit have sanctioned $1 trillion, which is going to be pumped into the global economy.

Asian stocks rise on bargains

Asia's markets were higher Thursday as investors moved in to snap up bargains after big losses earlier in the week, while some good banking news added to positive sentiment.

Oil prices lower

Oil prices fell in Asian trade Thursday after US crude reserves rose higher than expected, indicating demand remained weak in the recession-hit US economy, dealers said.

Lloyds Banking Group to cut 1,000 jobs

Lloyds Banking Group, the British government-controlled banking giant, said Thursday that it would cut nearly 1,000 jobs over the next two years.

Novartis posts 14pc drop in Q1 profit

Pharmaceuticals maker Novartis AG reported Thursday a 14 percent decline in first-quarter net profit in part due to shifts in currency values as well as the cost of financing its takeover of the Alcon eye care company.

Japan's Mizuho Financial falls deep in red

Japan's second-largest bank Mizuho Financial Group Inc. said Thursday that it had plunged deep into the red in the past year, hammered by huge losses on its investments.

Fiat reports $410m first quarter loss

Fiat Group SPA, which is in the final stretch of talks to take a possible minority stake in the U.S. automaker Chrysler, says it made a first-quarter loss of euro410 million ($530.83 million) as sales of autos plummeted due to the global economic crisis.


Double allocation for persons with disabilities in budget

Faisal Rahman, a physically challenged schoolteacher and social worker, came from Jhalakathi to attend a discussion at the National Press Club in Dhaka to talk on budget allocation for the people with disabilities.

Ruet halls reopen tomorrow amid tight security

The authorities of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) yesterday imposed restrictions on rallies, processions and political activities of the student bodies on the campus for an indefinite period.

DMP boss orders action against drug lords

Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Shahidul Huq yesterday armed his force with strict orders to crack down on drug lords without sparing anyone even if they have link with any influential quarters.

AC chair coach dropped from Padma Express

Despite good demand, the Western Railway Authorities dropped the lone air-conditioned (AC) chair coach from Padma Express train that runs between Dhaka and Rajshahi from yesterday.

'End discrimination against women'

It is not possible to ensure development of the country unless discrimination between men and women is eliminated from society, Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique said while inaugurating a painting competition yesterday.

Projects to strengthen school feeding programme

The government has taken different projects to strengthen the school feeding (SF) programme across the country in a bid to enhance primary school attendance and reducing drop-out rate.

Water management to be more critical in future

Water management may be more critical in Bangladesh in the coming days due to impacts of climate change, Dutch Ambassador to Bangladesh Bea ten Tusscher said yesterday.

Air chief begins 5-day visit to New Delhi

Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal SM Ziaur Rahman arrived in New Delhi yesterday on a five-day visit at the invitation of Indian Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major.

Banglalink staff murdered in Manikganj

A Banglalink staff was murdered in Manikganj on Wednesday night after looting money and motorcycle from him after killing.

Bulb company manager stabbed, mugged of Tk 2.5 lakh

A gang of three muggers stabbed a marketing manager of a bulb company in front of Bangabhaban in the city yesterday and snatched away Tk 2.5 lakh from him.

Sylhet city BNP chief released

Sylhet city BNP chief Ariful Haque Chowdhury, also a close aide to the BNP stalwart and former finance minister M Saifur Rahman, was released from the Sylhet Central Jail yesterday.

CPB protests minister's statement

Leaders of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) in a joint statement yesterday condemned the irresponsible statement of the minister on power and water crises, says a press release.

Graft case against Ctg mayor stayed

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed the proceedings of a corruption case against Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury filed by the now defunct Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAC).

BNP to protest in NY tomorrow

Pro-BNP expatriates will demonstrate in New York tomorrow demanding withdrawal of the order canceling the lease of Khaleda Zia's cantonment residence.

Salam made CDA chairman

Abdus Salam, chairman of Well Group of Industry, has been made new chairman of Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) yesterday.

Train, truck collide in Mirzapur: 4 injured

Four people were injured when a goods-laden truck and a speedy train collided head-on at Dherua Rail crossing in Mirzapur upazila under Tangail district on Wednesday night.

Shop owners' protest creates traffic jam

In protest against a burglary, shop owners of Shah Amanat Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Super Market yesterday put up barricade on the busy Reazuddin Bazar Amtal intersection causing serious traffic congestions and public sufferings.

SDC DG due in city on Sunday

Director General of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) Martin Dahinden is due to arrive on a five-day visit to Bangladesh on Sunday, says a press release.

Abdur Rouf Rifles College reopens Apr 26

All classes of Birshrestha Munshi Abdur Rouf Rifles College at the BDR headquarters in the city will resume on April 26, says a press release.

Call to end power crisis

As the power and water crises takes a severe turn, residents of Shanir Akhra formed a human chain in the city yesterday demanding the government take immediate steps to address the problem.

Rab member, criminal injured in shootout

A member of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and a criminal were injured in a shootout between the elite force and a crime gang in the city's Mirpur area early yesterday.

Two get death, 10 jailed for murder

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced two people to death and 10 others to 32 years' rigorous imprisonment for killing a man in the city's Banshree area in October 2004.

One caught trying to steal money at Sonali Bank

A person was caught red-handed at Sonali Bank branch on the Dhaka University campus yesterday morning when he tried to steal money from the cash box.

Wasa realises Tk 17.89 lakh in outstanding bills

Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) yesterday realised Tk 17.89 lakh outstanding bills from defaulters in the city's Dhanmondi, Elephant Road and Lalmatia areas.

19 more 'Rajakars'sued in Khulna

Ninetee Rajakars of Batiaghata upazila of Khulna district were sued in two separate petition cases filed with the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate Begum Rozina Akhter on Wednesday.

Transport workers clash in Bogra

Owners and workers of buses and drivers of CNG-run autorickshaws clashed in Charmath area on the outskirts of Bogra town yesterday morning.

Nor'wester lashes 25 villages in five upazilas

A nor'wester with thunderbolts lashed some 25 villages of Atpara, Durgapur, Kalmakanda, Barhatta and Netrakona Sadar upazilas here on Wednesday night, damaging around 700 mud-built houses, hundreds of trees and over 1000 hectares of ripe Boro paddy.

Sarwar's brother sent to jail

Syed Mahabub Hossain, brother of BNP lawmaker and former mayor of Barisal City Corporation Mojibor Rahman Sarwar, was sent to jail yesterday after a court refused him bail in engineer assault case.


A bamboo bridge….

The photo shows the back of Saadat University College, one of the first five university colleges of the country. It was established in 1926 at Karatia, Tangail by Wazed Ali Khan Panni, a renowned zamindar and educationist of Karatia, Tangail. It is widely known as Karatia Saadat College. Sadat College is the first college in Bangladesh established by a Muslim zamindar. The founder member of Saadat College was Principal Ibrahim Khan. He was the first chief executive of the college. He worked in the college till 1947. The college was upgraded as a degree college in 1938. In Saadat College, the Honours course was commenced in 1966 and the Masters course was commenced in 1974. The government of Bangladesh announced the Saadat College as a national university college on July 7, 1979. It has Honours programme in 16 subjects and Masters programme in 10 subjects. This university college is well recognised as a postgraduate college. More than fifteen thousand students, both male and female from different districts, come to this renowned university college. The college has three entrances; two of them are all right but the problem is with the 3rd one. Hundreds of students from college para as well as neighbouring areas have to go to college every day using this bamboo bridge. This is very risky for the students as well as senior citizens.

Solar power

A front page report covering over forty column-inch was published in a

Traffic congestion at Shyamoli

I would like to draw the kind attention of the DMP men who are managing transport to and from Shyamoli crossing to Adabor. Every morning, at around 8.00am, I used to face a serious jam at Shyamoli crossing while coming out from Adabar area by car due to huge influx of cars, microbuses, mini buses, large buses plus rickshaws. This is the peak hour. So, all the people in and around Shyamoli crossing need to go to offices, schools and to their respective destinations. It is very surprising that there is a useless road connecting Adabor ring road to Mirpur Road near the bus counters, the road is blocked by some pillars at the end approaching Mirpur Road. So, no t vehicle can go through it. Why is this road not usable? If this road is opened, then the problem of traffic congestion in the area can be eased to some extent.

Pajero for upazila chairmen

It is reported that our government is going to purchase. 480 Pajero Jeeps, one govt transport each, for 480 upazila chairmen. The price of one Pajero Jeep is taka thirty lakh. What would be the total prices of 480 Pajero Jeeps?

Goblin of militancy

The govt has been trying hard to eliminate the roots of militancy from the country. But it should in the meantime have realized that it's not possible only by force. An intellectual warfare with religious extremism plus the hands of law can do that. But there's another thing no less important. What are people witnessing? The hooliganism and anarchy of the activists of the ruling party and its different wings is gradually becoming intolerable. Together with these, the atrocities of load shedding, water-crisis, inaction of different agencies in combating problems are pushing the people to the brink of sudden outburst. The godfathers of the ruling party are dauntlessly flouting law and its strong (?!) hands. The leftists are emerging with renewed vigour. The leftist leaders are making hay during the present rule just as the fundamentalists had a heyday during the previous govt. How long will the people go on witnessing these helplessly? By too much clamouring about the 'jongees' some quarters are trying to divert people's attention from the govt's failure to rein in their partymen's do-whatever-we-will. This is very ominous.

Spirit of Pahela Baishakh

Needless to mention that Pahela Baishakh is the part and parcel of our culture and heritage. On this day both urban and village people celebrate it in keeping with their age-old tradition. I feel proud to be part of this rich culture. Indeed, Baishakh is no longer a culture of Bangladeshis, rather it is the embodiment of more than 250 million Bengalis across the world. In one sense this day is a bit different from other days. For instance, it has broken the boundary of religions, races, clans and political belief as well. All the people celebrate it with a unique identity-- “Bengali”. But the pleasures turn into a great regret when we come to see that this spirit and solemnity of Baishakh has been transformed into capitalistic pursuit and simply a daylong formal occasion.

School feeding programme

Recently, I happened to be in a primary school located at a remote village of Patuakhali district and I saw students were being served with biscuits under the School Feeding Project of WFP. This is certainly a noble act of the World food Programme for this developing country where over 40% of the total population are considered hardcore poor. Therefore, this initiative has definitely created a very salutary environment in school education, particularly in prevention of drop-out at early age or in the middle of school year and added nutrition value.

Air pollution

Asia has the world's highest concentration of two and three wheelers, both in absolute terms and as a fraction of overall road vehicle population. In many Asian cities, these vehicles account for 50 to 90% of the total vehicle fleet of which a large percentage are powered by two stroke engines. The main pollutants of concern from 2-stroke three wheelers are hydrocarbons and particulate matter. Most three-wheeler owners, operators and associations are not willing to accept that they have a problem, which makes it difficult for governments to take action.

BCL and prime minister

There have been a lot of embarrassing unwanted student activities in the public colleges and universities. The Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) is reported to have started occupying halls, collecting tolls, manipulating government tenders and harassing opposition student fronts. This sudden change of behaviour of BCL has embarrassed the prime minister who is the chief patron of her student front-- the BCL. To bring her students under control, she has distanced herself from the BCL.

Hazari cadres

Members of the dreaded Hazari cadres rejoiced at the return of their leader after nearly six and a half years. He has uttered his strong voice against the court and code of civic ethics while his bail petition was denied by the court. Who will resist Hazari if he wants to revive his old practices?


The incident which took place between a coach and the umpire during a Under-16 National Cricket Championship match is a disgrace to cricket.

State of the nation

Further to my letter on the subject last month, it is a source of great disappointment for all to see that we are heading for a free-fall in future with those in power sitting on the sidelines without a clue, but at the same time willing to wash their hands in the flowing Ganga. The beady, seedy and greedy eyes are glowing as the economy of loot rapidly takes hold.


Global concern as Taliban advance in Pakistan

The Taliban in Pakistan have moved to within 100 kilometres of Islamabad, officials say, sparking global concern about the nuclear-armed nation's ability to rein in the Islamists.

Terror groups plotting to kill Gilani

Pakistani intelligence agencies have warned of a terror threat to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and this could be linked to the advance of the Taliban to this federal capital.

Pak senators want review of Swat peace deal

Pakistani senators have asked the PPP-led Government to revisit the NWFP Government's peace agreement with the Taliban in Swat and also review Islamabad's role in the US war on terror.

Kashmir votes under tight security

Troops ringed voting stations in India's disputed state of Kashmir on Thursday to prevent attacks by Islamic militants during the second round of national elections.

AQ Khan world's greatest proliferator, says US

The United States has branded disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist as "probably the world's greatest proliferator" but appears reluctant to link aid to Islamabad with getting information from him about his activities.

ANC claims 'decisive' win in South Africa polls

South Africa's ruling African National Congress yesterday promised a decisive victory in general elections set to hand its popular but controversial leader Jacob Zuma the presidency.

Lanka govt under pressure as humanitarian crisis mounts

Sri Lanka was under pressure Thursday from the United Nations and aid groups to allow humanitarian access to tens of thousands of sick and injured civilians who have fled Tamil Tiger rebel areas.

Iran offers 'constructive' nuclear talks amid US warning

Iran said on Wednesday it is ready for "constructive dialogue" with world powers on its nuclear drive, as the United States warned of tough sanctions if its policy shift towards Tehran failed.

Obama tells 'lies' to shut out Cuba

US President Barack Obama uses "lies" to back up his refusal to change US policy toward Cuba and maintain the US economic embargo, former president Fidel Castro said Wednesday.

Arts & Entertainment

Out of sight at times, but never out of mind

She excels in showmanship and performs all songs -- classical or popular -- with equal panache. She may be living away from the country, but the gifted Mitali Mukherjee remains in the hearts of her admirers through her timeless songs and occasional performances here.

Of Longing and Denial

Artist Mohammad Fokhrul Islam came to prominence in the mid '90s. His works are exhibited often. As an experimental painter, he delves into dots, points, monochromic images and architectural lines. Glow, simplicity and straight lines are noticeable features of Fokhrul's works. His solo exhibition, titled “Of Longing and Denial,” is now on at Art Heritage, a reputed gallery in New Delhi, India.

A boost to folk tradition

A five-day “Loko Shangskritik Utshab” began in Tangail last Wednesday amidst much festivity and a traditional ambience.

Humayun Ahmed’s Shubhro on Desh TV

Based on the mega-popular character created by Humayun Ahmed, drama serial "Shubhro" will be aired on Desh TV tonight at 9:30 pm. The play has been adapted by Noumi Kamrun Bidhu from Humayun Ahmed's novel, and directed by Mosharraf Khan Badol. Tonight the seventh episode of the serial will be aired.

Single-episode play Ektu Darao on Channel 1

Single-episode play " Ektu Darao" will be aired on Channel 1 tonight at 8:15 pm.


A mixed bag

I never had any illusions! Nevertheless, I felt that it was rather premature to criticise the new government because they needed some time to set up the new administration. The election victory was indeed comprehensive. I felt a bit sanguine that perhaps Bangladesh was inching towards a new beginning. Certainly, some of the PM's initial political gestures reinforced that optimism. Nevertheless, some failings have begun to emerge.

Tackling the water crisis

DHAKA suffers from water shortage all the year round but city dwellers have taken it as part of their life, so they don't raise a hue and cry. But in summer it gets terribly acute and the people come out to the streets with empty pots and pitchers.

Michael Jackson gets up my nose

MICHAEL Jackson's stuff was due to be auctioned today. But the pop singer cancelled the sale.


New 7 Wonders of Nature: Time for us to stand out

The time to create yet another unique mark for Bangladesh in the world has finally arrived. So let's wake up guys to vote for the two most hot spots of Bangladesh to become one of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature”.

Sixth Sense ready to become a reality!

The sixth sense, often quoted in novels, books and articles, is about a rare and mystical sense of things happening around you or things which could happen. Now it is set to become a common man's thing, thanks to MIT Media Lab researchers, who have cooked up Sixth Sense, a wearable computing device that turns any surface into a Web interface, augmenting the five senses we've been given naturally.

Court jails Pirate Bay founders

A court in Sweden has jailed four men behind The Pirate Bay (TPB), the world's most high-profile file-sharing website, in a landmark case.

Play game, become millionaire

ACI group and aamra infotainment have jointly organised an online-based quiz competition “ACI Pure Salt Desh Ke Jano (know your country)”.

The Daily Star

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