The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, August 1, 2014


News of: Monday, 4th of May, 2009

Front Page

Khaleda won't be evicted now

A High Court bench yesterday accepted BNP chief Khaleda Zia's writ petition challenging legality of the government decision cancelling allotment of her Dhaka Cantonment house and adjourned its hearing after two other benches felt embarrassed to hear the petition.

Ex-NSI boss held

Former director (Security) of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Sahab Uddin was arrested in the capital's Green Road yesterday for his alleged involvement in arranging transport and equipment for carrying the illegal arms and ammunition seized at CUFL jetty in Chittagong on April 02, 2004.

Govt seeks withdrawal of appeal against HC verdict

The attorney general's office yesterday prayed to the Supreme Court for withdrawing the pending leave-to-appeal petitions against the High Court judgment that had declared illegal the fifth amendment to the constitution which endorses late president Ziaur Rahman's takeover and all acts since August 15, 1975.

12 bigwigs asked to surrender to trial courts

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed 12 persons, sentenced in absentia in separate criminal cases, to surrender before the trial courts concerned within two weeks.

Second unit shut for mechanical fault

Power generation from unit-2 of the 250-megawatt (MW) Barapukuria Power Plant has become uncertain as the unit failed several test runs after it was shut down on April 21.

What the verdict was

The High Court on August 29, 2005 declared the fifth amendment to the constitution illegal, meaning the rules of Khandker Mushtaque Ahmed, Abu Sadaat Mohammad Sayem and Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman from August 15, 1975 to April 9, 1979 were unlawful.

New policy to end discrimination in primary education

Education Policy Formulation Committee Chairman Kabir Chowdhury yesterday said the government wants to introduce a uni-track curriculum for students at least up to class five.

Two JS bodies formed to probe power, health sector graft

Two parliamentary sub-committees on power & energy and health sectors were yesterday formed to investigate alleged corruption and misappropriation of money in the sectors during the caretaker and BNP-led alliance governments' rule.

UZ parishads to start work within 2 days

The government has issued directives to make the upazila parishad system functional in a day or two, LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam said yesterday.

Three held for making fake nat'l ID cards

A team of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-2) yesterday detained three people and recovered several fake national identity (NID) cards, a number of other fake ID cards of various educational institutions, banks and offices from their shops in city's Nilkhet area.

Nor'wester claims 7 more lives

At least seven people were killed and 21 others injured while hundreds of kutcha houses were razed to the ground by nor'westers in eight districts including the capital yesterday.

5 of a family killed in bus crash

Five members of a family were killed and eight other people injured in a tragic road accident at Baroipara under Ashulia police station yesterday morning.

3 robbers beaten to death in Noakhali

Villagers beat to death three robbers and injured another while they were fleeing after committing a dacoity at Gangchil village of Companyganj upazila early yesterday.

56,000 children to die in Asia due to global crisis: ADB

More than 56,000 children in Asia will die as a result of the economic crisis gripping the world economy, the Asian Development Bank said Sunday.

Unesco awards for 3 Daily Star journos

Three out of the five journalists who received the “Unesco-Bangladesh Journalism Awards 2009” for investigative journalism are from The Daily Star.

Atiur vows to make BB 'pro-poor'

The newly appointed Governor of Bangladesh Bank Dr Atiur Rahman on the first day of taking his office sought cooperation of the bank's high executives to make the central bank into a poor-friendly bank.

Water supply situation slightly better

Slightly improved water supply of Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) coupled with rainfall gave city dwellers a brief respite from unbearable sufferings caused by acute water crisis.

PM's chopper makes safe landing

An air force helicopter carrying Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina landed safely here yesterday evading a brewing storm that prompted her to cut short scheduled programmes at Tungipara, officials said.

Ramna blast trial begins

Eight years after the Ramna Batamul blast, trial of the case filed for murders began yesterday at a Dhaka court through taking deposition of the complainant.

Terror threat still exists in Bangladesh

US Ambassador James Moriarty said there is still a terrorist threat in Bangladesh and the US has disturbing indications in this regard.

AL lawmaker beats up forest officer

Awami League lawmaker of Cox's Bazar-4 (Ukhia-Teknaf) constituency Abdur Rahman Bodi has now beaten up Teknaf Forest Beat Officer Mujibur Rahman, 56, and Forest Guard Ayub Ali, 40.

80 militants killed in Buner offensive

Pakistan's army announced yesterday that 80 militants have so far been killed in a fierce military offensive against Taliban fighters in northwest Buner district.

New swine flu cases detected in 5 countries

Swine flu extended its reach through Europe and Latin America, with at least five countries reporting new cases yesterday.

Sharif's party refuses to join Pak govt

The Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz have decided to remain coalition partners in Punjab, while both have failed to reach a consensus on joining the federal government.

Nepal sacks army chief

Nepal's Maoist government yesterday sacked the country's army chief for failing to comply with orders, a spokesman said, in a move that could trigger a showdown between the prime minister and the military.

Terrorist groups may target Pak special police units

The special police units and officers working against the terrorism in the country could be targeted by the terrorists in near future, a report in The Nation said.

Somali pirates hijack ship, navies capture 14

Somali pirates said Sunday they hijacked a Pakistani-owned ship even as France and the Seychelles nabbed 14 more suspects in the intensifying international hunt for high-seas bandits.

Editorial

Sheikh Hasina, Khaleda Zia at the rallies

IN a way, the rallies organised by the ruling Awami League and the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party in the city on Friday and Saturday were looked forward to with quite a few, if not many, expectations by the nation. After all, it was for the first time since the general elections of December last year that the two parties and especially their two leaders were making a public appearance with what was expected to be major policy announcements. In the event, it came down to more of what the country had been getting from them in the eighteen years since the return of parliamentary democracy in 1991. It is unfortunate that through their pronouncements on 1 and 2 May, Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia both belied the hopes of the nation.

World Press Freedom Day

WITH the focus on "the enormous potential of media to serve as a platform for fostering dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation," World Press Freedom Day 2009 was observed yesterday everywhere including Bangladesh. This is undoubtedly a day when hundreds of thousands of media people all over the world collectively respond to a single theme and ponder how they can improve quality of journalism so that they can serve the people better. This year the emphasis has been on the role media can play in promoting intercultural dialogue for mutual understanding by eradicating hatred, ignorance and prejudice through an inclusive coverage of different opinions and values.

Democracy: The chink in its armour

THE era of romantic democracy -- of egalitarianism, equality, welfare and social justice is long over. We yearned for it for ages without ever tasting it. Even after our freedom -- the struggle for which had, indeed, been built up on our quest for democracy -- it has persistently eluded us.

Revamping the administration

OF late, the prime minister has talked about our bureaucracy's master like attitude towards the citizens. In fact, bureaucratic resistance to change is an age-old phenomenon in Bangladesh. As such, changes such as Citizen's Charter and reinventing government principles have not yet been able to make inroads into the mindset of our administrators.

Sports

Rain plays spoil sport

Rain played foul on the second day of the Habib Group PCL Twenty20 tournament as Dhaka Sports Club won the curtailed-over first game against Dada Warriors and the second match between Chittagong Abahani and Chittagong Brothers Union ended in a tie at the MA Aziz Stadium yesterday.

Rain wreaks havoc with Club Cup

Results of four National Club Cup matches were determined off the field after rain played havoc across the country yesterday.

Nine nations confirmed for int'l meet

Bangladesh Football Federation president Kazi Salahuddin returned to the capital yesterday with good news for the country's football loving public as nine countries are set to participate in an international tournament in Dhaka on November this year.

Local Snippets

Bangladesh Army and Bangladesh Navy reached the men's final of the National Volleyball Championship winning their respective semifinals in Ishwardi yesterday.

Kallis crushes Mumbai

A superb unbroken stand between Jacques Kallis and Robin Uthappa led Bangalore Royal Challengers to a nine-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League clash on Sunday.

Mahela leads Punjab

Mahela Jayawardene struck an unbeaten 52 to guide Kings XI Punjab to a nail-biting six-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League here on Sunday.

'IPL model for USA'

The ICC has advised cricket officials in America to install an IPL model to capitalise on the Twenty20 boom and generate funds for the game's grassroots development in the USA, IS Bindra, the ICC's principal advisor, said. The ICC told United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) to set up such a league "as fast as they can" during a meeting in January that was attended by Bindra and Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive.

Akmal outshines Watson

Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal smashed an unbeaten 116 in the fifth and final one-dayer that his side won by seven wickets against Australia at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi last night.

RP close to WC squad

The IPL assumes relevance to different parties in different ways, but for India's selectors it has provided a happy headache or three. Barely two weeks after the IPL finishes in South Africa on April 24, Indian players from the various teams will come together to defend the ICC World Twenty20 crown. The deadline for announcing squads is May 5, so in all probability the composition of the squad going to England will be revealed tomorrow.

School soccer

Fifteen matches of the Citycell National School Football Championship were decided on the second day at different zonal venues across the country with five teams getting walkovers.

Younus ordinary so far: Ramiz

Former captain Ramiz Raja Saturday said Younus Khan was not on form and failing to inspire a struggling Pakistan with Australia commanding an unassailable lead in their one-day series.

Nadal-Djokovic final

World number one Rafael Nadal will play Novak Djokovic in the final of the ATP Rome Masters after their respective victories against Fernando Gonzalez and Roger Federer on Saturday.

Razzaq a la Yousuf

Abdul Razzaq has said he is ready to sign a letter pledging his future to Pakistan and not the ICL, as the ramifications of the PCB's policy on players with the private Indian league takes root. Mohammad Yousuf has already claimed he has 'resigned' from the league and though Razzaq has not taken that step yet, he said he was willing to leave the league and play for Pakistan.

Safina survives a scare

World number one Dinara Safina overcame a first set scare here Saturday to outclass unseeded Italian Flavia Pennetta 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 and book her place in the WTA Stuttgart final.

Ansar reign in weightlifting

Fifteen national records were set in the national senior, junior and women's weightlifting championship ended yesterday at the National Sports Council (NSC) gymnasium.

Ansar reign in weightlifting

Fifteen national records were set in the national senior, junior and women's weightlifting championship ended yesterday at the National Sports Council (NSC) gymnasium.

BCB U-17s win big

BCB Under-17s posted a massive 131-run victory against CAB Under-17s in the two-day match in Kolkata yesterday.

Haddin captain for Twenty20

Michael Clarke's stand-in leadership will be passed on to Brad Haddin for the final game of Australia's limited-overs campaign against Pakistan. Clarke took over from Ricky Ponting and guided the side to a series win, but he will head home a few days early to rest ahead of the engagements in England over the next four months.

Barca annihilate Real

Real Madrid's pursuit was for nothing. Even 17 victories in 18 unbeaten matches were not enough; in the 19th match, Barcelona, the last side to beat Real, arrived at the Bernabeu and beat them again. Destroyed them, in fact. It was not just that Barcelona's 6-2 ­victory, secured with two each from Thierry Henry and Leo Messi, plus one from Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, ­carried them seven points clear with four matches remaining. It was that they left their rivals in tatters, turning the Santiago Bernabeu's battle cry, briefly revived in the second half, into a ­murmur of impotence.

Inter coast clear

Inter Milan quashed almost any hope their city rivals AC Milan had of winning the Serie A title by jumping 10 points clear at the top following Saturday's 2-0 win over Lazio at the San Siro.

Chelsea's derby delight

Premier League leaders Manchester United piled the pressure on second-placed Liverpool by moving six points clear at the top with a 2-0 win away to relegation-threatened Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Dzeko Wolves Hoff

Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko hit a second-half hattrick to seal a 4-0 win at home to Hoffenheim on Saturday which kept the Bundesliga leaders three points clear at the top with four games remaining.

'Happiest day of my life'

Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola hailed Saturday's victory over Real Madrid as one of the happiest days of his life after his side thrashed their arch rivals 6-2 at the Bernabeu.

Agger to stay at Anfield

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger has ended the uncertainty surrounding his future at Anfield by agreeing a four-year extension to his current contract.

L'pool close gap at top

Liverpool moved back to within three points of Premier League leaders Manchester United after beating relegation-threatened Newcastle 3-0 at Anfield on Sunday.

It's close at the top

Marseille's hopes of a first French league title since 1992 suffered a setback Saturday when they had to settle for a share of the points in a tense and sometimes thrilling 2-2 home draw with Toulouse.

Business

Local energy savers flicker on

Two local companies that assemble quality energy saving lights are threatened with imported substandard and low-cost bulbs, which reportedly fall short of saving energy to the expected extent, amid a recent rise in demand for such bulbs.

ADP should add in steps to offset crisis

The annual development programme (ADP) should incorporate measures to offset the fallout stemming from the global recession, with the national budget approaching, suggested International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh (ICC-B).

Mobile credit retailers seek more returns

Cellphone credit retailers have urged mobile operators to increase their commissions to 10 percent from the existing 2.75 percent, claiming that the present rate does not bring in worthy business returns.

SEC gets new chief

Ziaul Haque Khondker, managing director of Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB), has been appointed chairman of the stock market regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Create opportunity for foreign trade from global recession

President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged business leaders to give necessary suggestions to the government by reviewing the trends of the present recession-affected world market.

Small industries assured of govt help to set up ETPs

The state minister for environment and forests has assured smaller industries of government's financial support to set up effluent treatment plants (ETP).

Reaching out to the poor

It is not very common to hear of a central bank governor promising to visit the poorest of the poor, extending support where no bank or NGO has made their mark.

Swine flu could worsen global recession

The swine flu outbreak could shatter fragile signs of a global economic rebound, but the gravity of its impact depends on the death toll it inflicts and the panic it generates, analysts said.

A humble beginning

Poverty had once compelled him to quit school. But that did not stop him from being the governor of Bangladesh Bank.

Stocks finish down

Dhaka stocks started the week yesterday with a fall, driven by banking and non-banking financial institution (NBFI) shares.

Asia urged to rethink growth policies

Asia's governments must spend more on social safety nets and reduce their reliance on export-driven growth as they grapple with an economic meltdown that will keep tens of millions trapped in poverty, finance officials said Sunday.

NBR to bring more sectors under direct tax

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is going to

Asian currencies mainly up against dollar

Asian currencies ended the week mainly up against the dollar, but the Japanese yen fell on a raft of gloomy data highlighting the difficulties faced by the world's second largest economy.

Times, Boston Globe unions resume talks

Negotiations are restarting between unions at The Boston Globe and its owner, The New York Times Co, as another deadline approaches for Globe employees to make $20 million in concessions.

Japan to offer $38.4b to Asian forex reserve pool

Japan will contribute 38.4 billion dollars to an Asian emergency currency pool to bolster state finances amid the global economic slump, Finance and Economy Minister Kaoru Yosano said Sunday.

Fiat boss to discuss Opel bid with German ministers

Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne is to have talks with top German ministers in Berlin Monday amid reports of a bid for Opel after taking a stake in US auto company Chrysler, the government said Saturday.

ECB set for final rate cut, analysts say

The European Central Bank will unveil record low interest rates and other ways to pull eurozone members from their worst recession in six decades at a landmark meeting here this week, analysts say.

Markets expect more bailouts after bank stress tests

US banking regulators and the Federal Reserve are set to release Thursday results from stress tests of the country's 19 biggest banks and estimates for further public aid to help boost the ailing economy.

Currency

Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market was active on Sunday. USD/BDT rate was similar the previous working day. The market was liquid.

Metropolitan

Most accused go unpunished as victims fail to pursue cases

A little mistake made Farida's life a misery. Now people don't want to employ her as a domestic help since she got badly disfigured after her employer poured hot oil on her face about a year ago.

Names of probe agency, prosecutors in 2 days

The names of investigation agency and prosecutors will be announced within a day or two for the trial of war criminals, said State Minister for Liberation War Affairs Captain (retd) Tajul Islam yesterday.

Power scenario improves in Ctg

The power scenario in the Chittagong region had improved in the last three days while the local Power Development Board claimed there was no load shedding since Friday to yesterday afternoon.

Steps taken to offset job cuts of migrant workers: Mosharraf

Labour and Expatriates' Welfare Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday said there are prospects of returning migrants from some major labour-receiving countries and called for vigilance and preparations to face any possible affects of global financial crisis.

Govt to work for all irrespective of party, belief: Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government would ensure development of all people irrespective of party and belief, no matter who voted for it and who did not.

'Strengthen inspection for due compensation'

Speakers at a seminar yesterday urged the government to strengthen labour inspection system by recruiting more inspectors.

Threats on journos on rise

Though there were no reports of killings of journalists, series of threats, coercion, intimidation and aggression on them in the last year have become all too common, revealed a report at a programme in the city yesterday.

Five DU teachers fired for overstaying abroad

Five Dhaka University (DU) teachers have been terminated for overstaying in foreign countries without taking permission from the concerned authorities.

One shot dead in city

Police recovered a bullet-hit body of an unidentified man in the city's Malibagh area yesterday afternoon.

One held for seeking bail as proxy

One person was arrested when he appeared before a Dhaka court and sought bail as a proxy yesterday in connection with two cheque dishonoured cases filed against his boss.

War crime trial under Int'l Crimes Act '73: Shafique

Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the trial of war criminals will be held under International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973.

Road accidents kill five

Five people were killed and 15 others injured in separate road accidents in Sirajganj, Comilla and Kurigram yesterday.

Nat'l cell to monitor acid throwing cases

The home ministry yesterday formed a national cell to monitor the progress in disposing of the acid throwing cases.

Strengthen vigilance on Indian terrorists

India has called on Bangladesh government to strengthen its surveillance on Indian terrorists hiding inside the country in view of the ongoing general election in the northeastern states of India.

ParkwayHealth offers 34 new packages

ParkwayHealth, one of Asia's leading private healthcare providers, has launched a series of fixed price all-in-one packages that cover various surgeries including general surgery, neurosurgery, cardiology, obstetrics and gynaecology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic, urology, ENT and gastroenterology.

Deal with UNDP to launch project in coastal areas

The government of Bangladesh and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed an agreement for the implementation of the first-ever field-level project in coastal areas on Saturday, says a press release.

College student murdered in Benapole

Miscreants killed a college student at Sharsha Nizampur village of Benapole yesterday.

One to die for killing wife

One person was sentenced to death here yesterday for killing his wife in the port city in 2007.

Exercise Shamudro Torongo ends

The joint exercise titled 'Exercise Shamudro Torongo' between the Bangladesh Navy and the United Kingdom ended in the Bay of Bengal yesterday.

Mongla Port gets new chairman

Commodore M Faruk of Bangladesh Navy has taken over charge as chairman of Mongla Port Authority on deputation.

Faruq Hossain elected BJA chairman

Sheikh Faruq Hossain was elected chairman of the executive committee of Bangladesh Jute Association (BJA) for the term 2009-10, says a press release.

HC rule on govt to explain

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain within three weeks why it (government) should not be directed to establish family courts in three hill districts of the country.

More subsidies in agricultural sector demanded

Farmers at a conference in Sirajganj on Saturday demanded more subsidies in the agricultural sector and proper steps for saving the poultry and dairy industries.

'Protect dignity of Aparajeyo Bangla'

Students and teachers of the department of Development Studies at Dhaka University yesterday urged all not to paste posters on the Aparajeyo Bangla to protect its dignity, says a press release.

'Announce polls schedule'

District commanders of Kendrio Command Council of Muktijoddha Sangsad yesterday demanded announcement of schedule for election of the body by next one month.

Doa mahfil on Hasna Haque today

A doa mahfil and celebration of life of Mrs Hasna Haque, wife of late Col MM Haque, will be held at the Old DOHS, Banani Community Centre at 7:00pm today, Monday, May 4, 2009, says a press release from her family.

2 cadres of top criminal held

Police arrested two accomplices of listed criminal Shahadat on charges of demanding extortion at Kafrul in the city on Saturday evening.

Two more health check packages

Apollo Hospitals Dhaka has launched two new packages recently, says a press release.

National

Cloth traders observe hartal, jewellers fear revenge attack

Cloth traders at Rajshahi Shaheb Bazar observed a half-day hartal yesterday protesting Saturday's attack allegedly by jewellers while jewellers kept their business shut fearing reprisal.

New house for Bir Protik Taramon

Heroic freedom fighter Taramon Bibi Bir Protik yesterday got as gift a newly constructed semi-pucca house on one acre of land at Araji Polashbari under Kurigram Sadar upazila yesterday, thanks to the initiative of district administration and 27 Rifles Battalion in Kurigram.

Rivals kill outlaws in Pabna, Kushtia

Two underground operatives were killed by their rivals in Pabna and Kushtia districts early yesterday and on Saturday night.

Tale of six 'temporary' bridges built long ago

Thousands of vehicles cross six ramshackle bailey bridges of different important roads in Gaibandha district amid risk while construction of concrete bridges remains a far cry.

Azad again sued for war crimes

Alleged Al Badr commander Abul Kalam Azad was again sued yesterday for war crimes. Jyotsna Rani, 62, of Fulbaria village under Nagarkanda upazila filed the case with Judicial Magistrate's Court, Faridpur. Magistrate Motaharat Akhter Bhuiyan asked the officer-in-charge (OC) of Nagarkanda Police Station to take legal steps after proper investigation. In the case statement, the complainant said Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Mia and his brother-in-law Mohammad Kazi, also an accused in the case, killed her husband Chittaranjan Das during Liberation War on the 19th of Bangla month Jaistha, 1378. Another case was lodged against Bachchu with Faridpur Judicial Magistrate's Court on April 20.

AL aspirant for Sunamganj-4

Sunamganj district Awami League (AL) president Matiur Rahman at a press conference announced his candidature for the by-election to Sunamganj-4 constituency (Sadar and Biswambharpur). The seat fell vacant following death of district Jatiya Party chief Begum Momtaj Iqbal on April 16. Momtaj, wife of former JP minister Major (Retd) Iqbal Hossain Chowdhury was elected with grand alliance ticket in the December 29 elections. Matiur told journalists that he was the AL nominee in the last JS polls, but for the sake of alliance he had to sacrifice his candidature. "This time I am going to contest as an AL nominee," he said.

BSF returns fisherman's body

Border Security Forces (BSF) yesterday returned the body of a Bangladeshi fisherman after a company commander-level flag meeting with Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) at Daikhowa frontier of Hatibandha upazila. Victim Rashedul Islam, 30, son of Akhter Hossain of Daikhowa was gunned down by BSF of Lalbazar camp on Daikhowa border on Friday morning when he was fishing in the River Maldah Chhora.

Train derails in Comilla

Two compartments of a Chittagong bound express train derailed at Shashitol in Burichang upazila on Sunday morning disrupting communication on the Dhaka-Chittagong route for five hours. A rescue train went to the spot to resume operation at noon.

Controversial charge sheet

The investigation officer (IO) allegedly dropped the name of an Awami League (AL) leader in the second charge sheet submitted in a drug peddling case. The IO, Inspector AKM Fazlul Haque of the district Narcotics and Drug Control Department, submitted on April 22 a charge sheet against three people including Sreeula Union Parishad (UP) Chairman Abu Hena Shakil, also a leader of Assassuni upazila AL, in a drug peddling case. But later the same IO withdrew the charge sheet and submitted another charge sheet where Shakil's name was dropped. Shakil was shown absconding soon after filing of the case. When contacted, the IO said, “I prepared two separate charge sheets. In the first one, I pressed charges against the three accused and in the other one, I pressed charges against two accused. But I did not submit the first charge sheet.”

Jubo League men torture BNP leader

Jubo League activists allegedly tortured an aged BNP leader after tying him with a tree at Boalia under Bakerganj upazila of Barisal district yesterday morning.

Letters

Withdraw the ban

As the Pakistan cricket team is planning to include their rebel players of ICL in the national team and India is also going in the same direction, now I feel it's high time for BCB to soften their stance and withdraw the ban on our own rebel ICL cricketers too. After all it's the question of our national pride and honour and I do strongly believe that the upcoming World Cup T20 cricket and even the 2011 cricket World Cup squad would be poorer minus the players like Aftab, Kapali and Nazimuddin. Especially, I feel Kapali and Aftab are very talented.

Old habits...

It is our habit to shift responsibilities to others.

Noise menace

Nowadays in our urban society, noise pollution is an acute problem. “Noise is the wrong sound, in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Loudness of sound is a sensory dependent parameter. It is directly related to intensity of sound and measured by decibel (dB). For instance according to WHO, permissible loudness in an industrial area is 75dB and 45dB is the safe noise level for a city. Unfortunately, the average loudness of sound is above 90dB in our metropolitan cities, which is double the recommended limit. Hydraulic horn is the leading cause of sound pollution in the city. Moreover, vehicles with under performing engines, blenders, grinders, electric drills, stone and brick crushers, various types of mills, loud speakers, aircraft & trains also cause noise pollution.

Traffic mismanagement

It seems that the government could not settle down even after 100 days in office. Government ministers are still not in grip of their ministries. One example is the chaos that is prevailing in traffic management. Is it such a difficult job to create a smooth traffic system? What has to be done is known to all. A huge number of seminars, symposiums conducted at Sonargaon and Sheraton hotels (consuming delicious food at peoples expense !) cannot produce the desired results. Enough has been said. Now it is time to act. Anyone who has lived in a western country will understand what has to be done.

Relying on the bureaucracy!

Liton's front-page report of April 25, on the lack of rules for utilisation of MPs' discretionary funds is really interesting! Having been elected to parliament, why have regulation on discretion? The maximum limitation on annual basis should do. Possibly this was the logic and thinking, that discouraged the members of parliament to have any rules about it!

Media and politics

The media, especially the electronic media, is an effective tool to shape up public opinion when society is diluted and suffering from indecisions. That is where we stand today. Against this background we are to judge the role of the media. Are they performing ethically or following the partisan mentors' directives to support or criticise the government efforts and opposition's role. I believe some electronic media outlets are sending selective information under the banner of freedom of information; and also producing talk shows which imply that Bangladesh was a " heaven on earth' before the new government came to power in early January 2009. All crises, energy, water supply, fluctuating prices of essential commodities ( except rice, ata etc) are the failure of this four-month old government as they failed to prioritise and tackle national issues, and are spending time on non-issues like the house of the opposition leader. This type of over critical and negative presentation of the governmental efforts to address the issues are creating a demoralized state of affairs which would further aggravate the sufferings of the poor and ordinary people.

Triangle of corruption

I was wondering why the BNP cadres are hobnobbing with AL cadres and following their usual aggressive style of life without any problem. I did not have to go far to find the answer. The BNP cadres have relatives in the rank and file of AL cadres. They seem to have a secret agreement that by hook or by crook they will maintain their hegemony over the hapless people. The bureaucracy acts here as the third force in the triangle of corruption.

Khaleda's house

BNP leaders fail to mention that Begum Zia has got another house, a four-storied one, in Gulshan, in addition to the Cantt. House. What more could the fawning legislators of the then ruling party do for her? One house to live in and the other for earning rent! The allotment of a house inside a cantonment, meant for a serving military officer, to her was illegal ab initio. But nobody cared!

Unquotable quotes

The Reader's Digest has an old and popular page, “Quotable Quotes”. In the context of Bangladesh today, we could well start with some “Uncouth Quotes” coming from our 'leaders'. I will start with the gems from the home ministry's parliamentary standing committee's recommendations on Dhaka's traffic problems as printed in DS on 27 April 09.

Rajuk's apartments

Rajuk is planning to build one hundred thousand apartments in Uttara, Purbachol, and Jhilmil project. These apartments will be constructed in eleven thousand plots. This is good news for Dhaka's citizens.

Politicians

On 29 April, all the dailies carried an important news report under the headline "Begum Khaleda Zia, Tareque Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko apply to the High Court for withdrawal of corruption cases" filed against them by the ACC during the caretaker government.

Sri Lankan civil war

Colombo did not allow Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt to enter Sri Lanka on a 'humanitarian mission' together with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. I think Colombo apparently in its final days of total victory over Tamil separatist rebels (LTTE) - has taken a bold decision.

Driving school

Most people in Bangladesh are poor. Mostly their votes led to the landslide victory of the Awami League in the last parliamentary election. And it is high time to do something for their welfare. A portion of the poor youth can be converted into manpower. They should be trained in professions like driving.

Swine flu

Now we see the most recent pandemic disease, swine flu, threatening to reach the subcontinent. We have already seen what happened with bird flu in our country. Firstly, we have to know about the disease.

World Cup 2011

The much-awaited news of shifting the 50 overs cricket World Cup final match venue finally appeared in cricifo on the 28th of April. The 2011 World Cup is shifting base from Lahore to Mumbai which did not surprise us as India expects to get a "big share" of the 14 matches that were initially allotted to Pakistan.

International

Lanka hits out at West over ceasefire calls

Sri Lanka yesterday severely criticised Western nations for calling for a ceasefire that would end its military offensive against the Tamil Tiger rebels before a complete victory has been secured.

Pakistan sets up Islamic appellate court in Swat

Pakistan forged ahead with a severely strained peace deal with Taliban militants, announcing a new Islamic appellate court for part of its northwest.

US must take steps to pull out nukes from Pakistan: Bolton

Worried about the expanding writ of the Taliban in Pakistan, a former US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, has said the Obama administration must seriously consider pulling out as many nuclear weapons as possible from Pakistan.

UN, Afghan HR body call on Taliban to join polls

The United Nations and Afghanistan's top rights body yesterday called on Taliban militants to take part in presidential elections due in August instead of attacking the polls.

Obama set for 'intense' Pak-Afghan summit

US President Barack Obama meets Wednesday with the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan, hoping to shore up the fight against Islamic extremism as concerns about the region mount.

Iraqi soldier kills 2 US troops

An Iraqi soldier opened fire on a US military team Saturday, killing two American soldiers and wounding three, the US military said, in an attack that could sharpen worries about the extent of militant infiltration in Iraq's security forces.Iraqi officials described the attacker who was killed in the gunbattle as a soldier who also served as a Sunni Muslim preacher for his unit near Mosul, which is one of the last urban strongholds for Sunni insurgents.

Jihad not compulsory in Kashmir

The Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) chief Sufi Muhammad has said that 'jihad' or the holy war was not compulsory in Kashmir as the people there are struggling for freedom and a new state and not for implementing 'Sharia'

Eight killed in south Yemen troubles

Eight Yemenis, including four soldiers, were killed in a week of protests and unrest in the south of the country where army patrols have come under fire, officials said yesterday.

Berlusconi's wife to file for divorce

The wife of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has confirmed that she will file for divorce.

Mexico upbeat on battle against deadly flu

Mexico was optimistic yesterday that the swine flu epidemic was coming under control as it tried to mitigate the economic fallout, joining Canada and the United States in hitting out at pork boycotts.

WHO awaits clearer picture of swine flu severity and spread

The World Health Organisation was keeping a close eye on the swine outbreak in both Mexico and Europe on Saturday, as it sought a clear picture of both the severity of the virus and its global spread.

Flu outbreak could have started in US

A US health official on Saturday did not rule out the possibility that the A(H1N1) influenza virus outbreak may have originated in California.

Afghan unrest kills 16

A bomb exploded outside an Afghan police headquarters yesterday, killing four civilians including two children, officials said, also reporting a dozen militants were killed in a joint US-Afghan operation.

FBI-Muslim relations sour years after 9/11

When a cordial exchange of emails with an FBI agent turned into a request to inform on other Muslims on campus, a Michigan college student was shocked.

Small parties trying their luck in polls battle

Some are operating from a single room while others are sweating it out from their homes-turned-offices. Leaders of hundreds of small political parties are hoping to make a mark in these Lok Sabha polls.

Chelsea Clinton 'getting married this summer'

Rumours are abuzz that former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is planning to get married in Martha's Vineyard this summer.

Arts & Entertainment

Lyrics are tangible reflections of emotions -- Gazi Mazharul Anwar

It was one of those soft rain-dappled mornings, as we listened, engrossed to the eminent lyricist, film director and producer Gazi Mazharul Anwar at our Daily Star office. Clad in his typical white panjabi, Gazi talked informally on his illustrious career in the media.

Rabindra Kacharibari in Shahzadpur Of trials and tribulations

Rabindra Kacharibari at Shahzadpur in Sirajganj district is rapidly losing its appeal. Archaeological Department officials allege that some members of the local elite have grabbed a sizeable portion of land in the estate and have set up trade centres and clothing markets in the restricted area. Besides, say the officials, they face hurdles in preserving the memorabilia at the Rabindra Memorial Museum due to inadequate space and a shortage of manpower.

Pran-er Khela at Bengal Shilpalaya

Bengal Foundation has been promoting traditional Bangla songs over the last two decades. A musical soiree, titled "Pran-er Khela," is a regular monthly feature at the Bengal Shilpalaya in Dhanmondi. Featuring seasoned and emerging artistes, performing 'Adhunik,' folk and songs of Tagore, Nazrul, Atulprasad, D.L. Roy, Rajnikant and more, this programme has become quite popular in the city. Noted Nazrul singer Yasmin Mushtari and emerging Rabindra Sangeet artiste Azizur Rahman Tuhin performed at this month's instalment of the soiree on May 2 at Bengal Shilpalaya.

Lalita on Ekushey TV

Drama serial "Lalita" will be telecast tonight on Ekushey TV at 9:30pm. Based on a story by Abdus Salam, the serial is scripted and directed by Jewel Mahmud. A production of Ekushey TV, the serial's cast includes Sumaiya Shimu, Joyonto Chattopadhyay, Anisur Rahman Milon, Bannya Mirza, Elora Gauhar, Pran Roy, Joyraj and Misha Saudagar.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World on ATN Bangla

Recently ATN Bangla has started to air a TV serial based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's acclaimed novel "The Lost World." The serial, dubbed in Bangla, is aired on Mondays at 6:20pm.

A taste of Bangladesh

The Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC recently organised a daylong cultural programme at the embassy premises, says a press release. The event, organised as a part of the Cultural Tourism, DC's annual celebration, was attended by a large number of guests from various parts of the U.S. Tourists from other countries also attended the event. Cultural Tourism, DC is a Washington-based non-profit organisation dedicated to showcasing cultural diversity through holding such events in collaboration with the embassies. This is the second consecutive year that this cultural programme was held.

Palolik Mon on ntv

Drama serial “Palolik Mon” will be aired tonight on ntv at 9:45 pm. Written jointly by Selim Taher and Bipul Raihan, and directed by the latter, the serial is aired, same time every Monday and Thursday.

Terminator franchise turns grim

“Terminator Salvation,” the fourth and latest film in the “Terminator” franchise, is the first to devote much of its screen time to a landscape in ruins.

OP-ED

You can't eat money

THE gradually narrowing rivers that surround our capital Dhaka no longer hold water; rather, all they carry are stinky, mucky liquids. We the Dhakaites are at the mercy of policy planners who, irrespective of their political colours, appear to be deaf and dumb.

A Pak-US game

SERIOUS talks are going on between the US and Pakistan. The two, allies for 55 years, have complaints against each other. It looks like a scene from a film in which two middle aged lovers are doing a tango and letting out their heartfelt complaints on one side and reassurances on the other.

Nemesis catches up with Modi

THERE is a saying: Der hai, par andher nahin (it is late but never beyond the reach of justice). The wheel of fortune turns slowly to expose Chief Minister Narendra Modi of Gujarat, the state where some 4,000 Muslims were killed seven years ago. It has been an open secret that he and his Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) were involved in the pogrom, with the connivance of the state machinery, including the police.


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