The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, April 19, 2014


News of: Monday, 11th of May, 2009

Front Page

Proposed salaries to be slashed off a little

The finance ministry plans to cut 10 to 20 percent of the Pay Commission's recommended scales for 20 grades of government employees.

2,000 civilians killed in Lankan shelling

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels yesterday accused the government of killing more than 2,000 civilians in 24 hours of artillery attacks, but the military denied the allegations.

Third HC bench embarrassed

Yet another High Court (HC) bench yesterday felt embarrassed to hear BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's writ petition challenging the legality of the government decision to cancel allotment of her cantonment residence.

Dr Wazed laid to rest

Dr Wazed Miah, an internationally renowned nuclear scientist and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's husband, was laid to eternal rest yesterday at his family graveyard at Fatehpur of Pirganj upazila in Rangpur at about 3:00pm.

DCC sitting on billboard mess

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) has failed to take any effective measures to prevent random installation of advertising hoardings, mostly illegal, posing serious risk to city dwellers, especially during storm.

BDR probe body takes more time to report

The government probe committee formed to investigate BDR rebellion and massacre of army officers at Pilkhana BDR headquarters may take a few more days to submit its report, the deadline for which expires today.

Cases against Khaleda to be examined

The metropolitan public prosecutor (MPP) today starts examining the 20 cases against BNP chief Khaleda Zia and her two sons to form his opinion on whether to recommend withdrawal of the cases.

Morshed Khan sent to jail

Former foreign minister M Morshed Khan was sent to jail after he surrendered before a Dhaka court yesterday in connection with a graft case in which he was sentenced to 13 years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) in absentia.

Shake-up in police

In a latest reshuffle in the police administration, a total of 35 high police officials including two additional deputy inspector generals were transferred.

Extortionists gun down boy

A gang of extortionists yesterday gunned down a teenage boy and injured his brother after they failed to realise extortion from a firm constructing a building in the city's Kazipara area.

Another billboard collapses

A billboard collapsed on a high voltage electric line above Darus Salam police outpost at Technical in the city's Mirpur early yesterday.

5 drown as motorboat capsizes in Meghna

At least five people drowned and 25 went missing as a motorboat with around a hundred passengers on board capsized in the Meghna near Ekhlaspur in Uttar Matlab yesterday afternoon.

Top JMB operative arrested in Tangail

Police arrested an Ehsar (full time) cadre of outlawed organisation Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) at Basail upazila yesterday.

Bomb-making materials seized from madrasa

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized chemicals and other materials used for making bombs, and leaflets of Hijbut Tawhid from Jameya Arabia Khwaja Moeenuddin Madrasa compound in the city yesterday afternoon.

200 killed in Pakistan anti-Taliban push

Pakistan's military said yesterday they had killed between 180 and 200 insurgents in the last 24 hours in their fierce offensive to push Taliban fighters out of the Swat valley in the northwest.

Zuma forms his cabinet

South African President Jacob Zuma unveiled an inclusive and vastly changed cabinet yesterday, with the closely watched finance ministry changing hands for the first time in 13 years.

Fighting, mortar attack on Somali mosque kill 39

A mortar shell hit a mosque in the Somali capital Mogadishu yesterday, killing at least 14 people and raising to 39 the death toll from fighting between Islamist rebels and government forces that flared up on Thursday.

US won't stop airstrikes despite Afghan anger

The United States will not hamper its forces in Afghanistan by banning airstrikes but will redouble efforts to limit civilian casualties, National Security Advisor James Jones said yesterday.

Nepal president orders polls to elect new PM

Nepal's President Ram Baran Yadav Sunday asked the interim parliament to hold an election to choose a new prime minister after the nation's major parties failed to meet his Saturday deadline for stitching up a consensus coalition.The presidential office said Yadav sent a letter Sunday to the parliament secretariat, asking it to ready for the election of a new prime minister through simple majority.

Iraq PM says they don't need US troops in cities

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki assured visiting US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday that his country's security will be unaffected by the planned American troop withdrawal from Iraqi cities.

Georgian president to meet opposition to end stand-off

President Mikheil Saakashvili has agreed to meet with opposition leaders Monday to try to resolve a month-long political stand-off that has raised fears of instability in Georgia.

SC stayed HC order on Babar's bail

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday stayed for a week a High Court (HC) order granting bail to former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar in an arms case.

Editorial

Negligence to a project for disabled

IT can only be termed as apathy on the part of the implementing agencies, and by implication, the ministry concerned that a 35-million dollar donor-funded project has not quite got off the ground. This appears even more disconcerting when one considers that the fund is to do with a project for the welfare of the disabled and for the disadvantaged children.

Dr. Wazed Mia's passing

WE mourn the passing away of Dr. MA Wazed Miah. In his death, the country has lost not only a man of remarkable integrity but also a scientist of national as well as international repute. It is these two attributes which in his lifetime created for him the good reputation that in his death endures. Noted for his academic and intellectual brilliance, Wazed Mia perhaps could have gone further than he did as a scientist. But the kind of man he was, maybe he did not quite feel that way about himself. The self-effacing about him was all.

Motorway to nowhere

BANGLADESH was born poor and, today, after almost four decades of its sovereign existence, poverty lashes at the vast multitude of our population with full fury. It is not that the people at the helm have, at any point of time, been oblivious of the problem. Rather, the leaders have been copious in their promises and pledges to deal with the menace at all costs. Economists and experts burnt late night candles to measure the depth and dimension of poverty with all earnestness.

Demystifying BDR tragedy

THE protracted enquiries must throw light on the BDR tragedy, as the gruesome murders of more than 58 army officers at BDR headquarters on February 25 came as a bolt from the blue, dealing a body blow to our armed forces. The ongoing enquiries will be soon concluded, but the lingering trauma and shock from the worst ever tragedy will haunt us for long.

The pay scale conundrum

THE government is supposed to announce a new pay scale soon. Speculations based on the proposed recommendations of the Pay Commission thus abound, leaving some in an upbeat mood. The highest proposed basic, Tk.45,000, at least sounds good for the higher officials in the state service. However, the lowest proposed basic, Tk.4,000, is strikingly low in comparison.

Sports

Brothers claim T20 glory

Chamara Kapugedera's blitzkrieg and yet another captain's knock from Nafis Iqbal gave Chittagong Brothers Union the glamorous first-ever Habib Group Port-City Cricket League Twenty20 tournament title here at the MA Aziz Stadium yesterday. They defeated Dhaka Sports Club by six wickets in front of a full house 40,000-crowd with some fans sitting close to the boundary rope giving it a theatre feel.

Mezbah, Shirin take honours

BKSP's Mezbah Ahmed and Shirin Akhter hogged the spotlights in the Dhaka Bank 25th National Junior Athletics competition which ended at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Udawatte in full control

Mahela Udawatte struck a well-composed century to guide Sri Lanka Development side to a comfortable position against GP-BCB National Cricket Academy on the first day of the second four-day match at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Bangladesh face hosts today

Bangladesh take on hosts Malaysia in their second group match of the 8th Asia Cup Men's Hockey tournament in Kuantan Pathang today.

Under-17s win by 9 wickets

Bangladesh Under-17s romped to a nine-wicket victory over Cricket Association of Bengal President's XI Under-17 side in the second one-dayer in Suri Birbhum yesterday.

Three move into final round

Three schools moved into the final round of the Citycell National School Football Championship yesterday.

C'paul loses top spot

West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul has lost his place at the top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) world batting rankings in the latest edition issued on Sunday.

Delhi back on top

Delhi Daredevils showed why they are one of the tournament favourites as they destroyed the hapless Kolkata Knight Riders by seven wickets in the IPL at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg yesterday.

Mumbai march on

Mumbai Indians rode on a record stand by Jean-Paul Duminy and Ajinkya Rahane to beat Bangalore Royal Challengers by 16 runs in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.

Women's Club Cup final today

The final of the Women's Club Cup Cricket tournament will take place at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Gerrard puts L'pool top

Steven Gerrard fired Liverpool back to the top of the Premier League and then voiced optimism that rivals Manchester United could yet slip up in the final stages of the season.

Valencia thump Real

Barcelona can win the Spanish league for the 19th time on Sunday after double champions Real Madrid waved the white flag in the title race with a 3-0 loss at Valencia on Saturday.

Gomez 4 Wolfsburg 1

Germany striker Mario Gomez scored all four goals in Stuttgart's 4-1 win over Bundesliga leaders Wolfsburg Saturday to blow the title race wide open.

As close as it gets

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has insisted the defending Bundesliga champions must focus on their three remaining games as they come after the title race was blown wide open on Saturday.

Lazio crash to Udinese

Lazio and Sampdoria warmed up for Wednesday's Coppa Italia final in vastly differing fashion on Saturday.

Button in Brawn 1-2

Britain's Jenson Button led a Brawn GP one-two triumph at the Spanish Grand Prix for the Formula One championship leader's fourth victory in five races.

Tevez confirms MU departure

Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez has reaffirmed his wish to leave Manchester United at the end of the season because he feels unwanted and unappreciated at the club.

Guingamp's stunning win

Second-division Guingamp produced one of the shocks of the season by coming from behind to beat top-flight Rennes 2-1 in the all-Breton final of the French Cup at the Stade de France here on Saturday.

Pakistan in last four

Sohail Abbas found his scoring touch just in time to lead Pakistan into the Asia Cup semifinal field hockey with a 3-2 win over India in a Group B match in Malaysia Sunday.

Bell, Sidebottom back

England added batsman Ian Bell and left-arm quick Ryan Sidebottom to their squad on Sunday as they named a 13-man party for the second Test against the West Indies at Chester-le-Street starting Thursday.

Safina's sweet revenge

World number one Dinara Safina defeated Russian compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday to claim the WTA Rome clay court international title here.

Suspended Pakistani players to meet Modi

Sohail Tanvir, the left-arm fast bowler, has said he and other Pakistan players will go to South Africa to discuss their Indian Premier League (IPL) suspension with tournament chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi.

Easy wins for Biman, DU

Bangladesh Biman and Dhaka University ran away with easy victories on the opening day of the Public Universities and Services Cricket tournament yesterday.

IPL beyond $2b barrier

Shahrukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders may be struggling at the bottom in the second season of Indian Premier League (IPL), but in terms of brand value it is the richest team of the 20Twenty cricket tournament, whose collective valuation has been now pegged at two billion dollars.

Lanka decides on ICL rebels Thursday

The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will hold an important interim committee meeting on Thursday to decide on the future of ICL-contracted players, including former captain Marvan Atapattu.

Business

Manage core risks to bypass crisis

Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Dr Atiur Rahman cautioned yesterday the country's financial institutions against poor risk management system, asking them to set up a separate division to manage core risks.

Warid seeks partnership

Warid Telecom, the fourth largest mobile phone operator, is on the lookout for a partner to raise fresh capital for investment in the next phase of operations in Bangladesh.

Betel leaf growers in south left in peril

Production of betel leaf in southern districts slid to almost one third in the last few years mainly because of a lack of government support, marketing facilities and bank loans, increased prices of agro inputs and unfavourable weather.

Recession threatens Mideast oil exporters: IMF

The economies of Middle East oil exporters are likely to suffer from a possible prolonged global recession as demand for the region's main export wanes, the International Monetary Fund warned on Sunday.

Islamic finance must boost regulation

Islamic finance must strengthen regulation, boost its professional staff and diversify as it takes on a bigger global role in the aftermath of the worldwide financial crisis, experts said.

Swine flu is windfall for top tourist spots

The cruise Zenaiva Cervantes booked was to stop in sun-drenched beach cities on the Mexican Riviera. The cruise she took? That landed her in Seattle, where she pulled her arms tightly to her chest as she debarked on a damp, 50-degree morning.

Minister stresses financial transparency

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday called on cost accountants to provide effective ideas for ensuring transparency in the financial matters of both public and private entities.

LTU of NBR wants more areas under its jurisdiction

Apprehending a continued declining trend of tax elasticity, the Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) has urged the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to assign more companies under its jurisdiction.

US banks freshen hope of 'green shoots'

Analysts saw more green shoots poke through the world economic freeze this week, hailing the "stress tests" for big US banks as an encouraging sign that a recovery was gaining momentum.

Citi holds financial quiz for the youth

Quiz and debates help build the mental strength and agility of the young generation, said the finance minister yesterday.

Asian units higher vs dollar

Asian currencies ended the week higher against the dollar following the release of test results on the health of US banks and data that revealed the pace of US unemployment was slowing.

$70-80 good price for oil: French minister

French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said Saturday that it would be good if oil prices settled at between 70 and 80 dollars a barrel.

Upfront costs complicate Obama's healthcare plan

Costs are emerging as the biggest obstacle to President Barack Obama's ambitious plan to provide health insurance for everybody.

Venezuela oil takeovers may leave 22,000 jobless

Venezuelan unions estimated that nearly 22,000 oil contractors stand to lose their jobs after President Hugo Chavez's government seized the assets of 60 local and foreign-owned oil firms.

Recession threatens Mideast oil exporters: IMF

The economies of Middle East oil exporters are likely to suffer from a possible prolonged global recession as demand for the region's main export wanes, the International Monetary Fund warned on Sunday.

Australia braces for unpopular budget as boom times end

Australia is gearing up for a tough budget on Tuesday, facing the prospect of the largest deficit in the country's history as the economy struggles with its first recession in almost two decades.

Japan minister defends stimulus spending package

A Japanese minister defended his government's $150 billion stimulus package Sunday against criticism it allocates too much money to wasteful pet projects meant to woo voters.

Move to India or lose your job, French firm tells workers

A French textile firm has caused outrage by telling nine of its workers that they have the choice between the sack and redeploying to an Indian factory and taking a gigantic pay-cut.

Parjatan’s new boss

Additional Secretary Mizanur Rahman has recently taken over as the chairman of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, says a press release.

Businesses in China brace for swine flu impact

While confirmed human cases of swine flu have not been found on the mainland so far, the business community here is preparing for the worst and introducing precautions against the potential outbreak of the disease.

Correction

In the report headlined "Footwear exports buoyant", published yesterday, it was inadvertently mentioned that EPB data showed around 22 percent drop in footwear and a 72 percent decline in bag exports up to February in the current financial year. Actually, the exports of the two items increased 22 percent and 72 percent respectively. We regret the mistake.

Metropolitan

Consultancy deal with Canadian firm signed

Bangladesh Railway (BR) and Canarail Consultants Inc of Canada yesterday signed a consultancy agreement under a railway development project to improve the quality of Dhaka-Chittagong railway service.

Relations with Bangladesh to be strengthened further

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, who attended the swearing-in ceremony of the 4th president of South Africa on Saturday as representative of the president of Bangladesh, met with the new President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma.

Help students develop talent and creativity

Confining education to the boundaries of classroom and textbooks does not help students nurture their talent and creativity, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said yesterday.

Prevalence of acid violence declines: ASF

Prevalence of acid violence has declined compared to the first quarter of the previous year because of pro-active role of different non-government organisations, the media and the government, according to Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF).

'Debates over withdrawal of appeal unnecessary'

Prime Minister's Adviser HT Imam yesterday said debates centring the government decision to withdraw the appeal against the High Court verdict on fifth amendment to the constitution are unnecessary because the government has all rights to do so.

10 hurt in clash with cops

Several hundred students of North South University (NSU) staged daylong demonstrations on and around its campus at Gulshan in the city to protest an increase in tuition fees.

More bodies, individuals condole death of Dr Wazed

More organisations and individuals yesterday condoled the death of Dr MA Wazed Miah, eminent nuclear scientist and husband of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Road crashes kill 4, injure 20

At least four people were killed and 20 others injured in separate road accidents in Habiganj, Rajshahi and Lalmonirhat yesterday.

'Islam does not allow killing in name of jihad'

Islam is a religion of peace and does not allow killing of people in the name of jihad (fight for religion), said the speakers at a roundtable yesterday.

AL mourning programmes begin today

Awami League has taken up three-day programmes, including hoisting of black flags at party offices, doa and milad mahfils and a memorial meeting, to mourn the death of nuclear scientist Dr MA Wazed Miah, husband of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

World leaders condole Dr Wazed's death

Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh phoned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to condole on the death of her husband Dr MA Wazed Miah.

Qaumi madrasa leaders pledge to help root out militancy

Qaumi madrasa leaders at a seminar yesterday pledged all out support to the government to root out militancy from the country to establish a peaceful society.

JCD leader assaulted by BCL men at DU

Some activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) beat up a leader of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) on Dhaka University campus yesterday.

ADD chief executive officer due today

Jill Flynn, Chief Executive Officer of Action on Disability and Development (ADD), arrives in Dhaka today, says a press release.

Ugandan vice president visits Brac programmes

Ugandan Vice President Prof Gilbert Bukenya visited Brac programmes at different places in Manikganj yesterday.

Zonta Club 3 Monsoon Ball postponed

Zonta Club of Dhaka 3 has postponed its Monsoon Ball, scheduled for Thursday (May 14), due to unavoidable circumstances, says a press release.

Justice Bazlur takes oath as HC judge

Justice Md Bazlur Rahman Chhana took oath as a regular judge of the High Court (HC) yesterday.

National

Farmers resist saline water based shrimp farming

Farmers in Mongla upazila have vowed to resist shrimp cultivation by using saline water in croplands.

Two more cases against SIT men in Bogra

Two job seekers filed separate criminal cases with Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court here yesterday, accusing Chairman of Bogra based NGO Science and Information Technology (SIT) Foundation Abdul Mannan Sarker, his son ASM Rawshan Kabir and six others of cheating in the name of providing job.

Bodies of two abducted Rangamati labourers recovered from forest

Bodies of two labourers, abducted by a gang of criminals from Gangaram Mukh area under Bagaichhari upazila of Rangamati district on May 6, were recovered yesterday.

He seldom takes class but draws salary regularly

A union parishad chairman in Saidpur upazila is drawing his salary and other allowances as a teacher in a madrasa although he has seldom taught students there during the last seven years.

School collapses 5 months into construction

Five months into construction, a room of Balapukur High School in Aditmari upazila under the district collapsed on Saturday night.

Father saves his son from tiger's paws

A father, joining his son's fight with a man-eater Royal Bengal Tiger, finally succeeded in beating back the ferocious animal in the deep forest of the Sundarbans yesterday.

7 sued in Natore on charges of war crimes

A petition case was filed with chief Judicial Magistrate's Court, Natore, yesterday against seven alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces for killing three people at Laxmipur village under Natore Sadar upazila in 1971.

Boy killed in wall collapse

A young artiste of Shatadal Goshti, a cultural organisation in Netrakona and student of class nine was killed in wall collapse Saturday night. Son of Mukul Mia in Kazi Road area, Samrat Mia, 14, was walking by the side of the wall of Jahanara Memorial Girls High School at night when the dilapidated wall collapsed on him injuring him seriously. Samrat was rushed to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital where he died in early morning yesterday.

Ruet BCL expels activist

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) unit yesterday expelled activist Nafis Hossain Khan for his anti-organisational activities on the campus. A leader of BCL Ruet unit told The Daily Star that Nafis was expelled for creating chaos on campus. On Saturday night Nafis was allegedly taking preparation for armed attack on members of a BCL faction at Shaheed Salim Hall. Police later raided the hall and arrested eight students including Nafis. BCL leader Nazmul said Nafis earlier made similar attacks and was involved in various criminal activities including extortion and snatching.

Theatre to resist bird flu

A theatre group in Cox's Bazar is staging a street drama titled “Kuruku” at Ukhia and Teknaf with a view to raise awareness about bird flu. The 45-minute play that started on May 1 was staged at Nilabazar bus station, Shapla Chattar, Lamarbazar, Noyapara Bazar yesterday. Written in local accent, the play is directed and produced under the supervision of Asiatic Marketing Communication Ltd. The play will be staged at different spots of the two upazilas till May 15.

Shopkeeper beaten to death

A shopkeeper at a brothel in Patuakhali town was beaten to death on Saturday night by a gang of miscreants. Police arrested Jalil, 30, of Lawkahti village immediately after the incident on charge of involvement in the murder. Police and family sources said, 5-7 members of the gang called out Shamim, 30, from his residence at the brothel and took him to Pural hospital road. At a stage of beating they hit him there with brick injuring Shamim seriously. He was admitted to Patuakhali General Hospital at about 8pm where he died at about 9pm.

Letters

Kolkata Knight Riders

Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan's team Kolkata Knight Riders was undoubtedly the hugely promoted team of this year's IPL. After the drubbing of the last year, some people thought that this year Kolkata Knight Riders would be perish the same way, because even before the start of the tournament, the team engaged itself in a big controversy as coach John Buchanon wanted to introduce the multi-captain theory in cricket. Moreover, the unfair treatment meted out to Saurav Ganguly raised many eyebrows and there was no team unity and team spirit visible under the captaincy of Macculum. Nevertheless, the hype and support for Kolkata Knight Riders is understandable and people of Bangladesh also joined in the Knight Riders (KKR) because of the inclusion of Mashrafee Mortaza. But all our hopes and expectations were simply shattered because even after losing match after match, the team management of KKR didn't bother to include Mashrafee in the final eleven. They bought Mashrafee at an unbelievable price of 6 million dollars and Mashrafee is also at the pick of his form. So the reason why they are not including Mashrafee in the playing eleven is indeed unclear. The bad treatment which our players like Ashraful and Mashrafee got from this year's IPL was unexpected and disappointing, to say the least.

Human trafficking

Trafficking is a serious crime and embodies many facets of human rights abuses. Thousands of women and children are caught up in these criminal activities every year, causing them great harm. Over recent years much has been written about the dynamics of trafficking, and many ambitious and well-intentioned statements of commitment to combating trafficking have been made in the international forums. But there is still a big gap between the cup and the lip. Many countries are still lagging behind with regard to ensuring safety and security of their children and women. Bangladesh is not an exception to this. Criminals use Bangladesh as a source of women and child trafficking. As an over-populated country, with a lot of people living below poverty line, it is easy for the human traffickers to lure poor, helpless child and women out of the country with the promise of better lives, work and future. But as we know, the promises end up in gruelling torture and sub-human work environment and in some cases death. To stop the crime, the government of Bangladesh is committed to making a difference in the lives of women and children vulnerable to trafficking and this commitment is reflected in its various initiatives such as enacting laws suiting the needs of time, setting up high powered one stop crisis centre and multi-level monitoring cell and special courts for trying cases of such offences. Vigilance has been reinforced in the international airports and seaports of the country. People have been sensitised through campaigns, seminars and symposium all over the country. Yet, much more has to be done to ensure the safety of women and children.

Bangladesh and Tagore

May 8 was the 148th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore. Throughout the country, several cultural functions were held. This shows that Tagore has become a truly iconic figure in our national life. He is the symbol of humanity. His popularity is not confined within the boundaries of a country. He served humanity.

Water crisis

Shortage of fresh water has made people of Gopalgonj vulnerable. The Modhumoti river which has dried up and important canals like Panchuria, Bedgram, Khatra, Boiragi, Char Sonakur are full of water-hyacinths which threaten the livelihood of people. People of the town are very much dependent on natural water, but still the authorities could not start removing the water-hyacinths from the dead Modhumoti and the canals.

Proportional representation

This is an opportune moment to consider Proportional Representation (PR) for our voting system discarding the constituency based first- past-the-post system for parliament seats. Voting would be so much easier as it would be only for a party rather than a constituency member for a particular constituency. It would also be easy to allow non-resident Bangladeshis to vote from abroad in the embassies.

Rise above petty thinking

Recently, an interesting report published in the DS caught my attention. It was regarding the Chhatra League's installation of a sculpture of Bangabandhu by removing a 31-year old sculpture made by a freedom fighter at a hall of DU. I also found it disturbing that one of the Chhatra League activists has stated that Bangabandhu's sculpture deserves to be on that spot because Bangabandhu is a great leader, whereas the deposed sculpture of a former female student merely represented the emotion of the artist. Regrettably, these people don't understand that every great leader becomes 'distinguished' in people's heart by respecting the simple emotions and sentiments of the people. We the people make great leaders out of ordinary individuals by inspiring their visions and they in turn must give us enlightening directions. Bangabandhu couldn't become a great leader without the admiration of the valiant Bengalis. As a result, great leaders and their followers should always be generous and self-sacrificing. Unlike greedy dictators, great leaders do not install gigantic sculptures of themselves throughout the country. Instead, they work for the people without any bias or self-interest. That's what makes them even greater. Great leaders respect general people's sentiments and their followers should also strive to uphold the luminous examples set by them. Lamentably, many people in our country fail to grasp these simple facts. In our country, when a political party comes to power it doesn't only politicise the entire administration but it also strives to restructure people's sentiments. In Bangladesh, the ruling political party is often keen to rename many central institutions. However, it usually does little to make them more efficient. Consequently, even though these institutions bear the name of an iconic leader, they fail to honour the greatness of the name. Similarly, the ruling party is generally more eager to hang photos of its eminent leaders in government offices than ensuring tangible changes for the general masses. The ruling party even endeavours to conquer our inner world by rewriting textbooks and by distorting the nation's history. These are certainly not the characteristics of a liberal democracy. These are rather the totalitarian traits that characterize our political parties and their activists. Our political parties must understand the fact that no one is greater in a democracy than the people themselves. Coming back to the sculpture issue, I believe that the CL activists should have been circumspect enough to respect the sentiment of the local residents and the freedom fighter artist of the deposed sculpture. People generally do not like drastic changes, especially if the changes are forcefully imposed upon them. Human heart is mysterious and often the simplest feeling can occupy a very special place in its realm. Every single emotion has its own space in human heart and it's not wise for political parties to disturb that order.

Killer pesticides

The lead news 'Killer Pesticides' on the pages of your daily on 5 May 09 had an enormous bearing on the readers and needs to be viewed from a different perspective.

Sex trade

In most countries, sex trade or exchanging money for sex is legal. Prostitution or sexual gratification for money is perhaps the world's oldest known trade. It is illegal in only a few countries in the world. The reason it is legal is the general attitude that prostitution does no harm, has no victims, and is sex among consenting adults. The changing face of the murky trade has now broadened to include street prostitution, residence sex work, brothel sex work, hotel sex work, call-girl, club sex dance, massage parlour, sex tourism, sex pornography and child sex.

Traffic jam and rickshaws

After a brief lull, the call for the total ban on rickshaws is once again being resurrected, this time in DS of 20 March by a resident of Uttara. May I therefore, for his education, repeat the actual facts, why this is not possible.

Rule of law

A recent news report in Al-jazeera's website caught my attention. It read “Kenyan landowner guilty of shooting” (www.aljazeeran.net/ english). The report was about a wealthy and powerful white man---Thomas Cholmondeley who has been convicted by a court for shooting dead a black man , whom he suspected to be a poacher, trespassing on his Rift Valley ranch.

PM's observation

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told a public meeting which was held on May 1, 2009 at the Paltan Maidan that the BNP-led government had plundered Tk. 2000 crore in the name of generating electricity.

Parents

The insecurity of the parents is rising in the urban as well as the rural areas, even though in most cases it perhaps is not identified as an issue to be addressed with seriousness. I am talking about the 'parenting issue' that includes the struggle of the cultural transition and its ill outcome (due to open media, unawareness, national policies etc.); the struggle of the youth getting hooked to addictive substances and behaviour and the struggle of the 'home' unable to produce productive values in the young minds.

So-called schools

Nowadays a lot of schools have been established without minimum infrastructures facilities and capable governing body. Some parents run after these schools to get their children admitted.

Education and development

As education is thought to be the yardstick of development, great importance should be given to this sector. And it should have been given in the past. But it wasn't. As a result, after 38 years of liberation our country is still backward in all aspects. And if it is not done in near future, our country will never reach the zenith of development. Besides, it is known to all that the more the nation is educated, the more it prospers. Each and every citizen of a country expects a prosperous life. So, if we want to stand upright among the nations of the world as a developed one, there is no alternative to education. But it is a matter of great regret that no specific education policy has been framed so far.

Role of BNP

Nowadays I laugh a lot when I see the activities of BNP leaders. They organise processions and meetings where they blatantly blame the present AL government for their failure to provide adequate water supply, electricity and gas to the people. GOD! Give me a break. Aren't these the same group of people who were in power for five years from 2001 to 2006? Aren't these the same old politicians who ruled the country without meeting any of the people's demands?

International

Pakistani state is not going to collapse: Zardari

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, in an interview aired yesterday, strongly rejected the notion that his country might collapse and called for international efforts to fight Islamic extremism.

Evidence of Lanka's brutal war on operating table

The X-ray shows a bullet lodged next to the heart of a Tamil man, one of tens of thousands who have flooded out of Sri Lanka's northeast to escape the war with the Tamil Tigers.

Pakistanis mull threat of Taliban takeover

"It scares me to think of selling cucumbers under Taliban rule. I pray to Allah the almighty that day never dawns," says Mohammad Aqeel, pushing his cart of Pakistani vegetables.

No talks unless Pakistan acts against Mumbai plotters: Indian PM

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Saturday the peace process with neighbouring Pakistan would remain on hold unless it prosecuted those behind last year's attacks on Mumbai.

India faces serious risk of another Mumbai-style attack: US expert

With Pakistan's "Jihadi Frankenstein monster" forcing its army to remain focused on India, a retired CIA expert on South Asia has warned of a serious risk of another Mumbai-style attack on the country.

Israel in secret plan to 'surround' Jerusalem

The Israeli government has secret plans to surround Jerusalem's Old City with sites under its control to strengthen its hold on the divided city, a rights group said yesterday.

Police asked to protect belongings of Lankan war-displaced

The Sri Lankan police have been ordered to protect the belongings of thousands of war-displaced civilians who escaped fighting between the troops and Tamil Tigers in the island's north and are now housed in refugee camps, a media report said here Sunday.

More swine flu deaths in US, Costa Rica

The number of swine flu-related deaths outside of Mexico rose after the US reported its third fatality and Costa Rica its first, but both men also suffered from complicating illnesses, health officials said.

Concern over burns on Afghans caught in battle

Afghanistan's leading human rights organisation said Sunday it was investigating the possibility that white phosphorus was used in a US-Taliban battle that killed scores of Afghans.

Israel PM rules out land for peace with Syria

The new Israeli government will not cede the strategic Golan Heights for the sake of peace with Syria, a senior official quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as telling his cabinet on Sunday.

Bomb blasts kill 11 Afghan workers

Eleven Afghan construction workers were killed yesterday in separate bomb blasts similar to those carried out by Taliban insurgents in violence-plagued Afghanistan, authorities said.

British govt hits historic lows over expenses scandal: Polls

The British government hit record opinion polls lows Sunday as more details of lawmakers' expenses, detailing lavish spending on everything from home improvement to pest control, emerged in the press.

Dynasty mixed blessing for Rahul

For Rahul Gandhi, star campaigner of the ruling Congress party and touted as a future premier, being the torchbearer of India's political "first family" is a source of pride -- but also a millstone.

Indonesian president's party wins election

The secular party of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has scored a victory in Indonesia's parliamentary elections, but will likely be forced to govern with several Islamic parties after a political feud with his main coalition partner.

US House speaker in Iraq for

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise one-day visit to Baghdad Sunday to meet with the prime minister and discuss US-Iraqi relations, Iraqi and US officials said.

Ram Temple very much on BJP agenda: Advani

The Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate LK Advani Saturday termed the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government as the 'mother of all ills' and assured voters that the construction of a grand Ram temple at Ayodhya was still on his party's agenda.

Prabhakaran's 'underwater bunker' found

The Sri Lankan army said on Sunday it had uncovered a large contraption that may have been intended as an underwater bunker for the leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels.

We will secure equal status for Lankan Tamils: Sonia

Expressing anguish over the plight of the Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said here Sunday that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) would work to secure equal status and equal rights for them.

Arts & Entertainment

Jagoron celebrates Tagore

Cultural organisation 'Jagoron Shangskriti Chorcha O Gobeshona Kendra' (JSCGK) held a two-day special event titled “Kobi Pronaam” at the Department of Dance of Music, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), celebrating the148th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, starting from May 8.

Celebrities for acid survivors

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary (on May 12) of Acid Survivors' Foundation (ASF), the organisation is collaborating with Purple, a monthly English magazine, and holding a painting exhibition, says a press release. Proceeds from the exhibition, featuring artworks by celebrities, will go to ASF funds.

Bob Marley: An Afro-centric, Rastafari superstar

Africa unite;
'Cause we're moving right out of Babylon,
And we're going to our Father's land.
How good and how pleasant it would be before God and man,
To see the unification of all Africans.

-- Bob Marley

Painter Pranesh Mondol passes away

Painter Pranesh Mondol, a student of Government Art College (at present Faculty of Fine Arts), passed away on April 30 at Amri Hospital of West Bengal, India. He was 68. He was suffering from old age complications.

Tagore remembered in Barisal

The 148th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore was observed in Barisal last Friday with paying due homage to the great bard of Bengali literature.

OP-ED

Rejuvenating BNP

TO promote good governance a strong, responsible opposition is a must. This ensures the proper surveillance of the government's policy-making and operational processes, which keeps the government on the right track.

Obama's harsh words

PRESIDENT Obama's speech on completing his fist 100 days in office had things that were reassuring and also things that were alarming from the viewpoint of Pakistan's government. It came shortly before the Pakistan president was to attend a trilateral conference on "Af-Pak" matters in Washington. Obama could be said to have laid an uneven playing field for the Pakistan government.

Infidelity thy name is Congress

POLITICAL parties in India have proved beyond doubt in this Lok Sabha election that their primary objective has been to attain power. They have adopted the most unbecoming methods to try to increase their number without any sense of guilt. They pushed out issues and replaced them with personal attacks and whatever else suited. The polity has remained fragmented as the idea of India has become more distant.


The Daily Star

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