The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, July 31, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 13th of May, 2009

Front Page

Over 1 lakh left to rust away IT skills

Over one lakh skilled data entry operators, who were trained by the Election Commission (EC) at a cost of around Tk 11 crore, remain unutilised since the voter list with photographs was readied last year.

30 projects picked for maiden venture

The government is going to implement around 30 projects for the first time under a 'public-private partnership budget' in the next fiscal year.

44pc of them died of cardiac arrest

Around 44 percent of the Bangladeshi migrant workers who returned home in coffins between January 1 and May 9 this year, had died of cardiac arrests in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries, raising serious questions about the living standards of migrant workers in those countries.

Khaleda's petition finally accepted

The second High Court (HC) bench assigned by the chief justice yesterday accepted for hearing BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's writ petition against the government decision to cancel the allotment of her cantonment house.

49 die as Lankan hospital shelled

A mortar shell struck the only functioning medical facility in Sri Lanka's northern war zone last morning, killing 49 patients and bystanders and wounding more than 50 others, a government health official said. It was the second time this month that the facility was hit.

HC vacates stay on extortion case against Hasina

The High Court (HC) yesterday vacated its stay order on proceedings of the Tk 3 crore extortion case filed against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by businessman Azam J Chowdhury.

Purchase of 420 jeeps for UZ chairmen okayed

The cabinet committee on purchase yesterday approved the purchase of 420 jeeps for upazila chairmen at a cost of Tk 32.5 lakh for each car.

Quick disposal of acid attack cases planned

Monitoring cells would be formed at district levels for quick disposal of acid-violence cases, said Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday.

Heads they keep high in horror

Peyara Begum's son's teacher attacked her with acid after she refused to return 'the love' he so undeservedly tried to bestow on her.

Nadim, Millat sent to jail on surrender

Former BNP lawmakers and fugitive convicts Nadim Mostafa and M Rashiduzzaman Millat were sent to jail after they surrendered before courts in Rajshahi and Dhaka yesterday.

15 hurt as AL men clash over tender

At least 15 people were injured yesterday in a clash between activists of two associated bodies of Awami League at Santhia upazila over submission of tender documents at a local Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) office.

RMG exporters ask for safety

Garment manufacturers have demanded that the government ensure security for them from mugging, looting, snatching, extortion and even death threats they are now facing frequently.

Three ex-IOs of August 21 blast case surrender

Three former investigation officers (IOs) of August 21 grenade blast case surrendered before a Dhaka court yesterday in a case filed against them on charges of misleading the probe.

Army deployed at Barapukuria coal mine to prevent trouble

Army personnel have been deployed at Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL) to prevent any untoward incident at the coalmine site.

Zero tolerance on militancy, terrorism

The government has announced 'zero tolerance' against militancy, terrorism and any attempt to disrupt law and order situation as a 17-member National Committee on Militancy Resistance and Prevention held a meeting at the home ministry yesterday.

3 more public universities in the offing

The government has planned to establish three more public universities and add three more private universities to a large number of varsities under private venture to take in rising numbers of students for higher education.

Astronauts scan Atlantis for damage

Shuttle Atlantis astronauts yesterday scanned fragile heat shields aboard their spacecraft for signs of damage from launch debris, as they raced toward a rendezvous with the Hubble Space Telescope.

Global swine flu cases cross 5,000 mark

The number of worldwide swine flu cases yesterday passed 5,000, according to the World Health Organisation, as the virus spread to three more countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Obama to meet ME leaders to talk peace

The White House yesterday named the dates for a trio of summits that will pitch President Barack Obama deep into Middle East peacemaking with the leaders of Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians on May, 18, 26 and 28.

Editorial

TCB role in import of essential items

The move by the government to relax rules for the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) to import six essential items is a measure of the priority being given to consumers' needs. Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith clearly puts matters in perspective when he notes that a quick import of the items --- pulses, edible oil, sugar, grams, onions and powdered milk --- means that the government wants to be ready for Ramadan, obviously a time when consumers are generally put to great difficulties owing to an unnatural hike in prices. The fact that the TCB is once again being brought into the picture indicates a proactive role for the body after a long interval. That the government has embraced the idea of the TCB getting robustly involved in the task of ensuring market stabilisation speaks of the seriousness with which the authorities view the existing market conditions.

RMG workers' disruptive behaviour

It is unfortunate that several hundred RMG workers vandalised more than a dozen garment factories at BSCIC industrial area in Fatullah on Monday, thereby causing extensive damage to the units. The unruly workers then blocked the Dhaka-Narayanganj and Dhaka-Munshiganj roads causing severe traffic congestion in the entire area. In a separate development at Savar, reportedly another group of garment workers put up blockades on Dhaka-Aricha road and damaged nearly 30 vehicles. In both the places, workers clashed with the police and injuries were sustained by many.

Fees, students and private universities

SOMETHING must be going wrong with our private universities. If you have had cause to follow events, you just might recall the various incidents in which students of one private university have engaged in skirmishes with those of another. The reasons have been pretty petty and certainly peculiar. A young woman, pursuing studies at one university, is harassed by a bunch of young men putatively coming by education at another. The brother of the young woman protests such behaviour, justifiably. Soon after that, you run into these unsettling images of running street battles between large bodies of young men emerging furiously from the confines of their classrooms. It is not until those truncheon-wielding policemen swoop on them that matters somewhat get under control.

Do we need a caretaker government?

SINCE the last caretaker government took almost two years instead of three months to allow the Election Commission to hold the 9th parliamentary elections, questions have been raised as to whether the system should remain or not as it failed to achieve the desired objective.

The South Asian nuclear genie!

THIS month of May marks the eleventh anniversary of the eventful year the South Asian Nuclear genie got out of the bottle, with both India and Pakistan overtly conducting a series of nuclear tests. There was much consternation around the world when it happened, particularly in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, the only inter- governmental negotiating forum on disarmament.

Sports

Super-sub Tipu

Shahajuddin Tipu fired Abahani to a win against Sri Lanka Army in the opening match of the AFC President's Cup Group B qualifiers at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

KKR just can't win

Ross Taylor triumphed in the battle of the New Zealanders against Brendon McCullum Tuesday as Bangalore defeated Kolkata by six wickets in an Indian Premier League thriller.

Vaas, Smith join party

Deccan Chargers made two changes for this game and it changed their fortunes. Dwayne Smith hadn't played the last game and Chaminda Vaas hadn't played at all this season but Deccan bit the bullet and dropped Herschelle Gibbs, off colour after starting the tournament in a fury, and Ryan Harris, and reaped the benefits of their bold gamble.

CAB accepts ICL rebels

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has said it is ready to accept all Bengal players who had joined the Indian Cricket League (ICL) into its fold. Arun Mitra, the CAB joint-secretary, who met four of the seven ICL players from the Royal Bengal Tigers squad -- Deep Dasgupta, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Subhomoy Das and Eklak Ahmid -- in an hour-long meeting on Monday said the players were welcome to return but would need to follow certain procedures to exit the ICL.

Less cricket doesn't bother us: Afridi

Shahid Afridi believes Pakistan's recent lack of international cricket will not hamper their chances at the World Twenty20 in England next month. Since January 2007, no team has played as little as Pakistan's ten Tests and 50 ODIs. Even Bangladesh, the weakest Test-playing nation, have played 15 Tests and 55 ODIs and teams such as Australia and India have played nearly three times as much cricket in that time.

Magpies stay afloat

Alan Shearer experienced his first victory as Newcastle United's manager when precious goals from Steven Taylor, Obafemi Martins and Peter Lovenkrands ensured a 3-1 success over Middlesbrough in a St James' Park relegation battle.

United on the verge

Manchester United can move to within one point of wrapping up a third straight Premier League title by beating Wigan here on Wednesday.

Civelli urges caution

Marseille defender Renato Civelli has urged his teammates not to get ahead of themselves as the French first division leaders prepare for their key trip to local rivals Nice on Wednesday.

Mumbai in top four

Dwayne Bravo and Sachin Tendulkar guided Mumbai Indians to an eight-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab Tuesday to rise three places up the Indian Premier League log to fourth.

Hockey team's woes continue

Bangladesh suffered another humiliating 9-0 defeat against giants South Korea in their last Pool A match of the 8th Asia Cup men's hockey tournament in Kuantan, Malaysia yesterday.

PCB row with ICC deepens

Days after serving the International Cricket Council (ICC) with a legal notice over its decision to remove Pakistan as 2011 World Cup co-hosts, the PCB has ratcheted up the stakes in its confrontation further, sending a letter to Michael Beloff, president of the ICC Disputes Resolution Committee, to refer the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).

Sharapova announces return

Maria Sharapova has announced her return to singles action after an eight-month injury layoff in the Warsaw WTA tournament starting on May 18.

Botha allowed to play

Johan Botha, the South African vice-captain, has been given the green light to play in the World Twenty20 on condition he does not bowl his controversial doosra. Botha was informed on Monday by South Africa's bowling coach, Vinnie Barnes, that tests had cleared his stock off-break, although his doosra remained under a cloud.

Biman, DU march on

Javed Omar continued his good form in the Public University & Services cricket tournament as his side Bangladesh Biman crushed Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University by 100 runs at the Jahangirnagar University ground yesterday.

Jamali okays new CCDM committee

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Maj Gen Sina Ibn Jamali yesterday approved the full CCDM (Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis) committee.

C'Ron, MU agree Real deal?

Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United have both signed agreements with Real Madrid regarding the Portuguese winger's transfer to the Spanish side, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Indians miss the stars

A new shopping mall on the outskirts of New Delhi is the closest that fans of the city's IPL cricket team get to attending a home game this year.

Malcolm lashes at Harmison

Devon Malcolm, the former England fast bowler, has criticised Steve Harmison's outlook and believes he should not have an ECB central contract. Malcolm attacked Harmison's attitude as being 'too comfortable', saying the fast bowler lacked the necessary drive to play for his country.

Wiese faces inquiry

The German Football Federation (DFB) on Monday opened an inquiry into the behaviour of Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese following his side's 2-0 win over Hamburg on Sunday.

Loew might pick Cacau

Stuttgart's Brazilian striker Cacau, who has been eligible to play for the German national team since January, is on the verge of being invited by head coach Joachim Loew on Germany's tour of the Far East.

Zola accepts libel payment

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola and first-team coach Steve Clarke accepted undisclosed libel damages from the BBC Tuesday over an interview in which it was claimed the pair were planning to become the new management team at Chelsea.

Tall task for Academy

GP-BCB National Cricket Academy will have to bat out the last day with nine wickets in hand after the Sri Lanka Development side set them a stiff target on the third day of their four-dayer at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Warne out for ten days

Defending champions Rajasthan Royals were dealt a massive blow as captain coach Shane Warne was on Monday ruled out of the Indian Premier League for the next ten days owing to a hamstring injury.

Psychologist for Pakistan players

Pakistan's cricket team has enlisted the help of a motivational psychologist to try to boost player unity and mental strength ahead of key matches, coach Intikhab Alam said Tuesday.

Qadir talking with captain

Pakistan chief selector Abdul Qadir rubbished media reports claiming he had serious difference with captain Younus Khan and the duo was not on talking terms.

'Ryder didn't fight guards'

Jesse Ryder's manager has termed as "grossly exaggerated and inaccurate" reports of the New Zealand batsman being restrained by security guards in South Africa. Aaron Klee admitted that Ryder had broken his vow not to touch alcohol, but said there was no altercation with security guards.

Lewis in the dock

Former England cricketer Chris Lewis went on trial Monday accused of smuggling more than 140,000 pounds worth of cocaine into Britain from St Lucia -- hidden in cans of fruit and vegetable juice.

Beach v'ball

Thailand and Australia will play the men's final of the 2nd Asian Beach Volleyball Tournament at Laboni Point in Cox's Bazar.

Rohit vying for purple cap?

Deccan Chargers captain Adam Gilchrist could not help but praise Rohit Sharma for his fine bowling efforts in the Indian Premier League (IPL), wondering his batting mainstay was fighting for the Purple Cap instead of chasing the Orange Cap for the highest run scorer.

Ajmal sent to fix action

Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has been sent to Australia for a review of his bowling action under the supervision of biomechanic experts.

Business

Banks warned against rule breach

The central bank has warned boards of directors and chief executive officers of private commercial banks against any violation of rules in governing the institutions, said a circular issued yesterday.

Raise tax-free income threshold in budget

The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) has urged the government to increase the threshold of tax-free income to Tk 185,000 from its existing Tk 165,000 in the next budget for fiscal 2009-10.

Media, PR links hit spotlight

The media and public relations (PR) firms can work hand in hand but should maintain distance at the same time in handling news as their target audiences are not the same, said the group managing editor of an Indian newspaper yesterday.

SEC asks GP to raise share face value

The stock market regulator has asked Grameenphone (GP) to convert its Tk 1 share to Tk 10, a decision that matches with the premier bourse's policy of not listing any securities below the face value of Tk 10.

After US, EU to stress-test banks

EU countries are to subject their biggest banks to so-called "stress tests" in coming months to see if there are any more nasty surprises lurking on their balance sheets, officials said Tuesday.

BTCL plans Tk0.25 flat rate countrywide

Bangladesh Telecommuni-cations Company Ltd (BTCL) is set to offer soon a nationwide flat call rate of Tk 0.25 per minute as the new tariff is expected to help the state-run land phone operator add more customers to its network.

MCCI suggests cut in costs of deep-sea port

The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI) suggests the government explore options to reduce the cost of constructing the first phase of the planned Deep Sea Port (DSP), as it finds the return on investment on the project too low to attract investors.

Barua advocates lower bank interest for industrial growth

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday said the bank interest should come down to single digit for the growth of industries.

Economic crisis hits tourism: UN

International tourist arrivals fell 7.7 percent in the first two months of 2009 due to the economic crisis, while swine flu is also starting to affect the sector, the UN World Tourism Organisation said Tuesday.

Iceland economy to shrink

Iceland's economy will shrink 10.6 percent in 2009, the finance ministry said Tuesday, revising downwards an earlier forecast in January of a 9.6 percent contraction.

Ice-cream fest to kick off in Dhaka

A four-day ice-cream festival will kick off at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel on May 14 amid scorching summer heat.

In for a rough year

It is going to be a bleak year.

Stocks nudge up

Dhaka stocks edged up yesterday, after several sessions of steady trade.

New chief of plastic goods exporters' assoc

Ferdous Wahed has recently been elected president of Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said a statement.

First 5-star hotel in Ctg soon

Bangladesh Sena Kalyan Sangstha commenced the construction of a venture, Water Garden Hotel Chittagong, in the port city on Monday.

Oil above $59

The price of New York crude oil reached 59.49 dollars a barrel on Tuesday, the highest level for six months as the US currency slid against leading currencies, traders said.

Dollar falls to multi-week low against euro

The dollar struck a near-seven week low against the euro on Tuesday as safe-haven demand for the greenback declined on prospects for an improvement in the battered global economy, dealers said.

Hitachi posts record $8.1b annual loss

For Japanese electronics makers, the last fiscal year was one they'd like to forget. Especially Hitachi, which on Tuesday set the wrong kind of record.

Australia budgets $16.7b for infrastructure

Australia on Tuesday unveiled a sweeping 22-billion-dollar (16.7 billion US) infrastructure-building plan in its annual budget aimed at saving more than 200,000 jobs amid a "brutal" global downturn.

Tourist cancellations in Mexico closes 25 hotels

Cancellations from tourists giving up travel plans to Mexico over swine flu fears, have forced 25 hotels in and around the popular coastal resort of Cancun to close, local officials said.

Philippines claims worst of crisis is over

A senior official at the economic planning ministry said Tuesday "the worst is over for the Philippines economy" as it battles the global economic downturn.

Currency

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

Metropolitan

Govt orders reinvestigation

The Hindu community in the Barisal region have not forgotten the horrible night before the eighth parliamentary election in 2001.

Court asks CID to submit probe report June 29

All the 1,382 arrestees accused in the Pilkhana mutiny case were not produced before the CMM Court, Dhaka yesterday due to accommodation crisis and security reason, though the court had earlier ordered to produce them before it, prosecution sources said.

Foreigners among 349 isolated by China over first flu case

China has isolated 349 people, including foreigners, who travelled with the mainland's first swine flu case, officials and state media said Tuesday, as it ramped up efforts to contain the virus.

5th Asian Universities Debate begins in city tomorrow

The 5th Asian Universities Debating Championship (AUDS) 2009 will be held in Bangladesh this year.

ASF saviour of acid victims

It was 1998. Acid violence was widespread in the country, but none was there to help rehabilitate the victims, to provide legal aid or even arrange proper treatment for them.

Govt conspiracy on to destroy BNP leadership: Delwar

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday alleged that like the immediate-past caretaker government, the ruling party is also hatching a conspiracy to destroy the leadership of the nationalist party.

Big public hospitals to get autonomy: Health minister

The government has planned to grant autonomy to the big public hospitals with financial freedoms for ensuring better management and rendering quality services to the people.

President consoles PM

An emotion-charged atmosphere was created at 'Jamuna' as President Zillur Rahman met with the grief-stricken Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, at her government residence yesterday evening and sympathised with her on the death of her husband.

PM expresses gratitude

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed her gratitude to those who have condoled the death of her husband Dr MA Wazed Miah.

Call to allocate budget to save RMG units, its workers

National Alliance for Protection of Garments Workers and Industries demanded budgetary allocation to save the garment industries and its workers from the hit of global recession.

Incidents of mugging on rise

Mugging has increased in April compared to the previous month, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) AKM Shahidul Huq said yesterday.

Court asks govt to implement recommendations

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday directed the government to implement within two months the judicial service pay commission's recommendations to enhance salaries and other facilities of the judicial officials.

6 bomb-like objects seized in city hospital

Police seized six bomb-like objects and several bottles of kerosene and arrested a youth in this connection last night from LabAid Hospital in the city.

27 mothers awarded

A total of 27 mothers were selected 'Ratnagarbha Ma' (mothers of talents) from across the country this year as Azad Products Ltd awarded the successful mothers.

JS body asks PSC to follow FF, dist quota properly

A parliamentary subcommittee yesterday asked the Public Service Commission (PSC) to follow freedom fighters' and district quota properly while recruiting officials at different levels of the government.

Aspects of cyclone preparedness programme discussed

Ambassador of Myanmar to Bangladesh Thae Thann Oo called on Chairman of Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) Prof MS Akbar in the city yesterday.

Let children know real history of liberation war: Dilip

Industries Minister Dilip Barua at a programme yesterday said children should be grown up with the spirit of the country's liberation war and history of its traditional cultures alongside academic studies.

9 killed in road accidents

At least nine people, including a minor boy and a handicapped girl, were killed in separate road accidents in Comilla, Rajshahi, Lalmonirhat, Jhenidah and Kishoreganj yesterday.

Commercial exploitation of forests displaces forest-dwellers

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said commercial and industrial exploitation of forests are the main reasons behind mass displacement of forest-dwellers in the country.

'Stop commercialisation of education'

With the demands of stopping commercialisation of education and increasing allocation in education and research, a convention of public universities was held at Teacher-Student Centre of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday.

BAF Air Defence Exercise begins

A two-day Air Defence Exercise titled 'ADEX 2009-1' of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) began at all the bases yesterday.

Dr Muniruddin pro-VC of East West University

Dr Muniruddin Ahmed, professor of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology of Dhaka University, has been appointed pro-vice chancellor of East West University for four years, says a press release.

One shot dead

Police recovered the bullet-hit body of an unidentified youth at Farmgate in the city yesterday.

Int'l Nurses Day observed

International Nurses Day was observed in the country yesterday remembering contributions of nurses to the society.

Prof Nurul Islam meets president

National Prof Dr Nurul Islam made a courtesy call on President M Zillur Rahman at Bangabhaban yesterday, when Islam's various programmes and contributions came up for discussion.

UIU champion, DU runner-up

With the slogan 'Juktir Aloye Gorbo Bangladesh' the grand finale and award giving ceremony of BSB-Cambrian Prajanma Bitarka were held at the ATN Bangla Studio in Bashundhara City yesterday.

Zakir made judicial service body member

President Zillur Rahman appointed M Zakir Hossain, dean of Faculty of Law of Chittagong University (CU), as member of Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission (BJSC) to replace Dr Asma Siddiqa.

Kazi Rafiqul elected CAMPE chairperson

Kazi Rafiqul Alam has been elected chairperson of Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE) for the term 2009-10, says a press release.

One drowns in Buriganga boat capsize

One person drowned in a boat capsize in the river Buriganga at Sadarghat launch terminal in the city last night.

National

Rubber solution now addictive for urchins in Bogra

Use of rubber solutions as an alternative drug is spreading among a section of impoverished children in Bogra town.

Responsible UP member to rebuild it with own fund

Saptibari Union Parishad (UP) at a meeting yesterday ordered woman UP member Jyotsna Rani to reconstruct the new room of Balapukur High School as she had conducted construction of the room that collapsed before handing it over to the authorities.

Demra massacre day today

Today is Demra massacre day.

15 outlaws get life for murder

A Barisal court yesterday sentenced 15 outlaws to life imprisonment for killing a woman in Uzirpur upazila of the district in 2004.

16 sued for '71 war crimes in Bagerhat

Sixteen alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation army have been sued for war crimes at Shakharikati under Kachua upazila of Bagerhat district in 1971.

Cheating in exam: 3 held

Police yesterday arrested three people including a degree (pass) examinee of Pirganj Shah Abdur Rouf Degree College in Pirganj upazila on charge of cheating in examination.

AL leader electrocuted

Shailkupa Poura Awami League (AL) office secretary Muktar Hossain was electrocuted at Khalkula village under the upazila Monday morning. Locals said Muktar went to irrigate his Boro field by a power-driven pump at about 8:30 pm. Suddenly, he came in touch with a live electric wire and died instantly.

Transport strike withdrawn

Lalmonirhat Motor Sramik Union yesterday withdrew indefinite transport strike in the district. The union enforced the strike on Monday demanding arrest of pro-BNP sramik leaders and workers who attacked Motor Sramik League leaders on the day. The union leaders at a press conference gave a three-day ultimatum to arrest the attackers. Otherwise, they threatened to launch a fresh programme. They also submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner (DC) demanding immediate arrest to the attackers.

Students' memo to DC

General students of Engineering and Survey Institute yesterday submitted a memorandum to Rajshahi deputy commissioner (DC) demanding recognition of the institute's students as diploma holder in job sector, their recruitment as survey diploma holder, sub-assistant settlement officer, deputy assistant land surveyor, building inspector, sub-assistant engineer (survey) and inclusion of modern technologies in their education. On Monday, the students of the institute blocked Shaheb Bazar road to press home their demand.

10 hurt in Satkhira clash

At least 10 people were injured in a clash between the activists of Awami League (AL) and Jatiya Party (Ershad) at Shyamnagar upazila headquarters yesterday. The AL activists set fire to three motorcycles parked in front of the local JP office and ransacked a shop owned by a JP leader at Shyamnagar Bazar. The trouble began in the afternoon as local JP men were allegedly trying to implicate AL leader Shafiul Alam in a murder case. Akij Uddin of Gabura village in Syamnagar upazila was killed in a clash between two rival groups over taking possession of a shrimp enclosure at Parshemar on May 11.

Lightning kills 3

Three people were killed by lightning during norwester that hit Fakirhat upazila of Bagerhat and Dumuria upazila of Khulna district on Monday night. The victims were identified as Abdul Kalam Azad,(55, of Shuvodia village and Rina Begum of Jinnahpara village under Fakirhat upazila of Bagerhat district, and Bimol Kapali, 45, of Bhadradia village under Dumuria upazila of Khulna district. The lightning struck them while they were on a road, witnesses said.

'Drowned' son back to mother

A 15-year-old dumb boy, thought to be drowned in the Mohananda River ten years ago, returned to his mother at Ramjibonpur village in Chapainawabganj Sadar upazila yesterday. Then five-year-old Masud, son of Shefali Begum, was thought 'drowned' in the Mohananda River on August 16 in 1999. Locals on Friday noon found a 15-year-old boy floating in the Mohananda near Kallayanpur Ghat in the town and rescued him alive. Rani Mazeda Ahmed sheltered the boy and later handed him over to his mother Shefali through police.

Letters

Save the rivers

Capital city Dhaka is surrounded by four rivers -- the Buriganga, Shitalakhya, Turag and Balu. Geographically, its location is unique in the world. But unfortunately these rivers are dying.

Obama's leadership

M. Serajul Islam's article headlined 'Obama's speech in Turkey and hope for a better world' (The Daily Star, 9 May 2009) aptly echoes the concern of Obama lovers around the globe, who would earnestly wish him success in his vision for a 'clash of civilisation'-free world. Yes, in our desperation for a new world order, Obama symbolises hopes of majority of the human race for a safer world-- a vision shaped more by a scientific global outlook for a positive changes in the new millennium than by self-defeating dogmas of the right, left, neo-cons and religious fundamentalists of all hues.

World Red Crescent Day

We joined the World Red Crescent/Cross fraternity in paying homage to Jean Henry Dunant, its founder, on the occasion of his birth anniversary on May 8. This day has been accepted as the World Red Crescent/Cross Day. It was an important milestone in the evolution of the movement. It will be fruitful to evaluate the achievements, plan for future and to rededicate ourselves to the noble cause of Red Crescent/Cross on this day.

Root cause of extremism

Bangladesh is facing the threat of extremism. Extremists are getting themselves heavily armed. Their capability of producing fatal weapons came to light after the law enforcing agencies unearthed a madrasa cum ordinance factory in Bhola. In the name of religion they are planning to carry out lethal attacks on the civilians. In order to extirpate extremism, the govt. is leaving no stone unturned. Even foreign help has been sought. Rumours of probable attack by the extremists are also afloat in the country. Has our govt. achieved any real success in extirpating those headstrong elements from our country?

Terrorism

When the JMB was operating in the northern part of the country, the BNP govt kept their eyes closed. A team from the US came and visited that area and they also failed to smell anything fishy. But the media kept on reporting dispassionately. And at the end the JMB announced their presence by exploding bombs in 64 districts within a span of 30 minutes. Any way.... this made the govt wake up. And they launched an all out drive to nab those terrorists.

Patriotism & loyalty

All citizens [in any nation/country] are [supposed to be] patriots embedded, from childhood, with the spirit and philosophy of nationalism. Why we fought with such dedication in 1971? Building up a new nation is not like fast service at a fast food outlet or suitable for one-stop centre service. It needs patience and accumulated wisdom to guide the masses, and the succeeding generations.

A tribute to Dr. Wazed Miah

His presence was seldom felt but he was there. In Bangladesh any person distantly related to any power, radiates so much that some time he or she supersedes the source. Dr. Wazed Miah perhaps was the only exception. Being the husband of the chief executive of the government, he lived the life of the most ordinary person. But he was not an ordinary soul, rather a meritorious student, an eminent scientist, a responsible husband and a caring father. He steered the whole family most efficiently when crisis loomed over. Again when the family came to limelight he took shelter behind the wings. Such selfless persons are rare not only in our country but also all over the world.

Obama and summit of Americas

Barack Obama's greatest breakthrough was not in Berlin before election or in London in the G20 summit after his poll victory. It was in Port au Prince in Trinidad in the summit of Americas. Here he stood with eleven Afro-Caribbean heads of state, showing that change has come to the Americas, The people of Afro-West Indies have the same root as Black America has. But they were separated and divided creating mini states. They are the worst affected poor states whose citizens often try to smuggle themselves to the USA.

Containing militancy

Former prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia recently said that the country is now free from militants, and militancy does not exist any more. She means all militants were arrested during the BNP-led 4 party alliance government's rule.

Iran scene

I am writing with reference to Op-Ed: "Double standards," by Chaklader Mahboob-ul Alam," (May 10).

Renaming BDR

I strongly protest against the plan to change the name of the BDR and its uniform. Let there be trial and justice will take its own course.

Women's cricket

It was really shocking to watch a news report of the ntv on a women cricket match. I think that those who like and love cricket must have seen and felt totally disappointed at the management style of the BCB. Some of the problems were highlighted by the players and the most devastating one, the pitch and the outfield, was shown on the tv screen. What a shame for the BCB!

Wasting wastes

The issues discussed by a writer can be divided broadly into national and individual levels. I shall like to suggest some possible ways to ameliorate the situation at national level.

Digital Bangladesh!

Establishing a digital country by 202 is one of the important electoral pledges of the Awami League, which was announced by the honourable PM herself. After the election, we heard speeches from her where she assured us of working above party and personnel interest, showing tolerance and respect towards the opposition, and continuing the fight against corruption through strengthening the ACC. But the reality is something different for us.

Green Bangladesh

Bangladesh is an agrarian country inhabited by 150 million people in a meagre land of 56,000 square miles. Eighty per cent of the people directly or indirectly depend on agriculture for their livelihood, which plays a predominant role in our economy. In a populous country like ours, the importance of tree plantation cannot be overemphasised.

International

Pakistan drops commandos into Taliban stronghold

Army helicopters dropped Pakistani commandos behind Taliban lines in the Swat Valley yesterday as part of a widening offensive against the militants, while a US missile killed eight people in an attack on a suspected insurgent hideout elsewhere in the northwest.

Half a million people flee fresh Pak fighting: UN

More than half a million people have fled fighting between the military and Taliban in northwest Pakistan and registered with authorities in the last 10 days, the UN refugee agency said yesterday.

Stage set for today's final phase of Indian polls

Balloting in the five-phase Indian elections draw to a close today with voters in seven states and two union territories deciding the fate of 1,432 candidates, including union ministers P Chidambaram and Mani Shanker Aiyar who are contesting from Tamil Nadu.

US, EU urge UN to focus on Lankan crisis

Top diplomats from US, Britain, France and Austria on Monday asked the UN Security Council to address the "appalling" crisis in Sri Lanka, where thousands of civilians have died in recent months.

Pakistan 'most dangerous country in the world'

"Extremely concerned" by the current volatile situation in Pakistan, Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay has termed Pakistan as the "most dangerous country in the world."

US sacks top commander in Afghanistan

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has sacked the top commander in Afghanistan to make way for "new thinking" in the seven-year-old war that has struggled to halt a widening Taliban insurgency.

Lanka war survivors battle with new lives

It's called a "welfare village," but the heavily armed guards who surround the tented camp seem more concerned with containment than protection.

Israel under UN pressure to back two-state deal

Israel came under pressure Monday to commit to the creation of an independent Palestinian state as the UN Security Council debated how to breathe new life into the dormant Middle East peace process.

Disaster looming on rising sea levels

Rising sea levels that could wipe whole nations off the map and displace scores of millions of people are being overlooked in global climate change talks, island countries said yesterday.

Life without bathing for 35 years

An Indian man who fathered seven daughters has not washed for 35 years in an apparent attempt to ensure his next child is a boy, newspapers reported.

'Laden was US operator destabilising Benazir'

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has alleged that elusive al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was a US operator who had tried to destabilise his late wife Benazir Bhutto's government back in 1989.

Military probes shooting of 5 US soldiers in Iraq

The US military on Tuesday was investigating the killing of five American soldiers at its largest base in Iraq after detaining one of their comrades suspected of carrying out the shooting.

Astronauts inspect Atlantis while chasing Hubble

Shuttle Atlantis is racing after the Hubble Space Telescope a day after taking off on a daring repair mission.

Russia, Japan agree N-energy pact

A nuclear energy agreement signed by Japan and Russia yesterday will pave the way for contracts worth billions of dollars, the head of Russia's state nuclear agency said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

An offering of music and dance to Tagore

On the occasion of Rabindranath Tagore's 148th birth anniversary, a cultural programme was held at the Ball Room, Hotel Sheraton on May 11. The programme, arranged by VCARE, featured recitation of Tagore's writings, rendition of Rabindra Sangeet, and staging of the Tagore dance-drama "Shyama."

Play featuring Partha Paratim Majumder receives Moličre Award

French play "Cochons d'Inde," featuring Paris-based Bangladeshi mime artiste Partha Pratim Majumder, recently received the prestigious Moličre Award 2009 as the best theatre production. The play also featured popular French theatre actor Patrick Chesnais, Anna Gaylour and others. Chasnais won the Moličre Award for best actor for this play.

Nandita Das: Going full steam ahead

Remember the smouldering Nandita Das in films such as "Earth" and "Fire"? Since those days the actress and filmmaker has lost none of her spunk. Of late she has made her directorial debut in "Firaaq" which has won a number of national and international awards. Apart from this powerful film, she is to star in "Midnight's Children," along with the immensely talented Shabana Azmi. The film has been adapted by Deepa Mehta from Salman Rushdie's 1981 historical novel of the same name, which won him the prestigious Booker Literary Prize.

Tagore birth anniversary celebration in Khagrachhari

Speakers at a recent discussion urged the government to set up a Rabindra Institute in the country. The Institute, they said, conduct research on the great poet so as to create awareness among the younger generation about his immense contribution to our literature and arts. The discussion, titled "Rabindra Shahitya and Shamokalin Bangladesh" (Rabindra Literature and Contemporary Bangladesh), was organised by Chenghi Khelaghar Ashor at Khagrachhari Town Hall to mark the 148th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.

Ishkool on Ekushey TV tonight

Ekushey TV will air the entertainment-educational programme “Ishkool” tonight at 7:45 pm. The programme aims at generating awareness on the public education system in Bangladesh.

Trinar Golpo on ntv

Drama serial "Trinar Galpo" will be aired tonight at 9:45pm on ntv. Written by the late playwright Selim Al Deen, the play is directed by Golam Sohrab Dodul.

OP-ED

The NSU incident -- A microcosm of Bangladesh?

THE North South University incident of May 10th of a non-violent protest being dealt with police batons and tear gas is symptomatic of a larger problem that has permeated our entire society -- lack of adequate mechanism to voice grievances and unjust reaction by those in power when grievances do get raised. When a general citizen dies at a public hospital due to negligence, there is no one to complain to since certain quarters are much too powerful. When a female student in a university gets harassed by a local hooligan, she keeps silent since even the teachers do not want to ruffle feathers. When an ethnic minority leader dies during interrogation, no one raises questions since the answers are buried too deep.

The story of tea workers

TEA, the second most popular beverage in the world, is believed to have first been popularised in China. For thousands of years the Chinese farmers had the monopoly of cultivating tea. Its cultivation in tropical and subtropical areas is a recent phenomenon.

Remembering a dear friend

M. Alauddin, an officer of the CSP of 1952 batch, breathed his last in a Lahore hospital on April 18. He was commissioner of Dhaka division when the Pakistan army cracked down at midnight on March 25. He was taken to Lyallpur and ordered by the Pakistanis to depose against Sheikh Mujib, who was under trial for treason, and suffered untold miseries for not co-operating with the prosecution. Alauddin was an intellectual, a bohemian and bachelor, and left behind only a handful of friends to mourn his death.


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