The Daily Star

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

News of: Sunday, 17th of May, 2009

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2 ex-NSI chiefs held over Ctg ammo haul

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday arrested two former chiefs of National Security Intelligence (NSI) for alleged links to the 10 truckloads of weapons seized in Chittagong five years ago.

Congress triumphs in Indian elections

Putting up its best performance in decades and bucking anti-incumbency, India's ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) yesterday retained power coming within striking distance of parliamentary majority in vote counting from the staggered general elections.

JMB has at least 50 bomb experts now

Law enforcers suspect there are at least 50 operatives in the militant Islamist organisation Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) who can make bombs, and almost all of them were trained by now detained Jahid Hossain Sumon alias 'Boma Mizan'.

Tamil Tigers 'defeated'

The president of Sri Lanka declared yesterday that the island's separatist Tamil Tiger rebels have been "defeated militarily" after decades of bitter ethnic bloodshed.

Move to revitalise dying jute industry

The government is going to make it mandatory to use jute sacks in packing certain commodities handled by government agencies as part of its plan to revitalise jute industry.

4 lakh rickshaws throng city roads

Law enforcers in the city will not seize the over four lakh rickshaws with fake documents considering the livelihood of rickshaw pullers and owners, said Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Shahidul Haque yesterday.

Rajuk set to falter on timeline, again

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) may miss the deadline for allotment of plots at Purbachal New Town Project and Uttara Model Town (3rd Phase) by June due to non-completion of scrutiny of around 1.65 lakh applications submitted against over 7,000 plots.

Left's red fort in West Bengal falls

The red fort in West Bengal crumbled yesterday as the poll results came out there.

Good chance to settle disputes

Foreign policy experts yesterday said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) victory in the Indian elections offers a fresh opportunity for Bangladesh to resolve the unsettled issues with its powerful neighbour.

National probe report likely in a day or two

The national probe committee on BDR carnage is likely to submit its report in the next few days.

Govt pledges action against extra-judicial killings

Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan yesterday said the government would investigate all the extrajudicial killings taken place in the past, as it does not favour such incidents.

Police raid CU halls, pick up 16

Police in a raid early yesterday detained 16 people from six dormitories and two cottages of the Chittagong University (CU).

Buet team wins int'l architectural design competition

A team of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) has brought great honour to the country by winning the first prize of an international architectural design competition titled 'Design for the Children', held in USA.

Speaker expects good gesture from the trio

Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday expressed hope that former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, former deputy speaker Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui and former chief whip Khandaker Delwar Hossain will return the money they took illegally against medical bills before the probe body submits its report in parliament.

3 drown in Buriganga capsize

Three members of a family drowned as a motorboat capsized in the Buriganga following a collision with another vessel near Jajira in South Keraniganj upazila on Friday night.

Dhaka insists on Pak apology

Bangladesh has reiterated its demand for Pakistan's apology for its troops' genocides during 1971 Liberation War as Islamabad dismissed Dhaka's fresh insistence on saying sorry for the atrocities.

Ershad urges govt to scrap caretaker system

Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad yesterday urged the government to promulgate a law to abolish the provision of caretaker government for establishing human rights in the country.

South Korea lift title

South Korea won their third Asia Cup hockey title after beating three-time champions Pakistan 1-0 in a hard-fought final in Malaysia on Saturday.

Bombing, US strike kill 36 in Pakistan

A car bomb destroyed an Internet cafe and tore through a bus carrying handicapped children in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, killing at least 11 people and wounding many more, police said.

India confirms first swine flu case

The number of confirmed swine flu cases has soared again to top 8,000, the World Health Organisation said yesterday as India and Turkey reported their first infections.

Rocket hits Afghan mosque, 5 killed

Five people died when an Afghan mosque was hit by rockets fired from Pakistan by insurgents targeting a US military camp near the border, police and the US military said Saturday.


Threat from religious extremists

THE Rapid Action Battalion deserves appreciation for relentless pursuit of an important individual of an extremist group and following up the lead provided by him to effect a very important haul up. The action has perhaps preempted a possible bomb attack and devastation, the targets of which only further interrogation of the arrested persons can reveal.

HC guidelines on sexual harassment

THE move by the High Court last week to lay down a number of guidelines for the authorities to prevent sexual harassment of women is surely a milestone in Bangladesh's legal history. It has long been known, and publicly pointed out, that women in a very large number of instances and in very many professional and other areas have been subjected to such harassment over the years without any measures being put in place to help them deal with the problem. Now that the HC has acted, thanks to a public litigation writ petition filed by the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA), we can be reasonably sure that concrete steps will be taken to ensure the security of women in their work and movement, that indeed women will be empowered to take such action as will bring the perpetrators of the crime to book.

An indication of disturbing diplomacy

ON the 3rd of this month, the US ambassador in Bangladesh went to the press and disclosed that his country had disturbing indications of terrorist threat in Bangladesh. We should be happy that a foreign diplomat took the time to tell us in advance that a disaster was lurking behind our back. A son of this soil couldn't have done more, if not less.

Death of migrant workers

THE alarming rise in the incidence of death of our migrant workers has become a matter of public concern in recent days. According to official statistics, at least 8,107 expatriate Bangladeshi workers died in a number of countries, particularly in the Middle East countries, between January 2004 and May 9, 2009.

Creating jobs at home

IN Bangladesh the large population instead of being seen as agent for progress is considered a liability because of the massive unemployment among the poor and also the uneducated youth. The norm, here, has been to put education and technological proficiency on the back burner although they should be seen as our main tools for change and given highest priority.


Abahani stay alive

Abahani put in a good performance against formidable Ashgabat Football Club but still failed break the stalemate as the all-important last Group B match of the AFC President's Cup ended in a goalless draw at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Nasir stars in tense win

All-round brilliance from Nasir Hossain handed GP-BCB National Cricket Academy a precious seven-run win over Sri Lanka Development side in the first one-day match at the Sylhet District Stadium yesterday.

Mashrafe's losing debut

Deccan Chargers climbed one place to third in the Indian Premier League table after a thrilling six-wicket win over struggling Kolkata Knight Riders at Wanderers on Saturday.

Red Devils in heaven

Manchester United clinched their third successive Premier League title on Saturday after a 0-0 draw against Arsenal at Old Trafford.

Biman fly into final

Elias Sunny's solo performance took Bangladesh Biman to the final of the Public University & Service cricket tournament after a facile 65-run win over Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) at the Jahangirnagar University ground yesterday.

MCA-BCB XI 1st T20 today

Maharashtra Cricket Associa-tion (MCA) take on Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) Eleven in the first Twenty20 match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today.

Under-13 boys off to Tehran

The Bangladesh Under-13 football team will participate in the AFC Under-13 Festival of Football in Tehran that begins from May 19.

England on run-spree

Fifties from local hero Paul Collingwood and Matt Prior helped England continue to pile on the runs against the West Indies in the second Test here at the Riverside on Saturday.

Captaincy makes Yuvraj angry

Kings XI Punjab skipper Yuvraj Singh was in a relaxed mood after his side's victory over Delhi but that did not stop him from confessing that captaincy has brought the worst out of him as he gets angry easily when his side is not doing well.

Hayden dashes Mumbai hopes

Matthew Hayden made a controlled half-century as Chennai Super Kings beat Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in the Indian Premier League at St George's Park here on Saturday.

Nadal on a roll

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will meet for the third time in as many Masters events on Saturday after the duo swept to straight-sets quarterfinal wins in Madrid on Friday.

Tykes embrace Pakistan

Yorkshire's chief executive, Stewart Regan, has welcomed the prospect of Pakistan taking on Australia in England next summer, and believes that if Headingley was able to secure one of the two Tests that have been proposed in the PCB's draft itinerary, the match would attract far more interest than the England Test against Bangladesh that is currently on Yorkshire's agenda for 2010.

Vinnie Jones not guilty

British football star and Hollywood tough guy Vinnie Jones smiled and mouthed "thank you" to a jury that found him not guilty Friday of assault charges.

Umpires to take Level 3 course

The top fifteen umpires in the country will take part in a seven-day course at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur from today.

SLC goes easy on ICL rebels

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has decided to give a three-month cooling period to its ICL contracted players before they can be accepted into the system, provided they cut off all ties with the unofficial Twenty20 league. The players include Marvan Atapattu, Upul Chandana, Avishka Gunawardene, Russel Arnold and Saman Jayantha.


ADP pace hurts the poor

Poor implementation of annual development programme (ADP) remains a perpetual problem for Bangladesh, depriving the mass of the benefits from government spending.

Impose duty on rice import

The government should impose duty on rice import to guard farmers from invasion of low-priced imported rice, economists said recently, placing suggestion for the increased allocation for agri-research in the budget for fiscal 2009-10 to develop new technologies for ensuring food security.

Landline growth low for March

Private landline operators added 16,062 customers to their network in March 2009, a 13 percent down compared to the previous month.

NCC Bank to launch mutual fund, bond

NCC Bank Limited plans to launch this year a mutual fund and a bond, each worth Tk 100 crore, said the bank's top official yesterday.

Demand to facilitate plastic industrial growth

The government should take measures to reduce import duties and provide cash incentives on exports, to encourage the local plastic industry to manufacture multi-dimensional products on a large scale, said the managing director of Naseem Plastic Industries Limited yesterday.

Global flu pandemic to hammer tourism

If the swine flu outbreak turns into a full-blown global pandemic, consequences for the travel industry could be devastating, a respected economist told a world travel conference in Brazil Friday.

Raising domestic demand a way

Over the long horizon, Asian economies are at a risk of a structural decline in demand from advanced economies, and so the countries must rely more heavily on domestic consumption to keep their economies afloat.

Stocks gained slightly last week

Dhaka stocks gained slightly last week amid speculative investment in engineering, services and real estate and miscellaneous sector shares.

India's Jet Airways may cut jobs

India's largest domestic carrier Jet Airways said Friday it may have to cut jobs and flights to curb losses caused by a fall in passengers.

Euro under pressure

The euro was under pressure Friday after data showed the eurozone economy slumping a record 2.5 percent in the first quarter. The European single currency fell to 1.3547 dollars from 1.3638 dollars late Thursday in New York.

CEO of StanChart Asia due today

Jaspal Singh Bindra, chief executive officer for Asia of Standard Chartered Bank, is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka today on an official visit, said a statement.

Pubali Bank chairman reelected

Pubali Bank Ltd has recently reelected Hafiz Ahmed Mazumdar as the bank's chairman, said a statement.

German retailer Arcandor seeks state help

Stricken German retailer Arcandor said Friday it wants 650 million euros (880 million dollars) in state loan guarantees to escape the credit crunch still paralysing Europe's biggest economy.

S Korean truckers vote to strike

Thousands of South Korean truck drivers Saturday voted to go on strike, demanding better working conditions and wage hikes, union members said.

Recession storm sinks Europe

The global recession stormed into Europe with a vengeance in the first quarter, data showed Friday, pushing the economy deeper into the mire and casting a shadow over predictions the worst may soon be over.

World Economic Forum kicks off in Jordan

Jordan's King Abdullah II on Friday called for the Middle East to become an economic "powerhouse" that could help reshape the global economy after the credit crunch.

IMF in talks with Sri Lanka on bailout package

The International Monetary Fund said Friday it was pursuing talks with Sri Lanka over a 1.9 billion dollar bailout package, despite US criticism because of the conflict in the Asian nation.

US insurer Ameriprise rejects Treasury bailout offer

US insurer Ameriprise Financial said Friday that it would not accept Treasury bailout funding, explaining its capital position was "more than adequate" in the face of recession.

Weekly Currency Roundup

May 11-May 14, 2009
International Markets:

Asian markets rebound

An overnight rally on Wall Street led Asian stocks higher on Friday as dealers moved in to pick up bargains following a torrid session the previous day.


Recession, climate change obstacles to achieving MDGs

Global financial recession, global climate change and epidemic of infectious diseases are all creating obstacles to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), speakers at discussion said yesterday.

Make budgetary allocation to create job opportunities

The government should make special budgetary allocation to create employment opportunities for the youths, speakers at a workshop said yesterday.

Govt to root out militancy, terrorism: Sohel Taj

State Minister for Home Affairs Tanjim Ahmed Sohel Taj yesterday said that the government is committed to root out militancy and terrorism by showing zero tolerance to establish a peaceful society.

Bangladesh to protest Indian move: Muhith

Bangladesh would raise protest officially against construction of the Tipaimukh dam soon after new government in India assumed office as the project might cause a catastrophic ecological impact on the country's northeastern region.

Try war criminals to avert future political disaster

Speakers at BBC Bangladesh Sanglap (dialogue) in Rajshahi yesterday said the government should not delay in starting trial of the war criminals to avert political disasters in future.

Govt believes in free flow of information: Azad

Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday said, the present government believes in free flow of information.

'No recruitment in BDR'

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday requested all not to be confused by any rumour about recruitment in the BDR at different places of the country being spread by a vested quarter.

Workshop on online journal publication

A daylong workshop on online publication of journal was held at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban conference room on the Dhaka University (DU) campus yesterday.

Reception to Prof Saidur

Prof Dr M Saidur Rahman Khan, the newly appointed Bangladesh High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, was accorded a reception at Rajshahi Metropolitan Press Club (RMPC) on Friday.

HSTU bldg to be named after Dr Wazed

The Regent Board of Hajee Danesh Science and Technology University (HSTU) in Dinajpur yesterday decided to name one of it's academic building after later Dr MA Wazed Miah, husband of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

'Rescue preparation too poor to deal with quake disaster'

The present rescue preparation as well as equipment of fire service and civil defence directorate is too poor to deal with a disaster caused by a moderate to severe earthquake, according to a list submitted by the authorities concerned to the High Court (HC).

Conserving environment should get priority

Conservation of environment should be the prime consideration for allocating fund in the upcoming national budget, said the leaders of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) at a press conference in the city yesterday.

World Telecom, Info Society Day today

The World Telecommuni-cations and Information Society Day (WTISD) will be observed in the country today as elsewhere in 189 other member-countries of the International Tele-communications Union (ITU), highlighting the new government's recipe for building a digital Bangladesh.

DESCO snaps 144 illegal connections

Dhaka Electric Supply Company (Desco) has disconnected a total of 144 illegal electricity connections in different areas of the city from May 10 to 13.

Hicare School celebrates Bangla New Year

Hicare School, an institution for hearing impaired children, yesterday celebrated Bangla Nobo Borsho (New Year) through a vibrant cultural function on its premises at Dhanmondi in the city, said a press release.

Unite against India's river-linking plan

Speakers at a rally yesterday called on all political parties to take a common stand against the river-linking project of India, saying that such a project would lead to serious environmental disaster in Bangladesh.

Take steps to protect children from harmful websites

Measures should be taken to enrich the Internet with adequate and appropriate contents for children so that they do not stray into harmful websites, said the speakers at a conference yesterday.

Canada to assist in edn, environment sectors

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Hasan Mahmud passed a busy day in Ottawa yesterday holding meetings with Canadian State Minister for Foreign Affairs Deepak Obhrai, State Minister for Canadian International Cooperation Jim Abbott and Chairperson of Canada-Bangladesh Parliamentary Friendship Association and former minister of CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) Maria Minna.

North Bangla Adivasi Forum formed

North Bangla Adivasi Forum, a forum of indigenous people of 10 northern districts, was launched at press conference at Public Library auditorium in Rajshahi yesterday.

Road crashes kill 5

At least five people were killed in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Noakhali and Gaibandha yesterday.


AL men assault officials, capture leadership

Activists of Awami League, Jubo League and Chhatra League yesterday beat up Barisal Heart Foundation (BHF) Secretary General Prof Shamsuddin Khan during the biennial general meeting of BHF in the city.

Grabbers wolfing down dying Pakhimara

Influential locals have continued encroaching upon Pakhimara canal in Nilganj union under Kalapara upazila of the district, giving rise to agitation among local farmers who use the canal water for irrigation.

16 sued on charge of war crimes in Bagerhat

Sixteen people have been sued for their alleged involvement in war crimes at Shakharikathi village under Kachua upazila of Bagerhat district in 1971.

2 Hizb-ut Towhid militants held

Police arrested two activists of outlawed Hizb-ut Towhid at Gayabari village under Dimla upazila and recovered some documents from their possession early yesterday.

Mob damages eyes of two

Eyes of two brothers, suspected to be involved in robbery, were damaged by mob at Madhya Alipur in the town Friday night. Angry people poured soda into their eyes and handed them over to Faridpur Kotwali police. Motiar, 25, and Tusher, 22, sons of Khabir Sheikh of the same area were later admitted to Faridpur General Hospital. Shah Alam, officer-in-charge (OC) of Kotwali Police Station said both Motiar and Tusher have a number of cases against them on charges of various crimes.

One shot dead in Comilla

A young businessman was gunned down by unidentified miscreants at Tarashail village in Chouddagram upazila yesterday morning. Police and locals said Yusuf Ali Bhuiyan,30, son of Mohammad Ali of Konkapoait union was gunned down at his resident when he was sleeping. Relatives said, Yusuf had shoe business in Chittagong.

Wife murders husband

A woman murdered her husband following a family feud yesterday. Alam Sheikh, 45, hails from Kota village under Avaynagor upazila. Police arrested Renuka Begum, 35, after the incident. Locals said, Alam had affairs with a woman in the same area which often caused bitter exchanges between the two. Yesterday morning, Renuka hacked to death Alam when he was asleep.

Lightning kills three

Three people were killed by lightning in Pabna, Comilla and Satkhira districts yesterday and Friday. Our Pabna Correspondent reports: Farmer Solaiman Miah was killed as a thunderbolt struck him at a paddy field during heavy rain at village Kalikapur Sardarpara in Ishwardi upazila yesterday. A Comilla Correspondent reports: One Mostafa Kamal was killed by lightning at Banguri village in Debidder upazila yesterday morning. Police said, he died on the spot when a thunderbolt struck him during work at his field. Our Satkhira Correspondent reports: Lovlu Sardar was killed and his sister Halima Khatun injured when a thunderbolt struck the two standing behind a palm tree in front of their house during rain at village Kulla in Assassuni upazila Friday night.

Three traders mugged

Muggers Friday night snatched a motorcycle, cash and other valuables from three traders at Goylar Ghop village under Bagatipara upazila. Anwar Hossain, Mazedur Rahman and Hafizur Rahman of village Sonapatil were intercepted by the muggers while they were returning home from Natore town. At Goilar Ghop village the muggers beat them up and tied them with a tree and looted their cash and valuables.


Sidelined Mashrafe

Like millions of cricket fans in Bangladesh, I am greatly disappointed and aggrieved at the decision of Kolkata Knight Riders, the worst performer in this IPL, which kept our top bowler Mashrafe Mortaza on the sidelines.

No decentralisation

The political regimes have a centralised weakness: the tendency to overcrowd capital Dhaka, and denying administrative powers to the divisions, districts and upazilas.

Open rail crossing!

It is not only outside the metropolitan areas that rail crossings are left open while a train is running at a great speed.

Dr. Wazed Miah's passing

Eminent nuclear scientist Dr. MA Wazed Mia, husband of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, died on May 9, 2009.He was a very nice person, it is a great loss to the whole nation, we mourn his death and our deep condolence goes to the bereaved family. May the departed soul rest in peace.

Mother's Day

On May 10, I celebrated the Mother's Day because I was blessed with a child by the Almighty in February, after many years of my marriage. Being the wife of the only son of the family, I was under tremendous pressure although becoming a mother was not in my hands. I along with my husband consulted many doctors and spiritual advisors to become a mother. Our well wishers suggested that we try test-tube and other ways. But I always desired natural pregnancy and I had the confidence in me that I could bear a child. Although sometimes my surroundings made my confidence level low and pushed me to such a condition, as if I had no right to live on earth.

Environment issue

Bangladesh has been largely preoccupied with managing moderate economic development, starting from a very low base, with an aim to provide basic necessities to the population. Poverty is still the main issue and will remain so for many years to come, given the moderately high population growth rate, limited land resources and periodic natural calamities such as flooding and cyclone damage. To put environmental concerns into perspective, the average life expectancy in Bangladesh is still only 51 years, and more than 70% of the adult population is illiterate. In rural areas, the environmental conditions have been impacted more by natural causes than by economic developments. Although the land is intensively cultivated, the land-use patterns have existed for many generations. In the urban areas, however, industrial and residential development has more serious environmental impacts in localized areas. The major concerns are poor solid waste management, effluent treatment and related health problems. Except in central Dhaka, air pollution is not a serious problem. The level of industrial development is still limited and comprises only 16% of GDP, compared to 26% in Pakistan and 42% in China, and the physical conditions tend to disperse and absorb the present low level of emissions. Though the environment may not be considered a priority concern in Bangladesh, some important environmental issues should already be considered to include deteriorating urban environmental conditions, threat of global warming and rising sea level, protection of sensitive environmental habitat. For the poor, living conditions in urban areas are worse than in rural areas, since housing, access to safe water, food supply and nutrition are at low levels. Urban waste dumps and effluent discharging into stagnant bodies of water already present serious health conditions for the urban poor. At present, and again with the exception of central Dhaka, Bangladesh is less concerned about acid rain and air pollution. Regarding C02- Bangladesh is very worried about the implications of climatic warming and rising sea levels.

Import of 420 vehicles

The price of each vehicle would be 32 lakh /each. But what's the salary of an upazila chairman? What a luxury for a public representative in a poor country and what a silly way of spending public money!

Truth Commission

We feel that the Truth Commission formed by our former caretaker government of Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed was wastage of time, energy and public money.

Shortage of teachers

We are the students of English Department of Gono University. It is regrettable that our department has only five regular teachers and there are two guest teachers. It is quite impossible for them to take all of our classes. Moreover, they have to take classes in other departments, which is also difficult for our honourable teachers.

Changing the name…

It is so childish that many people are thinking of changing the name of BDR. Many are suggesting alternative names.

BEPZA's poor decision

While reading an article in a national daily recently, I noted that BEPZA has issued notices to the foreign investors who are building their factories at the Karnaphuli EPZ.

Iran frees Saberi

It is heartening to learn that Iran through its judicial process has freed the US Journalist Roxana Saberi after an appeals court suspended her eight-year jail sentences on charge of spying. By freeing Saberi, a citizen of both Iran and the United States, Iran has upheld the independence of its judiciary.

NSU incident

From TV channels and newspapers I came to know that a 'revolt' took place at NSU, following the increase of tuition fees. Indeed, it is a matter of great concern for me and other students who are studying at private universities. Sorry, nowadays, it is no longer a concern of private university students alone, rather the students of public universities are also suffering.

Remittance growth slows

Inward remittance by wage earners for the current fiscal period is expected to touch the figure of US$ 10 billion. The figure is considered to be huge for an economy like Bangladesh. Despite its enormous impact on economy, there arises a question concerning its proper and productive utilization. Available records speak that this huge amount is only supporting the payment of import bills for the goods/commodities that can never be called essential or productive.

Nuclear power

I cannot believe that so many scholars and eminent persons are so far removed from the realities of industrial plants in Bangladesh as to recommend this as a viable option. The health risks associated with inappropriately managed nuclear waste are long-lasting and manifold. In a country where basic safety standards in any industry are a joke, and public understanding of the need for such standards is nearly nil, how DARE these people compare our situation to highly industrialized, educated and socially empowered societies like South Korea or Japan. Nor is the landscape of densely populated, low-lying Bangladesh anything like the areas in India and Pakistan where their nuclear plants are located. This is not just about economics, this is about geography, health and safety, and governance. Nuclear power is NOT for everyone or every part of the globe. How dare these people try to sway the public with such sweeping, ignorant remarks.

Story of a freedom fighter

The winter white light fell on the pale figure standing next to a corner of the shabby house. Those dark, brown eyes penetrated the core of my heart and as I looked at him, his eyes reflected nothing but memories trapped in another dimension. I wondered how this man once fought fiercely with the Pak Hanadar Bahini.

Second Padma bridge

As our country is criss-crossed by numerous rivers, we need many bridges, no doubt. But building bridges over big rivers like Jamuna, Padma, Meghna etc are not an easy task for a country like Bangladesh. Again it is not impossible at all in this age when financial and other assistance can be obtained from friendly countries and different agencies /organisations, if proper steps are taken at the right time. We built one of the biggest bridges in the world over Jamuna a decade ago. The present government is going to start the work of the first Padma bridge at Mawa point very soon. They also have committed themselves to starting the work of the second Padma bridge at Paturia-Daulidia point simultaneously. We think it is possible to undertake construction of both the bridges at a time. If that is impossible, paper works along with land acquisition etc i.e. all pre-construction works can be completed during the construction period of the first Padma bridge. After that the actual construction of the second Padma bridge can be started.

Pay hike

The Pay Commission 2009, after exhaustive study, scrutiny, participation of a cross section of people, recently proposed a salary hike to take effect from July this year.


Pakistani troops close in on Swat capital

Pakistan said yesterday troops were closing in on a key Taliban-held town in the northwest as they pursued their anti-militant offensive, which the UN said displaced nearly a million people.

Myanmar bars lawyer from Suu Kyi trial

Myanmar's military rulers disbarred a prominent lawyer who applied to defend pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in her upcoming trial, the attorney said Saturday.

British PM warns Lanka of 'consequences'

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday warned Sri Lanka there would be "consequences for its actions" if Colombo did not allow humanitarian agencies access to civilians and end the conflict with Tamil Tiger rebels.Brown also called for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to lay down its arms and allow trapped civilians to leave, and said he was backing United Nations efforts to end the conflict.

Obama retains Bush-era military tribunals

President Barack Obama has revived Bush-era military tribunals for top Guantanamo Bay terror suspects that he once branded a "failure," but proposed new rules on evidence and detainee rights.

Obama extends sanctions against Myanmar

President Barack Obama on Friday formally extended US sanctions against Myanmar, keeping up pressure on the junta at the height of its new showdown with detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Kashmiris want peace with Pakistan

Scores of Muslims here prayed for improved relations with Pakistan.

Israeli govt not a good peace partner: Syria

Syria's president said Friday that his country is interested in resuming indirect peace talks with Israel but does not believe the new Israeli government makes a good negotiating partner.

Young MPs likely to find place in new cabinet

With the electoral verdict clear, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance will next turn its attention to government formation and there is strong likelihood that young parliamentarians will find a place in the council of ministers, said party sources.

Rahul's summer of content

This is clearly Rahul Gandhi's summer of content. The self-effacing Nehru-Gandhi scion, who was was once seen as a reluctant politician who shunned the media, is now being credited for his starring role in the resounding victory of the Congress in the 2009 elections and the revival of the party in Uttar Pradesh.

Advani proposes to shun leadership in new House, BJP rejects

Taking responsibility for BJP's poor performance in the Lok Sabha elections, its Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani on Saturday offered not to be the party leader in the new House which was, however, rejected.

Congress celebrates election victory

Supporters of India's Congress party set off firecrackers and danced in the street on Saturday as they celebrated election results that swept them back into power with unexpected ease.

A deserving PM in waiting

He once described himself a politician by accident but today Manmohan Singh, who nearly risked his government on Indo-US nuclear deal, is a prime minister by design as he prepared to assume the top post after Congress' stunning success in general elections.

Congress on a high after comeback in UP

Congress leaders were jubilant Saturday after making a comeback in the politically significant state of Uttar Pradesh, where it was leading in 22 of 80 seats, with many giving credit to their general secretary Rahul Gandhi.

For Mamata, the elections were only a semi-final

From being the solitary representative of her party in the outgoing Lok Sabha to severely denting the red bastion in West Bengal - for Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee it has been an aggression-filled five years that saw her usurping not just the communist slogans but also their once-captive rural vote bank.

Did youth give thumbs-up to Cong?

Twenty-year-old Raeesha Khan had a jubilant 'It's thumbs-up Congress!' as her status message on Google chat Saturday. Following the number game closely on the TV as the poll results kept pouring in from across the country, she, like many young people, said they were glad they voted for the Congress.

Not supporting Congress was a mistake: Lalu

Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav on Saturday admitted that not supporting the Congress was a mistake.

Exit polls were off the mark again

The exit polls have gone wrong yet again. While all the surveys had predicted an edge for the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), they also said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would be a close second. But as results came in Saturday, the gap between the two was expected to be a whopping 100 seats.

NC-Congress combine sweeps Kashmir polls

The National Conference (NC)-Congress combine won five of the six Jammu and Kashmir Lok Sabha constituencies while an independent was leading in Ladakh.

Arts & Entertainment

Untold woes in the scenic tea gardens

A lush tea garden with towering shade trees is always a respite for the eyes and senses. The foliage obviously induces a sense of peace and tranquillity. But underneath the veneer of this beauty and serenity, remain stories of untold agony and muffled cries.

A cornucopia of artworks at Saju Art Gallery

Ramiz Ahmed Chowdhury Saju opened Saju Art Gallery at the Gulshan-2 DCC Market in 1974. The gallery hosted its first grand group exhibition in 1977. Over the course of three decades, the exhibition has become something of a tradition in the Dhaka art circuit. No private gallery has organised an exhibition on this scale up until now. Saju has not only established himself as an art connoisseur and trader, but has also become an effective organiser, promoter and a respected figure among the painters, critics, dealers and buyers.

Tahsan on The Total Music

Music based show "The Total Music" will be aired on Ekushey TV this evening at 6:30 pm. Tonight's episode features popular singer Tahsan in a segment titled, 'New Arrival.' The show will also feature a new song by the vocalist-musician.

Tagore birth anniversary observed in Jhenidah

The birth anniversary of poet Rabindra-nath Tagore was observed in Jhenidah recently.

Drama serial Karo Kono Neeti Nai on ATN Bangla

Drama serial "Karo Kono Neeti Nai" will be aired tonight on ATN Bangla at 8pm. Written and directed by Saiful Islam Mannu, the cast of the serial includes Ferdausi Majumder, Subarna Mustafa, Humayun Faridee, Al Mamun, Saberi Alam, Zakia Bari Mamo, Tinni, Shams Sumon, Mita Nur, Dolly Zahur, Mita Chowdhury, Dilara Zaman and others.

Painting and recitation competition by Agradut

Marking the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore and National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, Agradut Shishu-Kishore Sangathan, a local cultural organisation chalked out a daylong programme at the Sadar Upazila Parishad auditorium on May 15.

Theatre activist Gazi Zakir Hossain critically ill

Theatre activist and general secretary of Dhaka Padatik, Gazi Zakir Hossain has been under treatment for liver cirrhosis in India. Currently his condition is critical, says a press release.

Andrew Lloyd Webber eyes future for Susan Boyle

She "dreamed a dream" on the TV show "Britain's Got Talent," but could Susan Boyle be living that dream as the star of a West End show?

Scorsese hits Cannes with plan for restored films

Martin Scorsese has plans to get restored films in front of a larger audience.


Can the parliament expel one of its members?

A sub-committee of the Special Parliamentary Committee was formed to investigate the alleged corruption of the former Speaker Barrister Jamiruddin Sircar. The report recommended that he be expelled from the House for "massive financial graft involving moral turpitude." The Special Committee and finally the full House will have to act on the recommendations. This is the first time the Bangladesh parliament is faced with such an important decision. Can the parliament expel one of its members?

Reaping Bangladesh's interest

IN order to break the impasse of the World Trade Organisation's (WTO's) Doha Round negotiations another ministerial meeting is now being planned for December 2009. Members of the WTO have been struggling almost for the last eight years since the ministerial meeting in November 2001 in Doha to arrive at a consensus on a number of issues including an agreement on modalities for liberalisation of agriculture, non-agriculture and service sectors.

Af-Pak prospects

AFTER their recent summit in Washington Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US Asif Zardari and Hamid Karzai wore wan smiles. This is because of the Americans' tactic. These tactics were the standard carrot-and-stick policy. The US brandished the stick first. They had disclosed earlier that the carrots are truly succulent. Ground preparation included the beating up the "Af-Pak" leaders with verbal sticks. They had rubbished the Pakistan president as being inefficient and weak.

The Daily Star

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