The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, November 22, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 20th of May, 2009

Front Page

Trio took Tk 40 lakh in additional fuel bill

Former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, his deputy Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui and former chief whip Khandaker Delwar Hossain took over Tk 40 lakh as fuel bills in addition to their fuel allowances during the tenure of the last parliament.

Only 25 BDR men now found hiding

The authority has finally identified only 25 BDR jawans as fugitives among over 7,000 earlier claimed to have escaped from Pilkhana BDR headquarters after the February 25-26 carnage.

152 industries wreaking havoc

Indiscriminate discharge of liquid waste by the industries in and around Konabari industrial zone has ruined a large part of the Turag river and Baimail Jheel, causing immense suffering to residents living on the banks.

Risky lending ups defaulted loans

In the first three months of the current year, defaulted loans of the banks increased by Tk 1,067 crore or five percent mainly due to risky lending, sluggish business activities and seasonal factors.

Lanka free from terror, declares Rajapakse

Sri Lanka's president declared his country "liberated from separatist terror" yesterday as the military said it recovered the body of Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran from the battlefield on which he was slain.

Army HQ on BDR probe

The army headquarters yesterday urged the media to be more responsible while reporting on sensitive issues like the BDR carnage in Pilkhana.

Rahim slips, hurts eye

Detained former chief of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Abdur Rahim yesterday slipped and fell on a windowsill and injured his right eye while using bathroom at CID's Chittagong divisional headquarters.

Legal notice served on govt to save rivers

The government has been served with a legal notice to take immediate steps to stop encroachment, earth-filling and construction of illegal structures on Buriganga and Turag rivers around Dhaka and Shitalakkhya river in Narayanganj.

Nat'l ID cards to be made must for all

National identity (ID) cards would be made compulsory for every citizen of the country by amending the citizenship act, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday.

Wasa plans to preserve water of Ashulia

Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) is planning to preserve floodwater in Ashulia area, treat and supply it to Uttara to meet the ever-growing demand for pure water in the capital.

Sahab talks less in front of magistrate

Former National Security Intelligence (NSI) director Wing Commander (retd) Sahab Uddin in his confessional statement has concealed important information that he disclosed earlier to the Taskforce for Interrogation (TFI) during questioning.

Stop construction on arable land

The parliamentary standing committee on the planning ministry yesterday recommended that the government legislate against construction on arable land.

Call for curtailing govt, UGC control

Educationists, vice-chancellors (VC) of different private universities and civil society members yesterday appreciated the government's move to formulate a new private university act but urged to curtail the control of the government and the University Grants Commission (UGC) in the proposed act.

Maya sent to jail on surrender

Former state minister for shipping and Awami League (AL) leader Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya and Munshiganj district unit AL president Mohammad Mohiuddin were sent to jail after they surrendered before a Dhaka court yesterday and sought bail in two separate graft cases.

2 women killed

Two young women were brutally murdered and another was injured in city's Khilgaon area in the early hours yesterday.

BSF kills 2

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) shot two Bangladeshi men dead and critically injured two cattle traders in two separate incidents near Kurigram and Chapainawabganj borders early yesterday.

Japan closes 4,000 schools for swine flu

Japan reported 178 swine flu infections yesterday and closed more than 4,000 schools, colleges and kindergartens for the rest of the week to slow the spread of the virus, officials said.

Khaleda urged to reorganise BNP quickly

Leaders of BNP and its associate body Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal yesterday urged Chairperson Khaleda Zia to reorganise the party quickly by dropping 'known corrupt persons' in it.

'Major General Amin sent into retirement'

Major General ATM Amin, former director general of Bangladesh Ansar and Village Defence Party (VDP), was sent into retirement Sunday, said sources.

6 injured as AL men clash over illegal toll collection

Six people were injured, one critically, when supporters of two Awami League (AL) factions locked in an hour long clash over illegal toll collection and dominating a smuggling route on Monday night at Nawabganj upazila in Dinajpur.

Muhith blasts TU activities

Expressing dissatisfaction over the current state of trade union activities in the country, finance minister AMA Muhith said yesterday the government is working on a policy to streamline trade union activities in the public sector.

Jubo League man killed in bomb attack

Unidentified miscreants launched a bomb attack on a Jubo League meeting in Judge Court area of Chuadanga district on Monday night, leaving a ruling party leader killed and two activists wounded.

UK House of Commons speaker quits

The speaker of the House of Commons resigned yesterday over an MPs' expenses scandal which has plunged Britain into its worst political crisis for years and outraged voters.

Cong picks Manmohan to lead again

Newly elected Congress lawmakers formally chose Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as their leader for a second term yesterday, clearing the way for the swearing in of his new government this week.

Myanmar police testify at Suu Kyi trial

Myanmar police gave evidence yesterday against detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on the second day of a trial for breaching her house arrest that has sparked international outrage.

Thai foreign minister may visit Dhaka next month

Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya may visit Bangladesh next month to discuss with top government officials ways to enhance bilateral ties.

Editorial

The defeat of the Tamil Tigers

THE Sri Lankan army has decisively beaten the LTTE in war. With news of the death of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and his close associates coming in (though Tamil sources deny it), there is now confirmation that the government in Colombo is finally and fully in control of the whole island for the first time in more than two decades. That does not mean, though, that peace has at last descended on the island nation. It is a military victory that has been achieved. Now comes the far more important task of winning the peace.

Private sector universities

THE policy approach successive governments have taken to private sector universities in the country has been marked either by lack of inclusiveness as far as the viewpoints of stake-holders went, or by short-sighted formulation that failed to legislate for the future.

Forget 1971, says Pakistan

PAKISTAN has asked us to let bygones be bygones, to forget 1971. Now, that is indeed a queer proposition to make before a nation that Pakistan's soldiers so happily and brutally went into the job of murdering, raping and maiming over nine months of medieval barbarism. But, of course, we are ready to forget and forgive, ready to turn a new page if only Pakistan's government and its people would do their bit in helping us forget that sordid past. The trouble is their attitude has not helped all these years since the end of Pakistan and the rise of Bangladesh. It is always attitude that matters.

What now in India?

POLLING results indicate that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will become only the second Indian leader to win re-election after serving a full five-year term. Even though the election was fought primarily on domestic issues, the result has enormous implications for our region.

Equality of right in education

WITH the mushrooming of highly expensive private educational institutions in our country, ranging from kindergartens to universities, it is imperative to bring a semblance of equilibrium in our education sector.

Sports

Siddons targets India

Bangladesh national cricket team have tar-getted beating India in their first match of the ICC World Twenty20s in England and are all set to depart amidst some modest but important concerns from coach Jamie Siddons.

Their T20 with media

Given their reticence, it is uncommon for any of the national cricketers to speak with the reporters so when the entire national cricket team turned up to face the media yesterday, it yielded interesting results for both parties.

Tigers end prep poorly

The Tigers ended their preparation at home poorly when they suffered a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Maharashtra Cricket Association in the third and final practice match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday ahead of their departure to play the ICC World Twenty20s in England.

Heartbreak for Abahani

Abahani have been virtually forced out from the AFC President's Cup semifinals after Pakistan's WAPDA put the B. League champions behind on goal difference and qualified as the best runners-up among the three groups.

Tushar fashions Biman triumph

Bangladesh Biman rode on Tushar Imran's all-round performance to clinch the Public University & Services Cricket title with a six-wicket victory over Jahangirnagar University at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Asif off to Italy

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Asif Hossain was scheduled to leave for Italy last night to take part in the ISSF Shooting World Cup to be held in Milan from May 21.

Bangalore stay afloat

Jacques Kallis struck an unbeaten 58 and took a key wicket as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat leaders Delhi Daredevils by seven wickets Tuesday to stay in the Indian Premier League title hunt.

Worn out Gayle

West Indies captain Chris Gayle admitted the volume of international cricket his side were being asked to play was starting to get to him following their Test series humbling by England.

Ponting backs Symonds

Captain Ricky Ponting says he would "not be surprised" if Andrew Symonds's Test exile ends when Australia's Ashes squad is revealed on Wednesday.

Strauss very happy

Andrew Strauss, the England captain, believes the "hunger" his new-look side have shown in two crushing Test victories over the West Indies augurs well for this year's Ashes.

History beckons for winners

History beckons for the winners of the UEFA Cup final between Germany's Werder Bremen and Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine in Istanbul on Wednesday night.

Juve re-sign Cannavaro

Juventus announced on Tuesday the re-signing of Italy World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro from Real Madrid.

Rain ruins 3rd one-day too

The third one-day match of the Grameenphone Academy Cup between GP-BCB National Cricket Academy and Sri Lanka Cricket Develop-ment Squad was abandoned due to rain at the Sylhet District Stadium yesterday.

England lose James

England manager Fabio Capello will have to rely on third-choice goalkeeper Robert Green for next month's World Cup qualifiers against Kazakshstan and Andorra after David James opted for shoulder surgery.

Winning 2018 WC bid means a lot to Becks

David Beckham admits helping England win the right to host the 2018 World Cup would mean as much as all the success he has enjoyed during his illustrious career.

Black Cats struggling

Sunderland's struggle to avoid relegation will go down to the wire after lax defending contributed to a 3-1 loss at Portsmouth's Fratton Park here on Monday.

Cantona picks MU over Barca

Football legend Eric Cantona, the star of a new film competing at Cannes, on Monday predicted triumph for his former team Manchester United over Barcelona in the Champions League final.

China to host Italian Supercup

Next season's Italian Supercup between champions Inter Milan and Cup winners Lazio will take place on August 8 in China, news agency Ansa reported on Tuesday.

Lazio-Reggina match brought forward

Reggina's visit to Lazio scheduled for this weekend has been brought forward to Wednesday due to next week's Champions League final.

No Ballack for Germany

Germany's national team coach Joachim Loew on Tuesday left big name stars Michael Ballack and Miroslav Klose out of the squad which will play friendlies in China and Dubai.

Maria hungry for success

Maria Sharapova said she was gunning for Grand Slam glory again after making her comeback from a nine-month injury lay-off with a first-round victory at the WTA Warsaw Open on Monday.

Captain's caution

England captain Andrew Strauss told England to expect "a very stern test" when they faced Australia in this year's Ashes following their series trouncing of the West Indies.

Niaz shares third place

Grand Master Niaz Murshed is sharing the third place with ten other players in the Open Section of the 8th Asian Continental Chess Championship, a qualifying meet for the World Cup Chess 2009, after the seventh round of matches ended at the Subic Freeport, Olongapo City in Philippines yesterday.

'Cardiff okay for Ashes'

Glamorgan director of cricket Matthew Maynard insisted the county's Cardiff HQ would have no problems staging the first Ashes Test in July after a pitch there was labelled "poor".

Ijaz freed on bail

Former star Pakistan batsman Ijaz Ahmed was freed on bail on Tuesday ahead of his trial on fraud charges for allegedly giving a client bad cheques worth over one million dollars.

Imam's 5th death anniversary today

Renowned sports organizer Zafar Imam's 5th death anniversary will be observed today.

Inter-district volleyball

Vaizan Smriti Volleyball Tournament, an inter district volleyball tournament began at the Pabna Town Hall premise yesterday.

Quarterfinal for Punjab, Chennai

With a semifinal berth at stake, Chennai Super Kings, smarting from a stunning defeat to tournament-laggards Kolkata Knight Riders, take on Kings XI Punjab in a do-or-die encounter of the Indian Premier League here on Wednesday.

Business

Shrimp exports to EU suspended for 6 months

Exports of fresh water shrimp, second biggest foreign currency earner, to the European Union face a suspension for the next six months in the wake of cancellation of more than 50 consignments to the region due to the detection of health hazardous antibiotic-nitrofuran since January this year, officials said yesterday.

Call to raise domestic demand

Although the performance of the country's external sectors including remittance and export is still strong, exporters and economists have warned that the sectors will soon feel the negative impacts of the global financial meltdown.

Business leaders favour PPP funds

Chamber leaders and businessmen think the concept of a public-private partnership (PPP) budget is encouraging, as the local investors would have opportunities to participate in the development of infrastructures for smooth running of businesses.

Banks lending to women entrepreneurs to get incentives: BB

Bangladesh Bank (BB) plans to offer special incentives for private banks that would disburse large sums of loans to the agriculture sector and women entrepreneurs, the BB governor said yesterday in Dhaka.

Rahimafrooz to start carbon trading

Rahimafrooz will start commercial carbon trading from May 2010 for the first time in the country by achieving carbon emission reduction (CER) standard with an aim to earn $100 million a year.

Bar on tax holiday slammed

Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the finance ministry AHM Mostafa Kamal yesterday criticised Finance Minister AMA Muhith for opposing the tax holiday.

Financial reforms key to higher growth

The government should continue financial sector reforms to attain higher economic growth, advised the outgoing resident representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday.

GP listing at final stage

Grameenphone (GP), the country's largest mobile phone operator, will be listed on bourses soon, as the process is at final stage.

Ecnec okays 4 projects of Tk 426cr

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) in its meeting yesterday approved four development projects involving a total cost of Tk 426 crore to be financed from local resources.

Britain begins talks on selling bank stakes

The British government has begun talks with sovereign wealth funds and other investors about selling its stakes in part-nationalised banks, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

Muhith, Faruk reply to queries on budget today

Finance Minister AMA Muhith and Commerce Minister Faruk Khan will reply to queries on the upcoming budget at a programme organised jointly by Ntv and FBCCI at Sonargaon Hotel today.

Digital Bangladesh

Bangladesh has grown in various dimensions since independence its population doubled, its grain production tripled, its economy multiplied 10-fold but there is one valuable resource that has not grown at all because it cannot grow on its own our landmass.

Warming China ties benefit Taiwan

From the Taiwanese island of Kinmen, it is easy to see across the water to China's industrial and trading city of Xiamen, just a few kilometres away on the mainland.

Stocks continue rising

Dhaka stocks continued its Monday upward trend yesterday, backed by the non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs).

Asian markets rise

A rally on Wall Street and renewed hopes for the future of the global economy pushed Asian markets higher on Tuesday, with many touching highs not seen for several months.

US Congress votes for financial crisis probe

The US House of Representatives on Monday passed legislation to battle financial fraud and create an independent commission to investigate the causes of the global financial meltdown.

S Africa's Vodacom earnings drop 22pc

South Africa's largest mobile operator Vodacom said Tuesday its headline earnings had dropped by 22.1 percent in the last fiscal year, one day after its listing on the Johannesburg exchange.

Russia mulls $10b eurobond issue

Russia is planning to raise 10 billion dollars (7.4 billion euros) to cover its budget deficit with a 2010 eurobond issue that will be its first in 10 years, Russian news agencies reported Monday.

Oil above $59

Oil prices rose above 59 dollars in Asian trade Tuesday on hopes for a relatively quick rebound in the US economy and the escalating unrest in African crude producer Nigeria.

World economy could still worsen: IMF

The global economy could still worsen and consumer demand is unlikely to recover as strongly as it has in the past, a senior IMF official said Tuesday.

Norway enters recession

The Norwegian economy has entered recession despite government efforts to offset the impact of the global economic downturn by spending an increased share of oil revenues, official data showed Tuesday.

Hong Kong's unemployment at three-year high

Hong Kong's jobless rate increased to 5.3 percent in the three months ending April, government statistics showed Tuesday, the highest level in three years.

Thai auto sales fall 27.4pc

Thai vehicle sales in April fell for an 11th consecutive month, industry figures showed Tuesday, plummeting 27.4 percent year-on-year after further domestic political upheaval.

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 high school to be set up at each upazila: PMGovt high school to be set up at each upazila: PM

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina announced that textbooks will now be printed at district level and distributed among the students by local authorities, as the present book-supply procedure creates perennial problems.

Call to implement UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The eighth session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues began in New York on Monday with a call to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Develop expertise for strong negotiation at global forums

Bangladesh should develop expertise both at public and private sectors for strong negotiations at international forums to face the challenges of climate change, said the experts and academics yesterday.

Border remains secured despite arrests of BDR men: Sohel Taj

Despite the arrest of several thousand BDR members from different parts of the country, the border with the neighbouring countries has remained secured, State Minister for Home Tanjim Ahmed Sohel Taj said yesterday.

Nine killed in road crashes

Nine people were killed and seven injured in separate road accidents in Jhenidah, Gaibandha, Dinajpur and Cox's Bazar in last two days.

Number of hepatitis B & C cases on the rise: Experts

The number of the people suffering from hepatitis B and C viruses has been increasing in Bangladesh and it is time to raise awareness among the people to prevent and treat the diseases which often turn into fatal.

Traffic sergeant crushed to death under wheels of bus

A traffic sergeant was crushed to death under the wheels of a speeding bus while he was discharging duty on Mirpur Road in the city yesterday.

UZ vice chairmen want specific work areas

Newly elected vice chairmen of upazila (UZ) parishad at a press briefing yesterday demanded the government specifically define the area of their activities.

Switzerland keen to invest more in pharmaceutical sector

Outgoing Swiss Ambassador Dora Rapold yesterday said Switzerland is keen to make more investments in the pharmaceutical sector in Bangladesh.

EBL-St Gregory Nat'l School Debate ends

The Eastern Bank Limited-Saint Gregory National School Debate Festival came to an end on Sunday.

Ward councillor, son-in-law held in Savar

Savar police arrested a ward councillor and his son-in-law yesterday following a case filed against them on charge of extortion.

Case Against Ziaul Haq Zia

The additional district and sessions judge's court here yesterday declared six prosecution witnesses hostile in an extortion case against former state minister Ziaul Haq Zia.

Mahila Parishad condemns rape of schoolgirl in Khulna

Leaders of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad yesterday expressed concern and condemned the incident of raping a schoolgirl through blackmailing in Shipyard area in Khulna, says a press release.

Tributes paid to Hosne Ara Kamal

Women for Women and Women's Voluntary Association (WVA) organised a condolence meeting in memory of rhymester Hosne Ara Kamal at WVA auditorium in the city yesterday.

Students protest road accident

Students of Sher-e-Bangla Agriculture University in the city yesterday put up a barricade on Mirpur Road demanding punishment to the bus driver responsible for the road accident that left two of their fellow students injured.

Elite VC Seasonal Fruits Festival begins

Elite VC Seasonal Fruits Festival organised by Dhakabashi began at Dhaka University Teacher Student Centre (TSC) yesterday.

One killed in shootout with Rab

An alleged criminal was killed in a shootout between his accomplices and members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) at Shah Ali area in the city in the early hours of yesterday.

Debate helps strengthen democracy

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said debate, which is a battle of thoughts, opinions and ideas, can help strengthen democracy and ensure human rights.

Training on assistance to migrant workers begins today

A two-day training course on 'Building capacity for assistance to migrant workers' will begin at the Biam Foundation in the city today, says a press release.

Proshika chief's son out to create anarchy

Officials and employees of Proshika yesterday alleged that Qazi Rubayat Ahmed, son of its Chairman Qazi Faruque Ahmed, is trying to create anarchy in the head office by his hired goons.

Sarwar wins Agrani Bank Child Literary Award

Rhymer Sarwar-ul-Islam won the Agrani Bank Child Literary Award for the Bangla year 1411 for his book titled 'Muktijuddher Kishore Golpo', says a press release.

National

Farmers use family men to save labour cost

Farmers in many northern districts are using family labour for harvesting paddy to save the cost for day labourers as the production cost has already exceeded the market price in this season.

Rajshahi bus strike disrupts road links

Rajshahi bus owners and workers went on an indefinite strike yesterday to press for their 10-point demand, disrupting road communications between Rajshahi and rest of the country.

Increase budget allocation

Physically challenged people have demanded at least two percent allocation in the upcoming budget for 2009-10 fiscal year to ensure rights of around 1.50 crore of their kind in the country.

Karnaphuli workers on strike for pay hike

Workers' strike at different ghats of Karnaphuli River continued for the second day yesterday.

AL activist murdered

Awami League (AL) activist Apu Mastan,18, was killed by miscreants at his village Moheshpur in Sadar upazila Monday night. Apu's brother Parvez filed a murder case with Sadar police station yesterday accusing 21 persons. Apu was son of Hanif Mastan of Moheshpur village and worked at a garments factory at Narayanganj. Police recovered the body with marks of injuries from a pond.

2 children drown in pond

Two children in two villages drowned in pond yesterday. Three-year-old Siyam, son of BNP leader Muhammad Swapon Miah drowned at Sapna Lichu Bagan in the municipality area and four-year girl Hasina, daughter of Kader Miah drowned at village Genduguri of Patgram upazila. Both the victims were playing near pond.

JP man held with hemp

A Jatiya Party (JP) leader at Kulaghat village of Sadar upazila was held with five kilogram of hemp at Lalmonirhat railway station on Monday night. Nuruzzaman,42, son of late Taher Miah is the joint secretary of Kulaghat ward Jatiya Party, police said. Government railway police (GRP) recovered the hemp from his possession while waiting for a Bogra-bound train, police said.

Vishnu statue recovered

A 16-kg Vishnu statue was found in the district at the time of digging a pond of Abdur Rashid Khan at Silimpur village under Tongibari upazila yesterday. The partially damaged statue was seized by Tongibari police, duty officer ASI Lal Mahmud said.

20 hurt in AL-BNP clash

At least 20 people were injured in a clash between the activists of ruling Awami League (AL) and BNP at Atigram village in Mirpur upazila on Monday night. The clash erupted over establishing supremacy in the area, sources said. According to police, nephew of AL leader Altaf Ali beat up Saidul Islam, son of BNP leader and former chairman of Chatian Union Parishad (UP) Jamal Uddin at Chatian bazar in the afternoon. As the news spread, two rival groups locked in a fight for about an hour leaving at least 20 activists of both groups injured.

Extortionists blast bombs

Criminals Monday night blasted two bombs near the house of a businessman at village Amla in Mirpur upazila. Earlier, extortionists demanded Tk 1 lakh from Rezaul Karim and asked him to pay the amount by Wednesday evening. Criminals blasted the bombs likely as a reminder to Rezaul, locals said.

3,000 bag fertiliser seized

Rab-5 yesterday recovered at least 3,000 bags of Indian fertiliser from Kalai upazila of Joypurhat district in a raid at Punut village. The fertiliser was being transported to Bogra from Hili. Rab also seized the truck carrying the fertiliser.

Arms, bullets recovered

Kotwali police yesterday recovered two firearms and 27 bullets from a water body in Sree Angayan area of the town. The items include an SBLL foreign gun, one shooter gun, 10 shotgun bullets and 17 Chinese rifle bullets.

Shop owners stage protest

A section of medicine shop owners in the town yesterday kept their shutters down and laid a siege to the office of the Civil Surgeon (CS) demanding removal of a drugs store set up on Magura Sadar Hospital premises. Earlier, they held a protest meeting and submitted a memorandum to the CS in this regard. During the hour-long siege the protesters also.

Sramik Dal leader killed

Jahangir Kabir, 48, a local leader of Sramik Dal and general secretary of Khulna city unit of PDB workers' union, was stabbed to death yesterday at Banargati under Sonadanga police station. Sources said, the murder was a sequel to a dispute over theft of a cell phone owned by the victim. Police said, Kabir was severely stabbed in his neck and chest. He died on way to hospital. The killer, however, managed to flee.

Letters

Trial of war criminals

Recently, the report that Pakistan has been asked to seek forgiveness for the massacre and genocide they committed in 1971 was published in national dallies. The news came when Pakistani High Commissioner to Bangladesh Mr. Alamgir Babar Khan called on Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni recently. They discussed bilateral matters. At one stage, our foreign minister raised the 1971 genocide issue.

Neglected policemen

Police force is an essential organisation for any society or country. But from the very beginning, our police are alleged to be corrupt and rude. Here the question is, how much attention do we pay to this essential force? The police constables do not even get the basic benefits. All the amenities go to the higher officials of this force.

Nepal scene

The political crisis in neighbouring Nepal sounds the bell of alarm for all Saarc countries because pro-China Maoists may again try to create anarchy, after their supreme commander Prachanda's resignation from the post of prime minister.

A polluted capital

A few months ago, I had got a chance to go to Dhaka in order to attend a debate competition and took the opportunity to see the important places in Dhaka city. Now it is a city of pollution. Air, water are polluted severely because of unplanned urbanisation and indiscriminate throwing of wastes. The entrance gate of Dhaka city was a shocking experience for me. The ponds beside the railway stations of Dhaka city (i.e. airport, cantonment, Kamalapur, Mughdapara & so on) looked like black lakes or ponds. I did not see the natural colour of ponds in the city.

No opposition!

Is the opposition fading away? Its contribution at the JS sittings is hardly noticeable.

Foreign exchange reserves

At this moment of great economic depression which has spread its wings all across the globe, it is indeed a surprising thing to see Bangladesh Bank declaring their highest ever Foreign Exchange Reserves which have crossed a little more than 6 billion dollars. Their ignoring the recession riddled economy and their complacence about the so-called highest ever Foreign Exchange Reserves have really stunned the whole nation.

Create job opportunities

People have had the experience of being ruled by a non-elected government for more than two years. Especially, the economy of Bangladesh became infertile during that time. Before the election, spontaneously and surely, this government made us very optimistic. But already four months have gone by, and it is high time to perform better.

Pepsi programme

Soft drink giant Pepsi organised the 'Prove yourself day programme' on 13 May for the short listed candidates who participated in its recent promotional scratch card offer. It was a very nice idea. According to this offer, the people who drank the highest number of Pepsi during this campaign period were invited to participate in the 'Prove yourself day programme' which was held at the Mirpur indoor stadium. I was one of the participants of this programme and hence I went to the Mirpur indoor stadium on time at 11:30am.

NSU incident

On 13 May 2009 two articles were published in the DS that addressed the recent clashes at North South University and some other relevant issues regarding our private universities.

Law and order slide

Law and order has been deteriorating since the Awami League government took over. Initially, it was seen as the teething period for novice ministers and transitional incompetence of the enforcing agencies. But after four months of incumbency no improvement is in sight. Rather, the downward trend has accelerated. Even the school going children are being subjected to gunfire. Collection of tolls by professional criminals has gone to such an extent that victims even fear to inform the police. Rab, the elite law enforcers, have lost their edge. The government has little time to spare.

Sexual harassment

The High Court has laid down guidelines against sexual harassment of women.

Thanks, fire brigade and DESA

We are accustomed to listening to such news that the fire fighting team arrived late and did very little to extinguish the fire, and many such things which degrade the reputation of the fire brigade. On Friday (15.05.09), there was a fire on electric poles adjacent to our residence in Mohammadpur.

“A dying city”

This is in response to the letter by Harun-or-Rashid (DS, May 16).

Same old story?

Modest and reasonable media coverage is helpful for keeping the people abreast with what is happening in the country. But excessive propaganda reminds us of similar activities of the previous ruling 4- Party Alliance and thus of the proverb-"Old wine in a new bottle". Student, youth and volunteer wings of the ruling Awami League are getting increasingly involved in snatching tenders, contracts, extortion, occupying student halls, controlling admission in educational institutes in the rural areas, etc.

Cantonment house

Begum Khaleda Zia, former prime minister, is adamant not to vacate the house leased out to her. By doing so she is not drawing sympathy from the people, she is rather belittling her to the public. She doesn't own that property. She is a tenant and the state is the owner. She cannot deny this hard truth.

Shift of culture!

Looking back at our childhood, not so distant, the significant changes that society ran into at a great speed are questionable. I am not against change, rather I opt for positive changes that bring out the originality of self in respect of our culture, beliefs and religion.

International

Pakistan races to deal with 1.5m refugees

Pakistan said yesterday it was racing to help refugees fleeing a military offensive against the Taliban in its northwest an exodus of some 1.5 million of a speed and size the UN said could rival the displacement caused by Rwanda's genocide.

Aid agencies challenge Lanka over war victims

International aid agencies and the United Nations yesterday pushed Sri Lanka to allow desperately needed help to be rushed to displaced civilians now that the fighting against Tamil rebels is over.

Can Tigers carry on without Prabhakaran?

Velupillai Prabhakaran, the founder and chief of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was reportedly shot dead Monday by the Sri Lankan army, possibly bringing a final blow to the rebel group just one day after conceding defeat in one of Asia's longest-running wars.

Failure to compromise led to Prabhakaran's demise

The green fatigues had vanished, the trademark cyanide capsule had been discreetly tucked away and after 20 years of ruthlessly eliminating his enemies Velupillai Prabhakaran was giving a rare press conference his last as it turned out.

India to seek evidence from Lanka to shut Rajiv murder case

India will seek forensic evidence from Sri Lanka to confirm the deaths of Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and his intelligence head to finally close the case on the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi 18 years ago.

Prabhakaran raised formidable force before demise

The portly rebel leader with the bushy mustache and trusty Browning pistol turned a small band of poorly armed guerrillas into one of the world's most sophisticated and ruthless insurgencies.

Lessons of war from Tigers' defeat

The defeat of the Tamil Tigers might encourage other governments to put more emphasis on fighting insurgents by military means.

Don't ignore Tamil cry for self-government

Norwegian minister Erik Solheim, the chief architect of Sri Lanka's 2002 peace process, has urged Colombo to be generous and not to ignore the Tamil desire for autonomy just because the Tamil Tigers chief is dead and his organisation decimated.

Obama, Netanyahu bare Iran, Palestinian divides

During an intense first meeting as heads of state, President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid bare differing approaches on Iran and the US goal of a Palestinian state.

India asks Lanka to address 'root causes of conflict'

India asked Sri Lanka on Monday to "address the root causes of the conflict" with ethnic Tamils and to provide aid to tens of thousands of civilians displaced in the last months of the war.

'Photos show Pakistan expanding nuke sites'

Satellite photos released yesterday show Pakistan has expanded two sites crucial to its nuclear program as part of an effort to bolster the destructive power of its atomic arsenal, a US arms control institute said.

Tamil protest in London turns violent

A protest outside Britain's parliament turned violent early Tuesday as relief agencies and governments called for urgent humanitarian aid after Sri Lanka announced defeat for Tamil Tiger rebels.

Verdict comes with onerous responsibilities : Sonia

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi Tuesday said verdict 2009 is both "exhilarating and sobering' and that the mandate comes with 'onerous responsibilities."

Only time will show, says Rahul

As the television studios discussed the possibility of Rahul Gandhi's inclusion in the Cabinet, the man at the centre of it all said only time will show whether he would join the Ministry or work for the party.

India test fires nuclear-capable Agni II missile

India Tuesday successfully tested the nuclear capable Agni-II missile from a defence base in Orissa, official sources said.

Arts & Entertainment

In search of the omnipresent mythical bird

Vivacious colours, techniques and uneven strokes are the ingredients that beautiful paintings are made of and Afrozaa Jamil, a promising artist who has been working on rural themes for over two decades, is adept in all three aspects. A true patriot, Afrozaa delves deep into rural subjects and her artworks touch the various aspects of pastoral life.

Preserving history in motion

Bangladesh Film Archive celebrated its 31st anniversary on May 17 with renewed enthusiasm and hopes, as it is finally going to move to its own building at Agargaon, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar. The institute has also managed to secure a generous grant from Japan recently. On the occasion of the anniversary, a daylong event was held at the Central Public Library, featuring a poster exhibition, discussion and screening of the classic feature film "Shurjo Dighal Bari" (1979).

Rough times for flute-makers in the north

Flute-makers in the northern districts including Dinajpur, Rangpur and Nilphamari are facing harsh times, as the demand for their products has waned. There has been no government initiative to create national and international market for their craft, according to the flute-makers and traders.

Prakash Mehra, filmmaker of the ‘70s, passes away

Renowned Indian film producer-director Prakash Mehra, who introduced Amitabh Bachchan to superstardom in 1973, is no more.

Star Trek screened in space

"Star Trek" has been beamed aboard the International Space Station.

Children’s TV serial Tulir Telesmati on Channel i

The second episode of the TV serial for children, "Tulir Telesmati," will be aired tonight at 7:50pm on Channel i. The serial, written by Mezbahuddin Sumon, is directed by Taher Shipon.

Cinebeat Shadakalo turns 100

The 100th episode of Banglavision's musical programme "Cinebeat Shadakalo" will be aired this evening at 6:20pm. The programme features popular film songs from yesteryears.

Alternative band ‘Shironamhin’ on Desh TV tonight

Popular alternative rock band Shironamhin will be featured on tonight's "Call-er Gaan." The live musical show on Desh TV starts at 11:45pm. Produced by Alamgir Hossain and hosted by Alif Alauddin, the programme features popular and upcoming bands.

OP-ED

BB's monetary policy dilemma

FIRST of all, my congratulations to Dr. Atiur Rahman for being the first academic and research oriented economist to become the governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB). I wish him success with the country's monetary policy.

Lessons for our politicians

THE clean sweep by Congress in the Indian elections has confounded political pundits and astrologers alike. The prediction was for a tight race between Congress led NDA and BJP led UPA, with smaller parties expected to play a pivotal role in coalition formation. Words of horse-trading and backstage negotiations were already rife in the air, with prediction for either a hung parliament or political instability caused by loose alliance among divergent forces. The unexpected win of Congress has important implications for regional politics, and lessons for our politicians.

A nonchalant administrator

M Alauddin, a CSP Officer of 1952 batch, was a calm personality who sailed through his life in tempestuous circumstances without ever being cowed by unjust pressures or requests. His innate strength of character emanated from a built-in unperturbed attitude to support the right decisions even during crisis.

Last of the triumphant trio

THE Indian navy will long lament that post-retirement commercial and personal associations prevented the mantle of greatness draping itself upon the shoulders of Admiral S. M. Nanda, who died on May 11. His service record was impeccable and



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