The Daily Star

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Thursday, October 2, 2014


News of: Friday, 22nd of May, 2009

Front Page

Shady project in river

Bamboos and goran logs which arrived last Tuesday were piled up at the roadside, workers were sawing the bamboos into pieces, while some were carrying those to a newly filled up patch of land in the Turag river.

BDR mutiny for 'Dal Bhat'

The national probe committee on BDR mutiny did not find any militant, political or foreign links to the carnage at Pilkhana headquarters.

Hasty BTCL deal raises questions

The haste of Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) in awarding the Tk 140 crore project for installing modern internet backbone to Korean KT Corporation bypassing the BTCL board's observations has raised questions.

Rahim brought to Dhaka for further quizzing at TFI

Law enforcement agencies yesterday brought former National Security Intelligence (NSI) director general Brig Gen (retd) Abdur Rahim to Dhaka for quizzing him at the taskforce for interrogation (TFI) cell in connection with the sensational Chittagong arms haul case.

Alternative route bid abandoned

Abandoning the country's previously proposed routes, the government decided to connect Bangladesh to the Asian Highway Network (AHN) accepting routes proposed by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-Escap).

Conflict with MPs to hinder development

The current conflict between lawmakers and upazila chairmen may lead to political unrest and impasse in the country's development unless a mutually convenient policy is undertaken, said speakers at a seminar yesterday.

Cops' job gets tough

Almost all the high-ranking officers of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) are burdened with hectic schedules due to manpower shortage.

Pollution makes river waters hard to treat: experts

Water of the Buriganga and Shitalakhya rivers has become difficult to treat due to high level of pollution, said Dr MA Taher Khandker, director general of Bangladesh Haor and Wetland Development Board at a seminar yesterday.

Let's rally together

We've started to expose some of the many outrageous encroachments on four Dhaka rivers--Turag, Buriganga, Balu and Shitalakhya--with a plea to the government to go and check grabbers' claims.

Law to be updated for fair trial

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government has taken initiatives to update the existing International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 for holding trial of war criminals on charge of committing offences against humanities during the liberation war in 1971.

Saydee files defamation suit of Tk100cr

Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Saydee yesterday filed a compensation suit of Tk 100 crore against three lawyers, accusing them of tarnishing his image through filing a case to declare Saydee and 35 others war criminals.

PM pledges balance of power

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the local government system would be strengthened through striking balance of power and coordination in function between members of parliament and upazila chairmen.

HC asks govt to produce personal file on Zia

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government to produce before it on May 27 the personal file on late president Ziaur Rahman to examine whether he had any involvement in the proclamation of independence of the country.

Govt to stamp out militancy, crimes at any cost: Sahara

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday said the government would stamp out militancy, crimes and extortion from the country at any cost.

Govt targets Tk 80,000cr revenue in next budget

The revenue-earning target has been fixed at Tk 80,000 crore in the next fiscal year without imposing new tax burden on the people, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday.

Continue zero duty on import of newsprint

Newspaper Owners Association of Bangladesh (Noab) yesterday urged the government to continue zero tariff on import of newsprint for the sake of newspaper industry.

SSC results on May 26

Results of this year's Secondary School Certificate (SSC), SSC (vocational) and Dakhil examinations under eight education boards, Technical education board and Madrasa board will be simultaneously published on May 26.

4 held for New York 'attack plot'

Four men were arrested late on Wednesday over alleged plots to attack targets in and near New York.

Congress, allies yet to agree on cabinet berth

Efforts by India's ruling Congress to form a coalition ran into trouble last night with key ally DMK refusing to join the government as talks on allocation of ministerial berths and portfolios were deadlocked.

Sri Lanka to resettle Tamils in six months

Sri Lanka plans to re-settle most of the 250,000 Tamils displaced by the war within six months, two Indian envoys said yesterday hursday after talks with the island's president.

One lakh data entry operators to get job

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said he would recommend to the prime minister for employing one lakh data entry operators who were earlier engaged in voter list and national ID card programme.

Editorial

CHT peace accord emerging from back burner

The parliamentary standing committee on Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs at its first meeting in Bandarban, significantly held outside the legislative capital, has disclosed a couple of steps signalling a change in style and approach to the implementation of CHT peace accord. In the first place, the government it has recast the national committee for implementation with deputy leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury as its chairperson. Secondly, the Land Commission is being reconstituted to inject dynamism into the body considered crucial in sorting out land settlement issues.

Body to probe BDR jawan deaths

THE decision by the government to form a three-member committee to probe the recent instances of suicides and deaths of some BDR jawans is a welcome one. It is so because of the apprehension that has grown in the public mind about the deaths, especially at a time when investigations have been underway regarding the carnage carried out by mutinous BDR jawans at Pilkhana on February 25 and 26. Although the deaths have been explained away as plain suicides and in some cases as a result of cardiac arrests, the fact that these deaths have been reported when the BDR is especially in the spotlight has naturally led to a number of questions being raised. That the government remains sensitive to the issue and is indeed responsive to public concerns is therefore to be appreciated.

The end of the free market?

IF you have been putting on weight, Peter Ubel, US physician and behavioral scientist, says you shouldn't get upset. Obesity, he says, isn't a result of genes, but of genes interacting with modern markets. You aren't to blame for that bulge pushing your belt, evidence that when capitalism meets human nature, it leads to misery and harm. Freedom to choose is accompanied by freedom to make bad choice. The free market, he says, isn't a viable proposition.

Conserving our biological diversity

MAY 22 is observed as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) all over the world. The theme for the IDB in 2009 is Invasive Alien Species -- one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, and to the ecological and economic well-being of society and the planet. The theme provides the parties, which have signed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and those dealing with invasive alien species, opportunity to raise awareness of the issue and increase practical action to tackle them.

Re-inventing friendship with India

WITH the stunning electoral victory, India's secularist Congress-led UPA is back in power. We may see it as an opportunity to pursue our interests with the incumbent Indian government in continuation, and are upbeat on the prospect of realising the same. We should do our part to woo our next door neighbour into doing what it ought to.

Sports

Akhtar out of WC

Pakistan pulled fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar out of next month's World Twenty20 tournament in England due to injury, the Pakistan Cricket Board said Thursday.

Rajin, Talha & Zia called up

Rajin Saleh and Talha Jubair have been called up to the Bangladesh A side for the one-day series against Maharashtra Cricket Association which begins at the Bir Shreshtha Shahid Matiur Rahman Stadium in Khulna today.

BHF to meet coaches' demands

Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) is likely to sign a contract next week with the two German coaches for the national team.

Zia still in 3rd place

Grandmaster Ziaur Rahman is still in third place of the 8th Asian Continental Chess Championship at Subic Freeport in Olongapo City.

Mind games begin

As expected for a man whose girlfriend is a karate black-belt holder, Mitchell Johnson doesn't intimidate easily. So the sight of England's No. 3 Ravi Bopara rattling off three consecutive centuries against West Indies hasn't worried him in the slightest. It's a sentiment shared by his captain Ricky Ponting, who believes England's recent success will count for little when Australia arrive.

Delhi cruise along

Mohammad Ashraful's disappointing debut in Mumbai Indians' four-wicket loss to Delhi Daredevils in Centurion yesterday made sure the Bangladesh dream of the Indian Premier League was not realised.

Pandey powers Bangalore

Manish Pandey blitzed the highest score of the 2009 Indian Premier League Thursday to guide Bangalore Royal Challengers to a 12-run victory over Deccan Chargers and third place in the final standings.

Delhi maul Mumbai

Barring a late scare by Harbhajan Singh, who took 4 for 17, Delhi Daredevils go into the semifinals of the Indian Premier League with a confidence boosting six-wicket win against the Mumbai Indians at the SuperSport Park in Centurion yesterday.

Thirimanne ton sinks Academy

A brilliant century from Lahiru Thirimanne guided Sri Lanka Development side to a massive 128-run win over GP-BCB National Cricket Academy at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Eng-WI ODI washed out

The first one-day international between England and the West Indies at Headingley here on Thursday was abandoned without a ball being bowled after rain made the outfield unplayable.

Champions Club Cup from today

The Bashundhara Champions Club Cup begins today at 12 separate venues across the country.

Shakhtar's maiden European glory

An extra-time goal from Brazilian midfielder Jadson earned Shakhtar Donetsk a 2-1 victory over Werder Bremen in the UEFA Cup final here on Wednesday to clinch the Ukrainian side's first European title.

Heynckes plays down title chances

Bayern Munich's caretaker coach Jupp Heynckes on Wednesday said that he does not think his side can overhaul league leaders Wolfsburg to win the German title.

Moscow pain spurs Park on

Park Ji-Sung has admitted that missing out on last season's Champions League final was more painful than either of the two serious knee injuries he has suffered in his career.

Adriano in dreamland

Luiz Adriano was in dreamland after spearheading Shakhtar Donetsk's five-man Brazilian attack in Wednesday's 2-1 UEFA Cup final triumph over Werder Bremen.

Toni promises Italian holiday to Werder

Bayern Munich striker Luca Toni has promised to buy a holiday in Italy for the players of Werder Bremen if they beat Bayern's German title rivals Wolfsburg on the final day of the season on Saturday.

Perez keen on Mourinho

Florentino Perez, favourite to win the race to become Real Madrid's next president, is reportedly keen to lure Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho to the Bernabeu stadium next season.

Rio confident of Barca date

Rio Ferdinand has voiced confidence that he will be ready to play against Barcelona in the Champions League final next week, despite being told he must prove his fitness in Manchester United's final Premier League match.

Pakistan Akram's pick

Famed paceman Wasim Akram on Thursday tipped Pakistan to win next month's World Twenty20 in England, predicting the green shirts can triumph if they play to their potential.

PCB tells Yousuf to get ICL reply

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has asked Mohammad Yousuf to obtain a response from the ICL to his resignation request as it moves forward in a bid to bring back the batsman into the national set-up.

Shah hurt by snub

Owais Shah still doesn't believe he has had a fair chance to prove himself at Test level after losing his place following the tour of West Indies. With the success of Ravi Bopara at No.3 the chances of a recall look extremely slim, but Shah is determined to use the upcoming one-day cricket to make a statement to the selectors.

Grand finale promised

Bollywood superstars Katrina Kaif and Shilpa Shetty will join reggae icon Eddy Grant and R&B singer Akon onstage Sunday as the glitzy Indian Premier League (IPL) wraps up in Johannesburg.

Andre-Pete tie after so long

Tennis legends Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi will renew their epic rivalry later this year for the first time since the US Open final in 2002.

Maria's return cut short

Maria Sharapova's comeback from injury came to an abrupt halt when she was beaten 6-2, 6-2 by Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko in the quarterfinals of the claycourt Warsaw Open here on Thursday.

Club Cup Cricket

National Cricket Club of Nilphamari and Barisal's Nazrul Pathagar progressed during their final round matches of the National Club Cup competition yesterday.

Fraser regrets Lewis end

Former England cricketer Angus Fraser lamented a "sad day for cricket" on Thursday after former fast bowler Chris Lewis was jailed for 13 years for smuggling cocaine into Britain.

Footballer Hafiz passes away

Former Bangladesh age-group footballer Hafizur Rashid Hafiz passed away yesterday at Padma General Hospital in the capital. He was 33.

Confusion over Afro-Asia Cup

Confusion continues over the next staging of the Afro-Asia Cup after it emerged that it was being touted it would be held in Nairobi between July 19 and 25.

Warne eyes spin job

Shane Warne has expressed his interest in coaching Indian spinners if the BCCI offered him the job.

Business

Banglalink hints at merger

Mobile phone operator Banglalink, owned by Egyptian Orascom Telecom Holdings, hinted yesterday in favour of a possible merger with AKTEL, saying consolidation is an option among many other strategies of the company to sustain in the competitive market.

Ctg gas supply to improve

Installation of the compression project at the Sangu gas terminal in Chittagong is to be completed by July 1, to improve gas supply in the region, said an official of Cairn.

New guideline sought to attract FDI

Economists, experts and business leaders want to see some new directions and continuation of previous policies on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the fiscal year 2009-10 national budget, announcement of which is due next month, as fresh FDI inflow to Bangladesh is in a state of decline, mainly because of the global financial trauma.

New SEC directive on dividend declaration

Starting from July this year, it has been mandated that every listed company will have to disclose earning per share (EPS), net asset value (NAV) and net operating cash flow per share while declaring dividends, an initiative that will bring transparency in the market.

TeleTalk, BTCL shares to be offloaded

Shares of state-run mobile operator TeleTalk and Bangladesh Telecommuni-cations Company Ltd (BTCL) will be offloaded in the stock market to ensure people's ownership in the state-owned entities, the posts and telecommunications minister said yesterday.

Shipbuilders may change Bangladesh economy

Industries Minister Dilip Barua said yesterday shipbuilding, which is a very labour-intensive industry, has the potential for generating a huge foreign currency and developing extraordinary skills in the field of engineering.

WiMax, International Gateways tech soon

The telecom watchdog is likely to open the WiMax and International Gateways technology shortly, said the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission chairman yesterday.

Facilitate SME business

The government should facilitate the small and medium enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs to bring dynamism in the economy, FBCCI president said yesterday.

Fodder cultivation on roadside, fallow land stressed

Planned green grass plantation on roadsides, embankments and fallow lands can meet much of the fodder requirement that is vital to boost milk and meat production in the country, agricultural experts said yesterday.

US new jobless claims dip

New jobless claims by American workers fell to 631,000 in the past week, the Labor Department said Thursday in a report slightly worse than expected by most analysts.

New regional head of Nokia Siemens Networks

Nokia Siemens Networks, a leading provider of communications services with global operations, has recently made Krittika Mahattanakul the head of the company's Asia North sub region, says a press release.

Islamic banking drawing attention

The ongoing global financial crisis is far from being over. The G20, which together accounts for almost 90 percent of the world economy, met in London in April with the primary objective of reshaping the financial architecture. The final result was an attractive commitment worth $1.1 trillion to revitalise the stagnated global demand. The lion share of this amount (nearly 70 percent) has been allocated towards strengthening the IMF's role in assisting countries that are falling prey to the silent tsunami in the global financial system.

Some see signs credit crisis is over

Renewed signs of health among big US banks are sparking hope that the credit crisis is over, with the risks diminishing for a new financial meltdown.

Stocks move on plateau

Dhaka stocks closed flat for a second day yesterday, witnessing some minor ups and downs.

Oil prices lower in Asian trade

Oil traded lower in Asia on Thursday as investors cashed in on profits after an overnight rally that pushed prices beyond 62 dollars, analysts said.

Singapore economy contracts 10.1pc in Q1

Singapore said Thursday its export-driven economy contracted a better-than-expected 10.1 percent year on year in the first quarter but warned it saw no clear signs of a quick recovery.

Vietnam to open oil and gas university

Resource-rich Vietnam is to build its first university dedicated to training people to work in the oil and gas industry, the government said Thursday, as it ramps up production.

Bank of America may pay back bailout funds by year-end

Bank of America wants to pay back 45 billion dollars (29 billion euros) in bailout cash received from the US government by the end of the year, the Financial Times in London reported Thursday.

Citigroup to defend against lawsuit by Singapore tycoon

Citigroup said Thursday it would defend itself against a lawsuit filed by a Singapore tycoon who alleged he lost one billion dollars (687 million US) on trading deals due to the bank's negligence.

Metropolitan

One-third of children die of malnutrition in country

Around one-third of children in the country die of malnutrition which can be prevented easily by creating awareness about breastfeeding, said the speakers at the national launching of One Million Campaign, a global web-based initiative to support women to breastfeed, in the city yesterday.

BCL goes on rampage for seat allotment

Around 100 students of Daulatpur Government BL College went on a rampage on the campus at about 11:00am yesterday after failing to get their seat allotment in the Haji Mohammad Mohsin Hall.

Poor salary of teachers obstacle to quality education

Although teaching is a noble profession and the education sector always gets the highest allocation in the national budget, the poor salary of teachers is pushing them to the verge of frustration, said the speakers at a workshop yesterday.

Road crashes kill 4

Four people were killed and 10 others injured in separate road accidents in Madaripur, Comilla and Satkhira yesterday.

Huge VOIP equipment, Phensidyl seized

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in different drives seized Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) equipment in Rangpur and huge quantity of Phensidyl in Dinajpur yesterday.

Call to increase budgetary allocation for local govt

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday urged the government to increase budgetary allocation for local government institutions and specify their jurisdiction, responsibility and authority in order strengthen them.

Dinajpur social welfare official stand released for filing GD against AL men

The deputy director of Dinajpur Social Welfare Department was stand released and transferred to Barguna yesterday for filing a general diary (GD) against some Awami League leaders who tried to assault him.

Sino-Bangla friendship to be maintained

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said the existing multidimensional good friendship between Bangladesh and China would be maintained in the future.

Release of Comilla Survey Instt students demanded

The students of Engineering and Survey Institute of Rajshahi yesterday barricaded busy Shaheb Bazar road and staged a sit-in at Shaheb Bazar zero point demanding immediate release of Comilla Survey Institute students.

No scope for compromise on quality of education

President Zillur Rahman said the government has given utmost importance on the education sector to ensure quality education for all and ruled out any leniency on this question.

Future elections to be held without army: CEC

Chief Election Commissioner Dr ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said army will no longer be needed in holding future elections.

Businessman killed over land dispute

A businessman was beaten to death by his rivals over a land dispute at Broga Choinna village under Sadar upazila of Barguna district yesterday.

Rajshahi Polytech reopens tomorrow

Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute (RPI) reopens tomorrow amid tight security and restrictions on rallies, processions and activities of the student bodies.

6 children rescued at Benapole, 2 arrested

Police yesterday rescued six children and arrested two alleged female traffickers after raiding a bus in the Benapole land port area.

Teachers, students make pledge to change

The students of Cox's Bazar Government Women's College yesterday pledged to change the society by cleansing all its evils, odds and woes.

Veteran journo Shamsuddin ill

ATM Shamsuddin, a veteran journalist and language movement hero, is seriously ill.

Wild elephant kills one in Teknaf

A wild elephant killed a man at the reserved forest near Lechuaprang at Teknaf in Cox's Bazar yesterday.

Promote respiratory hygiene to prevent swine flu

Speakers at a seminar yesterday stressed the need to promote respiratory hygiene among the people in the country in order to prevent the spread of swine flu.

DU to honour Barkat 57 years after martyrdom

In a rare convocation in commemoration, Dhaka University (DU) authorities will offer the graduation certificate and marks sheet on Friday to Language Movement martyr Abul Barkat 57 years after his martyrdom.

Bullet-hit snatcher held in city

Police recovered the snatched money and cellphone sets and arrested a snatcher who was bullet injured by law enforcers in the city's Jatrabari area yesterday.

DU to open Centre for Moral Development

Dhaka University (DU) authorities have decided to open the Centre for Moral Development with a view to instilling strong moral values in people from different professions and making the country free from injustice, crimes and corruption.

Condolence meeting

Members of the Association of Physicians of Bangladesh (APB) held a condolence meeting on Wednesday in memory of the teachers of different medical colleges who have recently passed away.

Finance minister's comment on trade union condemned

Leaders of Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (SKOP) in a statement on Wednesday condemned the comment of Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith on halting the activities of trade union.

Army probe report army's internal affair

Army Chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed yesterday termed the army probe report on BDR carnage an internal affair of the army and said no decision has yet been taken in this regard.

Govt-NGO efforts needed to stop child trafficking

Long-term project and integrated efforts of the government and non-government organisations are needed to stop child trafficking, speakers said at a seminar yesterday.

Bangladeshi mountaineers leave for Nepal today

A team of mountaineers of North Alpine Club Bangladesh (NACB) is leaving Dhaka for Nepal today with an aim to climb the Annapurna IV of the Himalayas.

Hearing on Amini's bail petition May 27

Lawyers of Mufti Fazlul Haq Amini, chairman of a faction of Islami Oikya Jote, on Wednesday submitted a bail petition to the Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court of Dhaka in a case filed for bomb attack on a Sramik League procession on May 1.

'Root out communal forces from country'

Speakers at a mourning meeting on Wednesday urged the people to follow the ideology and works of late Syed Ahmed, a lawyer and one of the organisers of the Liberation War, and come forward to build the country a secular and real democratic state and root out the communal forces from the country.

Cardiac Society executives

Dr M Aman Ullah MP and Prof Dr Khawaza Nasir Uddin Mahmud were elected president and secretary general of the working committee of Bangladesh Cardiac Society recently for the term 2009-10, says a press release.

Letters

End of LTTE

It was the moment that Sri Lankans were waiting for 30 long years the end of the ruthless terrorism of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The security forces have reported to the president that their mission to defeat terrorism was over.

Agriculture and farmers

Considering its huge population, Bangladesh is a very tiny country. Cyclone and other natural calamities prone Bangladesh is undoubtedly dependent on agriculture and its farmers. But it is a matter of concern that every year our country is losing 1% of its agricultural land due to increasing housing and other development purposes.

Unemployment problem

Nowhere in the world is this problem so acute as in our country. Thousands of people in this country are now without any job. The bad effect of unemployment is not only confined to the economic field but it also destroys the moral fabric of society.

Cars for MPs

Reference: the government's decision to buy a car for each of the parliament members. I would like to draw the attention of the authorities as well as the readers to the following:

Save Ashulia

Ashulia Lake is a nice place. People love to go there with their friends and families. City dwellers yearn for a place where they can enjoy natural beauty.

Death of workers

Nowadays, going abroad to work is not a blessing, rather a death trap. Every day, we find the death news of migrant workers from abroad. A survey has been made by two or three newspapers that 912 dead bodies have reached the country in recent months. It is alarming news.

Queen Elizabeth's birthday

“The Daily Star” in its 14 May issue carried a special supplement marking the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Build an overbridge

All of we know that old Dhaka is extremely crowded with several types of vehicles. Most of the vehicles are not in good shape, sometimes drivers cannot control their vehicles, leading to accidents. To overcome it, the authorities should construct overbridges on busy roads, like Tikatuli area just near the Rajdhani market. It is quite a busy road, without any speed-breakers.

Market manipulators

Recently, the same business group responsible for the 1996 Dhaka stock market collapse has become very active in the market causing serious concerns for many, particularly small investors. They are trying to take advantage of their close relation with the policy makers by declaring higher dividends for market manipulation. They are so clever in their accounting and finance practices, that our weak SEC or regulatory bodies are helpless.

Future of ACC

It is reported in the newspapers that some powers of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) are being curtailed and the prime minister is being given the veto power to block or allow any case for prosecution by the ACC. This was an old rule which was abolished during the 4-party alliance government. There were reports of widespread misuse by the absolute power until 1/11, and the common people could know about the existence of the ACC only after this change. The "picked-men-select" theory was the rule. The findings of corruption cases during the CTG have in fact opened the public eyes. The people could only know that their country had become champion as the "most corrupt nation" in the world but they did not know the scale of corruption that could happen before that time.

Cleanliness

Clean living is the reflection of a clean society. And for a clean lifestyle we have to do away with all kinds of dirt, muck, filth, mess, stain and dampness from our society. Today a rickshaw-puller gave me a dirty ten taka note change which not only mentally let me down but also caused me trouble in passing it to others as everybody wants crispy clean notes for crispy feelings. But mere wishing will not help. We have to work with the government to create a civilized society. For cleaning all ills from society, first we have to start working for cleanliness which may involve cleaning filth, dust and dampness off all our private and public infrastructures and withdrawing all slimy and tattered notes from the market. Once the environment is clean and hygienic, people will automatically get rid of narrow-mindedness, greediness etc.

Pay hike

Recently, the Pay Commission submitted its report to the finance ministry with recommendation to increase the salary of government employees by 82% on an average. The recommended highest salary is Tk.45,000 (fixed) and the lowest basic salary is Tk.4,000. Other recommendations are: govt. staff will pay income taxes, education allowance for two children & retirement age extended to 60 years.

JMB menace

The speed with which JMB is spreading its evil roots in our country is really disquieting. Bangladesh being a poor country is more vulnerable to the proliferation of these obscurantists who recruit the poor religious minded people to serve their interests. Though Islam strictly prohibits terrorism or militancy and disseminates the message of peace, these poor people are given wrong interpretation of 'Jihad' with well-manoeuvred skills of oratory. They are paid regularly and trained well for different units e.g. bomb-making or suicide squads to establish their version of the state and that by killing people!

Thanks, minister

Recently, our education minister declared that this government would form a separate pay commission for the teacher community of Bangladesh. We don't know what will he, personally, be able to do for this derelict community, but this is enough for getting thanks as he has given his plan. We can anticipate such type of consideration from him because he has an extensive background of working with 'education' in Bangladesh. Generally, our political leaders like to remain far from this sector because this is comparatively less profitable in the business of politics. But till now he is working and this comments prove that he has feelings for this 'backward' group of people.

Nuclear power

In a bid to reduce the present energy crisis the government has signed MoU with Russia for setting up a nuclear energy project in Ruppur. Similar MoUs were also singed with the USA & China prior to that. Going by the present activities, it is evident that the government is determined to set up a nuclear energy project. My concern is, can Bangladesh handle a project like that considering its high risk factors, radioactive waste management, technical know-how and last, but not the least, fund sourcing?

Volleying back....

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International

More camps needed for Pakistan's displaced: UN

With thousands of people uprooted by violence in north-west Pakistan continuing to make their way to safety, the United Nations refugee agency said yesterday it is crucial to set up more camps and ensure speedy access to assistance.

Suu Kyi's trial back behind closed doors

Myanmar again barred diplomats and journalists from the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday, as international pressure mounted on the military junta to drop the case against the pro-democracy icon.

Power sharing key to Lanka peace

Its 30-year conflict over, Sri Lanka stands at a crossroads, with analysts saying only genuine power-sharing can open the new chapter of peace and prosperity promised by the island's hawkish government.

India's 'odd couple' take up another term

When India's enigmatic Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi first nominated the studious Manmohan Singh as premier in 2004, observers had their antennae tuned for signs of the first rift.

Britain allows Gurkha soldiers to settle in UK

Britain announced yesterday that all of the Nepalese fighters who have served at least four years in the British army can apply to live in Britain.

Five soldiers killed in Pakistan

Pakistan said yesterday five soldiers and a number of militants were killed during fighting in a northwest valley where fighter jets and ground troops have pressed an offensive against the Taliban.

WHO hesitates over declaring swine flu pandemic

A month after the world was alerted to a potential flu pandemic, the WHO was caught Thursday between the spread of the new swine flu virus to 41 countries and doubts fostered by its mild symptoms.

Obama seeks control of Guantanamo debate

US President Barack Obama yesterday aimed to grab back the initiative in a riotous debate unleashed by his order to shut Guantanamo Bay, under political fire from critics and allies alike.

India sends DNA samples to Pakistan

India on Wednesday sent DNA samples from 10 gunmen blamed for last year's Mumbai attacks to Pakistan, officials said.

Swat dwellers fend off Taliban

Armed residents confronted a group of Taliban fighters and foiled their attempt to sneak into a town in Pakistan's Swat Valley, the focus of a major military offensive against the insurgency, an official said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

The many moods of Smita

Smita Srivastava is a self-taught Indian painter, who has been quite active in the local art circuit over the last few years. She emphasises on female faces, capturing the various moods. Her works articulate Bengali beauty in their diverse disposition. Her first solo exhibition begins today at Gallery Chitrak, Dhanmondi.

World Museum Day

Liberation War Museum (LWM) held a discussion at its auditorium on May 20 on the occasion of the World Museum Day, observed around the world on May 18. This year the theme of the day is "Museum and Tourism." Discussants at the programme spoke on how museums can boost both domestic and international tourism.

Idol machine cranks out a new star

America chose sweetness over sizzle, small-town reticence over Vegas swagger, or as Ryan Seacrest put it, the guy next door over “the guyliner.”

Rawshan Ara Mustafiz receives Nazrul Academy award

Eminent Nazrul Sangeet artiste Rawshan Ara Mustafiz has been named for this year's Nazrul Academy Padak. The artiste will receive the award at an event held at Bangladesh Shishu Academy today.

Talk show Bangladesh Shopno Dekhey on Banglavision

Talk show, "Bangladesh Shopno Dekhey," featuring eminent personalities from different spheres of the society, will be aired on Banglavision tonight at 6:50 pm. Editor of The Daily Star Mahfuz Anam will be featured on today's episode. "Bangladesh Shopno Dekhey" is produced by Badrul Alam Nabil and hosted by Shaon Mahmud.

Theatre workshop and festival for children in Jhenaidah

A daylong theatre workshop and regional children's theatre festival '09 was held at the Sadar upazila auditorium on May 19. The programme was arranged by Peoples Theatre Association, assisted by Ankur Natya Academy.

OP-ED

The future of intelligence ops

THE arrest of two former intelligence bosses in connection with the massive firearms seizure in 2004 is news of far-reaching significance. It is relevant to note that operatives at different levels of the national intelligence outfit have been apprehended till date. The investigation and interrogation continue, and it will take quite some time to understand the real extent and nature of the alleged shady deals.

Back to the beginning in Lanka

FINALLY, the conflict in Sri Lanka -- Asia's longest running civil war -- is over, with the military bringing an end to the minority Tamil insurrection. The development has not come as a surprise since the once-dreaded Tamil militants had been ceding ground to the government troops since last year and their total rout appeared to be only a matter of time.

StarTech

Gadgets for holiday

Going out on holidays has become a norm for us all. Whenever we get the chance, we just start packing out backpacks or suitcases, and head off. Head off, somewhere where we are free from daily meetings and appointments, hectic schedules, assignments and exams, household chores amongst many.

Google adds automatic translation to Gmail

Google added automatic translation technology to Gmail on Tuesday, allowing users of its email service to translate messages in another language with a single mouse click.

SKorean firm claims world's thinnest LCD-TV panel

South Korea's LG Display said Tuesday it has developed a liquid crystal display (LCD) television panel that is thinner than a pencil, describing it as the world's slimmest.

I'm running late. Wait, my phone already told you

I'm running late. I'm stuck in traffic. I'm stopping by the market for a bottle of wine. I'm circling for a parking space. I'm just down the block. I'm right outside.



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