The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, September 2, 2014


News of: Sunday, 24th of May, 2009

Front Page

Time for 'river view' university

In a city of concrete jungle, developers with the idea of "river view" and "lake view" housing projects are making good business though most of them don't have government approval.

Key JMB man hiding across Rajshahi border

Zahidul Islam alias 'Boma Mizan', detained explosives expert of the banned Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), have told investigators that an 'active member' of the militant outfit, who is hiding in India for long, sends explosive substances to JMB.

Defaulting Huawei forgiven

The new BTCL authority in a sudden move waived a penalty imposed earlier on Chinese telecom vendor Huawei Technologies for their failure to supply five power generators required for a next generation telecom network project.

20 hurt as Shibir clash with cops

At least 20 policemen and Islami Chhatra Shibir activists were injured in a violent clash between them in Binodpur area near Rajshahi University (RU) campus yesterday evening.

Fit-again 7-yr-old pushed into coma

With a minor fracture in his hand, Sanjoy was admitted into a local clinic of Faridpur sadar upazila but a moment's careless treatment of a nurse put the seven-year-old boy's life in peril.

Haji Selim grapples with legal blitz

Former Awami League lawmaker Haji Mohammad Selim, who is facing a staggering 120 cases on various charges, has filed petitions for withdrawal of 65 of them, the highest number of appeals filed by an individual.

Govt to check if bribe money used for JMB

The government will soon form a probe committee to investigate whether the money given by Siemens as bribe was used to fund the banned Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

Govt mulls trial in absentia

The government is taking steps to try Pakistani war criminals of 1971 in absentia and the trial would be completed within the tenure of the present government, said Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday.

BDR man dies of 'liver cirrhosis'

A Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawan died of 'liver cirrhosis' at BDR hospital yesterday.

Let's rally round rivers

One does not have to be a nuclear expert to identify river encroachments. It's just too obvious. But it's all the more difficult to prove as all the river-gobblers have ownership papers, thanks to our corrupt land administration and lax monitoring by river regulatory body. Powerful, rich and ruthless, these river-gobblers find no difficulty in maneuvering legal system and managing law enforcement. They have become seemingly invincible.

7 lawmakers decline to fly economy class

The parliament secretariat had to shell out $7,000 to upgrade seven lawmakers' air tickets to business class after they declined to fly economy class.

Clarification, our reply

Drawing attention to The Daily Star news headlined "Tk 157cr Gas Plant: SGFL Board scraps 3rd re-tender process" published on May 16, the Sylhet Gas Field Ltd (SGFL) in a clarification said it was not aware of any powerful ruling party man playing a key role in cancellation of the re-tendering process for the gas processing plant.

Krishna made Indian FM

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh distributed key cabinet portfolios on Saturday after the Congress party's resounding victory in national elections.

2 Jubo League men killed

Two Jubo League men were killed at Kanar Ali village under Jhikargachha upazila in Jessore Friday night as unknown criminals threw a bomb at them and cut their throats.

Pak troops storm into Swat town

Pakistani troops stormed into the main town in the Swat valley and fought street battles yesterday in a bid to capture the capital of the northwest district from Taliban control, the military said.

South Korean ex-president takes his life

Former South Korean president Roh Moo-Hyun, who was at the centre of a multi-million dollar corruption probe, plunged to his death off a mountainside yesterday in an apparent suicide.

Madhav new Nepali PM

Nepal's parliament yesterday chose veteran communist leader Madhav Kumar Nepal as the nation's new prime minister following the collapse of the Maoist-led government earlier this month.

Wasa's bottled water project incurs Tk 2 cr loss

The Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) incurred a loss of Tk 2 crore in its bottled water project in last two years, while private companies made huge profits in similar ventures.

One killed, 25 hurt as AL factions clash

An Awami League (AL) activist was killed and 25 others were injured yesterday in a clash between two AL factions over filling of a case at Dhaura village in Jhenidah.

Low over Bay

A well-marked low formed over the southwest and adjoining west-central Bay moved slightly northwestwards and intensified into a depression yesterday afternoon.

Editorial

Print media merits continuing support

THE Bangladesh Paper Mills Association has raised a demand that we find on close examination to be not only unmerited but also one seemingly designed to subvert the growth of newspaper industry. The association has ostensibly sought protection of the local industry by demanding that newspapers buy 50 percent of their total requirement locally and the remainder 50per cent through import carrying a100per cent duty.

Manmohan Singh begins his second term

A 20-member Indian cabinet led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been sworn in. While India's people look forward enthusiastically to a further strengthening of democracy in the days ahead, India's neighbours hope for more developed and concrete ties with Delhi in the coming years. In one of his early pronouncements, Mr. Singh made it known that his intention was to focus on improving ties with countries in the region. A rejuvenated Manmohan Singh can now look forward to an implementation of that goal in South Asia.

Taking on sexual harassment

THE High Court, in an epoch-making move, issued a set of guidelines on May 14 to plug a gaping hole in the country's existing laws through introducing a first-ever ban on any kind of sexual abuse and harassment of women, girls, and children at their workplaces, educational institutions, and other public places including roads.

The cost of smuggling

RECENTLY, I was invited by the National Defense College (NDC) to speak on smuggling. I was happy to accept the invitation because, when NDC started its journey, I was one of the members of the board of governors (as VC of JU) and also attended the inaugural function.

Declining status of RU teachers

WHILE it is true that university teaching as a profession has lost its excellence, it was still well regarded in the society even in the recent past. When I was a student during the mid 1990s, I found a special distinction for this profession.

Sports

Tigers off to England

Bangladesh cricket team left here for England yesterday, reiterating that they have targeted defending champions India to fulfil their dream of making the Super Eights of the ICC World Twenty20.

Bashar fooling no one

A little over seven months after a dramatic retirement and subsequent defection to the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL), one-time Bangladesh skipper Habibul Bashar 'realized' the value of national pride.

MCA make it one-all

Maharashtra Cricket Associa-tion (MCA) levelled the three-match one-day series with a four-wicket win over Bangla-desh A at the Bir Shreshtha Shahid Matiur Rahman Stadium in Khulna yesterday.

Four-star Fazlul sinks Shingra

Fazlul Haque scored four times as Sirajganj Ekok Sangha blanked Shingra Upazila 8-0 in one of twelve matches in the Bashundhara Champions Club Cup at the Rajshahi Stadium yesterday.

It's Bangalore v Deccan

Indian stalwart Rahul Dravid and two of the country's rising stars took the Royal Challengers Bangalore to victory in their Indian Premier League semifinal against the Chennai Super Kings at the Wanderers Stadium on Saturday.

Bashar gets ICL NOC, submits to BCB today

Former Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar will submit his ICL no objection certificate (NOC) to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) today to facilitate his comeback to the mainstream.

Hughes confident

Australian Test opener Phillip Hughes said Friday he will head into this year's Ashes series full of confidence after his 'Bradmanesque' stint in English county cricket.

Strauss cool over star absences

England captain Andrew Strauss insists injuries to star players Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen are not casting a shadow over the side's preparations for the World Twenty20 and the Ashes.

Gilchrist in full flow

It was once said of Brian Lara's batting that the opposing captain's only hope was to place his fielders in the gaps. Roughly the same thought would have gone through Virender Sehwag's mind as he watched his bowlers being taken apart, brilliantly and brutally, by Adam Gilchrist . To reduce a Gilchrist knock to statistics is a crime but one number last night tells a story: There were five dot balls in his 85. Just five. Within 17 balls, by when he had reached his fifty, he had killed the game and knocked out Delhi, the strongest team in the competition.

Chittagong slowly raise their voice

A cross-section of people in Chittagong have began to raise voices in their demand to host one or two matches of the cricket World Cup 2011.

Ordinary World Cup for Asif

Asif Hossain Khan was eliminated from the ISSF World Cup as the Commonwealth gold medallist shooter finished 54th among 75 participants in the qualifying round in Milan yesterday.

Thorpe weighs in

Graham Thorpe has said Australia's middle-order must 'backfire' if England are to regain the Ashes.

Abu Dhabi ready for 2011 WC

Dilawar Mani, the chief executive of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council, will be meeting the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt in the coming week to discuss the possibility of Pakistan hosting their World Cup matches at Abu Dhabi as a neutral venue. Pakistan's share of matches in the 2011 World Cup were taken away by the ICC due to concerns over security in the aftermath of the shootings in Lahore, where gunmen targeted a team bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers.

Duminy learns from the Master

Superstar Sachin Tendulkar limits his private time to just 'five or six friends', according to Mumbai Indians teammate JP Duminy.

Zia takes 24th spot

Grand Master Ziaur Rahman lost the last round against his Kazakistan counterpart Murtas Kazhgaleyev to finish 24th in the Open Section of the 8th Asian Continental Chess Championship at Subic Freeport, Olongapo City in Philippines.

Modi hints at two IPLs

Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, has hinted that the Twenty20 tournament could be held twice a year, once in India and a shorter one overseas.

Wolves' maiden glory

Wolfsburg won their maiden Bundesliga title on Saturday with a 5-1 victory over Werder Bremen as their strikers Grafite and Edin Dzeko set a new goal-scoring record for a German league partnership.

Maldini set for farewell

After 24 seasons as one of Italy's finest defenders and AC Milan's emblem, Paolo Maldini will play his last match at the San Siro this weekend when AS Roma are in town.

Henry returns to training

French striker Thierry Henry returned to training with the rest of his Barcelona teammates on Friday, five days ahead of the team's Champions League final against Manchester United in Rome.

Benitez snub surprises Fergie

Sir Alex Ferguson insists he was surprised that Rafa Benitez did not congratulate him after Manchester United pipped Liverpool to the Premier League title.

James played through pain

England goalkeeper David James has played through the pain barrier for 18 months because of a shoulder injury, Portsmouth manager Paul Hart revealed on Friday.

Business

Local investment edges down

The country has been experiencing a drop of around 0.03 percentage points in investment, both public and private, for the last three years, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics says.

Poultry operators demand special funds

Poultry industry operators want special funds that would assist the sector to meet future demand and create employment for over one crore people by 2021.

Cabinet to discuss govt staff salary tomorrow

The finance ministry has recommended that the cabinet form a secretarial committee to implement the proposals of the Pay Commission for the government staff, officials said.

WTO takes flak for farm subsidy policy

Speaker Advocate Abdul Hamid yesterday asked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to shun its 'double standard policy' on farm subsidy.

Metro Spinning to set up composite textile unit

Metro Spinning, a sister concern of Maksons Group, plans to set up an export-oriented composite textile unit, a forward linkage for the yarn maker.

NBFIs demand tax cut

Leasing and finance companies demanded yesterday a lower tax rate for them than what is being charged in case of banks.

Export, remittance to help fight recession

Competitiveness of local exports, strong inflow of remittances and terms-of-trade gains resulting from the collapse in global commodity price will help the country be resilient in the face of recession fallout, a seminar was told yesterday.

24MW rental power plant comes on stream

A 24-megawatt (MW) rental power plant in Barabkunda in Sitakunda upazila, the first private power generation initiative in Chittagong, started operations yesterday.

BTCL slashes call rate

The state-run landline operator Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) has decided to introduce a Tk 0.30 per minute nationwide flat call rate for its 8.7 lakh customer base, effective from July 1.

Malaysia furniture show in July

A four-day furniture fair, Malaysia FITEC Furniture Showcase 2009, will kick off at Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre in Dhaka on July 7, says a press statement.

Barua urges industries to make quality products

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday urged the industrial entrepreneurs to produce relatively cheap but standard products for rapid development of the country's industrial sector.

FDI in Russia drops 43pc

Foreign direct investment in Russia dropped 43 percent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period last year, the state statistics agency Rosstat said on Friday.

Job losses pile up in US states

All but six states lost jobs in April and double-digit unemployment persisted in every corner of the country as companies squeezed by the recession slashed payrolls.

Tourists throng ‘ghost’ metro stations in Paris

Haxo, one of several "ghost" metro stations in Paris, was built in 1900 but rarely used. Like the others, the disused facility now attracts tourists and filmmakers captivated by their rich history.

Turnaround in stocks

Dhaka stocks turned around with some upward momentum last week, after the previous week's bearish behaviour amid the dominance of speculative investments.

Turkey, Brazil urge energy trade boost

Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Brazilian counterpart Inacio Lula da Silva on Friday appealed for a boost in trade between their two countries, notably in the energy sector.

Oil rallies further

Oil and gold prices extended their recent rallies this week as investors scooped up commodities on signs of a pick-up in a global economy that has suffered its worst downturn in decades.

Emirates airline profit plunges on fuel costs

Full-year profit at Emirates, one of the world's fastest growing airlines, plunged 80.4 percent as oil prices skyrocketed to an all-time high of 147 dollars a barrel, the company said on Friday.

Magna prepared to invest 700m euros in Opel

Canadian auto parts maker Magna International and Russia's Sberbank are prepared to invest 700 million euros in a venture to buy General Motors' Opel unit, and leave the US giant with a 35 percent stake, Magna said Friday.

GM says it received $4b more from US Treasury

General Motors said Friday it had received a higher-than-expected extra four billion dollars from the US Treasury, bringing the total in emergency government loans to more than 19 billion dollars.

Vietnam inflation slows to 5.58pc in May

Vietnam's inflation rate slowed to 5.58 percent in May, down sharply from last year's record high, the General Statistics Office said.

Weekly Currency Roundup

May 17-May 21, 2009
Local FX Market
This week, the market was active and US dollar was stable against the Bangladesh taka. The market was mostly liquid this week.

Metropolitan

Indigenous groups for change in UN working methods

As representatives of UN agencies and funds highlighted their respective strategies to address indigenous peoples' concerns, the representatives of indigenous peoples yesterday urged the United Nations to change its working methods so that they remain the driving force behind -- and not merely the object of -- those efforts.

Budget allocation decreases every yr

Budget allocation for indigenous people is decreasing every year, said the speakers at a roundtable yesterday.

NGOs urged to ensure transparency

Speakers at a discussion yesterday urged all not to make any sweeping derogatory comments on the non-government organisations (NGOs) as such comments may mislead the people, which could affect the development process.

Enforce law against use of polybags

The government must immediately enforce the law against using polythene and ensure supply of eco-friendly jute and paper bags across the country, speakers said at a discussion at National Press Club yesterday.

'Construction of outer ring road in Ctg soon'

State Minister for Housing and Public Works Abdul Mannan Khan yesterday said the government would take steps soon for implementing the outer ring road in the port city for the greater development of the region.

Over 100 militant, terrorist outfits active in country

Over 100 militant and terrorist organisations are now active in the country and they are launching their activities in the name of Islam at the direct or indirect instigation of Jamaat, Shahriar Kabir, acting president of Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, said yesterday.

Road crashes kill 2 schoolboys

Two schoolboys and a man were killed in separate road accidents in Benapole, Gaibandha and Pabna yesterday.

'City unit of BNP not finalised due to internal conflicts'

BNP standing committee member Dr RA Gani yesterday said the party could not yet finalise the committee for Dhaka city unit due to internal conflicts over leadership, but they would not take any initiative to resolve the issue.

Villagers clash with housing company staffs in Gazipur

Three villagers were critically injured in a clash between locals and employees of a housing company at Samarsingh village (Amtoli) at Pubail union under Gazipur Sadar Police Station yesterday.

Govt urged to cancel full implementation

Members of Obhibhabok Shamannay Committee yesterday called on the government to cancel full implementation of the structured question (SQ) method for SSC examinations to be introduced in 2011, saying that most teachers and students are still in the dark about this new question pattern.

Book publishers to boycott today's meeting with minister

Leaders of Bangladesh Book Publishers and Sellers Association (BBPSA) yesterday said they will abstain from attending today's meeting with the education minister as they were not invited properly by the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB).

Expat's wife murdered

Wife of an expatriate Bangladeshi was stabbed to death by a gang of unidentified criminals at a house at Kadamtali on the outskirts of the city last night.

280 cops leave for Sudan to join UN mission

Two more contingents of 280 police personnel left for Sudan on Wednesday and Friday to join the UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur.

10 BCL men injured in factional feud

Two rival groups of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at Dhaka College clashed over occupying seats in a student dormitory leaving at least 10 students injured yesterday.

British team due in city today

A six-member delegation of six young British Bangladeshi professionals will arrive in the city today on a five-day visit with an aim to strengthen the bonds between the expatriate communities living in the UK and Bangladesh.

No JMB link to Unicef, IFRC,WFP threats

The investigation committee has found no Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) connection with the threat given to the local offices of Unicef, International Federation of Red Crescent (IFRC) and World Food Programme (WFP) here.

2 held with 13 voter cards of DU registered graduates

The police arrested two persons along with 13 voter cards of registered graduates of Dhaka University for its senate elections from a coaching centre in the city yesterday.

Savar Jubo Dal leader held

Police yesterday arrested poura Jubo Dal leader Yunus Khan from Savar on various charges.

'Declare Home Economics College an autonomous institute of DU'

Students of Home Economics College yesterday brought out a procession on Dhaka University campus and submitted a memorandum to the vice chancellor of the university to press home their demand of declaring the college as an institute of the DU, says a press release.

Cancellation of fee hike at DU demanded

The leaders and activists of JSD Bangladesh Chhatra League of Dhaka University (DU) unit yesterday took out a procession on the campus demanding cancellation of the increased fees in all departments, says a press release.

Reception to 2 ministers

The alumni association of Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) department at Dhaka University yesterday accorded a reception to Industries Minister Dilip Barua and State Minister for Housing and Public Works Abdul Mannan Khan for becoming cabinet members.

Computer lab opens in city

A computer lab designed to impart computer literacy to the people especially students was inaugurated at the Journalist Residential Area School in city's Mirpur area yesterday.

BNP memo to Dhaka DC today

As per previous declaration BNP will place a memorandum to Dhaka District Commissioner at 10:00am today, says a press release.

Foreign ships with imported cars start anchoring at Mongla June 3

Foreign vessels carrying imported cars will start arriving at Mongla port in Khulna on June 3.

Death anniversary

Today is the 26th death anniversary of Barrister Saleh Uddin, a Language Movement veteran and one of the organisers of the War of Liberation, says a press release.

National

Padma devours town protection embankment

A portion of the town protection embankment in Faridpur was devoured by the Padma yesterday well before the start of monsoon.

Tortured by husband, poor Fuljan fights for life

Victim of brutalities by husband and his in-laws, 20-year-old Fuljan is fighting for life at Faridpur General Hospital.

Bridge collapse snaps road links for 9 days

Traffic movement on Pekua-Moghnama-Baniachhara Road in coastal upazila Pekua has remained suspended since May 15 when the 130-metre 'alternative bridge' across the Kataphari River collapsed under the pressure of a salt-laden truck.

'Release 7 fellows of Comilla institute'

Students of Engineering and Survey Institute in Rajshahi yesterday staged a sit-in at Sonadighi crossing on busy Sonadighi road demanding immediate release of Comilla Survey Institute students.

Deer hides seized in Barguna

Police seized four deer hides at South Chardoani village under Patharghata upaizila of Barguna district on Friday night.

Depositors occupy Jubok land

Failing to get back their money, eight depositors occupied land owned by Jubok Housing Society in Dumki upazila of the district on Thursday and Friday.

Classes resume at Rajshahi polytech

Classes resumed at Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute yesterday amid tight security and restrictions on rallies, processions and political activities on the campus.

CU classes resume

Academic activities at Chittagong University (CU) resumed yesterday after a six-day suspension. The university authorities suspended all classes and examinations on May 15 following a clash on the campus between the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Islami Chhatra Shibir that left at least 30 injured. Though presence of the students yesterday was thin, all classes and scheduled examinations were held peacefully. No untoward incident took place on the first day, said CU Assistant Proctor Chandan Kumar Poddar. Meantime, Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) CU unit submitted a memo to Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Abu Yusuf to press their four- point demand in the afternoon. The demands included cancellation of seats allocated amid irregularities, punishment to the Shibir cadres who attacked them on May 14 and treatment expenditure for injured activists.

Elderly man murdered

Police recovered body of an elderly man from a water body at Dinonathpur Friday evening. Police said, Abed Ali,60, of Dinonathpur village under Sadar Upazila went to a field near the water body in the morning for grazing cows. But locals found his body in the evening floating in water with marks of injuries. Sub Inspector Jamal Uddin of Sadar Police Station said, they are yet to ascertain the reason behind his death. Wife of the deceased filed a murder case.

Shop owners stage protest

Medicine shop owners at Sadar Hospital Road yesterday again kept their shutters down for about two hours demanding removal of a drug shop set up on Magura Sadar Hospital premises. They brought out a procession which paraded the main thoroughfare of the town. Later, the shop owners went to the residence of Magura-1 constituency lawmaker and submitted a memorandum to him. Earlier, on Tuesday they laid a siege to the office of the Civil Surgeon (CS) and submitted a memorandum to him demanding eviction of the aforesaid medicine shop.

Principal held on rape charge

Police on Friday night arrested a college principal on charge of trying to violate a domestic help at Madhnagar village under Naldanga Police Station. Afaz Uddin, pricipal of Madhnagar Degree College used to live in a rented house. When the young maid of the house came to ground floor for taking drinking water from a tube well, Afaz allegedly tried to rape her. Angry people laid a siege to the house. Later police arrested him and a case was filed in this regard.

Brac official arrested

A branch manager of Kamapra Brac office under Sadullapur upazila was arrested by police yesterday on charge of embezzlement of Tk five lakh 21 thousand. His co-accused, however, fled away to avoid arrest after a case was filed with Sadullapur Police Station on Thursday. Police said, Shahidul Islam, branch manager and Mahfuzur Rahman, accountant of Kamarpara Brac office withdrew the amount from the local branch of Agrani Bank a few days ago and embezzled the money without depositing to Brac office. Police arrested Shahidul following a case filed by the Brac area manager.

Letters

Indian election

The unexpectedly resounding victory of the Congress party, in India's general election, has highlighted that people in India have rejected the rather communal BJP. This election has also seen the crumbling of the Leftists in their very own citadel---West Bengalas Mamata's Trinamul Congress decimated them. Now as experts have opined, a Congress led government would be better for Bangladesh in terms of solving some of the unresolved issues, issues of great importance, with India like water-sharing, maritime boundary, skirmishes between the BDR and the BSF, trade deficits etc.

Death of a river

Many civilizations grew up on riverbanks. Our capital city Dhaka was also born on the banks of Buriganga some centuries ago. But this very river is now clinically and biologically dead. The notorious grabbers have been shrinking its width filling earth and then making houses and buildings. At the same time we have polluted its water to such a level that no fish or any other aqua creatures can live in it. Now the Buriganga is not only without fish, none can touch its water, let alone drinking it. Chemical effluents of tanneries and other industries including dangerous dyeing materials, garbage etc have caused this condition of the once beautiful river. Even two or three decades ago the distinguished guests from abroad used to go on river excursion on our famous pedal steamers (Gazi, Ostrich etc) from/to Sadarghat. Now people get sick taking the bad smell of water. And from this river the polluted water is spreading to other regions of our country. It is high time steps are taken to stop pollution of the river.

T20 cricket

Thousands of cricket lovers in the South African grounds, thousands more glued to the TV screens in many countries, are relishing the matches being played by the stalwarts of the world cricket. It is no more a euphoria, some tend to say. Some are of the view that time will determine the value of the mini version of cricket ! Whatever the split opinions are in speculations, there is no doubt that this T20 cricket version is at its peak for many reasons; and that it has been successful in delivering pleasure to the audience, and a big amount of money to the players.

Apology from Pakistan

This refers to the article titled, "Forget 1971 - says Pakistan" published in your daily on 20th May. I must clarify that I am a Pakistani individual presently living in Dhaka and do not officially represent anyone in this letter. I may dare, however, claim that the thoughts expressed below will echo most favourably among the silent majority of Pakistanis, especially the members of its fledgling civil society and particularly the people who are still being systematically disenfranchised, brutalised and tortured by the establishment there.

Speaker in dilemma

I am talking about the speaker of the American Congress, Nancy Pelosi. She appeared to be in the wrong corner while dealing with the issue of "torture" in custody in the USA. We will have to wait to see how the current debate develops in the political parties' ends and what actually she heard and when--- a centre point in the debate.

A land of tourism

As a tourism destination, Bangladesh is truly hard to beat. Bangladesh definitely offers a lot to see, enjoy and do. Bangladesh means a 'country where Bangla is spoken'. One of the most beautiful countries in South Asia, Bangladesh has tremendous tourism potential. Its tropical beach resorts on the Bay of Bengal should be paradise for the sun vacationers.

JMB

Rab arrested Mizan and they busted a mini ammunition factory. He is a member of JMB and also a leader. With his arrest it is clear that still JMB is actively working in Bangladesh. Though the government declared a "Zero tolerance" policy in this respect, we believe more steps are needed to blunt the force of such outfits.

Education

There is a saying that a person is incomplete without education. This is probably true for the developed countries. But looking at Bangladesh, I actually disagree with the above phrase.

Status of industrial relations

As a Human Resource professional I have a cherished desire to see that one day the trade union leaders will play a significant role in each and every organization for its development through participatory practices and acquiring confidence. I'm engaged in industrials relation jobs for the last 20 years and was with the country's leading group of industries and some multinational companies but I have never found them in a good position and acceptable to the top management of the organization because of their unacceptable behaviour and attitude. Whenever they form a union their attitude and behavioural pattern dramatically change. They become the tools of outsiders and unfortunately this is the way everywhere we are abusing our industrial relations.

Corruption charges

The nation is shocked and amazed at the corruption charges brought against the former speaker, deputy speaker and the chief whip all belonging to a particular political party. No wonder instead of being ashamed, they preferred to deny the charges, as was done by their party leaders and bosses earlier against alleged local and international corruption committed by them, their family members, lawmakers, ministers etcetera. Corruption charges against the guardians of the highest institution of the lawmakers of the country are unprecedented. Only recently some members of British Parliament lost their membership on charge of being involved in “expense scandal”. In a superb expression of moral responsibility, the Speaker of the House of Commons resigned over the scandal. In our country such action by our politicians is unthinkable. They would always try to get away with any kind of crime, and morality is a word not available in their dictionary. We noticed with utter dismay that persons charged with corruption during the caretaker government are now moving freely and the charges against them are either withdrawn or quashed. If that is the norm in this country only heaven knows whether this country would ever get rid of corrupt people who amass wealth at the cost of the teeming millions.

A suggestion

The majority people in Bangladesh are poor. Most of them, along with the middle class and rich voters, cast their votes in favour of the Awami League. That is why the party got such a landslide victory in the last election. Voters voted for fulfilment of their demands. The Awami League has to take measures to create job opportunities and eradicate poverty.

Private universities

Recently, our honourable prime minister expressed her profound concern regarding the 'quality of education' of private universities of Bangladesh.

Unique, indeed

We the Bangladeshis are unique people. We are different! Our country was once known as a country of natural calamities like tornados, floods, famines etc. Recently we earned the title of the "most corrupt nation" in the world. Bangladesh becomes a news spot in the world media very often.

Prabhakaran's death

LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's death has been confirmed. Ups and downs are a universal truth.

International

Gilani, Zardari disagree on anti-Taliban drive

Pakistan Army has no plans to launch military operations against Taliban in Waziristan or any other part of the restive tribal belt in NWFP, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said yesterday, indicating fissures in the country's top leadership on the issue.

UN chief Ban in 'refugee land'

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon came face-to-face yesterday with the despair of Sri Lanka's war-hit civilians as he toured the nation's biggest refugee complex, home to 200,000 displaced by fighting.

Troops kill 60 rebels, make largest Afghan drugs bust

Troops killed 60 militants and seized their largest-ever drugs haul in a just-ended operation that smashed an insurgent hub in southern Afghanistan, the military said Saturday.

India to push for friendly ties with neighbours

India yesterday said it was ready to extend its "hand of friendship and partnership" to Pakistan and said terror infrastructure in that country was a "stumbling block" in improving bilateral ties.

Former leader's apparent suicide stuns S Korea

South Koreans were in shock Saturday over the apparent suicide of former president Roh Moo-Hyun, with his successor describing the case as a national tragedy.

Assad brands Israel key obstacle to peace

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched a tirade against Israel yesterday, branding it the "major obstacle" to peace in the Middle East and backing the right of resistance to recover occupied land.

Books, letter to be used in case against Suu Kyi

Several items left by an uninvited American visitor, including a book on the Mormon faith and a letter, could be used to convict and imprison Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on charges of violating her house arrest, a state-run newspaper said yesterday.

US drone attacks on Pakistan counter-productive: PM

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani yesterday said attacks by US drones on Pakistani territory were "counter-productive" because they undermined Islamabad's efforts to isolate militants.

US offers resuming Cuba migration talks

The United States, in another move aimed at thawing relations with Cuba, has offered to resume migration talks with the communist-ruled island almost six years after they were suspended.

India wants to move forward on N-deal

India has assured US industry that the India-US civil nuclear deal was very high on the priority of the new government and it would very much like to move forward on it.

British expenses scandal fuels election calls: Poll

Britain's shocking expenses row is fuelling calls for early elections, a poll indicated Saturday as a "whistleblower" behind the embarrassing revelations said he was proud of his role.

Terrified residents flee Mogadishu fighting

Terrified residents fled the Somali capital yesterday, following a day of fierce fighting between government forces and hardline Islamist rebels that left at least 53 people dead.

Bombing in Nepali church kills 2

A bomb exploded in a church in the Nepalese capital during Saturday morning Mass, killing two people and wounding 15, police said.

Prabhakaran cremated

Sri Lankan security forces have cremated the body of Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, army chief Sarath Fonseka said in an interview to be published on Sunday.

My first job to strengthen party: Rahul

As the buzz about whether he would become a minister intensified Friday, Rahul Gandhi categorically said his first job was to strengthen the Congress party.

Arts & Entertainment

Art folio chronicling the history of Bengal

Recently Mutual Trust Bank Ltd. has launched a folio, titled “Our Liberation War: Down the Path of History.” The folio is a collection of reproductions of artworks by 12 renowned Bangladeshi painters -- Qayyum Chowdhury, Samarjit Roy Chowdhury, Hashem Khan, Rafiqun Nabi, Farida Zaman, Jamal Ahmed, Mohammad Eunus, Tarun Ghosh, Sheikh Afzal Hossain, Shishir Bhattacharjee, Nisar Hossain and Iftikhar Uddin Ahmed.

Bijori Barkatullah: When beauty complements dramatics

She is a stunning beauty spruced up with talents. Bijori Barkatullah never thought that she would be this gifted actress and do all her job with utmost perfection. Reminiscing on the childhood days she says, “I was always busy with my studies. I also learnt to sing but then shifted to dancing.” Bijori is well versed in Kathak and Bharatnatyam and believes that one cannot learn anything without devotion and proper practice.

Heath Ledger’s final bow

The movie world is saying goodbye to Heath Ledger with one more curtain call.

Nazrul Mela on Channel i

To celebrate the 'Nazrul Jayanti' (110th birth anniversary of Kazi Nazrul Islam) Channel i is holding a daylong "Nazrul Mela" at its Tejgaon office on May 25. A press conference on the 'mela' was held at Channel i Siddeshwari office yesterday, says a press release.

Second Actors’ Equity Convention held

It was a big get-together for all small screen actors as they gathered at a local restaurant in Dhanmondi on May 22 to attend the Actors' Equity Convention. The convention, which emphasised on actors' professionalism, rights and production of quality TV plays, was the second of its kind. The first was held nearly seven years back.

JRSSP celebrates Tagore birth anniversary in Barisal and Magura

To mark the 148th birth anniversary of Tagore, Jatiya Rabindra Sangeet Sammilan Parishad (JRSSP), Barisal unit, arranged a daylong programme recently. The event included songs, poems, dances, plays, discussion and speech competition. A prize giving ceremony followed at the Barisal Aswini Kumar Hall premises.

OP-ED

Can the actions of one be the yardstick to judge many?

THE private university system has had its share of problems. And public universities have had more than their fare share of problems. If there was a mudslinging contest between public and private universities about their shortcomings, public universities would win hands down.

From Jamuna to Padma

THE completion of the Jamuna Bridge in 1998 was a landmark achievement for the people of Bangladesh, connecting more than 30 million people to the country's transport and infrastructure network. Before the bridge, ferries plied across the Jamuna river with long waiting times for the thousands of car and trucks waiting to board every day. Today, the nearly 2 million vehicles that cross the bridge every year enjoy lower transport costs and quicker travel times. A striking example of the bridge's impact is the travel time from Dhaka to Bogra -- cut from 20 hours to 6 hours.

Season of mellow music

HAS the BJP got trapped in the Bosnia joke: nothing can succeed, not even a crisis? As the party thinks its way through the present impasse, it needs two things that politicians avoid since both come with uncomfortable demands: clarity and honesty.


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