The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, July 24, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 27th of May, 2009

Front Page

Aila toll leaps to 121

The death toll from Cyclone Aila rose to 121 yesterday, as thousands of people marooned in the coastal areas were battling to survive the aftermath with little food and drinking water.

Grabbing easy, freeing tough

The Buriganga Second Bridge in Postogola overlooks a significant part of the river. Anybody standing on the bridge would have a clear view of the river and easily realise how shamelessly and ruthlessly encroachers have squeezed the lifeline of the capital.

SSC pass rate falls by 3pc

This year's Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination results show an over three-percent drop in the pass rate from last year but a jump in the number of students obtaining GPA-5.

BNP's 'media' plots under JS scanner

A parliamentary body yesterday decided to investigate anomalies, if any, in allotment of 30 plots to a number of media firm owners, and BNP loyalists and leaders during the regime of the immediate past BNP government, on around 14 bighas of land in the capital.

Local govt gets top ADP priority

The size of the annual development programme (ADP) in the budget for next fiscal year (FY-10) has been set at Tk 30,500 crore, which is 33 percent higher than that of the revised ADP for the current FY.

2 more BDR men die in Dhaka, Feni

A Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawan was found hanging from a ceiling fan at the Shainik Lines in Feni's 19th Rifles Battalion and a BDR Imam died of liver cirrhosis at a Dhaka hospital yesterday, taking the BDR death toll following the mutiny to 24.

Another ex-NSI officer held

Law enforcers yesterday arrested former National Security Intelligence (NSI) official Major Liakat Hossain in the capital in connection with the 10 truckloads of arms and ammunition in Chittagong.

TFI awe-struck

Investigators could not glean any new information from former NSI chief Brig Gen (retd) Abdur Rahim about the smuggling of 10 trucks of arms during his remand at taskforce for interrogation (TFI) cell in Dhaka.

Viqarunnisa, Ideal, Monipur on top

Viqarunnisa Noon (VN) School, Ideal School and College and Monipur High School from Dhaka secured the top three positions amongst GPA-5 achieving institutions from around the country in the SSC examinations this year.

Beximco Textiles tops dubious list

Beximco Textiles Ltd tops the list of private and public bank loan defaulters with Tk 366.35 crore of unpaid loans, according to Bangladesh Bank.

Road projects may need 339 years to finish

The projects in the road sector for the present fiscal year would take 10 to 339 years to complete if the current rate of implementation persists, says a study of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).

AL activists assault UNO for not giving transport for local MP

Swarupkati Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) in Pirojpur was assaulted by a group of Awami League cadres at his office yesterday for refusing to give his transport to local AL lawmaker.

WB offers help for hydroelectricity, gas exploration

The Word Bank (WB) is satisfied with the spending of its funds in Bangladesh during the first five months of the present government and pledged increased assistance for rapid socio-economic development of the country.

Humanitarian catastrophe feared in Pak war zone

Pakistani security forces said yesterday they were closing in on Taliban bastions in the northwest as a rights group warned of a humanitarian catastrophe for those trapped in the war zone.

Lanka accused of 'ethnic cleansing'

The Sri Lankan government has been accused of launching a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" following its victory over the Tamil Tigers in the country's 26-year long civil war.

Dakhil exams see 85pc pass rate

The pass rate in this year's Dakhil examinations under the Madrasa Education Board at 85.85 per cent is the highest among the ten education boards of the country.

Home to form cell to check extortion using phone

The home ministry is going to form a cell comprised of ministry officials and policemen to expedite efforts in combating extortion through telephone calls.

2,726 schools achieve 100pc pass rate

The number of schools and madrasas with 100 per cent pass rate in the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Dakhil examinations has increased by about 16 percent while the number of institutions with zero percent pass rate has declined.

Lawmakers' team to visit Tipaimukh

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday said the prime minister will send a team of parliament members and experts to the Tipaimukh dam site in India for a firsthand view of the gigantic project involving a common river.

JS body chief crosses swords with counsel for Tarique

Former BNP senior joint secretary general Tarique Rahman's counsel Mahbub Uddin Khokon yesterday demanded an unconditional apology from a parliamentary sub-committee chief Shajahan Khan, for alleging that Tarique had taken fuel allowance from the parliament for a vehicle he had used in a political tour.

Over 50,000 rally in new bid to oust Georgian leader

More than 50,000 opposition supporters rallied in Tbilisi yesterday in a bid to oust Georgia's leader that led authorities to cancel a major state holiday military parade for fear of clashes.

Editorial

The damage wreaked by Aila

CYCLONE Aila has left a trail of devastation in its wake in the south-western region of the country. Estimates put the number of deaths at eighteen, though there is the apprehension that the figures could be higher. Obviously, besides the loss of lives, crops and homesteads have taken the brunt of the cyclone. Though the tidal waves have not been as intense as Sidr, which hit the coastal regions of the country in November 2007, the distress they have caused to people inhabiting the region can only be imagined.

Campaign to save rivers stir action

IT is heartening to note that the fight to save Buriganga, Turag, Balu and Shitalakkhya, surrounding the capital as its lifeline, has acquired a new depth and dimension. After the advocacy of the cause by environmental activist groups, The Daily Star's own sustained campaign complemented by others in the print media, timely judicial activism, it is now the Jatiya Sangsad which is bracing up to take its role. They have our full measure of felicitation.

Telling journalists what to do . . . or not do

PEOPLE whose job it is to gather news and disseminate it to the country will surely be piqued, if not outraged, by what the mayor of Chittagong had to say about them a few days ago. A.B.M. Mohiuddin Chowdhury's opinion is that journalists often become extortionists and that happens when they are in the mood to do themselves a good turn through means that are not always above board. Well, you agree with the mayor some; and you disagree some.

Will peace prevail in Sri Lanka?

THE Sri Lankan government has declared May 20 a holiday for the victory against the Tamil Tigers. The government has reported the deaths of Tamil Tiger's leader Prabhakaran and his lieutenants. During the 26 years of armed struggle, more than 80,000 people were killed.

Rationalising pay scales

THE seventh National Pay Commission (NPC) formed by the caretaker government in October last year to recommend pay structure for the employees of government, semi-government and autonomous bodies handed over its report on April 23 to Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith.

Sports

Goal fest at Barguna

Abahani Krira Chakra of Barguna wiped out Bara Bari Boys Club of Patuakhali 9-0 in the Bashundhara Champions Club Cup at the Barguna Stadium yesterday.

Prior, Shah lift Eng

Matt Prior's one-day international best of 87 was the highlight of England's record total against the West Indies of 328 for seven at Edgbaston here on Tuesday.

T20 test for Ricky

Ricky Ponting flies to England on Wednesday as one of Australia's most accomplished Test and one-day players, but his reputation in the Twenty20 set-up is less certain. While Ponting is about to join previous heroes such as Steve Waugh, Allan Border and Don Bradman as players to have gone on four Ashes tours, his high standing as a modern batting master does not guarantee success in the game's shortest form.

Sania blames injury for exit

India's Sania Mirza blamed a lack of match practice after being eliminated in the first round of the French Open here on Tuesday.

Tigers score 146 for six

Mahmudullah Riyad and Shakib Al Hasan helped Bangladesh put up a descent total in their first T20 practice match against New Zealand at the Wormsley Cricket Ground in England yesterday.

Rasel, Humayun take National to club title

National Cricket Club of Nilphamari clinched the National Club Cup cricket title with a 22-run victory over Nazrul Pathagar of Barisal in a low-scoring game at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Rajib's hattrick seals victory

Riding on Rajib's brilliant hattrick, Barguna Zilla School crushed Nilphamari Kayagola Hat High School 5-2 in a final round match of the Citycell National School Football Championship at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Akhtar barred from T20 meet

Shoaib Akhtar has been barred from playing in the national Twenty20 tournament by the Pakistan board after they had him replaced in the World Twenty20 squad because he was suffering from a skin infection.

Battle Royale in Rome

When two of the world's best players face-off in Wednesday night's Champions League final, the men charged with stopping Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi know there is no room for error.

BFF & DIU sign MoU

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) and Daffodil International University (DIU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to improve national and age group footballers' language and presentation skills at the BFF House yesterday.

Messi praises C'Ron

Barcelona star Lionel Messi will have the chance to watch Cristiano Ronaldo at close quarters on Wednesday after admitting the Manchester United winger is the one player he would pay to see in action.

Zia wins 3rd game

Grand Master Ziaur Rahman drew his second round game against Lau Yiping of China but won the third board against Jony Habla of Philippine in the 2nd Subic Open International Chess Tournament which is now being held at Subic Freeport, Olongapo City in the Philippines.

Juve seal Diego signing

Juventus announced on Tuesday the signing of Brazilian playmaker Diego from Werder Bremen for a fee of 24.5 million euros.

Baz in high demand

New South Wales could fork out 250,000 dollars to secure Brendon McCullum for October's Champions Twenty20 League after his New Zealand domestic team, Otago, were announced as one of the extra sides in the expanded tournament. The Blues are likely to lose David Warner to his IPL franchise, Delhi Daredevils, for the two-week event and would view McCullum as a strong replacement.

Vieira, Malouda recalled

France captain Patrick Vieira and Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda were recalled to the national squad by coach Raymond Domenech on Monday for the June friendlies with Nigeria and Turkey.

Seniors await battle

Brett Lee and Stuart Clark will have to wait until the first two tour games to secure their spots in the bowling pecking order for the Ashes. Both men are coming back after lengthy injuries and must leapfrog a couple of the incumbents to win places in the opening Test of the series in Cardiff on July 8.

Perez faces no contest

Former Real Madrid president Florentino Perez will automatically take charge of the club again on June 1 because the only other candidate still in the race for the job will not qualify to run, sports daily AS reported Tuesday.

PCB denies contact

Pakistan's cricket authorities have said they weren't contacted at all with regard to their ouster from the pool of teams that form the lucrative Champions League, a further worrying indicator of their increasing isolation in world cricket.

Gomez joining Bayern

Stuttgart striker Mario Gomez is joining Bayern Munich in a deal believed to be worth 30 million euros (41.7 million US dollars) after Germany's Far East tour.

Shearer to get new deal

Alan Shearer is set to be offered a four-year contract to stay on as manager of relegated Newcastle, according to reports in England.

Mourinho extends with Inter

Jose Mourinho put an end to rumours linking him with taking over as coach of Real Madrid on Monday when it was announced he had extended his contract with Serie A champions Inter Milan.

India clear favourites: Manjrekar

Former Test player Sanjay Manjrekar put his money on defending champions India but pace great Wasim Akram reckons Pakistan, mostly bereft of international cricket, would be hungry for success in next month's ICC World Twenty20 in England.

WAGs distract players: Slater

Presence of wives and girlfriends (WAGs) during the Test matches would act as a distraction and pose a threat to Australia's Ashes defence, according to former cricketer Michael Slater.

Business

ADP takes sky-high aim

A Tk 30,500 crore annual development programme (ADP) for the next fiscal year is highly ambitious, a stunt and will be too difficult to implement completely, economists said yesterday.

ADP a heartbreak

The country has been used to a poor ADP implementation over the years. And the Awami League-led grand alliance government is going to take a bigger ADP (annual development programme) in the next fiscal year's budget without any breakthrough in increasing the implementation capacity.

More tax likely on luxuries

A rise in tax on luxury items, including cars and cigarettes, would be proposed in the next national budget, to up the public expenditure for the poor section of the society, the finance minister hinted yesterday.

Mobile importers seek duty cut in budget

Mobile handset importers have urged the government to cut import duty to Tk 100 from existing Tk 300 on each set in the upcoming budget, saying such a tax reduction will help users get quality products and discourage substandard handset imports.

Parliament sub-committee moves on RMG unrest

The parliamentary standing committee on labour and employment ministry yesterday formed a sub-committee to find out ways to resolve labour unrest in readymade garments (RMG) sector, the prime foreign exchange earner.

Regional connectivity key to economic growth

Regional transit among Saarc nations is not a political but rather an economic issue now, said the commerce minister yesterday.

ADB pledges assistance in development

Asian Development Bank (ADB) will assist in development efforts in Bangladesh, said Country Director Paul J Heytens yesterday.

India's new govt to unveil budget in early July

India's new Congress-led government plans to unveil its first budget in early July that will seek to balance economic growth with fiscal discipline, the finance minister said in a broadcast aired Tuesday.

Barua seeks Malaysian help for SME growth

Industries Minister Dilip Barua, now visiting Malaysia, has sought the leading East Asian country's help in developing a vibrant small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in Bangladesh.

NZ posts biggest trade surplus since 2001

New Zealand has posted its biggest April trade surplus since 2001 as the recession slashed demand for imports, official figures showed Tuesday.

15 bankers get Bangladesh Remittance Award-2009

Bangladesh Remittance Fair has recently given fifteen leading bankers the Bangladesh Remittance Award-2009, says a press release.

Nikon to slash 1,000 jobs

Japanese camera maker Nikon Corp said Tuesday it will cut 1,000 jobs to try to stem losses this year.

Make-or-break week for GM

The clock is ticking on a June 1 deadline for General Motors Corp to restructure, and this make-or-break week is expected to bring more plant closures, employee concessions and other last-minute efforts.

Cambodia's dump dwellers face eviction

Scavenging for bits of plastic, metal and glass that earn them an average 10 dollars a month, the children of Phnom Penh's municipal rubbish dump are among Cambodia's poorest.

Markets shaken by NKorea

World stocks fell Tuesday as North Korea test-fired two missiles just a day after its nuclear test, increasing uncertainty among investors already worried that the recent rally in equity markets may be overdone.

Int'l medical show in Ctg tomorrow

A three-day international medical exhibition, CHIMEXPO-2009, will kick off at The Peninsula Chittagong Hotel in the port city tomorrow, says a press release.

AKTEL offers IDD FnF

AKTEL, the third largest mobile operator in the county, has recently introduced “IDD Friends and Family (FnF)”, a new offer for its customers to enjoy discount on international direct dialling (IDD) tariffs, says a press statement.

South Africa in recession

South Africa entered its first recession since apartheid as the global crisis pounded demand for its main exports, leaving growth down 6.4 percent in the first quarter, the government said Tuesday.

GP launches recharge campaign

Grameenphone (GP), the largest mobile operator in the country, has recently launched a special recharge campaign for its prepaid subscribers -- a recharge of Tk 20 will make all GP-GP calls at 49 paisa/minute, said a statement.

Oil under $60

World oil prices fell under 60 dollars per barrel on Tuesday, pressured by the strengthening US currency and weaker European equities, as traders awaited this week's crucial Opec output meeting.

New MD of Holcim Bangladesh

Holcim (Bangladesh) Ltd has recently appointed Rajnish Kapur its managing director, says a press release.

Hong Kong unveils $2.2b stimulus plan

Hong Kong Tuesday unveiled economic stimulus measures totalling 16.8 billion Hong Kong dollars (2.2 billion US) in a bid to counter the impact of the global financial downturn on the territory.

Saudi king says fair oil price 75-80 dollars

King Abdullah of OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia said in remarks published on Tuesday that a fair price for oil was between 75 and 80 dollars.

Philippines March imports fall 36.2pc

The Philippines said Tuesday that imports plunged 36.2 percent in March from a year earlier to 3.27 billion dollars, with the key electronics sector hit particularly hard.

Japan unveils new crisis measure for small firms

Japan on Tuesday unveiled a fresh crisis measure to provide dollar loans to firms operating overseas to help them cope with a global credit crunch.

Currency

Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market was active on Monday as New York and London opened after the weekend break. The market was liquid and USD/BDT rate was similar the previous working day.

Metropolitan

Website fails to portray DU properly

'This site is still under construction. Some of the pages or links may be inactive' -- this line still remains on the top of the home page of the website of Dhaka University, although about four years have passed after it went online.

Govt notices illegal

The hearing of the writ petition filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia challenging the legality of the government notices concerning her cantonment house began yesterday.

Int'l court verdict likely in 4 months

The judgment of the international arbitration court, which heard the submissions from the state-owned Petrobangla and the US-based oil-major Chevron last week in London over wheeling charge dispute is likely to be given within next four months.

Record interviews of war crime victims

Initiatives should be taken to record the interviews of war crime victims to let people know the true history of the liberation war, speakers at a workshop said yesterday.

BNP govt sold out jute mills at throwaway prices

The BNP-led four-party alliance government had sold out a number of jute mills at throwaway prices at the fag end of its tenure in a bid to hand over them to the private sector.

Work together on issues of national interest

Speaker Abdul Hamid Advocate yesterday said instances would be created to work together on issues of national priority, moving beyond narrow partisan or group interests, to empower people and get rid of poverty.

Number of GPA-5 achievers up

The number of Grade Point Average (GPA)-5 achievers increased by 213 while the percentage of pass declined by 3.01 percentage point in the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations under Chittagong Education Board this year, compared to the previous year.

Dinajpur board 2nd largest GPA-5 achievers

The first-ever Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination results under Dinajpur Education Board showed an astounding result in terms of GPA-5 achievers, though the result in terms of pass percentage was not good.

Uniform edn system soon

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said the uniform education system would be initiated soon and a committee to finalise and upgrade the National Education Policy has already been formed in this regard.

UN committee begins review of state of child rights

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child began its meeting at the Palais Wilson in Geneva to review the promotion and protection of children's rights in France, Sweden, Mauritania, Bangladesh, Niger and Romania under the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Concern over loss of lives, resources

Different political parties yesterday expressed deep concern over the huge loss of lives and resources in the Cyclone Aila that hit the country's south-western coast on Monday.

Stolen microbus recovered in Cox's Bazar

Detective police in Chakoria of Cox's Bazar yesterday recovered a stolen microbus and the cellphone of the driver who was killed on May 6 by criminals during the carjack.

Reform law to prevent sexual exploitation of children

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said despite efforts to prevent commercial sexual exploitation of children, the trend has increased dramatically with cross-border travelling and access to internet and other advanced technologies becoming easier.

Manju gets bail in narcotics case

A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to Jatiya Party (Manju) Chairman and former communications minister Anwar Hossain Manju in a narcotics case in which he was earlier awarded five years' imprisonment in absentia.

11 criminals of dope gang arrested

Police yesterday arrested 11 criminals of a dope gang who used to realise ransom after snatching rickshaws by doping the rickshawpullers in the city.

UN body's session on Lanka begins

The UN Human Rights Council yesterday began a special session in Geneva to address the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.

HSC exams in Aila-hit areas postponed

Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations in the cyclone Aila-affected areas have been postponed.

Jessore Board records 68.01pc pass rate, 4000 get GPA 5

About 68.01 percent of the examinees have become successful in this year's SSC examinations under Jessore Board.

'Attain qualities to lead nation'

The freshers' reception and farewell of the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies of Dhaka University was held at TSC auditorium of the university yesterday.

Chinese envoy meets Dy Speaker

Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali yesterday requested China to take initiatives for extending its assistance to Bangladesh.

C'nawabganj people vow to change society

People from all walks of life in Chapainawabganj yesterday pledged to change themselves to bring about a positive change in the society as part of the 'Bodle Jao, Bodle Dao' (Change yourself, change others) campaign of the daily Prothom Alo.

Radio Today gets nod for 6 stations

Radio Today, an FM radio station, yesterday got the government permission to set up its six new stations in different cities across the country.

24 BDR jawans, not 25, still at large

The number of BDR jawans who went into hiding soon after the mutiny at BDR headquarters and are still at large is 24, not 25, the authorities said yesterday correcting its list of such jawans.

BCL expels 2

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday expelled its central leader Ziaul Haq Zia and Dhaka University Zahurul Haq Hall leader Nazrul Islam Jery for breaking organisational discipline, says a press release.

DU BCL men locked in feud over tender

Some former and incumbent leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday got involved in an altercation on the Dhaka University (DU) campus over dropping a schedule of around Tk 15 lakh tender.

I'll fight for post of party secy general

BNP Vice President Nazmul Huda yesterday said chairperson and secretary general of the party should be elected through council, but chairman should have the right to pick all the members of the standing committee.

Correction

The name of the director general of Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) should read Maj Gen Md Monirul Islam, not Maj Gen (retd) Md Monirul Islam as mentioned inadvertently in a report headlined 'Regional cooperation a must to counter radicalisation' published in The Daily Star on page 2 yesterday.

National

Armed criminals make villagers' life a misery

People in remote Bandarban pass sleepless nights in fear of armed criminals while youths in groups patrol streets of their respective villages.

122 sued as AL, JP file cases

Awami League (AL) and Jatiya Party (JP-Ershad) yesterday filed two separate cases with Shyamnagar Police Station against 122 leaders and activists of both the partners of the grand alliance for attacking each other at upazila headquarters on May 12.

SIT Foundation men sent to jail

Bogra-based NGO Science and Information Technology (SIT) Foundation Chairman Md Abdul Mannan Sarker, his son and SIT Foundation Executive Director ASM Rawshan Kabir Shahin and official of the NGO Mohosin Ali Reza were sent to jail yesterday in connection with a cheating case.

4 more Shibir men held at Rajshahi

Police continued their raid in Rajshahi, arrested four more Shibir activists and sought help and cooperation of local people and committees for success of the ongoing drive.

Shops demolished at RU

Rajshahi University authorities yesterday launched a drive to remove illegal shops, tea stalls and drive out vendors from the campus to keep RU outsiders-free. Led by proctor Prof Zakaria, a huge number of police demolished several business centres and shops during the drive. Some shop owners and their staff tried to stage demonstration but police dispersed them. Contacted, Prof Zakaria said outsiders and hired goons often gather at the business centres and tea stalls and create chaos on the campus. "The university reopens on June 1 and we are determined to keep the campus outsiders-free", he said.

Mawa ferry service resumes

Ferry service at Mawa-Karakandi point resumed yesterday noon. Some 400 vehicles were waiting on both sides of the river when ferry Thobal left Mawa at 1.10 pm. Munshiganj deputy commissioner (DC) Mosharraf Hossain said, ferries at Mawa-1 and 3 ghats could be put into service after a struggle of over 40 hours. However, Ghat No 2 will take more time as huge waves of the Padma washed away the riverbanks there. BIWTC additional general manager SM Ashiquzzaman said, 11 ferries including one Ro Ro ferry are now in service. Ferry service on Mawa-Kathalbari (Shariatpur) point resumed at 3.15 pm, he added.

Wall collapse kills 2

Wall collapse at Muslimpur Hotathpara village in Nachole upazila claimed the lives of a couple early morning yesterday. Fazlur Rahman, 51, and his wife Marzina Begum,40, died in their sleep when a large chunk of mud of the rain-soaked wall of their house collapsed on them at around 3:30 am. Police rushed to the spot and with the help of locals recovered the bodies after two hours.

Shops looted in Jhenidah

A gang of 10 to 12 criminals yesterday looted valuables worth Tk 10 lakh from 11 business establishments. Police and traders said, the gang came to the local bazar at Shakharidah in Harinakundu upazila in the early morning, tied up three nightguards and looted several shops of clothes, jewelers, shoes and hardware. Police, however, termed the incident as theft, not robbery.

Robbery in Comilla

Armed robbers yesterday looted over Tk 2 lakh in cash and gold ornaments from 'Mir House' at village Nadaysher in Nangolkot upazila. Police said a gang of eight broke into the house and beat up the inmates for the keys of the almirahs. They also confined them to a toilet fastening their hands from back. Then the robbers took away around 20 tolas of gold ornaments and Tk 2 lakh, six mobile phone sets, camera and other goods. A case was filed but none was arrested.

Drug addict murdered

A 'drug addict' was murdered on Monday night at Diarha village under Rupsha upazila. Beheaded body of Ashish Kumar Saha, 32, son of Chitta Ranjan Saha of Cemetary Road of Khulna Sadar was recovered by police yesterday from foreyard of an abandoned house. Ashish was a heroin addict, Rupsha police said, adding Rabindra Nath Saha, elder brother of the victim filed a case in this regard yesterday.

Letters

Save the canal

The Daily Star is desperately trying to plead the case for reclaiming all the illegally encroached canals and rivers, which is really very praiseworthy. Hats off to you! The present govt as well has taken a firm stand on this issue. For our own survival, there is no alternative to reclaiming these rivers and canals from the unscrupulous people whoever they might be. I would like to draw the kind attention of the authorities to a 200-year old canal. The canal in the photo is located just behind Saadat University College, Karatia, Tangail, one of the first five university colleges of the country. Just around 20 years back through this canal hundreds of boats used to ply to and from Karatia haat (village market), the biggest haat in the country which is only 1,000 yards from this location shown in the photo. This canal was a great source of water, fish, transportation, fresh air and what not. Some unscrupulous people have been encroaching on this canal from both sides. Please save the canal from the hands of the encroachers.

Madhobkunda waterfall

Sylhet is known as the land of beauty. Obviously nature has given it a lot, hills, waters, trees etc., in this region. Some tourist spots are well known not only in Bangladesh but also all over the world like Jaflong and Madhobkunda. Some foreign tourists visit these spots occasionally. Now awareness regarding tourism, in our country is increasing gradually. Many inquisitive people come from different parts of the country to enjoy the scenes. But unfortunately after reaching Sylhet, they become disappointed. The authorities should be attentive to this issue.

Foreign loan and electricity

In our childhood we learnt that Africa was the Dark Continent in the world.

Threat of obscurantism

It's undeniable that the so-called religious political parties are an ominous threat to the future of democracy in Bangladesh. These parties cannot be good for politics; neither can they ever be good for a religion. They are inauspicious for our general political milieu because they constantly endeavour to exploit people's religious sentiments in order to achieve their filthy political ambitions. Similarly, they are destructive for the religion, as they often do not hesitate to compromise the fundamental values of religion.

Saving the rivers

It is a matter of great pleasure that you have invited the readers at large to lend their hands, so that together we can win a war against those so-called powerful, rich and ruthless river-gobblers across the country.

Power and party politics

Some parliament bosses have spent millions of taka for buying costly dress, hundreds and thousands of taka for lawn mowing of parliament house area, traded appointments, took medical bills without approval of the competent authorities, made personal visits abroad as official ones, took away foods from parliament cafeteria to their homes, all these facts were unearthed by the parliamentary committee. Today, 20 May, yet there was another front-page headline in the DS "Trio took Tk 40 lakh in additional fuel bill. While the press people approached them for their opinion, they denied their involvement in such activities and termed the investigation itself as "uddeshow pronodito" , meaning politically motivated and directed to harm them personally. They further claimed that making the committee's findings public has discredited the chairs on which they were sitting.

Marketing farm products

Agricultural products do not have a sound marketing system and that is why farmers do not get fair price of these products and also there is scope for the middlemen to exploit the situation. To ensure the fair price of the agricultural products and prevent malpractice by the middlemen my suggestions are:

BanglaTel

We have come to know from the print media that Banglalink and Aktel, the country's second and third largest mobile operators, are going to merge into a single company. In the modern business world, it is common on the part of different enterprises to take the initiative for amalgamation, take-over etc considering their business prospects. It has some merits as well as demerits. We do not know whether the subscribers will be benefited in this case of merger.

The future of ACC

This is in agreement with the views expressed by Mr Shafiqul Islam ( 2nd May, 2009) indicating the 'fall' of the ACC. He rightly observed that curtailing power of the ACC would turn it into a non-functional organisation. Or it could be an attempt to dismiss the corruption cases dug up and published in the media against the big political leaders of the ruling party. And by doing so they will all go unpunished.

"Cars for MPs"

This note I write in response to a letter by Ms. Urmila, Doha, Qatar ( DS, 22-05-2009).

Power failures

Load shedding has become a major problem in Bangladesh. Especially, students are suffering a lot due to regular load shedding . So, the government should address the issue on a priority basis.

Creative education

Through the columns of your daily, I venture to voice my views about the creative education system.

Death of Roh Moo-hyun

I was shocked to hear that former president of Korea Roh Moo-hyun had committed suicide. He ran short of money to maintain his family.

A hero

There are many charges often brought against the police. For example, they take bribe, they do not perform their duties, they indulge in gossiping, they are good for nothing, etc. But recently, all these were proved to be wrong. Sergeant Abdul Baset Talukder proved that there are still some dedicated officers who are always ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of duty and the country at large.

Protect our children

Scientific discoveries and technological advances have opened up prospects of economic, social and cultural progress. But such development may nevertheless endanger the future of our children.

Dead workers

So many people are going abroad for a better life. But how is their life there? Are they in good health? What type of works are they doing? Are they quite unfamiliar with the type of work given to them? Were they unemployed in Bangladesh? Never worked in Bangladesh? They had to sell their land or borrow money to get such jobs abroad. The most important matter is training. If necessary, training for workers going abroad must be arranged. And the authorities should make sure that they will be able to work abroad,

Religiosity

Recently, there was a news item in the local press that a goon presented himself as the imam of a mosque, and carried out his notorious activities. Are we so gullible? The problem is that we Bengalees tend to be ruled by the heart, although we possess brain second to none. Some call it the Delta-effect, of indolence, floating in plenty, without much hard work! There are blessings in the halal rozi of our farmers and villagers.

Vandalism at NSU

Vandalism has become the commonest thing in Bangladesh. When the private university ordinance was passed in 1992, it was thought that private universities would remain free from campus violence. But that good-thinking has not come true. The recent vandalism at NSU and some other private universities caused much consternation to people. Eighty per cent people of Bangladesh can't afford the costs of those universities.

International

North Korea test-fires 2 more missiles

North Korea launched tests yesterday of two more short-range missiles a day after detonating a nuclear bomb underground, a news report said, pushing the regime's confrontation with world powers further despite the threat of UN Security Council action.

126,000 displaced daily by Pak conflict: UNHCR

About 126,000 people are daily fleeing fighting in northwest Pakistan in one of the "fastest major displacements" in recent years, the UN refugee agency said yesterday.

Myanmar ends Suu Kyi's house arrest, keeps her in prison

Myanmar officially ended Aung San Suu Kyi's six-year house arrest yesterday -- but she remains in jail facing charges over an incident in which a US man swam to her house, her party said.

Pak SC declares Sharif brothers eligible to contest elections

Revoking the Lahore High Court's verdict to disqualify former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif from contesting elections, the Pakistan Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday declared the Sharif brothers eligible for fighting elections.

75 pc of terrified Pak cops go 'missing' in 'death zone' Buner

With the Taliban establishing its writ in the Swat Valley, a large number of police personnel deployed in the region have reportedly run away.

Fresh India-Pakistan dialogue soon

India with a new government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should resume the peace proces with Pakistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said.

Tension, curfew continue in parts of Punjab

Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur and Phagwara towns of Punjab continued to be under curfew yesterday, a day after two people were killed in police firing to control the violence triggered in the state by the slaying of a Sikh religious leader in Vienna.

Nepal's new PM asks Maoists to join govt

Nepal's new prime minister appealed yesterday for the Maoist party to join his government, saying the former rebels' participation was needed to protect the country's peace process.

Netanyahu to give up outposts for US backing on Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to tear down settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank in return for US backing on its stance on arch-foe Iran, local media reported yesterday.

Swine flu hits cruise ship passengers in Australia

More than 2,000 cruise ship passengers have been asked to quarantine themselves for a week after eight passengers and a crew member tested positive for swine flu.

Lanka to add soldiers to prevent LTTE's return

Sri Lanka's military said it plans to enlist at least 100,000 more soldiers to head off any resurgence of the separatist Tamil Tigers, who were routed by government forces last week to end a quarter century of civil war.

Extremism is Pakistan's biggest threat

Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf has said that extremism poses the biggest threat to Pakistan.

97 Afghans likely killed in US airstrikes

Afghanistan's top rights body released yesterday its findings into the disputed casualty toll from US air strikes this month, saying up to 97 civilians, most of them children, may have been killed.

Afghan bomb attack kills 3 US soldiers

A bomb attack on US troops north of the Afghan capital Tuesday killed three soldiers and three Afghan civilians, military and Afghan officials told AFP.

Sarkozy opens 1st French military base in Gulf

President Nicolas Sarkozy formally opened a French military base in the United Arab Emirates yesterday, its first in the oil-rich Gulf, as Paris seeks to land lucrative military contracts and strengthen its foothold in a region just across from Iran.

Sierra Leone cracks down on fake doctors

The Sierra Leone authorities on Tuesday raided a number of surgeries of suspected unregistered doctors in a government clampdown on the estimated 200 fake foreign doctors operating in the country.

Arts & Entertainment

The Rebel, the songs, the flute

As part of the national level celebration of the 110th birth anniversary of Kazi Nazrul Islam, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs arranged a programme at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on May 25. The programme featured solo and choral renditions of Nazrul songs, recitation of his poems and dance performances.

Tajuddin’s thought-provoking lines and forms

Last year, one of the recognised Bangladeshi painters Tajuddin Ahmed migrated to Canada. Now he lives and works in Toronto. At present, he is in Dhaka and has brought a number of paintings along with him. The works carry his individual sign but some changes from his previous works are clearly noticeable. The change mainly technical and sometimes it seems he is more conscious about space and forms. Some unfamiliar objects also can be easily seen in his works. He is ardently fond of experimenting and trying out new forms and techniques. His next exhibition will take place at Muse Atelier Adzak International Arts Space, Paris, France.

Anupam Kher in Woody Allen’s new venture

Last Saturday when actor Anupam Kher marked 25 years of his debut in Hindi cinema, it was a time for both nostalgia and looking ahead.

Street theatre for working children

The Semi-Formal Education Bureau has begun a basic education programme for working children in Sylhet with assistance from UNICEF and local NGO-Friends in Village Development (FIVDB). Under the project, a street theatre programme was launched recently at the city's Masimpur playground.

Special TV play AGNI-GIRI

A special TV play 'Agni-Giri' on the occasion of Nazrul's birth anniversary will be aired on ATN Bangla today at 11:10 am. The play is scripted and directed by Abul Hayat and the cast includes Shubho, Nadia, Masud Ali Khan and Sharmili Ahmed.

OP-ED

Protecting crops

PESTS are small insects that can cause colossal losses to crops, but many of them are not necessarily harmful to agricultural produce. The friendly ones are not only useful to the overall crop production process but also occasionally act as deterrents to the ill-effects of the harmful ones.

Toward a changing society

CHANGING a society is not possible only through reforming it. Better human relations can only be developed through social change. Even a political revolution cannot bring social change.

Bad words in odd places

A text message appeared on my phone:


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