The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, April 24, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 3rd of June, 2009

Front Page

Pintu caught from court

Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu was arrested yesterday on the High Court compound in connection with the February 25-26 carnage at the Pilkhana BDR headquarters.

Pintu's failed escape act

Detained former BNP lawmaker Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu attempted to evade detectives wearing a lawyer's gown and a helmet while speeding away by a motorcycle from the High Court yesterday.

Education in tatters at coast

Class-III student Khalid Hasan helps his father as much as he can to build a tiny shack on an embankment, taking time out from trying to get relief materials and catching fish.

Speaker to ensure their presence now

Speaker Abdul Hamid will take steps to ensure that the previous chief of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), its incumbent acting chief and the other commissioner appear before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Undertakings.

Taj on leave

Frustrated State Minister for Home Affairs Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj "tendered his resignation" after government high-ups criticised him for some of his recent actions, highly placed sources in the government said.

Tax holiday to exist, with checks on tax-dodging

The government is introducing tax holiday under a new system in the next fiscal year (FY) to stop evasion of taxes, and increase revenue earning.

Madrasa must use approved books

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education yesterday made strong recommendations for imposing a ban on use of 'unapproved books' in madrasas, including those written by controversial writer also founder of Jamaat-e-Islami, Syed Abul Ala Moududi.

Govt critical of ACC's costly legal help

The cabinet division yesterday said it was not correct ethically to keep expensive lawyers appointed for a long time, instead of taking steps to have a permanent prosecution unit for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Opposition says no to 1more seat in front row

Opposition Chief Whip Zainul Abdin Farroque yesterday rejected a proposal for one more front row seat in parliament for the opposition.

Khaleda warns against foreign masters' agenda

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia said yesterday they will go for a movement if the government does not refrain from implementing the agenda of its 'foreign masters'.

Banks asked to suspend agri loan recovery

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) yesterday asked all the state-owned commercial banks to suspend agricultural loan recovery activities in the Aila-hit areas for next one year, as the disaster caused massive crop damage in the southern part of the country.

Waiting for the water to roll

On May 22, Jamuna Bangabandhu Bridge Authority recorded water level under the bridge at 7.85 metres. With the start of the flood season and heavy rainfall in the upstream, water in the Jamuna river was rising, slowly inundating hundreds of sandy shoals.

Students released from hospital

Students of 115 government and non-government primary schools in Khagrachhari who were rushed to different health complexes after having biscuits distributed by the World Food Programme (WFP) Monday returned home yesterday.

Encroachment removal starts today

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) will carry out an eviction drive against illegal structures in river Turag near Tongi bridge from today, official sources said.

Govt allows Tuku to go abroad

Lawyers for former state minister for power Iqbal Hassan Mahmud Tuku yesterday withdraw a contempt petition Tuku had filed with the High Court (HC) against the home minister and two other officials.

JS body to probe graft at BSMMU

The parliamentary standing committee on health ministry yesterday formed a subcommittee to investigate the allegations of corruption and irregularities at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) during the rule of BNP-Jamaat alliance government.

2 criminals, cop bullet-hit in shootout

Two criminals and a detective police constable sustained bullet injuries during a shootout in the city's Agargaon early yesterday.

Govt team to visit Russia next month

A government delegation is likely to visit Russia next month to have firsthand experience and learn about the Russian nuclear power plant technology, official sources said.

Hilsa catching frenzy in Cox's Bazar

Hilsa fish has brought smiles to the face of fish traders in the east sea channel off St Martin's Island.

Blast at CNG refill station injures nine in N'Ganj

A blast at a CNG refill station in Narayanganj yesterday morning injured nine people, three seriously, and caused material damage worth Tk 10 lakh at the refill station.

Suu Kyi lawyers challenge witness ban

Lawyers for Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said yesterday they had asked a court to overturn an earlier ban that prevented three defence witnesses from testifying at her trial.

Pakistan rescues 80 students from Taliban

Pakistan said yesterday the military rescued 80 students and staff snatched by Taliban gunmen, as fears grew of spiralling rebel attacks to avenge a military offensive in the northwest.

Pak court frees Mumbai attack mastermind

Citing insufficient evidence, a Pakistani court yesterday freed from house arrest Hafiz Saeed, the founder of the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) that India has blamed for the 26/11 Mumbai carnage, his lawyer said. India immediately expressed disappointment at the development.

French plane debris found in Atlantic

Search aircraft yesterday found a seat and other debris from a plane in a remote stretch of the Atlantic where an Air France flight carrying 228 people disappeared, Brazil's air force said.

Editorial

Robust resolve to save rivers

WITH the massive expression of solidarity and demonstration of resolve by lawmakers, ministers, parliamentary committee chairmen, civil society leaders and chamber representatives marking The Daily Star-Channel-i joint programme at the South Plaza of Jatiya Sangsad on Tuesday, the unrelenting 'save rivers, save Dhaka' campaign has entered into more substantive phase. A process has been inaugurated to salvage the rivers from the death-knell served on them by the incorrigible polluters and grabbers.

High Court directive to set up food courts

THE High Court directive to the government to set up food courts in every district and to appoint an adequate number of food analysts and inspectors within a year brings to the fore once again an issue of serious public concern. The verdict follows the submission of a petition filed by Human Rights for Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) in January this year seeking a directive from the HC regarding the setting up of a national food safety advisory council. The fact that food, or more precisely its consumption, has by now acquired grave importance is underscored by all the efforts that have gone into the movement for consumer rights in Bangladesh. Indeed, with those rights now acknowledged at the political and administrative levels, one might persuade oneself that things are finally falling into place. Such a feeling would be well-placed; and yet there remains much more to be done to ensure that the food citizens consume is safe.

The wolves behind the bushes

THESE days you will hear quite a few voices crying hoarse (excuse the cliché) about what they think is a threat to national security, and that too symbolised by the Awami League-led grand alliance government. Humour, if that is some kind of humour, is fine but only up to a point. And bitterness? That too is understandable, given that there are people amongst us who have not been happy with the triumph of secular forces at the December 2008 elections.

The 'gobbling up' culture

CHITTAGONG University hit the national headlines the other day following the feasting on a trapped antelope by a university teacher. A local daily printed the story under the title "Teacher as a tiger."

University education free of cost

THOUSANDS of students are coming from the villages to the capital city to get their university degrees. Besides the public universities, there are 45 private universities with more than 200 campuses at different locations in Dhaka. The important point to note is that the private universities have no halls of residence for the students.

Sports

Tigers give SL a scare

Bangladesh put up yet another spirited display but still suffered a four-wicket defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in their last official ICC World Twenty20 warm-up game at Trent Bridge yesterday.

Soderling marches on

Sweden's Robin Soderling, conqueror of Rafael Nadal, marched into his first ever Grand Slam semi-final with a superb 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 win over Russian Nikolay Davydenko at the French Open here on Tuesday.

A battle of midfields

It will be a battle of midfields when Victoria High School of Moulvibazar take on Town Secondary School of Barisal in the final match of the Citycell National School Football Championship at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

Vettori propels NZ

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori led from the front as the Black Caps beat defending champions India by nine runs in their ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match at Lord's here on Monday.

SA get Pakistan in a spin

South Africa spinners Roelof van der Merwe and Johan Botha took two wickets apiece as the Proteas beat 2007 finalists Pakistan by 59 runs in their ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match here on Monday.

BCCI pardons 79

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has granted amnesty to 79 ICL players, 11 former players and 11 officials, dealing a potentially crippling blow to the unofficial league. The players include Hemang Badani, Dinesh Mongia and Deep Dasgupta while the former players include Sandeep Patil, EAS Prasanna, Madan Lal and Ajit Wadekar.

Kevin happy about England strength

Kevin Pietersen has warned Australia that England no longer have to rely only on their star players to produce match-winning performances.

Kiwis worry Dhoni

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has highlighted New Zealand as a threat to his side's hopes of defending their World Twenty20 title in England.

Perez employs Zidane

Florentino Perez, the inspiration behind the Real Madrid 'Galacticos', launched his second term as president Monday by naming France legend Zinedine Zidane as his advisor.

Aguero vows to stay

Atletico Madrid's gifted Argentine striker Sergio Aguero has vowed to stay at the club after they secured Champions League football, but urged the paymasters to spend some of the financial windfall to help Atletico compete for honours next season.

Real hire Pellegrini

Real Madrid's new coach Manuel Pellegrini will be under pressure to achieve some early success for new president Florentino Perez, who has vowed to build the "best club of the 21st century."

Barca's new dream team

The 2008/09 season will live long in the memories of Barcelona fans as Pep Guardiola guided the club to a unique league, Kings Cup and Champions League treble in his debut season.

Terry backs Ancelotti

Chelsea captain John Terry admits Carlo Ancelotti's first job at Stamford Bridge is to ensure the Blues are serious challengers for the Premier League title.

2nd 4-dayer from today

The second four-day match between Bangladesh A and Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) will start today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur.

Mymensingh Abahani wins

Abahani Krira Chakra of Mymensingh earned a facile 3-1 victory over Netrakona Shoukhin Krira Protibha Onneshon in the only match of the Bashundhara Champions Club Cup Football tournament at the Sherpur Stadium yesterday.

Sachin's mantra

Sachin Tendulkar, who tasted success at an early age, admitted he too had moments when he could have "got carried away" and said it was hard work and resolve that helped him reach the pinnacle of success.

Women's Cricket

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has selected thirty-one players for the women's national cricket training camp.

National volleyball

The Rangs National Volleyball League begins tomorrow at the Dhaka Volleyball Stadium.

Advocaat set for Belgium

Zenit St-Petersburg coach Dick Advocaat is to be named Belgian national football coach local media reported on Monday.

Sunderland to appoint Bruce

Sunderland were close to announcing Steve Bruce as their new manager on Tuesday following talks between the club and the former Manchester United defender on the terms of his appointment.

Dzeko best in Germany

Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko has been named Germany's footballer of the year, the magazine Kicker reported on Tuesday.

Daum to replace Aragones

Turkish side Fenerbahce are to dismiss their Spanish coach Luis Aragones and replace him with German Christoph Daum, press reports said on Tuesday.

ICL exodus saddens Dizzy

Jason Gillespie, the former Australia fast bowler, has been saddened by the mass exodus of players from the ICL and believes the unofficial Twenty20 league will continue to struggle for traction in the mainstream cricketing market until it is officially recognised by the ICC. He does not expect the cash-strapped ICL to conduct a tournament in 2009, but remains hopeful that a successful legal challenge to the ICC could pave the way for a return the following year.

Ireland edge Netherlands

Trent Johnston was Ireland's hero as they beat the Netherlands in an eliminator finish to their ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match at Lord's here on Monday.

'Catch the Spirit'

India and Pakistan's eagerly anticipation clash at The Oval Wednesday has been designated as a "Catch the Spirit" match by the ICC, a fundraiser to help support families of the victims of the attack on the Sri Lanka team and officials in Lahore in March.

Business

Tea growers struggle to keep up supply

Growers now struggle to maintain supply of tea in line with its growing demand, which ultimately pushes the beverage price up.

Crop insurance can boost farm credit

Agriculture or crop insurance, if introduced, will encourage banks to lend more to the farm sector on which the majority of the country's 150 million population depends for their livelihood, according to top bankers.

ACI rolls out plans to expand retail business

ACI Logistics has rolled out plans for expansion in major cities in its strides to emerge on the top of retail chain business, dominated by tens of thousands of small and medium retailers across the country in an unorganised fashion.

Recession impact hits Ctg RMG

Readymade garment industries in Chittagong, hit by fallout from global recession, have experienced a 28 percent drop in orders in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, industry leaders said yesterday.

Minister hints at SEZ for Turkish investors

The government would establish a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), if necessary, for Turkish entrepreneurs for new investment and industrial relocation to Bangladesh, Commerce Minister Faruk Khan told Turkish Foreign Trade Minister Mehmet Zafer Caglayan yesterday.

Sixth World Chambers Congress meet begins in Malaysia today

In a bid to address the key challenges faced by business -- from the economic impacts of climate change to the effects of glob-alisation on small and medium enterprises -- a meeting of World Chambers Congress (WCC) will begin today in Kuala Lumpur.

GM to sell Hummer

General Motors announced Tuesday that it had signed a framework agreement with an unnamed buyer to sell off its Hummer brand before the end of the third quarter, in a move it said would save 3,000 jobs in the United States.

Airbus A380 makes landmark flight

The world's biggest passenger jet, the Airbus A380, left Paris for an inaugural regular flight to Singapore on Tuesday but an air of tragedy displaced celebrations after an airline disaster on Monday.

PPP needs more homework

Loads of talks have been centring public-private partnership (PPP) programmes over the months that the government has decided to implement from the next fiscal year, mainly to improve the country's poor infrastructure.

Taiwan aims to build air hub

Fork-lift trucks are buzzing around a terminal of Taiwan's first free trade zone despite the global economic crisis that has seen shipments from ports elsewhere on the island tumble.

Stocks surge on speculation

Dhaka stocks continued to gain for a second day amid speculations that the government may allow unquestioned investment of undisclosed money in the capital market from next fiscal year.

Spanish housing prices to fall 30pc by 2011

Housing prices in Spain will fall nearly 30 percent between 2008 and 2011 before they start to recover from the collapse of a property boom, Spain's second-largest bank BBVA said Tuesday.

BB caps interest at 13pc for banks lending to NBFIs

All the commercial banks have been asked to charge maximum 13 percent interest on loans to the non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs).

PRAN to buy Tk 70cr mangoes this year

PRAN Agro Ltd, a leading agro-base company, is set to buy 30,000 tonnes of mangoes worth Tk 70 crore from Rajshahi, Natore and Chapainawabganj districts this year to promote and establish mango cultivation.

Euro pulls back from 2009 dollar highs

The euro on Tuesday pulled back from seven-month peaks against the dollar as official data revealed eurozone unemployment at a decade-high 9.2 percent, traders said.

Oil prices fall

Oil prices fell Tuesday on profit-taking after optimism about a potential global economic recovery had sent them spiking to the highest levels this year, traders said.

India oil company plans IPO in sign of govt reforms

India's second-largest state-run oil and gas explorer said Tuesday it hoped to launch an initial sale of shares in September as the newly elected government moves into privatisation mode.

Switzerland enters recession in first quarter

Switzerland officially entered a recession in the first quarter when its economy shrank by 0.8 percent from output in the previous quarter and exports fell sharply, official data showed on Tuesday.

Eurozone unemployment rate hits decade-high 9.2pc

Unemployment in the 16-nation eurozone rose to 9.2 percent of the workforce in April, the highest level this decade as the recession hit consumers and industry, official EU data showed on Tuesday.

China, Japan to cooperate over crisis, official says

China and Japan will seek ways to jointly tackle the global economic slowdown when top officials the countries meet in Tokyo later this week, Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said Tuesday.

Currency

Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market was active on Tuesday. The market was liquid and USD/BDT rate was similar the previous working day.

Pre-budget Quips

What is meant by block provision in the budget, the finance minister is so fond of making?

Metropolitan

Govt to seek help from devlopment partners

The government prefers seeking assistance from the development partners for permanent solutions like setting up more cyclone shelter centres and infrastructures to save the coastal people, rather than funding for seminars and workshops.

Number of forced marriages shows declining trend

Julian Braithwaite, director of Consular Service in the Foreign and Commonwealth office in London, yesterday said Bangladeshi community has been playing a laudable role in the British society for long.

Take steps for dev of Bangla Academy

National Professor Kabir Chowdhury yesterday sought cordial cooperation from the government for development of Bangla Academy, as it is the largest research centre for Bangla language and literature in the country.

Physiotherapy students cancel strike unto death

The agitating physiotherapy students cancelled their hunger strike unto death yesterday as per assurance from the health and family welfare minister of laying the foundation stone for a separate physiotherapy college by next week.

EC ready to hold DCC polls: CEC

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said Election Commission is prepared to hold elections to Dhaka City Corporation and local government bodies.

Laptops under 'one student one laptop' project

Oxford International School (OIS) on Monday provided their students and teachers with laptops thanks to the “One Student: One Laptop” project signed earlier with Bank Asia and Smart Technologies (BD) Ltd.

Admission policy for renowned colleges next week: Nahid

The government will announce a definite policy next week for admission to renowned colleges of the country, said Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday.

Saudi prince calls on PM

Saudi Prince Badr Bin Abdullah Bin Farhan Al Saud paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office yesterday morning, when they discussed various bilateral issues of Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia.

Rezzaqul, Liakat placed under TFI cell for further interrogation

Former National Security Intelligence (NSI) chief major general (retd) Rezzaqul Haider and former deputy director (mechanical) major (retd) Liakat Hossain were taken under Taskforce for Interrogation (TFI) cell in Dhaka yesterday in a six-day remand in 10-truck arms haul case for further interrogation.

US, Canada ready to deport killers

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hasan Mahmud yesterday said a number of countries, including the US and Canada, responded positively to the government's move to bring home the convicted killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman absconding abroad.

Linking Bangladesh to Asian Highway necessary for dev

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stressed the need for linking Bangladesh to the Asian Highway as she said the country does not want to remain isolated from the regional flow of development.

Move to curb crimes thru' cellphone

The government has worked out a plan to set up a directorate to check the growing crimes, including extortion, terrorism and militancy, by using cellphone.

Solution before next session

Jatiya Sangsad (JS) Speaker Advocate Abdul Hamid has said the dispute over seat arrangement at the House would be resolved before the next session beginning on June 4.

Ecnec okays 6 development projects of Tk 969cr

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved six development projects involving about Tk 969 crore, including Tk 560 crore as project aid.

7-yr-old dies after fighting for life for 21 days

Seven-year old Sanjoy Kunda, who was administered anesthesia instead of antibiotic injection by an untrained nurse at a private clinic in Faridpur district, died at a city hospital yesterday after struggling for 21 days.

Non-govt college teachers demand hike in house rent

Leaders of non-government colleges yesterday demanded necessary allocation in the next budget to meet their seven-point demand, including an increase in house rent which is now only Tk 100 for a month.

HC asks govt to reinstate 18 terminated staffs of Biman

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government to reinstate 18 terminated employees of the Biman Bangladesh Airlines to their positions within two months.

Cancel 5th amendment to establish rule of law

The 5th amendment to the Constitution should be cancelled to establish rule of law, ensure continuation of democracy and make sure that no army personnel can dream of assuming state power in future, said the speakers at a roundtable yesterday.

Killing of child condemned

Karmojibi Nari (KN) Secretary Sharmin Kabir and Executive Director Rokeya Rafiq in a joint statement yesterday condemned the killing of a seven-years-old child at Mirpur in the city, says a press release.

2 found dead

Police recovered two bodies from Siddhirganj and Fatullah in Narayanganj yesterday.

Diarrhoea takes serious turn in Aila-hit Satkhira

Diarrhoea, a water-borne disease, has already taken a serious turn in the cyclone Aila-affected areas in Shyamnagar, Assassuni, Kaliganj and other upazilas in the district.

MoU signed to provide health services in haor regions

CARE Bangladesh and ACI Limited signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Monday to provide health services in haor regions in Sunamganj district, says a press release.

Free legal help

Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangstha (BMS), a human rights organisation, has been providing free legal assistance to helpless and repressed people, says a press release.

Moriarty calls on Azad

US Ambassador to Bangladesh James F Moriarty yesterday appreciated the present free mass media in the country following enactment of the Right to Information Act to ensure free flow of information and transition to democracy.

Navy chief distributes relief

Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral ZU Ahmed yesterday distributed relief items among the cyclone victims at Dacop in Khulna, says an ISPR press release.

Road crashes kill 2

At least two people were killed and seven others injured in separate road accidents in Jhenidah and Gaibandha yesterday.

Five of a family die in Feni road crash

Five members of a family were killed and two others seriously wounded in a tragic road accident on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway at Lalpur near Feni town yesterday.

Dhaka dist BCL president held

Police arrested Fakhrul Alam, president of Dhaka District Chhatra League, and three of his aides, from Hemayetpur at Savar on early yesterday on charges of setting fire to a garment factory.

Lower fees from Sept

Low-rated new tax for land registration will come into effect from September with a view to netting more revenues from this sector as the government has already fixed a high target of Tk 80,000 crore as revenue collection for the coming fiscal year.

National

Chandon murder sparks protests in Khagrachhari

Brutally tortured by a few youths in a hotel at Khagrachhari Bazar on Thursday night, a young man died on the way to Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) early Friday.

19 more sued for war crimes

Nineteen more alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces have been sued for war crimes in 1971 in Natore and Patuakhali districts.

Gang rape victim takes her life

Victim of gang rape, a housewife at Machdiar village in Daulatpur upazila under the district took her life on Sunday.

Bid to grab public park

Detained director of National Academy For Computer Tanning and Research (NACTAR) under the Ministry of Education, Md Abdul Mannan Sarker had posted several signboards with his name at a 2.5-acre public park at Shakpala village under Shahjahanpur upazila.

B M College students agitate

Residential students of Sergeant Fazlul Huq hostel hurled brickbats on the house of the principal of Barisal Brojo Mohon (BM) College on Monday night demanding immediate removal of the superintendent of the hostel.

Outlaw killed in bomb blast

A suspected outlaw was killed while two others received injuries at village Kuchiamora under Ataikula Police Station yesterday. Police said Shipon Mondol,30, son of Nasim Mondal of village Kuchiamora was carrying a bomb, which suddenly went off, leaving him dead on the spot. Abu Bakar and Hossain Ali were injured in the blast. Police recovered the body and sent it to Pabna General Hospital for autopsy. Officer-in-charge (OC) of Ataikula Police Station said the dead belonged to outlawed Janajudhha faction of the Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP).

Notorious criminal held

Police on Monday night arrested a ringleader and recovered firearms, bullets and swords in Pangsha upazila in Rajbari. Arrestee Mizanur Rahman alias Ripon, 32, was 'second-in-command' of notorious Taijal Bahini. Taijal was rounded up when police raided a den of the gang in Dompara area at about 8.30: pm. Police also recovered one SMG (short machine gun), a foreign made revolver, two local made shutter guns, eight bullets and 11 swords from hidden places of the den. Sources said Taijal and his men fled the upazila soon after takeover of the caretaker government. But they recently returned to the area and started reorganising the gang.

20 jailed for smuggling

A Cox's Bazar court on Sunday afternoon sentenced each of 20 people to seven years in jail on charges of bid to smuggle out fertiliser. The court also fined each Tk 5,000, in default, to suffer one more year in prison. According to the case, members of the Navy on April 15, 2005 seized 3,000 sacks of urea fertiliser from MB Alam fishing boat and 2,500 sacks urea from MB Nasima fishing boat which were being smuggled out to Myanmar through St Martins Coast in Teknaf. Court sources said, the owners of two fishing boats used for smuggling have also been fined Tk 5 lakh each and they were ordered to deposit Tk 10 lakh to the Deputy Commissioner within 30 days.

Silk traders demonstrate

Silk weavers yesterday brought out a procession in the town and submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) protesting alleged extortion and harassment by members of the law enforcing agencies. They alleged that plainclothes policemen harass them when the silk cloth traders leave for capital or elsewhere to sell their products. The law enforcers often collect illegal toll at Chapainawabganj Mohananda Bridge plaza, Belpukur checkpost of Rajshahi and Natore town, they alleged. The processionists paraded the main streets of the town and held a rally in front of the DC office before submitting the memo.

Woman killed by stepsons

A woman was killed yesterday by stepsons at village Jhoula Para in Domar upazila. Police arrested the husband and the three stepsons on charge of murder. Locals and police said one Mohsin Ali, 50, married three women. His two sons-- Abul Kalam of his first wife and Abul Kashem of his second wife locked in a quarrel. When mothers of the two boys joined the quarrel, Tafiza Begum, the third wife of Mohsin Ali came forward to stop them. At one stage, Alam, the adult step son of Tafiza Begum also came out there and all three started beating their step mother with bamboo sticks killing her on the spot.

4 CU students hurt in attack

Four students of Chittagong University (CU) were injured in an attack by an expelled student inside a university shuttle train at Sholoshahar Railway Station yesterday. Sources said Sahil, who was expelled on April 24 this year from the university for one year on charge of stabbing another student, Abu Torab, swooped on the four students who are friends of Torab. All on a sudden, Sahil pulled a machete from his bag and started stabbing the students leaving Rahman, Imran, Zaman and Ashraful injured. Sahil allegedly belongs to 'Ekakar group' while the four are members of rival 'Sixty-nine group' at CU.

Gun, bombs recovered

Brahmanbaria Sadar police on Sunday night recovered one sawed-off gun and four locally made bombs from an abandoned house at village Bhadughar under Brahmanbaria municipal area. The gun and the bombs were wrapped with a polythene bag. Earlier, police recovered nine bombs from district Eidgah on Friday night.

Letters

Make merit the basis

Results of the SSC exams have been published. We should be happy to observe that our next generation is doing well in their assigned jobs and achieving thousands of A plus or even so called 'Golden GPA'. On the very next day of publishing of results, the media informed us that this year also the students would get admission in colleges based on their GPA. This news hurts me, I strongly believe most of the students and guardians feel the same. It's total injustice to merit, it subsides creativity or even 'fair competition' among the admission seekers. It should be stopped right this year.

Reprieve for rickshaws

A news item a few days ago mentioned that the 400,000 (an inflated figure) rickshaws in Dhaka had been granted a temporary reprieve and allowed to ply on the roads where they had been illegally banned (in contravention to their basic constitutional rights) for over 1-1/2 years, because the DMP 'suddenly realised' that the ban was causing them hardship. What generosity! But does the ordinary traffic cop know about this decision? NO, because he is still insisting on his 'ounce of flesh' to make 'exceptions' (as I can personally testify).

Dr. Manmohan Singh

Dr Manmohan Singh was born on September 26, 1932 in Punjab which is in Pakistan now. He studied at Punjab, Oxford and Cambridge Universities. After leaving Cambridge he spent 9 years as professor in Punjab University. Then he joined in Business and Development Department of UNO in 1966. In 1969 he joined as professor in Delhi School of Economics. He successfully worked as Financial Adviser and finance Secretary to the Government of India. He was the Governor of Reserve Bank, Vice Chairman of Planning Commission and the Chairman of University Grants Commission. After the defeat in Lok Sabha election in 1999 from West Delhi Parliamentary constituency, he did not want to be a politician. But in 2004 he was elected from Assam to the Upper House and became the prime minister of India. When he was the finance minister in PV Narasimha Rao's cabinet when the financial condition of India was very bad. He performed brilliantly at that time. This is his best achievement of his life for which India will remember him forever.

Hepatitis

In recent years, the number of hepatitis patients is increasing rapidly in our country. According to a survey, 15% of the total population of our country is knowingly or unknowingly infected by these fatal diseases. Lack of consciousness & prejudices on hepatitis are the major causes of these virus transmitted diseases. Besides, the carelessness of diagnostic centres, medical centres, unsafe transfusion of blood and drug addiction are the major causes of hepatitis.

Human trafficking

About 400 people, mostly women and children, are trafficked from our country, every month. Majority of the victims are destined for India, Pakistan and the Middle East. The women generally end up as prostitutes in brothels.

Misinterpretation ?

I am sorry to come back again and again to the cantonment house of Begum Zia. Her top lawyer and a high profile member of the party is very strongly referring to the constitution that empowers the president to exercise his supreme power to take action which is not covered by normal law of the country or any other law which is applicable to an ordinary citizen. I am not a lawyer. Therefore, I have no intention to challenge the contention of the BNP party lawyers. But I have the right to ask for a clarification of the article concerned of the constitution. Is it applicable for an ordinary citizen also ? I also do not understand when the case is between Begum Zia and the cantonment board, why the political party of Begum Zia is agitating on the issue. It means that if I have a strong political party and huge supporters I can also use them to fight a legal battle!

Physiotherapy students

Bangladesh Physiotherapy Students' Association organised a hunger strike for the third time. They want establishment of Bangladesh College of Physiotherapy. Their demand is based on sound logic. In many developing countries, physiotherapy is now considered to be a very important subject. In Canada, entry-level physiotherapy education is offered in 13 universities. Some of these university programmes are at the masters level, meaning that applicants must have already completed an undergraduate degree prior to applying, all of them are slated to be at the post-graduation level by 2010. Many universities also offer graduate programmes in physiotherapy, rehabilitation, or related disciplines at the post graduation or doctoral level. Even in our neighbouring country i.e. India, universities offer undergraduate programmes of physiotherapy with four years of academic and clinical programme and 6 months of compulsory internship. There are over 250 colleges offering undergraduate programmes in physiotherapy (BPT) and more than 50 colleges are offering master's degree in physiotherapy (MPT) with 2 years' duration. PhD in physiotherapy is offered in some universities in the states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

No flowery reception!

The photograph published on page 7 of your newspaper of 26th May, 2009 shows the simply and elegantly dressed Indian Foreign Secretary, Mr. Shiv Shankar Menon, welcoming the new Indian Foreign Minister, Mr. SM Krishna, with a warm handshake and not with a big bunch of flowers.

Universities

The failure to accommodate the ever-growing number of students seeking higher education, among other things, has necessitated the government to open up the sector to non-government operators to run universities. Both public and private universities have been playing a very vital role in spreading higher education across the country, baring some exception. Most of the private universities are Dhaka-centric, only a few have opened campuses outside Dhaka to facilitate and attract a larger segment of students intending to pursue higher education on their chosen disciplines.

Wasa water

About two years back our Wasa undertook the business of bottled water ('Shanti') like many other private organisations. They invested a huge amount of money in purchasing machineries, paying staff salaries and other overhead expenditures. Although other organisations/ companies are earning considerable profits selling bottled water, Wasa's loss is on the increase. But my question is why Wasa has got involved in such business. Their main duty is to supply water to people of this capital city through the pipeline. But many people in many areas have to remain without water. Wasa's water is not pure and is risky for health. The performance of Wasa is not up to the mark and thus they should concentrate on supplying pure water through a flawless piping network. Bottled water is for the rich and for them there are many private enterprises. Wasa is not a private company. The poor, middle income people and even the rich want pure water from Wasa at a lower price. In the name of “shanti” it should not bring any “ashanti”.

Where is my share?

Due to world recession, the govt of Bangladesh has declared several thousand crores taka as rescue package, so that the aggrieved industries or sectors are benefited to some extent. On the other hand, the representatives of FBCCI, DCCI, BGMEA, BKMEA, tanneries, agro sector etc, do often ask the finance minister, commerce minister, BB governor etc to lower bank interest rate. Unfortunately, many public limited companies did manage to raise share capital indicating fatty return on investment but some of them do not pay dividends for years, some do not arrange AGM, some could not be enlisted in stock markets and thus they are enjoying interest free capital for decades.

Lifelines of Dhaka

Three cheers for The Daily Star for focusing every day in the front page the miserable condition of the lifelines- the four rivers around Dhaka. All citizens of Dhaka, irrespective of their political affiliations, should stand behind this commendable effort undertaken by your newspaper. Because of this bold campaign, the honourable High Court has acted in line with the aspiration of the Dhaka city dwellers.

A great job

Our heartiest thanks to The Daily Star, we laud its concern for our dying rivers, which if not revived will choke our cities. The picture revealed is horrifying, ten feet layer of discarded polythene bags and other waste materials are covering the bed of river Buriganga. Untreated wastes from industries are pouring into the rivers, making them severely polluted, creating a most serious situation.

Are we learning?

Thanks to the Daily Telegraph, British MPs are now beginning to learn the true definition of “taxpayers' money”.

Unexpected violence

The violence erupting among the followers of two sects of people in Maheskhali has become intolerable. The common people are the worst victims. The recent outcome of the violence is the death of two followers of Kawmi sect. Though it is difficult to say clearly who is responsible and who is right or wrong, common people eagerly want a quick remedy.

Traffic jams

Nowadays traffic jam appears to be a big curse in our urban areas. Yes, it is a common phenomenon that city people go to the market and park their vehicles on the road , as if the space of the road is their forefathers' property.

Frankenstein for US?

We all know the story of Frankenstein. In pursuit of vengeance and driven by self-ego, Frankenstein wanted to kill his own creator. In the light of same fictional character, we have witnessed this week such behaviour from Israel to its stalwart ally, the USA, through its open defiance to US proposal to stop Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian lands. Being taken aback by the blunt US proposal to stop further settlements on the Palestinian land, Israel apparently has taken a path of defiance, rather than compliance with the US proposal.

No dearth of talent

There is no dearth of talent in our wonderful land - thousands of GPA 5 students. No electricity, no water, dusty, smoky, jam-packed totally unhealthy environment where most of the valuable time is loafed off on the streets - that is our Dhaka city, even then our meritorious students are making this result. Compared to the students of the developed countries, our students have to work harder for this achievement. But what are we doing for them? A great shame indeed. Young sweet children of the parents are being forced to go on hunger strike for the third time. A final decision should be made in time.

Rajuk

Rajuk has disgraced all of us. We live in England, but send money to relatives in Bangladesh and wish to buy a plot of land in order to be able to settle there in the near future. At first, Rajuk tells the applicants that any proof of Bangladeshi nationality, will suffice, when put with the application form. And then, after many of us have already sent off our application forms, they claim that photocopies of Bangladeshi passports must be enclosed alongside the application form and other documents. Now, as the selection process of application forms is an ongoing process, they inform us that all passports must be valid. If they don't have this information, then they discard the applications. Why, if they truly need the information, do they not request it? They have everyone's email address, they have their house addresses, and telephone numbers. They cannot simply throw away thousands of applications merely for lack of information, which they did not at first, request. A hefty list, is it not? Following on from that aberration, they claimed that they would inform the general public on who had got a plot by the end of the one-month following the deadline, this turned into six months. Will it turn into one year, and then two years next? We don't even have any form of confirmation, by email or by any other means that our hard-earned money has been received by Rajuk. And we, ourselves have no way of confirming this. No one answers the phone on the contact number we were given, and I have personally sent people round to the Rajuk offices, where they claim they are too busy to do anything, or to give out any information. These incidents have shown our character, i.e.: to be unreliable, unpredictable, and utterly an annoyance.

International

Pak Taliban leaders waiting for a suitable time to strike

The Taliban leadership has shifted to mountains to regroup and strike back at a suitable time, The Nation reports.

Obama vows to get ME talks back on track

President Barack Obama voiced confidence Tuesday that the United States can help get serious Middle East peace talks back on track, as he prepared for his maiden trip to the region.

India to fight terrorism jointly with Saarc nations: Krishna

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna has asserted that India is determined to fight terrorism jointly with other countries.

Kim's youngest son named successor

North Korea pushed forward with preparations to test-fire more missiles in the wake of last week's nuclear test as leader Kim Jong Il moved to anoint his third son as heir to the world's first communist dynasty, reports and experts said Tuesday.

Four US soldiers among 29 die in Afghan unrest

A bomb blast killed a family of six, including two children, near the largest US military base in Afghanistan yesterday as 23 militants and security guards died in gun battles, authorities said.

61 killed in illegal South African gold mine

At least 61 miners were killed when fire tore through an abandoned gold shaft in one of South Africa's deadliest mine accidents, highlighting the lethal dangers facing illegal diggers.

Kashmir holds key to peace in region

Pakistan yesterday urged India to resume the sub-continental dialogue process, holding that the resolution of the Kashmir dispute "holds the key to peace in the region."

Embattled British PM faces poll drubbing

Prime Minister Gordon Brown faces the threat of an electoral bloodbath this week as Britain votes in European and local elections, amid fresh questions over his future.

Australian state plans 'hate laws'

The Australian state at the centre of a furore over attacks on Indian students said Tuesday it would introduce hate laws to combat the problem, which has caused outrage on the sub-continent.

Jewish settlers go on rampage in West Bank

Jewish settlers rampaged in the West Bank on Monday, wounding four Palestinians, as they vented fury that Israel may answer US calls and dismantle outposts in the territory, officials said.

China clamps down ahead of Tiananmen anniversary

Chinese authorities have forced a former government adviser from Beijing and detained a veteran dissident in a clampdown ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, reports said Tuesday.

First Guantanamo hearing of Obama era opens

A Guantanamo Bay military court on Monday held the first open hearing of the Obama administration, examining the case of a young Canadian accused of killing a US soldier in Afghanistan.

29 killed in Indian bus plunge

At least 29 people were killed and seven injured Monday when a bus veered off a bridge and plunged into a dry river bed in northern India, officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

Anton Chekov’s “Seagull” at Dhaka University

Faculty of Drama and Music, Dhaka University had a three-day rehearsal staging of the Anton Chekhov masterpiece "Seagull (1895)" at Natmandal on the campus, starting from May 29. Directed by Abul Bashar Md. Ziaul Haque Bhuiya, the play is a production by the honours students of the faculty.

Footprints of Nazrul in Comilla

Rebel Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam spent some years at Daulatpur under Muradnagar upazila and his wife Pramila Devi's house is located in Comilla town. Nazrul had visited Comilla five times. On April 1921, he came here and resided at the house of Biren Shome for four days. Nazrul came with Ali Akbar Khan, a noted publisher of Kolkata. Nazrul along with Khan went to Daulatpur, where the poet stayed for two months and composed many poems and songs. Here he fell in love with Sayeeda Khatun alias Nargis, niece of Ali Akbar Khan.

Mohua Utshab held in Faridpur

Poets, litterateurs and eminent cultural activists of Faridpur organised a programme titled 'Mohua Utshab'. The function was aptly held under a Mohua tree, popular in Bengali literature, at the Faridpur Government Rajendra University College on May 29.

New drama serial “Guide” on ntv tonight

A new drama serial "Guide" will be aired on ntv at 9:45 pm. The 28-episode serial is written, scripted and directed by Arun Choudhury. The cast consists of Tauqir Ahmed, Runa Khan, Apurba, Shojol, Nova, Bindu, Arefin Shuvo, Hillol, Nafiza and others.

Month long Handicraft fair kicks off in Pabna

A month long Fabric and Handicrafts Fair began in Pabna to convey the message of 'Use Handloom Products, Save the Handloom Industry'.

Discussion on publishing Bengali dictionary at Bangla Academy

A discussion on "Publishing Bengali Dictionary" was held at Bangla Academy seminar room on June 1 says a press release. Lexicographer Jamil Chowdhury was the main speaker at the event. Md. Abdul Quaiyum and Professor Anisuzzaman also took part in the discussion. Md. Shamsuzzaman Khan, director of Bangla Academy, delivered the welcome speech.

“No Question No Answer” on Channel 1

"No Question No Answer," a new mega serial written and directed by Kochi Khandoker, goes on air tonight on channel 1. Based on a comic story, the serial is aimed at providing the audience with total entertainment.

OP-ED

Empowering parliamentary standing committees

THE ninth parliament has excelled in appointing all the parliamentary standing committees at its first session, and they have already started their work. This is a significant departure from the practices that we had noticed in the previous parliaments.

How neighbours view the elephant

THE Indians have spoken electorally. In what has been the largest election ever, at any time anywhere, in the world's biggest democracy, they have returned to power one of the world's oldest political parties, the Indian National Congress. They have displayed their willingness to continue to be led by a wise man, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and an experienced woman Sonia Gandhi, till such time change and youth come, as will happen inexorably, in the form of Rahul Gandhi. In the same breath, therefore this vast electorate has opted for continuity and change, welcoming the old and the new, displaying the maturity of the common voter. Also, demonstrating the efficacy of democracy as the most effective form of human organisation.

Epitaph for the word 'literally'

BEWARE. The world has become so dangerous lately that I am no longer prepared to go unarmed into places associated with high rates of violence, such as kindergartens. It's true. A friend of mine was talking about his wife, who started work at a pre-school. "The kids were so cute and lively," he said. "They literally slew her."

Beware of bureaucracy!

AFTER a two-year suspension, a new phase of democracy has started in Bangladesh, with new hopes and pledges. The electoral slogan of the AL, "a charter for change," has encouraged the common people. Now it is the responsibility of the pledge-bound government to deliver accordingly. However, without proper performance of the bureaucrats, the government will fail to achieve the goal.


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