News of: Friday, 5th of June, 2009
Commitment of the government, tough enforcement of environmental laws and formation of an effective river authority are the key to save the rivers physically and biologically.
Government drives against encroachment largely fail because encroachers often obtain stay orders and injunctions from the court against eviction drives, high officials of BIWTA, Environment Directorate, and Land Survey Directorate told a High Court bench yesterday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed her party lawmakers not to stick their noses in transfers and postings of government officials at any level.
The second session of the ninth parliament, which will pass the budget for the next fiscal year, began yesterday, but the BNP-led opposition leaders boycotted it over disagreement about seating arrangement in the House.
Quoting from the Quran for emphasis, President Barack Obama called for a "new beginning between the United States and Muslims" yesterday and said together, they could confront violent extremism across the globe and advance the timeless search for peace in the Middle East.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) yesterday, the second day of the three-day eviction drive, knocked down five concrete structures, scores of tin sheds and walls built illegally on the river Turag in Tongi.
Principal Staff Officer (PSO) of the Armed Forces Division Lt Gen Abdul Mubin has been appointed as the Chief of Army Staff, sources in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.
Repair works of small breaches in the dams in Satkhira are almost complete while repair of the large ones will begin today under supervision of the army, said Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque yesterday.
Dandy Dyeing Ltd owned by ex-premier Khaleda Zia's elder son Tarique Rahman got a waiver of interest worth Tk 12 crore on bank loans within a week after the BNP-Jamaat coalition assumed power in 2001.
BNP's plan to reorganise the party in the district level in two months is likely to prove futile, as grassroots level leaders think such a massive task cannot be done within this short time.
One does not have to be an expert to identify river encroachments. It's just too obvious. But it's all the more difficult to prove as all the river-gobblers have ownership papers, thanks to our corrupt land administration and lax monitoring by river regulatory body. Powerful, rich and ruthless, these river-gobblers find no difficulty in maneuvering legal system and managing law enforcement. They have become seemingly invincible.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the weathermen to remain more alert in forecasting cyclones and tidal surges in future.
Making a U-turn from his bid to step down, State Minister for Home Affairs Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj resumed office yesterday after a four-day "leave on account of sickness".
Taliban militants yesterday freed all remaining Pakistani staff and students from an army-run boarding school who were snatched three days ago, drawing a line under the brazen mass abduction.
It is surely a matter of shame when even foreigners based in Dhaka on diplomatic assignment begin to feel themselves under threat from criminal elements. Indeed, as the dean of the diplomatic corps has already pointed out in a letter to the Foreign Office, there have been specific incidents where foreigners were mugged and threatened with physical injury if they refused to hand over their belongings to gangs of youths accosting them on the road. And these incidents have been taking place in supposedly the most secure of urban areas such as Gulshan and Baridhara. Where earlier the probability of diplomats coming under assault from criminal elements in Bangladesh was unthinkable, it is now clear that the overall slide in law and order we notice in the capital has simply spilled over into its diplomatic enclave.
Marking a healthy departure from the much abused practice of providing duty-free luxurious cars to MPs, many of them finding their way to the open market, henceforth the lawmakers will have vehicles from a pool created for them. This is a move in the right direction, although all concerned must still be conscious of the fact that purchase of new vehicles even slightly lower down the luxury scale for large numbers of MPs and upazila chairmen would be a financially strenuous undertaking, especially in these hard times.
Let me start by congratulating you on your historic address to the Muslim world at Cairo University yesterday. You promised us that it would be something special, and we were not disappointed.
If the South hadn't finally accepted the outcome of the Civil War as being on the whole just, Gilbert Keith Chesterton observed, Abraham Lincoln would have been wrong in trying to preserve the American Union. In politics at least, right and wrong are matters of consensus. Lincoln summarised it in his own homely words. Nothing is ever really settled, he said, until it's settled right. What he didn't mention is that the settling must happen in people's minds.
A century and a half ago, John Stuart Mill asserted that the participation of both the majority and the minority must be ensured for a government to be competent and efficient. He included women in his definition of the enormously disfranchised "minority" of that time. Politicians across national boundaries were slow to heed to this basic tenet of governance of state affairs -- Bangladesh is no exception. However, Bangladesh is catching up faster than most developing countries governed by democratically elected governments.
Twenty20, once the cheeky, brash upstart of world cricket, firmly joins the establishment from Friday when Lord's stages the opening match of the 2009 world championship.
Top seed Dinara Safina blasted her way into the French Open final for the second year in a row on Thursday by outgunning Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-3.
Hosts England open the ICC World Twenty20 against outsiders the Netherlands at Lord's on Friday in a match they dare not lose and the Dutch hope they might win.
Troubled Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds's international career appeared over after Cricket Australia said Thursday it had sent him home from the World Twenty20 tournament in England for breaking team rules.
Brilliant batting from Rohit Sharma saw defending champions India to a crushing nine-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan in their ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match at The Oval here on Tuesday.
Banned Indian Cricket League (ICL) duo Mosharraf Hossain and Monjurul Islam have submitted proof of their terminated contracts to Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) acting CEO Nizam Uddin Chowdhury yesterday for availing the amnesty offered by the board.
Eight teams have qualified for the final round of the Bashundhara Champions Club Cup football tournament while the fate of four clubs' advancement remained under cloud.
Abdullah-Al-Fahad, a young student from Mohammadpur Central College, will make a little piece of history on 8th June, when he bowls to Indian legend Dilip Vengsarkar in front of millions of viewers around the globe.
Alvario Saborio and Selso Borges scored early goals to give Costa Rica a 3-1 victory over the United States here on Wednesday, putting the Ticos atop North America's World Cup 2010 qualifying.
Australia and Japan are poised to be among the first teams to qualify for the World Cup finals on Saturday, and they are determined to grab the opportunity.
Brazilian playmaker Kaka remains an AC Milan player, despite reports from Spain he is heading for Real Madrid in a 65-million-euro deal, Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi said Wednesday.
Steve Bruce believes he can transform Sunderland into a club more familiar with the top half of the Premier League than regular relegation dogfights.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has left the door open for the departure of Samuel Eto'o, saying Wednesday that the future of the Cameroon striker at the Spanish champions would depend on the transfer market.
Middle-order batsman Sahagir Hossain hit a brilliant unbeaten century to guide Bangladesh A to a comfortable position against visiting Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) on the second day of their second four-day match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
England looked to have found the solution to their opening problems at the ICC World Twenty20 as Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara led them to a nine-wicket warm-up thrashing of the West Indies here at Lord's.
Lord's will shed history tonight when the hallowed turf will go under lights for the opening ICC Twenty20 World Championship opening match between England and the Netherlands.
If the drama of the first ICC Twenty20 World Championship is anything to go by, this year's
If Pakistan are to better last edition's performance, they would build on the experience and versatility of their senior players. The likes of Shahid Afridi, Misbahul Haq and Shoaib Malik would be influential under captain Younus Khan, who would lead a predominantly young side. Their only weakness would be the lack of Twenty20 matches under their belt.
Things look more complicated for up-and-coming cricket nations like Bangladesh with the advent of the game's shortest version, Twenty20, on the horizon.
The ICC World Twenty20 Cup 2009 will be the second time a world event for Twenty20 cricket is being held.
The International Cricket Council's executive committee voted for the hosts of the tournament after examining the bids which was made by the nations keen to hold a Twenty20 World Championship. After South Africa, England is hosting in 2009 followed by West Indies in 2010, Sri Lanka in 2012 and Bangladesh in 2014. The ICC decided that South Africa and England should host the first two tournaments because they were the earliest adopters of the format.
Younis Khan (capt), Salman Butt, Ahmed Shehzad, Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (wk), Fawad Alam, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Mohammad Aamer, Yasir Arafat, Saeed Ajmal, Shahzaib Hasan, Rao Iftikhar Anjum.
Traditionalists and liberalists collide today at Lord's as the home of cricket will play host to the second edition of the World T20 when England take on the Netherlands under the floodlights.
The upcoming budget is poised to face challenges to set directives and create opportunities in line with the government's big election pledges amid impacts of global recession and slower revenue collections, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said yesterday.
Export earnings declined by 2.30 percent in April of the current fiscal year against the same month a year ago, what sector people say is the impact of global recession on export.
The government plans to build four satellite townships around Dhaka to ease acute housing problems, the state minister for housing and public works said yesterday.
Dhaka stocks continued to rise yesterday with the single-day turnover touching the highest-ever level of Tk 672.76 crore.
At a time when carbon emissions by mobile operators become crucial globally, Grameenphone, the top mobile operator, moved to reduce its carbon footprint through innovative approaches.
Remittance inflow in May was the highest in fiscal 2008-09, bringing relief form a continuous downward trend in the last few months.
US stocks struggled to hold early gains Thursday as the market digested news of a third straight drop in new unemployment claims and a mixed set of sales reports from retailers.
Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni yesterday urged Qatar to recruit more workers and import pharmaceutical, leather and jute goods from Bangladesh.
Nokia, one of the leading mobile devices manufacturers in the world, has recently launched a "pre-order campaign" for its latest arrivals 'Nokia N97' and 'Nokia N86' in Bangladesh.
India's new government promised measures to spur growth and help the country's vast poor population, and announced economic reforms as it spelled out Thursday its priorities for the next five years.
France's unemployment rate shot up to 8.7 percent in the first quarter of 2009, fresh data from the national statistics agency INSEE showed on Thursday.
The Austrian economy will contract by as much as 4.2 percent this year and remain in recession next year when it will decline by a further 0.4 percent, Austrian central bank OeNB predicted Thursday.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Thursday it has lent Indonesia one billion dollars to help maintain spending on social services in the wake of the global financial crisis.
As the US Treasury continues to churn out hundreds of billions of dollars of fresh debt, officials are confronting one of the thorniest problems since the financial crisis began.
In 1909 French chemist Eugene Schueller concocted a safe dye for hair, calling it l'Aureale after a popular hair style of the moment in a city which was already a byword for style and fashion.
Europe's leading stock markets rebounded slightly in morning trade on Thursday amid positive continent-wide economic data and ahead of a key ECB monetary policy announcement.
The dollar gained against the yen in Asia Thursday as speculative trade eased following fresh economic data in the United States and Europe that sapped hopes of an early global recovery.
Japan's corporate sales, recurring profits and capital spending all plunged at record rates in the first quarter due to the global downturn, a government survey said Thursday.
The European Central Bank is tipped to keep its key interest rate at an all-time low of 1.0 percent on Thursday and to release details of bond purchases aimed at freeing up clogged credit markets.
Airline industry association IATA said Thursday the outlook for the ailing aviation industry remains bleak and warned airlines that a recovery will take more than three years.
Malaysia's April exports dropped 26.3 percent year on year, according to official data released Thursday.
Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market was active on Thursday. The market was liquid and USD/BDT rate was similar the previous working day.
Why is the developers' association (REHAB) in favour of whitening black money?
Unknown miscreants stabbed a student of Notre Dame College to death in the city's Motijheel area yesterday noon.
The World Environment Day 2009 will be observed in the country today as elsewhere around the world with massive campaigns for raising awareness of critical environmental issues, particularly climate change due to global warming.
A High Court (HC) bench yesterday granted bails to eight convicts including three Awami League (AL) leaders, two BNP leaders in separate corruption cases.
A Dhaka court yesterday issued a warrant for arrest of Tajul Islam Farook, chairman of Westmont Power Company, who had earlier filed a Tk 3-crore extortion case against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in connection with a cheating case.
The service of Air Chief Air Marshal SM Ziaur Rahman has been extended by one year for public interest with effect from June 13, said a highly placed government source yesterday.
With the theme 'Eat Vitamin A, Reduce Risk of Child Mortality' the National Vitamin A Plus campaign will be held across the country tomorrow.
The users of Grameenphone (GP) and state-owned TeleTalk in Cox's Bazar and Sirajganj will receive from now on early warning message about impending natural disasters in a bid to reduce damages to life and property.
A money changer who was shot on Wednesday night at Gulshan succumbed to his injuries at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases in the city yesterday.
Speakers at a lecture series yesterday said gender equity inside political parties is a must to create a level-playing field for women leaders in the country.
Planning Minister AK Khandaker has said his ministry would not approve any project that will harm the environment.
Over one hundred children fell sick after taking government-supplied deworming tablets and vitamin A capsules at Char Shalipur and Char Hazarbigha villages in Char Bhadrashan upazila.
Parents of a student of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), who have been missing for about 11 months, at a press conference yesterday alleged that police did not arrest the accused in a case filed in connection with their missing son.
Thailand will donate Tk 13.65 lakh to the Prime Minister's Relief and Welfare Fund for the victims of cyclone Aila that recently hit the southern coastal districts.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the cover of the second part of a book titled “Sonamonider Pora” written by eminent author Begum Momtaz Hussain at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) yesterday.
The Madhupur forests have almost disappeared, thanks to encroachment, neglect in preservation, corruption by forest officials, nepotism in leasing forestland and discriminatory attitudes towards indigenous people for decades.
Fifteen more alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation army have been sued for war crimes in 1971 in Sunamganj and Natore districts.
Rab personnel arrested three underground operatives in Jhenidah Sadar upazila on Wednesday night and recovered firearms and bombs from their possession.
A retired schoolteacher was murdered in Banshkhali upazila yesterday. Makhan Lal Bhattacharya, 65, retired from Banshakhali Adarsha High School around a year ago. Sources said, at least seven people attacked him when he was going to his home at Keyang Mohajanpara of Uttar Jaladi from the municipal area Wednesday night. The gang beat up and stabbed him. He was rushed to nearby health complex but succumbed to injury while being shifted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital yesterday. Later, police arrested six people in connection with the murder.
Twenty people were injured in a clash Wednesday night in Biswambharpur upazila of Sunamganj district between the rival factions of Awami League during a procession arranged in favour of the grand alliance candidate for Sunamganj-4 by-election. The by-election is schedueld for June 15. The seat went vacant after the death of Jatiya Party's Begum Momtaj Iqbal on April 17. Police and locals said, the clash ensued after AL's Biswambharpur upazila publicity secretary Abdur Rafique and upazila AL vice-president Ahmed Ali locked in an altercation over leading a procession at Chinakandi Bazar.
Students of Khulna Polytechnic Institute vacated their hostels yesterday as the principal issued the order following Wednesday's fierce clash on the campus between two rival groups of Bangladesh Chhatra League. Saiful Islam, a second year student belonging to Sumon group was severely injured in the clash. He is now being treated at Khulna Medical College Hospital with fractures in hands and head injury. During the four-hour clash both the groups used hockey sticks, iron rods and brickbats.
A woman was beaten to death allegedly by her husband at village Shibram of Barobari union in Lalmonirhat Sadar Wednesday night. Police recovered the body of Ayesha Begum,23, yesterday and sent it to hospital morgue for autopsy. A case was lodged with Lalmonirhat Sadar police against Akbar Ali. Police and family sources said, Akbar Ali stole money for gambling and went out of home on Wednesday. When he returned, Ayesha rebuked him and protested gambling. At this, Akbar beat her mercilessly injuring critically. Ayesha died on way to hospital.
Seven people were injured, three of them by bullets in a clash yesterday between the supporters of two brothers over a disputed land at Chanchkoir bazar under Gurudaspur upazila. Police arrested municipality mayor Mashiur Rahman alias Bablu and seized his revolver after the incident. Police and locals said, Bablu, also a local BNP leader, had a long-standing feud with his cousin Azad Shah over the land. Yesterday, Bablu and his men attacked the house of Azad and at one stage of clash opened fire, leaving seven injured. Police later arrested Bablu and seized his revolver.
Recently there have been protests from different forums and groups about the dangers and consequences that the Tipaimukh dam will cause to Bangladesh. The prime minister of India laid the foundation stone of this dam on 24 November, 2004 and the Indian government is already going ahead with the controversial Tipaimukh dam project with a target to complete it by 2012. The dam will be over the cross-boundary river Borak, 100km upstream of eastern border of Sylhet district. It will be 1500 feet long and 500 feet high and will cost around Indian Rupees 9,000 crore. Once constructed, this dam would spell an ecological disaster for Bangladesh through desertification and flooding in our eastern region.
Water in the cyclone affected areas has been contaminated by saline sea water. There is hardly any source of drinking water. This problem can be solved if barges are converted into floating water storage tanks in the affected areas and water is transported to these water storage tanks by using the fresh water supply barges/vessels belonging to Chittagong and Mongla ports that supply fresh water to the ships calling at the ports. Small tankers preferably those that have coated (painted ) tanks could be thoroughly cleaned and be used to transport fresh water to these areas. Water carried by the tankers should not be used for drinking but could be used for all other purposes. If these measures are taken on an emergency basis by the disaster management ministry it will be of immense benefit to the cyclone affected people.
In the recent Indian election, Indian Muslims voted massively for the ruling Congress Party despite their reservations about the Congress. This was mainly because they were stunned by Taliban slaughtering fellow Muslims in neighbouring Pakistan and they wanted a strong government to face such extremism spilling over to India. Slaughter of fellow Muslims by the Taliban must have made them apprehensive that Islamic extremists may also make India their target with disastrous consequences as happening in Pakistan.
The Daily Star published a series of reports on grabbing of rivers. The grabbers occupy these rivers which are essential for maintaining natural balance. Furthermore, we see that along with illegal trespassers the govt. officials play a role here. This is a punishable offence!
According to the results published on Tuesday (26 May), in the Secondary School Certificate exams of 2009, a total of 45,934 examinees achieved GPA-5, while it was 41,917 in 2008. But the overall success rate has declined a little compared to that of the previous year. The percentage of passes in eight general education boards is 67.41 this year, while the rate was 70.81 in 2008 under seven education boards. Explaining the reason for the decline in the success rate, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said, “The pass rate has declined slightly as the examinees could not adopt unfair means this year.”
It's not far away when the streets are going to be chaotic again to the utter disgust of the city-dwellers. Political weather forecast signals so.
We strongly endorse the views of our Foreign Minister Dipu Moni demanding Pakistan's apology for its troops' genocide during our 1971 War of Liberation.
It has been observed that the Dhaka city taxis and auto-rickshaws do not take any passenger on "meter". They will demand a fancy and unreasonable amount from the passengers. You have to meet their demand to hire these transports. For a short distance the autowalas' demand is at least Tk 50/-. They will not take anything less. The taxis demand Tk. 100/- for a short distance. For any long distance they demand whatever they feel like. Now the passengers are in distress and have no alternative but to accept their unreasonable demands.
The approval for purchase of 440 Pajero Jeep for the upazila chairmen is a glaring example of misuse of public funds. Still a pauper country, Bangladesh can ill afford to expend such huge amounts of hard earned foreign currency for the symbol or spectre of power the chairmen hold. As if when they will come to Dhaka this will be proper to show off their status, as also to the village folks who elected them for their development, not to get amazed! Their seat of work is in the upazilas, the headquarters of the rural unions/areas where there are hardly roads for easy and safe ride, and obviously this will cause unabated drainage of money for the upkeep of this inordinately pricey vehicle. This is a sheer unproductive outlay.
Thanks to the government committee on BDR tragedy for making the salient features public, a rare case in Bangladesh. We hope the government would continue the investigation to unveil the real cause of the BDR mutiny because the national security and political stability of the country are directly linked with the incident.
Payment of dividends against ICB Mutual Fund has been kept suspended for almost a year because SEC filed a petition to the court on some issue. As such the small investors, like retired officials, are suffering. The ICB is earning interest at the cost of the investors. As nobody is pursuing the matter, only God knows when the investors would get dividends.