The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, April 16, 2014


News of: Monday, 8th of June, 2009

Front Page

Army seeks to form crisis unit

Bangladesh Army seeks to form a special unit named, Quick Reaction Force (QRF), to ensure the country's internal security, particularly to tackle on an urgent basis -- incidents like mutinies and bombings.

Operation Clean Heart to be opened

The government as part of its stance against extrajudicial killings is likely to examine whether the controversial Joint Drive Indemnity Act, 2003 that indemnified all concerned for their acts during the Operation Clean Heart should be scrapped.

Tax to double on big deposits

Taxes on bank deposits over Tk 10 lakh will be doubled in the next budget.

Some politicians helped Daud spread crime web

Detectives have found some political leaders and influential people in Bangladesh to have close relations with international mafia don Daud Ibrahim.

Buriganga artery blocked

Defying the wetland protection act and a prime ministerial order, a real estate developer has embarked on a project to fill up Atir Khal, one of the busiest canals till today, connected with the river Buriganga, and serving thousands of farmers, traders, and commuters of at least a dozen places of Keraniganj.

300 MP-advisers for municipalities

Three hundred lawmakers including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Speaker Abdul Hamid might soon be made advisers to municipalities in their respective constituencies, as a parliamentary standing committee recommended the move.

Budget braces for tough challenges

The next fiscal year might prove a tough one for the country's economy as economic growth in 2008-09 fiscal year dipped to 5.88 percent from the previous year's 6.2 percent with the decline in output of manufacturing and services sectors.

Over 200 kids fall sick

Over 200 more children fell sick in the last two days in Natore, Jhenidah and Faridpur after taking government-supplied Vitamin-A capsules and deworming tablets.

Health sector jobs grossly politicised

Massive transfers and promotions in the country's health sector have given rise to strong allegations that politicisation of the health sector is in full swing.

Expat experts invited to dissect coal policy

Expatriate and local energy experts, parliamentarians and energy sector officials will examine the draft coal policy at a four-day exclusive brainstorming session, jointly organised by the energy ministry and Petrobangla.

Home asked to beef up SC security

The law ministry yesterday sent a letter asking the home ministry to strengthen security on the Supreme Court (SC) premises as an intelligence agency apprehends attack on the apex court premises.

Departmental probe on into 2 students' death

The government is conducting departmental probe into the killings of the two students of Tejgaon Polytechnic Institute by Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members, State Minister for Home Affairs Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj said yesterday.

More structures knocked down

As part of the ongoing eviction drive Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and Dhaka district adminstartion yesterday knocked down five more structures illegally built on the river Turag.

Low in Bay to cause tidal surge in coast

A well-marked monsoon low persists over north Bay and adjoining areas yesterday, a latest Met office bulletin said.

Govt to set up more EPZs: PM

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government will set up more industrial parks for local and foreign investments.

Mamun seeks to withdraw confessional statement

Detained businessman Giausuddin Al Mamun yesterday appealed to a Dhaka court for withdrawal of his earlier confessional statement in connection with an extortion case filed against him in March 2007.

BNP to return to House if 2 more front-row seats given

The BNP-led opposition yesterday said they would return to the ongoing parliament session if they are given two more seats in the front row on the left side of the speaker's podium.

Liakat may make confession today

Former director general of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Maj Gen (retd) Rezzaqul Haider and former deputy director Maj (retd) Liakat Hossain were brought back to Chittagong on completion of their six-day remands yesterday.

Shafique slates Pak official's remark

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said yesterday the reported comment of a Pakistani official on Bangladesh's planned trial of war criminals is beyond diplomatic norms.

Tigers mustwin today

After a 25-run defeat against favourites India in the first Group A match, Bangladesh take on Ireland today in a tricky clash at Trent Bridge as anything other than a win will confirm their early exit from the ICC World Twenty20.

Photo show on river pollution at Ramna Park today

The Daily Star and Channel i will jointly hold a two-day-long photo exhibition on river pollution and encroachment at Shatayu Angan of the Ramna Park from today to create awareness among people about river degradation surrounding Dhaka.

Federer wins French Open finally

Roger Federer beat Robin Soderling, tied Pete Sampras and won the French Open at last.

'Taliban will never be defeated'

The United States is planning to send an additional 21,000 troops to Afghanistan to neutralise the Taliban, but would never achieve its goals, claims a mentor of Taliban chief Mullah Omar.

Editorial

BNP's persistence over seat issue

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party has since the convening of the ninth Jatiyo Sangsad been whipping up a storm over seating arrangements in the House. The party held a series of meetings with Speaker Abdul Hamid, who for his part appears to have gone the extra mile to accommodate it. In fact, after the recent bye-elections, he rearranged the seating in a way that could accommodate such senior BNP leaders as Moudud Ahmed and Jamiruddin Sircar. That does not seem to have mollified the BNP, which has continued to demand seats in the front row beyond what its numbers in the JS allow it. Indeed, the five seats the party now has on the front bench are in excess of the numbers it is entitled to in the House.

Garrulous ministers draw flak

THIS time around, it is the senior leaders of the Awami League Central Working Committee who have thrown up their hands in exasperation at the torrent of words springing forth from the mouth of the ministers from time to time.

The nation in the line of 'crossfire'

THE gap between the AL's profession and practice has been widening since it came to power early this year. The people's generous verdict in the last election has indeed given the party enough rope to hang itself. So much so that it has started considering the same people a bunch of cretins who can be taken for granted for all time. No wonder that, in a show of chutzpa, it has reneged from its earlier stands with regard to some of the fundamental things, including the people's rights to rule of law.

Budget suggestions

THE current global crisis has sounded the death-knell of market fundamentalism. Strong regulatory systems must be in place in all countries to ensure effective market governance. Moreover, it has to be realised that there is a need for a strong and effective state to redistribute income in favour of the exploited common people and to rein in the predatory whims of the rich and powerful in the society.

Perpetuating political corruption

IT'S increasingly becoming a tradition that if opposition politicians are charged for illegitimate personal gains through bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, tax evasion, and embezzlement by the party in power, their cases can be tossed out on considerations of being politically motivated when the aggrieved party returns to power.

Sports

Tigers aren't afraid

Bangladesh's 25-run loss against India on Saturday has now put them in must-win situation against Ireland today if they want to qualify for the next round and the Tigers are determined to ensure that a shock doesn't occur like the Super Eights encounter against the same team at Barbados in the 2007 World Cup.

Federer breaks clay jinx

Roger Federer gloriously completed a career Grand Slam on Sunday by capturing a record-equalling 14th major with a 6-1, 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 win over Robin Soderling in the French Open final.

SA thrash Scotland

AB de Villi-ers's 79 not out provided the platform for South Africa to crush Scotland by 130 runs in the Proteas' opening match of the ICC World Twenty20 at The Oval here on Sunday.

Ponting & co must win

Ricky Ponting's Australia must perform or face an embarrassing early exit from the World Twenty20 when they take on emotionally-charged Sri Lanka on Monday.

Club Cup football

The grouping was finalised for the final round of the Bashundhara Football Champions Club Cup in a draw held at the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) yesterday.

Preliminary squad today

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) will announce a 30-member preliminary squad today for the upcoming SA Games and SAFF Championship.

National TT from today

The AB Bank 30th National Table Tennis Championship begins today at the National Sports Council gymnasium.

'WC decision on June 19'

A final decision regarding Pakistan's rights to host the 2011 Cricket World Cup will be taken on June 19, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt has said.

Long way to go: Gayle

West Indies captain Chris Gayle said there was plenty of work left for his side after he led them to a crushing seven-wicket win over Australia in their first match of this year's ICC World Twenty20.

IPL gave Ojha confidence

The first Indian bowler to take a four-wicket haul in a Twenty20 international, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha has attributed his dream debut at the ICC World Twenty20 to a successful stint in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Brazil rout Uruguay

Brazil leaped to the top of the South American qualifying table for the 2010 World Cup on Saturday with a 4-0 rout of host Uruguay while former leader Paraguay fell 2-0 at home to Chile.

Big three book berth

Australia, Japan and South Korea were celebrating Sunday after powering into the World Cup finals, reinforcing their credentials as Asia's best football teams.

Dutch through to finals

A revived England all but booked their World Cup finals place Saturday by swatting Kazakhstan 4-0 as Holland became the first European nation to seal their berth for South Africa.

Button extends lead further

Briton Jenson Button extended his lead at the head of the drivers' world championship to more than 20 points on Sunday when he cruised to an unexpectedly comfortable victory in the Turkish Grand Prix.

Aussies rejoice with Socceroos

Australia's press on Sunday lauded the national football team's early qualification for next year's World Cup finals despite a goalless stalemate against Qatar.

England's KP fear

England are worried that key top-order batsman Kevin Pietersen may struggle to be fit for this season's Ashes series at home to Australia.

Ricky's call to wake up

Australia captain Ricky Ponting said his side would have to raise their game after a seven-wicket loss to the West Indies in their opening match of the ICC World Twenty20 here at the Oval.

Harris eyes Aussie spot

Ryan Harris, the Australia fast bowler, who recently signed up with Surrey and will represent them in the County Championship, has said he is hoping to impress Australian selectors during his stint in the English domestic season.

Japan vow semifinal

Japan have vowed to move mountains in the World Cup finals after becoming the first country to qualify for South Africa 2010 when they narrowly beat Uzbekistan 1-0 away.

Duck hits Vaughan

Michael Vaughan's hopes of a return to the England line-up in time for the Ashes series against Australia suffered a severe blow on Saturday when he was out for a fourth ball duck in Yorkshire's county match against Sussex.

Lefties claw their way back

It's only two days into the World Twenty20 and the tribe of left-handers have hit back with vengeance to reclaim their lost territory.

Business

Call handlers lose out to illegal VoIP

Legal call handlers are counting losses as some of the government's contradictory announcements made recently have allegedly encouraged illegal voice call terminations with 30 percent calls through legal channels dropping in May.

RMG share widens in national exports

Riding on a steady growth, readymade garment (RMG) grabs a larger share in national export, as other products are experiencing a drastic fall in exports amid global recession, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

DSE turnover touches highest mark

Stocks rallied yesterday ahead of the national budget, which might announce incentives for the market.

Mobile sets may be pricier

Mobile phones can be costlier as the government may impose 25 percent duty on each mobile set import value in the upcoming budget, scrapping the existing provision of providing a flat rate of Tk 300 for such import, finance ministry officials said.

VAT likely on event management firms

The government is likely to impose VAT (value added tax) on event management firms from the next fiscal year.

REHAB fair bags Tk 500cr orders

The Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) summer fair has bagged Tk 500 crore in spot orders, organisers said yesterday.

WCC ends with a call to avoid protectionism

World business leaders have urged governments to avoid the temptation of protectionist measures to restrict imports and foreign direct investments (FDI).

Tale of a highchair teller

BRAC Bank customers yesterday found a new face behind a teller's counter at its Banani branch: acting Managing Director and CEO Syed Mahbubur Rahman.

‘Island of stability’ hits rough waters

A year ago they strutted proudly at home and abroad and said their nation was an "island of stability" amid the financial turbulence sweeping the world.

India's share market on a roll

Indian shares trading near 10-month highs are on a roll and could see more gains as investors pour money back into the South Asian country, analysts say.

Asian currencies mixed

Asian currencies ended the week mixed against the dollar as signs of an economic recovery began to emerge, with mostly positive US employment data giving the greenback a surprise boost.

Iran inflation dips below 24pc

Iran's inflation rate, one of the biggest economic challenges facing its next president, dipped last month to under 24 percent, the ISNA news agency reported on Sunday.

Canadian, Turkish envoys talk telecom issues

Canadian and Turkish High Commissioners in Dhaka Robert P McDougall and Sakir Ozkan Porunlar called on Post and Telecommunications Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju at the latter's office here yesterday.

Prime Bank chairman re-elected

Prime Bank Ltd has recently re-elected Azam J Chowdhury as its chairman for a two-year term (2009-11), says a press release.

German retailer Arcandor in talks with rival Metro

Stricken German retail giant Arcandor held talks Sunday with rival Metro over a possible merger of their department store chains, after hopes of government aid looked dim, an Arcandor spokesman said.

Thai PM says loan will create up to two million jobs

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva Sunday urged lawmakers later this month to approve a 22-billion-dollar loan to fund an economic stimulus package, saying it would create up to two million jobs.

China, Japan pledge to boost global economic recovery

China and Japan on Sunday vowed to jointly promote world economic recovery during a meeting of top ministers and senior officials in Tokyo, Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said.

Versace announces CEO's exit

The Italian luxury group Versace announced its chief executive Giancarlo di Risio was leaving by mutual consent after a board meeting late Friday.

Metropolitan

Govt to fix all errors in textbooks: Minister

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said the government is going to correct all errors in the textbooks which will be available to students in 2011.

More industrial parks to be set up: PM

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government will set up more industrial parks for local and foreign investments.

College student stabbed to death

Unidentified criminals stabbed a Tejgaon College student to death in the city's Dakkhin Khan area early yesterday.

BNP trying to make JS ineffective: AL

Ruling Awami League (AL) leaders yesterday alleged that the main opposition BNP is hatching conspiracy to make the Jatiya Sangsad ineffective over seat arrangement in the front row of the House.

10 hurt as BCL factions clash

At least 10 students were injured in a clash between two feuding factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) on Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University campus in the capital yesterday.

2cr children go to school everyday without food

Speakers at a rally yesterday urged all to come forward to end child hunger in school as two crore children in the country go to school everyday without having any food.

Incorporate issue of public toilet in urban plans

More hygienic and well-maintained public toilets should be constructed at convenient locations and the issue should be incorporated in the urban plans, said speakers at a seminar yesterday.

Women lawmakers vow to unite for political empowerment

Women lawmakers of the ninth parliament at an orientation programme yesterday pledged to work together for empowering women politically and towards removing disparity between men and women.

HR Commission bill likely to be passed in this JS session

The Human Rights Commission bill has already been placed in the parliament and it could be made a law in the current session, said Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday.

Ghulam Rahman takes over as ACC chairman June 24

Chairman of Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) Ghulam Rahman will take over as the chairman of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on June 24 as the president has accepted his application for joining the office.

Sony's 7th death anniversary today

Today is the seventh death anniversary of Sabequnnahar Sony, the first female student who fell victim to campus violence.

Drug peddler shot dead in Narsingdi

An alleged drug peddler was shot dead by his rivals in Satirpara area of the district town yesterday afternoon.

Attorney general joins seminar in Cairo

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam left for the Egyptian capital of Cairo on June 5 to attend a seminar on 'International Asset Forfeiture'.

Lt Gen Mubeen takes over as army chief June 15

Newly appointed Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Md Abdul Mubeen will take over his charge officially on June 15, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Defence yesterday.

JS body for appointment of 1st phase candidates

The parliamentary sub-committee on establishment ministry yesterday said it will recommend to the government through the main committee to appoint 1,022 BCS candidates, who had qualified in the first phase of the 27th BCS examination.

DU senate polls held, results tomorrow

The final phase of voting to elect 25 representatives of the registered graduates to the Dhaka University senate ended peacefully on the campus yesterday.

National

Land Commission fails to get green light in 11 yrs

Full implementation of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) peace accord remains uncertain as the Land Commission formed to resolve land disputes in CHT is yet to be made functional 11 years after its inception.

Charges to be framed against 34 on June 17

A court here yesterday fixed June 17 to frame sedition charges against 34 BDR personnel under Sylhet Sector Headquarters.

Tidal surge hits Cox's Bazar

At least 2,000 dwelling houses at 22 villages in Teknaf, Moheshkhali, Kutubdia, Pekua and Sadar upazilas of Cox's Bazar have been inundated by tidal surge of the Bay of Bengal.

Illegal fish farming creates water-logging in villages

Fish farming by forcibly constructing dams on farmers' land and blocking the openings of culverts at Joyrampotti and Amboila in Agoiljhora upazila and Shuagram and Narayankhana in Kotalipara upazila has become a cause of concern for the villagers.

Punish attackers of Halim

Habiganj newsmen at a meeting Saturday night demanded immediate arrest and punishment to a local Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leader and his cohorts who attacked ATN Bangla Correspondent MA Halim.

Ceiling fan falls on student

A student was severely injured when a ceiling fan fell on him at the school yesterday. Ahmed Itmam Azam is a class six student of Ispahani Public School and College. Sources said, the ceiling fan suddenly fell on the head of Itmam when he went to class to collect khatas from a teacher. He needed nine stitches in head and doctors asked to keep Itmam under observation, said his father Irfanul Azam.

Burglary at Ctg apartment

Thieves took away gold ornaments, cash and valuables from an apartment in the port city yesterday. Sources said, the thieves broke into the house of one Haider Ali on the first floor of a five-storied building at Akbar Shah Mazar Lane under Khulshi Police Station on Saturday night and decamped with more than 40 tolas of gold ornaments, Tk 70 thousand and other valuable items.

Schoolboy drowns in river

A schoolboy drowned in the River Mohananda near Sornokar Potti Ghat in Chapainawabganj town yesterday morning. Victim Nayem Ahmed Osmani, 14, is the son of Zafar Ahmed Osmani of Islampur village and a student of class nine. Police and family sources said, the incident happened when Nayem along with friends went to the river for swimming in the morning.

Extortion protested

Transport workers yesterday formed a human chain at Mission More intersection protesting illegal toll collection by gang men in the name of workers' union. They also demanded expulsion of some non-workers from the union body. Union leaders alleged some ruling party backed people hired a good number of outsiders to collect toll from the truck, bus, mini bus, tank lorry drivers and helpers at different points of the district in the name of workers' welfare fund.

Show cause on physicians

The health department authorities on Saturday formed a three-member committee to probe why a number of physicians at Satkhira Sadar Hospital skipped duty on June 4. The authorities also issued show cause notices on 19 physicians at the directive of the health and family planning minister who visited the hospital and found them absent on the day.

Newsmen deprived of land

Journalists in Bandarban yesterday formed a human chain on the office premises of the Deputy Commissioner protesting 'secret' move to deprive the newsmen of land allotted to them through their local association. The journalists alleged that an official order was issued 'secretly' on April 13 this year 'to correct' the ownership record through which ownership of the 5-acre land allotted to the Bandarban District Sangbadik Samity in 1986 was 'transferred' to 15 non-journalists.

Letters

Exciting cricket

The second Twenty20 World Cup began in England with the opening ceremony taking place at the Lord's in London - the home of cricket - on 05/06/09. It is apt that the country which invented the "gentleman's game", including the exciting 20-over format known as Twenty20, would host this tournament. If the last T20 World Cup, hosted by South Africa, culminating in the nail-biting final between the Asian powerhouses India and Pakistan, is anything to go by, this year's event also promises to be a spectacular one. The Twenty20 format of the game has evolved rapidly since the inaugural World Cup and is now the fastest growing sporting competition in the world. The success of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has provided great publicity regarding this sport, however, it could well be argued that the increasing popularity of T20 is at the expense of the 50-over version of the ODI game or the traditional five-day Test matches, rather than other competing sports.

Encroachment on water bodies

I am reading all these articles on encroachment on water bodies along with pathetic excuses from government bodies, but will any real action be taken? I was surprised and pleased to see the CTG take on some high ups and free a lot of land in Gulshan, so it isn't just a pipe dream, anything is possible. Apart from our rivers, our lakes are still being encroached upon. On one side of Gulshan Lake, they are extending the boundary pavement as I write this and yet on the Badda side of the lake they are encroaching another few feet every few months! Do the lawmakers not see that the lake has another side other than Gulshan? Or are they turning a blind eye because they have a vested interest?

Icon of democracy

Our next-door Myanmar is a mysterious country, which has been ruled for decades by the military junta. Most of the countries in the world have snapped relations with this undemocratic country, albeit China supports it unanimously. Russia sells their arms and India also keeps good relations considering the economic perspective.

Deforestation

Some people do not try to realise the importance of trees. They cut trees at random. This way, due to deforestation carbon dioxide is increasing worldwide. As a result, the world is becoming warmer. The sea level is rising and many parts of the world are going to be engulfed by the sea in near future. On the other hand, new areas of the world are turning into deserts because of deforestation. The removal of trees causes birds and other animals living on them to leave the place. It also causes serious damage to the soil, as trees give protection to soil as well. In the end, the soil gets sediment in the riverbed and causes frequent floods. So, if we destroy trees at random, one day the country will turn into a great desert. The living animals and birds will not find any food or shelter to live in. They will be destroyed. There will be no rain and consequently our agriculture will face a great crisis.

Digital Bangladesh

The above topic seems to be the talk of the town; in drawing rooms, audio-visual and the print media in recent days. The news seems to be the "Holy Grail" for all the problems we have! It will gives us the promise for the possibility of a sort of 360degree, 24X7 openness and transparency of interaction with most public issues; practically bringing the governance to the computer website and the mobile phone in a reasonable time frame, if my analysis is rational.

Save the rivers

Hats off to your team for taking up the cause of our dying rivers. It is about time that this issue was taken up seriously. Hope this mission will be successful and our rivers will flow freely again!

IPO applications

Various problems are being faced by individual or small investors in obtaining or getting information about refunds to unsuccessful IPO applications, viz.

Media and collective thinking

The media is currently involved in generating public awareness on two vital issues- the Prothom Alo has launched a motivational programme as "Bodle Jao- Badle dao"; and The Daily star with Channel i has put on the air a live programme : 'Nodi Bachao-Desh Bachao".

Crossfire killings

The Frankenstein has been let loose. Two innocent polytechnic boys are the latest victims. The government's election pledge is ignored. Ministers are expressing contradicting views. We are living in such a savage society that many of us even enjoy such annihilation. We have lost our faith in the normal process of criminal justice, but pretend to believe the stories of 'crossfire' and 'encounters'. Executive magistrates in their inquiries endorsed all the killings. Then where will the people go?

Rab

The period of caretaker govt was more or less peaceful with crime rate at the lowest level. Why? Reports said it was the fear of getting killed in the 'crossfire' of Rab that forced diehard criminals to flee the country or hole themselves up in underground sanctuaries. Even jailed criminals did not dare to seek bail. This fact clearly indicates how beneficial Rab was for the common people and what a terror it was for the criminals. Now those who advocate for the dissolution of Rab are no doubt supporting the criminals. It is our misfortune that our politics has been hijacked by such people as cannot think of their existence without the active support of musclemen, goons and thugs. After all, what else could assure them of immense power to trample law as well as daily huge 'income' without investing a paisa? So . . . abolish Rab and let the common people go to hell.

Gandhian non-violence

When Mahatma Gandhi launched his non-violent movement to end the British colonial rule in India, he made it clear why he rejected all calls for a violent freedom struggle: "If Indians take up guns to kill the British, given India's great ethnic and religious divisions, they would still be using the same guns to kill each long after the British had gone. I don't want India's freedom if it meant Indians would be free to slaughter each other. If India makes violence her creed, I will not care to live in India."Similarly, Israel has vacated Gaza, but Hamas and Fatah are still slaughtering each other. In the fight for control of Gaza, Hamas was accused by Human Rights Watch of "violation of international humanitarian laws in some cases amounting to war crimes."

Media and ministers

The national probe report on the BDR mutiny raised objections about role of the media in disseminating information during the mutiny. But it did not say anything about the comments of the ministers about the different “links of mutiny” just after the massacre took place. The national probe report did not find any such link. The media was giving true information but the ministers' comments were based on speculations and political motivation. Moreover, the comments might influence the investigations by different agencies. The report recommended formulation of a Code of Conduct for the media, specifying their role in consolidating national security. But why did it not recommend such Code of Conduct for the ministers?

Primary education

After assuming power, the Awami League government is considering expanding primary education up to grade VIII. We know that all the primary schools are now up to grade V and most of the schools are government schools, while the secondary education is just the opposite, most of the secondary schools are non-government.

River pollution

I sincerely thank The Daily Star for its efforts in getting attention of public to water pollution and river grabbing!

No campus violence!

I feel very proud as I am a student of Khulna University (KU). KU has a good reputation, because it is the only university in Bangladesh where student politics is fully prohibited on the campus. So, we do not experience any campus violence. That's why we, the students of KU, can complete our undergraduate & postgraduate programmes in time without any problem. On the other hand, the students of Jahangirnagar University, Jagannath University, Chittagong University, Rajshhi University, even Dhaka University, suffer due to session jam.

International

Saudi king urges Obama to 'impose ME solution'

Saudi King Abdullah said Arabs were losing patience with the Middle East peace stalemate and called on US President Barack Obama to "impose a solution," a leading Arab newspaper said yesterday.

Europe leans right as voters choose EU Parliament

Europe was leaning to the right Sunday as tens of millions of people voted in European Parliament elections, with conservative parties favoured in many countries against a backdrop of economic crisis.

Ousted Blairite ministers plotted to topple Brown

Cabinet ministers supposedly loyal to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, reportedly coordinated a plot to force incumbent Premier Gordon Brown to step down.

Israel to lay out ME policies next week

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he will make a key speech next week laying out his government's policies on the Middle East peace process.

Bodies found as Air France probe studies speed monitors

Salvage crews found bodies and a wing section from an Air France jet, which plunged into the Atlantic, as investigators probed Sunday a possible link between false speed measurements and the crash.

Iraq detains 5 Americans

Officials say Iraqi authorities have detained five US citizens in connection with the death of an American contractor in Baghdad.

11 die as Pakistanis attack Taliban

Hundreds of Pakistanis banded together and attacked Taliban strongholds in a troubled northwestern region, killing 11 militants, to avenge a deadly suicide bombing at a local mosque, officials said Sunday.

Battles, ambushes kill 30 in Afghanistan

A joint Afghan and US-led coalition operation against insurgents in southern Afghanistan killed more than 20 Taliban fighters yesterday, while a militant ambush in the northwest killed four policemen, officials said.

Top separatist arrested in Kashmir

Indian police arrested yesterday a hardline Kashmiri separatist for encouraging week-long protests over the alleged rape and murder of two Muslim women.

US assesses Pak situation as 'very dire'

The United States has assessed the on ground situation in Pakistan as "very dire", following the military operation against the Taliban in tribal areas.

3,000 Karen villagers flee Myanmar shelling

More than 3,000 ethnic Karen villagers have fled into Thailand as Myanmar troops shelled near a camp where they were sheltering, one of the largest movements of refugees across the border in a decade, aid groups said Sunday.

Lack of evidence helped Saeed walk free

The Pakistan government did not provide solid evidence to prove Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was involved in the November 2008 Mumbai attack, following which he was acquitted by the Lahore High Court, it has been learnt.

Buffalo cloned in India

Scientists in the Indian state of Haryana have cloned a buffalo using foetal tissue, a report said Sunday.

Arts & Entertainment

Tagore song and dance by Surtirtha

Cultural organisation Surtirtha organised a two-day musical programme to celebrate the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore. The programme was held at the auditorium of National Music and Dance Centre, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy and concluded yesterday. The programme featured a rendition of Tagore songs by the members of the organisation and distinguished artistes from different parts of the country. Along with music, there were several dance performances.

IFA celebrates ‘Rabindra-Nazrul’ Jayanti in Pabna

The Institute of Fine Arts (IFA), in Pabna, recently observed Rabindra-Nazrul Jayanti. A programme was held at the organisation's premises on Thursday to mark this momentous occasion. A discussion and cultural programme was held to celebrate the 148th birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and the 110th birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.

Singers to hold sway in new programme

A new musical programme is set to go on air on ATN Bangla at 8:45 pm on alternative Mondays. The first episode begins tonight. The programme is directed by Rumana Afroz and hosted by singer Bappa Majumdar. Each episode will feature a guest singer who will discuss his or her experience in the course of their career. Close colleagues as well as fans would get to express their views on the selected artistes. Shakila Zafar is the guest of the first episode. The noted singer will talk about her 30-year innings in the world of music.

Chandana Majumder: A link between the audience and the divine

A significant part of the success of the recent blockbuster “Monpura” can be credited to its soundtrack, and accolades go to playback singer Chandana Majumder for making the song "Jao pakhi" one of the biggest hits of this year. The song, a folk ballad, has captured many a heart.

Family game show Bari Bari Jombe Khela

A new family game show “Bari Bari Jombe Khela” will be telecast on Ekushey TV at 10:10pm on Mondays. The programme is directed and scripted by Masudul Hasan Rony and anchored by Puja Sen Gupta.

Nihar Ranjan Gupta’s birth anniversary observed

The 98th birth anniversary of popular novelist Nihar Ranjan Gupta was observed on June 6. He was born on June 6, 1911 in Kolkata where his father Satya Ranjan Gupta worked. His ancestral home is at Itna village under Lohagara upazila in Narail. As a physician he specialised in skin diseases.

Venice Biennale opens to public

The Venice Biennale-- the world's oldest and most high-profile contemporary art exhibition-- is opening its doors to the public.

Cultural programme in Netrakona

A cultural programme was held at Mahua Auditorium in the Mukterpara area of Netrakona on June 6. The aim was to create public awareness about the rights of youth and women as well as the tenets of democracy. The organisers of the programme were the Institute for Environment and Development (IED) and Election Working Group (EWG).

Rabindra-Nazrul birth anniversary observed with fanfare

Rabindra-Nazrul birth anniversary was observed recently in Kurigram. The Bangladesh Shishu Academy, Kurigram district branch organised a daylong programme. Participated by over 50 children the programme included poetry recitation, essay writing, music competitions, discussion and prize distribution.

OP-ED

Helping rivers help us

THE Daily Star and Channel i organised a campaign titled "For the attention of the Prime Minister: Save rivers, save Dhaka" on June1 at the South Plaza of the parliament, which was followed by a photographic exhibition that showed encroachment upon the rivers in and around Dhaka city and the resultant pollution of rivers.

Where are women and secularists in Obama's speech in Cairo?

IT is beyond doubt that many people around the world, of various political opinions and creeds, will feel relieved after the discourse the US president delivered in Cairo. It is apparently a new voice, a voice of peace, quite far from Bush's clash of civilisations. But is it so?

Fumbling on cabinet formation

GIVEN its impressive victory, the United Progressive Alliance should have formed the new government smoothly and quickly. But even three weeks after the election results, its formation remains incomplete. The UPA fielded Ms. Meira Kumar as Lok Sabha Speaker after she had been sworn in as water resources minister. This shows confusion.


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