The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, April 21, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 10th of June, 2009

Front Page

Peacekeepers not equipped properly

Bangladeshi troops engaged in the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions face a dearth of equipment, though their work abroad earns the country around Tk 1,200 crore a year.

Safety net, pay hike to cost over Tk 20,000cr

Social safety net, subsidy, salary hike under the new pay scale and public-private partnership (PPP) initiative would require more than Tk 30,000 crore in the national budget for the next fiscal year (FY).

UP chairman fires on crowd

A union parishad (UP) chairman yesterday sprayed bullets on a crowd at Ashrafabad in Kamrangirchar on the outskirts of the capital, leaving one youth dead on the spot and another bullet-injured.

Budget banks on better export

The export sector may remain unstable in the first few months of the next fiscal year because of a fall in demands in the wake of global financial meltdown.

No hilsa fishing for 2 months

A 20km stretch of the Padma is to made sanctuary for hilsa as the government has decided not to allow catching of the kingly fish in March-April every year.

BNP's grassroots reform done

Keeping a number of corrupt, convicted and controversial leaders, BNP yesterday announced the much-expected convening committees for its organisational district units to reorganise the party from grassroots level.

No new cases of children falling sick

No fresh cases of children becoming sick were reported yesterday and all sick children who had vitamin A capsules and deworming tables and were being treated for diarrhoea, stomachache and nausea at hospitals were sent home.

Brig Gen Bari absconding in army record

Brig Gen Chowdhury Fazlul Bari, who was posted to the Bangladesh mission in Washington DC during the caretaker government rule, is being considered an absconder by the military authorities, army sources say.

Eviction drive extends to Shitalakhya

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and Narayanganj district administration launched a drive yesterday to evict the land grabbers along the river Shitalakhya and knocked down parts of five multi-storey buildings.

Nizami found guilty of Tk 35cr misuse

A government probe team detected that former agriculture minister Matiur Rahman Nizami was behind misuse, waste and misappropriation of at least Tk 35 crore of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) during the four-party alliance rule.

Trans-Asian Railway deal effective from tomorrow

The intergovernmental agreement on Trans-Asian Railway network comes into force tomorrow.

River-gobblers must be defeated

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday pledged to protect the country's rivers from pollution and encroachment.

ACC used politically in last 2yrs

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) was politically used to thwart democracy during the two-year tenure of the immediate past caretaker government.

Govt wants opposition to return to JS

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina said the government sincerely wants the main opposition to join the parliament to make the House centre of all public welfare activities.

Power plant using gas, paying no bills

The Bogra-based GBB Power Plant Ltd has so far failed to pay Tk 4.02 crore gas bills to Pashchimanchal Gas Company Ltd (PGCL).

352 students fall sick after taking WFP biscuits

At least 352 students of Potkakhali Government Primary School under Sadar Upazila of Barguna reportedly fell sick after having biscuits distributed by World Food Programme (WFP) yesterday.

BNP hints at return to JS

The main opposition BNP yesterday hinted that it might return to parliament before or on the day the national budget is placed in Jatiya Sangsad.

Offshore gas deals to be finalised in a month

The government will be finalising deals for offshore gas exploration within a month with the International Oil Companies (IOCs) selected in the bidding completed during the past caretaker government's tenure.

Pakistani army backs up citizens fighting Taliban

Pakistani villagers seeking to avenge a deadly mosque blast have killed 13 more suspected Taliban, the army said yesterday as helicopter gunships were deployed to support the mob.

India for peace if Pakistan cracks down on militants

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Tuesday he wanted peace with arch-rival Pakistan and said he would meet Islamabad "more than halfway" if it cracked down on Islamic militants.

At least 11 killed in Pak hotel blast

A huge suicide truck bomb ripped through a luxury hotel yesterday killing 11 people and wounding 52 in Pakistan's Peshawar city, capital of a northwest province plagued by Taliban violence.

Editorial

Health scare

We are shocked and saddened by the tragic death of a six-year old girl in Munshiganj, and concerned about reports of another four hundred children who have also fallen sick in the past few days. The first order of the day must be to ensure the welfare of the sick children, and ensure that they receive the treatment necessary to regain their health.

Our cricket and our shame

Bangladesh has crashed out of the World Twenty20 in Nottingham. It was wiped out by a resolute Ireland, raising questions about what could have contributed to Bangladesh's embarrassment. The answers to those questions, as far as we are concerned, are not difficult to find. A defeat as shameful as the one our cricketers have just earned for themselves appears to have become the norm for our cricket. Where this particular match against Ireland is concerned, the sheer cavalier manner in which our players carried themselves during the course of the game makes us wonder if they were at all serious about what they were doing. Not a bit of worry seemed to be there and no hint came of a need for a change in strategy once the wickets began to fall rapidly.

Of ministerial explanations

BEING disingenuous is often a disturbing part of political behaviour. In this past week, the very enterprising and the very dynamic Tanzim Ahmed Sohel Taj has given us reason to think he could have been a little more frank with us. He has informed us that in the past five months, which means since the Awami League-led grand alliance government assumed office, there have been no extra-judicial killings in the country. That is pretty upsetting, for the minister of state for home affairs knows only too well that what he says is quite a deviation from the truth. Of course, he has gone to great lengths to distinguish between extra-judicial killings and deaths in crossfire. He has the right to explain matters in his own way. We have the right to disagree with him. The truth right now, though, is this: the killing of two students of Dhaka Polytechnic by the Rapid Action Battalion is yet too fresh to be forgotten, unless the minister would like to believe that fast-enveloping amnesia is what we the people suffer from these days.

Obama's message of "respect" to Islam

THERE was a great deal of excitement in the Muslim community about what a US president, who shares his middle name "Hussein" with the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (sm), had to say in Cairo.

What was special in Obama's Cairo speech?

PRESIDENT Obama's speech at Cairo University was remarkably direct and honest. It was a carefully crafted balanced message to his Muslim audience around the world; Israelis and his listeners back home in the United States.

Sports

Thank you Ashraful

It is high time to seriously consider whether Bangladesh cricket is held hostage by a set of Ashra-FOOLS. And if it is the case then we better immediately send those 'FOOLS' to rehabilitation camp at least to stop the emotional bloodshed that was overpowering after Monday night's stunning defeat against Ireland.

Premature exit brings Tigers home today

The 'toothless' Tigers return home from the World Twenty20 this morning after they had made an early exit from the event in England with a heartbreaking six-wicket loss to bottom-ranked Ireland at Trent Bridge on Monday.

Afridi propels Pakistan

Shahid Afridi starred for Pakistan with the ball as the Test side ensured the end of the Netherlands' fairytale performance at the World Twenty20 at Lord's here on Tuesday.

KP sees new England

Kevin Pietersen believes England are finally playing without an inhibiting fear of failure and can, after a wretched start, go on to win the World Twenty20.

Champs have to do without Sehwag

India take the field in their last World Twenty20 league game against Ireland here on Wednesday reeling from the news that Virender Sehwag will return home due to injury.

Irish heroes hailed

Ireland's cricketers were hailed as sporting heroes here on Tuesday after they sent Test side Bangladesh crashing out of the World Twenty20 in Nottingham on Monday.

Sangakkara wants more

Kumar Sangakkara celebrated his first stint as Sri Lanka's captain by dumping mighty Australia from the World Twenty20, then warned rivals he was hungry for more scalps.

Real land €65m Kaka

Real Madrid have signed the Brazilian midfielder Kaka from Milan, the La Liga club confirmed today. The 27-year-old international has agreed a six-year contract to become the first player to join Real since Florentino Perez returned to the presidency this month.

CA responsible too?

For many Australians, cricket's enfant terrible Andrew Symonds had to go.

Flying start for Roddick

Andy Roddick began his challenge for a record fifth Queen's title with a comfortable 6-1, 6-4 second round victory over Kristof Vliegen at the pre-Wimbledon warm-up event on Tuesday.

Real to earn $100m/year

Real Madrid's capture of Brazilian star Kaka could be worth 100 million dollars a season in additional revenues to the Spanish club, according to sports business experts Weber Shandwick Sport.

Italy look to experiment

Italy coach Marcello Lippi says he will use the FIFA Confederations Cup starting on June 14 to build a team capable of retaining the World Cup in South Africa next year.

Women's v'ball team leaves for Bangkok

A 16-member Bangladesh Women's Volleyball team leave for Bangkok today to participate in the qualifying round of the World Volleyball Championship to be held in the Thai town of Nakhonpatham from June 12-14.

England on the verge

England can practically guarantee their place at the 2010 World Cup if they beat minnows Andorra at home on Wednesday in the last round of this season's European qualifying matches.

Razib shares 2nd position

Grand Master Enamul Hossain Razib beat International Master DP Singh to earn 3.5 points after four rounds and is sharing the 2nd position in the points table along with 16 other players in the 1st SCS International Open Grandmasters Chess Tourna-ment at Bhubaneswar, India.

BFF plans three-year calendar

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) is considering publishing a complete calendar for the next three years, which also marks the tenure of the existing executive committee, led by BFF president Kazi Salahuddin.

Academic affair

Sri Lanka and the West Indies will enjoy a contest without pressure when they clash in their last Group C league match of the World Twenty20 here on Wednesday.

English press relish Aussie T20 exit

The English press reacted with glee Tuesday to news that Ricky Ponting's Australia team was knocked out of the World Twenty20, ahead of next month's Ashes series between the two countries.

Pressure on Saudis

South Ko-rea might have a stress-free conclusion to Asian World Cup qualifying having already booked their ticket to South Africa, but for Saudi Arabia the pressure is on.

C'Ron's Asian tour in doubt

Cristiano Ronaldo's involvement in Manchester United's pre-season tour of Asia next month is in doubt following reports the Portugal winger could need a hernia operation.

Barca aiming to keep Eto'o

Barcelona president Joan Laporta said Monday he hoped to hold on to Samuel Eto'o despite interest in the Cameroonian striker from some of Europe's top clubs.

Villa close to Real move

Valencia striker David Villa, one of the stars of Spain's victorious Euro 2008 squad, is close to signing for Real Madrid, a Spanish newspaper said Tuesday.

Business

Banks awash with cash as industrial lending plunges

Commercial banks are awash with cash following a sharp decline in demand for industrial term lending, a major indicator for industrial development of a country.

Aila, tidal surge cost shrimp farmers Tk 40cr in Cox's Bazar

Fish and shrimp worth around Tk 40 crore have been washed away from more than 400 shrimp enclosures and ponds in seven upazilas of Cox's Bazar district by cyclone Aila and the recent tidal surge, businessmen said yesterday.

Raw cotton consumption static in recession

Raw cotton consumption in Bangladesh remained static this year following the global recession, erratic gas and power supply to industries and increased import of yarn from other countries, industry insiders said.

Clock ticking on budget

Finance Minister AMA Muhith is set to propose the national budget for fiscal 2009-10 in parliament tomorrow.

50 factories resume production in Chittagong as gas returns

On resumption of production in around 50 gas-based industrial units in Chittagong because of the gas connection they recently got, many entrepreneurs are now waiting to invest in industries that are dependent on gas.

President spurs local tech innovators

President Zillur Rahman invites technology innovators to come forward and manufacture mobile sets locally to free the country from its dependency on handset imports.

Plastic raw material maker eyes markets in Asia, Middle East

Taking advantage of the reduction in plastic item production in developed countries, including US and Europe, due to the ongoing global financial meltdown, LyondellBasell, a Dutch company who produces polypropylene and fuel, now eyes capturing Asian and Middle Eastern (ME) market, said the company's commercial director yesterday.

FBCCI fears less private investment on high revenue target

The apex trade body has feared a less domestic private investment because of the high revenue target in the upcoming budget.

Loan hassles set back women entrepreneurs

Complexities over getting a bank loan are barriers to the success of women entrepreneurs, speakers said yesterday.

10 US banks to repay $68b

The US Treasury gave clearance Tuesday for 10 major US banks to repay a total of 68 billion dollars for government capital injections made to stabilize the financial system.

Petroleum dealers in Sylhet call on strike from June 21

Petroleum dealers of greater Sylhet region have announced that they would stop lifting petrol, diesel and octane from Petrobangla's Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited (RPGCL) plant at Golapganj in Sylhet from June 21 to press home their demands.

Dollar weakens

The dollar dipped Tuesday but traded in a narrow range after winning a boost from encouraging US payrolls data, as dealers eyed this week's upcoming G8 finance meeting.

Germany against targeted stress tests for banks

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck voiced scepticism Tuesday on US-style stress tests to check the health of individual banks, dismissing an IMF recommendation.

New chairman of NCC Bank

National Credit and Commerce (NCC) Bank Ltd has recently elected Yakub Ali as its chairman and Harunur Rashid as vice chairman, said a statement.

Romanian economy enters recession

The Romanian economy shrank 4.6 percent in first quarter 2009 compared with the previous three months, official data showed on Tuesday, confirming that the country had entered a recession.

Price fall rattles farmers

Mansur Ali comes to the village bazaar late.

Weddings blossom as violence wanes in Iraq

After six years of war and sectarian killings in Iraq, Haider Naeem, a Shiite, wants to make up for lost time and marry his Sunni Arab girlfriend -- but he is finding it an expensive business.

Stocks fall for a second day

Dhaka stocks fell for a second day with key indices finishing slightly lower amid uneven trade.

Oil nears $69

Oil prices climbed to near 69 dollars a barrel on Tuesday, rebounding from overnight falls on hopes of a recovery for the ailing global economy.

43,000 jobs at risk as German retail giant goes bust

Retail and tourism giant Arcandor said on Tuesday it had filed for bankruptcy with the likely loss of around 43,000 jobs in Germany, after Berlin dismissed its request for emergency state aid.

Fiat vows to stick with Chrysler deal

Italian auto maker Fiat vowed on Tuesday to stick with plans to forge an alliance with distressed US group Chrysler after a US Supreme Court decision put a temporary freeze on the transaction.

EU finance chiefs eye budget tightening

European finance ministers were looking on Tuesday to ease the flow of billions of euros they are pumping into their withered economies to limit the damage to their public finances.

Airlines wary of IATA's 2020 carbon-neutral target

Crisis-hit airlines said Tuesday that a plan to cap the growth of the industry's emissions by 2020 was ambitious and costly but agreed on the urgency of fighting climate change.

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.

Metropolitan

Dhaka can expedite its democratic development

The European Union (EU) Troika delegation thinks that having all the democratic institutions in place, Bangladesh can expedite its democratic development.

BNP announces names of conveners, jt conveners

BNP yesterday announced names of conveners and joint-conveners of the convening committees of its 71 out of 75 organisational districts.

Foreign interference won't be tolerated

Holding the trial of war criminals of 1971 is exclusively an internal matter of Bangladesh and interference from any country will not be tolerated, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said in parliament yesterday.

4 bills placed in JS for amendment

Four bills were placed in parliament seeking amendments to four laws including one for renaming National Agriculture Award after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Law Commission begins updating Int'l Crimes Act for trial of war criminals

The Law Commission has started scrutinising the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 in order to update it as the trial of war criminals who have committed offences against the humanity during the liberation war will be held under this law.

Take steps to stop construction of Tipaimukh dam

Leaders of different political parties yesterday called upon the government to take effective steps to stop the construction of Tipaimukh dam on Borak river saying that it will cause ecological disaster for the country.

Police asked to beef up security at courts

The police headquarters yesterday directed all its units across the country to beef up security at the courts following intelligence reports that the courts might come under militant attacks.

AL rejects BNP's call for mid-term election

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday rejected outright the BNP's demand for dissolution of parliament and mid-term elections.

Power situation worsens in Ctg

The power situation in Chittagong region worsened again as one of the two units of the Rauzan Thermal Power Plant, the main and regular source of power in this region, tripped due to dirt with the supplied gas early Monday.

Nine killed in road accidents

Nine people were killed in separate road accidents in Mymensingh, Satkhira, Brahmanbaria and Shariatpur yesterday.

Open Learning Centre marks 1st anniversary

The first founding anniversary of Open Learning Centre (OLC) of the British Council Resource Centre in the city was celebrated yesterday.

Three envoys appointed

The government has decided to appoint Supradip Chakma, Gyash Uddin and Atiqur Rahman as the country's envoys to Vietnam, Germany and Malaysia respectively.

3,600 Phensidyl bottles seized in C'nawabganj

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) seized a consignment of 3,600 bottles of Indian Phensidyl from a truck at Sonamasjid Taltala in Shibganj upazila on Monday night.

Investigators start grilling ex-NSI official Sahab again

Investigators started quizzing former director (security) of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Wing Commander (retd) Sahab Uddin in remand for the third time yesterday in connection with the sensation Chittagong arms haul case.

Call to enforce acid control act properly

Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday underscored the need for proper enforcement of the Acid Control Act 2002 to stop easy availability of acid.

1,793 held on various charges

Police in separate raids arrested 1,793 people on various charges from across the country in the last 24 hours as of 6:00am yesterday.

20 injured in Fatullah factory clash

At least 20 people were injured in a clash between the workers and the hired miscreants of an export-oriented sweater garment factory at Fatullah Bholail in Narayanganj yesterday morning.

GP relief efforts in cyclone-hit areas

Grameenphone undertook relief efforts in the cyclone-affected regions in the country, says a press release.

Kaplan Colleges offer scholarship

Kaplan International Colleges (KIC), a cluster of colleges in the United Kingdom teaching pathway programmes to some of the UK's top universities, has announced scholarship awards for Bangladeshi students intending to begin their studies in September 2009.

Five bombs recovered at Benapole

Police yesterday recovered five powerful bombs from Gazipur village of Benapole in Jessore district.

National

Murders, bombings by outlaws yet to let up

Despite several anti-crime drives in the district there is no sign of any let up in killings and bomb attacks by the cadres of the Janajuddah faction of the outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP).

Too meagre for repair of damaged embankments

The government has allocated only 2,000 tonnes of rice worth about Tk 4 crore for repair of 284-km flood control embankment damaged by cyclone Aila in Patuakhali district against the demand for Tk 51 crore by Water Development Board (WDB).

8 more sued for war crime

Eight alleged collaborators of Pakistan occupation forces were sued on Monday on charge of murdering a freedom fighter during liberation war in 1971.

Charge-framing now on July 12

A Sylhet court yesterday deferred charge-framing against 57 BDR personnel in a sedition case to July 12.

Jubo League, BCL clash over tender dropping

Two leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) were injured in a clash between activists of BCL and Jubo League over dropping of tender documents at Barisal Public Works Department (PWD) office yesterday.

Robber killed in gunfight

An alleged robber was killed in a gunfight with police at village Suchakradandy under Patiya upazila yesterday. Locals said a group of 40 to 50 robbers entered the house of Abu Taher, manager of Agrani Bank Sarfatali branch under Boalkhali upazila, at around 3.30am and looted four tolas of gold ornament and Tk 20,000. As police encircled the area the robbers opened fire to flee the scene. Police chased them and opened fire. During a half-an hour gunfight a robber sustained bullet injury and died at nearby Dhalghat Railway Station while the rest managed to flee. A single-barrel gun, three bullets and a wristwatch were recovered from the spot, Patiya police said.

Human chain at Rangpur

Rangpur Nagarik Committee organised a human chain in front of the local press club demanding restart of higher secondary certificate (HSC) courses at Rangpur Carmichael College. The demand for restart of HSC courses in the college was raised as all existing colleges in the town do not have the capacity to accommodate the increasing number of students. The education ministry dropped HSC courses at the college from 1995 on the plea of shortage of teachers, staff and seat problem.

Stolen railway sleepers seized

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) on Monday seized 275 pieces of stolen railway sleepers from Ruppur and arrested one in connection with the theft. Rab raided the spot and seized a sleeper-laden truck. The arrestee, Arshed Ali,26, is son of Afaz Uddin Pramanik of village Ghoshpur in Pabna Sadar upazila.

One gets life for murder

A trial court on Monday awarded a young man life term for killing his sister-in-law. Convict Mokon Miah of village Fatehpur of Gowanighat upazila is still at large. According to the prosecution story, when Mokon was beating his nephew Jasim Uddin over a triffling matter, Jasim's mother tried to prevent him. Mokon became furious and swooped on pregnant Saira Khatun who succumbed to injuries the next day. Mokon fled away. Saira's brother Shamsuddin filed a case in September 1997. Police on investigation filed charge-sheet on December 27 the same year against the accused. At least 10 witnesses gave their deposition.

Transport workers block road

Truck drivers and helpers jointly put up a barricade on road to Lalmonirhat- Burimari land port for two hours protesting extortion at Lalmonirhat bus terminal yesterday. The protesters withdrew the programme after police assured them of taking necessary steps against the illegal toll collectors at different points of roads in the district. During the blockade, two truck drivers and three helpers were injured as rival transport workers attacked the agitating group. Quoting truck drivers, police said a group of so-called transport workers with the help of ruling party men have been collecting illegal toll with fake chalan book from the truck drivers at eight points from Burimari land port to Teesta Railway Bridge in the district. The musclemen of ruling party also harass mentally or physically those who refuse to pay illegal toll, police said.

Life term for wife murder

A court here yesterday sentenced one person for life for killing wife. Shahadat Hossain, 30, was also fined Tk 5,000, in default, to suffer six months more in jail. The convict hails from village Taltala under Kalihati upazila. According to prosecution story, Shahadat strangled his wife Amena Begum, 30, at their house on March 29, 2007 over a family feud. Amena's father Yousuf Ali of village Bhurunga under Nalitabari upazila in Sherpur filed a murder case with Kalihati Police Station.

Letters

Obama's speech

US President Barrack Obama's recent speech in Cairo University was, on the whole, received positively by Muslims across the world. In his speech, he has said that he seeks a “new beginning” with Muslims around the world, based on “mutual interest and mutual respect.” He further said, “America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.” All this clearly indicates that Obama wants to remove the sense of hatred and mistrust that Muslims across the world had developed for the US administration, during George Bush's eight years, and find common ground between the US and Muslims. He has also said that the suffering of the Palestinians, over the years, is “intolerable.”

Your planet needs you!

The World Environment Day (WED), observed on 5 June each year, is one of the major modes through which the United Nations creates worldwide awareness of the environment.

Women and agriculture

In overall farm production, women's average contribution is estimated at 55% to 66% of the total labour with percentages much higher in certain region. In the Indian Himalayas a pair of bullocks works 1064 hours, a man 1212 hours and a woman 3485 hours in a year on a one-hectare farm, a figure which illustrates women's significant contributions to agricultural production.

Good initiative

Without any hesitation, I would like to express my feelings about the initiative you have taken jointly with Channel i to improve the conditions of the rivers surrounding the Dhaka city. The pictures are unique to let common people know the real situation of the capital city. I believe this initiative will be supported by 99% people of the city. Everybody wants to tell the same thing, but they don't have the voice to let the decision makers know the situation. The conditions of the rivers are precarious.

Frustrated people

The MP of Mirpur area has lodged a GD with the police station as he has received threats from extortionists demanding a big amount of money. This is the case of a ruling party MP! So, how general people are spending their days need not be explained. During the caretaker government's period, people were happy as the extortionists were on the run. But with the coming of the political government, the number of cases is going up and up and in the meantime a good number of people have lost their lives.

Ground reality

Unless we follow the instructions which we deliver to the voters, they will not care to follow those. This is perhaps the reason why incidents of vandalism, snatching, robbery, land grabbing, hijacking, car-jacking etc are not declining.

Road grabbing

I congratulate The Daily Star for their endeavour to create public awareness about the adverse affects of encroachment on rivers surrounding Dhaka. However, I want to raise the issue of encroaching on the roads. Garage owners and rickshaw owners are occupying the roads, creating traffic jam in Dhaka city and, on the other hand, car owners also park their cars on the roads, creating the same problem.

Not the right course

We have seen a report published in the national dailies some days ago that the prime minister called a meeting with the ambassadors of the developed countries to seek financial help to make the dead river Garai navigable by excavating.

Waste management

As the amount of waste is growing rapidly and polluting the environment, the time has come to think about it very seriously. We cannot altogether get rid of waste, but proper management can certainly reduce it.

Saving our rivers

I would like to thank you for your outstanding contribution towards the above.

Climate change

The impacts of Sidr are till visible in the costal belt, particularly in the districts of Patuakhali, Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Barguna, and part of Shatkhira. A number of national and international NGOs and other organisations have been still working with the local administration to mitigate the sufferings of victims through implementation of income generation projects, health and nutrition schemes, rehabilitation of roads and infrastructure etc.

Dying rivers

Thanks to Channel i and The Daily Star for the programmes on the rivers around the city. We will be eagerly waiting to watch next episodes, although I was quite sceptical about the objective of the programme. Nevertheless, this has been able to generate public awareness. It is well anticipated that these episodes would point fingers at the government to initiate measures to mitigate the sufferings of people made public through these programmes.

Rajuk's plots

I am an expatriate who applied for the Rajuk lottery for plots. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. Of course, the deadline for submitting the applications was December 2008, and ended up to be postponed quite a bit, finally settling in end of April 2009. As an applicant, and as a person who has made quite a significant payment of US $3500, I do believe that it is my right to know when the lottery will be held. Is it going to be any time soon? Or have the bigwigs still not decided on which of them (and of course, their friends and families) will actually get the plots, and how to pretend that the lottery is actually going to be fair? I guess that is why they needed the deadline to be extended: somebody's shala (brother-in-law) hadn't turned in the application yet. The lottery just can't take place, now, can it?

Learning English

Almost all students of our country have apathy towards English language as they do not venture to learn it from an early age. This foreign language creates a phobia among the students because they are not encouraged by their elders and surroundings to learn it from their infancy. So, students of our country are lagging behind and their elementary knowledge is poor. Besides, our prevailing educational system is not satisfactorily updated. The system can still produce clerks , nothing else.

Prohibitive prices

If you are a routine bazaar goer, you will feel the real pinch while buying either fish or vegetables. None of the very ordinary fish like puti, tengra, telapia etc could you buy for less than Tk 200 per kg. and to mention the frail 'batashi' , it sells above Tk 300 per kg! Whereas these are the fish that the middle and lower middle class people could live on with the fringe of their limited income. We have no headache about other variety of fish usually bought by the rich from mega shops. Who is there to look into this kind of rip-off by fish sellers? The old saying, 'mache bhate Bangalee' that had some semblance until the recent past is now totally a stale and sour word to swallow.

Digital Bangladesh

The first priority is a long-term phased project to install renewable packages in 50 per cent of the villages (the other 50 per cent villages would replicate tested packages).

Unwanted state

After World War II, the division of original Palestine into two states, Palestine and Israel, is the greatest and unforgettable mistake committed by the United States of America.

International

US wants ME talks to start soon, end quickly: Mitchell

Washington wants the stalled Middle East peace talks to resume soon and wrap up quickly, US envoy George Mitchell told Israeli leaders yesterday on his latest trip to the region.

US offers help for Pakistan's anti-Taliban operations

The US has thrown its full weight behind Pakistan's anti-Taliban military operations in its restive northwest, with two officials saying Washington would provide whatever assistance was required for their successful conclusion.

Brown wins respite as he faces down party rebels

Embattled British Prime Minister Gordon Brown sought yesterday to draw a line under his most tumultuous week since taking office after facing down angry rebels who threatened to oust him.

UN's Gaza war crimes probe faces obstacles

A veteran UN war crimes investigator acknowledged his probe of possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas which included interviewing dozens of victims and poring through the files of human rights groups is unlikely to lead to prosecutions.

India to address 'outstanding issues' to boost ties with neighbours: FM

India has promised to work with its South Asian neighbours to ensure that "outstanding issues" are addressed and pitched for inter-connectivity among the countries of the region.

CIA urges judge to keep detainee papers secret

CIA Director Leon Panetta told a federal judge Monday that releasing documents about the agency's terror interrogations would gravely damage national security.

Guantanamo detainee in NY for trial

The first Guantanamo detainee who is to be tried in a US civilian court has arrived in New York, officials say.

US leaders, family seek mercy for reporters jailed in N Korea

US leaders and family members urged North Korea to show mercy to two jailed American television reporters, as Washington tried to separate their plight from efforts to punish Pyongyang for its nuclear test.

US frees Iraqi linked to killing of 5 soldiers

The US military has released a Shia militant accused of being involved in the 2007 killing of five American soldiers, officials said Tuesday.

40 Taliban killed in Afghan operations

More than 40 Taliban militants have been killed in a week-long operation to stabilise a southern province ahead of August elections, a police chief said yesterday.

EU commission chief stands for second term

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso accepted Tuesday to stand for a second five-year term, hot on the heels of victory by the conservatives in weekend EU elections.

40,000 civilians still in volatile Swat: Red Cross

Some 40,000 civilians remain in Pakistan's troubled Swat region where they lack access to electricity and water amid a military assault against the Taliban, the Red Cross said yesterday.

Myanmar court grants Suu Kyi 1 more witness

A Myanmar court has reinstated one of three barred defence witnesses in the trial of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

N Korea steps up rhetoric amid nuclear crisis

North Korea said yesterday it would use nuclear weapons in a "merciless offensive" if provoked its latest bellicose rhetoric apparently aimed at deterring any international punishment for its recent atomic test blast.

Lanka extends anti-terror laws despite defeat of Tamil Tigers

Sri Lanka's government yesterday extended tough anti-terror laws, arguing that remnants of the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels could still try to stage a comeback.

Lankan Tamils unhappy with India's stance

Sri Lankan Tamils are unhappy with India's stand on Sri Lankan military action against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the island nation.

Indian FM urges students in Australia to show restraint

India's foreign minister yesterday urged Indian students in Australia to stay calm in the wake of a series of racial attacks on them in recent weeks.

Musharraf's version of Akbar Bugti's murder is a 'white lie': Talal Bugti

Slain Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti's son, Talal Bugti, has rebuked former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf's claims that Akbar Bugti was not killed in a military operation.

Thai army chief accuses militants of mosque attack

Thailand's army chief on yesterday accused separatist militants of killing 11 people at a mosque in the country's south, denying claims that security forces were behind the attack.

Arts & Entertainment

The fading rhythm of handloom

Much has been written on the glorious past of Bengali (particularly Dhaka and surrounding regions) handloom. Locally produced cotton and advanced skills of 'taanti' (weavers) attained worldwide acclaim in the form of 'Muslin' during the Mughal era. But where does Bangladeshi handloom stand now? Once known as the "Manchester of Bangladesh" for its handloom textiles, Narsingdi district is going through a very difficult phase. About 70 percent of the handloom units in the area have closed down over the last three decades, according to statistics. More and more power-looms are taking over. Despite bleak conditions, Bangladeshi handloom is striving to survive in some areas -- Narsingdi being one. Devoted weavers and traders, with the support of some local fashion houses (like Aarong, Anjan's, Aranya and Jatra) are trying to popularise hand-woven fabrics.

“I am a workaholic” -- Sara Zaker

“My daughter Sriya says that I always have an agenda," says a laughing Sara Zaker on a relatively relaxed day. The grouse of her family is that the media personality never takes a break.

Indian theatre icon Habib Tanvir passes away

Playwright Habib Tanvir, a legend of Indian theatre who brought folk drama on the stage, died on June 8, bringing about the end an era. He was 85.

Art competition for children on World Environment Day

A painting competition for children was held in Chapainawabganj recently to mark the World Environment Day (June 5). District administration, Department of Forest and Shishu Academy jointly organised the event at Green View High School premises to generate awareness among children on environment and different issues related to it.

Grooming future nation-builders

Wahidul Haque Khan, a social worker was honoured by the governing body of Laxmipur Government Primary School in Muktagacha Upazila on June 6. The programme included a discussion, distribution of school supplies among underprivileged students and parents meeting to update them on primary education.

Drama serial Guide on ntv

New drama serial "Guide" will be aired on ntv at 9:45 pm tonight. The 28-episode serial is written, scripted and directed by Arun Choudhury.

Life in Metro on Banglavision

Dhaka is a metropolitan city where everything and everyone is moving fast. If one wants to cope with the busy metro lifestyle, one needs to be fully aware of the surroundings. On that note, a new programme "Life in Metro" is aired on Banglavision.

Udichi observes Rabindra-Nazrul anniversary in Faridpur

Bangladesh Udichi Shilpi Gosthi, Faridpur district unit observed the birth anniversaries of Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam at Eshan School recently.

OP-ED

Democracy is greater discipline

TEACHERS supposedly teach their pupils proper conduct alongside lessons from textbooks at the primary level. And conduct obviously includes discipline. Discipline is a must for peace and ease in society. In its absence, not only indiscipline but also anarchy and chaos take place.

Women MPs still knocking at the door

SPEAKER Abdul Hamid was asked by a reporter whether lawmakers elected to reserved seats for women, known as "women MPs," would be entitled to get the cars? The speaker replied: "What do you think of them? Aren't they MPs?" He boldly stated all were equals. In fact, he meant that lawmakers having specific constituencies from where they were elected in direct polls and lawmakers of reserved seats are equal in the eyes of the constitution.


The Daily Star

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