The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, November 24, 2014


News of: Sunday, 14th of June, 2009

Front Page

Risky railway

Bangladesh Railway (BR), still operating with age-old and ramshackle locomotives and coaches, now grapples with increasing number of commuters.

Govt itself violating building rules

No government building including those built by Public Works Department (PWD) has taken approval from authorities concerned since 1987, which is mandatory under the Building Construction (BC) Act of 1952 and subsequent building rules.

FBCCI for scope to whiten money

FBCCI yesterday lent its support to the provision of whitening of black money in the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2009-10 in exchange for payment of 10 percent tax.

More fund sought for modernising army

Defence purchase of Bangladesh Army is dependent on a derisory 6 percent of the fund allocated for the force while over 83 percent of the share is spent on salaries, allowances, services and supplies.

Eviction drive hamstrung

The ongoing eviction drive against encroachment on the rivers slows down due to manifold constraints and lack of proper coordination among the agencies concerned.

Newspapers to be in dire straits

The budget proposal for levying five percent import duty on newsprint will put the newspaper industry in dire straits, says the Newspaper Owners' Association of Bangladesh (Noab).

Part of two RMG units knocked down

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and Narayanganj district administration yesterday demolished portions of two multi-storied garments factories built illegally on the river Shitalakhya in Narayanganj.

Scope means injustice to regular taxpayers

The money-whitening provision would mean injustice to the regular taxpayers and leave them in an uneven contest with the black money owners, said speakers at a discussion yesterday.

JS session resumes today

Discussion on the supplementary budget for fiscal year 2008-09 begins today as the ongoing budget session of Parliament resumes this afternoon amid the speaker's fresh call for the main opposition to join the House.

Rejoinder, our reply

The chairman of the Washpur Garden City in a rejoinder says the news item published in The Daily Star on June 8, 2009 headlined "Buriganga artery blocked" does not represent facts.

BNP asks govt to act quick on Tipai dam

BNP yesterday urged the international community to take effective steps to prevent India from building the Tipaimukh dam and asked the government to adopt prompt measures to stop India implementing the project.

Killing spate scales up sense of insecurity

Alarming number of murder incidents in last few days attests to the deterioration of law and order in the city triggering a sense of insecurity among the citizens.

56 indigenous families evicted

Hired goons of a BNP adherent evicted at least 74 families, including 56 Indigenous families, from their land in a series of attacks at Khatirpur in Porsha upazila of Naogaon to grab their land.

Mymensingh opens arms for English

The English in Schools (EIS) initiative by The Daily Star and AKTEL has given new hopes to educationists and local authorities of Mymensingh who believe the effort will have long-lasting impacts on young minds and help them prosper in both personal and national lives.

Sahab makes confession again

Detained former NSI director Wing Commander (retd) Sahab Uddin yesterday gave another confessional statement to a court here in the much talked-about Chittagong arms haul case.

Baby born at cyclone centre, sold for Tk 2,000

What's the price of a child's life?

Grenade found abandoned

Police recovered a grenade, eight bullets and a clip charger from Day Tannery Lane in city's Hazaribagh area yesterday.

Ahmadinejad reelected

Hardline incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a crushing victory in Iran's hotly-disputed presidential vote, according to official results yesterday that triggered mass opposition protests.

One gunned down

Criminals shot dead a youth in broad daylight after chasing him around 200 yards in the city's West Rampura yesterday.

BDR jawan dies of 'heart failure'

Another jawan of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) died of heart failure in Khagrachhari yesterday.

UN slaps tough new sanctions on N Korea

The UN Security Council has imposed tough new sanctions on North Korea, punishing the country for its second nuclear test.

Pineapple boost in Madhupur

There has been a bumper production of pineapple in Madhupur upazila of the district this season because of favourable weather conditions.

Wasa plans big

Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) has decided to set up common effluent treatment plants at end points of different canals and pump treated water into city's surrounding rivers to reduce pollution.

Latif antics anger Ctg AL leaders

Awami League (AL) leaders in Chittagong plan to lodge formal complaint with party chief and premier Sheikh Hasina against AL lawmaker MA Latif of Chittagong-10 for 'tarnishing the party's image through controversial activities.'

Stop Tipai projects right away

Environment bodies yesterday demanded an immediate halt to implementation of Tipaimukh hydroelectric project and Fulartol irrigation project in India.

Vit A given clean chit

The government probe into the incident of children falling ill around the country did not find any link between it and the Vitamin A Plus campaign running nationwide.

Editorial

Whitening black money

It is not surprising that the budgetary proposal to allow whitening of black money has drawn flak from different quarters. Though the Finance Minister has said, "Politics is the highest art of compromise", critics wonder whether this is not a compromise at the altar of political expediency. It is difficult to see how the economic dividends sought to be derived from the proposed move could actually accrue. The past experience with granting similar extraordinary concession leaves us wondering what gain had accrued to the public exchequer previously so as to justify a recourse to it again. We are in the dark about the extent of money thus recovered and invested in the productive sector through such a move in the past.

The errant lawmaker

Awami League lawmaker M.A. Latif is in the news again, for obviously negative reasons. As newspaper reports would have it, the Jatiya Sangsad member from Chittagong tried to force his way into a meeting of the Water Transport Coordination Cell (WTCC) in the port city on Friday. When he was prevented from doing so, he is alleged to have verbally abused police officials present and even had the premises put under lock and key, though abortively. When the police positioned themselves inside the building, the lawmaker simply lay down on the floor to register his protest, a posture in which he remained for a few hours until he was moved out of the place.

Risks to the economic outlook

THE much anticipated and widely leaked budget has finally been declared. This piece will focus on the key macroeconomic forecasts that underpin the budget. The budget rests on a forecast GDP growth of 5.5% and an inflation of 6.5% in 2009-10. These forecasts feature possible impacts of the global recession, including impacts on remittance and exports. The fiscal deficit is forecast to remain within 5% of GDP next year, of which 2 percentage points are expected to be financed from external sources.

A budget with a difference

THE first budget of the grand-alliance government was presented in the parliament last Thursday by Finance Minister Mr. A.M.A. Muhith. After remaining "captive" to an unelecected caretaker government for two fiscal years, the budget is back to the beholder (parliament). This is, to me, the first good news to note.

The changed vision

MANY people call it too ambitious, some consider it too pragmatic, and supporters of the grand alliance are proud of the budget as being consistent with its election manifesto and the Change of Vision 2021. The public on the other hand, by and large, feel that it is the usual exercise, with many hopes and ideas but difficult to implement with this bureaucracy frightened with fears and trembling with tears.

Sports

Ashraful won't quit

The general consensus maybe that he is not as courageous as he should be as captain but Mohammad Ashraful is undaunted in the face of huge criticism following a heartbreaking loss to Ireland, which made sure of their early exit from the ICC World Twenty20 in England.

Team for prep camp named

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Saturday announced a 20-member provisional squad for the preparation camp for the tour of the West Indies.

Gul blows Kiwis away

Umar Gul became the first bowler to claim five wickets in Twenty20 internationals as Pakistan roared back into contention in the ICC World Twenty20 on Saturday.

Proteas keep winning

South Africa maintained their unbeaten record at the World Twenty20 with a 20-run Super Eights win over the West Indies at the Oval here on Saturday.

S'kara thanks bowlers

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara believes his side's varied attack is the reason they've remained unbeaten so far at the World Twenty20.

Bravo IPL

West Indies star Dwayne Bravo believes skills picked up at the Indian Premier League (IPL), while his teammates were suffering a Test mauling in England, will be crucial in their World Twenty20 title push.

Dhoni bucks India up

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni rallied his side following their seven-wicket World Twenty20 loss to the West Indies by saying history proved they could come back from a reverse at this stage.

Mixed day for Viqarunnissa

Viqarunnissa Noon School and College 'A' team conceded defeat but the 'B' team won their match in the girls' school cricket tournament at the Azimpur Girls High School ground yesterday.

Dinajpur trounce Fantos

Ilias struck twice in the second half as Dinajpur Football Academy handed a 3-1 defeat to Fantos Sports Association of Rangpur in the final round of the Bashundhara Champions Club Cup at the Jessore Stadium yesterday.

'India now a fearless side'

Sachin Tendulkar feels that the poor traveller's tag associated with the Indian team has become a thing of the past and the recent successes abroad have made the team a fearless unit capable of beating any side in the world.

Rajib stays in 3rd spot

Grand Master Enamul Hossain Rajib maintained third position at the end of the ninth round in the first SCS International Open Grandmasters Chess Tournament at Bhubaneswar, Orissa yesterday.

Last lap for SA

With the country's president kicking a soccer ball off a stand, South Africa began its one-year countdown to the World Cup at a nearly complete stadium overlooking Nelson Mandela's former Robben Island prison.

Okada vows result

Japan coach Takeshi Okada has vowed to spoil Australia's clean sheet in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers as he takes an under-strength squad against the Socceroos in Melbourne this week.

Spain close in on record

Spain is closing in on football's record unbeaten run, and first up for the European champions at this year's Confederations Cup is New Zealand.

Glamour back at Real

Only a few weeks have passed since Barcelona completed their historic treble but now the return of Florentino Perez to Real Madrid has already stolen the limelight from their bitter enemies with the audacious signings of Ronaldo and Kaka.

Asians have extra motivation

If ever a team had extra motivation to perform well on the pitch it is Iraq, who are hoping to emulate their 2007 Asian Cup success at the Confederations Cup starting with victory over hosts South Africa here on Sunday.

Blatter defends C'Ron fee

FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Friday defended Real Madrid's world record 80 million pound swoop for Manchester United's Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Helmes out for six months

Bayer Leverkusen's Germany striker Patrick Helmes will be out for up to six months having damaged his cruciate knee ligament while on holiday, it was revealed on Friday.

Cannavaro out of opener

A calf strain has ruled Italy captain and defender Fabio Cannavaro out of their opening Confederations Cup Group B match against the United States here Monday.

Villa signs for Real?

Valencia striker David Villa, one of the stars of Spain's victorious Euro 2008 squad, has signed for Real Madrid for close to 40 million euros, a Spanish newspaper said Saturday.

Phelps flies to victory

Olympic superstar Michael Phelps had a lot more trouble with the cold weather than with his competitors Friday at the Santa Clara Invitational swim meet.

Younus blames start

Pakistan captain Younus Khan bemoaned yet another poor start at the World Twenty20 after his side lost their opening Super Eights match against Sri Lanka by 19 runs at Lord's on Friday.

Murray storms into final

Top seed Andy Murray swept into his first Queen's final with a ruthless 6-2, 6-4 win over Juan Carlos Ferrero on Saturday.

Sharapova sent packing

Maria Sharapova's Wimbledon build-up suffered a setback on Saturday when she was knocked out of the Birmingham grasscourt event 6-4, 6-4 by China's Li Na.

Musical boost for India

With defending champions India fighting it out in the ICC World Twenty20 in England, Music company Saregama has launched an album, "India Hai Meri Jaan", to impart new life to the Indian team's youngsters.

Business

FBCCI pushes for PPP bonds

The country's apex trade body yesterday suggested that the government should float public-private partnership (PPP) bonds on the stock market to raise funds to cover a deficit budget.

Budget frustrates corporate leaders

Corporate houses have vented frustration over the finance minister's 'no' to reduce their tax, which they claimed is the highest in the world.

Knitwear exporters demand govt's clear stance on stimulus

Knitwear exporters have demanded that the government make a clear stance on whether this prime foreign currency earning sector was awarded a stimulus package to tackle the ongoing global recession fallout.

G8 finance chiefs dampen recovery hopes

G8 finance chiefs on Saturday warned the global economic outlook remained uncertain and risky despite encouraging signs, while Europe stalled on carrying out US-style "stress tests" on its banks.

Budget ignores antipoverty efforts

The budget proposed for fiscal 2009-2010 has ignored long-term development strategies, poverty cuts and local-level employment creation, speakers said yesterday.

Wall Street mixed after rudderless session

Wall Street stocks closed mixed Friday in rudderless trade as a decline in oil prices weighed on heavyweight oil majors and investors shrugged off disappointing consumer sentiment data.

A phone that's just right for the elderly

A simple-to-use cellphone, targeted at the elderly and children, looks set to be the potential star of the PC Show.

Crisis must not be allowed to happen again: ECB chief

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet urged governments and financial market players Friday to do everything to ensure that the global financial crisis does not happen again.

Outsourcing, a new lifeline in southern Philippines

When American consumers dial a toll-free hotline for customer service support, they may not be aware they are helping bring an end to a long-running insurgency half way across the world.

A document to appease all

The budget for fiscal 2009-10 has three major objectives: macroeconomic stability, GDP growth and poverty reduction. Several priority areas are identified: employment generation, enhancement of social safety net, reduction of regional disparity, emphasis on agricultural development, power generation, acceleration of industrialisation and building infrastructure for "Digital Bangladesh". Let's have a quick look at some of the major socioeconomic parameters.

Should the new GM start with a new name?

ValuJet was reborn as AirTran. Philip Morris rechristened itself Altria. Blackwater became Xe.

Budget boosts stocks

Budgetary expectations drove the Dhaka stock market last week amid increasing participation of investors.

WTO plan not 'new start' to talks: Russia

Moscow's plan to unite its WTO accession bid with that of Kazakhstan and Belarus does not represent a new start in negotiations to the trade group, a top Russian official said on Friday.

Oil prices extend rally

Oil prices struck eight-month highs this week on higher demand for commodities as the global economy makes progress in pulling free of recession.

Tata Indian Hotels profit plunges 96pc

Tata Group's hospitality arm Indian Hotels Company Ltd. said Friday its annual net profit plunged 96.4 percent, hit by last November's militant attack on its landmark Taj Mahal hotel.

Taiwan passes major green energy bill

Taiwan has passed a bill on renewable energy in a move which is expected to attract 30 billion Taiwan dollar (937 million US) worth of investment, the government and reports said Saturday.

World banks must act against toxic assets: China

The US government and global financial authorities need to remove toxic assets from their banking systems to restore world economic stability, a top Chinese banking regulator said Friday.

Zimbabwe could grow at 4pc in 2009: Minister

Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Friday the economy could grow by 4.0 percent this year after being battered by years of hyperinflation and economic contraction.

Weekly Currency Roundup

June 7th-June 11th, 2009
International Markets
Currencies experienced extreme fluctuations this week. The US dollar gained at the start of the week on positive US jobs report. Dollar continued to rise till Tuesday on expectations of US yields rising. The dollar index rose to 81, its highest since late May. Dollar fell from Wednesday against the higher yielding currencies as risk sentiment improved. The euro edged up, shaking off weak French output data, and positive UK industrial output lifted the sterling. The dollar edged lower against a basket of currencies on Thursday, erasing some gains made after benchmark US Treasury yields rose to eight-month highs, as caution set in ahead of another US government debt auction.

Metropolitan

Collect war crimes-related info from foreign countries to facilitate trial

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said war crimes-related information, including written documents and films those are preserved in libraries and other institutions in overseas countries, should be collected to facilitate the trial of war criminals.

PAC plays vital role in ensuring govt's financial transparency

Speakers at a workshop yesterday said Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament plays a vital role in ensuring financial transparency and accountability of the government and public servants.

Introduce inclusive education to mordernise edn system

Speakers at a seminar yesterday urged the government to introduce 'inclusive education' to modernise education system in the country.

JS body opens talks to stop detention without trial

A parliamentary body yesterday opened talks on how to stop detention without trial and torture inflicted by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, violating human rights and the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitutions.

Adequate allocation a must to ensure healthcare

Speakers at a national seminar yesterday said 6.1 percent budgetary allocation for health is not enough, rather it is important to increase the allocation to meet the people's needs.

UP representatives demand one-third of nat'l dev budget

Union Parishad (UP) representatives at a seminar yesterday demanded one-third of the total national development budget for a better local government.

Nakanishi in Dhaka to spread message of peace

Daisulte Nakanishi, a 39-year-old traveller hailing from Osaka of Japan, reached Dhaka on Friday after roaming 127 countries riding on a bicycle to disseminate the messages of world peace by making friends worldwide.

Photographic book on forest published

The launching ceremony of a photographic book titled 'Images from the Wild: Travels through Five Nishorgo Forests' by young photographer Sirajul Hossain was held at Spectra Convention Centre in the city recently, says a press release.

Acid attack on housewife for dowry

A housewife sustained severe burns as her husband and mother-in-law allegedly hurled acid at her following a dowry dispute at Narayanpur in Trishal upazila on Friday.

BNP may start reorganisation of associate bodies soon

The National Standing Committee of BNP held a meeting to discuss various issues, including joining parliament and ongoing reorganisation process of the party, last night.

Govt forms committee to probe WTCC incident

Ministry of Home Affairs yesterday constituted a three-member committee headed by Additional Secretary of the ministry Md Golam Hossain to probe into the Friday's incident at the office of the Water Transport Co-ordination Cell (WTCC) in Chittagong.

Sahara visits Gulshan house, asks residents not to be worried

Home Minister Sahara Khatun last night visited the residents of a Gulshan Avenue house who had claimed that a gang of people allegedly of the ATN Bangla chairman tried to evict them from their house early Wednesday.

Body formed to formulate MPO policy

The government has formed a ten-member committee headed by Prime Minister's Education, Social Development and Political Affairs Adviser Dr Alauddin Ahmed to formulate a concrete policy for MPO allocation and enlistment of new educational institutions.

Mafia don Daud's 3 aides sent to jail

Detective police are trying to find out whether the detained accomplices of Mafia don Daud Ibrahim have any links with militancy or arms and drug trafficking or have been involved in criminal activities in the country.

US asst secy Blake arrives, meets Khaleda

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O Blake arrived in the city yesterday on a two-day visit to Bangladesh.

MP among 6 injured in Bogra road accident

Akram Hossain Chowdhury, MP of Noagaon-3, his wife and four other people were injured seriously as the jeep they were travelling in plunged into a ditch at Shahjahanpur on Dhaka-Bogra highway yesterday.

'Change mindset to ensure women's rights'

Speakers at a publication ceremony yesterday urged all to change their mindset for establishing women's rights and taking the country forward.

SUST honours Dr Atiq

Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) in Sylhet honoured leading environmental scientist Dr Atiq Rahman for wining prestigious UN environment award 'Champion of the Earth 2008', says a press release.

Double rail lines on Dhaka-N'ganj route soon

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday said double lines would be installed on the Dhaka-Narayanganj rail route for the convenience of passengers.

Govt mulls compulsory ADR in civil cases

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government is actively considering to introduce compulsory Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in civil cases.

Fruit fair in city from today

The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has undertaken a programme to distribute 1.3 crore saplings of fruit-bearing trees across the country free of cost on the occasion of a three-day national fruit fair and fortnight-long tree plantation programme.

Rabindra-Nazrul Jayanti observed in Feni

Noted Rabindra Sangeet artiste Tapan Mahmud and Nazrul song exponent Ferdous Ara enthralled the audience at Feni Shilpakala Academy auditorium on Friday evening on the occasion of Rabindra-Nazrul birth anniversaries.

6 killed in road crashes

Six people were killed and 37 others injured in separate road accidents in Tangail, Gazipur and Gaibandha in the last two days.

Medical Technologists Society executives

Mirza Abdul Alim and Sheikh Mizanur Rahman were elected president and secretary general of Bangladesh Medical Laboratory Technologists Society (BMLTS).

National

Sunamganj-2 by-election tomorrow

Last-minute electioneering for Sunamganj-4 bypolls yesterday marked hectic campaign by leaders of both rival camps.

Protest processions, rallies in more dists

Aggrieved BNP leaders and activists yesterday staged agitation in Chapainawabganj, Patuakhali, Tangail and Pabna districts demanding cancellation of the new convening committees declared by the central body on Tuesday.

Woes of mango traders

Mango traders in Chapainawabganj, the largest mango producing district in the country are making serious losses due to import of huge quantities of mangoes from India.

Kutubdia people at disaster risk

About 1.5 lakh people of Kutubdia, an island in Cox's Bazar district, have been living amid threat of disaster any moment as the breached embankment around the island remains unrepaired.

Trains derail

Train link with Lalmonirhat- Burimari land port remained snapped yesterday due to derailment of a train near Patgram railway station in the morning.

25 Shibir men sued for attack on RU BCL activists

A case was filed with Motihar police station on Thursday against 25 Islami Chhatra Shibir cadres in connection with stabbing of two activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Rajshahi University unit on the campus on Wednesday night.

Lima's death mourned

Teachers, students and staff of management department at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday observed 'mourning day' and condemned the killing of Nima Parvin alias Lima, a first year student of the department allegedly by her in-laws for dowry on Thursday. A condolence meeting was held with acting departmental chairman Prof Saiful Islam in the chair. The teachers, students and employees wore black badges, expressed their deep shock at the murder and demanded punishment to the killers.

Rivals kill outlaw

A 'regional leader' of outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCB) was killed yesterday at village Mongolgram of Faridpur upazila. Police said, Mostak Hossain alias Mosto,35, son of Alam of village Mannan Nagar was abducted by rivals from his home Friday night and murdered at village Mongol Gram of the same upazila the next morning.

Updating of voter list

Updating of voter list of 19 upazilas in 10 districts of Khulna division will start tomorrow and it will continue till June 24. The first phase of work will begin at Phultala, Rupsha and Terokheda upazilas of Khulna district, Sadar, Kachua and Mongla upazilas of Bagerhat, Sadar and Debhata upazilas of Satkhira, Sadar upazila and Jibonnagor upazila of Chuandanga, Sadar and Sharsha upazilas of Jessore, Sadar and Kotchandpur upazilas of Jhenaidah, Sadar and Khoksa upazilas of Kushtia, Sadar upazila of Magura and Sadar upazilas of Meherpur and Narail disticts. EC sources said, those who were born on January 1, 1992 or before would be included in the voter list while names of the voters who passed away would be deleted.

Trader's body recovered

Police recovered body of a trader from his shop at Bohoddarhat under Chandgaon Police Station yesterday. Kamal Uddin, 45, son of late Zafar Ahmed of Pashchim Faridpara in the city and proprietor of Shahenshah Ziaul Haque Engineering and Repairing Works stayed inside his shop Friday night. As he didn't go home, the next morning his family members rushed to the shop and found the shop locked from outside. Police later recovered the body from the shop. Police suspect Kamal was murdered in the shop.

Letters

Tipaimukh barrage

Our motherland has been turning into a desert over the years, due to the river linkage programmes of India that started off with the Farakka Barrage. We have got some international rivers in our country. Most of these rivers crisscrossed millions of acres of land in India before their arrival in Bangladesh. Both Bangladesh and India have equal rights over the waters of these rivers. But, ignoring the rights of Bangladesh, India has been constructing barrages on many river systems. In the past, India diverted water from the Padma and the Tista by constructing dams in their Indian parts. The hinterland of the two mighty rivers has turned barren for want of water.

Polythene bags

In the past, people used to go to bazaars with big baskets. “Thonga”--a bowl shaped paper container in different sizes-- was also being used extensively. But 20-25 years ago polythene bags started entering into shops. They are very light, cheap and comfortable, no doubt. But as it has some elements which cannot be wasted or destroyed, drains, cannels etc were blocked. Now there are ten feet polythene layers on the bed of the Buriganga and it is one of the main reasons for the death of this important river.

Obama's peace initiative

Obama's peace initiative taking off from Cairo is a most welcome endeavour. I am confident that he will succeed in overcoming Bush's bullishness, folly and misguided concept of the "gang of evil" indoctrinated by the Jewish-Conservative destructive groups that tutored Bush all the way. It may be a difficult job to make a 180 degree turnaround; given the Conservatives' short sighted war mongering basis that created the misery of Iraq and Afghanistan, and is now targeted on Iran! I am sure everyone will join me in wishing Obama God-Speed in his praiseworthy effort to usher in world peace, given his heredity.

Extortionists at work

As a developing country, we need to create a congenial atmosphere for the growth of trade and commerce. Recently, a number of armed gangs of extortionists have started to threaten the industrialists and business personalities. Business entrepreneurs are receiving phone calls from those criminals with demands for huge sums of money, even from outside the country. People involved in real estate business have also been targeted by them. The godfathers are always staying behind the curtains. All the business people and industrialists have expressed their anxiety as they cannot carry on their business at the cost of their lives. Those criminals must be traced down and stopped.

Natural gas

The justified access, use and distribution of a national wealth are a right that every citizen of a country should share & benefit from. Although it is very difficult to arrange and practice such things, especially in the developing countries, there is no harm in using some paper and ink in at least letting the people know about the privileges that they are entitled to.

Educate people

Right after the end of the caretaker government's rule, Bangladesh is seeing all dormant evils coming to life! Thugs and muggers are active again, killing businessmen and even students.

"Nodi Bachao, Dhaka Bachao"

Even a few days ago it was not possible to realize that our dying rivers could be saved. But we hope now that the rivers can be reclaimed. So I feel obliged to say that such consciousness among the general people, even the illegal occupants and the government, has come because of the role played by the press.

Khaleda Zia's statements

I wrote a similar letter on the subject of DS editorial under the headline "Politicians and people" which was printed on Monday, June 1, 2009. I whole-heartedly appreciate your advice to the leader of the opposition. Begum Khaleda Zia was, in fact, caught unawares and she could not believe and is still unable to digest the 29 Dec election results.

Rivers and our existence

Thanks to my favourite newspaper “The Daily Star” for launching a WAR against the polluters and grabbers of the rivers surrounding the Dhaka city. My sincere tributes to the Editor, Pinaki Roy and Morshed Ali Khan for taking such a bold step with a firm commitment to winning the WAR. My sincere thanks also to the Channel i authorities, particularly Faridur Reza Sagar and S. Siraj and other print and electronic media that have supported our continuous movement to bring it up to the latest form of a WAR designed by The Daily Star and Channel i.

After-effects of political culture

Our glib politicians never talk about the negative cumulative after-effects [the other side of the coin] of our political culture on our 'developing' society; which now lacks morals and morale. We are water buckets with leaking holes! Political sanitation standards stink!

TV ads

There has been a revolutionary change in the commercial TV ads in Bangladesh. To keep pace with the competition, companies have adopted new marketing and promotional strategies which changed the advertising tactics. But companies do what is good for their exposure, which should not be the sole purpose of advertising. If we talk about business and marketing ethics then companies should promote their message to the consumers in a way that don't breach the consumer rights. But what we are watching in the TVs today, are not appreciable. Many well-known companies are broadcasting not only deceptive but also sometimes disturbing and obscene commercial ads. I don't want to mention the names but I think the people concerned will recognize those. For example, there are many ads about some baby foods such as milks and health drinks which promise some ridiculous and impossible benefits that a baby would get if they use that product. These type of deceptive and misleading ads should not be broadcast by the TV channels. So, to protect the consumer rights and protect the consumer from fraudulent TV ads, there should be a censor board which will filter all sort of unexpected ads out. We all know that there is a censor board in our cinema industry which is not very effective. But the censor for TV should be effective because TV is watched by all in a family. There must be some regulations on using children in commercial ads too.

Another sore point!

The ties between Bangladesh and India have not been so remarkable over the years, except during the 1971 wartime. We have to acknowledge that Indians wholeheartedly extended a helping hand then. But over the years, due to India's big brotherly attitude and anti-Indian propaganda at home, the bilateral relations have been soured.

Rupsha-Bagerhat train

The narrow gauge railway train services between Khulna and Bagerhat via Rupsha River were in operation for over 100 years. But the railway services were closed with the removal of railway tracks a decade back. In the past, bus services were available during the dry winter season using the muddy district board road. After liberation, an all weather road was built leading to introduction of minibus services which is the lone communication mode today. It is needless to narrate the difficulties for the travelling public, especially the children, elderly people, ladies, sick etc.

Black smoke

Some days back roads and highways were seriously polluted with black smoke released by the vehicles. Following introduction of gas driven vehicles, this pollution was reduced significantly. But now black smoke has entered into the homes as many residential houses and factories are frequently using diesel generators during load shedding hours. This black smoke produced by the generators is becoming a major threat to public health and environment.

Bridge and electricity

We feel proud and happy that at last our present government led by Sheikh Hasina has taken in hand the construction of the mammoth Padma bridge which is expected to be completed by the year 2011.

International

Zardari vows to fight Taliban 'until the end'

President Asif Ali Zardari said Saturday that Pakistan was battling for its "sovereignty" a day after scores of people were killed amid an escalating offensive against the Taliban.

Pak planes bomb Baitullah Mehsud's stronghold

Pakistani warplanes bombed a stronghold of Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in the South Waziristan tribal region yesterday morning, media reports said.

Rival candidate cries foul as Ahmadinejad reelected

Hardline incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a crushing victory in Iran's hotly-disputed presidential vote, according to official results yesterday that triggered mass opposition protests.

UN sanctions on North Korea could be futile

Sanctions can hobble countries that have bustling global trade and whose leaders give higher priority to feeding their malnourished people than building a nuclear bomb.

Syria has integral role to play in ME peace: Obama envoy

US envoy George Mitchell said yesterday that Damascus had an integral role to play in Washington's efforts to secure Middle East peace, after meeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Manmohan to meet Zardari in Russia

In the first summit-level interaction since the Mumbai terror attacks in November last year, India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet Pakistan President Asif Ali Zaradari at an international summit in Russia on June 16.

Don't doubt sincerity in Mumbai probe

Pakistan said Saturday India should not doubt its intentions in the probe into the 26/11 Mumbai carnage and called on New Delhi to resume the sub-continental dialogue process with Islamabad.

Trouble deepens in BJP as Sinha quits

Trouble in BJP deepened today with Yashwant Sinha quitting as Vice President even as party President Rajnath Singh threatened action against leaders violating party discipline and airing their views in public.

Pakistan 'unhappy' over 'stringed' US aid

The Pakistan government is miffed over the benchmarks attached to the US' annual aid bill of worth 1.5 billion dollars being offered to it.

Nepali turmoil won't stop peace move

The political turmoil that has roiled Nepal in recent weeks will not stop its peace process from moving forward, the country's prime minister said yesterday, adding that the former Maoist guerrillas still must prove that they are committed to negotiations.

UK under serious terror threat from home-grown Jihadis, warns expert

A British defence expert has warned the UK police and MI5 to get ready to counter a new generation of home-grown Jihadis.

Myanmar court sets date for Suu Kyi appeal

Myanmar's High Court has set a date for a hearing on Aung San Suu Kyi's appeal against a ban on two witnesses in her trial on charges of breaking her house arrest rules, the opposition leader's party said yesterday.

Musharraf's pals in multibillion rupee railway scam probe

Two Former military generals and close associates of former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf have been summoned by the National Assembly's Special Committee on Railways for their alleged involvement in a multibillion rupee scam.

Hamas grip on Gaza stronger than ever

Abu Moataz has never been a member of the Islamist Hamas movement, but two years after their takeover of the Gaza Strip he happily patrols the streets in the uniform of their paramilitary police.

US boosts effort to close Guantanamo

The United States continued its efforts this week to close the Guantanamo terrorism detention centre with a flurry of releases, capping with the transfer of three Saudi nationals back to their home country.

Arts & Entertainment

The deliverance of Sita

As the torrential downpour drenched many on the way, and some formed little groups at the lobby of Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on June 12, the last bell rang. The show was about to start right on time: 7:30 pm.

Traditional folk songs at Indian Cultural Centre

As part of their monthly programme, Indian High Commission held a musical soiree, featuring traditional Bengali folk songs at the Indian Cultural Centre in Gulshan on June 12.

Bangladeshi films to be screened at South Asian Film Festival

Bangladesh will have a sizable representation at the next edition of South Asian Film Festival, to be held in the tourist paradise of Goa from June 26 to 29 this year.

Tears and kisses from Michael Douglas at AFI tribute

Michael Douglas certainly knew how to make an entrance Thursday evening when he received the 37th annual American Film Institute Life Achievement Award at an event held on Sony Pictures Studios Stage 15 in Culver City.

Tanvir Mokammel on Rabat Int’l Film Festival jury

Noted filmmaker Tanvir Mokammel has been invited as a jury member for the 15th Rabat International Film Festival, says a press release. One of the most important international film festivals in North Africa, the 10-day event begins on June 20 in Morocco.

Fruit fiesta in Barisal

Uttaron, a cultural body, organised an unusual event -- a Fruit Festival at the BM College campus on June 12. The festival aimed at tickling the tastebuds of Bengalis who go for juicy varieties of modhu-mash (summer months).

Karo Kono Neeti Nai on ATN Bangla

Drama serial "Karo Kono Neeti Nai" will be aired tonight on ATN Bangla at 8pm. Written and directed by Saiful Islam Mannu, the cast of the serial includes Ferdausi Majumder, Subarna Mustafa, Humayun Faridee, Al Mamun, Saberi Alam, Zakia Bari Mamo, Tinni, Shams Sumon, Mita Nur, Dolly Zahur, Mita Chowdhury, Dilara Zaman and others.

Cornet on Desh TV

Written by Pantha Shahriar and directed by Shahiduzzaman Selim, drama serial "Cornet" will be aired tonight at 10 pm on Desh TV. The serial focuses on an aged cornet player by the name of Abdul Latif.

OP-ED

Black money and white money

FINANCE Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhit, in his budget proposal for the fiscal year 2009-2010 placed in the parliament on June 11, has proposed allowing whitening of black money in exchange for payment of 10% tax on that money with a mandatory provision to invest the money in any of the 62 prescribed sectors in three categories: industries, share markets and purchase of apartments. The golden opportunity is open for the next three fiscal years.

Political strategising against Tipaimukh Dam

THE Daily Star ran a comprehensive story on Thursday discussing how the Indian plan to build a dam on a river, shared by Bangladesh and India, would create havoc in the environment and agriculture in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh. As a student of international communication, I am wondering how to devise political strategies to face this.

Combatting corruption

FEW will dispute that corruption proliferates in the corridors of power. There is no disputing either, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Bangladesh is an example of how a corruption breeds thick and fast, where there is no democracy and where elected political leaders feel free to govern without any accountability.



The Daily Star

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