The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, November 26, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 17th of June, 2009

Front Page

EC moves to strip SQ Chy of MP status

The Election Commission (EC) will ask Parliament Secretariat today to scrap the membership of BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury for suppressing educational information while seeking candidacy for the December 29 national election.

Razzak to lead JS team to Tipai

The parliamentary standing committee on water resources ministry yesterday formed a nine-member team comprised of lawmakers and experts to visit the Tipaimukh dam area to assess its impact on Bangladesh.

3 killed in blade factory blaze

Three workers were killed and 15 others injured as a blade factory caught fire after a gas cylinder explosion at Masimpur in Tongi Industrial area of Gazipur early yesterday.

Climate fund to get $150m from UK

The UK government has pledged to commit around $150 million to the Multi-Donor Trust Fund to be formed by Bangladesh to cope with the climate change.

Budget proposal misunderstood

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said the black money holders will in no way be asked any question about the source of money they would invest under the amnesty proposed in the new budget.

10 Rab men sued for 'killing' Dhaka polytech student

A relative of an 'encounter' victim has filed a murder case against 10 personnel of the Rapid Action Battalion.

Mobile stays busy in jail

A convicted imprisoned top criminal made and received 184 cellphone calls to and from his cohorts in just 24 hours, law enforcers found this out recently to their disbelief.

Muhith thanks CG for return to democracy

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said the immediate past caretaker government should be thanked for returning democracy to the country instead of letting the country fall into the grip of a martial law following the expiry of its tenure.

CID still working on Pintu's mobile call list

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday started interrogating Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu in another fresh remand to glean the names of people who contacted him over cellphone during February 25-26 BDR carnage.

BNPPP hits out at Moeen

The parliamentary party of main opposition BNP yesterday demanded trial of just retired army chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed, for 'committing serious crimes' during the recent state of emergency.

BSF abducts photographer Shahidul Alam

Dr Shahidul Alam of Drik Gallery in Dhaka, visiting Roumari border of the district to see the barbed wire fencing, was kidnapped by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) jawans at about 6:30pm yesterday.

Balu, Tongi canal to be reclaimed

The river Balu and Tongi Khal (canal) between Ashulia and Kanchpur would be reclaimed from encroachers for implementation of the second phase of Dhaka Circular Waterway.

Offload 49pc share of Biman to NRBs

A parliamentary standing committee yesterday recommended offloading 40-49 percent shares of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd onto non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) to improve the financial strength of the national flag carrier and make it profitable.

Buriganga drive starts tomorrow

The government has decided to launch a three-day eviction drive tomorrow against river grabbers in the river Turag near Amin Bazar Bridge at Gabtoli in Dhaka.

No plan to abolish CG system

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday said the government has no plans to abolish the caretaker government system and the Awami League has its earlier stance about it.

2 outlaws murdered

Two suspected cadres of an outlawed party were brutally murdered by rival party men inside a female dormitory of Islamic University (IU) in Kushtia early yesterday.

Gunmen shoot dead Bianibazar OC, injure SI

Criminals shot dead the officer-in-charge of Bianibazar Police Station and wounded a sub-inspector and a student in Bianibazar upazila last night.

BAF aircraft crashes in Karnaphuli

An FT-6 training aircraft of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) crashed into the Karnaphuli river channel at Patenga yesterday morning.

Parliament club opposes chief whip's proposal

The executive committee of the Parliament Members' Club yesterday strongly opposed Chief Whip Abdus Shahid's proposal for returning Tk one lakh he took from the club for medical treatment during the tenure of the last parliament.

DCC councillor handed over to police

Deceived clients of the controversial organisation Jubak yesterday handed over to police a female councillor of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) for her alleged involvement in cheating them.

Pakistan must not use its soil for terrorism

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday met Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari for the first time since the Mumbai attacks, bluntly declaring that Pakistani soil must not be used for terrorism.

Iran grapples with rising crisis

Supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his defeated challenger staged rival rallies in Tehran last night as the nation grappled with its worst crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Swine flu cases rise in Gulf states

Swine flu cases in Arab states in the Gulf, a high-traffic transit zone for millions of air travellers, rose to 33 yesterday after Qatar reported its first cases.

Leaders try to diffuse Canadian political standoff

Canada's Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper was to meet late last night with opposition Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff to try to overcome an impasse over an economic stimulus, and avoid snap elections.

Israel stopping Gazans moving to W Bank

Israel is making it near-impossible for Gaza residents to move to the West Bank, even in humanitarian cases, two Israeli human rights groups said yesterday.

Russia to veto extension of UN mission in Georgia

Russia Monday threatened to veto a 15-day extension of the UN mission in Georgia demanding that any reference to the name of "Georgia" be dropped, Russian envoy Vitaly Churkin said.

Islamic regime likely to weather Iran 'turbulence': analysts

Iran's Islamic regime has hit heavy turbulence but the outpouring of anger sparked by the disputed presidential election is not, for now, threatening its foundations, experts said yesterday.

Disasters killed 2.5 lakh people last year

Natural and man-made disasters killed nearly a quarter of a million people in 2008 and warnings about looming disasters, particularly climate change, are not being heeded, the Red Cross said yesterday.

West must not take sides in Iran, says Britain

The West must not take sides over Iran's disputed presidential elections, Britain said Tuesday while urging the Islamic Republic's leaders to listen to critics.

Editorial

Contemplated changes in procurement rules

THE government and the World Bank are reported to be in correspondence over the former's ongoing initiative to amend, what looks like, some major provisions of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) and Public Procurement Rules (PPR) adopted since 2006, largely at the insistence of development partners.

Netanyahu's bizarre offer to Palestinians

BENJAMIN Netanyahu has just given Palestinians every reason to reject the peace terms he has offered them. And with the Palestinians are people around the world who have consistently believed that a two-state formula, whereby Israel and a free Palestine will co-exist side by side, is the only solution to what has so long been an intractable problem. What Netanyahu has offered is, in effect, a rejection of everything that could have taken the Middle East peace process forward. He has agreed to a two-state solution, on condition that Palestine has no control over its air space and agrees to be fully demilitarized. It cannot have any defence pacts with any country and it must guarantee that Israel will never be under threat from it.

Politics, compromise and black money

FINANCE Minister A.M.A. Muhith believes politics is the highest art of compromise. And because it is, it ought to be possible for us to understand what all this whitening of black money is all about. Of course, we do realise that politics, in our post-modern world of increasingly sharpened sensibilities, is a broad matter of compromise between opposing schools of thought. It is, as we have always known, the art of the possible. To the extent that the minister speaks of the nature of politics, we agree with his perspectives on it. But we have hardly any reason to think that politics and criminality can be made to come together, to coalesce as it were, on a single platform. Even ministers can be wrong about the calling of politics in life.

Civil society: Rhetoric and reality

IN Bangladesh there is growing clamour for a civil society. During the regime of the last caretaker government, it was amazing to see the proliferation of individuals and groups claiming themselves as part of civil society. Perhaps the bitter memories of protracted military rule with its concomitant curtailment of basic rights provided an incentive to civil society messiahs to articulate their demands.

Sports

Mendis guides Sri Lanka

Ajantha Mendis spun out New Zealand as Sri Lanka roared into the World Twenty20 semifinals with an emphatic 48-run win at Trent Bridge here on Tuesday.

'Pakistan not cheats'

Pakistan captain Younus Khan said the additional scrutiny his team had been placed under at the World Twenty20 because of ball-tampering allegations was "embarrassing".

Gavaskar backs Dhoni

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni Tuesday received sound backing from the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, who refused to blame him for his team's shock ouster from the World Twenty20.

SA put final nail in India's coffin

South Africa warmed up for the semifinals of the World Twenty20 by fighting back to defeat ousted champions India by 12 runs here on Tuesday.

Gayle very happy

West Indies captain Chris Gayle was a happy man as his side atoned in part for their "disaster tour" of England by going through to the semifinals of the World Twenty20 at the hosts' expense.

Pakistan may earn a lot

Pakistan could earn more than 10 million dollars even if they don't host a single match in cricket's World Cup in 2011, the sport's governing body has indicated.

Gary finds IPL at fault

India's coach Gary Kirsten pointed fingers at the cash-rich Indian Premier League for his team's ouster from the World Twenty20, saying it had left the players tired.

Colly feels confident

Paul Collingwood said England's morale would not be damaged ahead of the Ashes by their World Twenty20 Super Eights exit at the hands of the West Indies.

Rossi stabs USA

World champions Italy joined Brazil at the top of Group B after coming from behind to beat 10-man United States 3-1 in an electric Confederations Cup encounter here on Monday.

Kaka defends penalty

New Real Madrid signing Kaka has defended the penalty decision that handed Brazil a controversial 4-3 win in their Confederations Cup opener against Egypt.

Spanish eye history

Spain can equal the record for the longest winning run by a national team on Tuesday, giving them an extra incentive to beat Iraq in the Confederations Cup.

Hosts future on the line

South Africa, after a nervy opening stalemate with Iraq, face New Zealand here Wednesday in the knowledge that another lacklustre showing will all but spell the end of their Confederations Cup.

Bayern want huge sum for Ribery

Bayern Munich are demanding "an astronomic sum" for French international midfielder Franck Ribery, Real Madrid's managing director said Tuesday.

$100,000 to break record

Usain Bolt will begin his European track season tomorrow by competing over 100 metres at the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava.

Feni move into semis

Feni Soccer Club became the first team to move into the semifinals of the Bashundhara Champions Club Cup after beating Youngmens Club, Fakirerpool 3-0 in a Group B encounter at the Cox's Bazar Stadium yesterday.

Bari interim chief Pak selector

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Tuesday they had appointed Wasim Bari as interim chief selector to pick the team for next month's series against Sri Lanka after Abdul Qadir quit the post.

BKSP continue form

BKSP posted a massive ten-wicket victory over Amzad Ali Sarkar Girls High School 'B' in the Girls' School Cricket Tournament at the Gulshan Youth Club ground yesterday.

Good news for C'Ron

Cristiano Ronaldo, on the verge of a world record transfer to Real Madrid, has received more good news after the Portugal winger was told he will not face any charges after writing off his Ferrari sports car in a crash.

Real get 153m euros in loans

Real Madrid have received loans worth 153 million euros to pay for new players to build its team of new "Galacticos," such as Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Bentley in Villa talks

England winger David Bentley is in talks with Aston Villa over a transfer to Martin O'Neill's team after being told he can leave Tottenham.

India's women rescue pride

Mithali Raj's Indian women's team succeeded where Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men failed by reaching the World Twenty20 semifinals on Monday.

Scholastica trounce Rahmatullah

Scholastica beat Rahmatullah Model High School 3-0 in the opening match of the Citycell Dhaka Metropolis Women's School Football Championship yesterday at the Sultana Kamal Sports Complex in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.

Villa still at Valencia

Spanish Primera Liga club Valencia said it has yet to receive any "satisfactory offer" for star striker David Villa, a target for both Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Braille chess

Mohammad Ajgor Ali took solo lead in the Grameenphone 9th Special Chess tournament after end of the sixth round at the Bangladesh Chess Federation hall-room yesterday.

Business

SME loans on a roll

Loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) increased by 140 percent in just one year between March 2008 and March 2009, Bangladesh Bank (BB) data shows.

BRAC Bank moves to buy stakes in EPL

BRAC Bank has decided to acquire majority stakes in an investment bank and its affiliate brokerage house.

Money-whitening scope jars with govt's anti-graft stance

The proposed money whitening scope in the 2009-10 budget mismatches the government's anticorruption stance, speakers said at a post-budget discussion yesterday.

TCB to import 4 essentials

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan has said the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will get the government's nod today to import four essential commodities, including edible oil and sugar, which aims to make it sure that the prices of essentials stay within the reach of common people during Ramadan.

GM sells Saab to sports-car maker

Fallen US auto giant GM said on Tuesday it is selling its beleaguered Saab unit to Swedish luxury sports car firm Koenigsegg, ending a 20-year tie-up which brought only a single annual profit.

Govt likely to ban raw jute exports

The government is mulling a ban on the export of raw jute until August to ensure a smooth supply of natural fibre to local mills, as jute products are experiencing a gradual rise in exports after a recent slump.

Exploit duty-free facility to expand exports to S Korea

Speakers at a seminar yesterday called upon local businessmen for making a united effort to expand export volume to South Korea and bring down the trade deficit between the two countries, utilising the duty-free access for certain Bangladeshi products to the northeast Asian country.

Foreign ministry to help promote tourism

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said yesterday her ministry would extend its cooperation in promoting the country's tourism industry.

Minister stresses local tyre manufacture

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday expressed the need for tyre manufacturing in Bangladesh to reduce the country's dependency on the imports of tyre.

United flies to Dubai from July

United Airways, one of the three private carriers in Bangladesh, will start operation on Dhaka-Dubai-Dhaka route from July 10 with a view to carrying mainly migrant workers from Bangladesh.

Eurozone inflation slumps to record zero

Consumer prices in the 16 countries using the euro stagnated in May as inflation fell to a record low of zero in the face of a recession, official EU data showed on Tuesday.

Solar power leads green revolution

Like all rural Bangladeshis, Saidul Islam knows the hardships of summer, when his tin-roofed house turns into a furnace with not enough electricity to power even a fan.

Layoff fear motivating many workers

Her job description says Madeline Adams is a social worker. But lately she's begun volunteering for tasks she never had before at the St. Louis marriage counseling agency where she works: planning events, ordering supplies, stocking shelves. She estimates she's put in hundreds of hours of unpaid overtime work.

Asian stocks tumble

Asian markets tumbled on Tuesday as dealers decided to cash in on a rally that has pushed stocks to highs not seen for several months.

Euro advances on German economy confidence

The euro jumped against the dollar on Tuesday as investors' confidence in the German economy rose for an eighth month running, traders said.

Oil prices hold firm

Oil prices crept upwards on Tuesday as traders paused for breath and kept an eye on the latest geopolitical developments in key crude producers Iran and Nigeria, analysts said.

Big four emerging economies meet for first summit

Leaders from the world's leading emerging powers met Tuesday to show their unity amid the economic crisis and coordinate strategy for increasing their influence.

Broadband gains traction despite economic crisis

More people worldwide are subscribing to high-speed Internet connections, despite the economic downturn, with China and other Asian countries among the growth leaders, a study showed Tuesday.

China wants stimulus to favour local firms

China has ordered local governments to favour domestic companies when carrying out projects that are part of a massive anti-crisis stimulus package, state media reported Tuesday.

Boeing shut out of orders race at Paris Air Show

Airbus edged into the lead Tuesday in a muted race with Boeing for plane orders at the Paris Air Show, which has been hobbled this year by recession, tight credit markets and plane crash concerns.

Metropolitan

Use of ICT in govt activities can reduce corruption

Information technology (IT) experts at a seminar yesterday viewed that transparency and accountability in government activities can be ensured with introduction of the technology.

Raise voice against Tipaimukh dam

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday called upon the countrymen to raise their voice against the government as it is mum about the Indian plan to build Tipaimukh dam.

Call to solve problems of marginalised people

Among the total 28 million hard-core poor, each will receive only Tk 420 annually while the government will be able to manage work only for five days for each of them in a year under a project for hard-core poor, said a paper at a seminar yesterday.

Nursing to be upgraded to world standards: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said nursing profession would be upgraded to world standards by enhancing the nurses' social dignity with proportional pay and promotion.

Lawmakers call for setting up research centre on climate change

Lawmakers at a dialogue yesterday said an international research centre on climate change could be set up in the country to monitor and forecast the impacts of global climate change.

Immediate action needed to stop child labour

Working hard for over 10 hours a day at a garage, Raju gets only some food in exchange for his work.

'Budgetary allocations for people with disabilities not enough'

Although the good will of the present government for the welfare of the people with disability has been expressed through budgetary allocations in the proposed national budget for 2009-10 fiscal year, these allocations are not enough to mainstream them.

Ensure quality education

President Zillur Rahman yesterday underscored the need for ensuring quality of education in private universities.

Grant more scholarships to Bangladeshis

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday urged the Commonwealth Secretariat to grant more Commonwealth Scholarships to Bangladeshis.

Father, daughter among four killed in road crashes

Four people, including a father and his daughter, were killed in separate road accidents in Chittagong and Barisal yesterday.

German firms eye huge African solar project

German firms plan to club together next month to turn into reality a dream to generate electricity for Europe in the deserts of north Africa using solar power, a newspaper report said Tuesday.

'Desco to repair substations soon after calls'

Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (Desco) would repair or re-install any electric substations and damaged devices of the subscribers immediately without formal procedures at initial stage, says a press release.

Shop employee stabbed to death

Criminals stabbed an electronic shop employee to death at Sabujbagh in the city early yesterday.

'Bring culprits to book'

Santal Students' Union (SASU), a union of indigenous Santal students, yesterday demanded that local culprits, who attacked indigenous people, vandalised their houses and looted valuables at Khatirpur at Porsha in Naogaon, be arrested and awarded exemplary punishment.

Bahauddin Nasim acquitted in sedition case

A Dhaka court yesterday acquitted Awami Swechchhasebak League President AFM Bahauddin Nasim of charges in a sedition case filed in March 2002.

Accused dies in police custody in Bogra

An accused met an unnatural death in police custody at Kahalu Police Station in Bogra yesterday noon.

UN rights experts call for fair trial of Suu Kyi

A group of independent United Nations human rights experts yesterday called on the authorities of Myanmar to ensure an 'open and fair' trial for opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her two aides.

Housewife burnt to death for dowry

A mother of three children was burnt to death allegedly by her husband for dowry at Rohitpur in Keraniganj early yesterday.

Gunpowder, heroin seized, 2 held in city

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-3) seized gunpowder, bullets, heroin and cannabis at Khilgaon in the city yesterday and arrested two people, including a woman, in this connection.

Six robbers arrested

Police arrested six robbers of an inter-district gang and recovered looted goods from them while they were trying to flee after a robbery in Narsingdi yesterday.

Chevron donates incubator to maternity hospital

Chevron Bangladesh donated an incubator to the Durre Samad Red Crescent Maternity Hospital and 50,000 carrier bags to Mujib-Jahan Red Crescent Blood Centre at a simple ceremony in Sylhet recently.

BCL man held on carjacking charge

Police rounded up an activist of the ruling Awami League's student front Bangladesh Chhatra League yesterday in connection with carjacking on the Dhaka University campus on Monday night.

BDR, BSF meet at Feni

A courtesy meeting was held between Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) near Majumderhat border at Parshuram in Feni yesterday.

National

BM College students block road, beat up cop for inaction

Students of BM College yesterday blocked road and assaulted a police officer as the law enforcers made delay to reach the spot to nab outsiders who stabbed a student for protesting teasing of girls on the campus yesterday noon.

Theft at RU Rokeya Hall sparks protest

The Rajshahi University (RU) authorities yesterday stand-released two superintendents of Begum Rokeya Hall and removed four security guards of the hall for negligence of duty as female students went into angry demonstrations after thefts allegedly by a guard.

Strike withdrawn, none files case at Kuakata

Local Awami League (AL) leaders are trying to convince the leaders of Kuakata Hotel Owners Association apparently to save party activists who were involved in ransacking Hotel Sky Palace on Saturday night.

80 hurt as people of 2 villages clash

At least 80 people, including five policemen, were injured in a fierce clash between two groups of people belonging to two villages in Shahzadpur upazila yesterday morning.

20 Bogra BNP men sent to jail

Twenty BNP men, including former organising secretary of the party's Gabtoli upazila unit Atiqur Rahaman Atiq, were sent to jail after their bail petitions were rejected yesterday in a criminal case filed in August last year.

Four get life for rape

Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal yesterday sentenced four for life for rape of two women of Chhatak upazila. The convicts are Abul Kalam, Rafique, Abdul Gafur and Abdul Awal---all hailing from Jawabazar. The court, however, acquitted six others. According to the prosecution story, Anjana Rani Das, 18, and her cousin Supta Rani Das, 20, of village Kaitak of Sunamganj were kidnapped on September 21,2006 while waiting for transport on Sylhet-Sunamganj Road. An autorickshaw picked them to drop at home but it took the two women to a distant place where they were detained for a day and raped.

BSF kills Bangladeshi

Border Security Force (BSF) of India Monday night shot dead a Bangladeshi and wounded another at Borogram border point. Victim Rabiul Islam, 20, was son of Rabeya Khatun of village Chhatoir Aihai under Sadar upazila. BDR sources said, BSF opened fire at two people when they allegedly crossed border. Rabiul Islam died on the spot while his companion Anwar Hossain returned to Bangladesh territory in a critical condition.

Two children drown

Two children were drowned yesterday in a pond at a village in Dimla upazila. Locals and police said Jewel Rana,5, son of Faridul Islam and Aziza Begum,4, daughter of Abul Kalam both from village Uttar Titpara were playing near the pond. As the children did not return home, their parents began to look for them and found the bodies floating in the pond.

Robbers held at Lama

Five Robbers were caught red-handed by villagers at Burir Jhiri under Lama upazila yesterday. Nezam Uddin, 28, Nasir Uddin, 30, Ayub Ali, 31, Md Selim, 26, and Hamid Alam, 28, were held while decamping with booty after committing a robbery in the village. Around Tk 80,000 gold ornaments and mobile sets were recovered from their possession, police said. At least six big robberies were committed at Lama last month, locals alleged.

Two sisters electrocuted

Two sisters were electrocuted when they came in contact of a live wire at village Dighan under Sadar upazila yesterday. They are Piari Khatun and Morzina Khatun, daughters of Azizul Haque. Husne Ara, 43, mother of the two girls was critically injured as she tried to rescue her daughters. She is now fighting for life at Dinajpur Medical College Hospital. Family sources said when Piari and her sister went out for collecting mango at an orchard they came in contact of live wire of Dinajpur Palli Biddut Samity and died on the spot.

Bomb blast hurts boy

A child was severely injured when a bomb went off at village Chitholia in Mirpur upazila yesterday. Police and family sources said Zitu, 6, son of Aktaruzzaman of the village met the tragedy when he was playing with a polythene packet found by the roadside. The bomb kept in the packet went off blowing off the boy's right hand. Several splinters also hit his body. He was rushed to Kushtia General Hospital and later shifted to DMCH in the capital.

College student drowns

An HSC student of Dinajpur Government College drowned in the Punarbhaba River on Monday in Sadar upazila. The body of Moyez Mahmud Likhan, 19, son of Liakat Ali of Satellite town was recovered yesterday. Family sources said Foyez along with his friends went to the Punarbhaba to have a dip but unfortunately went missing. Later divers found his body.

Rivals kill criminal

Sajol Howlader,35, notorious ringleader of a criminal gang in the Sundarbans was hacked to death by his rivals on Monday in Audharmanik area under Chandpai range of the forest. The killers belonging to Zulfiqar Bahini of the forest took away 10 firearms and huge ammunition from him before throwing his sliced off body into Audharmanik canal, police said. Sajol was son of retired schoolteacher Idris Ali Hawlader of village Chalitabunia under Sharankhola upazila in Bagerhat district.

Bus strike in Gopalganj

Gopalganj Bus Owners Association has called a 12-hour transport strike in Gopalganj today protesting plying of 'unauthorised' buses on different routes of Kotalipara upazila. Owners said, all types of transport except for ambulance and vehicles of law enforcing agencies would come under the purview of the strike. There will be no inter-district transport service and no bus will leave Gopalganj, they said.

Letters

Save our heritage

Ancient monuments and buildings are the material evidence of our past. There are several heritage buildings/settlements in our country. So far a few of them have been enlisted as antiquities. But in the national Antiquities Act 1968, it is clearly mentioned that any ancient product of human activity, movable or immovable, illustrative of art, architecture will be treated as antiquity. So, the government should take a firm initiative to enlist heritage buildings/settlements all over our country and declare them as protected antiquities before their extinction as some are in very bad condition. In the Clause 19 of national Antiquities Act, 1968, it is mentioned that no person shall, except for carrying out the purpose of this Act, destroy, break, damage, alter, injure, deface or mutilate, or scribble, write or engrave any inscription or sign on any antiquity. But a question is raised regarding the wrong and unscientific conservation work that is destroying our history.

Increased tax on cars

Car prices have been increased in this budget as our finance minister had already said it in his pre-budget press conference. Now my question to him is, can he show us one reason why people would not think of owning a car in Dhaka city? So far, have we been able to do anything for our transport system that would prevent people from buying a car? Probably not.

Child labour

Children aged 8 to 12 are often seen engaged in manual labour. Many of them work as domestic servants and maidservants. Sometimes they are engaged to work in the fields as well as in shops, hotels, restaurants, and small factories. They polish boots, sell chanachur, badam and vegetables. They also work as porters. Though labour is sacred, child labour is a crime. The people who engage them take full advantage of their minor age and helplessness. The children engaged as servants or maidservants have to work from early morning to late hours at night-- fifteen to eighteen hours a day, so to say. They are not allowed any recess and recreation. Moreover, they are always dealt with harshly. Very often they are punished mercilessly. They are often compelled to take rotten and inferior food. In fact, they are not treated as human beings. They face similar ill treatment in the hotels, shops and factories. They work for a longer period with less wages.

Disappointing cricket

The match between Bangladesh and the non-Test playing country Ireland disappointed the whole nation.

Scholarship quota

To encourage and to provide some financial support, the government of Bangladesh has been giving scholarship to students of class V. Pupils of general education who are in class V are eligible to appear in this primary scholarship exams. The quota has been fixed for each thana area to provide opportunity to the students all over the country. On merit and quota basis students are selected for this scholarship. Say, a particular thana has a quota of 50 scholarships, 50 students are selected on the basis of scholarship exam results.

No surprise!

Every year we wait for the national budget and subsequent increase of prices. This year because of our over-transparent Finance Ministry we did not have to wait for long. Most of the figures of ups and downs of tax and other related matters were in our knowledge much before. The only thing we had to check was whether the finance minister pronounced the figures accurately. We were not disheartened. Because of transparency of the ministry the car importers did bumper business assisted by transparent customs officials. They even risked their lives to climb up the car-loaded vessels in high sea, ignoring stormy weather!

IT neglected

In the budget, development of technology has got little attention. The IT sector has been allocated only Tk. 100 crore.

MPs

It appears that the government is updating the “To get” list for the MPs. The list, as it stands now, has a) NAM flats in Dhaka, b) Office with full staff in Dhaka (why not in the respective localities? c) Luxury Pajero jeep with driver and fuel etcetera, d) Administrative and financial authority in Upazila Parishads, e) Chairmanship of governing bodies of all educational institutions of respective localities, f) Authority to beat anybody (as seen in Cox's Bazar ), g) Authority to extort (as seen in Chittagong ). The list is getting bigger and bigger every day.

Daylight saving

Among other considerations, one of the reasons for the birth and launching of Rural Electrification Programme was that the rural people go to bed too early thus wasting a lot of man-hours. It is an irony that now we can't provide them enough electricity in the evening hours to be more productive.

Tipaimukh and Saarc

We are watching many movements, discussions and campaigns to protest the Tipaimukh dam. Tipaimukh dam is threatening our country but our govt. is not working on it at all. We are a member of Saarc and Saarc began its journey from Bangladesh. So, the responsibility to make Saarc effective comes to us first. Why did we build Saarc? Was it built for entertaining the ministers, prime ministers or presidents of these eight member countries? Every year we see there is a summit, and all the guardians from the member countries meet at a place, discuss some issues, give superb speeches and finally enjoy some cultural and entertainment programmes arranged by the host country. Is that all for which it was built, entertaining our state representatives? If problems like Tipaimukh cannot be solved through Saarc, then it is useless. So my request to the authorities, please do something now.

Weapon of logic

After successful completion of AUDC (Asian Universities Debating Championship), I would like to thank EWU for arranging such a prestigious debating event. Debate is not only a strong intellectual weapon of logic and argument, it is more than that. It encourages students to be knowledgeable, increases leadership quality and analytical power. But in case of English debate we need to realize the necessity of learning English well. We fail to achieve the best in this tournament, though others Asian countries like the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore are doing well. I urge the government to take some steps for our educational system. English has to be given priority from the primary level.

Obama's stand

It is really a great call by President Barack Obama for a new beginning between the US and Muslims around the world. I guess from now on people around the world would be able to relax and see a big change. The American effort to ease tension is really appreciable. But it should not be just a call. I think for a positive change it would be wise to ensure more interaction among the nations.

Boycott culture continues

Boycott has become an important part of our parliamentary democracy.

Unfair bus fares

It is quite difficult for the departments of the government to regularly monitor all the problems & sufferings of the people and address them properly. But there are some men-made problems which can be solved easily if the authorities look into them.

Saving the rivers

Over the last two weeks or so, images of rivers in the throes of death have appeared on the front page of The Daily Star. We the readers have watched, to our horror, the ugly face of encroachment. The concrete structures built by these grabbers on the lifeline of the capital city are reminiscent of the prehistoric reptiles or some other slimy creatures.

Leaders challenged

Sometimes it seems to me that we are living in a country run by the likes of Hubuchandro and Gobuchandro or the characters in Satyajit Ray's 'Hirok Rajar Deshe', where the king brainwashes the citizens into his eccentric idea that there is no need for education and illumination. People and the press have been so long complaining about the inconsistencies, ineptitude and thoughtlessness of the ministers. However, now it brings some comfort to people to see that politicians do not go unchallenged as it was seen in the central working council meeting of the ruling party where members pointed accusing fingers at ministers.

EiS programme

From our history we come to know that the Muslims of this subcontinent lagged behind, compared to their Hindu compatriots, because of their apathy towards learning English language. From then on, our experts are putting emphasis on learning English as a second language. Even then, we haven't fully realized the importance of learning English yet. That is why the English in Schools (EiS) programme, an initiative to promote English among the school going students, is a timely one. It will make our students familiar with global needs. On the other hand, it will greatly facilitate the students to pursue higher studies at home and abroad, since most of our national universities follow English curriculum and texts.

A tall order…

The statement of State Minister for Science & Technology that the Rooppur nuclear power plant would hopefully start generating power in five years adding 1000MW of electricity to the national grid is big news for the nation that is suffering from crippling power crisis. This would-be nuclear power plant was established about half a century ago on 260 acres of land at Rooppur in Pabna. Even today I cherish the fond memory of participating in the procession demanding the construction of this nuclear power plant during my student life at BUET in the late sixties. Responsible ministers of this government are also telling that the first Padma bridge at Mawa and the second one at Paturia will be completed within the next 3-5 years. The prime minister herself told that whatever it costs, the government would retrieve the country's complete river system.

Technology issue

Foreign technology dependent advancement: do you think it is the right solution? I think it's a catch 22 situation. You modernise this day and the day after you find you're nowhere again!

Join the space race!

Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina effectively control the whole of Bangladesh. Without their permission you can't even buy a cucumber! So, I have a tiny question for Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina: when is Bangladesh going to launch its own military satellite (both the satellite itself and the rocket fully built in Bangladesh, by Bangladeshi scientists)?

International

Global outcry over deadly post-poll protests in Iran

Iran's bloody crackdown on post-election protesters raised an international outcry yesterday over human rights abuses and demands that Tehran answer "serious questions" about the disputed poll.

Sri Lanka rights abuse probe ends abruptly

A Sri Lankan government investigation into human rights abuses during its war with Tamil Tiger rebels has been disbanded with more than half of its cases unresolved, an official said yesterday.

Palestinians being treated 'like animals', says Carter

Former US president Jimmy Carter yesterday met Hamas leader Ismail Haniya in the Gaza Strip, where he called for a lifting of Israel's blockade, saying Palestinians are being treated "like animals."

Offer to whiten black money contradicts AL's polls pledges

Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) in its post-budget reaction yesterday said offer to legalise black, unearned or undisclosed money in the fiscal 2009-10 budget contradicted the election pledges of the ruling Awami League.

Pak military prepares to hunt Taliban chief

Pakistan's military is taking "necessary steps" to prepare for an offensive into the lawless northwest tribal belt to hunt down a feared Taliban commander and his network, a spokesman said yesterday.

Mumbai attacks report slams city police chief

Mumbai's police chief failed to lead his force from the front during last year's attacks on the city, a committee said yesterday as it released partial findings of a probe into how the crisis was handled.

Afghan presidential campaign opens

A two-month campaign season began yesterday for presidential elections to decide who leads Afghanistan for the next five years, as the Taliban rebellion grows more violent and the US sends in tens of thousands of troops to combat it.

Lee and Obama to discuss North Korean threats

As North Korea threatens nuclear war, President Barack Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will be eager to show the North the unity of their alliance and a determination not to back down.

Iran steps up curbs on foreign media

Iranian authorities yesterday banned the foreign media from covering "unauthorised" rallies, a day after its disputed presidential election sparked deadly clashes.

Detainees 'lied'under CIA torture

Abu Zubaydah, an accused top Al-Qaeda operative, claimed to have lied under torture by the CIA, according to government transcripts released Monday.

US soldier killed, six wounded in Iraq violence

A US soldier was killed and six people were wounded in violence across Iraq yesterday, two weeks before the scheduled American pullout from the country's urban centres.

Georgia warns of unrest in Abkhazia

Georgia yesterday warned that Russia's veto of the extension of a UN mission in Abkhazia could fuel unrest and accused it of trying to hide "ethnic cleansing" in the Moscow-backed separatist enclave.

Maoists kill 4 policemen in India

Suspected Maoist rebels in India killed at least four policemen in a gun battle in the eastern state of Jharkhand, officials said yesterday.

Six die, 24 trapped in Indonesia mine blast

An explosion ripped through a coal mine in western Indonesia yesterday, killing six people and trapping at least 24 others who were feared dead.

DMC intern doctors assoc executives

Dr Imran Mahmud and Dr Md Faridul Islam Shahin were elected president and general secretary of Dhaka Medical College Intern Doctors Association (IDA) on Monday, says a press release.

UK appoints new head of MI6

Britain's ambassador to the United Nations was yesterday named as the new head of its MI6 foreign intelligence service, who is traditionally known by his James Bond-style moniker "C."

World Music Festival begins in city June 21

A 10-day World Music Festival '09 will begin on June 21 at Alliance Francaise de Dhaka in the city.

Iran could have N-bomb by 2014: Israel

The head of Israel's Mossad spy agency said yesterday that Iran would have a ready-to-launch nuclear bomb within five years unless its nuclear programme was interrupted.

Gilani seeks restart of Indo-Pak talks

As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met President Asif Ali Zardari in Russia, premier Yousuf Raza Gilani has sought early resumption of the stalled dialogue process between India and Pakistan to address long-standing issues like Kashmir.

Soldiers, several 'rebels' killed in Afghanistan

Two Afghan soldiers and several suspected militants were killed in fighting and raids across insurgency-hit Afghanistan, authorities said yesterday.

UN says refugee numbers set to surge in 2009

The number of people uprooted from their homes fell to 42 million in 2008 but is set to surge this year because of conflicts in Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka, the UN refugee agency said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Reclaiming the roots

According to renowned danseuse Shamim Ara Nipa: "As a performing art, dance has attained a notable position in Bangladesh. The evolution of this art form began well before the Liberation War. In the post-war era, dance in Bangladesh blossomed further and gained diversity. Unfortunately however, dance forms/styles -- practiced in urban Bangladesh -- have been predominantly 'borrowed.'

Aynal Boyati: The living voice of ‘Bichar Gaan’

The octogenarian Aynal Boyati is a very popular name in the locality for his distinctive presentation of 'Bichar Gaan,' a special kind of folk song. This sub-genre of 'Murshidi' or 'Bhab Gaan' usually has religious and spiritual themes and is sung by two competing groups of 'Boyati.' The subjects usually encompass the relationships between guru and his disciple, men-women, Shariyah-Marfat, creation and love, among others.

Exhibitions of terracotta ornaments in Mymensingh

An exhibition of terracotta ornaments was recently held at the Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala in the town. A keen audience got a look at the ornaments, which highlight modern and traditional designs. The credit for the unusual event must go to terracotta artiste Shahidul Hasan of Gelda, Savar who arranged the exhibition in Mymensingh. Around 300 designs of terracotta ornaments were on display at the exhibition.

Veteran actor Sirajul Islam on Desh TV tonight

Sirajul Islam, a renowned actor of both small screen and films since the '60s, is the guest on tonight's episode of the talk show "Kathaye Kathaye Raat Hoye Jaye." The show will be aired at 8:30pm on Desh TV.

Jiboner Jalchhabi
A TV serial on agriculture

Drama serial “Jiboner Jalchhabi" will be aired today at 5:30 pm on ATN Bangla. An experimental production by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Bangladesh office, the serial is based on agriculture. A brainchild of Dr. Muhammad Joynul Abedin, Bangladesh representative, IRRI, the serial has been written by M. Sarkar.

Bangladeshi artist Imtiaz Shohag participates in Geneva exhibition

International Conference Centre of Geneva (ICCG) has organised a painting exhibition titled “Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction,” starting from June 15 says a press release.

Shah Cement Nirman-er Taroka: Auditions held at Bogra

The Bogra auditions for "Shah Cement Nirman-er Taroka," a talent hunt for construction workers, started on June 15, says a press release. The programme aims at promoting talented construction workers, providing them with an opportunity to make a name for themselves. Primary selection round has started at the district level. Winners from the district level will compete at divisional round and then proceed to the national round. ATN Bangla is the media partner of the event.

OP-ED

A farmer-friendly budget?

RIDING high on a bumper boro production, the finance minister can well afford to inject stimulus in the export sector, widen social safety nets and even award the black money holders, who weathered the 1/11 storms, a three-year new lease of life. But the budget briefcase that he showcased before the nation on June 11 appears a little dried up when it comes to the point of supporting our economic lifeline -- the farm sector.

The revolution will bypass your filters

"Tiananmen + Twitter = Tehran"
- Facebook status line

All's well that ends well?

FOR obvious reasons, General Moeen U. Ahmed, who retired from the army on June 15, is the most known and talked-about chief of staff of the army since the end of military and quasi-military rule that Bangladesh had to endure from 1975 to 1990.



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