The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, August 23, 2014


News of: Sunday, 21st of June, 2009

Front Page

Sircar, Akhtar, Delwar summoned for June 27

Former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, his deputy Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui and former chief whip Khandaker Delwar Hossain will now have to appear before the all-party parliamentary probe body on June 27 to defend themselves against allegations of financial irregularities.

Minister blames govt officials for graft

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday blasted senior officials at government offices, saying their negligence in overseeing the activities of subordinates has led to widespread corruption.

Daylight saving moves smoothly

People of the capital and elsewhere in the country started their work as usual yesterday morning on the first day Bangladesh introduced the daylight saving time (DST).

Govt expects big amount of funds

The finance minister hopes that a substantial amount of fund will be created through the provision for whitening undisclosed money despite widespread criticism of the amnesty offered for the next three years.

Petrobangla now pushes for Chevron deal

After trashing a $139 million gas compressors project under the Gas Transmission Company Ltd (GTCL), the Petrobangla chief has recently made a suggestion to the energy ministry that Chevron should install one compressor as a substitute.

Wrath of dowry cripples young Parvin for life

Parvin Khatun, 25, with both her hands amputated at wrists and almost blind, came to the capital to compete in the recently held GrameenPhone Ninth Special National Chess Tournament, from Notun Kashba of Haripur union, under Paba police station in Rajshahi.

Govt plans to appoint 100 lower court judges

The government is planning to appoint over 100 assistant judges to the lower judiciary in addition to 207 whose appointments are now under process.

Warehouses demolished

Authorities knocked down portions of three warehouses and 15 makeshift structures on river Shitalakhya and continued earth removal from Turag yesterday as part of the ongoing eviction drive against encroachers.

Coal mining issues spark fresh debate

The local and non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB) participants of the four-day brain storming session on coal policy were irked by public comments of two experts against certain aspects of mining in Bangladesh.

Govt decision after House discusses team report: Ashraf

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam said yesterday the government would take a decision on India's Tipaimukh dam after the House discusses the all-party parliamentary committee's recommendations in this regard.

Fear, lack of practice key barriers

Students' fear of English and lack of conversation practice are the major barriers to learning the language in most schools of the country, academics and officials said at an orientation session for school teachers yesterday.

50 militants killed in Pak fighting

Pakistani troops backed by jet fighters and artillery have killed about 50 militants in a volatile northwestern tribal region near Afghanistan where the country's top Taliban leader is believed to be entrenched with thousands of his fighters, officials said yesterday.

Rampage at RMG factory

At least ten garment workers were injured in a string of clashes among agitating workers of Luman Garments, its authorities and police over reinstatement of two workers of the factory in the city's Malibagh yesterday.

PM to consider corporate tax cut for banks

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday assured the private banks of considering their demand for a cut in the corporate tax.

Moitree men vandalise college over admission

A group of Chhatra Moitree activists yesterday vandalised the principal's and administrative offices of New Government Degree College in Rajshahi and set fire to the principal's car.

Warehouses, shops burnt in city fire

At least four people sustained burn injuries in a fire that gutted eight shops, five houses and three chemical warehouses at Pallabi in the city yesterday.

Bullying led to killing of Notre Dame student

Notre Dame College student HM Iqbal yesterday claimed bullying forced him to kill classmate Mohammad Azizul Hakim alias Babu on June 4 in the city's Motijheel area, said investigators.

UN probe into Benazir killing begins July 1

The independent commission tasked with looking into the facts and circumstances surrounding the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto will begin its work on July 1, the United Nations announced Friday.

Iranian rally organiser backs down

One of the organisers of a mass rally in Tehran backed down yesterday after authorities threatened a harsh response, but it was unclear if people would stay away as riot police were deploying onto the streets.

Editorial

MPs being exceedingly empowered

IT's all in the government's mind. It makes a plan for giving block-allocations directly to MPs for development activities and then pulls back. The lawmakers are now being given the authority to prepare development projects for their constituencies which would be implemented by the LGRD ministry. To the extent that the funds are channeled to the ministry instead of giving these on a platter to individual MPs, it sounds positive. But just. The question is: why these funds couldn't be placed to the elected local bodies themselves with provisions for oversight by the LGRD ministry or the relevant parliamentary committees, if devolution of authority, as envisaged in the Constitution, had to be respected?

Post-election crisis in Iran

THE warning which Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has voiced against any violence in the aftermath of the recent presidential elections has had a stern tenor about it. One reads this into his speech on Friday against the backdrop of the controversy centering on the outcome of the election.

In pursuit of middle-income status

IN 1997 the author wrote as follows: "We cannot lift ourselves to Switzerland, Japan or USA's income level in near future. The more relevant point is that we do not need to make any such effort at this stage. What is really needed for us at this stage is to cross the threshold income of say $600 or $700 so that we can meet the basic needs of our people. Countries develop a decent level of respectability once they cross this threshold income. They generate a self-sustaining momentum that keeps the income growing at a high pace." (The Independent, May 1, 1997).

A civil war: Obama's gift to Pakistan

A civil war is brewing in Pakistan. Thanks to US President Barack Obama, who is shifting the American war from Iraq to "the real enemies" operating from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Cash-strapped Pakistan could not defy Obama persuasion and decided to wage a war against its own people, the Pashtuns inhabiting the Northern Province and the tribal areas of Waziristan.

Sports

Calm in Tigers camp

After a day's break, the West Indies-bound national cricketers resumed practice at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Rising from tragedy

Pakistan and Sri Lanka, two teams linked by tragedy, will contest the ICC World Twenty20 final at Lord's on Sunday.

Leave past behind

Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam has urged his team not to falter at the last step as it takes on Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20 final at Lord's on Sunday.

T20 still young, says Waugh

Twenty20 may be the biggest entertainer right now but Australia great Steve Waugh feels the shortest format of cricket is still in early stages where coaches and captains are working on "guesswork".

Nadal pulls out

World number one Rafael Nadal insists his decision to withdraw from Wimbledon is not a sign that his powers are on the wane.

Women's School Football

Papia slammed all five goals as Azimpur Girl's High School thrashed Islambagh Ashraf Ali High School 5-0 in the Citycell Women's School Football tournament at the Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex yesterday.

Champions Club Cup

Monir struck twice as Shuktara Jubo Sangsad of Narayanganj romped into the final of the Bashundhara Champions Club Cup with an emphatic 3-1 victory over Pabna Brothers Union at Cox's Bazar yesterday.

WC talks break down

Pakistan cricket chiefs said on Saturday they will restart legal proceedings against the International Cricket Council (ICC) after talks over hosting World Cup matches in 2011 broke down.

Lippi targets win

Italy coach Marcello Lippi has told his side they must show more initiative as the world champions prepare for a crucial clash with Brazil in the Confederations Cup on Sunday.

Terry slates bans

Chelsea captain John Terry on Friday criticised the punishments meted out to his teammates Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa for their reactions to the club's Champions League loss to Barcelona.

Tevez set to leave MU

Argentinian forward Carlos Tevez will leave English Premier League champions Manchester United, the club confirmed on Saturday.

Jamie wants Xabi to stay

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has pleaded with Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso to stay at Anfield.

Bolt home burgled

The home of triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt was burgled on Tuesday night while the Jamaican sprinter was competing in the Czech Republic, police revealed here on Thursday.

Mellberg going to Olympiakos

Greek champions Olympiakos on Friday said that Swedish international defender Olof Mellberg has agreed a three-year deal.

Vettel grabs pole

German Sebastian Vettel grabbed the fourth pole position of his career on Saturday when he survived a powerful challenge from his Red Bull teammate Australian Mark Webber in qualifying for the British Grand Prix.

Rennes snap up Inamoto

Much-travelled veteran Japanese midfielder Junichi Inamoto signed for French First Division side Rennes on a two year contract from German side Eintracht Frankfurt, the club announced on Friday.

'Breakaway is realistic'

Michael Schumacher on Saturday said he believed that the political schism that currently divides Formula One has made a breakaway series next year a more realistic prospect than ever before.

Afridi wants to be third time lucky

Shahid Afridi is desperate not to end up on the losing side for the third time in a row when he turns out for Pakistan in the World Twenty20 final at Lord's on Sunday.

Eng eye double over NZ

England will look to win their second major trophy against New Zealand in a matter of months when they face the White Ferns in the women's Twenty20 final at Lord's on Sunday.

Gayle targets India

West Indian captain Chris Gayle is not losing heart after the semifinal loss in the World Twenty20 and has vowed to bounce back in the upcoming one-day series against India.

Terrorism will lose

Pakistan and Sri Lanka playing in the World Twenty20 final on Sunday will send a strong message to the world that cricket cannot be brought down by terrorism, former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja said.

Bond ready to return

Shane Bond has made himself available for New Zealand selection after cutting ties with the Indian Cricket League (ICL). Bond has not played for his country in 18 months, since joining the unofficial Twenty20 tournament, but told local media that he was fully fit and raring to go.

Lanka fined for over-rate

Sri Lanka have been fined for a slow over-rate during their 57-run win over West Indies in Friday's World Twenty20 semifinal at the Oval, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced here Saturday.

Federer feels disappointed

Roger Federer admits he was disappointed by Rafael Nadal's withdrawal from Wimbledon because he would have relished the chance to take on his great rival in another epic final.

Smith to have elbow surgery

South African captain Graeme Smith will finally undergo surgery on his injured tennis elbow, after putting it off for months owing to South Africa's busy schedule. Smith will be out of action for 10 to 12 weeks but fortunately for him, South Africa do not have any international commitments in that period.

Business

Outlook conservative in budget

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday the budget for 2009-10 projected a "highly conservative" macroeconomic outlook -- an observation that falls in line with the Centre for Policy Dialogue's post-budget analysis.

Lives thrive on red chilli in Bogra villages

High demand for quality red chillies from Dhaka-based spice factories has created a window of opportunity for thousands of unemployed, especially women, in some remote villages under Bogra district.

Fixed land price pulls in undisclosed money

Government-fixed prices of land in Dhaka, much below the market rate, help bring undisclosed money to the housing sector, sector people said.

Nokia Siemens buys Nortel in $650m deal

Canadian telecommunications firm Nortel, in bankruptcy protection since January, will sell most of its wireless business to Nokia Siemens Networks for 650 million dollars.

Competition law on cards to check market manipulation

The government is going to enact a competition law within the next couple of months to ensure fair competition by breaking cartels or syndicates that often manipulate commodity market, Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said yesterday.

Beijing offers Dhaka help to cope with recession fallout

China has offered assistance to Bangladesh on both multilateral and bilateral plans in terms of grants and aid for trade in facing fallout of the current global economic recession under a comprehensive recipe of cooperation in all prospective fields.

Dutch anti-squatting business thrives

Guido, a penniless student, could hardly believe his luck when offered lodging in the heart of Amsterdam at a fraction of the going rate as property owners desperately fend off squatters.

DBH programme begins today

Delta Brac Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DBH) will launch today a programme styled DBH Property Spotlight to highlight large housing projects aimed at increasing home ownership by middle- and lower-middle-income groups.

Citi introduces e-alert system

Citibank NA Bangladesh has recently introduced an e-alert delivery system -- trade alerts and CSDS -- to ensure secure a financial information flow to its clients.

One Bank's new chief

ONE Bank Ltd has recently elected Zahur Ullah as its chairman for one-year term from June 11, says a press release.

Russia to sell Telenor's stake in Vimpelcom

Russia on Friday ordered the sale of almost all of the 30 percent stake owned by Telenor in Russian telecoms group Vimpelcom after seizing the Norwegian firm's stake in a legal row.

Oil dips

Oil prices fell below 70 dollars on profit-taking Friday after a brief rally spurred by hopes that the worst may be over for the ailing global economy.

Historic planes steal the show

Nearly hidden among the ranks of giant airliners, military airlifters and sleek warplanes on display at this year's centenary Paris Air Show, an eclectic collection of historic aircraft has been drawing large crowds of curious onlookers.

Airbus sees bottom of industry slump

Airbus CEO Tom Enders was in high spirits on Friday, saying the unexpected crop of orders won at the Paris Air Show shows the heart of the aviation industry is still beating despite the recession.

Piece of butter

I had my schooling in a boarding college. Still in our early teens in the senior school, we used to have our meals across tables stretched through the length of the long dining hall.

A bullish week marks stocks

Dhaka stocks maintained the bullish trend last week with increasing turnover, thanks to the new budget proposal for undisclosed money investment in the share market.

Will pause refresh Wall Street rally?

After taking a breather from a stunning three-month run, Wall Street turns its attention in the coming week to the Federal Reserve for signs that could revive the rally.

Dollar softens against euro

The dollar softened against the euro Friday as investors showed more confidence in world economic prospects and were prepared to move out of the safe-haven US currency.

Financial crisis sees social protest surge

The world financial crisis has produced an "alarming" surge in social protest and repression of activists in the countries hardest hit by economic upheaval, a human rights report said Saturday.

Canadian firm closes in Philippines, 1,000 jobs lost

Canadian electronics firm Celestica Inc. is shutting down its factory in the central Philippines, with the loss of about 1,000 jobs, the government said Friday.

Air India executives to forgo salary

Struggling national carrier Air India on Friday asked its top managers to forgo one month's salary as part of efforts to survive a cash crunch, the company said.

Central European leaders call for crisis unity

Central European leaders appealed Friday for a unified approach to tackle the global economic crisis in one of the regions of the world hardest hit by fallout from the recession.

Metropolitan

Govt to enact new law to end discrimination against women

Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government will enact a new law, if necessary, to eliminate discrimination against women in society.

Sufia Kamal a symbol of equality, freedom

Speakers at a memorial lecture yesterday said poet Sufia Kamal is a symbol of equality, freedom and human rights which is a source of inspiration to build a peaceful society, says a press release.

Community police blame Rab men for extortion in Gazipur

Community police president of ward no. 3 of Gazipur municipality Mojibur Rahman alias Mojibur Moqtar brought allegation of extortion and patronizing drug trafficking against several members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab).

Need for govt allocation for research stressed

Former adviser to a caretaker government Rasheda K Chowdhury at a book launching ceremony yesterday stressed the need for increasing the government allocation for research and development issues, saying research is a must to develop the economy.

Bulbul elected IPI board member

Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, head of News & Current Affairs, ATN Bangla, and executive editor of daily Sangbad, has been elected an executive board member of the International Press Institute (IPI) for next four years (2009-2013).

World Hydrographic Day today

The 4th World Hydrographic Day (WHD) will be observed today.

'Healthymagination' launched

Grameen Healthcare Trust and GE Healthcare joined kick-started a new healthcare initiative 'Healthymagination' to offer more efficient and cost-effective healthcare services in rural Bangladesh.

60 senior DU teachers honoured

The students of 1969 batch of Dhaka University yesterday accorded reception to their direct teachers.

Road accidents kill 9, injure 43

At least nine people were killed and 43 others injured in separate road accidents in Noakhali, Gazipur, Comilla, Dinajpur and Gaibandha yesterday.

Ensure implementation of HC guidelines

The recent High Court (HC) judgement on sexual harassment is a great achievement for the movement for equal rights of women, speakers at a dissemination meeting said yesterday.

'Resolve Tipaimukh dam issue thru' multilateral discussion'

The government should address 'critical' issues concerning India such as Tipaimukh dam and Farakkha Barrage through multilateral discussion, not bilateral discussion, speakers at a discussion said yesterday.

Attempt to grab lands of indigenous people protested

Dhaka city unit of Bangladesh Marma Students' Council formed a human chain in front of the national museum in the city yesterday protesting alleged attempt to grab lands of indigenous people at Boroitali in Khagrachhari, says a press release.

Stop issuance of fatwa

Speakers at a programme yesterday said issuance of fatwa (religious diktat) is not only unlawful, but also anti-humanistic; nevertheless some vested quarters are violating human rights as well as questioning the religious generosity through this evil practice in the name of religion.

Call to combat forced displacement

Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD) and several other organisations formed a human chain in front of National Press Club in the city yesterday marking the World Refugee Day, says a press release.

Independent EC can leave CG system redundant

If the Election Commission (EC) can work independently and neutrally, there is no need for the caretaker government system, panellists at the Bangladesh Sanglap, a talk show of BBC radio, said yesterday.

Disabled Welfare Act to be updated: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the government will update the Disabled Welfare Act 2000 and take special measures for education, employment, movement and communications of the physically challenged people.

6,114 mobile phone sets seized at ZIA

Customs officials seized 6,114 pieces of cellphone sets and 1,118 pieces of MP3 and MP4 sets in 22 hand luggage left abandoned at Zia International Airport (ZIA) on Friday night.

Govt mulls special BCS for deprived candidates

A special examination for recruitment in Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) would be arranged for those who have faced discrimination in the past seven years, Prof Alauddin Ahmed, prime minister's adviser for education, said yesterday.

Nat'l Science Olympiad in January

Bangladesh Academy of Science (BAS) will organise the National Science Olympiad on the 2nd Friday of January, says a press release.

Two shot in city

Criminals shot and injured two people in separate incidents in the city's Kafrul and Mohammadpur areas yesterday.

Fire at RMG factory in Tongi

Fabrics and machinery of a garment factory were gutted in a devastating fire in Tongi last night.

National

Solar electricity changes life in Dahogram-Angorpota

The people of Dahogram-Angorpota enclave under Patgram upazila in Lalmonirhat district are now enjoying the benefits of electricity, thanks to the initiative of Grameen Shakti, Brac and local NGO Padokhkhep.

Sylhet fuel dealers start indefinite strike today

Petroleum dealers, agents and distributors of greater Sylhet region will stop lifting petrol, diesel and octane from the Petrobangla's Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited (RPGCL) plant at Golapganj and all other gas fields in Sylhet from today.

70 BDR mutineers face trial in 2 dists

Sedition charges have been pressed against 40 BDR mutineers in Bandarban while the trial process of 30 others in Chapainawabganj will start on July 1.

2 more cases against SIT Foundation men

Two more cheated job seekers have filed cases against Bogra-based NGO Science and Informational Technology (SIT) Foundation Chairman Md Abdul Mannan Sarker and his accomplices.

Failed suitor throws acid on 2 sisters

Two sisters sustained serious burn injuries with acid thrown by a rejected suitor of one of them Friday night.

15 militant suspects sent to jail

Fifteen militant suspects, arrested in the city on Friday, were sent to jail by a metropolitan magistrate's court yesterday, police said.

10 hurt as Shibir, BCL clash

Ten people were injured in a clash between the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) at Beanibazar Government College yesterday. The injured were admitted to the upazila health complex. Of them, seriously injured BCL activist Rezaul Hasan Opu was sent to Dhaka as his condition deteriorated. The clashing groups also set seven motorbikes afire. The incident took place at around 1:00pm when the two rival student organisations were trying to woo the first year admission seekers. Police arrested four Shibir men on the campus.

Outlaw killed by rivals

An underground operative was killed by his rivals at Dulalnagar village under Damurhuda upazila of Chuadanga district early yesterday. He was identified as Kalu, 43, a regional leader of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-ML). Locals and family sources said a gang of five stormed into Kalu's house at around 2:30am and picked up him at gunpoint. They took him to a field and slit his throat. Police recovered Kalu's body yesterday morning and sent to the hospital for autopsy. Kalu was one of the most wanted outlaws. Police announced bounty for his arrest in 2005.

One abducted in Rangamati

A villager was kidnapped allegedly by the supporters of Parbatya Chattgram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJS) from Kurkutichhara village under Barkal upazila on Friday night. Police and locals said a gang of 15 PCJS supporters, led by Shanti Chakma, raided Kurkuichhara village on Friday night and picked up Modhu Mongal Chakma from his house at gunpoint. Shantideb Chakma, leader of UPDF Rangamati unit, in a press release yesterday condemned the incident and demanded immediate release of the villager.

Four bombs recovered

Rab recovered four bombs from Ganna Bazar in Jhenidah on Friday night. Being informed, a team of Rab-6 reached the bazar at around 10:00 pm and found a bag containing the bombs beside Grameenphone tower.

Two children drown

Two children drowned in a pond at Puthia village in Kumarkhali upazila of the district on Friday evening. The children were Sagar, 7, son of Amirul Islam and Nirob, 6, son of Haider Ali, both were students of class one. A six-year-old girl named Urmee informed their families that she had seen Sagar and Nirob on the bank of a pond of the village. Receiving the information, members of the families rushed to the spot and found the boys floating on the pond.

Letters

Israeli settlements and Palestinians

Israeli PM Netanyahu argues that the expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank is needed to accommodate the natural growth of population in Israel. This kind of argument is not expected from the head of a government! Because, this would mean allowing a country to attack and annex a portion of a neighbouring country if it is militarily possible. Therefore, this kind of argument must be condemned by all.

High-rise buildings

The tiny Bangladesh's density of population is one of the highest in the world. Moreover, its agricultural land is shrinking every year. Various development works and construction of houses are eating up the lands. But we cannot give up the development work, and to have a shelter for every individual is a basic human right. Actually, the housing problem is very acute throughout the country, particularly in the cities and towns. In the past people had houses with ponds, gardens, orchards etc. Now the practical situation compels us to live in very small houses or flats. The culture of living in flats in a big building with many new neighbours is not very old but there is no alternative to it in the cities. In fact, we need thousands of 20 or higher storied buildings to fulfil the needs of people. Many a man has wrong concept regarding high rising buildings. Applying the technique of modern science, it is possible to accommodate thousands of people or offices in one building. Bangladesh is in need of more and more big buildings. Dhaka, Chittagong and other divisional cities should have all 20 or above storied buildings to fight the present and forthcoming crisis.

Media and rivers

I have no language to express my appreciation of the courageous role played by The Daily Star and Channel i in sensitising the people, civil society and finally the government about the consequences of encroachment on rivers and pollution of water. The powerful people have been grabbing rivers and dumping industrial effluents in them for a long time not only in Dhaka but also all over the country. This has been happening right under the nose of the government and civil society. Occasional newspaper and TV reports have failed to produce any tangible result. This time The Daily Star and Channel i have stubbornly pursued the matter and demonstrated the power of the media particularly in mobilizing people's support and compelling the government to listen to a right cause. They have successfully brought together the ministers, parliament members, civil society, and celebrities to compel the government to commit itself to taking action and making necessary laws. The government has already gone into action and we are eagerly waiting to see how much they do to live up to their commitments.

War against Muslims

During the Bush regime words like insurgency, fundamentalism and extremism were often used to malign the Muslims. The words have been used against the Muslims deviating from their exact meaning. These words were used by the Bush administration and his cohorts solely to undermine the Muslim people as being indifferent to the exact time and situation. They deliberately resort to misleading use of these critical words.

President Obama

It is amazing and unbelievable that a person could be loved, honoured, looked upon with reverence, irrespective of religion, race and culture. It is my belief that no one else has ever been revered so much like that person--Barack Obama, the President of the United States.

Why this suffering?

Do the finance ministry high ups ever visit the Jatiyo Sanchoy Bureau offices in Dhaka? If not I would request them to do so early to see for themselves the sufferings imposed on their customers by a “government for the people” service organisation. The office I suggest them to visit is Bazme Quederia Complex, Jatiyo Sanchoy Bureau, in Katabon, Dhanmondi.

Politics and religion

Recently, our law minister said that by scrapping the Fifth Amendment in our constitution, religion-based parties will be banned from politics. Well, I am entirely against imposing an all-out ban on such parties. Islam is a religion that caters to all aspects of human life including political life. The political ideology preached by Islam is 'Caliphate'. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) was not a mere prophet but was also the head of the first Islamic State (Medina) which he governed according to Sharia laws. After him, this legacy was carried forward by the four Caliphs. Those were the golden years for Muslims and no non-Muslim can say that it was a reign of terror for them. If some political parties believe in such ideology then it is illogical to ban them. Our constitution is a democratic one which gives every individual the right to preach and practice his/her religious as well as political beliefs independently. By banning religion-based parties, the very spirit of our constitution will be contravened since they will be deprived of preaching and practicing the political ideology they believe in. Such parties therefore shouldn't be banned and it is ultimately up to the general public to decide if they should be voted to power or not. I am against such political parties which use religion as a tool to hoodwink people and grab power but not to practice the teachings of Islam sincerely. I don't mind if the government bans parties which advocate establishment of an Islamic state by bombing people.

Journalism

It is the basic principle of journalism that the reporters should not report any criminal or civil matter which is awaiting judicial decision in a partial manner. The reporters should be applauded for their courageous reporting but they should also take care not to report any criminal or civil law related matter in a biased manner.

Guardians left out!

After the tragic incident in BDR HQ, the schools inside reopened last month. As security measures, the guardians of the students of Rifles' School and Public School have been barred from entering into the BDR premises since then. As usual, there are many guardians, especially the mothers remaining around until their children finish classes and get out of the schools. These guardians mostly do not have the luxury of having cars or their houses are far off the schools. So they are actually compelled to remain there for 4-5 hours. The BDR administration was sensible enough to erect a shamiyana in front of BDR gate- 4 near Jigatola so that the women guardians do have some sort of comfort . But after some days the shamiya collapsed in inclement weather and it was never reinstalled. The school timing is such that nearby shopping complex remains closed and there are no other places to take a sit around. The guardians applied to the BDR administration some weeks ago depicting their misery under the scorching sun or during rainy days. But nothing has been done so far.

Plots for MPs

It is disgusting to see the moral bankruptcy of our elected representatives. It appears they wanted to be elected to grab everything while in power. My observation is based on the recent remarks of the State Minister for Housing that the MPs would be allotted Rajuk plots.

Poor performance

Here we go again. A team full of hope, a team backed by millions of fans, and a team which loses 99% of the games! That's right, I am talking about the Bangladesh cricket team. I have been an avid supporter and fan of our team ever since I can remember. What glorious days ! We weren't labelled as "GIANT KILLERS" so every time we won, it felt great. Then came the day Bangladesh got the ODI and Test status. Even the smallest road in Bangladesh was transformed into a canvas as we celebrated our presence in world cricket.

Vitamin-A

It was with great concern that I read the reports of the death of some children, and of others getting ill, following the recent administration of vitamin A capsules and de-worming tablets.

Smart Grid

The AP report from Washington on the subject, published by a local English daily on 8 June is of interest to the power sector in Bangladesh. It should provoke our planners in the power sector (particularly the Power Ministry). But will they even go through it and try to understand its impact? Possibly not, as they are too busy pulling and pushing files and filling note-sheets!

Paper tigers!

Losing to India is not unexpected. Indians are now in their best form. But losing to Ireland, where a handful of assorted amateurs just got together, was a big shock. Ashraful played even worse than a novice. He got a life and sacrificed it in the same manner. Shakib could wait for two more balls when Johnston would finish his spell. Cricket is not only a game of strokes it is also a game of brain and mind. The whole team needs a psychological check up and counselling.

Beware of bureaucracy!

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Mr. Md. Anwarul Kabir for his article entitled, “Beware of bureaucracy!” published in The Daily Star. I totally agree with Mr. Kabir. Bureaucrats must change their colonial attitude. To bring a real change in the country, our bureaucratic system must be reformed To have a pro-people bureaucracy the government should immediately chalk out a proper policy.

International

33 rebels said killed in Afghanistan

Afghan authorities yesterday said 33 militants were killed in an air strike and other operations in the insurgency-hit southern province of Helmand.

'World is watching', Obama warns Iranian govt

US President Barack Obama has warned Iran that the "world is watching" its actions, and said the United States stood with those seeking "peaceful" justice in the post-election tumult.

Truck bomb kills 25 near Iraqi mosque

Police have raised the toll in a truck bombing near a Shia mosque in northern Iraq to at least 25 people killed and more than 100 wounded.

Carter offers new path to talks with US: Hamas

Former US President Jimmy Carter presented a "personal initiative" to open direct talks between Washington and Hamas during a recent visit to the region, a senior Hamas official said yesterday.

Sanction to harden DPRK stance

North Korea said Saturday UN sanctions would not work on the communist state but only harden its will to build up its military.

Brown 'hurt' and could 'walk away tomorrow'

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown admitted he had been "hurt" by criticism aimed at him and said he could easily "walk away from all of this tomorrow", in an interview published yesterday.

US won't play mediator on Kashmir: Obama

US President Barack Obama has ruled out any American mediation on Kashmir issue, by saying that bilateral dialogue is the best way to reduce tension between India and Pakistan.

Rajnath takes blame for BJP's electoral debacle

Ignoring the clamour in the party to affix blame for the poll debacle, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh yesterday said no individual could be singled out for it but took on himself the onus for the defeat.

Indian troops re-take town from Maoists

Indian troops regained control yesterday of a town captured by Maoists during a rebellion by the left-wing activists against West Bengal state's communist rulers.

Mehsud rejects Omar's appeal of stopping terror activities in Pakistan

In yet another incident, which proves that fissures in the Taliban are getting wider, the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud has rejected the calls of the Taliban's supreme leader Mullah Muhammad Omar Akhund for halting terror strikes in Pakistan.

Somalia seeks urgent foreign military aid as clashes escalate

Somalia's parliament speaker on Saturday asked neighbouring countries to urgently deploy troops to prop up the wobbly government as thousands fled the capital amid a mounting rebel onslaught.

Nepal seeks India's support to move peace process forward

Nepal Friday sought India's cooperation in moving the peace process forward, giving indications ahead of Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon's visit that it was looking forward to closer bilateral ties.

British police investigate lawmakers' expenses

British police said Friday that lawmakers would face criminal investigations into their expenses claims, in the latest twist of a scandal that has rocked the country's politics.

Two UN staff members arrested in Lanka

The United Nations said yesterday that two of its employees working among tens of thousands of war-displaced civilians had been arrested by Sri Lankan authorities.

India conducts second ballistic missile test in a month

India on Friday successfully launched a ballistic missile in the second such trial of the nuclear-capable weapon in a month, the defence ministry said.

Arts & Entertainment

Chhayanaut hosts Nazrul Festival 1416

With much enthusiasm and fervour both from the audience and the artistes, Chhayanaut's two-day Nazrul Festival commenced on June 19 at the Chhayanaut Sanskriti Bhaban. On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Chhayanaut's life-time president Sufia Kamal, which fell on June 20, Chhayanaut organised the festival titled "Nazrul Utsab 1416. The poet-litterateur-activist was a devoted follower of Kazi Nazrul Islam.

Reflections: Of fathers, sons and daughters

Father's Day gives us an opportunity to recognise the contribution of the men who have nurtured us since birth -- instilling in us values and inspiring us to be better human beings.

Mango festival and cultural programme in Chapainawabganj

A two-day mango festival and cultural programme was held in Chapainawabganj with much festivity recently. Around 150 varieties of mangoes were put up on display at different stalls.

Special programme Onubhutir Bhagabhagi on Father’s Day

To celebrate Father's Day, a special programme "Onubhutir Bhagabhagi" will be aired on Banglavision today at 5:20pm.

Int’l Children’s Film Festival concludes

A three-day International Children's Film Festival--the first of its kind--concluded in Rajshahi city recently. Eminent litterateur Professor Hasan Azizul Haque inaugurated the event at the District Council Auditorium at a colourful function.

OP-ED

The Iranian conundrum

DRAWING parallels is an old art for historians as well as other members of the broad humanities and social science disciplines. Hence the examples of the successful Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the failed Tiananmen Square Fiasco (without being disrespectful to the Chinese aspirants for "democracy," which many of them could not define, as I recall from what I watched on my TV screen in 1989) are being juxtaposed against the recent upheaval in Iran.

The batter is the matter

TAKE a guess. What would be the answer to this question in an India-wide opinion poll: which has upset you more, India's early departure from the T20 world championship or the toxic wars against Maoists raging across the heartland of the nation?

Signs you've been in Asia too long

MY wife and I lived in a hotel at one time. Eventually we moved out and found a normal home. I was shocked to come home from work the first day and find that no one had folded the end of the toilet paper into a neat little triangle for me. "We are not animals," I remember shouting at my wife. It took some time to realise that hotel life had changed my perception of what was normal.


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