The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, August 1, 2014


News of: Monday, 29th of June, 2009

Front Page

Ashulia erupts into violence

Garment workers clashed with police for hours at Ashulia near the capital yesterday, leaving a co-worker killed and over 150 people including 30 cops wounded.

Discard caretaker system, soup up EC

Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury yesterday urged lawmakers to take steps to abolish the caretaker government system and strengthen the Election Commission (EC) for holding free and fair parliamentary elections.

Forest bosses flayed for failure

A parliamentary body yesterday castigated forest officials for their failure to prevent grabbing of forest land and illegal felling of trees, and directed the chief conservator of forest to strengthen the drive to recover around 3.27 lakh acres of land from grabbers.

2 key river projects left in the cold

While political leaders, academicians, eminent citizens, professional groups and the common people are demanding urgent measures to save our rivers, the government is sitting on two projects -- demarcation of all the four rivers and a four-lane bypass highway around the city -- which would ensure water flow, if implemented.

Fatwa leads to 303 whips

Piara Begum, a widow of 40, and Mamun Miah, 25, fell victim to fatwa (religious edict) and were whipped before hundreds of people at Khaiyar under Debidwar upazila of Comilla Saturday night for their alleged involvement in anti-social activity.

Leased for tourism, used in other ways

The government has decided to reclaim the Cox's Bazar plots, which were leased out to boost tourism but have been illegally used for other purposes, to make the beach town a modern tourist hub.

Govt working on closing salary gap

The government may narrow the gap between the highest and lowest salaries for public servants, fixing the lowest basic salary at Tk 4,800 by doubling that on the present scale of pay.

Dhaka, London partner in fighting terrorism

Bangladesh and UK yesterday launched a joint working group (JWG) to enhance counter terrorism cooperation between the two countries for building capacity of combating terrorism.

Gen Moeen leaves for Singapore

Former army chief Moeen U Ahmed has left Dhaka for Singapore early today.

'Red force' foils early marriage

Known as Lal Bahini (red force) to the villagers for their red T-shirt and cap, a group of young volunteers are working for prevention of early marriage by creating awareness and convincing the parents of underage boys and girls.

Make public all info on Tipaimukh

BNP Standing Committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday asked the government to make public all data and information on the 'controversial' Tipaimukh Dam project provided by the Indian government.

Microbus used by gunmen seized

Detective Branch (DB) of police seized a microbus used by the criminals in Friday's triple murder incident in Karwan Bazar of the city.

Fugitive BDR jawan held

Another fugitive BDR jawan, suspected to have been involved in the February 25-26 mutiny and carnage at BDR headquarters, was arrested from Darshana area under Sadar upazila of Rangpur district on Saturday evening.

Writ petition filed against killings in 'crossfire

A writ petition has been filed with the High Court (HC) for declaring illegal extra-judicial killings 'in the name of crossfire or encounter' by law enforcement agencies.

Waiting for pension for 13 years

Family members of a primary schoolteacher, who passed away in 1996, have been passing their days in a miserable way, as they did not receive his pension and welfare funds even 13 years after his death.

Army officer killed during exercise

An army officer was killed while three others sustained injures when a recoilless rifle shell exploded during a training session at Jalalabad Cantonment beside Sylhet-Tamabil highway yesterday.

Jackson family seeks fresh autopsy

The family of Michael Jackson yesterday ordered a second autopsy of the pop icon as associates told of mounting anger over "unanswered questions" surrounding the superstar's death.

HC asks for steps against edn officer

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the education secretary to explain why a directive should not be passed to take legal action against upazila education officer of Kurigram for making an objectionable remark against the headmistress of a primary school.

Pakistan offers reward for capture of Mehsud

Pakistan yesterday offered a 615,000-dollar reward for information leading to the capture, dead or alive, of local Taliban head Baitullah Mehsud, currently holed up in the tribal belt.

Turkish PM defends bill curbing power of military courts

Turkey's prime minister said yesterday a newly passed bill curbing military courts' power sought to bring coup plotters to justice as controversy brewed over an alleged scheme to topple his government.

Conservatives prepare for election battle

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives embarked yesterday on the battle to win her a second term in elections in September in the midst of a severe recession.

Troops arrest Honduras president

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was arrested yesterday by troops who surrounded his home ahead of a controversial constitutional referendum, a top government aide said.

UK embassy staff held for 'role in Iran riots'

Iran has arrested eight local British embassy staff, triggering London's fury and further exacerbating tensions with the West over the post-election turmoil in the Islamic republic.

UK worried at radicalisation of youths

UK Minister for Security and Counter-Terrorism Lord West said yesterday that the United Kingdom is very concerned about the radicalisation of young vulnerable people in countries like Bangladesh.

Editorial

Grabbing lakes with impunity

UNSCRUPULOUS individuals have been grabbing major portions of Gulshan-Banani and Gulshan-Baridhara lakes over the last six months with increasing impunity. Despite there being clear court orders freezing all such activity and indeed ordering Rajuk to go for a demarcation of the lakes, the grabbers have demonstrated not the slightest of fear or compunction in carrying on with their activities. As many as twenty influential individuals, we have been informed, have been filling up large areas of Gulshan-Baridhara lake. Then comes the matter of how and whether dishonest elements in Rajuk have colluded with these grabbers in gobbling up public property.

War history in textbooks

WE welcome the decision of the expert committee to incorporate history of the epoch-making Liberation War of Bangladesh without any distortion in the school textbooks. The government had formed the committee on March 31 comprising eminent educationists, historians and litterateurs to remove any distorted account of history from the textbooks of primary and secondary levels. It has recommended incorporating a number of new stories, articles and poems on the War in Bangla textbooks of all classes at the secondary level, and also the historic 7 March speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the Bangla textbook of class VIII. The formation of the Mujibnagar government, its multifarious activities and the proclamation of independence of Bangladesh are also likely to be included in the social science books of the same class.

Trivialising the heroes

THERE is no denying the fact that Bangabandhu is the founding father of Bangladesh. Leaving aside occasional sophistry, it was also he who proclaimed the country's independence on March 26, 1971. A hostile BNP perversely fought a losing battle to disprove the historical truth for decades. A High Court ruling on June 22 upheld the truth that it was Bangabandhu who had been the proclaimer of our independence. In spite of the irony of its being settled through a court ruling the truth is vindicated at long last, and the victory belongs to what is historical truth.

Privileges for the privileged

THE speaker of the Parliament, Abdul Hamid, said that lawmakers would see a rise in their remuneration and allowances as they are not drawing much. The speaker said this at a function at the Jatiya Sangsad Media centre on June 21, while handing over keys of their offices to the MPs.

The wall isn't falling

WHENEVER we see the kinds of images that have been coming out of Iran over the past two weeks, we tend to think back to 1989 and Eastern Europe. That time, when people took to the streets and challenged their governments, those seemingly stable regimes proved to be hollow and quickly collapsed. What emerged was liberal democracy. Could Iran yet undergo its own velvet revolution?

Sports

Coach positive too

Bangladesh cricket coach Jamie Siddons displayed a similar sort of satisfaction like his ex-captain Mohammad Ashraful on the Tigers' recent performance in the ICC World Twenty20 after he faced the local media for the first time yesterday since returning from Australia at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Jamie lacks perspective!

While the whole country was busy ranting over Bangladesh's woeful showing in the ICC World T20 one man noticeable by his absence was head coach Jamie Siddons.

Draw satisfies Nielsen

Australia coach Tim Nielsen said he was satisfied with his side's workout after seeing the tourists held to a draw by Sussex on Saturday at Hove.

Vaughan about to quit

Michael Vaughan, the man who led England to more Test victories than any other captain, is expected to announce his retirement from international cricket this week, according to reports in the English media. His final match could prove to be Yorkshire's Twenty20 Cup fixture against Derbyshire at Headingley on Sunday.

Veterans on course

Andy Murray cruised into the Wimbledon last 16 on Saturday while veterans Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and Tommy Haas led the charge of the old boys club.

Beximco signs on for Gold Cup

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) in collaboration with Beximco Group will organise the Bangabandhu Gold Cup international football tournament sometimes in October-November this year.

Asia Youth Games start

The first Asian Youth Games get underway today in Singapore.

Teletalk Cricket

Victoria Club posted an eight-wicket victory over Bhaibon-chhara Jubo Sangha in the first Teletalk cricket tournament at the Khagrachari Government High School ground yesterday.

Milan in for Adebayor

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has revealed he has talked to Arsenal about the possibility of signing Emmanuel Adebayor.

Door open for Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho, the former World and European Player of the Year who was left out of Brazil's squad for the Confederations Cup, still has a role to play for Brazil, coach Dunga said on Saturday.

'City are just a project'

Kaka has warned Manchester City that their summer spending may not bring the success the club craves, after he turned down the club to join Real Madrid in a then-world record £56m move.

Bayern can keep Ribery

Bayern Munich sporting director Christian Nerlinger believes the club can convince Franck Ribery to stay by matching his lofty ambition.

Real sounding out Benzema

Real Madrid have offered 32 million euros for Lyon striker Karim Benzema after switching their attention to the France international from Valencia forward David Villa, Marca sports daily reported on Sunday.

Matthaus pulls out of Hungary job

German football great Lothar Matthaus will not become the head coach of Hungarian side FC Fehervar after talks between the parties broke down, the club announced on Saturday.

Torres wants Spaniards at Liverpool

Fernando Torres has revealed he has recommended three of his Spanish compatriots to Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez.

Dzeko staying at Wolves

AC Milan target Edin Dzeko has revealed he will be staying at Wolfsburg.

Arbeloa wants out

Alvaro Arbeloa is desperate to quit Liverpool and join Real Madrid - according to his agent.

'I'm no alcoholic'

Disgraced Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds said Sunday he had been diagnosed as a binge-drinker, not an alcoholic, and had felt "caged in" as his celebrity status grew.

Younus for better IPL contracts

Pakistan captain Younus Khan has asked his teammates to push for better Indian Premier League (IPL) contracts following their success in the World Twenty20. "These players are now world champions and highly marketable. There is a higher value to their performances," Younus said.

Pietersen ready for Johnson

The Ashes have not yet begun but the duel between England's best batsman and Australia's fastest bowler already has. Kevin Pietersen said he would welcome the short-pitched tactics proposed by Mitchell Johnson during the week, and added that Australia's "big all-rounder" could struggle in English conditions.

Venus reveals secret

Venus Williams admits her seemingly unstoppable march towards a sixth Wimbledon title is being driven by the painful memory of the last time she dropped a set at the All England Club.

Another Bolt

Beijing Olympic double sprint champion Usain Bolt won the 100 metres at the Jamaican Athletics Championships on Saturday in 9.86 seconds, the fastest wind-legal time in the world the year.

Stosur on a high despite exit

Australia's Samantha Stosur is feeling in the form of her life, despite a Wimbledon run that failed to emulate her shock breakthrough to the French Open semi-finals.

Bangladesh humbled

The Bangladesh hockey team finished a miserable tour in Russia as they suffered a 6-3 defeat against hosts Russia in the place-deciding match of the four-nation invitational international hockey tournament yesterday.

Prasanna in doubt for first Test

Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene is likely to miss the first Test against Pakistan starting on Saturday in Galle after picking up a finger injury during a practice game. The team's physiotherapist Ranjith Nanayakkarawasam indicated that the injury might need at least two weeks to heal.

Steffen sets new swim WR

Double Olympic champion Britta Steffen of Germany set a new world record for the women's 100 metres freestyle here on Saturday with a time of 52.56sec.

Aus A ride on McKay

Clint McKay record his first six-wicket haul in first-class cricket to keep Australia A on top after the third day against Pakistan A in Townsville. McKay, the Victorian fast bowler, grabbed a career-best 6 for 75 to ensured a handy first-innings lead for the home team.

Business

Aircraft crunch clips Biman's wings

Biman is struggling to operate flights on its existing international routes in the face of operational aircraft dearth, officials said.

DGEN pulls off record points

Dhaka stocks started the week yesterday with a big jump in prices, driven by bank, fuel and power shares.

Sirajganj handlooms in crisis

Most of the handloom owners in Sirajganj district, devastated by a two-month-long flood in 2007, have been reeling under an acute financial crisis for the last two years with many marginal and midlevel owners burdening themselves with a huge pressure of loans.

Industrial output may pick up next fiscal year

Falling industrial production could see a pick-up in the coming fiscal year riding on the thrust the government has given in the proposed budget, said US-based Citigroup in its macro and strategy outlook released on Friday.

Rise above self-interest to correct telecom ills

Post and Telecommunication Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju yesterday urged telecom stakeholders to join forces to stop illegal activities in the industry.

Bangladeshi migrants call home more frequently: Survey

Bangladeshi overseas migrants have called home more frequently than Pakistani, Indian, Sri Lankan and Filipino counterparts, according to a survey released in Dhaka yesterday.

Regulatory reforms to boost growth

Last week we along with eight other members of a Bangladesh delegation attended a World Bank-FIAS/DFID Conference on “Smart Regulation in South and Southeast Asia” in Hanoi, Vietnam. Having written in the past about what Bangladesh can learn from Asia's FDI champ (from $2b in 2000 to more than $30b in 2008), it was inspiring to visit the region's latest economic miracle. The city itself rightly earns its reputation as the “Paris of the East” with its colonial legacy of grand boulevards and beautiful French architecture. But the topic itself, regulatory reform, was of particular interest given the apparent loss of momentum in Bangladesh Regulatory Reforms Commission's (RRC) activities (two of whose members were part of the delegation) after some success early in its tenure.

Trouble for Sri Lanka tea farmers

World tea prices have rocketed but along misty tea-growing mountain slopes in Sri Lanka's central hills, farmers are facing disaster.

Asian currencies higher

Asian currencies ended the week mostly higher against the dollar after the US Federal Reserve maintained its stimulative monetary policy aimed at lifting the US economy out of recession.

North Korean economy grows

North Korea's economy expanded in 2008 thanks to increased grain production and foreign aid after two years of contraction, but still remained in the doldrums, official data showed Sunday.

Iraq to open up oil fields for first time in four decades

Iraq is this week due to unveil which foreign firms have won contracts to develop its oil and gas fields, nearly four decades after Saddam Hussein's party nationalised the country's energy infrastructure.

Eurozone rates on hold as banks digest loan feast

While markets absorb last week's record eurozone loan offer, interest rates will stay at an all-time low when European Central Bank governors meet on Thursday in Luxembourg, analysts say.

Premier Leasing chairman re-elected

Premier Leasing and Finance Ltd has recently re-elected Mizanur Rahman Shelley as its chairman, while SM Abdul Mannan was elected vice chairman of the company, said a statement.

KPM to renovate bleaching plant

Karnaphuli Paper Mills (KPM) Ltd will soon renovate its 56-year-old 'bleaching plant' with financial assistance from a Japanese firm Marubeni Corporation.

Jaguar, Land Rover enter Indian market

India's Tata Motors on Sunday announced the entry of luxury British marques Jaguar and Land Rover into India, but insisted there were no plans to assemble them in the country for the time being.

German banks under fire for credit policies

German banks are facing a firestorm of criticism from the government and industry federations that accuse them of threatening small businesses with their tight-fisted credit policies.

Optimism grows among Japanese executives: Poll

Japan's business leaders have become more optimistic about economic recovery over the past three months, a quarterly newspaper poll said Sunday.

China toughens laws on doctoring statistics

China tightened its laws Saturday on manipulating data and threatened "severe punishment" for officials who alter or falsify government figures, state media reported.

Metropolitan

Tk 1411.58cr budget to be announced today

The Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) will announce a Tk 1411.58 crore budget today for the fiscal year 2009-10.

Perpetrators of torture during emergency must be tried

A panel of jury at a token tribunal against torture in their verdict on Saturday said torture cannot have any place in the process of state affairs and judicial process and those who torture must be tried.

Tk 3127.50 crore CCC budget announced

Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) yesterday announced an ambitious budget of over Tk 3127.50 crore for the fiscal year 2009-2010 giving special emphasis on building a flyover from airport to Dewanhat footbridge and a marine drive from Sadarghat to Kalurghat Bridge with a view to addressing the gridlock in the port city.

'Frame nat'l policy to eliminate child labour'

Speakers at a workshop yesterday urged the government to formulate a national policy to eliminate child labour form the society.

Diplomatic initiatives underway to resolve it

Diplomatic initiatives are underway for permanent solutions of Rohingya refugee problem by sending them to their homeland.

'Name Buet dormitory after Sufia Kamal'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday demanded the dormitory for female students at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) be named after noted poet Sufia Kamal.

Indigenous people demand rights to land

Indigenous leaders at a press conference yesterday demanded their democratic rights to land be established and constitutional recognition as ethnic groups.

Non-govt primary teachers demand nationalisation of jobs

The non-government primary schoolteachers staged a demonstration in the city yesterday demanding immediate nationalisation of their jobs.

'Reach IT services to people's doorsteps'

Prime Minister's Adviser H T Imam yesterday said services of information technology should be reached to the doorstep of people at an affordable cost to build Digital Bangladesh based on modern technology.

One killed over land dispute

Abdur Rahman Sikder, 70, who was seriously injured in an attack by his rival group, died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) early yesterday.

3 injured in Keraniganj gunfight

Three people were injured in a gunfight between two groups of people over capturing a house at Par Gandaria in Keraniganj upazila yesterday.

7 Japanese volunteers arrive

Six Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) and one Senior Volunteer (SV) arrived in the city recently, says a press release.

1,542 arrested

Police in separate raids arrested 1,542 people on various charges from different parts across the country in last 24 hours until 6:00am yesterday.

President's Parade held

Summer Graduation President's Parade marking the commissioning of Midshipmen 2007 'B' batch of Bangladesh Navy was held at Bangladesh Naval Academy (BNA) gymnasium yesterday, says an ISPR press release.

Col Faruq's close aide Hamid held

Police have arrested a Freedom Party leader who was a close aide of Syed Faruqur Rahman, one of the self-declared killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in Faridpur.

Asst judge's house looted

Criminals stormed the house of an assistant judge in the city's Mohammadpur area and took away around Tk 9,000 and a mobile set yesterday.

Attack on indigenous people condemned

Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) and its partner organisations yesterday strongly condemned the heinous attack on Adivasi community in Naogaon and demanded exemplary punishment to the perpetrators, says a press release.

Killing of RMG workers condemned

Different political parties, labour organisations and trade unions yesterday condemned the killing of garment workers at Ashulia.

16pc land to go under water by 2080

State Minister for Environment and Forest Mostafizur Rahman told parliament yesterday that an additional 16 percent land of Bangladesh would submerge during monsoon floods by 2080 due to climate change.

Probe body formed, teacher suspended

The assistant headmaster of GR Institution School and College at Sonargaon of Narayanganj has been suspended and a five-member committee formed to probe into the incident of beating 50 students mercilessly on Saturday.

Seven more BDR jawans confess to crimes

Seven more jawans of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) yesterday confessed to their involvement with the killings and lootings at BDR headquarters on February 25-26.

HC grants ad interim bail to Hazari

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad interim bail for four months to former Awami League lawmaker Joynal Abedin Hazari in an extortion case.

Asia Pacific Peacekeeping Training Centre Commandants confce begins

A four-day Asia Pacific Peacekeeping Training Centre Commandants Conference (APPTCCC)-2009 began at Hotel Westin in the city yesterday, says an ISPR press release.

DU senate session begins today

A two-day annual senate session of Dhaka University (DU) will begin today at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban of the university with Vice Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique in the chair.

Robbers loot Tk 3 lakh in Ctg

Robbers looted valuables worth around Tk 3 lakh from three apartments of a building in Foy's Lake area in Chittagong early yesterday.

Six bogies of train derail in Sylhet

The railway links between Sylhet and the rest of the country remained suspended from 1:00pm yesterday as all the six bogies of Kushiyara Express derailed in between Maijgaon and Bhatera stations.

Road crashes kill two

Two people were killed in separate road accidents in Magura and Rajshahi yesterday.

National

Rivals kill another outlaw at IU

Another cadre of outlawed Gono Mukti Fouj (GMF) was killed by his rival party men on Islamic University (IU) campus after 11 days of the murder of two cadres of the outfit.

Rajshahi IHT students go on rampage

Students of Institute of Health Technology (IHT) in Rajshahi yesterday vandalised the administrative building and damaged the principal's room after police action left 10 students injured on the campus.

Satkhira lawyers boycott court

Members of Satkhira Bar Association yesterday boycotted court and formed a human chain near Satkhira Collectorate demanding immediate shifting of four trial courts from a dilapidated building which was declared abandoned by the Public Works Department (PWD) in 1986.

2 Allar Dal men held, jihadi books seized

Two members of Allar Dal, an Islamist outfit, were arrested at Narsingdi town yesterday.

10 hurt, Sec 144 as rival AL men clash

Ten people were injured as two faction of Awami League Ulipur Upazila unit clashed at Ulipur Bazar yesterday over supply of materials to 124 schools in the upazila.

Tk 303.5 cr Sylhet City Corporation budget

Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) has announced a Tk 303.44 crore budget for 2009-10 financial year.

BCL rivals at Feni college clash:10 hurt

At least 10 students were injured in clashes between two groups of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at Feni Government College yesterday noon. Three motorcycles were also damaged on the college campus.

3 held in two rape cases in Khagrachhari

Police arrested three persons in connection with two rape cases in Panchhari and Dighinala upazilas of Khagrachhari district in last two days.

Intern docs call off strike

Intern doctors at Rangpur Medical College Hospital called off their indefinite strike yesterday afternoon as the college authorities agreed in principle to accept their demand.

Human chain in Patuakhali

A human chain was formed in front of Patuakhali Press Club yesterday demanding better health service and setting up of a medical college at the district headquarters. Patuakhali Development Foundation (PDF) organised the human chain. Golam Mostafa Talukder, executive director of PDF, AL leader Kazi Alamgir, journalist Nirmal Kumar Rakhit spoke at the programme. The participants also demanded immediate filling up of vacant posts at the hospital and health complexes. Sources said, 16 out of 33 doctors' posts are lying vacant for long at the 250-bed Patuakhali General Hospital.

One killed, 30 hurt in clash

One person was killed and 30 others were injured in a clash yesterday between two rival groups at Kharsuti village in Moyna union under Boalmari upazila. Police and locals said Musa ,18, son of Munnu Sheikh of the village was killed when musclemen of two local influential persons Shajahan Dafader and Alep Sheikh locked in a clash with lethal weapons. Musa, who belonged to Shajahan was seriously hit by spear. He later died at Faridpur Medical College Hospital.

4 hurt as BCL rivals clash

At least four people were injured in a clash between two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) in Nilphamari Government College yesterday. Sources said, one Setu, a leader of a faction was assaulted by some members of the opponent group backed by another leader Asif. Seriously injured Setu was taken to Sadar hospital for treatment. Later supporters of Setu reorganised and assaulted Tanbir in a revenge attack. During chase and counter chase, general students became panicky and ran for shelter. No class was held although the principal claimed that the teachers took classes after normalcy returned.

Orientation meeting

Economic stability is pre-requisite to women's empowerment. Speakers said this at an orientation meeting titled: “Resist Cruelty to Women by Empowering Them,” at the conference room of Jessore deputy commissioner's (DC) office. Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) and Concern Universal jointly organised the meeting in collaboration with European Commission. A project is underway for giving torture victims shelter, treatment and legal aid, the speakers said, adding vulnerable women will have skill development training to take part in income generating activities. The project is expected to benefit 43,000 families of 10 unions in four upazilas of Jessore, Satkhira and Jhenidah districts. DAM Programme Division director Shafiqul Islam chaired the meeting held on Friday. Among others, Jessore DC Mohibul Huq, project coordinator Rowshon Ara and technical officer spoke on the occasion.

Letters

1971 war crimes tribunal

Upon the demand of the Law Ministry, the Bangladesh cabinet approved taka 10 crore for the much awaited trial of the 1971 war criminals (Daily Star, 12-06 -2009). However, it seems that the amount is woefully inadequate compared to such other trials elsewhere.

Rights of women and children

Recently a meeting was organized by Disadvantaged Adolescents Working NGOs (DAWN) Forum marking the World Child Labour Resistance Day, 2009 at Dhaka Mahanagar Natya Mancha, in this meeting Meher Afroz Chumki MP and Shirin Sharmin MP stressed on the need for establishing the rights of women and children. But how can this be accomplished in a poverty-stricken country like Bangladesh where women particularly are subjected to domestic violence and social injustice? It's not that easy to establish women's and children's rights at par with our religious and social norms and values. And a lot of money is also required to undertake women empowerment and children support projects.

Polythene bags

This is in reference to a letter appearing in your daily on June 13, 2009. I agree with Mr Rashid that polythene bags in Bangladesh need to be taken out of circulation due to its detrimental environmental effects. They are indestructible, and easily clog the drainage system - whatever little of it exists. The substitutes that he mentions are easily available and are bio-degradable.

Save the rivers

The government has been taking steps to free the rivers from grabbers. The eviction drive is highly praiseworthy. But we all have suspicion about the future of the drive. What will be the next step? How can the rivers be maintained? I think the govt should take sustainable plans, for example plantation. This is the rainy season, a suitable time for plantation. Government can take up the plantation programme and continue eviction drive simultaneously in the riverbanks. We could get two kinds of benefits from this programme. Firstly, tree can prevent erosion and will keep the riverbanks green. Secondly, it will be tough to grab the rivers by cutting down trees. Furthermore, the authorities can involve all the parliament members and prominent political leaders to plant trees on the banks of rivers and canals. Because we know all the grabbers have political backup directly or indirectly. And I hope that no political leader of the ruling or opposition party will allow anybody to remove the trees, which they have planted. We urge the authorities to take the initiative. Otherwise the rivers will be grabbed again.

Commuters' ordeal

Mirpur is one of the most densely populated areas of Dhaka city but commuting to Mirpur by buses has become an ordeal for most of the commuters because of lack of buses and proper transport facility. Although a good number of local buses are plying in and around Mirpur everyday, but their condition is very shabby and due to lack of proper maintenance, these buses are also unfit for travel. Nevertheless, commuters are risking their lives while travelling by these buses. If a person who lives in Mirpur and wishes to go to Dhanmondi, then he has no other option but to board a bus of a particular company, a private enterprise, which is the only operator on Dhanmondi - Mirpur route. This is the only operator who got the route permit from BRTA (Bangladesh Road Transport Authority) to ply in this route and hence the commuters have no other option but to take its service. There is an allegation against the BRTA officials that they provide route permit for busy areas such as Mirpur, Dhanmondi etc to a selective number of bus operators whose owners are very influential people since owning a bus company on a busy route means brisk business. From College Gate to Mohammadpur, the distance is hardly 4 km, but this company is charging Tk. 12 for this small distance which is a clear violation of BRTA fixed bus fare. BRTA can easily take action against this bus company to stop their monopoly business but they are doing nothing in this regard and we, the commuters, are suffering for this. I would like to urge the authorities concerned to look into the matter.

Commuters' ordeal

Mirpur is one of the most densely populated areas of Dhaka city but commuting to Mirpur by buses has become an ordeal for most of the commuters because of lack of buses and proper transport facility. Although a good number of local buses are plying in and around Mirpur everyday, but their condition is very shabby and due to lack of proper maintenance, these buses are also unfit for travel. Nevertheless, commuters are risking their lives while travelling by these buses. If a person who lives in Mirpur and wishes to go to Dhanmondi, then he has no other option but to board a bus of a particular company, a private enterprise, which is the only operator on Dhanmondi - Mirpur route. This is the only operator who got the route permit from BRTA (Bangladesh Road Transport Authority) to ply in this route and hence the commuters have no other option but to take its service. There is an allegation against the BRTA officials that they provide route permit for busy areas such as Mirpur, Dhanmondi etc to a selective number of bus operators whose owners are very influential people since owning a bus company on a busy route means brisk business. From College Gate to Mohammadpur, the distance is hardly 4 km, but this company is charging Tk. 12 for this small distance which is a clear violation of BRTA fixed bus fare. BRTA can easily take action against this bus company to stop their monopoly business but they are doing nothing in this regard and we, the commuters, are suffering for this. I would like to urge the authorities concerned to look into the matter.

Withdraw tax on interest and deposit in bank

In the last couple of months Bangladesh Bank has been advocating to reduce interest on lending by commercial banks and financial institutions to stimulate business activities. Most of the private commercial banks and financial institutions have reduced 3(three) per cent interest on term deposits from beginning of May'09. Gradually the lending interest will also be reduced in near future. For better business environment reduction of bank interest is acceptable from macro economic point of view.

Housing vision 2021!

The subject which was stated in the budget has been mentioned in all dailies on 12th June. The proposal within the timeframe, appears fairly large, and not limited to building flats only for the 26,000 flats. In addition the 22,800 plots having eight flats per plot on an average will have another 1,82,400 flats if I understand correctly. Together the number of flats to be built exceeds 2,10,000 within the next twenty-one years!

Roads of Uttara

Uttara has become one of the fastest growing areas in Dhaka. Day by day the area is getting crowded. But the conditions of the roads of Uttara are extremely bad. People have elected an MP with much hopes so that people of Uttara could at least have good roads to travel. It seems none is in charge here. Every single day there are traffic jams near Jasimuddin Road for hours. Most of the roads are also in real bad shapes. I guess, we will keep on living with false dreams and promises.

Mobile sets

The proposed budget for the FY 2009-2010 has many new features. For the first time public-private partnership investment plan is going to be incorporated in the ADP. But some aspects of the budget are mind-boggling. Imposition of flat tax rate on different consumer items is unconvincing. Same thing might be used as necessity as well as luxury item. For example, low priced mobile phone sets are used by common people as necessity. Whereas the costly ones are the luxury of the affluent people. So the government should differentiate between necessity & luxury. Here progressive rate of taxation is relevant. So the mobile sets priced below Tk.10,000 shouldn't see higher tax rate proposed in the budget. Rather sets priced above Tk.10,000 should see progressive rate of taxation. Those who argue that under invoicing might be a problem should learn that the prices of different brands of mobile sets are displayed on the websites of the companies concerned. So the common people hope for the finance minister's prudence in this regard.

Farmers

There are some people who have vital contribution in our social and national economic development. But, unexpectedly we are always trying to overlook them. For example, the farmers, who are mainly recognized as the soldiers of agriculture. They always play significant role in tackling food crisis by producing crops despite extreme temperature, rain, flood, storm and various natural calamities. But the fact is, they spend their life under the poverty level. We must remember that if the farmers survive, then the whole country will survive. Yet, we do not respect these national heroes. We must change our perception, otherwise we may face endless darkness.

Daylight saving

Bangladesh has started daylight savings! Congratulations, though the benefit to be achieved has become controversial already! However, as many have raised concern regarding the possible chaos in light of the change, I believe, the government should have implemented it on the 18th June, Thursday midnight instead of 19th June Midnight.

Ocean water contamination

Continued emissions of carbon dioxide from all directions are raising the oceans' acidity to an irreversible level. In the past couple of hundred years the world's oceans have absorbed about a quarter of the carbon dioxide produced by human activities, and the current rate of acidification is much more rapid than at any time during the past years according to the researchers. Adding chemicals to the oceans to try to counter acidification was likely to be expensive, only partly effective at local shores and could pose unknown risks.

Human trafficking

In Bangladesh, estimates on number of women and children trafficked range from 10,000 to 20,000 per year. Trafficking occurs across Bangladeshi borders to India, Pakistan, and Middle Eastern countries and most are trafficked for prostitution, domestic work, and labour, particularly in textile factories. Boys are often trafficked to Arab states to become beggars or camel jockeys. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in trafficking. Trafficking occurs through kidnapping, promises of better jobs, procuring through marriage, illegal migration, sexually abusing women and girls etc.

Digital Bangladesh

AL is committed to make our dearest motherland 'digital'. Being inspired by that commitment the young generation who are students of various institutions all over Bangladesh voted to get the advantages of modern technology as a citizen of digital Bangladesh. But it is a matter of regret that the price of mobile phone has increased due to imposing 25 percent import tax in recently declared budget. Mobile phones which are especially designed to facilitate Internet and email using wireless network (e.g. wi-fi) are the inevitable part of digital lifestyle and fashion statement in 21st century.

Torturous timing!

The very idea is to complete the working hours of govt. and other offices within the daylight so that electricity is not consumed. Normal office hours finish at 5 pm. long before dusk and it makes no difference if the offices are closed at 4 p.m.

Driving license

I had been to Australia recently. It was necessary to hire a transport for my travelling. One can hire transports from the renting company. The matter of concern is that if the person hiring the transport having age less than 25 years has to pay more rent. My son's age being less than 25 years I wanted to hire the transport in my name. But problem started with my driving license that I took with me. My driving license is written in Bengali, which could not be understood by the renting company people and was not accepted. I had no choice but to take the transport hired in my son's name who is bellow 25 years. As a consequence I had to pay Australian $200/- more as hire charge. Had my driving license been written in English along with Bengali I could have saved the money paid in excess.

International

Moussavi rejects partial vote recount

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi Saturday refused to support a panel set up by the electoral watchdog Guardian Council to conduct a partial recount of votes in the disputed presidential election, a media report said.

US asks Pakistan to move more troops from Indian border to Afghan side

The United States has reiterated that Pakistan must move its troops stationed along the Indian border to the western Afghan border to focus more on the terror threat emanating from that area.

Tigers won't be allowed to regroup: Army

The Sri Lankan Army's spokesman, Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, has said that the government and the defence brass is determined not to allow the rebel Tamil Tigers to regroup.

Court battle looms over Jackson kids

Given the secrecy surrounding Michael Jackson's children throughout his life, it's no surprise that there are lingering questions about who will care for them after his death. What is almost certain is this: their fate will be decided in a courtroom, with several people possibly vying for custody.

Jackson tops charts, memorabilia sales surge

Like Elvis before him, Michael Jackson is topping the charts in death as in life.

N Korea vows to bolster nuclear deterrence against US

North Korea threatened Sunday to bolster its nuclear deterrence against the United States as the leaders of key US allies South Korea and Japan were set for a summit meeting.

Solana hopes Iran nuclear talks will resume soon

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana expressed hope Sunday that nuclear talks with Iran will resume, despite unrest over a disputed presidential election.

UN rights mission hears gruesome testimony on Gaza war

A UN human rights mission on Sunday listened as witnesses described in gruesome detail the Israeli shelling of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip during a three-week offensive at the turn of the year.

Palestinians launch new round of unity talks

The two main rival Palestinian factions began a new round of talks in Cairo on Sunday, the official MENA news agency reported, facing a 10-day deadline for a reconciliation agreement.

Now, scientists to hunt for aliens by analysing reflected light

A new technique for detecting signs of life on distant planets by analysing reflected light could soon lead astronomers to extra-terrestrial life.

UN envoy to brief Ban on Myanmar visit

UN troubleshooter Ibrahim Gambari was expected to brief UN chief Ban Ki-moon Sunday on his recent visit to Myanmar, before the secretary general heads to Asia and possibly to the military-ruled nation.

Arts & Entertainment

Bangla performs to a full house

On Saturday evening, folk fusion band 'Bangla' took over the ongoing music festival 'Fete de la Musique,' organised by Alliance Française. The event was incorporated with the grand finale of another music festival 'Muzica Carnival,' organised by Classic Event Management, and was held at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre. A full house, comprising mostly young music lovers, enjoyed the concert featuring performances by Faisal Siddiqui Bogey (of the band Renaissance), Shahjahan Munshi, Laura, Shawjeeb, Dipto and the young musicians of Ecole De Musique (Alliance Française's music school), along with the hugely popular Bangla.

For blacks, Jackson’s struggles mirrored their own

The strange story of Michael Jackson is especially strange for his loyal black fans, who watched with pride as he became the biggest entertainer of the last quarter-century.

Theatre troupe ‘Shabdabali’ receives ‘Arju Smriti Natya Padak 2009’

Shabdabali Group Theatre, a troupe from Barisal, received this year's 'Arju Smriti Natya Padak,' an award initiated by Subachan Natya Sangsad. The award-giving ceremony and staging of Subachan's 29th production "Rupobati" were held at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on June 27. Renowned theatre personalities attended the programme.

Dinajpur Udichi holds its 8th district conference

The two-day 8th district conference of Udichi's Dinajpur unit began with discussions, cultural programmes and plays.

Generating awareness in forestry with art

An art competition was held at Khagrachhari Shishu Academy premises recently for students of different schools. The objective was to generate awareness in the need for forests and related subjects.

Kancher Putul: New mega serial on Channel 1 tonight

Second episode of the new mega serial "Kancher Putul" will be aired tonight on Channel 1. Written by Nima Rahman and directed by Ashraful Alam Ripon, the serial is aired Sunday through Wednesday every week at 9pm.

OP-ED

Focus on crime counting

MANY of us who read the daily newspaper or watch the news on television believe that crime is the most pressing problem. From the media we can get some information about the number of crimes that are committed in our society, and also whether the crime rate increasing or decreasing. Crime rate is a measure of incidence of crime expressed as the number of crimes per unit of population or some other base. The fact is that what the people or the media know about crime is based on statistics that is supplied by government agencies.

Tackling battlefield asymmetries

War never leaves where it found a nation; it is never to be entered upon without mature deliberation -- Edmund Burke

The actors in corruption drama

PRIME Minister Sheikh Hasina said on June 23 that the Awami League-led government would not tolerate any type of corruption as it was pledge bound to establish good governance in every sphere of society. The PM made the remarks when World Bank Country Director Xian Zhu paid a farewell call on her at the prime minister's office.


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