The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, August 30, 2014


News of: Monday, 6th of July, 2009

Front Page

Beximco top defaulter

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday revealed a list of 2,196 loan defaulters who dodged loans of Tk 15,451 crore and told parliament that the government has initiated steps to recover the amount.

BNP's JS affairs in a shambles

The BNP Parliamentary Party (BNPPP) has yet to decide whether to join the current session of parliament, which has only four workdays left to go.

Govt to rid history of distortion

The government has decided to close three galleries of the National Museum to visitors till further notice, as they do not reflect the true history of Liberation War.

Strip Sircar of his MP status

The all-party parliamentary probe body yesterday finalised its report, which recommends scrapping the House membership of former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar on graft charges.

Death lurks in Dhaka Zoo

Death seems to lurk in the corridors of Dhaka Zoo with 18 rare animals having lost their lives in just over a year.

Forest Dept to legally fight tree plunderers

Forest authorities have decided to fight a legal battle against the plunderers of 15,000 Keura and Bain trees on a vast 40-acre forest belt near Sonaichhari coast in Sitakunda two days after razing of the greens.

Govt to buy 28 lakh MT food grains this year

Food Minister Abdur Razzaque yesterday said the government has set a target of procuring 28 lakh tonnes of food grains in the current fiscal year of which 26.75 lakh tonnes will be distributed under public food distribution system.

Dhaka seeks to be in Egmont group

Bangladesh has applied for the membership of Egmont Group, a coordinating company of over 100 financial intelligence units across the world, in an effort to bring back siphoned off money.

RMG makers told to be responsible

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday urged the ready-made garment (RMG) manufacturers and exporters to play a 'responsible role' so that any untoward incident in the garment sector can be averted.

Tk 100cr goes missing, JS body to probe

The parliamentary standing committee on expatriate welfare yesterday formed a subcommittee to investigate corruption and irregularities in the expatriate welfare fund.

Complaints pouring in from dists

Following internecine conflicts over the newly announced district convening committees, grassroots level leaders of BNP continued to lodge complaints and counter-complaints in writing against members in the new committee.

SC lawyer misquotes SC order

Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman yesterday served a legal notice to Manzill Murshid, a Supreme Court lawyer, asking him to personally apologise to him for making a statement before the media misquoting a High Court order.

Brac employee locked in office for 3 days

The upazila nirbahi officer of Ranisankoil upazila in Thakurgaon yesterday rescued a missing Brac employee from the local Brac office where he was being held against his will for more than three days.

Purchase body gives nod to petroleum, urea import

The government yesterday approved proposals for import of 120,000 tonnes of petroleum oil and 575,000 tonnes of urea fertiliser.

Star-AKTEL programme in Jessore today

The Daily Star and AKTEL "English In School" programme goes to Jessore today to enhance English language learning skills among the secondary school students in the district.

Pvt airlines to be engaged in carrying hajj pilgrims

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said if necessary, private airliners would be commissioned to carry Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims from the upcoming season.

Committee formed to modernise police force

A three-member sub-committee, with member of parliamentary standing committee on home ministry Md Mujibul Haque as convenor, has been formed to formulate a transparent and modern guideline for police recruitment process as well as their deployment in UN peacekeeping missions.

28 Rohingyas pushed back to Myanmar

Bangladesh Rifles' (BDR) jawans at Teknaf arrested 28 Rohingyas of Myanmar and pushed them back to their country yesterday.

Federer rewrites Grand Slam history

Roger Federer won his record 15th Grand Slam title Sunday, outlasting Andy Roddick for his sixth Wimbledon championship in a marathon match that went to 16-14 in the fifth set.

JS body asks for Home report

A parliamentary standing committee yesterday asked home ministry officials to prepare a specific report on how to control further labour unrest in the garment sector.

Woman kills husband

A woman stabbed her husband to death in Kadamtoli area yesterday while police recovered body of an unidentified man from the city's Kuril area.

16 UN de-miners kidnapped in Afghanistan

A roadside bomb and a rocket-propelled grenade in southern Afghanistan killed two British soldiers, while gunmen in the east abducted 16 mine-clearing personnel working for the United Nations, officials said yesterday.

Airstrikes kill 19 militants in Pakistan

Pakistani airstrikes killed 19 suspected militants yesterday, police and security officials said, in an ongoing bombardment aimed at shattering Taliban strongholds across the northwest.

North Korea engaged in 'attention seeking'

US Vice President Joseph Biden yesterday dismissed North Korea's latest series of missile launches, saying the communist regime was engaged in "attention seeking" as it faced increasing isolation.

Iraqis sceptical about significance of US pullback

Iraqis are sceptical that much will change after last week's pullback of US combat troops from Baghdad and other cities, a sentiment not shared by their government.

Iran frees Washington Times journalist

Iran on Sunday released a British-Greek journalist working for The Washington Times who was arrested in connection with "recent street riots," foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi said.

Red Cross hits out at 'complacency' on poor nation epidemics

A Red Cross official has sharply criticised "complacency" towards the impact of communicable diseases on poor countries, contrasting it with responses to flu or heart disease in rich nations.

Obama backs Medvedev's judicial reforms

President Barack Obama said strengthening human rights and the rule of law in Russia should be a part of the much-heralded "reset" in US-Russian relations, according to an interview with an embattled Russian opposition newspaper.

China calls for calm after N Korean missile tests

China urged calm yesterday after North Korea test-fired seven missiles off its east coast in an act of defiance apparently timed for the US Independence Day holiday.

Violence erupts in China's restive Xinjiang

Violence broke out yesterday in the capital of China's mainly Muslim northwest region of Xinjiang where an unknown number of people attacked passers-by and torched vehicles, state media reported.

Editorial

Six months of Grand Alliance government

IT is now six months since the current government took office, and we would like to take this opportunity to both commend it on reaching this milestone as well as to assess its performance during this time period.

Six months on, the state of the opposition

SIX months into the inauguration of the Awami League-led grand alliance government and our evaluation of its performance, we believe that we should take stock of how the parliamentary opposition has performed so far. We are constrained to say, as we have said on earlier occasions, that the Bangladesh Nationalist Party has failed to demonstrate the sagacity the nation expected from it after its debacle at the December 2008 elections. Its defeat notwithstanding, it was able to win the support of no fewer than 38 per cent of the electorate. That should have been good enough cause for it to make its presence felt in the Jatiyo Sangsad, through speaking for its constituents. Unfortunately, the opposition has shown a degree of irresponsibility that can only raise questions about its ability to play in the near future a positive role in parliament.

What impedes neutrality?

BNP has been abstaining from attending parliamentary proceedings since the budget-sessions began. Their demands include "a graceful solution" to the dispute over seating arrangements within the House, restoration of certain facilities of Khaleda Zia, and ending the "smear campaign" against her on BTV over her Dhaka cantonment house.

The dangers of political capitalism

POWER is the pre-eminent value in Delhi's value system. I was tempted to write "only" instead of "pre-eminent," when some passing sympathy for exceptions interfered with the syntax. A sidelight of this week's main event reminded me of this basic principle of what might be called political capitalism (how else should we describe the culture of a capital?).

Sports

Tigers start well in 2nd innings

Bangladesh made bright start in their second innings with a first innings deficit of 53 on the final day of the three-day warm-up match against West Indies A at the Kensington Oval yesterday.

And Fededer on top of 'em all

Roger Federer made history on Sunday when he defeated brave Andy Roddick 5-7, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 16-14 to win a sixth Wimbledon title and claim a record 15th Grand Slam crown in a classic final.

Yousuf lifts Pakistan

Mohammad Yousuf hit a fluent century on his return to big-time cricket to put Pakistan ahead in the first Test against Sri Lanka here on Sunday.

Bangladesh in Group A

Pakistan and Bangladesh have been grouped together in the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean next year -- and face each other first up on May 1. The tournament will be staged at four venues -- Barbados, Guyana, St Kitts and St Lucia -- and the final will be played at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on May 16.

Rain hands India series

India won the four-match one-day series against West Indies 2-1 after torrential downpour terminated the fourth ODI at the Beausejour Stadium in Gros Islet in St Lucia on Sunday.

Harmison has no place

Stephen Harmison has failed to win back his place in the England side after being left out Sunday of their 13-man squad for the first Ashes Test against Australia at Cardiff starting on Wednesday.

Nielsen backs Hauritz

Off-colour off-spinner Nathan Hauritz has received a vote of confidence from Australia coach Tim Nielsen despite taking just one wicket in his final audition for an Ashes berth this Wednesday in Cardiff.

Tim exudes confidence

Australia coach Tim Nielsen said his side are in the best possible shape ahead of the first Ashes Test in Cardiff next week.

Chappell carps team selection

Ian Chappell believes Australia have picked a "ridiculous" Ashes squad and it would be "nonsense" to rely on part-time spinners during the series. Chappell, who captained the 1972 and 1975 touring squads, has tipped England to prevail in the five-match contest, a prediction backed by the former England captain Tony Greig.

Onions stunned by Ashes call

England pace bowler Graham Onions said it felt "unbelievable" to have retained his place in the squad for Wednesday's first Ashes Test against Australia in Cardiff.

'La Liga is now better'

Cristiano Ronaldo believes the Spanish league will leave the Premier League trailing in terms of quality next season, following Real Madrid's lavish summer spending spree.

Sarcasm suits Serena

Serena Williams mocked Dinara Safina's status as world number one on Saturday after wrapping up her third Wimbledon title and 11th Grand Slam crown.

Bayern set limits

German giants Bayern Munich are considering putting a fine system in place in the wake of midfielder Franck Ribery's rebellious insistence last week that he will leave to join Real Madrid.

USA thump Grenada

The United States, who are fresh from their Confederations Cup success, got their Gold Cup tournament off to a successful start with a 4-0 blanking of lowly Grenada on Saturday.

'I am no traitor'

Former Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez is confident he will not be viewed as a traitor by the Old Trafford faithful if he completes a transfer to the club's cross-city rivals.

Marseille president dies

Tributes poured in on Sunday for Marseille football club owner Robert Louis-Dreyfus who died after a long battle with leukemia on Saturday at the age of 63.

Kaiser endorses Europe for 2018

Franz Beckenbauer believes Europe should host the World Cup in 2018 after South Africa and Brazil stage the next two finals.

Sahin extends with Dortmund

Young Turkish international Nuri Sahin gave Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund a boost on Saturday when he signed a four-year extension to his present contract.

Nations Cup Football

BFF Development Squad will play Khulna DFA in the final of the Grameen-Danone Nations Cup Football tournament today at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Welsh umpire killed by ball

Welsh cricket was in mourning Sunday after an umpire died after being struck on the head by a ball.

No decision yet

The League Committee of Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) has failed to finalize the date of inter-club player transfer and the Premier Division Hockey League.

Sampras sees Federer's history bid

Seven-time champion Pete Sampras returned to the All England Club on Sunday to witness Roger Federer's attempt to break his record of 14 Grand Slam titles.

Business

Remittance growth beats doomsayers

Remittance recorded a 22.32 percent growth last fiscal year compared to FY2007-08 despite downbeat projections by several donor agencies amid the ongoing global recession.

Dhaka stocks routed in panic sell-offs

The key index of Dhaka Stock Exchange plunged by 103.66 points, or 3.37 percent yesterday, the largest single-day drop in four and a half years.

RMG unions given the third degree

Questions surface over the role of trade unions in the garment industry, as leaders of such unions have no command over workers and no line of communication with the owners and managers of factories.

Farm credit policy next week

The central bank for the first time is going to announce next week a comprehensive agricultural credit policy containing measures to boost credit flow and increase supervision on private banks' loan disbursement.

Ministerial meet on coal import Wednesday

An inter-ministerial meeting has been convened on July 8 to break the impasse over coal import suspension from India through land custom stations of Sylhet-Mymensingh region.

Neoliberal doctrines fail to cut poverty

Privatisation and trade liberalisation instigated by neoliberal doctrines have failed to reduce poverty or ensure social protection for the poor, instead it increased concentration of wealth and disparity in the society, speakers said at a seminar yesterday.

India looks to cut out middlemen on gold

Gold has long had a special attraction for Indians. Loaded with cultural and religious significance, it is considered an auspicious metal and a visible sign of wealth and prosperity.

G8 surveys financial crisis aftershocks

Eight of the world's most powerful leaders gather in an Italian earthquake zone this week to thrash out a common strategy on how to absorb the tremors of global recession, climate change and Iran.

Warid teams up with 3 IGW operators

Warid Telecom signed separate agreements with three international gateway (IGW) operators Mir Telecom, Bangla Trac Communications Ltd and NovoTel-- on Thursday, says a statement.

Open debate on proposed power tariff hike July 14

The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has invited individuals, institutions and organisations for attending an open debate on July 14 on proposed increase of power tariff by 24.31 percent, said a statement issued yesterday.

New name for Ssangyong Corp

GS Group said Thursday it changed the name of Ssangyong Corp to GS Global Corp, as its holding company GS Holdings fully purchased a controlling stake of 69.53 per cent in Ssangyong Corp for 120 billion won.

BASIC Bank gets new GM

BASIC Bank Ltd has rece-ntly promoted Kazi Shamsul Hu-da to general manager (GM), it said in a press statement yesterday.

Vatican hit by economic downturn

Pope Benedict XVI has not escaped the economic downturn, with donations hit by the global financial storm, official figures showed Saturday.

Tectonic shift, globally

Carl-Henric Svanberg, the outgoing CEO of Ericsson, made a rather stylish exit, with the closing of two-day Ericsson Business Innovation Forum 2009 just on the eve of the news conference on June 25, where he declared he is moving on to BP as the world's fourth largest company's chairman.

Fears of food shortage stalk Nepal

Every year, Nepalese rice farmer Ratnakaji Maharjan celebrates the arrival of the monsoon rains by attending a centuries-old festival in this historic town near Kathmandu.

Asian currencies mixed against dollar

Asian currencies ended the week mixed against the dollar as fresh worries about the health of the US economy hit risk appetite and attracted investors to the "safe-haven" greenback, dealers said.

Niger posts 9.5pc growth

Niger, a deeply impoverished and arid west African country, last year posted an impressive overall GDP growth rate of 9.5 percent, up from 3.3 percent the previous year.

Economic crisis increase aid for trade need: Agencies

International agencies are set to urge an increase in assistance for trade by developing countries at a conference beginning on Monday, amid fears that aid will be eroded by the economic crisis.

China won't press for new global currency at G8

China has no plans to raise its proposal for a new global currency to replace the dollar at the G8 meeting this week but is willing to discuss it, a top Chinese diplomat said, as President Hu Jintao left Sunday for Italy.

Nomura breaks into Saudi investment banking market

Japanese giant Nomura said on Sunday it had launched investment banking operations in Saudi Arabia, becoming the first Asian securities firm to break into the lucrative, rapidly growing market.

Taiwan benefits from China's economic stimulus

Taiwan has benefited from its giant neighbour's measures to stimulate its economy by offering subsidies to consumers, the island's government said in a report Sunday.

Metropolitan

JS body recommends MPs as advisers

A parliamentary body yesterday recommended that the House pass the City Corporation Bill 2009 keeping provisions to make lawmakers advisers to the city corporations and introducing two deputy mayors.

Deprived group vows to resist today's meeting

Two groups of Chittagong south district unit of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are now face to face in a row over the new convening committee.

Govt firm to try war criminals: Ashraf

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday said the government is firm to try the war criminals, says a press release.

Geeteara gets bail

A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to former adviser to a caretaker government Geeteara Shafiya Choudhury and five others in a case filed against them on charge of forcibly occupying a property at Gulshan in the city.

'Work together going beyond politics'

Adviser to Prime Minister Prof Dr Syed Modasser Ali yesterday urged the Dhaka University Alumni Association (DUAA) to carry its activities going beyond politics.

Legal adviser refiles lawsuit against Vietnam PM in mines row

A Vietnamese legal adviser said Saturday he had filed a new lawsuit against his country's prime minister for violating environmental laws with a controversial bauxite mining plan.

India floods kill one, displace 400,000

One person died and 400,000 have been displaced in a northeastern Indian state where a rain-swollen river burst its banks four days ago swamping hundreds of villages, an official said yesterday.

Man stabbed to death by snatchers in Narsingdi

A gang of snatchers stabbed a shop employee to death in Narsingdi town and took away Tk 40,000 in cash from his possession on Saturday night.

Protect rivers from grabbers to ensure people's right to water

Speakers at a workshop in the city yesterday urged the government to protect the rivers and water bodies from the grabbers and polluters to ensure people's right to water and livelihood.

Discharge duty with sincerity

President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged the members of the President Guard Regiment (PGR) to carry out their duties with utmost sincerity and competence, showing highest loyalty to the leadership.

Siamese twin with unusual congenital defects operated upon

The doctors of Paediatric Surgery department at Chittagong Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) performed an operation on a conjoined twin with unusual congenital defects here yesterday.

Ensure quality education to build digital Bangladesh

Education Minister Nurul Islam Naheed yesterday said the government is giving priority to ensure quality education to make it more useful.

Call to make amendments to Int'l Crimes (Tribunals) Act

Citizen's Commission on the Trial of War Criminals yesterday urged the government to start the trial of war criminals after bringing some amendments to International Crimes (Tribunals) Act-1973 in the next parliament session.

Recovery of rivers a must to protect environment

Social Welfare Minister Enamul Haq Mustafa Shaheed yesterday said it is urgent to recover the rivers surrounding the city from the encroachers to protect the environment.

Move to introduce evening MA protested

Students at the English department of Dhaka University yesterday urged the authorities concerned to cancel the decision to introduce evening MA course in the department.

Monthlong campaign ends tomorrow midnight

The weeklong hectic campaign, which began here on July 2 to vote for the Sundarbans, will come to an end tomorrow at midnight.

Tk 1cr heroin seized in Cox's Bazar

Members of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) seized one kilogram of heroin worth around Tk 1 crore and arrested two persons raiding a microbus on Cox's Bazar-Teknaf road in Cox's Bazar yesterday.

5 Malam Party men held in Narayanganj

A team of Rab-11 in two separate raids arrested five members of Malam (balm) Party and another youth from whom arms were recovered in Narayanganj yesterday.

5th Nat'l Road Security Plan approved

National Road Security Council yesterday approved in principal the fifth National Road Security Plan 2008-09.

Karate training camp begins at DU

A five-day Karate Training Camp started at Dhaka University (DU) Gymnasium yesterday, says a press release.

2 killed in road accidents

Two people were killed and 25 others injured in separate road accidents in Chapainawabganj, Khagrachhari and Patuakhali yesterday.

Dutch ministers visit IPSWAM project sites in Khulna

Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation Bert Koenders and Vice Minister for Transport, Public Works and Water Management Tineke Huizinga yesterday visited Integrated Planning For Sustainable Water Management (IPSWAM) project sites at Batiaghata in the district.

School student receives bomb injuries

A student of Koratitola High School received bomb injuries at Koratitola in city's Jatrabari area last night.

Tributes paid to Dr Alauddin Al Azad

Hundreds of people from all walks of life paid their last tribute to renowned poet and writer Dr Alauddin Al Azad by showering flowers on his coffin at the Central Shaheed Minar in the city yesterday.

Allow GQ Chy to go abroad

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government to allow former BNP lawmaker Giasuddin Quader Chowdhury to go abroad until July 24 for business purpose.

National

Flood situation improves in 4 dists, worsens in one

Flood situation has slightly improved in Sylhet, Sunamganj, Netrakona and Lalmonirhat while further worsened in Gaibandha.

Anybody can collect acids, use them for vengeance

Around 2,500 people in Bogra district are using sulphuric and nitric acids without any licence while an unspecified number of people are engaged in selling it in absence of proper monitoring.

Pro-AL factions in Sonagazi clash for supremacy

At least five people were injured as the supporters of Sonagazi upazila chairman and vice chairman in Feni clashed over establishing supremacy in the area on Saturday night.

BNP rivals clash in Barisal over convening body

Party rivals yesterday ransacked a press conference venue in the city following dispute over formation of Barisal city BNP convening committee.

15 Shibir men held for attack on BCL leader

Police on Saturday night arrested 15 activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir on charge of attacking and injuring a local leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) in front of Satkhira Government College.

RU founding anniversary

Rajshahi University (RU) celebrates its 56th founding anniversary today. The day-long programme will begin with the hoisting of national and university flags at 6:00am at administrative building, vice chancellor's (VC) residence, central library and students dormitories. Teachers, students, officers, employees and different political and cultural organisations will place wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar, RU mass grave and Shaheed Shamsuzoha grave separately. VC Prof Abdus Sobhan will inaugurate the 'founding anniversary' programme by releasing pigeons and balloons. There will be tree plantation, friendly cricket and handball matches between teachers and students at the university stadium.

Make NU centre of excellence

Academicians at a discussion yesterday said the government should take steps to make National University (NU) a centre of excellence in higher education from where well-timed degrees would be offered instead of abolishing it.

Two schoolboys drown

Two schoolboys drowned in the Punorbhaba River at Rahanpur point under Gomostapur upazila on Saturday. Emon,9, son of Masum and Shimul,9, son of Nurul Islam of Rahmatpara of Rahanpur municipality area were class two students of Rahanpur Gazi Shishu Shikhsa Niketan. Locals said, the boys went to the river near their house for taking a bath at around 11 am and eventually drowned. They recovered the bodies at 9 am yesterday.

Ex-UP chairman jailed

A court yesterday sentenced former chairman of Brahmandi union under Araihazar upazila and union BNP president Abu Siddique Bhuiyan to one year's imprisonment and fined Tk 10,000, in default, to suffer three months more in jail. Narayanganj senior judicial magistrate Bazlur Rahman delivered the verdict yesterday noon in a case of embezzlement of CI sheets meant for relief. Court sources said, the joint forces during a raid on the house of Abu Siddique Bhuiyan on March 1, 2007 recovered 68 pieces of CI sheets.

Letters

Michael Jackson's legacy

Michael Jackson, the greatest music legend, the most popular star of modern times passed away quietly in his LA home. Most tragically, no one would ever know his last wishes and dreams. But surely he dreamt of yet another comeback with musical nukes to conquer the world once again. His comeback concert was to be held in London for which he and his team were preparing. But destiny cut his life short.

Go ahead, Mashrafe!

It's surprising to see the audacious comments made one after another by the ex captain of the national cricket team, Mohammad Ashraful, since the early exit of the tigers in the just concluded T20 World Cup Cricket. The anger which the Bangladesh Cricket Board Director Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu expressed to the media the other day was not only a reflection of the his own sentiments, but also of people in general, those who love to see their team perform like tigers. Under the captaincy of Mohammad Ashraful, the performance of our national team had deteriorated a great deal to say the least. As a captain, Ashraful miserably failed to lead the team from the front on most occasions.

Make parliament effective

Our honourable members of parliament are the voices of our nation. Parliament sessions are broadcast live. People have the right to know what they are doing for the nation. The speaker allocates a fixed time for every member for his or her speech. But they don't finish their speeches in time.

DST implementation

I refer to the letter by Sharif Haque from New Zealand who would have liked to see it implemented on midnight of Thursday, June 18.

City bus service

In Dhaka bus services are simply horrendous. The buses are in dilapidated condition. Most of them have not been painted for years. Some of the seats are broken. The seat cushions are worn out. The floors are strewn with peanut shells and sugarcane rubbish and what not. The fans are not in operation even in these hot days. Passengers are herded like poultry. There are all types of ads pasted on the seats and windowpanes. There is no uniform code for drivers and helpers. And the reckless driving and crazy competition to overtake other vehicles add to this.

Black money

After the declaration of the budget different organisations protested the opportunity given for whitening black money. Somebody has commented that this opportunity is the demand of the time and it will help industrialisation. On the other hand, we have also heard that this opportunity will discourage honest taxpayers. Are the TIN holders paying genuine tax on their income? In our country nobody wants to pay direct tax willingly. Previous governments also gave this opportunity but they did not get a good response. So, I do not believe this time people will stand in queues to whiten their money.

Swine flu

Swine flu has become a pandemic and is making the whole world panicky. In Bangladesh we don't see enough necessary arrangements made to protect our people from such deadly diseases. The authorities took a little initiative at the beginning, especially in the airport area, but no more activity was seen later.

A right decision

The government has correctly taken the decision to develop overpasses at different railway crossing points in the city but the construction of these structures is cumbersome and will involve a lot of money. By the time these overpasses are built, the government can deploy traffic sergeants at the rail crossings to ensure stringent implementation of traffic rules and ease the gridlock at those points as an immediate measure to prevent traffic accidents, like the one which occurred at Moghbazar.

Militancy syndrome

While the investigation of the BDR carnage was still on, the commerce minister told the press that militant connections with the carnage had been found.

Civil defence

We are the poorest of the lot in this part of the world and probably we rank in the top 5 of the poorest country worldwide. As a nation we have all the necessary arrangements on paper as far as civil defence is concerned and the required infrastructure. But can our fire department and health care sector really support the needs when there is an emergency? Probably not. The fire at Bashundhara city and frequent fires at the slums and in old Dhaka have failed to make our policy makers open their eyes.

Regional issues

Two very important regional issues need immediate attention from the government today Tipaimukh dam and demarcation of maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. Both issues have far reaching consequences, particularly for the people of Bangladesh. Our experiences of Farakka and Tin Bigha Corridor do not give us hope of negotiated and fair solutions to the bilateral issues with our big neighbour. We are no match for India militarily or economically, but that does not necessarily mean we have to give up our rightful claims to the use of the waters of international rivers flowing through our land or the territorial and economic jurisdictions of the Bay of Bengal. I believe our prime minister is a patriotic lady and she will do everything in her power to safeguard our national interest.

Gimmicky politics

The recent political developments in our country show that we are heading towards new political turmoil and unrest. The opposition party seems to have taken the oath to oppose everything for the sake of opposition. Boycotting parliament seems to have become its main mantra. On the other hand, the ruling party seems to have forgotten the people's verdict in bringing it to power. The different wings of the ruling party are behaving in such a way that they are placed above the law.

Power and privileges of MPs

Whether constitutionally allowed or not, the MPs of Bangladesh exercise unlimited and sometimes unwarranted authority anywhere, in almost every matter in the country. As has been listed by Mr. Ataul Hoque in his letter in the DS on June 17, so far such parliamentarians have been involved in nine such activities for gaining undue advantage. They have been involved even in interfering in the performance of the duty of public servants like the law enforcing agencies, and other activities like extortion, grabbing contracts, and govt lands, etc., as if they are elected to break the existing law and modify it according to their own will.

Ashraful's comments

This is in reference to Ashraful's comments on June 19 in The Daily Star. How can he say that the team showed signs of improvement? This comment just does not make any sense. At the post match briefing he himself admitted that the top order batted poorly which also included himself. The simple fact is that the team lost to a bunch of weekend cricketers and he failed to lead from the front. The worst part is that Md. Ashraful does not seem to be even the least bit ashamed about it.

Regarding Tipaimukh dam

It is a serious matter when the Bangladesh foreign minister says that if Tipaimukh dam is erected, India won't do anything which is pernicious for Bangladesh. This is very ludicrous. Staying in London, we cannot do anything but let people know about the severe consequences of building the Tipaimukh dam. Gandhi once said that the next world war may be due to water. India is penetrating the arena of developed countries gradually, like China and Brazil. Water is indispensable to bring about development in any country. India is going to divert river water towards it to control it for its usage whenever they need.

Our army chief

Recently some politicians and partisan intellectuals have been spreading calumny against General Moeen U Ahmed, the recently retired chief of army staff. Most vocal are the people who were convicted for amassing wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income, tax evasion and for keeping illegal liquor. Recently Begum Khaleda Zia also joined the bandwagon.

International

Pro-reform clerics protest Iran election results

A pro-reform clerical group protested against the official results of Iran's June 12 presidential election, in a statement made available to AFP yesterday.

US Marines in constant firefight with Taliban

Since 4,000 US Marines pushed into Taliban-controlled areas of southern Afghanistan on Thursday, one company has been in a constant firefight with the insurgents, the military said.

Suu Kyi's party regrets Ban's fruitless visit

Myanmar's opposition party said Sunday Ban Ki-moon's failure to meet its imprisoned leader Aung San Suu Kyi was a "great loss" as the UN chief left the military-ruled nation empty-handed.

N Korean missiles can hit key targets in South

The ballistic missiles that North Korea test-fired this weekend were likely capable of striking key government and military facilities in South Korea, a defence official said yesterday, amid growing concerns over Pyongyang's firepower.

Yudhoyono leaves anti-graft battle legacy

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is running for re-election on July 8, leaves a first term legacy of greater stability and gains in tackling entrenched corruption, analysts say.

Russia, US still short of deal on weapons

US and Russian officials have yet to agree to a framework document for replacing a Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty, one day before US President Barack Obama arrives in Moscow, a news report said yesterday.

Israel stands firm on settlements

Israel will not bow to pressure from Washington to halt settlement activity in the West Bank even for a temporary period, a minister from the governing Likud party said yesterday.

Iraq asks US not to interfere in 'internal' matters

Iraq on Saturday told the United States to back off in its attempts to resolve rows between the strife-torn country's sects, saying such interference could cause problems and make matters worse.

OAS expels Honduras following coup

The Organisation of American States late Saturday suspended Honduras from its ranks in reaction to last week's military coup that ousted elected President Manuel Zelaya.

Musharraf trying to split PML-Q?

Amid differences within opposition PML-Q over the top party post, former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has allegedly initiated efforts to split the group to create his own faction to stage a possible political comeback early next year.

Fans prepare for final farewell to 'Pop King'

Hundreds of millions of fans across the world will bid a final farewell to Michael Jackson tomorrow in a lavish memorial to the tragic "King of Pop" expected to bring America to a standstill.

Don't link terrorism with Islam, says Imran Khan

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has said that terrorism should not be linked with Islam.

'Taliban suicide attack renews fears over Pak nuke safety'

Thursday's suicide attack on a bus carrying officials of a nuclear establishment in Pakistan's Rawalpindi city has once again raised questions over Islamabad's claims that nuclear facilities in the country are safe and guarded well enough to counter the Taliban's increasingly bold assaults against the country's military complex.

Palin eyes larger role in US politics

Alaska Gov Sarah Palin didn't wait long to give some hint of what her political life might look like after she leaves office at the end of the month.

Lanka troops record first fatality after war

A Sri Lankan soldier was shot dead by a Tamil rebel in the island's east, the first military fatality after the crushing of the guerrilla leadership in May, the army said yesterday.

Taliban cashing in on untapped gem wealth

In the narrow lanes of a market in Pakistan's northwest capital Peshawar, dealers squat on carpets and spread out a rainbow of precious gems on the floor for potential buyers.

Bomb attack kills 5 in Philippines church

Five people were killed and at least 34 wounded in a suspected Muslim rebel bomb attack outside a Catholic church in the strife-torn southern Philippines Sunday, officials said.

14 killed after train hits bus in Indonesia

Fourteen people were killed and more than a dozen injured Sunday when a train slammed into a minibus on a level crossing in the Indonesian province of Central Java, reports said.

Iraqi PM to visit US

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is to visit the United States from July 21, one of his advisers told AFP on Sunday, in a trip aimed at bolstering non-military cooperation.

Torrential rain in China leaves 15 dead

At least 15 people have died and over 400,000 had to be evacuated in China after torrential rain destroyed houses and caused rivers to overflow, state media said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard gets a ‘Deshi’ makeover

Nagarik Natya Shamproday premiered its new play "Kathal Bagan" on July 4 at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Starring seasoned actors Aly Zaker and Sara Zaker alongside other Nagarik members, the premiere show had a full-house audience. An adaptation of Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard," the play has been scripted and directed by Aly Zaker.

Tanvir Mokammel films screened in Morocco

For director Tanvir Mokammel, it was not only a time to judge others' films but also have his own works evaluated by others. And the venues for the two events were Rabat, the capital of the North African country Morocco, and its second most important city Casablanca.

Subarno Kazi: Carrying on the legacy of Nazrul

Subarna Kazi -- a close relative of the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam -- is a singer, actor, director, activist, and devoted Nazrul enthusiast. He has acted in several TV-plays and short films, mainly donning the role of Nazrul, perhaps because of the uncanny resemblance between him and the 'rebel poet.' In a recent interview with The Daily Star, the artiste from West Bengal shared his experiences and aspirations.

Madonna pays tribute to Michael Jackson in concert

Madonna paid tribute to Michael Jackson last Saturday night in the same arena where he was to stage his comeback, dancing along with an impersonator doing Jackson's distinctive moves.

Art competition on environmental issues

Ishwardi Municipality organised a painting programme for children with an aim to generate awareness in environment. Over 150 children from local schools participated in the competition held at the Upazila auditorium last Wednesday. The theme was 'maintaining the ecological balance and ensuring healthy environment.'

Ganey Ganey Golpo on ATN Bangla tonight

ATN Bangla will air the musical programme “Ganey Ganey Golpo” tonight at 8:45 pm. Hosted by Bappa Majumdar the programme is aired on Sundays.

OP-ED

Green Revolution in Tehran?

THE on-going post-electoral turmoil in Iran is hardly unusual in developing countries, and has precedence in Eurasia, the world's new-found hydro-carbon-rich region. It may be recalled that the US-led transatlantic community bequeathed similar turbulence when it helped foment in Georgia and Ukraine the glorified names such as the Orange Revolution, Rose Revolution, and so forth.

America's first Muslim president?

FOR recession bailout packages and publicly funded competing health insurance proposal providing insurance to the 47 million uninsured Americans he's been dubbed a socialist/communist. For environmental carbon emission "cap and trade" policy he's been called a radical. For non-hawkish and non-antagonistic foreign policy stance he's been called an apologetic appeaser to America's critiques and adversaries. And now a new epithet -- America's Muslim President.


The Daily Star

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