The Daily Star

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Monday, December 22, 2014


News of: Sunday, 12th of July, 2009

Front Page

Bad loans pile up

The volume of bad loans at banks has increased despite recovery measures by governments and the central bank over the last two decades.

Special police unit mulled to combat terrorism, militancy

The police headquarters has sent a proposal to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) for formation of a 3,125-member specialised and technology-based police unit to combat militancy and terrorism.

Bhasani University closed sine die

Maulana Bhasani University of Science and Technology (MBUST) was closed yesterday for an indefinite period following a fierce clash between students and local people that left at least 50 persons injured.

War criminals not barred in UZ polls

War criminals, earlier barred from contesting elections to parliament, city corporations and municipalities, can now participate in upazila parishad polls because of loopholes in the new upazila parishad act passed by parliament.

Hearing resumes soon

Hearing on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman murder case will resume at the Supreme Court within a few days, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said yesterday.

Mitford Hospital makes a difference

Once notorious for its lack of cleanliness and poor services, the country's oldest public hospital Mitford has recently turned itself around as a public hospital that the common people can trust and count on.

Move to free Gulshan Lake of pollution

A team of experts will be formed to analyse the kind and extent of pollution in Gulshan Lake and devise means of purifying its water.

Sircar's graft should be probed through legal process

The corruption allegations against BNP leader and former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar should be investigated under the country's formal legal system, said speakers at the BBC's Bangladesh Sanglap yesterday.

Ensure better health services to people

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged family planning workers, local public representatives, non-governmental organisations and institutions to be more active in providing people with facilities of population control service centres.

Prof Muzaffer welcomes probe into TIB activities

The government can investigate the activities of Transparency International Bangladesh and graft allegations, if any, against its officials, Prof Muzaffer Ahmad said yesterday.

Reshuffle in cabinet soon

Reshuffle in the cabinet will be made within a day or two as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina plans to include 10 more ministers and state ministers in the council of ministers, said sources.

Cargo ship capsizes near Ctg Port

A lighter vessel laden with 1,000 tonnes of gypsum capsized in the Bay after it hit a dredger of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) in the main channel of the port in Karnaphuli estuary yesterday morning.

2 killed in lift fall

Two people were killed as a goods lift fell on ground from the seventh floor of a building in the capital's Kamrangirchar area yesterday.

11 hurt in roof collapse at school

At least nine students and two teachers were injured critically as part of the roof of a room collapsed at Gerakul government primary school in Gournadi upazila yesterday.

Fear of arrest, attacks haunts Uighur Muslims

Some Muslim Uighurs in this restive Chinese city remain in hiding nearly a week after deadly unrest as they are afraid of being attacked by Han Chinese or arrested, residents said yesterday.

BDR-BSF conference starts today

A three-day director general-level conference between Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) begins in Dhaka today.

3 electrocuted, 30 injured in Cox's Bazar

Three people were electrocuted and 30 others suffered shock in a pre-wedding function at Keruntoli village in Moheshkhali Island early yesterday.

Bodies of 2 Bangladeshis found in river

Police recovered bodies of two Bangladeshi cattle traders, allegedly beaten to death by Indian Border Security Force (BSF), from Ichhamati river at Soladana border near Haroddah yesterday.

JS body has right to probe

Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday rejected the questions raised by BNP leaders on the legality of the parliamentary committee to probe the corruption of former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, deputy speaker Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui and chief whip Khandaker Delwar Hossain.

4 killed as bus rams taxicab

Four people were killed and 10 others injured as a bus collided with a taxicab in Bishmile area under Ashulia Police Station yesterday.

Thousands join rally, human chain to save Buriganga

Several thousand people joined a boat rally and formed a human chain on the Buriganga yesterday demanding the river be made pollution- and land-grabber-free.

Fresh violence in Afghanistan kills 30 militants

Four security guards were killed in an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan yesterday, Afghan authorities said, also claiming to have killed up to 30 rebels amid a surge in violence.

Bangladesh Vs West Indies

West Indies 228/6 (73 overs) were trailing Bangladesh by 10 runs in the 1st innings on day three. Mahmudullah was on a hat-trick, claiming two wickets just before tea.

Egypt FM meets Darfur rebel leaders

Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit met officials from Darfur rebel groups yesterday to push for peace talks between them and the Sudanese government, the state news agency MENA reported.

10 killed in Somalia clashes

More than 10 people were killed yesterday in fighting in Mogadishu between Islamic insurgents and troops of Somalia's beleaguered government, police and hospital sources said.

Iraqi PM pushes for stronger central govt

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki yesterday renewed a call for the Iraqi constitution to be changed to concentrate more power with the central government in Baghdad.

Pakistani refugees start returning home

Crammed into rickety vans with electric fans and sacks of flour roped to the roof, the first of Pakistan's 2 million refugees have begun returning to their homes after the army said it expelled Taliban militants from some northern strongholds.

Tajikistan arrests ex-minister after shootout

Police in the Central Asian state of Tajikistan yesterday arrested an ex-minister in connection with an attack on a checkpoint near the Afghan border, an interior ministry spokesman said.

Editorial

Tipai dam controversy rages on

WE have every reason to feel disappointed by the way the Tipaimukh dam issue has been handled so far, and the fault lies at the door of the government as well as the opposition BNP.

Bad ferry services costing the economy dearly

THE ferry situation on both sides of the river Padma is now in a critical state. On the Paturia-Daulatdia and Mawa-Kawrakandi routes, vehicles of all kinds as well as thousands of people remain stranded for as many as sixteen hours because a very large number of the ferries that are usually in service have of late become inoperative. Of the thirteen ferries on the Paturia-Daulatdia route, six have simply gone out of order. On the Mawa-Kawrakandi route, the ferries are so timeworn that they have nearly been rendered incapable of providing services any more.

The caretaker government in the dock

SOME senior lawmakers of both treasury and opposition bench of the present parliament have demanded trial of some members of the caretaker government of Dr. Fakhrudin Ahmed for violation of constitution and human rights and abuse of power.

Monsoon without music

THERE are two ways of checking out the state of the monsoons. You can always enquire from the meteorological department, and take their variable word at face, or faceless, value. The more pleasant option is to switch on the music channels of All India Radio; the radio jockeys of their Hindi film song programmes look out of the window. AIR has a fabulous stock of saawan and barsaat songs that it reserves for the season beginning from around the second week of June, its monsoon music.

Sports

Shakib strikes late

Shakib Al Hasan claimed an early West Indies scalp, after solid batting from the tail-enders allowed Bangladesh to reach 238 in their first innings in the opening Test on Friday.

North, Haddin hit tons

Australia saw four of their batsmen score centuries in a Test innings against England for the first time as they took command of the Ashes series opener at Sophia Gardens here on Saturday.

'Galle-like' P Sara pitch

A seaming wicket and steaming hot conditions have forced Pakistan and Sri Lanka to delay naming their teams for the crucial second Test starting on Sunday.

Once again it's Sheikh Nasser Stadium

The Khulna Divisional Stadium at Mujgunni has once again been renamed since 1996, setting a burning instance of politicisation by both governments of Awami League and BNP-led four-party alliance.

Aussie heroes

Marcus North and Brad Haddin became the 15th and 16th Australia batsmen respectively to score a century in their first Test innings against England when they both reached three figures in the Ashes series opener here on Saturday.

Pakistan cornered, again

So they've done it again. Pakistan have pushed themselves into a corner from where they have to win every game if they are to win the series. At such times, for some reason not exactly known to even the best students of Pakistan cricket, it sort of clicks for Pakistan.

Local Snippets

Rising Star secured a one-wicket victory over Bhaibonchhari Jubo Sangha in the first Tele-talk cricket tournament held at the Khagrachhari Government High School ground on Saturday.

SLC announces Kiwi, tri-series programmes

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Friday announced the dates and venues for New Zealand's Test tour and a one-day tri-series also featuring India in August-September.

Banglalink hit Daily Star hard

After a sound start on Friday, The Daily Star paid the penalty for fielding half fit players in their second fixture against Banglalink who ran away with a 4-1 win in the Ascent Group 5-a-side indoor soccer cup at the Scholastica STM Hall premises yesterday.

Phelps pulls out

Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps pulled out of the 100m freestyle at America's World Championship trials on Friday with a sore neck.

Publishers deny wrongdoing

The publishers of Britain's biggest-selling newspapers insisted Friday that their journalists had not paid private detectives to hack into the mobile phones of thousands of celebrities.

Ribery hopes still alive

Real Madrid's hopes of signing Bayern Munich's French dynamo Franck Ribery are still alive, according to one of the Spanish club's directors.

Feillu wins in Pyrenees

Italian Rinaldo Nocentini took over the Tour de France yellow jersey as Spaniard Alberto Contador dramatically replaced Astana teammate Lance Armstrong in second place overall on Friday.

City call off Eto'o move

English Premier League club Manchester City have given up on a potential move for Barcelona's Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o,

Zhar extends Reds stay

Moroccan international winger Nabil El Zhar has signed an extension to his Liverpool contract that will keep him at Anfield until 2012, the English club confirmed on Saturday.

Tranvestite in Ronaldo sex scandal dies

A transvestite at the center of a sex scandal last year involving Brazil's football star Ronaldo has died of AIDS, media here reported Friday.

Flu outbreak hits Monaco

Five players with French top flight side AS Monaco have the flu and are undergoing tests to determine if they might have swine flu, officials said Friday, saying the cases were "suspect."

Webber grabs maiden pole

Australian Mark Webber produced a perfectly-judged performance in capricious weather Saturday to grab his maiden Formula One pole position for Sunday's German Grand Prix.

Sangakkara's appeal

Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara has asked for better contributions from his batsmen in the second Test at the P Sara Stadium in Colombo as his team looks to record their first ever series win against Pakistan at home. Sri Lanka staged a sensational turnaround on the fourth day in Galle to take a 1-0 lead in the series but the team failed to cross 300 in either innings. Sangakkara was quite aware of his team's failings despite the victory.

WC invite surprises Pakistan

Pakistan has sought clarification over an invitation to attend a World Cup 2011 organising committee meeting as it continues a legal challenge to being stripped of matches.

Wanderers no international venue for now

The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg has been suspended as an international venue by Cricket South Africa (CSA) as part of a dispute with the host association, the Gauteng Cricket Board (GCB).

Business

Herbal medicines get new lease of life

Herbal medicines are set to witness an investment boost as over 20 companies have lined up for licences from the drug administration to manufacture such medicines to exploit business potentials in the sector, still almost untapped, industry people said.

More apparel buyers look to Bangladesh

With the signs of economic recovery in the western world, foreign buyers now lean towards Bangladesh's readymade (RMG) products, placing orders at an enhanced rate.

Bulls on a leash

A long bullish spell in the Dhaka market fizzled out last week with most stocks going down.

Krishi Bank returns from two decades of loss

Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) has made a net profit of Tk 12.19 crore in fiscal 2008-09 -- spurred by loan interests and recovery of bad debt -- after two decades of losses, the bank said in a statement yesterday.

More toxic loans could haunt banks

Japan's economy was paralysed for a decade as banks failed to deal with their troubled loans. That's why it's nothing short of stunning to discover some US banks are doing the same thing now.

ICT-educated youth to change economy

The government will take necessary measures to boost creativity of the country's young generation and properly educate them in information and communication technology (ICT), said state minister for science and ICT yesterday.

Greying Asia faces pensions time bomb: ADB study

Asia is facing an ageing crisis with weak and inadequate pension systems and family-based support dwindling, a leading development bank said Saturday.

Bank, financial institution fair begins July 23

Dhaka Sheraton Hotel is set to organise the Bank and Non-bank Financial Institutions Fair-2009 for the second time on July 23-25.

Is G8 taking a back seat?

The G8's days as the world's top economic policy forum appeared numbered on Friday as leaders, including US President Barack Obama, endorsed moves towards a more inclusive system.

Reborn GM vows to rev up

A reborn General Motors pledged Friday to drive itself to renewed profitability as the new firm emerged from bankruptcy under a government-backed plan.

Fears over Asian markets

Dealers remained cautious Friday, with Asian markets finishing the week mixed and looking for clues to an economic recovery ahead of the second-quarter earnings season.

Zimbabwe unveils $142m farm aid

Zimbabwe will provide 142 million dollars in aid to small-scale farmers as the country struggles to revive its shattered agricultural sector, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Friday.

China property prices post first on-year rise in six months

China's urban property prices rose on year for the first time in six months in June, official data showed Friday, in a sign the sector is recovering thanks to government stimulus support.

European exchanges wilt

European stock exchanges wilted Friday, dragged down by a disappointing report on US consumer confidence and a fall in oil prices.

Moscow market closure costs 100,000 jobs

More than 100,000 people lost their jobs when Russian authorities closed a sprawling market in Moscow last week, including many traders from Asian countries, a migrants association said Friday.

India will clock high growth despite recession: PM

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has defended his government's economic growth target of between eight and nine percent, despite the global recession, a report said Saturday.

AIG seeks US govt nod for bonuses

Insurance giant AIG is to pay millions of dollars more in executive bonuses, despite a firestorm earlier this year over the issue, and is seeking government blessing to deflect public wrath, The Washington Post said Friday.

French official industrial output surges in May

French industrial output, boosted by auto production, rallied strongly in May after months of retreat, official data showed on Friday.

China exports down 21.4pc

Chinese exports dropped 21.4 percent year on year in June, customs figures showed Friday, narrowing from May's fall with analysts saying it was too early to predict a recovery for the ailing sector.

Weekly Currency Roundup

July 5th-July 9th 2009
International Markets
The currency market continued to remain highly volatile this week. Early in the week euro and the pound fell against the dollar and the yen, after having risen strongly the previous week. Sterling fell on weak UK factory orders, and the market in general turned more risk averse as the market was wary of Q2 earnings.

Metropolitan

Pvt tuition, coaching blamed for fall in quality of edn

The culture of private tuition and coaching centres run by schoolteachers ignoring classroom duties and the needs of students is the major reason why the quality of education is gradually deteriorating, a common allegation voiced by students yesterday.

Disadvantaged but talented students accorded reception

Ninety disadvantaged students who achieved GPA-5 in the SSC examinations with their indomitable spirit were accorded a reception in the city yesterday.

DCC to buy 100 waste compactor vehicles

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) is set to purchase 100 waste compactor vehicles at a cost of about Tk 100 crore aimed at carrying out its existing solid waste management programmes in more organised way, DCC officials said yesterday.

Be cautious while investigating cases

Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday asked police officials to be cautious while investigating the cases that help the prosecution and the defence get justice.

Formulate strategy to cap population growth

Speakers at a discussion yesterday urged the government to take necessary steps to formulate an effective population management strategy, as uncontrolled population growth is the key obstacle to development in the country.

Mutual Trust Bank-Daily Star Debate Competition begins today

The weeklong Mutual Trust Bank-The Daily Star Debate Competition 2009 begins in the port city today.

Criminals were hired to kill Dr Mujibur

A gang of miscreants, who made attempt to kill Dr Mujibur Rahman a member of the governing body of Virqarunnisa Noon School and College on April 29, received Tk 1.5 lakh, said detective police yesterday.

Killers of journos to be tried: Azad

The government will hold trial of all killings of journalists in the country and will ensure exemplary punishment for the culprits, said Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday.

Production may hit snag for less consumption by power plant

The Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Limited (BCMCL) authorities fear that coal production at Barapukuria coal mine might be hampered any time due to less consumption of coal by the ailing 250 megawatt (MW) coal-fired Barapukuria power plant as its two units often trip, leading to stockpiling of huge coal, sources said.

Speaker happy with democracy

Although the country is still ridden with politics of conflicts and disputes, the fact that matters most is it is being governed by democracy, said Speaker Abdul Hamid Advocate yesterday.

Xinjiang opposition group calls for EU observers

A Uighur group yesterday called on the European Union to send observers to China's Xinjiang region where ethnic unrest has left at least 184 dead.

Road march to protest offshore oil, gas block leasing

The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port started a road march towards Cox's Bazar from Dhaka yesterday demanding scrap of leases of offshore blocks to foreign companies to explore oil and gas.

Education for women a must to control birth rate

Speakers at a discussion yesterday underscored the need for expanding education for women to make them aware of family planning which will help them control the present birth rate as well as reduce poverty.

Call to stop repression on journos

Journalists' leaders at their 'Demand Day' programme yesterday demanded the government to reinstate the journalists who are sacked from Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) and Bangladesh Television (BTV).

Try BDR mutineers under military law: Hafiz

BNP Vice Chairman Maj (retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed yesterday demanded that the BDR mutineers be tried under military law, not under civilian law.

Thailand swine flu death toll rises to 15

Thailand's health authority Saturday confirmed another death from swine flu, bringing the country's toll to 15.

Extortionist asks Unesco official to pay Tk 10,000

An anonymous caller yesterday asked a Unesco official to pay Tk 10,000 in toll to his accomplice or face dire consequences.

2 alleged killers arrested

Police arrested two alleged killers of Kafco official Aurongojeb Hossain Mithu from Lama upazila in Bandarban on Friday night.

Pvt university student found dead

Police recovered the body of a private university student from a pond of Sher-e-Bangla Agriculture University (SAU) on its campus in the city yesterday.

Barrister Ishtiaq's anniversary of death today

Today is the sixth death anniversary of Barrister Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed, a prominent lawyer and former adviser to a caretaker government, says a press release.

One killed in road accident

A student was killed in a road accident at Singa point on Pabna-Dhaka highway yesterday.

Journo Sarwar Zahan passes away

Sarwar Zahan, a senior journalist and freedom fighter, passed away due to a cardiac arrest at city's Lab Aid Hospital in the early hours of yesterday at the age of 62.

Phensidyl floods country for lax border patrol

Phensidyl, a popular drug among youths, has been entering the country in huge quantity due to lax border patrol over the past few months and the negligence on the part of the government in implementing anti-smuggling measures.

Menon for edn system without discrimination

Rashed Khan Menon, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education Ministry, yesterday laid importance on an education system without any discrimination.

'Punish criminals'

Rights activists yesterday demanded the government give death sentences to the criminals involved in food adulteration and restart its anti-adulteration drive.

National

Tigers enter villages for shortage of herbivorous animals

Food crisis in the Sundarbans is forcing tigers to enter human habitations as herbivorous animals, especially deer, see a gradual decrease there.

Work on with hope to finish repair within 48 hours

Local people and army, police and Rab personnel joined hands with around 400 workers of the Water Development Board (WDB) to repair the damaged portion of Sirajganj town protection embankment.

Six bank staff sued for embezzlement

A depositor has filed a case with Nilphamari Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court against six Rupali Bank officials in connection with misappropriating deposited money from Saidpur branch of the bank.

10 hurt as AL men attack BNP rally

At least 10 people were injured as Awami League activists attacked a BNP rally at Nandigram upazila headquarters yesterday.

Boy abducted a month ago yet to be rescued

A schoolboy abducted for ransom from Bahirgola area in the town a month ago is yet to be rescued.

Rivals reject Pabna BNP convening committee

Leaders and activists of a faction of Pabna BNP yesterday rejected the 71-member district convening committee, saying that the dedicated leaders have not been included in the committee.

Extortionists attack house

Criminals exploded bombs at a house Friday night after the housemaster refused to pay the amount demanded by them. According to police, a local gang demanded Tk 3 lakh from Sona Mia, a medicine trader a few days ago at Arpara village in Gangni upazila of Meherpur. Sona is too poor to pay the toll but the gang threatened him with dire consequences. On Friday night, the gang stormed into his house and blasted several bombs. None was injured in the incident. A case was filed with Gangni police station yesterday.

Three train robbers held

Passengers caught three robbers red-handed yesterday in a compartment of the Lalmonirhat bound local train at Shingimari under Badarganj upazila. Police said the robbers boarded the train in the morning and stabbed one Siddique and threw him out of the train at Darshana as he refused to give them money. At one stage the passengers of the compartment caught three of the robbers and handed them over to police when the train reached Rangpur railway station.

10 held for rape, acid attack

Companiganj police arrested 10 people in two separate cases of gang rape and acid attack. They were sent to the jail Friday afternoon. Police said, six miscreants broke into the house of Abdul Quadir at village Telikhal Lamadeksi and allegedly raped his wife Rabeya Begum, 25, early Thursday. Quadir who was out of the house that night, on Friday morning filed a case under Women and Children Repression Elimination Act. The same day police arrested Zafar Miah, Asabuddin, Ebadur Rahman, Nuruzzaman, Rais Uddin and Nizamuddin on rape charge. In the other incident, four people were held on Thursday night on charge of hurling acid on three stone quarry labourers at Aziruddin's colony in Dayarbazaer area early July 7. Arrestees are Zainal Abedin, his brothers Farid Uddin, Azir Uddin and Dulal Miah.

Letters

Utilisation of urea

Palma's report on the subject, printed in the back page of your June 4th issue is of vital importance for Bangladesh agriculture. In my opinion it should have been in the first page rather than the report on Myanmar Junta's usual attitude.

Global warming

As we all know global warming is the most discussed topic in the present day context. Which is in fact a great threat for mankind, literally global warming is progressive and gradual rise of earth temperature (especially a sustained increase that causes the climate change) is thought to be caused by irrational exploitation and imbalanced surge of greedy human nature. Our mother Earth is heating further each and every day. It has been noticed that rapid unplanned industrial growth with the capitalistic motive of quick and easy money making has led to this tragedy.

Floods

The present flood situation in Bangladesh is getting worse. Inundation of low-lying areas of Netrokona, Sunamganj, Lalmonirhat, Sylhet, Kurigram, Gaibandha has created a very difficult situation for the people in those districts. They are facing shortage of food and pure water etc. There are more than two hundred thousand people marooned in those districts by now.

"Dangerous joyrides"

With reference to the report entitled “Dangerous joyrides, we would like to state that WheelsBD Automobile Club Ltd., being the FIRST AND ONLY REGISTERED AUTOMOBILE CLUB in Bangladesh, neither supports nor encourages the use of howlers or violation of traffic laws.

Report on Babri Mosque

The Hindustan Times reported on July 1 that a confidential report submitted to Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh on June 30 is understood to have blamed several senior leaders of the BJP for the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya 17 years ago.

South Asians

Migration of South Asians to distant countries to seek livelihoods, or in search of acquaintance, skills, training and professional opportunities, is an undeniable fact. With the lack of economic as well as educational opportunities in South Asia, the trend of emigration out of South Asia will continue in the foreseeable future. Thousands of South Asians leave South Asia on a daily basis to seek employment abroad with official permission. Millions of South Asians have settled in the USA, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other developed countries. Acquiring citizenship of the adopted country becomes almost a necessity for various practical considerations like enjoying privileges of employment, education with ease, participation in various activities etc. The South Asians who acquire citizenship of their adopted countries nonetheless always wish to maintain strong emotional ties with their country of origin which they usually consider their motherland. The South Asians stay in regular touch with their families back home, travel to South Asia frequently and support the country to the best of their ability. Which is better for us?

Indiscreet comments

It was obvious that the comment made by the Indian High Commissioner about the Bangladeshi water experts' expertise on the subject matter was really harsh and a matter of concern. Multiple issues with our neighbour India still remain unresolved which is certainly the failure of the foreign ministry of Bangladesh. It shouldn't be a juicy issue for the opposition to go further for their so called "save the country" campaign.

Chinese restaurants

“Chinese Restaurant” is supposed to mean a place where Chinese foods are prepared and served. I also had the same idea. The other day while I was going to take my lunch, I was offered to have it in a Chinese restaurant by one of my friends. Yes, I went to a so-called renowned Chinese restaurant in my city accompanied by him. It was the first time I was visiting such a place. So, I was totally unaware of the inside of the restaurant, but I heard a lot of negative things about such kind of restaurants. When I entered the restaurant, I saw nothing but darkness. After a while, I hardly saw the inside of the room and we took the seats covered by some curtains. Actually each and every couple of seats was covered by curtain so that no one could see the people who sat there. After that we ordered some foods. But it took around 45 minutes to serve the foods and while I made a complaint to the manager he smiled at me mysteriously. It seemed to be negligence. He also said that no one comes there to eat and smiled again. Really, I saw none to leave the room but enter and not singly but accompanied by opposite…. However, when I went to pay the bill, I was astonished to know that a bottle of mineral water of Tk 10 would cost Tk 50 and everything had exorbitant prices. Another interesting thing I noticed is that the waiter showed least interest to serve us and I discovered the reason later that we both were males. However, while we were eating, I heard some rough sounds from the surroundings inside the restaurant made by girls and boys. It was an embarrassing situation for me. Moreover, the environment of the room was not suitable to eat in any sense.

Poor primary education

Chunks of plaster raining down on class one students of a primary school injuring seven of them are illustrative of dilapidated condition of both primary education and school buildings. My wife, a primary school teacher, told me that because of corruption on the part of contractors who are usually ruling party cadres school buildings are constructed with so much less amount of cement that walls cannot withstand a gentle touch on them. The state of teaching there is poor, thanks to lack of devotion on the part of teachers and corruption on the part of local education officers.

BDR Headquarters

The present BDR HQ is in the middle of residential areas. In the West Jhigatola, Hazaribag, in the east Dhanmondi R/A, in the south New Market, Azimpur and lastly in the north Dhanmondi R/A. It is absolutely unsafe even for the army headquarters to be in the midst of residential areas.

No way to reach office!

People of Mohammadpur residential area could not reach offices at Motijeel area in two hours, though the distance is only around 12 kilometres. And the same is true for the other areas of the city.

Why abroad?

We learned that Home Minister Sahara Khatun has been successfully operated on for her hip injury in a Singapore hospital. We prayed for her early and complete recovery.

Great going for MPs!

In our country the elected public representatives traditionally use their authority to build and secure their own future forgetting their pledges & promises to the general people who elected them. But the matter seems to get further momentum with the MPs of the present national parliament. Although nothing tangible has yet been done for the common people, we learn every day of new measures to reinforce the rights and benefits of the MPs. They have been made kings of Upazilas rendering Upazila Chairmen just figureheads, MPs will have huge authority over implementing local development projects in their constituencies through the LGRD ministry, they have been assured of rise in their remuneration and allowances, each MP will get separate office on the JS premises, they will also get free cars, drivers with fuel and shall own the vehicles against a symbolic price at end of their tenure.

Investigation

The all-party parliamentary probe committee that has investigated the allegations of corruption against former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, his deputy Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui and former chief whip Khandaker Delwar Hossain, has done a commendable job.

Govt losing direction

I am appalled at the state of the country after the Awami League swept to power in the last election. I was hoping that the country would be managed more efficiently and was looking forward to coming to Bangladesh and investing in the country of my birth. The reasons why I have changed my mind are:

Medical education

The present government is committed to providing medical service to people in rural areas, especially in every union area. The commitment is appreciable. Modern medical service is a far cry for the majority people who live in rural Bangladesh. Four decades have passed but the governments who administered the country could not arrange medical service to villages, though the villages are the vital units of Bangladesh. To provide medical services three basic factors are to be arranged, namely, service of professional medical manpower, pharmaceutical medicine and medical equipment and instrument.

International

Pakistan offers US deal with Taliban if it reins in India

Pakistan's military has offered to play a broker between the US and the Taliban, but in return it wants concessions from Washington over Islamabad's concerns with India, according to CNN.

US asks Pak govt to publicly accept drone strikes

The United States has asked Pakistan to publicly accept its tacit approval to the drone strikes being carried out in its 'lawless' tribal region along the Afghan border, as its consistent denial on the issue is creating new tensions with Washington.

Africa must fight corruption, decide own future: Obama

US President Barack Obama said in a keynote speech on Saturday that Africa's leaders must battle corruption and strengthen democracy, but that it is up to Africans to decide their future in the world.

Muslim anger at China builds over crackdown

Muslim anger grew Friday at China's crackdown in Xinjiang with Turkey's leader labelling the plight of the Uighurs "a kind of genocide" and thousands taking to the streets of world capitals in protest.

India seeks Pak action against Mumbai attackers

Indian premier Manmohan Singh has voiced hope that Pakistan will promise action against those behind the Mumbai terror attacks when he meets counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani, a report said yesterday.

UK defends Afghan mission

Foreign Secretary David Miliband defended Britain's role in Afghanistan on Saturday after fighting claimed eight soldiers' lives in 24 hours.

Thousands camp in tents after China quake

Thousands camped in tents in southwestern China on Saturday after a magnitude-6.0 earthquake destroyed thousands of homes, killed one person and injured 320, state media reported.

Israeli-Palestinian peace 'not moving forward'

The peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is "not moving forward" though there is progress in the Middle East as a whole, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on Friday.

Iran plays down G8 concern over protests, nuclear standoff

Iran yesterday played down G8 concerns about its crackdown on protests after the June presidential election and its nuclear programme, saying it is working on a package to address international issues.

Birds too can build fireproof homes

Its not just humans, birds can also build fireproof homes, say Japanese researchers at Kyushu University in Fukuoka.

Nigerian rebels blow up Chevron pipeline

Nigerian militants on Friday claimed to have blown up for a second time a recently repaired oil pipeline operated by US petroleum giant Chevron.

US blocked probes into Afghan prisoner killings

The Bush administration repeatedly sought to block investigations into alleged killings of up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners by a US-backed Afghan warlord in 2001, The New York Times reported Friday.

Last witness testifies in Suu Kyi trial

Testimony wrapped up Friday in the trial of Myanmar's jailed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as the last defence witness argued that she is innocent because the military government charged her under a constitution abolished two decades ago.

No easy end in sight for Honduras crisis

Delegates representing the ousted and interim governments of Honduras failed to forge an agreement during a second day of talks and no fixed date was set for future negotiations.

Fazlullah on 'death bed', says BBC

The Swat Taliban chief, Mullah Fazlullah has been grievously injured in the ongoing military offensive, and is on his 'death bed', a BBC report has claimed.

Arts & Entertainment

Rediscovering Mamun through his works

"Last year in June, Mamun expressed his wish to celebrate his birthday on July 12 with grandeur; he even wrote a draft for the invitation card saying, 'Man is by nature avaricious, I am also being a bit greedy to be with my dear ones on my birthday.' We are preparing ourselves for a festival in July. But unfortunately, he got admitted to hospital just before the festival, and on the much-awaited birthday, he was having a critical operation in his head. Through this festival, we are paying our honour to this versatile genius who contributed a lot to neo-theatre movement in the post independent Bangladesh," Ramendu Majumdar, president of ITI and convener of the festival said while welcoming the audience at the eight-day festival celebrating the birth anniversary of the playwright, director-filmmaker and actor Abdullah Al Mamun. Mamun died last year as he was suffering from subdural haematoma (bleeding in the brain).

Unusual forms and soothing colours

AKM Alamgir Huque, an acclaimed artist, was a familiar figure in the Bangladesh art circuit of the '80s. In that period he excelled both in painting and printmaking and established a personal hallmark through his semi-abstract works. He acquired some unique techniques in printmaking in that momentous period.

Nahid Sultana: A talented singer from Khulna

Nahid Sultana, a post-graduate in English Literature from Government. B.L University College, Khulna, was positioned in the “Best Category” of “Srijonsheel Protiva Anweshon” by Bengal Foundation in October 2006. Recently she spoke to The Daily Star (TDS) about her dreams and more.

ATN Bangla’s talent hunt for students goes to Rangamati

The regional selection round of "Tatka National Star," a new talent hunt programme for school students by ATN Bangla and Oxford International School, was held at the Rangamati district Shilpakala Academy last Tuesday.

350th episode of Doll’s House to go on air tonight

The 350th episode of ATN Bangla's daily soap "Doll's House," will be aired tonight at 11:30pm. Jointly directed by Afsana Mimi and Badrul Anam Soud, the serial is based on Azad Abul Kalam's storyline. Chanchal M. Rahman and Tazin Ahmed are the scriptwriters.

Drama serial Sakin Sarisuri on Channel i

Drama serial "Sakin Sarisuri" will be aired on Channel i tonight at 7:50pm. Written by Brindabon Das and directed by Salauddin Lavlu, the serial has been aired every Saturday and Sunday.

Jackman and Craig to share stage

Actors Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman are to star together on Broadway in a play about two Chicago policemen, it has been announced.

Srotar Ashor at Chhayanaut

On July 10 Chhayanaut held its monthly musical soiree "Srotar Ashor" at the Ramesh Chandra Dutt Memorial Auditorium, Chhayanaut Shangskriti Bhaban.

Workshop on Tagore songs in Barisal

A two-day long Rabindra Sangeet training workshop was inaugurated at BNDN auditorium in the city on July 10.

Gibson to star in Foster film

Hollywood actor Mel Gibson is in talks to take the lead role in a film directed by Jodie Foster, reports say.

OP-ED

Tipaimukh Dam: Blessing or peril for Bangladesh?

Recently, there has been much discussion in the electronic and print media about the potential impacts of the Tipaimukh Dam on Bangladesh. The intensity of the buzz has heightened following the remarks made by the Indian high commissioner on June 21, and subsequent comments made by the water resources minister of Bangladesh. In both cases, they have assured the Bangladeshi people that not only the proposed dam will cause no harm to Bangladesh, it actually may even benefit Bangladesh.

Bangladesh a no-show again

There are international meetings and conferences galore, the value of which may be questioned. These are of all kinds and serve diverse purposes. However, there are conclaves of global scope on important subjects which set standards and indicate directions for the world by sharing experiences and consulting stakeholders, including governments, institutions and civil society protagonists. The World Conference on Higher Education convened by Unesco in Paris, July 5-8, was such an event. The last such forum was held in 1998 and the next one will be a decade hence.

Leeks, onions and other famous Asian meats

A leek is a large green and white vegetable which looks like a spring onion designed by Texans. It became a hot news item last week, so I was commissioned to bring one to a TV studio.



The Daily Star

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