The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, December 20, 2014


News of: Monday, 20th of July, 2009

Front Page

JS team goes to Tipai July 29

The parliamentary delegation for visiting Tipaimukh dam site in India will leave Dhaka on July 29 to make a preliminary assessment of the impacts the proposed dam may have on Bangladesh.

I resigned May 31

Awami League lawmaker Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj yesterday said he stood down as the state minister for home affairs on May 31 so that his dignity and principles could survive intact.

Hills vanishing in Cox's Bazar

Open spaces in the hotel motel zone of Cox's Bazar beach are being filled with earth from hills, violating the government's order.

Ball back to EC

Speaker Abdul Hamid has finally placed the onus back on the Election Commission to strip BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury of his parliament membership for violating electoral laws.

$1,149m sought from donors

The government yesterday sought $1,149 million global assistance for mitigating the impact of natural disasters on a long-term basis, especially in the coastal districts which are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Higher credit target set for public sector

Despite a clear sign of sluggishness in private sector investment, Bangladesh Bank (BB) in its new monetary policy for the current fiscal year set a higher credit target for the government sector compared to the private sector.

Wrong ones to lead JCD in DU

Non-students with murky past triumph over regular students in the newly announced convening committee of the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal's (JCD) Dhaka University unit.

BNP seeks time till Jan 31 for council

BNP sought time extension, up to January 31, from the Election Commission yesterday to ratify the provisional changes to its constitution and submit it to the EC.

Outlaw drive in the SW soon

The government will launch a special drive in the country's south-western districts soon to combat re-emergence of outlawed outfits in the wake of growing incidents of killings in the region in recent months.

Industries get ETP ultimatum

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday warned that the government would take stern action against the industries, which will not set up effluent treatment plant (ETP) by the next six months.

4 more Laskar leaders serving in madrasas

Four senior Laskar-e-Taiyeba leaders who are hiding in Bangladesh are also serving as teachers in different madrasas of the country providing their fake identities like detained Mufti Obaidullah, detective branch (DB) sources said.

HT Imam denies law, order slide

Prime Minister's Adviser HT Imam denied that the country's law and order situation deteriorated since the Awami League-led government had taken over the rein six months ago.

Bangladesh wins bronze

Bangladesh has won a medal for the first time in the International Math Olympiad (IMO) in Bremen, the highest competition for the students.

Abdul Kalam arrives in city

Former Indian president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam arrived in Dhaka yesterday afternoon on a three-day visit.

Jubo League leader shot dead in city

Unidentified criminals gunned down a Juba League leader, who is also a contractor and a restaurant owner, in the city's Mohakhali area yesterday evening.

11 injured in gunfight with robbers

At least 11 persons including four policemen received bullets in an hour-long gunfight between police and robbers early morning yesterday at Thaingkhali under Ukhia upazila on Cox's Bazar-Teknaf highway.

JS body suggests cancellation

A parliamentary sub-committee yesterday recommended cancelling allotment of 28 houses to MPs and ministers of the last BNP-Jamaat-led government and their relatives on charges of irregularities.

Another fire victim dies

Another victim of Saturday's fire succumbed to his injuries at the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday, raising the death toll to three.

Ex-adviser Fazlul Huq's son sent to jail

A Dhaka court yesterday sent Dr Afzal Hossain Raj, son of former adviser to the caretaker government Justice Fazlul Huq, to jail in a case filed against him for amassing wealth illegally and concealing wealth information to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Editorial

Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina on Tipaimukh

OPPOSITION leader Khaleda Zia has called on the Indian government to scrap its plans on the Tipaimukh dam. She thinks it will be a way for Delhi to follow through on the reassurances given by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina last week. The BNP leader seems to be prejudging the issue, especially when much remains to be seen as to how India and Bangladesh handle it. At the other end, there is a fair degree of suspicion that the Tipaimukh affair may have been underplayed within the ruling circles, an attitude that cannot have served the government well. When such factors are now juxtaposed with the call by Sheikh Hasina for national unity to ensure Bangladesh's interests vis-à-vis Tipaimukh, one is not quite sure what such unity should be based on. There is an element of obscurity that must be removed before any clear conclusions can be drawn from the prime ministerial call.

Fire in a closed home

WE are shocked at the incident of arson that left two killed, including a minor girl, and five others of the same family critically burnt in their house in city's Kadamtali area. Though the local police suspect that the fire might have been due to an electric short circuit, the neighbours of the family allege that the husband of one of the victims could have deliberately set the house on fire. The very fact that doors were found locked from outside raised suspicion of malicious intent behind the horrendous incident. In fact, there are allegations that the husband was but a mugger who used to beat up his wife and at one point of time had threatened to burn the family alive. Now that fire has already taken two innocent lives, the incident must be thoroughly investigated and perpetrators apprehended.

PM vs. TIB

MY close friend and a neighbour (medical doctor and stem cell research scientist) asked me if I would write an article in which to quote his remittances of nearly $20,000 to Bangladesh last year and current thinking to send remittances by-passing official channels. On my part, I remitted nearly half of that amount over the same period. We aren't alone: others are also thinking along the same lines. The threshold question: what are we so annoyed about?

A statement out of joint

A principal purpose of diplo-speak, and more particularly diplo-write, is to state the obvious. Platitudes are the daily diet of dialogue. Prudent officials wander from the obvious with great trepidation, and when tasked to create a new approach, they agonise over every word.

Sports

Siddons set to stay on

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is all set to extend the contract of Australian national team coach Jamie Siddons whose two-year tenure expires in November this year.

Day Two Roach's

A day that promised much for Bangladesh ended with West Indies 56 for one in their second innings and leading by 61, after impressive bowling from Kemar Roach kept the hosts in the second and final Test on Saturday.

England sniff victory

England saw the back of Australia captain Ricky Ponting as they moved closer to winning their first Ashes Test at Lord's in 75 years here on Sunday.

Vaas quitting Tests

Sri Lanka's veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas said on Sunday he will retire from Test cricket after the ongoing Pakistan series, but will still play limited-overs internationals.

Lanka eye clean sweep

Kumar Sangakkara hopes to complete a 3-0 sweep against Pakistan in his first Test series as Sri Lanka captain despite admitting his team had played "patchy" cricket so far.

Documentary on women's football

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) in principle agreed to go ahead with the proposal of making a documentary on the women's football in the country.

Haques lift Under-19s

Bangladesh Under-19s set a challenging target for their England counterparts in the second one-day match at Grace Road yesterday.

KP's fear

Kevin Pietersen fears that the Achilles injury that has hampered his summer could end up ruling him out at some stage of the Ashes series. Pietersen, who made an unusually ponderous 44 from 101 balls on the third day of the second Test at Lord's, has undergone four injections to get him fit for the series, and wrote in his newspaper column that the injury has been playing on his mind "all day and every day".

Owen's still got it

Michael Owen's predatory instincts are still intact. That's the message he sent after scoring the winning goal on his Manchester United debut.

'Rooney is maturing'

Wayne Rooney is starting to mature but still has plenty of room for improvement, according to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Piracy hits Man City

New signing Carlos Tevez watched from the sideline as Manchester City lost 2-0 to Orlando Pirates Saturday in the opening Vodacom Challenge tournament match.

Chelsea solid as ever

Teenager Daniel Sturridge wasted no time in making his presence felt for Chelse, scoring one goal and helping create another in Chelsea's 2-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders in a friendly match Saturday.

Adebayor moves to City

Manchester City on Saturday said they had clinched the 25 million pound (35 million euros) signing of Togolese forward Emmanuel Adebayor from Arsenal on a five-year contract.

No complaints from Blues

The Premier League have confirmed they had received no official complaint from Chelsea over Manchester City's pursuit of John Terry, as Mark Hughes continued his public courtship of the England captain.

Becks tips Chelsea

England star midfielder David Beckham insisted Sunday that he believes new Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti can bring the Premier League trophy to Stamford Bridge next season.

Ivanschitz signs for Mainz

Austrian international midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz is on his way to promoted Bundesliga side Mainz from Greek outfit Panathinaikos, the German team's manager Georg Stanggassinger said Saturday.

Lyon rope in Cissokho

French left back Aly Cissokho is on his way to Lyon after agreement was reached between the French club and FC Porto, a source close to the dossier said Saturday.

Milan keen on Hernanes

Milan have reportedly identified Sao Paulo midfield star Hernanes as their next summer signing.

Abu Dhabi beckons for Oliveira

Brazil international striker Ricardo Oliveira has signed for the Abu Dhabi-based Al-Jazira club from Real Betis for a country transfer fee record of 14 million euros.

Captaincy in question

Ricky Ponting's captaincy again came under scrutiny by the Australian media on Sunday as his team faced almost certain defeat in the second Ashes Test against England at Lord's.

Russia's 2nd title in a row

Russia continued their synchronised swimming domination by lifting the technical team title at the World Championships here on Sunday for the second time in a row.

School chess

The 6th round of the 11th Standard Chartered School chess tournament ended on Sunday at the N.S.C Tower Auditorium Lounge. Four players are sharing lead in the points table with maximum 5½ points each in the Class VI to X Group. They are Abdullah Al-Saif, Ikramul Haque Siam, Debotpal Dey (India) and Rupesh Jaiswal (Nepal).

Zia seeks foreign consult

Bangladesh National Kabaddi team captain Ziaur Rahman left for Bangkok on Sunday for better treatment after suffering a serious knee injury during the Dinajpur Services Kabadi finals on June 22.

DU chess

The fourth round of the Dhaka Inter-Department Chess Competition ended at the Shaheed Munir Chowdhury Auditorium on Sunday. Three departments are sharing the first position with 8.5 points each. They are Management, Finance and Physics. Maths and Language department are jointly holding the second position with eight points each. I.B.A is holding third position with seven points. The fifth and final round games will take place today at the same venue.

Martin wants new ball along with Bond

Chris Martin, the New Zealand seamer, has expressed his desire to team up with Shane Bond and the new ball at the international level. Neither are together on New Zealand's upcoming tour to Sri Lanka -- Martin is in the Test side, Bond in the one-day squad -- but Martin was keen to strengthen New Zealand's fast-bowling attack by forging a healthy pairing domestically.

ZH Sidker football

The second edition of the day-night ZH Sikder football tournament commenced on Sunday at the Millennium international school and College (MISC) ground in Monica real estate, west Dhanmondi. The tournament was inaugurated by Zainul Huq Sikder, chairman of Sikder Group. S. M Hayat Ul Islam, principal of MISC was also present at the ceremony as the special guest.

Business

BB upbeat on GDP growth

The economy will grow at 6 percent in fiscal 2009-10 despite the global downturn that weighed on exports, the central bank said in its monetary policy released yesterday.

SEC okays GMG share issuance to Beximco

Private carrier GMG Airlines has received a go-ahead from the stock market regulator to issue new shares to Beximco Ltd, a subsidiary of local business conglomerate Beximco Group.

Faruk seeks G20 fund share

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan called upon the world leaders yesterday to provide Bangladesh's share from the $1.1 trillion recession package announced at a G20 summit in April.

New industrial policy this year

A new industrial policy with measures to encourage and promote public-private sector initiatives will be announced this year.

President stresses local production of raw materials for pharmaceuticals

President Zillur Rahman yesterday emphasised producing the pharmaceutical raw materials locally to facilitate flourishing of the pharmaceutical industry.

Minister says more ICT access to rural people soon

The government is set to take measures to enhance access of information and communication technology (ICT) to rural communities, the state minister for science and ICT said yesterday.

Connect the dots in digitalisation

With today's course of internet, the goal of connecting rural Bangladesh will take decades to reach. But WiMAX company Augere believes it can accelerate the process and get rural connection now and play an important role in realising a "Digital Bangladesh".

Cyclone dashes shrimp farmers' dreams

When farmer Habibul Rahman heard of a luxury food item in demand by consumers in Europe and the US, he thought switching his land from rice to shrimps would be a safe bet.

ADR can help dispose of business-related cases

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed has advised Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) officials to place a proposal to the finance ministry to amend laws for quick disposal of business-related cases through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system.

Dutch envoy pins hope on Bangladesh business climate

Outgoing Dutch ambassador has expressed hope that Bangladesh would become one of the best places for doing business within the next few years.

Stocks end down

Dhaka stocks made a shaky start of the week yesterday with most of the major sector ended negative.

Turkey joins anti-smoking club with drastic ban

Turkey went smoke-free Sunday as the government introduced a ban in bars, cafes and restaurants -- despite business owners' protests -- in a bid to break the national addiction to nicotine.

First office equipment fair in Oct

Event Touch Bangladesh, an event management firm, will host the country's first-ever office equipment exposition in October.

Opel bidders must stump up more cash, says Germany

The three bidders for GM's European unit Opel have to stump up more cash of their own and rely less on government loans and guarantees, Germany's economy minister said on Sunday.

Porsche boss braces for boardroom clash

Embattled Porsche chief Wendelin Wiedeking is gearing up for one of his toughest board meetings on Thursday, when the debt-laden sports car maker's fate could take a decisive turn.

Battle brewing to save Toyota's California plant

A battle is brewing to save the only automotive plant still operating on the west coast of the United States after General Motors pulled out of a joint operating venture with Toyota.

US banks report using govt assistance for loans

The internal watchdog overseeing the US government's financial bailout is pressing Treasury to seek more information from banks that receive taxpayer assistance, brandishing his own bank survey as evidence that such data can be obtained.

British Airways to raise 600m pounds

Troubled airline British Airways said on Friday that it was raising about 600 million pounds (694 million euros, 977 million dollars) to improve its cash pile.

New chief for public enterprises body

Additional Secretary and Chairman of Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation KH Masud Siddiqui has been selected chairman of Consultative Committee of Public Enterprises, says a press release.

New MD for Oman Bangladesh Leasing

Oman Bangladesh Leasing and Finance Ltd has recently appointed Proshanta K Halder as its managing director, says a press release.

Metropolitan

Form nat'l commission to protect rivers

The High Court (HC) has directed the government to constitute a 'National River Protection Commission' consisting of the experts concerned within three months to properly preserve and develop the rivers of the country.

Hizb-ut men distribute leaflets in Ctg, Rajshahi

Members of Hizb-ut Tawhid, an Islamist outfit, yesterday distributed leaflets through newspaper hawkers in Chittagong and Rajshahi yesterday.

Akhaura port faces setback for long

Akhaura land port in Brahmanbaria faces serious setback in unloading exported goods to Agartala land port in India for long, as the Indian side unloads goods at their whims.

BNP did not protest while in power

Food and Disaster Manage-ment Minister Dr Abdur Razzak yesterday said if BNP would have protested when it was in power then India could not come so far with its Tipaimukh dam project.

Raise voice against impacts of climate change

Junior Chamber International (JCI) World President Jun Sup Shin yesterday urged its members to raise voice against disastrous effects of climate change, saying that local protests will greatly help change the world.

'One-third of country's population to be forced to migrate'

Speakers at a training course yesterday stressed the need for understanding the impact of climate change to face its challenges through environment-friendly measures.

Another housewife burned to death

About a year ago, Asma came to Dhaka from Barisal to save herself from her husband's torture, but by a cruel twist of fate, she was burned to death by her second husband.

Rezaqul files petition for bail

Detained former director general of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Major Gen (Retd) Rezaqul Haider Chowdhury yesterday filed a petition with the High Court (HC), seeking bail in the sensational Chittagong arms haul case.

Local govt bodies to be strengthened

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said local government bodies, including district and upazila parishads, would be strengthened with a view to making them effective and increasing the locals' involvement in the development activities.

Humanitarian cause of youths can make world different

One philanthropic medical student from the US and a group of BBA students from ASA University in the city once again showed that the strength of the youth can make a difference in the world.

Road crashes kill seven

Seven people were killed in separate road accidents in Mymensingh, Jhenidah, Manikganj and Narail yesterday.

'Involve young entrepreneurs with mainstream dev'

President Zillur Rahman yesterday emphasised on involving the young entrepreneurs, as the future leaders of the nation, with the country's mainstream development.

Arrest of 3 Chhatri Sangstha members challenged

Three separate writ petitions were filed yesterday with the High Court (HC) challenging the arrest of three members of Islami Chhatri Sangstha (ICS), female student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, in Pirojpur.

Young docs urged to dedicate themselves for people's welfare

Increasing number of young doctors resorting to private practices is doing more harm than good to the society, said Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr A F M Ruhal Haque yesterday.

'Don't waste public money, indulge in corruption'

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said wastage or corruption in use of hard-earned public money would not be tolerated.

Arms seized, one held

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested an arms trader and seized a 9mm Chinese pistol, five bullets and two magazines from him at Boro Shyampur in Puthia upazila in Rajshahi yesterday.

Adulterated ghee factory busted

Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institution (BSTI) yesterday filed three cases with a Dhaka court against two companies on charges of marketing ghee with BSTI seal illegally and producing and marketing biscuit and cake using materials harmful to human body.

Call to cancel illegal leases in hilly areas

Sachetan Nagorik Samaj yesterday demanded the government cancel all illegal leases in hilly areas and bring the land grabbers into book.

'RTI Act to help ensure accountability'

The Information Commission would take steps to implement the Right to Information Act to ensure people's access to information, which will help ensure accountability and justice and reduce corruption in public and private organisations, Information Commissioner Prof Sadeka Halim said yesterday.

Khaleda assures help if returns to power

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia last night assured the stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh of looking into their problems when her party would return to power in future.

Biman staffs demand reinstatement

Biman Bangladesh Airlines employees, who went into 'voluntary retirement', yesterday gave a four-day ultimatum to the government to reinstate them.

BSF to launch women battalion

Women will now guard the borders of India with Bangladesh and Pakistan and assist in checking women and child trafficking as well as narcotics smuggling.

'No decision yet to probe illegal torture'

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said that the government is yet to take any decision on forming any commission to investigate the 'illegal' tortures against the people during the regimes of BNP led four-party alliance government and the immediate past caretaker government (CG).

Govt directive to start classes on first day of academic year

The government yesterday directed all the educational institutions of all mediums in secondary level to start classes from the first working day of January.

GATS begins to assess status of tobacco use

Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) formally began in the country yesterday to measure the status of tobacco use among people above 15 years of age.

HC grants bail to Hazari

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted ad interim bail to former Awami League (AL) lawmaker Joynal Hazari in a graft case in which he was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment in absentia.

DU student missing in sea

A student of Dhaka University went missing in the sea near Kalatali beach of Cox's Bazar yesterday morning.

Faruk blames meltdown for Ashulia unrest

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday called the recent incident of labour unrest at Ashulia industrial belt an outcome of the global economic recession.

Work together to resist Tipaimukh dam

Former law minister and member of the BNP standing committee Barrister Moudud Ahmed MP, urged the government to work together with the main opposition to resist construction of Tipaimukh dam by Indian government.

Low over Bay

The monsoon low over the northwest Bay and adjoining area intensified into a well-marked low over the same area.

Mugger shot in gunfight with police

A mugger was injured in a shoot-out between his accomplices and police in the capital's Tejgaon area yesterday.

News in Brief

NHRC condemns torture
Metro Desk

Prof Aminur Rahman passes away

Dr AHM Aminur Rahman, Professor of Political Science department of Dhaka University, passed away due to a cardiac arrest at Birdem Hospital early yesterday at the age of 60.

National

5-year project not finished in decade

Roads and Highways Department (RHD) of Bogra Division has already spent additional Tk 21.57 crore as the five-year project for construction of 'Bogra Town Second Bypass Road' has not completed in 10 years.

RCC mayor unveils multipurpose plan

Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton on Saturday announced a 10-year multipurpose plan 'Vision 2018' to make the city a modern and tourist-friendly one and suitable for living by different income group people.

Bithar murder case transferred to DB

Shahid Iqbal Bithar murder case was transferred to the Detective Branch of Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP) for fair investigation Saturday evening.

Hasan had links with Obaidullah

Arrested Jama'atul Mujahidin Bangladesh (JMB) militant Hasanuzzaman Hasan who was arrested by Detective Branch (DB) police from a house at Rasulpur Friday was placed on a ten-day remand yesterday.

Cheated job seekers agitate

A large number of cheated job seekers yesterday formed a human chain at Satmatha in Bogra town demanding removal of the Bogra deputy commissioner (DC) for submission of a 'false enquiry report' in favour of Md Abdul Mannan Sarker, former chairman of Science and Information Technology (SIT) Foundation.

1 killed, 7 hurt as rival AL men clash

One person was killed and seven others were injured in a clash between two factions of local Awami League at Parikhupi village under Sharsa upazila of the district yesterday.

6 Myanmar citizens held

Bangladesh Rifles arrested six Myanmar citizens at Shah Pari Island of Teknaf upazila yesterday on charge of intrusion. They are Ali Akbar, 38, Md Hamid, 28, Yaar Muhammad, 22, Md Selim, 27, Md Yasin, 25, and Doulat Hussain, 55. Acting officer-in-charge at Teknaf police station Jamal Ahmed Chowdhury said the six are residents of Jalia Para under Akiyab of Myanmar. A case has been filed against them, he said. Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Teknaf Md Tofayel Islam said, "Earlier we pushed back the Myanmar citizens several times. As it did not work, we have now decided to file cases against them."

Cases against 2 journalists

Tujarpur union council chairman Sohorab Bhuiyan filed an extortion case against two journalists of Bhanga on Saturday night. The accused are Ajoy Das and Abdul Mannan, correspondent of two national dailies. Officer in-charge of Bhanga police station Md Mohiuddin confirmed filing of the case but refused to give any details. The two dailies carried a news team on July 17 on gouging out eyes of a boy by his father at Bhodrasan village under Tujarpur union of Bhanga upazila. But later it was found that the boy received injury in his right eye.

JCD activists beaten up

Juba League activists beat up two Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) activists on Daulatpur Motilal Degree College campus in Manikganj yesterday. The injured JCD men-- Rajib and Momin-- were admitted to Daulatpur Upazila Health Complex. Sources said a group of outsider Juba League leaders and activists, including Saiful, Ayub, Sanu, Bulbul and Pintu Molla, entered the campus at around 11:30am and beat up Rajib and Momin severely. Later, BCL activists of the college unit with the help of outsider Jubo League men ousted the JCD leaders and activists from the campus and took control of it, the sources added.

Muggers kill college teacher

Muggers killed a college teacher and injured two others at Sreekhandi village under Baraigram upazila on Saturday night. Victim Arifur Rahman, 32, was son of Aftab Uddin of village Banpara Bazar and a teacher of Haibatpur College. Police and locals said, muggers attacked Arif when he was returning at Banpara Bazar from Ramagari village on a motorcycle with two of his friends. They hit them several times with sharp weapons and snatched the motorcycle immediately. Locals rescued them but Arif was died on way to hospital.

Two kidnapped for ransom

Criminals abducted a farmer's son in Daulatpur upazila on Saturday night and demanded Tk 2 lakh as ransom from his father. According to police, a masked gang entered the house of farmer Hekmat Ali at Madhugari village about 11:30pm and demanded Tk 1 lakh as toll. As Hekmat refused to pay the amount they picked up his son Tikka, 30, at gunpoint. In Khoksa, a gang way laid village doctor Bipul Biswas at Machpara bridge when he was returning home from Pangsha bazar Wednesday night. The gang picked him up and demanded Tk 3 lakh as ransom from his family. Bipul is yet to be freed as none lodged any case.

Letters

Generators

For severe and intolerable load shedding round the year people have started buying generators to meet their respective needs in offices, factories, even at residences. But this alternative device not only means some extra costs for the owners, it pollutes the environment, mainly in two ways.

Unrest in garments sector

Recently, we saw another bout of unrest in our apparel industries at Savar. It was seen that miscreants were burning and plundering industries in broad daylight. From the government side it was claimed that the garment workers were not involved in this heinous crime.

G-8 Summit

G-8 leaders assembled in Italy to address global issues. With no exception, this year leaders of the developed countries have come up with lofty promises. But what is heartening to note is that this year the leaders did not come up with any clichés like 'combating terrorism' frequently used in Bush-Blair era.

Toxic fruits

Our country has long been regarded as a land of fruits. Each and every season comes with its colourful fruits such as guava, black berry, wood apple, litchi, watermelon, jackfruits and mango, the king of fruits. In fact, we see that our markets are flooded with different types of mouth-watering fruits in different seasons of the year, particularly in the rainy season. But little we know how fresh and safe are these fruits. We come to know from different sources like newspapers that different toxic materials like formalin are being used so that the fruits do not rot very easily and look very attractive. Common people are consuming these unhygienic fruits unknowingly and consequently suffering from various fatal diseases like cancer, and typhoid. It seems that these fruit vendors have lost their humanity for earning money. And they are running their illegal business in front of the law enforcing agencies.

Cricket

Our national cricket team has been performing badly in the last few years. Our media is very kind to them and branded them as Tigers. Accidental win in one or two games is not a yardstick of total performance. The skipper of our team boastfully told the press that they would defeat India or Ireland.

Our priorities

The party robots are chanting Digital Bangladesh, as per the gayebi awaaz from above! Where are the pragmatic steps in planning, project approvals, and the different phases of applications (3-D model) every two years?

Attention: Swedish Embassy

Recently, the Swedish Embassy in Dhaka introduced a new procedure for the issuance of student visa.

Muslims in China

The crackdown on Uighur Muslims in China is a matter of great concern and has been covered by the media with video footage of repression. Turkey's president after returning from the G8 summit said, “The event taking place in China is a kind of genocide” and added that “There is no other way of commenting on this event” citing the report that hundreds of people have been killed and thousands hurt [DS, 12th July page:7]

Hats off to Obama!

President Obama, in his recent speech at the Ghana parliament said,

What are they doing?

In the early hours of July 12, 2009 I happened to be present at ZIA to see off a relative. It was 04.00 hrs in the morning and passengers of the Gulf flight to Bahrain were checking in. As I was returning I was surrounded by a few passengers with request to fill in their embarkation forms. They admitted that they don't know how to write. I tried to divert them to "probashee kallyan desk" but found the same empty. The check in counter persons behaved with the would be NRB's so harshly that they dared not to approach them. Needless to say I filled in their forms and wondered, is it the right behaviour to our foreign exchange earners? Why there should be a decorated desk if help is not available when necessary.

Tigers win

Bangladesh cricket team won first Test against West Indies by 95 runs. We congratulate the cricketers.

Kalurghat Bridge

Once the age old Kalurghat Bridge was only route of communication between the city and South Chittagong and Cox's Bazar division. With the passage of time we have a new bridge (Shah Amanath Shetu).

Education

Education is very important but there is a lack of understanding of its importance among people, even the politicians who rule country and also the so-called intellectuals of society.

Vat on health service

One of the basic needs is getting health service. A news published in The Daily Star on 14 July, 2009 states that from now on patients would not have to pay value added tax ( Vat) as declared by the High Court. It is good news for poor and middle class people. But the government should have some rules and regulations for fixing the diagnosis charge. And it will be wise if Vat on doctors is also withdrawn, otherwise in the name of vat general people will have to pay money two or three times the current visit rates.

Treatment abroad

"Health is wealth" is a proverb known to everybody. On the other hand wealth is required to maintain health. This becomes more visible when we see that many prominent persons of the country frequently leave for Singapore for treatment in Mount Elizabeth Hospital. A far larger number of people than what comes to the newspaper frequently go to Singapore and other countries for treatment.

Your heart

Medical Journal Lancet in one of its recent edition carried an encouraging scientific report which stated that human heart has major regenerative powers, how it works need further research. The fact came to limelight when Sir Magdi Yacoub of Imperial College London, one of the world's top heart surgeons and his team successfully implanted a donor's heart directly onto a young patient's failing heart in 1995. Hannah Clark, the patient from Cardiff, UK had developed severe heart failure together with lung problems. She was then only 8 months old and the surgeons instead of performing transplanting of both her heart and lung implanted a donor heart from a 5-month old directly onto Clark's own heart. As the implanted heart and her own heart were working well after nearly 5 years, the doctors decided not to take out Clark's extra heart. But the drug Clark had to take to prevent her body from rejecting the donated heart led to cancer that required Chemotherapy. But this didn't stop spreading cancer and her body eventually rejected the implanted heart. But miraculously by then Clark's heart had fully recovered and the doctors successfully removed her donor heart in 2006. Now Clark is 16 years old and started living a normal life including playing games, doing a part time job.

Student leaders' age

Very recently BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, I am sure after very serious considerations, has appointed the topmost leaders of the student front of her party Chhatra Dal. About half these newly appointed Chhatra Dal leaders are in their mid 40s and the remaining are in their late 30s. All of them finished their normal education career long ago in the mid 1990s. Thank God, the newspapers have not published their CV. Had it been so, people could know how bright they were in their academic life. As students, one may assume, these 'Adu Bhais' must have been very poor students. Most of these student leaders are married and some of them are already fathers. Almost all of them are engaged in business. Many of them are known to be involved in tenderbazi (forcibly capturing contracts for construction work and for supply of stores), chandabazi (extortion) and bhortibazi (getting students of lower merit admitted into educational institutions).

Tourism

The road conditions, hotels, communication, consumer goods etc are dependent on a country's economic condition and any tourist, or those who organise tourism, are well aware of these and make allowance for them. So these factors do not affect tourism to any significant degree, but what does is the 'law and order' situation in a country. A visitor is a welcome guest and should be able to roam with safety, on foot or in a vehicle, (say even a bullock cart or a ferry boat) in any part of the country at any time of night or day, but alas this is not possible in Bangladesh. No government can achieve this condition by itself and it requires national effort including that of the opposition to rein in the godfathers (who are well known) of all criminal and rowdy elements, racketeers etc.

International

Pakistan committed to fighting terror: Hillary

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended yesterday Pakistan's commitment to fighting terrorism, while warning that the perpetrators of last year's Mumbai attacks must be brought to justice.

Dialogue only way forward for Pakistan, India, says Gilani

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Saturday said that dialogue with India was the only way forward for the nuclear-armed rivals if they want to beat the militants.

US marks 40 years since man first walked on the moon

The United States today proudly marks the 40th anniversary of its conquest of the moon, a triumph of scientific endeavour now remembered at a time when US dominance in space is increasingly uncertain.

Myanmar detains dozens for observing death of Suu Kyi's father

Authorities in military-run Myanmar detained dozens of opposition party members yesterday as they returned from ceremonies marking the death of the father of jailed pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, witnesses said.

Taliban releases video of captured US soldier

The Taliban has released a 28-minute video showing a US soldier reportedly captured by the hard-line Islamist group in Afghanistan last month, officials and witnesses said yesterday.

Indo-Pak Foreign Secy-level talks to be held in Aug

The Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan are expected to meet again next month to set up the agenda for the scheduled talks between the Foreign Ministers of both countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Possible audio of Swat Taliban chief surfaces

Pakistan's army is investigating whether the leader of the Taliban in the northwest Swat Valley, said to have been wounded in an airstrike, delivered a recent radio address, a spokesman said Sunday.

Karzai seeks talks with Taliban

Observing that deployment of more foreign troops is not a solution to rid his country of extremists, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has appealed to the West to develop a new strategy for the war-ravaged nation, including talks with the Taliban, even their top leader Mullah Omar.

Lankan troops recover LTTE submarine

Sri Lankan troops have recovered a submarine-type craft built by Tamil Tiger guerrillas in an area where they fought their final battle two months ago, the military said yesterday.

Honduras talks mediator suggests Zelaya return

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, who is mediating the Honduras crisis talks, proposed Saturday that ousted Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya return to office under the terms of a general amnesty.

US mulls special interrogation team for terrorist

US officials are looking into organising a team of interrogators from several government agencies to specialise in questioning high-value terrorist suspects, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

16 killed in Afghanistan helicopter crash

At least 16 civilians were killed yesterday when a helicopter crashed near a military base in southern Afghanistan, the Nato-led force said, in the second fatal chopper crash here in a week.

Jakarta bombers members of Jemaah Islamiyah

Indonesian police Sunday confirmed regional terror outfit Jemaah Islamiyah as the culprits behind twin suicide blasts at Jakarta hotels, and said one of the bombers had been identified.

US asks Israel to stop east Jerusalem settlements

The United States has told Israel to stop a building project in annexed east Jerusalem, in the latest dispute between the two allies over settlements, a senior Israeli official told AFP on Sunday.

Iran hardliners oppose Ahmadinejad's choice of first VP

Hardliners opposed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's appointment of a controversial confidant as first vice president on Sunday, signalling difficulties ahead for Iran's re-elected president in forming a new government.

Chinese police killed 12 in Urumqi rioting

Chinese police killed 12 people during July 5 rioting in the western city of Urumqi, officials said a rare acknowledgment by the government that security forces opened fire in the worst ethnic clashes to hit the region in decades.

India forced us to take water-dispute to ICJ, says Pak minister

Pakistan has said that it was forced to take the water dispute with India to the International Court of Justice, as New Delhi had stifled water-flow to the country.

Monsoon rain kills 16 in Pakistan

At least 16 people, including four children, were killed and 27 others were injured after the first torrential rains of the monsoon lashed Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi, officials said Sunday.

Pope 'can't pray' with wrist in plaster

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated mass Saturday with his broken wrist in plaster but bemoaned an inability to clasp his hands together in prayer, his closest officials said.

Australia minister to take student safety message to India

Australia's immigration minister said Sunday he will visit India this week to reassure parents and authorities that the country is not racist and remains a safe place to study.

Kurdish rebels kill 4 Iranian cops

Separatist Kurdish rebels have killed four Iranian policemen in West Azarbaijan province, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

PKK rebels back re-election of chief Barzani

The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebel group said on Saturday that it hoped the region's president Massud Barzani would be re-elected to his post in polls next week.

Ban on Al-Jazeera operations in West Bank lifted

Palestinian authorities on Sunday allowed Al-Jazeera to resume operations in the West Bank, four days after banning the Arab satellite station over a report linking President Mahmoud Abbas to the death of his legendary predecessor, Yasser Arafat.

Arts & Entertainment

Rabindra Utshab at Chhayanaut ends

'Rabindra Utshab 1416,' Chhayanaut's two-day festival, ended on July 18, with a grand closing programme.

Kangal Harinath: A herald of social activism and Baul songs

Today marks the 176th birth anniversary of Kangal Harinath who was born in 1833 at Lahinipara, under Kumarkhali upazila in Kushtia district.

An outlet offering everything related to dance

The first shop offering dance and drama costumes, accessories in the country, Shalonkara-Alankar Shobhita, opened its doors to everyone recently.

The incomparable Dolly

"Adwitia Dolly" is a book on Dolly Ibrahim, a gifted TV and film actress. Dolly won a National Film Award for her role in the film "Shurjo Dighol Bari."

Encouraging creativity of underprivileged children

An organisation of young individuals, 1° Initiative, held a cultural programme titled "1° of Celebrations" on July 18. The venue was the Shaheed Zia Auditorium, National Museum at Shahbagh in the city.

In People’s Court: Play with a bold anti-corruption message

The theatre group of Kurigram Committee of Concerned Citizens (CCC), under the umbrella of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), staged a play titled "In People's Court" at the Terre des Hommes' (TDH) Hall here on July 15.

OP-ED

The health of the nation

BANGLADESH is one of the most populous countries in the world, with a population of over145 million people. With an annual population growth rate of about 1.5 %, around two million people are annually added to the country's population.

Man on the moon

FORTY years ago today, Neil Armstrong stepped on the surface of the moon and proclaimed: "One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind." That just about summed up the epic tale of man's quest for a wider world out in space.



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