The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, September 22, 2014


News of: Sunday, 2nd of August, 2009

Front Page

Petrobangla ignores a host of questions

Petrobangla continues to hammer hurriedly awarding US oil company Chevron the contract for an over-priced gas compressor station project in the Gas Transmission Company Ltd (GTCL) system through a questionable process by totally sidelining a host of technical and financial questions raised by a GTCL consultant, sources said.

Tigers complete cleansweep

Half-centuries from Zunaed Siddiqui and Mahmudullah Riyad led Bangladesh to a three-wicket victory, and a 3-0 cleansweep of the one-day international series over West Indies on Friday.

Ex-Proshika chief's men attack staff, office: 20 injured

At least 20 employees of Proshika were injured on their way to office yesterday in separate attacks carried out in Mirpur by hired men of the NGO's expelled chief Qazi Faruque Ahmed.

Six fugitive Huji militants held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) launched a simultaneous drive in the capital and elsewhere in the country last night to track down a group of fugitive militant convicts and arrested six of them following latest intelligence information about their preparations for subversive activities.

Rain fouls up Tipai site visit again

Torrential rain yesterday prevented the Bangladesh parliamentary delegation from undertaking a ground-level visit to the proposed site of the Tipaimukh project in Manipur for the second consecutive day.

Case summary may be placed before SC this week for appeal hearing

A summary of the long-pending Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman assassination case is likely to be submitted to the Supreme Court (SC) by the end of this week for hearing of the appeals in the case.

15,000 illegal dwellings on Cox's Bazar hilltops

Over 1 lakh people are illegally living on about 600 acres of the forest department's hilly land worth about Tk 700 crore under serious threats of landslide during heavy rains.

Gas tariff goes up 11.2pc

The government yesterday increased gas tariff by 11.2 percent on average with a view to generating fund for gas development, said a member of the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC).

250 families shifted from Bandarban foothills

In the wake of 10 deaths caused by landslides in Lama upazila in Bandarban on Friday, the local administration yesterday began shifting people from their houses at the foothills and slopes to safer places.

6 suspected militants arrested in Faridpur

Police arrested six militant suspects at Chandmari in Faridpur district on Friday and Saturday due to their alleged involvement with an Islamic outfit.

Patients suffer as doctors, staff on indefinite strike

Sixty-three staff, including eight physicians, of Magura Sadar Hospital began an indefinite strike yesterday demanding arrear salaries for the last 67 months and placing their job under revenue budget.

Bus-truck strike begins in 6 dists

The Bus-Truck Owners' Association in six southwestern districts called an indefinite transport strike yesterday, demanding a stop to operation of unauthorised vehicles on the highways of the region.

Water logging a gift of ill planning and land grabbing

Unplanned urbanisation and lack of coordination between the authorities in the government are turning Dhaka into an uninhabitable city, Prof Muzaffer Ahmed said at a press conference yesterday.

Month-long mourning begins

A month-long mourning programme began yesterday commemorating the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members on August 15, 1975.

Prices of Ramadan items up despite adequate supply

Prices of pulses, sugar, onion, chickpea and different kinds of spices have increased in the market ahead of Ramadan though the commerce minister had pledged that the market would be stable during the holy month of fasting.

My first task is to root out criminal acts, militancy

Newly appointed State Minister for Home Affairs Shamsul Haque Tuku said his first task would be to ensure security of life and property of the people by eliminating criminal acts and militancy.

CU takes control of 2 Shibir occupied rooms

The authorities of Chittagong University's (CU) Suhrawardy Hall yesterday took control of two rooms being used illegally by the activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir for political purpose.

Criminals attack houses, 20 injured

At least 15 people were injured as armed criminals yesterday attempted to grab two houses, one at Kamrangirchar and the other at Pallabi.

100 more RMG workers fall sick in Savar

Around 100 more workers of Pearl Garment at Ashulia in Savar fell sick yesterday after drinking contaminated water supplied by the factory authorities.

Corazon Aquino no more

Former Philippines president Corazon Aquino, whose "People Power" revolution toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy to the nation, died Saturday after a battle with colon cancer.

Country needs committed leadership: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said it would be easier for a correct leadership committed to the people to steer the country forward by combating all conspiracies in the future.

Filling station employee murdered

Criminals beat Sario CNG Filling Station's employee to death at Uttara in the capital yesterday.

Horror haunts female staff

More than one hundred female employees at Proshika's head office yesterday passed the day in a state of constant panic as a group of people reportedly led by its recently sacked chief Qazi Faruque Ahmed swooped on them during their entry into the office.

AL activist shot dead in Kushtia

Unidentified criminals shot dead an activist of Awami League (AL) and injured two others at Sadarpur village in Mirpur upazila in the district yesterday.

Muggers stab 2 brothers, take away Tk 3.5 lakh

Muggers stabbed two brothers at Pallabi in the city last night and snatched Tk 3.5 lakh from them.

Top Iran reformists on trial over post-polls riots

Iran yesterday put on trial around 100 people, including top reformists and aides of opposition leaders, on charges of rioting after the disputed re-election in June of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president.

5 criminals held in Ctg city

Five criminals of an organised gang were arrested from different parts of the port city in last two days for their involvement in snatching incident.

Pak SC brands Musharraf's emergency rule illegal

Pakistan's top court ruled Friday that former president Pervez Musharraf's decision to impose emergency rule and dismiss dozens of senior judges two years ago was unconstitutional.

Saudi rebuffs US appeals for peace gestures toward Israel

Saudi Arabia on Friday rebuffed Obama administration appeals for immediate Arab gestures toward normalising ties with Israel the kingdom urged the Jewish state to show it was serious about peace.

Editorial

Changes in cabinet should lead to better performance

AFTER the restructuring of the party committees with several new faces inducted, prime minister Sheikh Hasina has brought in changes in the council of ministers, too. Here, she has taken in some new faces as well. The choice of the new faces is marked by inclusion of persons having a clean track record. Another positive feature is that six members of the new ministerial council are women. This is a welcome development from the point of view of bridging gender gap in the government.

Deaths in Bandarban mudslide

AN old story has been repeated. A mudslide in Bandarban has led to the deaths of ten individuals and the destruction of as many as fifty homes. The tragedy occurred in Harinmara, Lama, the other day as a result of incessant rain over a period of four days. Such mishaps are quite common affairs in the rainy season, but need not be. And yet there is cause for concern. The concern stems from the fact that few or no lessons have been learnt from disasters of this kind in the past. Despite all the editorial comments in the newspapers after every such tragedy about the need to undertake safety measures for people as well as preventing the hills in the area from being encroached upon, little action is taken barring an expression of the usual platitudes about corrective steps.

The cloudburst and woes of city dwellers

THE overnight downpour of last Monday (July 27) and the limitless suffering it caused to the city dwellers should serve the authorities looking after its welfare with fresh warning as to how this mega-city is teetering as it were on the edge of a precipice.

Making right to information laws effective

THE much-awaited Right to Information (RTI) Act 2009 has come into full effect from July 1, aiming to ensure people's right to information and to establish good governance in government offices and NGOs, thus increasing transparency and accountability.

Sports

Tigers take it all

Bangladesh held their nerve despite wobbles at significant junctures to complete a whitewash in St Kitts. Set a target of 249, they were given a fiery start by Tamim Iqbal and Zunaed Siddiqui before Mahmudullah steered the side through nervy moments to clinch a historic victory.

Windies duo tops list

Bangladesh completed a series whitewash against a weakened West Indies side after winning the third one-dayer by three wickets and it was Bangladesh's stand-in skipper Shakib Al Hasan who got the man-of-the-series award for his brilliant all-round performance.

U-19s impress Minhazul

The Bangladesh Under-19 team returned home on Friday after an impressive performance in England.

No show on Day One

No clubs tuned up on the opening day of the month-long Inter-club players transfer of the 3rd B. League at BFF House yesterday.

Day Three washed out

The third day's play in the third Ashes Test between England and Australia at Edgbaston here on Saturday was abandoned without a ball being bowled because of persistent rain.

Local Snippets

Chittagong emerged champions in the Diamond Melamine First National Rugby Championship with a massive 43-3 points win against Faridpur in the final at Outer Stadium adjacent to the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Sri Lanka go 2-0 up

Chamara Kapugedera hit an unbeaten 67 as Sri Lanka overcame early shocks to defeat Pakistan by six wickets in the second one-day international here on Saturday.

Peirsol finds his rhythm

Aaron Peirsol reclaimed the 200m backstroke world title here Friday, his world record-smashing swim easing the memory of his failure to reach the 100m backstroke final.

Stosur shocks Serena

Australian Samantha Stosur shocked top seed Serena Williams while second seed Venus Williams overpowered Maria Sharapova in WTA Bank of the West Classic quarterfinal matches Friday.

Gay storms to 100m win

American sprinter Tyson Gay stormed to victory in the 100m at the Stockholm Super Grand Prix on Friday in a time of 9.79sec, two-hundreths of a second slower than his world-best this season.

India take Emerging Players title

India Emerging Players, aided by Virat Kohli's century and Sudeep Tyagi's four wickets, clinched the Emerging Players Tournament by defeating South Africa at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane. In South Africa's only loss of the tournament they went down to India in the final by 17 runs, losing their last five wickets for 30 runs.

Juventus stun Real

Juventus beat Real Madrid 2-1 Friday to reach the final of the Peace Cup as the big-spending Spanish club failed to shine in its first major pre-season test.

Jose pays Bobby tribute

Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho has paid tribute to the late Sir Bobby Robson, the man who launched his own career in football coaching.

'English are way ahead'

Big-spending Spanish clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona are still no match for English Premier League sides, Liverpool striker Fernando Torres said Saturday.

Gascoigne devastated

Former England star Paul Gascoigne said Friday he was devastated by the death of Sir Bobby Robson, who he described as being "like a second dad".

Bent says sorry

England striker Darren Bent was forced to apologise after using Internet networking site Twitter to blast Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy for failing to rubber-stamp his proposed move to Sunderland.

Hammers snap up Swiss starlet

West Ham signed Switzerland Under-19 defender Fabio Daprela from Grasshoppers for an undisclosed fee on Friday.

Villareal unveil Nilmar

Spanish Primera Liga side Villareal on Friday presented their new Brazilian player Nilmar da Silva, the most expensive signing in their history.

Martins signs for Wolves

German champions VfL Wolfsburg confirmed on Saturday the signing of Nigerian international striker Obafemi Martins from relegated English club Newcastle.

De Rossi rules out Gunners switch

AS Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi on Saturday ruled out a possible move to English Premier League side Arsenal.

Business

Hotels suffer revenue slump in recession

Five-star hotel revenues slumped by around 15 percent in the immediate-past fiscal year, compared to a year ago, as global recession slowed business travel to Bangladesh.

State banks lag in loan recovery

State banks find it increasingly more difficult to retrieve bad loans from top 20 defaulters than from other borrowers.

Businesspeople back gas price hike, but want uninterrupted supply

Business leaders yesterday welcomed the decision of a gas price hike, which the government announced Thursday aiming to form a gas development fund with the extra earnings.

Marico IPO subscription starts today

The IPO subscription of Marico Bangladesh, a leader in fast-moving consumer goods, stars today.

Unreliable data barrier to growth

Weak and inconsistent statistical databases remain an impediment to making plans on economic and development issues, economists and business leaders said yesterday.

Govt to extend credit to fishermen

The government would soon provide loan facilities for poor fishermen to develop the sector, said the finance minister yesterday.

Faulty policies blamed for lagging western region

A lack of specialised economic policy and financial management system, energy and power crisis, and problems in investment and marketing procedures are hindering the development of the country's western region, said speakers at a seminar in Rajshahi yesterday.

BKMEA eyes No. 1 position in knit exports

Compliance is a must for attracting more foreign buyers in the country's knitwear sector against the

BRAC Bank buys stake in Equity Partners

BRAC Bank Ltd has acquired 51 percent stakes in Equity Partners Ltd (EPL) and Equity Partners Securities Ltd (EPSL), says a press release.

US banks reward stars with bonuses

Even when their profits dried up and they turned to taxpayers to stay afloat, the nation's biggest banks kept paying huge bonuses. But much of the money went not to top executives, but to star traders and salesmen, even as the economy battled through the worst recession in a generation.

Chinese real estate on mend

After getting on board China's property boom only three months ago, Beijing property agent Li Zhiwei already has plans to use the profits from his new career to open a karaoke complex.

Total, Eni profits drop in bad week

Total and Eni reported huge profit falls in their second-quarter results on Friday, marking a bad week for the majors hit by slumping prices in the worst global downturn since the 1930s.

Stocks in turnaround

Dhaka stocks turned around last week following a bearish sentiment for three straight weeks, backed by the central bank's positive statement on the market that raised investor confidence.

Euro rises against dollar

The euro rose against the dollar on Friday despite poor economic data and downbeat company earnings in the recession-struck eurozone as well as a mixed report on the crucial US economy.

Oil prices pull back

Oil prices eased Friday as traders paused for breath after a roller coaster week and awaited economic growth data in the United States, which is the world's biggest energy consuming nation.

Weekly Currency Roundup

July 26th-July 30th, 2009
International Markets

The currency markets continued to remain highly volatile this week. Early in the week , driven by earnings optimism and good readings from Eurozone PMI and German IFO data the higher yielding currencies posted significant gains versus the USD. The Sterling however stumbled on weak UK GDP figures. Stock markets continued to rally strongly and this further buoyed the so called riskier currencies. The dollar suffered broadly and hit 8 week lows versus the euro. However from Wednesday, the reversal started as the risk rally stalled. The dollar and the yen gained as investors took profit on risky assets. China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index had ended 5% lower on fears, that their Central Bank would tighten credit as inflation fears loomed. However the next day after clarification from the Chinese Central Bank, the market retraced back 1.7 % and this contributed to an increase in risk sentiment. US, Japanese and European shares all closed up on Thursday. The improved risk sentiment helped the higher yielding currencies to claw back some of the losses from the previous day against the US dollar. The dollar index, a gauge of the greenback's performance against six other major currencies, fell 0.3 percent to 79.317.

BA flies into Q1 loss, sees uncertain outlook

Struggling British Airways said Friday that it slumped to a historic first-quarter pre-tax loss and warned the outlook remained uncertain as the global economic downturn slashes demand.

France suffering severe recession: IMF

France is in "severe recession", the IMF declared on Friday but said the slump was less bad than in other eurozone economies and advised the government to aid the banking sector and keep budget deficits in check.

S Korea posts sixth straight trade surplus

South Korea posted a trade surplus for a sixth consecutive month in July largely due to a sharp fall in imports, government data showed Saturday.

Lafarge profits halved, gives no earnings guidance

French building materials giant Lafarge reported a 59-percent slump in first-half net profit on Friday and did not give guidance for results for the full year.

StanChart regional boss due today

Anurag Adlakha, regional chief financial officer of Standard Chartered Bank for India and South Asia, is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka today, says a press release.

Khulna TCB to sell 4,000 tonnes edible oil in Ramadan

Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will sell four thousand tonnes of edible oil and 45 tonnes of sugar in Ramadan in Khulna.

Indian private airlines go on strike Aug 18

The major private airlines in India will remain grounded on August 18 with a view to seeking government's bailout package in the form of lowering fuel prices and airport taxes.

Sun Pharma introduces new drug for insomnia

Sun Pharmaceutical Bangladesh Ltd has recently introduced 'Nitrest', a 10mg Zolpidem tablet as a cure to insomnia and sleep deprivation for other diseases, said a press release.

IMF reaches agreement on loan payout to Iceland

The International Monetary Fund on Friday said it reached an agreement with Iceland to unblock the second instalment of a loan to the recession-stricken country.

Indian markets to track global markets

India's stock market will this week track global markets, which have risen on positive quarterly earnings, dealers said.

US trade envoy to voice 'tough love' for Africa

The top US trade diplomat said Friday he would have a message of "tough love" for African nations on an upcoming visit after some complained about extending export preferences to other poor regions.

Fitch warns Britain on cutting debt

International credit ratings agency Fitch said on Friday it would keep Britain's rating at the top level of AAA but warned about the challenge of reducing rising public debt.

Correction

In a news item published on this page on Thursday with the headline "Employers Federation gets new president", it was inadvertently mentioned that Rokia Afzal Rahman is a committee member of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and president of Women Entrepreneurs' Association, Bangladesh. Actually she was a committee member of the chamber and president of the association earlier. We regret the mistakes.

Metropolitan

Unplanned urbanisation blamed for waterlogging

Speakers at a seminar yesterday blamed land grabbers and corrupt officials of Rajuk, Dhaka City Corporation, Public Works Department and Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) for severe waterlogging in the capital.

Correct wrong info in textbooks

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday protested incorrect information about and wrong representation of indigenous people in school textbooks.

Withdrawal of army from CHT a positive step

Withdrawal of army from the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) to implement the CHT Peace Accord is a positive step, and civil law enforcers should keep the law and order situation under control, said the speakers at a BBC Bangladesh Sanglap yesterday.

Many river ports still under dist admin

Different district administrations in defiance of a gazette notification have evaded handover of a number of declared river ports and foreshores to BIWTA for decades, causing anarchy in the conservation of rivers.

Use law cautiously

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday asked the executive magistrates to cautiously use the mobile court law to avoid any kind of harassment to the innocent people.

Prof Yunus visits Friendship Hospital

Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus visited Japan-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital in the city on Friday, says a press release.

JCD rebel faction makes U-turn

The rebel faction of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal finally reversed its stance and extended support to the newly formed JCD central committee yesterday.

South Asian bodies to display ideas to improve nutrition

Civil society organisations from across South Asia will gather in Dhaka this week to take part in a grant competition where they will display some of the best and most innovative ideas on how to improve nutrition in the region, says a press release.

'Formulate service rules for private educational institutes'

Bangladesh Educational Institutions Employees Federation yesterday demanded the government to formulate service rules for the employees of private educational institutions.

'Lease out water bodies to poor fishermen'

Speakers at a seminar here yesterday emphasised a common system for leasing out government water bodies among poor fishermen to create employment opportunities in rural areas.

Abu Sayeed's anniversary of death today

The 21st death anniversary of former president Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury will be observed today, says a press release.

'Incidents of women repression on rise in Rajshahi region'

Rajshahi University (RU) unit of Bangladesh Mahila Parishad (BMP) yesterday expressed concern over the rise of women repression in four districts -- Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Natore and Naogaon -- in the northern region in recent months.

Students to be involved in tree plantation: Minister

Primary and Mass Education Minister Dr Afsarul Ameen said measures to be taken to involve students in ongoing movement for tree plantation.

Vow to address issues of reproductive, maternity healthcare

The three-day international conference on access to reproductive health services ended in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, on Thursday with the adoption of a 20-point declaration.

Old vehicles to be removed from city roads

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday said old and junk vehicles plying in the city for more than 20 years would be removed from the roads.

'Technical edn right tool to remove unemployment'

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said technical education would be the right tool to eliminate unemployment from the country.

River routes around Dhaka city to be dredged on priority basis: Shajahan

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan yesterday said here the river routes around Dhaka city would be dredged and made navigable on priority basis to reduce traffic jam.

61B-class rly stations closed in western zone

Bangladesh Railway (BR) has planned calling back its retired station and locomotive masters to keep some stations functional, which were closed over the days due to shortage of manpower.

Bangalee Chhatra Parishad's 48-hr agitation a hoax!

Parbatya Bangalee Chhatra Parishad did not bring out any protest procession or hold any meeting as per its 48-hour agitation programme to create pressure on the government to change its decision to withdraw one brigade of army and 35 temporary camps from several places in Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) by September.

Convention on disaster risk cut begins tomorrow

A two-day national convention on 'Disaster risk reduction through school' and a 'Disaster preparedness-related film festival' will begin in the city tomorrow.

JS team leaves for London

An eleven-member parliamentary delegation led by Speaker Abdul Hamid left for London last night to attend a conference on trade, investment and remittance organised by Centre for Non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB).

SQ Chy hits out at ex-British envoy Anwar

BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury yesterday accused former British high commissioner Anwar Chowdhury of having a hand in the 1/11 changeover.

Hasina, Khaleda shocked at death of Corazon

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her profound shock at the demise of former Philippines President Corazon Aquino.

Appeal for help

Pintu Chakma, 33, who hails from Khagra-chhari, has been suffering from kidney ailment.

National

One lakh marooned in Cox's Bazar district

Around one lakh people in Cox's Bazar district have been marooned as incessant rain for the last four days and onrush of water from the upstream flooded different areas of the district.

Aila-hit people repair embankment thru' voluntary service

The Aila affected people in Munshiganj union under Shyamnagar upazila have reconstructed the damaged flood protection embankment on the Chuna River through voluntarily service for over two months.

BCL men assault college teacher

General students of Gafargoan Government College yesterday boycotted their classes and took out a procession at the upazila headquarters protesting attack on a teacher of the college by Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men on Friday.

Physically challenged indigenous girl raped

Victim of rape on Friday afternoon, a physically challenged indigenous girl is fighting for life at Khagrachhari Adhunik Sadar Hospital.

Fake fertiliser factory found

Detective Branch (DB) of police last evening unearthed a clandestine fertilizer factory near Rajshahi City Hat and arrested its owner and manager.

3 children drown in pond

Three children drowned in a pond at Gaira village under Chowgachha upazila of Jessore district yesterday. The deceased were identified as Barsha, 10, daughter of Arman Ali, Tania, 8, daughter of Jammat Ali, and Sathi, 9, daughter of Jurman Ali of Batan Gachi village under Moheshpur upazila of Jhenidah district.Locals said, the three were cousins and went to their relative Amjad Ali's house at Gaira village under Chowgachha upazila on Friday. At around 11:00am yesterday, they went to bath in a nearby pond belonging to Mozaher Master of the village and drowned. After a two hours frantic search, family members recovered the bodies from the pond.

Adulterated fertiliser seized

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel seized 285 sacks of adulterated fertiliser from a truck at Sultanganj under Godagari upazila of the district yesterday. Acting on a tip-off, BDR men took position at Sultanganj on Chapainawabganj-Rajshahi highway at noon and stopped the truck that was carrying the adulterated MOP fertiliser. No one was arrested in this connection. Another team of the border guards recovered 1380 bottles of phensidyl from Chhoyroshia village in Shibgonj upazila on Friday night.

Arms, bombs recovered

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered a large quantity of firearms, ammunition and bombs from village Hamidpur in Jessore Sadar upazila on Friday. Being informed that a gang of criminals gathered at a field, the Rab team conducted the raid at dead of night and recovered seven firearms including five guns, two revolvers, nine bullets and five bombs. Sensing presence of the elite force, the criminals fled away leaving the arms and ammunition.

Heroin seized from train

BDR personnel seized heroin worth over Tk 50 lakh from a train at Rasulpur Railway Station under Sadar upazila yesterday morning. Acting on a tip-off, a BDR team led by Lt Col Fakruddin Ahmed, raided a Chandpur-bound local train from Bhairab and recovered 500-kg of heroin from a compartment. No one was arrested in this connection.

JCD leader arrested

Police arrested a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) leader in Rajbari Bazar area yesterday afternoon. The arrested is Mostafizur Rahman alias Likhon, general secretary of Rajbari district unit of JCD. Police said, he was arrested on charge of illegal drug trade. A case was filled with Sadar police station in this regard.

Indian sarees seized

A joint force of Rab and BDR seized a truck loaded with contraband sarees worth Tk 50 lakh at Helenchabari under Nawabganj upazila early yesterday, Rab sources said. Acting on information, the joint force raided the spot and seized the truck containing the contraband Indian sarees. But the joint force could not arrest anybody in this connection.

Letters

Waste management

Clean Dhaka depends to a great extent on better domestic waste management. Domestic waste is mainly of two types-- kitchen waste, other wastes. Kitchen waste is the major component of the domestic waste. Culturally and habitually we are used to non-frozen kitchen foods. Non-frozen foods are dressed and prepared in the house resulting in big volume of kitchen waste. In case of frozen foods, wastes are left in the factory. Due to culture and habit we are producing more domestic waste, raw in nature producing bad smell and polluting the nearby environment. Big volume of raw domestic waste causes DCC to maintain big fleet of vehicles and equipment, manpower with huge involvement of money. In the months of June-August the situation becomes difficult with the addition of leftovers of mangoes and jackfruits. We cannot change the habits overnight but we can follow some rules to help waste management.

Redirect the railways

What I understand is that the then Pakistani government did nothing to modernize the railways, except building the Kamlapur Station which is probably still incomplete according to many.

Tajuddin Ahmed

While writing on “The life and principles of Tajuddin Ahmed” Mr. Syed Badrul Ahsan writes:

Living on the rivers' edge!

In Kathmandu, every morning, on way to office, I cross river Bagmati. For people of Kathmandu valley, its akin to our Buriganga. In so many ways, Bagmati defines their daily life. Elders say, Bagmati is not only a river, “its our living civilization”. Kathmandu's history is intricately linked with 'Bagmati civilization'. It's just two decades back when Bagmati water was just pure and clean as one could imagine! Thanks to mindless civil works, dumping of sewage (municipal and industrial), for most part of the year, passing through Kathmandu valley, Bagmati is today reduced to a narrow drain, with its blackish and stinking liquid called 'water'. For months between October through May, hardly one can pass by Bagmati avoiding its stinking, heavy air!

News and ethics

I was again shocked to see a major Bangladeshi television channel reporting a microbus accident in Gazipur on 23 July. I don't understand why the television channels in Bangladesh keep on failing to care for the sensitive and weak-hearted or even for the children who might be watching the television. It was appalling to see the news camera covering the half-charred and half burnt body of one of the victims. I was also surprised that no one had the least sense of decency in showing respect to the unknown victim who was once someone's loved one. It appeared no one even bothered to put off the smouldering fire which was very much ablaze on the dead-man's body. Instead of being active in bringing the dead-man's burning body on our television screen, the television crew should have rather initiated the humane effort to put off the blaze from the body and that would have been more civilised.

In response...

Ref: Why are some Bangladeshis anti-Indian? By Professor, Habibul Haque Khondker (July 24, 2009).

Madrasa education

Education and learning are of paramount importance in Islam. The very first word of the Holy Qur'an revealed to the Holy Prophet (Pbuh) is 'Iqra' which literally means 'read' in Arabic, and unlike other holy books, about half of the Holy Qur'an narrates about nature, space, weather, geography, biology etc. which are 'non-religious' subjects. Similarly, the Holy Prophet (Pbuh) asked his followers to even 'go to China' to acquire knowledge and during the Prophet's lifetime a war captive was freed if he could educate at least ten Muslims. Many such examples indicate the importance of 'secular' education in Islam. There was no (concept of present day) madrasa ( meaning 'school' in Arabic) during the times of Holy Prophet (Pbuh) and the Caliphs (Ra) and mosques were the centre of social and religious activities. Early madrasas were founded in around 10th century in Iran, West Africa, Spain and then spread all over the Muslim world to provide Islamic education as well as education on science, philosophy, public administration, governance etc. Later, the Ottoman rulers constructed a mosque with an adjoining madrasa but did not change much of the primitive madrasa education system and syllabus.

Abandon DST

Day light saving Time (DST) was introduced by the govt. with the intention of saving electricity. But it could not bring the expected improvement. DST is an old concept that many countries abandoned long ago. The reason for introducing DST by our policymakers was dubious and not based on facts. In some western countries DST is practised not because of scarcity of electricity. DST facilitated citizens to have more time for outdoor recreation during summer days. Because during the winter, due to early dusk, people spend less time outdoor for entertainment and recreation.

Substandard drugs

Illegal drug promotion and marketing of substandard and unnecessary drugs in Bangladesh were very common before 1982. Instead of producing essential drugs, most drug manufacturers manufactured nonessentials such as vitamins, tonics, enzymes, gripe waters and cough mixtures.

Anti-Indian attitude

I read with interest the op-ed piece by Mr. Habibul who tried to explain the anti-Indian attitude in 'some' of us. One needs to rationally look at the economic, cultural, political strategy employed by our neighbour to understand that the sentiment can reasonably be explained. Bangladesh has kept its part of the bargain with regard to Farraka, land corridors while India does not negotiate or want international arbitration - rather insists on bilateral discussions only. Bangladesh's trade, commerce and industry have become captive to Indian influence.

Withdraw filthy notes

By letting an overwhelmingly large number of nauseatingly filthy ( also indescribably ugly) banknotes to go on circulating for so many years, the Bangladesh Bank has been contributing generously to the spread of disease in the country and committing an unforgivable offence against the people. How could the Bangladesh Bank be so blind and callous? Is it not time for our Health Minister, a physician himself, to take notice of this intolerable and unacceptable situation and use his influence and power to remove this grave health hazard for the people?

Life and religion

Nowadays it's becoming more difficult to have spare time from our robotic working life and focus on spiritual side of life. We are forgetting to think! We earn but barely have time to spend that in an enjoyable way. No time for family either. But whenever we get some time to contemplate it seems time is fleeting so fast, we are getting older, hairs turning grey. Our one wish becomes fulfilled, another replaces it. And it goes on and on…

Administration and police

It is an unwanted situation that in district and upazila level, the conflict between the administration and the police aggravates the law and order situation.

University webpages

The other day I was looking for information on undergraduate admission in different public university websites for my sister who has just passed HSC examinations. After a few hours of browsing, I became surprised at the lack of information available on the various sites I browsed.

International

SC verdict a 'good omen'

Welcoming the Supreme Court's verdict declaring former President General Pervez Musharraf's November 3, 2007 actions as 'unconstitutional' and 'extra-judicial', both Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari have termed the decision as a "good omen".

Ahmadinejad won polls after clean voting

A top Iranian reformist, accused of taking part in deadly riots after the June election, reportedly testified before a Tehran court yesterday that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory came after a clean vote.

Nato backs talks with moderate Taliban

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the new head of Nato, said in an interview published Saturday he would support dialogue with "moderate groups on the outer reaches of the Taliban."

Schools reopen in Swat

Scores of eager children headed back to school in northern Pakistan's battle-scarred Swat Valley yesterday, many taking classes in buildings damaged during recent fighting between Taliban militants and security forces.

US, Asia lead tributes to Corazon Aquino

The United States, Japan and Southeast Asia led international tributes to former Philippines president Corazon Aquino, who died yesterday after a battle with colon cancer.

Karzai promises voters a brighter future

President Hamid Karzai held his first campaign rally outside of the capital in a small village yesterday, promising a welcoming crowd a brighter future if elected this month.

North accuses South's boat of illegally entry

North Korea accused a South Korean fishing boat of illegally entering its waters and said Saturday an investigation of four seized fishermen was under way.

Saudi Arabia offers asylum to Musharraf

Former Pakistan president General Pervez Musharraf may be heading former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's way as far as taking refuge outside the country is concerned.

Iran detains 3 US tourists near Iraqi border

Iran, a longstanding adversary of Washington, detained three US tourists on Friday after they crossed into the country from Iraqi Kurdistan, CNN reported.

Russia signs deal to open 2nd base in Kyrgyzstan

Russia clinched a tentative deal Saturday allowing it to establish a second military base in Kyrgyzstan, where the United States also has an important air base.

US lawmakers press Saudi king on ME peace

More than 200 US lawmakers urged Saudi King Abdullah on Friday to push Middle East peace efforts forward with "a dramatic gesture" towards recognising Israel's legitimacy.

Venezuela orders closure of 34 radio stations

The Venezuelan government has ordered the closure of 34 radio stations, the head of national telecommunications regulator Conatel said Friday, in the latest bid to rein in the country's media.

Senior soldiers behind Iraq bank heist

Two Iraqi army officers, including a member of the presidential protection unit, were behind a Baghdad bank heist earlier this week that left eight guards dead, the interior ministry said on Saturday.

Malaysian police use tear gas, water cannon at mass protest

Malaysian police fired tear gas and water cannons, and made hundreds of arrests Saturday to disperse more than 15,000 people demonstrating against laws that allow for detention without trial.

New Nepal PM to visit India Aug 18

Almost three months after he was sworn in as republican Nepal's second prime minister, veteran communist leader Madhav Kumar Nepal will begin his much-awaited visit to India on Aug 18, his foreign affairs advisor said Saturday.

Space shuttle lands safely

The shuttle Endeavour descended safely to Earth on Friday, ending a successful 16-day assembly mission to the International Space Station (ISS) with the final piece of Japan's Kibo science laboratory.

Bodies litter streets after unrest in Nigeria

Bodies littered the streets here Saturday after Nigerian forces crushed an Islamist sect's uprising and controversially gunned down the movement's leader after his capture.

Arts & Entertainment

Nataraja’s cosmic dance on stage

Cultural organisation Sadhona arranged a dance recital titled "Nritya Dharar Taley Taley" at the Chayanaut Sangskriti Bhaban on July 31. The event featured Bharatnatyam-based dance performances directed by Arpita Shome.

Exploring Tagore

Noted singer Samina Chowdhury's first solo Rabindra Sangeet album "Tomar Khola Hawa", has hit the market. The launching ceremony of the album was held at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts on July 31.

A will without a way

PRIME Minister Manmohan Singh is juggling with a hydra-headed question that is both philosophical and practical. Worse, it is also immediate. How much benefit should one give to doubt?

Theatre festival for children and adolescents ends

The fortnight-long 10th National Theatre Camp for children and adolescents ended on July 31 at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library, Shahbagh.

Kangal Harinath festival in Kushtia

A day- long festival on the occasion of the 176th birth anniversary of Kangal Harinath, a pioneer of rural journalism, was observed on Thursday. The venue was Kangal Kuthir, the home of Harinath in Kumarkhali, Kushtia.

Moore movie to compete at Venice

“Capitalism," the latest documentary from Fahrenheit 9/11 director Michael Moore, features in the official competition at this year's Venice Film Festival.

Classical music soiree at Bengal Shilpalaya

A musical soiree featuring classical artiste Sarathi Chattopadhyay was held at the Bengal Shilpalaya on July 30. Sarathi specialised in in the Benaras and Kirana "Gharana" of Indian classical music. Sartahi rendered raga "Megh" at the event.

The Game on Banglavision tonight

Special TV play The Game will be aired on Banglavision at 8:15 pm on the occasion of World Friendship Day.

OP-ED

Governments re-empowered

COPENHAGEN, 1995. We were there to attend the world summit on social development. Almost all the member countries of the UN were represented by their head of state or head of government. A phalanx of NGOs from all over the world descended on the premises to make their points through whispering, lobbying, postering, pamphleting, and raising their voices.

Israel's greed for land

A Palestinian State is wishful thinking as long as Israeli's greed for land-grabbing and illegal settlements continues. Only a serious lack of sense of moral imperative drives Israel to justify illegal occupation on security and Biblical claims.



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