The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, December 28, 2014


News of: Monday, 3rd of August, 2009

Front Page

JS body to probe DU unrest during emergency

A parliamentary body yesterday decided to investigate the violence involving army personnel and students at Dhaka University during the last caretaker government rule.

Sacked dist judges to be reinstated

The government yesterday decided to reinstate two district judges, Md Abdul Gafur and Md Shahjahan, just three days after sending them into forced retirement.

Proshika staff seek govt help

Officials and staff of Proshika yesterday urged the government to protect the NGO and its employees from the wrath of expelled chairman Qazi Faruque Ahmed and his men.

Hunt for new militant outfit with JMB link

Intelligence agencies have come to know about covert activities of an Islamist organisation in the country and its close link with the banned outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh.

Govt to recast fertiliser distribution system

Farmers will have greater access to fertiliser in the next winter crops season as the government moves to engage retailers for distribution of fertilisers at grassroots level, officials said yesterday.

12,000 workers back from KL in 7 months

As many as 12,000 Bangladeshi workers have returned home from Malaysia following various forms of exploitations and cheating by Malaysian employers or manpower brokers since January this year.

Global meltdown, energy crisis affect investment

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday a slowdown in investment continues due to the global economic meltdown and energy crisis but the situation is likely to improve in the next few months.

Tipaimukh team returns home today

The Bangladesh parliamentary delegation led by Abdur Razzak returns here today after failing to visit Tipaimukh dam site in India in two consecutive attempts as the helicopter carrying them could not land due to heavy rain.

Faisal Morshed sent to jail on surrender

A Dhaka court yesterday sent Faisal Morshed Khan, son of former foreign minister M Morshed Khan, to jail in a corruption case in which he was earlier sentenced to ten years' imprisonment in absentia.

Transport strike in SW region called off

The Bus-Truck Owners' Association in six southwestern districts called off their indefinite transport strike yesterday after a meeting with Khulna divisional police.

BNP plans long march on Tipai issue

Opposition Leader and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said her party would launch bigger programmes, including long march, at appropriate time against Indian government's move to construct Tipaimukh dam over the common river Barak.

Another BDR jawan dies

A Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawan 'died of chest pain' yesterday at the BDR hospital of the Pilkhana headquarters, raising the death toll to 35 since the BDR mutiny on February 25-26.

Shift houses from hill slopes to safer places

The district administration yesterday ordered to shift all houses from the vulnerable slopes of the hills to safer places within the next 15 days.

SC upholds Khaleda's HC bail order

The Supreme Court upheld a High Court order yesterday that granted bail to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust embezzlement case.

Rab officially discloses Huji arrests

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday disclosed the arrests of six members of Harkatul Jihad al Islami on Saturday during overnight raids on areas in the capital and elsewhere in the country.

Village elders settle rape case with fine of Tk 40,000

Influential village elders have settled a rape incident in Adarshagram under Matiranga upazila in Khagrachhari district yesterday by asking the rapist to pay Tk 40,000 to the nine-year old victim.

Elements within Pak army back terrors

A powerful group of British MPs expressed concern yesterday that elements within Pakistani Army and intelligence services do not share their civilian government's resolve to fight Islamic terrorists and continue to be fixated on India.

Lawyers still hope Suu Kyi to be 'freed unconditionally'

Lawyers for Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Sunday they still hoped she would be "freed unconditionally", despite widespread fears of a guilty verdict in her prolonged prison trial.

Scrap allocation of plots in Cox's Bazar

A parliamentary body yesterday asked the authority concerned to cancel allocation of around 70 plots allotted during the last BNP-led rule for constructing hotels and resorts in Cox's Bazar as the plots have still remained unused.

Khatami terms trial of protesters a sham

An influential pro-reform ex-president criticised the country's first trial of activists and protesters following the disputed presidential election as a sham that would further erode confidence in the ruling Islamic establishment.

Outlaw killed in 'shootout’

A regional leader and a top cadre of Janajuddho faction of the outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-ML) were shot dead in a "shootout" between their cohorts and police at Beel Amla in Mirpur upazila yesterday.

Pakistan books Swat cleric for treason

Pakistan police have laid charges of treason, terrorism and rebellion against a radical Islamic cleric who brokered a peace deal with Taliban in the Swat valley, officials said yesterday.

Extradition treaty needed to deal with foreign criminals

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Mohammad yesterday said the police force faces problems in handling “foreign criminals” taking shelter in Bangladesh as the country does not have extradition treaties with neighbouring countries.

Tigers struggle

Bangladesh were struggling at 71 for 7 in 12 overs in the one-off Twenty20 match against West Indies in St Kitts. The Tigers lost three top order batsmen for just 12 runs in 2.2 overs. Mahmudullah and Mehrab Hossain were at the crease.

Coal fires up India's farmers against new power plants

Rajni Ramakan Patil has a message for the energy companies that want to build coal-based power stations on the land that she and two generations of her family have farmed for more than 50 years.

Afghan peace talks must be 'all-inclusive'

Talks with the Taliban aimed at fostering peace in Afghanistan must be "all-inclusive" and target the political structure of the insurgent movement, the top UN official here said.

Khatami aides among prominent Iranians on trial

Prominent Iranian reformists, including former aides to ex-president Mohammad Khatami, are on trial in Iran on charges of undermining national security following June's disputed presidential poll.

Stage collapse kills one at music festival

One person was killed and 15 others were injured when a stage collapsed at a country music festival in Alberta, in central Canada, police said yesterday.

Editorial

Gas tariff raise

The government has decided to increase the price of gas for the first time in more than 4 years. However, it is the timing of the increase in particular, among other things, which cause us concern. We feel too that the percentage of increase is rather high, and the sector affected too wide which is bound to have an effect on the consumer's cost of living index, particularly those at the lower rung of the income groups.

The passing of Corazon Aquino

The death of Corazon Aquino from colon cancer brings an end to a remarkable saga in Philippine history. The quiet, unassuming woman who found herself thrust into an epic struggle against the dictatorial Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 would go on to emerge triumphant and take charge of the country. It was her determination to have Marcos voted out of office --- and she did that through pitting herself against him at the elections, though he attempted to repudiate the results --- that was to open the door to a new future for her people. A glimpse of that future came through the People Power revolution she spearheaded and then translated into a political process that was fundamentally a reinvention of democracy.

The worldwide land grab

THE 1972 UN Convention on Human Environment held in Stockholm, the 1987 Brundtland report on our "common future," and the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janerio --dubbed the Earth Summit -- debated the looming danger of an incipient conflict between Nature and man's unsustainable developmental activities. They all were summarily dismissed as scientists' fantasy or overestimation of the danger, if any. The world lent a deaf ear even to the Dahomey Declaration adopted at the 38th Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs in 1981, which made a clarion call to expand concern to a broader set of interrelated dangers, the destruction of the environment on a global scale and what could be seen as denial of basic needs for a growing majority of people.

Local-national power relations

THE Awami League (AL) government's effort to make law-makers advisers to the Upazila Parishads will disempower local government and further aggravate the already skewed power relations. This will create new debates, analyses and sharp criticism. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to analyse the debate concerning local-national relations and appeal for a strengthening of local bodies.

Sports

Razzak out of Zim tour

Bangladesh suffered a blow as left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak has been ruled out for this month's tour of Zimbabwe due to injury.

BCCI stands by stars

India's cricket chiefs on Sunday backed the country's top stars who refused to sign an anti-doping code, raising fears of a stand-off with the sport's world governing body.

Phelps silences Cavic

Michael Phelps beat Milorad Cavic to the punch again on Saturday, and this time he earned a clear decision by smashing the 50-second barrier in the 100m butterfly final at the World Championships.

Flintoff fires up England

Andrew Flintoff's 74 took England into a first innings lead against Australia in the rain-affected third Ashes Test here at Edgbaston as the hosts looked to cement their 1-0 series lead.

Harmy has old scores to settle with Aussies

Steve Harmison, the England fast bowler, has said he is desperate to play in the remaining Ashes Tests as he has "unfinished business" with the Australians. Harmison was left out of the Ashes preliminary squad but was named as a cover for Andrew Flintoff in an expanded second Test squad. However he did not feature in the XIs at Lord's or Edgbaston.

BFF asked to submit plan

The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) was asked to submit its full plan on the proposed football academy at Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan in Sylhet.

GP-BCB Academy to leave for SA

A 14-member GP-BCB National Cricket Academy team will leave Dhaka today on a three-week tour of South Africa.

Dolly fails in heats

Swimmer Dolly Akhter was eliminated in the heats of the 13th FINA World Championships in Rome that concluded in Italy yesterday.

Election on August 20

The new president of the Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) will be elected by the councillors on August 20.

Arshavin hits brace

Russian international Andrey Arshavin came off the bench to score twice as Arsenal beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 in the Emirates Cup on Saturday.

Spurs fall to shock loss

Two moments of magic from South China FC left English Premiership side Tottenham Hotspur reeling from a 2-0 loss in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Carragher wary of Owen

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher admitted Sunday he was wary of the threat posed by former teammate Michael Owen at Manchester United.

Becks scores in Barca loss

David Beckham says after two clashes with abusive football fans just days apart, he's ready to turn the other cheek and walk away if it happens again.

Ribery the diva

Bayern Munich's French star Franck Ribery is injured and will miss his team's start in the new Bundesliga season, the home fixture on August 8 at the Allianz Arena against Hoffenheim.

Writers choose Grafite as best

Wolfsburg's Brazilian striker Grafite has been voted Germany's footballer of the year by the country's football writers and sports magazine Kicker.

Milan rebuff Pirlo approach

AC Milan have turned down a seven-million pound (8.27million euro) offer from Chelsea for Italian international midfielder Andrea Pirlo.

Stuttgart rope in Pogrebniak

Russian international Pavel Pogrebniak is poised for a move to Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart, the German outfit said on Saturday.

Toure leaves 'leaderless' Gunners

Defender Kolo Toure insisted Sunday he made the right decision in swapping Arsenal for Manchester City because his former club have lost too many big names.

City lack respect, says Moyes

Everton boss David Moyes on Sunday accused Manchester City of showing a lack of respect to his team in their chase for Joleon Lescott.

Forgoing IPL start was tough for Kiwi duo

Jacob Oram and Brendon McCullum, who are among the six New Zealand players who will miss the beginning of the Indian Premier League (IPL) next year to play the Test series against Australia, have admitted signing the national contracts last month had been a difficult decision.

Lee targets fourth Test

Australia fast bowler Brett Lee is contemplating a return in next week's fourth Test against England after missing the first three matches of this Ashes series with a rib injury.

Coventry gets it back

Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe regained the women's 200m backstroke world title in a world record of 2min 04.81sec here on Saturday.

Handle Aamer with care, Zahid

Former Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Zahid has urged the Pakistan selectors, captain and coach to handle young pace sensation Mohammad Aamer with care.

Venus-Marion final

Venus Williams and France's Marion Bartoli meet Sunday for the title at the WTA Bank of the West Classic in a repeat of the 2007 Wimbledon final.

British coach for archers

Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with British archery coach Richard John Priestman for six months ahead of the SA (South Asian) Games in Bangladesh.

Business

Investment yet to peak

Investment is yet to lift, even two months after the announcement of the new fiscal budget.

Reckitt share prices soar 31pc on dividend

Reckitt Benckiser share prices shot up yesterday by more than 31 percent following a surprising interim dividend declaration that attracted investors to bet on the multinational FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) company.

Hollow blocks find niche in real estate

Substitutes for conventional solid clay bricks are carving out a niche in the construction sector, thanks to growing concern about the quality of buildings among realtors and individual constructors.

Delayed Aman plantation to hit output

Paddy growers in four northern districts, including Dinajpur, are getting worried about missing the proper time for Aman plantation because of dearth of labourers to sow the food grains.

Sangu gas compression project launched

Prime Minister's Energy Adviser Dr Towfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury said yesterday an additional 200mmcft to 300mmcft gas could be produced in two years, as the government fast-tracks projects to mitigate the energy crisis.

Commerce minister hints at narrowing VAT net

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday said the government would minimise the net of VAT (value added tax) gradually, but the income tax net would be expanded.

Media should help promote SMEs

The media can play a strong role in enhancing the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through extended coverage of the SMEs, said the industries minister yesterday.

Info Lady: A rural troubleshooter

Dula Miah got himself in a fix when three months ago a mad dog bit his two milch cows -- the main earning source of the poor farmer at Uzan Goshagari village in Gaibandha district.

US laid-off workers learn to install solar panels

In a crowded classroom at Henry Ford Community College, laid off auto workers are learning how to install and manage solar panels.

Asian currencies mostly higher

Asian currencies ended the week mostly higher against the dollar, sparked by increased confidence in the state of the global economy, dealers said.

Mitsubishi UFJ arranges $5b for Abu Dhabi

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFJ) has put together a syndicated loan worth five billion dollars for a sovereign wealth fund in Abu Dhabi, a report said Sunday.

Nissan rolls out electric car at new headquarters

Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn drove quietly out of the Japanese automaker's soon-to-open headquarters Sunday in the first public viewing of its new zero-emission vehicle.

Business journalism training takes off in Savar

Management and Resources Development Initiative (MRDI) started a weeklong residential training of trainers on business journalism in Savar yesterday, with support from Katalyst.

Loss-hit Indian airlines plan stoppage

India's private airlines, awash in red ink, say they will ground their planes in an unprecedented one-day stoppage to demand the government act to ensure their survival.

Square Consumer launches Chashi brand

Square Consumer Products Ltd has launched 'Chashi', a new brand to deliver natural taste, nutrition and purity of food products to consumers, says a statement.

Tight credit a potential hurdle to eurozone growth

Eurozone consumers can count on the European Central Bank's main interest rate staying at 1.0 percent this week, but tight credit could throttle the chances of a stout economic recovery, analysts say.

Obama says stimulus helping 'put the brakes' on recession

President Barack Obama said on Saturday that new economic data indicated a huge stimulus package approved in February had helped "put the brakes" on a deep recession.

Spain's tourism sector shaken by ETA attack in Majorca

Spain's tourism sector, already battered by the economic crisis, now fears last week's deadly bomb attack on the island of Majorca could scare off more holidaymakers at the height of the season.

Labour talks at South Korea's Ssangyong Motor break off

Talks to end a months-long strike at ailing South Korean automaker Ssangyong Motor Co broke off Sunday, with management threatening to take steps toward bankruptcy unless the union accepts a compromise offer on layoffs.

Policy Research Institute gets vice-chairman

Dr Sadiq Ahmed has joined the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh as its vice-chairman.

OISCA's Bangladesh chief reelected

OISCA International Japan (Bangladesh National Chapter) has re-elected AKM Mizanur Rahman as its president, says a press release.

Metropolitan

JS team returning empty-handed: BNP

BNP Vice President Maj (retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed yesterday asked the government to take initiatives for holding a meeting of Bangladesh-India Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) to discuss Tipaimukh Dam issue as the parliamentary delegation is returning home today empty-handed.

JS body asks ministry to identify those responsible

A parliamentary body yesterday asked the agriculture ministry to identify persons responsible for sale of huge properties of state-owned Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) at throwaway prices to different private parties during the regimes of the last BNP-Jamaat and caretaker government.

Enforce Alternative Child Food Act: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed the authorities concerned to enforce the Alternative Child Food Marketing Act at all levels and stressed immediate need for separate management of the entire spectrum of nutrition programmes.

Effective law a must to ensure rights of persons with disabilities

Speakers at a programme on Saturday said an effective law is necessary for ensuring rights of the persons with disabilities, says a press release.

Top BCL leaders manipulate list of DU hall units

Bangladesh Chhatra League president and general secretary have manipulated the list of names of newly formed Dhaka University (DU) hall BCL committee members, some leaders alleged.

Ensure healthcare services of int'l standards

President Zillur Rahman yesterday emphasised upgrading the country's healthcare services into international standard to stop the patients from going abroad and also to attract the foreign patients to come here for quality treatment.

DU English dept students bring allegations against teachers

Students of the English department at Dhaka University yesterday alleged that their teachers have been creating mental pressure on them, as they protested the department's move to introduce evening master's course.

Call to cancel drug licence of manufacturing company

Progressive Doctors' Forum and Samajtantrik Mohila Forum formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in the city yesterday demanding cancellation of drug licence of the pharmaceutical company that produced toxic paracetamol syrup and exemplary punishment to those responsible, says a press release.

Irregularities at public varsities to be probed

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said the government would set up a judicial inquiry into four-five public universities to see financial and recruitment-related irregularities in those institutions in the past.

No action yet against Rid Pharma

The Drug Administration is yet to file any case against the Rid Pharmaceuticals responsible for the death of some 25 children, although the investigation committee on toxic paracetamol submitted its report four days ago.

Govt to frame modern labour law

The government is working to frame a modern labour law amending the existing law of 2006 to ensure rights and welfare of the workers, said Labour and Employment Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday.

Price hike in gas protested

Different socio-political organisations yesterday protested a further hike in gas prices for domestic as well as industrial consumption.

Two stabbed in city

A sexagenarian man stabbed a woman and her teenage daughter in the city yesterday as he was refused to marry her daughter.

Youths urged to take lead in war crimes trial process

Speakers at a seminar at Jahangirnagar University yesterday demanded immediate punishment to war criminals, urging the young generation to take the lead in the process.

Celebrating Life Festival begins in Rangamati

Celebrating Life Festival, jointly organised by The Daily Star and Standard Chartered Bank, began in the hilly town of Rangamati yesterday.

Court decision on govt petitions today

A Dhaka court will give its decision today on the government's petitions seeking further investigation into the August 21 grenade attack cases.

Tuku warns of stern action against criminals

State minister for Home Affairs Shamsul Huq Tuku yesterday issued a stern warning against criminals, saying that there is no alternative to tough action to control anything bad.

Bazlur Rahman's anniversary of birth today

Today is the 68th birth anniversary of renowned journalist Bazlur Rahman, former editor of the daily Sangbad.

Westin to celebrate 'Taste of India'

The Westin Dhaka will celebrate 'Taste of India' at The Taste Restaurant from August 5 to 15 as part of its initiative to introduce taste of different countries of the world at one place, says a press release.

Training on business journalism begins

A weeklong training of trainers (ToT) on business journalism began at Savar yesterday to train up journalists from selected media houses as trainer in business journalism, says a press release.

BNP seeks exemption from submission of financial statement

BNP yesterday appealed to the Election Commission (EC) to exempt the party from the obligation to submit its financial statements to the commission.

Training course on TV news presentation ends

The concluding and certificate awarding ceremony of a month-long training course on "TV news presentation" organised by Bangladesh Institute of Journalism and Electronic Media (BIJEM) was held at the conference room of the institute on Saturday, says a press release.

Madrasa student crushed under wheels of train

A madrasa student was crushed under the wheels of a train at Jongly rail gate here yesterday.

Zia Fertiliser Company inoperative

The ammonia factory of Zia Fertiliser Company Limited (ZFCL) at Ashuganj went out of order due to power failure yesterday.

Officers' Club executives

Md Shah-jahan Majumder, MA Razek and Khanda-ker Rashidul Haque have been elected vice-chairmen and Abu Alam Md Shaheed Khan has been elected general secretary of the Officers' Club, Dhaka for 2009-11, says a press release.

JUJA executives

Rezaul Haq Kawshik of Daily Amar Desh and Mukimul Ahsan Himel of the Daily Ittefaq were elected president and general secretary of Jahangirnagar University Journalists' Association (JUJA) for 2009-10, says a press release.

National

Mindless fishing goes on as campaign falls on deaf ears

Catching of fishes including egg carrying ones and fry has continued unabated in different rivers, beels and other water bodies in the district, as callous fishermen are turning deaf ears to the prime minister's warning against harming fish resources even during the Fisheries Week.

Mugger Fakira also has some matters of principle !

"No sir, the number is not so high. It will be between 600 and 700," a nonchalant Jahangir Alam Fakira told journalists when asked how many muggings his group committed in last six months.

7 sued, prayer for remand of 6 others in Satkhira

Seven alleged collaborator of Pakistani occupation forces have been sued for killing a freedom fighter in Assassuni upazila in 1971.

RCC to review holding taxes

Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) yesterday decided to review the holding taxes fixed in its recently announced budget and offered a ten percent tax cut.

Docs confirm Khagrachhari rape case

Medical report by a three-member doctors' board formed by the government yesterday said the physically and mentally challenged indigenous girl, assaulted at her Boradom village house under Dighinala upazila in Khagrachhari on Friday afternoon, had been raped.

Teachers protest assault on colleague by BCL cadres

The teachers of Gafargaon Government College yesterday announced a three-day programme protesting attack on one of their colleagues by Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists and outsiders on Friday.

Strike at Magura hospital called off

The doctors and nurses at Magura Sadar Hospital yesterday called off their strike following an assurance of local lawmaker Mohammad Serajul Akbar that he would take steps to meet their demands.

School student murdered

Body of a school student was recovered from a jute field at village Kapsail under Daulatpur Police Station in Manikganj yesterday. Jannat Hossain, a student of class eight and son of Lal Mia of the Kapsail village went missing two days ago. Officer-in-charge (OC) of Daulatpur police station said Jannat's father and elder brother live in Saudi Arabia. Jannat went to Glabazar to recharge his mobile phone on Friday and did not return home. The body bore a mark on the neck as Jannat was suffocated to death, the OC added. Mother of Jannat filed a murder case with the police station.

Robbers held, arms recovered

Police arrested five robbers and recovered arms and sharp weapons from them early yesterday. Arrestees Hamsel, Shamsul, Alam, Musa snd Sahid hail from different villages in Khoksa upazila in Kushtia and Pangsha upazila in Rajbari. According to police, they raided a house of Satpakhia village in Kumarkhali upazila in Kushtia at about 2:30 am and arrested the five with a country made pistol, a sword and three knives.

SUST student found dead

A female student of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) allegedly committed suicide. Sylhet Kotwali Police yesterday found the body hanging from a ceiling fan in her room at Mazumderpara of Tilagarh area. They sent the body to Sylhet Osmani Medical College and Hospital morgue for post mortem. Sources said, Fatema Tanjin Jharna, 23, was a student of first semester of the final year BBA. The girl had an affair with a student of MBA in SUST. As the boy married another girl on Thursday last, she was too shocked and committed suicide. Sylhet Kotwali Police filed a UD case in this connection.

Arms recovered, youth held

Police yesterday arrested a young man along with two shooter guns near the town's bus stand. Arrestee Mukul Mia, 26, hails from Baliadanga village in Kaliganj upazila of Jhenidah district. Sources said police official Sarwar Hossain on suspicion searched the body of Mukul at around 4:45 pm when he was standing in front of a hotel near the bus stand and found the two firearms tied with his thighs.

Touchstone statue recovered

Rapid Action Battalion of Rajshahi yesterday recovered a touchstone statue from Gobinda Nagar village under Thakurgaon district. A Rangpur Rab team raided one Biren's house and found the black statue under a mango tree. The height of the statue is 11 inches and it weighs around 11 kilogram. None was arrested in this connection, Rab sources said.

Youth killed in Kushtia

A young man was bludgeoned to death on Saturday night inside Fatin Ice Factory at Rupsha Strand Road in the city. Victim Nur Islam,26, was son of Alkaj Sheikh of Rayerkati village under Pirojpur Sadar upazila. Police said the murder was committed by other employees of the ice factory following quarrel over theft of an energy bulb. Police picked up six employees of the factory suspecting their involvement in the killing.

Muggers kill young man

Muggers stabbed to death a young man. Victim Yunus Ali, 30, is son of Noor Mohammed of village Vekutia under Sadar upazila and also a driver of Nitol-Tata group. Police said, a group of muggers snatched mobile and others valuables from Yunus and stabbed him several times on Airport Road when he was returning home from his workplace on Saturday night. The next morning locals found him lying on the road. They sent him to Jessore General Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. A case was filed in this connection.

Letters

Road network

With the monsoon setting in, Dhaka's traffic situation is getting out of control and the sufferings of the general public have increased almost three times compared to what it was before the rains came. The city's drainage system is no better than the other utility services which our government is supposed to deliver to the people who have voted them to power. Every day new cars and rickshaws from other neighbouring districts are coming to the city. The city has shortage of parking space as there is no guideline for residential, commercial and industrial areas.

Local fruits

Each and every season in our country turns up with its appeal. Wherever and whenever you visit the different parts of country, you will find nature is clad in deep green, trees are laden with fresh, colourful, and mouth-watering fruits. Even if you do not have the chance of visiting rural areas, pay a visit to a local fruit market, you will see a variety of fruits in different times of the year. We should encourage everyone, particularly our children, to develop the habit of eating more and more domestic fruits like jackfruit, guava, black berry, pineapple, watermelon, mango, plum and many other types fruits that grow in our fertile land. It is a widely known fact that the flora and fauna in a region are inextricable linked to each other. The fruits that grow in a particular region are very essential for the people living in the area and consumption of these fruits rather than exotic ones increase vitality of people. In other words, we should give priority to our domestic fruits over fruits imported from abroad. Moreover, local farmers will be more motivated to grow more fruit trees which would have a significant impact in reducing air pollution.

Drought in Bangladesh

Drought has long been considered to be a hazard responsible for ups and downs of many civilizations in the world. Drought occurs when rainfall is absent for a prolonged period of time, causing earth to parch, wells to dry, underground water to fall, crops to wither leading to crop failure and scarcity of fodder for livestock. Because of meagre supply of water, food and fodder both humans and livestock suffer untold miseries. Drought extends its ominous tentacles slowly but surely. In Bangladesh, drought in the northern districts is very common. The hydrological and climate conditions of Bangladesh are characterized by 'too much water in the wet monsoon season and too little water in the dry months, creating a drought environment. Now it is the Bengali month of Sravan and the rainy season is going to be over but there has not been enough rain. Rainfall in June was 37% bellow average and in July 21-22% lower then average.

Unregistered cars

I have been driving in Dhaka for the last 16 years. I have seen that unregistered cars are being driven in Dhaka city with no hesitation whatsoever in front of the law enforcers. Surprisingly, even in Dhaka Cantonment these cars are moving freely. Has the government officially allowed people to drive cars without numbers for an indefinite period of time?

Shipbuilding industry

Bangladesh has entered the export market of sea-going vessels. The shipbuilding industry is now in a position to get a place on the list of priority sectors of the new export policy .The other sectors to be on the list, are agro and agro-processing products, light engineering, footwear and leather, pharmaceuticals, software and ICT products and home textiles.

Indian HC's comments

I am writing regarding the recent remarks made by the Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravorty which were beyond any diplomatic norms, to say the least. His dismissal of expert opinions regarding the Tipaimukh dam would have been met with outrage if it were in any other country. But this is Bangladesh, an, as usual, the response from our foreign ministry was meek.

Better service needed

Khulna to Dhaka via Mawa is an important route.

Obama's historic speech

The 'FRONTLINES', a publication of the Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs”, USAID in its latest (July 2009) has published the main features of the historic speech which the US President Barack Obama had delivered in Cairo on June 4, 2009. In this speech which has been translated into 15 different languages on the White House website, President Obama said “I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect”. The US President further said “Americans are ready to join with citizens and governments, community organisations, religious leaders, and businesses in Muslim countries around the world to help our people pursue a better life.” Obama pledged US foreign assistance for education, women's rights, democracy and economic development. Expressing respect for the rights of women to choose a traditional life style, the US President added “I do believe that a woman who is denied education is denied equality……And that is why the United States will partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams”. The President also announced an initiative with the Organization of the Islamic Conference to eradicate polio.

Lure of lucre!

A front-page report from New York on the large numbers of corrupt officials netted by the police for corruption in New Jersey USA was published in a local daily on 25 July. Is this a new manifestation of the principles of free enterprise? What was however really surprising was the inclusion of five Rabbis (Jewish priest) among the 44 people arrested! Here we have priests, who are considered to be pious and supposed to teach us about good and right living with high moral values, joining the ranks of the corrupt! This only demonstrates what the lust and lure for the lucre can lead to!

Our maritime boundary

It appears that the Bangladesh government is going about it the wrong way. India and Myanmar are being blamed for submitting their maritime boundary limitations to the UN which detract from Bangladesh's fair share of the resources. Did India or Myanmar consult Bangladesh and have Bangladesh's agreement to delimit such boundary and send it to the UN? Obviously not. So why is Bangladesh so eager to submit its boundary limitations after India and Myanmar agree to it?

Poor handling

A proverb goes ---- even a mad man can choose the things which are better for him. It seems we are worse than lunatics. Yes, I am talking about our maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. We know that we have a vast area in this adjoining sea as per international rules. But our two neighbouring countries India and Myanmar want to have a more than fair share of the Bay. They have already filed their claims to the UN. But we are still doing nothing. Some months back, Myanmar tried to install some heavy machinery in our territorial waters to extract oil, gas etc. India often sends their naval vessels into our territory.

Baby-taxi

It is estimated that two million people in Metropolitan Dhaka belong to the so called middle-income group. They are facing trouble while commuting in the city. Private car is out of their reach. Taxi-cab service is inadequate and also too costly for them. When a family likes to join in a marriage ceremony, it needs a low cost vehicle to go to a community centre. When a patient is to be shifted to a hospital, an affordable baby taxi is needed. If a family wants to go to shopping to celebrate a festival, a baby-taxi is required. To appear in a public examination hall, a student needs transport service of a baby-taxi. It is the reality.

Admission tests

Results of the HSC exams have recently been published. We are happy to see the lovely faces of our next generation who have done so well. But the smiling faces will become gloomy very soon, we easily understand, when the dates of admission tests will be announced in different higher educational institutions. They have to run from post to pillar in a very restless manner during this period. The guardians and applicants take it as normal as they know the reality of our country. But the problem arises when the authorities declare that the admission tests will be held on the same day in different universities.

Inspiring words

Mr Kajal's letter on our cricket is both inspired and inspiring. From Kolkata he shared the joy of our cricket team's triumph in West Indies.

Traffic and Rajuk/DCC

The DMP commissioner was right to blame DCC and Rajuk for the nagging traffic congestion in the city. If you look around Gulistan which is abutted by DCC and Rajuk offices, you'll find almost all the markets owned by DCC without any space for even a single car. The building designs must have parking spaces with a specified calculation. But unfortunately all the DCC markets- parking spaces have been converted into underground shops forcing the cars to be parked outside. DCC is realizing the rents from these illegal underground shops and the officials concerned undoubtedly got 'something' into their pockets. We don't have any other watchdogs to oversee this abject violation of laws by the people who are entrusted with the responsibilities to enforce it! The other areas notorious for traffic also have the same problem - markets and buildings without parking spaces. I request the JS bodies concerned, as they are the peoples' representatives, to open an enquiry and take appropriate steps, and stern punitive actions against those who are responsible for violating building codes, who do not shoulder the responsibilities to oversee it and who pocketed handsome amounts by allowing these underground shops to operate.

International

UN calls for talks with Taliban leaders

The top UN official in Afghanistan called yesterday for talks with Taliban leaders at the highest level, another indication that parts of the international community are reaching out to the top echelons of the radical Islamist movement.

Parliament should decide Musharraf's fate following SC verdict: Pak PM

Pakistan's Parliament should decide the fate of former president Pervez Musharraf following the Supreme Court's verdict that the emergency imposed by him in 2007 was unconstitutional and illegal, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said.

India hands Pakistan fresh evidence against JuD chief Saeed

India on Saturday handed over to Pakistan a fresh dossier of evidence to investigate the Mumbai terror attacks and prosecute Hafiz Saeed, the suspected mastermind of the three-day carnage that killed 166 people.

Myanmar wants to minimise fallout over Suu Kyi trial

Myanmar's junta showed rare concern for foreign opinion by delaying the Aung San Suu Kyi verdict, but only because it wants to minimise the fallout while pursuing its hard line against her, analysts said.

'Too many tasks' failing Afghan mission: British MPs

The military mission in Afghanistan has failed to deliver on its promises - as troops have too many tasks, MPs say.

Palestinian families evicted from Jerusalem homes

Israeli riot police wielding clubs kicked out two Palestinian families from their homes in occupied east Jerusalem yesterday, defying international protests over Jewish settlement activity in the area.

Rafsanjani denies pact with opposition leaders

Powerful Iranian cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Saturday branded as a "lie" a claim made in court that he had entered a pact with ex-president Mohammad Khatami and opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

EU keeps watchful eye on Georgia's rebel borders

Driving along the border of Georgia's rebel South Ossetia region on a hot summer day, two armoured jeeps flying European Union flags suddenly pulled over to the side of the road.

4 militants killed in Kashmir gunbattle

Four Muslim militants and an Indian soldier were killed in a gunbattle in Indian Kashmir close to the Pakistan-controlled section of the disputed region, the army said Sunday.

Floods make thousands homeless in Bihar

Thousands of people have been rendered homeless in Bihar's Sitamarhi district after the Bagmati river breached its embankment, flooding nearly 200 villages.

Troops patrol Pak city after riots kill 8

Paramilitary troops patrolled the streets of an eastern Pakistani city yesterday after eight Christians died in riots led by Muslims, according to police.

7 women, children killed in Iraq market bombing

Four women and three children were killed in a car bomb attack on a market in the centre of the western Iraqi town of Haditha yesterday, military and medical officials.

Filipinos queue up to say goodbye to Aquino

It's a road made famous as the site of the EDSA "people power" revolt that chased hated dictator of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos from power.

'New HIV strain leapt to humans from gorillas'

French virologists yesterday said they had found a new subtype of the AIDS virus that appears to have jumped the species barrier to humans from gorillas.

Plane carrying 16 disappears over Indonesia

A plane carrying 16 people disappeared yesterday over a jungle-clad and mountainous region in eastern Indonesia, authorities said.

Newly discovered pieces by Mozart presented in Salzburg

Two newly discovered piano pieces, which scholars now say were almost certainly composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, were performed Sunday in the composer's birthplace of Salzburg.

China suspends 2 for pollution

Authorities in central China suspended two environment officials and detained a chemical plant boss after hundreds of residents protested, claiming the factory polluted a river and caused at least two deaths in the area, an official said yesterday.

Karachi building collapse kills 24

A five-story building collapsed in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, killing at least 24 people, mostly women and children, authorities said Saturday.

Dacoits loot train in India

The passengers of three air-conditioned coaches of Barbil-Howrah Janshatabdi Express were on Saturday night looted of cash and valuables by armed dacoits between a Maoist-infested place on the border of West Bengal and Jharkhand.

80 more Indians fly to Lanka to clear landmines

Over 80 former Indian soldiers have left for Sri Lanka following the defeat of the Tamil Tigers to join Indians already there in clearing thousands of buried landmines.

Coal fires up India's farmers against new power plants

Rajni Ramakan Patil has a message for the energy companies that want to build coal-based power stations on the land that she and two generations of her family have farmed for more than 50 years.

S Africa selling arms to repressive states

A crisis in South Africa's arms control body has resulted in weapon deals being authorised to repressive regimes such as Iran, Libya, Zimbabwe and North Korea, the main opposition party said yesterday.

Chinese cops arrest 319 more in Xinjiang probe

Police in the northwest Chinese region of Xinjiang have arrested hundreds of people in connection with disturbances that left at least 197 people dead, state media reported yesterday.

China energy efficiency improves

China cut its average energy consumption by 3.53 percent in the first half of 2009 from a year ago, helped by massive stimulus spending on green projects, the government said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Chitrangada weaves magic once again

Bangladesh Dance Artistes' Association (BDAA) announced its new committee for the period of 2009 to 2011 on August 1 at the National Theatre Stage of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Veteran dancer Rahiza Khanam Jhunu was conferred with an honorary title “Nritya Guru Mata” by BDAA at the event. The programme also included a spirited performance of the popular Tagore dance-drama “Chitrangada.”

Group art exhibition 10 Episodes at Shilpangan Gallery

Group exhibitions create opportunities to exchange of views for the participating artists. A group art exhibition featuring works of 10 painters, titled “10 Episodes” is now on at Shilpangan Gallery, Dhanmondi. The participating painters are Hamiduzzaman Khan, Ivy Zaman, Najma Akhter, Mohammad Fokhrul Islam, Mohammad Iqbal, Md. Anisuzzaman, Maksuda Iqbal Nipa, Md. Aloptogin, Proshanta Karmakar Buddha and Kazi Aymaan Moquit.

Cultural programme by Amra Shurjomukhi

To observe the forthcoming death anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (on August 15), cultural organisation Amra Shurjomukhi held a programme on August 1 at Sufia Kamal auditorium, National Museum, marking the beginning of a month of mourning.

Musical soiree by Protyay

Protyay, a cultural organisation of the city, held a musical soiree at the Music and Dance Centre auditorium, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on August 1.

Ke?: An entertaining conundrum

Directed by Esha Yousuf and written by Shimul Yousuf "Ke" is a play that delves into exactly what the title suggests. It makes the viewer wonder and contemplate.

Kishalaya Kendra celebrates itself

The Kishalaya Sangeet Charcha Kendra (KSCK), a cultural organisation, recently held a discussion, a reception for local pioneers, and a cultural event. The event was held to observe the organisation's third anniversary.

Eminem attacks Mariah in new song

It is the latest in a long feud between the pair who first came to blows when Eminem said he had a fling with Mariah back in 2001 and she denied it.

OP-ED

Democracy thus far?

DEMOCRACY in Bangladesh recorded another milestone when Awami League (AL) the oldest political party and Jatiya party (JP) held their National Conventions on July 24. It is indeed heartening to note that the Representation of the People Order (RPO) issued by the Election Commission (EC) has been taken by these two political parties with "due" seriousness.

Farewell to a freedom fighter

MUSTAFIZ passed away yesterday. General Mustafizur Rahman, Bir Bikram, a war hero, once the chief of staff of Bangladesh army and, above all, a comrade-in-arms and a good friend of mine.

Agonies of indigenous people

INDIGENOUS communities, popularly known as adivasi or jumma, are the majority population in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs). There are about 49 different indigenous communities living in the plains and hill areas. Although they constituted about 98% of the total population in this region in 1941, however, the increase in non-ethnic jumma people in CHT had reduced their strength to 51% in 2003. The governments' policies played an important role in the decline. As a consequence, CHT suffers from continuous violence among different groups.



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