The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, July 30, 2014


News of: Monday, 17th of August, 2009

Front Page

Buriganga fed oil, chemicals

It was around 9:30am. A group of workers at Swarighat chemical market were loading a large pushcart with empty plastic barrels, used for containing one of the 112 toxic chemicals used for the tannery industries in Hazaribagh.

Tiger's record win

Bangladesh coasted to an historic triumph in Bulawayo yesterday after chasing down their target of 313 with 4-wickets in hand and thirteen balls remaining to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the Grameenphone Cup.

JMB, Huji talk to operate together

No effective measure was taken by any government to punish the patrons of the outlawed Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) that launched an unprecedented countrywide bomb attack on August 17, 2005.

Govt asked to halt pullout from CHT

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government to suspend the ongoing withdrawal of troops from Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) until August 19.

Job-based training mulled for youths

The government is to introduce several new training courses for youths to turn them into skilled workers for job markets both home and abroad.

Govt to take action against ex-envoy Khairuzzaman

The government has decided to take punitive action against former high commissioner to Malaysia M Khairuzzaman for violating official orders to come back to Dhaka.

Democracy not practised within AL, BNP

Two major political parties--Awami League (AL) and BNP -- are not fostering intra-party democracy, which is an imperative to strengthen country's democracy, speakers at a round-table in the capital said yesterday.

Raids upon alert

Law enforcement agencies conducted raids in various parts of the country, including Chittagong and Rajshahi on Saturday night and early yesterday following an alert message from the police headquarters on possible militant attacks.

Culprits must be punished

The rape of a schoolgirl at Charvodrason in Faridpur sparked protests in the district town yesterday as different human rights, social and women rights organisations came forward in aid of the victim.

PM vows to root out graft, militancy

Awami League (AL) President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday vowed to root out militancy and corruption from the country to build a prosperous Bangladesh free from poverty and hunger to realise the dream of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Lord Avebury hails troops withdrawal

Co-chair of the International Commission on Chittagong Hill Tracts Lord Eric Avebury yesterday praised the government's move to withdraw troops from the region as a part of the peace process there.

2 abducted in Bandarban

Criminals kidnapped two rubber garden staff in separate incidents in Naikhangchhari upazila on Saturday night.

Moeen asked to reply by Sept 13

A Dhaka court yesterday asked former Army Chief Gen (retd) Moeen U Ahmed to reply to it by September 13 in a Tk-100 crore defamation suit filed against him by former BNP state minister for energy Iqbal Hassan Mahmood Tuku.

Ex-VC, seven others sued for graft

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday filed seven cases against eight people including former pro-vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Prof MA Mannan on charge of misappropriating Tk 4 crore in purchase of medical equipments.

Sircar files writ against JS body formation

Former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar yesterday filed a writ petition with the High Court (HC) challenging the formation of a parliamentary subcommittee to investigate graft allegations against him.

Rab official accused of 'crossfire threat'

An elderly woman yesterday alleged that the commanding officer of Rapid Action Battalion-1 sent her a threat to kill her son by putting him in so-called crossfire, in a sequel to a previous enmity.

Mysterious blast at ex-minister Zahir's house

A mysterious explosion yesterday morning damaged the Gulshan residence of late BNP minister AM Zahiruddin Khan and injured three persons including the son of former industry minister.

Extortion causes price hike

Reckless extortion through the supply chain makes vegetables and other essentials dearer as two senior ministers of the government yesterday recognised the criminalisation of the market system.

Rid Pharma case hearing today

The hearing of a case against Rid Pharmaceutical Limited's bosses on charge of manufacturing drugs lacking specified standards will be held at District and Sessions Judge A S N Mustafa's Court today.

Workers clash with cops in Ashulia, 100 hurt

Over a hundred people got injured as agitating garment workers clashed with police in Ashulia yesterday.

AL confused youth before polls: Khaleda

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said the young people are now joining BNP, as they can now understand that they were made confused before December 29 general election.

Move to realise Tk 2.6cr phone bills from MPs

The government is going to realise Tk 2.61 crore outstanding telephone bills from the 199 present and former members of parliament (MPs).

41 die in Kuwait wedding inferno

Forty-one women and children were killed and dozens more injured when a fire ripped through a packed wedding party in Kuwait, triggering a panicked stampede, officials said yesterday.

Taliban directly threaten Afghan presidential polls

The Taliban yesterday threatened for the first time to attack Afghan polling stations, escalating their bid to derail key elections this week after striking Nato in the heart of Kabul.

30 rebels killed as troops pound Taliban bases

The Afghan defence ministry said Sunday that more than 30 rebels, including foreigners, were killed in an operation pounding Taliban centres in a bid to secure a northeast troublespot for key elections.

Editorial

Hi-tech monitoring system for DMP

DHAKA Metropolitan Police (DMP)'s modernisation has long been overdue. As the city is growing at a breakneck speed, so is the incidence of crimes and snarl-ups increasing at the numberless road junctions. Naturally the city police were at their wits' end to fight crime and ease movement of traffic with their limited manpower and technical resources.

The helpless women in Faridpur and Brahmanbaria

THE men who raped a young girl in Faridpur recently and had the scene recorded on video and distributed in public have not yet been hunted down. This is inexplicable failure on the part of the police. Are we then to suppose that because the scandal has centered around a poor family it is all right to ignore the matter and pretend that it will be forgotten soon? It has been days since the incident took place and yet the local administration has seen little reason to move against the accused. On top of that, the police kept the victim's father confined at the police station in Charbhadrashon for fifteen hours after having picked him up to identify the houses of those who had allegedly raped his daughter. The situation has now come to a point where the father of the victim is now in fear of the police. And, of course, there is the shame that hangs over his poverty-stricken family.

A massacre and a celebration

THERE was no war-like situation in the month of August in the year 1975 in Bangladesh. A nascent government in a nascent country was trying its best to make all the loose ends meet despite internal and outside evil forces trying their best to make governance impossible. The evil forces, supported by the defeated forces in the War of Liberation, got desperate and plotted to kill Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Can drought bring us closer?

THE monsoon may well be a seasonal wind of the Indian Ocean. But it is accompanied by rains. The subcontinent, comprising India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, is dependent on them. Nearly two-thirds of the population of the three countries lives in the countryside. More rains make their life a bit easy and less pushes them further to the edge.

Sports

Tamim outshines Charles

Charles Coventry(194 not out) made the joint highest individual score in an ODI but his effort was outweighed by a sparkling, cool-headed century from Tamim Iqbal (154), who broke the record for the most runs made in an innings by a Bangladesh batsman, as the Tigers took a winning 3-1 lead in the five-match series against Zimbabwe at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo yesterday.

GP BCB fall to crushing loss

Grameenphone-BCB National Academy lost the series 2-0 against the Standard Bank National Cricket Academy of South Africa when the visitors crashed to a massive 178-run defeat in the second and final four-day match with a day to go at the Laudium Oval in Pretoria on Saturday.

Dravid back in ODI fold

Veteran batsman Rahul Dravid on Sunday made a return to India's one-day squad for next month's tri-series in Sri Lanka and the Champions Trophy in South Africa.

Freddie set for finale

Andrew Flintoff stayed on course to make his farewell to Test cricket in next week's final Ashes match here at The Oval after being named in a 14-man squad on Sunday along with Jonathan Trott.

Rahmatganj focus on youth

Last year's giant killers Rahmatganj MFS signed up 17 players yesterday as they pinned their hopes on young guns.

Boxers travel to Bangkok

The Bangladesh Boxing Federation has decided to send eight boxers and two coaches for a four-week improved training in Bangkok ahead of the 11th South Asian (SA) Games in Bangladesh.

Another walking gold for Russia

Defending champion Olga Kaniskina of Russia won the women's 20 kilometres walk world title here on Sunday.

Trott to keep his cool

Jonathan Trott vowed to stay as "relaxed as possible" after being handed arguably the most daunting set of circumstances possible in which to make his England Test debut.

Six-shooter Gunners

Arsenal hammered out an early English Premier League title warning on Saturday when they crushed Everton 6-1 at Goodison Park.

Van Gaal fuming

Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal was far from pleased after the German giants squandered a string of chances in a 1-1 draw at home to VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Martins's debut delight

Wolfsburg's latest recruit Obafemi Martins scored on his debut as the defending champions came from behind to seal a 3-1 win at Cologne and maintain their 100 percent record on Saturday.

Fergie blasts at 'fakers'

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists players who pretend to be injured in order to cause stoppages in play are "killing the game".

Barca no go on Fabregas

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has ruled out the possibility of signing Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas this summer.

ID cards for Italian away fans

Soccer fans in Italy will have to obtain a special supporters card from their club to see their team play away from home next year.

Chamakh shows class

Marouane Chamakh brushed aside recent speculation surrounding his future at Bordeaux to help keep the French champions near the top of the league in a 3-2 away win at Sochaux on Saturday.

It's Murray v Del Potro

Andy Murray made sure of claiming the world number two ranking, but he'll have to get past Juan Martin Del Potro to claim the ATP Montreal Masters crown.

Safina-Jankovic final

World number one Dinara Safina cruised into the final of the two million-dollar WTA Cincinnati Open on Saturday as Jelena Jankovic clawed her way into the title match.

Rhodes's thoughts on CT

Jonty Rhodes, the former South African player, has said home advantage will mean little in next month's Champions Trophy in South Africa since teams travel a lot more and are used to different conditions these days.

Dilshan may open in Test

Sri Lanka are likely to go in with a new opening combination for the first Test against New Zealand beginning on Tuesday in Galle. Having sat out the limited-overs leg of the recently concluded home series against Pakistan due to injuries, Tillakaratne Dilshan is likely to feature at the top of the order on his return.

Dilshan may open in Test

Sri Lanka are likely to go in with a new opening combination for the first Test against New Zealand beginning on Tuesday in Galle. Having sat out the limited-overs leg of the recently concluded home series against Pakistan due to injuries, Tillakaratne Dilshan is likely to feature at the top of the order on his return.

Kambli quits int'l cricket

Vinod Kambli, who last played international cricket in 2000 and senior domestic cricket in 2004-05, has announced his retirement from international cricket. He will continue to make himself available for domestic selection.

Rossi wins in Brno

Italy's Valentino Rossi on a Yamaha won the MotoGP race at the Czech Grand Prix meeting here on Sunday to extend his overall championship lead and all but clinch a ninth world title.

Business

Faruk: First Ramadan to see TCB goods

The commerce minister yesterday renewed his pledge to ensure availability of essentials including sugar, onion and gram from the first day of Ramadan.

PPP needs more homework

The government should do adequate homework to ensure transparency and accountability before undertaking any project under Public-Private Partnership (PPP), speakers said at a seminar yesterday.

WB praises Janata debt recovery

The World Bank (WB) has lauded Janata Bank's performance and expects the bank's loan default rate to drop to 7.55 percent by 2010, if the trend continues.

Prices: Lies and illusions

A disconnect is evident in the prices of essentials. Retailers claim lower prices to market watchers, but the things are not the same to real shoppers.

Magura farmers pin hopes on guava

Guava farming is replacing paddy and changing the farmers' luck in Magura -- at least to some extent.

Brand Forum spotlights ad industry today

In a bid to take the communication industry to the next level, Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF) will organise today an award giving ceremony to recognise effective communication in the country.

SMEs still face fund crunch

A tiny factory he runs for now. But there is a dream in his eyes.

Dubai housing in uncharted territory

Just one year ago, property prices in Dubai were surging to record peaks undeterred by a real estate slump in major markets, but they have since gone into free fall and have yet to find the bottom.

Dhaka stocks close flat

Dhaka stocks finished almost flat yesterday, as bank shares failed to continue its positive trade to the end.

Gloom lingers in Central Europe economies

While countries in western Europe have begun to snap out of recession, the economic decline has continued across much of central and eastern Europe despite some optimistic signs, analysts said.

Warid rolls out new prepaid packages

Mobile operator Warid launched three new prepaid packages for its customers yesterday.

US recovery is in view, but economic struggles persist

The US economy appears poised to emerge from recession but will struggle for some time, held back by a weak job market and cautious consumers, analysts say.

Citi hosts IT quiz for financial sector

The Citi Financial IT Case Competition held its second round of competition recently, according to a press release.

Qatar acquires Porsche stake

Qatar Holding has annou-nced it will acquire a 17 percent stake in Volkswagen AG, which is merging with Porsche, in a deal that will exceed $10 billion.

Britain could legislate on bankers' bonuses: Minister

Britain's finance minister Alistair Darling indicated he could legislate against bankers' bonuses in an interview published Sunday.

Volvo engineers seeking to buy carmaker from Ford

Volvo engineers have launched a bid to buy the loss-making Swedish automaker from US giant Ford to stop it from falling into Chinese hands, a newspaper report said on Saturday.

Japan's big businesses expect recovery by mid-2010: Survey

Two thirds of big Japanese companies expect the country's economy to recover by the middle of next year, according to a survey by Kyodo News released Sunday.

German economy to shrink less than expected in 2009

Germany's economy should contract less than the government's estimate of six percent in 2009 after upbeat data for the second quarter, an expert has told Der Spiegel weekly.

Currency

Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market was active on Sunday. The market was liquid and the USD/BDT rate was similar to the previous working day.

Metropolitan

Mission with a difference

Yasir Chowdhury stood in the centre of a scrum that grew bigger in a minute. The fourth year medical student from King's College London intently listened to each person of the crowd, handed them a slip of paper and referred them to a doctor.

More time needed to start trial of war criminals

Despite budget allocation and updating of relevant laws, the government cannot start immediately the trial of war criminals as the Home Minister Sahara Khatun could not join the office due to her illness.

Law ministry sends reference to PM

The law ministry yesterday sent to the premier the reference seeking Supreme Court's opinion on whether the people charged with mutiny and massacre at the BDR headquarters should be tried under the civil code or the military law for forwarding it to the president.

'EIS to help enhance English skills to face global challenges'

Speakers at a programme here yesterday underscored the need for learning good English at the secondary level to face global challenges.

Execution of verdict demanded

Different socio-cultural organisations observed August 15, the National Mourning Day and the 34th death anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with a call for execution of the verdict of Bangabandhu killing case and taking an initiative to repatriate the killers.

Set up cardiology dept at govt hospitals: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered the authorities concerned to set up cardiology department at every government hospital with surgery facilities, including special unit for children.

Implement tobacco control act to cut consumption

Speakers at a workshop yesterday stressed the need for strengthening taskforce committee to implement the tobacco control act as well as to create massive awareness to reduce tobacco consumption that caused death to thousands of people every year, says a press release.

Home ministry plans to involve MPs in improving law and order

Home ministry has planned to engage lawmakers of the city by forming different law and order committees in their respective constituencies to improve the law and order situation and stop rising extortion in the metropolis.

US embassy official meets Delwar

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday held a closed door meeting for about one hour with Nicholas Deen, deputy chief of mission of US embassy, at the party's central office at Naya Paltan in the city.

Elderly man, girl commit suicide

A septuagenarian man and a female university student committed suicide in the city yesterday.

SAHR slams sentence on Suu Kyi

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) has condemned the sentence handed down to Myanmar democracy icon and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

'Spread new tech among farmers'

Agriculturalists at a workshop yesterday emphasised spreading new technologies among the farmers to increase productivity.

SQ Chy to be put on trial for war crimes: Qamrul

State Minister for Law Qamrul Islam yesterday said BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury would be put on trial on charges of war crimes.

People with HIV/AIDS still face social stigma

People living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) are still facing discrimination in society that even forces them not to seek treatment in the healthcare centres, a study revealed yesterday.

7 stores fined

A mobile court assisted by Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute (BSTI) officials fined Tk 1,45,000 to seven sales stores for selling adulterated Ghee and having no license in old Dhaka yesterday.

Call for nat'l committee to halt Tipai project

The representatives of International Farakka Committee (INC) yesterday called on the government to form a national committee and hold a convention to halt the Tipaimukh dam project in order to protect the country from turning into a desert.

Control population to ensure food security

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday stressed the need for controlling population to ensure food security.

8 snatchers of 'Tana Party' arrested in Ctg

Police arrested eight members of Tana Party, a crime syndicate who takes away valuables from passengers of running rickshaws and autorickshaws, from different parts of the port city yesterday.

BCL demands punishment to SQ Chy

Leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday demanded punishment to BNP leader Salahuddin Qader Chowdhury for commenting in favour of Bangabandhu's killer and involvement in war crimes.

New timing for museums, galleries in Ramadan

Bangladesh National Museum has rescheduled visiting hours at various museums and galleries of the country for the month of Ramadan.

Two killed in N'ganj road crash

Two people were killed and 13 others were injured in a collision between a human hauler, known as Duranta, and a tempo in front of Siddhirganj Power Station in Narayanganj yesterday morning.

HC asks govt to pay upgraded salaries to Railway staffs

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government to pay the upgraded salaries and benefits to all the stationmasters, assistant stationmasters and station superintendents of Bangladesh Railway since 1977.

JNU Abritti Sangsad celebrates 1st anniversary

Jagannath University (JNU) Abritti Sangsad yesterday organised a rally, discussion and cultural programme to celebrate its first anniversary.

Edn ministry to form body to fight graft

The education ministry yesterday decided to form a committee headed by its additional secretary with a view to ensuring corruption-free working environment at the ministry and its different offices.

Another severed head found in Kushtia

A severed head was found yesterday morning at a Kushtia village less than a week after police had recovered three severed heads from the district town.

Court asks CID to submit probe report by Sept 30

A Dhaka court yesterday asked Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to submit its probe report by September 30 on Pilkhana carnage at Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters on February 25-26.

15-day book fair on Bangabandhu begins in city

A 15-day book fair on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman began at Public Library in the city yesterday with a special offer of maximum 70 percent commission.

BEPZA returns 35 godowns to food ministry

Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority (BEPZA) yesterday returned 59.28 acres of lands in Chittagong with its 35 godowns to Food and Disaster Management Ministry.

Poet Shamsur Rahman's death anniversary today

Today is the third death anniversary of poet Shamsur Rahman, says a press release.

Kafi Sheikh nominated for MEJAB Award

Poet Mohammad Kafi Sheikh has been nominated for the Media Journalist Association of Bangladesh (MEJAB) Performance Award 2008 for his contribution to literature, says a press release.

National

JMB Ctg chief, aide get 10 years RI

The Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal here yesterday sentenced Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Chittagong divisional chief Javed Iqbal alias Mohammad and one of his associates to ten years' rigorous imprisonment (RI) in a case for August 17 serial bomb blasts in 2005.

Trial of 4 Khulna serial blast cases still incomplete

Four years into the serial bomb blasts by Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in Khulna, trial of the four cases in connection with the blasts has remained incomplete.

'Elect fresh councils in three hill dists'

Hundreds of processionists yesterday protested alleged corruption in the three hill district councils (HDCs) and demanded formation of fresh HDCs in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) through direct election.

SCF to press govt to try war criminals

Leaders of the Sector Commanders' Forum (SCF) yesterday said they will mobilise public opinion to put the war criminals on trial if the government fails to keep its poll pledge.

Charge framing now on Sept 5

District and Sessions Judge of Sylhet Mohammad Momin Ullah yesterday deferred charge framing against 34 BDR mutineers of Sylhet sector headquarters.

RU indigenous students place 5-pt demand

The indigenous students at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday demanded residential facilities at the university.

One held with forged notes

Police arrested one person along with fake notes at Miaerbazar in Sadar Dakshin upazila yesterday.

BCL enforces strike at Rangpur medical

Academic activities other than examinations remained stopped at Rangpur Medical College (RMC) yesterday as a faction of the RMC unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) enforced a strike demanding punishment to the attackers on three college students on Saturday.

Two die in Habiganj jail

Two prisoners died in Habiganj District Jail on Friday and Saturday. They are Mujen Miah, 38, son of Abdul Miah of village Shibpasha under Ajmiriganj upazila and Motabbir Hossain Sadhu,63, son of late Zahur Ali of village Kaorakandi in Chunarughat upazila. According to jail officials, the deaths were normal. Mujen Miah is an accused in Apel Chowdhury killing case. Apel was nephew of the former IGP Modabbir Hossain Chowdhury. Jail officials said Mujen went sick on August 14 morning but doctors at Habiganj hospital said they had no scope to treat Mujen as he was brought dead to the hospital. Police said Apel Chowdhury was killed in a clash between rival groups of villagers at Shibpasha on February 16, 2008. Chief judicial magistrate of Habiganj on August 10 refused his bail prayer and sent him to the jail hajat. Motabbir Hossain Sadhu fell sick as he went to take a bath on Saturday afternoon. According to jail sources, he died on way to the hospital. He was serving life term in two murder cases.

Tornado injures 20

At least 20 people were injured and two fishemen went missing in the nearby river when a tornado lashed Kamarjagi village under Ghior police station yesterday. The 30-minute storm that started around 12: 00 noon also damaged 25 kutcha houses, a mosque and uprooted a number of trees, Singjuri Union Parisad chairman said. All the 20 were injured due to tree falling or house collapse, the officer-in-charge of Ghior police station said.

Father kills daughter

A mentally ill father killed his girl child at Khesba village in Nachole upazila yesterday. Police, however, arrested Monirul Islam, 24, son of Erfan Ali, for killing his one and a half years

Lightning kills two

Two farmers were killed by lightning at two separate villages yesterday noon. Sahir Ali Munsi,48, of Hajiganj village under Aditmari upazila was struck by lighting at noon when he was planting aman in his field. Hasem Ali,30, son of late Mirazul Bapari of Sree Rampur village under Patgram upazila was killed by lighting when he was preparing soil for cultivation of aman paddy in his land, the victim's family sources said.

2 get life for killing boy

A court yesterday sentenced two persons to life imprisonment for killing a boy in Zakiganj upazila. The convicts are Rubel Ahmed and Abul Hossain. According to the prosecution story, Zakiganj police on February 16, 2002 recovered the body of Shihabuddin, 15, from a ditch at his village Borhanpur. Shihab's brother Khasrul Haque filed a case with the police next day. Police, on investigation, submitted chargesheet against Rubel Ahmed, Abul Hossain and Shahjahan Kabir of the same village on September 29. The judge awarded life term to Rubel and Abul and fined them Tk 25,000 each, in default, to suffer three more months in jail. Shajahan was acquitted of murder charge.

Letters

Water-logging

Water-logging is now a common problem in Dhaka and Chittagong cities during heavy downpour in every monsoon. These two cities have experienced severe water-logging for the last decade or so. Even a little rain causes a serious problem for certain areas.

Preventing floods

Almost every year, most parts of the country are being inundated after a sporadic or spasmodic cloudburst for some time during the rainy season. And the consequences are well known. But is it indefensible? If the government tries its best, it can certainly mitigate inundation of the regions, urban as well as rural, at least in part.

Dowry

The dowry system is the most contemptible as well as abused custom in our society. This heinous system is corroding the moral fabric of society. It has created never-ending troubles. It has become one of the major reasons of suicide of a large number women. Starting off with the best of intentions, it has now degenerated into a money making scheme, making despicable both the giver and the taker of dowry. There is no provision of dowry in Islamic rules.

Indo-Bangla relations

With unalloyed support for independence and strong opposition against the barbarism committed by Pakistan in 1971, India, no doubt, contributed much to the establishment of Bangladesh, showing great neighbourly approach to the war-stained people of the latter nation. With the passage of time, the relations, however, between the two countries have been termed as a 'complex' one, as there has been fluctuation, if not bitterness, between them.

Transport problem

At present there are eight double-decked buses for the students of JNU. But these are not enough for the students. So, the students have to waste their money and valuable time using public transport.

Mobile phone

The necessity and popularity of mobile phone, makes it part of our daily life. People mainly use this handy device for the purpose of communication. But now it has become a popular medium of entertainment too, as some advanced technology like MP3 player, mega pixel camera, video recorder, Internet connection etc have been added to it. Especially, the young generation or teenagers show much interest in such mobile phones.

Administrative reforms

The Awami League govt has initiated a number of sector-wise reforms. The prime minister in keeping with her election pledges has already announced that Rangpur would be the next division. It is only decentralization that can improve the socio-economic conditions of our people. It is only natural that for all practical purposes all the five southern districts namely Faridpur, Madaripur, Rajbari, Shariatpur and Gopalganj be incorporated within the fold of Barisal Division. This would minimize the sufferings of common people who have to travel all the way to Dhaka for legal and administrative purpose.

Letter writers

We feel enriched and proud that we have many renowned, top class and famous writers, editors, columnists, journalists and press reporters in our country.

Diplomats

Bangladesh, being a third world country, other nations' influence is always predominant here. As we need financial help from the developed countries to finance our development works and to build infrastructure, it is necessary to look forward to them for help. Because it is not possible to run development works with our limited resources. Consequently, taking the chance foreign countries' representatives meddle in our internal politics.

Let's not be biased

I could not help but notice the letter by Mr. Sikander Ahmed in The Daily Star on August 14,2009 and honestly, I can't say that I am surprised. As I have previously seen on many occasions his letters here that ONLY support the existence of rickshaws in Dhaka city roads.

Tax collection

Bangladesh is developing itself through thick and thin although many of us are not satisfied with our pace of growth from 1971 onwards. As we are famous for deficit budgets, we need assistance from international banking giants like WB and IMF. We have seen their suggestions for governing our state which in many cases have stood against our collective interest.

Minister's position

What is more disquieting now for the city dwellers than the frightful traffic jam? And it is not beyond the knowledge of the Communications Minister. Horrible, from Shyamoli to Gulistan, a path of 4-5 kilometres and a journey of half an hour at best took two hours by bus. The other main thoroughfare, Old Airport Road, especially from Jahangir Gate to Sheraton Hotel always sees the dead jam that many times the DS brought to the notice of the authorities through vivid pictures. But it is quite disheartening and dismaying that the new government with over six months in office could improve upon nothing in matters of traffic management, nor it is observed to be wrestling with the problem to reduce the commuters' awful plight.

Admission trade

The success in making an educated nation lies in the ability to offer free access to education, both at the intermediate and higher level. In our country, though we need to get the nation educated, the situation is bad for a number of reasons. One of those is paramount and poses a grave threat to the whole education system---that's admission trade. During admission season, our national dailies' headlines become replete with the news where we get the real picture of admission trade in which the student wing of the ruling party takes the position of market leader. Worse still, the trend is getting worse with the passage of time and the amount of bid depends on the status of the educational institutionfor example, while Dhaka College hoodlums demand Tk 50,000, in Sylhet or local districts the amount is Tk 15,000-20, 000. Maybe not all young politicians are involved in this virulent practice, but it undermines the education system as a whole.

Road to digital Bangladesh

Digital Bangladesh (DB) implies a science-based Bangladesh where all activities of governance, commerce, education, health etc. will be processed by information technology. The election manifesto of the Bangladesh Awami League pledged "Vision 2021", i.e. a vision to build a Digital Bangladesh by the year 2021, the year of the golden jubilee of the independence of Bangladesh. This visionary approach of AL's manifesto is considered one of the major factors that attracted a large number of young voters to vote for AL-led grand alliance. Now the making of a ICT-driven society in Bangladesh is a real possibility.

International

US praises Pakistan's anti-Taliban progress

President Barack Obama's special envoy to Pakistan praised the country's "very significant" progress in taking back key territory from the Taliban and promised more weapons for the fight against extremists close to the Afghan border.

US man departs Myanmar after release from jail

The US Embassy says an American man imprisoned for sneaking into the home of Myanmar's democracy leader has been flown out of the country.

Threat to Pak nukes 'real' due to greedy politicians

Pakistan has been claiming that its nuclear weapons are protected with some world class security measures in place, and that there is no fear of them falling into extremists hands, but according to a German expert the threat to Pakistan's nukes is real.

US raises the stakes in war as Afghans vote

Afghanistan's elections come at a pivotal moment for the US-led war effort as Washington pours troops and money into an increasingly ambitious mission with no end in sight.

Iran starts trial of another 28 for post-polls turmoil

An Iranian court yesterday started the trial of another 28 people arrested in protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election, local news agencies said.

N Korea threatens retaliation over US, UN sanctions

North Korea followed recent conciliatory gestures toward the US and South Korea with a return to threats Sunday, warning them of "merciless retaliation" over sanctions imposed on its government, as well as nuclear attacks in response to any atomic threats.

Taiwan steps up typhoon response

More than 140,000 troops battled Sunday to reach survivors stranded a week after Typhoon Morakot struck as the United States and China offered helicopters to help in the rescue effort.

UK troops doing a 'vital' job in Afghanistan: PM

Prime Minister Gordon Brown insisted British troops are doing a "vital" job in Afghanistan Sunday despite controversy over Britain's role there as another soldier's death pushed the toll over 200.

China spells out strict swine flu rules for schools

China has issued strict rules to schools to curb the spread of swine flu, urging them to downsize classes and in some cases delay the start of the new academic year, state media said yesterday.

Mubarak visits US as Obama pushes for ME peace deal

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday began his first visit to the United States in five years, to meet his US counterpart Barack Obama for talks that will focus on Middle East peace.

Armed forces not a 'stumbling block' in Musharraf's trial

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has rejected reports that the Army is trying to protect former president General Pervez Musharraf from high treason charges, adding that neither he, nor his party, has any love for the former general.

Rains flood Lankan war refugee camps

Heavy rains flooded camps housing some of Sri Lanka's 300,000 war refugees, officials said Sunday, raising fears for the welfare of the detainees.

Will humans stay in the loop?

Going off to war has always meant risking your life, but a wave of robotic weaponry may be changing that centuries-old truth.

Wipe tears of waiting litigants: Manmohan

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday exhorted the judiciary "to wipe every tear of every waiting litigant" by eliminating the scourge of a huge backlog of cases - the largest in the world.

Ahmadinejad to appoint2 women to his cabinet

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday he plans to appoint at least two women ministers to his new cabinet, a first in the Islamic republic.

PIA plane returns mid-flight to find singer's handbag?

A Lahore-bound flight of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was reportedly forced to return to the Benazir Bhutto Shaheed International Airport on Saturday after renowned singer Shabnam Majeed claimed to have lost a handbag in the departure lounge.

Maoist violence, coastal security to top Indian chief ministers' meet

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has convened an internal security meeting of chief ministers here Monday, with a concerted strategy to defeat Maoist rebels, the state of coastal security, border management and modernisation of police forces top on the agenda.

Farmers kidnap 13 cops in Peru

Farmers freed 13 police officers and four civilians seized at a hydroelectric dam in Peru's Andean region after local officials agreed Saturday to provide them with fertiliser.

5 die in Australian house fire

Five people, including four young children, died in a house fire in southern Australia early Sunday, police said.

Mother, son are classmates in West Bengal school

A mother and her son share the same classroom space as students in a West Bengal school.

US sends Taiwan aircraft for typhoon rescue

The United States flew a cargo plane to Taiwan Sunday as China offered to send helicopters to help rescue more than 1,600 people still stranded a week after Typhoon Morakot struck the island.

Arts & Entertainment

A collection of noteworthy paintings at British Council

The Syed Shamsul Huda Painting Award was introduced this year to encourage young painters of Bangladesh. Nawab Syed Shamsul Huda was a member of the Bengal Legislative Council, an accomplished lawyer and a revered politician. He was born in a Zamindar family of Gokarna, Brahmanbaria district, in 1862. He devoted himself to educating disadvantaged Muslims in Bengal. Huda died in 1922.

Growing up with music

Kazi Anan sat in his studio, eagerly observing and studying the different aspects of sounds and rhythms. In his words, he never "stepped into" the world of music; he was "born into" it. Music has been ingrained in him. His earliest memories involve music.

Baul Akbar Ali’s mission of pursuing Lalon’s philosophy

Baul Akbar Ali Shaijee regularly performs in Jhenaidah. The artiste mostly renders spiritual Pala Gaan, accompanied by other folk artistes.

Nodi Bachao, Dhaka Bachao on Channel i

The second episode of "Nodi Bachao, Dhaka Bachao, Pradhanmantri Shomipey" (a five-episode special talk show on recovering the rivers around the capital) will be aired on Channel i tonight at 11:30 pm.

Children’s art and essay contest in Magura

To mark the 34th death anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Magura Shishu Academy organised a painting competition and essay writing contest for children at the auditorium of Sayed Ator Ali Public Library in Magura town last Saturday.

New TV serial “Babar Hotel” goes on air tonight

New TV serial "Babar Hotel" goes on air tonight on Banglavision.

OP-ED

Earthquake threat and preparedness

THE two earthquakes of moderate magnitude that rattled a vast area of Bangladesh within a span of 24 hours in the past week have once again brought forth the earthquake concern as well as awakened the nation to the need of preparedness for facing the spectre.

Will Musharraf face trial?

A Pakistan court, acting on a petition regarding the house arrest of Supreme Court judges, has directed the police to lodge a case against former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. The ruling has come as the latest legal woe for the former ruler, who is now abroad.

Remembering William Carey as an environmentalist

WILLIAM Carey (1761-1834), who arrived in Bengal on November 11, 1793 from England as a missionary, was born on August 17. Side by side with his missionary work he did great work in social reformation and renaissance, literature, translation and the print media, and many other fields. His great contribution to the preservation of environment is one such area.

Travel

The forest in the rain

As the bus pulled in by the harbour, we got down sleepily. The river in front of us lay dark and mysterious. A few lights from moored ships amplified the late night loneliness of the Rupsha river. We dizzily hauled ourselves onto an engine boat and the loud chug of the engine shattered the silence of the night. The lights dissolved and stirred in the waves.


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