The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, September 18, 2014


News of: Monday, 14th of September, 2009

Front Page

30,000 trees wiped out in seven days

At least 30,000 Jhau (tamarisk) trees have been felled by a section of local influential people in Teknaf beach of Cox's Bazar in last seven days while the forest department remained a silent spectator of the mindless tree felling.

Law secy says sorry

Law Secretary Kazi Habibul Awal apologised to a parliamentary committee yesterday for his role in sending two district judges into retirement without following due legal procedure. He promised that such incident will not occur in the future.

Bill seeks executive magistrates' power

A bill seeking ratification of the mobile court ordinance was placed in parliament yesterday for continuation of the authority of executive magistrates to take cognizance of offences and hold trial of those including electoral offences.

Mega transport plans rolled out in JS

The government has taken up massive plans including construction of underground railroad across Dhaka city to ease traffic jam and installation of tunnels under the Padma and Karnaphuli rivers.

BDR now seeks speedy trial

After the Supreme Court's recent opinion against trying the BDR mutineers under the army act, Bangladesh Rifles yesterday requested the government to ensure a fast-track trial under any laws for the offences committed during the bloody mutiny on February 25-26.

Govt confirms 1 more death

The government yesterday confirmed one more swine flu death while 61 new cases were found in last seven days raising the number of patients to 372 in the country.

E-tendering by June next year

The government will introduce e-tendering by June next year to avert tender manipulation and criminal activities centring it.

Baul Samrat laid to rest

Baul Samrat Shah Abdul Karim was laid to eternal rest beside the grave of his wife Aftabunnesa Sarola in their village home at Ujandhol of Derai upazila in Sunamganj yesterday afternoon.

2 outlaws killed in 'crossfire'

Two top outlawed party leaders were shot dead in separate incidents of "crossfire" between police and their gangs in Kushtia early yesterday raising the number of such deaths to 21 in the district in last 17 days.

6-hr hartal today on gas block issue

The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports enforces a half-day hartal today in Dhaka city to press their demand for scrapping the government decision to "lease out" offshore gas blocks to foreign companies.

2 top officials' services extended

Ahead of their retirement, the government yesterday extended services of Cabinet Secretary M Abdul Aziz and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Md Abdul Karim for two years on contractual basis.

Govt to go for legal battle

The government will go for a legal fight with the High Court (HC) to establish that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has been illegally occupying the cantonment residence, and the notice asking her to vacate the house has been issued lawfully.

Antibiotic resistance clue found

US scientists have uncovered a defence mechanism in bacteria that allows them to fend off the threat of antibiotics.

38 killed in Kazakhstan drug rehab centre fire

Thirty-eight people were killed yesterday when fire ripped through a drugs treatment facility in a city outside Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty, emergency officials said.

Thugs snatch accomplice from Rab

A gang of criminals snatched their accomplice from the members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in broad daylight yesterday afternoon, injuring a major of the elite force in the city's Mirpur.

50 Taliban killed in Afghan clash, airstrikes

Up to 50 Taliban insurgents have been killed in Afghanistan's western Farah province after clashes that left seven Afghan and two US soldiers dead, government officials said yesterday.

Pakistan close to capturing Swat militant leader

Pakistan claimed yesterday to be close to capturing the leader of the Swat Valley Taliban after arresting five of his senior commanders last week.

US won't channel aid to Pakistan through govt sector

The United States has made it clear that it would not funnel its aid to Pakistan through the government sector unless it is convinced that the funds would be used effectively and efficiently and exactly for the purpose it is meant for.

Merkel faces rival in crucial German TV debate

Angela Merkel and Frank-Walter Steinmeier were poised to battle it out yesterday in a TV debate seen as the latter's last chance to close the gap on the German chancellor two weeks before elections.

Pakistan govt okays 3-nation rail proposal

Pakistan Railway Ministry has 'technically' accepted India's proposal regarding a South Asian regional train service running between India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

NGO worker beaten to death

An NGO worker succumbed to his injuries yesterday at Dhaka Medical College Hospital after being tortured on charge of snatching in the Capital's Suhrawardy Udyan on Saturday.

Editorial

The bane of child labour

IF pictures speak a thousand words than the photograph appearing recently in this newspaper of a boy pulling ropes at a rope factory have spoken more than a thousand words and very poignantly so. To any sensitive person the sight of an underage boy, labouring in hazardous conditions, and that too for a pittance, must evoke the most contemptuous reaction, as it does in us.

The Baul's passing

HE was truly a monarch in his realm of melody. For Baul Samrat Shah Abdul Karim, music was all. It was music that welled up in the soul and remained evocative of the soul. Now that he is dead at ninety three, the music becomes a memory and the man rises to a crescendo of transcendence in the human consciousness. It would be superfluous to suggest that Shah Abdul Karim is now set to become a legend, for legend is what he rose to being in all the years of his striving for the Creator, for his land, indeed for the universe. There is something about baul music that takes its notes, its inflections and its nuances toward a wider space; and doing so, it resonates in the hearts of those who feel it brought to them on the waves of the wind. Karim sang in the fields, under the trees and on the banks of the river as an adolescent. As time lengthened itself in his life, nature became part of his being. It expanded and widened his reach. For those who heard him, they felt their own world taking on a larger dimension.

Betting on the wrong horse

NOTWITHSTANDING continuing woes and setbacks, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party's (BNP) political prospects have, off late, brightened thanks to the growing frustration over the incumbent AL's performance, which is depressing at the least.

Climate change equity

TIME is ticking -- less than 90 days -- towards the 15th conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen (COP15) for adopting a new protocol, replacing the Kyoto Protocol, which will expire in 2012. A total of 8,000 people -- government officials, NGOs, journalists, and others -- from 170 countries are expected in COP15 (December 7 18).

Sports

Who will be BCB's next president?

It still remains a riddle that who is going to be the next president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

Abahani's slow start

A first-half strike from Pranotosh Kumar helped last year's runners-up Abahani make a winning start in their opening match of the Federation Cup with a lone-goal victory over Bangladesh Police at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Clijsters thru' by default

Serena Williams walked toward the line judge, screaming, cursing and shaking a ball in the official's direction, threatening to “shove it down” her throat.

Men's belated semis

A day behind schedule and destined for a second straight Monday finish, the US Open men's singles semifinals once again see Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic poised for glory.

A team's tour schedule revised

The Bangladesh Cricket Board yesterday revealed a revised itinerary for Bangladesh A team's tour of Maharashtra in India that saw the number of matches being reduced.

Tri-series final today

After seeing off New Zealand's timorous challenge, Sri Lanka and India will contest bragging rights in the Compaq Cup final today at the R Premadasa Stadium. Sri Lanka hold the edge in the clash between two sides who generally don't do dull finals.

Players angry at new ad-hoc committee

The leading chess players of the country yesterday gave their vote of 'no confidence' on the new ad-hoc committee and asked the regulatory body of country's sport the National Sports Council to hold elections of the federation.

Barca, Real sit atop

Real Madrid kept pace with Barcelona at the top of the Spanish league table with Brazilian playmaker Kaka pulling the strings in a 3-0 win at Espanyol on Saturday.

RVP slams Adebayor

Arsenal star Robin van Persie described former teammate Emmanuel Adebayor as "mindless and malicious" after the Manchester City striker caught him in the face with his boot during Saturday's Premier League clash.

Juve see off Lazio

Juventus maintained their 100 per cent record at the start of the Serie A season with a 2-0 victory at previously unbeaten Lazio on Saturday.

Chelsea win at the death

Chelsea pulled clear at the top of the English Premier League on Saturday after Manchester United ended Tottenham's winning start to the season with a 3-1 win at White Hart Lane.

Bayern turn up heat

Germany teammates Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gomez both scored as Bayern Munich moved up to fourth in the Bundesliga after a 5-1 win at Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

Robinho out for a month

Manchester City forward Robinho will be sidelined for up to a month after suffering a stress fracture just above his ankle.

Gallas all set to extend deal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will discuss a new contract with defender William Gallas before the end of the year.

Bastian sees room for improvement

Bastian Schweinsteiger insists Bayern Munich still have plenty of room for improvement despite their 5-1 win at Borussia Dortmund which puts them in touch with Bundesliga leaders Hamburg.

Roof gets serious look

Preliminary plans have been developed for the US Open to consider a 100 million-dollar retractable roof for Arthur Ashe Stadium, US Tennis Association executive director Gordon Smith said Saturday.

Dhoni rues poor show

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have never thought that within 24 hours of India becoming the best one-day international team, he would have to endure one of his worst days in office.

BCB condoles Dungarpur's death

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Lt Gen Sina Ibn Jamali yesterday condoled the death of former president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Raj Singh Dungarpur.

Bolt puts Gay in shade

Former world champion Tyson Gay sprinted to victory in the 100m at the IAAF World Athletics final on Saturday, but was overshadowed by superstar Usain Bolt, who wasn't even competing.

Business

Tk 1,800cr stimulus to prop up exports

The export sector will be awarded Tk 1,800 crore from the government's Tk 5,000 crore stimulus package this year to weather out global recession.

RMG makers cautious on easing recession

Major apparel exporters are far from upbeat about shipments, although signs of recovery from recession appeared in western countries. They think exports of readymade garment (RMG), Bangladesh's prime foreign exchange earner, will not soon benefit from this positive signs.

Parliamentary bodies must be strengthened to hold budget hearings

The government should empower all parliamentary standing committees to enable them to hold public hearings on the budget and take into account insights from the masses, analysts suggested yesterday.

Mymensingh hums with shoppers

Shopping has gained a full momentum in Mymensingh town and its environs, as Eid draws near and Durga puja is just around the bend.

Barapukuria miners return to work after 54-hour strike

Miners of Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Ltd (BCMCL) returned to work yesterday after 54 hours of a strike, as authorities pledged to meet most of their demands.

Eid rush hikes launch fares

Launch owners have increased fares for southbound travellers by up to 70 percent, cashing in on the Eid rush.

Sugar soars in Sirajganj

The price of sugar soared in nine upazilas of Sirajganj in the last two days.

Polish companies top-performers in eastern Europe

Some 38 percent of top-performing companies in central and eastern Europe in 2008 were based in Poland, business consultancy Deloitte says in a report to be published this week.

On Wall Street, Obama to set new economic course

A year after Lehman Brothers collapsed and unleashed global financial contagion, US President Barack Obama will argue on Wall Street Monday that his policies rescued an economy that now must be rebuilt.

Maldives races to save economy

The Maldives, which faces the gloomy prospect of drowning this century due to rising sea levels, is now confronted with a more immediate challenge of saving a sinking economy.

Lehman pain was a gain for Asian banks

Kenichi Watanabe had been CEO of Nomura for just five months when he heard of the Lehman Brothers collapse but when the chance came to buy chunks of the venerable Wall Street bank, he grabbed it.

Lehman's collapse: An insider's view

A chill runs down the spine of Lawrence McDonald every time he drives past the Wall Street building of collapsed investment bank Lehman Brothers, where he was one of the most profitable bond traders.

Jet Airways pilots end strike after 5 days

Pilots at India's Jet Airways resumed work Sunday ending a five-day strike that led to the cancellation of more than 800 flights, company officials said.

China stimulus plan questioned at 'Summer Davos'

China's widely praised stimulus plan has come under attack here at the "Summer Davos" meet from economists who say the massive government spending is aggravating imbalances in the giant economy.

Asian currencies sharply up

The yen and other Asian currencies ended the week sharply up against the dollar as market players opted for higher-yielding currencies following a raft of upbeat economic data.

Korea, EU may initial FTA in Oct

Korea and the European Union are likely to initial their free trade agreement in October, with both sides completing the legal editing process of the landmark accord this week, Seoul's chief FTA negotiator said Thursday.

New COO for RanksTel

Abul K Shamsuddin has been appointed as the new chief operating officer of Rankstel recently, the company said in a statement.

Computer glitch halts goods delivery at Benapole

Delivery of goods at Benapole port remained suspended for the last two days till Sunday due to disruption of computer server at Benapole Customs House.

JAL mulls raising $2.8b

Japan Airlines Corp. (JAL) is considering plans to raise around 250 billion yen (2.8 billion dollars) by March next year to help finance its restructuring, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

Cadbury chairman: Kraft bid undervalues company

The chairman of candy maker Cadbury PLC said Saturday that Kraft Foods Inc. undervalued his company in a takeover offer this week, and he dismissed the suitor as a "low growth conglomerate."

China: Trade penalties will hurt US relations

President Barack Obama's decision to impose trade penalties on Chinese tires has infuriated Beijing at a time when the U.S. badly needs Chinese help on climate change, nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea and the global economy.

AFL-CIO president Sweeney bidding farewell

The man who guided the nation's largest union federation for 14 years is bidding farewell.

Clarification

A photo caption on the launch of Eastern Bank's 46th ATM in Gulshan, published on September 11, mentioned Ali Reza Iftekhar as the bank's acting managing director and chief executive officer in accordance with its press release.

Metropolitan

Charges pressed against 6 militants

Police yesterday pressed charges against six militants including two top leaders of Islam O Muslim, the new JMB offshoot, revealing that they were raising the secret outfit and accumulating small weaponry from India to kill opponents of JMB.

Come up with new ideas to build digital Bangladesh: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the country's youths to come up with new ideas to turn Bangladesh into a modern digital country in line with the Vision-2021.

Lottery for Purbachal, Uttara plots likely Sept 16

After a huge criticism at home and abroad over uncertainty in lottery arrangements for Purbachal and Uttara, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) is likely to hold it in three categories for the Purbachal New Town Project on September 16.

Many return empty-handed

Although Kamalapur Railway Station finished selling advance tickets of its train service for Eid festival yesterday, huge number of people returned empty-handed due to huge demand for tickets against the seating capacity.

Shortage of train tickets upsets home-bound people in Ctg

Most of the home-bound people who thronged Chittagong Railway Station here yesterday on the last day of the sale of advance tickets returned empty-handed as the sale ended within two hours.

Give priority to maternal, child nutrition in nat'l health policy

Health experts at a seminar yesterday urged the government to give priority to maternal and child nutrition as well as infant and young child feeding (IYCF) in the national health policy to improve their nutritional status as 32 percent mothers suffer from chronic malnutrition while 33 percent suffer from anaemia.

Hearing on Gen Moeen's petition Oct 1

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed October 1 for hearing a petition filed by former army chief General (Retd) Moeen U Ahmed seeking dismissal of a Tk 100 crore defamation case against him by former state minister for energy Iqbal Hassan Mahmood Tuku.

Realise $50b per year as compensation from rich states

Representatives of the Youth in Action on Climate (YAC) yesterday urged the government to realise at least $50 billion per year as compensation from the developed countries through the United Nations (UN) for the impacts of climate change, which mainly affects the less developed countries.

HC asks govt to allow Kazi Jafar, Mir Nasir to go abroad

The High Court (HC) yesterday asked the government to allow former prime minister Kazi Zafar Ahmed and former state minister for civil aviation and tourism Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin to go abroad for medical treatment.

Invest more in Bangladesh

President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged the Pakistani entrepreneurs to invest more in Bangladesh as an investment friendly atmosphere is prevailing in the country.

'BNP to support programmes against govt's anti-state steps'

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said they will continue to give moral support to any programme which will be called to protest the steps that go against the interest of the country.

BCL demands trial of Tarique, Koko for graft

Leaders of Dhaka University (DU) unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday demanded trial of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's two sons Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko accusing them of committing 'massive corruption and extortion' during the last BNP-Jamaat regime.

Govt to revive Nat'l Women Dev Policy '97

The government will revive the National Women Development Policy 1997, which was formulated by the previous Awami League (AL) government, State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury told the House yesterday.

Three killed in road crashes

Three people were killed in separate road accidents in Moulvibazar and Jhenidah yesterday.

16 asst ASPs promoted to addl SPs

In a latest reshuffle in the police department yesterday, 16 senior assistant superintendents of police (ASPs) were promoted to the rank of additional SP and also transferred to different places across the country.

Admission tests of Pabna science varsity Dec 11

The admission tests of 'Ka' unit and 'Kha' unit at Pabna Science and Technology University for the academic session of 2009-2010 will be held on December 11 from 10:00am to 12:00pm and 3:00pm to 5:00pm.

Khaleda offers ziarat at Rouza Mubarak of Prophet (SM)

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia offered ziarat at the holy Rouza Mubarak of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SM) in the twin city of Muslim pilgrimage yesterday.

11 eateries fined Tk 5.44 lakh

A mobile court in the last two days fined 11 eateries, including popular fast food shops like Helvetia, Golpia Burger and Golden Food, Tk 5.44 lakh on charges of producing and selling food items in unhygienic condition and doing business without BSTI seal.

'Probe police excess'

Twenty-six rights activists, educationists, lawyers and other professionals have demanded a thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the police excess on Prof Anu Mohammad on September 2 and make the findings public within the next two weeks.

'Cancel leasing of gas blocks'

Gono Forum leaders yesterday demanded cancellation of the leases of three offshore gas blocks to the foreign companies and emphasised the need to form a national unity to take the decision in this regard.

National

Court orders CID to submit probe report by Oct 13

Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial tribunal yesterday asked the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to submit the report on further investigation into former finance minister SAMS Kibria murder case to the court by October 13.

A 'computer glitch' that may turn too costly for them

Thirty students of Bangladesh Open University (BOU), who passed the HSC examinations from Moulvibazar Government Women's College centre this year, are facing uncertainty about getting admission into higher courses as their names are 'missing' in the result sheet.

Four outlaws get life for killing JSD leader

A Chuadanga court yesterday sentenced four outlaws to life imprisonment for killing Jatyia Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) Alamdanga unit president Majid in 1999.

Pirates abduct 12 fishermen, demand Tk 6 lakh ransom

Pirates looted 12 fishing trawlers in the Bay and abducted 12 fishermen for ransom on Saturday night, according to a report received here yesterday afternoon.

2 Jubo League men held on mugging charge

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested two Jubo League men on mugging charge in Bagmara upazila early yesterday.

Tree trunks recovered

Police on Saturday seized a large number of Sundari tree trunks from the Madhumati River.

Sarees seized

BDR yesterday recovered Indian sarees worth Tk2 crore at Suyagazi on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Sadar Daksin upazila. A team of the 33 Battalion during a drive at about 5.30 am seized a covered van loaded with Indian sarees while being taken to Dhaka.

BSF returns 2 bodies

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday returned bodies of two Bangladeshi nationals to BDR through a flag meeting. BDR sources said, BSF of 69 Hamzapur camp in India handed over the bodies to BDR at Shundra camp at 11:00am. Later, police handed over the bodies to the victims' family members. Sources said, BSF shot dead two Bangladeshi nationals near the Shundra border outpost on Saturday morning. The victims are Ashraful Islam, 40, son of Fazar Ali of village Jhulkagram and Md Aminul Islam, 30, son of Mokshed Ali of village Jaygirpara under Dinajpur Sadar upazila.

3 sued for war crimes

Three alleged war criminals were sued in Moulvibazar on Sunday. Rafique Miah, son of martyred Niamat Ullah of north Hingazia village under Kulaura upazila filed the case with the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court. The accused are Salequr Reza Chowdhury, 70, Nakibur Reza Chowdhury, 67, and Monibur Reza Chowdhury, 60, three sons of late Amanur Reza Chowdhury of the same village. Rafique stated in his case that his father Niamat Ullah was caretaker of the house of one Gopika Ranjan Mitra of the area. The accused kicked out Niamat from the house and occupied it by force just before the liberation war. As Niamat Ullah helped the freedom fighters, the three collaborators killed Niamat and vanished the body without trace.

Extortionist beaten to death

A gangster who was critically injured on Saturday in bomb blast and mob-beating died at Meherpur General Hospital yesterday. According to police, a gang of extortionists demanded Tk 1 lakh from businessman Sahajul Islam of Gangni Bazar a few days ago. Being refused, the gang threatened Sahajul with dire consequence. On Saturday night, Shimul, 25, a member of the gang, came to Gangni Bazar and threw a bomb on the shop of Sahajul at about 10:30pm. As the bomb did not explode, the criminal tried again but this time it went off in his own hand leaving him critically injured. People caught Shimul and gave him a good beating. Police later took him to Gangni Upazila Health Complex. From there he was shifted to Meherpur hospital where he died in the morning.

5 jailed in arms case

A court here yesterday sentenced five people to three years rigorous imprisonment (RI) for keeping illegal arms. The convicts are Ashrafuzzaman, 28, Akhtaruzzaman, 24, Sanilaskar, 28, Imtiaz Uddin, 28, and Alamin, 19. They were also fined Tk 3,000 each, in default, to suffer four months more in jail. According to the prosecution story, the five were arrested along with a gun, a revolver, five bullets and other arms on July 17, 2009 from Khilpara area in Sadar upazila after they attacked an arbitration at one Khalequzzaman's brick field. All the convicts are residents of Kishoreganj town.

15 hurt as AL, BNP clash

At least 15 people were injured in a clash between Awami League and BNP activists at Tarash upazila headquarters yesterday. Police and locals said the clash ensued over a meeting venue. BNP called a meeting at Boalia school ground on Sunday noon, while AL called another meeting on the same venue and same time. When BNP men assemble near the school ground, a group of AL activists attacked them and beat up some rival activists. The BNP men retaliated triggering fierce clash for about one and a half hours Fifteen from both groups, including Sabina Yasmin, a local college teacher and daughter in-law of BNP leader Habibur Rahman Habi, were injured. The clashing groups also demaged four shops in the area. The administration later postponed the meetings of both the groups.

NGO office besieged

Agitated people yesterday laid a siege to the office of so-called 'Bright Future Group of Industries' at Jhhowdanga bazar in Sadar upazila and locked its office and beat up one of its director. The other directors and staff, however, managed to flee. Sources said, the fake NGO styled 'Bright Future Group of Industries' was set up about three months ago. One Ashok Kumar Ghosh identifying himself as its director collected Tk 50 to 1000 from the villagers promising them training on computer engineering, handicrafts and other matters. They also offered them 'lucrative' micro-credit schemes. As they failed to start the programmes in time, the depositors started pressing the director and staff to return their money. Yesterday, they besieged the office of the NGO demanding arrest and punishment to 'the cheats.' They caught its director Ashok, beat up him and locked the office.

Letters

Untapped sites

While tourism continues to grow at a rapid pace the world over, it has not been able to gain much ground in Bangladesh. Over the years there has been so much talk over the 'tourism potential' of Bangladesh. It has become a cliché. It is the absence of serious planning and execution, coupled with the unprofessional approach of the government authorities that has been a perennial stumbling block in the realisation of the region's tourism potential. Mere observance of the World Tourism Day is not going to make any difference unless the irritants plaguing tourism in Bangladesh are addressed. Since Bangladesh has diverse attractions to offer to the tourist in the form of its pristine natural beauty, forests and wildlife, rivers and mountains, and a unique multi-cultural heritage, it is indeed baffling that tourism continues to be a non-starter amidst such potential.

Unfair fares

Three-wheel human haulers are one of the most popular means of transportation in our country. But these have become a tragedy for the people depending on this transportation system. During the holy month of Ramadan the service that the citizen is getting from them is a matter of real concern. Not only in the capital city but also in metro cities like Chittagong the residents are getting robbed by the drivers of these three wheelers. The government has set rules that the drivers of such haulers are bound to carry passengers wherever they want to go. Meter has been set too so that the passengers can pay a certain amount of fare. But in Chittagong none has ever seen any taxi driver going by the rule. They always show excuses like their owners force them to take extra amount of fare or they cannot cope with the heavy traffic jam. Today I had to go to Probottok Shoroni from Halishahar H/E and I had to wait for an hour to get one CNG baby taxi. The vacant one that I got was asking for 100% extra fare and was showing excuse that it's the month of Ramadan or there is a huge traffic jam ahead. But the fact was that the traffic was like a regular day. Seeing no option, I had to pay an extra Tk 40 to reach my destination.

Oil and gas issue

Police attack on the activists of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports is really very unfortunate. People who want to protect the resources of the country should not be treated in such a way, rather the government should have co-operated with them. I am shocked to see Prof Anu Mohammad in the hospital and asked myself whether we live in Bangladesh or in East Pakistan. This AL government always claims that it is a pro-people and pro-independent force but in reality the government has awarded an Ireland-based company the shallow water block SS-08-05 and a US oil company deep sea blocks DS-08-10 and 11 in the Bay of Bengal for oil and gas exploration with agreement, empowering them to export 80% of the gas at a time when the whole nation is facing serious power shortage. Many African countries have huge gas and oil reserves but still they are poor because of the anti-people agreement between their corrupt governments and multinational companies involved in the exploration of oil and gas.

Saifur Rahman's death

Mr. Saifur Rahman was a very respected senior politician and a witness to the development of our economic progression. He had always been sober in his appearance and had always been careful about his image before the public.

Standing committees

Our constitution (Article 67) has the provision for forming parliamentary standing committees. Successive sub-articles describe its formation, function, authority etc. The aim of parliamentary standing committees is to establish transparency and accountability of government institutions.

Two questions

All the newspapers including The Daily Star headlined, on September 11, almost the same with the two ladies' photographs on the front page. At the iftar party, the Prime Minister also urged the Opposition Leader to return to the JS.

Overflowing OSD pool

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister disclosed in parliament that 81 government officials including 20 secretaries and additional secretaries have been kept as officers on special duties (OSD) for various reasons. On 07-09-09, the government also promoted 494 senior civil servants and asked them to join as OSD at the establishment ministry as there is shortage of the required posts / jobs for them. It is learnt that this large-scale promotion is a part of a major reshuffle plan of the government and these promoted officials were mostly overlooked in the last seven years.

Don't allow it

This govt has made noticeable progress in allowing Indian access to our Ctg port and also in the transit issue in the name of Asian Highway. But can the port fulfil our requirements, is the road network good enough for our traffic? The answer is no. Then why our govt should allow access to a neighbouring country when they have large number of ports of their own. This is regrettable that the govt is doing so much for India, without getting much in return.

Promotion en masse

Your editorial on the impetuous promotion of the civil servants of the republic (on 09.09.09) should be appreciated though the language was soft in consideration of the impacts it would have on the civil service as a whole. How could we make the Honourable Prime Minister understand that this sort of unscrupulous decisions would plummet the credibility of the present government. It's no secret that the BNP alliance government did the same thing before. But what is the difference and where is the change then when the vaunted activities remain the same or even worse?

Oblivious Bangladeshis

Let us not say, “Let bygones be bygones” rather say, “Let not bygones be not bygones”. In fact it was the all out driving force generated by the last CTG against venality in order to drive out evil spirit from venal human soul and psyche.

Our problems

Some problems are created in Bangladesh because of ignorance. I can give you two examples:

Things going wrong

Despite all efforts, traffic jam in the city-Dhaka is still an endless source of bewilderment as well as harassment for almost all those who have to go out for work or shopping. The cops seem to be fighting a losing battle and yet not giving in. It appears as though the city will heave a sigh of relief only during Eid-ul-Fitre and not before that. That implies the authorities couldn't come to the rescue of the suffering public at a time when they needed help very desperately.

TV and radio

Recently, the Indian information minister said that they would soon form a committee to look after the programmes of the television channels and the fm radio stations as allegations are rife that sometimes these television channels and fm radio stations broadcast such types of embarrassing programmes which go against the Indian culture and tradition. In the present context of our country, I also truly believe that we too need to form such a tv-radio censor board because these days most of the private television channels and fm radio stations are airing programmes with vulgar words and gestures which totally go against our culture. If we have a censor board to control the cinema, if we have the press club to look after the activities of the print media, then definitely we also need to form a committee to look after the activities of the tv and radio stations. There seems to be a culture of impunity prevailing in these sectors and therefore many radio jockeys these days are misguiding the youths with ill advices and TV stations are copying programmes being inspired from the west.

Follow their example

The inspirational report on the contribution of the blinds of Nilphamari to our society published in your daily has made me abashed. The blinds have shown us the path. (Blind, yet they set green mark: The Daily Star: September 4, 2009). They showed us that we should do something big or small for the well-being of our country. They have shown us that every individual has some responsibility to society, to the nation as an individual and as part of society. If we are sincere to our responsibility and have commitment to the country and its citizens we can contribute something positive for the nation.

New three wheelers

Though it would need to be recharged by electricity but still it's friendly to the environment. This new transport wouldn't pollute the environment but it would be huge pressure on electricity if it is uncontrolled and innumerable on the street. Any way, it has become a popular transport.

VAT on commercial space

In the last budget the govt imposed 15 percent VAT on commercially rented space, establishment and machinery. VAT or value added tax introduced by late Saifur Rahman was aimed to collect more taxes from the business people. It is a different form of sales tax. It really baffles us all how a commercially rented space adds value to the business of the tenant or the owner. The owner is already paying ATS (tax at source), City Corporation tax, income tax at increased rate, an amount which eats up a major portion of the income. The tenant engages in business and pays VAT again on products sold, his or her turnover, income tax etc. The owners have been directed to collect VAT from the tenants and deposit it to Bangladesh Bank. If they fail to collect VAT from the tenants the owners have been ordered to deposit VAT from their own pocket. What a mad, desperate, illogical, illegal and sick directive !! How our tax people can justify VAT on commercially rented space? In their bid to expand the VAT net the overzealous tax people have taken undue liberty. This is a totally illegal tax imposed on persons concerned.

Endless suffering

Advancing the clock by one hour has not improved the power shortage at all, in fact it has deteriorated further, from bad to worse and now worst.

International

Thousands rally against Obama

Ten of thousands of protesters from across the United States descended on the nation's capital Saturday, decrying President Barack Obama, "big government" and big spending.

Iran ready to talk but not on nuclear issues

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday that Iran was ready to talk with world powers on global issues but will not negotiate over Tehran's right to nuclear technology.

Gaps remain as ME diplomacy revs up

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that there were still gaps to bridge as efforts to kickstart the Middle East peace process intensified ahead of the UN General Assembly.

Lottery for Purbachal, Uttara plots likely Sept 16

After a huge criticism at home and abroad over uncertainty in lottery arrangements for Purbachal and Uttara, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) is likely to hold it in three categories for the Purbachal New Town Project on September 16.

Four killed in Kashmir car-bomb blast

At least four people were killed late Saturday in a powerful car bomb blast set off by militants near the main jail in Indian Kashmir's summer capital Srinagar, police said.

Afghans face dark months as vote fracas drags on

Afghans face dark months ahead as vote rigging claims overshadow eagerly-anticipated elections, with the prospect of a lengthy and bitter bout of political unrest coming as the Taliban are at their fiercest.

Nato fighter jets violate Pak airspace

Two Nato fighter jets reportedly flew inside Pakistan's airspace for nearly two hours on Saturday.

North Korean ready for third nuclear test

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has reportedly instructed party and military leaders to start preparing for a third nuclear test with the use of enriched uranium.

Peace can't be possible till Maoists shed arms

Nepalese Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said here on Saturday, that peace cannot be established as long as the Maoist rebels do not surrender all their weapons.

Japan's Democrats to take power amid high expectations

Half a century of almost uninterrupted conservative rule in Japan will come to an end this week as Yukio Hatoyama's Democrats take power, facing huge pressure to revive the economy.

S Korea to train 3,000 'cyber sheriffs'

South Korea plans to train 3,000 "cyber sheriffs" by next year to protect businesses after a spate of attacks on state and private websites, a report said Sunday.

Pakistan to respond to Indian dossier next week: Malik

Pakistan Interior Advisor Rehman Malik has said that Islamabad would hand over its response on the latest Indian dossier regarding the Mumbai terror attacks to New Delhi next week.

Afghans allowed to question detention

The Pentagon has begun putting into place a new programme under which hundreds of prisoners being held by the military in Afghanistan will be given the right to challenge their detentions, a defence official said yesterday.

Kurdish cop's wife, 3 children shot dead

A Kurdish policeman's wife and three young children were murdered as they slept early yesterday in the disputed northern oil city of Kirkuk, a senior police officer told AFP.

UK troubled by anti-Islam rallies, counterprotests

Violent clashes between anti-Islam demonstrators and Muslim counter-protesters in English cities are worrying the government, with one British minister comparing the disturbances to 1930s-era fascist incitement.

Yemeni army kills 7 Shia militants

The Yemeni army killed seven Shia rebels and wounded an eighth as its offensive against their strongholds in the northern mountains entered a second month, a commander said on Sunday.

Borlaug, father of Green Revolution, dead at 95

Norman Borlaug, a Nobel Prize winning scientist who played an important role in agriculture and whose work was credited with saving hundreds of millions of lives, has died at the age of 95, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Gunmen kill Iran Sunni cleric close to Ahmadinejad

Three unidentified gunmen shot dead an Iranian Sunni cleric who formed part of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election campaign in western Kordestan province, Iranian news agencies reported Sunday.

5 die after lift plunge in HK

Five workers died on Sunday after plunging more than a dozen floors down a lift shaft in Hong Kong's tallest skyscraper and the fourth tallest building in the world, police and local reports said.

Militants kill 5 in Thai south

Suspected Islamist militants killed five people in Thailand's troubled south, including a teenager who had his throat slit and his body set on fire, police said Sunday.

Two police killed in Chechnya

Two police were killed in a night-time attack in Chechnya, Russian news agencies reported on Sunday, citing officials in the war-town North Caucasus region.

Arts & Entertainment

Dinat Jahan: An artiste of many dimensions

An early starter in the world of music, Dinat Jahan Munni has crossed many a milestone in her professional and personal life and can clearly be said to have arrived in the media world. Today she is a Programme Producer of ABC Radio, mother of two adorable kids, wife of renowned lyricist Kabir Bokul and a versatile singer in her own right.

Soundtrack of Nirjhar’s “Nomuna” launched

The soundtrack of architect-filmmaker Enamul Karim Nirjhar's upcoming film "Nomuna" was launched at a local restaurant on September 12. The album produced by Laser Vision is expected to hit the audio market prior to Eid-ul-Fitr. Along with Nirjhar, singers who have done playback for the film and officials of Laser Vision were present at the event.

When commerce joins hands with art

Citibank NA in association with Gallery Chitrak held a workshop at the gallery on September 12, says a press release. Mohammed Mijarul Quayes, secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, inaugurated the event.

The need to involve children in arts and cultural activities

Fulki, a leading cultural organisation of Faridpur recently exchanged views on the need to initiate children into artistic and cultural activities with local personalities at Adarsha High school.

Tina Fey wins Emmy for mimicking Sarah Palin

Is Tina Fey an Emmy winner? You betcha. Fey received an Emmy Award on Saturday for her impersonation of Republican vice presidential contender Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live."

Venice film fest honours Lebanon, A Single Man

Two first movies won top honours at the Venice Film Festival Saturday, the autobiographical "Lebanon" by Israeli Samuel Maoz and Tom Ford's "A Single Man," which snagged the best actor award for Colin Firth.

OP-ED

In quest of a long distance runner

I was partially pleased to note that the Awami League (AL) has brought some new faces into prominence. I would have been truly satisfied if AL had gone a few steps further to give a fillip to their current (or improved?) practice of democracy both within and outside the party. It is a change, however. Changes are necessary to inject fresh ideas to improve upon the prevailing ideologies, which have evolved after intense deliberation keeping in view the need of the time.

A climate for development

A few months ago, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame stated explicitly that the continent's future depended on what came out of the climate change negotiations. He argued that Africa needed a strong climate deal, and quickly, so that global emissions could be brought under control as soon as possible. He also called for strong mechanisms to help the continent move towards a low carbon growth path and to strengthen its resilience to unavoidable impacts. President Kagame hit the nail on the head.

The case against further N-tests

WHY do we keep showering awards and honours upon the managers of our security and space-science establishment despite the shoddy results it produces after claiming stellar successes? "Missile Man" APJ Abdul Kalam got the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, six years before economist-philosopher Amartya Sen did, for a an infinitely richer contribution.



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