The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, September 18, 2014


News of: Friday, 16th of October, 2009

Front Page

River drive in week

The government will launch an all-out eviction drive against river grabbers around the capital within the next seven or ten days, decided the first meeting of a high-powered taskforce committee on river recovery held at the shipping ministry yesterday.

Order to arrest Jalil for tax dodge

A Dhaka court yesterday issued an arrest warrant against former Awami League general secretary Abdul Jalil in a case filed by National Board of Revenue (NBR) in connection with dodging income tax to the tune of Tk 4 lakh.

Bashundhara case binned

A Dhaka court yesterday dismissed a defamation case filed by Bashundhara Group against Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman, Transcom Group Chairman Latifur Rahman and Prothom Alo reporter Mizanur Rahman Khan.

Militant attacks on Pakistan police

Militants unleashed coordinated attacks on Pakistani police in which 39 people died yesterday, storming offices in Lahore and bombing a northwest station to escalate 11 days of carnage.

Shrinking days seek timeout for day plan

The continuation of Daylight Saving Time (DST) beyond October 1 on top of shrinking day times and traffic jams is taking a toll especially on students, teachers and parents who are forced to commute very early in the morning.

Nat'l probe mocks Bashundhara's mall fire claim

Bashundhara Group's filing of a general diary levelling a ludicrous accusation of arson against the editors of the dailies, Prothom Alo and Samakal, seems like a delirious ranting in light of the government probe committee's report on the matter.

Border sees push-ins, push-backs

Push-ins and push-backs are going on across the border with Myanmar amid tensions following mobilisation of a huge number of Myanmarese troops along the border for erecting barbed wire fence.

JS body tries to dispel PSC fear of its critics

The parliamentary body on power and energy ministry yesterday rejected the resources activists' demand for scrapping of the model production sharing contract (PSC).

BNP council on Dec 8

The long-expected national council of main opposition BNP will be held on December 8 after 16 years.

Assassination part of nat'l, int'l plot

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated as part of conspiracy at national and international levels, barrister Abdullah-al Mamun, counsel for two of the five convicts in Bangabandhu murder case, told the Supreme Court yesterday.

India opposes China's Brahmaputra dam plan

India yesterday said it opposed the construction of a dam in Tibet by China on the Brahmaputra and that it was verifying whether such a project is being pursued despite its opposition.

Hasina, Khaleda to rally together against poverty

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia will address an anti-poverty rally tomorrow from the same dais and take oath to fight together to eradicate poverty, Speaker Abdul Hamid said yesterday.

Explain legality of proceedings against Khaleda

The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to explain why the proceedings against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in Zia Orphanage Trust embezzlement case should not be scrapped.

Rental power bid deadline extended

Bowing down to the pressure of interested entrepreneurs, the Power Development Board yesterday extended the bid submission time for eight rental power projects to October 29 from October 21.

New timing for offices from Sunday

The new office timing approved by the cabinet on Monday will take effect from Sunday while educational institutions from November 1.

Germany pledges $4.31 lakh for Rohingya relief

Germany pledged € 300,000 equivalent to $ 431,655 dollars to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) mainly for Rohingya refugee relief works.

Gazipur-Narayanganj elevated expressway on the cards: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government has a plan to construct an elevated expressway from Gazipur to Narayanganj to facilitate the communications system.

Extortionist shot in firefight with cops

An extortionist was wounded in a 'shootout' between police and his cohorts in the city's Tejgaon area yesterday while extortionists shot an employee of a pharmacy shop at Sutrapur.

Pinak talks to shipping minister on port use

Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty yesterday met Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan and discussed use of Ashuganj river port and development of Chittagong and Mongla seaports.

Petrobangla gets new chairman

The government has appointed Prof Md Hussain Monsur as the chairman of Petrobangla on a contractual basis for one year.

BSF kills 2

Indian Border Security Force shot dead two Bangladeshis on Chapainawabganj and Meherpur borders yesterday and Tuesday night.

Argentina in WC finals

Argentina made it to next year's World Cup. Barely. Mario Bolatti scored amid a goalmouth scramble in the 84th minute, and coach Diego Maradona's Albiceleste beat Uruguay 1-0 Wednesday night to earn the fourth and final automatic berth from South America.

US may send 45,000 more troops to Afghanistan

The US is expected to send about 45,000 extra troops for Afghanistan after Gordon Brown said that 500 more British troops would be sent to the country.

UN presses Israel and Palestinians on war crime probes

Israel and the Palestinians came under renewed international pressure on Wednesday to produce "credible" domestic probes of war crimes allegedly committed during the recent Gaza conflict, as demanded by the UN.

Editorial

Extra-judicial killings

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina appears to have clear views about the extra-judicial killings which have of late been a subject of intense debate in the country. She has told a group of human rights ambassadors from some European nations that her government is strictly opposed to such action and that if anyone is found engaging in extra-judicial killing, he or she will face the law. Coming against a background of questionable 'crossfire' killings, about which we made our views known only a few days ago, we think the prime minister's comments couldn't have come a day later. We therefore take hope from her expression of sentiment on the issue. Her realization that the unnatural deaths which have lately occurred have not been going down well either in Bangladesh or abroad (which again is quite natural) leads us into thinking that we can now look forward to a reversal of the situation.

Allow the ACC to work independently

None other than the chairman of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Ghulam Rahman has voiced his concern over possible further dilution of the ACC's authority and mandate as an anti-graft watchdog body. Within months into his job he seems to have come to realise that the ACC is a 'toothless tiger' to borrow his expression but his current worries are that it is now possibly on the verge of morphing into a 'clawless' body.

Our famished road of flattery

A parliament member appeared on a late night show, but that's not why I am writing today. She claimed to have recurrent nightmares since she attended a political rally, which came under grenade attack. And, guess what she said about what she says when she wakes up in the middle of the night? In a subconscious slip, she screams after all these years if her leader was safe. Now I will tell you why I am writing today. I spent the rest of that night sorting out whether what she said was flattery or Freud.

Nobel Peace Prize for visions

AFTER eight years of George Bush's cowboy presidency that created a "tidal wave of hate America" in the rest of the world and diminished American image as a peacemaker through international dialogue and mutual respect, the world finally lands a leader -- a reformer, if you will -- who showed a vision of "hope and change" to advance "diplomacy rather than confrontation around the globe".

Sports

Big guns win again

After fireworks at almost all venues on the opening day, the Big Boss Twenty20 Premier League saw low-scoring matches on the second day with holders Mohammedan, Abahani, Gazi Tank Cricketers, Bangladesh Biman and newcomers Khelaghar Samaj Kalyan Samity recording their second successive wins yesterday.

Summer Athletics today

Athletes now preparing for next year's South Asian (SA) Games will get an opportunity to assess their own performance when the daylong 10th National Summer Athletics Competition takes place at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

Rain keeps Ali, Ram waiting

Rustom Ali and Biplob Ram marked a memorable day for Bangladesh's tennis when they became champion and runner-up in the doubles in the Prime Bank ATF Under-14 Tennis Tournament at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna yesterday.

Argentina scrape thru'

Argentina scraped into the World Cup Wed-nesday with a 1-0 win over Uruguay as Diego Maradona finally celebrated mission accomplished after a stumbling, lacklustre qualifying campaign.

Records roll on opening day

Seven records were set on the opening day of the 25th National Age-group Swimming Championships at the National Swimming Complex in Mirpur yesterday.

Pexatech Open Int'l Rating Chess

Pexatech Open International Rating Chess Tournament got underway at the Chess Federation hall room yesterday. Ninety-eight players won their first round matches in the day and earned full points.

Diego thrashes critics

Diego Maradona lashed out angrily at the media for failing to back him during Argentina's roll-coaster ride to last-gasp qualification for the World Cup finals.

Honduras reach WC

Honduras qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1982 and only the second time in history on Wednesday after a 1-0 victory at El Salvador and a heartbreaking draw for Costa Rica.

Portugal stay alive

Star-studded Portugal kept their World Cup hopes alive Wednesday by booking a back-door play-off place while unheralded Switzerland and Slovakia completed the nine automatic European qualifiers.

Duo set for return

Bayern Munich look set to welcome back Dutch stars Mark van Bommel and Arjen Robben for Saturday's trip to Freiburg, while Italy's Luca Toni could also feature for the first time this season.

Lippi livid at fans

Italy's coach, Marcelo Lippi, launched a scathing attack on the fans in Parma for the way they criticised the national team during Wednesday night's 3-2 win over Cyprus.

Slovaks rejoice debut

Slovakia woke to a jubilant morning Thursday, a day after its footballers stunned rivals in the qualifying Group Three to clinch a World Cup debut in South Africa next year.

Jankulovski calls it quits

AC Milan's Czech defender Marek Jankulovski said he was quitting international football after the Czech Republic lost all hope of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup on Wednesday.

Atletico eye Eboue

Atletico Madrid, who have suffered a disastrous start to the Spanish league season, want to signing Arsenal's Ivory Coast defender Emmanuel Eboue, a sports newspaper said Thursday.

Rahul's future in doubt

Veteran Indian batsman Rahul Dravid's one-day future looked in doubt Thursday after he was dropped for the first two home matches against world champions Australia starting later this month.

NZ's twin gambles

The New Zealand cricket selectors are gambling on injured captain Daniel Vettori and all-rounder Jacob Oram being fit for next month's limited-overs series against Pakistan.

T&T top Group A, Deccan crash out

They've tried nine times but Deccan Chargers have not won in Hyderabad yet. This latest defeat, by a three-run margin to Trinidad & Tobago, had serious consequences -- it made the 2009 champions the only IPL team to crash out in the first round of the Champions League after losing both Group A matches. T&T, on the other hand, are unexpected toppers and will carry forward two points to the second round from beating fellow qualifiers Somerset.

Bolt padding up for celebs cricket game

Olympic 100m champion and world record holder Usain Bolt will switch from athletics to cricket on Sunday when he takes part in a celebrity match, organisers said.

Younus seeks guarantee?

Younus Khan wants guarantees he will be Pakistan skipper until the 2011 World Cup if he is to take back the captaincy following his sudden resignation earlier this week, local media reported Thursday.

Venkatesh, Robin given the sack

India's cricket chiefs on Thursday sacked the national team's bowling and fielding coaches after the side's first-round exit from the Champions Trophy in South Africa.

Business

Banks cut some service charges

A forum of chief executives of private commercial banks has decided to reduce some service charges in response to demands placed by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the apex trade body.

Govt focuses on rice to dodge crisis

The government has targeted production of 3.30 crore tonnes of rice for fiscal 2009-10 to achieve food autarky in times of crisis.

Bad image hurts foreign investment

The government is trying to brighten Bangladesh's image to attract more foreign investment, said the industries minister at the Japan Trade Fair that began yesterday.

Body to recommend recession remedies

The government has formed a nine-member committee to make recommendations and assess the extent of losses suffered by the overall export sector including woven and knitwear due to the global financial meltdown.

Half a million overseas jobs by year-end

Bangladesh is going to send some 5 lakh job-seekers abroad by this year-end, as new overseas job markets are being found out by the government.

New bank hours

The new office timing for Bangladesh Bank and scheduled banks with offices in Dhaka will be from 10am to 6pm from Sunday, the central bank said in a statement.

PM urges Japan to recruit more Bangladeshis

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged Japan to recruit more manpower from Bangladesh and extend greater cooperation in expediting national development, as a Japanese business expert found endless prospects for the country's uplift.

BB mounts multi-layer watch on farm loans

The central bank has put in place a three-tier monitoring system to ensure a proper distribution of Tk 12,000 crore in farm loans across the county.

Minister upbeat on regaining jute glory

Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui yesterday said the jute sector will regain its past glory soon, as the present government is working wholeheartedly for development of this potential sector by adopting some time-befitting and pragmatic steps.

Dollar falls to 14-month euro low

The dollar hit a 14-month low against the euro Thursday on fears that US interest rates would remain super-low for a long time and as a stock market rally sparked appetite for riskier assets, traders said.

Germany to back on its feet

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, is poised to bounce back to growth next year following its worst recession in 60 years, the country's main economic institutes said on Thursday.

Nokia launches IT campaign

Nokia has launched a campaign styled 'Ovijan' to empower local youth by providing them with greater access to information technology.

Australia flags aggressive rate rises

Australia's central bank chief Thursday set out an aggressive plan for further rate rises to curb inflation, warning against a "timid" policy as the economy sees the fastest recovery in the developed world.

A new approach to food security

For a billion people around the world, the daily effort to grow, buy, or sell food is the defining struggle of their lives. This matters to them, and to all of us.

Iceland's vilified bankers keep their distance

A year after Iceland's stunning economic collapse, most of the directors of its failed banks have fled abroad, tired of angry verbal attacks and the red paint daubed on their homes and cars.

Asian markets rally

Asian markets rallied Thursday following a surge on Wall Street past 10,000 points and a 12-month high, which came on the back of stronger-than-expected earnings reports.

Beximco Pharma plans to issue Tk 410cr preference shares

Beximco Pharmaceuticals, a listed drug maker, plans to issue Tk 410 crore worth of preference shares at 5 percent dividend.

Oil nears $76

The price of oil surged to a one-year high close to 76 dollars on Thursday as the US currency tumbled, equity markets soared and following more strong company earnings, analysts said.

Nokia posts loss of $832m in Q3

World-leading mobile phone maker Nokia Corp on Thursday reported a loss of euro559 million ($832 million) in the third quarter, taking hits from a 20 percent drop in sales and a large one-time charge at its network unit.

Dubai state firms due to repay $50b

State-related companies in Dubai are due to repay nearly 50 billion dollars in debt -- 70 percent of the Gulf emirate's estimated GDP -- within the next three years, Standard and Poor's said in a study published on Thursday.

Philippines overseas remittances keep rising

Remittances back home from millions of Filipinos working abroad rose 2.8 percent year-on-year in August, the central bank said on Thursday, bolstering expectations for economic growth.

India inflation rises less than forecast

India's inflation accelerated at a much slower rate than expected, government data showed Thursday, easing pressure on the central bank to tighten monetary policy.

Currency

Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market was active today. The USD/BDT rate traded at slightly higher compared to the previous working day.

Metropolitan

Govt reviews appeals of deprived officials

The government is reviewing applications of those top civil servants who were not promoted during the recent large-scale promotion, officials said yesterday.

Hunger situation likely to worsen for climate change

Speakers at a discussion in Rajshahi on Wednesday said though hunger situation has improved in the country, it might worsen again due to climate change impacts.

3 killed in road accidents

Three people were killed and 12 others injured in separate road accidents in Khagrachhari and Brahmanbaria in last two days.

Implement prime minister's directives

Save the Environment Movement yesterday submitted a memorandum to the chairman of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakhha (Rajuk) with a call to implement the directive of the prime minister not to approve any housing projects without playgrounds and water reservoirs.

Teenager killed in store fire

A teenage boy was killed in a fire that engulfed a shoe store on Kazi Alauddin Road in the old part of the city yesterday.

Implement HR obligations

Human Rights Ambassadors Arjan Hamburger of the Netherlands, Günter Nooke of Germany and Arnold de Fine Skibsted of Denmark urged the Bangladesh authorities to further implement their international and domestic obligations in the field of human rights.

Call for establishing rural women's health rights

The World Rural Women's Day was observed in the country yesterday with a call for establishing their health rights and recognising their works.

Jamboree on air, internet Oct 17-18

Bangladesh Scouts would organise jamboree on the air (JOTA) and jamboree on the internet (JOTI) at district level across the country on Saturday and Sunday as part of an initiative taken by World Organisation of Scouts Movement (WOSM) to observe the events worldwide.

Engage men to combat gender-based violence

Without the help of men and boys, it is not possible to reach the goal of eliminating gender-based violence from society, speakers at a dialogue said yesterday.

Architecture Week at NSU

Architecture Week organised by Department of Architecture of North South University (NSU) will be observed from October 17 to 22 on the NSU campus at Bashundhara in the city, says a press release.

Diarrhoea claims 50,800 children under 5 a year

The Global Handwashing Day-2009 was observed across the country yesterday as elsewhere in the world with the slogan 'Clean hands, save lives'.

DU female students protest new seat arrangements

Resident students of Rokeya Hall at Dhaka University (DU) yesterday staged a demonstration in front of the vice chancellor's bungalow, protesting the authorities' decision to allocate seven students for each room of the hall instead of six.

ACC did not follow rules properly

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to harass politicians during the tenure of the caretaker government are being stayed by the higher court because ACC did not follow the rules properly while filing the cases.

Call for gender sensitivity in edn sector

Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday stressed the need for maintaining gender sensitivity in all sectors of education, including education policy, curriculum, teachers, writers, teaching materials and strategies.

Tribute paid to Jagannath Hall tragedy victims

Dhaka University authorities yesterday paid rich tributes to the memories of students, employees and guests who died in a building collapse at Jagannath Hall.

HSBC's support for visually impaired

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Limited in Bangladesh has joined hands with Blind Education and Rehabilitation Development Organisation (BERDO) to provide scholarships to a number of visually impaired students, says a press release.

BNP to observe Solidarity Day

BNP yesterday decided to observe the National Revolution and Solidarity Day on November 7 with due respect and solemnity.

BCL men beat Dhaka College student

A group of activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) beat up a student of Dhaka College and took away his cellphone on Dhaka University campus over a trifling matter yesterday.

Driver hacked to death

Unidentified criminals hacked a pick-up van driver to death at Golapbagh level crossing in the city's Sutrapur last night.

GP launches Studyline

Grameenphone, the largest mobile operator in the country, in partnership with Evista Technologies, launched a new service -- Grameenphone Studyline Service -- at a city hotel yesterday.

Dhaka elected to Unesco Executive Board

Bangladesh has been elected a member of the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) for four years, says an education ministry press release.

Drug addict strangles wife

A drug addict strangled his wife at his house at Adabar in the city following a quarrel over money for drugs on Wednesday night.

3-day training on RTI begins tomorrow

Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), a non-government organisation, organises a three-day training for its associate organisations in the city tomorrow.

Punishment to persons responsible demanded

Different labour organisations yesterday demanded punishment to the persons and institutions responsible for the deaths and injuries of workers in various ship-breaking yards.

Obligation of Bangladesh discussed

The 5th general meeting of Bangladesh National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) was held at the Armed Forces Division conference room at Dhaka Cantonment on Wednesday.

Appeal for help

Faisal Ahammed Panna, a textile engineer, has been suffering from kidney disease for about two years.

National

Six of a pvt clinic arrested while luring patients

Detective Branch (DB) of police yesterday arrested four brokers along with the owner and the manager of an 'illegal' mental clinic on charge of misleading the patients coming to Pabna Mental Hospital.

SSC test put off in 55 schools

Magura district administration yesterday postponed SSC test examination in 54 non-government high schools in Magura Sadar upazila following alleged leak of mathematics question paper.

Robbers kill 1, injure 8 policemen in 2 dists

Robbers yesterday killed a villager in Jhalakati and injured eight policemen in Moulvibazar while burglars stole Tk 2 lakh from two newspaper offices in Chittagong.

Bogra lawyers boycott courts

The lawyers of Bogra Bar Association yesterday boycotted courts for three hours from 10:00am demanding arrest of those who allegedly assaulted Additional Public Prosecutor (PP) Helalur Rahman Helal on October 12.

Chandpur police to identify Rasu's victims in Tongi

A three- member committee formed by Chandpur district police administration will soon visit Tongi under Gazipur district to know the identity of seven women killed by Rasu Khan as they all hailed from Tongi.

3 murdered in Sirajganj

Police on Wednesday morning recovered three bodies from three places of Sirajganj district.

Auto-rickshaw driver killed in Chittagong

Criminals strangled a CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver on Gohira-Heyako Road under Fatikchhari upazila of Chittagong district on Wednesday night, while police arrested the ringleader of a gang of pirates in Hathazari upazila of the district yesterday morning.

3 held on charge of abduction

Police on Tuesday arrested a man and his two sons at Bikna on the outskirts of the district town in connection with a schoolgirl abduction case.

Rapist jailed for 64 years in Barisal

A court here on Wednesday sentenced one person to 64 years rigorous imprisonment (RI) for abduction and rape.

AL leader held on charge of extortion

Police on Tuesday arrested Panna Sheikh, youth and sports secretary of ruling Awami League's Kotalipara unit.

Seven women awarded

Seven women were honoured yesterday for their outstanding role in the fields of education, business and social reforms in Khagrachhari hill district. The awards were announced at a function jointly organised by the local NGOs at an auditorium in Sadar upazila. The seven women are Rozi Akhter, Golapi Chakma, Rasheda Khatun, Sunita Chakma, Enu Chakma, Tani Marma and Surobala Chakma. Earlier, a discussion was held at the auditorium to mark the International Day for Rural Women. NGO personality Nomita Chakma presided over the discussion while Khagrachhari Government College Principal Prof M Mofizur Rahman attended as chief guest. Among others, Sadar Upazila Chairman Mohammad Shaney Alam, Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mohammad Rashed Hossain, educationist Madhu Mongal Chakma and Putul Chakma spoke.

Extortionists attack NGO men

Extortionists on Wednesday attacked and injured two staff of a local non-government organisation (NGO) failing to realise illegal toll from them. They, however, snatched away a mobile set and Tk 12,000 from the NGO staff, sources said. Injured Zahangir Alam and Utpal Dutta, staff of Tala-based NGO Uttaran, posted at Assassuni upazila headquarters, were admitted to the upazila health complex. Quoting local people police said local extortionists Yasin Ali, Pintu and Shahidul Islam attacked the NGO staff while they were preparing a list of the landless people near former Assassuni union chairman's house. Zahangir Alam filed a case with Assassuni police station accusing the three. Police later arrested Yasin Ali.

Thief electrocuted

An alleged thief was electrocuted at Gonka Moholla in Chapainawabganj municipal area early yesterday. Locals and officer in-charge (OC) of Sadar police station said Saptam Chowdhury was electrocuted as he climbed an electric pole to steal wire at midnight. Locals found his body hanging from the pole in the morning. Police recovered the body and sent it to Sadar hospital morgue for autopsy. An unnatural death case was filed.

Smugglers arrested

Police on Wednesday arrested a man who is an accused in a case filed with Kalaroa police station by BDR authorities allegedly for launching attack on BDR jawans in a bid to snatch away the smuggled goods seized from a boat in the Sonai River at village Madra in Kalaroa upazila on October 8. Arrestee Abdul Latif, 28, is son of Wasihar Rahman of village Bhadiali in Kalaroa. He was rounded up from Bhadiali village. The BDR jawans seized 275 kilograms of powdered milk and a bagful of polythene from an Indian boat while being smuggled in on October 8. At this, the smugglers attacked the BDR jawans and pelted brickbats on them in a bid to snatch away the seized goods. The BDR jawans opened fire at the smugglers to disperse them.

College teacher attacked

Criminals on Tuesday attacked and injured a teacher of Comilla Victoria College as he protested the teasing of college girls. Sources said members of local Setu Bahini attacked AKM Shahab Uddin, lecturer of Accounting department, with lethal weapons near a cycle stand of the college at noon, leaving him seriously injured. He was rushed to Comilla General Hospital. A case was filed with Kotwali police station. Students of the college later brought out processions in the town demanding arrest and punishment to the culprits. The gang used to tease the girls on the campus, the students said.

Letters

Congratulations, Shakib Al Hasan

At first, I would like to thank Shakib Al Hasan for his great achievement. Frankly, I was surprised when I heard that Shakib Al Hasan won the Wisden Cricket magazine's Test Player for 2009 for his great performance.

Sonargaon

Sonargaon is the oldest capital of Isa Khan's kingdom in Bengal. It is situated close to Narayanganj. The renowned Muslim traveller Ibn Battuta visited it in the 14th century. It is the eastern terminus of the Grand Trunk Road, which was built by Sher Shah Suri in the 16th century, and which extends approximately 2500 kilometres across northern India and Pakistan to Peshawar in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province.

Harassment at airport

This is to let you know that on September 29, 2009, I had flown to Thailand for a 15-day trip with a group of friends from Dhaka. On arrival, however, at the Thai airport, Shubarnabhumi, some immigration officers were asking to check our dollars in hand. Instantly, we showed them the dollars available along with our passports. Since we were in a group our group leader carried all the dollars. I could have shown them at least 200 dollars and some Thai Bahts as well. However, without any reason or explanation, the officers took my friend AKM Hassan and me into custody. The officers forced us to take pictures like convicts and also forced us to sign a paper, which was written in the Thai language. We were also held up for about four hours, before being deported. We were literally treated like criminals.

CTG and our politics

In the media we hear about the controversial performance of the caretaker government. It is very interesting to watch that the period from January 11 2007 to the election in December 2008 is always mentioned and all blames are put on General Moeen and his army intelligence. But can we forget the period from late October 2006 to the so-called 1/11? Do we remember how president Iajuddin Ahmed misused the provision and the position of the head of the then caretaker government ? Have we forgotten that some invisible power was running the show from behind the screen ? Definitely, the General and his intelligence chief were not behind the screen, public perception and media reports pointed out fingers elsewhere. This is the truth of the matter. If we fail to recall all these events together with the alleged charges being discussed in the media, these will just be forgotten.

Polythene bag as headgear

A photo appearing on the last page of your daily on Friday, October 9, shows a child on a motorbike with his head protected from rain with a polythene bag. Your reporter probably found it interesting, but you should immediately publish the photo again with the warning that it can be fatal, many children in the Western countries were killed through suffocation by polythene bags when they tried to use such bags to mimic the headgears of astronauts. Due to this reason you can see holes punched in polythene bags covering readymade garments with warnings to keep these away from children. One can of course cut out the front of a bag to keep the face open to air if one badly needs to protect a child from rain.

General's assertions

Recently, Mr. Moeen U Ahmed, the former chief of army, in an interview with a Bangladeshi media in the USA claimed that he was the only general who never tried to grab power. He, a few days ago, bragged again in another news media that if he wanted to be the president of the republic, there was none who could stop him. It seemed to me that perhaps his rant is the outburst of pang for his controversial role in the immediate past regime.

DST and children

In order to alleviate the sufferings of people from the frequent power outages, the clock was advanced by one hour two months ago. The concerned minister said that the clock would be put back in October. Nevertheless, the DTS system remains unchanged up till today. On the other hand, power failure still remains a regular feature of day-to-day life all over the country. Hundreds of thousands of agitated people staged an angry demonstration against the frequent power disruption in the upazilas of Birganj, Thakurgaon, Gaibandha, Gobinganj, Netrokona and Mohonganj in Dinajpur district a couple of days ago. The locals alleged that for the last one month, they got electricity for only 2 to 3 hours in every 24 hours. This indicates that the situation of electricity remains the same as it was before. People in the Chittagong Hill Tracts also continued to go through the same situation. School children, parents and teachers have to undergo an ordeal every day as the children could not get up early in the morning. Besides, students could not get enough time to prepare for exams in the morning as they need to rush to the school. In this situation children are the worst victims here.

For some chairs and a house!

Remember the immortal lines of Shakespeare? My horse, my horse, the kingdom for my horse! The BNP's stand for some extra seats in parliament and Khaleda Zia's residence seems similar. There really is no issue. She was allowed to stay on in her husband's temporary residence after he was killed in a military putsch. She is no more in that state of pecuniary state. Therefore it is not expected that she stays on in that house and carry on with her political activities. I remember having written in these columns of your e daily before the last elections that a level playing field should start at home. I said that one leader lived in Dhanmondi under public scrutiny for 24 hours. Any one could monitor her movement or those of the ones who came to her residence, the other was ensconced in her citadel where it was impossible to know what was happening after a certain hour of the night. How can she be allowed to stay on in a temporary home forever and carry on with her political activities from there? She should come to the people who have elected her twice and install herself in a house within people's gaze. Let her move to the other house in Gulshan given to her by the government or wherever she wants to be. But she must not be allowed to stay on in the cantonment. As for the seats in the front row in parliament, they were allotted those commensurate with their total number of lawmakers. So what are they grumbling about?

Agricultural country

The land of Bangladesh is very fertile and so the farmers should be in better condition but that is not happening. The farmers farm in the field hoping for a good return but most of the time their dreams are shattered and as a result the farmers are selling their land to the builders.

Weak regimes

Dynasty regimes are weak at the top; and internally there is lack of discipline. This happens when the top original hero is no more, and his/her successor might not have the maturity to handle the situation in a newly emerged nation.

Volleying back....

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International

Pak govt upbeat on US aid pledges

Pakistan's foreign minister voiced hope that a furore at home over a giant US aid package would subside after US lawmakers gave written guarantees it would not violate the Islamic nation's sovereignty.

US missile strike from drone kills 4 in Pakistan

A US drone missile attack on a suspected militant hideout in a remote tribal area in northwest Pakistan early Thursday killed at least four people, security officials said.

Obama holds war cabinet talks on Afghanistan

US President Barack Obama huddled with his war council for a fifth time Wednesday, debating whether to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan to quell a growing conflict.

Terrors seizing Pak nukes an 'impossible scenario'

Former Pakistan president General Pervez Musharraf has said that there is no threat to the country's nuclear assets from terrorists as they were being tightly guarded by the military.

11 days of bloodshed

A wave of suicide bombings, commando-style raids and other attacks blamed on Islamist extremists in Pakistan over the past two years have sharply escalated in the past 11 days with eight bloody attacks:

US lawmakers approve Iran sanctions bill

The US House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday to ramp up economic pressure on Tehran over its suspect nuclear programme by punishing firms that do business in Iran's energy sector.

Talks offer divides Kashmir rebels

India's offer to start a "quiet dialogue" with separatist politicians in the disputed region of Kashmir was yesterday welcomed by local moderates but rejected by hardliners.

Maoists fire at polling booth during re-polling in Maharashtra

Suspected Maoists fired at a polling booth yesterday during re-poll in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district, police said.

Rahul blames states for Maoist menace

Congress party general secretary Rahul Gandhi yesterday blamed the Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh governments for the Maoist problem.

Italy denies paying off Taliban

The Italian government denied a newspaper report Thursday that its secret services paid the Taliban thousands of dollars to keep an area in Afghanistan controlled by the Italians safe.

Arctic ice cap to disappear in 20-30 yrs

The Arctic ice cap will vanish completely in summer months within 20-30 years, polar researchers said yesterday, sounding the alarm two months before a critical climate change summit in Copenhagen.

Mountbatten's power transfer doc to Jinnah rotting in Sindh loo!

The Sindh Assembly administration appears to care the least about keeping important documents and historical records concerning the house proceedings intact and secure.

Maoist threatens to attack Madhya Pradesh minister

An anonymous caller claiming to be a Maoist guerrilla has threatened to blow up Madhya Pradesh Minister for Housing and Environment Jayant Malaiya on Diwali, police said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

A social revolution through music

Born just 17 years after the Battle of Palashi, Fakir Lalon Shai (1774-1890) lived over a century under the British rule. Though it is not apparent how the British Raj impacted Lalon's life and works, it can surely be said that Lalon had a vision of a major social reform. Apart from his mystic attributes, one of his main goals was to change the society riddled with religious bigotry.

A voice of secular values

Singer Anusheh Anadil was conferred the first Meeto Memorial Award for Young South Asian on October 14 at a function at the India Habitat Centre -- one of the hubs of cultural activities in Delhi -- for her relentless fight against religious bigotry.

Flamenco and fans in Delhi

This was one event in Delhi that didn't start off too propitiously: long serpentine queues as the temperamental artistes for a show titled “Confluence of Cultures: Flamenco Gala (Spain),” refused to allow a restive audience to enter the venue until the last moment of their practice -- a sharp departure from other performers who take a more relaxed approach.

Tribute to Amalendu Biswas

At the well-decorated lobby of the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), a large portrait of the late jatra icon Amalendu Biswas had been placed. The mood is festive. In association with BSA, Amalendu Biswas Smaranotshab Committee arranged a six-day festival as homage to the 'Ekushey Padak' recipient (posthumously) performer. Starting from October 10, the festival featured jatra pala, theatre and an award giving ceremony.

Three-day programme on Lalon’s death anniversary starts today in Chheuria

A three-day programme has been chalked out to observe the 119th death anniversary of Fakir Lalon Shai at Chheuria Lalon Akhra in Kushtia. The programme starts today.

OP-ED

Offshore: The new gas frontier of Bangladesh?

THIS article is about the prospect of finding gas fields in the Bay of Bengal, and is based on the recent data gathered through exploration by India and Myanmar in the Bay.

Non-proliferation treaty and Iran

FOR the last few years Iran has been chastised by the western powers, particularly US, for trying to make nuclear bombs despite the strong denial of that country that it is not doing so and that it is trying to develop nuclear power for meeting its growing need of electricity. This controversy raises many questions, including the following:

Obama's dilemma in Afghanistan

PRESIDENT Obama faces a major dilemma in Afghanistan as he looks at different exit strategies. His top commanders and congressional Republicans are pushing for more troops, while the key Democrats in Congress are questioning whether a further commitment of blood and fund, especially at this time of grave economic recession, is prudent or justified. In a recent television interview, his opponent in last year's presidential election, Senator John McCain, maintained that Obama could not give up on Afghanistan and that withdrawal of US and Nato troops at this crucial stage would only lead to destabilisation of the entire region.



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