The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, November 23, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 21st of October, 2009

Front Page

Open tender gets nod

Rejecting the communications ministry's proposal for considering an unsolicited tender offer, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs yesterday okayed the ministry's other recommendation for floating an open invitation for tenders for construction of a metro rail and an elevated expressway in the capital at an estimated cost of Tk 15,000 crore.

G-9 guides BNP

Crisis-riddled BNP formed "Group-2009" consisting of cross section of professionals to assist the party and its backbench lawmakers on different issues and provide them with new thoughts, ideas and strategies.

1,146 fly today in first batch

The first batch of hajj pilgrims will fly to Saudi Arabia today.

No conspiracy; it was army revolt

The August 15 killings were a revolt by army men, not any conspiracy, and the case should be tried afresh by a military court, a lawyer for Bangabandhu murder convicts told the Supreme Court yesterday.

Saarc nations to set up 50 weather watch stations

Enhancing cooperation to tackle the climate change impacts, the Saarc countries yesterday decided to set up 50 automatic weather monitoring stations in Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan to carry out study on weather pattern, especially storms, in the region.

PM flies to Sweden

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left here for Sweden last night to attend a five-day conference on climate change.

Shootouts kill 63, criminals 29

The joint special drive of police and Rapid Action Battalion in the outlaw infested southwestern region has seen 63 deaths in "crossfire" and "shootouts" in 58 days as of yesterday.

President calls for consensus

President Zillur Rahman yesterday called for mutual cooperation and understanding of the political parties to reach consensus on issues of national interest.

Pac should sit regularly

Members of the Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of parliament yesterday criticised committee chief KH Rashiduzzaman for not convening its meeting in the last five months.

Traders given 2 days to remove sand

Authorities have removed around thirty makeshift structures from the west foreshore of the rive Shitalakhya and ordered unauthorised sand traders to remove earth filling within two days during an eviction drive yesterday.

Court asks CID to probe afresh

A Dhaka court ordered a re-investigation yesterday into a case filed on charges of attempt to murder on Prof Humayun Azad in February 2004.

Twin bombs kill 7 at Islamabad university

A double suicide bombing at a university campus in Pakistan's capital yesterday killed up to seven people, including the two bombers, an administration official said.

Samakal publisher files GD

The daily Samakal's Publisher AK Azad yesterday filed a general diary with Tejgaon Industrial Area Police Station, seeking security in the wake of the recent harassment and provocations by Bashundhara Group.

Outlaw killed in 'shootout'

An outlaw was killed in a 'shootout' between his cohorts and police in Chatmohor upazila in Pabna yesterday.

Warehouse fire yet to be doused

The fire at the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) warehouse is still simmering 60 hours after it broke out, destroying paper and books worth crores of taka.

Boma Mizan, 4 others get 8 yrs' jail

A court here yesterday sentenced five Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) members to eight years' rigorous imprisonment each in August 17 serial bomb blast case filed in Cox's Bazar after hearing 24 witnesses.

Obama hails Afghan 2nd round polls

US President Barack Obama yesterday welcomed President Hamid Karzai's agreement to hold a second round of voting in Afghanistan's disputed election as an important precedent for Afghan democracy.

10 Yemen rebels to die over deadly clashes

A Yemeni court yesterday sentenced 10 Shia Zaidi rebels to death and another five to 15 years in prison each over deadly clashes near the capital in 2008 that killed hundreds of people.

Editorial

The fire at NCTB warehouse

THE devastating fire which broke out at the warehouse of the National Curriculum and Textbook Board on Sunday raises a number of questions about how it happened and what lessons can be learned from it. That a fire could occur at such an important place, one which has a direct link with education, is certainly beyond the imagination. Naturally, therefore, the first question which springs to mind relates to the presence or otherwise of adequate fire fighting equipment in the warehouse. Given the fact that till yesterday the fire could not be put out fully, one can reasonably guess that the NCTB warehouse did not have any equipment it could employ to limit the damage caused by the conflagration. And so from our question we move on to another: how is it that in all these years no one gave a thought to the necessary fire fighting equipment that might be needed at some point? When a building houses important documents and papers (and the NCTB is surely that), it should have been for the authorities to have such precautions in place.

Scramble over tender submission

NAGAR Bhaban day before yesterday was the scene of heightened tension centring around tendering for a lease of a parking space and three pieces of construction work. These are meant for a ward under Dhaka City Corporation.

The BNP -- and the politics of petulance

YOU watch the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and you wonder where all the good people in it have gone. It is, of course, another matter that you may not consider the party a true representative of popular aspirations as they shaped up in the 1960s and during the entirety of the War of Liberation. Its coming into being was, as we have learned so sadly and so bitterly by now, fundamentally geared to putting our secularism under the rug or even cause it to crash headlong into the rocks below our perch of Bengali nationalistic fervour. But that is a subject for another day. We will talk about it later, as we have talked about it in the past.

Big step forward for Copenhagen conference

THE summit on climate change at the UN in New York on September 22 has given a strong boost to negotiations over an important international treaty on global warming in Copenhagen in December. This treaty will replace the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 that expires in 2012.

Sports

Mohammedan keep the Cup

Mohammedan Sporting Club retained the Federation Cup title after defeating bitter rivals Abahani 4-1 in tiebreaker in a pulsating final at the near-packed Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Maruful satisfied

Mohammedan coach Maruful Haq praised his boys for showing the mental toughness in the 4-1 tiebreak win over Abahani in the Citycell Federation Cup final yesterday.

Abahani, Gazi in final

Sahagir Hossain's ungainly nick down the thirdman boundary gave Abahani a 4-wicket victory against their fierce rivals Mohammedan in the first semifinal of the Big Boss Premier Twenty20 League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium to set up the prospect of a mouth-watering clash in the final against Gazi Tank, who walked away with their game against Khelaghar Samaj Kalyan Samity by 8 wickets.

Younus ready again

Pakistan skipper Younus Khan on Tuesday said he was ready to lead the team again after the country's cricket chief rejected his resignation, saying he had been heartened by shows of support.

Australia in India

Ricky Ponting's world champion Australian side flew into India on Tuesday to play a seven-match one-day series against the hosts.

Biplob, Carin crowned again

Biplob Ram once again proved his dominance over Rustom Ali with a 2-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory in the final of the BKSP ATF under-14 Tennis Tournament at BKSP yesterday. Biplob had defeated the same opponent last week to win the Prime Bank ATF under-14 tournament in Dhaka, which was a three setter too. And as in Dhaka, Biplob yet again staged a fightback after he had lost the first set 6-2. The second set went to a tie-break which Biplob eventually took 7-6. He took the third set 6-4 to end a riveting contest.

Zimbabwe due today

The Zimbabwe cricket team will arrive in Dhaka today to take part in the Grameenphone Cup, a five-match ODI series against Bangladesh. They are scheduled to arrive at 8:55pm local time.

Delhi end with a win

The spate of low scores at the Feroz Shah Kotla continued on Monday with the Cape Cobras collapsing in their chase of 115 to lose by 30 runs, in the bargain posting the tournament's lowest total. The good news for them, though, was that they finished second in League B and will play their semifinal against Trinidad and Tobago in Hyderabad, avoiding the dodgy Kotla pitch. There was good news for Delhi Daredevils, too -- they were already out of the tournament but ended on a high and gave their fans something to cheer.

Ponting for ODI points

Australia captain Ricky Ponting called for a rethink of one-day cricket to end meaningless dead rubbers as he left for a seven-game series in India.

Sarwan wants to play

West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan is keen to get back into the international fold, now that the impasse between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) seems to be coming to an end.

Youzhny's solid start

Home favourite and third-seed Mikhail Youzhny cruised into the ATP Kremlin Cup second round with a straight-set win over Horacio Zeballos of Argentina here on Monday.

Mayor Cup in Sylhet

First Mayor Cup football will begin in Sylhet on Friday. The Sylhet city corporation (SCC) mayor Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran announced it at a press conference at the city corporation building yesterday afternoon.

Rating chess

Four players shared the lead with seven points each at the end of the eighth round of Pexatech Open International Rating Chess Tournament at the Chess Federation hall room yesterday. They are FM Mahfuzur Rahman of Destiny, Shafiz Ahmed of Barisal, Abdur Rauf and Saiful Islam Chowdhury of Sylhet. Four players were sharing the second position with six and a half points.

Clash of the giants

Real Ma-drid fans would be forgiven for focusing all their attention on club icon Raul on Wednesday as the club host a mouth-watering clash between the nine-times European champions and AC Milan.

Juve not relaxing

Juventus will not be underestimating group minnows Maccabi Haifa when the Israelis come to Turin in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Kaka's emotional reunion

Real Madrid's Brazilian superstar Kaka faces old club AC Milan for the first time on Wednesday when the two sides do battle at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League Group C match.

Fulham beat Hull City

Fulham celebrated the club's 130th anniversary by pulling clear of the Premier League's relegation zone with a 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Hull at Craven Cottage on Monday.

Robben out of Bordeaux trip

Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal has decided against risking Dutch winger Arjen Robben for Wednesday's Champions League clash at Bordeaux.

Rolfes to miss Dortmund clash

Bayer Leverkusen captain Simon Rolfes will miss the Bundesliga leader's clash with Borussia Dortmund on Friday night having undergone a small operation, it was announced Tuesday.

Business

Push for duty cut, not free access

Bangladesh should push for duty reduction and preference programme rather than demanding duty-free access of its products to US market, said Assistant US Trade Representative (USTR) for Central and South Asia Michael J Delaney yesterday.

16 firms under scanner

An abnormal hike in share prices, especially of some companies that had been in the red for years, has evoked a debate over possible manipulation of those in the stock market.

Experts unaware of Tifa details

Businesspeople, economists and trade experts are unaware of what are in the draft of the proposed Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa) between Bangladesh and the US.

US firm to launch pharma consultancy

Amreteck Pharma, a US-based pharmaceuticals consultancy, is set to roll out full-fledged operations in Bangladesh by November, aiming to enhance the quality of local medicines.

DGEN, turnover reach new high

The benchmark index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange reached a new height of 3,326 points yesterday, backed by price rallies in the fuel and power and non-banking financial institution (NBFI) sectors.

Govt must ensure equitable ICT

The government should ensure equitable access to new communication technologies to both rural and urban areas simultaneously, speakers said yesterday.

China-EU summit set for November 30 in Nanjing

China and the European Union will hold their annual summit on November 30 in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, with climate change and the global economy topping the agenda, the EU said Tuesday.

MEDEXPO in Dec

MEDEXPO 2009, the seventh international medical equipment and healthcare services exposition, will begin at the Winter Garden of Dhaka Sheraton Hotel from December 10, says a statement.

S Asian telecom defies recession

The South Asian mobile industry has been demonstrating a strong presence even in times of recession, although telecom companies in some developed nations have faced blows, said Mehboob Chowdhury, chairman of South Asia Mobile Forum (SAMF).

Japan unions eye comeback

After decades of decline, Japan's labour unions are looking to flex their new-found muscle in the wake of a historic power shift that handed them unprecedented close ties with the government.

Asian stocks driven higher

Asian markets pushed to new highs on Tuesday, lifted by confidence in upcoming corporate results as well as surging oil prices.

Australia facing inflation threat

Australia is facing a growing threat from inflation after making a world-beating recovery from the global downturn, the central bank warned on Tuesday.

Euro closer to 1.50 dollars

The euro came within spitting distance of 1.50 dollars Tuesday, a level last seen 14 months ago, as the prospect of low US interest rates for some time reduced the greenback's appeal.

Oil strikes $80

The price of oil hit 80 dollars for the first time in a year on Tuesday thanks to growing optimism surrounding global economic recovery, before pulling back on profit-taking, traders said.

UK digs in over EU financial reform

Britain could block any EU financial reform proposals seen as impinging on its fiscal sovereignty, a senior Treasury official said Tuesday as EU finance ministers met in Luxembourg.

Billionaire Ambani brothers in legal showdown

India's billionaire Ambani brothers were set to square off in India's highest court later Tuesday in a bitter showdown that has riveted the nation.

Euro chiefs express 'worries' over US, China export squeeze

The men who run the euro single currency expressed "worries" on Monday about being squeezed out of competition for exports by two of their main global competitors, the United States and China.

Kuwait plans to spend $63b on mega projects

Opec member Kuwait plans to spend 18 billion dinars (63 billion dollars) over the next four years on 250 massive projects, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

IT spending to rebound in 2010: Gartner

Information technology (IT) spending is expected to rebound in 2010 from its worst year ever, market research firm Gartner said Monday.

Clarification

IFIC Bank Ltd clarified a photo caption published on Monday.

Currency

Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market traded actively today. The USD/BDT rate traded at a higher level compared with the previous day. The market has been on a strong uptrend in the past few days.

Execs for leasing assoc

Mafizuddin Sarker, managing director of LankaBangla Finance Ltd, has been elected chairman of Bangladesh Leasing and Finance Companies Association for a two-year term (2009-11), says a press release.

BRAC EPL gets new CEO

Khaled Farazi has joined BRAC EPL Investments Ltd as chief executive officer and Aminul Haque as head of capital markets, says a statement.

Janata Ins chairman re-elected

Janata Insurance Company Ltd has re-elected Rubel Aziz as its chairman, says a press release.

Toyota unveils new sedan

Toyota Motor Corp. unveiled Tuesday a new hybrid luxury sedan, the "Sai", aiming to keep its pole position in environmentally friendly vehicles.

UK deficit up

Britain recorded a public deficit of 19.4 billion pounds (21.2 billion euros, 31.8 billion dollars) in September as the economy buckled under the weight of recession, official data showed Tuesday.

Metropolitan

Take care of migrant workers, help explore new job markets

Minister for Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday asked the labour attachés in Bangladesh missions abroad to take care of migrant workers proactively and help explore new overseas job markets.

War museum seeks int'l help in war crimes trial

Liberation War Museum made an appeal to the international community as well as superpowers yesterday for their cooperation and support in trying the war criminals.

Blind using computers now a reality

Visually impaired students of Baptist Mission Integrated School (BMIS) at Mirpur yesterday proved that the blind using computers is no longer a fantasy.

'Elections to local govt bodies after flawless voter list'

Election Commissioner (EC) Brig Gen (retd) M Shakhawat Hossain yesterday said elections to local government bodies, including Chittagong City Corporation (CCC), would be held after the fresh voter list is made correct and free of faults.

'Chinese language can boost ties with Dhaka'

Dissemination of Chinese language in Bangladesh can further strengthen Dhaka-Beijing ties, said Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Zhang Xianyi while opening a five-day Chinese Film Show in the city yesterday, says a press release.

Domestic help found dead at Bagmara

Police recovered the body of a teenage girl at Mohonganj under Bagmara upazila yesterday noon, some 12 hours after her death as locals forced the law enforcers to do so, alleging that she was tortured to death.

Khoka makes apology to High Court

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka yesterday apologised to the High Court (HC) for violating its directives regarding the cattle markets before the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.

Workshop on cleaners' safety

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) organised a workshop on cleaners' safety and sanitation at Mohanagar Natto Monch in the city on Monday, says a press release.

Move to bring changes to constitution delayed

The government is not taking any initiative at this moment to amend the constitution, since a case regarding the fifth amendment to the constitution awaits final disposal in the Supreme Court.

Engineer shot in city

A gang of criminals shot and injured an engineer in Farmgate area in the city yesterday.

Grameen Healthcare teams up with US university

Grameen Healthcare and Emory University of the USA have signed an MoU to set up a learning centre to train healthcare professionals in Bangladesh.

Govt to step up coopeartion with US: FM

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said the government stands ready to intensify Bangladesh-US cooperation in all areas, including trade and commerce, energy, and socio-economic development.

Drive against unfit vessels on Shitalakkhya

Inland Water Transport Safety and Navigation Mobile Court conducted a drive against unfit vessels on the river Shitalakkhya yesterday.

Modernise varsity curricula to compete in int'l arena

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid at a workshop yesterday said curriculums of the universities should be modernised to compete in the international arena of knowledge.

One killed in road accident

One person was killed and two others were injured in a road accident on Dhaka-Barisal highway at Pantapara village under Kalkini upazila in Madaripur on Monday night.

Pregnant woman killed for dowry

A seven months pregnant woman was strangled by her husband at Kadamtoli of Siddhirganj upazila on Monday night as she refused to give him Tk 20,000 as dowry.

Hearing on petition Oct 27

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed October 27 as the date for hearing a petition that challenged the legality of a vokalatnama (power of attorney) submitted to the same court by a counsel of former army chief Gen (retd) Moeen U Ahmed on August 5 in a Tk 100 crore defamation case.

JP to contest next elections alone: Ershad

Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad MP has said his party would take part in the next elections alone and will assume power.

DU students protest fee hike

Students of the fifth semester of Faculty of Social Science at Dhaka University yesterday staged a demonstration on the campus protesting hike of their course fees.

Corruption cases against Prof Mannan stayed

The High Court yesterday stayed for six months the proceedings of three corruption cases against former pro-vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Prof MA Mannan.

City poor to get Sightsavers' eye care

With a view to providing the poor in the city with eye care, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Dhaka Urban Comprehensive Eye Care Project of Sightsavers International and four development organisations on October 18.

Defence deal reports untrue: Indian HC

A spokesperson of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka yesterday said some newspapers published reports on proposal to conclude defence agreement between Bangladesh and India, but they are totally untrue.

HC grants bail to Mamun

The High Court yesterday granted ad-interim bail for six-months to controversial businessman Giasuddin Al Mamun in a tax dodging case against him.

Dhaka YMCA executives

Jonas Dhaki, a businessman and social worker, has been elected president of Dhaka YMCA for the term 2009-10, says a press release.

Appeal for help

Shahnaz Begum, a fourth-class employee of the Election Commission Secretariat, has been suffering from cancer, says a press release.

National

Selection of retailers misses another deadline for politicisation, bribery

Recruitment of retailers for distribution of fertilisers at grassroots level is yet to be completed in most unions of 16 northern districts although the government's extended deadline for it expired on October 15.

A ray of hope for five monga-prone dists

Marginal farmers and farm workers of five northern districts are now not frightened of monga-- a near famine situation with wholesale unemployment-- during September-November as they remain busy with harvesting the newly developed early harvestable rice varieties this time.

Robbers loot 7 shops, house in Rajbari

Robbers on Monday night looted seven shops and decamped with booties worth Tk 10 lakh at Dadoshi Bazar in Sadar upazila.

Fire damages power car of Sylhet-bound Surma Mail

Fire damaged the power car of Sylhet-bound Surma Mail and its guard's compartment in Akahura-Sylhet section on Monday morning.

Suspected JMB man arrested

Matiranga police yesterday arrested a suspected member of militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from Shantipur area.

25 big trees felled by Khagrachhari BARI

Authorities of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) in Khagrachhari Sadar upazila have recently cut down at least 25 big-sized trees on their office premises without approval from the authorities concerned.

JS team assures Barapukuria people of compensation

A team of parliamentary standing committee on planning ministry on Monday assured residents of Barapukuria coalmine area of providing adequate compensation and undertaking rehabilitation programmes for them if the government acquires their land for extracting coal.

Ruling party men sued on charge of extortion

District Krishak League leader and three activists were yesterday sued here on extortion charge.

Indigenous student of RU stabbed

A group of students yesterday stabbed an Adivasi (indigenous) student of Rajshahi University (RU) at a students' mess near the campus.

50 injured; 100 shops looted, 200 ransacked

Over 50 people were injured as two groups of villagers clashed after a football match in jaintapur upazila on Monday night.

10 trucks of toxic bananas destroyed

A mobile court yesterday seized 10 trucks of toxic bananas from Pabna markets and destroyed them.

Mother hilsa seized

A team of coastguard yesterday morning seized egg-carrying hilsa weighing around 500 maunds from passenger launch MV Nazma Khan on the Meghna.

BSF returns body

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) Monday night returned body of a Bangladeshi youth after a company commander level flag meeting with Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) at Sonamasjid. Victim Rafiqul Islam,38, was son of Kayes Mia of Namo Chawkpara village. He was killed by mob at Sultanpur village at Maldah, 300 yards inside the Indian territory at around 5am on Monday. Rafiqul had mistakenly entered the Indian territory through Chawkpara border near pillar number183 when he was on duty as a guard of crop fields at Chawkpara village.

Admission seekers agitate

Admission seekers at Rajshahi University (RU) Monday night put up a barricade on Dhaka-Rajshahi highway adjacent to Binodpur gate of the university for three hours and vandalised buses of Hanif Enterprise as the bus authorities could not give them bus for Dhaka on scheduled time. Sources said, the admission seekers waited at the counter near Binodpur gate for the Dhaka bound bus but it did not turn up till 12:30 am. Failing to get the bus, the agitating students put up barricade on the highway for three hours from 12:30 am and damaged a number of vehicles.

Prisoner dies in Sirajganj

An inmate of Sirajganj prison died allegedly due to cardiac arrest at Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital (RMCH) early yesterday. The deceased, Shyamol Kumar, 35, was son of Ratan Kumar of Natun Chandpur village in Ullapra upazila. He was sentenced to four years imprisonment in a drug related case. According to jail sources, Shyamol was earlier taken to Sirajganj Sadar Hospital on October 13, when he fell sick due to cardiac problem. As his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to RMCH on October 14. He died there early yesterday, hospital sources said.

Jewellery shop looted

Robbers looted a jewellery shop at Awrakhali Bazar in Kaliganj upazila early Monday. Police said a gang of about eight robbers attacked three night guards of the market at about 3:30am and tied up their hands, legs and mouths. Later, they stormed into “Chandan Jewellers” and looted 20 tolas of gold ornament, 30 tolas of silver ornament and other valuables. Police earlier arrested three people from the bazar two weeks ago on charge of planning to commit robbery.

Touchstone statues seized

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) on Monday night recovered two touchstone statues of “Lord Vishnu” and “Shiva” from Basudevpur village in Palashbari upazila. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Rab-1 from Dhaka raided the village and recovered the 120-kg Shiva Lingam from the house of one Shamsul Alam and the Vishnu statue weighing around 14 kg from the house of Al Amin. The team arrested Shamsul Alam, Al Amin, Abdul Mannan and Angur for possessing the statues and handed them over to Palashbari police. The arrestees told police that a smuggler of Bogra district brought the statues to the village about a month ago. The price of the statues was estimated at Tk 6.5 crore.

Three get life for rape

Three people including an indigenous man of Parbatipur upazila were sentenced yesterday to life term and fined Tk.10,000 each, in default, to suffer more two years for raping a girl in 2007. Convicts are Rama Ker Kata, 29, son of Chanda Ker Kata of village Pachpukuria and two others. Md Shamsul Huda, judge of Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal pronounced the verdict in a crowded courtroom. According to the prosecution story, the three raped a girl on February 06, 2007. The next day, the victim's elder sister Jyosna Ker Kata filed a case. Court sources said, two other convicts Bijute and Milon went into hiding after the incident.

17 arrested in Bogra

Seventeen people were arrested on Monday following death of four people by drinking rectified spirit in Mahasthangarh area of Shibganj upazila Sunday. Police said they conducted a special drive in the area and arrested them for their suspected involvement in the incident. The arrestees are Anwar, Arif, Faruk, Faizul, Raihan, Sayed, Al Amin, Dulal, Badsha, Latif, Shahidul, Belal, Hafizur, Shahjahan, Khudu, Zahidul, and Mukul. Earlier on Sunday night, four people died and six others fell sick after drinking rectified spirit in the area. The dead were Babu member, Azizur Rahman and Lalu of Mahastan village and Shahjamal Madhu of Dighalkandi in Sadar upazila.

Letters

Women and children

Parliament is the highest law making body in the country, but subject to the provisions of the constitution. The continued primacy of personal laws in matters of marriage, divorce, maintenance and child custody and adoption discriminates against women in respect of rights within the family. Citizenship laws also discriminate on their face against women. De facto discrimination in opportunities for education and employment as well as access to resources and to services, in particular healthcare, further imposes various barriers on women in exercising their rights. Women face discrimination both in public and private spheres. Violence continues to be a significant feature of the everyday experience of many Bangladeshi women. The actual figures for sexual assault, rape and domestic violence are undoubtedly high, not least because a widespread culture of intimidation inhibits reporting. Moreover, in cases involving the transgression of 'sexual honour,' the fear of social stigmatisation discourages making such incidents public.

Withdraw rickshaws

Do we want to move forward or backward? No more rickshaw- please!!

Maradona

There is a large picture published in today's (Oct 12) newspapers showing how a coach is celebrating the victory of his team.

Jalil's observations

Recently, two senior leaders from the two major political parties came to the limelight for their sensitive and thought evoking comments about their own parties and top leaders. Of them, the comment/observation of Mr. Abdul Jalil, the former general secretary of the ruling AL, has stirred the whole political environment. The DS even wrote an editorial on the matter in its September 27, 2009 issue.

Banking system

I would like to thank The Daily Star and its journalist Mr. Imran Hossain for his news report that was published to draw the attention of the policymakers and citizens in The Daily Star on 12 October 2009 under the heading -- Anti-graft probes stumble on banks.

Meeting a govt official

Whenever a person, particularly a person from a private company, or, from a private organisation or, even an individual who may at one time have held high position in the govt. now retired, wants to talk to any responsible govt. officer, the first thing the PA of that particular govt. officer asks for (not request, to humbly put it) is your identity. If the PA finds that you are nobody who can cause harm to him, or to his superior, without hesitation the reply will be, "Sir is attending a meeting".

DST riddle

The cabinet has fixed the new office/school timing without fixing the date of implementation. According to media reports, electronic and print, no decision has been announced on the DST or when the clock would be put back to original time which is applicable to the whole country, irrespective of one living in Dhaka or elsewhere.

Rape and acid victims

The article 'Rape is inevitable if not punished' by Ripan Kumar Biswas of Canada in your daily is something in Bangladesh we know and have been enduring for a long time. It is not unusual for rapists here to get away scot-free, or with minor punishments. Recently some rapists got away by simply paying a fine of only Tk.10, 000 each and managed to escape the locals with the help of some ruling party leaders.

New exam

The primary & secondary education board has recently introduced a public exam-- 'somaponi' exam. The objective of this exam is to uniformly evaluate the students just as the SSC exams. However, some aspects of this exam should be reconsidered:

Zoo animals

Ever heard of the news “Giraffe dies because of the sins of humans”. Nope. I haven't heard anything like it before. Sad but true, this bizarre phenomenon is taking place in your vicinity. Yes, you got it--I'm talking of our country Bangladesh. It's all happening here these days. No doubt we've got a country mired in widespread corruption in every bit of the body. But we are completely oblivious of the fact that we're passing on our miseries to naïve creatures of the 'non-human' category. Yes, of course I'm referring to Dhaka Zoo. How appalling!

Easing traffic jam

An attempt to introduce new office timings to ease traffic congestion is a praiseworthy move by the authorities. However, we can only look at it as a minor measure since we would still have the same number of cars on the road, perhaps at different times.

Grade issue

Recently we have been watching several incidents related to grade discrimination. Students who passed SSC & HSC in 2001 & 2003 are now blocking roads and vandalizing vehicles. Why do the general students have to take this kind of steps? Why are they victmised? As a general student, I want this problem to be solved immediately. I would like to draw the authorities' attention in this regard and expect them to be more concerned about this matter.

DVM degree

It is very sad to see that that those who deal with the rules of the education sector do not know the elaboration of an international degree like DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) and the value of this degree. If we want to make the rules of national education sector, we should know the exact meaning and the value of the degree. I have seen that the rule makers of national education sector elaborate the DVM degree as Diploma in Veterinary Medicine. My point is that at first we should know the exact meaning of diploma and the difference between diploma and bachelor's degree.

Saifur Rahman's death

Former finance minister and BNP leader Saifur Rahman died in a road accident on September 5, when he was returning to Dhaka from his home district. He was welcomed or criticized for introducing the Value Added Tax (VAT) system in our economy. When he was dead our prime minister was abroad on an official tour. The prime minister didn't officially issue a condolence message to the media or his bereaved family.

Irresponsible

How could the present gov't decide to give new school timing without withdrawing the Day Time Saving( DST)? Has anyone thought about it at all? The Fajar Namaj starts at 6.25am and finishes at around 6.45am. How a guardian of an English medium school will accompany his/her offspring to be on time at 7:00am? Think of the poor schoolteacher. He or she has to start probably before Azan when it is dark.

International

Afghanistan to hold election run-off on Nov 7

Afghanistan will hold a second round of its presidential election on November 7 after incumbent Hamid Karzai failed to win a clear majority in the fraud-tainted contest, officials said yesterday.

Pak army chief asks tribals to rise up against Taliban

Pakistan's army chief has appealed to members of a major tribe linked to the Taliban to support an offensive against the insurgents, a move aimed at further isolating an enemy blamed for a wave of bloodshed in the nuclear-armed, US-allied nation.

Over 112,000 flee Pak offensive, says UN

More than 112,000 people have fled South Waziristan, the lawless area on the Afghan border where Pakistan has launched a major offensive against the Taliban, a UN official said yesterday.

'Disappointed' Kerry asks Pakistan to take or leave $7.5b aid

The body language of US Senator John Kerry was weary disappointed during his Islamabad visit where he was having "so much difficulty in trying to give away 7.5 billion dollar aid."

Tensions rise as Bhutan refugees leave Nepal

Seventeen years ago, Narad Muni Sanyasi was forced to flee his native Bhutan in the middle of the night, leaving his home and all his possessions behind.

Manmohan cautions commanders over security in S Asia

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday addressed senior defence commanders here in the wake of a deteriorating security scenario in the South Asian region, especially in neighbouring Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Lanka's rights record under scrutiny

Sri Lanka found itself under renewed international pressure yesterday over its human rights record, with the European Union threatening to withdraw the island's preferential trading status.

Nuclear talks held up after Iran questions French role

Nuclear talks between Iran and world powers were held up Tuesday after Iran said it did not want France to be part of any deal on uranium enrichment.

Iran ramps up pressure on Pakistan over blast

Iran ramped up pressure on Pakistan yesterday, saying the group accused of launching a deadly suicide attack in the Islamic republic is based on its territory, a charge strongly denied by Islamabad.

US base in Okinawa should stay: Gates

US leaders expect Japan's new government to stick with already-forged agreements between the two nations, America's top defence official said Tuesday amid debate over whether to shutter a US military air field on Okinawa.

Killer algae is key player in mass extinction

Super volcanoes and crashing asteroids corner all the horrific glory for mass extinction, but a new theory suggests lowly algae may be the killer behind the world's great species annihilations.

UNGA to debate Gaza war crimes report

The UN General Assembly will debate this year a report accusing both Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes during the conflict in Gaza that erupted at the end of 2008, an official said Monday.

Yudhoyono sworn in for second term

Liberal ex-general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was sworn in as Indonesia's president on Tuesday after winning a second five-year term with promises of economic growth and political reform.

Former nurse's aide in US becomes Ugandan king

For years, Charles Wesley Mumbere worked as a nurse's aide in Maryland and Pennsylvania, caring for the elderly and sick. No one there suspected that he had inherited a royal title in his African homeland when he was just 13.

Kyrgyz govt resigns

The government of the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan resigned on Tuesday after President Kurmanbek Bakiyev called for sweeping reforms, a government spokesman said.

Kenya building collapse kills 6

At least six people were killed and 17 others reported missing after a building under construction collapsed near the Kenyan capital Nairobi, officials said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Lalon: Reverberations in the soul

After 119 years of his demise, Fakir Lalon Shai's philosophy continues to have a strong hold, especially in the greater Kushtia and adjacent areas. Every year a large number of people from all corners of the country as well as from abroad visit Lalon's shrine and pay homage to the great bard.

Towards a better understanding of autism

A cultural programme was held recently to promote social acceptance of autistic children and generate awareness on autism. The fourth such programme was held at Shaheed Zia Auditorium, National Museum, Shahbagh, Dhaka under the banner of 'Share with Innocence IV,' organised by the students' association HANS.

Poetry in motion

To mark the 60th birthday of Mohammad Nurul Huda, one of the leading poets of Bangladesh, Swatantra Shahitya Patra, a local literary magazine, recently organised a function at the auditorium of Mukul Niketan High School. The function included a discussion on the life and works of the poet and a recitation session.

Remembering Camellia Parvin

Painter Camellia Parvin's first death anniversary was observed on October 19. Born and raised in Rangpur, she was a student of Oriental Department, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka. She completed her BFA and MFA from the institute. Parvin could also sing very well. She married noted cartoonist Shishir Bhattacharjee in 1990. The artist passed away last year at the age of 43.

U2 concert to be streamed live on YouTube

Irish rock megastars U2 announced Monday that their upcoming concert at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in California will be streamed live on YouTube.

OP-ED

Reducing poverty through unity of leadership

THE International Day for Eradication of Poverty was observed on October 17 in Bangladesh with solemn promises to overcome poverty through unity and combined initiative. The committee headed by the speaker organised the program to bring the treasury bench and the opposition members of the parliament together on a common platform to declare their commitments to eradicate poverty and work together to turn Bangladesh into a hunger free nation.

No sign of change!

THE allegation of Awami League is that BNP has been, ever since it (AL) came to power, trying to create obstacles against the AL's government. First about the seating arrangement in the parliament, then about the BDR carnage, Tipai Mukh, Asian Highway, withdrawal of army camps from the Hill Tracts, leasing of offshore gas blocks, and lately about the credibility of the last national election that saw them in the opposition bench with less than one-fourth of the seats in the Parliament.

The immigration officer's smile

IF you want to terrify a small child, you say: "The boogeyman's gonna getcha!"



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