The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, December 19, 2014


News of: Sunday, 1st of November, 2009

Front Page

Tongi erupts in violence

At least two persons were killed and 100 others including 16 policemen injured in Tongi yesterday in clashes between the law enforcers and several hundred garment workers protesting sudden closure of their factory without payment of arrears.

BNP blasts Star report on Aug 21

BNP has sent a rejoinder under the signature of its Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain, regarding our report headlined "Aug 21 attack on Hasina, AL Rally: It was Hawa Bhaban Plot" published on October 27. We publish full text of the rejoinder below:

Govt to probe all extra-judicial killings: Minister

The government will investigate all cases of extra-judicial killings and try them, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said yesterday.

Tigers go 2-1 up

Opener Tamim Iqbal came to the party with a big knock as Bangladesh recorded another comfortable four-wicket victory over an erratic Zimbabwe at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match Grameenphone Cup.

Govt to build 1,202 flats in 3 years

The government is going to construct 1,202 flats and sell those to government officials and low and middle-income group people in Dhaka on hire-purchase basis in next three years.

Fresh bid to fill up Atir Khal

A housing society is filling up the age-old Atir Khal (canal) at Waaspur on the outskirts of the capital, claiming that it has necessary documents for the land.

Kidnapped boy rescued in Ctg after 14 days

Police rescued a schoolboy in the city in the early hours yesterday, 14 days after he was kidnapped and held hostage on October 16.

PM pledges power decentralisation

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government will decentralise power for people's empowerment at the grassroots level.

Swapan, Rahim remanded again

A Dhaka court yesterday placed Kamrul Haque Swapan and Freedom Party leader Abdur Rahim on fresh four-day remand each in a case filed in connection with the bomb attack on Awami League lawmaker Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh.

Babar blames ex-CID men for Joj Miah story

Former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar blamed ex-CID investigators for cooking up the story of Joj Miah, sources said.

Five drown, 10 missing

At least five persons drowned and 10 others went missing as a boat capsized in the Gulishakhali river at Morichbunia under Patuakhali sadar upazila yesterday.

Arrears main reason behind unrest

Non-payment of arrears over the last three months was one of the major reasons behind yesterday's unrest among garment workers, said agitating labourers.

Bangabandhu case hearing resumes today

The hearing on the appeals in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman assassination case will resume today.

PM orders effective action

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the home ministry to take effective action against the owner of the garment factory in Tongi of Gazipur district responsible for workers' unrest erupted for non-payment of their monthly salary, Prime Minister's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad told The Daily Star.

Agencies gave hints a week ago

Different trade unions and labour bodies were provoking a possible unrest at the readymade garments hub cashing in on demonstrations by sacked workers of different factories, an intelligence agency alerted the government a week ago.

6 BCL men held for mugging

Police arrested six activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) on charge of mugging on Dhaka University (DU) campus early yesterday.

EU parliament body team arrives today

An eight-member delegation of the European Parliamentary Committee on Development today arrives at Dhaka on a three-day visit to discuss overall impact of climate change with policy makers and international partners of the country.

9 British MPs due today

Nine British MPs from the three main parties arrive in the capital today for a weeklong visit to Bangladesh.

2 pirates killed in 'shootout'

Two pirates were killed in a 'shootout' between them and the police in Poramahal area of the Sundarbans in Mongla upazila yesterday.

Supporting dictators in Pakistan was a mistake: Hillary

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has just concluded her three-day visit to Pakistan, said that Washington had committed a mistake by supporting successive military regimes in the country in the past, and also assured that such a step would not be repeated in future again.

Iranian MPs reject UN uranium plan

Iran's senior lawmakers have rejected a UN-backed plan to ship much of the country's uranium abroad for further enrichment.

Obama asks military for more Afghan options

US President Barack Obama has asked the Pentagon for more options on troop levels in Afghanistan including sending less than the roughly 40,000 new soldiers requested, The Washington Post said yesterday.

Editorial

Pakistan in an embattled condition

CONDITIONS in Pakistan have clearly been going from bad to worse in this past week. Just how horrific matters are in the embattled country is made obvious by the ceaseless activities of militants, especially in the northwest. The death toll from bombs and grenades detonated by elements like the Taliban has been rising, with the Pakistan authorities virtually unable to stem the tide of violence sweeping across large parts of it. Matters are certainly not being helped by the drone attacks carried out by the Americans in Pakistan, especially along the border with Afghanistan.

Interest waiver on loans

IN a central bank report to the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) it is revealed that Tk 3,685 crore worth of interest had been waived on outstanding loans during last eight years. In the period under review, a Jammat-BNP four-party alliance government and a caretaker government were in power. As many as 693 borrowers including former MPs and influential businessmen got the massive waiver from nine state-owned banks and financial institutions.

Application of law: Making no exception

A parliamentary panel has recommended that to ensure strict adherence to traffic rules by all, even members of parliament (MPs) and ministers will not enjoy any immunity from the law. The Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Planning Commission, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Leader Oli Ahmed also echoed this view, suggesting further that, to ease congestion on the roads of Dhaka and Chittagong, and to stop haphazard parking of vehicles, the flouters of traffic rules should be made to pay |TK.1000 as fine, regardless if they are MPs or ministers.

The evolving global construct

THE formalisation of the G-20, in place of G-8 with the US as chairman of the board of governors, is now expected to monitor and guide politico-economic affairs of the world. Yet, despite Thomas Friedman's claim the world is not flat enough, conflicting interests abound among G-20 and non-G-20 nations. At the recently held G-20 meeting at Pittsburgh, China and other developing countries got greater say in the IMF while the USA maintained its veto power, but the non-G-20 got nothing. They wanted more resources for development through a new concessional fund, a disproportionate share of the IMF gold sale, a more liberal interpretation of the debt sustainability framework, and funds for climate change devastation. All they got were promises. Still, the very fact that the G-20 was formalised at Pittsburgh was a positive step.

Sports

Tigers tame sorry Zim

Bangladesh trounced a careless Zimbabwe by four wickets in the third one-day international at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday to wrest a 2-1 advantage in the five-match series.

Shakib still not happy

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan was far from being happy though his side coasted to a four-wicket victory in the day-night third one-day international to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series against Zimbabwe yesterday.

Russel down Muktis

A first-half brace from Mohammad Rony powered Sheikh Russel KC to an easy 3-1 win over 10-men Muktijoddha Sangsad in their second match of the Citycell Bangladesh League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Zim can blame themselves

The performance of the touring Zimbabwe side in the first match looked too distant now as a sorry Zimbabwe side once again surrendered to the spin-pronged Bangladesh attack to hand them an easy victory in the third match of the Grameenphone Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

India take lead

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni continued his rich vein of form and Yuvraj Singh returned to his belligerent best as India won the third one-day international against world champions Australia by 6 wickets and take a 2-1 lead in the seven-match series at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi yesterday.

Bangladesh unchanged

Bangladesh retained the same squad for the last two one-day internationals of the five-match Gremeenphone Cup against Zimbabwe.

'KP ready for Proteas'

England team director Andy Flower believes Kevin Pietersen is in the right frame of mind to overpower South Africa in the forthcoming Test series.

Under-19s beaten

After four straight wins, Bangladesh Under-19s suffered their first defeat against their English counterparts in the seven-match one-day series at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

School h'ball starts today

The 18th Bata School Handball Tournament gets underway today at the Dhanmondi Sports Complex with 27 schools participating in boys and girls events, informed the organisers at a press conference yesterday.

Trott refutes allegation

England batsman Jonathan Trott has denied allegations from Michael Vaughan that he partied with South Africa after they won a Test in 2008. In his new autobiography, Time to Declare, Vaughan has accused the Johannesburg-born Trott of celebrating with South Africa's players after England lost at Edgbaston last summer.

'Botha action will remain doubtful'

The trouble with having a charge laid against you is that, whether you're cleared or not and even if you pay your penance, you'll always be regarded with some suspicion. Just ask Jacob Zuma, Chris Brown or even Johan Botha. After being cited for a suspect action for the third time, Botha must feel like a wanted criminal every time he steps out to play.

Dyson enters the race

John Dyson, the former Sri Lanka and West Indies coach, has expressed interest in the New Zealand post recently vacated by Andy Moles. New Zealand Cricket have encountered difficulty filling the head coaching role of late -- Moles' appointment last November came after Matthew Mott, Graham Ford and Mickey Arthur turned down the position -- and the availability of a well-credentialled candidate will be viewed as a positive by Kiwi officials.

James awaits tough tour

England's cricketers are bracing themselves for a stern test when their tour of South Africa begins this month, with fast bowler James Anderson predicting they would find it "much harder than this summer".

ICC demands high scoring matches

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has asked all its member nations to prepare sporting pitches for the one-dayer and Twenty20 internationals probably in the wake of low-scoring matches played in the Champions Trophy and Champions League T20 tournaments recently.

Another blow for Misbah?

After axing him from the national team, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has now barred Misbahul Haq from playing in Bangladesh and instead advised him to concentrate on playing domestic cricket.

Nannu Smriti award

Referees Tayeb Hasan Shamsuddin and Abdul Hannan Miron have been nominated for the Manwar Hossain Nannu Smriti Referee Award for their outstanding performance in last season's Federation Cup, B. League and Super Cup.

School b'ball

Sunnydale and Maple Leaf clinched the girls' and the boys' titles respectively in the under-14 Sunnydale School Basketball Tournament on Friday.

Inter-district football

Jessore Sonali Otit came from behind to crush Bagerhat district eleven 4-1 in the second match of the Inter-District Deputy Commi-ssioner Gold Cup Tournament at Magura Stadium yesterday.

Police football

Narayanganj Police emerged champions of the Dhaka Range Police Football tournament with a lone-goal win over Manikganj police at the Police Line ground in Manikganj yesterday.

Arsenal shatter Spurs

Arsenal swept aside Tottenham on Saturday as two goals from Robin van Persie inspired a 3-0 victory over their north London rivals at the Emirates Stadium.

Venus, Jelena in semis

Defending champion Venus Williams reached the semifinals of the WTA Championships without hitting a ball on Friday as organisers avoided potential embarrassment over the event's scoring system.

C'Ron wants Rooney

Cristiano Ronaldo says he would love to see his former Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney follow him to Real Madrid, and that the England star has all the qualities to be a raging success in Spain.

No spitting please

The Romanian Football League on Saturday called on players not to spit pitchside amid fears of potentially spreading swine flu.

Moyes's silent protest

David Moyes has revealed he chose not to address the media following Everton's Carling Cup loss against Tottenham on Tuesday because he was unhappy about his side's fixture congestion.

Senna back in F1

The Senna family name will return to Formula One next season when Bruno Senna, nephew of the late three-times world champion Ayrton, races with the Campos Meta team.

Schalke to sell stars

Schalke 04 coach Felix Magath admitted Saturday the cash-strapped Royal Blues are looking to sell some of their stars as the Bundesliga side try to reduce their wage bill.

Puyol extends with Barca

Barcelona's longtime captain Carles Puyol on Friday signed a three-year extension to his current contract which will keep him at the Spanish and European champions until June 2013.

Capello defends Doha trip

Fabio Capello insists England's trip to Qatar to face Brazil in a lucrative friendly next month is a worthwhile exercise.

Business

Shipbuilders hope for comeback

Bangladeshi shipbuilders look to better days as Ananda Shipyard and Slipways has recently received signals about a revival of its 'frozen' orders from buyers, the chairman of the company said yesterday.

Bangladesh losing edge in tea exports

Bangladesh continues to lose edge in tea exports because of increasing domestic consumption that takes up around 90 percent of annual production, a reversal of a two-decade trend.

Knitexpo kicks off tomorrow

Knitwear manufacturers are going to host the three-day fifth Knitexpo-09 tomorrow with an aim to get a huge response from buyers.

DSE, investors seek lifting of SEC ban on Arafat trading

The Dhaka Stock Exchange management has requested the market regulator to adjourn a trade suspension order on a brokerage house for 10 days to allow the firm's clients transferring or withdrawing their securities or investment.

US consumer spending dips

US consumer spending, a critical growth driver, fell for the first time in five months in September, official data showed Friday amid fears the economy may slow just after exiting recession.

TIN, VAT registration may go digital

The registration of taxpayer identification number (TIN), value-added tax (VAT) and business identification number (BIN) are expected to go online, as the National Board of Revenue aims to introduce the system by November 30 on a trial basis.

India plans to import rice

India's government plans to import 30,000 tonnes of rice to offset an expected production shortfall following the worst monsoon in nearly four decades, a report said Saturday.

Commodities mostly drop

Commodities mostly fell in volatile trade last week as investors tracked sharp swings in global equities and the US dollar and news that the United States has escaped from recession.

USFDA team in Khulna

A high level team of United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and Maryland University arrived in Khulna yesterday.

C&F agents urge govt to keep Bhomra port under Khulna customs

Clearing and forwarding agents (C&F) yesterday urged the government not to shift Bhomra Land Port to Benapole Customs Commissionerate from Khulna Customs Commissionerate.

Federal regulators close 9 banks

Regulators have shut California National Bank of Los Angeles and eight smaller related banks as the weak economy continues to produce a stream of loan defaults.

New tourism organisation launched

The Bangladesh Monitor, the country's premier travel and tourism fortnightly, launched an organisation, Monitor Foundation, at a ceremony at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka yesterday, said a statement.

Euro falls back against dollar

The euro fell back against the dollar on Friday as optimism over US growth faded, with news that the United States emerged from recession displaced by a more disappointing economic indicator, dealers said.

Asian giants see recovery signs

Upbeat earnings results from a trio of Asian high-tech titans raised hopes Friday that the battered industry is on the mend after a worldwide plunge in demand for electronics due to the global recession.

Credit-card rates up in US

Have you checked the interest rates on your credit cards lately? Odds are they're going way up.

Asian markets get a boost

Asian markets were given a boost Friday after data showed the US had moved out of its worst recession in decades, helping stocks to finish a torrid week on a high.

India in visa clampdown on foreign workers

Thousands of foreign workers in India faced a deadline Saturday to be out of the country in a visa clampdown aimed at cracking down on tax-dodging expats and unskilled labour.

US stocks edge down

US stocks dived Friday as euphoria over stronger-than-expected economic growth evaporated in a flood of concern over the strength of the recovery from recession.

IDLC Finance gets merchant banking head

IDLC Finance Ltd has recently appointed Md Moniruzzaman as head of its merchant banking division, the company said in a statement yesterday.

Obama says economy moving in 'right direction'

US President Barack Obama said Saturday the United States was recovering from deep recession and that "hundreds of thousands of jobs" had been created through massive investments.

BP hit with record US fine for safety violations

British oil giant BP has been hit with a record US fine of 87.4 million dollars for safety violations at a Texas refinery where 15 people were killed in a 2005 explosion, officials said Friday.

Ford to close Canada plant in 2011, shed 1,400 jobs: Union

US automaker Ford Motor Co. will shutter one of its manufacturing plants in Canada in 2011, a move that will cut 1,400 jobs, the Canadian Auto Workers said Friday.

Eurozone jobless rate hits 9.7pc

The Eurozone unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent in September and consumer prices in the 16-nation area fell for a fifth month running in October, the European statistics office Eurostat said on Friday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

October 25th – October 29th, 2009
International Markets:
After hitting 14 month lows the past week, the US dollar recouped some of its losses early in this week. Investors also took profits on a host of growth-linked trades that had been in vogue in recent months.

Metropolitan

Open branch of Shishu Hospital at each divisional HQ: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to open two more branches of Dhaka Shishu Hospital in the capital and one in each divisional headquarters.

Regular salary to stop unrest in RMG sector

Speakers at a BBC Bangladesh Sanglap (dialogue) yesterday said wages of the garment workers should be paid in time to stop the growing unrest in the country's garment sector.

Stop killing of helpless people

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday urged the UN secretary general to ensure optimum use of his office in halting the massacre and maiming of helpless people, especially women and children, in all parts of the globe.

'Protect Mirpur's Red Field'

Speakers at a rally yesterday urged the government to protect Red Field of Mirpur in the city from being occupied by the land grabbers.

Establish teachers' rights for quality education

Speakers at a daylong view exchange meeting here yesterday called on the government to introduce an unbiased education policy and establish rights and honour to teachers for quality education in Bangladesh.

Seminar on memory power concludes

A two-day seminar on 'Memory and concentration power' concluded at National Sports Council auditorium at Purana Paltan in the city yesterday calling upon people to identify invisible doctor inside human body.

Three killed in road accidents

Three people were killed in separate road accidents in Thakurgaon and Bogra yesterday.

'Involvement of MPs with UZ Parishad unconstitutional'

Involvement of parliament members as advisers to the Upazila Parishad is unconstitutional, said experts and Parishad chairmen at a discussion yesterday.

Law to be amended to ban smoking at public places

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government would amend the relevant laws in order to effectively prevent the harmful use of tobacco and smoking at public places.

BNP to launch campaign before its council

The publicity sub-committee of BNP at a meeting yesterday took decisions to launch campaign in the run-up to the national council of the party scheduled to be held on December 8.

Police action on RMG workers condemned

Different political, social and workers' organisations strongly condemned the police action on garment workers at Tongi in Gazipur yesterday and demeaned exemplary punishment to the killers of garment workers.

'Revoke CrPC provisions on executive magistrates'

A human rights organisation yesterday served a legal notice asking the government to revoke or cancel within two weeks the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) empowering executive magistrates to perform judicial functions.

BNP ready to help govt in ensuring welfare of people

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday reiterated that his party would extend the hand of cooperation to the government if it works for the welfare of the people.

National

A same old tale of acid throwing

Dream of an honours student has been shattered as criminals threw acid on her a day before the arrangement of her marriage.

Flag hoisted every morning although shut for 7 years

Chilahati land customs station in Nilphamari district has been lying inoperative for over seven years following closure of Holdibari land customs station by India, much to the sufferings of both Indian and Bangladeshi travellers and businessmen.

11 Rajshahi Bar members resign in protest

Eleven executives of Rajshahi Bar Association yesterday resigned protesting alleged corruption by association's president and general secretary.

Dissolve Gournadi BNP convening committees

Rival factions of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Gournadi upazila and municipal units staged demonstrations at upazila headquarters on Friday demanding dissolution of the newly formed convening committees of the two units.

3 ruling party men, a trader behind Bithar murder

Two senior Awami League leaders, a Jubo League leader and a businessman had a hand in the killing of KCC ward councillor Shahid Iqbal Bithar.

4 villagers abducted in Ramgarh

Four villagers were abducted yesterday allegedly by a group of tribal youths from two separate villages under Ramgarh upazila.

Transfer order of principal sparks protest

Students of Rajshahi Government College enforced a wildcat strike on the campus yesterday demanding cancellation of the transfer order of Principal Dr Ali Reja Muhammad Abdul Mazid.

Appoint hajj guides who know 'local' language

Hajj pilgrims here have demanded appointment of hajj guides who know the local language of the district. They also sent a letter to the religious affairs ministry requesting to replace the appointed guides.

Sad death of 2 principals

The principal of Saidpur Cantonment Public School and College in Nilpahamari district died after falling from a four-storey under-construction building of the institution while the principal of Saidpur Adorsha Girls' School and College committed suicide on Friday.

JSD-Inu splits in Magura

Dogged by internal feud for months, Magura district unit of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Inu) yesterday finally split into two factions.

50 students of Carmichael College food poisoned

At least 50 female students of Rangpur Carmichael College were food poisoned on Friday night.

Man gets life for killing wife, another for rape

A man was jailed for life in Bogra on Tuesday for killing wife while another was convicted in Gaibandha on Thursdayfor violating a teen-age girl.

Tiger kills fisherman

A fisherman was killed by a tiger in the Sundarbans under Sharankhola upazila on Friday night. The deceased was identified as Mozammel Talukder, son of Hatem Ali Talukder of Dakshin Chalitabunia village in Sharankhola upazila. Forest department sources said a tiger attacked Mozammel on Friday evening while he was fishing in Talgachhia canal. Later, his body was recovered from deep forest at midnight.

Youth killed in Noakhali

A young man was killed over theft of green coconut at Uttar Sharif village in Sadar upazila on Thursday night. Victim Yunus, 26, was son of Azizul Huq of the village. Sources said, Jamal, son of Sayedul Huq, along with his accomplices stole some green coconuts from the house of one Niranjan at noon. Village watchman Nabi later informed the matter to the landlord. This angered Jamal most and he along with his aide Zahiruddin Babar swooped on Nabi. Hearing Nabi's cry for help, locals rushed to the spot to save him. But Jamal stabbed Yunus indiscriminately, leaving him critically injured. Yunus was rushed to Noakhali General Hospital where he succumbed to his injury at about 11pm.

Death threat to JP man

Khulna city president of Jatiya Party (Ershad) and ex-lawmaker Abdul Gaffar Biswas allegedly received death threats twice on Wednesday evening from extremists over cell phone. They threatened him as he refused to pay Tk 1,50,000 illegal toll as demanded by the callers. Biswas said, the callers identified themselves as armed cadres of Janajuddho faction of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP). The JP leader filed a general diary (GD) with Khalishpur police station in this connection at 10 pm on the same day seeking security of his life. According to the GD, the callers who gave him death threats demanded the money for medical treatment and bail expenses of their cadres.

Forty shops gutted

At least 40 shops were gutted in a fire at Kalagachhia Bazar under Kendua union of Madaripur Sadar upazila early Thursday. Locals said, the fire originated from an electric short circuit at a cosmetics shop. The damaged shops include cosmetics, jewellery, drug store, digital studio, computer shop, grocery, sweetmeat shop, cloth store and library. Fire fighters and locals brought the fire under control after a struggle of about four hours. The shop owners and police estimated damage of property at Tk one crore.

Injured carpenter dies

A carpenter, injured seriously by an associate at Gobindaganj traffic crossing in Chhatak upazila of Sunamganj district on Tuesday, died at Sylhet Osmani Medical College and Hospital (SOMCH) Friday morning. Victim Abdul Majir, 20, was son of Morom Ali of Radhanagar village. Sources said, Majir and his associate Selim of Nurullahpur village locked in an altercation as the later refused to pay the borrowed money. At one stage, Selim hacked Majir indiscriminately by a sharp weapon, leaving him critically injured.

Letters

Earthquake

Recently we had a 6.0 magnitude earthquake that was not felt severely. Earthquake researchers have predicted a massive earthquake, which may cause devastations, especially in the capital city of Dhaka. According to a study conducted by Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET) in 2003, about 60 percent structures in old Dhaka are non engineered, of those 50 percent are made of flammable materials. We have the Building Code 1993 and building construction rules of 2006. But truly few constructions are being made under those regulations.

Honouring Ravi Shankar

It is our national shame that even after 38 years of independence, we could not honour Pundit Ravi Shankar, who along with the Beatles, brought our cry of freedom to the world at large. We can still honour him while he is alive. If the government doesn't take any initiative, can a citizens' group, sponsored by the media, organise this?

Managing traffic

Time distance in Dhaka town is far more than the real distance. To reach a destination of 15 minutes drive with respect to distance may often require two hours or so. Almost every day some reports and editorials are published in the newspapers about traffic jam. Experts are also giving their views and opinions for mitigation of the traffic jam but with no results. Energy and time both are lost in the traffic jam.

Quality primary education

Primary education is a basic human right. On top of that, to me, this is the most crucial period of life in terms of acquiring education. In this time, whatever a student learns he or she takes it for granted and remembers it forever. Life is very tender and green and can easily be manipulated. On the other hand, they can be developed as the best human beings.

42 MPs never paid it!

How unfortunate. I feel pity for the MPs who did pay, that is! I mean, why did they pay their income tax? Didn't they know that if you are an MP or a minister in our country, the law doesn't apply to you? I request the Treasury to immediately refund all the 303 MPs and apologise for all the inconvenience caused to their families.

Myanmar situation

All of a sudden your paper is totally silent on the Myanmar situation. Why? We are anxious to know what is really going on.

Fascinating innovation

Yesterday (18th.October) early in the morning I chanced to come across a running TV programme about two brothers from a village somewhere in Munshiganj, who had built a Wright brother's type single engine monoplane; all by themselves, which they are sure will fly! The programme held me spellbound; and I watched it till the end!

Domestic workers: the flip side

Many women liberation outfits and NGOs are quite (rightly or wrongly) vocal about the rights of the domestic female workers popularly known as maid servants. These 'right outfits' incite them to serve certain interests and make the domestic workers more hostile towards the employers. However, many incidents of abuse, violence etc have been reported in the print and electronic media. We condemn the incidents and demand impartial enquiry and justice.

More CNG scooters needed

The city dwellers in Metropolitan Dhaka, especially the middle-income group, are facing tremendous trouble while moving from one place to another. Private sedan is out of their reach due to financial limitations. Taxi-cab service is not easily available and also costly for them. When a family wants to join in a marriage ceremony, it needs a low cost vehicle to go to a community centre. When a patient has to be shifted to a hospital, an affordable baby taxi is needed. If a family wants to go to shopping to celebrate a festival, a baby-taxi is required. To appear in a public examination hall, a student needs transport service of a baby taxi. It is the reality in Dhaka metropolis that affordable transport is not easily available. On the other hand, one cannot move to all desired places by available bus service in Dhaka Metropolis. It is very difficult for females to travel by bus owing to limited service and uncivilized behaviour of a section of male passengers. But it is unfortunate that in the past, governments ignored the acute need of city dwellers.

Digital fisheries!

A convener of a upazila Awami Volunteer League in Goforgaon occupied a pond and dubbed it DIGITAL FISHERIES. I bet he really wishes to realise the dream of his party well, in his own inflected way!

Our tigers

This has reference to the news item- Tigers to become extinct in 15 years- filed by Inam Ahmed from Nepal. I doubt Bangladesh Tigers would die down or disappear during the coming 15 years provided the government can control poaching which is the lowest in the subcontinent, can stop killing of stray tigers by the members of the public living close to the Sundarbans and if the sea level does not rise above 10 to 15cm during the coming decades.

Quota for war heroes' children

It has been reported (DS October 18) that the government is taking an initiative to grant 30 per cent quota to the children of our war heroes in the ensuing selection of assistant judges. I would request the government to give a second thought to the idea. A judge must possess a very high level of IQ, profound knowledge and integrity. A war hero's son or daughter may not necessarily have those qualities of head and heart and may not qualify in the selection tests. There is nothing wrong in that. Everybody is not cut for everything. If one does not qualify in the tests for the selection of judges one may try to do something else where s/he might excel. If a wrong candidate who does not have the required intellectual ability, knowledge and integrity is appointed as a judge s/he will be failing to apply her/his judicial mind correctly. People who will be going to such a judge will be deprived of justice. People will suffer in the hands of such an incompetent judge for about 30 years or so till s/he retires. Merit and competence should be the only criteria while selecting candidates for posts like those of judges, and nothing else. It is said that judges dispense justice on His behalf. People who will deliberately select wrong kind of people as judges will surely be held responsible by God on the Great Day of Judgment. That is what we all believers believe in.

New school timing

My daughter's school begins at 8:00am. So, she has to start from home at 7:00am. During the time of her preparation at home, it is almost dark and thus 2-3 bulbs have to be lighted. Before introducing the new timing we did not need to switch on any light. Like us, thousands of people switch on their bulbs before sending their wards to school. I do not understand why schools have been brought under this new timing as schools break up some hours ahead of sunset.

International

Abdullah to pull out of Afghan runoff vote

Afghan presidential challenger Abdullah Abdullah plans to boycott next week's runoff against incumbent Hamid Karzai following a breakdown in talks on how to fix the country's electoral crisis, two people familiar with the discussions said.

No talks without housing freeze

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the Palestinians would not agree to re-launch peace talks with Israel without a complete freeze of Jewish settlements, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said yesterday.

Bush jokes about new life

Former US president George W Bush stepped briefly back into the limelight on Saturday, using a conference speech in New Delhi to defend his record and to crack jokes about his retirement.

Australian oil spill puts animals at risk

A massive oil leak off Australia's northwest coast poses an "immediate risk" to dozens of marine species, with untold numbers possibly dying and sinking to the Timor Sea floor, a report found.

4th typhoon in a month lashes Philippines

The fourth typhoon to whip the Philippines in a month lashed the capital and nearby provinces yesterday, leaving fresh floods and new misery before blowing out of the country. At least seven people were killed and several were missing.

Verizon launches TV-online movie channel

US telecom firm Verizon launched a high-definition movie channel on Friday, letting subscribers watch films on-demand on televisions or on the Internet.

Pirates want $7m ransom for UK couple

The BBC said Friday that Somali pirates called the broadcaster to demand $7 million for the release of a British couple whose yacht was hijacked off the coast of Africa.

Arts & Entertainment

Engrossment with architectural lines and shapes

Mustapha Khalid Palash is a very well known architect in our country. His constructions are noted for their being in 21st century mode, verging on experi-mentalism. His novel approaches towards architecture make him peerless or practically singular in our country. Besides being an architect, he is also an ardent painter. Palash's solo painting exhibition titled “Of Conflict and Harmony” is now on at Gallery of Fine Arts, Asiatic Society, Nimtoli, Ramna, Dhaka.

Dinabandhu Mitra: Emphasising social reform through theatre

Renowned Bengali dramatist Dinabandhu Mitra (1830-1876) was born at Chouberia in Nadia, and was the son of Kalachand Mitra. His given name was Gandharva Narayan.

Call to preserve the roots of a legend

The weeklong Suchitra Sen Film Festival 2009 ended in Pabna last Friday. A discussion was held on Friday evening to mark the conclusion of the event. State Minister for Home Affairs Advocate Shamsul Haq Tuku was the chief guest at the concluding programme. Speakers at the discussion vowed to restore Suchitra Sen's ancestral residence in Pabna town.

Nandan’s musical soiree at Chhayanaut

As part of its regular cultural activities, Nandan held a musical soiree, titled 'Mon-er Majhey Jey Gaan Bajey', at Ramesh Chandra Dutt Memorial Auditorium, Chhayanaut Sanskriti Bhaban on October 30.

Udichi’s anniversary celebration in Dinajpur

Udichi's Dinajpur unit celebrated the organisation's 41st anniversary recently with cultural programmes, discussion and a procession in the town.

OP-ED

Making the invisible visible

BY the time this piece has been published and circulated, the dust, leftovers, decorations and fanfare of Extreme Poverty Eradication Day will have been swept up and discarded. The grand announcements will have been made, oaths pledged, ideas shared and applause long faded. What comes after the microphones are stowed away and flashbulbs have been tamed is what really matters and what the event's theme making the invisible visible is all about. The argument for observing such a day seems rather baffling when one imagines every think tank, intergovernmental organisation and even the Bangladeshi Government is resigned to the fact that chronic and extreme poverty are inevitable, beyond our control or even a God-given curse. Then why, one might ask, spend large sums of money organising a conference in lavish surroundings with international and national dignitaries when such resources can be diverted to help the very people the conference hopes to address? It's rather simple: the extreme poor are seldom recognised by the political elite: government policies seldom, if ever, reach the economic bottom 10 percent of the population, and state safety net programmes fail to mitigate their poverty and often confuse them with the moderate poor. There are a number of other reasons but essentially, high-profile events like this year's Extreme Poverty Eradication Day provide a platform to reach the highest levels of government and advocate for change.

An extreme poverty manifesto

IN 1996 I was carrying out research for my PhD on NGOs and poverty reduction in rural Bangladesh. One evening, after a long day trekking round aimlessly trying to find people to interview, I was sitting on the office veranda of a local NGO that had kindly offered me hospitality. It was a beautiful evening with one of those Bangladeshi sunsets that leave you breathless, even inspired. As usual, a number of people had gathered at the front of the NGO office hoping to be able to speak to the NGO leader or his senior staff. From among the crowd, an elderly woman slowly made her way towards me and asked if I could help her by talking to the NGO leader on her behalf. This was not an unusual request and I had become quite used to telling people that I neither worked for the NGO nor had the gravitas to influence its leaders. This time however the elderly woman ignored my response as she persisted in trying to get my attention. Those next to me on the veranda tried to gently move her away by asking her to join the queue of people at the front of the NGO office where 'she might be attended to'. Again unconvinced, she stubbornly held her ground. There was something admirable about her persistence and I began to chat with her.

Baader-Meinhof to Bin Laden

ON November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes was caught with thirty-six barrels of gunpowder, attempting to blow up the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster, during the State Opening of Parliament. The plot was to assassinate the King of England along with almost the entire British aristocracy. Since then, in adherence to tradition and the true spirit of British democracy, parliament has never been opened on the November 5 (except once), and the Houses of Parliament are ceremoniously searched by the Yeomen of the Guard, as a precaution against traitors and religious zealots. Parliament was subsequently opened on November 9, when His Majesty did not miss the opportunity to wax eloquent on "the divine right of monarchs" to rule, and the infernal "Catholic question".

Catalysis for a new Dhaka

Acity can build itself to death, and that is perhaps the most appropriate description of Dhaka's so-called development.



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