The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, November 28, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 4th of November, 2009

Front Page

Politicians, outlaws go hand in hand

A nexus of outlaws and some mainstream political leaders kept alive the decades-old left-leaning extremism, which later turned into absolute terrorism in the southwestern district of Kushtia.

Patron, outlaw held with AK-47

Police arrested the general secretary of a faction of Kushtia town Mahila Awami League who has also been a patron of an underground armed group Gono Mukti Fouz (GMF), in connection with transporting firearms and ammunition including an AK-47 rifle on Monday night.

PM pledges retrial

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government would seek retrial of the case filed for assassinating four national leaders.

Salam used IDP guise to get Huji into politics

Leaders of banned Islamist outfit Harkatul Jihad al Islami wanted to break into mainstream politics through Islamic Democratic Party (IDP) formed last year with Moulana Sheikh Abdus Salam at the helm.

IGP gets 48hrs to save Turag

The High Court yesterday directed the inspector general of police to stop within 48 hours earth filling and encroachment on the Turag river.

Tigers zap Zim to take series

The Bangladesh bowlers caught the Zimbabwe batsmen wanting on a juicy track in the fourth one-dayer to clinch the series in grand style with one match in hand at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Tuku inspects prison security

State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku yesterday inspected the security arrangements of Bangabandhu's killers at Dhaka Central Jail, who were awarded capital punishments by the court.

Hasina wants OIC in climate battle

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought cooperation from the member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) in fighting the adverse impacts of global climate change in Bangladesh.

EU vows to rally round Dhaka

The European Parliament has expressed European Union's strong commitment to help Bangladesh combat climate change impacts, saying it wants stability of lives and livelihoods of people here, not Bangladeshis roaming as climate refugees.

Aug 21 suspects cross-examined

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) brought detained former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar, banned Islamic group Harkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji) founder Moulana Sheikh Abdus Salam and present Huji Chief Mufti Abdul Hannan face to face for cross checking their statements in the August 21 grenade attack case.

Religion, moral edn not ignored

The draft education policy does not ignore religious and moral education as claimed by different sections since it makes strong recommendations on the subjects, said speakers at a roundtable yesterday.

State trashes mutiny claim

The chief state counsel in Bangabandhu murder case yesterday told the Supreme Court the August 15 bloodbath was never a mutiny; rather it was a long-planned massacre.

UN chief plays down hopes

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon played down hopes for the key Copenhagen summit on climate change yesterday, suggesting that detail on an agreement may be lacking.

Patuakhali MP sues 4 editors, 7 journalists

Awami League (AL) lawmaker from Patuakhali-3 Golam Moula Rony yesterday sued editors of four national dailies and their seven journalists for defamation, and claming Tk 100 crore in damages.

Tender-mongers assault NICVD director

Ruling AL party cadres failing to manipulate tenders assaulted the director of National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) yesterday at his Sher-e-Bangla Nagar office in the city.

PM goes to Bhutan Friday

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina will leave Dhaka on Friday for a four-day visit to Bhutan and is expected to hold talks with the top government officials, including the King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

Editorial

A peasant-friendly move

THE ministries of agriculture and industries certainly deserve kudos for slashing prices of non-urea fertiliser by 36 percent on an average. The newly fixed prices are way below the previous levels which themselves carried a 50 percent cutback in prices effected by the AL government barely a week into its first week of power.

Rohingya question acquires new complications

REPORTS of Rohingya refugees making it out of Bangladesh on Bangladeshi passports and finding employment in the Middle East are pretty disconcerting. Matters get worse when it is noted that the frequent troubles these 'Bangladeshis' get into in places like Saudi Arabia are causing a fairly good number of problems for our bona fide workers there.

Shooting down the emaciated poor

THE problem with capitalism being foisted on poor societies is not hard to understand: it demeans the individual. And it makes a mockery of the poverty-stricken through humiliating them at nearly every turn. Reflect, if you will, on the mayhem and murder that ran through Tongi a few days ago. The police felt little qualm in shooting down men whose only fault was in asserting their right to a livelihood.

Turkey looks to the East

BIGGER than France, Turkey is a part of Europe and Asia adjoining oil-rich Iran and sitting astride the Dardanelles, through which the Russian navy's Black Sea fleet passes.

Sports

Wicket not ideal for ODIs

Apart from the coloured clothing it looked almost like a Test match was going on when Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan operated his slow bowlers with two slip fielders and the men at the silly positions during the fourth one-dayer against Zimbabwe at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Frustration at dire show

The match was finished and the presentation ceremony was also completed but still there were a few spectators passing the time in the galleries at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium by watching the cricketers practicing in the ground.

MSC maul Muktijoddha

Title contenders Mohammedan Sporting Club kept up their winning run in the Bangladesh League when they recorded a convincing 4-0 win over Muktijoddha Sangsad in their third match of the league at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Match of many impacts

Zimbabwe's paltry total of 44 in Chittagong means they've featured in three of the five lowest totals in ODIs. A look at some of the other stats highlights from the match.

Aussies fined

The Australian cricket team was yesterday fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the fourth one-day international against India here on Monday.

Do or die for Liverpool

Five-times kings of Europe Liverpool could be facing an early Champions League exit if they fail to put massive injury woes behind them to beat Lyon in France on Wednesday.

Barca look to rebound

Barcelona will look to get the defence of their Champions League title back on track and avenge their shock defeat to Rubin Kazan a fortnight ago.

Ronnie smiling again

Ronaldinho said on Tuesday that he is finally happy again playing for Brazilian compatriot Leonardo at AC Milan.

Milan seal Becks deal

England international David Beckham re-signed on loan with Italian giants AC Milan on Monday as widely expected, the Serie A side announced.

Foreign stars on crime watch

When Marlon King was convicted of sexual assault and actual bodily harm last week, many foreign players in the Premier League would have derided his belief that excess is excused by celebrity status.

Rooney becomes a father

Wayne Rooney became a father for the first time on Monday when his wife Coleen gave birth to a baby boy, a spokesman for the Manchester United and England forward announced.

Lucho out for three weeks

Marseille's Argentine playmaker Lucho Gonzalez will be out for at least three weeks after spraining his ankle in the 1-1 draw against Toulouse on Saturday, his club announced on Monday.

Clichy suffers back injury

Arsenal defender Gael Clichy will be sidelined for several weeks after suffering a back injury, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger revealed on Tuesday.

Haas contracts swine flu

German tennis player Tommy Haas has gone down with swine flu, Bild newspaper reported on Tuesday on its website.

Cruyff to coach Catalonia side

Former Holland and Barcelona star Johan Cruyff is to take over as coach of the Catalonia regional team in Spain, the Catalonia Football Federation said Monday.

Dhoni blames batters

India's powerful batting line-up has often had to compensate for errant bowling and slack fielding in the past but the tables were turned in Mohali on Monday. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni praised his bowlers for restricting Australia to 250; he said the fielding effort was India's best in the last one-and-a-half years; but he criticised the batsmen for a lack of partnerships which ultimately led to a 24-run defeat in the fourth ODI in Mohali.

Indo-Pak talks in 2010

India's cricket board will resume talks with Pakistan next year, a top official told AFP here on Monday, rekindling hopes of a revival of ties between the neighbours.

Pakistan pile up big total

Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Khalid Latif hit half-centuries to help Pakistan reach 287-9 in the day-night first one-day international against New Zealand at Abu Dhabi Stadium here on Tuesday.

Full-strength Windies make Aussies happy

Australian cricket was relieved to learn a full-strength West Indies touring squad would be heading here later this month, Cricket Australia said on Tuesday.

School h'ball

The semifinal lineups of both boy's and girl's groups in the 18th Bata School Handball tournament completed after the last day's group matches held at Dhanmondi Sports Complex ground yesterday.

It gets worse for Australia

Injury-plagued Australia suffered yet another blow on Tuesday when fast bowler Peter Siddle was ruled out of the rest of the one-day series in India because of a side strain.

'No regional meet before World T20'

Ernest Hilaire, the newly elected chief executive of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), has said it won't be possible to conduct a regional Twenty20 tournament to give the West Indies players sufficient practice before the ICC World Twenty20 in April-May, in the Caribbean.

Inter-district football

Rajbari defeated Narail 2-0 in tiebreaker in the Inter-District Deputy Commissioner Gold Cup at the Magura Stadium yesterday.

U-19 football

Bangladesh suffered another defeat in the AFC U-19 Qualifiers when they were beaten 1-0 by Vietnam in the second match at Royal Thai Army Stadium in Thailand.

Business

Remittance growth beats bleak forecast

Remittance growth stood at 21.23 percent in the first four months of the current fiscal year, despite bleak forecasts by the World Bank.

Frozen food exports to Russia resume

Frozen foods export to Russia has resumed recently as the country gave a go-ahead to four local processors for shipping shrimp to its territory, industry insiders said.

RMG subsidies not viable

Giving continuous subsidies to the export-oriented garment sector will not be viable for the country as much of such benefits goes to the buyers' end, said Mashiur Rahman, adviser to the prime minister on economic affairs, yesterday.

Bank spread still high

No signs of a reduction appeared in the bank interest spread between lending and deposit rates despite downward adjustments twice in deposit rates this year, Bangladesh Bank (BB) data reveals.

IDCOL to offer Tk 300cr in power funds

The Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) will provide Tk 300 crore in financing to install rental power projects to add 530MW electricity to the national grid.

Independent regulator can safeguard financial market

Transparent and independent regulatory oversight can safeguard a capital market from any debacle, the US ambassador in Bangladesh has said, referring to his country's financial market collapse last year.

Over 50 Japanese investors in town

Some 50 Japanese investors are now in Dhaka, some of them on invitation of BKMEA and BGMEA, now holding annual international trade fairs.

Europe rises from crisis, but now races against time

Europe is pulling clear of recession but now faces a long fight to unplug itself from government funded life support as it struggles with extra debt, a strong euro and an ageing population, analysts say.

Drug makers fail to maintain WHO guideline: Unicef

Most pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh fail to maintain the Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) set by WHO, according to a Unicef audit report.

Benapole port back to normalcy

Export-import trade through Benapole land port resumed in the afternoon yesterday after it remained suspended for a day.

IMF sells 200 tonnes of gold to India

The International Monetary Fund kicked off the sale of more than 400 tonnes of gold with a wallop, saying Monday it sold almost half to India, the world's biggest gold consumer, at near-record prices.

Italy, the rice basket of Europe

Italians do not live by pasta alone, as rice growers in the northern Po Valley are quick to remind visitors, tempting them with platters of risotto milanese.

BMW reports profit plunge

The German luxury car maker BMW on Tuesday posted a 73.8-percent drop in third quarter net profit after being slammed by a collapse in the market for high-end vehicles.

Asian stocks fall

Asian markets fell for a second straight day on Tuesday as dealers further sold off stocks on worries over the global economy, despite data pointing to a pick-up in manufacturing in the US.

Gulf banks can't finance huge projects alone

Gulf and Arab banks are unable to finance huge projects in the oil-rich Gulf region and fill a credit gap created by the withdrawal of foreign banks amid the global financial crisis, bankers said on Monday.

Oil slips

World oil prices retreated Tuesday on profit-taking, after recent gains that were underpinned by positive manufacturing data in China and the United States, analysts said.

Obama warns of more US jobs losses ahead

President Barack Obama said Monday that the US economy will continue to lose jobs in coming months despite exiting a recession, striking a cautious tone on unemployment.

Australia raises rates for second month in a row

Australia's central bank hiked interest rates by 25 basis points for a second successive month on Tuesday, saying the improving economic outlook and expected growth in Asia justified the move.

India's Supreme Court judges declare assets

India's Supreme Court judges have voluntarily disclosed their assets, their website showed Tuesday, in a bid to promote transparency and boost confidence in the judicial system.

UBS piles up losses, clients withdraw assets

Swiss banking giant UBS on Tuesday plunged into further losses during the third quarter as clients spooked by tax scrutiny withdrew billions of dollars of funds and assets from the bank.

StanChart CMO due today

James Galloway, the chief marketing officer for Standard Chartered Group, is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka today for a two-day official visit, says a statement yesterday.

Euro, pound slide

The euro and the pound fell sharply against the dollar on Tuesday as European stock markets tumbled and Britain unveiled a major shake-up of the banking industry, analysts said.

Metropolitan

Bill seeks to stop gas plundering

A bill was placed in the parliament yesterday with a view to enacting a law to impose control on transmission, distribution, supply, storage and unauthorised use of gas.

Dhaka Mass Transit Authority to be formed

The government is set to form Dhaka Mass Transit Authority (DMTA) abolishing the existing Dhaka Transport Coordination Board (DTCB) to look after the city's transport system, said Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain at a seminar yesterday.

JS to be made centre of welfare activities

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told a British delegation comprising lawmakers that her government is deeply committed to making the Jatiya Sangsad a centre of all public-welfare activities.

Zillur seeks int'l support to alleviate poverty

President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged the international communities to extend more support and assistance to Bangladesh for fully freeing the country from the curse of poverty and illiteracy.

PDB offers to launch research collaboration with Buet

The Power Development Board (PDB) has offered to embark on research collaboration with Buet to develop cost-effective power technology and prepare the next generation of technical manpower required in the power sector, which is set to expand rapidly in the next five years.

UK to continue help Bangladesh fight poverty, climate change

The visiting International Development Committee (IDC) delegation yesterday said the United Kingdom (UK) wants to continue its support towards Bangladesh in eradicating poverty and fighting climate change.

5th Bangladesh Astro-Olympiad next year

Bangladesh Astronomical Association (BAA) is going to organise the 5th Bangladesh Astro-Olympiad from February 9 to March 20 in 2010.

'Try war criminals within shortest possible time'

Speakers at a discussion yesterday demanded beginning the trial of the war criminals within the shortest possible time and appointing investigation agencies by December 16.

One killed in AL-Jamaat clash in Gaibandha

An Islami Chhatra Shibir activist was killed and 27 people were injured in a clash between supporters of Awami League and Jamaat-e-Islami at Bagurapara village of Gobindaganj upazila on Monday.

Telemedicine services for diabetics launched

Diabetic patients of Bangladesh will now be able to get their telemedicine services through their mobile phones with bluetooth or wireless technology.

Govt conspiring against BNP council: Delwar

The government is conspiring to prevent BNP from holding its national council on time, BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain alleged yesterday.

Protect integrity of Kishoreganj district

Jatiya Party (JP) lawmaker Mujibul Haque Chunnu yesterday called on the government to take a step immediately to protect integrity of Kishoreganj district and calm down the agitating locals who waged different movements against split of the district into two.

Tiger kills two in Sundarbans

Tigers killed two fishermen in the last three days while they were fishing in canals near the Sundarbans.

3 land grabbers, including Rab man, arrested in Gazipur

Local people detained three people, including a member of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), yesterday when they went to grab a land in Moriali area under Gazipur municipality.

25 tolas gold, Tk 70000 looted in city

A gang of robbers looted 25 tolas of gold ornaments, Tk 70,000 in cash and five cellphone sets from a house in the city's Uttara yesterday.

Call to ensure rights of female workers

Karmojibi Nari yesterday demanded the government introduce healthy trade unionism to ensure equal rights for female workers as well as to stop sexual harassment in workplace.

BISIC chair, secy asked to appear before court Nov 14

The High Court yesterday directed the chairman and secretary of Bangladesh Institute of Small Industry and Cottage (BISIC) to appear before this court on November 14 in connection with a contempt of court charge against them.

Nestlé launches safe drinking water facilities at Gazipur school

In line with Nestlé Worldwide initiative of Creating Shared Value, Nestlé Bangladesh Limited has invested in drilling and constructing water tanks at Mawna Multilateral High School at Sreepur in Gazipur to ensure safe drinking water for the schoolchildren, says a press release.

Norway to help offset climate change impacts

Norwegian Ambassador to Bangladesh Arne Haug called on State Minister for Environment and Forests Dr Hasan Mahmud at his office yesterday.

Lottery for Purbachal, Uttara plots today

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) will hold the formal draw of lotteries of Purbachal New Town Project and Uttara Model Town Project at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the city today.

Babar will not be tortured

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam yesterday assured the High Court that former state minister for home affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar will not be tortured during interrogation on remand in August 21 grenade attack case.

National

Poachers feast on deer without fear in the Sundarbans

Poaching of deer is going on unabated in the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest, largely because of government inaction.

Talks fail as ruling party men stick to their demand

The meeting between the administration and local leaders of the ruling party, arranged to settle Monday's unwanted incident between the staff of Ramgarh upazila complex office and local Jubo League men, has ended without any result.

3 sued on charge of instigating principal Touhafa's suicide

Husband of deceased principal of Saidpur Adorsha Girls' School and College Touhafa Begum filed a case with Saidpur Police Station on Monday night accusing three persons for instigating her suicide.

Orientation on preventing post-delivery haemorrhage

EngenderHealth, a leading international NGO working in Bangladesh since 1974 on reproductive health and family planning, organised an orientation and planning meeting on community-based misoprostol use to prevent post-partum haemorrhage, serious bleeding after delivery, in Zila Parishad Hall Room here on Monday.

Internal feud in ruling party forum brightens DAB prospect in Ctg

Internal rivalry between two groups of ruling party backed Swadhinata Chikitsak Parishad (Swachip) may dim the prospect of their candidates in tomorrow's election of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) in Chittagong.

Gayle chosen unanimously

Chairman of selectors Clyde Butts has said that Chris Gayle was the unanimous choice to captain the side to Australia despite being part of the long-drawn contractual dispute between the West Indies' leading players and the region's board.

Top Magura BNP leaders summoned to Dhaka

Top ranking leaders of BNP Magura district and upazila units have been summoned to Dhaka amid mounting intra-party feud in the district unit.

5 'molom party' men held in Faridpur

Police yesterday arrested five criminals known as molom party men in C&B ghat area of Faridpur town while a gang made four of a family unconscious by mixing poison in their food and looted gold ornaments and other valuables from their house in Santhia upazila of Pabna district on Sunday night.

High quality malta from Sylhet in the offing

Cultivation of a high quality malta has opened up a new avenue for the growers in Sylhet as the region is suitable for producing citrus fruits.

Cops sued on bribery charge in Barisal

A bribery case was filed with Jhalakathi police station on Monday night against Habibur Rahaman, former officer in- charge (OC) of the police station and sub-inspector Fakrul Alam for allegedly forcing one person to bribe implicating him in a fake robbery case.

16 jailed in Gopalganj for bank robbery

A court here on Monday sentenced 16 people to five years rigorous imprisonment in a bank robbery case.

28 shanties gutted in Ctg, six shops in Comilla

Fire gutted 28 shanties in Chittagong and six shops at Comilla yesterday.

1 killed as villagers clash

A young man was killed and at least 23 people, including women, were injured in a clash between two groups of villagers at Katabari in Gobindaganj upazila Monday night. The dead was Muraduzzaman, an honours student of Bogra Azizul Haque College. Police and witnesses said the clash broke out at about 8pm between the supporters of Murad and Nannu following a dispute over occupying a local pond. The feuding groups, equipped with sharp weapons and sticks, attacked each other, leaving 24 people, including Murad, injured. Murad was rushed to Rangpur Medical College and Hosptial where he died at about 10pm.

One arrested with arms

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a gunrunner while he was trying to sell a pistol at Mollahpara village under Gurudaspur upazila on Monday night. The arrestee was identified as Abdul Matin,30, son of Raja Miah of village Dattapara in Sadar upazila. Police said, on a secret information a team of Rab-5 raided Mollahpara village and caught red-handed Matin with the pistol and a bullet. Later, Rab handed him over to Gurudaspur police station at midnight. A case was filed with Gurudaspur police in this connection.

Butcher held in Keraniganj

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel arrested a butcher and recovered a dead cow from his house at Dharmashur under Keraniganj model police station yesterday morning. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Rab-10 raided Ruhitpur bazar area at about 8am and caught the butcher, Javed, 35, red-handed with the dead cow. Javed was taken into Rab custody for interrogation. Sources said, Javed has long been engaged in selling meat of dead cow at his shop.

'Thief' beaten to death

An alleged thief was beaten to death at Dakshin Amgram village in Rajoir upazila early Monday. The dead was identified as Subodh Chandra, 30, a resident of the village. Villagers said, Subodh entered the house of one Bharat Chandra at dead of night to steal valuables from the house when all the inmates were asleep. But, sensing his presence, Bharat started screaming. Villagers rushed to his house and beat Subodh to death. On information, police recovered the body and sent it to hospital morgue for autopsy.

Fake fertiliser seized

A mobile court on Monday seized 70 bags of adulterated fertiliser from Santhia market area and fined two shop owners Tk 2 lakh each. Additional district magistrate (ADM), Pabna, led the mobile court assisted by Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-12). Sources said, the team raided Santhia market in the afternoon and seized 30 bags of spurious urea from Akbar Ali's shop and 40 bags from Md Mokter Hossain's shop. The fake fertiliser was later destroyed.

45 hurt in Sunamganj clash

At least 45 people were injured in a clash between two groups of residents at Moksudpur village in Derai upazila of Sunamganj district Monday. Witnesses said, the clash erupted between the supporters of Bajestar Mia and Ajud Mia at 12 noon over theft of a boat. The groups attacked each other with sharp weapons, leaving 45 people injured. Seven of the injured -- Kamaluddin, 35, Billal, 30, Jahanara Begum,35, Wadud Member, 38, Anju Mia, Jeved, 28, and Qumruj, 32, -- were admitted to Sylhet Osmani Medical College and Hospital in a critical condition.

Letters

Women and health

We should recognise that there has been work done to promote health education throughout the community based on the saying 'prevention is better than cure'. This relates to education and more facilities being available in communities for women to discuss their health issues and take steps to safeguard their health. However, much more needs to be done to reach the whole community.

Democracy and poverty alleviation?

Most dailies, on 18 October headlined on the front page the report which correlated democracy as the means to ease poverty. The other part was on curtailing and eliminating graft to contain poverty. However, this reader could not correlate the relationship between democracy and poverty alleviation! The correlation seemed to be theoretically weak, and rather elusive!

Introduce shuttle trains

The Dhaka traffic problem continues to be menacing and is going to be worse with time. Here is something that the government may consider as a cheap alternative until an effective solution like metro, monorail, circular train is developed.

Good suggestions

Here are my comments on Professor Zeba Seraj's article on the recent Education Policy published in the Op-Ed page of your daily on Saturday, the 17th October. Some of the ideas enumerated there are excellent. If our past experience serves as a guide, the implementing machinery falls far short of our expectations. For instance, we know that textbooks published by the Text Book Board are below standard containing unattractive pictures and sometimes disproportionate ones which create wrong impressions among young minds. For instance, a Nature's Study book prescribed for 5th grade shows a tiny moss larger in size than a large fern plant. I brought this discrepancy to the attention of the Chairman Text Book Board but without any effect. He promised to look into the matter but could not do anything because of the environment that prevails in such an organisation. UNESCO, ISESCO can help in the printing of quality books with nice illustrations but such a noble move will be resisted tooth and nail by the interested parties who control the textbooks market.

Rawalpindi attack - what next?

We thank Mr. M.Emad for this thoughtful and thought provoking letter with the above heading on 19t October. I would like to add to that subject as to the nature, interference of Pakistan army of the past and present.

Regional development

The media has taken a few remarkable steps to popularise some national demand like a. Nadi Bachao, Desh Bachao b. Swine flu public awareness and c. the Prothom Alo introduced a self correction slogan " Badle Jao, Badle Dao" ( of course this could not make any headway because the "heads' did not pay any heed to it).

Retirement age

The government has recently extended the retirement age of the freedom fighters in government service by two years--a move through which a section of the employees has been given a preferential treatment over others.

Rickshaws, again

My old friend, Mr Rahat of Malibagh has once again vented his spleen against rickshaws in Dhaka and against the suggestion of Prof Rabbani of DU for a trial period of a few weeks, to garage one's cars and travel around Dhaka in rickshaws. Heavens forbid, (according to him) how could any sensible person make such a horrid suggestion in these modern times when one's ego cannot do without one's luxury cars even for the shortest of errands?

A beautiful country

Bangladesh changes its appearance every season and having six seasons is a rare thing. These are all gifts from the Almighty to Bangladesh. Although its size is small and the population is huge still these problems can be solved.

MPs

You use the word 'lawmaker' for an MP (Member of Parliament), and most of the Bangla print and electronic media use the Bangla word 'Saangsad' for an MP. The use of the word 'lawmaker' for an MP is not correct because it seems many MPs do not know what it means to be a parliamentarian. This is true not only in case of Bangladesh but also about many other parliaments across the world.

Zero carbon emission house!

A new building has come up among the Florida State University's usual brick built campus buildings. It is an eco-friendly revolutionary building which runs on solar and hydrogen power only, and with zero carbon emission! This futuristic building has no electric connection from the local electric supply grid. It is a breakthrough solution to the climate change problems; combining traditional technology with unique solar-hydrogen experimental, heat and power source.

Foreign tours

The Honourable Prime Minister has recently directed all concerned to limit the tour of bureaucrats to foreign countries which, in my view, is a timely move. But the question arises when we see the bulging list of entourage of our ministers, including the prime minister, while they go abroad. I personally witnessed on several occasions the foreigners being surprised seeing luxurious foreign tours by our political leaders.

Leaders' language

We expect our leaders to speak in Bangla. Problem is many of them cannot speak proper Bangla; so they try to mix English to hide their shortcomings. This complicates the situation further as their English is not good either. A few days ago I heard one of them using the word "motibeshito', the self-banglafication of the word "motivation". God help Bangla, English and Bangladesh!

DST

I am not going into details. Through you, I request the AL govt to conduct a survey amongst school going children who make most honest remarks without any favour or fear about the government decision to go ahead with DST in this month of October. Please also include in the survey the guardians. Actually you do not need to conduct a survey. A pro-people government goes by the people's opinion. In this era, everybody knows when the sun rises and sets with the accuracy of seconds but probably not our ministers and bureaucrats. I am not elaborating. Have they got their own children to take to school and that too by bus or rickshaw just after Fazr prayers?

Imitating others

We are a developing nation, Bangladesh. We are developing very slowly but inevitably, undoubtedly. In our sluggish journey as we are following and copying developed countries like all backward countries do, sometimes adopt awkward activities which were proved wrong later but couldn't be retrieved because there was no other way left. Ah, we are such an imitator, copying straightway what the leaders have done, no matter whether those are appropriate for us or not.

What about the pledges?

In any election the Awami League itself is enough to win and it is also enough for its defeat. The AL thinks they win alone but when they are defeated, all the progressive people are also defeated. When the caretaker government was in power, AL leaders were divided into reformists and non-reformists. Some illegal money earners took shelter in the reformist camp to save their name and fame.

International

Pressure builds on Iran to accept nuclear deal

World powers turned up the heat on Iran to accept a UN-brokered nuclear deal, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying Tehran was at a "pivotal moment" to show it did not want to be isolated.

N Korea raises threat to get US into direct talks

North Korea said yesterday that it has completed reprocessing thousands of spent nuclear fuel rods to extract plutonium to bolster its atomic stockpile, raising the stakes in an apparent effort to get the US into direct negotiations.

China ramps up anti-terror fight in Muslim region

Police in China's far west have launched a crackdown on terrorism and stepped up a hunt for suspects who took part in deadly ethnic riots there four months ago, the regional public security ministry said yesterday.

US envoys hold talks with Myanmar junta

Two top US envoys began talks with Myanmar's ruling generals yesterday and were set to meet democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as they made the highest level visit to the military-ruled nation in 14 years.

Karzai vows to wipe out corruption, forge unity

Afghan President Hamid Karzai vowed yesterday that his new government would eradicate corruption and offered an olive branch to Taliban insurgents, launching his programme for another five years in office.

Nepal puts army on alert for Maoist protests

Nepal's army and police have been placed on high alert, a government minister said yesterday, after the opposition Maoist party announced plans to blockade the capital and shut down the main airport.

Diplomatic blunders behind Afghan chaos

The 10 weeks of chaos that dogged Afghanistan's tumultuous election were accompanied by a string of diplomatic blunders that ended with the scrapping of a run-off imposed on President Hamid Karzai.

Pak army storms Taliban stronghold: 16 killed

Pakistan said yesterday troops had stormed into another important Taliban stronghold, killing 16 militants and seeking to expand their control in a blistering air and ground offensive.

Pak train collision kills 16

A passenger train smashed into a cargo train on the outskirts of Pakistan's financial capital Karachi yesterday, killing up to 16 people including women and children, authorities said.

Palestinians downbeat despite US backtracking

The Palestinians remained pessimistic about the likelihood of relaunching peace talks with Israel despite US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's attempt to clarify earlier remarks about settlements.

Ethiopian desert rift likely the beginning of new sea

Scientists from several countries have confirmed that the volcanic processes at work beneath the Ethiopian rift are nearly identical to those at the bottom of the world's oceans, and the rift is indeed likely the beginning of a new sea.

Fiji expels NZ, Australian envoys

Fiji's military leader Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday ordered the Australian and New Zealand envoys to leave within 24 hours over alleged interference in Fiji's judiciary.

Pakistan has 'concrete' proof of India's role in Waziristan

Notwithstanding US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's clarifications that there was not sufficient evidence to prove India's involvement in terror activities inside Pakistan's territory, Pakistan Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira has said that Islamabad has found 'concrete evidence' regarding New Delhi's role in fanning insurgency in South Waziristan, where the military is engaged in an intense battle with the Taliban.

Aid workers voice worry over Pakistanis at war zone

Rising numbers of civilians are pouring out of Pakistan's war zone to flee battles between soldiers and Taliban militants but the fate of those left behind is uncertain, humanitarian workers say.

Indian SC judges declare assets

India's Supreme Court judges have voluntarily disclosed their assets, their website showed yesterday, in a bid to promote transparency and boost confidence in the judicial system.

Indian army chief warns of 26/11-type attacks

Army chief Deepak Kapoor on yesterday warned that 26/11-type Mumbai terror attacks were a possibility and that India has to take all steps to counter such strikes.

Pak court acquits woman accused of plotting attack on Musharraf

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has dismissed all charges levelled against a woman allegedly involved in the twin suicide attacks on the convoy of former President General Pervez Musharraf in 2003.

Wild bear kills 2 Hizbul militants in Kashmir

A wild bear mauled to death two militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit in a south Kashmir forest Monday, officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

Hues of darkness and light

November 1 marked the 34th death anniversary of renowned Bangladeshi painter Mubinul Azim. Azim is considered a pioneer in the Bangladeshi art scene. He and his contemporaries made a great contribution in the sphere of experimental paintings. Some of them combined local motifs and various western forms.

Discussion on Shamsur Rahman at Bangla Academy

Bangla Academy held a discussion on the late poet Shamsur Rahman at the academy's seminar hall, in observance of the poet's 80th birth anniversary on November 2.

Udichi’s anniversary celebration across the country

Marking the 41st founding anniversary of Udichi, Mymensingh unit of Udichi Shilpi Goshthi organised a programme at the premises of City Collegiate School in the district town recently. The programme included a colourful rally, discussion and performances.

Bangladeshi children’s theatre impresses Chinese delegates

To get a first hand view of the children's theatre movement in Bangladesh, a five-member Chinese theatre team visited the country recently.

OP-ED

Quality of education

THE education level of a country is the primary determinant of its economic welfare (UNDP, 2007). The lack of high quality education perpetuates poverty (Perry et al, 2006; Hanushek and Woessmann, 2007).

Political "climate" must change to achieve a climate treaty

YES, the international negotiating climate must change dramatically if the Copenhagen Summit, which is just five weeks away, has to achieve a comprehensive climate change treaty. Time is running out fast and still there are a large number of substantive issues, which must be agreed upon. In order to the break the current deadlock, the industrialised countries, which are primarily responsible for the global warming process, have to demonstrate that they are committed to establishing a fair and legally binding international instrument to halt and reverse the climate-changing trends.

The awful plight of RMG workers

100 percent cotton slim fit T-shirts with "Made in Bangladesh tag."



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