The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, July 23, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 18th of November, 2009

Front Page

Explain 'crossfire' in 48 hours

The High Court issued a suo moto rule yesterday asking the government to explain extra-judicial killings within 48 hours.

$2b project up for tender today

The Ministry of Communications is finally floating tender today for building an elevated expressway of 32.5 kilometres or more in Dhaka on a public private partnership (PPP) basis.

Bangladesh betters its graft grading

Bangladesh this year has been ranked 13th from the bottom, three steps up its position last year, in the annual corruption perception index (CPI) of 2009 released by the Transparency International (TI) yesterday.

BNP summons its 4 Ctg stalwarts

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain summoned four top party leaders of Chittagong unit for making decision regarding city unit council, which was foiled on Monday due to intra-party clash, sources said.

Give top priority to worst victims

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the UN and the advanced developed countries to give priority to the most vulnerable countries (MVC) and least developed countries (LDC) and keep them in a separate group to face the effect of the climate changes caused by global warming.

Govt asked not to pay Niko

The High Court yesterday in a verdict directed the government to refrain from making any payment to Niko, a Canadian oil and gas exploration company in Bangladesh, which probe bodies found responsible for the damage of Tengratila gas field in Chhatak.

JS moves to probe Gatco's ICD contract

A parliamentary committee yesterday formed a three-member body to investigate alleged corruption in awarding Global Agro Trade Co (Gatco) a container-handling contract at Dhaka inland container depot (ICD) during the last BNP-Jamaat rule.

'Shootout' continues

A cadre of Purba Banglar Communist Party (ML-Janajuddah) was killed in a 'shootout' between his cohorts and police at Baniakanda village under sadar upazila here early yesterday.

Hasina asks Malaysia to ensure facilities for expats

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the Malaysian government to ensure maximum facilities for the Bangladeshi expatriates living in the ASEAN country.

AL men asked not to bring out processions

Ruling party lawmakers held a special meeting yesterday to discourage party activists from holding rallies or processions after the final verdict on the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman murder case is announced.

Road thru' Azimpur graveyard illegal: HC

The High Court (HC) yesterday in a verdict declared illegal the construction of a link road through Azimpur graveyard in Dhaka.

UN body defers action on Myanmar claim

Further action by the UN commission concerned on Myanmar's claim on the outer-limits of the continental shelf in the Bay of Bengal has been suspended.

Capital dredging of rivers soon

The government will soon go for capital dredging in the country's major rivers to prevent saline intrusion due to climate change, Water Resources Minister Ramesh Chandra Sen said at a seminar yesterday.

Jalil asked to appear in court Jan 5

A Dhaka court yesterday again asked former Awami League (AL) general secretary Abdul Jalil to appear before it on January 5, 2011 in connection with a tax evasion case.

Now Majid's Kashmiri identity unearthed

After over 11 months of his arrest, Abdul Majid has been identified as an Indian national and a senior leader of Kashmir-based militant organisation Hizbul Mujahedin, a front organisation of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, which works in Kashmir.

DU VC gets another 'threat letter'

Dhaka University (DU) Vice-chancellor (VC) Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique received another death threat at his office yesterday.

Kushtia Poly Instt closed after clash

Kushtia Polytechnic Institute (KPI) closed yesterday after a bomb attack that severely injured joint secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra League, KPI unit.

US, China pledge to fight climate change

US President Barack Obama and China's Hu Jintao yesterday pledged to apply their joint political might to the world's toughest problems, but friction was evident on Tibet, economics and Iran.

Taliban blow up another school

A senior police officer has been injured in a blast in the south-western Pakistani city of Quetta while six others wounded, police said yesterday.

Kabul in lockdown as Karzai takes over tomorrow

Afghan and international authorities have ordered a security lockdown on Kabul to stop Taliban attacks marring tomorrow's inauguration of President Hamid Karzai for another five years in power.

Editorial

Pandemonium at BNP meeting disquieting

The foiling of the council session of the Chittagong city unit of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party amid bedlam in full public glare on Monday is extremely disquieting. No one who believes in democracy wishes to see such pandemonium get the better of an established political party. In the interest of healthy politics in Bangladesh, we expect the BNP to tide over its difficulties and truly emerge as a vibrant and cohesive organization. Its troubles, let us note, should not be a cause for satisfaction on the part of other parties because the pains the BNP is passing through have to do with the bad tradition of nurturing unruly elements and feuds within a party. Such a tendency is to be discerned in varying degrees among other political parties as well. All other parties may, therefore, desist from the temptation of feeling happy at the BNP's discomfiture and indeed hope that such disturbances are defused within the party before long.

Commitment to eradicate hunger still fragile

The world summit on food security held in Rome in the prelude to the high-profile Copenhagen global climate conference has proved to be long on expression of concerns but short on commitments. That is how generally the outcome has been described by the rather discerning western media.

Darkness at dawn

WE as a people are going through a most exciting phase in our collective life. Never have so many been hostage to the whims of so few ensconced in such grand pavilions of power. The powers that be decreed months ago that this country and everything in it would move ahead by an hour, the better to conserve some electricity in the evening.

South Korea and ASEAN

SOUTH Korea has led a regional rebound with China and Singapore as companies, including Hyundai Motor Co. and Samsung Electronics Co., reported a surge in profits driven by overseas sales.

Developments in leather industry

LEATHER is one of the most prospective industries in Bangladesh. It has enough scope for both vertical and horizontal expansion in terms of economic return and social benefits. Leather making is capital-intensive, with labour costs in the region of 10 percent to 15 percent. A tanner has limited opportunities to isolate any high labour cost and shift it to a low-cost area. European and North American tanners and manufactures have introduced computerisation and robotics to reduce the labour input, rationalise selection and production control, and improve effluent quality and discharge volumes.

Sports

What's eating Asif?

Commonwealth gold medallist shooter Asif Hossain Khan is soul-searching after a poor performance in the South Asian Games' preparation that eventually forced him out of the Asian Air Gun Championship squad.

Kalabagan crush BKSP

Kalabagan Krira Chakra maintained their impressive run in the Premier Division Cricket League when they handed a 175-run defeat to BKSP at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

IPL revises terms for overseas players

The IPL has initiated steps to ensure that all cricketers who have been contracted by its franchises are available to play for the entire season from next year, except those with international commitments. This effectively means that these contracted players, and their national boards, will have to put the IPL ahead of their domestic commitments.

Dilshan dictates Day 2

Tillakaratne Dilshan continued his superb form by smashing his fifth century this year as Sri Lanka made a spirited reply in the first Test against India here on Tuesday.

Shevchenko warns of tough battle

Ukraine star Andrei Shevchenko has warned his teammates to be prepared for a tough battle against Greece in Wednesday's World Cup play-off second leg in Donetsk.

Premiership supremo to visit Dhaka

English Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards has agreed to pay a visit to Bangladesh next year after the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president Kazi Salah-uddin met him in Qatar during a friendly football match between England and Brazil.

Young defender ruled out

Defender Al Amin has been ruled out of the national football squad as the young defender suffered a fracture in his right hand during practice at the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan in Savar.

Changes suggested to selectors TOR

The special committee for selectors has recommended a fifteen percent increase from the existing salary and allowances package for the national selectors.

Giants face nervy test

Three years ago France beat Por-tugal in the World Cup semi-final - on Wednesday both could fail to even reach the 2010 finals as they take narrow leads into their play-off second leg clashes.

Bosnia to attack like 'hungry wolves'

Bosnia-Hercegovina coach Miroslav Blazevic pledged on Monday his team would attack Portugal like 'hungry wolves' in a bid to reach their first World Cup finals, after losing 0-1 in the play-off first leg.

'No room for panic'

Coach Guus Hiddink is optimistic Russia will make it to the 2010 World Cup despite play-off rivals Slovenia grabbing an away goal in Saturday's first leg in Moscow.

Scotland sack Burley

George Burley's 22-month reign as Scotland manager came to an end Monday when the Scottish Football Association (SFA) terminated his contract with immediate effect.

Gerrard set for return

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard is on course for a return to action against Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday after recovering from a groin injury.

Benitez's Torres ultimatum

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has insisted he will leave Anfield if striker Fernando Torres is sold without his consent.

Lahm will lead Germany

Bayern Munich defender Philipp Lahm will captain Germany in Wednesday's friendly against the Ivory Coast as the national side look to build for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

C'Ron resumes training

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo resumed training on Monday, several weeks after suffering an ankle injury, and may be fit to play against FC Zurich in the Champions League next week.

Beckham left off MLS all-star team

David Beckham may have led the Los Angeles Galaxy to the MLS championship game but he was left off the league's all-star squad on Monday.

Medvedev to watch playoff

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will visit Slovenia on Wednesday to watch the second leg of the 2010 World Cup play-off match between Slovenia and Russia, Slovenian media reported on Monday.

Real, Barca chase Cesc

Real Madrid and European champions Barcelona will battle to sign Arsenal's Spanish captain Cesc Fabregas at the end of the season, sports daily AS reported Tuesday.

Dave still confident

Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager of cricket, has launched a last-ditch attempt to salvage the Umpire Decision Review System. Richardson has spent much of the week locked in discussions with boards and broadcasters from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand to convince them to carry the cost of a programme designed to assist umpires in the decision-making process.

Button set for McLaren

Jenson Button has agreed terms to join McLaren on a £6m-a-year deal and could sign his formal three-year contract to partner Lewis Hamilton in an all-British line-up within the next few days.

Lee weighs options

Australian paceman Brett Lee said Tuesday he was keen to return to the Test team but was weighing his options after being sidelined for much of the summer by recurrent injuries.

WI stuck a decade behind: Ganga

Daren Ganga, the Trinidad & Tobago captain, has termed West Indian cricket as being stuck a decade behind. Ganga has called for officials in the Caribbean region to professionalise the game in order to lift the side back to a competitive level in global cricket.

SAFF to hold more tourneys

The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) is going to venture into holding more regional competitions rather than being confined to just one tournament.

Thushara's India tour over

Sri Lanka's left-arm seamer Thilan Thushara will return home from the Indian tour with a shoulder injury and will be replaced by Dilhara Fernando, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said on Tuesday.

Div I cricket

Fifties from Nahidul Islam and Sumon Kumar guided Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club to a convincing 75-run win over Orient Sporting Club in the First Division Cricket League at Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Akhter had a secret surgery

Controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has again rubbed Pakistan Cricket Board the wrong way by opting to have liposuction surgery without consulting or informing the authorities.

Business

EBL gives forex loans to Biman

An amount of Tk 40 crore will be saved from the purchase of aircraft for Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the national flag carrier, as it has moved to borrow funds in foreign currencies from a local bank, a monopoly that foreign banks had enjoyed previously.

Dhaka targets rise in investment, trade with Turkey, UAE

Investments in Bangladesh's energy and communications sectors will top the agenda of the upcoming meetings with Turkey and the United Arab Emirates separately.

Footwear exporters see silver lining

Leather footwear exports are expected to turn around in two months as the shocks of recession are easing in parts of the world.

Dhaka stocks finish almost flat as GP depreciates

Dhaka stocks finished nearly flat yesterday, led by price depreciation in Grameenphone shares on the second day of its trade.

Dhaka sets WTO agenda

Bangladesh has fixed recovery from the global recession, duty- and quota-free market access and services sector as agenda for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting in Geneva.

Great Wall to unveil new designs

Great Wall Ceramic Industries Ltd, a local tiles maker, yesterday announced a new high-end product to catch up with rising demand on the local market.

BB chief says exporters will get incentive to enter new markets

Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman said yesterday additional incentives would be offered to exporters to enter new markets with diversified products.

ICT fair kicks off amid high hope

The success of new technology mainly depends on how the youth deals with it and its link to the global village.

DAE fixes N-region maize output target

Enthusiastic farmers have already started sowing maize seeds in the country's northern region where a target of producing 6,65,912 tonnes of the crop from 1,02,448 hectares has been fixed for this winter season.

Taiwan banks eye branches in China

Several Taiwanese banks are planning to open branches in China after the island signed three long-anticipated financial memoranda of understanding with the mainland, a report said Tuesday.

NSU: the Battle of Minds 2009 champion

North South University emerged as the champion of the Battle of Minds 2009, said a statement.

Citi leads first farm loan syndication

Citibank NA has arranged the country's first syndicated agricultural term financing facility worth Tk 1,500 million for Buro Bangladesh, the bank said in a statement yesterday.

US envoy lauds congenial investment climate

US ambassador James F Moriarty has appreciated the country's congenial investment climate under the present government by saying the economy is capable now to attract growing investment from home and abroad.

Russian industry slows

Russian industrial production dropped 11.2 percent in October compared to the level in the same month last year, the state statistics agency said on Tuesday.

Otobi coming of age

An organisation grows like a human.

Priced-out Londoners turn to empty homes

London is one of the most expensive places to live on the planet, but it is also home to tens of thousands of empty properties -- and some people are taking matters into their own hands.

Ficci's new execs

AM Hamim Rahmatullah, managing director and chief executive officer of Singer Bangladesh Ltd, has been elected president of Foreign Investors' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) for the 2009-11 period, said a statement.

Oil loses ground

World oil prices fell slightly on Tuesday after recent gains which were spurred by a weak dollar and hopes of improved energy demand amid a global recovery, analysts said.

India's Reliance looks to oil for growth

Indian energy giant Reliance Industries will launch an "aggressive" oil and gas exploration campaign over the next three years, its chairman Mukesh Ambani told shareholders on Tuesday.

Weak US, EU demand dampen Singapore exports

Weak demand from the United States and Europe sent Singapore's exports falling for the 18th consecutive month in October, the government said Tuesday.

France's Lagarde is top Euro finance minister: FT judges

The financial crisis has propelled French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde to top spot among European finance ministers owing to her dynamic action on regulation, in the view of a Financial Times panel.

British inflation climbs 1.5 pct

British 12-month inflation rose to 1.5 percent in October, accelerating for the first time for eight months in line with market expectations, official data showed on Tuesday.

CORPORATE BRIEFS

NATIONAL TUBES
Unaudited quarterly accounts for the first quarter to September 30 (July-September 2009) show the company has made net profit of Tk 2.32 million with EPS of Tk 1.70 as against Tk 4.02 million and Tk 2.95 (restated) respectively for the same period of the previous year.

Currency

Local Market FX
Local inter-bank FX market was active today. There was adequate supply of dollar in the market. The USD/BDT rate traded at a similar level compared with the previous day.

Metropolitan

Business leaders urge investment-friendly atmosphere

Business leaders yesterday urged the government to ensure investment-friendly atmosphere and proper enforcement of law, and to implement development roadmaps in various sectors quickly.

Security beefed up in Ctg

Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) has taken tight security measures in the port city ahead of the historic verdict on the Bangabandhu Murder Case tomorrow.

'Success depends on change of mindset of bureaucrats'

Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday said the success of the much-awaited Right to Information Act largely depends on the change of mindset of the bureaucrats.

Involvement of women crucial to fight global concerns

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday stressed the need for involving women in all levels of policy and planning of climate change, food security and agriculture issues to fight these global concerns unitedly.

Sex workers demand proper education for children

Sex workers at a view exchange meeting at Mymensingh Press Club yesterday demanded the authorities take immediate steps to ensure that their children receive proper education and have the chance to lead a decent life.

Maintain professionalism

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday called upon the journalists to maintain healthy professionalism by carrying out responsibility in an objective and transparent way.

EWU club support for slum children

Environmental and Social Club of East West University (EWU) donated some education materials to Chetana Bikash Kendra School (CBK) yesterday on the occasion of the 14th founding day of EWU, says a press release.

Law minister to meet CJ of Canada

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed will meet the chief justice of Canada, parliament member, chairman of parliamentary standing committee on law and humanity, says a press release.

225 messengers for 6 lakh BTCL subscribers!

Thousands of subscribers of Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) land phones are not getting their monthly bills in time as the distribution process being hampered for shortage of adequate manpower.

More manpower at missions soon

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said the government will increase manpower in its missions abroad to provide better services to the expatriate Bangladeshis.

'Hand over plots of Purbachal'

Speakers at a press conference yesterday called on the government to take necessary steps to hand over plots of Purbachal New Town Project to the allottees within the shortest possible time.

Hearing on Moeen's petition Nov 25

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed November 25 for hearing on the petition seeking dismissal of the plaint by former state minister for power Iqbal Hasan Mahmood Tuku in a Tk 100 crore defamation case against former army chief General Moeen U Ahmed.

Apollo Hospitals: $100m plan discussed

A high level delegation of Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), an UK-based organisation, has recently visited Apollo Hospitals Dhaka to assess the current situation and future potential of the facility, says a press release.

HC order on interrogation of Salam Pintu stayed

The Supreme Court yesterday stayed for four weeks a High Court order that directed the police to interrogate BNP leader and former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu at jail gate in connection with the Narayanganj Awami League office bomb blast case.

Unified admission test Nov 20

Admission test for all the 38 private medical colleges will be held on November 20.

'Make health guidelines mandatory in brothels'

Speakers at a workshop yesterday called on the government to make mandatory for the both clients and sex workers to use condoms and follow the guidelines enforced by the health department to reduce the infection of HIV, says a press release.

Nesar joins as president's press secretary

Joint Secretary AKM Nesar Uddin Bhuiyan has joined as the press secretary to the president recently, said a Bangabhaban release yesterday.

National

Khagrachhari sees face-off between AL men, officials

A section of leaders and activists of ruling Awami League and its associate organisations have engaged in face-off with government officials and law enforcers in the district.

Sit-in for withdrawal of six students' expulsion

Students of Barisal Veterinary Institute under Patuakhali University of Science and Technology (PSTU) staged a sit-in on the campus yesterday locking the gate of the institute.

Leaders assaulted as Rajshahi bar members clash

Several lawyers including the president and the general secretary of Rajshahi Bar Association were assaulted as two groups of lawyers scuffled during the association's general meeting at the hall room of first Bar Bhaban in the city yesterday noon.

Six get life for forcing girl into prostitution

A Barisal court on Monday sentenced six people to life term imprisonment for forcing a girl into prostitution.

Teenage girl found dead

Police recovered body of a missing teenage girl on Monday evening from a derelict pond near Bastuhara colony at Khalishpur of Khulna city.

Schoolboy murdered

The slaughtered body of a schoolboy was found in a pond of BSCIC industrial estate in the city's West Kaunia area on Monday after five days of his missing. Victim Israt Khan Saikat, 13, was son of Yusuf Ali Khan, managing director of Race Fertiliser Company of Barisal BSCIC. Israt was a student of class VII of Barisal Zila School. The victim's father said, Israt went to his school on Wednesday morning and since then he went missing. Locals found the body floating in the pond on Monday morning and informed police.

ACC charge sheet against two former principals

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) filed charge sheet against two former principals of Barisal BM College and a BCL leader for 'misappropriating fund' of college magazine publication.

50 shanties gutted in Ctg

Over 50 shanties were gutted in a fire at a slum here on Monday night. Sources said, the fire broke out at a shanty at Abdul Latif Road near Shulak Bahar Petrol Pump under Panchlaish police station at around 8:00pm. Originating from a gas oven, the fire spread fast to engulf other thatched houses of three adjoining slums owned by Kalam Shah, Ayub Shah and Ishak Shah. Six fire fighting units from the city's three fire stations rushed to the spot and doused the blaze after two-hour effort. The loss in the fire was estimated at Tk 10 lakh, fire service officials said.

RU authorities blamed for failing to tame Shibir

Leaders and activists of left-leaning political organisations at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday protested activities of Shibir including flexing of muscle at different halls and on the campus.

One jailed for 40 years

A court here on Monday sentenced a young man to 40 years' imprisonment in an arms case. Convict Tipu Biswas alias Rana, 25, is son of Ahmed Ali of Raipur Maspara village in Sujanagar upazila of Pabna district. According to the prosecution, police, on information, raided the house of one Kalugazi at Kamalpur village in Sadar upazila on the night of December 5, 2006 to nab a gang of outlaws. Sensing presence of the law enforcers, the gang opened fire on police. At one stage, police constable Jahangir Hossain caught armed Rana. But, the other outlaws shot Jahangir, leaving him injured critically. Jahangir was rushed to Faridpur Medical College and Hospital where doctors declared him dead. Later, two cases -- one for murder and another under Arms Act -- were filed with Sadar police station.

Youth gets life for rape

Woman and Children Repression Prevention Court yesterday sentenced a youth to life term imprisonment for rape of a disabled girl. According to the prosecution story, convict Sumon,29, son of Azahar Ali of village Barapukuria under Singra upazila raped disabled Mokseda Khatun,16, in a sugacane field on July 2, 2004. Mokseda's mother Salema Khatun filed a case with Singra police station in this connection. Police, investigating the case, submitted a charge sheet to the court. After examining the witnesses and relevant documents, judge SM Zahurul Islam pronounced the verdict.

Rajshahi BNP councils seem uncertain as feud deepens

The councils of BNP Rajshahi city and district units have now become uncertain as intra-party feuds deepened further yesterday.

GBB Power of Bogra big gas bill defaulter

Bogra-based private power generation company GBB Power Ltd has kept unpaid Tk 3.29 crore bills for gas taken from Pashchimanchal Gas Company Limited (PGCL) during May to September this year.

2 outlaws held in Pabna, arms recovered

The law enforcers on Monday arrested two operatives of Janajudhha faction of outlawed Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) in Sadar upazila.

Magura rivals holding separate confce, Sec 144 in Bagerhat

Two factions of Magura BNP are going to hold the conference of Sadar upazila and municipality units separately amid mounting conflict.

Thousands pay tribute to Bhasani at Santosh

The 33rd anniversary of death of veteran political leader Maolana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani was observed here yesterday.

Show cause on 7 professors of Dinajpur Medical College

Dinajpur Medical College authorities yesterday served fresh show cause notices to seven professors of the college for remaining absent from duty for long.

Letters

Forests and bandits

It is now an open secret that poaching of deer has become a day to day business of some goons of the Sundarbans area. Who are they, where do they live, what is their source of protection, everybody in the local area knows it all. Thanks to the reporter and The Daily Star for unfurling the story on the poaching, though partial, yet. (The Daily Star: 04.11.09)

Trade union

The government has rightly decided to introduce trade union in the garment industry to safeguard the interests of garment workers, especially female workers. Starting in the late 70s, the garment industry has now become the major contributor to foreign exchange earning of the country. It is the most important task of the government to maintain a healthy environment in the industry, so that smooth running of the industry is not hampered.

Our transportation system

Bangladesh is a developing country with a huge potential. But, we are still lagging behind in many aspects. We don't have a sound transportation system yet. Most of the roads and highways need to be modernized and a robust expansion programme should be undertaken to expand those facilities to new areas. Proper transportation infrastructure is a pre-requisite for the mobilization of resources throughout the country and to achieve cost effectiveness. Movement of various industrial commodities, agricultural products as industry input, perishable goods etc. from one place to another quickly, will reduce various uncertainties and market imperfections. If a stress free human mobilization can be ensured among various places, it will reduce extra pressure on urbanization which we are observing in the large cities in our country at the moment. This will only be possible if a properly planned, consolidated transportation infrastructure is ensured. It will be possible by gradually developing the roads and highways, expanding and linking them to various economic centres with a modern fragmentation that will provide the speed that is needed to achieve a higher level of productivity and efficiency for various economic activities.

Climate change!

Perhaps talking about biodiversity or wildlife protection and conservation is against the present-day politics and those who speak about it are also on the wrong side of politics. The reason is 'CHANGE' - change in politics, change in time (DST), change in office time, change in the season (winter is approaching), change in wind direction and finally the most important 'CLIMATE CHANGE'. Climate change has earned so much fame that for anything good or bad, the admiration or the criticism - IT IS CLIMATE CHANGE.

Garment workers

The incident that occurred at Nippon Garment Industries Ltd. in Tongi takes us back to the lane of memories. How many times will we passively or reluctantly watch on the TV screen or read the news articles about such horrible incidents? Questions may arise about the desired role of BGMEA regarding the monitoring function of garment industries. It may also seem that either the government is reluctant to tackle such occurrences or its hands are tied. But the victims are always the poorest people who lose their lives. Have we ever thought that these garment workers' hands bring foreign exchange to our national economy?

What are they up to?

On Friday last, in a religious programme of a television channel a madrasa educated Moulana was discussing some religious matters. At one stage, he shifted to the newly formulated education policy and gave a calumnious explanation of secular education. He even professed that the country will face heavenly 'Gazab' if such educational policies are implemented. Other channels also telecast equally motivated views on various topics. Most of such talks are personal/political/debatable views intended to lead or mislead the general people. The authorities, both private and government, may look into the matter.

Death

I think it is known to many that Cryonics is an organization seeking to provide immortality to its investors. The way the fortunate people are seeking to prevent death contravenes principles of Islam. If Cryonics opens an office here, there won't be any dearth of finance as there are many willing and capable people in Bangladesh.

Revenge…

The way we are now grabbing the nature is not a good sign. Having seen the news of grabbing the beach, I felt pity for the people as one day they will suffer for this.

Sinister speed breakers

On the night of the 27 October as we were returning from a family dinner through Gulshan Avenue North, our loaded car suddenly flew in the air and fell heavily and before we got over the jolt it happened again. It gave us such a nasty shock. Fortunately, the axle was not broken but the shock absorbers were damaged.

VIP roads

I have never really understood why there are certain roads in Dhaka that have been designated as "VIP roads". Ministers and other senior government officials supposedly travel by these roads a lot, hence the name. Isn't the concept of having such "VIP" roads in itself rather elitist? I admit, rickshaws do create a lot of chaos on the roads but for a rather significant portion of the country's population, they are the only (affordable) means of transportation for short distances. What, then, is the logic behind banning those vehicles on such roads? If the government and officials that we elect are supposed to ensure that all citizens are treated equally, why are they preventing citizens who can't afford other sources of transportation from travelling on such roads? When the plight of the majority is being ignored, there is something very wrong with the system.

Greed!

We got the delectable information that after winning the Oscar the producer of the film `Slumdog Millionaire' Mr. Danny Boyle arranged a trust fund for the poor children performers and their family to secure their future, a beautiful house to live in outside of the stinking slum, to bear expenses for schooling and provided some other facilities.

On 'Science & Life' page

Congratulations for introducing the Science and Life page from November 3. This will hopefully increase the general awareness and knowledge of many readers; more so for students who will go through the page.

Rickshaw issue

I came across a letter from Mr. Sikander Ahmed in The Daily Star's “To The Editor” Column. His letter was nice reading apart from him being at loggerheads with Mr. Rahat of Malibagh on the rickshaw issue. It appears that he is extremely disappointed at Mr. Rahat for advocating banning of rickshaws in Dhaka main streets. I would like to request Mr. Sikander not to take things personally and try to understand the problem and react accordingly. In an example in one of his earlier letters he had stated that a fasting person would have to walk if there is no rickshaw. Really this cannot be a strong argument. In the old days there were no rickshaw here or elsewhere and not every Muslim had a horse or a camel but that did not stop them from fasting or crossing the desert during the month of fasting. Sure it was tough for them but they adapted and managed. The truth of the matter is that when a facility is not available people learn to adapt. Certainly, we are adapting to spiral price hike, poor law and order situation, intolerable traffic jam, global warming, etc., etc. We can complain about all we want but at the end we have to adapt because things won't change overnight.

Let us forget

Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future----- J.F Kennedy.

Please stop this name game

The Awami League has started the name game again. When they were in power last time, many institutions' names which had been in use for a long, long time, were changed to the names of their liking in the last few months. They are on it again.

Confrontation or cooperation?

Two major political parties are increasingly becoming agitated against each other. The simple issue is whether we want "Mujib's Bangladesh " or 'Zia's Bangladesh" Although many political pundits would not like my simplification of the fact of political culture in Bangladesh, like any other event in history , Mujib fell and Zia rose as the ruler of Bangladesh. Both of them have left enough dedicated soldiers to fight their way for political power and rule over Bangladesh. We are simply following the path of the Mughal Empire's history in undivided India. Both the parties have successfully befooled the people through political propaganda. The media is their best projector and supporter.

International

Iran defiant on nuclear as Obama warns of 'consequences'

Iran vowed to continue enriching uranium despite a wrist slap by the UN nuclear watchdog, as US President Barack Obama warned of "consequences" yesterday if Tehran refused to come clean on its atomic programme.

No firm targets at world food talks

World leaders at a United Nations summit have drawn criticism for not signing on to a declaration aimed at eradicating hunger by the year 2025.

War-torn nations 'most corrupt': TI

War-torn nations remain the world's most corrupt, Transparency International (TI) has said.

Seven rescued after two-month Pacific drift

Seven Papua New Guineans adrift in the Pacific Ocean for more than two months have been rescued but two have since died, the captain of the vessel which picked them up said yesterday.

China joins supercomputer elite

China has become one of a handful of nations to own one of the top five supercomputers in the world.

China landslide kills 23

A landslide in northern China has killed 23 people, all migrant workers at a nearby coal mine or members of their families, state media report.

Schwarzenegger drops in on US troops in Iraq

California Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger dropped in on US troops in Iraq on Monday, thanking them for the sacrifices they and their families are making.

EU against Palestinian state move

The European Union has said proposals by the Palestinians to try to have the UN recognise an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza are "premature".

Outrage in Washington over Obama's Japan bow

News photos of President Barack Obama bowing to Japan's emperor have incensed critics in Washington, who said the US leader should stand tall when representing America overseas.

Australia refugee ship standoff set to end

A weeks-long standoff by Sri Lankan asylum seekers who have refused to leave an Australian customs ship in Indonesia is set to end after the migrants agreed to disembark, an official said Tuesday.

Ulfa blows up petroleum-laden train in Assam

Suspected separatists blew up a fuel-laden train in India's restive northeast, causing a giant inferno that took 12 hours to control, police said yesterday.

Pak Taliban air video blaming Blackwater for civilian killing

Attacks that have continued across Pakistani towns and cities are being blamed on Tehreek e-Taliban, Pakistan's Taliban. However, the group has issued its first video statement denying involvement in targeting civilians and has blamed external forces for at least two recent blasts.

Queen of Jhansi's letter found in British Library

A letter written in Persian by Lakshmibai, Rani of Jhansi, to the then governor-general of the East India Company Lord Dalhousie has been discovered in the British Library.

Kashmiri separatist denies start of talks with govt

Indian Kashmir's top separatist yesterday denied media reports stating he met India's home minister at the weekend to kickstart a peace process in the revolt-hit state.

50 feared dead in Myanmar ferry crash

At least 50 people are feared dead after a packed passenger ferry crashed into an oil barge in an area of Myanmar that was hit by a devastating cyclone last year, local officials said yesterday.

Conjoined Bangladeshi twins separated in Australia

Australian doctors successfully separated joined-at-the-head Bangladeshi twins after more than 24 hours of surgery yesterday, saying the girls were "in great shape" but faced a difficult recovery.

Arts & Entertainment

“We need a South Asian theatre programme” -- Dr. Anuradha Kapur, director of NSD

Director of the National School of Drama (New Delhi) Dr. Anuradha Kapur is in Dhaka to attend the ongoing Ibsen International Seminar and Theatre Festival 2009. Dr. Kapur is travelling with the Indian theatre troupe 'Vivadi'. The group staged Ibsen's "John Gabriel Borkman" (directed by Dr. Kapur) on November 16 at National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

Vivadi Theatre from New Delhi stages “John Gabriel Borkman”

Reputed Indian theatre troupe Vivadi staged Ibsen's penultimate work, "John Gabriel Borkman", at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on November 16. Dr. Anuradha Kapur, Professor of Acting and Direction at the National School of Drama and one of the founder members of Vivadi, directed the play.

A towering personality in the neo-theatre movement

Today is the 73rd birth anniversary of Professor Zia Hyder, a noted figure in the country's theatre world. Professor Zia Hyder was born on November 18,1936 at his ancestral residence in village Doharpara in Pabna. He died on September 2, 2008.

In perfect sync

'Margam'- a recital of classical dance-- was presented of World Dance Alliance-Bangladesh on November 16 at the Chhayanaut Sangskriti Bhaban. The programme was a collaboration by some of the most renowned dancers of the country. Divided into four sections, the show encompassed the dance genres of Odissi, Manipuri, Bharatanatyam and Kathak. Marjana Munmun gave a fine Odissi performance, while Belayet Hossain Khan and Anisul Islam Hero presented Bharatnatyam.

Celebrities champion street children

In a bid to generate awareness on children's rights, for the first time, this year, JAAGO Foundation (a local NGO) will celebrate Universal Children's Day, says a press release. On November 18, friends and supporters of JAAGO Foundation will step into the traffic of Dhaka City and sell flowers, popcorn, toys and other items on behalf of the street children.

Student’s Day celebrated with fanfare

The cultural committee of Khwaja Yunus Ali (R:) Medical College and Hospital(KYAMCH) at Enayetpur in Sirajganj district arranged a week long cultural programme to mark “Student's Day”.

OP-ED

Managing forex reserves and inflation

THE increasing foreign exchange (forex) reserves holdings by Bangladesh Bank (BB) -- as reported on November 12 -- reaching an all time high of $10 billion is certainly a milestone. Earlier, on November 10, BB raised concerns about inflationary pressure and declining exports posing a major challenge to the economy. We believe that unless these reserve pile ups are purposefully managed, inflation will be inescapable as the economy begins its full rally to a recovery.

New national pay scale: Some observations

THE government has finally announced the much-awaited new national pay scale for the public servants considering the need for reasonable pay hike and enhancement of job benefits for them. Of course, a 52% increase, on average, of the basic pay in the seventh national pay scale is certain to maximise satisfaction of the service holders in general. Better late than never. The significance of awarding pay hike to the public employees lies in the fact that job-holders in the middle and fixed income deciles have been badly hit by inflation and depreciation of the national currency.

Reducing traffic congestion

THE Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that her government planned to construct elevated and underground railways, flyovers, orbital waterways and circular roads around the capital to ease traffic congestion and solve the transport problem.


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