The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, September 18, 2014


News of: Sunday, 22nd of November, 2009

Front Page

War heroes honoured

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said a process is underway to declare all the national award-winning and war-wounded freedom fighters as the Very Important Persons (VIPs).

Trial starts Nov 24

The trial of BDR soldiers held in connection with the February 25-26 mutiny at the force's headquarters and other battalions across the country is starting Tuesday with the trial of alleged rebellions of Rangamati sector.

Default loans creep up again

Default loans in the first nine months of this year have increased by 4 percent or Tk 928 crore and stood at Tk 23,904 crore, thanks to sluggish business and global economic recession.

Biggest exams begin

About 1.83 million class V students took part in the newly introduced public examinations across the country yesterday with great enthusiasm.

Signal system now to control traffic

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police authorities are going to swing to traffic light signals phasing out the manual controlling system from today to ease traffic congestion in the capital.

Govt to try all major killings

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday pledged to ensure trial of all the major incidents of killing, including Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) mutiny.

Graft-ridden Wasa sees union change its colour

Ruling party backed trade unions within Dhaka's Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) have over the last two decades been at the centre of a network of corruption involving crores of taka being siphoned off from the organisation every year by its revenue inspectors, commonly known as 'meter readers'.

14 JMB men arrested

Police yesterday arrested 14 members of banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from a house near the district truck terminal in Jhenidah.

Return to JS

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Khaleda Zia yesterday exchanged pleasantries after over two months at a reception organised at Dhaka Cantonment on the occasion of Armed Forces Day.

Bishwa Ijtema Jan 22

Bishwa Ijtema, the second largest congregation of the Muslim Ummah after hajj, will begin from January 22 on the bank of the Turag River in Tongi.

22pc deaths caused by environmental pollution

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said referring to a World Bank study that environment pollution is responsible for 22 percent of all deaths from diseases in Bangladesh.

Dacoit leader killed in 'gunfight'

A leader of inter-district dacoit gang was shot dead in a gunfight with police at Salabhara bus stand under Kaliganj upazila, Jhenidah early yesterday.

2 journos sued for extortion

An extortion case has been filed against The Daily Star Netrakona correspondent Jahangir Alam and Jai Jai Din correspondent Mizanur Rahman Nannu.

10 injured as train rams auto-rickshaw

Ten people were injured as a local train hit an auto-rickshaw at Dhukurjhari level crossing in Birol upazila yesterday.

Mob kills 1 after death of farmer

An angry mob killed a man and critically injured two others suspecting them to be the murderers hours after a farmer was strangulated to death at his house at Aliganj in the district yesterday.

Taliban men blow up Pakistani school

Taliban militants blew up an empty school in a tribal town in northwest Pakistan on Saturday severely damaging the building, officials said.

42 die in China mine blast

A gas explosion tore through a state-run coal mine in northern China yesterday, killing 42 people and leaving 66 others trapped underground as rescuers worked hastily to save them.

A ration card in the name of Mahatma Gandhi!

Believe it or not - the authorities in Andhra Pradesh have issued a ration card in the name of Mahatma Gandhi along with his picture!

Editorial

Taking the Bangla-Nepal transit a step further

HOPES have been generated for a new vista opening on Indo-Bangla relations in the sequel to the meet between Indian foreign secretary Nirupoma Rao and her Bangladesh counterpart Mijarul Quayes in Dhaka centring around the forthcoming visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister to India.

Sending migrant labour to Iraq again

THE resumption of Bangladeshi labour migration to Iraq after a break of six years should be seen as a positive development. The disruption that occurred in the presence and working of migrant labour in Iraq when it was invaded by US and British forces in 2003 was in turn to lead to misery for foreign workers, some of the worst affected among whom were those from Bangladesh. When the move is seen against the backdrop of the large numbers of Bangladeshi workers sent back home by some countries in the Middle East as well as Malaysia, we cannot but feel a little cheered by the news that job opportunities have opened for 2000 Bangladeshis in Iraq .

The mission to inform

IT has been about four and a half months since the Information Commission started its work from a temporary office in Dhaka.

Time to wake up from stupor

THE Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, before the 1/11 change in its Transnational Threat Update, stated: "The current security climate in Bangladesh may allow terrorist groups to organise attacks using a radiological dispersal device. Concerns over this possibility are plausible given that radio substance have proven accessible to terror groups within the country." The recent arrests of militants from Pakistan and India, activists of banned Lashkar-e-Toiba, some of whom were educated in engineering in Bangladesh while recruiting prospective terrorists, confirm anew Eliza Griswold's report in the New York Times (January 2005), raising the possibility of Bangladesh giving birth to the next Islamist revolution. Travelling through Bangladesh, she concluded "The global war on terror is aimed at making the rise of regimes like that of the Taliban impossible, in Bangladesh the trend could be going the other way." In Griswold's footsteps, Bertil Linter's article in the Far Eastern Economic Review (April 2002) warned of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Bangladesh. Time magazine and the Asian Wall Street Journal alleged of sanctuaries being given to transnational Islamist elements.

Sports

Is time running out?

Amidst high hopes the current office bearers at the country's most affluent sports body, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), took charge a year back following a free and fair election. The presence of tried and tested organisers made many believe that this time things would be put in the right place to achieve the much-talked about professionalism. It was also expected that cricket would take a few steps forward in the country. Many also believed that the people in charge would make certain of democratic practice in all activities on way to ensuring a good 'team-work' to help achieve the biggest challenge - - hosting the 2011 World Cup as one of the co-hosts.

Khelaghar win at last

Khelaghar Samaj Kalyan Samity got their first points of the Premier Division Cricket league in their eighth round match against Partex at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. Khelaghar barely had to break a sweat as they chased down a meagre total of 98 losing only two wickets taking little more than 22 overs. Niaz Morshed scored 41 while Aslam Ali remained not out on 48 to guide Khelaghar to their first win of the season. However, the match's fate was determined earlier when Partex got bowled out for 98 despite a half-century from their opener Gazi Salauddin. Khelaghar spinner Bishwanath Halder did most of the damage with the ball as he took four wickets for nine runs in 9.1 overs.

Bittersweet finale awaits Henry

As a rising star his budding skills helped France along the route to World Cup glory 11 years ago.

Kallis blow for hosts

Jacques Kallis has been ruled out of the one-day series against England with a fractured rib and is also doubtful for the opening Test at Centurion Park on December 16.

Dilshan breaks his nose

Sri Lanka's opening batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan has fractured his nose after colliding with one of his teammates while playing football following the first Test against India in Ahmedabad on Friday. Brendon Kuruppu, Sri Lanka's team manager, confirmed the news upon arrival in Kanpur, the venue for the second Test starting Tuesday. Dilshan had to be rushed to hospital where an X-ray revealed the damage.

Nat'l booters' first practice match today

Shahidur Rahman Shantoo's boys will play their first practice match against Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today as part of their preparations for the next month's Bangabandhu SAFF Championship. The match will kick off at 5pm.

FFF says no to replay

A replay of the controversial World Cup play-off match between France and the Republic of Ireland is out of the question, the French Football Federation (FFF) reiterated on Friday.

Ghana get Ivory Coast

World Cup qualifiers Ghana and Ivory Coast will clash in the first round of the African Nations Cup after the draw here Friday placed them in Group B with Burkina Faso and Togo.

Heinze fires Marseille

A first-half goal from Gabriel Heinze vaulted Marseille back into the French title race on Friday, securing a 1-0 win at the Stade Velodrome over Paris St Germain.

Federer supports Henry

Wimbledon champion Roger Federer insists his friend Thierry Henry shouldn't be blamed for the controversial goal that sent France to the World Cup at the Republic of Ireland's expense.

SA plans special courts

South Africa plans to create special courts dedicated to handling crimes committed during the World Cup, aiming to speed up the judicial process, especially for cases involving foreigners.

FIFA bans Iraq

World football's governing body FIFA on Friday announced its decision to suspend the Iraqi Football Association (IFA) until further notice "because of government interference".

Fixing scandal stuns Europe

European football was reeling on Saturday from what one UEFA official called the continent's worst ever match-fixing scandal, with 200 games under suspicion of having been rigged in nine countries.

Cantona can't stand Domenech

Former French international Eric Cantona launched a stinging attack on national coach Raymond Domenech on Friday following France's controversial qualification for the 2010 World Cup.

18 die in Algeria celebrations

At least 18 people died and 312 were injured in traffic accidents during celebrations in Algeria following their World Cup qualifying victory against Egypt, authorities said Friday.

Trezeguet out for a month

Former France striker David Trezeguet faces a month on the sidelines after pulling his calf in training, Juventus said on their website.

Federer, Nadal ready for battle

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will stage the last chapter of their battle to finish the year as world number one when the ATP Tour Finals get under way in London today.

Windies force draw

The West Indians ended a difficult tour game on a high when they fought to secure a draw with a committed batting display against Queensland. After strong half-centuries to Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the tourists can go into Thursday's first Test with some more confidence in their order after they finished the match at 6 for 357.

No IPL invitation: Bari

Pakistan's return to the IPL remains on hold with the national board (PCB) confirming it has not received any letters of invitation from the tournament organisers to its players to initiate the visa process. The deadline set by the IPL for receiving No Objection Certificates (NOCs) and visa paperwork was November 20, but a day after that PCB COO Wasim Bari has said he received no intimation about a step forward.

IAAF mum on Semenya

World athletics' governing body, the IAAF, held their silence over South Africa's gender row 800m world champion Caster Semenya during the first day of their annual congress here on Friday.

Business

Netbook demand picks up

It has a slim look. Tech-savvy customers are gradually convinced by mobility and affordable prices. So is the indication in the sales of netbooks, the latest entry in Bangladesh's portable computer market. Light and easy to browse, these sleek mini-notebooks are now gaining popularity, mainly among businessmen and students.

Appliances lead Eid sales

Electronics retailers expect to log better sales ahead of Eid-ul-Azha but clothing traders say consumer sentiment still remains mixed.

United makes London debut

United Airways launched its flight to London yesterday, the first by a private airline in Bangladesh.

GSP Finance to launch Tk 50cr mutual fund

GSP Finance Company (Bangladesh) Limited, a non-bank financial institution, plans to launch a Tk 50 crore closed-end mutual fund.

Merchant bankers join forces

After remaining inactive for 12 years, merchant bankers yesterday regrouped and pledged to turn the stock market into a major source of finance for industrialisation.

Telecom operators demand tax cut

Telecom operators have demanded the government reduce tax for the sector in line with its pledge to make a digital Bangladesh by 2021.

Equity investors face challenges

Patrik Brummer, chairman of Brummers and Partners, sees the present economic condition of the country with $10 billion plus foreign exchange reserve is one of the major challenges for the private equity investment to be successful in Bangladesh.

Need for online forex credit cards

The Bangladesh Bank of late has announced that it has withdrawn restrictions on online charging of credit and debit cards albeit only on local taka denominated ones. This is a long overdue need of the market the absence of which kept us at the bottom of the e-commerce rankings in South Asia.

Banglalink wins Asia Mobile Award

Banglalink Jigyasha has won the Best Mobile Enterprise Application Product or Service Category at the Asia Mobile Awards 2009, the mobile operator said in a statement yesterday.

Small Florida bank shuttered, 124th this year

Florida banking regulators on Friday shut down Commerce Bank of Southwest Florida, marking the 124th US bank to succumb this year to the struggling economy and rising loan defaults.

Asian markets lower

Asian markets fell on Friday as investors followed a Wall Street tumble on renewed concerns about the global economic recovery while Japan declared it was in a state of deflation.

Dollar rallies as traders avoid risky deals

The dollar rallied on Friday as investors shunned assets viewed as risky, such as the euro, amid fresh concerns about the strength of global economic recovery, analysts said.

FDI in Russia halves in 9 months

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Russia almost halved in the first nine months of the year, the statistics office said on Friday, as the economic crisis reduced the country's appeal for investors.

Oil dips

Oil prices dropped on Friday and were likely to stay under 80 dollars because of high energy inventories in the United States, the world's biggest energy-consuming nation, analysts said.

Obama touts Asia trade to create jobs

US President Barack Obama, back from a tour of Asia, called Saturday for the United States to produce more goods to sell across the Pacific, touting trade as a way to revive the troubled US economy.

India says no rice imports for now

India has scrapped tenders to import rice, saying it has enough stocks to manage despite a harvest shortfall following the worst monsoon in almost four decades.

IMF: Sri Lanka reserves 'comfortable' after bailout

The International Monetary Fund said Friday Sri Lanka's foreign reserves have reached "comfortable levels," helped by a bailout package, but economic growth was still below potential.

South Korean shipbuilder STX cuts 351 jobs in France

South Korean shipbuilding giant STX is cutting 351 jobs in France through voluntary departures at the historic Saint-Nazaire shipyard, company officials said on Friday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

International Markets
The US dollar remained mostly steady against its major rivals, as the market was range-bound. The euro climbed more than half a percent against the dollar but struggled on to break back above $1.5000. It has remained within the range of a large $1.48-$1.51 "double no touch" options structure rolling off on Friday. The dollar and the yen rose near the end of the week as equity and commodity markets fell, encouraging investors to pare back exposure to risk and buy back the two low-yielders against perceived riskier currencies. Analysts said some investors were already taking risk off the table heading into the year end, wary that the recent rally in risky assets may have been overdone and that economic data has not been as rosy as forecast. A senior economic advisor to the German government highlighted these concerns as he told Reuters Television that Germany could face a double-dip recession in late 2010 or early 2011 as extra public spending is withdrawn. Analysts said investors were also wary of emerging market countries looking at capital controls to limit some of the hot money flows into their economies, with new steps announced by Brazil and South Korea. The market will watch US jobless benefit claims for the week ended Nov 14 to see if the labour market is stabilising. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast 505,000 new filings compared with 502,000 the week before.

Metropolitan

Call to ensure rights of forest dwellers

The government should ensure the rights of forest dwellers to the natural resources and the ownership of the forest in order to preserve forest, speakers at a regional conference said yesterday.

Plan to form separate probe cell in police force

The government is planning to establish a separate investigation cell in police force for swift investigation in cases concerning violence against women.

Ctg South dist BNP council today amid groupings

The council of Chittagong South district unit of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is being held here separately today amid groupings and differences.

Sufia Kamal played pioneering role in women's progress

Speakers at a memorial meeting yesterday said late poet Sufia Kamal played a significant role in helping achieve a remarkable progress by women in society.

Harmony in laws necessary to repatriate trafficking victims

Rights activists at a national consultation yesterday said harmony in the laws related to trafficking and rescuing the victims in the Saarc countries is a must to repatriate the victims as well as to protect their rights.

Two killed in road crashes

Two people were killed and seven others injured in separate road accidents in Gazipur and Sirajganj yesterday.

Incorporate barrage into Padma Bridge project

The proposed Padma Bridge project can serve the nation doubly if the barrage component is incorporated into it, said a New York-based water resources expert Dr Sufian A Khondker yesterday.

'Armed force's contribution rare instance'

President Zillur Rahman yesterday described the glorious contribution and supreme sacrifices of the members of Bangladesh Armed Forces during the War of Liberation in 1971 as a rare instance in the world history.

Mother wants Trishna, Krishna to grow up in Australia

The mother who gave up her conjoined newborn twins for adoption said yesterday that she is overjoyed the toddlers have been successfully separated and wants them to grow up in Australia.

Shykh Seraj receives FAO Award

Media personality Shykh Seraj has been awarded the prestigious AH Boerma Award of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for 2008-09.

'Scrap duty-free car import facility for lawmakers'

Three non-government organisations -- Citizens Rights Movement, Seba and Green Voice -- formed a human chain in the city yeserday demanding scrapping of the duty-free car import facility for the Members of the Parliament.

SC verdict hailed

Different organisations yesterday continued expressing satisfaction over verdict of the Supreme Court on the Bangabandhu murder case.

Body found dead in city drain

Police recovered a body of an unidentified youth from a drain in front of Sony Cinema Hall at Mirpur in the city yesterday.

Produce quality programmes

Speakers at a seminar yesterday called on the policymakers of different television channels to produce more quality, constructive and educative programmes for betterment of the country and its people.

Shamim, Pathik re-elected DRU president, secy

Shamim Ahmad, chief of correspondents of UNB, and Pathik Saha, chief reporter of Bhorer Dak, were re-elected president and general secretary of Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) yesterday.

State recognition to journalist Alam urged

Speakers at a function in the city yesterday called for giving state recognition to eminent photojournalist late Mohammad Alam for his outstanding performance and professionalism.

Steps to check traffic jam at Mawa

The authorities yesterday decided to shift local bus services from Mawa ghat to Mawa crossing from November 25 for smooth movement of traffic on the road and comfortable journey of the home-bound people of southern region ahead of Eid.

Spinning mill gutted in Rupganj

Fire gutted huge quantities of properties of a spinning mill near Golakandail Gausia Market under Rupganj upazila in Narayanganj yesterday.

National

27 BNP men arrested for 'creating panic'

Police arrested 27 BNP men at Nakla upazila headquarters under Sherpur district for allegedly creating panic among the locals early yesterday.

AL lawmaker Ruhi refutes allegation of extortion

Mostaque Ahmed Ruhi, the ruling party lawmaker from Netrakona-1 constituency, has denied the allegation of extortion by opening a bank account in the name of "destitute welfare fund".

Trees fall victim to land dispute

Criminals have cut down around 600 trees on two acres of disputed land at Radhanagar village in Sreepur upazila of Magura district.

Expatriate held with forex

An expatriate was held with foreign currencies worth around Tk 39 lakh at Shah Amanat International Airport on Friday night.

BNP factions in Magura hold confce separately

A faction of Magura BNP led by district Convener Kabir Murad held Sreepur upazila unit conference yesterday while Joint Convener advocate Mokaddes Hossain led faction held the conference of Mohammadpur upazila unit the same day.

BCL blocks road in Rajshahi

Activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday barricaded Dhaka-Rajshahi highway for one and a half hours protesting Shibir activities under the nose of police at Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet).

Chaos, clash mark Cox's Bazar BNP confce: 60 injured

At least 60 leaders and activists, including Joint Secretary General of BNP central committee Selima Rahman and former state minister for communications Salahuddin Ahmed, were injured in a clash at the conference of Cox's Bazar district unit at local stadium on Friday night.

'Build awareness, raise voice to resist Tipaimukh project'

Prof Muzaffer Ahmed yesterday emphasised awareness building and raising voice at home and abroad to resist Tipaimukh project in the Indian state of Manipur as the mega project would bring ecological disaster in the state as well as large downstream areas in Bangladesh.

Special

Van Gaal needs improvement

Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal admitted on Friday that his job will be in danger if his side fail to improve, starting with their match at home to league leaders Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.

Letters

Monument for martyrs

The construction work of a memorial monument for martyrs started a decade ago. But still the work is incomplete and unfinished. No visitor goes there, and there is no way to pay tribute to the Martyrs of 1971 Liberation War.

Climate change

Our world has a big challenge ahead, which is climate change. The world is going to be affected due to climate change and global warming. Due to climate change sea levels will rise, and some countries like Bangladesh and the Maldives are going to get flooded. Also the number of natural disasters will rise. Climate change and global warming are caused by human activities like burning fossil fuel and deforestation. Climate change will be a disaster to human kind. There will be 150 million climate refugees because of climate change and environmental disasters. Lots of people are going to suffer and die. In 1995, half of Bhola Island in Bangladesh became permanently flooded, leaving 500,000 people homeless. The Bhola Islanders have been described as some of the world's first climate refugees. In 2007, a Bangladeshi scientist stated: "We're already seeing hundreds of thousands of climate refugees moving into slums in Dhaka." These refugees were fleeing flooded coastal areas. That's why, now we are watching the beginning of the new disaster age. Do people care? The media now has a very big job of alerting the general people about this.

Impact of deforestation

In many countries, like Bangladesh, massive deforestation is going on and is changing climate & geography. Now it is clear to all that deforestation has a substantial contribution to global warming. In addition, burning of forests in order to clear land releases tones of carbon dioxide which increases global warming.

A query

Unemployment is a major problem in Bangladesh. Most of the students in Bangladesh who are studying in public universities are facing session jam in their academic life. The students are wasting so much time in their academic life that they do not get enough time to get a govt job after completing their higher education. Session jams occur in educational institutions in Bangladesh due to political unrest. I have completed higher degree from the highest seat of learning in Bangladesh. But it is unfortunate that I have not got a government job yet. During the last caretaker government regime Bangladesh Krishi Bank gave an advertisement through BRC (Bankers Recruitment Committee) for recruiting some officers. The BRC took a written test on 29/06/07 and viva on 22/11/07.They prepared a list of the candidates who passed the viva voce. However, we have not received any information regarding the matter so far.

Stop them

Hijras in great numbers enter into the houses of Uttara in search of newly born babies. Their main target is to get a huge sum of money by keeping hostage the baby and intimidating the inmates of the house. Wherever a baby is born to a family, hijras storm that house all of a sudden. They abuse inmates of the house with filthy words if the door is not opened or payment is not made as per their demand. They play the last trick to get the ransom threatening abduction of the baby for good whose return would not be possible by any amount of money in future. Inmates yield to their demands for the safety of the baby. Hijras choose the timing of storming houses in search of babies during working hours of the day when male members are away from the house. They never leave the place till such time their mission is fulfilled. Nobody dares to face the hijras at that time in support of the victim's family as they are very much arrogant in nature and militant in behaviour. Now it is really a point to ponder whether this type of letting loose of anarchy by hijras is their legal right or not.

Lack of civility

The behaviour of the MNS legislators in Maharashtra Assembly was highly deplorable. The results of last assembly elections have clearly shown that even the Marathi people have rejected the behaviour of this party. The threats to and beating of Hindi speaking people on the roads was also disgusting.

An errant soldier

Doctors are trained to save life and they are supposed to treat even wounded enemy soldier. This is why they don't carry weapons even in the combat zone. Yet Major Hasan, a US army doctor, murdered scores of his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood. This way his murderous act resembles the systematic slaughter of fellow Muslims by the Taliban in Pakistan.

Anomaly in civil service

Character assassination of the bureaucrats has become a routine work of some responsible quarters. In a recent interview, an adviser to the PM said that there were corruption allegations against the officers who were not promoted and made Officers on Special Duty (OSD) and allegations are being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission. It is a new proposition put forward by the adviser, which we never heard of before! It is well known that making of random OSDs and promoting officers en masse have been creating chaos in the civil service.

Education in England

To explain the rise of English studies, we need to indicate briefly what higher education was like in England until the first quarter of the nineteenth century. The short answer is that, it was a Church of England monopoly. There were only two universities, Oxford and Cambridge. These were divided into small individual Colleges, which were run as monastic institutions. Only men were allowed to attend in these colleges. Students, obviously, had to be from Anglican communicants and attend the college chapel. The teachers were ordained minister, indeed, Priest or Churchmen, who had to be unmarried. They could live in the college. The subjects were the Classics (ancient Greek and Latin Literature), Divinity and Mathematics. Anyone who was Catholic, Jewish, or Methodist, or atheist was not allowed to enter there and also barred from the professions and the civil service. The organization of higher education had not changed since the Middle Ages. Many attempts were made to reform the situation, to expand higher education and introduce practical subjects into the curriculum, but they all came up against entrenched conservative forces. The change came in 1826 when a university college was founded in London with a charter to award degrees to men and women of all religions. In 1828, English was offered as an academic subject for study, and they appointed the first professor of English in 1829. However it was not really English as we know it, but it was mainly the study of English language merely using literature. English literature was first taught at King's College, London beginning in 1831.

Daylight saving time

Now it has become doubtful if we would ever go back to Bangladesh Standard Time (BST)! Initially the clocks were advanced by an hour for saving electric power and reduce load shedding. Reportedly, now it would be continued for easing Dhaka city traffic jams.

To the PM…

Honourable Prime Minister, we recently noticed with grief that the newspapers of Bangladesh published a lot of news about the corruption of the lawmakers of your party. We are surprised that the local authorities or the authority from the top have not taken any visible action against those MPs. We also see that the land grabbers are acquiring the lands and the water reservoirs without any fear. The executive orders from you and your advisers and ministers are not obeyed accordingly. We also see that the security situation of our country is worsening day by day. The attack on Barrister Tapash and one woman leader of your party captured with AK 47 reveal that we all are in danger.

Footpaths

Earlier, it was commonly said that most footpaths on the busy streets were occupied by hawkers. But now the situation is even worse! Footpaths are now occupied by builders' construction materials (sand, bricks, rods, etc,). Furthermore, buses of various transport companies have taken away a big portion of the road adjacent to footpaths.

Why not the cameraman?

On Nov 3, 2009, I had an opportunity to attend a seminar under the banner of "climate change": at a seminar hall of Dhaka University. The moderator announced a 'one minute' silence in remembrance of the four leaders in the jail on that very day. As per the announcement, the audience started one-minute silence. But suddenly, a sound disturbed everybody and broke the silence.

Role of the media

When the BNP's front organisations (JCD, JJD, etc.) started extortion, encroachment on public and private property, tender manipulation, etc., all the pro-AL papers carried huge editorials calling for an end to such misdeeds. Similarly, when those crimes are committed by the AL's front organisations (BCL, JL, etc.) all the pro-BNP media go on an overdrive to inform the nation how unholy and destructive it is and why it should be stopped. Sadly, these demands for the culprits to be “brought to book” are actually short-term solutions. No matter what “disciplinary actions” the ruling party takes, we know that next time when another party goes to power its front organisations will do the same and we will all be reading the same editorials again. It happened many times in the past and it will certainly happen in the future. Surely, a more effective solution would be to outlaw all these trouble-making fronts.

Ads and newspapers

Every morning we open the newspaper to see it flooded with various types of advertisements, like some solely advertisement papers abroad. We do understand that advertisements are the lifeline of any newspaper, which helps to survive and make profits. But at the same time, the newspapers also should consider the readers' sentiment and quench their thirst for information.

Airport in bad shape

Recently, I went to Zia International Airport to receive a guest coming from the US and made my entry into the concourse hall by purchasing a ticket of Tk 200. The plane was delayed and meanwhile I went to the nearby washroom. To my utter horror, I found the place worse than a village service latrine. It was beyond use. All kinds of garbage including human shits were found stuffed and filled up the broken commode and around it and I had to burst out of the room. Believe me, the first thing I did after reaching home was to take a full bath and tried to forget the scene I encountered in the toilet room! The tea stalls around the area were found using those washrooms to clean their utensils and dumping of wastes as well! If you enter the airport you will find gross deterioration, so far cleanliness is concerned everywhere compared to what we used to see during the caretaker government. The information booth before the parking no.1 of the arrival area is littered with garbage and it seemed the area was not cleaned for days. Besides, the pathetic plight of the passengers continues due to inordinate delay in arrival of the baggage. The sufferings of the incoming passengers particularly our expatriate workers from the brokers, taxi drivers, porters etcetera outside the terminal continue unabated despite several so called drives by the CAAB authorities.

Ethnic unrest in China

According to a news item published in an Indian newspaper (“The Hindu”), the authorities in China's Xinjiang region have executed nine people for their role in July's ethnic unrest. Eight of the executed persons are believed to be Uighurs. Xinjiang has seen intermittent tension between Uighurs and Hans, who have migrated to the region in large numbers. I would like to express my concern over China's treatment of its Muslim minority.

Late night shows

It has become a bad social trend to organise late night open air entertainment. During that time heavy instrumental music is played with loudspeakers. Unfortunately it never enters the organizer's and artiste's head that there may be ailing people around them in different conditions. More importantly, night is the right time for relaxation and long rest. One cannot violate others' rights and one's enjoyment cannot be the cause of others' suffering. So, when it is time for sleeping at night, then it is not really sensible to make noise. It is a complete nuisance and one kind of sound pollution as well.

Traffic jam

One of the worst jams in Dhaka is experienced on the Banani, Gulshan and Baridhara roads, especially the Gulshan and Kamal Ataturk Avenues. Hours are lost every day wasting fuel and our diminishing gas reserve. Feeble attempts to introduce one-way traffic in some roads did ease the jam but were not enough to make an impact on the overall situation.

International

India deliberately delaying peace talks: Pakistan

A day after Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh asserted that India is committed to resolving all outstanding issues with Pakistan through bilateral negotiations, Islamabad has blamed New Delhi of deliberately delaying the peace talks.

UN blasts Iran's human rights violations

A UN panel on Friday blasted Iran for "serious, ongoing and recurring" human rights violations, including violence against protesters after the disputed June presidential elections.

Jackson doctor waited over an hour before 911 call

Michael Jackson's deathbed doctor waited over an hour to call for help when he realised the pop star wasn't breathing, and could not be found for hours afterward, according to a search warrant unsealed Friday.

Lanka to free all Tamil civilians from camps

Sri Lanka said yesterday it would grant free movement to the remaining war-displaced civilians held in internment camps, meeting a key demand of the international community.

China has stake in Kashmir's peace

The leader of Indian Kashmir's moderate separatists said on Saturday that China has a stake in peace in restive Kashmir as part of the disputed Himalayan region is under Beijing's control.

23 Taliban militants killed in Afghanistan clashes

Afghan and foreign troops killed 23 Taliban militants in separate operations a day after the president pledged to take responsibility for security in his new five-year term, police said Saturday.

India-US partnership is essential: Manmohan

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said India is looking forward to building on the strategic dialogue with the US and seeking greater cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, services, energy, science and technology and defence.

US still hopes Iran will change mind on nuclear deal

The United States said Friday it hopes Iran will still accept a confidence-building nuclear deal even as it plans to meet again with five other world powers to discuss steps to end Tehran's defiance.

Quick restart of Big Bang machine stuns scientists

Scientists moved Saturday to prepare the world's largest atom smasher for exploring the depths of matter after successfully restarting the $10 billion machine following more than a year of repairs.

Karzai an 'unworthy partner'

Calling Afghan President Hamid Karzai an "unworthy partner," a key Democratic leader warned Friday that Congress cannot fund an expanded military mission without a reliable ally in Kabul.

Italian cops net 2 Pak suspects

Italian police yesterday arrested two Pakistani men accused of providing logistical support for last year's terror attacks in Mumbai, officials said.

ISI gives CIA evidence of Indian hand

Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha, during his meeting with Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Leon Panetta, has reportedly presented evidence regarding India's hand in fanning terrorism in Baluchistan and Waziristan.

'Israel-Palestinian conflict kills 8,900 in 20 years'

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed almost 8,900 lives in two decades, the vast majority of them Palestinians, the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem said in a statement published yesterday.

Britons warn Somali captors 'losing patience'

A British couple held hostage by Somali pirates said in a video telecast Friday that their captors are "losing patience" and could kill them "within a week" if no ransom is paid.

Mandela and wife voted 'heroes' by world's children

Former South African president Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel have been voted Decade Child Rights Heroes by 7.1 million children, the World's Children's Prize foundation said Friday.

Arts & Entertainment

Prachyanat stages “Punarjanmo”

A deconstruction of Henrik Ibsen's last play "When We Dead Awaken" by local troupe Prachyanat was staged at the Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on November 20. The play "Punarjanmo" was staged as part of the ongoing International Ibsen Seminar and Theatre Festival. Directed by Azad Abul Kalam, the play is an intensive insight into the characters' psyche.

Abdul Jabbar: whose stirring songs inspired the nation in ‘71

Born in Kushtia in 1938, spurred on by his mother, Abdul Jabbar plunged headlong into the world of music. In his teens, he played both football and cricket and entertained the spectators with his sonorous voice on the same ground after winning the match. Later, after passing his SSC examination in 1956, he formally learned music from Ustad Osman Gani and Ustad Lutfel Haque.

Chhayanaut’s soulful tribute to Sufia Kamal

The teachers and students of Chhayanaut paid homage to Poet Sufia Kamal with a recitation and renditions on her 10th death anniversary (November 20) at Ramesh Chandra Dutt Memorial Auditorium of Chhayanaut Sangskriti Bhaban.

Art exhibition and auction at Gallery Chitrak

An art exhibition and auction titled "Traditional Festivals of Dhaka City" was held on November 20 at Gallery Chitrak, Dhanmondi. The exhibition was inaugurated by Matiur Rahman, editor of the daily Prothom Alo. Mamun Rashid, City Country Officer and CEO of Citibank, N.A of Bangladesh and Muniruzzaman, managing director of Gallery Chitrak, were present.

Chayanika embarks on her 100th TV play “Choloman Chhobi”

"'Choloman Chhobi' is a story about the Liberation War, " said Chayanika, director of the play. "The central character of the play, Mahfuz Ahmed, talks to his 10 -year -old boy about those turbulent times. The direction of the film is uncommon as it mainly shows the central character. At places, the voices of Bipasha Hayat, Aupee Karim, Tarin and Arefin Shubho have been inserted."



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