The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, November 1, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 2nd of December, 2009

Front Page

BNP heads for council with tasks unfinished

Although the BNP is determined to go for its national council on December 8, it is yet to hold about one-third of its grassroots level councils across the country.

Babar, Salam helped Huji execute plot

Detained former BNP ministers Lutfozzaman Babar and Abdus Salam Pintu had assisted banned Islamist group Huji in its botched attempt to kill Awami League President Sheikh Hasina on August 21, 2004.

Interpol moves to bring Rashed back

The National Central Bureau (NCB), Interpol's regional office in Dhaka, has sent a letter to its Washington DC office seeking cooperation for deportation of fugitive Lt Col (retd) AM Rashed Chowdhury, a self-declared and convicted killer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Worn-out vessels still in use for rescue

The government will still have to depend on its two outdated salvage vessels for rescue operations in any launch capsize, as it would take two and half more years to buy new ones.

Ombudsman for good governance likely in January

The government will appoint an ombudsman by next January in order to establish good governance in the country.

Refrain from giving details of deportation

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday requested the top functionaries of the government to refrain from talking details about deportation of the killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Launch salvage operations beefed up

Rescue vessel MV Rustam was on its way yesterday to join MV Hamza in efforts to salvage the launch that sank in the river Tentulia in Bhola Friday.

Peace lies in roadmap

Twelve years into signing a peace agreement that ended over two decades of armed struggle by the indigenous people of Chittagong Hill Tracts, the hills people are still dissatisfied over non-implementation of some vital provisions.

Commoners still crave for benefits

Common people are yet to reap the benefits of Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Agreement even though 12 years have elapsed after the deal was signed.

No respite from 'military rule'

'Military rule' is still imposed on Chittagong Hill Tracts in the form of "Operation Uttaran", alleged Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma yesterday.

Land remains root cause of conflicts

Disputes over land, the root cause of the crises in Chittagong Hill Tracts, still exist even after 12 years of signing of the CHT Peace Accord.

Govt on right track of accord implementation

The government has so far been on the right track in implementing the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord, but the pace of its implementation has to be stepped up, said Workers Party of Bangladesh chief Rashed Khan Menon.

Review needed to remove weaknesses

The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord needs reviewing as the population ratio and political and economic aspects in the districts have changed, said Sultana Kamal in an interview with The Daily Star.

Mindless destruction of coastal green belt

Only 200 trees are left on the green forest belt developed on some 125 acres of land along the Sonaichhari coast under Sitakunda upazila in Chittagong.

143 AIDS patients diagnosed in a yr

A total of 143 people were diagnosed with AIDS while 39 AIDS patients died across the country in last one year, the government revealed yesterday.

Outlaws kidnap, kill 3 in Kushtia

Operatives of outlawed outfit Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-ML) kidnapped three people and held them for ransom and having failed to realise the money they killed them and buried the bodies in a graveyard.

Govt to fully implement CHT accord

The government is eager to fully implement the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed has said.

Cop handed 30-yr jail for rape

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced a policeman to 30 years in prison for raping a 16-year-old girl in July 2005.

1 more missing croc found in Khulna

One more baby crocodile out of 18 that went missing on November 22 was found in a canal passing by Karamjol Crocodile Breeding Centre at Dakop upazila of Khulna district.

2 criminals arrested in India

Indian police arrested two more Bangladeshi criminals and an Indian -- for giving them shelter -- from a house at Ghapchi under Bongaon Thana in West Bengal on Monday.

WTO states call for deal on green goods

World Trade Organization member states called yesterday for an early deal on freeing up trade on environmental goods and services, ahead of a major climate change summit in Copenhagen.

Indian separatist leader 'arrested'

A leader of Indian separatist group National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) has been arrested near the border in Chittagong, a BBC radio reported yesterday.

Editorial

Stealthy felling of trees in Sitakunda

THE ferocity with which nature is being destroyed along the coastal areas, not to speak of other parts of the country, is mind-boggling. Only a few months ago, a group of influential and powerful elements had as many as 15,000 keora and bain trees cut down in the Sitakunda region. They simply walked off with the loot. Now comes news of the same region falling under new depredations. On Sunday night, about 5,000 trees were felled across a half kilometer area of the forest belt at Sonachhari coast. The obviously sinister intentions of those behind the deed can be noticed from the fact that the whole exercise was initiated and completed during the night, the better not to have the authorities know about the act. And by the time the robbery was detected, the damage had been done. Although a handful of people linked to the quarters involved in the act were arrested, one can hardly say it helped matters any.

Death on the highways

OUR highways continue to be death traps. The figure of people killed while traveling during the recent Eid holiday is fairly representative of what happens on such occasions every year. In fact deaths due to accidents on the highways have been on the rise, disconcertingly so. And it is the passengers and passersby that bear the immediate brunt of these accidents, not to speak of the economy, which, reportedly, suffers to the extent of two percent of the GDP every year.

Of songs, of pretence, of snobbery

IT feels good to listen to so many young people discussing culture and singing songs on television these days. Yes, there are too the ubiquitous competitions, in direct emulation (or imitation?) of everything that happens on all those Indian television channels. It is not always a comfortable feeling knowing that what you are seeing on your channels is what you have seen before on all those foreign channels.

Prime minister's visit to New Delhi

AS the government prepares for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's inaugural visit to India in the third week of December, India's Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao visited Dhaka on November 14, and the two foreign secretaries have reportedly finalised the agenda for the trip.

China's currency manipulation

APPARENTLY not much has changed since my last articles on this topic (April 10, and April 24, 2006). China continues to be branded a market-distorting currency manipulator.

Sports

Development is all talk and no walk

This is the second part of the two-part exclusive interview of sacked Brazilian coach Edson Silva Dido with

Perera dreams big

Being a winning captain of Sri Lanka during the 2nd SAARC Gold Championship, coach Sampath Perera is dreaming of repeating the rare feat under his guidance in the Bangabandhu 6th SAFF Championship in Bangladesh.

India under no pressure

India do not feel under any pressure to become cricket's top-ranked Test side when the third and final match against Sri Lanka starts here on Wednesday, captain Mahendra Dhoni said.

Messi wins Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Argentina on Tuesday was awarded the Ballon d'Or accolade as Europe-based footballer of the year.

Bond blow for Kiwis

Shane Bond has been ruled out of the rest of the Test series against Pakistan due to a torn abdominal muscle. Bond was the Player of the Match in the thrilling win in Dunedin, where he took eight wickets for the game in what was his first Test in two years.

Razzaq arrives for Abahani

Pakistan international Abdul Razzaq arrived in Dhaka last night to join Abahani before their crucial battle against archrivals Mohammedan in the Premier Division Cricket League.

Zahid out injured

Winger Zahid Hossain has been ruled out of the Bangladesh's SAFF Championship squad following prolonged quadriceps contusion as well as ankle injury.

Asim Butt no more

Scottish cricket was in mourning Tuesday following the death of Pakistan-born bowler Asim Butt at the age of 42.

Hodge to retire

Australian batsman Brad Hodge will be announcing his retirement from first-class cricket, after playing two more Sheffield Shield matches for Victoria.

Serena fined for tirade

World number one Serena Williams was hit with a record fine and two years of probation on Monday for her outburst over a foot fault call in a US Open semifinal.

Germany down Spain

Germany snatched a last-minute goal to down Spain 5-4 in a thrilling contest at the men's field hockey Champions Trophy in Melbourne Tuesday.

Pakistan suffered 'mental block'!

Former Pakistan opening batsman and coach Mudassar Nazar has blasted his country's batsmen for their poor show during the Dunedin Test, saying they were having a 'mental block', which prevented them from chasing down a moderate target of 251 in the first Test.

Marion seeks b'ball career

Disgraced former athletics star Marion Jones has been training with the Women's NBA San Antonio Silver Stars about making a comeback in basketball for European and US teams at age 34.

Festive football in Pabna

A football match between elderly football players of Pabna was staged at the Police Line Field on Monday afternoon. Elderly football players of the district, divided into two teams 'Padma' and 'Ichamati', participated in the match. Padma won the match in 5-4 in tie-breaker. Several thousands watched the match from the stands. The match was organised by the 'Pabna Athletic Club' and sponsored by Square Group. A 100-meter run for children and women was also held on the occasion.

Local TT

Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation general secretary Shamsul Alam has been elected general secretary of South Asian Table Tennis Federation for four years.

Tension mounts in SA

Football's high and mighty were heading for Cape Town this week ahead of Friday's World Cup draw which will set the scene for the June 11-July 11 tournament.

Strength to strength for Lionel

Lionel Messi, awarded the Ballon D'Or accolade on Tuesday for his exploits with Barcelona and Argentina, has certainly proved he can handle the pressure.

Legends backing Africa

African football legends Abedi 'Pele' Ayew and George Weah believe the continent can end its World Cup drought by winning the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

Everton seek respite

England's former Cup Winners Cup holders Everton have endured a torrid season thus far but on Wednesday they can give themselves a boost with victory in Greece against AEK Athens and at the same time end their opponents' interest in the competition.

SA eyes second round

World Cup hosts South Africa say they are aiming to be among the 16 best teams at the tournament next year.

'Xavi deserves it more than Messi'

Former Spain coach Luis Aragones says he would have awarded the Ballon d'Or to Barcelona's Spanish international midfielder Xavi Hernandez instead of the club's Argentine striker Lionel Messi.

Marquez extends Barca deal

Mexican international defender Rafa Marquez on Monday extended his contract with Barcelona until 2012, becoming the eighth player to renew with the European champions so far this season.

Benzema escapes unharmed

Real Madrid's French striker Karim Benzema escaped unharmed after he lost control of his car and collided with a security barrier and a tree over the weekend, Spanish media reported Tuesday.

No racism in Italian football

Italy coach Marcello Lippi insisted Monday that racism was not a problem in Italian football but a problem of society.

City top agents fees' list

Big-spending Premier League side Manchester City have proved a golden goose to agents as they top the list of agents fees paid out from October 2008 to September 2009 released on Monday.

Business

BB moves to boost banks' SME lending

The central bank has initiated a move to set targets for commercial banks for financing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to stretch the outreach of formal credit for this potential sector.

Jute exports defy downturn

Jute goods and raw jute exports witnessed a rise in the first quarter, at a time when earnings from most export items slipped significantly because of the late impacts of global recession.

Rawhide supply better, prices low

Rawhide supply during Eid-ul-Azha this year has been described as satisfactory by sector people, but its low rate has annoyed the merchants who lambaste big buyers for the manipulation in price.

Bangladesh seeks duty-free access by 2010 at WTO

Bangladesh has demanded that a decision on duty-free and quota-free (DFQF) market access be implemented as an early harvest by early 2010.

Stocks perk up on banks

As trading of Dhaka stocks resumed yesterday after a four-day vacation, the market carried forward last week's momentum with the key index continuing a record-breaking rally.

Gold nears $1,200

Gold prices soared to a record pinnacle close to 1,200 dollars an ounce here on Tuesday, as demand for the precious metal was boosted by the weak US currency and a host of other factors, analysts said.

Benapole trade resumes

Import and export between India and Bangladesh through Benapole port resumed yesterday morning after remaining suspended for one day.

Thailand no longer in deflation

Thailand is no longer in a state of deflation after consumer prices rose for the second consecutive month in November, the commerce ministry said Tuesday.

Jitters as Dubai drama unfolds

If global investors were looking for reassurances from Dubai that it would stand behind its massive, debt-swamped investment conglomerate, they got none. Instead, the Gulf city-state seemed to wash its hands of the financial woes that have rattled world markets.

Adding spice to English palate

Glitz and glamour were the watchwords at the recent British Curry Awards 2009, held in London.

Shippers Council’s new chairman

Mahbub Ali has recently been elected the chairman of Shippers Council of Bangladesh for a two-year term (2010-11).

Oil flat in Asian trade

Oil was relatively flat in Asian trade Tuesday after overnight gains on upbeat US business data that boosted economic recovery hopes, as fears over Dubai's debt problems receded, analysts said.

China's online sales soar in nine months

Online sales in China almost doubled in the first nine months of this year, official data showed Tuesday, as the nation becomes more switched on and confident in Internet shopping.

Japan central bank pumps cash into financial markets

Japan's central bank, under pressure to help boost a fragile recovery in the world's second-largest economy, said Tuesday it would pump more than 100 billion dollars into the financial system.

Vietnam infrastructure deters Investors

The poor state of Vietnam's roads and other infrastructure poses the key obstacle faced by foreign investors as the communist country battles to boost its exports, business leaders said Tuesday.

Eurozone jobless at highest since December 1998

Unemployment across the 16 nations that use the euro has hit its highest level since December 1998, the European Union's statistics office said on Tuesday.

CORPORATE BRIEFS

ICB MUTUAL FUNDS
On the close of operation on November 25, the ICB mutual funds have announced NAV for First ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 8,203.30, Second ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 2,408.15, Third ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 1,701.65, Fourth ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 1,883.31, Fifth ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 1,566.66, Sixth ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 595.60, Seventh ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 986 and Eighth ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 687.45 per unit on a current market price basis against face value of Tk 100 each. On the basis of cost price, NAV per unit of the eight mutual funds were Tk 1,093.25, Tk 692.31, Tk 487.75, Tk 545.51, Tk 363.38, Tk 232.38, Tk 306.26 and Tk 246.51 respectively.

Currency

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

Metropolitan

COP15 needs to provide help for vulnerable states

Danish Minister for the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen Connie Hedegaard has said the Copenhagen deal on climate change should involve binding medium and long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals for developed countries.

Awareness campaign on traffic rules launched

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) yesterday launched a weeklong awareness campaign on traffic rules and lane system, with a warning that drivers violating traffic rules will face heavy fines and suspension of their driving licences with effect from December 8.

Passengers charged extra fares at Mawa ghat

Hundreds of passengers from different south-western districts of the country are facing suffering, as the authorities of Kaorakandi ferry ghat and launch terminal are allegedly charging additional fares from vehicles as well as the passengers.

1.5cr people to be displaced in Bangladesh by 2050

About 15 million (1.5 crore) people in Bangladesh alone could be on the move by 2050 because of climate change, causing the worst migration in human history.

'EU to have more efficient ties with Dhaka'

The European Union (EU) will be more coherent and efficient in terms of development cooperation with Bangladesh, as the Treaty of Lisbon ratified by the EU members came into force yesterday, Head of the EU Delegation Ambassador Stefan Frowein said yesterday.

Month of victory begins

The month of victory kicked off yesterday with different political and socio-cultural organisations observing December 1 as the Freedom Fighters' Day, say press releases.

SC judges to sign verdict soon

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday hoped that the five judges of the Supreme Court (SC) would soon sign the judgement of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman assassination case, enabling the condemned convicts to file review petitions against the verdict.

2 newborns found dead

Two unidentified newborn baby girls were found dead at two separate parts of the city yesterday.

Expand ICT-based education for poor students

President Zillur Rahman yesterday stressed expanding need-based education in the government colleges with a view to facilitating the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) education for the poor students across the country.

Expanded farming of short duration anti-Monga paddies to up outputs

Agriculture experts yesterday said expanded farming of anti-Monga short duration Aman paddies would not only mitigate Monga, but also increase the overall rice production substantially.

Five killed in road accidents

Five people were killed and nine others injured in separate road accidents in Gazipur, Moulvibazar and in the city yesterday.

4th anniversary of JMB attack observed

The fourth anniversary of bomb attack on Gazipur Court premises by militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was observed yesterday.

Garos celebrate Wangala to thank gods

The indigenous Garo people of Madhupur Garh region in Tangail and Mymensingh recently celebrated their largest annual festival Wangala --dedicating crops to their Gods.

All have to play pioneering role in ensuring world peace

Textiles and Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui yesterday said people of all faiths have to play a pioneering role to build unity, brotherhood and world peace.

Shankar's Int'l Children's Competition invites entries

Shankar's International Children's Competition in Painting and Writing for the year 2010 is now accepting entries.

Quamrul Hassan's 88th anniversary of birth today

Today is the 88th birth anniversary of renowned artist Quamrul Hassan, says a press release.

Akhter Ahmed passes away

Akhter Ahmed Khan, press minister of Bangladesh embassy in the USA, passed away due to a cardiac arrest in Washington DC on Monday at the age of 54, says a press release.

National

Hopes high to finish the remaining task

Political as well as civil society leaders of indigenous communities in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) have demanded a specific roadmap from the government for full implementation of Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord.

Separate committes in C'nawabganj, council boycott in Nilphamari

Rival factions formed two separate committees of BNP Chapainawabganj district unit on Monday while Nilphamari unit of the party held its council the same day amid boycott by a section of leaders.

Turnover goes up to Tk 100cr from Tk 5cr in just 5 years

A serene Bogra village has turned into a hot spot of red chilli trading with renowned spice producers and marketers sourcing bulk of their raw materials from the place.

When will sodium lamps light up the streets?

Sodium lamps in the streets of Moulvibazar town have not been lighted one and a half years after their installation as the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) is yet to hand over the lamp posts to the municipality authorities.

BDR, BSF hold flag meeting

A battalion commander-level flag meeting between Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) was held on Charabaria border under Satkhira Sadar upazila yesterday.

12 hurt as AL, BNP clash in Natore town

At least 12 people were injured in a clash between the activists of Awami League (AL) and BNP at Tebaria in Natore town yesterday.

Jewellery trader stabbed

Criminals stabbed a jewellery trader and his brother and took away their motorbike from Balakhana in Sadar upazila on Monday.

Rehab plan for Aila-hit farmers starts

A Tk 18.96 crore rehabilitation programme for cyclone Aila-affected farmers has begun in six districts of Barisal division for cultivating Boro paddy.

Housewife burnt alive

A woman was burned alive allegedly by her husband in Jessore following a family feud on Sunday. Victim Naznin Begum, 38, was wife of Rafiqul Islam of Missionpara in the city. Police and relatives said, Rafiqul, a peon of Jessore Education Board took second wife three months ago triggering frequent family feud. On Sunday noon the couple locked in an altercation and at one stage Rafiqul doused Naznin with fuel oil and set her on fire. He then locked the door and escaped from the scene. Hearing the screaming, neighbours rushed to the spot and rescued Naznin breaking open the door. Later while being taken for treatment she died on the way to Dhaka. A case was filed in this connection.

Houses ransacked, 30 hurt

At least 30 people were injured as a rival groups attacked Mirzanagar village in Raipura upazila Sunday night and on Monday morning. Locals said, a group of villagers, led by Kajol Mia, swooped on 20 houses belonging to his rivals and ransacked those. During the attacks, they beat up the house inmates leaving 30 people injured. Kajol along with his supporters carried out the attacks on the houses of the people who were earlier sued for killing his uncle Sujat Ali. Eighteen of the injured were admitted to Sadar hospital and local clinics. Many villagers fled homes in fear of further attack, locals said.

Clash over brick kiln

At least 10 people were injured in a clash yesterday morning between locals and workers centring setting up of a brick kiln at Bibijora under Bandar upazila in Narayanganj. Of the injured, Ershad, 24, Anwar, 20, Nurun Nabi, 35, Russell,18, Masum, 35, Kamal, 35, Golam Hossain, 20, and Rokon, 20, were admitted to different clinics and Narayanganj 200-bed General Hospital. Sources said, locals obstructed the work when workers of former chairman of Bandar union Md Moyeen went to the site to set up a brick kiln at Bibijora. Both sides used sticks and other weapons during the clash.

20 hurt in Magura clash

At least 20 people were injured, seven of them seriously, in a clash between two rival groups of villagers at Mortojapur village in Sreepur upazila yesterday. Police and locals said, the clash occurred at around 1:30 pm. Supporters of two local leaders Abdul Hye Biswas and Abdur Rashid locked in an altercation over a trifle matter which turned into a fierce clash. Both the groups used lethal weapons. Police from Sreepur police station rushed to the spot, charged batons and dispersed the clashing groups. The critically injured are Abdul Hye Biswas, 50, and Ainal Biswas, 25. They were sent to Faridpur Medical College and Hospital while Mosharraf Hossain, 55, Nazrul Islam, 45, Fatema Khatun, 35, Rehana Khatun, 32, and Habibur Rahman, 21, admitted to Magura Sadar Hospital.

Letters

Saudi flood victims

I am greatly shocked at the loss of lives and destruction of properties caused by the recent devastating rain in Jeddah, KSA. While expressing my heartfelt sympathy for our brothers in distress, I pray to Almighty Allah to grant them the strength and fortitude to stand bravely against the natural calamities.

The new generation

Though we work with the younger generation, we have limited scope to be taught about their informal communication patterns. Generally, they use formal languages and manners in case of communicating in the university arena. Recently, I had an opportunity to be part of a picnic of private university students where the scope of flexible interaction was comparatively high. Our young generation obtained the opportunity to present themselves in their own character. I was also interesting to know their taste of 'smart' music, languages, gestures, postures and facial expressions. Time and technology have changed them.

TI report and we

Transparency International (TI) is an international non-governmental organisation fighting corruption and trying to raise public awareness on the issue. On 17 November, 2009 it published the annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

Traffic jam

Intolerable traffic jam has become a part and parcel of life affecting many other aspects of our lives adversely. It seems that the authorities are at a loss as to what to do. Although Chittagong is much better than Dhaka in this regard, still during rush hours, the jam takes a serious turn. Indiscriminate parking of rickshaws and other vehicles, mushroom growth of coaching centres and kindergartens and narrow roads, and construction of many multi storied buildings are contributing to gigantic traffic jam in the city. Besides, ever-increasing roadside tea-stalls and hawkers are also a major factor in increasing traffic jam in the city.

Ctg. entry points

It is observed that all entry points of Chittagong town are always burdened with traffic jam. It gets worse on the eve of weekends, holidays and opening days. Recently "Colonel Hat", the entry point from rest of the country, is experiencing long jam daily. The biggest annoyance at this point is caused by town service buses, human haulers and tempos as they keep waiting on road for passengers blocking 3/4th portion of the road for long, as if they do not care anyone on earth and the long queue behind them due to their blockade does not matter much. The second point is that rickshaws come from the wrong direction to cross the main road. There is a market named "Colonel Hat" for daily essentials and people ride rickshaws to enter and exit from wrong sides and to cross the road. Another reason is using the road as parking slot by three wheeler autos, rickshaws, trucks etc.

Citizens' rights

The man who expects comfort in this life must be born deaf, dumb & blind -- Turkish proverb. All citizens if born as stated above there would be no need for any civic amenities. But very few are so. The rest of the people can hear, talk & see & hence this write-up. The city life is becoming hazardous. The civic amenities are not adequate and in some cases are conspicuous by absence.

Uttara plot

I applied for a five katha plot in the Uttara extension project. Now I am worried about getting back my deposit money since I did not get the plot. I sent US dollar 2000 with the application and as I am in the US, it's not easy for me to obtain refund application form from Dhaka. Although Rajuk is claiming that the refund application can be downloaded from their website, the truth is you can only download refund application for the Purbachal project and Rajuk has not posted refund application for Uttara project in their website. I am pretty sure they are not even aware of it. I have tried unsuccessfully to get in touch with Rajuk officials via email, but has not received any response so far.

Neighbours

Human beings cannot be judged from the external aspect of geographical territory, colour, language, race, generation and wealth. All these are for the identity of humankind. Allah loves those who have in them the good virtues. Humankind is like one single family of Allah. Those who are kind to them, Allah is also kind to them. One has to take care of one's immediate neighbours. Our dearest Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) laid particular emphasis on our duties to our neighbours.

Smoking

Many of us are unaware that tobacco contains an addictive drug, nicotine. Thus, tobacco can create addiction, just as drugs and alcohol can. Smoking can cause premature death and crippling diseases.

Name game

I heartily agree with the letter by Nur Jahan with the heading “Please stop this name game”. It took no time for the government to change the name of Jamuna Bridge when they came to power, whilst the name of Bangladesh- China Friendship conference hall had also been changed.

Digital parliament

While opening ICT fair in Dhaka on 17-11-09, the Speaker of parliament as chief guest told that within a very short time, members of parliament would receive questions from the general people through e-mail. He further said that he would allow computers inside parliament soon after providing computers among the members. These are necessary steps towards making a Digital Parliament. We observe that while passing any bill in parliament, the Speaker asks parliament members, “Jara eai prostaber pokhe assen tara 'Ha' balun”. A chorus sound 'Ha'comes from the floor. Again Speaker asks,”Jara eai prostaber be-pokhe assen tara 'Na' balun”. Again in a chorus sound 'Na”, louder or feeble comes out from the floor. After hearing the sound the Speaker declares three times “ 'Ha'/'Na'joye jukta hoyeche.” Thus the bill is passed. The process does not appear to be in line with the road map of digital Bangladesh. Can't the process of passing bill in parliament be digitalized? In the electronic display board votes of parliament members can be displayed with the summery result and be recorded and saved. By viewing the electronic display board, visible to the television viewers also, the Speaker will declare whether the bill is passed or not. Thus, in the road map of Digital Bangladesh, the Digital Parliament can well start functioning in advance of time schedule.

Vehicle requisition

It seems that people owning motor vehicles have to give some cash in the form of bribe just to avoid the stress and hassle of handing over their vehicles to law enforcement personnel.

Cleanliness & hygiene

We will be celebrating our 38th Victory Day on 16th December, 2009. By any count or yardstick our urbanisation has taken place rapidly, so is the increase of population which simply doubled during the aforesaid period.

Justice triumphs

When Sheik Mujib was killed there was almost none to raise a voice against it as the killing was successful. Now in power, his daughter Sheikh Hasina turned the table on the killers who assassinated the father of the nation and most of his family members in 1975. The injustice that was done 34 years ago is now redressed. The perpetrators are now paid back.

Relieved

The nation has finally got relieved from the burden. The verdict in the Bangabandhu killing case has finally been delivered. Now we expect the earliest execution of the sentences in order to establish the rule of law in true sense and also set an example for the prospective conspirators, so that they do not repeat such gruesome incidents ever again.

Justice and truth

I am happy with you if you are happy as a Bangladeshi citizen that has justice has been done in Bangladesh.

Nuclear generator

It is imperative that we need new power generating capacity based on sustainable fuel source and that the proposal to build nuclear power generator/s is under active consideration by the government. France, Russia, USA, UK are leaders in this field and I along with many other of your correspondents have previously advocated that this route should be taken for our partial power need also.

Great effort

English is considered to be the second language in the world and this language is preferred officially and for higher education. But in our country, most of the students are very weak in English. First of all, our students` reluctance to read and learn English is quite visible. And the teachers are not good either.

Breaking news?

Ref: Bangabandhu murder case court verdict.

DST

I congratulate Syed Badrul Ahsan for his excellent article under the caption "Darkness at dawn" (The DS, 18 November, 09). Scores of letters have already been written for and against this imposed arrangement of time on the pretext of 'Day Light Saving'.

International

World powers hasty in reacting to nuke plan: Iran

Iran said yesterday world powers have been overhasty in reacting to Tehran's decision to build 10 new uranium enrichment plants.

Major sea level rise likely as Antarctic ice melts

Sea levels are likely to rise by about 1.4m (4ft 6in) globally by 2100 as polar ice melts, according to a major review of climate change in Antarctica.

Afghan build-up involves 30,000 troops in 6 months

A senior administration official told The Associated Press yesterday that President Barack Obama is sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan to be deployed over six months.

Suicide blast kills local lawmaker in Pakistan

A suicide bomber killed a provincial lawmaker and his brother yesterday in Pakistan's northwest Swat valley, where the military claims to have quashed a Taliban uprising.

Rights group finds mass graves in Kashmir

A human rights group in Indian Kashmir said yesterday it had found unmarked graves containing several thousand bodies in the revolt-hit region during a three-year survey of dozens of villages.

Iran vows to deal 'firmly' with Britons if found guilty

A top aide to Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday confirmed the detention of five Britons in Gulf waters and vowed they will be dealt with "firmly" if found guilty.

Autism treatment works in kids as young as 18 months

The first rigorous study of behaviour treatment in autistic children as young as 18 months found two years of therapy can vastly improve symptoms, often resulting in a milder diagnosis.

Suspect in Philippine massacre charged with murder

Philippine prosecutors charged the heir of a powerful clan with murder yesterday in the massacre of 57 people, more than half of them journalists or their staff who were accompanying the family and supporters of an election candidate.

Obama briefs Karzai on new US strategy

President Barack Obama has spoken to his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai about the new US strategy for Afghanistan, due to be unveiled later.

All babies with HIV to receive treatment in South Africa

South Africa will provide treatment to all babies who test positive for HIV, President Jacob Zuma said yesterday, announcing an expansion of AIDS care for mothers and children.

Vatican, Muslims condemn Swiss minaret ban vote

Religious leaders across the world have criticised on Monday Switzerland's referendum vote to ban the building of minarets.

November death toll lowest since Iraq invasion

A total of 122 people died as a result of violence across Iraq last month, the lowest toll since the US-led invasion of 2003, official data showed yesterday.

India rejects Danish climate proposal

India yesterday rejected a Danish draft proposal on climate change, which seeks to cap emissions, widening the gulf between rich and poor nations ahead of next week's Copenhagen talks.

India blocks 25m mobiles for security reasons

Millions of Indian mobile phones with no valid unique identification code have been blocked for security reasons yesterday.

Sri Lanka frees all Tamils held in war camps

Thousands of Sri Lankan civilians locked in state-run camps during the island's ethnic conflict walked free yesterday, officials said, ending mass detentions that were criticised by the UN.

China building airstrips, India says no need to worry

With reports suggesting that China was building over two dozen new airstrips along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Government today said there was no need to be "unnecessarily" worried as India was adequately strengthening itself.

Obama calls Manmohan, discusses climate change

Ahead of the climate change summit in Copenhagen, US President Barack Obama yesterday talked with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who conveyed to him that New Delhi would play a constructive role in the negotiations for a new deal to tackle global warming.

Myanmar junta fights against spreading AIDS

Myanmar's military junta said yesterday that it was doing its best to fight the spread of the disease, as sufferers gathered at the country's opposition headquarters to mark World AIDS Day.

Rahul Gandhi top newsmaker of the year on Yahoo!

'Oomph' factor does make the likes of Katrina Kaif and Rakhi Sawant popular in online media, but they have been beaten by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as the top newsmaker on the popular search engine. According to Yahoo! India News, the leading online news website, Rahul emerged clear winner in the newsmaker category, followed by cricketers and Bollywood stars.

Arts & Entertainment

James, Hasan and Mila rock Jessore with their music

"Pagla hawar torey, matir pidim nibhu nibhu korey": Last Monday evening James' popular song reverberated at Shamsul Huda Stadium in Jessore. No, a CD/DVD featuring the song was not being played; the rockstar rendered the song live at the venue amidst a cheering crowd of fans and music enthusiasts. Other highlights were performances by Hasan and Mila. The concert was held amidst tight security.

Sir Ben Kingsley wants to delve deep into the origin of Taj Mahal

Bollywood beauty queen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan could play the role of Mumtaz Begum, the second wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, if she likes the script of a new film “Taj Mahal” to be made by Oscar winner actor Sir Ben Kingsley.

The art of transforming gesture and expression into articulation

Alliance Francaise, Chitta-gong recently became a rendezvous for mime artistes here in the port city.

Painting competition on Int’l Anti- Graft Day

Sachetan Nagorik Committee, Chapainawabganj, a unit of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), organised a painting competition recently for children in Chapainawabganj on the occasion of the upcoming International Anti- Graft Day (December 9).

Aachor on ntv tonight

The single-episode TV play “Aachor” will be aired tonight on ntv at 8:05 pm. Written by Rumman Rashid Khan, the play has been directed by Chayanika Chowdhury. The play has actors Tarin, Apurba and Hillol, TV show host Abdun Noor Tushar and media personality Sadya Afreen Mallick in the central roles.

Tele-film Rong Pencil on Channel i

Channel i will telecast the Eid-special tele-film "Rang Pencil" today at 12:35 pm. Written by Anisul Haque, the film has been directed by Shoraf Ahmed.

Golir Dhar-er Chheleti on ATN Bangla

Single-episode TV play "Golir Dhar-er Chheleti" will be aired tomorrow on ATN Bangla at 8:50 pm. Written by Kayes Chowdhury, the play has been directed by Zakir Hossain. The play has Purnima, Kayes Chowdhury, S.A. Haque Alik and Mamun in the central roles.

OP-ED

Rome Summit and the role of Bangladesh prime minister

FAO convened the November 16-18 summit in a bid to marshal political will behind increased investment in agriculture and a reinvigorated international effort to combat hunger. Three important events in October prepared the ground for the summit. A high level experts forum on How to Feed the World in 2050 examined policy options that governments should consider adopting to ensure that the world population can be fed when it nears 9.2 billion people in the middle of this century.

RTI changing rural lives

THE Right to Information (RTI) Act, which completes nine months in the statute books in November, is reaching the rural areas too, where villagers have access to services provided by different government (GO) and non-government organisations (NGO).

Launch disaster

A media reporter covering the southern districts of the country during the Eid holidays might in advance scribble down in his writing pad a news that reads like: M.L…. sunk/capsized in the river … near … on … with more than … hundred passengers on board. … passengers including women and children feared dead and another … missing. Although the cause of the incident is not instantly known, it is believed to be due to overloading, faulty design and negligence of crew.



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