The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of: Friday, 11th of December, 2009

Front Page

BNP chief's power consolidated further

The BNP chairman, once elected, cannot be removed anymore as the provision for such removal was deleted from the party's constitution in Tuesday's national council, which also brought some more changes to consolidate the party chief's authority.

Dhaka for fair regional share

Bangladesh demanded more balanced regional distribution of Clean Development Mechanism projects at a meeting yesterday on the sidelines of UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen.

Signal lights duration to get shorter

The DMP proposed reducing the red light duration from 25 seconds to 15 seconds initially at intersections of three major thoroughfares in the capital to speed up vehicular movement.

Fog, cold hold country

A blanket of fog covering the country yesterday caused disruptions to movement of all modes of transport and brought misery to thousands of passengers.

Malaysia-based firm fit for passport job

An evaluation committee selected Malaysia-based firm IRIS Corporation Berhad for introducing machine-readable passport (MRP) and machine-readable visa (MRV) in Bangladesh to meet an international deadline that expires on April 1.

HR watchdog wants independent probe

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said yesterday it wants independent probe into the allegations of extra-judicial killings.

Workers end up in thick soup in Libya

Crooked Libyan labour suppliers in connivance with Bangladeshi manpower mafias are trading on unskilled Bangladeshi workers and those who are hired on tourist visas under dubious arrangements turning Bangladesh's prospective labour market in jeopardy.

Hawa Bhaban men come to the fore

BNP mid- and junior-level leaders, who were criticised for their wrongdoings during the BNP-led four-party alliance regime, are now set to regain their positions in the party with the blessings of the party's influential factions.

LDCs kept in wait

It still remains uncertain when the least developed countries (LDCs) will get the Adaptation Fund although these nations have been demanding it for years.

Some cops make bucks out of lanes

The strength of new traffic rules in Dhaka are being eroded by a section of traffic police who are accepting bribes from offending drivers.

Govt wishes to appoint woman speaker

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the present government has the desire to appoint a woman as the speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad.

141 killed by law enforcers in 11 months

A total of 141 people were killed allegedly by the law enforcement agencies in the last 11 months, says a report of Odhikar, a human rights organisation.

Obama defends war at Nobel Prize ceremony

US President Barack Obama yesterday accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, uncomfortably acknowledging his role as a leader at war while insisting that conflict can be morally justified.

Organisations asked not to hold sports

A limited company of powerful businessmen has asked different organisations not to arrange any sports events in the Dhanmondi Club playground in its bid to take over it without any legal authorisation of officials concerned.

Bangladesh-India face-off today

Bangladesh will be looking for a repeat of their 2003 success when they take on India in the second semifinal of the Bangabandhu Sixth SAFF Championship at the Bangabandhu National Stadium tonight.

Zillur's speech to highlight AL's successes

President Zillur Rahman will describe the successes achieved in various sectors during the one-year rule of Awami League government in his address on the first day at the first parliamentary session in the coming year.

3 robbers beaten to death in Ctg

Three alleged robbers were killed and another injured in mob beating at Peshkarhat Bazar in Hathazari upazila early yesterday.

Ulfa leader bins Indian reports

Paresh Barua, head of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa), yesterday said his organisation has no plan of carrying out any attack in Bangladesh.

4 killed in Assam blast

A bomb at a crowded marketplace killed four people yesterday in India's insurgency-racked north-eastern state of Assam, police said.

BCL leader shot in city

Criminals shot and wounded Suhrawardi College unit Chhatra League (BCL) general secretary in the college library in the city's Sutrapur area yesterday.

DU's 45th convocation tomorrow

President Zillur Rahman, also chancellor of Dhaka University, is expected to inaugurate its 45th convocation tomorrow.

US praises resettlement of Lankan refugees

A US envoy praised the Sri Lankan government Wednesday for making progress in resettling hundreds of thousands of ethnic Tamil civilians detained since the end of the country's civil war.

Editorial

The world that Yunus would build

In a world which often bemoans the paucity of visionaries in our times, Muhammad Yunus comes across as one who can and does peer into the future. In his recent address to the Indian parliament, which has demonstrated its unqualified respect for him by inviting him to speak before it, the Nobel laureate has spelt out his vision of the future in what is clearly a bold and unambiguous manner. The boldness stems from his projection of a South Asian Union by 2030. On the face of it, and given the trend toward political unity in such regions as Europe and South East Asia, there is little that could be considered new in Yunus' suggestions. And yet for a region which remains stymied by crises of a multifaceted sort (think of all the bilateral and other issues which have held up regional cooperation for years), Yunus' vision of a single, purposeful South Asia is an expression of the courage one expects men of vision to demonstrate before the multitudes.

PM sets an example from the top

By a single gesture Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has made a strong statement of propriety, respect for others and nearness to people. She has put forward a useful message to organisers of events by setting aside a flashy, ornate and throne-height chair reserved for her in preference to the type others sat on at the inaugural of the SME Financing Fair on Tuesday. We thank her for her thoughtful act of conscientious self-effacement. A Prime Minister is prime minister no matter whether she sits on a big or small chair or fanfare accompanies her or not. The moral needs to catch on amidst our elitist frills.

Will the Earth expire by 2050?

The World Wildlife Fund claims that the Earth will become uninhabitable by 2050. Our planet has been badly abused, and it has been dying a slow death. The Earth will face extinction in roughly forty years, which is sooner than a child born today enters midlife crisis.

Banning rice export

It is good to learn that the government has banned export of rice. The Daily Star on December 5 quoted a statutory regulation order (SRO) of the commerce ministry issued at the end of November, which prohibited export of rice, both aromatic and non-aromatic, till December 31, 2009.

Terrorism without borders

The recent arrest in the country of several terrorists belonging to foreign terrorist outfits points to the existence of terrorists with active international links who are carrying out terrorism inside the country.

Sports

Hosts look to history

Bangladesh will be looking for a repeat of 2003 when the hosts take on India in the second semifinal of the Bangabandhu sixth SAFF Championship at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

Battle of islanders

Reigning champions Maldives and Sri Lanka will renew their rivalry when they face each other in the first semifinal of the Bangabandhu SAFF Championship at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

Kalabagan down Biman

Kalabagan skipped past Biman in the Super League race as they comfortably beat the national flag carriers by 7 wickets in their Premier Division Cricket League encounter at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. On a day of curtailed matches, title-rivals Mohammedan and Abahani got easy wins as well they defeated Cricket Coaching School and Victoria respectively.

Barca, Inter advance

Holders Barcelona and Inter Milan secured their places in the Champions League knock out stages at the last throw of the dice on Wednesday.

GP appears alone

Country's leading cellular operators Grameenphone is likely to retain the bragging rights of the Bangladesh cricket team after their sole appearance in a tender bid that closed yesterday.

Thorpe backs struggling KP

Graham Thorpe believes England star batsman Kevin Pietersen is on the brink of finding his best form after struggling so far in his native South Africa.

'Aussies are beatable'

Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, has declared Australia are "very beatable" ahead of the Perth Test and said their batting was not as strong as in recent years. Gayle was the man-of-the-match in the draw at Adelaide Oval and his team will be aiming to level the series 1-1 when the third and final Test begins on Wednesday.

Obstacle removed for Pak IPL players

Four Pakistani players have received clearance to get their visas to travel to neighbouring India to feature in the lucrative Indian Premier League, the nation's cricket chief said Thursday.

Champs clinch top spot

Reigning champions Barcelona clinched a place in the Champions League knockout stage with a 2-1 win over hosts Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday, with Lionel Messi netting an 86th-minute goal to secure top spot in their group.

Gerrard targets return

Steven Gerrard has urged his Liverpool team-mates to put their disastrous Champions League campaign behind them and concentrate on finishing fourth in the Premier League table.

Mourinho hits out at critics

Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho hit out at his critics after his side secured qualification for the Champions League knock-out stages with a 2-0 win over Rubin Kazan at the San Siro.

Robinho aims high

Brazil star Robinho has told his Manchester City team-mates to aim for the top of the table after their 2-1 win over English Premier League leaders Chelsea last weekend.

Young Gunners slip

Arsenal's young guns failed to fire Wednesday as they slipped to a solitary goal defeat at Olympiakos in their final Champions League Group H pool encounter to take the Greeks through.

Eto'o set for yet another honour

Cameroon and Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto'o is on track to win a record fourth CAF Africa Player award after he was named among five nominees for this year's prize.

Messi in Club WC fitness race

Lionel Messi, who scored the winner for reigning champions Barcelona in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Dynamo Kiev, faces a race to get fit for the start of the Club World Championship after suffering an ankle knock, coach Pep Guardiola said.

Everton in talks to sign Donovan

Premier League club Everton have confirmed they are in talks to sign USA forward Landon Donovan on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy.

Business

Hospital furniture on the mend

Locally made hospital furniture is gradually getting on well in market, now meeting around 30-35 percent of the total demand of the mushrooming hospitals and clinics across the country.

Offshore banking takes on local look

Rising reserve and remittance encouraged local banks to peg offshore banking business, once dominated by a few foreign banks.

Washing powder brands in price war

Washing powder consumers now reap benefit from a price cut manufacturers have offered. This low-priced segment accounts more than 80 percent of the total market.

Rahimafrooz to get EBL fund for solar panel plant

Rahimafrooz Renewable Energy Ltd (RREL) yesterday sealed a loan deal with Eastern Bank Ltd (EBL) to set up a solar panel assembling plant to tap the growing demand for green energy at home and abroad.

Divestment of SoEs now allowed: Barua

In a U-turn on his earlier stand, Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday said the upcoming Industry Policy-2009 will allow privatisation of state-owned enterprises (SoEs).

Investors go on hunger strike

A group of retail investors yesterday went on hunger strike in front of the Securities and Exchange Commission office demanding that the market regulator do not move for leave to appeal against a High Court order on a mutual fund case.

Knitters jittery over climbing yarn prices

The local knitwear industry is facing problems over the cotton and yarn price hike in domestic and international markets, the commerce minister said in Dhaka yesterday.

Green Delta opens brokerage branch in Gulshan

Green Delta Financial Services, a brokerage house, yesterday opened its fourth branch in Gulshan, Dhaka, aiming to step up brokerage services.

Agora launches Black & Gold products

Agora, the supermarket chain from Rahimafrooz Superstores Ltd, launched Australian brand Black & Gold in Bangladesh yesterday.

French chamber's gala tomorrow

France Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFB) will organise its annual gala night at Radisson Water Garden Hotel tomorrow, the chamber said in a statement.

Administrator takes over KCCI

The government has dismissed Shaharuzzaman Mortoza from the post of president of Khulna Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and dissolved its executive committee.

Redefine economic order: Yunus

The biggest flaw in the existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature, says Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus in a memorial lecture in honour of Prof Hirendranath Mukherjee, an academician and parliamentarian, at a joint meeting of the members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha of India on Wednesday. Here is the second part of the abridged lecture.

Al-Qaeda claims responsibility

al-Qaeda's umbrella group in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the coordinated Baghdad bombings that killed 127 people and wounded over 500 this week.

Soros: Finance gap could wreck climate talks

The $10 billion a year proposed by rich nations to help the poor adapt to climate change is "not much, it's not sufficient," and the gap between what's offered and what's needed could wreck the Copenhagen climate conference, American billionaire George Soros said Thursday.

Panasonic to buy 50.2pc stake in Sanyo for $4.6b

Panasonic Corp said Thursday it will take majority control of Sanyo Electric Co in a $4.6 billion deal, forging one of the biggest electronics makers in the world with an edge in green technologies.

Oil mixed

Oil prices were mixed in afternoon trade in Asia on Thursday, as markets digested data indicating weak energy demand in the United States, analysts said.

CORPORATE BRIEFS

BD SERVICE
Unaudited quarterly accounts for the third quarter to September 30 show the company has made profit after tax of Tk 25.54 million with EPS of Tk 0.69 against Tk 77.07 million and Tk 2.07 (restated) for the same period a year ago.

India's food inflation soars 19pc

Indian food prices have accelerated by 19 percent in a year, figures Thursday showed, driven by the driest monsoon in nearly four decades that has hit farm output.

Emirates raises $1.13b as Dubai struggles

Dubai's national flag carrier, Emirates, said on Thursday it has raised 1.13 billion dollars to finance the purchase of six Airbus A380 superjumbos, stressing it has no difficulty obtaining finance.

Britain, France urge tax on bankers' bonuses

Britain and France urged world leaders Thursday to impose a tax on bankers' bonuses, a day after London announced a one-off levy on the much-criticised finance sector benefits.

ECB chief urges Greece to take 'courageous' measures

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet urged the Greek government on Thursday to take "courageous" measures to tackle its debt crisis since it concerns the whole eurozone.

Metropolitan

Prevent political graft, bring defence purchase under ACC scrutiny

Preventing political corruption and bringing defence purchase under anti-corruption scrutiny are crucial to make significant difference in the anti-corruption drive, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.

Extrajudicial killings obstacle to democracy

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday underscored the need for an immediate end to the extrajudicial killings for the sake of smooth growth of democracy as well as civilisation.

Save Louhajang river from land grabbers, polluters

A human chain followed by a rally was held in Tangail town yesterday demanding immediate steps to save Louhajang river from the land grabbers and industrial pollution.

Sangskritik Jote programmes to celebrate Victory Day

With a view to creating a cultural enthusiasm in people's mind, Sammilito Sangskritik Jote (SSJ) yesterday declared a five-day cultural programme marking the Victory Day on December 16.

Draft bill to be tabled in next JS session

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday said the draft bill on Domestic Violence Act 2009, a preventive measure to reduce domestic violence against women and children, would be placed in the next parliamentary session.

Overhaul criminal justice mechanism to ensure HR

The Bangladesh government should initiate a systemic overhaul of the criminal justice mechanism in order to establish human rights.

633 killed in 'encounters' since 2004: Rab DG

Since the formation of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in 2004, a total of 633 persons were killed in 'encounters' with its members while 750 Rab men were punished for their 'unlawful' acts.

Call to reinvestigate death of Nurul Islam

Eminent citizens and politicians yesterday demanded that the government engage foreign experts to investigate the death of Gonotantri Party president Nurul Islam in a mysterious fire.

Shop employee gunned down

Unidentified criminals gunned down a machine tools shop employee in the city's Dholaikhal area last night.

'Save legacy of Dhaka city'

Speakers at a book launching ceremony yesterday called for saving Dhaka city with coordinated and sustainable plans before its 400-year-old legacy goes to ruin.

Victory fair begins in Ctg

The three-week 'Muktijuddher Bijoy Mela-2009' began in the port city yesterday.

Legal notice on govt to form probe body

A legal notice was served yesterday on the government to constitute an inquiry commission within seven days to investigate the offences of murder, rape, torture, etc committed immediately after the 2001 parliamentary election upon the minorities and the opposition supporters.

Stop repression on women: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged people of all walks of life to join forces and work decisively to stop repression and oppression on women.

HC exempts home secy from personal appearance

The High Court yesterday exempted the home secretary from personal appearance before this court in connection with a contempt of court petition filed by detained former BNP deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu.

Benefit of economic growth not reaching the poorest

The benefit of Bangladesh's economic growth is not reaching the poorest people, contributing to the rise in inequality in society, two independent UN experts said yesterday.

Serve nation neutrally

Terming the military a powerful institution of an independent country, President Zillur Rahman yesterday said they should serve the nation sincerely and neutrally.

Road crashes kill 8 in Ctg

Eight people were killed and 15 others injured in separate road accidents in Chittagong yesterday.

Dormitories to be built for female workers: Munnujan

State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Munnujan Sufian yesterday said the government is planning to build dormitories for female garment workers near their workplaces.

Another gets anticipatory bail

The High Court yesterday granted anticipatory bail for six months to another staff of the sunken launch MV Coco-4 in a case filed for the launch capsize in Bhola.

Australian support for human rights project

Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) will receive Tk 3.72 million for a human rights project this year under Australian government's Human Rights Small Grants Scheme (HRSGS), says a press release.

EC plans projection meetings

The Election Commission (EC) has planned to hold projection meetings for the mayoral candidates in the upcoming polls of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC).

EC plans projection meetings

The Election Commission (EC) has planned to hold projection meetings for the mayoral candidates in the upcoming polls of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC).

'Eliminate gender inequalities'

Speakers at a discussion called for creating a bond of love and eliminating gender inequalities in families to curb domestic violence.

12th anniversary of Management Net

Management Net, an association of former students of Management department at Dhaka University, will celebrates its 12th anniversary, says a press release.

KOICA-Bangla Alumni Assoc get-together held

KOICA-Bangladesh Alumni Association held its annual get-together programme at Sonargaon Hotel in the city on Tuesday, says a press release.

Buet Debating Club Debate contest begins

The Concord - Prothom Alo 3rd Buet Debating Club Debate Championship began yesterday, says a press release.

National

Akhaura has its war memorial after 38 yrs

For the first time in 38 years of independence, the people of Akhaura upazila are going to celebrate the Victory Day on the premises of a Liberation War memorial this year.

Baby gharial caught from Padma lands in Rajshahi Zoo

Young one of gharial, one of the most critically endangered crocodilians on the globe and a near extinct species in Bangladesh, was captured from River Padma in Rajshahi on Wednesday.

Tale of 18 'wealthy landless'

At least 18 well-off people of Ulipur village under Gobindaganj upazila of the district have acquired ten acres of khas land identifying themselves as landless peasants.

Workshop on heritage opens in Bogra today

A four-day workshop on “Formulation of Draft Outline of National Plan for Management of Cultural Heritage of Bangladesh” begins at Mahasthangrah Museum site in Bogra today.

AL men arrested in Bogra

Bogra Sadar police on Wednesday arrested three Awami League leaders and activists and recovered phensidyl and sharp weapons. The arrestees are district convenor of Bangabandhu Sainik League Asadur Rahman Sumon, 34, Gaziul Haq, 45 and Moniruzzaman Monzu, 36. All of them were sent to jail hajat yesterday morning. Police said, acting on a tip off, a team in a raid recovered a bag full of phensidyl, a few sharp axes from Puran Bogra area in the town at around 9.30pm on Wednesday. Officer-in-charge (OC) Jahangir Hossain told journalists that a good number of AL leaders and workers later thronged the police station for release of the arrestees. A high official of Bogra police said that a number of lawmakers including a top leader of AL Bogra district unit were also putting pressure on the OC to release the arrested party leaders and workers.

10 BCL leaders get bail

The Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court yesterday granted bail to 10 Dighinala upazila Chhatra League (BCL) leaders who were accused of attacking and injuring police men on November 8. Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Md. Ikhtiarul Islam Mollik granted the bail following submission of bail prayers by Advocate Md. Nasir Uddin Ahmed. Police sources said, a group of 10-15 BCL cadres led by its thana unit president Mohammad Zahangir Alam attacked police station and injured sub-inspector Mohammad Mizanur Rahman and constable Mostafa Mia at 10.30pm on November 8 during a clash between BCL, BNP leaders.

Schoolgirl commits 'suicide'

Mystery shrouds death of a schoolgirl on Wednesday night at her relative's house at Paradise Para in the town. The victim was identified as Mousumi Akter, 11, daughter of Montaz Ali of Alishakanda village. Family sources said Mousumi, a class V student of Town Primary School, had been living at her aunt Jahanara's house for the last four years. Jahanara went to Dhaka on Wednesday morning leaving Mousumi in the house alone. On her return from Dhaka Jahanara found that Mousumi committed suicide leaving a chit holding nobody responsible for her death, family sources claimed. The family members, however, could not give any satisfactory reason behind her suicide.

4 BCL men hurt in clash

Feni district Chhatra League vice president Abdur Rasul, 28, and three other leaders of the AL student front were beaten up by a rival group in Parshuram upazila yesterday noon and on Wednesday night. Three of the injured have been admitted to local upazila health complex. A written complaint was lodged with Parshuram police station against 10 people including the upazila Chhatra League president in connection with this incident. Police and witnesses said, three BCL workers Md Alamgir, 26, Lokman Hossain, 27 and Md Yusuf, 25, were beaten up by a rival faction yesterday noon because of previous enmity. Alamgir and Lokman were admitted to Parshuram upazila health complex while Yusuf was handed over to police as he was accused in a case.

Schoolteacher murdered

A schoolteacher was stabbed to death at Sonakora in Sadar upazila on Wednesday night. The deceased was identified as Motiur Rahman of Boroikora village of Sadar upazila. He was a teacher of Joka Girls' High School and also owner of a pharmacy. Police said when Motiur was returning home from his pharmacy at Beruakhali bazaar at night a gang of criminals stabbed him, leaving him dead on the spot.

Firearm seized, 5 arrested

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members seized a light gun (LG) and arrested five people from a workshop at Paduar bazaar in Sadar Dakkhin upazila on Wednesday afternoon. The arrestees were identified as workshop owner Abul Khayer, workers Safiullah, Bashir Uddin, Milon and Abdul Awal. Acting on secret information, a team of Rab-11 raided Momin Engineering Workshop at about 2pm and held them along with the firearm. They also seized some arms making materials from the workshop.

Letters

PM on climate change

Bangladesh Head of Government Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina while addressing the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which was recently held in the capital city of the Caribbean Island has very rightly demanded a separate financial assistance for Most Vulnerable Countries (MVCs) like Bangladesh for encountering the threats stemming from climate change. Due to global warming and climate change, Bangladesh is under serious risk of losing a huge portion of her lands to the sea. The disastrous impact of climate change is getting prominently visible on Bangladesh agriculture and food security.

Dealing with traffic

I am sure we all have heard a lot on this topic and many of us are constantly thinking and coming up with ways to improve our traffic system. Surely, we as individuals can only do our part in terms of changing our behaviours and ALWAYS by obeying traffic laws. Meanwhile I feel that we must utilize our roads in the best possible manner. We can in the short term: 1. Make marked lanes on every main road and punish vigorously those who disobey traffic laws with very high fines. 2. Make turn lanes at every intersection. 3. Absolutely ensure that busses do not stop anywhere on the road except at bus stops and surely make specific bus stops first. 3. Let the main roads run by AUTOMATIC signal lights except in times of emergency when a traffic police officer can guide the traffic. 4. Make sure that NO traffic officer EVER encourages any vehicle to “GO” on Red and “STOP” on Green. This practice is systematically ruining our habits even those of us who are willing to obey the laws. 5. Make sidewalks FREE of illegal occupation and available for pedestrians. (This one step can reduce the traffic jams significantly throughout the city) 6. PUNISH, severely those who do not use the foot over bridge (where available) 7. Build fences around ALL major roads to separate the road and the sidewalk. There should be designated crossings where people will be allowed to cross the roads. 8. The dividers of the main roads MUST be high enough so that people cannot jump over it. 9. Buses must be made to move mostly on the left most lanes whenever possible. 10. The immediate step: Take Rickshaws off the main roads.

Why can't we be united?

We celebrated the biggest festival of the Muslim Ummah throughout the whole country two weeks ago. Eid-ul- Azha brings us together. It lets us show harmony, unity, cooperation and mutual respect to each other irrespective of chaos and broken relationships among people. At least during Eid we tend to invite, welcome and above all receive each other in a warm, decent and sincere way. In fact, most of the people of our country are Muslims and Bangladesh is well known as a liberal country in terms of religion around the world.

New office timings

The recent change in office timings is a good initiative taken by the government primarily to ease traffic congestion in Dhaka city.

Adulterated paracetamol!

Your court correspondent's front page and important report on the matter published on 24 November indicates the gross slackness and apathy of the prosecution system and the Drug Administration! Was it just negligence or some incentive from unofficial sources, that encouraged them to remain in the dark, and to calmly ignore this important matter concerning public health and safety?

Politics

Everything happening around us has something to do with politics. In consideration of this, it is essential to set up different age-levels of curriculum in political education during the course of compulsory education. Likewise in life-long education, it is important to provide adults with some opportunities to learn the rules of democracy, for it is not desirable in an educational setting that democratic rights might recede for the next generation to come. It will be difficult to achieve equality between women and men as long as politicians and bureaucrats without gender sensitivity perspectives occupy influential positions.

Card phone booth

The unused card phone booth was set up in the Gopalganj head post office building a decade ago for public. But the government's TNT department decided to stop this service in 1999 for unknown reasons. There were nine card phone booths in different places of Gopalganj. But all of them have been closed!

To the prime minister…

Chittagong is the business city of Bangladesh and it has been contributing a lot to develop the country's economy. We the people of Chittagong expected that the Third Karnafuli Bridge would be open very soon after finishing its construction and it is also expected by project director (PD) of the bridge. He told BSS that the 950 metre long and 24.40 metre wide bridge is expected to be complete before the scheduled time --September 2009.

Immigrant women workers

A joint research report of UNDP & a private organisation portrays that the women workers abroad find themselves in a very miserable and pathetic condition. According to that research report, approximately 1,00000 immigrant female workers are working in foreign countries mostly in the Middle East to support their families. They work there as domestic helper. But it is an issue of great concern that most of them, to be exact 85% of domestic workers, are the victims of physical torture & oppression by their employers. Moreover, 20% of them are being harassed sexually. As they are unaware of the labour law they are being tormented by the employers. They do not get any legal protection there. Therefore, they are compelled to bear with the oppression. Apart from this, the recruiting agency or the brokers through whom they go abroad as 'domestic helper' are not sending them under any written contract.

Eid day

I saw some foreigners roaming in the city and taking snaps on Eid day. An old mosque know as Tara Masjid caught their interest and they were very exuberant, enjoying themselves with the unique work of architecture with colourful small pieces of glass. Really, the mosque is an example of quality architecture.

Thanks, Mr. Galloway!

The Daily Star reports that George Galloway, a member of British parliament, on Wednesday demanded international enquiry into the proposed Tipaimukh dam by India. As we live in Sylhet, we can guess the problems that the dam will cause. He has noted in his speech, "If the dam is built Bangladesh, particularly, its Sylhet area will be seriously damaged and this project should be halted," We are thankful to him for such a realistic comment.

DST scheme

"Emon deshti kothao khunjey paabey nako tumi", so sang D.L. Roy a long time back. How right he was! There is no country like ours in so many ways. But I shall only talk about one. There is no country in the world which is in love with Daylight Saving Time (DST) like ours. It was love at first sight. Our elected government and its eminent advisers totally forgot why they went for DST, in the first place. We were told it was to save energy.

Rivers in Sylhet

The partition of British India took place in 1947 on the understanding between The Indian Congress and The Muslim League that the province of Punjab and Bengal would be bifurcated based on the religion based concentration of the people.

Three lane traffic

I have failed to understand how the three lane traffic movement will work if vehicles are categorised like private cars will ply on first lane, buses on middle lane and CNG taxis on third lane.

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International

Pakistan quizzes arrested foreigners over al-Qaeda links

Pakistani authorities were questioning yesterday six men with alleged links to al-Qaeda, at least three of them US citizens, on suspicion of plotting a militant strike, police said.

Move begins to form new Indian state

India's home minister announced that the process of forming a separate state in part of southern Andhra Pradesh state will begin soon.

US praises resettlement of Lankan refugees

A US envoy praised the Sri Lankan government Wednesday for making progress in resettling hundreds of thousands of ethnic Tamil civilians detained since the end of the country's civil war.

Pakistan flip-flops over India's involvement in terror attack

Rejecting Interior Minister Rehman Malik's claims about having 'concrete evidence' regarding India's involvement in terror activities inside the country, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood has said that evidence against New Delhi is not enough.

Peace more important than Nobel Prize

US President Barack Obama yesterday accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, paying tribute to activists who have taken on governments around the world while uncomfortably acknowledging his role as a leader at war.

Philippine rebels abduct 75 civilians

Tribal gunmen raided a school in the violence-wracked southern Philippines yesterday and abducted at least 75 people, many of them children, police said.

Taliban warn S Korea on betrayal

The Taliban yesterday accused South Korea of breaking a promise not to send troops to Afghanistan after it released 19 Korean hostages two years ago, warning its forces to face the consequences.

Too early to give Obama Nobel: Dalai

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has said that giving the Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack is "a little early".

US, N Korea agree to resume nuke talks

The United States and North Korea have a "common understanding" on the need to resume stalled nuclear disarmament negotiations, US envoy Stephen Bosworth said yesterday after a visit to Pyongyang.

3 detained in China for tainted milk powder

Police in China have detained three people for selling more than five tonnes of chemical-tainted milk powder, state media said yesterday, in a case echoing last year's massive contaminated dairy scandal.

Chinese kin suspected over needle in girl's brain

Doctors in south-western China have removed a needle from the brain of an 11-year-old girl, believed inserted after birth in an attempted murder by relatives who had wanted a boy, a report said yesterday.

Amnesty condemns Iranian 'rights abuses'

Human rights in Iran are as poor as at any time over the past 20 years, according to a report from campaign group Amnesty International.

Kuwaiti parliament fails to meet on stateless rights

Kuwait's parliament failed yesterday to hold a special session to resolve the humanitarian issue of stateless Arabs, with some MPs accusing the government of deliberately preventing the meeting.

US holds 11 Iranian including diplomat

Iranian media published a list yesterday of 11 Iranians, including a truck driver, a former diplomat and a nuclear scientist, who it claims are being held in the United States or other countries.

Arts & Entertainment

The Japanese connection

Taking Japanese folk music or Min'yo at face value, one will notice the dissimilarities between the genre and its Bangla counterpart. The predominant style of rendering Bangla folk songs is free spirited, where as Min'yo vocalists switch between full-throated and restrained (often nasal). Bengali folk singers are accompanied by dhol, sarinda, banshi, mandira and ektara whereas a Min'yo troupe includes shamisen (three-stringed musical instrument played with a plectrum called a bachi), tsugaru-jamisen (a large shamisen with thicker strings; the plectrum is proportionately small), shakuhachi (an end-blown flute made of bamboo) and uta-bayashi (drums).

Music for the soul

Musical soiree “Pranar Gaan” (Songs of the Soul) is to be held at Bangabandhu International Convention Centre at 7 pm on December 13.

A chronicle of commitment

Nishat Afza Arzoo is a popular classical singer. In addition she is a special grade artiste with both Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television -- proving the truth of the old adage that hard work coupled with commitment can win the day.

Amra Surjomukhi celebrates anniversary with live music

On the occasion of its 34th anniversary, Amra Surjomukhi honoured National Professor Kabir Chowdhury and held a musical soiree on December 9 at Sufia Kamal Auditorium, National Museum, Shahbagh.

Begum Rokeya Day observed

To celebrate Begum Rokeya Day 2009 (on December 9) hundreds of people including women and students of different schools and colleges brought out a procession in Sirajganj town.

Concert featuring songs from Jaagoroner Gaan”

To mark the launch of "Jaagoroner Gaan", Banglalink is going to hold a grand concert at Shikha Chironton, Suhrawardy Udyan on December 12, says a press release.

Susan Boyle’s album is largest ever female debut

Susan Boyle's dreams continue to come true. The singing sensation who emerged from obscurity on "Britain's Got Talent" is topping the charts, selling the most albums of any artiste in a single week this year with the largest ever sales debut for a female artiste.

OP-ED

The tragedy of Babri Masjid demolition

MR. Kuldip Nayar's "Politics of Babri Masjid" in Daily Star November 27 was an eye opener for me. It was more so because it was by somebody like Kuldip Nayar.

Native Orientalists in Pakistan

A few days back, I received a "Dear friends" email from the ex-editor of Daily Times, Pakistan, announcing that he had resigned from the newspaper. He thanked his friends for their support and encouragement in making Daily Times a "new voice for a new Pakistan."

Elected Workers' Association in EPZs

THERE has been much recent press coverage on the possible impacts of forming workers' representation and welfare committees in various enterprises of Export Processing Zones (EPZs) of Bangladesh.

StarTech

Wildfire spread of Malware on the internet

The spread of malicious programmes through the internet has skyrocketed in the last two years as their number exceeded 32 million in 2009 from just two million in 2007. This spread will increase further as it is financially motivated as cyber crime remains extremely profitable and out of reach of the law, according to the gurus of the Kaspersky Lab.

The smartest phone

We waited so long for this device that we waited even more to test it and write a review. But after using it we found out that there are so many things to write that we cannot cover everything in a single review article. But still we gave it a shot.

Kaspersky now third biggest name in anti-virus solution in the world

Russian based Kaspersky Lab is rapidly rising in the internet security world as an innovative technological leader. Marking a 56 percent growth in 2009 with US 370 million dollars turnover, the privately owned rather small company aims at $600 million dollar revenue in 2010.

Samsung holds Superstar grand finale

Samsung Electronics, a mobile handset manufacturer, held the grand finale of 'Samsung Super Star Contest' on December 7 at Hotel Sheraton Dhaka, says a press release.



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